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Default Wizards of the Coast - Fourth Edition Preview Books @ Slashdot

February 7th, 2008, 09:46
Slashdot has posted a look at the preview books that WotC is making available prior to the upcoming release of the Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons ruleset:
In just a few months the first books for the Fourth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) will be released by publisher Wizards of the Coast (WotC)….To attempt to answer some of the biggest questions about this newest edition, WotC has learned from mistakes made in 99', and is previewing their game updates with a pair of softcover books. Called "Races and Classes" and "Worlds and Monsters", the two titles cover everything from character creation to the new default world's pantheon. More importantly, it includes a large amount of commentary from the designers …Read on for my impressions of these highly entertaining (and vastly overpriced) chapbooks.
You can read the entire summary here.
Here's just a quick snip:
The process of making and growing a character seems to be the element they examine most closely in the commentary sections of the book [Races & Classes]. One subheading says it all: "Expanding the Sweet Spot". 3.0/3.5, it has often been noted, follows a power curve that starts somewhat underpowered and eventually reaches a point where players are too powerful to be seriously challenged. Though there's a lot of debate on this point, personal experience suggests the sweet spot for D&D 3.5 is about 5th level to 14th. Though many campaigns will never make it that far, it's frustrating to deal with mechanical weaknesses like that over the lifespan of a game. Fourth edition is a valiant attempt to rectify that by making all levels viable for play.
More information.
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February 7th, 2008, 09:46
The most important part is something WotC doesn't want you to know:

Faerun is dead. The Forgotten Realms have become Mad Max Return to Thunderdome.

They have dug their own grave. I wish them well….I mean, I wish they'd fall down a well.
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February 7th, 2008, 13:34
What do you mean "dead"? Unsupported like Planescape? How can a setting die when there are tons of books in that setting (Drizzt, Elminster, etc)?
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February 7th, 2008, 15:02
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
What do you mean "dead"? Unsupported like Planescape? How can a setting die when there are tons of books in that setting (Drizzt, Elminster, etc)?
I think he means "dead" as in "ruined".

4E brings many enormous changes to the FR setting - and many people don't like what they're hearing. I can understand why - in many ways the new FR is barely recognisable.
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February 7th, 2008, 18:34
In a thread at the codex (or rpgcodex) we've discussed this, too. Pretty much everyone agreed that WotC had ruined Faerun completely, by making many changes to the world. That is what is to be expected after time had for around 100 years or so in Faerun. However, I and (pretty much) all others at the codex agreed that the way it was done was completely boring and - well- not too smart.

They made a deus ex machina effect where something called a ?plague? of sorts swept through the land, except the Sword Coast. And the Tan'arii are not Tan'arii anymore, but demons (I apologixe for the spelling…).

Also, they made a lot of changes to the lore in Faerun - lore that is contradicting their own Faerun lore… and by their, I mean WotC…

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February 7th, 2008, 21:01
I just wondered how this might affect "officially licensed" RPGs …
And whether some people would say, then, "no, this is not my taste."

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 8th, 2008, 09:21
Not really a huge problem for game writers or authors (Salvatore etc), because they can simply decide to place the story at a different time in Fearűns history. However, it will certainly affect any sequels to books/games set right before these changes.
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February 9th, 2008, 11:06
One thing that is good for this, if they've left the 100 years shrouded in mystery, is that opens the setting for computer games, as the writers may take a few liberties with the setting, as opposed to right now, as everyone (familiar with the FR lore) has certain expectations of how the things should look like in any given part of the FR.
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