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Default Obsidian Entertainment - D&D Has Lost Its Way

February 12th, 2015, 06:43
Feargus Urquhart did a short interview on Ploygon along with the three from last week, but this time he talks about how D&D has lost its way with the new edition.
Dungeons and Dragons is dear to Feargus Urquhart's heart.

But ask the man behind so many adaptations of D&D video games to ignore his emotions and he'll tell you that the '70s fantasy tabletop role-playing game may have lost its way.

In part, that's why Obsidian Entertainment recently cut a deal with Paizo to create games based not on D&D, but tabletop RPG competitor Pathfinder.

"I think for Pathfinder as a whole it's going to be very interesting over the next 12 months to see what happens," the head of Obsidian told Polygon in a recent interview.

The tumult in the tabletop Dungeons and Dragons space can be traced back to the 2007 release of the 4th edition of the game by Wizards of the Coast. The release, its rules and how the release was handled, fractured the audience and led to previous supports, like Pathfinder, creating direct competitors.

But it was last year's final release of the 5th edition that led some, including Urquhart, to question the tabletop's future.

"The new version of D&D came out last year and people are thinking about what is ultimately going to happen with D&D," he said. "One of the reasons we actually went with Pathfinder was … how do you say it? I'll just say it: We were having a hard time figuring out how to move forward with Dungeons and Dragons."
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February 12th, 2015, 06:43
well I guess we know won't be doing a Baldur's Gate 3 or NWN3.
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February 12th, 2015, 07:38
I agree with them, D&D totally lost its way in 4th ed. 5th ed is somewhat better but still too 'MMO' oriented. 3.5 was the last D&D I liked, and Pathfinder was an evolution of 3.5 so that's why they went for that.
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February 12th, 2015, 08:05
Yeah, I gave up on D&D after 4e came out. My real preference would be the HERO system, but Pathfinder definitely works.
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February 12th, 2015, 08:11
I agree with him there. I thought D&D reached its peak in 2nd edition, then they started dumbing it down in subsequent editions, and did things like taking away the rigid class structure. And they also made other silly changes earlier, like changing the "Thief" class to the politically more correct "Rogue", and taking out the "Assassin" class altogether, just to please some moms and dads when D&D started getting attention in the news back then. Can't have junior playing a fantasy game where they can be a "thief" or an "assassin"! Think of the children! (sarcasm)
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February 12th, 2015, 10:18
I get the feeling from the article that it is not so much the D&D system / version he has issue with as it is working with a mega corp who doesn't give a crap about a lesser partner. The pathfinder producers are just easier to work with for Obsidian so while he might like to keep making "D&D" games Pathfinder is as close as he can get unless the D&D license were split off to a smaller easier to deal with company.
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February 12th, 2015, 10:19
D&D 3 and 3.5 were both fantastic improvements. 4E was a travesty - and I haven't even bothered with 5E.

It boggles my mind that anyone would consider 2E the peak, though - but that's another matter.

Then again, it's very rare that I have PnP sessions these days, and it's not exactly raining with D&D games anyway, so maybe it's all pretty pointless to talk about.

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February 12th, 2015, 11:01
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I get the feeling from the article that it is not so much the D&D system / version he has issue with as it is working with a mega corp who doesn't give a crap about a lesser partner. The pathfinder producers are just easier to work with for Obsidian so while he might like to keep making "D&D" games Pathfinder is as close as he can get unless the D&D license were split off to a smaller easier to deal with company.
Not a feeling, that is exactly what the article is talking about.

And others used this topic to turn it into "kids, get off my lawn!" thread.
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February 12th, 2015, 11:22
3.5e was too munchkinized for my tastes. How much research would a person need to put into class mechanics before they even settled on a build BEFORE sitting down to create the character?

But 4e and 5e? Too generic.
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February 12th, 2015, 11:24
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
3.5e was too munchkinized for my tastes. How much research would a person need to put into class mechanics before they even settled on a build BEFORE sitting down to create the character?

But 4e and 5e? Too generic.
There's no law against playing a regular Fighter, Cleric, Thief or Mage and picking straightforward feats for reasonable performance. But it's true that optimizing a character for maximum output required research and experience.

That's exactly how I like it, though - and I hate systems where the path to power is obvious.

To each his own, though.

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February 12th, 2015, 11:30
I like complex systems as well… but that complexity shouldn't take place before you even gather at the table. It's a barrier to playing, which D&D should not be about.
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February 12th, 2015, 11:35
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
I like complex systems as well… but that complexity shouldn't take place before you even gather at the table. It's a barrier to playing, which D&D should not be about.
I've never felt that barrier - but then again, I'm a fan of systems and I find 3E pretty easy to grasp in terms of the basics. Creating optimal characters is another story.

I've played with a lot of inexperienced people - and 3E was actually easier for them to learn than 1E and 2E, especially when it comes to dice rolls and combat. The past systems had some really obscure mechanics (THAC0, 18-XX for strength, etc.) and class traits. Not to mention some REALLY weird multi-classing and dual-classing rules.

So, it's never been a problem in my experience.

But, again, to each his own.

4E, though, was much easier still - and it certainly had less of a barrier. I guess that's good for a certain kind of audience.

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February 12th, 2015, 11:49
I think 4E is a good thing for first-time role players. The rules are so non-specific, generic and the same for every race/class combo that it could not be easier. So you can focus on the RP if that is new to you and the rules would be a distraction.

But any more experienced person should switch to 3.5 after (or to a better system than D&D altogether) as those systems reflect different characters and builds much better and it is just more interesting to play with the rules. Character building and progression is (at least to me) a vital part of the experience - just like deck building is for MTG. And 4E just does not have that.

The combat in 4E is not even that bad. Salvageable with some house rules. But where is the point if every character is essentially the same?
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February 12th, 2015, 11:58
Originally Posted by Drithius View Post
I like complex systems as well… but that complexity shouldn't take place before you even gather at the table. It's a barrier to playing, which D&D should not be about.
Think that's a matter of your table's culture. When ever we play with a new ruleset (edition) in our group, we handle stuff like this a little more laxly. So when someone made a stupid decision in character building (like chosing a "wrong" feat) we just let him correct this error. (And Yes, even if he used the deleted feat/spell in a previous session.)
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February 12th, 2015, 11:59
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Think that's a matter of your table's culture. When ever we play a new rule (edition) in our group, we handle stuff like this a little laxly. So when someone made a stupid decision in character building (like chosing a "wrong" feat), we let him switch.
Yeah, that's my own approach as well. As I said, I've introduced PnP to a lot of people - and we always help them along. I've had a few girlfriends play as well - and I usually explain it as we go along, and I've definitely had an easier time explaining the basics of 3E - then I did with past systems.

That said, I know there are easier systems out there - but I guess I don't care that much about an initial barrier. I'm there to help people with it, after all

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February 12th, 2015, 12:02
Yup, important thing for us is that the initial character concept doesn't change. So we don't want a Bud Spencer morph into a Terence Hill.
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February 12th, 2015, 12:04
Originally Posted by Morrandir View Post
Yup, important thing for us is that the initial character concept doesn't change. So we don't want a Bud Spencer morph into a Terence Hill.
Indeed. That said, I do remember - ages ago - having a more pedantic atmosphere in my PnP groups. But I think that was down to youth and an obsession with making rigid following of the books some kind of supreme rule

I'm way past that stage, hehe.

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February 12th, 2015, 13:00
I don't know the first thing about Pathfinder, but if someone made a D&D CRPG again, I'd strongly recommend:

- leave out crafting (incl. brewing, wands etc.)

- dial down on the number of spells (very much so) and classes or class abilities

- make it turn based

- allow for a lot of tactical options (including stance, readying, cover etc.)

basically, don't make it NWN3.

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February 12th, 2015, 13:04
Pathfinder is almost same like D&D 3.5e.
Crafting will be in it for sure. Classes have even more abilities than in D&D 3.5e
Obsidian is not a fan of turn based although Tim Cain wants to make turn based RPGs.
Tactical options were cool in ToEE but it cost the game better story and maps.
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February 12th, 2015, 13:38
All I can say is that changes to the ruleset were not good and ment (clinical with a hope to revive) death to D&D specialized sites like sorcerer's place.
These very good in the past sites are now near to be defunct or were forced to morph into general RPG stuff.
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