Friday, September 14, 2007

Like pulling teeth

I should know better than to trust the Wizards website to give me easy access to information (that's why wizardslinks was born), so I suppose it's my fault that I relied on their RSS feed to inform me when the developers' blogs changed, and thus I retract the curses I put upon them for not having anything new over the last few days.

Let's see... where to start.

Perkins had a nice set of official answers to official questions, or something like that...

I'm not really sure where I stand on the 30 base levels. It feels a bit like DDO's "rank" system to elongate the levels from the start to the end, but we'll see how they feel during play.

The answer about Greyhawk no longer being the standard setting was revealing -- specifically, the gods used in the base system were the gods from the realm of Greyhawk, were they not? Are they going to avoid the specifics of the gods entirely then?

And already players are asking for video-game friendly? I haven't played Neverwinter Nights 2 yet -- I certainly don't want NWN3 to come out any time soon.

I want James Wyatt's job. It's not numbers, or game mechanics, but it sure sounds fun. What does this have to do with 4th edition? Well he's working on it, isn't he? Sheesh.

I missed three or four blogs from Noonan... and that guy's prolific, so I should have known better.

It sounds like the work being done on the Dungeon Master's Guide is worthwhile. I have to admit that I'd be hard-pressed to describe half of what's in the 3.5 version. I've read it front-to-back once, but the stuff that I refer back to tends to be a very select part of the book -- magic items, XP and treasure tables. The extra detail given to encounters sounds interesting, not that I feel I need it, but to see their take on expanding the "typical encounter."

That they're organizing the book by "DM tasks" does look good, though. Noonan's list of DM tasks that he gives looks like a good start to a table of contents.

His playtest commentary was too much of a tease to get anything 4e out of it, but it reinforced the fact that Noonan and I have similar DMing styles.

And his Mood on that same post is very apropos.

Rich Baker lets out some information on the swordmage class. While Griff's first response was "just multiclass!", I think the idea is that their abilities are geared solely to defense, whereas a multiclass wizard/fighter would have a more versatile set of spells available, but probably nothing specific to being the "arcane defender" that they were going for.

My biggest complaint with the swordmage, and warlord, and, frankly, any other new class, is exactly that -- that they're new classes. Sure, a lot of the 3.5 splat books had some interesting ideas, but to me, there is a core set of classes for D&D, which includes a cleric, a fighter, a magic-user (which I always called a "mage" back then, but I'll allow wizard and sorcerer), a rogue, etc.

Rangers, druids and monks feel like new kids, but have been around long enough to be "standard" to D&D. But when you start having terms like "warlord" and "swordmage", these even sound like prestige classes. Prestige classes, to me, are the way to focus a character down a certain path, or role as 4th edition calls it. Baker ever talks about the idea of making a grid of power-source versus role to come up with the "slots" that might need filling, and that's exactly what the swordmage feels like to me. Perhaps it's the old 3.5 player in me, but actual classes like warlock, ninja, etc. just don't feel "right".

Mearls talks about the work on the Player's Handbook, and the organization of the specialty attacks like bull's rush and the like. I've been playing this game for how long? I still don't remember the rules, and I still flip like a maniac trying to find them. Let's see if this re-organization works.

Like the comment above about the DMG, this isn't really specific to 4th edition, I know, but it's something to look forward to, regardless of what rules are being put out.

Well, now that I've caught up on blog posts, and know now to just keep refreshing the webpage instead of relying on their RSS feed, am I allowed to say that I hope this D&D Insider thing gets better really soon, really fast? You're not getting my expectations up with hard-to-find archives and broken RSS feeds.

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