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D&D Handbook Distribution Lawsuit Settled For $125,000

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the lawful-neutral dept.

Role Playing (Games) 124

The Installer writes "Wizards of the Coast is in the process of settling its claim against several individuals for illegal distribution of its newest copyrighted handbook. 'In one of three lawsuits brought by Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro Inc., US District Judge Thomas S. Zilly on Friday accepted a settlement in which Thomas Patrick Nolan of Milton, Fla., agreed to a judgment against him of $125,000.' These were the lawsuits that went along with WotC's decision to stop selling the handbook in .PDF format. 'According to court filings, more than 2,600 copies of the handbook were downloaded from Scribd.com, and more than 4,200 copies were viewed online before the material was pulled from the document-sharing site at Wizards' request.'"

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Goatse Distribution (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29784653)

Eat a niggerdick [goatse.fr] . All your friends do.

Agreed? (5, Funny)

cjfs (1253208) | about 5 years ago | (#29784655)

agreed to a judgment against him of $125,000

So they didn't roll for damages?

Re:Agreed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29784689)

Of course they did. One million max, rolling an eight-sided die. How else do you think they came up with such an odd amount?

Re:Agreed? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about 5 years ago | (#29790267)

<pedant>125000 is even, not odd</pedant> ;)

Re:Agreed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29784765)

Natural 20.

Re:Agreed? (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 5 years ago | (#29784781)

Free advice: do not address Judge as Dungeon Master. IANAL.

Re:Agreed? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785415)

So court procedure and etique is more important than things like the law.

Re:Agreed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785853)

Free advice: you will get further in life if you stop acting like an asshole and excusing it because you believe you are "right."

Re:Agreed? (3, Informative)

shentino (1139071) | about 5 years ago | (#29786477)

In theory, all legal cases should be decided on the merits.

In practice, as with all situations, dissing the people in power will bring holy shit of vengeance upon your head.

The sad part is that often times the shit will fall in the form of a prejudicial ruling, rather than a contempt of court fine.

Another thing that pisses me off in legal proceedings is how if you screw up, you're toast. Case in point: e390 v. Spamhaus. Technically, the us court didn't have jurisdiction. But once it was removed to federal court, "you automatically waived the right to contest any jurisdictional issues". A booby-trap.

Our legal system is hosed and strewn with traps that, you guessed it, only high priced lawyers are smart enough to work around. I'd call it a damned protection racket if you asked me.

Re:Agreed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29792449)

Just ask Jack Thompson

Re:Agreed? (1)

AG the other (1169501) | about 5 years ago | (#29793695)

In theory, all legal cases should be decided on the merits.

In practice, as with all situations, dissing the people in power will bring holy shit of vengeance upon your head.

The sad part is that often times the shit will fall in the form of a prejudicial ruling, rather than a contempt of court fine.

Another thing that pisses me off in legal proceedings is how if you screw up, you're toast. Case in point: e390 v. Spamhaus. Technically, the us court didn't have jurisdiction. But once it was removed to federal court, "you automatically waived the right to contest any jurisdictional issues". A booby-trap.

Our legal system is hosed and strewn with traps that, you guessed it, only high priced lawyers are smart enough to work around. I'd call it a damned protection racket if you asked me.

Please replace smart with knowledgeable. Lawyers aren't necessarily smarter then the rest of us they just study more.

AG

Re:Agreed? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29784817)

Damage: d20+124,990

So, $125,000 is about average.

Re:Agreed? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785521)

Actually, that would be d20 + 124,989.50.

How's that for combined geek and math pedanticity!

Re:Agreed? (1)

PReDiToR (687141) | about 5 years ago | (#29789523)

I think you will find that the word you are looking for is "pedantry [reference.com] ".

From one pedant [wikipedia.org] to another.

Re:Agreed? (1)

Skevin (16048) | about 5 years ago | (#29791249)

Actually I think damages were 40000d6, for which a final roll of $125000 is slightly below statistical expectation. In order to count the sheer number of dice, a roller rink had to temporarily be rented out as bean counters dumped the entire truckload of all 40K dice.

That's so many six sided dice, WotC has announced plans to buy out Chessex.

In other litigation news, GW is suing WotC for the usage of the term, "40K dice".

Re:Agreed? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29784985)

Unfortunately for the defendants, there is no saving throw against punitive damages.

Re:Agreed? (4, Funny)

Tibia1 (1615959) | about 5 years ago | (#29785329)

Sometimes it just comes down to the lawyer's plus to charisma.

Re:Agreed? (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 5 years ago | (#29786487)

+1 sad but true.

Although that should be "charisma modifier"

Re:Agreed? (1)

Tibia1 (1615959) | about 5 years ago | (#29786531)

When I played we always used to say "plus to dex" instead of dexterity modifier. It was just one of those things that you would say, never realizing that it was only your group that said it.

Nerds (-1, Flamebait)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29784657)

Could someone please explain wtf is the purpose for this and the earlier case of taking those PDF's off [slashdot.org] . I cant find a reason for it.

Not that Wizards of the Coast and D&D is extremely nerdy already, but then this kind of shit too. I am a nerd myself, but I always have to tell other people that I'm not that kind of nerd.

Re:Nerds (2, Insightful)

_0rm_ (1638559) | about 5 years ago | (#29784713)

Because this is news for NERDS. Stuff that MATTERS! Seriously, you need to wash the troll stank off yourself and get out. Nerd news is nerd news. Why do you think this article is in its own section?

Re:Nerds (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29784893)

Well, if you do actually want to get nerdy about it.. Wizards of the Coast is the most "evil" company for roleplaying. Their games and rules bring down the other, actually great, games down to something like Wii level. And now they're suing publishers who sell their handbooks for a reason I still dont understand. Most people getting into roleyplaying actually would *want* to get those. So what is the reason to ban the sales?

Re:Nerds (1, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 5 years ago | (#29785067)

Because they're selling pirated copies of the handbook, which is the problem. Its not that sales of the handbook are banned, but buying a PDF from some dude who made one without authorization is pretty much a crime, like the counterfeit dvd factories in Hong Kong, not the dude sharing over bittorrent for free. But, oh yeah, this is Slashdot -- home of the FOSS zealot -- fans of a system which lives or dies by copyright, but to whom copyright is anathema.

Re:Nerds (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#29785789)

"Because they're selling pirated copies of the handbook,"

Got a torrent? I can't see paying a pirate for what I can pirate myself. ;^)

Re:Nerds (5, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 5 years ago | (#29785095)

The reason is that they fucked up their model.

DnD 3.0 (and really, the fixes in 3.5) were a way of taking all the organically grown rules from the previous editions, making it simpler, and then putting the game back together in a reasonably streamlined process. They opened up the core rules as an SRD, so you could run the game with no money down. The SRD didn't have all the rules, monsters, or flavour text, but it had the core rules.

The problem came from splat books. Anyone could write a book, and there were some terrible ones. You could combine the books and make ridiculously powerful characters. More to the point, WotC didn't get the money for lots of those books.

Along comes 4th edition. It took everyone by surprise. One day, they put it up on their website with no notice to game stores or players, lots of whom had amassed thousands of dollars of these splat books. Money that wasn't going to Hasbro.

WotC split up the core rules into a clever scheme wherein you couldn't get along with just one book. They put some characters in one book, others in another, and put out extra books that had parts for both characters. If you have a party with a bard and a paladin, you would have to have:
1. Player's Handbook (paladin)
2. Player's Handbook 2 (bard)
3. Martial Power (paladin supplementary)
4. Divine Power (paladin supplementary)
5. Arcane Power (bard supplementary)
6. Player's Handbook 1 miniatures
7. Player's Handbook 2 miniatures.
8. Subscription to D&D insider at $15/month. (Dragon Magazine has extra rules and benefits for players)

This is for a game that's been out for about a year, and that's JUST FOR THE CORE RULES FOR TWO CHARACTERS. This doesn't include the DMG 1 & 2, MM 1 & 2, maps, figures, etc.

For some _unimaginable_ reason, people said "WTF is this shit?" and just grabbed the torrents for the books. While they were still printing the PDFs, it was incredibly easy to just pack them up as a torrent and share. Now it takes an extra day with a flatbed scanner. Well, it does make for slightly larger files, but that's about it.

Re:Nerds (1)

kneeslasher (878676) | about 5 years ago | (#29785407)

Wish I had mod points for the parent.

Re:Nerds (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 5 years ago | (#29785681)

Hey, thanks, I appreciate responses more than mod points anyway. ;)

Re:Nerds (3, Interesting)

zwei2stein (782480) | about 5 years ago | (#29785975)

I never understood this..

Why ... The ... Hell ... Did ... You ... 'Need' ... Those ... Books

(sorry)

Don't those books just give you extra rules and powers? What happened to simply making up house rules to fill whatever gaps you percieve there are? Is it so important to have publisher certified material say that you get extra turn undead roll on level 12?

Making those rules and sharing them with community? Or is there some comandment that you mus only ever use whatever is in handbooks, no more, no less?

Have players and DMs grown so pitifull that they can not use their own fantasy and creativity to have fantasy adventure? Have you all turned to munchkins in few years since I last played RPG?

Re:Nerds (1)

PylonHead (61401) | about 5 years ago | (#29786905)

You.. Don't

He's just blowing hard. I've been playing 4th edition for that last year with just the Player's Handbook, and I've been having a lot of fun.

Re:Nerds (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787357)

Bullshit.

Without the Complete Divine (for example), a Charisma-based Paladin is an "incomplete" class, with a host of abilities that do not match their class designation.

The "base book" set (PHB, MM, DMG) is simply incomplete.

Re:Nerds (1)

Keith_Beef (166050) | about 5 years ago | (#29788611)

Sounds like it... WHy don't you just go and pick up TSR editions of D&D and AD&D and get playing the real way, instead of the spoon-fed WotC way? L.

Re:Nerds (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 5 years ago | (#29791487)

If you just make up a million house rules there's a huge chance you won't get the balancing right. You know, the people writing those handbooks don't just sit at home, make up some spells and then send that straight to the printer, they do heavy playtesting and balancing.

When you have to do all of that yourself, it's no longer a game, it's actual work (the job is called "game designing" btw).

Re:Nerds (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 5 years ago | (#29794043)

If you just make up a million house rules there's a huge chance you won't get the balancing right. You know, the people writing those handbooks don't just sit at home, make up some spells and then send that straight to the printer, they do heavy playtesting and balancing.

This is only half true, but to be fair if you saw the other side of it you'd probably stop buying books.

They do start with a balanced game. They do, in fact, do heavy playtesting.

They also break the balance on purpose to 'force' you to keep the books up to date. Any but the smallest gaming circles will invariably have one player that springs for the new book for his class, and suddenly has advantages over the other characters. Next week other new books start showing up...

This is not an accident.

Re:Nerds (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 5 years ago | (#29794003)

There are many kinds of players. Lots of the younger players are bored and are looking for something social to do together. They don't have a lot of control over their parent's purchasing power, and so will try and get by with a couple books a year, or so.

Then there are adults, some of which take their social time very seriously. They see games like these as a good investment. They would likely quote you how much month of nights at the bar costs in number of books they can buy. These players tend to be min-maxers, zealots, and other types that look for tiny nuances within the rules that make them 'better' than their peers. They may have a tricked-out charater idea, a totally unique character, or a deeply rich roleplaying platform that they want to beat you over the head with...

The latter group seems to be who Hasbro has targeted.

To answer the question, though, no one really needs those books. Or really any books at all. I ran a wildly successful campaign on a wide-open version of WEG's D6 system. You could be anything you wanted to be, so long as you made it out of 18 dice. Things were made up on the fly. The player who wanted flying wings paid 4 dice. Ouch, right? But they decided to make their character a youngster to make up for it. The party had paladins, ogres, gnomes, and a hot female minotaur. No pages were flipped through, and we played for a long time. Fun was had by all.

Re:Nerds (2, Informative)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | about 5 years ago | (#29786295)

I use that many books for a single character from 3.5. The difference is the books were cheaper ($10 on ebay if 6 months or older; $25 in comic shops; $30 retail), there was no DD-insider (meaning more people owned more paper books so you could borrow from friends) and the online content wizards provided was free (there was a LOT of free content on wizards.com).

For example, my soul knife uses Player's Handbook (Fighter), a Dragon Magazine (Feat), Expanded Psionics Handbook (Base Class), PHBII (feat), Complete Warrior (feat), Shining South (Prestige Class), Magic item Compendium (gear), a third party Psion book and uses a custom race varianted from an AEG book.

Exploring lots of books is not my problem with 4E. Its how little content there are per book and how unusable all of the content is for fear of an "unbalanced game". Yeah, you can get infinite attacks with an unerrata'd loop found a week before 4E launched using just the Player's Handbook 1. Games will be broken, that's why we have GMs.

The truth is, 4E still has less classes, feats and races after a year then 3.X had with JUST the SRD. Not even the actual books. Yes, I'm including monstrous races since I believe one of the greatest appeals for me in DnD was the ability to play more than a human, a short human, a short buff human, a big ugly human or a tall foresty human or a half-human half-tall foresty human with barely any the benefits of either. And I wouldn't even be that angry about it if Wizard's didn't market 4E as having 'more interesting races' like the half-demons and half-dragons. Despite the fact they had them in 3E at launch in the Monster Manual! Yes, level adjustments are a little odd...but the SRD includes rules for buying off level adjustments that balances them and makes them fun for the player quite easily (I'd say 'but they are a headache for the DM, but that's just not true for a competant DM who knows more than 'insert X monsters into room and see how my players fair').

Re:Nerds (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about 5 years ago | (#29786379)

of course WotC was FOUNDED as a maker of earlier edition DnD add-on books and they didn't pay TSR anything for them. When WotC got big on Magic about the same time TSR tightened the "derivative works" publishing rights on everybody else. It didn't work then, I'm surprised it's worked for so long with 4th ed.

Re:Nerds (4, Informative)

Gorath99 (746654) | about 5 years ago | (#29786593)

That's just completely, utterly, false. Why don't you also claim you need to buy the official WotC dice? It's about as true as the rest you're saying.

As a group, the only WotC products you need are the original 3 core books, same as with 3E. You'd think this would be obvious from the fact that thousands were playing the game before all the other products you mention were even released.

Yes, if you specifically want to play a class from PHB2, then you need PHB2, duh. If you specifically wanted to play a warlock in 3E, you needed Complete Arcane. This is no different.

There's no reason to buy the "Power" books, unless you'd like more options for your characters. Same as with the "Complete" books in 3.5, and the spatbooks in 3.0. And Complete Martial is not at all a Paladin Supplement. It doesn't have any significant content for paladins, and it's explicitly not marketed as a paladin supplement.

As to the official mini's: these are not at all required, and I've never before heard anyone claim that they were. The same is true for a D&D Insider subscription. That's basically a subscription to Dungeon and Dragon magazines plus some online tools. Do you feel Dungeon and Dragon magazines were required to play 3E? I should hope not.

And what's that nonsense about 4E being a complete surprise? WotC announced 4E 10 months in advance. They even published preview [amazon.com] books [amazon.com] ! And anyone paying attention had noticed that Wizards had been experimenting with radically new mechanics [amazon.com] for D&D for at least a year before that, so it was only an open secret that WotC was working on a new edition.

All in all, your post is nothing more than a troll.

Re:Nerds (1)

Naznarreb (1274908) | about 5 years ago | (#29792953)

. . . you would have to have. . .

(Emphasis mine)

I take small issue with that there. If your party had a paladin and a bard, the only books you have to have are

1. Players Handbook (paladin rules)
2. Players handbook II (bard rules)

Yes, all those other things are available but by no means required, and are in no way the "core rules" for for two character classes. All the other books contain additional options for these classes (feats, powers, rule options, etc) but in my experience, people rarely use all the options available in the PHB, so why spring for a bunch more? But the books are there for the people who want them.

WoTC is a publishing company. They make money when they publish books and other products/content that people buy, so yes, they are inclined to write as many books filled with as much cool stuff as they think will people buy. If you don't like WoTC or D&D 4e, that's fine, but don't go tossing out false implications like 5 books, 2 packs of minis and a subscription to a couple of magazines is somehow required to play the game when it's not.

Re:Nerds (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 5 years ago | (#29784845)

It's not really clear what you're asking but this matters on non-nerd levels aside from beloved nerd game's mired history of legal action becoming even more mired. In my opinion, something needs to be done about consumer awareness when purchasing digital editions of songs, movies, books, photographs and digital art in general. All too frequently we purchase things without really understanding what exactly it is we are purchasing. This court case may just be another case of piracy but what sparked it is -- again, in my opinion -- an omen of a landslide of similar digital rights revocation. Because customers don't understand what their rights are and almost always wording is put into the agreement, terms of service or license text that gives the company complete authority to terminate your right to enjoy that piece of work whenever they want, even iTunes Music Service has this.

Basically what we're looking at is a future where if any of those content providers starts to do badly in the market and they're offering digital works of their cash cows, they will terminate those licenses. They will blame piracy. While it may never be clear why they started losing money, it won't matter. They'll be sitting with their fingers on a reset switch that will only work once that will theoretically boost sales again. Now, that's laughable when you look at how they can enforce that unless they have a draconian DRM scheme in place. But the simple fact of the matter is that I want the same exact rights to digital content that I received with a good old fashion book or I'll pay the premium for the book. Those rights are simple: lifetime rights for myself to enjoy that work digitally in an open fashion on a number of third party devices. I have yet to see this in any of my perusals of online publishing. Digital publishing licenses are a very sorry state of affairs right now which is sad because it has such liberating potential for the consumer.

Well, avoid the DRM'd crap then (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 5 years ago | (#29787083)

For my own spare time, I found that there is enough legally freely available content on the web that I don't need to buy much stuff anymore. This includes stories, computer games and even some older Hollywood films that are now being put on YouTube by the rights holders.
Also, many independent labels still release CDs without DRM. These cost money but come with the traditional lifetime rights for the consumer.

In short, there is absolutely no need to buy anything from a vendor who wants to rip you off with DRM encumbered products. And in some industry sectors managements seems to get it, CDs with DRM for instance are getting less common. But it may take a few more failures before all of them get it.

networking (5, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | about 5 years ago | (#29784919)

Do you realize what a networking opportunity those games are?!? Good God, man or woman or ...nevermind!

My, when the IT bubble burst in naught one, this D&D nerd at work was canned and that night, at a D&D game, he gets another job - for more money! Those games are what golf is to other professions!

Poor sales and it only contributed to piracy. (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | about 5 years ago | (#29784977)

From what I understand, the digital distribution of the .PDFs did not sell very well, and the sales figures for digital distribution were very low when WoTC pulled the service (remember, they are a corporation, not a nerd-utopia). Combined with the fact that a majority of the PDFs available on torrent sites and file-sharing sites were the digitally disturbed .PDFs, it makes no sense, from a business perspective, to continue distributing products in a way that ended up costing a company more in lost sales figures than actual sales.

And yes, I know, you can't stop piracy. But they did cut off the main source of piracy.

Then again, I could never read e-books or role-playing game manuals on a computer screen, so whenever I'd pirate things like role-playing game manuals, I'd usually end up buying them if I liked them anyway (that included the 4th edition, which I purchased after reading the .PDFs, and I am satisfied with my purchase)...

Re:Poor sales and it only contributed to piracy. (1)

nomadic (141991) | about 5 years ago | (#29785073)

it makes no sense, from a business perspective, to continue distributing products in a way that ended up costing a company more in lost sales figures than actual sales.

But information wants to be FREE!

Re:Poor sales and it only contributed to piracy. (1)

ruemere (1148095) | about 5 years ago | (#29785125)

One of the main reasons people griped about PDF being pulled off, was that numerous products of historical value, unavailable in print form, disappeared. People still cherished previous editions, even if the books were more than 10 years old.

It's like a library being closed down. Also, PDFs unless being downloaded, they hardly generate any costs (electronical storage is much cheaper than dust collecting specimens on forsaken magazine stalls).

regards,
Ruemere

Um... so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29784667)

Anyone have a bittorrent link?

Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (4, Funny)

geekboy642 (799087) | about 5 years ago | (#29784693)

Is it wrong that my first reaction was to flip over to a torrent site and snag my own copy of the PDFs? Purely for research purposes, of course.

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29784735)

Purely for research purposes, of course.

Well, it's not like anyone would actually want to play D&D4. The widespread consensus is that it's dumbed-down crap; that's why Pathfinder was released. Me, I just perversely enjoy reading RPG rule and campaign books.

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29784789)

Widespread consensus? Not in my groups. Oh sure, there are those people around, but we learned to ignore them like we learned to ignore the people who still protest that 1st edition was the best and demand that people play it.

We like 4th edition because it's not dumbed-down, it's wised up, with a system that's actually got some thought into its overall, not just a random mish-mash of whatever seemed like a good idea at the time.

Just the idea of all the class having actual abilities done along the same lines makes 4e a lot better.

But hey, you want to play 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Pathfinder, or whatever, you go for it. Like what you like.

Just don't diss me because I like what I like.

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787427)

The thing is, the system does not actually work as designed. It assumes a four-member party with one member of each role.

But a party of, say three wizards or three rangers and a warlord is strictly better. Having range capabilities is wasted if one of your guys is going to be in melee all the time anyway. Having a damage soak is wasted if you're fighting a ranged opponent who can target others with impunity.

Classes have a lot of self-synergy, but very little in the way of enhancing other classes (with the exception of the warlord, of course). If you break the unspoken assumption that you're crippling yourself by doing that, the whole of the game balance goes out the window.

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (4, Interesting)

nextekcarl (1402899) | about 5 years ago | (#29784973)

At first I liked some of the ideas in it, but after a while it seemed it mattered very little which class you played, they all end up pretty close to being the same, often with abilities that are the same (or very nearly the same) but with a different name. All the spells with great non-combat use, for example, are missing. All the abilities of every class in fact, focus on combat. Hack and Slash is fun and all, but it isn't the sole reason why I play rpgs. If I wanted that only, I'd just play a computer game. Some of the best sessions I've ever played in were games where not a single attack was made the whole time. I'll probably play 4E again some time, but probably like the board game it feels like it is trying to emulate.

Now that Fantasy Craft is out and I've had a chance to read through it a bit, I think it is what 3.5 should have been. The rules are complete, handle combat and non-combat well, and give you real choices as you level up as to what you want to do with your character.

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787451)

The non-combat interactions are generally handled with skill challenges or rituals, which cover most anything, though some people I'm sure still prefer to not use rules at all.

What do you find missing?

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788515)

You need to look at pathfinder. This is what 3.5 should have been. They actually give a person a reason to single class it all the way to 20. Your leveling decision can dramatically affect your characters abilities. And, as much as I hate to admit this, they made the monk usable. The also gave you a meta-game reason to play a sorcerer (e.g. Even though you still gets spells 1 lv after the wizard, you now have an ability that actually makes up for that. Plus it brings much more fluff to the sorcerer class)

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 5 years ago | (#29789627)

All the abilities of every class in fact, focus on combat. Hack and Slash is fun and all, but it isn't the sole reason why I play rpgs. If I wanted that only, I'd just play a computer game.

You essentially are -- World of Warcraft.

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (1)

mqduck (232646) | about 5 years ago | (#29784939)

Several days ago, I downloaded 40 (I just checked) D&D 4e books. Then I noticed their pulling of the PDFs from legal sites and was happy for being able to retroactively claim justification. :)

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (2, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 5 years ago | (#29785009)

My first reaction was remembering that even though I own the 3.5 manual (which I paid $90 for some years back) I still don't have pdfs, and need to obtain them.

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29791629)

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | about 5 years ago | (#29792589)

Thanks, I wasn't sure how to go about doing that. I didn't realize people just post these things in full.

Re:Don't arrest me, jerkwads! (2, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | about 5 years ago | (#29786825)

They got their judgement. Now will they become for profit lawsuit machine or will they actually make something worth downloading? I suppose at some point I'll have to play that version of D&D but it sounds about as boring as some of the eternal leveling before the fun starts MMORGs.

And yes it's wrong but it is obligatory. It's one of the fascinating facets of the Streisand effect.

Sigh. (4, Interesting)

fooslacker (961470) | about 5 years ago | (#29784819)

I'm tempted to just say "who cares 4th edition sucked" since I don't personally like it and think it is dumbed down MMO style mechanics made into a table top game. In fact I think the fact that I bought the first set of books probably hurt Hasbro in the long term. If I had previewed them somehow and didn't like them I probably would have continued to look at their products but since I bought them and didn't like them I haven't picked up another 4th edition product. However, in the spirit of an actual discussion I'll give my 2 cents beyond just my dislike of 4th Edition.

I think you're about to see Hasbro get all litigious on folks because they are not making what they think they ought to from the brand. Whatever the reason I think when companies start worrying about this kind of nonsense rather than continually producing good content its a harbinger of hard times ahead. Hopefully they'll sell of the brand or others like Pathfinder will take their place. I think it was a bad sign when they nixed the d20 license from 3rd edition. I don't know what Hasbro's numbers looked like but the industry as a whole was much better off when everyone was writing d20 products and the bookstores and cons were full of the stuff. Today D&D is almost irrelevant among the people that I know who still play RPGs. As a disclaimer, I'm just a sad creature who still reads through the books for entertainment value and writes a few pieces from time to time.

Re:Sigh. (1, Informative)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 5 years ago | (#29784991)

On the other side of the coin: I got into D&D through 4th edition as have many people I know.

Their marketing has dramatically improved, the game seems easier to pick up and I'm seeing D&D expand pretty widely beyond the original core. I imagine that was Hasbro's goal and in that regard they seem to be wildly successful.

Re:Sigh. (3, Interesting)

fooslacker (961470) | about 5 years ago | (#29785977)

I would disagree that their marketing has improved. 3rd edition was pretty impressive with how much it grew the industry. What I would be very curious to see is Hasbro's 3rd edition versus 4th edition numbers. I'd love to know how many the brought in versus how many they lost. etc. BTW, as a disclaimer I'm not super pro 3rd edition or anything I just think it was the pinnacle of business success for D&D so far. I played back in the 1st Edition (i.e. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons) and 2nd Edition days and have played a small amount of 3rd edition, 4th edition, and various other systems.

That said the rest of what you say has a pretty good point to it and I'm glad it brought you into a hobby that I hope you enjoy. I'd also be curious to see where you are in 2-5 years and if you've moved on to something that supports more complex and challenging role-playing side of things or if the tactical challenge is what you enjoy. 4th edition plays like a artificial tactical game to me and really doesn't provide the effective simulation feel of previous versions. I feel more like I'm playing a card game or a board game but that's just my personal feeling.

Again, I am glad it introduced you to table top RPGs and I hope it helps grow the market as a whole. I just don't know if I believe that it has without seeing some numbers given the contentious nature of it's launch.

Re:Sigh. (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 5 years ago | (#29787975)

Maybe. But that's what DMs are for right? To make up rules on the spot. The group I play with really doesn't care at all about rules. We usually make up stuff in whatever we do because we almost always are doing things that no rule maker would ever think was reasonable. :D

I would rather there be a good, simple core set of rules which are easy to get new people up to speed on quickly. It seems like most of the rule reduction occurred inside the player abilities, which is what a new player has to learn. I like battletech but trying to develop a strategy on such a complex rule system is incredibly difficult. Chess has very few rules but offers incredible depth. Or even simpler you have something like Go. Both offer great opportunities for strategy without overwhelming the player with charts and rules. If anything I think D&D is still ever so slightly too heavy on the player side of the rules.

Re:Sigh. (1)

fooslacker (961470) | about 5 years ago | (#29789115)

Agreed good DMs will cover up a lot of problems with the rules but it's even more fun when you get both and the DM becomes more of a setting author and less of a rules referee (at least IMO)

I take slight issue with your analogy regarding classic board games. They have very simple rules that allow for complex tactics but the complexity and freedom of the player are not the same thing. These games offer complex strategies but few options in individual moves. This results in strategies being an emergent behavior of the simple moves not something that is inherent in the game design itself. These games of course do this because that is what must be done to provide a fair field of play for a competitive game. I should say that I love both of the games you mention so I'm not dismissing them in any way just pointing out that they have different design goals than an RPG. Also we're talking opinions and recreation here so I don't think either approach is invalid in any way.

The fun part of an RPG (to me) is the development of a character and the flexibility of approaching the game on a whole different playing field for each character. I want something less restrictive than chess' or go's playing playing field in an RPG. That said I totally get what you're saying about ease to learn. The more complex RPGs definitely take multiple campaigns before you're building fully functioning and unique characters. I just prefer the complex richness and flexibility to the easy of use, at least for RPGs. I certainly wouldn't want to play free-form go or chess or poker but I love those games in their constrained formats.

Re:Sigh. (3, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | about 5 years ago | (#29785145)

On one side of the coin, I understand and agree how you could come to your opinion RE: the direction Hasbro is taking.

On the other side of the coin, knowing the history of all the companies that have been behind D&D since it started, I have to think this is simply a rinse and repeat cycle that's been happening since the first edition and spats between Gygax, Arneson, and the Blumes.

This is a franchise run by people that have always been willing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory whenever someone in charge wakes up and gets greedy. It just seems to be in genes.

Re:Sigh. (1)

fooslacker (961470) | about 5 years ago | (#29785887)

Agreed. I think every time they grow the industry they get too worried about what everyone else is doing and try to get the piece of the pie the competition is eating rather than focusing on making the pie bigger. Hasbro is certainly not the only people to do this and it doesn't take a big company to do it. TSR and co. in the past have also as you point out snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

Re:Sigh. (5, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 5 years ago | (#29785217)

4th edition does suck - simplified math, weird non-euclidean map geometry, nobody dies because everyone can heal, no usb, less space than a Nomad, no wireless, lame.

Re:Sigh. (1)

Spacelem (189863) | about 5 years ago | (#29792947)

While I would heartily agree that 4E does suck, I don't think it's for the reasons that you mention.

The simplified maths is good for everyone. Having 1d20 + half level works so much better than some of the 1/3rd of level that saves were using in 3E, or the "whatever we thought looked good" tables that 2E and earlier used. It also goes along way to fix some of the balance problems that plagued earlier editions, and made some characters unplayable or broken at high levels. Oh, it's very handy for eye-balling difficulties too, which speeds up play, and helps the story instead of the system.

As for the non-Euclidean geometry, they just substituted the d-2 norm for the d-infinity norm. This makes it much easier to figure out how far you can reach/go, and doesn't suffer from any weird 1-2-1-2 movement. You have a upper bound of 73% error in distance in 3-dim combat, and 41% in 2-dim combat, which is acceptible. In fact we've been using this form of movement for centuries, it's how kings move on a chessboard, and it allows for easy 3-dimensional combat without resorting to a calculator. And since they've made position in the game so damned important...

The healing system does take a bit of getting used to, but it makes sense in a weird kind of way, and it in no way prevents you from dying.

My criticisms are:
* it plays like a board game; a horrible, complex board game with too many rules. I really don't want to care if my character is in that square or the one next to it, it shouldn't matter.
* it has lost all of its character, all of those wonderful spells and systems that gave D&D its intrigue are gone.
* they changed stuff. Like halflings aren't small anymore. They're three-quarterlings.
* it feels like 90% of it is devoted to combat, and anything else is an afterthought.
* the classes are all based around their roles in combat, and how the mechanics work, whereas earlier editions actually cared about their roles in the world.
* it's meant to be mediaeval fantasy, but it really isn't.
* it's a min-maxer's paradise.
* if I create a character, I have to mangle it against the system to make it work, and spend hours figuring out how good they are in combat before I can even focus on their other abilities. Other RPGs let me create characters.
* I really don't know how to create new content (powers etc.) for the game, when this was so much easier in earlier editions.
* the awful artwork. I'd take Larry Elmore's 2E mediaeval fantasy style offerings over the hideous 4E posing three-quarterlings any day.

Re:Sigh. (1)

Stormie (708) | about 5 years ago | (#29789907)

I'm tempted to just say "who cares 4th edition sucked" since I don't personally like it

I'm personally reserving judgement on the 4th edition for the moment, since I haven't actually played or DM'ed a session, I've only read the books after torrenting PDFs of them via The Pirate Bay.

Re:Sigh. (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 5 years ago | (#29792103)

I've only read the books after torrenting PDFs of them via The Pirate Bay.

Lies! Hasbro just dealt with that problem by suing people. Surely that means the PDFs are now completely unavailable?

*shakes head* (5, Insightful)

Ltap (1572175) | about 5 years ago | (#29784829)

I always knew Wizards of the Coast wasn't too great - they've cheapened tabletop gaming to an almost insane degree and discouraged many people from playing... but suing gamers? From my experience, I've found that when most people start out, they aren't too sure about what to get and tend to borrow or download materials. Gamers who have been playing a long time will usually buy handbooks, custom dice sets, player figurines, etc. So basically, WotC is driving away NEW players with this - and people wonder why tabletop gaming is getting stale and too introverted for its own good? To provide a comparison - imagine if there was a company from the mainframe days which created the first operating systems, and copyrighted the hell out of them. Now imagine that almost every other operating system was derivative from those original ones. This means that everyone would essentially be enslaved to that company, and to get freedom they would have to start from scratch, and couldn't use any of the ideas and refinements that that company had used.

Re:*shakes head* (1)

dcherryholmes (1322535) | about 5 years ago | (#29787217)

Wizards of the Coast published Everway. They didn't *completely* dumb down table top RPGs. Granted it was a long time ago, but it is an historical fact.

for those who don't know (5, Interesting)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | about 5 years ago | (#29784887)

Wizards of the Coast was bought out by Hasbro a while back and underwent a transformation from geek utopia to corporate cash machine [salon.com] .

The current dire state of the economy is forcing them to show their true nature to an unusual extent- for example, they've recently added a chase rarity to their flagship product, Magic: The Gathering, as well as releasing semi-monthly "collector's edition" products for same.

Re:for those who don't know (2, Insightful)

gnalle (125916) | about 5 years ago | (#29785159)

It looks like the pen and paper RPG-market is plummeting right now. That is bad new for me as a customer, because I really enjoy playing D&D. and I want to be able to buy new and exiting products in the future..

I personally hope that Hasbro makes enough money to keep making new D&D products, and I don't support sharing their stuff illegally over the internet.

Re:for those who don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788577)

Buy pathfinder from paizo. It is the spiritual continuation of D&D. It's based on 3.5 and, with a minimum amount of work, 3.5 (and 3.0 I guess) can be converted to pathfinder. $50 gets you the core book (PHB and DMG equiv) and it's cheaper on amazon ($36 or so). Buy it from paizo and +$10 gets you a pdf of the book. I suggest a least checking out pathfinder campaign setting (previously released for 3.0/3.5) simply because I like what they did, but it is in no way needed to enjoy pathfinder the game. (Kinda like Greyhawk isn't needed to enjoy 3.0/3.5)

Re:for those who don't know (1)

CrashNBrn (1143981) | about 5 years ago | (#29785225)

Thanks. Interesting stuff. That was a cool Sunday foray.

Re:for those who don't know (1)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | about 5 years ago | (#29785483)

Can you give a little more information about the "chase rarity"? I assume it's a level above rare, and there aren't many cards in it. I remember the Star Trek CCG did that a loooong time ago, and people didn't like it. I haven't played Magic in many years, so I've lost track of this stuff.

Re:for those who don't know (4, Informative)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | about 5 years ago | (#29785551)

Basically, each set now has about five or ten "mythic rare" cards, many of which are game-changers, like the planeswalker cards, or see how popular the Lotus Cobra is in the new set Zendikar. I'll let you google the term from there.

Re:for those who don't know (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29785865)

Actually, they added "Mythic Rare" a couple of years ago. The set that is releasing right now has something along the lines of "secret rare"

WotC has added "priceless treasures" into some packs of their newest release, Zendikar. It is estimated that about 1 in 20 boxes have a "treasure card". Some people have opened 2 treasures in a single box.

Almost all of these cards are valuable cards from the early years that are on the reserved list. WotC did not violate the reserved list by including them because these cards are from uncirculated backstock (or have been acquired off the secondary market)

For the first time in over 15 years you now have a chance to actually crack open a Black Lotus from a $4 pack of MtG cards. Winning the lottery is more likely, but it is still possible.

http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/showthread.php?t=186825 [mtgsalvation.com]

Re:for those who don't know (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about 5 years ago | (#29786983)

For the first time in over 15 years you now have a chance to actually crack open a Black Lotus from a $4 pack of MtG cards. Winning the lottery is more likely, but it is still possible.

And buying it outright will still be cheaper.

Re:for those who don't know (4, Informative)

SEE (7681) | about 5 years ago | (#29786015)

Can you give a little more information about the "chase rarity"?

Yeah. Specifically, describing it that way is the sort of thing you see from people who can't do math. What they did was make rares more common, then introduced the "mythic rare" at the approximate frequency ordinary rares used to be.

Odds of finding a specific rare card in the rare slot of your pack, older "large" sets:
Alpha: 0.86%
Beta: 0.85%
Unlimited: 0.85%
Revised: 0.83%
4th Edition: 0.83%
5th Edition: 0.76%
6th Edition: 0.91%
7th Edition: 0.91%
8th Edition: 0.91%
9th Edition: 0.91%
10th Edition: 0.83%
Legends: 0.83%
Ice Age: 0.83%
Mirage: 0.91%
Tempest: 0.91%
Urza's Saga: 0.91%
Mercadian Masques: 0.91%
Invasion: 0.91%
Odyssey: 0.91%
Onslaught: 0.91%

Odds of finding a specific mythic rare card in the rare slot of your pack, newer "large" sets:
Shards of Alara: 0.83%
Magic 2010: 0.83%
Zendikar: 0.83%

Odds of finding a specific rare card in the rare slot of your pack, newer "large" sets:
Shards of Alara: 1.65%
Magic 2010: 1.65%
Zendikar: 1.65%

Re:for those who don't know (1)

mordenkhai (1167617) | about 5 years ago | (#29787471)

So you can pull a Black Lotus from a pack. However I assume you cannot legally play with it in whatever the current format of tourney is? I haven't played since someone stole my T1 cards about 10 years back , I couldn't afford to replace the dual lands and juzams much less the power 9 and wasn't interested in trying. Was fun while it lasted though.

Re:for those who don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29790459)

rares more common my ass

mythic = less than 1 per pack average

wizards knows they can ticker with the percentages after we've accepted the new rarity level

Re:for those who don't know (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 years ago | (#29786791)

A card's rarity is usually describe as "chase" when you don't get a card of that rarity level in every booster pack. Magic had settled down to a three-rarity level system: in each pack you got 11 commons, 3 uncommons and 1 rare. Since the set would have the same number of distinct cards in each rarity class, there was three times as many of any given uncommon as any given rare, and 11 times as many of any given common as any given rare. (I leave out the complicating factor of "foil" cards, since they made no difference if all you cared about was how the cards played). However, they are now including very powerful cards in a rarity class where you find one only once in every X packs, randomly distributed (I don't know the exact figures). Fortunately, there don't seem to be a large number of different cards in chase category.

Sometimes you'll see chase cards done as a "box topper" where there would be one of that rarity packed loose in each box of boosters. Legend of the Five Rings used to do that, but they stopped a little while back. If you bought boosters by the box (lots of mail order places give you good discounts for doing so), you'd get the box topper with your box. If the box was opened for display and individual pack sale by a retailer, the retailer gets to dispose of the box topper as he sees fit (if he doesn't sell it as a single, he may put it up as a prize for a store tournament).

I knew they were doomed... (2, Interesting)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | about 5 years ago | (#29785709)

I knew they were doomed when I ran into to WotC employees at GDC'06.

It was after hours, and a few of us working at the conference were getting together for the yearly D&D game. We asked the two WotC people working the booth if they'd like to join us. "Oh... We don't play games, actually..."

Big difference from the old days of any random person at WotC (even accounting [youtube.com] !) being pulled in to playtest the latest

In other news... (2, Interesting)

Sibko (1036168) | about 5 years ago | (#29784943)

Other gaming companies are embracing the idea of open source and digital distribution, for example: Catalyst Game Labs [catalystgamelabs.com] . More importantly, their open source release [isohunt.com] of Eclipse Phase [eclipsephase.com] , and perhaps even unofficial support for the fan-made MegaMek/MekWars [wikipedia.org] for their Battletech line.

Meanwhile companies like WizKids and Games Workshop continue to show [games-workshop.com] their complete disdain [photobucket.com] for their customers and the fans of their products as well as their utter inability to properly market their games. Which is especially evidenced by the utter failure of WizKids' "Mech Clix" line for Battletech, and arguably evidenced by Games Workshops' constant price increases for Warhammer 40k; Catalyst seems to be going in completely the opposite direction - embracing digital distribution and open source in ways essentially unheard of in this day and age.

Re:In other news... (4, Interesting)

gaderael (1081429) | about 5 years ago | (#29785041)

Meanwhile companies like WizKids and Games Workshop continue to show [games-workshop.com] their complete disdain [photobucket.com] for their customers and the fans of their products as well as their utter inability to properly market their games.

Wow. This part of the Terms of Service for Games Workshop is pretty disturbing:

 

"SUBMISSIONS
Any notes, e-mails, online messages or bulletin board postings, ideas, suggestions, concepts, designs, or other material submitted to any physical GW company address or to any web site owned or controlled by GW and/or to any e-mail addresses contained in or on those web sites ("GW Web Sites") will become the property of GW throughout the world and GW shall be entitled to use the material for any type of use forever, including in any media whether now known or hereafter devised. When you submit any material to any physical GW company address or any GW Web Sites, you agree, offer, warrant, and represent, both explicitly and tacitly (and GW accepts) that you are assigning all intellectual property rights in that material to GW and that GW has the right to use that material at any time entirely in its own discretion for whatsoever purpose including for commercial, promotional, and advertising purposes without any obligation (including any financial obligation) to you now or at any time in the future. You waive and relinquish any rights, including "moral rights," that may exist in any content to the furthest extent permissible by law and agree not to assert any rights over that content. We are afraid that in order to protect ourselves legally, this is the only way we can operate. If you are unhappy with this policy, then please do not post or send any material to GW.

Is this just Games Workshop being incredibly greedy, or is this SOP for online sites now?

Re:In other news... (1)

Chyeld (713439) | about 5 years ago | (#29785201)

It's SOP for greedy companies. Before the days of the internet, many companies that allowed you to submit 'fan' work had similar disclaimers when they provided the address to send to.

A good spin doctor will tell you it's to protect the interests of the company, since you are likely creating a derivative work based not just on their copyrights but using their trademarks. But it's mostly so that if you send them something they decide to use, they don't ever have to get into an issue with you asking for money.

D&D (1)

mqduck (232646) | about 5 years ago | (#29784955)

Haven't played D&D since middle school (AD&D 2nd ed era), though I did buy the 3rd edition core books and never used them. Are Planescape and Dark Sun still out of print? Those were the shit, man.

Re:D&D (0)

mathx314 (1365325) | about 5 years ago | (#29785165)

Planescape and Dark Sun are out of print, although if you feel like getting into 3/3.5 then there are official fan conversions:
Planescape [planewalker.com]
Dark Sun [athas.org] (This one seems to be down, hopefully it's not down for good.)

Re:D&D (3, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | about 5 years ago | (#29785233)

They are supposed to be bringing back Dark Sun, but it'd be best to have very low expectations, cause they just want something "gritty".

http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/drfe/20090814 [wizards.com]

Re:D&D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29788573)

All campaign settings in 4th edition get 1-2 books, and that's it. And all the settings have been hacked and torn apart beyond recognition for 4th edition.

Re:D&D (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about 5 years ago | (#29789213)

They are supposed to be bringing back Dark Sun, but it'd be best to have very low expectations, cause they just want something "gritty".

I can understand if you feel cynical after seeing how FR was treated, but I don't honestly see how you can read that article and just by its own contents imply that the people building the new product don't "get" Dark Sun. It was an incredibly gritty setting.

Re:D&D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29786355)

I recommend you check out Pathfinder [paizo.com] . It is the d20 3.5 rules, redone and put into a gorgeous volume that is extremely well organized. And it is far better than anything from WotC. Some elements of Dark Sun are possible in it, although not really Planescape's, which is a shame.

Err... (1)

Kranerian (1427183) | about 5 years ago | (#29785331)

Anybody else notice that there are still copies of the book up on the scribd website?

Re:Err... (1)

hollywench (646205) | about 5 years ago | (#29785361)

Still? That's too funny for words. XD

No Surprise (4, Insightful)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | about 5 years ago | (#29785507)

The main reason this was done was to protect the fact that Wizard's is spending most of its energy focusing on its online product. Ebooks are a direct competitor to their fee-charging online service.

When they only release a decent amount of content for players once every year, its no surprise they'd be more protective of their content. Everyone I know who still is fortunate enough to have a 3.X DnD group has every WotC PDF on their computer and/or hard drive. And the group collectively owns every book. In my own group we have 5 copies of Lords of Madness, 2 of Draconomicon, 4 Complete Warriors, 3 Complete Arcanes and, of course, countless players handbooks, monster manuals and DMGs for 3.0 and 3.5. And we still downloaded content.

And we were happy to pay money for the books since we weren't given these official online resources that you pretty much need to use more than half the content 4.0 has to offer. We liked paper and flipping through well printed books. Ebooks were an ok substitute when our book was being loaned to a friend or something...but for the most part nothing beat paper since there were no advantages to using ebooks other than search features (which, really, isn't that good a feature since a lot of the times you'll forget the exact wording of something and are better off flipping through a book until you find the adjacent picture).

Every other month Wizards would release some amazing module for players to get new ideas. The complete and environmental series gave us feats, spells, items and classes. Campaign modules gave us the same. Monster Manuals gave players new races and summons. Nearly every module until May 2007 (Complete Champion) (hey, a month after 4.0 was announced to be released; coincidence?). Every month we'd also get a good dozen or so feats and a handful of prestige classes from a dragon magazine too.

Flash forward to 4.0 where Wizards wants to make the game "easier" to attract a wider audience. Now we get ~6 powers per dragon magazine, about 3 classes races every 6 months and most updates to the game are to make it "easier" (Monster Builder tools, character creation tools, etc...) and to promote their monthly subscription service with some new online trinket no one asked for.

DnD was played like Magic the Gathering in many ways. It was "collect the books/magazines/obscure article". And players loved it. It added a certain radical element to RPGs--the ability to have something no one player has or knows about without being substantially or necessarily stronger or weaker than them. Where RPGs like WoW or tabletop RPGs like Shadowrun have such limited content that nothing a player has on his or her sheet is ever 'new' to someone who scans the modules/playguides or has played for over a year, DnD flooded the market with so much 1st and 3rd party material that players had the opportunity to 'feel special'.

The other bonus element was the fact that players who didn't like scouring every source for obscure little classes or whatnot could feel like they are doing something new and special using the player's handbook, as the optimizers and vorthos' preferred the unique classes and avoided the player's handbook classes like the plague (save for dips, wizards and druids).

Of course it doesn't matter how many classes you make for 4.0. They all basically fill in the same 4 basic roles that ensure once you've played 4 different characters, you've done it all.

Re:No Surprise (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | about 5 years ago | (#29785691)

Long story short: We got PDFs alongside our books. Both are invaluable resources. PDFs can be scanned en-masse for particular entries. Books can't be used without electricity, scanned through more quickly if you know where your looking and don't have the same problems computers do when you try to maintain a proper gaming atmosphere (i.e. suddenly your paladin is showing your memes from 4chan instead of trying to kill a dragon).

Re:No Surprise (1)

bannable (1605677) | about 5 years ago | (#29788713)

as the optimizers and vorthos' preferred the unique classes and avoided the player's handbook classes like the plague (save for dips, wizards and druids).

You forgot about clerics, and sorcerers.

Re:No Surprise (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | about 5 years ago | (#29789219)

Right, anything that gets bonus feats and/or spells per day in its first three levels and isn't a sorcerer or bard.

wait you mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29787303)

it's not for free like DDO now? WTF I want my money back! oh wait............

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