live from gencon: ask design & development seminar
Four Wizards design/development people were on hand to answer questions and preview upcoming Dragon content.
From their upcoming content slideshow:
Sep-Oct: Kara Tur
ninja assassin build
“kanji runepriest” build, who uses Kanji instead of dwarven runes. Maybe slightly exoticizing but it’s all good. R&D also noted that they know that runepriest does not have a lot of support, and, for one reason or another, three separate runepriest Dragon articles have died before they were launched. They’re happy to finally have some runepriest support.
Unearthed Arcana: an optional Honor rule system.
Nov-Dec: Dragon support for Heroes of the Feywild
Fey character themes
Moonshaes (expect Celtic influenced stuff, unicorns, etc)
Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut 4e adventure
Unearthed Arcana: rules for arcane duels
Jan-Feb – Forgotten Realms
Cormyr (purple dragon knight, etc)
Channel Divinity options for Faerun gods
Elemental themes, including monsters from the 1e Fiend Folio
The second part of the seminar was a general QA, in which we learned the following:
Q: Can we get high-resolution versions of the maps that go with adventures? A: (Bart Carroll:) Yes, we can do that. Also we are exploring print-on-demand services for maps and other assets.
Bart: We want to have a better way of sorting Dungeon adventures by level.
Q: Can you do a better job sorting items in the rarity system? A: “Wheels are turning.” Items will hopefully be re-tagged by the time Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Emporium comes out, and MME itself will provide rarities for some existing items as well as new items.
Bart thinks it is hard to find Dragon content once it has rolled off the front page, and he is planning to work on that.
There is a racial utility powers article series coming up.
There is a “Tavern Profiles” series coming that fleshes out some taverns with story elements, descriptions, etc.
The next article pitch period is October.
Q: What should we pitch? A: Looking for supportfor specific, often corner-case characters. Examples: Swarm druid, star pact hexblade. Even better would be material targeted towards these cases but still usable by other builds and classes. Looking for good stories more than mechanical tricks. The best pitches have cool mechanics that support story hooks. 2 or 3 good hooks is better than 14. Finally, pitching something you are interested in, and has worked well in your group, is better than guessing what Wizards wants.
That said, make pitches that would tie well into upcoming Encounters seasons or products announced at the saturday upcoming products seminar. Especially look at the first month of 2012, where they have a lot of holes on their calendar.
Q: We’d like more random generators. A: Try pitching one as a Dragon article or website feature.
Q: Will we see an Essentials bard, with easy-to-use stances and auras, kinda like the essentials Knight? A: Look at Heroes of the Feywild, it’s like you read the manuscript!
There will be an Against the Giants series by Chris Perkins. Not sure whether it will be a series of Dungeon articles or Encounters.
Q: Can you errata this or that? A: We try to do a balancing act. Should we fix something broken? We don’t want to change the play experience too much with our errata, because we know there are book-only players, and we want them to feel like they are playing the same game.
Jeremy Crawford is going to do a system-wide review of various aspects of the game (possibly including critical hits) for errata purposes.
Audience member: We’d like backgrounds, like a typical village, that we can use as starting points for adventures. That 4e Village of Hommlet conversion was great! As was the original. A: “It turns out that Gary, he knew what he was doing.”
Q: Custom items and monsters in DDI? A: We’re working on it right now.