Ainda mais informações e o futuro do D&D Miniatures

Na InQuest Gamer, revista eletrônica da WotC, esta disponível um artigo com mais informações sobre a nova edição do Dungeons & Dragons, assim como do D&D Miniatures e do suporte eletrônico que o sistema terá a partir do ano que vem:

THE FOURTH AMENDMENT
Roleplaying granddaddy ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ is leveling up, redefining online gaming and bringing huge changes to ‘D&D Minis’

Posted August, 2007 2:30 PM

If you thought the advent of d20 was a giant leap for gamer kind, they’re looking to jump Springfield Gorge with this one. 2007 marked Wizards of the Coast’s summer of big ideas: Magic’s getting planeswalkers and two blocks a year, Gleemax.com is spearheading the company’s conquest of the Internet, and at Gen Con, Wizards announced the Fourth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

THE BOOKS
“We think Third Edition is a wonderful platform and we’re building upon that,” said Bill Slavicsek, Wizards of the Coast director of RPG research and development and the man at the wheel for Dungeons & Dragons, d20 and all of Wizards’ roleplaying initiatives. “But we have learned a lot about what’s worked and not worked over the last eight years, and we’re certainly looking to get rid of the slow and bumpy parts and just get to the fun” in Fourth Edition.

This new edition will stick with the d20 system, but the designers see many elements that can be improved. One big emphasis has been on streamlining turns to help the game get around the table a bit quicker; they know there’s nothing the rules can do to keep a party’s mage and barbarian from wasting 15 minutes screaming over tactics at the start of every combat, but at least they can get you out of grappling details a bit faster. And the mage and barbarian might get along a little better thanks to revamped spell recovery rules that won’t do away with the need to rest to replenish spells, but will give players more options to recover spells and in-game incentives to do something other than call nappy-time every two encounters.

In essence, what you’re going to see mechanically is the d20 system evolved: rebuilding the clunky parts, greasing the wheels and polishing the chrome until you can see your character in it. Part of that polishing includes ramping up the coolness factor on some of the less-popular character classes to make sure that every class has a unique and essential role in a well-balanced party; you might see some of the traditional classes fall out of the base book in favor of sexier roles. The same thing will happen to the races covered in the core books, where the half-demon tieflings will claim a place at the expense of an undisclosed race—we’re guessing a half-elf, gnome and halfling were shut up in a dark cave with some paring knives, and no questions were asked of whoever came out…heck, there might even be three new races in the new edition! Not to worry; Slavicsek promises that any beloved races cut from the core books will appear in early Fourth Edition expansions.

Not all of Fourth Edition’s changes will add to the game by subtraction; many rules tweaks they’ve experimented with in books all over Wizards’ RPGs will show up as well. For example, Slavicsek tells us that “The Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords book, which gave fighter-type characters the same types of options spellcasters do by basically giving them spells for fighters,” was received very well. “That idea has been extremely popular, and we’re adopting something similar for Fourth Edition.”

As always, the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide will be the core of the new edition, and you’ll see them in May, June and July of 2008 respectively, just in time for everyone to get new campaigns up and running for next year’s Gen Con. And yes, Wizards does recommend you begin new campaigns with Fourth Edition. “It’s not going to be as huge a jump,” as from Second Edition to Third Edition, said Slavicsek, “but there’s enough changing in the core system of how we are doing classes and races and characters that we’re not even gonna attempt it—we’re just telling you it’s better to start over.” Conversion went over like a lead balloon with Third Edition anyway.

THE PLASTIC PERIPHERALS
So Fourth Edition will be a new rule set based on d20, but not remotely compatible. What’s that mean for the minis game? Effectively, this is D&D Minis 2.0 as well. Starting with Dungeons of Dread in April of 2008, D&D Minis sets will use Fourth Edition rules. According to Slavicsek, “All your plastic will still be usable, but your stat cards will need to be updated.” However, you’ll be able to get updated stat cards for free on Wizards’ website for Unhallowed and the sets printed since. In addition, there will be a sort of all-star set of updated cards available for download that will include updated stats for the figs getting the most tournament play. And of course, there’s always room for re-releasing popular figs in post-Fourth expansions of the future.

THE NEW ONLINE WORLD
But updated stat cards aren’t the only piece of Fourth’s puzzle being played online. Today, millions of people go online to pretend they’re elves and orcs and goblins on epic quests in various MMOs, sometimes even in the D&D universe with D&D Online. But we can’t help but feel that all those MMOs have just been honing in on D&D’s territory. After all, how many World of Warcraft and EverQuest players started because their D&D group broke up? Wizards aims to find out through an online initiative called D&D Insider.

“If you think of your favorite movie double-DVD set, the movie is the books, and all the specials, that’s D&D Insider,” said Slavicsek about the subscription-based web initiative that will let any D&D player expand their experience on the official website. “It’ll start with your electronic version of Dungeon magazine and Dragon magazine,” which Slavicsek is particularly familiar with because he used to be the editor of Dragon. However, because they’re moving the production in-house, all of the content will be official D&D canon, most of it developed by the actual designers. In addition, there will be a suite of DM tools—experience calculators, a dungeon tile mapper, etc.—to help the most overworked players in gaming get their campaigns running in record time, and private pages for the DM to post information on the world for his group to access. On the PC side, an official character generator will let players design the character they want to play, save it and print it out at any organized play event, which will make organizing such events a lot easier and may—hopefully—spur a resurgence of organized RPG play. Players will also be able to create an exact representation of their character’s look through the character generator much like you might in an MMO, and then use a custom-tailored “virtual mini” of that character on D&D Insider’s most exciting offering, the virtual game table.

“The D&D game table is basically the place where you can play D&D 24/7. It’s the kitchen table on the internet,” explained Slavicsek. “It lets you do everything you can do on the kitchen table—roll the dice, lay out your battle map, lay out your dry erase marker map, lay out your dungeon tiles, lay out your virtual miniatures,” and it will let players use voice chat through the company Vivox to communicate directly through the game table just like if they were all in the same room.

“What we really like about this is that with a lot of groups, after college the group breaks up, never to see each other again. Well now you can call each other and log into D&D Insider and play on the D&D game table. And suddenly your groups that have been gone for 10 years can get back together and play with each other.” According to Slavicsek, all of this will be free to D&D Insider subscribers, but also available to nonsubscribers for a nominal fee.

Will that be enough to draw D&D nation out of their Third Edition d20 campaigns and into 4.0? Will it be cool enough to convince some of the MMO-playing mob to try a completely different online experience? Sounds to us like it might. After all, anything that helps college gaming groups reconnect in the real world can’t be all bad.

Tiefling como classe básica? Muito legal mesmo! Não é tão icônico, mas definitivamente é muito bacana. E uma raça cai fora, voto nos gnomos ou meio-elfos. A indicação que magos terão magias por encontro ao invés de por dia, como já era esperado, também caiu bem, assim como as habilidades gerais das classes. E finalmente parece que o Guerreiro vai deixar de ser um cabide de talentos genéricos e passar a receber habilidades como as classes do Book of Nine Swords, uma modificação positiva ao meu ver. Só espero que a classe não perca a versatilidade dos estilos de combate que pode ser alcançada atualmente com as centenas de talentos existentes. Talvez existam talentos com usos limitados ou algo do tipo, para mesclar a versatilidade atual com a mecânica do B9S.

E o D&D Miniatures terá seu primeiro grande reboot. Verdade seja dita as coleções velhas estavam cada vez mais inúteis, já que a escala de poder das miniaturas estava ficando absurda com cada nova coleção. Por um lado fico feliz com a possibilidade de manter grande parte das minhas miniaturas e somente ter que baixar e imprimir suas respectivas cartas. Por outro imagino que colecionadores e jogadores mais antigos ficarão MUITO zangados em saber que centenas de suas minis se tornarão obsoletas de verdade em alguns meses.

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