Tieflings, Warlocks e a Cosmologia do D&D

Chris Perkins fez um post em seu blog com mais informações e conteúdo que alguns artigos oficiais do site da Wizards, falando principalmente da história e cosmologia do D&D. No processo, além de revisitar as edições antigas, ele ainda confirma uma nova classe no Player’s Handbook da quarta edição!

There’s a thread on our message boards stemming from a really interesting question: Why muck around with the D&D “story”?

The short answer is that the R&D team would only be doing half its job if we just focused on mechanical innovation. In addition to being a great rules system, D&D is a rich intellectual property. We would be remiss if we didn’t put a certain amount of flavor in our core rulebooks. People relate to proper names (Pelor, Vecna, Ioun, Hommlet, the Temple of Elemental Evil, etc.), even if they don’t include these names in the lore of their home campaigns.

We’re also storytellers, and we have folks on staff whose primary job is to develop the “story” of D&D. Thus the D&D world, in the generic sense, is receiving as much scrutiny as the D&D rules. The primary goal of this exercise is to inspire adventures. We also want to integrate new elements of the game into the lore of the world and contribute something new and exciting to the D&D world.

Inspiring Adventures
Going back to 3rd Edition for a moment, I don’t think the warmage class was negatively impacted by the inclusion of Tarth Moorda, a warmage academy, in the class description (see Complete Arcane, page 12). In fact, I’ve used Tarth Moorda in my games because it’s a cool adventure site. The 4th Edition “points of light” concept (discussed here) inspires adventures in a different way, by giving DMs the flexibility to build their campaigns on the fly and make sure that the heroes don’t know what awaits them at the end of every road.

The D&D cosmology — largely unchanged since 1st Edition — is receiving its share of scrutiny as well. We’re making revisions to the cosmology so that the planes work better as adventure sites. Case in point, the individual Elemental Planes (as decribed in 2E and 3E) aren’t the most interesting adventure locations; their sheer inhospitability, vastness, and uniformity discourages exploration, and the creatures that dwell there are predictable and easy to thwart if you’re packing the right spells. (Of course, these planes don’t hold a candle to 2E’s hilarious Plane of Vacuum, which is truly the antithesis of fun.) In the Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters book, we’ll present in more detail 4th Edition’s alternative to the Elemental Planes of Water, Fire, Earth, and Air. My hope is that the cosmological changes will excite players and actually encourage DMs to set adventures in these far-flung locales.

Integrating New Elements
We have new stuff in the core rules. For example, as many of you know, the tiefling now appears as a core race in the Player’s Handbook. Tieflings have a dark edge to them, and they have some fun new game mechanics as well. Their story is a particularly interesting one, involving diabolical pacts and ancient tyrannical empires. Of course, whether you choose to adopt that story or create a different origin story for your campaign is entirely up to you.

The tiefling’s inclusion in the core rules compelled us to imagine what the D&D world would be like with tieflings around in greater numbers. It also gave us added incentive to include the warlock class in the Player’s Handbook, since tieflings and warlocks are an excellent match story-wise and flavor-wise. (Just so we’re clear, tieflings can belong to any class in 4th Edition, not just warlocks. I’m playing a tiefling cleric in a current 4E playtest. His name is Zade Shadowhorn, and he worships Erathis, the goddess of civilization.)

Contributing Something New
The new edition isn’t just about new rules that improve the quality of game play; it’s about new ideas to help DMs build their campaign worlds and their adventures. We can’t keep revisiting the same places and re-using the same names, cool as they might be.

One of the joys and privileges of working at Wizards of the Coast is the ability to expand the story and lore of our games. When Dave Noonan writes a D&D adventure and makes reference to a new demon lord named Mu-Tahn Laa, he’s giving DMs everywhere something from his home game that they can pillage for their own campaigns. He’s also added something to the ever-growing wellspring that is D&D. Gary Gygax did the same thing waaay back in the days of 1st Edition, populating his published work with elements from his Greyhawk campaign.

Many of these purely “flavor” elements are still around in 4th Edition because they resonate with us and with fans. But there’s also new stuff. (As far as I can tell, Mu-Tahn Laa doesn’t appear anywhere in the 4E core rulebooks, but I know Dave’s working on the DMG right now, and he’s a sneaky guy.)

Everyone Has Opinions
In tinkering with the “story” of D&D, we want to make sure that we don’t turn it into something that’s not D&D. That’s a bit of a trick, because everyone has their own opinions about what’s D&D and what’s not. No specific example illustrates this point better than psionics, which has been in the game since 1st Edition (and was even in the 1st Edition Player’s Handbook). However, some people rebuke it, saying “that’s not medieval fantasy!” Maybe they’re right. The story team assigned to 4th Edition is committed to making it work. (That said, rules for building psionic characters don’t appear in the Player’s Handbook. However, we are building these rules now so that they’re integrated with the core system.) Naturally, a DM can still choose to disallow psionics in his or her campaign; I heartily empower all DMs to make the call that’s right for them and their players. That includes scrubbing the D&D cosmology, the D&D core pantheon, or whatever else doesn’t work in the your home game.

Os warlocks eram esperados, mas até agora faltava uma confirmação oficial, e acho que o post acima é o mais próximo que teremos disso até que um artigo Design & Development sobre a classe apareça no site da WotC. Os tieflings parecem que terão uma história bem divertida, com direito a pactos malignos e impérios diabólicos!

Sobre os planos não posso concordar mais. Até em Eberron onde os planos tem um papel mais importante no cenário e são um pouco mais variados, a idéia de fazer uma aventura planar logo é abandonada pela uniformidade e previsibilidade da maioria deles, que acabam servindo mais como pano de fundo cosmológico e lugar de origem das criaturas mais bizarras. Uma mudança nesse ponto seria bem-vinda, ainda que um pouco inesperada, pois é o tipo da coisa que eu realmente achava que nunca seria modificada : )

A discussão final sobre o que é ou não Dungeons & Dragons, e o caso dos psiônicos (que inicialmente eu nem gostava muito, mas agora acho bacana para a maioria dos cenários) é uma lembrança de que no fim das contas quem decide o que rola em seu jogo é o mestre e seus jogadores. Eu achava que nem era preciso dizer mais isso, mas com todo o caos da quarta edição acho que não custa repetir…

Enfim, ótimo post com excelentes novidades!

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