Dragon and Dungeon magazines RIP ?

Aries

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I saw a comment over at Wargamer to the effect, that WotC has essentially killed Dragon as well as Dungeon Magazine. Apparently they plan to convert to an online content option.

Hmm I think the idea makes the handling of the PS3 look brilliant (that's obviously sarcasm if you didn't see it).

I remember reading Dragon when it first arrived. I knew next to nothing about rolegaming, and the Dragon was there to explain it all. I think an online magazine is about the same as a dead magazine.

The reason... well it's simple. With a print magazine you could take it to the game, you could photocopy a chart for your game, in short you could use it at your game. An online magazine will have almost no worth off your computer (and I don't call using up my ink supply after I have already paid for a non physical magazine something to be thrilled about).

It's bad enough that most people actually think World of Warcraft is rolegaming. But killing off the star of real paper and pencil rolegaming will NOT have a positive effect.

It's true the world is no longer ideally receptive or friendly to print media. The only online alternative worth mention, is a purchased pdf file download. The only easy way I can think of this working, is using paid for accounts, that provide access to the files. Not that that is perfect, it's clear most pirated files come from people that bought the product, and then uploaded it. Nothing is ever perfect.

But chances of me wanting to indulge an online Dragon issue are almost zero.
 

Aries

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WotC is just determined to run the D&D franchise into the ground. First 3.5 and now this...:blab:
My only problem with D&D 3.5, is if they had wanted a wargame, it would have been easier to start off as a wargame. The game as it sits now, is trying to be the ASL of rolegames. And the idea, "all those options are after all just options"
yeah right, tell me another.

I've played in the games. Some people only want to shop till their level 1 PC looks more like an old style 5th level character for over all power. Sure some people place ROLEplay over ROLLplay, but, if you merely roll some dice, and make a whimsical non maxed out PC, your PC dies during the first session, and mr powergamer likely gets to monster mash adversaries that would scare the heck out of a 2nd edition 1st level character.

But I walk into the usual game store, and it's like crammed with rolegaming books. I am assuming the owner hasn't bought every title known to the market just so he can have shelves stuff to the gills in product. He's a long time veteran retailer of gaming products, he knows his business.

So I am left to wonder, is WotC simply run by incredible morons? Who's actually calling the shots? And why?

Oh well, I have not actually been reading Dragon for a number of years. I only run a stripped down game of Alternity myself. 3 books, and no need for anything else ever.

I did my time during the 2nd edition glut of AD&D. I looked at the maxed out powergamer D&D3 when it first arrived, and I knew right away I would never really be able to keep up. And today, I can see how many books are expected by an atypical gaming group. We are talking DOZENS of books at like 50-60 bucks a go. It doesn't really matter that the books are very well made product, I just ain't got that kinda cash or that kinda interest.

I am unsure the d20 open license was entirely brilliant or inspired. I think it allowed a sudden surge of content that the market was really never able to support.
Now with Dragon gone, maybe this is the end of the whole deal much like wargaming has had to really go out of its way to manage in a new market reality.
Then again, wargaming hasn't died just because the AH General is gone. It's just not as fun as it was when it was around.
 

freightshaker

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My only problem with D&D 3.5, is if they had wanted a wargame, it would have been easier to start off as a wargame. The game as it sits now, is trying to be the ASL of rolegames. And the idea, "all those options are after all just options" yeah right, tell me another.
Exactly. There doesn't need to be a rule for every little occurrence. That's what the DM is there for. I also agree that 3 and 3.5 have ruined the game. It seems they're trying to make it like a MMORPG, which it's not (even if there is D&DO). I'm currently involved in two 2nd ed campaigns which is fine by me. We all prefer the 2nd ed rules (I like AD&D myself) and have no problem not having 15 different source books.
 

Aries

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My biggest beef, and you only really see it with a skilled player that has all the manuals, is they are not worried about roleplaying out a very custom made personality, all they want is the greatest possible armour class, and the greatest possible attack bonus married to the most coolest possible assortment of feats such, that they can always dodge a hit, always score a hit, and perform actions so cool they don't need to actually roleplay their way out of anything as they only expected to kill it anyways.

If you only roleplay with guys, forget the stats that don't reward your ultimate killing machine concept. You only need a well rounded player when you have girls in your group, because they're the only ones trying to play the game as a rolegame.

D&D3.5 as it currently stands, is just a paperwork heavy clone of the computer programs. I have even watched and listened to the guys either attempt what the computer games alllowed, or wonder they can't do what they were able to do in the computer game. They never reverse this process, and wonder why the computer game doesn't have any rolegaming eh.

Right now, my biggest reason for playing in our D&D3.5 group, is it's a social event. I'm playing a Gnome sorcerer, I built him around an idea, and really, I don't give a **** if he's ever dangerous in combat. I built him as the ultimate paper pushing bureaucrat. His best skill is more or less his ability to drive an opponent nuts. Woe be to you if your documentation is not in order hehe.
He probably won't live to be 5th level, so what.
 

Aries

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Now on the other hand, in a game I am running, if you can't ROLEplay, you'll likely become dreadfully bored. And if your PC is only good for killing things, you might go several sessions without ever rolling your dice.

I don't require things to be constantly combat sequences. And stupid is just as capable of getting you killed for that matter.

I like Alternity. It's all about "how difficult was your action" and that leads to very little in the way of need for charts and tables, and all the rest. It's DM friendly, as it's mostly about me just deciding the difficulty based on my opinion, and if I say it's "this hard" then it is.
That, and Alternity isn't designed around how much did you kill this game session. XP awards are 1 point the session was quiet, 3 points there was action, 1 bonus point, you did something cool tonight. That sure cuts out a lot of paperwork eh.
 

freightshaker

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I think there needs to be some structure in rules so that players know what is possible and what their character's capabilities are. I like a mix of hack-n-slash and roleplaying in my game, ie. combat shouldn't be mandatory but I don't want a soap opera either. I like my character to be above average but not straight 18's. The DM should have ultimate say in what goes on but the players need to know in advance just what the DM is basing their decisions on.
 

Aries

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I think there needs to be some structure in rules so that players know what is possible and what their character's capabilities are. I like a mix of hack-n-slash and roleplaying in my game, ie. combat shouldn't be mandatory but I don't want a soap opera either. I like my character to be above average but not straight 18's. The DM should have ultimate say in what goes on but the players need to know in advance just what the DM is basing their decisions on.
I agree.

Where D&D3.5 went wrong probably, was trying to make the game too statistical, and not enough capacity or justification to even need to roleplay at all.

I was surprised though, that Charisma is a major focal point of Sorcerers. I can't figure out why personality, or attractiveness, has anything to do with an ability to just "figure out magic" without needing the usual study process like Wizards do.

But I had a previous character in another campaign. I had rolled 2 18s. I thought man his stats are already embarassingly high. He's an archer, I'll give him an awesome dex, and an 18 charisma. The problem was it was a hack n slash game. I think I rolled a Charisma based action twice. Around 7th level the DM said I could re invent him. So I put the 18 in intelligence and decided to just say screw it and max out my archer instead.

It's really sad when gamers don't give a damn about any stat that isn't connected with killing something.

In Alternity, if you take a dump on your Personality score (same purpose as Charisma), I treat your PC appropriately.
To me, a 4 (that's human minimum) Personality stat means you look ugly, you smell bad, you behave like a jerk, you have no social skills, and people won't listen to you. And I damn well make you deal with it too.

So your uber warrior that's strong as an ox is treated like a dumb smelly ox too. Your high dex uber warrior might be agile, but sure can't dance and doesn't understand no one cares if you CAN have oral sex with yourself. Your uber warrior might have the constitution of a gorilla, but he also probably belongs with the apes.

The problem is, too many DMs just never enforce the weak areas of a PC in rolegaming. When a 4 Personality PC steps up and tries to do the talking, all that happens is your target audience gets offended and further discussion is now not an option. That is unless the doofus rolls a 20 and gets a critical success. But relying on that to happen is dumb.

Too many rolegamers should just accept, that they should be playing something like table top miniatures. Hey, that's where rolegaming came from after all. If people don't want to act out a miniature's personality, they should just admit it. It's not a crime to like table top miniatures.
 
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freightshaker

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I have a Ranger with a Charisma of 4 (or 3, can't remember) and he is treated appropriately. Obviously I don't do a whole lot of the talking which is just fine since people piss him off and most people can't stand the smell or the facial scars. I've never understood why Sorcerer's use Chr for power either but then I think Chr shouldn't be a rated ability but rather determined by how you play the character. The DM should interpret how the character interacts with NPC and PC's and judge accordingly. Of course this would remove a "vital" statistic from your character and we can't have that...:rolleyes:
 

Dion

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I think sorcerers use charisma as a source of power because it represents powers that are far and wide of understanding. It becomes more understandable when you think of it as a rating that represents how well one is tuned into the force. It is important to understand that the force can be interpreted anyway that one wishes. Equally important is to think of it as being important to any role-playing game (even a game like D&D, not just Star Wars). I think charisma is a rating of how great you are compared to all the things in history, and the reason charisma is rated relative to human society is because human society is the basis of all creation (though that could be subject to a religious debate). As my Dad used to tell me (this being real life wisdom, not role-playing) it's not how strong you are, or how smart you are, or how fast you are, or whatever, but who you know. Everybody has heard of Darth Vader before so I will use him as an example. Even though most people disliked Darth Vader (in terms of other movie characters, not movie goers) most people admired him for being such a powerful commander, thus he would have a high charisma. Even people that hated him knew his name and could probably identify him on sight. Subsequently he would have a high charisma.

With that being said I too will miss Dragon and Dungeon magazines. Though I seen this coming years ago as the content was more about the d20 industry, than D&D and role-playing in general. So I'm not surprised.
 
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Aries

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I think sorcerers use charisma as a source of power because it represents powers that are far and wide of understanding. It becomes more understandable when you think of it as a rating that represents how well one is tuned into the force. It is important to understand that the force can be interpreted anyway that one wishes. Equally important is to think of it as being important to any role-playing game (even a game like D&D, not just Star Wars). I think charisma is a rating of how great you are compared to all the things in history, and the reason charisma is rated relative to human society is because human society is the basis of all creation (though that could be subject to a religious debate). As my Dad used to tell me (this being real life wisdom, not role-playing) it's not how strong you are, or how smart you are, or how fast you are, or whatever, but who you know. Everybody has heard of Darth Vader before so I will use him as an example. Even though most people disliked Darth Vader (in terms of other movie characters, not movie goers) most people admired him for being such a powerful commander, thus he would have a high charisma. Even people that hated him knew his name and could probably identify him on sight. Subsequently he would have a high charisma.

With that being said I too will miss Dragon and Dungeon magazines. Though I seen this coming years ago as the content was more about the d20 industry, than D&D and role-playing in general. So I'm not surprised.
This isn't directed at you in any manner shape or form I hope you realise :)

But your entire "force" based notion is so fully full of it :)

I think you were actually talking about "Wisdom", you know, the attribute that transcends "Intelligence".

Charisma is a trait used to decide if the vender will sell to you for less, whether or not the barmaid will spend the night with you, whether or not you can get the group of thugs to work for you, whether the soldiers will hold the line under your leadership, whether the paladin can be of sufficient virtue that evil won't gain sway over the people around him, whether the ranger can feel the emotions of the animal.

But it has nothing to do with your sorcerer being able to skip out on actually reading a magic spell, being able to learn it just out of thin air, and being able to cast it on a whim without having needed to charge his mind with magical forces.
I honestly think there is more to the game company just deciding to use Charisma so that a sorcerer ends up needing different stats than a wizard.

I've been with rolegaming since it's been around. And the official out of the book reason given for a sorcerer needing Charisma is total horsecrap.
 

Dr Zaius

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Damn, this is news to me. I have been reading Dragon lately and was thinking of getting a subscription.
 

Portal

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Anybody who believes AD&D2 is a better game than D&D 3.x is simply an anti-WoTC hack. As much as Wizards deserves their fair share of criticism for scaring off their best designers to independent publishers, 3.x is a much more intuitive, sensible, flexible, and consistent game than any other previous version of D&D.

I like the Necromancer Games' approach: "Third Edition Rules, First Edition Feel".
 

Aries

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Anybody who believes AD&D2 is a better game than D&D 3.x is simply an anti-WoTC hack. As much as Wizards deserves their fair share of criticism for scaring off their best designers to independent publishers, 3.x is a much more intuitive, sensible, flexible, and consistent game than any other previous version of D&D.

I like the Necromancer Games' approach: "Third Edition Rules, First Edition Feel".
D&D3.5 is a better game in the same fashion that ASL is a better game unfortunately.

Technically you are correct, but in the end, I would have been happier if the game never went past Cross of Iron, and just ended up being lots of new boards and lots of new counters.

In the same light, I think some of D&D needed to be cleaned up, but lots of D&D should have never been invented at all. The current method of armour class is very easy, the bajillion nit picking specific class types/flavours/variations has only made it so a player doesn't really need an imagination to roleplay.
 

Dr Zaius

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Yeah, but there is one key difference between D&D and ASL: In D&D you can simply throw out or ignore any rules you don't care for.
 

Aries

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Logical reply Don. But in ASL, not all rules are defacto required to play the game.

Misc rules, desert rule, pacific rules, HASL rules, vehicle rules, most ordnance rules.

If a person wanted, they could just stick to playing a very vanilla game of infantry only scenarios.

But 3.5 is a hassle mainly because most players don't consider ANYthing to be truely "optional". If it's in a book, and they like it, they expect to be able to use it, if it's in official print somewhere. I've seen it happen at our games, where it's known to be in print, but no one has the manual, so we just consult pdf file copies you can scrounge online.

I am fortunate though (well I am not sure I am actually truely fortunate to be honest), to have a gang that has what appears to be 95% of every 3.5 manual when you add all collections together.

God there simply is no way I would ever want to have to own that many books just to play a game that ostensibly focuses on imagination :)
 

dwardzala

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Aries, a lot of what you say is true regarding 3.5. However, I think the structure that it (and 3.0) incorporated vastly improved AD&D. There are no more arguments that my character can run 30 feet, vault over the Dragon and sneak attack it from behind because he has an 19 DEX and is 14th level (and, yeah, rule zero works to a point). I can't guess at the number of hours of game time we spent arguing what a character could or could not do in 6 seconds. With 3.5 you might be able to use a tumble skill check to get passed the dragon and sneak attack him if he's flanked and you have some idea of the risks.

I run a game for 5 experienced gamers (we've all been playing since the early 80's although not together for that long). Anything not in the core books is optional and a lot of it I don't allow. I can also discourage min/maxing by tailoring things to encourage roleplaying. I can balance encounters (and play them) so that my players feel their characters are in mortal danger (whether they are min/maxed or not).

The beauty of the system is that it is extremely flexible (don't like Psionics, don't allow them/play them; etc.)

All that being said - I am extremely disappointed that Dungeon and Dragon magazine will no longer be published by Paizo. WOTC, I think will find that the market for on-line DnD content will not be as great as the market for print magazine content and then the quality of content will decline and then it will no longer be offered.

I am intrigued that Paizo will begin publishing a monthly "book" (that's what they are calling it) which contains an adventure path and lots of background material supporting it. Time will tell whether its worth the $20 per month they are charging.
 
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