In this issue: What does it mean when a company says it is going to involve the community in its new project?


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  1. For all in the world, I don’t want the community to have any influence on DnD 5e.
    The community is a bunch of “betterknowing nerds” and WotC is the best rpg company in the World. When I have a truly complicated patient, I don’t ask the “interns” for advise.

  2. When WotC says “now’s your chance to make D&D your own!” well, I’ve been doing that for over a decade now, and I’ve been pretty happy. I think most gamers customize their D&D experience already. With comics, “imagine your own ending” is a lame excuse, but with RPGs, that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.

    I do like the idea of being able to tell other people how to play D&D. Plus I like to think I have a sufficiently open mind to be able to take advice about how to make my own experience better. Basically when a new edition comes up, it’s a prompt to have discussions with other gamers about what we like and don’t like. I don’t feel beholden to whatever choices WotC finally makes, but I’m glad to be part of the conversation.

    And thanks to Paizo’s Pathfinder, I feel like I have serious options if the new edition doesn’t turn out close to how I want it.

  3. Regarding feedback in general: if I give it, it usually means I mean it. So I’d like for companies to listen to me. I don’t care as much about everyone else’s feedback, because I only care about the stuff I care about.

    I admit that not all of my ideas are fully thought through, but when I do write in to a publisher or a podcaster or whatever, I try to articulate my idea so that it can stand on its own merits. I’m not big on multiple-choice voting.

    I also believe, without necessarily any evidence, that my opinion is valuable. When I give a company feedback, I’m doing a tiny bit of their job for them, for free. I wouldn’t do that if I didn’t want them to succeed. I have plenty of podcasts sitting unlistened in my iTunes, and you can be sure they won’t be getting feedback from me. It’s the ones I like that get feedback, so they must be doing something right if they have my attention.

  4. What a great episode! One of my favorites, even if the trivia questions weren’t really optimized for the panelists. My only disappointment was that Matthew didn’t get to do the quiz on the Doctor’s companions. If the questions were challenging, that could have been epic!

  5. Like Rodrigo pointed out, Wizards has already written the core mechanics of 5e, and the community involvement will largely be beta testing. With a large focus on optional modules to accommodate various playing styles, this will be very important to the final product. Adding certain modules, but not others, or maybe non-obvious combinations of modules might cause rules conflicts, or break the game in certain ways that will need to be addressed. Numerous optional rules can lead to literally thousands of rule configurations and combinations and extensive beta testing and reporting can help expose some of these, allowing Wizards to either tweak the core mechanics or the mechanics of the modules to allow for smoother play at product release and hopefully minimize the need for endless errata. It may lead to tossing out certain modules all together as unworkable. The nice thing about a modular system is that a broken add-on can be pulled from an initial release and be re-instituted later if it can be fixed.

    I’m sure there is going to be a lot of disappointment for many at what ‘community involvement’ actually means. Calls for a return a to AD&D 2nd Ed, THAC0, dialing back to 3.5, etc. isn’t going to happen, but the calls for a new Red Box with a reasonably priced, fully playable introductory game of fundamental core mechanics, limited races, and classes for playing the first 5 levels might. The community is capable of some good ideas, and some horrible ones, but as a whole it just needs to be realistic about what feedback will be accepted and what won’t.

  6. gentlemen,
    in the spirit of the topic of discussion, while i enjoyed the podcast (as always), i felt the trivia section to be somewhat superfluous. while i appreciate stephen wanting to try new things, perhaps this wasn’t the way to go. to non-vitriolically expound on this, i was not engaged by the reading of genre questions from someone else’s website to a less-than-enthused duo that normally edutains and entercates. maybe if you guys wrote the questions for each other (an opportunity for your wit and personal vendettas), this would have been a highlight (although, admittedly, more work for you).
    to show that i got your points on community feedback (ones that largely echo my own), i freely accept your right to ignore me completely. (bring back emails!) (sorry, had to try.)

  7. I heard the rumor somewhere that WOTC is planning on releasing some sort of support for all editions of D&D out there. What I understood from the RUMOR is that they are thinking about adventures or settings rules for all the editions they did (although that can also mean 3.5, 4e and 5e)

    seems like a very crazy plan though

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