Nov. 14, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST
by TiNSeLToWN TeRRoR
Nov. 14, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST
get your pre ordered at amazon.
Nov. 14, 2008, 8:45 a.m. CST
by Leafar the Lost
...culturally retarded. It really does. Also, he won't be able to watch free TV when the government ends that next year. Have you got your converter box yet, Massawyrm? Your review have some flaws. First, I can't believe that you have never seen Battlestar Galactica. I really can't believe that someone who regularly writes reviews for AICN has never seen the show. It is one of the best TV shows currently on air, and I don't mean just in the Sci/Fi category. I would argue that it is the best Sci/Fi TV shows of all time. I think that having cable or satellite is a neccessity, unless you are some right-wing idiot redneck who lives in a trailor somewhere and f's his cousin. As far as the DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS CHARACTER BUILDER, I am not that much of a geek.
Nov. 14, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST
pity it probably won't work well w/ v3.5, which is what most people are still playing. But it is nice that I, the very occasional player, don't *need* to by the PHB, simply read up on what's changed from my 3.5books to v4. <P><P> BSG game looks interesting; may be a great holiday present.
Nov. 14, 2008, 9:59 a.m. CST
by Baron Karza
16 sides of dice were not enough.
Nov. 14, 2008, 9:59 a.m. CST
How does creating magical items work with the builders? Is there a list of every single combination? Or do you have to build them as well? How is creating multiple character sheets?
Nov. 14, 2008, 10:11 a.m. CST
Because if so then no thanks. D&D insider is a huge rip-off, and has already show itself to be this generation's 'most infamous boondoggle of gaming' in that it was promised to be fully functional when the PHB was released, and it's still not, even with the approach of PHB2 (which in itself is pretty outrageous as it's been what? six months since PHB1??). D&D4E is all about the wizard's of the coast epic money grab. Whatever merits the new system have are buried under this greedy top-layer based on the idea that if people will pay $15 per month for world of warcraft, they should be paying that much to wizards as well, and that in my opinion is one whacked out expectation on their part that can never be justified.
Nov. 14, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST
Massawyrm, you need to check yourself, seriously. Never seen Battlestar Galactica? That's insane. You could at least download the episodes and get with the current culture that you address with your articles. Saying things like 'I don't have cable TV and never saw Battlestar Galactica' is not something to be proud of, and really hurts any credibility you might have as an entertainment reporter.
Nov. 14, 2008, 10:52 a.m. CST
I've roleplayed for about the last 15years, and for periods on and off before that, and never had I GM'ed just due to the fact that I found it all a bit intimidating. After reading the D&D4.0 articles by Massawyrm the ease of use really piqued my interest, and I can safely say that Massa has been right on the money. Everything in the books are laid out in a straight-forward manner but without sacrificing depth. Rules and concepts are kept together, if they are spread across different sections in the books then the page numbers are referenced. I'm playing with a group that have been roleplaying together even longer than I've been a part of the circle and this system has re-invigorated their interest in playing. And now this character builder is total wish fulfillment on my part, I was looking for programs or excel sheets that would carry out this work and it seems like WOTC read my mind! My only concern is the subscription required.
Nov. 14, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST
by My Mom Is A Whore
You poor, poor man.
Nov. 14, 2008, 10:56 a.m. CST
I'm not sure I agree with the WOTC money-grab conspiracy. The PHB, the Starter set - even the 1st level adventure Keep on the Shadowfell all give you enough detail to run games without need additional collateral. If WOTC were THAT cynical you'd be having to pick up the PHB in episodic volumes and only via their website.
Nov. 14, 2008, 11:07 a.m. CST
Are they planning on offering an entirely bookless, miniatureless digital package? That would push me over the edge into 4th ed, most definitely.
Nov. 14, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST
On Montag, I GM my firtst game in at least four years... Aeon Trinity. I'm very excited.
Nov. 14, 2008, 12:01 p.m. CST
You said, "...it makes it very difficult to argue that it is the product of a money grubbing, corporate entity interested only in your pocketbook."<p>...but then you forgot to mention that this incredible character builder costs an ADDITIONAL monthly fee to use (or the DI bundle package that includes an .pdf magazine subscription).<p>The subscription plan to get everything is supposed to cost $15/month. That's $180 a year to use these online services! Also, despite what you insinuate, you are still going to need the books to play. The DI Tabletop will not do anything but let you move models around and roll dice.<p>$40-$?? on books + $15/month = money grubbing, corporate entity interested only in your pocketbook. If I am completely wrong on this, please tell me. I want to believe, but I think you want to believe more than anyone.
Nov. 14, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST
by Massawyrm 1
<p>First of all, I didn't forget to mention that this is part of the subscription. You'll find it towards the end of the article. As to what it is "supposed to cost", no one knows yet. It's all guesswork based upon the statement that it would cost roughly what online gaming costs. You're definitely in what we all think is the right ballpark, but we'll see once everything is up and running.</p> <p>Most importantly, you are wrong on the necessity of books. Subscribing to the DI means having access to everything a player needs to create a character with the ever expanding material. A DM need only have the three core rulebooks and whatever he feels he needs or wants to run his campaign. With the DI he's getting 120 pages of new material a month for that $15 (half a books worth.) If you want to buy a $30 book a month or two like I do - then that's your choice. But it isn't remotely necessary. I would argue that you could run an awesome campaign with only the cores and DI alone.</p> <p>However, if you somehow feel that spending between $15 and $60 a month on your hobby is an outrage, you need to calm down, take a deep breath, and find a new hobby. Or hobbies. Because gaming, movies, and oh yeah, cable television all cost well within, if not beyond, that range. Oh, and stay way the hell away from Warhammer 40K. You couldn't afford it.</p>
Nov. 14, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST
I haven't played in about fifteen years, and I was curious what WOTC is? This online character creator sounds exceptionally useful. I was trying to explain character creation in gaming to my wife the other day, and I remembered what a pain in the ass is was to die, because we had to pause for half an hour while I created a new character. Of course maybe it annoyed me the most because I seemed to be the one who always died in my games........
Nov. 14, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST
I'll assume this thing doesn't work on macs...
Nov. 14, 2008, 12:48 p.m. CST
That would explain why he's never seen Galactica. Fuckerzzz.
Nov. 14, 2008, 1:08 p.m. CST
I'd recommend the following:<p> Settlers of Catan, Carcassone, Puerto Rico, Caylus and Agricola.<p> Settlers is a great intro into board gaming. It has a bit of luck and a bit of skill so you get better with each game but newbies always have a chance.<p>
Nov. 14, 2008, 1:52 p.m. CST
Wizards of the Coast. The company that makes the card-game Magic:The Gathering, bought TSR sometime in the mind-90's iirc. WOTC then got bought by...Hasbro I think? <P><P> And as someone who has played some kind of P&P RPG non-stop for 19 years, yea - character creation can be a pain. and tough to explain to a non-gamer. Now, if only Palladium Books would get off their butts & create or authorize a character-builder for their stuff (at least RIFTS).<P><P> Sounds like a good idea, but the cost... may or may not be worth it, for the casual gamer. If "sharing" an account is fairly easy, then perhaps (me & my main co-player/GM splitting cost would be worth it).
Nov. 14, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST
by Leafar the Lost
...about everything. Why the hell would I pay $15.00 a month for DI when I am already paying it for WoW? This is what WOTC, or Hasbro, is trying to do and it isn't working. It you want to compete with WoW, then make your own massive, multiplayer game and compete. Don't try to turn a pencil & paper role playing game into something it isn't. That is why most of the players are staying with 3.5. They don't like getting ass-raped with DI. You need more than just the 3 core books to play. To get access to other classes you are going to have to buy the upcoming PHB II and other books. So, they want you to buy a $30.00 book every month AND subscribe to DI. No thanks, assholes. I have a life, a job, satellite, and no extra money to piss away on D&D and useless Warhammer games. Take William Shatner's advice and Get a Life, Massawyrm! You are wasting it on D&D...
Nov. 14, 2008, 1:59 p.m. CST
No television? Hey, i can understand that. In the age of the internet, episodes of any popular TV shows can be seen in their entirety, whether by downloading from legitimate services like itunes, or non-legitimate places like blogs (that use services like rapidshare, etc), streaming sites, IRC, or torrents. But you've never been curious to check out BSG? Not even on DVD? This leads me to believe you've never seen other great shows from this generation, which are too numerous to list.<p><p>Weirdly enough there was this redneck guy who called the local talk radio station in Orlando today who talked about how he was totally self sufficient (in preparation for armageddon) and how he didn't use electricity (except by running an extension cord from his neighbors for when he needed to work on his car) and had eaten nothing but turtle and a bit of fish for the past 4 months. To each his own I guess...
Nov. 14, 2008, 2:03 p.m. CST
Fuck WOTC! Fuck them right in the ear! I will NEVER pay to play anything I've already paid to buy. I can guarantee that WOTC has alienated a large part of their fan base with this decision. D&D pretty much is a lost cause now anyway. I'll stick with 2nd Ed, where I don't have to pay a monthly fee to play. FUCK WOTC!!!!
Nov. 14, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST
by Massawyrm 1
WTF are you on about? The subscription fee is for Dungeon & Dragon magazine and the online tools. You no more need a computer and a subscription to play than you a surround sound system to watch movies at home. It simply expands the experience. Nothing more. Take your meds.
Nov. 14, 2008, 2:54 p.m. CST
Upon further review, the DI tools are included in the subscription as you say. I was under the impression each tool was an additional fee. I was wrong.<p>P.S. Warhammer 40k is the end-all-be-all. I just never considered I'd be spending as much on D&D as 40k. I know I don't HAVE to spend that $180/year, but no one HAS to play with minis either - yet who doesn't?
Nov. 14, 2008, 3:18 p.m. CST
there being a subcription service to a piece of software that should be a buy once thing, not rape the customer indefinitely. Typical move by this company. They've done a few cool things (new minis being one) but have overall fucked up what was once a great game and I'm pissed about it like a lot of other people. And what's with that personal shot bro? Did I say anything about you or direct any comment towards you in that post? I'd say take your own advice. But then again, it is AICN.
Nov. 14, 2008, 3:40 p.m. CST
by Massawyrm 1
<p>It wasn't a shot as much as it was a "calm down." I mean, saying fuck Wotc once is one thing, twice with all caps? Re-lax.</p> <p>I can feel you on the subscription bit, save for one detail. The D&DI is to be updated with new material every month - all the stuff from Dragon, Dungeon and all the books. I don't think it is the tool they are so much charging for as the steady stream of content.</p>
Nov. 14, 2008, 3:42 p.m. CST
by Massawyrm 1
Yeah - each tool for an additional fee would be a rip.
Nov. 14, 2008, 3:45 p.m. CST
This character builder sounds really cool, and brings RPGs into the 21st century by using computers to complement your tabletop gaming experience. I was thinking about making something like this for Star Wars d6, but it's an enormous endeavor, and I just created a dice roller program when I rpg'd on IRC. <p> And cut Massawyrm some slack on the cable tv thing. I haven't had satellite since January (and for a couple of weeks in august) and I don't really miss it. I actually fell less stressed out about not having to worry about watching tv and getting my money's worth. I get my local channels (4 or 5 in HD) over the air, and couldn't be happier, limiting myself to 5-6 shows to watch during the week. I don't have to find time to watch a DVR and can enjoy time with the family or doing other activities.
Nov. 14, 2008, 5:04 p.m. CST
Hell, they're on NBC.com pretty much the day after they air, if you're worried about legalities. As far as old eps, they have this wonderful world of DVDs, where you can play them if you have the special DVD player. C'mon, Massawyrm...If you wanted to see it, there's ways of watching it. It seems more like you're really just not interested in watching it.
Nov. 14, 2008, 5:37 p.m. CST
Be sure to get your coupon from the feds for a free digital converter box.<p> I haven't had cable for five years or so. You don't really miss it. But even I've seen BSG. Geez.<p> Maybe Massa can't download it on his dial-up?
Nov. 14, 2008, 5:53 p.m. CST
You're an excellent writer and reviewer. Having the pleasure of talking to you a bit at Butt-Numb-A-Thon 9 last year and knowing what the voice behind the words is like, makes reading your stuff all the more fun :-)
Nov. 14, 2008, 6 p.m. CST
by Leafar the Lost
I have copied the following from the D&D web site: When you subscribe to D&D Insider, you get complete, instant access to every feature and tool currently available: Dragon and Dungeon magazine content—about 120 pages of all-new material, with updates posted several times a week—and a PDF compilation of every issue at the end of the month Full access to the D&D Compendium, regularly updated with material (and rules text) from every D&D rulebook and online magazine article. Bonus Tools that will help you spend less time prepping for your game and more time playing it: the Encounter Builder, Monster Builder, and Ability Generator Access to the Character Builder Closed Beta. Building and leveling your characters will be easier then ever before—try it out now with 1st-3rd-level characters. System Requirements. $4.95 per month (12 months for $59.40) $6.65 per month (3 months for $19.95) $7.95 per month If you actually play D&D 4.0 everyday, like Massawyrm, then it is worth it. However, if you are not a roleplaying geek, then it is wasted money. Also, the fact that Massawyrm has a computer with internet access, and he has never watched Battlestar Galactica (which he can download) leads me to believe that either he is seriously distrubed, or he is full of shit. I am leaning on my second choice...
Nov. 14, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST
by Gungan Slayer
and can use a book to create my own characters, thank you very much.
Nov. 14, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST
...at best, before the programs are available on Torrent sites, and it won't take much longer for the upgrade packs are similarly available. WotC had a pretty airtight system when it was online only (an annoying as hell system, but secure). I also bet it'll be several months before we see a *Nix version of the tools (if we ever do). Why complain about the price when you don't have to pay it?
Nov. 14, 2008, 7:55 p.m. CST
It's a board game now - can't hurt
Nov. 14, 2008, 8:07 p.m. CST
So let me get this right. You will pay a monthly fee to access D&D content but you won't pay a monthly fee to get cable. I'm a huge nerd and I love RPGs(although I am not a fan of D&D 4) but I wouldn't pay a monthly fee for any of them(considering I already bought there books). Cable on the other hand is a must. And as others have said unless you live in a cave its not like there isn't any other way to see BSG. DVD, iPhone, Computer, At least check out an episode of the thing. I do agree that the new BSG board game is awesome. I just hope they put out an expansion to let you play with more people. Its a bit complicated but a great party game. Like a complex are you a werewolf. Its fun for fans and non fans alike
Nov. 14, 2008, 8:34 p.m. CST
Do you get free review copies of the D&D4E books, and do you also get a free subscription to D&D insider?
Nov. 14, 2008, 8:59 p.m. CST
by Massawyrm 1
<p>Nilus - It's not the money. It's that when there's not always something on television, you get a lot of work done. The show intrigues me. But I know the minute I sit down to watch it I'll end up having to watch all 4 seasons.</p> <p>Eyegore - I get review copies of some of the books (but no subscription to D&DI) as well as review copies from a handful of other game companies. At this time I get nothing from GW.</p>
Nov. 14, 2008, 9:01 p.m. CST
That BSG game is basically a lift of the premise for the excellent Shadows Over Camelot. In that game you play as Arthurian Knights, and again, one is a traitor to the Round Table. You have to cooperate on quests, fight duels, defend the Castle, but the traitor will try to spread the other knights so thin that eventually one of the quests will fail and Camelot will fall. Check it out, its a great game: http://tinyurl.com/5a9d6j
Nov. 14, 2008, 11:16 p.m. CST
by dingus khan
a good way to get many, many insults hurled at you (in good faith) is to admit on this site to never having watched BSG. <p> i can't say anything about it that hasn't already been said. <p> watch it, sir. you'll never regret it. <p> EVER.
Nov. 15, 2008, 12:18 a.m. CST
I forward them on to the guy in our group who buys D&D4E stuff. I have a real hard time cutting WoTC or D&D4E any slack, not because it's a terrible system, but for all the shenanigans WoTC has pulled with this latest edition. They have divided the community of players with this radical MMORPG inspired edition that costs more than ever before, and the community of developers who write software and even game adventures and supplements. Anyone who wrote software, supplements, or adventures for 3E is required to give that up if they want to work on D&D4E. It's all in their legalese, EULA crap. My favorite software that is used to create characters for 3E is called DMGenie, and the developer of that software has been forced to make the choice to either abandon all his current customers who still play 3E in order to work on a version for 4E. He chose to stick with 3E, like many other minor publishers. He's making a stand. We're making a stand. Most of us. If WoTC would stop the shenanigans, we could all get along some day but not until WoTC cuts the crap.
Nov. 15, 2008, 11 a.m. CST
My group has stuck with 3.5. I've just invested too much damn money into 3.5 to not be able to use the crunch of the books. I can create any character I can envision, and we know the rules set. Yeah, I was curious about D&D, but there is still active support for 3.5, things like Kolbold Quarterly and the like- and i for one am glad! Cancelling Dragon and Dungeon as paper mags? Awful. I used to enjoy going to the bookstore, flipping through the Dragon mag, and seeing if there was any content I liked. If I liked it, I'd buy it at the mall, and read it while I ate at the food court. That's done with now. Pity.
It just amazes me that anyone can live in the 21st century and not have either cable or satellite, especially someone who writes reviews for AICN. I can understand if someone is out of work and cannot afford it. I can understand if someone is a religious fanatic and doesn't even have a TV and computer in their house or apartment. HOWEVER, we know that Massawyrm is not any of those things. So I can't get past the fact that he doesn't have cable or satellite, but he does have Internet and a subscription to DI. Either he is lying to us, or there really is something wrong with his mind. Also, he should watch the last 3 1/2 seasons of BSG; season four is not over yet.
Nov. 16, 2008, 5:31 p.m. CST
Good God, why is this on a movie site, anyhow? People who say WoW is a better investment of your entertainment dollar are right--bring on the death of D&D 4 and devote Massawyrm's space on this site to something, anything else.
Nov. 16, 2008, 8 p.m. CST
But this subject is near to my heart and I can't help but get pissed over what this company has done to this game since 3E came out. I know I'm not in the minority either. Well, maybe here on this site I am, but look on any RPG site and read what the majority of fans and long-time players were saying about 3E & 3.5 and what they are now saying about 4E. It isn't pretty bro. There are A LOT of people pissed off over what they're currently doing to the game. I'm just one of many. BTW Massa - Please keep up these columns. I really enjoy reading them, even if I don't agree with them most of the time.
Nov. 16, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST
by Massawyrm 1
<p>Keep in mind, the rants are the screams of the angry minority. They are loud, they are pissed and they are a cliche. this happens upon the advent of virtually EVERY new RPG edition. It happened during 2nd ed. And it's happened on dozens of other games. It is not new, it is not different. And most importantly is in no way indicative of the majority. Look up the various sales figures for 4E. they dwarf 3E dramatically. Look over at Amazon - the 28th most ordered item of the year is the $105 box set. And that doesn't include the sales of the books individually. For the first time in history a D&D book made the New York times bestseller list. And the converts just keep coming - as they always do.</p> <p>Just because the angry keep screaming is in no way indicative of the majority of the majority who don't have the energy to argue with the lamers who continue to sit around and bitch rather than, you know, getting on with their lives.</p>