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D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials 
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Post D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
As a small publisher I have found myself in an odd situation. Should I release a product that has had a lot of development for D&D 4th Ed, or should I wait a little while and rejig it to run with 4.5 - the Essentials?

Craig J. Brain

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Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:31 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Wait and see what happens. As far as i can tell 4e isn't being replaced by essentials. Essentials is supposedly for people looking to get into the game as beginners. I'm not sure, though, because there is a fuck load of FUD surrounding the issue.


Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:05 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Yup. I'll echo Aos: Wait and see. Don't make any decision just yet, and see how Essentials is received first. This is what will determine the WotC D&D/GSL landscape for the next while.


Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:38 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Is doing both not an option?

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Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:40 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Thirded. Wait and see. Better safe than sorry.

Plus, 4e has already over 100 page of errata. 4.5 will introduce more changes. The whole power section is being combed and a lot will be changed, according to the design team.

Also, Essentials is not a beginners game. It's a line of around 10 different products, one of which is a boxed set aimed at beginners.

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Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:44 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Certainly, however, the remaining products, many of which are dungeon tile sets, btw, are, or seem to be aimed at those same beginners after they make their way through the introductory set.
This is WoTC we're talking about here, they're not letting you off the hook for a mere $20.


Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:52 pm
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
I tracked this quote down, Dragon #387 (Feb 2010), pg 86

The Monster Vault boxed set includes a book of
essential Dungeons & Dragons monsters, tokens
for every monster in the box, an adventure, and a
poster map. The adventures that appear in the “Red
Box,” the Dungeon Master’s Kit, and the Monster Vault
can be run sequentially to create the beginnings of a
campaign.


Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:22 am
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Crap, that sounds very lame.

If dungeon tiles and tokens are now "essential", WotC sucks even more ass than I thought :(

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:14 am
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
To each their own.
However, I'm totally psyced for it.
"Essentials" is just the name of the line. You can still get by without a good deal of the stuff. The red box comes with a bunch of counters and tiles,to get you started.

However...
(Pardon me, I'm going to ramble some)

It's been pointed out over and over again that 4e cannot be played without minis, or a workable substitute thereof, like coins or chess pieces, or counters. So how is it bad that Wotc is offering a relatively cheap substitute for minis?

The monster vault set has counters for ever single monster in the set- That's waaaay cheaper than buying minis (it retails for 30$, but is $20 on amazon). I think it's great. I'm definitely picking it up. Anyway, anyone who starts with the red box is going to know whether or not they want to continue on and buy more stuff.

Beyond that, imo, it's smart marketing. You can get in for a relatively low cash outlay, and continue on spending a moderate amounts here and there. In the end, they get a lot of money from you- if you want to spend it.

However, if you don't want to buy more stuff, you've been exposed to role playing and you can seek out cheaper options, like Pathfinder.

Furthermore, many gamers WANT more stuff to buy for their game, and not everyone wants to buy adventures. I think the fact that WoTC is selling useful stuff, like counters and tiles is actually kind of commendable, really, these things are going to get used. A lot.

As for tiles, many gamers who don't play 4e buy tiles. Minis, counters and tiles are like dice- they are system free. You can take them from game to game, system to system.

Hell, I'm going to go out on limb and say that those counters will see more actual use than any splat book.

For example, the counters in the monster vault will definitely come in handy the next time I rev up a Savage Worlds game. I can also use them for my Swords and Wizardry game, they're not completely necessary, we use pennies and junk now, but shit- it's the same monsters in both S&W and 4e, so why the hell not use them? I'm going to spend that 20$ with a smile on my face.
What I'm saying, over all I guess, is that even if I never use 4e again (unlikely) I'm getting that Monster Vault and I'll make use of it. I'll probably also get a bunch of plastic stand ups so I can keep them vertical, but that's beside the point.

To sum up, I think that the monster vault especially is a set that has components that will be in use at many game tables long after 4e has been left behind. Imo, there's value in that. And it comes in a box!

Anyway, excuse the ramble.

P.S. Here's a pic:
Monster Vault pic


Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:23 am
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Post Re: D&D 4th Ed or D&D Essentials
Aos wrote:
However...
(Pardon me, I'm going to ramble some)

It's been pointed out over and over again that 4e cannot be played without minis, or a workable substitute thereof, like coins or chess pieces, or counters. So how is it bad that Wotc is offering a relatively cheap substitute for minis?

The monster vault set has counters for ever single monster in the set- That's waaaay cheaper than buying minis (it retails for 30$, but is $20 on amazon). I think it's great. I'm definitely picking it up. Anyway, anyone who starts with the red box is going to know whether or not they want to continue on and buy more stuff.


Yeah, it's a matter of perspective, I guess.

My point of view is that Essentials has been pimped as a reworking/re-imagining of the core 4e line that could be interesting enough, on the surface, for certain veterans of the game. But when you described the Monster Vault as some sort of monster manual packaged with tokens, it turned me off.

My understanding is also that DDI is now going to focus on Essentials. So even though we can split hair and say it's some kind of alternative to 4e, it also acts as a replacement in some respects, as far as support is concerned. (maybe I got that part wrong, though). I get when you say WotC are taking a smart financial approach while offering some kind of bang for the buck but from my perspective, it doesn't look that way, especially for a veteran. Most gamers will already have tokens and/or miniatures of some kind. Overall, I totally understand the need to keep people buying but there are ways that are more elegant than others and the whole way they've handled 4.x, over its run, is really alienating me as a gamer.

Now, if one essential product was a big box full of token while another was the monster manual? That would be cool. I like a company that covers every need possible.

From the sound of it (I might be wrong) they are going to cram dungeon tiles, monster tokens and other crap in a lot of these Essentials products. To me, that just really sucks.

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Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:25 am
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