Wednesday, October 9, 2013
First, Next (Heh):
There have been a few more updates on Next. The big focus has been on "Class Groups" which are the warrior/mage/priest/rogue groupings from 2E brought forward. The initial discussion is on the WOTC post here.
Now I read this and I could not figure out the point of this change. Is everything else a sublcass? No. Is there some unifying mechanical element to separate the warriors from the mages? Not really. The comments section on that article is almost all negative and there are a lot of good points made. I get 4E's "Roles" and I thought it was a smart thing to discuss and worked just fine - it was a primary shorthand descriptor for each class, along with power source, but had no direct mechanical impact on the game beyond the general outlines of "Defenders do this. Controllers do this" etc. What are these Groups supposed to accomplish?
Well Friday we had a related Q&A update here. There seems to be some shifting on this and it's probably for the better given the online reaction. Besides obvious bad decisions like naming the rogue/thief grouping the "Trickster" - really? - there doesn't seem to be enough mechanical justification to offset the backlash. Old thru 3E got by without anything more than "arcane caster", "divine caster", "fighter/minimum BAB of X", and "thief/ability to sneak attack". Pathfinder does too. So I'm not sure there's really a problem that this thing solves. Of course, going back to the concept of Roles from 4th would make a lot of sense but they really do seem to be avoiding that.
Misfires like this make me wonder just how settled some of the decisions around Next really are. It seems like a fairly significant structural change to throw in at this stage of development. Plus the Q&A's "we were already doing less with the concept than what Mike described" comment seems odd - he just posted that a few days before - are we getting articles now that are several versions behind the current "insider" version just like the public playtest packets were?
Next, Pathfinder (Heh):
Paizo has put up an adventure ... finder? Guide? Sorter? Anyway page here. It has all of their published adventures sorted by level. Click on the level, look through the list and choose the one you want (the books are ordered alphabetically), click "Buy PDF", complete your transaction, download the thing, pop it up on your device and RUN!
I think that's pretty cool. You could run an entire ad-hoc campaign like this choosing a new adventure for whatever level the party happens to be when you finish up the previous adventure. You could even put it to a vote based on title and a cover picture. I think that has some potential but running that kind of thing with online tools could be a fun stretching of the DM muscles in a different way.