I got turned on to a new podcast, Gaming Steve. What brought the cast to my attention was an hour-long interview with Christopher Perkins (he’s the bald one) from Wizards of the Coast about D&D 4.0. There was some information about what they’re developing and thinking that I hadn’t encountered elsewhere.
A lot of what he talked about is D&D Insider and Gleemax-related; more about the online gaming table, encounter and adventure-creation resources that they’ll have available and so on. I have to admit that from his description, Gleemax in general seems less crappy than I’d thought up to this point. It looks like they’re considering a few good ideas along with their bad ones I’ve already talked about (not in the order that they were discussed on the podcast):
1. Software that draws on a database of all of the rules that they publish that you can use online to build encounters and adventures. You will also theoretically be able to publish them for the community at large and possibly even sell them.
2. The opportunity to even potentially sell your scenarios and adventures, which serves as an entry-point into the industry as it has in the past.
3. A “Not Tournament Legal” setting for the online gaming table, which will be a category for things like house rules and tweaks to the game – so they can coexist fairly with RPGA and Living Greyhawk and so on. I’m not sure how they’ll support these kinds of tweaks, but I’m glad that you’re not bound to what is published – if all this turns out to be true.
4. Pickup games. This is cool, though something I’ll probably never get involved in where D&D is concerned – too much time commitment required to have a decent game.
5. Support for discussion of other kinds of games. Again, I’m not sure how far they’ll go with this kind of thing, but a general “Facebook for gamers” might be helpful. Sometimes its hard to find a game, and maybe having some kind of central hub for this kind of activity among D&D-style gamers would be good. Who knows? I fear hegemony, but I’m a pessimistic anarchist 🙂
6. The “completely new” rules reveal: all classes will have powers that are at will, per encounter and per day, not just casters. The power level will be equal to your character level – a 13th level character will have 13th level powers, on up to 30th level. I had guessed this from other sources, but its still interesting to know.
In general, if you are excited about the online functionality of D&D 4th Edition, check out the link above to the podcast itself and listen to it. You can even scan past the first 1/3 or so, which is also quality, but is much more focused on video gaming, which seems to be Gaming Steve’s overall focus.