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Geek presentations

Written by Expy - Published on October 17, 2007

Random thoughts

I had dinner with Phil – the Chatty DM – and I can confirm he really is raising a crunch army to fluff in check once and for all.  Be afraid, fluffy DMs.

A thought on geek presentations

We probably all watched the unveiling of D&D4E videos at least once.  When I watched it I was stoked about the product but the video itself – which is very professional done – left me uneasy. 

I couldn’t really pinpoint what was wrong with the video until I saw a video of the unveiling of the Commodore Amiga computer! (thanks to Gnome)  The tone and intonation of the presentations are the same – and I loved th jokes that bombed in both presentations. 

Geekdom is alive and well.  In fact, geekdom hasn’t changed much since the Amiga came out in 1985.  The geeks in charge of the presentation for WotC actually got outdone by the Amiga geeks of 22 years ago.

Watch and compare!

Both made me proud and sad to be a geek!

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Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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16 Responses to “Geek presentations”
  1. gnome says:

    Ahh, but the old geeks did have Andy Warhol with them…

  2. ChattyDM says:

    Just….a…few…more days….

    And the world of Fluff will be MINE!!!!

    MWA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

  3. Yax says:

    Fast-forward to 3:00 of the Amiga video. It’s gold.

  4. sean says:

    The similarities between those two presentations was stunning. However I don’t know if i will go over to 4e. It may be just me, but it seems like they are dumbing it down instead of just stream lining the whole thing.

    There is a video of wizards showing DnD over the decades and they portray everything before computers to be messy papers piled up. However in the current decade computers help you do everything. Because of skynet i don’t know if i could feel fully comfortable trusting a computer with my whole campaign

  5. Yax says:

    I work professionally with computers and I can guarantee it is not a good idea to do every single task on a computer.

    Computer science is a fairly new technology and it’s just hitting prime time. In a few months or years it will be much better than it is now but sometimes, pen and paper are more convenient than the latest software or website.

    I am scared of the computer-assisted gaming that Wizards is working on but I’ll give it a shot when it goes live. We’ll see.

  6. Fargalas says:

    There was something strange about this whole thing. I don’t know that I was too impressed with what they’re saying about 4th Edition, but I’ll check it out when it hits in May, June, and July.

    What about the cover designs, though? 3rd Edition’s got the sexy designs. They actually make me feel like I’m handling tomes of power. 4th Edition looks… Gamey. Technically, yes, D&D is a game. But its whole foundations work on it not being THAT MUCH of a game. We’ll see if 4th Edition can bring new players into the fold without ruining the high fantasy, the world, of Dungeons & Dragons.

  7. Yax says:

    I agree with new that the new book covers look newer, but not nicer.

  8. Taylor says:

    True that, Sean!
    I does feel like they are dumbing down, trying to attract a younger audience and ignoring their older players.
    I remember when 3e came out, and I noticed that it was lacking the blood and guts that were common in older roleplaying games, and the lack of mature themes. (aside from anything put out by Monte Cook).
    When I was making my own game using the d20 SRD, I called and spoke to a fellow at WoTC that answered my questions and confirmed my beliefs. WoTC has policies that involve printed products that use their system in place. Basically, he told me to keep the content and art “PG” just to be safe. When I brought up the “Book of Vile Darkness”, he told me flat out that will never happen again. Period.
    This is what worries me about 4e, and that it’s just going to get more and more fantastical until games are encouraged to move like the old DnD cartoon (those old enough to remember it).

    Just my two cents.

  9. Dave T. Game says:

    I think you’ll have to wait and see before you can call the game “dumber” but I’ve seen no evidence that says they’re doing it to get rid of older fans. They’ve given valid design reasons for nearly everything they’ve said will be in 4e.

    I’ve been playing D&D for over 20 years now, and yet I encounter all sorts of prep difficulties in running D&D3.5. I also play regularly with people who are new to roleplaying, and I cringe every time I have to explain something like grappling. D&D needs a new edition with less of the clutter, and it looks like 4e will be it.

  10. sean says:

    dumbing down is not the same as dumber, at least in my context. Dumbing down a system means taking out things that are hard to understand if you don’t want to think too hard (grappling system) The grapple rules are tricksy but i like them, then again i have played characters that used that rule set a lot so i am really familiar with them.

    Dumber is how wizards portray their current target demographic they are going after. Neo-nerds want things simpler and spoon fed instead of having to remember rules and tables, they just say ” i am a healer” or “I am a meat shield” it cuts down on the roleplaying (to me) when a class’s purpose is the same as the roleplaying personality. It seems that the new system will be more about typecasting certain roles. Whereas now it seems like there is a lot more diversity. My current campaign has a druid, a favored soul, a soul knife, and a spell thief. None of them fill any one role very well and they do have lots of problems, but that’s where the fun is. They are all good players. Its about the story. Not every adventuring group is going to have the tank, divine, arcane, and sneak. Sorry i ranted a little bit more than i wanted but still its all valid so i am not going to go back and delete what i said :)

    However i will still check it out when it comes out but i think it is going to be DnD apartheid. (segregation of all characters into specific classes or roles)

  11. Taylor says:

    Are you serious, Dave?
    If you’ve been gaming for 20+ years, then you know there are far more complicated systems out there
    than the d20 system, and you also have probably enjoyed them in the past. DnD talks down to the players,
    and I can’t honestly see how they will make it more simple than it is already.
    Sean is right – new generation players are lazy.
    What I’m seeing from the presentation is they are taking their current line of high-fantasy to the next stage.
    Racial levels? How can they seriously present that to an audience and have them clap? How would that even work,
    and moreover, how do you explain that in realistic terms to a new gamer? “The more enemies you defeat now gives
    you the +2 to those climb checks! Good work!!”
    I’m sorry this is coming off harsh, but 3.5 has far more problems to overcome than grappling – such as explaining
    hit points, how one would become a bard or a paladin, etc. If you ask me (and I know no one did), having a classless
    system and getting rid of those stupid CR tables would have been a big step in the right direction… not spoon-feeding
    us garbage like being an ultra-cool mace fighter.

    My two cents.

  12. Dave T. Game says:

    I’m completely serious, and yes, I’ve played far more complex systems. Complex does not equal broken, which is what parts of 3.5 are right now, and that’s what they’re addressing.

    It’s not that “grappling rules are too hard, me stupid” it’s that it’s something that takes several steps that have to be remembered, has its own bonus to calculate, is nearly impossible to teach new players, is fairly common, and is either way too hard or way too easy is BROKEN.

    You may like the rule because you’ve used it a lot, but there are far better ways to do it. And that’s only one part of a greater whole, which has required some pretty radical changes. But as pointed out, they’ll still be classes and hit points, so it’ll still be D&D to me.

    I also think it’s funny that the roles are being criticized as taking away from diversity when Wizards has explicitly said one of their goals is to make it so that every group does not need a cleric (or whatever.) The goal is to allow more diverse groups that allow for more stories to be told, as opposed to now. How much they succeed at the goal won’t be known until the books come out, but it is a goal that needed to be set.

  13. Yax says:

    I think Wizards should throw us a bone and give us a glimpse of some rules concepts.

    And I don’t mean a “spined devil” card. I hate that card.

  14. Taylor says:

    I think you’re totally right, Yax. The really should throw us a bone.
    As for the grappling thing, I don’t think you’re stupid and I’m sure there are other ways of doing it. I just
    think the whole damn thing needs an overhaul. I just wish it wasn’t so focused on magic – if they add a defense
    system by class (a la d20 modern) and get rid of ranged touch attacks, I think that will be a big step forward.
    I just wonder how many surveys and players they asked before they decided to go ahead with this. If you ask me,
    I don’t think they did many…
    Also, on an unrelated note – is anyone else having problems typing on this forum? It seems like it is dropping
    every 3rd or 4th letter when I type. Just curious.


  15. Yax says:

    I use 3 different computers with 3 different browser version almost everyday and never had a problem with typing.


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