In order to control the rumors swirling around Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition, I have used my prodigious game design abilities and prognosticating statisticians in order to generate a full manuscript of the upcoming core books. Here, for the first time anywhere, are all the facts you need to know about the new Dungeons & Dragons.
- There will be no conversion guide from earlier editions to 4e. In fact, due to a little-read clause in the Open Gaming License, your old editions will actually expire when 4e launches. You will find that due to real-world application of the Arcane Mark spell, all the rules crunch will vanish from your old manuals, leaving you with a library of useless fluff materials. Any attempt to play previous editions will be crushed by the burrowing WotC enforcers.
- Iterative attacks are a thing of the past. Characters will only get one attack. No, not one attack per round, but one attack throughout the course of their career. Combats won’t take nearly as long as a result, and generally ends with both sides leaving frustrated.
- The “points of light” implied setting will actually contain a detailed sociological model of how the world works, with the economic system of D&D finally being replaced with something that makes sense. Detailed economic recovery charts and the dreaded “Alangreenspan” monster will appear in DMG2.
- Gnomes are out of the player’s handbook. So are dwarves, for being too much like gnomes. Halflings will be included, but have a lifespan listed of “one session” because that’s what happened in every game a halfling appeared in anyway. There will, however, be 9 different variations of human, because having an extra feat is totally sweet.
- The Player’s Handbook will have 8 classes. The Player’s Handbook 2 will have 64 classes, and Player’s Handbook 3 will have 512 classes. The Cleric will remain the only class worth playing.
- In an effort to make the Bard finally a playable class, they will lose bardic music, bardic knowledge, skill points, etc. and instead gain infinite lives (err… infinite family members that are suspiciously similar.)
- Alignments will no longer be a straight-jacket. This is accomplished by adding the alignments that players really wanted anyway: “I do anything I want at any time”, “I plot against the party”, “I’m a pompous moral ass”, and “I don’t care let’s just get to the killing.”
- The new social interaction system that uses several die-rolls to indicate success in social situations will mean that if you lack the Diplomacy skill, or have a low charisma, you are not allowed to talk in character, and must freak out if an NPC tries to address them. Many players have already adopted this rule.
- “The Great Wheel” cosmology has been replaced by a new core cosmology that makes the planes worth adverturing to. Watch for a new module that addresses what happened to the old planes that have been eliminated. “Revenge of the Outer-Outer Planes” will feature the Demi-Elemental Planes, the Quasi-Elemental Planes, the Pseudo-Elemental Planes, the Sorta-Elemental Planes, the Red-Headed Step-child Elemental Planes, and the Not An Elemental Plane of Tea.
- D&D Insider will allow players to play D&D across the Internet with each other for a monthly fee. For the same monthly fee, you can generate characters online, plan adventures online, and roll dice online. As a result, all of these activities will be illegal if preformed in reality.
- In order to maintain brand identity, the DMG will contain nothing but Dungeons. The MM will contain nothing but Dragons. You will have to buy additional supplements to play anything else. And when you do, you will have to add additional “&” to append to the name of the game. Stickers will be available for a modest fee. Expect my “Dungeons & Dragons & Pirates & Ninjas&Wilderness & Tarrasques” game to start up soon.
- Grappling will be simplified by bringing back the 2e Punching and Wrestling table. Come on, haymaker!
- The OGL is gone. In its place is an End User License Agreement stating how products can be used and what products third party companies can produce. Goodman Game’s “Dungeon Crawl Classics: Aunt Floyd’s Basement” and Necromancer Games “Lost Directions to the Restaurant” will be released in August of 2008 (just in time for GenCon!)
- And finally, any wild speculations of D&D4e that you come up with from reading small snippets on the Internet are, of course, totally true, so make your decisions now on whether to buy it, 8 months before release.
Hope this has been helpful. Giant blob wearing a beret, signing off.