Inq. of the Week: Ask the D&D Designers

Dice86% of you are looking forward to seeing my man, The Batman, return to the big screen. 81% of you are looking forward to our favorite whip-wielding, snake-fearing Archaeologist returning for another adventure. Sorry Wachowski Brothers, only 14% of our readers are going to take a ride on the Mach 5, the lowest out of the movies listed (Speed Racer).

We realize we’ve been heavy on the D&D coverage lately, but that’s what a lot of the news we pay attention to is about these days. This week, there’s going to be lots of more D&D fourth edition news due to the D&D Experience convention starting on Thursday. This will be the first chance for the public to play 4e… and we’ll be right there trying it out.

Bartoneus and myself have managed to arrange press passes, and we should be able to score interviews with the designers and developers who will be in attendance. We’ll be at the kick-off event that is usually filled with announcements. We’ll get a chance to check out the digital tools that have greater integration in the new edition. We also have a scheduled session to try one of the 4e preview events on Saturday morning.

With all that in mind… what do you want to see? What questions do you have for the designers and developers? In summation, what do you want to find out from the D&D Experience? (that we, as humble reporters, can deliver to you?)

We can’t promise we’ll be able to ask everything, but we’ll do our best!

(image ganked from Shamus Young, to go along with this week’s somewhat unrelated poll!)

About Dave

Dave "The Game" Chalker is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Critical Hits. Since 2005, he has been bringing readers game news and advice, as well as editing nearly everything published here. He is the designer of the Origins Award-winning Get Bit!, a freelance designer and developer, son of a science fiction author, and a Master of Arts. He lives in MD with e, the Geek's Dream Girl.


  1. Well, my biggest interest is going to be in your personal impressions of what you see there. In particular, the social encounter mechanics, as we’ve gotten a peak at the rest already.

    Aside from that… hmm… not much, actually.

    How about “Why does the rogue get increased damage with shurikens, while shurikens are unusable with any rogue abilities? Or do shurikens somehow count as light blades?”

  2. What I’d like to see: Bartoneus and TheGame scantily clad rolling dice…

  3. Joshxorfz: You see that on pretty much a weekly basis…greedy and manipulative bastard.

    Graham: I’ll be sure to try out some “you seem trustworthy” moments to see how the system copes with social encounters! I’ll hopefully get to be a rogue and just run around screaming “nerf nerf nerf!” as I backstab friend and foe alike repeatedly.

  4. TheMainEvent says:

    Query: Is there an underlying ‘value’ assigned to the various skillsets, hit points, abilities etc. undergirding the system? If so, is that something that will be transparent or will it be hidden in play balance?

  5. I’ve always found the HP system to be a bit silly. Is there going to be a way to make combat deadly?

    As far as “epic battles” go, I think combat is long enough right now. I would prefer a more streamlined system.

    Will the combat system itself be functional? I suppose you could just nerf everyone’s HP but that seems like a bad alternative and could make stats themselves unbalanced.

    More things will surface as I delve into my brain for the things that annoy me about D&D.

  6. Here’s what I’m interested in knowing:

    How is the DM tools software coming along?

    If there’s one thing I expect to be disappointed with, it’s this. I want to be optimistic. Really, I do. But the whole E-tools thing really left me with a bad taste when it comes to WotC’s ability to have usable software designed.

  7. DM: I’ve been told that we’ll get some hands-on time with the Digital Tools, so we should be able to report on that, probably as its own article.

    Like you, I really want them to be good, but am expecting failure after E-tools was a resounding mess. (Though I thought the demo that came with the early 3.0 PHBs were pretty good, if limited.)

  8. Game -

    awesome. No, awesemo 9000.

    Yes, please please pleeeeease drop the knowledge on the Digital Tools. Fast-like. I’m dyin to know. It’s the one thing that keeps me up at night.

    That, and the 6 Diet Cokes I drank during the late-night appetizer special at Uno’s…

    At any rate, I am SO jealous of you guys. I wish I lived closer to the big deal. I think I’d even trade GenCon for DDXP this year.

  9. I want to know if they know who Expy the red dragon is.