Critical Bits for the week ending 2012-08-19

  • RT @Wizards_DnD:The new #dndnext playtest packet is up! In it you'll find rules for character creation & other new info http://t.co/rnbn6D6N #
  • Outside waiting in line to get into the D&D Gen Con keynote starting at 7. Already a small line here, but I suspect rain will keep many away #
  • Live stream for those not at Gen Con should be available here: http://t.co/HtsKVq7z #
  • Assuming we can get a decent signal inside the building, expect many tweets about #dndnext starting in an hour or so. #
  • Inside the theater for the #dnd keynote – people are starting to trickle in now. http://t.co/NyOIfdCj #
  • If you'd like to read the #dnd keynote in French, be sure you're following @chattydm #
  • Between the theater, fog machines, multiple screens and modern livestreaming equipment, this is definitely different from previous years. #
  • Just as one last warning- many more tweets to come from this account for the D&D keynote at Gen Con. #
  • These are all the people who were let in with tickets- non-ticketed line should be coming soon. http://t.co/vYgrssxJ #
  • Presentation to begin in 2 minutes. #
  • Keynote is beginning. Welcoming Peter Adkison. #
  • "Why'd they bring that guy back?" Peter is introducing Greg Leeds, President of Wizards of the Coast. #
  • Peter talking about his new website, The First Paladin, a web project about D&D series that involves #dndnext #
  • Keynote was Peter's idea, to bring a big event to Gen Con. #
  • Greg Leeds on stage. Talking about Peter's role as founder of WotC. Very proud to be part of inagural keynote presentation. #
  • Leeds talking about the legacy of #dnd role, impact, and Gygax and Arneson. How important the future about D&D is. #
  • "Our role is to ensure we have the most talented and creative people working on Dungeons & Dragons." #
  • "We don't really control the brand. The fans create the brand. So the process of creating new edition of D&D involves all the fans." #
  • "The process is going to take some time, but it's going to be a lot of fun" Talking about showing the journey to the fans. #
  • Master of Ceremonies coming up, @KevinKulp #
  • Kulp is talking about EN World, how it started, and its role in D&D. #
  • Kulp describes himself as a "professional fan" who gets to talk about the games he loves. #
  • Kulp will be "acting somewhat like a dungeon master" for the proceedings, but avoid reading it like "boxed text" #
  • Coming up to the stage first: Mike Mearls (@mikemearls), Senior Mgr for D&D R&D #
  • Next, Jon Schindehette (@ArtOrder), Art Director for D&D. #
  • And finally, Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms. #
  • Mearls: What #dndnext really is: first have to talk about what #dnd really is. A shared experience, creativity, drama, and more. #
  • Mearls is giving stories from famous adventures from multiple editions to explain what #dnd is. #
  • Mearls explains that the stories aren't the rules, the rules are the toolbox the DM and players use to tell those stories. #
  • "D&D taught us we could do whatever we wanted in a game." #
  • "D&D is the one game that tells you right there in the rulebook that the rules aren't meant to be broken." #
  • Create a simple set of core rules that are easy to use and modify to allow the DM to make a world and the players make their characters. #
  • D&D Next will be designed to remind us of "what made us fall in love with D&D in the first place." #
  • Kulp asks what drove making a new edition. Mearls says the game has moved too far towards pushing specific play styles over the years. #
  • The new edition moves away from the rules being the forefront, and more about the experience and what makes D&D great. #
  • The open playtest is designed to find out what people want in D&D, and if they like what R&D is providing. #
  • As "guardians of the game" they lost track of what made D&D great in the first place, and want to get back to focusing on that. #
  • Kulp asking about "too many cooks" working on the game from the open playtest. Mearls says R&D acts as gatekeepers to implement #
  • Schindehette talking about the visual look of D&D. Diving into the legends and lore of everything that's been in D&D before. #
  • Mearls: "Of COURSE we're doing flumphs." #
  • Schindehette talking about expressing the most iconic versions of monsters through the years, and the heated arguments result (owlbears) #
  • First principle is "if it's not broke, don't fix it." Then to make sure the lore matches the look. #
  • Greenwood talking about the storytelling side of things (including the novels.) Greenwood says the new visual look matches well to FR. #
  • Mearls on settings: focusing on one world at a time means it can be brought more to life. FR will be focus at beginning, but not ONLY. #
  • FR: focusing on all corners of the world to bring the entire thing to life by coordinating writing, look, etc. in a way never done before. #
  • In early 2013, D&D back catalog will be released in digital form once again. #
  • All editions, all settings, all products they want to bring back in digital form eventually. #
  • Greenwood talking about how Forgotten Realms is older than D&D, starting out as a world he created when he was 6 to escape. #
  • "Most stories in the Realms have been told by all of you… at your gaming table." #
  • Greenwood says his goal is to fix up the Realms for players to inhabit it. #
  • "Looking at another world shaking event for the Realms?" "Something big, but not the Time of Troubles, and definitely not the spellplague." #
  • "The Sundering" announced – 6 authors primary. First, R.A. Salvatore "The Companions" #
  • Paul S. Kemp first, Erin M. Evans "The Adversary" Richard Lee BYers "The Reaver" Troy Denning "The Sentinel" Ed Greenwood "The Herald" #
  • The Sundering: 6 novels to "set the Realms right." What it would be like to live through the Sundering during the Realms. #
  • Greenwood says of The Sundering: "There will be war. I know, there's always war." #
  • Video playing about the Sundering and the Realms, and how they created it. #
  • How to make PCs in the FR not get overshadowed by the big names? Mearls: Two changes to be made. Novels will focus on personal challenges. #
  • Second: the new era will not be driven by the big names of the setting, but instead focus on the PCs as driving action. #
  • The novels will continue to tell the stories of the big name characters, but PCs at a table will be the only ones to drive big events. #
  • Showing off concept sketches for Forgotten Realms. Races, classes, villagers, buildings, etc. to build a full world bible. #
  • Next year, going to publish two adventures in Forgotten Realms. Playing those adventures makes a direct impact on the Forgotten Realms. #
  • Aggregate results of those adventures will determine the direction of the Forgotten Realms going forward. #
  • Open playtest. 75,000 fans have contributed to the public playtest in May. #
  • Going through blog posts, forums, Reddit, etc. to take in feedback on the public playtest. #
  • Playtesters have impacted the rules: cleric changed to heal and also attack, fighter given more options, rogues can find traps w/out Wisdom #
  • Wizards will be getting more traditions: wild mage, war wizards, etc. #
  • How much longer for playtests? Long way to go. Estimate about a 2 yr process- do it right, taking as much time as needed. #
  • Meals: "We want to get this right right out of the gate." #
  • The magic of D&D is divisive. Whole RPGs have been written directly in response to D&D's magic system. This is where modularity comes in. #
  • The game will have three different kinds of magic, all in the core system, for players to choose the one they like best. #
  • Starting tomorrow, releasing levels 1-5 of playtest Warlock and Sorcerer classes. #
  • On http://t.co/bSGUh4EY, tomorrow will see the release of Sorcerer and Warlock, as well as being available here at Gen Con. #
  • Keynote wrapping up. Kevin Kulp says thanks to the audience (here and elsewhere) for "giving a damn" about Dungeons & Dragons. #
  • And that's everything. Will be following up on a few things during the convention, but that's the big announcements from @Wizards_DnD #
  • RT @Wizards_DnD: New #dndnext packet with the warlock, sorcerer and the new adventure is out now! http://t.co/bnJ6U1WP #
  • White Wolf announces Onyx Path Publishing imprint to handle traditional press printing of RPG books as well as PDF/POD for WoD/NWoD/Exalted #
  • CCP retaining rights to White Wolf intellectual property, as well as continuing to make MMO. #
  • Onyx Path owns the Scion and Trinity IP, and will be working on new versions of it, as well as new products/IP. #
  • RT @newbiedm: New Post: Star Wars RPG finally announced (and the name bums me out…) #rpg #starwars http://t.co/jiOLfCvT #