R.I.P. Gary Gygax


According to various news reports, Gary Gygax, creator of the original Dungeons & Dragons fantasy game, died Tuesday morning at his home in Lake Geneva, Wis. He was 69.

More information as it become available. For now, see this link:


I'm....[rolls d20]...saddened to hear that.... :(

Farewell, Gary. You made the world a better place.

For the record, we held 1d4 minutes silence for Gary at the start of our gaming session this evening.

Gary, I owe you (and Arneson) a big, big debt.
Thanks for roleplaying (and for Roleplaying).

FYI, We recorded an episode dedicated to D&D on my podcast in memory of E.G.G.

So, I'm somewhat into politics, and I got a new subscription of Newsweek today (not bad as far as media goes), and I found a little blurb about an article concerning Gary Gygax and dnd on Newsweek's website! Naturally, I read all of it, and found it was a really good article. So, here I provide the link for all those who wish to engross themselves in memories of what started the product line that has changed all of our lives - mostly for the better. Long live roleplaying!


For a counterpoint:


Wow. I like the way the author cites Steve Jackson Games as producing superior games to the morally reprehensible D&D. Because let's face it, Killer really brings out the best in people, doesn't it?

I won't deny he's got a point. However, in this author, I sense the mad lonely rant of some poor player who got stuck with a bad DM - and who's pride wouldn't ever let him live it down. The first thing I have to say is a bit nit-picky, but his comments on LOTR would have Tolkein screaming for revenge. As he said over and over and over, LOTR is not political. Heck, it's not even about the oft-cited desire to give Britian a mythology, though that played a part in his initial storytelling. LOTR is about telling a story, and a darn good one at that. There's nothing anti-fascist about it. Tolkein hated it when people tried to say there was.

Sorry, had to get that out of my system. What this author ignores is just how much good dnd has done for the rp universe. Don't get me wrong - there are better systems, much better, much deeper, even more fun. But there's something cathartic, something old time about dnd. And I'm not talking about monster bashing. Combat is definitely a seminal part of dnd, but it's not the only part. A lot of it is up to individual dms, just as it is in other rping games. If I wanna be a hard-a and say my players weren't rping well enough for exp in WoD, I can do it in dnd just as well.

However, there's no doubt that dnd can tend to promote senseless violence and that there's no tangible, in book reward for good roleplaying. I wouldn't blame this on the game, however. I'd blame it more on the culture the game is a part of - the high fantasy culture. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is the root of the problem. It creates an environment of PC=god and can therefore do whatever they want. It gets ridiculous. We all know fantasy has potential for some of the best storytelling around, but high fantasy has none. To tell a good story, it really needs to be pulled down a few notches. D&D doesn't suffer by virtue of it's system, it suffers by virtue of it's emulation. And that, my friends, is only going to get worse.

However, despite my many complaints of dnd, there's no doubt what it has done for us. Yes, it's old school and prolly out-dated. But it was the first. None of the authors beloved Steve Jackson games, none of my beloved WoD games, none of my good friends beloved indie games would've ever been feasible if it wasn't for dnd. This game made all this possible. I don't honor him because I think dnd is the new religion and that through it I'll find salvation. I honor him in his death because he made possible all these things that I love. All the good roleplaying games we have now we can owe to him. He didn't personally create them, but he started the avalanche. So, thank you, Mr. Gygax.

However, in this author, I sense the mad lonely rant of some poor player who got stuck with a bad DM - and who's pride wouldn't ever let him live it down.

Certainly looks that way!

Not wishing to start an argument about definitions, but Gary Gygax didn't originally conceive of D&D as a 'high fantasy' game. It was more based on 1930's 'Sword & Sorcery' stuff like Conan than it was LOTR. I have a feeling that elves, dwarves, halflings and orcs got thrown into the mix because when he and Dave Arneson were first developing the game in the late 60's, LOTR was riding a wave of popularity, having first been published in paperback in the US a few years earlier. In fact it may have been down to Arneson's influence that they were there at all.

I discussed this with Gary last year because I had been reading 'The Complete Chronicles of Conan' and I had a sudden flash of insight that this is where he had drawn his inspiration from.

You can read my post, and his response, here -


- scroll to the end of the page for my post and then click 'next' to see his response. (He's Col_Pladoh).

Zip, I wasn't aware you had a podcast.

I'd like to subscirbe. What's it called?

My response to this is fairly predictible. DnD may not be one of the greatest games, or even a great game, but you have to concede that it was the first well-known roleplaying game. Without DnD, our little niche hobby may have never emerged at all, not to mention the entire broad genre of video games that it has inspired.

Even if you can't stand DnD, you have to give Gygax at least THAT much.

"So, back to this whole 'evolution of role-playing games'. See, role-playing games used to be a fish. A stinky fish. And then it crawled out of the primordial ooze that was Gary Gygax's beard. And then it became modern gaming."
-Chad, from the Fear The Boot

That's really interesting, though I'm gonna have to disagree with both you and Gygax on one thing - LOTR is not high fantasy. If it were, Aragorn would possess a flaming sword, Gandalf would be lauching meteor storms and flying everywhere, and Frodo's gift from Galadriel would produce lightning bolts instead of bright light. Other than that, I can totally see what you're saying. But LOTR is definitely not high fantasy.

While I'd love your patronage of the podcast, I'm afraid you won't get much out of it, as it's in Hebrew. Have a look around the site, if you want:

Dude, Hebrew! How many languages do you know, zip?

Well, like I said, it's really an issue of definitions. From a literary viewpoint, 'High Fantasy' isn't necessarily 'high-level fantasy'. The High Fantasy tradition is one in which the protagonists are engaged in some kind of epic diametric ideological struggle, eg Good vs Evil, Law vs Chaos, Positivism vs Nihilism, that sort of thing. It's all about saving the world or changing the world for the better.

By contrast Sword and Sorcery is generally about themes such as stealing some jewel-encrusted golden idol from a temple then spending your ill-gotten loot on vast quantities of ale and ladies of negotiable virtue.

(My campaign has both - at least, I try to strike a balance between them)

More on Gygax - in this one he's quoted as not being a big fan of Tolkien:


That's lame. Haha. Best of luck with that, though.

"So, back to this whole 'evolution of role-playing games'. See, role-playing games used to be a fish. A stinky fish. And then it crawled out of the primordial ooze that was Gary Gygax's beard. And then it became modern gaming."
-Chad, from the Fear The Boot

Considering Hebrew is my native tongue, it's not that surprising, actually. :)

I'm fluent in Hebrew and English, with minimal skills in Spanish and German.

That's really cool. So, are you from Israel or living there now (I think that's the right place...you'll have to excuse us ignant americans)? I only now English (my native) and I've taken classes in Latin, but I could never speak it. I can read quite a bit though.

In that since, then Tolkein is def high fantasy. But by high fantasy I don't mean "high-level." I'm talking about stuff like every other farmer owning a magic sword (D&D and Forgotten Realms). In that since, Tolkein is very low fantasy because it gets dirty, the best sword could only be said to have the ghost touch ability (super nerd) and Gandalf's best spell is a heightened 0 level spell (light). But it's still the best fantasy story out there, imho. Shows why low is better than high.

I certainly share your dislike of every other NPC owning a magic sword. And the Greyhawk setting has far too many high-level mages concentrated in one city (namely Greyhawk). It would be too dangerous a place for regular folks to live in with that many powerful eccentrics and egomaniacs in the neighbourhood.

I actually love the old-school Gygaxian style adventures but he did have too much of a fondness for wizards. And Zagyg (or Xagyg, if you like) was just pure self-indulgence - Gygax's avatar within his own campaign world. But if you fix these things then the Greyhawk setting actually has a lot going for it.

If Greyhawk is magic-heavy, then Forgotten Realms is magic-overkill. And elf-overkill. (I do like elves - in the Tolkien tradition - but I can't stand people who get all gooey and gushy about elves. And anyone who actually bothers to learn more than a few words of Elvish, please get off my planet.)

I'll see your super nerdity and raise you. If Gandalf were to go toe-to-toe with a 3rd-edition D&D Balrog he'd need more than a light spell up his sleeve. It's a CR 20 monster...!

I indeed live in Israel. Always have.

I know! Maybe Gandalf is loaded with primarily support spells. So he's got around 80 bull's strength (some of them no doubt metamagiced) and maybe glamdring's a +1, so he might be doing a ton of damage with each hit (and he is a druid, we all know, so maybe he wildshaped offscreen?), and he hit at least 4 or 5 times in the movie. Who knows? But then again, you gotta figure in DR and hp and if Glamdring is cold steel or whatever...whew. This is why I don't like d20. Too much work.

Anyway, I agree that as far as magic goes, FR is totally broken and Greyhawk is breaking. I can't stand FR - just too much high fantasy. It makes me sick. My big problem with Greyhawk is the names. They're sooo bad. Furyondy? Oh. my. gosh. I've been running Return to the Temple. Made a huge mistake. I didn't change the name of a character in it. A character named Elmo. Now he's the brunt of every joke by my group. And he was cool, too! Oh, well.

Elves suck. They're pansies. Everybody who has a soul knows dwarves are better. I just wish wizards or somebody would come out with a magic lite setting. I'd be all over that. But that's not gonna happen.

Try Midnight, for low-magic setting.
main page: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/midnight.html
review: http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9252.phtml

I'm not sure if it's exactly "low-fantasy" or just "low powered", but have a look.

At least he didn't live to see 4th bastardize the system he worked so hard on.

Actually, Gary hated 3e. He left, I think, soon after the creation of 2e. But he really didn't like 3e. So, if they're going back to basics, he'd probably like 4e.

Their not going back to basics, their taking the system as it is now,
bastardizing it out of any recognizable shape, then going back to basics, bastardizing them. Hell, their even bastardizing the name with that stupid new logo.

And trust me, If I could get my hands on a copy of 2nd or even 1st ed I'd play it.

How exactly is changing the logo (which had been done in every edition) "bastardizing the name"?

What is preventing you from going to ebay and getting hold of some older edition books?

Well, out of interest, just how much would you be willing to pay for one?


Back it up. Back up what you're saying. You can't just say they're getting rid of sorcerers and barbarians and gnomes (none of which you could play in 1st or 2nd). Tell me why this is a bastardization. Don't just say it is. I'll meet you there.

You know, the funny thing is, 95% of the people out there who have actually PLAYED 4E (playtesters, both WotC-affiliated and not) have said that while a good portion of the specific rules have been changed (spells per day gone? Oh noes!), they're getting the feel and spirit of the game 100% correct. You keep acting as though the 3rd Edition rules are a collection of sacred cows that, if changed, automatically make a new edition bad. Remember that the reason that 3rd Edition is such a high-quality game is because they trashed many of the longstanding weirdnesses that were in previous rulesets. I mean, who really wants to resurrect THAC0? If you want to go back to the days in which it was common for fighters to have 18/00 strength, or when there was a single skill used only for bending bars and lifting gates, be my guest, but until then, you can't talk about "bastardization" with any sort of legitimacy.

I think your complaints come from the fact that you've read some of the rules information, but haven't thought about how it works at the game table at all. You can't look at something that far out of context and hope to have any kind of accurate picture. I'm not and have never claimed to have an exceptionally accurate idea of how the game will be, only that I am optimistic about it. The true measure of a game is how much fun it is to play, NOT how much you like how the rules read.

If you want to hear it first-hand, check out these blog posts from a playtester who has no connection to WotC. I've posted these before, but I may as well do it again.


I just checked eBay, and found that you can get all of the core rulebooks from both 1st and 2nd Editions, and none of them cost more then $8.00 or so, if you're interested.

Ug, I'm too lazy. I've also had some pretty gyp-erifffic experiences with eBay. I'm also a bit iffy with i-shopping. Though if I found them at a used book place or a garage sale I would snap them up( If the price was reasonable)

Playtester, more like Paidtester.

And I just think the new edition limits a lot of things(like creativity) and makes the game a bit too oversimplified. If I have to play it, I'll just illegally download it somehow, or buy a conversion guide, or just use the SRD.

I think anything that LIMITS gaming options is a bad idea (8 instead of 11 core classes, give me a break!) is a bad idea. The game also looks very racially restricted (feats and things only for humans, etc). Something I don't like.

Also the advanced traps is also a waste of time and space, traps are supposed to be a minor nuisance that keeps the characters on their toes, it's kind of lame if the DM is like "Okay you didn't see the traps, you all die."

Their cutting back on magic items, bad idea.

Dragonborns, Eladrins, and Teiflings are speciallized almost only to
WoTC fiction and settings relating to that. They also look way too Yu-Gi-oh for my taste.

THAT is why I don't like 4th ed.

The new one looks silly.

You seem to be setting a double standard here - you complain that published settings limit a player's creativity (and that anyone who uses them are lazy), and then suggest that the shrinking of classes in a core rulebook limits creativity (whose? yours?). Surely, one could infer that by limiting the number of classes (read: monsters, NPCs, towns, lands, quests, magic items, equipment) shipped with a book, it gives you, the GM, more of a control over the creativity used in your campaign (which I assume you prefer, since shipped settings are not your cup of tea). One would think that you should be happy that the game ships with less, because it allows you to have control over *more*. Ideally, your examples above are all about "fluff" and not mechanics (save feats, but that's borderline anyways), and other comments on other posts seem to assert you'd rather that be the case, since you tend to shit brilliance when it comes to creativity ;)

Oh, and the SRD won't be the same in 4E. It'll just be a set of references to page numbers in the physical books, not a verbatim retelling of game objects, per 3E's SRD.

Holy Corperate Greed, Batman!

Not really, more options mean more ways to control and add to your campaign.

For Example; let's say a DM wants to have something about a kung-fu or
whatever in his setting, but does want to be controlled by a setting or have to buy a book.
in 3e he would just use monks as the teachers and students, in 4e what the heck are you going to use? Fighters? Kind of boring and silly if you ask me.

I think the Classes and races in 3.5e give you a wider range of archetypes commonly found in fiction and folklore to use in your campaigns.

It's a difficult task creating new Races and Classes, especially balancing them!

Thank you for supplying reasons. Now we can have an intelligent conversation on Gary Gygax's grave.

First, read Morbus' comment very carefully. It's very good and I'll be using it to build my arguments.

You misunderstand many of the core ideas that underlie 4e. For instance, the feats. I don't know the basic mechanics, but I know one of WotC's main goals here was to diversify the races, to make it so that playing a human meant so much more than getting a feat, and playing a dwarf meant more than a Con bonus. This is good thing and it encourages creativity - it encourages players to consider the race of their character during character creation to a deeper level than "he's got a beard and speaks in a gruff voice" (about the extent of dwarvishness in most dwarven D&D characters).

You go on and on about limiting, but this is really dumb. These things are all meant to encourage creativity. In fact, 4e is designed specifically to give GMs a rough map of how to CREATE THEIR OWN WORLDS. The gods, the races, the classes, the feats, all designed so that the GM can look at it and know how to design these things himself. Yes, encouraging GMs to create their own worlds is extremely limiting for creativity. Thanks for showing me the light.

If you don't like something, use that creativity you're known for and change it, for heaven's sake.

Also, if anything, 3e is the secret perpetrator of all the complaints your lobbing against 4e. Want to make a cool new feat that involves the jumping off the ground as a free or move action? TOO BAD, ALREADY DONE, JUST LOOK AT COMPLETE WARRIOR YOU FRIGGIN MORON!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Yay for creativity. They're limiting things like magic items because they realized how bad it was the environment of the game, because they realized that maybe spending an ENTIRE FREAKING SESSION shopping for magic items was not a good idea, or spending the same session looking through about 80 books and about a billion feats for "just the right one" was not the best way to use your time. Maybe they thought that time could be used, I dunno, roleplaying? But what am I saying, because Dungeons and Dragons isn't and never was a roleplaying game! It was a shop for the best feat, magic item, weapon, armor, legendary item, random shit like water clocks, skill trick, skill, random class, prestige class and maybe have a coherent character game! Sounds like fun, guys! Always wanted to spend 8 hours SHOPPING!

The game can do nothing to limit your creativity. Only you can do that. You don't like tieflings and dragonborn? Get rid of them. Put in something you do like. That's creativity. You want more classes, make more. You want more magic items, make more. You want magic items to be more important, make them so. It's your game. Do what you want with it. That's what they want you to do. That's the point. There's nothing in there that limits creativity. Only you do that.

The 4e skill categories are also extremely silly (Use Rope under Wilderness Lore).

Dude, it's hard making new balanced classes and races. If they give you more classes and races, You can spend more time creating
the world and developing plots instead of creating and balancing new races.

It's actually quite easy shopping, even fun deciding what weapons and shields your character will use and need. And magic items make the game more fun and interesting. They really do.

You can play your 4th edition, I'm just expressing my opinion on why I think it's bad. Hell, one day I might just have to bootleg myself a copy.

I hate magic items. They detract from the world itself and make it one long run of "solve all your problems magic!" They get old.

You should check out other games besides D&D. It's quite enlightening.

Personally, I think they're fun and add an layer of fun and danger.
It's pretty boring in a campaign if every dagger is just a fancy kitchen knife, but it's pretty exilirating to find out that that dagger might just burst into flame if a secret command word is said.

They also have a distince place in our literary heritage, where would King Arthur be without Excallibur? or Frodo without Sting?

But hey. thats just my opinion!

As for other RPGs. I find it hard to find other players of them. And
most of them lack support. I am however a hugh fan of GURPS's Ad/DisAD
System of making roleplaying as much a part of the game as combat or
task resolution. One the other hand I think their mechanics and other
related things a bit complex. NPC creation in that game is also a hugh pain.

The problem with you citing Excaliber and Sting as important literary devices is that magic items in D&D are not used in the same sense as they are in the fiction.

Let's look at a big smattering of the important magic items in the literature: The One Ring, Sting, Stormbringer, Excaliber (even though it wasn't *actually* magic). They're all story devices, McGuffins. They exist to push forward the narrative, either as evil items that need to be destroyed or, in the case of Excaliber, something to show that Arthur was to become the king.

Magic items in D&D are rarely used like that, instead existing only to make your character more "L337". When every rock you trip over has a +1 longsword underneath it, it becomes increasingly hard to make magic items important to the plot. Frodo had Sting and the One Ring, yes, but he wasn't also wearing Boots of Elvenkind, a Necklace of Fireballs, two Rings of Protection, and a Deck of Many Things. Similarly, he didn't have the option of strolling into Waterdeep and trading in the One Ring in exchange for a Cloak of Charisma +2 and a couple of healing potions.

The problem with magic items in 3.5 is that there are so many of them lying around that they become too common, and you begin to hear things like: "Oh, another magical sword. Anybody want it? No? Let's pack it up and go sell it," WAY more than you should.

It's very similar to your earlier comment about wizards, actually. I quote:

"Making magic a thing that anyone can acomplish with a bit of study(wizard) effectively takes the wonder and mystique out of the arcane arts."

Yes, well, making magical swords so common that every fighter worth his salt has a couple ALSO takes the wonder and mystique out of the arcane arts, as they apply to magical weapons.

Not really, with the cost of magic items, players tend to treasure them. And I think the usual levels (5-6) at which players start to gain magic items is a reasonable time the PCs would become reknown
enough to have a mage enchant a magical weapon for them.

And a canny DM always makes sure the number of in game magic items is
enough to keep them valued. When every rock you trip over has a +1 longsword underneath it, its time to rethink your campaign. A DM who
hands out weapons like candy will soon regret it. The Magic item system is fine.

I really like the way 3.5e has a system that lets you add abilities to
your personal weapon, it makes a weapon like a characteristic.

Speaking of magic items, there's a 4E preview of them here:

Erm, except for the fact that the game difficulty is scaled such that past 6th level or so, you can't get away with only 1 or 2 magic items. Look at the Wealth By Level charts in the DMG. That's how many gold pieces worth of magical items that PCs are expected to have, and if they don't, they simply can't compete with monsters of their level.

Yeah, you can hack it, but when the game is scaled such that you can't be an "effective" PC unless you have goobs of magical items, you know there's something going wrong.

Not really, with all the variables in the game, items represent only a small part of the PC's capabilities when taken into consederation which feats, skills, classes and even races. It is only a small percentage of the character's combat ability. and the expected wealth
gain is only an average of what the player's would receive if they
had fought a set amount of monsters. They might fight monsters that
give no treasure or monsters that give double. and money isn't just
spent on magic items, characters need food, inn fees, other equipment,
spell components, property, bribes, not to mention steeds. It's not at all indicative of everything the character owns, just a guide to build NPCs and plan events.

Let's say I have a character, his name will be Hrothgar, Hrothgar has to go on a journey to slay a big green dragon. Hrothgar could buy a
dagger of venom that gives him a moderate permanant edge for 8302gp. or he could by a army of mercenaries in a big city : 20 mercenaries = 6sp x 20 = 120 x days of the journey I'm going to go with 30. ergo 120 x 30 = 360sp = 36gp. not a hefty sum, but it is imaginable that these men want hazard pay, a gold peice is a large sum for a common untrain warrior, so old Hroth gives each man a nice shiny gold peice.
making the final amount 56 gp. but these men can't eat nothing so lets say they each need 30 days worth of trail rations 30 x 5sp =
150sp x 20 = 300sp = 30gp bringing the final amount to 86gp
each human 2nd level warrior is about CR 1/2 so one half of 20 is
10 CR. Ten CR is big, even when doing battle with a dragon. Heck, It's not even too expensive to have them follow him around it case
he gets attacked any day. It's also to say Hrothgar has a lot of explaining to do to his poor DM.

I'm sorry for the terrible munchkinism but I just wanted to prove my point, money doesn't guage a character's effectivness in combat, also not all magic items are combat items.

It's more like middle fantasy. because low is pretty much Conan.

Well, see, that's one of the big problems in this game. If you go to my article (I don't want to self-advertise here but it's a good discussion that follows) on d&d and high magic and read it and all the comments that follow, you'll see a great discussion of all these things. One of the big problems with D&D is the blindingly obvious lack of realism when it comes to things like the interaction of magic and society. Like setting the silver piece as the basic underlying value of the economy. And acting like gold is everywhere to be found. Heck, half the reason the Roman empire fell is cause it ran out of gold and started minting bronze coins, pissing off their subjects.

The point being made here is that magic items are just too common if the setting is to be taken seriously. In game balance terms, they're fine, but in realism terms, or even believability terms, they're broken, severely so. If I were to boil down the magical capabilities of, say, Sting, then we would find it equivalent to, at most, a +2 shortsword, with some kind of orc proximity alarm enchantment (being half of the +2) with a further +1. The One Ring only makes you invisible and makes everything evil try to kill you (which would lessen the price considerably in my mind). The point is, it's fully possible for a 15th level adventurer to have enough power to basically control the whole of Middle-Earth. That's just too powerful. It encourages munchkinism (did I spell that right?) instead of roleplaying. To me, a magic item should drive the story. In short, they should all be artifacts. That's not very likely to happen, but I'd like it. I'd rather have my players recruiting armies than decimating them by themselves through virtue of just having a collection of magic items. It takes the feel of it away. Also, I just like the idea of the character being great because of his own skills, not because he's found all the right magic items.

One rule I really like in Unearthed is the item familiar rule, it lets
a character have a personal weapon that grows in power with him, it's

Yeah, if you really think about it, the One Ring would suck as a magic item in D&D. Sure, it's a Ring of Invisibility, but there are 9 unkillable undead demigods that are trying to kill you just for having it, and when you actually use the thing, they know exactly where you are. Oh, and it slowly corrupts you, bending you to its will.

No thanks.

If LotR was a D&D game, I could totally this happening in a game:

DM, before the session: "Crap, I gave that first-level halfling rogue that magic ring of invisibility way too early, and now it's wrecking my game. I tried making my players roll up new characters, but Bob just created his former character's nephew, who inherits the ring. Maybe I should just make it cursed or something...."

During the session: "Yeah, um, Gandalf comes to you and throws the ring in the fireplace. He pulls it out, and there's some sort of writing on it. He tells you that it's evil, and the source of all of Sauron's power, and that he's sending guys to get it back now. You might wanna head to Bree, or something."

Oh that reminds me, check out DM of the Rings, it's a great comic!

Gazgurk, your reasoning is crap.
Please stop blurting nonsense, as I can see you are quite able to express yourself properly, judging from other posts.
If you're too lazy to write a proper response (as seems the case from other posts you've made about being too lazy), just refrain from posting; otherwise, you're just annoying me (and maybe others) and wasting my time.

Just to set things straight: 20 CR 1/2 monsters aren't equal to a CR 10 encounter. First, the formula goes like CR X = 2* CR (x-1). Second, this system breaks down after more than to or three steps. Even 50 CR 1/2 creatures won't matter to a CR 10 dragon (mechanically, at least).

Personally, I don't think The One Ring is just an invisibility ring, but is aluded to be much more (which is why so many covet it so). It certainly is not easily achievable.

On another note, D&D 3.5 has (had?) Legacy Weapons, which are special magic items which grow in power with the character (and thus keep their usefulness throughout a campaign- avoiding the "it's only a +3 flaming axe, let's get rid of it" syndrome), but which also require an effort from the character (feats, performing specific rituals and missions) to get/maintain - integrating such items better into the setting/story.

While 4E is supposed reduce the number of magical items about a character, I don't know that it will eliminate the "magic gadgets" feel completely.

Interestingly, I'm reading through GURPS (4e) Fantasy right now, and it has a section about magic items. Remind me to tell you after I've read it.

I have plenty of reasons to dislike 4e

Let me see

- New skill system is silly

- New feats look dumb

- Their dumbing down magic items

- Their wasting time on extra traps

- The new races suck

- The SRD (My last hope) is pretty much an now an online book index
made because HasbHo is too greedy to give away any potential

- The entire revision is based around the falsehood that
the grapple system dosn't work, it does. First you make a
touch attack to grab hold of your opponent. then you make a grapple
check to pin him, they can either try to escape, or attempt to
grapple back. Bill SlavisDick can't understand this because he's
an incompetent tool from marketing.

- It's too early for a new edition.

- Their limiting the number of base classes.

- Everyone who hates it hates it because their regurgitating the
garbage that it's a faux MMORPG, it's not, it's just a really terrible version of D&D.

- Law and Chaos got the shaft, undeserved. They gave the player a
better understanding of his alignment and encouraged moral roleplaying.

- Gnomes rock, as do bards, barbarians, druids, and sorcerers.

- It's a bit of a pain to have my 3.5e library negated too early.

a quick note on magic weapons in 4E:

Complete Warrior has some about reducing magic in you setting if I'm not mistaken, they also have rules for a magicless paladin and ranger.
As does Unearthed, best part is, the latter is free!

The problem with a good chunk of your reasons (#1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13) is that they're based on a large number of subjective opinions that have been formed without you ever having played or read the game. Subjective opinions are fine, so long as they are phrased as such (i.e. "I think the new skill system looks silly," or "I don't like what they're doing with feats") instead of being phrased as ultimatums, as you have here.

As for the SRD, well, this stuff IS Wotc/Hasbro's intellectual property, and expecting them to put this stuff online for free is like expecting Warner Bros. to put their movies online free of charge for those that didn't want to pay to see them.

The problem with grappling in 3.5 is not that it doesn't work, but that it's needlessly complicated for such a cornercase rule. The problem is in most groups, grappling is so rarely used that when it does come up, they need to look up how it works every time. If the entire game was about wrestling, I could see the current grappling rules making sense, as they would be used often enough that they would be remembered. However, in a game in which grappling is not your best attack option 99% of the time, it makes sense to simplify the rules (along with Trip, Sunder, and a bunch of other similar rules).

And, they're not limiting the total number of base classes, they've just cut down what will be in the first Player's Handbook. One of the designers has already told us he's been working on the 4E druid (http://www.gleemax.com/Comms/Pages/Communities/DisplayProfile.aspx?useri...) for an upcoming sourcebook, probably later this year, and I'd bet my bank account that the bard, barbarian, monk, and sorcerer will all appear at some point in the future, along with a whole pile of other popular base classes.

Also, YOU CAN PLAY A FREAKING GNOME. Gnomes are in the Monster Manual, and there are stats for making a gnome player character in their entry in the MM.

Funnily enough, gnomes can turn invisible in 4E (they're Feywild now).
I haven't confirmed this yet (but certainly will when I get the books).

It's stupid that you would have to buy a whole stack of manuals
just to get the number of classes you were alotted in the previous edition. 3.5 saw the edition put online, did it bankrupt them?.

If I've had to use the grappling rules about twice in my entire career
as a DM and a player, and I know them by heart, is it needlessly complicated?

As for gnomes: it's the same case to teiflings, and eladrins.

I'm a bit confused in all of this. Aren't we talking about setting not rules? They are going to publish a set of rules. I expect they will do the same thing they have done for the last three editions and build a lot of setting material right into the game. Then they are going to publish enough gaming material and source guides to swamp a boat. Why should we criticize which setting material comes out first? We don't even know how easy it will be to take your 3.x setting material and convert it to 4th. If it is easy then your fears are unfounded (taken from someone who frequently rummages through the used game bin for "Content").

About stealing from them -- you don't have a right to their ideas and hard work. Someone along the line paid for artists, advertising, graphic layout, editors, and such. I get the lure of downloading stuff, but you have to remember that many people are trying to make a living from giving you games to play and entertainment to enjoy. It is their job. Asking them to work for free is saying that you think what they have laboured over isn't worth anything (but you want it anyways).
When you do that to the little guys in this industry it is even worse. Some of these guys are investing a whole lot of money to even get in the game with the likes of WOTC et al. Support the hobby that you love.

I've looked at both, and it's not what I'm talking about - it's a cursory throwback, if anything. I think Wizards should come out with a book directly dedicated to upping or lowering the magic ante in your own campaign, and how that would work out. It's a big enough subject on it's own.

Thanks, anyway, though.

I agree, Gilgamesh, though I mark myself a hypocrite for saying so. I can say I am reforming, however! I'll prolly still dl movies for the time being, and I'll always dl music so I can check the cd out before I buy it, but I've resolved not to dl gaming content (unless I already own the book or it is impossible for me to get it otherwise) precisely because the industry needs every dollar. And, yes, Gazgurk, it did hurt WotC to do that. You've got to remember that Wizards is under tremendous pressure from Hasbro because it's their lowest profit branch. I think Hasbro needs to lay off, too, but I understand where their coming from. It's in their best interests to make money, and, while the people at Wizards do this for love of the game, those at Hasbro (maker of bad toys and lame board games) could care less. If you want Wizards to be able to put their stuff online, then you should be willing to shell out some of your money to give them some breathing space. Frankly, pirating is killing all our artistic industries, and it's due to my disgust concerning the cavalier attitude of the great majority of pirates that I've decided to not be so much of one. I love art, I love gaming, and I want both to stick around. If we continue to pirate like we have, we'll kill both roleplaying and major art forms (like the music industry, now sitting at an all time low). So, when 4th ed comes out, I will buy it, simply because I owe it to Wizards for trying to make the game better for me and introducing me to the wonderful world of roleplaying. If I'd written the book, I'd want people to buy it and appreciate the work I'd put into it.

I'm no stealing, I'm just saying that it's a bit fishy that the
SRD which was a free resource designed to get people into the game
and sell rulebooks so that they would have to lug a computer around to
play is now a index on the web (something you can find in the back of the book).

The only thing I'm supporting in 4e is a nice conversion guide.

Remember that they have new classes, Gazgurk, to help fill the spots left by some of the old favorites. You'll find new favorites in these. Otherwise, you'll suffer.

Wizards was obligated to put 3.5 online because it was an update to 3.0. It'd be bull to make people buy 3.5 when they'd already bought 3.5. In fact, I knew a kid who decided to stop playing D&D because he thought that was the case.

It's not just grappling - the whole system is needlessly complicated. The point isn't that you need to look them up (though that is a factor), the point is that they all take time. When you have to count every other square double when moving diagnolly, when you have to unravel a labrythine system of attacks of opportunity provoking attacks of opportunity, then resolving sunders, but wait! not before you resolve the grapple which must be resolved after the touch attack (what the hell is touch AC again?) and on and on. I understand the rules fairly well, but it takes prep time when I have to look up combat rules for a monster I want to use, it takes game time to resolve all the touch attacks and aoo's. It just gets ridiculous when combat takes 4 frikkin hours to resolve. I like combat, but it should be an aside (except when facing the final boss) to the full story. And even if it isn't, even a hack'n'slasher wants to do more than fight the swarm of spiders in one session. See what the problem is, here? It slows things down. The game needs to be quicker, so more story can be covered in less time. I don't have forever to live here. You'll notice that in books combat takes up about 2-3 pages, with lots of story in the middle. Same with movies. Why should it be different in roleplaying games? It shouldn't.

They gave the gnomes the push because they weren't very popular. Tieflings and eladrins, on the other hand, are very popular.

You won't get it - they're saying their way to different to convert so easily. You'll also remember the conversion guide from AD&D to 3e was ridiculously complicated and difficult to follow.

Also, most computers are much smaller since then. Now, you'll bring your laptop, which is considerably lighter than all 3 core rulebooks.

Of course I won't get it, they don't want me getting away with a cent intact don't they?

Wait a minute, now you're complaining about how WotC won't freely publish a conversion guide for an edition that you so loathe? Did I just miss the boat here, or is everybody else as confused as I am? It seems to me that one who hates this edition this much wouldn't want a conversion guide in the first place.

I may be making an assumption here, but the impression I'm getting is not that you don't like the game, so much as you don't want to pay for the game. For the sake of being an uber nerd, let's do a cost-benefit analysis of roleplaying verses other forms of recreation.

You can get the three primary rulebooks as a set online for about $70 after taxes and shipping. Let's say you run a campaign that lasts 6 months, running weekly 4-hour sessions. Let's say 3.5 sessions a month, to account for the unavoidable cancelled game. 4 hours X 3.5 games per month X 6 months gives us 84 hours for your campaign, which equates to about $0.83 per hour of entertainment. If your group wants to split the cost of the books, divide that between four players and a GM, and you're each paying something like $0.17 per hour, rounding up.

Comparing that to 8 bucks for a 2-hour movie, or $60 for an 18-hour video game, that's a pretty good deal. I'd say my gaming experiences have been worth the 83 cents per hour, and I'd happily pay more to support the hobby.

I, too, am an advocate of paying for entertainment I want (more so for RPGs and video games, a bit less so for movies). WotC had reasons of putting up 3.0 and 3.5 rules on the web, which are, apparently, no longer valid. I have to say that it totally surprised me when they did that.

Would have to lug around a computer?
What are you talking about?

It gave the OPTION of perusing the SRD in a digital format instead of looking through (and lugging) your books, nobody made you do anything.

Also, 4E allows you to have an up-to-date, digital copy of every D&D book you own if you choose to pay for the D&D Insider subscription.
Allows, not requires.

Can someone tell me where I can find these 3.0/3.5 'rules on the net'?

Up until now I've been using The Hypertext d20 SRD, but that's only the core rules plus a few bits of Unearthed Arcana.

Is there a better resource somewhere out there?

(NB I'm not talking about torrents here....)

If you have a product code for the material book.


Theres probably a d20 historical system that is based on the middle ages, I bet a lot of money there is.

of I could keep my old 3.5 stuff, convert it to Pathfinder for free
and actually be entertained.

Or I could find a way to steal it online, Whos going to notice, some corporate man-hogs at Hasbro. Bah! what can they do to me.

I'm not paying for something I don't like, it's the golden rule of
the conseumer, Hell I'll even make some more bootlegs for people
who don't have a copy, because I can see were their coming from.

WoTC can rot in bankrupcy hell for all I care, I'm with Paizo now.

Until they go bankrupt too.

Which you will, if you buy it.

The golden rule of the consumer is that one will not pay for something one doesn't like, AND SO ONE WON'T GET THAT PRODUCT/SERVICE/WHATEVER.

If you don't like it, then, obviously, you wouldn't want it in the first place. Why, then, are you so intent on stealing something that you claim to have no desire for? Are you just out to "stick it to 'the man?'" Please, if you're going to crusade against a corporate entity, you might as well pick one that's actually out to conquer the world, like oil tycoons, McDonald's, or Wal-Mart.

You also should think about the fact that WotC has created a whole pile of products that you like, and you've suddenly decided to start hating them because they're going to release a game you don't like based on what you've read on the internet about it. Isn't that a little bit like saying, "You know, Steven Spielberg has directed a lot of good movies, but the new Indiana Jones is going to be complete and utter garbage. I can tell from the 30-second preview I saw on TV. Therefore, HE SHOULD ROT IN HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Let's be reasonable here.

As for what they can do to you, it's quite possible to be prosecuted for what you freely admit is theft of online products. Yes, they may not catch you, but these sort of things are becoming increasingly easier to track, and I'd bet that with the "trade in your product barcode to get a free online version" system, it's going to be even easier to keep track of pirated copies.

Also, by the way, Pathfinder is not a free system. You can download the beta playtest version for free right now (based on theidea that you'll give them feedback to make the game better), but the final version is going to be a print form that Paizo expects to make a profit on.

Isn't $70 a rather small sum to get this enraged about? I don't know about you, but that's two trips to the gas station for me, with my oh-so-large 10-gallon gas tank.

Aye. Gnomes kind of remind me of Dragon and Dungeon magazines. Everybody was sad and outraged when they went out of print, and yet you can't actually find anyone who was willing to pay the subscription fee in order to recieve them.

Gnomes are the same way. Everybody's sad to see them disappear from the Player's Handbook, but how often did people actually PLAY them? I've seen it once or twice, but most folks I've seen play elves or humans, with the occasional halfling or dwarf.

Besides, the gnome himself isn't unhappy to be shifted to the Monster Manual. He has a lair!

TWO trips! Just how small is 10 gallons? .... ah 40 Litres. I've got a forty litre tank and get hit for between $50-$60 CAD (Canadian Dollars) every time I fill. The dollar is on par, but gas sure isn't.

God damn I loathe those idiotic PSAs.

Then I'll see what ol' evil steve is up to.

I'm not saying they should, I'm say I don't really care if they did. Who knows, If I hear that the new system is really really good from a lot of people I trust, I might just check it out. I'm just not at all
impressed with what I see so far.

I bet the FBI are extremely zealous in their pursecution of BOOTLEG
ROLEPLAYING GAMES, how shockingly evil, how inhumanly disgusting!

At least Paizo deserve it, they know that not everyone is comfortable with the new edition, so they decided to support those people.

Off note here: Ten gallon! Woah! I bet you've seen Al Gore hiding in the bushes with a crossbow a few times ;-)

Yeah, A Warlock and a Warlord sure are going to take the place of
Barbarians, Bards, Monks, Druids,and Sorcerers.

The 4e Warlock looks almost identical to the Complete Arcane one,
which is cool in it's own way, but will never even come close to
replacing the Sorcerer.

The combat rules really aren't that complex if you take a good at them. I've had no trouble with them at all, but if some of the rule seem needlessly complex or just stupid, all you have to do is ignore them!

Yes and no. This reminds me of the many discussions concerning alignment in D&D, especially with Cocytus' and mine strident hatred of it. As Cocytus says, getting rid of alignment in D&D sounds really easy, but is actually incredibly hard. Messing with any of the rules of combat makes things very difficult. Also, I'd rather they did it than I did, and the system itself also had many, many problems beyond the combat system: like alignment.

There's no doubt 3.5 was broken in a lot of ways.

Your not messing around with them your just ignoring some of them!
But do you think it's going to change with 4e, no! There's always stupidities with the rules, if you want to play a system with any depth to it at all, theirs bound to be loads of contradictory rules and snafus (Is it Snafi?) that will hinder your game and allow players to exploit them, especially consedering D&D's track record.

1st was broken in many ways
2nd was broken in many many way
3.0rd was broken, period.
3.5th was slightly less broken, but you where broken with options.

Theres no avoiding it.

Well, much of whether a system is broken depends on the players it attracts, no doubt. But this still goes back to that very thing - just as 3.0 was broken, and 3.5 was less so, I see 4.0 as being another step up. I don't think we'll ever find the "gaming utopia" but I think there's room for improvement, and I'm willing to let them go about it.

There is a gaming utopia, it's called Risus! Haha!

speaking of depth...