Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

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Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Big Mac » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:30 pm

Mike Mearls is doing an Ask Me Anything on Reddit right now!:
Mike Mearls on Reddit wrote:Hey all. I'm Mike Mearls, the creative director for Dungeons & Dragons. Ask me (almost) anything.

I can't answer questions about products we have yet to announce. Otherwise, anything goes! What's on your mind?

10:30 AM Pacific Time - Running to a meeting for an hour, then will be back in an hour. Keep those questions coming in!
Go over there, ask him about your favourite D&D campaign setting! See if you can shake any information out of him. :)
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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Big Mac » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:53 am

Dragonhelm got an interesting answer:
Mike Mearls on Reddit wrote:
Dragonhelm on Reddit wrote:Mike, thank you for joining us.

You mentioned in the past how you want each setting to have its own niche to set it apart. I was wondering what your thoughts were on how to set Greyhawk, Dragonlance, and Mystara apart from the Realms.

Also, when are we going to see Dragonlance and Spelljammer again?
Can't give dates, but what I see:
  • Dragonlance: Emphasis on relationships, love, and epic events
  • Greyhawk: Imminent evil powers like Iuz, a darker flavor for D&D
  • Mystara: Classic pulp fantasy, fueled by adventures like the Isle of Dread and The Lost City
I also saw another interesting question and answer about Greyhawk:
Mike Mearls on Reddit wrote:
Invisachubbs on Reddit wrote:Which dnd setting is your favorite? And I know you mentioned not talking about specific things you haven't released yet, but do you have further plans to do more settings books similar to Sword Coast? Just a general yes or no. :-) Thank you for doing this.
I'd love to tackle Greyhawk, but I'd want to approach it from the original Gygax material, ignoring most everything post-1983 (unless he was the author).
So things like Isle of Dead and The Lost City might return to Mystara, Greyhawk might get rewound to the time when Gary Gygax was working on it and Dragonlance could focus on friendship, love and epic events.
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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Havard » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:39 pm

Thank for the summary. I was too busy to follow this yesterday.

I like that Mike recognizes the Isle of Dread as belonging in Mystara. I was afraid that module would now be tied to Greyhawk in the minds of the Hasbro folks because of the Paizo thing. On the other hand, do we really think audiences want more dinosaurs after Tomb of Annhilation?

I also find it interesting that he mentions the Lost City. If any Mystara module would be easy to separate from Mystara, I would think it would be that one. I guess it does fit with his "Pulp Fantasy" image of Mystara. Or maybe he is just thinking in terms of adventures he wants to repackage first and settings second? I guess settings are really being downplayed in 5E, but they could get to play a role at least in a secondary sense.

I also find it interesting that he sees Greyhawk as darker. I think that could be an interesting direction to take that setting.

Not sure about his take on Dragonlance, but if he really was ready to introduce relationship mechanics into D&D that could be interesting. Maybe take a note from CortexPlus?



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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by RobJN » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:26 pm

Alas:
Reddit AMA wrote:[–]TheGlen 3 points 21 hours ago
Any chance Bargle will show up in an upcoming product? I have a message for him from Aleena.

[–]mikemearls 5 points 14 hours ago
I suspect it is not a candygram - no plans for Mystara or Karameikos as yet.
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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Havard » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:42 pm

;(

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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Big Mac » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:57 am

RobJN wrote:Alas:
Reddit AMA wrote:[–]TheGlen 3 points 21 hours ago
Any chance Bargle will show up in an upcoming product? I have a message for him from Aleena.

[–]mikemearls 5 points 14 hours ago
I suspect it is not a candygram - no plans for Mystara or Karameikos as yet.
That's a shame, but at least it is a straight answer. He said that he could not talk about future products, but he has let you know that Mystara isn't happening in 2018.

However, the good thing is that you asked, and looking at his answer to Dragonhelm, they are thinking of ways to impliment Mystara.

If people keep showing an interest in Mystara 5e, I think it is going to make WotC consider it when they have their meetings about what is happening further down the line.
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Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by zontoxira » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:40 pm

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): We already have a topic for this in The Wishing Well, so I'm merging the two topics.

You can find the link here. A few highlights:
Mike Mearls wrote:The Magic-D&D crossovers have been unintentional.
Eberron is seen as a core D&D setting, alongside the Realms and Ravenloft. What does that mean? Can't say yet...
Hoping for ranger and artificer in first half of the year, mystic depends on a deeper revision to give it a clearer identity, driven by settings like Dark Sun and what it would need.
I'd like to see a subclass that does more with spirits and primal entities. I'd also like to see one that does something meatier with elementals and elemental power.
Yes. The [campaign] settings are definitely on my mind. We have some fun stuff planned for 2018. I hope we can pull it off.
I think if anything, you'll see us find ways to make the game even simpler and more streamlined. With the game still growing, we're more likely to push in that direction rather than move back to more complexity.
Genies [as an overlooked creature] - I think the elemental planes as a whole could use some more detail.
I think we will eventually get to [all the campaign settings], but Greyhawk will be the toughest nut to crack to keep it true to its roots while also making it standout as something interesting to new players.
Talking to a designer now about tackling [UA mass combat rules].
Can't give dates, but what I see [setting other campaigns apart from the Realms]:
- Dragonlance: Emphasis on relationships, love, and epic events
- Greyhawk: Imminent evil powers like Iuz, a darker flavor for D&D
- Mystara: Classic pulp fantasy, fueled by adventures like the Isle of Dread and The Lost City
We wanted to keep things focused, and are planning to add more settings in the future. No date yet.
would love to do a 5e manual of the planes
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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by Hugin » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:45 pm

Awesome to hear about plans to have more settings in 5E. Especially mentioning Mystara!

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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:17 pm

I purposefully asked about DL, Greyhawk, and Mystara. Glad to see him answer those.

I feel like if Greyhawk comes out, it'll be done right. Very thin balancing line there.

I'm not sure what to make of Mystara. Pulp fantasy, sure, but wasn't that Eberron's schtick?
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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by Havard » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:43 pm

Dragonhelm wrote:I'm not sure what to make of Mystara. Pulp fantasy, sure, but wasn't that Eberron's schtick?
Depends what you mean with pulp, I think. I'm thinking Eberron is Indiana Jones + Fantasy.

That said, Eberron and Mystara have plenty of similarities. But they are also very different.

Mystara is this:

Image

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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:59 pm

Havard wrote: Mystara is this:

Image

-Havard
Is it? I mean, the Known World is part of it, but you also have the Hollow World, Savage Coast, Thunder Rift, Red Steel, all the Princess Ark stuff, etc. etc.

My point being that I don't recall ever seeing a product that unified all these ideas together. The sub-settings are all great, but they're not a unified whole. (To be fair, i can say the same thing about Dragonlance and Taladas.)

So what I want to see with Mystara is the setting brought together, with themes spread across the world to give it a vision of its own.
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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by Havard » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:33 pm

Dragonhelm wrote: My point being that I don't recall ever seeing a product that unified all these ideas together. The sub-settings are all great, but they're not a unified whole. (To be fair, i can say the same thing about Dragonlance and Taladas.)

So what I want to see with Mystara is the setting brought together, with themes spread across the world to give it a vision of its own.
Well, all Mystara fans would have loved to see a boxed set covering all of Mystara, but we never got it because TSR screwed up.

The Alamacs could be seen as detailing all of Mystara. The Hollow World Boxed Set could be seen as covering all of Mystara. X1 could be seen as covering all of Mystara.

Ultimately I dont think you *need* a product detailing the entire setting. The Forgotten Realms Gray Box does not detail all of the Forgotten Realms.

I dont agree that Mystara is just a bunch of subsettings.

If you don't get a flavour from seeing those covers collected, I dont know what can convince you.

This is one world.

It is classic fantasy.

It is sense of wonder

It is adventure.

It is D&D.

It is amazing.


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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by Dragonhelm » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:32 pm

Havard wrote:
If you don't get a flavour from seeing those covers collected, I dont know what can convince you.

This is one world.

It is classic fantasy.

It is sense of wonder

It is adventure.

It is D&D.

It is amazing.
:cool:

It's a good setting, and I love the Known World Gazetteers. Great covers.

I guess the marketer in me is having trouble "selling" the setting when other settings also cover classic fantasy.

Apologies if I seemed down on Mystara. Not my intent. I want it to succeed. I just don't know how.
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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Dread Delgath » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:44 am

I saw this post earlier and wanted to reply but had to wait until after work, so this thread has grown by leaps & bounds! Time to catch up!

First of all, what is AMA, and wtf is Reddit? Yes, I clicked the link, but I know why I avoid sites like Reddit like the plague. That sxploding messaging concept drives me ballistic.

I hate that I waded through half of that page and lost interest in it before ever finding the bullet-points taunted about in the OP.

Thanks for the bullet-points, zontixira... wait! Where did zontoxira's bullet-pointed OP go!???

Oh-ahhhh! You merged threads & now Zontoxira's post is far below. Okay, got it, continuing onward...

Without context however, I can only imagine what Mr. Mearls was on about in that AMA (whateverthatmeans...), and I could hazard a few guesses as to some of the subject matter:

Mike Mearls: The Magic-D&D crossovers have been unintentional.

Could this be that D&D players really are hungry for original (even though derived from M:tG) D&D material, alongside the constant stream of redeaux?

Mike Mearls: Eberron is seen as a core D&D setting, alongside the Realms and Ravenloft. What does that mean? Can't say yet...

Can't say... because one of the 2018 releases is about Eberron??? ;)

Eberron definitely has it's modern D&D fans, but personally I've never had much interest in it aside from its interesting panthology. I use the Sovereign Host and the Dark Six in my own homebrew, and they fit in very well.

Eberron doesn't seem to me to be a standard D&D setting like Mystara, as it [Eberron] has very strong magical/technological combinations, and (IIRC) steampunk elements. It does strike me as visually appealing and exciting to play in, however.

Mike Mearls: Hoping for ranger and artificer in first half of the year, mystic depends on a deeper revision to give it a clearer identity, driven by settings like Dark Sun and what it would need.

Another ranger? I think the ranger has had enough attention, but that's just me. I don't see it as weak a class as others do, and with a minor house rule or two, even the beastmaster path isn't as bad or boring as its made out to be.

Mike Mearls: I'd like to see a subclass that does more with spirits and primal entities. I'd also like to see one that does something meatier with elementals and elemental power.

There was a UA Warlock and a Sorcerer that dealt with spirits and primal forces. There might have been other UA classes that I don't remember now. Perhaps D&D design team are working those concepts over again?

Mike Mearls: Yes. The [campaign] settings are definitely on my mind. We have some fun stuff planned for 2018. I hope we can pull it off.

Makes me wonder if they are indeed adding more settings to the rosters?

Mike Mearls: I think if anything, you'll see us find ways to make the game even simpler and more streamlined. With the game still growing, we're more likely to push in that direction rather than move back to more complexity.

Does this mean optional rules will be more prevalent? I remember that horrid (IMO) "Greyhawk Initiative" experiment from last spring/summer. That made little intuitive sense to me, and I'd rather see something like Group Initiative Option getting offered to be the norm.

Mike Mearls: Genies [as an overlooked creature] - I think the elemental planes as a whole could use some more detail.

Genasi elemental planar homelands sounds like great Manual of the Planes fodder!

Mike Mearls: I think we will eventually get to [all the campaign settings], but Greyhawk will be the toughest nut to crack to keep it true to its roots while also making it standout as something interesting to new players.

I like that they aren't going for simple answers on this, and putting some thought to it.

Mike Mearls: Talking to a designer now about tackling [UA mass combat rules].

I know I sound like a broken record, but, just this morning, I once again gave thought to putting together a Chainmail showcase at my FLGS for all the newbs who have never seen it, or even heard of Chainmail before. I admit that I've never played it, so I looked for any Chainmail "how-to" guides on youtube, and discovered Jon's D&D Vlog, and his own earnest discoveries of the Chainmail game.

The BEAUTIFUL thing about original, pre-Original D&D Chainmail is that you can use it for mass combat for any D&D system because it doesn't rely of D&D nomenclature that every version of the game has. A Horse is a Horse in any edition, but each edition details its own mechanics to the same animal. Chainmail bases all of its sub-systems on descriptors, rather than mechanics, like: Light Foot, Heavy Foot, Armored Foot, Light Horse, Medium Horse, Heavy Horse, and is easy to integrate the Chainmail/Fantasy Supplement combat sub-systems into an ongoing 5e campaign without converting a single thing.

Mike Mearls: Can't give dates, but what I see [setting other campaigns apart from the Realms]:
- Dragonlance: Emphasis on relationships, love, and epic events


I'd be all for this setting, as it would give the weird dragonborn a "home", so to speak, since one descriptor of dragonborn was optionally calling them draconian. Dragonborn, btw, is my second least favorite character race.

The only thing I hate Dragonlance for as a setting is that it introduced kender to D&D.

Mike Mearls: - Greyhawk: Imminent evil powers like Iuz, a darker flavor for D&D

Dark is okay, but my Greyhawk campaign was always realistically dark - bloody and dirty with constant threat of war and marauding monsters & humanoids - and evil powers behind the curtains directing the actions, just as the Circle of Eight also were movers & shakers - if just to keep the balance.

It, being primarily humanocentric, also had many places full of light and hope. I've always thought of optimism being a human trait more than the altruistic elves full of ennui or the taciturn and pedantic dwarves.

Mike Mearls: - Mystara: Classic pulp fantasy, fueled by adventures like the Isle of Dread and The Lost City

I agree with this assessment. Mystara felt the most pulpy of all the settings because of the simpler BX/BECMI rules. This is the only TSR setting that strongly featured race-as-class characters, which lent much to designing streamlined, and very focused, and therefore quick, pulpy games.

...and to reply to Dragonhelm: I've always seen all Known World/Mystara products as unifying, but it was marketed in such a way as to appeal to the broadest audience possible, culture by culture. I guess we just knew which products were associated with KW/Mystara, without a doubt believing that it was indeed meant to be placed in that setting, or, to be used in any homebrew setting too - the same philosophy applied to every TSR module since.

Mike Mearls: We wanted to keep things focused, and are planning to add more settings in the future. No date yet.

Keep up the good work, Mike! No (huge) complaints from me or mine!

Mike Mearls: would love to do a 5e manual of the planes.

I would lovelovelove this, but hopes that Manual of the Planes incorporates strong ties to the Planescape setting too!
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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:48 am

Dragonhelm wrote::cool:

It's a good setting, and I love the Known World Gazetteers. Great covers.

I guess the marketer in me is having trouble "selling" the setting when other settings also cover classic fantasy.

Apologies if I seemed down on Mystara. Not my intent. I want it to succeed. I just don't know how.
No worries my friend! :)

I think the problem is these WotC designers thinking that deconstructing the settings and over analyzing them is the way to "sell" the setting. I posted the covers because I think they are the best way to describe this setting.

I think the key to selling Mystara is to sell a *fun* setting without making it silly or childish. The Forgotten Realms can sometimes come off as uber serious. Its iconic hero is the brooding Drizzt. Greyhawk is described as dark or gritty. The iconic Greyhawk characters in my mind are the Thieves prying the gemstones from the demonic statue.

Mystara's iconic heroes are the Red Box warrior facing a Red Dragon alone and the gentle Cleric named Aleena. Optmimism, idealism, adventure, but also real danger and destructive forces being real dangers to those threats. I also think the cultural diverse faces of the heroes as represented in the Gazetteer covers should be the face of Mystara. In addition, don't be afraid to make it a bit quirky and weird at times.

If they want success with Mystara, Wotc should hire Bruce Heard and he will take care of it :)

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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Michael Silverbane » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:13 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:First of all, what is AMA
AMA stands for "Ask Me Anything."
It's a big world out there. Go tear it up.

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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:16 pm

Dread Delgath wrote: Mike Mearls: - Mystara: Classic pulp fantasy, fueled by adventures like the Isle of Dread and The Lost City

I agree with this assessment. Mystara felt the most pulpy of all the settings because of the simpler BX/BECMI rules. This is the only TSR setting that strongly featured race-as-class characters, which lent much to designing streamlined, and very focused, and therefore quick, pulpy games.

...and to reply to Dragonhelm: I've always seen all Known World/Mystara products as unifying, but it was marketed in such a way as to appeal to the broadest audience possible, culture by culture. I guess we just knew which products were associated with KW/Mystara, without a doubt believing that it was indeed meant to be placed in that setting, or, to be used in any homebrew setting too - the same philosophy applied to every TSR module since.
Here's another idea:

If they wanted to use Tomb of Annhilation as their model, they could start with the Isle of Dread and make a sea based adventure. Add in X8 for another Island adventure and then visit all the coastal kingdoms of the Known World.

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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by RobJN » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:31 pm

Havard wrote: Mystara's iconic heroes are the Red Box warrior facing a Red Dragon alone and the gentle Cleric named Aleena.

-Havard
Aleena was going to bash Bargle's head in with a mace. You have strange ideas about what constitutes "gentle," my friend.... :D
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Re: Mike Mearls gave an AMA on Reddit

Post by Havard » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:32 pm

RobJN wrote:
Havard wrote: Mystara's iconic heroes are the Red Box warrior facing a Red Dragon alone and the gentle Cleric named Aleena.

-Havard
Aleena was going to bash Bargle's head in with a mace. You have strange ideas about what constitutes "gentle," my friend.... :D
:D

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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by zontoxira » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:27 pm

Whoa, didn't know there was already a thread about Mike's AMA.. my bad :mrgreen:
I didn't include any questions, because I felt you could tell by his answers what he was asked. In those cases the question wouldn't be that clear, I used [text] to clarify what Mike was talking about.
Reddit to me looks like a news page site, managed by its community. It can also function as a forum, to discuss stuff etc.
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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by Dread Delgath » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:28 pm

zontoxira wrote:Whoa, didn't know there was already a thread about Mike's AMA.. my bad :mrgreen:
I didn't include any questions, because I felt you could tell by his answers what he was asked. In those cases the question wouldn't be that clear, I used [text] to clarify what Mike was talking about.
Reddit to me looks like a news page site, managed by its community. It can also function as a forum, to discuss stuff etc.
I'm really glad you posted the summary, because when I went to Reddit to read it for myself, I got very disinterested before I was able to find any of the topics you posted.

Reddit's format makes my eyes cross and my head spin. :evil:
My D&D 5th edition Dakan Mar Campaign setting Conspectus and Campaign Rules here at The Piazza Forums, a Fool's Errand WIP.

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Re: Mike Mearls doing an AMA on Reddit...right now!

Post by sam » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:18 pm

I have a hunch:They will strengthen the relationship between Greyhawk and Far Realm,and use this to make GH look "special".

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