"Heroes of the Vale" actual play

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"Heroes of the Vale" actual play

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:36 pm

D&D Beyond recently announced 'Heroes of the Vale' is coming November 28th. Mike Mearls is running a new show set in the Nentir Vale.

Do you think this means the Nentir Vale will be supported by WotC products in the future? Opened up to the DM's Guild?
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Re: "Heroes of the Vale" actual play

Post by Zeromaru X » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:15 am

I hope they open it for the Guild. It means I can share a lot of my stuff there :D

On another line, I fear that they will make Mearls' changes to the Vale official to 5e... I don't like some of the stuff of his homebrew campaign...

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Re: "Heroes of the Vale" actual play

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:24 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:15 am
On another line, I fear that they will make Mearls' changes to the Vale official to 5e... I don't like some of the stuff of his homebrew campaign...
I suspect you're right. But like all of the changes that edition increments have brought to settings, we're always free to ignore the updates.
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Re: "Heroes of the Vale" actual play

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:33 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:36 pm
D&D Beyond recently announced 'Heroes of the Vale' is coming November 28th. Mike Mearls is running a new show set in the Nentir Vale.
Nice!

It's notable that this show is on the D&D Beyond Twitch channel, rather than WotC's D&D Twitch channel. Todd Kenreck (the second to right player in the line up on that Twitter page you linked to) is "Host and Content Director at dndbeyond.com". So this move could be just as much about building up regular live shows on the D&D Beyond Twitch channel (and then archiving them over on their YouTube channel) as it is about Mike Mearls running a show.

Mike Mearls does quite a few shows for D&D Beyond and I'm not exactly sure what the deal is there. D&D Beyond is an external company and WotC making staff available to them really helps push the D&D Beyond brand. But there was a time when they were making staff available to Paizo and pushing printed magazines via their brand.

Whatever the corporate goals here, D&D Beyond have made some top quality videos in the past, and Todd Kenreck has always come across really clearly, he sounds like he knows about D&D and he stays on topic and helps the conversation, so I'll be interested to see what he is like as a player.
Tim Baker wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:36 pm
Do you think this means the Nentir Vale will be supported by WotC products in the future? Opened up to the DM's Guild?
The specific thing I'd be looking out for is what D&D Beyond (not DMs Guild) gets out of this.

If we see any amount of 5e Nentir Vale "playtest content" on D&D Beyond before it goes anywhere near DMs Guild, then this could drive some Nentir Vale fans towards signing up to D&D Beyond.

If a PlaneShift style freebie PDF appears...and it has the D&D Beyond logo on it, that would also be significant. (I'm not sure what the long term implications might be, but I'd take notice of that.)

If a full blown product appears for sale via DMs Guild...with the D&D Beyond logo...but Nentir Vale is not opened up to DMs Guild content creators, that would also be interesting.

(Essentially what I am wondering is: Are D&D Beyond doing a Nentir Vale show? - Or - Have D&D Beyond got some sort of exclusive deal for Nentir Vale?)
Last edited by Big Mac on Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:52 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: "Heroes of the Vale" actual play

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:15 am
I hope they open it for the Guild. It means I can share a lot of my stuff there :D
I suppose if you are allowed to sell your content (instead of giving it away for free, like you do now) you could look into organising some Nentir Vale art and maps and stuff. I'm not sure how much you would need to raise to pay for art and maps.

They do restrict people from publishing stuff elsewhere, so it might prevent you from putting out 4e content if you start supporting 5e, so you might want to consider that first.
Tim Baker wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:24 am
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:15 am
On another line, I fear that they will make Mearls' changes to the Vale official to 5e... I don't like some of the stuff of his homebrew campaign...
I suspect you're right. But like all of the changes that edition increments have brought to settings, we're always free to ignore the updates.
If Mike Mearls is running the Heroes of the Vale game, they are almost certainly going to be using his version of Nentir Vale for the show. And if this show drives a breakout book (similar to the one that Keith Baker did for DMs Guild) it is almost certainly going to have Mike Mearls, rather than Richard Baker, as the content creator.

Ignoring updates I don't like is my preferred way to deal with the 4th Edition and 5th Edition Forgotten Realms products (so that I can still get usage out of them) but to do that with Nentir Vale requires a couple of things:
  • Working out the differences between 4e (and 3e) Nentir Vale canon and 5e Nentir Vale canon and
  • Making alternative 5e rules to restore anything that Mike Mearls changed.
I can't think of anyone better than Zeromaru X to be able to work that stuff out.

But if Mike Mearls has a weird change (like totally rebooting a Nentir Vale deity) and a lot of people build DMs Guild content off of Mike Mearls version, you might end up with a situation where a large amount of the DMs Guild content also needs to be rebooted.

I personally would prefer to see WotC hire Richard Baker (and Sasquatch Games) to build a series of Nentir Vale and Nerath Gazetteers. That's not because I dislike Mike Mearls. It's more that I'd like to see RIch Baker finish the job he started and this would be a good opportunity to do this. They would probably still make changes though. The background processes of making Nentir Vale a setting and then toning it down and making it part of the Realms and then not part of the Realms and stuff, must have created a few unusual design decisions that were made for reasons that later got invalidated.
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Re: "Heroes of the Vale" actual play

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:28 am

This Twitch recording (Adam Bradford with the Developer Q&A 1pm PT · 4 days ago - that's the 31st of October, for when this vanishes and needs to be found on YouTube) has a small mention of the Heroes of the Vale show. The bit to watch starts just after 27 minutes in and ends just before 30 minutes in.

Adam Bradford is the fourth player from the right in the line up. He says they have already had their session zero and that they are going to put out some "character spotlights" about the various PCs in the lead up to the start of the game. He also confirmed that it is going to be a 5th Edition game.

(He did not say where spotlights would be, but keep watching the skies and post links if you find anything.)

The show is going to be on for 3 weeks, before taking a break over Xmas and will then come back with a long series.
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Re: "Heroes of the Vale" actual play

Post by Zeromaru X » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:04 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 am
They do restrict people from publishing stuff elsewhere, so it might prevent you from putting out 4e content if you start supporting 5e, so you might want to consider that first.
Well, my stuff isn't tied to any mechanics, so I don't mind this. My only concern is from the "lore" point of view.
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 am
But if Mike Mearls has a weird change (like totally rebooting a Nentir Vale deity) and a lot of people build DMs Guild content off of Mike Mearls version, you might end up with a situation where a large amount of the DMs Guild content also needs to be rebooted.
They already did this with the Raven Queen in Mordenkainen's Foam of Toes. So, I guess this will be a problem if they do made the Vale available for the Guild.
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 am
I personally would prefer to see WotC hire Richard Baker (and Sasquatch Games) to build a series of Nentir Vale and Nerath Gazetteers. That's not because I dislike Mike Mearls. It's more that I'd like to see RIch Baker finish the job he started and this would be a good opportunity to do this.
I would like this as well.

I don't dislike Mearls either, I just don't like his approach to the Vale. Nentir Vale is not a classic D&D setting, it does have is own feel and tone that is different from Greyhawk or the Realms, and I think that his modifications are to make the Vale more akin classic D&D.

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Re: "Heroes of the Vale" actual play

Post by Big Mac » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:32 pm

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:04 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 am
They do restrict people from publishing stuff elsewhere, so it might prevent you from putting out 4e content if you start supporting 5e, so you might want to consider that first.
Well, my stuff isn't tied to any mechanics, so I don't mind this. My only concern is from the "lore" point of view.
I suppose the one main advantage would be that you could create Print on Demand files, and then you and your players could order physical copies.

Was it you that told me you had some issues importing books (at reasonable prices)? It might be worth looking to see if Lightning Source have a local print outlet in your country. (DMs Guild should be able to tell you this if you go through the process of ordering a Print on Demand book, without actually going all the way.)
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:04 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 am
But if Mike Mearls has a weird change (like totally rebooting a Nentir Vale deity) and a lot of people build DMs Guild content off of Mike Mearls version, you might end up with a situation where a large amount of the DMs Guild content also needs to be rebooted.
They already did this with the Raven Queen in Mordenkainen's Foam of Toes. So, I guess this will be a problem if they do made the Vale available for the Guild.
Hmm.

Well Nentir Vale rebooted some old Greyhawk and Mystara content, so it's possible that some folks would see Nentir Vale/Nerath as some sort of "alternative world". But, because Greyhawk and Mystara didn't get republished during the 4th Edition Era, so we don't know that WotC wouldn't have used the 4th Edition alterations for the other settings.

So I'm not sure we can tell, either way, what would happen with the Raven Queen.

It probably is going to be the Tome of Foes version, as otherwise you would have version tracking issues.
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:04 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:50 am
I personally would prefer to see WotC hire Richard Baker (and Sasquatch Games) to build a series of Nentir Vale and Nerath Gazetteers. That's not because I dislike Mike Mearls. It's more that I'd like to see RIch Baker finish the job he started and this would be a good opportunity to do this.
I would like this as well.

I don't dislike Mearls either, I just don't like his approach to the Vale. Nentir Vale is not a classic D&D setting, it does have is own feel and tone that is different from Greyhawk or the Realms, and I think that his modifications are to make the Vale more akin classic D&D.
I quite like Mike Mearls. He comes across as pretty friendly and helpful. For me, it's more of a case of knowing that this was Rich Baker's baby and that he didn't get to finish the project.
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