D&D Essentials is actually looking good.

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huds0n
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Post by huds0n »

Next person who wants to diss on Rush can get one of these:

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Post by moriarty777 »

huds0n wrote:
Next person who wants to diss on Rush can get one of these:



As a Canadian, I feel it is my right to 'diss' on Rush. I dislike Rush *BUT* I can recognize the musical talent.
PS - Dangerdwarf... thanks for that awesome metal link. I hadn't heard them before and now I think I will pick up their latest album at the very least. I felt it appropriate to share a different link / video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEMeBTmiX4g

M
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Post by hedgeknight »

No offense fellers, but I'm just not that much into progressive metal - after a few songs it all sounds the same...to me.

Just give me a daily dose of this and I'm happy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkSHHK7WlAw

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Post by DangerDwarf »

moriarty777 wrote:


As a Canadian, I feel it is my right to 'diss' on Rush. I dislike Rush *BUT* I can recognize the musical talent.
PS - Dangerdwarf... thanks for that awesome metal link. I hadn't heard them before and now I think I will pick up their latest album at the very least. I felt it appropriate to share a different link / video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEMeBTmiX4g

M

Their latest album rocks. Hardcore.

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Post by Lurker »

Quote:
Didn't know you were into older women man. Would you still like Loreena McKinnett knowing that she was born in Manitoba? Yeah...she's Canadian, not Celtic.

Eithne Patricia N Bhraonin on the other hand...100% Celtic.

I prefer a little younger to a little too old, but like I said, I prefer woman to long haired guy any day of the week! Especially a cute red head
Actually I didn't know she was Canadian, still good music though. At times a little too new age for me but it's hard to find good Irish pub music in the red neck riviera so I'll take what I can get.

contrary to almost everyone else here, I'm just not that into metal. A little ACDC metallica or rush and that's about it ... (I know this will start a fight- but I've never liked KISS in any form or fashion)
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Post by Traveller »

She's older than Enya by four years.

I happen to be more partial to Enya's music than I am to Loreena McKinnett's. Having every Enya tune on my hard drive compared to only one album of Ms. McKinnett (Book of Secrets) is a dead giveaway.

Either that or it's my Pictish ancestry acting up.
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I have to be really in the mood to want to listen to metal. Most of the time it's simply an assault on my ears. I do think I'm going to look for Nightwish at Amazon though. I like the concept of Symphonic Metal, and in some ways it reminds me of Evanescence.
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Post by Omote »

Well I picked up the 4.5E Dungeons & Dragons Essentials box. This is a throwback to the original Basic D&D red box mentzer rules... IN APPEARENCE ONLY. The box is cool, but the rest of the material is pretty lame IMO. Sure, it looks like 4th edition D&D, and probably plays like it. Clearly this is 4.5E D&D. CLEARLY~! While the box is only $20, it looks like it has everything to play the 4.5E game. It is basic alright, that much is for sure.

There are spell and power cards included inside, which is nice I suppose, but they are made of slightly thicker paper. That's pretty crappy. There is a player's book and a Dungeon Master's book. The dungeon master's book is twice as thick as the player's book, and has a nice selection of low-level monsters inside. But the interior is bland 4.X artwork. Nothing inspiring like the Elmore and Easley stuff from the original. The artwork is not bad epr se, but is typical of NEW D&D.

Overall I wanted to like this box set, but 4.Xe is just not my thing. Pretty much I just bought it because of it's relationship with Basic D&D. It doesn't really have the feel of the original, but I give them credit for trying. The book material is rather flimsy with the typical WOTC paperbook products. High gloss, but thin pages and thin covers.

Oh well, right to the bottom shelf with this one.

~O
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Post by Christina Stiles »

So, what I'm getting out of this thread:

Mike Mearls has integrated RUSH with the new Essentials (4e.5) boxed set? Interesting

Lol!
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Post by serleran »

He's a modern day warrior -- mean, mean stride. Oh, wait, not Mearls. Omote.
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Post by ThrorII »

Joe wrote:
This may come as a shocker BD...but the 80's is over!

THE 80'S ARE NOT DEAD!!!! THE 80'S ARE LIFE

I've never been a fan of metal. I could probably count the number of metal/hard rock songs I know and like on one hand. I've always been an 80's pop/new wave guy, but turned country in 1989 and never looked back. I did have a stint of techno in the early 2000's during my divorce, when country songs were just tooooooo depressing.

That being said, 'Tom Saywer' is a great piece of music.

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Post by Treebore »

Omote wrote:
Well I picked up the 4.5E Dungeons & Dragons Essentials box. This is a throwback to the original Basic D&D red box mentzer rules... IN APPEARENCE ONLY. The box is cool, but the rest of the material is pretty lame IMO. Sure, it looks like 4th edition D&D, and probably plays like it. Clearly this is 4.5E D&D. CLEARLY~! While the box is only $20, it looks like it has everything to play the 4.5E game. It is basic alright, that much is for sure.

There are spell and power cards included inside, which is nice I suppose, but they are made of slightly thicker paper. That's pretty crappy. There is a player's book and a Dungeon Master's book. The dungeon master's book is twice as thick as the player's book, and has a nice selection of low-level monsters inside. But the interior is bland 4.X artwork. Nothing inspiring like the Elmore and Easley stuff from the original. The artwork is not bad epr se, but is typical of NEW D&D.

Overall I wanted to like this box set, but 4.Xe is just not my thing. Pretty much I just bought it because of it's relationship with Basic D&D. It doesn't really have the feel of the original, but I give them credit for trying. The book material is rather flimsy with the typical WOTC paperbook products. High gloss, but thin pages and thin covers.

Oh well, right to the bottom shelf with this one.

~O

I had been wanting to buy the Essentials boxed set, to see how well they did it. As I thought about it more and more, and my many hours of playing 4E (seriously! I logged in enough hours to play through 3 modules plus did several 4E game day events!) the more I was deciding not to.

This impressionistic opinion of yours sways me a little more towards not getting it, but not much. Why? Because if they greatly simplified the rules I may actually like it.

So could you actually read through the rules and see if they simplified them? Or determine if they are just a "beginner" kind of book with the more "advanced" rules in the other core books and on their DDI. If its a beginner book I won't want it. If they stripped it down and simplified it, I will want to check it out.
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Post by Omote »

This Essentials D&D box for 4.5E is not a simplified version of the game, but striped down to the bare bones in order to teach you how to play the 4.5E game. The books work like they did in the original box set, kind of. You get some "choose your own adventure" style adventure that you can play through on your own, or run for friends. How to play the game is sprinkled throughout this section.

The DM book has about 12 monters or so (boo), more adventure scenarios. This book also contains a very watered down version of the rules. This section presents more options than the choose your own adventure senario from the players book for DMs to use, but not by much. Over all, I would say that this box set only has about a dozen or so pages of rules. The rest is mostly adventure senarios. There is a 2-page setting included (with a cool map in the book), which is nice. This box set is not traditional. For example, there is not a section for fighters, or rogues, wizards, or clerics. You discover what class you are by playing the adventure. The book guides yiou along the way telling you what class you are and where to make the notes on your character sheet. There is no section to go to that says what a wizard or fighter can do and what their levels of experience give you. All of that is played out in the step-by-step instructions of the choose your own adventure path. Essentially, of you play out the adventures you'll end up with a 2nd level character (either fighter, wiz, rog, cleric depending on your choices).

Perhaps this is a good way to learn the game for beginners. For my needs, it doesn't help me run a 4E game. There are no specifics and everything is watered down to the essentials to learn to play the 4.5E game. The advertisment at the end than point you towards the new 4.5E books coming out to progress your game beyond this box set.

This box set is clearly designed for new players to the game, and new roleplayers in general. This box set is not really for a basic version of the 4.5E game.

~O
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Post by serleran »

In a way, it is kind of cool to determine what class you are by playing through it... sort of reminds me of picking alignment by answering Ultima questions.
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Post by Treebore »

Omote wrote:
This Essentials D&D box for 4.5E is not a simplified version of the game, but striped down to the bare bones in order to teach you how to play the 4.5E game. The books work like they did in the original box set, kind of. You get some "choose your own adventure" style adventure that you can play through on your own, or run for friends. How to play the game is sprinkled throughout this section.

The DM book has about 12 monters or so (boo), more adventure scenarios. This book also contains a very watered down version of the rules. This section presents more options than the choose your own adventure senario from the players book for DMs to use, but not by much. Over all, I would say that this box set only has about a dozen or so pages of rules. The rest is mostly adventure senarios. There is a 2-page setting included (with a cool map in the book), which is nice. This box set is not traditional. For example, there is not a section for fighters, or rogues, wizards, or clerics. You discover what class you are by playing the adventure. The book guides yiou along the way telling you what class you are and where to make the notes on your character sheet. There is no section to go to that says what a wizard or fighter can do and what their levels of experience give you. All of that is played out in the step-by-step instructions of the choose your own adventure path. Essentially, of you play out the adventures you'll end up with a 2nd level character (either fighter, wiz, rog, cleric depending on your choices).

Perhaps this is a good way to learn the game for beginners. For my needs, it doesn't help me run a 4E game. There are no specifics and everything is watered down to the essentials to learn to play the 4.5E game. The advertisment at the end than point you towards the new 4.5E books coming out to progress your game beyond this box set.

This box set is clearly designed for new players to the game, and new roleplayers in general. This box set is not really for a basic version of the 4.5E game.

~O

OK, thanks! That definitely answers my burning question, I don't want it.
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Post by Traveller »

Looks like Hasbro converted the idea of N4: Treasure Hunt over to the abomination. In N4, you started as a zero level character without a class and by the end of the module you were 1st level in your chosen class.

Sorry...but Essentials doesn't change the fact that Hasbro shot themselves in the foot and will be paying for the privilege. And as I suspected, and others likely predicted, Essentials is a money grab, because they can't sell the rule sets they have because the rules suck so much.
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Post by Treebore »

Traveller wrote:
Looks like Hasbro converted the idea of N4: Treasure Hunt over to the abomination. In N4, you started as a zero level character without a class and by the end of the module you were 1st level in your chosen class.

Sorry...but Essentials doesn't change the fact that Hasbro shot themselves in the foot and will be paying for the privilege. And as I suspected, and others likely predicted, Essentials is a money grab, because they can't sell the rule sets they have because the rules suck so much.

Despite the fact that it makes us sound like a hater, I agree. Their 4E sales have sucked in comparison to 3E, and I don't think its because of the economy. When your a year into your sales and all fo your core books combined haven't sold a million copies your Hasbro suit's aren't happy. So they had to try something else.

Like I have said many times before, I found the rules system to be well done, but it simply never, ever, got me excited to play them. Now I know the Essentials is not going to change that.
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Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Post by Coleston the Cavalier »

Boy, I thought the boxed set was supposed to ship the second week of September?

Thanks for you insights into it.
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Post by Traveller »

Treebore wrote:
Despite the fact that it makes us sound like a hater, I agree. Their 4E sales have sucked in comparison to 3E, and I don't think its because of the economy. When your a year into your sales and all fo your core books combined haven't sold a million copies your Hasbro suit's aren't happy. So they had to try something else.

Like I have said many times before, I found the rules system to be well done, but it simply never, ever, got me excited to play them. Now I know the Essentials is not going to change that.

I try to keep and open mind, but in the case of the abomination I am willing to make an exception. For you see, it's worse than "full" (i.e. Hasbro's) d20, and for me to say that says a lot, since my dislike of d20 is legendary.

The Castles & Crusades version of Essentials would be something like this:

The old Monster download from the support page, a copy of the Quickstart rules, and a copy of N4. Good to go in my eyes.
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Post by Omote »

What I'm actually surprised about in some of your responses is the lack of concern that this Essentials Box Set is the beginning of a new edition for the 4E game. While I don't really follow new-school D&D hardly anymore, the game has gone to a new edition in only 2 years. This time though, Wizards has somewhat deceptively hid that fact. I'm not trying to make this into a hate thread, but I'd be kinda pissed to know that this company is reprinting all of the class books and rules sets for the 4E game (which this essentials box is the first step in) to tighten up the rules/classes and represent the same material again but tweeked.

Quietly Wizards has put the "traditional" 4E Player's Handbook, DMG, and MM out of print, to be replaced by books not called PHB/DMG/MM.

Personally, I see why they did it with 3E, OK fine. But now, only 2 years into the life of the 4E game they are doing it again? Wow. It sure seems like Wizards is milking the hardcore fans of the 4E game for everything they are worth while clawing and scraping to get new players to play they game (which apparently is not as successful as they thought it might be).

I bet you that the new Essentials Box Set sells well enough for Wizards to dangle a carrot to the media to say "look our game does sell well." Fact of the matter is that the Essentials Box is a throw-back (at least on the outside) to the older editions. The older, established players are not going to bite for the most part beyond this box set. Ultimately, Wizards has changed nothing.

Too bad, IMO, for the D&D brand name.

~O
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Post by Piperdog »

I hear what you're sayin' O. My brother invested heavily into 4e from its inception. With that first slip case, three book core set, he was pretty excited. Then the powers books came out. Ok. Cool. Then PHB2, and DMG2. And PHB3. And MM2. And so on. He started feeling like he was being milked early on....and as he said, the game became lost in a miasma of ambiguously varied classes and builds, powers, and feats. All that aside, he discovered, to his dismay, that combats ran way too long and disrupted the pace of the game and story. He told me more and more that he was shifting to C&C.

So, he's a little miffed about the 4.5e, but not really...he's a little beyond caring. He told me he is going to start a C&C campaign up.....

I for one liked some of the concepts behind 4e, if not the system itself. I was hoping that the Essentials was more like Basic D&D with a few 4e-isms tossed in....I will break down and buy the Essentials Compedium, just to see what the major differences are. I don't mind buy the Essentials stuff, because I don't own any 4e books (well, a few pdfs but no hard copies of anything).
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Post by Sir Osis of Liver »

WotC has simply tried turning everything they do into a different version of M:tG. In its early days, it was wildly popular. It remains fairly so to this day, even though I've long since gotten out of the game and lost interest in it. D&D has become Magic: the RPG. In a lot of ways, the gameplay from D&D reminds me of Magic, and the business model is identical. We're going to give the market just enough time to absorb the material we've put out there. Then, we're going to saturate it with all new material and rule the old stuff that people bought not that long ago as being outdated and incompatible with tournament play. I really think that they look at us as a bunch of junkies who will do whatever they tell us to do so that we can get our gaming fix.

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Post by moriarty777 »

Omote wrote:
What I'm actually surprised about in some of your responses is the lack of concern that this Essentials Box Set is the beginning of a new edition for the 4E game. While I don't really follow new-school D&D hardly anymore, the game has gone to a new edition in only 2 years. This time though, Wizards has somewhat deceptively hid that fact. I'm not trying to make this into a hate thread, but I'd be kinda pissed to know that this company is reprinting all of the class books and rules sets for the 4E game (which this essentials box is the first step in) to tighten up the rules/classes and represent the same material again but tweeked.

I agree that it is a new direction but not for the same reasons.

We would be fools to think that standard pen and paper RPGs are thriving. The truth of the matter is that it interest in it is in a steady pace of decline. The decision to do the Essentials line is one attempt to try and turn things around because, like it or not, 4th Edition has fallen well below expectations. For a large company like Hasbro, this can be frightening.

Yes, the Essentials line is a renewed attempt to capture some of the market it lost and, given that the company felt it needed to act quickly as opposed to allow the current edition to mature and take from it what it needed to make a new edition, it chose to re-package and simplify elements of the current edition. By slapping on a $20 price tag and making this a 'game in a box', they also hope to get it back into wider distribution such as actual toy stores which TSR did back in the day.

This isn't the only attempt and model they are experimenting with. The Ravenloft Board Game which was mentioned in an earlier thread is different attempt.

You are right though, and depending on the popularity of these two models, you may have the prototype of the future of D&D and the 'next edition'. If a combination of either of these prove beneficial, I also suspect that this will become the new standard of D&D -- something akin to Hero Quest and Descent but with greater customizability.

Unlike 3.5, this doesn't strike me as a mere money-grab... I think they seeing this as trying to salvage the D&D market share.



Despite some of the thoughts posted, I'm still very curious to look through it and may still consider buying the box set.

M
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Post by Joe »

Your not seeing much concern because I know for me, I moved in a different direction a long time ago and I am never looking back regardless of what marketting schemes may change or be implemented by any said company.

In my opinion they decided to cater games to a different demographic than one I am a part of and that is their perogative.

More power to them...best of luck...just not something I pay attention to these days.
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Post by ThrorII »

Joe wrote:
Your not seeing much concern because I know for me, I moved in a different direction a long time ago and I am never looking back regardless of what marketting schemes may change or be implemented by any said company.

In my opinion they decided to cater games to a different demographic than one I am a part of and that is their perogative.

More power to them...best of luck...just not something I pay attention to these days.

Yeah, I moved on long ago. I played 1e, and was out of gaming by the time 2e came along. I came back in just when 3.5 was being released.

At first I liked the new direction (from 1e), ESPECIALLY the d20 mechanic for most everything. As I actually started playing (and then running) 3.5 I learned what a pain it really was. AoA's, 5 foot steps, 2 hour long char gens (for leveled NPC's anyway), feats-feats-and more feats, skills that limited what players would try to do.

I very shortly came to dislike 3.5. C&C was a lifesaver for me. It kept the good stuff (d20), droppped the bad stuff (AoA's, feats, skills), and added one GREAT thing (the SIEGE engine).

4e offers nothing for me. I'm sad of the continued trashing of the D&D name, and the further alienation of people with a defacto 4.5e after 2 years.

My dream would be that Hasbro sold the D&D name and Troll Lords would buy it (or another company) and would retro-clone back to a B/X or even BECMI style.

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Post by Treebore »

Yeah, with C&C I don't see me ever going back to WOTC's D&D, even if WOTC bought out TLG and printed C&C I would only stay with it as long as it stayed true to the current spirit and vision of C&C, which wouldn't be long at all.

As for the Ravenloft board game I watched the "unpackaging" video of it as ell, and I am looking forward to buying it.
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Post by TheMetal1 »

I've been merrily going along with C&C for sometime now, though I do get a lot of stuff that strikes me, though I never end up playing it. For example I have a bunch of Pathfinder Stuff (Core Rules, Beastiary, GMG, APG, and the Kingmaker Adventure paths 1-6) but I've yet to play. I more of collector I guess. Anyway, the announcement by WOTC of the return of the Dark Sun setting, 4e style, got my attention. Certainly at Athas.org there is a whole slew of free stuff for 3.X and I have the PDFs of the two boxed sets, but now I had an excuse to at least look over, perhaps a bit more seriously D&D 4. The thing is I just really haven't been interested at all in 4e. The only thing I got for it was the "D&D 4e for Dummies" book (which I got for about $5.00) a while ago. Never really even looked at though. I've heard the good and bad, but figured at some point, I'd give it shot, but not in the neasr future. That is, until now.

Then I started hearing rumblings of this essentials line. The "new" red boxed set, with other boxed sets to follow. "Ohh, Shiney" this was my plan. All I'll need to really try out 4e is the Dark Sun Campaign guide, the essentials boxed set and I'll be good for running a game.

Well as it is I went to the local store (in this case Books-A-Million) (mind you I do shop at my FLGS - just when there today as a matter of fact, but anyway I digress). They only had the Dark Sun Campaign guide, so I got that, and then went ahead and got the GM Screen which was realtively cheap too.... with the intention of getting the essentials boxed set (and maybe sets, but we'll see) as soon as I see one. So from a marketing stand point - WOTC got me. I'll be getting at least the "new" red box.

Of course upon reading the Dark Sun book and hearing what others here have had to say, I think I'll be in a bit of a pickle to try and run the game with only the "new" red boxed set and my "D&D 4e for Dummies" book. But that being said, I might just have to give it a try just to see if I can do it.
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anglefish
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Post by anglefish »

It goes deeper than that. The curse of WoTC is corporate "New VP Death Spiral" that comes with Hasbro. I've seen ad nasum in other companies ...

"Hi,

I'm the new VP. The old one go promoted or hired to somewhere else, can you believe it took him a whole two years to do that?

"Anyway, I see you have a problem that he, or the other 5 other VPs before him, haven't been able to solve in the last 10 years.

"Well, they aren't me! I'm going to lick this in 6 months, show how much of a marketing genius I am and then move up and on.

"Any warnings that I ignore or people that I burn out along the way, don't take it personal. Though if had been smart like me, you'd be me. "

The "problem" with D&D is that it's too labor intensive. You have to have writers and editors and months of writing, like a publishing house. Hasbro isn't a publisher, they are a toy company. And until they crack that "problem," the next hotshot executive is going to see it as a way to make his mark.

In fact, I'm surprised it has taken me this long to realize it. RPGs combine the worst of two other flailing (not a typo) industries, publishing and games. Oy vey.

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ThrorII
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Post by ThrorII »

I have been completely ignorant of the whole D&D4E situation, being uninterested and all.

I did some research last night, and was horrified by what I was reading.

Basically, there have been something like 70 pages of errata issued through DDI. People were saying you can't even use the PHB or DMG as written any more, that you need DDI. The MM has had ALL the numbers on ALL the monsters changed. People were saying that they don't even bring the books to games anymore, because they are as useful as 2E books at a 4E game.

Apparently they also made rules changes mid edition that show up somewhere around PHB 2 or 3, effectively making PHB 2 or 3 characters compeletey different than characters in PHB 1.

Now with DDE (D&D Essentials) they are 'simplifying' the system, and going back to archtype classes (figther, magic-user, thief, cleric) and races (dwarf, elf, halfling, human). The problem is that the char gen and new classes are not completely compatable with D&D4E, and they've stated they are now going to use the DDE for all new formats.

Essentially, DDE is v4.5....or higher...

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Benoist
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Post by Benoist »

I actually just made the count for another unrelated online conversation.
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/UpdateCompiled.pdf

This is the errata compilation from Wizards' website so far. 115 pages long, though they concern the totally of 4E products. "Only" 30 pages of those are actually about the Core books themselves, but bear in mind that this is PRE-Essentials we are talking about. This list of errata will grow radically with Essentials, and indeed, the 4E core books do not reflect what the actual current 4E game is through DDI at this point.
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Post by Treebore »

From what I have been told the Essentials boxed set has a fair amount of errors in it, not typo type errors, but rules errors. Mentioning powers not in the book but needed for the adventure kind of errors.
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