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Rule-of-Three: 06/13/2011
R&D Staff

You’ve got questions—we’ve got answers! Here’s how it works—each week, our Community Manager will be scouring all available sources to find whatever questions you’re asking. We’ll pick three of them to answer, whether about the about the making of the game, the technical workings of our DDI studio, or anything else you care to know about… with some caveats.

There are certain business and legal questions we can’t answer (for business and legal reasons). And if you have a specific rules question, we’d rather point you to Customer Service, where representatives are ready and waiting to help guide you through the rules of the game. That said, our goal is provide you with as much information we can—in this and other venues.

1 I really liked the ranger's favored enemy ability and would love to see something like it resurface in 4th Edition. Have you guys looked at any of the older mechanics to see if they can be re-imagined in 4E? Or is there something about the specificity of the ranger's favored enemy that doesn't work for 4E?

Early on in 4E, we looked at introducing that sort of mechanic. There are some barriers to its use, though. The primary hurdle is that it is easy for a player to retrain such a mechanic to match whatever monster he expects to fight in the current adventure. That’s fairly unsatisfying from a story point of view. One week the ranger hates giants, the next he hates undead. The other barrier we ran into was that, if we assumed the ranger could match whatever the DM threw at the party, the bonus had to be fairly small.

While 4E lacks that specific mechanic, you can still build a character who is focused on a specific sort of enemy by choosing the right feats, magic items, and powers. For instance, a ranger who hates undead can multiclass into cleric, take items that deliver radiant damage, and so forth. It isn’t as clear cut, but you can get the same basic character.

2 I love D&D Encounters, but I can't always make it to the store. Will the Encounters program adventures ever be available for home or online play?

Encounters is a really useful tool for retailers, as it gives them a way to attract players to their stores. If we made the adventures available outside of that venue, it weakens the appeal to retailers and makes the specific encounters events less special. Game retailers are vital to D&D’s continued growth and health. While we understand that plenty of people would like freer access to the Encounters material, Encounters is meant to help out stores with a fun, exclusive event.

3 Do you have any plans for bringing back Dragonlance or Greyhawk as a campaign setting?

Dark Sun proved very popular, so we are definitely looking at other campaign settings. Releasing a new campaign setting is a big commitment in terms of design resources and also for marketing, licensing, and so on. So it’s not something that we can do at the drop of a hat. We’re also looking at supporting some of our lesser known settings via Dragon and Dungeon. We’ll be touching on a semi-obscure but flavorful setting this fall, and depending on how that goes we’ll look at extending that to a better known one.

How can I submit a question to the Rule-of-Three?

Instead of a single venue to submit questions, our Community Manager will be selecting questions from our message boards, Twitter feed, and Facebook account. You can also submit questions directly to So, if you’d like to have your question answered in the Rule-of-Three, just continue to participate in our online community—and we may select yours!

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