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Rule-of-Three: 07/17/2012
Rodney Thompson

Y ou'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 for R&D 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.

Before I start this week’s Rule of Three (which focuses on the Dungeon Command questions we’ve been getting in lately), I wanted to offer a clarification about something I mentioned in last week’s Rule of Three regarding D&D Next. In the third question, I talked about how we likely wouldn’t create a lot of player content (by which I mean things like classes, themes, spells, etc.) just for certain modules, and that anything good enough to go in a module should be good enough to go in the game as a whole.

That statement was meant to communicate how we want to be inclusive of player content, not that we won’t be doing unique player content. If we see a need for some player content as a result of one of the rules modules, when possible we’d like to simply include that as additional content for the game, and make sure it meshes well with everything else in the game, rather than sequestering it in a rules module. So if we decide while working on the tactical combat module that we need to give characters the ability to move nimbly around the battlefield or shove their opponents around—since using a grid makes their usefulness more apparent—we would want to design those character elements and include them in a theme, feat, class, spell, etc. that simply goes into the game, rather than being limited to the optional rules module.

Now, that may not always be 100% possible. It may be that we end up designing some player content that really is only functional (and by functional, I mean works legally within the rules of the game) when a rules module is in play. That’s fine, and we’ll design that material if we feel like it needs to be designed. We just don’t want to say things like “forced movement and battlefield agility work best in a grid-based combat environment, therefore they should only be included as options in the tactical combat rules module.” Rather, those things would be integrated to the game as a whole, and we might punch up their potency to make them more appealing even when not using that module.

Now then, on to this week's questions:

1 Is the plan only to reuse old D&D miniatures in the Dungeon Command game, or should we expect some new figures?

While many of the miniatures included in the Dungeon Command faction packs are based on existing sculpts, each of the first two packs includes at least one new sculpted miniature. Of course, all of the miniatures that we include have all-new paint jobs, and some of the miniatures in Heart of Cormyr first appeared in the Adventure System games, and thus have never appeared in painted form before. Additionally, as future sets are released, we will have more information on new sculpts.

2 Will any of the monsters/heroes included in the Dungeon Command boxes be available as player characters in the Adventure System board games?

No. While each Dungeon Command box includes miniatures and creature cards for use with the Adventure System, none are playable characters. However, the Heart of Cormyr faction pack includes rules for allies, who help you out as you go through the adventures, in addition to a couple of enemy creature cards.

3 Can I play Dungeon Command with two Sting of Lolth faction packs, or should I get one Sting of Lolth and one Heart of Cormyr?

Each faction pack—whether that be Sting of Lolth, Heart of Cormyr, or the upcoming Tyranny of Goblins faction pack—includes everything you need for one player to play. While two players can absolutely play with the same faction pack (and we include tracking tokens inside each Dungeon Command faction pack, so you can keep track of which mini belongs to which player), you’ll probably find the game more enjoyable with each player playing as a different warband. Each warband is designed to have its own unique feel, and as such they have their own tactics and tricks. The drow, for instance, are very mobile and very sneaky. The heroes from Cormyr are tough and versatile. The goblins are good at rushing in and swarming their enemies.

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!

Rodney Thompson
Rodney Thompson began freelancing in the RPG industry in 2001 before graduating from the University of Tennessee. In 2007 he joined the Wizards of the Coast staff as the lead designer and developer for the new Star Wars RPG product line. Rodney is the co-designer of Lords of Waterdeep and is currently a designer for Dungeons & Dragons.
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