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Rule-of-Three: 03/14/2011
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.

This week, an array of questions.

1 Will there ever be a core world gazetteer? With reference books for Eberron, the Forgotten Realms, and Dark Sun, it seems strange to establish a core world that doesn’t have its own reference book?

We’ll continue to provide more detail on the core world via online content and in our books and novels, but right now we don’t have plans to provide a single product that lays the groundwork for this setting. We see the setting as an example we can draw upon as needed to fill in details and provide a grounding for new material, as well as serve as a starting point for DMs. While we try to keep the details and canon straight in our own work, we encourage you to make the setting your own by picking and choosing which elements to use.

With that said, we do intend to continue to flesh out this setting as products dictate. For instance, the Conquest of the Nerath board game features a map of the world beyond the Nentir Vale. The game’s designer and the creator of the Nentir Vale, Rich Baker, has plans to write a regular feature for the web site that gives some background on the regions covered by Conquest. In designing the game, each area on the map received a few paragraphs of description to flesh out details, so we have information that we can clean up and share.

2 Will the Online Character Builder ever have a robust house rule option (i.e., "show illegal options" and "add house rule feat")?

We plan to progressively increase the capabilities and the feature set of the Online Character Builder to include house rules. This will include both the creation of custom items and the ability to add extra feats, powers, and skill training to a character. The idea is to have these capabilities in the Character Builder before the fall.

3 I want to give the magic item rarity system a fair try, but there are very few common and rare items. Will it be supported in the future or should I use the treasure parcel system?

Until we have enough rare and common items in the system, it’s best to continue to use the treasure parcel system as written. When it comes to buying items, use your judgment as a DM to determine which uncommon items you would like to make available to the players. As a rule of thumb, treat items that lack powers and have either minor properties, such as a bonus to a skill, as common items.

If it’s still not clear if an item should be common, ask yourself two questions about it. If either answer is yes, then the item should not be common. First, would the item be overly useful if a player had easy access to multiples of it? Second, does the item provide a benefit that would be overpowering if everyone in the party had access to it?

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

Instead of a single venue to submit questions, our Community Manager Trevor Kidd 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!

Poll Results

Last week, we asked which monster would you like to see previewed, based on the recent images from Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale. You chose:

  • Wandering Tower: 32.4%
  • The Mages of Saruun: 27.9%
  • Bitterstrike, the White Wyrm: 15.6%
  • Peryton: 12.6%
  • Penanggalan: 11.5%

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