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Rule-of-Three: 08/23/2011
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 Does the Gardmore Abbey adventure set represent a move toward older/flavorful/in-depth style campaign box sets like 2e had?

From James Wyatt: "The way I thought about the Gardmore Abbey adventure was certainly influenced by classic boxed adventures such as Night Below and The Rod of Seven Parts. I'm not sure it's a fair comparison, because the scope of Gardmore Abbey is actually much more limited than those 2nd Edition adventures. It features a pretty limited physical environment (Gardmore Abbey, its environs, and its dungeons) and covers only a few levels of play, comparable to the H-P-E series of adventures we did at the start of 4th Edition. But it is certainly an attempt to add a lot of flavor and depth to the exploration of that environment. Imagine if Thunderspire Labyrinth contained an additional 32-page book that was chock full of patrons, quests, background information, villains and their motivations, and similar story material. Further imagine that many of the encounter entries include information about how to avoid combat in the encounter. Add in the unifying but random story element of the Deck of Many Things, and you're not too far off in style and substance from Madness at Gardmore Abbey.

2 Heroes of the Feywild offers a lot of feywild options for characters, but what about DMs? Are there any plans for a feywild book for DMs, or support in Dungeon?

Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild offers a chapter of material about the Feywild setting, as well as numerous sidebars that could benefit DMs. At this time, we have no plans to publish a Feywild book for DMs, but we are offering DMs Feywild support through several Dungeon articles, including two adventures: "Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut," a paragon tier set to appear in November, and "The Unseelie Court," an epic tier adventure set to appear early next year. We also have a couple of Feywild-themed, nonadventure articles for DMs in the works for November.

3 What influenced the decision to make the upcoming miniatures skirmish game go diceless and use cards instead?

The decision to explore a diceless game is based on the kind of game play experience we want to provide with the upcoming game. We wanted a game that rewarded strategic thinking, both at the table and away from it, as well as giving players a lot more control over the tactical side of the game. Randomness is a good thing in creating varied play experiences and leveling the playing field enough that a new player can still be competitive against an experienced player, but there’s a big difference where the randomness comes in. In a game where dice are used to determine the success or failure of an action, you make your decisions first, but then it sometimes comes down to the whims of dice fortune whether or not you succeed. Coupled with the randomness of drawing cards, you can get a "double-whammy" effect, where you both draw a poor hand of cards and then also fail when trying to use them. A diceless, card-driven game puts the randomness early, at the point where you are drawing cards. But once the cards are drawn, your decisions determine how effective they'll be, and they can be used with some guarantee of success. The upcoming miniatures game opts for the latter form of randomness, so that player skill is more of a factor in the outcome of a match.

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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