Monday, April 2, 2012

No, Seriously, WOTC Totally Did Hire Me To Work On 5E

So you know how yesterday I posted that April Fool's joke about how WOTC hired me to work on Type V D&D?

It wasn't a joke.

They really did.

All the stuff I said yesterday is completely true--including the bit about how the nerdrage-provoking sucknesses the web keeps telling me are in 5e doesn't seem to be in any of the stuff they've sent.

I hasten to add that nothing in my contract obliges them to listen to me so, y'know, don't blame me if it turns out the resolution's all done on a d9 and the only viable class/race combo is owlbear monk.

Anyway, should be a pip.

Now back to work.

64 comments:

biopunk said...

Photo of signed contract please!

Il Male™ said...

I'll blame YOU if I see no owlbear monk option.
BTW, way too awesome!

Fonkin said...

Oh come on now, Zak! April Fools is over!

But seriously, congratulations. Good to know that they are actually following through and reaching out to the active community for dev help. I think they made a good decision hiring you.

Don't talk shit about bards; fix'em!

Scott Faulkner said...

I hope it will be rewarding for you and I can't wait for the open playtest!

Zak S said...

You know I'm telling the truth because the thought of more scanning one more WOTC thing I signed and uploading it makes me want to claw my eyes out.

dragolite said...

Awesome!

Nathaniel Eliot said...

Okay, *now* I'm interested in D&D5.

biopunk said...

I wouldn't want that!

Eyes are good to have, in the field of visual arts.

Hope they take some of yr recommendations to heart.

RavenFeast said...

Dammit! Now I need an owlbear/monk in 28mm!

Dan C. said...

This bodes well.

Phil said...

First, that is awesome Zak. Have fun with this endeavour.

Second the owlbear monk is now a must for 5e.

Third, I'd rather be working on the set from the photo....

Still cool beans!

Mark Harris said...

Woohoo result!
Although you realise the dire responsibility you have taken on now as our proxy? :)

I also like the fact you're sticking to calling it type V.

Zak S said...

I think I can divulge this: at least in his emails to me, Mike Mearls calls it "Type V".

Erin Palette said...

See, now I really can't wait for 6th Edition, just so I can call it "Balrog."

Excuse me, "Balor."

Still, this is the best news I've heard about D&D in a long while, even if I've no interest in leaving Pathfinder for it.

Congrats, Zak!

Blair said...

I can't help but recall the twinge of disappointment I felt when I read that Chuck D. was on a Vanilla Ice album...

Ben W said...

My only goal in life is to play an Owlbear Monk.

Kiel Chenier said...

Put in a good word for bards in Type V for me, will ya? Dey iz mah furvuret class.

Plus, I know how fond you are of them.

Zzarchov said...

Try and get some of the other Developers to sit in on or play in some of the ConstantCon games. I'd love too know they've seen such wonders as Wessex or Nightwick.

Just a request mind you.

LeThink Tank said...

There is hope yet or type v. Assuming they listen at least a little to your suggestions. Count yourself lucky!

Nagora said...

Type V has good boobage, so it was a fairly natural choice I guess.

Seriously, though, this makes you probably the most talented person working on the 5e project. I don't know if that'll be enough but it gives it hope.

Good luck.

Ben L. said...

Wow. I believed you yesterday and was disappointed when I started reading the comments and concluded that it was a joke. Now I'm excited again. This is fantastic news!

liza said...

So the new D&D will be the love-child of Monte Cook, RPGPundit and Zak S? Oh my. Interesting times are approaching.
Seriously, you make my day.

Arkhein said...

Honestly, I was torn when I saw this yesterday and figured it was true. I mean, how can one of my favoirite saber-rattlers still rattle his saber while in the pocket of THE MAN?

Then I got to thinking. They probably are not paying you to just be quiet. So I figure it's a good thing for all involved.

So congratulations and enjoy. :)

- Ark

Roger the GS said...

Okay. It heartens me to think that the sucky web waffling might be mostly smokescreen.

Knightsky said...

Okay, now I'm actually cautiously interested in 5e.

taichara said...

Awesome news! Congrats :3

TrentB said...

1. Excellent photo.
2. Owlbear is good times. Monks undermine legitimate fighters.
3. Is it plausible that this is a (particularly) cunning ploy to get more people-who-read-your-blog-and-would-probably-not-buy-TypeV to buy TypeV? Either way it is a good thing, because I love unscrupulous schemes, and if they are actually using your advice then the game might actually be good.

The Degenerate Elite said...

I call bullshit.... We have all read you d9 rules so we know they will be your fault.

Zak S said...

I'm completely d9 it.

TrentB said...

Ugh. Appalling. I must now un-follow your blog.

....


( <3 )

trollsmyth said...

I am so punching you when we meet for the first time. When I heard you got payed to paint, I was jealous.

When I heard you got paid to have sex, I was jealous.

Now you're getting paid to tell WotC what to do with 5e?

In. The. Mouth.

Seriously, I am so looking forward to playing an owlbearish monk. ;) Congrats on the sweet gig, and here's hoping at least a little of your magic rubs off on 'em.

dr-tectonic said...

Like so many others, I would play the FUCK out of an owlbear monk. WANT!

*ESPECIALLY* if I get to roll d9s.

Tell Mearls and Cook to make it happen.

Durn said...

It would also be really great if you contributed some illustrations to the book...

Torq said...

Best news I've heard all week! I've been following the D&D Next updates, and its all looking more and more positive. Give 'em horns!

Dungeon Smash said...

saw this coming

blake said...

Are you still allowed to talk shit about Type 5 after it's release, or will you be zipped up by contractual details ?

Zak S said...

If you want me to look that hard at my contract again you're gonna have to pay me, Blake

J Blanchard said...

Congrats!

Porky said...

I'd also bet they're not paying a writer with a fanbase this large just to be quiet. It looks to me like the WotC guys know exactly what they're doing, and it looks familiar.

blake said...

So mercenary!
Hope it turns out cool.

Gregor Vuga said...

This makes me feel a lot better about "Type V"'s future. I was cautiously optimistic before, but I'm crossing into plain optimism now.

The Grumpy Celt said...

How do know this is not also some mad and terrible April fool's joke?

Well, I hope they bring you in as an art consultant as well.

David said...

This is a good thing.

Jesse said...

One step closer to canonical Fat Succubus. If that made it into the new Monster Manual we might actually see...I don't know, peace in our lifetime - something good, anyway.

This actually makes a lot of sense, which is surprising, because business decisions are rarely made with that kind of sense. If WOTC has the brains to pay you for your advice, that means they may have the brains to actually pull this off. This is great news. Have you considered running for office?

Wade Rockett said...

Oh, hell yes. Congratulations on the gig, and kudos to Wizards for hiring someone so awesome for the project.

Judging Eagle said...

Perhaps you might be able to find a way to make Celestial Gargoyle Paladins; Redcap Samurai; Slaad Barbarians; or Quixotic Kobalt Knights as well.

I know that it's been possible for more than six years now, and those are all characters who have played in one campaign or an other.

Owlbear Monks have been a viable character option in the games that my own table top group runs for the same six years.

An Owlbear is a CR 4, and while low in Intelligence (2), that is still high enough to act as smart as a wolf (able to organize, work with others, plan long term survival). As well as having high enough wisdom to know how to function with other creatures.

In the "Tomes" content produced by Frank Trollman, Kieth, & et. al., allowing players to _be_ a motherloving Owlbear is not the end of the world.

If anything, it provides a whole new avenue of storytelling. Personally, new avenues of storytelling should be embraced, and not myopically ignored, as WoTC and people like Monte Cook and Mike Mearls have been proven time and again to do.

The Owlbear in question, is really only a Level 5 character if it's given PC level wealth; and has 5 HD. Meaning that it doesn't need a high amount of tweaking to make it "table ready" (things like Dragons and Frost Giants need insane, and large, amounts of work respectively to make "table ready"; dragons are always problematic, while Giants need to have their HD (and resultant HP and Saves) lowered, and their BAB increased to full).

I'd also suggest using the Dungeonomicon monk, which is part of the collected "Tomes" content. A class that I've been able to present to avowed "monk haters", and have them play a Wuxia-style unarmed martial artist that doesn't make everyone who can do math weep and groan.

A Level 5 Owlbear/Level 1 Monk would be a fine character to play with other level 6 characters. The high innate wisdom would synergize well with the expected notion that "monks are wise, and their powers are based off of their wisdom."

Note: All of the collected Tomes content has an online repository (http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=50239)

and has been in PDF format for several years, version 0.71 being the last updated version (http://code.google.com/p/awesometome/downloads/list)

_NOT_ having to use any WoTC material; save for that PDF, a DMG for treasure, environment, and treasure information, and Monster Manuals is a godsend.

My gaming group plays with Fighters, Monks and Paladins who are able to keep up with Druids, Archer-Clerics and Wizards. Players can be trolls, vampires (in +0 LA non-broken versions), or gelatinous cubes; and not have to suffer the insane intentionally player-punishing systems devised in Savage Species or the DMG's garbage Level Adjustment system.

To say nothing of the highly broken things that are either identified and removed ("gold" being used to buy non-trivial magic items); or completely re-written to become sane and reasonable again (Wishes; not the David Noonan way).

gdbackus said...

word to yr mother

gdbackus said...

Best news ever in D&Dlandia

Barking Alien said...

Hmmm...there is hope for this thing yet.

Congrats. Here's to Owlbear Monks, where ever they may be.

noisms said...

Congratulations mate. You deserve it for the great writing you've done here and for kicking ConstantCon into gear.

darren e said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bogus Gasman said...

You carry the fate of us all, little one...

(weak joke aside, sincere congrats on this. Your perspective will be a welcome asset.)

Zak S said...

I will take the Ring to Mordor...but I do not know the way...

Kelvin Green said...

I think I predicted this on G+ a few weeks ago. Not that that means anything, but anyway.

Congratulations Zak. I am now a great deal more interested in what D&D5 looks like than I was before.

Tetsubo said...

I hope you enjoy you stay with WotC. But I'm not on-board with this edition. 4E burned all the bridges between WotC and I. Good luck.

Zak S said...

It's funny that you had bridges.

I've always had a little boat where I sneak in at night, steal what I like and leave.

Kevinblaze said...

You know what they say about eyes, they aren't for the clawing out!

Grimbones said...

Bards suck, thief-acrobats swallow.

//H

Jonas said...

Congratulations, I hope your pragmatic approach evident in Vornheim book rubs of to Wizards.

September said...

I agree about bards with Fonkin and Chanier. Bards can be fixed and should remain useful. Dragon magazine once presented several kinds of bard that could be used by discerning DMs, DMs of taste and style.

Also, referencing the way bards appear in smarter popular fantasy fiction might be useful. Damiano by R.A. MacAvoy shows a pious bard by the name of Damiano, protagonal to the story of course. In Dragon Age Origins Leliana is a friendly bard agentive to espionage. In Silverlock, a character known as Golias (aka Amerigin, Orpheus, Virgil, etc.) becomes the main character's best friend. We might also include Harold Shea, Moonshadow, Saintess Cecilia, Orpheus, and Krishna.

In history, there have been numerous examples of bard-like classes and castes. Mostly, bards have been known to be Lawful in nature: they memorize law and the ancestry of rulers, they admonish wicked rulers and adulate wise rulers, they can act as lawyers, they are thought to act as representatives of the ancestors and as magical beings unto themselves (even unto changing shape).

Sorry about going on and on, but bards are in history powerful incanters of law and social rote, in fiction they are magical and in tune with the "song of creation" or "music of the spheres", and in myth they are shape-changing beings able to alter the world with uttered lyric and musical instrument.

Definitely a HD (d6/level) character class. :)

Zak S said...

Neither power nor historical accuracy make performing music while in combat not inherently silly looking. And that is all that matters.

Jonas said...

Which means D&D totally has to steal Noise Marines from GW, on the other hand bard that is awesome might just be a wizard with bass guitar.

Jonas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zak S said...

noise marines rule--and show how far--way past minstrel, way past skald, past singing viking past, taiko dojo drummer, waaaay past dazzler, past 2112, allllllllll the way into the grimdark year 40000 to make it even remotely cool