Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dungeons and Dragons, a humble suggestion

Only Wizards of the Coast have the resources and the customer base to support a major online initiative for an pen and paper RPG.

Make the D&D website essential, and make the books the key to unlocking it.

Players Handbook
  • A character generator that is updated with any and all errata.
  • A database of characters uploaded by users. Think Spore. Players enter the stats, skills (whatever they call them now), etc. and all characters that meet the criteria come up.
  • When errata is issued, players can opt-in to updates. All characters they've got online are automatically updated.
  • Using the massive collection of artwork already available, character portraits are available from the entire history of D&D.
Dungeons Master's Guide
  • When used in conjunctions with the PH, characters may have lists of magic items (assuming items are still in the DMG)
  • Map, scenario editor and database Similar database to character editor, allowing players to build and share rooms, lairs, or whole adventures.
  • Magic Item editor and database.
Monster Manual
  • When used in conjunction with the map, scenario editor, monster stats are included as statblocks or whole descriptions.
  • Monster editor and database.
Here's the kicker. Don't give it away. Put a code in every book that unlocks that book's content on the site. Players who don't buy Monster Manuals don't get access to the Monster Manual content. Players who don't by Player's Handbooks, don't get the character generator.

Suddenly used books are far less valuable than new books. P2P versions are also compromised.

Releasing a new Monster book? Add some featured content to wet the player's taste, but require the book's code to get all the new monsters in their database. Releasing a Forgotten Realms book with new character content? Do the same thing. Give them a little, but only customers with the codes get all that new content.

Make the D&D website essential, and make the books the key to unlocking it.


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