1d12 questions with….Mike Mearls

Posted on April 15, 2009 by


I’m rolling out an interview section to the website titled “1d12 questions with…” where I’ll roll a d12 and ask that number of questions to the subject of the interview, who today happens to be the very gracious & approachable Mike Mearls, lead designer at Wizards of the Coast. 

Mike Mearls

Mike Mearls

It’s meant to be a reflection on the 4th Ed. of D&D, almost a year after launch.  Here’s Mike Mearls, answering 7 questions:

1. Almost a year later, what are you most proud of about 4th Ed.?

 I’m most proud of how the humanoid monsters
 came out. I really like that a tribe of gnolls feels like a very different opponent compared to a group of kobolds. A good DM could always use story and descriptive elements to make them feel different, but now those critters have special abilities that unify each type and, in so doing, make them more distinct.
2.  If you could go back to the planning stages and alter something, what would  it be, and why?

I’d change rituals. I think they have a lot of promise, but they are a little too hard to use to fill the  role I think they should have.

 3. What can we expect as far as published adventures are concerned, once the
third epic level adventure is on the shelves?

I think you’ll see Dungeon continue to hit all the tiers each month, and this summer we have Revenge of the Giants coming out. It’ll cover most of paragon tier and give you a chance to battle giants, travel the planes, and take part in an epic, world-shaking sage.

4. What’s your least favorite class in the game, and why?

My least favorite is probably the warlord. Part of it is that in one game, I played an obnoxious, pushy aristocratic warlord who led a charge into a goblin cave and found that nobody else in the party particularly wanted to  follow his lead. So, he ended up unconscious (and quiet) much to the rest of the party’s relief.   On a more serious note, I guess I just like clerics too much. I think mechanically the class is fine, but  I’m just happier with a mace, a holy symbol, and the indomitable power of St. Cuthbert when I’m playing a leader.
5. Is the skill list in the game definitely locked in, or is there the possibility of future phb’s expanding it?

I don’t think you’ll see us expand the skill list. I think there is room in the game for mechanics that let you do other things, but I think that those mechanics would be something else. They wouldn’t compete with the core adventuring skills.

6.  Tell me something about 4th Ed. that always brings a smile to your face
when you come accross it.

All of the things that make me smile are little fixes that make the game easier to play. I like that we added shifting to the game, in place of the somewhat nebulous 5 foot step. I like how opportunity attacks are simpler, but get across the same effect in the game. The little things that are intuitive and natural, the kind of thing that just feels like it’s been in the game forever, those are my favorite parts.

 7. We know it’s being worked on, so can you drop a PHB3 tidbit exclusively
for newbiedm.com readers?

Sorry, but PH 3 is still under tight wraps.

Still under tight wraps?  I’ll take that as a Mummy reference.  OMG teh Mummy in PHB3 is teh brokenz!!!  I think he’s throwing me a hint.  I’m kidding, I’m kidding… 

And there you go, 1d12 questions with Mike Mearls.  Thanks Mike!

Posted in: 4e D&D, Gaming