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Sheriff Belor Hemolock

Scott Betts's page

Goblin Squad Member. 6,866 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
You did state earlier up thread that you (personally) did not feel that Wotc did anything wrong with the pdfs (a sore spot for many people here) and that they (Wotc) were in the right both legally and morally. You have to understand that while you feel this way, many people here do not.

I certainly do understand that. But people get upset at a wide range of things. It's not always reasonable or fair to get upset (or worse, hostile) at a given person/event/company, but I feel like that idea isn't given the time of day in the gaming community. When someone questions whether a certain hostile reaction is reasonable, it tends to be met with additional hostility. I'm not surprised by this, but that doesn't mean I think it's appropriate. It's unpleasant, and it makes actual discussion very difficult (if not outright impossible). I don't feel like the gaming community tends to have stronger emotional reactions than other communities, but I do feel like the gaming community tends to react with those strong emotions to relatively minor issues. It's a matter of proportion.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
I don't think you are being uncivil Scott - but you are being dismissive and showing a considerable lack of empathy on the matter and that's what seems to be causing the problems.

It's difficult (for me, at least) to be particularly empathetic to the sort of person who refers to an entire company (a number of employees of which I have met, gamed with, and shared drinks with, and who struck me as genuinely cool people) in a hostile or insulting manner. You can call the decision shortsighted or whatever, that's fine, but "savages"? You may view a lack of empathy on my part as the root cause of hostility in this thread, but I don't - this thread's tone was hostile well before I started posting in it. The only difference is that the hostility became personal, rather than simply being directed at a company people don't like, once people realized it could be directed at people disagreeing with them instead.

That said, I appreciate the support, as it were.


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Skeld wrote:
Honestly guys (Steve, Sissyl, Wraithstrike, et al longtimers), there's not any reason to engage Scott in these arguments. He's been on these boards for 6 years now, defending WotC against any and every slight, real or perceived. Continuing to argue with him and let him get under your skin only serves to ruin everyone's good mood and get blood pressures up.

Nice.

Quote:

4E is dead and he may literally be the only person left on this board defending 4e and WotC's action leading up to its release (and some of their other actions, like yanking the PDFs willed to no warning). At this point, his comments on WotC/4e can safely be ignored.

-Skeld

Let's ignore, for right now, the fact that there are multiple other people in this thread saying things very similar to what I'm saying. Is it your opinion that these forums (and this sub-forum in particular) should make a point of ignoring anyone who disagrees with this community's prevailing opinion of a particular game or the company that made it?

This isn't the only tabletop gaming community that I frequent. It is, however, the only one that seems to be unable to handle disagreement with civility. I post with the same "tone" here and elsewhere, but where I'm met with reasonable discussion elsewhere I'm met with insult here. Again, not particularly flattering for this community.


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brad2411 wrote:
Some of this thread is really getting off in a bad way. The OP asked people for there opinion on if they trust Wotc anymore and why. If you want to say you trust wotc that is ok but attacking other community members for stating their opinions and beliefs of what they think is being a jerk. Please state you opinion and then read what everyone else thinks there is no reason to post again in response to another persons opinion.

This is a discussion forum. It's okay to have opinions on other people's opinions. If you find someone having an opinion about your opinion difficult to handle (or difficult to handle without resorting to personal insults), it might be time to take a step back. There are a number of people posting here who are able to have a discussion - including disagreement! - without resorting to personal attack, but there are many others who are not.


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Vhayjen wrote:
OK, so after reading halfway through this thread I've noticed something. I'm not going to get into a debate because, in particular, and who will remain nameless, -coughcough- , Scott Betts, I won't be put to task and go round and round because your brain can't seem to register we have a voice that will not be walked over by your inconsistent and belittling tone. You're like a playground bully who won't take an opposing logical voice and let it stand. To the contrary, yours is the right one and all others are at fault. You are faulty. Hit your reset button, dude, and listen for a change.

This is what hostility sounds like. For those watching, if you want to accuse me of a lack of civility, go through this thread and find all the places where I called someone (not their reasoning, but the person themselves) faulty, a playground bully, belittling, etc. You won't, because I don't use personal attacks (precisely because I like to be able to draw a contrast between myself and those who do).

You can continue to act like this, Vhayjen. I typically don't report posts for hostility. But I don't feel it reflects well on you. You can make your points without resorting to insult, and if you feel you can't, then maybe your position ought to be reconsidered.

This thread is a really solid example of a long-running trend in this sub-forum: It's considered acceptable by this community (even though it's against the rules) to direct hostility at WotC, but it is considered unacceptable to defend those companies in the face of that hostility - and, worse, the community considers that defense hostility, no matter how civil, and reacts with additional hostility because it cannot bear to be disagreed with.


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The Silver Prince wrote:
Scott Betts, I came back to see what's going on as far as discussion and what do I see? I see YOU being uncivil in the tone of your comments, then getting offended when people return the snideness.

How is that even possible? I hadn't even posted in this thread until at least two other participants made hostile comments directed towards another company in the industry. I haven't been anything close to hostile myself, but even if I had I certainly wouldn't have been the one to introduce hostility to this thread.

If you see it, you are free to report it. I think I've done a decent job of remaining civil despite the - at times - overtly hostile tone of other posters.

Would you like to continue to make this personal, The Silver Prince?

Quote:
Who are you to tell her she shouldn't feel that way? Did YOU lose money on pulled PDFs because of WotCs decision to suddenly remove all PDFs?

Yes, I did! Though I wouldn't characterize it as "losing money". I paid for PDFs, and I received PDFs.

Quote:
If you did, then you have a right to disagree with her point and have it mean something.

I didn't realize that I had to buy my way into this thread! My bad!


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
I will note that the single day's notice thing was shady...
In my view, this was the only part that makes me level the accusation against WotC. If they'd given "fair" notice (whatever that is) I would be agreeing with you completely.

Then you and I essentially agree; we're merely quibbling over how whether pulling them in one day makes them untrustworthy or merely bad at customer service (or, perhaps, untrustworthy when it comes to customer service?).


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Steve Geddes wrote:

Sure they did - they allowed third parties to offer multiple downloads over an extended period. They're not legally responsible, but the fact that they were acting in a certain way and then stopped means that they violated (some people's) trust.

It's not a question of liability or legality, it's a question of actions. Even people who understood they didnt have rights in perpetuity didnt think WotC would tell the other sites to pull the PDFs - that just wasnt the done thing. WotC were allowed to change their minds, but without warning everyone they were about to, they were breaking that trust.

It doesnt matter that other sites offered something they werent allowed to. WotC still took an unexpected action suddenly - that's where some people lost trust.

I understand that some people felt that their trust was betrayed. What you and I are going to have to simply disagree on is whether feeling betrayed by WotC was reasonable (and, by extension, whether holding a grudge for it four years later is reasonable). I don't feel that it is, because WotC had no obligation (legal or moral) to their customers to constrain their business decisions for the sake of a distributor's broken promise. Again, it was discourteous to do it as swiftly as they did, but that simply means that they didn't provide their distributor's customers a courtesy. That doesn't make them awful, or "d-bags", or any number of other choice insults. It just makes them not particularly good at customer service. And let's be honest, customer service has never been WotC's forte.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
When I buy a Paizo AP instalment, I trust that I'll get full color pictures. To the point that I dont check each time, just in case. If they suddenly release a product in black and white, it would be a violation of trust because they've set it up as a reasonable expectation.

A fairly minor violation of trust, but absolutely!

Except that WotC never set that expectation up in the first place.

DTRPG did, and they didn't have the ability to follow through on it.


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Rathendar wrote:
If a company i purchase from goes in a direction i do not wish for or desire, then i can no longer trust them to make what i like.

But you don't need that "trust" to continue to purchase from them. You can simply wait and see what they come out with. If you like the base game (which, again, you can try out without investing, so no need for "trust" there), you will probably continue to enjoy the supplements they release (or, at least, enough of the supplements that you won't feel left in the dark).

There's trust in a company, which is the surety that your investment in their product will not be devalued (or will cause you suffering) over time (through security breach, damage, etc.), and then there's "trust" in a company, which is simply the likelihood that they will make things you find worth buying. You're not at any point locked into purchasing their products blindly, so the latter isn't a concern with D&D. You can simply buy as you see fit, no "trust" required.


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Adjule wrote:
Scott's white knighting for WotC always blows up a thread.

That doesn't speak very highly of this community.

Of course, hostile, personal attack posts like yours above don't help matters at all. (I wonder if, perhaps, there is another term you could have used besides "white knighting" that describes it in a less offensive way?)


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wraithstrike wrote:
I get what you are saying, but it was still a poor move to make. I might not tell my gf that I will never cheat on her, but it is just assumed to be that way until otherwise stated.

I really don't think that the nearly-universal idea of relationship exclusivity is analogous to the idea that tabletop PDFs would remain re-downloadable in perpetuity. There are a number of digital products available today, all over the internet, that do not allow for re-download after a given window has expired. Not a safe assumption to make; in this case, it does make sense that users would believe that they could re-download those PDFs in the future, because that's what DTRPG deliberately led them to believe in order to make their service sound more attractive, despite them not actually having the ability to follow through on that promise.


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bugleyman wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
So a business shouldn't have the ability to determine who gets to distribute their product? That's wrong, to you?
That's extremely disingenuous of you. There's a big difference between "decide who distributes their products" and "make unavailable something that has already been paid for."

I don't think it's disingenuous at all. From the view of WotC - and, I'll be frank, the view of any reasonable company in a similar position (i.e., one which had no agreement with the distributor to provide re-downloads in perpetuity) - the customer had already received what they had paid for. At best, the ability to re-download previously purchased PDFs was a courtesy provided by DTRPG, one that WotC did not license them to provide and one which took advantage of WotC (placing them in a really uncomfortable position in the event that they every decided to, for example, switch or drop distributors, which is probably why it was not a provision of their license).

Again, there are two reasonable ways to treat a digital product - either it works the same as a physical product, in which case you (the consumer) are responsible for it once purchased (absent warranty), or it works as a service, in which case it is subject to the terms of the license under which it was purchased.

So, choose. In the former situation, the "legalese" doesn't matter because you aren't entitled to have it replaced, ever. What you download is what you get, and you have to purchase it a second time if you want a second copy.

In the latter situation, the "legalese" is of critical importance because it lays out what you get for your money. You, as the consumer, do not get to unilaterally dictate what your purchase entails. There are a number of people operating under the mistaken belief that giving an arbitrary amount of money to the company does give them the right to dictate what they get from that company, but they are wrong, and we call that gamer entitlement.

You cannot pick and choose. And, equally importantly, it's simply not fair to shackle WotC's entire digital distribution business to a set of terms they never agreed to. If someone tried to do that to you, you'd be (justifiably) furious. You got shafted because WotC wanted to change their digital model, and DTRPG's deception resulted in you having something that you thought you had access to stripped from you. Place the blame where it belongs.

I will note that the single day's notice thing was shady, but that doesn't obviate DTRPG of blame (and, I suspect, this decision was one borne more out of ignorance of the level of outcry it would generate). Don't attribute to malice what can be equally well-explained as a dumb choice.

Quote:
Furthermore, this is precisely the sort of argumentation for which you're constantly taking others to task.

Noooope, I really don't think that it is.


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Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
Ok, I see this conversation is getting nowhere because, apparently, you miss the salient point. You're too tied up in all the legalities and other nonsense to get that's it's not all bout the business model and what they CAN get away with, it's about what was a series d-bag moves on their part that showed a blatant disregard for their customers.

Those "legalities" and "nonsense" are the terms of the purchase that you made on the site. Do you believe those to be unimportant? Do you consider PDFs a product or a licensed service? That's an important question, and one that you seem eager to avoid answering (because it would force you into one of two positions, neither of which aligns well with your take on the situation).

No, they didn't have to make the decision that they did. On the other hand, making the decision that they did doesn't make them a bad company. If DTRPG had never made that promise, and consumers had never been provided the ability to re-download PDFs (without WotC's consent!), the outrage (or most of it) would have vanished because people's expectations would not have been elevated past what DTRPG was capable of providing.

You want WotC's business decisions to be constrained by a promise that DTRPG made to you. That isn't fair to them, and it doesn't make them "d-bags" (nice) to make those decisions. Giving one day's notice? Yeah, not a brilliant move, but at worst simply discourteous (and, again, never would have been an issue if DTRPG hadn't purposefully deceived its customers).

Quote:
It's also apparent that a civilized conversation cannot be had with you, so I see no point in continuing and have this turn into a flame war.

Red Velvet Tiger, this is the 4e (and other) sub-forum, and has some special rules. One of those rules is that attacks on other companies in the industry (including - but not limited to! - calling them "savages") are not acceptable (I believe it's a site-wide rule, but it's particularly harped-upon here and mentioned in this sub-forum's description because of its repeated problems with anti-WotC hostility). I have made a concerted effort to remain civil, and you are free to report any insulting comments you feel I may have made, but you don't get to lay the blame for a less-than-civilized conversation at my feet here. Your first post in this thread was hostile, uncivil, and broke the rules.

Quote:
I will respectfully leave this thread with a suggestion: apply for politics, Scott, because THAT'S where all of what you are speaking of belongs. I really believe you would excel at it. Good day, sir!

This, for example - a less-than-civil comment; a thinly-veiled insinuation that I lie or twist words. Not a particularly mature response, and certainly not constructive in any way. I normally don't mind when people get testy, but I do mind when they accuse me of hostility and then in the very same breath spout off crap like the above.

You can be better than this.


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Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
You should know, if you own a computer and I assume you do, that computers break down. They may not have deleted them from people's hard drives, but they DID keep them from redownloading the files if the computer crashed, which is what happened to me. And I asked WotC if they could get me a download link to the files I purchased and they said no, that I would have to buy it again.

Maybe next time, back your files up? If you were under the impression that DTRPG was your backup, because they'd promised you that your files would be available there forever despite them not being able to make that promise, why aren't you upset at them for making a promise they can't keep?

Quote:
No, but giving them permission to sell it THEN choosing to remove it just so they could make more money is a total d-bag move to anyone with a moral compass. And no, I don't care about the legalese, so feel free to keep that to yourself.

"Spare me the legalese" is, in this case, just another way for you to say, "I don't care about the factors that actually make this DTRPG's fault, I only want to hear about the things that allow me to continue to believe that WotC is solely to blame!"

Quote:
I'm not being an apologist, I just believe in KEEPING WHAT I PAY FOR!

You paid for a PDF. You got to keep it. Your computer's hard drive failed and was utterly unrecoverable? That sounds like the sort of thing that could happen to an actual possession!

Are PDFs real products that you own, giving you the rights of ownership? If yes, then you have to accept responsibility for their loss! Or are PDFs licenses for a service? If yes, then that legalese suddenly becomes critically important, because the terms of the license (not what you believe in your heart of hearts!) dictate what you're entitled to!

You don't get to have it both ways.


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wraithstrike wrote:
As for your trust comment--->Trust is a very large key to getting money from people, and any smart company will try to build it.

My argument is that a very, very small amount of trust is required for a tabletop game company. And most of that can be waived by providing the ability to try the game out for free, which has happened for the last three editions.

We're not talking about a medical insurance company, an airline, or a university. We're talking about what is, at its core, a bunch of people who write books.


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wraithstrike wrote:
WoTC is the one that took their toys back. DTRPG may be wrong for saying "the toys will always be in our house", but that does not matter to some people.

Clearly. It ought to matter, but it doesn't. Much easier to blame the big company making a business decision than it is to blame the small company that lied to you because it made their service sound more attractive!


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Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
I TRIED 4.0, Scott, and I lost a great deal of money on the PDFs, so I believe I have a right to be angry.

You absolutely do. At DTRPG. The company that made you a promise and then broke that promise.

Quote:
It seems WotC doesn't care about customers, only about revenue, which is MY grievance with them.

They care about both, because customers are the source of their revenue.

Quote:
If they had refunded those who purchased the PDFs, or just gave them access to the links to what they bought, that would have assuaged quite a bit of hurt feelings.

That sounds like the distributor's responsibility. You didn't buy your PDFs from WotC.

Quote:
But they DIDN'T. Instead, they chose to compound customer-unfriendly decision on top of customer-unfriendly decision until people just threw up their arms in disgust and walked away from WotC.

Some people.

Quote:
And, as I said, this was already AFTER they swapped editions rapidly with the whole 3.0/3.5 farce, essentially forcing people to buy new books that had, what 20 changes in the whole thing (Yes, I know there was more than this, so don't play technicalities,).

You weren't forced to do anything of the sort. Your old 3e books remained compatible, and all of the rules changes were available for free.

To say nothing of how ridiculous it is to decry WotC for releasing a slightly-revised version of a game, and then praise Pathfinder for doing exactly the same.


Sissyl wrote:

Tell you what, let us check the first post of the thread:

Pan wrote:
Many folks have mentioned being turned off/away by WOTC products and/or decisions in the past 5-10 years.
Anything else?

And I'm talking about the subset of those people who said that their trust was broken by the release of 4e.


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Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
Scott Betts, I respectfully disagree on this matter. Why did WotC allow them to sell them in the first place if they were going to reneg and snatch them away?

Because they wanted people to be able to buy PDFs? They didn't freaking delete them from people's hard drives. They simply removed the license for DTRPG to distribute them, which forced DTRPG to stop allowing customers to re-download the PDFs - again, because they made a promise they knew they weren't licensed to keep.

Quote:
THAT is the salient issue. I don't care about all the legalese, because it's for Asmodeans and Anuses (Which sounds like a fun card game though!), I care about what's right.

So a business shouldn't have the ability to determine who gets to distribute their product? That's wrong, to you?

Quote:
WotC should have NEVER allowed other companies to sell PDFs of their if they were not prepared to leave them up. THAT is the breach of trust.

No, it's not. WotC never made you a promise that you would be able to re-download the PDFs in perpetuity. That's sort of a ridiculous thing to believe, in fact! This is the internet! Distribution channels change all the time.

You can continue to be an apologist for DTRPG and continue to hate on WotC (yaaaaaaay!) but that take on the situation doesn't reflect a reasonable understanding of the issue.

Quote:
As for your comment regarding 4.0's release not having anything that breached trust by itself, I agree, but only because it was the culmination of several years of trust breaking that made people finally say 'fufu it' and walk away from WotC. The things AFTER 4.0's release, however, were MAJOR trust-breakers though!

Liiiiiiiiike...

Quote:
As for your comment of me only having superficial understanding of the market, I respectfully think you should tone down the accusations there. There has been little to no discussion of a new edition of Pathfinder

That's not the point. You made the claim that Pathfinder is somehow the shining savior of tabletop RPGs because it doesn't engage in the edition treadmill, which is an absurd thing to say because Pathfinder hasn't even been out for five years and a typical edition of D&D lasts somewhere in the neighborhood of eight.

Quote:
and Paizo has proven that they are more about customer service than WotC, so if you took that into account, you would know where I'm coming from.

Edition releases are not a reflection of poor customer service. They are a reflection of the realities of the tabletop RPG business model, wherein initial sales for an edition are very high, and sales for each subsequent same-edition product drop off (on average) until they become untenable. Are you unfamiliar with this model?


Sissyl wrote:
Really? Scott, is this a matter of your definition "during 4e's initial release" as the very day it was released, then claiming "the business decisions that people are upset about didn't happen during precisely that day"? The breach of trust was a slow affair, over what I would say amounts to a year or so. It was not just one item, one fot bullet, rather it was an operation foot autofire for months.

I just got finished reading posts by people who decided not to try 4e because they felt that their trust was violated upon its initial release.

I get that you have a list of grievances, Sissyl, but this isn't aimed at you.


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Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
That's why a lot of people like Pathfinder, myself included, because they don't edition change every few years and act like 'update or screw you, because you aren't giving us moneyz'.

Pathfinder has literally existed for less than five years. How would you even know?

I feel like your entire rant was based on a really superficial understanding of the market and the events surrounding it.


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The idea of trust with respect to a tabletop RPG company seems like it's thrown around far more often than it ought to be. There is precious little reason for such a company to require you to place any trust in them - especially since 3e, when every edition of the game has featured ways to enjoy it at either no cost or at very little cost. There is no need to invest huge sums of money up front and then cross your fingers that the game will suit you.

I don't have much patience for people who say that 4e's release cost them their trust in WotC, because I don't think anything happened during 4e's initial release that could be credibly called a breach in trust by anyone.


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Is everyone forgetting that DTRPG made an unlicensed promise to its customers that PDFs would remain available that it legally was not in a position to be able to keep?

Everyone went for WotC's throat when it happened, and almost no one acknowledged that DTRPG was in the wrong.

Yeah, no one likes that WotC pulled PDF support for a few years. But that's just a disappointing business decision, not a breach of trust. Stripping people of access to PDFs they thought they owned? That is a breach of trust, but it's not WotC that breached it. It's DTRPG, for making a promise to its customers it knew it was incapable of keeping.


Red Velvet Tiger wrote:
Pathfinder! I lost trust in WotC because of D&D 4.0.

If only there were some way that you could try 5e out without having to place your trust in a company by spending large sums of money on rulebooks!

What a world that would be!


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JoeJ wrote:
Did they really intend that first level characters don't recover hit dice from a long rest? That section of text reads, "At the end of a long rest, a character regains all lost hit points. The character also regains spent Hit Dice, up to a number of dice equal to half of the character's total number of them." Since fractions are always rounded down, half of 1 is 0.

This is an error, which Mike Mearls clarified via Twitter. It should read "minimum 1".


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JoeJ wrote:

It's less work for me, mentally, to adjust the rules than to try and come up with an explanation for a world that doesn't seem plausible to me. For me, the game rules should always support the world, not the other way around.

No one is arguing that it should be the other way around. I'm saying that, occasionally, a given change to the rules justifies some change (or some consideration) in the game world. This is a game, after all.

I tend to dislike absolutes as a matter of course.


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JoeJ wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

For me, it comes down to the feeling that the world makes sense. I have no problem with Vancian magic. It's a bit harder justifying magic that is Vancian when Bob the wizard casts a particular spell but not when Mary the sorceress casts exactly the same spell. It entirely reaches the WTF point for me when only some of Bob's spells are Vancian, and the rest are at-will superpowers.

I get that these are "feelings" and thus immune to the power of criticism, but we are talking about fantasy world magic, here. It makes perfect sense to you that people have the power to reshape the world around them through mysterious forces arbitrarily defined by powerful gods, but doesn't make sense that there might be more than one way to reshape the world around them through mysterious forces arbitrarily defined by powerful gods?

That's exactly right. I don't expect fantasy and science fiction to match the real world, but I do expect them to make sense within the contexts of their own worlds.

First we're given a division between divine and arcane magic, and between spontaneous and prepared casting. But do those divisions correspond? No. Both divine and arcane casters use both prepared and spontaneous casting. Now, since PF, we have a third kind of casting: at will. It too crosses all boundaries. Spontaneous and prepared casters can both cast at will, regardless of whether they cast arcane or divine spells.

How would a wizard explain to his apprentice why cantrips aren't limited, but spells disappear from your mind when you cast them? I don't mind having more than one way to wield magical powers. I do mind it when those different ways don't correspond to anything in-world that would account for it.

I wonder if you can think of some ways that the wizard might explain the differences to his apprentice. I can certainly think of some, but more importantly I'm sure that you can, too. It's not very helpful for me to come up with explanations for you, because you might be less inclined to accept them as they didn't come from your own personal conception of how the game works. But if you come up with an explanation of your own (which I'm certain you can do), it will probably make the differences easier to conceptualize.


Steve Geddes wrote:

Sure, but who are you discussing with? It seems like an odd conversation - kind of like hearing someone say "I like heavy metal music" and replying "But it's nowhere near as influential as classical!"

I like wizards with very limited magical resources. Replying that an opinion is not convincing just seems like a non sequitur to me. I never intended it to be convincing, it was just a point of view.

In this post Auxmaulous makes the case to thejeff that 5e's at-will cantrip casting is "troubling" and "worse than PF levels of power", and contends that it represents a design direction that will create trouble for 5e (or perhaps that will create trouble for him, but it's not stated that way). This goes well past simply stating an opinion on design aesthetics and goes will into the territory of making judgment statements about the value of a particular mechanic in 5e. I think it's a little odd that people are criticizing someone for continuing that discussion, especially when it involves leveling similar criticism at a different edition of the game.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
Betts was basically saying that I can't possibly like older editions because they are bad.

Except that I wasn't, because I don't believe they are bad.

See what happens when you guess at someone's motivations? I try to avoid getting upset about it, though; a simple correction is plenty.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
I've seen this bandied about a few times now, and I'm having a lot of trouble accepting that it's anything more than, "In my day Wizards couldn't cast cantrips at-will, so that's how it should be!"

In my case it's: "In my day Wizards couldn't cast cantrips at-will, and that's how I like it!"

Does it have to be anything more? Stating one's preference doesnt have to be convincing to anyone else.

It doesn't have to be convincing to anyone, but I don't see any reason that people can't comment on how they don't believe it to be convincing. This is a discussion board.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
Where have you been in the last 14 years of d20 gaming?

Playing d20 games. Where have you been?

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It isn't a case of "in my day". I ran 3rd ed (since 2003), I run PF - I went back to play in a 2nd ed game after 30 years - superior in almost every aspect for an older and non-modern system.

In your opinion, of course.

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Your awkward asymmetries and headaches are contrived

No, they aren't. I've played multiple pre-3e editions of the game. Or are you calling me a liar, Auxmaulous?

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and were told to you by other people,

No, they weren't. They were definitely confirmed for me by other people, but their reality was obvious to me even in very short periods of play.

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so please spare me the "1st/2nd ed/older systems were only good because of nostalgia" nonsense.

Go ahead and quote where I said that. I loved 2e when I was playing it. I probably even liked 1e.

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Older systems - less problems.

In your opinion. Not in the opinion of others. And that's the problem. You're arguing that at-will cantrips are a negative, even in 5e, and you have people telling you that in actual play they're fine and don't ruin anything (except, perhaps, your own personal sense of edition aesthetics).

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I'm looking to replicate that. That's my motivation.

We get that.

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Older systems - less character power/reliance on power/less break in verisimilitude. I'm looking to replicate that. That's my motivation.

And yet despite people telling you that cantrips are not a symptom of any of that in 5e, you insist they must be because that's how they were in the editions you hold near and dear.

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Please stop telling me how older editions ran

Because you'd like to have a monopoly on telling everyone else how they ran, just like you spent this entire post doing?

I, on the other hand, said nothing about how previous editions ran in any of my earlier posts in this thread. So, I don't know, maybe stop telling me that I'm telling you how older editions ran when I wasn't? That'd be cool.

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or what my motivation is for looking at and possibly tweaking 5e to emulate older editions

I didn't tell you what your motivations are. I mentioned what the motivations for others I've seen take this same position have been. But you should have no problem differentiating yourself if your motivations aren't the same. So far, though, your post has been very little more than you claiming that older systems are better because they have fewer problems, which is a lot like saying apple pie tastes better than peach pie because the flavor is better.

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and I will continue to not talk about 4e.

You mean you will continue to not pointlessly mention a game you don't like in a manner that is off-topic and incendiary enough to break this sub-forum's rules?

Cool.


JoeJ wrote:

For me, it comes down to the feeling that the world makes sense. I have no problem with Vancian magic. It's a bit harder justifying magic that is Vancian when Bob the wizard casts a particular spell but not when Mary the sorceress casts exactly the same spell. It entirely reaches the WTF point for me when only some of Bob's spells are Vancian, and the rest are at-will superpowers.

I get that these are "feelings" and thus immune to the power of criticism, but we are talking about fantasy world magic, here. It makes perfect sense to you that people have the power to reshape the world around them through mysterious forces arbitrarily defined by powerful gods, but doesn't make sense that there might be more than one way to reshape the world around them through mysterious forces arbitrarily defined by powerful gods?

This is an upgrade to the verisimilitude-uber-alles perspective on D&D that I've never seen before.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
Spammable damage cantrips are not breaking my game at all. YMMV.
Just don't want casters to have that level of flexibility with magic in my games.

What flexibility is that, exactly? The ability to consistently contribute meaningfully to combat encounters?

I've seen this bandied about a few times now, and I'm having a lot of trouble accepting that it's anything more than, "In my day Wizards couldn't cast cantrips at-will, so that's how it should be!" I'm not a fan of tradition for tradition's sake, especially when it comes shackled to a host of headaches and awkward asymmetries.


thejeff wrote:
GypsyMischief wrote:

I don't want mages to be an out of the box gish, or come close to dedicated swordsman in terms of melee power, but I do want proficiency with a slightly wider berth of weapons than Staff, Sling, Club, Dagger and Crossbow. However, that universal to-hit progression thing is pretty nifty, that's pretty much exactly what I was going for. An adventuring mage is still an adventurer, and I feel as though adventurers worth their salt can swing a pointy stick to some effect.

@Scott Betts, I'm not looking for a gish, man, I just want to be a mage that can attack that guy standing in front of him with a sword, and not get laughed at when he rolls a 19 and still doesn't connect. Initially I wasn't complaining, I was just sayin' "Hey, what if we could assume that adventuring magicians have some competency with weapons, so that the early levels weren't so brutal." And then I got trounced, because the forums are a happy place.

Partly because it wasn't clear that's what you were saying, rather than "Why can't wizards also be fighters?"

Still, even that's always been possible if you're willing to devote some resources to it. And at early levels being a couple points behind in BAB isn't that big a deal. The fighter's advantage is coming more from str bonus and feats than BAB.

Yeah, I was confused by this as well. If a wizard is rolling a 19 and missing at early levels, what does the fighter have to roll to hit? An 18? That doesn't seem like a typical challenge.


GypsyMischief wrote:

I don't want mages to be an out of the box gish, or come close to dedicated swordsman in terms of melee power, but I do want proficiency with a slightly wider berth of weapons than Staff, Sling, Club, Dagger and Crossbow. However, that universal to-hit progression thing is pretty nifty, that's pretty much exactly what I was going for. An adventuring mage is still an adventurer, and I feel as though adventurers worth their salt can swing a pointy stick to some effect.

@Scott Betts, I'm not looking for a gish, man, I just want to be a mage that can attack that guy standing in front of him with a sword, and not get laughed at when he rolls a 19 and still doesn't connect. Initially I wasn't complaining, I was just sayin' "Hey, what if we could assume that adventuring magicians have some competency with weapons, so that the early levels weren't so brutal." And then I got trounced, because the forums are a happy place.

There have been a number of methods used to make the early levels less brutal on mages - most of them revolve around giving mages mage-y things to do.


Andrew R wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
I think the best answer is to separate health care from employment entirely. Stop forcing the employer to subsidize health care at all, make them pay an extra amount for the individual to get their own insurance. Now it is no one's business but the insurance provider and insurance purchaser.
That defeats the ability to pool risk, unless you are prepared to accept a nationalized single payer system.
the insurance company pools risk within their clients

Oh god.


GypsyMischief wrote:
thejeff wrote:
GypsyMischief wrote:
I hope mages finally get to learn how to fight. I'm not sure where this trope of the magician being inept in melee came from, but it needs to be put down.
Sounds good to me. I also hope fighters get to learn to cast spells. I'm not sure where this trope of the swordsman being inept at magic came from, but it needs to be put down.
Well that was needlessly catty. I apologize for reading LOTR as a child and in turn desiring a magician who can wield a sword. I guess I should only want to play my fantasy games the way Gygax intended. Break out the THAC0, boys, and get that Dwarven druid out of my face, I don't like new things, rabble rabble rabble.

I don't know of anything in any edition since 3e that would in any way prevent you from playing a mage that could fight with a sword. In fact, every edition since 3e has featured advanced classes specifically for mages that fight with a sword. What, exactly, are you complaining about, here?


bugleyman wrote:
The OGL has been put to use re-creating pretty much every other version of D&D: Everything from OSRIC and Castles and Crusades (1st Edition) to Labrinth Lord (D&D) to god knows what else. All they do is change a few names.

And this is because they didn't have any other in-print option.

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I think it's highly likely someone will do the same thing for 5th edition unless they're given a better choice (i.e. the release of 5E under the OGL).

5e is the better choice. There is no market need for someone to create a confusing 5e clone, because 5e already exists and is receiving current support.

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Perhaps. However, I think the GSL fiasco demonstrated pretty conclusively that the terms of the license matter.

I remain convinced that the actual terms of the license didn't matter at all, except insofar as people misconstrued or misjudged the terms of the license (save, perhaps, large companies like Paizo for whom the license is actually untenable), especially after its revision. There are a number of small 3pps that worked within the GSL just fine.

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So in summary: By not releasing 5E under the OGL, WotC can make it inconvenient to support 5E. However, a determined party could still use the 3.5 OGL to do what Paizo has done with 3.5 (and what WotC apparently fears someone will do with 5E): Publish a viable D&D competitor. As someone who wants to see 5E succeed, that seems like the worst of all possible worlds.

But why would anyone do that? Given the choice between buying the version of 5e made by the official creators and with a huge support and player base, or the version of 5e made by a tiny company with very little to distinguish itself and almost no player base adoption, why would anyone choose the latter? Edition clones have only been reasonably successful when they clone a version of the game that is no longer in print.


idilippy wrote:
I'm confused, aren't we on the website for the most popular RPG system, one supported by literally dozens of 3rd party publishers, all if which is made possible because of the OGL? And isn't this game just one of many others that exist because of that same OGL? I have a very hard time reconciling those facts with your opinion that the OGL is something very few people are willing to put up with.

Plenty of people are willing to put up with the OGL for the system it was written for. I expect very few people are willing to shoehorn it into systems that it was not written for. We're talking about 5e, not 3.5. Especially once an actual licensing framework is released for 5e.


thejeff wrote:

And, as I've said before here, I'm not willing to cede the birth control argument. Birth control is health care. Going without sex, except when you actually want children is just not going to be a reality for the vast majority of women. Not just, or even mostly, single women, but especially women who are married or in long term relationships. Without birth control, women have children every couple of years at least. Without birth control, women die much younger, childbirth is still dangerous and carrying a child to term is a huge stress. Without birth control, women have much more trouble having independent careers and lives. Reliable access to birth control changes women's lives. It is health care.

And the better, more reliable forms are the more expensive ones. Condoms break. Women have much less control over whether condoms are used. IUDs (which HL didn't cover) are much more effective, long term and also work for women who can't use the pill for health reasons.

I am in total agreement with you, but we're arguing with someone who clearly has it in his head that sex isn't part of health and that contraception isn't important enough to warrant government involvement. Not a brilliant position, but not one that I expect he'll budge from, either.


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zauriel56 wrote:
Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
zauriel56 wrote:
I disagree with the stance of the business but not the ruling. Why should rights be infringed upon because they own a business?
Why should a employee's rights be infringed upon because they have a job?
As someone previously stated you don't have to have sex. So women have a right to not get pregnant right? You know how you can do that? Don't have sex. If you want your cake and to eat it too you're gonna have to pay. Why is it there job to pay for something elective?

So you are utterly ignorant of the fact that a huge percentage of those women taking birth control medication are doing so for reasons other than to avoid pregnancy? And you've somehow managed to completely gloss over all of the people who have explained that to you countless times in the past few years?

That seems like a pretty enormous gap in your knowledge of the situation - one that, some might say, disqualifies you from having your opinion on the matter taken seriously.

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Look I'm a libertarian.

Oh.


bugleyman wrote:
The specific item in question (digital chargen tools) is kinda incidental to my point: The OGL cat is out of the bag. People who really want to put in the effort can already do 5E products using the OGL (see Frog God).

They can, yes, but they are forced to make some unpleasant changes to certain pieces of protected content to avoid stepping on 5e copyright toes (since 5e isn't covered by the OGL). This works out alright for a print product (like an adventure) because it should be at least mostly clear what a given reference means even if the language is slightly changed. It causes all kinds of problems, however, in a digital tool product where you would want the ability to, for example, search for specific named rules elements (monsters, feats, abilities, equipment, etc.).

Frog God is doing this because they have sought legal counsel to avoid breaking copyright law, they've decided to publish an almost entirely additive product so that they don't have to call out official published content very often, and because they really want to be first to the table.

The OGL cat is out of the bag, but at this point it's ugly and malnourished and very few people are willing to put up with its crap.

Trapdoor will be putting out a character creation tool soon, and there will be some kind of licensing structure available next year.


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bugleyman wrote:

Dear WotC:

Over on the Lone Wolf forums there is a discussion about Hero Lab supporting 5E. The gist is that their hands are tied until you releases news on 5E licensing.

This is exactly what I feared would happen.

You should have learned from 4E and embraced the OGL early and publicly for 5E. Unfortunately, your failure to do so is already having negative effects on your potential customers. And for what? The OGL genie is out of the bottle. The good news is that it isn't too late to make it right. Release 5E under the OGL. Don't discourage third party support of your product by creating uncertainty. Don't hamstring 5E before it is even released. Please.

Sincerely,

A D&D fan
32 years and counting

Why would WotC voluntarily cheapen the value of its own licensee (Trapdoor Technologies) by allowing other digital tools companies the same level of rights access without the protections of a (robust) licensing agreement? Heck, it's possible that Trapdoor even has an exclusive license to develop D&D digital tools.


Solusek wrote:
What I read from his post was "the buzz of 5th edition leaks and within a few months it is announced at the 2012 Gen Con."

I read that, too. I also read, "So after another 4 years, 2012 will see the release of 5th edition." So who knows what the OP meant. He refers to 2012 as both the release and the announcement date. It's possible that he imagined the announcement and release happening in the same year, which normally wouldn't be inconceivable but which the two-year playtest process made an impossibility.

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I also remember in the early convention panels with the 5th edition dev team they were all about how modular 5th edition was going to be and how you could play it to be similar to any of the previous editions just by choosing which rules to incorporate in your game. Again, exactly as the original poster here predicted. Maybe WotC has gone back on that idea over the course of the playtest, but they definitely were saying that about the game in 2012.

Possibly. I wasn't following the modularity thing that closely back then (it's probably the least exciting part of 5e to me). Either way, it's certainly not the case at release that all rules options are considered equally official or canonical.


Zardnaar wrote:
4E died in 2012 and the playtest started.

Calling 4e "dead" in 2012 is overstating things. It wasn't receiving regular print releases but was still receiving active support, including through new organized play campaigns. Over the last couple of years we've seen a transition from supporting 4e, to supporting both 4e and 5e, to supporting only 5e in the last few months.


Steve Geddes wrote:
His dates may have been off, but the general thrust was pretty darn impressive, in my view.

I guess all that I took away from it was the idea of rules modularity, but the OP foresaw a much greater emphasis on that than we've seen so far - imagining a D&D where multiple variants of the game were treated as equally valid, as opposed to what we actually see in 5e, where variants are easily swapped out but are clearly indicated as differing from the norm (and, for instance, not supported by organized play). We are certainly seeing more uniformity than merely in the language used, and I very much doubt that 5e will free D&D from the edition treadmill. That would require a systemic change in how D&D is sold as a product, not merely a change in the game's rules.

Some hits, some misses. Better than many, certainly.


Solusek wrote:
Holy cow this prediction was SPOT ON. How could you know all this back in 2007!?

If by "spot on" you mean "off by two whole years", sure.


Raymond Lambert wrote:
I played the first half or so of the starter set. That, and reading the recent release of the free pdf is where I got the impressions I have. As a starter set, it seems to really be just a tutorial level or two. I wanted to buy a reach weapon and the GM said no because the starter set has no reach weapons and he us trying to gage the starter set on its own. I respect his experiment. It will only be about two games anyway. We cleared out the cave complex and we expect to finish thr starter set in one more game. So far, I hated what I saw in the stRter set and free PDF. I am trying to remember material will be expanded. Not a single attack of opportunity happened all game, even when I tried to position myself so they would provoke as they passed.me to get to others. I wad told once you are engaged, they can dance all around you and not provoke as long as they do not leave you.

Out of curiosity, was 3e/3.5e/Pathfinder your first edition of D&D?


Threeshades wrote:
Okay short is perhaps not the right word but its still very incomplete,

I think we'll kindly chuck the use of the word "incomplete", here. No one defines what is a "complete" tabletop game. Is the game playable? Yes. Is it free? Also, yes. It's silly to harp on the "completeness" of a game that isn't even released yet. (The worst is when people define "complete" as "containing my personal favorite handful of game elements.")

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it only contains the, at least to me, least interesting classes, so I can't say a lot about whether it is going to give me the material i would need for a fun game.

The Player's Handbook will contain a number of other classes. It's safe to say that you will eventually have everything you need for a fun game.

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