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Argith

houstonderek's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 9,334 posts (9,638 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 9 aliases.


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Liberty's Edge

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The 3x OGL will never happen again, outside of Paizo keeping an iteration alive, since it would be a bad move not to, considering. Just be thankful that Dancey pushed for that the week the entire Hasbro legal team was in a coma, otherwise gaming would look a lot different right now.

Liberty's Edge

I'll be working the vendor area Saturday morning/afternoon if anyone wants to stop by. I'll be at one of the tee shirt tables.

Liberty's Edge

Pretty hard to assume Paizo came up with the idea independently, seeing as the idea has been discussed on this thread, on their site, for quite some time now.

Liberty's Edge

I have the core set (plus a, for you pointless, DM screen), so I'm ready for some 5e. I'm pretty much burned out on all things 3e based right now, to be honest, and even less interested in anything based off of Pathfinder.

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Freehold DM wrote:

points wildly

HD?!?!

:-)

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TheRavyn wrote:
Dustin Ashe wrote:

On second thought, as soon as my Jade Regent campaign wraps, I'm switching to 5e rules but staying with Pathfinder APs. I'll start Rise of the Runelords next.

Why not have the best of both worlds?

You're gonna like it. Converting RotRL to 5E is a breeze and we're having a blast. We just wrapped book 4 last week, and are now officially entering "high level" 5E.

That's kind of the beauty of 5e, really. If it was D&D (or PF), it's relatively easy to convert, since you're mostly stripping stuff away.

Liberty's Edge

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Vic Wertz wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
I think Paizo has a fallibility that they believe their own stories a little too much. They talk about splitting the lines weakening the brand, but to tell the truth, ONE major reason I think TSR's D&D was dominate for soooo long was because the SPLIT the line directly between D&D and AD&D.

This isn't just some "story." When Wizards bought TSR, Lisa was assigned the task of figuring out why TSR was in in such dire straits that they *needed* to be bought. She collected sales data on pretty much every significant product TSR ever published, interviewed former and then-current employees and distributors, and Wizards did the largest survey of gamers ever done in the industry. She managed to pull together data that even TSR execs didn't have access to when they were running the company. And all this data showed that every new campaign setting split the market more than it grew the market.

And this wasn't just historical—we saw it happen in front of our eyes while we published three adventures in every issue of Dungeon magazine. If we published a Forgotten Realms adventure, Greyhawk players would complain they couldn't use a third of the magazine, and vice versa. And, as I've mentioned before, there was one particular campaign setting (which I won't name) that, if we put its name on the cover of the magazine, it would guarantee that we'd sell fewer copies of that issue that the issues before or after it, even when more than 2/3 of the magazine had nothing to do with that setting.

Spelljammer? ;-)

Liberty's Edge

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Sissyl wrote:
Well then, do Elfshadow. It has it all, and is magnitudes better than Salvatore's books. Or Azure bonds.

My five year old daughter took a Salvatore novel last night. Couldn't go into the bathroom for an hour afterward.

Liberty's Edge

GreyWolfLord wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
In 2015, Hasbro still sells more Ouija Boards and Battleship games than D&D.

ACTUALLY...moneywise...boardgames has made less than WotC over the past few years, and D&D actually HAS made more money than any of the games you've listed just recently in their most recent reports. At least that's what I've gathered from others (Such as their quarterly statements).

Saying their boardgames are individually outselling D&D is a misnomer.

The only real counterpoint is that they have sunk a LOT more money into D&D development than those boardgames, but I don't think the boardgames you've listed are actually selling as well as you think they are recently.

So, what you're saying is, core rule books for D&D outsold Battleship. Not money generated by D&D was higher than money generated by Battleship, that the Player's Handbook for Fifth Edition outsold Battleship in units sold.

Liberty's Edge

MMCJawa wrote:
Forever Slayer wrote:

The title says it all.

Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and a lot of other movies have been there done that. I remember something about that Seventh Son movie that came out. Looked very much like a D&D type of movie but it looks like it got bad reviews.

Hasbro is so focused on a movie that I believe they aren't really worried about the D&D TTRPG game itself, but what exactly could a D&D movie bring that other movies have not? I mean we already have those other god awful movies that people haven't forgotten.

Do you think they could pull off a blockbuster?

I didn't realize their was a only a specific number of big screen fantasy movies that were allowed to be made.

To make a similar point, why do we need more comic book movies? Don't we have enough? Yet in 2016 we are, from my superficial glance, getting 6 new superhero movies from 3 studios (Deadpool, Gambit, Age of Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, Batman vs Superman, Dr Strange, and Civil War).

The LotRs, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones have all been super successful, which shows there is money to be made in the epic fantasy genre, as long as you take the material seriously and don't run afoul of any of the typical big budget movie problems.

Look at it this way: Hasbro has made billions (yes, billions) on Transformers, a property about robots that fight each and turn into trucks. Hell they turned Battleship and the Ouija Board into (bad) movies. Compared to those properties, producing a big budget DnD movie should be a cinch, since you have numerous settings, adventures, novels, and rule books to pull from.

Also, the relative merit of the older movies really isn't a factor that needs much consideration. The average movie watcher at this point has forgotten those movies exist, and there are far far more visible franchise properties that have been rebooted in even less time. Also, Hasbro can provide a far better budget and better talent than anything sweet pea can produce.

So yeah, Hasbro can make a...

In 2015, Hasbro still sells more Ouija Boards and Battleship games than D&D.

Liberty's Edge

Make Drizz't more popular, and, therefore, more annoying.

Liberty's Edge

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Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Forever Slayer wrote:

Big corporations are the bane of RPG's and Hasbro is no exception.

I believe D&D would be better off in the hands of a smaller company who does not see D&D as a mega money maker but as a table top game that may not earn you billions, will earn you a nice profit while giving gamers the game they want. I see Hasbro as the kind of company that would break that antique piggy bank in order to get to the money inside. I could see them getting frustrated because D&D didn't meet their crazy goals and shelving it.

What get's me is a company like Hasbro and WoTC can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Paizo is a big company now and act like one. Sell nearly 15 items per month... at least wotc doesn´t sell too much things at the same time.

Love the game, hate the money farming tool that we have become for them

Paizo is a pretty small company, actually. WotC is a subsidiary of a big company that sells tens (if not hundreds, considering all of their subsidiaries and licensees) of thousands of distinct products a month. Fifteen items a month, a few of which aren't anything but maps and accessory stuff, is hardly an overwhelming product release schedule.

Edit, just because: And, yeah, it's sad the talent actually wants to eat. If you don't want to be a money farming tool, make your own rules up and get your friends to play with you.

Liberty's Edge

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thejefff, D&D is a fantasy game. Make a good fantasy movie with the fighter/rogue/wizard/cleric combo working as a group to overthrow evil. Throw in some recognizable D&D monsters. That's it, all you need to slap "D&D" on it and make it a D&D movie. The general non-nerd raging public doesn't care how "accurately" any movie portrays any source material, and they're the ones that make movies profitable. Let's look at some other Hasbro owned properties that made a ton of money at the movies, GI Joe and Transformers. The only people crying about those two movies (all of which made lot of money, by the way) were people upset that the movies deviated from the Hasbro licensed thirty minute commercials they produced to sell action figures like hotcakes. Complaining about the accuracy of something based on a cartoon used to sell toys. The general public doesn't CARE.

See, the ONLY issue is what's good advice for a studio, as Hasbro will make all of their money on the licensing of the brand name. Hasbro does't sell movies. They sell toys. A movie isn't going to instantly revive the gaming hobby, there is a current edition that Hasbro is selling, so I guess I don't understand your perspective.

Liberty's Edge

davrion wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I loved the choose your own adventure books they put out for dungeons and dragons, can't tell you how many times I tried to kill off the hero in those by making obviously stupid choices. ah, good times
I loved those also! My favorite had an elf protagonist and a bugbear with a good one liner when he did you in if you chose wrong. Can't remember the name, but it might have been the second or third in the series?
Was it Return to Brookmere?

That's the one. :-)

Liberty's Edge

Funny, every con I go to, the crowd is the same, with fewer and fewer new young faces every year. Some people who used to play might be coming back here and there, but it's an aging hobby. And, if you look past the frustrating parts of the 5e release and think like a bean counter, you know companies do not leave free money on the table. Hasbro knows the market, there's a reason the 5e release wasn't huge, with all kinds of bells and whistles. The 3x/4e thing proved one thing, D&D (whether you call it Pathfinder now or not) is the only game in town. Pretty much every other game that "competes" against Paizo is so niche as to be insignificant in the market.

Plus, you live near the birthplace of TTRPGs, and have long winters. Trust me, in Houston, gaming isn't nearly as big as it was when I moved here. The RPG shelf space in most stores is a small fraction of what it was in the late Eighties, with six or seven systems, not scores, represented on the shelf. The only TTRPG selling in any numbers that would make an MBA notice is Pathfinder.

The hobby is only truly supporting one system, with a few others being a labor of love for the publishers. That is a death knell.

Liberty's Edge

bugleyman wrote:

I don't doubt for a minute that D&D is barely on Hasbro's radar, especially resource-wise. However, what I see as the problems with 5E aren't resource related:

1. Lack of PDFs. These already exist as part of the production process. At most they require some work to lock down permissions, etc. No way this is a resource issue; Hasbro simply fears digital distribution (and have said as much).

2. No OGL. Again, likely not a resource issue, as they could simply release 5E under the existing OGL. Clearly the people at Wizards want to do something with a license, but Hasbro with it's very limited understanding of the RPG market, likely forbids it. They just know that "the OGL created Pathfinder, our greatest competitor," completely missing the fact that the genie is out of the bottle, so all they're accomplishing at this point is discouraging the sort of support they *do* want (modules, etc.) out of fear of someone forking 5E (which they could already do, if determined enough).

3. No character generator. Quit trying to write software and give Herolab the license. Again, not a resource constraint. This one I really don't get, unless Hasbro thinks they should be making all that money themselves and somehow still haven't figured out that they can't do software.

In short, the mishandling of 5E is related to Hasbro's lack of understanding of the market. What they *should* is allow D&D to operate autonomously, or nearly so, but we know that isn't the case because you have Hasbro execs making statements about piracy, etc.

Will Hasbro kill D&D? I dunno. But they certainly aren't doing it any favors, at least not as an RPG. They may be great for the value of the brand.

1. This seems to be important to a lot of people. So I'll grant it is a "mistake".

2. Get over the OGL. It was a WotC thing that Hasbro wanted nothing to do with. It saved gaming a few years of decline, and created a scenario where the company lost market share TO THEIR OWN GAME. The OGL is a good thing for people who want all gaming to be resolved by a d20, but it was a poor business decision if just based on unintended consequences.

3. When they get the license stuff right, I'm sure HeroLabs (or whomever) will have one. It's obvious that Hasbro isn't really interested in 5e as anything but a placeholder, and are in no rush to develop much beyond the core. Paizo is carrying the torch now, the hobby is niche, and it doesn't need a strong D&D to survive, as it isn't a growth hobby by any stretch.

I think Hasbro probably understands the actual MARKET just fine, even if they don't understand the TTRPG market customers, as in, they know how small it is, they know that trying to grow it is a waste of money in the face of consoles and PC gaming (but the license for the video games is pure gold), and they know the name is bigger than the game by a long shot. That you dislike what they're doing is immaterial, they know exactly what they're doing, and are probably maximizing the profit they can get out of the flagship NAME in a shrinking market.

TTRPG had its moment in the sun, don't expect Hasbro to chase the nostalgia dollar.

Liberty's Edge

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Forever Slayer wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Forever Slayer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

You think Hasbro know about making RPGs?

I'm a little confused as to what your point is (other than being disappointed they're releasing expansions so slowly - which is probably WotC's decision, based on their recent experiences making RPGs, rather than anything mandated by hasbro).

What makes you think Hasbro aren't calling the shots this time?

It's already been stated that building the brand through movies, video games, mugs, tshirts,etc is what's important. That sounds more in line with how Hasbro thinks and not WoTc.

yeah certainly a small company like Paizo has no interest in expanding into video games or T-shirts or adorably cute plush goblins so why would WotC :-) that's all basics of brand building, like taught in elementary school basics :-)

Certainly WotC didn't need Hasbro to tell them to do that :-)

Thing is, Paizo has shown they can do all this and still keep Pathfinder in the spotlight with no slowing down.

Wizards can't seem to grasp that concept.

Wizards was fine until they made mistakes with 4e and let Paizo take control of the market. Apparently someone at Hasbro doesn't think it is worth the fight to try to take that market back, and is happy going minimalist with a well received, well put together placeholder they can give some (if not nearly enough for the typical gamer) support for over time. It's a good core game they have in 5e, it just came out at a time when most of the fantasy RPG money is going to another company, and the market is too small for two huge systems that essentially cover the exact same ground (just one without mind flayers and displacer beasts).

Liberty's Edge

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captain yesterday wrote:
I loved the choose your own adventure books they put out for dungeons and dragons, can't tell you how many times I tried to kill off the hero in those by making obviously stupid choices. ah, good times

I loved those also! My favorite had an elf protagonist and a bugbear with a good one liner when he did you in if you chose wrong. Can't remember the name, but it might have been the second or third in the series?

Liberty's Edge

Spook205 wrote:
Forever Slayer wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

You think Hasbro know about making RPGs?

I'm a little confused as to what your point is (other than being disappointed they're releasing expansions so slowly - which is probably WotC's decision, based on their recent experiences making RPGs, rather than anything mandated by hasbro).

What makes you think Hasbro aren't calling the shots this time?

It's already been stated that building the brand through movies, video games, mugs, tshirts,etc is what's important. That sounds more in line with how Hasbro thinks and not WoTc.

Or how TSR thought.

Dragonstrike, a Candyland style D&D Board Game (My Grandmother had one!), Dragon Dice, the old cartoon show, the action figures. I remember as a kid there were even little storybooks on tape (one involved some knight having to get a cure for his wizard friend).

Let's not get into the Evil Corporations What Corporate stuff here.

Hasbro only differs from TSR in that they're more competent, more risk adverse, and more demanding that their products actually make a profit.

Don't forget they're actually run by business people and not hobbyists.

Liberty's Edge

Matrix Dragon wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

Here's one place Hasbro is winning. To the vast majority of the population, if they see a bunch of people gaming, they assume "Dungeons and Dragons". Outside of our bubble, no one knows what the hell "Paizo" or "Pathfinder" are.

Well, people used to think that all video game systems were "nintendos". These sorts of things don't last forever, though it will probably take longer in a smaller market like this one.

Unfortunately, video games blew up. Role playing games have been on a slow slide into irrelevance (market wise) since the Eighties. TTRPG isn't "building up" to anything. It's shrinking.

Liberty's Edge

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Vic Wertz wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Yep. Petey wanted to cash out. Blame him for Hasbro.
While Peter was certainly instrumental in the Hasbro purchase of Wizards, it took the majority of Wizards of the Coast shareholders to actually make it happen. Lisa and I both voted to sell, and we have no regrets about that. (For that matter, I don't know a single Wizards shareholder who does regret it.) So if you're passing around "blame," put some right here.

The statement was simplistic. I should have said "blame", I guess, as I don't "blame" Peter, you, Lisa, or anyone for turning down a bunch of money (some of which probably resulted in the start up needed to get Paizo off the ground). I was responding to the piling on Hasbro, a game and toy company that doesn't pay a ton of attention to a very niche market, and makes decisions accordingly.

Liberty's Edge

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Bill Dunn wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


Yep. Petey wanted to cash out. Blame him for Hasbro. But, had he not started WotC (and published M:TG) and made a ton of money, TSR was over. WotC pretty much kept TTRPGs relevant. Just be thankful Lisa and her crew, Pramas, Wolfgang, and a gang of others who were rejuvenated by the popularity of 3x, were there to carry the torch when WotC sold out and bean counters took over the decision making from the talent.
Let's not simply blame Peter for wanting to "cash out". Selling to Hasbro enabled quite a few people who invested a lot into WotC to get the payback they deserved.

I never blame. I'm just pointing out that it's a business, and gamers take it way too personally sometimes. Peter and his investors went with the best deal. Not for the TTRPG D&D, but for them.

Pathfinder pretty much pet 3.5 alive, and kept the hobby from completely falling into ruin. They're the top dog in the market now, and most of the smaller dogs support their product in one way or another, if not supporting Pathfinder being their entire business model. With the market realities what they are, Paizo would have to lose a lot of ground for Hasbro to see enough incentive to try and lap up the lost customers. Otherwise, fighting Paizo with a fantasy game based on D&D, using basically the same classes, races, monsters, etc. really isn't a smart use of marketing and branding budget. They put out a decent core for people that just have to have D&D on the book cover.

Liberty's Edge

The fact that the games are tied to the same setting as the one D&D branded print product (the novel line) that actually is fairly popular outside of the gaming realm makes selling the video games to casual PC and console gamers that much easier as well. Hasbro knows what they're doing, and what they're doing is making money.

I wish they let WotC have more autonomy in the TTRPG market, but I think the bean counters are just ceding that to Paizo. I really dig what the talent came out with this time, and I am a little sad it won't get full on Paizo level support. But, Hasbro isn't a gaming company, they're a game and toy company. If I like what they put out, I'll spend a few bucks (5e), if they don't, I won't (4e). Either way, I'm not going to lament the state of the hobby. It had a good run and let some people live a dream and get paid to game, but it's pretty much going to keep becoming more niche until the only people playing are future hipsters enjoying a "bespoke, hand crafted" gaming experience.

Liberty's Edge

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Here's one place Hasbro is winning. To the vast majority of the population, if they see a bunch of people gaming, they assume "Dungeons and Dragons". Outside of our bubble, no one knows what the hell "Paizo" or "Pathfinder" are.

Liberty's Edge

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LazarX wrote:
Forever Slayer wrote:

Big corporations are the bane of RPG's and Hasbro is no exception.

You should take a look at your history. TSR itself would have been the downfall of D+D if it had not been bought out by WOTC. Hasbro had no interest in D+D when they in turn bought out WOTC. They bought the company for Magic and D+D pretty much came along with the package.

Yep. Petey wanted to cash out. Blame him for Hasbro. But, had he not started WotC (and published M:TG) and made a ton of money, TSR was over. WotC pretty much kept TTRPGs relevant. Just be thankful Lisa and her crew, Pramas, Wolfgang, and a gang of others who were rejuvenated by the popularity of 3x, were there to carry the torch when WotC sold out and bean counters took over the decision making from the talent.

I can't say this enough. In the greater land, TTRPG is about as relevant as Nixon, other than as a source of imaginative people to make TV shows and stuff. It isn't a fad anymore. It's an aging hobby that gets smaller every generation. Not enough bells and whistles. Actually requires, to be done in its full glory, people to gather in one place and not look at their phones for four to six hours. It requires algebra homework level math to keep your character up to snuff. It's is full of opinionated a%$+%!#s with social issues. It has a lot going against it if you're looking for it to be what TSR had in the Eighties. Like, TSR competed with maybe fifteen channels and Atari, Paizo is a relatively small, but successful in its niche company that OWNS what is left of the TTRPG market, and thus can survive and expand. And they're competing against a company that doesn't really care about the TTRPG market (I'm sure the creative talent does, but the money men like money). Otherwise, their "competition" is either too unstable to matter (Shadowrun), niche (Traveller, whatever Hero edition they're on, GURPS), or not even playing the game (D&D). It looks like everything is hunky-dory if you're a Paizo fan, but, apparently you're too busy looking at the water gurgling from the ground to notice you're an oasis in a wasteland, market-wise.

Hasbro knows the name "Dungeons and Dragons" is FAR more valuable than the actual game. They don't give a crap about the game. They want to keep building the brand in the video game market. Any D&D video game will dwarf Paizo's sales. It's a video game. They don't need the game to carry the name and make money.

Liberty's Edge

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"Feels like D&D".

Depends on what the individual thinks feels like D&D. I think it would be a generational/rple playing expectation thing, completely subjective, and not worth wasting any more time on (though, gods know we will until the end of time).

Liberty's Edge

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Black Dougal wrote:

Trying to be as objective as possible, I think a lot of gamers still bear a lot of animosity towards WOTC for the poor execution of their transition from 3E to 4E, and want to see them fail.

I admit I was biased against 4E for precisely that reason. I eventually got roped into playing it and bought a fair number of hardcovers and modules. But it just wasn't as good as Pathfinder or 3.5 in my experience, so I focused on Pathfinder.

Having done that once, it's extremely hard to want to go back and do it again, even if it appears WOTC has put out in 5E a far superior gaming experience to 4e.

Enough time has passed for me that I now longer begrudge WOTC their success, and in fact recognize it is better for gamers as a whole for them to be successful, to bring in new participants.

So back to the topic at hand, I do feel that WOTC in not putting out more adventures is limiting growth opportunities, in that I believe that a sizeable proportion of old and new gamers would like to have more adventures available.

Eh, 4e was just an attempt to make the game more visual with the emphasis on minis and movement. It definitely turned non-mini users like me off, as it added narrative burdens on my DMing if I resisted minis. The biggest problem with 4e, though, was the marketing campaign. It was really tone deaf and kind of messed things up before they got started, and a large part of the base, rightly or wrongly, was already in their feelings before the game was even released.

A lot of gamers would like more material, but I think WotC is trying to get the OSR crowd back into D&D a bit, and they're a DIY bunch. Less pressure on WotC D&D staff to perform could lead to better (if less) product in an edition (that Gorbacz I think has correct) is a "placeholder" to keep things breathing (if only just) until 2024.

Liberty's Edge

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Kthulhu wrote:
Soullos wrote:
That dude in the interview said "story" so much it kind of lost all meaning. >_> Sorry, two adventures a year is not enough. What a depressing interview.

Yet some people here can't stop fanwanking over Paizo's APs. The Module line is an afterthought for both the fans and the company.

And how many of those APs does Paizo put out per year? Let me get out my counting fingers....

The AP thing is pretty brilliant for the modern RPG market, though. Like i said earlier, it's an aging hobby with adherents with less prep time than ever (kids, jobs, other entertainment options like a wife that will take half your stuff if you game like a college kid), and having an entire career laid out for the players, with modules to fill the dead spots is probably the most useful thing Paizo provides for their customers. I mean, the rules really did just come to be to keep the AP thing going, and won't really become Paizo's until their second edition can put the vestiges of 3x compatibility to bed.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the Paizo think tank knew where the hobby was going and knew their market intimately when they settled on the AP model. It definitely paid off if that was the case.

Liberty's Edge

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Hitdice wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Stuff about an aging customer demographic and realistic expectations.

Do you think WotC is looking ahead to the 50th anniversary at this point? I sort of feel like they must be, and sometimes think that they made such a fuss about the release of 5e in tandem with the fortieth anniversary to set D&D up as the slow and steady, reliable elder statesman of RPGs in 10 years time. Their multi-platform approach certainly seems to be slanted towards growing the brand name recognition rather than total RPG market domination.

Or, what do I know, maybe in 2018 they'll say, "Great news, nerds, we're releasing a new edition every 3 years, so open up those wallets!"

They might be. They can build slowly on the 5e frame for a while to at least keep a game on the shelves and keep the brand relevant enough to try to make a splash on the big Five Oh. A bit longsighted by modern corporate standards, but it's a nice theory to consider.

Liberty's Edge

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Hasbro bought WotC for Magic:TG. D&D was a nice side bonus. People forget that. Hasbro doesn't care about the small potatoes TTRPG market, and they don't have to. I am just happy WotC stopped 4e and put out a core I can use with a lot of my old stuff. I don't expect much more than that, frankly.

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Adjule wrote:
About my comment concerning published adventures: As was stated, I don't truly believe that anymore, and was not insulting anyone. Right now I am running a 4th edition adventure that I have attempted to convert to 5th edition, and then will be moving over to the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure. So yeah, I don't follow that line of thought any longer. It was a mindset that was born during a time when my only responsibility was school. There are times when I feel dirty running a published adventure instead of something I came up with myself, but that's because it can be tough completely changing one's views about something.

That's the other thing, the hobby is a lot OLDER now. The average age of TTRPG players, I imagine, is much higher than it was in the Eighties. Adults don't have the time to DIY stuff any more, and they also don't have the money to burn like we did when we were kids, so they'll buy one or two well supported systems, instead of getting several systems and making stuff up themselves.

Smaller, aging market with bills, kids, and limited gaming time. Not a great scenario for gaming diversity on a large scale.

Liberty's Edge

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I hate to break it to everybody, but the Eighties are over, TTRPG isn't anything close to the market it was when D&D was a huge fad, and console/PC gaming is much more lucrative and enjoys way more adherents. Hasbro isn't going to waste a bunch of time trying to recreate something that was lightning in a bottle and thrived because entertainment wasn't "on demand" and available for a mouse click back then.

I think that one informs the other, though. When D&D was at its peak, it was, even with all of the modules and whatnot, a DIY hobby. Now people expect everything to be available for purchase and download, and, with the tidal wave of instant gratification entertainment available now, the time sink that is creating your own stuff (which was a big part of the appeal back in the day, I think, since we had less distractions) isn't a viable option for a lot of people these days.

Basically, a small number of people want way more content than the hobby can reasonably accommodate, and WotC is going to take a bit of a hit because Hasbro (correctly, from a business point of view) sees more value in the name than the RPG, and is going to concentrate on building the name, not the niche hobby game it came from.

It's sad, but I think gamers live in a little bubble sometimes and don't realize that (because main stream culture is so geeky and SciFi now) the TTRPG hobby that spawned a lot of the meekness is quite small, the market is limited, and, thanks to the mistakes they made during 4e, Paizo (and their supporting 3pp friends) has quite a bit of that market on lockdown. Hasbro isn't going to waste a bunch of money trying to take customers from Paizo. They released a game that feels like a modernized retro-clone and makes some 3x burnouts happy, is a bit easier to get into if you're new, and basically keeps the brand on the shelves. I'm sure they have no real dreams of recreating the 3rd edition (relatively brief) revival of the hobby, and are happy to put out a decent game that people who like to convert forty years of material or like to do their own thing can enjoy, and publish a small amount of supporting material to keep relevant for a while. The brand has some buzz right now, and that will help when they release the video game version of 5E, which is where they really think they'll make their money.

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GM Tribute wrote:

I am curious. Will the 5ed conversion have a DC knowledge or skill roll? Or will the player knowledge = character knowledge.

I am recruiting for a grognard friendly giantslayers if anyone is interested. It will require regular weekday posting.

I plan on running it more AD&D style, and downplaying the dice randomly deciding if you can figure stuff out, meta or otherwise. Just makes for a quicker game, and adds the element of letting players get away with being smart and stuff. Plus, I have the advantage of knowing none of the group I'm considering assembling have been through the module, so that'll keep the meta-gaming honest, so to speak.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Damn, I guess I have to gain a hundred pounds, grow a beard, and stop bathing now.
I'm never visiting Houston again if you do.

Please. My wife would never visit again if I did. ;-)

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Freehold DM wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Arnwyn wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
The zhentarim are one of many poorly thought out evil organizations/governments in the forgotten realms campaign setting that for whatever reason was poised to control the world (or their part of the world) before being Scooby-Doo'd by the PC or Elminster. Their level of competence, overall scope of plans, and residence upon the evil/Neutral axis depends on who's writing the story/running the game.

Nope.

(Though I agree that the novels stink.)

can you elucidate?

Sure. Reverse your entire paragraph so it's the opposite of what you wrote.

(Other than novel-related stuff. Then your statement is accurate. But game stuff? Nope.)

then it is indeed the opposite because I liked the novels-or at least Richard Lee byers and Paul s Kemp. I have never encountered the Zhents in anything other than an easily defeated warlord of the week sense in game, although I found their attempts at creating a trade empire to be hilarious. The thayans and did it better. The Zhents are laughable chumps.

Before they started vomiting out FR novels like bulimic frat boy binge drinkers, mostly written by really, REALLY cheesy writers, the Zhents were a pretty scary Fascist group that used targeted assassination, propaganda, and deep moles to effect their insidious plans.

The horrible FR novel writers turned them into a combination of the Germans from Hogan's Heroes and KAOS from "Get Smart".

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GM Tribute wrote:

You are in an adventure and given this riddle:

"Round she is, yet flat as a board. Altar of the Lupine Lords. Jewel on black velvet, pearl in the sea. Unchanged but e'erchanging, eternally. What am I?"

You are DEFINITELY NOT A GROGNARD if you roll an intelligence check or any Knowledge check to see if your character knows the answer.

You are POSSIBLY A GROGNARD if you try to figure out the riddle.

you are PROBABLY A GROGNARD if you can answer the riddle.

Your are DEFINITELY A GROGNARD if you can name the module the riddle appears.

I was just converting that to 5e. Damn, I guess I have to gain a hundred pounds, grow a beard, and stop bathing now.

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LazarX wrote:
memorax wrote:

Ha I not only get on your lawn. I seed it with pesticide resistant weeds.

LazarX wrote:


Having gamed in those days, I would say that it would be more accurate to say that No one cared. There was not this big set of gaming conventions written in stone (or on the non-existent Internet). It was the NORM that GM's would pretty much do their own thing with different degrees of variance from the ruleset. In all the GMs I played with, not a single one of them held just or used all of the rules in the DMG or Player's Handbook. RAW wasn't even a term in those days.

Seconded

Having gamed with 1E then 2E. RAW was not a term in those days. OR RAI. If it was I never saw it until 3E.

I never saw it myself until people started adopting a herd mentality in online venues such as this one. What I do see is a growing unwillingness to experiment without some mass expression of prior approval. Without a willingness to embrace the prospect of failure, innovation grinds to a halt.

I will say that the seeds for the whole "RAW/RAI" thing were sewn in the pages of Dragon back in the mid-Eighties, when the Forum and Sage Advice sections gained traction. The only difference was the contrarian replies were spaced months apart, and the moderation was brutally strict. ;-)

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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Spook205 wrote:

We really need to come up with a commensurate term for the other end of this particular spectrum.

The anti-grognard, the guy who's on a perpetual quest for novelty and harbors a Hegelian belief that game systems are slowly marching towards a state of undefinable perfection.

RPG Hipsters?

"Oh, you're still playing D&D? That's cute. I do REAL role-playing with an Apocalypse World hack I've added some FATE elements to. Plus my custom rules for shotguns."

Huh. I had no idea hipsters were superior arrogant bigots. Go figure. Must be the bags.

"Superior arrogant bigot with 'retro' glasses and a very unmanly beard" pretty much defines "hipster".

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thejeff wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:
To clarify, "old-school feel" for me means I don't feel like I need tons of magic items/gold to succeed in 5e. Thanks to the bounded numbers, the big 6 aren't that taxing.
This is why I don't like the term "Old-school feel". It means something different to everyone. I've seen it used for the deadly, "Don't bother naming your character before 3rd level" style, for AD&D's "GM fiat" required style, now your "don't need tons of magic items/gold" thing. Probably others I'm forgetting.

Probably because people are discussing parts of a gaming style, not several different ones. Nothing you list nullifies any of the others.

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pH unbalanced wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
thegreenteagamer wrote:
When it comes to Grognards, my thoughts are usually, "if second edition was so good, why aren't you playing second edition?"
Because grognards are too busy playing OD&D or 1e?

yeah, 2e is kinda the bastard red-headed stepchild of D&D editions.

1e or 0e or B/X or BECMI/RC, that's the good stuff.

Was it even marketed as a new addition at the time? I just remember there being additional splat books, but the original PH and DMG still being valid.

But maybe I missed something -- I was mostly transitioning over to GURPS at the time.

Yeah, the big "SECOND EDITION" on the covers was kind of a give-away that maybe it was a new edition. The sanitation so Christians would stop whining. Yeah, it wasn't just a new edition, it was pretty much a step away from a play style, and a move toward a younger audience (hence the sanitation - no half orcs and their "icky back story", no more calling demons and devils demons and devils, no more assassins). It was AD&D if AD&D were made by Disney.

Liberty's Edge

All of the groundwork laid by Dragonlance coupled with Williams being hired in '84 came to a head, more or less. D&D started to lose the fad shine. It was pretty much the year that started the "modern" gaming style.

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I remember "no one ever dies in his games" being as much a red flag back then as "everyone dies in his games", with the latter only being more popular because a gruesome death was more entertaining than the dice meaning nothing at all.

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Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:


In essence I kind of suspect that the 'Sandbox Era' if it can be called that would have been somewhere around the point when 1st was switching over to 2nd. Maybe a little before 2nd to some point after 2nd came out.

It pretty much died in '85.

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I started playing in '79, both Moldvay basic and AD&D, and the only guys I consider "grognards" are the dudes with the painted minis, tape measures, and a sand box. Seriously, only the old school war gamers that were around before the three brown books probably actually merit the honor. Everyone else is a n00b, frankly. ;-)

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wraithstrike wrote:


Dice only exist to make noise, the GM should ignore them.

I see this way more in the "scripted death" games of today than I ever did back in the "let the dice fall where they may" sandbox days.

Liberty's Edge

I doubt he knows. It's pretty obvious to me he doesn't have any idea what "sandbox" means to a bunch of people who grew up in the sandbox era.

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thejeff wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Uchawi wrote:
The key is to mix up encounter challenges so it is hard for the players to predict the story pacing, so in that sense I develop an appropriate level encounter that may encompass multiple rooms, or create the same encounter above the characters levels. The same applies for single rooms, areas, regions, etc. A true sandbox in my mind is a roller coaster ride. You never know what is around the next corner.

How does that work?

My understanding of sandbox is that the GM doesn't restrict things to level appropriate encounters but lets the party figure out what they want to deal with. If they never know what's around the next corner, how can they choose properly?

They used to have things called "sages" and the like in earlier editions. People found out "what was around the next corner" by consulting them. If you go into the mountains and didn't bother to ask what might live in the mountains, and you run into the great wyrm that has lived there for centuries and everyone for hundreds of miles around knows it, it's on you for not asking.

Which, in Uchawi's mind, wouldn't be a true sandbox.

And we care what Uchawi thinks because…?

Seriously, how does the players taking initiative and playing intelligently make something "not a sandbox"?

;-)

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thegreenteagamer wrote:
When it comes to Grognards, my thoughts are usually, "if second edition was so good, why aren't you playing second edition?"

Because grognards are too busy playing OD&D or 1e?

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Vincent Takeda wrote:

22? Man I've got dice twice as old as you. Grumble grumble. Uphill. Both ways... In the snow... Bah... baaaaah! Off with ye then.

Whippersnappers talking about Chuck Norris... Sheesh... The reason I dont shave my grognard beard is because each individual strand of this magnificent beard is alone tougher than Chuck Norris.

Rabble rabble rabble rabble.

Only twice as old? Whippersnapper! ;-)

Liberty's Edge

thejeff wrote:
Uchawi wrote:
The key is to mix up encounter challenges so it is hard for the players to predict the story pacing, so in that sense I develop an appropriate level encounter that may encompass multiple rooms, or create the same encounter above the characters levels. The same applies for single rooms, areas, regions, etc. A true sandbox in my mind is a roller coaster ride. You never know what is around the next corner.

How does that work?

My understanding of sandbox is that the GM doesn't restrict things to level appropriate encounters but lets the party figure out what they want to deal with. If they never know what's around the next corner, how can they choose properly?

They used to have things called "sages" and the like in earlier editions. People found out "what was around the next corner" by consulting them. If you go into the mountains and didn't bother to ask what might live in the mountains, and you run into the great wyrm that has lived there for centuries and everyone for hundreds of miles around knows it, it's on you for not asking.

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