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WotC puts Kibosh on AoW HC?


Dungeon Magazine General Discussion


I have been hearing some rumors at various websites saying that WotC is holding up the Age of Worms hardcover out of fear that it will hurt sales of their own adventures.

Is there any truth to this claim? I know it is a rumor, btu I was curious if it was perhaps a misinterpretation, half-truth, outright lie or the actual situation.

Furthermore, WotC is supposed to be delving into the online magazine market- if they do, how will that affect Paizo?


The staff have been rightfully tightlipped at the reasons that WOTC is not giving permission to create the AoWAP HC. I think that is actually very professional of them because I know it has to be driving them mad.

As for the rumors (and I know I speculated along those lines on the WotC site), they are just that, rumors and speculations.

Now, if you don't mind, I have other rumors to go gossip about...

Sean Mahoney

Qadira Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

If I were a political animal I'd keep my mouth shut on this topic, but I guess ghouls aren't that diplomatic. *ahem*

OF COURSE it's WotC's approval that has nixed the AOW hardcover!

WotC's problem is that the Adventure Paths are world-class materials put out by a licensee. Paizo has more experience and ability in adventure design and development than Hasbro's own, more mechanically-focussed staff.

WotC's sourcebooks are supercrunchy mechanical marvels, but few of the remaining WotC designers are well-known for their adventure design, which requires a different set of skills (Bruce Cordell is a notable exception, and there are others). But we should not be surprised that Paizo's adventures are pretty consistently top-rate, while WotC's are more hit-or-miss. You'll notice that WotC's biggest success in this area lately (Red Hand of Doom) sports a familiar Paizo name in the design credits.

Whether Hasbro is petty or ruthless enough to try to increase its own sales by denying a license approval to one of its licensors is a question we can't answer without access to their internal communications. But the pressure on the RPG group is pretty intense; they're supposed to generate profits that compete with Magic or whatever.

That's my conspiracy theory, and I'm sticking with it. I'd love to see WotC prove me wrong by giving the AOW hardcover the go-ahead.


It seems like a better solution would be to get the Paizo guys to do more freelance work to up the quality.

Hmmm... I'd love to here a diplomatic, official, answer. Though i doubt it would be as entertaining as the ghoul lord's.


Luke Fleeman wrote:

It seems like a better solution would be to get the Paizo guys to do more freelance work to up the quality.

Hmmm... I'd love to here a diplomatic, official, answer. Though i doubt it would be as entertaining as the ghoul lord's.

Oddly enough, the names you've been seeing on more and more modules by WotC are: Logue, Vaughan and Pett (and Baur of course;). Coinicidence? I think not.

GGG

Qadira

Great Green God wrote:

Oddly enough, the names you've been seeing on more and more modules by WotC are: Logue, Vaughan and Pett (and Baur of course;). Coinicidence? I think not.

GGG

I think you meant to put that order as Pett, Vaughn and THEN Logue.

FH (I am starting to like ribbing Logue almost as much as ol' Heathy-boy)


Right, you always save the best for last.

GGG

Contributor

Fake Healer wrote:
Great Green God wrote:

Oddly enough, the names you've been seeing on more and more modules by WotC are: Logue, Vaughan and Pett (and Baur of course;). Coinicidence? I think not.

GGG

I think you meant to put that order as Pett, Vaughn and THEN Logue.

FH (I am starting to like ribbing Logue almost as much as ol' Heathy-boy)

Curse you Healer!!!!!!!!!!!! ;-)

Yeah, Wizards recruits from Paizo's peeps for sure...as GGG, Tim Hitchcock and a few others can also attest to. W00T!

Writing for Wizards is a very very different process though. We don't get to outline the adventure. I, at least, get handed pretty extensive outlines (nothing like the couple of paragraph outline we get for Dungeon's APs), and also, once you are done writing, they can/may/DO! change everything.

I personally find that whatever edits James J. and Co. make always improve my adventures (the only ones that don't are because of limited space which is a necessary evil of a magazine). Meanwhile, the edits to my Wizards adventures, I'm less sure of. I think these edits make the adventures more enjoyable to some consumers but detract a lot for others.

As our Ghoul Lord pointed out, when you have someone totally reworking your adventure whose own adventure writing experience is far less...it can be problematic. I know this because every single adventure I work on teaches me how to be better at writing them.

WotC's revisions on sourcebook work I have done are always stellar and greatly improve my meager attempts at mechanical design, but I am less certain about adventure development/editing. The two are very different skill sets. Sourcebooks are about creating cool little doses of crunchy/fluff goodness to add to any game (WotC excels at this I feel, especially looking at Tome of Magic, Heroes of Battle and the like). Adventures are about storytelling, pacing, invovling the PCs in new and fun ways in the action, memorable NPCs, encounters that surprise, and whatnot. This is soooooo different from sourcebook design and sometimes I am not sure this difference is recognized by Wizards (maybe due to other practical constraints on their operation).

It is a little hard to get used to writing to a very strict outline an then seeing your work completely overhauled after you do. I think the WotC process for adventure design/development could be refined. One way to do this would be to give authors whose adventures are consistently strong a little more free reign in creating the adventure, and what I mean is, give us a less comprehensive outline and instead tell us what they basically want (high intrigue, urban, set in Sharn, involves this or that faction, and maybe a quick paragraph of outline).

And also the delve encounter format is limiting as to creating new and exciting kinds of encounters (no chases, no battles with aerial creatures while climbing a cliff face, no taking into account bad guys shadowing/ambushing party based on party's strengths and weaknesses really, and ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL TO THE PLAYERS HOW THEY PREPARE TO FACE A FOE...this is my least favorite aspect. If the party casts divination spells or Gathers Information or the like, they deserve to so get the drop on the baddies some place other than their prepared den/lair/stronghold...you have to make the PCs feel like protagonists, and the delve format makes them feel funneled)

This is just my opinion, and I don't really know much about how WotC works (I have only worked on three projects with them thus far).

Qadira

Nicolas Logue wrote:
I personally find that whatever edits James J. and Co. make always improve my adventures.....

Wow, that must be A LOT of edits.......

FH


Given that the Shackled City Adventure Path Hardcover was published back when WOTC was still "out of the running" as far as publishing adventures, it makes perfect sense that now that they are REALLY jumping back in (there are three major Forgotten Realms adventures coming out next year, four if you count Expedition to UnderMountain, and that is just FR), it makes sense that they are less than willing to create competition for themselves.

Now, playing Devil's Advocate, I will say that they didn't stop the AoW from being published in Dungeon Magazine, and that Dungeon might even be competing with their own back issue sales if they publish this. As others have pointed out, the Shackled City did have a few more compelling reasons for being published, given that it straddled 3rd/3.5 and that it really could have used the extra adventure added to the hardcover to make sure the PCs are up to full power by the end of the AP. Age of Worms really felt "right" to me from the get go, so I don't know for sure what else they would be able to do to add to it.

Contributor

Fake Healer wrote:
Nicolas Logue wrote:
I personally find that whatever edits James J. and Co. make always improve my adventures.....

Wow, that must be A LOT of edits.......

FH

Curse you FH! I thought you were taking the day off! ;-)


okay, i may be a bit naive here, but doesn't WOTC make money off of a hardcover anthology like an adventure path book or am i mistaken? correct me if i'm wrong please. i'm unsure of how this works but it seems to me that WOTC would see it as beneficial to publish this adventure path like the other one, SCAP, was.

they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. there was a lot of stuff in the AOW to warrant the purchase of the complete books, monster manuals, etc. by those who are running or adventuring in these adventures. am i wrong here?

timing in the publishing world is everything. i don't see where this would be a competition thing between the two companies. one hand washes the other, i always say.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
terrainmonkey wrote:
they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. there was a lot of stuff in the AOW to warrant the purchase of the complete books, monster manuals, etc. by those who are running or adventuring in these adventures. am i wrong here?

Nope. Indeed, the whole d20 thing was based on the notion that allowing others to use the material WotC 'gave away', it would encourage more people to buy more books. According to that philosophy, in fact, they should allow other companies to use (but probably not reprint) material from as much of the WotC published library as they can, to encourage more people to buy more of their books.

In addition, adventures are a traditionally poor-selling item. A company would probably be unwise to sell adventures in their own right - you sell them to highlight the cool stuff in your other books, to get people buying them (or just playing the game in the first place, and thus in the market for 4e when it hits).

The problem is, a lot of this stuff is really counter-intuitive. It makes no sense that you 'give away' your core rules in order to sell books. It makes no sense that you allow companies to produce adventures to compete with your own ones. And the people who fought for d20, and who probably understand this best, are no longer with the company.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I, for one, wonder how much free reign WOTC has in this matter and if it will be the folks at Hasbro who will decide the fate of the AoW hardcover. I doubt Mr. Adkinson would have waited as long to greenlight the project.


Speaking only from my perspective, Paizo did benefit from the lack of a AoW HC. My DM is going to run the AoW for us when we're done with our current campaign. I hadn't read any of the AoW adventures (and still haven't, of course) and I lent him my 12 Dungeon magazines containing the AoW a few months ago so he could start working up his campaign.

Well, the gaping hole in my immaculate 3.0/3.5 Dungeon magazine collection was annoying the anal retentive side of me, so over the past 3 months I purchased back issues through my FLGS and through Paizo directly to "re-complete" my collection.

That way, I won't get annoyed when I get my other issues back with dog eared pages and notes in the margins. I had to stop reading adventures from those same magazines, as my DM is now running us through "other" adventures from those 12 issues for his current campaign, which took an unexpected turn.

This is actually an unexpected treat, as I never expected to be able to participate as a player in such gems as "Chains of Blackmaw" and "And Madness Followed...."

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One of these days Paizo will run out of AoW back issues. The only way to allow future players to play Age of Worms is to make the hardcover.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Not necessarily so. Paizo can always make them available as pdfs if sold out on printed copies.

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

Fake Healer wrote:

I think you meant to put that order as Pett, Vaughn and THEN Logue.

First of all, the order is obviously Vaughan (please note the second "a"), etc. etc.

Secondly, I second Mr. Logue's comments. I did note that WotC changed almost nothing from the manuscript for The Twilight Tomb. However, I haven't seen the results of the Drow book due out next spring so I don't know what the final outcome will look like. But as a "mechanics" book it was extremely different to write than an adventure just as Nic said, and I wouldn't doubt if great changes occurred.

Thirdly, Vane actually won 9 Greensburrows to Prett's 7, but 2 were taken away for allegations of doping.

And fourthly and MOST IMPORTANTLY, how does one go about getting cool titles like Contributor and/or Ghoul Lord next to one's name on these boards?


Greg V wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:

I think you meant to put that order as Pett, Vaughn and THEN Logue.

First of all, the order is obviously Vaughan (please note the second "a"), etc. etc.

Hey lookey everybody! Fake Heeler spelled a proper noun every D&D gamer should know by now wrong! ... No, I'm pretty sure he is only a mock-up of a German shepherd and that the real Heeler is that guy behind the curtain over there -to your left. No, your left.

Greg V wrote:
And fourthly and MOST IMPORTANTLY, how does one go about getting cool titles like Contributor and/or Ghoul Lord next to one's name on these boards?

Apparently you whine to the right people for the former and write something people love for decades to achieve the latter however - in case you haven't seen it or heard you might want to be careful about having people touch up your name....

GGG

Andoran

Ha, ha, faux dog. Can't spell the V man's name right.
That's ironic funny.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Obviously, his granted domain powers must extend only to common nouns. With luck, he may qualify for the Proper noun prestige domain.


Clearly the conspiracy theories here are correct, except for their exclusion of {censored by Fnord}.

The utopian answer (IMHO) is for Hasbro to fund a buyout of Paizo that results in our favorite designers being brought back into the WotC fold, and getting an irrefusably fat wad of cash in the process.


Wolfgang Baur wrote:
WotC's sourcebooks are supercrunchy mechanical marvels, but few of the remaining WotC designers are well-known for their adventure design

That's because WotC's major hiring criteria is the ability to design multi-classed monsters with 3 applied templates, rather than story-telling ability, prose skill or imagination. Hire a mechanic, get auto-parts.

I'm far more willing to tolerate Dungeon's stat-block errors than WotC's dry statistical almanacs.

My conspiracy theory is that it's all 4E's fault...

Contributor

farewell2kings wrote:
This is actually an unexpected treat, as I never expected to be able to participate as a player in such gems as "Chains of Blackmaw" and "And Madness Followed...."

Hear that Prett and Vane!!! Gem!!! ;-)

Contributor

Greg V wrote:


Secondly, I second Mr. Logue's comments. I did note that WotC changed almost nothing from the manuscript for The Twilight Tomb. However, I haven't seen the results of the Drow book due out next spring so I don't know what the final outcome will look like. But as a "mechanics" book it was extremely different to write than an adventure just as Nic said, and I wouldn't doubt if great changes occurred.

Thirdly, Vane actually won 9 Greensburrows to Prett's 7, but 2 were taken away for allegations of doping.

Very little was changed for Voyage of the Golden Dragon too, though the outline for it was like six pages long itself, which was a new challenge for me (working inside the box so to speak). I haven't seen all the changes made to the Eberron Superadventure yet, but from what I understand they are "very very extensive." Which might be very cool! I look forward to seeing what they do to it.

As to Vane's Greensborrows...we take our theatre very seriously in Talantier, and those of you who think to gain an edge with Charisma pumping narcotics should think again! I'm looking at you VANE!!!

Did you get the issue yet Greg? I'm curious to see where your vote is cast...cause there might be money in it for ya...

Contributor

Nicolas Logue wrote:


Did you get the issue yet Greg? I'm curious to see where your vote is cast...cause there might be money in it for ya...

Only Logue could put you in an adventure for his amusement and then ask you to vote for him:)

Qadira

Greg V wrote:
First of all, the order is obviously Vaughan (please note the second "a"), etc. etc.

Right, so Pett, Logue, then Vaughan. Correct ME on spelling will you? Damn writers and word-smiths, ratsin fratsin.....*wanders off aimlessly, mumbling profanities in Vaughan's general direction*

FH


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I can't help but wonder if any holdup is simply because of conflicts with long-established metaplots for the campaign settings. I recall some rather unpleasant things happening in major established campaign cities in AoW as well as a little shakeup in the cosmology. Especially considering how metaplot driven FR can get, for example, it wouldn't be so surprising for this to be one major concern holding up production. After all, SC happened in a new out-of-the-way city in an out-of-the-way place and as such had virtually no impact on the campaign worlds as a whole. AoW, not so.

*shrugs*

I doubt that I would get a HC anyway as I already have the mags. Let the conspiracy theorists continue....


Wolfgang Baur wrote:
That's my conspiracy theory, and I'm sticking with it. I'd love to see WotC prove me wrong by giving the AOW hardcover the go-ahead.

Prove him wrong, prove him wrong! That's a shame, since WotC doesn't currently produce what the adventure paths are - that is, full campaigns from 1st through 20th level. I'm foggy on the financial details, but it was my understanding that WotC owned Paizo, so wouldn't they be getting all the dough anyway?


Paizo is an official licensee of WotC. They are not owned by them.

GGG


Krypter wrote:
Hire a mechanic, get auto-parts.

Nail on the head, Krypter. I agree completely.

What happens is a veiled attempt to encourage the purchase of as many books to explain/understand the various prestige classes and templates as possible.

Contributor

I'm going to stray a bit off-topic here because I find elements of this conversation fascinating, and perhaps others like me who are a few steps behind the estimable Messrs. Logue, Pett, Vaughan {insert subroutine here to re-order authors based on viewer} would be interested as well. When I began submitting to Dungeon I figured success here might open doors at WotC and elsewhere. Recently, as pointed out in this thread, I find that WotC products' credits often do include regular Dungeon contributors (as well as staff). So, first question: How did this come about? Did they come to you or vice versa? I've looked at WotC's designer challenge once or twice, but I'd much rather spend my time submitting proposals to Paizo and then writing adventures following proposal acceptance than writing a full adventure for WotC with little hope they will actually do anything with it. Also, if I want to impress someone with my adventure writing skill, the most natural thing to do seems to be pointing them at my published work. Any feedback on how others made this leap would be welcome. Second question: is writing adventures for WotC fulfilling? Working to a detailed outline and then having your work extensively re-written after hand-off sounds... well, not ideal. Something I'd like to accomplish some day is having my name, alone, on a stand-alone product, and I always figured it would be a WotC adventure if it was anything. But if I'm going to barely recognize the end product, I might move on to my next dream instead (someone has to write the next Star Wars film trilogy, right?).

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ultrazen wrote:

I can't help but wonder if any holdup is simply because of conflicts with long-established metaplots for the campaign settings. I recall some rather unpleasant things happening in major established campaign cities in AoW as well as a little shakeup in the cosmology. Especially considering how metaplot driven FR can get, for example, it wouldn't be so surprising for this to be one major concern holding up production. After all, SC happened in a new out-of-the-way city in an out-of-the-way place and as such had virtually no impact on the campaign worlds as a whole. AoW, not so.

*shrugs*

I doubt that I would get a HC anyway as I already have the mags. Let the conspiracy theorists continue....

I suspect that this may be a driving force for the tight controls WotC puts on its authors for its adventures, if not for the hard copy itself. WotC is "universe" driven and I'm sure that they have various ideas for the future mapped out (or at least entertained). Likewise, I'm sure they have to move slowly on ramifications.

Still, who says that the end result of AoW defines Kyuss's conclusion? Heck, in FR, Bane knows the song pretty well: "I get knocked down, but I get up again."

That said, this train of thought also opens up another path - the novels. It seems that so many books are in house now, which puts much easier controls on what happens in what campaign setting.

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

A pox! A pox, I say, on all of yew!...put my name last will ya...

As to the other issues. I just received it the other day and haven't finished Dragonslake yet, Nic. Of course Pett's adventure stank as usual so the bar's pretty low. That beholder adventure, now, that looks like it could be special.

Working for WotC is challenging for the extra constraints, as mentioned above by the outlines they send, etc. The one I was given wasn't as extensive as the one for Golden Voyage based on what Nic said, but they still wanted some particular things done which takes the onus off of your muse and puts it on trying to read the mind of theirs. The other challenge is the fairly short time frame they have for receiving the completed manuscript. I think The Twilight Tomb was about 30 days from first notice to completion, which for me is pushing pretty hard. On the whole, it's pretty cool, though, so I'm not complaining.

As for writing for WotC. For me it is directly atributable to having done work for Dungeon and the fortuitous happenstance that WotC happened to be looking for some freelance work to be done. So basically it fell into my lap, and I jumped at the opportunity. I don't know any sure fire formula beyond right place at right time. But I guess that may be true for just about everything.


Hey Anson,

Speaking as someone who took the Adventure Design Test and got a small gig with WotC and a paycheck to paint in a really tiny piece of hardcover due out in less than a year I would say it was worth it to take the test. One, I got experience from doing it. Two, I made the aquaintenace of a lot of nice people both freelancers and insiders. Lastly, I revamped that particular test with an eye toward fixing what the testing WOtC editor said was lacking and turned around and pitched to Paizo with the tag line saying in essence: "Hey, this adventure got me some work with Wizards do you want to have a look at it?" After the last submission meeting I got a heartening "come back in a year because we have too much of that right now" response. That and it is already mostly written. No one is going to just give you a module and the people thatget the modules (like the afore mentioned) did a lot of work to get where they are (though anyone who writes up CR 30 stat blocks is on their way as well). If you look at the number of adventures these folks have squeezed out between them in the last four years... well, that sort of consistancy and productivity earns you a rep.

As to the connection between Paizo and WotC. Well for starters the are neighbors. I ge the impression you could walk from one lobby to the nextin under 5 minutes. Originally TSR and then TSR?WotC owned Paizo (until WotC divestedit self of some of its intrests at a couple of years after 3.0 came out). Since the though the two companies have been very close with Paizo being the only licensee to be termed an "official D&D" source. Part of this means that James and Jason probably walk over to WotC a couple of times a month and show a WotC person all the stuff in the magazine they are producing and that person either gets to write all over the draft okaying or nixing things. Also it seems like that in order to become a WotC employee you need to do an internship at Paizo as either an editor or a recognized contributer first. Really where else are you going to get the job experience in game design and a steady paycheck?

I hope that helps,
G-Cube

Contributor

Anson Caralya wrote:
I'm going to stray a bit off-topic here because I find elements of this conversation fascinating, and perhaps others like me who are a few steps behind the estimable Messrs. Logue, Pett, Vaughan {insert subroutine here to re-order authors based on viewer} would be interested as well. When I began submitting to Dungeon I figured success here might open doors at WotC and elsewhere. Recently, as pointed out in this thread, I find that WotC products' credits often do include regular Dungeon contributors (as well as staff). So, first question: How did this come about? Did they come to you or vice versa? I've looked at WotC's designer challenge once or twice, but I'd much rather spend my time submitting proposals to Paizo and then writing adventures following proposal acceptance than writing a full adventure for WotC with little hope they will actually do anything with it. Also, if I want to impress someone with my adventure writing skill, the most natural thing to do seems to be pointing them at my published work. Any feedback on how others made this leap would be welcome. Second question: is writing adventures for WotC fulfilling? Working to a detailed outline and then having your work extensively re-written after hand-off sounds... well, not ideal. Something I'd like to accomplish some day is having my name, alone, on a stand-alone product, and I always figured it would be a WotC adventure if it was anything. But if I'm going to barely recognize the end product, I might move on to my next dream instead (someone has to write the next Star Wars film trilogy, right?).

Hey Anson!

I was lucky enough to get cherry picked by WotC when they were looking for new freelancers, but from what I hear taking the design test is definately a great in too.

To be fair I don't know to what extent my work on recent projects is being rewritten. One thing that was particularly cool of WotC to do was, with a recent project, they sent back development notes and let us develop our work ourselves. That was waaaay cool, as it gives us a little bit of perspective on the changes and why they needed to be made.

Another project I worked on, I wrote to spec on the extensive outline and then was informed later that it was being "massively overhauled and rewritten" with no real explanation why. That explanation may yet come, but for now, it's kind of a bummer.

I'm sure this isn't always the case though. For Voyage, the rewrites were very minimal. It all depends on who is in charge of developing your project from what I understand.

Development is kind of like directing. We as actors create stuff, but the director gets to tell us what they want and alter our work to suit their needs (while seeing the bigger picture of the whole show...or campaign world/game system in this case). Good directors rock, and greatly improve an actors work, so you hope you get a good developer who is going to communicate with you a lot about the process and guide you in a constructive way instead of just changing all your work after you finish writing it.

In other words, don't be discouraged. Writing for WotC is often a lot of fun. Though, to be honest. Paizo is the bomb, and I would always prefer to be toiling away on a project for them.


Hi,

In case anyone hasn't brought it up yet, I just wanted to pop in and say that this thread has the most un-intelligible topic on the forums.

Took me, like, ten minutes to decipher it.

srsly,

Moik.


Moik wrote:

Hi,

In case anyone hasn't brought it up yet, I just wanted to pop in and say that this thread has the most un-intelligible topic on the forums.

Took me, like, ten minutes to decipher it.

srsly,

Moik.

Entertainin' though.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Great Green God wrote:
As to the connection between Paizo and WotC. Well for starters the are neighbors. I ge the impression you could walk from one lobby to the nextin under 5 minutes.

Paizo is located in Bellevue, while WotC is located in Renton, a bit south of here.

Great Green God wrote:
Originally TSR and then TSR?WotC owned Paizo (until WotC divestedit self of some of its intrests at a couple of years after 3.0 came out).

Not quite right. TSR published magazines, Wizards bought TSR, Wizards decided to get out of the magazine business, we started Paizo, acquired the licenses to publish the magazines from Wizards, and negotiated to hire all of the employees of Wizards' former magazine department (almost all of whom are now gone).

Great Green God wrote:
Since the though the two companies have been very close with Paizo being the only licensee to be termed an "official D&D" source.

Kenzer has had a D&D license for Kalamar, but I don't see any Kalamar products on their upcoming release schedule.

Great Green God wrote:
Part of this means that James and Jason probably walk over to WotC a couple of times a month and show a WotC person all the stuff in the magazine they are producing...

More or less right, though they drive there.

Great Green God wrote:
Also it seems like that in order to become a WotC employee you need to do an internship at Paizo as either an editor or a recognized contributer first. Really where else are you going to get the job experience in game design and a steady paycheck?

That's certainly not correct, though we have found a lot of talent for the industry in general and Wizards in particular.

Andoran

You have to understand: GGG is over 300 feet tall, so for him it is just a short walk.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

So, if WotC and Paizo are not joined at the hip, can we hope that Dragon/Dungeon content will remain relatively independant and not suffer the same fate as the old UK White Dwarf RPG magazine?

White Dwarf started out as an RPG magazine (I still have Issues#1 thru #94) with content across the RPG board but, when Games Workshop took control, it very quickly degenerated into a 100% Games Workshop vehicle for pushing GW tabletop gaming products and events, no RGP content, not even any advertising.

I would hate to think that Dragon/Dungeon could suffer the same fate with respect to WotC products.........


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bolstaf, Games Workshop produced White Dwarf from issue 1, possibly as a means to help sell other games. GW was a pure-retailer originally. Then they started doing their own games (such as the Judge Dredd RPG) as well as selling other games. Then around 1990 give or take a few years, the founders Steve Jackson (not the Gurps guy) and Ian Livingstone sold their stakes out to someone who changed the focus of the company as a whole. It was around that time it became a house magazine, and also when they stopped selling other people's games.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Bolstaf wrote:
So, if WotC and Paizo are not joined at the hip, can we hope that Dragon/Dungeon content will remain relatively independant....

As the magazines are owned by and licensed from Wizards, they have full editorial control over the content, and can absolutely tell us what we can print and what we can't print. However, this is nothing new; the company that owns D&D has always had full control over the magazines. If you like the current direction, there's nothing to worry about.

-Vic.
.

Contributor

Messrs. Vaughan, G-cubed, and Logue: thanks for the lightning-quick feedback! Last week I had no clue how writing for WotC might compare to writing for Paizo, but you've de-mystified it quite a bit. Thanks again!

Contributor

Anson Caralya wrote:
Messrs. Vaughan, G-cubed, and Logue: thanks for the lightning-quick feedback! Last week I had no clue how writing for WotC might compare to writing for Paizo, but you've de-mystified it quite a bit. Thanks again!

I guess that's messr. Louge until further notice Anson...sob.

Paizo Employee PostMonster General

Greg V wrote:
And fourthly and MOST IMPORTANTLY, how does one go about getting cool titles like Contributor and/or Ghoul Lord next to one's name on these boards?

The answer to that question is in the FAQ.

Pathfinder Creative Director, Frog God Games

Pshh. Reading's for sissies. Do you think I've read the FAQ? I don't even have an avatar (though I am working on an Aspect mwahaha!).

No I'm looking for the easier way of whining until somebody else does something about it. Has "Supreme Overlord" been taken by anyone yet?


terrainmonkey wrote:

okay, i may be a bit naive here, but doesn't WOTC make money off of a hardcover anthology like an adventure path book or am i mistaken? correct me if i'm wrong please. i'm unsure of how this works but it seems to me that WOTC would see it as beneficial to publish this adventure path like the other one, SCAP, was.

they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. there was a lot of stuff in the AOW to warrant the purchase of the complete books, monster manuals, etc. by those who are running or adventuring in these adventures. am i wrong here?

timing in the publishing world is everything. i don't see where this would be a competition thing between the two companies. one hand washes the other, i always say.

I could be wrong, but the difference is that when Wizards wasn't producing adventures, then any money was better than no money.

Now that they are getting back into adventures, they would get some of the money from these hardcovers, but they get all of the money from their own stuff.
Why would they want to let someone put out a product that may interfere with sales of their own?

My question is, though, wouldn't it be possible, through the OGL, for Paizo to produce an independent adventure path, or paths, using only core material? I realize it may be bad politics, since Hasbro/WotC could revoke your license, but it would still be possible, wouldn't it?

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

The main difference probably lies in WotC being part of Hasbro, and therefore with defined processes for producing material backed up by policies and procedures. In other words, it is a large company with a bureaucratic structure implementing high-level directives promulgated by a remote high command. Paizo, on the other hand, is a small company with a relatively risk-taking culture in which communication lines are short and the staff empowered to make decisions. Paizo is sort of the IT start-up to Hasbro's IBM.

Arguably, the current situation works just fine: Hasbro has a big team of developers who create the "hardware" upon which a D&D game runs - namely, the rules and their variations. These need to be subject to stringent testing and control to ensure that the product is of acceptable quality (which it generally is), and this requires a fairly rigid, bureaucratic development process. The adventure design, the software if you like, is created by a much more intuitive, creative process which could easily be stifled in a control and command culture like Hasbro's. Paizo excel at this, due to their more freewheeling approach.

The problem might arise if Hasbro decide, Microsoft-like, that they need to dominate in all markets. They may kill off one of the best adverts for their products, namely the cool adventures produced by Paizo. I don't think the WotC approach would be too comfortable for for creatives in the long term.

The adventures are niche products (i.e. DM only) so it seem unnecessary for Hasbro to try and muscle in on this market (which, I grant is a change of tune from when I complained that WotC never produced adventures). Ideally, there is room for both Paizo and WotC to produce adventures - WotC published adventures tend to be shorter than the AP's by a long chalk. I hope they don't see Paizo as a competitor to be crushed - that would be a shame all round, and not in the best interests of the game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Bolstaf wrote:
So, if WotC and Paizo are not joined at the hip, can we hope that Dragon/Dungeon content will remain relatively independant....

As the magazines are owned by and licensed from Wizards, they have full editorial control over the content, and can absolutely tell us what we can print and what we can't print. However, this is nothing new; the company that owns D&D has always had full control over the magazines. If you like the current direction, there's nothing to worry about.

-Vic.

As a long time DM (1st Edition 3 booklet boxed set) I really appreciate well put together modules, even if I don't use them exactly as printed they are an invaluable source of ideas and information. Hence my concern, there is simply no other D&D centric publication out there in the same league, my fear was that the Hasbro factor may have pushed WotC to take the magazines in a more overt "house magazines" direction. Your response is just what I wanted to hear, I like the current direction, keep it up.........

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