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D&D 5th Edition


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
It doesn't matter though. Even if WoTC were trying to limit 3PP in some way, it didn't do paizo any substantial harm. They innovated and continued to strive for high quality product in the areas that interested them and those of us who like their stuff win. Those who like WoTC stuff win. Those of us lucky enough to like both win twice.

Define 'harm'. :-)

Seriously, the (mis)handling of the OGL/GSL argument did hurt companies by hampering long term planning. Now that's not WotC's concern, they're a business, not a charity. Necromancer was directly impacted by the dithering (IIRC). It culled the herd as it were, some good companies and IP were shelved because of the dithering (Scarred Lands) and other companies went elsewhere (Pathfinder, AGE, True20, Cortex etc.)

I seem to recall Wolfgang having a concern about handling 4x articles in KQ, and eventually he said 'frak it' and he (and I assume his lawyers) figured they could publish 4x content in a OGL friendly magazine.

*climbs in wayback machine* I think Wotbro could have been more successful in 'quashing the OGL' if they'd had a GSL more finished and thought out *and* gone to their licensors and given them the new rules and let them continue what they were doing. Well except Paizo. Offer them Greyhawk. Imagine a 4e that had WotC focusing on their 'in house' properties (Eberron, Forgotten (and nuked) Realms, etc) while MWP made GSL Dragonlance Paizo made GSL Greyhawk, WhiteWolf made GSL Ravenloft etc. Sure Paizo, MWP, WW, etc could go elsewhere, but would they?

*back to reality* To me, the false starts with 4.x and the GSL alienated a lot of potential 3pp, and their supporters. That's why we see the success of Pathfinder and 'edition clones'. Heck, if I was Monte, I'd be wondering if I can rerelease material that is Pathfinder AND 5e compatible. 5E Ptolus anyone?

I'm not suggesting anyone else should support WoTC. We all make these decisions based on a whole host of factors. I have no problem with WoTC's handling of the 4E release because I have no knowledge of it. For others it was obviously upsetting.

Ciretose said he couldn't understand "loyalty" to WoTC and I was explaining why such a thing is perfectly sensible. You don't have to choose sides just because many do. I think the world is much better off with disparate gaming companies making disparate games. I also happen to think two 800 pound gorillas is better than one.


ciretose wrote:
Why are you loyal to WoTC, or more accurately Hasbro. I just don't get it.

I view it more as loyalty to the truth.

Heaven knows WotC has made it's share of mis-steps, but I simply don't think the oft-reported nefarious moustache-twirling ever happened.


MarkusTay wrote:

@ DigitalMage - point taken. The term 'troll' itself would have to be applied differently to different parts of these forums. How very enlightened (not being sarcastic - how do you guys know how to take each other without smilies?)

I can use any rules - I used at least seven different company's rules back when I ran Greyhawk, so they matter very little to the types of games I enjoy running.

Its the settings that matter to me, and I borrow from the all. I just hate the idea of being behind the 'learning curve' in anything - I'm not used to being the 'newb'. Thats probably the only thing that has kept me from embracing Golarion. How do I run a world that my players know more about then I do?

Lots of folks are still playing in the Realms using the PF rules. Our groups have been doing it since beta.

Golorian is cool too. I have played in a couple of APs.


I have a lot of 2E Realms books. I never bothered to switch to 3E, since it's all sourcebooks, anyway. Why would I ever want to buy 4E Realms stuff? Or even 5E?

Andoran

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Why are you loyal to WoTC, or more accurately Hasbro. I just don't get it.

I view it more as loyalty to the truth.

Heaven knows WotC has made it's share of mis-steps, but I simply don't think the oft-reported nefarious moustache-twirling ever happened.

Proof, as, they say, is in the eating. Who cares really who makes 5e as long as it is good? Paizo make great products that make me happy, as soon as Paizo makes bad products that make me unhappy I'll stop buying from them. No malice against Paizo will ever be generated. Same goes for WotC, make something I want and BINGO, I buy stuff.

I'm loyal ONLY to the resulting products and NOT to any company name or brand.

Stefan the Mercenary at your service.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
bugleyman wrote:
Heaven knows WotC has made it's share of mis-steps, but I simply don't think the oft-reported nefarious moustache-twirling ever happened.

True, true...

As for myself, I've never attributed to maliciousness that which incompetence is fully adequate to explain.


ciretose wrote:

I don't get all the sympathy for the poor misunderstood 800lb Gorilla in the room who changed versions so they could get out of the OGL to avoid sharing and are now doing exactly what many on here predicted, changing versions every few years.

Why are you loyal to WoTC, or more accurately Hasbro. I just don't get it.

Because WotC makes a game that I enjoy playing, and has been making games I enjoy playing for over a decade now. The people who work there are cool people who genuinely care about both the strength of the hobby and the community. Based on their track record, I expect that I will enjoy the D&D of the future even more than I enjoy the D&D of today, and I appreciate their commitment to innovation (one of the few things I wish Paizo would dial up a notch or two, though I can understand if they don't necessarily have the resources it would require).

I see a lot of very good reasons to support WotC, and very few good reasons to hate them. Similarly, I see a lot of very good reasons to support Paizo, and very few good reasons to hate them.

Also, the world is just a better place when you don't feel like you need to hate everything that doesn't suit you.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


We know what a straw man is. You're just misusing it. But that's fine. We really don't need to convince you. You can scream, "STRAW MAN!" all you want, but the point stands: some people reacted like that, and it had an effect on how things were presented going forward.

You're wasting your breath, Adamantine Dragon.

Apparently you don't know what a straw man is.

The "exchange" that was posted was a ludicrous presentation of a highly educated professional person crying and screaming like a baby (LITERALLY) becuase WotC tried to say "we changed the grapple rules."

That is an insane exaggeration of anyone's reaction. NOBODY reacted like that. NOBODY. It's not merely a straw man, it's an insanely ridiculous straw man. But that IS the "straw man" that was created to "show" how irrational PF fans are.

But you are right, I am wasting my breath. Fight the good fight for WotC Scott. Fight the people! Carry the load! Reverse the injustice!

Is Pax Veritas Latin for "straw man"?

I hope Adamantine Dragon reads that. The notion that this level of insane vitriol doesn't exist is silly.


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
I have a lot of 2E Realms books. I never bothered to switch to 3E, since it's all sourcebooks, anyway. Why would I ever want to buy 4E Realms stuff? Or even 5E?

When you play Forgotten Realms in 3rd or 4th Ed., you need the 2nd Ed. books, because the vast majority of information just isn't in the new books. Silver Marches gets close to the degree of detail, but it covers maybe 2% of the whole continent.


Yora wrote:

Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

I have a lot of 2E Realms books. I never bothered to switch to 3E, since it's all sourcebooks, anyway. Why would I ever want to buy 4E Realms stuff? Or even 5E?
When you play Forgotten Realms in 3rd or 4th Ed., you need the 2nd Ed. books, because the vast majority of information just isn't in the new books. Silver Marches gets close to the degree of detail, but it covers maybe 2% of the whole continent.

All the more reason not to bother trying to find the books.


bugleyman wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:

Actually, I didn't remember what the books said about halflings at all, as I noted, that was a made up quote just to provide a sense of what I was talking about. So I find it amusing that there is a quote about halflings that involves "we did this wrong in 3rd edition." It isn't bashing, no (and I didn't say it was, that was someone else's word), but it's an issue with negative comparison that got sensitive gamers' hackles up ("what do you mean 3rd edition is wrong?" NERDRAGE. It's not a rational reaction, but it's how many people reacted and it didn't do WotC any favors).

(Also, as a complete aside, I'm sure if any people with dwarfism read that passage, they didn't like being told being 3 feet tall was unrealistic (and I'd bet money there are little people who could kick that game developer's ass into Sunday).)

Ahhh.no. I'm 6' tall, 270lb, and out of shape, but I'd happily bet $10,000 that there is no 3' tall person on the planet that can kick my ass. ;-)

Not a person, no, but I bet a chimpanzee could. My point being, different organisms have different musculature and ligature making them have strength, flexibility, and agility that is not directly reflected in their actual height. This could easily hold true for a 3 foot tall halfling in a fantasy world, IMHO.


cibet44 wrote:
Not a person, no, but I bet a chimpanzee could. My point being, different organisms have different musculature and ligature making them have strength, flexibility, and agility that is not directly reflected in their actual height. This could easily hold true for a 3 foot tall halfling in a fantasy world, IMHO.

Another good point. Watch out for halfling fans claiming you said halflings are chimps, though. :)

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:
Another good point. Watch out for halfling fans claiming you said halflings are chimps, though. :)

And they're thieving drunks, too.

Andoran

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Steve Geddes wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Because you can support both.

Paizo do better in a world with a thriving WoTC.

Only if WoTC is trying to be a part of the community rather than trying to throw their weight around to consolidate the market so we have to buy from them.
Isnt the latter what you think is the current state of play? That doesn't seem to have harmed paizo in the last few years.

When you try to kill someone and fail to do so, that doesn't change the fact your attempt was to kill them.

When it happened, the general consensus was that WoTC's moves would destroy Paizo, as Paizo was built to support 3.5. The fact that Paizo was able to create a market in the vacuum of the one WoTC was trying to remove wasn't part of the WoTC plan.

"We have invested multiple 7 figures in the development of 4e so can you tell me why we would want publishers to support a system that we have moved away from?

This is not spite, malice or some evil scorched earth policy. Yes, we want people to make 4e books and stop making 3.x. Does that surprise you?"

Scott Rouse, Former WoTC Brand Manager

To add context to his quote, the GSL requires you to

- Drop any publication of OGL material if you want to publish for 4E. In other words, for all the talk of WoTC and not taking sides, you have to choose to take WoTC if you want to publish for 4E.

- Each setting and production has to be paid for separately and as to be provided to WoTC for approval prior to publication. So put all the work in and "maybe" you will get approval, for a fee...and if you are getting to big, they can just say no, leaving you in the lurch and, due to the first part, unable to go back to your prior OGL publications.

The effort was to kill OGL games, including 3.5.

That was the plan. The fact it didn't work isn't something to praise WoTC for.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Stefan Hill wrote:
Who cares really who makes 5e as long as it is good? Paizo make great products that make me happy, as soon as Paizo makes bad products that make me unhappy I'll stop buying from them. No malice against Paizo will ever be generated. Same goes for WotC, make something I want and BINGO, I buy stuff.

I won't be buying WotC games without stopping and considering the move very, very carefully. This is not because I hate WotC. It's also not because I don't think their products are good (I don't like 4e all that much, but I've played it, and it's no worse than 2nd ed, IMHO)

No, I just don't trust WotC. I spent hundreds of dollars on a shelf full of 3e and 3.5e books. I built a campaign around the Dungeon Adventure Paths. What did WotC do? They yanked Paizo's license for Dungeon and invalidated that entire shelf of books. Sure, I could still use them, but few gamers have an interest in joining a game based on unsupported rules, and that definitely extends to my local gaming group.

Steve Jackson Games did roughly the same thing with GURPS, but compatibility was maintained enough between editions that I could at least use all of my old books as source material and hack up the stats with only small amounts of pain.

I should have learned my lesson with WotC when they declared all of my M:tG cards illegal for tournament play, back in the early 1990s.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@cirerose,

Actually quoting Scott seems to not be fair in the context of what the GSL allowed/required. Scott was one of the loudest voices in WotC to make the GSL *less* restrictive.

Also he's right. Why would any company want you to use an old version? Microsoft bashing aside, you have to compliment them for still putting out old OS updates, even after the new product comes out (to a point at least). It wasnt' until the hue and cry, that Motorola/Google relented and promised Ice Cream Sandwich would hit the Bionic. They'd already moved past it to the Razor.

The difference was... the OGL meant that you couldn't put the Genie back in the bottle. True 20 would survive the appearance of 4e, same thing for the 'retro clones' Mutant and Masterminds etc etc. Pathfinder was just the cumlination of what OGL meant.

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Morris wrote:

@cirerose,

Actually quoting Scott seems to not be fair in the context of what the GSL allowed/required. Scott was one of the loudest voices in WotC to make the GSL *less* restrictive.

Also he's right. Why would any company want you to use an old version? Microsoft bashing aside, you have to compliment them for still putting out old OS updates, even after the new product comes out (to a point at least). It wasnt' until the hue and cry, that Motorola/Google relented and promised Ice Cream Sandwich would hit the Bionic. They'd already moved past it to the Razor.

The difference was... the OGL meant that you couldn't put the Genie back in the bottle. True 20 would survive the appearance of 4e, same thing for the 'retro clones' Mutant and Masterminds etc etc. Pathfinder was just the cumlination of what OGL meant.

It was one of the few honest quotes made by a WoTC employee. Probably part of why he was let go.

There is not supporting the old version and there is forcing anyone who works with your to also not support the old version. Add to that requiring approval for each new publication so they could refuse anyone who got too big and limit competition.

They tried to kill the system. They tried to kill the OGL. Many people, if not most, thought they would be successful.

The OGL was why 3.0 was able to bring the company out of bankruptcy. The success was based on that genie, not in spite of it.

The words coming out sound nice. The words coming out in 2008 sounded nice. But the actions were an attempt to crush all competition and force everyone into a single new system.

The "Of course they want to do this" argument will illicit my response of "Of course I'm not going to be loyal to a company that isn't looking loyal to the customer giving them money in exchange for goods and services."

If they put out a good product, great. But this isn't a company that is trying to expand market options as much as it is about consolidating and limiting options under a single brand.

And the press releases so far are consistent with that goal.


The company dealing with brankruptcy was TSR, which to my knowledge doesn't exist anymore. The company that did 3rd Edition was WotC who bought the brand.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
When you try to kill someone and fail to do so, that doesn't change the fact your attempt was to kill them.

Of course, if you didn't try to kill them then you didn't. Paizo has always sold games through its online shop, so WotC were not their only source of revenue (and they would be idiots if they were reliant on a single licence with a sunset clause in it - which clearly they are not). It was doing that when the licence (note - not OGL) was withdrawn by WotC. The licence was explicit that it could be withdrawn, and Paizo happily signed up to it. Then WotC changed strategy. That's not "attempting to kill", that's just business. It was up to Paizo to deal with it, as an independent company. This stuff happens all the time. And, it bears repeating: WotC gave them more grace in the licence withdrawal than they were entitled. And Paizo wasn't even a threat then - they were a licencee that produced a couple of mags, and sold some D&D stuff online on the side. So this great "homicidal" venture, like much other stuff with you, is in your mind. I was here at the time, I remember what happened.

ciretose wrote:
When it happened, the general consensus was that WoTC's moves would destroy Paizo, as Paizo was built to support 3.5. The fact that Paizo was able to create a market in the vacuum of the one WoTC was trying to remove wasn't part of the WoTC plan.

No probably not. But the consensus among the uninformed on the internet normally doesn't add up to much, as subsequent events proved.

ciretose wrote:

"We have invested multiple 7 figures in the development of 4e so can you tell me why we would want publishers to support a system that we have moved away from?

This is not spite, malice or some evil scorched earth policy. Yes, we want people to make 4e books and stop making 3.x. Does that surprise you?"

Scott Rouse, Former WoTC Brand Manager

Er, no, that seems fairly reasonably, actually.

ciretose wrote:

To add context to his quote, the GSL requires you to

- Drop any publication of OGL material if you want to publish for 4E. In other words, for all the talk of WoTC and not taking sides, you have to choose to take WoTC if you want to publish for 4E.

- Each setting and production has to be paid for separately and as to be provided to WoTC for approval prior to publication. So put all the work in and "maybe" you will get approval, for a fee...and if you are getting to big, they can just say no, leaving you in the lurch and, due to the first part, unable to go back to your prior OGL publications.

The effort was to kill OGL games, including 3.5.

That was the plan. The fact it didn't work isn't something to praise WoTC for.

The idea was to change edition and attempt the maintain dominance in the market. Oh, and to produce a better game. That is just business. It's just business to Paizo too, I might add. The hysteria on this comes straight from people with no stake in the company at all.


Well, about the only thing I can add:

I can still remember being a d20/3E hater in the late 90s, when 2E was coming to an end, even though I loathed the black covered Player's Options books...admittedly those books did have a few gems that got used. To this day, my biggest gripe, probably my only real gripe, with d20/3E is the 6 second, overly complex, chess-like, tactical combat round.

Well, I made the switch and found myself enjoying the game, most of it anyway, almost as much as I did with 2E.

When I heard about 4E. At first I cringed. But kept the mindset of wait and see. I got the the first PHB, MM, and DMG. Played a few sessions. Lost interest. Why? Way, WAY, WAY too much balance, the necessity of miniatures for gameplay for all the shifting abilities, that even in 'failure' characters can succeed. Ultimately, the system just doesn't lend itself well to the style of gameplay I enjoy. Admittedly, I have recently played in some Lair Assaults and have enjoyed them immensely, however, it did not change my opinion about 4E...it still is NOT a system that supports the style of gameplay I enjoy.

So, now a 5E has been announced. I say wait and see. It's either going to support the style of play you enjoy or it won't. I can say this about myself: even with a 5E, I'll still play other games, just as I always have - Eclipse Phase, Myth & Magic, occassional 2E throwbacks, Shadowrun, Original Toon, WEG d6 Star Wars, WEG Masterbook, Cortex, our own homebrew d20 Freedom System, too many d20 variants too list, and many, many more. Why? Why not. I'm too old to throw my loyality and money at a single system anymore...plus I get bored playing the same system over and over again. It's a waste to be so 'single-minded' in one's hobby. Support the hobby by supporting as much as you can.

Andoran

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Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
The hysteria on this comes straight from people with no stake in the company at all.

Hysteria. You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Brand Strategy A: A rising tide lifts all ships, we are keeping our system as open as possible to bring as many players into gaming as possible, because we will make our money by putting out quality modules that people will enjoy playing, but will have to replace once used. This will give us a continual profit stream as long as we can keep people playing and bring new people in.

Brand Strategy B: If we control and consolidate the gaming market, as the dominant brand more gaming dollars will come to us.

Which strategy is in my best interests, as a consumer?

So which system should I support. Which system is better for the industry as a whole? Frankly, which is the more sustainable model.

I'm not being hysterical, I'm being logical.

If Paizo changes, I'll abandon them as well. Don't support the label, support the strategy behind it.

Nothing I've read has changed my perception that WoTC is more focused on market takeover rather than market growth. If anything, the language they are using reinforces it.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yet, this the same Wizards of the Coast, who as pointed out in a post by a Paizo Staff member, could of hurt Paizo badly and chose not too.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starglyte wrote:
Yet, this the same Wizards of the Coast, who as pointed out in a post by a Paizo Staff member, could of hurt Paizo badly and chose not too.

LOL, Perhaps the conversation went something like this...

"Hey, let's make a new edition, yank support for the old edition and tell anyone who supports the shiny new heavily advertised and promoted edition that they can't support the old stuff."

"Um.. well, Paizo says they will keep supporting the old stuff."

"Haha! Idiots. Let them eat cake then. We'll bury them."

Three years later..

"Um Paizo is pulling even with our sales by supporting the version we tried to kill."

"They owe us so much, those bastards!"

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@Adamantine Dragon.

No, it's more along the lines of:
"Hey guys, we're pulling/not renewing* the licences."
"What? Damn. Can we keep selling the stock we have?"
"Sure."
"And PDFs?"
"Yup."
"I'm worried we won't get the last AP done, any chance of an extension?"**
"We'll see what shakes out."

And

"Ok, we're shutting down all our PDF products (because we're idiots***)"
"But we can keep the previous orders for redownload, like we've always done."
"No."
"Arrgh, can we keep the downloads up for a couple days, so people can download if they lost their copies and 'Never got around to fixing it.'"
"Ummmmm, Ok, but only for 72 hours."
"Deal. Thanks."

There are a lot of misteps WotC made**** that we can question. But please don't add ones that don't exist.

*

Spoiler:
I honestly don't remember which it was, so I'm including both.

**
Spoiler:
Again, I think WotC let the license linger long enough to finish the last AP.

***
Spoiler:
We have the official answer "Piracy is rampant" the suspected answer "They're trying to cut off their noses to spite their face." So I put my own answer. :P

****
Spoiler:
Speaking of which, when did they announce they had 'a plan' to get out the 1e, 2e, 3e material in electronic format? How many months ago?


ciretose wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
The hysteria on this comes straight from people with no stake in the company at all.

Hysteria. You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Brand Strategy A: A rising tide lifts all ships, we are keeping our system as open as possible to bring as many players into gaming as possible, because we will make our money by putting out quality modules that people will enjoy playing, but will have to replace once used. This will give us a continual profit stream as long as we can keep people playing and bring new people in.

Brand Strategy B: If we control and consolidate the gaming market, as the dominant brand more gaming dollars will come to us.

Which strategy is in my best interests, as a consumer?

So which system should I support. Which system is better for the industry as a whole? Frankly, which is the more sustainable model.

I'm not being hysterical, I'm being logical.

If Paizo changes, I'll abandon them as well. Don't support the label, support the strategy behind it.

Nothing I've read has changed my perception that WoTC is more focused on market takeover rather than market growth. If anything, the language they are using reinforces it.

While I agree Wotc's strategy is probably somewhere in the woods of "Dominate the market and make lots of monies" I don't think it's quite the way you think it is.

Wotc has said that Adventures aren't their thing. You see Adventure modules as a construct are generally bought by one audience (GMs/DMs) and are single use for the most part (particularly in the past). To a company the size of Wizards, that money is tiny compared to rulebooks that lots of players will buy. Hence their switch in strategy.

Paizo was a "module" company before a rules company. They made adventures and little tidbits for a living (as well as being a store). So when the change happened they realized they could make the adventure module format work longterm and they did so by revolutionizing it as a construct. They added stuff for players, and fiction, and the like so that suddenly people other than just dms/gms would buy them to read through them.

Both of these are just evolutions of business strategy rather than a "screw x group over" mustache-twirling evil. Both companies want to make money and both are filled with employees that want to make games for a living. Granted there were/are corporate execs at wizards that were the probable cause for some of the pr mishaps that occured, but when you are a subsidary of a corporation as big as hasbro, that is just something that should be assumed. Paizo is still a small enough company that they have no real overmaster that just wants money, but a cew who enjoys her job and the business (presumably from things she's said, I cannot quote her) that changes alot of the perception a company can give off alone.


@Matthew... I don't see my version and your version as being mutually exclusive. There's no doubt that there were folks at WotC who liked Paizo and wanted them to succeed, just as folks at Paizo liked and wanted WotC to succeed.

But the market strategy was designed to kill the product that Paizo decided to support. All in a very friendly manner to be sure, but the fact remains that WotC's intention was to kill off older versions and have 4e be the preferred supported version. Paizo chose to roll the dice and gambled that WotC had divided the market enough that they could maintain their business model in the old versions.

In the end Paizo's bet turned out better than even they expected I suspect, when the split in the community grew so great that 4e never developed the expected market dominance.

From that point on it was a horse race, and although I can't prove it since I don't have their sales figures, the way both companies have acted for the past year is pretty good evidence that Paizo is at least even, and may even be pulling ahead.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

They may not be mutually exclusive but I just wanted to point out that with the 'yanking' of the licenses, WotC* did bend where they didn't have to.

It's like my partner and I worked for different companies in the same field. We didn't fight to the death every night we got home.

*

Spoiler:
Now the Hasbro higher ups of course, might be trying to bring everything under their sway through dark means, but I doubt such thoughts extend through WotC.


Matthew Morris wrote:

They may not be mutually exclusive but I just wanted to point out that with the 'yanking' of the licenses, WotC* did bend where they didn't have to.

It's like my partner and I worked for different companies in the same field. We didn't fight to the death every night we got home.

*** spoiler omitted **

Matthew, I don't think you'll find anything I've written that ascribes nefarious motives to WotC or Hasbro. Or Paizo. They are profit-seeking companies. That means they have meetings to determine marketing strategies. Those marketing strategies are essentially battle plans in the battlefield of the marketplace. That's what they are.

So whether folks at Paizo and WotC enjoy sharing a beer together doesn't change the fact that both are targeting the same market for their product. If that market can support both, fine, but especially in tough economic times, that tends to boil down to people making a choice how to spend their limited entertainment dollars. The whole point of a marketing plan is to get those people to spend their dollars on OUR product, not YOUR product. If that means you end up laying off people, well that's too bad.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
The hysteria on this comes straight from people with no stake in the company at all.

Hysteria. You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Brand Strategy A: A rising tide lifts all ships, we are keeping our system as open as possible to bring as many players into gaming as possible, because we will make our money by putting out quality modules that people will enjoy playing, but will have to replace once used. This will give us a continual profit stream as long as we can keep people playing and bring new people in.

Brand Strategy B: If we control and consolidate the gaming market, as the dominant brand more gaming dollars will come to us.

Which strategy is in my best interests, as a consumer?

So which system should I support. Which system is better for the industry as a whole? Frankly, which is the more sustainable model.

I'm not being hysterical, I'm being logical.

If Paizo changes, I'll abandon them as well. Don't support the label, support the strategy behind it.

Nothing I've read has changed my perception that WoTC is more focused on market takeover rather than market growth. If anything, the language they are using reinforces it.

What do you do as a consumer? You buy the game you like. I don't give a damn about WotC's strategy, or Paizo's. I'm interested in the quality of their products, not trying to second-guess their marketing strategy or management and making a moral judgement from that. Every company wants to be a monopoly - it is what they do. They try to control their market as much as they can, to make as much money as they can. It is not always good for consumers but generally speaking you are castigating companies for doing what they are designed to do - generate profits and grow those profits. RPGs are not a growth market so what do you do? You try to dominate the niche. This is basic business - the BCG matrix cover this.

And I use the term hysteria because you used hyperbolic language about WotC trying to "kill" Paizo. WotC ended their licence. If Paizo died that was down to Paizo. Paizo didn't. So what are we arguing about, four years on?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

They may not be mutually exclusive but I just wanted to point out that with the 'yanking' of the licenses, WotC* did bend where they didn't have to.

It's like my partner and I worked for different companies in the same field. We didn't fight to the death every night we got home.

*** spoiler omitted **

Matthew, I don't think you'll find anything I've written that ascribes nefarious motives to WotC or Hasbro. Or Paizo. They are profit-seeking companies. That means they have meetings to determine marketing strategies. Those marketing strategies are essentially battle plans in the battlefield of the marketplace. That's what they are.

AD,

I may have been inferring a tone in your posts that wasn't there. I'll accept that. Your examples of "We'll bury them" and "Those Bastards!" led me in that direction. I agree that "It's only business" (said Abe Vigoda.) I'm just trying to point out that the people we 'know' aren't the ones screaming "DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!" to their competition. The suits* maybe, but not Sean, James, Monte, Mike, etc etc.

*

Spoiler:
and yes, technically Vic and Lisa are the 'suits' for Paizo. No I don't think they're planning on how to 'take down' Hasbro. Irony abounds.


Matthew Morris wrote:

AD,

I may have been inferring a tone in your posts that wasn't there. I'll accept that. Your examples of "We'll bury them" and "Those Bastards!" led me in that direction. I agree that "It's only business" (said Abe Vigoda.) I'm just trying to point out that the people we 'know' aren't the ones screaming "DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!" to their competition. The suits* maybe, but not Sean, James, Monte, Mike, etc etc.

*** spoiler omitted **

No, the tone was there Matthew. But the context was not. It was just an imaginary conversation attempting to parody the accusations of nefarious intent. I should have put it within [parody][/parody] tags.

Even in highly competitive industries the designers and builders of the products tend to respect and even like each other. I'm sure the RPG industry is no different. But that doesn't mean that the sales and marketing departments aren't still trying to grab every scrap of disposable income spent anyway. That's their jobs.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Ok, as long as we're understanding each other, that's what's important here ;-)


Matthew Morris wrote:
Ok, as long as we're understanding each other, that's what's important here ;-)

I shouldn't attempt parody on the internet... it usually doesn't work.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:

AD,

I may have been inferring a tone in your posts that wasn't there. I'll accept that. Your examples of "We'll bury them" and "Those Bastards!" led me in that direction. I agree that "It's only business" (said Abe Vigoda.) I'm just trying to point out that the people we 'know' aren't the ones screaming "DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!" to their competition. The suits* maybe, but not Sean, James, Monte, Mike, etc etc.

*** spoiler omitted **

No, the tone was there Matthew. But the context was not. It was just an imaginary conversation attempting to parody the accusations of nefarious intent. I should have put it within [parody][/parody] tags.

Even in highly competitive industries the designers and builders of the products tend to respect and even like each other. I'm sure the RPG industry is no different. But that doesn't mean that the sales and marketing departments aren't still trying to grab every scrap of disposable income spent anyway. That's their jobs.

[sacasm*poor*] You've obviously not been educated on the great Flying Buffalo Vs. TSR War from 1978 to 1983, have you? [backety slashy sarcasm]


Matthew Morris wrote:
Speaking of which, when did they announce they had 'a plan' to get out the 1e, 2e, 3e material in electronic format? How many months ago?

According to the sources I can actually access from my work PC (which are admittedly limited), it was discussed very briefly at a Q&A at GenCon this year. Pricing was cited as a key obstruction to the process, and all that was really said before they moved on to another question was that "there are plans", which sounds like a deflecting appeasement to me.

At this point, I just don't think it's going to happen. Hasbro likely has too many senior employees who are wary of the perceived piracy pitfalls of new media to embrace digital distribution that's any less restrictive than how they currently disseminate DDi content.

I also think re-releasing old editions will be antithetical to the stated goals of the new edition of the game. A lot of people might rationalize that they'd rather use the books they have and buy old supplements they can't get in print in .pdf, and never even consider buying the new game. I think a lot, like me, would do both, actually - but I don't think the "suits" will see it that way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Power Word Unzip wrote:
I also think re-releasing old editions will be antithetical to the stated goals of the new edition of the game. A lot of people might rationalize that they'd rather use the books they have and buy old supplements they can't get in print in .pdf, and never even consider buying the new game. I think a lot, like me, would do both, actually - but I don't think the "suits" will see it that way.

I don't think having early edition PDFs available hurt 3E sales one bit. I know I picked up quite a few that I was missing from my physical collection while they were still available.

I do think that they are most likely to re-release old material as part of DDi though.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

Because you can support both.

Paizo do better in a world with a thriving WoTC.

Only if WoTC is trying to be a part of the community rather than trying to throw their weight around to consolidate the market so we have to buy from them.
Isnt the latter what you think is the current state of play? That doesn't seem to have harmed paizo in the last few years.

When you try to kill someone and fail to do so, that doesn't change the fact your attempt was to kill them.

When it happened, the general consensus was that WoTC's moves would destroy Paizo, as Paizo was built to support 3.5. The fact that Paizo was able to create a market in the vacuum of the one WoTC was trying to remove wasn't part of the WoTC plan.

"We have invested multiple 7 figures in the development of 4e so can you tell me why we would want publishers to support a system that we have moved away from?

This is not spite, malice or some evil scorched earth policy. Yes, we want people to make 4e books and stop making 3.x. Does that surprise you?"

Scott Rouse, Former WoTC Brand Manager

To add context to his quote, the GSL requires you to

- Drop any publication of OGL material if you want to publish for 4E. In other words, for all the talk of WoTC and not taking sides, you have to choose to take WoTC if you want to publish for 4E.

- Each setting and production has to be paid for separately and as to be provided to WoTC for approval prior to publication. So put all the work in and "maybe" you will get approval, for a fee...and if you are getting to big, they can just say no, leaving you in the lurch and, due to the first part, unable to go back to your prior OGL publications.

The effort was to kill OGL games, including 3.5.

That was the plan. The fact it didn't work isn't something to praise WoTC for.

This is peculiar - I'm not saying you should praise WoTC. I'm not telling you to do anything. I was answering your question about not understanding people's 'loyalty' to WoTC (not that I think loyalty is the right term really).

.
You asked why someone would be "loyal" to WoTC and I told you - because I like their products and because one can support both Paizo and WoTC at the same time - In my view, it's not a competition and both companies are better off with the other one doing well.

Your response was that this was only true if WoTC weren't trying to throw their weight around and monopolise the market and I pointed out that this contradicts our experience. Accepting (for the sake of the argument) that your characterisation of WoTC being out to destroy 3.5 is correct doesnt refute my claim at all - Paizo did very well in the last few years supporting 3.5 even if WoTC were out to destroy all editions except 4E.

To repeat, I'm not trying to argue a position - I'm explaining why it's easy to have goodwill towards WoTC even whilst being an avid supporter of Paizo. In my view, the world is better with both companies doing well, the products they both make give me enjoyment, I have fun, etcetera... I dont personally have a problem with companies trying to dominate markets, but it's even less of a problem when they fail - the RPG world as it stands now is ideally suited to meeting my needs, so what's so hard to understand about hoping it continues?

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Responding to several points at once.

1. Not every company wants to be a monopoly. Every company wants to be profitable, and that isn't the same thing. A monopoly generally isn't good long term business unless you are in a field people can't live without.

People can live without table top gaming. A monopoly is bad for the player and bad for the industry. Yet it seems to be the stated goal of the company, and of the upcoming release. Reunification is code for regaining monopoly to me, and until the GSL is replaces I have no reason to think the strategy has changed. Speaking of the GSL...

2. The GSL was an active attempt to kill off competition to bring the industry under a single product. Kill is an accurate word, when you consider the fact that if you decided to write for 4E, you would be completely dependent on them to allow you to continue to publish products, as you would have to publish for 4E exclusively and they held a right to refuse publication at any time.

Not hyperbole, fact.

3. I am not loyal to Paizo. I am someone who enjoys table top RPG games and hopes they expand in popularity. That will not happen if there is only one game in town and the creative community is forced to choose a system to produce work for.

WoTC is saying that if you produce a product for us, you can only produce that product for us. All variations on our products will be under our control, all creative attempts to try new things with our system will be screened by us.

4. I had lots of goodwill toward WoTC. I gave them a lot of money over several years. When they first announced 4e, I was concerned but curious. We tried it out, we didn't like it and if not for the GSL it would have ended at that.

But because of the GSL there was a very real chance that 4E would be the only game that would be getting new material on the market. It was only because they failed at the plan that the OGL d20 system didn't die and 4E didn't become my only option if I wanted supported material.

That is a big deal to me. To a lot of us.

And the press releases, while acknowledging some mistakes, still seem to have the stated goal of consolidation of the market.

My fear is that the market will become consolidated, and you will basically have one game option. Publishers like Green Ronin and Paizo won't exist, so alternative same system products won't exist. No Mutants and Masterminds, no Ptolus, only WoTC approved material, which will stop being approved if they become a real threat to market share.

Alternative settings, nope. New talent appearing through indy publishing, bye bye.

One game in town, acting as a gatekeeper.

That is the stated goal.

Old WoTC was a wonderful company. Who is left at WoTC from those days? Monte is back after a long hiatus and...who else?

Exactly.


Power Word Unzip wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Speaking of which, when did they announce they had 'a plan' to get out the 1e, 2e, 3e material in electronic format? How many months ago?

According to the sources I can actually access from my work PC (which are admittedly limited), it was discussed very briefly at a Q&A at GenCon this year. Pricing was cited as a key obstruction to the process, and all that was really said before they moved on to another question was that "there are plans", which sounds like a deflecting appeasement to me.

...

I believe there was also a pretty specific slip up, where a wotc presenter who hadn't done his homework said (mistakenly) that the birthright pdfs were already available online. I think it was at that point that mearls just asked the guy to stop talking.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I know you were speaking to many people, not just me. Overall, I dont share the same perspective you do, however I wasnt playing D&D when 3.5 came out, nor when 4E came out (I quit D&D when 2nd edition came out) - so my experience with both companies is relatively fresh and uninformed by past behaviours.

There is some common ground here:

ciretose wrote:
My fear is that the market will become consolidated, and you will basically have one game option. Publishers like Green Ronin and Paizo won't exist, so alternative same system products won't exist. No Mutants and Masterminds, no Ptolus, only WoTC approved material, which will stop being approved if they become a real threat to market share.

in that, I too would consider this detrimental to the hobby and to me in particular. I have less concern than you, since I believe Paizo's core market will be unmoved by 5E's release. Thus, I dont expect Paizo to shift to supporting 5E, no matter how well received it is, because they have their own game and their own cadre of fans. There are also those of us who will probably play 5E with PF adventures and flavor material - my Paizo purchases will remain unchanged even if 5E is the best thing I've ever played.

.
Obviously, I have no inside knowledge about what Paizo are thinking/planning/considering. My gut feel is that they enjoy the more simulationist gamestyle of 3.5 (and now Pathfinder) and that the 4E crowd (who I consider to be the 'core target market' for 5E) favor a more gamist approach. Although 5E may stretch to accomodate other playing styles, I can't imagine a generalist approach filling the niche as well as the specialised approach taken in Pathfinder. I'd be more inclined to think PF 2.0 will come out (not imminently, and not as a reactive measure, just as the next evolution) than that Paizo would shift back to focussing on supporting someone else's game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
My fear is that the market will become consolidated, and you will basically have one game option. Publishers like Green Ronin and Paizo won't exist, so alternative same system products won't exist. No Mutants and Masterminds, no Ptolus, only WoTC approved material, which will stop being approved if they become a real threat to market share.

That is quite simply never going to happen. There have been other RPGs for almost as long as RPGs have existed. D&D has always been the big name, but I remember playing GURPS, Warhammer Fantasy, Palladium, Traveller, and many others besides.

#1 The OGL is irrevocable. So there will always be 3.X and its children available in some form.

#2 Print on Demand is becoming more and more effective. You can't stop gamers from writing new games, and soon most any game will be available in print or electronic form for the foreseeable future.

Does Wizards want to increase their market share? Certainly. But TSR wasn't able to stop a flood of other publishers from making RPGs. The cat is long out of the bag. Alternatives will always exist.


First off, you have to be cool enough to even have a mustache worth twirling. The 'Mustache Police' enforce these rules rigidly.

Second, did someone just accuse WotC of being Murderers (or rather, attempted murderers)? And I thought I used to have some epic nerd-rage. You can't 'kill' a corporation - you can only smack it around a little (and say it walked into a door when the cops ask questions).

You can buy it, and absorb it, but thats more like what vampires do... or 'The Blob' (How come D&D never had a Corporate-Pudding? I'd be scared!)

Anyhow, someone just mentioned the fact that WotC didn't allow further downloading of their PDFs. I just ran into this wall only about a week ago. I mentioned a couple of times on these boards in the past few days How I am currently in the market to replace all my gaming stuff, but I never bothered to say why.

My house burned down to the ground.

Yeah, yeah... it sucks. I'm done being miserable (7000 minis!!!), but whatever - I look at it as an opportunity (once the grief stopped). The Ins. Co. gave me gobs of money to replace my stuff, so now I can make like a kid in a candy store... and avoid all those products I regretted buying the first time.

So, the other day I remembered I purchased a bunch of PDFs from Paizo - a lot of old edition stuff - mostly Al-Qadim and all the OA adventures (to complete my FR collection). I also had the free stuff from Paizo (like the Beta), and their Gazeteer. I figured I would restart my collection with that, and go from there.

Well, low and behold, it appears WotC has made my choice for me. I can now only download the PF stuff, so thats what I have to build off of. In retrospect, I hope they realize just how stupid that move was (pulling their old products off the market). I basically bought and paid for products that I was told I would be able to download 5 times, and WotC denied me the rights to my paid-for merchandise. I feel like I was mugged.

If not for the other crap I am currently dealing with, I'd be really pissed off over that, but in the greater scheme of things its just small potatoes.

So with all of that, and not really liking how 4e turned out, I am still willing to at least take a look at 5e. As some others here have said, I am not brand or company loyal - I will buy what I like, and what I think my players will enjoy. Good products sell, and crap doesn't, and thats all there is to it. Its no big secret how to be successful - just produce quality products; the rest will take care of itself.

Andoran

MarkusTay wrote:

First off, you have to be cool enough to even have a mustache worth twirling. The 'Mustache Police' enforce these rules rigidly.

Second, did someone just accuse WotC of being Murderers (or rather, attempted murderers)? And I thought I used to have some epic nerd-rage. You can't 'kill' a corporation - you can only smack it around a little (and say it walked into a door when the cops ask questions).

Corporations are people :)

WoTC attempted to remove all competition and create a monopoly.

Thankfully they failed, but that was the attempt.


Of course it was, and I was the very first person to go on EVERY RPG site I could find, everywhere, and yell at the top of my lungs "Only an idiot would sign the GSL!!!"

The only thing that 'contract' was lacking was the demand to 'sign in blood'. Seriously - a more one-sided deal I haven't seen (not since the Native Americans sold Manhattan for a buncha beads).

So the difference, you see, is that the 'perp' handed the murder weapon to the intended victim, and said 'please use that on yourself'. They were very polite about it. In fact, their feelings were hurt when no-one complied. Technically, thats not murder - thats 'assisted suicide'. ;)

And even after all that, I would still buy their products, IF they produced something I wanted. Its that simple - welcome to capitalism.


ciretose wrote:
MarkusTay wrote:

First off, you have to be cool enough to even have a mustache worth twirling. The 'Mustache Police' enforce these rules rigidly.

Second, did someone just accuse WotC of being Murderers (or rather, attempted murderers)? And I thought I used to have some epic nerd-rage. You can't 'kill' a corporation - you can only smack it around a little (and say it walked into a door when the cops ask questions).

Corporations are people :)

WoTC attempted to remove all competition and create a monopoly.

Thankfully they failed, but that was the attempt.

I don't think they were trying to remove all competition, especially since there's no reason the competition would need to use the d20 system or OGL in order to compete - we see plenty of different RPG systems out there, and they're competing. They're not winning, mind you, but they are competing. WotC can't create a monopoly via their own licenses, nor did they try to.

What they were trying to do was to avoid having to compete with themselves.


MarkusTay wrote:

Of course it was, and I was the very first person to go on EVERY RPG site I could find, everywhere, and yell at the top of my lungs "Only an idiot would sign the GSL!!!"

The only thing that 'contract' was lacking was the demand to 'sign in blood'. Seriously - a more one-sided deal I haven't seen (not since the Native Americans sold Manhattan for a buncha beads).

I don't think you know what the term "one-sided" means. Unless you're implying that the GSL is one-sided in the sense that it gives 3pp a material benefit, and in return WotC gets nothing.

Ironically, then you'd be correct.

Taldor

Scott Betts wrote:
MarkusTay wrote:

Of course it was, and I was the very first person to go on EVERY RPG site I could find, everywhere, and yell at the top of my lungs "Only an idiot would sign the GSL!!!"

The only thing that 'contract' was lacking was the demand to 'sign in blood'. Seriously - a more one-sided deal I haven't seen (not since the Native Americans sold Manhattan for a buncha beads).

I don't think you know what the term "one-sided" means. Unless you're implying that the GSL is one-sided in the sense that it gives 3pp a material benefit, and in return WotC gets nothing.

Ironically, then you'd be correct.

Now I know you like accuracy, so strictly speaking WoTC does get something in return, it is a license that grants rights but it also modifies and limits existing rights and creates some obligations.

9.1 Ownership for example is an interesting clause and probably has some fun interaction with fair use and a nifty expansive definition of intellectual property that looks like it gets around the issue of not being able to copyright game rules. Whether or not it is enforceable? *shrug*

Now what sort of dollar value you put on those sorts of things is up in the air, but the license isn't just a one way street. The licensee is signing away somethings and up for some others.

If it was a one way street you wouldn't have seen Clark Peterson and others being so leery about signing on - especially the first incarnation.


Robert Hawkshaw wrote:

Now I know you like accuracy, so strictly speaking WoTC does get something in return, it is a license that grants rights but it also modifies and limits existing rights and creates some obligations.

9.1 Ownership for example is an interesting clause and probably has some fun interaction with fair use and a nifty expansive definition of intellectual property that looks like it gets around the issue of not being able to copyright game rules. Whether or not it is enforceable? *shrug*

Now what sort of dollar value you put on those sorts of things is up in the air, but the license isn't just a one way street. The licensee is signing away somethings and up for some others.

If it was a one way street you wouldn't have seen Clark Peterson and others being so leery about signing on - especially the first incarnation.

I included the word "material" for a reason. The applicant receives a certain limited access to intellectual property owned by Wizards of the Coast. In return, they agree to certain limitations on how that property is used. That doesn't mean WotC receives anything. They don't. It's still a one-sided contract - only one party benefits materially.

It's like someone saying, "Here, you can have some M&Ms but only if you eat them within five minutes. And if you choose to derive your daily caloric intake solely or in substantial part from the free M&Ms I'm giving you, be aware that I can take them back at any point." Sure, there are caveats placed on the material benefit you derive from the contract, but the other party doesn't actually get anything out of the deal.

As for people who decided not to sign onto the GSL, they did so because they decided that they did not want to work within the prescribed limits. It's not that they weren't willing to pay the asking price - there wasn't any. They just didn't feel like their time and money would be well-invested in a project that was beholden to certain restrictions.

It's ridiculous in the extreme to call the GSL a one-sided agreement in WotC's favor. That's demonstrably false. It's also nearly completely indefensible as anything but a one-sided agreement in the applicant's favor.

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