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D&D 5th Edition


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Andoran

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
ciretose wrote:

A monopoly generally isn't good long term business

[...]
2. The GSL was an active attempt to kill off competition to bring the industry under a single product.
[...]
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.

I think you are being a little unfair to WotC here. I can agree that the GSL may have been an attempt to bring the D&D market back under one publisher, but I cannot believe for one minute that WotC felt it would being the entire RPG industry under a single product. There is absolutely no way that the GSL could have "killed" products like Savage Worlds or Shadowrun or even Mutants & Masterminds (that never used the d20 licence, just the OGL and never looked like they were going to go to a 4e like system).

The press release seem to me to have the stated goal of consolidating the D&D & D&D clone market, nothing more beyond that really. And If WotC having a monopoly over D&D is bad, then Iguess so is White Wolf and their monopoly over World of Darkness, or Catalyst Game Labs and their monopoly over Shadowrun.

I can see why some people feel the OGL has come back to bite WotC in the backside; the OGL has created an immense feeling of entitlement it seems, and now that WotC want to go back to a model that companies like White Wolf use they get accused of bullying tactics. I can see why some WotC and Hasbro staff wish the OGL had never existed.

Andoran

Scott Betts wrote:


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.

WoTC expands the number of the players who know the system and who play the system at no cost to themselves.

The head of their design team cut his teeth as a 3PP under the OGL. And the way the GSL is written, they could say to any 3PP who puts out a good product "You can't publish anything else under your successful product line, but you could sell it to us..."

Hell the entire Eberron setting came out of house, via a contest.

WoTC doesn't have a deep bench. They really never have. They hire freelancers for projects, and those freelancers produce most of the material.

When you have something as restrictive as the GSL, you are basically telling the freelance market "Write cool stuff, we may or may not let you publish it after we review it, and we reserve the right to stop future publications at any time for any reason."

The reason Paizo's adventures are better isn't because Paizo has better writers. They both use freelancers. It's because the freelance community knows when they are doing side projects with one system they may be able to eventually publish on their own.

So they use that system more, meaning they learn how to write for that system better.

Neither WoTC or Paizo is able to put out the product they put out using only in house. Both need a freelance community of writers, artists, cartographers, etc...to create material.

The OGL cultivates this community, the GSL restricts it.

The OGL was never an altruistic approach to business, it was just good business for an industry that doesn't create content exclusively in house.

RPG Superstar isn't Paizo trying to have fun, it is Paizo looking for talent without having to pay them on staff and getting some pub on the side.

Pathfinder Society isn't about Paizo wanting people to have fun, it's about getting people into the game and the setting.

To be very clear on the benefits WoTC derived from the OGL, Mike Mearls doesn't gets discovered for his critically acclaimed 3PP game if not for the OGL.

WoTC's current strategy hurts the freelance community, which hurts the quality of the product that comes out across the board.

WoTC, and Paizo for that matter, are in large part middlemen. Paizo embraces this role, while WoTC appears to me to want to create a dependency model.

It is utterly ridiculous to say WoTC didn't benefit from an OGL. It was basically a free R&D for finding writers and developers.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@Ciretose,

If I may add one bit on your freelancer OGL/GSL post.

It also depends on how 'deep' the fanbase is and how lax the IP holder is.

To look at White Wolf (to use your example) There are/were a LOT of 3pp 'unofficial' stuff out there. White Wolf, justly or not, doesn't have a reputation of hunting down IP violators* on the net and crucifying them. I mean, if Gargoyles: The Vigil was pulled for legal reasons, it would be more likely the C&D came from Disney than from White Wolf.
(aside, I'm happy to find the link, I lost my paper copy a long time ago). A good chunk of White Wolf (and Catalyst) freelancers are 'ascended fanboys'.

The OGL did draw out the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yes, it did expose a much deeper pool to draw from, but that pool still had a shallow end. The GSL didn't drain that pool, but it did sour the pool** towards Wizards and send people elsewhere.

*

Spoiler:
I mean "Here's my alternate bloodline for Vampire the Masquerade" not "Here's a scan of my Vampire Book for Download."

**
Spoiler:
Generalizations of course. There are always people who are going to write stuff and want to share it. (raises hand) but the GSL is more 'grey' to a lot of people on if they can.

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Snorter wrote:

Oh, Scott; didn't you know?

When it's a poster as well-informed and level-headed as Pax, and directed at WotC, it isn't vitriol; it's life-giving 'aqua vitae'....

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Hmmm... I missed the part in Pax's threads where he claimed to have a doctorate and then started bleating like a pig when WotC changed the grapple rules.

I like the new grapple rules!

The reduction of the size bonus from +4 to +1 per step, and the automatic rolling of Dex into the target DC, mean I can run rings round the fascistic puppets of the bourgeoise capitalist-industrialist conspiracy.

Four legs good!
Two legs bad!

Vive la revolution!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow.

I'm no lawyer, but my GF is - and she laughed when I let her read that thing.

WotC gets: Control of all aspects of their competitions production and creative endeavors, FOREVER. The right to re-use things created by their competitors, and to cancel the rights of their competitors to use anything of theirs, ever again (even if something is already 99% ready for publication). They get back their ability to control the OGL, which they once gave-away freely to all parties.

WotC Loses: Nothing

Their competition gets: Limited use of the 5e material, at WotC's final discretion, and said usage can be cancelled at any time (including after the other company s heavily invested in publishing several products).

Their competition loses: The ability to produce products based off of all other material (OGL) WotC freely gave them in the past. The ability to creaet future product-lines and be heavily invested, for fear of cancellation of their limited-use license, at WotC's discretion.

The idea that they would have allowed anyone (their COMPETITORS!) to make more profit then them, and not use the GSL to put a strangle-hold on others, is a pipe-dream. Basically, "We want all our toys back, and we want to be able to use your toys whenever we want, and we might let you use our toys, sometimes, but we can (and will) take them back whenever we want"

Seriously - thats not a contract. Thats a death-sentence.

And yet, I am still willing to give 5e chance. I do not think they are 'evil', they are simply a company doing whats best for them (which is how all companies work, so by that definition you would have to claim all companies are evil). Self-interst is the back-bone of capitalism.

Caveat Emptor


Would have been a good idea to mention that you are talking about the 4th Edition GSL.
At least, I assume that.

Taldor

Scott Betts wrote:

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...

To be pedantic you didn't say that WoTC got nothing material in exchange, you said WoTC got nothing :) Which is what triggered me. But I am prepared to argue that WoTC recieves a material benefit from the contract (although mostly contingent).

Yes - arguing that 3pps get absolutely nothing in return for the license is silly. If they got nothing in return (or if WoTC got nothing from the license) it would not be enforceable - no consideration, no contract (well WoTC might have some equitable estoppal type issues).

There is a lot going on in the contract that looks like it doesn't mean much but does actually drastically change the rights and remedies available to the 3pp in a way that is materially advantageous to WotC.

For example the only "one sided" argument that holds up (and I don't think this has been raised in this thread) is how the contract was drafted - only one party drafted it and there was no negotiation (this potentially makes it a contract of adhesion).

Under normal circumstances contracts of adhesion will trigger some common law doctrines that are very favourable to the licensee (3pp) and not favourable at all to WoTC. The big one being the contra preferentem doctrine and (for fansites giving away free to play stuff more than commercial folks) unconscionability. If you read through the GSL you will see that there are clauses set up to block the application of both of these doctrines. On their own not a big deal but giving up the right to argue about the meaning of say s. 9 (ownership) is pretty huge.

Another example is the choice of law and choice of venue clause - normally that is decided by examining where a contract is signed. A practical example of why this is a benefit is OSRIC - OSRIC is published by a british guy under the OGL. When WoTC sent him a C&D he told them to get stuffed and felt secure doing so because he could rely on british copyright law and civil procedure - there was no choice of law or venue clause in the OGL and by preparing he could avoid giving an american court jurisdiction.

Section 9 makes it impossible for a licensee to ever publish material for 4th edition outside of the GSL - and potentially ever publish anything D&D related outside of a license - this drastically changes the licensees rights. This is the type of clause that contra preferentem would normally mess with - instead the licensee has agreed to be bound by WoTC's interpretation of the contract and not to contest it.

Now a lot of this turns on your idea of what a benefit is (for me giving up a right or agreeing not to exercise a right is a benefit to the other party) and what your definition of material is. I'm not saying the contract is evil, or wotc is being underhanded - just that it does create a relationship that has material benefits for both sides. Many of the benefits for WoTC are contingent on there being litigation or a conflict, but they do exist.

Typing on my mobile, please forgive any typos.


MarkusTay wrote:

Wow.

I'm no lawyer, but my GF is - and she laughed when I let her read that thing.

WotC gets: Control of all aspects of their competitions production and creative endeavors, FOREVER.

I stopped reading here. I hope your girlfriend didn't tell you that's what it said.


Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
Now a lot of this turns on your idea of what a benefit is (for me giving up a right or agreeing not to exercise a right is a benefit to the other party) and what your definition of material is. I'm not saying the contract is evil, or wotc is being underhanded - just that it does create a relationship that has material benefits for both sides. Many of the benefits for WoTC are contingent on there being litigation or a conflict, but they do exist.

An interesting perspective. I tend to see issues involving conflict as rising from breach of the limitations that the contract imposes, rather than a material benefit WotC derives directly from the contract (as opposed to use of WotC's IP, which is a material benefit that 3pps derive directly from the contract). But my formal study in contract law is limited, so I'll defer to you here.

Taldor

P

Scott Betts wrote:
Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
Now a lot of this turns on your idea of what a benefit is (for me giving up a right or agreeing not to exercise a right is a benefit to the other party) and what your definition of material is. I'm not saying the contract is evil, or wotc is being underhanded - just that it does create a relationship that has material benefits for both sides. Many of the benefits for WoTC are contingent on there being litigation or a conflict, but they do exist.
An interesting perspective. I tend to see issues involving conflict as rising from breach of the limitations that the contract imposes, rather than a material benefit WotC derives directly from the contract (as opposed to use of WotC's IP, which is a material benefit that 3pps derive directly from the contract). But my formal study in contract law is limited, so I'll defer to you here.

It is mostly a perspective thing :)

But consider your statement about issues involving conflict around breach. WoTC gets some powerful remedies automatically - normally if you breach a contract you just pay damages. Under the license they can go for an injunction or specific performance. On top of that under the license the license can't attack the validity of the license.

One sensible way of looking at it is to say, it's wotc's property they get to set the rules.

Another sensible way of looking at it is these are deviations from some 'normal' way of doing business. The classic view of contracts is two parties locked in negotiations hammering out a deal that is advantageous to each one. Deviations from normal suggest some benefit. Now what normal means is up in the air - I've been talking about the default common law rules. If you were talking about normal between people with equal bargaining power you would probably see something different. I'd have to go check but the license agreement between WotC and Atari probably didn't contain some of these clauses.

Of course, Atari paid money so they should get a better license. But that sort of implies that the more restrictive clauses that you get if you don't pay money for a license are worth something to WoTC - if you follow my fuzzy thinking.

Anyways - Back to 5e. I hope that they make the playtest materials public after the 26th or the last day of the con.

Andoran

Scott Betts wrote:
MarkusTay wrote:

Wow.

I'm no lawyer, but my GF is - and she laughed when I let her read that thing.

WotC gets: Control of all aspects of their competitions production and creative endeavors, FOREVER.

I stopped reading here. I hope your girlfriend didn't tell you that's what it said.

Perhaps this is also the approach you took to the GSL.

An detailed overview of the issue.

As you can see, the initial GSL was exactly as described, with all the intent we have ascribed to it. The current one is only somewhat better but far from viable for any serious 3PP to actually use.

2012 WoTC is less bad than 2008 WoTC, but no where near as good as 2000 or 2003 WoTC.

Until I hear a change in brand strategy, who cares what they are working on?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ciretose wrote:
Until I hear a change in brand strategy, who cares what they are working on?

An open public playtest isn't a change in brand strategy?

If you don't care what they are working on, why are you spending so much time in this forum? That certainly looks like a sign of not caring.

I do admit, I am curious what their 3PP license scheme will be. I'm certain it will be more open than the revised GSL. I doubtful it will be as open as the OGL. Still, I think they've adjusted their strategy to head in a positive direction for the brand.

Taldor

deinol wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Until I hear a change in brand strategy, who cares what they are working on?

An open public playtest isn't a change in brand strategy?

If you don't care what they are working on, why are you spending so much time in this forum? That certainly looks like a sign of not caring.

I do admit, I am curious what their 3PP license scheme will be. I'm certain it will be more open than the revised GSL. I doubtful it will be as open as the OGL. Still, I think they've adjusted their strategy to head in a positive direction for the brand.

Yeah the big focuse on blogs and what not is a positive sign. IIRC wotc was looking to hire a marketeer who was experienced with social networking type things a while back weren't they?

Paizo Employee Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a couple posts for personal attack grar. Please try to be civil to one another.


ciretose wrote:
As you can see, the initial GSL was exactly as described, with all the intent we have ascribed to it. The current one is only somewhat better but far from viable for any serious 3PP to actually use.

I'm not going to argue with you.

If you think, "WotC gets: Control of all aspects of their competitions production and creative endeavors, FOREVER," is an accurate way of describing the GSL, there is no common understanding that we can reach.

Andoran

Scott Betts wrote:
ciretose wrote:
As you can see, the initial GSL was exactly as described, with all the intent we have ascribed to it. The current one is only somewhat better but far from viable for any serious 3PP to actually use.

I'm not going to argue with you.

If you think, "WotC gets: Control of all aspects of their competitions production and creative endeavors, FOREVER," is an accurate way of describing the GSL, there is no common understanding that we can reach.

And if you think that the GSL is a something 3PP should be grateful for, I agree common understanding is unlikely.

Andoran

deinol wrote:
ciretose wrote:
Until I hear a change in brand strategy, who cares what they are working on?

An open public playtest isn't a change in brand strategy?

If you don't care what they are working on, why are you spending so much time in this forum? That certainly looks like a sign of not caring.

I do admit, I am curious what their 3PP license scheme will be. I'm certain it will be more open than the revised GSL. I doubtful it will be as open as the OGL. Still, I think they've adjusted their strategy to head in a positive direction for the brand.

It depends on how that actually manifests. An open public playtest for subscribers is as much a revenue stream as an actual outreach for imput, particularly depending on what types of restrictions are put in place.

Your point isn't unfair. There are good some signs. But history makes me skeptical of the strings that will be attached, and we still have the fact that people who invested a good chunk of change in 4E are likely to find themselves without any support.

I want to see what is on the table before I start talking about how great whatever is coming is going to be, given what was served for the last meal.

Osirion

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

I'm going to say hello to Chris, whose hiring I think I missed.


Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
I hope that they make the playtest materials public after the 26th or the last day of the con.

Same here. I'm an organizer for a large group of RPG'ers in the Raleigh area and we do quarterly events in January, April, July, and October. January is WoD-focused (Dark Carnival), but April is a no-holds-barred, run-what-you-want event (the Game Master's Fair) and July is our big fantasy gaming expo (Tales of the Crimson Boar). Both of those events would be perfect for playtesting some 5E stuff with a group of random players who sign up rather than just my home group, which I think would provide more valid data (although of course my home group will likely be subjected to the open playtest as well).

I'll be most interested to see if the stuff I currently have in the queue to run will be at all compatible with the 5e playtest rules, too. I had planned to combine the RPGA Tomb of Horrors remake and the 4E super-adventure Tomb of Horrors for my next campaign, and seeing how well that stuff will convert would be nice. It would also carry on our tradition of NEVER running ToH in the same edition for which it was written - another GM in our home game adapted the free 3.5 ToH to Pathfinder, then did the same thing with Bruce Cordell's "Return". We believe in making things as hard as possible on ourselves when we GM! =]

(SIDE NOTE: It really bugs me that 'playtest' is underlined by spellcheck every time I type it.)


Yora wrote:

Would have been a good idea to mention that you are talking about the 4th Edition GSL.

At least, I assume that.

Why? Is there a 5e one out already?

And no, my GF just laughed. That was MY OWN interpretation of what it said, but despite any embellishments, that was the gist of the contract.

We take back what we already gave you, no longer give you permission to publish anything under the old (OPEN) license (weather you are already heavily-invested in it or not), and 'tentatively' allow you to use our new product, at our discretion, and can take that permission back at any time, at our own discretion (READ: Your head is in a guillotine, and the blade will drop whenever we feel its in our best interest).

Is that better? {smirk}

And despite everything, I still have high hopes for 5e. I'm hoping for what I call a 'soft' reboot of FR (keep all existing canon intact, unless over-written by new lore, which is how they've always handled it). That will allow them to fix all the continuity issues (and chuck-out the garbage that shouldn't have been there in the first place), and still keep fans happy by presenting the Realms in its pristine, original-release state.

As for the rules... rules are rules. I use everything, and in the end, just homebrew the heck out of it. Rules don't matter to me nearly as much as the settings do.


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
Zmar wrote:
... designers not determining right what their audience expects/wants?

The designer who could do that would be the richest man on the planet.

If WotC missed the mark with 4E, it's not necessarily their fault. We have to consider the fact that they were trying to produce the best game they could, that would appeal to the D&D commmunity as a whole. They made mistakes. They didn't conspire against their customers.

Yes, this is it. They made some drastic mistakes. They didn't conspire against us, they just did things that made it difficult to accept or reconcile with what we knew as D&D. That's why 4e is an entirely different game than past editions, and why people feel that it doesn't deserve the Dungeons and Dragons brand on it.

Pathfinder just cleaned up 3.5 and passed it off, and it feels like D&D to us. So we bought that. :)


bugleyman wrote:
ciretose wrote:
4E is failing as much due to it's not being OGL as due to any problem with the product itself.
Agreed...but I'd go further and say 4E failed because it wasn't OGL in a post-OGL world. It's the combination of having gone open with 3E and then trying to pull it all back in 4E that has proven toxic for WotC.

I could have not said it better, Bugley. This was an awesome answer, I'm sure anyone can't refute this.


Elton wrote:


Yes, this is it. They made some drastic mistakes. They didn't conspire against us, they just did things that made it difficult to accept or reconcile with what we knew as D&D. That's why 4e is an entirely different game than past editions, and why people feel that it doesn't deserve the Dungeons and Dragons brand on it.

Pathfinder just cleaned up 3.5 and passed it off, and it feels like D&D to us. So we bought that. :)

Well that's highly speculative and of course D&D means different things to different people. Which makes it extreamly hard to cater to specific people with a small genre as RPGs. The next iteration of D&D is attempting to do just that, and more power to them, but I have some doubts.

But what Pathfinder did was take advantage of a situation that WotC never would have had to start with. WotC had been labled a BBEC (big, bad evil company) with the reprint and marketing of v3.5 in addition to it being money grab. Had they reprinted v3.5 AGAIN to what Pathfinder did it would've been hailed yet ANOTHER money grab, a 3rd installment of the same edition that came out 8 years ago.

The most common complaints: "They want me to buy the same rules again, but with additional tweaks?! No way!", "Wow, WotC reprints 3E but with more homebrew rules, sorry but I'm sticking with 3.5 or 3E or 2E/AD&D.", "Leave it up to WotC to go for another money grab for 'Cool, New, Exciting Rules that make D&D a better game!'", OR "Wow, look! More rules-bloat. Man WotC must be running out of ideas. I guess the Tome of Battle didn't do too well, huh?" These sorts of comments would've probably ushered in the design philosophy behind a WotC version of Pathfinder rules, with nerd-rage and anger and camps and complaining. So instead, they went with a different approach. I give them props for attempting something new with "ties" to older editions and design ideas but moving forward to keeping things a bit more balanced and not Spellcasters with valets (ya know, non-spellcasting classes).

Shadow Lodge

Elton wrote:
Pathfinder just cleaned up 3.5 and passed it off, and it feels like D&D to us. So we bought that. :)

Of course, there are some people for whom 3.X never felt like D&D.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Elton wrote:
Pathfinder just cleaned up 3.5 and passed it off, and it feels like D&D to us. So we bought that. :)
Of course, there are some people for whom 3.X never felt like D&D.

Back in the 80's and 90's, not being D&D was a plus. I quickly abandoned AD&D to play Warhammer FRP, Talislanta, and Palladium because those were "better"* systems. When D&D 3.0 came out, it felt like it had finally evolved to be almost caught up with modern contemporaries. So from the perspective of someone who has always played a variety of RPGs, "D&Dness" doesn't matter. Is the game fun? Let's play.

*I will admit that I was young. Each system had strengths and weaknesses, but D&D didn't even have a skill system, so it felt incomplete to me.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Diffan wrote:

WotC had been labled a BBEC (big, bad evil company) with the reprint and marketing of v3.5 in addition to it being money grab. Had they reprinted v3.5 AGAIN to what Pathfinder did it would've been hailed yet ANOTHER money grab, a 3rd installment of the same edition that came out 8 years ago.

The most common complaints: "They want me to buy the same rules again, but with additional tweaks?! No way!", "Wow, WotC reprints 3E but with more homebrew rules, sorry but I'm sticking with 3.5 or 3E or 2E/AD&D.", "Leave it up to WotC to go for another money grab for 'Cool, New, Exciting Rules that make D&D a better game!'", OR "Wow, look! More rules-bloat. Man WotC must be running out of ideas. I guess the Tome of Battle didn't do too well, huh?" These sorts of comments would've probably ushered in the design philosophy behind a WotC version of Pathfinder rules, with nerd-rage and anger and camps and complaining. So instead, they went with a different approach. I give them props for attempting something new with "ties" to older editions and design ideas but moving forward to keeping things a bit more balanced...

I agree; the way some people express suspicion of everything WotC do, they were in a no-win situation.

If they had created a variant 3.5, even one identical to PF, they would have been lambasted for it, by many of the same people who are now the biggest cheerleaders for Paizo.
If they change the game in any more than a minor way, they get attacked for not keeping the game the same.

I applaud any attempt to revitalise the industry with new mechanics, new approaches to smooth play, balance the classes, and appeal to a new generation.

Whether that results in a game I want to play isn't guaranteed, but I'll make that decision calmly and logicaly, not as an emotional outburst.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Snorter wrote:

I agree; the way some people express suspicion of everything WotC do, they were in a no-win situation.

If they had created a variant 3.5, even one identical to PF, they would have been lambasted for it, by many of the same people who are now the biggest cheerleaders for Paizo.
If they change the game in any more than a minor way, they get attacked for not keeping the game the same.

Not speaking for anyone but myself...

I disagree.

I have* Stargate, Starwars d20, Farscape, 3.0 books 3.5 books and Pathfinder. Because they're all the same basic system, they're crosscompatible. Heck, I could work force powers into spells if I wanted to, or make a Jedi a Vancean caster.**

I never found ToB (or ToM) difficult in the 3x games I played with them. Heck, the Binder is cool enough that it launched a set of books by a 3PP***

I also have Vampire, Vampire 2nd and Vampire Rev books. All can be used, with some tweaks. Sure there are 'official' tweaks. (Like the Rafastio being rewritten in Blood Magic) but they're compatible.

If WotC had released 3Rev, or 3.75 or whatever, I likely would have at least looked at it. If it wasn't SAGA D&D I'd have picked it up.

Snorter wrote:


I applaud any attempt to revitalise the industry with new mechanics, new approaches to smooth play, balance the classes, and appeal to a new generation.

I agree that innovation is important. Sometimes people innovate in the wrong direction to keep me. WotC's abandonment of the OGL**** and nuking of the Realms are contributing factors to my loss of interest. That 4.x doesn't play well with previous editions, made it the jumping off point for me.*****

*

Spoiler:
Have in the past tense for some stuff. Damn thieves.

**
Spoiler:
Though they'd work better with psionics. Just make the 'mage hand' stuff that they do an at will, and the bigger stuff spells.

***
Spoiler:
Found here BTW.

****
Spoiler:
I've argued in the past that the 'abandonment' of the OGL was more a gradual process than a sudden one. I'm sure someone in their IP department twitches everytime Tome of Horrors is sold.

*****
Spoiler:
Not the first time. I had no interest in playing 'Clicky tech' though I miss the models. I love the DA Spider, have one on my desk in fact. But the 'timeline jump' and game system soured me. Fortunately 'my' Battletech has outlasted clicky tech, though I can't afford the new books right now.

Osirion

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

You're one of the sensible ones, Matthew.
Your posts show that you think things through, rather than just adopt some buzz-phrase that you heard second-hand off some forum.
[Charlton Heston]("It's an MMO! On paper! G@# D~!n you! You really did it! You blew it up!")[/Charlton Heston]

I never implied that you had to adopt 4E; I haven't.
It doesn't stop me defending it, and its creators (who I assume intended to make the best game they could), from wild accusations.

WotC did get hate-mail for 3.5; they were accused of a money-grab, for re-releasing a game that was virtually the same.* So they went into the mailbag, read the complaints over 3.5 and went for something more bold, that addressed those issues.

It didn't gel with some people, but I can't blame them for trying.
There's things about it that don't gel with me. Swapping powers, rather than learning more, is something that breaks verisimilitude for me. I can see the gamist argument of keeping things neat, and fitting on a sheet of A4, but I'd rather have the continuity of building on what I had before.

None of which makes me 'hate' the game.
I'm an adult, I'm capable of looking something over, going "Hmmmmm....maybe not." And going off and playing something else.

*Has anyone compiled a list of the differences? The only ones I can think of off-hand are haste not giving an extra standard action, rogues having two abilities swapped round, and rangers having their abilities delayed, so they weren't as much of a front-loaded dip-class. There's bound to be more, but we ported to 3.0 late, so weren't as invested as in 3.5.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, I mean, well, this one goes to 11


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Snorter wrote:

I agree; the way some people express suspicion of everything WotC do, they were in a no-win situation.

If they had created a variant 3.5, even one identical to PF, they would have been lambasted for it, by many of the same people who are now the biggest cheerleaders for Paizo.
If they change the game in any more than a minor way, they get attacked for not keeping the game the same.

I have to completely disagree with you on this.

The people who moved on to Pathfinder and Pazio....the one you call 'Pazio biggest cheerleaders' are people who are happy with 3.5....sure it had it's problems(as any game system in the world will have) but would have perfered to keep the good and fix the bad...instead of what 4th ed which was to get rid of everything.

It would have been fans of 4th ed who would have been attacking the company for doing the same thing all over and money grabbing...like those same people did back when 3.5 first came out.

Letd not be TOO bias here...4th ed fans are equaly capable of emotional response as any other fan.


so whatever happened to eberron?. when 4th edition came out, it seemed to me they were trying to market it as the new signature setting and do away with forgotten realms (the quality between the 4th edition campaign settings (i.e eberron high quality, FR low quality) led me to that conclusion). however it would appear dark sun stole eberron's thunder and haven't heard anything about it since. so my question is: will eberron survive the jump to 5th edition or go the way of birthmark and ravenloft and fade into the mist?.


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

They still produce eberron stuff but most of their campaign support is PDF via subscription, rather than hardcover. Forgotten realms seems to be the only setting for which they are still producing hard copies. (I believe one book a year is part of their agreement with Ed greenwood, but that's not based on anything other than inter gossip).


What I would like to see with 5E, is getting far removed from the seeming (my own personal perspective) success driven mechanics of 4E to something more like failing rolls and/or making bad/stupid choices results NOT succeeding. So far, it appears that way with the bits I've read.


Gendo wrote:
What I would like to see with 5E, is getting far removed from the seeming (my own personal perspective) success driven mechanics of 4E to something more like failing rolls and/or making bad/stupid choices results NOT succeeding. So far, it appears that way with the bits I've read.

Could you clarify what this means, exactly? The way I interpreted it was that you can't fail in 4E even if you roll badly, which isn't true by any means. But perhaps I'm wrong?

Shadow Lodge

Is it false? When last I played, 4E was specifically designed to instruct DM's to never build an adventure around a diceroll. A lot of "How to DM" went into tactics for making a failed roll just mean that they players get the information in after a longer wait, or take a point of damage when they open the door, or something else along those line, but they can never fail at moving to the next step. Skill points, when they finally "fixed" it to the way it was "intended" work did the same thing. As long as someone made their check, everyone else could fail miserably, and it was all good.

I'm honestly asking. I have the benefit of not following 4E after the first year or so, so I don't confusse how the game originally played with all the fixes that have come out since. I remember having that problem with 3E -> 3.5, so I realize how easy it is to forget some of the bad sides.

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber

What you are describing is basically good adventure design, not a 4e thing. Having a plot not work because of a failed skill check is duff, and that's been the case since plotted adventures began. 4e doesn't prevent failure, but it is likely to happen in combat, not because someone failed a Perception check and spent the rest of their adventuring career twiddling their thumbs in a backwater town waiting vainly for inspiration. 4e tries to make things less "swingy" - i.e. life or death on a single die roll - but that's a separate thing.


Beckett wrote:

Is it false? When last I played, 4E was specifically designed to instruct DM's to never build an adventure around a diceroll. A lot of "How to DM" went into tactics for making a failed roll just mean that they players get the information in after a longer wait, or take a point of damage when they open the door, or something else along those line, but they can never fail at moving to the next step. Skill points, when they finally "fixed" it to the way it was "intended" work did the same thing. As long as someone made their check, everyone else could fail miserably, and it was all good.

I'm honestly asking. I have the benefit of not following 4E after the first year or so, so I don't confusse how the game originally played with all the fixes that have come out since. I remember having that problem with 3E -> 3.5, so I realize how easy it is to forget some of the bad sides.

Pretty much what Aubrey said. I don't design adventures that require a Perception check to continue down a secret passage way. It's there if they make the check, but there are alternative ways of navigation or adventure that will get them there too, but it'll often be more difficult or challenging because it might be more straight forward. And the fact that ALL classes can use the skills helps with this. Sure, it might make less sense for a Fighter to roll for an Arcana check to see what a specific glyph is, but hey who says he didn't read about them, hear about them from his wizardly friend from his hometown, or come across this before in a previous adventure? And of course, a fighter's chance of telling what that glyph is would be ridiculously harder than if a Wizard or another class trained in Arcana would have to do.

Shadow Lodge

I am not sure I agree. It sounds nice, on the surface, but I persoanlly hate it when I, as a player, know that what I rolled, or what stats I have do not matter at all. I was going to win anyway, it's just an illusion.

To be honest, I would rather have the possibility to fail, just like I would rather have the possibility to have my character die. It adds to, not subtracts from the fun. That does seem like good beginner DM advice, but that's where it stops, in my opinion. Failure can be significant without the DM needed to scrap an adventure, which I don't think 4E handled at all.


Beckett wrote:

I am not sure I agree. It sounds nice, on the surface, but I persoanlly hate it when I, as a player, know that what I rolled, or what stats I have do not matter at all. I was going to win anyway, it's just an illusion.

To be honest, I would rather have the possibility to fail, just like I would rather have the possibility to have my character die. It adds to, not subtracts from the fun. That does seem like good beginner DM advice, but that's where it stops, in my opinion. Failure can be significant without the DM needed to scrap an adventure, which I don't think 4E handled at all.

So we both agree that running a campaign to a halt or into the ground based off of one roll is a bad thing. Ok. But how does 4E go about it differently than other editions of the game? Failure does happen, has happened in my campaigns at least and they can often be very significant. I just don't lump one failed roll or even one 'defeated' encounter as the significant end to the game or adventure.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Beckett wrote:

I am not sure I agree. It sounds nice, on the surface, but I persoanlly hate it when I, as a player, know that what I rolled, or what stats I have do not matter at all. I was going to win anyway, it's just an illusion.

To be honest, I would rather have the possibility to fail, just like I would rather have the possibility to have my character die. It adds to, not subtracts from the fun. That does seem like good beginner DM advice, but that's where it stops, in my opinion. Failure can be significant without the DM needed to scrap an adventure, which I don't think 4E handled at all.

I see your point, although I personally read it very differently to you.

My understanding of the thinking was not "Make sure the players always succeed" but rather "Make sure you know what's going to happen if they fail - that has to be fun too".

I think the point was to avoid the issue of failing some critical roll and the adventure grinding to a halt - not to ensure players always win. (At least, we've never played it like that).

Shadow Lodge

Steve Geddes wrote:

I see your point, although I personally read it very differently to you.

My understanding of the thinking was not "Make sure the players always succeed" but rather "Make sure you know what's going to happen if they fail - that has to be fun too".

I think the point was to avoid the issue of failing some critical roll and the adventure grinding to a halt - not to ensure players always win. (At least, we've never played it like that).

I still think what you are suggesting, (which is all about point of view and preference) is that to me, that's a lot like playing the game with "god mode" always on. I want to fail. Maybe the princess dies. Maybe I don't reach that bomb in time and the city is destroyed. Whatever. From there, I agree the game doesn't have to end.

But that's different than every time I fail to reach that bomb, another NPC steps in and defusses it, and now I own them a favor, or I'm going to take a penulty on my next Diplomacy and all attack rolls for that combat, but the princess is still alive. That's what 4E pushed, at least in my opinion. And I don't like that. Once you realize it, it really makes all your actions inconsequential.


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

I see your point, although I personally read it very differently to you.

My understanding of the thinking was not "Make sure the players always succeed" but rather "Make sure you know what's going to happen if they fail - that has to be fun too".

I think the point was to avoid the issue of failing some critical roll and the adventure grinding to a halt - not to ensure players always win. (At least, we've never played it like that).

I still think what you are suggesting, (which is all about point of view and preference) is that to me, that's a lot like playing the game with "god mode" always on. I want to fail. Maybe the princess dies. Maybe I don't reach that bomb in time and the city is destroyed. Whatever. From there, I agree the game doesn't have to end.

But that's different than every time I fail to reach that bomb, another NPC steps in and defusses it, and now I own them a favor, or I'm going to take a penulty on my next Diplomacy and all attack rolls for that combat, but the princess is still alive. That's what 4E pushed, at least in my opinion. And I don't like that. Once you realize it, it really makes all your actions inconsequential.

Yeah, I wouldnt like that either, so if that's what you think 4E was pushing, I'd agree with you that it should be rejected. It's not how we've been playing/reading those guidelines. If the PCs fail, bad things are definitely going to happen.

.
You mentioned "early 4E" and I wonder if this was partly influenced by the lousy skill challenges they put out early on. They certainly seemed to me to often consist of 'Make lots of skill checks and you'll either succeed or you'll have a fight and then succeed". In my view, they work much better as junctions in the narrative - failure has to be failure, not just "more expensive success".

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Beckett wrote:

I am not sure I agree. It sounds nice, on the surface, but I persoanlly hate it when I, as a player, know that what I rolled, or what stats I have do not matter at all. I was going to win anyway, it's just an illusion.

To be honest, I would rather have the possibility to fail, just like I would rather have the possibility to have my character die. It adds to, not subtracts from the fun. That does seem like good beginner DM advice, but that's where it stops, in my opinion. Failure can be significant without the DM needed to scrap an adventure, which I don't think 4E handled at all.

4e talks about it more explicitly than previous editions, but it isn't a 4e "rule" - if you read any Paizo adventure it will work in exactly the same way, and I think it was probably mentioned in the 3e DMG2. How you work this is down to personal taste. You can have the adventure fail due to such things, but then you will need to have a back-up adventure. I'm not sure "Well, you screwed up your Perception check and didn't see the clue, so you'll never know who killed your father, Kill-Gore. So, fancy a trip down the Caverns of Dread?" is actually that much better as an outcome, but it depends on the DM and the players and what they expect.

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