No problem. I was not as clear as I should have been.
I think you misunderstood. There is a difference between a price increase to match a cost increase and maintain a margin, and a price increase to increase a margin because of flagging sales.
WotC was being accused of the latter when I believe it is actually the former.
Russ Taylor wrote:
The line is clearly in trouble - I don't think the announcement can be taken any other way. This may save it, but I don't think so - huge price increases rarely save anything.
The price increase is not necessarily to save the line. Plastic manufacturing is no longer cheap. Production costs in China have been on a huge up-swing over the last few years. Plastic is no longer cheap.
Stewart Perkins wrote:
I was excited at the news that they were going to have non-random minis.... but now I realize it is going to suck. So if the visible mini is a good one that you want/need then you'll have little luck getting them if their good since they'll get snatched. The less for more clause just sucks, and to be honest $11 for 3 pc minis just kinda sucks, so they had better be really good to get me to buy them. Heck it's $66 just for 1 of each pc mini if you wanted em all...
Plastic ain't cheap. Manufacturing in China is no longer cheap. Transportation is no longer cheap.
That's just the way it is.
James Martin wrote:
Why does WotC insist on further whittling away its customer base?
They are not whittling away at their customer base. They have a product that sells really well and they have fewer and fewer people playing the skirmish game. They keep getting feedback from mini buyers that we want less randomness and more connection to D&D rather than the skirmish game.
They have done what many folks have claimed they do not do - they listened. This is a very positive change indeed.
Erik Mona wrote:
Very very true indeed. You guys mad the right move.
As for the current batch of 4e third party products - they are definitely lacking. If Paizo had been there from the word go then your stuff would have sold well but frankly you did the right thing.
In the long term, with a flexible license, you guys could be the top publisher for both OGL and 4e compatible products.
I hope that comes to pass someday.
Wolfgang Baur wrote:
ACK! Still cannot login.
Yep - the 3e audience will gravitate towards the small scale, high quality third party publishers. I believe it will stay strong for a while but only time will tell if it is truly sustainable.
David Fryer wrote:
Ah. Got it.
David Fryer wrote:
That is the type of thing that is driving the casual fan like me away from WoTC and towards publishers like Paizo.
You may not be as much of a "casual fan" as you may think. WotC has a huge customer base that does not look beyond the "official" products. They own few if any third party products. They buy the game in stores that don't carry any third party publisher products. They show up at an FLGS, ask for latest WotC release and then disappear until the next one comes along.
If you own more than a few Paizo products you are likely more than just a casual fan.
Wolfgang Baur wrote:
And frankly I'm amazed by the relatively light support for 4e in the votes.
I'm not. I have noticed a trend at my FLGS. The folks that read KQ or buy Paizo products are looking to keep the flow of 3.5 material open. They are the hardcore D&D players.
Then there are the vast majority of folks at the shop that now play 4e. They do not follow the forums or dig deep into the 3rd party publisher scene. They buy from WotC and may pick up a few third party products but not with any regularity. The third party 4e products are not a big attraction for them. Just like when 3.5 was the current edition - they were not buying third party products back then.
It seems that third party publishing is its own market with a distinct sub-set of the overall D&D player base. That subset is more likely to stick with 3.5 than move to 4e because of the OGL. That is the part they like most - open gaming products.
I have no doubt that third party products for 4e will do well because of the size of the player base and the gaps in WotCs product line. But the vocal supporters of the third party publishing scene are those that have no desire to play 4e. So either way I think a third party publisher can stay in business by supporting either edition.
The big question is this - will OGL gaming still be big enough to support a third party publisher three, five, and ten years down the road?
If past experience is a decent predictor of future trends the OGL audience will shrink over time.
BTW - I would have voted for 4e but I can't login, and when I do login the forums do not recognize that I am logged in.
So far my favorite feature has been how little I open the books to look up rules these days. It took a month or two to get the rules down, but now that we've got the hang of it, particularly with the DM screen, the encounters just fly by, with the rules intruding as little as possible. I think it's great.
I don't think I have referred to the rules during the last four or five sessions I have run. Between the character sheets, the stat blocks, and the GM screen I have everything I need.
The idea I had was to simply allow the Wizard to pick his or her powers everyday using the allotment from the experience table. You could use a spellbook to limit the number of choices to two times the number of slots.
For example ... a 10th level wizard gets 2 at-will, 3 encounter, 3 daily, and 3 utility. The spell book could have capacity for 4 daily, 6 encounter, 6 daily, and 6 utility spells. At the start of every day the slots for the powers are filled from the book.
Ok, this may have come up before but why doesn't the mage get the option to memorize different Encounter Powers between encounter.
I like the model for the Drow racial powers - they can use one or the other in any given encounter.
The pro is flexibility - the con is that it is one more thing to track.
Think less Joan of Arc, more a policer officer trusted by the state with a gun. Does the gun stop working because the police officer is doing bad things? No, but if the agency catches wind of it the officer is going to have a hard time keeping his gun.
This is one of the problems with alignment as a mechanic. If alignment is "detectable" then religions cannot rot from the inside. That removes a huge theme from the story telling arsenal. As a huge fan of WFRP I love witch hunters and inquisitors. I love the idea of secret societies and subterfuge. If every paladin can walk down the street and ping for evil then how would the insidious nature of evil ever drive a story arc.
That was my first impression as well. Then I realized I was just building a bunch of first level characters. Heck in every edition of D&D a bunch of first level characters all seem to be the same. Then I built some 15th, 20th, and 30th level characters and the differentiation between them grew with each step. And then I played a bunch of slots at DragonCon and I saw the diversity of character builds and the homogeneity I had seen before just faded away.
I guess I was thinking that all of the "make stuff up" solutions were house rules of one form or another.
I don't see any others. If you do not like a rule as written you can either change it for your own game or stop playing the game. What other option could there be?
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
No, but it does help, and DM's need all the help they can get. It really adds to the game to have creatures grounded in the "reality" of the game and be organic parts of the world instead of convenient exp packages for wandering adventurers.
Good thing 4e does just that - it takes the critters and places them in the reality of the game. You have all manner of details available for nearly every critter in the 4e MM. Now just add imagination and your set.
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
Only the players can do that. It's up to them to breathe life into thier characters. It's a bit more difficult for the DM to do that because he has to run multiple "characters", and they will probably be around for only one encounter. The DM really needs help to make combats evocative and memorable,and 4E seems to fall short in this area. I really feel that monsters have lost a lot of their flavor and appeal in 4.0. There were a lot of monsters I would look at in 3.x and think how interesting or cool they were especially with the ecology and other fluff info provided for them. 4E monsters just seem like numbers on a page. There really doesn't even seem like a need to give them names. You might as well call them a level x soldier, skirmisher, etc. In short, the best description I have for 4E monsters is boring. I haven't seen a single monster write-up in 4E that has been the least bit inspiring. Some of them may have interesting mechanics, but that doesn't make up for their lack of personality.
Must every roleplaying aspect of a critter be spelled out before it is fun to play?
Look, each critter in the 4e MM has a section of lore, a description, an illustration, encounter groups, and powers (which in and to themselves are often quite evocative).
If a DM cannot take that information and turn a fight into a memorable encounter then he or she must truly lack imagination.
Please don't be mean.
I tried to get a group together to run Pathfinder on the alternate weeks from my WFRP game. I could not find anyone interested in PFRPG. I now run 4e on alternate weeks. The main reason I was given - the classes in Pathfinder are too elaborate. The barbarian and the sorcerer in particular were truly vexing to some of my players. WFRP is our main event and 4e is our escapist game night. The more folks at our FLGS play 4e the more they like it. Heck - we used to run 6 tables of Living Greyhawk every month and now we can't muster a single table and Living Forgotten Realms is getting 12 tables a month and we are turning people away.
... and that's fine. Not enjoying a mod that you run is very different from condemning the entire edition.
Shuriken and the hand crossbow do not have the off-hand property so you can't really have a longsword at the ready while using either of those weapons.
Unless you are a drow and take that cool feat that allows you to use the hand crossbow in melee without provoking an opportunity attack.
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
The rogue class, as well as every core class should be designed to portray an archetype, but should be broad enough for a reasonable amount of customization. 4E makes characters conform to a tightly defined, constraining class.
Each class is broad enough to customize. Why must a "ranger" be a "woodsman"? That constraint is purely roleplaying and can be circumvented rather easily. Take the ranger class but don't take the nature skill - take dungeoneering instead.
Just think of the classes as fighting styles:
finesse fighter = rogue
Now add on skill selection, multiclassing, and feat selection and you can turn each one of them into a myriad of character concepts. Add in human versatility and the diversity of character concepts expands dramatically with the extra feat and extra skill.
Character class does not have to be the same as archetype or stereotype.
Using modules is one approach, but if you want to strike out on your own then 4.0 is a bear to run.
I disagree. I use published mods because I have no time to write my own. All of that time is taken by my WFRP campaign. But if I had to roll my own 4e mods it would be very easy. It would be justas easy if not easier than rolling my own 3e mod - especially at high levels.
It is less fun, because it feels to me like there is less creativity and interpretation by the GM.
Why? 4e places the same basic limits as 3e in terms of the creation of combat encounters. Both 3e and 4e use skills out of combat to resolve sticky situations. All other problems are resolved through role playing.
I can't see any objective restriction to GM creativity in 4e that were not already a part of the game.
I'm finding it to be more work than 3e to prep. At least with 3rd edition there were good adventures from Paizo. I just can't get into the published 4e adventures or the ones in DDI Dungeon. I try to read through them and get excited, but I can't.
True. I am running or have run mostly WotC mods and have not written anything from scratch. I am hoping that a revised GSL leads to much better published adventures.
That being said the prep time I was referring to was the time it takes me to go over the encounters, understand the critters, and set up the flow of gameplay.
This is my rant about 4th edition. I have to DM again this week and I'm not looking forward to it. I'm going to need a break from D&D for a few months once I can finally end this campaign.
I am sorry that you had such a bad time. My experience has been quite the opposite. I am a long time GM (30+ years). In fact I GM far more than I play and quite like it that way. To me 4e is most GM friendly edition of D&D to date. I have GMed two LFR mods just this last weekend and did not need to crack open a rule book once. Granted the first few 4e games I ran were not as easy since I did not know the rules or have a good feel for the game. There were so many 3e rules that I needed to get out of my head.
Once I got a good grasp of the game it ran so smoothly and required so little prep that I can never go back to GM 3e.
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
Yeah, a rogue could use weapons besides light blades, slings, etc. if he wants to do nothing but use basic attacks with no extra sneak attack damage, thereby gimping himself into utter uselessness. There are practically no rogue powers (maybe completely none) that let you use "non-rogue" weapons. This is far from a viable concept. It is pigeonholeing in the extreme, and should be done away with.
So there is your first house rule.
Character classes in 4e are thematic. This is not 3.5 where characters are built by selecting level combinations from numerous classes until you mix them in some optimized form or another.
If you want to be a martial archer in 4e you need to be a ranger. If you want to be a longsword wielding con artist you need to be a fighter with the bluff skill.
For better or worse class customization is more limited in 4e than it was in 3e.
Larry Lichman wrote:
A great axe is a little extreme, but why shouldn't a Rogue be able to sneak attack with a long sword or a maul? They're one handed weapons that aren't that difficult to wield.
Have you ever swung a long sword? They are not finesse weapons. Oh, and in 4e the maul is a great hammer - not a one hander. Even so - bludgeoning weapons are all about the big smash.
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
Except, you still can't sneak attack with the longsword or use any rogue powers with the longsword, which is very annoying and unsatisfying.
The limit on weapons for sneak attack makes quite a bit of sense. Sneak attack is about speed and agility. Why should a rogue be able to sneak attack with a maul or great axe?
One interesting side effect of the push/pull/slide thing - persistent area effects cast by the party's wizard can easily become a weapon to be used against the party.
Wizards need to be very very careful with spell placement. Not sure if this makes them less useful but it can definitely be a very big drawback.
WotC's Nightmare wrote:
You aren't going to get any decent 4E adventures until more 3rd party publishers make those adventures. WotC does not do adventures well. The only good ones they produced in 3.5 were written either completely or partially by freelancers, many of which were used by Paizo on a regular basis.
... and that precludes them from hiring freelancers again?
I have not found much to like from WotC mods for some time but that does not mean that they can't publish good ones.
Robert Hawkshaw wrote:
Thank you for your reasoned and diplomatic approach Donny. Your understanding and willingness to see all sides of the picture is exactly the sort of oil we need to calm these troubled waters.
Seriously - I know emotions are still running high so can we just chill for a while please?
What about rolling a human fighter multiclass into rogue and use your second feat to get the bluff skill trained? Then at 2nd level you'll get another feat to add insight.
Multiclassing. I love the thematic nature of each class and the new multiclassing allows for the flavor of two classes to be mixed without losing the overarching theme of the primary class. Between multiclassing, the nature of feats, and the differing builds within each class a PC can build up a good mix of abilities without straying too far from the core class theme and role.