Have a look at this


Dungeon Magazine General Discussion


Go to http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20070420a.

I hope this may ease some of the pain and confusion that people are feeling.

Matt

To quote the Wedding Singer:
'Things that could've been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!'


One wrote:

Go to http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20070420a.

I hope this may ease some of the pain and confusion that people are feeling.

Matt

To quote the Wedding Singer:
'Things that could've been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!'

Sadly no, it doesn't.

What Whosiwhatsit may know that I don't doesn't help me. It just makes me feel helpless in a state of loss. Like most people, I hate feeling helpless in a state of loss. It makes me angry. Furious, really.

In fact, what they say is just about the worst thing they could have possibly said. That they know better, because they're suits who happen to game. I've grown up on this game... it's in my blood. If Bill Whosiwhatsit has something he knows that I don't, he'd better share a piece of that knowledge with me, and quick. And hope it blows me away.

But he's not going to.

He wants us to focus on the remaining issues of Dragon and Dungeon precisely because they don't know. If they did, they'd have to be complete idiots not to share it with us, at least to give us a preview of what is going to be so awesome.

Instead they killed a friend. I don't generally buy things from companies that really piss me off. I have choices. I can buy things from Paizo and Green Ronin and Necromancer.

This drivel from WotC doesn't make anything any better. It makes it worse. That they didn't realize it would make things worse was a serious miscalculation on someone's part.

- Ashavan

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

For some reason I am reacting with something more akin to mourning. It's weird. I am ecstatic about the Nercomancer partnership. I am ecstatic about the Pathfinder product. I am ecstatic about the new Module line. I am ecstatic at Paizo's new found creative freedom. But still... I am deeply saddened that WotC went about this in this way. It re-enforces the idea that Hasbro is a big company and D&D is but a small "product."

Dude, what about when I was ten and sitting at the table with my younger brother and Dad, and we were trying to figure out how to play? I died five minutes into the Kobold caves from the Keep on the Borderland. Anything that lives in a person's imagination for ten, twenty, thirty years is more than just a product. Screw 'em. But ultimately to what effect? I still bought Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (because it totally rocks -thanks Wolfgang)... And 4e is coming. I hate feeling helpless.

So no, it doesn't help in the least little bit. I think I'll go buy a bunch of Goodman Games modules from here to make me feel better :)

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

One wrote:

Go to http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20070420a.

I hope this may ease some of the pain and confusion that people are feeling.

Not really. The comment about the magazines "coming home" made me gag, actually. When I look at Paizo products and WotC products over the past year, the only WotC ones I felt good about (i.e. FC I) had Paizo names on them. I know who would be a better custodian of the legacy of the magazines, and it isn't WotC.

Sovereign Court

Why do i get the feeling that Bill will get a pink slip?


I don't normally post, but I figured that if other people are feeling like me, any kind of information should be seen ASAP.

I wrote my angry letter to Wizards last night and I hope that you all did as well.

My gut feeling after reading that, is that they haven't killed my dog, its been given a stroke and is in a coma. It could still die or have to be put down and will most likely never be the same. I feel pretty helpless too.

Whoever wrote that first announcement really did a bad job, had they said something like '...bringing Dragon and Dungeon home to be published by Wizards' and '...increasing online content and support". (Note: Wizards hasn't said these things, and I know the info in both the articles is pretty vague.) I would have been really suspicious, but it might have avoided a lot of the emotions we have been feeling over the last few days.

It did give me a tiny speck of hope (which I know can sometimes be worse than no hope at all).

Matt


What I wanted to learn from reading that was the justification behind going online with the magazines- that's what we're all upset over. That seemed to attack the notion that has been put forth that the folks behind the scenes are cold or uncaring or not passionate about the game. Problem is, those feelings stem from the negative feelings over the (seemingly) counter-intuitive move to axe the print mags. And so that felt a little gushy and certainly didn't adress the real problem:

What is it about going to an online format that they think will outperform the print magazines? They really need to convince people that an ezine is more convenient for readers, or will be of some greater benefit to readers (rather than the company), or better in some other fashion. Give me some hard facts and good arguements, not sentimentailty.


Patrick Mousel wrote:
What I wanted to learn from reading that was the justification behind going online with the magazines- that's what we're all upset over.

That is not really why I am upset. I am upset that WotC are doing a good job of destroying a community I value. I might be able to live with online but this whole franchise was doing well under Paizo. If Paizo had lost the touch and was killing it then I'd be fine with them 'taking this home'. But things were good and looking to get better.

Now its all gone.

Furthermore what is coming next does not really excite me the way it excites some people and that frustrates and angers me. I loved Dungeon because I got three adventures in it and I got to check out what new up and coming (or just one hit wonders) authors were doing as well as read the latest wiz-bang adventure of the current rising stars. I was able to try and keep up with the ever changing philosophy of adventure design and creation. Adventures are influenced by fads and its interesting to watch as one fad overtakes another only to be replaced by a third. Sometimes old fads even come back. I really love adventure design and the ever changing philosophies that underlay it. For me that was the real appeal of Dungeon.

The adventure (or module or whatever one wants to call it) is the core of any role playing experience and Dungeon reflected how that experience was defined and redefined with every passing generation.

However in the current climate Paizo has taken a hard look at what they will need to do to survive and thrive. I don't blame them for their choices. They had to make tough ones, but I'm left with nothing but bad choices myself. I can buy the AP - and I probably will check it out. But no matter what they do this won't be about watching new authors become rising stars. They need people with credentials to make these things and can't take the kinds of risks that one did with Dungeon where you could always try out some material from an unknown - just make sure you have at least one reliable standby in the current issue. The reading audience was willing to accept some unusual and sometimes even sub par material, that was the price of experimentation and progress. Some of the greatest adventures in Dungeon over the years are basically flops from a playing perspective. It's simply that their idea's are so innovative that DMs are willing to over look the fact that the adventure won't run without a lot of personal help. Progress requires mistakes and some of the time its the screw ups that are the most revealing and interesting part of what is going on. Dungeon had a format that allowed for that. If one adventure was not brilliant or really needed some work well their were always two others we could look too. I always had at least three flavours I could choose from and it was a rare case that they where all bad and any one of them was worth the price of entry.

The new AP can't fulfil these kinds of interests for me, and while I enjoyed reading the APs - I've not even begun Shackled City yet and probably won't for a year or more. I'm not even 100% sure I like APs. They are very linier compared to my usual DMing style which involves making the players tell me what they want to do for an adventure when the last one ends and then having me work frantically to stay ahead of them.

But even if I find that Shackled City is the cats pajama's it will be literally years before I would catch up to Paizo's current AP and their planning on pumping them out at the rate of two per year. If an AP has one major draw for me as an idea, it is that the AP represents a shared experience. However we don't have a shared experience if there are twenty APs out there. Instead we have lots and lots of different people doing different things. In fact, I suspect, that if things had continued on as they where going I'd be making threads with the OP that the APs should be slowed down. Have them come out once every two months or only every second year. Let some kind of a critical mass of the players catch up, because I just don't think it will be the same when their are twenty APs on twenty different threads. Eventually you find that your making a post in the desert. No one else is reading because no one else is playing the same AP you are.

I don't blame Paizo for this - they created a great machine for making APs. They have the skill and the talent to do this sort of thing and do it well and they have to try and survive...but I fear that WOTC did not kill my pet - they destroyed my community.

I liked coming here to talk about Dungeon.


One wrote:

Go to http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/20070420a.

I hope this may ease some of the pain and confusion that people are feeling.

Matt

To quote the Wedding Singer:
'Things that could've been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!'

My girlfriend's response - and I agree with her - is that these testimonials essentially boil down to "we [WotC] know something you fans don't, so you're ignorant if you are reacting badly to our decision."

The heights of their arrogance astound me...


Foxish wrote:

My girlfriend's response - and I agree with her - is that these testimonials essentially boil down to "we [WotC] know something you fans don't, so you're ignorant if you are reacting badly to our decision."

There is a smug and self-satisfied tone to Bill S.'s posting that I find awfully hard to take.

Paizo gives us delightfully wicked goblin songs that prove there is a bright future for us with Pathfinder.

WOTC just says, "trust us, we know what's good for you." Not particularly bright on their part. I'm not very optimistic, but I hope they actually do have a worthy successor to Dragon and Dungeon. It won't be easy to pull off.


I agree with all of you. Couldn't have said it better.


WotC has shut down the Boycott thread on its messageboards citing a breach of the Code of Conduct.

Liberty's Edge

I'm in a strange position here, as I've worked for both WotC and Paizo for years. Before Paizo existed, I worked on Dungeon while Chris Thomasson was editor and started the first Adventure Path (hiring me to do the maps for it), and Chris Perkins gave me my my big break into the industry--also in Dungeon!--before that. Since those days, Erik Mona and company have done tremendous things for the magazine, the industry, and my career. They're all excellent people. I remember playing with Erik Mona and other Dungeon staffmembers (I'm just a freelancer and live across the country from them) in a game run by Chris Thomasson after hours at Gen Con, and the skill of these people and their love and knowledge of the game is amazing.

I really have nothing bad to say about ANY of these folks, and if the magazines can't be published by Paizo, I take comfort in the knowledge that the content will continue in some form under the people mentioned above. They did great things for Dungeon and Dragon, too.

Don't get me wrong: I still think this is a terrible idea for the gaming community, the readers, and the game industry. Having these magazines on store shelves is a very visible sign of the health of our hobby and a very important tool to give common ground to the gaming community as a whole. They're an incredibly valuable tool for reaching out to new players and old veteran gamers alike and keeping them invested in Dungeons & Dragons.

But...I'll wait and see what WotC has in mind before judging it, or them. I do know they have plans that they're excited about; I just don't know exactly what they are yet.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Hard to believe such a right guy can be so wrong. WotC has been stepping on shoes (albeit in minor ways) for a long time. Even giving them the benefit of doubt, trusting they have a good plan (which you'd have to be an idiot to believe), they've gone about this all wrong.

Dropping a bombshell they way they have done, with no warning and no information on future plans is wrong. You coax something like this. Tell your customers you're considering major chnages for a few months; let them know the mags may be cancelled and put in a new format, etc. And just look at how they've handled the last few days.

Maybe if I met Bill Slavicek on the street I'd like him, but I'll never purchase anything of his ever again (4E is not that important to me). I really hope he gets a pink slip and WotC looses an incredible amount of revenue over this.

-W. E. Ray


okay, here's why i'm upset, and it's probably the same reason a lot of us are. this is what WOTC is saying to thier customers:

"We weren't making money on these magazines, your opinions and thoughts don't matter, we can't really reveal anything about what we have planned, and we don't care what you have to say about it anyway so just be quiet and let us tell you how to play the game. you won't hear from us for a week or so because we're too scared of our customers yelling at us for such a bad marketing decision."

paizo has said, "don't worry, we lost the license, but we have something in mind, here's all new content, from great writers, artists, and cartographers. stick with us and we'll lead you into a brand new world of adventure and excitement. we're coming up with new plots, new monsters, a new setting, and maybe we'll let you contribute to it so its a shared world. in fact, we've got the next 6 months planned so you don't have to wait for new material. sure it costs more but you're getting a quality product. and we'll explain it as best we can by LISTENING TO OUR CUSTOMERS and responding to thier wishes and needs like a good company should."

hasbro did the same thing to Avalon Hill, now the d&d line is going to suffer. whether or not the magazines were doing well isn't the case. they were the flagship mags of the hobby. i didn't know about d&d 25 years ago until i saw a copy of Dragon at a comic store.

this explaination is just a bunch of "we remember the good times, i like teryaki, and don't worry, we've got it handled. just wait, we'll get around to telling you in a few days when you calm down." it was the wrong way to handle it, and they upset a lot of people in the process. Paizo handled it perfectly. they told us what happened, then told us how thing were going to go. i'm excited to see pathfinder, and read about all the new stuff that's going to add to my campaign world.

WOTC can go suck it.


I sell on ebay for a living - been doing it for years.

I started when ebay was a growing company and it was good.

About a year ago the rot started when ebay realised that there were no real competitors - now ebay is nothing more than a money making machine for management. This attitude has seen ebay's share price more than half in less than a year. My profit margins have been slashed.

I remember playing MtG in 1996, I was introduced to it at a convention by a Wotc employee. They tried so hard to get players in and keep them in - being such a great game it wasn't that hard but what made it so great was the fact that Wotc were looking after their players.

I quit Mtg in 2004; by that time everyone that I knew (except for senior management) had been fired; not only fired but shafted.
Is it any wonder that Mtg is far from the biggest game anymore? Everyone I know now plays Pokemon or WoW, in Sydney (Australia) MtG is not getting new players.

What I'm trying to say here is that Wotc don't have a good reputation anymore for looking after quality products.
If they wish to say "look, don't make a decision yet as we know more than you at this time" then I need to look at the company's reputation to see if I believe them - I don't beleive them.

Wotc can say that they will be using the same talent as before, but it needs to be pointed out that this talent will have new guide lines to follow - which will force about half of them to quit.

Dragon magazine needs to be independant; Wotc also needs competition.

James


I hear ya about Mtg. The Star Wars fiasco also springs to mind. But of course Wotc, or rather Hasbro, are a buisness and I am sure this, like every other one of their previous mistakes (and sucesses) is down to simple $$'s.

Liberty's Edge

There are things about WotC that I will defend, and things I won't. For example, I'll defend the character of the folks I know to be good people, but I won't defend the decision to stop printing these magazines.

I've had the pleasure of getting to know many of the folks at both Paizo and WotC to some extent, including lots of those mentioned on the page linked in this thread. I've gamed with some of them, had dinner with them, designed maps for them...the folks I know at Paizo and WotC are collectively some of the nicest people I've met in this industry, and it's because of the respect they've shown me (and that I've seen them show for the game in the past) that I'm willing to give them a chance to show me what they've got planned before I judge it.

So far Paizo's customer relations on this issue have been spectacular, and WotC's response has been unsatisfying. Until the WotC folks are allowed to tell us more about their plans for Dragon and Dungeon, it's hard to give it any sort of fair consideration. All we know is that our cherished magazines are going out of print and out of Paizo's hands, and that hurts. Plus, I'll be the first to admit that WotC doesn't have a great track record for supporting products that I like. I was a big Alternity fan, and saw that fade away. I was a Chainmail fan, and saw that fade away. Now it feels like Dragon and Dungeon are fading away, too. I have assurances that they're not, from people who I know to be skilled and experienced at managing the magazines and dedicated to the hobby, but until I see what they have planned, there's nothing to judge except for the announced absense of the magazines, and that feels terrible!

More than anything, though, I worry for Paizo's well-being. Or rather, I did until I heard what they have planned. Pathfinder looks outstanding, the first GameMastery module is a great read (I did the maps), and they have shown a great plan for the future that leaves me confident of their success and eager to be a part of it. Now all I need is for WotC to give me details about their plans so that I can assess the future of the magazine brands and content. I'm waiting anxiously, and the only thing that gives me hope is the word of the editors and designers involved. They're good, talented people, and have earned my benefit of the doubt.

I know this sounds a bit like "don't hate the players...hate the game," but it's basically true. The folks on that list have a long and positive history with the magazines. Their involvement gives me some hope. So I'll defer further judgement for now.

Sovereign Court Contributor

I have to say that I found the nostalgia bit very difficult, even pain ful to read. In a very different way from how I found the original announcement difficult and painful.

See, I agree with most people about how the message comes across. But I'm torn because I want to believe in these people. Not out of some blind hope that they aren't really going to do what is already a done deal, but because I have believed in them. Two in particular.

Bill Slavicsek was largely responsible for one of my favourite games of all time (TORG) which has always made me believe that he gets what gaming is all about. Later I had some personal interactions with him and the rest of the "Alternity" team when it was the hot new thing, and all of them were extremely open and involved with the community of people playing and talking about the game.

Chris Perkins published my first adventure in Dungeon. The feedback and guidance he gave me in making it publishable was phenomenal. Now, I don't mean any criticism of our swamped editorial staff at Paizo, but Chris took a lot more time and personal effort with me than happens now. I don't know how he found that time. My first proposal that he rejected, he gave me clear and specific reasons why. MY second proposal he did the same, and when I addressed those issues he gave me the greenlight. My manuscript was WAY to long, and he guided me through the revision and word-cutting, but he also gave me more space to work with.

So these are both names I pay attention to in the industry, and I usually respect and agree with what they have to say. I'm not happy about the demise of Dragon and Dungeon. I'm not satisfied that this response has addressed anyone's concerns or anger. But I'm not ready to pull out the torches and pitchforks.

There are other names there that I recognize and know have done great stuff. I don't have a personal connection in the same way, but I feel I must extend respect to them in the same manner.

Frankly, I think WotC's big issue here is simple. They had a strategy for this announcement that did not take into account Paizo's strategy. They wanted to wait for the furor to die down and proceed when everyone is calm. I can't say that I know if what they plan to release is good or not, because I don't.

But Paizo has beaten them to the punch (and good on 'em). Paizo has done what Wizards did not, and done it quickly and well. They have given us a plan, they have answered are concerns, and they have worked really hard at it. If they hadn't, WotC's strategy probably would have worked (or at least worked better).

Anyways, my main point is that regardless of this decision, there are some good folks over at Wizards. A bad decision has been made and people there and at Paizo are making the best of it they can, and Paizo is doing a better job. Just because some of Wizards' people toe the line and don't pull it off as well as Paizo does not make them bad people. None of us know who made this decision and why, but just like everybody else we have to make the best of it.

One further small point. Hasbro is a corporation. If it is determined that ending the license for Dragon and Dungeon is profitable, they have no choice but to take the profitable route, no matter what anyone involved at Wizards or any of their customers feel about it. The only way to prevent it would be to demonstrate that it would not be profitable. If they make a decision counter to what has been determined to be profitable, they can be sued by their shareholders (who mostly aren't you and me). This decision may well have been made by some poll or study that some analyst interpreted to show that this would lead to more profit for Wizards. And let's face it, Dungeon was outselling WotC's adventures and directly competing with them. So crazy as it seems, to a certain degree this is possibly an uncontrolable direct result of Paizo's success.

Craig Shackleton

The Rambling Scribe


Rambling Scribe wrote:
One further small point. Hasbro is a corporation. If it is determined that ending the license for Dragon and Dungeon is profitable, they have no choice but to take the profitable route, no matter what anyone involved at Wizards or any of their customers feel about it. The only way to prevent it would be to demonstrate that it would not be profitable. If they make a decision counter to what has been determined to be profitable, they can be sued by their shareholders (who mostly aren't you and me). This decision may well have been made by some poll or study that some analyst interpreted to show that this would lead to more profit for Wizards. And let's face it, Dungeon was outselling WotC's adventures and directly competing with them. So crazy as it seems, to a certain degree this is possibly an uncontrolable direct result of Paizo's success.

I agree with quite a few of your conclusions. However, there's an important point (IMHO) I would have thought WotC whould have the savvy and brainpower to recognize:

High-quality adventures go a long way to feeding the success of D&D. Paizo provided those, and thus helped WotC. WotC's success has, to date, been lackluster here. Why would we (or they) think that will change?

IMO WotC is killing off not their competition, but one of their best supporters.

Right now, I'm thinking I gave them too much credit on the savvy/brainpower thing :/

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Rambling Scribe wrote:
One further small point. Hasbro is a corporation. If it is determined that ending the license for Dragon and Dungeon is profitable, they have no choice but to take the profitable route, no matter what anyone involved at Wizards or any of their customers feel about it.

Catch-22.

1) Paizo does well in producing Dragon/Dungeon
2) WOTC must kill it due to competition

OR

1) Paizo does poorly in producing Dragon/Dungeon
2) WOTC must kill it due not performing

WOTC, is catbert running the show over there?


Yes, the smug arrogance that emanates from some WotC employees over this cancellation is infuriating. "We know something you don't, so settle down, kids", as if D&D players were some sort of emotional 16-year-old emo kids, is not an acceptable explanation. Nor is it likely to endear people to their new online thingie, whatever that may be.

Contributor

Molech wrote:
Dropping a bombshell they way they have done, with no warning and no information on future plans is wrong.

I'm as bothered by what transpired over the last several days as anybody. I think Bill S. may as well have added "Nyah, Nyah" when he declared "I know something you don't know."

However, you can't say they didn't give you any warning. In fact, they gave you about 5 months worth of warning. If they had provided no warning the announcement would've said, "Effective immediately, we're dropping these magazines." But it didn't - they told they'll both run through the September issue.

I understand the criticism WotC is receiving. Hell, I agree with a majority of it. But the claim that they gave no warning isn't really fair.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Tatterdemalion wrote:


I agree with quite a few of your conclusions. However, there's an important point (IMHO) I would have thought WotC whould have the savvy and brainpower to recognize:

High-quality adventures go a long way to feeding the success of D&D. Paizo provided those, and thus helped WotC. WotC's success has, to date, been lackluster here. Why would we (or they) think that will change?

IMO WotC is killing off not their competition, but one of their best supporters.

Yes, I quite agree with you, although I haven't looked at any of the newest adventures from WotC. The problem is that sometimes research shows something to be profitable but misses a key element. WotC at one point said adventures were not profitable. I believe they also concluded that gaming magazines were not profitable. Paizo proved them wrong on both counts.

So now adventures are profitable and WotC is producing adventures but not making a profit on them, while Paizo is. The obvious solution as seen by a marketing analyst who doesn't know anything about RPGs is to shut down your competitor. We see why that won't work, and maybe Bill and Chris and all those guys see the problem too. But it's hard to provide concrete statistical evidence of that in advance. Even now, with all of the rioting on the boards, we can't show that what we think will happen will happen.

I do think this was a bad decision that will not lead to increased profit for WotC. In fact I think it could damage the industry as a whole. Although my understanding could be flawed, it seems like Paizo licensing the magazines was a no-lose proposition for WotC. The ball was actually dropped when they tried to horn in on the adventure market instead of being satisfied with licensing fees from Paizo.

So what can we do? Support quality material. We have reason to believe that Paizo will produce it for us. We will have to wait and see on WotC. If they do produce good stuff (and I'm not saying whether I think they will or not), we should support that too. Eventually someone will figure out that they need to look closely at the market, and not apply the same corporate rules as the fast food industry to RPGs.

Craig Shackleton

The Rambling Scribe

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Come now. Corporations don't have to do every little thing that might increase profits. And D&D is a very little thing to Hasbro.

Sovereign Court Contributor

Krypter wrote:

Yes, the smug arrogance that emanates from some WotC employees over this cancellation is infuriating. "We know something you don't, so settle down, kids", as if D&D players were some sort of emotional 16-year-old emo kids, is not an acceptable explanation. Nor is it likely to endear people to their new online thingie, whatever that may be.

I agree completely that they come across like that. But consider this:

What if what he said is true? What if they have a plan, and it's an awesome plan. Or even a decent plan. But for reasons we don't know, they really need to keep a lid on the details. Like, if they release the key element of the plan, someone else might set up something similar before Dragon and Dungeon have finished their run. Or something like that.

How could they have expressed that they have a plan, but they can't give us any details without coming across as saying "Neener neener neener..."? I don't think I could come up with a way.

Or would it have been better to have not said they have a plan? I think that would have been worse.

To be honest, the thing that bothers me more in the response is Scott Rouse trying to build some gamer credibility. I really feel that it was a poor tactic to take. "I'm really a snowboarder, but I'm hip to you gamers now that it's my job to be." My seven-year old daughter has played D&D longer than him. He should have stayed out of it and let the real gamers talk to the gamers. Mind you, I don't actually know him, but in a way that's my point. I know who all of the rest are.

Craig Shackleton,

The Rambling Scribe


Rambling Scribe wrote:
But for reasons we don't know, they really need to keep a lid on the details. Like, if they release the key element of the plan, someone else might set up something similar before Dragon and Dungeon have finished their run.

Very unlikely. This isn't microchip design and WotC aren't a brainy high-tech think-tank coming up with ideas that no-one even dreamed were possible. An online gaming/dmtools/interactive initiative is nothing new and they could be scooped right now. Who in the RPG business would even have the finance and inclination to scoop them in a shorter time frame? That's the unnecessary secrecy and arrogance kicking in again, to assume that their idea is so awesome that no-one could have thought of it in a zillion years. I highly doubt it.

Both Paizo and WotC have known about this for months. WotC should have been ready with more than an unsympathetic press release. What they should have done is coordinated a team response and preview with Paizo. "Dungeon/Dragon Moving Back to Wizards! Pathfinder released! New digital initiative coming in two months! Dragon/Dungeon to be better than ever (features enumerated)! Existing subscriber base gets free introductory membership!"

Instead they're being secretive, sneering, cheap and seemingly-callous, all at the same time. Which makes a bad situation much worse.


Riley wrote:
Foxish wrote:

My girlfriend's response - and I agree with her - is that these testimonials essentially boil down to "we [WotC] know something you fans don't, so you're ignorant if you are reacting badly to our decision."

There is a smug and self-satisfied tone to Bill S.'s posting that I find awfully hard to take.

Paizo gives us delightfully wicked goblin songs that prove there is a bright future for us with Pathfinder.

WOTC just says, "trust us, we know what's good for you." Not particularly bright on their part. I'm not very optimistic, but I hope they actually do have a worthy successor to Dragon and Dungeon. It won't be easy to pull off.

Agreed!

This statement on WotC's part amounts to little more than damage control. They knew that what they were doing was wrong. They are seeing the community's negative reaction to it, and now want to appeal to our sentimentality by saying that they are "on our side", and "not to worry because everything is in there capable hands"!

Well, I call bull s~$# on Wizards! I've been playing D&D long enough to know when someone's trying to bluff me!

The FACT is, that it was WIZARDS who chose not to renew DUNGEON and DRAGON's license (probably to remove competition from their upcoming adventure module product lines). So as far as I'm concerned they're not really "on my side".

The FACT is, that Wizards isn't really renowed for its incredible online content anyway, and it would take some next-to-impossible revamping for their new Dungeon and Dragon online material to rival what I got out of my print magazines. I just don't believe it to be within their power. So I have to question whether Wizard's hands are really that capable, and the answer for me is "no"!

Lastly, Paizo has proven itself to be the innovative heart behind the D&D hobby. That kind of quality can only come from people who truely love the game. People like Erik Mona, and the other fine folks who oversaw the production of these magazines every month. Because of the care they have invested, I trust them to carry on these standards in whatever they do. Follow the talent, and I'm sure your gold will be well spent!

Sovereign Court Contributor

Krypter wrote:
Rambling Scribe wrote:
But for reasons we don't know, they really need to keep a lid on the details. Like, if they release the key element of the plan, someone else might set up something similar before Dragon and Dungeon have finished their run.
Very unlikely.

Fine, but that's not the point. For the puprose of my question let's assume there is some reason. I'm not suggesting that my explanation is the explanation. Let's make it a stupid reason if it makes you feel better. What if Bill Slavicsek's boss told him to get out there and say something, but don't let them in on the plan. How could he have said "We have a plan and I can't tell you what it is" without being insulting? Because the problem to me is the content of what he said, not the way he said it. And perhaps that content was out of his control. I don't know. I'm just not making any assumptions.

Corporations have non-disclosure agreements all the time. I used to work at IKEA; did you know that you aren't allowed to take a picture inside an IKEA store? For corporate secrecy reasons.

Krypter wrote:

Both Paizo and WotC have known about this for months. WotC should have been ready with more than an unsympathetic press release. What they should have done is coordinated a team response and preview with Paizo. "Dungeon/Dragon Moving Back to Wizards! Pathfinder released! New digital initiative coming in two months! Dragon/Dungeon to be better than ever (features enumerated)! Existing subscriber base gets free introductory membership!"

Instead they're being secretive, sneering, cheap and seemingly-callous, all at the same time. Which makes a bad situation much worse.

Absolutely! I just don't think that the guys who actually did give some kind of response, as lame as it was, are neccessarily the cause of all that. And I think that their lame PR on this in general backfired so completely because Paizo did such a good job as a contrast.

And just to be clear, I'm not defending WotC's decision or the way they handled it. Both were bad. I'm just saying that we don't know who made that decision or why. The response is not helpful, but blaming these guys based on assumptions is not particularly helpful either.

OTOH, putting pressure on Wizards to give us more information seems like a good idea. Telling them that this was a bad decision seems like a good idea. Telling them that their PR has been abyssmal seems like a good idea. Supporting Paizo who have done so much better of a job seems like a good idea.

Craig Shackleton

The Rambling Scribe

Liberty's Edge

Very well said, Craig. Good to see you again, by the way. Your name will be forever linked in my mind with the Shackleton Hypersphere Model of drivespace theory. :) I do miss Alternity! I need to get my players to dust off their Star*Drive characters...

But I digress.

I have it on good authority that WotC is indeed planning something relating to the Dragon and Dungeon magazine brands. I don't know what it is, but I can tell that the aforementioned people involved do seem excited about it. The last time Chris Thomasson shared his excitement with me about a secret project, we got the Shackled City Adventure Path. (He was editor of Dungeon at the time.) I can also tell you that they seem genuinely and extremely frustrated that they can't yet reveal their plans.

I have no details about their plans, so for now I'm free to speculate. And I will. Here's my theory:

Print on Demand is becoming much more mainstream and the technology is improving to the point that the quality is comparable to more traditional print methods, from what I understand. Meanwhile, a whole new generation of tech-savvy youth is entering the fantasy gaming marketplace, with money to spend and a keen fascination with digital media. It's a Blogging/YouTube/MySpace generation--and for them it's perfectly natural to consume written media through a computer/PDA/cellphone screen.

What if WotC tries to appeal to gamers in a broader, more contemporary way by producing Dragon and Dungeon in a digital format, while providing Print on Demand options for customers who want the portability and tactile experience of printed material? The print on demand aspect means that they don't have to worry about print runs or warehousing or even a conventional publishing timetable. They can sell subscriptions to the content and provide it online, and if someone wants a particular issue in hardcopy, that customer can get it professionally printed and bound and sent to them with the click of a button (presumably for an extra fee). Or the customer can print out the specific materials desired on a home printer without wasting ink on the stuff he or she doesn't need. From an ecological perspective, I think that would be a great idea, but to WotC the bottom line is that they wouldn't have to physically produce the magazines at all. A third-party vendor could handle that process, or if WotC did decide to set up the P.O.D. service in-house, the process would be subsidized by the fees customers pay to get their hardcopy. That keeps their costs down and lets them focus on the content itself.

I could never bring myself to take Dragon or Dungeon off of store shelves or out of Paizo's capable hands, because I think their visiblity is a great asset to the gaming industry and Paizo has done an outstanding job with them, but if I was WotC and had free reign to handle the brands as I wished, the above is something even I might consider.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Two thoughts:
<Rant on>
"...coming home???" Coming HOME?!?!?! Are they MEANING to rub our noises in it?!?! Do they even THINK about how pompous and arrogant and elitist that sounds?!?!? COMING HOME?!?!? Well, it's NOT MY HOME that it's coming to---not after September anyway! It gets to go to their home(page)! It gets to stay in their home! But us???? NOTHING is coming to my home--that's the problem!!! Oh, and I could HAVE it come to my home---all I have to do is pay to view it, pay to download, pay to have it bound, and pay to have it shipped!!! (But isn't that what I'm doing now? you ask) OF COURSE it is, but I'd bet my life that whatever printing options they offer me are NOT going to be the quality grade of the current magazine published by Paizo! COMING HOME?!?!? Here, let me slam the door in Hasbro's face! <SLAM>

<rant off>

And, now, THOUGHT #2. Which comes from the civilized, rational side of me.....

Mr. West, thank you for your insights and your heartfelt and (it seems to me) true opinions. I am just a "commoner" and have never met any of the "pros" but what you wrote about the various Paizo staff members and editors strikes me as being true. I have always had the impression that they are indeed good people. Thank you for your insights. Could you maybe give me/us one more?

Christopher West wrote:


I have it on good authority that WotC is indeed planning something relating to the Dragon and Dungeon magazine brands. I don't know what it is, but I can tell that the aforementioned people involved do seem excited about it. The last time Chris Thomasson shared his excitement with me about a secret project, we got the Shackled City Adventure Path. (He was editor of Dungeon at the time.) I can also tell you that they seem genuinely and extremely frustrated that they can't yet reveal their plans...

WHY don't they just tell us that??? Is it really such a trade secret, do they really think that someone else is going to beat them to the web-server???? I understand suspense; I understand marketing strategies (a little); but what I don't understand is why they think it's a good idea to yank something away from us (and, ok, perhaps 6 months of issues left is not "yanking") and NOT tell us that they have a great replacement idea coming???

I mean "some content like what you've seen in the past will be available online" (a paraphrase even though I put it in quotes) isn't specific; it isn't sharing an idea; it sounds like a tiny morsel thrown to starving dogs!

Liberty's Edge

NorthernOkie wrote:

WHY don't they just tell us that??? Is it really such a trade secret, do they really think that someone else is going to beat them to the web-server???? I understand suspense; I understand marketing strategies (a little); but what I don't understand is why they think it's a good idea to yank something away from us (and, ok, perhaps 6 months of issues left is not "yanking") and NOT tell us that they have a great replacement idea coming???

I mean "some content like what you've seen in the past will be available online" (a paraphrase even though I put it in quotes) isn't specific; it isn't sharing an idea; it sounds like a tiny morsel thrown to starving dogs!

I don't believe that the designers and editors involved do think that this was handled in a good way. I imagine there is much cringing and gnashing of teeth going on that this came to pass in this way. WotC is a corporation owned by a parent company, and as such it doesn't have the freedom and flexibility to respond fluidly to situations like this. Anything they say publically about their plans needs to be vetted through approval meetings and whatnot, because they're a publically-traded company beholden to shareholders. Anything they reveal can have an effect on stock prices and who knows what else. If they think they have a potential new trademark or a patent on a new technology, then that keeps their plans under wraps even further while they wait for paperwork to go through, etc. Finally, I suspect that the company is planning a big Gen Con event to reveal their plans (that's an industry tradition, and it theoretically gives us time for the shock to wear off so that we can look at whatever they announce with a different perspective), and don't want to scoop that event.

I think that the page mentioned at the beginning of this thread was the best damage control they could manage under the circumstances. I don't know how successful it is, but they're trying to remind fans of their own connection to the magazines and reassure us by pointing out all of the people at WotC who have been deeply involved in them over the years. That's about all that they CAN tell us yet. It's not what we grieving masses want to hear right now, but they probably believe it's the best they can offer at this time.

Dark Archive

The magazines not being on the shelf is a big thing. That is the only reason I have a group playing together again. I was in Borders, saw a Dragon Mag and hopped in to the Age of Worms and the hobby again with a vengeance. I think it's time for Paizo to make their own magazine with 3 OGL adventures and the same type of original side articles from the up and coming authors. Even bi-monthly would be great! This is just like wal-mart closing down the local stores. Let's just hope that the locals don't have to go work for the wal-mart now :(

Sovereign Court Contributor

Christopher West wrote:

Very well said, Craig. Good to see you again, by the way. Your name will be forever linked in my mind with the Shackleton Hypersphere Model of drivespace theory. :) I do miss Alternity! I need to get my players to dust off their Star*Drive characters...

Ha Ha! Fame and fortune are mine! I shall not be forgotten to history, all because of a crackpot theory for a short-lived RPG. I miss those days too.

Sorry to threadjack, but Chris, did you by chance do the cartography for an upcoming adventure called the Aundairian Job? I've had this idea for a while that it would be cool if I got an adventure published in Dungeon with you doing the maps. All things considered, that'll be my last chance.

Oh, I see it shipped to subscribers today. I should get it by July at the latest (#@% Canada Post).

Well, if not, hopefully in some future product.

Craig Shackleton,

The Rambling Scribe

Liberty's Edge

I afraid I didn't get to work on that, Craig, though I would have loved to do so. Crown of the Kobold King is the first adventure that I've been asked to work on in a long time. For the last couple of years my work in Dungeon has focused on the Maps of Mystery.

I look forward to reading it, though! :)

Contributor

Rambling Scribe wrote:
Christopher West wrote:

Very well said, Craig. Good to see you again, by the way. Your name will be forever linked in my mind with the Shackleton Hypersphere Model of drivespace theory. :) I do miss Alternity! I need to get my players to dust off their Star*Drive characters...

Ha Ha! Fame and fortune are mine! I shall not be forgotten to history, all because of a crackpot theory for a short-lived RPG. I miss those days too.

Sorry to threadjack, but Chris, did you by chance do the cartography for an upcoming adventure called the Aundairian Job? I've had this idea for a while that it would be cool if I got an adventure published in Dungeon with you doing the maps. All things considered, that'll be my last chance.

Oh, I see it shipped to subscribers today. I should get it by July at the latest (#@% Canada Post).

Well, if not, hopefully in some future product.

Craig Shackleton,

The Rambling Scribe

Congrats on the upcoming publication Craig!!! Is this your first? Excitement!!! Kudos to you my man! I look forward to reading it...I loves me the Eberron, and a bank heist is a great idea for the setting!

Sovereign Court Contributor

Nicolas Logue wrote:


Congrats on the upcoming publication Craig!!! Is this your first? Excitement!!! Kudos to you my man! I look forward to reading it...I loves me the Eberron, and a bank heist is a great idea for the setting!

Thanks! I actually had a previous adventure ("Earth Tones") back in issue #76 (we're talking 2E here), and a character gen system using three-dragon-ante in Dragon #346.

I'm not in your league yet, but I'm ready to make a new push, so save me a seat on the bench. Actually, I mentioned this on another thread, but I just found out The Aundairian Job was being printed last week. I got inspired and started putting togther a bunch of new proposals and short articles. Two days later the bomb dropped... and now I have to sit tight until new submission guidelines are posted. Doh!

But come September I will have a five hour block of writing time every day, 'cause my son starts school. I'll have bits of time before then, and I'm booked for Gen-Con in August. Last time I was there was 1994. There's been a few changes in the industry since then...

Craig Shackleton,

The Rambling Scribe

Contributor

Rambling Scribe wrote:
Nicolas Logue wrote:


Congrats on the upcoming publication Craig!!! Is this your first? Excitement!!! Kudos to you my man! I look forward to reading it...I loves me the Eberron, and a bank heist is a great idea for the setting!

Thanks! I actually had a previous adventure ("Earth Tones") back in issue #76 (we're talking 2E here), and a character gen system using three-dragon-ante in Dragon #346.

I'm not in your league yet, but I'm ready to make a new push, so save me a seat on the bench. Actually, I mentioned this on another thread, but I just found out The Aundairian Job was being printed last week. I got inspired and started putting togther a bunch of new proposals and short articles. Two days later the bomb dropped... and now I have to sit tight until new submission guidelines are posted. Doh!

But come September I will have a five hour block of writing time every day, 'cause my son starts school. I'll have bits of time before then, and I'm booked for Gen-Con in August. Last time I was there was 1994. There's been a few changes in the industry since then...

Craig Shackleton,

The Rambling Scribe

Awesome my man! #76 is before my time, but I'll try and get my hands on a copy! Keep up the fantastic work!

Hope to see you at Gencon! If all else fails drop by Iron Dungeonmaster and say hi...and of course scope the madness of it all for few minutes at the very least. :-)

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