If 4.0 goes down the toilet....


4th Edition


I have noticed a few posters indicating that they honestly believe that 4.0 will be so nasty that the entire game line will tank. D&D as we know it will go away. Hasbro will have learned a vital lesson in marketing, design, tabletop RPG's and distance themselves from the whole thing (all that for Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh!)

Is this a bad thing? Monte Cook wrote that he honestly believes that D&D is in the best when hands when owned and controlled by a smaller company run by gamers (not toy manufacturers). Maybe Hasbro would sell the line and someone else could take on the task?

What do you think?

Sovereign Court

Honestly?

I'd rather not see 4th edition flop. It could mean a lot of bad things for the hobby, and result in a 'dark age' for those of us who play D&D.

I don't think it'd mean the -end- of the hobby. The other problem is that companies like Hasbro tend to be -very- unwilling to let go of any IP they've aquired unless there's a clear indicator that they'll make more money from selling it than they will holding on to it.

And very few 'smaller' companies will be able to raise that sort of money from a name brand like Dungeons and Dragons. As much as I'd like to see the Paizo people in charge of the line, I also suspect their heads would explode under the work load.

Face it - Dungeons and Dragons is just too big for a small company to handle easily, no matter how awsome. The days of TSR are long behind us.

(As a note for Sebastian and others: How many remember the days and howls of T$R Usenet arguments?)

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Yeah, everything I've got to say, I've already said. If 4e failed, the stars could align, the brand could be sold off, and that buyer could succeed with a relaunched version of the game (call it a 5e, because that's what it would be, even if it was mostly just 3.5).

And, I could buy a lotto ticket, I could pick the right numbers, and I could win $56m. That being said, I'm not investing my retirement funds in lotto tickets.

There are all sorts of other possibilities, and the fairy tale ending is, well, a fairy tale for a reason. It's more likely that WotC would license out the D&D tabletop rpg (and we all know how much stock to put in licenses, don't we), that they will hold onto the license and product poor quality products damaging the brand to maximize profit, that the rejection of 4e will result in a whole range of 3.75 versions launched by everyone from Paizo to White Wolf and splitting the audience into a large number of factions, that WotC releases 5e on their own and makes it even less palatable than 4e, an entirely new gaming activity (ala Magic in the 90's) catches on and damn near kills tabletop gaming, etc.

So yeah, I'd give up on kissing frogs hoping that a prince will turn up.

Sean Achterman wrote:
(As a note for Sebastian and others: How many remember the days and howls of T$R Usenet arguments?)

I absolutely love it when someone talks about the good old days under TSR, how they respected their customers (*cough* except when they were suing them *cough*) and generally dispensed sunshine, love, and a balanced breakfast to all gamers. Ah, the good old days, how rose colored!


Sebastian wrote:
I absolutely love it when someone talks about the good old days under TSR, how they respected their customers (*cough* except when they were suing them *cough*) and generally dispensed sunshine, love, and a balanced breakfast to all gamers.

TSR? You mean They Sue Regularly?


When TSR was cranking out 2.0 stuff they were the "Bad Guys" of the game industry. Lorraine Williams was a shrill hearted harpy who had no love for the game or the people who played it as she ran TSR down the toilet. At that time Magic came out and Wizards of the Coast was considered the new kid on the block and the "Good Guy". Peter was our hero, he was a gamer and liked the same things we liked. We liked him even better when he bought TSR and merged it with WoTC. Then Peter did a bad thing... he formed an evil alliance with Hasbro and lost control of the game. Once again a huge heartless company owned the game. No longer was a gamer running the show.

Yeah maybe Hasbro will make it work and keep it growing. Maybe one of the gamers will climb the corporate ladder high enough to assume control of the direction in which Wizards goes. Maybe.


Jib, from what I heard, Peter had NOTHING to do with the Hasbro takeover; rather that it was all his business partners, and he got the shaft.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think there are quite few who *want* 4E to be "for the toilet" so to speak.

I do think there are many of us who see the low quality of what has been put out of late, recognize the trend and the hype that's being put out now, and are railing against 4E b/c we don't want to see the scenario Sebastian talked about above happen.

It's going to stink and we can't do much to stop that. Just how bad, and who will support it, has yet to be seen.


I want 4e to be teh s0x0r5!!!!11!!11!! so I can win people away with better systems. But then I am shallow like that.


I had heard that Peter formed an alliance with Hasbro to enhance all the games Wizards creates. Hasbro just wanted Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh and had little desire to focus on D&D. When they signed the papers Peter pushed for emphasis for the games he loves and was shafted by the Hasbro big wigs. They pushed him to cut payroll and drop products since Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh, and Magic had dropped in sales. Peter stood firm and was offered a severance package.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Hasbro still lacks the knowledge of how to handle table top RPGs. I think few can debate that. If not watch the video clips again and watch the guy with the bad German accent. It makes WoTC look like idiots.

Very few of the "Old Guard" remain at WoTC. That is not to say that the new talent is bad, just that they lack the sight that the A Team had. They combine things that look cool but often don't work. They are driven by MMOs and Cartoons not classic Fantasy and real world history.


Remember the good old days of 1st edition D&D? I still do, and I have accepted that those "diamond days" will never come back. I agree with an earlier post that 4.0 will not do well, and a lot of 3.75 editions will surface. Then, Hasbro will sell the license to someone else when they see that owning it is no longer worth it.

A dark age of table top roleplaying is coming, and we just have to accept it and move on. Monte Cook saw this coming years ago, and he has "retired" from gaming.


CourtFool wrote:
I want 4e to be teh s0x0r5!!!!11!!11!!

Should I be proud or ashamed that I have no f'ing clue what the hell that means?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

farewell2kings wrote:
CourtFool wrote:
I want 4e to be teh s0x0r5!!!!11!!11!!
Should I be proud or ashamed that I have no f'ing clue what the hell that means?

Proud very proud, as am I.


farewell2kings wrote:
Should I be proud or ashamed that I have no f'ing clue what the hell that means?

I'd say both.

Short answer: "I want 4th Edition to tank."
(But to be fair, I believe CourtFool was being sarcastic.)


I want 4th to prove me wrong and be better than any aquatic sleep system nocturnal unconscious disturbance I could ever imagine having...
not that I have those kind of dreams anyway.

thing is, from what I have read of 3.5 as of late and of all the NON-hype about the mechanical crunch that "They can't tell us about" that is supposed to be "SSSSssssooooooo GGggguOOOOoooooOOOoodddDDDD!!!!!" is actually turning me off.

not just the trends of:
1. designers equal gods, (*ie. your not allowed an opinion until your published and made more money than them) gamer equals morron.

2. We don't need you, (Ie. no more dungeon/dragon magazines, no more comicshops, no more quality product... no more fans?)

all of this is just sdrawkcab!

Don't they want my money? I just stopped buying anything from wotc and china er, hasbro...
I hope that they get the message soon.


Disenchanter wrote:


(But to be fair, I believe CourtFool was being sarcastic.)

Right, he was making a reference to the digital initiative using cool internet/computer game lingo, right?

I hope 4e and the DI is successful, for the hobby's sake. I still wish Dungeon and Dragon magazines were hard copy paper mags, supporting the new edition as an alternative or extension of the DI, but there's nothing I can do about that.

If Pathfinder goes 4e OGL, then we kind of get the best of both worlds (or at least one choice to go 4e without embracing the digital initiative), so it might turn out to be a win/win situation, or at least making the best out of a series of decisions that many fans disagreed with.

Wishing that 4th edition tanks is very harsh and I don't share that feeling. Sometimes you just have to learn to roll with the punches and adjust and that's what I'm trying to do.


Actually, I was taking a couple different shots. I am sarcastic to a fault which often does not translate well in this medium and I also tend to rub people the wrong way.

I admit that D&D has the lion's share of the gaming community and I think that is a shame. I think there are a lot of really good systems out there that people do not play because 'everyone else is playing D&D'. If WotC pisses off enough gamers, those gamers might start exploring the other systems out there.

Yes, it is a selfish motivation, but then who isn't motivated by some form of selfishness?

To summarize, you can simply chalk me up as an old punk rocker raging on that punk has sold out and become mainstream.


Personally... I'm kinda happy with the way things are going. I like Paizo being seperate from Wizards, as they can now produce what they want without Wizards hitting them with a big "NO" (Age of Worms Hardcover).

I like what I have seen of fourth edition as well, though I care nothing for their online initiative.

New rules are nice every once in a while to shake things up. I'm enjoying my 3.5 game, but I will happily move to 4.0 if it is a better system (and if Pathfinder does the same).

I really don't see any way that 4.0 is going to tank, and if it does, I don't think it would have that big of an effect on the hobby (at least not at my table). If Paizo went under, for some reason, it would be a big deal to me. If Wizards does, not so much.

The way I see it, they've given us the rules to play with, so we have. If they want to give us some different rules to consider playing with, no problem.


Jib wrote:

I had heard that Peter formed an alliance with Hasbro to enhance all the games Wizards creates. Hasbro just wanted Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh and had little desire to focus on D&D. When they signed the papers Peter pushed for emphasis for the games he loves and was shafted by the Hasbro big wigs. They pushed him to cut payroll and drop products since Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh, and Magic had dropped in sales. Peter stood firm and was offered a severance package.

Maybe I'm wrong.

IIRC, Peter sold Wizards to Hasbro and made a lot of money for him and his shareholders. Don't feel bad for Peter - he made millions.


hehe the dark ages of d&d; that has a nice ring to it; from Birt to the age of glory to the dark ages to the time of enlightenment; so went the world; so do we hope goes D&D; the last being if a smaller company of those who love the game and had the wisdom to x took controll.


Oh I don't feel sorry for Peter. He owns Gen Con and stays in the industry. I am certain he is doing well and banking some huge $


Can one of you educate me as to why Monte Cook "retired" from D&D?; what does he do now for a living?; And does he even play the game, apart from designing products for WoTC or OGL companies?

Liberty's Edge

Allen Stewart wrote:
Can one of you educate me as to why Monte Cook "retired" from D&D?; what does he do now for a living?; And does he even play the game, apart from designing products for WoTC or OGL companies?

For complete information on his gaming habits and some inkling of his personal life I suggest you go to his site at www.montecook.com. He is starting a new D&D campaign it seems.

Much of what he released from Malhavoc, his personal company, was material developed for his own game. It was darn good material as well. Ptolus was his personal campaign setting for a number of years. His last two projects, Monte Cook's World of Darkness from White Wolf and a module from Goodman Games, were just released.

Now he is making a career as a novelist and already has a publisher for an upcoming book, though this is not his first foray into fiction writing. Monte has said he might return from time to time because he believes in never saying never. But it is very likely he will stay away for a bit. Though he is on the Gleemax advisory board though what that entails I am not sure. As for the "whys"....he was just ready for a life change.

I went to the Monte Cook Q&A at Gencon. Let me tell you, he is more gamer than anything. He is just a nice, regular guy who enjoys Dungeons and Dragons.


My problem with the new edition is that I have spent yet another ancient dragon's hoard on several bookcases full of rules for 3-3.5 ed. They sit next to the other bookcases filled with 1st and 2nd ed. I realize that I control what I spend on my hobby and who gets my money, however WoTC is still putting out more books for an edition that is going away. Money aside, 3ed came out in 2000, we have had 7 short years to relearn the game mechanics and begin to explore what the system is capable of offering. There is still quite a bit I have not tried yet. I have already lost my best player, as he will not convert 3ed, and stand to lose the rest if I convert to 4th. I guess it boils down to that as I approach my third decade as a gamer, am I really that interested in re-education...again.


Cryodain wrote:
I have already lost my best player, as he will not convert 3ed, and stand to lose the rest if I convert to 4th.

I would not worry. They will cave.


You certainly live up to your screen name CourtFool. You made a similar idiotic statement to me a week or two ago, which I elected to ignore. You don't know these people or myself, and therefore have no reasonable ability to predict or report on what they/I will buy, so spare us your diatribe.


Allen Stewart wrote:
You certainly live up to your screen name CourtFool. You made a similar idiotic statement to me a week or two ago, which I elected to ignore. You don't know these people or myself, and therefore have no reasonable ability to predict or report on what they/I will buy, so spare us your diatribe.

You know Allen, if 4th edition has done anything, its given us common ground. I'm so tired of hearing about how everyone that has said they won't convert to 4th edition will convert, and how they should be held to what they say and so on. I've thought exactly as you do on this . . . unless you know the person you are addressing, you have no idea if they will or will not stick to what they have said.


Well said Errant Jr, sir. I heartily agree with you.


...(while simultaneously thinking)..."now if I can only get Errant Jr. to give up FR in favor of Greyhawk"...


Clive wrote:
I really don't see any way that 4.0 is going to tank, and if it does, I don't think it would have that big of an effect on the hobby (at least not at my table). If Paizo went under, for some reason, it would be a big deal to me. If Wizards does, not so much.

I agree that Paizo is much more important to my gaming activities than WoTC and with your sentiment in general. I do, however, think that WoTC's decisions regarding presentation of their new Digital Initiative and listening to their customers have so far given them the marketing equivalent of a "black eye."

Liberty's Edge

CourtFool wrote:
Cryodain wrote:
I have already lost my best player, as he will not convert 3ed, and stand to lose the rest if I convert to 4th.
I would not worry. They will cave.

I think the best player guy won't cave. He's had 7 years, man.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

Allen Stewart wrote:
You certainly live up to your screen name CourtFool. You made a similar idiotic statement to me a week or two ago, which I elected to ignore. You don't know these people or myself, and therefore have no reasonable ability to predict or report on what they/I will buy, so spare us your diatribe.

I could well be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure court fool is being sarcastic and making fun of people like me (who say the same thing and generally mean it) while still giving a hard time to people from whom the statement grates. If you read his posts, he's much more sly than he is an a+$#%#&.

Me, I'm an a!%@*@%. Court fool - he's a joker. Fakey is a smoker and, well, heathy is a midnight toker.

But that's neither here nor there.

Liberty's Edge

Some people call me Maurice.


Thank you for the insight, Sebastian. I'll accept your 'character witness' for the gent in question.

Liberty's Edge

Oh, yeah. He's cool.


Sebastian wrote:


Me, I'm an a~%~*%%. Court fool - he's a joker. Fakey is a smoker and, well, heathy is a midnight toker.

A incisive and hilarious icehole at that! Of all the curmudgeons I know, you are tops, baby. And that is most assuredly a compliment.


Heathansson wrote:
Some people call me Maurice.

I thought you were the Gangster of Love :)

Grand Lodge

In all honesty, I do think 4.0 will tank. They are relying too heavily on the internet and if charges for Dragon and Dungeon are right they are going to charge too much. D&D 4 will go the way of 2nd Edition.

But the hobby did not die then either. In fact it innovated some really good stuff.

When Hasbro sells WizCo, as I am sure they will, I hope Paizo is able to step in and buy D&D.

This coming from a guy who is going to give 4.0 every chance possible!


I don't think 4.0 will tank, but I don't think that it will take off the way that I think they believe it will. I don't think it will shake up the hobby all that much, from an outsider's viewpoint.

The Exchange

I dont know so much that it will tank...I think that 2nd Edition had problems and these were representative of larger corporate problems in a factionalising TSR so i think it will take utter Incompentance in WOTC and Uncreative interference in the Game from the top.

Certainly there is a way to retain creativite pool access and that is to provide a forum where the company can plunder the intellectual property of the people creating it and the people creating it will profit from their ideas.

Ideas like this...

PANDORAS BOX

A simple wooden box with a matching wooden lid made from the same piece of wood. The box contains what are simply the contents of a building. It is for all purposes a primitive dollhouse whose fixtures are always more valuable than anything in the real world. This is part of its darker aspect as an artefact of entropy. It is designed to unleash suffering and pain through a process of relentless overcrowding.
There is no greater cause of suffering, disease, and ill than a dirty, crowded, and corrupt city.
Of course all this comes at a cost. The box is always active. It automatically absorbs all naturally occurring mineral wealth in a four mile radius, once this wealth is gone, it depletes active mines, then it begins absorbing such things as treasure hordes, and private wealth. It simply absorbs wealth and in payment erects a small, permanent dwelling (the equivalent of Leomunds Secure Shelter). It will then continue to erect other such dwellings in a tight city layout for a population density of one hundred and forty people per acre. Creating its own city, it will never exceed thirty two acres thus preventing growth of population beyond a thousand people. All dwellings will be roof accessed with no roads and alleys.

However if Pandora’s Box were ever opened in a pre-existing community, it would create a rat-warren of narrow roads and alleys (roads are never wider than ten feet, and alleys never wider than five feet). This city will expand until it covers an area of fifty-six square miles.
City walls simply alter its pattern of growth. Confined by walls, it will begin to create multistorey dwellings and streets and alleys will become overshadowed by the level of buildings and balcony walkways above them until it towers above the existing wall level. It will build tightly against buildings not of its make cutting off all access and window views.
Dwellings that burn down (certainly not its own sturdy dwellings) will be replaced overnight by a cluster of dwellings capable of fitting on the newly vacated ground with a suitable population density. Such a city becomes a burden on the economy, requiring massive supporting resources of fuel and food.

Once the city has reached a population of over five million (ten million if it has changed the nature of its activities due to the presence of a confining wall) then the box will close of its own accord. Closing it beforehand requires a payment of a carved wooden doll.

CREATED BY: yellowdingo 2007


Sebastian wrote:
Court fool - he's a joker.

How dare you blow my cover?!


I think 4/e will be a good game, and might improve some mechanics.

I also think that the content is diverging from traditional D&D with increasing speed -- sooner or later there will be so little of the original that old-timers (like me) will walk away.

It may very well happen with this next version. Silly as it sounds, if Mordenkainen's name disappears from the spell lists I'll not buy the game. For many, D&D isn't just a set of rules -- it's a world (or one of many) that has been the product of thirty years of wonderfully creative design, writing, and play. Throw too much of that away and I'm out of here.

I'm not saying I'm right and they're wrong, but it's how I feel (and I think how many others feel).

Unfortunately for me, that might not be bad for Hasbro.


I think it will be successful at the start.

Check back in 2009. If the Wizards RPG staff is still intact after December 2009, then it is a success (by WotC/Hasbro standards).

Unlike with the release of 3E, there are going to be battles on not just one, but two fronts:

1) People sticking with 3.5
2) Continually increasing competition for play time from more and more new online games

There was very limited online RPG competition in 2000. Now it's all over the place.


1.5) People trying other RPGs.


CourtFool wrote:
1.5) People trying other RPGs.

Great point.

Not only different games, but now that there are several other game systems that have sprouted up based on the OGL, there is certainly that competition too.


i can honestly say...
I have no idea. I guess it depends on what they have planned for the system. I mean how long were they working on it before it was announced? We have to wait a year to find out what they are doing. I had nheard mention of it awhile back but I ignored it and had hoped it was just someones idea of a sick joke. You know how people tend to do stuff like that. Have there been any indications on where it's headed? Any big names we know for sure are working on it?
I will definitely check it out when it arrives, since I've been playing since the red box days. If it works, cool, if not, well I have 3.5 and plenty of other games to play I guess. The push for online content disturbs me, I have to say. You cant truly replace holding a book and rolling dice around a table.


Monte Cook once wrote that the table top RPG industry needs WoTC to survive and do well. Something that further cemented this was Ryan Dancy and the d20 OGL. Monte also wrote that D&D needs to be closer to the game community, something Hasbro has not figured out.

I ask myself the question. "Why 4th edition?"
If the answer is [as many imagine] to make Hasbro money then we are in a losing battle. The beast will never consume enough.
If the answer is to make Hasbro money and give us a better game then we have hope.

If the game is designed to make the game experience better then we have hope.
If the game is designed to satisfy some designers egos then we shall suffer.


Jib wrote:

I ask myself the question. "Why 4th edition?"

If the answer is [as many imagine] to make Hasbro money then we are in a losing battle. The beast will never consume enough.
If the answer is to make Hasbro money and give us a better game then we have hope.

If the game is designed to make the game experience better then we have hope.
If the game is designed to satisfy some designers egos then we shall suffer.

1. Yes.

2. Questionable. We do not know what the game will be yet and we would have to agree on what 'better' is.
3. See answer to number 2.
4. I doubt that is the strategic intent.

Mr. Cook may have been right. I would like to hold on to hope that the industry would soldier on riding the backs of all the other companies.

Grand Lodge

Jib wrote:

Monte Cook once wrote that the table top RPG industry needs WoTC to survive and do well. Something that further cemented this was Ryan Dancy and the d20 OGL. Monte also wrote that D&D needs to be closer to the game community, something Hasbro has not figured out.

I ask myself the question. "Why 4th edition?"
If the answer is [as many imagine] to make Hasbro money then we are in a losing battle. The beast will never consume enough.
If the answer is to make Hasbro money and give us a better game then we have hope.

If the game is designed to make the game experience better then we have hope.
If the game is designed to satisfy some designers egos then we shall suffer.

1. Get used to disappointment. If you can't, then at least get used to cognitive dissonance. D&D is a commercial product, the first purpose of commercial products is to (gasp!) make money for the company producing it.

2. A "better game," honestly, depends on your desires for it. If your desires are for the same things that the designers want, you're golden. If they're not, then you'll like some things and dislike others.
3. Well, the designers have been talking about doing just that. It's not like 4th Edition exists in a vacuum - the designers have been talking lately about different games outside of WotC's stable that they've been playing and enjoying, it's not too much of a stretch to see them saying, "How can we take this mechanic that really works well in this game we like, and make it work in D&D?" The easiest example here is the inclusion of, for the first time in D&D history, detailed social conflict rules.
4. At some level, every game design is a satisfaction of its designers' egos. You're seeing your name in print, dude, that's an ego trip right there.


Oh I understand disappointment. I went to public school.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2013 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Tatterdemalion wrote:

I think 4/e will be a good game, and might improve some mechanics.

I also think that the content is diverging from traditional D&D with increasing speed -- sooner or later there will be so little of the original that old-timers (like me) will walk away.

It may very well happen with this next version. Silly as it sounds, if Mordenkainen's name disappears from the spell lists I'll not buy the game. For many, D&D isn't just a set of rules -- it's a world (or one of many) that has been the product of thirty years of wonderfully creative design, writing, and play. Throw too much of that away and I'm out of here.

I'm not saying I'm right and they're wrong, but it's how I feel (and I think how many others feel).

Unfortunately for me, that might not be bad for Hasbro.

Word. I've played for 22 of the 33 years D&D's been around so call me a grognard. I am a sucker for the institutions that've developed in that time, the worlds and their metaplots. I'm not liking half of what I keep seeing in the new design and development articles. This ain't your Daddy's D&D fanboys.

--"sitting in my Vrocking chair."

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