Reactions from WOTC???


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Stereofm wrote:
Neithan wrote:


Now in which fantasy world do you live? ^^

a.) 4th Ed. CAN'T be a commercial failure.

Yes it can !

Of course it can... just like the comparison to the pre-release hype of the God(awful)zilla movie.

But still, more than likely 4e will be a huge hit.


CNB wrote:


And really, when you say something is confirmed it really should mean something was confirmed.

No need to go all uppity, part.


KaeYoss wrote:
Susan Draconis wrote:


Your boss?

Got a job opening?

Only if you kill one of the current employees in gladiatorial combat and claim their job as your winnings. That's how I got in.
No problem. I'm doing that for fun already, why not for profit, too?

Be careful how you approach. My boss is a ninja. Has trained us all in the art of the swords on the wall. And you'll have to fight me...

Sovereign Court

Stereofm wrote:
Neithan wrote:


Now in which fantasy world do you live? ^^

a.) 4th Ed. CAN'T be a commercial failure.
b.) Why would Hasbro make a contract with Paizo? They allready own Wizards, so they can make anything they want in-house.

Yes it can !

Consider the following scenario :

Hasbro exec : "Your sales of D&D are not high enough compared to budget ! We WANT +X, or you're fired"
WOTC guy :"Hmmm OK, we'll do a new edition, fire the old clients, and draw in the million customers of WoW".
Hasbro exec "Hmmm, that will do .... BARELY ! you have one year".

I am not saying this is what happened, as I have no clues, and don't particularly care, but it's not only a matter of how well it sells in the absolute, but also a matter of how well it sells VS EXPECTED income.

And even if I agree that the initial sales will be good due to all the pro-4e people converting, what about the new players that are not into D&D that will sssooooo want the product over Wow and consorts ?

For this last part, I have the highest doubts.

You've got a point. 4E could actually be a pretty big commercial success and still be a failure as far as Hasbro is concerned. Even if the core books and some initial modules sell well, how long until sales of the latest splatbook get down to or even below 3.5 levels. I really don't see sales meeting Hasbro's expectations in the long run. Sooner or later, something is going to have to give.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
WotC's Nightmare wrote:


You've got a point. 4E could actually be a pretty big commercial success and still be a failure as far as Hasbro is concerned. Even if the core books and some initial modules sell well, how long until sales of the latest splatbook get down to or even below 3.5 levels. I really don't see sales meeting Hasbro's expectations in the long run. Sooner or later, something is going to have to give.

That is what happens when a completely good company sells to a corporation. All of a sudden their are sales goals and such that are imposed by external forces.

Here is hoping that Paizo never sells to another company...

Dark Archive

Shem wrote:

That is what happens when a completely good company sells to a corporation. All of a sudden their are sales goals and such that are imposed by external forces.

Here is hoping that Paizo never sells to another company...

Isn't TSR selling to WOTC what kept DnD alive though?


Susan Draconis wrote:


Be careful how you approach. My boss is a ninja. Has trained us all in the art of the swords on the wall.And you'll have to fight me...

Then allow me to give you my condolences in advance. ;-P


Aarontendo wrote:
Shem wrote:

That is what happens when a completely good company sells to a corporation. All of a sudden their are sales goals and such that are imposed by external forces.

Here is hoping that Paizo never sells to another company...

Isn't TSR selling to WOTC what kept DnD alive though?

True, but that was one game company being bought by another game company. WotC being bought by Hasbro was a game company being bought by a corporation, and that is where things really took a downward turn, IMHO.

Dark Archive

Heh so you're saying the game went downhill since 3.0 came out? Hasbro acquired WOTC back in 1999 or was it 2000? I mean I assume that 3.0 was in development by WOTC prior to the Hasbro purchase. However, I also seem to recall Monte Cook stating that they didn't clean up some of the problems with 3.0 because there was an intention to make 3.5 a couple of years later. I assume this was also from WOTC.

Now feel free to correct me, I don't honestly know which or who made those decisions. I guess my point is that there were some shady things happening, and some of those decisions were made by a gaming company.

I don't see that Hasbro has done any worse by DnD than when WOTC directly ran things, though I do seem to recall that the extra books (are they called splat? not sure why heh) had to focus on crunch because it sold better. Otherwise I'm not seeing a difference.


The latest signs worry me that WOTC is not even planning to ever release to the GSL to third party publishers. I guess Paizo made a good decision in going their own way rather than waiting for such an uncertain thing as this elusive license for 4th edition.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Aarontendo wrote:

Heh so you're saying the game went downhill since 3.0 came out? Hasbro acquired WOTC back in 1999 or was it 2000? I mean I assume that 3.0 was in development by WOTC prior to the Hasbro purchase. However, I also seem to recall Monte Cook stating that they didn't clean up some of the problems with 3.0 because there was an intention to make 3.5 a couple of years later. I assume this was also from WOTC.

I don't see that Hasbro has done any worse by DnD than when WOTC directly ran things, though I do seem to recall that the extra books (are they called splat? not sure why heh) had to focus on crunch because it sold better. Otherwise I'm not seeing a difference.

As someone else said, when Wizard's bought TSR, it was in essence a gaming company buying another gaming company - both with interests in the same area. This has happened a few times without much else changing within the companies. Wizard's, from what I know, was a small company that started out much like TSR - their product was Talislanta - an RPG game system.

They made it big on the back of Magic - The Gathering, and also Pokemon Trading Card games. They also developed Vampire, and a few others. In essence, they developed the trading card game genre in it's current form. They had a great deal of success, and they bought TSR of their own accord. More importantly, they brought TSR's staff and developers with them - in essence they kept everything in-house.

Peter Adikson helped found the company (but he's no longer involved, I think he retired and now has his own company again), was often quoted as saying that the Wizard's folks (himself included) were huge fans of the game and all it's quirks, etc. I get the impression in the mid-late 90's that at that point, it was a case that Wizard's wanted to see if they could improve the game - both mechanically and image-wise, but otherwise they had a light touch in terms of management. They were fans trying to rescue a beloved landmark of gaming.

If you want to say there was something underhanded in all this, it could be that it was Atkinson's decision to sell the company to Hasbro. He said, at the time, that he wanted to retire from running a company - maybe he felt like the card game industry had run out of steam; D&D wasn't going to change enough, etc - that's just speculation by me though.

What I do get the understaning is that Hasbro didn't buy the company for D&D as the primary asset; they were looking at the fact that Pokemon and Magic were selling like hotcakes all over the place to almost everyone. That D&D has turned out to be so successful seems to have been a welcome, if unexpected, by-product.

Furthermore, a common business practice is that often new acquisitions won't immediately undergo any radical changes, especially if the product line is highly successful. Given their involvement so late in the 3.0 development, the impression is that Hasbro may have allowed Wizards to continue their development based on the promise of a new revision, or possibly licensing potential (via OGL and similar products). I don't think there was the sort of enthusiasm for a beloved gaming system when Hasbro took over - so maybe 3.0 suffered from deadlines that led to 3.5's inception.

Now, here we are nearly 10 years later, and the gaming market has changed, especially in the venue of electronic gaming. Hasbro has a better control of Wizards and probably more direct involvement as well. Possibly barring the Forgotten Realms line - I don't think there's a been a single standout product from Wizards in some time. Please keep in mind, when I say stand-out-I'm referring to a consistently, must-have product.

Here's the concern that I think some folks see with the direction of D&D 4.0 and Wizards - they aren't releasing this product with enthusiasm of better gaming or just to improve the system. They are looking for the next big money idea - maybe even to keep Wizard's afloat and viable. This smacks of corporate mandates. A couple of reasons stem from this feeling:

a)Magic, and the other TCG's(Pokemon was revoked by Nintendo in 2003), may be making money, but the trading card market as a whole is no longer what it was in 1999-2000. So, there isn't as much attraction for market potential. They are looking at D&D to foster that profit.

b)Despite updates and revisions, there isn't much more 3.5 can do from a financial standpoint to increase sales - more supplements will only do so much. I'd also speculate that the Eberron system has not sold as well as Forgotten Realms has in the past, and that may have also accelerated the potential for change. So, in essence, the reboot seems an opportunity to sell more product by changing the game system and nullifying all previous materials - moreso by simply attaching a recognized name to the system.

c)Despite the success and appeal to us buyers, the OGL has probably flooded the market and created too much competition for Hasbro to find it acceptable. Honestly - this was always one of the most amazing things Wizard/Hasbro allowed - and I have wondered if they understood the impact of what an open license would do. I think the GSL may be under intense legal specualtion for this reason - to maintain better licensing control over D&D's system and usage. Tighter control means that in some way, all profitability (direct or indirect) will be accountable to Hasbro. (See Apple Computer's business model for an example of this).

Is there anything wrong with wanting to make a profit on a successful product line? Not really. The problem is until we see the actually materials released and experienced we may not be able to tell where corporate mandate is involved, if that is a concern in D&D's new form. Because, so far, the marketing has been a mixed bag in many people's opinions - some interesting, but also poorly handled.

Can Hasbro screw things up? Sure they can. The example I cite is a bit of a hybrid, but look at Atari's creation of Temple of Elemental as a computer game. Despite the designers best intentions, it was something of a mediocre attempt. Several points need to be highlighted:

a) The game looks like it was green-lighted as a licensing option likely due to the huge success of Black Isle/Bio-ware's hugely succesful Baldur's Gate/Icewind Dale/Planscape games. It was given to Troika games and their publisher Atari, a Hasbro company at the start of the process. The impression one gets is that they wanted to see if they could make more profits off a successful, different product line.

b) While the game is mechanically beautiful - in some ways better than what Bio-ware accomplished, the overall game was inconsistent, buggy, and somewhat unfocused. At least two updates were required just to get it working properly. The impression was that the game was rushed through to meet a corporate deadline.

c) Furthermore, studies of the game's code show that pieces were cut/censored by corporate mandate. The game, as originally designed, was very true to the original source material's guidelines and storylines. While it could be understood that some ideas in the game, implied prostitution and slavery I think were involved, may not be appropriate for a computer game, the impression is that no one at Infogrammes (which had bought Atari from Hasbro by this time) had actually reviewed the material or been involved in the creation process. Again, this only seems to reaffirm that what you have is corporate entities that don't really understand the product.

d) It has taken the efforts of several independent programmers to recreate the game code back to its original form. In fact, my understanding is they have also created a preliminary module based on Keep of the Borderlands. I mention this, because as with the idea of OGL, I think it should be noted that sometimes 3rd party companies can improve the overall feel of the game.

My point (and there is one ;-)), is that while Wizard's may not be working at the mercy of Hasbro as much as we think in their policies, there's some corporate precedents one needs to look at. Those guidelines just seem to imply that Hasbro has created a specific agenda for Wizards, for better or worse, on how they are handle the game.

My apologies for the long post as a response, Aaron. It was my intent to frame some of the sentiments discussed here - not critique your viewpoint, btw. I hope I haven't sidetracked the OP's original subject too much.


That was a really great summary. I would add to your point on the OGL that in the 30th anniversary D&D book they talked about how even at the time the OGL was drafted, there were sectors of resistance to it within the company.

Some really bold people were able to overcome that corporate pressure in order to strengthen the game. I'm guessing the bean-counter types never liked it, and 4e is providing the opportunity to put an end to that particular experiment in artistic creativity. Pity.


zoroaster100 wrote:
The latest signs worry me that WOTC is not even planning to ever release to the GSL to third party publishers. I guess Paizo made a good decision in going their own way rather than waiting for such an uncertain thing as this elusive license for 4th edition.

Yeah, Paizo's decision looks better every passing day. It's been almost two weeks since the announcement. Looks like the GSL wasn't coming as "soon" as Wizards continued to indicate.

Although, as I said elsewhere, they should release the GSL tomorrow, April 1, because if anything has become a joke, it's this process.


Trey wrote:

That was a really great summary. I would add to your point on the OGL that in the 30th anniversary D&D book they talked about how even at the time the OGL was drafted, there were sectors of resistance to it within the company.

Some really bold people were able to overcome that corporate pressure in order to strengthen the game. I'm guessing the bean-counter types never liked it, and 4e is providing the opportunity to put an end to that particular experiment in artistic creativity. Pity.

Is anyone who fought for the OGL still there? My guess is that they all left - or were thrown out - and are now doing great D&D stuff elsewhere.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Aarontendo wrote:
Shem wrote:

That is what happens when a completely good company sells to a corporation. All of a sudden their are sales goals and such that are imposed by external forces.

Here is hoping that Paizo never sells to another company...

Isn't TSR selling to WOTC what kept DnD alive though?

Yes, but at the time WotC was an independent company that loved the game and wanted to do something to keep D&D alive after it had been run into the group by someone who bought the company and threw out the people who developed the game in the first place and were trying to squeeze it for money. The success of Paizo is based on a group of people who love D&D and love gaming and are in charge of their own destineys. Same was true in the early days of TSR and the early days of WotC. Not true when someone else not caring much about the game is pulling the strings. Now I am not saying 4e will be no good or anything like that just that the creatives that love the game have lost some control over where the company goes (in my opinion almost always true when a company sells to a larger company).

EDIT after readying everything after Aarontendo's comment: What I see similar between late TSR days and late 3.5 days is that a lot of material was being put out that was focused more on keeping profits up than contributing to the game. I think there was value in all the material and there are some 2e things that I never purchased that I wish I had (some good campaign material there). To be fair I do not think Hasbro was on the scene yet when 3.5 was released and Monty did make a comment about the plan to release 3.0 and then 3.5 (a comment that I am not sure is true but has certainly gone around the internet). If true I think that shows that the core books make more money than anything else they do...

I do not mind a new edition. Some RPGs are on edition 6. I just think that in this arena when decisions are based more on the bottom line than providing quality additions to the game (any game or probably any other creative endeavor) then the product suffers and the fan base is disatified (as they were in late TSR days and a chunk of them are today). I also want to say that people tend to want the latest thing and a new edition is a great way to improve lagging sales and to bring in new customers/players. It would be a hard sell these days to get new players into 1e (if there had never been other editions) because the thinking would most likely be that game is so old that it could not be good.

I notice that everything in our culture gets more sophisiticated over time - computer games, D&D, board games, food, etc. You name it and it has most likely evolved and people want the new thing and want the more (perceived) modern/sophisiticated thing. I think for that reason a game has to update every so often or be kicked to the curb by the new innovators.

Dark Archive

Alex Martin wrote:
Peter Adikson helped found the company (but he's no longer involved, I think he retired and now has his own company again

Peter Adikson owns and runs GenCon.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

KaeYoss wrote:
Is anyone who fought for the OGL still there? My guess is that they all left - or were thrown out - and are now doing great D&D stuff elsewhere.

Both the Paizians and Clark from Necro said time and again that the R&D people and people like Brand Manager Rouse and so on are all believers in the OGL. That is enough for me. I believe them. Its the people that sign their pay checks that I believe are not OGL believers.


May be too early to judge, but the 4E pre-order is still not listed as a Paizo best seller, nor a best seller for Amazon.


WotC's purchase of dead husk of TSR was apples, Hasbro's purchase of WotC was oranges. The difference being TSR was circling the drain where as WotC was a profitable concern during its sale to Hasbro (something it has continued to do).

You can see Ryan Dancy's (father of the OGL) excellent overview of why TSR died [here]

If you think WotC is TSR you really don't understand how they operate. They live and die by market research. While we, a vocal minority rail against them for changing the game you can bet that someone was doing said research and all indicators are that to maintain or grow the market they need to push into electronic support and lower barriers to entry to the game. I will bet that the data they have gathered supports the move in the direction they are going.

I know that I hate the amount of prep time I spend getting a 3.5 adventure off the ground (I steal stuff from published materials but I heavily modify them for my home game). That one promise by WotC of unburdening the DM will make me take a hard look at their new rules.

Further, WotC has a budget to market D&D with ads on TV, Radio, Magazines and the Web. Something that no other 3rd party publisher has the resources to do. Trust me when I say the combination of a solid Brand (D&D) and marketing dollars will have a huge impact on their market share. It will also feed a lot of other companies as a by blow.

Paizo and all of the other pilot fish that live off the WotC shark will benefit from WotC's increased "feeding." Not only will Paizo nibble at the food WotC is less concerned with (us 3.5 players) but they will possibly be able to feed on some of the new fish (4e players, the converted and the new) through Necromancer Games and those that find 4e not to their liking but the RPG market segment is.

To take the metaphor a little farther, if the WotC shark stops swimming and dies, the pilot fish are going to have to fend for themselves and that will not be good for them or anyone else. In the void left behind by WotC dying, Paizo would have to generate tremendous amounts of capital to lead the market.

Paizo would need a success on the scale of magic the gathering and Pokemon and I don't see that happening with an aging OGL product line or anything else they have on their plate at the moment. There would be too many competitors with too few barriers to entry in the market place for them to break out.

And if anyone thinks a terrible edition will kill D&D, 2nd Edition was a mess but it sold very well. If 4e is half of what WotC thinks it is, I wouldn't worry too much about the shark being unable to swim...

So, for everyone living off your WotC hate and hoping for some punishment for that "awful corporation", get ready for major disapointment. Your time and emotional energy would be better spent making the Pathfinder RPG (3p) the best it can be. Further, I would say spend your time becoming the best ambassador of 3p virtues you can be and try to entice the new fish to feed your pilot fish of choice... because showing big nasty teeth is not going to make you any friends...

My Two Coppers,

Bryan Blumklotz
AKA Saracenus

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Aarontendo wrote:
However, I also seem to recall Monte Cook stating that they didn't clean up some of the problems with 3.0 because there was an intention to make 3.5 a couple of years later. I assume this was also from WOTC.

Yes, 3.5 was planned from day 1. However, the problem with 3.5 is all of the people that worked on 3.0 weren't around when it was time to do 3.5. They all quit or were freelance and had gone their own OGL direction.

Monte said that 3.5 was supposed to be a revision of the rules. Updating and patching the rules but not completely overhauling classes or making up new rules.. and 3.5 did a lot of that. Another principle that was abandoned by the 3.5 crew, D&D 3.0 promised you'd never see text that told you to reference another book, everything you'd need for 1 book would be in that book... well there was plenty of that ignored.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
NSTR wrote:
Alex Martin wrote:
Peter Adikson helped found the company (but he's no longer involved, I think he retired and now has his own company again
Peter Adikson owns and runs GenCon.

Which is currently filing for Ch. 11, I understand. Not a good sign.

Also, I understand that he's the CEO of Hidden City Games, which I read is working on some kind of chip/card game. Don't know too much about it.

Liberty's Edge

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

GenCon will be alright, they're filling because they made some mistakes of sponsoring/funding some conventions that were failures and are just doing this to protect themselves.

Dark Archive

I guess my whole point was, if WOTC had known they were going to do 3.5 from day 1, then I wouldn't make it sound as if they were that benevolent...I mean a company of people that loved the game would have probably tried to get the product right the first time.

I mean, it's one thing to look at a game a few years later and say "wow these things are wrong, let's fix em" and release a new edition. It's a whole nother thing to look at your game and say "Wow these things are wrong, let's fix em in a new edition later on!"

I mean my understanding is that it wasn't a case of hindsight being 20/20. They knew some things that they wanted to fix before 3.0 was done. Why not just fix em?

I guess for me, I don't see a *huge* difference between what WOTC did and what Hasbro is doing. Though yeah in all fairness when you have stockholders to appease then you gotta make some decisions that won't keep us gamers happy.

I think it does suck that they're not getting 3rd parties on board with the new system. I think that's gonna come back and bite em in the butt.

Ah and hey! I loved 2nd edition, that's where I really got into DnD. That might just be nostalgia though. Until that point I was still doing TMNT and Palladium's stuff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Interesting information, Saracenus. It was particularly interesting to read Mr. Dancy's insight into TSR. A couple of things to add:

Saracenus wrote:


WotC's purchase of dead husk of TSR was apples, Hasbro's purchase of WotC was oranges. The difference being TSR was circling the drain where as WotC was a profitable concern during its sale to Hasbro (something it has continued to do).
If you think WotC is TSR you really don't understand how they operate. They live and die by market research.

It wasn't my intention to imply that WOTC is TSR, if that was how it came out. My point was that at the time, you had two companies - one venerable, but unsuccessful; one newer, but highly successful - that shared some commonalty on the subject. If you want to call it a bailout/buyout, that's probably more accurate. I'll also admit that Wizard's purchase probably was seen as a chance to boost their market share and increase their presence - RPG's and Card Games being linked by their fantasy themes. But, and even by reading Mr. Dancy's message, you get the impression that these folks at Wizard's were looking at the company with personal interest and enthusiasm for the product.

I also agree that Wizard's was/is a more modern business model, with a study of market trends and analysis as part of their development. Looking at Wizards, you see a company that developed with the idea of being a corporate entity as it grew beyond hobby gaming. TSR was living in its own personal business model; everything I read seems to imply that the company never went being looking at itself as hobby store company - probably due to a lack of business-centered personnel. I would also say that TSR was like many companies in the early-mid 90's that didn't forsee or accept the potential for Internet success as well.

(By the way, I think one of the best parodies of TSR is one by Jolly Blackburn and the comic book - Knights of the Dinner Table. In his version, D&D is basically parodied as Hackmaster, and the company that makes it is governed by the egomanical Gary Jackson. Some their "marketing" decisions sound like something right out TSR's rulebook. I don't want to reference here, but I if you ever read their compilation books, you'll see some storylines focus on their antics.)

What I think is a concern is that whereas in the past, Wizard's marketing research has been done with the idea of both success and interest for D&D and company's well-being. This time around the, whole affair seems to smell of attempts to cash in on success, especially under the duress of its parent company - something that wasn't at issue the last time D&D was revised. The current manner in which Wizards has sometimes acted (be it of their own initiative or under Hasbro's mandate) doesn't assauge these fears.

That the MMORPG market has grown; that there needs to be more influx of new players; and that generally RPG's face a different market is understood to be factors. But, if in the process, the resulting material is subpar for some number of reasons(and please understand that I am not saying the designers are doing a poor job - the itention isn't to question their efforts), then I think that impression of exploitation is reaffirmed - no matter how "on the pulse" marketing you may be.

I'll be the first to say that until people get a chance to see the material in its full glory - and I have no doubt that the initial sales will be amazing - that we can't determine what is good or bad about the system from the material thus far presented. Paizo's decision and framework appeals to people in that its a chance to take something that everyone has expereinced, and try to improve it without the design enigma.

Saracenus wrote:


Further, WotC has a budget to market D&D with ads on TV, Radio, Magazines and the Web. Something that no other 3rd party publisher has the resources to do. Trust me when I say the combination of a solid Brand (D&D) and marketing dollars will have a huge impact on their market share. It will also feed a lot of other companies as a by blow.
Paizo and all of the other pilot fish that live off the WotC shark will benefit from WotC's increased "feeding." Not only will Paizo nibble at the food WotC is less concerned with (us 3.5 players) but they will possibly be able to feed on some of the new fish (4e players, the converted and the new) through Necromancer Games and those that find 4e not to their liking but the RPG market segment is.
So, for everyone living off your WotC hate and hoping for some punishment for that "awful corporation", get ready for major disapointment. Your time and emotional energy would be better spent making the Pathfinder RPG (3p) the best it can be

Again, I agree that D&D feeds the success of other companies. It is a cornerstone of the RPG market, but that fact is what is also a concern to some people and companies - especially in the question of what form the GSL will take. Part of the enormous growth of the RPG market in the past decade can be attributed to the open nature of the market - in part because of the OGL; I'd also say in part due to the Internet. The problem becomes that if everyone else is legally and financially obligated in some manner to a D&D license they can't adjust, then any development is suddenly at the mercy of one company. While I can't say that this will stifle anything, it could lead to some factors that inhibit gaming design or financial growth of the market as a whole.

I hope that my discussion hasn't come off as "WOTC hate" as you put it. Honestly, I believe it is possible for both Paizo and Wizards to be successful in their endeavors - that in this case such variation will engender growth in the RPG market. I wish them the best in making a good game. But, since the question of Hasbro was brought up, I think its fair to say that precedent shows that corporate involvement in such matters is often based on product exploitation and less on product improvement, despite the designers best intentions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Saracenus wrote:

And if anyone thinks a terrible edition will kill D&D, 2nd Edition was a mess but it sold very well. If 4e is half of what WotC thinks it is, I wouldn't worry too much about the shark being unable to swim...

Aarontendo wrote:


Ah and hey! I loved 2nd edition, that's where I really got into DnD. That might just be nostalgia though. Until that point I was still doing TMNT and Palladium's stuff.

I agree with Aarontendo on this one. At the time I started playing 2nd edition, it was looked upon as a nice change from 1st edition. That Forgotten Realms was essential developed with 2nd edition in mind also helped. Overall, most of the players at the time I knew, felt that that 1st edition was overdone, especially in the rules format. Initially, 2nd edition was looked on as a nice, well-revised format in many cases - especially with greater opportunity for role-playing and not just hack & slash. I think it was the number of unmanaged additions or modifications that sunk it in later years.

Now, the SAGA system - that was a total disaster! :-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

By the way, Aarontendo & Saracenus, I hope I haven't made it sound like I'm lecturing at you guys specifically - your comments just seem like good points for broader discussion.

I also hope the OP doesn't feel like we've totally destroyed this thread by now.

Dark Archive

No not at all! Your posts are really insightful I've enjoyed reading them.
I'm stuck in the countryside in Korea so it's nice to get to talk to other gamers heh ;p


Aarontendo wrote:
I mean my understanding is that it wasn't a case of hindsight being 20/20. They knew some things that they wanted to fix before 3.0 was done. Why not just fix em?

This is a distorted understanding of what was happening at the time. When 3rd Edition was being created there was raging debates on how far they could take the game. There was a real worry if too many sacred cows got slaughtered the 2nd edition gamers wouldn't come on board.

I am sorry I don't have the links to Monte's ramblings about the it. They are out there. He basically said that players were a lot more tolerant to change than they initially thought, had they known that they would have done a more radical job on the rules.

You also got to understand there was limited time and limited resources to throw at the game. Also, its neigh impossible to play test a game as complex as D&D. Quite frankly the warts really didn't start to really rear their ugly head until a few years in.

Today, after the Hasbro purchase, there are less people working at WotC in the various D&D departments. There has been some churn and very few who were there for the initial 3e push are around.

So, am I surprised by what WotC is doing now? Nope. Am I hopeful they will produce a good game, yep. Will I make uniformed decisions about WotC's motives, nope. There is a lot of wild-eyed speculation as to WotC motivations. The fact is, unless you are in their meetings you really don't know all the forces at work. I am not there so all I can do is watch for certain behaviors common to all companies and guess.

My Two Coppers,

Bryan Blumklotz
AKA Saracenus


Aarontendo wrote:
However, I also seem to recall Monte Cook stating that they didn't clean up some of the problems with 3.0 because there was an intention to make 3.5 a couple of years later.

You're recalling incorrectly.

Yes, according to Monte Cook's review of 3.5, a "3.5" was planned from day one. However, the plan did not include any deliberate "holding back". The plan was that "3.5" would only include simple errata and new art — compare the original 2e release of the PHB to the revised 2e PHB.


The way i see it if 4E bombs and the WotC fish stops swimming, so what?

Worst case scenario, the 3.5 OGL is still out there, Paizo has Pathfinder, maybe companies like Necromancer,Goodman, etc. will go back to the 3.5 OGL etc. I know I wont stop gaming if 4E dies. I think lots of others will keep playing D&D as well.

Eventually Hasbro might even sell off the license and a more capable company might pick it up.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Saracenus wrote:


Paizo and all of the other pilot fish that live off the WotC shark will benefit from WotC's increased "feeding." Not only will Paizo nibble at the food WotC is less concerned with (us 3.5 players) but they will possibly be able to feed on some of the new fish (4e players, the converted and the new) through Necromancer Games and those that find 4e not to their liking but the RPG market segment is.

To take the metaphor a little farther, if the WotC shark stops swimming and dies, the pilot fish are going to have to...

And if anyone thinks a terrible edition will kill D&D, 2nd Edition was a mess but it sold very well. If 4e is half of what WotC thinks it is, I wouldn't worry too much about the shark being unable to swim...

I agree with a lot of you have to say here. Especially about market conditions and research and what happens if WotC goes out of business - although I think another company would buy D&D.

But I have to say that the 2e situation was different that the current situation a bit. 2e replaced 1e and even though as a whole edition is was a mess - as a replacement for 1e it was an improvement. The question here is going to be is 4e an improvement over 3.5. If they had just fixed what was wrong with 3.5 I would say they were on the right track but 4e - who knows. Another difference I think is that 3.5 had so many hardcover books and so many people own a lot of them. Although I plan to buy the core books I do not know if I will play it (I certainly plan to pay RPGA) and my group when they heard it was being released (mostly) said they were not interested.

Dark Archive

SirUrza wrote:
GenCon will be alright, they're filling because they made some mistakes of sponsoring/funding some conventions that were failures and are just doing this to protect themselves.

That is just spin on their part. You do not file for bankruptcy and just act like it is no big deal. You do it so you can stay in business. They do not have enough money to pay off their debt, so they are having the courts put them on a payment plan of some sort. It makes further expansion and future success of the business difficult. GenCon Indy is doing good enough for itself, but not good enough to pay off the debt of the failed conventions. I believe most of the problems are from the Star Wars convention, but remember GenCon SoCal was cancelled because it lost money every year they had it. Filing for any form of bankruptcy is never a good thing except that sometimes it allows you to stay in business instead of going belly up.

Dark Archive

A yeah I see that I was a bit mistaken. I don't think anything was held back, but then again I am left to wonder about it. It just doesn't sit well with me that they had already laid plans out for 3.5 before 3.0 was out the door. That's mot a slight against the authors of the products, but the business behind it.


Um, I don't think Hasbro actually cares about D&D specifically. I'm a former Hasbro stock owner and I've been to their stockholder meetings and from what I remember, Hasbro takes a pretty hands off approach to each of its subsidary companies.

As long as said subsidary actually makes plan, Hasbro won't look too closely at the subdivision of said subsidary. On the MTG boards, we've estimated that WOTC pulls in at least 5-10 million every month in the US alone (based on FNM/Release events/tournaments).

Even if 4E tanks, it wouldn't bring down WOTC. They be screwed for a cople quarters but would be fine afterwards. WOTC makes most of their dough from the D&D license not from the game itself but the novels as well.

People just tend to forget how miniscule the sales of D&D even at its height when compared to the money making cash cow that is M:TG

Sovereign Court

Well, Hasbro may be more hands off than we thing. They still have a certain amount of profit that WotC has to make to meet their plan, goal, or whatever you want to call it. They may not have been explicitly have been told to make a new edition that is "simplified", and extremely minis-centric (so they can sell more profitable plastic crack), but the pressure is there to do so. WotC knows that core rulebooks sell well, online subscription plans can make a lot of money, and their minis make a lot of money. So advanced DDM 2.0 (4th edition) and the DDI were what they came up with to appease their corporate masters. This probably wouldn't have happened if WotC hadn't been beholden to Hasbro. Sure, they would have eventually come up with a new edition, but it probably would have been later and wouldn't be a glorified minis wargame that completely breaks with many of the tradtions and lore of the game.


Changing 30 years of fluff and lore is a big mistake as far as I'm concerned. What would happen if George Lucas suddenly changed 30 years of Star Wars history, changed the look and the story? do you think people be happy?


Tobus Neth wrote:
Changing 30 years of fluff and lore is a big mistake as far as I'm concerned. What would happen if George Lucas suddenly changed 30 years of Star Wars history, changed the look and the story? do you think people be happy?

Depends on which part of the story we're talking about...;)


The midi-chlorians will be with you, always.


Lilith wrote:


Depends on which part of the story we're talking about...;)

Well I would change the Ewoks to Wookies at the end of Jedi;)


In college, my housemate hated the Ewoks, so I made a version of the movie without any in it for him. It worked pretty well. There was one part where Han took out about a zillion Imperial troops outside the bunker all on his own.

Turning Boba Fett into a burp joke should have been left out, too.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Alex Martin wrote:
NSTR wrote:
Peter Adikson owns and runs GenCon.

Which is currently filing for Ch. 11, I understand. Not a good sign.

Also, I understand that he's the CEO of Hidden City Games, which I read is working on some kind of chip/card game. Don't know too much about it.

Hidden City's chip game, Clout, came out a couple years ago; it wasn't a hit. Their current main focus, Bella Sara, is doing *very* well with its target audience of young girls. (And it's "Adkison.")

Also, it was mentioned above that Wizards developed Vampire—that's incorrect. Vampire has always been a White Wolf RPG, though Wizards created the TCG (originally named Jyhad, but now known as Vampire: The Eternal Struggle—and White Wolf took over publication of V:TES from Wizards several years ago).

What may have been confusing you is that one of Wizards' early key employees, Lisa Stevens, was with White Wolf when they created Vampire: The Masquerade. (She's probably best known now as the CEO of Paizo.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:


Hidden City's chip game, Clout, came out a couple years ago; it wasn't a hit. Their current main focus, Bella Sara, is doing *very* well with its target audience of young girls. (And it's "Adkison.")

Also, it was mentioned above that Wizards developed Vampire—that's incorrect. Vampire has always been a White Wolf RPG, though Wizards created the TCG (originally named Jyhad, but now known as Vampire: The Eternal Struggle—and White Wolf took over publication of V:TES from Wizards several years ago).

What may have been confusing you is that one of Wizards' early key employees, Lisa Stevens, was with White Wolf when they created Vampire: The Masquerade. (She's probably best known now as the CEO of Paizo.)

Thanks for the insight - some interesting things there I didn't know. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he's behind the creation of Bella Serra - finding the right markets to match with products seems to be a talent of his. I didn't know about Lisa Stevens being involved at White Wolf.

Actually, in my previous post, it was my intent to reference Jhyhad in discussing TCG's. Since I had mentioned Magic and Pokemon in the paragraph, when I included Vampire - I assumed that most folks would know I was talking about the card game - not the RPG. I remember playing it, along with Magic, Netrunner, and Star Wars, at the start of the TCG phenomena. So that was my intent - my apologies if I created some confusion by making that assumption.

The reason probably comes about because my gaming group in the mid 90's almost never referred to it as Jyhad - we just called it the Vampire card game. We were playing the Vampire RPG at the time, and its companions in the old Storyteller system - Mage, Werewolf, and Wraith. We sort of mentally lumped them together as all part of White Wolf's line - depsite it being made by Wizards.

Anyhow, thanks for noting that and sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

Liberty's Edge

I think certain aspects of the reaction depend on what WotC is doing.

I do not think Hasbro (that is a deliberate choice) is making a tabletop roleplaying game.
I think Hasbro is trying to make a new kind of game. One that is played on the computer, but is not an MMORPG. It has an active DM, creating and varying the content, but it depends on full program support to manage a great deal of the play. Particularly: managing the rules and expansions; managing character per-encounter and per-day abilities; managing ongoing damage and saves; tracking bonuses from various character abilities; and other elements.
This new kind of game can be played on a tabletop, but it will play better with that program assistance. Players would be expected to have a laptop available so they could use all of the program support.
I do not think this new kind of game is bad by default, any more than tabletop roleplaying games were bad for boardgames, trading card games were bad for roleplaying games, and so forth. It is simply a new step in games. I may not be that interested in it, but that does not mean it is a bad thing.
In this context, Hasbro would likely be thoroughly bemused that Paizo is "wasting" its effort on a "dying" hobby. They might consider it a sign that the GSL is not needed at all, as anyone who wants to support such a dying hobby is welcome to do so, and they do not need to worry about it.
And then of course WotC gets a new CEO sent from the head office.

I would expect a different view from within WotC itself. As noted, most WotC people, including the Brand Manager, are supporters of the OGL concept. I wonder if they feel this is a sign that the GSL needs to be more like the OGL, not less like it, so companies will remain tied to supporting WotC. Otherwise, they are essentially looking at all the OGL willing to put out a "3.75" having a system with a solid base (which 3.5 has, despite its flaws), and the dominant player having simply up and left.

I think the situation is a bit more complex than just how WotC feels.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tobus Neth wrote:
Changing 30 years of fluff and lore is a big mistake as far as I'm concerned. What would happen if George Lucas suddenly changed 30 years of Star Wars history, changed the look and the story? do you think people be happy?

Wait... He didn't do that Already with Epsiodes 1-3?

What the hell?...Midicloreans!!!!!!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tobus Neth wrote:
Lilith wrote:


Depends on which part of the story we're talking about...;)
Well I would change the Ewoks to Wookies at the end of Jedi;)

They orginally where supposed to be... he changed his mind

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Way Of topic here....

Vic Wertz wrote:

What may have been confusing you is that one of Wizards' early key employees, Lisa Stevens, was with White Wolf when they created Vampire: The Masquerade. (She's probably best known now as the CEO of Paizo.)

I always though I regonized her Name......Vampire is and always shall be My number 1 RPG game... now if only I could find players...DOH!... Used to be really pobular here in Germany from what I understand.. but I can't even find Local German Fans...

Edit: Wow... look at that horrible spelling


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

Way Of topic here....

Vic Wertz wrote:

What may have been confusing you is that one of Wizards' early key employees, Lisa Stevens, was with White Wolf when they created Vampire: The Masquerade. (She's probably best known now as the CEO of Paizo.)

I always though I regonized her Name......Vampire is and always shall be My number 1 RPG game... now if only I could find players...DOH!... Used to be really pobular here in Germany from what I understand.. but I can't even find Local German Fans...

Edit: Wow... look at that horrible spelling

Count me in as a german fan of the old WoD, even if I only play Hunter at the moment.

Stefan

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Stebehil wrote:

]

Count me in as a german fan of the old WoD, even if I only play Hunter at the moment.

Stefan

Now if only you lived near me... Which I know you don't :-)


I don't know any german WoD players either. Only many DSA and D&D players.

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