Abandoning the fans?


4th Edition

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Panda-s1 wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:

I can't take either side because I may end up playing both systems.

I'm thinking of dusting off the old "Into the Darkness" and converting it to the new system just to see if it is D&D.

What worries me is that WOTC is restricting what you can and can't do like the DCI in Magic the Gathering. That's why more people play Yugio or Pokemon. No banned cards at conventions.
They had better come out with further books giving back options.

By the way, I think the new game license is the Hasbro standard for games like Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders. It does not work for FRPGs and should be revised.

Dude, they already have something like the DCI, it's called the RPGA, and they do dictate how you play. And what did they take away exactly?

BTW they started banning cards from Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon tournaments a while ago.

I'm sorry about the sunny optimism of my post.

It was totally out of character.
Most convention game companies kick their customers in the teeth and the customers seem to like it.

When I referred to giving back options I was referring to Half Orcs, Druids, Barbarians, ect...


Arelas wrote:


However, the books aren't collapsing. I also havent heard they are pulling tsr/wizard pdfs. :)

Even if Hasbro closed WotC and sent out a million lawyers to erase DnD from history it would not do anything to make pdfs unavailable. The only thing that could kill them would be if noone anywhere was interested in them. The are like old gods, as long as someone somewhere still believes in them enough to keep a copy on a HD and the technology exists to trade bits efficiently they will exist and be much easier to get ahold of than the original paper documents ever were.

Which is why I say barring the apocalypse nothing from DnD history has been destroyed. Acting like 4e has some power to damage previous editions of the game seems like emo histrionics to me. Nothing in 3e made it impossible to run through Expedition to the Barrier Peaks and nothing in 4e does either.

But this edition kvetching has officially gone from mildly annoying spam to very boring tedium, can we agree on a flag like [EDITION B+$%%ING] that can be placed in a thread title so folks can skip?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Snorter wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
In most cases, the publishers can apparently just remove the d20 branding and repost them as OGL products, but I suspect some publishers won't bother with some products.

I've heard this statement from several publishers, and it puzzles me.

How difficult is it to change a d20 pdf to OGL?

The d20 logo is usually on the front and back covers, contents page, and there's a copy of the licence.
The main problem I could forsee is if the product references some iconic non-SRD creature, which would need replacing.

Is it more difficult than it seems?

I understand and accept that print products have a natural lifespan, but it appears odd to me that a company could have a product that sold well up to now, but discontinue it's electronic version, for the sake of a few hours work.

In theory, it *can be* as simple as you say. But if, for example, Paizo had to make adjustments to a PDF from the early days of 3.5, we'd have to locate the original materials, figure out how to make PDFs with bookmarks from QuarkXPress (and we've removed QuarkXPress from all of our computers, so we'd have to find the old Quark installers and serial numbers, and hope the old versions aren't incompatible with newer OS and hardware revisions), have somebody work out what needs to be done (probably an editor), have somebody else actually do it (probably whichever designer we can get who won't drive a spike through his head after being required to work with Quark again), have the editor make sure it was done properly, have someone else update the files on the servers (and if we sold them through third parties, ensure that all of those parties are updated)... so, yes, it sounds easy, and maybe for some folks it is easy... but for some folks, they'll have to wonder if the $4 they make from that PDF every month is worth the effort. (Keep in mind that most of the sales of a product—even a successful electronic product—come in the first month after release.)

(Thankfully, we went directly to OGL products after the D&D license went away, so we don't actually have this problem.)


Vic Wertz wrote:
...probably whichever designer we can get who won't drive a spike through his head after being required to work with Quark again...

This sounds remarkably like my experiences with Quark. >.>

Oh, and updating older versions of Quark that used to work in pre-OS X into a version that does is a right PitA. And crashes even worse than it did before. ;_;

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I looked at it. Flipped through it. Read reviews about it. Didn't buy it.

It doesn't appeal to me.

The rules don't support the way I like to play the game. Whether it's changing movement from inches to squares to make combat more like a miniatures game (see: HeroClix), the granting of "super" powers to PCs, or the pigeon-holing of classes into roles, it just does not feel like my cup of tea.

No need to try to convince me I'm wrong.

No need to point out my ignorance of how the rules are different during game play.

It won't matter. 4E is, to me, a perverted, second-class version of the game I've loved for over 30 years, and I will not be supporting it.

Of course, I also have a psychological issue in that I can't even look at a 4E product without seeing CWM's avatar floating in my head...

(no offense, CWM)


Larry Lichman wrote:
It won't matter. 4E is, to me, a perverted, second-class version of the game I've loved for over 30 years, and I will not be supporting it.

But tell us, how do you REALLY feel? ;)


Larry Lichman wrote:


Of course, I also have a psychological issue in that I can't even look at a 4E product without seeing CWM's avatar floating in my head...

(no offense, CWM)

Don't worry we are trying to get it into your dreams as well. (/humor)

I wish you the best luck gaming in any edition you decide to play.

The Exchange

Larry Lichman wrote:

Of course, I also have a psychological issue in that I can't even look at a 4E product without seeing CWM's avatar floating in my head...

(no offense, CWM)

Yay! Mission accomplished! heh heh heh heh :)

Seriously though - 4e is not for everyone and no one should even begin to try and change your opinion. Play the games you love and love the games you play.

Liberty's Edge

David Marks wrote:
But tell us, how do you REALLY feel? ;)

Threadjack, apologies.

DM, I've seen you use this line around 9 times so far. I'm going to have to find something that is so emotionally charged that you will not be able to use this quip.

/threadjack


Larry Lichman wrote:
4E is, to me, a perverted, second-class version of the game I've loved for over 30 years, and I will not be supporting it.
I spend a lot of time feeling this way. I'm trying as hard as I can to buy into the game, but there are two big difficulties:
    1) I've played D&D a certain way for over 25 years -- I've come to like it that way, and I don't see any great benefit in leaving 3.5 (at a cost of many hundreds of dollars).
    2) Gygax's D&D used (IMO) traditional fantasy as the jumping-off point. His was a world of giants, unicorns, orcs, goblins, and pegasi. 4e is a more modern game for a more modern audience, more influenced by recent fiction and computer game content. I'm just getting left behind :/
For what it's worth.


Another way to put it, and part of the reason I may not make a switch: EGG's D&D was inspired by Conan, Lord of the Rings, Jack Vance, Greek mythology, and other stuff -- sources I grew up with. Even up through 3.5, such influences were strong.

But in 4e, I don't see that. I see wierdly-exotic beasts (though some of the old ones are there), computer-game-style play, and characters with powers that sometimes look like they came out of a superhero game.

Earlier versions could let me play Samwise Gamgee -- an average Joe that slowly worked his way into being a hero. That's really not an option now -- first-level characters are impressively heroic and powerful all by themselves.

It's not necessarily bad, it's just not what I've grown to love.

The Exchange

Tatterdemalion wrote:

Another way to put it, and part of the reason I may not make a switch: EGG's D&D was inspired by Conan, Lord of the Rings, Jack Vance, and Greek mythology -- sources like that, which I grew up with. Even up through 3.5, such influences were strong.

But in 4e, I don't see that. I see wierdly-exotic beasts (though some of the old ones are there), computer-game-style play, and characters with powers that sometimes look like they came out of a superhero game.

Earlier versions would let me play Samwise Gamgee -- an average Joe that slowly worked his way into being a hero. That's really not an option now -- first-level characters are impressively heroic and powerful all by themselves.

It's not necessarily bad, it's just not what I've grown to love.

And all of that is completely cool. I agree that D&D no longer reflects those tropes very well and would need some house ruling to fit the mold. I think that D&D is keeping current with the way fantasy has changed in popular culture. The feel of the game is skewed towards the heroic and is very action oriented.

For me that is a very good thing. I play other systems for the gritty low magic feel of Conan or Lord of the Rings - namely RuneQuest and Warhammer. I like that D&D is drawing from new sources like anime and manga as well as the fantasy worlds created for video games like WoW and Final Fantasy.


Tatterdemalion wrote:


Earlier versions could let me play Samwise Gamgee -- an average Joe that slowly worked his way into being a hero. That's really not an option now -- first-level characters are impressively heroic and powerful all by themselves.

The fluff in the game would seem to imply this and the DMG et al. makes a claim that characters are a cut above. But since we really don't have any commoners we actually don't have any baseline. We know how powerful characters are but not how powerful commoners are.

Personally I plan to make 1st level characters moderately common in my homebrew. That Guard looking bored while on duty by the town gate - he's a 1st level fighter. He's actually pretty dangerous and totally on par with any other 1st level character.

I actually find this answer, while not the official one from the 4E DMG, a pretty good one since 1st level characters are really pretty kick ass. 10 of the Kings men is a force to be be feared until your nearly paragon level and most of the most common monsters (like Orcs and such) would be, at best, equivalent to the hired mercenary guarding the trade caravan.

In fact I find it difficult to really rationalize the official fluff answer - if the towns militia are not 1st level fighters then who's been beating back the Kobolds? Monsters are obvously pretty tough - there must be a fair number of pretty tough humans, elves, dwarves etc. to keep their homes safe. There is a reason why young Dragons don't usually burn towns - because 10 of the Kings men will come and kill that Dragon if it does.

I actually think that the mechanics go a long way to explain why monsters, while dangerous, have not wiped humanity off the map. The more powerful starting characters in 4E and the relativity low progression rate after 1st means that the towns guards, in numbers, can handle almost anything the dangerous world might throw at them. Thats why Trolls don't come into town to get meat snacks. The Troll would kill a lot of the Towns Guards but it'd eventually loose if their 20 of them or something even though its a 9th level monster.

This is actually a better explanation, IMO, then what we see in 3.5 were the power differential between 1st and 5th is really dramatic - to the point that its unclear how many 1st level warriors one would need to stop a CR 7 creature like say a Manticore. Take a lot though.

Thought of like this I think we are right back to what we could historically view as the training that most D&D characters start with. I mean somebody taught that 1st level wizard magic right? He might have been a farmboy to begin but there almost needs to be some kind of am intermediary step between farm boy and guy with trained in the basics as a fighter or a 1st level mage. That step has historically been pretty much glossed over in every edition but its clear that their almost needs to be such a step. 3.5 Fighters are obvously better then 1st level Warriors and clerics are better then Adepts for example.

Now I suppose we could go straight to the farm boy scene but we'd probably have to house rule zero level to do so.

Even thats probably not that hard - How about:

Everyone starts with basic attack and one crappy weapon. Better equipment you'll just have to find. You can keep your hps, it was hard work on the farm, your tough. You also start with your racial benefits.

Roughly speaking every time you earn a 100 XP you get something new. Starting with an At Will Power, then your feat, then an encounter power, back to another At Will etc.

Make a little list of what is earned when. Classes that get bonus stuff beyond the basics get those worked into the list on top of the basic stuff. So some classes would get, say an At will Power and some other class ability when they reach that 100 XP milestone.

When you earn that first 700 XP (or whatever XP is decided on) your officially 1st level. By this point you should have earned about 100 GP worth of gear.


Forgottenprince wrote:


Threadjack, apologies.

DM, I've seen you use this line around 9 times so far. I'm going to have to find something that is so emotionally charged that you will not be able to use this quip.

/threadjack

Hehe, truly? I do try not to become repetitive ...

It seemed appropriate though. I wasn't quite sure if he liked it or not. :P


Tatterdemalion wrote:
Larry Lichman wrote:
4E is, to me, a perverted, second-class version of the game I've loved for over 30 years, and I will not be supporting it.
I spend a lot of time feeling this way. I'm trying as hard as I can to buy into the game, but there are two big difficulties:
    1) I've played D&D a certain way for over 25 years -- I've come to like it that way, and I don't see any great benefit in leaving 3.5 (at a cost of many hundreds of dollars).
    2) Gygax's D&D used (IMO) traditional fantasy as the jumping-off point. His was a world of giants, unicorns, orcs, goblins, and pegasi. 4e is a more modern game for a more modern audience, more influenced by recent fiction and computer game content. I'm just getting left behind :/
For what it's worth.

It might not be classical greek mythology, but D&D even in this iteration uses a well spring of mythology. The Eldarin, gnomes, and the feywild all started off from their roots in Celtic/Gaelic/British/Irish/You get the idea mythology. Many of the creatures have a Brothers Grimm feel to it as well.


Their new Spinx is a combination of the male and female Spinx.
It has a riddle power and a roar.
It has a lionlike head.
Maybe that's from the greek myth.
I can see why nothing happened between the Spinx and Edipus.


Azigen wrote:

Many of the creatures have a Brothers Grimm feel to it as well.

Would that be the Ledger/Damon Brothers Grimm? lol


Goth Guru wrote:

Their new Spinx is a combination of the male and female Spinx.

It has a riddle power and a roar.
It has a lionlike head.
Maybe that's from the greek myth.
I can see why nothing happened between the Spinx and Edipus.

Its a Sphinx ... I'm not sure what a Spinx is but it sounds kind of dirty.


Goth Guru wrote:

Their new Spinx is a combination of the male and female Spinx.

It has a riddle power and a roar.
It has a lionlike head.
Maybe that's from the greek myth.
I can see why nothing happened between the Spinx and Edipus.

Sphinxes are Egyptian. The oldest example of them can be found (with all sorts of heads) in Egyptian Mythos.


Azigen wrote:

Sphinxes are Egyptian. The oldest example of them can be found (with all sorts of heads) in Egyptian Mythos.

Except for the older one on Mars. Heh.


Azigen wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:

Their new Spinx is a combination of the male and female Spinx.

It has a riddle power and a roar.
It has a lionlike head.
Maybe that's from the greek myth.
I can see why nothing happened between the Spinx and Edipus.
Sphinxes are Egyptian. The oldest example of them can be found (with all sorts of heads) in Egyptian Mythos.

Exactly.

Like halflings, I don't know where 4E is coming from with their version.
The great Spinx in Egypt had the head of a human, the body of a lion, and the since broken off wings of an eagle.
The Greek Spinx had the head of a woman, the body of a lion, and probably the wings of an eagle. She was a curse from the gods against Thebes. She would ask anyone outside the city a riddle and then eat them when they could not answer. Edipus answered the riddle and supposedly slew her.

Sovereign Court

Crosswired Mind wrote:
...D&D no longer reflects those tropes very well

...Not so fast CWM.

PRPG is dungeons and dragons and does reflect those tropes. I also charge that those who have gone 4e can still weave those elements into the game without requiring "houseruling." IMHO you use the name dungeons and dragons and houseruling incorrectly, sir.

Houseruling is setting norms and agreements that deviate from the established rule set, or implied setting. Those "tropes" as you call them are part and parcel of what is D&D.

If you're playing a game without them, then it is not D&D. As millions of gamers will agree, this is just one aspect that makes 4e the genetically engineered bastard child of the game the rest of this community still plays, i.e. Pathfinder or 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0, OD&D. All of these games have been and will continue to be dungeons and dragons.

WOTC may own the copyright and brand this new game accordingly, but does not own what this community describes as dungeons and dragons any more than the NFL owns what players call the game of football. D&D was the first creation of its kind, the grandfather of the genre itself, and let's not ever say that "dungeons and dragons no longer reflects those tropes..."

BUSTED!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pax Veritas wrote:
Crosswired Mind wrote:
...D&D no longer reflects those tropes very well

...Not so fast CWM.

PRPG is dungeons and dragons and does reflect those tropes. I also charge that those who have gone 4e can still weave those elements into the game without requiring "houseruling." IMHO you use the name dungeons and dragons and houseruling incorrectly, sir.

Houseruling is setting norms and agreements that deviate from the established rule set, or implied setting. Those "tropes" as you call them are part and parcel of what is D&D.

If you're playing a game without them, then it is not D&D. As millions of gamers will agree, this is just one aspect that makes 4e the genetically engineered bastard child of the game the rest of this community still plays, i.e. Pathfinder or 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0, OD&D. All of these games have been and will continue to be dungeons and dragons.

WOTC may own the copyright and brand this new game accordingly, but does not own what this community describes as dungeons and dragons any more than the NFL owns what players call the game of football. D&D was the first creation of its kind, the grandfather of the genre itself, and let's not ever say that "dungeons and dragons no longer reflects those tropes..."

BUSTED!

Pax, please, give it a rest. You don't want to become the new Razz, do you?

4E is not what I consider D&D either, but it undeniably is D&D to a good many people. I'm sure there are more than a few people who think 3E is too much of a departure, and as for 2nd Ed, well... Keep playing 3P, I certainly will, but constantly shouting about how 4E is not D&D is not productive. Spend the time doing something you enjoy, like, say, for the sake of argument, playing Pathfinder.


Pax Veritas wrote:
Crosswired Mind wrote:
...D&D no longer reflects those tropes very well

...Not so fast CWM.

PRPG is dungeons and dragons and does reflect those tropes. I also charge that those who have gone 4e can still weave those elements into the game without requiring "houseruling." IMHO you use the name dungeons and dragons and houseruling incorrectly, sir.

Houseruling is setting norms and agreements that deviate from the established rule set, or implied setting. Those "tropes" as you call them are part and parcel of what is D&D.

If you're playing a game without them, then it is not D&D. As millions of gamers will agree, this is just one aspect that makes 4e the genetically engineered bastard child of the game the rest of this community still plays, i.e. Pathfinder or 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0, OD&D. All of these games have been and will continue to be dungeons and dragons.

WOTC may own the copyright and brand this new game accordingly, but does not own what this community describes as dungeons and dragons any more than the NFL owns what players call the game of football. D&D was the first creation of its kind, the grandfather of the genre itself, and let's not ever say that "dungeons and dragons no longer reflects those tropes..."

BUSTED!

Oh boy, yet another 20 post argument over friggen semantics where nothing substantial will be said. I can't wait.

Dark Archive

Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
Oh boy, yet another 20 post argument over friggen semantics where nothing substantial will be said. I can't wait.

The thread is serving it's intended purpose, of being straw man bait intended to 'prove' that anyone who doesn't prefer 4E is irrational.

Also, people who prefer strawberry to chocolate? Fascists. There can be no reasonable discourse with such hooligans.


Tatterdemalion wrote:

Another way to put it, and part of the reason I may not make a switch: EGG's D&D was inspired by Conan, Lord of the Rings, Jack Vance, Greek mythology, and other stuff -- sources I grew up with. Even up through 3.5, such influences were strong.

I know of four campaigns (4E) right now which are heavily inspired by Howard. And, frankly, D&D has always been terrible at doing LotR, D&D was inspired by LotR in the sense that it was fantasy, not in the tone or themes of LotR.

4E can do a sword & Sorcery style game much, much better than 3E. Likewise if you want to do a Mythology themes game then Achilles and Agamemnon work much better in core 4e than core 3.x

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Set wrote:

Also, people who prefer strawberry to chocolate? Fascists. There can be no reasonable discourse with such hooligans.

Absolutely. We must defend the supremacy of chocolate from these strawberry-loving scum


Paul Watson wrote:
Set wrote:

Also, people who prefer strawberry to chocolate? Fascists. There can be no reasonable discourse with such hooligans.

Absolutely. We must defend the supremacy of chocolate from these strawberry-loving scum

Just you wait! When my pink jackbooted thugs burst down your doors, we'll see where your precious chocolate takes you then!

All hail the Strawberry! ;)


Pax Veritas wrote:


PRPG is dungeons and dragons and does reflect those tropes. I also charge that those who have gone 4e can still weave those elements into the game without requiring "houseruling." IMHO you use the name dungeons and dragons and houseruling incorrectly, sir.

You do know you're setting yourself up for a fall here, right?

Pax Veritas wrote:


Houseruling is setting norms and agreements that deviate from the established rule set, or implied setting. Those "tropes" as you call them are part and parcel of what is D&D.

So, let's establish some baselines here. 3.0 was still D&D, right? And 3.5 was still D&D?

Thus, in essence Pathfinder is no longer D&D - it's just Paizo's reimagining of the system and is thus as much D&D as, for example, True20 Fantasy. That's not to denigrate it in any way, I'm just following your logical path here.

Pax Veritas wrote:


If you're playing a game without them, then it is not D&D. As millions of gamers will agree, this is just one aspect that makes 4e the genetically engineered bastard child of the game the rest of this community still plays, i.e. Pathfinder or 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0, 1.0, OD&D. All of these games have been and will continue to be dungeons and dragons.

But Pathfinder isn't D&D, because it's houseruled.

Pax Veritas wrote:


WOTC may own the copyright and brand this new game accordingly, but does not own what this community describes as dungeons and dragons any more than the NFL owns what players call the game of football. D&D was the first creation of its kind, the grandfather of the genre itself, and let's not ever say that "dungeons and dragons no longer reflects those tropes..."

The 'community' playing Pathfinder will be substantially smaller than the 'community' playing 4E.

You do know that this sort of thing got said back when 3E came out, right? And minorities of people went on forums to rant and complain about how the game was changed and how terrible the new one is. And some came across, and some carried on playing 1E/2E/OD&D or whatever.

It didn't stop 3e being a success, and it's not going to stop 4e being the success that it already is.

Scarab Sages

crosswiredmind wrote:
I agree that D&D no longer reflects those tropes very well and would need some house ruling to fit the mold. I think that D&D is keeping current with the way fantasy has changed in popular culture. The feel of the game is skewed towards the heroic and is very action oriented.

It's ironic when it's none other than Lord of the Rings, through Pete Jackson's movies, that made the genre suddenly cool a few years ago. Ergo, I just cannot agree that this is the way fantasy "changed in popular culture". That's bogus.

People still love the average joe who becomes a hero. And that main stream fantasy is under-represented by its main actors in literature and gaming right now because they succumb to the easy Camp-inspired crap fest of stuff like WOW and such.

Sorry. I'm going off mark here.

My point is that the "action packed fantasy" you're talking about is not more liked than the "average joe becoming hero" one. It's an illusion of optic coming from those looking too closely at the shelves of Barnes and Nobles and drawing erroneous conclusions from there.


crosswiredmind wrote:
I have heard from a more than a few people here that Wizards has abandoned their fans with 4e.

In a sense, they have. But, are they wrong do to so? Remember, the relationship fans have with Wotc is a very simple one. WotC releases product that they hope fans buy, fans buy the product that they hope to like. If either fails, the relationship is off.

I think far too many people have expectations of WotC's business practices that are well beyond what is reasonable, really. WoTC was no longer making money on 3.5, this is easily proven. So, it follows that WotC had to do something different.

Now, did they chose a good route by alienating 1/3 of their previous fanbase? Maybe.. but it's hard to say if that 1/3 was still buying products AT ALL anymore. Certainly, after over 20 years, I'm hitting a limit on what products I would want for RPGs, much less need.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

vance wrote:

WotC was no longer making money on 3.5, this is easily proven.

Please provide this proof, then? :)


Russ Taylor wrote:
Please provide this proof, then? :)

I WOULD if Gleemax hadn't wiped their entire database today. Hopefully I can find it again when it's back up.

Scarab Sages

Russ Taylor wrote:
vance wrote:

WotC was no longer making money on 3.5, this is easily proven.

Please provide this proof, then? :)

I don't think this point can be proven at all. One can assume, however, that slowly degrading sales of 3.5 core books were the ultimate impetus to create a Fourth Edition, since the core books are pretty much the products that financially carry the whole brand over the years, when you come down to the numbers/sales figures. People like Charles Ryan, Monte Cook et al. all have talked about this ad nauseam over the years.


vance wrote:
Russ Taylor wrote:
Please provide this proof, then? :)

I WOULD if Gleemax hadn't wiped their entire database today. Hopefully I can find it again when it's back up.

Is that what happened? It's been down all day (or at least, I haven't been able to get in).

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Laeknir wrote:
vance wrote:
Russ Taylor wrote:
Please provide this proof, then? :)

I WOULD if Gleemax hadn't wiped their entire database today. Hopefully I can find it again when it's back up.

Is that what happened? It's been down all day (or at least, I haven't been able to get in).

I can't wait to be paying $15 a month for WotC internet services!


Russ Taylor wrote:
I can't wait to be paying $15 a month for WotC internet services!

Lol! Stop that! ;)


The Red Death wrote:
I don't think this point can be proven at all. One can assume, however, that slowly degrading sales of 3.5 core books were the ultimate impetus to create a Fourth Edition,

Sales were degrading about 10 to 20 percent per quarter since 3.5's release (and THAT was after a long period of 3.0 deline). Really, when you think about it, you're talking more about market saturation than anything else. Most Players and DMs likely already had (and have) about all the rule-books they're EVER going to need at this point. With 3.5 largely rehashing 3.0 material... is it really a surprise?

4E brings a whole new rules set in, but, really, it's a 'scam' (to use the word lightly) to release all the very same product they've already put out twice in the past decade - but now with new rules so everyone buys it again. Unless something changes radically with the 'fluff', they're going to hit market saturation even faster this time.

Scarab Sages

vance wrote:
4E brings a whole new rules set in, but, really, it's a 'scam' (to use the word lightly) to release all the very same product they've already put out twice in the past decade - but now with new rules so everyone buys it again.

Oh, absolutely, and that's the case of every single edition since AD&D2 at the very, very least! Anyone not aware of this really should open their eyes once and for all. That's a simple business fact.


The Red Death wrote:
Oh, absolutely, and that's the case of every single edition since AD&D2 at the very, very least! Anyone not aware of this really should open their eyes once and for all. That's a simple business fact.

You know, I just hashed this over with the wife, and I we can't think of - rules wise - any time before 3.5 that you blatantly were expected to buy largely the same product. For the rules, you didn't see much of the redeux that 3.5 did.

Now, yes, a lot of the 'fluff' material, particularly Forgotten Realms, was notorious about this. But, then, look where that got TSR in the long run...

Scarab Sages

With AD&D 2 you had the Paladin Handbook, Handbook this, Handbook that. With kits (*cough* PrCs *cough*) and all. Now compare this to the Complete Divine and such. You've got the Skills & Powers Options of 2nd? I raise you with Unearthed Arcana (what about 1st ed's Unearthed Arcana?), PHB/DMG II of 3.5. Grey Box FR? FR Campaign Setting. World of Greyhawk? Greyhawk Gazetteer. And the list could go on, and on, and on.

This has been going on for a long, long time, my friend. And this is a scam. WotC just managed to make it more obvious than She-who-shall-not-be-named. Unbelievable, isn't it?


The Red Death wrote:

It's ironic when it's none other than Lord of the Rings, through Pete Jackson's movies, that made the genre suddenly cool a few years ago. Ergo, I just cannot agree that this is the way fantasy "changed in popular culture". That's bogus.

People still love the average joe who becomes a hero. And that main stream fantasy is under-represented by its main actors in literature and gaming right now because they succumb to the easy Camp-inspired crap fest of stuff like WOW and such.

Sorry. I'm going off mark here.

My point is that the "action packed fantasy" you're talking about is not more liked than the "average joe becoming hero" one. It's an illusion of optic coming from those looking too closely at the shelves of Barnes and Nobles and drawing erroneous conclusions from there.

Interesting statement. But my impression is that Harry Potter, books and films, made the genre "cool" to multiple age groups, whereas LOTR (the film) reinvigorated the genre in older generations that had read the books and moved on. LOTR (the film) also introduced the story to a younger Harry Potter-generation that has never, and may never, read the LOTR books. From purely anecdotal evidence, the younger crowd seems to be more reluctant to read through LOTR, and their sense of fantasy is driven more by Harry and the numerous young adult fantasy series that have attached themselves to his coattails. I believe it does represent a shift in what the "core" of fantasy is, and part of that shift does seem to be represented in 4e.


The Red Death wrote:
With AD&D 2 you had the Paladin Handbook, Handbook this, Handbook that. With kits (*cough* PrCs *cough*) and all.

True, but you didn't have to buy two different Paladin's Hanbooks largely reprinting the same material because, suddenly, PHB 2.1 had come out and changed the grappling rules. Also, none of the 'extra' books were considered essential to the game itself, or, more to the point, effectively 'mass upgrading it'.

And the one case that MIGHT have counted? Heck, S&P was ignored by everything else afterwards.

3.5, however, explicitly had you replace books like 'Song and Silcence' with 'Complete Bard', and so on. Not only were you supposed to replace the PHB, which may have been forgivable, but ALL of the rules books were redone for 3.5.

Earlier, it was meant to 'buy more stuff for your game to make it 'complete'.. 3.5 made it 'buy your entire game all over again and ditch your old books.' Big difference.


vance wrote:
The Red Death wrote:
I don't think this point can be proven at all. One can assume, however, that slowly degrading sales of 3.5 core books were the ultimate impetus to create a Fourth Edition,

Sales were degrading about 10 to 20 percent per quarter since 3.5's release (and THAT was after a long period of 3.0 deline). Really, when you think about it, you're talking more about market saturation than anything else. Most Players and DMs likely already had (and have) about all the rule-books they're EVER going to need at this point. With 3.5 largely rehashing 3.0 material... is it really a surprise?

4E brings a whole new rules set in, but, really, it's a 'scam' (to use the word lightly) to release all the very same product they've already put out twice in the past decade - but now with new rules so everyone buys it again. Unless something changes radically with the 'fluff', they're going to hit market saturation even faster this time.

I don't know what per cent of their income it represents, but I just looked in the Paizo store, and almost three quarters (by numbers) of Paizo's own products on sale there were reprented by the Dungeon & Dragon Magazines, and the Pathfinder & Gamemastery lines.

Okay, maybe there was a certain portion of Dragon magazine was devoted to previewing or releasing new rules.
But it is possible at at least one level to survive (and even prosper?), I would suggest, by producing high quality products which do not add greatly to the existing rules*. Whether or not it would be possible for a part of a company the size (which I imagine) of Wizards of the Coast's D&D department to survive on such releases might be another question altogether.

*Does inventing new monsters (one of James Jacob's favourite subjects) though count as adding to the existing rules? If so, then I suppose Paizo are in fact adding to the rules with much more of their products, and the question I am looking at becomes much more academic.


vance wrote:


Earlier, it was meant to 'buy more stuff for your game to make it 'complete'.. 3.5 made it 'buy your entire game all over again and ditch your old books.' Big difference.

Yeah, kind of irritated me at the time as well. Of course, I don't like WotC products as a rule. I bought the core books and then I bought the Eberron Campaign Setting. Apart from that, everything I have is from 3PPs, and it's better stuff than the WotC stuff in my view.

With 4E I bought the core books. I doubt I'll buy another 4E product. I like 4E and I'll be playing it, but I probably won't buy much else from WotC (maybe monster books).


Vance:
I thought that The Gates of Firestorm Peak utilised Skills & Powers rules (and the other two books which covered combat and magic), although I do not recall seeing much around apart from that which did.
I'm fairly certain that there were alienist spell-casters knocking around somewhere in Firestorm Peak.


Charles Evans 25 wrote:

Vance:

I thought that The Gates of Firestorm Peak utilised Skills & Powers rules (and the other two books which covered combat and magic), although I do not recall seeing much around apart from that which did.
I'm fairly certain that there were alienist spell-casters knocking around somewhere in Firestorm Peak.

That sounds familiar, and you could be right about that. I honestly don't remember, since S&P was one of my last D&D purchases for a LONG time.. (we moved after college, and only had a Mekton campaign for awhile that had any lasting play). None of the fluff that I remember buying ever mentioned it... but I easily could have missed product.

Scarab Sages

Daeglin wrote:
From purely anecdotal evidence, the younger crowd seems to be more reluctant to read through LOTR, and their sense of fantasy is driven more by Harry and the numerous young adult fantasy series that have attached themselves to his coattails.

I think this has to do with the type of reading involved rather than the topics involved. Young boys love the LOTR movies, that's a fact as far as I can see. Not only because there's some flashy stuff going on, but because Aragorn for instance rings that same bell it did within my own soul so many years ago. There is something about honor, about sacrifice, about being a "man", that kids get there. Same thing about Gimli and Legolas' friendship. And on, and on.

My second point is that Harry Potter is, at its core, definitely NOT a camp-inspired action fest. It's on the "average joe becoming a hero" side of things, since we are seeing the wizarding world from Harry's point of view. He may be called "special" by everybody he encounters, but he is, for the reader and himself at least, the most mundane guy you come around while reading the books.


The Red Death wrote:


People still love the average joe who becomes a hero. And that main stream fantasy is under-represented by its main actors in literature and gaming right now because they succumb to the easy Camp-inspired crap fest of stuff like WOW and such.

Sorry. I'm going off mark here.

My point is that the "action packed fantasy" you're talking about is not more liked than the "average joe becoming hero" one. It's an illusion of optic coming from those looking too closely at the shelves of Barnes and Nobles and drawing erroneous conclusions from there.

Given this is my job (I'm in fiction publishing), I can say as definitively as just about anyone. You're wrong.

The vast majority of fantasy books published over the last 5 years don't feature the 'average joe who becomes a hero'. In fact, extend it out to modern urban fantasy as well (which is a hugely growing genre) and the numbers are even more skewed.

The farmboy who learns he's the king/wizard/whatever is generally regarded as hackneyed and overdone.

So, breaking this down for you, books are published because they sell. We track trends, talk to librarians, look at sales figures, talk to booksellers and readers and use those to determine what is likely to sell and what isn't.

If all that market research says A) where's your evidence to prove that A) is an 'illusion of optic'.

Sweeping generalisations and unsupported statements aren't true just because you say they are.


The Red Death wrote:
My second point is that Harry Potter is, at its core, definitely NOT a camp-inspired action fest. It's on the "average joe becoming a hero" side of things, since we are seeing the wizarding world from Harry's point of view. He may be called "special" by everybody he encounters, but he is, for the reader and himself at least, the most mundane guy you come around while reading the books.

True. But Harry isn't operating in the milieu that I would describe as "classical" fantasy. My "classical" is a product of Howard, Tolkien, Leiber, etc., and then the late 70's early 80's fantasy novels created to feed demand created by D&D. I agree with your characterization of Harry (and I can't remember the name writers use for that Role, oh well, someone will pop up with it). My impression is that it is Harry's setting, however, that is changing what younger generations recognize as being "classical". Hogwart's is "classical" to them. The roles and characters are the same, but they're operating in different terrain. And overall that's changing the landscape of the game.

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