4E News from GenCon


4th Edition


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I haven't seen anything yet. Have there been any big announcements? Some bold new strategy for the coming year?


deinol wrote:
I haven't seen anything yet. Have there been any big announcements? Some bold new strategy for the coming year?

They have a thread about it at Wizards message board, though you do have to wade through a lot of posts.


Abbasax wrote:
deinol wrote:
I haven't seen anything yet. Have there been any big announcements? Some bold new strategy for the coming year?
They have a thread about it at Wizards message board, though you do have to wade through a lot of posts.

So far it seems business as usual. More Oriental Adventures type material is on the way being the biggest news really.


They are bringing back minis, but non-randomized. They did not announce next year's setting, deciding to wait for a bit. Here is a link to good stuff.

http://onlinedm.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/gencon-2011-day-3-dd-new-products- seminar/


Linkified!

Dark Archive

Thanks, Starglyte, Joana!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Lords of Waterdeep sounds like an excellent game. I really need to pick up more of these D&D board games.


Some of this sounds really interesting. Madness at Gardmore Abbey in particular sounds interesting the way they are describing it. I may be projecting but it kind of sounds like they are dealing with the competition from Paizo by 'upping the ante'. Paizo APs are super popular because of the great story and NPCs etc. so how can WotC do that one better? One way is to have the story and NPCs of course but put the adventure in a box and stuff the box with hand outs for the DM and players to add to the usability of the content.

Interesting to learn that they partly slowed the schedule down and got 100 people to sign an NDA and act as playtesters for their product to try and ratchet up the quality.

I'm pretty happy with most of the answers they are giving here - its a good times to be a consumer.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:
I may be projecting but it kind of sounds like they are dealing with the competition from Paizo by 'upping the ante'. Paizo APs are super popular because of the great story and NPCs etc. so how can WotC do that one better? One way is to have the story and NPCs of course but put the adventure in a box and stuff the box with hand outs for the DM and players to add to the usability of the content.

I agree that they're taking some pages from Paizo's success: this quote about the Neverwinter campaign setting -- "Character themes are written to tie to story hooks in the DM book. Try to integrate character creation and campaign creation." -- sounds like the campaign traits in Paizo APs.


deinol wrote:
Lords of Waterdeep sounds like an excellent game. I really need to pick up more of these D&D board games.

Oh my god you are missing out so hard.

The D&D board games own so hard that even my European friends like them ( HUR HUR HUR )


A question for those who visited the WOTC booth at GenCon. What was the goal of the booth? From what I could tell, there was nothing for sale, there were no demos of any sort, and there seemed to be a bunch of people in a back corner doing something that didn't look very inviting to newcomers.

I ask because a 13-year old son of a friend asked me what DnD was. Since we were back near the booth, I took him over that way. It confused both of us when there seemed to be nothing to entice new players or casual browsers.

So instead of getting a new gamer into DnD, I'll be running a Labyrinth Lord game for him.

Just curious, as it was the rare moment at Gen Con when I went "Huh?" And that's saying something given some of the stuff that goes on there.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:
deinol wrote:
Lords of Waterdeep sounds like an excellent game. I really need to pick up more of these D&D board games.

Oh my god you are missing out so hard.

The D&D board games own so hard that even my European friends like them ( HUR HUR HUR )

I have played the Castle Ravenloft game, but I wasn't that impressed. Of course, we played it wrong and died horribly. (What do you mean you don't activate every monster after each players turn? Oh, you get to draw a treasure card if you defeat a monster?) Still, it didn't have the feel that Mansions of Madness or Betrayal at the House on the Hill have.

The big war game one looked ok, but at the moment I'd rather pick up Chaos in the Old World.

On the other hand, politics and backstabbing in Waterdeep? Sign me up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Doug's Workshop wrote:

A question for those who visited the WOTC booth at GenCon. What was the goal of the booth? From what I could tell, there was nothing for sale, there were no demos of any sort, and there seemed to be a bunch of people in a back corner doing something that didn't look very inviting to newcomers.

I ask because a 13-year old son of a friend asked me what DnD was. Since we were back near the booth, I took him over that way. It confused both of us when there seemed to be nothing to entice new players or casual browsers.

So instead of getting a new gamer into DnD, I'll be running a Labyrinth Lord game for him.

Just curious, as it was the rare moment at Gen Con when I went "Huh?" And that's saying something given some of the stuff that goes on there.

I was puzzled by what I was seeing as well. There were what seemed to be demos for a Neverwinter Nights computer game or MMORPG, plus some idiot with a microphone encouraging people to stand next to a guy painted green (either the worst orc or worst Kermit impersonator ever).

Few staff, no product for sale or display, in one of the worst locations in the hall. If I'd been coming on to this booth cold I wouldn't have had the slightest idea what these people were trying to sell me.

The Exchange

It's also a little disconcerting to see WOTC fail to get any gold ennies. Granted my household is all pathfinder now, but still. I'd expect the caretakers of the first brand to be more competitive.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
tadkil wrote:
It's also a little disconcerting to see WOTC fail to get any gold ennies. Granted my household is all pathfinder now, but still. I'd expect the caretakers of the first brand to be more competitive.

They had a pretty bad year with books, imo. As they increase the proportion of online subscriber-only content I daresay they'll do worse and worse at the Ennies.


The Ennies come down to a glorified online fan contest in most cases, and Pathfinder has some of the most rabid fans, whereas I've found most 4e fans don't really care about the Ennies.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ProfessorCirno wrote:
The Ennies come down to a glorified online fan contest in most cases, and Pathfinder has some of the most rabid fans, whereas I've found most 4e fans don't really care about the Ennies.

Looks at Ennies results 2009

Looks at Ennies results 2011

Well, goes to show how much confidence in the brand does the Illustrious Industry Leader conjure up as of late. :)


ProfessorCirno wrote:
The Ennies come down to a glorified online fan contest in most cases, and Pathfinder has some of the most rabid fans, whereas I've found most 4e fans don't really care about the Ennies.

In and of itself, doesn't that say something important? Not sure what off the top of my head.

Dark Archive

Just now making my way through all the podcast interviews from Gencon, the most interesting 4E news for me wasn't product related, but was Mike Mearls being so frank and honest in his interviews and the new product seminar (I listened to them from The Tome podcast).

It's the first time I've heard a WotC representative willfully admit that *something* they did with 4E fractured the audience, and that he wants to fix that. They want to open dialogue, feedback channels and any other means of getting back in touch with the fans of D&D as a concept, a game and a hobby.

It's not a we'll fix it with 5E kinda chat, just a very aware individual (yes, he makes mention that if they did it all the right way, people wouldn't be in "that room over there playing Pathfinder") who wants to get the game and the company back in touch with its fans.

I thought that was pretty cool.

Mr. Mearls continues to show that, above all, he's a pretty standup guy.

Liberty's Edge

Can we not start with the "the sky is falling" type of posts. Yes it was a bad year for the Wotc. Guess what every company goes through a bad year. If it happens with Paizo are some of you in this thread going to do the same. While it's easy to point to the Ennies as proof do remember that they did not release a lot of products this year so imo not a very fair comparison. Let's see what Wotc does for the rest of 2011 and the start of 2012 before all the doom and gloom


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
memorax wrote:
Can we not start with the "the sky is falling" type of posts. Yes it was a bad year for the Wotc. Guess what every company goes through a bad year. If it happens with Paizo are some of you in this thread going to do the same. While it's easy to point to the Ennies as proof do remember that they did not release a lot of products this year so imo not a very fair comparison. Let's see what Wotc does for the rest of 2011 and the start of 2012 before all the doom and gloom

Maybe it is just a bad year, but I doubt it.

As an example, Borders bookstores is closing and all of it's stores have been having a clearance sale for the last four weeks or so, offering increasing discounts every week. Most of the Paizo stuff disappeared in the first week when it was a 20% discount, with only the Beastiary sticking around another week until the discount hit 30%.

But it's now at a 50% discount and at both of the Borders stores I hit today there's still a full shelf of 4e books.

Dark Archive

Son of the Veterinarian wrote:
memorax wrote:
Can we not start with the "the sky is falling" type of posts. Yes it was a bad year for the Wotc. Guess what every company goes through a bad year. If it happens with Paizo are some of you in this thread going to do the same. While it's easy to point to the Ennies as proof do remember that they did not release a lot of products this year so imo not a very fair comparison. Let's see what Wotc does for the rest of 2011 and the start of 2012 before all the doom and gloom

Maybe it is just a bad year, but I doubt it.

As an example, Borders bookstores is closing and all of it's stores have been having a clearance sale for the last four weeks or so, offering increasing discounts every week. Most of the Paizo stuff disappeared in the first week when it was a 20% discount, with only the Beastiary sticking around another week until the discount hit 30%.

But it's now at a 50% discount and at both of the Borders stores I hit today there's still a full shelf of 4e books.

There is 3 borders I have hit with the big sales going on and I always go checking the gaming just to see. Pathfinder was gone pretty fast from them. Most of the 4e stuff went decently fast. Now each of the stores has about 6-10 4e books left and about 3-6 other RPG books left. But to be fair they all locally had a ton more 4e stuff than everything else combined.


Sorry, but I find this evidence pretty funny.

"So Borders is going out of business and is being put primarily due to the quickly dying physical print industry, but look, in this dying industry, Pathfinder is doing better!"


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Dark_Mistress wrote:
...they all locally had a ton more 4e stuff than everything else combined.

I think that's likely to be a big factor. Also the fact that WoTC have made a noticeable shift towards digital content from printed, plus the impression (real or not) that the release of essentials has devalued the other books. I suspect there'd be an analogous drop in sales of the PF Campaign Setting now that the Inner Sea World Guide is out.


Dark_Mistress wrote:


There is 3 borders I have hit with the big sales going on and I always go checking the gaming just to see. Pathfinder was gone pretty fast from them. Most of the 4e stuff went decently fast. Now each of the stores has about 6-10 4e books left and about 3-6 other RPG books left. But to be fair they all locally had a ton more 4e stuff than everything else combined.

Well if they have a cheap copy of Darksun I recommend snagging it. Absolutely excellent and very fluff heavy, easily convertible to your favourite system.

Liberty's Edge

Son of the Veterinarian wrote:


Maybe it is just a bad year, but I doubt it.

As an example, Borders bookstores is closing and all of it's stores have been having a clearance sale for the last four weeks or so, offering increasing discounts every week. Most of the Paizo stuff disappeared in the first week when it was a 20% discount, with only the Beastiary sticking around another week until the discount hit 30%.

But it's now at a 50% discount and at both of the Borders stores I hit today there's still a full shelf of 4e books.

maybe it just me yet I fail to see how Borders fits into the equation. If Wotc controlled those stores and used them as a distrubtuion point for their books then yes. Otherwise by your logic than Pathfinder should also being bad too. And so far in Canada the book industry seems to be doing well. Then again their turning more into the equivalent of Walmart than bookstores so that might explain why. As long as you have the internet for good or bad bookstore closing are not much of a fsctor. Since even if you no longer have a FLGS you can always use the internet to get the books and cheaper too.


I would not vote for Paizo or WOTC for game mechanics if I did participate in the Ennies, as neither system is providing anything innovative at this point. It is more a re-hash of what has already been done, i.e. Pathfinder with 3.5 and Essentials with core 4E. But I would say both companies borrow ideas from the other, with Paizo having the upper hand because of OGL, unless WOTC adopts the same practice.

As to art, or fluff, I would be more willing to give a company kudos if it was original stuff, which is hard to do with WOTC or Paizo since they have so much content that was released in the past. There is also the size of the field, as the OGL does draw alot of independent game makers, but leaves little in the field for new ideas, especially since roleplaying games have been out for a long time. I only pay interest in the Ennies when new games, like Eclipse Phase are released with the hope that something new and popular will start to break the status quo.

As to Neverwinter and themes, these ideas were already present in Dark Sun, so this is not a sudden change in direction for 4E. If I was to make a comparison, it would be closer to implementing something similar to Pathfinder Society for factions.

As to books sales, you have to keep things in perspective in regards to how recent Pathfinder was released in regards to 4E and DDI.

And the fracturing of the player base is due to the OGL.

But I was disappointed by the lack of any significant update by WOTC at gencon, but my interest is focused on the potential for 5E, if it is ever released. On a similar note, it is interesting to see Pathfinder is looking at updating it's rules as well, considering the recent blog on updated Stealth rules.


I was in a Borders and a Borders Express this weekend, the first time since they announced the going out of business and neither had almost any RPG material at all and no Pathfinder material. I was hoping to find a PF GM Screen and a Dragon Age Set 2 but no luck. I did pick up a couple of 4E items at the Borders. I agree with some others above though that it reflects less on the popularity of Pathfinder and more on the quantity of Pathfinder products in the store (or FFG or WW) relative to 4E. These stores always had significantly more D&D books than anything else.

I'm hopeful WotC has some more good 4E products this year. Overall, I like what they did with Essentials, in particular the tile sets. I'd like to see more adventure and all purpose campaign material and less in the way of new races/classes or more race/class options given how much of that we already have.

L


ProfessorCirno wrote:
The Ennies come down to a glorified online fan contest in most cases, and Pathfinder has some of the most rabid fans, whereas I've found most 4e fans don't really care about the Ennies.

I would agree on this. Just in my personal involvement, I DM two gaming groups, both 4E. One guy has played Pathfinder. Generally we show up, play the game, have fun, and buy the next 4E things coming out. But we don't have a fanfare around this generally. It's what we do. But Pathfinder fans seem to have more they want to prove. They are vocal and preaching about Pathfinder, where the 4E fan just plays on.


theroc wrote:
ProfessorCirno wrote:
The Ennies come down to a glorified online fan contest in most cases, and Pathfinder has some of the most rabid fans, whereas I've found most 4e fans don't really care about the Ennies.
I would agree on this. Just in my personal involvement, I DM two gaming groups, both 4E. One guy has played Pathfinder. Generally we show up, play the game, have fun, and buy the next 4E things coming out. But we don't have a fanfare around this generally. It's what we do. But Pathfinder fans seem to have more they want to prove. They are vocal and preaching about Pathfinder, where the 4E fan just plays on.

Anecdotal evidence is anecdotal.

In my circle of gaming buddies, most of us who play PF were 3.5 players who didn't want to switch to 4e. Honestly, most of us still prefer 3.5 simply due to familiarity and having so much material on hand. We play PF as sort of an extension of what we have already been playing the past 8 years. No huge fervor or anything.

Those of us who broke off into 4e, are raving fanatics at the mention of 4e. It really feels like they have something to prove, since they changed up for a new edition, rather than continuing to play what we already enjoyed. So it's really like you guys' examples in complete reverse. Anecdotal to be sure.

For the record, I come to this sub-forum for WOTC news mostly. The posters here have a knack for finding "the good parts" of release news and sharing background info on items when necessary. I'm not here to fight or flamebait(as I've avoided the 2 recent threads which aimed to do just that). Player's preferences for certain games or editions are entirely none of my business.

I hope 4e does well for the next several years, so that WOTC has the time and money to make the next big thing they do even better. I'm not a fan of 4e, but I love D&D, the lore, the history of it. I'm eager to see what 5e offers, but I'm realistic enough to know that it's still years away.


I have seen the "something to prove" type of person backing both systems myself. One person (who we no longer play with, unrelated to 4E) was the most rabid 4E person I have met so far. Even when faced with the very real possibility he would be running to a set of empty chairs if the system wasn't changed he held on. Another person still has to dig at 4E on a regular basis even though we gave up on it a year and a half ago.

If I ever moved and had to find another group I might even give 4E another chance, as my 2 biggest gripes have been answered with the system. The dice being taken away from me for action denial attacks has been addressed by a feat that allows the save to do something at the beginning of the turn rather than the end (there really was little more discouraging than to make a save to be able to act next turn only to immediately get hit by yet another turn denial ability before it came back up). The "feeling of sameness" I had from all the classes (I played a bard much like a paladin for a little while) diminishes with each new supplement.

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