D&D Brand Manager interviewed on Forbes


4th Edition

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Liberty's Edge

Interview by Forbes with D&D Brand Manager Nathan Stewart. It confirms what I've been thinking that WotC/Hasbro doesn't see D&D as an RPG but instead as a brand. Only two or even one story a year, no splat books, Forgotten Realms only for a long while. Kind of depressing for me but good for others who want core books only.

Nathan Stewart: But yeah, on the whole, Dungeons and Dragons stopped being a tabletop game years or decades ago. I mean, we’ve been a powerhouse in video games, for years now, and we’ve had movies –whether you like them or not, we still had them– tons of novels, comics, apparel, table top minies, just a lot of stuff across the board.


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As I said in this topic on the official WotC board, Dungeons and Dragons the Tabletop Roleplaying Game is strangled by both Dungeons & Dragons Online and Neverwinter Online Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games. Hasbro wants D&D so intertwined with (at least) Neverwinter Online that it strangles the tabletop game. It takes a very long time to create content for the mmorpg compared to the tabletop rpg, which is why you see Mr Stewart say they will be focusing purely on 1-2 adventures per year set exclusively in the Forgotten Realms, which is where Neverwinter Online takes place.

He mentions what they lack is an open world RPG. I don't know if he means a video game (either similar to Grand Theft Auto or an mmorpg that takes place in the entire world (ala World of Warcraft) instead of a small section of a larger world (ala Neverwinter Online)), or an open world tabletop, which the latter doesn't make much sense since tabletop is open world.

I love 5th edition, and as I have said many times before, it is the best edition of D&D that Wizards of the Coast has released. It pains me to see them only going to release adventures 1-2 times per year, as I honestly have no use for published adventures. I still have the mindset that a DM who uses published adventures is a lazy failure of a DM because he can't come up with adventures of his own. The same goes for those who use published settings like Forgotten Realms and Golarion, instead of creating a setting of their own. It is a false one, I know, but it is usually rather difficult to shake soemthing you have thought for decades.

I hate that 5th edition is strangled by a (in my opinion) terrible MMORPG called Neverwinter Online, instead of allowing it to breathe by removing those shackles. If they want D&D to truly be a great brand, they need to have Hasbro provide the funding to make some decent video games (there hasn't been a good D&D game since Icewind Dale, though I liked Temple of Elemental Evil, it is terribly buggy), and especially movies. Right now, SyFy channel made-for-TV movies are masterpieces compared to what D&D movies have been.

Glad 5th edition has surpassed 3rd edition's sales numbers, yet 5th edition won't get the amount of support (even 1/4 the amount) that 3rd edition got, thanks to that damn Neverwinter Online game holding it back.


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Charlie D. wrote:

Interview by Forbes with D&D Brand Manager Nathan Stewart. It confirms what I've been thinking that WotC/Hasbro doesn't see D&D as an RPG but instead as a brand. Only two or even one story a year, no splat books, Forgotten Realms only for a long while. Kind of depressing for me but good for others who want core books only.

Nathan Stewart: But yeah, on the whole, Dungeons and Dragons stopped being a tabletop game years or decades ago. I mean, we’ve been a powerhouse in video games, for years now, and we’ve had movies –whether you like them or not, we still had them– tons of novels, comics, apparel, table top minies, just a lot of stuff across the board.

I wouldn't be so pessimistic regarding splatbooks:

"I wouldn’t be surprised if we do some books here and there that pick up things that the fanbase wants in between stories, because of the feedback we’re hearing. But by and large everything we’re delivering is supporting that annual story –and there’s zero plans for a Player’s Handbook 2 any time on the horizon."

It sounds like they're at least entertaining the idea, down the track.


Adjule wrote:
5th edition has surpassed 3rd edition's sales numbers

What exactly do you mean by this?


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It was from the article. I think he was specifically referring to the launch though. As in the first sixth month sales or something.

#1 book on Amazon was a pretty spectacular high water mark.


It's completely baffling to me that they are refusing to give D&D any further content. No new classes, etc.

That's the main reason we've decided to return to Pathfinder. 5th edition D&D is a great rules set, but we want regular new content.

Paizo gets one thing right - the RPG drives the other things, the minis, card games, etc.

In D&D, the MMO and minis are all-important and the RPG is a dim and distant third.

Bizarre and disappointing way to run a system, and simply not for us.


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I think they're targetting the bloat-fatigued rather than the option-hungry. (Although that article does anticipate more options down the track - it's just not their focus).

I see the lack of upcoming splatbooks as a strength.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Adjule wrote:
I still have the mindset that a DM who uses published adventures is a lazy failure of a DM because he can't come up with adventures of his own.

I use to agree with you on that. Now I recognize that it is just a matter of how much free time you have. The first published adventure I ever used in 2011-ish time frame. For the 15+ years before that I prided myself at never, ever using a published adventure. Now I'm just plain busy and published adventures are pretty much the only way I can run a game anymore, unless I want to wing it every session.

MAJT69 wrote:

It's completely baffling to me that they are refusing to give D&D any further content. No new classes, etc.

That's the main reason we've decided to return to Pathfinder. 5th edition D&D is a great rules set, but we want regular new content.

Paizo gets one thing right - the RPG drives the other things, the minis, card games, etc.

In D&D, the MMO and minis are all-important and the RPG is a dim and distant third.

Bizarre and disappointing way to run a system, and simply not for us.

Right there with you. This is the kind of strategy you employ when you value the core as a brand that can be used to generate revenue through other mediums instead of valuing the core itself. It leads to not taking chances, playing safe, and not rocking the boat. Its going to lead to adventures that revolve around "going somewhere and killing things" instead of actually doing something cool and interesting, like one that centers on machine gods and so forth.


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Flagged it Adjule, I'm not a lazy failure, and I use published adventures, not cool at all.


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captain yesterday wrote:
Flagged it Adjule, I'm not a lazy failure, and I use published adventures, not cool at all.

He does go on to say "It is a false one, I know, but it is usually rather difficult to shake soemthing you have thought for decades."

Sovereign Court

Adjule wrote:


I hate that 5th edition is strangled by a (in my opinion) terrible MMORPG called Neverwinter Online, instead of allowing it to breathe by removing those shackles. If they want D&D to truly be a great brand, they need to have Hasbro provide the funding to make some decent video games (there hasn't been a good D&D game since Icewind Dale, though I liked Temple of Elemental Evil, it is terribly buggy), and especially movies. Right...

You know the MMOs are licensed out and WOTC doesn't actually make them right?


You know, the low amount of first-party material means very little power creep and great opportunities for third party publishers to step in and provide awesome content.

If you think about it, this decision is great for third party publishers.

On that note, if Paizo were to start publishing 5E-compatible APs, that would be a huge deal, and a huge opportunity for Paizo.

-Matt


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thejeff wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Flagged it Adjule, I'm not a lazy failure, and I use published adventures, not cool at all.
He does go on to say "It is a false one, I know, but it is usually rather difficult to shake soemthing you have thought for decades."

fair enough :-) next time he/she should start with that and not the baiting insult, but they'll hopefully figure that out :-)

Thanks for clarifying Jeff :-)

Sovereign Court

To change the tenor of the conversation somewhat...

It is a difficult balance to strike when considering the vernacularly termed "bloat" against the concept of a light release schedule.

I think that new content is of course vital for the viability of a game line. Once a line is no longer being supported, it feels stale and lifeless. People may continue to play the game, but bringing new blood in, or worse, joining/creating whole new groups would be entirely difficult.

It takes a lot of trust and built up rapport to encourage the playing of a game system that is old and unsupported. There are many examples: Palladium Fantasy, Heavy Gear, Big Eyes Small Mouth...

But ultimately, you can run just about any setting you want. You can run Birthright using any edition of D&D that your players allow/prefer. But you can't coerce people to play a system that they dislike or feel is outdated.

A commitment to a system is a difficult thing to achieve, and perhaps just as difficult to maintain. That isn't to say that there are not people out there playing all manner of D&D related systems, but I can attest that the grand difficulty of having new groups cleave to a system that you like but they dislike or are indifferent to.

But here is the rub; support need not be grand published products. My suspicions are that the feedback surveys are for the purpose of releasing new content, however that content may take shape. And that sort of organic conversation between the fans and developers, limited though it may be, could lead to some excellent content.

What it lacks is the dynamism of owning a book and pouring through for exciting tidbits, but I don't know that it's worth the resulting panoply of books. What we seem to want are books that cover a smattering of content, from new monsters to class options. This can still be accomplished.

But what we must remember is that support does not necessarily equate to a full release schedule, as long as the stream of content is consistent and properly managed. The beauty of Dungeons and Dragons is that it has so much content already, vis-r-vis setting and adventure material. If the current developers were smart, they'd continue to outsource such work as converting old content to third parties with more regularity.

But for entirely new content, absent a post-sundering Faerun, I don't imagine we are in especially desperate need for anything such as that in the near future. I think I rather trust the community to tighten the necessary slack when it comes to otherwise extant and extraneous content that peak our interest, provided the community is oft reminded that the line is not dead, but simply being weaned at a more delicate pace.

Liberty's Edge

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One TRPG product in four and a half months seems too slow for an RPG the size of D&D. And no new products are yet listed or even hinted at all for the future. Not one.


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I understand those who feel Pathfinder has too much 'bloat'.

But as I see it, there's a huge TON of content, and you can use what you want - I think few GMs are going to use _everything_.

But D&D is sticking by its choice not to offer ANY new classes, archetypes, etc.

I originally was okay with the concept of two adventures per year with each coupled with a player's book with 5th edition versions of races, classes, archetypes, etc. That way, we would eventually see Eberron, Psionics, etc.

Now that's been completely tossed aside, and I find it bizarre.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I think they're targetting the bloat-fatigued rather than the option-hungry. (Although that article does anticipate more options down the track - it's just not their focus).

I see the lack of upcoming splatbooks as a strength.

That just seems ironic considering you have several monthly subscriptions to Pathfinder. Presemably you want at least some of their monthly content then? Would you really be happy if Paizo didn't release new content outside the Core book?

Why can't D&D players want new content? Why can't we play psions or celestial mages or whatever?

Why is there no middle ground between a deluge of new stuff every month, and absolutely nothing new being released?

Everyone who argues that a total lack of content is such a good thing seems to be ignoring the Paizo model. And as far as I can see, they seem to be doing quite well.

I simply cannot see how a revamped D&D having nothing new for the RPG for the first year can be considered a 'strength'.

Sovereign Court

I don't see nothing being produced. We have already been given many alternatives and options, such as the Favored Soul, and for free.

Now, considering the options I have through Pathfinder, I find myself taken aback. Even when looking at the Pathfinder Prestige Class book (I forget the proper name at the moment), I look and think "none of this fits what I want right now", and rightfully so. In my entire time playing through D20 iterations, it is very rare that I see a printed option and think "this is exactly what I needed". When I do, it has amidst a sea of now archived material that I didn't intend to use, have not used, and likely will never use.

The longer I enjoy this hobby, the more I realize that what I want is something that I have to either alter or make from whole cloth. I won't say that I dislike official material, but more often than not it is ultimately worthwhile for guidelines and inspiration than to be immimently utile.

Tell me then your favorite sourcebook, and I will show you a slew more that you didn't buy, didn't read, or didn't use.

If I wanted more books, I'd want them for setting information before statistics, but that's just me. All the same, I'd imagine that the current release schedule is not entirely accurate given that their D&D encounters will likely necessitate more releases once the Elemental Evil story has run its course.

Sovereign Court

MAJT69 wrote:


That just seems ironic considering you have several monthly subscriptions to Pathfinder. Presemably you want at least some of their monthly content then? Would you really be happy if Paizo didn't release new content outside the Core book?

Note though that his subscriptions are to the core line, the comics, the miniatures, and the maps line. I'd say it falls in line with his statements and opinions.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Mattastrophic wrote:
If you think about it, this decision is great for third party publishers.

*looks around innocently* *hums to himself for a moment*

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Mattastrophic wrote:
If you think about it, this decision is great for third party publishers.
*looks around innocently* *hums to himself for a moment*

Totally off topic here for a moment, but those that click this link and enter their email address and check a 5e box before tomorrow morning may get a nice surprise come the morning.

Just saying. Totally has nothing to do with Dungeons and Dragons and a lack of support. Nothing at all.


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Mattastrophic wrote:

You know, the low amount of first-party material means very little power creep and great opportunities for third party publishers to step in and provide awesome content.

If you think about it, this decision is great for third party publishers.

On that note, if Paizo were to start publishing 5E-compatible APs, that would be a huge deal, and a huge opportunity for Paizo.

-Matt

If only there was some way for third parties to Openly make Gaming content... a License, if you will. That would be great, yeah.


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Lorathorn wrote:
MAJT69 wrote:


That just seems ironic considering you have several monthly subscriptions to Pathfinder. Presemably you want at least some of their monthly content then? Would you really be happy if Paizo didn't release new content outside the Core book?

Note though that his subscriptions are to the core line, the comics, the miniatures, and the maps line. I'd say it falls in line with his statements and opinions.

Nah - the PF RPG Superscriber includes a bunch of others beyond the core. I subscribe to everything paizo and its licensees put out except for the cards - I just have way too many item cards and that seems to be the thing that sells :(


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MAJT69 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I think they're targetting the bloat-fatigued rather than the option-hungry. (Although that article does anticipate more options down the track - it's just not their focus).

I see the lack of upcoming splatbooks as a strength.
That just seems ironic considering you have several monthly subscriptions to Pathfinder. Presemably you want at least some of their monthly content then? Would you really be happy if Paizo didn't release new content outside the Core book?

I would be delighted if Paizo never published another feat, monster, option, class or archetype. We dont really play Pathfinder much anymore, but when we do the only rulebooks we use are the CRB and ultimate campaign.

I subscribe for mainly two reasons - because I believe the company is worth supporting (even though their RPG is not to my taste) and I enjoy their flavor material more than anyone else's.

In my specific instance, "bloat-fatigue" only applies to mechanical options - I could deal with fortnightly adventures, campaign sourcebooks and flavor-focussed player companions (possibly even weekly, to be honest). :)

Quote:

Why can't D&D players want new content? Why can't we play psions or celestial mages or whatever?

Why is there no middle ground between a deluge of new stuff every month, and absolutely nothing new being released?

Everyone who argues that a total lack of content is such a good thing seems to be ignoring the Paizo model. And as far as I can see, they seem to be doing quite well.

I simply cannot see how a revamped D&D having nothing new for the RPG for the first year can be considered a 'strength'.

Perhaps the term was misleading - I dont think there's a right amount of bloat, I meant that there are fundamentally two, distinct markets and the two companies are trying to address different needs.

I certainly think D&D players can want new crunch - all I meant was that I dont want new game mechanics. Hence, the approach WotC are taking suits me down to the ground (though I'd always like more than any company is able to produce, I suspect).

In my view, the clear distinction between the two games is a good thing - those who like rules expansions and an ever-increasing set of mechanical options to pick and choose as they wish can play Pathfinder. Those who would rather have a simple, stable ruleset with flavor-based enhancement and limited (not nonexistent, just tied to the story they're releasing at the time) mechanical expansion can play D&D. I dont think it's good for the industry to say "This model works for Paizo, so every company should adopt the same philosophy". Provided there is sufficient demand for the different niches, I am happy to see the market diversifying somewhat, rather than all following the same path.

In summary, I wasnt trying to suggest you were wrong to find D&D's approach unappealing - I think the sensible thing for your group to do is to abandon the game in favor of one that suits you better (with lots of options you can pick and choose from to make it just the way you like it). I was responding to your identification of their strategy as "bizarre". It certainly isnt designed to capture your dollars - but it is designed to appeal to a different market. It seems to me that people who like options are often unaware of how unappealing the "just ignore what you dont want" strategy is to those of us who are truly crunch-averse. It's not that I find some of the options bad - I dont enjoy having lots of options (as it happens, D&D has too many options for me. I prefer even simpler than that, but it's a good compromise for my table - many of whom do enjoy the character building side of things).


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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Adjule wrote:
I still have the mindset that a DM who uses published adventures is a lazy failure of a DM because he can't come up with adventures of his own.
I use to agree with you on that. Now I recognize that it is just a matter of how much free time you have. The first published adventure I ever used in 2011-ish time frame. For the 15+ years before that I prided myself at never, ever using a published adventure. Now I'm just plain busy and published adventures are pretty much the only way I can run a game anymore, unless I want to wing it every session.

There's another factor (for some of us, anyway). I am a fundamentally uncreative person - the adventures I make up are just hands-down worse than those written by professionals.

I have the time to make up adventures, but if I pay professionals to do it for me, my players will have a better time (which is my number one goal as a DM).


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Charlie D. wrote:
One TRPG product in four and a half months seems too slow for an RPG the size of D&D. And no new products are yet listed or even hinted at all for the future. Not one.

In the linked interview, he says:

"So it’s two stories a year right now. That might go down or up, depending on what the fan base wants."

Personally, I consider that a hint there'll be another storyline later in the year. (Probably announced at GenCon or something, I guess - they definitely seem to be steering clear of announcing products ages in advance, no doubt due to the problems they had in 4E of announcing books that never ended up getting published).


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About my comment concerning published adventures: As was stated, I don't truly believe that anymore, and was not insulting anyone. Right now I am running a 4th edition adventure that I have attempted to convert to 5th edition, and then will be moving over to the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure. So yeah, I don't follow that line of thought any longer. It was a mindset that was born during a time when my only responsibility was school. There are times when I feel dirty running a published adventure instead of something I came up with myself, but that's because it can be tough completely changing one's views about something.


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Yeah, I haven't run a home written adventure in years but I certainly wasn't offended. However, for me at least, there's another element besides time and effort. I'm a big believer in hiring specialists - buying adventures is the same thing as paying a gardening service in that sense.


OTOH, home written adventures can be tailored for the tastes of you and your group, which makes up for a lot of the advantage the professionals have. Also makes it far easier to move the rails when the party does something unexpected.

Pretty much all published modules are too combat focused for my tastes, for example. Even the roleplaying heavy ones have the mandatory grinding encounters.

But, there are definitely advantages to both.


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Yeah - I'd prefer to write my own. I'm just not very good at it.
The limitations are personal, not structural.


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Buying published adventures is like reading other novels to read when you are a writer, it gives you more ideas to play around with. For example, don't tell me Tyrion Lannister did not in some form come into being as result of Martin having read the Miles VorKosian saga.

My best homebrew campaign incorporated the Night Below campaign settling, about half of the Volos guidebooks to faerun, the city of spendlors boxed set and about a dozen adventures from dungeon magazine.

I don;t plan on buying 5th edition, but if there was a library of adventures to build upon, I might be more curious. Of course, not if they are simply retreads of previous golden age adventures, I am heartily sick of that money grab technique.


Fair enough, Steve. I see your points and can agree with some of them.

But while I prefer D&D5's streamlined system over Pathfinder's fiddly, combat-heavy 3.5 aesthetic, I want new content and a wide variety of options.

I've been playing D&D since 1979, finding something good in every system. And 5th edition has finally done what even 4E couldn't manage, and driven me away from my very first RPG.

There is much I dislike about Paizo's approach and model, but they will now get my money until we see what 6th edition is about.


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What about flavor bloat and creep? I mean, with Pathfinder I can play almost any fantasy character imaginable? It's unconscionable! It's irresponsible! :)


Dustin Ashe wrote:
What about flavor bloat and creep? I mean, with Pathfinder I can play almost any fantasy character imaginable? It's unconscionable! It's irresponsible! :)

In theory, yes.

In practice, far too many of those characters you can imagine don't work as PF characters. They're either just ineffective, you can't put together the right combination of abilities until pretty high level or the character is only effective or how you envisioned it for a narrow window of levels.

This isn't specifically a PF problem, of course. It's pretty common to generic "build your character" systems. It first frustrated me in Champions.

Sometimes it's better to have a limited number of options that actually work well than to have unlimited flexibility, but have to rule out most of it to get something that works.

Liberty's Edge

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I hate to break it to everybody, but the Eighties are over, TTRPG isn't anything close to the market it was when D&D was a huge fad, and console/PC gaming is much more lucrative and enjoys way more adherents. Hasbro isn't going to waste a bunch of time trying to recreate something that was lightning in a bottle and thrived because entertainment wasn't "on demand" and available for a mouse click back then.

I think that one informs the other, though. When D&D was at its peak, it was, even with all of the modules and whatnot, a DIY hobby. Now people expect everything to be available for purchase and download, and, with the tidal wave of instant gratification entertainment available now, the time sink that is creating your own stuff (which was a big part of the appeal back in the day, I think, since we had less distractions) isn't a viable option for a lot of people these days.

Basically, a small number of people want way more content than the hobby can reasonably accommodate, and WotC is going to take a bit of a hit because Hasbro (correctly, from a business point of view) sees more value in the name than the RPG, and is going to concentrate on building the name, not the niche hobby game it came from.

It's sad, but I think gamers live in a little bubble sometimes and don't realize that (because main stream culture is so geeky and SciFi now) the TTRPG hobby that spawned a lot of the meekness is quite small, the market is limited, and, thanks to the mistakes they made during 4e, Paizo (and their supporting 3pp friends) has quite a bit of that market on lockdown. Hasbro isn't going to waste a bunch of money trying to take customers from Paizo. They released a game that feels like a modernized retro-clone and makes some 3x burnouts happy, is a bit easier to get into if you're new, and basically keeps the brand on the shelves. I'm sure they have no real dreams of recreating the 3rd edition (relatively brief) revival of the hobby, and are happy to put out a decent game that people who like to convert forty years of material or like to do their own thing can enjoy, and publish a small amount of supporting material to keep relevant for a while. The brand has some buzz right now, and that will help when they release the video game version of 5E, which is where they really think they'll make their money.

Liberty's Edge

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Adjule wrote:
About my comment concerning published adventures: As was stated, I don't truly believe that anymore, and was not insulting anyone. Right now I am running a 4th edition adventure that I have attempted to convert to 5th edition, and then will be moving over to the Princes of the Apocalypse adventure. So yeah, I don't follow that line of thought any longer. It was a mindset that was born during a time when my only responsibility was school. There are times when I feel dirty running a published adventure instead of something I came up with myself, but that's because it can be tough completely changing one's views about something.

That's the other thing, the hobby is a lot OLDER now. The average age of TTRPG players, I imagine, is much higher than it was in the Eighties. Adults don't have the time to DIY stuff any more, and they also don't have the money to burn like we did when we were kids, so they'll buy one or two well supported systems, instead of getting several systems and making stuff up themselves.

Smaller, aging market with bills, kids, and limited gaming time. Not a great scenario for gaming diversity on a large scale.

Liberty's Edge

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The reality is, a company can make a small profit on an RPG like Paizo has. I would even say that Paizo is making good money as they just hired around three developers.

What frustrates some D&D players is that WotC could make decent money on D&D TRPG. Not Transformers money, that would be silly. But good money. But they are choosing not to.

It isn't that WotC can't make money on D&D TRPG. That I could understand. It is that they are choosing not to and are, instead, trying to make money on the name D&D.

When Marvel turned to movies for big cash, they kept their fans happy at the same time. They still put out comics that don't make a lot of money while at the same time putting Easter eggs in the movies and staying close to what comic fans want. And they make gobs of money on the movies, while still keeping the comics going in a manner that fans have enjoyed for decades.

WotC is not choosing to do that with D&D. They don't handle the TRPG like any other TRPG company. In fact, instead of treating TRPG D&D like the juggernaut it could be (with PDFs of existing books and some really amazing exciting ideas coming out in rule and book form every couple of months and hiring more great talent like Paizo does) they instead offer almost nothing. Just a minor PDF here or there and one or two hardcovers a year. Maybe an extra one here or there. They could lead the charge in the TRPG world with great product (but little money) while rallying the hardcore fans behind them in computer games, movies, and TV (bigger money).

It makes little sense to leave money lying on the table, but WotC seems to be doing just that.

Liberty's Edge

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Hasbro bought WotC for Magic:TG. D&D was a nice side bonus. People forget that. Hasbro doesn't care about the small potatoes TTRPG market, and they don't have to. I am just happy WotC stopped 4e and put out a core I can use with a lot of my old stuff. I don't expect much more than that, frankly.

Liberty's Edge

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Mattastrophic wrote:
If you think about it, this decision is great for third party publishers.
*looks around innocently* *hums to himself for a moment*

Totally off topic here for a moment, but those that click this link and enter their email address and check a 5e box before tomorrow morning may get a nice surprise come the morning.

Just saying. Totally has nothing to do with Dungeons and Dragons and a lack of support. Nothing at all.

Any news on this? I am very curious.


Charlie D. wrote:

Interview by Forbes with D&D Brand Manager Nathan Stewart. It confirms what I've been thinking that WotC/Hasbro doesn't see D&D as an RPG but instead as a brand. Only two or even one story a year, no splat books, Forgotten Realms only for a long while. Kind of depressing for me but good for others who want core books only.

Nathan Stewart: But yeah, on the whole, Dungeons and Dragons stopped being a tabletop game years or decades ago. I mean, we’ve been a powerhouse in video games, for years now, and we’ve had movies –whether you like them or not, we still had them– tons of novels, comics, apparel, table top minies, just a lot of stuff across the board.

That was confirmed a while back. D&D is no longer ran by gamers, but by men in suits who hire gamers.

I don't mean this to be a negative thing because I think it could work if the men in charge gave the gamers making the products more free reign.

When they say adventures do they mean module size or Adventure Path sized? If it is just two modules I think the brand will suffer. I know D&D 5, ok well I heard D&D 5 is easier to make characters for, and that gives GM's more time to write. However some of us don't have time to write anything.


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houstonderek wrote:
Stuff about an aging customer demographic and realistic expectations.

Do you think WotC is looking ahead to the 50th anniversary at this point? I sort of feel like they must be, and sometimes think that they made such a fuss about the release of 5e in tandem with the fortieth anniversary to set D&D up as the slow and steady, reliable elder statesman of RPGs in 10 years time. Their multi-platform approach certainly seems to be slanted towards growing the brand name recognition rather than total RPG market domination.

Or, what do I know, maybe in 2018 they'll say, "Great news, nerds, we're releasing a new edition every 3 years, so open up those wallets!"


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Charlie D. wrote:
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Mattastrophic wrote:
If you think about it, this decision is great for third party publishers.
*looks around innocently* *hums to himself for a moment*

Totally off topic here for a moment, but those that click this link and enter their email address and check a 5e box before tomorrow morning may get a nice surprise come the morning.

Just saying. Totally has nothing to do with Dungeons and Dragons and a lack of support. Nothing at all.

Any news on this? I am very curious.

The email didn't announce any dates. However, the plan is for two low level adventures with two more (releasing concurrently in PF and 5E) down the track.

The first adventures are to be conversions of Rescue From Tyrkaven and Doom of the Sky Sword

Liberty's Edge

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Hitdice wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
Stuff about an aging customer demographic and realistic expectations.

Do you think WotC is looking ahead to the 50th anniversary at this point? I sort of feel like they must be, and sometimes think that they made such a fuss about the release of 5e in tandem with the fortieth anniversary to set D&D up as the slow and steady, reliable elder statesman of RPGs in 10 years time. Their multi-platform approach certainly seems to be slanted towards growing the brand name recognition rather than total RPG market domination.

Or, what do I know, maybe in 2018 they'll say, "Great news, nerds, we're releasing a new edition every 3 years, so open up those wallets!"

They might be. They can build slowly on the 5e frame for a while to at least keep a game on the shelves and keep the brand relevant enough to try to make a splash on the big Five Oh. A bit longsighted by modern corporate standards, but it's a nice theory to consider.


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That dude in the interview said "story" so much it kind of lost all meaning. >_> Sorry, two adventures a year is not enough. What a depressing interview.


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My impression is that they were definitely burned by 4E and are taking a 'slow and steady' approach to development/expansion this time around.

I'm more of the view that splat books will happen eventually. Provided the success of the core game continues and the fans keep asking for them. (They've certainly indicated they're open to them, down the track).


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MAJT69 wrote:

I understand those who feel Pathfinder has too much 'bloat'.

But as I see it, there's a huge TON of content, and you can use what you want - I think few GMs are going to use _everything_.

But D&D is sticking by its choice not to offer ANY new classes, archetypes, etc.

I originally was okay with the concept of two adventures per year with each coupled with a player's book with 5th edition versions of races, classes, archetypes, etc. That way, we would eventually see Eberron, Psionics, etc.

Now that's been completely tossed aside, and I find it bizarre.

by the way, I'm not trying to change your mind, but can I ask why you consider this to have been "tossed aside"?

It seems to me that the elemental evil players guide is exactly what you were looking for (or willing to accept, anyhow). Granted this, specific book doesn't have new classes/paths but it does have new feats, races and spells.

As I said, I'm not arguing with you, but I don't quite understand the pessimism from people in general that the OP's article has provoked. I'd appreciate hearing why this doesn't fit the bill in terms of expansion of mechanical options.

Shadow Lodge

Steve Geddes wrote:

My impression is that they were definitely burned by 4E and are taking a 'slow and steady' approach to development/expansion this time around.

I'm more of the view that splat books will happen eventually. Provided the success of the core game continues and the fans keep asking for them. (They've certainly indicated they're open to them, down the track).

It is amusing to see some of the old posts on this topic on these forums, where some people predicted that within a year of release, 5e would have a mountain of splats.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

My impression is that they were definitely burned by 4E and are taking a 'slow and steady' approach to development/expansion this time around.

I'm more of the view that splat books will happen eventually. Provided the success of the core game continues and the fans keep asking for them. (They've certainly indicated they're open to them, down the track).

It is amusing to see some of the old posts on this topic on these forums, where some people predicted that within a year of release, 5e would have a mountain of splats.

Yeah, I agree. I am so glad my prediction that 5e is a Placeholder Edition made mostly so that WotC can license the crap out of it gets confirmed more and more.

Shadow Lodge

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Soullos wrote:
That dude in the interview said "story" so much it kind of lost all meaning. >_> Sorry, two adventures a year is not enough. What a depressing interview.

Yet some people here can't stop fanwanking over Paizo's APs. The Module line is an afterthought for both the fans and the company.

And how many of those APs does Paizo put out per year? Let me get out my counting fingers....


Oh, we know that two AP's are normally released annually. They each have an overarching story.

Of those, we have 6 adventures each, normally each with it's own sub story equal to most other stories found in supermodules. That's 12 Adventures.

In addition, though slowed, they are now bigger in size to have 4 modules.

That's 16 adventures a year just along those two lines.

Compared to WotC's which seem to be 2 modules per adventure. IF they are releasing two overarching stories with those two modules a year, that is a total of 4 adventures a year, or one fourth of the number of adventures.

Paizo started PF by replacing the monthly Dragon magazine that they lost to WotC's yanking it with the AP line. In many ways, it was their bread and butter at the time.

So, yes, I think their AP line is a big deal and I think even if they have other very strong products, it still remains one of their staples for Paizo.

If that's fanwanking...well...I AM here on Paizo's forums....

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