I believe Hasbro will be the downfall of D&D.


4th Edition

251 to 300 of 384 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>

thejeff wrote:
houstonderek wrote:

thejefff, D&D is a fantasy game. Make a good fantasy movie with the fighter/rogue/wizard/cleric combo working as a group to overthrow evil. Throw in some recognizable D&D monsters. That's it, all you need to slap "D&D" on it and make it a D&D movie. The general non-nerd raging public doesn't care how "accurately" any movie portrays any source material, and they're the ones that make movies profitable. Let's look at some other Hasbro owned properties that made a ton of money at the movies, GI Joe and Transformers. The only people crying about those two movies (all of which made lot of money, by the way) were people upset that the movies deviated from the Hasbro licensed thirty minute commercials they produced to sell action figures like hotcakes. Complaining about the accuracy of something based on a cartoon used to sell toys. The general public doesn't CARE.

See, the ONLY issue is what's good advice for a studio, as Hasbro will make all of their money on the licensing of the brand name. Hasbro does't sell movies. They sell toys. A movie isn't going to instantly revive the gaming hobby, there is a current edition that Hasbro is selling, so I guess I don't understand your perspective.

I'm not saying "accurately follow the rules" or "will revitalize the gaming hobby" or anything like that.

I just think in order to profitably license the thing Hasbro needs more than just the name. They need something to sell. The D&D brand isn't strong enough to convince a studio that slapping it on an otherwise generic fantasy movie will bring in enough more viewers to justify paying Hasbro big bucks for it.
"You should make a really good fantasy movie, then pay us to call it a D&D movie" is not a good elevator pitch.

Which is why I suggested they'd be better off pitching Dragonlance or D'rzzt or some kind of actual content.

I don't necessarily disagree with you (although I think Dark Elves would be a poor thing to initially base a movie around).

However Hasbro seems to be also involved in the development of these properties, so that sort of alleviates some of the concerns on whether a property is well known enough to get a movie. In 2014 they created Allspark Pictures as a production company, so apparently they are moving in the direction of not even needing to partner with another studio to produce movies.

Sovereign Court

If you were going to introduce Drizzt, you'd have to do Icewind Dale, I think. Then either a miniseries or somesuch about his origins, but anything that would translate to commercial success would be "less brainy and more fighty", to be in the vernacular.


Might've gotten missed but what about doing an adaption of the cartoon, nostalgia sells :-)

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think they can succeed by going the "good" fantasy movie route. The main characters would fill the recognizable party roles, and use one of the established settings to drive home the D&D ties.

Personally, I'd prefer things to start on a small scope to represent the low-level party, and avoid the cliched "saving the world" plot that always seems to be the case.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Spook205 wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
knightnday wrote:
They need to do better than staple the name D&D to something and hope the money comes in.

Why? It worked* with Starship Troopers... To use a (very relevant) example, considering the way the first movie was produced.

And, no, I don't think Starship Troopers was that good of a movie. It definitely wasn't a good adaptation of the book.

*- Sort of (estimated $105 million budget vs. $121 million worldwide gross); enough to make a couple sequels, at least.

It was a bad adaptation because the director set out intentionally to try to torpedo Heinlein because he thought Heinlein was somehow 'fascist' which shows Mr. Verhoeven's got reading comprehension issues...

Actually he had no reading comprehension issues. Because he quite explicitly not read it instead ordering someone to tell him what was it about. IIRC he couldn't read through one of the early monologues so he resorted to doing this.

I like Starship Troopers I but I see it as something completely different from the book, with different theme, mood, and the message, instead of being adaptation. Within the theme and mood set by Verhoven - superficially a military SF movie - while at the same time being crypto-antifascist it is great.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
What if they adopted the cartoon into a live action movie, nostalgia sells

The thing is... not that many people are nostalgic about D+D or any other role playing game. Not nearly to the same extent they wax nostalgic over baseball cards and old cartoon shows. It was and remains, essentially a niche hobby.

I'e watched all of the old D+D movies. If I had to pay movie price to see any of them, I'd have felt cheated out of my money. If nostalgia couldn't sell the D+D movies to ME, who's played the game since 1980, who would it sell to?


Forever Slayer wrote:

Big corporations are the bane of RPG's and Hasbro is no exception.

I believe D&D would be better off in the hands of a smaller company who does not see D&D as a mega money maker but as a table top game that may not earn you billions, will earn you a nice profit while giving gamers the game they want. I see Hasbro as the kind of company that would break that antique piggy bank in order to get to the money inside. I could see them getting frustrated because D&D didn't meet their crazy goals and shelving it.

What get's me is a company like Hasbro and WoTC can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Paizo is a big company now and act like one. Sell nearly 15 items per month... at least wotc doesn´t sell too much things at the same time.

Love the game, hate the money farming tool that we have become for them

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Forever Slayer wrote:

Big corporations are the bane of RPG's and Hasbro is no exception.

I believe D&D would be better off in the hands of a smaller company who does not see D&D as a mega money maker but as a table top game that may not earn you billions, will earn you a nice profit while giving gamers the game they want. I see Hasbro as the kind of company that would break that antique piggy bank in order to get to the money inside. I could see them getting frustrated because D&D didn't meet their crazy goals and shelving it.

What get's me is a company like Hasbro and WoTC can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Paizo is a big company now and act like one. Sell nearly 15 items per month... at least wotc doesn´t sell too much things at the same time.

Love the game, hate the money farming tool that we have become for them

Yeees because you can't choose not to buy every g++ d!#n thing they sell. Your inability to say no is not Paizo's fault.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
I don't think most of the modules and APs would adapt well. As RPG materials, the most important elements of the story (The characters) are intentionally left a blank slate.

it's been done before. HERE is just a recent example of putting a story behind a module/series of modules.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Paizo is a big company now and act like one.

BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahhaha

Big company?

*Snort-giggle-snort*

BWAHHWHAHHAHAHhahah...

No, seriously...

BHHIIIHHHIIIIiii...

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:
Might've gotten missed but what about doing an adaption of the cartoon, nostalgia sells :-)

Nope didnt miss it just dismissed it :)

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Juda de Kerioth wrote:
Forever Slayer wrote:

Big corporations are the bane of RPG's and Hasbro is no exception.

I believe D&D would be better off in the hands of a smaller company who does not see D&D as a mega money maker but as a table top game that may not earn you billions, will earn you a nice profit while giving gamers the game they want. I see Hasbro as the kind of company that would break that antique piggy bank in order to get to the money inside. I could see them getting frustrated because D&D didn't meet their crazy goals and shelving it.

What get's me is a company like Hasbro and WoTC can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Paizo is a big company now and act like one. Sell nearly 15 items per month... at least wotc doesn´t sell too much things at the same time.

Love the game, hate the money farming tool that we have become for them

Paizo is a pretty small company, actually. WotC is a subsidiary of a big company that sells tens (if not hundreds, considering all of their subsidiaries and licensees) of thousands of distinct products a month. Fifteen items a month, a few of which aren't anything but maps and accessory stuff, is hardly an overwhelming product release schedule.

Edit, just because: And, yeah, it's sad the talent actually wants to eat. If you don't want to be a money farming tool, make your own rules up and get your friends to play with you.


8 people marked this as a favorite.

Paizo is still small in the grand scheme of things (though I suspect it is rather large for an RPG company).

But as for money farming...I think they actually go out of their way to be reasonable, especially with the price of the PDFs of their hardcovers. You could buy the Core Rulebook and Bestiary in PDF ($20) and play for years. Would they like to sell you more? Of course. But it's not like they wouldn't still be glad to have you playing Pathfinder just because you don't spend $100 a month.

As capitalism goes, Paizo is about as benign as it gets.


MMCJawa wrote:
thejeff wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The problem with a D&D movie is simple: there's no story or even characters to adapt. Therefore, for it to be recognizably a D&D movie, it's got to use the tropes attached to D&D, which are adapted to a game, participatory style, not a narrative one. And generally don't work all that well when turned into narrative form.

Probably best to base it on one of the existing narrative properties - Dragonlance could work and I'd really prefer it. D'rizzt might be more likely.

I think they should forget the "instantly recognizable as a D&D movie" bit. Just make a genuinely good fantasy movie and the rest will take care of itself.

Then there's no point in using the property.

"I think they should just make a good fantasy movie" is good advice for a movie studio, but it doesn't leave Hasbro with a product to sell.

You use the creative IP of the material, like Forgotten realms, or beholders, or the various races, etc.

or you adapt the novels

I don't think most of the modules and APs would adapt well. As RPG materials, the most important elements of the story (The characters) are intentionally left a blank slate. You could certainly use elements of modules, but it might be easier to just start from scratch.

captain yesterday wrote:
What if they adopted the cartoon into a live action movie, nostalgia sells

Your idea is bad and you should feel bad. ;p

LazarX wrote:

The thing is... not that many people are nostalgic about D+D or any other role playing game. Not nearly to the same extent they wax nostalgic over baseball cards and old cartoon shows. It was and remains, essentially a niche hobby.

I'e watched all of the old D+D movies. If I had to pay movie price to see any of them, I'd have felt cheated out of my money. If nostalgia couldn't sell the D+D movies to ME, who's played the game since 1980, who would it sell to?

Mmmmeh. There's more to it though, than just that.

I wax nostalgic over Brave Starr, and that's a pretty objectively terrible show. I know many who feel that way about old, objectively bad cartoon shows. Yet, I don't feel the same about my Baseball cards... and I don't really know that many people who do.

The point is, what strikes as nostalgic to some doesn't to others, and some things are more prone to creating and tugging at those in narrative forms than others. If it's presented in a recognizable way, that nostalgia will be triggered. If it's not, it won't.

The very fans of the old Transformers tend to (as a whole) hate the new movies, and don't feel nostalgia for them, because they're unrecognizable, relatively speaking.

This is true of the three D&D movies as well - or, when they are recognizable, they have such a weak budget, direction, and writing as to fail before the power of your imagination.

Wrath of the Dragon God felt hokey, but D&D-like. Book of Vile Darkness does a very good job of explaining how a mixed group of alignments often suss out (though subverts the expected direction, somewhat). But neither feels epic, despite that, due to the fore-mentioned problems.

And this is the ultimate issue.

You need a compelling story, but you need a solid budget as well. You need to understand what and how people accept when they're looking at a screen - what breaks the illusion and what doesn't.

I think it could be well done. I've long advocated Sones of Gruumsh as a perfect "basic" D&D film. It has most everything you'd need to hit all the tropes: dire rituals, unique magic items, kidnapped nobility, background politics that prevent action, assassination, independent cities on the edge of the wilderness that make enough sense to exist - the perfect recipe for allowing adventurers to do their thing. At 4th level, it's high level enough to allow unusual and interesting effects, but low level enough to avoid most of the game-breaking and world altering conceits. It introduces a city-spanning threat, while avoiding the world-threatening stuff. The narrative actively calls for (and makes way for) the various skills of any given set of PCs. And the costuming would be less severe or strange than for many other similar things. The heroes are actively motivated both by wealth and fame and (potentially) by things other than that (goodness, or whatever) - all the possible motivations are present and comprehensible.

It's not the Best Module Ever Made... but it's probably one of the Most Stereotypical D&D Modules with all the bones needed to create a solid story (i.e. the dialogue and acting).

At any rate, I think that such an adaptation would be possible. If not that, than something similar.

The original 2000 film both failed at understanding D&D or the tropes that informed it and simultaneously reached too far too quickly (going from "level" roughly zero to roughly twenty). These both hampered any sense of cohesive narrative. If things had been scaled properly, I maintain that even with the acting, direction, and other choices remaining, it could have at least been a decently entertaining film, ala Wrath of the Dragon God (though not much better than that).

Shadow Lodge

bugleyman wrote:
As capitalism goes, Paizo is about as benign as it gets.

Except when they offer a limited edition of an art book when they know that quite a few pieces of the art have problems.

It's hard for me to see that as anything but a blatant cash grab.


Kthulhu wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
As capitalism goes, Paizo is about as benign as it gets.

Except when they offer a limited edition of an art book when they know that quite a few pieces of the art have problems.

It's hard for me to see that as anything but a blatant cash grab.

I don't know much about the book in question, other than it's the Art of WAR (personally, I think his art looks ridiculous), but from what I've heard Paizo absolutely should have made it right. That said, compared to, say, causing an oil spill or knowingly dumping cancer-causing industrial waste -- things we know corporations have done in the pursuit of profit -- screwing up an art book is pretty benign.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Drejk wrote:
Spook205 wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
knightnday wrote:
They need to do better than staple the name D&D to something and hope the money comes in.

Why? It worked* with Starship Troopers... To use a (very relevant) example, considering the way the first movie was produced.

And, no, I don't think Starship Troopers was that good of a movie. It definitely wasn't a good adaptation of the book.

*- Sort of (estimated $105 million budget vs. $121 million worldwide gross); enough to make a couple sequels, at least.

It was a bad adaptation because the director set out intentionally to try to torpedo Heinlein because he thought Heinlein was somehow 'fascist' which shows Mr. Verhoeven's got reading comprehension issues...
Actually he had no reading comprehension issues. Because he quite explicitly not read it instead ordering someone to tell him what was it about. IIRC he couldn't read through one of the early monologues so he resorted to doing this.

The fact is that the screenplay was already written before the decision was made to acquire the rights to the book; effectively, the name was just "stapled on." Basically, from the viewpoint of corporate suits (or, even worse, Hollywood corporate suits), if they can make money by stapling a name on a mediocre product (with a few tweaks to include some IP), then they will take the "easy" road and do so; and not look back.

"Reading comprehension issues" seems accurate, if he "couldn't read" it. Personally, I think it says more about Mr. Verhoeven's baggage than anything else; especially with his interpretation of Heinlein (who was very much a champion of individual liberties) as "fascist." Starship Troopers is definitely "pro-military," to the extent that it touches on the virtues of military service (both on the macro and micro level): on the macro level, control of resources (both raw materials and location for trade purposes) fuels societal growth (economic, population, technology) and helps prevent stagnation; on the micro level, the individual virtues of discipline (largely imposed at first, but you can't remain in the military for long without self-discipline), teamwork, and (in nations/societies with a volunteer military) willingness to risk one's life for one's nation/society (this moral choice is one that Heinlein explores in some depth). Verhoeven's attitude strikes me as classic "Ivory Tower" bleeding-heart nonsense; he probably saw the "only veterans can vote" bit and equated it with the American jingoistic right-wingers. There is a lot more variation in political views among the military than many without military experience expect; Heinlein, as a veteran, was well aware of this.


Kthulhu wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
As capitalism goes, Paizo is about as benign as it gets.

Except when they offer a limited edition of an art book when they know that quite a few pieces of the art have problems.

It's hard for me to see that as anything but a blatant cash grab.

I have that book, and none of the art in my copy has issues with it. I've examined the specific pages I've seen been complained about and been literally unable to see the issue.

I guess some of the books had printing errors? But it's definitely not the entire run.


Zhangar wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
As capitalism goes, Paizo is about as benign as it gets.

Except when they offer a limited edition of an art book when they know that quite a few pieces of the art have problems.

It's hard for me to see that as anything but a blatant cash grab.

I have that book, and none of the art in my copy has issues with it. I've examined the specific pages I've seen been complained about and been literally unable to see the issue.

I guess some of the books had printing errors? But it's definitely not the entire run.

Where can I find this art book, of which you speak? Paizo has some of the most fun art I've ever seen in an RPG. Cash grab or not, I'd love to have that!

Shadow Lodge

Joe Hex wrote:
Where can I find this art book, of which you speak? Paizo has some of the most fun art I've ever seen in an RPG. Cash grab or not, I'd love to have that!

I'll sell you my cash-grab edition for $50 + S&H.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Joe Hex wrote:
Where can I find this art book, of which you speak? Paizo has some of the most fun art I've ever seen in an RPG. Cash grab or not, I'd love to have that!

Visions of WAR

Here is the limited edition.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Joe Hex wrote:
Zhangar wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
As capitalism goes, Paizo is about as benign as it gets.

Except when they offer a limited edition of an art book when they know that quite a few pieces of the art have problems.

It's hard for me to see that as anything but a blatant cash grab.

I have that book, and none of the art in my copy has issues with it. I've examined the specific pages I've seen been complained about and been literally unable to see the issue.

I guess some of the books had printing errors? But it's definitely not the entire run.

Where can I find this art book, of which you speak? Paizo has some of the most fun art I've ever seen in an RPG. Cash grab or not, I'd love to have that!

Here is the standard version.

Theres also a limited edition version.

Note that it's the art of Wayne Reynolds, not limited to just what he's produced for paizo. I too had no issue with the quality of the pictures. Several people (with better eyeseight than me) found "pixelation" and other flaws in some images. There's some discussion about it in that first thread (including a little bit as to what the issue actually was, but not a lot).


Thanks for the links everyone! And for the over-priced used-copy offer Kthulhu. :)

Shadow Lodge

I have several issues with it above and beyond the pixelization / low-resolution images.

1. The overuse of white space. As has been mentioned, none of the pictures have commentary or anything of those lines. So if you only have one picture on the page, there's no need for it to be shrunk down to only taking up about a quarter of the page. Yet this book consistently does just this...not just with the sketches, but with the fully finished pieces as well. This probably links back to the resolution problem, as the smaller they print the images on the page, the less likely that people are to notice the pixelization / blurring.

2. That Paizo may not have been able to get full-resolution images for some of the works he did for other companies (notably WotC) is understandable, if disappointing. But some of the problem images are for his work on Paizo products. How is it that, for example, the core rulebook cover printed full size on the Core Rulebook looks so much better than it does printed at a much smaller size in this artbook?

3. All in all, I would consider these to be minor issues if this was an RPG book. For example, the 3.5 Campaign Setting book has some pixelization on the cover, and that never really bothered me. But this is an art book. The point is the art. If you can't do the art justice in an art book, then there's no point to it.

4. And we come to the biggest issue: From some of the comments on the product discussion forum by (IIRC) Erik Mona, Paizo was aware of the fact that the low-resolution images existed. Yet they still published a cash-grab / limited edition of the artbook, and charged people an additional $20. That is, in my opinion, unconscionable. It's pretty much the thing that made me lose faith in Paizo as a company.

Joe Hex wrote:
Thanks for the links everyone! And for the over-priced used-copy offer Kthulhu. :)

So is that a no?

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
bugleyman wrote:

Paizo is still small in the grand scheme of things (though I suspect it is rather large for an RPG company).

But as for money farming...I think they actually go out of their way to be reasonable, especially with the price of the PDFs of their hardcovers. You could buy the Core Rulebook and Bestiary in PDF ($20) and play for years. Would they like to sell you more? Of course. But it's not like they wouldn't still be glad to have you playing Pathfinder just because you don't spend $100 a month.

As capitalism goes, Paizo is about as benign as it gets.

I would posit that you could even play the game for free if you simply made use of the PRD, but the model is in place to make you want to buy more.

It is this model that games like FATE that somehow become viable business models. You are correct in that it is benign as capitalism goes. Things like faulty and overpriced art books smack more of poor business decisions than greedy cash grabs. I can think of RPG companies having done far far worse to gouge players for money, but even those were done out of desperate buffoonery than for corporate greed.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

The flaws or otherwise of that book are somewhat subjective. (I don't agree the images are poor quality, though some of kthulhu's other points seem valid). Erik's reply seemed reasonable to me:

Quote:

Folks,

Thanks for your feedback on the image quality in this book. In many cases, the images in question are very old, and came directly from Wayne. When choosing between not having a piece of art at all, or using the best quality of image available to us, we chose to err on the side of inclusion, particularly if the image quality was not distracting.

Some of the pages listed [in the discussion thread], for example, are either sketches in the first place or take a fair amount of study to even notice that there is a problem.

Others perhaps should not have been included, or we should have worked harder to find a higher-resolution image, but in our opinion these images are very much in the minority.

Each customer will have to take a look at the printed book and make the decision for themselves as to whether this precludes a purchase or not.

I'm not sure it's a poor business decision so much as a misalignment of expectations - paizo wanted to include some pictures for which they didn't have perfect images - there's an editorial trade off between only including flawless images and covering a wider spectrum of WAR's work.

Sovereign Court

Steve Geddes wrote:


I'm not sure it's a poor business decision so much as a misalignment of expectations - paizo wanted to include some pictures for which they didn't have perfect images - there's an editorial trade off between only including flawless images and covering a wider spectrum of WAR's work.

Fair enough. I'll accept that explanation, not having bought the book in either of its incarnations. All the same, I see art books for role playing games as extraneous merchandise, and I wouldn't be nearly as upset about such a purchase if I had been one of the people to have paid for a copy.

That having been said, my statements were meant to reflect that the concept of an art book, quality aside, aren't necessarily greedy as would be a poorly edited role playing supplement hastily put out to make money, as I could give numerous examples.

Such examples so far do not include Paizo. Your experience may be in variation from mine in this respect.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm not sure it's a poor business decision so much as a misalignment of expectations - paizo wanted to include some pictures for which they didn't have perfect images - there's an editorial trade off between only including flawless images and covering a wider spectrum of WAR's work.

I could accept that, if some of the problem images weren't ones that Paizo holds the rights to. They manage to print out the Core Rulebook cover at a much larger size on the cover of every Core Rulebook, and it doesn't have the problems it had in Visions of WAR.

Shadow Lodge

Lorathorn wrote:
I see art books for role playing games as extraneous merchandise, and I wouldn't be nearly as upset about such a purchase if I had been one of the people to have paid for a copy.

I'd be less bitter about it if I hadn't randomly decided to upgrade to the cash-grab edition at the last moment.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Kthulhu wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I'm not sure it's a poor business decision so much as a misalignment of expectations - paizo wanted to include some pictures for which they didn't have perfect images - there's an editorial trade off between only including flawless images and covering a wider spectrum of WAR's work.
I could accept that, if some of the problem images weren't ones that Paizo holds the rights to. They manage to print out the Core Rulebook cover at a much larger size on the cover of every Core Rulebook, and it doesn't have the problems it had in Visions of WAR.

This is one of your points I agree with.

Nonetheless, "cash grab" in my mind speaks to motive. I don't think paizo put that book out to make much money (including the special edition). I think they put it out to celebrate Wayne Reynolds work over the years. The issue (whatever it is - I genuinely haven't noticed it) is editorial, in my view - not ethical.

People regularly claim to want art books and regularly decide not to buy them - paizo have oodles of better avenues for grabbing cash than this, if they want them.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Personally, I think it says more about Mr. Verhoeven's baggage than anything else; especially with his interpretation of Heinlein (who was very much a champion of individual liberties) as "fascist."

That's dangerously simplistic. I really doubt that you'll find that many people who don't "champion" individual liberty. But that's just buzz talk. Heinlein is complicated case to judge. In the same vein "fascist" is a frequently misapplied term. In many of his later books, Heinlein is far from a fan of social safety net programs, despite the fact that he himself went through a period that he was only able to put food on the table because of them. That's not surprising.. the dehumanizing way many of our programs are enacted, and the outright hatred that America has towards it's poor, leave many folks who recover out of that status, reluctant to identify with it.


LazarX wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:
Personally, I think it says more about Mr. Verhoeven's baggage than anything else; especially with his interpretation of Heinlein (who was very much a champion of individual liberties) as "fascist."
That's dangerously simplistic. I really doubt that you'll find that many people who don't "champion" individual liberty. But that's just buzz talk. Heinlein is complicated case to judge. In the same vein "fascist" is a frequently misapplied term. In many of his later books, Heinlein is far from a fan of social safety net programs, despite the fact that he himself went through a period that he was only able to put food on the table because of them. That's not surprising.. the dehumanizing way many of our programs are enacted, and the outright hatred that America has towards it's poor, leave many folks who recover out of that status, reluctant to identify with it.

LazarX, Dragonchess Player, please have this this conversation in the Gamer Life fora, movies or books, your choice. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Forever Slayer wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

yeah certainly a small company like Paizo has no interest in expanding into video games or T-shirts or adorably cute plush goblins so why would WotC :-) that's all basics of brand building, like taught in elementary school basics :-)

Certainly WotC didn't need Hasbro to tell them to do that :-)

Thing is, Paizo has shown they can do all this and still keep Pathfinder in the spotlight with no slowing down.

Wizards can't seem to grasp that concept.

You mean the video games that we've licensed to Goblinworks and Obsidian, and the T-shirts we licensed to Offworld Designs, and the plush goblins we licensed to Diamond? Turns out there's a trick to doing that without slowing down—don't do it yourself!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
GreyWolfLord wrote:
I think Paizo has a fallibility that they believe their own stories a little too much. They talk about splitting the lines weakening the brand, but to tell the truth, ONE major reason I think TSR's D&D was dominate for soooo long was because the SPLIT the line directly between D&D and AD&D.

This isn't just some "story." When Wizards bought TSR, Lisa was assigned the task of figuring out why TSR was in in such dire straits that they *needed* to be bought. She collected sales data on pretty much every significant product TSR ever published, interviewed former and then-current employees and distributors, and Wizards did the largest survey of gamers ever done in the industry. She managed to pull together data that even TSR execs didn't have access to when they were running the company. And all this data showed that every new campaign setting split the market more than it grew the market.

And this wasn't just historical—we saw it happen in front of our eyes while we published three adventures in every issue of Dungeon magazine. If we published a Forgotten Realms adventure, Greyhawk players would complain they couldn't use a third of the magazine, and vice versa. And, as I've mentioned before, there was one particular campaign setting (which I won't name) that, if we put its name on the cover of the magazine, it would guarantee that we'd sell fewer copies of that issue that the issues before or after it, even when more than 2/3 of the magazine had nothing to do with that setting.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Vic Wertz wrote:

And, as I've mentioned before, there was one particular campaign setting (which I won't name) that, if we put its name on the cover of the magazine, it would guarantee that we'd sell fewer copies of that issue that the issues before or after it, even when more than 2/3 of the magazine had nothing to do with that setting.

*eyes bug out*

Dang. I hadn't heard that before.


Not that it is worth much, but I would like to support Mr. Wertz examples above only because it aligns with what I read in Designers and Dragons.


Makes me curious what that particular setting was that repelled people more effectively than the much talked about "aromatic" gamer seems to do.

I personally can't believe that things done for other settings would be seen as useless wastes of paper. Adventures is one thing, as that would require more work for the DM, which that time required is already strapped enough to where the DM is using a published adventure (which is what many people have said is why they do), but other things? I know that it happens, I just can't believe that it does. It boggles my mind.

It makes perfect sense business-wise to focus on a single setting, like what Paizo has done, and what WotC is doing. But it feels, to me, that it does the same thing as spreading out into many settings. If a group doesn't like Golarion or Faerun (which there are many people, but there are many people who do like them), and prefer something else (such as Planescape, or Ravenloft, or Dragonlance, etc), they are SOL as nothing is made for them, which feels exclusionary.

I have always used homebrew settings in the past, and will continue doing so. Books for other settings have always been useful for me. I bought a number of FR and Eberron books during 3rd edition, and also have many books from the various TSR settings from 1st and 2nd edition (yay garage sales), and I have found many things from many of those books to be useful and worth inclusion into my own setting. I would almost certainly feel the same if I ran exclusively in one of the published settings. Not everything from every book is useful (mostly Ravenloft or Dark Sun stuff being the more useless ones), but I have found many things to include. Especially from the many monster books.

So yeah, what Mr Wertz said is foreign to me. That comment about the repellant setting is going to eat at me to no end.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It might be best if we don'tDarken the thread with talk about a setting that upsets some people, and instead keep a Sunny disposition *

*pure speculation


1 person marked this as a favorite.

lol

I bought every dungeon magazines that Paizo ever produced, and so I know exactly what Vic is talking about. I did find the issues that contained that particular setting were consigned to my least favorite pile, while the Greyhawk oriented ones were always on my do not resell ever pile.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Terquem wrote:

Not that it is worth much, but I would like to support Mr. Wertz examples above only because it aligns with what I read in Designers and Dragons.

I suspect that Vic and the author of those books has the same source. Although Vic probably didnt need to make an appointment.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:

And, as I've mentioned before, there was one particular campaign setting (which I won't name) that, if we put its name on the cover of the magazine, it would guarantee that we'd sell fewer copies of that issue that the issues before or after it, even when more than 2/3 of the magazine had nothing to do with that setting.

*eyes bug out*

Dang. I hadn't heard that before.

I've been trying to gather clues since I first heard this mentioned - my guess is Dark Sun or Eberron. Dark Sun would be my A Priori guess, but Vic's reluctance to name it made me lean towards Eberron. (It's possible I have way too much time on my hands, of course...).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A little off topic, but I wonder which Paizo produced Dungeon magazine was the best seller? I put my money on issue 112 (Maure Castle super adventure).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Black Dougal wrote:
A little off topic, but I wonder which Paizo produced Dungeon magazine was the best seller? I put my money on issue 112 (Maure Castle super adventure).

I would bet on the Drow issue of Dragon, not sure about Dungeon. Issue 100 maybe.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Because I have a little two much time on my hands I went through my collection, and found 7 issues with Ebberon adventures, and none with Dark Sun although i do recall there was at least one.

Issues with Ebberon adventures were were #113, #115, #117,#124 #136, #143 and #150.

As most of them had adventure paths in them, I would assume they still sold ok. In fact, most of them have a Greg Vaughn or Nick Logue adventure I like so I wouldn't say any of them were useless.

But, on the flipside I am staring at issue #124 right now and while I had no use for the Ebberon adventure inside, it ranks as my second favorite Dungeon of all time (after #112) because it has Erik Mona's superb intro to Diamond Lake and, a freaking major bonus, another Maure Castle adventure from Rob Kuntz.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Awesome, thanks! Some people have even more time for idle speculation than me. :)


Vic Wertz wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
I think Paizo has a fallibility that they believe their own stories a little too much. They talk about splitting the lines weakening the brand, but to tell the truth, ONE major reason I think TSR's D&D was dominate for soooo long was because the SPLIT the line directly between D&D and AD&D.

This isn't just some "story." When Wizards bought TSR, Lisa was assigned the task of figuring out why TSR was in in such dire straits that they *needed* to be bought. She collected sales data on pretty much every significant product TSR ever published, interviewed former and then-current employees and distributors, and Wizards did the largest survey of gamers ever done in the industry. She managed to pull together data that even TSR execs didn't have access to when they were running the company. And all this data showed that every new campaign setting split the market more than it grew the market.

And this wasn't just historical—we saw it happen in front of our eyes while we published three adventures in every issue of Dungeon magazine. If we published a Forgotten Realms adventure, Greyhawk players would complain they couldn't use a third of the magazine, and vice versa. And, as I've mentioned before, there was one particular campaign setting (which I won't name) that, if we put its name on the cover of the magazine, it would guarantee that we'd sell fewer copies of that issue that the issues before or after it, even when more than 2/3 of the magazine had nothing to do with that setting.

I KNOW the story and the history behind it.

I've ALSO heard the side that no one else normally hears from others who ALSO have looked at those numbers.

I even brought it up a few months ago.

In this specific instance though, I'm not talking about the various campaign lines, I'm talking specifically about the best selling item for D&D and how double lines (AD&D and D&D lines) actually can be seen as the parallel to when the AD&D and TSR started getting into VERY hot water.

One of the things is that the core rules ALWAYS sold (something I believe that was tried to push in 3e to 4e where rules were placed over fluff supplements) as opposed to the items that you are discussing.

Paizo has reasoned one reason NOT to split the line is that splitting the line decreases profits, however, in the case of D&D and AD&D I don't feel this is true. If they looked at the numbers it would be obvious that the D&D redbox was actually one of the biggest sellers among the lines, and if surveys and other items were seen, it would be shown that it was the single biggest introductory item in the history of D&D.

Furthermore, the D&D line could almost be seen as something that was supplementary in sales for the AD&D line, and when the redbox line was discontinued (though they tried to replace it with a basic set that really didn't do the same thing) there can be seen an alternate parallel with decreasing sales for the lines overall.

It's interesting that though the fracturing of campaign worlds is always touted, this little item where the parallel lines item is constantly ignored and the excuse which is applied to CAMPAIGN worlds as opposed to rules systems, is used as the excuse instead (an excuse which doesn't really hold water in regards to the TSR with the D&D BECMI and AD&D lines, one of which was discontinued by the time of TSR's decline).

This isn't to say Paizo's plan hasn't been successful (I'd say it's been and Paizo is profiting) but that they believe a little too much of their own story instead as an excuse instead of looking at the history of the game and when it was most productive.

I'd bet that a LOT of the success that Paizo started to have deals a LOT with the introductory set that Paizo started (Beginner Box) and that in some ways, a comparison of Paizo's success before and after release of it could show some interesting trends.

As for splitting the lines, once again, Paizo has already done it to a degree (but not like the TSR line split of D&D and AD&D back in 1977 and even more so in 1981 right before the fad took off) with the card game.

I'm not stating Paizo of doing something bad here, just that the numbers I've seen and stories from just about EVERYONE else that were involved have said something else in regards specifically to the B/X and BECMI lines in regards to the AD&D lines and whether they decreased profits or not.

This has nothing to do with the splitting of campaign worlds (so nothing with the FR, DL, RL, BR, AQ, PS, SJ or any of the other dilutions of the campaign worlds), but specifically with the split of the AD&D and D&D line. It's been used as an excuse by Paizo why they don't have a similar BECMI line themselves, but their excuse and reality really aren't connected.

If they were, D&D and AD&D would have been dead on delivery in 1977, and even moreso in 1981 when the line was really split between B/X D&D (which BECMI replaced) and AD&D.

Instead, history shows something different occurred. THAT's not just some "story" either, and in fact is part of history that is far more visible in some ways than trying to garner the numbers from the accountants from TSR (and those who have been and current are at Hasbro) today (which also has been done).

I'm not saying the story of Lisa's is false at all in this instance, what I'm saying is that Paizo has used that as an excuse in regards to something that is obviously unrelated and has a historical precedent that's pretty obvious for all to see that doesn't support that excuse in regards to the split of the rule system at TSR in regards specifically to the B/X and BECMI lines running concurrent with the AD&D lines (and it may be added the B/X and BECMI lines were discontinued before TSR's troubles in the mid to late 90s, and ironically in some ways with the RC were discontinued right before those troubles began).

To be clear, I think Paizo has a good business plan and is profitable. I'm not contending that in the least. I think there are a few areas Paizo could expand however.

In that light, I'm saying if there was more support for the BB and Beginners in general, it could be a way for Paizo to increase their profits. I know the idea is similar to how the Redbox worked in reality (as opposed to how B/X and BECMI worked in theory) where it gets players started and transitions them to the Core rules. However, a little more support (and the Strategy Guide, though fun, really wasn't the way to do it, I've found it's not as useful for beginners as one would like) for the BB similar to the BECMI or B/X rules would push it a little stronger.

And that's basically all I'm saying, that more BB support wouldn't necessarily dilute the Core Rules AND IF IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY (which could be difficult to do speaking honestly) could actually expand Pathfinder to a far greater degree than what it is now.

In history, you saw it with Holmes, you saw it with B/X, and though BECMI is more questionable, the B and E sections sold terrifically and if nothing else introduced many to the game of D&D for the first time in unprecedented numbers.

Paizo already has the BB, doubling down (once again, if done correctly, and to me the strategy guide wasn't that per se) isn't necessarily the death knell that the excuse would make it seem to be (IMO obviously).

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hasbro and D&D…
This is a tricky issue. Hasbro doesn't really care about D&D. At all. Magic makes an order of magnitude more money. The only time they've really given D&D any notice has been recent months when they can hold up its growth and better than average sales (comparing the launch of 5e with sales of the prior year, which had zero products).
Hasbro is a big company with their own product lines to manage and their own affairs to worry about, most of which also make far more money than D&D. Hasbro may own Wizards of the Coast but the day-to-day and even year-to-year management of the company is independant. The CEO of WotC is the real power in that company and the one who makes all the decisions.

The existence and success of WotC put D&D in an awkward place. The CEO is not a gamer. He's a businessman with no love for the hobby. He's going to make ruthless business-orientated decisions. If D&D underperforms he will axe product lines and call for layoffs. This has put D&D in an awkward place in the past, where its revenues were not high enough to satisfy or justify its team numbers. However, back then all of D&D was related to the tabletop RPG. D&D was *just* the RPG. It was this big brand focused on a single product with sub-accessories with a single audience providing all the money.
Now they've spread out the D&D love, focusing on miniature games (Attack Wing), the board game, the novels, and the video games. All this makes more money for "D&D" without requiring constant RPG book sales. The brand is being encouraged to grow making more money to satisfy the bean counters. However, the brand has to continue to produce profit. If the money stops, the RPG or other product lines can be shelved and retired. The smaller percentage of the revenue that the RPG is part of the better, because it means the less likely it is for a few bad months to kill that product line.

Would D&D be better if owned by a small company? Possibly, but it's debatable. As has been mentioned, TSR was a smaller company and it almost went under a couple times due to mismanagement.
Small companies have less ability to weather a poorly selling product or cancel an in-development book. They have to go forward, even if they'd rather not. And delaying a book is often not an option (but, getting them out on time is equally hard). Small companies are also much more reliant on the constant revenue of the books, necessitating more product for pure sales purposes to keep the company afloat. They're just as dependant on the bottom line, only with more pressure and less ability for long term investment. The sales have to come now and not a year from now.
For example, Paizo is super dependant on Pathfinder. Prior to the Adventure Card Game If they stopped producing content for a couple months it would have *really* hurt the company. And not so long ago the company could have been wiped out by a couple poor products. Even now, where there's plenty enough Pathfinder content to last us for, well, forever and a day, we still get monthly products full of feats and spells. But it's not like they can slow down and focus on their other products. They [i[need[/i] that money.

Small companies do not always make great business decisions. Most are run by gamers and writers, and if gaming is your passion you're unlikely to have an MBA and experience running a company. This is akin to game stores, which are a hard business to keep afloat and their biggest liability is often the owner/manager. It'd be very easy for a small company to make a bad decision by making a product they want that doesn't sell well or overprint or is mispriced. I've heard of small publishers losing money on kickstarters, underestimating the taxes or shipping costs.
The fact is, well-managed smaller companies should be just as concerned about profits as Hasbro and WotC. No one is running a professional publishing company as a full-time job for fun. It's their job, their livelihood. They're not releasing books out of the goodness of their heart. And it's not like most smaller RPG companies are able to release more content. Small means less staff to make books. Even as a shadow of its former self, WotC has one of the larger RPG divisions in the business.
And well managed small companies that produce quality material people like have the unfortunate tendency to become big companies. Paizo is another great example of that. I have some solid brand loyalty to Pathfinder and great respect for Paizo… but they're big now. Detrimentally big. They've moved beyond being able to take feedback from message boards or easily converse with all their fans. (See the ACG playtest surveys, which were not entirely adequate in providing feedback.) They've outgrown their GenCon convention space.

At its core, this thread is really yet another "I want more book!" complaint, operating under the idea another company could put out more books that WotC is currently releasing.
Except there's really only a couple RPG publishers out there that can produce more than 2-3 books a year. Paizo can do it,Onyx Path and Fantasy Flight Games are doing a surprising amount of content. But those publishers already have product lines, and are likely hesitant to double their staff for a second product line.
Other publishers tend to rely on Kickstarter and/or only release a couple noteworthy products each year. Dresden Files was an ENnie award winning game that did super well in 2010-11. It's only now getting an accessory, bringing the total books up to 3. Shadowrun released its core rulebook last summer and has only released PDFs since. Even big names like Numenera, 13th Age, and Cubicle 7's RPG lines all only have a couple of noteworthy products.
Really, a smaller publisher would likely release *less* content.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
GreyWolfLord wrote:

I KNOW the story and the history behind it.

I've ALSO heard the side that no one else normally hears from others who ALSO have looked at those numbers.

Such as?

GreyWolfLord wrote:

In this specific instance though, I'm not talking about the various campaign lines, I'm talking specifically about the best selling item for D&D and how double lines (AD&D and D&D lines) actually can be seen as the parallel to when the AD&D and TSR started getting into VERY hot water.

One of the things is that the core rules ALWAYS sold (something I believe that was tried to push in 3e to 4e where rules were placed over fluff supplements) as opposed to the items that you are discussing.
Paizo has reasoned one reason NOT to split the line is that splitting the line decreases profits, however, in the case of D&D and AD&D I don't feel this is true. If they looked at the numbers it would be obvious that the D&D redbox was actually one of the biggest sellers among the lines, and if surveys and other items were seen, it would be shown that it was the single biggest introductory item in the history of D&D.
Furthermore, the D&D line could almost be seen as something that was supplementary in sales for the AD&D line, and when the redbox line was discontinued (though they tried to replace it with a basic set that really didn't do the same thing) there can be seen an alternate parallel with decreasing sales for the lines overall.
It's interesting that though the fracturing of campaign worlds is always touted, this little item where the parallel lines item is constantly ignored and the excuse which is applied to CAMPAIGN worlds as opposed to rules systems, is used as the excuse instead (an excuse which doesn't really hold water in regards to the TSR with the D&D BECMI and AD&D lines, one of which was discontinued by the time of TSR's decline).

The catch is doubling products does not double profits.

Books have production costs. Even if you share art (which Basic and Advanced didn't) you still have to pay for writing, editing, and related staffing costs (computers, office space, etc). Each product you release starts off in the red and you need a certain number of sales to even make a profit.
Double product lines mean double expenses. A single product line might mean less total sales might slightly higher sales for individual products which translates to higher gross profits. Two product lines is basically making your own competition as you're taking sales away from your own books. Twin product lines only work when there is virtually no overlap in audiences or the fanbase might buy both. Like Gamma World and D&D or the Adventure Card Game and Pathfinder.

You can do the math yourself. A good RPG game will take a solid year of development and testing (D&D usually takes 3). A small team of 2-4 people would be involved, each making 30k a year. And a few extra people are involved in the last month or two for editing, layout, and the like. Even before art a book will cost $100,000. Add in another $50,000 for art. The publisher sees $10 from a $50 book. So a book needs to sell 15,000 copies to even turn a profit. (And this is before you consider indirect costs such as office space, management, Human Resources people, computers, etc.)
So if you have or two books that each sell 30,000 copies (60,000 total sales) you've made $300,000. But if instead you released one book that targets the majority of both audiences and sells 50,000 copies you've made $350,000. Ten thousand people are unhappy but this is the hard difference between running a successful business and one that just breaks even.

So while a Pathfinder Basic would sell and likely sell very well, some of those sales would come at the cost of the regular RPG line. And that means less money for Paizo. This sucks for the people who want a simpler Pathfinder-esque game, but Paizo isn't an RPG-based charity.

It'd be different if the content was roughly compatible, so you could buy the same adventures and monster products. But that wasn't the case with Basic and Advanced, which had their own separate accessories.
(D&D 5 has the right idea where Basic is just a variant and is compatible with the full game.)
Basic D&D wasn't just a rule set either. Really, there were virtually no accessories for that system. Most of its accessories came in the form of the Mystara campaign setting. So that was fans who also weren't buying the Forgotten Realms accessories or adventures, making that doubly bad.

Liberty's Edge

Vic Wertz wrote:

And, as I've mentioned before, there was one particular campaign setting (which I won't name) that, if we put its name on the cover of the magazine, it would guarantee that we'd sell fewer copies of that issue that the issues before or after it, even when more than 2/3 of the magazine had nothing to do with that setting.

I am *super* curious which setting this is.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:
I think Paizo has a fallibility that they believe their own stories a little too much. They talk about splitting the lines weakening the brand, but to tell the truth, ONE major reason I think TSR's D&D was dominate for soooo long was because the SPLIT the line directly between D&D and AD&D.

This isn't just some "story." When Wizards bought TSR, Lisa was assigned the task of figuring out why TSR was in in such dire straits that they *needed* to be bought. She collected sales data on pretty much every significant product TSR ever published, interviewed former and then-current employees and distributors, and Wizards did the largest survey of gamers ever done in the industry. She managed to pull together data that even TSR execs didn't have access to when they were running the company. And all this data showed that every new campaign setting split the market more than it grew the market.

And this wasn't just historical—we saw it happen in front of our eyes while we published three adventures in every issue of Dungeon magazine. If we published a Forgotten Realms adventure, Greyhawk players would complain they couldn't use a third of the magazine, and vice versa. And, as I've mentioned before, there was one particular campaign setting (which I won't name) that, if we put its name on the cover of the magazine, it would guarantee that we'd sell fewer copies of that issue that the issues before or after it, even when more than 2/3 of the magazine had nothing to do with that setting.

Spelljammer? ;-)

251 to 300 of 384 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Gaming / D&D / 4th Edition / I believe Hasbro will be the downfall of D&D. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.