Monday, October 27, 2008

Quote of the Day

Daniel Proctor hits the nail on the head:
So for those of you out there who keep asking why WotC won't republish old editions of D&D, I think you have your answer right there. It's not that they have some secret agenda. It's nothing personal against AD&D, OD&D, Basic D&D, etc. If they thought they would make money hand over fist on any of those you can bet anything they'd have published them a long time ago. Again, it's about the $.

The point of all of this? This is why hobby publishing is so important. The biggest goal of hobby publishing is not to make money. OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, Mutant Future, Swords & Wizardry, those of us who produce these games do so because we enjoy the hobby and want to see these rules carry on.

So when Andy says, "Any expectation that the debut of a new game... includes an implicit promise that it'll be supported ad infinitum is simply unreasonable." He's wrong. It isn't unreasonable depending on the publisher's goals.
Add another page to the Hobby Publishing Manifesto.

9 comments:

  1. I don't think it has much to do with money and more to do with current brand strategies that state that 4e is the only version of D&D that will be sold and everything else should just be ignored.

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  2. Yup, just look at the way they sell their Magic the Gathering, same approach. Using the same way to seel RPGs and CCGs is bad imho.

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  3. Interestingly, I think Wizards has missed a critical part of what made D&D so successful in their quest to...make D&D successful.

    Fans created mass amounts of content. D&D as a hobby became self-sustaining, given that its players would create and share (through media such as the early Dragon) new D&D content. TSR was not the only source of new toys to play with.

    TSR ended up doing the same thing Wizards is doing now - attempting to control who was Allowed to print new D&D content, and in the end shot themselves in the foot.

    Wizards did the hobby a tremendous favor with the OGL, however, and thanks to that we can now move back towards the days when the hobby was a hobby and not just a corporate-induced game played on idle Saturdays.

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  4. It's kinda weird, but D&D now and the marketing strategies behind it remind me of Apple and the way they treat their products - i.e., The Future is Now, The Past is Dead, Get in Line or Be Left Behind.

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  5. It's kinda weird, but D&D now and the marketing strategies behind it remind me of Apple and the way they treat their products - i.e., The Future is Now, The Past is Dead, Get in Line or Be Left Behind.

    I disagree, it makes a lot of sense if you look at the product through the lens of planned obsolecense, which is what WoTC is doing now. Considering all of the different versions of the D&D that are out, I think that D&D has been seen that way since at least 3rd edition.

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  6. Not really. As far as I can tell, this is the first version of D&D that has had essentially no backwards compatiblity officially endorsed by the publishers. Even 3E had Dragon articles etc. on how to make your old PCs into new PCs. Also, even in the days of early 2E when I started playing D&D, there was the Big Black Box (my first RPG) of "Classic" D&D, and Dungeon & Dragon both ran articles concerning the basic version of the game. Even more recently, during the 3E years you had articles in Dragon talking about revisiting old dead TSR worlds like Dark Sun.

    So in short, the way I look at it, even with 3E you had some manner of backwards compatibility (although it took work). But 4E characters just seem like completely different animals to me.

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  7. I think our POVs must conflict in this respect. Aside from powers which were actually foreshadowed in The Book of Nine Swords, I find the differences between 3e and 4e pretty small.

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  8. Aside from powers which were actually foreshadowed in The Book of Nine Swords, I find the differences between 3e and 4e pretty small.

    I think Badelaire's point isn't so much that there's a huge difference between 3e and 4e mechanically -- that's a side question -- but that WotC has made no effort to aid those who want to transition their characters and campaigns from one edition to the next. They explicitly did this with 3e, releasing a little booklet they gave away for free in game stores and TSR before it had articles in Dragon about what had changed and what hadn't to aid in the process. Heck, 2e still used the same trade dress as late 1e, so there was a clear effort to stress continuity between editions.

    WotC hasn't done any of that this time around and has in fact made it a point of boosting 4e by denigrating 3e. Regardless of whether or not 4e is in fact a natural evolution of 3e, WotC doesn't seem to want to encourage people to see it that way. Aside from the disastrous "ze game will remain ze same," the company has emphasized its differences rather than its commonalities with the past. That's a new strategy and not one that's likely to win over people like myself.

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