Saturday, March 31, 2012

Words of Wisdom, Part II

Over at Blood of Prokopius, the ever-insightful Fr Dave has a really terrific post in which he rather cogently puts forward his thoughts regarding 5e. His concluding paragraph is pure gold:
To my mind, if WotC is interested in bringing our hobby together in one big happy family, then the best way to do that is to make every edition of the game official and make every edition available either through reprints or POD. This game has been successful in every iteration because so many of us have had fun with them — 0e all the way through 4e. Don’t fix what isn’t broken — give us all the freedom to officially play the version that best suits us and purchase those supporting materials that help us play that version.
I think, at this stage, it's probably too late for Fr Dave's recommendation to come to pass, which is a pity. The AD&D reprints are the first things published by WotC I'll have purchased in, literally, years. If they made B/X or some older modules available too, even if only through a POD service, I'd plunk down serious cash to snag them. I suspect I wouldn't be alone in that regard.

16 comments:

  1. True, if they did some sort of POD, I would certainly hand over some of my hard-earned cash to them too.

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  2. Yep, I would happily purchase POD stuff from older editions, just to fill out my collections. I use this stuff for play, not to keep pristine, so some of my older stuff is pretty beat up, and some is lost, and some stuff I just never had.

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  3. Seeing how WotC banned ALL PDFs of older editions (thereby forcing potential buyers to look on eBay or just pirate them), I don't think they'll go that far to offer ALL old editions - probably because they'll likely pur a lot of money into 5e and don't want their sales to be diminished by the older editions.
    Though on the other hand, still earning money from products that don't really cost you anything anymore is a good offer.

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  4. But making legal pdfs available again would be taking downloads & money away from the pirates! Won't somebody think of the pirates? They worked very hard to build up those bittorrent sites! :D

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  5. I think Hasbro needs to see how the 1E reprints sell. If they do well enough, we'll see more reprints. I think more credit needs to go to WotC for being able to get the reprints on the product schedule.

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  6. Meh. WotC signalled their future intentions quite clearly when they pulled the PDFs. Frankly, I'm shocked they are doing the 1E core book reprints...first progressive thing as a company they've done as a company since the OGL a decade ago.

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  7. I'll be honest, if they returned their old products to PDF/PoD, i'd buy a lot of stuff i just never had access to. And since i pretty much run everything from a laptop now, the physical books only get used for character gen and player reference @ the table, it would also make my life a lot easier. Back when 4E first released, i bought all of their official PDFs, i still have them, and WotC/Hasbro's decision to stop offering PDFs coincides with my leaving the 4E player base, and me looking into other options, like the OSR.

    Here's hoping that the reprints sell well enough for them to reconsider their no PDF policy.

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  8. I came to the same conclusion and wrote about on my blog a month ago. The basic issue is that whatever they decided to leave out from older editions is going to anger someone. Anything new they add is bound to alienate someone. So why not just publish the old games.

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  9. I'd welcome new PDF/POD editions of older material, especially if they were higher quality than that crap they used to sell (of which I bought a ton of).

    On the other hand, if we never get another product from wotc, I don't care, as I've got more than I'll ever need.

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  10. They could make a bunch of money very cheaply making digitally remastered editions of their old catalog. So much of it could be reworked so that cross edition conversions could be included, even special sub editions. Ie, do you want Dark Sun for 1e, 2e, or universal? They're just sitting on a mountain of sellable content - making it even more suited to digital would require cheap, non creative, easily outsourced work.

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  11. I just wished someone with direct influence in WotC would see and execute this... a pity indeed.

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  12. Antonio EleuteriApril 2, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    It might simply not feasible from an economic point of view. We have seen how late TSR fell under its own weight, trying to support all those settings at the same time. Things might get even worse with different games to support.

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  13.  Having older editions available isn't necessarily the same thing as supporting them. They don't have to release new content for BECMI, for example. Just make all of the existing content available for digital download or (even better) print on demand.

    This is in no way a true equivalency but in my mind it's similar to music, especially in the age of digital downloads. The Beatles aren't making new music, but their back catalog is readily available on cds and mp3. The work on Beatles music is done, and even though it's 30-40 years old it is easy to obtain and listen to for those who want it. "Support" now goes to new bands who are currently making music. Imagine if you had to seek out secondhand vinyl copies of The Beatles because the only music available on modern formats was LMFAO.


    9And for the love of Wee Jas, I am not saying that 4e is LMFAO and 1e is The Beatles...)

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  14. If they just gave us the little booklets back, I'd be happy. The OSR hasn't really one, I feel, until we can buy these again in as close to their original form as possible.

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  15. I would be happy to buy fresh reprints of Basic/Expert D&D, but only if they left the original covers untouched. I do not want my Erol Otus illustrations obscured!

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