Gary Gygax Q&A, Part IX - Page 94





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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    TSR got into trouble when it stopped serving the needs of its consumer base. In 1982 it made over $16 million gross, with about 25% of that pre-tax profit, and long term debt was about $1 million--easily payable with an average month's receipts. at that time DRAGON was not making any profit. GenCon paid for itself, but dislocated production for a week or two. Adventure modules were profitable SKUs.
    Fascinating . . .

    I'm guessing part of the problem (with why we don't get modules anymore from WOTC, just "crunch" and other useless crud) is that they are thinking the 2nd Edition financial model. That was all about "add-ons" to the operating system of the game (Complete Book of Postal Employees) and about lots and lots of settings (Birthright 37th Age!). Trouble is, that stuff divides the small audience into tiny shards, instead of getting us all to buy and play Hommlett.

 

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    Editions

    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
    Was 1Ed AD&D perfect? No. Was 2Ed? Nope. 3/3.5? Not even close.
    Everybody has their own opinion, probably largely based on the happy times when they were playing it. Whatever edition, it's all D&D to me . . . which means fun!

    My unasked for opinion:
    AD&D: A perfect game if you knew to ignore the dumb stuff like Weapon Speed Factors, but people wanted something new.
    2nd Edition: Nice idea in reorganizing the AD&D books, shame about wimping out on deleting half-orcs and assassins, etc. My least favorite.
    3rd Edition: Wow, really cool in integrating the rules into one consistent rule set, but it's true it's overly complex. Also annoying to learn new rules when you had all the AD&D ones memorized. (Price of a longsword, duh 15 gp -- wait, was it 25 gp? See, I'm starting to forget!) Shame about how it becomes unplayable at about 12-15th level.
    3.5: Marginal improvement on 3.0.

  • #933
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    Quote Originally Posted by haakon1
    Fascinating . . .

    I'm guessing part of the problem (with why we don't get modules anymore from WOTC, just "crunch" and other useless crud) is that they are thinking the 2nd Edition financial model. That was all about "add-ons" to the operating system of the game (Complete Book of Postal Employees) and about lots and lots of settings (Birthright 37th Age!). Trouble is, that stuff divides the small audience into tiny shards, instead of getting us all to buy and play Hommlett.
    What can I say?

    My manner of operating TSR differed radicaly frm that of the Blume brothers who took over management of the company and ran it into the ground. Then Lorraine Williams directed things so that it was, to the best of my knowledge, at least over $30 million in debt when WotC acquired TSR. I do believe that the method of doing business by Wizards is not one that best serves the D&D game audience or the game itself, but time will tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Col_Pladoh
    In new D&D arriving at that level takes a mere few months, and that PC is nothing compared to the half-dragon/half-vampire multi-prestige class one that the kid next door stomps around the campaign world with
    I hate that stuff too, but that's why it's good to be the DM. In my 3.5 campaigns, everyone is the normal races, with two exceptions: a centaur and a lizard man, both "AD&D approved" races in Rogues Gallery. I'd allow near-human stuff like a selkie or an ogre, but never something dumb . . . and half-anything but orc or elf strikes me as dumb.

    Oh, and no "spikey" armor. The armor illustration in the 3e PHB kept me from playing for like an extra 6 months. My Osprey books provide armor illustrations, if I ever need them.

    My point, other than blathering on, is that: the DM is still in charge in an edition, and can make it right. Some might argue their edition is already right, but that's up to the DM to decide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haakon1
    Oh, and no "spikey" armor. The armor illustration in the 3e PHB kept me from playing for like an extra 6 months. My Osprey books provide armor illustrations, if I ever need them.
    Hey, it gives giants some mighty sore hands when they grab a PC!
    "Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph Stilwell

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    "We're being chased by fire giants!"

    "Throw the spikey-armored halflings, gnomes and dwarves off the back of the cart...that'll slow 'em down!"
    IAAL...and an MBA. No, really!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
    "We're being chased by fire giants!"

    "Throw the spikey-armored halflings, gnomes and dwarves off the back of the cart...that'll slow 'em down!"
    See? Sounds like a plan to me!
    "Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph Stilwell

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    Quote Originally Posted by haakon1
    My point, other than blathering on, is that: the DM is still in charge in an edition, and can make it right. Some might argue their edition is already right, but that's up to the DM to decide.
    From the 1st edition PHB, p.8:
    "Rules not understood should have appropriate questions directed to the publisher; disputes with the Dungeon Master are another matter entirely. THE REFEREE IS THE FINAL ARBITER OF ALL AFFAIRS OF HIS OR HER CAMPAIGN."

    That should have been repeated verbatim in 3.Xe. Too many players have become rules lawyers and want to quote books at the table rather than roleplay -- when it's a roleplaying game to begin with. If someone wants to quote books all day, they should join a Shakespearean fan club. There has been a shift of power at the gaming table that could have been avoided by keeping those two above sentences in the PHB. DM's have to do a lot and becoming targets for player abuse (both in the game and of the game) should not be one of the challenges.

    [Edit: I should have mentioned that the caps were in the book and not added by me for emphasis.]
    "Yes, but apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

    Psalm 73:26

    "Knowledge, logic, reason, and common sense serve better than a dozen rule books." -- E. Gary Gygax

    From the 1st edition PHB, p.8:
    "Rules not understood should have appropriate questions directed to the publisher; disputes with the Dungeon Master are another matter entirely. THE REFEREE IS THE FINAL ARBITER OF ALL AFFAIRS OF HIS OR HER CAMPAIGN."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannyalcatraz
    "We're being chased by fire giants!"

    "Throw the spikey-armored halflings, gnomes and dwarves off the back of the cart...that'll slow 'em down!"
    caltrops, yay!
    don't quote me on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BOZ
    caltrops, yay!
    Spiked armor...bah!

    Actually, the Romans did actually use spiked armor when fighting the Carthiginians at Zama. They armed light footmen with axes, clad them in spiked armor, so that the elephants they were to hamstring would not use theit trunks to grab them. This battle is as well the only one I know of in which the Romans used chariots as a war weapon, having lancers in them to attack the enemy elephants.

    Cheers,
    Gary

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