Mearls' Latest Thought on the Industry
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    Mearls' Latest Thought on the Industry

    (Moderators, please feel free to move this if it should go somewhere else.)

    I was checking my RSS feeds and came across Mike Mearls' latest post on the industry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mearls
    PDF publishing hurts innovation, particularly for d20. Rather than use the Internet as a medium to spread concepts and test ideas, the RPG industry has instead turned it into a massive shopping center. The impulse for widespread collaboration, sharing, and improvement, precisely the sort of factors needed for an open source movement to take root and produce useful results, have been undercut by the rush to sell PDFs.
    Discuss. I'll come back when I'm not falling asleep.

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    While I respect Mr. Mearls for his thoughts and some excellent products, I would have to disagree overall on this one. While there is some validity to what he says, I have a hard time buying into it whole cloth.

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    I'm not sur ehow much sharing and collaberation was going on before the PDF Avalanche, but the I can see his point as I do see what I would call rough ideas in the PDF market.

  4. #4
    Aren't some of these PDF authors here on E.N. World sharing and collaborating? Some of these writers and publishers are here and some aren't, and many that have not published are here contributing to the dialog.

    Sam

  5. #5
    It might just be me, but I can't understand why it is PDF professional d20 product ONLY that "hurts innovation".

    Seems like you either need to argue that ALL professional d20 product hurts innovation (including print books) or none of it.

    Chuck

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    Because many of the items that people would talk about on message boards and share simple ideas with they are now just turning into 5-10 page PDFs. Instead of people talking about this inovation and sharing ideas they are just puttign it out for sale. THat's what I got from what he said.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian
    Because many of the items that people would talk about on message boards and share simple ideas with they are now just turning into 5-10 page PDFs. Instead of people talking about this inovation and sharing ideas they are just puttign it out for sale. THat's what I got from what he said.
    Yeah that's what he's saying, but he's wrong.

    There's a very active forum on this very board where people post classes, races and feats for free. There's a similar forum at WOTC's boards.

    So there's still plenty of "innovation" and "idea sharing". Its just that some people think they have enough talent at it that they expect to be paid for it. And again this extends to the print world. Im sure there would be a lot more collaboration and innovation if the likes of Mike Mearls and Monte Cook devoted their efforts to house rules forums as well.

    Why is just PDF writers wanting to get paid that hurts innovation?

    Also, again, to single out PDF publishing is absurd.

    Its like arguing that selling Red Hat Linux in stores on CD is ok for "innovation" but letting people pay to download it online is bad for the Open Source Linux movement.

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    He has a point, but it's one that holds true in the other direction too. How many ideas would simply never have been published at all if not for the PDF market? Would we have seen products like Elements of Magic or Year of the Zombie or The Bestiary: Predators if the only recourse was to either sell the idea to an existing print-based company, or found such a company yourself? Possible, but not likely. I think the PDF market has given us far more than it has taken away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilance
    Yeah that's what he's saying, but he's wrong.

    There's a very active forum on this very board where people post classes, races and feats for free. There's a similar forum at WOTC's boards.
    Correct, but I don't see publishers (who he's talking about) using them.

    Why is just PDF writers wanting to get paid that hurts innovation?
    Because the people who would be the most innovative are turning away from posting the ideas on the sties and instead are just typeing them up and selling them. Ands some of the PDFs really could use a few weeks of being picked apart on a message board or something to make them better.

  10. #10
    If Mike wants to not get paid for his work and work for free for "innovation"'s sake, that's his decision, but to blame other people who have made the same decision he's made (to actually get paid for his work) as those who are preventing innovation is questionable.

    joe b.

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