D&D 5th Edition Monte Cook Leaves WotC - No Longer working on D&D Next [updated] - Page 8

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Mahdi View Post
    I definitely don't want to start yelling the sky is falling, so I won't. And I, like the rest of us, have no idea what this will portend for 5e. But I can say that personally, my optimism in 5e has taken a definite drop.

    I'm feeling much the same way. And it's not because of design issues. I'm willing to take him at his word that he has no dispute with the other designers. But if he's having a dispute with the company, enough to leave his contract (as it sounds) rather than let it expire, I suspect he strenuously disagrees over management of the D&D game/brand. Maybe it's licensing, maybe it's production schedule, maybe it's marketing and he refuses to get the D&D Next tramp stamp required by the company, I don't know.

    Whatever it is, for Monte it must be a big deal. And given 5e's already precarious situation, shedding a much ballyhooed designer is not good news.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seankreynolds View Post
    So you're suggesting that (a) he may be lying, or (b) he unprofessionally ended his contract without 2 weeks notice?
    I don't think he is lying, because the situation is probably that there is no capital-T Truth, just a lot of stories that are true from everyone's perspective.

    Just that, before I can really comment on the situation beyond asking questions or picking at things that I want further explained, I would want more information.

    For example, for the two weeks notice thing? Generally even contractors I have hired give that courtesy; but the situation could be such that this wasn't a "declaring notice" thing. It could be that the allocated hours completed, and Monte didn't want to re-up, or it could be that WotC was way behind on payments, or it could even be that they were collapsing roles and Monte chose to step away from what he felt was a negative situation so that somebody else could keep their job.

    Both of those would match what Monte describes, but they imply different things about what is going on behind the scenes.

    So, yes, if I were being pushed to comment or to decide how I felt about the situation, I would need another source or more information.

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    I wouldn't push the panic button just yet. It could have nothing to do with differences of opinion on the new edition. Maybe Monte is constrained after being his own boss. Maybe he had to move his parking spot. Perhaps casual Friday at Wizards of the Coast is more than most can imagine. I don't think this will delay the open playtest and the several playtests already have provided feedback. I like what I know about the next edition and think it is an excellent platform to build and tweak. I wish Monte the best but it isn't the end times just yet.

  • #74
    Well, I did not see that coming.

    Right now, the only conclusion I feel safe drawing is that the "market" regarding the direction of 5e will enter a period of increased volatility. Such periods are marked by increased opportunity and increased risk for all involved.

    I was glad to see Monte's return to WotC, because he is clearly a very skilled designer and also because many elements I enjoyed in 3/3.5 clearly aligned with his sensibilities. I was underwhelmed by his articles, they seemed to me to lack frankness, and I say that even knowing that each one would inevitably have to end with "we haven't decided yet" because that was both true and for marketing reasons. Nevertheless, he could be counted upon for interesting mechanics, which is for me one of the great joys of any RPG. Overall, my enthusiasm is somewhat tempered by his departure, but I see no reason to fly off the handle with joy or sorrow.

    I wish Monte the best of fortune in his future endeavors.

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    Regardless of how I feel about the man as a designer, I have to wonder why so many people seem to be taking this as some kind of reason / opportunity to impugn the guy's character. For some reason.
    It's just a game people.
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    Yeah, I mean.. this could be anything. Hell, it could even be a boat, you know how much we have wanted one of those....

    In all seriousness I have no idea what this means. I hope they announce something further, because speculation can take over like wildfire, if they let it spread it will take on a form of it's own and the reasons behind his leaving will be overshadowed by misinformation and other things that would not be good.

  • #77
    Quote Originally Posted by Alphastream View Post
    And now it all becomes clear. The edition wars will mark this moment, and really, it was obvious.

    Monte Cook had devised a Flumph-based core rules engine. Flumph class, Flumph race, Flumph sub-class, Flumph everything. But he wanted a piece of it. When WotC pointed out that his contract said it was now WotC's creation, well... I mean, he had only one choice to preserve his masterpiece. Now he will start Flumphaizo, using the OGL yet again against WotC and creating a third front in the edition wars and a rift that will never heal ever.
    Who says Monte isn't joining one of the existing fronts?

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    I'm not sure about a lot of things involving this, but I am sure about one thing:

    WotC needs to get out in front on this and explain things as much as they can, or this may end up being a serious blow to perceptions of 5e. They can't just ignore the PR ramifications of this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Mahdi View Post
    I'm not sure about a lot of things involving this, but I am sure about one thing:

    WotC needs to get out in front on this and explain things as much as they can, or this may end up being a serious blow to perceptions of 5e. They can't just ignore the PR ramifications of this.
    Well, that sorta depends on why he left, doesn't it? If the reason is "Monte is used to being his own boss, he found he wasn't comfortable working as part of a big corporation," then sure, they should get that out there. If the reason is "Mearls and Monte couldn't see eye to eye on the direction of the game" (as others have pointed out, Monte conspicuously left Mearls off the list of folks he had no problem with), it will require delicate handling, since the obvious follow-up is "What were the points of disagreement?" and they may not be ready to answer that yet.

    And if the reason is "Monte thinks Hasbro is forcing awful design decisions in an attempt to squeeze a little extra money out of the fans"--then quite frankly, they're better off keeping their mouths shut.
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    And in the end it is none of our business. I find it mildly disturbing how the wildest accusations are created and not everybody even notices.

    Yes, my hopes for 5e are a lot lower now, but I don't see the need to speculate over something that's between Monte and Wizards. Why not just accept that it didn't work out without making up stories?
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