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Thread: Top 5 RPGs--Spring 2012
Thursday, 26th July, 2012, 10:14 AM #21
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Yeah, absolutely. Every fan has his own, and very valid perspective.
Like, it always depends where you're coming from, literally.
For example, I was born and raised in Germany, so my D&D was not 1e or 2e, but Mentzer all along the way, and obviously, D&D was always a fringe product there, compared to the local game systems that are played, and vanilla fantasy is TEH [sic] only fantasy.
Also, let's be clear, I wasn't rating people's taste, I was indeed giving my perceptions of the matter. Like, the next D&D-related fantasy game that I run for a group will probably be The Fear Of Leefield... From White Dwarf #60. Commercially speaking, for Wizbro, as a customer I guess I am a lost cause.
(I am 29 years old, though, not some Thorin Oakenshield.)Beware the Tempest!
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Thursday, 26th July, 2012, 10:17 AM #22
It strikes me as 'somewhat' opinionated, though
See, I'm a fan, and I never liked the Forgotten Realms, since it's the very definition of 'vanilla' (and that's about as boring as you can get!), so every change to the setting counts as an improvement in my book.
Dark Sun, however, has always been my favorite setting (and happens to be the one we're playing in right, now).
I have honestly no idea, what you're referring to when you talk about 'unedited products' and 'worse maps'?!
And I don't know a single 'fan' who wants trimmer rulebooks. I agree, that they might be more attractive for new players, but that doesn't mean that _I_ like them. I want meaty books!
Besides, it's a bit of a stretch to count the complete book content as the ruleset. The actual ruleset is only a very small part of the whole.
There is a certain amount of truth in many of your points but if you want to actually convince someone with them who isn't already sharing your opinion, you certainly have to restate them in more neutral and less absolute terms.
(I'd have said 'keep out the exaggerations', but since you asserted so convincingly that there are none, maybe keep out the 'sweeping generalizations' ).
Edit: I'm also from Germany, btw. and have neer been a fan of the (in my eyes) 'inferior' Mentzer rules. I've grown up using the 1e AD&D rules (after getting to know rpgs via 'Das Schwarze Auge' and 'Midgard', of course).
Last edited by Jhaelen; Thursday, 26th July, 2012 at 10:20 AM.
In a sense, the D&D game has no rules, only rule suggestions. - Tom Moldvay
Thursday, 26th July, 2012, 12:49 PM #23
I dont think the 5e announcement is the deciding factor for pole position here. Hasnt PF consistently been #1 for the past year or so in these rankings? Pretty sure a somewhat recent Gametrade mag had an article stating as much.
Thursday, 26th July, 2012, 03:17 PM #24
Lama (Lvl 13)
Certainly when 5E is released I would expect D&D to become #1 again immediately. The challenge will be for it to stay there. That will depend on how WotC supports the game. In my opinion, they did a horrific job with 4E. (Some think they have done a fantastic job, of course, but either way, it hasn't resulted in a #1 game store ranking.) If they do the same with 5E, they'll likely have the same results (or worse) unless the non-RPG side of D&D takes off (board games, card games, minis games, etc.).
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Friday, 27th July, 2012, 09:47 AM #25
As a D&D fan I have a lot of 2E, almost all of 3E (missing 2-3 books), and 4E up to the release of the Redbox/Essentials. The problem is that 4E is pretty much unused, I bought it because it was D&D.
Sure Forgotten Realms are vanilla and not as exciting as other settings, but it was what most folks expected of fantasy RPGs, not to mention the huge pile of fluff that was available. I actually mined the 2E OCRed pdfs for cool stuff of the area the players were currently exploring, saving me work and giving the players a feeling of immersion. My players actually started buying the 3E FR books because of the fluff they liked to read and recognize stuff they read about in the games. Moving FR so much forward into the timeline was a huge mistake and 4E pretty much killed all the fluff imho.
Don't get me wrong, I love Planescape, Spelljammer, and Darksun. I like Mystara (just had the 2E stuff), Birthright, Ravenloft, and Dragonlance. Greyhawk I just don't have that much from, and until a few years ago was a relatively bland setting (even more so then FR). The problem with settings that are 'unique' is that you have trouble with your gaming group, there's always at least one or two folks that aren't as excited about it as the regular old S&S. Almost forgot about Eberron, that's just a really weird duck!
I think it's interesting that WotC set themselves up to fail with pulling the Dragon and Dungeon license from Paizo. Up until then Paizo hadn't produced a single OGL product (please correct me if I'm wrong). And essentially forcing Paizo to become a competitor of D&D. As a DM, I found Dragon and Dungeon magazine some of the most inspired source for my own adventures, better then a lot of the stuff WotC produced for 3E. Heck, for the last five years I've thought that Burnt Offerings is probably the best way to start a new campaign...
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Friday, 27th July, 2012, 12:35 PM #26
Gallant (Lvl 3)
"It is a mistake to bow to the wishes of munchkins who whine." - E. Gary Gygax 1938-2008, we will never forget you!
"Yes, even at twelve years old, I was already old school... " - The Shaman
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Friday, 27th July, 2012, 03:40 PM #27
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
The 3.0 core books were pulled off the shelves, and pulped after two and a half years. The 3.5 core books lasted almost five years.
The 8-10 year product cycle would be about twice the best Wizards of the Coast had ever done. Instead 4e is only on course for about as long as 3.5 - or twice as long as 3.0.
Also there are precisely two things I want for 4e - Birthright and Spelljamer. Oh, and a quick combat system and a mass combat system. But ultimately the amount of useful crunch that can be released for 4e is near an end. If WotC were on an Adventure Path model like Paizo they wouldn't need a large change.
And that's due to unrealistic targets - from several sources including Ryan Dancey I've seen a Hasbro-set target of £50 million/year. A completely unrealistic target unless DDI took off like a bat out of hell. Unfortunately WotC made the mistake of hiring Gleemax.The fact that WotC pulled the plug on 4e years early, jettisoning half-completed products like the PH4 and discarding several years of design-and-development plans, has to mean the system wasn't performing up to snuff sales-wise.
4e, despite a string of minor catastrophes (starting with stupid marketing and continuing through Gleemax, screwing up the Realms and Living Greyhawk, and Essentials being released just as Borders went bankrupt when Borders was pretty much what it was targetting) has lasted about as long as 3.5.
Given that Pathfinder's poached the At Wills they can't be that bad...It's also worth pointing out that numerous 4e design elements from themes to at-wills to backgrounds are being incorporated into Next, which wouldn't be happening if the system really were as bad as some 3e/Pathfinder fans claim.
We can and do. We just object to the people telling us our game sucked or failed. We'll know whether 5e is a success by whether there is a 5.5e or a 6e. If there's neither then 5e has failed. We're just fed up of people using any excuse they can find to bash 4e.So that's why I think 4e fans can and should hold their heads up high,
And I'd have been amazed if D&D was number 1. Paizo put out as many Pathfinder books in April alone as WotC have put out 4e books in the whole year - and of those three one (Heroes of the Elemental Chaos) was good - both Undermountain and the Dungeon Explorer's Handbook were weak.
I'm surprised that WotC were even #2 off those three books. Essentials came out in 2010 and it's now 2012. Most of WotC's D&D income is probably through DDI. So who's actually buying much in the way of new books?
Friday, 27th July, 2012, 09:31 PM #28
Saturday, 28th July, 2012, 06:55 PM #29
The reasons for why the companies receive the rankings they do vary. We can debate until the next age what causes a company's decline or rise. From my perspective this is what I would like to see, however, it has no bearing on sales of products or a company's bottom line:
-When there's a new edition don't nuke the campaign world just to change it! For example, they did it with Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms. FR was nuked at least twice!
-Produce canon material beyond the core campaign. Why is Greyhawk's campaign set in stone on the eastern continent? Lets explore and adventure!
-Possibly renew the OGL for 5e (or Next), so other companies can ride the coat-tails of a successful launch. This way the parent company can release more material whether it be rule books or modules. Liscense campaigns to other companies, or maybe an OGL thing, to release material specifically for that campaign, such as Ravenloft or Dark Sun. That way Wizbro won't tie up resources in so many campaigns.
These are just a few thoughts of how to make the fans happy. Sure, a company is in the business to make money but if the fans aren't happy they won't buy the company's products. It's important that when they release 5e that it won't alienate a fragile fan base. The edition wars I'll compare to a coup d'etat wherein a new government comes in and rewrites the constitution. Some people get left out, some people start a counter revolution, and the ones that come into power are doing everything they can to hang onto it. If 5e is the compromise they promise we shouldn't worry that we won't be a part of something great.
Monday, 30th July, 2012, 06:56 PM #30
There are two related issues.
1. The decline of rpgs in general.
2. The decline of D&D sales (4E)
WotC was smart in that it realizes that the hobby is declining. D&D is the most recognized brand so they have been trying to find a working strategy to get new gamers into hobby. This would usually mean D&D.
The problem has been missteps on finding an effective strategy/game design that will get new players in. The OGL from 3E has come and bit WotC in the butt. With the move to 4E, 3.5 players went to pathfinder. WotC created their own competitor with the OGL (not the best business move.)
So now WotC has big problems for the new edition. It needs to get its 3.5 players back, keep its 4E players, and try to attract new players to the hobby. That is a lot to expect for 5E.
I see WotC trying to mimic what they did with 3E launch. 2E was a failure in terms of sales compared to 1E. 3E managed to get a lot of attention, bring in many old gamers, and managed to bring in a lot of new gamers to the hobby in the early 2000's (before WoW came about). I don't see them being able to do it with 5E.
Honestly, I think they should go back to the strategy of 1977. You put out a Basic D&D for new players. It is very simple and designed to get new players into the game. Then you put out an Advanced D&D. AD&D is designed as a 3.75 to get 3.5 players back from Pathfinder and keep their 4E players.