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D&D 4E 4E WotC way of saying your fired?

Glyfair

Explorer
Mourn said:
TSR threw money into a hole trying to sue their fans for publishing derivative works for free on the internet (y'know, the whole thing where they sued people for posting original D&D monsters on a website).
Did they sue, or just threaten to sue? I never heard about any cases. It's much cheaper to just have a lawyer send a letter or email (especially if you already are paying them).
 

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Simia Saturnalia

First Post
shocklee: I'm not able (in opportunity) to locate the quote at the moment, but I'm certain something has been said about allowing DMs to enter custom rules on their DI games. If someone digs that up, great, otherwise I'll try to find it later.
 

delericho

Legend
Simia Saturnalia said:
I'm certain something has been said about allowing DMs to enter custom rules on their DI games.

I would be simply shocked if that was possible. Sure, it would be a really 'nice to have' feature, but the major problem is coding it. I don't think it will be possible, except in perhaps a really rudimentary manner.
 

Kae'Yoss

First Post
Glyfair said:
Indeed, Erik Mona has said he like the mechanical changes, but has concerns about the background changes. Given his position, I think his moving to 4E (along with this company), will bring a chunk of his customers with him.

I think he said that he likes them so far. Since he doesn't know more than we do, he can't say.

He does say that it's most likely that Paizo will move to 4e, but it's not set in stone yet, and it's possible that it will be delayed if Wizards takes too much time to give them the rules - they will not change in the middle of an adventure path, and if Wizards takes too long, the third Pathfinder Adventure Path will still be 3e.

That will also mean that at least some of the Paizo fans will wait longer until they buy the 4e books, since they won't have any use for them (except looking at them) until spring 2009 or so.
 

Cadfan

First Post
delericho said:
I would be simply shocked if that was possible. Sure, it would be a really 'nice to have' feature, but the major problem is coding it. I don't think it will be possible, except in perhaps a really rudimentary manner.

It won't be possible because, as WOTC has made incredibly clear, the DI gaming table does not adjudicate rules other than, optionally, lighting, mapping, and dice rolling. The DM is the one who adjudicates the rules.

Which also means it can't keep your rules out.
 

shocklee

First Post
Cadfan said:
It won't be possible because, as WOTC has made incredibly clear, the DI gaming table does not adjudicate rules other than, optionally, lighting, mapping, and dice rolling. The DM is the one who adjudicates the rules.

Which also means it can't keep your rules out.

So that means you can use some of the tools, but not necessarily all of the tools. I doubt that the character generator will support that much customization.

I also had an insight, since I'm bringing up this same question in another thread - who owns the rights to any of the material that you post though the DI gaming table?
 

Psion

Adventurer
Merlin the Tuna said:
I suspect that there may have been miscommunication on someone's part here; firing one's customers generally refers to the abusive, petty, and typically-not-worth-it-financially subset of customers, not to the entire base. That'd be silly.

(Shrug) I feel fired. And I am a pretty big contributer to WotC's coffers.

But I'm not one of those purely "new shiny" motivated customers, which seems to be the real audience that WotC seems concerned with keeping.

Not that I really blame them. My sales slacked off recently because the new shiny is not enough for me. There is no profit motive for WotC to keep me or customers like me.

I think Erik hit the nail on the head with this other statement in a thread over at Paizo:

Erik Mona said:
I'm worried that I will not be able to DM a game within the same imaginative framework I've used to envision D&D for 30 years of my life because some random WotC designer decides that his idea of a succubus is cooler than the one that's served me fine for three decades. Same with elves and eladrins and the like. One or two of these issues, no big deal, but from what I've seen so far it doesn't look like "respect the traditions of the game" is particularly high on WotC list of design goals for the new edition.
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Mourn said:
Well, it seems abundantly obvious by your uninformed posts concerning WotC and TSR's histories that you need the lesson, especially if you're going to try and throw in your $.02.

Clearly, then, you believe that you have insight to TSR's finances that are greater than those available to the average person.

While it is certainly true that "TSR threw money into a hole trying to sue their fans for publishing derivative works for free on the internet" (even stupider a move for PR as, prehaps, the cancellation of Dragon and Dungeon in their print mediums), I would say that where TSR lost was trying to compete with MtG through Spellfire, Bloodwars, and dice games. Of course, I don't have a copy of TSR's financial statements, as you apparently do. And, if you do, cite specific information and sources, please. Otherwise, you appeal to authority as to TSR's financial dealings falls a little flat.

So here's something else about context:

Before 2nd Edition rolled out, TSR was selling product for both the AD&D and the Basic/Expert (later Rules Compendium) D&D lines. What was sort of neat about these products was that, with very little work, an AD&D DM could use an Expert module, and a Basic DM could use an AD&D module. They were analagous in the way that 3.0 and 3.5 are.

TSR also had a lock on D&D. Not only a legal lock; people associated the two in a way that WotC hasn't managed to duplicate. So, you might have C&C or T&T as competing products, but they weren't D&D. What D&D meant was roughly analagous from product to product and line to line. Even when 2e came out, the average DM could run Keep on the Borderlands and make any needed changes on the fly.

WotC has a legal lock on the D&D name, but it doesn't have the same "TSR=D&D" lock on the imaginations of its players that TSR had then. For many people, the offerings of third-parties, such as Paizo, Necromancer Games, and Green Ronin, are as important to what D&D "is" as are the products put out by WotC.

I never purchased 3.5; I know a lot of people who likewise never purchased 3.5. I have no intention at this time of purchasing 4.0. I know a lot of people who likewise have no intention of purchasing 4.0. If Paizo & Necromancer put out 3.75, I would purchase it, sight unseen. Likewise, I know a lot of people who would do so.

I am not alone in thinking that WotC simply doesn't "get" D&D. I am not alone in thinking that Paizo, Necromancer Games, and Green Ronin do "get it". Had I suggested that TSR didn't "get" D&D in the 1e (or even 2e) days, I would have been standing alone.

I played my first D&D game on Christmas Day of 1979. I've been playing ever since. I've been through every period of this game's history from the Holmes Blue Box to the present. At the worst time near the end of 2e's history, I could go to any one of a dozen gaming stores to get any recently released product. That number has narrowed significantly.

Finally (and this is important), WotC doesn't need to simply turn a profit. It needs to turn the profit Hasbro requires. If WotC doesn't turn sufficient profit, it makes sense for Hasbro to allocate its resources elsewhere.

RC
 

Reynard

Legend
Raven Crowking said:
I am not alone in thinking that WotC simply doesn't "get" D&D. I am not alone in thinking that Paizo, Necromancer Games, and Green Ronin do "get it". Had I suggested that TSR didn't "get" D&D in the 1e (or even 2e) days, I would have been standing alone.

This is why it is important, I think, that WotC remember to maintain the relatively "generic" feel of D&D in the core books -- something the previews so far are suggesting is not going to happen. Keeping things vaguely medieval european fantasy-ness, as all prior editions have done, enables the really good third party publishers, like those you name, to produce very good D&D material. But if WotC "reimagines" themselves into Exalted, for example, the guys at companies like Necromancer have a much harder time supporting the game. And I think third party support -- not just in product, but in opinion -- is key to 4E being successful. d20 opened up the playing field in a way that WotC never intended, I think, and they need to realize that it isn't just their sandbox anymore; they can't just take their toys and go home.
 

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
Raven Crowking said:
Finally (and this is important), WotC doesn't need to simply turn a profit. It needs to turn the profit Hasbro requires. If WotC doesn't turn sufficient profit, it makes sense for Hasbro to allocate its resources elsewhere.

RC

I think the question then is; does WotC need D&D to turn a Hasbro level profit? I think I remember someone from WotC saying that Hasbro don't micromanage on that level, but I might be wrong.

Or is it possible for WotC to use D&D as a way of cultivating a brand, which makes money through e.g. licensing deals, and therefore has a lower planned profit margin?

/M
 

JamesM

First Post
Maggan said:
Or is it possible for WotC to use D&D as a way of cultivating a brand, which makes money through e.g. licensing deals, and therefore has a lower planned profit margin?
I expect this is exactly what WotC intends to do. Many of the "fluff" changes to D&D in 4E strike me, as a clueless outsider, as an attempt by WotC to shore up a "brand identity" and thereby make it sufficiently distinctive that it could turn greater profits through savvy licensing and non-gaming product spin-offs.
 

Reynard

Legend
JamesM said:
I expect this is exactly what WotC intends to do. Many of the "fluff" changes to D&D in 4E strike me, as a clueless outsider, as an attempt by WotC to shore up a "brand identity" and thereby make it sufficiently distinctive that it could turn greater profits through savvy licensing and non-gaming product spin-offs.

This sounds plausible but begs a question: where do settings and their associated product identity sit, then? IOW, was Eberron a failure as a multi-media property (which was definitely an aspect of the whole setting search)?
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Maggan said:
I think the question then is; does WotC need D&D to turn a Hasbro level profit? I think I remember someone from WotC saying that Hasbro don't micromanage on that level, but I might be wrong.

Or is it possible for WotC to use D&D as a way of cultivating a brand, which makes money through e.g. licensing deals, and therefore has a lower planned profit margin?


Thinking we understand the WotC/Hasbro relationship from what they say, when some information would be potentially damaging to the bottom line, is unwise, IMHO. Especially given recent events.


RC
 

Glyfair

Explorer
Raven Crowking said:
Thinking we understand the WotC/Hasbro relationship from what they say, when some information would be potentially damaging to the bottom line, is unwise, IMHO. Especially given recent events.

Which would be true if they were forced to give that information. However, there is no reason for those comments to have been made at all.

Every major hobby game company I'm aware of has pointed out that the "big company" never micromanaged the business. They gave the company goals and left it to the company to implement them.

Now, I'm sure that Hasbro went to WotC and did things like give them the Avalon Hill line and tell them to manage it. They might also have an effect with hiring upper management, and even force changes.
 

Mythmere1

First Post
shocklee said:
To me this is the entire meat of the question about 4th edition.

The goal of WOTC is to try and get the gamer to buy a print version of the book, subscribe to the online D&D insider, and enter the codes of the books that you have bought to unlock electronic version of the products. Being able to have the clarifications from the equivalent of Sage Advice immediately incorporated into the core product to correct problems would be a good benefit. This isn't any different than reading the print magazine and incorporating clarifications and corrections into your table game.

Why I chose the above quote is that this electronic model does not easily support customization. If we really look at all of the great electronic D&D support products that are out there, how easy is it to support customization to allow you, the consumer, to put your favorite rules into their character generator? Will WOTC be motivated to do this in D&D insider tools? What are the legal ramifications of incorporating the (pick your favorite company's name and insert it here) rules/classes/monsters/skills/etc. into the D&D insider web site tools?

The real criticism of this model is that when you play through the D&D Insider site or use those tools, I suspect that it will be difficult to incorporate homebrew or OGL stuff. Bringing electronic support into the 4th edition may effectively undermine the OGL unless the publishers give up product identity claims and allow their content to be merged with the WOTC content (assuming WOTC is willing to incorporate any other companies' content into their site and tools).

I think that the fear that the other D20 companies will go off and make version 3.75 to compete with 4.0 is unfounded. I think instead that the publishers should be worried about how they are going to capture any of the new audience that WOTC is trying to attract, since they won't necessarily be able to offer integrated electronic support.

If you are a GM or player that likes products from other D20 publishers, maybe you have been fired.

This hits the nail on the head.
 

JamesM

First Post
Reynard said:
This sounds plausible but begs a question: where do settings and their associated product identity sit, then? IOW, was Eberron a failure as a multi-media property (which was definitely an aspect of the whole setting search)?
I have no idea if Eberron was a "failure," since I'm not sure the metric by which WotC would measure success in this case. I do recall that part of the intention behind the setting search was to create a multi-media property and, in that respect anyway, I don't get the sense that Eberron proved very successful.

On the broader point, I think settings are intended to be variations on a common core, different "interpretations," if you will, of D&D tropes and themes. In principle, they should each highlight some elements and downplay others but be immediately recognizable as D&D regardless. I think the biggest indicator that 4E is shifting its emphases and indeed diverting somewhat from the old thematic core of the game is that the Realms is being altered, whereas Eberron is not. This suggests to me that the Realms is being "brought in line" with 4E's thematic and stylistic core, which wasn't necessary in past editions, where even RSE like the Time of Troubles mostly altered the mechanical presentation of the Realms rather than its overall content.
 
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Raven Crowking

First Post
Glyfair said:
Which would be true if they were forced to give that information. However, there is no reason for those comments to have been made at all.

Nor was WotC forced to deny rumours that 4e was imminent; yet they did it. If there are enough accusations that Hasbro micromanaged WotC to the point of saying X product line must make a Y% profit to be retained, and WotC thought that this was damaging said profit, it would make as much sense for them to deny it (regardless of reality) as it did to deny that 4e was imminent when trying to sell 3.5 books.
 

Glyfair

Explorer
Raven Crowking said:
Nor was WotC forced to deny rumours that 4e was imminent; yet they did it.
But they were asked it at a seminar. Anything they did, even avoiding the question, would be translated as an answer. (And, that wasn't the question, or the answer - it was misreported to the internet).

The comments about lack of micro-managing were volunteered, typically in response to people griping about "Hasbro's plan" for D&D.
 

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
Raven Crowking said:
Nor was WotC forced to deny rumours that 4e was imminent; yet they did it.

Just a tangent to your post here, but I think that the comments I was referring to come from ex-WotC employees with no vested interest in the current business.

/M
 

Raven Crowking

First Post
Glyfair said:
But they were asked it at a seminar. Anything they did, even avoiding the question, would be translated as an answer. (And, that wasn't the question, or the answer - it was misreported to the internet).

The comments about lack of micro-managing were volunteered, typically in response to people griping about "Hasbro's plan" for D&D.

I honestly see no real difference between people asking in a seminar, and people gripin gin a forum, insofar as WotC's PR goes, if the forum is an important one to the industry. Perhaps you could explain why silence here is better than silence there?


RC
 

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