Dungeon #110

reiella

First Post
Grummore said:
YI understand it's better for a magazine to print monsters for a settings, but why didnt they bothered have the same monsters than athas.org? They could have at least share their though and they could have share informations and creates the SAME monsters, no? Just look at the Mekillot which is CR 7 in Noonan conversion... At athas.org, it's CR 12 ! Geez it's a big difference! How can he explain that such big creature as a pathetic CR 7? Well... I though IMHO that they SHOULD have converge to ONE conversion so there wouldnt be two over the DS community.

Another example of patheticness: the Half-giant from WotC that will be in the new PsiHB; it's soooooo weak it's not half-giant, it's a man with big muscles! The half-giant was developped in Darksun, why having destroy the feeling of a REAL half-giant with such absurdity? That's what I said in the earlier post when I meant that they SHOULD at least consider what as already been made.

For both of this issues, it might be in part due to the fact that the setting isn't a higher (character) power level than other settings now. And most liky a difference in relative evolution between the old 2nd edition level escalation and the current system.

There's also that there's a 300 year difference between the Campaign Setting as Athas.org and the Campaign Setting as Dungeon/Dragon.

Compared to the Spelljammer issue (which was down when WotC directly owned Dungeon/Dragon/Poly(, it seems like more attention was given so as not to invalidate the work of the fansite or contradict them...

But k-evah.
 

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Erebus

First Post
irdeggman said:
And if WotC published something no one at Athas.org would have flinched. Unfortuneatly WotC no longer owns Dragon or Dungeon and these "official" products are being published by a group that has nothing more than a passing interest in the setting. That is, in order to make any money Paizo (the company that now owns Dragon and Dungeon) cannot devote any significant amount of space to any one campaign setting, except of course Forgotten Realms since it is the 'money maker'.

Whoa, buddy. Get your facts straight. Paizo DOES NOT own D&D, they simply publish Dragon and Dungeon magazines. That's it. WotC still owns D&D.

So it is indeed more than being bitter which is a sad statement to make to degrade those at Athas.org (and the Dark Sun boards) in that manner. Remember that the group at Atha.org prepared it but it went out for playtesting and comment by the fans with many comment being cycled through the Dark Sun boards.

I have a feeling athas.org and the DS boards are NOT representative of the DS fanbase at large. In fact, not everyone on the DS boards is in support of athas.org. You may think otherwise, but I disagree.
 

Grummore

Explorer
Erebus said:
Who's to say WotC didn't consider their work? Maybe they simply didn't like what they saw. I've seen some of the material produced by athas.org and I wasn't all that blown away by it, but that's just me. Also, the DS setting never "died" for me. I still have all my DS material even after getting rid of my other 2e books. In fact, I've gone as far as to buy OoP DS stuff in hopes of completing my collection.

Maybe if you would actually explore the WotC DS board more than just wandering, maybe you would see that the athas.org team already said that they didnt recieved ANY informations whatsoever coming from WotC. They were left alone with the settings and now that the job is completed, someone else do it.

What do you mean by "died" first of all. Did you played 3e DS or you continued playing your darksun in 2e? Not dead for me is that there is still material produced, produced in 3E to follow the edition. Did you used the old product or you used new material? You surely didnt used new material because I dont think you converted all the DS rules to 3e, unless I am mistaken. Buying old material and completing a collection doesnt make a setting alive; building new and converting old does.

Erebus said:
I've been to the DS boards. It's pretty apparent not everyone there uses the athas.org material when a lot of people are posting their own d20 conversions and/or links to their own DS website. Perhaps I should clarify my question: Besides athas.org and their most ardent followers, what percentage of DS fans use their material? I mean, I consider myself a fan of DS and I support a DS revival, but I don't use any of their material. Again, of the thousands of DS fans, how many of them (%) actually do? They may be the "official fan site" but their material is far from official.

Of course peoples post their conversion; peoples want they creation to be commented. FR is the setting that probably have the most different conversion among all races, classes, etc. You can't stop peoples from having ideas.

What you are saying about DS links and their site or own conversion just validate my point. Since athas.org took the helm to convert DS to 3e, the DS site as begin to repop to the surface. There is a lot of 2e site that died when they left this setting as dead one. Athas.org kept DS alive, even if peoples didnt used their conversion, they kept the interest of peoples.

As for your % question. Who knows? There may be a lot or a few, but it doesnt make your point valid. Btw, in which way did you supported DS in all these years? Buying old DS pdf? How did you helped to keep DS alive and healthy all these years? How did you contributed in pushing DS to 3ed ? Did you made your own conversion? Did you post anything ever everywhere about DS ? That'S what I call supporting, not monitoring.

Erebus said:
Perhaps. However, I'd counter that probably more DS fans would be inclined to use "official" material produced by professional game designers than they would the material on athas.org or anywhere else for that matter. And that's not meant as a slight against athas.org or anyone else. There are a lot of DM's who won't use anything produced by 3rd-party sources regardless of who they are (i.e. Green Ronin, Malhavoc). If it isn't WotC, they simply pass over it.

I concur with your point here. I actually and usually mostly use the WotC material, with some exceptions. Although, it wouldnt have been very hard for Dragon mag peoples to at least have an eyes on what was going on at athas.org and try to make something together. I am pretty sure some of the paizo stuff will broke some Darksun rules (which doesnt me will but might). An army of DS supporter knows a lot about darksun. They have been questionned over 4 years, why not use the knowledge that was used in the creation of these rules?

Erebus said:
Yeah, I've been to many of the fan DS sites. Some material is okay, some is not okay, AFAIAC. A lot of the stuff I've encountered has been fairly "fanboyish" and/or stale. You're entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to mine.

Again, you are right about fan material. That doesnt mean it can't help DM sometime, with new ideas or useful material. Actually, I have a web site (www.siltskimmer.net) about darksun. I am pretty sure most of the stuff there isnt very balanced or extremely munckinned, but if someone is interested, he take it and I am feel proud to have contribute to keep the setting alive in creating something.

Erebus said:
Thank YOU.
Thank AGAIN.
 

Erebus

First Post
Grummore said:
Maybe if you would actually explore the WotC DS board more than just wandering...

*snip*

Grunmore, I'm going to keep this fairly short because we're getting a little OT and I've pretty much stated all I have to say on the subject.

I support DS. I do not support athas.org. I can do one without the other. That's not to say I'm against athas.org, I just don't much care for their conversion.

I'm not against fan sites. They're great, they're fun, but their contents are not "official" and this expectancy on their part to be considered "official" or at the very least "consulted" just confuses me. I'm sure there are plenty of fans of DS in the WotC offices and they probably know a great deal about the setting as well. How is their interpretation of DS any less valid? The only difference is they're in the fortuitous position that allows their material to be deemed "official".

I do not need to convert DS to 3e. In fact, I don't need to use any version of D&D to enjoy the setting. DS is a cool and interesting setting - although it's popularity may have waned somewhat because official new material has not been published in a number of years, that doesn't mean the setting is dead or dying.

Additionally, I have posted my desire to see new DS material published in the past on the WotC boards. Sorry if you missed them.

My advice to athas.org and other fan sites: Keep doing what you're doing if it makes you happy and your game better. Please don't get bent out of shape because WotC chose not to use your ideas. Quite frankly, a lot of other fans don't care and are more than happy to accept an "official" update. If I like it, I'll use it. If I don't like it, I won't. Pretty simple.

FIN
 

NytCrawler

First Post
Erebus said:
Perhaps. However, I'd counter that probably more DS fans would be inclined to use "official" material produced by professional game designers than they would the material on athas.org or anywhere else for that matter. And that's not meant as a slight against athas.org or anyone else. There are a lot of DM's who won't use anything produced by 3rd-party sources regardless of who they are (i.e. Green Ronin, Malhavoc). If it isn't WotC, they simply pass over it.

Unfortunately you are correct here, and I really wish people were less ignorant about this and what is considered "professional" and what isn't, but oh well I guess.


Yeah, I've been to many of the fan DS sites. Some material is okay, some is not okay, AFAIAC. A lot of the stuff I've encountered has been fairly "fanboyish" and/or stale. You're entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to mine.

Be careful, "opinions" like that will get you flammed. ;)

As far as I'm concerned, everyone out there that has done a converion is no better than anyone else's or more "fanboyish" (a term I hate btw, especially when it's not used correctly). It's just a matter of taste with the individual DM that is running a DS game or the actual converter themselves.

This is the problem I am (probably have for awhile, just didn't want to admit it) seeing with Dark Sun: It's one of those settings that everyone has their own view on how things should be ran, so much that everyone that plays DS is fanatical about it for the most part.

Those that don't are more than fine with sticking to DS 2e or playing with whatever will come off the "shelves" for 3e.

That unfortunately is the problem with Dark Sun, and the people who love it, in a nutshell.

Yes, athas.org is a better conversion down pat than what I am seeing of the Dragon/Dungeon crossover. Doesn't mean I won't use both to help with my own D20 conversion, heh.
 
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NytCrawler

First Post
Erebus said:
I'm not against fan sites. They're great, they're fun, but their contents are not "official" and this expectancy on their part to be considered "official" or at the very least "consulted" just confuses me.

You need to read up on this some before you go spouting off something you believe to be fact.

The fan sites dealing with the "dead" worlds, before they get bought by some other D20 company or WotC publishes material for them, are considered OFFICIAL. Any and everything that is "published" on said sites is deemed OFFICIAL according to the agreement signed by members of said fan sites and WotC.

Yes, the DS conversion in the Dragon/Dungeon cross-over is OFFICIAL too, but so is the one on athas.org. Confused yet? Just like the stuff done in that one polyhedron that had spelljammer stuff in it was OFFICIAL and the fan site that still does spelljammer (can't remember the url) is also OFFICIAL.

So obviously you are a little ignorant when it comes to this area, I suggest you read up on it some if you want to understand it better.

My advice to athas.org and other fan sites: Keep doing what you're doing if it makes you happy and your game better. If I like it, I'll use it. If I don't like it, I won't. Pretty simple.

Agreed there.
 
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Erebus

First Post
NytCrawler said:
You need to read up on this some before you go spouting off something you believe to be fact.

*snip*

So obviously you are a little ignorant when it comes to this area, I suggest you read up on it some if you want to understand it better.

It's my understanding that these sites are "official fan sites" not necessarily that the material therein should be considered "official". I've never seen, read, nor heard of anything that suggests otherwise so if you would care to share your source that would be great.
 

NytCrawler

First Post
Erebus said:
It's my understanding that these sites are "official fan sites" not necessarily that the material therein should be considered "official". I've never seen, read, nor heard of anything that suggests otherwise so if you would care to share your source that would be great.

Apparently you didn't look hard enough.

http://athas.org/about.php Note the "These sites would be charged / privileged with creating new content for their respective game worlds; content which would be recognized by Wizards of the Coast as official material."

http://www.birthright.net/aboutbr.php

http://www.darkwood.org/sj/misc/about.html

Or you can just email Jim Butler, or whoever his replacement is now.

:)
 
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Darkness

Hand and Eye of Piratecat [Moderator]
NytCrawler, Grummore, welcome to the boards. :)

NytCrawler said:
You need to read up on this some before you go spouting off something you believe to be fact.
But please tone down the rhetoric a little, everyone. Thanks.

- Darkness
 

Erebus

First Post
NytCrawler said:
Apparently you didn't look hard enough.

http://athas.org/about.php Note the "These sites would be charged / privileged with creating new content for their respective game worlds; content which would be recognized by Wizards of the Coast as official material."

http://www.birthright.net/aboutbr.php

http://www.darkwood.org/sj/misc/about.html

Or you can just email Jim Butler, or whoever his replacement is now.

:)

Well, apparently I've just been schooled. :) I can admit when I'm wrong. See, kids! This is why dialogue is important! At any rate, I found the legal notice on the DS fan site interesting:

DARKSUN, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, D&D, the DARK SUN logo, the WIZARDS OF THE COAST logo and the D&D logo are trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and are used by permission. (c)2002 Wizards of the Coast, Inc.
This site is recognized by WotC as the Official Dark Sun site on the internet. Content created on the official website is considered to be derivative work (as it is based on the intellectual property owned by Wizards of the Coast). This means that fan-created add-ons (such as new net books, adventures, etc.) are jointly owned by both Wizards of the Coast and the creator; neither can do anything outside the official website without the permission of the other.

Wow. Does anyone have specific details regarding this?
 

NytCrawler

First Post
Darkness said:
NytCrawler, Grummore, welcome to the boards. :)


But please tone down the rhetoric a little, everyone. Thanks.

- Darkness

Sorry, this whole "official", "unofficial" thing just sorts of gets under my skin.

So does the whole "professional" thing as well, but I'm willing to let that go, heh.
 

NytCrawler

First Post
Erebus said:
Well, apparently I've just been schooled. :) I can admit when I'm wrong. See, kids! This is why dialogue is important! At any rate, I found the legal notice on the DS fan site interesting:

:)

Wow. Does anyone have specific details regarding this?

Since I've worked internally with athas.org for almost what, two 1/2 years now, I can probably answer a few questions, but you might want to email gab@athas.org if it deals with legal matters since he is the legal guru of the group. :)
 

Erebus

First Post
NytCrawler said:
Since I've worked internally with athas.org for almost what, two 1/2 years now, I can probably answer a few questions, but you might want to email gab@athas.org if it deals with legal matters since he is the legal guru of the group. :)

Well, basically I was just wondering how WotC or Paizo could publish material in the magaines? Did they have approval from athas.org or was there some other way around it? It's happened on numerous occassions before, as well, has it not?
 

WanderingMonster

First Post
This means that fan-created add-ons (such as new net books, adventures, etc.) are jointly owned by both Wizards of the Coast and the creator; neither can do anything outside the official website without the permission of the other.
Okay, so maybe this is why Paizo is printing the conversions? Since it can act independently of the website and WotC. If I read it correctly, if Wizards wanted to print any DS materials, they would need athas.org's permission. But Paizo can do it, and it's official by virtue of the Dungeons and Dragons logo. Interesting.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. ;)

I'm sure it must be frustrating for athas.org to be trumped by the official D&D periodicals. On the bright side, the renewed interest in Dark Sun might attract new visitors to the site who are looking for something beyond what was presented in the magazines. So from that perspective, it might be a renaissance of sorts.
 

flip

First Post
Just gonna weigh in and clarify a few things.

by way of introduction, I'm one of the greybeards of the DS community, and a founding staffer of athas.org ...

First point: Monsters. There's a very simple reason that Dungeon didn't look at or consider our published monsters: They weren't published when the article was written. This is a magazine folks; they have to do a lot more layout than we do. The article deadline was probably at least two months before the print run began, and there were probably a couple of rounds of editing that went in before that.

While portions of Terrors of Athas have been available for a long time, they were never really published ... preview versions, and some individual monsters, yes, but not exactly easily available. The full version wasn't posted until a month ago. There's no way it could have been used, or referenced by, Dungeon.

Second: I spoke to the Editor in Chief at Pazio several months ago. He informed me that Dave Noonan has made it a point not to read or consult any of the athas.org material. This is likely from a CYA perspective, in the case that we might decide to flip out an accuse him of stealing our work ... or to avoid doing so subconciously.

Because of Dragon/Dungeon's publishing policy, they couldn't take the approach of just talking to us first. Essentially, they can't/won't publish anything that has been published elsewhere (even on the Internet) ... some kind of Copyright issue; I think they claim ownership of all submissions.

Third: The terms of our original agreement with Wizards state that all of the Dead-Worlds sites were the custodians of their particular world, and were authorized to produce official material. There are certain limitations on this:

We can't make money off the setting. If we charge anything for products, it's materials only. Our primary method of distribution is on-line. We can't kill off or otherwise majorly affect any iconic characters. We have to use D&D. We can't run our own services (bbs, web-based chat, etc), we're to direct fans to the WotC provided boards.

Not everything published on the site is official: only our PDFs are actually considered to be official products (not a WotC policy there, it's one of ours).

I'm not demanding that Pazio should have used our material. I understand the reasons and the rationale. I would have liked it if we were invited to help contribute.
 

NytCrawler

First Post
WanderingMonster said:
On the bright side, the renewed interest in Dark Sun might attract new visitors to the site who are looking for something beyond what was presented in the magazines. So from that perspective, it might be a renaissance of sorts.

This is true, however, they didn't give very much mention to us from what I understand.

The only mention in the Dungeon side was in the adventure, not sure about the Dragon side.
 

Grummore

Explorer
Well, sorry here for having been a bit cranky :)

While I am not of athas.org team, I am one of those who sticked to all the discussions and board since the beginning. Thanks Flip for having given these information, but again, I feel as him, sad to see two differents conversions going on, while there could have been only one.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
flip said:
Second: I spoke to the Editor in Chief at Pazio several months ago. He informed me that Dave Noonan has made it a point not to read or consult any of the athas.org material. This is likely from a CYA perspective, in the case that we might decide to flip out an accuse him of stealing our work ... or to avoid doing so subconciously.

Because of Dragon/Dungeon's publishing policy, they couldn't take the approach of just talking to us first. Essentially, they can't/won't publish anything that has been published elsewhere (even on the Internet) ... some kind of Copyright issue; I think they claim ownership of all submissions.

This makes sense to me. Basically since the work on your site is jointly owned by the authors and WotC, Paizo can't publish any of it without your permission and WotC's permission. Also copyrights can get complicated.

If Dave Noonan writes his own Dark Sun material without having looked at the material at athas.org, then Paizo doesn't have to worry about securing the rights of a third party author. They can write whatever they want and stick the Dark Sun label on it, since they already have WotC's permission to publish Dark Sun related material.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The question that still seems most pertinent though is: if materials in an official fansite and Dragon/Dungeon clash, which is taken as being more official?

I still say that the magazines win out, since canonity (which, make no mistake, is the same as "official" in this context) is source-based (e.g. authority on what is and is not canon flows from a single authoritative source, in this case WotC), and the magazines are closer to that source than the fan sites (given that the Paizo people, and the entire organization, regularly consult and work with WotC, trade materials, collaborate, etc).

Before this sets off any flames, I want to point out that this is in NO way a judgement call on the quality of either works! The people at athas.org are nothing less than exemplary in the work they've done, and set a standard that I only wish the other official fan sites could live up to. Official doesn't necessarily mean something is better than something else, just that it's more official.
 

AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
Alzrius said:
The question that still seems most pertinent though is: if materials in an official fansite and Dragon/Dungeon clash, which is taken as being more official?

Something which the fansites can do which other "official" producers of material can't do (and often seemed not to care about as they cycled through new authors again and again) is reconcile differences. Dark Sun's publishing history is a lengthy list of conflicts of "fact". Athas.org can, and has, worked out wrinkles like this.


Eric Anondson (pseudo-retired Athas.org stiff)
 

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