Edition Fatigue

Argyle King

Legend
Ah, then you misunderstood my point.

I wasnt suggesting that new supplements required new rules, but rather, as the number of supplements increase, the greater the odds that someone will introduce new/variant rules.


My apologies then; I did read what you had posted differently than it was meant.

I think I'd mostly agree. I think the issue might be made worse my constant staff changes or an overly large staff as well.
 

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GreyLord

Legend
Which was kind of my point: making an RPG with a compact ruleset is easy- getting the masses to buy it is the trick.

It's not the density & complexity of the rules, it's the nature of the hobby itself.

They said that about MMORPG's.

Then WoW sold 8 million copies (and it's even more now).
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
They said that about MMORPG's.

Then WoW sold 8 million copies (and it's even more now).

Key differences:

  1. RPGs typically demand a few hours to do setup; CRPGs take minutes. And the CRPGs' computers handle all the math and rules arcana that players must master for a standard RPG.
  2. RPGs involve scheduling time to sit around a table being geeky with other people; CRPGS can be played solo or with a group, at any time, and nobody need ever see how geeky you are*

That last one is pretty important. My current group includes a couple hardcore computer gamers (and a designer), and several in the group are married with children. We're lucky to be able to game every 2 weeks due to our various commitments. However, a CRPG player need only log in any old time to get his gaming fix (which, while some may view it as inferior, has the advantage of immediacy). One of the guys has even missed D&D sessions because he was "leveling."



* Never EVER underestimate the selling power of anonymity: it's one of the key reasons why amateur Internet porn generates more $$$ than Hollywood AND is threatening the mainstream porn companies.
 
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fumetti

First Post
D&D has to change periodically in order to appeal to new generations of players. It's no different than Marvel rebooting their whole line to modernize the characters and repair story continuity. Ultimate Marvel anyone?

That's an analogy that doesn't much help. Ultimate Marvel failed to take hold as the primary continuity. Despite its promise, it never rose above a sideline concept. The regular old continuity is now bigger than ever (thanks to recent mega crossovers). Ultimate Marvel did not draw in all those new readers that Marvel hoped it would. It drew some, but not enough. So modernization was not necessary. The bulk of fandom still wants the regular old continuity.

The changes in game mechanics and art direction to resemble video games and miniatures games is not by accident. It's what the current generation of kids are into it. To ignore that most important section of the market would be foolhardy.

It explains what WOTC is aiming for. But has it been successful? Has WOTC successfully traded in the old timers for the next generation? Doesn't look like it. It seems moderately successful, but WOTC is still selling 4E to the same old crowd of gamers. I don't see the young video game crowd as yet being the "most important section of the market."

As I've said elsewhere, the problem I have with 4E isn't the new mechanics---it's the total disregard for the longview of playing out a story, the non-combat elements of the game. Virtually everything that is non-combat parts of the story is skipped over. That's not roleplaying, that's MageKnight without the leveling up.

Every character has the same combat abilities except for armor class. Everybody does (roughly) a d8+ability modifier (probably with a shift or some other feature) every single round. Just because it's called "magic" or "psionics" doesn't make it different; they're all doing the same basic things. Everybody has combat powers (even characters traditionally not trained for combat such as thieves). No diversity of character, no role limitations that matter--because the only thing that matters is combat. It's no wonder that 4E has so many character classes...they're all just slight revisions of the fighter class.

If today's kids are only interested in combat, selecting the right combination of combat powers, and leveling up, then why switch from video games to real RPGs? They've got that anytime they want with WoW.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Yes, I mean that an SoC session has a fixed beginning and end, and there is no carry over to the next session. It's always a one-and-done event (no matter how many you play in an evening). It's no different from MageKnight or Magic in that regard.

4E is basically designed to be a session game, refered to as Encounters. You play one encounter this week with one set of players and characters, and you play another encounter next week next week but perhaps with a different set of players and characters. That the sessions are technically connected, it doesn't matter. It doesn't change the story. A one-time player can show up and play this week's encounter and then disappear forever. The group comes back the following week, plays with whoever is there, and there is nothing amiss from all the character changes each week. And this all works because 4E leaves all non-encounter activity virtually unplayed.

I have always bragged on DnD as the ultimate story (rpg) game that totally outplays video games. But 4E is far less story oriented than the popular video game "rpgs" like WoW or Elder Scrolls. It's so disappointing.
Most of this is arrant nonsense, the encounters program is designed for pickup play where each session does not necessarly have the same players/character present in each session but 4e supports the campaign game as well as most rpgs out there.
What is does not have (and neither did 3.x) is advice and support for strong holds and that kind of high politics/wargame which AD&D did.
I suspect that the majority don't want it and that its presence in the earlier versions of (A)D&D was due to the interest of the original creators and the wargaming roots of the game.

I would like to see a splatbook on that topic but to suggest that 4e does not support out of combat stuf and long term campaign continuity is insulting and denigrating those DMs of 4th edition who are doing just that.
 

Hussar

Legend
I would add a bit to the line about Encounters. The Encounters program is a HUGE gamer outreach that we've probably never seen the likes of before. WOTC has sunk a serious amount of time and cash into the idea of roping in new players. And they're using the ideas that have been bandied about in this thread:

A simplified game that someone can just sit down and play. That describes Encounters to a T. Is it fantastic role playing? Probably not. Then again, most of us started out gaming exactly like this - characters were lucky to have a name, let alone a personality or background. Here's a whole program meant for new gamers.

Has it worked? I have no idea. Without any numbers, anyone claiming success or failure is just pulling numbers from their belly button lint.

But, let's give a bit of credit shall we? For the first time in since White Wolf got Minds Eye Theater going, a gaming company is actively going out and trying to bring in new blood, rather than sitting on their laurels trying to let existing gamers grow the hobby.
 

D&D has to change periodically in order to appeal to new generations of players.
Actually, the point is that it DOESN'T have to be changed to the degree that it has been from one edtion to the next. Changes are fine and well but what DOESN'T need to happen is to tear the whole thing down and rebuild it in an entirely different manner.

When D&D first really began to hit its stride it was written by an adult and largely intended for other adults, but it became POPULAR with a much wider, younger demographic of smart, creative players. Who can then sensibly assume that what made the game initially attractive across age levels has to CHANGE in order to continue to appeal to that SAME demographic. Evolution, not revolution.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
Actually, the point is that it DOESN'T have to be changed to the degree that it has been from one edtion to the next. Changes are fine and well but what DOESN'T need to happen is to tear the whole thing down and rebuild it in an entirely different manner.

When D&D first really began to hit its stride it was written by an adult and largely intended for other adults, but it became POPULAR with a much wider, younger demographic of smart, creative players. Who can then sensibly assume that what made the game initially attractive across age levels has to CHANGE in order to continue to appeal to that SAME demographic. Evolution, not revolution.

True that and you can own 2e 3e and 4e but you will only be using one when you sit down.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Actually, the point is that it DOESN'T have to be changed to the degree that it has been from one edtion to the next.

Well, that would depend upon the next generation of players, and how it may differ from the previous generation, would it not?

Do remember, we are talking about a game whose original design is contemporaneous with the home version of Pong. 1e and 2e are different, but they use largely the same engine. You think 3e should has still have used the same engine?

How many people today would you expect to play much of a video game based on the same engine as Pong? How much wold they pay for that these days?

So, that gets us the 2e to 3e difference. We could quibble over whether they needed to go so far with 4e, but we are at worst talking about a single instance of redesign that didn't have to happen, rather than a pattern of behavior.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
Well, that would depend upon the next generation of players, and how it may differ from the previous generation, would it not?

Do remember, we are talking about a game whose original design is contemporaneous with the home version of Pong. 1e and 2e are different, but they use largely the same engine. You think 3e should has still have used the same engine?

How many people today would you expect to play much of a video game based on the same engine as Pong? How much wold they pay for that these days?

So, that gets us the 2e to 3e difference. We could quibble over whether they needed to go so far with 4e, but we are at worst talking about a single instance of redesign that didn't have to happen, rather than a pattern of behavior.

I see what you are trying to get across here. I have to disagree on the pong reference simply because video games have enjoyed advances brought about by an intensely competetive venue. (Electronics)

P&P tabletop games have not experienced this sort of growth and competition.

It would be more accurate to compare OD&D to WoW Cir 2003 vs. 4e to WoW 2011.
 

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