Review GiantLands Steven Wolfe Twitter Review

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infinityman

Explorer
Sooo . . . . @Morrus and @darjr seem to think you, @infinityman, are Stephen Dinehart, the owner of Wonderfilled and publisher and lead writer of Giantlands. If you are Mr. Dinehart . . . . your initial post in this thread is highly deceptive in tone, as @darjr pointed out. If you are not, you're being picked on for being suspiciously and overly positive on a game that has a highly problematic publishing history, despite barely being published.

Assuming you are unaware . . . Giantlands was associated with TSR (the "new" TSR) which turns out to be a small company of very toxic individuals. Stephen Dinehart is on record with toxic comments on various social media forums as well. Dinehart split from TSR in the resulting fracas, but hasn't demonstrated much better behavior himself. The switch of Giantlands from TSR to Wonderfilled was also handled very confusingly for a time.

The game is very expensive . . . which isn't a problem in-and-of-itself, but doesn't seem to have the production values to earn the price. The ideas behind the game and setting seem . . . okay.

If you aren't Stephen Dinehart, I'm sorry you're getting picked on a bit here. I hope you continue buying, playing, and promoting games you enjoy, even if those games are not well received by others.

If you are Stephen Dinehart . . . . you need to behave better if you ever want to be taken seriously on this forum, or in the gaming community at large. Still, I hope your game is a good one, and finds its audience.
ha. Thanks Dire. Everyone here was cool on other threads I've been on, but some are really paranoid here. It's strange.

They said the same thing about the initial post, as if the reviewer was tainted, fake or something. I'm not too fazed by it.

I wasn't looking for personal critiques, I know about some of the drama and I don't really care about it.

Back to the Olympics.
 

infinityman

Explorer
It’s too bad Stephen decided to be deceptive. If he or his operative had come here honestly and dealt honestly it might have gone some distance towards mending their reputation. At least with me. If it included an apology for their transgender hate post.

I’m just sad that James Ward is still involved.

@infinityman Stephen, James is working very hard for you and this baloney dishonors him and his efforts. You could have spent your time championing his event at GaryCon and the premier of his new Giantlands adventure.
Why are you so paranoid?
 


So I'm not interested in Giantlands, I can't imagine I'll buy it, and it's unlikely I'll ever play it. I have no "old school" gaming roots for it to appeal to; it's not a product for me. Naturally I abhored whichever of the particular crimes of nuTSR Dinehart was culpable in (I really can't remember exactly which misdeeds are attributed to him in that complicated saga, but I abhorred all of the things any of those chuckleheads said or did last summer and even if his only crime was just being at one point affiliated with nuTSR that is something he should make amends for).

But can we please not be so dogmatically anti-Dinehart that merely expressing excitement about Giantlands makes someone suspect of ulterior motives? It doesn't seem like it makes for a very welcoming community, and seems bound to just confirm the narrative that the LaNasas of the world would spin about Enworld.
 


I own a copy. I like the art and old school box etc but it needed another run or 3 passed an Editor and the rules have some big issues. Maybe it plays better than it appears to, if when my group has a chance to try something new I may give a one shot with them.
 



I'm not super thrilled for attacking an rpg over the price; game books should be more expensive then they are now, and those working for game companies should be paid more. I would rather judge it for legitimate issues such as editing (or lack thereof), rules, or the publisher's actions.

No, they should not be more expensive. There's simply no way I'm paying that sort of money for a single RPG product.

I'm not attacking the product, but the price.

I admire the Harn setting, but I'm not paying Columbia Game's prices, either.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
No, they should not be more expensive.

How many units do you have to move at $50 per unit to make a living wage?

Edit to add: In my area, living wage for a single adult, no kids, is a bit over $40K a year. So, if that product is costs nothing at all to produce, you have to move over 800 units to get by. That number drops as you have to pay for things like printing, art, and shipping.

Saying that RPGs shouldn't be more expensive is saying that folks who aren't WotC shouldn't be able to make a living in the business.
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I'm not super thrilled for attacking an rpg over the price; game books should be more expensive then they are now, and those working for game companies should be paid more. I would rather judge it for legitimate issues such as editing (or lack thereof), rules, or the publisher's actions.
I give a lot of leeway for a higher priced indie product because we can’t afford large print runs. I’ve said that before. But three times what you’d expect seems a bit high.

And I have a bit of an issue with the quality issues. Not huge, but it bothers me a bit. An editor and having people play it who didn’t have anyone there to teach them would have been hugely beneficial. My understanding is Dinehart is making a revision, so credit goes there. And credit for actually producing and delivering on something.

My biggest issue with all of this is the duplicity and deceit (and lack of apology for previous bigoted comments). In the span of two days, he tweeted and posted on FB about a 5e fan wannabe OSR reviewer making a dumb statement about ODnD that never happened, and then this thread. Why? What’s the purpose for the deceit?

Professionals don’t do that. I would not be surprised to see something on a different site along the lines of “Well, I tried to have a discussion over there on ENWorld but the woke mob attacked me.” Which of course ignores the context of what’s happening here.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I give a lot of leeway for a higher priced indie product because we can’t afford large print runs. I’ve said that before. But three times what you’d expect seems a bit high.

Yeah. To be clear, my comment is not the all games should be $130, or that Giantlands deserves to be that pricey, or the like. Just that our normal idea of the cost of books is based on large commercial print runs by big publishers, not on niche products like RPGs.
 

How many units do you have to move at $50 per unit to make a living wage?

I wouldn't pay $50 for an RPG product.

For that matter, not a lot of products in that price range on DrivThru. Of course, I only buy pdfs, and generally only on sale, thanks to the handy thread we have here.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I wouldn't pay $50 for an RPG product.

Well, if you are going to pay, say, $25, the maker needs to move more like 1600 units per year to make a living wage, and that's only if producing the thing is completely free, they are working alone, and not have a family.

If you aren't even willing to pay that much, well, the lower you go, the more you are saying that, no matter how much enjoyment you get out of it, the maker shouldn't be able to make a living at making them.

For that matter, not a lot of products in that price range on DrivThru.

Yes, well, PDFs have no printing cost, and a reduced effective shipping - DriveThru does charge for its services and we can call that charge the cost of delivery.

But, the point still stands - how much we are willing to pay determines whether folks can do this as their actual living job. If you want professional quality products, you need to pay for the professional people behind the product.

All of this, is, however, an aside - it isn't about Giantlands, in particular.
 

The 3 core books for D&D will run you about $150 give or take. Plus more if you you want to be rules current (see latest book)

This is all 3 (smaller) books plus some extras.
 

Retreater

Legend
I've paid more than $130 for things I've gotten less enjoyment from than RPGs (looking at my GW shelf). The core ruleset of a game I'd want to play could be worth $130. Not saying Giantlands necessarily fits either criterion, but I wouldn't dismiss a product automatically over this price.
 




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