log in or register to remove this ad

 

4E Green Ronin's Pramas blogs on 4e or not 4e

Uzzy

First Post
JohnSnow said:
Noooo. At the rate Martin's going, if they wait for that, we'll never see it! :lol:
Hehe. It has been quite a wait!

I see it as a short term decision, that's all. It's very unlikely that Green Ronin, or other big 3rd party companies will keep supporting 3rd edition only in their products beyond 2009, unless 4th Edition seriously tanks. In which case the hobby has much more serious things to worry about.

Anyway, if Green Ronin have a pretty packed production schedule already for 2008, then buying into the OGL at this time may not be the wisest move. I've no doubt the likes of ASOIAF will sell. (If it's anything like the Guardians of Order book, it may not even be able to be published under the new OGL, which would clearly be an issue) Freeport seems rules light and True 20 is an independent system. Do they really gain that much by buying in now, rather then waiting till July and publishing in the 2009? I'm certain that is what they are thinking about over at Green Ronin HQ. $5,000 is not an insubstantial amount of cash, particularly for what amounts to a leap of faith.
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Speaking as someone who has a generally positive outlook on 4e, I don't blame Pramas for being hesitant to enter the 4e 3rd party market. Even if 4e takes off and he likes the rules enough to design for it might still be in Green Ronin's best interests to jump off the d20 train. While Mutants and Masterminds and True 20 might be marginal games when compared to Dungeons and Dragons, when you look at the overall tabletop roleplaying market they do incredibly well. These are games with loyal fanbases that are most likely not going anywhere, and more importantly Green Ronin has a great deal of control when determining product schedules for those games since they don't need to worry about anything game changing messing with their plans. Plus, if the Song of Ice and Fire rpg takes off, they might not really have any resources to devote to d20 development.
 

JohnSnow

First Post
Uzzy said:
I see it as a short term decision, that's all. It's very unlikely that Green Ronin, or other big 3rd party companies will keep supporting 3rd edition only in their products beyond 2009, unless 4th Edition seriously tanks. In which case the hobby has much more serious things to worry about.
I think this is seriously unlikely, unless WotC has forgotten everything they learned while Ryan Dancey worked there.

Unlike most other companies in the gaming business, Wizards of the Coast is able to have a true marketing department, conduct market research, and actually get real feedback from a truly random sample of their customers. It is patently absurd to assume they haven't been doing this as they go through the design process for Fourth Edition.

By contrast, in the old days of TSR, the designers relied on their "gut instincts" rather than actual consumer feedback. Dancey's old articles on the WotC takeover of D&D are very illuminating. TSR didn't know anything about its customers or what they wanted out of an RPG. When WotC took over, they asked a lot of questions of their customers, and got the answers, many of which ran counter to their gut instincts. Third Edition was designed in response to all that feedback.

It is my firm hope, and belief, that WotC is going through the same process with 4e. By contrast, many of the smaller d20 companies derive their strategy from their 'gut instincts.' Which is fine if you're serving a market niche, but not necessarily if you're trying to serve the majority.

One of the axioms I remember from my MBA marketing classes is this: "If you think you know what the average consumer wants, you're probably wrong."

Finding that out is the point of market research and gathering customer feedback. And I trust Wizards of the Coast to be professional enough (and care about success enough) to actually do that. I highly doubt they're designing the game in a bubble to the degree that some people seem to think.

I think a lot of people don't understand that axiom. They seem to think that because what WotC is doing runs counter to what they want (which they assume the majority also wants) that WotC is therefore 'making a mistake.' But does anyone honestly think WotC would repeat TSR's mistake? Especially since they know how to avoid it?

Yes, companies can make mistakes. But they usually only do so because they're not listening to their customers, something the D&D designers should certainly know to be careful of.
 

Mourn said:
This is one of the worst arguments in the world, because it rejects any kind of objective metric (like, say, success) in place of a subjective measure (whether I like it or not). So, it allows someone to say that Titanic is crap, despite it outgrossing their favorite art-house film that only six people ever saw, but allows them to defend accusations that their art-house film was crap because "well, sales doesn't equal quality."
But popularity doesn't equal quality! There is no objective measure for this stuff.
 

ZombieRoboNinja

First Post
The whole thing strikes me as really snarky.

#1 seems a bit arrogant, but that may well just be a wording thing; #2 is (IMO) where it really gets silly. As Orcus from Necromancer Games and some others have already freely predicted, 3.5 WILL die and 4e WILL take over, if for no other reason than Borders and other retailers that pretty much ONLY carry WOTC and maybe White Wolf stuff will be stocking 4e and not the discontinued 3.5 books.

Green Ronin has always seemed a bit more confrontational to WOTC than most other third parties, at least in their product lines. I'm not at all surprised that WOTC is no longer interested in catering to a publisher who features stuff like "True20" specifically promoted as a replacement for the WOTC material it's based on, rather than a complement to it. And in turn it's no surprise that Green Ronin people would be a bit angry at WOTC for basically cutting off some of their big product lines.

In a more general sense, though, I'm not sure what a "4e conversion" of True20 or Mutants and Masterminds would entail. Obviously the new races, classes, spells, and monsters wouldn't matter at all, and the very basic stuff underpinning the system (ability scores, skill checks, etc) seems mostly unchanged from 3e anyway.
 

Wolfspider

First Post
Mourn said:
This is one of the worst arguments in the world, because it rejects any kind of objective metric (like, say, success) in place of a subjective measure (whether I like it or not). So, it allows someone to say that Titanic is crap, despite it outgrossing their favorite art-house film that only six people ever saw, but allows them to defend accusations that their art-house film was crap because "well, sales doesn't equal quality."
So a Big Mac is a better meal than a filet mignon because more Big Macs are sold everyday than steaks?
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
I am just going to copy every John Snow post re 4E for my own :)

Man, you see things the same as me on several forums, esp re 'style of play' vs 'good/bad game' and now having played SWSE and trying to also go back to my 3.5 DND campaign - I just don't want to build NPCs or monsters for the campaign anymore, even though it is a great campaign. I can't drag myself back either, so our group has been playing Star Wars.
 

CaptainChaos

First Post
ZombieRoboNinja said:
And in turn it's no surprise that Green Ronin people would be a bit angry at WOTC for basically cutting off some of their big product lines.
But WotC hasn't done that. They've made it so that other companies can't follow GR's footsteps, but existing games can cotninue to publish under the original OGL if I understand correctly. Nor does anyone from GR seem angry. They are simply looking out for their business.

In a more general sense, though, I'm not sure what a "4e conversion" of True20 or Mutants and Masterminds would entail.
To quote Mr. Pramas on the M&M boards: "M&M doesn't need to "go 4E". It's its own game."
 

Xethreau

Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
Didn't the announcement say that potential subscribers to the OGL early got to view the SRD without paying the $5000 once they signed the NDA? Why dosn't the Green Rounin guy just go that rout?
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
Please pass the pipe.

I fail to see how Mutants & Masterminds, a game on multi8ple printings and a second edition, hasn't broken out of the d20 glut.

Are you thinking that somewhere along the line that OGL independent games didn't surpass standard d20 books? For a lot of titles, I suspect you may be right, but then we look at OGL works like Arcana Evolved, Conan, and Mutants & Masterminds and I think that if the game is good enough, it doesn't have to be D&D.

Does it compete on the same level as D&D?

No.

Would a supplement made by GR for D&D compete on the same level as WoTC?

No.

Even now there are people who won't spend $5 on award winning supplements because they're not WotC.

I can't see supporting 4e without some type of official branding at the current cost as the best possible solution for everyone. I mean, it's not like the OGL comes out and GR puts out a book and people are like, "Man, if this had ONLY come out a year ago, I would've loved it but GR has lost their cutting edge."

Then again, maybe you already passed the pipe and it's my turn to pass it on.

JohnSnow said:
I loved Green Ronin's releases over the last several years. I own copies of Black Company, Thieves World, True 20, Mutants & Masterminds 2e, lots of Freeport stuff, and, of course, True Sorcery (which I did some free editing for).

I'd love to see them support 4e because I'd hate to see them become the "also-ran" of the RPG business. True 20 and Mutants & Masterminds may have some vocal fans, but they ain't Dungeons & Dragons.

The most worrying thing to me is Chris's questioning whether "the new rules (will) be good." That smacks of supreme arrogance. Obviously, Chris thinks his team will make good games, or they wouldn't be in the business in the first place. So clearly, if he actually means this, he thinks his guys are better at it than the ones that work at WotC. Frankly, if I was one of the WotC guys, I'd be really insulted.

From my perspective, it seems that Green Ronin is just miffed because their two most successful products (Mutants & Masterminds and True 20) won't be able to be updated to be compatible with 4e, since the new license doesn't allow "stand-alone games."

But hey, if Green Ronin wants to marginalize itself out of the D&D market, that's their call.
 

Spatula

Explorer
Pramas is saying that there is not enough information to base the decision on at this time. Wanting to make an informed decision before shelling out five grand is not arrogance.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
RyukenAngel said:
Didn't the announcement say that potential subscribers to the OGL early got to view the SRD without paying the $5000 once they signed the NDA? Why dosn't the Green Rounin guy just go that rout?
To clarify: They're only showing the Open Gaming License (OGL), not the SRD before the payment. As defined, you sign the NDA, you see the License, apparently sans rules. If you like the license, you pay 5 grand and get to see the rules but not before then, hence the apprehension.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
ZombieRoboNinja said:
The whole thing strikes me as really snarky.

#1 seems a bit arrogant, but that may well just be a wording thing; #2 is (IMO) where it really gets silly. As Orcus from Necromancer Games and some others have already freely predicted, 3.5 WILL die and 4e WILL take over, if for no other reason than Borders and other retailers that pretty much ONLY carry WOTC and maybe White Wolf stuff will be stocking 4e and not the discontinued 3.5 books.
See I find this absurd. People on the 4e forum claim that nay-sayers should wait until the game is out to judge it, instead of pre-judging. This is exactly what Chris Pranas is doing. Nothing in life is guaranteed 100% and there is the distinct possibility that WotC could loose a sizable segment of their customer base with the transition to 4e. Even if they don't I wonder if supplements and add-ons will sell as fast or as well as they did with 3e. I for one know that I'm not going that route with 4e after all the money I invested in 3e/3.5 (and that's if I choose to go with 4e).

In the end what is snarky about not believing WotC is some unfailable god and that every player of 3.5 will definitely switch? It took quite awhile for the faults in 3.5 to be brought to the forefront. Also the rules will still be in flux when these publishers get them, Hopefully nothing gets sent to print before these final changes are made. He has a company to run and employees to pay and not putting up $5,000 on unseen rules by a company that he doesn't run and isn't privy to the inner workings of doesn't seem arrogant or snarky. In fact I'll say I have more respect for someone who takes the stance of wanting all the cards on the table than a company that jumps on it without even seeing what the OGL restrictions will be. Just my oppinion though, YMMV.
 

Kid Charlemagne

I am the Very Model of a Modern Moderator
Professor Phobos said:
But popularity doesn't equal quality! There is no objective measure for this stuff.
No, but popularity does generally equal sales. And that's the critical element here.

Would GR support 4E heavily if they thought the rules were great, but that they would bomb with fans? I doubt it.

This may be a tangent, but I've gotten the impression over the last few years that GR is moving away from d20/D&D much more than most of its peers in the d20 early adopters. They don't seem to show much interest in regular old D&D.

Second tangent - about Green Ronin having Death in Freeport out at the initial 3E GenCon - don't forget Chris was still working at WoTC at the time, so he had early access to the rules, more so than probably any other d20 publisher.
 

Incenjucar

First Post
If 4E doesn't work, D&D as a continuing product line is in deep trouble. I don't see this happening.

If 4E does work, 3E will, sooner or later, go the way of 2e and 1e and Oe and Chainmail.

As such, unless Green Ronin, or any other company, has their own game that is SO good that it blows D&D out of the water, they would be shooting themselves in the foot to fail to support 4E.

And I mean with a thundering vorpal ballista.
 

cr0m

First Post
Don't forget that GR is a small company. I doubt Chris Pramas can afford to take a risk on something he hasn't seen. What he's doing sounds sensible, not prejudiced.

If I were a small publisher with limited resources, I'd seen Wotc's $5,000 fee as a bit of a slap in the face. $5,000 is a lot to pay for four months of exclusivity, in a market where a book that makes $5,000 is probably a success story.

Does anyone have any idea why Wotc is doing that, btw? I'm genuinely curious.
 

JoeGKushner

First Post
Kid Charlemagne said:
No, but popularity does generally equal sales. And that's the critical element here.

Would GR support 4E heavily if they thought the rules were great, but that they would bomb with fans? I doubt it.

This may be a tangent, but I've gotten the impression over the last few years that GR is moving away from d20/D&D much more than most of its peers in the d20 early adopters. They don't seem to show much interest in regular old D&D.

Second tangent - about Green Ronin having Death in Freeport out at the initial 3E GenCon - don't forget Chris was still working at WoTC at the time, so he had early access to the rules, more so than probably any other d20 publisher.
Well, on the moving away from d20, after 3.5 hit, a lot of publishers have done so.

And don't discount non-WoTC employees. Outside of Necromancer/Sword and Sorcery, Atlas when talking about early adopters as I believe 3 Days to Kill was also out at Gen Con.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
Incenjucar said:
If 4E doesn't work, D&D as a continuing product line is in deep trouble. I don't see this happening.

If 4E does work, 3E will, sooner or later, go the way of 2e and 1e and Oe and Chainmail.

As such, unless Green Ronin, or any other company, has their own game that is SO good that it blows D&D out of the water, they would be shooting themselves in the foot to fail to support 4E.

And I mean with a thundering vorpal ballista.

Emphasis mine: This just isn't true. Green Ronin or really any other publisher doesn't have to have a game that blows D&D out the water for them to come out ahead not supporting D&D. For example...

Green Ronin makes money off...
True20
Mutannts & Masterminds
Warhammer
(released this month) Warhammer 40k (I'm actually more excited about this than D&D 4e)

Now as I see it unless their D&D products sell to a larger fanbase (which it seems is a very small fraction of D&D players) and with more consistency than the products for these games (which while not doing D&D good, are still doing very good as far as rpg's go), then supporting d20 actually doesn't make sense. The resources would be better spent catering and building a fanbase around these products than devoting them to D&D 4e. Or there may be a balance to be struck, where the $5000 doesn't make sense but publishing later might. D&D is not the whole of rpg's and 3rd party publishers are still basically fighting for the scraps leftover from those who actually buy 3rd party products.
 

Captain Tagon

First Post
Incenjucar said:
As such, unless Green Ronin, or any other company, has their own game that is SO good that it blows D&D out of the water, they would be shooting themselves in the foot to fail to support 4E.

::cough::White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games, HERO Games::cough::
 

Raloc

First Post
am181d said:
I don't think anyone at WotC would be insulted to hear that Chris likes his guys best. I'd be scratching my head if it were the other way around. "Fourth Edition is so great that I don't know if my team is up to the task of supporting it!"

One bit of confusion based on Chris' post above though: Hasn't WotC said that they'll let Phase 1 folks read the rules before committing the $5,000. In other words, sign the NDA, read the rules, and if they stink we won't hold you to the whole $5,000 thing?
I believe it was noted that they would be able to read the OGL but not the rules (which his post seems to support...he says they'd decide after looking at the OGL, for instance).

(Apologies if this q was already answered.)
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top