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D&D 4E How many people ACTUALLY have the final say on the final 4E product?

Emirikol

Adventurer
How many people ACTUALLY have the final say on the final 4E product? Who's in charge of this whole deal and how does this process work? Do the playtesters get to give ideas or are they ONLY testing existing material put in front of them

jh
P.s. when we playtested conan, we were told not to question or put up ideas, just to test the material (obviously..that process had a few flaws..laugh)
 

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AncientSpirits

First Post
Emirikol said:
How many people ACTUALLY have the final say on the final 4E product? Who's in charge of this whole deal and how does this process work? Do the playtesters get to give ideas or are they ONLY testing existing material put in front of them


The final say comes from the cabal of mindflayers in WotC's "secret room."
jk
 

Voss

First Post
What do you mean by 'final say'?
There are design lackeys, development lackeys, lead guys for both, and at some point, paperwork will cross the desks of higher-ups at wizards and hasbro, but most of the game-level decisions will be made by design and and development folks.

I'm sure some of the playtesters do try to give ideas, and we've seen a couple of cases where the wizard's folks have backed down (Dragon tail cut) or incorporated suggestions (the thing with Torm in FR). But largely, most likely they don't want playtester ideas. If you open up the box to random suggestions from a large group of people, you get a fairly incoherent pile of uh... stuff. Waste matter.
 

WhatGravitas

Explorer
AncientSpirits said:
The final say comes from the cabal of mindflayers in WotC's "secret room."
jk
As long as they're not locked in psychic battle with the giant brain Gleemax. Which will end up as delicious flayer dessert. Naturally.

Iä! Iä!, LT.
 


Glyfair

First Post
Emirikol said:
P.s. when we playtested conan, we were told not to question or put up ideas, just to test the material (obviously..that process had a few flaws..laugh)
That's not that uncommon. Companies have to worry about possible litigation. If you come up with a good idea that ends up becoming central to the game you might decide to sue the company. Even if it's covered by the NDA, there will likely still be litigation and companies don't want to deal with it.

Secondly, there are usually time limits. I often see comments on messageboards about how playtesting show go on indefinitely. In real life companies are spending money on playtesting and need to start making money on the product. A month or two of external playtesting of a product is close to par for the course. Complicated projects like RPGs likely get around it by having multiple groups testing different elements of the project at the same time.

It's all well and good to say that you had a great suggestion when you playtested 3.5 about how they could have eliminated Vancian magic with the same elegance. Even the greatest idea will be abandoned (or held onto for later) if you have to start design at square one for that idea to be implemented.

That doesn't mean they don't take ideas. For example, maybe when they did Ambush feats for CS maybe they initially worked only with sneak attack and a playtest group suggested having it work for the similiar abilities. That's the sort of "new ideas" that playtest teams can usually suggest.
 



Glyfair

First Post
I meant to answer the main question, but got interrupted (for a length of time) and never got around to it.

I doubt there is one person with final say. If there is a conflict between the various leads and/or managers (not really sure what the functional differences between the positions are) I imagine they have a meeting and come up with a concensus.

If there is no consensus than Scott Rouse (if he is there) probably has final say, but there are certainly exceptions there. He has people above him that could overrule him, but probably would never do so. Things with major financial repercussions probably have a different department responsible for approving such things.
 


Navior

First Post
Before they can decide who has final say on the final 4E product, they have to decide what the final product will be. This will depend a lot on when they decide to release 5E. I believe, at the moment, they're considering either PHB IV or PHB V as the final 4E product. ;)

Okay, I'll run along now.
 

Lord Xtheth

First Post
If you look at the answer vague enough, we, the consumer have the final say. It doesn't matter how good the people who make the game thinks it is, its us. If none of us buy 4th ed, I'm sure they'll know they screwed somthing up.

I mean look at 3.5 its creation was based on consumer displeasure.

*sniff, sniff* I smell 4.5
 

Voss

First Post
Emirikol said:
So we don't "really" know who's in charge of this whole process at all then? Is it a committee of ghosts?

jh

Or we just don't know WotC's exact corporate structure, or who precisely has responsibility for what.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Emirikol said:
So does Kim Mohan or Scott Rouse have final say in the product?

Final say is probably Bill Slavicsek.

Scott is the Brand Manager, so he definitely has an input into the final product, but I'm pretty sure that it's Bill's call as to how everything goes in the end.

Cheers!
 




Glyfair

First Post
Keefe the Thief said:
Yeah, i could totally see it:

"Mr. Verrecchia, there is a Memo from WotC - they ask if you approve about the way Brenching works in 4e."

"Whut?"

:lol:
On the other hand, if he comes to WotC and says "My daughter wants a pink furry creature as a player race. Do it!" then I think it would get done.
 

Pramas

Explorer
Well, the buck ultimately stops with WotC's CEO, Loren Greenwood, but it's extremely unlikely he'd have anything to do with reviewing the rules or suchlike. I believe the head of R&D is still Bill Rose, but he comes from the TCG side of things. That being the case the guy you are asking about is most likely Rose's subordinate, Bill Slavicsek.
 


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