D&D 5E Justin Alexander's review of Shattered Obelisk is pretty scathing

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Scribe

Legend
That is subjective. Villains should be allowed to do villainous things. Heck, PCs should be able to choose darkness or light too, just like @pemerton 's Torchbearer example.

They can, just as Torchbearer proves.

You already know the answer to all this, as we have all seen this topic spiral countless times in the last 3 years.

Wizards is too big, and the outcry by the online segment too loud, to make it worth it. The juice is not worth the squeeze, when they can just put something else into the release window, and it will sell just as well, with a fraction of the angst.
 

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Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/they)
That is subjective. Villains should be allowed to do villainous things. Heck, PCs should be able to choose darkness or light too, just like @pemerton 's Torchbearer example.
Of course it's subjective. Every way in which every human interacts with the world is subjective. Again, the issue isn't some kind of objective changes in moral or ethical standards was decided upon (FWIW, I agree that villains should be able to be villains, especially in my home game, and that includes plenty of stuff that I would otherwise want to keep out any kind of marketed product, let alone a mass marketed one). It is solely a matter of which voices were ignored or listened to, how loud those voices were, and how that dynamic has shifted over time.
 

Mecheon

Sacabambaspis
That is subjective. Villains should be allowed to do villainous things. Heck, PCs should be able to choose darkness or light too, just like @pemerton 's Torchbearer example.
There's a bit of a difference between Torchbearer which, let's be honest, is so niche it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, doing something like this compared to Wizards who published Dungeons and Dragons, the TTRPG people have actually heard of that had just a fan project of it lead to an $11 million dollar kickstarter and animated series. Niche fiction can explore that stuff much more than mass market things simply due to intended audience

Stuff like that requires a delicate touch and, let's be honest, TSR did not have a delicate touch. There's a reason why Maztica gets dumped on so much.
 

pemerton

Legend
There's a bit of a difference between Torchbearer which, let's be honest, is so niche it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page
It gets one line at the end of the Burning Wheel entry: The Burning Wheel - Wikipedia

(Under the heading "Related Games" we are told that "Mouse Guard . . . uses a simplified version of the Burning Wheel system" and that "Another game in this line is Torchbearer.")

Wizards who published Dungeons and Dragons, the TTRPG people have actually heard of

<snip>

Stuff like that requires a delicate touch and, let's be honest, TSR did not have a delicate touch. There's a reason why Maztica gets dumped on so much.
Wizards is too big, and the outcry by the online segment too loud, to make it worth it.
I don't think it's just about having a "delicate touch", or avoiding racist nonsense like Maztica. Nor do I think it's about "outcry".

It's about what sort of fictional ideas or experience a large commercial publisher thinks it can sell. If people don't want to think about <whatever> in their leisure time, that's absolutely their prerogative. And so if a large commercial publisher wants to sell them products to use in the course of leisure, it will wisely avoid <whatever>.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
There's a bit of a difference between Torchbearer which, let's be honest, is so niche it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, doing something like this compared to Wizards who published Dungeons and Dragons, the TTRPG people have actually heard of that had just a fan project of it lead to an $11 million dollar kickstarter and animated series. Niche fiction can explore that stuff much more than mass market things simply due to intended audience

Stuff like that requires a delicate touch and, let's be honest, TSR did not have a delicate touch. There's a reason why Maztica gets dumped on so much.
I never read any Maztica, but in general, I'm very happy that TSR put out the material it did, since what big companies are comfortable with releasing now seems to be a significantly smaller circle than it used to be.
 

Scribe

Legend
It's about what sort of fictional ideas or experience a large commercial publisher thinks it can sell. If people don't want to think about <whatever> in their leisure time, that's absolutely their prerogative. And so if a large commercial publisher wants to sell them products to use in the course of leisure, it will wisely avoid <whatever>.
Nor do I think it's about "outcry".

Absolutely is, these things are absolutely related. They are not doing Dark Sun, despite saying they want to offer it, but 'cannot'.

Why? Because the juice just isnt worth it.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Anti-inclusive content
It gets one line at the end of the Burning Wheel entry: The Burning Wheel - Wikipedia

(Under the heading "Related Games" we are told that "Mouse Guard . . . uses a simplified version of the Burning Wheel system" and that "Another game in this line is Torchbearer.")

I don't think it's just about having a "delicate touch", or avoiding racist nonsense like Maztica. Nor do I think it's about "outcry".

It's about what sort of fictional ideas or experience a large commercial publisher thinks it can sell. If people don't want to think about <whatever> in their leisure time, that's absolutely their prerogative. And so if a large commercial publisher wants to sell them products to use in the course of leisure, it will wisely avoid <whatever>.
For a given value of what you mean by "people", of course. And we're just going to have to disagree on the significance of "outcry" to a publicly traded company. They are extraordinarily risk-averse.

Edit: please see apology for this very badly worded post below.
 
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Scribe

Legend
They are extraordinarily risk-averse.

Its not even about risk. We all have seen the discussions around their release rate right? We all see the countless kickstarters right?

Are we going to pretend Wizards is bottlenecked by anything but choice?

If they do or do not release something like Dark Sun, it has zero impact to them. They just drop a different product into the very conservative release stream and make money.

They dont need to release Dark Sun at all, and therefore ANY kind of outcry (from any and every 'side') is simply not worth it.
 


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