Keith Baker asks about walking away from Eberron.


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MarkB

Legend
I love Eberron, it's my favourite D&D setting, and it certainly can't be easy for someone to walk away from it as it's creator. That said, if Keith Baker feels that he'll be better served with a new setting that he owns outright, I'll look forward to exploring it.

I suppose the next question would be whether to write this new setting with D&D 5e in mind, or go with something that won't be tied to WotC at all.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
I would love to see Keith Baker do his own thing with this rather than making it a part of Eberron. I love fantasy western settings - I have since at least the Savage Coast stuff started appearing in Dragon Magazine for Mystara. I'd love to see what he does with the idea.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
It depends entirely on what he feels is most important to him with regards to this project.

- If he wants to do something where he is not beholden to anyone's expectations... then a new game/setting/system would be good for him. He can do exactly what he wants, without needing to fit it in to any already-established lore, canon, mechanics, or whatever else he would otherwise have to work around.

- If he wants to do something that gets engaged by any many people as possible... then he should stick with Eberron, because like it or not D&D is and always will remain one of if not the largest pools of players. Threshold will reach more eyes through DMs Guild as an Eberron product than any other independent system he would otherwise release it through.

- If he wants to show solidarity with all the creatives outside of Wizards of the Coast who are being left out in the cold over the OGL because he IS one of those creatives... then he should absolutely leave Eberron behind and and join the crowd of independents who are going to be making things for themselves and not cater to the game of Dungeons & Dragons.

- If he wants to make any money on this product of his because he needs it to be a part of his living expenses... then he absolutely SHOULD NOT take it away from Eberron. Because like it or not... more people want to spend more money on products for Dungeons & Dragons than any other game. That's why most people who used the OGL and DMs Guild were making D&D products... because those products SELL. And if Keith needs this product to sell... then taking it away from Eberron will make him lose probably like at least half, if not even more, of the potential audience who would be interested in it.

So yeah... I don't envy him his decision.
 

glass

(he, him)
- If he wants to make any money on this product of his because he needs it to be a part of his living expenses... then he absolutely SHOULD NOT take it away from Eberron.
I am not sure even this much is true. The D&D brand does no good to him if the ability to sell under it is taken away from him tomorrow, which it very well could be.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I am not sure even this much is true. The D&D brand does not good to him if the ability to sell under it is taken away from him tomorrow, which it very well could be.
He releases his product through the DMs Guild. That would not change even with 1.0a going away.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
- If he wants to make any money on this product of his because he needs it to be a part of his living expenses... then he absolutely SHOULD NOT take it away from Eberron.
I don't know that this is necessarily true. He has his own gaming company now, and much like Monte Cook did when he started his own company, it might be that Baker has enough of a following to bring people over to a new system to make a good business for himself. A core following of folks buying your stuff and evangelizing your games might be enough if it's a sufficiently large base to work from.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
Not sure if you were referring to the specific news in this post or in general - but for people who aren't aware he did write his own game with it's own system Phoenix Dawn Command

Right here is the problem.

Eberron has a lot of fans. And a lot of people like Keith Baker.

Yet when he developed his own game, it ... well, how many people heard of it? And of those people, how many played it? Honestly, I bet that Phoenix Command (the 1986 RPG) has a much higher name recognition in the community as a whole simply because it's kind of a punchline.

What worries me about this is that we have a lot of people yelling to burn it all down. Well, cool. I think that there is this unstated belief that if we just burn it (D&D) all down, then somehow everyone will start playing all these other games. But ... where is the evidence of that?

TTRPGs has always been a discretionary hobby. Maybe people are happy with it going back to being a much smaller hobby. Maybe this 5e period will be looked back upon like the 1979-84 period. I don't know.

Who knows. Maybe there is a large market out there that just can't wait to play PF2e, and the FiTD games, and all the indie games and one pagers that our hobby has ... and they've just been waiting, pining, for the Death Star of D&D to get destroyed by the Rebellion in order to play! Or maybe not.

If I was Baker, I would release a rules-agnostic setting, or a generic (but D&D compatible) setting that he has control over. But I'm not.
 


glass

(he, him)
He releases his product through the DMs Guild. That would not change even with 1.0a going away.
Obviously; the OGL does not give access to a bunch of things he would need, and specifically prevents using trademarks (like for example "Eberron").

Nonetheless, AIUI the DMsGuild licence has always had the revocability they are trying to backdoor into the OGL. Which was not unreasonable, given that it gave access to a lot more stuff and actually was associated with WotC's brands, and given it never pretended to be open. But reasonable or not, it relies on trust in WotC not to abuse the one-sided nature of the DMsGuild licence - trust which is in short supply at the moment.
 

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