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D&D 4E My faith for 4e crumbles

Kae'Yoss

First Post
I love D&D 3e. Not just because of the vast improvements in the rules, but also because it was made public. Other people could use the rules to create their own material. While it did produce a lot of rubbish, there were many things out there that were simply superb.

Now it seems that Wizards made a U-Turn and wants to fight that creativity with all their might. They want to keep D&D for themselves. *My* preciousss. Does anyone know about a bigger step backwards in the history of RPG?

I would wager my donkey that the next edition of D&D will not allow any third party to produce any content. Clearly Wizards had enough of being upstaged by others who proved that they know what they do.

Now that Wizards is getting rid of these sources, I can only surmise that they gave up on trying to make an ever better game. They clearly intent to get a D&D monopoly, so people have to take their stuff or not play anything at all.


But unless they're able to revoke the OGL, I think they have reckoned without their host.
 

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WayneLigon

Adventurer
I think, if they actually do such a thing, they are much more concerned with the 'lot of rubbish' part of that first statement than the five or six third party publishers that produced something of quality that equalled or surpassed WoTC's internal stuff. I'm thinking the glut of d20 product that initially appeared and then didn't move scared a lot of buyers away from anything related to d20, including Wizard's own products.
 


Kae'Yoss

First Post
cignus_pfaccari said:
Just out of curiousity, and I mean no disrespect, but...why?

Events happening in close proximity does not mean that they are related.

My pattern recognition circuits just kicked in.

WayneLigon said:
I think, if they actually do such a thing, they are much more concerned with the 'lot of rubbish' part of that first statement than the five or six third party publishers that produced something of quality that equalled or surpassed WoTC's internal stuff.

Currently, we saw how they moved against Paizo, which is certainly not one of the rubbish peddlers.
 

Maggan

Writer of The Bitter Reach
Kae'Yoss said:
Tey want to keep D&D for themselves. *My* preciousss. Does anyone know about a bigger step backwards in the history of RPG?

The biggest step backwards I have seen have been connected to the press oversensationalising a murder here in Sweden, blaming it on RPGs. That was huge, and proved that we are still viewed as a fair target for speculation.

Also, the release of Kult resulted in a huge backlash here, effectively removing rpgs from the toy shops. That is still hurting the producers and the hobby here in Sweden, and it happened 10 years ago.

To us, the possibility of 4e not being open would not even register on that scale.

/M
 

WhatGravitas

Explorer
WayneLigon said:
I'm thinking the glut of d20 product that initially appeared and then didn't move scared a lot of buyers away from anything related to d20, including Wizard's own products.
However, most people only know about WotC's products at all... only more invested gamers use other RPG material, and these can usually distinguish between icky glut and gems, furthermore, "the glut" has died and left some great producers (Green Ronin, Mongoose, Paizo, Necromancer, Goodman Games & Co.) - so it is very improbable, that a new glut occurs - low-quality produces have burnt their fingers and high quality produces will still produce high quality stuff (after a short time of transition, after they've completely learned the ropes of the system).

Additionally, the novelty of the first OGL is gone - many publishers jumped on the d20 bandwagon, because it was brand-new. Shiny. A new opportunity. This time, it's just d20 again (I assume that 4E will stick to d20) - just a new shape, incarnation, whatever - nothing special, except being the market leader in RPGs. Just like now.

Thus the decision will rather go down to "Do we want the capability of other people to mess with our 4E?"
We don't know.

But we have a OGL license out there... and you cannot copyright mechanics. It is completely possible, that a publisher produces a OGL-compliant system, totally compatible to 4E - just like OSRIC in relation to 1E. And we know the "Pocket Player's Handbook", which is essentially a crunch rehash of the PHB. This will, after some time, happen with 4E as well, perhaps even more if it's closed content.

D&D is huge, and I think many publishers take an interest in a D&D compatible thing, therefore, I expect such a system.

But then, even if it doesn't happen, we can stick to the current OGL-prodructs, we have a great variety between things like True20 and Iron Heroes. I'm happy with my mutant-bizarro-d20-Arcana-Evolved-D&D-hybrid. :)

@Maggan: Never heard of that. Ugh. That sounds bad. And I thought it's hard to find RPG-stuff in Germany without amazon... :/
 

Kae'Yoss said:
Does anyone know about a bigger step backwards in the history of RPG?
Hmm... the last several years of TSR come to mind. :)


WayneLigon said:
I think, if they actually do such a thing, they are much more concerned with the 'lot of rubbish' part of that first statement than the five or six third party publishers that produced something of quality that equalled or surpassed WoTC's internal stuff. I'm thinking the glut of d20 product that initially appeared and then didn't move scared a lot of buyers away from anything related to d20, including Wizard's own products.

Actually, if I recall correctly, WOTC anticipated and expected the glut back at the debut of OGL, and the fact that most of those 'publishers' folded after the first year or so. My Google-fu is weak, and I couldn't find the press release(s) in question, but I do remember that being mentioned by WOTC when they first announced OGL.

If they thought that it would 'scare buyers away', why would they do it? And if it was scaring them away, why didn't they pull OGL? I think that it actually increased the number of buyers, by increasing awareness of the D20 system.

Personally, I hope that they keep it for 4E - there's a lot of junk out there, but there is also a lot of gems that are we would have never seen without help of the OGL.
 
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GreatLemur

First Post
Maggan said:
The biggest step backwards I have seen have been connected to the press oversensationalising a murder here in Sweden, blaming it on RPGs. That was huge, and proved that we are still viewed as a fair target for speculation.

Also, the release of Kult resulted in a huge backlash here, effectively removing rpgs from the toy shops. That is still hurting the producers and the hobby here in Sweden, and it happened 10 years ago.
Dang. That's even worse than the Satanic panic we got hit with in the US, back in the 1980s.

Lord Tirian said:
But then, even if it doesn't happen, we can stick to the current OGL-prodructs, we have a great variety between things like True20 and Iron Heroes. I'm happy with my mutant-bizarro-d20-Arcana-Evolved-D&D-hybrid. :)
Yeah, that's my thinking, as well. If 4E is closed content, I'll probably just take it as my excuse to finally rejigger D&D v.3.5, Iron Heroes, and True20 into the perfect system I keep wishing for. If only I can actually find anyone to play the thing once I'm done with it...
 
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Desdichado

Adventurer
GreatLemur said:
Yeah, that's my thinking, as well. If 4E is closed content, I'll probably just take it as my excuse to finally rejigger D&D v.3.5, Iron Heroes, and True20 into the perfect system I keep wishing for. If only I can actually find anyone to play the thing once I'm done with it...
Which is why--all our posturing aside--we tend to end up following the pack after all.

I've had pretty good luck getting players for my jiggered d20 system, using elements from I don't know how many different books and games, but that was a bit of a perfect storm. I don't know that I could even get the same group (which is less than 50% the same people as when I did it) convinced to do it again.
 

WhatGravitas

Explorer
GreatLemur said:
If only I can actually find anyone to play the thing once I'm done with it...
Hm. Yeah, that's the big problem. D&D is more widespread. With my usual group, I can play bizarro, because it's our common bizarro. But if you're trying to find players, you have to stick with vanilla-D&D.

But then, of course, you also have problems to get anything, but WotC into the game... so the problem isn't that severe - if you're having OGL stuff in your games now, it means your group trusts you - then you can get away with bizarro-system.

If you have problems to use OGL now, it won't change after 4E, regardless of the existence of a new OGL, right?

Therefore, the OGL thing is more something to think about for:
a) Hardcore gamers who enjoy tinkering with the system.
b) The actual publishers.
c) The DMs, who may get adventure deprived. But WotC will probably plan to fill that. :\
 

Darrin Drader

First Post
Well, what the heck, might as well chime in.

First of all, WotC is to D&D what Microsoft is to Windows. Sure, they tried the open source thing, but I'm not so sure that it panned out well enough for them that they want to do it again with 4E. Keep in mind that this is all speculation, and at this point in the game I have no insider knowledge.

Now, my prediction for 4E is that we'll probably see a game that is easier to learn and streamlined so that combat moves faster. Let's face it, even Ryan Dancey said that D&D was a half hour of fun condensed into four hours of actual play. Let's also face that facts that between WoW and Neverwinter Nights, there are D&Dish experiences out there that allow people to adventure with groups of other people, with fast moving combat, and pretty incredible graphics (just got my copy of NWN2 today. Wow!)

So if 4E is a streamlining of the system, and it isn't open game content, I think that a fairly large segment of the gaming population is going to ask for another option. In the computer world, it's called Linux. Hey, what do you know, we already have that with the OGL. Sure, they can yank the D20 logo license, but so what? The OGL allows game publishers to create new games using pretty much any rules they want to create, but it is expected that they will be derived from D20.

The OGL will continue to exist, though following WotC's lead, publishers will probably morph it into a system that plays faster. I expect that someone will release something that people will like and will be 100% open game content, and then other publishers will run with the ball. I think Green Ronin has something pretty close to that right now with True20, though I'm not sure that a large number of people are willing to embrace all the mechanical differences in that system, such as the loss of hit points.

So when this brand B comes along, and it is widely supported by third party publishers, WotC will effectively be competing against its own prior success. The market will probably follow D&D 4E, but I could see this as of yet unseen new system gaining a pretty good following, and one day being the preferred system among the serious gamer geeks.

As for my personal opinion, I'm going to watch and wait. If 4E is an improvement over 3E, and it doesn't try to revamp what roleplaying is by turning it strictly into a miniatures game (the very thing the game morphed from to begin with), I'll check it out and I might even switch my home game to it. If I don't like it, and there's probably a 50% chance of that, then I'll start looking into OGL alternatives, possibly even helping push for that third party streamlined standardized initiative.
 
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takyris

First Post
Let 'em.

If it's good, I'll buy it. If it doesn't wow me, I've got Grim Tales and Mutants & Masterminds. Those two systems might not be for everyone, but they both hit my happy notes. Between the two of 'em, I've got the tools to run any game I could ever want.
 



EyeontheMountain

First Post
Hobo said:
Which is why--all our posturing aside--we tend to end up following the pack after all.

Very true. One reason why the RAW and wizards-only are so popular. You've got to find players somewhere, and using a lot of weird 3rd party stuff makes it harder to make a common game, especially online, where I do most of my playing.

As for 4E, I am waiting. I seee no need to get hysterical, and the endless rounds of guesswork and speculation, while entertaining to some, are not something I usually bother to read.
 


00Machado

First Post
WayneLigon said:
I think, if they actually do such a thing, they are much more concerned with the 'lot of rubbish' part of that first statement than the five or six third party publishers that produced something of quality that equalled or surpassed WoTC's internal stuff. I'm thinking the glut of d20 product that initially appeared and then didn't move scared a lot of buyers away from anything related to d20, including Wizard's own products.


Only the quality producters can impact profit margins. Not enough rubbish sells. I'm not convinced they're moving away from the OGL, but neither do I see enough evidence to suggest they're leaning toward supporting it either.
 

Zaruthustran

The tingling means it’s working!
Kae'Yoss said:
I would wager my donkey that the next edition of D&D will not allow any third party to produce any content. Clearly Wizards had enough of being upstaged by others who proved that they know what they do.

Really? I'm of the exact other opinion. Seems to me that someone at WotC has been reading Wired (http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2005/10/69114) and Time (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1569514,00.html). This exec seems to recognize that user-created content is a Good Thing, and I've a feeling that the DI will be designed to make non-WotC-created content easier to find (and use!) than ever.

How that impacts third-party *corporations* could be another issue. Other than the massive investment dollars required, there's nothing stopping anyone else from building a site with user-created content, rules, etc. Heck, everyone I know already uses one of the online SRD resources, not to mention feat and class indices. Thing is, at this point those are all fairly basic implementations and relatively low-traffic. In other words, no threat or negative impact on Wizards, especially since Wizards does not yet have anything comparable.

Once the DI comes online, though, well... that's a tricky issue. They may continue to allow hardcopy third-party content, but require any online implementation to be restricted to WotC. Hmmm. What would you do, if you were WotC (and acting in WotC's best interests, of course)?

-z
 

teitan

Legend
I just don't understand why fans are so concerned about the OGL and 4th edition. The cat is out of the bag, it can not be put back in and judging by products like OSRIC, it means very little to what 4e will be. The OGL barely affects what we play anyway. I just don't understand some of the people who get mad when something isn't open content, as if they were a publisher or something.
 

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