That Metal Thread Hasbro issues & the future of DnD

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Black Leaf

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The last time I was in a local comics shop they had an old colorforms set, I think it was Batman, but the price tag was like $60. I was like no way. I loved those as a kid.
I always loved Fuzzy Felt as a kid.
 

Gabriel

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I want D&D Risk. Oh! Dragonlance Risk! I want it!

Did I miss D&D Life? Now that one could be an extremely easy adaptation.

Seriously far more interested in those than a new edition of D&D.
 

Shipyard Locked

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In Episode 1 Tanya learns the true meaning of heroism when the team put on a talent show to raise funds for the local orphanage.

Episode 2: Tanya and the gang must seek out the fabled normal human warrior, a tall order in their bewildering landscape of half-gnoll spell-rogues, vampire tattoo monks, angel-cat warlock-strippers, paladins of the grimdark atheism, circle-of-the-urban-mecha druids, sorcerers of the thinly-veiled allegory, etc.
 

WillPhillips

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I don't agree with that. Looking back 4e D&D subscription provided a handy way to build and manage characters. When it died I was kinda screwed. PDF is a long term storage format. Apps are the flavor of the year.

I'm in the middle of these two POVs.

The rise - and maturation - of fancy content platforms like D&D Beyond or the various indie rules SRD sites IS a value add, for sure.

But there is no guarantee that any of those sites or services are going to be around in the long term.

Having the PDF is more valuable and secure for me.

In a magical world, publishers would be able to dedicate time and resources to phone/tablet-optimized PDFs along with the PDF version of the print book, but that's a bit wishful thinking.
 

sharps54

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I'm in the middle of these two POVs.

The rise - and maturation - of fancy content platforms like D&D Beyond or the various indie rules SRD sites IS a value add, for sure.

But there is no guarantee that any of those sites or services are going to be around in the long term.

Having the PDF is more valuable and secure for me.

In a magical world, publishers would be able to dedicate time and resources to phone/tablet-optimized PDFs along with the PDF version of the print book, but that's a bit wishful thinking.
But WotC is a big enough company that they have no excuse for not making a phone version of the PDFs if they decided to sell them. The phone version of Zweihander shows it is doable.
 

robertsconley

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I agree they should have offered PDF. However they did offer multiple electronic formats for users. D&D Beyond isn't my thing but many seem to think it's we done. I don't think anyone can say which way would have generated maximum revenue.
I think it would be hard to make the claim that failure to offer PDF stunted 5e's success as a product.
This is not a zero sum issue. They could have had PDFs, the VTT libraries, and D&D Beyond. I would recommend to any publisher that the more platforms and formats you have your content on the better off you are. Assuming that individual platforms/formats are profitable i.e. the creation cost is low enough that you get a good return on the investment. With PDFs the additional cost is effectively zero since you already sell older products in PDF form, and you need to send PDFs to your printer.

At the beginning in 2017, D&D Beyond thrived despite the availability of the Basic D&D PDF and readily available pirate PDFs (remember this was when a certain easy to use and well-known pirate site was still up and running).
 

Telok

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The rise - and maturation - of fancy content platforms like D&D Beyond or the various indie rules SRD sites IS a value add, for sure.

But there is no guarantee that any of those sites or services are going to be around in the long term.

Having the PDF is more valuable and secure for me.
I'd like pdfs. Might almost make me willing to buy a few WotC products again (the Bo9S errata and complete denial of any problem with it went in my personal book of grudges).

Related; the ISP, or some in between link, from our current d&d DM's home to the online d&d characters went "phbttt!" two weeks ago. I was the only person who could play without it because I use it as pure convenience for dicing & leveling. My character is in a file and my tracking is still all pencil & paper. Didn't matter, half the DM's 5e stuff is online do we couldn't play without internet, but the sites came back after about an hour anyway.

Stuff like that basically kills my interest in subscription services for rpgs (and actually lots of stuff but work doesn't listen to me on that one so it only matters at home). I'm ok with electronic aids, but basic game function being more & more reliant on internet gets a no sale from me.
 

Secrets of Blakcmoor

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Gary Gygax is quoted as having said something along the lines of, If the gamers ever figure out that they don't need our rules to play - we're screwed!

Yup, even when AD&D was booming and Blume claimed the company was going to go on forever, the real business people were reading the articles in the business section and watching and snickering - what goes up must certainly come down.

OGL - It's questionable if WOTC can even defend the OGL as TSR allowed infringement in a lot of areas and the rules are now in the public space. Can't make your own game with Beholders in it because of copyright, well gee, my game has creatures called the Eyeballs Thingums in it.

The only people this affects is those who play 5e. Some of us could give a snot about 5e and never have.

Whatever the reasons for WOTC leaving the table top of face to face, or even online face to face, this is now the boom times for everyone who makes game products. It is a niche and it is a now again a shared niche for the smaller producers to make good games.

WOTC made the Taco Bell/Adidas/Coke of RPGs. I want games made by gamers for gamers like in the old days.

Yes Please - no more WOTC.
 

Bunch

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I think 5e is behaving rationally. Just like 3e was rational. They are responding to requests from consumers about a product they want. I think a lot of us are not the consumers they are responding to. But that doesn't make it irrational. Likewise it can be rational and ultimately not successful/great design. 3e gave consumers what they wanted but it turns out when you put all that together it's heavily prone to character optimization and it's hard to GM.
 

WillPhillips

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But WotC is a big enough company that they have no excuse for not making a phone version of the PDFs if they decided to sell them. The phone version of Zweihander shows it is doable.
Yep. Don't disagree insomuch as they have the time and budget and capability to do it if they wanted...
 

Secrets of Blakcmoor

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I think 5e is behaving rationally. Just like 3e was rational. They are responding to requests from consumers about a product they want. I think a lot of us are not the consumers they are responding to. But that doesn't make it irrational. Likewise it can be rational and ultimately not successful/great design. 3e gave consumers what they wanted but it turns out when you put all that together it's heavily prone to character optimization and it's hard to GM.

That is one issue as far as us not being the consumers of 5e, yet as owners of the older IP it is an issue regardless for all of us.
 

TJS

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WotC's whole 'playtesting' process is purely audience testing so they're certainly in the busines of giving their customers what they want. There's always the danger though that this could end up something like asking Homer Simpson to design a car.

the-homer-inline4.jpg


They may not in the end. But the Advanced 5e that Enworld produced in response to all the most common forum complaints is definitely a Homer Simpson car.
 
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Bunch

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That is one issue as far as us not being the consumers of 5e, yet as owners of the older IP it is an issue regardless for all of us.
I actually am a consumer of 5e. Whether I will be of D&D One remains to be seen. I bought most of 4e after the line ended at a steep discount but I also subscribed to D&D Online for most of the run. 6e will need to be a substantial change from 5e for me to buy in early on.
 

raniE

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WotC's whole 'playtesting' process is purely audience testing so they're certainly in the busines of giving their customers what they want. There's always the danger though that this could end up something like asking Homer Simpson to design a car.

the-homer-inline4.jpg


They may not in the end. But the Advanced 5e that Enworld produced in response to all the most common forum complaints is definitely a Homer Simpson car.

Yeah, the problem with asking people what they want is that they often don't know what they want, and even if they do they might say they want something else just because they think that will sound better.
 

Black Leaf

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Yup, even when AD&D was booming and Blume claimed the company was going to go on forever, the real business people were reading the articles in the business section and watching and snickering - what goes up must certainly come down.
Yeah, the only old guard who actually seem to have the ability to run a RPG company without pause are Steve Jackson (and we can argue whether he qualifies, as his big sellers aren't RPGs these days) and Kevin Siembada (who is lucky to have not bankrupted several time).
OGL - It's questionable if WOTC can even defend the OGL as TSR allowed infringement in a lot of areas and the rules are now in the public space. Can't make your own game with Beholders in it because of copyright, well gee, my game has creatures called the Eyeballs Thingums in it.
It's not really something to defend I think. They can't revoke it whether they want to or not.

That said, IANAL, but I don't think calling them the "Eyeball Thingums" would be enough to avoid legal problems. Because of them being a unique creation, avoiding falling foul of expressing them in a similar enough way woule be difficult.

That said, this is likely academic. The OSR is not a serious commercial threat to WotC in anyway and actually taking action would stir up bad publicity for no real gain. The only way I could see them stepping in is if some publisher is deliberately passing off WotC IP as their own (hi nuTsr!), acting so obnoxiously as to risk damaging the WotC brand (oh, hey, it's nuTSR again!) or possibly if they were big enough to actually be a competitor (there's a reason Pazio don't have them ata ll).


Whatever the reasons for WOTC leaving the table top of face to face, or even online face to face, this is now the boom times for everyone who makes game products. It is a niche and it is a now again a shared niche for the smaller producers to make good games.
WOTC made the Taco Bell/Adidas/Coke of RPGs. I want games made by gamers for gamers like in the old days.

Yes Please - no more WOTC.
The good old days of games for gamers died with the first time a RPG publisher chucked legal threats around. (Arduin Grimoire I think?)

Agree with the other part though. In terms of sheer number and variety of RPGs we're in a better age then we've ever had before.
 

Black Leaf

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I think 5e is behaving rationally. Just like 3e was rational. They are responding to requests from consumers about a product they want. I think a lot of us are not the consumers they are responding to. But that doesn't make it irrational. Likewise it can be rational and ultimately not successful/great design. 3e gave consumers what they wanted but it turns out when you put all that together it's heavily prone to character optimization and it's hard to GM.
Technically, they're trying to maximise shareholder profits. Putting out product their consumers want is the means to that, not the ends. But I agree. It may or may not work, but they're not acting irrationally. They're acting in the same way any publically traded corporation does.
 

Bunch

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Technically, they're trying to maximise shareholder profits. Putting out product their consumers want is the means to that, not the ends. But I agree. It may or may not work, but they're not acting irrationally. They're acting in the same way any publically traded corporation does.
I do think it's a mistake to think of all businesses as soulless cash generating machines. The need to generate revenue is also what allows them to keep employing people. I worked on a number of products back in the day that I could only say allowed the company to stay afloat and my coworkers not to be laid off back in the early 2000s. Staying "Pure" right up until the point youre insolvent isn't something to worship either.
 

TristramEvans

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They're not going to use FASERIP.

lol, no, Phaserip is mine! My version of D&D 6th edition would be based on the 1980's cartoon mixed with The Last Starfighter and Isekai anime, where you first create a character who is like a regular teenager in high school, with your clique as your Class, and there's a Lifepath system, and your stats are mostly all psychological. And then you create your avatar in a fantasy MMO, with like 1000 classes and races, and level that up to level 100 (with a mix of class and race levels), with all the social deficiencies of your primary character inversely providing you more hours of in-game time to give your character stuff like special power boosts, cash-shop items, etc. And then, for the actual game you transport those characters to a gritty, highly-political GoT-esque fantasy world where you like are just insane invaders running around f-ing stuff up.

download.jpg

...and there's THAC0...
 

The Mad Hatter

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I do think it's a mistake to think of all businesses as soulless cash generating machines. The need to generate revenue is also what allows them to keep employing people. I worked on a number of products back in the day that I could only say allowed the company to stay afloat and my coworkers not to be laid off back in the early 2000s. Staying "Pure" right up until the point youre insolvent isn't something to worship either.

Your both right and wrong here. For the shareholders the only thing that matters, is how much profit they can get. Most of them, if not all, don't care about the actual products the company they have shares in makes.
Now some of the employees of said company, probably does care. This is the constant problem, of the creatives fighting the suits thing, that all businesses like this has.
 

TristramEvans

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Your both right and wrong here. For the shareholders the only thing that matters, is how much profit they can get. Most of them, if not all, don't care about the actual products the company they have shares in makes.

This is not accurate.
 

Telok

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lol, no, Phaserip is mine! My version of D&D 6th edition would be based on the 1980's cartoon mixed with The Last Starfighter and Isekai anime, where you ....... And then, for the actual game you transport those characters to a gritty, highly-political GoT-esque fantasy world where you like are just insane invaders running around f-ing stuff up
I'd play that.

Reminds me that in addition to the other stuff to prep for next campaign I want to try squeezing in time to work on my reverse lifepath generator idea.
 

The Mad Hatter

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This is not accurate.

Oh they care about the products, in the sense they're good enough to generate a lot of profit. But maybe a lot of Magic: The Gathering players have stocks in Hasbro, just to support their favorite card game. I don't know, but I don't think so.
 
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