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Frankthedm

D&D 4E seems to be looming ahead.

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Oh and while I'm thinking about it Aryanun quoted some prices from "the 80's" The prices of the books have gone up a bit more than the $20 and $30 range from 1ED. If you purchased the 1ED books with the original cover arts (examples the DM guide with the Efreeti holding the bikini clad lady adventurer or the Players Handbook with the thief scaling the demonic statue etc,) those books were priced at $12, with the DMs guide being $18. At least that's what I paid for them I think the price increase took effect when they adopted the new cover art on the 1ED books. Sorry to be an annoying FYIer :upside:

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I know my spending was curtailed quite a bit at Gen Con. Above what I got from my Reaper points, I spent a whopping $5 on an OoP 3.0 book (AEGs Toolbox, which should be mostly usable in whatever system I happen to use). I'm pretty sure the vendors took a hit, I wandered around until late Sunday and I didn't notice ANY of the 'last day deals' that I've seen every other year.

 

And with the way they promoted 4.0 at Gen Con it can't really be separated from the 'electronic content'. Over half of what was promoted was the online content. Even when they would say "D&D is still a tabletop game", they would follow it with something along the lines of 'even if the players at that tabletop are hundreds of miles apart'. I tried a laptop at my table once, there's a reason it's not there anymore...

 

I'm not confident in WotC ability to deliver on their online content either. Their website and message boards have been very wonky in the past. It was a minor annoyance then, now it will be a major concern. The only good part is apparently they got "millions of dollars" from Hasbro to improve their online presence. We'll see if that helps.

 

Not that I was overly enthusiastic about the online content that I saw. Yeah, I'm pretty sure WotC doesn't care if I'm a customer or not anymore, I'm not their 'target market'. *Looks at $1,000+ of 3.0 books and $1,000+ (OK, $5,000+) of minis.* I didn't buy everything, but I sure bought more than a casual gamer...

 

Very underwhelmed myself. And I was at the announcement, the D&D Q&A (one of the few, since they chose the SMALLEST CONFERENCE ROOM I'VE EVER SEEN at Gen Con - and then sprinkled it with their own people), as well as the DDM and SW Q&A...

Aw, man! I was there too! Shame I missed you...

Man, now I'm bummed out, I would have liked to finally meet you.

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And with the way they promoted 4.0 at Gen Con it can't really be separated from the 'electronic content'. Over half of what was promoted was the online content. Even when they would say "D&D is still a tabletop game", they would follow it with something along the lines of 'even if the players at that tabletop are hundreds of miles apart'.

 

Yeah, this is exactly what I came with too, thus my lament. The two sure sounded pretty interwoven. My guess is that you would go for the pure book and paper approach but you'd be left with the feeling that you paid for more than you would be using, strictly speaking. Of course, that's a reasonable choice one could make but you'd be wondering what you were missing. :poke:

 

Man, now I'm bummed out, I would have liked to finally meet you.

 

My bad. I've been away from the boards so long that I forgot to let folks know I was going. My brother and I have 2009 marked on our calendars, though, and I'm averdue to attend another ReaperCon...

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I'm pretty sure the vendors took a hit, I wandered around until late Sunday and I didn't notice ANY of the 'last day deals' that I've seen every other year.

 

Applying the law of supply and demand to that statement, the vendors had such a great show that they had little to pack up and no need for extra cash.

 

Sales and deals aren't an indicator of strong vending - just the opposite.

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While I do agree with your statement, this was Gen Con. If you're going to go - GO BIG. That means even with good sales you should have stuff left over. It's not like everyones booths were empty shelves either.

 

It was noted on another board that sales were an oddity this year. Strong on Thursday and Friday and then flat on Saturday, usually the big day of the Con. Maybe Thursday and Friday made up for Saturday, who knows? There's really no way to tell, but I'll stick with my educated guess.

 

I'll also note that the way the vendors were set up this year was ANNOYING as all get out, with staggered stalls meaning that there was a back up at every corner, and that may have something to do with sales as well. Then there was the video game promotions who were not selling anything. Either way, I'm sure the official Gen Con stance is that it was a banner year.

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My 2¢:

I own about 12 or so of the WotC 3.0/3.5 D&D books. I own about the same number of "old" AD&D (2e, if you prefer) books. I own about 6 oWOD and 8 nWOD (White Wolf's old and new World of Darkness). I also have a dozen or so GURPS books (3ed). I have some palladium stuff, some HERO System stuff, and almost every Deadlands (from Pinnacle) book. I also have the new Deadlands adapted for PEGinc's Savage Worlds system, and 5 Savage Worlds books. I also have a few dozen systems I have yet to actually play, but bought because they looked cool.

 

I will probably buy the 4e PHB, DMG, and MM. And just like the other game systems I have, I will use what I feel like using. Almost every game I play hase a house rule somewhere (Except Savage Worlds' somehow. I've yet to houserule anything there!) and I doubt that will change with 4e. In fact, I'm not very likely to actually use the 4e books, because some of my players aren't as openminded as I am. And if I don't use them, that's ok, too. I have never *used* over half the books I own. They are idea generators for when I need a name, a place, or whatever. Sometimes they are sources of house rules, or sometimes they just take up space on my shelf.

 

I read a lot of complaints on the WotC boards about 4e - and 90% of them can be summed up as "I own $1,000 worth of books that are now obsolete." huh? :wacko: Obsolete? This is not a software upgrade. I own computer games that won't work because I upgraded my PC from 98 to XP. I own games that won't work when I get a new computer because I'll be forced to get Vista. But my paper books for every RPG I have ever bought still function fine, and my group and I play the out of print ones from time to time.

 

I for one am not afraid of 4e. I would not be afraid if White Wolf announced a New New World of Darkness (I have Monte Cook's WoD, also, and I don't count that!). I would not be afraid of GURPS6e (I am pretty sure they are on 5 now, right?). I would not be afraid of Savage Worlds 2e.

 

It's all about the options. My game shelves have options for players to choose a system they are comfortable with, that they find suits their preferred level of realism, fantasy, and complexity, and that offers enough viability that I can adapt the story I want to tell to the rules they want. Because in the end, I can tell the story of the Vile Death Knight "Lord Kiell" and his reign of terror throught the lands of Tyrra in any system I am asked to use. If the rules are not so cumbersome that they bog down the game, or not so poorly conceived/broken that it is impossible to challenge the players, then I don't care what system it is.

 

It's the story, not the rules.

 

**Reaperbryan climbs off his soapbox and hands the microphone to the next person.**

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How dare you assail us with logic and common sense Bryan ::P:

 

For me at least, everything you say is true. But I do see a couple of things about WotCs announcement that I see as legitimate complaints:

 

1. The RPGA. Here in Denver, the RPGA is huge, and for many players, is their only roleplaying "group". These people are being forced to upgrade to 4e if they want to continue playing in the RPGA. They have a valid complaint about having $1000s worth of books that they can't use. Of course, my advice to them is to find or start a good home campaign and let the RPGA suffer until they are personally ready to embrace the new edition.

 

2. The online content. Until we actually see the new rules and the online content, we won't know how closely linked these two are. If they are too closely linked, then 4e could be essentially useless to those unwilling to pay the subscription rate. I'm guessing WotC is smart enough to keep the game playable without the online stuff, but I'm not so sure - what if Hasbro's accountants have had too much say in that, much like GWs accountants have too much say in what they produce and release.

 

Other than that 2nd thing, I'm actually looking forward to seeing what 4e has to offer. If it wows me, I'll buy in right away. If it doesn't, I may never buy in (heck, it took me 3 years to buy into 3.0/3.5).

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Who are you and what have you done to the ReaperBryan I drove to the hotel on Thursday night after WotC made the announcement?

 

Like it or not, a new edition DOES invalidate much of what's in the 3.5 books (especially the crunch heavy books WotC put out). Sure, as a DM, I use some 2nd edition books I picked up used (and paid $3-7 for instead of the $15-25 I paid for my 3rd edition books), but as a player those books would be useless. Since most people are players, older books are useless to them unless they continue to play that system (which may not be an option for them).

 

The worst part of 4th edition is that it may well break up my D&D group (the group I've gamed with the longest). There's already a 2 vs. 2 schism for changing or not (I'm not included in that split, but I'm not excited by what I've heard). If only it was "about the story, not the system"...

 

Which brings up another point, some systems are better suited to certain stories. I would never run a D&D like game using the rules for the Serenity RPG, but it was pretty good for playing in the 'Verse. What I've heard so far makes me think I would rather play 'D&D' using Savage Worlds than 4dventure. We shall see.

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Like it or not, a new edition DOES invalidate much of what's in the 3.5 books (especially the crunch heavy books WotC put out). Sure, as a DM, I use some 2nd edition books I picked up used (and paid $3-7 for instead of the $15-25 I paid for my 3rd edition books), but as a player those books would be useless. Since most people are players, older books are useless to them unless they continue to play that system (which may not be an option for them).

 

But the players aren't the ones with the most money invested in the books. Let's assume the player likes to have everything he might need. Let's assume he goes for PHB, PHB for a specific setting, complete [insert character type] book or 2 and the spell compendium. That's what, about $125? $200 if you don't shop around. Not sure what MSRP would be, because I don't believe I've ever purchased a book at MSRP.

 

The players aren't the ones with the Complete Guide to Kobold Ninjas in Subzero Environments and The Ultimate Guide to Overused Cliche Plots.

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Like it or not, a new edition DOES invalidate much of what's in the 3.5 books (especially the crunch heavy books WotC put out). Sure, as a DM, I use some 2nd edition books I picked up used (and paid $3-7 for instead of the $15-25 I paid for my 3rd edition books), but as a player those books would be useless. Since most people are players, older books are useless to them unless they continue to play that system (which may not be an option for them).

It really only makes those books useless if they're playing with a GM or group (like the RPGA) who insists they update. There are a lot of groups out there still playing AD&D. The only problem playing an "old" system is that no new material will appear unless you create it.

 

There is already so much 3.0/3.5 stuff out there that this won't really be a problem - in fact, people who choose not to upgrade should find that they can pick up all those books they wanted at a significant discount.

 

The worst part of 4th edition is that it may well break up my D&D group (the group I've gamed with the longest). There's already a 2 vs. 2 schism for changing or not (I'm not included in that split, but I'm not excited by what I've heard). If only it was "about the story, not the system"...

I'd suggest this compromise to your group - the change happens once x number of players in your group own the Player's Handbook AND the GM owns DMG (and/or Monster Manual). Note that this means the rest of the group might wind up buying a PHB for one or more of the resistant players/GM if they're really insistent on the change - but that depends on how you word the agreement between the players.

 

At the time of the 3.0/3.5 switch, we had a group of 5 players, plus myself as the GM. We decided that once 4 of us had the PHB and I also had the DMG, we'd make the switch. At the initial announcement I was the one who was most resistant to the change (I had to buy the most), and the group joked about just giving me the books as a present. As it turned out, we continued to run 3.0 for about a year before we made the switch - but mostly because no one wanted to spend the time updating their PCs mid campaign. In the end, we made a switch because one of the other players began GMing a second campaign, and since we all had the 3.5 books, she went that route. There were enough fixes that we liked in her campaign, so we switched my campaign, too.

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Dunno what to think of 4.0 other than it's just another business tactic to make sure we spend money. I'm not upset about it but I'm also pretty happy with 3.5.

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I'm probably not going to switch, myself. 3.5 works well enough. I am looking at picking up GURPS, mostly because it makes so many more settings possible, and I like the more realistic approach.

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I'm probably not going to switch, myself. 3.5 works well enough. I am looking at picking up GURPS, mostly because it makes so many more settings possible, and I like the more realistic approach.

 

The HP system seems to make more sense. The bell curve resulting from the 3d6 seems nice, too.

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Krztoff, kristof65 (I'm seeing a pattern here), you guys are funny. The core books or a couple hundred dollars? That's so quaint...

 

I'm the only one in my group who is allowed to DM (believe me, it's not by my choice - I'm the only one they all agree on). I have 2 players who have more 3rd edition books than I do (one buys EVERYTHING and the other has all but a select few). Another player probably comes close to what I have, but his is more generic while mine are a mix of generic and FR centric (since we HAVE TO be in the FR, not my homebrew). Only one player is reluctant to buy books and he's been with us since we did the 'start a new system and play for a couple of sessions, then start a new system and play for a couple of sessions, then start a new system and...'. He is fine with printing out what he needs from the SRD. Even our 'new guy' has bought a few books and PDFs.

 

Buying books for another player (or me, the DM)? That's funny too. In fact, I'm the only one who has ever bought a book for another player and that was a used Mongoose PHB for someone playing a Cleric (3.0 to 3.5, WotC's 'seemless integration' on full display), who ended up moving away (the book reluctant player ended up buying it from me). It was like pulling teeth to get everyone to pitch in for Tac-Tiles (not my idea) and that was physical product that everyone was going to get use out of at every session. While everyone agreed that if they wanted to use something out of a book that I didn't have they would buy me the book (or print out the relevent pages), that's become such an old joke by now that nobody laughs at it anymore.

 

It's not a matter of "can we afford it", it's a matter of "do we want to play this game" (D&D or the 'upgrade dance', take your pick)...

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Who are you and what have you done to the ReaperBryan I drove to the hotel on Thursday night after WotC made the announcement?

I've had a few weeks to sleep and think it over.

Thrusday night was a ReaperBryan who was very afraid that his Job was on the line because of Has-borg's shenanigans.

 

The worst part of 4th edition is that it may well break up my D&D group (the group I've gamed with the longest). There's already a 2 vs. 2 schism for changing or not (I'm not included in that split, but I'm not excited by what I've heard). If only it was "about the story, not the system"...

 

Which brings up another point, some systems are better suited to certain stories. I would never run a D&D like game using the rules for the Serenity RPG, but it was pretty good for playing in the 'Verse. What I've heard so far makes me think I would rather play 'D&D' using Savage Worlds than 4dventure. We shall see.

I can agree with that. And I also have at least 2 players who are 100% refusing to change, having declared that they will now play non WotC games if this is the way it's going to be.

 

And yes, some systems are more adept at portraying some stories. But my basic point remains. I can tell the story i want in any of 3 systems quite easily - Savage Worlds, GURPS, or D20 (and I can use 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, or a variant of Modern to do it!). I no longer fear the new 4dventure system.

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