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zoroaster100

Dungeons and Dragons (fifth edition) release

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Probably because they're releasing at GenCon and not a moment sooner.  So, they've little interest in Free RPG day.

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Probably because they're releasing at GenCon and not a moment sooner.  So, they've little interest in Free RPG day.

Well July 15th (or July 3rd if your FLGS is part of the Wizards Play Network) so...yeah.

 

Free RPG day is mostly a bust around here nowadays despite having 3 game stores plus 2 dedicated comic shops and being in a university town. The 2 stores I visited had tons of stuff left over and sales were poor to say the least - compare it to Free Comic Book Day where most stores make in a day what they would see in a week at XMas time.

 

 

edit - here's a list of the current D&D development/writing team (note some of these people also work on online components as well)

 

 

Mike Mearls Senior Manager

Rodney Thompson R&D

Jeremy Crawford Editor & Developer

Greg Bilsland D&D Producer

Chris Perkins D&D Producer

Peter Lee R&D

Matt Sernett R&D

Chris Sims R&D

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Shelly Mezzanoble Associate Brand Manager

Chris Tulach Program Manager, Organized Play

Nathan Stewart Brand Director & Executive Producer

Nina Hess Editor-in-Chief, D&D Novels

Liz Shuh Director of Brand Marketing

 

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/#ixzz35PMyM2vq

 

That's it. James Wyatt recently transferred to the Magic the Gathering side of things which why he isn't listed here.

Edited by Hellcow

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Probably because they're releasing at GenCon and not a moment sooner.  So, they've little interest in Free RPG day.

 

Precisely my point. Admittedly, a hell of a lot of gamers will be at GenCon, but there will be far, far more of us who AREN'T there. Not for lack of wantin' to, on my part, but they insist on holding the thing during the first few weeks of school, precisely when my presence is most needed at work.

 

Wouldn't it be a PR bonanza to release SOME durn thing on Free RPG Day? Spread the word? Fire up the masses? Regrettably, their attitude seems to be that Free RPG Day is for smaller outfits that need the publicity. Except that Pathfinder's had something out for nearly every Free RPG Day... I was kind of disappointed that this year's Pathfinder product wasn't another Goblin extravaganza.

 

The game shops in San Antonio regard FRPGD as an event, and play it accordingly. So do the participators in Austin. Meanwhile, here in Colorado, one of the stores I checked had it very much set up as an event; another one, though, had no one waiting, and little demand for the goodies. I'm used to having to hit multiple stores if I want more than one of the freebies.

 

Whatever happened to "pandering to the fans?" Sigh.

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They are giving out the rules for free! What's not to like. Out with the old in with the new I say

What's not to like?

 

The complete lack of any information about the third party license, or even if there will be one.

 

And a skill system that is a distinct throwback to 2nd ed.. (Okay if you like it, but I do not.)

 

***

 

I find it interesting that WotC has outsourced the writing of the first several adventures to a third party publisher - Kobold Press is writing The Tyranny of Dragons - rather than having them written in house.

 

The Auld Grump, despite 5e not HAVING a third party license at launch....

 

*EDIT* Skipping 5e, the lack of a license clinches it.

 

I still like it better than 4e - but....

 

 

Meh. D&D never had a license before. I can appreciate a little greed on their part, as far as not wanting other companies making dough on their turf. It's HASBRO, after all, and you can trust a huge corporation to act like a huge corporation.

 

It has had three - the d20 STL, the OGL, and the GSL - each covering somewhat different grounds.

 

The d20 STL was for a trademark that could be shared among companies to denote compatibility with Dungeons & Dragons.

 

The OGL covered the root game systems and third party additions to those systems.

 

The GSL combined the two, and allowed the use of the use of the Dungeons & Dragons logo on third party products - at the cost of a lot more requirements and strictures than either the STL or the OGL... and it went over like a lead balloon.

 

And the GSL was created under the Hasbro umbrella....

 

A great deal of the success of 3.X D&D was the support of third party publishers - and the original creaters of the OGL made damned sure that the next wave of bean counters could not rescind that license. (I no longer have the link - but let us say that the original creators of the license were also damned sure that at a later point somebody would try to get rid of the license....)

 

The d20 STL could be rescinded, and was - but since the OGL could not be rescinded this had less of an effect than WotC had hoped - and when Paizo released Pathfinder... WotC discovered that they had chosen the smaller pile, rather than the larger.

 

The OGL is and was the best part of 3.X, and because WotC stopped had supporting it Paizo had taken their place at the front of the pack

 

A lot of the changes made for 4th edition were made simply to make it incompatible with the OGL - in the hopes to push the third party publishers out of the picture.

 

But the result was a game that was such a departure from previous editions that it was almost entirely a completely new game, not simply a new edition. (Previous editions had guides to converting campaigns, scenarios, and characters - 4e told folks to just start over. I suspect that this was more to encourage folks to stick with 4e than any actual incompatibility - but it did pretty much invalidate 4e as a new edition, rather than as an entirely new game.)

 

Add to that a botched marketing campaign, and the failure of 4e was pretty much set in stone.

 

The Auld Grump

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Technically, the hardback thing started with 3E.  I was okay with it cause I prefer hardbacks if I'm buying dead tree but I can see how some wouldn't be happy about that.  I do think there should be pdf/ebook versions of all their publications, preferably at the same time as hard copy publication or at the least within months of it.

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The Auld Grump, IMHO, is correct, although the whole 'open license' point is debatable.

 

But that was WOTC. This, now, is Hasbro. And giant megacorps don't parse "free use of our IP."

 

Hell, I'm amazed they're offering anything free online at ALL.

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I'm honestly torn on whether the lack of an OGL is going to be a deal breaker in the end.  I know the concept has been around a good while now, but there was D&D before that didn't let others play in the same pool.  For me it depends on how much content they can offer, and the quality of it.

 

Probably the make-or-break issue is getting adoption from the younger demographic.  It's very appealing that you can try Pathfinder without having to pay a ton of cash up front.  Teens have plenty of cash to spend on entertainment (MTG proves this) but they are also used to being able to download most things free off the internet.  You have to get a group of them to buy into the idea that your game is fun first, then they'll start investing actual cash.  My high school & college boys are currently into Pathfinder, pretty much because no one is forced to spend money to play.  (ie, they can get their friends to play without requiring them to buy books.)  Including free basic rules is a bigger requirement these days than an OGL, in my opinion. 

 

Personally, we stopped investing in books after 3.5.  Hubby will be at PAX Prime at the end of August, hopefully they will actually have some sort of promo or swag or gaming or *something*.  I tried a game of Next last fall at a smaller con and it was okay, but not super-compelling.  I'll be curious as to what the game looks like in it's final(ish) form. 

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Technically, the hardback thing started with 3E.  I was okay with it cause I prefer hardbacks if I'm buying dead tree but I can see how some wouldn't be happy about that.  I do think there should be pdf/ebook versions of all their publications, preferably at the same time as hard copy publication or at the least within months of it.

Did I miss something? I thought D&D books had been traditionally hardcover since the first edition.

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Technically, the hardback thing started with 3E.  I was okay with it cause I prefer hardbacks if I'm buying dead tree but I can see how some wouldn't be happy about that.  I do think there should be pdf/ebook versions of all their publications, preferably at the same time as hard copy publication or at the least within months of it.

Did I miss something? I thought D&D books had been traditionally hardcover since the first edition.
Second edition had a huge number of perfect bound books that weren't modules.
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Technically, the hardback thing started with 3E.  I was okay with it cause I prefer hardbacks if I'm buying dead tree but I can see how some wouldn't be happy about that.  I do think there should be pdf/ebook versions of all their publications, preferably at the same time as hard copy publication or at the least within months of it.

Did I miss something? I thought D&D books had been traditionally hardcover since the first edition.

 

Second edition had a huge number of perfect bound books that weren't modules.

 

Ah. I kind of missed second edition. I was aware of it, but by then we had gone on to different games. I recall seeing hardcover books like the first edition ones but with art more like Dragon magazine's style.

 

When we came back to D&D it was 3.5 and the hardcover books made sense.

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Hmmm my table plays 4e and are all brand new to dnd. I have only ever played 4e (got into it after the community episode) we play a dumbed down edition (no charge, bunch of other rules gone) it is a role play heavy game and I have only once used a published adventure. I have 1 monster manual, the red box, and subscribe to dnd insider. My players and I don't have time or care that much to go through book after book making characters. None of my players have read any books (including the rules) I have read the rules and the game seems to work great! We have a blast. After 2 or 3 games they understand it. That is what I'm most looking forward to about 5e. It is the basic rules to begin with (which I'll encourage my players to read a little) and they will start at level 0 in a home brew game. It will be simple and super fun. I understand people who have played for years not wanting to change from pathfinder and I get why they dislike 4e but for our gaming group it's great and I believe 5e will be even better!

 

My comment "free rules - what's not to like" was meaning you can give it a try for no money down and if you enjoy it buy some books if not go back to your original game.

 

Long live 5e! Huzzah!

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The Auld Grump, IMHO, is correct, although the whole 'open license' point is debatable.

 

But that was WOTC. This, now, is Hasbro. And giant megacorps don't parse "free use of our IP."

 

Hell, I'm amazed they're offering anything free online at ALL.

It's likely because D&D is so far off the radar to Hasbro (rarely even being mentioned in their annual shareholders report even when 3E was being published) that they just don't see much money there. D&D is tiny, tiny potatoes vs. even some of the fringe games Hasbro owns - the big push (from WotC - mind you) to make it into a $50 million/year business with 4E D&D was never likely to succeed but it was WotC who ultimately decided to go that route. IIRC it went that if they could prove D&D was a $50 million/year business they would get the full benefit of marketing, R&D etc that Hasbro could provide - otherwise they would be left to sink or swim on their own.

 

Which is where WotC (at least the D&D end of things) finds itself today.

 

Oddly enough Hasbro broke the video game portion of D&D away from this calculation which pretty much shot WotC/D&D in the head before they even got started.

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The Auld Grump, IMHO, is correct, although the whole 'open license' point is debatable.

 

But that was WOTC. This, now, is Hasbro. And giant megacorps don't parse "free use of our IP."

 

Hell, I'm amazed they're offering anything free online at ALL.

It's likely because D&D is so far off the radar to Hasbro (rarely even being mentioned in their annual shareholders report even when 3E was being published) that they just don't see much money there. D&D is tiny, tiny potatoes vs. even some of the fringe games Hasbro owns - the big push (from WotC - mind you) to make it into a $50 million/year business with 4E D&D was never likely to succeed but it was WotC who ultimately decided to go that route. IIRC it went that if they could prove D&D was a $50 million/year business they would get the full benefit of marketing, R&D etc that Hasbro could provide - otherwise they would be left to sink or swim on their own.

 

Which is where WotC (at least the D&D end of things) finds itself today.

 

Oddly enough Hasbro broke the video game portion of D&D away from this calculation which pretty much shot WotC/D&D in the head before they even got started.

 

You stole the words from off my keyboard. ::P:

 

It wasn't Hasbro that bungled things - it was WotC.

 

Somewhere there is even a comment by one of the VPs of Hasbro commenting that they hadn't asked WotC to get rid of the OGL, and didn't understand why WotC had tried to - as far as the management of Hasbro was concerned, the OGL was working. (The VP was also somebody that had played D&D back in that AD&D days... wish I could remember his name, because the article was good reading.)

 

D&D was tiny, the OGL helped sales, so why get rid of the OGL?

 

I think WotC looked at the sales numbers from the 3pp, added them to their own sales, and decided that if they could get all the sales then they would be better off than by sharing.

 

This did not happen.

 

Instead they got greedy, then they got stupid.

 

For fun look up the threads on the Paizo forum, when Paizo was trying to decide what to do about the lack of information about 4e... deciding to create Pathfinder was neither a fast nor easy decision.

 

They felt that they would be doing pretty darned well if they managed to get a fifth of the customers that WotC was getting.... Instead, by late 2010 they had already outstripped 4e - Pathfinder was outselling D&D.

 

Paizo describes their business model as that of Ryan Dancey - the business model that WotC had discarded before 3.5 was released.

 

Part of that is simply that Paizo is a much smaller company that Hasbro - a model that works well for them might not work at all for WotC.

 

But a bigger part was WotC being very selective in regards to what they chose to hear from their customers - selectively hearing what they had wanted to hear, and disregarding the majority in favor of a vocal minority.

 

But that was WotC's fault, not Hasbro's.

 

By and large - the failure of 4e is a failure of marketing and of marketing research, not game design.

 

And... having the design folks also handle the marketing is, I think, part of what caused the mess. Game designers, by and large, are not the folks that you want being your official spokesmonkeys. (Thus the infamous 'guards at the gate' and 'traipsing through the faerie rings' quotes.)

 

Telling folks that the new game system is good helps, telling folks that the old game design system is not good does not help.

 

WotC went on a mudslinging spree on their old product, and then discovered that the folks that still liked the older system felt that WotC was throwing mud at them. (Well, hopefully it was mud....)

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
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I got an odd email yesterday. I preordered the starter set last week from Indigo online, and yesterday I got a shipping notice saying it was shipped even though the release date is July 15th. I checked the web site and it is still listed as a preorder with the same release date.

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They may have just printed the shipping label a bit early.

 

Some stores get it in and can start selling on 7/3 but that should all be brick and mortar "select stores" (or whatever the call them)

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