Back to Crafty Games Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
April 19, 2014, 11:01:36 PM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Welcome to the Crafty Games Forums!

Note to New Members: To combat spam, we have instituted new rules: you must post 5 replies to existing threads before you can create new threads.

+  Crafty Games Forum
|-+  Community
| |-+  Off-Topic
| | |-+  4e and D20 Third Party Publishers
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Go Down Print
Author Topic: 4e and D20 Third Party Publishers  (Read 8249 times)
Psion
Control
******
Posts: 1522



View Profile
« on: July 21, 2008, 01:34:32 PM »

(other than Crafty/AEG)

To entertain Valentina's commentary from the GSL without polluting the GSL thread...

So while I've pretty much been napping through the drekstorm, I do find one absence of observation odd: can I get a show of hands from them who've played much 4E?

I haven't. There have been many, many games over the years that have assured me that my gaming experience will be soooo awesome and have been wrong. Conversely, I usually make pretty good judgements about what games are going to work for me. I've taken the time to sit down with the 4e books and see what appeals to me. And so far... that's nothing. At least not enough to justify switching.

A game has to really excite me or I'm not buying. So far, 4e hasn't.

So if 4e scratches you itch, then have fun with it. Me, I'll abstain, and not feel guilty about it.

Quote
Green Ronin can fashionably snub all it wants. Someone should let them know most of what they produced in 3.5 supplements wasn't so great anyway. The shadow cast by the Green Ronin Assassin lingers long after LA campaign staff swore another one would never darken the stat blocks again,

Whoa. Talk about one bad apple spoiling the bunch. I use the heck out of much GR stuff... Advanced Bestiary, Holy Warrior's Handbook, Bow & Blade, Freeport, etc... all with good results in my game.

But I remember panning Assassin's Handbook when it came out. Though I love Wolfgang Baur's recent adventures, I don't think his early mechanical books were up to snuff.

Quote
and that's not making much of the complete absence of other GR material in Living Arcanis -besides Nyambe which got pulled two whole whopping adventures after inclusion.

Er, Nyambe was Atlas games.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 03:19:03 PM by Psion » Logged

The Secret Volcano Base: my RPG blog currently discussing Fantasy Craft and Freeport!
Valentina
Control
******
Posts: 1671



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 02:21:37 PM »

Whoops, not much accuracy on me that salvo.
Wrath and Rage was GR, right? As was Plot and Poison.

To be fair about apples and bunches, you're right. Lot of good heroes got fragged by the GR Assassin, and the memory lives on vividly as a scar bestowed by the then pressing need to have a properly fearsome Real Ultimate Killer mechanic.

And fairly said about 4E and impressions. I'm charmed, as is obvious, but that's only from playing so much 3x. And god do I hate 3.5 the more I see of 4th.
Most of my concern is for the creeping mediocrity of being on the fringe.
Or in more explicit terms Paradigm Concepts Inc (Arcanis) has ZERO business with mechanics. Witchunter is ass soup. Everything crunchy PCI has published is radically hit and miss -in part no small amount because so much of it is designed and authored by submission and commission. Witch Hunter's not, and it's a train wreck.
Similarly I remember how LSpy ended and that was a mistake. I'm in no position to accurately gauge the magnitude, but I'm confident in passing that judgment.
And how this ties to 4E is my belief in doing what one does best, not taking self-righteous potshots (lawl irony, right?) just because one loathes the company keeping the legacy alive.

Two companies I give a damn about in no particular order:
1) Crafty.
2) PCI.

Crafty writes the mechanics that makes the multiverse sing in a billion different throats all still somehow audible in a comprehensible wavelength.
PCI crafts the legends that leaves tens of thousands talking about LA like it's a home campaign they all somehow shared.

But I'm DAMN pissed to have seen LSpy terminate JUST as the World on Fire was arc was really flowering. The more I read the WoF fluff the more it burns to have seen the story from the master's mouths come stillborn. That's one probably incredible experience that's never happening. Ever.
Never mind barely getting my incisors into SC2 post-conversions. No, I don't remember how many 2.0 missions there were, but I played dozens of 1.0 and gorramit I expected the same. Lest we forget, 1.0 was loads better then it's 3X progenitor but 2.0 really owns it all over the place. As seems to be my luck I was the woefully inefficient second-banana to an equal level and grossly inequal partner -ya'll should look into getting Shadow into play-testing. He had a 50+ Hide score and could break any encounter that didn't involve him being detected via boxed text. And that's not even getting into what he could have done with Million Dollar Skill.
He's also Stalking Bear, the PC who broke Witch Hunter. Yes. BROKE. The reason why PCI stated outright they're not using WH's mechanics for the next incarnation of Arcanis.

There's a recent school of thought in primary education that I'll likely mangle in paraphrasing: teach to the strengths of the student. Instead of striving to push the student's worst scores up, using math as an example, establish basic proficiency (+/-/* and division) and focus on what the student excels at instead.
Brilliant.
Apply that to 3rd party folks: do what you do right, and stay the hell away from the rest. Use 4th if it's got any merit for you, instead of getting on the overlarded spitewagon. If not, dump n run.

We came to game, not to wallow in the politics of the industry. Something it'd behoove us all to remember from time to time.
Logged

“VELOCITAS, INCURSIO, VIS” -Latin for “Speed, Surprise, Violence of Action!”
(Thank you Grrl Power).
Valentina
Control
******
Posts: 1671



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 02:33:18 PM »

Though seriously, it'd also behoove Those Wizards from that Coast to stop wracking up Exposure with the fanbase. Do they even understand the rules? That, y'know, you don't win by having more then everyone else? Jesus...
Logged

“VELOCITAS, INCURSIO, VIS” -Latin for “Speed, Surprise, Violence of Action!”
(Thank you Grrl Power).
Psion
Control
******
Posts: 1522



View Profile
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 03:27:48 PM »

There's a recent school of thought in primary education that I'll likely mangle in paraphrasing: teach to the strengths of the student. Instead of striving to push the student's worst scores up, using math as an example, establish basic proficiency (+/-/* and division) and focus on what the student excels at instead.

Well spoken. And well, in the speaking so, I think I can see why if you are big into the con circuit why 4e may work for you but not so much for me. I've long seen 4e as too motivated by the Living Campaigns, which have a different style and assumptions than my home games.
Logged

The Secret Volcano Base: my RPG blog currently discussing Fantasy Craft and Freeport!
Valentina
Control
******
Posts: 1671



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 03:30:45 PM »

True.
I'm from a long line of very bad home games that tended to terminate prematurely, even the good ones, and as such I tend to see Living campaigns as the finest expression of the art. Nothing like having the mastermind his-or-her-bad-self telling the story.

And yes, I'm waiting for posts to respond to. I wanna see if I get banned.  Lips Sealed
Logged

“VELOCITAS, INCURSIO, VIS” -Latin for “Speed, Surprise, Violence of Action!”
(Thank you Grrl Power).
Crafty_Alex
Crafty Staff
Control
*****
Posts: 3169


Damned if I do, damned if I don't.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2008, 04:18:19 PM »

You won't get banned. But you can't convince us to bring LSpy back, either. Regardless of where that particular decision hit us in the story, the company structure and the people needed to make it simply wasn't there. Sad, sure, but it was the only business decision we could make.
Logged

Krensky
Control
******
Posts: 6794


WWTWD?


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2008, 04:23:14 PM »

True.
I'm from a long line of very bad home games that tended to terminate prematurely, even the good ones, and as such I tend to see Living campaigns as the finest expression of the art. Nothing like having the mastermind his-or-her-bad-self telling the story.

Odd. I tend to see Living campaigns as the lowest expression of the art and hobby. Far to competitive. Too much ego. Too many fulfilled stereotypes.
Logged

We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming. - Werner von Braun
Right now you have no idea how lucky you are that I am not a sociopath. - A sign seen above my desk.
There's no upside in screwing with things you can't explain. - Captain Roy Montgomery
Valentina
Control
******
Posts: 1671



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2008, 04:24:05 PM »

You won't get banned. But you can't convince us to bring LSpy back, either. Regardless of where that particular decision hit us in the story, the company structure and the people needed to make it simply wasn't there. Sad, sure, but it was the only business decision we could make.

Respected and taken to heart, but it still smolders to think of sometimes.
Logged

“VELOCITAS, INCURSIO, VIS” -Latin for “Speed, Surprise, Violence of Action!”
(Thank you Grrl Power).
Crafty_Alex
Crafty Staff
Control
*****
Posts: 3169


Damned if I do, damned if I don't.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2008, 04:29:33 PM »

Fair 'nuff. Glad to see some folks cared about the campaign  Cool
Logged

Valentina
Control
******
Posts: 1671



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2008, 04:47:55 PM »

True.
I'm from a long line of very bad home games that tended to terminate prematurely, even the good ones, and as such I tend to see Living campaigns as the finest expression of the art. Nothing like having the mastermind his-or-her-bad-self telling the story.

Odd. I tend to see Living campaigns as the lowest expression of the art and hobby. Far to competitive. Too much ego. Too many fulfilled stereotypes.

Also true, but...
But that has more to do with what the campaign coordinators themselves direct, somehow. L-anything can be that, and often is, but sometimes there's a staggering tendency to transcend cliche and move into actual legend.
Sort of like moving from Crazy to Genius, instead of the usual path contrary.

And as to what I meant about the coordinators...it's odd. LGreyhawk tended to treat the players like mercenaries, so the game -at least locally, was more about tweaking builds and optimizing and goofing off with similarly minded comrades then the actual game. There wasn't much to care about and less capacity to effect change, so caring was pretty much optional.
LA beats the You're The Heroes drum incessantly, and many players respond to it.  IMExp LA's upbeat hero-tude only breaks down when it's time to divide the loot.

LSpy did that too, had a strong baseline level of respect for the Agents, and it mattered. Sometimes morale was weak among the players, there was no small amount of bickering on this boards, but by and large I think the attitude was "Take it on, take it down!" more than "in it for the paycheck." Very appropriately it is that UNITAS when pronounced aloud sounds like "Unite Us."

Alex: Hell yes. Some of the BEST war stories that get cracked open and passed around recount Nest or Operation: Snow Pigeon or Terrortory or Beast of Dunveghan (god-DAMN dogthing! still have the scars..) Considering we didn't travel to Origins, ~$800 tyvm, to participate in a unique event that's hardcore testimony to the raw potency of the experience.

Come to recall it, the best opening adventure line is probably "Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!" Perfect. Power, responsibility, the call to action!
Not, "you're the most budget effective and least filthy mercenaries we could round up on short notice."
No, You Are My Only Hope.
Hoah.

Course a major point to SC that gear does not equal certs. BIG edge there for a Living game. Never forget that so much of human nature revolves around resource acquisition. Doubly so when in a system engineered towards a razor's margin of luck. Hence my growing hate of 3.5 in light of a system that's NOT loaded with instant death undoing months of growth.
Logged

“VELOCITAS, INCURSIO, VIS” -Latin for “Speed, Surprise, Violence of Action!”
(Thank you Grrl Power).
Shadow
Recruit
*
Posts: 40



View Profile
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2008, 05:15:23 PM »

you know, it's funny. it's not like i set out to break systems. i like to think of myself as Quality Control: i test the system to see what one facet of it can do at the extreme end (in shadow's case, it was the stealth aspects of the game; in the aforementioned stalking bear's case, it's the unarmed combat rules). my wyrmstone character will be no exception in that regard.

 as for roleplaying, i like to think that the characters roleplay themselves. in my mind, the mechanics of how they do things and who they are are usually 2 seperate things. it's rare that you get a system to sing in such a way that the mechanics support what a PC is, and it's one of the reasons i love 2.0 so much  Wink
Logged

Competence is it's own reward.
Desertpuma
Control
******
Posts: 4272


Highest Level LSpy Agent 16th, almost 17th


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2008, 05:22:44 PM »

As Pat's Arizona henchman and the sole reason LSpy existed in any form in Arizona, I can only say I loved the LSpy campaign, hit the highest level active agent and even wrote two missions for it. I had a grand time including finishing all of the Terrortory story arc and moving right into the 2.0 conversion. The thing with LSpy was the need for people to step up to help run it and not enough did which is really why it died more than anything.

As for Shadow, not everything is about the hide skill nor is it about the Million In One Shot. I was numerous missions where we had a guy playing a sniper who was almost as talented and he felt left out with nothing to do. Then again, I know we had GCs who never held back, including Pat, who never let us walk over them. I was in more than one mission where a shot was never fired until the final scene and once we never even fired a shot during the entire mission.

The thing to me about Living Campaigns is the need for a story which provides opportunities for something other than just hack and slash (which to me is part of but not the sole reason to game).

On Witchhunter, Valentina, you're right. The rules suck so bad that last year at Origins they had to create 2 additional tables per slot and were still turning people away. It is hard to break a game where the first rule is every rule is up to the GM to adjudicate as he sees fit. In other words, the game mechanics for Witchhunter actually rock. They do an excellent job on a base level of providing for the game. Like 2.0, the rules are modular so you can adjust them as needed, only this applies to their Organized Play and not just for home games. My friend was talking about Stalking Bear at Origins and declared him a big ball of cheese who couldn't negotiate out of a paper bag.

They have not officially decided whether or not there will be a continuation of the Arcanis storyline after the current storyline ends at Origins next year. I talked to Henry Lopez at the PCI booth this year and he said plans were still up in the air at the moment on what system they will use. I admit to trying to push toward 2.0 since they already have the Powered By Spycraft license.

As to 4E, Wanters Of The Cash will not get my money for a hack and slash boardgame with powers where everyone is a cookiecutter cut out of each other. A friend of mine calls it communist gaming because everyone can do the same thing. It is a very large hunk of crap and if Crafty had WOTC's marketing engine then 4E never would have made it out of the gate. This is not a slam on Crafty in anyway as I would rather have the quality product where it is evident time was taken to do it right versus the crank it out so people will buy it in a heartbeat.

In summation, 4E is a hunk of go se which is a deplorable set of rules. Over 50% of our local RPGA group is unlikely to go with it, at least a third have no interest. WOTC has been screwing the pooch on this.



« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 01:12:13 AM by Desertpuma » Logged

Crusader Citadel

Living Spycraft Mastermind Council Member

Crafty For Life!
Gentry
Powered By Publisher
Control
******
Posts: 2795


It's a Trap!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2008, 05:35:25 PM »

In defense of 4e (and I never thought I'd actually string those words together)...

I played a couple of demos at last this past Saturday, and rather enjoyed it.  The caveat I'll put on that is that I enjoyed it the way I enjoy SJG's Frag.  Frag, for those of you who may not play such things, is in essence a First-Person Shooter video game slowed down and put on paper (and counters and action cards and whatnot).  I like it because FPS games make me a little motion sick and move too fast for my tastes.

In that vein, I find 4e to be very much a Computer-RPG game (a la Warcraft or Elder Scrolls) slowed down and put on paper.  If that's your thing, then power to you.  I believe it could be my thing in small doses--perhaps one-shot games with pregen characters.  But for broad-application campaigning?  I don't think it'd hold my interest.
Logged

I'm a secret VAO Control (Shh!)

Check out Wyrmstone for FC Open Source campaigning

Have you joined Knife Rights yet?

Live and game in Flyover Country? Join Tornado Alley Game Guil
Desertpuma
Control
******
Posts: 4272


Highest Level LSpy Agent 16th, almost 17th


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2008, 06:11:55 PM »

As I was saying ... boardgame with powers ... FRAG is a great analogy to it, only it is more like team Frag than anything else.
Logged

Crusader Citadel

Living Spycraft Mastermind Council Member

Crafty For Life!
Shadow
Recruit
*
Posts: 40



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2008, 06:32:02 PM »

replies in line:

Desertpuma wrote:
>The thing with LSpy was the need for people to step up to help run it and not enough >did which is really why it died more than anything.

i know what you mean. that was kinda a problem locally, outside what was effectively our home group of lspy.

>As for Shadow, not everything is about the hide skill nor is it about the Million In One >Shot. I was numerous missions where we had a guy playing a sniper who was almost >as talented and he felt left out with nothing to do.

to be fair, shadow handled himself just fine in a wide variety of missions, including fashion victim and black tie affair, where the majority of the focus was on social skills, vis a via combat options. and you'd be surprised what you can accomplish when you can walk into a room and NO ONE can see you. it's all about being creative with your skillset, as opposed to objecting because you "can't do something". at least, that's my opinion...

>Then again, I know we had GCs who never held back, including Pat, who never let us >walk over them.

hrmm. whilst i understand what you mean, i'd be careful making such statements. some people might construe from your statement that everyone but you had gms that would let them walk all over them. but i digress...

>The thing to me about Living Campaigns is the need for a story which provides >opportunities for something other than just hack and slash (which to me is part of but >not the sole reason to game).

echo that. one of the reasons i'm a invisible king for the living arcanis campaign is because i love the story sooo much.

>On Witchhunter, Valentina, you're right. The rules suck so bad that last year at Origins >they had to create 2 additional tables per slot and were still turning people away.

which is awesome.

>It is hard to break a game where the first rule is every rule is up to the GM to >adjudicate as he sees fit.

did you ever play 2nd edition AD&D? it was much more like what you're talking about. rules were up to DM interpretation, which actually tended to lead to MORE arguments between players and GMs, which tends to lead to less playing actually being done per session. personally, i like a system where all the rules are clear cut and less open to interpretation. it leads to less arguing about mechanics, which tends to translate into more roleplaying goodness.

>In other words, the game mechanics for Witchhunter actually rock. They do an >excellent job on a base level of providing for the game. Like 2.0, the rules are modular >so you can adjust them as needed, only this applies to their Organized Play and not >ust for home games. My friend was talking about Stalking Bear at Origins and declared >him a big ball of cheese who couldn't negotiate out of a paper bag. Mind you, this is >the same friend who has written several things for PCI including adventures and >battle interactives.

except for the fact that ole stalking bear competed in the larp (and did fairly well in, of all things, the poetry contest), has 6 dice in intimidate, decieve, and gossip, and of course, realizes his limits: things are clearly going way south if he's the face of the party.

>As to 4E, Wanters Of The Cash will not get my money for a hack and slash boardgame >with powers where everyone is a cookiecutter cut out of each other. A friend of mine >calls it communist gaming because everyone can do the same thing.

actually, i have yet to see 2 homemade characters who are the same. to be fair, i've only played a dozen or so intro or demo games (plus the home game i recently started), so that is of course subject to change. while i'll agree that the amount of available material is currently limited, isn't that how it always is when a new system first comes out?

>It is a very large hunk of crap and if Crafty had WOTC's marketing engine then 4E >never would have made it out of the gate. This is not a slam on Crafty in anyway as I >would rather have the quality product where it is evident time was taken to do it right >versus the crank it out so people will buy it in a heartbeat.

i don't see how working on a system for several years is "cranking it out", but i guess i can't really argue with your opinion...

>In summation, 4E is a hunk of go se which is a deplorable set of rules. Over 50% of >our local RPGA group is unlikely to go with it, at least a third have no interest. WOTC >has been screwing the pooch on this.

they must be doing something right. they're close to selling out their first print, if what i'm told is to be believed.
Logged

Competence is it's own reward.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.13 | SMF © 2006-2011, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!