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Author Topic: 4e and D20 Third Party Publishers  (Read 8590 times)
NezMaster
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« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2008, 03:29:26 AM »

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.

This is an ironic joke, right?  This sounds just like something an Indie RPG fanatic anti-RPGA snob stereotype would say.



This personal attack was not directed at me intentionally, but it hit me just the same.

Mainly becuase you phrased things I consider compliments as insults.

First: Living Campaign: In my three years in the (early 90's) RPGA I found it tremendously uncompelling. The games were filled with not fun, and more competition than I could imagine. When Hackmaster came out, becuase I was a huge KODT fan  I thought it would be great, but Instead I found I was gaming with people who didn't understand they were playing a satire, and I realized it really wasn't any different than my RPGA experiences. So yes, if somene says "Living campaigns are the highest art form" I'm likely to disagree.
Your claim that someone responding to "It's the highest art form in the hobby" (which is whether you see it or not, a backhanded slam at the artisitc levels of everyone else) with "No I think it's a pretty low art form" as "fanatic" is fairly ironic in itself.

Next: Indie RPG fanatic:
I don't shop at Wal Mart, I go to a small veggie stand down the street from where I live (And pay more for it), I believe the indepenent company is a far better prospect than the behemoths, and yes, that extends to gaming. Spycraft, by the way, is an "Indie game" being as it's owned by three people who have day jobs.
Am I a fanatic? Maybe. I certainly consider the fact that something is an indie game a plus (Though not an automatic win by any means) and the fact that it's owned by one of the wicked Witches (Wotc, White Wolf) as  a big strike against it, simply by where I prefer my money be going and supporting. Do I consider this bad? Not at all. I consider it GREAT, and I wish eveyrone where doing it.

The first year WOTC didn't show up at ORigins I considered it a huge BOON for the con. I was so pleased. Mainly becuase the people who only play/buy WOTC stuff when they were there found other things to do. Indy companies (including mine) did quite well that year. Unfortunately, those people didn't come back the next year, which is sad for eveyrone.

RPGA snob: Yes, I hate hate hatey hate RPGA. I find that the RPGA itself is pretty much EVERYThing that is bad about gaming. If i had discovered LSPY when it was still part of hte RPGA I would not have joined. Been there, done that. I'm not a snob. If you want to play RPGA and give your money to a bunch of pretentious ***tards that care about nothing but taking your money, have fun doing it. ME I got tired of being screwed in order to 'compete'. That's not why I roleplay, and I resent your calling someone who thinks the RPGA is a bunch of greedy bastards a snob. You have not had my experiences, nor I yours. Lots of people have a great time playing RPGA. Lots of people go to Wal-mart. Doesn't make it cool.
I was also personally resonsible for a huge revolt when White wolf tried to hammer people into the Camarilla, to the point of scheduling phone confrences with the White Wolf's PR board and getting involved. I consider the cam to be WW's version of RPGA. I detest both of them.


So as an Indy game fanatic, anti rpga snob (and proud of both); I say yeah, Living campaigns aer usually great ideas, but usually don't amount to much. So far, my experience in LSPY had proved the exception that proved the rule, but I'd only been to a very few events.
The events I'd been too really were no different than any other (non-living) convention game, except for having more personal characters. (Which is as it should be)..



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« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2008, 07:58:00 AM »

What NezMaster said, minus the "indie game fanatic" part?  Yeah.  Right there with him.
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« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2008, 08:36:20 AM »

Oh boy...

Let me just duck out of the cross fire here.

I have no real opinion about the RPGA, greedy, evil, good, altruistic, whatever. I have no dealings with them other then two or three people I game with who are members. Those people are the exception to the experiences I've had with Organized players, and they're ones I've heard mocked in the local game store for unoptimized characters.

To the fans of organized play who have never encountered or found places without the issues I described, good on you.

To people who fit the type I described, enjoy yourselves, everyone find different things fun and I don't think you're bad people because I don't find your part of our hobby fun.

I did not call Organized play a low form of art. I used expression of art for a reason.

I also tend to find most 'indie' games... pretentious and far too fixated on post modern concepts of art and self aware irony or meta-game concepts. I feel game design is an art as well as a science, and that role playing can be (and usually is to some degree) a creative endeavor, but our hobby is not an art form, in and of itself.
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« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2008, 09:10:42 AM »

I haven't done a whole lot with the RPGA.  I play in the Living Kingdoms of Kalamar game, and I still play that because the people are fun to play with.
LSPy was my favorite for a few reasons:  Best game, I really do prefer guns to swords.  Fun people, and this is the important one.  (Playing games with Pat and Alex has made me into a Crafty fanboy.)

There have been some competitive people in the games, and a couple jerks, but on the whole my experience with living campaigns has been quite positive.

I must also agree with Nez about White Wolf.  I have done the barest smidgen of tabletop, my loathing for their crunch knows few limits, but I LARPed for several years and was rather unhappy with the whole Camarilla thing.  In all fairness that started after I left, and they had let the World of Darkness grow out of their control.  But I still hate their tabletop crunch.
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« Reply #34 on: July 22, 2008, 01:12:01 PM »

I do need to respond here....

On White Wolf ... I did play it for about 4 years, preferring Mage, and finished in 1998. Mostly it was a lot of tabletop but there was some LARPing in there. However, we never followed the Camarilla or the Mind's Eye ruleset and instead used a better homebrewed system which never involved bidding traits and the only time rock/scissors/paper came into play is if you within a certain range. I won't get into all the details because they are not important here but what is important was the players. 99% of the people I played with were neither pretensious nor morons about it all. We understood it was a game. Sure, there were arguments but the Storyteller/GM had final say and quite frequently adjudicated fairly. We had one Camarilla guy show up and after a hour of him telling us what we were doing wrong our GM told him we didn't care and were playing our ruleset not his. He left shortly afterwards.

As to the whole RPGA thing, I'm not a big fan of either paying for it nor am I worried about not getting my cards or anything else from them. It infuriated many people here that I never reported the games as often as they wanted, especially since it was really all about identifying their character by the RPGA number. Point in fact regarding LSpy, if it had not been in the RPGA then there is a very real possibility it might not have sold as much and therefore Crafty and 2.0 would not be in existence as we speak. The RPGA does not charge for membership, while they may have done in the past and possibly might do in the future, but the money you would spend would go towards the game company who's books you are buying.

I refuse to buy WOTC and always will. I was happy to see the Gathering take over Origins from them and they performed their job better than WOTC to boot. They did so well that WOTC tried to buy its way back in and keep the Gathering out. GAMA, however, said no and shut them down from controlling the convention again. This year there was a slight dropoff which can be easily attributed to LG shutting down (why play your LG character if you have to start from scratch with LFR, right?).

I've been spending my time pushing FC and Wyrmstone at our local RPGA meetings. Why do I attend them because it is the only time outside of a convention that more than 15 gamers generally gather together and gives me the best opportunity to push Crafty. I even stick around through the first slot to answer any questions, queries, thoughts, or observations on Crafty they want to talk about. With the death of LG, some people are looking to expand into FC and try out because they haven't had the chance. Several have mentioned they want to try out in comparison to 4E.

Granted there are many in the RPGA Organized Play who are snobs or min/maxing powergamers and we certainly have a few ourselves. However, on the whole, we tend to have better gamers. I know this patting the Arizona group on the back but based on journeys of our people to other conventions it seems to be true. Some of the bad experiences is physical fights, GMs who not only run mods cold but are still printing the mod off as they run it cold, and berating players who are not all out optimized. Our GMs understand they resposibility to be prepared and we quickly stomp on people who commit the other two. We have yet to kick any one out of our local convention for rude behavior but it has come close once.
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« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2008, 01:51:22 AM »

A bit of an oddity from my local Borders - since 4th ed's release they have sold an awful lot of copies, which was expected. However, they have also not sold anywhere near what they were expecting - not quite as much as 3.5 when it was released. (3.5 sold better than expected, and they had to restock several times.)

It hasn't tanked for them the same way the new version of the Storyteller (World of Darkness) series has, just not done as well as they expected.

They also had a run on the small amount of 3.X stuff that they had (I will admit to being part of that). In particular the Dungeon Crawl Classics have almost disappeared. The manager was lamenting having returned so much of the official WotC 3.X stuff, he thinks that they would have offloaded most of it.

I somehow doubt that my own pet peeve with the new edition (the GSL) had anything to do with this - most gamers probably don't give two hoots what license a given product is written under. It seems more popular with the younger players, while the core consumers - in their twenties and thirties - are not as likely to get the new edition.

The godsawful D&D miniatures Giant set on the other hand has just about disappeared, and they are restocking it. (I have been hired to 'rescue' the giant carrion crawler figure - the proud owner wants to use it for a Beast of Nurgle.... Frankly, between the paint job and the complete lack of prep work done on the figure it, ummm, stinks.)

The Auld Grump, asleep at the keyboard, dreaming that he is typing a reply.... Zzzzzz.....
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« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2008, 05:30:10 AM »

(3.5 sold better than expected, and they had to restock several times.)

Is the reason 4.0 is considered an underseller because they're trying to match the stellar success of 3.5?

Quote
Frankly, between the paint job and the complete lack of prep work done on the figure it, ummm, stinks.

Which, funnily enough, is entirely appropriate for a Beast of the Lord of Pestilence Wink
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« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2008, 07:21:36 AM »

Wow... my thread turned from a 4e/3pp thread into an organized play flamefest.

Well, FWIW, whatever ill I have to say about Living Greyhawk/Realms doesn't extend to LSpy. Though to some extent they shared the some of the same attitude in some players, by and large the very nature of the differences between D&D and Spycraft kept the worst of the RPGA twits away from LSpy.

Not to mention, I thought the LSpy team did a great job with the campaign. I was just starting to get involved when the operation got canceled, and was sort of sad. Even now, running through the LSpy missions just as filler in my home WoF game shows a legacy of awesome.
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« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2008, 07:55:03 AM »

As an author of two of the latest LSpy missions (as in they were near the end), I can appreciate even more what it took to create some of those...
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« Reply #39 on: July 23, 2008, 08:41:04 AM »

I must say, I assumed 4th Ed didn't do that well given that there's loads left on the shelf at Waterstones & one hobby shop, while at the other hobby shop they have the MM & DMG left (and I know they only got one set in).

They could keep stocking up the shelves I suppose, but I'm a bit disinterested to ask.
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« Reply #40 on: July 23, 2008, 08:59:32 AM »

My understanding is that 4e sales are brisk, but not as brisk as 3e or 3.5e were. The backlash and push back they've been getting is very different then what I recall of those as well. I don't recall nearly (actually I don't recall any at all, but I can weasel with the best) as many "I know D&D when I see it, and this is not D&D!" sentiments.

The GSL has gone over like concrete balloon with those who care about such things and all indications are that 3pps are either avoiding it for the vast, potentially dangerous, frontier of copyright law, producing throw away products without significant investments of IP, or sitting 4e out for the moment.

The sad thing about this is that some of the really cool things that were done with 3.X, even in the the early days simply will not happen. Dragonstar comes to mind.
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« Reply #41 on: July 23, 2008, 10:38:37 AM »

I love some of the 5-star reviews that I've read, they all basically have the same meme: "It's not perfect, but it's the best. (5 out of 5)"...

If something isn't perfect, then why give it a perfect score?
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« Reply #42 on: July 23, 2008, 11:55:04 AM »

If something isn't perfect, then why give it a perfect score?

Because the cheque they receive from Hasbro will be bigger Wink
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« Reply #43 on: July 23, 2008, 12:00:55 PM »

If something isn't perfect, then why give it a perfect score?

Because the cheque they receive from Hasbro will be bigger Wink

I was afraid of that... I have the same issues with writers who continuously write glowing reviews of films. Come to think of it sports writers are the same. You feed us, we'll write nice things for you. (We're relatively cheap.)
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« Reply #44 on: July 23, 2008, 12:28:30 PM »

I was afraid of that... I have the same issues with writers who continuously write glowing reviews of films. Come to think of it sports writers are the same. You feed us, we'll write nice things for you. (We're relatively cheap.)

True, but let's be honest. No one really expects impartiality or true journalist integrity out of the sports department on anything but the game synopsis. Smiley Not to lie or liable, yes. That's about it.
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