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Thread: D&D is Drunk Calling Pathfinder's Friends

  1. #136
    new dads don't sleep either Belen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krieg's Spiel View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    That's exactly why I tend to disagree. I don't want the future of OGL to be focused around the design philosophies of Mike Mearls (or anyone else for that matter).

    The reason it's growth has been so unprecedented is precisely because it's decentralized nature has allowed a multitude of philosophies to drive it into uncounted directions.

    That's what makes it useful and what makes it appealing to a broad audience.

    Narrowing that focus will eliminate it's single greatest strength.
    You are think the man is going to steal your cookies and drink your milk. I think that Mike is talking about a design community that focuses on traditional gaming and through discussion, create better rules and philosophies. It would be nice to see more traditional games in the forge style. I think he envisions a community that may develop spin-offs games. The people will be free to disagree, but that overall design would be better.

    I do not get a tyrannical vibe from him. I doubt he wants everyone to subscribe to his style. I mean, I like some of his rules, but we disagree a lot. That does not mean that working with him would not make my stuff stronger.
    Sam: But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

    Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

 

  • #137
    new dads don't sleep either Belen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil_Upchurch View Post
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    I do too, and it perfectly backs up my point about how fan reaction has been led by the publisher.
    Agreed. Psion has the way of it. There are some really talented folks at Wizards. They made a game that did not spark my fancy, but it had some cool innovations.
    Sam: But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

    Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

  • #138
    new dads don't sleep either Belen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PWD View Post
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    Think of the heartache we could have averted if only you'd shared your mysterious secrets with Belen.

    He's still terrified someone will insist on running a dragonbooby in his game, and god knows he won't be able to houserule them out.


    Not really. My group tolerates house rules and enjoys them. My worries tend to revolve around newb and the different gaming culture they are getting into as opposed to the one I got into.

    I heavily house-ruled d20 once I learned its ins and outs.
    Sam: But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

    Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

  • #139
    let them eat arugula! Vigilance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belen View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    You are think the man is going to steal your cookies and drink your milk. I think that Mike is talking about a design community that focuses on traditional gaming and through discussion, create better rules and philosophies. It would be nice to see more traditional games in the forge style. I think he envisions a community that may develop spin-offs games. The people will be free to disagree, but that overall design would be better.

    I do not get a tyrannical vibe from him. I doubt he wants everyone to subscribe to his style. I mean, I like some of his rules, but we disagree a lot. That does not mean that working with him would not make my stuff stronger.
    But we already have that, and it's called the PDF community.

    It's funny, despite being dominated by "companies not fans", even though most of those companies are a single person who makes a few hundred bucks PER YEAR off his PDF "company" (sounds more like a fan with a tip jar to me), and despite their stuff being "locked behind a dollar sign", the number, quality and overall design chops of PDFs have grown tremendously.

    I say this as someone who released a seriously janky PDF, with no previous writing experience back in the day, who saw that PDF at one time listed with the top 50 PDF sales ALL TIME on the site.

    Today that PDF, to put it mildly, would not do well on the site.

    So somehow, fans seem to be improving their design skills and releasing better product, to the point where they can stand toe to toe with design houses led by Chris Pramas, Monte Cook and Phil Reed.

    And again, I speak from personal experience: RPGObjects was started by three guys with no previous experience in the industry, and we're a top ten vendor on RPGNow today, in the same league as Green Ronin and Malhavoc Press and Ronin Arts (before they left the site).

    And somehow, we and lots of others, did this without a Forge site where we could learn at the feet of Ron Edwards, Mike Mearls or anyone else.

    Maybe, just maybe, such a site isn't required to learn design skills. Maybe this crazy thing called capitalism works.
    Last edited by Vigilance; June 26th, 2008 at 01:30 AM.

  • #140
    Tourette's Syndrome Kid iHobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilance View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    Maybe, just maybe, such a site isn't required to learn design skills. Maybe this crazy thing called capitalism works.

  • #141
    A Canadian icon. FraserRonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilance View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    Lots of good stuff
    Preach, brother, preach.

    Now, the idea of having a Forge for the OG community isn't a bad idea, but wouldn't the time to have done have been before the GSL? Why wait until WotC is trying to gut Open Gaming?

    And, just to repeat stuff that has already been said (but which might make me sound smarter, which is always nice), there are communities out there that do OG design. The problem is, they are not focused on a single concept of the perfect game. Get together a group of like-minded individuals that agree on design goals and while you might have a community that creates their "perfect" design, that does not make it the perfect design.

    Isn't that kind of the point? There is no one perfect design, there is only each individual's vision of a perfect game, which they are free to pursue and share (for free or on a for-profit basis).

    Of course, if there is an OG patron out there willing to pay a bunch of people to work on OG design for the good of the community, that would be great!
    Last edited by FraserRonald; June 27th, 2008 at 02:13 AM. Reason: Unnecessary amount of quotation

  • #142
    spine crushing lover Henricus's Avatar
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    How about a more useful question, instead of a game of "Whack-a-Mearls":

    Everyone:

    What do you want to see happen to the future development of the OGL, and its rules base as a whole? Do you think it will flourish and do well under the current publisher-driven situation, or does it need to change in some way to avoid dying out in two to five years? Does there need to be MORE rules sharing, or less? More publishers doing their own thing, or fewer?
    "I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something. A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant. Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life."

  • #143
    let them eat arugula! Vigilance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henricus View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    Do you think it will flourish and do well under the current publisher-driven situation, or does it need to change in some way to avoid dying out in two to five years? Does there need to be MORE rules sharing, or less? More publishers doing their own thing, or fewer?
    Again, I disagree strongly that we HAVE a "publisher driven situation" with OGL right now.

    Having a system driven by CAPITALISM, which is what we do have, is not nearly the same thing.

    Just because the amount of money made by most PDF vendors on RPGNow amounts to a tip-jar is not the same thing.

    That's what frustrates me most about this conversation, is that the minute someone "locks his work behind a dollar sign", by writing a class and putting it on RPGNow for a dollar, he's become a publisher, acting like a publisher, instead of serving the needs of the community.

    The small publishers that make up 99.9% of RPGNow vendors *are* the community. They're not different from everyone else, except that they're a little more motivated maybe.

    As for what will happen, I think publishers will continue to evolve the types of PDFs they make, based on what sells. If Hellhound does a book of PrCs and it sells gangbusters, more of those follow. If Phil is cleaning up on small, "bite sized" PDFs, more of them are made.

    As to what system that ends up being, OGL, GSL, OSRIC, M&M, etc, that depends on what people want to make and what people want to buy. My guess would be that the OGL continues for a good long time.

    What has limited systems in the past has been the actions of the REAL publishers in this business.

    If Alternity was open for support, it would be thriving today.

    So in the absence of an artificial barrier, I think the OGL will continue to thrive. The player base is big enough to support small press support, and support feeds the player base.

    And Alternity is exactly an example of why I think this whole "community driven" support idea doesn't work. I think giving people the chance to make money spurs much greater levels of support than any fan initiative.

    This crazy idea called capitalism just might work out. It's going places.
    Last edited by Vigilance; June 27th, 2008 at 02:24 PM.

  • #144
    chaste little tart der_kluge's Avatar
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    I really like what Paizo did with the PRPG - how they had an open community where fans could contribute ideas. I didn't care too much for how they organized it, and obviously there were a lot of fans who wanted to go in different directions. Take, for example, "favored class" - about half wanted to just drop it, another half loved their version, and was happy to see it there. A few even wanted to expand on it to make it even more important.

    So, I don't think a publisher could create the one true perfect game that will make everyone happy. It's just not gonna happen.

    That said, I like some of the "ideas" behind 4th edition, and I'd love to see some of the concepts implemented in a lesser form into a 3rd edition framework. It's a shame that the GSL might not allow such a thing without someone sort of treaded out into shallow safe harbor waters to do it. It might be interesting to see where that ends up.

  • #145
    Tourette's Syndrome Kid iHobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henricus View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    What do you want to see happen to the future development of the OGL, and its rules base as a whole? Do you think it will flourish and do well under the current publisher-driven situation, or does it need to change in some way to avoid dying out in two to five years? Does there need to be MORE rules sharing, or less? More publishers doing their own thing, or fewer?
    I think it's going to become less of a free-for-all and focus around a few alternative systems. Pathfinder and True20/M&M, for instance, will keep the OGL going for years to come by themselves.

    I think a lot of the 3.5 compatible stuff will slowly dry up, though—with the exception of niche market and fan-made productions, while actual professional content will probably focus around one of those two systems.

    From time to time some other alternate system utilizing the OGL will come out, but it will be self-contained and self-supporting, like any other non-D&D game prior to the OGL.

    Not sure that I necessarily want anything other than that, either. The only thing I'm going to miss (probably) is more Iron Kingdoms content. I think Freeport will continue, since it has the systemless book and now sourcebooks for d20, True20, Savage Worlds, and C&C. M&M ain't going anywhere, and neither is Pathfinder, though, so the OGL isn't going to be dead.

    In fact, you could almost say in some ways that Pathfinder is doing pretty much exactly what mearls was wanting. It's synthesizing "the best" of d20 and creating a new iteration of D&D (granted, with a different name) out of it, and its doing so in an open environment with public betas and public feedback.

    What am I missing? That is the OGL utopia right there. The only difference; it's being done by a third-party, not WotC, and he's not involved.
    Last edited by iHobo; June 27th, 2008 at 07:20 PM.

  • #146
    let them eat arugula! Vigilance's Avatar
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    And of course, this utopia where innovation happens in the absence of capitalism, the "true open source" Mike Mearls and others seem to be advocating... how often does that really happen?

    I mean, even in the realm of software, is Open Source the norm, as opposed to companies devloping product?

    Even if it is, does this mean there's no other way to see innovation and iteration? I don't think so. I remember my first VCR, and how huge and terrible it was compared to the one I have now, which I almost never use because someone came up with this DVD thing.

    Most of the things in my home are the product of people paying folks to do something, releasing it, and trying to make more money than it cost to produce. The idea that capitalism does not lead to innovation is contrary to my life experience.

  • #147
    new dads don't sleep either Belen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilance View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    As for what will happen, I think publishers will continue to evolve the types of PDFs they make, based on what sells. If Hellhound does a book of PrCs and it sells gangbusters, more of those follow. If Phil is cleaning up on small, "bite sized" PDFs, more of them are made.
    I disagree. I do not think that the PDF market is a meaningful piece of the entire RPG player base. It is certainly an important tool for net savvy folks, but the PDF community is not going to generate large scale success. Especially with no decent browse feature.

    I go to the PDF community when I come up with a need for a game and then see if someone else has done it or if I should do it myself. I do not think that the vast majority of PDF publishers are scanning what sells on RPGnow and recreating or adding to it. They look at what sells in the print market or what the print market is not serving and tries to find a niche.

    And there is no real communication between publishers there that allows them to build continuous projects.

    Capitalism is great. I love it, but the PDF community is only one component. You make it sound like the second coming that will magically fix RPGs and provide everything that people want.

    PDFs support the net savvy, die hard gamer base. It does not attract new players.

    I am not saying that a fan-based design community would either, but a repository of free rules and gaming philosophy would be cool and it could give publishers launch points to design new games.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilance View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    As to what system that ends up being, OGL, GSL, OSRIC, M&M, etc, that depends on what people want to make and what people want to buy. My guess would be that the OGL continues for a good long time.
    And you're still tied to a top-down method. Green Ronin wanted to do a supes game. I do not remember a huge cry for it from the fans etc. It was a shot in the dark and they did well because they had a good internal design community.

    What if Green Ronin had seen a lot of people attempting to develop supes rules and active discussions about it?

    It is a newer way of doing things, in part, fostered by technology and interactive communities. It is the holy grail for a lot of publishers in my neck of the woods. Develop a content-based community that develops content for you and feeds on the content you produce.

    Wizards wants it with DDI, Gleemax and the RPGA.

    Wizards can attempt do it on their own. They have the resources. Not many other publishers can boast those resources.
    Sam: But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

    Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

  • #148
    new dads don't sleep either Belen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigilance View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    And of course, this utopia where innovation happens in the absence of capitalism, the "true open source" Mike Mearls and others seem to be advocating... how often does that really happen?
    I do not agree in "true" open source. I see it as a cycle where fan-design drives commercial design.

    Then again, "true" capitalism has as many hits as misses. Products competing against one another does drive innovation in the market, but those companies attempt to expand the market and grab market share.

    The RPG community does not. It is one of the few communities that actively resists the process.

    A VCR can compete because it attempts to see to a wide market and it does not need VCR fans to help grow the VCR hobby.

    Then again, I am just musing. I think I gave up on this idea a few years ago. The RPG community prefers to fight over scraps and adhere to their insular ways despite the ever growing popularity of geekisms.
    Sam: But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding on to Sam?

    Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.

  • #149
    Tourette's Syndrome Kid iHobo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belen View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    And you're still tied to a top-down method. Green Ronin wanted to do a supes game. I do not remember a huge cry for it from the fans etc. It was a shot in the dark and they did well because they had a good internal design community.
    I dunno. M&M came out at the same time as two other d20 derivative superhero games, IIRC. One that Wanger published though EN Publishing and one that was originally a Tri-Stat game; I can't remember the name of either.

    There have been superhero games since the mid-70s, and clearly there was a market for them. d20 was a popular system that hadn't yet turned out a clearly satisfactory version, and clearly Green Ronin wasn't the only one who thought that there was a market for it at that moment.

    Sure, people weren't walking the streets, wringing their hands and wishing for a d20 superhero game, but just because people aren't actively asking for something doesn't mean that they don't demand it in the marketplace. A good sales/marketing type person needs to be able to read subtler clues than what people simply say that they want. The best products are usually the ones that you have no idea that you want until you see it and suddenly don't remember how you ever got along without it.

  • #150
    A Canadian icon. FraserRonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belen View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    PDFs support the net savvy, die hard gamer base. It does not attract new players.
    So you envision an open gaming community outside of the internet? Really? How?

    Everything discussed so far seems to focus on internet activities, which would basically be the net savvy, die hard gamers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Belen View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    I am not saying that a fan-based design community would either, but a repository of free rules and gaming philosophy would be cool and it could give publishers launch points to design new games.
    But where would this repository be other than the internet? And who would be visiting it but net savvy, die hard gamers?

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