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D&D 4th Ed vs. Open Gaming

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the something-to-think-about dept.

Role Playing (Games) 243

I'm no expert in this subject, but mxyzplk has written a good summary of the issues affecting open gaming and the upcoming release of 4th Edition D&D. The open licensing associated with the 3rd Edition spawned a number of successful 3rd parties and add-ons that made the system far greater than it might have been otherwise. I've attached his writeup on the subject below, and you should really read it if you are interested in D&D, Gaming, or trying to apply 'Open' licenses to things besides code.

mxyzplk writes "Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast shocked the role-playing game industry today by announcing that anyone wanting to publish material for the new Fourth Edition of D&D, expected out in June of this year, must forgo open licensing entirely as part of their new Game System License.

With the launch of the third edition of the popular game eight years ago, Wizards had sponsored an open licensing scheme. This license, called the Open Gaming License, or OGL, was a kind of open source license designed for game publishers. The result was an explosion of third party game companies supporting D&D and establishing their own game lines. Many of these companies became quite large and successful, notably Paizo Publishing, Green Ronin Publishing, and others.

Now, however, Wizards has stated that any company hoping to publish products for their new edition must agree to discontinue any currently open licensed products and produce no further open products at all — Dungeons & Dragons related or not. A number of companies had leveraged the OGL for their independent games, for example the pulp game Spirit of the Century.

In response to questions about this policy, Scott Rouse, D&D Brand Manager for Wizards of the Coast, says that "We have invested multiple 7 figures in the development of 4e so can you tell me why we would want publishers to support a system that we have moved away from?"

It seems to me that this is the equivalent of Microsoft telling people "If you want to make and sell software for Windows Vista, you can't make and sell any Linux/open source software!" Since this is a small niche market without the visibility of a Microsoft, this play to muscle out competition by making them choose "between us and open licensing" will probably succeed. Some other game companies are rebelling; Paizo Publishing, for example, has declared their intent to move forward with the open-licensed previous version, essentially 'forking' the Dungeons & Dragons code base. But small gaming companies are small indeed, and Wizards of the Coast is owned by Hasbro (a recent development likely not unrelated to this change of heart)."

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Open Source (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23142148)

It seems that open source prinicpipals are applied to more things [goatse.cz] every day!

Re:Open Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23145924)

I admire the blatant and front-first honesty of putting goatse right in an URL without redirection or hiding. For that, I have done three things:

1. I clicked your link as support for this practice.
2. I modded you troll and
3. I posted this comment to show, without hiding or redirection, that you are, indeed, a first-grade old-school slashdot troll.

Pol

Twofo Live! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23142234)

Twofo Live [twofo.co.uk] can eat my goatse'd penis!

Is this even legal? (4, Insightful)

brennanw (5761) | more than 6 years ago | (#23142380)

I'm not a lawyer so as far as I know this *is* legal, but... how can it be? How can your license forbid someone from using another license for a different product? Aren't antitrust laws that specifically forbid that?

Re:Is this even legal? (5, Insightful)

Deathdonut (604275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23142686)

The thing they should be worried about is splintering their currently (mostly) consoladated customer base, not legality.

How is this different from:

"If you want to work here, you can't compete with us."

or

"If you want the free Pepsi soda fountains, you can't sell Coke products."

They obviously want to sell 4e products and encourage the transition. This may be an overly ambitious plan and somewhat of a strongarming tactic (hard to say for a product that's not even remotely monopolistic), but it's certainly legal.

Scott Rouse (The Rouse) commented on their motivation recently:

We have invested multiple 7 figures in the development of 4e so can you tell me why we would want publishers to support a system that we have moved away from?

This is not spite, malice or some evil scorched earth policy. Yes, we want people to make 4e books and stop making 3.x. Does that surprise you?

Re:Is this even legal? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144286)

Spending "multiple 7 figures" on making a new edition of D&D makes my brain hurt. Doesn't everyone who seriously plays spend half their time beating on the rules until they make sense for their player group?

From everything I've read about 4th edition, I think that money has been ill-spent, and to take that wasted money, and compound your crime by not allowing people to release their mods and make a few bucks off of them is obscene.

Re:Is this even legal? (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144750)

I haven't been horribly impressed with what I've seen either, and I can't figure out how they could have spent millions on design, unless they're rolling in the costs of all the pizzas, sodas and chips they bought during the process.

Re:Is this even legal? (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145288)

I haven't been horribly impressed with what I've seen either, and I can't figure out how they could have spent millions on design, unless they're rolling in the costs of all the pizzas, sodas and chips they bought during the process.

If their accountants are worth more than dirt they are including that in the cost.

The cost likely comes largely from the wages and/or benefits of the probably hundreds of people who've participated in its development. Game designers, graphic designers, programmers, playtesters, artists, copy editors, accountants, managers.. etc.

Please keep reposting this story!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23142856)

You can never repost a story about D&D too many times.

But don't let that stop you from trying!

Re:Is this even legal? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144926)

IANAL, either, but don't anti-trust laws only apply to monopolies? The gaming industry is too fragmented, IMO, to support such a charge. Sure, WotC are a de facto leader in the industry (not necessarily based on the best games, but likely just in revenue), but owning 40%, 50%, or even 70%, of a market doesn't make you a monopoly.

Microsoft, however, has been convicted of illegal monopoly behaviour, which, among other things, legally proved that they were a monopoly to begin with. That's the difference.

Oh, that and WotC are prohibiting the work on two of THEIR OWN PRODUCTS by the same company, not prohibiting you from writing modules based on both WotC's (4e) work and, say, Green Ronin's (4e-based) work. It does have the side effect of barring you from working with Paizo's 3.75 system, but that's more of a side effect than anything else. This is not anything like Microsoft preventing developers from releasing products based on Windows and Linux at the same time. It's more like preventing you from targeting Win200 and Vista at the same time.

Personally, I'd create a shell corporation and release my 3e works from there, and my 4e works from my main corp. Shutting down the shell when 3e was no longer profitable would likely be trivial.

Re:Is this even legal? (2, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146392)

It does have the side effect of barring you from working with Paizo's 3.75 system

Actually, that's precisely why WotC/Hasborg did this - they had a falling out with Paizo, said "Fuck you we're pulling Dragon/Dungeon", got greedy over the idea of $14/month for people to play on their shitty as hell (I've been in beta) "insider" online playboards.

End result? D&D 4e is a pile of steaming crap that doesn't deserve to have the D&D name on it. Every gameplay change has been made not to make a better game, but to make it easier for lazy programmers to code it into the online board.

Yeah, there's a set of things in 3.5 that need fixing. There were things in 3.0 that needed fixing. 4e is the "fix" for those things like replacing a worn down Ferrari's engine with a Geo Metro 3-cylinder engine will "fix" the car.

Re:Is this even legal? (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145788)

The obvious answer is that the summary is sensationalist and not true.

Re:Is this even legal? (2, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146762)

First of all, anti-trust legislation only comes into force when a company has a monopoly, so it's not really relevant here.

Secondly, this is all dones through legal weaselese. In this case:

1) I've licensed D&D 3e to you under the OGL. That license states that it is non-revokable, and therefore there is NO WAY I can stop you from releasing all you want under it. However...
2) I can offer you the opportunity to license D&D 4e from me under a new license. I can put any clause into that license I want. I can say you need to shave your head, paint your arse blue, and change your name to Stacy if I want. You have the option of either accepting those terms, or not licensing 4e from me.

Note that you could probably take some of those conditions to court for a judgement, if they were particularly egregious. A court may rule that certain licensing restrictions are invalid and unenforceable, and no longer stand. That's why you often see a clause at the end of a license which says something like, "In the event that certain parts of this license are determined to be unenforceable, the remaining parts are still valid." Much of this detail though, depends on country and jurisdiction.

Re:Is this even legal? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23147162)

Well, what if I gave you money? Could I then ask you to stop using the another license for a different product? What if I gave you some other consideration of value? What if that thing of value was the use of my spiffy new product?

Just turn your question on its head for a moment. Sure, an open license to a company's product is an open license, but that does that give you any rights whatsoever to future, similar products? If not, they can offer the future product to you under any terms they choose, and you are free to refuse and continue to use your currently licensed material whether that material is openly licensed or not. It's not changing the deal, it's offering a different deal.

With respect to anti-trust laws, I don't see how they apply here. If they, for example, refused to allow shops that carried third party products created under their open license initiative, you might have a point. Instead, they're giving vendors a choice: license the new stuff, or continue using the old stuff under the old license, but not both. Doesn't sound coercive to me, sounds like a straight up deal.

What WoC is doing is forfeiting any future trust others might put in any open license initiative they attempt. They're no doubt aware of this, so it probably means they look at their open licensing experiment as a net business failure, and not worth repeating.

Frankly, I doubt it really matters that much. The whole source of the original D&D craze was that the system wasn't really that "good". But it was playable. That's why it created a new class of games, "role playing" games, distinct from simulation games. The enjoyment of the game comes entirely from the creativity of the people you play it with. Role playing is really a hybrid of war simulation gaming and "Cowboys and Indians".

Unless the fourth edition is some kind of mighty leap forward in playability, it's doubtful that a company that has been successful at publishing games based on older d20 systems would have much incentive to switch. If they do decide to switch, it's because they see greater profit that way. In any case, users will probably adapt whatever they like out of the new edition into older edition campaigns, including those where the features are not licensed by the vendor.

This sounds familiar (5, Informative)

gruvmeister (1259380) | more than 6 years ago | (#23142394)

It seems to me that this is the equivalent of Microsoft telling people "If you want to make and sell software for Windows Vista, you can't make and sell any Linux/open source software!"
It's more like "If you want to make and sell products for Vista, you can't make and sell products for XP." Both products are made the the same company, the older one has been around for quite some time and has developed a very good following, but now the owning company wants to push sales of their new product line.

It's worse than that (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143372)

It's more like "If you want to make and sell products for Vista, you can't make and sell products for XP or any of your other completely independent products that you released under the same license."

Re:This sounds familiar (1)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143446)

I'm not sure that the analogy you draw is on all fours -- given statements Microsoft has made about requiring a new codebase, drawing that analogy for Windows 7 would be better, but virtually all applications written for XP will run on Vista without changes, while D&D4e has made changes that may require significant editing for compatibility. Now, Microsoft might require that a company stop selling an XP version and put in Vista-Specific code in order to be able to put the "Designed for Windows Vista" cachet on their product, but they're not forcing companies to discontinue all existing XP-compatible products in order to get any Vista branding.

Leave OSX ALONE!!!!111!! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23143490)

It seems to me that this is the equivalent of Microsoft telling people "If you want to make and sell software for Windows Vista, you can't make and sell any Linux/open source software!"

It's more like "If you want to make and sell products for Vista, you can't make and sell products for XP." Both products are made the the same company, the older one has been around for quite some time and has developed a very good following, but now the owning company wants to push sales of their new product line.

Actually... it's more like Apple saying if you make applications for OSX, you can't make them for MacOS9.

You see, unlike Windows, Apple makes no attempts to preserve backward compatibility. But that's why people hate Microsoft so much!

Re:This sounds familiar (2, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143548)

"It's more like 'If you want to make and sell products for Vista, you can't make and sell products for XP.' Both products are made the the same company..."

No, that's incorrect. The OGL *license* was originally made by WOTC. But there are now many products that are completely unique games published under that license. In some cases they have zero to do with any of the WOTC brands or products.

Say you created a brand-new piece of software and released it under the Sun Public License (or something). Later, Sun starts aggressively trying to stop publishing of any software ever released under the SPL, including yours. That's what this is most like.

Viva la Revolution? (4, Insightful)

PresidentEnder (849024) | more than 6 years ago | (#23142436)

Everything I hear about 4e (subscription access to web content, big monster-type race, "WoWification") seems bad. This seems worse. I hope the independent publishers respond by sticking to 3.5e.

Re:Viva la Revolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23145900)

Or more like, go make your own rpg system? We've been playing our own custom rules since ever...

Re:Viva la Revolution? (4, Insightful)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145984)

It's strange... pretty much all the negative things I've been hearing are people on the forums who've never played it and only know what's been told to them, but who form negative opinions based on what they assume people mean (and we've seen a lot of uproar about things that were never actually said).

Conversely, every review I've read by people who've actually played it, and everything I've heard from the people I know who are playtesting it right now, has been overwhelmingly positive, to the point where I have no question in my mind about wanting to switch over to 4e as soon as is possible.

Go figure.

Re:Viva la Revolution? (4, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146302)

Conversely, every review I've read by people who've actually played it, and everything I've heard from the people I know who are playtesting it right now, has been overwhelmingly positive, to the point where I have no question in my mind about wanting to switch over to 4e as soon as is possible.
People who have actually played it fall into three camps.

1: The people who wrote it.

2: People who went to a convention just to play it.

3: Folks who have NDAs, that limit what they can say.

What part of this audience makes you think it's a fair metric for how good the game actually is?

Re:Viva la Revolution? (1)

Whyte Panther (868438) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146842)

Honestly, I'd trust the people who went to the convention to play it. Those people are going to be, on average, among the most dedicated gamers you can find. If a dedicated player approves, then that's good enough for me. What reason do you have to beleive that the con-goers have been coerced into providing positive reviews?

Re:Viva la Revolution? (3, Insightful)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 6 years ago | (#23147090)

That simple... because the geek community has a very major issue with fanboyismm, and those that go to geek conventions are demonstrating a particularly strong fanboy streak in general. It doesn't really take coercion to get it, but I still wouldn't trust their opinions in this matter.

Re:Viva la Revolution? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#23147066)

Ok, but your post also confirms that the nay-sayers haven't played it, and so their opinion is utterly meaningless.

wiki rpg (4, Informative)

kingmundi (54911) | more than 6 years ago | (#23142506)

Role-playing games seem to be ripe for having all the rules and settings put up in a wiki, under a truly open content license.

Here is a resource for various projects
http://wiki.rpg.net/index.php/Major_Projects [rpg.net]
http://www.kirith.com/shapeshifter/Main_Page [kirith.com]

Also, from what I have read about the net, you can not copyright rules. With that in mind, some bright fellows have put all the old school rules into a pdf and called is OSRIC.
http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/osric/ [knights-n-knaves.com]

Re:wiki rpg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23145642)

Ah, but the typical flaws of open systems will apply, such as the inability to get shelf space, etc...

Centralizing the system and having a "dictator" who is passionate about it would be key. Forking it endlessly would be a mess, and, unfortunately, I think would be what would happen. While customization is good, the central system would have to be carefully considered and have a clear focus.

Re:wiki rpg (2, Interesting)

igneousquill (1276834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145752)

I haven't played for years, and am really turned off by recent D&D publications. If I get back into gaming, I'll probably use what my brother has been working on developing with others: http://www.basicfantasy.org/main.html [basicfantasy.org]

Can't recall the name right now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23142618)

... but I believe there was a alternate 2nd edition that took all the rules and none of the "fluff." It existed only so that publishers could say "Our product is compatible with _foo_," which gamers knew was code for "Our product is compatible with 2nd edition."

Summary blatantly misstates the facts. (5, Informative)

Goobermunch (771199) | more than 6 years ago | (#23142662)

Sure sounds terrible, doesn't it. Of course, Wizards of the Coast did NOT make the announcement Mxyzplk claims they did.

Instead, a publisher posted on one of the www.enworld.org forums that he had had a conversation with someone at WotC and that this was his understanding of what the new license does. The individuals at WotC who responded did make comments that suggest that such a policy may be part of their new GSL, however there have also been indications that they are backing away from that position. Of course, since no one has actually seen the new license, no one knows precisely what is permitted and prohibited.

An announcement is expected today, which should clarify the issue.

--AC

No fair! (2, Funny)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143950)

Way to totally deflate an opportunity for unfounded, emotionally driven whining by a buncha lifeless nerds with facts. Now what are we going to do?

Jerk.

Re:Summary blatantly misstates the facts. (1)

mudbunny (1239806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146220)

The comments from WotC that I saw on ENWorld seemed to indicate that the exclusion clause was to keep a 3rd party publisher from publishing the same book under both the GSL and the OGL. I suspect that someone at WotC stepped on their crank by releasing information to a 3pp without fully confirming that what thought that they were confirming was what was actually being said.

4e is a piece of crap... (3, Interesting)

Grimfaire (856043) | more than 6 years ago | (#23142740)

I've a friend who was in on the testing of the new edition. So I've seen some of the rules. And as someone pointed out above, it's a complete destruction of the core values of D&D and most role playing games in that it moves it almost entirely to a "WoW" format. Where each so-called class is now one of a role filler as in tank/healer/cannon. No more, well I'm a fighter but specialize in damage... there is now aggro and everyone can heal themselves... it's really not D&D in any shape or form. I for one, am not moving to 4e and neither is my roommate. Considering we both play extensively and have more than 2 book cases and a closet set aside for just D&D books... that's saying quite a bit.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23142946)

Dumbass.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23143192)

And just what is the "shape or form" of D&D? It's changed a lot since it's inception.

Similar things were probably said about 3rd Ed.

And there's not aggro, and healing is limited (but only there to stop a party NEEDING a cleric)

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23146686)

Similar things were probably said about 3rd Ed.
Anyone else suddenly feel very old indeed?

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143430)

So what do you see as the core values of D&D that 4E fails to respect? I'm genuinely curious.

I'm not sure what you mean by "so-called" class; the classes still seem very distinct to me *even though* each one is designed to fill one of four tactical roles in a combat situation.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143578)

Aggro in D&D seems entirely incompatible with having an intelligent DM. Were I to ever run a game where some guys stood there healing a heavily armored warrior, there's no way the evil thingies would even glance at said warrior. Aggro is a ridiculous, unrealistic idea that has no place in a real RPG. In MMORPGs it's an occasionally entertaining arithmetic minigame.

"Aggro" in 4E (4, Informative)

Lanu2000 (972889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143762)

From my limited experience with 4E, the aggro people talk about is not the 'stickyness' from MMOs, but the fighter/paladin making it costly to attack someone else. For example, the fighter can focus on an enemy so that it (the enemy) will have a -2 to hit any other party member. Now, if the AC of the fighter is 4 higher than that of the wizard, this will not have an effect on the enemy (it's still easier to hit the wizard).

Re:"Aggro" in 4E (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145876)

Okay, that actually sounds like a nice game mechanic, and feasible. Thanks for the info. ...now I want to try 4E. Damn you.

Re:"Aggro" in 4E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23146468)

Hmm, so they decided to lift the pvp aggro idea from Warhammer Online instead of WoW.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (1)

rossmills (1276780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144292)

Which is why it's not in D&D. The guy is just incorrect.

What do people mean by "WoW-ish?" (3, Insightful)

Lanu2000 (972889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143582)

I've heard this argument a lot about 4E. But no one really gives examples as to what they mean. Here you at least say that everyone is assigned to a role of tank/healer/cannon, but couldn't that be said for 3.x and 2E as well? They just didn't explicitly say it in those versions.

Re:What do people mean by "WoW-ish?" (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144532)

Class abilities seem to work more along the lines of WoW talent trees than 3rd edition you always get X ability at level Y.

Re:What do people mean by "WoW-ish?" (1)

Lanu2000 (972889) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144742)

Okay, I see that, but can't it also be thought that they made all the classes into wizards? (I don't take this view point because of the 'fluff' associated with each character and their skills, but mechanically it is similar)

Also, we need to remember that all the conjecture about 4E is from the first 10 levels of the game. Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies really haven't been explored too much. We'll have to wait for Wednesday to see Paragon Paths.

Re:What do people mean by "WoW-ish?" (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145018)

I wasn't suggesting that it was a bad thing. I'm actually pretty optimistic about 4E.

I like what they've done regarding giving all classes "powers" and making sure everyone always has something to contribute. Rangers have always been one of my favorite classes role-playing wise, but mechanically they're as boring as watching paint dry, and wizards are ultimate death machines at high level, but they might as well sit on the bench if you have more than one fight without resting at 1st or 2nd level.

Re:What do people mean by "WoW-ish?" (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145698)

You mean like the ranger, where you pick ranged or TWF specialization, and get your per-level abilities based on that choice?

I once believed D&D 4E was WoW-ish. I now believe that WoW is D&D 3E-ish.

Re:What do people mean by "WoW-ish?" (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146464)

Actually, no. Though I think the 3.5 ranger is an improvement on the 3e ranger.

I think they're going with something more like Star Wars saga edition, where you have various "talent trees" and you pick an ability from any of them (as long as you meet the prerequisites) each time you get a talent. This is largely speculation on my part, but saga is essentially 4E Star Wars, and it fits with the concepts they've been describing so far for 4E D&D.

Re:What do people mean by "WoW-ish?" (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23147258)

I'm not doubting what you're saying about how 4E per-level class abilities work. I'm contesting the notion that this model is unique to WoW, or even that it represents a significant break from previous iterations of D&D.

In 3E, if you weren't playing a spellcaster, you modeled your character on one of several feat trees that you progressed in throughout your characters careers (i.e. TWF, Whirlwind Attack [whose prereq's are a tree in and of themselves], ranged attacks, unarmed attacks, grappling and defensive fighting just to name a few feat trees from the core PHB).

Liar. (4, Informative)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144110)

I've a friend who was in on the testing of the new edition. So I've seen some of the rules.
[...]
there is now aggro
Liar. Bare-faced liar.

If you had been playing, you know that there are no aggro rules in 4e. They briefly considered them early in the development of the product but put aside an aggro system in favor of the new marking system which forces a monster to either attack a Defender or take a penalty. AFAIK, the aggro system never saw the light of day outside of WotC offices.

The ultimate choice between the two options is still up to the DM. Players do not get to take control of monsters by inciting them.

The whole "D&D is now WoW" argument is common from people who *haven't* seen enough of the game. You've probably just read a few things on-line and decided to try to boost your credibility by claiming to be an insider. Too bad you tipped your hand by making an obvious and outrageous lie. Also, if true, you would've just publicly stated that your friend violated their NDA.

Re:Liar. (1)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144688)

Uh, "marking" someone is pretty close to making them aggro onto you.

Re:Liar. (2, Interesting)

mudbunny (1239806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146546)

Ummm, no. Aggro, as used in MMOs, means that the MOB that has "aggro" on you has no choice but to attack you. It is a number in a file somewhere that MMO devs use to try to recreate the intelligence of a DM controlling a monster. In 4E, the marking may make it an unpleasent choice to attack someone else, but the option is still there if the DM determines that it makes good tactical sense for that monster. A stupid monster may just attack the last creature that attacked it and hurt it. A smart monster may say "OK, I will accept the damage I get from not attacking the dude in plate-mail so that I can take out the guy flinging around fireballs."

Re:Liar. (2, Interesting)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23147094)

Considering that there were, to my knowledge, no game mechanics for anything like it in previous editions, and now there are classes in the core rulebook which heavily rely on the mechanism to control the flow of combat, I'd definitely agree with the point that it's "like aggro."
Not that I think it's a bad thing. I had a bit of a hard time explaining it to my players, when I ran "Raiders of Oakhurst" - the first 4E session we had. And honestly, when I explained it, what I said sounded similar to Aggro...

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (3, Interesting)

sckeener (137243) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144324)

Where each so-called class is now one of a role filler as in tank/healer/cannon. No more, well I'm a fighter but specialize in damage...
Here's my example: say you want to play a swashbuckler or a duelist, does a fighter fit? They wear heavy armor in 4e because they are tanks. So our fighter swashbuckler swinging from the chandelier is wearing plate mail...Not a good image for a swashbuckler...

Ok how about the Rogue? Well they won't fall on their ass because of the heavy armor and they get trapfinding.....so while the swashbuckler or duelist is dancing around attacking, they can look for traps in the brassieres of the wenches.

Basically if you wanted to play a class different than how WotC thinks you should min/max it, you are screwed in essence, getting junk you don't need (heavy armor or trapfinding as examples above)...

In 3rd edition you would have run into similar problems with the fighter...but not so with the rogue.

4e is just making the matters worse with the Roles, which basically tweak characters to min/max one way.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23144814)

Uhh, I think you might have missed 1st & 2nd ed. AD&D and 3rd. ed. D&D where you *also* couldn't make a reasonable swashbuckling character as a rogue, fighter, ranger, or whatever. In fact this is what came up any time a player wanted to go outside the box class-wise, or try any interesting complex combo without getting into the terrible multiclassing rules. It doesn't sound like 4th ed. is an improvement, but it seems to be following the same trend.

On the matter of 4th ed. in general... come on people. It's called a money grab. IF it's a fun game, might as well play it, but it's not like morals and ethics come into play.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (2, Insightful)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145406)

You're exactly right. I'm afraid that I can't see sckeener's point at all; in 3E a fighter who didn't wear armour was crazy, unless you started getting into Prestige Classes. And 3E rogues *did* get trap related class features automatically, although you could choose to not exploit them by neglecting the Search and Disable Device skills.

And Prestige Classes was basically WotC's way of developing a list of several thousand Approved Character Concepts. And if you didn't like the way they'd statted your concept, or it was missing... well, sucks to be you.

That's why I prefer systems with weakly-typed characters. I'm ok with having a few archetypes (no more than a half-dozen) as long as they're very flexible and easy to customize. In that respect, I think I'll like 4E better than 3.x (at least for a while); the focus will be back on customizing a relatively small toolkit to fit your concept, rather than searching through the books for a pre-gen concept that you want to play. The D&D tradition, however, is for strongly-typed characters. I hope they move away from that.

Also, it looks like there are no more "no choice" classes like the 3.x Monk, Paladin, or Ranger. Good riddance, I say; no matter what class I play, I want to be distinct from other characters of that class.

Finally: limited-use powers for everyone, not just the wizard? Awesome! Finally classes other than wizards have tactical decisions to make!

There are things that about 4E that I don't like the look of. The tactical combat mechanics and related class features aren't one of them.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (1)

memfrob (157990) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145522)

In 3rd edition you would have run into similar problems with the fighter...but not so with the rogue.

...while of course, in 2nd Edition you could be flexible with either a Swashbuckler Fighter (Swashbuckler Kit from The Complete Fighter's Handbook [flash.net] ) or a Swashbuckling Rogue (half a dozen kits from The Complete Thief's Handbook [flash.net] ), with whatever skills you like.

For that matter, if you wanted to tweak the armour and weapon proficiencies even further, the Player's Option [flash.net] books allow more customization than you might have been aware of, rendering classes almost completely into custom characterizations.

I'm not entirely certain why everyone seems to think their only options are a poor 3e, a mediocre 3.5e, or a disastrous 4e... all three were ruined by the WoTC CCG-style marketing.

IMHO. :)

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (2, Informative)

2short (466733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145716)

"Here's my example: say you want to play a swashbuckler or a duelist, does a fighter fit?"

You want a Ranger; it is (or can be) exactly what you're describing.

"4e is just making the matters worse with the Roles, which basically tweak characters to min/max one way."

If Roles do anything besides group classes for ease of table-of-contents ordering, I haven't seen it.

I find it interesting how many people declare how horrible 4E is in such specific terms, when they clearly haven't played it. If you think 3E is the greatest RPG system ever, you may not like 4E. It's different than 3E.

But I and everyone I know who has actually played 4E with a good GM will tell you one simple feature that puts 4E over the top: It's more fun.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23144356)

The roles of "tank/healer/nuker" have always been in D&D. The creation of these roles is fundamentally what character classes are all about. It is pretty basic to RPG game design, table top or not. WOTC has just decided to publicly call a spade a spade.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23145266)

it's a complete destruction of the core values of D&D and most role playing games in that it moves it almost entirely to a "WoW" format. Where each so-called class is now one of a role filler as in tank/healer/cannon.
If anything, this is a return to core D&D principles. Sure, the roles have never been explicitly named before, but the original fighter/thief/magic-user/cleric team worked along the same lines.

there is now aggro and everyone can heal themselves...
This is misleading, there's no "threat table" telling the DM who the monster should attack, nor is there a single ability that compels a monster to attack (or avoid) a specific character. The defender classes (fighter and paladin) have some abilities that make it painful for monsters to ignore them, but the decision to do that or not is still left entirely to the DM. Characters can also get a "second wind" once per encounter which restores some HP, but this isn't healing, and no DM worth their salt would present it that way, as HP have always been an abstract number and not an indicator of how much raw physical punishment you can take.

You're welcome to switch to or ignore the new edition as you see fit, obviously, but at least judge it on its actual merits, not secondhand misrepresentations of it.

There is NO AGGRO in 4e (1)

cbpye (1097219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145538)

Wizards has stated this on several occaisons, and I've played through the first-level 4e adventure (released at the D&D Experience) with several friends. There is no aggro mechanic in 4th edition, and those who continue to insist that there is are either uninformed, ignorant, hopelessly stupid or trolling.

Example: a Paladin can use a power that will deal damage to a monster when it attacks someone other than the Paladin. This "encourages" the monster to focus on the Paladin, but it's still ultimately the DMs decision what the monster will attack. At the same time, fighter's have a "power" that gives them a free Attack of Opportunity should their designated foe attack an ally.

On a side note: fourth edition characters are very much more powerful than third edition characters. This is because the monsters are much, MUCH more dangerous in fourth edition. The first encounter in the first-level demo pits a party of 6 level-one PCs against two level-two hobgoblins. Each goblin had a high attack bonus, 40+ HP (the average character had about 20 to 22), and dealt 1d10+STR damage. If they hit you, your move speed would be slowed to two squares until the hobgoblin's next turn.

The penultimate encounter of this adventure was absolutely absurd. I'll not be complaining about any perceived "WoW-ishness" (and I'm a WoW player of 3+ years), but much of the combat flavor is over-the-top.

Highlight of the adventure: the paladin had fallen, and the cleric would follow within one more turn. He was about to be flanked by two skeletal assailants and I, the Eladrin ranger, used my daily power ("Split the Tree") to destroy both skeletons at once. It was over-the-top, but it was one of those epic moments that an artist would dedicate a page-and-a-half to in a comic book.

As much as I enjoyed the demo, however, these announced licensing changes do have me concerned and worried, and my ultimately leave me disgusted.

Re:4e is a piece of crap... (1)

2short (466733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145942)

"No more, well I'm a fighter but specialize in damage..."

That's funny, because I'm playing 4E, and well, I'm a fighter but specialize in damage...

Jumping to conclusion based on one interpretation (3, Informative)

Blue23 (197186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23142826)

I think this is a more complete story. D&D 3ed had two licenses. A open source one called OGL, and a trademark related one called d20STL that gave access to IP/PI but was more restrictive. The new GSL replaces the d20STL but is rumored to be a bit more open, and they aren't doing an OGL.

The announcement mentioned "mutual exclusivity", which some are reading as "one product can not be licensed under both OGL and GSL", but one publisher said on ENworld that they think it's a per-company not per-product. We haven't heard any confirmation either way.

It could be that this is bad, but right now it's just FUD until we have clarification.

Cheers,
=Blue(23)

Re:Jumping to conclusion based on one interpretati (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144384)

The announcement mentioned "mutual exclusivity", which some are reading as "one product can not be licensed under both OGL and GSL", but one publisher said on ENworld that they think it's a per-company not per-product. We haven't heard any confirmation either way.

They've been very specific with the license regarding individual products' mutual exclusivity. Personally, I think that the per company thing is a little ridiculous and probably not correct, especially since they have been very specific about individual products. WotC probably just doesn't want to rush to dispel that guy's illusions as they fit perfectly with their druthers.

Not 100% Clear (4, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143282)

In general, that's a very good summary of what's blown up over the weekend (WOTC made an announcement that a GSL would be coming last Thursday). However, a couple things to keep in mind:

- WOTC spokespeople have made conflicting and contradictory statements and backtracking on their plans since last November. First there was to be a revised OGL, then a GSL with publisher buy-in of $5,000, then no GSL, now GSL with no buy-in, etc.

- WOTC hasn't officially confirmed the "poison pill" clause yet (publishing for 4E prohibits you from any more Open Game License publishing). This was related second-hand by Clark Peterson, the well-regarded head of Necromancer Games (and a lawyer), as being delivered to him by WOTC staff members. Two WOTC spokespeople have been posting in the same thread over the weekend, but have ambiguously neither directly confirmed nor denied that statement.

- No one's seen the actual new license yet. WOTC has been saying all year long that it was within a week of being released. Clearly the GSL is intended to be far more restrictive than the OGL (one thing they've been consistent on is that it must directly support the Dungeons & Dragons brand, that it restricts product types, has a community standards clause, is revocable by WOTC, etc., none of which existed in the OGL). But once again after all the riot with the new announcement last week, the speaking Brand Manager for WOTC revealed Saturday that he *still* hadn't received the actual text of the license!

- Physical D&D 4E books are at the printers, to be released in June. A true conspiracist would think that the ongoing confusion might be WOTC FUD to delay third-party publisher business plans until 4E has already been purchased widely by the customer base. (But I think that's a low-probability bet.)

So what's coming out of WOTC is pretty messed up. My observation is that it's been clear since January that WOTC was going to take some shot at attacking the Open Game community. I'm guessing it's at least 80% likely that this company-wide "poison pill" restriction is in fact present in the new GSL. But everything that's come out of WOTC so far this year on the issue has turned out to be incorrect and later retracted. So we'll see about this latest one.

Re:Not 100% Clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23143530)

Speaking about the books being at the printers, what's up with there not being any leaked versions on TPB? They've got be be using some electronic form for the books that could be leaked. It would be nice to get a jump start on being able to use the material before the books become available.

Re:Not 100% Clear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23143876)

AEG had several dual system books with mechanics for both D20 and L5R 2nd edition.

I think WotC may just be trying to prevent 3.5/4th E books with mechanics for both systems. This would make quite a bit of sense given that the license allows the product to use the D&D trademark.

The standard solution (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143554)

It sounds like paizo.com has gone for the standard open source solution. Fork your own version from the previously licensed product. Since this is going to get support from other pissed-of companies it has the potential to become the majot player, just like Joomla [joomla.org] vs Mambo [mambo-foundation.org] .

Re:The standard solution (1)

moorewr (12466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144646)

I think Paizo's motives are simpler, and have little to do with the STL question. They know there will be a long-term demand fro v3.5 products from legions of gamers like myself who don't go to 4th edition. I clung to 1st edition for 20 years.. so I expect to sue 3.5 for ages yet.

It's just smart business for Paizo to pick up a part of the market abandoned by Wizards.

Please God, learn them to link (0, Offtopic)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143602)

The post says:

Now, however, Wizards has stated that any company hoping to publish products for their new edition must agree to discontinue any currently open licensed products and produce no further open products at all Dungeons & Dragons related or not.


With "Wizards has stated" linked to where they said this.

Can people please go read about Hypertext [wikipedia.org] ? You know, as in Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP?

Hypertext works by linking concepts to further information about those concepts. So, for example, if you're writing a sentence about Ford Mustangs, and you have a page with further information on Ford Mustangs, then the words "Ford Mustang" are what you actually link. You do NOT link "Here is a page about..." or (God, help us), "Here". If you link it at all, "Here" should only link to "#". And no, please don't link "page" either, unless you're defining what a page is.

Dear WotC, if this is true then DIAF (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23143760)

The OGL was the reason I bought D&D 3E, Traveller T20, Call of Cthulhu D20, and a bunch of other books.

I've seen too many good gaming systems and worlds die because the publisher lost interest. Many of them were from TSR. The way I saw it, D20 OGL guaranteed that even if WotC decided to kill the game (which in the case of CoC D20 they did), there would still be the option of community and independent support, and I'd be able to use the SRD to get new players up and running.

So if this rumor turns out to be true, I will not touch 4E. And I hope that all the 3rd party companies leave it alone and stick with 3E and D20 as well.

4E GSL vs OGL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23143782)

This article is full of half truths, lies, and complete misinformation.

OGL - Does not give WotC any benefit anymore. It is not comparable to Microsoft with XP and Vista, because you don't have to buy WotC products to use the OGL, but you have to buy windows to use the software (unless you steal windows which is a crime).

So stop bringing up useless and completely wrong comparisons.

As for what WotC does with the GSL, while I think its great that they are going to support 3rd party, they are in no way obligated to. It can and will benefit them, but they have learned from their big mistakes with the OGL. Mainly that they released their hard work and other people copied it in such a way as to take away from their market share instead of boost it.

Oh and for the completely mis-informed who think 4E is like Wow, that is old news and been debunked hundreds of times all ready. Find a better analogy. IF you like it play it, if you don't then play something else. Though try finding ANY major RPG that has support 3rd party like DnD and I will be impressed, since basically no other major RPG manufacturer even allows 3rd party.

Re:4E GSL vs OGL (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145114)

I think its great that they are going to support 3rd party, they are in no way obligated to.


Of course they are. Sure, it's a commercial organisation, but that doesn't give them the right to do what they want. Cinemas are commercial organisations, but they can't tell disabled people not to come in because they can't be bothered making things work for them.

It's the same with anything that becomes a part of society: once some people have and enjoy it, the rest are entitled to participate to. That applies to other companies who might make add-ons as well: if there's a good ecosystem of products built up around something, that benefits everyone. If there's a product which has the vast majority of gamer's attention, and no one else is able to develop add-ons for it, then it becomes a monopoly, which hurts everyone... except that company who will rake in profits for a while and then ditch the whole product in favour of a newer one that can make more cash still.

There's no legal obligation, perhaps. But there is definitely an ethical obligation there, for people who choose to acknowledge it.

Re:4E GSL vs OGL (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146632)

Oh and for the completely mis-informed who think 4E is like Wow, that is old news and been debunked hundreds of times all ready.
The comparison to WoW and MMORPGs in general has been made by actual WotC staff. If nothing else, "all classes have spell-like abilities" pegs it 100%. (The rest can be abscribed to all MMORPGs trying really hard to be "MMO-D&D")

Though try finding ANY major RPG that has support 3rd party like DnD
Head down to your local bookstore. Tell me the "major" games you see.

Last time I checked, there was D&D, Storyteller, and d20-variants like Mutants and Masterminds.

Storyteller has a "Storyteller d20" book written by Monte Cook.

D&D has, well, d20.

And the d20 variants often have explicit "this is how our system works" trademarks, similar to d20.

Find me a major RPG that DOESN'T support third-party products, and is still a viable business. All of the "major" RPG manufacturers went d20 ten years ago, and are either contractually obligated to stay open, or will go for WotC's GPL.

WOTC==IBM==SUN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23143830)

Serves them right for trying to profit from Open Source principles.

This is what happens when big business tries to embrace an Open philosophy - they realize they can't make money from it, and give up. It's just happened faster in the RPG industry than it has in the software industry.

Re:WOTC==IBM==SUN (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146674)

This is what happens when big business tries to embrace an Open philosophy - they realize they can't make money from it, and give up. It's just happened faster in the RPG industry than it has in the software industry.
Oddly enough, if WotC got over their NIH-fetish and released a "Open D&D" book that borrowed from their licencees, they'd likely as not make money with it. Especially if they tried it with their actually valuable IP -- Eberron, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, etc.

WotC backing out of the OGL is a case of a compromise destroying a vision, not the vision being unworkable.

Better games? (2, Informative)

Cheetahfeathers (93473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144000)

With 4th looking to be the Vista edition of RPGs, will this be enough to get RPG players to change games? Will alternate fantasy games such as the Riddle of Steel and Burning Wheel see an upsurge? I can hope. Those games go to show that you don't need to spend several million to make a highly polished game. The Riddle of Steel has the most realistic combat of any game, and has won awards based on that. It still has interesting fantasy and story aspects, and the Spiritual Attribute rules are great! Burning Wheel is one of the most Tolkien-esque in feel of any RPG, including many Middle Earth RPGs. D&D was interesting in its day, but RPGs have moved way beyond it. We have games that have a lot better rules than D&D provides... let's use them! As a bonus, you'll spend less money on the books as well.

Have any other people here moved on past D&D and found other P&P RPGs more to their liking? What are they? What are some of the things you enjoy about them that's superior to what D&D offers?

Re:Better games? (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144726)

The problem with many of the alternate systems is that I have invariably found that while I often like the rules well enough, what I really want is a generic system that lets me create my own setting. I want flexibility. The ability to create my own worlds, classes, races and whatnot. In other words, D&D is a kernel, more than a complete system. Sure they've got some things that are neat and the default settings are nice, but sometimes rolling your own distribution is really cool.

Unfortunately, it's like Hasbro bought gentoo and doesn't know it. They think they bought Microsoft, but they didn't really. The discovery is leaving them a bit confused, and now they've spent millions of dollars developing a new version, only to realize that people still like the old version for some really valid reasons. People don't like change.

Re:Better games? (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145134)

Hmm. I have the opposite problem.

I have found over the years that a system which fits the setting is a thing of beauty. Generic rules... well, they never do seem to sit quite right.

Right now I have an idea for a setting that I think is awesome, and I'm trying to find a set of rules that covers most of what I want. I don't want to have to write a large rules system just to support the game elements I want to use.

Re:Better games? (1)

FrnkMit (302934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146436)

D&D imposes its own assumptions on game worlds.

Want a low-magic world centered on non-magical heroes, like most pre-D&D fantasy fiction? Chop out 3/4ths or more of the PHB. Better yet, write your own rules to make fighters cool (*cough*[I]Iron Heroes[/I]*cough*), because all you've got left are Fighters, Rogues, Barbarians, and maybe Rangers and Monks.

Want realistic heroes who don't shrug off dagger thrusts as they gain experience? Find a "grim and gritty" hit point and damage system "patch" on RPGNow, because it's not in the "kernel".

Those are the two big problems I have with D&D. That's why I find myself gravitating to "generic" or rules-light systems ... they're made for tinkering.

Re:Better games? (1)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144966)

Well, over the last few years, I haven't played any D&D (although a lot of it has been played *around* me).

What have I played?

Exalted is probably the big one. It's got the fantasy feel of D&D, but with a fresh and interesting setting that combines some aspects of Asian myth & pop culture (Celestial bureaucracy, Shinto-esque animism, oversized swords and mecha) with the tropes of Western & Mesopotamian classical epics. World-striding heroes, wars between the Titans and the Gods, and curses that worm into the hearts of heroes to slowly destroy the world. It's truly an awesome setting. Unfortunately we started to encounter mechanical problems at higher levels of experience. What does it offer that D&D doesn't? Plenty. Like most WW games, only about 20%-30% of the character "crunch" is combat related; Exalted concentrates a lot on out-of-combat abilities and (melo)drama. The D&D4E buzz has been, to me, conspicuously silent on the parts of roleplaying that aren't tactical monster-slaying exercises.

I've also played a fair bit of Alternity, specifically a space opera campaign in an original setting. Now there's a system that didn't deserve to die. I still enjoy it now. Obviously, compared to D&D, it has tech-ey flavour and interstellar scale. Mechanically, it has a relatively arithmetic-light core mechanic and very, very flexible character archetypes, heavily customized via the extensive skill list.

Things I've played a little bit of, here and there, include:
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. I played this for longer than I should have. I'm not impressed by it; the setting would be pretty cool with a great GM (which I didn't have) but the rules are simply awful. The only virtue they have is simplicity, but, in the name of all that's holy, random character generation was old hat in the eighties.

Mutants & Masterminds. d20 superheroes. Not bad, but character creation needs to be supervised with an iron hand by the GM in my opinion.

Starship Troopers. (Also d20). Entertaining within its seemingly limited scope; some quality control issues with the mechanical design & book editing but nothing that really ruined the game. A bit of a beer-and-pretzels game in my opinion.

Burning Empires. Based on the same mechanics as Burning Wheel, I particularly enjoyed this game due to the collaborative approach to world creation. It's great to get that sense of setting ownership that BE provides. However, something about the campaign just didn't quite gel and it fizzled out. Pretty great game though; I have it on my shelf. The production of the book is fantastic!

Werewolf: The Forsaken, one of the World of Darkness game line. I ran the introductory campaign pretty successfully, and then tried to run a homebrew campaign for a few sessions. My game wasn't a huge hit but I blame myself. I really like the thematics of Werewolf, although I would describe the mechanical quality of the Gifts (magical Werewolf powers) as "patchy" - about on a par with feat balance in the 3E d20 core (ie some very good, some very very weak).

I've also played Stargate: SG-1, which is d20. A pretty solid mechanical core (based on first ed Spycraft) but it doesn't emulate the TV show all that well combat-wise. It's incredibly hard to put down Jaffa and a lot of Earth weapons are disappointingly ineffective, particularly grenades.

I've got a copy of Shadowrun 4th Edition and most of the supplements, but haven't had/made an opportunity to play it yet. The rules look pretty slick but I am intimidated by the character generation. (But that's always been the way for me and SR). I'd love to play this, but only in a group that had similar expectations to me about what Shadowrun should be like.

Another game I've read but never played is Blue Planet. Now out of print, it has (in my opinion) quite a neat core mechanic, especially for damage, but more importantly it's an imaginative *hard SF* sci-fi setting. There's not enough hard SF in the world.

I've also tried to run the demo session for Weapons of the Gods a couple of times. It is without doubt the coolest kung-fu RPG I know. Very cool core mechanics (particularly The River), far more interesting than d20+bonuses vs DC. However I don't really feel up to GMing it and no one else I know is putting their hands up...

Re:Better games? (1)

FrnkMit (302934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146068)

Actually I moved past D&D back in the early 80s.

A few favorite systems:

- RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, and Basic Roleplaying: pretty much the same system,

- GURPS: character creation is a right pain, but after that it's smooth sailing. (Also a descendant of Steve Jackson's Melee/Wizard, which first lured me away from D&D.)

- FATE, especially its current incarnation [I]Spirit of the Century[/I]: a fast and light system that actually makes combat fun and interesting without giving other parts of the game short shrift.

- PDQ: a really lightweight game engine, with a more abstract "narrativist" approach to combat ... not really suited to grim-and-gritty settings, but it's beauty is its simplicity and flexibility.

Re:Better games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23146364)

Yes... I moved past D&D a long time ago. I describe D&D as the McDonalds of gaming. While I sometimes like a Big Mac, deep down I know it isn't really that good. When I can't find anything else to eat or just want something I know, then I will eat at McDonald's.

That is the same way I look at D&D. So many games have made advancements in mechanics in player interaction and the GM's role. If you look at games like Spirit of the Century (which is not OGL even though the article states so), Burning Empires/Burning Wheel, and all the other indies games, they are trying to do something different and interesting. D&D is actually a step backwards with its grid map. RPG's managed to find their way out of the Dungeon environment a long time ago, but for some reason, Hasbro/WOTC kicked us back into it. D&D is a step backward.

Ironically though, the new rules actually look good to be, mainly because they are leaving behind all that stupid "D&D mechanic stuff" (i.e. memorize spells, inconsistent roll resolution, etc.) They have finally decided to throw out all that stuff that never made sense in D&D 2nd Ed, which they kept solely because it was "D&D".

Re:Better games? (1)

FrnkMit (302934) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146798)

[I]Spirit of the Century[/I] technically uses the Open Gaming License, but it has no actual content from the d20 SRD. It just uses the text of the OGL for compatibility with FUDGE (which does the same), and in turn to make the core of the FATE system free for others to build upon.

See http://zork.net/~nick/loyhargil/fate3/fate3.html for the license (and the entire FATE 3/SotC SRD, as it currently exists).

gn4)a (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23144062)

Much as Windows = 36400 FreeBSD though I have never despite the Bloodfar7s. FreeBSD expulsion of IPF

old is new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23144774)

First, to all who are thinking or have stated that
this seems like a bad move on WotC's part...
This is obviously not the first time anyone's ever
said that. How many of you had invested hundreds
of dollars in Magic: the Gathering cards before
they announced (the first of several times) they'd
no longer be supporting tournaments featuring
cards more than two years old (approximation of
the original "Classic" format) ?

I think that what Wizards has seen is that TSR
was producing too many competing core rules
formats in the 80s (D&D, AD&D, Gamma World, etc),
and wants to restrict the line so it doesn't
fragment the base. And it's possible that Paizo's
announcement may reflect some behind-the-scenes
discussions about continued Edition 3.5 support
by trusted partners (remember, Paizo was the
publisher of Dragon and Dungeon magazines until
last August).

Easy solution (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144958)

If this is all true, there's one very simple solution.

Phase 1: Spin off company to handle 4ed-based games, while the original company continues working on 3ed-based games.
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Profit!

Spawn off a sister company that makes 4e material (1)

freejamesbrown (566022) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144992)

License to sister company the rights to the relevant IP of your company. Move on. Pretty annoying, but cheaper than fighting Hasbro. Go wiki rpg!

The future of Third Edition? (1)

bytor4232 (304582) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145076)

I'm a long time RPG player, for at least 20 years. I was on the fence with 4e, given my years of support of WOTC and D&D in general. I love third edition to death, however at best I was going to pick up the players handbook if I found a 4e seat. At worst I was going to live and let live, and continue with my beloved 3rd edition. Now, I am not so sure. I really can't, in good conscious, support 4e. Not as a Linux advocate, and certainly not as a gamer. This move is as bad, if not worst, than anything Microsoft has ever pulled.

So it looks like the debate for me has been settled, I'll be sticking with 3rd edition. The only way I'll jump ship is if, for some odd reason, I can't get a 3e game off the ground, or find a seat. With Paizo continuing the Third Edition legacy with Pathfinder RPG, that may not ever be an issue.

resent purchase? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23145116)

"and Wizards of the Coast is owned by Hasbro (a recent development likely not unrelated to this change of heart)."

You mean that buy out that happened in 1999? Yup, real recent... Oh, and the OGL program started in 2000.

That statement right there makes me question the credibility of the article.

Infinite Spheres (1)

Dillenger69 (84599) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145520)

A couple buddies of mine have a gaming system they came up with over the years. They call it "Infinite Spheres".
It used to be a massive binder but has since been reduced to a nice database plus front end.
It encompasses all the best features of all the gaming systems they've used for the last 30 years and is open ended.
You can play any race you can reasonably spec out from classic D&D races to a guy from Dark City or a Cenobyte from Hellraiser.
If a race isn't already in the DB, all you need to do is enter it and someone else can play it later.
It's all between the players and the GM as to what will be allowed. They work with magic as well as technology.

D&D seems awfully restrictive after using this system.
It's the best system I've played yet.

Summary is WRONG (3, Interesting)

halivar (535827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23145554)

Now, however, Wizards has stated that any company hoping to publish products for their new edition must agree to discontinue any currently open licensed products and produce no further open products at all â" Dungeons & Dragons related or not
Absolutely incorrect, and the linked post from Scott Rouse doesn't even support that conclusion. You will not be allowed to mix GSL mechanics with OGL mechanics in the same product. IOW, you can't have a book that is both 4E GSL and 3.5 OGL. This is a far cry from the sensationalism written up here.

To quote Scott Rouse [enworld.org] further:

Publishers can put out a product under the OGL - OR - they can put out a product under a 4E GSL.

3.x or 4E

Not both.

One or t'other.

By "mutual exclusivity" I mean, different versions of the same product cannot occur at the same time.

unconfirmedrumor (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146070)

can someone please tag this with unconfirmedrumor or something?

Not Surprising... (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146358)

This is exactly the kind of thing that Wizards of the Coast has always been known for. It doesn't matter if you're replacing "banned" Magic cards every year, being muscled out of the wargaming scene, or any number of other scenarios. This is what they do.

Who cares... (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146422)

I've been playing/DMing AD&D since it came out. I still enjoy that system much more than 3 or 3.5. The more recent WoTC rules are bloated and overly complex. Whats funny, is the reaction we get when my group plays our 2nd ed campaign at a local game store. We're surrounded by other groups playing various RPG's, boardgames, etc;. They give us these sidelong looks because were playing some kind of "ancient relic" of the RPG world... But were into the action and having a blast while the other game tables are taking forever to setup, and taking forever to look up rules while they play...

Re:Who cares... (1)

jsepeta (412566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146624)

My feelings exactly. I just started a version 1 campaign with my 8 year old daughter and am planning on bringing in my girlfriend's 10 year old. I already own thousands of dollars in books and maps and dice and modules for v1, why buy v2, v3, v3.5, v4? the main purpose of these new versions is to bring in more cash for WOTC -- it's their problem not mine if I decide to keep gaming on v1.

The main thing to remember is that FRPG's are supposed to be fun. Sure it's an immersive world and you need a certain amount of structure to guarantee that things are fair for the players. But when Anastasia swings her mace at an Orc, will she have more fun if it's a version 4 Orc than a version 1 Orc? Puh-lease.

Too early to know WHAT this means. (1)

Silicon Jedi (878120) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146590)

It's WAY too early for this. This is mostly based of of some speculation and off handed comments and there has been no official clarification nop the "exclusivity".

this FP for GNAA (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23146826)

indecision and me if you'd like, website. Mr._ de there arBe
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