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NymTevlyn
August 16th, 2007, 04:06
http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/welcome

kalmarjan
August 16th, 2007, 04:28
Ohh.... That had better be a joke.

<grr>

Sandeman

joshuha
August 16th, 2007, 04:31
Nope Paizo and Enworld have all but confirmed it. Boards and images have been taken from Wizards site before they were locked or brought down.

*edit*

http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=204119

According to this it looks like there will be a D&D Online Game Tabe as well as no OGL, have to apply to licensing direct from Wizards.

If that ends up being true I am most likely moving on to a different system for my fantasy gaming but I will wait until more is confirmed and I read more about it. It seems to soon for me and a grab by Hasbro to capitalize too quickly on the D&D line.

NymTevlyn
August 16th, 2007, 04:51
I guess it's high time for me to buckle down and finish writing my Simplicity RPG System.

kalmarjan
August 16th, 2007, 04:53
It is not like everyone has to run out and buy the books though... I for one KNOW that I cannot afford it. Lets see.... Food for Son, or D&D 4E?

Real hard choice. LOL

Sandeman

joshuha
August 16th, 2007, 04:59
Well we also don't know when the actual product would be released. It could be another year from now for all we know and this is just the announcement. We just need to recruit as many people to Fantasy Grounds as we can and hope it flourishes under the current d20 OGL (which can never go away) and more importantly other Licensees.

If D&D Game Table becomes the "default" for D&D players (which it might not if it sucks) I would at least hope Fantasy Grounds could be where every other system goes too.

Griogre
August 16th, 2007, 06:00
Too early to worry yet. We'll have to see how the licences work. This just an anouncement.

Sigurd
August 16th, 2007, 06:33
I wonder if I will actually switch gaming systems? Its not like there are any obvious holes in D20.


Its going to take a lot for me to leave what I've already spent on this version.

Sigurd

Hamish
August 16th, 2007, 06:49
With a bit of luck the whole D&D 3.5ed rules will fall within the OGL when they release D&D4. Then we can finally fully automate it, publish it here on the boards, and keep FG2 to play it.

tdwyer11b
August 16th, 2007, 06:56
I wonder if I will actually switch gaming systems? Its not like there are any obvious holes in D20.


Its going to take a lot for me to leave what I've already spent on this version.

Sigurd

Funny, I seem to recall the same sentiment from gamers when the switch from 2e to 3e was going on.

NymTevlyn
August 16th, 2007, 07:04
There were plenty of holes in 2E. Names AC and THAC0. Non-player professions were another. 3E and 3.5 took care of most of those problems. True20 streamlined it. My only issue with 3.5 is how skills are handled.

tdwyer11b
August 16th, 2007, 07:28
What I was trying to get at was, ppl at the time were fine with having 2e and didn't see the need to switch up and have all the $100's of dollars of material become "obsolete" and unsupported.

When 4e is released, you'll be hearing plenty of exactly what you just posted when someone mentions 3e, trust me on that.

richvalle
August 16th, 2007, 14:01
The enworld thread has been updated with more info (release dates and more).

http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=204119

joshuha
August 16th, 2007, 14:19
"Digital Gaming Table, a program that allows you to play D&D using the Internet as your kitchen table, with a viewable play surface, dice rolling, virtual miniatures, and voice chat. Now you don't have to wait for your home gaming group to get together to play a game of D&D. You can still play your weekly face-to-face game, but now you can also play two or three more times a week by finding a game at the virtual table. Or, you might want to reconnect with your old gaming pals who long ago moved away-now you can all play together again on a regular basis! With this package, you get to play at the table 3 times per month."

Looks like the polls were right earlier when they were gauging interest in this. 3 times per month is not going to be much competition for Fantasy Grounds. Most likely if you want more than that you have to pay some subscription fee or per game fee. A good money making part on their end but I think FG will still be healthy.

Mellock
August 16th, 2007, 16:33
now you can also play two or three more times a week


you get to play at the table 3 times per month

Where does the discrepancy come from? Different packages? :confused:

richvalle
August 16th, 2007, 16:39
I thought it was 3 times per month. And you can keep 'only' 10 characters online at a time.

There is speculation that there will be different levels that you can subscribe too with higher levels giving you more games and more characters.

It also sounds like when you buy a 4th Ed DnD book you can purchase on-line access to that book by using a code from the book. i.e. Buy the 4th Ed of Complete Fighters for $35 and then pay $5 to be able to give feats from that book to your online characters. Something like that.

rv

Waldo Pepper
August 16th, 2007, 18:20
In case anyone missed it, the release date is May 2008, with two preview books coming out in December and January (yeah, buy a preview for $40 and then buy the real rule book in May :mad: ). I'm glad I don't really play D&D anymore. :p

Griogre
August 16th, 2007, 18:27
Previews are for those going to D&D experience in Feb where the first 4th Ed will be played, and of course those who can't wait for May - when the PH releases.

Griogre
August 16th, 2007, 18:30
Where does the discrepancy come from? Different packages? :confused:
The release is not the clearest on the Digital Game Table:



Digital Gaming Table, a program that allows you to play D&D using the Internet as your kitchen table, with a viewable play surface, dice rolling, virtual miniatures, and voice chat. Now you don't have to wait for your home gaming group to get together to play a game of D&D. You can still play your weekly face-to-face game, but now you can also play two or three more times a week by finding a game at the virtual table. Or, you might want to reconnect with your old gaming pals who long ago moved away-now you can all play together again on a regular basis! With this package, you get to play at the table 3 times per month.

Sounds like you get 3 per month and can upgrade to more is my guess.

NymTevlyn
August 16th, 2007, 18:41
Yeah, screw that. I'll stick to FG2.

Hamish
August 16th, 2007, 20:33
As I posted elsewhere.... there is probably going to be a 4th Ed OGL as well. So just another ruleset to create. :)

Waldo Pepper
August 16th, 2007, 20:38
A lot depends on how they write the new OGL - if licensing fees are involved for commercial uses (i.e., you're going to charge money for it), a lot of 3rd parties are liable not to produce stuff for the 4th edition. I can't imagine that DA would be making anything at all if they had to pay a sizable licensing fee in order to produce a 4th edition ruleset.

richvalle
August 16th, 2007, 20:47
You wouldn't have to pay a fee to do OGL would you? I mean, thats whats open about it.

Others are questioning this as well... I'm sure it will get sorted out in time.

rv

kalmarjan
August 16th, 2007, 22:27
A lot depends on how they write the new OGL - if licensing fees are involved for commercial uses (i.e., you're going to charge money for it), a lot of 3rd parties are liable not to produce stuff for the 4th edition. I can't imagine that DA would be making anything at all if they had to pay a sizable licensing fee in order to produce a 4th edition ruleset.

What makes you think that licencing fees are not the standard now? ;)

We will have to wait and see about what comes around with 4e. For now, there is a lot left to play with with 3.5, and there is something else aside from D&D...

<subliminal>SAVAGE WORLDS</subliminal>

Sandeman

Malovech
August 16th, 2007, 23:47
True20 already trumps anything Wizards creates. I'll just keep stealing their artwork and maps for my own purposes.

Sigurd
August 17th, 2007, 01:14
True20 looks very interesting, I even found a DM who... oh.


Hi Malovech....


Sigurd

NymTevlyn
August 17th, 2007, 01:18
There's some info coming out now about 4e. Racial levels, fighter "spells", I mean maneuvers... meh.

Thore_Ironrock
August 17th, 2007, 01:46
Hey guys ... thought I would chime in on this from Ground Zero ...

I heard about this on Wednesday ... and my initial reaction was ... so what.

Several people have come to me "bent out of shape" wondering if Fantasy Grounds and/or Digital Adventure is going to be effected by this ( :::cough::: Jason :::cough::: ), and my flat out answer is ... no.

The way I see it, anyone that uses Fantasy Grounds is likely not a HUGE fan of WOTC right now as it is, since you really can't put their product in FG, other than using the SRD. If they put out a product you can play online that 110% supports their new product, then all the power to them. There is no way they are going to license this to me or anyone else, and all of the other publishers out there that suddenly want to get their games online are going to turn to (me, hopefully) Fantasy Grounds.

Also, nearly everyone (one exception from a WOTC enthusist) we talked to today could have cared less about what WOTC was going to do, feeling pretty much the same way many are they people just dropped 100+ dollars for the core 3.5 books (plus whatever else) and were not going to dish out MORE within the next year.

In addition, if anyone has any "FEARS" that WOTC is going to revoke the current d20 license ... please relax. There is no way they can without getting sued about a million times. The won't have OGL for 4E, and only those with huge bankrolls are going to be able to do any sort of licensing with them (which probably means only computer gaming companies).

So basically ... everyone here has their opinion on what 4E means to them, but I have yet to hear that someone is *really* excited about it. In fact, one person said it was going to be a variation of the Star Wars Saga rules, and when he said it there was much venom in his voice.

Me ... I could care less.

Waldo Pepper
August 17th, 2007, 05:32
Thore,
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm curious though, have they officially announced the non-OGL format for 4th edition? It wouldn't surprise me but I haven't been able to find anything to confirm or refute those rumors.

Illrigger
August 17th, 2007, 09:03
Current info says that 4e will have an SRD and OGL just like now. But they also said that there's no 4e, so we won't know until after the core books are all out in July what exactly the deal is.

Personally, I like what they did in SW:SE, and I kinda welcome those changes in 4e if that's what they're doing. And if their character generator is good, and their VGT is well written (with things like light sourcing, personal field of vision and other hard to progam aspects of play), and the online portion atually works properly with new content from their new books and said content is available when the books come out, it might be worth the $10 per month for that function for a VGT.

(Note how many IFs there are there....)

That being said, a VGT will bite into one of their bread and butter items - miniature sales - so it will be interesting to see what happens there. Will they start putting codes on the bottom of the minis that you can input to "unlock" them on the VGT like they will the books? If they do, will I need to buy 10 goblin minis if I want to use 10 in my adventure?

Wanna start a pool on how fast keygens show up online to unlock the books in Gleemax? ;)

Mellock
August 17th, 2007, 10:41
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=welcome/conventions/gencon07

Bill Slavicsek and RPG Manager Chris Perkins talk about 4th edition. I spaced out twice out of boredom while they rambled on in that completely void-of-enthousiasm-manner. The longer it went on, the more I thought "I don't like or trust those guys, let's take a look at Paizo's Pathfinder".

How many marketing buzzwords could you spot?

richvalle
August 17th, 2007, 13:50
Wanna start a pool on how fast keygens show up online to unlock the books in Gleemax? ;)

I suspect each key will be unique and can only be used once. The problem with this (that someone else has already brought up) is some guy at a book store writting down the keys and giving them to friends.

Re the Char Gen. From what I've seen/heard its going to be restrictive in that you can only add things from WoTC and only those things you have paid for. So no adding feats from a book you haven't unlocked. And, no addind house ruled feats. I find this too restricive for my tastes.

rv

Thore_Ironrock
August 17th, 2007, 13:56
Thore,
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I'm curious though, have they officially announced the non-OGL format for 4th edition? It wouldn't surprise me but I haven't been able to find anything to confirm or refute those rumors.

Yeah, don't believe everything you're hearing. They could easily change their minds between now and then. :)

NymTevlyn
August 17th, 2007, 14:01
Damn, the more people post and the more I read about their Game Table, the more I realize how good of a deal FG2 is. Thank you SmiteWorks and here's a big hearty bugger off to WoTC/Hasbro.

mr_h
August 17th, 2007, 15:00
This video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWZ2WdeTo1M&mode=related&search=) shows off some of the Virtual Table Top. I like the part where you can make your character, then drop him in as a mini.
The rest of the virtual table top seems to have a few extra graphical options, like animation, and light sources linked to objects/players....but the basics seem to be all things that FG2 can handle.

Granted, there might be more...but I dont think this is gonna take the place of FG :)

richvalle
August 17th, 2007, 15:32
Hey, thanks for that!

I like the 3d'ish look of the map and being able to rotate it around. Not that it would be very usefull in a game... but it looks nifty.

I do like that lighting effect. Very nice.

The char generater where you create your character's image looked fun as well.

rv

Kalan
August 17th, 2007, 15:43
Personally...if I wanted to play an MMO, I'd play one. This reminds me too much of an MMO, and it didn't really show (at least not as far as I could see) any actual game play, nor any thing along those lines...

It looks pretty - but that's all it is right now in my mind - eye candy.

Waldo Pepper
August 17th, 2007, 15:50
The subscription model is the key to financial viability for these types of products: Most of the revenue stream from RPGs comes from sales of the core books and those stagnate after a few years. Supplements do not generally make money (at least not enough to keep people employed). Thus, a subscription model in which people pay on a monthly basis for new features and updates is ideal since it's a constant stream of $$$. The problem I foresee is that the system will quickly become weighed down by the massive amount of bloat involved in having a constant stream of new stuff coming out to maintain people's interest in in renewing their subscriptions.

richvalle
August 17th, 2007, 15:56
Yeah. I've worried about Smiteworks in that regard. They are selling to a nitch of a nitch (role players willing to play on VT and willing to pay for FG). At some point they are going to run out of people to sell too.

As for eye candy... a lot of people have bought FG because of the rolling dice. Thats pretty much eye candy too. :)

I'm not saying I'd jump FG to do it or pay a monthly fee. Just pointing out the stuff I saw and liked.

rv

Waldo Pepper
August 17th, 2007, 16:11
Uggh, at first glance the online stuff looks cool until you realize that it's basically just a dumbed down version of NWNs - the emphasis once again is on pushing minis around the table, killing stuff, and looting the corpses. No offense to anyone who plays that way (it is your game after all) but I can't help but shudder thinking about players spending hours dressing their avatar.

richvalle
August 17th, 2007, 16:14
I wonder how they do towns and outdoors. Is it only going to be usefull for dungeons?

Waldo Pepper
August 17th, 2007, 16:15
I'm sure eventually they'll have other elements for towns, etc. You could spend months just building maps and dressing your NPCs... oh joy! ;op

Sorontar
August 17th, 2007, 16:28
Buy an adventure module, input a key and voila you have the module to run without any work perhaps. All the dungeon maps, all the town maps, all the images and documents, all the NPCs and all the monsters?

That'd be nice for people new to the game who are going to run through the printed modules.

DM_BK
August 17th, 2007, 20:55
I am excited about all this news. This is good stuff. They have said almost nothing about actual 4th edition changes and I am already sold.

The only thing I am bummed about is pretty much every forum related to D&D is going to be worthless for the next 8+ months.... there has never been a larger group of people that hate change more then D&D players. Good god its 2nd to 3rd edition all over again.

The 2nd edition players kicked and screamed, vowed to never ever touch a 3rd edition book. Yet 3e and was progress and this shall be progress too.

I guess it was lucky of the FG folks to get FG2, finally out the door. Make what cash they can (and deserve) off of the effort. It served me mostly well and I thank them for that. I thanked them with my purchase...which was the thanks they were looking for.

Assuming this official VGT ends up being as well crafted as it appears.... well, you all can kick and scream all ya like but you know the end is going come for all the 3rd party VGT people. Hell at 3xs a month of free play it will even impact the freebees like OpenRPG.

And one last tip: if you can't afford to spend $100 in books every 5 or so years you really need to stop playing these games and focus on improving your lot in life. {I still used 1st edition materials that i have adopted so I can't count those books as wasted money.}

Sorry, I know the average D&D related forum denizen isn't gonna find my words any comfort but they needed said...mostly just venting about how crappy the future of all forum reading is going to be for some time to come.

tdwyer11b
August 17th, 2007, 21:17
I guess it was lucky of the FG folks to get FG2, finally out the door. Make what cash they can (and deserve) off of the effort. It served me mostly well and I thank them for that. I thanked them with my purchase...which was the thanks they were looking for.

Assuming this official VGT ends up being as well crafted as it appears.... well, you all can kick and scream all ya like but you know the end is going come for all the 3rd party VGT people. Hell at 3xs a month of free play it will even impact the freebees like OpenRPG.

First, you've made the assumption that all other VGT's are specifically used for D&D, which isn't the case.

Second, there are more than one VGT's that allow you to play free all the time.

Third, there needs to be competiton in the market. I'm pretty sure this is the reason why WotC is giving you the priveledge of playing free a few times a month.

Illrigger
August 17th, 2007, 21:18
Buy an adventure module, input a key and voila you have the module to run without any work perhaps. All the dungeon maps, all the town maps, all the images and documents, all the NPCs and all the monsters?

That'd be nice for people new to the game who are going to run through the printed modules.
The "buy it and use it" aspect of this model is the ONE thing about this that may sell it for me. As I said earlier, if I can buy a product and as soon as I get home plug it in and use it online (be it a new class, race, feat or an adventure), then that's value for your money.

However, if there's ANY lagtime, it's crap and that value goes out the window.

joshuha
August 17th, 2007, 21:19
Well I don't see doom and gloom for third party VTTs just yet. For one, its a subscription based model which will turn quite a few people away. Another, its ONLY D&D and Digital Adventures (and thus Fantasy Grounds) is getting support from other popular licenses like Savage Worlds, Castles and Crusades, Monte Cook's stuff, and more in the pipleline.

From the initial reads of the digital unlocking too, it seems each player will have to subscribe (the base Digital Insider package is $9.95 and that only nets you 3/month) and also its the codes in the books that unlock the options to include things in your sheet/game.

So if the DM wants to use a special Eberron monster as a figure/have the stats, he needs to have the Eberron book and use the code to unlock it for DI (which is unclear if there is a seperate fee for this). If a player wants certain feats from say Complete Mage (or whatever the 4E version is) then EACH player needs the unlock codes from their purchased books, otherwise its not available in digital interface.

That seems exessive to me and there are still a lot of unknowns that might make it prohibitive for most normal D&D players. Can you only use official D&D tiles for maps (that you have to purchase)? Can you only use monsters for books you have purchased? Does each player really have to buy every book they want a prestige class from, even if the DM owns a copy? How much more money per month is it for more than 3 sessions? If you stop paying your subscription do you lose access to all the Digital Versions of things you unlocked?

I am taking a wait and see approach and hell, if its all good enough, smooth, and not going to nickle and dime me to death, than I may do D&D there and everything else in Fantasy Grounds. But we'll see.

richvalle
August 17th, 2007, 21:25
Hi DM_BK.

There is actually quite a bit of infomation out there about what 4th ed is going to have. Not much of it is SOLID, but hints anyway. Check out the first post on this Enworld thread: http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=204119 Its a pretty good collection of the changes found so far.

I don't see why FG can't make the upgrade to version 4. They've said there will be an SRD which is what FG is based on now. From what I've seen about the WoTC site, I'd still rather have FG because its NOT tied to the WoTC books. Want to make a feat or create a new race/class? With WoTC I think you'll be out of luck. Even after you buy one of their books you'll have to pay extra to 'unlock' those feats, items, classes ect before you can use them. This is ON TOP of the $10/month you pay for the access.

One of us is wrong about what you get as well... I though the 3 games per month is what you get with a basic subscription and you might be able to get more by paying more.

Don't get me wrong... I'm somewhat excited by the idea of a new version. The rules changes they are talking about sound good. What I'll probably do is finish out my WLD campagin (about another 2 years) and then start buying 4.0 (or maybe 4.5?) books.

Or, if I don't like what people are saying about 4.0 at the time I'll just stick with 3.5 or take some ideas from 4.0 and make a mix.

Or just play Savage Worlds. :)

Later,

rv

NymTevlyn
August 17th, 2007, 21:52
I won't be partaking of any D&D Game Table bullcrap as long as it's a subscription model per game. That's just ridiculous. Maybe if it were something really cheap like $5 a month and there were plenty of DM's to run and players to play. Either way, I won't be buying into 4th edition. I don't see any need for improvement on 3.5 when I want to play D&D. If I want a simpler, streamlined game and I can play The Window (http://www.mimgames.com/window/).

richvalle
August 17th, 2007, 22:09
Well, just because its not for you and me Nym Tevlyn doesn't mean its not for everyone. :)

Besides, this could be good for FG (and others). If people start on WoTC VT and make groups/friends but don't like the subscrition or the limitations they will look for other software to run... and there is FG just waiting for them! The perfect VT software. :)

rv

NymTevlyn
August 17th, 2007, 22:31
If Smiteworks is even allowed to create a 4.0 ruleset for FG2. Wizards might just put in a clause that disallows that specifically.

Waldo Pepper
August 17th, 2007, 22:33
I keep seeing the words "licensing fee for commercial products" pop up in various threads though at this point it's still a rumor.

Traygin
August 18th, 2007, 04:23
.
.
.

And one last tip: if you can't afford to spend $100 in books every 5 or so years you really need to stop playing these games and focus on improving your lot in life. {I still used 1st edition materials that i have adopted so I can't count those books as wasted money.}

Sorry, I know the average D&D related forum denizen isn't gonna find my words any comfort but they needed said...mostly just venting about how crappy the future of all forum reading is going to be for some time to come.

Also on that note, the very same people that say they cannot afford $100 every few years to buy books will still gladly hand over $180 every year to play Wow or D&D online and others...

NymTevlyn
August 18th, 2007, 05:05
Also on that note, the very same people that say they cannot afford $100 every few years to buy books will still gladly hand over $180 every year to play Wow or D&D online and others...
Yeah... because they're totally the same thing... :rolleyes:

There's a much larger and longer lasting social aspect to online gaming and it's accessibility. There's also no continuity issues in those games. You can log on every night for a couple hours and still have fun, whereas with D&D or other RPG campaigns, it's far more unlikely to find any group or game or online service like that, that really does what a good DM'd game is supposed to.

It becomes nothing more than a combat simulator with loot. An MMO.

Traygin
August 18th, 2007, 05:26
Yeah... because they're totally the same thing... :rolleyes:

There's a much larger and longer lasting social aspect to online gaming and it's accessibility. There's also no continuity issues in those games. You can log on every night for a couple hours and still have fun, whereas with D&D or other RPG campaigns, it's far more unlikely to find any group or game or online service like that, that really does what a good DM'd game is supposed to.

It becomes nothing more than a combat simulator with loot. An MMO.

So very true :o

maverixx
August 18th, 2007, 12:59
fg2 is the best

heruca
August 18th, 2007, 18:22
Assuming this official VGT ends up being as well crafted as it appears.... well, you all can kick and scream all ya like but you know the end is going come for all the 3rd party VGT people.

I disagree. WotC will introduce VGTs to a lot of people who have never even heard of VGTs before. Everyone who likes the idea of gaming online with a shared battlemap but gets turned off by their subscription scheme and price is likely to look for alternatives. Third-party commercial VGT developers may actually increase their sales, in the long run. I suspect that the free VGTs will reap the most benefit, though.

Valarian
August 20th, 2007, 08:46
fg2 is the best
I disagree. In my opinion, FG2 is the nicest in usability and looks. The dice options in GRIP still trump FG2 in functionality without doing some severe hacking in LUA for custom dice. The addition of LUA has enabled Fantasy Grounds to equal GRIP in terms of scripting capability.

Thore_Ironrock
August 22nd, 2007, 15:51
If Smiteworks is even allowed to create a 4.0 ruleset for FG2. Wizards might just put in a clause that disallows that specifically.


That what I need to find out Nym. They can OGL it all they like, but the question comes down to what format can it be translated into. For those of you who may not know, the original draft of the d20 OGL did include miniatures. Then suddenly, the next version excluded them because WOTC had big plans for miniatures in their product models. They could easily exclude software in the next OGL, which is why I've said we'll have to wait and see.

If we're allowed to, Digital Adventures will translate v4 OGL to FGII.

Ramza0Tyr
August 22nd, 2007, 17:19
That what I need to find out Nym. They can OGL it all they like, but the question comes down to what format can it be translated into. For those of you who may not know, the original draft of the d20 OGL did include miniatures. Then suddenly, the next version excluded them because WOTC had big plans for miniatures in their product models. They could easily exclude software in the next OGL, which is why I've said we'll have to wait and see.

If we're allowed to, Digital Adventures will translate v4 OGL to FGII.
The wonders of boards and having similar conversations in more than one place! I posted a moment ago making the opposite assumption...that WotC would not deviate too much from the 3E OGL. We will have to wait and see whether they do or not.

(I will note that if they go the route of trying to be more limiting...I believe there are some prior court cases concerning software that would set a clear line of what they can do...so I remain optomistic. This is why I felt comfortable making the assumption I made.)

The post I referenced is here:
FG Ruleset for D20 SRD 4.0? (http://www.fantasygrounds.com/forums/showpost.php?p=46956&postcount=10)

In any event...only time will tell!

Later.

Griogre
August 22nd, 2007, 19:39
My guess is they will be more restrictive, how much is the big question. I think you will not see another d20 module for 4th ed like "The Pleasure Prison of the B'thuvian Demon Whore" (elite DMs will weep everywhere).

Tropico
August 22nd, 2007, 20:26
I disagree. WotC will introduce VGTs to a lot of people who have never even heard of VGTs before. Everyone who likes the idea of gaming online with a shared battlemap but gets turned off by their subscription scheme and price is likely to look for alternatives. Third-party commercial VGT developers may actually increase their sales, in the long run. I suspect that the free VGTs will reap the most benefit, though.

Totally agree here... if WOTC's VGT turns out a success, that's only a good thing for free / pay-once VGTs.

As in, you're a guy who's never even thought about online roleplaying. You woul dnever hear anything about any of them except for the extremely visible, massively-marketed WOTC VGT. You give it a try. You decide that you like it. A few months down the road you miss your games that month and still have to pay subscription. You get annoyed.

Then you hear some other VGTers talking about the other alternatives. Free playing? No subscription? other genres, other systems?? d20 3.5 even?

That's when you go looking, and that's when all the other VGTs will be waiting for you with open arms.

After all, WoW is massively successful. And yet, also, there's plenty of other MMORPGs who are making a nice cut out of the "fed up with WoW" market. Same thing will happen here.

Ramza0Tyr
August 22nd, 2007, 20:34
Totally agree here... if WOTC's VGT turns out a success, that's only a good thing for free / pay-once VGTs.
I agree with this sentiment entirely. More people will become aware. Some of them will be interested in systems other than d20, even if only for a change of pace. Like a virus, interest will spread...

Resistance is futile...

Later.

Ramza0Tyr
August 22nd, 2007, 20:40
My guess is they will be more restrictive, how much is the big question. I think you will not see another d20 module for 4th ed like "The Pleasure Prison of the B'thuvian Demon Whore" (elite DMs will weep everywhere).
:)

This is totally separate from the concern over the OGL terms relating to software, but...

It seems WotC is/are 'tormented' by the quality of the d20 products, as opposed to the OGL products. (There was a hope that they would hold the d20 products to a higher standard with their review terms in the d20 license.) This seems to be their focus, anyway, with respect to moddifying the terms of the OGL. So, their goal may be to be more restrictive in the 'quality control' sense.

Of, course, with all of that we can only wait and see. Between now and release they could throw the whole thing out the window and do something totally different. Fun!

If they do mangle the OGL such that everyone is scared of creating a ruleset for FG, I will definitely encourage folks to play it without the ruleset as you suggested in the other thread! I have certainly done this with Arcana Evolved. Others seem to have done it with many other systems...get the character sheet ready and then play! Who needs the rules in FG when you have them in the book! (Which, by the way, is certainly a strong reason for WotC to not try to restrict rulesets for the likes of FG.)

Later.

Tropico
August 22nd, 2007, 20:45
I agree with this sentiment entirely. More people will become aware. Some of them will be interested in systems other than d20, even if only for a change of pace. Like a virus, interest will spread...

Yeah it actually reminds me back of my line-cook days.. the first restaurant I worked in got another restaurant built across the street from us. A lot of jokes and a lot of "those guy suck" and "screw those guys" went around, especially from the General Manager himself.

Then, in my second restaurant where I worked, same thing happened. Same kind of stuff started to run around among the cooks. Then the General Manager of that restaurant (someone who I credit with teaching me almost all the maturity, responsibility and general 'how to be an awesome person' stuff I now today) made a special staff meeting for no other reason than to say, "Hey, you know those guys over there? The other restaurant? They don't suck. We like them. They're our partners. We and them, we're working together. We're not working to make this restaurant succesful as a place to eat any more: We're working to make this entire street successful as a restaurant district, for people to come every day." Sappy as it sounds I'll never forget that speech.

That street, by the way, was Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, and if you've ever been, then you'll know what I'm saying ;)

Griogre
August 23rd, 2007, 00:00
This is totally separate from the concern over the OGL terms relating to software, but...

They are separate, but the licenses flow from the same people and I think it would be foolish to think that they don't/won't consider quality, competition and future plans when they put these things together. Thore_Ironrock’s comment on miniatures and the OGL is very pertinent. I think quality problems with d20 are likely to cause not just a tightening of control on the d20 side and that is before you consider their online plans. *shrug* The only thing most of us can do and wait and see how WotC plays it.

Waldo Pepper
August 23rd, 2007, 16:49
This is a perfect time to try out a new system: Savage Worlds is much better than D20 IMO, especially for online games. Plus, converting stuff like monsters takes about 5 minutes and you can use all the fluff from your WotC books.

Thore_Ironrock
August 23rd, 2007, 17:37
This is a perfect time to try out a new system: Savage Worlds is much better than D20 IMO, especially for online games. Plus, converting stuff like monsters takes about 5 minutes and you can use all the fluff from your WotC books.

My thoughts exactly Waldo. I'll be the first to say that the Savage Worlds community is surprising me with its size as selection of games. Castle & Crusades is also gaining quite the following, swelled by those who are disenchanted with WOTC. It is for this reason we're very excited about our upcoming rulesets. Personally, I haven't played a "true" WOTC product since I converted Sunless Citadel for CMP, and I can say I don't miss it at all.

Illrigger
August 23rd, 2007, 17:39
This is a perfect time to try out a new system: Savage Worlds is much better than D20 IMO, especially for online games. Plus, converting stuff like monsters takes about 5 minutes and you can use all the fluff from your WotC books.
That may not be the case with 4e; if you've seen SW:SE, you'll see that it's been "optimized" so that combat runs smoother and faster, and 4e is supposedly based on the same principle. I'm sure this was done partially to facilitate a better experience over VGTs.

I'm new to Savage Worlds (just picked up the book a week ago and have been too busy to look at it too closely), and I agree it's a nice system. But 4e looks to be a system built from the ground up to support the quick gameplay that a VGT needs.

Now, whether or not it ends up sucking in order to meet that goal, we'll have to wait and see on that point. ;)

Waldo Pepper
August 23rd, 2007, 18:30
I hate to sound skeptical, I doubt 4E is being built from the ground up at all and it will likely be still shackled to many of the D20 mechanics because it can't afford to deviate too far from 3.5 or it will alienate existing players. I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying it out but I find the D20 system so clunky and uninspiring, I can't imagine how 4E is going to change that: WotC's model of system-creep in which every new supplement keeps adding to the system means that it gets more and more bloated as time goes on - the online aspects they're talking about make me worry that it's just going to be even worse because now people are paying for content and they're going to be under pressure to produce said content.

I really like the Eberron campaign setting, but it plays so much closer to what I envision it should be like using the SW system that I can't imagine ever going back.

Plus... for <$30 you can buy the SW rulebook (new edition is supposed to retail for $9.99!) and then pick up a horde of 3.5e D20 setting stuff cheap on Ebay in a few months...

richvalle
August 23rd, 2007, 18:47
I get the impresion that WoTC is taking the best ideas from other game systems and tacking them onto Dnd 4.0

Faster combat, getting something every level, having lots of options, being able to do something ever round, no (or easier) grapple...

I like the sounds of most of these. I want to see how they pull it off though. I'm SURE I'll buy the PHB when it comes out (actually pre-order it on Amazon probably) and read it. I'll hold off on the DMG and MM till I'm ready to DM a campaign in it.

rv

Tropico
August 23rd, 2007, 19:01
I've never seen anything that says SWSE actually has faster combat.

I've seen a lot of people that comment on how NPC creation is a lot faster thanks to improvements on how skills are handled and whatnot. And the general prep-time for the adventure is thus also a lot faster too, and less work on the GM.

However, I have yet to see anything anywhere that would actually say that the actual game, especially the actual combat, runs faster in any way. Personally I think people just extrapolate and generalize from the general 'faster prep' and 'faster NPCs' to 'faster game and faster combat'.

That said, I've never played it, so I can't say for sure.

And I have to agree that SW is currently wins the 'almost ideally suited to online' medal in my book.

richvalle
August 23rd, 2007, 19:26
WoTC is saying that DnD 4.0 plays faster. I can't find the quote right now but I can dig it up if you want.

One of the WoTC guys is running his game using the Beta 4.0 rules (such as they are) and says something about how much faster the turns move around the table.

Lets see, also alignment is changing. Sounds like AoO's are getting reworked or tossed. Skills are different. More feats/class abilities (getting one or the other every level?).

And yes, dm prep time reduced.

NymTevlyn
August 23rd, 2007, 20:06
Hah, faster my ***. I'd say the biggest delay when running combat in any game is the wishy-washy players that take forever to make up their mind or are too damn lazy to read what their spells do beforehand and wait until its their turn to pick a spell... by going through and reading all the ones they have.

richvalle
August 23rd, 2007, 20:33
There is a lot of truth in that. And if 4.0 is going to have MORE options on what to do each round, I don't see that as being faster.

Still, I'm always in favor of having options. Its the choices that make a game fun.

rv

Illrigger
August 23rd, 2007, 22:44
In our RL campaigns, what tends to slow things down is the sheer number of attacks and saves that need to happen once you get to mid-levels. The whole "OK, first attack hit, and killed him, so now I cleave at -4 due to this guy's special ability. OK, now the second attack, which is at -4 and of course -5 because it's a second attack" takes up a lot of time. By simplifying down to one or two attack rolls, limiting the modifiers, and doing away with things like DR and energy resistance, the game would go a LOT faster.

In the end, while more options does slow down the game, if the way they implement those options (getting back to the original basis of D20 - opposed checks), then the game will still move a lot faster.

NymTevlyn
August 23rd, 2007, 22:55
In our RL campaigns, what tends to slow things down is the sheer number of attacks and saves that need to happen once you get to mid-levels. The whole "OK, first attack hit, and killed him, so now I cleave at -4 due to this guy's special ability. OK, now the second attack, which is at -4 and of course -5 because it's a second attack" takes up a lot of time. By simplifying down to one or two attack rolls, limiting the modifiers, and doing away with things like DR and energy resistance, the game would go a LOT faster.

In the end, while more options does slow down the game, if the way they implement those options (getting back to the original basis of D20 - opposed checks), then the game will still move a lot faster.

I disagree. Player indecision is the biggest slowdown. Inattentiveness over FG is another.

Sederien
August 23rd, 2007, 23:31
Yeah... I'm going with NymTevlyn on this one.

I can no longer count the number of times I've stressed to players that it's absolutely imperative they be prepared for their turn in combat. And yet, I still get confronted from time to time with drawn out decisions (full minutes) that should have been made while other players were acting.

If the situation changes drastically, I'm more sympathetic, but it's otherwise quite frustrating.

Illrigger
August 23rd, 2007, 23:51
That's insane. How is ANY game system going to do anything about this? Even if the game were simplified to having two buttons to push, there's still going to be a time lag while players decide which of the two would be best at this particular moment, what one his character would push vs the other one which would be a better choice for metagame purposes, whether the other players will be pissed at him of he pushes the wrong one, and so on. Hell, even if you reduced the game to a single button that they HAVE to press (removing all choice from the scenario) there's still going to be the guy stuffing his face, the one that went to the bathroom, or the girl who is flirting with the guy across from her.

As long as we are playing with humans, all you can hope for is that the system lends itself to fast resolutions once the decision is made. If that's not good enough, there's always plenty of single player computer games out there that will respond without delay. Personally, when I'm playing an rpg I'd rather see a game that we play an hour out of every 4 and be with my friends than spend 4 hours grinding through as though they weren't there. Your playstyle must vary from mine.

Sederien
August 24th, 2007, 00:05
*laughing*

Oh, no game system can solve it. That's why it will always remain my source of frustration being a GM. (Comment limited to indecision by one player, not interaction between players.) If I can't keep my players involved when others refuse to act, it reduces everyone's fun.

That's why a good GM (and I say that loosely since there are -many- definitions to be such) has the experience and knowhow to deal with such situations.

richvalle
August 24th, 2007, 06:02
I'm going with Illrigger on this one. My players are 11th level now and its already getting bad with all the attacks, cleaves, buffs and modifires. My players pay attn and I rarely have to remind someone its their turn. I'll wait for 30 seconds or so before I gently remind them (via voice since we use it. If I remember right NymTevlyn does not... maybe that is a differance).

One of my playes spends about 1.5 to 2 min making his attacks because he sets up all the modifers as hot keys and it changes from round to round as new buffs take effect and old ones fade away.

I have seen hints that iritative attacks are going to be reduced or go away (or rather others have seen them and posted their comments about it). This would make the turns go faster around the table as each player is, mostly, only rolling once for attack and once for damage instead of (lets see... 3 attacks per round +1 for haste and +3 x 2 for the 2 spiritual weapons going... ) 10 attacks.

rv

Sorontar
August 24th, 2007, 09:44
or the girl who is flirting with the guy across from her.


Okay stop ! You take it too far into the realms of fantasy there, a girl at a D&D table, yeah right :D

NOTE: I actually DM'd a group of 5 in my last game, I felt like I was taking more than my fair share ;)

Tropico
August 24th, 2007, 12:28
It's pretty simple really:

Present the player with 43 different things that he can do in each round, none of which are particularly more advantageous than the other, then also have over 100 spells available to learn plus splats, then have the player memorize which of them are fullmoves halfmoves freemoves doublemoves and movemoves, then throw in an attack of opportunity system which too many exceptions and triggers to memorize, then exceptions to the triggers, and exceptions to the exceptions, then on top of it throw in extra attacks, some of which can or cannot be taken in a full or half move, some of them soming from the class table, some from feats and some from flanking.

Oh, and then throw in a monster that grapples.

... you seriously expect the player to not be indecisive? Come on, dude! In sales training they taught us that whenever people have more than 3 or 4 choices to make, they tend to freeze up. It's imperative to make the choices as clear-cut and as essential as possible.

D20 takes this around the opposite way to such an extreme measure, it's ridiculous.

If you can round up 4 or 5 veteran 5+ years experience under their belts, totally gung-ho players that have mastered the rules and never doubt themselves, then that's great, of course. You have awesome players. But it's laughable to expect the average-guy sitting at a table wanting to just have some fun, to measure up to that.

You say player indecisiveness has nothing to do with the system? I say it has absolutely everything to do with the system. It is, in fact, born from the system. It is a symptom, not a cause.

You ask what can a system possibly do to fix this? I say, play another system and find out. There are plenty of systems out there that offer simple, clear-cut, and fun decisions for players each round. Most of them are 'indie', but some aren't, and some have been mentioned already in the thread. And this whole topic is, in fact, why many gamers turn into raving fanboys of the other system once they experience it ;)

NymTevlyn
August 24th, 2007, 13:39
It's just a game and the DM isn't going to totally kill the part every time one character makes a bad decision. They may pay for it painfully, but TPK's are silly to expect.

And voice chat isn't going to do anything to speed it up either. There's been plenty of pnp games played at the table where one player would take forever to make a decision despite being egged on by the others. Don't forget, the DM in FG2 can beep players by ringing the little bell when you right click on their portrait.

Ramza0Tyr
August 24th, 2007, 14:03
I'm going with Illrigger on this one. My players are 11th level now and its already getting bad with all the attacks, cleaves, buffs and modifires.
...
I have seen hints that iritative attacks are going to be reduced or go away (or rather others have seen them and posted their comments about it). This would make the turns go faster around the table as each player is, mostly, only rolling once for attack and once for damage instead of (lets see... 3 attacks per round +1 for haste and +3 x 2 for the 2 spiritual weapons going... ) 10 attacks.
Quoted for truth. :)


...
You say player indecisiveness has nothing to do with the system? I say it has absolutely everything to do with the system. It is, in fact, born from the system. It is a symptom, not a cause.

You ask what can a system possibly do to fix this? I say, play another system and find out. There are plenty of systems out there that offer simple, clear-cut, and fun decisions for players each round. Most of them are 'indie', but some aren't, and some have been mentioned already in the thread. And this whole topic is, in fact, why many gamers turn into raving fanboys of the other system once they experience it ;)
What is described here is the 'paradox of choice' or 'analysis paralysis'. Psychology studies this particular issue. Someone who prefers rules light systems will state the claim as it was stated in the quoted post. Someone that prefers a fleshed out rules system will disagree with that description.

That being said, from what I have read concerning the issue of the paradox of choice, I do not believe that decisions in any particular round using the d20 system would give rise to the paradox of choice effect.

Finally, one last point. This is not directed at any particular poster. This is something I have seen grow recently here and on other boards I frequent. Everyone should remember that simply because you have experienced a thing in a certain way does not mean that others will have the same experience. Every individual poster has their bias and, unless the poster is deliberate in her posting, that bias will shine through. Toleration of those differences means that we can allow some people to prefer games that fall all over the range of game systems. When posting we should not allow ourselves to disparage simply because of our own experience, especially in the face of the contrary experience of others.

Later.

Waldo Pepper
August 24th, 2007, 14:13
It's pretty simple really:
You say player indecisiveness has nothing to do with the system? I say it has absolutely everything to do with the system. It is, in fact, born from the system. It is a symptom, not a cause.
QFT. Analysis paralysis is built into certain systems (D20 being a perfect example) from the ground up: It takes a long time to generate the basic stats and skills of a character; far longer in fact than it does to generate a unique and interesting background which in fact should be the thing that's driving the character creation. Then you move on from there with each and every level where you have to preplan your character's entire development from craddle to grave in terms of class levels, feats, skill points, etc. Weapons and armor choice? Same thing. Combat is only one example.

I also agree with Illrigger's view that if a game has to be run rigidly like a machine in order to get through encounters you're letting the system run the game rather than the GM. RPGs are a social event. Grinding through stuff is best left to MMORPGs and computer games.

spliskamatyshak
August 24th, 2007, 18:01
I'm staying with 3.5. Just calculated how much I've spend in the last few years and it comes out to almost $1,400 in books that are relevent to 3.5. I've bought about $300 worth of other books from WotC as well.

Check out my stance on 4E on my website (http://webpages.charter.net/almebezbik/AlmebezbikWiki.html#No4E). I'll be adding the financials to it shortly.
(http://webpages.charter.net/almebezbik/AlmebezbikWiki.html#No4E)

Illrigger
August 24th, 2007, 18:29
QFT. Analysis paralysis is built into certain systems (D20 being a perfect example) from the ground up: It takes a long time to generate the basic stats and skills of a character; far longer in fact than it does to generate a unique and interesting background which in fact should be the thing that's driving the character creation. Then you move on from there with each and every level where you have to preplan your character's entire development from craddle to grave in terms of class levels, feats, skill points, etc. Weapons and armor choice? Same thing. Combat is only one example.

I also agree with Illrigger's view that if a game has to be run rigidly like a machine in order to get through encounters you're letting the system run the game rather than the GM. RPGs are a social event. Grinding through stuff is best left to MMORPGs and computer games.
I dunno - that depends a lot on your playstyle. We are more of a "sit around and gab while we hack and slash" group, so character background, while it's there, isn't as important. This is more true the more hazardous your campaign is as well - my first few characters had backgrounds, but after seeing them die, the current one is just the generic "the last cleric's brother".

In many ways, a complex system with a ton of options like D&D 3.5 makes it easier to work to develop a background. For example, my previous cleric was a Cloistered Cleric/Radiant Servant of Pelor, designed from the ground up to be survivable in combat but not much of a contributor (he wore heavy plate and shield, but didn't have the HP or BAB to be in the front lines). It was easy to set up a background that he was an academician who came to the evil temple to study it as much as clense it. (He died rather quickly from a lay on hands attack from an undead blackguard who he made the mistake of laying an empowered cure critical wounds on.) My replacement character went a completely different direction even though he's pretty damned similar; he's Cleric/RSOP optimized for combat. He uses the Greater Radiant Armor spell rather than physical armor, makes hevy use of the Shielded Casting feat to get in and lay the smack down or heal his buddies, and so on. He's the brother of the first guy, come in to finish what he started, but other than that isn't very friendly. He's aggressive, is devout to his faith to a fault, and even openly dislikes some of the other party members. You can see, the background stems from how I optimized the character's role due to the masive number of options available.

I can agree that there are WAY too many spells available by this point. As a person who runs clerics, I know it all too well. I honestly prefer the psionics system where you pick fewer spells, but can power them up as you level up, but then it takes a huge chunk from the power and diversity of the caster classes. I'm curious to see where they go with this in 4e.

As for the money, yeah, I've spent a lot on the books too. But I've always done that. I'll do the same thing I always do, take them over to the local used bookseller and get my 10-15% back from what I spent over the last 5 years and use it to buy more books. If you've been a gamer as long as I have, you learn that you can't think of your game as an investment. If you do, you end up with a shelf full of games that collect dust because eventually you can't find anyone to play with you - and you can't even sell them anymore.

Griogre
August 24th, 2007, 19:42
There maybe a ton of spells in D&D but its an illusion. There are a handful of spells used at any one level with another handful used as "scroll" spells. They talk about the big six in magic items but it is true for spells too. It is true that for a cleric that occasionally in special situations where you can anticipate a situation you might memorize and use a spell you would normally never carry "generically".

As far as a games complexity I think the more complex a system, the longer it takes players and the GM to understand the system. I think you don't get that good a roleplaying experience until most of the group understands the rules well enought to do them automatically so they can concentrate on RPing.

Illrigger
August 24th, 2007, 21:16
That's all true. I think that there are two different kinds of complexity in this regard, however. There's "head-end" complexity, such as a multitude of choices when creating your character and doind the daily maintenence on them (such as memorizing spells, casting long term buffs, etc). Then there's "situational" complexity, in which would fall all the dozens of pages of rules covering stuff you don't do every day, like bull rushing, overrunning, grappling, and the like.

The first isn't such a bad thing, in my opinion. Giving lots of choices for how you want your toon to grow makes the game more enjoyable. Since it only happens once or twice a session, and some of it can be done between sessions, it doesn't have much negative impact on gameplay, but adds some fun for those who love to tinker (and the majority of gamers I've know all love to tinker).

The second is where all the badness comes in. If I have to read three paragraphs, reference two charts, and/or do a triordinal equation every time I need to do an action (whether because it's complex enough that I need to reference it get it straight, or because I hardly ever do it) then that's game complexity getting in the way of gameplay. It's in the best interest of games systems not to get to this level, but many have (d20 and Hero System are good examples). It's also a bad idea to be rolling a handful of dice for the most part (Savage Worlds, d6 and d20); just rolling, let alone adding, two dozen dice on a table is a daunting task that slows down the game unnecessarily. VGTs help this out tremendously, but you can't design a game to count on everyone playing with a PC in front of you to do the math.

So, to sum up, my point is that character options, and choices of what to do are not necessarily bad. What makes them bad is when doing the option you choose takes 15 minutes of rule searching and dice mechanics. The 4e rules say that they've done something about this. I'm curious to see if they've done enough.

Waldo Pepper
August 24th, 2007, 21:38
It's also a bad idea to be rolling a handful of dice for the most part (Savage Worlds, d6 and d20); just rolling, let alone adding, two dozen dice on a table is a daunting task that slows down the game unnecessarily.
:confused: What version of Savage Worlds or D20 do you play where you roll a handful of dice at one time? SW involves a maximum of 2 dice at any one time (regular die plus the wild die). D20 generally uses 1d20.

More dice is not necessarily a bad thing; it's how the system uses them that matters: Dogs in the Vineyard involves rolling 6+ dice at a time but they are then used for that entire conflict.

joshuha
August 24th, 2007, 21:47
10d6 fireballs and what not are what I am sure he is referring to. Or 2d4 damage + 8d6 sneak attack + 1d8 icy burst, etc.

Waldo Pepper
August 24th, 2007, 22:48
Ah, I had forgotten all about those mass damage stuff... one more reason to dislike D20. Savage Worlds generally doesn't have many instances where you're rolling more than a couple dice at any one time.

Hamish
August 25th, 2007, 07:00
In PnP gaming, rolling 10d6 Fireball damage is a highlight of the session for me. I just love the sound of dice rolling, especially if you're the one doing the rolling. :-)

Ablefish
August 25th, 2007, 07:00
Sometimes it's hard to hear people bitch and bitch about d20 and wizards and how evil and money grubbing they are. It always comes across the same as the people who have to hate EVERYTHING about Microsoft or Windows or [Insert popular product or tv show here].

For just a minute, think about the state of the gaming industry before d20 and the state of it now. Look at how many different publishers their are - d20 or otherwise. If the market was full of radically different games, how much harder would systems like FG be to make? Right out of the box, FG2 is playable for a Ton of games and campaign settings. Think how long it takes for alternate rulesets to come out - nevermind a seriously different game.

Personally, I've gotten many hours of enjoyment from my core books + many eberron books + fantasy grounds. I'm looking forward to 4E when it comes out - streamlining the gameplay - and I'll reinvest happily. And I'm able to do that without begrudging people that choose to play a different system.

As far as FG - from what I'm reading, the DDi toolset will allow for the same flexibility as we have in FG, in terms of turning on houserules and allowing you to type whatever you want into your character sheet. The virtual tabletop has no rules adjudication (a negative compared to FG's map distance/waypoint/combat tracker integration) so it will be useable for a lot of systems.

However, I think ultimately it will build up the base of players and if FG keeps pace with improving the game experience, I think it will continue on as a quality and sought after product.

Ideally - if wizards has got my 10 dollars a month to use it's integrated editors, what do they care if I use their virtual tabletop? Why wouldn't they want me to be able to export my character to xml or some other format to use if I wanted to? (If they end up packaging the software seperately, well, then exporting becomes less likely.)

I do intend to talk up Fantasy Grounds on the wizards boards, because even if you bought FG just to use for the next year, it's totally worth it.

Waldo Pepper
August 25th, 2007, 07:16
You have a good point Ablefish - A lot of the hysteria over 4th edition appears to me to be fueled by people trying to be cheap - many people seem to think that spending ~$90 on three rulebooks (i.e., the core D20 books) gives one the right to demand the company never release another edition again. They also typically point out how much money they've spent on other supplements but that money is irrelevant: You don't need to buy any books outside the core rules and thus it can't be argued that they need to be considered in whether it's "fair" or not to release another edition.

Similarly, SmiteWorks or any other D20 publisher can't really complain: They are after all using WotC's OGL to make a profit - WotC can't be responsible for making sure all the other people sucking at the teat don't starve when the milk runs out. It's a business after all. Sure it sucks but it's not like WotC is forcing any 3rd party company to publish D20 supplements.

Game companies make the major majority of their money selling the core rule books for systems. Supplements, modules, and other books are a tiny fraction of sales and in most cases lose money. Thus, the only way you can stay alive if you're relying on published material is by releasing new versions on a regular basis. Internet piracy makes this even more important now.

I would stress again, if you have problems/objections to the D20 syste, there are alternatives out there. Try something new and you might just discover that there are better systems for your needs: Savage Worlds, FATE, and Burning Wheel are three very viable alternatives for the fantasy genre, all of which are better than D20 IMO.

If OTOH you like D20 v3.5, stick with it. The books are not going to turn to dust. Or follow the crowds and migrate to 4E. People may complain but most will buy it...

Tropico
August 25th, 2007, 12:46
That being said, from what I have read concerning the issue of the paradox of choice, I do not believe that decisions in any particular round using the d20 system would give rise to the paradox of choice effect.

Dude, with all due respect, you can spin and deduce logical theories about the human condition and psychology into the air all day long, and explain what should be and shouldn't be and what we as a species believe based on what we've read and whatnot.

In the end what matters is what people experience in the real world. And anyone who has played d20 at level 10+, with a group of non-elite d20 players, can tell you that what I write is the simple truth. I play d20, online and off. I'm an actual d20 player. What I write, I write from pure gaming experience alone, not something I read about a psychological theory in a book.

The sheer amount of rules in high-level d20 play engenders confusion among players who haven't internalized the rules to a point of instinct and automatization. Like Griogre posted, you do need a very decent amount of experience and practice before the rules can take a backseat and the playing experience improves. I can confirm this from actual play and so can many, many other people.

That confusion engenders indecision, and like Nym writes, that indecision is the #1 major factor in slowing down your game.

Sorry, but it's just very hard to imagine someone arguing the opposite, and especially doing it by naming 'psychological paradoxes' at me. YMMV.
.


So, to sum up, my point is that character options, and choices of what to do are not necessarily bad. What makes them bad is when doing the option you choose takes 15 minutes of rule searching and dice mechanics. The 4e rules say that they've done something about this. I'm curious to see if they've done enough.

We are in total agreement Illrigger, and.. so am I ;) only you believe that the two issues are separate, while I believe that the very fact that all those rules are there and need to be searched, is what causes the confusion in the first place, but fair enough on that.

Sorontar
August 25th, 2007, 13:24
If you look at the core rules do you honestly see a need to simplify them and make them faster.

I think the majority of slow down around a table isn't because of core rules it's because everyone seems to want to dip into the million splat books that come out and by 7th level they are probably referencing 3-5 books for their class abilities/feats/spells.

Now another question: Do you honestly see it being ANY different by 2010?

4e will have its own splat books and WotC will have been working on 5e for 18 months.

I like 3.5 but then again I also like Rolemaster and Hero and d20 is a walk in the park compared to those.

Malovech
August 25th, 2007, 14:15
Sometimes it's hard to hear people bitch and bitch about d20 and wizards and how evil and money grubbing they are. It always comes across the same as the people who have to hate EVERYTHING about Microsoft or Windows or [Insert popular product or tv show here].

For just a minute, think about the state of the gaming industry before d20 and the state of it now. Look at how many different publishers their are - d20 or otherwise. If the market was full of radically different games, how much harder would systems like FG be to make? Right out of the box, FG2 is playable for a Ton of games and campaign settings. Think how long it takes for alternate rulesets to come out - nevermind a seriously different game.


You make a good point, but I also think that reacting against companies like Wizards/Hasbro and Microsoft is what makes the industry better and opens the door for better products. Sometimes this reaction manifests itself as "I hate M$", which I can see being annoying. At the same time if everyone just went along with everything they (MS/Wizards/Sony etc.) released and never sought out anything else, the market would stagnate and suffer.

D&D has directly benefitted from game makers that said "You know D&D is illogical and silly, I'm going to make my own game". This forced D&D to update its rules to compete/adapt to what the 'renegades' put forward.

It would be nice however, if D&D had less of a monopoly on RPGs, just like it would be nice if Microsoft had less of a monopoly on operating systems. If they were knocked down a peg or two, innovation would happen at a much faster rate.

Ramza0Tyr
August 25th, 2007, 14:20
Dude, with all due respect,
Note the difference in tone between this current post or my prior post in this thread and either of Tropico's prior two posts. What happened to the general civility we could find here on the FG boards?


you can spin and deduce logical theories about the human condition and psychology into the air all day long, and explain what should be and shouldn't be and what we as a species believe based on what we've read and whatnot.
As I recall, I merely put a name to the theory that was raised in Tropico's post. I happen to be familiar with the theory and have actually read one or two things about it. (I always knew reading would come back to haunt me.) The derogatory way Tropico casts me as 'spin(ning) and deduc(ing) logical theories' weighs heavily against any attempt to maintain a civil dialogue, nevermind show the respect mentioned in the first line of his post. (And I thought the only time people used 'spin' anymore was to discuss the media's presentation of the U.S presidential campaign. :))


In the end what matters is what people experience in the real world. And anyone who has played d20 at level 10+, with a group of non-elite d20 players, can tell you that what I write is the simple truth. I play d20, online and off. I'm an actual d20 player. What I write, I write from pure gaming experience alone, not something I read about a psychological theory in a book.

The sheer amount of rules in high-level d20 play engenders confusion among players who haven't internalized the rules to a point of instinct and automatization. Like Griogre posted, you do need a very decent amount of experience and practice before the rules can take a backseat and the playing experience improves. I can confirm this from actual play and so can many, many other people.

That confusion engenders indecision, and like Nym writes, that indecision is the #1 major factor in slowing down your game.
An interesting thing happens in this portion of the post. Where Tropico's prior post brought in the posters sales experience, the poster now asserts that gamer experience carries more value than any other. This in an attempt to discredit the information I provided because it comes from written words that I read in a book. (As my interaction on this forum comes through written words I have some concern that they may not have much value.)

I guess I can ignore the 'real world' discussion, unless there is some argument that I have managed to leave the real world behind? I guess I can do the same with the d20 player discussion, unless I have somehow failed to be recertified as an authentic d20 player? (Did I forget to send in my dues?) I will not try to discredit another poster by asserting my greater experience.

The interesting thing is that this quote reveals, based on my experience and understanding, both Tropico and I agree that the paradox of choice phenomena is not the issue here. :D


Sorry, but it's just very hard to imagine someone arguing the opposite, and especially doing it by naming 'psychological paradoxes' at me. YMMV.
.

No need to imagine someone arguing the 'opposite' when the position advanced by Tropico has shifted subtly during Tropico's last two posts. Note how we are now discussing 'nonelite players' and 'high level games'. I never asserted that there were not many rules to reference. This is a straw man argument.

By the way, assuming I recall the default average encounters per level, someone playing an 11th level character has had over 130 encounters to gain comfort with the interaction between their character and the rules. If I were to be flip, I would assert that only a poor group of gamers would introduce a new d20 player to a high level campaign and expect the player to perform as an 'elite player'. Most groups would provide guidance and slowly, over time, allow the player to rely less and less on them as a crutch. Truthfully, this is the kind of position I would take if my personal bias was leading me to try to discredit d20.


We are in total agreement Illrigger, and.. so am I ;) only you believe that the two issues are separate, while I believe that the very fact that all those rules are there and need to be searched, is what causes the confusion in the first place, but fair enough on that.
Illrigger's point and Tropico's aggrement only illustrate the only substantive point I made in my prior post...that the issue does not concern the paradox of choice phenomena. Tropico's assertion that the existence of the rules is the problem highlights that his preference for rules light systems is assumed to be a default preference.

Certainly, the simplicity of a rules light system allows a new player to enter a group with more ease. This hardly seems profound.

:)
Later.

*Wonders whether he needs to return to his prior signature*
"Spread knowledge, not fear."

Ramza0Tyr
August 25th, 2007, 14:40
You make a good point, but I also think that reacting against companies like Wizards/Hasbro and Microsoft is what makes the industry better and opens the door for better products. Sometimes this reaction manifests itself as "I hate M$", which I can see being annoying. At the same time if everyone just went along with everything they (MS/Wizards/Sony etc.) released and never sought out anything else, the market would stagnate and suffer.

D&D has directly benefitted from game makers that said "You know D&D is illogical and silly, I'm going to make my own game". This forced D&D to update its rules to compete/adapt to what the 'renegades' put forward.
This is the heart of the matter. Criticism is fine as long as it does not denigrate folks that enjoy playing a certain kind of game. I do not recall (though I admit I did not go back and review this thread) anyone posting that folks should simply go along with WotC. Actually, given this is a discussion of a new edition coming out where they have already stated that certain things will change, it seems out of place.

In any event, a civil discussion is welcome. When I begin to assume my preferences, my priorities are or should also be theirs...that is when the problem comes up. (Note this is not the same as explaining ones position, which is fine.) Not everyone will agree and civil discourse requires tolerance of differing viewpoints.

Later.

Tropico
August 25th, 2007, 16:33
Ugh, what is your problem here man? I am not trying to denigrate anybody.

Of course everything I post is just my opinion. Of course you're entitled to your own opinion. Jesus, that's something that is a baseline assumption when you come onto a message board. That's something that shouldn't even need to be said.

As far as trying to denigrate anything, that is totally ridiculous. Anyone who has gamed with me (which includes, by the way, several posters in this thread) can say full well that when I am gaming, be it d20 or any other system, I put all my efforts into leaving all tension behind me and focus solely on learning and on keeping a light and and atmosphere at the same time.

But I come on a messageboard, I state my opinions, I havent consciously OFFENDED anyone that I can tell, I hope that my words will be taken by normal people in a normal manner that I intend them, ie as discussion, but nooo, you just have to go and make it into a little personal battle of whatever is in your own head that noone else knows about.

Whatever man.. If you want to twist and morph my words into some kind of 'attack against gamers of the world' so you can pontificate about who-knows-what, if you want to dissect and oveanalyse every little word I write so you can have your pedantic little giggle at my inconsistencies... go right ahead with your petty little campaign, I will be over here on the other side, playing.

PS, And may I say that your supposedly 'civil' tone is just as denigrating and offensive as you say mine is, if not more. Passive-aggresiveness, condescendence and smugness is considered more unpleasant then outright honest disagreement, not less. If anyone needs modding in this thread my friend, it is you.
.
.

Edit-> Alright, you know what. You're right. I apologize. I worded my post on d20's complexity too bluntly. I have blue-collar roots, English is not my first language, I speak bluntly sometimes. Text is a difficult medium; I had hopes that people would know me enough by now that through the bluntness, they could see that I didn't really mean offense. I was wrong, and you Ramza, took offense. You took my poorly-worded posts and started waging against me in a very stealthy, very coldly-calculated way that you knew would make you look as good as possible while at the same time jabbing at me and insulting me as bad as possible. You succeeded. Awesome. I'm sorry. You win the thread. My god.

All I ask is please don't go now and post something to the tune of 'Oh look, look how he apologizes now, when before he was so sure of himself, ha-ha, he might be ready now to join me and learn from me in the elite ranks of the golden civil discoursers' or something like that. I think even you can agree that that would be a little much. Though I'm not totally sure.

Foen
August 25th, 2007, 17:19
Peace, we're all cool here.

Tropico
August 25th, 2007, 18:30
Peace, we're all cool here.

I'm cool now. I said I was sorry and, though I was still ticked off at Ramza, I meant it.

I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by any of my posts in this thread, and in the entire forum since I've been here (because I know these aren't the first 'blunt' posts I've made), and I assure everyone that from now on, I will think it over very carefully before I add my point of view to any discussion.

Overall I think it's best to just let it lie and move on.


Edit-> Just FYI for moderators or anyone who might care, I've been trying to settle this amicably with little Ramza through PMs since it happened, and have been soundly ignored (even though his profile has shown him being active every day). So much for that 'civil discourse' :rolleyes: Just goes to show: talking about why people should do something and actually doing it are two completely different things.

scytale2
September 1st, 2007, 17:38
I apologise in advance for not reading the thread completely, but I will simply say that D&D NEEDS a revamp.

It is a sprawling mass that does its level best to be balanced and create enjoyment and, against all the odds, usually succeeds.

However, certain things which have come through with the enormously creative 3.5 were mishandled:

a) No. of attacks - this creates lots of complexity, with bundles of pluses and minuses, which even Maths graduates struggle with. This is compounded by making 2-weapon fighting far too easy and attractive.

b) Attacks of opportunity - bingo, we have even more attacks and few people know every nuance of when an AOO is appropriate. Ditch them imho and replace with something far simpler.

c) Spells - well here I think 3.5 does a good job. Part of the problem was the massive revamp between 3.0 and 3.5, so fingers crossed 4.0 will sort this out.

d) Feats - these are a nightmare at the moment and need major simplification, whilst still maintaining choice. Feats are not balanced properly either. For instance "Cleave" comes in far too early.

It's a shame that everything will have to be redone, with new Monster Manuals etc. I doubt the modules will need much adjustment because even 2nd ed stuff can be run quite easily with 3.5.

It's likely to be a moneyspinner for Wizards, but then it will be such because of the whole beauty of the genre, which they chose to invest in not so long ago. Just because it hits our collective pockets does not mean there is a need to revamp.

Regarding other simpler systems. Well I don't go a bundle on these unless you're with great roleplayers. I like "learning" the data in D&D and I very much like the creative aspects of different prestige classes and the RP direction given with skills and feats, so thumbs up really.

I hope I didn't reopen up any wounds:)

Tailz Silver Paws
September 17th, 2007, 07:49
Could WOTC be making D&D too simple?

richvalle
September 17th, 2007, 15:00
Depends on your tastes I think. No matter what they do they will make some people happy and upset some others.

I think it does get too crunchy at high levels with all the attacks, buffs and potential modifiers. Others like that kind of thing.

rv

NymTevlyn
September 17th, 2007, 17:03
Could WOTC be making D&D too simple?
http://www.mimgames.com/window/

Games don't get much simpler than that one. I think some things in D&D could be slimmed down, but a whole new edition is just the wrong way to go about it. They should've packed a supplemental ruleset of optional stuff. Constantly revising the game makes me less eager to buy anything but the core book.

Andugus
September 17th, 2007, 23:19
To paraphrase Monte Cook, "What is good for WoTC is good for the rest of the gaming community." It is probably irrelevant which system any one of us chooses to use. If the gaming community as a whole grows there will be those that find this method of online gaming appealing.

I wish WoTC the very best of success so that we as a community might become a viable alternative to those that will not have the system performance or prefer a more tabletop experience; which is exactly what a well run FG2 game emulates I think.

Sgain
September 19th, 2007, 04:48
I'm still going to use SW for my games, but I'm sure that WoTC will come up with tons of new and interesting game aids for 4e and I'll check out those with great interest. As to the system itself, after D&D, AD&D, 2e and playing 3.5 for about a year I won't ever go back to a d20 based and class/level based game. I just don't enjoy DM'ing or playing systems where there are so many 'special' rules that countermand nearly every other rule in the game and cause tons of grief for DM's and players alike, endless 'addendums' to the system, and every single adventure seemed to bring in a new prestige classes and feats to add to the confusion. Its a rules lawyer game system, and I just don't have the time for it.

I admire WoTC for keeping gaming alive and spending so much time and effort on making it more mainstream, but by the same token, I wish that they had dumped d20 back with 2e and challenged gamers with a more exciting gaming system rather than munchkin-like 'epic' levels and the like. Then again, I'm sure a host of players love epic level games and its for that reason they play roleplaying games.

Lets just wait and see how it affects the gaming market and peoples interest. I already know that their commercials are a great laugh and brought back tons of memories.

tdwyer11b
September 19th, 2007, 05:38
I wish that they had dumped d20 back with 2e and challenged gamers with a more exciting gaming system rather than munchkin-like 'epic' levels and the like.

Have you checked out Castles & Crusades? It combines the best of d20 and the earlier editions of the game.

Waldo Pepper
September 22nd, 2007, 08:12
I'm still going to use SW for my games, but I'm sure that WoTC will come up with tons of new and interesting game aids for 4e and I'll check out those with great interest.
Better yet, take advantage of the v3.5 ramp down and pick up supplements cheap on Ebay. Eberron IMO is a great setting with tons of potential, especially when you run it using the SW ruleset (it suddenly becomes the pulp noir type game that Baker always envisioned).

bobthebuilder
September 23rd, 2007, 10:43
I don't play D&D 3rd/3.5 and I'm not buying 4th edition. I play Classic D&D.:)

VgnFrnd
September 23rd, 2007, 16:08
I stopped playing DnD at version 3.0. Then, I gave away all my DnD stuff. I'm mostly a scifi and post-apocalyptic gamer, now.

Sgain
September 24th, 2007, 04:00
I won't be buying their online 3d thingie thats for certain, its going to rely on d20 rules and I won't go down that silly road again. Eberon is a cool idea for a game world if you like high magic settings and I'm sure it could easily be Savaged (I think I saw some stuff about doing that a few months ago on the PEG forums).

I'm actually feeling pretty low about what I've seen for 4th edition; it is not catering to folks who'd I'd ever roleplay or game with so its attraction for me is pretty much zil. I wasn't going to switch or anything, but I think that the way they are promoting 4th edition is bad for the industry and seems like something WoW would do, not a roleplaying game company. Its disappointing to see that kind of empty hype.

richvalle
September 24th, 2007, 04:23
I like some of the changes they are talking about making to the rules. The online thing is just an extra you can use or not. I'll be in the 'not' group even if I do play with the 4.0 rules.

I'm sure I'll buy the PHB to check it out and figure out if its something I want to jump aboard or not.

rv

Tailz Silver Paws
September 26th, 2007, 00:44
I just have this fear that WoTC are going to dumb down the rules so much - the "streamlineing" I hear sounds like they are going to cut the guts out of the games mechanics to make them dumb-dumb friendly and turn the whole thing into a board game.

Illrigger
September 26th, 2007, 17:43
We just reset our group at 1st level after being 14th; to be blunt, the game works MUCH better at low levels than high. If they can keep the pace and simplicity of how d20 plays at low levels but have lots of options for higher levels, they have a winner in my book.

As for being dummy friendly, do I have to remind you of where D&D came from? How it played in 1st and 2nd edition? Seems to me they're stipping the game back a bit to more of what it was like back then, but retaining the tabletop combat in place of the old abstract rules. They're reducing the number of attacks, simplifying skills, making the game less "boss"-minded and more "minion"-minded - that all sounds a lot more like the D&D I grew up with than 3e ever did.

It also sounds a lot like other more modern RPGs on the market that people are leaving d20 for. No coincidence THERE, I'm sure.

Nylanfs
November 17th, 2007, 02:28
Actually I think I'm going to be switching back to ShadowRun. I played the first edition and 2nd edition, but then all the ShadowRun gamers in my area either moved, got married, somehow aquired real lives and what not so I fell out of it.

The past weeked (Nov 2-4) I played the 4th edition at PentaCon with some guys and amd thinking of getting back into it. And of course I got to thinking about how I can twist FG2 and PCGen into supporting that system.

Foen
November 21st, 2007, 06:24
If you're looking for an FG2 4e ruleset, this forum will be where it's at (once the game material is released).

Stuart

Thore_Ironrock
November 21st, 2007, 07:09
If you're looking for an FG2 4e ruleset, this forum will be where it's at (once the game material is released).

As of right now, the last I heard was WOTC is still deciding if they are going to allow 4E OGL rules to be published/duplicated electronically. This decision is in part due to Fantasy Grounds, and Digital Adventures release of the CSRD products, and the potential conflict it would cause with their upcoming D&D Insider product. As soon as I know more (and am allowed to share) I will post it to the forums.

;)

richvalle
November 21st, 2007, 13:50
Thanks Kevin.

While I like some of the things I hear about 4th ed, there are some things that I hear that I don't like as well. If WoTC doesn't allow FG and electronic products of the OGL I think that will be the final thing that pushes me away from DnD as my 'main' game. I'll still play it at cons or with someone else that wants to run a game with it and I'm sure I'll still buy the PHB when it comes out but I'll switch my games to another system.

I'm already hoping to run the Evernight campaign with my group once we are done with the current 3.5 Dnd one. And maybe Necropolis after that.

rv

Tokuriku
November 22nd, 2007, 10:12
Official or unofficial,...
a ruleset will come our way!

Thore_Ironrock
November 22nd, 2007, 13:35
Official or unofficial,...
a ruleset will come our way!

So you would jeapordize the Fantasy Grounds community with an illegal ruleset, and give WOTC an excuse to come after either myself, SW, or other FG users for no other reason than to stick it to the man? How selfish.

I've said for years now that copyright infringement via Fantasy Grounds would be the death of this community and product, and if you think for one minute that is a shovel of crap ... then I suggest you wake up. Read my last post ... WOTC considers FG to be a viable competing product now, and with their big lawyers and deep pockets could do a lot to put FG out of business with lawsuits or the like. I saw first hand in my days with TSR how lawsuits and lawyers in the RPG industry work, and if you think for a moment they aren't "watching" us, then you've the wits of a tree stump. Though I won't go into detail, I'll say that Wizards has already taken one "stab" of sorts at SmiteWorks in regards to D&D Insider, and if you think they wouldn't jump at the chance to erase FG from the competition then you live in an f---ing dream world.

Excuse my language and tone, especially on this holiday, but in the past Fantasy Grounds was a market WOTC had little-to-no interest in -- but that has all changed now. Much like the MPAA and illegal downloads, what comes around goes around. RPG publishers live and die by their copyrights, and to think they won't defend them against those foolish enough stand toe-to-toe is the childish rant of an idiot -- and to post such to a public forum, Mr. Kenshin, invites nothing but wrath.

Rook
November 22nd, 2007, 14:18
Geeeshhhh Thore!!!

I would suggest taking a few more skill levels in Diplomacy.

For some time now I cringe whenever I see you post.

Rook (looking for the Pepto Bismal)

Elf
November 22nd, 2007, 14:51
Although Thore's tone is a little harsh I am in full agreement with him and have been for some time.
There are three things that will cause someone to attack you (using an analogy here). Threatening one's home, living or loved ones will cause aggressive behaviour. In the realm of Intelluctual Property (ie music, writing, software coding, etc) the means of making a living is by licensing or selling the said property and that means control by means of copyrights and trademarks.

Thore is correct in that WOTC could not have cared earlier about Smite Works or the other VTTs because they did not view it as a threat but, unlike IBM and the personal computer (IBM thought it was a non market item), WOTC has woken up and realized that this market is a viable one in its infancy. WOTC pulled all of it's IP licenses recently in preparation for this switch; this means that they fully intend to defend their living (copyrights) as they move into this market.

Please people I know that there is a tendency to think that because information can be shared easily via the web for personal use it should therefore be free. However people that make a living from it will stop other people from using their material via lawsuits. If you need an example look at George Lucas and Star Wars; he has carefully controlled the copyright use and has been very aggressive in issuing cease and desists against people trying to make commercial use of it without his consent. If no one could make a lving from making this material there soon would be only hobbyists issuing the stuff and you can forget about any sort of regular release or updates on said material.

Sorry for the long rant but althogh I am not in the industry of making a living from IP, I know many who are and it take a lot of time and resources to develop this stuff. If there was no way of earning a living at it most of these developers and writers would cease doing it.

Thore_Ironrock
November 22nd, 2007, 15:40
Geeeshhhh Thore!!!
I would suggest taking a few more skill levels in Diplomacy.
For some time now I cringe whenever I see you post.
Rook (looking for the Pepto Bismal)

Sorry if the truth stings Rook, but unless someone does say something ...

I've spent years of life trying to build something with Digital Adventures, giving it all for the products produced and the brillant team of developers I have had the privilage to work with, and if you think for a second I'm going to stand by and not defend that position you are gravely mistaken.

I onced sat in a room and watch corporate lawyers plan the utter destruction of a rival company for copyright infringement, and if people don't think that can happen then I have some swamp land in Wisconsin to sell them. Make no mistake, this is serious business, and the sooner people start realizing it the better. Unfortunately, to some it doesn't seem to be an issue as they believe they are "protected" by the Internet and whatever laws they think apply to their right to do whatever, be it by ignorance or stupidity, and it seems that until papers are served they can do whatever they want and they think that a first offense equals a free pass to do whatever they want. Again ... tree stump.

The fact is, the Fantasy Grounds community should be delighted in the fact that WOTC considers us the only viable rival in the industry, and the sole challenger out there to D&D Insider. In my conversations with unnamed sources I heard my name, as well as Ville and Tero, mentioned by people I had know clue of who they were, saying, "Oh, we know all about Digital Adventures and SmiteWorks, and we're keeping an eye on them." While flattering, it is also a bit scary, and one of the reasons I voice my stern opposition to careless posts such as that offered by Mr. Kenshin. I've never been one to wear a bullseye on my chest, and I'm not going to start now. I would rather work with WOTC to try and get a FG 4E ruleset, rather than try to defend myself against them.

Cheers Elf! We need more rational voices like yours defending Fantasy Grounds.

Now, that all said I'm off to watch the Packers thump the lowly Lions. :)

Rook
November 23rd, 2007, 03:01
Sorry if the truth stings Rook

Freeze right there..., your thoughts are true and commendable.

Your curt aggresivness belittles your (>>our<<) crusade.

Composing your replys during a millisecond-tantrum will produce only adversaries, not allies. I will avoid you in the future for both of our well-being.

Regards,

Rook

Tokuriku
November 23rd, 2007, 03:05
No worries, I won't take this personaly.
Maybe what I wrote lacked some vocabulary but here is what I meant:

Even though I am totally against making money off of rulesets that have not been granted permission by the creator of these, I have nothing against making your own ruleset from scratch to serve your needs. There is no law against it and my moral conscience won't bother me about it (and believe me, I have strong moral values).

Now as for the sharing of it, it is another matter altogether. Feel free to believe it is bad or not. What I wanted to say is:


If WoTC doesn't allow FG and electronic products of the OGL I think that will be the final thing that pushes me away from DnD as my 'main' game.

You don't have to throw away your game experience because WoTC won't release the OGL rights. There are plenty of games out there that won't even bother listening to the FG community and didn't give the rights to make the rulesets. It is not like we didn't ask first and wheren't willing to pay for it. So we made the rulesets that we needed. Someone will inevitably make a ruleset for it or you may make one for yourself. Official or unofficial,...a ruleset will come our way!

I'm sorry if that has been misconstrued differently then intended.


Now as for my moral conscience, know that there was a pirated copy of FG floating on the web and my friends wanted to use it. I said: "Ok, just so that you TRY the game. If you intend to stick with it, buy it!" and they all did. I'm all for helping our communities wich are not big corporations rolling in money and that wouldn't do the great job that they do if they didn't get some compensation out of it. The fact of the matter is everyone has a heavy schedule and to make something great, you need some time and that time can only come at the expense of your work time wich is why you need to be remunarated for it so that your life level doesn't sink.

Anyways, if you can pull the 4th edition OGL and make a legel ruleset for it, you can be sure I'm gonna be one of the first lined up to buy your wares. I have NEVER used a published ruleset or module without paying for it and condemn those who do. They only help to bring down the level of stuff made. I will help and encourage you to keep up the level of professionalism that you have put in your work by paying for your products.

Tristram
November 23rd, 2007, 07:39
It seems to me what this comes down to is the difference between making a ruleset for one's private use and making one that you intend to share. Fantasy Grounds is great in its flexibility and the fact that we have access to the code to make our own rulesets. If you want to make a ruleset of a game that hasn't given permission for it then I'm sure you will. No one can stop you. But, if you share a ruleset then you are breaking the law and bringing trouble down on yourself and FG. Nobody wants this aside from certain competetors. Sometimes a person says they wrote to the company for permission but didn't get a reply back and therefore if they weren't told no then its ok. Wrong. I do think companies are watching and they will take action if they get the chance. And, even if FG sidesteps the trouble and pins everything on the person who made and/or shared the intellectual property, things will change. Future versions of FG and other VTTs might stop letting people have access to the code to make their own rulesets. Or it might be that all VTTs will be subscriber based and you won't even have a program on your computer that you could hack into for its code. The other problem is that people say they aren't sharing their rulesets but brag about making them and say that the companies can't stop them. This is just as bad as sharing the ruleset because it draws attention and makes the owners of the game angry enough to do something. You may claim you haven't broken the law but they have more lawyers than you do and they can find a way. If nothing else it will make companies less likely to license their product to companies like Digital Adventures. If the companies see that people respect their intellectual property and they can make money by putting out official FG rulesets then we win. So, to wrap this up, if you're going to make a ruleset for your private use, good for you, make it, use it, just don't share it or brag that you made it.

Sorontar
November 23rd, 2007, 12:15
Freeze right there..., your thoughts are true and commendable.

Your curt aggresivness belittles your (>>our<<) crusade.

Composing your replys during a millisecond-tantrum will produce only adversaries, not allies. I will avoid you in the future for both of our well-being.

Regards,

Rook

Thore's response was in line with the nature of the issue I'm afraid and in no way could be considered as a tantrum. If someone threatens your livelihood and that of those you know it is of great concern.

Now whether Kenshin meant that he would personally distribute such a ruleset or not (by his second post I take it as not), the implication was there. If 4E OGL is not obtained then SW is going to have to be extra vigilant on these boards OR remove attachment rights.

You could expect bans from the forum and details being handed to WotC as a standard I think.

Tokuriku
November 24th, 2007, 01:24
Hahaha!
Sorry, I see now how my post was taken 8o !!!
I never meant that I'd make and distribute a D&D ruleset, I don't even play (or like) D&D. I may have a natural sounding english level but english is not my native language so sometimes, I may say something that sounds differently to you native english speakers. Sorry about that... I would pay for an official FG ruleset if there was one and wanted to play D&D 4th.

The thing is FG is a GREAT product, but they only cater to the D&D/D20 players with their one standars ruleset. Some companies like digital adventures are starting to cater for other games but the list is still thin. I play a number of other games (most old and out of fashion) and if I didn't make my rulesets for those, there would be none... If FG didn't open the code for us to play all these other games, I'm very much afraid that a lot of the present buyers would be in trouble. I really wonder how many people use FG for D&D...

Sorontar
November 24th, 2007, 15:14
...I really wonder how many people use FG for D&D...

I think there are still a lot who don't come to these boards who just plug away with D&D.

With DA broadening the horizons with future work on Rolemaster for instance I am really looking forward to where FG could be in a year or so.

Hamish
November 24th, 2007, 15:59
Just to clear things up... SmiteWorks would only be in trouble if someone used this forum to post a 4th Edition ruleset wouldn't they? I don't think they can be held responsible if someone makes a ruleset and posts it elsewhere, can they?

Sorontar
November 24th, 2007, 16:30
Just to clear things up... SmiteWorks would only be in trouble if someone used this forum to post a 4th Edition ruleset wouldn't they? I don't think they can be held responsible if someone makes a ruleset and posts it elsewhere, can they?

Thinking about it I believe so as they are only supplying the tools (although I could be wrong). Would Microsoft be taken to court for supplying Word to us if we copied a handbook out word for word?

I think the damage to business may be there though as Smiteworks may well be smeared with having a product that is openly used for such things. Also companies such as DA would find it harder to aquire the rights to new systems.

Then again Cryptic Studios were taken to court by Marvel for providing a game that allowed players to create toons that were similar to TM'd heroes. Of course Crytic proved that it was doing everything it could to remove those toons and that the players were in breach of the EULA.

Griogre
November 24th, 2007, 17:03
Just to clear things up... SmiteWorks would only be in trouble if someone used this forum to post a 4th Edition ruleset wouldn't they? I don't think they can be held responsible if someone makes a ruleset and posts it elsewhere, can they?
What you are totally missing is with a question like this is: it does not matter to WoTC or any other IP owner about *just* legal responsibility. They *also* determine whether it is their best interest to license by does licensing lead to thing they don't like like pirate activities.

Given D&D insider, you know on principle, WoTC now probably considers Smiteworks in direct competition with them - which they did not before. Thus they will be looking for ways to help their competitive advantage and any excuse to treat Smiteworks more like a competitor or a legal problem, or a source of legal problems won't be overlooked.

Griogre
November 24th, 2007, 17:11
Thinking about it I believe so as they are only supplying the tools (although I could be wrong). Would Microsoft be taken to court for supplying Word to us if we copied a handbook out word for word?

I think the damage to business may be there though as Smiteworks may well be smeared with having a product that is openly used for such things. Also companies such as DA would find it harder to aquire the rights to new systems.

The above is true but even more WoTC is still considering how their Open Game License will work with electronic media. Part of that answer has to do with their viewpoint of who is compeating with them and how. D&D is the biggest RPG and not being able to include a d20 default ruleset and referance would hurt Smitworks future sales which in turn hurts 3rd party developers for FG.

Hamish
November 24th, 2007, 20:00
I agree with you 100% that with D&D Insider on the market, WotC is going to see SW as a competitor. But nothing SW, DA or anyone else can do is going to change that.
WotC will either license their 4th Edition ruleset, in which case there is no change for anyone, or they will not, and in that case all that happens is that SW and DA are not allowed to publish a FG version of those rules. I seriously doubt they can do anything to stop SW providing a 3rd Edition ruleset with FG, and I seriously doubt that they can stop everyone from creating a 4th Edition ruleset for personal use.
The only thing they can do is actively search the internet for people who are illegally distributing their IP.

P.S. I see the online gaming world is built around TLAs as well. In the computing industry we like Three Letter Abbreviations, in online gaming they prefer Two Letter Abbreviations. :)

Tokuriku
November 25th, 2007, 01:17
I think there are still a lot who don't come to these boards who just plug away with D&D.
Wow, interesting...
I was thinking the same thing in reverse as to there are probably a lot of people that use FG that are not on these boards and that use it for other games then D&D. I personnally teach second languages at a school of mine and to make the kids speak and use navigationnal sentences like "move forward" and "turn left" I use FG and a projector. I make a big map and they move cars on it by telling me how to move them and try to go for a goal. The kids love it and the teachers love it more :D

One thing though that is bothering me is that the Virtual Table Top market was something overlooked by those big companies until lately. I acknowledge the fact that the FG team received some money for their virtual tabletop but I really can't conceive they did it to get rich. I strongly believe that they wanted a tabletop for their own use and saw that other people might want need one too. Anyways, for someone like D&D to come and call foul on a product they licensed AFTER FG and all those other virtual tabletop out there is a bit pulling it. Doesn't someone own the rights to all the virtual table top concept???

Elf
November 25th, 2007, 02:57
There would be several companies in trouble if the VTT concept was copyrighted which it is not... As a matter of fact VTTs have been around a looong time. I believe the first VTT was the GRiP series of programs and Version 3.1 came out in 1999.
The software code surrounding the VTT application could be copyrighted however... depending on whether the author(s) open sourced it or not.

The IP we are referring to is the Game specific licensing which most companies do own and license (read the OGL license carefully for each product and you will see what is OGL and what is not). Generally this is the setting specific items or new stuff not in the official 3.5 SRD as detailed in that Open Game Licence.

Ged
December 2nd, 2007, 12:11
If nothing else it will make companies less likely to license their product to companies like Digital Adventures. If the companies see that people respect their intellectual property and they can make money by putting out official FG rulesets then we win.

Amen to that. Our (SmiteWorks') intention is to continue providing a platform with which content producers can be assured their intellectual properties are safe and respected. It does not matter which way Fantasy Grounds would lose that reputation, the damage would have been done already. Therefore, for instace, with Fantasy Grounds II there was (and we keep working on it as a pretty high priority issue) a lot of development time spent to make things more secure and more flexible from content production point of view.

Anyway, I think that companies like Digital Adventures and their licensors are crucially important for this form of roleplaying and I can think of few things I'd hate more than drive them away by making this an unpleasant or impossible environemnt to do business; therefore the said development time and the continuing investement on the content production part of the platform.

Let's all be smart on this one. Thanks,

Valarian
December 2nd, 2007, 19:51
The biggest thing I liked about the changes in Fantasy Grounds II is the separation of the rules (now modules) from the ruleset. Having the ruleset separation makes it a lot easier to distribute character sheets for use in FGII without endangering the intellectual property of the game rules.

Oberoten
December 2nd, 2007, 22:14
That said... if there is no OGL for D&D 4th ed... Could we PLEASE get to see FG shipped with SW instead? :)

Ged
December 2nd, 2007, 22:32
You might have noticed that unlike Fantasy Grounds (v.1), Fantasy Grounds II has separated the d20 license altogether from the main product and only the d20 ruleset is now under the d20 license. Therefore, if there is no OGL or similar for D&D 4th edition, we'll definitely check out the possibilities - the copyright of Savage Worlds is with others than SmiteWorks...

It might be that the lack of 4ed OGL would lead to a bit different licensing of Fantasy Grounds, where people could choose which rulesets they want their Fantasy Grounds to be equipped with from the beginning. Technically, right now d20 is just a ruleset product that happens to come with every installation of Fantasy Grounds II.

Oberoten
December 2nd, 2007, 22:45
I like that idea, I like it a whole lot.

Thore_Ironrock
December 2nd, 2007, 23:14
That said... if there is no OGL for D&D 4th ed... Could we PLEASE get to see FG shipped with SW instead? :)

Since SW is not OGL that probably won't happen. Don't write out an OGL 4E for us just yet, but if SmiteWorks wants to consider another OGL product to release with the default install of FG that would be great.

Oberoten
December 3rd, 2007, 11:03
I got to admitt I was more hoping for some kind of cooperation between DA and SW than a OGL version.

.. at the least as a alternativ. Maybe some kind of Bundle-deal in the FG-store.

Ged
December 3rd, 2007, 11:39
It might be that the lack of 4ed OGL would lead to a bit different licensing of Fantasy Grounds, where people could choose which rulesets they want their Fantasy Grounds to be equipped with from the beginning.

This choosing would not necessarily be an OGL thing - and that wasn't my inteded implication - but indeed, as Oberoten here wished, bundling FG with a set of rulesets that DA (Thore so willing) or others would provide for sale through FG Store.

Valarian
December 3rd, 2007, 12:09
Maybe you could think about the default bundle as a variant of the Generic ruleset (Toadwart willing) if you can't bundle a specific set of rules with the software.

Would WotC stop you continuing with the 3rd edition SRD once 4th edition D&D is out? I for one, wouldn't have a problem with the default staying as the cut-down 3rd edition SRD as I play a lot of d20 based games and find conversion easier than starting from scratch (really MUST try to get to grips with Lua).

Thore_Ironrock
December 3rd, 2007, 18:54
I got to admitt I was more hoping for some kind of cooperation between DA and SW than a OGL version.


It isn't a question of cooperation. Currently all of the rulesets from Digital Adventures are licensed from publishers. Having them packaged into Fantasy Grounds is not something my licensing agreement currently covers. Not that this cannot be done, but there are things like distribution, new/revised price points for all product involved, and a few other points. We have talked about this in the past, and I'm not against it, it just isn't as easy as everyone thinks.

Once we have a decision from WOTC on 4E/OGL, we can proceed from there.

Thore_Ironrock
December 3rd, 2007, 19:03
Maybe you could think about the default bundle as a variant of the Generic ruleset (Toadwart willing) if you can't bundle a specific set of rules with the software.

I think this is an excellent idea!



Would WotC stop you continuing with the 3rd edition SRD once 4th edition D&D is out? I for one, wouldn't have a problem with the default staying as the cut-down 3rd edition SRD as I play a lot of d20 based games and find conversion easier than starting from scratch (really MUST try to get to grips with Lua).

Any publisher (or in this case producer of software) that has legally distributed an OGL product under the current d20/SRD license cannot have it "yanked" out from under them as long as they keep selling the product. In other words, "Fantasy Grounds II" can continue to use the d20 included rules as long as they sell the product. Same goes for my Complete SRD module add-ons. However, there is some gray area if a *new* version of Fantasy Grounds is released in the future, and the 3.5 SRD is at some point revoked for *new* products. Until Hasbro makes that decision there is really no way to know.

Personally, I think they will continue to let anyone use the current d20/SRD that wants to, and (may) restrict the use of any new OGL material based on past experience. Whether or not they allow us to include it in FG is really anyone's guess at this juncture.

grider
January 2nd, 2008, 01:03
I really can't wait to see what they come up with. I have purchased all the of the 3.0 books...I do mean all...then, I did it again with 3.5...

Initially, I thought: "I will not do this again." But, now, I just want to wait to see what they come up with. As has already been stated, I can play whatever I want to: 3, 3.5, 4.0, whatever. So, I am really not worried.

azbo
April 15th, 2008, 11:04
Technically and legally Smiteworks and DA are both safe from being held accountable from what users do with the software in much the same way apple can't be sued because you use their Ipod to play pirated MP3's. As long as they're not advocating people doing the wrong thing they aren't breaking any laws. How you choose to use their software is your choice and your responsibility.

Sadly the reality of the situation doesn't mean that being legally on the up and up doesn't mean they can't be crushed. If WoTC was to bring a suit against either organization they could bankrupt them by default in much the same way that the Dianetic's people bury some of their smaller enemies under a mountain of legal costs and paperwork.

The end result is we as a community should do as little as possible to bring negative attention towards either of these organizations. There isn't likely to be a license to use FG2 with D&D4e. I'm actually not 100% sure about the legality of making a ruleset for your own campaign (though I would assume it's illegal since you would need to give it to your players) but talking about it on a public forum or distributing it anywhere might cause a problem based upon drawing attention from someone with deep pockets.

Griogre
April 15th, 2008, 21:40
I generally agree with your post. However,

I'm actually not 100% sure about the legality of making a ruleset for your own campaign (though I would assume it's illegal since you would need to give it to your players) but talking about it on a public forum or distributing it anywhere might cause a problem based upon drawing attention from someone with deep pockets.
In FG2 you can now make common modules where the module data is not left on the clients excepted as an encrypted cache. I think that would put you in a better legal situation (I'm not a lawyer!) since you are no longer distributing something the client can use.

You are still correct if the *ruleset* distributes copyrighted material (ie graphics). It is my belief that because most RPGs freely distribute character sheets that you would be OK making just a character sheet ruleset though you should, of course, ask. Once you had a "character sheet rulset" if you included material you owned in a "common" style module such that the material was not distributed beyond the session and the material wasn't accessible by your players when not connected to you - I think you would be legally clean under fair use.

However, as you pointed out in your post there is a difference between being OK legally and what happens anyway if someone with deep pockets for lawyers comes after you with a vengeance. You can still be right and bankrupt. :hurt: