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  1. #11
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by esmdev View Post am not trying to be a **** and I get that you feel a need to take a stand for your company but it's not appropriate to tell me the f-off when there was a clear statement that continued development was planned that never actually happened. Had it actually happened I'd have not posted in this thread in the first place. If you check, I'm generally pretty positive on the forum, but this matter really irks me.
    I dont think Moon Wizard was telling you to F off in any way. And Im not about to either.

    The Core Rulesets - 5E, Pathfinder (official and free), 3.5E, 4E - are all actively supported and (at least the first two) actively developed.

    Numenera has just acquired a new developer (Darrenan).

    Savage Worlds (Ikael), Call of Cthulhu 7E (IanMWard/damned), Starfinder (Samarex) and Castles & Crusades (Andraax/Talyn) are all actively supported and developed (ongoing development definitely varies between the sets). Barbarians of Lemuria (IanMWard/damned) is supported (we will fix any errors bugs) but not being enhanced.

    13th Age, Traveller and NEW are all pretty new and the developer(s) are still finding their feet on the right level of support. I hope their support does improve too.

    d20 Modern, BRP, Mutants & Masterminds are unsupported.

    Rolemaster gets support but no dev work.

    Call of Cthulhu 6E is supported (IanMWard/Moon Wizard) but no dev work.

    Fate (Ian Kirby) is supported but no dev work.

    There are several rulesets in Dev at the moment - Warhammer 4, Pathfinder 2 and two others that Im not sure have been announced.


    I would certainly hope that all rulesets are working and workable. I would hope that they support the bulk of common rules/play. They will never support (via coding and automation) all the possibilities. Some things are very, very hard to do in code and take a long time (Starship combat in Starfinder for example). Hopefully those things that are announced eventually get done. For the most part - it is pretty unlikely that any ruleset will reach and maintain 5E's level.

    Ultimately the sticker price is not that relevant to the quality of the ruleset. I know that seems sucky but it is a reality. 5E outsells everything else combined at least 2:1. In terms of games played its 5E 2:1 everything else. Pathfinder and Savage Worlds together are played as much as everything else (bar 5E) combined. Of the 23 listed game systems being played (listed because statistically there were enough games played to list them) 9 were on community rulesets.

    Many of these community rulesets have had many hundreds of hours of dev work go into them. The reasons why they are community varies. A not insignificant reason cited by some devs is that as a community ruleset they dont have the pressure of maintaining a commercial ruleset.

    Dont get me wrong - Im not disagreeing with you. Id like to see these rulesets be better. Im just highlighting some of the other sides of (this multifaceted) coin.

    Yes $40 is more expensive than the 5E PHB but it does have a lot of stuff in it. Ive spent double that on RPG books that Ive really not connected with. I think this ruleset should be more like $20 and at the same time I think Savage Worlds and Castles & Crusades should be $20-$30.

    I do get protective of the community devs because I know they put in a tremendous amount of time in building these rulesets/modules/references. And for the most part what they actually get paid is very little because there is no real volume on these products.

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  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by esmdev View Post
    I'm sorry if I seem like I'm blanket attacking all the community devs.
    No worries! I agree with your general sentiment, especially regarding the rulesets themselves, and especially especially when they're licensed rulesets. Customers go to the site to see what Fantasy Grounds officially offers and sees all those officially supported systems, but turns out not everything is supported equally (or at all) and there's no way for anyone to know that without diving in blind and taking advantage of the 30-day rebate.

    I do wish, bare minimum, certain rulesets like RMC were at least flagged plain in site that it has no development and is just rotting away in maintenance mode. And lower the price on those when that happens! By the same token, I definitely think (like damned said) Savage Worlds is worth more than $10 for the amount of work Aki puts into it, and same for C&C which comes with $50 (PDF prices) of free DLC you'd have to pay separately for in other rulesets.

  3. #13
    By no means do I think that your posts are not valid. As you have subsequently pointed out, MadBeardMan talked about future intentions in his Traveller announcement post; though, to be fair, he never provided any sort of timeline and merely stated that they were on his to do list.

    In the post above, we just wanted to state our position; that we are essentially a marketplace and platform for gaming. While we try to coordinate developers and publishers, we don't keep track or enforce any of their interactions and communications besides the delivery of the initial project and to pass on maintenance issues.

    One of the things that I think is a struggle in this space is the misconception that all of our DLC packs (including rulesets) should improve in perpetuity. I'm not trying to be argumentative or even focus on this case in particular, just pointing out that this is something that we struggle to find the right communication and balance with, especially when dealing with third party publishers and developers over which we have minimal control. Also, no other software company provides ongoing improvements without revenue generation (such as maintenance fees, license upgrade fees, etc.). There's no perfect solution, and the number of purchasers/users of a product has a huge impact on the developer's perceived viability of spending additional time to improve a DLC product.

    I guess, at the end of the day, we feel it is more useful to have options for people to have an improved experience over the basic Core rulesets, even if it isn't as full-featured as the flagship game systems.

    All that said, I have reached out to MadBeardMan to ask him to give an update, so hopefully we should hear from him soon.

    Last edited by Moon Wizard; November 27th, 2018 at 07:40.

  4. #14
    Hi Travellers and FG folk.

    By no means did I try to start a flame war. I always was an outspoken supporter for being patient with our most valuable asset: the Dev.
    But after not having heard from MBM for a while now (I tried the other threads, heck, I even PMed him) I am a bit worried.

    My worries are first and foremost with MBM. He has not been so well the last time we had contact, and I honestly hope everything is ok.
    My second worries are for the game (and of course the campaign I am running). I really like FG and a friend of mine is running a DnD5E campaign in which I participate, so it was only logical for me to chose FG for my Traveller campaign.
    And yes, I didn't realize the state the ruleset was in, when I bought it. This has definitely room for improvement, marketing and info wise.

    I was ad am more than willing to help, to make things better as far as I am able to. Heck, I even would offer to code something myself, only I am not a very good developer, my last programming activities date back to the mid nineties and having a 2 year old at home and a wife who is legally blind doesn't leave me with much time for that anyway.

    So yes, I would very much like to have a complete ruleset. I also know that MBM is probably not making a living of coding this ruleset for FG and I understand, that we have to be patient.
    Nevertheless it would be good to be kept in the loop to know, if there is yet still something happening and when we can expect the next updates, or if the project is cancelled.

    So, no bad feelings, yes?


  5. #15
    It was not my objective to start a flame war. My main objective was and is to determine if this ruleset is done or if we might see all the other things listed.

    My secondary objective was to point out that Smiteworks should seriously consider putting information posted by Moon Wizard in the buying experience and not just in the forums. In my experience not everyone crawls through the forums to determine the level of support when there is a gigantic homepage of licensed products. The expectation is that a licensed product is going to be fairly complete.

    My own experience is I bought FG forever ago but we weren't really ready to go Virtual (and honestly for the best) until earlier this year.

    We quickly purchased the 5E core and got to playing. It didn't do everything that we expected and it took some forum research to figure out why this is and we reset our expectations and life was good. We found solutions to some of the features we wanted and work arounds for others.

    One of the games we played in the stone ages was Rolemaster so I decided to buy RMC with the expectation that it would be at least equal to the 5E having been around for years longer. As an FYI the first time I heard of Fantasy Grounds was on the ICE forum when the license was announced way back when. Needless to say the RMC ruleset was somewhat of a disappointment when compared to 5E. I also purchased d20 modern to find it in a similar state. It was at this point that I did more research and learned that the rulesets no longer had developers and what you have is what you get. I was actually okay with that, I could see they were older rulesets. I figure they weren't super expensive and while not as automated as 5E I might want to give them a whirl at some point.

    I did feel at the time that the state of development and community participation (and reliance on it) should be noted in the buying process somehow. The impression as a customer on the website, especially the homepage that lists a number of licensed products is that these are developed and supported by Smiteworks. From numerous forum posts I've read since I know this is not the case now, but I feel like it shouldn't require forum crawls to determine this information. Regardless I moved on and continued to expand my 5E library.

    Traveller came out approximately 6 months ago. I had been reading the development details for a bit and was looking forward to it. Like Rolemaster, Traveller and my group go way back. We were excited that it was coming to FG and the list of features implemented and planned for expansion seemed solid. So not only I but others bought the ruleset despite the price and current state of the ruleset because of the planned improvements. For then last six months we've patiently waited for updates but communication became less and less frequent. I get illness, I am always sick and spend 15 hours a week on dialysis and pretty much 3 days of solid incapacitation as a result, yet I'm pretty sure I could find time to drop in once a month to give a status report on ongoing development or that development is over. In my first post on this thread that was one of my main requests.

    So this goes back to the home page. Unlike RMC and d20 modern which were created forever ago when FG was not as robust as it is now but Traveller is a brand new ruleset. As it is listed as a licensed product I would expect at most of the core rules would be implemented at release or implemented down the road, especially for the price. The sales page gives the impression that it is the full system but in reality it isn't anywhere near it.

    I've bought other rulesets and tried community rulesets. Some are great and some not so much and after months I have a better understanding of how things work. I wish these things were clearer on the home page and more so in the sales page.

    Please keep in mind that overall I'm happy with FG as a whole. I do not feel that the website and store provide enough information. It gives the impression that Smiteworks is behind the licensed products not community developers and does not give a marketplace impression anywhere. I also strongly feel that a ruleset that is in maintenance mode should indicate this, especially if it is brand new. Finally I feel that even community developers who are actually selling products should be required to check in and provide status updates if they are updating or if they are done with development drop a so long and thanks for all the fish note.

    Finally sorry if I seemed a bit cranky yesterday, I've had strong feelings about the Traveller ruleset communications and might have expressed myself poorly.

    Also, next time I decide to publish a forum novel I really need to use my PC and not my kindle.

  6. #16

    No worries. I've been on both sides of this situation; and I appreciate communication as well. That's why I've been trying to provide more information, rather than let this sit until MBM can respond.


    I agree with you as well on communication being important. And, I agree on waiting to get to a PC to write big answers; I make that mistake all the time on my phone.
    I'll bring up the presentation of information on store ruleset DLC products to Doug to see if he has ideas.


  7. #17
    A thousand times thank you. Hopefully we hear from MBM sometime about the fate of Traveller. For now I'm content with 5E and Savage Worlds.

  8. #18
    Good Morning All,

    Sorry for the lack of news and stuff from me, been in 'broken tooth' hell for too long. It was removed last week, so I'm feeling better, i.e. no one 'kicked' my jaw today.

    I've re-read all this later tonight and reply better.

    Again, sorry,


  9. #19
    Heyyyy welcome back!

    Good to know you're doing better. Take your time to heal and we will be looking forward to your next updates.

  10. #20
    It seems like having a more detailed list of what Rulesets currently do and what future features might add should be standard on rulseset purchase pages (with a clear disclosure that reveals the caveats of the various methods of ruleset development.)

    I'd also consider taking a page from just about every online retailer these days and add user Reviews/Ratings (from Verified Buyers) and product Q&A. I know I read ratings for just about everything I buy... and I'm usually impressed when the creators/manufacturers of a product participate in the review and Q&A sections (which I would suspect would be the case for most products sold on the FG site.)

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