Wizards Watch: Phew!

Wizards Watch LogoWork and (work) travel have pretty much blown March away so far! So this Wizard’s Watch post is bit random, and just based on some of the things I’ve been keeping up with on the internet!!

Have they finally clicked!?

An interesting Legends and Lore column on the WOTC site a couple of weeks back. To quote Mike Mearls:

“It might be strange for the guy in charge of D&D R&D to say this, but here it goes: After the core rules for the game are done, we really want to stop adding so much stuff to the mechanics of the game and shift our emphasis to story.”

Hallelujah!! I wrote about this (IMHO) failing of the 4E model a good while back! Endless player options simply bloat the game rules. I realise that one of the reasons the publishing model has gone this way is an attempt to access a wider ‘purchasing client base’; with an assumed 5-1 ratio of players to DMs, WOTC obviously want to produce products to cater for the whole group. But here’s the rub: I would put money on the fact that even now, a majority of actual product purchasing still comes from the DM! I’ve never DMed for a group of players where it wasn’t primarily me buying the material!

Don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that in 4E a nicely thought out power can bring tremendous flavour to a character, but there is still a limit to how many of these options are needed. I also think a significant part of Paizo’s success with the Pathfinder RPG is down to their steady stream of Adventure Path and setting products, something 4E has simply failed to achieve. If WOTC have finally got this message, its good news for D&D Next!

Does it have to end!? 😦 

Chris Perkins seems to have been pretty much  holding the DnD website together over the last few months: his weekly The DM Experience column has been one of the few with any real ‘meat’ to it, and look at how many Dungeon adventures of recent times are written (or at least co-written) by him!

So very sad news on the WOTC website this week that the column is to end after the next instalment! This is definitely not good, although I appreciate that as his 4E Iomandra campaigns have come to an end, it’s a natural break point. Lets hope a PDF compilation of all the articles is released – as Chris says, he’s written enough to fill two Dungeon Master Guides – so it would be great to have them collected in one place!

And Chris, please start the column again when you start your DnD Next campaign!!!!

Oh, Kickstarter!

A lot of space in interweb land has been given over recently to continuing problems with a number of RPG Kickstarter projects. Tenkars Tavern has been keeping watch over a number of late projects, especially the Dwimmermount project that looks like it may never finish with $50k down the tube. Ouch!  Another interesting article here from Gothridge Manor with some interesting commentary on the status of projects he has backed.

My own experience is not so bad, so far, but then I have only backed 5 projects, and 4 of them have been from what I would term ‘real RPG companies’ rather than ‘hobbyist-publishers’. 3 have been Midgard projects from Kobold Press, and delivered (or are delivering) just fine. Wolfgang Baur, who runs the company, is of course a long-time and highly respected industry professional, and in fact was running successful patronage projects for years before Kickstarter became all the rage!

The other is the Realmworks project from Lone Wolf Development which I posted on recently. This hasn’t delivered yet, but I have no qualms about it, given LWD is a company with a history of real products (Hero Lab etc), and also seem to have the new product in good shape already.

Which leaves one … the iBooks e-module I backed last summer. This is very late, and has no demonstrable progress to date! From the minimal updates and comments, it looks to me like the project owner has got bogged down in writing the adventure, when in actual fact I think most people backed the project to see what could be achieved in the iBooks format, rather than for the module itself! An update is promised for this coming Sunday, so lets wait and see…

All-in-all Kickstarter does seem to be a very valid platform for sourcing funds to create great RPG projects, but it certainly is going through some teething issues at the moment, and a lot of people seem to be getting very wary about projects, and quite vociferous once they start to have problems.

This entry was posted in 4E D&D, Columns, DnD Next, Wizards Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wizards Watch: Phew!

  1. twiggyleaf says:

    Sorry, I meant “blog”

  2. twiggyleaf says:

    Thanks for the blog, Tolrendordm, I was on the lookout for it so am glad to get the notification. Speaking of WotC and Paizo, I have to say that Paizo have done such an excellent job with Pathfinder and all their game accessories that I can’t see myself EVER going back to WotC again.

    Particularly since I have purchased the Midgard Campaign Setting, and am enjoying most of the new products being published from Kobold Press and being distributed by Paizo, I can report that me and my crowd (who have been loyal to Dungeons and Dragons through to 3.5) are no longer in the least bit interested in anything DnDNext has to offer.

    I don’t seem to have gotten into the fervour of Kickstarter that some have. Maybe I am just old fashioned now, but I think I prefer waiting for a fully developed project, together with the various supplements and accessories that one might expect from a fully developed project. However, I still do look at some of them and wonder. I just haven’t taken the financial BITE yet.

    Once again, thanks for your Podcast!


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