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!!!!
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.