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D&D 5e has failed
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

One thing that consistently amazes me is how the 5e pub gets praise for being 'concise' on the grounds that it is 'only' 316 pages long. I've written about how over long RPG books have gotten this century before, but have we really fallen so badly in our expectations that over nine hundred pages of 'core' material sounds reasonable?

In any case, back when Mearls was constantly writing and rewriting the skill challenge rules for 4e, he proved that he could turn out over twenty thousand words a week. James Wyatt turned in a DMG draft that had dozens of pages plagiarized from D&D For Dummies (a book he co-wrote in the first place, so it wasn't technically against the law). If they don't care if it's good or not (and they obviously don't) they can certainly put together something.

I acknowledge that we all made the same assumptions about the 4e DMG 3, and thatnever happened, but I don't think the new line can get scrapped until after Christmas. Essentials got canned in just a few months, but very importantly those months took it to after the Christmas sales data had come in. I think with the DMG being delayed until December, that Mearls' job is sadly safe during the annual Christmas layoffs at WotC.

The DMG will be 'released' and it will look like the 4e DMG 2 - a rambling collection of disconnected essays about DMing in general and various collected notes on how various staff members house ruled up some environmental challenges and shit. Also a list of magic items and a half-assed directive to hand them out however you want.

Basically they are looking at about two hundred thousand words, and they've shown they have the ability to generate that in a month. While they seem to have nothing now, and there's no reason to expect the hiding and wilderness survival rules to be any better than Mearls' famous 'you can set the DC after the players roll and just pretend to have a system' rant from the play test packet, there is every reason to believe it will 'exist' for certain values of existence.

-Frank
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stubbazubba wrote:
Not that 5e isn't terrible, but as far as it being a failure, Amazon disagrees. Two 5e books are in the top 30 of the best sellers list, and one of those is still a pre-order. That may not last, and none of us expect it to, but the truth is we can't objectively state that 5e is a financial failure while it's still selling pretty well.


And if I told you that 3e had multiple books in the top 3 on Amazon from their shitty splat books, and that the 4e PHB was in the top 5 on Amazon, would that change your mind about two top 30 books being a fucking failure.
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ACOS
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Re: D&D 5e has failed Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lord Mistborn wrote:
ACOS wrote:
Point being is that they have math-hammered what they have decided is the model that best fits the overall goals of the organization. Which can sometimes really suck for those who are emotionally attached to a particular product.

I don't see you could interpret WotC's bumbling with regard to D&D as evidence that they're evil geniuses. Remember these are the people who made a new edition so badly that another company was able to that the #1 spot in RPGs by taking the old edition and slapping a new coat of paint on it.

Oh no, I'm saying that Hasbro is treating WotC as the niche market that they are - at least in terms of the D&D brand - and it's because they have no emotional attachment to the game. To them, it's just another niche game for a niche market; and they have already had a long-standing model for how they treat niche brands. Hasbro simply isn't going to give a particular brand any more attention than their bean counters and marketing chiefs tell them is financially justified.

WotC's money train is M:tG; for that brand, they keep their A-team on it, and probably have a free hand. For the D&D brand, give the performance of the last 6 years, I'd guess that they've got a much stricter line to toe, with the stern directive of "justify your existence".
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fectin
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I strongly suspect that D&D is the moral equivalent of a pet dog. MTG is a good producer, so Hasbro will tolerate a certain amount of fur and slobber, and besides, dogs in tho office has a certain coolness factor.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are a number of ways to drive up your Amazon ranking without selling more books. Mostly it involves creating incentives for your customers to buy off Amazon rather than some other place. You could let Amazon ship earlier than retail stores, or you could simply decline to put your product up on other online book sellers. If you wanted to be really egregious about it, you could just have Amazon charge dramatically less for your product, effectively paying each customer real money to buy off Amazon instead of through another channel.

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Neurosis
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I feel completely unconvinced that D&D 5E has failed commercially, or anything close to that.

Sometimes I feel like many Denners, in their passion for hatred, confuse the crash-and-burn they'd like to see with what's actually happening. And that's just wishful thinking.
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Lago PARANOIA
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Schwarzkopf wrote:
Sometimes I feel like many Denners, in their passion for hatred, confuse the crash-and-burn they'd like to see with what's actually happening. And that's just wishful thinking.


Look, 5E D&D hasn't failed in the same way that the Confederates hadn't failed by early 1862. Even though tactically and strategically they look to be doing okay, structurally they were fucked well before the first shot was fired/first book hit the shelf. If you analyze the fundamentals (personnel, mechanization, economics; release schedule, writer quality, endorsements, campaign setting) it's clear that unless they get bailed out by a succession of lucky black swans the effort is a failure.
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Your freedom to make rulings up on the fly is in direct conflict with my freedom to interact with an internally consistent narrative. Your freedom to run/play a game without needing to understand a complex rule system is in direct conflict with my freedom to play a character whose abilities and flaws function as I intended within that ruleset. Your freedom to add and change rules in the middle of the game is in direct conflict with my ability to understand that rules system before I decided whether or not to join your game.

In short, your entire post is dismissive of not merely my intelligence, but my agency. And I don't mean agency as a player within one of your games, I mean my agency as a person. You do not want me to be informed when I make the fundamental decisions of deciding whether to join your game or buying your rules system.


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Seerow
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I dunno, I've seen 5e being talked about in depth pretty positively by a number of people I respect, something I never saw with 4e. If I hadn't been following the 5e playtest, just based on the positive reviews I've been seeing I'd probably own a copy of the PHB by now.
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hamstertamer
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think the enthusiasm is really not that they love "the 5th," it's just that the grognards have hated ever official version of D&D since the one they first started playing and house ruled to death. This is the 'fuck you" edition, without having to say "fuck you," for them. You can see the passive-aggressive nature of it when they talk about the "glory days of 5th edition" before the days of 5th edition have even begun. They haven't even released a DM's guide or a monster manual yet. It's also why they want teach their kids to play this edition, because they want them to be the next generation of grognards that will carry the torch and hate what they hate. This may also be the last D&D game under the D&D brandname, because the cat is out of the bag, and no one needs to design a D&D game under the brandname to have a successful D&D game anymore. At one point at least, WOTC will have to stop making official editions because you can only carve up the fanbase into smaller fanbases so much before you have no one left to sell to that is worth selling to. This edition yet again will create another clannish group of edition warriors who will claim this to be the real D&D.
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JigokuBosatsu
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hicks wrote:
JigokuBosatsu wrote:
...in no way changes my desire to lurk here and soak up the ambience.


At the time of this post, you have 2165 posts. No matter what it is that you think you do here, you do not lurk .


Fair enough, though most of them were spent pretending to be a robot hobbit girl.

Also- in case I didn't prevent enough anecdotal evidence about who likes 5e, Amelia (my almost 6yo daughter) saw the Monster Manual yesterday and I couldn't pry her away from it. So there you go.
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infected slut princess
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
While they seem to have nothing now, and there's no reason to expect the hiding and wilderness survival rules to be any better than Mearls' famous 'you can set the DC after the players roll and just pretend to have a system' rant from the play test packet, there is every reason to believe it will 'exist' for certain values of existence.



I think you are too charitable. The ex post facto DC system is basically all they have -- i.e. nothing. And that's the key point.

There is so little in core system that I don't even think they can come up with enough material to do the DMG. They can't just have a bunch of "how to DM" and "some cool house rules" articles in the core DM book. They need to have a legitimate DM book.

The 4e DMG2 is not a fair comparison because it followed the DMG1. The DMG1 covered the most important DM stuff in 4e. The system was so "lite" it didn't have enough design space to do anything for DMG2. That left nothing to do for DMG2 but the trivial crap they put in it.

In the case of 5e, the system is even more "lite" than 4e, so their chosen first principles of "make up rules for stuff that isn't an attack" means they can't make an actual DM book.

I remind you that the DM Basic Rules put up by WotC have NO DM RULES. It's all just monster stuff. Making monsters is easy, especially when it's all mostly boring stuff like bears and cats. Making rules for the DM to run the gameworld is much harder. They have nothing for that, and the system's basic principles don't give much to work with.
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hamstertamer
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JigokuBosatsu wrote:
Hicks wrote:
JigokuBosatsu wrote:
...in no way changes my desire to lurk here and soak up the ambience.


At the time of this post, you have 2165 posts. No matter what it is that you think you do here, you do not lurk .


Fair enough, though most of them were spent pretending to be a robot hobbit girl.

Also- in case I didn't prevent enough anecdotal evidence about who likes 5e, Amelia (my almost 6yo daughter) saw the Monster Manual yesterday and I couldn't pry her away from it. So there you go.


How did your "6year old daughter" see the new monster manual?

Also, my friend's 4 year old daughter 's eyes are glued to the TV when My Little Pony: friendship is magic is playing. Is My Little Pony the best version of D&D ever? The best RPG ever? I do think it's hilarious that people are using their below age 12 children as a justification for why a RPG is a good one. As if Table-top RPGs were meant for children to play and that the opinions of children were a good thing to base any decisions on. 6 year olds should be outside playing make-believe, not playing RPGs with their old sad parents.
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erik
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hamstertamer wrote:
I do think it's hilarious that people are using their below age 12 children as a justification for why a RPG is a good one. As if Table-top RPGs were meant for children to play and that the opinions of children were a good thing to base any decisions on.


You almost had a point here. I could show my 5 year old any of my RPG books and fill him with wonder.

hamstertamer wrote:
6 year olds should be outside playing make-believe, not playing RPGs with their old sad parents.


But then you fuckin ruin it. Ya retard.
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JigokuBosatsu
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

First, "pull the Zocchihedron out of your ass."

We have a neighborhood game store with it prominently displayed. I didn't post that as a real indicator of its success. Since you're new here, I'll introduce you to this thing called a joke.

And maybe you should have your friend let his daughter watch less TV- Amelia is ahead in school, ahead in tae kwan do, ahead in just about everything she does, and is a published author. All that without anything but some good old-fashioned loving encouragement from her old sad parent.
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hamstertamer
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JigokuBosatsu wrote:
First, "pull the Zocchihedron out of your ass."

We have a neighborhood game store with it prominently displayed. I didn't post that as a real indicator of its success. Since you're new here, I'll introduce you to this thing called a joke.

And maybe you should have your friend let his daughter watch less TV- Amelia is ahead in school, ahead in tae kwan do, ahead in just about everything she does, and is a published author. All that without anything but some good old-fashioned loving encouragement from her old sad parent.


Where was the joke?

Those friends are extremely strict with TV actually. BTW, you should know their 4 year daughter is not only reading full sized novels but she has just finished a series works exploring quantum physics from a kid's point of view. She just gave a lecture at Harvard last week to roaring applause. She has mastered two forms of martial arts, plus she is skilled with all small arms. I saw her take down a 200 pound man myself when she went operational in the Middle East last year. And besides all that, her international cook book is selling like hot cakes and she wrote it herself in English, German, French and of course Chinese. All languages she can write and speak fluently. And she told me herself that 5th edition sucks.
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JigokuBosatsu
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Turn that frown upside down, ht. It'll be okay.
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TiaC
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

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JigokuBosatsu
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

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Stubbazubba
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:
Stubbazubba wrote:
Not that 5e isn't terrible, but as far as it being a failure, Amazon disagrees. Two 5e books are in the top 30 of the best sellers list, and one of those is still a pre-order. That may not last, and none of us expect it to, but the truth is we can't objectively state that 5e is a financial failure while it's still selling pretty well.


And if I told you that 3e had multiple books in the top 3 on Amazon from their shitty splat books, and that the 4e PHB was in the top 5 on Amazon, would that change your mind about two top 30 books being a fucking failure.


Not really. Just because Rome eventually fell doesn't mean it was a failure at every point. While Rome is awesome, the same holds true for non-awesome things; they can succeed for a while, and then fail, and the eventual failure doesn't mean they somehow never succeeded in the first place.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Established brands have an additional failure state: failing to make more money than they could take in as licenses. 4th edition's phb had more preorders than any previous D&D book, and their digital initiative convinced thousands of people to pay them ten dollars a month. I have no doubt that 4th edition made money. The production costs were surely smaller than the revenue stream. Nevertheless, 4th edition was a failure. They were for a time the best selling game on the market with even the minor titles having sales an order of magnitude higher than numbers that would make no-name companies like Evil Hat happy - and 4th edition was still a failure so bad that the head of D&D got fired in the first year. And the replacement head of D&D got fired the next year, and his replacement got sacked the year after that, and then the line was cancelled.

If you own a brand with international name recognition and millions of fans, making enough sales to cover labor and materials plus enough left over to pay rent and have a pizza party is not acceptable. You could cut the entire department and license out the name to scam artists in Philadelphia for more than that (see: Onyx Path).

Dungeons and Dragons is the first fucking RPG. It defines the fucking genre. If people are playing other games they will sometimes say they are playing D&D because more people know what D&D is than know what a table top roleplaying game is. The bar is simply higher for D&D than it is for any other brand in the industry - even Vampire. If an edition of D&D does not sell millions of books, it is a failure (by contrast, a name-brand garage operation like Shadowrun is happy with tens of thousands of books on a title and thus hundreds of thousands of books overall). If an edition of D&D is not on track to sell millions of books, it is failing.

Right now, WotC is giving their customers a twenty dollar bill if they buy from one retailer instead of any others, and their sales boasts have been about their sales rank at that retailer. That doesn't mean they are failing necessarily, but it's certainly consistent with failure and they haven't said anything that is inconsistent with having another turd on their hands.

-Frank
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icyshadowlord
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So it's not immediately apparent, but 5e is just another sinking ship?

Color me surprised. Why couldn't it have been good enough to knock Pathfinder down?
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Stubbazubba wrote:
Not really. Just because Rome eventually fell doesn't mean it was a failure at every point. While Rome is awesome, the same holds true for non-awesome things; they can succeed for a while, and then fail, and the eventual failure doesn't mean they somehow never succeeded in the first place.


So your official opinion is that if George R.R. Martin finished the next ASOIAF book and it sold 6000 COPIES! That would be a HUGE SUCCESS AND TRIUMPH in your eyes, and not a shitty shitty failure.

You are saying that 5e 1/30th the number of copies of the objective failure 4e is somehow success.

There is literally no possible way to for you to call anything in the universe a failure by that metric. If you cannot declare literally anything a failure, then you cannot distinguish anything between failure and success, so you calling anything a success is basically a lie. I will keep in mind in the future that you are either an idiot or intellectually dishonest.
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hogarth
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Schwarzkopf wrote:
Sometimes I feel like many Denners, in their passion for hatred, confuse the crash-and-burn they'd like to see with what's actually happening.

I agree that some people here are like the economist who predicted 7 of the last 3 recessions.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Despite expecting 5th edition to fail, that's not something I anticipate with glee. A failure of 5th edition could mean the end of D&D in a supported format. Personally, an edition of D&D that is hands-down better than 3.x is what I want. I want an edition so good that I abandon my heartbreaker and join the established game. Heck, what I really want is an edition so successful that it dominates the gaming landscape the same way 3rd edition did on release. But I don't see that as being possible without having an actual good ruleset. It doesn't look like we're there.
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Lord Mistborn
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hogarth wrote:
I agree that some people here are like the economist who predicted 7 of the last 3 recessions.

Is there some instance where we predicted a product would fail and it succeded that I'm forgetting? When we say that the industry is composed of failing smarmgarglers that's not because we'er overly negative. It's actually because the industry actually is composed of failing smarmgarglers.


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