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Mewtarthio
2008-05-04, 12:25 PM
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4news/20080502

Q. Will there be a fee to participate? Do we still have to pay $5,000?
A. The Game System Licenses are royalty-free licenses and there is no developerís kit fee associated with them.

Q. Can anyone participate?
A. Yes. Interested third party publishers will be required to submit a registration card, agreeing to the terms of use. This registration card will be part of the materials available to publishers on our website beginning June 6, 2008.

Q. When can we start publishing GSL products?
A. The effective start date for sales of D&D 4E GSL publications is set for October 1, 2008. The timing for the d20 GSL has not yet been determined.

Q. Is the new license finished yet? Can you provide a firm timeline?
A. The D&D 4e GSL will be released when we launch Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition on June 6, 2008.

Q. What are the specific details of the license?
A. The specific details will be available to the public upon the release of the licenses.

Q. How will the GSL interact with the OGL?
A. The two GSLs are new licenses, separate from the OGL. They are designed for companies that wish to publish 4th edition compatible products.

Q. Can companies still produce 3.x products under the OGL?
A. Yes, but we anticipate that interest in the 4e GSLs will be greater.

Q. Can publishers release new products under both the OGL and 4E GSL?
A. No. Each new product will be either OGL or 4E GSL. If a new product is published under the 4e GSL, it cannot also be published as 3.x product under the OGL; and vice versa.

Q. I have multiple product lines. If I update one product line to 4th Edition, do they all have to be updated?
A. No. Publishers are able to choose on a product line by product line basis which license will work best.

Q. Will there be a different license for other lines, such as d20 Modern?
A. The d20 GSL will allow for other genres of roleplaying games.

Q. Why are there two different licenses?
A. The D&D 4e GSL is specific to the Dungeons & Dragons brand. The d20 GSL allows for non-fantasy genres. Both licenses tie to the 4th edition rule set.

Q. Do I have to give up my right to publish 3.5 OGL products in order to publish 4e compatible products?
A. No. Publishers are free to print product lines under either the OGL or 4E GSL. We would love to see our industry colleagues convert their entire product offerings to 4E, as we are doing, but we do not expect or require entire companies to convert to the new edition.

Q. Can publishers update their previous publications from older editions to the D&D 4th Edition rules?
A. Yes. Publishers participating in the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition GSL will be allowed, and encouraged, to convert their publications from earlier editions to the 4th Edition rules.

So, it seems that WotC won't ban 3e products if you want to work in 4e, as was speculated earlier. Companies won't be able to release books with both 3e and 4e material, but it doesn't appear to be any more restrictive than that.

AmberVael
2008-05-04, 12:35 PM
So, it seems that WotC won't ban 3e products if you want to work in 4e, as was speculated earlier. Companies won't be able to release books with both 3e and 4e material, but it doesn't appear to be any more restrictive than that.

Well that seems fair enough. Having done a lot of searching around on my own for factual information, I've been wondering where the rumor that you couldn't make both types of books came from, anyways.
Anyone know?

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 12:45 PM
I remember i wrote a large theory on why WotC was doing this on the last thread, i wonder if it is still valid
from
EE

Rutee
2008-05-04, 12:56 PM
Well that seems fair enough. Having done a lot of searching around on my own for factual information, I've been wondering where the rumor that you couldn't make both types of books came from, anyways.
Anyone know?

The wording we were given previously did in fact say this in unambiguous terms, so the rumor was well founded. The information itself came from, I believe, Necromancer Games. That they have refined the wording (Or that we have gotten a more accurate glimpse of it, whichever) to say that a company can use both, but not in the same book, is much better, though the previous wording left it pretty easy to circumvent anyway.

Edit: Hm, given the wording, it's possible that you may not be allowed to print the same book twice, once as 4e and once as 3e. Not sure how I feel about that, but I don't think I care too heavily either way.

DirtyPacifist
2008-05-04, 01:25 PM
Edit: Hm, given the wording, it's possible that you may not be allowed to print the same book twice, once as 4e and once as 3e. Not sure how I feel about that, but I don't think I care too heavily either way.

I doubt that.


Q. Do I have to give up my right to publish 3.5 OGL products in order to publish 4e compatible products?
A. No. Publishers are free to print product lines under either the OGL or 4E GSL. We would love to see our industry colleagues convert their entire product offerings to 4E, as we are doing, but we do not expect or require entire companies to convert to the new edition.
Q. Can publishers update their previous publications from older editions to the D&D 4th Edition rules?
A. Yes. Publishers participating in the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition GSL will be allowed, and encouraged, to convert their publications from earlier editions to the 4th Edition rules.

So, they can still publish 3e products and they can convert 3e products to 4 products. As such, it seems quite impossible to deny first printing 3e product and the next day a 4th edition converted version. ;)

Rutee
2008-05-04, 01:31 PM
So, they can still publish 3e products and they can convert 3e products to 4 products. As such, it seems quite impossible to deny first printing 3e product and the next day a 4th edition converted version. ;)

Actually, they mentioned "Product Lines". While you may be able to have one last hurrah, as it were, where one set of books is released, and then the next day, you update them to 4e, you may not be able to continue printing products under the same trademarked product line name as 3.5e. It strongly depends on the wording of the GSL, I'm merely pointing out the possibility thereof.

Mando Knight
2008-05-04, 01:57 PM
Edit: Hm, given the wording, it's possible that you may not be allowed to print the same book twice, once as 4e and once as 3e. Not sure how I feel about that, but I don't think I care too heavily either way.

Will the 3.x version have the same ISBN as the 4e book?
Yes: Cannot publish under both 3.x and 4e, as they are the same product.
No: Different product, even if it has near-identical titles and flavor texts.

Example: I'm pretty sure that you can't release the same product for both the Xbox and the Gamecube (i.e. the same disk can't work in both systems). However, Sonic Heroes for the Xbox would then be technically a different product from the same game but released for the Gamecube.

Rutee
2008-05-04, 02:00 PM
It'd be relatively trivial to say.. oh dammit, Trademark and Copyright law are not my specialties at this time, but that a particular trademarked product name (For instance, Forgotten Realms, or Pathfinder) was used on 4e, it could not then be used on 3.5e

I'm not trying to doomspeak, just trying to keep the jubilations down until we have the actual GSL to look at. As they pointed out, the details will be there.

EvilElitest
2008-05-04, 03:51 PM
Wait rutee, are you a lawyer or just a person who studies law? I'm not really criticizing you, just interested
from
EE

Kurald Galain
2008-05-04, 06:51 PM
Yep. "Some" information, emphasis on "some". Wow, them lawyer types sure are vague.

Anyway, glad to hear they're not stupid enough to ban companies from publishing for both editions. Even if it was circumventable.

Kompera
2008-05-04, 07:49 PM
Q. Can companies still produce 3.x products under the OGL?
A. Yes, but we anticipate that interest in the 4e GSLs will be greater.

This would seem to be a reasonable anticipation from WotC.
WotC is completely converting to 4e, which should include Living Greyhawk and all RPGA events, conventions, sponsored tournaments, etc. Many D&D players will also be converting to 4e, especially any who play in any of the above formats.
And also many 3/3.5e players already have a full set of source books / splat books, etc, while no one has any 4e material. It's a new market, and getting to market first is often very profitable.

There may be companies who decide to continue printing their 3/3.5e materials and not bother with 4e. But I'm betting that those companies will see their market share drop significantly within the first year of 4e publication.

Rutee
2008-05-04, 07:54 PM
Yep. "Some" information, emphasis on "some". Wow, them lawyer types sure are vague.
Damn straight. It's the only sensible choice when you don't have all the information, and you want to be smart about talking about what you do have (Especially when what you do have is in flux).

Also, if this is going in for sure, I'll have reminded myself of why I spoke up.

"Q. Can publishers release new products under both the OGL and 4E GSL?
A. No. Each new product will be either OGL or 4E GSL. If a new product is published under the 4e GSL, it cannot also be published as 3.x product under the OGL; and vice versa."

This is rather unequivocal wording. You can not upgrade a new product. You must choose when you publish it what it will be. I assume that there will be an allowance in upgrading existing product (So the shrewd 'last hurrah' would be releasing the day before DnD 4e does)

Duke of URL
2008-05-05, 07:15 AM
As someone with a vested interest in this situation (:smallbiggrin:), I'm reasonably happy with this approach, and frankly, it's what I expected. The rumored approach of the GSL being a poison pill was just so stupid a move (from both a PR view and a legal view [too easy to circumvent]) that I never actually expected that to be true.

While I would ideally love to be able to keep product lines in both versions, I understand WotC's position on this, and can live with it. Most of our current projects are pretty tightly tied to 3.5 anyway, and 4e conversions would likely prove difficult. One of the adventure series we're working on may be reasonable to convert to 4e, but we'll make that decision after reviewing the final license and the SRD; we'll probably still release part 1 under 3.5, as it'll be done before October, but we may convert it later... or we may not, we'll see.

MorkaisChosen
2008-05-05, 07:24 AM
Before I make my point, I'd just like to say I have absolutely no legal training, so I could be completely wrong.

OK, on with the point.

Looking at that wording, it seems like you could produce two seperate product lines. Let's call them, for the sake of argument, Steel Nations and Nations of Steel.

The difference between them? Steel Nations is 4e, while Nations of Steel is 3.5e. They might have slightly different sourcebooks coming out, but they'd be very similar (The Book of Guns that Shoot Guns for Steel Nations and the Tome of Gun-Firing Guns for Nations of Steel both cover weaponry that launches weaponry and have very similar base classes, but BoGtSG contains some Paragon Paths involving guns that shoot guns, while ToGFG has some prestige classes).

Kurald Galain
2008-05-05, 07:29 AM
The Book of Guns that Shoot Guns for Steel Nations and the Tome of Gun-Firing Guns for Nations of Steel

If you do that, it may well be one of those cases where you would be completely correct from a purely legalistic point of view, but would nevertheless be sued into oblivion because WOTC can afford better lawyers than you.

Project_Mayhem
2008-05-05, 07:39 AM
If you do that, it may well be one of those cases where you would be completely correct from a purely legalistic point of view, but would nevertheless be sued into oblivion because WOTC can afford better lawyers than you.

I got the imression that WOTC are reserving the right to say 'screw you' to people and stop them using the GCL if they **** them around in any case. HTat would probably break terms and agreements.

Matthew
2008-05-05, 08:15 AM
If you do that, it may well be one of those cases where you would be completely correct from a purely legalistic point of view, but would nevertheless be sued into oblivion because WOTC can afford better lawyers than you.



I got the imression that WOTC are reserving the right to say 'screw you' to people and stop them using the GCL if they **** them around in any case. HTat would probably break terms and agreements.

Exactly, no need to sue; no mess, no fuss, they just withdraw the license. The former licensee could then try to sue, but it's pretty obvious that they would be in the wrong.

Tyger
2008-05-05, 08:29 AM
Exactly, no need to sue; no mess, no fuss, they just withdraw the license. The former licensee could then try to sue, but it's pretty obvious that they would be in the wrong.

Yup, that looks like what they are doing here, which is well within their rights, legally and otherwise. I strongly doubt that they would leave a loophole in place that would allow the publication of two exact copies of two "different" sourcebooks, one printed in accordance with 3.5 the other 4e. That would be a very easy hole to close, and would be easily identifiable and easily enforceable.

Until we see the actual text of the license though, its still all pure speculation. Fun though, isn't it!?

Skjaldbakka
2008-05-05, 08:45 AM
Q. Can publishers release new products under both the OGL and 4E GSL?
A. No. Each new product will be either OGL or 4E GSL. If a new product is published under the 4e GSL, it cannot also be published as 3.x product under the OGL; and vice versa.

From this, it looks like 3rd party setting material will have to be one or the other. So if I were a company producing Athelas: the Mending, I would not be able to produce both a 3.5 and a 4e version of that setting. That strikes me as a raw deal.

Tyger
2008-05-05, 09:31 AM
Raw Deal?

WotC is letting people publish fluff that is 100% compliant with the #1 selling RPG in the world, and they let you do it for free, despite the fact that they could easily prohibit it. So they want your support in making their newest publication do well... that's a pretty fair trade off there.

Skjaldbakka
2008-05-05, 09:38 AM
So they want your support in making their newest publication do well... that's a pretty fair trade off there.

They want free support for their system that will encourage people to switch to 4e, and in return, they aren't allowing people to use their stuff unless they stop using 3.5 for thier existing material. At least that's how I read it. I might be wrong, but it seems like say, Green Ronin has a choice of releasing thier setting sourcebooks as 3.5 or 4e, and a given sourcebook can't be released in both formats. Of course, I might be wrong, and the liscence is actually just a prohibition on using both 3.5 and 4e material in the same book.

Artanis
2008-05-05, 10:17 AM
They want free support for their system that will encourage people to switch to 4e, and in return, they aren't allowing people to use their stuff unless they stop using 3.5 for thier existing material. At least that's how I read it. I might be wrong, but it seems like say, Green Ronin has a choice of releasing thier setting sourcebooks as 3.5 or 4e, and a given sourcebook can't be released in both formats. Of course, I might be wrong, and the liscence is actually just a prohibition on using both 3.5 and 4e material in the same book.
See, I look at it from the other direction.


You're looking at it as, "they let people publish for 3e all they want, so they should let people publish for 4e all they want!"

I'm looking at it as, "they would be perfectly within their rights to take anybody trying to publish for 4e and sue them into the ground. Instead, they're letting them publish for 4e, with one minor restriction."

AKA_Bait
2008-05-05, 10:17 AM
I'm not trying to doomspeak, just trying to keep the jubilations down until we have the actual GSL to look at. As they pointed out, the details will be there.

Agreed. The wording here is unclear as to if conversion to 4e is a one way door for any given trademarked/copyrighted product line.


They want free support for their system that will encourage people to switch to 4e, and in return, they aren't allowing people to use their stuff unless they stop using 3.5 for thier existing material. At least that's how I read it. I might be wrong, but it seems like say, Green Ronin has a choice of releasing thier setting sourcebooks as 3.5 or 4e, and a given sourcebook can't be released in both formats. Of course, I might be wrong, and the liscence is actually just a prohibition on using both 3.5 and 4e material in the same book.

Right, could be either. We'll find out in a month probably.


Raw Deal?

WotC is letting people publish fluff that is 100% compliant with the #1 selling RPG in the world, and they let you do it for free, despite the fact that they could easily prohibit it. So they want your support in making their newest publication do well... that's a pretty fair trade off there.

Fair? Sure. They could just tell all the third party publishers to go screw but that would be bad for 4e. However, depending upon the language of the liscence (WotC seems to have better lawyers now than they did when the OGL was written) it may still be a deal that thir-party publishers will not want to sign on to. More below on that.


Exactly, no need to sue; no mess, no fuss, they just withdraw the license. The former licensee could then try to sue, but it's pretty obvious that they would be in the wrong.

Well, this depends upon the terms of the liscence. I suspect, and if I were in their shoes would, be including a clause that allows them to withdraw/change the rights granted under the liscence at any time, without notice, and at their sole discretion. This means that they could withdraw the liscence or change it whenever they want. Converting for a larger publisher (with more to lose than say VP) would then be agreeing to allow WotC to essentially hold a gun to your companies head, as they could kill your major product lines because they felt like it that day.

Skjaldbakka
2008-05-05, 11:36 AM
You're looking at it as, "they let people publish for 3e all they want, so they should let people publish for 4e all they want!"

I'm looking at it as, "they would be perfectly within their rights to take anybody trying to publish for 4e and sue them into the ground. Instead, they're letting them publish for 4e, with one minor restriction."


Actually, I'm looking at it the correct way, which is to say, if, for example, Green Ronin switches to 4e, all of Green Ronin's customer base will need to buy 4e corebooks. Which is better than free advertising for WotC.

If they don't switch, Green Ronin's customer base will not need to buy 4e core books. Which is likely, since from what I've heard, Green Ronin has no interest in switching.

Does Green Ronin suffer from not switching? No. Does Green Ronin have any reason to switch if the GSL is in fact unfavorable in the manner I described? No.

Keld Denar
2008-05-05, 12:10 PM
Exactly, no need to sue; no mess, no fuss, they just withdraw the license. The former licensee could then try to sue, but it's pretty obvious that they would be in the wrong.

Ah, Burden of Proof...helping the big guy squelch the little guy since.....I dunno, a long time ago.

Also known as "Our lawyers get paid more than your lawyers" and other ****measuring posturing that happens in America's court system.

Rutee
2008-05-05, 12:33 PM
Actually, I'm looking at it the correct way, which is to say, if, for example, Green Ronin switches to 4e, all of Green Ronin's customer base will need to buy 4e corebooks. Which is better than free advertising for WotC.
Oh FFS. This is getting freaking ludicrous.

Oh. God damn. Noes. WotC makes business choices that support itself. And still leaves two licenses that let you use material for free.

kc0bbq
2008-05-05, 12:37 PM
Well that seems fair enough. Having done a lot of searching around on my own for factual information, I've been wondering where the rumor that you couldn't make both types of books came from, anyways.
Anyone know?The uber-paranoid voices at boing boing and /. expounding what little was known despite third parties already bound by the license saying it wasn't like that.

Illiterate Scribe
2008-05-05, 12:47 PM
Tome of Gun-Firing Guns for Nations of Steel

WANT.lol, mootblock

Skjaldbakka
2008-05-05, 01:00 PM
Oh FFS. This is getting freaking ludicrous.

Oh. God damn. Noes. WotC makes business choices that support itself. And still leaves two licenses that let you use material for free.

I credit you with more intelligence than that, Rutee. You know full well that it is in WotC's best interest for the other gaming companies to fall in line behind 4e. What neither of us know is the wording of the document, as all we have is a FAQ. I don't think it would be in WotC's best interest to try to force companies to pick whether their setting material is being released for 3.5 or 4e, so I don't think that is what they are doing. However, the wording of what we have strongly implies that source book X from a 3rd party company cannot be released in a format for both editions. I've got a pretty good idea which way Green Ronin and Paizo are going to fall if that is the case, and WotC can't afford that, IMO.

What they probably mean to say is that given book X cannot contain both 3.5 and 4e material. Which would be a pain to do anyway.

If what they actually mean to say is that FakeCompanyNames'R'Us can't release The Dungeon of Dum'As the Mad 4e, and then release The Dungean of Dum'As the Mad 3.5, then they are both being jerks, and likely hurting themselves in the process (due to aformentioned loss of free product support).

Rutee
2008-05-05, 01:10 PM
I credit you with more intelligence than that, Rutee. You know full well that it is in WotC's best interest for the other gaming companies to fall in line behind 4e.

What the hell do I care? I care about two things when I ponder purchases. What's good for me, and how something may be hurt by this. The latter consideration is primarily saved for truly unfair business practices; Things like sweatshop labor. First off, what WotC doing is hardly 'unfair business practices'. Oh. Freaking. Noes. You can't use all their mechanics. The only reason people care in the first place is that they allowed people to use their mechanics for free (And you know what? I'm pretty that as a consumer, I was hurt by the OGL; yanno why? Suddenly everyone makes DnD-mechanics based books. *I don't care at all for DnD 3e*) That was bad for me as a consumer; It was also bad for me as a gamer who actually likes other systems. Do you know how freaking entrenched a lot of gamers get about DnD? They can't even be bothered to /ponder/ a new system.

So I don't even give a damn in the first place if Green Ronin can't use Dungeons and Dragons mechanics. Not only is that /not/ unfair business practices, but it means Green Ronin can make their own; They're pretty smart fellas. Honestly, I think they can produce better mechanics. What the hell do I care that WotC isn't letting them use their material.


If what they actually mean to say is that FakeCompanyNames'R'Us can't release The Dungeon of Dum'As the Mad 4e, and then release The Dungean of Dum'As the Mad 3.5, then they are both being jerks, and likely hurting themselves in the process (due to aformentioned loss of free product support).
They're being jerks.. for not letting you make money off their material for free? Explain the logic underlying that conclusion.

AKA_Bait
2008-05-05, 01:13 PM
I've got a pretty good idea which way Green Ronin and Paizo are going to fall if that is the case, and WotC can't afford that, IMO.

I'm not so sure about that. I really don't think WotC needs Paizo and Green Ronin to exist, or at least they think they don't. Of the 10 gamers I regularly play with only 2 would probably even recognize either of those names and one of them is me. Both of us are on these boards.


What they probably mean to say is that given book X cannot contain both 3.5 and 4e material. Which would be a pain to do anyway.

Maybe, maybe not. Really depends on what the eventual langauge looks like. I could see them going either way depending upon how strong they think their control of the market will be.


If what they actually mean to say is that FakeCompanyNames'R'Us can't release The Dungeon of Dum'As the Mad 4e, and then release The Dungean of Dum'As the Mad 3.5, then they are both being jerks, and likely hurting themselves in the process (due to aformentioned loss of free product support).

Again, depends upon how strong they think their control over the market will be. They may expect free product support from their own forums and online tools. We would need to see the language in that stuff too. The ToS over there already grants them a non-exclusive lisence to use whatever is posted over a Gleemax.

ShadowSiege
2008-05-05, 02:21 PM
I'm not so sure about that. I really don't think WotC needs Paizo and Green Ronin to exist, or at least they think they don't. Of the 10 gamers I regularly play with only 2 would probably even recognize either of those names and one of them is me. Both of us are on these boards.


I'd never even heard of Green Ronin until today. I knew who Paizo was though the magazine publications. I don't think I've even seen anything by Green Ronin in major book sellers (Waldenbooks, Barnes & Nobles, Borders), and if I've seen any of their products in a gaming shop, I don't recall.


Oh. Freaking. Noes. You can't use all their mechanics. The only reason people care in the first place is that they allowed people to use their mechanics for free (And you know what? I'm pretty that as a consumer, I was hurt by the OGL; yanno why? Suddenly everyone makes DnD-mechanics based books. *I don't care at all for DnD 3e*) That was bad for me as a consumer; It was also bad for me as a gamer who actually likes other systems. Do you know how freaking entrenched a lot of gamers get about DnD? They can't even be bothered to /ponder/ a new system.

Actually, Rutee makes an excellent point here. The OGL was probably one of the most brilliant business moves by WotC in that it became a way of familiarizing a larger portion of the market to their (generic-ized) system, and squelching potential competition. Making a system to compete in the RPG market is a risky business. In comparison, riding on the coattails of the largest RPG is a low-risk venture. You have a consumer base in place, you get the d20/OGL logo for brand recognition, and you don't have to invest a large amount of time in creating your own system.

Rutee
2008-05-05, 02:39 PM
I'd like to point out that before I came to these boards, I'd never heard of Paizo. I sincerely doubt that Paizo and Green Ronin's support means jack to WotC, in a very real (Not imagined) sense. People won't avoid switching just because Green Ronin and Paizo don't; Why should they? They'll still have their old books to play GR and Paizo's new stuff, and they'll get a lot more new stuff as well if they buy 4e books.

I mean look at it logically; Do you think they're using 3.5 mechanics because they have /already/ have a huge customer base, or because they're hoping to use the customer base that WotC established themselves? Jesus Christ, I don't care if you dislike 4e, but try and keep some freaking business sense. IT's like claiming 4e will bomb; If WotC could sell its player base 2 pages of errata for 110 dollars (3.5e) I'm pretty sure they'll have no trouble moving 4e.

Terraoblivion
2008-05-05, 03:35 PM
Not only that based on the wikipedia WotC produced DnD products make up over half the market for RPGs. 4e might fail or succeed, but it will not be based on what Paizo and Green Ronin decides to do. Those two companies are simply way too small to significantly impact WotC with their decission. Most likely the rising food prices in the third world will affect WotC more than the decission by Paizo and Green Ronin. The part of the RPG market that third party DnD products made by these two specific companies represents is minuscule and simply cannot meaningfully influence the enormous market share WotC holds solely with their own DnD products.

EvilElitest
2008-05-05, 04:36 PM
Hmmmmm, well here was what i first thought


Hmmmmm, i highly highly disagree if this is true, but i have to admit WotC is quite clever, because from a business perspective this is a good idea


Why are they doing this? What do they gain
As with all edition changes, there are always people who don't want to make the switch and still stubbornly refuse to play the new edition. Many people still play second edition. THe different between this switch and the 2E/3E switch is the ratio, a lot more people are playing the game now

Lets say out of 100 gamers who played 2E, 10 of them refuse to play 3E, and 5 stop playing all together and go off to "graduate" to white wolf. ten more make the switch, but still play 2E on a regular basis and know the rules, and are only some what enthusiastic. 5 people "update" or "fix" 2E, but as they lack a real publishers, only one of them is actually able to make their change public, and only a few people are interested. The rest play 3E without any regrets.

this time however the scale is larger and the 3E people ahve companies on their side. Companies that want to appeal to both kinds of people, 3E supporters and 4E fans, as well as those who play both. The 2E fans were not large enough to really threaten their business, but they were content to play their own stuff

However, if tehse other publishers start publishing 3E material, then 3E will like another game system, and a direct rival to 4E. And so WotC, a business after all, wants to make sure that any company that sells 3E material, can't also provide 4E material. As 4E is the newest thing, most business are going to take 4E instead of 3E, because they don't want to be left behind. So a "fixed' 3E game to get published and able to act as a rival to the new and still untested 4E is now not likely. Any company that makes 3E material, will suffer losses.

Cunning.

however WotC takes a risk, if more companies don't want to be bullied by wotC and choose not to publish 3E, however i really doubt this will happen. I imagine paizo might become pro 4E


What i actually think, fitting in with the OP's request, i really don't like this idea. It effectivly ruins the "you play your improved game, i play mine" and basically destroys the hope of anyone who didn't want to play 4E but wanted a fix. That being said, it is WotC's right, and a cunning move, and so unless lots of people protest openly, it isn't going to change

Expanding upon that, i'd actually like to make an analogy about your best of both worlds


Lets say, I am EE, and i run EE's gaming and publishing company. And You are running RT incorporated (your initials) and are the head of 4th edition. Now when you tell me that 4E is coming out, i say "Ok, new thing, i want in on this". I look around and find their is a lot of support and neutral stances towards 4E. But i also note a lot of hostility. Some of it comes from conservatism and unwillingness to change, which can be expected. Those people however, won't buy any new products at all. Other people might not play D&D any more and simply walk away, but those people can't be helped, through other companies like WW that want to "graduate them" However, something i notice is this. A Sizable minority (love them or hate them, anti 4E pro change people are a very large group, if still a minority) who want a new edition and want change, but protest against 4E for what ever reason, normally under the claim that it is simplifying D&D, or making it to much like a wargame/video game or what ever. I, as a private publisher, realize that these people will flock to any game that changes 3E to suit their needs. So i order my top people to plan a new 3E game, 3.7, as well as buying 4E materials. To appeal to the people who don't even want a new edition at all (the are a somewhat large number of them) i buy newly made 3E books from smaller companies to sell or make my own. Unlike 2E, there are a lot more D&D fans and so selling to the people who don't like 4E and like 3.7 or 3.5 or even 3.0 is actually profitable

Not you, Ruki, realize this. You also realize that i am directly hindering your profits. There is a risk that my 3.7, might, just might, be as good, better, or at least almost as good as your game. You like your 4E, but you still don't know how well it will do. It might plunge, for what ever reason, or do well but not well enough to make up for the profit loss. You already have people who won't play your game, the people who have started playing other systems, the people who will simply play 3.0 or 3.5 (or even people who will revert back to 2E, rare through they may be) or people who won't play because they don't like the changes and want different changes along with people who have just had enough. weather the people who have criticized 4E's changes are right or wrong is irrelevant to you at the moment, President Ruki, what matters is that a sizable number of your fan base is protesting loudly (if not hte majority, who is neutral, or the second majority, who is pro i think, through i don't know) and causing other people to move away from 4E, or at least harbor doubts. You can't afford this product not being a major success. If this fails, then you will be in a lot of trouble.

However, the anti 4E people have a problem. They like D&D, then want change, but there isn't any other option. So a lot of them will sign, and cough up enough money to buy 4E simply because of lack of options. While they will protest, because their isn't anything else, they will eventually lose steam and only the most die hart anti 4E people won't buy any more

Now things are hard enough with all of the critisizem, unfounded or founded, when people like Mr. EE are now selling to the people who don't want to play your system. Now not only are these people not buying from you, they are buying from somebody else, who is selling a very very similar system.

now unlike people who play WW, these people's system is very much like yours, except it is better suited to this groups tastes. There is a risk that it might simply be a better balanced game, and a more interesting one, not a high one, but a risk none the less. With such a similar game, a rift will arise between the anti 4E people who are now being catered to, and the people you are aiming to

The pro 4E people will of course support your product, but the anti 4E people who like this new system (from this point on called 3.7 fans) will like their own product and spend their money on a product other than yours. The two groups will have nerd wars, where they attack each others systems and if 4E isn't the most perfect system in the history of the world, the 3.7 fans will find some flaws to pick at. Now the majority of the D&D players, the neutral people, will look at both sides, and people who normally would simply buy 4E, will now honestly consider this other company. Some won't buy your product, some will buy both, and many will be less inclinded to cough up cash because they now have an option, a viable option, on where they spend your money

And to make matters worse mr. Ruki, you can't go on a negative attack against their system, because it is basically your old system improved. You don't want to remind people of the mistakes you've made in 3E, because that hurts your credibility

So instead you force Mr. EE to make a choice, ether he is selling 4E, or 3.7

Now Mr. EE wants to make money. he does care about his product, but he isn't stupid, he knows that if he misses out on 4E he will be losing a lot, and i mean a lot of business. It is a lot less work to simply sell 4E then make and run 3.7 and it isn't good to piss off WotC.


That being said, Mr. Ruki is taking a big risk. By doing this, you are pissing people off and hurting your PR. you are also making the anti 4E people even more upset

And also, if even one company (like paizo maybe) publishes 3.7 or even 3.5 material, then all of these anti 4E people will flock to that company.

That being said, it is better one rival who will do less damage then someone who sells boot



now i have to say, that Rutee has an interesting point, that license basically made all other games extremly rare, which is funny because D&D isn't that great of a mechanical system. That being said, you can't really fault them for that
from
EE

Matthew
2008-05-05, 05:28 PM
Well, this depends upon the terms of the liscence. I suspect, and if I were in their shoes would, be including a clause that allows them to withdraw/change the rights granted under the liscence at any time, without notice, and at their sole discretion. This means that they could withdraw the liscence or change it whenever they want. Converting for a larger publisher (with more to lose than say VP) would then be agreeing to allow WotC to essentially hold a gun to your companies head, as they could kill your major product lines because they felt like it that day.

Absolutely. Wizards of the Coast may or may not include such a clause; current thinking is that they will, but we shall see what we shall see.

Personally, I'm just happy that Expeditious Retreat will continue to have a free hand to support True20, D20 1e/1.5e, OSRIC and even D20 2e, so long as products for the last does not overlap with products for the preceding. I love walking into my local game shop and being able to buy the latest Advanced Adventure for OSRIC.

Mark Hall
2008-05-05, 10:45 PM
The difference between them? Steel Nations is 4e, while Nations of Steel is 3.5e. They might have slightly different sourcebooks coming out, but they'd be very similar (The Book of Guns that Shoot Guns for Steel Nations and the Tome of Gun-Firing Guns for Nations of Steel both cover weaponry that launches weaponry and have very similar base classes, but BoGtSG contains some Paragon Paths involving guns that shoot guns, while ToGFG has some prestige classes).

Which, even if WotC allowed the chicanery, isn't going to happen because of Eric Idle. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlS8O257Gi0)

Doing a print run of a physical book is expensive, but you get an economy of scale. Doing two, of a near-identical book, for a split market? Almost twice as expensive, for a lesser return on each investment. Now, if you deal exclusively in PDF and POD, you might think about it, but that's still time spent on two different game systems, with two different philosophies, and money spent on a license (the GSL isn't free, remember), in addition to your other costs. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure you're going to see something of a concept incompatibility between 1D20 and 2D20; what I have seen doesn't make me think that concepts that work in 1D20 will necessarily smoothly port over to the new game, or vice versa.

Duke of URL
2008-05-06, 06:47 AM
Actually, the GSL is (or will be) free. Other than that, you're spot on.