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View Full Version : Warning - old school WotC rant inside!



Tony J Case, Super Genius
28 January 2002, 08:58 PM
So I know this nothing you haven't heard from me a dozen or so times before - so let me just say my peace and we'll both move on. . .

So here I was, in my local game store just a couple of days ago. "Hey, look at that!" I say to myself. "They have the new WotC Aliens compendium!"

"You've been good as of late, you have all your bills taken care of," my self says back. "Why don't you treat yourself to some RPG luvin' tonight?"

"Good idea, Self. I'm glad I brought you along."

So I strut on up to the counter, with that glow of a gamer with new goodies - or that other type of glow. Then I suddenly find myself with a bruised jaw. Holy Smokes - 32 BUCKS!?! For a soft cover?!? What - are the pages embossed with gold leaf or something?

A quick check revealed - nope, same old paper as every other RPG supplement I've ever seen.

Now I know the SW license costs a great deal of money, and that the supplements will cost a bit more than comparable books from other systems, but this! That's just a couple of bucks shy of what the main core rule book cost. That's like a dinner at a REALLY nice restaurant. That's enough vodka to be me and all my friends smashed for a evening. That's two DVDs plus popcorn!

I'm sorry - but just because it has the name Star Wars on the cover, someone must think that I'll blindly open my wallet and give until it hurts. Until I take out my second mortgage on the house and car to buy gaming supplements, I'll keep using my copy of Galaxy Guide.

Anyway, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. We now return you to your regularly scheduled rants.

Donovan Morningfire
29 January 2002, 09:15 AM
Just curious, what area are you in? It's $27 American, and like 38 bucks Canadian.

Part of the price "jack-up" is higher-quality books than what most of White Wolf and a lot of D20 third-party companies produce as well as licensing fees (which are fairly hefty). Also (and I have this from some pretty good sources), Wizards pays their people better than most RPG companies, and have they have bigger staff to boot.

With their D&D3e books, Wizards expects to sell more of them, and they own the majority (if not all) the rights to those products. To WotC, Star Wars is more of a side project, D&D is their bread and butter. Fairly simple marketing strategy; lower price leads to greater sales, so long as quality isn't sacrificed.

I guess what I'm getting at is that it's more than just the liscensing fees that jacks up the cost of the books. And if stuff seems re-hashed since you already have a load of d6 books, just remember there's a lot of other folks who don't have the d6 books that for them all this is new stuff.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
29 January 2002, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by Donovan Morningfire
Just curious, what area are you in? It's $27 American, and like 38 bucks Canadian.


The place i saw it had the book listed at 30 bucks plus the tax and stuff. The grand total at the register was just shy of 32 dollars.



I guess what I'm getting at is that it's more than just the liscensing fees that jacks up the cost of the books. And if stuff seems re-hashed since you already have a load of d6 books, just remember there's a lot of other folks who don't have the d6 books that for them all this is new stuff.

I don't begrudge new books to folks who dont have the D6 versions, but man - I was not prepared for the sticker shock. That's where the majority of the rant comes from, really.

Durian Keldrona
29 January 2002, 09:25 AM
I remember getting mine for around 20 maybe 25 i dont remember it costing that much as that is what i payed for the CR

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786926635/qid=1012328799/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_71_1/104-1395866-6716728

Its 18 Dollars on Amazon so i think you got ripped off.

Dr_Worm
29 January 2002, 04:31 PM
Well I just bought Starships of the Galaxy and even though I really lilke the content of the book, I am quite dissapointed with the quality. The Paper is cut rate (tears very easily) and the offset is fadded in places. I thought that the CR had a tad too much eyecandy (great paper quality though), but better that than what Starships has. Again I like the book and don't feel that I wasted my money, but the argument that the quality is what drives the price up seems a tad thin.

WoTC may be on par with all the other gaming companies or better- I don't know. I am not comparing it to any other games, beacuse I haven't bought anything but SW and D&D in ten years- I just was hoping for better.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
29 January 2002, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by Durian Keldrona
I remember getting mine for around 20 maybe 25 i dont remember it costing that much as that is what i payed for the CR

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0786926635/qid=1012328799/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_71_1/104-1395866-6716728

Its 18 Dollars on Amazon so i think you got ripped off.

I got *close* to ripped off. After I recovered from sticker shock, I went and put the book back as fast as my legs would go. It does look like I'll have to do some online shopping, tho - but not at amazon (Since I live in washington, shipping PLUS tax is a pain the ass)

Dr_Worm
29 January 2002, 04:40 PM
Tony?

State or DC...I'm in Oregon

Master Dao Rin
29 January 2002, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by Donovan Morningfire
Just curious, what area are you in? It's $27 American, and like 38 bucks Canadian.

Sorry, your CAD$ are a tad off - it comes in shy $44 Canadian!!!

The new CR will be, if the same as the old book, around $59 Canadian ...

I'm starting to lean in TJ's direction ... :(

Kobayashi_Maru
30 January 2002, 08:52 AM
It's called Capitalism for a reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No matter if you're American or Canadian you asked for it now take it like a man (or woman in case any women are reading this)!

This is not to sound condensending (as I have been told I can sound). Did you not go to college? I mean I would have love to pay 32 dollars for some of the crappy school books I ended up selling back! At least you plan on using these for more than nine months. And in some of my classes cases at least you will use the book.

Tony J Case, Super Genius
30 January 2002, 09:55 AM
Originally posted by Kobayashi_Maru
It's called Capitalism for a reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No matter if you're American or Canadian you asked for it now take it like a man (or woman in case any women are reading this)!

This is not to sound condensending (as I have been told I can sound). Did you not go to college? I mean I would have love to pay 32 dollars for some of the crappy school books I ended up selling back! At least you plan on using these for more than nine months. And in some of my classes cases at least you will use the book.

Oh yeah, I suffered through my college years and the extrotion of the campus bookstores. For the most part, I wound up hooking up with my books off site for a lower hit to the pocket book.

And I dont begrudge WotC the right to make money, but shameless naked greed (as witnessed by the whole Decipher/LFL CCG deal, which is all kinds of bad mojo) is unacceptable. But I digress. . . .

Kobayashi_Maru
30 January 2002, 10:18 AM
Shameless naked greed, where have I heard that before??????????

O'yea that's the creed or definition of capitalism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tony J Case, Super Genius
30 January 2002, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Kobayashi_Maru
Shameless naked greed, where have I heard that before??????????

O'yea that's the creed or definition of capitalism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There's making a profit, of which I have no problem with. Then there's making money at the expense of your customers - which I object to. For example (and veering slightly away from my original topic) the Star Wars card game. LFL snatches the very successful license away from Decipher and hands it over to WotC on their promise of dumbing it down (Making it more Pokemon like) and sending profits through the roof as a result. This has the unfortunate side effect of screwing the fans that have invested thousands of dollars in the old Decipher product, who suddenly find themselves with an obsolete and unsupported game.

This is ignoring the nepotistic tendency obvious in that Lucas owns 10 percent of the stock in Hasbro - which in turns owns WotC. That's just insult to injury.

Now a 30 dollar sourcebook isnít quite the same sort of thing - but with the blood on their hands from the card game fiasco, it's kind of tough to look favorably upon the company. If they're willing to shaft fans of the card game, then what's to stop them from shafting me in the RPG?

Kobayashi_Maru
30 January 2002, 10:45 AM
I say take your card game get others with you go to their Headquaters or major office and dump them in their space (yard or parking lot).
"What?" you say with that I'm crazy look.

That is interesting 200 some odd years ago it seemed practicle to stole down to the harbor and dump tea into it!!!

Now, ha, good luck!
Americans lost their will for revolution!

Its funny cause I was just saying this last night!
Americans lost thier "I am going to change the world!" attitude.
If others feel this way pull them together and change what WotC does.
It is suppose to be the consumer who determines what is to be done in a free market.

Don't tell me easier said than done!
Everything takes work even doing nothing takes effort.

Don't tell me that's just the way life is!
Because other things have changed that people thought would never change!

With determinatino and backing anyone can bring about change!!!!!!!


Sorry I didn't mean to get off the subject! But at least the d6'ers can transform thier games into d20 (for the most part)!!!!!!!!!!

Jedi_Staailis
30 January 2002, 01:18 PM
If we have a problem with expensive sourcebooks, there are plenty of ways to (legally :D ) let WotC know. First of all, no one forces us to buy books. If they're too expensive, don't buy them! WotC, like any company, is trying to make money. We can rant and rave about abusing the customers, but all Hasbro's stockholders care about is whether Hasbro is making money. If we don't like our treatment by a company, we don't buy their products, or we ask them to change, or we complain to others and get them all to avoid buying the company's products. WotC either chooses that they don't want the business, or they concede. It's a compromise.

Paul Klein
30 January 2002, 02:10 PM
But Tony, what will give you more use, more pleasure in the long run? A $30 book that you will/could use over and over, or a $30 dinner which you'll crap out in 12 hours, or $30 of booze which you'll regret in the morning?

Priorities my friend, priorities!

B)

Tony J Case, Super Genius
30 January 2002, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by Paul Klein
But Tony, what will give you more use, more pleasure in the long run? A $30 book that you will/could use over and over, or a $30 dinner which you'll crap out in 12 hours, or $30 of booze which you'll regret in the morning?

Priorities my friend, priorities!



Oh, Damn you for playing the logic card! Of course if the dinner was a date, which lead to other evening activities, which - oh my . . .

Aw, who am I kidding - gamers dont get dates! :)

Kobayashi_Maru
30 January 2002, 02:19 PM
I don't mind payng good money for good books.

But I do believe thier was a GenCon where the Vampyre guys got thier own books thrown at them!!!!!!!!!!
I asked the local game store about their WhiteWolf sales and they were down since that incident!

Maybe the point was made!!!!!!!!!!!

Master Dao Rin
30 January 2002, 10:06 PM
BAH! Klein, there are priorities and then there is the holy trinity.

These don't count: food, beer, and Star Wars are all untouchable!!!

Its a conundrum I say. :D

I feel for ya, TJ. Oh, and btw, they're already shafting us, in case ya haven't noticed ... :)

Jan Tolbara
2 February 2002, 09:34 PM
Originally posted by Tony J Case, Super Genius


Aw, who am I kidding - gamers dont get dates! :)

Says you. I married a fellow gamer! :D

Anyway, I know that the current prices of gaming books is a big issue being discussed on a number of boards and mailing lists. If I recall somebody's statement correctly (I believe it was Armage), it is the high cost of publishing the books that raise the prices. I am not sure of the validity of that statement, since I'm not involved in the publishing industry.

Needless to say, I haven't purchased too many gaming books lately. Maybe when my tax refund comes in . . .

BrianDavion
3 February 2002, 10:30 AM
well, regarding the prices... I have heard two things regarding WotC which I think sound reasonable... it is regarding D&D and I suspect the same holds true for star wars.


1) you get a VERY good deal on the "core rules books" and think about it, sure the Core rules books cost a fair bit, but LOOK what you get! you get a hard cover book with 200-300 pages of info, with FULL COLOUR throughoiut it, thats pretty pricy when you think about it

2) to make up for the god deal WotC charges more for their supplements
that seems fair... I mean all you need is the core rule book anyway

FatGnome
3 February 2002, 10:50 AM
Ack!!! Ok I am a business major right now and like it has been pointed out, the only way to get them to lower the prices is to not buy the books. If you are going to go out and buy the books then you obviously don't think that they are too expencive. In fact for an economy the best place for a price to be is right below the line that people will be willing to buy the books.

I look at the source books in the same way I look at video games and mostly computer games. First you buy the initial game (Core Rule Book). Later they put out expantions (Alien Anthology, Dark Side Rule book.).

Ok what is the price on a new computer game now? $50 US ? Ok I usualy beet one of these games in two weeks. Now every time I play the game again it is almost exacatly the same. So in another year the company puts out an expansion set. So I buy that and I get another maybe 2 weeks out of that and I can use a couple new units. Well My total bill is close to $100 US. Yeah for me I got maybe a month of good solid fun game play out of that game and now it is boring. I find that paying the $30 is well worth it because you will use it over and over for probably years.

grizzly
23 February 2002, 10:28 PM
At least you guys in the States get access to things like the minitures.. us mob Down Under still can't get our hands on the original releases. As for the book prices the core rules book was 70 Pacific pesos (other wise known as Australian dollars) and most of the sourcebooks were around $38-40, which is a surprise to hear them costing USD30, cos the exchange rate is 50-55 cents meaning they should cost closer to AUD70. Guess I shouldn't complain too much then eh? :) *mumbles* want wookie miniture */mumbles*

Sithspawn
24 February 2002, 02:25 AM
I have so far only purchased one WOTC book (Darksise Sourcebook which I thought was very good).

But WOTC RPGs are the most expensive on the shelf. High publishing costs are the weakest defense. As the biggest company in the industry should they not be under-cutting the competition with ease? No instead they have delusions of grandeur about being the the best and that people will buy their product regardless.

Like many board members here I play various RPGs. So when one company is asking a ridiculous about of money for their product they are just making my choice a lot easier.

In this world of Capitalism I prefer to support the smaller companies. I have bought very little SW merchandise in the the last two years because it is always the most expensive, and by far not the best quality like it used to be. Personally I think GLs license to print money is going stale.

Moridin
24 February 2002, 12:03 PM
OK, I took a look at the price difference between the Dark Side Sourcebook and the WEG Imperial Sourcebook, both the same page count and hardcover. There's an $8 difference in the two. Sounds high, right? Well, you figure in 10 years worth of inflation, increased licensing costs from LFL (remember, Unca George is paying for his prequels out of pocket), glossy paper, color pages....$8 difference ain't that bad, IMHO.

I just hate cheap-feeling sourcebooks.

Oh, and Tony, man, a $30 tag for AA? That's insane. I got mine for like $26 AFTER tax.

It's funny, these talks of dates...my fraternity is having a date party on Wednesday where I'm going to spend around $50 on dinner for me and my date alone...one night, and I think to myself "yeah, this'll be a good date." That's like 2 sourcebooks right there, which will last a lot longer than one night. Though my date is absolutely hot....

Winter
24 February 2002, 03:46 PM
Originally posted by Tony J Case, Super Genius


I got *close* to ripped off. After I recovered from sticker shock, I went and put the book back as fast as my legs would go. It does look like I'll have to do some online shopping, tho - but not at amazon (Since I live in washington, shipping PLUS tax is a pain the ass)

Try www.newwave.org for some decent prices. I've ordered from them several times without a mishap. I got turned onto them by one of the players in my group who is really into miniatures so if you're looking for some of those, its a double-bonus.

Hope this helps,
Winter

Reverend Strone
24 February 2002, 06:34 PM
Man, I can beat all you guys winging about the price.

In New Zealand the Aliens supplement is more than $60! The core rulebook was actually quite cheap at $100. Word on the stret is that the new update will be up around $110.

Amazon is no help, because being so far away, the shipping is usually more than the actual book.

I don't mind paying for good quality material in a nice format, so for the great hard cover books like the Core Rule Book or Dark Side Companion I've accepted the frightening price tag and bitten the bullet, but I must admit, it's getting harder to fork over the big bucks for the rather flimsy soft-covers. Despite being black and white, the Tatooine booklet was similarly priced to the Aliens Supplement, and considering how thin those both are, it's getting harder and harder to justify.

The problem with these thin soft covers is they just don't live that long, and i do my best to protect them from wear. I would happily wait longer for their release and pay more if Wizards ditched the soft covers all-together and released these supplements as beautiful hard cover books with a higher styandard of artwork and presentation. It's simply easier to spend when you know you're buying an item of quality.

For example, I just can't bring myself to buy the Starships Supplement because it just isn't attractive or particularly comprehensive, but I bought and enjoy the Darksides Sourcebook even though it doesn't really apply to my campaigns. Holding something really cool in your hands goes a long way toward making a customer more wiiling to hand over any cash, let alone more than they really should.

In the end, winging about the price doesn't really get us anywhere unfortunately, but I do hope the quality improves to match. If WOTC could spend a little more time and money on these items, I'd be more inclined to loosen my grip on my pocketbook.

Wow, that turned into a mega-rant- shakes head stupidly; "I never knew I had it in me"

Tramp
27 February 2002, 10:18 AM
I don't know who was trying to sell you that book for so much. I paid only $21.95 for the Secrets of Tatooine at Media Play and The same for the Starships of the Galaxy Guide at Waldenbooks. Check those stores out if your gaming store is ripping you off.

dgswensen
27 February 2002, 10:34 AM
Over the years, I've bought a lot of gaming products. More, in fact, than I probably should have. I have three editions of D&D, three editions of Call of Cthulhu, pretty much the entire Torg line, and boatloads of supplemental material for all of them -- and that's just for starters. In short, I have boxes of the stuff filling up my closet.

In other words, I think I've paid my dues to the gaming companies and their quest for profit. With the amount of material I've bought from them, I could have purchased a used motor vehicle or two.

That said, $32 is way too much to pay for a softback rules supplement of questionable quality. Rants about capitalism, and the meaning of same, don't really hold water with me, because for five dollars more you can buy a hardcover edition of the 5th edition Call of Cthulhu rules, which is nearly 300 pages long to the Alien Anthology's 128. And Chaosium doesn't seem nearly as big a company as WOTC, if you'll pardon my saying so. If anything, WOTC should be the guys with the lower prices, considering they probably do much higher volume.

I have bought a lot of RPG stuff in my life, and will probably buy a lot more, but I'll never pay that kind of money for a softcover book with information I could easily make up or get elsewhere. I wouldn't even have the Starships guide if someone hadn't given it to me as a gift -- because the quality doesn't stand up to its price tag.

Capitalism doesn't mean a company turns out its product, and people buy it no questions asked, because they owe everyone at said company a living. A company that turns out an inferior product at too high a price will alienate its customers, lose sales, and either change the way it does business, or cease to exist. That's capitalism at work.

dgswensen
27 February 2002, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by Tony J Case, Super Genius


Aw, who am I kidding - gamers dont get dates! :)

Hey, my girlfriend of five years likes Star Wars, roleplaying, anime, and can often whip my ass at Dead or Alive 2. My biggest problem is that no one who hasn't seen her ever believes she exists. Well, that and I keep worrying she's going to come to her senses one day. :) Attractive girls who game are like faeries or elves to some people... sure, they might exist, but only in theory, right? :)

Master Dao Rin
27 February 2002, 09:21 PM
Too true, too true, my friend. :)

Reverend Strone
28 February 2002, 06:41 AM
While we're on this happy little asside, permit me to indulge myself.

I happen to have a friend who is drop dead gorgeous, blonde, young, intelligent, articulate, loves Star Wars and other supposed geek stuff, and role plays. Oh, and she's single I think.

Of course, no one believes she exists. I empathize with you on that note DG. But I swear on my life she is real.

She's one of those things that restores my faith in a just Universe.

Of course I'm a happily engaged man with a fantastic fiancee who loathes Star Wars and rolls her eyes when she sees me pawing over rulebooks. That's not a complaint, just a comment. Were it not for her normalising influence, I would have been lost to the Dark Side years ago and given WOTC, Hasbro, Lucasfilms etc all my money and likely my soul too.

So if anyone is looking for a date and lives Downunder, I know this girl...

reliant
28 February 2002, 07:47 AM
If you want to complain, how about the fact that the core rule book came out (and was expensive, but not too much) and had stupid spelling errors in it? One whole page of the ship combat section has "firing" spelled wrong on the WHOLE PAGE. And now they are bringing out a "revised" rule book only a few months after the first one... So of course I'll buy it, and then have the first one around collecting dust on my shelf (maybe I'll keep it around for players without books) but regardless that is just BS. And if you really want to talk about stuff being ridiculasly overpriced, what about 40K stuff? 10 bucks for one minature? How is that even close to fair? But, to stay on target here, the SW books are overpriced by a long shot. Gaming books in general are over priced as far as I am concered. As gamers I think we were designed to suffer...

As for gamers not having dates... I have a girlfriend (dating for 5 years) and although she is not a gamer, she is VERY tolerant of my gaming habits...

dgswensen
28 February 2002, 07:56 AM
Originally posted by reliant
But, to stay on target here, the SW books are overpriced by a long shot. Gaming books in general are over priced as far as I am concered. As gamers I think we were designed to suffer...

You said a mouthful. Gaming products have always seemed ovepriced to me -- when I was a teenager they seemed overpriced because I never had much money, and even buying one rulebook was a major investment. These days, even though I have a lot more disposable income, the prices have jumped significantly. The Call of Cthulhu rulebooks have nearly doubled in price over the last seven years or so. I don't mind too much, because the quality has done nothing but improved over the years, but there are some products for which I can unfortunately not say the same. So, even though I have more money, I'm less inclined to spend it, because the production values are not always there.

I am a bit disgruntled about the error-ridden condition of the first edition WOTC rulebook, and a bit frustrated that another edition is coming out so soon. But it seems to me it's always been like this. The original AD&D books had tons of warts, errors, and useless material in them, and it was years and years before there was a new edition. I guess I'd rather have the option to buy a revised rulebook than have to deal with a warty system for years on end.

Master Dao Rin
28 February 2002, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by revstrone
So if anyone is looking for a date and lives Downunder, I know this girl...

Oh, you nasty man. A hot chick with an Aussie accent?! And loves Star Wars!?!

Thats not fair, mister ... :D

Any chance she wants to take a vacation? ;)

grizzly
1 March 2002, 01:40 AM
Revstrone, pleeeeeeeeease make my day and tell me this friend of yours is in Perth and not Sydney or NZ!!!

Reverend Strone
1 March 2002, 04:11 PM
(Off topic, but I'll be brief)

Master Dao Rin and Grizzly, I'm sorry to tell you both that my lovely friend is a Kiwi (We're a distinct country from the Aussies Master Dao, with our own accent. It's the equivalent of calling a Canadian a Yank, but I'll try not to be offended).

Look around lads. There has to be more of them. Quite a lot of my gaming friends are attractive, intelligent women. I've never understood the stereotype that all gamers, ladies and guys alike, are sad little weedy geeks or big sweaty unshaven hulkers (to be fair though, I do kind of fit one of those profiles).

Back to topic of thread...

grizzly
1 March 2002, 06:08 PM
*Kicks computer in disgust*

Oh well... we'll let you have Russell Crowe back as one of yours after his performance at the Baftas :p :D

blitzkreig
2 March 2002, 12:30 AM
hrm. reading this post and all attractive blondes aside (that one is the hardest part...)

i feel inclined to say that i can remember the good old days of TSR when i would shell out roughly 20-25 scratch for main books and never more than 20 scratch for supplements (barring the larger supplements).

this brings me to WoTC who, being owned by Hasbro, has adopted its parent company's marketing strategy of cheaper (quality, value, etc) main sets and much more expensive supplements (though quality stays the same, value plummets dramatically). regardless, WoTC has me shelling scratch for D&D and for SW so i guess i am 2 parts stupid and 2 parts addicted to the industry. and i might throw my SW books at the guy at the WoTC booth next GenCon, but i am sure that they would get taken away and then i would have wasted the 30+ to buy the thing in the first place. hrm maybe i will find all the reciepts from every WoTC product i have ever bought and throw those instead (considering i have a veritable horde of magic cards i never use that could be a lot).

as for buying games from other companies, i really like the cheap sticker price on cyberpunk and shadowrun, though i am still very partial to vampire and mage stuff as well and have not seen too dramatic a price difference in the white wolf stuff in the seven years that i have played WW games. as for GW warhammer 40k stuff, all i can say is "i can't wait for the plastics to get into mass production again - easier to paint and tons easier to carry"

Reverend Strone
3 March 2002, 03:42 PM
Actually, the one thing I must say in defense of WoTC after my above rant about the soft-cover supplement, is that SW Gamer is consistantly (or at least the issues I've bought) worth every last cent of the price.

I was so impressed, after resisting buying it for the longest time, but it is packed with cool rpg stuff and even at the prices I pay to get hold of a copy in the deep south of the world, very much worth the effort.

grizzly
3 March 2002, 08:45 PM
Revstrone I take it you've got a comic or gaming shop that orders the SW Gamer in from the Previews catalogue? I've found 1 place in Perth that will get it in, but that's only as people want them, not a general shelf item. It works out to be about AUD 13-14 :(

Reverend Strone
4 March 2002, 10:37 AM
Hole in one Griz.

grizzly
5 March 2002, 02:10 AM
So what's the NZ price work out at? Not sure where the NZD stands with the USD or the AUD atm.. I know the AUD is currently around the 50-55 cent US mark :(

Reverend Strone
5 March 2002, 10:54 AM
The Kiwi Sheckel is worth about 42c American; I think abround 80c Aus? Shipping to this corner of the globe tends to add something to the price too.

I tend to just multiply any US prices by two and a half to get the translation to NZ Dollars, and then add a bit more on for good measure.

Still, it's a fantastic place to live and I'd be very loathe to shift, so I'll temper my complaining (no one likes a whinger). There's always a trade off.

Master Dao Rin
5 March 2002, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by revstrone
(Off topic, but I'll be brief)

Master Dao Rin and Grizzly, I'm sorry to tell you both that my lovely friend is a Kiwi (We're a distinct country from the Aussies Master Dao, with our own accent. It's the equivalent of calling a Canadian a Yank, but I'll try not to be offended).


:rolleyes: Don't I know it.

Sorry ... I am aware of the difference, though - I can even tell the difference in accents. I've just never heard of NZ being referred to as "Down Under" before - I thought that was an Aussie thing. Anyway, I guess I shouldn't looked at the location from your profile! :o

But whatever - Kiwi, Aussie, who cares!? ;) Just send her up to the great white north and I'll keep her warm! :D

darth maim
15 March 2002, 12:23 AM
Originally posted by dgswensen
That said, $32 is way too much to pay for a softback rules supplement of questionable quality. Rants about capitalism, and the meaning of same, don't really hold water with me, because for five dollars more you can buy a hardcover edition of the 5th edition Call of Cthulhu rules, which is nearly 300 pages long to the Alien Anthology's 128. And Chaosium doesn't seem nearly as big a company as WOTC, if you'll pardon my saying so. If anything, WOTC should be the guys with the lower prices, considering they probably do much higher volume.

Try this on for size... Heroes Unlimited or random Rifts book: $25 nearly 400 pages or more.


Capitalism doesn't mean a company turns out its product, and people buy it no questions asked, because they owe everyone at said company a living. A company that turns out an inferior product at too high a price will alienate its customers, lose sales, and either change the way it does business, or cease to exist. That's capitalism at work.

You're right Capitalism doesn't mean they put out crap, we buy crap no questions asked. It means as long as we buy crap questions or not, they will continue to shove crap our way. Don't like it? Don't buy it! Simple as that. If you do they will not change a thing. You can gripe all you want but as long as they get your money (as well as everyone else's), they are going to go home and count their stacks of cash and not care what you were saying as you handed the money over.

darth maim
15 March 2002, 12:30 AM
Originally posted by revstrone
but it is packed with cool rpg stuff

Not lately... which sucks!

Reverend Strone
15 March 2002, 05:28 PM
Not lately... which sucks!

Yeah, I know what you mean. Since that original post I've picked up a few more recent copies of SW Gamer, and there is definately a shift in a new direction that doesn't sit well with me.

I've made my displeasure heard on the WOTC forums and written to the SW Gamer Editor. If everyone else feels the same way, please tell them about it. The more of us that kick up a stink on these issues, hopefully the greater the chances are they'll listen to us.

Soontide
19 March 2002, 10:12 PM
The reason that WoTC is able to jack up the prices of their books( and trust me, they do and have done so from the day they bought TSR) is that they have very little competition in the marketplace right now. The reason that TSR was having so much trouble in the early 90s was the proliferation of other gaming companies that had rival products that were of good to great quality for a lower price. I remember such classics as runequest, rolemaster, gurps, etc. these companies are now relegated to the back shelves of most game stores(if the products are carried at all. Its almost impossilbe to get a set of Rolemaster core rules in this town without having to order it).
Right now, WoTC is the big fish in the pond. They have D&D and star wars. The biggest fantasy role playing game and the largest franchise from a movie series there is. They also have pokemon, star wars ccg, and magic: the gathering. They have no competition to speak of in these fields. Sure, White Wolf is out there, but they are becoming more like a partner in crime than competition. Why, their fantasy system is a D20 system thats compatable with D&D and they put out one of the world series just recently.
If you really want to take care of this problem before it gets too out of hand and we wind up having to pay 100+dollars for a 20 page book on how to roll a die or not play the game, you might want to bring this to the attention of your local government. Its call a viloation of Anti-Trust laws. Basically, its what got Microsoft into so much hot water. So, do what I did and email your local DA's office or Corperation Commision if you state or provence has one and ask them to look into the situation. If its truely illegal, then something will be done about it, like causeing WoTC to split into multiple companies. If not, then we will have to learn to squeeze our belts a little tighter for our fun or stop playing and see how long the company lasts without customers.

Thats my rant, If you don't like it, then write your own.:raised:

Nova Spice
21 March 2002, 06:34 PM
Soontide what you just said to do is basically, communisn and in America that can't be tolerated. The Microsoft situation was ridiculous. So what if they had a monopoly? Bill Gates worked his butt off to get where he is today (contrary to popular belief, it wasn't handed to him) and WotC has worked hard to become the excellent gaming company they are today.
To try to effectively cause chaos and break apart a company due to its successful nature is what I and many other Americans call, Totalitarianism. That's the beauty of this nation. Its not your place to try and break apart a company because they have a monopoly, unless of course, you plan to open a gaming enterprise and want to compete. The only way to break a monopoly is to challenge it the capitalist way, not the communist way. America is all about opportunity. So if you want to lower WotC's prices, open up a gaming enterprise and give him some competition.
Sorry, just had to say this, cause its one of my pet peeves if you know what I mean. And yes, if you're wondering, I am a Pro-life Conservative Republican. I hope this doesn't get off thread topic. ;) :D

Dr_Worm
21 March 2002, 09:17 PM
Actually Nova, history shows us that once you reach a threshhold of power and influence in a market economy, you hold a unbalance level of controll over the masses. Every huge, corrupt, monoply has had to be pulled down by governmet regulation because at some point their product and services are needed by the masses so much that the massive abuses are tolerated.

Now don't get me wrong, Nova, I am not calling WoTC (or Microsoft) corrupt monopolies. WoTC has become a market leader by creating products that people want to buy. They have their fingers on the pulse of fad, and have a healthy appreciation for graphic design. As far as their business pratices go I will not comment as I do not know enough about them to make a valid point.

The idea of a bunch of roleplayers marching on the Atourney Generals office is absure and rediculous(nearly as absurd as my spelling). Wizards will never charge $100 dollars for a luxery item, beacuse no one would pay it. Lawmakers couldn't give a fiddlers-fart about the high prices of games; they only regulate when it effects nessities like food, and (sad as it may seem) gasoline.

The only way to make a difference is not to buy it. Plain and simple. That is why Gamer is falling. Now I think they should have invested a little more time into the project for it to get a better foothold, but the all mighty green speaks in shouts in a market economy.

Soontide
22 March 2002, 08:43 AM
Yes, it is obsurd to think of gamers marching on their attorney general's office for a luxury item. Its also obsurd for people to complain about the prices when they are still buying the offending product. Go out and come up with your own games. create your own systems(I've played a number of homegrown systems over the years and found some that were excellent). The comment I made about this happening since WoTC buying TSR was true. since TSR was bought, there has been that complaint that WoTC has been charging the highest price possible for the product, which they are according to the laws of free market capitalism.
Along the same vein, I do hate the govornments harrassment of microsoft, but there are laws in our country that are restrictive and keep businesses from getting too large. Is microsoft a monopoly? no, anyone ever hear of LINUX? its free, now thats something that microsoft will never do for windows, so the arguement that they could undersell the competition is not possible. Worry about WoTC when they start turning out game books for $5 a book, then maybe we have a monopoly.

:D Playing devils advocate is so fun!!
Roll Tide Nova!

Moridin
22 March 2002, 12:01 PM
If you really want to take care of this problem before it gets too out of hand and we wind up having to pay 100+dollars for a 20 page book on how to roll a die or not play the game, you might want to bring this to the attention of your local government. Its call a viloation of Anti-Trust laws. Basically, its what got Microsoft into so much hot water.This I will strongly disagree with. WotC is not violating any anti-trust laws at all. In fact, to compare it to your analysis, WotC is more like Linux than Microsoft: they have "open sourced" their code, and people have embraced it. Other companies are still profitting, and other systems still sell well.

The reason that WotC has such a strong market presence is that they have created a good system that people like. When you go to a gaming store, you're not forced to buy a d20 game in order to roleplay.

Nova Spice
22 March 2002, 12:14 PM
Thanks Moridin that's eactly what I was trying to say of course you put it in simpler terms. I don't believe anyone should be punished because they have worked hard to get where they are. I consider myself a political person and am very interested in politics, military, and capitalism (i.e. Wall Street). Although I must admit, being only in the 10th grade, I find myself unique in that aspect, considering I'm the only athlete in my school that could tell you what DJIA stands for!
By the way, Soontide I am actually shocked you noted where I live! But remember something, its War Eagle where I live! I'm an Auburn fan...hehe :p
Also I am glad we can both present differing points of view without getting angry and lowering each other's ratings. I find that when someone presents an intelligent opinion differing from mine, I raise their rank!


Man I love having this discussions!

While we're on WotC and its dominating presence in the gaming industry, what do you think drives people to the d20 system? My players say that the fact that there are six different dice makes it seem more challenging. I've never really given it any consideration, but perhaps some of you have?

Dr_Worm
22 March 2002, 01:13 PM
Well Nova my thought is it is a combination of the system being simple yet comprehensive, and good (somtimes great) graphic design. The gaming system is well layed out and fast paced. I played D6 for years , and I still do, and at first I was very hesitant to accept the new system. It has it's flaws, like the fact that the level system doesnt accurately represent growth of a character, but it is simple to learn and simple to play.

It's not so much the 6 diffrent dice, as much as it is the fact that most rolls ar based around a SINGLE DIE. It even improved on TSR's system of THACO armor class by getting rid of cumbersom negative numbers. D20 will grow and evolve, and ideally improve, but currently it is a simple, flexable system that covers the genre very well.

Another plus is the fact that unlike some systems, you really and truely only need one book to play. I relied on the CR for a long time before I could afford to buy any others. I never felt like I was missing anything nessisary.

My last point is the WoTC has a healthy understanding of the value of quality graphic design. WEG had very comprehensive layouts, but lacked the flash and fun that gives WoTC books alot of value. Great art and great layout go a long way towards convincing a person to buy a product. I am actively not going to look at the new Tempest Feud book as I trust that I would be extreemly tempted to buy it, even though I will probably never run it.

Soontide
23 March 2002, 06:50 AM
The D20 system has been around for a very long time, over 25 years. In that time there have been improvements and adaptations that have made it a more streamlined and playable system. The other systems haven't had the time to develope the way the D20 system has. Also, a large number of gamers(mostly the old ones like me) cut their gamer teeth on D&D, be it first or second ed. These players are commonly getting back into the gaming world after a drought and are teaching the newer, younger players the ropes with a game they feel comfortable with. At least, thats how it seems to be happening here where I am.
The analogy about WoTC being like LINUX is a bit off base I think. Linux is free in the beginning and was put out to compete with the big megalithic Microsoft. WoTC is slowing buying up all of the most popular games and Worlds that it can. This leaves pittifully little left for the other companies to work with. In this way, it is more like Microsoft. There was never any contention that Microsoft didn't have any competition, it was the huge size and market dominating nature of the company. WoTC is doing this with its open License policy. In this way, its D20 system becomes the dominate system and it slowly merges with the companies that put out the other products until it is the only one left.
Otherwise, I think the system is playable and simple. It uses primarily one die and all of the feats, stats and other systems are easy to understand. It doesn't have the realism of the old D6 system in my opinion. The level system has always bothered me and the random nature of the stats leaves something to be desired. The publishers did some work tward taking care of the random stats with their point distribution method of character generation, but there still needs to be more done before I will truely like it like I did when I was a teen.

OH, and Nova? I wan't wrong. I grew up in Gadsden, Alabama, It is Roll Tide!!! hehe

dragonseye
20 April 2002, 04:36 PM
A.) Tony, you were completey ripped off by that store. If you check the cover price on the book, it says it's $26.95 USD. Even with an exorberant state tax, it shouldn't of brought the Alien Anthology up to $32 USD.

B.) My biggest problem with WOTC is the fact that they are getting all of these great smaller game companies with their slim lined, easy to learn, and very effective systems to give up their own because they're hopping onto WOTC's bandwagon. I especially hate what AEG turned itself into, namely a miniature version of WOTC... I haven't seen a single book put out in their own systems (L5R or 7th Sea) for many months (at least six as of now... probably more.) I've played their games since L5R 1st ed was introduced at Gen Con nearly five years ago. I do believe that they've put out the most in depth and least power gaming books for d20 (Spy Craft is probably the best d20 book I've seen... no questions about it... they even thought of backgrounds for characters along with tables for awarding/ docking players experience for good roleplaying or messed up missions ,) but it's still very disappointing that they sold themselves out to the bigger company.

(Ok, I'll stop complaining now...)

CrazyNuts
20 April 2002, 07:20 PM
JOKES ON YOU ALL I'M A SHOPLIFTER!

justkidding I'm not cool enough to be a shoplifter...

"How many stormtroopers R-9?! umm...we'll go around..."
-CrazyNuts

Reverend Strone
20 April 2002, 07:38 PM
Welcome aboard CrazyNuts, only go careful buddy. Comments like that one will get you slammed around here.

grizzly
20 April 2002, 07:46 PM
justkidding I'm not cool enough to be a shoplifter...

I would've thought the more appropriate comment would be that you're TOO cool to be a shoplifter.... :raised:

Fred Getce
21 April 2002, 12:06 AM
Well I guess it is my turn to join the debate.

Today I saw the Call of Cthulhu D20 core book. :mad:

What a bunch of crap. Being a level based system instead of the normal percentile system has caused a few problems for game play. Thankfully I have bought pretty much 90% of the Call of Cthulhu stuff long before D20 came about so I am all set. They do have a nice equipment list in the core book, but at 39.95 USD for the book that is way to much for just an equipment list.

I have yet to see the Deadlands D20 book, but I am already dreading it.

The reasons why I do not like WOTC and their D20 3rd Edition is because it promotes bad GMing habits (kind of like going from VB to C++). Other game systems require a totally different approach which D20 does not. I know alot of people defend D20 and I do too, for the 2nd Edition anyway, but this 3rd Edition looks like WOTC was influenced by their card game Magic: The Gathering with the special abilities, feats, and the over all power level of the game.

Donovan Morningfire
21 April 2002, 05:37 PM
I don't know about AEG. They have done some d20 stuff, but they do still have stuff planned for both L5R and 7th Seas (Swordmaster's Guildbook was just released a month or so ago.)

As for call of cthulu Fred, I think all you are going to see is that one book. Chaosium still holds the license on Cthulu RPG, and reports are that they have no long-term plans to release d20 stuff. I think it might have been more a marketing ploy to draw new gamers to their game. Introduce them to a light version of their game, and hope those people pick up the Chaosium books in the future.

Fred Getce
21 April 2002, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by Donovan Morningfire
As for call of cthulu Fred, I think all you are going to see is that one book. Chaosium still holds the license on Cthulu RPG, and reports are that they have no long-term plans to release d20 stuff. I think it might have been more a marketing ploy to draw new gamers to their game. Introduce them to a light version of their game, and hope those people pick up the Chaosium books in the future.

Hopefully that is all it is, one book and marketing ploy. I looked through it and gagged at every other page and near did drop dead when I read the monster chapter.

Has anyone seen the Deadlands D20 yet? Oh I also heard that WOTC is going to do D&D 4th Edition with new rules that they used in Star Wars D20 with the Vitality/Wound system too. The only thing I liked from what I heard waqs how they were going to fix the magic system. No longer be level based but kind of like Force in Star Wars where you have certain feats (magic schools like Alteration, Illusion, etc.) that you must have before you can use certain spells and certain spells you cannot access until you have selected certain Class feats if your a Priest, Mage, Sorceror, etc. I cannot verify any of this but it looks like it would be nice except it is hot on the heels of 3rd Edition. What is every one elses view on a 4th Edition of D&D?

dragonseye
22 April 2002, 04:16 PM
Fred,

The d20 Deadlands is pretty good; I still prefer the original system, but it is put together alright. (That and they have actually continued to make their sourcebooks in the original sytesm .)

The "fixes" do sound interesting... and they do make a kind of sense.... but D&D is too much of a hack and slash for me.

Don,

I have a feeling 7th Sea will be going the way of the dodo soon... they're making a d20 version for it advertised in Previews magazine of this month. The reason I say this is that AEG hasn't produced a single book in their original sytesm for L5R since the d20 version was released. (Supposedly there is a book coming out that will sport both editions- Way of the Samurai if I remember the title correctly... but I'll believe that when I see it.)

I guess more than anything else, is the fact that the situation is rather frustrating... It seems like no company has enough bravery to fill thimble when it comes to rivaling WOTC.

Donovan Morningfire
22 April 2002, 06:26 PM
fred getce-
I bought the main book, and took an instant dislike to it. It reeks more of D&D in the Wild West than of truly being the Weird West. I've scrounged a few things from the book for my Star Wars game. If you've already got the classic Pinnacle system and like it, stick with that and save the money you might have spent on the d20 version for something else ... like other non-d20 Pinnacle products :D

dragonseye-
Well, if it's a breath of fresh air you're looking for, there are a some other options, just not main-stream ones.

White Wolf is still kicking and to my knowledge still putting stuff out for their Storyteller system. Palladium Games has vehemently said they won't touch WotC's d20 system. And they aren't small dogs. Pinnacle got a major raw deal from Cybergames, which is why things weren't so hot for them. I spoke with John Goff over e-mail sometime back, and he indicated without saying outright that the d20 versions of the game were more to increase their fan-base, thus increase revenues, and get people interested (and maybe even hooked) on the true version of Deadlands.

Eden Studios is pushing their Unisystem, and already have two titles released. The first is All Flesh Must Be Eaten, which centers around humans surviving in a zombie-filled world (been checking it out, and it looks good). They've also released Witchcraft, which deals with occultism and the supernatural in the modern world. They've also got a Buffy the Vampire Slayer game in the works, due out in June or July I think, and a couple sourcebooks lined up for that.

Guardians of Order are sticking to their Tri-Stat system. Same is true of R.Talsorian, though R.Tal is became a part-time business several years back.

Right now, d20 is the industry buzzword, due to a mostly positive reception of the D&D3e rules. I'd say give it a couple more years for it to die down. Right now there's a growing market glut. Eventually there will be too many d20 products by third-party licensees that players will get bored and start looking for something different.

It's not so much bravery as financial muscle. WotC has a pretty large chunk of the pie, as when most non-gamers think of RPGs, what title comes almost immediately to mind? Dungeons and Dragons. WotC re-invigorated that license.

As for 7th Sea, it never really took off the same way L5R did. Part of the problem for some folks was they were promised an evolving storyline, and it stagnated while AEG put all the sourcebooks out. Only this past December have things started to move forward. It would be a shame to see that game go, as I have enjoyed playing it in the past, and my Castillian swordsman will always have a special place in my archive of RPG characters. (Pretty close to where I keep my first Star Wars d6 character, my first Star Wars d20 character, and the Crow I once played.)


(looks back at above post)
Wow, I sure can ramble on with the best of them. I hope I made some good points in there.

dragonseye
23 April 2002, 04:06 PM
Don,

Yup, I'm fully aware of those other companies... we're supposed to start a Sorcerer's Crusade game sometime soon... not sure cause the fellow who's gonna run it is having a lot of problems family wise (almost as bad as mine and Ken's problem...) Unfortunaltely, I don't think it will last long with our group because he plans on it being an entirely thinking game (absolutely no combat...) while I want thinking to a game, I like some action as well (and it's the same with most of our group...) This really sucks because I've got a well developed background for the character...

Like I said, it's just rather frustrating...