View Full Version : Wizards has no passion

25 April 2002, 08:27 AM
First of all, I enjoy d20, and WoTC get quite a bit of my money.

Am I the only one that feels that there is a lack of passion in the d20 Star Wars game? They don't seem to have a love for Star Wars. If they do, it dosn/t show through in threre products. I am surprised, because Bil Slavicsek has done so much Star Wars stuff.

Aside from just a bland"feel", there are so many things that just seem to point to a lack of caring about the universe.

Dark Side Source Book: They mention that Lukes fall to the darkside, as well as the cloned Emperor, but do not cover it in any detail what so ever, nor do they give you any Stats. It was a big part of the Star Wars EU. It should not have been ignored.

Reb. Sourcebook. Man, what a nice looking book. Oh look..stats for Luke, Han and Liea....havent seen thoose before.....wow....Theres the stats for Darth Vader and the Emperor, not like they havent been published twice already. Good think I bought this book.

New jedi Order Sourcebook. Serves as a realy good book report on the novels that have come out so far. What would have been nice is some useable art work for Vong gear and ships, and creaters, equipment......
Thank God for the Del Rey Essential Guides.

Starship Guide: just blah. again, the artwork isnt very usable for gaming. I love being able to find a nice picture and show it to the players. You see this. Again...good thing I have the Del rey essential guides.

Count less typos, errors in stats, and bad writing.

Not only do they seem to have no passion for Star Wars itself, but little passion for gaming. Most of the WEG products had a since that the folks writing it loved Star Wars. I don't get why WoTC can't produce a product that has a passion for, and a feel of Star Wars.

This isn't new for Wizards though. The primary designer on the Wheel of Time, had not read the novels before he was assigned to design the game( this was taken from an intervew with C.Ryan on the wizards web site).

Hopefully the new core rule book will be wonderful, and will blow me away. I aint holding my breath though.

25 April 2002, 11:04 AM
I have been playing WOTC Star Wars since it came out, and I must say that I really enjoy it. However I agree with you that like most Wizards products it lacks any real passion. The stats it gives are repetative and the pictures are old. I have been going online and trying to find West End sourcebooks to spice up my campaign. I think West end had some pretty cool material and as a GM any material helps. I also Agree that their needs to be more pictures of ships, exterior and Interior. The Starships of the Galaxy book has been one of the only books I get a lot of use out of, but it is still pretty week.
I really like the Gamer magazine, but I heard that it is going the way of he dodo. That sucks! With out more suplemental material I dont think this new Star Wars will have the staying power neccesary to bring in new gamers. They should have dropped the Card game, and videogame articles to make more room for Adventures, Monsters, Spaceships, Planets, weapons etc....... I trully hope that someone picks up the mantle of the Gamer magazine for the sake of the entire system.

Donovan Morningfire
25 April 2002, 12:37 PM
From what I've seen, the guys that work on the Star Wars RPG have plenty of passion. But then again, it's easier to complain about how a big-time license is handled than to actually handle.

Fact of the matter is, if you're looking for a cushy job that you can get rich quick at, then the RPG industry isn't it. I'm not saying the guys up top don't make a decent chunk of change, but they are quite likely far from rolling in money.

The only book they really just re-used images was the Core Book. Every other piece of artwork is new.

But Mythtify and powalsh, it's all in the point of view. What you see as third-rate work others see as pretty darn good.

I've been pretty happy with just about every WotC Star Wars supplement I've purchased. It's not the greatest stuff I've ever seen, but it's still pretty darned good, especially compared to the 3rd-party d20 supplements that are churned out monthly.

From what I've heard via posts by JD Wiker, he and the rest of the Star Wars staff care quite a bit about the products they put out, and try to make the best product they can. If that's not good enough, the oh well. They are only human, and can only do their best. Which as far as I'm concerned, they've been doing.

"Try to please everyone, and you end up pleasing no one."
- Ancient Chinese proverb

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
25 April 2002, 01:29 PM
I agree with most of what Donovan is saying.

WEG had some good stuff - they also reprinted everything. If you were to pick up the Alien Encounters book you'll see that they reprinted 8 whole pages of species stats from species in the 2nd Edition Rulebook. And a main reason that WEG did the Alien Encounters book was that most of their other books that had species had no pictures to go with them.

WotC is covering the bases right now. More original stuff like Tempest Fued is more like what we will see in the future.

I thought that they did an excellent job with the NJOSB. Much better than the WEG Cracken's Threat Dossier and the like.

As for the artwork - aside from the Rulebook and the Special Edition Trilogy SB can somebody name a WEG book with color artwork?

Your opinion is yours. The RCRB will be out soon and the rules contained within will be awesome compared to both WEG and the CRB.

25 April 2002, 01:59 PM
The current batch of d20 star wars products does a fine job of covering the basics. I have not complained against the rules. I am hoping that any of the problems I have with the rules are going to be fixed with the revised version.

I am also happy that they did the rivised version. It shows that they listen to there fans and want to sell product.

I am also enjoy a good bit of Mr. Wikers works.

When you are dealing with a license that has so many visuals avalible as Star Wars, there is no reason to have the quaility of pictures that you do in the Starship Guide. A good game supplement would be filled with art work that you can use in your game. Both the Starship Guid and the New jedi order book lack good, useable art.

Wizards charges more for there products than do other companies. If we are paying premium prices, we should be getting the best games.
Supplemts, such as the Dark Side Source Book, which leave out major parts of the established universe, i.e. a dark side Luke, and the clone emperor, aren't top notch products. Wizards does okay, when they could do great. They have the right people. Lets see it in action.

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
25 April 2002, 02:46 PM
I have stayed away from all of the comic books/graphic novels that have been done. And, as everyone will see in AotC the comicbook version of Boba Fett is completely false.

For those people that read the novels the cloned emperor is mentioned only in passing. WotC had a limit to the DSSB. I'm willing to bet that they had a section on the cloned Emperor and the like but it was cut to have room for the things that are more widely known than the cloned emperor.

I have been hoping for a New Republic Era SB since the CRB came out. If they don't put the cloned emperor in there then I would be a little upset.

The Admiral
25 April 2002, 05:32 PM
Fact of the matter is, if you're looking for a cushy job that you can get rich quick at, then the RPG industry isn't it.
Well, certainly not unless you buy up every roleplaying or gaming company that comes on the market, establishing a reasonable monopoly that allows you to set your own price for products, no.

And a main reason that WEG did the Alien Encounters book was that most of their other books that had species had no pictures to go with them.
Also, they wanted to compile the aliens stats from something in the order of 20 books into one volume. Personally, I find AE invaluable, if combined with GG4 and GG12 they offer a staggering amount of species, with a whole construction system to boot. So even though most of the stuff is re-printed (Thought most entries are expanded to some degree) it was definitely a book worth doing. Same is true for gallidiniums, which reprinted equipment for a variety of others books into one volume J

As for the artwork - aside from the Rulebook and the Special Edition Trilogy SB can somebody name a WEG book with color artwork?
Surely can, Imperial Sourcebook, Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, Dark Empire Sourcebook, Plattís Starport Guide,,,
Iíll concede, there arenít many. However, this is one reason why WEG books cost significantly less that WotC books.
That said, I donít really see much passion in WEG stuff either. There are certain books where you can tell the authorís were just brimming over with enthusiasm, GG9, Plattís Smugglers Guide, Rules of Engagement. But a great many are mainly the standard pedestrian stuff. Lots of it are GOOD pedestrian stuff. (Then thereís the ISB, grrr,,,)

25 April 2002, 08:57 PM
the cloned emperor stuff may also be something that they decided to focus on less to concentrate on what the dark side source book gave us was pretty good, especially considering how the era they focused on if they focused on any was from the golden age of the sith to TPM.. they DID mention the emperor's return breifly though.. the gave the rules for the dark side compendium

Talonne Hauk
25 April 2002, 09:09 PM
Personally, I wish the Cloned Emperor storyline had never happened. I hated it with a capital H. If Luke had turned to the Dark Side on his own, for whatever reason, it would have been a much more compelling storyline. I cringe whenever the Cloned Emperor is brought up in subsequent storylines. But enough about me...
I think for some reason WEG holds some rights to New Republic material, and the bulk of what they wrote was for that era. I think Wizards would have to pay them a little chunk of moola for the rights to that era, and Wizards is not about to do that soon. This doesn't excuse them from having a more aggressive release schedule, though. WEG produced an awful lot of good, solid, consistent material. WoTC has put out good material, but each sourcebook has differed in layout and content, so it's tough to give them exemplary marks. And the falling of Star Wars Gamer is another black mark for them. So it remains to be seen how well they pick up the reins. I'm hoping that the release of the revised CRB is a springboard for them.

ij thompson
25 April 2002, 09:12 PM
Hey Admiral, I'm curious, what's your beef with the ISB?

26 April 2002, 04:10 AM
Call me crazy, but I usually put my passion for Star Wars into the games I run.

WOTC may have "no passion", but they certainly have the SW license and the support of Lucas.

26 April 2002, 07:40 AM
They have the license because they are owned by Hasbro.

It wasnt until Hasbro bought Wizards that they got the license for the RPG, and recently the License for the TCG.

Now, Hasbro is happy as can be cause they make all Star Wars Toys and all Star Wars games, with the exception of video games. Thoose, Lucas makes for himself.

And they say microsoft is a monopoly

26 April 2002, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by Mythtify
And they say microsoft is a monopoly

Yeah, but on the other hand, isn't the d20 system <A HREF="http://www.opengamingfoundation.org/">open-source?</A> That's pretty un-Microsoftian behavior if ever I saw it...

26 April 2002, 02:59 PM
From what I understand, Hasbro never liked the open license idea, and almost shut it down.

I also here that the day of the $20 core rule books is almost over too. An employee at my local Wizards store says that they are going to raise the price closer to the $40 range. They are saying that the $20 price tag was an "intorduction" price.

26 April 2002, 04:24 PM
40 USD for a source book.. I dunno, that seems.. unlikely.. you know I've found that game shop owners tend to be a less then reliable source of info.. they seem to hvae a very pesimistic opinion of things

Dan Stack
26 April 2002, 04:48 PM
Actually, I remember Ryan Dancey indicating before the release of the Player's Handbook that the intent was to make the $20 price an introductory price.

The Last Unicorn Game Trek books were $35 if I recall correctly.

26 April 2002, 05:51 PM
That's not just Wizards, though. Chaosium's new CoC rules are $35 for the hardcover. Ars Magica, even a few years ago, was $30 for the basic rulebook. Prices go up. I haven't paid $20 for a major rulebook in I don't know how long -- regardless of what company chucks it out.

I think the fact that Star Wars Gamer seems to have bit the dust is a pretty good indicator that the SW roleplaying franchise is not exactly swimming in dough right at the moment. If that's the case, it's only understandable that the product prices would go up.

And yeah... I heard that "introductory price" rap back when the 3E D&D stuff came out, too, so I bought them when they first come out. Does anyone know if they suddenly doubled in price at some point? Are they selling for $40 and up now?

And as for Hasbro "almost" shutting OGL down -- "almost" only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades, as my grandpappy used to say. :D

Dan Stack
26 April 2002, 07:17 PM
According to amazon.com, the list price for the D&D Player's Handbook is $29.95 (though they have it for a lot less).

I'm not saying $40 isn't a lot mind you, just that it seems to be typical. Like you said, Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu is abour $35 without color and probably with less of a licensing cost.

The new Star Trek RPG from Decipher lists at a bit under $30 but has a Player's Guide and a Narrator Guide (not sure of the price for that, it's not out yet, but probably will be $30-ish as well). That's $60 for the whole game.

26 April 2002, 11:51 PM
The new HERO System 5th Edition is $40 - then again, it's also nearly 400 pages...

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
27 April 2002, 12:52 AM
The 3 "core rulebooks" for D&D total $70.

27 April 2002, 06:06 AM
Even if the price goes up, I'm just gonna grit my teeth and pay it. Gaming is one of my pasttimes and its something I'm willing to pay to do. Prices ALWAYS go up, we live in a capitalist society and its just a fact of life. When I was a kid, I used to go to Disneyland for $10, now it costs something like $44, and you know what? I still go at least once opr twice a year.

It's simple. Manufacturers can only charge what the market will bear. If no one bought an RPG when the price went up, thenb it would eventually either lower its price or go out of business. Personally, I'll pay the price to keep doind what I enjoy doing.

Talonne Hauk
27 April 2002, 06:49 AM
We can gripe and moan about the book prices, but let's face it, RPGing is relatively cheap. Back in my carousing days, going out and getting blotto with my buddies was an expensive venture. I could blow $50 drinking with my pals a night easily. Throw a little hottie that I'm trying to woo into the mix, and the cost can skyrocket. Now that I'm a little more sedate (And my kidneys have threatened to reject my body.), I go for cheaper, more mundane pursuits. (Because my luck with the hotties is about the same either way.) The books are a onetime cost, and they invariably prove their worth.

27 April 2002, 07:40 AM
[The books are a onetime cost, and they invariably prove their worth.]

Except when they revise the game so much you have to buy a new book, in under two years.

Though this has gottent to be standard practice as well with in the gaming community. Shadow run has had what, 4 versions in 13 years, The same for Ars Magica, Vampire has had 3......

If the RCRB is good, and make for a better game, I am all for it.

27 April 2002, 08:41 AM
I would have to agree with Talonne Hauk... I used to be a big-time PC game junkie, and the money I spend on roleplaying is peanuts compared to what I spent on video games. $50, sometimes $60 a pop, for a game that sometimes only lasts days or hours before I've beaten it and it's more or less useless until I pull it off the shelf again months later -- if ever. Never mind if the game turns out to be lousy -- you can't always review a video game ahead of time like you can a roleplaying book and determine if it's sub-par or not.

Whereas most of the money I spend on RPG books, while comparable, generally goes a lot further. For example, I just picked up the latest edition of Call of Cthulhu. For fun, I looked in the jacket of my previous edition, to see how old it was -- I bought it in 1992. I'd gotten ten years of use out of that thing. And nobody was holding a gun to my head to get the latest edition, either -- I could easily have played it for ten years more, but that hardback edition was really nice.

You never "have" to buy a new book. That is your choice. The Star Wars RPG is perfectly playable as-is, even with a few warts. I'm not even going to buy the RCR right away -- one of my players is going to pick it up, we're going to look it over, and determine whether or not it's worth "upgrading" all our characters to the revised system. I may very well decide I like the old edition better and stick with it. It's not like the Wizards of the Coast Enforcement Brigade are going to come out and kick me to death with their motorhuckle boots if I don't buy it.

I will agree, however, that Wizards has burned its customers a little bit with some of the SWRPG material out there. The Rebellion Sourcebook, for example, is $30 I really regret spending. But, if I had been a little less of a fanboy and thumbed through it a little more instead of going "wow!" and buying it on impulse, I might have realized that it wasn't a vital purchase. We can lay some of it on Wizard's doorsteps, but it's up to us consumers to be smart, too.