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ALFRED_THE_EWOK
31 July 2002, 09:14 PM
Here's something Richard Garfield said:

"I used to introduce new tools just because I could, but I realized I was doing players a disservice. After all, learning games is hard, and if players can learn the game using rules they're already familar with, that makes it more enjoyable for them."

Is it just me, or is he basically saying that all of his games will be eerily similar to all the other ones? If so, does that make him a moron, and therefore reaffirm my suspicions that all of Wotc's games come out of a mold? Thoughts?

Superdog
1 August 2002, 09:48 AM
I long ago came to the inclusion that the makers of the new Star Wars card game have no respect for the intelligence of their consumers. This is evident (in the above quote also) in the fact they have the nerve to require 60 cards to make a deck, but sell 41 card decks. And the fact that the new game consists of two armys built off of equal points must fight it out. So who wins? Whoever is luckier, it all comes to dice rolls. Just plain sad. I strongly urge anyone who is into Star Wars and interested in Card games to pick up Decipher's SUPERB game. Cards are now cheap, as Wizards managed to convince Lucasfilm that they could make a Star Wars game the next pokemon. A sad affair, all around.

ALFRED_THE_EWOK
3 August 2002, 12:19 PM
Oh, c'mon! There's got to be some people out there who either love Richard Garfield and want to come to his defense, or hate him and want to bash him. In case you didn't know, he's the head of WotC.

Talonne Hauk
3 August 2002, 08:27 PM
Geeze, Alfred. I think you just doused the tinder with gasoline. Now they're gonna roast the poor guy.
By the way, yes, he's a moron.

kingnat
8 August 2002, 07:10 AM
Ahh, one of the reasons I dislike WotC.

At least TSR didn't try to push the D20 system as the only viable system (or even as a system which was the best for everything) They understood what the system was good at, and it was amongst the best at what it did.

WotC seem to be motivated not so much by good games, as market share. Perhaps if they had multiple systems which covered the full gamut then I could accept them, but as it is, it just bugs me.

Had they created the new StarWars gmae with a system other than the D20 system (a system which I was never particularly fond of, but which was good for the good old fashiooned hack 'n slash gaming of D&D which is good fun in it's own right) then I might have been able to accept it, but as an old school Star Wars gamer (and old school rpg-er) I just couldn't accept it. As a good friend of mine (who is a Published RPG writer with Steve Jackson Games) has often stated as one of the rules of game design; "Form follows function" meaning that the style of gameplay is hugely affected by the rules under which it is played. D20 is designed for hackin' and slahin' and is very good at that. D&D is very much created from the sources of Tolkein, Conan, and countless other "swords & sorcery" dioramas. Star Wars has nods towards the old S&S but when blasters are far more common than the (Light)Sabre's it kinda screws that whole dynamic.

So, Richard Garfield is a bit of a jerk, but a Moron? Far from it. After all, WoTC is far from unproffitable. Of course, no one likes the idea of a monopoly, so it's not going to make him popular, or even make his games better, but they will sell well.

Unfortunately.

Ravager_of_worlds
8 August 2002, 09:24 AM
-Originally from Kingnat- "Form follows function" meaning that the style of gameplay is hugely affected by the rules under which it is played. D20 is designed for hackin' and slahin' and is very good at that. D&D is very much created from the sources of Tolkein, Conan, and countless other "swords & sorcery" dioramas. Star Wars has nods towards the old S&S but when blasters are far more common than the (Light)Sabre's it kinda screws that whole dynamic.

I agree that some games are meant for Hack/Slash more than others... but the saving grace of d20 SW is the VP/WP system. Getting hurt in SW is more realistic than in D&D... but this allows people to Role Play better. I'd disagree with WotC doing any kind of disservice to SW, which is the tone i read from your post. But then, everyone has their opinion.

However, while D&D borrows from "tolkien", it does so only because Tolkien was the pioneer in fantasy writing. He saw it as mythology, not a new genre. D&D is more influenced from modern fantasy though... if you check out the old Iron Crown Games "Middle Earth Role Playing System", you will find a great game that correctly reflects Tolkien in the "form follows function". I don't think I'd believe that adage except for MERPs.

kingnat
8 August 2002, 09:39 AM
I'm not saying that WotC... oh wait, I am.

Nah, I dislike their buisness strategy, since it encourages other gaming companies to be less original than they might otherwise be.

My beliefs on their disservice to Star Wars are my own, and I keep them largely to myself, since I respect other people opinions, as well as the forum protocols.

And on Tolkein - yes he was the formost pioneer in Fantasy (along with his good friend C.S. Lewis) which is why he was one of their major influences. Most fantasy is cut down mythology to some extent, and why bother listing countless authors when you can go straight to the source of it all? True, there are those who deserve special mention, but most simply wlaked the line whilst removing much of the mythological "sparkle" which Tolkien imbued his work with. When I say Tolkien, Conan, and countless other Swords And Sorcery dioramas, I feel I pretty much cover it. That's not to say that there isn't a great system specifically geared towards Tolkiens work though.

And on MERP, I'd say that it didn't get into as much depth as it could have, but was still a great game. I loved it very much (unlike most of the other ICE stuff)

What I meant when I said it though was that these were the sources which were heavily prevailant in creating the world (or worlds) in which D&D took place in. The Hack and Slash nature was very much a result of the Conan + Others of the list. Moden Fantasy is basically allmost all related to Tolkeins work, just generally bereft of the mythical edge which he had.

dgswensen
8 August 2002, 11:49 AM
Richard Garfield is very good at getting other people's money. He's a businessman above all, and Magic: The Gathering is a money machine disguised as a game. Ditto all the other trading card games out there.

He got a lot of my money -- about $400 worth, until I realized that M:tG was crack cocaine disguised as a hobby. Then I quit, and not a moment too soon. Thankfully, I haven't been tempted to buy a TCG since.

Garfield may be mercenary, but he's not a moron. He probably assumes people will continue to buy his games even as they whine and complain about them. And, unfortunately, he's probably right.

So, who's the bigger fool, the man who turns out a poorly designed TCG, or the fans who buy it up anyway?

incantator
8 August 2002, 12:04 PM
You are all forgetting the key aspect that makes D20 different and, in a way, better than all other role playing systems out there. Thay key is computerization. The D20 system is a thoroughly defined system where nearly everything that a character can do is expressible by some combination of skills and feats, and success has a definite probability. This makes D20 (IMO) the most programmable system currently out there. What this means is that computer role playing games now have an opportunity to venture away from their hack and slash beginnings and into a new realm of interactivity. I remember that the first generation of TSR computer role playing games (which included Champions of Krynn and the original Pool of Radiance) never implemented non-weapon proficiencies because there was no well defined way to use mining or wilderness survival. With the D20 system things will change (or have changed already) to make truely interactive environments where political intrigue and Sherlock Holms style mystery can shine. This is the key to WotC's survival.

ALFRED_THE_EWOK
8 August 2002, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by incantator
You are all forgetting the key aspect that makes D20 different and, in a way, better than all other role playing systems out there. Thay key is computerization.

But that doesn't make it better when your playing it on a table. Computerization doesn't mean squat to me when I want a good game to play in my living room. Unless you mean better as in it will help Richard Garfield to make even more ridiculous amounts of money.

kingnat
8 August 2002, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by incantator
You are all forgetting the key aspect that makes D20 different and, in a way, better than all other role playing systems out there. Thay key is computerization.
[/i]

I don't really see this as a major factor. The best computer RPG's tend to be made using proprietary systems.

Fallout 1 & 2, Morrowind, System Shock 1 & 2, Deus Ex, Might & Magic series etc.

I don't particularly like the Neverwinter Nights, and Ruins Of Myth Dranor(spelling?) stuff but somehow Bioware managed to create good games with Icewind Dale and Baldurs gate... but if memory serves correctly, they're made using the old AD&D system.



The D20 system is a thoroughly defined system where nearly everything that a character can do is expressible by some combination of skills and feats, and success has a definite probability. This makes D20 (IMO) the most programmable system currently out there. What this means is that computer role playing games now have an opportunity to venture away from their hack and slash beginnings and into a new realm of interactivity.


I don't think it'll make all the difference. The only reason that the old D&D games were Hack'n'Slash was because of their pedigree, which was NetHack and co with an AD&D licence and monsters/setting. They could quite easily have accomodated much more, but there were limitations enforced by the hardware, and in later yars, design lazyness.


[i]
I remember that the first generation of TSR computer role playing games (which included Champions of Krynn and the original Pool of Radiance) never implemented non-weapon proficiencies because there was no well defined way to use mining or wilderness survival. With the D20 system things will change (or have changed already) to make truely interactive environments where political intrigue and Sherlock Holms style mystery can shine. This is the key to WotC's survival.
This could have been done just as easily with the old system... it was just a matter of implementing it. It may be quicker to use a new system for players, but when i comes to a computer... well, it's designed to make complex calculations quickly. Makes no difference.

FlipDog 2000
15 August 2002, 10:50 AM
The crew here has absolutely LOVED Neverwinter. Morrowind is pretty sweet not that I have a puter that will run it. However, I really didnt consider Deus Ex an RPG. Personally, I thought it was like every other FPS that I have played...only with a storyline that works.

kingnat
16 August 2002, 07:44 AM
I know that NWN has a strong following of people who really liked it... and that includes a friend of mine who makes a living writing roleplay game material (amongst other things)

So it's not to say it's a bad game, just I don't like it.

And Deus Ex had heavy roleplay elements to it, just not in the tradition CRPG manner. After all, there was charactger advancement, storyline decisions, conversations to be had etc. Basically, all the conventions of a CRPG.(And the storyline that works is not one of those requirements... but it helps)

Tramp
28 August 2002, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by incantator
You are all forgetting the key aspect that makes D20 different and, in a way, better than all other role playing systems out there. Thay key is computerization. The D20 system is a thoroughly defined system where nearly everything that a character can do is expressible by some combination of skills and feats, and success has a definite probability. This makes D20 (IMO) the most programmable system currently out there. What this means is that computer role playing games now have an opportunity to venture away from their hack and slash beginnings and into a new realm of interactivity. I remember that the first generation of TSR computer role playing games (which included Champions of Krynn and the original Pool of Radiance) never implemented non-weapon proficiencies because there was no well defined way to use mining or wilderness survival. With the D20 system things will change (or have changed already) to make truely interactive environments where political intrigue and Sherlock Holms style mystery can shine. This is the key to WotC's survival.
Ther is one more game system that has everything down to definate probabilities even better than the D20 system- the Fuzion system by R. Talsorian. D10(or 3D6) +stat + skill VS Difficulty or opposed Die roll + Stat + Skill. It's a purely skill based system that also adds talents, perks and complications creating fully realized characters that can be played for years. Stats are based on a level of 1-10, though they can go higher, as are skills. Talents either grant additional bonuses to certain types of skills (such as the Beautiful/handsom talent giving you a bonus to interpersonal skills), or allows you to do things that you otherwise wouldn't be able to (Night vision for example). Perks are things like wealth, connections, and favors that your character might have access to. Complications provide extre CPs to spend on skills talents and perks by providing interesting problems that your character must live with. Thes include Enemies, physical or psychological problems dependents (can we say OOPS!! You're a Daddy now!), or other such querks. It also has a very detailed life-path generator that helps to develop your pre-adventuring life. it also breaks down damage into two different pools- Stun Points and Hit Points both of which equal your Constitution score x5. Stun Points are used when ever your hit by an unarmed attack though for every 5 SP you take of damage you also take 1 HP. while armed attacks cause Hit point loss while at the same time causing SP loss of an equal amount. Also, with there Champions game, it has rules for creating many of the same types of effects you see in Star Wars as well as other mystical or magical abilities. Over all it's a very good system and would have worked very well with Star Wars if they'd have gotten the license instead of WotC.

Sullen
28 August 2002, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by kingnat
[B]Ahh, one of the reasons I dislike WotC.

At least TSR didn't try to push the D20 system as the only viable system (or even as a system which was the best for everything) They understood what the system was good at, and it was amongst the best at what it did.

WotC seem to be motivated not so much by good games, as market share.

Doesn't WotC publish D&D and isn't TSR a subsidiary of the company[not origionally, I know]? Anyways, I'd disagree with the whole "push D20 as the only viable system." I'd say they decided that is was going to be the only system, and that if you wanted people to buy your supliments, they were going to have to work with the system... my proof? The open games liscence. Sure you can make adventures and supliments and you can even use my rules for free... but god help you, you better put these little words on everything you make; "to use this book you must purchase the PHB."

Although I'm too lazy to find it, I once read an interview with one of the production designers of the book, and he said pretty much the same thing, but since I can't find it I'll just put it in my own words.:o

as far as whether or not Mr. Garfield is a jerk, or a moron, I think that you can't really judge a person by their buisness tactics. I do not know the man personally, so what I think of him is immaterial. While I may not agree with his strategem, he does indeed make a point. Most people who play magic and other games enjoy the simple rules, as I once did.

I would also argue that your use of the "form follows function" motto is skewed. It took me a while to gain an understanding of the sentence... (I had to look the words up in the dictionary to make sure I understood what they meant.) Form(The mode in which a thing exists, acts, or manifests itself) follows function(A specific occupation or role), means, to me, That in this case they idea for which the game is used dictates the mode in which it exists. Not to say your point isn't valid, merely that I think that the thinking of a group of players affects the value of the rules. Dice-chuckers use the numbers scientificly, using math to roleplay. However, those who use the numbers as a basis for their improv acting substitute their own idea for the role of rules.

I take it less to mean The rule structure of the game dictates how the game is played and more like the rule structure of the game is dictated by the understanding of the players. Hence house rules. They exist in every game no matter how militantly anal a person is about following the rules simply because[here comes philosophy] that person can only view the rules subjectively.

Yeah... I think I'll stop here.

enjoy