Username Password
  or Create an Account
Welcome to... Canonfire! World of GreyhawK
Features
Greyhawk Wiki

#greytalk-discord
    JOIN THE CHAT
    Canonfire :: View topic - Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk [ Previous  1, 2, 3]
    Author Message
    Forum Moderator

    Joined: Feb 26, 2004
    Posts: 2564
    From: Ullinois

    Send private message
    Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:15 pm  

    I will buy this one. I have not on the other hand bought Exp to Ravenloft, nor do I think I will get the Demonweb Pit one. Oh yeah there is an Exp to Undermountain slated for the same year as Greyhawk's uber dungeon, competiton maybe?
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 24, 2001
    Posts: 86
    From: Maryland

    Send private message
    Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:09 am  

    Yeoman wrote:
    I'm cautiously looking forward to this. Heartened by what Eric has said so far ref. greyhawk content, and I guess a certain buy.


    Same here, I like what Erik's done for Greyhawk so far and I'm looking forward to getting a copy at GenCon. Maybe signed by Iquander :)

    If it sells well maybe we can see a Expedition Against the Giants too :)

    Mike
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:17 am  

    Expedition Against the Giants would be great! Maybe a reprise of Liberation of Geoff, but more satisfying.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 23, 2002
    Posts: 46
    From: Texas

    Send private message
    Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:29 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    You think TSR didn't want to make money before it was "transformed"?


    No, I think Gary and crew were hoping it would make some money, but weren't betting the farm on it. They had been playing the game for many years already and wanted to share it with others. I've done things like that before. It becomes a labor of love. For the amount of work that was put into D&D, it was not a very efficient way of making a profit. TSR was founded as a hobbyist company and became an overnight success. The fact that Gary often had others run the financial concerns and ultimately did not shed a tear when he was cut from the staff shows that he really wasn't in it for the money. (Sure, he got royalties afterwards, but he left because he disagreed with the direction of the company, not because the company wasn't making money.) Money never hurts, but not all human beings are motivated solely by greed.

    Samwise wrote:
    You really think they put out products with no thought as to the profit?


    I never said anything of the sort. I said TSR started out as a hobbyist company, which it did. He wasn't always a huge corporation with sole emphasis on the bottom line. There was a time when quality of content was the many concern. Sure, there was the hope to make money doing D&D, but EGG, RJK, DA, and others didn't want to sell people short by cutting corners and such.

    Samwise wrote:
    And are you suggesting that WotC did this solely because of Castle Zagyg?


    No, I was suggesting the opposite. The fact that you infer such a thing demonstrates you either did not understand or simply never finished reading my post. WotC named the adventure without any concern for Castle Zagyg whatsoever. I doubt they even consider a blip on the radar of competition. And when sales numbers come in after both products are out, I'm certain such feelings will be vindicated.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2004
    Posts: 666


    Send private message
    Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:40 am  

    *laughs* Sorry, but that was pretty funny. They were definitely trying to make money and money was a big factor in a lot of the early decisions. They were gamers and creative talent, so they certainly had a better idea of what gamers wanted and would pay for than some of the bean counter folks that came to be in charge later (because they had the money...), but that's not exactly the same thing. Its not "these guys wanted to make money and those guys didn't", it was "These guys new the target audience and those guys didn't." A perfect example is the various Tolkein influences on the game (halflings in particular). Gygax doesn't like Tolkein's work, but he wanted to sell the game to all the Tolkein fanciers out there so he added all that stuff. And he's said so on numerous occassions.

    And the idea that Gygax 'just walked away without shedding a tear' certainly doesn't match his own description of events. He most definitely was extremely unhappy about that.

    Anyway, there's nothing wrong with desiring to maximize profits. It doesn't do anyone a bit of good if the company goes out of business. The big difference that I saw was that TSR shifted away from writing scads of adventure modules towards writing scads of rulebooks and location supplements. A trend which is continuing today, because they sell a lot better. Which means, presumably, that people actually want them. (Modules also have the problem that only the DM buys thems, not all the players).

    My experience is that most folks whining about the evil profit motives of a game company are almost always saying "They make stuff other people want instead of stuff I want." Come on, if the game company really wasn't providing value for the money to most people, they'd stop selling stuff. Its not like they have a monopoly on a essential.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:42 am  

    As Vormaerin said.
    If you think that is the history of TSR you simply don't have a clue. The only reason they didn't "bet the farm" at the beginning is because they didn't have a farm to bet. The moment they did, in the form of the company itself, they did.
    Likewise if you think the bottom line didn't matter. It always did. That is why the company came switched control not once, but twice.
    And Gary was certainly less than thrilled with "walking away" from TSR.

    Quote:
    The fact that you infer such a thing demonstrates you either did not understand or simply never finished reading my post.


    Except you "imagined" a WotC employee being laughed down for suggesting this product might "undermine" Castle Zagyg, while dismissing WotC for not being "reverent" enough about it.
    I understood that quite well.
    It just shows further that you have this idealized image of TSR, and don't want to accept that it was just another complany, just as Troll Lord Games is.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 28, 2004
    Posts: 344


    Send private message
    Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:25 am  

    *Yawns* And another promissing thread going overboard.

    I for my part am glad that there are new Greyhawk products being produced. - Because, regardless what Mr Gygax and Mr Kuntz do, the license remains with WotC, and whatever thr company decides about the setting will rule.

    Now, about that book: I am looking forward to it and hope that it will sufficiently flesh out the mini-setting of the Free City. In conjunction with the LGG (OOP, but still fairly easy to get), and maybe the AoW adventure path, it may be the base of many nice campaigns evolving around the Gem of the Flanaess.

    Certainly a landmark book, wether successful or not, because it's the first publication from WotC since RttToEE that will be explicitely set in the WoG. (Apart from the short chapter on Saltmarsh in DMG II, IIRC.)

    My personal hope is that this book may cause sort of a small Greyhawk renaissance; I don't expect much, but only, say, an update of the LGG, another Expedition module, or maybe just the permission to Paizo to reprint some of their Greyhawk-related adventures as books would be enough to save the setting from Oblivion a few years more.

    Certainly, I won't judge a book that I haven't read, and less one that is still not even released.

    Wink
    _________________
    "Rise, O artist, from thy slumbers - hasten from thy couch unworthy;
    Forge from gold the Moon for Northland - forge anew the Sun from silver..."
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 23, 2002
    Posts: 46
    From: Texas

    Send private message
    Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:07 am  

    Vormaerin and Samwise, both of you are taking my comments out of context and setting up straw men.

    I never said that profit was not a motivation, merely that profit was not the only motivation originally, and whenever it is, the game suffers. What on earth do you think motivated Gary to design the D&D game in the first place? Do you think it was because he wanted to be a millionaire? I have a hard time imagining he thought that was a possibility at the time. Rather, I think it is far more probable that he was playing wargames with his friends and they decided to make some house rules. Eventually, they realized they liked playing out the roles of individual heroes on the battlefield, then adding fantasy elements until it finally morphed into a fantasy roleplaying game as opposed to a tactical wargame. Gary started designing Castle Greyhawk while Dave Arneson designed Castle Blackmoor and more people wanted to play. At some point, Gary et al said to themselves, "Hey, we could probably turn this into a company and make a living doing what we love," so they did.

    WotC bought TSR for a very different reason. While I am thankful that doing so kept the D&D franchise alive, WotC's motivation was anything but noble. WotC simply wanted to "diversify" their portfolio of games, which is a euphemism for expanding their profits. By purchasing a well-known brand and giving it a face-lift, they were gambling that people would continue to pay for D&D stuff. In other words, they bought TSR so they could make money off the venture. The way WotC has managed the brand is therefore enormously different from the hobbyists-turned-entrepeneurs who created it.

    Bear in mind I never said there was anything wrong with making a profit. But it certainly does not make for an ideal game system. D&D peaked in popularity circa 1983 according to Gary on a recent ENWorld post. This was during the 1st edition era when they had been getting much bandied about ideas finally into print. Most of these ideas had been borne of experience and years of laboring tirelessly on little but hopes and dreams. That is what makes a good game great. The same is true of MTG, which actually used to be a great game before its owners began looking at it as little more than a cash cow to be milked for all it was worth with ever-increasingly frequent releases and sets more powerful than the last. Unsurprisingly, they have followed the same formula with D&D and the brand is worse-off for it. Players spend so much time these days building their characters that they hardly ever think of background, personality, or motivations anymore. Playing the game doesn't just require a few books, it requires an entire library of tomes that one can peruse to create the indestructible character (when the DM allows, and most DMs want to give players options in the vain hope it will add spice to the game or at the very least just to please their players).

    And what I meant about Gary leaving TSR is to say that he didn't cry over lost money. I know he was very attached to the game, but I have followed the Gary Gygax Q&A on ENWorld for a long time and watched tons of interviews with him over the years and I never heard him say that he regretted the huge financial opportunities he lost when leaving TSR. He certainly seems to miss the fact that he was not a part of the life of his baby after that, but he moved on and used his creativity in other avenues. Even after retirement, not hurting for money at all, he continues to develop and play games. And based on my talks with him, it seems very much that he does it because he enjoys it, not because he needs or even wants the money that badly. He usually requests compensation for his work, but that is completely reasonable and doesn't mean he does things solely for money. It is perfectly rational to expect a return, even if only a token, for work performed.

    I think Erik's comments are the most telling regarding Gary's help with Maure Castle. Erik paid Gary not because Gary demanded it, but because Erik felt it was the right thing to do. It seems Gary expected little compensation for helping keep the flavor of Maure Castle intact but Erik felt he deserved it. That sounds more like an enthusiastic hobbyist than an enterprising capitalist.

    I'll stop hijacking the thread now.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2004
    Posts: 666


    Send private message
    Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:20 am  

    Now you are trying to compare an individual vs a corporation. A corporation is required *by law* to maximize its shareholder return (ie profits). You can compare TSR to WotC or you can compare Gygax to the guy holding the equivalent role in WotC. But Gygax's goals/motivations vs WotC's? Not meaningful.

    And do you have any idea what the CEO of Wizards was thinking when he bought TSR in truth? I don't. He could have been thinking "You know, I love D&D and I don't want TSR to go under. I'll take it over and run it properly" for all we know.

    D&D's popularity may have peaked in 1983, but that's not really germane. Computer gaming wasn't a meaningful competitor yet and most of TSR's rivals weren't that strong.

    I guess I don't understand what your point is. What do you think WotC should be doing that its not?
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 13, 2002
    Posts: 1076
    From: Orlane, Gran March

    Send private message
    Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:43 am  

    Did D&D's popularity peak in 1983? I dont really know, but it seems that is a little odd. I would think that would be the peak of the "craze," of D&D; when it was getting all the press, "Mazes and Monster's," the D&D Cartoon, and all that. However, I would have assumed that there were more players today due to the much broader acceptance of gaming.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3760
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:04 am  

    [EDITED]Well, apparently Peter Adkison(who had some guy named Garfield create that little known game Magic: The Gathering) suddenly got hold of lots of cash, and when he found out that TSR was on the verge of financial trouble he made them an offer. Adkison was at the time the head of a company called Wizards of the Coast(WotC). And where did that particular company name come from? Apparently "the Wizards of the Coast" is some sort of organization from Adkison's own Dungeons & Dragons campaign. So, you might say that Adkison bought up the company that made the game he so enjoyed as a lad. WotC's acquisition of TSR is grounded in making money certainly, but it probably had a little bit more to do with just diversifying their portfolio. Adkison of course has since sold the company to Hasbro for a good amount of cash, such that he has now the same treasure type as Bahamut. Happy

    I'm very interested to see what sort of treatment is given to the potions of Greyhawk City in this adventure. I'm hoping it is a very seedy and nasty place. The 2e Blue Boxed set seemed kind of "blah" to me in this regard. A big city such as this would be pretty filthy, and a heck of a lot more dreary than how the 2e boxed set art presents it. Some of the black and white interior booklet art was ok, while the color poster was Candyland- like, and had no where near enough homes packed into the space in most areas. Not that this adventure will be detailing the city overly much, but hopefully what is there will have harder, grittier edge to it.


    Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Mar 04, 2007 4:35 am; edited 2 times in total
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3073
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:06 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Garfield was at the time the head of a company called Wizards of the Coast(WotC).


    This is incorrect. Peter Adkinson was the head of the company, and the Wizards of the Coast were from his campaign. Garfield, who did create Magic: The Gathering, was an employee.

    WotC was originally founded (at least in part) to publish Adkinson's The Primal Order RPG, and it would be very appropriate to compare Adkinson to Gygax.

    Magic: The Gathering was created later, when Adkinson asked Garfield to come up with a game that could be played while waiting around at conventions.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3760
    From: So. Cal

    Send private message
    Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:50 am  

    Oops, my bad. I know what I meant, I just said it really, really wrong( mostly by using the wrong name). I was so confused that I even mixed up who did what. My thanks for the rip-fu-ing this time. ;)
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 23, 2002
    Posts: 46
    From: Texas

    Send private message
    Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:19 am  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    I guess I don't understand what your point is. What do you think WotC should be doing that its not?


    I wasn't making a point about WotC, merely supporting my earlier words on why WotC does things. You hit the hammer right on the nail when you noted WotC is a corporation. A corporation (i.e. publicly traded company) is expected to maximize profit, not make a good game. Sometimes the two go hand-in-hand, but not always. I am simply upset that instead of relying on quality products to sell their brand, WotC relies on "goodies" and collectible frenzy. More splatbooks does not make a game instrinsically better, but when they introduce more powerful options than those that existed previously, it does make characters intrinsically better, which makes old products obsolete.

    Now I should temper my words by saying that over the last year, with only a few exceptions, WotC seems to have gone out of their way to improve the game by having more flavor in their splatbooks. Prestige classes are now well detailed, provide examples, and offer character hooks rather than being short half-page descriptions. And the environment series has been superb for providing welcome rules to handle campaigns that utilize a specific type of environment heavily.

    I don't think WotC is "evil." But making a good game is an art, and art is not concerned with profit. And unfortunately, the D&D brand is owned by an entity whose primary reason for being is profit (at least in the present day). I'm lamenting a tragedy more than I am laying blame though. If anyone is to be blamed it is the capitalist spirit that still plagues America, but I would be getting way off-topic to discuss that, so I'll end on that note.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Apr 23, 2002
    Posts: 46
    From: Texas

    Send private message
    Sat Mar 03, 2007 2:26 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    I'm very interested to see what sort of treatment is given to the potions of Greyhawk City in this adventure. I'm hoping it is a very seedy and nasty place. The 2e Blue Boxed set seemed kind of "blah" to me in this regard. A big city such as this would be pretty filthy, and a heck of a lot more dreary than how the 2e boxed set art presents it. Some of the black and white interior booklet art was ok, while the color poster was Candyland- like, and had no where near enough homes packed into the space in most areas. Not that this adventure will be detailing the city overly much, but hopefully what is there will have harder, grittier edge to it.


    Perhaps you should have looked at the boxed set a little more carefully before pronouncing judgment. Greyhawk is indeed a seedy place full of corruption, strife, and conflict. One of the highest ranking officials is in the pocket of the Bandit Kingdoms for Pelor's sake! A cult of Nerull led by one of the Heirarchs of the Horned Society is located within the town. The mayor was at one time next in line to head up the Thieves' Guild. And gambling establishments, taverns, and bars easily outnumber any other kind of building in the city. Not what I would call a clean city.

    And as for the color-poster, if you read the books that come with it, they note that this handout is an artist's depiction that is not intended to present an accurate portrait of the city, but rather meant to convey the spirit of the city, which I feel it does quite nicely.
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 674
    From: Bronx, NY

    Send private message
    Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:25 am  

    airwalkrr wrote:
    I don't think WotC is "evil." But making a good game is an art, and art is not concerned with profit. And unfortunately, the D&D brand is owned by an entity whose primary reason for being is profit (at least in the present day). I'm lamenting a tragedy more than I am laying blame though. If anyone is to be blamed it is the capitalist spirit that still plagues America, but I would be getting way off-topic to discuss that, so I'll end on that note.


    If you think artists aren't concerned with profit, you need to some writers and ask if they prefer to eat that week, and pay their rent.
    There is an art to making a good game, but that doesn't place it above the basic need to make money. No matter how good a game product is, if it is not marketed properly, or attract a market, it simply won't sell. Likewise no matter how well packaged and promoted something is, it must still be of quality or it won't sell.

    But indeed, you've it made it clear what your true rant is about, and that has nothing to do with WotC or D&D.

    (Note: Argh! Yes, stopped too soon. Fixed now.)


    Last edited by Samwise on Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: Jan 05, 2004
    Posts: 666


    Send private message
    Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:32 am  

    Heh, you goofed up your quotes there, Samwise.

    Anyway, looks like my earlier comment definitely applies here. When someone says a game company is soullessly seeking profit, they usually mean 'they are making stuff other people want instead of stuff I want'.

    It would be nice if WotC published stuff I could actually use. But I doubt they'd make a profit selling stuff for the stylistic niche I'm in. So it goes.
    Display posts from previous:   
       Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
    [ Previous  1, 2, 3]
    Page 3 of 3

    Jump to:  

    You cannot post new topics in this forum
    You cannot reply to topics in this forum
    You cannot edit your posts in this forum
    You cannot delete your posts in this forum
    You cannot vote in polls in this forum


    Forums ©


    Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

    Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!


    Greyhawk Gothic Font by Darlene Pekul is used under the Creative Commons License.

    PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
    Page Generation: 1.26 Seconds