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Rich Baker Clarifies 4e Points Of Light

 
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Saracenus
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 11:33 am    Post subject: Rich Baker Clarifies 4e Points Of Light Reply with quote

Welp, here is confirmation of the institutional hatred of Greyhawk at WotC, see comments in bold from Rich Baker's Gleemax post here:

http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=14733236&postcount=2053

-- Saracenus

Quote:
Hi, Rin --

<SNIP>

The big new thing in the "fluff" of 4e D&D is that we're not tethering these names and stories to the world of Greyhawk; we've created a new skeleton of linked assumptions (proper names, artifacts, stories) to anchor the fluff of the "implied" setting. Since we're telling a story that tieflings are the descendants of a ruling elite from a human empire that made pacts with devils, we might as well attach a "placeholder" name to it. Some DMs will use the name Bael Turath; other DMs will make up their own infernal empire. But "Bael Turath" looks nice than "[insert your chosen name here]".

Now, for my own part, I favor the idea of sketching a simple map of that setting and thinking up a name for it. But many of my colleagues feel that doing so would simply replicate the Greyhawk phenomenon, and make it harder for DMs who build their own worlds to use the material we're creating. (So far, I've lost that argument; hey, it happens!) The idea is to create just enough flavor to have interesting proper names and links for DMs to pick up and use, without dictating how their worlds have to go together.

<SNIP>

Rich Baker
Senior Designer
Roleplaying R&D


Edited as per RatLords sticky post to not repost entire WotC posts... --Saracenus
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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ummm, what? Greyhawk has hardly brought homebrews crashing to their knees. No campaign setting has done that, though the FR has come closer than any other. Greyhawk was created as an exemplar for DMs and until Living Greyhawk it never had any sort of "this is the official D&D world" status.

Leaving aside the actual game mechanics and fluff of 4e, some of which is good and some of which isn't, what really puzzles and annoys me is the apparently thinking in the WotC ivory tower. Deciding that fire archons and teiflings had to be in because they saw cool concept art or a sweet mini.. Elementals are "boring" because they don't function in combat any different than an ogre. "Everything you've played so far sucks, but we'll strip mine the names because those have cool associations." A monster typically only lasts 5 rounds of actual gameplay... so it should be built around doing 5 cool things before it dies....

A lot of gamers... I'd've thought most based on my experience, but who knows... don't buy these minis or care about the concept art. A sweet picture in a book doesn't make the game play any better. Completely altering the naming conventions doesn't preserve coolness, it just creates a generational gap. No one is going to say "OMG, Hound archons were so awesome that fire archons just have to be."

I don't know, maybe the basic lack of knowledge of religious iconography they show when they make comments like "who needs bear angels except maybe some werebears or something" is replicated throughout the player audience. But the concept that something isn't cool unless you can interact with it in a combat setting...or own a sweet looking mini of it... just boggles my mind.
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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess my thought is that if WOTC felt that over the years Greyhawk has limited the imaginations for homeworlds (don't think it has), that they would NOT use proper names previously associated with it: Examples being: Obad-Hai, Tharizdun, Pelor, along with whichever spells they are still using in name. I don't have a problem with their distancing the new 4th edition project if they honestly feel this way, but if your going to do it, you don't do it halfway. Drop the Greyhawk names entirely from the core rules and put them back in Greyhawk where they belong, just as Forgotten Realms, Ebberon, etc. have their personal names attached to it.

When 1st edition came out TSR published adventures because they realized this would be a difficult area for new DMs to develop. Many of these modules were originally said to be in Greyhawk in Hex "XX" if your using that world. They also proceeded to give geographical area for homebrew worlds (such as on top of a high hill overlooking a forest, or in the depths of a great swamp).

These adventures may have been placed in countless homebrew worlds but that is not because the DM wanted to Greyhawkize their world, its because they either didn't know how to or have the time to create a full scale dungeon in time for PCs to adventure in. DM's who felt that their creativity would be hampered as a result of the module insertions would have chosen to NOT enter them in the first place or if they already had, they would have removed them.

I started out with homebrew, bought a few modules and dropped them into my world so that I could use a full dungeon because I wasn't prepared to create such a large effort in 9th grade. Never once did it spoil my world. Eventually I went with Greyhawk and placed non-Greyhawk modules in it as well. I still do if I actually like the module. I currently have Ravenloft in my world and it somehow doesn't de-Greyhawk the world for me. I have chosen not to place Ebberon, Forgotten Realms etc. into my Greyhawk because I want to retain the Greyhawk flavor and curb my expeditures on gaming material. I spend enough the way it is, need to draw the line somewhere. I'm also a lot pickier than the average DM, heck I'm probably one of the most picky people to be found on Canonfire as far as I'm concerned.

If WOTC feels that incorporating Greyhawk pollutes home campaigns then they should have the common sense to leave the porper names out of the core rule books. Why dilute the world further and yet turn around and say it hinders creativity both in the same sentance.

Heck, most of us have been saying.....create a new world for 4th edition. Have it follow your POL concept, make up new deities, etc. That way the fluff changes are for that world. Leave the previously established worlds as they are for those who enjoy them, don't try and bend them to the new ideas and then complain about it as well.

I'm sure glad I don't work for this company....if I did....they would have sent me to the happy farm a long time ago. I will refrain from the other things my fingers and brain really want to say at this point, but for all considered....I just had a hissy fit! Sometimes I am honestly ashamed to be part of this hobby. First it was the "Santanic game" comments of the 80's now it's simply stupidity. Ok, now I'm done....but I'm still having a hissy fit.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like Rich had the right idea but was shouted down by the others who favor the use of buzzwords taken from random campaign settings for examples of things throughout the core material. I can see the reasoning for both, and I do prefer the generic(new) setting presentation, but at this point it makes little difference to me.

At least Rich gives real reasons for things.
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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the all worked up Cebrion better....he's more fun than the calm and collected one! Happy

Yea, they should have gone with their own new world in the first place. It suprises me that this wasn't on the table from the beginning. Maybe that will change now.

A New Years Toast:
Here's hoping for less Greyhawk names in 4th edition and a new world to for WOTC to direct their efforts towards.
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Vormaerin
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do they actually have any Greyhawk names besides some of the gods? Which is something I don't think they are going to fix anyway. I'm sure even if they did make their own setting, they'd probably use the mishmash of gods they have now.

Anyway, I don't especially agree with the viewpoint that Rich is espousing (about core campaigns infecting everything else... I know anecdotal evidence is pretty non representative, but none of the five or six home brew campaigns I played in cribbed stuff from Greyhawk or the DMG. They all came up with their own stuff. The guys who wanted to crib things tended to just run GH or FR or Harn or whatever suited them), but at least he's not spewing more of the "that old stuff sucks and you'll be better off without it" nonsense that so much of WotC staff blogs seem full of.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EileenProphetofIstus wrote:
Yea, they should have gone with their own new world in the first place. It suprises me that this wasn't on the table from the beginning. Maybe that will change now.


I don't mean that they should create a whole new campaign world.
I think that if they did mention some sort of generic setting, even if only off-handedly as references, it might just lead to people actually wanting that new referred to campaign world. They really don't need another campaign world(they have enough problems supporting what they already have) so I can see why Rich was shot down on this one.

Yes, I've mellowed a bit now. WotC will probably be best served by just using a hodge-podge method of referencing things in the Core books, even for the gods. How such information is presented will be the key to things. At least somebody is giving less that degenerate inbred answers for it now though(no offense meant to anybody here who fits the degenerate inbred profile). Laughing
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Ragr
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a real shame that the occupants of the Tower Of The Eternal Profit seem to be squabbling. Perhaps we should invite them round for a cup of tea, poor dears.

You've just offended half of my family, Cebrion. Cool
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