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Layoffs at WotC 286

Posted by michael
from the failed-their-saving-throw dept.
Abies writes "During last year or so, quite a lot of people were fired from WotC - current owners of the D&D line. A few days ago, _most_ of big names out there had to quit - including Skip Williams and Jeff Grubb. Official WotC press info, Enworld news about that and a Monte Cook thread contain some more detailed info. Do you think it will spell an end to D&D ? After something which seemed to be a ressurection of old-time RPG, Hasbro seems to kill the biggest RPG company out there. Will OGL and the D20 license be enough to preserve the genre ?"
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Layoffs at WotC

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  • by Frodo Looijaard (12815) <frodol@@@dds...nl> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @02:22PM (#4216533) Homepage
    Remember folks - roleplaying is about together creating characters and a world. The roleplaying system you use can help you to get there, but it is not the important part. In fact, it is very possible to use a very simple system, or even no system at all. As long as your Game Master is fair, and you players play for the fun of it instead of trying to 'win' somehow, the sky is the limit!
    • by Golias (176380) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @03:08PM (#4216707)
      Even if you really like d20 and D&D 3rd edition, this is not really bad news. All of the core rules for 3rd Ed D&D are now released, as well as most of the other books that TSR had planned. Plenty of ongoing expansions are coming out from 3rd party companies, so realistically, WotC doesn't actually need these writers for anything anymore, do they? (At least not until AD&D 4.0 comes out, which won't be for a long, long time.)

      The only thing d20 still needs is a good set of software tools for GM's who like to run the game from their laptops, and due to the open nature of d20, I'm sure a lot of amitious hackers are going to fill that void anyway.

      As long as WotC offered these guys a nice, fat severence package as a way of saying "thanks" for their efforts, I have no problem with seeing them cut loose.

      • The only thing d20 still needs is a good set of software tools for GM's who like to run the game from their laptops, and due to the open nature of d20, I'm sure a lot of amitious hackers are going to fill that void anyway.

        If you are willing to go with a mostly accurate representation of AD&D 3rd ed., check out the level constructor for Neverwinter Nights. It's in-fucking-credible, and the game is just as good. I've been playing this game, probably over 200 hours now, and i'm 1/2 way done. And I've loved every minute of it. But you can do just about anything in the Level editor, control conversation, script, macro, everything.

        ~Will

  • by igotmybfg (525391) <slashdot@nosPam.danielthompson.net> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @02:23PM (#4216535) Homepage
    RPG's as a genre won't go away, I promise you. There are always MUDs (Multi-user dimension/dungeons) which people can play. Play is free and you make as many characters as you want. Runs on telnet, so you can do it from any OS. My personal favorite is Imperial, at telnet://imperial.modeemi.cs.tut.fi:6969. They also have a web page at that address, minus the port. It is supported by the goodwill of the founders. There are thousands more - www.mudconnector.com. Cheers!
    • by Rentar (168939) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @02:56PM (#4216666)
      MUDs are great, but they are different from Pen & Paper roleplaying games. Of course there are some MUDs (or MOOs, or M**s) that do focus on role-playing, many of them only focus on roll-playing (still lot's of fun, but different).

      Personally I've found that sometimes playing a classic Pen & Paper Roleplaying game on IRC is a great, especially if the genre fits (Shadowrun comes to my mind). It allows the GM (or DM or whatever you call it) levels of seperations of the players that are much harder to achieve on the table. For example you can always pass little notes with information only one player knows around, but the note-passing alone will give the other players hints. On IRC, you just open a private channel and write whatever you want, there's more ways for the GM to manipulate the players in the interest of the story. One funny trick is to open private channels to each player and tell each of them that they see something special, and tell each player the same, then look how long it takes them to share this knowledge with each other, this allone can give you great insights into your group.
      • Personally I've found that sometimes playing a classic Pen & Paper Roleplaying game on IRC is a great, especially if the genre fits (Shadowrun comes to my mind).

        Or via email, though I have to admit I'm a bit biased (something about running a PBeM server for, uh, 16 years or so will do that to you).

        We've lately been setting up an enCore MOO for realtime (we had an IRC server up, but enCore is cooler). Unless the GM really wants to get into setting up locations for flavor, the MOO itself won't be used for gameplay, just to provide a venue. EnCore seems very well suited for that.
      • If you liked IRC playing you should try www.openrpg.com The great thing about it is that it has whispers, maps, miniatures, chat system with dm and player roles... it's opensource and specific to roleplaying online...
  • Stale future (Score:2, Insightful)

    by masterkool (550633)
    D&D and Magic and all the other great games Wizards have brought us are probably going to remain the same games, as both D&D and Magic have fundamental rules and structures. However, we probaly wont see as many new games, or rather as many new GOOD games or new additions to the games we allready love. One guy on the post said:
    "Wizards is both saving themselves and shooting themselves in the foot. Their cutting their Operations budget and saving a lot on payroll and benefits but they're losing talent. And now most of this talent will go work for their competition. In truth, if disgruntled employees of Wizards wanted to hurt their former masters the best thing they could do is stop freelancing for them. Leave Wizards no talent to draw from and let them twist in the wind. Of course this kind of solidarity is rare amongst freelancers, especially gamers."
    Chances are other companies will begin to produce the new concepts as the people laid off from Wizards join them.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They didn't get kicked out of their parent's basements. They would be really screwed then.
  • The D&D genre will survive, at the very least because Hackmaster is still out there. Granted, it's extreme power gaming, but it's fun in small doses.
    • I disagree that Hackmaster is about power gaming. In fact, there is a whole lot more honest roleplaying in Hackmaster than any edition of D&D. This is because Hackmaster authors really pay attention to details which create an atmosphere of realism, making genuine roleplaying totally natural. Just one example: How many parties in your campaign were forced by your DM to hire a torchbearer?

      About Hackmaster powergaming: The rules authors were clever enough to realize that some campains do as a matter of fact turn towards powergaming, so they made explicit rules so that even a powergaming campaign remains fun. That doesn't take away anything from the other "role-playing" elements of the game. It's just that Hackmaster rules don't wuss out and tacitly say "powergaming--don't go there!" There will always be powerhungry characters, and proper roleplaying requires that they be played so as to use every opportunity to grab more power. If a game does not support this sort of a role for characters, it's an woefully incomplete role-playing game. WotC's edition of D&D is one such game, but that is only one of its many flaws. I thank the gods for Hackmaster!

  • Jeff Grubb has left WotC to focus more on his writing. His story, "Apocalypse Noun," is being included in the upcoming Thieves' World: Turning Points [amazon.com] collection of short stories, due out this November. He is also currently working on the final WARCRAFT novel, The Last Guardian.

  • by rufusdufus (450462) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @02:37PM (#4216593)
    Apparently the Epic (levels higher than 20) rules D&D are already designed so they have their next cash cow in the bag already. Licensing for D&D and continuing Magic sales will keep them profitable for quite some time, given they don't have any expensive employees anymore.

    Its just business. Short-sited myopic business maybe, but not surprising at all. Hasbro is still in business while the much of the competition isnt. The employees can always invent a new game, become hugely popular, and sell out to Hasbro again.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I used to work at a WotC store... and let me tell you... we saw this from the inside out... Sure magic used to be fun but when it changed into having to buy 200 dollars worth of cards every 6 months or less it was less fun and more painful. and the ONLY way to keep up was to buy new cards.. WotC ensured that by removing older cards from the game. atleast with D&D you could buy the basic books and go from there. I have a feeling Hasbro is collectivly crapping them selves right now seeing their 'Wunderkind' failing... I think its that people don't want to spend 200 bucks when ever a new set comes out so they can have the latest uber card so they can win in a tournament.
  • by kfg (145172) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @02:40PM (#4216615)
    going to go up in a puff of smoke or something?

    An RPG is nothing but a set of rules, a framework, around which a campaign is built. The rules have already been published. If people wish to play D&D they will continue to play D&D no matter what the hell happens at or to WotC.

    Hey, remember the days when a single human being could carry all the rules to D&D without the aid of a forklift? In his *pocket?* Go get a copy of those rules somewhere, Xerox them if you have to, it'll just make them look more authentic anyway, and then find come creative type with a good *imagination* to run the show. All the players need are some pencils and graph paper.

    Does the genre need to be preserved? Only if we've sunk so low in our society that college kids these days can't have fun sitting around the commons and * making cool shit up!*

    KFG
    • by abies (607076)
      No, your Chainmail rules will not dissapear. I will continue to play D&D with my friends. But if it will stop to be marketed this year, then in few years people will not understand what you are talking about when you will say AC.

      Of course, some people don't care. If they can play with their old time friends, it's ok. But from my experience (not much, I do NOT have original chainmail on my shelf - I play RPGs for only 15 years), fresh blood is very refreshing experience (not Vampire pun intended ;). To really develop you need a fresh look. And I doubt you can expect thousands of teenagers to look into archives for back issues of not-longer-developer games. These thousands are not important, but some of them will turn into really good GMs and players.

      Now, it is not so grim - there will be other RPGs out there. If somebody would be a good D&D DM, he will also probably make good DM in other games. But certain genre of RPG - high heroic, strict rules for even very powerful characters, etc, is for me tightly tied to D&D. Even if I sometimes prefer 'deeper' sessions, I and my friends really enjoy being able to developer a HERO from 1st level up to ultimate dragon-slaying king. And I'm afraid, that with D&D demise (which is not yet sure of course), this type of RPG would die.
      • But if it will stop to be marketed this year, then in few years people will not understand what you are talking about when you will say AC.

        I think you're wrong there. I picked up on D&D when I was 10 or 11 years old (nearly 20 years ago now) with no prodding from a multi-million dollar ad campaign or product tie-ins. The RPG community has existed quite well without large corporate sponsorship for a long time, and if there were to be some massive hemorrhaging at WotC, would continue just fine if there were some interruption with D&D's publishing schedule.

        Pencil-and-paper roleplaying - I feel - isn't about having the latest rules or newest sub-class guide. It's about friendship and camaraderie and enjoying yourself in a pastime that requires a quick wit, a reasonable level of intelligence and a vivid imagination. That's enough to keep people playing, as I see it, for a long time coming. That said - you still play D&D? REAL gamers play Hackmaster [taloncomics.com]

      • WotC's marketing? Hah! When WotC bought out TSR D&D was already a thriving "product." TSR didn't "market" D&D, they made it available for purchase.

        So who did the marketing? The DM's and players, that's who. No, I don't expect teenagers to look into archives for back issues of no longer developed games. I expect to go out and actively recruit them to play a game whose basic framework has already *been* developed and which we as players flesh out for our own enjoyment. The whole point of an RPG is that the *players* do their own development. An RPG is not a "product," it's an imaginative, interactive *game.*

        If game playing were left to the "marketing" of some corporation chess and checkers not only would have been dead centuries ago, they never would have existed in the first place!

        The rules to D&D really did fit in your pocket once upon a time. In fact they were simple enough that it would be a practical undertaking to memorize them. Publication is a non-issue, just as it is with Chess. Just as with chess the rules are known by one and passed by direct transmision to others.

        What will kill the RPG genre? One and only one thing, which I have already alluded to. When college kids will only play games that are "marketed" to them with rules that are "under development" in order to get them to buy the same product over and over and over again. When they can't take a loose framework and develop their own game *themselves*, then the RPG genre will die.

        When this happens we'll have far more to worry about than RPGing.

        KFG

      • Then in few years people will not understand what you are talking about when you will say AC.

        AC? I know what that means.

        AC Means Anonymous Coward.

        There goes my Karma... ;-)
    • More like a puff of litigation, once the Lawyer/Paladins (multiclass) get the scent of toner!

      "Elbereth Habeas Corpus!", cried the Armani-clad knight as he swung his +3 Firebrand (tm, registered, patent pending, copyright) down upon the arms of the bespectacled Mage, which at that moment were holding an open Holy Tome over one of the Demonic alters - a shaft of light and a macabre hum emanating from it's heart. A single word, "Xerox", emblazoned on the front...

      There's a lot of insinuation about WoTC executive greed/money-grubbing going on - which may be the case, but it is also a very hard time for any business to stay afloat. Still, with the relative success of the d20 system, I expected WoTC to be in the black for some time (although I've heard it said that they only make money on the sales of Player's Handbooks - don't quite follow why.)

      Monte Cook's rant [montecook.com] has some fine points, but no specific names or facts about WoTC. It does seem that somebody has decided to squeeze the venerable D&D turnip, or perhaps killing the goose is a better analogy - ok, they're doing something they shouldn't be with farmyard items - let's leave it at that. Over the past 20 years (where are them wooden teeth, dad-gum-it!) I've had the pleasure of playing the following gaming systems:

      • AD&D 1st and 2nd Edition (missed out on Chainmail!)
      • Gamma World
      • Traveler
      • Top Secret
      • Paranoia
      • Gangsters
      • Chill
      • Arms Law/Claw Law/Spell Law
      • Empire of the Petal Throne
      • GURPS
      • AD&D 3rd Edition
      • Some others, but my Alzheimer's is acting up again...
      Some of these games/rule systems were remarkably complete (sometime to a fault) - others were extremely simple. Still, the success of a given game never depended on just the rule system - it required a creative, fair, and well-paced DM (or what have you) to make it all work.

      So, what's my point? (Hey, this is /., do I need one?) Forget the gaming system. Get a good group of creative people together, crank out your own house-brew, and battle on.

      If you see an Orc in the road, kill it.

    • An RPG is nothing but a set of rules, a framework, around which a campaign is built. The rules have already been published. If people wish to play D&D they will continue to play D&D no matter what the hell happens at or to WotC.

      I agree, but what about Magic: The Gathering? I'm much more fond of not buying a new set of cards every 3 months, but some people are. The rules for magic are set out, but they keep adapting them and adding things to them, at the same time adding new concept cards and series.

      Is magic affected? I assume it's their cash cow, but...

      ~Will

  • by Bitter Cup O Joe (146008) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @02:53PM (#4216653)
    ... or immediately lose your job. On the other hand, if the rumors I've heard in the industry about WotC's downhill slide are true, it's good that a bunch of talented designers are now free to look for positions elsewhere. These are all good folks, and I'm sure they'll land on their feet elsewhere.
  • More News... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dracos (107777) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @02:55PM (#4216660)

    If WoTC's plans are to get all these people to come back as freelancers, they're screwed. Microsoft caused a law in Washington to be enacted where dismissed employees cannot freelance for the same department for 1 year. Art department: gutted. RPG R&D: gutted.

    I also read last night that WoTC's entire RPG operation may be for sale, with one interested party being Jordan Weisman [wizkidsgames.com]. See this thread [rpg.net] on the RPG.net [rpg.net] message boards.

  • by GearheadX (414240) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @02:56PM (#4216662)
    WotC announced its big contest for a new gaming world months ago. This isn't surprising. They fired the original game world owners to make room for new staff and a new setting that they can make pure profit on without coughing up cash to the original setting creators.

  • I remember back when Wizards announced the D20 system. They had an "interview" or something like that on their site, describing it. And one of the points they made on their site was that D20 could be used to design a system that was completely level-free.

    Is anyone here (well, duh, of course :D) sufficiently advanced in D&D that they know how to adapt D20 to be level-free? Or do you know someone else that already did that?
  • by fm6 (162816) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @03:07PM (#4216701) Homepage Journal
    Do you think it will spell an end to D&D ?
    You mean, will somebody go out and burn all the DM guides and monster manuals? Doesn't seem likely.

    Oh, you mean will D&D software survive. That has nothing to do WotC. They only control things that are called D&D. Example:

    A long time ago a undergrad name Michael Toy used the D&D fighting system and monster stats to create a Curses game called Rogue [www.hut.fi], the predecessor to NetHack [nethack.org]. (Ignore Glenn Wichmann -- he's a legend in his own mind.) TSR [wizards.com] didn't care for this, of course, and sicced their lawyers on him. The only result was that all the names got changed to non-D&D things. Which was actually an improvement -- there's no place in the D&D universe for my own favorite player character, the Tourist [flash.net]

    Bottom line -- you don't need the media monopolies to play games, any more than you need them to make music. Pity about Farscape though.

  • by Aexia (517457) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @03:28PM (#4216770)
    Is that failing as well? It seems to be me they went about it completely the wrong way.

    Magic is a fun challenging game... if you can afford to spend at least $300-$600 a year on it or can bargain like a madman. People stop playing because they got tired of the upgrade treadmill and seeing their old cards more or less become useless.

    So, for the on-line version, what do they do? They make an even worse version of that flaw! You have to pay full retail for virtual cards. I never paid that much even with the real ones. I would buy by the box at a substantial discount. That's how I stayed in it for so long. This just ensures people burn out sooner.

    I think if they had merely charged $10/month for access to all the cards, they would've done insanely well. Over a year, it probably adds up to about the same as the booster approach for many people, but that whole year I would've been able to build any deck I wanted.

    As it is, I'm staying the fuck away from it. It's a pity. I really liked the first computer version of Magic the Gathering.
  • I think the reason we're seeing these layoffs is that Hasbro wants a profit margin similar to the one they had when Pokemon and MTG were at their prime, when D&D3 was first released and selling like mad. But Pokemon's popularity is waning, and just about everyone who wants D&D3 has it by now...so they're not making as much money, and something has to go.

    Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast ("Hazards of the Coast"?) already sold GenCon to Peter Adkinson [ezboard.com], the ousted ex-President of WotC. Perhaps before long they'll sell the RPG stuff to him, too.
    • also add to that the fact that with the OGL, other companies publish D&D stuff too. Most is lower in price, and at least some have (IMO) a better lay-out than the hasbro books. Yeah, I use the core rules.. but I don't actually own any of the 'official' books, and will not either. I've completely switched to sword & sorcery material.
  • ...Hasbro faked the accounting irregularities because WotC was meeting their financial projections? It's being suggested there was a contract which said Hasbro couldn't meddle inside the company unless they missed certain numbers.

    Hasbro's quarterly reports seem to indicate that Wizards were hitting their numbers, keeping their parent afloat, but not turning in big enough profits (Pokemon or Magic levels) to pull Hasbro out of its disastrous tailspin.

    Looks pretty suspicious: Layoffs at the profitable division.

    Anyone know the scoop? Surely someone recently laid off can post anonymously.
  • by lordfetish (48651) <digital_deviance@nosPaM.hotmail.com> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @04:38PM (#4217071) Homepage
    I know this might sound harsh. but after roleplaying for nearly 15 years, D&D just doesn't offer anything interesting anymore. I used to play it when I was 10 and thought all that there was to RPGs was hack an' slash, but that was a long time ago.

    There are some nice odds and ends that came out of TSR - I personally thought that Ravenloft, Darksun and Planescape were interesting attempts to breath new life into the increasingly stagnant fantasy genre, but look at how bland the rest of the backgrounds are: Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Birthright - footnotes to Tolkien at best., they are nothing more than cashcows. The D&D system just plain sucked, still does, and if you just want to do hack an' slash then there are plenty of multiplayer computer games such as Diablo II, Everquest, and even the biosphere offerings will more than fill your needs and are probably much more fun. Or why not just do wargaming instead - Games Workhop and other cater to this market just fine?

    The reason that roleplaying keeps me interested theses days is the background, complex plots, characters and interesting players/GMs - the sort of interactivity that computers games will not yet achieve for some time to come. Look at the two biggest RPG companies aside from WotC: Whitewolf and Steve Jackson Games:

    Love or hate it (which I do in equal amounts) WW has done much more to actually build interesting and innovative fictional environments for roleplaying with the World of Darkness and Trinty Universe lines than TSR/WotC has ever managed with various flavours of D&D. They sell not because the system, but because of the content and quality of the background material.

    Likewise, GURPS is popular not because of the system, (although it is a much better attempt at a universal system than D&D3 will ever be) but because of the hugh range of excellently written background books -regardless of what system you like to use, even if you hate the system, many of the books are still highly entertaining, and useful.

    The opensource game license is an interesting idea, but I believe ultimately flawed. They are working from the premise that getting into RPGs is hard because there are so many systems and they are so different to learn - their solution is that we all use the D&D system and so don't have to learn new systems for different genres of play and then everyone can then write their games for the largest possible market (D&D system). The problem with this is that one system doesn't suit all types of games, all types of genre and all types of groups!
    If you are into interesting system mechanics then look at Phage Press' Amber Diceless Roleplaying games (set in Zelazn'y Chronicles of Amber Universe), or Jonathan Tweet's Everway RPG, based on using vision and fate card. Both are truely unique and interesting games because the systems facilitates storytelling. The first time that we played Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu was a milestone for our gaming group: WHAT WE CAN'T JUST KILL THE ENEMY? We had to actually think about innovative ways to defeat the enemy while avoiding combat!

    Our group LIKES there to be different flavours of rules for different types of games we play - hell most of the games we play these days barely require any rules: the ROLEplaying of characters is what is important not the ROLLplaying of dice! Do the roleplaying community a big favour and let D&D die!
    • If all you can do is rollplay (and not roleplay) with DnD, its your problem, not the system.

      If DnD is just hack and slash to you, fine, but it does not have to be.

      You really nee to stop letting the system dictate how you play.

      TSR has a lot of bland bekgrounds, but if you think GreyHawk isn't complex and filed with plot intregue, you haven't really looked.

      The problem withy Amber is you story telling had better fit with how the other players remember Amber, or you'll find yourself an outcast.

      For the record, I have play pretty much every system there has been in the last 25 years, each has the limits, quirks, and problems.
      • I agree - I haven't played D&D in years, but the last campaign I played in had one fight in about 100 hours of gaming, and that was a bar brawl that one of the PCs got in. D&D doesn't need to be a hack and slash game if you don't make it that.

        I really didn't like Amber, but I never read the books and that probably would've helped. The storyteller didn't help...

        GrayHawk is a pretty straightforward fantasy world, but there really wasn't anything before that (at least not that I remember). Some of the supplements were neat.

        I'm not a fan of the Planescape 'world', but probably because it didn't work in the campaign I was running at the time it came out. It also seemed 1/2 baked, kinda like Torg (but at least I got a cool d20 of that).

        Rolemaster was my graduation from D&D, but really was just more of a hack and slash system. I then moved to Harnmaster (well, actually a bunch of non-fantasy systems including Top Secret, Twilight 2000, Cyborg Commando, Gamma World, Villains and Vigilantes, Cyberpunk, all FASA stuff, Champions, the D&D in space system I can't remember, GURPS, Traveller, the Palladium munchkin systems and several others) before what I consider my first "real" Roleplaying experience with Call of Cthulhu. We had done some RPing before that, but CoC was the first system I played where roleplaying (and survival) really WAS more important than killing potential and experience points, and we actually started acting our characters in first person most of the time. That and my drunk (er, "medicthated... the ulsher, ya know - I have my pershcripshin righhht here") doctor.

        After CoC, I replayed a lot of systems from a completely different angle and with completely different goals. A "level" could take weeks or months of real time (and years of game-time), so being 50th level meant a lot less than accomplishments in that time, and usually meant being older than dirt (I don't remember having a character past 12th level in any level based game since playing CoC).
      • If DnD is just hack and slash to you, fine, but it does not have to be.

        You really nee
        [sic] to stop letting the system dictate how you play.

        The way to advance your character in D&D is to gain Levels. The way to gain Levels is to acquire a set number of Experience Points. The defined mechanism in D&D for gaining Experience Points is to Kill Things.

        How does this not, at the least, strongly influence how to play?

        And before you say it, yes, I'm aware that a GM can award XP for other things, but it's not defined in the rules, so anyone looking at the rules sees a simple "Kill Things == Experience" relationship.
    • Sometimes I just want to get together with some friends, relax, chat some, and play a role-playing game. Something simple, something that every gamer knows inside and out, something that gamemaster can easily whip something up for, something with some of the guilty viseral pleasure of beating up bad guys and taking their stuff. Something simple, both in rules and roles.

      When I began playing RPGs, I played D&D because it was the default. When I matured, I played more serious, innovative games like Vampire: The Masquerade, GURPs, and other games. I derided D&D as a waste. Now that I'm older, busy with work and other things, I appreciate D&D again. My life is complex and full or hard choices. The D&D game I play in is a simple pleasure, low stress for everyone.

      Also, you cannot ignore that 3e D&D has really helped revitalize the RPG industry. Things were slowing down and growth minimal. D&D brought the simple excitement back, brough back people who hadn't played in years, and brought in new players. Potential new players generally aren't going to try a more experimental system. They're looking for something simple that they can appreciate instantly. That game is D&D. And those new players will be looking for new games in a few years. That's your opportunity to introduce them to more mature games. Everyone wins!

      There is a place for every sort of game, be they mature or not. I still run Deadlands, Psychosis, Call of Cthulhu, and other more "mature" games, and I love them. Don't insult D&D, it still has a place in my life and the lives of millions of other gamers. If it isn't your cup of tea, just leave it be.

  • Good Luck to all the folks who were laid off and are going to receive "career transistion services and support."

    I was one of Wotc's laid off employees and they never provided any career transition services and support even though I received a letter from the company stating I would. Unfortunately, it was a big lie.

    My two cents,
    Rondi Patterson
    Former Regional Representative
    Wizards of the Coast


    From this [gamingreport.com] page. It's sad too see this stuff... :-/
  • WotC damaged intelligent gaming beyond repair. I feel no pitty what so ever for the company being bought by Hasbro after buying or chrushing nearly *every* RPG and Game Publisher in the buisness and then getting into shallow water.
    Magic and the following Wave of Trading Card games - that what made WotC turn from a 3 Person company into a 300+ company - drained an entire generation from a then solid culture of Pen and Paper RPGs with a substancial diversity. I'm feel sorry that those times had to pass so quickly.
    Damn WotC and their Magic, Pokemon and all that crap...
    (just the 2 cents of an old school gamer)
    • Ah, so you rely on the intelligence of others in order to "intelligently game" is that right? If you don't like how they do it, do it your own way. Hell, steal any of their ideas you do like, put your own ideas with them, and play your games like that.

      Exactly how intelligent do you expect us to believe you are when you apparently believe TSR is holding a gun to your head, telling you to play D&D or else? Or are you angry that the gaming clique has expanded far beyond the exclusive borders you preferred, not wanting all the trashy gamers wandering around? In which case I pray that every idiot gamer in you continues to drive you up the wall. Elitist idiots like you are the ones that give gaming a bad name. Trading card, pen-and-paper, doesn't matter. They're just games. If you don't like 'em, don't play 'em. Don't piss in someone else's pool.
  • by Kasmiur (464127) on Sunday September 08, 2002 @06:31PM (#4217541)
    Reports of the great mage Elminster applying at a Local Seattle McDonalds are coming in. Many witnesses say they saw him standing in line for a job application practicing his lines, 'Would you like fries with that?'

    More as the story breaks.

  • I remember that in the years I played D&D, AD&D, Star Frontiers, and a handful of other RPGs, I wasted the most money on AD&D books because they are chocked full of crap nobody ever really uses in game play. What I mean is, it's about weapons and combat and who can honestly say they didn't end up making up their own bastardization of the rules just to keep the roleplay flowing? Who really runs the whole tedious AD&D combat sequence?

    The genre isn't dead. I have friends developing a streamlined game system [igsgames.com] that keeps all the stuff you want in a fantasy RPG, but leaves out all the complicated unwieldly combat rules (which I vaugely remember evolved out of a naval combat boardgame) that turn roleplaying into arguments about how to roll dice in a particular situation.

    I'll cheer if the D&D books go out of print, and the copyrights go undefended. That's because they trademark stupid things like "halfling" because the Tolkien pricks trademarked "Hobbit". It's stupid. Besides, all my old tattered and rotting books may eventually be worth something then...

    All I know is that if D&D books go out of print because WoTC goes out of business before anyone (who cares) buys up the rights, it won't stop the old fogeys. Nobody *REALLY* needs any new D&D rules (D20) anyways. Everyone always ends up making things up as they go along, and that's fine with or without WoTC.

    • "all my old tattered and rotting books may eventually be worth something then"

      If there tattered, the \only way they will ever be worth something is if they're signed......by President Lincoln.

    • I picked up the original Cyberpunk rpg at a game con 10+ years ago. Their combat system Friday Night Fire Fight was an exhaustive statistical work culled from numerous reports on inner city gun usage- most "fire fights" were in dark alleys, a few quick shots exchanged at close range and they weren't very "successful."

      So they had an incredibly indepth system that was a bitch to use.

      When Cyberpunk 2020 came out they revised the combat. It was like pure heaven. It was easy! You pointed and shot, you said bang, your gun said "bang", damaged got doled out and you were done. They also completely vamped up their net-running section. And we had hours of fun.

      If you want realism, walk outside. Otherwise give me streamlined, bastardized, home brewed specifically for our current campaign.
    • The genre isn't dead. I have friends developing a streamlined game system [igsgames.com] that keeps all the stuff you want in a fantasy RPG,

      Try Earthdawn. It has a slick (IMO) dice system and a great world setting. Living Room Games [lrgames.com] resurrected it after FASA killed it off; not long before FASA went belly-up themselves.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Sunday September 08, 2002 @08:30PM (#4217983) Homepage Journal
    you'll get my DMs guide when you pry it from my cold dead Gauntlets of Ogre Power.
  • All I can say is, D&D survived without Gygax, and it will keep going without Jeff Grubb and company. WOTC and Hasbro can both go out of business for that matter, and it won't stop anybody from playing.
    • Yeah, but what it _would_ mean is that the books will eventually go out of print -- and that can be more than a little annoying for those trying to teach other people how to play when the newcomers can't buy their own books. It leaves us with no option but to lend our books out from time to time, which drastically cuts down on the life-expentancy, and leaves us with no place to buy new ones.
  • It's well written and right on the matter:
    http://montecook.com/anrant.html
  • Seriously. I believe that they are just ousting the top paid people at WoTC to save some bucks.
    Which might not be a bad thing, since I believe at this point they can keep D&D alive since they've probably got their "core rules" out. Now they only really need people to make modules and other supplemental material that doesn't require very much work compared to coming up with the d20 system.

    D&D will more than likely survive for several years in the "3rd. Edition" format. It won't surprise me if Hasbro will be forced to sell WoTC or D&D off after a few years, however. This could lead to "4th. Edition..." but who knows when this will happen.

    Even if they went out of business tomorrow, it wouldn't stop me from playing Dungeons and Dragons, since I have rules for both 2nd. and 3rd. Editions lying around. (Even though this seems to be blasphemy to some, I prefer 3rd. over 2nd... but that is a different discussion altogether).

    The books are out there. There are still plenty of people who play 2nd. Edition and even 1st. Edition! People aren't going to stop playing D&D or other Pen and Paper RPGs because of stuff like this.

    The thing is that I've heard the Epic Level Handbook was selling like mad. Maybe the figures I've heard are wrong. Or maybe Hasbro is playing B.S. corporate politics. Who knows?

  • Sorry to be redundant, but I think this argument benefits from restating the obvious:

    I still play D&D with the same books I recieved as birthday presents TWENTY YEARS AGO. The only thing I've purchased repeatedly are new dragon dice! (How many of you salivate when you hear the term "dragon dice"?).

    I haven't purchased a new D&D book since Dieties and Demigods!

    I just wish I hadn't written my name all over my books with a big red crayon...

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