August 3, 2008

Big News and other stuff

I've been out of the cyberworld for the past several weeks because I had to apply for a new connection and it has taken quite a while before I could go back online. After scouring to several sources, it looks like it was a bad time to miss out on some really big news that has happened in the gaming scene (Thanks to ENWorld for putting me up to speed).

So first up,


The brainchild of Wizard's Digital Initiative is as good as braindead.
The site that was to be the 'Facebook' for gamers is now no more (and some might say that it failed to do what it was suppose to do). The only impression that I had about it was that it was that one extra page I had to go to before I reach the Wizards D&D boards. I didn't bother to use any of the extra features, which to my memory, I think there was a blog feature somewhere. So this is goodbye, good riddance and you won't be missed.

Some confirmations about the PHB II on what it will contain according to WoTC Spring 2009 catalog.

Player's Handbook 2
A D&D Supplement by Rob Heinsoo and Mike Mearls
Player's Handbook 2 expands the range of options available to D&D players with new classes, races, powers, and other material.
This book builds on the array of classes and races presented in the first Player's Handbook, adding both old favorites and new, never-before-seen options to the game.
The book adds a new poer source for 4th Edition D&D: classes using the new primal power source include the barbarian and the druid.

Key Selling Points
The new classes in this book include some long-time favorites of D&D players, such as the barbarian, druid, and sorcerer. (Where's the Bard?)

The book features several new races, including the gnome(Not so scary now, ain't ya RAWR!), the half-orc, and the goliath.

Hardcover, 224 pages, $34.95 (about RM105)
March 17, 2009

After reading this, it got me thinking. It makes me, as a DM, play a little guessing game with my players on what can we finally play when a new PHB is released. I've heard several complaints that 4E doesn't feel complete (races and classes aside, where are the rules for Illusions and Summoning?) and after seeing this, I think I'm starting to agree with them. For the player who played 3.x, what am I going to tell him when his favorite class/race is not available YET (like WHERE'S the Bard)?!

Maybe I shouldn't start my 4E campaign until all the races and classes that appeared in the 3.x core have been released. For DMs who are already running, I wonder how are you going to implement these new additions into your campaigns.

Another item had caught my eyes but I think I will save them for comments later(maybe after when a product image is up).

Living Forgotten Realms will be going live at GenCon (which is very soon) and RPGA have given us a sneak peek at the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide here. In there you will find creation rules for the Drow and Genasis, as well as the first three levels of the Swordmage.

In case, you're wondering where Malaysia will be in the Living Forgotten Realms map. We're going to be at the Dragon Coast region.

Quite a nice and suitable place I'll say, where I can live with.

Now for some industry news...

No 4E for Necromancer Games!

Since the GSL have started, it looks like many 3rd party publishers from the 3.x days are saying that they got the short end of the stick. Big names like Green Ronin have already given their answer against the GSL and Goodman Games still appears to be deliberating on their future with it. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing because I'm not publisher who makes a living out of this business.

But here's how I see it.

In one way, I felt that WoTC shot themselves in the foot when they released the OGL back in the 3.x days. While they open great opportunities and potential for D&D to grow, it was technically opening a can of worms that were going to eat into your profits.

With 4E and the GSL, I think WoTC didn't want to repeat the same mistake and have deliberately named the game on their terms, which is a little too late, considering how many good materials there have been out there already and the creation of so many good game writers/designers/developers that have gone on independent or joined the third party publishers.

Nevertheless, I don't blame them for consolidating their resources (like the Dragonlance license) and hoard a system to themselves, which they technically own/created because it makes good business sense.

As a consumer, all this is good in a way because that means we'll only be seeing 'official' products, or products that are consistently close to the core rules, or without drastic variations, at least. I don't think it will affect my purchase of WoTC's products or any of the third party publishers as long as they meet my requirements and have the material to expand my game on the table to the direction where I want to be.

This puts third party publishers and the GSL in an interesting position. While I'll be looking at the GSL as WoTC's boon that every product launched under it would work almost the same with each other, I'll be looking at third party publishers as a resource for extra material if I want to pursue a specific direction or genre in my games.

So there you have it. By the way, the voting booth for the ENnies are already open. So you might want to hurry up to vote for your favorite products.

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