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Noble Knight has a copy of the Worlds of Wonder set


Brimgeth

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Considering that the BGB exists in part to "clean up" rules from previous supplements, you're basically asking for the BGB minus the parts you don't want and at a discount.

Meanwhile, in reality, I'm asking for the original WoW with the errata for the Superworld section added in, and some minor corrections and alterations to Magic world rules. Not the great big zonking rules compendium that is the BGB. WoW is simpler and would attract a lot more newbies, and by being less expensive than the BGB too.;)

http://www.basicrps.com/core/BRP_quick_start.pdf A sense of humour and an imagination go a long way in roleplaying. ;)
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Why would Chaosium want to produce a slimmed-down, cheaper competitor to BRP?

I can understand a Future World, in the same way as Magic World worked, b ut not a Worlds of Wonder equivalent.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

www.soltakss.com/index.html

Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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I agree with a lot of what Mankcam said in his last post.

I would love to see a Worlds of Wonder along the lines of what he describes.

As far as confusion.. Chaosium already did that. When I bought the BGB it kind of read like there would be additional supplements to it, and it sets itself up perfectly for strictly settings books.

When I first learned that the new Magic World was going to be released I thought it was more along the mindset of: Ok, so you have the BGB but it if you want to play a Fantasy setting, here are all the specifics to that genre in greater detail and it would provide a checklist of which options to use from the BGB. (But you would still need the BGB for the system.)

I was a little surprised when I found out that the new Magic World was a complete stand alone product with the system included. It kind of seemed counter-intuitive with what Chaosium wanted to do with BRP.

However, I really like the new Magic World and Ben did a great job with it. It just confused me as to why they included the system and set it up as a stand-alone product. I read an interview that did kind of explain it though as far as Chaosium wanting to create a new entry game to BRP and that cleared up some of my confusion.

BGB = BRP Gold. New book = BRP Platinum.  Stay metal. 

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Percentages in the full 01-100 range didn't come in until RQ3.

Well, until Stormbringer, to be technical. In some ways Stormbringer was a preview of things to come in RQ3.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I can understand a Future World, in the same way as Magic World worked, ...

That sounds like a cool idea. Maybe mix in "safe" bits of Ringworld (generic tech, impulses) and bits of ElfQuest (psi) that didn't make it into the BGB. Maybe slant it toward classic space opera, before the advent of cyberpunk and transhumanism. I can imagine sort of a market for that. (SF generally doesn't sell as well as fantasy, though.)

A straight reprint of WoW, though, would have very limited appeal. An "updated" WoW is tantamount to a remix of the Big Gold Book with a lot of stuff taken out and some bits added. Today's Chaosium would have to commit freelancers and layout people to a product which, as soltakss pointed out, competes with their other product. Also, "cheaper" doesn't necessarily mean better-selling; most retailers want thicker books, preferably hardcover, as opposed to the 96-page stapled books of yore. Without retail customers or a flashy Kickstarter, Chaosium would have to pay even more money for marketing just to tell people about it. A cheap book might prove very expensive indeed ... especially if only a few enthusiasts bought it.

The BRP Quickstart is Chaosium's cheap introduction to BRP. There's only hints of fantasy, science fiction, and modern rules in the adventures, but the basics are there.

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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Why would Chaosium want to produce a slimmed-down, cheaper competitor to BRP?

Maybe it has to do with green bits of paper that have some worth attributed to them? And it would attract newbies to BRP, which they could then entice to buy the "advanced" rules in the BGB, thus getting more of those aforementioned green bits of paper. :D

http://www.basicrps.com/core/BRP_quick_start.pdf A sense of humour and an imagination go a long way in roleplaying. ;)
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Maybe it has to do with green bits of paper that have some worth attributed to them? And it would attract newbies to BRP, which they could then entice to buy the "advanced" rules in the BGB, thus getting more of those aforementioned green bits of paper. :D

But, as we said before, creating this new book will cost green bits of paper up front, and potentially reduce the green bits of paper derived from the Big Gold Book. If there's a risk that they'll give out more green bits of paper than they are given, they would be fools to do it.

(Doing a new book also requires time to hire a freelancer, edit his manuscript, and lay out the book. Then someone must convince distributors to carry it, and work up an advertising campaign. Chaosium today is basically four guys and a rolodex of freelancers; they're spread thin overseeing existing projects in the works. But let's stick to elementary school economics.)

If Chaosium can gather as much or more green bits of paper selling existing books -- Call of Cthulhu, the Big Gold Book, Magic World, etc. -- as they would by throwing away green bits of paper in the hope a new book will bring them back back, they will choose to sell existing books. Even if Chaosium might collect more green bits of paper than they lose in producing a book and losing sales on other books, they will not make that book because they may not collect enough green bits of paper, and then they will have lost green bits of paper for nothing.

Giving away a Quickstart PDF for free takes away far fewer green bits of paper, and it entices players to buy the full BGB. Unlike a new Worlds of Wonder, the Quickstart is not complete enough for long-term play, so far fewer people will stop at that one cheaper book.

Ever hear the phrase, "more trouble than it's worth"?

So, cool idea bro, but not happening.

Edited by fmitchell

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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But, as we said before, creating this new book will cost green bits of paper up front, and potentially reduce the green bits of paper derived from the Big Gold Book. If there's a risk that they'll give out more green bits of paper than they are given, they would be fools to do it.

I disagree. Everything involving publishing RPGs risks "giving out more green bits of paper than they are given." A RPG company has to weight those risks with the possible rewards.

THe BGB is a great sourcebook for experieced BRPers who want to have all (well most) of it in one book. But's it's a lousy book for fledging GMs and players. Basically, if the BGB is helpful to you, then you don't NEED it, and if you NEED the BGB then its' probably no help to you.

A trimmed down version, with a setting and playable adventures would do wonders to make the game more accessible and draw in new blood. And it would probably help the sales of the BGB, since most GMs end up buying the advanced rulebooks down the line.

And if the made the small book a "Player's book" they could sell it to those players who might want a copy of the rules for thier own reference, but who don't want to shell out the money for the BGB and the stuff within that isn't applicable to their campaigns.

As far as the Quickstart goes, can anybody tell me of someone who actually started playing an RPG and bought the full rules because of a Quickstart? I sure can't. In my experience the opposite happens.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I disagree. Everything involving publishing RPGs risks "giving out more green bits of paper than they are given." A RPG company has to weight those risks with the possible rewards.

THe BGB is a great sourcebook for experieced BRPers who want to have all (well most) of it in one book. But's it's a lousy book for fledging GMs and players. Basically, if the BGB is helpful to you, then you don't NEED it, and if you NEED the BGB then its' probably no help to you.

A trimmed down version, with a setting and playable adventures would do wonders to make the game more accessible and draw in new blood. And it would probably help the sales of the BGB, since most GMs end up buying the advanced rulebooks down the line.

And if the made the small book a "Player's book" they could sell it to those players who might want a copy of the rules for thier own reference, but who don't want to shell out the money for the BGB and the stuff within that isn't applicable to their campaigns.

As far as the Quickstart goes, can anybody tell me of someone who actually started playing an RPG and bought the full rules because of a Quickstart? I sure can't. In my experience the opposite happens.

In other words, the old Chaosium's old basic book, then Companion. Other companies have already returned to this, Green Ronin comes to mind with M&M.

So perhaps a BRP book with the basics, A magic system, a powers system and settings information along with a scenario or two... perhaps one being a Solo. Then a Companion that has all the revised information, advanced rules, additional magic and powers, GM advice, etc.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
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But, as we said before, creating this new book will cost green bits of paper up front, and potentially reduce the green bits of paper derived from the Big Gold Book. If there's a risk that they'll give out more green bits of paper than they are given, they would be fools to do it.

It wouldn't be a new book just an old one with some minor corrections. And you have to spend a small amount of money to keep in business. Otherwise Chaosium wouldn't publish anything. ;)

(Doing a new book also requires time to hire a freelancer, edit his manuscript, and lay out the book. Then someone must convince distributors to carry it, and work up an advertising campaign. Chaosium today is basically four guys and a rolodex of freelancers; they're spread thin overseeing existing projects in the works. But let's stick to elementary school economics.)

Like I wrote earlier, it ain't a new book. And it would require less work than, say, that done for the new Magic World. And they got a freelancer to do that work for 'em. So it isn't as unlikely as you make it seem.

If Chaosium can gather as much or more green bits of paper selling existing books -- Call of Cthulhu, the Big Gold Book, Magic World, etc. -- as they would by throwing away green bits of paper in the hope a new book will bring them back back, they will choose to sell existing books. Even if Chaosium might collect more green bits of paper than they lose in producing a book and losing sales on other books, they will not make that book because they may not collect enough green bits of paper, and then they will have lost green bits of paper for nothing.

So making a cleaned up version of WoW is completely out of the question because you think that it won't make money, even though it would be less expensive than the BGB, and with less rules to handle for the first time player.

Giving away a Quickstart PDF for free takes away far fewer green bits of paper, and it entices players to buy the full BGB. Unlike a new Worlds of Wonder, the Quickstart is not complete enough for long-term play, so far fewer people will stop at that one cheaper book.

I'm with you on that one. But it still doesn't stop WoW being viable, especially since the BGB is expensive and its massive load of rules would put some first time players off of buying it.

Ever hear the phrase, "more trouble than it's worth"?.

Ever hear the phrase "where there's a will there's a way?"

So, cool idea bro, but not happening.

Funny that. I said to my players, and anyone that would listen at the time, that Elric! would make a great set of rules for a more generic fantasy setting. Many years on Magic World appears. So don't write off that "cool idea" just yet, not that I expect Chaosium to jump to make real anything I've written here. :) Edited by Conrad
http://www.basicrps.com/core/BRP_quick_start.pdf A sense of humour and an imagination go a long way in roleplaying. ;)
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In other words, the old Chaosium's old basic book, then Companion. Other companies have already returned to this, Green Ronin comes to mind with M&M.

So perhaps a BRP book with the basics, A magic system, a powers system and settings information along with a scenario or two... perhaps one being a Solo. Then a Companion that has all the revised information, advanced rules, additional magic and powers, GM advice, etc.

SDLeary

Something like that. Generally speaking the BRB overwhelms those who are new to the system. Us old time BRP gamers already know what's in the BGB. So much so that we ususally don't bother to read what the current rule for something is and instead rely on our memory of whatever version we prefer from a BRP ancestor.

But to someone who hasn't seen the system beofre the BGB is a big confusion laberythe of rules, options, variants and subsystems that are, as admitted by the author, not entirely compatible with each other. You have to know what to do with it to get good results. Despite the name there is nothing "Basic" about it.

I think something like the WoW approach, but with better fleshed out books would be the way to go. A core rule book with the basic game mechanics and a handful of weapons, armor and equipment, plus generic fantasy, sci-fi, and maybe supers books. Probably a GM's book as well. Chaosium had the right idea with a solid core system that they would adapt to a specific setting (Stormbringer, CoC, Ringworld, ElfQuest), they just never extended to it a truely genric system. WoW was a halfhearted attempt. It took HERO and GURPS to apply the concept properly.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I think something like the WoW approach, but with better fleshed out books would be the way to go. A core rule book with the basic game mechanics and a handful of weapons, armor and equipment, plus generic fantasy, sci-fi, and maybe supers books. Probably a GM's book as well. Chaosium had the right idea with a solid core system that they would adapt to a specific setting (Stormbringer, CoC, Ringworld, ElfQuest), they just never extended to it a truely genric system. WoW was a halfhearted attempt. It took HERO and GURPS to apply the concept properly.

The thing is... I'm not seeing much GURPS or Hero anymore. In fact, sales seem to have dropped off enough that my FLGS only carries the bare minimum on GURPS, and only Champions for Hero. People are playing the old stuff, like we do with RQ2/3, but that seems about it. I think the day of core generic rules rather than adapted specific games might be over... for now. Things like this are probably cyclic.

SDLeary

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I think the day of core generic rules rather than adapted specific games might be over... for now.

I don't know about that. Savage Worlds is doing quite well. Fans of Ubiquity are clamoring for a generic core book. Cortex+ just put out its Hacker's Guide, which is more or less a core book. The new FATE core has been selling very well. If GURPS and Hero aren't doing well, I suspect it has something more to do with complexity and prep time than anything else.

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I don't think a straight 'warts n all' reprint of the original Worlds of Wonder would do much for the BRP system. Perhaps a kickstarter for die-hard fans, although I'm unsure if it'ld be worth the expense. It was almost 30 years ago, a good product in its day, but a dated one now unfortunately.

However, if the concept was revisited as a slipcase or boxed set with three sturdy hardcover books with revised and NEW content (Futureworld, MagicWorld, and SuperWorld), and an additional slim hardcover edition of the BRP Quickstart Rules then that might be a good product. The Quickstart Rules pretty much provides enough core content, and that way some of that doesn't get revisited in the other books.

Now if these books were hardcovers with decent art, then the whole thing could be a game changer on the shelves. The title 'Worlds of Wonder' is much more evocative than a functional term like 'Basic Role Playing', and a product like this would stand its own on the shelves alongside D&D, Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Numera, White Wolf, Warhammer, Savage Worlds, etc. Basically it has to be 'pretty on the eye & heavy in the hand' to attract new players now, as this is what the popular products are all about.

It could be followed up with a 'Worlds of Wonder, Set 2': (WestWorld, SpyWorld, and SteamPunkWorld perhaps). Who knows...(dreaming here)

One could argue that MagicWorld has only been revisited in title only, the current book feels more like Elric/Stormbringer than the original Magic World product. That is not to say that is a bad thing, but the original product of Magic World has more in common with the BRP Classic Fantasy monograph than it does with the current Magic World; in spirit at least. The Professions were presented much more like fantasy archetypes (Classes), and the game had a simple quality to it, almost 'beer & pretzels', ideal for old fashioned dungeon crawls. I think it was a good idea to publish the new Magic World, although I would have preferred another title, as it bears little resemblance to the flavour of the earlier Magic World. Perhaps a title like 'Realm' would have been more apt?

A Worlds of Wonder product like I have described would be a good thing, although to publish it at present may only confuse new BRP players as to which path to follow with in regards to their BRP fantasy games, given that Chaosium already has a current published fantasy setting. Perhaps the other titles could be revised and published as separate settings, which is more likely to be the case if the idea was looked at. I don't think they would sell all that great as separate titles however. In many ways, Worlds of Wonder was the sum of its parts, and the charm came from having a few settings in one product.

As far as a kickstarter goes, I would possibly like to see Chaosium offer a direct reprint of the RuneQuest Gateway content that they published as a boxed set prior to the release of RQ3. I never saw it, but I have heard decent reviews, so I'm curious. But again, whether that would be a viable use of staff resources is an obvious hurdle for anything like this. Perhaps some of the content could be rehashed to fit 'The Realm', and then it could become a MagicWorld publication perhaps?

In all honesty Chaosium is probably wise not to divide their efforts too much, and keep their current focus on Call of Cthulhu and perhaps Magic World. This is not to say that a licensee couldn't pick up other settings, along the lines that Pagan Publishing, Cubicle 7, and Alephetar Games has done in the past. But I can't see Chaosium flying the flag too much for anything that's not going to be related to Cthulhu 7E in the near future. I guess that's logical, considering its a new edition of the flagship product. Given this I can't see much future for Worlds of Wonder, kickstarter or otherwise =|

Well, I never suggested a reissue of WoW would do anything for BRP or Chaosium at all. It's just what I would love to see. I'd also love to see Superworld in print again with a healthy line of adventure modules and what not. I can dream.

I personally don't much care for BRP (the book) itself, though I love CoC and Superworld.

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I don't know about that. Savage Worlds is doing quite well. Fans of Ubiquity are clamoring for a generic core book. Cortex+ just put out its Hacker's Guide, which is more or less a core book. The new FATE core has been selling very well. If GURPS and Hero aren't doing well, I suspect it has something more to do with complexity and prep time than anything else.

Perhaps, but at least in this area Savage Worlds seems to be on the decline, their apogee being about two years ago. Seems that way from many comments on RPGnet as well.

FATE is the exception at the moment, and I think that might be because they have stumbled on an amazingly versatile and easy to understand combination. Something that seems to scale well for just about any genre that you throw at it, and is somewhat easy to understand. It is what I think HeroQuest could have been if Issaries/MoonDesign had paid a bit more attention to the core game, and a bit less on Glorantha; though then we wouldn't have the Guide and the Atlas coming out anytime soon.

SDLeary

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The thing is... I'm not seeing much GURPS or Hero anymore. In fact, sales seem to have dropped off enough that my FLGS only carries the bare minimum on GURPS, and only Champions for Hero. People are playing the old stuff, like we do with RQ2/3, but that seems about it. I think the day of core generic rules rather than adapted specific games might be over... for now. Things like this are probably cyclic.

SDLeary

THat's the state of the hobby. Right now anything other than D&D/Pathfinder is on the decline. I don't think it cyclic, but the fading of an era. CCGs did a good job killing off the old RPG companies, and CRPGs are taking over what's left of the role-playing market. So we are fighting for a larger market share in a dwindling fanbase. Not good. I suspect that within a few years tabletop RPGs will be virtually gone.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I suspect that within a few years tabletop RPGs will be virtually gone.

Everyone's been predicting the end of RPGs since the 1980s. Somebody more in touch with RPGs than I once said that the RPG industry may disappear, but the hobby will remain. Games already printed will not spontaneously self-destruct. People will play games and share ideas over the Web. Innovation may slow, but as long as there are players and GMs with rules to play, RPGs will continue.

What I think will happen, because it's already happening: Most publishers will concentrate on board games or miniatures -- e.g. Steve Jackson Games, Mongoose, Fantasy Flight -- but put out some RPG material on the side. RPG-only publishers that survive will resemble Chaosium, or indie publishers: guys and girls working out of their homes, putting out small print runs or PDF-only offerings. Anything OGL doesn't depend on the survival of one company, which was part of the original intent. When (if?) the economy improves so will the RPG market.

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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If the RPG industry wants to survive, it needs new customers rather than just trying to sell overpriced hardcovers to the same audience over and over. They're following the lead of comic books. Used to be able to get RPGs at toy stores and bookstores. Usedto be able to buy all I need to play a game by buying one nice box. Now just finding a game is a pain. Still have never seen a copy of Hero 6th that I could look at and evaluate. Same with Devil's Gulch, Mythic Iceland, etc. Given the prices, I'd like to see the product before I commit to buying it. I've bought exactly one new game in the past decade, and it was so bad I bought none of its supplements. I have, however, bought a couple of dozen used, out-of-print games and downloaded pdfs of old stuff no longer available. Almost none of my money goes to extant publishers. Even my bGB I only bought because it was "irregular" and therefore half-off. Never would have bought at a game store due solely to the price.

Would probably help if someone published a product that interested me. Does everyone really only want fantasy games?

Edited by Matt
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I too think the death of the RPG industry will not mean that of the hobby. One could perhaps dare to imagine the hobby one day becoming something more similar to chess or even sports, with tournaments and competitions (several groups play a short campaign, then each player votes one of the others as the best player of their group, then the winners of the "campaign phase" assemble and play a short adventure at the end of which each player votes the winner of the competition - something like that). Such "institutionalization" would probably attract new players, perpetuating the hobby.

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THat's the state of the hobby. Right now anything other than D&D/Pathfinder is on the decline. I don't think it cyclic, but the fading of an era. CCGs did a good job killing off the old RPG companies, and CRPGs are taking over what's left of the role-playing market. So we are fighting for a larger market share in a dwindling fanbase. Not good. I suspect that within a few years tabletop RPGs will be virtually gone.

Other than a few companies, I don't think the RPG world could ever be called an "industry", despite pretensions of the companies themselves. Profession might be the highest on the totem pole that I would put them, but most have never made it out of the hobby category.

While the majority are playing board and card games, this does bring more people into the stores. I see lots of people that I have not seen before perusing the RPG areas of local FLGS, especially parents with children.

I will admit that the area I'm in could be unique though... SF Bay Area has always been one of the gaming core areas.

SDLeary

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It's strictly anecdotal and by no means evidence, but I suspect I'm not the only one who knows, has met, plays with, or is acquainted with many folks who enjoy RPGs and play them fairly often but don't buy any new products. I am almost in that camp as well, except once in a while I take a chance on a new game. After thinking about it, I was wrong when I stated I have bought one new game in the past decade; I can think of four now. But a lot of guys I play with aren't buying anything at all and we are playing plenty of games: they're just not the types of games the industry wants to make anymore. I suspect there are many like me who would be more inclined to spend money if we could find the product, there was more variety instead of just Fantasy A and Fantasy B options, and if the product didn't feel like a ripoff.

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I suspect I'm not the only one who knows, has met, plays with, or is acquainted with many folks who enjoy RPGs and play them fairly often but don't buy any new products. [...] I suspect there are many like me who would be more inclined to spend money if we could find the product, there was more variety instead of just Fantasy A and Fantasy B options, and if the product didn't feel like a ripoff.

My experience and preferences match yours.

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Everyone's been predicting the end of RPGs since the 1980s. Somebody more in touch with RPGs than I once said that the RPG industry may disappear, but the hobby will remain. Games already printed will not spontaneously self-destruct. People will play games and share ideas over the Web. Innovation may slow, but as long as there are players and GMs with rules to play, RPGs will continue.

As I've said virtually gone. Sure we will still have our old stuff; And sure places like DriveThru RPG will still be out there selling PDFs, becuase it's easy to distribute RPGs that way; and yeah places like Amazon and eBay will still be aroiund, making it possible to hunt down out of print RPGs, at a price. But RPGs will mostly disappear from store shelves. In other words.

I suspect there are many like me who would be more inclined to spend money if we could find the product, there was more variety instead of just Fantasy A and Fantasy B options, and if the product didn't feel like a ripoff.

Is going to be the new norm.

What I think will happen, because it's already happening: Most publishers will concentrate on board games or miniatures -- e.g. Steve Jackson Games, Mongoose, Fantasy Flight -- but put out some RPG material on the side. RPG-only publishers that survive will resemble Chaosium, or indie publishers: guys and girls working out of their homes, putting out small print runs or PDF-only offerings. Anything OGL doesn't depend on the survival of one company, which was part of the original intent. When (if?) the economy improves so will the RPG market.

Most RPGs "companies" have always been small, "garage companies". So that won't change. And with desktop publishing, the internet, personal printers, and and print of demand a lot of smaller companies will survive simply because you don't need as much to get a game out there as you once did. 30 years ago, yoy had to write the game up; get it formatted and professionally printed; get word out about the RPG; and find a way to get it into a store or some other way to sell it. Now all ya goota do is make a document on a computer; convert it to a PDF; and make it available on-line.

But you won't see many RPGs on the shelves of local bookstores, partyl due to the decline of RPGs, and partly to the decline of local bookstores.

I disagree with you about OGL. THe intention of OGL was to recapture D&D's dominance in the RPG community at a time when it was toppling. The lure of being able to print D&D stuff (and get a slice of the bigger pie) got a lot of companies to print D&D stuff. This restored D&D to prominence, which then led to the demise of OGL. That Mongoose and Pathfinder probably did better out of the arrangment than WotC, was the surprising bit.

Most RPG companies are going back to closed systems again- to protect whatever niche they have and maintain control over content.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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But you won't see many RPGs on the shelves of local bookstores, partly due to the decline of RPGs, and partly to the decline of local bookstores.

Most chain bookstores I've been in only stocked D&D, Pathfinder, World of Darkness (once upon a time), and maybe GURPS or one other brand. I'd wager most people discover new games in hobby stores. Stores that sell comics, tabletop games, and maybe video games might do more to lure in a new crossover audience than failing book stores. To do so, the FLGS has to become a) actually friendly and B) willing to host all kinds of games on open tables. The surviving game stores around me have learned that lesson.

I disagree with you about OGL. The intention of OGL was to recapture D&D's dominance in the RPG community at a time when it was toppling. The lure of being able to print D&D stuff (and get a slice of the bigger pie) got a lot of companies to print D&D stuff. This restored D&D to prominence, which then led to the demise of OGL. That Mongoose and Pathfinder probably did better out of the arrangment than WotC, was the surprising bit.

Most RPG companies are going back to closed systems again- to protect whatever niche they have and maintain control over content.

The Open Gaming Foundation's criteria for an open license specifically mentions a lack of restrictions on copying and modifying content beyond keeping the license attached to the copied content. IIRC the OGL was not only a bid to encourage 3rd party content and renewed interest, but to ensure that the rules of D&D (3.x) survived corporate mergers and bankruptcies, a real possibility in the waning years of T$R. Yes, Pathfinder's and Mongoose's successes with WotC's core system led WotC/Hasbro to retreat behind the GSL, but the GSL's poison pill provisions probably contributed to the demise of 4th Edition. (Arguably 4e led to its own demise, and also made Pathfinder popular.) Its the old problem of whether it's better to bake one's own small pie or share the ingredients to have a slice of a larger pie.

I have no idea what percentage of games are using the OGL or other open licenses (like some versions of Creative Commons). FATE, a current darling, is OGL, which is part of its appeal. MRQ1's OGL content led to OpenQuest (also OGL), Legend (eventually OGL), and RuneQuest 6 (not OGL, but awesome). I can understand companies tightening licenses to safeguard a brand. But like WotC's OGC vs. "d20", there's a place in the gaming world both for "fundamental rules" with open licenses and for polished, branded derivatives with selective licenses.

My first RPG system, The Fantasy Trip, disappeared along with Metagaming and its owner, and Dark City Games' retro-clones are a bit thin. I'd just like to see truly innovative a/o fun systems survive the implosion of any one company, especially if hard times are coming.

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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Most chain bookstores I've been in only stocked D&D, Pathfinder, World of Darkness (once upon a time), and maybe GURPS or one other brand. I'd wager most people discover new games in hobby stores. Stores that sell comics, tabletop games, and maybe video games might do more to lure in a new crossover audience than failing book stores. To do so, the FLGS has to become a) actually friendly and B) willing to host all kinds of games on open tables. The surviving game stores around me have learned that lesson.

More like the FLGS actually has to exist. In the past few years all the FLGSes have dried up in my area. What's left only has a small section of RPG stuff, and that is mostly D&D/Pathfinder. The FLGS has in store gaming for CCGs but not for RPGs, and Wargames are taking up more shelf space than RPGs.

Of course part of the problem here is that RPGs do not require people to keep buying more product the way CCGs and wargames (via miniatures) do.Nor does everyone who plays need a copy of the game.

The Open Gaming Foundation's criteria for an open license specifically mentions a lack of restrictions on copying and modifying content beyond keeping the license attached to the copied content. IIRC the OGL was not only a bid to encourage 3rd party content and renewed interest, but to ensure that the rules of D&D (3.x) survived corporate mergers and bankruptcies, a real possibility in the waning years of T$R. Yes, Pathfinder's and Mongoose's successes with WotC's core system led WotC/Hasbro to retreat behind the GSL, but the GSL's poison pill provisions probably contributed to the demise of 4th Edition. (Arguably 4e led to its own demise, and also made Pathfinder popular.) Its the old problem of whether it's better to bake one's own small pie or share the ingredients to have a slice of a larger pie.

I never expected D&D to stay OGL, nor do I see OGL as a big factor outside of D20. Basically, it's pretty useless. Actual RPG rules are fair game-so the only reason to support an OGL game, from a marketing viewpoint, is to tap into that game's fanbase. Most RPGs don't have that big a fanbase.

I have no idea what percentage of games are using the OGL or other open licenses (like some versions of Creative Commons). FATE, a current darling, is OGL, which is part of its appeal.

FATE is OGL, but Spirit of the Century, isn't. FATE is just the underlying framework. much like the old BRP.

MRQ1's OGL content led to OpenQuest (also OGL), Legend (eventually OGL), and RuneQuest 6 (not OGL, but awesome). I can understand companies tightening licenses to safeguard a brand. But like WotC's OGC vs. "d20", there's a place in the gaming world both for "fundamental rules" with open licenses and for polished, branded derivatives with selective licenses.

Nope. MRQ being OGL did not lead to OpenQuest, Legend, or RQ6.

The fact that rules cannot be copyrighted allowed for OpenQuest.

The fact that MRQ1 wasn't such a great system led to MRQ2 which eventually got rebranded as Legend when Mongoose no longer had the RQ brandname

RQ6 cam about becuas ethe guys who wrote MRQ2 did decide to pursue the RQ brand name.

OGL didn't make a bit of difference.

The litmus test is this: How many non-Mongoose MRQ and Legend supplements are there out there? Not many. Merrie England, Stupor Mundi. What else?

My first RPG system, The Fantasy Trip, disappeared along with Metagaming and its owner, and Dark City Games' retro-clones are a bit thin. I'd just like to see truly innovative a/o fun systems survive the implosion of any one company, especially if hard times are coming.

It can. As mentioned companies don;t actually own RPG rules. Just the text they use to present them. So anybody can resurrect a dead game system. What they can't do is reprint it verbatim. You could do a rewrite of TFT or RQ or whatever tomorrow, if you wanted to. You just have to word it differently, avoid using the specific setting (no Cidri or Glorantha), and avoid anything unique to that setting.

The reason why you don't see it happen more often is simply because few people want to throw money away to reproduce an RPG that's already failed. Things like OpenQuest come about, not because of OGL (you don't need OGL to do it), but because some fan wants to recreate and modify a favorite RPG.

What OGL does, in theroy, is provide a reason for third parties not to create their own RPGs, but instead tap into the market of an existing RPG.

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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