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Dias Ex Machina Games • View topic - D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?

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Which rule system do you think Amethyst should adopt?
3.5 OGL 29%  29%  [ 5 ]
D&D 4.0 23%  23%  [ 4 ]
Don't care either way, I'm buying it whatever version it is. 47%  47%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 17
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 Post subject: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 9:51 pm 
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No denying, this is a loaded post and I imagine several people have strong opinions on the subject and I welcome them all here as long as you are all civil-like.

On June 6th, the D20 3.0/3.5 STL will be terminated and replaced with a new 4.0 GSL. There is still little information on the details of the GSL at this time (and clarifications are welcome). This means the Amethyst you all know and love cannot be sold after December 31st, 2008. I firmly believe the 3.5 book in many hands is a strong contribution and a complete book on its own.

However, we must choose a direction. We will announce that direction on the June 10th podcast, only a few days after the release of 4.0 D&D, after we have had the opportunity to analyze the details of the 4.0 GSL. I wanted to open the table to all of you out there and get your opinion. In the end, this is all for you, but we must look at the bigger picture.

By choosing D&D 4.0, we believe we are opting for a "shotgun" approach by jumping on the back of a very big train which could expand our circle of distribution. There is no refuting that a lot of people will be playing 4.0 very quickly and releasing Amethyst as 4.0 could net us higher sales, which would be translated to further books, quicker releases, and glossier final products.

Alas 4.0 is more combat orientated with a special skew towards unrealistic heroic roles (given enough levels). More than a few people have accused it as being a tabletop MMO. Depending on the limits of the GSL (still waiting), we would need to replace the majority of the core class, all the races, and hopefully redefine the magic system. The final result may involve more than a few sacrifices of the setting's feel as Amethyst has a story-based gaming foundation and D&D 4.0 appears more designed for continuous grinding combat. Amethyst was trying to be a more realistic fantasy and our real climb would be to attempt that within the 4.0 GSL's guidelines.

By choosing OGL, we would abandon the GSL license and adopt the 3.5 OGL rules. The game would be self-contained but be so large (having to include all the rules) we would have to split it into two books. This game would be the most respectful of the setting and honour what we originally set out to do. We would make extensive modifications to the combat system, the entire magic system, and release our own unique take on the 3.5 OGL rules (Currently hung with the nickname, the "Breach System").

Alas, beyond the daunting task of justifying the purchase of two books, we would be sneaking onto the scene on the coattails of D&D 4.0. It would be a severe risk and our circulation may suffer as a result. It would require word of mouth from fans and a solid base of loyal 3.0/3.5 players wanting to try a realistic science/high-fantasy setting without adopting the new 4.0 rules. We would tackle it, but it's a huge risk given the recent tepid sales of ALL d20/OGL products on the marketplace (direct quote from a supplier). Despite our loyal fan base of advent 3.5 supporters, it may not be enough to justify remaining with the 3.5 system and deviate it into a 3.5 OGL.

One point to consider is the PS2/PS3 landscape. There are more PS2 in homes than PS3, Wiis, and Xbox360s put together. Yet, if you were a game developer, would you choose PS2 or PS3. Rockband is available for the PS2 and PS3 and the PS3 version sells more despite a lower circulation of the game system. Just to make you think...

The poll is only meant as a guide and it will help our decision but not make it. I am hoping all those usually silent will speak up...

_________________
“I despise stallions. I ride them as I ride an ugly noble women--smiles for appearances and politics only. Stallions. All personality with no depth. They prance like ponies and trot with arrogance. I always say, respect your mules most of all. A stallion may lead with the king and gather the eyes, but a mule will follow behind…and carry your kingdom.”
Tsarevick Kazaan
Amethyst D20
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 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 12:07 am 
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To be fair whichever system it runs in won't affect me. I've generally got an idea of what 4th editions going to look like by having played the new star wars saga system. From everything I've heard they're pushing it more in that direction, which creates VERY heroic player characters and has VERY underpowered mooks. It captures the Star Wars setting very well in that they can run into hundreds of droids or stormtroopers and survive.

I think if your going to use Amethyst with 4th ed, you'll need to do some tweeking to make monster much harder so you have that grim, gritty difficulty. Otherwise parties are going to smash everything you throw at them (not fun for a GM). With 3.5 we all know how the challenge ratings work, and how to tweak monsters to make them better if your party is a bit on the powerful side. 4th edition has the benefit that players and GM's are both on the backfoot so its not like a newbie GMing for veterans, everybody is off balanced and unsure, which is good sometimes.

In terms of the roleplay aspect I don't think it matters whether the rules are biased towards combat. Players are able to roleplay a conversation without a +10 in Diplomacy. Maybe it should be down to the GM and the players involved in the social interaction. The GM knows what situation the mook trying to be convinced is in, how convinced is the GM of what the players are trying to blag him? We very rarely roll dice in social situations in our campaigns, it tends to be how convinced the GM is (like mentioned). If the player feels that he's made a fairly good point but the GM's being a bit stubborn we tend to call for a roll.

Thats my 2 cents anyway...


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 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 12:58 am 
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Okay, I am not a paying customer yet, especially since I just don't feel the need to buy a 3.5 supplement with 4E coming soon and looking good for me.
I really don't know how well the GSL can work for Amethyst, and as long as this isn't clear, that doesn't bode well for me & Amethyst. Despite the fact that I like what I see (the artwork I have seen so far just looks too good to ignore...)

Anyway, here's how see it: 4E will be a good game system.
Any belief that monsters will be "weak" compared to PCs are premature at best, but probably outright wrong.
If you want grim & gritty fight, that won't stand in your way. I might worry more about the rules for Healing, but I suppose that can be tweaked. (Necromancer Games already has announced that their Advanced Player Guide will also contain some 0-level character rules, and I think implies that such tweaks are possible even with the GSL)

So, for me, it would be best as 4E. (I hope I won't regret this after June ;) )

That said, the OGL might not be that bad. Since you will have to recreate the missing part of the Core Rules anyway, I suppose there is a lot of room for tweaking or improving aspects of the 3E core - assuming you have the resources and inclination to do it. Though to be honest, I think that might only be interesting to me if it was a tweak as big as Arcana Evolved, Iron Heroes or Monte Cooks World of Darkness, and I am really not convinced that this is what you want to do. :|


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 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 7:25 am 
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I chose the 3rd option, simply because I already bought it. (By the way, loving it so far, as soon as I've read a bit more and can get one written up, I'll be reviewing it.)

Back on track. Now, my poll choice aside, I am not likely to be buying 4th edition. I have a ton of stuff for 3.5, and am quite happy with it. So, I would be more likely to buy 3.5 OGL supplements, than 4.0. That does not mean, if you were to adopt 4.0 rules, that I would not be buying anything else. If I find something that sufficiently interests me, I am will to do the work to convert it to 3.5.


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 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Peronsally, I'd advise towards 4E. You're a new, unproven publisher. The best and most successful of the OGL games in the future will be those with a proven name: Pathfinder, True20, M&M, Spycraft, et. al. You do not have the built in fanbase that these publishers do, and I'd wager a hefty sum that it's these fanbases that will allow them to survive. Honestly, I think your best bet would be to try to ride the 4E wave to establish your name. Some of the best products of 3E's lifetime were 'alternate PHBs' like Arcana Evolved and Iron Heroes. I think Amethyst could potentially be the first similar product of the GSL line.

Incidentally, I think you're local. I'd honestly like a chance to speak with you in person about this (and Amethyst in general) sometime.


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 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 7:14 pm 
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Location: Newcastle, Australia
I'd have to agree with Center-of-All here. Amethyst would do much better as an initial release supplement for GSL purely from a sales point of view. Aside form role playing I'm an avid war gamer and every time I've seen a games system update their rules the supplements for previous editions virtually disappear. This isn't simply because the supplier stops making them it that people see something new and shiny they have to have it.

I love Amethyst in it's current incarnation, I started GMing for the first time on the free edition way back in 2002 and haven't looked back since. However as much as i love it as is i want it to survive so this company can keep producing more great work and the best way to do that is to jump on the 4.0 edition band wagon.

Assuming its success you can always produce supplements later on that bring it closer to the way its meant to be played, and besides, a good RP group can adapt the rules to give them the experience they're looking for anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 12:24 am 
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Center-of-All wrote:
Incidentally, I think you're local. I'd honestly like a chance to speak with you in person about this (and Amethyst in general) sometime.


Well, my email is on public file right here. Feel free to message me and inform me of who you are, mysterious stranger. :)

_________________
“I despise stallions. I ride them as I ride an ugly noble women--smiles for appearances and politics only. Stallions. All personality with no depth. They prance like ponies and trot with arrogance. I always say, respect your mules most of all. A stallion may lead with the king and gather the eyes, but a mule will follow behind…and carry your kingdom.”
Tsarevick Kazaan
Amethyst D20
Image
http://www.diasexmachina.com


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 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 4:20 am 
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I originally posted this over on ENWorld, but I'm gonna cross-post it here.

Quote:
I'm actually disappointed you won't be providing support for the 3.5e core book since that's the game system I'm sticking with. I purchased Amethyst based on the premise and art previews and am enjoying it quite a bit.


What he said. :)

Well, my copy of the softback (ordered through Lulu, with a REALLY speedy turnaround time!!) arrived yesterday, and I'm pretty impressed overall.

I got the same chills leafing through it that I got when I first picked up the "Midnight" campaign setting... (And that's high praise indeed!!)

I feel for you guys; it's tough to balance the needs of a business with the desire for creative freedom. :(

Personally, I will say that I'm hoping you opt not to go the 4E route. I realize it would likely mean guaranteed new sales, but if your heart's not in it, then still it's a losing proposition.

For me, I'd defintiely be in for an OGL version, including buying an updated version of the corebook. (Besides, I could then give the D20 version to the group as a whole for reference and background material!) 8)

If you go 4E, I'd likely be less inclined to pick up future titles until and unless I switch over. (While I'm curious what plans you have for the setting, the books aren't as useful to me if the "crunch" doesn't support the system I'm using.)

Though I did hear something about novels??? Tell us more!!


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 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 7:56 pm 
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Wow...high praise and thanks. As always, I say pass the word because our only success depends on word of mouth now. Good wording to...I like that. "Chills"...and comparison to Midnight. Sounds good.

As for the novelization, the story segments in the current book represent only 30 pages of the second draft of a 400+ page first novel I am nearing to completion. I am currently hunting for an agent. This part of the business may take a while.

Oh...and I want everyone to know that the jury is STILL out on 4.0/3.5. We are not certain of our path and I would like everyone to voice their opinion and not wait to see how the wind is going. The only winds blowing are from the lungs of the vocal. If you want to reverse the storm...blow the other way.

_________________
“I despise stallions. I ride them as I ride an ugly noble women--smiles for appearances and politics only. Stallions. All personality with no depth. They prance like ponies and trot with arrogance. I always say, respect your mules most of all. A stallion may lead with the king and gather the eyes, but a mule will follow behind…and carry your kingdom.”
Tsarevick Kazaan
Amethyst D20
Image
http://www.diasexmachina.com


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: D&D 4.0 or OGL ... Which will Amethyst be?
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 12:06 pm 
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I oppose most of what 4th edition is bringing in. But as has been said the problem (If there will be one) lies within the GSL and until we know more of that I can't really say I am 100% opposed to 4th ed Amethyst. So to keep it short, if GSL good = go go go 4th ed Amethyst. If GSL bad = go go go OGL 3.5 Amethyst! Oh and due to personal preference I've voted for the 3.5 poll option ;)


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