This is a snippet of a conversation from the other night; read on!

—————-

-JS-

Unrelated – you like D&D next?

Mike

I did, actually. Wasn’t expecting to. Super fast to pick up (1-hour 10th level build, 10 minutes to convert classes)

-JS-

Sweet. I’m hoping the license doesn’t suck. I looked over some of the stuff from the play test and I think I could easily make Rhune work with it. I’m not opposed to branching out. And I don’t mind it at all.

-Mike-

I was thinking about this the other day because half of the people I’m talking to are on the fence about whether or not it’ll be OGL. At first I was convinced it would be but now I’m second guessing it.

-JS-

I hope it will be. Why?

-Mike-

[Redacted] was adamant last year at GenCon (and I quote, “be ready to write for D&D Next”), but I was thinking what I would do if I was WotC. They’re still burned from 4th ed, right? But they are producing the books and somebody is buying them—what if the playtest was a huge market teaser?

-JS-

It might be, but if they don’t deliver… well, hello Titanic.

-Mike-

If they’re pricing the books at $50, either the content on the way is going to get wayyyyy more extensive than what we saw, or it’s OGL and they want to make the cash back right off that they’re going to lose to 3PP.

-JS-

It’s something to consider. I think they realize that 3PP is a thing they HAVE to deal with.

-Mike-

ENWorld did some D&DNext contest and Reynolds jumped ship from Paizo, and those are things to take into this too. If I were WotC, I’d let Pathfinder keep dealing with the 3PP issue.

-JS-

And if they follow Paizo’s lead, they’ll develop off 3 PP. I don’t know.

-Mike-

It’s frustrating!

-JS-

Paizo has adopted a lot of 3PP stuff and made cash off it. Nah it’s business.

-Mike-

Yeah, their whole thing is integration though.

-JS-

Yes and no; they’ve adopted a lot of 3PP stuff and “redesigned it” and sold it as their own. The gunslinger for example.

-Mike-

And the samurai, and a bunch of the gladiator rules I think.

-JS-

And because not everyone buys all the 3pp stuff it looks original. WoTC might follow suit.

-Mike-

That’s not what I meant, but that’s true, and I’m positive WotC isn’t above doing that.

-JS-

Fair enough.

-Mike-

I meant that Paizo actively engages their user base more vividly than WotC does. Pathfinder Society and the APs define their ultimate product schedule for core content.

-JS-

True, but for how long.

-Mike-

I’m not familiar with D&D Encounters but I don’t think that’s what they do. Oooh, interesting point.

Doesn’t feel sustainable in the long term.

-JS-

It doesn’t need to be. An edition every 8 years. That’s the model. Paizo will do a relaunch in 2-3, that’s my speculation.

-Mike-

I meant Paizo’s model, but you’re saying D&D Encounters doesn’t have much of anything to do with their larger business model? Oh, yeah, I was wondering about the next Pathfinder too.

-JS-

I don’t know anything about D&D Encounters.

-Mike-

That sounds reasonable. After they finish with sci-fi book, it’s out into space and then edition 2.

-JS-

I’m just throwing out ideas, looking at the future of the industry. There will never be a “perfect game. And generations define it, too. WoTC tried to capture the MMO crowd with 4e and lost.

-Mike-

Horribly lost.

-JS-

In 10 years, the gamble might work. Simple and streamlined is the path forward, but without tossing out content (if that makes sense).

-Mike-

Theme. It was the lack of mechanics-tied-to-theme. Wizard and Fighter just looked too much the same, huge mistake.

-JS-

Exactly. But D&D Next sort of changes that.

-Mike-

Well D&D Next is definitely faster and easier without ruining flavor.

-JS-

Well more than sort of. It looks like it. And the IP races don’t hurt.

-Mike-

I’m a little skeptical about some of the more nebulous things going on with the rules.

-JS-

Like?

-Mike-

Cunning Action for rogues and the line about Ability checks to “do stuff otherwise not defined in the rules” or whatever it is. I’m not saying I don’t *like* that mechanic, I do. In fact, that’s in my homebrew system (as are a bunch of other things in here that I find a little disturbing) but it’s not something for the kings of the hill to do.

-JS-

I haven’t seen that. I’ve only glanced over the play test. I haven’t had time to give it my full attention.

-Mike-

They have a meaningful and important presence in game stores, and can’t abandon that. Sooo what goes off okay at the D&D Next Encounter-wtf-they-call-it at Dave’s Gamestore gets gruff at Bill’s Hobby Shop.

-JS-

I haven’t really looked at the Encounters yet.

-Mike-

It’s their weekly blah blah.

-JS-

I’m out of the 4e loop, didn’t realize.

-Mike-

I see signs but no games in Pittsburgh, though I don’t really look for 4E.

-JS-

Fair enough. But you do see Pathfinder.

-Mike-

I wanna say that was part of the initial push for their miniatures line a while ago, but can’t really recall. Oh of course you do.

-JS-

I’m guessing all over the place.

-Mike-

Not any PFS though, but module play and stuff. Hell, I run two of them. =p

-JS-

I wonder if that will change with the MMO. I need to run more. Once I’m settled I’m starting something.

-Mike-

I was looking over their MMO stuff the other day and considering tossing an application at them (which I will do eventually, when I know what’s up with the Game Designer spot). What I bet Paizo is going to do is integrate PFS with the MMO. Because seriously? PFS is pissing in a bucket that gets tossed into the ocean.

-JS-

Yup. That’s exactly what I was thinking. In fact, I talked to folks about that a year ago.

-Mike-

HOWEVER, if they build an ocean for it—voila, have an island. And by then the whole background for the world is set up.

-JS-

Yup. Perfect transition.

—————

After that our conversation quickly got off topic and while certainly interesting, has little to do with gaming. So what’s the point of today’s post?

What do you think?

Is D&D Next going to be OGL?

Are our predictions for PFS sliding into the MMO market correct?

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