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D&D 3E
So, DMG II. Thoughts? 
14th-Jun-2005 10:49 am
Feathers
My DMG cost $25. The DMG II costs $40. I looked through it at my local gaming store this weekend and didn't see anything to make it worth half again as much as the DMG. I'd pay $10 for Saltmarsh, if they published it as a standalone module/campaign setting, but that's about it.
Comments 
14th-Jun-2005 03:56 pm (UTC)
I got mine from Amazon. Hasn't arrived yet. Nice discount, though.
14th-Jun-2005 04:00 pm (UTC)
Bizaare.
14th-Jun-2005 04:18 pm (UTC)
Its going to cost more, as they're going to sell fewer of them. The price seemed in line with the other books they've published of late (splat books, environment books, monster books). As well, not like most people pay retail for gaming products.

As for its worth, so far I'm not super impressed, but still looking it over. Some nice new magic item bits in the back. I could live without the pages of stated out complex NPC's (lots of multiclass and PrCs). The GM advice isn't bad, but not earth shattering. If you like Robin Laws work, you'll like that section. So overall, withholding judgment for now. I'm less excited by it than most of the environment books though.
14th-Jun-2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
Wizards of the Coast has always made its money in the following way:
1. Its content developers take a crap.
2. It then dresses up the crap in fancy packaging and molds it a little bit into the form of whatever product the crap is for.
3. Having slapped the franchise name on it, it proceeds to convice people that they need the new material, even though it's total worthless schlock.

That's just my opinion. But seriously, have you looked at the books they've released recently? It's completely formulaic- take a setting or a theme, create a couple of races that ostensibly relate to it, create a couple of classes and/or prestige classes for it (even if they're barely relevant or at the other extreme so specific that they wouldn't make sense in most campaigns), create some equipment that has a tenuous connection to it, make some new spells that deal with it vaguely. That's it.

Not to mention the scam of edition 3.5. They take the original books, add some new tips and some errata, tinker with the game balance a little (frankly as a DM I thought it was fine to begin with, but that's just me), add some new art and swap some art around, and maybe throw in just a little bit of content. Then they jack the price up by $10 per book. Then they try to convince people that they need to buy this and that it's a million times better than the old 3rd edition. And somehow it worked. Just reading the reviews on Amazon, nearly everybody agrees that it's great. For my money, it's not sixty damn dollars great. Maybe $10.

Wizards of the Coast used to be good at making content, back in the early days of Magic. But they sold too well, and I'm guessing that the visionaries sold out their voice in the company to the marketers, because now all they're good at making is money.
14th-Jun-2005 07:16 pm (UTC)
You can't blame a company for trying to make money, it's the people who buy it who are to blame, if blame is really necessary anyway. WOC do give away the entire basic system in the form of the SRD etc, and put quite a lot into the comunity by continued support from the website; for an evil corporation they are really pretty decent.
I agree that a lot of the content to be released isn't that good, but some of it is pretty spiffy, and it is up to the individual whether they decide to purchase it or not. When one considers all the crap that is released in general; films, books, television etc it's hardly surprising that some of what any company produces will be less than good.
I've not bought many of the books, although I have at least seen almost all of them, and there are quite a few gems hidden under the dross; sometimes it's not much, but enough to move a campaign in a new and interesting direction. If I had the cash to spare I'd probably buy a lot of them just for those moments of imspiration.

Again it's just opinion, but the fact is that opinions differ, and they've clearly got something right or the stuff wouldn't sell at all.
14th-Jun-2005 07:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm not blaming them, in that I don't think they're doing a wrong thing. I think they're doing a thing that is unfortunate, and which makes me unhappy, but it's certainly well within their rights, and almost to be expected.

Which is actually more the point I'm making- that it's hardly worth being surprised if the DMG II is mostly worthless and costs twice as much (in terms of suggested retail- I don't know where Colin got his, but my DMG cost me $20).
14th-Jun-2005 07:23 pm (UTC)
The 3.5 updates genuinely improved the system. 3.0 was buggy. Frankly, I think the game is still a little buggy, but knowing WotC's marketing strategies there's probably a 3.75 in the works anyway. What I'm getting at is that the changes are important, but it's retarded to charge another $40 for them. Steal the books.
14th-Jun-2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
See, I don't see it that way. 3.0 really wasn't "buggy" if, and I don't mind being a little conceited here, you had a decent DM and a decent group of players. There were things that could be exploited, certainly- at which point the DM simply says "no". (I ended up doing that a few times; one of my players, knowing full well what he was doing, enjoyed trying to min-max his character to the point of breaking my game, and we had an understanding that simply put I wasn't going to let him do it.)

I can honestly say that I've never had an unresolvable game balance issues- and even those resolvable ones which I have had are few and far between. I'm thinking back here and I think there were maybe three of them in a third edition campaign that spanned about two years.

As far as charging another $40 for them- they're not. They're charging another $60 for them. Think about it. The books cost a total of $60, and you've already bought copies of the old source material. They're trying to tell you you need to buy this new stuff. If you listen, you're spending $60 more than you would have other wise (for a grand total of $100 as opposed to the $40 you originally shelled out).
14th-Jun-2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
I don't mean issues with taking advantage of the rules. A simple "no" works just fine. I mean things like how they changed the disintegrate spell, and how they tweaked the ranger class. In my opinion, the new versions are improvements.
15th-Jun-2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
I guess I could see it. I don't know how disintegrate got changed, but I did always kind of think the Ranger needed a little more ranged weapon focus.
14th-Jun-2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
I agree with you about 3.5.

My bigger concern is the lack of proofreading with the newer books. Quite a few of the newer books have a significant number of errors in the stat blocks (check out EN World's reviews).
14th-Jun-2005 09:02 pm (UTC)
Aye, I see more what you mean now. I think what the problem tends to be is that the stuff is worth it if you've not been roleplaying long; if you have then the advice etc is all likely to be pretty "old hat".
I've no idea what the relative prices are over here yet(UK), I bought the 3.5 box set for about ?30, I think, which I felt was worth it compared to the average price of roleplay books.
14th-Jun-2005 09:19 pm (UTC)
I picked up the DMG II on overstock for $22.
14th-Jun-2005 10:02 pm (UTC)
*ring ring*

(friendly voice) "Wizards of the Coast. How may we fuck you?"

It's not a new story, it's the same old one. WoTC could give two shits about anything other than money.



~Ray
14th-Jun-2005 11:04 pm (UTC)
Okay, okay, we all have problems with their business model. We seem, however, to all be conversing on a D&D3e message board... So, back to the original kinda-question: Has anybody picked this up, and, if so, or if not, what's it got that's worth paying for?
14th-Jun-2005 11:18 pm (UTC)
Seriously. If you don't like the product, don't buy it.

I haven't looked at the DMG2 yet, but from the product previews on Wizard's site it doesn't look that interesting. Almost like a compilation of the un-interesting articles they put on their site every week. I don't need to know how to run an interesting adventure (though I did at one point. And I'm sure there are people whom that would help). I am interested in seeing what it has to say about designing your own PrCs though, since I would like to do that for my campaign world. But if its just example NPCs and cities and stuff, I can do without.
15th-Jun-2005 12:31 pm (UTC)
Not all of us have problems with their business model.

Especially since they pulled the plasticrack card to keep revenues flowing without having to prematurely release a new edition.
15th-Jun-2005 03:16 pm (UTC)
Hey, as for myself, it's their business model I've got a problem with- not their original product.
15th-Jun-2005 06:58 am (UTC)
Not to join in the WotC bashing, but it is kind of sad that they've made D&D about as cool as Windows. I mean, really, you put something out with bugs and then decide to fix them a few at a time, getting us all to buy the new version which has bugs all its own? Ech.

That said, I went out and bought all the new 3.5 stuff (and where buying wasn't an option, conned and swindled), and I honestly think I will pick up the DMGII. I have to agree with inncubus on the idea that a few of the scattered gems in the cowshit make it all worth it. I mean, really, building my own world all it took were one or two new ideas and nifty additions to completely restart the gears a-spinning, even if my game night backpack now weighs in heavier than my little brother. Maybe don't shell out full price for the thing, but certainly find a way to get it. Overstock stuff is always good, as are crafty maneuvers with bookstore employees and internet mavens. If you really don't want to buy it without reading through it, find the illegal pdf version and read it. Of course, if you like it, shell out some money, but if not, no skin off your wallet, right?
15th-Jun-2005 12:45 pm (UTC)
our dm picked it up,,and says tyheres allot of usefull things in it"lets be honest with all the bitching we will all end up buying it at some point like naughty little lemmings" there were a couple things that we had thaught of for a campaign that they have stats for,,like starting buisness cost and profits,,,and charictors with vistigial twin" sideshow freaks" and from what i gather they use the greatest marketing toolo of all,,its full of presege classes which will force all the minmaxers, to rush out and buy
21st-Jun-2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
My problem with WotC from the beginning is that their books are overpriced. The reason, I think, is because they do color printing on every page, heavy design on almost every page, and print on fancy paper. Compare to 1st ed. books, which were on non-slick paper and had little in the way of graphics. $38 got me all three books back in the day. Now, $38 wouldn't even get me one book! Granted, there is inflation, but I can't see how a kid like my 13-year-old son (who has inherited my 3.0 books now that I have 3.5) could get into the game. I think they'd sell a lot more if they weren't so damned expensive.
14th-Jul-2005 01:51 am (UTC)
Ah, but how have those 1st eddition books held up? As a collector, I can tell you...not so well. Even if you take care of them, the paper is begining to disingrate. Even the 3.0 binding sucked. Now personally, I enjoy 3.5. and I can, with some amount of pride, say that I had a Good DM and a great group...and i STILL like 3.5 better. As for the sourcebooks, you all act as if all other source books for any other system is just chock full of tottaly useful thinks. Of course there will be hit and misses when it comes to any book in any series. when it comes down to it, you can glance inside the book and see if it's something you want. If you want something bad enough, the price won't matter.
14th-Jul-2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
The paper has yellowed slightly, but other than that, my books are all mint. My PHB is a little battered from heavy use, but otherwise is fine. The guts of my 3.0 PHB have separated from the spine.

I'm not saying WOTC should make lesser-quality books, just that they're pricing poor people out of the market (like me!). I only paid retail for the PHB. Everything else I got from Ebay, the resellers on Amazon or at Half-Price Books. So, WotC hasn't made much money off of me, simply because I won't (well, can't) pay their prices.
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