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D&D 3E
New release schedule for 1st quarter 2007 WotC 
22nd-Jul-2006 01:17 am
D20 times 2!
* Complete Scoundrel (January 2007)
* Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Kit (January 2007)
* Hidden Crypts Dungeon Tiles 3 (January 2007)
* D&D Icons: Gargantuan Blue Dragon (January 2007, D&D Minis)
* Barrow of the Forgotten King (February 2007, adventure for 2nd-level characters)
* Secrets of Sarlona (February 2007, Eberron)
* Dungeonscape (February 2007)
* Dungeon & Dragons Deluxe Dice (March 2007)
* Magic Item Compendium (March 2007)
* Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Saga Edition (March 2007)
* Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave (March 2007, Forgotten Realms adventure for 4th-level characters)
* Unhallowed Booster Pack (March 2007, D&D Minis expansion)
* City of Peril (April 2007, battlemaps)
* Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (April 2007, adventure for 9th to 12th-level characters)
* Curse of the Dragon's Eye (April 2007, Eberron adventure for 5th-level characters)

Now, with this little list here (I went through and checked some of these, they were listed on Amazon for those who are disbelievers), it appears to my eye that we are indeed scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as ideas go. The last quarter of this year looks the same as well, so I am not sure what to think.

The ugly rumor going around is (as always) this is a sign of a new edition by 2008. I am not wanting to start a debate on the value/merits/needs of something like that, but I want to call out to some of the older gamers who were around for TSR and verify that indeed, this is almost the exact release schedule that they had when 2E (AD&D) was dying out back in the day before being bought out by Wizards.

Do you think that this is just not acceptable as far as releases? MM IV wasn't that great, PHB II was ok, it could have been more, I dread to think what Battle book is going to be like next month... Anyone have these concerns or is it just me?
Comments 
22nd-Jul-2006 08:50 am (UTC) - A Different Point of View
Look at everything available for 3.5. There isn't really a whole lot they haven't explored left.

Just imagine if you ran a game where you actually did every last dice roll all these books suggest. You'd be rolling dice well into next year, for the first days worth of activities :P
22nd-Jul-2006 12:54 pm (UTC) - Re: A Different Point of View
Look at what they *are* releasing. Demonweb pits? I think I have the AD&D version of that somewhere. I'm seeing a lot of companies buying up old games as well (WOTC/White Wolf and Gamma World come to mind). This tells me they are big on greed and low on creativity. Bleh!
22nd-Jul-2006 10:56 am (UTC)
i understand they need to make money but a new edition is just going to alienate the players they rely on. they should focus on printing adventures. sell sets of minis. stuff like that.
22nd-Jul-2006 12:40 pm (UTC)
Anonymous
I've run 3.5e mainly because that's what the kids are buying these days, but you wanna know what I really think of it? I think that there has to be a sequel to the core books because theres so much fluff. Cut the crap, WOTC.

AD&D MM had more monsters in one tome than probably all four of the 3.5e MM's, and had better, more relevant information on them as well. The AD&D PHB and DMG did more with less pages, and didn't require a sequel.

Then again, look at some of the old editions of some of the other games, like Gamma World, Star Frontiers, Boot Hill, and Metamorphosis Alpha. You got a complete game that required a rule book of less than 100 pages. As a GM, I'd much rather run a game like that. Why? Let me put it this way:

In AD&D, D&D 3.5e and all the other piece of shit games they are selling these days, there is a god damned rule for everything. Not only does this stifle the GM's creativity, but do something without one of those rule books (aka make your own rules instead of buying a book that costs just this side of $50), and I garrantee some punk ass will pipe up and quote the rule you didn't know existed and give you the page number its on to boot.

On top of that, the PC's aren't supposed to know everything. Not only are the GM's supposed to be able to change the rules to fit their campaigns, but there are times when circumstances only known to the GM come into effect.

You know, I can remember when you could buy a boxed set for $15, and it came with the rules, an adventure, all the dice you needed, and a little white crayon (to color the numbers on the dice with). You could buy a module for $10. I was in a book store just a few days ago and saw the new Vampire (Requiem?) rulebook for $50...
22nd-Jul-2006 12:48 pm (UTC)
BTW, I posted that. I didn't realise I was logged out.
22nd-Jul-2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
Complete Scoundrel has me wondering if it's a supplement in the Complete series or if it's for Star Wars, which has a scoundrel class.
22nd-Jul-2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
Just to put a positive spin on things, I think the schedule looks a lot better than some of the releases this year. Complete Scoundrel sounds like it might be redundent with Complete Adventurer and so on, but then I guess they are releasing Complete Mage sometime. But I won't knock the books until I see them; I really enjoyed the alternate magic systems in ToM (and think that Incarnum is creative, even if I don't use it), so maybe we'll see more stuff like that. As long as these books aren't just PrC supplements, they could have good material in them.

Magic Item Compendium will of course be like Spell Compendium, but probably less helpful (since I think that massive amounts of spells are better than massive amounts of items). However, I don't have a problem with this release because it sounds like people WANT some of these compilations--rather than have to spend $20 on a dozen different books to collect all the spells out there, you only need to buy one. This sounds like a decent marketing strategy, and if they release a Feat compilation I'd definately buy that.

But it looks like the bulk of this line-up is adventurers. What's wrong with that?! I know I've been wanting more published adventurers. Of course, quality will be a question, but the titles don't give me any reason to worry.

I think the concepts/titles of the releases are just fine; it's the execution that can be problematic. But I don't think the execution is getting worse necessarily, so I'm not that worried. As for a new edition... well, we'll see. I think that at the momemnt a new edition would not revitalize the game the same way 3e did, so it may not be coming. Yet.
22nd-Jul-2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
Well, I will take your last point here and ask you to keep this in mind. After talking to authors in various comapnies, they confirm that WotC isn't really in charge, Hasbro is.

My own view is that if Hasbro thinks they can make more money on a fourth edition, they are going to push WotC to make a fourth edition. If WotC goes bankrupt, Hasbro doesn't really care too much, from what I can gather. It makes them sound like overlords, I am sure but most corporations are about the bottom line.

My other view on it is that OGL and D20 is dying on the vine. It isn't profitable for other companies to make the product unless it is PDF's now because it isn't WotC and WotC is really reaching with stuff like this. With all of that said, there is nothing to stop WotC from making another system and having that closed to OGL and still produce D20 books for a set amount of years, thus slowly phasing out OGL all together.

Now based off of what I am seeing, if you change a few of those to Greyhawk: Blah, blah, blah and Ravenloft: We are going to steal Soth from Dragonlance... AGAIN and so on, you might see the comparison I am trying to make. I think they are tapped out. There hasn't been a book that I have seen since Heroes of Horror that made me go "I must sacrifice eating for three days to buy it", and it used to be that way in the beginning.

Hell, look at the website! They are repackaging monsters... AGAIN. The rust monster wasn't cuddly enough, the Ogre Mage was just too powerful... Don't think that these won't be repackaged into a published book, say a version 3.7584112 to keep a little more money flow coming cause I am sure Hasbro would love it!

End of my rant, I apologize if I have offended you or anyone.
22nd-Jul-2006 08:15 pm (UTC)
I think you make a good point about Hasbro, though I'd like to think there is some good in the world and the developers wouldn't go to a 4th edition until the game is closer to dead. Through version 3.75 I can see being released. But I question whether that would do very well; it seemed like 3e hadn't been around that long before 3.5 came out (though it may just be that I took forever to switch to 3e), so it wasn't that well entrenched. 3.5e, on the other hand, has been around for a while. People have started using it, and might not be too eager to really throw that away and upgrade.

I really like the OGL, and hope it says around. But I can see how it might seem to make more money if it doesn't. But if the system does switch, that doesn't mean I have to stop playing the game under whatever system I want. If a new system shows up, it's not the end of the world.

As for being unimpressed by new material; again, I went out and bought Tome of Magic because I thought that was worth living on instant noodles for a few days, so I'm not sure it seems if they are tapped-out yet. If DMG3 comes up as an idea then they definately are -.-

For the websight, I actually like what they did with the rust monster and the ogre mage. The point is, the rust monster was a lame monster because it felt like a "DM doesn't like his player's magic items, throw this at them," so the changes make it more usable on a general basis I think. And I never got the Ogre Mage--it always seemed weak to me, not to mention hard to use. The article suggests a different creature which is not so weak (per it's CR anyway) and is more usable.

I'm not offended or anything, I'm just not sure I agree. Yeah, I think the current D&D publications are starting to reach critical mass, though I don't think they've gotten there quite yet. And even if they do, I'll survive. No need to freak out (not that you are, but some people seem to be).
22nd-Jul-2006 08:33 pm (UTC)
Well, we will agree to disagree on the monsters, it isn't something that I want to argue or nitpick about so that is all right.

ToM was stolen from other books and made even worse, in my opinion. That and the paper wasn't of the finest quality as all of the sudden, I have wrinkles in it from the moisture lingering in my town (coastal bay town, gets humind at time).

However, that is nitpicking as well. I just think we are in some trouble here with stuff like this filling the release tube. New Magic Items are just playing it safe. New PrC's and feats are old hat and gets rather unexciting. They need to start looking into things like substitution levels to customize classes to people's tastes, maybe more templates (as the template PDF's are doing pretty well) and at least something that doesn't suck in adventuring. I am surprised that they are publishing adventures because they didn't want to concentrate on it, but I can hope that these can be decent.
22nd-Jul-2006 09:25 pm (UTC)
I've wondered since day one why they publish so many overpriced hardcover books and so few adventures. AD&D was the opposite. Very few books and oodles of adventures. I wonder if it's purely for profit's sake. I hope not.

As for a fourth edition, ah I dunno. I wouldn't put anything past them. I won't buy it if it does come out, though.
24th-Jul-2006 04:08 am (UTC)
They're on schedule to come out with a new edition of the game within the next few years. They released AD&D in the 70's, 2nd edition in the late 80's, 3rd edition around 2000, so they may even be overdue. They've kept up interest in this edition by having a lot of momentum with core rule books, racial rule books, more monster manuals, more computer games, and Eberron.

Why they don't publish more modules: They can't sell them for enough to make a profit. Red Hand of Doom was $25, which is more than my 3.0 PHB cost me. Also, relatively few players will buy modules: if the average game has 4 players in it, and 1/3 of the existing GM's buy a module (and that's probably an extremely generous guess), then only 1/15 of the players will buy it. A new spell compendium, however... most of them will buy that. Same reason why they don't sell minis (I think the current ones are marketed by Paizo?). Only GM's are going to buy them in bulk, and that's the only way they can make money off of them, and once you've got enough minis that buying a new box means you're probably going to get a dozen minis you've already bought, you stop hauling out the checkbook.

I don't think they'll have it out by 2008; I'd expect more like 2010. Also bear in mind that so long as they have any serious lineup of books schedule to come out, they are going to keep any new edition of the game under super-duper lockdown, because if word got out that the new version is going to be coming out in a year, sales would plummet because people wouldn't want to buy another book that's just going to be outdated in a year.
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