Conan Plans Unveiled - Deepest Apologies

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SnowDog
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Postby SnowDog » Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:05 am

Although there was this cancellation of Mutant Chronicles 3rd edition RPG as well shortly before this announcement and I happened to voice it :? I would suggest that we would not start any rumors about Conan line dying.

I have seen this happening with Traveller:The New Era that when GDW went under. I know that it's a different thing but that kind of rumors don't usually give any good results.

I hope that no damage has been done and Mongoose can see that the discussion is just normal after this kind of event...
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Comment from Conan Properties

Postby Conan Properties » Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:33 pm

In light of Mongoose’s announcement on Friday Oct 2, 2009, and subsequent posts, we feel there is a need for Conan Properties to comment on the matter.

First of all, keep in mind that CPI’s President and CEO, Fredrik Malmberg, has been involved in the RPG industry for many years. Around 1979/80, he was an intern at Chaosium and playtested the first editions of Call of Cthulhu and Stormbringer. Gaming has been a part of his working life since then and all decisions are based on these years of experience in, and love for, the gaming industry.

Mongoose has had a six-year run with the Conan RPG. There have been some ongoing contractual issues and quality standard concerns which we are working with Mongoose to correct. We made a decision not to automatically renew a third term when the present license expires, which is little more than one year from now. Instead, we will open the category up for all RPG publishers, including Mongoose, to submit proposals. Thereby we have given Mongoose a significant amount of time to correct the problems prior to the expiration and have welcomed them to present their new proposal and marketing plans.

A system change is not ruled out. We are neither bound to d20, nor opposing any other system for a future Conan RPG. From a business and player perspective, we feel a system change this close to the expiration of the license would be unfair to customers as there is a risk the new system would be abandoned a year from now, if a new licensee is selected. Until their license expires, Mongoose may continue to develop d20 supplements.

The Mongoose license has always been for RPGs and supplements only. The proposed atlas series was never included in the license. Unfortunately, work was started in lieu of this without prior approval and license amendment. CPI has been considering developing a deluxe atlas to explore the Hyborian Age for quite some time, receiving interest from major US publishers.

Jay Zetterberg, Director of Publishing
Conan Properties International
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Postby Demetrio » Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:43 pm

Thanks for taking the time to comment.
CPI has been considering developing a deluxe atlas to explore the Hyborian Age
Will this actually reflect the best researched maps available, or will it merely be the reprinting of the rather woefully inaccurate maps currently deemed 'official'?
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Postby warzen » Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:51 pm

First, thank you for providing us this information.
It's far easier to understand something when we have the vision of both side.

Second, and knowing that what is important to you is the customer satisfaction, I would advise to add Vincent Darlage in your atlas work as he's an Hyborian Age specialist.

Thx,
W.
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Postby Demetrio » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:09 pm

We made a decision not to automatically renew a third term when the present license expires, which is little more than one year from now. Instead, we will open the category up for all RPG publishers, including Mongoose, to submit proposals.
I'd add that seems to leave Conan rpg effectively dead in the water for nearly two years (over a year til the license expires, at least nine months for new stuff to appear when a new license is issued. So yeah, thanks.
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Postby LucaCherstich » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:28 pm

I'm very happy Conan Properties appeared in this forum, this is very good and, as far as I can understand, their explanations seem reasonable, although I would like to know which "problems" they see in the Mongoose line (B&W??).

Regarding the "Conan Atlas" volumes I can understand this thing is much bigger than rpg ... especially because of the monery linked with the "Conan label".
And possibly because also of the fact that each atlas must add details not written by REH and Conan Properties wants a control on it...(even if they allowed some very bad bad writers to write very bad bad Conan stories...)

But what if Mongoose publishes Vincent's Atlases as RPG Sourcebooks (specifically aimed to the already existing Conan d20 line) and not as general, systemless Conan atlases?
In other words stuff which is specifically aimed to the rpg audience!

After all Conan properties is happy that Mongoose keep on publishing (at least for this year) Conan d20 products!
Vincent could add the d20 statistics for the main NPC in his atlases and we get rpg books, not Conan Atlases!
And this d20 part does not need to be very thick!
"Return to the Road of the Kings" is 99% background (usefull also for Conan fans otehr than rpg players) and it has not so much d20 statistics in it....but it is clearly a Conan d20 sourcebook and nobody in Conan Properties made a problem for it.
Mongoose people, can you do the same for the Atlases and save Vincent's work?
I would really like to see a Turan sourcebook by Vicent before the Mongoose Conan line ends...(and I hope it will not end...)
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Postby Saeros » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:39 pm

I am a big fan of Mongoose's Conan line, especially the works that Vincent has been involved in. I, and many others, certainly would have purchased the Atlases.

I am looking forward to all of the Conan publications that Mongoose might publish in the future, but once Mongoose stops publishing Conan, I and my gaming group, will not purchase any Conan RPG materials from any other company. This isn't spite, this is brand loyalty...
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Postby PrinceYyrkoon » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:44 pm

Well, Jay, thanks for replying. Are Mongoose aware of you revealing details of their licence agreement, I wonder?

I wonder what products were felt to be an 'issue'? Obviously speculation can run rife here, (Khitai because of the inaccuracies?).

This thing sounds interesting, but I cant help but think, now that Mongoose have promoted this line for 5 or 6 years, it will be up for grabs to the highest bidder, with not so much as a nod to Mongoose for the (mostly) quality work. Thats life, I suppose.

There are obviously plans to do a non-gaming atlas, so that, effectively explains the rejection of the work by VD. Strange to think that, by putting D20 stats in, it may make it acceptable! But, again, its a project that Mongoose couldnt finish anyway, in their time left. Maybe it could be seen as a good barganing tool for the extention of the licence, if there was an unfinished atlas series...

Ah well, theres no reason why Mongoose should continue to support the line, if they are going to be in the same bidding war as everyone else next year.

If I were Mongoose, and this is just me, I would spend the next year issuing bargain reprints. Makes sense.

Im willing to bet WOTC are visiting their bank right now...
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Postby Jeffreywns » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:17 pm

My ignorance in assuming this was a clueless decision by people alien to the gaming hobby made me expect the worse.
Thank you Jay for helping stop the scuttlebutt (of which I contributed to). I'm neither a "Hyborian Scholar" nor a massive poster who has laboured countless hours providing soul to this genre.
Just a fan and gamer of Conan for the past 30+ years who was delighted to see a company give it the attention it deserved. To me at least it sounds as if this will continue, in either Mongoose's care or another company that meets your criteria.
I am very relieved at this news and will look forward to the future of the Conan line.
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Postby ryhopewood » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:13 pm

The CPI post has been rather enlightening. I certainly agree with the point about "quality issues". Mongoose has always had great licences (e.g. Conan, Babylon 5) but for me has never quite delivered the consistent quality that I wanted. Maps have always been a particular bugbear of mine - basically they are consistently awful.

Compared to ICE's Middle Earth or Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu, the quality of the Conan supplements have been a poor cousin. I wonder whether CPI have taken a look at what PEG INC have achieved with Solomon Kane and compared this with second edition.

Vincent and his writing has kept the Conan RPG afloat for a while but he is freelance and was the main writer for Solomon Kane RPG too.
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Postby Demetrio » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:21 pm

Which is fair comment. But then why not, as CPI, say to Mongoose: smarten up your act this year in this way or we'll pull? And in fact have said that a year ago. Or more. It's not like Mongoose hasn't had Conan for a wee while now.

But you're quite right, while MERP/Rolemaster had its faults as a game, its Middle-Earth supplements were very well done, on the whole. Not always canon, but they felt right even when they were wrong. And Cthulhu was always well done. I can't honestly think of a Chaosium adventure I didn't enjoy thoroughly either as player or, more pertinently to run as GM, you had everything you needed. Mongoose have often made enjoyable adventures, but proof-reading (mind you, most rpg companies are pretty bad at this, even the Solomon Kane book has some gaffs) and maps have been issues I've noticed.
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Postby Troll66 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:28 pm

Dear Jay

Many thanks for your posting: very much appreciated. Its greatly illuminated the situation. I has helped me to appreciate better the rationale behind the recent decisions. I personally think your reasoning is sensible given the the fresh impetus that the new film(s) will give the Conan property in the coming years.

I will trust that your concern for quality will influence your granting of a future license. I will add this either a Mongoose Runequest or Pinnacle Savage Worlds format would be an excellent new approach. Savage Worlds in particular would be given supreme treatment by Pinnacle if the Savage World of Soloman Kane rpg was anything to go by: simply flawless.

Also Green Ronin clearly have talent when it comes to licensed products and creating new bespoke rpg sytems tailored to a specific world. There Song of Ice and Fire rpg being a great example ( a low magic fantasy gritty world vision simialr in some ways to Conan)

I must add that I do feel a D&D 4E powered Conan game would be a great shame as I do not feel the engine is suitable for the generally low fantasy gritty world of conan.

I wish the Conan rpg line great susccess for the future whoever takes it on and in whatever format it takes and trust that Paradox/Conan properties will do there best to ensure high quality products are released.

All the best
Alex
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Postby SnowDog » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:35 pm

Yes, thank you for posting your side of story, too. It will make things at least a bit more clear for us.

Like someone already said, there is still this thing that how this announcement will affect what Mongoose will produce for this line and how much people are going to invest to a line that might not continue after a year :?

Things are getting very interesting now.
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Re: Comment from Conan Properties

Postby Azgulor » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:35 pm

Conan Properties wrote:In light of Mongoose’s announcement on Friday Oct 2, 2009, and subsequent posts, we feel there is a need for Conan Properties to comment on the matter.

<snip>

Jay Zetterberg, Director of Publishing
Conan Properties International
Jay,

Thank you for weighing in with some explanation for the process behind the decisions that were made. The transparency is appreciated, not only for helping to alleviate rampant speculation, but for recognizing that the fans of the Conan RPG are a passionate bunch with a loyalty to the game.

Secondly, while the quality issues are a business discussion between you and Mongoose, I do wish to add that I feel that Conan has been in very capable hands with Mongoose. They are one of my cornerstone RPG providers solely because of the work they've done with the Conan RPG. Has everything been perfect? No, but neither has it been perfect with other RPG companies. (Naming names I can only think of Paizo as being on-par with customer support with Mongoose, followed by Green Ronin. WotC is much, much farther down the list.)

I also fervently hope that Mongoose continues to support the Conan RPG in its current edition through the remainder of the current license. If they are fortunate enough to retain the license, I hope that their plan to support the Conan license with multiple RPG systems would be supported by you (including Conan OGL).

Thanks again for weighing in.

For Matt and the Mongoose crew, we're in your corner! Long live Conan RPG!
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Postby Troll66 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:52 pm

As I see it now the Conan D20 OGL product line has had its day....there will be (and should be) a 'swan song' of material that was in the pipe work. I cannot see Mongoose pitching to renew the license using D20 OGL. there lies madness and loss.

I would hope that Mongoose will gear up for a Runequest based Conan rpg when the License comes up for renewal. And I wish the goose every success for that.

Looking at other possibilities. I can't see how Pinnacle could resist proposing there own Conan Savage Worlds version: would sit nicely with their Soloman Kane rpg.

An interesting question is whoever gets the license I would think they would need to give Paradox/Conan properties some indication of future support for the game. That is not neceessarily Pinnacle's strong point. Except for Deadlands Reloaded most of Pinnacle's stuff are somewhat one shots. lengthy product suppoprt is a Mongoose strength...interesting times indeed.
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Postby Amaril » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:25 pm

Troll66 wrote:As I see it now the Conan D20 OGL product line has had its day....there will be (and should be) a 'swan song' of material that was in the pipe work. I cannot see Mongoose pitching to renew the license using D20 OGL. there lies madness and loss.

I would hope that Mongoose will gear up for a Runequest based Conan rpg when the License comes up for renewal. And I wish the goose every success for that.

Looking at other possibilities. I can't see how Pinnacle could resist proposing there own Conan Savage Worlds version: would sit nicely with their Soloman Kane rpg.

An interesting question is whoever gets the license I would think they would need to give Paradox/Conan properties some indication of future support for the game. That is not neceessarily Pinnacle's strong point. Except for Deadlands Reloaded most of Pinnacle's stuff are somewhat one shots. lengthy product suppoprt is a Mongoose strength...interesting times indeed.
I agree. I would love for Pinnacle to have the license. As far as continuing support, they are working on a few new Solomon Kane products, IIRC.
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Postby flatscan » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:34 pm

Amaril wrote:I agree. I would love for Pinnacle to have the license. As far as continuing support, they are working on a few new Solomon Kane products, IIRC.
Wow. Thanks for posting that on the Mongoose boards. :roll:
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Postby Amaril » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:40 pm

flatscan wrote:
Amaril wrote:I agree. I would love for Pinnacle to have the license. As far as continuing support, they are working on a few new Solomon Kane products, IIRC.
Wow. Thanks for posting that on the Mongoose boards. :roll:
You're welcome. :roll:
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Postby Azgulor » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:42 pm

Troll66 wrote:As I see it now the Conan D20 OGL product line has had its day....there will be (and should be) a 'swan song' of material that was in the pipe work. I cannot see Mongoose pitching to renew the license using D20 OGL. there lies madness and loss.
When, and only when Mongoose says that OGL sales cannot sustain the line will I buy this "madness and loss" crap. Now that may certainly be the case. As I don't work for Mongoose and have no access to such data I can't say. If there's been a drop-off, the next question is whether or not it's due to a waning interest in the OGL system or whether the topics/substance of the material needs improving.

Since I don't think that YOU work for Mongoose and have access to such data, I'll respectfully submit that your opinion ain't worth a damn either.

Since Mongoose is heavily invested in MRQ, there may be compelling business reasons aside from sales figures to desire a switch from OGL to RQ. That has nothing to do with interest in the RPG's current form.

Mongoose has to make the best business decisions for themselves as a company, just as CPI is going to do what they think best for the Conan license as a whole. While the idea of a 4e GSL'd Conan makes me want to vomit, I'm guessing WotC will have a chance to bid on the license in a year.

Sorry if I seem rude. However, I am waaaaaay past sick and tired of RQ fanboys coming here and saying OGL has "had its day". For those unaware, Paizo's launch of the Pathfinder RPG (an OGL game) is, by any RPG company's metrics save WotC, a smashing success. Green Ronin says Mutants & Masterminds is their top selling RPG (it's OGL also). So's True20.

Some people don't like d20. I get it. Some people's one true game is RuneQuest, or their flavor-of-the-month is Savage Worlds. I get it. But the constant whine about OGL games is making me puke. It's no different than if I start posting in every RuneQuest thread how a licensed property would be better served under a Powered by GURPS treatment.

<end of rant>

As for the fate of the OGL RPG & perhaps license...it's as likely as any other scenario. It's certainly not the one I'd prefer.

If the Conan license abandons the current OGL game, I abandon future purchases as well. (With the possible exception of a Pathfinder-ized version of a Conan OGL game.)
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Postby flatscan » Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:43 pm

Amaril wrote:You're welcome. :roll:
Stay classy troll! :P

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