WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
phavoc
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WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby phavoc » Thu Jan 14, 2016 3:12 pm

I saw this and thought it to be possibly quite interesting, and hopefully will provide a big shot in the arm for WotC and gamers alike. Last year there was an aborted attempt by Steam to sell player-built Skyrim add-ons, but they (Steam) was keeping the bulk of the revenues. That blew up pretty quick.

It's still to early to tell how WotC is going to make all this work to the equal benefit of all parties. I wonder how this concept might be applied to Traveller, or if the community is interested in something like this?

http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/du ... d-now-open
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby AndrewW » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:05 pm

You either had to raise money to publish a physical book or zine on your own, or convince a publisher you had the chops.
Not really with PDF's these days, along with print on demand. At the moment don't see how it is going to be all that different from say DriveThruRPG.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby phavoc » Thu Jan 14, 2016 7:08 pm

AndrewW wrote:
You either had to raise money to publish a physical book or zine on your own, or convince a publisher you had the chops.
Not really with PDF's these days, along with print on demand. At the moment don't see how it is going to be all that different from say DriveThruRPG.
It is, and it isn't. The big difference here is that this appears to be actively supported by the publisher. It's still to early to tell, but it sounds pretty promising.

It's true anyone can self-publish these days, and we do have some really fan-zines out there, like Freelance Traveller, but having the publisher actively supporting you takes the concept to the next level.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Meeko100 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:50 am

It acts as a kind of filter from the "stuff people make", to the "stuff people endorse".

The problem with Steams thing was that anyone could make anything and sell for profit (well, not quite now with steam refunds, but hey) with zero oversight. Or so my console peasant mind has gathered. That's what people have now in the paper RPG industry. But this i could see as a new filter as a place to go for things that are at least good (if not publisher polished good).
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Gypsy Knights Games » Fri Jan 15, 2016 3:57 am

Well, it says that it is being run by OBS (One Book Shelf). That is the same company that runs Drive-Thru RPG, RPGNow, and Wargames Vault. So it sounds very much like DTRPG to me.

Of course, the very act of WotC not only allowing third party publishing but giving them an official blessing is a real boon to independent publishers. I'm glad they are doing this and it will help a lot of independent publishers make an impact on D&D and will open the door for talented writers and artists to get their start.

EDIT: I went to the DM's Guild site and I logged in with my DTRPG account. So it is, in fact, a division of the same group.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Nathan Brazil » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:33 pm

This seems to me to be a less expensive path than getting a proper license to publish. Go all you would be publishers! For material taking place in the OTU campaign and Lorenverse, this may not be doable. All that junk about grognardy canonicity and such. Also Foreven Sector was set aside for some of this. Another way to put it, let's say Gypsy Knight Games was as big as WotC and opened up Clement Sector...
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Epicenter » Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:16 pm

This kind of stuff is pretty interesting. The MORE control that WotC maintains over this program, the better it is for hopeful gaming material writers.

If it's literally some hands-off program where anyone can pretty much slap the Forgotten Realms onto their product and sell it through the WotC store, it's going to be pretty awful.

A big thing is what kind of rules WotC puts in. It's likely that it'll be more restrictive than even the Foreven license; give players too much freedom and there'll be products nuking cities or something left and right. Most likely, despite how they made it sound in their marketing blurb, you're going to be restricted to adventures where nothing can actually be meaningfully changed in the world as to preserve it for everyone else. This is great for WotC and the playerbase overall, it's quite restricting to a writer.

However, it WotC keeps a careful reign on things and inspects things for quality, it'd be a great way for new writers to learn how the publishing industry works and what they can expect from things. If WotC doesn't really care, it won't really do that and won't be that useful, I think.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Gypsy Knights Games » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:16 pm

Epicenter wrote:This kind of stuff is pretty interesting. The MORE control that WotC maintains over this program, the better it is for hopeful gaming material writers.

If it's literally some hands-off program where anyone can pretty much slap the Forgotten Realms onto their product and sell it through the WotC store, it's going to be pretty awful.

A big thing is what kind of rules WotC puts in. It's likely that it'll be more restrictive than even the Foreven license; give players too much freedom and there'll be products nuking cities or something left and right. Most likely, despite how they made it sound in their marketing blurb, you're going to be restricted to adventures where nothing can actually be meaningfully changed in the world as to preserve it for everyone else. This is great for WotC and the playerbase overall, it's quite restricting to a writer.

However, it WotC keeps a careful reign on things and inspects things for quality, it'd be a great way for new writers to learn how the publishing industry works and what they can expect from things. If WotC doesn't really care, it won't really do that and won't be that useful, I think.
For the most part, I'm going to respectfully disagree.

I will agree that if there are no limits then there will be a lot of stuff that comes along that many people will find to be useless and poorly created. However, the market will handle that. If a company or individual puts out nothing but useless crap, the public will not continue to buy it. Reviewers will come along and trash it. It will fade away. My guess is that, much like any OGL situation (such as Pathfinder), one will have to sort the wheat from the chaff. However, the opportunity that arises for talented people to be able to get their works in the public eye is one that is not to be missed. There are a lot of talented individuals out there who will be able to take advantage of a situation like this and produce items that will be gold. Sure, it may be one of ten (or even one out of a hundred) but I prefer the door to be opened and not closed.

I honestly don't understand why WotC would need to restrict the adventures either. Let's use the OTU for an example. Let's say that FFE and Mongoose allowed me to do whatever I liked. So I decide that my adventure needs to kill Norris by destroying Regina with some sort of JJ Abrams red matter that completely destroys the planet. So what happens?

The destruction of Regina means that my future products are in an alternate timeline which only affects those people who decided to purchase that product and play along. It doesn't destroy Regina in the "official timeline" and it certainly doesn't mean that Regina is destroyed in your home game. Marc, Mongoose, and all the other third party publishers can simply continue making products with Regina in them and ignore everything that I published on the subject. Those who don't like the idea of turning Regina into a asteroid field can ignore it and move on with their lives. Those who love the idea can purchase the "Regina destroyed" products and have a blast.

No harm. No foul.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Epicenter » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:48 pm

Gypsy Knights Games wrote: For the most part, I'm going to respectfully disagree.
All right, I'll yield to your POV, since you're actually publishing stuff and I'm not. One of us is an armchair theorist and it's not you. :lol:
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby JRoss » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:59 am

Traveller did this a long time ago. It's called Foreven.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Solomani Jim » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:46 pm

I am reminded of the issues I have with Amazon and self published writers. It's easy to say that the public will review and see the garbage carted away but in truth this doesn't happen as much as we would wish. There really does need to be some official means of vetting the good from the bad or at least the decent work from the poor that shouldn't be brand associated. I am not sure there is a good way of doing it. On the plus side some gems might make it to market that otherwise wouldn't. Maybe if Mongoose chose to create their own electronic bookshelf for such products starting with a line of fiction for example and working up to other products.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Gypsy Knights Games » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:58 pm

JRoss wrote:Traveller did this a long time ago. It's called Foreven.
Yes, but the Foreven license is somewhat restrictive. The WotC proposal would be far more open.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby Gypsy Knights Games » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:15 pm

Solomani Jim wrote:I am reminded of the issues I have with Amazon and self published writers. It's easy to say that the public will review and see the garbage carted away but in truth this doesn't happen as much as we would wish. There really does need to be some official means of vetting the good from the bad or at least the decent work from the poor that shouldn't be brand associated. I am not sure there is a good way of doing it. On the plus side some gems might make it to market that otherwise wouldn't. Maybe if Mongoose chose to create their own electronic bookshelf for such products starting with a line of fiction for example and working up to other products.
You do understand that you already have self-published material for all of these games (including Traveller) out there, right? My company has been doing it for just short of five years. As it is, there is no vetting process and I hardly think it has been a disaster. Indeed, it has resulted in a lot of excellent material from several companies.
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Re: WotC joining forces with Player-publishers

Postby JRoss » Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:44 pm

Respectfully, GK Knights, I disagree, or at least I don't feel that Foreven is restrictive. It requires the same sort of documentation as the OGL and it doesn't take a cut of the profits. Both setups let you play in their canon sandbox, but only in a portion of it.
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