What do you think of classbooks?


Do we need the rumoured Conan classbooks (with 3 classes in each book, check out http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...f=sr_1_1/102-2268683-8794540?v=glance&s=books )?

Personally I don't think it's a good idea. We already have books on pirates, scholars and soldiers. They are not exactly classbooks, but they give all the useful stuff a classbook can cover without the usual "feats'n'prestige classes combo" crap known from D&D. Current supplements are focused on Hyboria, classbooks usually focus on rules - and we have enough rules already :D
I prefer classes embedded in books of related material. Pure classbooks always feel like rules encyclopedias to me ... and while thats not necessarily a bad thing, I prefer my rules wrapped in lots of background when possible.

Anything rules-heavy I like to see in as few books as possible, so I'd much rather have one big 320 page "Conan Core Rulebook II" with all the additional class material than seperate ones.

But I'd much rather have gazetteer-type books, each presenting a class or two who abound in that area (and maps, monsters, a scenario, etc)
My guess is that the reason they're doing classbooks is that it's a market they know well, with the Quintessential series, and because some players resent having to purchase regional sourcebooks for their characters. If I'm playing a Kushite barbarian, does it mean I have to buy the Cimmerian/Nordheim sourcebook for additional rules, feats, and prestige classes for barbarians, because that's where they are presented? It doesn't make a lot of sense, and is a holdover, I believe, from the previous line editor's plan for the line.

One of the biggest problems in selling RPG materials is that for every game group, publishers often have only one customer for most of their published material... the GM.

If they're lucky, some of the players will pick up the core rulebook, but the very nature of the game makes it so that so that players are usually discouraged from buying additional materials (anything with a "if you're a player, read no further" notice). If the campaign is set in Koth, why would a player buy Across the Thunder River? (other than to read it, as it kicks ass)

The class sourcebooks are convenient for players (who like the additional opportunities they present), for GMs (as they add value to the campaign that doesn't have to come out of their pocket), and thus, for Mongoose, who gets to sell more books to more people.

It's a business model that's worked for WotC, White Wolf, and Mongoose before.

Games Masters who don't like these books can simply ask their players not to use them.
Jason, you've convinced me of the business wisdom in this approach :)

As a "I have to have everything and I have to have it on the shelf, now" guy, I'll stick to my preferred way of wanting information collected, but now I can see why it's being done the way it's being done.

And of course I'll still be buying the classbooks anyway :)
That is all very interesting but what about the guys who want to buy everything that has written Conan on it?
The King said:
That is all very interesting but what about the guys who want to buy everything that has written Conan on it?

HAHA! Then, you can join the rest of us suckers! I always say I'm not going to buy this, or I'm not going to buy that, but in the end.....I buy it if at all financially possible. Food? Who needs it when there are RPG books to be hoarded!

Seriously, Jason makes some good points. It does make good business sense to have Class Books. Not sure that I'm crazy about buying them as a GM, but there will probably be some info in there that I'll think I desperately need, so I'll buy it.

I have to admit that, so far, these Conan books have been outstanding. I think of alot of the material WOTC puts out in comparison. While I don't buy D&D books, Star Wars, in my opinion, has seen a large drop-off in the quality of it's sourcebooks. The latest planet books have been lack-luster (ie, "Coruscant and the Core Worlds" and "Geonosis and The Outer Rim"). Very dissapointing. They lump about 10 planets together in a 150 pg book. Each planet gets barely a mention and almost none of the info I'm looking for regarding things like, for example: a) being a civilian on Coruscant, b) the average day in the life of a Coruscanti, c) detailed maps of the areas of Coruscant. Since when did the Star Wars RPG get so stingy with maps? Coruscant should have its own 200 pg book, in my opinion! I'm getting off track. The point is, look at the reports on the Shadizar box set alone! Its huge and appears to be loaded with goodies! :shock:

We wont even go into the mess Decipher's made of the Lord of the Rings RPG :evil: (aside from the Moria Box Set. That rocked!)

At the risk of browning-up my nose, I must say kudos to Mongoose! For the first time in years, I feel like I can trust what an RPG company is going to do!
Well said, Jason.

The current problem is that none of my players have bought Pirate Isles, Scrolls of Skelos, or Free Companies. They're perceived as 'gm tools'. They'd like to see class books.

Personally, I like the three above mentioned titles and love that format. Problem is that even if I convince a pirate player he needs PI, he's gonna wind up with acces to a lot of GM material. Same with AtTR and the other books.

So, how can the line compromise? You'd almost have to run the awesome fluff for two seperate books. I mean, surely a pict character would know most of the information in AtTR, so you'd include that, but add the feats , equipment, and such. Then, you'd have to run the same set of Pict info plus GM bits in a seperate book. Seems the only way to do it. Otherwise, you may end up with conflicting information or GMs *having* to get all the books to keep up with all the feats/skills/etc.

I'd prefer to buy the fluff books, and let my players get the class ones.