Sunday, July 3, 2011

If 4e Went Out of Print, WTF Would You Buy on EBay to Play 4e Four Years From Now?

Think about it.  I'm looking to buy a Rules Cyclopedia, and cruising EBay, and it hit me.  If I want to buy 1st edition books now, the list of books needed is known and straight-forward.  Same with 2e and 3.x  2e has the players options thingy to deal witth, which isnt a big deal, and 3.0 and 3.5 are 97% the same.

When we're in the 6th edition days, when D&D is a boardgame with magic-type cards, and some 4e grognard tells his friends to buy 4e books off of ebay to play in his game, WTF does he tell them to buy?  The PHB is essentially useless as a book, due to like 500 pages of errata.  DDI is offline or updated to 6e, since they only support the latest edition, as we all know. And I still don't know where this whole Essentials line of products fits in to the scheme of thing.  The Rules Compendium?  The other books suggested by WOTC to buy?  WOTC's lack of willingness to number their latest editions by edition?  Their refusal to admit that there is a new edition at all with Essentials---or at least a half edition?  What the hell does a prospective player buy 4 years from now when WOTC is on 6e?

BTW, I don't thing WOTC has begun work on 5e yet---because they have not publicly denied it over and over again.

14 comments:

  1. It's fine because there are always the pdfs to fall back on and those won't go away.

    OH WAIT.

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  2. I saw what you did there, Joe, rhetorical question! Cause no chance in the fucking universe anyone will have an ounce of nostalgia for 4E when it dies in another year or so.

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  3. I for one think they already have 5th, 6th, 7th and maybe 8th already done electronically. Since all their books are basically rehashes of old books from earlier editions. They have a program that converts everything automatically so they don't have to pay R&D staff or writes anymore as well.

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  5. I honestly believe 4E will be looked at as a minor disaster in the RPG industry 10 years from now. The errata alone proves the rush-job that it was. An acquaintance of mine who runs a bookstore who deals heavily in 4E says it feels like the end-days of TSR right now with all the different tactics being employed by WOTC to revamp the brand (which is obviously what they're trying to do). Pathfinder is letting them have it sales-wise, from what I hear, and even my acquaintance at the bookstore wants to get Pathfinder rolling for when D&D dies out temporarily or is sold off.

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  6. Eh. I see what you're saying, but my group ignores the errata and does fine. I'd tell them to buy the PHB, maybe the PHB2, and the DMG and MM1 if they're DMing. Whatever flailing WotC is doing these days, 4e was a perfectly solid and playable system when it came out and remains so.

    I would have no idea what to buy if I wanted to play 3.5. I mean, sure there's a couple core books (I think) - but if that's all you have, you're not even going to be able to follow the conversations everyone else is having about the system, let alone keep up with their characters in an actual campaign. And plenty of the supplements introduce entirely new subsystems - at least 4e (so far as I know) keeps that sort of thing to the PHB series.

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  7. @kelvin: That was my good laugh for the day. :)

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  8. "BTW, I don't thing WOTC has begun work on 5e yet---because they have not publicly denied it over and over again."

    Hahahaha... So true.

    @Swordgleam - Just get the three core books. It's that simple. My group played 3.5 for a long time and we never had anything else.

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  9. I'd tell them to get PHB1&2 and the Rules Compendium they put out with essentials. Because that's what the local shop suggests and they're doing a good trade with them, what with the four 4e games they have going.

    I think the DMGs are pretty useless though and the individual Monster Manuals are hit and miss...but then those are the two traditional GMing resources which seem the most replaceable and disposable in an internet world. So I wouldn't recommend them, especially if someone just wants to play.

    So three books which I can get on eBay right now for 24 dollars together(just checked)? Doesn't seem that unreasonable. Sure it won't account for EVERYTHING but not everything is essential for the older editions either (fiend folio, endless 3.5 books, every setting book, etc).

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  10. Not that I would tell them, mind. I don't have a hate boner for 4th that a lot of people do but it isn't my favorite thing I've played or run, and it isn't as if I don't have a few thousand other fantasy table-top options.

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  11. They don't want any resale value to their books 'cause they can't get a cut from the sales. It's part of their graaaaand plan.

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  12. You may say that jokingly, bliss, but it's just the sort of twisted corporate-think that I might actually believe of them...

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  13. Just remember. There are kids out there now playing 4e that have not played anything else and are having a great time.

    One day they will want to buy books they didn't get in good old 2011 and they will look on them with the same nostalgia we look on a copy of the LBB or a Moldvay Basic box.

    But answer your question.
    PHB1 and 2, DMG, MM1 and 2 or the Essentials line.

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  14. I really don't think 4e was designed to survive after a new edition. With the attacks WotC lead on 3e I think they have set a clear picture, everything prior to the newest edition sucks.

    Eric

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