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Are there any news on AGP? 
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Mist Elf

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Post Are there any news on AGP?
There has been little news since the first issue of the journal and the accompanying map, and no product. James, is there a problem?


Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:17 am
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Mogrl

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Good question. What little hints I have seen have been for GenCon releases. Thats is radically different from how the subscription was described.
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

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Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:13 pm
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Ulthal

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Well, here's the situation:

With the release of 4E and the 4E GSL, publishers now must make a choice: whether to continue with 3E OGL based products or to switch to 4E GSL products. The choice must be by brand, and Wizards of the Coast would consider the Wilderlands a single brand (whether "Wilderlands of High Fantasy" or "Wilderlands of High Adventure" would not matter to them; that is, in fact, the kind of distinction the GSL most certainly would not allow). And all licensees of a brand must follow the system decision of the licensor, i.e., Necromancer cannot publish 4E Wilderlands while AGP publishes 3E Wilderlands. It is all either 4E or 3E (and Castles & Crusades is a 3E OGL product).

So Bob has to make the decision whether to take the Wilderlands to 4E.

Necromancer Games wants to publish Tegel Manor as 4E. I of course want to publish WoHA as C&C. Bob must make the choice of systems based on what he feels is the best long-term solution for the Wilderlands and best for Judges Guild.

As the full GSL is not yet released, no decisions can be made.

What this means for me is that if Bob decides to go with 4E, I can either stop working with the Wilderlands or I too can publish Wilderlands using 4E. If he chooses 4E, I could still continue to publish C&C Wilderlands products until the first 4E Wilderlands product is published; at that point I would have to stop selling my C&C Wilderlands products and destroy any remaining such products that I have in stock. So I could get out three, four, maybe even a half-dozen C&C Wilderlands products out before the first 4E Wilderlands products hit store shelves. The problem is that my business plan calls for long-term sales to be profitable; were I to publish a C&C Wilderlands product now and have to stop selling it six months from now, I would profit not one cent from it, in fact I would take a loss!

To give an example, currently we have sold less than 100 units of AGJ #1. New orders are coming in every week. While with Print on Demand I have made a net profit from the sales of the magazine (subscriptions included), it has not as yet been remotely what one would term a sales success. In order for a product to be successful under my model, it must sell 300 units at a minimum. And that's not money in the bank; that's me squeaking by barely paying the bills... fortunately I have a very understading girlfriend, live in a very low cost of living area, and had some savings. Note I said "had" some savings...

So we've been in a holding pattern until the decision as to whether Wilderlands will go 4E GSL or remain 3E OGL has been made. Hopefully Wizards will release the 4E GSL in full shortly so that Bob can make a fully-informed decision.
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Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:49 pm
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It's hard to view this as anything other than bad news.

If it's truly a case of a 'line' of products being solely one edition or the other, then it really places 4E and other potential C&C lines (not just Wilderlands) at risk.

If it comes down to a 4E decision, would AGP go 'statless' in future issues of the journal or convert along with it? The reason I ask is as concerned subscriber. The chances of my continued interest in anything promoting or using 4th Edition material is extremely remote. I simply don't intend to get the new ruleset anytime soon...

Of course, I'm also thinking about other lines that other companies were starting to adopt. If Green Ronin wanted to do Freeport for 4E, we can kiss the C&C Guide to Freeport goodbye. And equally dashed is the line of Dungeon Crawl Classics if they are considered a distinct line or brand which might explain a lack of news concerning the latest C&C conversion which I thought was due out last month.



EDIT - It states the release for the latest conversion as June now. I'm not sure what constitutes as a line or brand but the DCCs that have been turned into C&C modules aren't called DCCs. I guess the GSL will clarify that in detail should it ever get released.

M
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Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:11 pm
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Maukling
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Quote:
moriarty777 wrote:
If Green Ronin wanted to do Freeport for 4E, we can kiss the C&C Guide to Freeport goodbye.



Pramas has stated on a number of occasions that Green Ronin's not putting Freeport under a 4e banner. That would kill several other profitable ventures.
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Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:47 pm
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Ulthal

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M-

Indeed, this is one of the reasons I haven't posted anything about the current status... the whole situation is quite discombobulating, and has caused me no end of grief in the last several months...

There are two scenarios possible:
#1: Judges Guild does not go 4E with the Wilderlands

In this case, there won't be any 4E Tegel Manor from Necromancer Games, but then the Wilderlands of High Adventure as a C&C product will continue, and Adventure Games Journal will continue, all as planned in the past. Also, the Player's Guides for 3.5 will continue as planned. This is in my opinion the Best Case Scenario, as Tegel Manor could still be released as a 3.5 and/or C&C product.
#2: Judges Guild decides to go 4E for the Wilderlands

In this case there are two possibilities for where I would take AGP and the Journal:
#2A
Wilderlands of High Adventure is discontinued. Adventure Games Journal will continue as a C&C-oriented product. I have several other campaign settings in the wings, projects that were for "down the line" a piece, that would be moved to the fore. My personal sword & sorcery-style setting, which never would have seen the light of day in a WoHA world, would be the core C&C setting for AGP and the AGJ. Existing subscribers could either bow out and take a refund or continue on with the magazine and campaign installments with the new setting; as always, subscribers can get a refund for any unused portion of their subscription at any time.
#2B
Wilderlands of High Adventure continues as a 4E product, with the minimal stat blocks allowed by the GSL. Adventure Games Journal will no longer contain Wilderlands content, nor will the campaign installments be Wilderlands, as you can't mix and match 4E and 3E, and the Journal would continue as a C&C product. As in 2A, another C&C campaign setting (though likely not the sword & sorcery setting) becomes the secondary focus of AGP and the core setting for the AGJ. Existing subscribers would have the choice of a refund, switching to a sub of WoHA 4E products, retaining the AGJ sub (which would still follow the magazine/campaign installment format, only not for WoHA), or some combination of the last two.

To be honest, the more I delve into 4E, the less I like it; it is a fine game for what it is, but I do not feel it is a game I much like personally. I could design for it, sure, but would much prefer to work with C&C. Heck, or even 3.5! It may be Dungeons & Dragons by title, but it is in name only, and the spiritual gulf between this edition and the previous editions is wide and deep.

But again, all this hinges on the GSL and what Bob decides. And Wizards is still behind with the GSL...
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Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:58 pm
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Quote:
gideon_thorne wrote:
Pramas has stated on a number of occasions that Green Ronin's not putting Freeport under a 4e banner. That would kill several other profitable ventures.



Really? If this is the case, then I'm quite happy. I know that there was still consideration of doing a 4E Companion Guide but nothing could be decided on that until the GSL was released (latest due date I heard was the June 6th date which has passed).

I've heard Green Ronin was still considering doing 4E material since it wouldn't affect their True20 or MM lines from what I've read on their forums and a few blogs. Then again, I wasn't closely following the Green Ronin situation either so I'm glad if what I've read and heard to be untrue.

All in all, I agree -- it would kill off many other profitable ventures that they were cultivating.

M
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Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:51 pm
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Quote:
jamesmishler wrote:
M-

Indeed, this is one of the reasons I haven't posted anything about the current status... the whole situation is quite discombobulating, and has caused me no end of grief in the last several months...



Well, I certainly don't envy the position that you've found yourself in but I'm glad that an answer was given with regards to the current situation.

To be honest, part of me fears that Necromancer games will be able to continue with a 4th Ed conversion of Tegel Manor and end a vision of the Wilderlands that we had only begun to be able to see.

One thing that comes to mind though, wouldn't the decision to take the Wilderlands to 4th Ed potentially affect Goodman Games as well and their 3.x conversions of classic Judges Guild Adventure Modules?

Much food for thought...

M
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Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:01 pm
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Ulthal

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Quote:
moriarty777 wrote:
One thing that comes to mind though, wouldn't the decision to take the Wilderlands to 4th Ed potentially affect Goodman Games as well and their 3.x conversions of classic Judges Guild Adventure Modules?



Well, my understanding is that Goodman does not currently have any more Judges Guild products on it schedule; but that's an Eostros question, you can get ahold of them best at the Necromancer boards.

Besides, strictly speaking, none of the three modules they already converted were originally Wilderlands products! They were added to the Wilderlands during the conversion to 3E. So if they wanted to continue to convert classic Judges Guild modules without setting them in the Wilderlands, there are still a fair number of non-Wilderlands JG modules they could convert!
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Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:10 pm
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Mogrl

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Thanks James. Definitely a pickle you have been put in. I hope the GSL is friendlier than we think it will be.
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:46 pm
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Ungern

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Unbelievable.

James, you are a saint. You are handling this **** that Wizards of the Coast is dishing out with more grace than I could. You have my best wishes and respect.


Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:26 am
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Ulthal

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Quote:
Treebore wrote:
Good question. What little hints I have seen have been for GenCon releases. Thats is radically different from how the subscription was described.



Ah, I meant to answer this earlier, sorry...

As for the "Gen Con release" you have heard, that is the soonest I figure I can get another product out once a decision has been made. In this case, even if Bob were to say "forget 4E, we're sticking with 3E" tomorrow, I still need to give Peter time to get the art done and text laid out and then give the printers time to get product printed. As I don't expect a decision until at least a week after the GSL has been released, if not later, around Gen Con seems most likely for release timeframe.

We will have the 11" x 17" full-color Rhadamanthia map at the Lake Geneva Game Convention this weekend; subscribers can pick up their copy there for free, and it will be available for sale as well (probably at $5.00 MSRP).

I WILL have SOMETHING new at Gen Con, come hell or high water. It may not be a Wilderlands product, but it will be C&C. I sincerely hope to have the Southern Reaches Gazetteer for sale and subscriber pickup at Gen Con, preferably BEFORE Gen Con. But that depends on a lot of variables out of my control...
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Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:03 pm
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James, thanks for the update. I hope this thing gets sorted out in your favor (and ours). I'll have to ruminate (?) on this for a bit.

My initial thought is, if most of AGP materials/releases etc. is more about campaign material/content rather than rules, it may still be very useable even if written for 4E.

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Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:31 am
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Thats a thought James. If you put something out for 4e you could simply note the stat block like "This character is a 4th level whatever" and then leave the system up to the purchaser.
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:58 am
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Mogrl

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That tends to hurt sales though. Many such buyers are of the mind that if they are going to buy something the stats better be done up too. For simpler systems like C&C, 1E, 2E, and OD&D its no big deal, but for 4E and 3E people? They'll have a problem with it.

Still, if the GSL doesn't require full stat blocks in 4E products, you can still publish under the 4E GSL, do simple stat "suggestions" and tell the 4E GM to flesh it out as they need.

Meanwhile us "old schoolers" will just slap on our simple stat blocks and not lament over all the wasted space for the 4E stat blocks, and they still eat up room, especially in that frikkin delve format.

So you could still publish under the 4E GSL, if you have to, but keep it simple for us, and still be able to appeal to the C&C crowd. At least to those of us who "understand" why the stat blocks are so "simple" or are just suggestions.

Plus the few handful of 4E DM's who don't mind doing up stats (which they shouldn't since its so much more streamlined) will be some bonus sales for you.
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:09 am
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Mogrl

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I just read that the GSL should be up late tomorrow.
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:10 am
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Quote:
Treebore wrote:
I just read that the GSL should be up late tomorrow.



Like it was supposed to be out on the 6th?

Or the multitude of times before that (along with the SRD) many times in the past several months?

I am anxious to see it since I'm curious how bad it will continue to screw with 3rd party publishers.

M
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:59 am
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Mogrl

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Quote:
moriarty777 wrote:
Like it was supposed to be out on the 6th?

Or the multitude of times before that (along with the SRD) many times in the past several months?

I am anxious to see it since I'm curious how bad it will continue to screw with 3rd party publishers.

M



Yep!

You know, I like "reading between the lines" to see how close I can get. If I am close on this one, a LOT of the reason it has taken so long is because certain people are fighting to make the GSL as friendly as possible, while certain "suits" are trying to make it as controlling and restrictive as possible.

Here is hoping the "suits" lost.
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:30 pm
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Trying to undo the OGL , are they?
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:51 pm
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Mogrl

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Quote:
Julian Grimm wrote:
Trying to undo the OGL , are they?



Definitely unmaking the spirit of it, thats practically an absolute. I'm still hoping it will pleasantly surprise me.
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Since its 20,000 I suggest "Captain Nemo" as his title. Beyond the obvious connection, he is one who sails on his own terms and ignores those he doesn't agree with...confident in his journey and goals.
Sounds obvious to me! -Gm Michael

Grand Knight Commander of the Society.


Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:04 pm
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I'm not holding my breath. IMNSHO WOTC and 3e suffered when Adkinson left the helm. This is just the full realization of killing his plans for D&D.
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:07 pm
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Ulthal

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Quote:
Julian Grimm wrote:
Trying to undo the OGL , are they?



Strictly speaking they cannot undo the OGL; the license was designed in such a way that if Wizards later altered the license, users could still choose to operate under the earlier version of the license. Once material is released into the OGC, as was done with the 3E SRD materials, it cannot be removed from the OGC.

So OGL cannot be killed... directly.

What some factions at Wizards/Hasbro are trying to do is kill third-party publisher desire to use the 3E OGL and use the 4E GSL material instead. They are doing this by trying to make use of 4E as the newer, sexier edition more desireable than use of the older edition. And to reinforce this, they have added the "poison pill," the clause that requires that if a company choose to publish a brand using the 4E GSL they cannot continue to publish in that brand with the 3E OGL, and must cease selling their existing 3E OGL products in that brand. Note the original poison pill was that a company had to decide on a company-wide basis whether to go with 4E or 3E... there was such an uproar about that the plan was changed and the requirement made by brand.

HOWEVER, this faction is in opposition by at least two other factions. The most stringent faction (likely all Hasbro suits) do not want 4E open in any way, shape, or form, so they apparently have tried to make the license as poisonous as possible. The other faction (apparently led by Scott Rouse, Linae Foster, and their crew) are trying to make it as open as possible. From appearances, the "Open" crew had things well in hand until the new president of Wizards came in from Hasbro some months back, and then the "Totally Closed" and "Screw OGL" factions muddied the waters significantly. This is why the whole thing is delayed by several months.

Until the final license is revealed, we won't know which factions prevailed, or if it is an unworkable mess...

And indeed, were Peter still at the helm this would all be academic. But he is not, and unfortunately D&D and Wizards is much the poorer for that.
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:33 pm
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Pardon sounding alarmist but if this was set up right couldn't this lead to a 'crash' of the 3rd party publishers and maybe even the gaming industry? I remember the crash that brought in the changes we see today and the market seems to be even more sensitive now to disturbances than in was a few years ago. Of course this is just armchair analyst talk.
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:04 pm
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Ulthal

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Quote:
Julian Grimm wrote:
Pardon sounding alarmist but if this was set up right couldn't this lead to a 'crash' of the 3rd party publishers and maybe even the gaming industry? I remember the crash that brought in the changes we see today and the market seems to be even more sensitive now to disturbances than in was a few years ago. Of course this is just armchair analyst talk.



Meh, not really. If 4E succeeds in any way, the rest of the remaining market will benefit, however it is cut for 3E. Mostly because the 3E and broader RPG market has already fallen so far, there's not much farther for it to fall. Wizards is the only First-Tier company that publishes RPGs. Of the Second-tier companies, such as remain, most concentrate on non-RPG products to keep their cash flow going; Palladium and Paizo are the only remaining Second-tier companies that focus entirely on RPGs (and then Paizo is effectively the other half of Titanic Games). Maybe you can count White Wolf in there, too, though how strong it would be without support from CCP is unknown. Steve Jackson Games is entirely focused on Munchkin and related games; Fantasy Flight is all about board and card and miniatures games. Atlas, Green Ronin, and similar companies are what I would call a Third-tier companies.
First Tier (Big corporate offices, scores to hundreds of employees): Wizards, Games Workshop, Upper Deck (maybe Second now), WizKids (maybe Second now)
Second Tier (Offices and probably a warehouse, tens to dozens of employees): Palladium, Paizo, Steve Jackson, Fantasy Flight, White Wolf, Alderac (maybe Third now), Privateer Press (?), Reaper
Third Tier (Very small office or virtual office, less than a dozen employees mostly virtual): Atlas, Green Ronin, Catalyst, Amarillo Design Bureau, Troll Lords, Kenzer & Company, Margaret Weis Productions, Mayfair Games
Fourth Tier (A guy working out of his garage or spare room with a couple of friends pitching in in their spare time): Adventure Games Publishing, Goblinoid Games, most so-called "Indie" and PDF publishers

Look through an issue of Game Trade Magazine and you will see the number of RPG products released in print and through distribution, compared to five years ago, is almost nothing.

Once upon a time could go on and on about specific situations and circumstances, but I'm out of the loop on the overall industry trends... I've been mostly concerned with RPGs and my own little segment of that market for most of the last year... It's a lot easier to keep track of the industry when you are being paid to do it...
As for the 3E/4E divide, it is certainly bifurcating the majority of the RPG gamer base. How big each side will end up, and how much further can each side grow, and what effect any of it will have on the rest of the RPG market remains to be seen. It won't affect Castles & Crusades at all, save to the extent that it may affect publication of C&C Wilderlands products.
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:36 pm
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James, thanks for the breakdown of the co's...

Out of curiosity, would Goodman Games be 2nd or Third Tier under these descriptions?

And, I assume Pied Piper falls under the Fourth Tier as well, just now out of Rob's home in Florida rather than Milwaukee?

John

P.S. This is helpful because I think a lot of posters get antzy over expecatations from the 3rd and 4th Tiers, expecting 1st and 2nd Tier production rates (quantity and speed) when in truth guys like the Trolls, Kenzer, Goblinoid etc. are/have put out a lot of material, and especially at prices which are more competative than the majors.

P.P.S. - Whatever happens, I hope to support AGP as well - since I'll be seeing you in a couple of days I'll talk subscription with ya then! Looking forward to Friday's game.

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John "Sir Seskis" Wright

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John "Sir Seskis" Wright

Dreamer of Ilshara
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:05 pm
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Ulthal

Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 724
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Quote:
seskis281 wrote:
Out of curiosity, would Goodman Games be 2nd or Third Tier under these descriptions?



Goodman Games is a weird hybrid; it has Second Tier quality and rep yet it operates much like a Fourth Tier company! I'd put it in the Third Tier, though really it's just Joe operating out of his home with a very tight web of first-class freelance writers, developers, and marketing people. Joe's done some amazing things with Goodman Games!

GG is a textbook example of a successful "virtual" company, by "virtual" meaning no office space and minimal corporate structure, taking full advantage of the Internet and modern technology in place of physical cubicles and meeting rooms.

Quote:
Quote:
And, I assume Pied Piper falls under the Fourth Tier as well, just now out of Rob's home in Florida rather than Milwaukee?



Yup, Fourth Tier definitely.
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Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:24 pm
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Ungern

Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 90
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Quote:
jamesmishler wrote:
Goodman Games is a weird hybrid; it has Second Tier quality and rep yet it operates much like a Fourth Tier company! I'd put it in the Third Tier, though really it's just Joe operating out of his home with a very tight web of first-class freelance writers, developers, and marketing people. Joe's done some amazing things with Goodman Games!

GG is a textbook example of a successful "virtual" company, by "virtual" meaning no office space and minimal corporate structure, taking full advantage of the Internet and modern technology in place of physical cubicles and meeting rooms.



Very interesting! I didn't know that.


Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:37 am
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Hlobane Orc

Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:00 am
Posts: 137
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It's up!
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/welcome
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Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:05 am
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Renegade Mage
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Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:00 am
Posts: 3735
Location: Montreal, Canada
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Well, I think this is the relevant bit of the GSL that a lot of people were waiting for:

Quote:
Quote:
6.1 OGL Product Conversion. If Licensee has entered into the Open Gaming License version 1.0 with Wizards (OGL), and Licensee has previously published a product under the OGL (each an OGL Product), Licensee may publish a Licensed Product subject to this License that features the same or similar title, product line trademark, or contents as such OGL Product (each such OGL Product, a Converted OGL Product, and each such Licensed Product, a Conversion). Upon the first publication date of a Conversion, Licensee will cease all manufacturing and publication of the corresponding Converted OGL Product and all other OGL Products which are part of the same product line as the Converted OGL Product, as reasonably determined by Wizards (Converted OGL Product Line). Licensee explicitly agrees that it will not thereafter manufacture or publish any portion of the Converted OGL Product Line, or any products that would be considered part of a Converted OGL Product Line (as reasonably determined by Wizards) pursuant to the OGL. Licensee may continue to distribute and sell-off all remaining physical inventory of a Converted OGL Product Line after the corresponding Conversion is published, but will, as of such date, cease all publication, distribution and sale (and ensure that third party affiliates of Licensee cease their publication, distribution and sale) of any element of a Converted OGL Product Line in any electronic downloadable format. For the avoidance of doubt, (a) any OGL Product that is not part of a Converted OGL Product Line may continue to be manufactured, published, sold and distributed pursuant to the OGL; and (b) this Section 6.1 will survive termination of this Agreement.



I think this sucks but is what I sorta was expecting.

M
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Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:16 am
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Maukling
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Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 8:00 am
Posts: 6176
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I dunno. It says that one company cant do a product line for ogl and gsl.

But does it say an ip holder of a given product line has to stick to either or? Or is it company by company?

JG is one company, Goodman is another, AGP is yet another, Necro is yet another...
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Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:36 am
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