Dragon #354 features some indie

edited March 2007 in Story Games
Both The Zorcerer of Zo and the Indie RPG Awards are featured in this month's issue of Dragon, in the "First Watch" section. This is the same section that highlights new WotC D&D releases.

Pretty cool!

Comments

  • Whoa.

    Can you repost the details?

    yrs--
    --Ben
  • I can post details once I get home. Basically, both get an image and a "Hey, check this out" paragraph.
  • Hot damn!

    I'll have to hit a newsstand!

    CU
  • Expect some even bigger changes in terms of Dragon and Dungeon in the very near soon...

    Ch
    EndGame
  • Don't be coy, Chris.

    Whatchoo talkin' about?
  • Posted By: Penn42Expect some even bigger changes in terms of Dragon and Dungeon in the very near soon...
    They're making the minis the main-game and the rpg stuff "Advanced" D&D is my guess.
  • edited March 2007
    Okay, here you go. This is on page 14. The edible dice in between make for a tasty snack!

    image
  • Posted By: Penn42Expect some even bigger changes in terms of Dragon and Dungeon in the very near soon...
    Am I at ENWorld? I could have sworn this was Story-games. ;)
  • That is so cool!

    I especially love the Zorceror of Zo write-up, because it really highlights way in which ZoZ shares common ground with D&D enthusiasts, while still noting the unique things it provides that D&D doesn't really tune towards so easily.

    I'm mightily impressed with this.
  • Here's a game/thought experiment:

    In what ways is it in WotC's best interests ( economic and otherwise) to embrace the indie game movement?
  • Komradebob,

    May I ask why this game/thought experiment?


    Here's my answer, although it seems like a bit of a snarky question to raise:


    I think that embracing other aspects of gaming helps reduce the "big divides". WotC is making an implicit statement that "you can dig the indie goodness and the badass dungeons, without having a gamer identity crisis". It is saying "Hell, why not be a fan of all of them?"

    I'm a big supporter of that.

    It's also a way of giving props, and giving back to the roleplaying game community. Dragon magazine, like all players in this "industry", is some part business and some part love of gaming. It's important not to think of it as the product of some soulless mega-corp. It's people making a business out of sharing what they know about a hobby that they are interested in.
  • Posted By: komradebobIn what ways is it in WotC's best interests ( economic and otherwise) to embrace the indie game movement?
    Well, embrace how?

    On the one hand, the d20 OGL tries to turn competitors into allies: instead of rewriting D&D every time they want to publish some random idea, people who are basically just interested in self-publishing D&D stuff can do that. (Well, 'cept when it has mind flayers.) So, some kind of hegemony is pretty good for them.

    On the other hand, WotC understands how to compete with itself. Look at all the different kinds of card-based games they make. They're definitely good at building niches for them -- Magic resembles but doesn't directly compete with Duel Monsters (or is it Duel Masters? I forget -- anyway, I'm talking about the Yu-Gi-Oh game, whatever it's called), for example. WotC was open-ended enough to experiment with Everway back in the 90s, too.

    If WotC puts their power behind another RPG, it'll be all about grabbing a market D&D doesn't cover. The indie games that we like to play are pretty fertile ground for inspiration for this kind of thing: focused rulesets, intention-based resolution, different frameworks for power-sharing between the group, &c.


    Now, if we're talking about Paizo (the people who license the two magazines from WotC these days)...
    They print things. They've also got a big Internet shop. You can buy Vampire and Shadowrun and Ars Magica and Over the Edge and All Flesh Must Be Eaten and Kobolds Ate My Baby stuff there. If they can make money by adding indie stuff to their stash, I think they'll try to do it once it's on their radar.
  • edited March 2007
    "Here's my answer, although it seems like a bit of a snarky question to raise"

    It does seem a bit that way even to me. However, let's assume that WotC and Paizo are both rational actors and self-interested without being some evil ogres.

    I really just want to hear other people's guesses on the subject.
  • Bob,

    Paizo isn't owned by WotC. I don't know what the terms of their license with WotC are.

    I think it pays for Paizo to hedge their bets. If the bottom drops out of the D&D market for some reason, it's good for them to have their foot in the door of some other thing.
  • Heh. I forgotten that Paizo, not WotC owns Dragon. But still, as a barainstorm, let's play with my admittedly flawes question...
  • Maybe I'm naive, but Erik and the crew at Paizo are, IME, generally good folk. It's entirely possible that they simply think this stuff is cool, and wanted to mention it. For all we know, they had two columns they needed to fill, and figured, "Hey, let's mention Zo!"

    I mean, they did the same thing for Dice Goblins, a type of dice bag made by a local GM I know. They don't sell the things, so there was no profit motive. I think they just believed the product would appeal to the fanbase.

    Again, I could be naive.
  • Okay, let me clarify:
    You can be a Good Guy, and still be doing things that are ultimately in your own best interest. In business, they call it a "Win-Win situation". There's even a school of thought that says being a mensch is always in your best interests...
  • Posted By: komradebobYou can be a Good Guy, and still be doing things that are ultimately in your own best interest. In business, they call it a "Win-Win situation". There's even a school of thought that says being a mensch isalwaysin your best interests...
    Oh, totally. I'm just saying that it wouldn't surprise me if they printed these blurbs even without any obvious benefit to themselves.
  • Just to clarify, Paizo doesn't own those magazines, they just hold the license. Dragon and Dungeon are owned by WotC, a company also full of plenty of indie-RPG fans in my experience.
  • Congrats to Chad! It's nice to make it onto more gamers' radar screens.

    About indies and WotC+Paizo: PDF, small press, story games, indies, etc. can be lumped into one segment of the market that is very small but is growing very, very fast. It's not going to be a threat to larger or more established companies any time soon, but it is enough to attract attention. It's kind of like organic, "green", eco-friendly, & sustainable products: they've now being taken over by big business because that's where growth is, small as the market share is. The RPG world has nowhere the same disparity between "big" and "small", but I do expect a certain amount of interest for indie growth from the bigger firms. That could translate in partnerships, sponsorships, licensing deals, hybrid games, "astroturf" pseudo-indie labels, etc.
  • Bob, they didn't even notify Chad that they were throwing him a mention. Given that level of coordination, you think they're forwarding a plan for global dominance of the RPG market?
  • Posted By: Joshua BishopRobyBob, they didn't even notify Chad that they were throwing him a mention. Given that level of coordination, you think they're forwarding a plan for global dominance of the RPG market?<//img>
    Yes. I think they're complete bastards for doing this.
  • edited March 2007
    I think almost nobody would disagree that a magazine's goal is to SELL MORE MAGAZINES.

    Magazines generally try to accomplish this by appealing to and providing reading satisfaction for a chosen audience. It may be that Paizo thinks that it can bring 'indie people' into the ranks of their subscribers, or it may be that they think that by broadening the horizons of their current readership they can reinforce that readership's view that the magazine is worth their while.

    Either of those (or something entirely different) could make it a good business decision on Paizo's part to step outside features that only focus on a particular game.

    That's my answer to Bob's question.

    edit: Also, Congrats Chad! I hope you get a great sales spike!
  • I remember not all that long ago when Dragon would feature short reviews of new games generally, I often enjoyed those blurbs.

    I find this really surprising. It's great and all - Zorcerer of Zo and indie games generally deserve more exposure - but everyone I know who regularly reads Dragon is a *hardcore* D&D player with little interest in other (or at least, non-d20) RPGs.

    I subscribed for many years but ultimately let it lapse when I realized I wasn't playing as much D&D anymore and the magazine was more about feats/PrCs and such than the old genre articles and other more broadly useful resources.

    How is Dragon these days, anyway? I quit right around when Paizo took control.
  • Posted By: C.W.Richeson...but everyone I know who regularly readsDragonis a *hardcore* D&D player with little interest in other (or at least, non-d20) RPGs.
    This isn't true for me or some of the folks in my HERO group, but it is true for everyone but me in my main D&D group.
    Posted By: C.W.RichesonHow isDragonthese days, anyway? I quit right around when Paizo took control.
    IMO, it rawks on toast. Paizo was one of the best things to ever happen to Dragon and Dungeon. Sure, there are lots of feats and PrCs in each issue, but, IMO, the net result is that each issue has more usable content than it ever did back in the 1e days.
  • edited March 2007
    First, since I got all off on a tangent:
    Congratulations Chad- that's very cool!

    Second, along with all of the honest suggestions of Win-Win possibilities, here's one of my answers to the question I proposed.

    WotC recognizes that a ecrtain amount of diversity is just plain good for the hobby. Since they are at the center of the hobby, it only makes sense to care about the hobby's health. They also recognize that some players will experiment around, play the field so to speak.

    If WotC points those experimenters to other games, which ones should they point them to?

    If they point them to another company that does games similar to D&D ( core books, supplements and so on), they're pointing them in a direction of buying stuff instead of D&D.

    If they point them in the direction of small, self-contained games at low prices, they're pointing them towards stuff to buy in addition to D&D.

    Also, I like this turn of events because swine being allowed in the house may also make a certain unnamed person's head go-splodey.
  • edited March 2007
    Bob,

    But WotC/Hasbro has done no such thing, and I have no reason to suspect they would. You're just making stuff up.
  • edited March 2007
    I stated that this was an excercise in speculation, Larry.
  • I wasn't aware that WOTC had that much input into Dragon and Dungeon.

    Did their license to Paizo include some sort of oversight provision that they make extensive use of? I thought Paizo had significant autonomy.
  • edited March 2007
    Posted By: C.W.RichesonDid their license to Paizo include some sort of oversight provision that they make extensive use of? I thought Paizo had significant autonomy.
    I dunno, but I Googled the following from a GamingReport interview:
    Lisa Stevens:
    Absolutely. We have a great relationship with Wizards of the Coast. We will be working closely with Mary Kirchoff and her group, as well as the R&D folks that work on D&D. They still view the magazines as an integral part of their D&D marketing plan. We look forward to many, many years of working together with Wizards.
    Sounds like a certain amount of autonomy.
  • Holy gods!
  • edited March 2007
    I was talking to this game store owner the other day, about the current game we're playing. The conversation got on towards my next game I'd play.

    I took the nearest copy of Dragon, opened it to this page, and began explaining Zorcerer of Zo.

    He looked at it with this big "Hey cool" look on his face, tehn checked the magazine cover and had this, like "Hey, this really is Dragon" expression.
  • Posted By: joepub<//img>I was talking to this game store owner the other day, about the current game we're playing. The conversation got on towards my next game I'd play.

    I took the nearest copy of Dragon, opened it to this page, and began explaining Zorcerer of Zo.

    He looked at it with this big "Hey cool" look on his face, tehn checked the magazine cover and had this, like "Hey, this really is Dragon" expression.
    Didja tell him he can order copies from IPR?

    :)

    (/pimp)

    CU
  • Chad,

    He's got the website address for IPR, and he thinks it's a cool thing.
    I try not to shove too hard, so I just tell him about cool things and let him latch onto it if he wants to.
  • Our local guy decided that he didn't like IPR's percentage so he'd rather Brennan and I share the money without him. Fair 'nuff. I'm almost sold out again, so it would have just been lost money.

  • Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanOur local guy decided that he didn't like IPR's percentage so he'd rather Brennan and I share the money without him. Fair 'nuff. I'm almost sold out again, so it would have just been lost money.
    That's certainly a risk shopkeepers will have to take on if they want IPR's products on their shelves. That said, given EndGame's 2006 sales, I think they're pretty foolish to look at it that way.

    Glad to hear of your sales success, regardless!
  • Back at you, Fred!

    I think the guy's been burned with high percentages before or something; he's really adamant about the cut. Still, a dollar's a dollar, and the bookshelf space:dollar ratio is pretty high for most of our games.

    Really, what I think is going on is that he's being a conservative businessman because a shop like that is always in danger of going under. I can hardly blame him for that.

    Not everyone feels that way, obviously. And maybe it's a minority. Let's hope that Endgame, Leisure Games, and Joe's guy are the way things work more of the time. That way, those who really care about their games being in the retail channel can get them in there.

  • edited April 2007
    I dig Paizo. I did my 30 Days of Gaming campaign in BW and used their GameMastery item cards. Nice art and completely open to use whatever system you like. I tried hooking a "magic item burning" element to the items on the cards but I think that turned out to be too distracting to the group.

    Anyway, I was just saying I found Paizo to really produce topnotch stuff even if it has WotC earmarks. Sure there is a D&D mini-module supplied with their miniature and dungeon tile packs but you could use that stuff for any game that supports the fiddly bits.

    And I believe that's on purpose.
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