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View Full Version : Necromancer Games refuses the GSL



fmitchell
08-01-2008, 02:54 PM
Necromancer Games (http://www.enworld.org/articles/No_4E_for_Necromancer_Games!/6939), after its initial support, has decided not to sign the GSL as it currently stands. From their statement, they seem to think that they can pressure WotC to change the GSL.

Clark Peterson's whole announcement, alas, reeks of desperation. They see no current market for OGL/3.x (although they hope Pathfinder can turn that around), they see no way they can publish 4e without some "clarifications", and they've released nothing in a year already. As far as I can tell, they've come to a full stop as a company, and may very well mothball their entire inventory.

How many people work for Necromancer? Does anyone know? Is it just a bunch of guys with day jobs, or is it a real company with full-time employees?

gdmcbride
08-01-2008, 04:46 PM
Wow.

The revolution continues apace I see. :)

Gary

amardolem
08-01-2008, 04:54 PM
maybe, wizards see this as nothing but I see it as another distant cannon shot that they're ignoring



...till the Barbarians are at the gate, bread and circuses, bread and circuses.....

MortonStromgal
08-01-2008, 05:10 PM
Wow, I certainly hope they make 4e stuff. I would not have bought the DMG or the MM (still would have bought the PHB) if I had known the Tome of Horrors was going to stay in 3.X. I also would buy the original 3.5 Tome again as I only have the 3.0 as a book and the 3.5 one as a pdf

agoraderek
08-01-2008, 09:20 PM
How many people work for Necromancer? Does anyone know? Is it just a bunch of guys with day jobs, or is it a real company with full-time employees?

chris peterson is a full time lawyer with an active law practice, necromancer games is sort of a "hobby" of sorts (although, im sure its a somewhat profitable one). his "employees" are more like "contractors" i believe, no real full time staff, so he doesnt really need to put out product to live or feed anyone's families.

[side note: i've pretty much committed all of my gaming money (through subscriptions to pathfinder products) for the forseeable future to paizo, so i really hope paizo and chris do eventually work together. from the posts on the paizo boards, they are in fairly constant communication, but chris is holding off on committing until the Pathfinder RPG is finalized - so, perhaps a ToH for pathfinder might be available by gencon next year]

agoraderek
08-01-2008, 09:24 PM
Wow, I certainly hope they make 4e stuff. I would not have bought the DMG or the MM (still would have bought the PHB) if I had known the Tome of Horrors was going to stay in 3.X. I also would buy the original 3.5 Tome again as I only have the 3.0 as a book and the 3.5 one as a pdf

i thought ToH 3.5 was only released as a PDF, i never knew they did a hardcopy...

i wouldn't hold your breath on necro 4e product, peterson seems pretty disappointed with WotC, and i don't see WotC "seeing the light" vis a vis the gsl...

fmitchell
08-01-2008, 11:40 PM
What really struck me about Peterson's statement was that he expressed such respect for the Wizards team. What I think he fails to realize, though, is that Wizards dances to Hasbro's tune.

Having worked in a couple of large corporations, I've learned that a subsidiary might have the most reasonable and dedicated people in the world ... but the faceless corporate higher-ups only care about profits and "protecting their investment". I'm convinced the most odious clauses in the GSL come from Hasbro lawyers and execs -- used to board games and toys -- who honestly can't see why letting other companies build off their product might actually enhance their bottom line.

Hence the poison pill that comes with the GSL: if we don't like what you're doing for any reason, this "free ride" stops immediately. I shudder to think what the *other* proposals were like.

tesral
08-02-2008, 11:38 PM
Having read that devil's pact that is the GSL I would question the sanity of anyone that does sign it. Necromancer did the sensible thing, even if it costs them the company it won't cost them their shirts in destroyed inventory.

Hasbro on the other hand is getting exactly what they want.

Grimwell
08-03-2008, 11:00 AM
I agree (see, I'm not always upset at you!)

I think that the long term plan driving the GSL is a shift of most D&D related product purchases going to the Wizards products. The OGL made it very easy for a lot of revenue to go in to other companies, and taking things back to the "old" way of doing it (where the makers of D&D are the only viable option for buying things D&D) is much better of you are counting the beans at Wizards.

I think this is a ripe time for the makers of other game systems to expand their market penetration with some smart releases and good marketing.

tesral
08-03-2008, 01:30 PM
I think this is a ripe time for the makers of other game systems to expand their market penetration with some smart releases and good marketing.

The OGL was bad for other systems even as it was good for d20 players. Lots of d20 stuff and Sturgeon's Law applied.

We kind of got used to that forgetting the Ogre that T$R was about IP. I keep reminding myself that the GSL is not something new. It's something old, a return to the attitude of the Ogre.

I don't thing they are smart enough to have planed to snare everyone into d20 and then to close the doors. The very wording of the OGL takes the doors off. One reason I think that they changed the system as much as they did. It wasn't to make a better game, but a different game. A game that could not be shoehorned under the OGL.

fmitchell
08-03-2008, 01:35 PM
I think this is a ripe time for the makers of other game systems to expand their market penetration with some smart releases and good marketing.

So do I, but I don't expect the strategy to work.

Look at bookstores, especially chains like Barnes & Noble: you'll see D&D, World of Darkness, Exalted, maybe Dungeon Crawl Classics or GURPS. In my FLGS, you see an entire case full of White Wolf, D&D, and OGL ... and two cases full of miscellaneous stuff, some of which is a decade old.

All the "new blood" WotC is expecting will likely stream to D&D or WOD. Other games have their fans, but new players are really only likely to hear about them through other gamers, or a board like this. Do you think Chaosium can afford a media blitz? What about Green Ronin? Paizo? SJ Games (for GURPS, not Munchkin)?

MortonStromgal
08-04-2008, 09:46 AM
i thought ToH 3.5 was only released as a PDF, i never knew they did a hardcopy...



Maybe they didn't but I thought I had seen one. I would still buy it if they printed it or made it print on demand.



Look at bookstores, especially chains like Barnes & Noble: you'll see D&D, World of Darkness, Exalted, maybe Dungeon Crawl Classics or GURPS. In my FLGS, you see an entire case full of White Wolf, D&D, and OGL ... and two cases full of miscellaneous stuff, some of which is a decade old.


At the local B&N I also see Green Ronin, Mongoose Conan, Shadowrun, Classic Battletech, Star Wars, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and a couple others.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-04-2008, 09:47 AM
I'll keep it short: I dont blame them.

Thoth-Amon

Talmek
08-04-2008, 04:50 PM
I'll keep it short: I dont blame them.

Thoth-Amon

Amen. Why would you risk something you spent years developing with no guaranteed return?

fmitchell
08-04-2008, 05:47 PM
At the local B&N I also see Green Ronin, Mongoose Conan, Shadowrun, Classic Battletech, Star Wars, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and a couple others.

Fair enough ... I've occasionally seen the above as well.

However, D&D has traditionally been the "gateway drug" to tabletop RPGs, so unless some new audience emerges (as with Vampire a decade or so ago), I can't see the current companies challenging D&D or WOD.