Comments 28

  1. I agree with you about the article, but I was surprised that Hite didn’t discuss Pinnacle/Great White Games’ use of the pdf Toolkit series to fund their other products, given his focus on the value of electronic publishing. While Green Ronin and Hero are strong participants in the electronic environment, PEG is one of the stage setters as well.

    What GR, PEG, and Hero seem to understand is how much the internet helps turn their products evergreen. Kind of like AEG with their recent release of all old RPG products on Drivethru. Personally, I prefer RPGnow, but I use Drivethru too.

  2. I agree with you about the article, but I was surprised that Hite didn’t discuss Pinnacle/Great White Games’ use of the pdf Toolkit series to fund their other products, given his focus on the value of electronic publishing. While Green Ronin and Hero are strong participants in the electronic environment, PEG is one of the stage setters as well.

    What GR, PEG, and Hero seem to understand is how much the internet helps turn their products evergreen. Kind of like AEG with their recent release of all old RPG products on Drivethru. Personally, I prefer RPGnow, but I use Drivethru too.

  3. I’m sure PEG just fell off Ken’s radar while writing the article. He’s long followed Pinnacle’s stuff.

    I’m agnostic on RPGnow vs. DriveThruRPG. I’m old friends with the guys behind the latter, but RPGnow was first on the scene and set the tone for the whole RPGs as PDFs market.

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    I’m sure PEG just fell off Ken’s radar while writing the article. He’s long followed Pinnacle’s stuff.

    I’m agnostic on RPGnow vs. DriveThruRPG. I’m old friends with the guys behind the latter, but RPGnow was first on the scene and set the tone for the whole RPGs as PDFs market.

  5. My preference for RPGnow are more in the rapidity of the screen load of catalogue searches, that kind of thing. DriveThru has a lot of product that aren’t available elsewhere and are really working hard to promote the industry. Sometimes the prices seem high to me, at least when combined with other costs (printing etc.), other times they seem just right. The market is slowly working itself out.

    I know DriveThru had some DRM haters, I was never one of those. I wrote about my sentiments in “Why Hackers Hate White Wolf.”

    As for my overall feelings toward the Wolfsters. I find their products and their personalities match. At least to me, as a fan, they have always been aloof and distant at cons. I have friends who have had much better experiences, but I guess they and I don’t click on a first impression basis. They weren’t as bad as the first time I met George MacDonald and the other oldsters at Hero (with the exception of Ray Greer who could tolerate an inquisitive 15 year old’s 9000 dumb questions), but I didn’t get the warmest of greetings as a fan.

    I chalked it up to Con drain. (Sorry for the pun) I know that people get worn down and can’t be chipper and laud over every fan.

  6. My preference for RPGnow are more in the rapidity of the screen load of catalogue searches, that kind of thing. DriveThru has a lot of product that aren’t available elsewhere and are really working hard to promote the industry. Sometimes the prices seem high to me, at least when combined with other costs (printing etc.), other times they seem just right. The market is slowly working itself out.

    I know DriveThru had some DRM haters, I was never one of those. I wrote about my sentiments in “Why Hackers Hate White Wolf.”

    As for my overall feelings toward the Wolfsters. I find their products and their personalities match. At least to me, as a fan, they have always been aloof and distant at cons. I have friends who have had much better experiences, but I guess they and I don’t click on a first impression basis. They weren’t as bad as the first time I met George MacDonald and the other oldsters at Hero (with the exception of Ray Greer who could tolerate an inquisitive 15 year old’s 9000 dumb questions), but I didn’t get the warmest of greetings as a fan.

    I chalked it up to Con drain. (Sorry for the pun) I know that people get worn down and can’t be chipper and laud over every fan.

  7. All too true. Myself, I’ve always had great interaction both with the Heroes and the Wolfies. It probably helped that I was working the ICE booth, so I had lots of time to chat with the Heroes. That led to my first major RPG book: Western Hero.

    I’ve also been around long enough to remember Lion Rampant, which was the original publisher of Ars Magica, before it merged with White Wolf. The Wieck brothers had only published White Wolf Magazine up to that point. I’ve never found the Wolfies aloof. More likely when you saw them they were just hung over. 🙂

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    All too true. Myself, I’ve always had great interaction both with the Heroes and the Wolfies. It probably helped that I was working the ICE booth, so I had lots of time to chat with the Heroes. That led to my first major RPG book: Western Hero.

    I’ve also been around long enough to remember Lion Rampant, which was the original publisher of Ars Magica, before it merged with White Wolf. The Wieck brothers had only published White Wolf Magazine up to that point. I’ve never found the Wolfies aloof. More likely when you saw them they were just hung over. 🙂

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  10. Man, I’m weak. I just can’t do it. Origins 2005 (where we attended the same party) sealed the fact that my ability to bounce back from a hard night of partying is passed out on a couch.

  11. Man, I’m weak. I just can’t do it. Origins 2005 (where we attended the same party) sealed the fact that my ability to bounce back from a hard night of partying is passed out on a couch.

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  13. I remember one DundraCon I went to, I think it was DundraCon (that’s the Bay Area one right?), where Ray Greer was promoting the heck out of a Champions video game for the PC. They even had a demo version.

    Eventually the same interface became the character creation system shipped with Champions Deluxe! I was sad to see that no PC game ever came out of the deal, especially considering how many Hero folks work in the Video Game industry. But I had to admire the sheer audacity of trying. They really seemed to want to stay true to emulating the core game mechanics while allowing the same flexibility as the core system. Something I still wish Games Workshop would do on their PC games, a true emulation that is.

    —Tangent Alert—

    When it comes to Hero, I have mixed feelings about Steven Long. His Dark Champions was a great product when it came out, but the long line of Dark Champions expansions he wrote (and his continual tweeking of the rules) soured me a little.

    It’s funny, I buy all of his 5th revised stuff, but I still use the rules from 4th edition and most of the narrative descriptions too. Long seems to have the same philosophy as one segment of the Hero population, the “if it isn’t specifically quantified it isn’t true” segment.

    I played with a group at Cal Tech for a while who was like that. Great guys and gals, all of them, but if you wanted a physicist in their game you had better list all the subfields of physics he/she was familiar with or else. Physics 17-, “Bah!, that’s only high school stuff!”

  14. I remember one DundraCon I went to, I think it was DundraCon (that’s the Bay Area one right?), where Ray Greer was promoting the heck out of a Champions video game for the PC. They even had a demo version.

    Eventually the same interface became the character creation system shipped with Champions Deluxe! I was sad to see that no PC game ever came out of the deal, especially considering how many Hero folks work in the Video Game industry. But I had to admire the sheer audacity of trying. They really seemed to want to stay true to emulating the core game mechanics while allowing the same flexibility as the core system. Something I still wish Games Workshop would do on their PC games, a true emulation that is.

    —Tangent Alert—

    When it comes to Hero, I have mixed feelings about Steven Long. His Dark Champions was a great product when it came out, but the long line of Dark Champions expansions he wrote (and his continual tweeking of the rules) soured me a little.

    It’s funny, I buy all of his 5th revised stuff, but I still use the rules from 4th edition and most of the narrative descriptions too. Long seems to have the same philosophy as one segment of the Hero population, the “if it isn’t specifically quantified it isn’t true” segment.

    I played with a group at Cal Tech for a while who was like that. Great guys and gals, all of them, but if you wanted a physicist in their game you had better list all the subfields of physics he/she was familiar with or else. Physics 17-, “Bah!, that’s only high school stuff!”

  15. Ha! It’s true that Ray is a real sweetheart. He’s also a licensed masseuse, and you can sometimes find him plying that craft at conventions to this day.

    During the development of the Champions computer game, Ray vowed not to cut his hair until the game was complete. By the time someone finally put a stake in the heart of the project, he had a beard any dwarf would have envied.

    I remember playing with early versions of the game. I would have loved to have seen it reach the market. Still, City of Heroes fills that void well.

    As for Steve Long, he’s an old buddy of mine. He’s a brilliant designer, although he likes his systems a bit more rigorous than I do. Perhaps that comes from his training as an attorney, a job he gave up to pursue game design full time.

    When Steve organized a group to pull the Hero System from the ashes of the Cybergame debacle, I was thrilled. For him, it was a dream come true, and I couldn’t suggest anyone else who would have been a better custodian for it or shown it more love—except for the original Hero team itself, and all those guys (including Bruce Harlick) seemed ready to move on to other things by then.

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    Ha! It’s true that Ray is a real sweetheart. He’s also a licensed masseuse, and you can sometimes find him plying that craft at conventions to this day.

    During the development of the Champions computer game, Ray vowed not to cut his hair until the game was complete. By the time someone finally put a stake in the heart of the project, he had a beard any dwarf would have envied.

    I remember playing with early versions of the game. I would have loved to have seen it reach the market. Still, City of Heroes fills that void well.

    As for Steve Long, he’s an old buddy of mine. He’s a brilliant designer, although he likes his systems a bit more rigorous than I do. Perhaps that comes from his training as an attorney, a job he gave up to pursue game design full time.

    When Steve organized a group to pull the Hero System from the ashes of the Cybergame debacle, I was thrilled. For him, it was a dream come true, and I couldn’t suggest anyone else who would have been a better custodian for it or shown it more love—except for the original Hero team itself, and all those guys (including Bruce Harlick) seemed ready to move on to other things by then.

  17. Must have been Gen Con 2005 (or Origins 2004). I didn’t make Origins last year. Or you were far more gone than you remember.

    I was still drunk ONE YEAR LATER.

    Actually, no, it was Origins 2004.

  18. Must have been Gen Con 2005 (or Origins 2004). I didn’t make Origins last year. Or you were far more gone than you remember.

    I was still drunk ONE YEAR LATER.

    Actually, no, it was Origins 2004.

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