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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15724 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  21:13:28  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I stopped reading comics in the late 90's, after thirty years of being an avid collector.

There comes a point when it all becomes 'too much', and you loose your connection to the franchise. Glue only holds for so long - after awhile, broken stays broken. I watch the new Batman and x-Man movies and shake my head, and say "what the hell is this?" I no longer recognize it.

Whatever you do, don't let the bull back inside the China shop.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Tyrant
Senior Scribe

USA
586 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  21:41:10  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

quote:
Originally posted by Rhewtani

quote:
Originally posted by Therise

The thing about the Star Trek '09 reboot is that it generated an alternate timeline. There are multiple timelines in Trek, and they're all part of the greater Trek.


Right, except for all practical purposes, they're not going to make a sequel to the Undiscovered Country (or I guess picking up after the intro to generations). They're not going to make another Next Gen era movie or series.


+1. And my fear is that a split of timelines will slowly start the decline of published "Shattered Realms" material until it's discontinued all together. Also, I don't want to have to differentiate between Prime Drizzt and Alternate Drizzt. I don't think he'd look good with a goatee.

Between this and the other Star Trek talk I have to wonder, does the reboot universe have it's own "evil" universe that now potentially has both a young and old goatee Spock? I imagine we will find out if they run out of ideas.
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
quote:
Originally posted by Therise


Not one of those alternate timeline stories has done irreparable damage to the franchise.


Maybe because it's been done a few dozen times and nothing really new for that genra. Forgotten Realms has never had such a thing occur, correct?


I know I would be a lot less resistant to the idea if it was something that was already a known variable in the setting. When it comes to Trek, isn't the "evil" universe about the only one that seems to be brought up more than once* and it was established back in the original series. The rest are like "What if?" stories that get mentioned once and usually don't have an impact (weird business with Tasha Yar aside).

*As a side note, I don't know about anyone else but I loved the alternate events portrayed in the Enterprise episodes set in the alternate universe that started with Cochran blasting the Vulcans that landed after the flight of the Phoenix and then everyone started looting their ship.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
-The Sith Code

Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  22:29:36  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Apex


A few more thoughts on the reboot. It is likely that WoTC/Hasbro have a decent guess on how many Shattered Realms fans are out there based on sales of the campaign setting (and likely discounting the initial sales when it first came out) and the few supplements that have come out since. They can easily compare this to 3.5 sales to get an idea of how much actual business they lost in the transition. My guess is (based on the early announcement of 5E) that sales pale in comparison to previous editions. If this is true, the a reboot (of some sort) makes a lot of sense, as you would desire to get your old customers back and if they greatly outnumber your current customers, you really wouldn't care if you lost some of the current ones (and in reality some would make the switch back anyways). This really all comes down to dollars (or at least it should anyways), and if WoTC thinks they can make more cash off of the 1st/2E grognards (who likely have more disposable income as a group), then that is the route they should take as a business.



I would agree on the theory, but until Wizards fesses up and tells us just how many copies were sold of the 4e FR books, we don't have anything to go by, unless we can get sales figures from the entire retail sector, which I needn't say is a heckuva lot tougher to do. And if there is a reboot, I don't want it any earlier than 1373, to preserve as much existing lore as possible; I'm not crazy about the death of Khelben, but it was done well, so I'll live with it; everything that followed was anathema to the Realms for me, imho. I would rewind the timeline to the end of Kythorn, 1375... it was after that point that we started killing off gods and wizards and more gods and ... you get the idea. Anyway, I'll shut up here; I was starting to get into specifics, and I don't want to do that... again. I've flogged that dead horse enough already, and I'll just be happy if they give us a way to decide whether to keep or toss the Spellplague and remain within canon either way... and I'm not talking about setting our campaigns in the past, either.

Thanks for the kind words, Diffan.

Re: the Star Trek reboot: I never saw it; I don't get out to movies much any more, the rental industry is effectively dead where I live, and it wasn't one that I decided I needed to own - and no, I don't have Netflix or any other form of television service; I have my books (well, about half of them, anyway; hopefully this will improve soon), my computer and Internet connection, and my HT system with 27" HD computer monitor; all I need. But most of my friends saw it (all sci-fi fans like myself) and they all thought it was well done; maybe I'm in a bad sample zone.

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.

Edited by - Jakk on 25 Jan 2012 22:37:15
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  23:01:11  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

<snip>

Anyhow, if you say "it still exists in another universe", but we have no intention of developing ANY further material for it, how is that ANY different then saying it doesn't exist at all? Its like a pat on the head - "There there... they're okay... it will be alright..."

They are NOT okay. They are gone. Shunted off into an 'alternate timeline', which is corporate-speak for 'put on a shelf and lets forget about it forever'. I do not believe in alternate timelines - I believe there is but one, and if you change it, the other ceases to exist. The people of Faerūn that existed before the Elves sundered the continent aren't all 'living pleasantly somewhere else', they're DEAD. Or worse - they never even existed.


The latter is a good possibility, as the GH says that the Sundering reached through time in both directions.

I never collected comics, but I read a pile of them "back in the day," and maybe Marvel and DC had too big an influence on my imagination... although modern physics suggests that all possible realities do exist... until one of them is observed. Alternate realities are possible in theory, and branching off may be caused by quantum waveform interference... but that's about as far as I understand it, because I'm still struggling to comprehend more than three spatial dimensions, not to mention calculus.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Anyhow, the point is I would rather see them try and fix everything, and get everyone in ONE continuity, then do the split thing - that would just exacerbate the situation that got us to this point.

What they could do is leave the Spellplague in-place (the 'reset button' Ed told them to never push), and alter just the specific events surrounding Mystras fall. Have the Weave collapse, but leave her fate unknown. That at least allows for alternate possibilities, while still leaving them intact for those that want that. Ergo, 'the Dark Future' doesn't have to be in an alternate timeline officially - just leave it there, hanging over our heads, and let us decide if it happens in our Realms or not. If they simply leave the possibility of change, then they don't really have to change a thing (concerning the 4e Realms).

Call Mystra's death 'Mystra's Silence', and we're good. They can always decide which way to go with it later, well after 5e's launch. At least let everyone have a breather before bringing the axe down on a portion of the fanbase. If the (new) lore is good, and we are happy with 5e, we may change our minds about a lot of things.


I like this... as long as it allows us to avoid the pointless death of a pile of iconic characters; anyway, that discussion's been had, many times.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

4e's primary goal was to bring together the diversified fanbase, setting-wise (all the different settings), and instead, it shattered it into even smaller pieces (something I believe DL did first, so I don't understand their thinking). They managed to accomplish the exact opposite of their intended goals.

That's what they got to fix - they need to build bridges, not portals to alternate timelines. If they decide to go that route later, so be it, but right now we need to all be on the same page. If they don't sell a lot of it (to everyone), then there is a good chance Hasbro will pull the plug. This might be our last chance to get our hands on tons of new (and old, never-seen) FR lore. There's a reason why 'divide and conquer' works so well... lets not get conquered.


Agreed... the problem there is, Hasbro's definition of "a lot" is far bigger than the PnP RPG industry's definition... or do you think they've figured that part out now? I hope they have... but I won't make predictions; if the suits let the game designers do the game designing, it should be a good product.

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Jakk
Great Reader

Canada
2165 Posts

Posted - 25 Jan 2012 :  23:08:01  Show Profile Send Jakk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
+1. And my fear is that a split of timelines will slowly start the decline of published "Shattered Realms" material until it's discontinued all together. Also, I don't want to have to differentiate between Prime Drizzt and Alternate Drizzt. I don't think he'd look good with a goatee.



As much as I'd like to disagree with you (being bearded myself), I can't. Elves (because drow are elves, regardless of what 4e or the elven language might say) and facial hair are like oil and water.

Playing in the Realms since the Old Grey Box (1987)... and *still* having fun with material published before 2008, despite the NDA'd lore.

If it's comparable in power with non-magical abilities, it's not magic.
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Old Man Harpell
Senior Scribe

USA
486 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  04:34:23  Show Profile Send Old Man Harpell a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jakk

quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
+1. And my fear is that a split of timelines will slowly start the decline of published "Shattered Realms" material until it's discontinued all together. Also, I don't want to have to differentiate between Prime Drizzt and Alternate Drizzt. I don't think he'd look good with a goatee.



As much as I'd like to disagree with you (being bearded myself), I can't. Elves (because drow are elves, regardless of what 4e or the elven language might say) and facial hair are like oil and water.


Well...depends on the elf, now doesn't it, there, youngster?

I think Diffan has correctly identified the reason that many 4th Edition Realms advocates are so violently opposed to the concept of a split timeline. I can actually see Wizbro deciding to cut their losses and casting it away in favor of a less apocalyptic timeline that just happens to be selling better.

I'm not one to insist on an alternate timeline. But I do not think I'm being unfair at all when I say to Wizbro, "You busted it and made it the not-Realms, so now I expect you to fix it if you want my money." I don't like what they did, and fixing what's already there (1480 DR) would take almost no effort - they just have to decide to do it, and not give us any excuses why they can't.
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4147 Posts

Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  04:51:24  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Old Man Harpell

quote:
Originally posted by Jakk

quote:
Originally posted by Diffan
+1. And my fear is that a split of timelines will slowly start the decline of published "Shattered Realms" material until it's discontinued all together. Also, I don't want to have to differentiate between Prime Drizzt and Alternate Drizzt. I don't think he'd look good with a goatee.



As much as I'd like to disagree with you (being bearded myself), I can't. Elves (because drow are elves, regardless of what 4e or the elven language might say) and facial hair are like oil and water.


Well...depends on the elf, now doesn't it, there, youngster?


It was in reference to the alternate Spock sporting a Goatee. I'd rather not have to refer to alternate Drizzt in same fashion, lol.

quote:
Originally posted by Old Man Harpell


I think Diffan has correctly identified the reason that many 4th Edition Realms advocates are so violently opposed to the concept of a split timeline. I can actually see Wizbro deciding to cut their losses and casting it away in favor of a less apocalyptic timeline that just happens to be selling better.

I'm not one to insist on an alternate timeline. But I do not think I'm being unfair at all when I say to Wizbro, "You busted it and made it the not-Realms, so now I expect you to fix it if you want my money." I don't like what they did, and fixing what's already there (1480 DR) would take almost no effort - they just have to decide to do it, and not give us any excuses why they can't.



But the "hows" of going about to fixing it is the concern. I have no doubts the Spellplague caused a rift in the setting and the fans. I have no doubts that there are a majority of scribes here at CK what would love nothing more than to see it be swept away. Yet there are fans who enjoy much of what's transpired during the course of the Spellplague. And many of them have come to the Realms because of those events. When I go over to RPG.net and I see people say "I hated the Realms, but the changes they made brought me to buy their product and give the setting a try." can't be ignored, nor should they.

So I still feel that the most profitable option is to produce products that support ALL the times of FR's history. Lets take this idea, WotC puts out a great new supplement for D&Dnex (or 5E or whateve) and it's a huge tome specifically designed for the Western Heartlands. It details it's history, plots, people, places, and even multiple adventures with each time-frame. Isn't that a lot better than getting a tome taht just details the same setting from 1479 DR? Wouldn't that be something a Realms fan would buy, espically when the time/place is important to you and supported?

Or, if People REALLY wanted an alternate timeline, then the best possible solution would be to put out an article detailing what "might" have changed IF the Spellplague dind't happen. It would cover the major events for the next 25 years until 1400 DR. This, however, is the Alternate portion that allows those not comfortable with the Spellplague a window into something more interesting and more to their liking. It could be played out like GHotR or a time-table or each serious even being more detailed:

  • Tyr foils Cyrics plot, marries Tymora and makes Helm his best man.

  • Mystra is only wounded in her assassination, yet the wound is sever enough that her control over the weave is severly limited. She can now only control how strong spells can get, not shut off spellcasters ability completly

  • Abier doesn't collide with Toril and the lands of Maztica, Unther, Mulhorandi, The Vilhon Reach, Halruua are saved.

  • Etc....

    Yet these are the events that are alternate, these are events that might have occured but nothing is really compiled on them, it's left up as a "window" for you to decide what happens further.

    4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

    "If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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    Ayrik
    Great Reader

    Canada
    7433 Posts

    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  05:19:51  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    What has the Realms come to when drow can grow beards and dwarves can't?

    [/Ayrik]
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    Therise
    Master of Realmslore

    1272 Posts

    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  05:22:47  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    I can see drow with a fu manchu, goatee, or soul patch... that's sexy, baby!

    Drow beards... blame the spellplague.


    Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!

    Edited by - Therise on 26 Jan 2012 05:24:11
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    Markustay
    Realms Explorer extraordinaire

    USA
    15724 Posts

    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  05:35:00  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    TWO Drizzts?

    I just threw-up in my mouth a little.

    Would 'evil Drizzt' be like a perky cheerleader? Or would he be even more depressing?

    Can a universe actually support two Drizzts? Wouldn't it explode? Thats like having two Chuck Norris' (Norrisai?)

    We've already had multiple Manshoons and Alias's.

    And once again, I think the 5e CG - because there has to be ONE - should be set in 1386 DR. People can start their campaigns whenever they want (since they seem to be planning to re-release old products), but I just don't see them doing multiple 5eCGs for multiple eras - one universal one would work better for them. And if you do a CG, you can't have the date indefinite (within a few years, anyway), because at some point the lore your printing isn't valid. I am picturing some sort of weird timeline-thing in each regional section - that might work. You pick a point in the timeline and say "There! Thats when I want to be!" I suppose its do-able.

    Still, they can't have it be so all-inclusive that it covers a century and a half, can they? It seems to me, at that point, many of us will be buying lore we will never use. I'm just having a hard time picturing how they'll pull this off.

    Unless all they do (setting-wise) is re-release old material, and then just have DDi articles flesh-out individual eras. It will very weird, though, not getting a setting-book for 5th edition.

    So have we all agreed that a complete relaunch of FR is something we wouldn't want? I would love to see how they would fix everything (hindsight is a wonderful thing), especially if Ed is guiding them. However, no matter how much I would like to see that, I don't think that is the best course. Still, a Star trek-style relaunch has a certain appeal.

    "I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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    Therise
    Master of Realmslore

    1272 Posts

    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  05:58:41  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Markustay

    So have we all agreed that a complete relaunch of FR is something we wouldn't want?


    (psst... don't show Markus the poll results, it'll just make him sad.)

    Female, 40-year DM of a homebrew-evolved 1E Realms, including a few added tidbits of 2E and 3E lore; played originally in AD&D, then in Rolemaster. Be a DM for your kids and grandkids, gaming is excellent for families!
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    Diffan
    Great Reader

    USA
    4147 Posts

    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  06:19:42  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Therise

    quote:
    Originally posted by Markustay

    So have we all agreed that a complete relaunch of FR is something we wouldn't want?


    (psst... don't show Markus the poll results, it'll just make him sad.)




    Yet, 92 votes are hardly a good accounting of people here at CK, which membership is 6,252. That's a whopping 1.5% of members here. Another reason why polls are just interesting conversation starters with little validity.

    @ Markustay: I don't think there has to be a specific time "set" for the products at all. That's the idea behind support ALL eras of play. The book doesn't start anywhere in time of FR. It just IS a collection of ideas, stories, lore, mechanics, and details about the overview of the Forgotten Realms. It'll detail places, and those places will have descriptions of all different times. It'll have organizations and how those organizations have worked throughout FR's history up until a certain point. I'd like to see the capping date somewhere in the 1480's, but that's just me.

    4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

    "If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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    Old Man Harpell
    Senior Scribe

    USA
    486 Posts

    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  08:18:45  Show Profile Send Old Man Harpell a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    Or, if People REALLY wanted an alternate timeline, then the best possible solution would be to put out an article detailing what "might" have changed IF the Spellplague dind't happen. It would cover the major events for the next 25 years until 1400 DR. This, however, is the Alternate portion that allows those not comfortable with the Spellplague a window into something more interesting and more to their liking. It could be played out like GHotR or a time-table or each serious even being more detailed:

  • Tyr foils Cyrics plot, marries Tymora and makes Helm his best man.

  • Mystra is only wounded in her assassination, yet the wound is sever enough that her control over the weave is severly limited. She can now only control how strong spells can get, not shut off spellcasters ability completly

  • Abier doesn't collide with Toril and the lands of Maztica, Unther, Mulhorandi, The Vilhon Reach, Halruua are saved.

  • Etc....

    Yet these are the events that are alternate, these are events that might have occured but nothing is really compiled on them, it's left up as a "window" for you to decide what happens further.



    This is not a bad suggestion at all, save I would take it a step further (or rather, the initial step would be larger).

    Namely, a 'small' (the size of the 4th Edition FRPG) book, possibly larger, but with the caveat that "This is it." This tome has world maps, a rewritten timeline, and makes references to what's different in this world from the other. Bear with me, here. Since this is all academic, anyways, this is merely an exercise.

    It wouldn't happen this way, I'd wager, but let's say Wizbro takes a page from JJ Abrams' book. This new future that's supposedly 'all better'...well, not so much. Let's put in our 'Spock' figure - since we have heard almost nada about her lately, I'm dropping Liriel Baenre onto the hot seat.

    "It all seemed obvious...use the ancient Imaskari portal that they'd built in violation of Mystryl's ban, and go back and fix everything. Well...we 'fixed' it, all right. Our actions when we arrived in the 'past' ignited an anti-Cyricist crusade once Mystra's clergy understood what we were saying...and that we spoke the truth."

    Liriel then goes on to detail what's different. Like Spock, she (and a meager handful of companions) are the only ones who know the truth - that although things are seemingly 'better', they may have only swapped one set of evils for another. While the Realms is now intact geographically, we can now go into what year it is, and what changes are made.

    *Abeir and Toril will likely still brush against each other, as that was not something that hinged on Mystra's death and the resulting effects. But this time, nothing is misplaced, and Returned Abeir lands in open ocean.

    *Mulhorand and Unther are still there, but High Imaskar, taking advantage of their distraction, has risen nontheless...and the Mulhorandi must contend with occupied Unther on one hand and the hostile Imaskari on the other. There are slight differences where the planets lightly brushed each other, resulting in pockets of dragonborn and genasi, but nowhere near what originally happened.

    *The events in Lady Penitent never happen. Forewarned is forearmed, and the Masked Lady sees to it that Lolth's clergy have no opportunity to get anywhere near her or her favored servants.

    *As a result of the crusade and the resulting war, the Zhentarim emerge stronger than ever. They rebuild the Keep and the Citadel of the Raven, and start casting their nets across the continent.

    *Some things never come to pass. No Abolethic Sovereignty, no spellscars, and so forth. We all have a good idea what falls in this category.

    *Some things happen regardless - Neverwinter still falls to ruin, as the catalyst was, again, nothing relating to the murder of Mystra (and thus, NWCS takes only a nip and tuck here and there to be fully viable). Some things just can't be prevented.

    And so on.

    Now we come to the 'This is it' part. The 'rebooted lore' is named something relating to how the guidebook is done. DDI articles are called Liriel's Journal (or whatever), as she details how this new future (which may not even be as far along as the one she left) looks. And this gives Wizbro the opportunity to put up, for almost nothing, these articles on their site as simple pages or PDF-only material.

    And at the end of the year, throw all this stuff into a book along the lines of Best of Dragon or whatever, along with tips on how to incorporate 'official' timeline material (which is still being printed, unless Wizbro decided it's cheaper to just make it ALL online material) into the rebooted world. This insures the original timeline will not be abandoned in favor of the new and vice-versa.

    Wizbro has a huge opportunity here. If not something along these lines, then to produce some fresh ideas that will work. I am very doubtful that they will, but the opportunity is there.
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    Apex
    Learned Scribe

    USA
    229 Posts

    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  14:42:33  Show Profile  Visit Apex's Homepage Send Apex a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jakk

    quote:
    Originally posted by Apex


    A few more thoughts on the reboot. It is likely that WoTC/Hasbro have a decent guess on how many Shattered Realms fans are out there based on sales of the campaign setting (and likely discounting the initial sales when it first came out) and the few supplements that have come out since. They can easily compare this to 3.5 sales to get an idea of how much actual business they lost in the transition. My guess is (based on the early announcement of 5E) that sales pale in comparison to previous editions. If this is true, the a reboot (of some sort) makes a lot of sense, as you would desire to get your old customers back and if they greatly outnumber your current customers, you really wouldn't care if you lost some of the current ones (and in reality some would make the switch back anyways). This really all comes down to dollars (or at least it should anyways), and if WoTC thinks they can make more cash off of the 1st/2E grognards (who likely have more disposable income as a group), then that is the route they should take as a business.



    I would agree on the theory, but until Wizards fesses up and tells us just how many copies were sold of the 4e FR books, we don't have anything to go by, unless we can get sales figures from the entire retail sector, which I needn't say is a heckuva lot tougher to do. And if there is a reboot, I don't want it any earlier than 1373, to preserve as much existing lore as possible; I'm not crazy about the death of Khelben, but it was done well, so I'll live with it; everything that followed was anathema to the Realms for me, imho. I would rewind the timeline to the end of Kythorn, 1375... it was after that point that we started killing off gods and wizards and more gods and ... you get the idea. Anyway, I'll shut up here; I was starting to get into specifics, and I don't want to do that... again. I've flogged that dead horse enough already, and I'll just be happy if they give us a way to decide whether to keep or toss the Spellplague and remain within canon either way... and I'm not talking about setting our campaigns in the past, either.

    Thanks for the kind words, Diffan.

    Re: the Star Trek reboot: I never saw it; I don't get out to movies much any more, the rental industry is effectively dead where I live, and it wasn't one that I decided I needed to own - and no, I don't have Netflix or any other form of television service; I have my books (well, about half of them, anyway; hopefully this will improve soon), my computer and Internet connection, and my HT system with 27" HD computer monitor; all I need. But most of my friends saw it (all sci-fi fans like myself) and they all thought it was well done; maybe I'm in a bad sample zone.



    Well, going by Amazon sales ranks, the 4E FRCS is 20,000 spots behind the 3rd edition FRCS.
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    Artemas Entreri
    Great Reader

    USA
    3119 Posts

    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  15:09:28  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Apex

    quote:
    Originally posted by Jakk

    quote:
    Originally posted by Apex


    A few more thoughts on the reboot. It is likely that WoTC/Hasbro have a decent guess on how many Shattered Realms fans are out there based on sales of the campaign setting (and likely discounting the initial sales when it first came out) and the few supplements that have come out since. They can easily compare this to 3.5 sales to get an idea of how much actual business they lost in the transition. My guess is (based on the early announcement of 5E) that sales pale in comparison to previous editions. If this is true, the a reboot (of some sort) makes a lot of sense, as you would desire to get your old customers back and if they greatly outnumber your current customers, you really wouldn't care if you lost some of the current ones (and in reality some would make the switch back anyways). This really all comes down to dollars (or at least it should anyways), and if WoTC thinks they can make more cash off of the 1st/2E grognards (who likely have more disposable income as a group), then that is the route they should take as a business.



    I would agree on the theory, but until Wizards fesses up and tells us just how many copies were sold of the 4e FR books, we don't have anything to go by, unless we can get sales figures from the entire retail sector, which I needn't say is a heckuva lot tougher to do. And if there is a reboot, I don't want it any earlier than 1373, to preserve as much existing lore as possible; I'm not crazy about the death of Khelben, but it was done well, so I'll live with it; everything that followed was anathema to the Realms for me, imho. I would rewind the timeline to the end of Kythorn, 1375... it was after that point that we started killing off gods and wizards and more gods and ... you get the idea. Anyway, I'll shut up here; I was starting to get into specifics, and I don't want to do that... again. I've flogged that dead horse enough already, and I'll just be happy if they give us a way to decide whether to keep or toss the Spellplague and remain within canon either way... and I'm not talking about setting our campaigns in the past, either.

    Thanks for the kind words, Diffan.

    Re: the Star Trek reboot: I never saw it; I don't get out to movies much any more, the rental industry is effectively dead where I live, and it wasn't one that I decided I needed to own - and no, I don't have Netflix or any other form of television service; I have my books (well, about half of them, anyway; hopefully this will improve soon), my computer and Internet connection, and my HT system with 27" HD computer monitor; all I need. But most of my friends saw it (all sci-fi fans like myself) and they all thought it was well done; maybe I'm in a bad sample zone.



    Well, going by Amazon sales ranks, the 4E FRCS is 20,000 spots behind the 3rd edition FRCS.



    How many total units for each?

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    Diffan
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  15:45:16  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    It's really not a fare comparison. Material bought by the public isn't any sort of indication of popularity. For one, lets be reminded that 3E FR products numbered....what over 20? By comparison, 4E FR products number.....4 (not including the Menzo book this year). So just by those numbers, it doesn't showcase popularity as I've purchased "less" 4E stuff than 3E stuff because there hasn't been that much stuff out to begin with.

    Also, one thing that also gets overlooked is DDI. I mean, if someone is going to buy a FR products in 4E, it's probably for the lore contained in addition to the Rules, but for those just looking for the rules contained, there isn't any need to buy the book due to the DDI Compendium and Character Builder. Take those aspects away, and I have a pretty good feeling book sales (overall) would increase.

    4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

    "If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

    Edited by - Diffan on 26 Jan 2012 15:46:06
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    Tyrant
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  16:34:08  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    If we're going to throw around Amazon sales ranks, the current Drizzt book (Neverwinter Wood, ranked #4,184) is 58,000 ranks higher than the 3rd edition book. The one coming out later this year (Charon's Claw, ranked #33,155) is 29,000 ranks higher. The one that came out 2 years ago (Gauntlgrym, ranked #50,966) is over 10,000 ranks higher. I'm not going to go through every Drizzt related product but a few others also outrank the 3rd Edition FRCS. So, I guess Drizzt wins? 4E Drizzt at that. And those are only the numbers for the hardback copies. Richard Lee Byers next book (The Masked Witches, ranked #32,714) isn't out yet and it out ranks the 3EFRCS by 30,000 ranks. Do the novels win now?

    All of these numbers were as of 1130 AM Eastern Time on 1/26/12 in the event any of this is disputed down the road when these numbers change, as they surely will.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
    -The Sith Code

    Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest
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    Apex
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  16:39:49  Show Profile  Visit Apex's Homepage Send Apex a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Tyrant

    If we're going to throw around Amazon sales ranks, the current Drizzt book (Neverwinter Wood, ranked #4,184) is 58,000 ranks higher than the 3rd edition book. The one coming out later this year (Charon's Claw, ranked #33,155) is 29,000 ranks higher. The one that came out 2 years ago (Gauntlgrym, ranked #50,966) is over 10,000 ranks higher. I'm not going to go through every Drizzt related product but a few others also outrank the 3rd Edition FRCS. So, I guess Drizzt wins? 4E Drizzt at that. And those are only the numbers for the hardback copies. Richard Lee Byers next book (The Masked Witches, ranked #32,714) isn't out yet and it out ranks the 3EFRCS by 30,000 ranks. Do the novels win now?

    All of these numbers were as of 1130 AM Eastern Time on 1/26/12 in the event any of this is disputed down the road when these numbers change, as they surely will.



    Seriously Tyrant, give up the novel fetish. WoTC is making the 5E game, not 5E novels. And last I checked, this scroll is about the 5E game/Realms.

    Also note, the sales ranks are current, not cumulative. In other words, one would expect to see newer Drizzt novels outselling the old ones, since people already bought/read the old ones. What is sad is that the 3rd edition realms campaign setting is STILL vastly outselling the 4E one.
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    Tyrant
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  17:14:12  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Apex

    quote:
    Originally posted by Tyrant

    If we're going to throw around Amazon sales ranks, the current Drizzt book (Neverwinter Wood, ranked #4,184) is 58,000 ranks higher than the 3rd edition book. The one coming out later this year (Charon's Claw, ranked #33,155) is 29,000 ranks higher. The one that came out 2 years ago (Gauntlgrym, ranked #50,966) is over 10,000 ranks higher. I'm not going to go through every Drizzt related product but a few others also outrank the 3rd Edition FRCS. So, I guess Drizzt wins? 4E Drizzt at that. And those are only the numbers for the hardback copies. Richard Lee Byers next book (The Masked Witches, ranked #32,714) isn't out yet and it out ranks the 3EFRCS by 30,000 ranks. Do the novels win now?

    All of these numbers were as of 1130 AM Eastern Time on 1/26/12 in the event any of this is disputed down the road when these numbers change, as they surely will.



    Seriously Tyrant, give up the novel fetish.

    I take it you don't like having it pointed out that the novels do outsell the RPG via a ranking you yourself brought up in the first place.
    quote:
    WoTC is making the 5E game, not 5E novels. And last I checked, this scroll is about the 5E game/Realms.

    I am relativly certain that the new books will still have the WotC logo and still be written by people hired by WotC so I am not sure what you are trying to say here. As for this scroll and the Realms, we're long past seperating the novels from the Realms. A proposed reboot would likely effect the novels so I really don't know why you think they shouldn't have a part in this discussion. If the bulk of the money the IP generates is in novel sales (a hypothetical, to be clear), then they clearly have a place in the discussion if not the highest place.
    quote:
    Also note, the sales ranks are current, not cumulative. In other words, one would expect to see newer Drizzt novels outselling the old ones, since people already bought/read the old ones. What is sad is that the 3rd edition realms campaign setting is STILL vastly outselling the 4E one.


    I said nothing about new Drizzt books outselling the old. I was pointing out how the ranks, which you brought up, show that the Drizzt books rank higher than either campaign guide by a considerable margin. If you don't like the data you shouldn't have brought it up. I believe we are still waiting on you to explain what those ranks mean in terms of raw numbers.

    Edit to add: If they are current and not cumulative, does it really tell us anything beyond the one book outselling the other for whatever is defined as "current"? Was there a sale on one or the other at some point during "current"? How long exactly is "current"? Is this a trend that can be traced back any real distance? Your emphasis on "still" tells me that you think so, but you don't really show how you came up with that based on current sales. And how do those ranks translate into real numbers? Without knowing that, how can you say that it "vastly" outsells the other? Is there really anything useful in that information aside from a rank that supports your position but apparently isn't worth mentioning that it very clearly supports mine many times over?

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
    -The Sith Code

    Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest

    Edited by - Tyrant on 26 Jan 2012 18:25:53
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    Wooly Rupert
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  19:35:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    quote:
    Originally posted by Therise

    quote:
    Originally posted by Markustay

    So have we all agreed that a complete relaunch of FR is something we wouldn't want?


    (psst... don't show Markus the poll results, it'll just make him sad.)




    Yet, 92 votes are hardly a good accounting of people here at CK, which membership is 6,252. That's a whopping 1.5% of members here. Another reason why polls are just interesting conversation starters with little validity.


    The number of votes compared to total membership is not an accurate comparison. We have many, many scribes who have signed up and never posted, or who signed up and only posted a handful of times. We have many scribes who racked up impressive post counts and then moved on, like SiriusBlack, Dargoth, and Bookwyrm. And between those two extremes, there's a lot of other inactive scribes.

    On top of that, the total number of scribes includes spammers and trolls who have since been banned -- which, as some observed a few months ago, included several accounts for one person who created several accounts in just a few days, sometimes 3 a day, each time he was banned.

    If you counted people who posted an average of once a week, I'd say that only 10% of our total membership could be considered active. That's likely a generous guesstimate; I'd estimate that only 5% of our members are active.

    So those 92 votes are closer to 14%-29% of our active membership. And that's not a bad number, even on the low end.

    Candlekeep Forums Moderator

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    Markustay
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  21:14:34  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    By the same token, asking active scribes here isn't a very good indication of what the majority of folks want.

    For instance, if I went on a Star Wars fansite, and made a poll asking what's the 'best' Scify franchise - SW, ST, Battlestar, etc... I doubt I would get very accurate results. Online polls are going to be biased base upon whatever site the poll is on, and who the most active participants are.

    I could also skew those results all by myself if I wanted to - would you like to see me? (and yes, I can alter my IP address at will). Ergo, one persistent poster can change everything (just look at some of the lemons that have won American Idol - 12 year old girls with cellphones have done that show in).

    So NO, I haven't bothered looking at the results - I've been following multiple discussions. I would be surprised if the majority of people actually wanted a start-over, ST-style reboot.

    However, I would gladly accept one.

    "I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


    Edited by - Markustay on 26 Jan 2012 23:01:01
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    Diffan
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  21:53:35  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    And I doubt WotC is going to go strictly from sales. They know they "messed up" and want to pull in fans from pre-Spellplague yet there is also the lesson of not P.O. your current fan-base. Alternate time lines (IMO) will keep people in those respective 'camps'. And we don't need more camps for the Realms. What we need is more unity and I feel it's only accomplished by producing things ALL Realms fans want. Lets leave the more major "fixing" to Authors, who often provide a better medium for such changes. Sourcebooks often can't convey the type of corrections that we, Realms fans, want....need to be addressed.


    4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

    "If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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    Old Man Harpell
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  22:30:02  Show Profile Send Old Man Harpell a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    And I doubt WotC is going to go strictly from sales. They know they "messed up" and want to pull in fans from pre-Spellplague yet there is also the lesson of not P.O. your current fan-base. Alternate time lines (IMO) will keep people in those respective 'camps'. And we don't need more camps for the Realms. What we need is more unity and I feel it's only accomplished by producing things ALL Realms fans want. Lets leave the more major "fixing" to Authors, who often provide a better medium for such changes. Sourcebooks often can't convey the type of corrections that we, Realms fans, want....need to be addressed.



    I agree with that. If they don't fix the damage, all the sourcebooks in the world won't matter a hill of beans. I'll be running a campaign in, say, 1356 DR Halruaa, and there will always be, in the back of my mind, "Someday, this is all going to be so much wasteland, because some professor didn't know -CENSORED- about the Realms."

    This is the main reason the voices for a split timeline have risen in the first place - because no matter what you do in earlier edition, some -CENSORED- is still going to have had Cyric murder Mystra (again!), some -CENSORED- is going to have directed Lisa Smedman to deliberately kill off some of the most popular deities, and some of the more interesting (in addition to some of the least-used) spots in Faerun are going to be thoroughly laid to waste. That thought will always, always be there. It is a frustrating and depressing sensation.

    So if they aren't going to give us a timeline where these atrocities don't occur, what are they going to do about it? That is the big bugaboo for people like me. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Wizbro has demonstrated they don't know Item One about the Forgotten Realms.

    They made some hideous mistakes. And it's the Brian James, the Eric Scott de Bies, and so on, that have shown they have what's needed to fix it, so Wizbro needs to turn it over to them and keep its grubby hands off the Realms, lest they cause further damage.

    The further away they have taken it from Ed's vision, the more it has devolved. Before 4th Edition, it was like a ball on an uneven floor...and you could still identify it, even if you didn't exactly like the way it was rolling.

    In 2008, the ball rolled off the floor and over the side of a gaping chasm. We lost sight of it because Wizbro lost sight of it. Time for them to climb into the chasm and retrieve the ball, then give the ball to people who understand what the rules of using the ball are, because they sure didn't, and I'm very dubious as to whether they've actually learned.
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    Apex
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    Posted - 26 Jan 2012 :  22:56:09  Show Profile  Visit Apex's Homepage Send Apex a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Diffan

    And I doubt WotC is going to go strictly from sales. They know they "messed up" and want to pull in fans from pre-Spellplague yet there is also the lesson of not P.O. your current fan-base. Alternate time lines (IMO) will keep people in those respective 'camps'. And we don't need more camps for the Realms. What we need is more unity and I feel it's only accomplished by producing things ALL Realms fans want. Lets leave the more major "fixing" to Authors, who often provide a better medium for such changes. Sourcebooks often can't convey the type of corrections that we, Realms fans, want....need to be addressed.





    Once again though, the problem is that many of those in my "camp" simply do not and will not accept the shattered realms as the Realms at all. It is simply another campaign world that stole heavily from the world I loved. The only way they are getting people like me back is to reboot/off alternate timelines (and i am guessing they know it).

    As for the amazon sales ranks, the only thing that matters at all is the raw rank. The fact that an out of print old edition of FRCS is even ranked anywhere near the currently promoted in print edition shows just how poorly the 4E Shattered Realms are doing. And please get off the novels, Drizzt novels sell no matter what. Bob could write a book about Drizzt in Victorian England going after Jack the Ripper (who turns out to be Entreri) and it would sell. What matters is that the Shattered Realms is losing (no matter by how much) to an out of print unsupported old edition of the Forgotten Realms.
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    Tyrant
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    Posted - 27 Jan 2012 :  00:12:06  Show Profile  Visit Tyrant's Homepage Send Tyrant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
    quote:
    Originally posted by Apex
    As for the amazon sales ranks, the only thing that matters at all is the raw rank. The fact that an out of print old edition of FRCS is even ranked anywhere near the currently promoted in print edition shows just how poorly the 4E Shattered Realms are doing.

    Why don't you walk us through how it, at this moment with no accounting for any sales prior to this moment apparently (or whatever constitutes "current), absolutely must mean that one has done better than the other. Or, how me pointing out that several novels are ranked quite a bit higher on the metric you chose is apparently meaningless. Do we know that the older one wasn't on sale? Do we know that a large number of new fans that came onboard with 4E and have already bought 4E books didn't decide to buy some older books? And if 3E was so much more popular, who is buying it right now? Wouldn't they stand an excellent chance of already owning the book if they are a fan? I know I don't tend to become a fan of something until after I own it. We have no idea what the relative or actual sales numbers actually are. We have no idea if the people buying the books are fans of 4E (or 1E or 2E for that matter) and are buying this other book to see what's what. You are choosing to attribute the scenario that best accomodates your argument without saying why that has to be the case as opposed to any number of other possibilities. So, please, explain what you are getting at and how.

    As an example of why current sales can be completely misleading when trying to determine overall success, the latest Underworld movie made more at the box office than Star Wars did this last weekend. To say it is the more successful is to completely ignore that Star Wars has the second highest inflation adjusted box office of all time. Now, I already know that you are going to point out that SW wasn't actually a possible choice this last weekend whereas both books are presently available and that's fair. It's also why I chose SW. Next month The Phantom Menace will be out in theaters again. It could make no money at all and still have higher overall sales than just about anything it is likely to go up against because it already made tremendous amounts of money. It is highly unlikely that any movie being released against the 3D TPM will be anywhere near as overall successful as TPM (which stands as the 7th highest non adjusted domestic gross and 21st highest adjusted gross). Unless you have actual sales numbers (that hopefully stretch beyond the immediate past) that we can compare, what's the point?

    Edit to add: To be crystal clear, I am not directly comparing 4E anything to SW anything. Clearly 4E D&D hasn't met whatever expectations were set down by the corporate overlords. That much is not in doubt. I am saying that we need to quit making bold assumptions of sales figures when we don't have them. If we had them, I have to believe that they would've materialized in one of these discussions by now. I honestly wouldn't be at all surprised if 3E material outsold 4E. I think it is highly likely. What I don't know, or assume to know, is by how much one outsold the other up to this point or what level of crossover occured between fans (3E fans who stuck around into 4E). I also don't assume that everyone who bought 3E FR material that decided not to buy 4E FR material absolutely had to have made that choice based on the Spellplague and that if that is made to go away that they will all come back like nothing happened.
    quote:
    And please get off the novels, Drizzt novels sell no matter what. Bob could write a book about Drizzt in Victorian England going after Jack the Ripper (who turns out to be Entreri) and it would sell. What matters is that the Shattered Realms is losing (no matter by how much) to an out of print unsupported old edition of the Forgotten Realms.

    Why should I? If the novels beat the RPG that badly then they should be given primary consideration. That's basic math, which many here seem to favor in their arguments. Your point is based entirely on what is happening "right now" in Amazon sales and "right now" Drizzt is smoking both books, as is The Masked Witches. While Ed's more recent books are being outsold by the 4E book. I personally think Ed's books are better, but numbers don't lie.

    As for winning and losing, I will ask again, is this a trend that stretches back over a serious length of time or not? Either way, what exactly do those rankings mean in raw numbers? Why don't the novels, a number of which clearly seem to be doing better by that metric, not matter again? Beyond being able to say "right now this book is selling more than this book" what does this information actually mean? Not what you want it to mean.

    The Amazon ratings are worthless for a big picture.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
    -The Sith Code

    Teenage Sith zombies, Tulkh thought-how in the moons of Bogden had it all started? Every so often, the universe must just get bored and decide to really cut loose. -Star Wars: Red Harvest

    Edited by - Tyrant on 27 Jan 2012 00:23:45
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