On Gamma World, Fortune Cards, and Maybe Ravenloft (CCG elements in my RPG feedback, not a rant)...

361 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hey WotC.

So, recently I have noticed that you have attempted to implement an influx of CCG elements into the RPGs you are releasing. I have some feedback of this, and not all of it is negative. Let me start by saying that I hate CCG elements in my RPGs. My post is written from that perspective. If WotC starts to include too much of a CCG element in its RPGs it will lose me as a customer. The rest of my post is going to go over one product that I will not be purchasing (Gamma World), and one product that I believe is smartly implemented, and that doesn't turn me off of D&D despite being a CCG element (fortune cards). I want to give you feedback so that you can, hopefully, better understand what does and does not turn off some of your customers.

One product you are releasing has already included too much of a CCG element in it for me to consider purchasing it. I am specifically talking about Gamma World. I would have LOVED to purchase Gamma World. Then I found out that it will be distributing mutations (and maybe items too?) via randomized booster packs that contain a rarity system. Since mutations are a key part of Gamma World, that means that I cannot ignore that aspect of the game. What is more, if  I would want to purchase extra splat material (in the form of mutations) for the game I would be forced to do so by engaging in the experience of purchasing collectible randomized booster packs. To me, this is totally unacceptable; a facet of the rules that I cannot reasonably ignore, and that I can only fully engage in if I am willing to engage in the experience of buying CCG booster packs, will turn me off a product.

You are also, however, releasing fortune cards. I wanted to congratulate you on finding a way to include a CCG element to D&D without turning me off the brand. I also wanted to explain why I percieve a difference. The mechanics of fortune cards are fully optional. The rules behind fortune cards are not found in any of the PHB rule books. The "fortune" mechanic is not like a classes powers, magic items, or some other mechanic that can not be reasonably excluded from the game. It is an extremely modular element that individual groups can choose to engage in or not, as they see fit. This makes it easy for this CCG element to coexist with D&D without turning me off the brand.

WotC, if you are looking for a way to market a CCG element to your RPGs without turning away potential customers who have sensibilities similar to mine, fortune cards are the way to go. Keep rules related to the cards out of your RPG books. Make the cards a modular and optional element that can be plugged into an RPG game at the discretion of the group playing the game.

Which brings me onto the topic of the Ravenloft game you have said you plan on releasing. First of all, thank you SOOO much for making a 4e Ravenloft RPG! Ravenloft rocks. Second of all, please don't include a "mandatory" CCG element ala Gamma World! Yes, I realize you are not trying to market the booster packs of Gamma World as mandatory. Someone is bound to reply to this post by saying, "you can play with just the boxed set; you only need to buy new booster packs if you want to expand your collection." While technically true, that claim is disingenuous. All of us like to expand our RPG collections. If we didn't, this wouldn't be a profitable industry. Buying a game with the knowledge that you won't be able to expand your collection (because you are not willing to engage in a CCG booster pack buying experience) while other players will (because they will be willing to engage in a CCG booster pack buying experience) is exactly what turns me off of RPGs that include CCG elements in them. The only way to avoid that sensation is by making the CCG elements of an RPG you are producing completely modular, and self contained within the purchase of the booster packs themselves. The fortune mechanic does not exist in D&D 4e unless you buy fortune cards. They are modular, and easy to ignore if that sort of thing (or rather that sort of distribution model) is not your cup of tea. If you want to implement some sort of CCG element to your Ravenloft RPG, please do so via this mechanic.

Which brings me to my fear. My fear is that you will implement a CCG element into Ravenloft via fear, madness, and dark gift cards. Don't get me wrong, using cards for fear, madness, and dark gifts is a really smart idea! You have a deck of fear cards, a deck of madness cards, and a deck of dark gift cards. Any time a player commits an evil action you give them a dark gift cards. A player that earns a certain number of dark gift cards becomes an NPC. Any time an event happens in game that causes fear or madness you hand a player a fear or madness card (which inflicts some negative effect). By this means you manage to capture the random quality of fear, madness, and dark gifts from 2e (and 3e) Ravenloft. But if you make splat material available only via randomized booster packs, you make it so that consumers who would like to own a complete set of all the "mandatory" Ravenloft material must engage in a CCG booster pack buying experience. (And I say mandatory, because lets face it, madness, fear, and dark gifts, are not a facet of Ravenloft that can be reasonably ignored). This would be a huge turn off to me. I would gladly buy packs of non-randomized cards. But removing my ability to collect an entire set of Ravenloft's "mandatory" rules without engaging in a randomized purchase model will really upset me.

So anyways, that is my 2 cents, and my consumer feedback. Toodles, have a nice day, and good gaming! I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with.

Dave
I'm not gonna confute any part of your argument because while I may not agree with it completely it's well written and reasonable and such feedback is always precious.
But there's a couple of things I suggest you to consider:

- remember that the marketing of Ravenloft is still quite up in the air. We got that it's a setting but it's also its own game, however that works. There's a chance (a solid one if I can) that the setting will feature things you won't be able or forced to use when using it as a 4e tool, and things you won't really need or use when using it as a standalone product.
I'm sort of inclined to think that the "CCG" business will be part of the non-4th edition component of the game. I wouldn't be surprised if the Shadowfell box covered most of the bases in terms of mechanics, traps, monsters and hazards, and the Ravenloft game itself was a more freeform RPG with dynamics for playing all the undead races listed in a way that's not closely related to proper D&D, and cards played a big role in that department ("I'm playing a werewolf and collecting cards for that goal") while 4th edition players could still use all the fluff material and maybe got a splatbook with stats for Darklords and similar things.
Remember Ravenloft is supposed to be something "more" (as in, having external mechanics) than simply a D&D setting. The CCG part may be tied to that part of the package.

- even if the cards are related to the D&D part of the game... how do you see that happening? How many cards can they develop? How many gifts and things they can keep and keep balanced? Why would players want a deck for things the DM may or may not allow or hang out?
I feel like we're putting the cart in front of the horses here. On one thing you're right, RPGs and CCGs don't mix well - and I trust WotC knows better than anyone else.
Interested in reading about a Dark Sun 4e game? Here's the blog of our current campaign. My homebrew Dark Sun material: - the Lord of Blades, a melee oriented Kaisharga/Dead Lord
Unfortunately, this is how things go like in the gaming industry-

Boss (who got his order from a higher boss): "Hey, Employee, we need you to fit X, Y and Z in prodyuct T. We need to keep selling T in order to stay in business now that times are really hard. So T has to be repeatable and consistent. We've tried option 1 before, but it doesn't sell as well as product W that uses option 2. We want you to implement option 2 with product T so that it includes X, Y and Z"

Now I used letters to illustrate different products. Notice (I know this sounds stupid) but product T and product W are different. However, that's not stopping the people at the top from seeing that Option 2 sells better (even if it is more suited for a particular product type).

Perfect example. Player Handbook Heroes minis didn't do as well. They felt it was because there was no rarity system and non-blind packaging. Behold the next mini line being released. Rarity is restored. There is now a collectable element. They hope to push more units this way. Granted this was all super linear and very generalized, but it goes down something like that.

- remember that the marketing of Ravenloft is still quite up in the air. We got that it's a setting but it's also its own game, however that works. There's a chance (a solid one if I can) that the setting will feature things you won't be able or forced to use when using it as a 4e tool, and things you won't really need or use when using it as a standalone product.



I know its up in the air. That is why I am making this post. I am hoping to have (what I consider to be) a positive effect.

I'm sort of inclined to think that the "CCG" business will be part of the non-4th edition component of the game. I wouldn't be surprised if the Shadowfell box covered most of the bases in terms of mechanics, traps, monsters and hazards, and the Ravenloft game itself was a more freeform RPG with dynamics for playing all the undead races listed in a way that's not closely related to proper D&D, and cards played a big role in that department ("I'm playing a werewolf and collecting cards for that goal") while 4th edition players could still use all the fluff material and maybe got a splatbook with stats for Darklords and similar things.
Remember Ravenloft is supposed to be something "more" (as in, having external mechanics) than simply a D&D setting. The CCG part may be tied to that part of the package.



I expect the promised ghost, werewolf, and vampire, to work with the regular 4e rules. If they don't I will be fairly upset. I don't need to buy Ravenloft just for fluff. I have my old Ravenloft books. I expect it to have both updated fluff and 4e mechanics akin to any other campaign setting. That includes some combination of new races, classes, class builds, feats, and the like. I expect that material to be compatible with the rest of 4e. I expect that material to not be marketed in a CCG format. Marketing the new classes/races in CCG format would turn me off enough for me not to purchase the product. (If the madness, fear, and dark gift facets are marketed in a CCG format I will be very upset, and I wont buy any booster, but I will probably, not for sure, still buy the product. So, I think your suggestion sounds even WORSE than my actual fears.)

- even if the cards are related to the D&D part of the game... how do you see that happening? How many cards can they develop? How many gifts and things they can keep and keep balanced? Why would players want a deck for things the DM may or may not allow or hang out?
I feel like we're putting the cart in front of the horses here. On one thing you're right, RPGs and CCGs don't mix well - and I trust WotC knows better than anyone else.



What I fear I might see happening is something similar to Gamma World. You will get a small starting deck of madness, fear, and dark gift cards with the Ravenloft boxed set. They will then create more such cards. But if you want to get the new cards you will have to buy randomized booster sets (that will often sell you the same cards over and over again instead of the new material you actually want). And that will REALLY upset me. I don't want to be sold an integral part of the setting via a CCG distribution model.
Unfortunately, this is how things go like in the gaming industry-

Boss (who got his order from a higher boss): "Hey, Employee, we need you to fit X, Y and Z in prodyuct T. We need to keep selling T in order to stay in business now that times are really hard. So T has to be repeatable and consistent. We've tried option 1 before, but it doesn't sell as well as product W that uses option 2. We want you to implement option 2 with product T so that it includes X, Y and Z"

Now I used letters to illustrate different products. Notice (I know this sounds stupid) but product T and product W are different. However, that's not stopping the people at the top from seeing that Option 2 sells better (even if it is more suited for a particular product type).

Perfect example. Player Handbook Heroes minis didn't do as well. They felt it was because there was no rarity system and non-blind packaging. Behold the next mini line being released. Rarity is restored. There is now a collectible element. They hope to push more units this way. Granted this was all super linear and very generalized, but it goes down something like that.



Yea, I know. But at the same time, when they see enough potential customers get upset about something they listen. They are already going to try and fit X, Y, and Z into product T (Gamma World). If that doesn't do well (or as well as they would hope) they will reconsider X, Y, and Z. We see this happening right now with the essentials line of books. That line is explicitly trying to fix a large number of complaints people have had about the 4e line of books. So here I am giving my customer feedback. Their marketing tactic with Gamma World has turned me off enough that I won't be purchasing that product. I don't have any interest in the Fortune Cards, but their marketing tactic integrates itself in a way that doesn't turn me off the rest of the D&D line. I would really appreciate it, if they do plan to add some sort of CCG element to Ravenloft, that they add it in a manner that will not turn me off the product. That is all...
I like the idea of using cards as a randomization element in Gamma World, at least at chargen.  Random mutations have always been a cool halmark of Gamma World.   Sure, they're arbitrary and unfair, but if you get a sucky character, it dies and you roll a new one.    But, I /hate/ the idea of using collectible cards in that role.  If I buy a game, I want the whole game.  If there are suplements, I want to be able to buy them.  I don't want to have to go to my local game store and 'break' booster packs for me, or chase 'rare' cards on ebay so I can get a complete game.  

Similarly, the idea of a 'player deck' is lame.  If I'm running a game, I'm going to control what's available to the players.  I'm not going to let some nutjob with a deck of all Gamma Eye and Black Ray Pistol cards waltz in and vape everything.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

That is pretty much how I feel Tony. That is why I won't be buying Gamma World. The fortune cards don't seem so bad though. They seem so modular, it is almost like they are not a part of the game unless you choose to make them a part of the game. People who like them can buy them. I can easily ignore them without detracting from my RPG experience. I just hope that Ravenloft avoids steping into Gamma World's pitfalls.
Its a well-written letter but we know that WotC employees aren't active on most of these boards. I would suggest copying it into an email and sending it to customer service so they can (hopefully) forward it to the appropriate department.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I found out about this thread on the Piazza, but I felt like commenting on the subject here as well. I completely agree with Cyber-Dave's well written post on this subject.

When I sit down at a gaming table as a player, I expect to have equal chances of rolling up a good character as everyone else. If one player who has choked up alot of money for cards will end up getting a better character because of that, this just strikes me as unfair. Back in the 2e days, each member of our gaming group bought different supplements so that together as a group we would have as many sourcebooks as possible, but we never considered only allowing the guy who owned the Fighter's Handbook to pick a Fighter's Kit for instance. That seems to be sort of the idea with this concept.

What our group probably would have ended up doing would be to pile up all our cards so that everyone could draw a card from anyone's deck, but that would defeat the purpose of making them collectable wouldn't it? Or would it be so that groups who could only afford a few booster packs won't be able to have a Holy Avenger in their game, because they don't know what it does? It all sounds very confusing to me. Dave Arneson was the first to introduce a sort of Fate Cards in his D&D game in 1974, but that was a very different concept.


-Havard
What about me and other peeps like me guys?
I like the boosters system. I like that I can break some boosters at the beginning of the session an have some new and unxpected game effects. 
Right now WotC is doing wonbderful job, caterting to both parties. You want a game without random cards? Buy boxed set and throw away the booster. I want my boosters - I will buy boxed set AND boosters. 
But you somehow think that your opinion is superior to mine and instead of happily buying things that suit you and let me buy things that suit me, you start all that "Bad WotC - stop making CCG for RPG?"
Who are you to spoil my fun? I want those boosters. I like that idea. Mind your boxed sets and books and allow me to break my boosters and hunt for rares and so on.
And just for the record - I'm not a teenage player who grew on MtG. I'm DMing since 2nd edition and still see no probems with CCG elements injected in my games.
What about me and other peeps like me guys?
I like the boosters system. I like that I can break some boosters at the beginning of the session an have some new and unxpected game effects. 
Right now WotC is doing wonbderful job, caterting to both parties. You want a game without random cards? Buy boxed set and throw away the booster. I want my boosters - I will buy boxed set AND boosters. 
But you somehow think that your opinion is superior to mine and instead of happily buying things that suit you and let me buy things that suit me, you start all that "Bad WotC - stop making CCG for RPG?"
Who are you to spoil my fun? I want those boosters. I like that idea. Mind your boxed sets and books and allow me to break my boosters and hunt for rares and so on.
And just for the record - I'm not a teenage player who grew on MtG. I'm DMing since 2nd edition and still see no probems with CCG elements injected in my games.


Baseball cards sell complete sets without preventing a collector's market.  I don't see why a similar system wouldn't work with CCG elements for RPGs.  That would allow you to have your fun and allows others to get a complete set if they want.  The problem with buying just the boxed set is that mutations are a very important feature of gamma world.  I want to be able to collect them all but don't want to have to hunt down rares.  Like Cyber-Dave said I can easily ignore the Fortune cards in D&D but GW needs the mutations.

Identical Games

D&D Published World foums at The Piazza (Dark Sun, Mystara, Spelljammer, Planescape, and more); Core Coliseum; D&D Material including my Master/Expert DM Competition entries

I know that it was announced that Gamma World would have random boosters introduced with it, but it's going to be released in 2 months, and I haven't seen any evidence that the random boosters will be released. If someone's got a link, cough it up.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick


The problem with buying just the boxed set is that mutations are a very important feature of gamma world.  I want to be able to collect them all but don't want to have to hunt down rares.  Like Cyber-Dave said I can easily ignore the Fortune cards in D&D but GW needs the mutations.



You'll have your 40 mutations (and 40 techs) in the 1st boxed set. And more in the aditional sets. And I'm quite sure that as with MtG in a week after boosters are released a file with complete text all of the cards (so called spoiler) will appear somewhere on the Internet. So you'll have your fun. Let me have mine.
I don't want to buy a complete set. I want to buy a couple of boosters, break them out with my players and go "Wow! Look at this! OMG I hope I gonna get this in today game." The booster make all the fun in this case. 
You'll have your 40 mutations (and 40 techs) in the 1st boxed set. And more in the aditional sets. And I'm quite sure that as with MtG in a week after boosters are released a file with complete text all of the cards (so called spoiler) will appear somewhere on the Internet. So you'll have your fun. Let me have mine.
I don't want to buy a complete set. I want to buy a couple of boosters, break them out with my players and go "Wow! Look at this! OMG I hope I gonna get this in today game." The booster make all the fun in this case. 


How is having a complete set different than downloading the complete text online?  You don't have to buy the complete set just like I don't have to buy the boosters.  We both have fun and WotC gets paid to produce more products.  If I just download the text online WotC doesn't make as much money and may decide not to continue the product line.

Identical Games

D&D Published World foums at The Piazza (Dark Sun, Mystara, Spelljammer, Planescape, and more); Core Coliseum; D&D Material including my Master/Expert DM Competition entries

What about me and other peeps like me guys?
I like the boosters system. I like that I can break some boosters at the beginning of the session an have some new and unxpected game effects. 
Right now WotC is doing wonbderful job, caterting to both parties. You want a game without random cards? Buy boxed set and throw away the booster. I want my boosters - I will buy boxed set AND boosters. 
But you somehow think that your opinion is superior to mine and instead of happily buying things that suit you and let me buy things that suit me, you start all that "Bad WotC - stop making CCG for RPG?"
Who are you to spoil my fun? I want those boosters. I like that idea. Mind your boxed sets and books and allow me to break my boosters and hunt for rares and so on.
And just for the record - I'm not a teenage player who grew on MtG. I'm DMing since 2nd edition and still see no probems with CCG elements injected in my games.



No, WotC is not doing a wonderful job catering to both parties. WotC's "wonderful job" on Gamma World is going to cause me to boycott that product line (even though I would have loved to purchase Gamma World). If I get really unlucky, it may cause me to boycott Ravenloft as well. That is not a wonderful job catering to both parties.

I wrote down exactly the sensation that turns me off purchasing an RPG with a CCG component to it:

Yes, I realize you are not trying to market the booster packs of Gamma World as mandatory. Someone is bound to reply to this post by saying, "you can play with just the boxed set; you only need to buy new booster packs if you want to expand your collection." While technically true, that claim is disingenuous. All of us like to expand our RPG collections. If we didn't, this wouldn't be a profitable industry. Buying a game with the knowledge that you won't be able to expand your collection (because you are not willing to engage in a CCG booster pack buying experience) while other players will (because they will be willing to engage in a CCG booster pack buying experience) is exactly what turns me off of RPGs that include CCG elements in them. The only way to avoid that sensation is by making the CCG elements of an RPG you are producing completely modular, and self contained within the purchase of the booster packs themselves.



You can not buy Gamma World and "throw away the boosters." The mutation mechanic is too integral to that game.

WotC IS doing a wonderful job with the fortune cards. They are modular. I don't have to be inundated to their existence if I don't want to. In order to avoid being inundated by their existence I don't have to avoid purchasing D&D products. Or at least, so it seems right now.

So yes, I would like to be able to happily buy the things that suit me, and leave you to buy the things that suit you. In order to be able to do that I need WotC not to release any CCG element attached to core rulebooks. Any CCG element they release must be modular and self contained within that CCG element.

Alternatively, as I noted in another thread, they can release books full of text that contain ALL of the information in them (such as a power book full of mutations, say, or some such), and then release randomized booster packs that are to be used as a play aid and not as the sole method of distributing the game's rules. That too would not turn me off. I can then collect a complete set of the games rules, via book form, and all of us can choose to buy or not buy play aids as we see fit (as we do with miniatures).
I know that it was announced that Gamma World would have random boosters introduced with it, but it's going to be released in 2 months, and I haven't seen any evidence that the random boosters will be released. If someone's got a link, cough it up.



Someone should be able to provide you with a link. I don't have the links saved, but WotC employees have released a lot of information about Gamma World. Some of it was in text form. Some of it was in podcast form. Almost all of it came from this site. Included in that information was the explicit statement that the mutation cards would have a rarity system, and that the booster packs would be randomized. There was also a suggestion, in one of the pod-casts, that players could create their own decks. I am sorry I can not provide you with the links myself.

The problem with buying just the boxed set is that mutations are a very important feature of gamma world.  I want to be able to collect them all but don't want to have to hunt down rares.  Like Cyber-Dave said I can easily ignore the Fortune cards in D&D but GW needs the mutations.



You'll have your 40 mutations (and 40 techs) in the 1st boxed set. And more in the aditional sets. And I'm quite sure that as with MtG in a week after boosters are released a file with complete text all of the cards (so called spoiler) will appear somewhere on the Internet. So you'll have your fun. Let me have mine.
I don't want to buy a complete set. I want to buy a couple of boosters, break them out with my players and go "Wow! Look at this! OMG I hope I gonna get this in today game." The booster make all the fun in this case. 



As I have said, I can not throw out the mutation decks for Gamma World. Their rules are too integrated into the game. I can not ignore the CCG aspect of the game, because it is released with the core rulebook. And I will not be able to purchase a text book (or non-randomized deck) from WotC in order to contain a complete set of the game's rules. This means I won't buy that product. I am just here letting WotC know why I won't buy that product. WotC can use my customer feedback as they will. They are not beholden to listen to me. The only way they will listen to me is if they decide that their marketing strategy with Gamma World has cost them money on that venture, because it has ostracized too many potential buyers. So who are you to tell us not to give WotC this information? If WotC is ostracizing customers, and causing certain products not to sell to certain customers due to this CCG element, who are you to try and silence those customers? Nobody here is stopping you from buying what you like. Nobody here is telling you what you can and can not like. Moreover, nobody here is even telling WotC to "never create a CCG element for any of your RPGs." We are just asking that the CCG element be released either as a) stand alone modular elements that can easily be ignored by those of us who hate CCG elements or b) as play aids whose content can also be bought in some non-randomized format.

And yes, I probably could find a scanned version of all the cards over the internet. But if that PdF is not released by WotC it will be stolen material. I make a point of not stealing books. I buy only legally released PdFs and text based products. So, stealing in order to gain a complete set of the game's rules is not an option.

How is having a complete set different than downloading the complete text online?  You don't have to buy the complete set just like I don't have to buy the boosters. We both have fun and WotC gets paid to produce more products. 




You mean if they make complete set AND boosters? Yep the would suit me all right, but I doubt it's gonna happen. There are two realistic ways it gonna be - they make boosters or they scrap that idea. So all your boycotting means trying to scrap the product I want to have.


 If I just download the text online WotC doesn't make as much money and may decide not to continue the product line.



This won't happen either. All MtG sets are online to download. Magic Set Editor allows you to make and print all the cards you need. But AFAIK MtG continues and it's not gonna be closed in nearest future.

As I have said, I can not throw out the mutation decks for Gamma World. Their rules are too integrated into the game.



The mutation decks are in the box. 40 non-random cards with mutation. So you don't have to throw them out.


And yes, I probably could find a scanned version of all the cards over the internet. But if that PdF is not released by WotC it will be stolen material. I make a point of not stealing books. I buy only legally released PdFs and text based products. So, stealing in order to gain a complete set of the game's rules is not an option.



I never said anything about stealing. Spoilers are completely legal. These are not pdfs. Usually a TXT or HTML page with all the basic info printed on the cards. That allows ppl who collect cards or build decks to know what to look for and in which set. It even makes the sales better. When I had my own shop/gaming club, we had all the MtG spoiler neatly printed out for our customers to use. But for you it's all the rules you need. Just as you've wanted.

How is having a complete set different than downloading the complete text online?  You don't have to buy the complete set just like I don't have to buy the boosters. We both have fun and WotC gets paid to produce more products. 




You mean if they make complete set AND boosters? Yep the would suit me all right, but I doubt it's gonna happen. There are two realistic ways it gonna be - they make boosters or they scrap that idea. So all your boycotting means trying to scrap the product I want to have.


 If I just download the text online WotC doesn't make as much money and may decide not to continue the product line.



This won't happen either. All MtG sets are online to download. Magic Set Editor allows you to make and print all the cards you need. But AFAIK MtG continues and it's gonna be closed in nearest future.



We have explicitly stated that we are ok with a combination of a non-randomized distribution and a randomized play aid. We have explicitly stated that we are ok with CCG elements that are released as separate, and modular, products that can optionally be added to the game. If these options are ok with you, great! If not, sorry. If our boycott results in WotC deciding that the idea should just be scrapped, sorry. But that doesn't mean we are trying to boycott just to try and cause WotC to scrap a product you want to have. What we are trying to do is cause WotC to either a) release the information in a non-randomized form as well as a randomized form or b) release the randomized information in a self contained, modular, and optional format. One way or another, neither the customer feedback, nor the boycott, will end. Our opinion matters too. By our opinion, Gamma World is wholly unacceptable. Fortune cards are wholly acceptable. And I REALLY hope Ravenloft will not follow a similar model.

As I have said, I can not throw out the mutation decks for Gamma World. Their rules are too integrated into the game.



The mutation decks are in the box. 40non-random cards with mutation. So you don't have to throw them out.



And, as I have noted in two posts already, the "simply use what comes in the box" option is not acceptable. The reasons why are listed above. That option is causing me to boycott gamma world. That option will cause me to boycott any other product WotC releases with that option. Only two options are acceptable: 1) fully modular, self contained, and optional booster splat material; 2) randomized play aids that can also be purchased in non-randomized format.


And yes, I probably could find a scanned version of all the cards over the internet. But if that PdF is not released by WotC it will be stolen material. I make a point of not stealing books. I buy only legally released PdFs and text based products. So, stealing in order to gain a complete set of the game's rules is not an option.



I never said anything about stealing. Spoilers are completely legal. These are not pdfs. Usually a TXT or HTML page with all the basic info printed on the cards. That allows ppl who collect cards or build decks to know what to look for and in which set. It even makes the sales better. When I had my own shop/gaming club, we had all the MtG spoiler neatly printed out for our customers to use. But for you it's all the rules you need. Just as you've wanted.



If it is released in HD quality, so that I can print them out for myself and make my own cards, fine. If not, no good. I don't mind paying for the information. They don't need to give it to me for free. But I expect to either be able to buy (in either print or digital form) a HD quality release of all of the rules in non-randomized format, or to have these CCG elements be modular, self contained, and optional. Anything short of one of these two options will (very likely) cause me to boycott a product line.

I know that it was announced that Gamma World would have random boosters introduced with it, but it's going to be released in 2 months, and I haven't seen any evidence that the random boosters will be released. If someone's got a link, cough it up.



Someone should be able to provide you with a link. I don't have the links saved, but WotC employees have released a lot of information about Gamma World. Some of it was in text form. Some of it was in podcast form. Almost all of it came from this site. Included in that information was the explicit statement that the mutation cards would have a rarity system, and that the booster packs would be randomized. There was also a suggestion, in one of the pod-casts, that players could create their own decks. I am sorry I can not provide you with the links myself.



Yeaaaah, when I asked about it, I already knew the answer. You seem a reasonable enough guy that prompting you to stop and think about the existence of the very thing you're unhappy with would lead to a Zen moment.

Besides vague pronouncements a long time ago, there is no proof that Gamma World is still planning to implement random boosters. You're getting angry over something that has probably will never exist.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Besides vague pronouncements a long time ago, there is no proof that Gamma World is still planning to implement random boosters. You're getting angry over something that has probably will never exist.


Wizards has a pdf about the product.  Troll and Toad thinks it will exist.  Do you need more links?

Identical Games

D&D Published World foums at The Piazza (Dark Sun, Mystara, Spelljammer, Planescape, and more); Core Coliseum; D&D Material including my Master/Expert DM Competition entries

My on cards in RPGs:

I am not dead-set against cards being optionally added to RPGs; I think they have many possibilities that could be fun and/or helpful.  In this role, cards can be great.  I look forward to seeing what the fortune cards are like and how they function in a game.

Other potentially useful cards (especially for DMs that have little time to prepare adventures) could include:
1) Random Encounter Cards.  Card text: X number of Role Y creatures of Level +/- Z, etc., etc. (with each card being a full encounter's worth of creatures).
2) Random Dungeon Cards.  Each card shows a picture of a dungeon chamber or coridoor, and this can be an alternate method of creating random dungeons, as mentioned in the back of the DMG.
3) Random Quest Cards.  Simple quests, like: bring back X number of item Y; escort NPC X through dangerous place Y; etc.  Admittedly, these quests are like those found in MMO's; but they can be a good place to start from for a DM that hasn't had time to prepare anything more detailed.
4) Condition Cards.  Simply, cards that (in addition to a small illustration) contain the mechanical effects of a condition.  You hand these cards to players whose characters are affected by these conditions, as an easy reference during combat, and get handed back to the DM when they make the save (or otherwise shrug off the condition).  Given that some conditions have been eratta'd, this could be a significant convenience if the conditions on the cards are consistent with the current eratta.

Where the inclusion of cards becomes an issue for me is when they do any of the following:
1) A rarity system is applied to the cards (cards are not produced in equal numbers within the same set).
2) The cards are only distributed through randomized boosters.  My reasoning is this: You can randomize purchased cards by shuffling the pile (if you like randomness); but you cannot de-randomize boosters before purchase (if you want to have a full set of the cards).
3) The cards include game material that belongs in the books (like class features/powers, feats, races, magic items, etc) and is the only source of that material.
4) The cards replace a basic component of them existing game (like drawing cards to make saves, skill checks, or attacks instead of rolling dice).

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I know that it was announced that Gamma World would have random boosters introduced with it, but it's going to be released in 2 months, and I haven't seen any evidence that the random boosters will be released. If someone's got a link, cough it up.



Someone should be able to provide you with a link. I don't have the links saved, but WotC employees have released a lot of information about Gamma World. Some of it was in text form. Some of it was in podcast form. Almost all of it came from this site. Included in that information was the explicit statement that the mutation cards would have a rarity system, and that the booster packs would be randomized. There was also a suggestion, in one of the pod-casts, that players could create their own decks. I am sorry I can not provide you with the links myself.



Besides vague pronouncements a long time ago, there is no proof that Gamma World is still planning to implement random boosters. You're getting angry over something that has probably will never exist.



There were no vague pronouncements. WotC developers stated "Gamma World booster packs will have a rarity system." This information was linked off an official WotC website. That is not vague. And now Dulsi has provided you with three advertisements for randomized booster packs of mutation (read: character power) cards. I am not angry. I am being reasonable. I am simply telling WotC about my purchasing habits, and what products turn me off or on. I am not even passing empirical judgments on these products, simply informing WotC how I feel about them, and how I plan to treat them as a result. Giving feedback to a company is not unreasonable, nor does it indicate that someone is angry. Ending your feedback post by wishing WotC well, and telling them that you are interested to see what they come up with in the future, is not unreasonable, nor does it indicate that someone is angry. My post is quite polite, level headed, calm, and dare I say pleasant. Like I said, I wish WotC well.
Oh, and guess what just got confirmed today: "Alpha Mutations are encounter powers which are drawn from a deck created by the Player, and usually revolve around one or both of the Characters particular themes. " Also, it has been confirmed that Alpha Mutation and Omega Tech decks are randomized. What is more, they do have a rarity system. Specifically, "It was also noted that the booster packs were numbered so that if a Player were to buy one of each, he would accumulate one of each of the 'common' cards available for the game.  Of course, each booster contains a random rare, and two random uncommon cards, so collectors wanting a complete set might have to do some trading or buy a lot of boosters to finish their collections." All this information is from this year's (2010) seminar on Gamma World at GenCon. So what were you saying again Alter_Boy?


I'm not a collector, but when I walk into my local shop to buy a brand new, just-released game, I expect to be able to buy the whole game with a decidedly finite number of purchases.  Preferably ONE.

I understand the joy some people take in CCGs.  I collected Star Wars cards when I was 12, I get it.  I don't have the time, inclination, enthusiasm or energy to ever do that sort of thing again, I just vaguely remember what it was like. 

But, seriously, Gamma World does not need to be used as a marketing ploy to push something else, /again/.  It's been used to promote d20 modern, Alternity, and the MSH system (the one with the annoying FEAT chart, if anyone remembers that).  (Plus, Metamorphosis Alpha was used with 'Amazing Engine').   Now it's going to be used to try to push CCGs on roleplayers?  Gamma World has gotten to just be about Gamma World in only 3 out of 7 editions, now.  That's just wrong.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Oh, and guess what just got confirmed today: "Alpha Mutations are encounter powers which are drawn from a deck created by the Player, and usually revolve around one or both of the Characters particular themes. " Also, it has been confirmed that Alpha Mutation and Omega Tech decks are randomized. What is more, they do have a rarity system. Specifically, "It was also noted that the booster packs were numbered so that if a Player were to buy one of each, he would accumulate one of each of the “common” cards available for the game.  Of course, each booster contains a random rare, and two random uncommon cards, so collectors wanting a complete set might have to do some trading or buy a lot of boosters to finish their collections." All this information is from this year's (2010) seminar on Gamma World at GenCon. So what were you saying again Alter_Boy?





That it would be nice to have people share information on the Internet for reasons other than to make me look dumb. :/

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

That it would be nice to have people share information on the Internet for reasons other than to make me look dumb. :/



It's easy to look dumb when you make authoritative statements on subjects you aren't fully educated about.  You didn't do the research.  It happens.  A lot of us don't have the time to research everything we say.  The easy answer to that however is speaking (or posting) with discretion.  At the very least, we can now speak from a more informed position as to what the cards will be like in GW.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.


That it would be nice to have people share information on the Internet for reasons other than to make me look dumb. :/



Posting just to make someone look dumb. Huh. You mean like when you asked me a question, I took you at your word and told you (truthfully) that I had not saved the links where the information could be found, but that offical sources had leaked all the information I gave from this website, and you replied by saying something like...

Yeaaaah, when I asked about it, I already knew the answer. You seem a reasonable enough guy that prompting you to stop and think about the existence of the very thing you're unhappy with would lead to a Zen moment.



...that?

I don't know. Maybe I really misread your tone. But to me, that reads like someone trying to sarcastically claim that I am not reasonable at all, and that I am claiming falsehoods and throwing a fit over remote possibilities. But I did do my research. I read many statements from developers. I formed my predictions about Gamma World on those statements. And with the new information released from GenCon this year, it would seem that all my predictions were correct. Otherwise, I simply told WotC how I feel about this move. I didn't scream. I didn't rant. I didn't insult. I just told them how I feel, and how their decisions are affecting my purchasing habits. I also told them that I worry about Ravenloft, because some of the information they have given me leads me to believe that it is a possibility that Ravenloft will also contain such a CCG mechanic. I haven't stated that it will. I haven't stated that they said it will. I stated that I worry, based on some of their rather vague statements, that it might. And after all that, I wished WotC (and all its employees) well, no matter what.

So I am sorry if "I made you look dumb." But, keeping everything in context, when you made empirical claims without data (all because you didn't want to believe me), and were fairly rude to me in the process (unless I really misread your tone), you should probably have expected it.

Anyways, I am sorry, and maybe we can now start simply being nice to each other.

The problem with buying just the boxed set is that mutations are a very important feature of gamma world.  I want to be able to collect them all but don't want to have to hunt down rares.  Like Cyber-Dave said I can easily ignore the Fortune cards in D&D but GW needs the mutations.



You'll have your 40 mutations (and 40 techs) in the 1st boxed set. And more in the aditional sets. And I'm quite sure that as with MtG in a week after boosters are released a file with complete text all of the cards (so called spoiler) will appear somewhere on the Internet. So you'll have your fun. Let me have mine.
I don't want to buy a complete set. I want to buy a couple of boosters, break them out with my players and go "Wow! Look at this! OMG I hope I gonna get this in today game." The booster make all the fun in this case. 



As I have said, I can not throw out the mutation decks for Gamma World. Their rules are too integrated into the game. I can not ignore the CCG aspect of the game, because it is released with the core rulebook. And I will not be able to purchase a text book (or non-randomized deck) from WotC in order to contain a complete set of the game's rules. This means I won't buy that product. I am just here letting WotC know why I won't buy that product. WotC can use my customer feedback as they will. They are not beholden to listen to me. The only way they will listen to me is if they decide that their marketing strategy with Gamma World has cost them money on that venture, because it has ostracized too many potential buyers. So who are you to tell us not to give WotC this information? If WotC is ostracizing customers, and causing certain products not to sell to certain customers due to this CCG element, who are you to try and silence those customers? Nobody here is stopping you from buying what you like. Nobody here is telling you what you can and can not like. Moreover, nobody here is even telling WotC to "never create a CCG element for any of your RPGs." We are just asking that the CCG element be released either as a) stand alone modular elements that can easily be ignored by those of us who hate CCG elements or b) as play aids whose content can also be bought in some non-randomized format.

And yes, I probably could find a scanned version of all the cards over the internet. But if that PdF is not released by WotC it will be stolen material. I make a point of not stealing books. I buy only legally released PdFs and text based products. So, stealing in order to gain a complete set of the game's rules is not an option.




I like you have a very rational hatred of CCG's, however the booster idea doesn't drive me insane.  Why?  I can always download a list of mutations from the internet and then set up a table that I can roll on to randomly decide the mutations, all without buying a single booster.

Would I rather there be no CCG aspect at all?  Obviously.  But can I make do with there being one?  Yes, yes I can.
Cool. You are more forgiving than I am. Like I said, Gamma World won't get purchased by me because of its CCG element. WotC has my consumer feedback.

P.S. There is no reason to assume that the list of mutations will be legally available on the internet.
1st I want to say (and no offenc ment cyber dave) but I have to 100% disagree with you... unfortonatly it is a disagreement of stlye and opion so argueing is dumb.  I am against  the one CCG elment you like (the random one that gets added to base D&D), inless it is something like "freak rain strom -2 all ranged attacks" I just don't see the point...

as for Gama and ravenloft... I love intergrated cards with boosters as long as you do not need to collect the all. (again yes I know you feel you will need to if it comes to that) I would love to once a week at my FLGS when i play my sat night game to pick up a 5$ pack of cards to add to my collection... and the week new ones come out I will most likely blow for 3-5 packs...

In fact My saterday night DM already ha all 3 GW boxes on pre order, and is planing on buying a whole box of each booster pack...



P.S. There is no reason to assume that the list of mutations will be legally available on the internet.



    what if there was? Would the compramise of "6 weeks after relase of the cards we will put up a free pdf of them for you" be anough to change your mind?

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

what if there was? Would the compramise of "6 weeks after relase of the cards we will put up a free pdf of them for you" be anough to change your mind?



The whole "6 weeks after release" bit is a major turn off. I certainly won't buy Gamma World until the cards are made available without a random distribution model. But I suppose, if all of the cards were made available in PDF format, the format was high quality enough that I could print out the cards for myself, and this format was regularly kept up to date with new releases, then yes. I still wouldn't buy a single booster pack. But when running games I could make decks of cards myself (instead of buying boosters to create decks), so I guess I would be ok with that.

Although, another issue I would need to consider is whether you need purchased cards at RPGA play events. Because, if so, that is another turn off. That would mean that I can only play Gamma World at home games (that allow self printed cards). So, Gamma World would be playable when I run it. But, the number of games I would be willing/could play at would be seriously diminished, which still makes the product a good deal less appealing.
I agree with you completely Dave that adding a CCG element to D&D is not the way to go. If putting a CCG element into D&D is the only way to keep it viable I fear for the entire line. Dave as was mentioned before I would resend your letter to the customer service department at wizards and it may get into the right hands.
I don't think anyone is saying it's the only way to keep D&D viable. Plus D&D has had cards of many different kinds for decades now. AD&D had Deck of Encounters 1 and 2, Deck of Magical Items, Monster Cards 1-4, Adventure Design Deck, Deck of Psionic Powers, Wizard Spell Cards, Priest Spell Cards and maybe some others. If not for WotC being the company who puts out Magic, I doubt many would be complaining about cards.

The only cards that WotC is putting out that I can see someone complaining about are the randomized boosters from Gamma World. But despite having the D&D logo and being made somewhat compatible with 4E rules, Gamma World is not D&D. The Fortune Cards are optional and the Despair Deck and Deck of Many Things are complete decks with no boosters that only apply to the products they come with. Even the GW boosters are optional since the game comes with its own set deck of mutation and tech cards. I'm going to be playing it with just those decks and not worry about the boosters. They're a bit pricey for me.
what if there was? Would the compramise of "6 weeks after relase of the cards we will put up a free pdf of them for you" be anough to change your mind?



The whole "6 weeks after release" bit is a major turn off. I certainly won't buy Gamma World until the cards are made available without a random distribution model. But I suppose, if all of the cards were made available in PDF format, the format was high quality enough that I could print out the cards for myself, and this format was regularly kept up to date with new releases, then yes. I still wouldn't buy a single booster pack. But when running games I could make decks of cards myself (instead of buying boosters to create decks), so I guess I would be ok with that.



As I do not play at RPGA events, I would be completely ok with it if WotC met all these conditions Dave cited.  Like Dave however, I also would never buy a single booster pack.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Me, I have noticed that WotC still has yet to mention adding a CCG element to D&D.
Gamma World is D&Dbased, but it's not D&D and frankly, there doesn't seem to be anything indicating mixing D&D with CCGs.
It all started with an assumption after a tweet about Ravenloft. It's silly.
Me, I have noticed that WotC still has yet to mention adding a CCG element to D&D.
Gamma World is D&Dbased, but it's not D&D and frankly, there doesn't seem to be anything indicating mixing D&D with CCGs.
It all started with an assumption after a tweet about Ravenloft. It's silly.



It's not so much assumption as it is speculation.  Gamma World and Fortune Cards reveal that WotC is actively trying to get boosters into common use by PnP gamers (in one case by working it into the meat of the game, and in another by making it an optional layer of gaming material).  The revelation that Ravenloft will have a physical element to it could very easily mean cards, though I am personally hoping for something less asinine.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Me, I have noticed that WotC still has yet to mention adding a CCG element to D&D.
Gamma World is D&Dbased, but it's not D&D and frankly, there doesn't seem to be anything indicating mixing D&D with CCGs.
It all started with an assumption after a tweet about Ravenloft. It's silly.



Actually, it has more to do with the fact that WotC has a history of using side games to test out new ideas for its main brands. 2e's Players Options tested out ideas for 3e (and someone told me that there was a sci-fi game WotC released that did the same, but I am not sure about the details of that claim). d20 Modern tested out ideas for 3.5e and Saga. Saga in turn tested out ideas for 4e. It should not come as a surprise when some of the elements of Gamma World later bleed into WotC's other brand name games. Indeed, we can already see randomized booster cards (in the form of fortune cards) being tested for D&D itself (though this particular product doesn't bother me much). There is a clear pattern of behavior here...
You completly miss the point. Even in your own list of stuff, every one of those decks are single purchase items. CCG's are not something I want to play.

CCG's have had their day. D&D is not a card game and if WotC thinks they can make it so, a good many people will not be buying their product. Hell for the most part I havent bought anything this year, because they cannot ever seem to edit anything properly.

WotC; if you continue to add CCG elements to my game system I'll go back to another edition. One you had nothing to do with.



And now you're missing the point. How are they making D&D into a card game? The only cards they're putting out for D&D that aren't single purchase items are the Fortune Cards, which are completely optional. You are not being forced to buy a booster pack of cards to play D&D. It sounds like you have something personal against CCGs and now see any type of cards as the same thing as Magic and Pokemon.
Sign In to post comments