Are we going to be forced to buy each "module" separately? (i.e. what business model again?)

What is the business model for D&DN?  Is Wotc going to tell us that we can "mix and match" our own systems, only to find out that costs $50US per "module"?  And I'll have to buy all of them (at well over $150US) anyway just to run a minimally interesting game?

Isn't that basically the model of Magic the Gathering?

I'm feeling a little burned by the relatively quick succession of 3, 3.5 and 4.  I don't really want to spend another $150US on books that re-explain the same game, monsters and treasures.

Since game systems can't be copyrighted, why not just publish the core system as a PDF for free, including creation rules for at-will, encounter, daily powers, vancian and non-vancian magic, etc.  Then sell the settings as storylines that can be copyrighted (Greyhawk, Eberon, Dark Sun, etc.) as complete works including treasure and monsters?

I don't think they've announced anything on how they will be releasing stuff since it's early in the game.  I can imagine core books covering everything will happen, because people are used to that and support that style.  However, I can easily see a module style release too for those who know what style they want to support and don't want confusion at their table.  I favor both, but I am personally only interested in the 1e style module.  Who knows? 

I see your point on the money issue.  Not everybody can afford a ton of books.  I don't share the enthusiasm some have for 4e, but I feel for them right about now.  Didn't seem like it got a fair shot to me.

I think the concern with free pdf rules is that not everybody will buy campaign settings.  Lots of people make their own settings, so WotC wouldn't make money from that group.  I still think they need to get back to putting out pdf's of stuff for all editions and even POD and supporting all editions with DDI.  One advantage is it would probablu generate more money, and that seems to be a motivating factor these days.
My hope is that they are more sensible than to release each option seperately.

My guess is

Core box set - This will be the entry set for new players.  core rules only for both Players and DMs, some Dice plus other toys.

Player's Handbook - Core Rules for Players plus the initial array of Optional Moduals for Players

Dungeon Master's Guide - Core Rules for DMs plus the initial array of Optional Moduals for DMs


Down the Line

Tome of Magic - Lots of new Magic Options
Tome of Battle - Lots of new Melee Options
Unearthed Arcana - lots of new DM options
etc....


I just hope they don't rush things.  1 Hardcover book every 3 or 4 months I think would be fine.  Pumping out 1 or 2 Hardcover books every month is too expensive to keep up with and it drains the line way too quickly.

release the books slowly and use the extra time to Quality check things so that less Errata is needed.  (I don't want to have to print off 15 pages every month just to keep track of what's changed)
Pumping out 1 or 2 Hardcover books every month is too expensive to keep up with and it drains the line way too quickly.


While I agree, given some of the things I've read recently regarding (what might be) Hasbro's target numbers for a "successful" line, I really, really don't know if one book every 3-4 months is at all viable.  I would not be surprised to see another crowded and frantic release schedule as they try to make the game sufficiently profitable.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Since game systems can't be copyrighted, why not just publish the core system as a PDF for free, including creation rules for at-will, encounter, daily powers, vancian and non-vancian magic, etc.  Then sell the settings as storylines that can be copyrighted (Greyhawk, Eberon, Dark Sun, etc.) as complete works including treasure and monsters?



Game systems can be copyrighted. Hence the copyright in the beginning of each book. The issue with 3.x was the Open Gaming License which allows anyone to use the core rules in any way they want, which is why Pathfinder exists. They even credit WotC in the copyright information of the pathfinder core rulebook as the owner of the OGL v1.0a copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast. 4e lacks such a license, so it is not open to the risk of competition like Pathfinder. This seems to be to prevent another Pathfinder from popping up after DnD switches editions again. Wizards and Hasbro are being more tight fisted with their IP this time. This makes business sense. That being said, I doubt they would ever consent to a free release of the core rules with only settings and add ons being paid for. They would lose the revenue from new players starting out. As nice of an idea as free rules is, it just isn't feasible.
Since game systems can't be copyrighted, why not just publish the core system as a PDF for free, including creation rules for at-will, encounter, daily powers, vancian and non-vancian magic, etc.  Then sell the settings as storylines that can be copyrighted (Greyhawk, Eberon, Dark Sun, etc.) as complete works including treasure and monsters?



Game systems can be copyrighted. Hence the copyright in the beginning of each book. The issue with 3.x was the Open Gaming License which allows anyone to use the core rules in any way they want, which is why Pathfinder exists. They even credit WotC in the copyright information of the pathfinder core rulebook as the owner of the OGL v1.0a copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast. 4e lacks such a license, so it is not open to the risk of competition like Pathfinder. This seems to be to prevent another Pathfinder from popping up after DnD switches editions again. Wizards and Hasbro are being more tight fisted with their IP this time. This makes business sense. That being said, I doubt they would ever consent to a free release of the core rules with only settings and add ons being paid for. They would lose the revenue from new players starting out. As nice of an idea as free rules is, it just isn't feasible.



Actually I suggest you look up US Copyright Law.  Instructions (including game rules) can NOT be copyrighted.  This is why the GSL was such a failure.  It failed to provide any incentive beyond that which already exists in US copyright law.  Trademarks and ideas can be copyrighted (including the DnD logo and intellectual property).  Game systems are instructions which in general can NOT be copyrighted.  They CAN be patented under extraodinary circumstances (see Magic the Gathering).


-Polaris
This is why the GSL was such a failure.  It failed to provide any incentive beyond that which already exists in US copyright law.

What about the GSL do you consider a failure? It sparked a small industry of companies supporting 3e.

Pumping out 1 or 2 Hardcover books every month is too expensive to keep up with and it drains the line way too quickly.


While I agree, given some of the things I've read recently regarding (what might be) Hasbro's target numbers for a "successful" line, I really, really don't know if one book every 3-4 months is at all viable.  I would not be surprised to see another crowded and frantic release schedule as they try to make the game sufficiently profitable.



Yeah there is a disconnect on what is good for business and what is good for the consumer in this instance.  I as a consumer benefit from say maybe six books a year (better time for rules testing, more time to actually use each one, more lead in time on testing of the rules).  A business benifits from shoveling stuff out as fast as people are willing to buy (which leads to so called shovelware in my opinion).
This is why the GSL was such a failure.  It failed to provide any incentive beyond that which already exists in US copyright law.

What about the GSL do you consider a failure? It sparked a small industry of companies supporting 3e.




OGL (3rd ed) GSL (4ed), they are not the same thing.
Paying for modules is not a problem I see. After all, I bought a lot of splat-books for 4e, too. If 5e is good, I'll do the same again, happily. And you could choose to buy only the modules you want. Say if 5e has a core rulebook, and then an addon module for tactical combat, you could buy it for a more 4e-like experience. Or you could leave it be.
(I wouldn't prefer that, as I like the tactical combat aspect so much, that I need it for me personally in the base system, but that might not be true for everyone)


 Trademarks and ideas can be copyrighted (including the DnD logo and intellectual property).  


-Polaris



Trademarks and copyrights are two separate areas of protection. Not all trademarks can be subject to copyright protection, though some (such as those with graphical elements) can have both trademark and copyright protection. The two things function differently and provide different scopes of protection.

It is hard to get copyright protection for an 'idea.' Generally it is the given expression of an idea that is going to be subject to copyright protection. The idea itself, divorced from any particular expression of it, is hard to protect.

 
Depends on how you want to use the module.  Do you want to read it in a book or access it in a builder?
Since game systems can't be copyrighted, why not just publish the core system as a PDF for free, including creation rules for at-will, encounter, daily powers, vancian and non-vancian magic, etc.  Then sell the settings as storylines that can be copyrighted (Greyhawk, Eberon, Dark Sun, etc.) as complete works including treasure and monsters?



Game systems can be copyrighted. Hence the copyright in the beginning of each book. The issue with 3.x was the Open Gaming License which allows anyone to use the core rules in any way they want, which is why Pathfinder exists. They even credit WotC in the copyright information of the pathfinder core rulebook as the owner of the OGL v1.0a copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast. 4e lacks such a license, so it is not open to the risk of competition like Pathfinder. This seems to be to prevent another Pathfinder from popping up after DnD switches editions again. Wizards and Hasbro are being more tight fisted with their IP this time. This makes business sense. That being said, I doubt they would ever consent to a free release of the core rules with only settings and add ons being paid for. They would lose the revenue from new players starting out. As nice of an idea as free rules is, it just isn't feasible.



Actually I suggest you look up US Copyright Law.  Instructions (including game rules) can NOT be copyrighted.  This is why the GSL was such a failure.  It failed to provide any incentive beyond that which already exists in US copyright law.  Trademarks and ideas can be copyrighted (including the DnD logo and intellectual property).  Game systems are instructions which in general can NOT be copyrighted.  They CAN be patented under extraodinary circumstances (see Magic the Gathering).


-Polaris


Yes, the ideas of the instructions can't be copyrighted, but the specific text can. That's what I mean when I say game systems can be copyrighted. Yes, that leaves an way around such a copyright open. The suggestion of the U.S. copyright office is that a game submit their rules as a literary submission. Doing so will protect the text and pictures of a rulebook from plagarism. Yes, if someone rewrites the same rules in a different way it is not protected. However given the work it takes to create the wording and art of a rulebook, I still doubt WotC would put out the core rulebook for free.
Yes, but it's the TEXT and Art that is copyrighted on it's artistic merit and NOT the game system.  You may think I'm quibbling but it's actually a very important distinction.  As I said, it's why the GSL (not OGL) was such a failure.  It failed to give 3pps any more protection than existing copyright law already offered.

-Polaris
Getting away from the copyright thread drift, we have little information as to how "modules" will be included.  Right now, "module" just seems to mean "optional ruleset".  It appears some of them will be included in the corebooks, while some may be sold separately.  For example, alignment as a mechanic may be presented in the core rules, while there may be a supplement on adding gridded and strategic combat to the game.  Or vice versa.  It's really too early to say.


Actually I suggest you look up US Copyright Law.  Instructions (including game rules) can NOT be copyrighted.  This is why the GSL was such a failure.  It failed to provide any incentive beyond that which already exists in US copyright law.  Trademarks and ideas can be copyrighted (including the DnD logo and intellectual property).  Game systems are instructions which in general can NOT be copyrighted.  They CAN be patented under extraodinary circumstances (see Magic the Gathering).


-Polaris



You are right Polaris.  OSRIC is the proof.  1e and 2e were never OGL'd.
They will likely charge us for the modules.

If they're $50 for each module, they're better pretty high levels of awesomesauce in each book.

I'm hoping more for around $20 for the extras.
They will likely charge us for the modules.

If they're $50 for each module, they're better pretty high levels of awesomesauce in each book.

I'm hoping more for around $20 for the extras.


I expect them to go for the same price as the core books, so probably about $35.  Depending on the flavor you're going for, you may need one or more modules to make core DDN into core 1e, 2e, 3e, or 4e.

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 expect that Wotc will try to do what they tried to do with DnD in the 1990s.  It was called (then), the "Many Pans" theory.  The idea is that you make a module (often different and either incompatible or barely compatible with all other modules) for just about every thing under the sun.


Of course we all know just how well that worked in the 1990s......


-Polaris
As long as they are easy to fit together for my own customization, I am perfectly fine with dropping $200 for a solid core to play the game, however many books that may be.
I doubt a "module" would be one single rule. Rather, a list of options much like Unearthed Arcana,  but organized by theme.

For example, a Combat module. A Module for Spellcasters (with different methods - I.E. Incarnum, Shadow magic, True Name magic, Binding magic, Spell points, etc.) Perhaps a module on different environements. One on world building, (including NPC management).
Show
Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinon an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. (AD&D) is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek the use of imagination and creativity.... In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which an fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe or even as a reflection of midieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the later must search elsewhere. - Gary Gygax. 1e DMG.
However they do it you can expect to see several dozen books added by the time the next D&D next is announced. 

I believe the best we can hope for is that all of the core mechanics are included at release, although this might include four or five books rather than the usual three.

You would think if they want to attract all of the different play styles to buy their game then all of the different modules need to be available from the start. I mean who wants to wait six or seven months for grid combat rules, or a skills or feats module?