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FASA Games, Inc. • EDR Planned Products? - Page 4
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Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Tue May 21, 2013 11:49 pm
by brother
Zayven, what I only mentioned as an aside you have made the main point of your posts. I mentioned "Barsaive at War" because I knew that FASA had an original outline and I will never utilize anything put out by Living Room Games. I would say that the license is more than being kept alive, now that FASA is back in control. IMO, it would be nice to have FASA release "BaW" the way FASA originally intended.

We both desire new content. Barsaive is the main setting for Earthdawn which is why I made the points I did in my original post. I would really love to see the entire Province finally brought to life!

I will have to say I, for one, do not want to see a major overhaul in the game system. Have you tried Savage Worlds or Pathfinder? Perhaps that would give you the changes you seek? ED3 transitioned to EDR is fine by me. My concern is more new content, not republished material.

Generally, we are in agreement.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 6:12 am
by Mountainshadow
My guess would be that at this point almost all of us are starving for something really new. Ok, I'm quite sure we will see some rehashed new versions of old books as there still is much material rules-wise that needs to be updated to ED3R, but at the same time I have high hopes for some new books as well. Since RedBrick announced their last planned schedule for ED3 the longing for some of those titles threatens to overwhelm my patience - and I still hope that FASA will make most of them a reality witihn the comming months/years. Buying the same book under a new edition-label has turned stale and the hiatus since FASA took over hurts like hell.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:49 am
by zayven
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like I was jumping all over anyone over the Barsaive at War issue. It's just that I felt that the difference between the LRG version and the FASA outline (however complete it was) was something that the ED community has kind of blown out of proportion over the years due to dissatisfaction with LRG.

I almost mentioned Savage Worlds and Pathfinder in my last post because I don't think either one is a good fit for ED. While I'm tired of the existing rules system, I do want something that is specifically built to reflect the world of ED. It could be that I'm just getting old and cranky, but I'm weary of referencing the step chart (which appears on a single page of 3rd edition despite being the most important thing in the game) and juggling some of the more obtuse aspects of the rules. While a complete redesign is probably an extreme measure, it does seem like the game would benefit from a semi-radical "facelift" like the one Shadowrun got when it went from 3rd edition to 4th edition.

I agree that more setting information would be great. While it was cool that Redbrick did books for Cathay, I had mixed feelings about the idea of developing the world outside of Barsaive. It seemed strange to focus on Cathay when so much of Barsaive remained unexplored (a box set of the Jerris/Wastes/Poison Forest area would have been amazing). On the other hand, I guess it's good that much of Barsaive remains available for GMs to play with. I pretty much built my own version of Travar from scratch based on the few pages devoted to it in the first edition books, something I wouldn't have done if there had been a sourcebook for it.

As far as the future of the property goes, I guess it will depend on how FASA Games develops as a company. When this all started, I was under the impression that it was going to be the new face of FASA Corporation and would be in the same class as established publishers like Catalyst, Fantasy Flight, and Mongoose, all of which boast full-time staffs of developers, writers, and artists. What I've seen so far, however, doesn't appear all that different from the way Redbrick operated, which featured a small, but very dedicated, part-time staff of volunteers.

I'm sorry if I sound overly critical because I'm not trying to be. I'm just genuinely unclear about the amount of developmental resources that FASA Games can bring to the table at this point and in the future. When I got into gaming, FASA Corp was one of the big kids on the block in the RPG industry so I'm a bit nostalgic for those days. I realize that the industry is a lot different now and it probably isn't realistic for FASA Games to reach that same level, but I would like to have a better idea of what the long-term plan looks like. Is this going to be Redbrick all over again where we get lots of recycled material and occasional new material or can we expect something more ambitious that really pushes the property forward?

Again, I know that economics are going to dictate everything and that ED is probably not profitable enough to sustain a full-time developmental staff, but knowing what's on the horizon might help all of us to adjust our expectations accordingly.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 12:43 pm
by zayven
By the way, I realize that I'm being a bit unfair by bringing up questions like this. FASA Games has only been around for a little over a year; it certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt and the chance to develop as a company. Sorry if I came across too negatively. That wasn't my intention. I'm still excited about what the future may hold, but I just hope that there's more to it than reprints.

In my ED fandom, I also tend to forget that there's stuff going on with the other properties that FASA Games publishes as well. It's not fair for me to judge the whole company based on what's happening with one game line.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 3:40 pm
by brother
Zayven, I by no means felt like you were jumping on anyone. It just seemed like you focused on something I meant to be minor.

I too had the idea that with FASA taking back the reins we would see a return to former glory. And as Mountainshadow stated "the hiatus" by FASA has been more than a little frustrating.

You stated that it was not fair of you to judge the entire company based upon the goings on of one game line. I will say there was some head scratching on my part regarding 1879. While I find the concept intriguing, I found it confusing that FASA attempted to bust out of the gates with this idea when they have three excellent, developed and proven rpg titles on hand. IMO, Earthdawn being the crown jewel. Why not a "kickstart" for one of the existing lines? (preferably Earthdawn)

I am not requesting a publishing itinerary or anything. Just, perhaps a chat with someone officially FASA that would whet our appetites with what might be in the future.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 6:43 am
by galafrone
i have abandoned any hope to see anything new to be honest.
the resurrection with pathfinder and savage world went blurt quickly (i hoped to see at least the haven/parlainth modules..)
no hint of the reprint of the last books, no hint at all at the new content

so, i have started to write myself new stuff, that will be more painstaking, but at least it will progress my 2 campaigns a lot faster than hoping in new stuff from fasa..

my projects are

1) the area north/east of barsaive (lake/swamp area, populated by human settlements that looks like old Rus)
2) shosara
3) the area north of barsaive (so to complete the picture from barsaive up to shosara

also in progress are works on the east (nomads incoming) and i will develop further some other areas previously in the Theran empire books (turkey, the med coast and germany)

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 4:55 pm
by Nahor
Zayven, you and I always seem to be in sync in terms of our thoughts, lol.

I really am hoping for NEW product soon, not revised, re-released, newly formatted stuff that I basically have two times over now. I want to see the metaplot move forward and I wnat to see new sourcebooks dedicated to areas and political factions that were only touched on in old source books. I'd like to see new epic campaign books too.

Most of all I'd like to just see a taste of what's to come, either as a road map, or even as blog updates about the writing/development process. The blog posts by slay are good and all but the connection to the community (ED community) in total has been . . . crap. I'm not gonna expand on it further b/c I think I already have on the ED Compendium board, and I'm sorry if my bluntness offends anyone. I've been playing the game and partaking in its soap opera grandiosity (death and resurrection) for nearly 15 years. But my faith (and my willingness to spend my money on it) in it is waining.

The game turns 20 this year and we haven't even heard of any celebration except a nibble at GenCon I believe. While I won't be able to attend, you can bet your butt I'd love access to some sort of amazo-book if that was in the works, ala SR's 20th anniversary book. So please do make whatever you do available to the masses.

I hope new material is released soon and in a flood b/c we've been waiting and have only received a trickle.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 10:19 pm
by zayven
I was hoping for a 20th anniversary book as well. I hate to keep bringing up Shadowrun, but that line's 20th anniversary edition rulebook was hands down the best looking product in its history. While I'm looking forward to Fifth Edition for various reasons, a part of me is definitely disappointed that my 20th anniversary edition won't be getting used anymore (although that does mean no more worrying about any players getting their greasy fingerprints all over it!).

What really worries me about the constant recycling of material is that most ED players seem to have embraced a lot of the inherent flaws with the game system. It's not like first edition ED was on the cutting edge of rpg design even when it came out. It had some good ideas and did a lot of interesting things, but it had a host of problems too. Maybe this is a byproduct of looking at the same text and artwork for over fifteen years, but the game just feels old to me when I play it now. A lot has happened in rpg design since ED's release so it would make sense to take some of those design conventions into consideration when trying to make the game appeal to a new generation of players. I'm not saying that EVERYTHING is awful and needs to be thrown out, but I would like to see us stop looking at the ED ruleset like it's some holy relic that must be preserved at all costs.

If I'm mistaken about this then someone please feel free to correct me, but it seems like the ED community is made up primarily of people that have been playing the game since first edition. While I realize that some people enjoy being in such exclusive company and would prefer not to have (gasp!) newcomers flooding the ranks, it doesn't bode well for the long term health of the property. I think that offering versions of the game using the Savage Worlds and Pathfinder rules was a good idea (in principle) to address this lack of new blood, but we could spend a lot of time arguing about how well the idea was executed since some players perceived the books as being "quick 'n dirty" ports. Not having played them, I can't really offer an opinion on this. I don't care for Pathfinder in general, but I may eventually check out the Savage Worlds edition.

Maybe I would feel differently about this if I knew a bit more about FASA's plans for the future of the ED property. While they're obviously under no obligation to tell us anything, it would be nice to know if SOMETHING is going to happen other than another round of reprinted material. It's starting to get to the point where I don't quite understand what purpose it's serving to keep ED alive. If nothing new is going to happen with it, then just leave all the pdf versions up in the various online stores and have done with it. If people want all of the first edition modules converted over to 3rd or Revised Edition (like the recent Mists of Betrayal), then that's fine too, but at least let us know that this is all that's going to be done. In the absence of information, we're left with idiots like myself speculating on the future of ED and loudly making their personal wish lists known.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 5:34 am
by Crusader
Well, I think you strike a good point there Zayven. A lot of us complaining about the lack of fresh content are old-timers who have seen it all and own every book/box. But FASA is out to make money. What makes more money? A new splat book, or widening the audience/bringing in new customers? The reason why the move was made towards SW and Pathfinder is obvious; ED as a system is dying out, it didn't manage to compete in the market, it has become a niche product. Investing in new content for the niche vs taking the existing content and slapping it on D&D, err, I mean Pathfinder to cling to that product's success is from a profit-making point of view a lot smarter. That's why we probably won't see new content for a long, long time. It's not as viable as a product in itself as re-publishing existing content is. First FASA needs to bring in a big slew of new customers and bring new life in the Earthdawn community, before it becomes a strong enough product to invest in for new content.

Re: EDR Planned Products?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:54 am
by zayven
I think Crusader is right on the money. The problem is that this situation creates an ongoing "chicken or egg" problem. Would there be new content coming out if there were more players? Yeah, probably. But will there ever be more players without new content to draw them in? Probably not.

I would actually be fine with going "all in" with one of the alternate systems. If a 4th edition ED came out that was built on Savage Worlds, for instance, that's something I could get excited about provided that the book contained new artwork and text. It would be risky, but at least it would represent a clear direction. I think that other game publishers have shown that offering multiple rules sets for your game just ends up fracturing the player base (Chaosium's d20 dalliances, in particular, come to mind). A Pathfinder version of ED is aimed mostly at people who already play Pathfinder, not people who already play ED. If a new edition made a definitive break with the old system, it might be easier to build a marketing campaign that could rally both new and old players around it.

But as Crusader points out, ED is a niche game at this point in its life cycle. It's nice to imagine that a new edition could draw in a bunch of interest from new players, but I think it's safe to say that most of the "old guard" would freak out if it ditched everything and went the open license game system route. Still, other games have made similar switches and survived. The case study for this might be a game like Traveller, which has been around for years and gone through a multitude of rules systems. I'm not sure the comparison is apt, though, because Traveller may have a larger player base than ED ever did (not sure about this, to be honest).

It would be interesting to see how the size of the ED community compares to that of other games, actually. Having a standard of comparison might change the way we think about this issue.