Friday, December 12, 2008

Re: Robilar out of the ashes?

Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 23:33:07 +000
From: rjkuntz
Organization: Creations Unlimited
Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Robilar out of the ashes?

> Hello again.
> I have been following the recent Robilar thread with interest, as
> Rary the Traitor didn’t work for me either. Dek has very well summed
> up the Robilar-as-clone theory, and I agree that this would solve the
> problem of all of Otto and Tenser’s clones being killed in so short a
> time. However, both Otto and Tenser are alive and well in my version
> of Oerth, and can’t understand what all this fuss is about.

That’s a point. Gamers come in many forms and use the products as offered in different ways. What might seem of less concern to us is a concern to TSR for marketing reasons, and thus content must be balanced. As an example, modules are used in at least three general ways. There are others, but consider these from TSR’s eventual concern:

1) As offered. Use is consistent with the published guides.
2) As parts for creative use within the campaign (maps, monsters, spells, N-PCs, etc.). DMs extract what is needed by ignore the rest.
3) As extracts for other campaigns (FR, etc).


1. This is mainly one-off stuff or for the literal-minded, general gamers who do not seriously follow the campaign but like the material none-the-less. Collectors as opposed to serious gamers.

2. Mainstay. These are the types (like us) who have ignored the pattern as set forth and have thrust out on our own creative endeavors, as any good DM should. These purchasers usually desire more and better in from published offerings. This is doubly true now that GH has sustained itself after so many years and the creativity of this list is at its peak. This should be TSR’s main market thrust area, types such as us.

3. Overlap community. This is apparent in two ways, one outspoken, the other less obvious but there.

A. The Dragon’s editor, Dave Gross, has stated a desire for GH articles. However, his preference is for those that overlap into other game worlds that now exist, thus making them useable across a greater scale of Dragon’s readership. This does not allow for historical development and, for #2 above, much delineated treatments beyond the norm (spells, items, monsters, etc). This is more non-campaign specific, and I assume that this stated need would be assumed by TSR to work in reverse (folks using GH as a template would raid ideas from FR articles, etc.).

B. TSR’s announcement of published offerings of this as well. TOH and Return of the 8. These are easily one-off adventures which [Text missing]

TSR’s problem at resurrecting a setting(s) that have been so long in hiatus. By looking at the old modules one would not get the idea of how far Greyhawk has come after its initial death. Nor does The Dragon reflect this period of quality and quantity as well. Discussion groups of this sort have amassed great amounts of material which are overlooked from TSR’s point of view for possible expression within published form.

MY concern: This state of affairs—hiatus--> resurrection--> attempting to instill new ideas as garnered over the years from fan commitment to GH—will not properly entice “new blood” which is needed to expand the line, both in content and in form, for less offerings of the interesting sort will be published within this expanding scenario. Until TSR feels good about the GH market, simple offerings will be the staple and great concepts, like the Robilar one and many others, such as the Suel Barbarian Project, etc., will be marginalized. This is my opinion only, of course. Much might change once TSR relearns what the phrase “valued consumer” means.

Remedies: Write, Write, Write letters to Dragon and to Harold Johnson. Keep the pressure on them. And keep on enjoying what we do in between!


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