What Is Really Annoying you about T$R??? (Was Re: Death to T$R)

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Jeffrey C. Isherwood

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Jun 15, 1994, 5:27:32 PM6/15/94
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<THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN TRIMED TO CONSERVE BANDWITH>

]:| T$R has become evil. In their senillity they are offering now to sell
]:| creativity and imagination to DM's and players alike. So here I proclaim

>>>So TSR is a company designed to make profits! SO WHAT! If you do not like
>>>the products produced by the company then do not buy them.

>THEN... gal...@leland.Stanford.EDU (Scott Compton) Said:
>Ok, let me try to be the mediator here before it gets out of hand again. ;)

I agreed with alot of what Scott had to say, yet felt the need to comment
on a few things... };->

The Big Question.... is: "Does TSR even care about what we're saying?"
This group, as with others on AOL and Genie, provides them with a huge chunk
of their customers. They could improve upon their products, and sell 10times
what they do now... if they thought to check out what their Customers are
saying about them.

Granted there is no reason that they should have to put up with all
the `Get a Life' posts... or the `You are All DevilWorshiper' posts (or the
`I've got a great new spell... 100th level'). There are alot of reasons
why I woldn't want to cruise thru this neighborhood if I were TSR... but
you take the Bad with the Good...

>mob...@MCS.COM (Robb Repp)
>Rob Repp, Manager, Digital Projects Group
>TSR, Inc.
>
>AOL: TSR Inc
>InterNet: tsr...@aol.com
>InterNet: mob...@mercury.mcs.com
>CompuServe: 76217,761
>GEnie: TSR.Online

Hey Rob... Any of your people interested in any of this stuff? :)

>1. We agree that many people feel that TSR infringes on creativity in
> general because some people get over-dependent on the stuff produced,
> thus diminishing one's own ability to create the stuff.

How does some people's use of TSR products, diminish one's own creativity?
If Bubba down the street insists on buying all their junk, fine, that
doesn't hurt me one bit... That's no reason to hate the company, it's not
their fault that Bubba has oatmeal for brains.

> There are many 'breeds' of role-players. Some are waiting to see what
> new things are coming out, while others spend hours on the weekends
> to create their own world, monsters, systems, etc.

I admit that I fall into both catagories. I do my best to design all my
own stuff, yet do to time (work, social commitments ect...) or a dry spell
(stress causes this mostly) I can't do it all. Many of my brainstorms get
filed away for `someday'. I also refuse to give TSR all my money (I'll
explain the main reason later... read on...)

>3. We know that the capitolistic system has its flaws and successes.
> As with all companies, reputation often means the life and death
> of a company, so if the public is expressing a bias against TSR,
> TSR should do something to assure the public that it is not dishonest,
> and out to slash creativity, etc., if that is what the problem is.
> The customer is ALWAYS right.

True, O'how true.... Capitalism is not perfect, and niether is TSR, they
are out to make a buck... that's what they do, they are a `profit earning
corporation' I do not begrudge them that. However, I do detest the way
they treat many of their customers. TSR is not `PLAYER FRIENDLY'... not
IMO at least. You used to be able to play this game for 15$. At least
when I started thats all I had to spend. I see so many new players join
up, and they are getting soaked. For what?

Shoddy workmanship. Many of the ideas behind the products are great, yet
when they contradict each other... even in the same module... are full of
misprints, and gramatical errors... When they FALL APART quicker that most
paper backs... when information is intentionaly left out of a publication,
so that a part II or other expansion can be put out at the same price...

Why did we need a complete Fighter, Ranger and Paladin handbook? Why not a
complete Warrior's Handbook? When will the Complete Illussionist, and then
Necromancer's Handbooks be out? Why not the Complete book of KITS? Or the
Complete Book Of Races? Why bleed us dry, one pint at a time?

I have 2 1st edt players handbooks (printed in 1978 and 1980), a DMG from
1980, Dieties and Demigods, FF, MMI, MMII that are all outlasting my 2edt
books. Why did they throw Quality Control out the window and go to the
cheap glue that falls apart (while raising the $ at the same time?) If
they'd had to raise the prices to make a better quality book, I'd have
bitched but liked it a sight more than what I've got now!

>5. Money can corrupt. This is a theme I've seen on the net now
> for years. Yes, many people/companies use their money for
> wrong purposes, just as governments do. ;) Those 'few'
> individuals that make the key choices (those in control)
> can be greedy or have some kind of political agenda. But
> every human is different. The individual makes the choices
> whether right or wrong. If TSR has made the wrong choices,
> it will catch up with them. Time will tell.

I agree, it seems that in the quest for the almighty Dollar... T$R has
lost sight of those of us that helped them get started... the ones that
still bought their products throught it all... and told people that we
weren't worshiping the devil, but having fun with our friends... it makes
me sad. I hope someone there pulls their head out of their ___ before they
trash their reputation.

I haven't purchased a T$R product other than an occasional Novel, or Dragon
and Dungeon magazine. I don't want to anymore. It's a waste.

>So what is the moral? If you like fantasy/science-fiction role-
>playing, you have choices: buy the products produced by companies
>or create your own. Either way, you should have having a fun
>time; isn't that what a game is all about?

Me and my friends have fun every weekend. I've taught almost 20 people to
play D&D in it's various incarnations, and introduced twice that to the
concept of gaming. I've argued with an entire church of people about this
game, and droped relationships because they wouldn't give me the time I
needed to let my imagination go fly with my friends. I create my own works
now, and even entertained hopes of joining T$R at one time, helping them
enrich the game and spread tales of adventures thru the generations... no
more. I share my dreams with my friends, and they enjoy it... and my
dreams don't have spelling errors, or fall apart.

What do you think?

Comments & Questions, Critisisms & Queries, Flames & FanMail answered quickly
and personally...
^ *'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'`-'* ^
| |YES!!! these opinions R mine! All MINE!!!! | |
| (*) |-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-..-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.| \^/ |
| _<">_ | SIR GEOFFREY ISHERWOOD KNIGHT OF TYR!! | _(#)_ |
o+o \ / \0 Knight of the Realm 0/ \ / (=)
0'\ ^ /\/ Defender of the Faith TpSmoFT (tm) \/\ ^ /`0
/_^_\ | Chaser of the Skirts | /_^_\
|| || | je...@TYR.SCNET.RL.AF.MIL | || ||
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Socrates1

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Jun 16, 1994, 8:24:04 PM6/16/94
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In article <1994Jun15....@news.rlcn.rl.af.mil>,

je...@lonexa.admin.rl.af.mil (Jeffrey C. Isherwood) writes:

>This group, as with others on AOL and Genie, provides them with a
huge
>chunk of their customers. They could improve upon their products,
and
>sell 10times what they do now... if they thought to check out what
their
>Customers are saying about them.

Ah, the glitter of unsubstantiated generalities. Define "huge." Most
of the gamers I know have no net access, and are neither on Genie or
AOL. If you are a college student, then your experience may well be
different than mine, but unless you are defining huge as somewhere
around 20%, then I doubt your claim. Any hard facts to back things
up?

Also-- 10 times what they are currently selling? TSR is selling a lot
of product already. I am very skeptical that improved quality control
would even double their sales, let alone cause them to reach the
level you suggest. Unless you can back up this sort of talk with
something in the way of cold hard logic, back off the rhetoric.

Andrew Monteiro

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Jun 16, 1994, 7:50:27 PM6/16/94
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Jeffrey C. Isherwood (je...@lonexa.admin.rl.af.mil) wrote:

: Why did we need a complete Fighter, Ranger and Paladin handbook? Why not a


: complete Warrior's Handbook? When will the Complete Illussionist, and then
: Necromancer's Handbooks be out? Why not the Complete book of KITS? Or the
: Complete Book Of Races? Why bleed us dry, one pint at a time?

Actually, I happen to like the handbooks. No, they are not
needed. Yes, they don't contain all that much that is new. Yes, you can
spend alot of money on them.

The reason I like them is that if you have a new player, handing
them a handbook after their first session to read is helpful. A new
player I introduced to role playing this past year greatly enjoyed
reading the thief's handbook. I told her not to worry about the rules,
numbers and stuff at first, but try to get an idea of what the class
could do. She found it interesting reading, and helpful for showing her
more of what she could do as a thief character.

Now admittedly, to most of us who've played for years, most of
the stuff in there we already knew, or could make up. But as they're
optional, just don't buy them. Be happy that there are people out there
who are learning more about ROLE playing, and how to be creative with
AD&D because of them.

Andy

WinningerR

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Jun 17, 1994, 3:21:01 AM6/17/94
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In article <2tqqf4$8...@search01.news.aol.com>, socr...@aol.com
(Socrates1) writes:

>but unless you are defining huge as somewhere around 20%, then I
doubt >your claim

Actually, if the portion of the D&D audience with regular net access
is as high as 1% I'd be amazed. D&D's audience is in the millions.

Steve Gilham

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Jun 17, 1994, 4:43:25 AM6/17/94
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Jeffrey C. Isherwood (je...@lonexa.admin.rl.af.mil) wrote:
[snip]

> Shoddy workmanship. Many of the ideas behind the products are great, yet
> when they contradict each other... even in the same module... are full of
> misprints, and gramatical errors... When they FALL APART quicker that most
> paper backs... when information is intentionaly left out of a publication,
> so that a part II or other expansion can be put out at the same price...

What *do* you do to your books? Apart from sticking transparent
plastic to the covers to avoid the usual scrapes and coffee stains,
I've done nothing to my 2nd ed. stuff, and that's survived several
years of play w/o deciduous pages. In fact, I'm perennially amazed
by the complaints of bad binding.

> Why did we need a complete Fighter, Ranger and Paladin handbook? Why not a
> complete Warrior's Handbook? When will the Complete Illussionist, and then
> Necromancer's Handbooks be out? Why not the Complete book of KITS? Or the
> Complete Book Of Races? Why bleed us dry, one pint at a time?

We probably didn't need them. TSR's bottom line, however, is
supported by selling to a market where nearly all those currently in the
hobby who want a product will buy it shortly after publication,
leaving only a slow trickle of sales a few months after publication.
Therefore they have to *create* the need for the new product.

[snip]


> I agree, it seems that in the quest for the almighty Dollar... T$R has
> lost sight of those of us that helped them get started... the ones that
> still bought their products throught it all... and told people that we
> weren't worshiping the devil, but having fun with our friends... it makes
> me sad. I hope someone there pulls their head out of their ___ before they
> trash their reputation.

In my experience, TSR hasn't had a good name with the fans since about
1978, starting with EGG's attack on house rules & other modifications
of the one true way, either via his column in the Dragon (16, 22 and
26 being the especially infamous issues), or by action against
competitors (e.g. the Arduin Grimoire, which in the late '70s was
probably the biggest selling non TSR game product) or even quondam
associates (the stormy history of EGG vs Dave Arneson, or the reason
why real old timers have found Gary's subsequent treatment by TSR to
be poetic justice).

> I haven't purchased a T$R product other than an occasional Novel, or Dragon
> and Dungeon magazine. I don't want to anymore. It's a waste.

The saying "Cutting one's nose off to spite one's face" springs to
mind here, but after all they are your $$$ to spend as you choose.

Sure, a lot of it is mind candy (I confess to the habit of, after a
stressful week at work, heading over to the local game shop on a
Friday and "buying myself a present". If there's nothing new for any
of the other games I'm involved in, it's often a TSR product I light
on, partly because it is frivolous); but there are a few that come up
with things I'd never have thought of, and are tolerably well executed
(Ravenloft, for example).

OTOH, if you're one of these people with a campaign that's been
running for a decade, there's probably not much use in stuff that
presents ideas for a setting or is hardwired to them.

> What do you think?

see above

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Steve Gilham |GDS Ltd.,Wellington Ho. |Lives of great men all remind us
Software Specialist|East Road, Cambridge |We may make our lives sublime
steveg@ |CB1 1BH, UK |And departing, leave behind us
arc.ug.eds.com |Tel:(44)223-314041 x304 |Footprints in the sands of time.

Jeffrey C. Isherwood

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Jun 20, 1994, 5:25:26 PM6/20/94
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>:Jeffrey C. Isherwood (je...@lonexa.admin.rl.af.mil) wrote:
>:Why did we need a complete Fighter, Ranger and Paladin handbook? Why not a
>:complete Warrior's Handbook? When will the Complete Illussionist, and then
>:Necromancer's Handbooks be out? Why not the Complete book of KITS? Or the
>:Complete Book Of Races? Why bleed us dry, one pint at a time?

>a...@zeus.achilles.net (Andrew Monteiro) writes:
> Actually, I happen to like the handbooks. No, they are not
>needed. Yes, they don't contain all that much that is new. Yes, you can
>spend alot of money on them.

Well, maybe I wasn't clear enough in stating my opinion and what I don't
like... (that happens ya know). I own the FTR, THF, WIZ, PSI, BRD, DWRF
handbooks. I used to have the Priest's too, but when it was stolen, I didn't
cry too much (well, I did, I just didn't replace the Sh*ty thing) most of
these books are pretty decent, giving flavor to those that have blander
imaginations... or ideas to those that are in a dry spell. Granted, some of
them aren't to balancing, but then again, you can't balance Everything.

My biggest complaint is the way they are put out. They KNEW they were going
to put out a FTR, RNGR, PAL handbook... why not try to save their consumers a
penny or two (and in the long run sell more of them) by compiling the 3 into 1
book. I'd have paid 25bucks or so for a decent harcover book called the
Complete guide to Warriors. I don't mind paying for my gaming gear, but I
want the price to equal the product.

In 2 edt, Druids became priests: "The Druid is an example of a priest of a
specific mythos. His powers and beliefs are different from those of the
cleric. The druid is a priest of nature and guardian of the wilderness, be it
forest plain or jungle." (PH pg 35 [first printing 1989 and falling to
peices... with none of the `errata' included BTW]). If the Druid is a
priest, then why weren't they included in the Complete Priest's Handbook? Why
did we pay 15$ (or more) for the damned thing, only to have them come out with
the Druid's this summer (At 18$+ BTW)?

Why not include the info on the Gods for eaach non-human race in their own
book? Elves, Drow (of the underdark), Gnomes&Halflings (at least we didn't
get 2 books outta this one), Dwarves, Huminoids... why put them in the
Monsterous Mythology (1 more book @ 18$+)...

There is CAPITALISM.... and then there is PIRACY. You decide.

WinningerR

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Jun 21, 1994, 12:52:06 PM6/21/94
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In article <1994Jun20....@news.rlcn.rl.af.mil>,

je...@lonexa.admin.rl.af.mil (Jeffrey C. Isherwood) writes:

>why not try to save their consumers a
>penny or two (and in the long run sell more of them) by compiling
the 3 >into 1 book.

Because for everyone who shares your opinion, someone else would say
"why do I have to spend $30 for the complete book of Warriors when
two-thirds of it is useless to me."

If the high cost of the PHBR is getting you down, but you still want
to use the rules they contain, here is what I suggest: require each
player to purchase the PHBR that covers his or her class (this is
basically the fashion in which they were intended to be used anyway).
This arrangement is more than fair since you, as DM, are already
purchasing modules, sourcebooks, etc. Investing $18 isn't too much to
ask for in return for 4-5 hours of entertainment every week for a
year or more. Once the players have bought the appropriate handbooks,
you borrow them and read them (so you know what to expect) and then
let the player worry about the book and its rules for now on.

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