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Thread: Prime Directive D20, D6

  1. #1

    Prime Directive D20, D6

    ADB Inc has just announced (at the GAMA trade show and on their website) that they will be releasing D20 and D6 versions of the Prime Directive role playing game, in addition to the new release of GURPS 4th edition Prime Directive.

    The new GURPS 4th ed stuff is coming out March/April/May, and the D20 and D6 later this summer in June and July.

    Nick Blank


    Here is thier latest posted schedule:

    http://www.starfleetgames.com/discus...763#POST234614

  2. #2
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    This is suprising as ADB's FAQ states:
    Will you ever do a D20 based RPG?

    Perhaps, but we have to deal with outside contractors (we don't know the D20 system and cannot do it ourselves) and for whatever reason those who have offered to do this for us never have delivered it.
    So not only a D20 version but a D6 one too?!?!?! It does look like they are going to print a GURPS, d20 & d6 version of each supplement . Basically they are going to be competing with themselves. Seems like that would want to multistat their supplements to increases sales and thus profitability.

    Additional Info from ADB/Starfleet Games staffer on other systems:
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Cole
    Jessica: Wait a month for things to die down and then send me info on who to contact for a license to do PDstoryteller and PDchampions.
    Possibly more systems. What kind of business plan is this? I could understand if the additional systems supplements were eBooks (PDFs) or multistated, but this is almost madness. They are spliting their market/sales for Prime Directive into three to five (for each system) for a marginal increase in customer (ie. those that would play Prime Directive only if it is in their favorite system). While d20 would give them more customers because it is the default industry systems, each additional system would hurt them.

    Anyone see how this is going to work for ADB?

    Atleast this would be some help to those who want a Star Trek RPG in d20, d6 systems to see how they did it.
    Last edited by spshu; 03-18-2005 at 11:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Yea, bad idea. Fragmenting their already minor marketshare is not a good idea. But then, this is ADB who appear to operate in their own little world. There's a new version of SFB, no counters, B/W, softcover in a ziplock bag at my FLGS for $50.

    How many PD GURPS products were even done? Two?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    How many PD GURPS products were even done? Two?
    AFAIK, the PD rulebook and Klingon supplement.

    It would be interesting who will they choose to be the licensee of Prime Directive d20 (or OGL-based Prime Directive).
    Anyhoo, just some random thoughts...

    "My philosophy is 'you don't need me to tell you how to play -- I'll just provide some rules and ideas to use and get out of your way.'"
    -- Monte Cook

    "Min/Maxing and munchkinism aren't problems with the game: they're problems with the players."
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    There was also Prime Alpha so 3 were released
    Duct tape is like The Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceGiant
    There was also Prime Alpha so 3 were released
    In how many years? I believe ADB makes Decipher look prolific by publishing standards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by REG
    It would be interesting who will they choose to be the licensee of Prime Directive d20 (or OGL-based Prime Directive).
    Like I said, a strange decision. They're a couple years late to be heading into the D20 market. They're competing against Coda -- very D20-like and better production values -- Babylon 5, Star Wars, Fading Suns, and probably another 3-4 D20 sci-fi products that escape me at the moment.

    The new WEG D6 material is already in my FLGS' bargin bin (all of it).

    I sense a discussion of what ADB can and can not do in regards to Trek setting material off the port bow! Someone fire up the FAQ!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    Like I said, a strange decision. They're a couple years late to be heading into the D20 market. They're competing against Coda -- very D20-like and better production values -- Babylon 5, Star Wars, Fading Suns, and probably another 3-4 D20 sci-fi products that escape me at the moment.

    The new WEG D6 material is already in my FLGS' bargin bin (all of it).

    I sense a discussion of what ADB can and can not do in regards to Trek setting material off the port bow! Someone fire up the FAQ!
    It's been a long while since I have played SFB, and I have yet to get into Prime Directive to know their distinct version of the offshoot Star Trek universe. If anything, I wouldn't put any expectation on it and would avoid comparing it to official Paramount version.

    Decipher have yet to announce new Star Trek RPG products beyond selling those unpublished material that former LUG folks have left behind.

    Currently, WotC is "reviewing their licensing agreement" with regards to the Star Wars RPG line.

    Fading Sun d20 is quickly fading from the memories of d20 gamers. You have just reminded me that there is such a thing.

    We all know what's going on with Stargate.

    Margaret Weis's company, Sovereign Press, is set to release Serenity this Summer.

    Makes me wonder if sci-fi RPG can survive in the overall RPG market. But as a customer, if given the choice between GURP, d6, and d20 versions of PD, I'd go with d20. At least ADB will get a share of the d20 sales without having to spend their own money designing and developing it.
    Anyhoo, just some random thoughts...

    "My philosophy is 'you don't need me to tell you how to play -- I'll just provide some rules and ideas to use and get out of your way.'"
    -- Monte Cook

    "Min/Maxing and munchkinism aren't problems with the game: they're problems with the players."
    -- excerpt from Guardians of Order's Role-Playing Game Manifesto

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    Quote Originally Posted by REG
    Currently, WotC is "reviewing their licensing agreement" with regards to the Star Wars RPG line.
    Any idea what the result will be?
    Fading Sun d20 is quickly fading from the memories of d20 gamers. You have just reminded me that there is such a thing.
    You made me cry. (Fading Suns is the best sci-fi RPG on the market today or yesterday, IMO.)
    We all know what's going on with Stargate.
    Could be back.
    Margaret Weis's company, Sovereign Press, is set to release Serenity this Summer.
    Not d20 and, to be fair, I doubt this one is going to make much of a splash.
    Makes me wonder if sci-fi RPG can survive in the overall RPG market. But as a customer, if given the choice between GURP, d6, and d20 versions of PD, I'd go with d20. At least ADB will get a share of the d20 sales without having to spend their own money designing and developing it.
    With D20 they'd at least (probably) recoup their costs without having to do too much work [read: negligible design effort required]; d20 customers tend not to be...ahem...that discerning. [ducks]

    It's still a strange move, though. Do they do the work in-house or do they (ADB) just license "their setting" to someone? Meaning, did SJG do GURPS PD or did ADB do it? A Mongoose D20 PD is lightyears different than a ADB D20 PD, for example.

    In any event, its their company...they can do what they want, right?
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    Quote Originally Posted by REG
    Makes me wonder if sci-fi RPG can survive in the overall RPG market.
    This is a bit of a tangent, but this is also the real question that people should be answering.

    I've been having a similar discussion in private with some folks and I believe the answer to this question is "no." Sci-fi just isn't popular. It isn't popular in mainstream culture and it isn't popular as part of a segment of a niche cottage industry (RPGs). Non-licensed sci-fi RPGs have a very difficult hill to climb, like Fading Suns. Beyond Traveler, which we could argue only achieved success because it was the only sci-fi RPG at the time, there haven't been many standouts in the industry.

    Now we get to the question of whether PD is a "licensed" setting as you and I know it. I contend not. If I randomly grab 100 people off the street, none will know what "Star Fleet Battles" or "Prime Directive" is (beyond the general Trek reference). It's not Star Trek; it's divergent Star Trek. (Can they even use the term "Star Trek" in their material?)

    Perhaps the ADB model is to get PD in front of as many fans as possible and see if something will stick. Honestly, it's not like they could do much worse in the RPG department. (Note, that was not a slam/attack, merely a reference to their marketshare: none.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by REG
    <snip>

    It would be interesting who will they choose to be the licensee of Prime Directive d20 (or OGL-based Prime Directive).
    Given the whole nature of the Prime Directive they would most likely have to do it through work for hire.
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    As Don mentioned, I think the ADB mentality is to get the game in the hands of as many people as possible. They've got the game in one system already. If that isn't doing the trick, perhaps they believe that putting it in other systems may grab more people.

    I, for one, haven't had any interest in getting Prime Directive in GURPS. I looked at the book, but it didn't grab me enough for me to want to convert it (I don't play GURPS, I use the books as sourcebooks). I also wouldn't touch the game if it came out in D20. I would say that I may be much more inclined to give some thought towards buying it if the game came out in D6.

    From what I've been able to glean from the assorted posts on the WEG boards, ADB boards, and this board, it seems that ADB is doing minimal in the way of dealing with anything other than creating the "idea" of Prime Directive. It will be up to the individual staff of the assorted systems to convert the rules to the system. Scott Palter of Final Sword will be dealing with the D6 aspect, meaning ADB won't be doing anything other than giving them the material and having them make it fit into D6. Scott and his "crew" would be the main workers on the whole project. Of course, SVC will get his hands in on things, as he likes to do.

    All told, though, if ADB isn't investing much money, and letting other people do that, and do most of the work, they have everything to gain and nothing to lose. If they get 200 more customers from D6 Prime Directive, and 600 more customers from D20 Prime Directive...then they got 800 more people interested in the game that they created and they get that much more in royalties.(or in reverse, the assorted companies see it as profitable and come back to buy more rights from ADB for the game.)

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    Now we get to the question of whether PD is a "licensed" setting as you and I know it. I contend not. If I randomly grab 100 people off the street, none will know what "Star Fleet Battles" or "Prime Directive" is (beyond the general Trek reference). It's not Star Trek; it's divergent Star Trek. (Can they even use the term "Star Trek" in their material?)

    Well, yes, it is a licensed product, and no, it's not a Star Trek license. Star Fleet Battles is licensed from Franz Joseph Designs, which holds a Star Trek license for their Star Fleet Technical Manual and USS Enterprise Deck Plans. This was one of the early license issued by Paramount and was astoundingly poorly written, as it allowed Franz Joseph Designs (then a one-man operation run by the late Franz Joseph Schnaubelt, now run by his daughter Karen, for whom he did all this stuff) to grant subsidiary licenses. According to the ruling in a huge copyright lawsuit in the early 1980's, ADB's license was upheld, but they do not have the rights to use the name Star Trek, nor the names and likenesses of the characters, nor any materials created by Paramount after the license was granted - i.e. no Movie Era, no TNG, et cetera, jut TOS and TAS.

    Personally, given their heavy emphasis on conflict between the various stellar powers which trickles through from their wargame roots, I've always considered Prime Directive to be pretty much the Mirror Universe Role-Playing Game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    Any idea what the result will be?
    If you're asking for my speculation? Let's just say I'm not holding my breath, but be thankful of what I have so far.


    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    You made me cry. (Fading Suns is the best sci-fi RPG on the market today or yesterday, IMO.)
    Perhaps, but it is not popular nor well known. In fact, the only thing Holistic Design are well known for -- in the d20 community -- is their Real-Life Roleplaying line (d20: Afghanistan, d20: Colombia, d20 Somalia, d20: FBI).


    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    Could be back.
    I know, but regarding this, I'd like to see a d20 Modern version, personally.


    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    Not d20 and, to be fair, I doubt this one is going to make much of a splash.
    Except perhaps roleplayers who have already been fans of Firefly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    With D20 they'd at least (probably) recoup their costs without having to do too much work [read: negligible design effort required]; d20 customers tend not to be...ahem...that discerning. [ducks]
    *Forced laughter* Ha-ha.

    I think we d20 gamers are at a point where we want better quality d20 products. Poor Moridin and JD Wiker, when d20 Future came out, gamers were pretty much disappointed with the lack of in-depth information. It got some of us pretty cautious about the upcoming 96-page d20 Past, supposedly covering a timeline 1450 to 1950.


    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    It's still a strange move, though. Do they do the work in-house or do they (ADB) just license "their setting" to someone? Meaning, did SJG do GURPS PD or did ADB do it? A Mongoose D20 PD is lightyears different than a ADB D20 PD, for example.
    Didn't ADB requested SJG the license to use their GURPS system? That's what I've been hearing often. Come to think of it, I don't think they have an original PD with their own in-house rules system but GURPS.

    I think ADB is going to license Prime Directive d20 to a publisher willing to design, publish, and distribute this product line.


    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    In any event, its their company...they can do what they want, right?
    Let's hope it gambled well for them in return.
    Anyhoo, just some random thoughts...

    "My philosophy is 'you don't need me to tell you how to play -- I'll just provide some rules and ideas to use and get out of your way.'"
    -- Monte Cook

    "Min/Maxing and munchkinism aren't problems with the game: they're problems with the players."
    -- excerpt from Guardians of Order's Role-Playing Game Manifesto

    A GENERATION KIKAIDA fan

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Mappin
    Perhaps the ADB model is to get PD in front of as many fans as possible and see if something will stick. Honestly, it's not like they could do much worse in the RPG department. (Note, that was not a slam/attack, merely a reference to their marketshare: none.)
    I think if they kept their sales expectation low but their willingness to commit resource to make more-than-decent quality RPG product high, they might do well. Still, doing fairly well may only be short-lived. It also does not mean that roleplayers would want to play Star Fleet Battles.
    Anyhoo, just some random thoughts...

    "My philosophy is 'you don't need me to tell you how to play -- I'll just provide some rules and ideas to use and get out of your way.'"
    -- Monte Cook

    "Min/Maxing and munchkinism aren't problems with the game: they're problems with the players."
    -- excerpt from Guardians of Order's Role-Playing Game Manifesto

    A GENERATION KIKAIDA fan

    DISCLAIMER: I Am Not A Lawyer

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