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deputyfife
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:35 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:
At this point I'm afraid we don't have anyone that can really answer this question. Our priorities are getting Starters into distribution, and getting to conventions. I'll keep this posted here to remind us, but until we get better organized, there will not be an answer. Sorry.


This is just a suggestion, but if you want the starters to appeal to a wider audience of people, consider adding some new/varied products to any starter packs manufactured in the future. {{I am basing this, in part, on the mistake FFE made with the first two Demon Dice packs, which contained no new product, and only a slightly different distribution mix with the promo/noble dice mixed in one per pack.}} Whether this means some all-new dice, or mixing in some of the dice you have already manufactured, such as Treefolk, Scalders reprints and Frostwings reprints, is up to you. Of course, you don't want to overwhelm new players who are just getting into the game, but you could rotate the beginning races to include some of these later ones, making the starter packs attractive to previous players who don't need a 30th dragon and more rares of the original races, but who also never got the last 2 races made by TSR, or the Treefolk by SFR.
There is of course no reason why some new rule expansions involving new terrain types or Dragon types, or even a completely new race, type of troops(healers/priests?), 6th monster for each race, etc., couldn't be added to the existing DD mix and put into the new starters.
Whatever you do, it would be smart to at least include one monster, or something in the starters with varied rarity within a classification (such as how Treefolk rares are not equal distribution) that would keep the starter packs from becoming effectively worthless and useless to retailers once your new market potential has been explored and maximized. (Thereby souring retailers on your product when they have dozens of starter packs sitting on shelves, or being dumped in boxes below-the-table at conventions.
Scott
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chuckpint
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:24 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

deputyfife wrote:
This is just a suggestion, but if you want the starters to appeal to a wider audience of people, consider adding some new/varied products to any starter packs manufactured in the future.

Starters will be made with just one of the first five races in each one. Same 2 terrains and 1 dragon.

deputyfife wrote:

Whether this means some all-new dice, or mixing in some of the dice you have already manufactured, such as Treefolk, Scalders reprints and Frostwings reprints, is up to you. Of course, you don't want to overwhelm new players who are just getting into the game, but you could rotate the beginning races to include some of these later ones, making the starter packs attractive to previous players who don't need a 30th dragon and more rares of the original races, but who also never got the last 2 races made by TSR, or the Treefolk by SFR.

After Starters are remade, all starters and all kickers will have only one race in that package. And BTW, if you want to play all types of armies you need exactly 30 dragons. Three of each type.

deputyfife wrote:

There is of course no reason why some new rule expansions involving new terrain types or Dragon types, or even a completely new race, type of troops(healers/priests?), 6th monster for each race, etc., couldn't be added to the existing DD mix and put into the new starters.
Whatever you do, it would be smart to at least include one monster, or something in the starters with varied rarity within a classification (such as how Treefolk rares are not equal distribution) that would keep the starter packs from becoming effectively worthless and useless to retailers once your new market potential has been explored and maximized. (Thereby souring retailers on your product when they have dozens of starter packs sitting on shelves, or being dumped in boxes below-the-table at conventions.


Monsters are not going into the starters. And right now SFR cannot afford to make any new molds. Starters are never worthless. You must have them to be able to bring new people into the game. Starters are just that, the basic package you must have to play the game. Kickers are for people that want more to play with.

I don't know where you get the idea that Treefolk rares have an unequal distribution. They are quite even, and were made to be an even distribution. Only the monsters have different rarities.
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deputyfife
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:01 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got the treefolk mixed up with the scalders and frostwings FAQ from your website. The idea was just that something with varied rarity in a starter set, that is just one small part(such as 1 die out of 13, 18, etc.) keeps that set interesting for the major collectors long after they've gotten the basics needed from that set(such as a complete race, or terrains or dragons.)
I hope the word "worthless" didn't come off wrong; I was merely mentioning that when it comes to relationships with retailers, making them feel like the products they buy won't be "dead shelf space" after the game's initial push and marketing, goes a long way to endearing your product to them. (Although I've never met a retailer of games who understood the time-value of money, anyway, so it is probably a wasted effort, anyway.)

So if someone buys a new starter pack, they will get one dragon, two terrains, and all other dice will belong to one of the first five races? That makes more sense for new players, since they will be able to play one race that incorporates the value of terrains into what they pick. Will it be random, or will people know they are getting a starter Dwarf pack?

I'm still very new to this game, and haven't read the latest rules versions all the way through yet. What is it about 3 of each type/color of dragon needed for playing all races? Is that for a 60-point game, I'm guessing?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:45 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

deputyfife wrote:
What is it about 3 of each type/color of dragon needed for playing all races? Is that for a 60-point game, I'm guessing?


Correct. A 'players set' (ie as many dice as you would ever need) of Dragons is enough to make any army possible. Battlefest is a 60 health game, so you would bring three dragons. Thus three of each type(10 types total curently). Laughing

My personal 'players set' is enough dragons, terrains, dragonkin for two people and then 18 health of each of the other units (except for the ultra rare dice)
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 2:16 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay. I wasn't sure if it somehow had to do with the "Campaign Rules" I saw on a DD-related website.
I'll just have to finish wading through the original rulebooklets I've got, finish the Basic Rules from SFR I printed, and then read the Advanced Rules before I ask anymore "newbie" questions. Otherwise, I could probably fill a page of the message boards with nagging questions I've got that are probably answered elsewhere.

Thanks for the clarfication.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 5:28 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:

Starters will be made with just one of the first five races in each one. Same 2 terrains and 1 dragon.

<snip>

After Starters are remade, all starters and all kickers will have only one race in that package.


Hmm, I kinda liked the way the starters are now... Get a mix of the first 4 races is a good way to start the game, I think. If a starting player can choose to buy only one race, I think he will get bored faster because there is less variation.

But I guess that it does make more sense with the way the later races were released...

A good middle way would be to leave the starters the way they are, but do make race specific kickers for the 4 basic races? That way I could get more rares of the 4 basic races without having to buy starters.

Anset
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:48 pm GMT    Post subject: Campagin Rules and Single-Race Starters Reply with quote

The campaign rules are likely from my site. They are completely unofficial. Sorry for the confusion.

I personally like the idea of single racial starters for two reasons.
1) New players can pick the race they think is "coolest" and get that to start.
2) Established players that have fewer of a given race can bulk up their collections without too much difficulty and without too many duplicate dice.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:20 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: Campagin Rules and Single-Race Starters Reply with quote

Netherworlder wrote:
The campaign rules are likely from my site. They are completely unofficial. Sorry for the confusion.

I personally like the idea of single racial starters for two reasons.
1) New players can pick the race they think is "coolest" and get that to start.
2) Established players that have fewer of a given race can bulk up their collections without too much difficulty and without too many duplicate dice.


My brother-in-law and I are excited about trying out those campaign rules!

These were exactly the reasons I was thinking the single-race starters are a good idea, so long as they are identifiable on the box. Otherwise, someone who hates coral elves is going to be VERY disappointed at the randomness. The fun of not knowing which races you are getting is nice, but probably not as conducive to endearing new people to the game.
Any way we could have an all-Amazons set sometime? I get the feeling that and swampstalkers will be the hardest for me to find overall, in terms of commons through rares.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:41 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll notice I said the first five races for starters? The fifth race is Amazons. So we when we reprint starters, I'm sure everyone will want to get some Amazon starters... Hmm. Maybe we should make a few more of those. Very Happy

We have talked about racial kickers for the first five races as well. But that will be much later. It will take a new mold (or five) to do those. That will be where you get monsters for the first five races. The new mold(s) will be for the fifth monster in those races. But don't start asking for those just yet. We have to make starters first. Otherwise the game will die for sure...
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:45 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, I forgot you had said five. That's great, because right now I'm not sure about buying older Amazons and Monsters kickers when I'm pretty sure I'm only getting 2-3 amazons in a pack. I'm guessing that they will be identified easily on the box then, as to which race someone would be getting?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:02 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. I'm thinking a sticker on the box much like the Battlemats.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:39 am GMT    Post subject: Re: Campagin Rules and Single-Race Starters Reply with quote

Netherworlder wrote:

1) New players can pick the race they think is "coolest" and get that to start.
2) Established players that have fewer of a given race can bulk up their collections without too much difficulty and without too many duplicate dice.


1) How does a newbie know what the "cool" races are?
2) True enough, My point was specificly about the new players. Older players won't buy that much starters I would think. I have to since all the blue kickers contain ONLY amazon rares... (or is that the same all over the world?)

And about amazon starters? Yes please! If you remember, on this side of the ocean, there's not a singe amazon uncommon to be found!

Wkr,

Anset.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:25 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1) How does a newbie know what the "cool" races are?

I figure that anyone interested in this game has some interest in fantasy. They are likely to have a preference for dwarves over elves or goblins over humans. That should let then make a first selection easily. Of course, it would be best for them to buy one of each right away Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:52 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I posted this thought elsewhere, but this ideais more relevant here.

The battle mats are great, especially for new players. They make it much easier on someone learning the game the first few times, so that the person doesn't have to keep in mind "Okay, that's my dead pile, and that one is my buried pile."

This makes the battle mats most essential to a beginning player, one who might be hesitant to plop down extra $$ for a mat separate of the dice they already have. (This is if SFR even makes the mats again.)

However, I realize the battle mats are too expensive to add to a starter set and keep the cost attractive to new buyers. Is there some way to make a cheaper battle mat, then, made of a thin cloth/fabric? Or you could print the battle mats in small sections(say, fourths of the current mats) that just have one corner of the current mat, such as dead, plus part of the middle "home" circle. Make them in different styles for the races, and randomly insert the various corners, and you can force us to buy packs to collect the battle mat pieces. Rolling Eyes
Heck, there's already people who want one of each dice bag. (Anybody have a spare red?)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:44 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am looking forward to the original race kickers (as opposed to the starters) because I've noticed that my original race monster ranks have become stagnant while my kicker pack monsters are growing in number. I even have more scalder, treefolk, and frostwing monsters than coral elf, dwarf, and lava elf monsters. I suppose I could remedy that by buying some monsters and amazon kicker packs, but quite frankly, I have a mortgage to pay! Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:57 am GMT    Post subject: A starterless system? Reply with quote

Has anyone considered the possibility of a 'starterless' system for Dragon Dice™? What am I talking about? Consider a game like Pirates of the Spanish Main. It doesn't have starters, just kickers. Every kicker can be a starter (or part of one). You might get land, and you might get ships, or you might get gold. If you buy a few, you've got enough goodies to play a full game. Even though you need to buy more than one unit to start playing, each kicker pack is cheap. I think Dragon Dice™ might also benefit from overthrowing a stale paradigm of game distribution.

One major thing to consider with a game like Dragon Dice™ is the cost to buy in and cost to expand. At SoCal, I demoed Navia Dratp. I loved it. I looked at the price of starters and my jaw dropped. I'd need two starters to have a playable set, and that buy-in threshold kept me out. So, liking a game is not enough - it also has to be easy (cheap) to get into it. Old TSR starters have been around for years now, and their prices have dropped to around $5 - $8. I'm afraid that's what players have come to expect, and many would suffer sticker shock from a $15 - $20 starter.

So for the starterless system, the dice could be packaged by race (both as starters and as kickers). ANY race could be a 'starter race'. No one who didn't want to should ever have to buy the five base races. The target retail price could be somewhere around $4 (on par with other games' booster packs). Of course, they would have fewer dice than the current starters/kickers. Terrains could be sold in a separate pack, as could Dragons. It might take 3 kickers, a Dragon pack, and a Terrain pack to have a starting set. But the smaller chunks make the system more customizable. They also make it easier to buy in for a little, and expand gradually. I've seen kids at the store buying Yu-gi-oh boosters a pack at a time and opening them as they go, until they get what they want. With a booster price of $3 to $4, that becomes a viable option.

Now the cost of the new molds might be prohibitively expensive, but if it were possible to combine starter and kicker into a single release, it would be reasonable to include the monsters randomly in those packs (maybe 3 common, 1 uncommon, 1 rare OR monster, so 3 kickers gets you 24-27 health). Being able to include the long-awaited 5th monsters for the base races would get current players (like me) to buy the new release in bulk, appealing to both old and new players. Introducing new Terrains would also help to drive Terrain pack sales for both old and new players. And the same for Dragons. What if, in addition to Drakes and Wyrms, the new Dragon packs had 5 colors of Wyverns? How cool would that be? I'd certainly buy Dragon packs until I had all the new ones (3 of each color, perhaps). White Dragons might also be a possibility, not even requiring new molds. The same could be said for odd terrain combinations that were never produced before. You wouldn't need new molds for those, although adding new 8th faces would be even better.

Anyway, those are some ideas that I had for the relaunch of Dragon Dice™. I don't know how well a starterless system would sell to distributors and retailers, but I'm pretty sure Pirates of the Spanish Main has been successful. I know I bought some at Indy last year. And I did demos of games I liked better, that I didn't buy into. I should note that I am just expressing my own ideas here and am in no way speaking for SFR.

Jason Brown
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 11:44 am GMT    Post subject: Re: A starterless system? Reply with quote

arcbat wrote:
Has anyone considered the possibility of a 'starterless' system for Dragon Dice™? What am I talking about? Consider a game like Pirates of the Spanish Main. It might take 3 kickers, a Dragon pack, and a Terrain pack to have a starting set. But the smaller chunks make the system more customizable. They also make it easier to buy in for a little, and expand gradually.

Introducing new Terrains would also help to drive Terrain pack sales for both old and new players. And the same for Dragons. What if, in addition to Drakes and Wyrms, the new Dragon packs had 5 colors of Wyverns? How cool would that be? I'd certainly buy Dragon packs until I had all the new ones (3 of each color, perhaps). White Dragons might also be a possibility, not even requiring new molds. The same could be said for odd terrain combinations that were never produced before. You wouldn't need new molds for those, although adding new 8th faces would be even better.

I'm pretty sure Pirates of the Spanish Main has been successful. I know I bought some at Indy last year. And I did demos of games I liked better, that I didn't buy into.
Jason Brown


I truncated your message just to keep from taking up a whole page.
As someone who started this thread being critical of the old starters, first let me clear the air on that. I was speaking as a collector, who hadn't played the game much yet, but viewed the fact that dragons and terrains were equally produced as making them easy to get.
I've since changed that opinion. As a collector, I was wrong about what would be easiest to get. And as a player, I now see the benefit of having starter sets that have a basic mix of dice, with no rarities within rarity levels, so to speak.
Now to your point about separating the dice into cheaper, easier to buy sets. I don't mean any of this in an attacking way. If they aren't labeled starters, there may be plenty of kids who buy one kicker pack and go home to find out they can't even play the game. (Adults, too.) These individuals may be turned off at the game at that alone, viewing the game as a scheme where you have to buy at least 3 or 4 things to play. I understand the sticker shock point, but is it really any different to tell someone they have to buy one $15 pack, or 4 $4 packs? And hopefully SFR can work the price down into the $12-13 range. Plus, this time around it will help to have single-race starters. Having a simple, straight-forward product that someone can buy to play the game, is necessary.
As to your other ideas, I WHOLEHEAREDTLY agree, that would be awesome to have new dragons and terrains. Even if a terrain doesn't make sense, such as fire and water, it could be thought of as an "elemental plane" in the old D&D sense. Fire and air could be some sort of "burning lands"; project the idea of volcanoes to imagine plateaus that consisted of lakes and rivers of fire. Or how about mixing black into some terrains? (I don't want to infringe on another product's name, but deadlands as an idea would be interesting. Though new terrains may overpower some races.)
I was thinking last night that it would be nice to have dragons with spells (in the Dragonlance/Tolkien tradition more, where dragons are super-intelligent creatures.) Instead of breath, the dragons would have a list of spells that they cast, in order; so that a player could go down a list until they find whatever color isn't in the army the dragon attacks (or that color is least present.) This might add a little more power to dragons, since ideally I think they were intended as a wild card that could change the flow of the game.
And wyverns, I'm guessing as dragons without breath, but probably a poison tail attack or something like it, would be pretty neat, too.
Chuck will have to chime in here on the costs sometime, and only AFTER he has business straightened out at SFR, but I would think that a mold for 2 new dragons wouldn't be that expensive. (And would definitely sucker existing players into buying new starters other than just Amazons.)
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 12:00 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

How are dragons and terrains going to be handled in the new starters, by the way? I imagine it would be pretty disappointing (for new players) to open a goblin starter and get two coastland terrains and a red dragon. Will they be coordinated to go with that race? (Except Amazons, who I imagine will be a true random mix for dragons.)

Also, I understand the reasons for having each terrain die's faces standardized by terrain type. But it seems like it wouldn't be anything gamebreaking to have some variance within the types. What I mean is that it seems like a terrain with standing stones would be a place of magic, and might have one more magic face than normal(max of 3 sides, though), and one less of something else. Or a tower would probably be on a hilltop that doesn't lend itself well to much melee, so maybe a tower on swampland would have one less melee and one more missile. Although this might seem like it allows a player to better coordinate their armies with their terrains, whatever benefits they get could also be passed on to their opponent (depending on army type.)
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 12:29 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

deputyfife wrote:
How are dragons and terrains going to be handled in the new starters, by the way?


Everything is subject to change, but what we did before was to match 1 terrain's colors to the race and the other terrain random.

Then the dragon would match one of the two colors of the race.

Thats what we did for the handmade racial starters we used at convention for tournaments. I don't know if the 'new' starters will be that format or not.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:53 pm GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the new starters go by racial advantage terrains only (not that anyone has said this yet), you would have one race for each type of terrain except Highlands, which would have two. This would, theoretically, lead to there being twice as many Highlands as other terrains in circulation. I would have no objection to having one terrain of the racial advantage type plus one random terrain in a starter. Then again, I'm not a new player.

Dragons distribution is also interesting. Going by racial colors, you would have the following:

Coral Elves- Blue & Green
Dwarves- Gold & Red
Lava Elves- Black & Red
Goblins- Black and Gold

To make everything even out, Amazons would have to be distributed with Blue & Green dragons (same of Coral Elves). BUT since they'll likely have at least one Flatland terrain, and they cast magic of the color of the terrain, Blue & Gold would make more sense. BUT then you would have three races getting gold and only one getting green...

I don't envy those making the decisions on the new starters.
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