Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

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Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Big Mac » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:33 am

Zoltar Sage Advice just posted about a Twitter conversation about 5e Ghostwalk:

Chris Perkins said this on Twitter:
@ChrisPerkinsDnD on Twitter wrote:Someone ask me a D&D question. #wotcstaff
So GamePhantom asked this:
@GamePhantomDM on Twitter wrote:Will 5th Edition see a Return of Ghostwalk & Incarnum? #dnd
And Christopher posted this reply:
@ChrisPerkinsDnD on Twitter wrote:Since you are the first person in the history of Twitter to mention these, probably not for a while. #dnd
I have actually seen some people talking about Ghostwalk on Twitter (other social media platforms are available), but the term "Ghost Walk" gets used for a number of different walking tours that have a focus on dead people that supposedly haunt certain places. Those false positives tend to flood out the D&D Ghostwalk discussions (because they are at least one or two orders of magnitude more popular than the D&D Ghostwalk) and make it a lot harder for fans to find each other. (I have similar problems finding D&D Birthright discussions, as "birthright" is a term used in certain religions discussions that are significantly more popular than the D&D setting.)

The Ghostwalk community is clearly smaller than the communities of some other campaign settings, like Blackmoor, Greyhawk, Mystara, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Dark Sun Planescape, Birthright and Nentir Vale but it would be nice to see Ghostwalk get some sort of support, both from within the fan community and (if they are up for it) from Sean K Reynolds, Monte Cook.

Before Eberron got released (as a straight-to-DMs Guild setting) I saw a couple of things happen (outside of The Piazza) that I think might be relevant to Eberron winning 3rd Place at the DMs Guild table.

The first was Maze Arcana doing several live-streamed shows in the Eberron campaign setting (and getting some level of WotC approval) and the second was Keith Baker being allowed to run a Patreon campaign to support the creation of new Eberron material. I really like Maze Arcana (and would love to see them do shows for other campaign settings, at some point) but I think that the second thing is probably slightly more important to the return of Eberron. It is easy for fans to talk loudly about wanting a mothballed campaign setting to come back, but Keith Baker's patron is fans "putting their money where their mouths are". Not only have the proved that they are willing to pay for Eberron to come back, they have also created a "fighting fund" which must have helped underpin the design for the official 5th Edition Eberron product. (And now Eberron has gone live, Keith Baker is working with Maze Arcana and Manifest Zone to get other things out there.)

So I wonder if this same sort of thing could be done (even if it was at a smaller level) with Ghostwalk.

Would Chris Perkins be able to get WotC to give Sean K Reynolds and/or Monte Cook permission to run a Ghostwalk Patreon campaign? Would either of them be interested with working with a small fanbase to create new background material about the setting (and 5th Edition ghost rules)?

For me the important question is this: Is Ghostwalk more viable than the other cult campaign settings, like Council of Wyrms, Jakandor, Night of the Comet? Could it return from the dead* and come back faster than them?

* = Did you see what I did there?
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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by agathokles » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:51 am

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:33 am
Would Chris Perkins be able to get WotC to give Sean K Reynolds and/or Monte Cook permission to run a Ghostwalk Patreon campaign? Would either of them be interested with working with a small fanbase to create new background material about the setting (and 5th Edition ghost rules)?
Honestly, I doubt it would be a good idea for Monte Cook -- he's now a superstar on Kickstarter, regularly going over 500k$ with his own settings and games, which means he also had to set up a company with several people supporting him. If he had to work with WotC, WotC's (very large) cut on revenues would make it very difficult for him to keep his current company viable.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:39 pm

agathokles wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:51 am
Honestly, I doubt it would be a good idea for Monte Cook -- he's now a superstar on Kickstarter, regularly going over 500k$ with his own settings and games, which means he also had to set up a company with several people supporting him. If he had to work with WotC, WotC's (very large) cut on revenues would make it very difficult for him to keep his current company viable.
Although I imagine at some point, if not already, that a Cyhper system knock-off of Ghostwalk with the serial numbers filed off is possible.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Big Mac » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:50 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:39 pm
agathokles wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:51 am
Honestly, I doubt it would be a good idea for Monte Cook -- he's now a superstar on Kickstarter, regularly going over 500k$ with his own settings and games, which means he also had to set up a company with several people supporting him. If he had to work with WotC, WotC's (very large) cut on revenues would make it very difficult for him to keep his current company viable.
Although I imagine at some point, if not already, that a Cyhper system knock-off of Ghostwalk with the serial numbers filed off is possible.
Wolfgang Baur and Ed Greenwood have both gotten their companies to put up a small amount of DMs Content (for Al-Qadim and Forgotten Realms). I get the impression they were both doing it for the love of the setting (and their fans) rather than to rake in cash.

The interesting thing with Keith Baker having a Patreon is that that would appear to be a payment to him without WotC taking half of the money.

I know that Sean K Reynolds said he was considering a Patreon back in 2016. There was a time when he was throwing up free content for Ghostwalk and other funky stuff like a Beholder PC class, so maybe he might be more able to consider this route than Monte Cook. :?

(The same question goes for other campaign settings too. Could Jeff Grubb run a Patreon to provide fans with free Spelljammer content, could Bruce Heard run one to provide Mystara fans with free content. Could Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman do the same for Dragonlance?)
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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Angel Tarragon » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:04 pm

Hmm...certainly possibilities there. I imagine legalities may have to be ironed-out.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by agathokles » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:47 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:50 pm

Wolfgang Baur and Ed Greenwood have both gotten their companies to put up a small amount of DMs Content (for Al-Qadim and Forgotten Realms). I get the impression they were both doing it for the love of the setting (and their fans) rather than to rake in cash.
As far as I understand, those companies have very different sizes and are not tied by the need to fulfill large scale kickstarters. And they don't have an entirely different RPG to support -- both have stayed fairly within the D&D/Pathfinder scene, which is IMO a rather different audience w.r.t. that of Monte Cook's Cypher System.

A closer comparison would be Green Ronin -- and they never managed to do a new Dragonfist, even though Pramas bought the rights from WotC. They just have too much work on other lines to allow the time investment for a smaller, less popular one.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by shesheyan » Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:32 pm

Bruce Heard has said recently he is perfectly happy to work on Calidar and is not interested on working on Mystara again. IIRC this was mentioned in another Piazza thread not long ago.

Monte Cook is a superstar now. Very busy with his Numenera/The Strange/Cypher product lines.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Big Mac » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:54 pm

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:04 pm
Hmm...certainly possibilities there. I imagine legalities may have to be ironed-out.
The Wizards of the Coast's Fan Content Policy seems to suggest that WotC have no issue with people using Patron to fund the creation of free content:
Wizards of the Coast's Fan Content Policy wrote:Q: My Fan Content is free to access, but may I take donations or derive ad revenue?

A: Yep! We know you put lots of time and energy into your Fan Content and are OK with you recouping some of that investment in the form of donations on sites like Patreon or ad/click revenue on sites like Twitch and YouTube—so long as it follows this Policy and doesn’t interfere with the Community’s access to your Fan Content.
They also say they don't want people to use game mechanics...except in the context of the OGL...which contains rules about not using "Product Identity" (that's a term that only makes sense in the context of the OGL, but it probably blocks all the IP that this other licence permits).

Not being able to make "game mechanics" is probably something that would avoid splitting the fanbase, as someone could create write-ups for cities, towns, villiages and other places in the Ghostwalk setting (or another setting) that would work for 3e fans, as well as 5e fans.

Maps of individual countries and even floorplans that minis could be put onto would also be good.

I think people could also put together things like regional encounter tables. A list of monsters isn't really something with "game mechanics". The mechanics are in the rules themselves (which wouldn't be there).
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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by night_druid » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:21 am

Big Mac wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:33 am
So I wonder if this same sort of thing could be done (even if it was at a smaller level) with Ghostwalk.
I imagine it boils down to two things:
1. Fan-created materials put online
2. 3rd party products with similar concepts

Ghostwalk is a niche market in a niche market. I can't imagine the audience is big enough for WotC to take notice.
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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by willpell » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:10 pm

Ghostwalk at least has Monte Cook in its corner; Magic of Incarnum is probably the real Redheaded Stepchild here. I may legitimately be the #1 fan it has in like the entire world; I saw no evidence in my reading of it that the actual writers of the book were doing anything other than collecting a paycheck.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Big Mac » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:04 am

agathokles wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:47 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:50 pm
Wolfgang Baur and Ed Greenwood have both gotten their companies to put up a small amount of DMs Content (for Al-Qadim and Forgotten Realms). I get the impression they were both doing it for the love of the setting (and their fans) rather than to rake in cash.
As far as I understand, those companies have very different sizes and are not tied by the need to fulfill large scale kickstarters. And they don't have an entirely different RPG to support -- both have stayed fairly within the D&D/Pathfinder scene, which is IMO a rather different audience w.r.t. that of Monte Cook's Cypher System.
The two companies that have produced DMs Guild content are not really alike.

Kobold Press have now run 12 different Kickstarters. Before that they kind of invented the idea of Patreon, before Patreon existed, when they started off as Open Design.

The Ed Greenwood Group and Onder Libram seems to have a goal of gathering together a bunch of talented people and pushing forward on a number of collaborative projects that Ed Greenwood wants to see happen.

It seemed to me that the products the two organisations put out seemed to be a bit like "loss leaders".

I'm not sure how Monte Cook's company compares to Kobold Press, but I do know that Sean K Reynolds used to put up a ton of free 3rd Edition content (including some stuff for Ghostwalk). And I know that the two of them set up their own forums (that sadly got shunted around a lot) and answered a lot of fan questions about out of print products the worked on. (That's where I raided the questions and answers for the Ghostwalk Q&A from.

So I was just figuring that if they have both been inclined to support fans of their out of print work already, that they might be more able to afford to support it if some of the fans made sure they got some sort of compensation towards the time they were spending.

But you might be right about Monte Cook. Sean K Reynolds seems to have had more time to talk to fans, so maybe Monte is a lot busier organising behind the scenes stuff.
agathokles wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:47 pm
A closer comparison would be Green Ronin -- and they never managed to do a new Dragonfist, even though Pramas bought the rights from WotC. They just have too much work on other lines to allow the time investment for a smaller, less popular one.
Havard was just asking about the ownership of Dragon Fist recently. The interesting thing there is that there is no 50 percent take for Wizards of the Coast, if Chris Pramas owns it, but Chris Pramas has not been able to get it to press...yet.

If things change for Chris, I'd be interested in seeing him do a Patreon to get financial support for articles to expand the Chainmail/Sundered Empire background material. (Having said that, it's about as obscure as Ghostwalk is...if not more so...so it might not be too many people that would throw in cash.)
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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Havard » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:19 am

Is there any particular reason why the poster asked about both Ghostwalk and Incarnum in the same question? Are they connected somehow, or is it just that this guy on Twitter was simply a fan of both?

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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:19 pm

Havard wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:19 am
Is there any particular reason why the poster asked about both Ghostwalk and Incarnum in the same question? Are they connected somehow, or is it just that this guy on Twitter was simply a fan of both?
I would have to go over to Twitter to ask the guy, but both the Ghostwalk hardback and the Magic of Incarnum hardback include a new mystery substance that a GM is intended to base a campaign around.

In the case of Ghostwalk, that substance is "ectoplasm". Ghosts can eat it and it can be shaped. In the case of Magic of Incarnum, the substance is incarnum. They don't work the same way but both things have monsters and PCs that use those substances to a greater or lesser degree. And one of the people who replied on Twitter urged Christopher Perkins to roll both ideas into one 5e book.

Willpell started a topic, called That's the Spirit: Incarnum In Ghostwalk, where he suggested using Incarnum in the Ghostwalk setting. You might want to bump his topic and talk to him about he sees the two things working together.

I personally was a bit disapointed by Magic of Incarnum. Not by the concept itself, which is probably better implimented than the way that "ectoplasm" is executed in Ghostwalk, but by the lack of support for running a campaign with incarnum. It seems that the authors expect you to drop the incarnum concept into an existing D&D campaign. I had a look to see if there was a "Greyhawk lite" vibe to the book (implying that it would be part of Oerth) but I didn't see much to link the book into Greyhawk.

Shoehorning incarnum and ectoplasm into the same world would take two barebones concepts and use them both to back each other up, so I do see why that would appeal to some folks. But for me it seems to be a bit of a waste of two good ideas.
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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Havard » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:47 pm

Interesting!

I will start a separate thread about Ectoplasm.

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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:15 pm

Havard wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:47 pm
Interesting!

I will start a separate thread about Ectoplasm.
Sorry. My mistake for not adding a link to my What is ectoplasm and where can it be found? topic.

There are actually two types of ectoplasm in D&D. You will see them both over there.

I would like to see a 5e Ghostwalk merge the two types of ectoplasm (or for explaining why ectoplasm works differently in the Ghostwalk setting) and have proper rules for obtaining it.
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Re: Christopher Perkins says don't expect 5e Ghostwalk soon

Post by Big Mac » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:09 am

shesheyan wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:32 pm
Bruce Heard has said recently he is perfectly happy to work on Calidar and is not interested on working on Mystara again. IIRC this was mentioned in another Piazza thread not long ago.

Monte Cook is a superstar now. Very busy with his Numenera/The Strange/Cypher product lines.
I've not had the time to keep track of Mystara or Calidar too much recently. But if someone like Bruce or Monte is more interested in working on new projects than old ones that's a major blocker for having the older project come back to life.
shesheyan wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:32 pm
Community projects and fanzines are the best hope for old and/or less popular settings. DIY.
Community projects are the best hope for the sort of thing that I want to see happen. But there are also people out there who want to see 5th Edition D&D support for old settings. And if any old settings get official 5e support, it might be a way for the original designers to fill in some of the blanks (and that would help everyone).

Getting back to Ghostwalk, even if Monte Cook is too busy with other things, but there is a chance that Sean K Reynolds might be able to spare some time to do something (like try to recreate the lost one-shot Ghostwalk adventure that he ran) that might be something a few fans might chip in for.
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