View Full Version : Open Source 40K?

New Cult King
10-05-2005, 22:45
Would it be an improvement on 40K if GW were to go open source, like the D20 system?

It would vastly speed up production times for codexes and game supplements, as well as freeing up money for GW and allowing an influx of new talent/ideas...

As far as I'm concerned, the open source D20 books are awesome. I have yet to come across a seriously sub-standard supplement, and they allow for massive scope and variety.

What do people think?

11-05-2005, 02:09
i think it would need to be a tiered game system,

tier 1
baby 40K starter set

tier 2
introduce additional rules such as overwatch, covering fire, etc

tier 3
advanced psycholigy rules, etc

but i think it's a great idea, i mean there are only so many testers out there, and i am sure the players out number them

11-05-2005, 04:29
It would be such a great idea it's silly. Companies could produce PLAYTESTED and BALANCED rules notes and addendums, as well as completely new codexes. GW could even sell rights to produce smaller codexes like LatD, 13th Co, Armored Company, etc. GW would still make intense profits on their miniatures, but cut all expenses related to their (shoddy) codex production.

Which is exactly why WotC's plan was so successful. People occassionally buy splat books, campaign settings, or modules but EVRY player needs a Players Handbook. GW would do even better, as they would sell more of their already expensive miniatures.

11-05-2005, 05:12
Who would balance the lists then?

11-05-2005, 08:46
Epic already runs a fairly open development system but even so it is not flawless. The 3 armies in the initial rulebook are pretty well balanced but there has still been a slight power creep in the Swordwind supplement. Eldar for example have a plethora of special which (although fluffy) give them perhaps just a little bit too much of an edge.

Open source has its advantages but it is no guarantee of either quality or balance.

11-05-2005, 09:07
I'd say it was a bad idea. D&D and Warhammer are totally different things.

D&D never was 'balanced' - not even the WotC stuff. It doesn't have to be. You play with a DM, and it's more often than not a cooperative effort, anyway. The non-core books are also totally 'plug-and-play' in that you can just pick and choose which ones to use and they'll just seamlessly slot into the core system. But have you tried to use two different books from different companies that try to do the same thing? It's not pretty.

Now Warhammer... a competitive tournament game where balcance is of the utmost importance and new armies (and maybe Battlezone-type books) are pretty much the only expansions you need... Since the number of needed products is so small, companies (and little 'I want Eldar with nothing but starcannons' Timmy) will race to produce a new Codex first. This means no playtesting, and since many Codecii would be released at once, not even an OPPORTUNITY for playtesting.

A godawful idea, all in all. Sorry.

11-05-2005, 11:33
It could work but not the best idea for a game that has to be blanced. main difrance between d&d and 40k is that things are supposed to be hard so that you gain levels and become more powerful.
in 40k its to people going aganist each other and for the most part don;t gain anything by wining therefore haveing a powerful army would just let you bet anyone and that would take the fun out of the game

11-05-2005, 12:18
What's the average length of a GW copyright notice? Open Source GW stuff will never happen.

17-05-2005, 14:13
Have to agree open source is not gonig to happen for one thing it'd mean other people could produce the models which is GWs big money spinner. The problem of producing the goods quick enough is not an issue either as GW is working with a what strikes me as being a seasonal marketing plan as applied in fashion. The plan is beginning to fall to pieces due to the specific nature of the market being targeted. I hope to see the development pace pick up soon before too many people drift away from the system to find other things.

It has to be said GW is usualy very good on pacing things but the gap between armies is letting the market go cool between releases and some players will walk away and consider coming back when everything has been released. I know I did just that when third edition was released and only returned to the game just before fourth edition was released.

17-05-2005, 17:25
40k is meant for teenagers mostly (well that's what GW is aiming for), so GW would never make the game more advanced. And hell, if you want to play with extensive rules then you should play necromunda or epic.

17-05-2005, 17:41
Or find a copy of second edition...

Capt. Buko
17-05-2005, 19:05
Please no.

appealing to people who refuse to learn and read rules by going to D20 is not a good idea.

17-05-2005, 23:43
Umm, Capt. Buko no one mentioned going to d20. This thread is about 40k going open source in a manner similar to d20.

It isn't a good idea. Balance would cease to exist. Even only 1 or 2 severely broken lists would give the power gamers infinite game breaking capability. Roleplaying games do not require the level of balance that head to head miniatures games need. There is also no incentive for GW. They make most of their money off of miniatures and would lose sales to competing open source miniature lines. WotC makes its d20 money on book sales. Any non-WotC d20 product requires the use of one of WotC's main rulebooks.

18-05-2005, 16:43
Technically a good idea, but it would take too much effort to work with. Think of all those people with silly idea. Now picture them actually having a say.

Nuff said.

self biased
18-05-2005, 17:17
Technically a good idea, but it would take too much effort to work with. Think of all those people with silly idea. Now picture them actually having a say.

Nuff said.

ten qweegles. well said.

18-05-2005, 18:52
There is a miniatures game that is already doing this. It is called Aetherverse. The rulebook has army creation rules, and the author has started the AV Design System to allow small companies to create army lists and background using the Aetherverse rules. You can find info here: Aetherverse (http://www.triskelegames.com/aetherverse.php)

Again, I do not think open content would work for 40k as GW has not made official army creation rules. The army lists would need extensive balancing and the flavor of the 40k Universe would be lost.

23-05-2005, 14:21
GW is a miniatures company that sells games in order to drive demand for the miniatures.
The Codices are loss-leaders for GW, not a main source of revenue. Having third party designers coming up with new units in the game that GW would then make would mean that the third party designers have copyright over the names/ images and I canít see GW agreeing to lose copyright over its product.

Zechs Merquise
24-05-2005, 04:23
Exuse my ignorance...but what does open source mean?

24-05-2005, 05:44
Open source originates from the good old days of programming. I'll use Linux for an example.

Rather than have one company develop and produce the code for an operating system, ala Microsoft, open source is when the source code for the operating system is provided for free (or a nominal fee) and users can develop their own adjustments to the code based on what suits their needs. These "plugins" or "mods" can be made available online for others to use.

Open source wargaming is much the same. A backbone rules system is provided for free, and players can develop their own rules/wargear/units for the system which can then be shared online, or take the original rules and modify them to whatever is comfortable.

Open source wargaming is a two-sided coin. On one hand, it provides greater opportunities for playtesting and rules development, but on the other hand it means that a lot of power-gamers can develop all-encompassing rules that suit their playstyle.

Plus, there is also the fact that open-source wargaming would probably require open-source models, allowing other companies to flood the market (with cheaper products) and compete with GW's sculpting team.

Hope that helps.

24-05-2005, 06:37
of course... they could just licence the gaming engine.

like... a 40k'd WWII or Desert Storm Themed game. Heck, even some anime licences could make pretty spiffy wargames. Robotech/Macross anyone?

New Cult King
24-05-2005, 07:44
That's a pretty good idea right there, Darwin_green...

24-05-2005, 12:14
it worked for Warhammer Ancients didn't it?

24-05-2005, 17:31
They already have Warhammer Historical to take care of any historical era they care to create a game for. Allowing Sci-fi or fantasy properties to license the GW system would only be creating their own competition.

25-05-2005, 06:18
It couldn't be that bad. Look at D20 and warmachine.

Or unreal and Counterstrike.

25-05-2005, 10:49
What's the average length of a GW copyright notice?

The same as for everyone else - 70 years from the death of the last living author.

25-05-2005, 11:43
There's nothing stopping player using the core rules for 40K (or whatever else)and adding their own additonal rules. For 40K I'm looking forward to the advanced rule that have been hinted at ofr 12 months. At least GW over the years have added some additional rule bolt ons for 40K the Jugle Fighting rules, Cityfight. If players want a more complex rule set I suggest they try RT or 2nd ed 40K and/or Necromunda or =I= using 28mm minis. We've had a couple of test games with the latter and they've been quite enjoyable and absorbing.

I'm all for junior/intermediate/advanced rulesets in games as it helps keep interest up in the game as they develop their gaming skills. And 4th ed to an extent has the junior/intermediate areas covered. The BfM set and its accompanying supplement book have some excellent basic missions and scenarios in their for young gamers to try out new tactics and scenarios as well as new units in the closing missions of the book. Just waiting for the advanced ruleset to make an appearance at sometime.

Open source? My only real issue with this would players playing games with the same ruleset version. Such open sourcing would need a degree of official envigilation to ensure everyone is using the same rules sets. I welcome the idea GW has taken up with with Necromunda/=I=/Epic:A of the 'living' rulebook, which as stated doe make these systems lean more towards the open source genre. But when you look at it there are plenty of GW rulsets that can be used. 40K in 4th ed is very army orentated but RT is very much centred on characters and squad based formations with very detailed rules for the combatants, scenarios, terrain and 'supporting' addons like alien flora and fauna (something that to a limited degree has reappeared in late 3rd ed/early 4th ed.) Of course you could play 40K or 40K universe games with other rulesets. BFG is quite commonly played with the rulset for 'Full Thrust' and I've seen 40K skirmish games played with Necromunda rules and with 40k adaptation to the Mordeim rules.

I think the view of 40K as a closed ruleset with only official rulings coming for GW is pretty narrow minded, you only have to look around the web to find new rulesets and rules mods for 40K. For those looking for a challenge with 40K try getting a hold of the RT 40k rulebook. As well as lots of backdround there are planety of rules in their to keep the most ardent gamer happy.


25-05-2005, 12:15
Yeah, GW may own the copyright but we as players own the game. Without us GW would crumble, and I don't think they'd try to pull any lawsuits for us creating our own add-ons for their game. They don't want to alienate their customers do they?

25-05-2005, 15:42
Since the thread started with comparing the open source idea to D20, the discussion is about letting 3rd party companies publish their own army lists or background variants. Obviously it's okay for someone to make house rules or for people to make up their own lists in friendly games if both people agree.

The Warmachine RPG requires the use of the D&D Players Handbook, thus WotC makes money when people buy their book to play Warmachine. GW would have to create the licensing of miniatures from any 3rd party company to ensure they make money off of open source rules.

Videogame companies often license their engines to competitors, but it usually isn't until after their own game using that engine has been released. Most videogames are a single release and make most of the money they will ever make within a few months of being released. Most videogame engines have a very short lifespan as they quickly become outdated. Miniature rule systems last for years, and any company allowed to use the same rules would be a potential competitor for all those years.

Jo Bennett
27-05-2005, 12:58
In principle the idea is good, the problem is that no-one in their right mind would want to use 40k rules for things when they can hire the likes on Andy Chambers to write rules specific to them. The thing with D20 is that people are less likely to want to learn a new system if they've only invested £20 for the rulebook. If people want to play a miniatures game they're sinking £100 at least for an army and then painting etc., they're going to be far less bothered about picking up a new, and more appropriate, set of rules. D20 is much more generic than 40k. If 40k was generic enough for this sort of use then WHFB and 40k wouldn't have parted ways.