By: Jason Stuart
So week one of our latest brand split is in the books, and the reviews were incredibly mixed. Troy has done a masterful job of recapping the shows themselves, so I don’t want to rehash all of that. However, I thought it would be interesting to start a 3 Up, 3 Down article to discuss this week’s shows.
So those were my best and worsts from RAW and SmackDown this week. I’d love to hear your opinions, so visit our forums and let me know what you think. Also, listen to The Rundown this week as I am sure I will be arguing some of these with my fellow co-hosts.
By: Troy Boesen
The fist has returned! Or at least it returned to the opening. The opening was great. We got the new theme song and the new opening as well as a new set. The commentary team still has JBL on it, but otherwise Otunga and Mauro were pretty good all night.
The night started off the same way as RAW, with the Authority in the ring. We get the announcement that on September 11th we will have WWE Smackdown: Inside Job. I mean Backlash, the first Smackdown only special event of the New Era. They announced that we will get a Six Pack challenge for number one contender for the WWE Intergalactic Championship. We find out that Cena, Wyatt, Ziggler, Corbin and Styles will be in the match and we will have a battle royal for the final spot.
This match had Erick Rowan, Tyler Breeze, Alberto Del Rio, Fandango, Konnor, Viktor, Aiden English, Apollo Crews, Simon Gotch, Kane, Kalisto, Zack Ryder, Mojo Rawley, and….Just one of the Usos? For whatever reason, we decided to not showcase the Tag Team division and instead but them all in this match, and we still do not have another set of tag belts. Simon Gotch continues his punishment for being a pussy by getting dumped 10 seconds into the match. The Ascension gets dumped followed by Jey Uso. Jacked up math teacher and Rowan were eliminated during the commercial. Del Rio gets heat for eliminating fuck face Mojo Rawley. Breeze and Fandango get eliminated. Kane, Ryder, Crews and Kalisto are the final four. Kalisto is tossed by Kane, Ryder is tossed by Kane and then Kane gets eliminated by Apollo Crews. We also get after match interviews on Smackdown Live! Renee interviews Smilin’ Black Guy.
Becky Lynch vs Natalya
Becky and Natalya have another battle. The match was good, but it was never going to follow Sasha v Charlotte. There is still no real prize for the women and I was hoping we would get a new World Women’s Championship.
Becky is interviewed post match by Renee Young and actually interrupts Renee. She gets in a dumb pun before the Glitter Goddess Alexa Bliss makes her entrance. Bliss gives a short but on point introduction to herself and actually looked polished. She is interrupted by the returning Naomi. Bliss has a pitch perfect reaction to Naomi coming down. Naomi’s “New Look” appears to just be a rip off of Alexa Bliss. She now has bright yellow tips to her hair. It’s at this point that Carmella’s music hits. Carmella comes out with Enzo Amore type energy. She even moonwalks a bit. Carmella gives her entrance before she is interrupted by Eva Marie. Marie has a ring announcer now? Bliss does a great job of selling anger here, Becky looks annoyed, Naomi looks bored, and Carmella looks like she has no idea who Eva Marie is. This was a perfect way to use Eva Marie’s go away heat and make every other woman here pissed that she is even on the roster. Eva thankfully doesn’t talk, but instead just poses on the ramp. While this was a great way to showcase the entire women’s division roster, unless they have a title to go after, this whole thing just feels like filler. Give the women something to fight for and these six women can run the division.
MizTV w/Randy Orton
MizTV happened. Yep. This leads to a match vs Randy Orton.
The Miz vs Randy Orton
This would have been more interesting if it was for the Title. Orton wins with an RKO.
We get a video package for American Alpha. Why would they not have American Alpha on the show? Heath Slater tosses some random guy and gives a marble mouthed promo. Slater is a really good promo guy but his inability to talk straight holds him back. He goes on about being a free agent before Shane comes out. Shane says he is looking at the hottest free agent as Rhyno enters the ring. If Rhyno is there, does that make him a free agent? Or did Shane already hire him and that is why he is there? Rhyno gores Slater. Decent segment.
We also learn that Shelton Benjamin will be returning to Smackdown. Again, why spoil the surprise? It would have been a far bigger pop for Benjamin to show up randomly.
Wyatt does a promo before saying, "I’m here."
Wyatt vs Crews vs Corbin vs Styles vs Ziggler vs Cena
The match had a great deal of near falls and some great wrestling. In the end, it was Ziggler who picked up the victory over Styles. I’m happy for Ziggler and this felt like a surprise, but him beating Styles felt like the wrong move here. Corbin or Crews winning would have felt too soon for either. Styles or Wyatt made the most sense here and Cena would have been a disaster. Ziggler still feels a little too late for me, but the match at SummerSlam should be really good.
Smackdown Live was a letdown for me. They could have set up a Tag Team tournament to introduce new Tag belts, or had the women’s segment end with Brie Bella coming out and introducing a new women’s belt. Instead we got four matches in two hours. Raw had 8 matches in 3 hours. The “Wrestling” show featured very little wrestling and only accomplished setting up the WWE Championship match. Nothing else really happened. The natural thing we will keep doing is comparing the shows. In terms of comparison, RAW took week one. Smackdown has a great deal of potential, but we need to see new storylines be created and some new title belts as well.
By: Troy Boesen
I will be honest; I was not expecting the New Era of Raw to be so very different. This was different in a great new way. The New Era has been presented as a new focus on women’s wrestling, a greater focus on match quality for the men and the Authority role playing a background to the wrestling storylines. I still want to be hesitant to say that WWE can keep that up, but after the first episode of RAW, it looks like the company is heading in the right direction.
The night started out with a brand new opening music and a brand new stage and ring ropes. What wasn’t new was the back of the ring which still had the old RAW logo on the ring banner. Also, the Smackdown live commercials alternated between showing the new and old logos. Right off the bat, we get our new announce team of Michael Cole, Byron Sexton (Thanks Kevin Dunn), and Corey Graves. It’s very evident throughout the night that the New Era of Raw is taking some things from UFC. Having the announcer have to stand up while they are on camera is a nice touch.
The very first segment saw Foley and Steph in the ring and I instantly felt like nothing had changed. Since this was the only appearance of the Authority and it set up the entire show, I was happy. It really did show the company trying to go in a new direction. They announced that RAW must have a champion, and we got the reveal of the new World Title, the Universal Championship. And by reveal, I mean just the name because they didn’t show the belt. Tonight we will have two fatal four way matches, with the winners facing each other in the Main Event to be in a match against Seth Rollins for the new belt at Summerslam. So we are right back to Rollins getting things handed to him as he didn’t even have to qualify for the match. They also announced that Charlotte would defend the WWE Women’s Championship against Sasha Banks tonight. We got the first appearance of Finn Balor and it was a dud. They just announced him for the match and he stood there. It was a very lackluster first appearance for Balor, but thankfully, the rest of the night made up for it.
Rusev vs Kevin Owens vs Finn Balor vs Cesaro
This match was excellent. Rusev and Owens working together to take out Balor and Cesaro was great to see, and Owens provided some fun commentary during the match. My favorite point of the night came when Rusev tried to pin Cesaro. Owens pulled him off and shouted “I’m right here.” All four guys looked very strong in this match, with Balor able to begin to showcase his talent. The match ended when Balor hit the Coup de Grace on Rusev for the win. Balor winning seemed like the logical bet for this match, and it leaves the other three guys without a storyline right now.
Nia Jax vs Britt Baker
The return of the squash match and enhancement matches was rumored for a while, and this show featured a few of both. Jax was able to show her dominance over a jobber, who didn’t get an entrance. Baker didn’t get a single offensive move in, but she looked decent. Jax came off well and it was a good debut.
Chris Jericho vs Roman Reigns vs Sami Zayn vs Sheamus
This match was also very good, and maybe even better than the first fatal four way. Zayn was put over huge in this match as he got a lot of really good moves in. Anyone who thought that Reigns wasn’t going over is a straight up mark. This was the second time I felt that the New Era was going to be the same old shit. Jericho took the pin at least, so Zayn and Sheamus remain strong. As with the first, all three men who lost do not have a storyline now.
At this point, the New Day hit the ring to celebrate being the longest reigning Tag Team Champions. I said it on the show, but the New Day are the longest reigning TAG TEAM Champions, not the longest reigning WORLD tag team champs. Different titles man. They bring in some fat black dude and pull an Abbott and Costello joke about his name being Sunny Boy. This was dumb, and thankfully, The Club pulled the New Day out of the ring and beat the shit out of them. They blew snot into Kofi Kingston’s shirt and chucked it at Sunny Boy’s face. The Club vs The New Day at Summerslam seems imminent.
Neville vs Curtis Axel
Curtis Axel, former IC champ, is now Enhancement Talent. This match was to put Neville over in his return and the match was decent. Neville really hasn’t done much to change his gimmick or look beyond growing a beard.
Charlotte vs Sasha Banks
The entire match I felt that shenanigans where in order. I could see now reason for them to finally give the title to Sasha on RAW instead of SummerSlam. The match was great. These two have such a great chemistry together and the match was awesomely back and forth. We got a great spot where Sasha tossed the belt to Dana Brooke and pretended to be hurt. Brooke got ejected (really it would have made more sense for the DQ here since they did the same thing last night in the Darren Young match) and Sasha got to give a shoutout to Eddie Guerrero. The two exchanged submission attempts with Charlotte telling Sasha “you will never beat me.” Sasha responded with the Backstabber and the Banks Statement to make Charlotte tap. This was the first time my jaw dropped tonight. It wouldn’t be the last. Banks starts to cry while holding up the championship and we see Charlotte crying on her way to the back. Saxton jumps in the ring to interview Sasha, and again, I felt UFC vibes here. Sasha winning is a huge moment, and she needs to retain at SummerSlam to give her run some importance.
We got a terrible backstage segment where The Golden Truth interrupt Darren Young and Bob Backlund. So much for the New Era being without it’s shitty moments.
Braun Strowman vs James Elsworth
Strowman came out with a brand new haircut but with the very same outfit on. They even interviewed jobber James Elsworth before the match. The commentary never mentioned that Strowman was a member of the Wyatt Family and treated this like it was the first appearance of Strowman. No surprise that Strowman got the win.
Enzo and Cass vs what the fuck? The Shining Stars?
Enzo and Cass had a decent promo and where then interrupted by Primo and Epico. This is what happens when you draft Enzo and Cass to a program with every other top Tag Team. They have nothing to do. This match was further shit on when The Golden Truth walked through the match trying to catch Pokemon. Ug. Enzo and Cass won, but who really gave a shit about this match really.
Finn Balor vs Roman Reigns
The match? Awesome. The result? Jaw Dropping. Balor came off as a true star here. This match had a great back and forth with Reigns using his power and Balor using his quickness. Balor hit the Coup de Grace and WWE got Smarks around the world to jizz their pants. Finn Balor won. Finn Balor will go to SummerSlam and be in a title match against Seth Rollins. Reigns gets interviewed on his way out and puts over Balor. The very first episode of the New Era of Raw ended with Finn Balor victorious.
By: Troy Boesen
Last night at Battleground, we had what could be the final time that the current members of The Club team together. One thing that I noticed straight away was the fact that Gallows and Anderson had a black, white and red color scheme, while AJ Styles had black, white and blue. Given that The Club is a heavily influenced by the N.W.O., I instantly thought about The Club: Raw and The Club: Smackdown. How great would it be to have two different factions of The Club, one for each show? The Club: Smackdown would of course be fronted by Styles, but who would be the new backup for him? Let's look at the easier one to call, The Club: Raw. Gallows and Anderson need a leader. Good thing there are some options:
Balor already fits the color scheme, with his black, white and red. Balor also has the history with Gallows and Anderson in Japan. Balor would be a great turn as well and would feel a bit like Hogan joining The Outsiders. Many of us have already called for Balor to turn heel in order for him to become a more interesting character.
Cesaro would be a decent fit for The Club and would allow him to have some better direction. Cesaro is in need of something new and his recent promos have painted him as a bitter veteran.
Owens doesn't really need the backup, but having the Club behind him would be a lot of fun to watch. Owens makes a lot of things better, and the chemistry will already be there.
As for who will be backing up the Phenomenal one?
Corbin is quickly circling the drain. Him being added to Club Smackdown would mean another member would need to be added, but Corbin has the attitude and dominating in ring work to make Styles look like a smart leader. Plus, you could bring his stomach in as a mascot. They could have Erick Rowan join Corbin with Styles always taking for them.
Everyone wants Angle to lead American Alpha, but I feel like their natural cockiness would be a great fit for The Club's natural style.
This one would require a rebranding of NXT's longest reigning Tag Champs, but it would give a pretty talented team something more to do and could save them from becoming a distant memory.
Eh. Again, this one would require a gimmick change.
What better guys to back up Styles then the guys who hate his style? The revival would be great brawlers to back up the high flyer.
Who do you want to see join The Club?
By: Troy Boesen
The WWE Draft has come and gone, and we are still left with more questions than answers. RAW got 41 superstars, and Smackdown got 31 superstars. This would be fine, except for the fact that RAW will have at least 10 to 15 more superstars to fill out their Cruiserweight division, as well as most likely getting Bayley. I have broken the rosters down to Main Event, Midcard, Tag Division, Cruiser Division (For RAW), and Women’s division. Let’s look at the rosters:
RAW Main Event:
Rollins and Reigns makes a lot of sense here, as does skyrocketing Balor to main even status. The problem is part timer Lesnar and Chris Jericho. Lesnar isn’t even booked to face a Raw superstar until possibly next year as his SummerSlam opponent is Smackdown’s Randy Orton. They do have the opportunity to bring Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens up to the main event, or Rusev and Cesaro.
Smackdown Main Event:
I actually give Smackdown the immediate advantage here, but RAW has Balor, Zayn and Owens as the future, whereas Smackdown has Wyatt, Ambrose and Baron Corbin. Styles will be given the chance to run as a singles heel, with Wyatt as the number 2 heel. Orton is your Jericho here.
Big Show on Raw makes more sense here; Strowman getting a singles push is a terrible idea. Rusev, Zayn, Sheamus, Owens, and Cesaro are a great midcard. Any of them can be pushed to the main event at any moment. The real question here is if we get the US and IC belts swapped at Battleground. Axel is again out on his own.
Alberto Del Rio
This isn’t a terrible midcard, but there's not a lot of potential Main Event talent here. I will be putting the Hype Bros in the Tag Section as well. Kane is a throwaway here. Crews vs Corbin continues, and Erick Rowan gets yet another singles run. Raw gets the advantage now and in the future here.
RAW Tag Division:
The Realest G’s (Enzo and Big Cass)
The Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray and D-Von)
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
The Shitty Stars (Primo and Epico)
Golden Truth (R-Truth and Goldust)
The Club (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows)
Potential Raw Teams:
Big and Slow (Big Show and Braun Strowman)
Prime Time Players (Titus and Darren)
Creative has nothing for you (Curtis Axel and Jack Swagger)
Wyatt Family (Strowman and Luke Harper if he returns to Raw)
Six teams on Raw and Six teams on Smackdown. No doubt that we will get Smackdown Tag titles. We know that the Tag Titles will remain on Raw as they are not on the line at Battleground. Enzo and Big Cass, The Club, and The New Day will be the top teams here with the rest being enhancement talent. Raw has the three hottest acts here while Smackdown will have to build up American Alpha and they have little else in terms of established teams.
Smackdown Tag Division:
The Vaudevillians (Jacked up Math Teacher Aiden English and Simon Gotch)
American Alpha (or The American Alphas) (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable)
Fabreeze (Fandango and Tyler Breeze)
The Uso’s (Jey and Jimmy Uso)
The Ascension (Viktor and Konnor)
Potential Smackdown Teams:
The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder)
Fire Crotch (Kane and Rowan)
Wyatt Family (Rowan and Harper if he returns to Smackdown)
We will need a Smackdown Tag Title here, and only the Uso’s are former WWE Tag Champs. Looks like The Ascension are getting a push, and American Alpha will be what the division is built around. We could still see The Revival join here if they drop the belts to Gargano and Ciampa.
We have five, maybe six Cruisers right off the bat, with Kota Ibushi, Drew Gulak, Kenneth Johnson, Akira Tozawa, Tajiri, Zack Sabre Jr, Noam Dar, Ariya Daivari, Rich Swann, Lince Dorado, TJ Perkins, Cedric Alexander, Tony Nese and Brian Kendrick all options once the CWC is done. Still no word on if we will have the Cruiserweight championship back, or if we will just use the division as a curtain jerker.
The drafting of the Women make no sense. Not only do we not know if we will have two Women’s belts, but the breakdown of talent is very lopsided here. Charlotte, Nia Jax, Paige, Sasha Banks and if Bayley joins the roster gives RAW the top five Women in the company. Paige or Nia Jax on Smackdown would have given the division more legitimacy. Fox, Rae and Brooke are all enhancement for the top stars. It’s obvious that the Raw women are far superior to the Smackdown women.
Having Eva Marie on the roster shits on not only the division, but Smackdown’s New Era. Having Alexa Bliss be drafted on the post show already buries her and Carmella being the final pick also hurts. Emma returning to Smackdown would help, but I do not want to see Nikki Bella on Smackdown. The division will be built around Lynch and Natalya, with Bliss, Carmella and most likely Eva Marie as the future of the division. Naomi presents an interesting option here as they could make a legit black champion. Asuka would make this division more interesting if they decide to bring her up. Bayley would be a better choice for Smackdown with Naomi, Natalya, Marie and Bliss as heels to face her.
I know that my expectations for the draft ruined the experience for me, but I really felt that not having any real surprises hurt here. No returning name like Kurt Angle or John Morrison, and not having the NXT talent appear on the show was a waste. They should have cut to the performance center to show the reaction of the newly called up talent. I also would have liked to see the superstars actually come out instead of just doing a promo package for each.
The biggest issue I had was Stephanie McMahon’s need to be center of attention and her constantly dogging her own GM. Shane and Bryan seemed like a cohesive unit, and having Steph and her GM at odds not only sets up a feud I care nothing for, but makes her seem really stupid for picking Foley. Steph needs to leave television for a while and let Foley run the program, but I doubt that will happen.
Even kayfabe, most of the picks didn’t make sense when they happened or who picked them. Having Shane get upset that he lost The Real G’s, after picking Baron Corbin made him look incompetent. We also waited until the post show to actually split up talent, so all the buildup of tension in teams didn’t matter. The only teams that were broken up were the Wyatt Family and the Social Outcasts. Strowman will get a singles push and the Outcasts will go back to obscurity. No consequences there.
Battleground will be full of hyperbole like “We will never see this again” and “The final time these guys will team with each other”, despite the fact we have four special events where both brands will be at and we will have people jump shows from time to time. Battleground will also be very odd when you have such uncertainty regarding what titles will be on what show and what new titles will exist.
By: Andrew Lister
Just days before the monumental WWE draft happens during the debut of live Smackdown on Tuesday, July 19th, WWE has released the full set of rules for the draft alongside eligible superstars. You can find the article here, but I’ll quickly break down Tuesday’s proceedings.
First, since Raw and Smackdown are of different televised lengths, the rosters will be a little uneven. The ratio of picks will be 3 for Raw to 2 for Smackdown. On the surface this may seem to be setting Smackdown up for failure; however, it makes sense to have more talent available on the longer show and less talent on the shorter in order to maximize superstar exposure.
Next, tag teams count as a draft pick unless one show wants to break up a team. This will probably lead to some very shocking and needed splits.
Finally, a total of 6 NXT superstars will be up for drafting. This will be most interesting, and this added suspense will build the impact of these rising stars, especially if one gets drafted shockingly early.
A while back, Raccoon Reigns and Jason of The Rundown Wrestling Podcast made their drafts picks. I’m going to take my own crack at this, keeping to the draft rules, and explaining my top picks for both sides. This list is my vision of what both shows should look like, and I invite you to tell us your own thoughts on the draft. Get ahold of The Rundown or The Questionable Endeavor Network on social media, via e-mail, or in the comments below, and we may read your comments on the next episode of The Rundown.
The rules state that Raw gets 3 and Smackdown gets 2, so we’ll do rounds by picking five superstars before going on to the next round. I’ll explain the first five rounds of picks and then give a general list of the other superstars.
Since Raw gets the first pick, let’s start with who Stephanie McMahon should draft first. Click the link below for our list.
By: Coard Lowery
You! Yes, you my good sir! Do you love DnD 5e? Or DnD in general? Do you want to stimulate and validate the works of dozens of independent writers who love DnD, too? Well then, I’m MrConradTheDuck, and this is why you should go to the Dungeon Masters Guild!
Think about it, with every book produced by Wizards of the Coast comes a slew of new, fun and interesting options for you to develop a character or theorycraft for hours over. But why stop there? With every new addition comes an opportunity to enrich your gaming circle with new concepts, ideas, and mechanics you’d never thought would see the light of day.
Do you want to wield mighty blood magic to enhance your powers as a fighter? Do you want to learn the arcane traditions of the spiders? Do you want to unleash a race of pixies for your players to become? Well, DnD 5e doesn’t have that, unless you let it.
With the Dungeon Masters Guild there’s fans just like you who spend their time trying to share with the world their ideas and passions, possibly bringing unto you and your group countless hours of entertainment, discussion, and dare I say fun? All of this is available if you take the leap.
You Were Lied To
Yes, lied to. To your face, point blank with no respect for you, your life choices or your own independence. Yes indeed, every time someone told you that all 3rd party material was bad, broken, poorly written or all around not worth the time lied to you.
Years of bias has stifled, stifled I say, the creative thinkers of the world of our hobby. These people are just as capable and talented as the fine folks at Wizards and equally capable of providing balanced and thematically rich options for you to play with. The notion that all 3rd party is bad isn’t just wrong, it’s destructive. It hurts people who spend their time trying to bring you new and interesting ideas by making it more difficult for them to make money doing what they love. Certainly, bad 3rd party material is very much real, but there’s definitely bad 1st party material, too. I mean, we all know about 4th edition right?
Burns aside, I think you’ll find a plethora of fair and balanced options available for you in 3rd party material from all over. Also, speaking with your money and making it clear good work comes with good rewards, you can stimulate the industry and the hobby by encouraging others to produce even better work, leaving your gaming experience truly without restraint.
You’ll Improve the Hobby
It’s true, you will. You see, at this point you’ve spoken with your money, you’ve helped small independent developers bring bigger and better material to you, giving them the push to make full length books full of lore, new worlds, classes, and mechanics unique and creative to the game. With your help you can take DnD 5e, heck, all of gaming to a new level.
You see, without competition industry stagnates; however, worse than no competition is no one to compete for, and in that you’ll find there is no industry. Without 3rd party material everything lies on Wizards. This could mean years of nothing new for your games or years of book after book shoveled out to meet demands.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. You see, Wizards isn’t infinite, and neither are their design goals, ideas, or ability. However, by allowing 3rd party material to flourish, you can decide which material is of a high enough quality to make it into your game, you can help all sides fight for supremacy by outdoing one another and you’ll help yourself with tons of great new things to play with. Really, who loses?
I Know You Like Free Stuff
Want more options but have no money? Well, on ye old Dungeon Masters Guild you can find, well, free stuff, including Archetypes, Classes, and Feats, and a lot of it is actually good. From pay what you want to completely free, you can find tons or material to add to your game without spending a dime.
Of course, I would urge you to spend what money you can once you know you like a product, and in doing so, you might get more! If you can’t spare the cash, a 5 star rating and a glowing review will still help bring more innovations to the hobby. Heck, if you find something bad, feel free to rip into it (respectfully, of course) and in turn, you’ll build better developers, better products, and a better community. And you can do so without spending a dime if need be. Who can beat that?
Even if It’s Bad, It’s Good
When you touch a hot stove, it’s not all bad, after all you learned an important lesson. Bad reviews will make designers want to learn how to improve. Moreover, good designers can take the mistakes of others and apply those to their own material. You, as consumers, can qualify and understand what makes a bad product by examining the differences between a good and bad product.
Ignoring something because it’s bad will not help a company get better. Instead take the garbage, dive in, embrace it, and you’ll find the feeling of being clean afterwards all the more rewarding. Believe me I’ve sifted through a lot of gaming trash, but I’ve come out happier knowing I’ve found new gems to add to my collection and knowing that, when I write a review, I’ve helped someone else learn and grow from it. You can do it too. I believe in you!
Imagine you’re an awesome guy, who’s really cool and loves buffalo wings (unrelated, but still, they’re so good), and you stumble upon a class on Dungeon Masters Guild. You read it, you like what you see, it’s flavorful, full of ideas and potential and… probably the worst garbage you’ve ever laid eyes upon. So you decide to be an overly rude jerk in your review. You realize you were pretty harsh, but something else also happens. The developer, he heard you! He said, “This is overpowered and bad, so I’ll fix it!” and it was fixed! Then you write a new review (with a lot of apologies) and soon you talk and talk and finally what was completely broken and incompatible is, well, is great! It’s balanced and fun, but still has its core ideas and mechanics in check.
That was my story, and it’s true! I helped turn trashware into something I shove in my players' faces and yell, “Look at it” because I know it’s a product worth time and money. You see, Wizards is a big and busy company, and your words will likely fall on deaf ears. But 3rd party publishers are small enough to speak to you, read your words, learn and adapt, and flourish because they are in direct contact with you and their community. It's a truly beautiful thing.
It Gets Better with Size
Granted bigger communities tend to have some, uh, trash people show up. Yeah, trash people. Oh, but also with more people comes more ideas. Think of it as one big think tank. Everyone's talking, reading, communicating and an idea, your idea, flies off into the air. Wizards ain’t gonna do it, and you don’t have the time or know how. Huh, but what’s this? A 3rd party developer saw your ideas, loved them and brought them to life on a PDF file for the world to enjoy!
Yes, with more people tiny seeds of thought can be planted into a great big idea garden and become beautiful brain roses. All thanks to you. Yes you! And, because there’s so many brains out there doing the idea tango that each notion can be added to, evolved, changed, improved, and balanced. Everyone's input becomes an ingredient in this idea pie, and with enough love and time baking, this pie can be delicious. All that needs to happen is for you to go to a website, like the Dungeon Masters Guild, every once in awhile and contribute.
That’s right, fun! I’m not saying you can’t have fun with just the base book, but you can have even more fun with 3rd parties! By contributing and helping to grow our community, many 3rd party works have become so clean and professional that they can be indistinguishable from 1st party works.
On top of that, there are thousands of fun new content that have rained from the sky. A class here, a dope spell there, ooh is that an archetype? They’re all there for you and your friends to enjoy and love and create new memories with.
You’re in Control!
Here’s the best part! Unlike official material, you have even more right to just say no. Sure you can do that now with the official stuff, but you’ll always have players say, “Come on, man! They made it, so it’s intended to be used.” With third party material, it’s not made by Wizards, it’s not official or assumed you’d have it. If you dislike something from the Dungeon Masters Guild, then just say no. They really can't argue with you.
Besides that, 3rd party material is entirely up to your preferences. You can take and add what you’d like to the base game, and you can figure out what works best for your own group. Neat huh?
What are you waiting for?
Well? There’s literally no negatives to checking out the Dungeon Masters Guild. Start by picking up the free stuff, and if you like it, use it. Think some paid content looks cool? Buy it and use it. Send you GM here so he’ll learn the beauty of 3rd party material, and then you’ll all have a grand ol’ time. There really are no downsides. Go on, get.
Until next time, I’m MrConradTheDuck. Have a good one!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Coard D. Lowery, AKA MrConradTheDuck, is a 23 years old something who likes reading, developing and playing tabletop games. He's probably good at one of those things. He has been gaming for 7 years, and what he lack in time of experience, he makes up in relentless research.
TV & Movies
Henry Huge Pecs
Ray Williams III
Contribute your own writing today!