Frequently Asked Questions
Q) How come NDG adventure products don't develop the cultures more? They have tons of great races, creatures, laws, cities and the like, but they seem just sketches and underdeveloped. Why?
A) Matt deMille, NDG's main writer, prefers simpler games. To him, adventure products better serve a game when they don't encumber it with too many rules and story details to keep track of. Such details only encourage GMs to force their Players into predetermined scenarios. As Matt likes to say, adventure products should be more like the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' ride at Disneyland, or a haunted house at any amusement park, offering glimpses of gateways to places and pieces of tales, but only inviting you inside or not telling you the whole story, thereby letting your imagination convert what lies beyond any door to your preference. The nature of role-playing games lends itself to Players going off in strange directions, and stories tend to develop themselves, so as long as Players are encouraged to go in a certain direction, the less detail on that path the better, as they'll already be in sync with the Adventure's theme but won't feel confined by imaginary walls, and once started up, their imaginations will be allowed to 'run with the ball' so-to-speak. The published Adventure, to Matt, gives the GM everything he should need to tell an effective game-story. It should not be an encyclopedia. That is simply counter productive. I mean, did we really NEED to learn how The Force worked in Star Wars? Did exposition about the Medichlorians REALLY help us get excited, or, did it bore us and take away the magic? Did Han and Luke and Chewie need a map of the Death Star, or was it enough to know that 'they knew where to go', and that the Stormtrooper were just 'bad guy guards'?
Q) Why are no products from New Dimension Games using the 'd20 system'?
A) There are several reasons for that. First and foremost, our games were designed long before d20 came out in the year 2000, and they worked well enough then (i.e. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"). Second, the main writer and owner, Matt deMille, is an artist, not a competitor, and he creates (and approves) what he feels works best as a game, bottom-line, and what works is simply what the genre and its stories need to function, not how to bend the genre around the same system. Moreover, he (Matt) is a mix of both 'old school' and 'new age' alike, and feels that 'd20', while being a wonderful marketing tool for the last few years, is ultimately going to hurt rather than help the game industry. That brings us to a third reason, and that since everybody else seems to have jumped on the d20 bandwagon, they have saturated the market with a glut of d20 product. Much like the One Ring of Middle-earth, if d20 falls, everything associated with it shall fall as well. And, in business, there simply cannot be 'one way'. Any commercial venture needs good competition or else it eventually collapses under its own weight. You can already see this happening to d20, in that gamers have little choice of other product. After all, even Microsoft has competition (yet they could use more, don't you think?) New Dimension Games would like to remain as an alternative to gamers, be they old school, new age or simply tired of d20 and wanting a change. Because, ultimately, we all loves RPGs, and we just want to offer choices and ideas that will help keep our hobby around forever.
Q) What is 'Moon Dragon' and its relation to New Dimension Games?
A) Moon Dragon is in no way connected with this company. Our name was chosen in the year 2000, and our business license was granted with that name. Only in 2004 did we learn that a game company once existed using the name 'New Dimension Games'. Apparently, they went out of business sometime in 1999 or 2000, and by the time we chose that name for our company, it was out of the government system, hence our license being granted without any mention of the previous company being made to us. The main product line of the old company was 'Moon Dragon'. We, however, are a completely different entity that just happened to choose the same name.
Q) Does New Dimension Games have a permanent store?
A) No. We sell our products for Fantasia, Pirates, Phenomenon, Starquest and other games through mail and email order, and through retailers in the Seattle/Tacoma area of Washington (State), and at various fantasy/sci-fi conventions. Running a store would create unecessary competition for our friends who already help us sell our games (we will not undercut them), and besides that, it would take time away from writing better game products.
Q) Why does my version of the Fantasia Rulebook have a few differences with that of my friend's copy?
A) All our game products are constantly being polished for typos, cover art, etc. Occasionally a rule-change might slip in there. We believe that no product should endure mistakes if we have the power to correct them. However, in order to ensure satisfaction for our customers, we have a standing rule, and that if your copy of a book differs from that of another player or even your Game Master, you can use either your GM's established version of the rules, or what is printed in your own copy, the latter for your own sake alone.
Q) Aren't NDG's rulebooks a little thin compared to other games?
A) Actually, we believe that a lot of games' rulebooks tend to be too thick. Of course, large companies need to print masses of redundant rules in order to meet their print quota. But we print exactly the volume of rules necessary to function, not the amount the invites arguments, encourages rule-lawyers, or degenerates the imagination by printing and listing details better left to a player's preference. Some gamers have begun referring to the difference between 'Soft' and 'Hard' games, so I guess we are to be defined as a Soft Game, meaning that we go light on the rules in order to maximize the storytelling (whereas Hard Games are pretty much all rules, which tend to choke out storytelling possibilities).
Q) How long has New Dimension Games been in business?
A) We officially went online and began selling products in December 2000. However, we've been playtesting our products for many, many years. Hence, the first line of products at least (all those with release dates up to April 2002) have been reinvented and polished for years, so that should testify at least a little to their quality. And as for new products, without years of being rewritten and polished? I can safely say that over a decade of passionate work has given us the skills we need to create better games in their earlier forms, though we will certainly still playtest it and revise it many times in order to ensure a quality product. The main difference is always passion. Nothing will be rushed. That way, we hope to remain in business and never let our fans down. We want the game to live forever!
Q) How does New Dimension Games feel about their competition?
A) We have a different sort of product, so there is little comparison possible. Ever read the sales pitch for some games from big corporations? "This 500-page book is filled with color pictures and is fun to play!" Well, duh! Of course it's fun, else why would anyone want it? And what did they say about the structure of the game, anyway? Not a thing! The depth, details, layers and playability of our products speak for themselves. As for those who fail to see that, yes, sometimes they make us cringe to think of what perpetuates mass industry. But ask yourself: Is the actor giving the best performance the one with the highest salary per movie? Is a new CD better than your favorite nostalgic album simply because all your friends gave in to the hype and bought it? Is one RPG better than what you might enjoy for yourself just because it's what some brain-dead, force-fed gamers are all hot-to-trot about? It's ironic how a game form that by its playstyle encourages people to think for themselves is largely perpetuated by companies feeding the same fast-food mentality of any other form of entertainment. But not by us. The best gamers indeed shall see the adventure for the art it truly is. Just for fun: In the Knights of the Dinner Table magazine (#88) there is an article about a nearly 2000 year-old 20-sided dice sold at auction (Christie's) for five-figures. Well, if there is a dice that old, indeed that ancient, perhaps the ancients played RPGs too (we can hope, right?) So, I'm going to modify an ancient Egyptian proverb to end this paragraph: "Industry fears time. Time fears New Dimension Games."
Q) And game related questions?
A) If there is a question not answered here, it is likely to be related more to an individual game product and thus answered on that game's webpage, be it Fantasia, Pirates, Phenomenon or Starquest. If it is not there, you're still welcome to ask us anything you want, and we will respond in a timely manner.
If you wish to use the proper fonts for this and other pages they are available here as a zip file.