What is Happening to Tabletop Roleplaying Games?
  • So What IS Happening to Tabletop Roleplaying Games? Dancey & Mearls Let You Know!


    At PAX East a panel took place entitled "What Is Happening to Tabletop Roleplaying Games?" It featured Ryan Dancey (CEO of Goblinworks which is producing the Pathfinder MMO, architect of the Open Gaming License, and one of the people who spearheaded D&D 3E), Luke Peterschmidt (CEO of Fun to 11), Derek Lloyd (owner of the game store 'Battleground Games and Hobbies'), Luke Crane (Tabletop Games Specialist at Kickstarter and RPG designer of Burning Wheel, Mouseguard and more), Matt McElroy (Marketing Director at DriveThruRPG/OneBookshelf and Onyx Path which currently handles WoD products) and Mike Mearls (senior manager of D&D Next). [threadcm]http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?354586-So-What-IS-Happening-to-Tabletop-Roleplaying-Games-Dancey-amp-Mearls-Let-You-Know![/threadcm]

    It's well worth listening to the whole recording if you have an hour to spare, as it contains plenty of interesting summations of RPG publishing over the decades, plus a lot of discussion about how great Kickstarter is and why it's the latest of a series of industry expansions which included the advent of desktop pubishing, the Open Gaming License and d20 System License, and now Kickstarter. It also touches on the various times the RPG industry has almost died (from what Dancey says, the rise of World of Warcraft seriously hit the industry, and later surveys while he was at CCP working on Eve Online indicated that a lot of people playing these MMOs had once played tabletop RPGs but now played MMOs instead, not in addition to).

    Ryan Dancey also goes into the various surveys from ICv2 over the last few years (those ones which have put Pathfinder as the world's leading RPG since 2010 or so, although he acknowledges that this isn't a great way of determining sales - they call a number of retailers and simply ask what their top five selling RPG products are within a given month; no numbers, just a ranking), which leads to an interesting exchange between him and Mike Mearls.

    Click for more about the Pathfinder RPGDancey: ...some of those games we talk about being mid-market kind of games, they're on this list. Some of the games that are coming out of Kickstarter are on this list... you know, FATE is on this list, Exalted is on this list.. and then we've got this classic duel between Pathfinder and D&D. I wish I could stand up here today and say, like, you know, any given game you ask me and I can tell you how much it's sold, sales, I have no idea, it's impossible to tell. Y'know anecdotally I can tell you that most of the games on this chart, with the exception of Pathfinder and D&D, they're probably not selling more than 20,000 units of whatever their core product is, and some of them are probably selling less than 10. It's hard to say, especially with games that might have a lot of supplements and add-on products, what the total volume is for any one of these games. And ICv2 lumps them all under one category so every sale of Mutants & Masterminds is in that one line, not just the core books.

    But here's the thing I want you to see... some of these games are the classic games, the games that we've seen, y'know, for four decades, and some of these games are relatively brand new games that no one's ever seen before, and they change. So the thing that was really interesting to me is that if we had looked at this data from the 90s - and I have data that's kind of similar to this that was collected by an out-of-print magazine called Comics & Games Retailer - and if you just looked at the top five games from like 1990 to 1995 they were essentially the same five games every month, month after month after month. It was very, very predictable. The frothiness, the rate at which these games change and appear on these lists and go away is new. And certainly the fact that D&D is not the number one game on this list is definitely new, that has never happened before in decades. So, there are some weird things going on in this market. We don't have any quantitative data, I can't put a number on it, but we have this kind of qualitative sense that there has been change, that it's easier to get success but it's harder to keep that success.

    Mearls: Oh, I think what's interesting about this graph if you were to take the word "sales" off - I can't see the graph [something]... there's actually [something] well who's releasing the most supplements this actually maps almost perfectly to that measure. And I think the big change we're seeing is in the 90s there was a sort of expected tempo of .. for a tabletop roleplaying game you expected every month that you played Mage or Werewolf or D&D or some of the D&D settings, every month there's a new book. And what we're seeing now is that's not really, no longer the case for a wide variety of reasons. Really, outside .. I realise there's only one or two companies that are still able to do that ... we're not seeing the book-a-month pubishing pattern that we saw ten years ago. And I think that's one of the real big disruptions, where, you know, and there's a lot of questions and is that a good thing for the industry, is it a bad thing for the industry, and what does it actually mean for the ongoing tabletop hobby.

    Dancey: And I think, one of the things you mentioned to me before the panel, too, Mike, was that this is really myopic, it's really only going to talk about retail sales, it's not capturing book trade, it's not capturing online, it's not capturing Kickstarter, it's a really myopic slice of the data.


    The conversation continues amongst the panel about Kickstarter and the way companies use it to produce sequential different products rather than extended product lines - new games, not expansions.

    Dancey: Yeah. Ok, so here's our last topic, which I suspect a fairly significant number of people in this room would like to hear Mike talk about.

    (A short sequence of show-of-hand questions establishes that of the people there in the room about an equal number have played Pathfinder and D&D in the last month).

    Dancey: OK, so here's my giant spiel. I do not work for Paizo Publishing. I'm not a member of the Paizo Publishing staff, and I'm not here to represent Pathfinder. I'm just moderating this panel. So, Mike is now going to debate an empty chair [laughter]... so, and, prior to this panel I sent the slides round to everybody and I said 'Hey Mike, this is kinda how I see, like, the next three years of life in the, at the top of the chart. Two big, muscular sluggers are gonna duke it out and when that's done one of those guys is gonna be laying on the mat'. And Mike said "I don't see it that way", so Mike, why don't you say what you told me about your theory.

    Click for more about D&DMearls: Yeah, so this kinda goes back to what I was talking about earlier about the change and about how we look at the ongoing support for D&D and how I think this ins actually interacting with tabletop games in general. So I kinda have this theory I developed, I call it the Car Wars theory. So back in 1987 when I was 12 I bought Car Wars, it was the game I bought that month, and it had a vehicle design system. And I spent hours and hours and hours building new Car Wars vehicles and drawing maps and just playing with all the things around the game but very rarely able to actually play the game, because in order for me to play the game I had to get my parents to drive me to a friend's house and then get that friend to actually want to play Car Wars and then teach him all the rules and all that other stuff, right? And in addition to having Car Wars, and D&D and other stuff, I had my Nintendo and I had my Apple, too. And I bought new video games at about the same rate, maybe once a month if I did chores or I had a little part time job, I'd get maybe one new game a month.

    What has changed now is that a game like Car Wars can work very well if I'm not getting a new constant stream of games. Because I have all this time wherer I want to be gaming but I can't play a game, so I'll do all the stuff that exists around the game. But now thanks to, like, this phone... [something] smartphones, tablets, Steam, uh, XBox Live, PSN, I can buy games whenever I want. I mean, I was at the airport yesterday and I was bored so I bought Ten Million for my iPhone and I just started playing. Because I have other games on my phone, but I thought, nah, I'm sick of the games I have, I'm just gonna buy a new one. That would have been perfect time, back in the 80s, to like work on my D&D campaign, or read that month's D&D expansion, or work on new designs for my, uh, for for Car Wars. But what's happening is we have so many new games coming in that the amount of time that one game can take up without having you actually play that game, like World of Warcraft where you just log in and play, or you do things like in the auction house, thta's part of play, right, trying to get resources, you're selling stuff for actual money that's helping you play the game.

    I believe that's what's really happening to tabletop roleplaying, is that it used to be a hobby of not playing the game you want to play. And there are so many games now that you can play to fill all those hours of gaming, you can actually game now, and that what's happening is that RPGs needed that time, we, a GM or DM needed that time to create the adventure or create a campaign, a player needed that time to create a character, allocate skill ranks and come up with a background, and come up, you know, write out your three-page essay on who your character was before the campaign. That time is getting devoured, that time essentially I think is gone, that you could play stuff that lets you then eventually play a game or you can just play a game. And people are just playing games now.

    And what we're really doing with D&D Next is we're really looking at thriving and surviving in that type of market. If you've playtested the game, you see we've run much simpler with the mechanics, things move much faster when you play... one of our very early things was was to say, look, I was playing Mass Effect 1 or 2 at the time. I can complete a mission in Mass Effect in about an hour and a half. So why can't I complete an adventure in D&D in that time? Why does it take me 4, 8, 12 hours just to get from page one of the adventure to the end? I mean, yeah, you can have huge epic adventures but I can't do it in less than four hours.

    Dancey: You didn't want to have 20 minutes of fun packed in 4 hours.

    Mearls: Exactly, exactly, yeah. And so it's looking at the train and saying, well, things have changed, and tabletop roleplaying in a lot of ways hasn't changed with the times. We've been doing the same thing, the same way, that we were doing back in the 80s. I mean, the game mechanics have been refined but really until indie games [something] no one had taken a look at the core essence of what makes a tabletop roleplaying game tick and taken it apart and rebuilt it. And so in a lot of ways with D&D, and you know Ryan has the slide, that's really not how we see it at all because for me that boxing match, it isn't D&D against any tabletop roleplaying game, it's D&D versus the entire changing face of entertainment, of how a tabletop roleplaying game... that's the best thing you can do with your friends. But what about when you're home alone, or when you're online, or when you're waiting in line at the airport and you just want something on your smartphone. The big question for, specifically for D&D is, if you're a D&D fan, what can we do to fill that time in a way that's engaging and fun for you? To take those settings and characters and worlds, the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, or whatever, and bring those to life for you in a way that we haven't been able to before. Because in the past it's always been.. we have a new setting, we have Eberron, we're gonna do the 300-page book, and it's gonna be for the TRPG and that's where it' gonna begin, and that's where it's gonna end. All of our back-catalogue and settings, if we're not publishing it for the RPG line, are we doing anything with them, probably not, that's it, all we do is the TRPG. And so for us, it's really been looking at the entertainment, not just tabletop roleplaying, but entertainment as a whole, everything that people do now to engage themselves in stories, thinking where can D&D thrive within that terrain? And what can we do, starting with the tabletop roleplaying game, to make it more acessible, to get that new generation of players in. And even the current generation who are strapped for time and have a million other options, what can we do to live within that environment?


    The too-long-didn't-read version of that, I think (and this is my own interpretation of what Mike Mearls was saying) is that much of the stuff we used to enjoy around an RPG we don't do any more, and we do other entertainment-related things with that time instead. So D&D (as in its settings and characters) is focusing on doing those other entertainment things rather than just being a tabletop roleplaying game - the goal, obviously being that "D&D" as a brand flourishes. And, further, that that means it doesn't matter to them what Paizo is doing with Pathfinder, because D&D doesn't need to be the top-selling tabletop RPG (not that I'm saying it won't be - I expect it will be again come next year, though time will tell) as long as D&D as an overall entertainment property is doing a whole bunch of things.
    Comments 100 Comments
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
      I don see that rpgs require prep work. That's something people do because they want to, not because they have to.
      I look at my 3e books, and consider the details required for the GM to play a high-level game by the rules, and I can't see how you come to that conclusion. Moreover, whatever *you* may have for skills, you should consider that not everyone is good at improvisational GMing. For those who can't get good results winging it, preparation is required if the game is to be played.
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
      But that isn't all. Card and board games have the same strength, i.e. 'interaction at the table with other human beings',
      I have seen many a game of Magic: the Gathering and chess played in complete silence. The depth and breadth of interaction called for in RPGs are, in my opinion, far greater than that called for by the other game genres. There's a qualitative difference in the nature of interaction called for.

      To generalize: Other games allow interaction. RPGs require and reward it.
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      I agree with him that an RPG company trying to compete with large multimedia properties like movies and comics and TV is out of the core competency, as he puts it - or as I put it earlier, those things aren't D&D's strengths.
      Well, WotC, and Hasbro, are not just RPG companies, now are they?

      I disagree that nobody has time for solo engagement with RPGs - that's exactly what [non-multiplayer] video games are. We have plenty of time for solo activities.
      Yes, but now you have that big question - reward vs work. It isn't enough to be "engagement". That engagement has to be *fun*. Is sitting and working out the stats of an NPC as entertaining as those non-multiplayer video games? For some people, yes. For many others, probably not. So, how big do you want your market to be? Is requiring that solo engagement going to pay off?
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
      So you start designing PnP RPGs for people who do not actually want to play PnP RPGs and instead are just looking for their next "fix" of whatever they can get their hand on?
      No. You're driving to an extreme end, and apparently forgetting that there's a continuum available. If you design for gearheads, you can get them. But you'll get only them. If that's enough for your game, then fine. But, if you want a larger market, you have to remember that many of the potential players may love the action at the table, but may not find engaging away from the table compelling compared to the other things they have in their lives.

      Tabletop RPGs can never compete with other forms of entertainment like computer games on the ground of accessibility and ease of play. Instead when making PnPs the designers should focus on the strengths, on things other forms of media can't deliver, instead trying to achieve the impossible by "dumbing down" the game as jrowland calls it for mass market appeal.
      The opposite of "game that requires lots of out-of-game-time engagement" is not "dumbed down". Unless, I suppose, you think that spending lots of time with calculations on your own time "smart".

      As far as I can see, the *real* strengths of RPGs has squat-all to do with rules, but has to do with interaction at the table with other human beings. That's the thing that Tabletop games have that the other media cannot, as yet, touch. So, tell me, how is a game that calls for a lot of away-from-table engagement focused on that strength?

      From that startling point, we can then note the variations - there's flavors of interactions, there's tastes you can serve in addition to getting those human interactions. There's lots of ground that can be covered to meet many playstyle needs. But the human interactions are still the central piece.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      For me, much of what is being described by folks here as too much work/time is what distinguishes an RPG. I play them because of that, not despite it. I can play boardgames instead if I wish; I don't, much. I play RPGs.

      This is why RPGs were different to the boardgames of the 70s. And why they're different to the various entertainment options of the 21st century. Diluting what has always been a characteristic of the RPG may well fit in with the time schedules of some demographics, but it doesn't fit in with the way I personally play - and want to play - the games. I've *always* been able to easily find things to do which take less time; I could do that in the 1980s and I can do it now. I choose not to because I enjoy that off-the-table process and choose to make time for it above some other choices of entertainment.

      I know I'm not a representative sample, though. I mean, I'm producing an RPG which continues to scratch that itch for me precisely because I want to keep that tradition going and ensure it continues to be supported and available.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by lkj View Post
      I don't disagree exactly, but there are two points I think are worth making:

      1) Mearls has pretty consistently indicated that the goal is to make a game that gives you the option to pick up and play quickly but also has enough depth to engage the 'gearheads' who really enjoy tweaking and designing and creating as it were. I really don't think these objectives are incompatible if the design of the game is done thoughtfully. And I see a lot of potential for this in the playtest. If they put it together right, I think this apparent conflict between the way you want to play the game and still making the game accessible to the market which wants to play but is unwilling/unable to put the prep time in will go away. We'll see.

      2) I really like creating too. I enjoy the prep nearly as much as the game as well. It's why I'm nearly always the DM. However, there are two different kinds of (non-mutually exclusive) prep. There's what I'll loosely call 'narrative prep'-- You focus on creating a world and plot hooks and narratives that engage both you and your players. You populate that world with the various monsters, NPC's and bits and pieces you want. Then there's 'mechanical prep' where you spend a great deal of time designing the detailed characteristics of each NPC, monster, and set piece that you want to use. Both of those can be fun and go hand in hand. But these days I lean very, very heavily toward the former. Due to time constraints, I want my prep time to be primarily focused on what's the most fun for me-- filling out the narrative and story elements. When I come up with a cool idea for a villain or monster, I would like to be able to quickly slot in some mechanics to create the feel of that villain or monster. I can handle the rest at the table. I no longer have the time (and less of the inclination) to spend hours developing these pieces. Sure, I'd like the option to
      Sure. To clarify, I wasn't referring to what Mike said but rather what folks have said in this thread since he said it. I'm 100% sure I'm going to like 5E.
    1. Li Shenron's Avatar
      Li Shenron -
      I'm just going to say that IMHO making the minimum mandatory work as small as possible is the way to go, simply because you can always do more if you want.

      If you have published adventures and a system that is light enough so that you barely have to read an adventure once before running the game, still nothing prevents you from devoting weeks to write your own highly detailed adventure. But if you don't have published adventures, or if the system is heavy and requires you to study an adventure and do more preparation work, you just have to do it.

      If you have rules that let you run a combat in 15 minutes and a reasonable adventure in an evening, nothing prevents you to add extra rules to make combat more complicated, or to still design a long saga that takes a year to finish. But if you have the basic combats last an hour and a half, it's harder to fix it the other way around.

      If you have easy monster and NPC creation rules, so that you can 10 minutes while waiting for the train to design a new monster on your smart phone, nothing stops you from taking a whole weekend to design an entire ecology of monsters. But if the rules require 2 hours to make a mid-level NPC or monster, then you really have no choice.

      I think Mearls is on the right track with this, he's simply acknowledging that D&D has to be flexible and adapt to the little time that a lot of people have available nowadays, either because they are 20 years older with jobs and families, or because they have many more interests/hobbies to pursue, or because the younger generations maybe just have a shorter attention span. The lucky ones who still have plenty of times don't have any disadvantage from a light and flexible system, they are just going to do more stuff in the same amount of time.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      I imagine D&D has quite the challenge on it's hands - instead of competing with other tabletop games, it's now putting Drizzt & Co. up against Tolkien, Star Wars, Marvel, and the like. Hope it can deliver!
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
      Seriously, you won't do 'Mass Effect' better than Mass Effect. Or if you can, switch industries.
      I think the point is that, for a large section of the potential market, whether it is Mass Effect or D&D is, honestly, not terribly relevant. They are both *entertainment*, and for many people, that's enough. They aren't dedicated to one genre (videogames, or TTRPGs, or bowling, or watching TV). All the genres are lumped into "pleasant stuff I can do with my spare time". For these folks, D&D, and tabletop games in general, is in competition with all the other ways you can spend your spare time.

      "How much work does it take to get your entertainment?" then becomes a notable question. There are other notable questions, of course, but this becomes one. Specifically, if your work to entertainment ratio is too high, your activity will drop off.

      And, that the work/entertainment ratio is not high for players doesn't invalidate the argument - the game doesn't happen at all without a GM. If there's too much work for the GM for the value they get out of it, they won't run a game.

      I'm facing that very point myself, with a new Shadowrun campaign, and looking at how I can present high quality game, that's fun to run, with smaller amounts of prep.
    1. Agamon's Avatar
      Agamon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Serendipity View Post
      Kind of what I took away from that too. It seems like Wizards has been trying to leverage D&D into some multimedia franchise, with about the same level of success, since 2000. I don't think it's happening. Moreover, movies, and legos (sorry, KreO or whatever), and video games, etc etc. do not further my ability to sit down and actually *play* the game, so it seems like an unnecessary diffusion of effort and resources.
      I don't especially want some kind of Entertainment Transmedia Experience (tm), I just want to play some table top with some friends and enjoy some shared experience.
      There's nothing wrong with that, I'm sure a lot of roleplayers are in the same boat. But if WotC wants to explore new avenues to further the brand, it's not necessarily a bad thing. If they are successful, the revenue streams form other sources help prop up the more niche core RPG, as well as introduce potential new gamers to the game.

      To get right down to it, for me, even a healthy brand isn't necessary to my own enjoyment of roleplaying. D&D could die tomorrow and I'll still be gaming next week. But to keep the brand healthy and keep gaming alive, diversity of the brand isn't a bad thing, even if you choose to ignore it.
    1. Agamon's Avatar
      Agamon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Janx View Post
      At various times, I have basically said this very same thing.

      Buffy can face some social drama and save the day in an hour's time. With commercials. Why can't D&D go as fast. Buffy has 3 combats in an episode. Why does a D&D session need 12 to get to the bad guy?
      I tried running my recently ended 13th Age campaign in bite-sized 4-hour episodic chunks. Extremely unsatisfying experiment, I won't run a game like that again. For me, a game needs a narrative flow between the GM and players, and that should be allowed to take as long as it takes.
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
      The main reason RPGs require interaction is the GM role: Since not all of the rules are codified, the GM must supply rules for anything that isn't covered.
      I think the main reason RPGs require interaction is the need to play through unscripted social interactions of characters. You don't need a GM, per se, but when the fictional people interact with something other than swords, the people must interact. Moreover, they have to interact over something in the fiction, not over the logic of rules themselves.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Johnny3D3D View Post

      3) Will D&D eventually evolve into something which isn't a tabletop rpg at all?
      Well, yes - I think that's what was very clearly stated. That's the take-home message here: D&D is going to turn into something else - a whole media property. It may have an RPG (just like LotR has one, and Star Wars has one) but it won't be the RPG.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by DaveMage View Post
      Mearls was spot on for me regarding time.

      In the 80s, I'd spend hours and hours designing D&D adventures. Now, I'd rather watch something on Netflix or surf the web when I have free time.
      I personally still enjoy all that stuff. The stuff away from the gametable is pleasurable to me. So is the stuff at the gametable. Two different enjoyable activities, but I find both very rewarding.

      Then again, some of that might be the same instinct that makes me want to write an RPG, or build a website. I like the building of stuff.
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      I like the building of stuff.
      Yeah, Morrus. So do most of us.

      But consider - a guy's running a campaign, but he has a day job, a wife, and a house. His free and alone time probably comes in one or two hour chunks, here and there. He likes building things, sure. But if the task of building takes longer than one of his chunks of time, he has to prioritize - is the thing he's spending the time to build worth that time? He's got a one-hour chunk of time. He can spend that doing most, but not all, of the careful design of an awesome spaceship, and not be done before he has to return to the Real World, or he can more or less wing it on the spaceship, and spend an hour playing Skyrim.

      In a world without huge amounts of time available, folks turn to the Pareto principle (aka "the 80-20 rule"). Say the GM has this perfect image in his head of a thing he wants to build. If he can get 80 percent of the way there with only 20 percent of the effort, is he really going to go the rest of the way? If he has oodles of time on his hands, sure! But, if not, then "good enough" will be the word of the day.

      And if the game doesn't enable "good enough", then he'll choose another game.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Evil Hat's Fred Hicks posted some interesting stuff publicly on G+:

      Mike was talking about is the idea that the “time where you wanted to be doing something else” used to belong to RPGs, but doesn’t now. If I were to reword it I’d say the idea is essentially that nobody’s got time now for “lonely fun” (sitting around, making characters solo).

      We’ve been feeling this change for most of our time as a company; it’s some of why we orient on character creation as a group play activity. It also informed some of the direction I gave to +Mike Olson when we kicked off the Atomic Robo RPG, w/ its “create characters AS you play” feature.

      What's interesting to me is that Mike’s take on all that sounds like “we should retake that smartphone time” whereas mine is “let’s stop needing that time”.

      The companies that are specializing in acquiring your attention for "smartphone time" are good at that and getting better. There ain't no RPG publishing company that's going to get as good at it as they are because that's not the core competency of RPG publishing, at the end of the day.

      We don't do software. We do stories and in-person/tabletop/hangout-driven play experience. That's where I want to "solve" the attention/time problem Mike's talking about — away from the smartphones.

      I want to see play structures and experiences that don't need that time. It used to be we could rely on it — but too many other things compete for that time now, and retaking it might well be a waste of effort.

      I will be super excited if I can be shown that retaking it can be done. But for today's designs, I think it's smartest (if you don't have the resources of Hasbro) to assume we can't, and to make deliberate design choices that work with the constraints of that assumption.

      I agree with him that an RPG company trying to compete with large multimedia properties like movies and comics and TV is out of the core competency, as he puts it - or as I put it earlier, those things aren't D&D's strengths. I disagree that nobody has time for solo engagement with RPGs - that's exactly what [non-multiplayer] video games are. We have plenty of time for solo activities. What he refers to as "lonely fun" is very common these days - but it's electronically facilitated, not book-facilitated. The tech's changed, but people still have "lonely fun" (that sounds dirty!)
    1. RangerWickett's Avatar
      RangerWickett -
      Quote Originally Posted by DaveMage View Post
      In the 80s, I'd spend hours and hours designing D&D adventures. Now, I'd rather watch something on Netflix or surf the web when I have free time.
      Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
      So instead of making D&D so good that you rather do that than watch Netflix you rather see D&D be made so simple that you can play it as 2nd choice when you tire of Netflix?
      Personally, the thing that is keeping D&D or Pathfinder or Rogue Trader from being an "every week, binge-game" event is the fact that combat takes too g**d*** long. I love gaming, but what I like is the roleplaying, and D&D's rules actually get in the way of roleplaying. So yes, please, make the game more elegant so it plays faster, even if that means simplifying some things.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
      Yeah, Morrus. So do most of us.

      But consider - a guy's running a campaign, but he has a day job, a wife, and a house. His free and alone time probably comes in one or two hour chunks, here and there.
      Umbran, I do understand the concept of being an adult with responsibilities. I'm a grown-up, too!
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Umbran, I do understand the concept of being an adult with responsibilities. I'm a grown-up, too!
      I know. Which is why I'm rather mystified by the apparent pushback to Mearls' and Dancy's comments.
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by darjr View Post
      But no, it won't help my rpg game.
      I don't think anyone's actually saying it will, except in terms of helping the overall business, so that continuation of the RPG is a non-issue.
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