RPGs Will the Hobbit bring in new gamers? - Page 3





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  1. #21
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    ° Ignore trancejeremy
    I think the real problem is that there is no longer a simple, gateway RPG that is popular. Basic D&D used to fill this niche, but that hasn't been around for ages (nor was as simple as it could have been).

    I'd really like to see something as stripped down as the Basic Fantasy RPG, only even more so (using the 3 saves, not classic 5, and a simpler magic system)

 

  • #22
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    ° Ignore delericho
    Quote Originally Posted by Olgar Shiverstone View Post
    With three Hobbit movies coming, is there an opportunity for a surge in gaming? Is WotC behind in not having 5E (or even a new release of 4E material) ready for release as the Hobbit hits theaters, to try and grab on to the rising tide of interest? Or is this an opportunity for other companies to grab on to Hobbit popularity with the release of new LotR gaming material or other new fantasy gaming items?
    I expect a fairly small bump in interest as a result of the movies, but less significant even than that from the LotR movies (which was barely noticable). I don't expect any great surge in interest in a Middle Earth RPG specifically (though there might be some traction for products that tap into the same themes, story structures, etc).

    I think WotC are wise to largely ignore "The Hobbit" - 5e isn't ready yet, and any significant 4e releases would have to divert resources from 5e development (and sales of 4e products are taking a massive hit from the 5e work, too). Basically, I don't think they're in a position to capitalise on the movies just yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian View Post
    Was there a surge in gamers or did any company successfully take advantage of the release of the Lord of the Rings movies?
    As others have said, Games Workshop did very well out of them.

  • #23
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    ° Ignore delericho
    Quote Originally Posted by trancejeremy View Post
    I think the real problem is that there is no longer a simple, gateway RPG that is popular. Basic D&D used to fill this niche, but that hasn't been around for ages (nor was as simple as it could have been).
    Well, there's the "Pathfinder Beginner Box". Pathfinder itself is way too complex for my tastes (even in just the Core Rulebook), but the Beginner Box strips out a huge amount of that complexity, and genuinely is an excellent product. That would most definitely be my recommendation.

    Only problems are that anything that doesn't have "Dungeons & Dragons" on the box has insufficient name recognition to get very far... and World of Warcraft has a much easier entry path anyway.

  • #24
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    ° Ignore Mark CMG
    And though I fail to proffer an opinon above, I do think a greater potential is there to draw in new gamers, particularly RPGers, while the Hobbit movies are in full flourish. We're always sowing and harvesting new gamers throughout our own gaming lives but I feel that the environment improves while large forces are focused on the genres akin to gaming. No data on this but it is my hunch.
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  • #25
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    ° Ignore ColonelHardisson
    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    It takes skill and effort to fit a campaign into someone else's world -- or the historical real world, for that matter.
    That's where we differ; I've never had a problem with doing either, and I'm not particularly skilled at it. I've put in a bit of effort, but not as much as I ever did creating my own campaign setting. In fact, I find it easier to set a campaign in a world created by someone else, or in the real world. A lot of the heavy lifting has already been done, with everything nailed down so there's no ambiguity about when something happened or forgetting where France is in relation to Russia. I actually enjoy doing my own stuff the most, but I think that would hold little interest if I posted about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    I've always wanted a D&D where the default assumptions were more in line with the fiction I read (and watched), like The Hobbit, but not necessarily a dedicated Middle Earth game.
    I can understand that. Decipher's Lord of the Rings RPG has a good discussion about using the game for a non-Middle-earth campaign. I think that game works really well in evoking the tone of books like The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, but your mileage varies, obviously. Plus, while I think D&D straight out of the box doesn't fit Middle-earth well, I think it can be altered to fit well with some effort, but less effort than building a game from the ground up for it that might not even do the job then. Decipher tried it to an extent (though really, at its heart, that game is d20 using 2d6), and the current game, The One Ring, also did that, and neither of them took the RPG world by storm. I know Cubicle7's game has gotten good notices, but it doesn't seem to have burned up the sales charts. So I'd rather just take a game I like, and have liked for 30+ years, and tailor it to what I want, rather than expend the effort to start from scratch and still have no guarantee of success.
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  • #26
    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelHardisson View Post
    That's where we differ; I've never had a problem with doing either, and I'm not particularly skilled at it. I've put in a bit of effort, but not as much as I ever did creating my own campaign setting.
    There's a sweet spot in between creating your own setting from scratch and fitting your own campaign into someone else's setting and epic story-line.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelHardisson View Post
    Plus, while I think D&D straight out of the box doesn't fit Middle-earth well, I think it can be altered to fit well with some effort, but less effort than building a game from the ground up for it that might not even do the job then.
    It seems to me that the designers of the game, when coming up with a new edition, should go through the list of famous fantasy characters and scenes, and they should try to make many of them possible in the new game.

    It's shocking, really, to go back and look at the old Gods, Demigods & Heroes or Deities & Demigods and see how many iconic fantasy characters are illegal under the rules of the game.

  • #27
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    ° Ignore ColonelHardisson
    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    There's a sweet spot in between creating your own setting from scratch and fitting your own campaign into someone else's setting and epic story-line.
    Sure, and that sweet spot varies for everyone. For all the work I've done regarding Middle-earth and D&D/d20 (dating quite a ways back; I recently ran across some of my homebrew stuff from the '80s, when I was running 1e, and there was Middle-earth material in it), I've rarely used the setting for any length of time. 90% of my games have been my own homebrew. The Middle-earth stuff I've done, including that blog, seems pretty quick and easy to me, but then, I've reread Lord of the Rings almost 20 times. It became second nature to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    It seems to me that the designers of the game, when coming up with a new edition, should go through the list of famous fantasy characters and scenes, and they should try to make many of them possible in the new game.

    It's shocking, really, to go back and look at the old Gods, Demigods & Heroes or Deities & Demigods and see how many iconic fantasy characters are illegal under the rules of the game.

    On that, I fully agree. I've complained often that I dislike how D&D created and then drew upon its own "canon" as the years and editions went by. It eventually got to the point where D&D really only resembled D&D after a while, and it took an effort to create and use characters and creatures from sources other than D&D in a D&D game.

    D&D Druids and bards, for two good examples, resemble nothing I've ever read or seen from Celtic history and legend. D&D dragons are very much their own thing, too.

    So, yeah, I'd like to see some effort by the design team to delve into the roots of D&D's concepts. I think it would have to be its own thing, a variant of D&D in a separate supplement, because people - including me - want the D&D we're familiar with for the core game. But a nod to sources would be nice.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph Stilwell

  • #28
    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelHardisson View Post
    Sure, and that sweet spot varies for everyone.
    Everything varies for everyone, but I think it's pretty objectively hard to fit your own campaign into real-world history or a well-established fictional setting -- especially if any of your players know the setting better than you do.

    Certainly it's easier to write swords & sorcery fiction in a made-up world full of quasi-Vikings, quasi-Corsairs, etc., than to meticulously research real-life history or meticulously create (and convey) elaborate society from scratch.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelHardisson View Post
    The Middle-earth stuff I've done, including that blog, seems pretty quick and easy to me, but then, I've reread Lord of the Rings almost 20 times. It became second nature to me.
    Exactly. Those who've read the series twice aren't in the same boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelHardisson View Post
    On that, I fully agree. I've complained often that I dislike how D&D created and then drew upon its own "canon" as the years and editions went by. It eventually got to the point where D&D really only resembled D&D after a while, and it took an effort to create and use characters and creatures from sources other than D&D in a D&D game.
    Certainly, some D&Disms are bound to creep in, if only because the RPG genre has its own demands, but so many D&Disms seem superfluous. So, introducing hit points and then finding out that you need easy healing magic is understandable, but creating a mace-wielding crusader as the only source of that healing is just weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelHardisson View Post
    I think it would have to be its own thing, a variant of D&D in a separate supplement, because people - including me - want the D&D we're familiar with for the core game. But a nod to sources would be nice.
    I don't think you'd need a separate supplement at all. You'd just need base classes and rules that allowed you to play characters like Robin Hood (or Faramir, or Legolas), the Knights of the Round Table (or the Knights of Gondor), Conan (or Fafhrd), etc. You know, Rangers without (mandatory) spell-casting, Fighters with some skills, etc.

  • #29
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    ° Ignore ColonelHardisson
    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    Everything varies for everyone, but I think it's pretty objectively hard to fit your own campaign into real-world history or a well-established fictional setting -- especially if any of your players know the setting better than you do.
    Subjectively hard, but not objectively. A lot depends on how willing one is to strongly assert that one's campaign version of the world the players know is not the same as the one in the book/movie/etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    Certainly it's easier to write swords & sorcery fiction in a made-up world full of quasi-Vikings, quasi-Corsairs, etc., than to meticulously research real-life history or meticulously create (and convey) elaborate society from scratch.
    Some people enjoy that kind of meticulous research. Those who don't, shouldn't bother trying to run such a game or writing such books.

    In addition, my efforts have never been to create a Middle-earth setting or game rules for it that is easily accessible to casual or non-readers of the books. But at least one reading, certainly two, should give one enough background to run such a game. Same goes for historical settings; I don't think you need to do enough research to create a Master's thesis to run such a game.

    This is also why I emphasize the Fourth Age as a good time for a Middle-earth campaign. You really don't need to know much more than what a reading of the books or a viewing of the movies would reveal. Need to know more about the history of a place? Well, there are now tons of resources, printed and online, where solid synopses of just about anything are right at your fingertips, that can give you more than enough info in five minutes of reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    Exactly. Those who've read the series twice aren't in the same boat.
    Twice is more than enough. Once will do. No one expects a doctorate-level presentation. It's just a game.

    Quote Originally Posted by mmadsen View Post
    Certainly, some D&Disms are bound to creep in, if only because the RPG genre has its own demands, but so many D&Disms seem superfluous. So, introducing hit points and then finding out that you need easy healing magic is understandable, but creating a mace-wielding crusader as the only source of that healing is just weird.


    I don't think you'd need a separate supplement at all. You'd just need base classes and rules that allowed you to play characters like Robin Hood (or Faramir, or Legolas), the Knights of the Round Table (or the Knights of Gondor), Conan (or Fafhrd), etc. You know, Rangers without (mandatory) spell-casting, Fighters with some skills, etc.
    You do need a separate supplement. People - including me - have indicated that going back to D&D's roots as a game is desirable. People don't want radical revisions of the classes and rules; that's been tried, and that's why Next is in playtest, and why it harkens back to past editions. D&D, for better or worse, is D&D, and many have indicated that that is what they're looking for. So, yeah, I assert that what you want has to be done as a separate supplement, because it would involve the kinds of changes that have proven to be contentious among D&D players. The Next playtest has been getting consistently positive feedback and discussion, enough that it would be unwise to veer off and make the kinds of changes you seem to want.

    Of course, if you feel that what you've seen in the Next playtest is moving the way you like, then that's another matter.
    "Illegitimis non carborundum." - General Joseph Stilwell

  • #30
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    ° Ignore PaulofCthulhu
    I suspect that for most people it will again operate on the path of least resistance, and these days that would be mobile phone games (easy to acquire, pretty to look at, quick to learn, highly portable, play on your own or online with others without the need to physically meet up, play on the go, etc.).

    Not the best by any means but as often is the case "good enough".

    It takes comparatively more effort these days to play tabletop RPGs vs more expedient forms of entertainment, and kudos to those who do.
    Yog-Sothoth

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