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A New "anti-D&D" Era

This is kinda nonsensical given the fact that they aren’t abandoning 5e, the revised core books are neither aimless nor a remix, just an update or revision.

Yeah, to clarify I really meant more that WotC will eventually diverge more from 5e in a subsequent edition whereas 5e probably has a long life after they do it. OneD&D is still on track to be a 5e clone. My thinking was that after OneD&D proves anemic in sales due to what I foresee as it's general lack of a selling point beyond inevitability, 6e or 7e or whatever will eventually come and be a more substantial departure. I'll confess I absolutely did not make that clear. In part because it was irrelevant to my main point, which was not that OneD&D is or is not a 5e product, but rather that, to me, it is just another 5e brand and not one I'm enthusiastic about.

As for my "aimless remix" editorializing, that I'll stand by. But to add more nuance, I think it is "aimless" by dint not of there being no intended purpose, but of there being too many cooks in the kitchen working at cross purposes, once you factor in both a substantial design team and a whole corporate aparatus of legal departments, and marketing departments, and ect. departments having their say. If you try to aim in multiple directions at once, you'll find you're not aiming.
 

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Jahydin

Hero
@Reynard
My tinfoil hat theory:

I agree with you in regards to the... let's call them "classical" players. More of our little pocket will certainly be moving on to other game systems as their "main".

But unlike the early days, there is an entire new group of digital focused players that have money to burn that are going to spend unprecedented amounts of money. D&D will financially be better off than they ever have. And once that happens, you can guess Paizo isn't going to be that far behind...

As someone that has watched video games get monetized to the extreme and it being ridiculously successful despite the diehards wailing, I feel like I know how this is going to go unfortunately. :(
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I mean, whatever MCDM is going to do is WAY off in the future. Pathfinder 2E is selling gangbusters. Kobold Press's Black Flag has started a public playtest. Cubicle 7 has a system on Kickstarter. EN Publishing created Level Up even before the fiasco.
I don't see MCDM as leading any more than the other companies.
3of those are 5e.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah, to clarify I really meant more that WotC will eventually diverge more from 5e in a subsequent edition whereas 5e probably has a long life after they do it. OneD&D is still on track to be a 5e clone. My thinking was that after OneD&D proves anemic in sales due to what I foresee as it's general lack of a selling point beyond inevitability, 6e or 7e or whatever will eventually come and be a more substantial departure. I'll confess I absolutely did not make that clear. In part because it was irrelevant to my main point, which was not that OneD&D is or is not a 5e product, but rather that, to me, it is just another 5e brand and not one I'm enthusiastic about.

As for my "aimless remix" editorializing, that I'll stand by. But to add more nuance, I think it is "aimless" by dint not of there being no intended purpose, but of there being too many cooks in the kitchen working at cross purposes, once you factor in both a substantial design team and a whole corporate aparatus of legal departments, and marketing departments, and ect. departments having their say. If you try to aim in multiple directions at once, you'll find you're not aiming.
Fair enough on the clarification, though I still disagree that such an outcome is likely (1DnD tanking, that is).

On the last part, well, see above really. I get it, but I disagree. I think there is a clear design vision in place, I think it is primarily Crawford’s vision, who has been the mechanics guy of 5e since the next playtest, and I think what we have seen points toward a new PHB that revised the core rules to run more smoothly and be even more versatile, helpful, and fun, within the framework of the same game. Its selling point is improving the game for most people playing it, which will sell, IMO.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I know that "anti-D&D" sounds like I am spoiling for a fight but I am really not. it was the most efficient term I could think of for that era's zeitgeist I am hoping returns. I mean, there's already plenty of antipathy for D&D in parts of the community -- go to r/rpg and ask about a warlock build... I don't actually care for that stuff, especially in its "magical tea party play versus trash trad play" form where folks aren't arguing about games, but whole playstyles.

Anyway, I want to see creators and publishers doing the Big Idea stuff of systems and worlds divorced primarily from 5E but also not just another Year Zero, PbtA or FitD game. The reason I brought up Coville and MCDM wasn't because he's the only one doing it, but that he is a pretty prominent voice and that has the potential to inspire others to do it. I honestly don't quite understand the point of Black Flag in a world where not only is the 5E SRD in the CC but 1D&D isn't particularly far removed from 5E. But who knows, maybe Black Flag will be more of a 5E Arcana Unearthed than a 5E Pathfinder.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Powered by the Apocalypse is now in Target.
It's impressive that Magpie was able to negotiate this. Part of it is just the power of the license and Target wanting to have more Avatar stuff on their shelves, but I don't recall Fantasy Flight ever managing to get any of the Star Wars starter boxes onto the shelves at Target.

I hope this encourages other companies to think about reaching out to the big box stores to get starter sets onto their shelves. Edge (Asmodee) and Modiphius are both sitting on properties that Target would probably love to see on their shelves - I can't imagine they'd say no to an exclusive new Star Trek starter set and/or a new Star Wars starter set. And if Marvel isn't already planning a starter set for the big box stores with their new RPG coming out later this year then they really should be.

Popular licenses should be the easy lift to get into the mainstream stores. Magpie getting Avatar out there while older more established companies haven't makes me wonder if they've even tried?
 

Burt Baccara

Explorer
I think the fates of "5e" and "D&D" diverged the day WotC released the 5e SRD under creative commons, and the divergence will only increase over time. And thus anti-D&Dism and anti-5eism will diverge more over time. For every designer who took the OGL fiasco as time to reevaluate their relationship with D&D and 5e and realized the day had come to forge their own game from scratch, I think there is another thinking about how they can capitalize on WotC abandoning a wildly popular game with a vast install base in favor of an aimless remix thereof, while at the same time giving the core of it away to anyone who wants to make their own remix. There will be lots of 5e games long after D&D ceases to be one of them.

Which is all to say that I am, myself a 5e cloner, and I plan to keep right on keeping on with playing 5e in both original and clone flavors, but I still would count myself as part of an "anti-D&D" movement in that OneD&D is the 5e clone I have the least interest in or hope for, and I am very much doing my own thing with my clone, just not from scratch.
Using the definition of someone who plays an older edition of a game, the meaning for grognard. Every 5e player is a grognard waiting to happen, or at least has the potential to become the next generation of grognard. And you know what, that is OK, people should embrace the games they like.

That definition also means every player of Pathfinder (1e anyway), is a grognard. ;)
 

I know that "anti-D&D" sounds like I am spoiling for a fight but I am really not. it was the most efficient term I could think of for that era's zeitgeist I am hoping returns. I mean, there's already plenty of antipathy for D&D in parts of the community -- go to r/rpg and ask about a warlock build...
In /r/rpg (and also a couple of other places), I feel the antipathy is largely driven by D&D5 being so massive that a) it dwarfs everything else and b) lots of people write posts in the assumption that everybody is playing D&D5 anyway. So people mostly want a place where they can discuss stuff other than D&D. The situation would probably improve with "current-gen D&D" taking less of the market, but with many systems staying largely in the D&D5-related design space, I currently don't see that happening.
 

Lord_Blacksteel

Adventurer
I can argue with the initial premise for the OP: D&D 2E launched in 1989 and it was huge so D&D hardly went dormant during this time. By the mid-90's and the Players Options books, sure, but the early 90's - no. D&D was still the big dog and though VtM made a lot of inroads it never became the institution that D&D was.

That said there was a lot of creativity throughout the 80's even before this with even TSR putting out non-D&D based rules with Star Frontiers and Marvel Super Heroes being two of them. We had a Star Trek RPG, a Star Wars RPG, DC Heroes, Champions and the other Hero System games, GURPS, Twilight 2000, Warhammer Fantasy, Shadowrun, Battletech/Mechwarrior - all of these and many more launched and were popular enough to run for years, typically with multiple editions too.

When WOTC initially released the OGL it generated a bunch of d20 based games and supplements that were mainly aimed at D&D players with Mutants and Masterminds being the most divergent of the bunch I would say. It pushed some bounded creativity but it mainly seemed to pull things towards the center (D&D) because people figured they could make money with it.

I think that's the biggest difference between the 80's/90's and the last 20 years - in those days people put out the game they wanted to make even if it differed radically from D&D. Since the OGL a lot of people have had the idea they can make money from their hobby if they "attach" to D&D and plug into the network effect etc. - some did, and some did not. However, I do think it pulled a lot of effort towards D&D instead of some other system and setting.

So do I think a new open license for D&D today is going to spur some new wave of new non-D&D games? Probably not. Yes, people were angry at WOTC and many still are, but in addition to the 5E CC option the other D&D-adjacent companies like KP and Paizo are putting out other open licenses which are still tied to D&D type games. You don't need a license to publish your own game - you need a license to publish for someone else's game.

Plus look at what else is out there even with the popularity of 5E: PbtA has been mentioned, Modiphius has gone nuts with games for their 2D20 system, Savage Worlds is probably more popular than it ever has been, GURPS and Hero are still around in some form, and FATE and Cortex are still out there making new games as well. There is no lack of options system-wise. I don't think we will see a huge spike for these but I'm sure they've been getting some attention they might not have received otherwise.

So no, I think while the outrage will cause some people to look at other options to play, I think a shiny new open license specifically covering 5E (and new ones for some D&D-type games like Pathfinder) means the people publishing stuff will move even closer to D&D, especially if that's already their bread & butter.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I can argue with the initial premise for the OP:
I'm not actually sure you understood my premise based on the rest of your post.
D&D 2E launched in 1989 and it was huge so D&D hardly went dormant during this time. By the mid-90's and the Players Options books, sure, but the early 90's - no. D&D was still the big dog and though VtM made a lot of inroads it never became the institution that D&D was.
I didn't say D&D was dying, I said there was a backlash that let to a lot of innovation in the industry at that time.
That said there was a lot of creativity throughout the 80's even before this with even TSR putting out non-D&D based rules with Star Frontiers and Marvel Super Heroes being two of them. We had a Star Trek RPG, a Star Wars RPG, DC Heroes, Champions and the other Hero System games, GURPS, Twilight 2000, Warhammer Fantasy, Shadowrun, Battletech/Mechwarrior - all of these and many more launched and were popular enough to run for years, typically with multiple editions too.
Yes. I said that. A lot of those games got new editions at that time.
So do I think a new open license for D&D today is going to spur some new wave of new non-D&D games? Probably not. Yes, people were angry at WOTC and many still are, but in addition to the 5E CC option the other D&D-adjacent companies like KP and Paizo are putting out other open licenses which are still tied to D&D type games. You don't need a license to publish your own game - you need a license to publish for someone else's game.
I'm not sure what the point here is.
Plus look at what else is out there even with the popularity of 5E: PbtA has been mentioned, Modiphius has gone nuts with games for their 2D20 system, Savage Worlds is probably more popular than it ever has been, GURPS and Hero are still around in some form, and FATE and Cortex are still out there making new games as well. There is no lack of options system-wise. I don't think we will see a huge spike for these but I'm sure they've been getting some attention they might not have received otherwise.
Again, I am specifically talking about a new round of innovation. Most of those game systems are at least 10 years old, and some much older. I know it is a shocker but Apocalypse World came out 13 years ago.
So no, I think while the outrage will cause some people to look at other options to play, I think a shiny new open license specifically covering 5E (and new ones for some D&D-type games like Pathfinder) means the people publishing stuff will move even closer to D&D, especially if that's already their bread & butter.
Boy do I hope you're wrong because an even more D&D dominated market is the last thing we need.
 

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