log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Alphastream - Why No RPG Company Truly Competes with Wizards of the Coast

darjr

I crit!
Uhm, are you sure you aren't confusing BRP with Steve's old Perrin Conventions? They have some familiar relationship, but they aren't the same, and the first BRP game was absolutely RQ. I was a friend of Steve Perrin's for many decades until his heartbreakingly untimely death earlier this year, so I think I know of what I speak.

The BRP pamphlet I meant came after RQ.

But maybe.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Well that's the million dollar question, isn't it? But it's not because they fail to be (a) generic or (b) easy to learn.

The answer I'd give is, at least in part, once a system has expanded in visibility to the degree D&D had by--I'd want to say, early 80's--any other other system is going to get starved for sunlight. The majority of people they're going to see are people who already in the hobby and looking for something else. That makes spread a hard row to hoe (as you know doubt know given WOIN).
 


FATE, nor FUDGE, nor GURPS, nor BRP have base settings.

All of these games have had shelf space in several retail stores, GURPS has even been in the big book stores like Barnes and Noble.

I dunno why you haven’t heard of them. I’d think you’d know better than any of us.
Wow....
1) I do own GURPS. But never saw or heard of the other mentionned games outside of the forums.

2) Have I ever claimed to know better than anyone else here? That kind of sarcasm isn’t beffiting you if not downright insulting for me.
 

darjr

I crit!
Wow....
1) I do own GURPS. But never saw or heard of the other mentionned games outside of the forums.

2) Have I ever claimed to know better than anyone else here? That kind of sarcasm isn’t beffiting you if not downright insulting for me.
Apologies. Not trying to dig at anyone. I’m just a bit baffled.

But that might be my issue.
 


darjr

I crit!
So BRP, I did have it backwards. It was built to support the setting first and after retooled as a generic system. But it is one of the oldest. And I think, reading the history, what they were really going for, imho, was a sort of generic system anyway.

 

Staffan

Legend
Every time someone says that CR is the reason 5e is a hit it shows how little people grasp the size of 5e. Critical Role is lightning in a bottle. They have almost 2 million fans. There will probably never be another show with that level of success in the TTRPG genre. Still, that's not even 10% of the people currently playing 5e.
Counterpoint: one person watching and becoming enamored by Critical Role and setting up behind the DM screen with five of their friends means you turn one CR watcher into six players.

Also, Critical Role started in 2015, and became a phenomenon really fast. In 2015, D&D wasn't anywhere near as big as it is now (and neither was Critical Role). But it's pretty clear that Critical Role played a big part in the first stage of the rocket that D&D turned into. Should they shut it down now I don't think it would matter much, but CR definitely helped D&D go big.
Then why are they so fringed that I barely heard of them.
In the words of Ryan Dancey (who used to be one of the bosses of D&D in the early 00s): network externalities. Basically, D&D is big to the point where for many people it's synonymous with RPGs, so if you're looking for players you're likely to find some. That turns into a big positive feedback loop. If you're looking for GURPS players, you're going to have to look far and wide – in my experience, it's uncommon for a group to start off with a non-D&D game. It's more likely that an established group will go "Eh, this RPG thing is fun but I'm getting a bit tired of D&D. What else is out there?". And of course, it's quite likely that those groups will wander off in different directions. Some will try Call of Cthulhu for a real change of pace. Some want a game that's sort of the same but crunchier and go for Pathfinder. Others like the sci-fi/space thing and try out Star Wars or Starfinder. So basically, the small portion of the gaming market that isn't D&D gets split up dozens or hundreds of different ways.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Counterpoint: one person watching and becoming enamored by Critical Role and setting up behind the DM screen with five of their friends means you turn one CR watcher into six players.

Also, Critical Role started in 2015, and became a phenomenon really fast. In 2015, D&D wasn't anywhere near as big as it is now (and neither was Critical Role). But it's pretty clear that Critical Role played a big part in the first stage of the rocket that D&D turned into. Should they shut it down now I don't think it would matter much, but CR definitely helped D&D go big.
I'm not certain it's "really clear". A contributing factor? Sure. How much of a contributing factor as compared to all the other aspect of it's popularity including things like people wanting a social activity that was more personal? Who knows.
 

darjr

I crit!
The first stage of the phenomenon was at the release of 5e. 2014 when the PHB was released.

In fact the supply they gave Amazon, an amount meant to last months or a year, sold out in days.

They stopped the printer from printing the next book to rush out more PHBs.

They were so stunned at WotC they thought surely something was wrong.
 

Bolares

Hero
Counterpoint: one person watching and becoming enamored by Critical Role and setting up behind the DM screen with five of their friends means you turn one CR watcher into six players.

Also, Critical Role started in 2015, and became a phenomenon really fast. In 2015, D&D wasn't anywhere near as big as it is now (and neither was Critical Role). But it's pretty clear that Critical Role played a big part in the first stage of the rocket that D&D turned into. Should they shut it down now I don't think it would matter much, but CR definitely helped D&D go big.
I’m not saying CR is not a part of it. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t make sense to say CR is the major reason for it
 


darjr

I crit!
Its a historical accident in that they were able to take advantage of D&D fans who had liked 3e, but not 4e, and that was a significant sized group. That's unlikely to occur again, and certainly wasn't when PF2e came out.
I agree but would like to add that it helped enormously that they had the mailing list to Dragon and Dungeon magazines and that a huge portion of those folks agreed to convert over to Pathfinder subscriptions. And I think that was because they trusted Paizo and the quality of thier work.
 



I agree but would like to add that it helped enormously that they had the mailing list to Dragon and Dungeon magazines and that a huge portion of those folks agreed to convert over to Pathfinder subscriptions. And I think that was because they trusted Paizo and the quality of thier work.

Absolutely. It was a perfect storm that would be impossible to duplicate on command.
 

So BRP, I did have it backwards. It was built to support the setting first and after retooled as a generic system. But it is one of the oldest. And I think, reading the history, what they were really going for, imho, was a sort of generic system anyway.


In a way, certainly. Though I never thought the basic (no pun intended) version worked very well with the addition of guns. You really want to think through guns when designing a game to use them, but that's a different, somewhat long, and off topic discussion.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
It would be enlightening to compare D&D market growth in English-speaking country, where apparently CR is well-known and has been for years, with non-English speaking countries where it is virtually unheard off, to try and assess the role of CR.
 

In the words of Ryan Dancey (who used to be one of the bosses of D&D in the early 00s): network externalities. Basically, D&D is big to the point where for many people it's synonymous with RPGs, so if you're looking for players you're likely to find some. That turns into a big positive feedback loop. If you're looking for GURPS players, you're going to have to look far and wide – in my experience, it's uncommon for a group to start off with a non-D&D game. It's more likely that an established group will go "Eh, this RPG thing is fun but I'm getting a bit tired of D&D. What else is out there?". And of course, it's quite likely that those groups will wander off in different directions. Some will try Call of Cthulhu for a real change of pace. Some want a game that's sort of the same but crunchier and go for Pathfinder. Others like the sci-fi/space thing and try out Star Wars or Starfinder. So basically, the small portion of the gaming market that isn't D&D gets split up dozens or hundreds of different ways.

All of this. Once D&D became the early phenomenon it was, its dominance was its to lose. All it had to do was keep at least a basic degree of competence (and not touch the basic reward loop it uses, which works for enough people practically every computer RPG ever works on it, even ones where its more inappropriate in the fiction) and no no game was ever likely to really displace it.
 

Other point is the homemade elements. But World of Darkness I don't remember players publishing their own ideas for other games, for example new creatures.

The open licence of the d20 System helped a lot. It was very useful to can use a system known by the most than starting from zero. Rebember I have mentioned the wandwagon effect in a previous post.

I love the background of Eclipse Phase RPG, a revolution within the sci-fi genre, but it is not very easy to be learnt and understand. At least I still feel confused with the stats. The crunch part is the wet dream of the munchkins, but the menace of the exurgent (alien virus, something like a fusion of Terminator/Skynet and Resident Evil) is enough to cause fear even among the "transhumans" (and robots).

For a lot of time only D&D was known in the most of no-English countries. It was the first to arrive in those markets and here the players get used to that system.

In the past I thought the videogames would kill the TTRPG in the same sense of "Video killed the radio stars" but now I see players are searching in the TTRPGs something they can't find in the videogames.

D&D is a brand by Hasbro, with Mattel one of the bigest megacorportation in the toy market. A big fish what can spend a lot of money to promote their franchise. The rest of titles by other publishers have got lesser number of opportunities to become a multimedia franchise.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top