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D&D 5E Are we at, or close, to peak D&D? Again?

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm not too worried about this. If anything, I'm worried they'll go too far in the other direction. The overall trend in "classical fantasy" these days is toward the grimdark: not just GoT, but also stuff like The Witcher. And they're also going to want to distance themselves from the legendary campiness of the last D&D movie. I just hope that in the process, they manage not to obscure the fact that D&D is fun.
Well, I have good news about where Ray Winninger's head is at:

WinningerR (@WinningerR) Tweeted:
• The magnitude of DC’s strategic ineptitude is on full display. Who thought it was a good idea to build a film franchise around characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman that isn’t family-friendly?
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
My biggest concern is that they try too hard to emulate the Marvel films.
It's not actually possible to try too hard to emulate the Marvel films, merely succeeding to do so or failing to do so. Not trying hard enough to emulate them is the greater failure, particularly for D&D which has always had the same tonal pitch as Marvel material, from OD&D onwards (heck, the OD&D artist just plagiarized their favorite Marvel artists oftentimes).
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
It's not actually possible to try too hard to emulate the Marvel films, merely succeeding to do so or failing to do so. Not trying hard enough to emulate them is the greater failure, particularly for D&D which has always had the same tonal pitch as Marvel material, from OD&D onwards (heck, the OD&D artist just plagiarized their favorite Marvel artists oftentimes).
5e is bad for that particularly... I wrote a blog post how the players engage less with the world and more with their "powers" to solve problems. You can only get advantage once so....
 

collin

Explorer
It's not actually possible to try too hard to emulate the Marvel films, merely succeeding to do so or failing to do so. Not trying hard enough to emulate them is the greater failure, particularly for D&D which has always had the same tonal pitch as Marvel material, from OD&D onwards (heck, the OD&D artist just plagiarized their favorite Marvel artists oftentimes).
Particularly Jeff Dee. Not that there is anything wrong with that. He put it to even better use when he drew for the Villains and Vigilantes RPG.
 

S'mon

Legend
5e is bad for that particularly... I wrote a blog post how the players engage less with the world and more with their "powers" to solve problems.
I find it doesn't take many tweaks to the rules modules & default world assumptions to get players engaging with the setting rather than their character sheet. Eg no feats or multiclassing, and lots of 'unbalanced' encounters - that can be dealt with successfully by engaging with the world, eg by finding allies.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I would agree, but published adventures can be very helpful for getting the feel of how a rule system works in play before you actually dive into your own adventure design.

I am not opposed to published adventures; and I do still buy some. Just not from Wizards. I'd prefer spending a few dollars for a pdf with a short adventure I can adapt and slot in, than a big $50, Level 1-20 hardcover.
I hope I've been clear that I'm not opposed to published adventures, of any length; it's just that they don't work for me, on either side of the screen.
 

D&D has survived the rise of the videogame industry. The TTRPGs have discovered the potential market among the fandom who love to create their own stories and worlds. And now even if videogames are making a lot of money D&D can survive as multimedia franchise selling different products.

My opinion is there is also a potential market in the webcomics. WotC has to sells the right pieces and others will be happy to build, to create, their own sagas.

The risk is if a new edition is not welcome. WotC doesn't want one yet, but other titles using d20 system, or variants. Some players can start to would rather other titles, but here the answer could be to publish new settings with a different style.

Renegade Games Studios could be licenced to publish a new edition of Gamma World. Then others could use this d20 system variant to create their own version of superheroes or urban fantasy (vampires vs werebeasts).

Other mistake to be avoided is not be enough ideologically neutral. Buyers don't want to spend their money to suffer propaganda from the other side. Marvel and DC are losing too many readers because this reason.

WotC could publish new settings based in not Western civilitations, but here we have to be very polite to avoid possible misunderstandings.
 

MGibster

Legend
Other mistake to be avoided is not be enough ideologically neutral. Buyers don't want to spend their money to suffer propaganda from the other side. Marvel and DC are losing too many readers because this reason.
I am incredulous that anyone can believe a work of fiction with meaning can be ideologically neutral. D&D is a game that embraces values like individuality, freedom of religion, and cooperating with others for the mutual benefit of all. An ideologically neutral D&D is a game nobody would be interested in.

WotC could publish new settings based in not Western civilitations, but here we have to be very polite to avoid possible misunderstandings.
They could but I don't know how much mass appeal a non-western setting would have. One of the strengths of D&D is that I can dive in and pretty much know how the world works. You throw a group of players in the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty of India, the Xia dynasty of China, or the city-state of Lagash in Sumeria and getting them to connect to the setting is going to be some work.
 


Mercurius

Legend
It's not actually possible to try too hard to emulate the Marvel films, merely succeeding to do so or failing to do so. Not trying hard enough to emulate them is the greater failure, particularly for D&D which has always had the same tonal pitch as Marvel material, from OD&D onwards (heck, the OD&D artist just plagiarized their favorite Marvel artists oftentimes).
I'm not really sure what you mean here, re: "tonal pitch."

My concern is about emulating certain elements of Marvel films that are borne out of the context of the MCU. They work for MCU, but I don't think would work for fantasy - even D&D.

As far as the "tonal pitch," I'm not sure there is a one-size-fits-all for D&D. There's almost always humor at the tables I've played at, but most of the time it is between the players, not the characters. MCU humor, by the nature of the medium, is between the characters, although referential and winking at the audience. That is my concern, and think it will probably not work, or at least not be to my taste. Meaning, in-game jokes are fine at the table, but I don't want to see them on the screen. I'd rather be immersed in the world of the story and not be reminded "this is a D&D movie!"
 

Somebody is going to come up with a game-changing VTT. The market's there for something that looks much better than Roll20 with a much less steep learning curve.
No kidding. Roll20 has a really horrible UX. I think the problem though is that there simply isn't THAT much money in RPGs that an ancillary product like a VTT can obtain the resources required to be good. I mean, AAA games are $200 million affairs. Even basic web applications require several million to develop (trust me, it feeds me). Something like a VTT is NOT a basic application, it is a gruelingly complex one, which really would take several 100 million dollars to 'do right' (and I'm just talking about functionality similar to what we see today, just polished and perfected, not some magical 3D whatever whatever). An industry which probably doesn't total IN ITS ENTIRETY at $1 billion will simply never achieve that sort of level of investment.

Eventually coding and UX will all be reduced down to a largely automated AI/ML driven affair where you can pencil in what you want, and some machine somewhere can mostly build it for you, at which point we'll have things like awesome VTTs, but that era is at least 10-15 years away, maybe longer. I expect sometime approaching 2040 playing D&D online will be a pretty amazing experience. The question then is whether D&D will actually be a desirable activity to put into that context, per se.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm not really sure what you mean here, re: "tonal pitch."

My concern is about emulating certain elements of Marvel films that are borne out of the context of the MCU. They work for MCU, but I don't think would work for fantasy - even D&D.

As far as the "tonal pitch," I'm not sure there is a one-size-fits-all for D&D. There's almost always humor at the tables I've played at, but most of the time it is between the players, not the characters. MCU humor, by the nature of the medium, is between the characters, although referential and winking at the audience. That is my concern, and think it will probably not work, or at least not be to my taste. Meaning, in-game jokes are fine at the table, but I don't want to see them on the screen. I'd rather be immersed in the world of the story and not be reminded "this is a D&D movie!"
The tone of the published books particularly, and play evident in my own group and other observed groups.
 

Grimdark reinterpretations only work if you're doing a reinterpretation. Ya can't reinterpret something the audience doesn't know. You can do a dark Batman or Superman film because everyone knows Batman and Superman. You can do the WITCHER as dark fairy tales because everyone knows fairy tales, and the Netflix version just matches the original

You can't do a grimdark version of DnD cause no one in the audience will know the original. Ya gotta go GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
 

Emerikol

Adventurer
To the original posters question: Are we at peak D&D or are we anywhere near what was happening in the late seventies and early eighties?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer:
While the sales totals may be bigger, the total number of people impacted is not. Go to a school and find out how often D&D comes up in conversation. If it's not all the time, then you don't have 80's penetration.
 


Insulting other members
To the original posters question: Are we at peak D&D or are we anywhere near what was happening in the late seventies and early eighties?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer:
While the sales totals may be bigger, the total number of people impacted is not. Go to a school and find out how often D&D comes up in conversation. If it's not all the time, then you don't have 80's penetration.
Spend a lot of time lurking around Middle and High Schools?
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
To the original posters question: Are we at peak D&D or are we anywhere near what was happening in the late seventies and early eighties?

Short answer: No.

Longer answer:
While the sales totals may be bigger, the total number of people impacted is not. Go to a school and find out how often D&D comes up in conversation. If it's not all the time, then you don't have 80's penetration.
Ignoring the unpleasantry...do you have data to back that up? I feel safe assuming that for tons of people who went to high school in the 1980's, D&D never came up at all, and for plenty of Gen Zers D&D comes up all the time at school (as noted above, more Middle Schoolers currently play the game than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers combined).
 

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