D&D 5E Could D&D Die Again?


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Zardnaar

Legend
And here we go with your "4e was a huge failure that nearly killed the game" rhetoric again.

It wasn't true before and it isn't true now.

D&D has not "died," other than when TSR nearly drove the IP into the ground and locked it into the tomb with it. None of your fears are going to cause that to happen any time in the even somewhat near future. Hasbro is not in massive financial danger, and issues with MtG are unlikely to cause widespread damage within Wizards.

Get back to me in five years, when we've actually had time to see how "One D&D" has been received. I strongly suspect D&D will be below the heights achieved during the pandemic, but still doing quite well, much to my chagrin as I would prefer much larger changes than Wizards is willing to make.

If you're aware of what's going on with MTG if one D&D has that type of reception or similar bto 4E and if it goes out of print in a few years and if they go in a different direction with 7E then we can probably conclude it's a dud.

If that's combined with MtG collapsing (slump atm) things get interesting.

My main hypothesis is if One D&D is a dud combined with MtG money not being available to bail it out like paying for 5E development.....
 


Dausuul

Legend
D&D is safer right now than it has ever been in its history.

There are two ways D&D could perish. One would be if the company that owned it collapsed and the IP rights got parceled out in scraps to bankers and lawyers. The other would be if the game ceased to bring in new players, leaving a dwindling core of diehards who would eventually... well... die.

The first risk was mostly* nullified with the creation of the OGL, and that defense was strengthened by the release of the 5E SRD. The second risk is always on the table, but the flood of new players in the last few years -- and specifically new young players -- means a fresh generation of diehards is being forged right now. Obviously, not every new player is going to be a diehard; just as in the craze of the '80s, the majority will play for a while and move on. But, also as in the '80s, quite a few will stay. Even if the game were to stagnate, they would keep the flame alive for decades to come.

*Not completely nullified; the "Dungeons and Dragons" brand name carries weight, as does a lot of iconic IP that has always been held back from the SRD, and those could still be lost if Wizards/Hasbro made phenomenally bad choices. Still, Pathfinder proved that another company can in fact pick up the torch and carry it, even competing successfully against the official IP and brand name. As a stress test of the OGL, it was a rousing and reassuring success.
 

Isn't "ceremonial item" archaeologist speak for "we have no idea what this is supposed to be"?
Generally, yes. Mostly because "ceremony" or "ritual" can mean literally anything that isn't exclusively utilitarian. Using the bathroom is a "ritual" in the archaeological sense because it involves specific sequence of behaviors and includes optional but socially-expected behavior (cleaning the seat if you stood to urinate, washing your hands, drying your hands, replacing the toilet paper roll if necessary.) Watering one's plants on a scheduled day is a ritual. Birthdays are ceremonial activities with a large subset of rituals involved (cakes and birthday candles, parties, gift-giving, being polite to the celebrant, reflecting on the past, etc.)

The problem is, in laypeople terms, "ceremony" and "ritual" are presumed to be inherently religious or at least superstitious in nature, which is inaccurate.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Generally, yes. Mostly because "ceremony" or "ritual" can mean literally anything that isn't exclusively utilitarian. Using the bathroom is a "ritual" in the archaeological sense because it involves specific sequence of behaviors and includes optional but socially-expected behavior (cleaning the seat if you stood to urinate, washing your hands, drying your hands, replacing the toilet paper roll if necessary.)
14582265209_f890173998.jpg

from Motel of Mysteries, by David Macaulay
 

It is worth noting, however, that there are plenty of objects where they do know what it was supposed to be, but can also determine that it almost certainly had ritual or ceremonial significance. An example being if a culture has a clear pattern of knife design for utilitarian purposes, and then another knife is found that is dramatically more ornate and does not have an accompanying honing tool like a normal knife would have. The extra materials/workmanship and often fragility of such a decorated knife make it both more expensive and (often) less functional, and yet the thing has still been made and even used. This indicates that some kind of value or meaning was ascribed to the object beyond just its functional existence as a tool for cutting things: ritual or ceremonial significance.
 




Vaalingrade

Legend
Generally, yes. Mostly because "ceremony" or "ritual" can mean literally anything that isn't exclusively utilitarian. Using the bathroom is a "ritual" in the archaeological sense because it involves specific sequence of behaviors and includes optional but socially-expected behavior (cleaning the seat if you stood to urinate, washing your hands, drying your hands, replacing the toilet paper roll if necessary.) Watering one's plants on a scheduled day is a ritual. Birthdays are ceremonial activities with a large subset of rituals involved (cakes and birthday candles, parties, gift-giving, being polite to the celebrant, reflecting on the past, etc.)

The problem is, in laypeople terms, "ceremony" and "ritual" are presumed to be inherently religious or at least superstitious in nature, which is inaccurate.
After a heavy Thanksgiving dinner, using the bathroom can be a religious experience. You may see God.
 

bloodtide

Adventurer
Well.....maybe no "die", but sure become "undead".

You don't need to be a financial genius to see a bad economy starting. People have less spending money, so they can't buy things like games. So sales will drop.

And...well, it's hard for a modern company to put out "good" content. A LOT of gamers were less then happy with the Spelljammer Scribble, for example. So, woe for 5.5E....

And the movie? Well, chances are it won't be so great. They could make it great, but then they would have to do things they don't like and are against.

But any way...so yea, D&D becomes a far background thing. People say "oh yea that game" or things like "Oh I remember that game...do people still play it?"
 


If by "dying" you mean "no longer controlled by a megacorp" then let death come!

The sooner that happens, the sooner the game becomes driven by the gamers instead of the stock holders. We'll say what goes on at table without some new "product" contradicting us. No longer will professional designers tell us how to run our games. We can mold new players into our ways of playing without mainstream culture polluting their mindsets.
 

Jack Daniel

dice-universe.blogspot.com
The only "D&D" worth a jot is the idea of the game; the lifestyle brand is meaningless. Even if WotC were to fold tomorrow and Hasbro were to shelve the IP indefinitely, D&D would live on in every retro-clone, Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, etc.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
If by "dying" you mean "no longer controlled by a megacorp" then let death come!

The sooner that happens, the sooner the game becomes driven by the gamers instead of the stock holders. We'll say what goes on at table without some new "product" contradicting us. No longer will professional designers tell us how to run our games. We can mold new players into our ways of playing without mainstream culture polluting their mindsets.
10e: Just sit and argue for four hours before going home angry or in the back of a squad car.
 

Oofta

Legend
If you're aware of what's going on with MTG if one D&D has that type of reception or similar bto 4E and if it goes out of print in a few years and if they go in a different direction with 7E then we can probably conclude it's a dud.

If that's combined with MtG collapsing (slump atm) things get interesting.

My main hypothesis is if One D&D is a dud combined with MtG money not being available to bail it out like paying for 5E development.....
You're assuming D&D needs financial support to survive. Seems like an odd assumption to me. Practically all the D&D products sell well, seeing numbers other RPGs can only dream of. Then there's the ongoing sales of the core books which continue to pay dividends long after they recouped their development costs.

There will be slowdowns in the future, but D&D is self sustaining. May not be a big ticket item for HASBRO as just an RPG. But of value to someone? I think it will still be around for quite some time.

Of course it may also just end up being another example of the Ship of Theseus, D&D in name only because it will continue to evolve and change.

But I don't think the sky is falling just yet, and won’t for a long time. It wouldn't even if they stopped publishing [edit: new] books tomorrow.
 
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Unwise

Adventurer
I thought of another death scenario I have not seen mentioned, though I might have missed it:

  • TSR3 bribes a judge (Is that the TSR version with the extremely overt racist in it? I don't want to besmirch mere scammers/fools by confusing them with nazis)
  • WOTC lose their legal case and the TSR3 gets all the rights they are seeking.
  • All D&D products are republished with explicitly racist eugenics theory baked into all of the racial choices. They use racist co-opted runic magic as the basis for all spell casting. All villains are caricatures of RL "undesirables".
  • We burn down their headquarters and blame it on Antifa.
 

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