Critical Role Announces Two New RPGs

Critical Role’s publishing arm, Darrington Press, has released a ‘State of the Press’ video announcing two new tabletop RPGs.

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Two new RPG systems we’ll be releasing: Illuminated Worlds, optimized for short story arcs and adaptable to myriad settings, and Daggerheart, a fresh take on fantasy RPGs with emphasis on longer campaigns and rich character options.

At Gen Con this year, you’ll be able to play AND purchase Queen by Midnight, and you’ll even be able to take our two upcoming RPGs for a spin. We hope to see you there!


 
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jgsugden

Legend
...The time and money investment in learning a new rule set is vastly overestimated, especially with so many d20 D&D-inspired heartbreakers on the market. And many games are cheaper than D&D's money investment...
D&D can be run for free. Everything you spend on D&D is optional. In terms of what people usually buy for games - other games that are cheaper to go in on heavily are usually cheaper because there is less content to support the game.

As for the idea that time and money investment in learning a new rule set is overstated: Look at Critical Role itself. How long have they been playing and how many of them still struggle with the rules?

You can play almost any game with minimal rule knowledge. However, the more you play, the more nuance you learn - and with a game as versatile as an RPG, the constant battle is between depth of rule coverage and maintaining simplicity and understanding of the rules. However, there are very few people out there that would score 100% on a nuanced rule test for D&D. Learning all the rules and figuring out how they all interact is a huge investment of time.
Not that I think this will displace D&D grom Numero Uno (Pathfinder may take a bump on the charts), but monopolies are not healthy. Competition is good for everyone.
Competition drives down prices, etc... but monopolies also have some advantages for customers. For example, if there is a monopoly car maker, then everyone knows about the cars it makes. When you have a huge variety of cars out there, people tend to learn less of the details about them because fewer people are sharing information.
 

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mamba

Legend
Competition drives down prices, etc... but monopolies also have some advantages for customers. For example, if there is a monopoly car maker, then everyone knows about the cars it makes. When you have a huge variety of cars out there, people tend to learn less of the details about them because fewer people are sharing information.
this is one weird analogy… for a user / driver, cars are pretty standardized, and if there is a good example for the value of competition for consumers, cars clearly fit that bill, driving progress and variety and keeping prices in check.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I get why they're doing this - but I think the entire hobby will take a hit if we do not have a singular 'most popular' game in the industry.
The industry did just fine when D&D was essentially fallow... during the late 90s... and during the 4E to 5E gap year (or was it 2)... in fact, I'd hazard to say that the late 90's gap was what primed the industry to be able to go forward with the OGL... and 3E pretty much killed about 1/4 of commercial RPG publishers. (Both by putting them out via direct competition, and by creating the D20 glut...)

The 90's gap brought us many excellent games, such as Burning Wheel, the "New World Of Darkness," LUG Trek, a much better written Ars Magica 4th Ed, Deadlands (which lead to Savage Worlds in '03), the height of GURPS' popularity.... and I'm only scratching the surface, as a lot of little known but excellent games were out.

Now, it did coincide with the death of WEG... but that was because they didn't learn the right lessons fast enough; Star Wars and Ghostbusters were radical successes, and TORG was a steady seller, all in the late 80's and early 90's... so they came to the conclusion that licensed games were where the money was. They were wrong. Star Wars, no matter who has the license, seems to sell and push the game to top 10 just due to the IP's fanbase (including me - but I didn't like d20 SW, so I only own corebooks). GhostBusters was a social phenomenon, and they rode that wave well. Indy was a miss - especially the Masterbook version. The later d6 version, which should have been the only version, was not reachign fans. Their other licenses were all good work, but not reaching big enough audiences; especially problematic was that the TORG/Masterbook engine was better suited for grim and gritty like Batman, and d6 more suited for Tank Girl, Shatterzone, and Indy, and neither really fit Necroscope... but TG and Shatterzone used the T/MB engine, and Bats was a d6 variant. MIB simply got lost in shuffle and probably cost too much; it was a good fit for d6, and was d6. Herc & Xena was too late in the show's life. A whole book could be written about West End Games.... and perhaps should be...
 


Aldarc

Legend
D&D can be run for free. Everything you spend on D&D is optional. In terms of what people usually buy for games - other games that are cheaper to go in on heavily are usually cheaper because there is less content to support the game.
Just like nearly all other TTRPGs.

The More You Know Kitty GIF


As for the idea that time and money investment in learning a new rule set is overstated: Look at Critical Role itself. How long have they been playing and how many of them still struggle with the rules?
I don't think that this is making the argument in favor of 5e D&D that you think it is, which may be why they are creating their own rule system. ;)

You can play almost any game with minimal rule knowledge. However, the more you play, the more nuance you learn - and with a game as versatile as an RPG, the constant battle is between depth of rule coverage and maintaining simplicity and understanding of the rules. However, there are very few people out there that would score 100% on a nuanced rule test for D&D. Learning all the rules and figuring out how they all interact is a huge investment of time.
It would be erroneous to think that every TTRPG out there requires as much time and effort investment as 5e D&D to achieve what you are discussing here. This also only affects those who want to achieve game mastery.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
Professor DM calls this the begging of alternative D&D. Knowing full well about the OSR etc. I kinda hope he’s right.

It certainly has a major, major advantage for the problem that has always plagued heartbreakers: finding an audience. Aside from the Avatar the Last Airbender Kickstarter, the average weekly viewership for CR Season 3 on YouTube is like 12 times larger than the biggest RPG Kickstarters.

I already have three fantasy RPGs (5E, DCC, and Avatar), so there is a bit of a hurdle for them to overcome to make the purchase worthwhile for me, but it is at least interesting and has potential.
 



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