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D&D General D&D Loyalty?

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You're not a true fan if your shelves aren't sagging under the sheer weight.

Back in 1E/2E I was a loyal fan of TSR & D&D (though there was a small handful of other RPGs I played, mostly still produced by TSR, with the exception of WEG Star Wars) - I was trying to actually get a job as a TSR designer for D&D.

In the late 90's, I started to drift away and feel increasing scorn for TSR, based on the scorn for their own customers. I became increasingly enamored with Vampire, Deadlands and Fading Suns.

3E brought me back into the WotC D&D camp, but 4E pushed me away to the likes of Savage Worlds, FATE, OSR-style games (including things like Pathfinder).

5E brought me back once again, but of late I have found myself enamored with Modipheus & Free League moreso than WotC's offerings. Aliens, Star Trek Adventures, Dragonsbane, Twilight 2000 - they're all games I'm actually interested to read, collect and have desire to run as much (if not more) as D&D.

Nowadays, I simply collect & play what I enjoy. I don't have any loyalty to any specific company (though I appreciate the ones who put out consistently quality products - so far, WotC is one of them) nor do I limit myself to any particular system. If D&D were to die tomorrow and another book was never published, I have 5+ editions to fall back on and perhaps close to another hundred systems I could pluck off the shelf and go play.

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
I've been a big fan of most DnD editions, but ultimately get burnt out and move on to other games.
5e is the first time I stopped buying/collecting because I actively hated the design direction and was disappointed by purchases, AND was disgusted with how the company was conducting itself.

In short, I play lots of stuff over time but am a DnD fan... until I'm not.

I'm not married to Fifth Edition or ANY one game. Mainly because I never have a chance to PLAY any of them, so I'm not sure which I could hold up as MY main game.

B/X (OSE version) and BRP are the two major options, while a number of smaller darkhorses sit on the sidelines (2400, Double D6, Flabbergasted!, Gumshoe, Bridlewood Bay, Moonlight on Roseville Beach, Troika!, Dungeoneering, Thirsty Sword Lesbians, etc.). I want a pick-up-and-play dungeon crawler and a more involved investigation game. Fifth Edition barely does the former decently, but it's the Nintendo Switch of the medium, so it's hard to fully leave behind.

Wizards, on the other hand, I could very much take or leave, at this point. Partly why I'm leaning to B/X over Fifth.

D&D was my first love with TTRPGs so I am always willing to give a new edition a try. Some versions I've stuck with, others not. It is an important part of my gaming repertoire. But it has never been exclusive. To never play other systems would be boring to me. And some of those other systems I like just as well.

I feel that D&D is a game I will always circle back to eventually. I might be away for 6 months or 6 years but it will eventually happen.

I never had any particular loyalty to WotC or TSR for that matter.
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D&D is just a name (or an acronym). It's different editions and incarnations are quite different from each other. PF1 was far closer to 3.5 than 4e. So which game was I supposed to feel loyalty to?
It's the same issue with settings. Ravenloft, Dragonlance or the Realms changed a lot over the years. My favorite version of Ravenloft is the 3rd edition one by White Wolf (and late WotC 2e stuff, I guess). I didn't like 5e Ravenloft, but other people who couldn't "get" into it earlier might prefer that version.
If you try define D&D games without using the name, you'll probably end up with a bunch of other games not called D&D that fulfill the same criteria.

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
In aggregate, I'm very fond of D&D, I have had a lot of good memories, and it's always been the game I've been drawn back to. The current edition I don't like as much as previous ones, but every edition has had it's strong suits and weak points- certainly, the experience is generally better than my AD&D experience, even if there are things from AD&D I really miss.

The company though, not so much. Back in the 90's, WotC was staffed and run by gamers who loved games. Sure, they made missteps, but you still felt they cared about the game. Now?

The game is peripheral- it's the brand that matters. Innovation takes a back seat to marketing. Rather than make the best version of D&D that could exist, D&D is warped to try and accommodate the largest possible audience- it certainly makes money and makes it popular, but at the cost of making the game truly exciting for me to play.

Sure, I could gravitate to other games- I did in the past, whenever D&D lost it's luster, but that bothers me because I don't really want to. I lived through a time when playing D&D was this fringe thing that nobody understood. I had a neighbor walk up to my mom and tell her I was a devil worshipper!

I used to hide my D&D books and if someone walked up to me and asked me about the game, I'd be overcome with social anxiety, afraid of ridicule.

Now I can wear a D&D t-shirt in public and people seem excited to ask about the game, and I'm happy to answer their questions.

I want to be able to say I'm a proud D&D fan. But how can I, if I end up playing some other game, made by a company that actually cares about games and the people who play it beyond how much money they can make?

It's heartbreaking in away. But I understand that many people are perfectly happy with the way D&D is now, and that's the important thing. I wouldn't want to take away what makes the game fun for them at my expense, even though it frustrates me that things could be a lot better.

Dungeons & Dragons (gotta have that ampersand!) is always going to be a part of who I am. I owe it a lot- for helping a weird, lonely, socially inept boy who had trouble learning the same way as other kids learn about math, history, probability, creative expression, writing, and more. That gave me an outlet for my creativity, and let me not only explore different ways of thinking and learning more about myself, but also become better at interacting with others (though even now, with 50 on the horizon, it can still be a struggle).

And I hope it will always give that kind of experience to others, even though I may have outgrown it.

And I remain even more hopeful that the game will draw me back in one day (but in a healthy way, not like my nostalgia for things like MtG or WoW, lol).

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