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"DnDSports": Competitive Play With Prizes

It seems like the rumours of D&D as e-sports weren't so far off after all in today's bit of unexpected news, as D&D Beyond and Encounter Roleplaying have announced DnDSports. "DnDSports is the first online D&D Tournament in a cooperative Party vs Party setting from Encounter Roleplay & DnDBeyond with a grand prize of $5,000."

Screen Shot 2018-10-15 at 18.11.23.png



[FONT=&amp]Here's the full announcement:

Imagine if two parties fighting for opposite sides found themselves in the same dungeon. It’s kill or be killed. What will they do to survive?[/FONT]

DnDSports is the first online D&D Tournament in a cooperative Party vs Party setting from EncounterRoleplay & DnDBeyond with a grand prize of $5,000. Over the course of 4 weeks, 16 players will compete in teams of 4 in single elimination games. Each game is a best of 3 arena battle and played via Roll20.

How is it Played?

The full rules for DnDSports will be released shortly after our next round of Playtesting. We don’t claim to have created perfect balance, nor is that our aim, as every competitive game has an element of strategy. We’re also implementing MOBA-esque mechanics such as a Pick/Ban phase to help expand the strategy. We’ve been working closely with over a dozen talented DMs to create 15 pre-generated characters from which the players will choose, and adapt the pre-existing Dungeons & Dragons: 5th Edition rules.

We know that this will be an incredibly fun new way to play D&D, because as long as you’re having fun, you’re doing it right!

When is it?
Day 1: November 10th at 12pm PST
Heat 1: Team Beholder vs. Team Mindflayer

Day 2: November 17th at 12pm PST
Heat 2: Team Kobold vs. Team Tarrasque

Day 3: November 24th at 12pm PST
All Stars Charity game for 826LA foundation

Day 4: December 1st at 12pm PST
Grand Finals

Where can I watch it?

Watch live on Twitch here.
The VODs will be uploaded to Youtube here.

Who is involved?

The EncounterRoleplay & DnDBeyond crews have teamed up to bring this production to life!
As for who’s competing? Keep an eye on the DnDSports Twitter & here on the blog to learn more about the teams as they are revealed!

But D&D Shouldn’t be an eSport?!
It’s not an eSport. We created something that would make competitive gamers feel safe and comfortable trying out D&D5e for the first time. It’s a new way to display the versatility of combat in D&D5e in a unique setting. We encourage you to respect the way different people play D&D because we know that this will be a fun event and there is no wrong to play D&D, as long as you are having fun!


(Thanks to Jeremy for the scoop!)

Many feel competitive play isn't what D&D is about, historically that's not entirely true. Here's a history of D&D and competitive play, going back to the 1970s.

"D&D has always had a competitive streak. Many of co-creator Gary Gygax's published adventures were adapted from tournaments that were played competitively at conventions, like Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan and Tomb of Horrors.

Thanks to its wargaming roots, tournament play was well-established by the time D&D came along. Tournaments were associated with wargaming conventions. The first large-scale D&D tournament took place at Origins in Baltimore, MD on July 25-27. An estimated 1,500 attended, with 120 participating in the D&D tournament."
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Ratskinner

Adventurer
I don't recall the numbers, but I suspect what [MENTION=45197]pming[/MENTION] is referring to is that there is good evidence that certain mental illnesses of the "psychopaths/sociopaths" variety are more common among the "CEO's and other 3-letter-acronym'ed suits" than it is among the general population. There's a reason why some businessfolk are called "cutthroat".

...could be wrong, but that's my guess.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
For those worried about what this means for the direction of dnd going forward.

You should be worried.

The most iconic elements of dnd are a direct result of competitive play. The most iconic modules, the push for RAW Uber alles. And many other things.

If this proves to be very popular then, just like all those things you like about DnD, you can bet it will be incorporated into the game going forward.

Just like all the things you DO like about DnD.
The push for "official" rulings is the part that worries me the most (to the very small degree that I am worried about it.) Once money is on the line, folks won't want to rely on some DMs judgement.

I mean, a lot of those things are iconic....but not necessarily in the good way.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I could actually see this working.

Total conjecture on my part, but I am guessing it won't be your average Joe playing on the teams. If they started with some well known faces on each team, they could actually build a fan base. I am thinking Critical Role players, maybe some WotC or AL personalities, or other streaming groups like Satine Phoenix etc.
This. Also, there was an AL PAX session where they ran a D&D Battle Royale style game. With some rule tweaking and a proper battleground, this could be a lot of fun to watch. I certainly enjoyed the AL show.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
totally agree.
I'm seriously thinking about abandoning d&d for other TTRPGs. the standard ones, the ones with stories, friends and bucks far away from the table.
Tell me what game you end up playing so I can set up competitive sessions for it with cash. Think of all the new games you'll get to play as us terrible wrong-fun types chase you from system to system.

Seriously, how does how other people enjoy a game ruin how you enjoy it?
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Hiya!

First: Called it! ;)

Second: There has always been "competitive play". Yes. One party goes through a module and gets points. Another party then does the same. Then another. And maybe a fourth. Which ever party scored the most points during the completion of the module wins. That was the "competition". I am not a aware of a single "adventure" that pitted two groups of players sitting across from one another in a Colosseum type setting where they try and kill each other. IMNSHO, trying to equate "D&D eSports Competition" and "AD&D Tournaments" from the late 70's and into the 80's is...disingenuous, to say the least. Both are COMPLETELY different methods for determining a 'winning side'.

Third:

Morrus said:
[Quote Originally Posted by DQDesign]
totally agree.
I'm seriously thinking about abandoning d&d for other TTRPGs. the standard ones, the ones with stories, friends and bucks far away from the table.
[End DQDesign Quote]

[Quote Originally Posted by Morrus]
You want to abandon D&D because somebody else you've never met plays D&D differently to you?[End Morrus Quote]

[MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION], I think what [MENTION=6781549]DQDesign[/MENTION] was trying to intone was the overall D&D RPG Community and the potential to where D&D, as a RPG, could end up. It's not about "not playing my way". It's about bringing in a potentially overwhelming amount of people who are NOT "roleplayers" and are not actually interested in any of the "roleplaying". As this group increases, it would bring in more money and more and more voices asking for what they want.

WotC is a company, owned by an evil faceless juggernaut who wants to expand and acquire more of everything (market share, money, IP's, etc). At some point, WotC would 'switch' to focus on the eSports D&D side of things...meaning more and more combat rules and stuff related to it. Farther down the line it could get to the point where the latest edition of D&D has 9 pages at the back of the 650 page book that is titled "Appendix 4: Playing D&D as a Story-Based Roleplaying Game".

I think THAT is what DQDesign was trying to get at; the eventual demise of D&D as anything resembling a community of odd-thinking adults who sit around a table playing make believe. Showing up to a free game at the FLGS and having to clarify "Is this the old-skool story/roleplaying version? Or the current tactical combat version"...isn't something I think any of us want.

Companies: Money Talks. If eSports D&D shows more green flowing into the coffers...well...you can kiss "D&D: The Fantasy RolePlaying Game" goodbye and accept "D&D: The Team vs Team Tactical Mini's Game".

PS: Long story short; yes, I hope this whole idea fails miserably. Not because I don't want others to have fun, but because I want D&D to remain, well, D&D.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
Oh please.

This will not kill D&D TTRPG any more than D&D movies, D&D comics, D&D video games, and D&D live streaming has. If anything it is another avenue to bring new audiences to not just D&D TTRPG but to TTRPGs *in general*.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
When the CEO of WotC commented on competitive game play and the article went up people just went off saying "it's just MtG". I saw this coming its such a weird and idiotic move to me. I know they used to do it back in the 80s, then stopped because it didn't work. I know live play youtubers & twich streamers are big but I don't see that translating well into "competitive" dnd. Good luck to their bank accounts, trust companies to make everything competitive multiplayer with recurrent consumer spending micro-transactions.
WotC isn't making this show, and it was the CEO of Hasbro (not the President of WotC) talking about what was already happening, namely actual play streaming.
 

pming

Explorer
Hiya!

MNblockhead said:
Oh please.

This will not kill D&D TTRPG any more than D&D movies, D&D comics, D&D video games, and D&D live streaming has. If anything it is another avenue to bring new audiences to not just D&D TTRPG but to TTRPGs *in general*.
...shrug... If and when eD&DSports starts to pick up steam, I hope you're right and I am completely wrong. I really, really do!

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
Serious, how does who other people enjoy a game ruin how you enjoy it?
I'll give you an example of this type of concern. Its just an example, not a bulletproof argument so go easy on me.


I don't care for multiplayer shooter video games like Call of Duty very much. I did (as a war buff) however really enjoy the single player campaigns.

Due to the money making potential and popularity of the multiplayer shooters, less attention is paid to the single player. In some cases and games, it has become non existent.

So Call of Duty is no longer the game I enjoyed because of how other people prefer it to be played.


*Not complaining, just recognizing that how other people enjoy things can influence they games I play.*






I know, I have my books and can play my way forever, but like single player campaigns, the culture will eventually change and leave me behind.
 
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guachi

Villager
I have missed the mark on popular media pretty consistently over the years:
  • Televising a poker game? That will never work!


  • I've literally never heard anyone say this. Showing fictional poker games in movies and TV is a staple of (mostly western) movies. Shall I list all the movies that have poker games in them or will you just admit this is a stupid strawman you've constructed?
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I've literally never heard anyone say this. Showing fictional poker games in movies and TV is a staple of (mostly western) movies. Shall I list all the movies that have poker games in them or will you just admit this is a stupid strawman you've constructed?
There were plenty of skeptics who didn't think poker would be successful as a spectator game. Bill Gloss has a nice, short, readable history of how power developed into a spectator sport...something it only did fairly recently (late 90's, early 2000s): http://www.billglose.com/poker.htm

Attempts had been made to televise poker tournaments since the late 70s, but it was not until Steven Lipscomb and Lyle Berman developed a format using "pocket cams" in 2002 that televised poker took off.

Similarly, professional recordings of D&D radio shows were recorded by TSR in the early 80s, but it wasn't until new technology made spectating D&D games more cost effective and compelling.

I think the overall point is that there are plenty of activities that get televised, which a certain segment of the population would scratch their heads at and think would never take off, but a large enough segment of the population do enjoy watching them, especially when technology make for more compelling audience experiences.

Off the top of my head, I can't understand watching:

darts
bowling
golf
spelling bees
yahting
most reality TV

But they all do quite well without my patronage.
 

pogre

Adventurer
I've literally never heard anyone say this. Showing fictional poker games in movies and TV is a staple of (mostly western) movies. Shall I list all the movies that have poker games in them or will you just admit this is a stupid strawman you've constructed?
I think constructing a fictional drama around the game is quite different from broadcasting actual tournaments. Which, I admitted I missed the mark on. I think a lot of things can be dramatized to seem much more exciting.

It's not a strawman argument when this was my actual perception, flawed as it was. I don't think I was alone in this perception/prediction at all, but I have no way to empirically back that up.

In all fairness, it took a while for televised poker to take off.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poker_on_television
 

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