• Resources are back! Use the menu in the main navbar. If you own a resource, please check it for formatting, icons, etc.

Dungeons & Dragons Boom!

The other aspect that I think gets forgotten is that DMs often shoulder not just most of the effort but also most of the expense. Even if players buy the PHB (many of whom dont) and some dice (ditto) that expense is all they ever need spend. DMs are at least on the hook for the DMG and the MM, and probably an adventure if they are just starting out. That can be a barrier of entry just as intimidating as the 900 pages of rules.

I have a number of FG players who still use the demo account while I have spent hundreds of dollars. I'm lucky, I can afford it and I like to run games, but I can imagine the cost of even running online being off putting to many new GMs.
 

Hussar

Legend
I do agree that being a DM is easier in 5e, however I just recently started playing D&D on Discord, while also using roll20 and D&D Beyond. What I have discovered is much more players looking for DM's than DM's looking for players.
To be fair, that was true fifteen years ago when I started running games online. Players have always been a dime a dozen. It's one of the nice things about playing online that you can be very, very choosey about who you play with. It's a nice perk.
 

gyor

Adventurer
The fact that a DM is needed at all is the single greatest weakness of D&D. If WotC developed an advanced DM AI that would rock.

For now BG3 will be the ones to benefit from this.
 
The fact that a DM is needed at all is the single greatest weakness of D&D. If WotC developed an advanced DM AI that would rock.

For now BG3 will be the ones to benefit from this.
I can't speak for anyone else, but the level of AI that would be necessary for a satisfying experience as a player would basically be the singularity for me. You can program your Alexa to run a linear adventure for you, but not even Watson could simulate the 20 minute expedition to buy rope and flirt with the shopkeeper.
 

JeffB

Adventurer
The other aspect that I think gets forgotten is that DMs often shoulder not just most of the effort but also most of the expense. Even if players buy the PHB (many of whom dont) and some dice (ditto) that expense is all they ever need spend. DMs are at least on the hook for the DMG and the MM, and probably an adventure if they are just starting out. That can be a barrier of entry just as intimidating as the 900 pages of rules.

I have a number of FG players who still use the demo account while I have spent hundreds of dollars. I'm lucky, I can afford it and I like to run games, but I can imagine the cost of even running online being off putting to many new GMs.
Absolutely. I had intended to mention the investment piece as well. It's significant, despite all the value per $ vs. other forms of entertainment argument. DMing is work. A labor of love, for sure, but labor nonetheless and then factor in the $ expenditure on top of it.

The free online rules help, but there is nothing to really support it-DMs guild? DMsG is a mess just to navigate though product types and lines, and half or more the products look official. I feel WOTC would be doing themselves as favor by putting up some official free to download adventures on their website to go along with the Basic rules. Something to provide more initial support to DMs. There is massive gulf between $15 Starter Set, and $140-ish dollars of 3 rule books and a Adventure Path.

I thought the "NEXT" products were a fantastic idea- Things like Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle. Softcover, Starter set of rules, and a good amount of adventure material for an non-intimidating price, and non-intimidating presentation. Or the 4E red box, where after completing the box, they had a link to a Solo adventure. After awhile KotS became a freebie on DTRPG as well.
 

MockingBird

Explorer
This one starter set doesn't cut it. Sure you can go find shorter adventures but you don't see WotC ones in store shelves for cheap.

Most APs don't seem to get completed either.
I agree with this sentiment. I love the big adventures but they arent always practical. Yeah you can buy the smaller old school adventures on DM guild, but will a brand new aspiring DM know to look there? Will he/she be discouraged because it will have to be converted? Having a selection of smaller adventures on store shelves would be wonderful. WotC could even have a range of more simple to more advanced adventures. Of course we have Ghost of Saltmarsh and Tales from the Yawning Portal. I personally think these formats are great, I have both. I also think and highly encourage WotC to have more visible smaller adventures sharing shelf space with the hardbacks. I particularly liked 4es adventures design. Everything in a usable folder with everything you needed, for the most part, to run the adventure.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
I do agree that being a DM is easier in 5e, however I just recently started playing D&D on Discord, while also using roll20 and D&D Beyond. What I have discovered is much more players looking for DM's than DM's looking for players.
There's going to be a different dynamic there as you aren't playing with friends.

The people who want to play D&D online will be its own demographic too. I think another huge contributor to 5e's success is the same reason why boardgames are becoming more and more popular. People want to have some social time unplugged from screens.

What % of the 5e player base plays online?

I would be interested to know. It can't be very much right?
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
with it's appearance in Stranger Things being the highest contributor to it's rise in popularity
Huh? Where did you pull that opinion out of? Sure, D&D was mentioned in Stranger Things, and those of us into D&D already talked a lot about it. But it's not the first or last time such mentions have been made. Do you have any data to support such a claim? Or even any opinions from anyone in the know to support such a claim?
Most of the people that have recently started playing D&D have started playing as the players, not the DM.
This has ALWAYS been the case.

Sorry, but this opinion piece isn't very well researched or thought out...
 
I think D&D appearing in Big Bang was also useful. Plus the rise of streaming of course.
And Community, among other shows. D&D has always held a place in the cultural psychosphere, albeit with different connotations over time. The current exponential rise has more to do with the fact that many of the people considered cultural movers and shakers are right now of an age that they played as kids. Plus, the rest of us that did so are of an age where we generally have enough disposable income that we amount to a target market.
 

nobody69.420

Explorer
Huh? Where did you pull that opinion out of? Sure, D&D was mentioned in Stranger Things, and those of us into D&D already talked a lot about it. But it's not the first or last time such mentions have been made. Do you have any data to support such a claim? Or even any opinions from anyone in the know to support such a claim?
I do recognize that there has been a lot more references to D&D throughout the years, and I don't have anything to prove my opinion, but I feel like Stranger Things reference has been most effective. This is not only because D&D has had it's best sale the year after Stranger Things season 1 came out, but also because Stranger Things not only made a reference or an entire episode referencing D&D, but D&D was an essential part of Stranger Things.
[/QUOTE= "LordEntrails, post: 7794438, member: 6804070"]
This has ALWAYS been the case.
[/QUOTE]
I'm aware of that. If you continue to read, I continue by saying:
This makes sense...
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
I do recognize that there has been a lot more references to D&D throughout the years, and I don't have anything to prove my opinion, but I feel like Stranger Things reference has been most effective. This is not only because D&D has had it's best sale the year after Stranger Things season 1 came out, but also because Stranger Things not only made a reference or an entire episode referencing D&D, but D&D was an essential part of Stranger Things.
ST is just one factor. As others have mentioned, streaming, and it's tens (hundreds?) of thousands of followers of actual D&D play probably has had a much larger impact.

It's really not a valid conclusion to say something like ' during time period X, event A happened and event B happened therefore because A & B are related, then B happened because A happened.' I really don't think we have to go farther on that topic do we?

In short, there are hundreds if not thousands of significant factors for the growth of D&D, and no reason I've yet seen or heard of to suggest that ST is one of the more significant factors.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's 50%.
That would mean that over 10 million people play online.

I was thinking less than 5% maybe even 2% but I don't actually have any numbers.


I do recognize that there has been a lot more references to D&D throughout the years, and I don't have anything to prove my opinion, but I feel like Stranger Things reference has been most effective. This is not only because D&D has had it's best sale the year after Stranger Things season 1 came out, but also because Stranger Things not only made a reference or an entire episode referencing D&D, but D&D was an essential part of Stranger Things.
Every year is D&D's best sales year.

Correlation is not causation.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Here's a 'sample' of the player base on roll20 from their June 2018 quarterly report.

They use the term 'sample' so I'm unsure how to read this. What we can do is look at Pathfinder. We know that the total number of Pathfinder players in the world is minuscule compared to D&D both from icv2 earnings reports as well as Amazon sales rankings.

Yet on roll20 Pathfinder players are almost 40% as numerous as 5e players.

What we can conclude from this report is that roll20 is not where 5e players are playing while Pathfinder players are more likely to be playing online.

76000 is less than .4% of 5e players. Even if we increase that 10 fold to 760000 we haven't even hit 4% while if we increase Pathfinder 10 fold then 270000 has to be a huge chunk of their player base right? So I think it is entirely possible that this 'sample' is close to their actual player counts.

Does anyone have Pathfinder player numbers?

tumblr_inline_pa88rj697A1vq0pt5_500.png
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Your numbers are wrong btw, the 20 million players was all editions over the years.

Pathfinder might be more popular online IRL but that won't be reflected in sales due to it being a mature edition.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
Your numbers are wrong btw, the 20 million players was all editions over the years.

Pathfinder might be more popular online IRL but that won't be reflected in sales due to it being a mature edition.
The number over the years was 40 million.

12-18 months ago the number of 5e players given was 15 million.

So saying 20+ million seems about right.

Pathfinder never sold well comparatively speaking. It doesn't matter how old something is if its total sales are still tiny.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Pathfinder never sold well comparatively speaking. It doesn't matter how old something is if its total sales are still tiny.
Pathfinder sold fantastically. ‘Comparatively speaking’ is not relevant information. Just because Avengers Endgame exists doesn’t mean that Jurassic Park didn’t do well. The fact that Everest exists doesn’t mean the Empire State Building isn’t tall. Outliers are not the standard.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
The fact that a DM is needed at all is the single greatest weakness of D&D.
And also its greatest strength.

Look, if you want DMless D&D?
Go play a board game. Specifically Descent or Wrath of Ashardilon (or the others in that series - Elemental Evil, Drizzt, Ravenloft, I forget their exact names, but they're basically all the same). Tomb could also work.
 

Advertisement

Top