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D&D General Has the meaning of Roleplaying changed? my own thought.

Jay Murphy1

Meterion, Mastermind of Time !
I don't think roleplaying has so much changed as I've changed. I'm an adult now and play a much better game then I did at 11 years old. When DnD came about, or say Traveller, the roleplaying, the quality of a game being played was pretty sophisticated right out of the gate when being played by adults. All the complaints of DnD being a tactical skirmish game or combat is boring I think reflects a young person's experience of playing a sophisticated game as a kid. You just are not that plugged in to potential inherent in the medium as a 11 year old. Not that you don't get it, you just lack the ability as a child to play a mature, sophisticated, multi-layered game. If the person isn't a very self-reflecting person and able to honestly assess their ability (you know be critical of themselves) childish approaches carry forward. Not that is bad or wrong, but folks who have matured their ability to play will seek out others who have reached a similar degree of sophistication.

The veneer that a roleplaying game was a game for children didn't exist in a 30 year old in 1974 who would be playing with their friends. They probably wouldn't be writing many questions in to the creators on how to do things with the rules provided either. Hopefully older people wouldn't have the same self-esteem issues common in kids which would prevent a high level of sophistication in their play. Though it seems childish behavior does stick with some gamers into their later years. If I argue that B/X combat is boring because you may not be interesting and are being boring and it has nothing to do with game rules the first reply is usually someone but-hurt that I dare call them as playing it wrong. When really it is just a direct statement that no one knows everything and if you can get over yourself you could significantly increase your ability to have dynamic play regardless of game system used.
 

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bloodtide

Adventurer
Things have changed a lot. But one thing has not changed: how many people bombard the Game Designers with questions. It was a big, huge thing from day one.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
The pattern I see, and that has been verified by others, is that new players can come in with a lot of creativity and verve, just form the idea of roleplaying. Some of this will be a good fit with the game. Some of it will not. (And in recent years, it may be inspired by certain streaming games..thought the pattern is an old one).

On the other hand older , experienced players often don't get to caught up in the certain aspects of role-playing. They may now how the game works and what they want the character to do in that context. But a certain effort is often just not there.
 

nedjer

Adventurer
Telling your players they are infants to railroad them in the metagame is a table full of dice with no players round it.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Though it seems childish behavior does stick with some gamers into their later years.
And this is a good example of what you describe, bot this sentence and some of the tone in your overall post.

It‘s perfectly possible to respond much as you did in the rest of your post, but you HAD to stick a big ol’ caltrop in near the end. You want grown up behavior in the hobby, make sure yours is part of the improvement program.

Be better going forward.
 

Jay Murphy1

Meterion, Mastermind of Time !
Things have changed a lot. But one thing has not changed: how many people bombard the Game Designers with questions. It was a big, huge thing from day one.
I remember that. I always looked for questions of Read Magic. I had a difficult time trying to figure out how to use it per the description. Moldvay mind-****** me on that one.

Mod Edit: Language.
 
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Jay Murphy1

Meterion, Mastermind of Time !
And this is a good example of what you describe, bot this sentence and some of the tone in your overall post.

It‘s perfectly possible to respond much as you did in the rest of your post, but you HAD to stick a big ol’ caltrop in near the end. You want grown up behavior in the hobby, make sure yours is part of the improvement program.

Be better going forward.
Please don't take being direct as hostile tone. You read to much into that. I'm just being clear instead of wishy-washy.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Not that you don't get it, you just lack the ability as a child to play a mature, sophisticated, multi-layered game. If the person isn't a very self-reflecting person and able to honestly assess their ability (you know be critical of themselves) childish approaches carry forward. Not that is bad or wrong, but folks who have matured their ability to play will seek out others who have reached a similar degree of sophistication.

Eh. I think that as I've grown older, I've probably become less sophisticated. As soon as people are old enough to know better, they usually don't know anything at all.

Sophistication is often just the name we give to the narrowing of our imagination.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Please don't take being direct as hostile tone. You read to much into that. I'm just being clear instead of wishy-washy.
Mod note:
Danny here was speaking in "mod voice" color. That means:
1) He was giving you a kindly nudge that things weren't coming across well, and you should consider adjustment.
2) You don't argue in the thread about it.

Also note: The thread you are copying here got closed for a reason. You should count yourself as lucky that this discussion didn't just get summarily closed and a warning issued to you for ignoring a moderator directive to stop discussion on the topic.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I don't think roleplaying (sorry "Roleplaying") is inherently good or bad. I also think that just because it changes with time, it doesn't mean it's better or worse. I mean, I like to role play my PCs, but I have no particular delusion of it being incredibly sophisticated. I invoke certain mannerisms, catch-phrases or styles, and do my best to have a different perspective. But I'm still me underneath the patina, the facade. It's just me acting like someone else.

So I don't think most people have that much more "depth" as they age. Obviously as an adult you have a different perspective on some things, but I've played with younger kids that really let their imagination go and were better at getting into the moment than many adults.

End of the day I don't think it matters much, the only thing that matters is if the group is having fun.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
"Roleplaying" is a wide band of activities that usually gets coopted by people to mean a specific, narrow set of activities they prefer. It's better for clarity to explain what you do than to just use the term "roleplaying."

That said, what the OP is talking about is better described as a shift in agenda of goals of play rather than a shift in roleplaying. The agenda of play has moved which means that the modes of play have shifted. There's no evolution in "roleplaying" just a different set of agendas that are part of the popular zeitgeist for D&D. Play endorses a different set of goals of play more strongly than it used to. And people have either moved their preferred agendas as they've found they prefer different thing or just to keep up with the cultural shift in the hobby.
 

aco175

Legend
I still like a good ol'fashioned dungeon bash 'beer and pretzels' game. I remember when conventions had pre-generated characters and each play was a 1-shot that you could act a bit silly in and have fun with the others doing the same thing. Adventure League (AL) kind of makes it less so to me.
 

Jay Murphy1

Meterion, Mastermind of Time !
Eh. I think that as I've grown older, I've probably become less sophisticated. As soon as people are old enough to know better, they usually don't know anything at all.

Sophistication is often just the name we give to the narrowing of our imagination.
Sophistication in my sphere of thought and language is in an artistic sense. I've painted long enough I know how to use the materials; form, texture, color, "effectively". All that means is becoming conscious of ability. You can recognize the lines of discovery you have yet to cross, and you just might get there because the tools are no longer fighting you, you are just left with your own limits. This collision of desire and ability is where growth happens. Obviously I don't just play ttrpg's for entertainment, I believe ttrpg's have artistic merit, that this idea is not regularly looked at and I love diving into unknown territory.
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
I wonder how many of those who were 30 years old in 1974 or 1977 (when I started at age 11) are still playing now? I often feel like I'm the oldest in the circle of players I know...

But the point is, I still reach out for help now and then - but usually on a forum like this now.
 

Khelon Testudo

Cleric of Stronmaus
My experience as someone who was 19 in '82 when I started playing, was that different groups had different ideas about what role-playing was, and whenever you joined a new group you had to feel your way through to what level it was rolling dice, and what level it was about playing a theatrical character, or embodying that character. But people only played in a few groups, and so only experienced a few examples, which they themselves swayed by their own style of play within each group.

Now with youtube games many thousands of players and potential players can see what different styles of roleplaying look like. This is a good thing, because now you can get a group together and say if you want a mood like Adventure Inc. or Critical Role, or share some group you've found online that's an example of your preferred style.
 


Bird Of Play

Explorer
One of the reasons of DnD's mass appeal is certainly that it can be played in so many, many different ways.
Do you want to, I dunno, re-enact the story of Lord Of The Rings and play as Aragorn? You can.
Do you want to have a Diablo-like fierce hack-n-slash combat experience? You can.
Do you want to play in a world that feels like a manga? Or like a novel? Or like a movie? Or like something all different? You can do all this and more.
Do you want to strictly follow the ruleset or merely use itas a general suggestion? Whatever you choose!

There's room for many types of players so I don't think there's even a "correct" way to play.

However, I certainly play different than how I first started as a kid. Yet, somehow, I also play the same way.
As a kid I loved to come up with my own version of Faerun and I tried to favor a plot over the combat. As an adult, I love to come up with my own version of Faerun and I try to favor a plot over the combat. Yet..... the end result is very different. Obviously.

A side note: I think the current DnD, the 5th edition, is favoring too much what I call the "videogame approach". I feel like, compared to the old versions, now DnD is pushing more to satisfy players who min-max and want long dungeons, hitting monsters as they watch the numbers go up.
 

nedjer

Adventurer
5e has more than a dash of CCG about it, which invites min-max, and there's not a lot of jeopardy compared to OSR play. Works v well with some of the published scenarios, but at higher levels the hope of surviving has been replaced with an expectation along the lines of my Flaming Flamingo Doomdancer uses it's +7 Beak to cause 957 hp of damage in the first round.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
5e has more than a dash of CCG about it, which invites min-max, and there's not a lot of jeopardy compared to OSR play. Works v well with some of the published scenarios, but at higher levels the hope of surviving has been replaced with an expectation along the lines of my Flaming Flamingo Doomdancer uses it's +7 Beak to cause 957 hp of damage in the first round.

IMHO, this CCG started with 3e and continued with 4e, whereas 5e strongly backed down from this in particular with the natural english rather than the jargon and the severely controlled power drift. Despite this, some people insist to play it as per the previous editions, still claiming that it's poorly written and deploring the lack of crunchy extensions with myriads of feats that could be exploited. For me, it's a bit of a paradox, but I don't lose a lot of sleep over it as I'm playing in a completely different style.
 

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