I really don't think it should be called the "ORC license"

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
There's no real question '90s numbers were in the millions (single-digit, I'm sure). I don't know why you'd think they were lower than that.

Are you younger? Like weren't around in the '90s? I don't think there is any possibility a few hundred thousand people worldwide could have supported the sheer number and diversity of FLGSes, as well as other RPG outlets, and the huge and diverse RPG market, which had to exist in print - far harder to do than in PDF/PoD! - particularly as those RPGs often had vast arrays of supplements (far larger than we see today). As an example, throughout the '90s, the largest media retailer in the UK - Virgin Megastore - maintained a large and diverse RPG section in its stores. It actually got bigger and better-stocked from about 1991 to 1995, and wasn't that much smaller than the console/PC games section in that period.
No, no, I was in my teens in the '90s. I'm mostly parroting what I heard from older gamers and news outlets in the same time period, combined with a bit of admittedly challenging personal research and speculation. I'm always really surprised at what a small but dispersed population can support in terms of commerce.

Also personally I very much doubt that the non-D&D RPG playing community is currently 100% the size of the D&D-playing one, right now in 2023. In 1994 or 2000? Sure. In 2010 and counting PF1 as "non-D&D" (questionable)? Definitely. Now? When D&D has jumped from 10 to 20 to 30 million players? You think non-D&D RPGs just jumped up with it? I surely do not. I think it's much more likely we're looking at 30m D&D players and 10-15m other RPG players (on a good day).
There are no really good sources? But going by the latest edition of the Orr Report (4Q2021), online D&D5 games on Roll20, at least, capped at 50% of all games. I feel like if there were that big a discrepancy, it'd show up more clearly in an assessment like that. But other games (admittedly, including earlier editions of D&D) do seem to be keeping up.
 

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There are no really good sources? But going by the latest edition of the Orr Report (4Q2021), online D&D5 games on Roll20, at least, capped at 50% of all games. I feel like if there were that big a discrepancy, it'd show up more clearly in an assessment like that. But other games (admittedly, including earlier editions of D&D) do seem to be keeping up.
There are no great sources. Going by VTTs has been deeply misleading for as long as VTTs have existed lol.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
There's no real question '90s numbers were in the millions (single-digit, I'm sure). I don't know why you'd think they were lower than that.

Are you younger? Like weren't around in the '90s? I don't think there is any possibility a few hundred thousand people worldwide could have supported the sheer number and diversity of FLGSes, as well as other RPG outlets, and the huge and diverse RPG market, which had to exist in print - far harder to do than in PDF/PoD! - particularly as those RPGs often had vast arrays of supplements (far larger than we see today). As an example, throughout the '90s, the largest media retailer in the UK - Virgin Megastore - maintained a large and diverse RPG section in its stores. It actually got bigger and better-stocked from about 1991 to 1995,
That's just it - the early 90s and the later 90s are very different times. In the early 90s, up until about 1994, RPGs were happily chugging along, not necessarily gaining many new enthusiasts but not losing too many either.

Then Magic took off; and by the late 90s (at least here; the UK might have been different) RPGs in general had faded very sharply and D&D was pretty much on life support; sure WotC bought out TSR in '97 and thus saved the IP from extinction, but in comparison with even ten years prior virtually nobody was actually playing it.

Ironically, by then there were lots more gaming stores, all surviving (and thriving!) due to Magic cards and a host of other card games trying to jump on the same bandwagon. This served 3e well, as on release there were lots of outlets ready-made to carry and promote it.
Also personally I very much doubt that the non-D&D RPG playing community is currently 100% the size of the D&D-playing one, right now in 2023.
I'd be surprised if it was 20% the size, assuming Pathfinder counts as D&D for these purposes. That said, given how the D&D player-base has exploded over the last few years, 20% is still a lot of people.
 

Teo Twawki

Coffee ruminator
Say "the sky appears blue" to someone in the rpg community and someone else will find offense in use of the Noun, the Verb, or the Adjective, or some combination therein. And then there are the Article purists who take exception to the method of its use. And what of the other parts of grammar that weren't used at all!? :oops:
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
Say "the sky appears blue" to someone in the rpg community and someone else will find offense in use of the Noun, the Verb, or the Adjective, or some combination therein. And then there are the Article purists who take exception to the method of its use. And what of the other parts of grammar that weren't used at all!? :oops:
As long as you're not putting ketchup on a hot dog you're good, in my eyes.
 

Lorithen

Explorer
As long as you're not putting ketchup on a hot dog you're good, in my eyes.

Then I'm likely Chaotic Evil in your eyes. :giggle: Hotdogs without ketchup and half a dozen other additions (a.k.a improvements)? No way! I follow the "Ridcully" school of thought in regards to food. Haven't yet figured out a safe recipe for wow-wow sauce though, but I'm certain that others have tried:

"Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor of Unseen University, was a shameless autocondimentor.* He had his own special cruet put in front of him at every meal. It consisted of salt, three types of pepper, four types of mustard, four types of vinegar, fifteen different kinds of chutney and his special favorite: Wow-Wow Sauce, a mixture of mature scumble, pickled cucumbers, mustard, mangoes, figs, grated wahooni, anchovy essence, asafetida and, significantly, sulfur and saltpeter for added potency. Ridcully inherited the formula from his uncle who, after half a pint of sauce on a big meal one evening, had a charcoal biscuit to settle his stomach, lit his pipe and disappeared in mysterious circumstances, although his shoes were found on the roof the following summer. ... There was cold mutton for lunch. Mutton went well with Wow-Wow Sauce; on the night of Ridcully senior’s death, for example, it had gone at least three miles." (from "Reaper Man: A Novel of Discworld" by Terry Pratchett)

[Continuing off-topic and hoping no-one minds: for folks who haven't read it, the Discworld series is a marvelous send-up of the fantasy writing genre. It started off as satire and got a bit more "serious" as time went on, but still a fun read, and sometimes can provide a bit of inspiration for a D&D campaign (for example, Pratchett's approach to undead, or the "partially alive.") I see that there was an Enworld thread about this series, back in 2004: Terry Pratchett).
 



Teo Twawki

Coffee ruminator
I don't think I even knew Ketchup® (or catsup) existed until I was in my mid-twenties. Unlike American-styles of pizza, it wasn't part of the necessary food groups I missed out on.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So is someone suggesting this should be called the KETCHUP license?

OK, I suppose, but I've no idea what that acronym would stand for.....

And for my hot dog, put ketchup on one side of it and mustard on the other, please. Stop there. Hand it over.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
More seriously, ketchup is an example of where what was once a brand name has become common parlance for the product in question, much like kleenex has for a tissue. This is relevant today in that one could maybe argue that "dungeons and dragons" has become common parlance for tabletop role-playing games in general; and if that's the case WotC's claims to ownership of the name lose a lot of steam.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So is someone suggesting this should be called the KETCHUP license?

OK, I suppose, but I've no idea what that acronym would stand for.....

And for my hot dog, put ketchup on one side of it and mustard on the other, please. Stop there. Hand it over.

One time, I had two friends over. I made them hot dogs.

They got in a big argument. One of them said that they wanted ketchup on their dog. The other one said that was the worst thing in the world, and demanded mustard. It went back and forth....

So I just put mayo on their dogs. Win win!
 

payn

Legend
One time, I had two friends over. I made them hot dogs.

They got in a big argument. One of them said that they wanted ketchup on their dog. The other one said that was the worst thing in the world, and demanded mustard. It went back and forth....

So I just put mayo on their dogs. Win win!
angry dirty harry GIF
 




Then Magic took off; and by the late 90s (at least here; the UK might have been different) RPGs in general had faded very sharply and D&D was pretty much on life support; sure WotC bought out TSR in '97 and thus saved the IP from extinction, but in comparison with even ten years prior virtually nobody was actually playing it.
I mean, I can only speak anecdotally, but I think AD&D's loss was mostly White Wolf's gain. Like, when I got to university in 1997, not only had the RPG club grown to the point where it was meeting in a larger space (so I was told, obviously I was new), but there was, IIRC 1 table of AD&D players, vs. 6+ tables of White Wolf players (I think 3 of which were Vampire). There were more Ars Magica players than D&D players! That's obviously 18-22-year-old players, not the whole market, but I thought it was interesting.

So D&D on life support? Definitely. Other RPGs? I can only say that's not what I saw. Well hmmm - generic medieval fantasy RPGs were suffering pretty badly (D&D, Rolemaster, etc.), like, they were "uncool" - but anything that wasn't that, particularly Urban Fantasy/Horror stuff was doing pretty good. Then 3E and Exalted both helped make fantasy RPGs cool again, and pretty much saved that genre between them (people forget how big a deal Exalted was at the time, I think).
 




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