Podcast #279: Hasbro Layoffs and D&D's Future

Morrus, PJ, and Jessica discuss the Hasbro layoffs and how they affect Dungeons & Dragons and the RPG industry as a whole

This week, Morrus, PJ, and Jessica discuss the Hasbro layoffs and how they affect Dungeons & Dragons and the RPG industry as a whole. In the news, Baldur’s Gate 3 advent calendar, rumors of a Baldur’s Gate TV show on Netflix, Paizo and TYPE40 kickstarting a Wayfinder Compass replica, and more! Plus a brand new sketch about the Four Horsemen of the Modern Apocalypse.


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Kaz the Minotaur comes to 5e for his 35th anniversary https://www.enworld.org/threads/kaz-the-minotaur-comes-to-5e-for-his-35th-anniversary.701565/

Nominations for Most Anticipated RPG of 2024 are open https://www.enworld.org/threads/nominate-your-most-anticipated-rpg-of-2024.701616/

The MCDM RPG on Backerkit https://www.backerkit.com/c/projects/mcdm-productions/mcdm-rpg

Paizo and TYPE40 announce launch date for the Wayfinder Compass high-quality prop on Kickstarter https://www.enworld.org/threads/pai...date-of-wayfinder-compass-kickstarter.701610/

Legacy of Worlds and Adventure League New Season https://www.enworld.org/threads/an-...cy-of-worlds-and-ddal00-14-proxy-hunt.701566/

Baldur’s Gate 3 Advent Calendar https://advent.baldursgate3.game/

EN World thread on the BG3/Netflix show rumors https://www.enworld.org/threads/baldurs-gate-3-live-action-series-talks-at-netflix.701612/

The Electric State on Kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1192053011/the-electric-state-roleplaying-game

Games Workshop pay staff £2500 bonus each https://www.theguardian.com/busines...staff-2500-bonus-as-half-year-profits-rise-12

EN Publishing’s Dungeon Delver’s Guide for Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition makes Polygon’s list of Best TTRPG Books of 2023 https://www.enworld.org/threads/dungeon-delvers-guide-in-polygons-best-ttrpg-books-of-2023.701622/


Hasbro Layoffs

Hasbro laying off 1100 employees – D&D layoffs confirmed https://www.enworld.org/threads/updated-hasbro-laying-off-1-100-employees.701567/

Hasbro Quarterly Reports https://investor.hasbro.com/financial-information/quarterly-results

Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk #272: Blades in the Dark (discusses the Hasbro financial situation following the Q2 2023 report during the news segment) https://morrus.podbean.com/e/272-blades-in-the-dark/

Wizards of the Coast founder and ex-CEO Peter Adkison comments on Hasbro’s layoffs https://www.enworld.org/threads/wotc-founder-peter-adkison-on-hasbros-layoffs.701609/

Sly Flourish on Mastodon https://chirp.enworld.org/@slyflourish/111584330033721946


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Hosts: Russ “Morrus” Morrissey, Peter Coffey, and Jessica Hancock

Editing and post-production: Darryl Mott

Theme Song: Steve Arnott

Malach the Maleficent played by Darren Morrissey

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

Erdric Dragin

D&D's future needs to go back to the past. Back to the Legacy Era (1e-3e). Golden and Silver Ages of the game. Based on its amount of content and quality. Not the snail-pace, poor quality it's at now.


D&D's future needs to go back to the past. Back to the Legacy Era (1e-3e). Golden and Silver Ages of the game. Based on its amount of content and quality. Not the snail-pace, poor quality it's at now.
The slower release pace was a specific choice because the rapid release rate of AD&D 2nd Ed products was a direct contributor to the fall of TSR. They were publishing so many books so quickly for so many different campaign settings they just straight up weren't selling anymore. You weren't an AD&D player, you were a Forgotten Realms or Planescape or Dragonlance player. If your campaign is in Dark Sun, there's no reason to buy a Ravenloft book because it doesn't fit into your game. And there was so much material for each campaign setting coming out there was no need to buy something and mine it for material to pull over or reskin. That's on top of the quality control issues (TSR employees were forbidden from playtesting because playing games was seen as goofing off on company time not to mention infamous editing issues like "dawizard").

And the same sort of thing happened with 3.X as Wizards of the Coast churned out 2-3 products a month (which even that was a slow down from 2e's pace) in order to keep up with all the third-party OGL material until that bubble finally burst. Which is why 4e's releases slowed down considerably from that which still failed because they focused on player material - new powers and classes and magic items - over adventures and other DM-focused material under the (correct) logic that players and DMs will buy player-facing material but only DMs will buy DM-facing material.

I'm not going to comment on the quality of the recent D&D 5e books because I've at most just skimmed them, but if you want to compare them to AD&D and 3.x and think that they're somehow worse? I think you're cherry-picking a lot with the older editions because there was so much glut and just plain flat bad books put out because they were churning out product with no quality controls. TSR's upper management at the time didn't care because they got paid by Random House either way - sell them the print run to put in mass market stores and it can sit on the self of B. Dalton Books for years before anyone would think to return it. So TSR got a blank check until Random House has enough and returned for refund millions of dollars of these crap shovelware books (along with god knows how many copies of the VCR board game Dragonstrike) and that was it for TSR as a company.


5th editions release schedule was not because of 2nd edition it was because of the development team getting reduced after 4th ed basically failed to make enough money at the time to be considered a main line product. 4ths errata was so bad because they spit out so many books with no play testing and proper editing. Then they just put out all the errata on the character builder, sometimes on day one of a books release .

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