RPG Evolution: My Gaming Goals for 2024

It's 2024, the year of the wood dragon and a new version of D&D.

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Picture courtesy of Pixabay.

The Year of the Wood Dragon​

According to the Chinese zodiac, the wood dragon comes once every 60 years. It's the first time a wood dragon year has happened since the birth of Dungeons & Dragons (the last wood dragon was 1964); incidentally, 2024 will be the game's 50th anniversary (Jon Peterson believes it's January 26). The wood dragon is associated with creativity and new ideas, which makes it an appropriate time to release a new version of D&D.

Keep Building the RPG Community​

As the chair of the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGA) I'm always on the lookout for new members. I plan to continue hosting guests throughout the year on our YouTube channel and growing our Facebook page. We hope to increase the CAR-PGA's members by at least 12 members a year. If you're interested, join us!

Teach Myself Layout Software (Again)​

I completely whiffed this goal last year. I get persistent feedback from my customers that they want books in print-on-demand format. My goal is to invest in layout software, refamiliarize myself with it (in college, I regularly used these programs), and then release POD versions on DriveThruRPG.

Train an AI DM​

I've been testing out the various free-access Large Language Models (LLM) to see how they can help, and it turns out each of them have their own personalities and bring different skillsets and flaws. Claude.ai has a limited number of chat turns but is surprisingly nuanced; of all the Artificial Intelligence (AI), it's the most thoughtful. Microsoft's Bing (powered by ChatGPT 4) now has "eyes and ears" through Copilot, meaning it's integrated into Windows and the Edge browser. Most important, the Edge Dev browser allows Bing to read PDFs, which means it can read documents. I've had Bing read adventure summaries of our recent D&D sessions and then write songs for an in-game NPC bard (no, not Google's Bard) with great success. Like Claude, Bing has a limited number of turns (30 per chat), and while it has both a Precise and Creative Mode, the Creative Mode tends to hallucinate quite a bit. Then there's Google's Bard (powered by Gemini), a Shakespearean character in its own right. It's helped me flesh out descriptions and encounters and has the most personality, but has difficulty with D&D rules (Bing in Precise mode is best for that). Add this all up and all three have greatly accelerated my ability to write D&D content on the fly for my game. These AIs will only get better over time, and at some point I'll probably have to invest in just one for a monthly fee as my main assistant.

Find the Perfect Player Number​

Every time we finish a game I open it up to a small circle of friends-of-friends. We tried six players, but we still had enough cancellations that we often couldn't play. We've added two new players, for a total of seven. I could easily open it up to even more, ten total, but I'm trying to strike a balance between enough players without impacting our limited time (most games are three hours at most) while having enough to keep the game going when enough players are available. If I have enough players to keep gaming whenever we have time to play, I'll consider that a success.

Publish the Next Adventure in Welstar​

We're now playtesting the fourth adventure in the Welstar series: 5E Quest: Hellspire Peak. The plan is to publish an epic campaign from 1st through 18th level, six adventures in all (three have been published so far). It takes about 30 sessions to finish these adventures; I start out with an outline, but with time off for holidays and vacations, I tend to write it as we go. We've started playtesting this month, so we'll see if I can wrap it up in one year.

Finish Our Podcast​

Last year we launched Fifty Date Night Screams (50 DNS), a podcast in which my wife and I review old public domain horror and drama movies and provide 5E stats for each villain inspired by the film, compiled into 5E Foes: Gothic Villains. There's just one caveat, which is that we probably need to release all 50 episodes in the first half of this year to ensure the stat blocks are still relevant. We just finished recording episode 30 and we release one episode a week. With breaks, we anticipate finishing probably by June. Hopefully that's close enough!

Open Game License?​

The new version of Dungeons & Dragons is coming. It's an open question in how Wizards of the Coast manages it. Will it need a new Open Game License? If it's not sufficiently different, we may be able to use the old one. How much the new version differs affects every small publisher. Even the release date is an open question. We'll see, but determining how to update products to match the new edition to make it still worth buying will be critical. I'll be watching carefully to see just how compatible the final product is with everything we've published so far. Good luck to all the small publishers!

Your Turn: What are your gaming goals for 2024?
 
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Michael Tresca

Michael Tresca

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Let's not get caught up in semantics. D&D 2024 is most certainly a new version of D&D. A version that doesn't stray far from D&D 2014 and is fully backwards compatible. It's not a new "edition" in the same way D&D has used the term in the past, but changes have been made. It's not just a reprinting of the same material.

How much of a change and how impactful those changes are . . . we'll be arguing that here on the boards for years after the new books come out!
I know I'm arguing semantics here, but it's important. The more that people say "the new edition is coming!" and so forth, the more people are going to believe and expect it to be a new edition. And that means more people are going to be disappointed when they discover it's not.

Just call it what it is: a rules update. (shrug) That's all I'm advocating for.
 

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Dire Bare

Legend
I know I'm arguing semantics here, but it's important. The more that people say "the new edition is coming!" and so forth, the more people are going to believe and expect it to be a new edition. And that means more people are going to be disappointed when they discover it's not.

Just call it what it is: a rules update. (shrug) That's all I'm advocating for.
Is it? Important?

There are plenty of D&D gamers who are not as plugged in as those of us hanging out here on ENWorld and aren't even aware there will be new core books later in 2024. They will find out, and be joyous or disappointed, when they spot the new books on the store shelves.

For those of us more involved with the online community . . . . if you are still under the mistaken impression that the D&D 2024 books are a new "edition" in the same sense as the shift from 4th to 5th editions . . . . well, what more can be said?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Is it? Important?
Well clearly I think so.

For those of us more involved with the online community . . . . if you are still under the mistaken impression that the D&D 2024 books are a new "edition" in the same sense as the shift from 4th to 5th editions . . . . well, what more can be said?
I propose using proper terminology, to help avoid those mistaken impressions.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Goals:
  1. Start and run at least 6 sessions with a group that includes my two sons, a new nephew-in-law, and a good friend who requested the campaign in the first place. Game will mostly likely be Stonetop, Legacy Life Among the Ruins, or D&D 4e
  2. Of the 100+ games I own that I have not played, play 5 of them
  3. Get a job - pre-requisite for buying more games :ROFLMAO:
  4. Edited to add a non-RPG but still gaming goal: win a Vampire the Eternal Struggle tournament
 
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talien

Community Supporter
Goals:
  1. Start and run at least 6 sessions with a group that includes my two sons, a new nephew-in-law, and a good friend who requested the campaign in the first place. Game will mostly likely be Stonetop, Legacy Life Among the Ruins, or D&D 4e
  2. Of the 100+ games I own that I have not played, play 5 of them
  3. Get a job - pre-requisite for buying more games :ROFLMAO:
  4. Edited to add a non-RPG but still gaming goal: win a Vampire the Eternal Struggle tournament
I'm in recruiting in my day-to-day work, and posted elsewhere about my LinkedIn group (I'm also helping WOTC folks who are interested). If you'd like to join, it's here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12001430/
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Your Turn: What are your gaming goals for 2024?
Publish. I've had stuff appear in both 3E and 5E group works, but I'd like some stuff of my own to be out there. I've got a plan to do one or two things in Shadowdark and a long-gestating 5E adventure that I would be wise to get out in time for the 2024 books, when at least some people might be starting new campaigns.

Run consistent games throughout the year. I added a bunch of new players late last year, so I think that should paper over scheduling issues. I'm currently planning to run episodic 5E once each month along with rotating other games, including Shadowdark (as I did this past weekend) and Pirate Borg.

Also, finally run a Cypher trial game for my dad.
 

talien

Community Supporter
I don't normally set new year resolutions, so I'm not actually making one. But this year I would definitely like to play Dungeon Crawl Classics with my friends. I know, that seems like a low bar- I'd meet the goal by playing one time. But given we recently paused our weekly 90-minute games because I didn't have time for them (and a couple of them didn't either), it's still a challenge.

So yes, I would like to play DCC. And make progress on my collection of unpainted minis. I've been doing well the last couple years and I'd like to continue to do so.

Edited to add pics of minis painted in last couple years.
View attachment 344174View attachment 344175View attachment 344176View attachment 344177
Paint minis has been on my list for years but I removed it after a while because I never made any progress. It's a combination of space, time, lighting, and vision (mine keeps getting worse) that are prohibiting me so I finally gave up on making it a goal. Your minis look gorgeous, well done!
 

talien

Community Supporter
...except it's not a "new version of D&D," it's just a revised 5E. I think a lot of people are going to be disappointed.
I really, really hope this is the case. I'd love for this to be a blip for small publishers. But it will be clear soon enough, and here's the indicators I look for:
  • Does DriveThruRPG change or create a category to identify the system separate from the existing 5E?
  • Do small publishers feel the need to identify their 5E content as being compatible with the latest rules in any visual way?
  • Do I see a drop-off in sales of existing 5E content?
Any one of these will indicate that in customers' minds, something did change, and then we'll all have to change along with them.
 

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