D&D General RPG Theory and D&D...and that WotC Survey

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
It doesn't make any sense for a company to manipulate it's market research data. It borders on unhinged conspiracy theory to suggest WotC dramatically manipulated results. What possible benefit does that provide? The only reason to do market research is to find out what to sell to whom. Ignoring or manipulating it is literally throwing away money.
Its easier for some folks to accept this than the possibility that they are an outlier.
 

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Hussar

Legend
You can do everything from classic dungeon crawls where you're just there to kick down doors and chew bubble gum and you're all out of bubble gum to spending hours on RP and political intrigue.
See, here's the problem with this statement.

Do you mean D&D as the system or D&D the game that is played at a table? Because those two things are very, very much not the same thing. There's very, very little in any version of D&D that would support spending hours on RP and political intrigue. D&D just doesn't have any systems that support that in anything other than a very basic way.

So, basically, you're including hours of freeform gaming under the umbrella of "D&D". D&D as the system doesn't do this. It doesn't get in the way of doing "hours of RP and political intrigue" but, it's certainly not helping you either. Now, D&D as the game as played at a given table, including all the elements that the specific DM brings to the table most certainly CAN do that.

Which means people need to be rather specific about what they are talking about. Because it's often the conflation of D&D as a system and D&D as the game that is played at a given table that causes so many problems in discussion.
 

Hussar

Legend
And, as far as "throwing out older gamers because they wouldn't like the answers" goes, that's just bunk.

Remember, they didn't do the market research to share it with fans. That was never, EVER the intent of doing the research. They shared it because they could, but, it was never an attempt to prove anything. They didn't announce that this was some big market survey and they were going to tell everyone the results after they were done. No. They did the market research first. Examined it. And then shared it because they thought it was an interesting way to engage with fans.

This whole ludicrous conspiracy theory that people have concocted to somehow "prove" that 3e D&D was made for younger gamers is so much smoke. It presumes SO many things - that older gamers prefer longer campaigns, something that has NEVER been shown in anywhere. Every single poll done on En World, for example, or RPG.net, for the past twenty years shows EXACTLY the same results. Most campaigns end under 2 years. Full stop.

This has been shown again, and again, and again, and again.

Yet, almost thirty years later, people are still claiming that there was some sort of bizarre conspiracy to ignore older gamers. :uhoh: It's a lovely conspiracy theory because it's 100% untestable, 100% unverified, flies in the face of every piece of evidence we actually do have, but, because it's such a lovely conspiracy theory, we still have people banging the drum. It's such a bizarre belief to hold.

Zero evidence. Zero reasons other than "Oh, they didn't design the game specifically FOR ME, so, they must hate older gamers".

:erm:
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
How many of the people playing in 1999 could have even been over 35? That's 1964, and most people who had ever even played at all were probably born in the 70's, 80's, and even 90's by then. And in terms of this profiling scheme, it may not have made any difference at any rate.
Anyone in college in the peak years (80-83) would be on or just over that cutoff. I was, and so were most of the people I played with at the time. About 5 of us sent in responses to that survey that I know of, all of them tossed; and while five isn't a big number they wouldn't have been the only ones even here in town, and when you start multiplying it by each town with a gaming community that number gets mighty large.

But that's not even the biggest issue. To me the biggest issue is that the originators of the game - not necessarily the Arnesons and Gygaxes and so forth, but all those in the midwest, California, etc. who picked up early on what they did and ran with it - had their voices excluded.
 

pemerton

Legend
Do you mean D&D as the system or D&D the game that is played at a table? Because those two things are very, very much not the same thing. There's very, very little in any version of D&D that would support spending hours on RP and political intrigue. D&D just doesn't have any systems that support that in anything other than a very basic way.

So, basically, you're including hours of freeform gaming under the umbrella of "D&D". D&D as the system doesn't do this. It doesn't get in the way of doing "hours of RP and political intrigue" but, it's certainly not helping you either.
My only quibble with this is that it does have some things that might "get in the way" - enchantment-type spells. Hence the recurring threads on whether or not the victim of a charm person is angry after the spell wears off, posts about how chamberlains might be manipulated into granting audiences with kings, etc.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It doesn't make any sense for a company to manipulate it's market research data. It borders on unhinged conspiracy theory to suggest WotC dramatically manipulated results. What possible benefit does that provide? The only reason to do market research is to find out what to sell to whom.
Not necessarily. If you already have a good idea of what you want to sell and how in order to maximize market impact and-or profit, excluding the voices of those who won't necessarily fit in with or support those ideas makes a lot of corporate sense.

Sad but true.
Ignoring or manipulating it is literally throwing away money.
Ignoring a large segment of your potential customer base also seems from here like throwing away money.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
And, as far as "throwing out older gamers because they wouldn't like the answers" goes, that's just bunk.

Remember, they didn't do the market research to share it with fans. That was never, EVER the intent of doing the research. They shared it because they could, but, it was never an attempt to prove anything.
Sure it was. It was an attempt to prove the statement "we gave you what you asked for" when people wndered why 3e was designed the way it was.
This whole ludicrous conspiracy theory that people have concocted to somehow "prove" that 3e D&D was made for younger gamers is so much smoke. It presumes SO many things - that older gamers prefer longer campaigns, something that has NEVER been shown in anywhere. Every single poll done on En World, for example, or RPG.net, for the past twenty years shows EXACTLY the same results. Most campaigns end under 2 years. Full stop.
EnWorld didn't exist before 3e and has always been a site catering most to the then-current edition, so using polls here as your reference might not help your case very much.

Further, more recent polls here have shown two things: one, the demographic has skewed way younger than it once was (which is fine) and two, that after 20+ years of getting used to it most people today play the way WotC wants them to play: short campaigns requiring the frequent purchase of new campaign material.
Yet, almost thirty years later, people are still claiming that there was some sort of bizarre conspiracy to ignore older gamers.
It's not a conspiracy - it's right there in the damn report.

Go to the top of this page. Find the word "Features". Next to it is a drop-down arrow, click on it and a list of options will appear. The second option down starts with "Adventure Game Industry...". Click on that, you'll see the Dancey survey report. Scroll down just a bit to the section titled "Section 1: The Segmentation Study". Read the third and fourth paragraphs there (they're all very short), then get back to me.

As far as I know, the follow-up full-demographic study Dancey refers to in the fourth paragraph was never done.
 

Oofta

Legend
See, here's the problem with this statement.

Do you mean D&D as the system or D&D the game that is played at a table? Because those two things are very, very much not the same thing. There's very, very little in any version of D&D that would support spending hours on RP and political intrigue. D&D just doesn't have any systems that support that in anything other than a very basic way.

So, basically, you're including hours of freeform gaming under the umbrella of "D&D". D&D as the system doesn't do this. It doesn't get in the way of doing "hours of RP and political intrigue" but, it's certainly not helping you either. Now, D&D as the game as played at a given table, including all the elements that the specific DM brings to the table most certainly CAN do that.

Which means people need to be rather specific about what they are talking about. Because it's often the conflation of D&D as a system and D&D as the game that is played at a given table that causes so many problems in discussion.
I know I've stated this many times, there's a lot of things I don't want rules for. If I wanted or needed rules for politics and interactions I'd play a different game. Or search for rules on the Dmsguild or third party I suppose.

Sometimes leaving empty spaces for groups to fill in what works for them if they care is the best design. I think it's one reason D&D is as successful as it is. Sometimes a system is defined by what it doesn't do as much as what it does.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
that after 20+ years of getting used to it most people today play the way WotC wants them to play: short campaigns requiring the frequent purchase of new campaign material.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This survey was done before WotC did anything. What reason is there to suspect that WotC "wants" people to play that way, instead of WotC catering to what they found was already a steady and widespread pattern?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This survey was done before WotC did anything. What reason is there to suspect that WotC "wants" people to play that way, instead of WotC catering to what they found was already a steady and widespread pattern?
That's just it - they found it was a steady and widespread pattern because they ignored the demographic most likely not to follow said pattern.
 

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