D&D General So...How many D&D clones/SRDs are we going to see?

That's not a new phenomenon and it's certainly not because of Critical Role. From the literal start of the hobby there have been factions of players who think their house style is the one true way. The west coast vs east coast crowds. The wargamers vs theater kids. The power games vs role players...on and on and on. They all have their preferences and all think their way is the right and proper way. Literally nothing to do with CR.
I mean Critical Role probably did innovate in terms of having a lot more people who are completely new to playing the game come in having already fully-formed ideas of what the one true playstyle is, whereas historically such ideas would develop over years of actually playing. But I think the degree to which CR shapes game expectations of D&D players as a whole has been widely overstated, in part because the occasional incidents of "total newbie gets angry at DM for not doing everything like Matt Mercer" are so striking and fit some people's "darned kids these days" narrative so well.
 

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SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
... Mostly because they have lead to conflicting ideas about what “dnd” is, and people tend to operate as if whichever of those ideas they hold is the “true” form of the game...
There's always been conflicting ideas about d&d. The publicity might make that more obvious, but its not new.
 


Haplo781

Legend
And the term is important - those games were not that good (in the original heartbreaker period) and were not terribly successful. I suspect many of these new systems will go the same way.

It is already the case that people are refusing to consider pathfinder (too crunchy). Perhaps some storytelling or social intrigue system will be able to capitalize on the turmoil and the subgroup of 5e players that really don’t want to play a dungeon crawl game of any type will move to that. But other, additonal, dungeon crawl systems? The market space looks overfull already to me.
Dungeon World
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Rather than spend more money return to 2E and existing clones maybe splashes out for OSE.

Castles and Crusades, B/X clones, 2E, Star Wars Saga/D6.
 

Matt and Marisha did an interview with Linda Codega where they talk about "future proofing Critical Role." There's likely something of interest there. I really doubt they'll double down with D&D.
They have a very strong bargaining position against WotC; they’ll make their own deal and WotC knows that CR can walk away and make just as much money with Amazon in their corner - they might make it faster if they stick with DnD but only if WotC plays nice.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
People keep saying that Critical Role will strike a deal with WotC, but there's no need to strike a deal with WotC. Streaming, as long as they aren't using WotC-branded stuff, is almost certainly fair use. (Heck, even using WotC IP may well be.)

Their book publishing deals are one-off deals that should in no way tie anyone's hands, on either side.
 

People keep saying that Critical Role will strike a deal with WotC, but there's no need to strike a deal with WotC. Streaming, as long as they aren't using WotC-branded stuff, is almost certainly fair use. (Heck, even using WotC IP may well be.)

Their book publishing deals are one-off deals that should in no way tie anyone's hands, on either side.
They absolutely don't have to strike a deal. But as the best positioned organization to market a high profile not-D&D they would be foolish not to extract a deal from WotC. They may well actually be perfectly happy to stick with D&D and have no interest in publishing or promoting a competing game, but telling WotC that is just leaving money on the table.

Then again the other week we got the revelation that WotC were too grossly incompetent at public relations to realize they needed to keep Acquistions Inc., basically their longest running "brand partners" of the broader "D&D influencer" category, reasonably happy and on the dole. So who knows, maybe they'll figure out a way to blow it with Critical Role too.
 


teitan

Legend
I don't think CR is striking a deal with WOTC and I think they will come in with their own game. One thing I will note is that while their games do have a lot of roleplay they also do have a strong emphasis on COOL combats and tactical miniature play and licensees that make miniatures for them, contracts with Dwarven Forge etc. So they will probably come in with a system that is very open for roleplay, tactical without the complexity of Pathfinder, since that is why they opted for 5e over Pathfinder, and also allows for some of the cool powers that they like. It will be something free form as Campaign 3 has a lot more imaginative characters that there really aren't examples of in the D&D rules unlike the past CR campaigns. Matt and his co-developers on rules stuff for the books are definitely looking to create a new system that is simple, fast and tactical and ready to go before they even end Campaign 3. Probably previewed before the end of the year and then on full display with an EXU game next Spring or just before the release of the next season of Vox Machina.
 

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