D&D 5E The Overwhelming Dominance of D&D is Bad for Everyone...

Zardnaar

Legend
Sure their strategy might fail. But the point is the players are largely irrelevant to their strategy. If the movie flops and they dont get demand for the media and consumer goods, then they will come back to the table with their tail between their legs. But that will be after it fails and only if it fails.

I was gonna start a D&D movie flop/hit predictions thread in about a month.
 

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I don't think the RPG market is relevant to Hasbros strategy.

They are concerned with expanding the D&D brand into media and consumer goods which will dwarf the RPG market.

For comparison - Avengers Endgame is a single movie that grossed over $2 Billion, that is a lot more than Disney is making selling the Comic books the movie is based on, I am sure it is more than the entire comic book market. The money is not in the comics, but the Marvel/Avengers brand.

Hasbro wants the same thing with D&D. How much do you think the upcoming D&D movie will make? Add in coffee mugs, video games, a Fast Food tie in and stuffed Mind Flayer dolls. That is what Hasbro wants from D&D.

It is about the brand, not the game and if their strategy pays off Hasbro won't care if no one plays D&D at all anymore as long as they can market the D&D brand.

Better be one hell of a movie!

But I agree that that's most likely their thinking and their priority, as well as having their movie and TV properties feed back into a videogame-like VTT with its own digital merch and synergistic marking for the next show or film or whatever else. An endless loop of product ecosystems and other horrible buzzwords ready to be bullet-pointed on PowerPoint slides.

I happen to think D&D doesn't actually have lore or worldbuilding with mass appeal, and that in a market already exposed to prestige fantasy properties like House of the Dragon and even Rings of Power, anything uniquely and distinctly D&D will come across goofy and cartoonish. But this definitely seems like an attempt to get into the big leagues, tightening up the brand identity while turning their tabletop gamers into focus groups and hype ambassadors.

I hope the plan fails spectacularly.
 

I don't think D&D has been bad for the hobby, and I think the OGL has been good in giving people a common system (which makes things pretty easy). Ending the OGL is, I believe, bad for the hobby. That said, I generally play other games and am often a bit nostalgic for pre-2000s era RPGs. Ideally though these two things would co-exist in a more balanced way. But at the end of the day, you can't force people to play games they don't want to, and you won't win them over by being critical of the game they do love. In many ways a lot of it falls on those of us who love other systems to be better advocates for them.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
The "I only play D&D" gamers are, similarly, people I have only encountered in forums, not among gamers I have met in real life in school, stores, or at conventions.

I've been gaming for a very long time, since 1977 with OD&D -- and more or less continuously since 1980. In terms of campaigns I have played (many sessions, 15+ as part of a long-term campaign) I have played in a lot over the years. There are many more one-off or 2/3 session palate cleanser games over the course of time than are listed below -- typically between AD&D, RM, D&D, or PF campaigns. Where there is an asterisk, I have played/run in multiple campaigns over the years:

AD&D *
Traveller *
Gamma World
Top Secret
Call of Cthulhu *
James Bond 007
Rolemaster *
SpaceMaster *
Stormbringer
GURPS
D&D 3.x *
LUG Star Trek
PF1 *
Star Wars: Saga Ed
Starfinder
PF2 *
5e *
Mutants & Masterminds
Runequest

Of those which received hardcore continuous play over a ~ 5 year span or more? AD&D 1st ed, Rolemaster, D&D 3.x, PF1. The ones which weave in and out most often are Call of Cthulhu and Traveller.

It's clear that FRPG is my genre of preference, but I'm not tied to the D&D brand. I stopped AD&D from 1984 through 2000 -- when we were neck deep in Rolemaster and eschewed 1st/2nd ed. Indeed, I only played 2nd ed at conventions or as a CRPG, never in a home game campaign. We sat out 2nd ed in its entirety. It was 3rd edition which brought us back into the D&D fold, as it were.

I guess the bottom line is that I don't have much of a point of reference with those who don't have similar experiences. All of the people I have met -- including everyone I game with remotely online over the past decade have similar past RPG experiences. So.... seeing people double-down on the "I only play D&D" here is more than a little odd to me.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
The "I only play D&D" gamers are, similarly, people I have only encountered in forums, not among gamers I have met in real life in school, stores, or at conventions.

I've been gaming for a very long time, since 1977 with OD&D -- and more or less continuously since 1980. In terms of campaigns I have played (many sessions, 15+ as part of a long-term campaign) I have played in a lot over the years. There are many more one-off or 2/3 session palate cleanser games over the course of time than are listed below -- typically between AD&D, RM, D&D, or PF campaigns. Where there is an asterisk, I have played/run in multiple campaigns over the years:

AD&D *
Traveller *
Gamma World
Top Secret
Call of Cthulhu *
James Bond 007
Rolemaster *
SpaceMaster *
Stormbringer
GURPS
D&D 3.x *
LUG Star Trek
PF1 *
Star Wars: Saga Ed
Starfinder
PF2 *
5e *
Mutants & Masterminds
Runequest

Of those which received hardcore continuous play over a ~ 5 year span or more? AD&D 1st ed, Rolemaster, D&D 3.x, PF1. The ones which weave in and out most often are Call of Cthulhu and Traveller.

It's clear that FRPG is my genre of preference, but I'm not tied to the D&D brand. I stopped AD&D from 1984 through 2000 -- when we were neck deep in Rolemaster and eschewed 1st/2nd ed. Indeed, I only played 2nd ed at conventions or as a CRPG, never in a home game campaign. We sat out 2nd ed in its entirety. It was 3rd edition which brought us back into the D&D fold, as it were.

I guess the bottom line is that I don't have much of a point of reference with those who don't have similar experiences. All of the people I have met -- including everyone I game with remotely online over the past decade have similar past RPG experiences. So.... seeing people double-down on the "I only play D&D" here is more than a little odd to me.

Think it's more a general observation. I'll play other RPGs but I can't find the ones I want to play so basically have to convince the D&D group tonplay something else occasionally.
 

Steel_Wind

Legend
Think it's more a general observation. I'll play other RPGs but I can't find the ones I want to play so basically have to convince the D&D group tonplay something else occasionally.
I guess, looking back at that list and looking at the years I spent playing, even then, it was Rolemaster 10+years, PF1, 10+ years vs. 1st ed (4) 3.x (7) and 5e (1).

That makes me a true outlier I guess.
 

MGibster

Legend
I happen to think D&D doesn't actually have lore or worldbuilding with mass appeal, and that in a market already exposed to prestige fantasy properties like House of the Dragon and even Rings of Power, anything uniquely and distinctly D&D will come across goofy and cartoonish. But this definitely seems like an attempt to get into the big leagues, tightening up the brand identity while turning their tabletop gamers into focus groups and hype ambassadors.
Several D&D novels have made the New York Times bestseller lists in years past. That's what I call good evidence in favor of mass appeal. The basic plot of the original Ravenloft module would make a fantastic movie. Francis Ford Coppala's Bram Stoker's Dracula even used the same plot device with Mina being a reincarnation of Dracula's old love.

I don't think D&D has been bad for the hobby, and I think the OGL has been good in giving people a common system (which makes things pretty easy). Ending the OGL is, I believe, bad for the hobby.
D&D itself isn't the problem, it's the over reliance of the RPG ecosystem on D&D that's the problem. The fact that ending the OGL is such a big problem for so many publishers is good evidence that the overwhelming dominance of D&D is a bad thing. If D&D was just a big fish, this wouldn't be such a problem, but since D&D is the industry that's why we're in this situation now. Ending the OGL is bad for the hobby, sure, but it's bad for the hobby because it isn't healthy to have one company be the hobby.

The "I only play D&D" gamers are, similarly, people I have only encountered in forums, not among gamers I have met in real life in school, stores, or at conventions.
I've sometimes had a hell of a time finding anyone willing to play something besides D&D. When third edition was first released, I could find tons of D&D players, but most people weren't interested in other games. I did find others who were willing to play a variety of games, some of whom I still game with today, but the D&D only crowd most definitely exists. And very often when I do get them to play another game, they just end up treating it as if they were playing D&D.

And I want to be clear, I'm not knocking those who choose to just play D&D. If that's how they want to spend their free time, then who am I to say they're doing something wrong?
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Well with all the people apparently willing to jump ship over the OGL changes, perhaps there will be a surge in non-dnd rpgs for people to play.

As an aside, why are people afraid of WotC trying to control how people play the game? I figure the only way to do that would be to release digital only and even then, you'd be able to use the digital books for a pen & paper game.
 


Steel_Wind

Legend
Well with all the people apparently willing to jump ship over the OGL changes, perhaps there will be a surge in non-dnd rpgs for people to play.

As an aside, why are people afraid of WotC trying to control how people play the game? I figure the only way to do that would be to release digital only and even then, you'd be able to use the digital books for a pen & paper game.
Because when it comes to VTT software -- the amount of time it takes and the sheer number of people involved in a community like Foundry VTT leverages the large hold that D&D has on the hobby. I think the userbase for Foundry is about ~60% 5e 25% PF2, with the rest taken up by, well, a few hundred systems in various states of playability. And that's in a VTT where PF2 has a very large presence (it has almost none at all on Roll20 and FG).

That community depends on 5e sales to make the whole thing go vroom-vroom. So when it comes to economies of scale necessary to get premium bells and whistles in VTT software products, the D&D brand has, so far at least, been necessary.

Now, as it so happens, Foundry VTT is probably big enough now -- and its PF2 system is so polished, that it will likely survive and that will probably be enough to last through what seems to be a threatened interregnum. But it's by no means a sure thing.

It seems evident from your comment you still think of gaming as something you do in person at the table. The trend line there is firmly against that view surviving this decade. Indeed, that is probably the #1 reason why we find ourselves here at this juncture right now; because it will soon no longer be true.
 
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