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D&D 5E What D&D Does That is So Good: A Celebration of 5e's Advantages

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I think they are good at listening what most of their customers want, and at the final deliver it.

I mentioned this, briefly, in the OP when I said, But fundamentally, WoTC/Hasbro did a lot of playtesting, and released the product that a lot of people wanted.

I really think that this is something that drives a lot of what I was thinking; sometimes, there is this whiff of elitism (or more than a whiff) that comes in when I see certain people rubbishing D&D. It's the whole, "People who like it just don't know any better ... if they played Brand X, then they'd come around and see what real TTRPGs are all about."

It never seems to occur to a lot of people that 5e is popular because it's giving a lot of people what they want! That all the playtesting before 5e was released, and the continual UA/Playtesting/Survey cycles we keep going through, is to make sure that we keep getting what we want. It's similar to those who say, "Yeah, those uncultured heathens listening to their hippity-hop music. If they listened to opera, then they would be listening to the real music." That's not to say that opera is bad (or any other subjective preference), but there is often a reason that people like what they like, and it is usually more fruitful to try and understand why people like the things that they like than to assume that they are wrong for liking it.
 

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Jaeger

That someone better.
5e does a lot of things right, which makes sense since a lot of people-hours and money went into its development.

D&D did a lot of things right on a much smaller budget than it now enjoys...

While discussing with some friends why D&D never had a real challenger until a series of WOTC own goals led to Pathfinder...

It became clear that D&D just got certain things right pretty much straight out of the gate.

That in addition to being first, (Which is a very big deal) led to them being virtually unchallenged for over 30 years:

The 5 points that secured D&D's early dominance:

1: Easy PC creation: You could make a character and begin play in a matter of minutes. A selling point for new players.

2: Graspable Rules complexity: The first levels are not rules heavy. The mechanics were understandable. New players gradually got introduced to any additional complexity, easing the gateway for new players.

3: Easily grasped Default play mode: The Dungeon, an easy to understand and grasp mode of play. New players knew what they were gonna do right away. Explore a forgotten crypt, kill things and take their stuff.

4: Easily understood setting: Common fantasy tropes of 'Tolkienesque" Elves Dwarves, Halflings/Hobbits, Fighting evil Orcs, Trolls, monsters, etc... And Dragons! New players could easily imagine the kind of medieval fantasy land their PC's were adventuring in.

5: Straight-forward reward mechanism: The leveling mechanic is a great 'gratification' reward for killing things and taking their stuff. New players unambiguously knew how many XP they needed for the next level, and what to do to get it.


Yes you can point to the rules bloat of 2e and 3e, and how 4 or 5e fudge some of them and legitimately argue that some of those points got stretched more than a bit.

At the time; it didn't really matter as D&D had already cemented its market leader position. And now the network effect of being the 800,00lb. Gorilla in the room smooths over any rough edges the system has.

What is particularly interesting is that when you really think about things, virtually all of D&D's early competitors failed miserably on more than one of these points.

In almost every case, D&D was delivering a more newbie accessible, better overall game, than any of its early competitors.


Well, I could say that, um, system really doesn't matter that much, but I didn't feel like opening that can of worms.

Not a can of worms at all.

IMHO being first is VERY powerful when it comes to RPG's.

What D&D did was also have a system that is Good Enough that most players do not feel a compelling reason to go to a different fantasy RPG.

It takes a unique set of circumstances for Being First + Good Enough to not be a winning advantage.

The only places that have a Fantasy game which beats out D&D that I am aware of:

Germany - The Dark Eye.
Sweden - Trudvang Chronicles/Drakar och Demoner
Japan - Sword World
Brazil - Tormenta
Evidently Warhammer Fantasy is also really big in Poland and beats D&D there, 2e translation I think. Who Knew...

And in almost all of those cases there circumstances in those countries that helped them get one over on D&D.


I think they are good at listening what most of their customers want, and at the final deliver it.
To an extent this is true.

It does open up a very interesting question of how design changes between editions effect the way people play the game.

Then as players optimize their play for what a particular edition does; how that will effect their answers to surveys asking the customers what they want out of the game.


But fundamentally, WoTC/Hasbro did a lot of playtesting, and released the product that a lot of people wanted.
It never seems to occur to a lot of people that 5e is popular because it's giving a lot of people what they want! That all the playtesting before 5e was released, and the continual UA/Playtesting/Survey cycles we keep going through, is to make sure that we keep getting what we want.
I would point out that given how quick 3.5 appeared. The big shift 4e made, and the issues people regularly point out with 5e upon every splat release... And then their is the cough*Ranger*cough...

I think that the word "Playtesting" does not mean the same thing to the D&D developers at WOTC that most normal people in the RPG hobby would think of when they say it! LOL!

But at this point that doesn't really matter at all. Because none of 5e’s actual issues are big enough to turn the player base off of the game.

5e has generally struck a decent balance, and has more or less done a Good Enough job that they have largely kept their player base happy.
 
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D&D did a lot of things right on a much smaller budget than it now enjoys...

While discussing with some friends why D&D never had a real challenger until a series of WOTC own goals led to Pathfinder...
Some people don't remember the 90s; Vampire the Masquerade and the rest of the World of Darkness was absolutely a challenger for most of the 90s.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
D&D did a lot of things right on a much smaller budget than it now enjoys...

While discussing with some friends why D&D never had a real challenger until a series of WOTC own goals led to Pathfinder...

It became clear that D&D just got certain things right pretty much straight out of the gate.

That in addition to being first, (Which is a very big deal) led to them being virtually unchallenged for over 30 years:

The 5 points that secured D&D's early dominance:

1: Easy PC creation: You could make a character and begin play in a matter of minutes. A selling point for new players.

2: Graspable Rules complexity: The first levels are not rules heavy. The mechanics were understandable. New players gradually got introduced to any additional complexity, easing the gateway for new players.

3: Easily grasped Default play mode: The Dungeon, an easy to understand and grasp mode of play. New players knew what they were gonna do right away. Explore a forgotten crypt, kill things and take their stuff.

4: Easily understood setting: Common fantasy tropes of 'Tolkienesque" Elves Dwarves, Halflings/Hobbits, Fighting evil Orcs, Trolls, monsters, etc... And Dragons! New players could easily imagine the kind of medieval fantasy land their PC's were adventuring in.

5: Straight-forward reward mechanism: The leveling mechanic is a great 'gratification' reward for killing things and taking their stuff. New players unambiguously knew how many XP they needed for the next level, and what to do to get it.


Yes you can point to the rules bloat of 2e and 3e, and how 4 or 5e fudge some of them and legitimately argue that some of those points got stretched more than a bit.

At the time; it didn't really matter as D&D had already cemented its market leader position. And now the network effect of being the 800,00lb. Gorilla in the room smooths over any rough edges the system has.

What is particularly interesting is that when you really think about things, virtually all of D&D's early competitors failed miserably on more than one of these points.

In almost every case, D&D was delivering a more newbie accessible, better overall game, than any of its early competitors.




Not a can of worms at all.

IMHO being first is VERY powerful when it comes to RPG's.

What D&D did was also have a system that is Good Enough that most players do not feel a compelling reason to go to a different fantasy RPG.

It takes a unique set of circumstances for Being First + Good Enough to not be a winning advantage.

The only places that have a Fantasy game which beats out D&D that I am aware of:

Germany - The Dark Eye.
Sweden - Trudvang Chronicles/Drakar och Demoner
Japan - Sword World
Brazil - Tormenta
Evidently Warhammer Fantasy is also really big in Poland and beats D&D there, 2e translation I think. Who Knew...

And in almost all of those cases there circumstances in those countries that helped them get one over on D&D.



To an extent this is true.

It does open up a very interesting question of how design changes between editions effect the way people play the game.

Then as players optimize their play for what a particular edition does; how that will effect their answers to surveys asking the customers what they want out of the game.




I would point out that given how quick 3.5 appeared. The big shift 4e made, and the issues people regularly point out with 5e upon every splat release... And then their is the cough*Ranger*cough...

I think that the word "Playtesting" does not mean the same thing to the D&D developers at WOTC that most normal people in the RPG hobby would think of when they say it! LOL!

But at this point that doesn't really matter at all. Because none of 5e’s actual issues are big enough to turn the player base off of the game.

5e has generally struck a decent balance, and has more or less done a Good Enough job that they have largely kept their player base happy.
Spot on right. I am loving the brp/rq/coc family of games. They are not easy games to introduce new players too.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
D&D did a lot of things right on a much smaller budget than it now enjoys...

While discussing with some friends why D&D never had a real challenger until a series of WOTC own goals led to Pathfinder...

It became clear that D&D just got certain things right pretty much straight out of the gate.

That in addition to being first, (Which is a very big deal) led to them being virtually unchallenged for over 30 years:

The 5 points that secured D&D's early dominance:

1: Easy PC creation: You could make a character and begin play in a matter of minutes. A selling point for new players.

2: Graspable Rules complexity: The first levels are not rules heavy. The mechanics were understandable. New players gradually got introduced to any additional complexity, easing the gateway for new players.

3: Easily grasped Default play mode: The Dungeon, an easy to understand and grasp mode of play. New players knew what they were gonna do right away. Explore a forgotten crypt, kill things and take their stuff.

4: Easily understood setting: Common fantasy tropes of 'Tolkienesque" Elves Dwarves, Halflings/Hobbits, Fighting evil Orcs, Trolls, monsters, etc... And Dragons! New players could easily imagine the kind of medieval fantasy land their PC's were adventuring in.

5: Straight-forward reward mechanism: The leveling mechanic is a great 'gratification' reward for killing things and taking their stuff. New players unambiguously knew how many XP they needed for the next level, and what to do to get it.


Yes you can point to the rules bloat of 2e and 3e, and how 4 or 5e fudge some of them and legitimately argue that some of those points got stretched more than a bit.

At the time; it didn't really matter as D&D had already cemented its market leader position. And now the network effect of being the 800,00lb. Gorilla in the room smooths over any rough edges the system has.

What is particularly interesting is that when you really think about things, virtually all of D&D's early competitors failed miserably on more than one of these points.

In almost every case, D&D was delivering a more newbie accessible, better overall game, than any of its early competitors.




Not a can of worms at all.

IMHO being first is VERY powerful when it comes to RPG's.

What D&D did was also have a system that is Good Enough that most players do not feel a compelling reason to go to a different fantasy RPG.

It takes a unique set of circumstances for Being First + Good Enough to not be a winning advantage.

The only places that have a Fantasy game which beats out D&D that I am aware of:

Germany - The Dark Eye.
Sweden - Trudvang Chronicles/Drakar och Demoner
Japan - Sword World
Brazil - Tormenta
Evidently Warhammer Fantasy is also really big in Poland and beats D&D there, 2e translation I think. Who Knew...

And in almost all of those cases there circumstances in those countries that helped them get one over on D&D.



To an extent this is true.

It does open up a very interesting question of how design changes between editions effect the way people play the game.

Then as players optimize their play for what a particular edition does; how that will effect their answers to surveys asking the customers what they want out of the game.




I would point out that given how quick 3.5 appeared. The big shift 4e made, and the issues people regularly point out with 5e upon every splat release... And then their is the cough*Ranger*cough...

I think that the word "Playtesting" does not mean the same thing to the D&D developers at WOTC that most normal people in the RPG hobby would think of when they say it! LOL!

But at this point that doesn't really matter at all. Because none of 5e’s actual issues are big enough to turn the player base off of the game.

5e has generally struck a decent balance, and has more or less done a Good Enough job that they have largely kept their player base happy.
I would argue that no rpg company playtests a game as thoroughly as wotc. I just don’t see where u r going with that. Do u catch everything on a playtest. Nope. And really that’s what a future edition should be. Not throwing the baby out with the bath water, but looking on how to improve the game, not create a new game.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
D&D did a lot of things right on a much smaller budget than it now enjoys...

While discussing with some friends why D&D never had a real challenger until a series of WOTC own goals led to Pathfinder...

It became clear that D&D just got certain things right pretty much straight out of the gate.

That in addition to being first, (Which is a very big deal) led to them being virtually unchallenged for over 30 years:

The 5 points that secured D&D's early dominance:

1: Easy PC creation: You could make a character and begin play in a matter of minutes. A selling point for new players.

2: Graspable Rules complexity: The first levels are not rules heavy. The mechanics were understandable. New players gradually got introduced to any additional complexity, easing the gateway for new players.

3: Easily grasped Default play mode: The Dungeon, an easy to understand and grasp mode of play. New players knew what they were gonna do right away. Explore a forgotten crypt, kill things and take their stuff.

4: Easily understood setting: Common fantasy tropes of 'Tolkienesque" Elves Dwarves, Halflings/Hobbits, Fighting evil Orcs, Trolls, monsters, etc... And Dragons! New players could easily imagine the kind of medieval fantasy land their PC's were adventuring in.

5: Straight-forward reward mechanism: The leveling mechanic is a great 'gratification' reward for killing things and taking their stuff. New players unambiguously knew how many XP they needed for the next level, and what to do to get it.
There were games out in the late 70s that had all of those as well. Yeah, D&D did a lot of things right in 1974, but it also did some things wrong. 1e is my favorite edition, but we have to be honest with ourselves. OD&D was a mess for anyone trying to learn. You couldn't. You had to have an existing player teach you.

By the time the 1e PHB and DMG came out, while a huge refinement over OD&D, it still had a lot of problematic issues that were not easily grasped and where your point 2 definitely doesn't apply. Attack table matrix's, hundreds of pages of rules that nearly every table ignored a large chunk of anyway, complete lack of diversity in representation, etc. It wasn't until Moldvay's B/X (and Mentzer's BECMI) before we finally had a version of D&D that hits all of your points and was actually a really good presented and easily understood game. I gotta say, it's not very often when I hear someone actually try to make an argument that 1e was not rules heavy and was easily understandable lol.

But again, by then there were also many other games that did all that too. But back then, before the internet, actual marketing and distribution mattered. It was soooooo much harder to get alternative RPGs out in the market than today, with POD, advertising, social media, etc. So a large part of D&D's success in the 70s going forward was that it was the only option most people had access to. Not that it was designed the best.
5e has generally struck a decent balance, and has more or less done a Good Enough job that they have largely kept their player base happy.

This isn't accurate at all. 5e didn't do a "good enough" job to keep the base happy. It did a great job that resulted in bringing back the gamer base that left, and then expanding the current gamer base by a huge amount. You have to give credit where credit is due.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Love 5E, it does a lot of things right. Not perfectly, but usable.

I’ve been playing it now since it came out and as I have been getting more familiar with it - and seeing the expanded content - I’ve started adding my own content. It first started with converting 2E & 3E material - kits, prestige classes, spells, monsters, etc. - and now has turned into full-on game design (my own take on the ranger, turning Eldritch Knight into a base class, ”true” psionics & psionic classes, etc.).

Like all the previous editions, the game’s got a good core you can keep tacking more stuff onto, and the beauty is that it still works and is fun - unlike the chore homebrewing was for 3E, where a simple, seemingly intuitive changes could cause the whole contraption to fall in on top of you. 5E doesn’t feel that precarious, and feels more like how easy it could be to modify things back in B/X & 2E.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
Some people don't remember the 90s; Vampire the Masquerade and the rest of the World of Darkness was absolutely a challenger for most of the 90s.
It was a very healthy #2, that while it never really toppled D&D, (only outselling it for six months or so at 2e's lowest point) it had a prominence in the hobby that brought awareness to the fact that there were other RPG games out there.

Which was good for the hobby IMHO.

IMHO it would be better for the RPG hobby as a whole if the solid #2 RPG was not D&D's clone.


I would argue that no rpg company playtests a game as thoroughly as wotc. I just don’t see where u r going with that. Do u catch everything on a playtest. Nope.
You are probably right.

Doesn't change my critique. In WOTC's defense the HP bloat causes scaling issues in the game that are hard to account for vs other RPG's that do not have it. Add in the various class features and it is a lot of moving parts to account for.


There were games out in the late 70s that had all of those as well.
I disagree.

IMHO how the early competition fell short:

Tekumel - Obtuse setting not newbie friendly.
Tunnels and Trolls - System wasn't as good, group combat is a deal killer - no other successful rpg has done combat the T&T way.
Chivalry and Sorcery - System complexity. Ouch.
RuneQuest - Glorantha. But also character creation and certain system elements.


OD&D was a mess for anyone trying to learn. You couldn't. You had to have an existing player teach you.
Yes, OD&D did assume previous wargaming knowledge to fill in the gaps.

But it was first! And no one had seen anything like it before.

TSR also upgraded the game fairly quickly to keep up with and stay ahead of the upstart competition.

OD&D only had a 3 year edition life until Holmes basic and AD&D started rolling out. And they kept refining the B/X side of the game which covered for any of AD&D's foibles.

It upgraded and clarified things while holding on to the things that it got right.


This isn't accurate at all. 5e didn't do a "good enough" job to keep the base happy. It did a great job that resulted in bringing back the gamer base that left, and then expanding the current gamer base by a huge amount. You have to give credit where credit is due.
It did a great job in learning the right lessons from 4e.

People are very IP loyal in RPG land. Yes, PF outsold 4e for a time, because 4e was not the direction the majority of the player base wanted to go in.

But the second WOTC gave them a reason to; they all came swarming back to play 'official' D&D.

It read its market better and gave people something less complex than PF and 4e. Having a reduced supplement release schedule was also a very savvy move to extend the edition life cycle.

5e made the right moves, and was going to put D&D back to the number 1 RPG spot by default.

Then it hit at a great time to take advantage of a big pop-culture upswing in D&D love not seen since the 80's. (And probably even bigger.)

It was the right edition at the right time, and the rest is history.
 
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Sithlord

Adventurer
It was a very healthy #2, that while it never really toppled D&D, (only outselling it for six months or so at 2e's lowest point) it had a prominence in the hobby that brought awareness to the fact that there were other RPG games out there.

Which was good for the hobby IMHO.

IMHO it would be better for the RPG hobby as a whole if the solid #2 RPG was not D&D's clone.



You are probably right.

Doesn't change my critique. In WOTC's defense the HP bloat causes scaling issues in the game that are hard to account for vs other RPG's that do not have it. Add in the various class features and it is a lot of moving parts to account for.



I disagree.

IMHO how the early competition fell short:

Tekumel - Obtuse setting not newbie friendly.
Tunnels and Trolls - System wasn't as good, group combat is a deal killer - no other successful rpg has done combat the T&T way.
Chivalry and Sorcery - System complexity. Ouch.
RuneQuest - Glorantha. But also character creation and certain system elements.



Yes, OD&D did assume previous wargaming knowledge to fill in the gaps.

But it was first! And no one had seen anything like it before.

TSR also upgraded the game fairly quickly to keep up with and stay ahead of the upstart competition.

OD&D only had a 3 year edition life until Holmes basic and AD&D started rolling out. And they kept refining the B/X side of the game which covered for any of AD&D's foibles.

It upgraded and clarified things while holding on to the things that it got right.



It did a great job in learning the right lessons from 4e.

People are very IP loyal in RPG land. Yes, PF outsold 4e for a time, because 4e was not the direction the majority of the player base wanted to go in.

But the second WOTC gave them a reason to; they all came swarming back to play 'official' D&D.

It read its market better and gave people something less complex than PF and 4e. Having a reduced supplement release schedule was also a very savvy move to extend the edition life cycle.

5e made the right moves, and was going to put D&D back to the number 1 RPG spot by default.

Then it hit at a great time to take advantage of a big pop-culture upswing in D&D love not seen since the 80's. (And probably even bigger.)

It was the right edition at the right time, and the rest is history.
Going to rant for a minute. Apologies in advance. I must be stressed today.


Nice post. Loyalty to IP and a company and name brand is something I just can’t understand. It drives me nuts that it is so ingrained in people. Same with the fear of fixing it yourself. The fear of homebrew games and fear of not playing like everyone else. Is there a council that does inspections unannounced at homes and flgs to make sure we are doing things orthodox and according to corporate policy?

Apologies. Had to get that out of my system.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
...
Nice post. Loyalty to IP and a company and name brand is something I just can’t understand. It drives me nuts that it is so ingrained in people. Same with the fear of fixing it yourself. The fear of homebrew games and fear of not playing like everyone else. Is there a council that does inspections unannounced at homes and flgs to make sure we are doing things orthodox and according to corporate policy?
...
Yeah, its just one of those things man!

There is a big collector aspect to the RPG hobby as well. Why do you think Conan, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars rpg's sell well almost independent of what system they are being sold under. People love themselves their favorite IP!

D&D being the first set the tone for fantasy rpg's and is very much its own fantasy genre at this point. And people like it.

I do tend to agree that there is a more RAW culture amongst newer players than there has been in the past. But how much is debatable, and we could go back and forth forever on that subject.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
Yeah, its just one of those things man!

There is a big collector aspect to the RPG hobby as well. Why do you think Conan, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars rpg's sell well almost independent of what system they are being sold under. People love themselves their favorite IP!

D&D being the first set the tone for fantasy rpg's and is very much its own fantasy genre at this point. And people like it.

I do tend to agree that there is a more RAW culture amongst newer players than there has been in the past. But how much is debatable, and we could go back and forth forever on that subject.
Very true. We are online where the loudest voices and complainers are heard the most.
 


This thread isn't feeling like much of a "celebration".

Anyway...

As someone who has DM'd about 200 sessions of 5E, it plays really easily from my side of the screen. Adjudicating actions is so, so simple. Everything is basically an ability check (with a few minor variations). If a check is situationally easier or more difficult, you just declare advantage or disadvantage. It makes rulings at the table quick and easy.

Most of the complexity is in the character and monster abilities. Characters seem to be built at about the right level of sophistication. I've had a handful of instances where players feel their character is too complicated or too simple, but that's been the exception.

On the monster side, I have some gripes about the design of complex monsters -- they tend to give DM's a lot of suboptimal choices. I wish complex monsters had fewer, more impactful options. Regardless, the 5E Monster Manual is one of my favorite D&D books, and I have good feelings about the other monster books, too.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
This thread isn't feeling like much of a "celebration".

Anyway...

As someone who has DM'd about 200 sessions of 5E, it plays really easily from my side of the screen. Adjudicating actions is so, so simple. Everything is basically an ability check (with a few minor variations). If a check is situationally easier or more difficult, you just declare advantage or disadvantage. It makes rulings at the table quick and easy.

Most of the complexity is in the character and monster abilities. Characters seem to be built at about the right level of sophistication. I've had a handful of instances where players feel their character is too complicated or too simple, but that's been the exception.

On the monster side, I have some gripes about the design of complex monsters -- they tend to give DM's a lot of suboptimal choices. I wish complex monsters had fewer, more impactful options. Regardless, the 5E Monster Manual is one of my favorite D&D books, and I have good feelings about the other monster books, too.
When they give dragons back their spell progression like in 2E and 3E i will agree. Dragons feel neutered to me and not versatile enough. Still bad ass damage but neutered. But other than that mostly everything else I agree with you. And it is an easy fix to me. I just give them the spell slots and abilities out of my 2E or 3E monster manuals. I am an advocate for bad ass dragons that are the fathers of magic that taught mankind the magic the the fae were smart enough not to teach mankind.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
his thread isn't feeling like much of a "celebration".
The current cultural upswing in popularity D&D is experiencing might be quite different in tone if WOTC had double-down on the 4e design paradigm.

What is great about 5e, is that in spite of its flaws it seems to hit a sweet spot for the majority of the hard-core fan base, and its system doesn't get in the way of popular acceptance for casual fans.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
The current cultural upswing in popularity D&D is experiencing might be quite different in tone if WOTC had double-down on the 4e design paradigm.

What is great about 5e, is that in spite of its flaws it seems to hit a sweet spot for the majority of the hard-core fan base, and its system doesn't get in the way of popular acceptance for casual fans.
I wish they would have just let the healing system. And the fighter class is the only class that i think could have been converted to 5E without ticking off too many fans. Sorry but the wizard had to be converted back traditionally. Most likely the cleric too. But the warlock could have been more like 4E, not that it doesn’t take A lot from 4E. Short Rest abilities are basically 5E encounter abilities
 

I have no idea. I mean it. Popularity is probably the biggest attractor, since it's the game most people know when you are trying to find a group to play with. But why did D&D retain popularity over the likes of Shadowrun, World of Darkness, Battletech, etc? Mismanagement? TSR also had plenty of that. So what quality is it about D&D that keeps catching people's interest beyond popularity? Just a really lucky combination of factors that are just right, compared to competitors that are also just right, but not quite as often? Maybe those same factors are the ones that Video Games take advantage of? That's possible. We can see that Video Games are hella popular with most people when you get rid of the nerd stigma.

But mostly? It's just a big question mark to me.
 
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Sithlord

Adventurer
I have no idea. I mean it. Popularity is probably the biggest attractor, since it's the game most people know when you are trying to find a group to play with. But why did D&D retain popularity over the likes of Shadowrun, World of Darkness, Battletech, etc? Mismanagement? TSR also had plenty of that. So what quality is it about D&D that keeps catching people's interest beyond popularity? Just a really lucky combination of factors that are just right, compared to competitors that are also just right, but not quite as often? Maybe those same factors are the ones that Video Games take advantage of? That's possible. We can see that Video Games are hella popular with most people when you get rid of the nerd stigma.

But mostly? It's just a big question mark to me.
Iconic name brand. We love name brands and the shared experience of doing what others are doing for some reason. I imagine hp and leveling are more popular to the masses than many would like to admit. And as has been stated before only having to learn a small subset of the rules at a time is probably helpful. Only need to know the rules of your class and level when u begin.
 

Iconic name brand. We love name brands and the shared experience of doing what others are doing for some reason. I imagine hp and leveling are more popular to the masses than many would like to admit. And as has been stated before only having to learn a small subset of the rules at a time is probably helpful. Only need to know the rules of your class and level when u begin.
Those are things several other games at the time also had. There was a time when Battletech was the iconic name brand, and then a little later on where Vampire: the Masquerade was bigger than D&D (though Battletech won the video game war). Maybe they suffered from a less sustainable business model? The endurance prize certainly goes to D&D these days (though there are still Battletech and Vampire products floating around).
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
Those are things several other games at the time also had. There was a time when Battletech was the iconic name brand, and then a little later on where Vampire: the Masquerade was bigger than D&D (though Battletech won the video game war). Maybe they suffered from a less sustainable business model? The endurance prize certainly goes to D&D these days (though there are still Battletech and Vampire products floating around).
I pretty much agree except d&d blunderingly destroyed themselves in the video game market by not understanding it and driving away people that wanted to make a good video game for them. Battletech is awesome imho
 

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