D&D General What *is* D&D? (mild movie spoilers)

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Wait, you think Mystara is low magic? Where the boxed set has the PCs as crewmen on a magical flying airship, characters are quick-drawing wands like its the Old West, the world has not one, but two magocracies (and magic is everywhere in both Glantri and Alphatia), plus a theocracy.
Do you folks read the whole thread, or just react? My position on this has been explained. If you don't agree, that's ok.


um not just the last 5 years. The whole D20 shift was about building brand and its not like marketing and merchandizing wasnt behind the DnD cartoon, video games or 2000 Movie. Hasbro is just much better at it

I mean, it's fair to observe a difference over the last 5 years, specifically.

In 2014, D&D was considered a very low-value brand by WotC. The reason 5E was allowed to be made was because WotC didn't think D&D was going to make a lot of money after 4E, where their marketing/branding efforts had largely failed to get traction, or at least to get the traction they wanted. That's also why the "slow-and-steady" product release cadence was chosen, and why D&D went back to the OGL in 2016, after abandoning it in 4E.

But in the last 5 years, particularly through the pandemic (but starting before), D&D has exploded in popularity, and WotC's approach to marketing and merchandizing has become significantly more aggressive. Stuff like the VTT project would have been completely unimaginable in 2014, because the VTT development (allegedly with 350 employees) has to be costing WotC about as much as they were expecting D&D to even pull in back in 2014. And stuff like the cadence of products, and what the products are is also changing or has changed.
Don’t forget they put the Dragonborn and Tiefling in the 4e PHB because they were races they owned. I wouldn’t be surprised if the One PHB includes more of those, maybe Tabaxi and Aarakocra since they showed up in the movie.


Doing the best imitation of myself
Butbutbut the B/X modules are low magic! Except for the Lost City, Castle Amber...
Since this seems to be a reaction to me, yes, they pretty much are. You'll notice that I even put in a mention for Castle Amber being a weird exception.

I don't know what to say any more about this since it seems like you're being deliberately obtuse. Yep, I was there and played the modules at the time. If you look the the ones I talked about, Conan would have felt at home in pretty much all of them. "But but but there was a country with 36th level mages..." yes, but did you do anything with them? Conan has Elder Gods in it, so I suppose that's not low fantasy either.

Low level D&D is a mostly martial game with fits and spurts on magic in it. That's what it was back in the day and it has changed since then. At Will Cantrips made a huge difference, since they put to bed the crossbow or dart wizard from earlier days. I'm playing Dragon Heist right now, and the game is pretty much high magic, kick in the doors. That would have gotten you killed in earlier editions. And make no mistake, I prefer the higher magic. I just don't see the point in being revisionist about what the game was in the early days.

And yes, it changed. The period I'm talking about is really only the first 10 years of the game (give or take) but let me suggest that when the game gets rebooted, it's adventures from those early days that there are callbacks to. I am not sure if there will be any adventure from the ten years of the 5E era that's discussed when the game is, say, 75 years old. Will we be expecting the Dragon Heist 25th anniversary edition? More likely we'll talking about the 10th+ version of the Caves of Chaos.
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Rings of Power was pretty good, though hardly perfect. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is still my favorite D&D movie, as much as I also like the new one.

I think it's great that the writers/directors didn't go that route! If they had, it would have been compared to LoTR and almost certainly fallen FAR short. (IMO) Much better to go the direction they did and have it be their own take.

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