D&D General What is Good for D&D ... is Good for the RPG Hobby- Thoughts?

dave2008

Legend
Man, that's just the way I lingo, so sorry, no offence meant. Simply put, I don't think the expanded D&D in the OP is any better for the hobby.
That's fair. I don't really know myself and I don't really care enough to form an opinion on it.
None of the D&D-alikes solve the knotty problem of missing game systems and most just offer a different flavour of mishmash fantasy world.
I am not sure what your referring to, but just within the 5e sphere you go well outside the bounds of fantasy and find just about any subsystem you could want. They problem is finding it through all the other content available.
 

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Aldarc

Legend
I guess that is possible, but the 8 years of 5e have seemed to go the other way. I see more and more innovation springing from 5e and what it has brought to RPGs than at any time previous to this.
I strongly disagree here. I have talked about this before on other threads, but a fair number of indie designers have said that 4e rather than 5e was the best thing that happened to them. Lo and behold! There are a lot of creative, innovate games out there that sprung forth during the time of around 2008-2015, or roughly the time of 4e and before 5e became the overgrown gorilla of the hobby.
 

dave2008

Legend
I strongly disagree here. I have talked about this before on other threads, but a fair number of indie designers have said that 4e rather than 5e was the best thing that happened to them. Lo and behold! There are a lot of creative, innovate games out there that sprung forth during the time of around 2008-2015, or roughly the time of 4e and before 5e became the overgrown gorilla of the hobby.
That could be, I just wasn't aware of them!
 

TheSword

Legend
Is the hegemony of D&D good for the TTRPG (hereafter, just RPG) hobby?
Yes. A rising tide lifts all ships. [I didn’t see someone else has used my favourite 5e quote]

After reading one of @Retreater ’s posts I checked out Historica Arcanum’s a Near East sourcebook. Absolutely beautiful, very interesting, and almost certain to be a purchase. That NEVER would have made were it not for the market the 5e player base provides. Or at least neither @Retreater nor I would have seen this Indie publisher in Istanbul’s work!

5e is the easiest game I’ve ever played to convert. Its also very forgiving of both risks and mistakes which is one of the reasons I believe it’s so popular. That’s a very good combination when it comes to designing new products.

I don’t believe 3pp was anywhere near this good when 3e came out!

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Clint_L

Legend
A rising tide may lift all boats.

But D&D is still just a boat, not the tide.
Metaphorically, what is the tide? Tabletop roleplaying in general?

Because then, in a sense, D&D is the tide. It was the game that invented TTRPG (and yes, I know about the various influences and antecedents, but D&D was where it all came together). And though the genre almost immediately grew beyond D&D, that early identification means it is the one game that is treated as a kind of synonym for the entire hobby. That is why it will be so hard to unseat.

I also agree with Snarf that a lot of games sold under different names and by different companies, more or less are D&D. Just with different skins on. When you get past the superficialities of what dice they use or how they distribute skill checks, abilities and so on, the tabletop experience is not particularly distinct. So this limits the incentive to switch games, because really, you are just having to learn new rules to play more D&D, except maybe with a space setting or a cosmic horror theme or whatever. That can be fun, and I love me a good game of Call of Cthulhu myself. But I don't think it's enough to drive a big D&D exodus.
 

JAMUMU

actually dracula
I am not sure what your referring to, but just within the 5e sphere you go well outside the bounds of fantasy and find just about any subsystem you could want. They problem is finding it through all the other content available.
I'm only really interested as D&D+ as fantasy, so I'll limit myself to talking about that. AiME and Beowulf do some interesting things in the design space, but the problem I have is - as you say - wading through all the 3pp stuff to find snatches of useable homebrew to pad out the experience. And a lot of the time the subsystems are either forcing the d20 into shapes it was not meant to hold, or go so far outside the base mechanics of D&D that it might as well be a different game. Twisting and wrestling the one game to try and produce this range of experiences is - to me, at least - like saying you can just use your $500 golf club to play a game of pool. Technically possible, but not that enjoyable.

Not when there are other singular games that provide all (or at least most) of the things I want out of a game.
 

Perhaps you have not looked hard enough? There is a lot more customization out there than just those few, somehwat timid, examples. It is understandable because the he issues, IMO, is that there is so much out there that it is hard to wade through it all to find what your looking for.
I am not ruling out that these products exist, but they have come up neither with the more 5e-oriented people I know nor in the general 5e discussions I participated in, so I think it's fair to say that finding them requires a level of dedication to just 5e that only few people will have. That being said: for the most part, I wanted that to be in the core books, because D&D has always worked best for me when just using the core books.
 

dave2008

Legend
Not when there are other singular games that provide all (or at least most) of the things I want out of a game.
That is 5e for me, it is fine that it is not for you. Sorry the market leader doesn't suit your taste. However, if your preferred game was the market leader, other people would be in your boat now. Not everyone can "win." It sucks for you - sorry!:confused:
 

dave2008

Legend
I am not ruling out that these products exist, but they have come up neither with the more 5e-oriented people I know nor in the general 5e discussions I participated in, so I think it's fair to say that finding them requires a level of dedication to just 5e that only few people will have. That being said: for the most part, I wanted that to be in the core books, because D&D has always worked best for me when just using the core books.
My taste lie outside the mainstream so I neither expect nor want them in the core books. Ideally I want as little and as vanilla as possible in the core books. and then everyone (including WotC) can expand from there. But I'm fine with what I have now.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
But I feel like that analogy is completely wrong. It's more like finding someone who only likes to play baseball but doesn't like soccer or football or tennis. We don't think that's strange or sad at all (well, except for the folks who hate baseball) - it's just they like what they like and they don't like the feel of other sports.

Heck it's even true of viewing sports. The only sports I actually enjoy watching are basketball and soccer. Everything else is pretty boring to me - is that sad? That I can't appreciate the back-and-forth nature of a really good tennis match between two pros? Maybe to someone who is a "sports enthusiast" or to a tennis fan, but to someone who is a basketball fan and that's all they like they'd just be weirded out that I also like to watch soccer.
Okay. Sports. WotC is the NFL and D&D is American football. Fine.

Imagine you have fans of American football say that they can play non-American football (aka soccer) just fine by simply changing the rules to American football ever so slightly and it will be good enough and close enough to work. Now try that with hockey. Poker. Billiards. Bowling. How about sumo? It's all the same, right? Just tweak the rules a bit and it's close enough. No, it really...really...isn't.

"But I like American football and I think it can do just fine at replicating sumo because I like American football so much."

Again, it doesn't make sense the way people treat D&D. It's not a universal system and it can't be made into one without stripping it so far back that it becomes unrecognizable as D&D. There's nothing wrong with liking D&D, but it is incredibly silly to think that D&D can do everything. It can't. Just like American football isn't a good stand-in for sumo if you just tweak the rules a little bit.

ETA: Now, taking that wider, to the RPG industry. Imagine that the NFL was so utterly dominant that other sports effectively didn't exist. To the point where they all switched to the rules of American football, but only ever so slightly tweaked the rules to sort of replicate the sports that they were doing before.

"No, it's fine. No, you don't really need the helmet, pads, and jersey to bowl. It's just that American football is so popular we have to adopt their rules to get any viewers. So it's fine. I know it's hard to get a sense of balance with all that extra weight, but practice more, you'll get used to it. The numbers are way up!"

The dominance of D&D so wildly distorts the industry that people can't even recognize how wildly it distorts the industry.
 
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