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

Even those few who's main drive and passion is other games...they still have to produce 5E content because they need the money to keep the lights on and the paychecks from bouncing.
Yup, and this was incredibly obvious in both the 3E-era d20 "gold rush" and in the 5E-era Kickstarter projects, where an awful lot of them are very clearly some passion project that's been shoved into a D&D framework because that way it'll make literally 10x the money it would make with a different framework (though that is kind of decreasingly true, it's still like 2-5x the money even now).
 

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Aldarc

Legend
That's part of free time and cost. The cost of the book itself in dollars. The cost in free time to read over and understand the book well enough to play the game. Notably, there are other games than just 5E and PF2E. So it's a false dichotomy to put those two together as if they were the only options. There's a whole galaxy of games out there that are significantly lighter than both 5E and PF2E.
Ever feel like you're stuck in that country bar in Blues Brothers?

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Scribe

Legend
It's a fake issue.

By that logic D&D is also 600 pages, because the PF2 core is the equivalent of the PHB and DMG combined (possibly also the MM but I don't think so).

So why would that issue need to be addressed?

The basic rules you need to learn to get playing are highly comparable to 5E. If you can handle 5E, you can handle PF2. It's also a laughably bad example because it's one of like two games slightly more complex than D&D 5E.

Because there is a sizeable community that has already learned 5e, and would need a reason to shift.

I think you have it backwards. The OGL lead to system dominance because 3PP could just support D&D instead of creating something new. It's literally the network effect. So the industry almost as a whole directs their efforts to supporting D&D. Even those few who's main drive and passion is other games...they still have to produce 5E content because they need the money to keep the lights on and the paychecks from bouncing.

There's for sure a chicken and egg thing here, and I agree the OGL mattered, a lot, but I'm talking about today, right now, going forward.

If "the industry almost as a whole directs their efforts to supporting D&D" and we take "D&D" to being 5e, or 5e-alike rule sets, and even if some are doing it while holding their nose to keep the lights on, this kind of proves my point.

I'm not saying there are no other systems.
I'm not saying there are not BETTER systems. (I've been pretty open in my disdain for 5e!)
I'm not saying there are not BETTER companies to support. (I've been extremely open in how I feel about Wizards.)

I get it, there are other games out there and folks wish they would be played. Please, everyone come to your senses and realize that PF1 is actually the light and the way!

Failing that happening, what I have been thinking about is 'can we please more people' by accepting 5e as a base, and building upon it, with a 5e-alike, but offering enough change, and accent on the shared language, to INCREASE adoption of our version of the game, while still feeding off of, and into, the 5e ecosystem?

Its what I would imagine, Black Flag is doing honestly.
 

Because there is a sizeable community that has already learned 5e, and would need a reason to shift.
That's just demonstrating the whole fake-ness of the point.

They'd barely need to learn anything. And that's the most extreme possible example (short of like, Against the Darkmaster or something). It's a psychological problem, not a problem based in real difficulties.
 

Scribe

Legend
That's just demonstrating the whole fake-ness of the point.

They'd barely need to learn anything. And that's the most extreme possible example (short of like, Against the Darkmaster or something). It's a psychological problem, not a problem based in real difficulties.

I mean have you tried to convince folks to give other games a try, like an honest effort and not just a one off board game or something?

Even going from a more complicated system, to a smaller/easier one, its like pulling teeth sometimes. It goes to the point made earlier, by @Jer

There are people who play genres, and then there are people who play systems.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
There's for sure a chicken and egg thing here, and I agree the OGL mattered, a lot, but I'm talking about today, right now, going forward.
So you want to limit the conversation to the point where D&D is already something like 95% of the industry. Okay. Those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
If "the industry almost as a whole directs their efforts to supporting D&D" and we take "D&D" to being 5e, or 5e-alike rule sets, and even if some are doing it while holding their nose to keep the lights on, this kind of proves my point.
What point is that? That D&D is dominant to the point of grotesquely distorting the entire industry around it. That's not something many people could argue against.
I'm not saying there are no other systems.
I'm not saying there are not BETTER systems. (I've been pretty open in my disdain for 5e!)
I'm not saying there are not BETTER companies to support. (I've been extremely open in how I feel about Wizards.)
Cool. So let's stop supporting an evil corporation with a mediocre system. Let's go support good companies (or at least neutral ones) with better systems. Hurray. RPG utopia achieved...oh wait...we try to do that and find that we can support those companies, but thanks to the downside of the network effect it's extremely hard to find players, referees, and actual games to play in outside of D&D.
I get it, there are other games out there and folks wish they would be played. Please, everyone come to your senses and realize that PF1 is actually the light and the way!
Uhm...you must have me confused with someone else. I dislike Pathfinder more than I dislike 5E. And I kinda hate 5E.

I'm one of the people advocating for people to try other games, yes. But not because there is any one "light and the way". I'm actively arguing against that mentality that a lot of 5E players seem to have. There are other games. There are other companies to support. There are lighter systems. There are other genres. Go play other games. See what's out there. Not because I want all 5E players to switch to my system of choice. No thanks. I've spent the last decade playing with and running for 5E-only players. I can't get away from them fast enough. I'd just like enough of a fracturing of the fanbase to get enough players out of the 5E bubble to be able to play my games of choice.
Failing that happening, what I have been thinking about is 'can we please more people' by accepting 5e as a base, and building upon it, with a 5e-alike, but offering enough change, and accent on the shared language, to INCREASE adoption of our version of the game, while still feeding off of, and into, the 5e ecosystem?

Its what I would imagine, Black Flag is doing honestly.
Yes, you want to solve the "WotC and 5E are too dominant" problem by putting a different company who's putting out a 5E variant on the throne. That doesn't really solve the problem at all.

If the problem is "dictators are bad", then replacing one dictator with another won't actually solve the problem.
 

I mean have you tried to convince folks to give other games a try, like an honest effort and not just a one off board game or something?
Yes. I've consistently been successful! Maybe I'm just good at convincing people? But I doubt it.

I'm not saying it's not hard for other people with other groups. I am saying a lot of the people who are objecting to learning other systems are just put off by how much effort they thought learning D&D was.

I don't think anywhere near as many people "play systems" as people presuppose. I think the issue is entirely a psychological and basically fake.

I have a good example, actually - you remember when board games were like, hugely popular, say, ten years ago? I mean they still are but it's not quite the thing it was 5-10 years ago (perhaps in part because of the resurgence of D&D, actually). I had friends who would regularly introduce new boardgames, and virtually every bloody one of them, almost without exception, required 2-5x as long to learn to even basically play (let alone play well), as it takes to learn a new TTRPG from the lower end of the complexity scale, including some pretty intensely themed or sort of fake-crunchy stuff like Spire. We did that like, multiple times a month. People moaned a bit, but because we were used to it, we just went with it.

The real difficulty is getting people to try one new system. Once you've done that, so long as it didn't blow goats, chances are, the fear is gone.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I haven't had much trouble finding people willing to play other games. In the last three years I have run PF2, Scion 2e, Masks, Apocalypse Keys, Tales of Xadia, Lancer and Beam Saber. I have played Vampire 5e, Exalted 3e, an exalted Cortex Plus hack, Deadlands Classic, L5R Fifth Edition, Infinity and PF2. We're about to play some 7th Sea before I run some more Apocalypse Keys.

Crunchy games like Exalted and PF2 can be tough sells though. What I have mostly found is that ebbing tide of D&D's popularity is mostly irrelevant in terms of finding people who I want to play with. There's always a fair number of people who want to play games, but haven't found groups. Being willing to run games and like being particular about what you want to run is usually enough. Also having a wider group of people in your gaming circles so people can sit out what they don't want to play.
 
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Scribe

Legend
So you want to limit the conversation to the point where D&D is already something like 95% of the industry. Okay. Those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

What point is that? That D&D is dominant to the point of grotesquely distorting the entire industry around it. That's not something many people could argue against.

Cool. So let's stop supporting an evil corporation with a mediocre system. Let's go support good companies (or at least neutral ones) with better systems. Hurray. RPG utopia achieved...oh wait...we try to do that and find that we can support those companies, but thanks to the downside of the network effect it's extremely hard to find players, referees, and actual games to play in outside of D&D.

Uhm...you must have me confused with someone else. I dislike Pathfinder more than I dislike 5E. And I kinda hate 5E.

I'm one of the people advocating for people to try other games, yes. But not because there is any one "light and the way". I'm actively arguing against that mentality that a lot of 5E players seem to have. There are other games. There are other companies to support. There are lighter systems. There are other genres. Go play other games. See what's out there. Not because I want all 5E players to switch to my system of choice. No thanks. I've spent the last decade playing with and running for 5E-only players. I can't get away from them fast enough. I'd just like enough of a fracturing of the fanbase to get enough players out of the 5E bubble to be able to play my games of choice.

Yes, you want to solve the "WotC and 5E are too dominant" problem by putting a different company who's putting out a 5E variant on the throne. That doesn't really solve the problem at all.

If the problem is "dictators are bad", then replacing one dictator with another won't actually solve the problem.

I think we misunderstand each other at a fundamental level.

(I'm not saying you are in favour of PF1, its my system of choice.)

I'm not suggesting we support Wizards, I'm not wanting to solve the problem of 5e being too dominant. The point of the thread and the open question(s) are I guess

1. Can it even be solved.
2. If not, how can it (5e dominance) be leveraged for good?

I'm not trying to limit discussion. If your answer to the premise of the thread is 'D&D is out there, and folk D&D is the answer' in the form of whatever version you like, thats a perfectly valid answer. Does it look like DCC? Maybe? I love the flavour of the free rules.

The issue is one of 3PP keeping the lights on, as you noted, and how that is done, within the realm of 5e being the overwhelmingly dominant space.

Yes. I've consistently been successful! Maybe I'm just good at convincing people? But I doubt it.

I'm not saying it's not hard for other people with other groups. I am saying a lot of the people who are objecting to learning other systems are just put off by how much effort they thought learning D&D was.

I don't think anywhere near as many people "play systems" as people presuppose. I think the issue is entirely a psychological and basically fake.

See, I've tried, and also had others try and get me to pick up other systems (Table Top games mostly), to varying levels of failure. The issue has always boiled down to "my time is limited, why play X, when I could play Y, and if I only have time for Y, I'm certainly not going to invest into learning X at all".

Just my experience though. :)
 

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