D&D General Why Is D&D Successful?

Imaro

Legend
As I said, 5e is serviceable rules-wise but nothing special. It has to be at least that to, as you say, have people enjoy the game. But it's popularity over other RPGs, given that its playable enough, has far more to do with visibility and brand awareness IMO than anything else.

What game would you consider something "special" rules-wise?
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
No one has any clue if any other game would be as broadly successful. I don't think hypotheticals really matter, obviously specific games may have more appeal to specific individuals, doesn't mean there are many games that would appeal to the masses.

I just don't see how it's particularly relevant. Just because A is good, nothing says B cannot also be just as good or better.
This entire thread is speculation and hypotheticals.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
What game would you consider something "special" rules-wise?
OD&D, 3e and 4e were new and innovative on a large scale, as were Apocalypse World, Traveler, Call of Cthulhu (I think), Fantasy Flight Star Wars, V:tM, and plenty of others. Please note that I am looking at innovation, not whether or not I personally like it. Iteration is very important, and all those systems can and in many cases have been improved upon over the years, but I am rating "specialness" in this case in terms of innovation and new ideas, and 5e, for all that it's a fun game good enough for many, doesn't offer much in those areas.
 

Oofta

Legend
This entire thread is speculation and hypotheticals.
Which was not my point.

I get tired of people telling us that the game is mediocre. People keep trying to make excuses, that it's "just adequate" or that it's only popular because of advertising, heritage, whatever.

It's more than adequate for me. I enjoy it, the dozens of people I've played 5E with enjoy it. I've looked into other games and played one-shots here and there, watched streams for other games. While nothing is perfect, I happen to like D&D (especially 5E) quite a bit. I've never come across another game that I would want to play instead.

Just because the game isn't for you, doesn't mean it's not a good, even great, game for a lot of people.
 


DavyGreenwind

Just some guy
It really isn't. It's just so full of holes and has people so used to winging it, the gaps get papered over.

I've had genuinely brand-new players asking questions. They almost immediately ran into deeply confusing elements of the rules that had to be glossed over with "well that's not important right now."

Besides, for all your criticism of 3e, 5e is almost identical to it in most ways. It was specifically designed to be that way, because those were the fans betrayed by the creation of 4e.
Don't get me wrong, I always loved 3e. And it's difficult to learn. That's not necessarily a criticism, just an observation about its complexity.

Any RPG system has to find a balance between simplicity and completeness, between flexibility and consistency. I think 5e has become popular because it finds a good balance, and really shines when GMs embrace the flexibility. Could it use more robust social and exploration pillars? Probably, but that's the great thing: it's really easy to introduce homebrew subsystems into it.

5e has become a lingua franca among RPG players. I think at least some of that is due to 5e's merits, and not only luck and historical coincidence.
 

Imaro

Legend
OD&D, 3e and 4e were new and innovative on a large scale, as were Apocalypse World, Traveler, Call of Cthulhu (I think), Fantasy Flight Star Wars, V:tM, and plenty of others. Please note that I am looking at innovation, not whether or not I personally like it. Iteration is very important, and all those systems can and in many cases have been improved upon over the years, but I am rating "specialness" in this case in terms of innovation and new ideas, and 5e, for all that it's a fun game good enough for many, doesn't offer much in those areas.

This is confusing because innovation doesn't translate to better or good. Your logic seems to be innovation is necessary to be something special... but that doesn't map at all. Your logic would mean only things that have been changed are special, regardless of what that change actually accomplishes... That's a weird definition of special.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Which was not my point.

I get tired of people telling us that the game is mediocre. People keep trying to make excuses, that it's "just adequate" or that it's only popular because of advertising, heritage, whatever.

It's more than adequate for me. I enjoy it, the dozens of people I've played 5E with enjoy it. I've looked into other games and played one-shots here and there, watched streams for other games. While nothing is perfect, I happen to like D&D (especially 5E) quite a bit. I've never come across another game that I would want to play instead.

Just because the game isn't for you, doesn't mean it's not a good, even great, game for a lot of people.
I said that clearly a lot of people enjoy it. Heck, I enjoy it, for the most part. That doesn't refute my assertion, at all. What exactly do you want from me?
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
This is confusing because innovation doesn't translate to better or good. Your logic seems to be innovation is necessary to be something special... but that doesn't map at all. Your logic would mean only things that have been changed are special, regardless of what that change actually accomplishes... That's a weird definition of special.
What's your definition of special? Unique and innovative in some significant way seems a reasonable one to me.
 


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