D&D (2024) WoTc and TSR... what is D&D

Parmandur

Book-Friend
As much as it pains me to say it, nothing in D&D prior to 2014 has much significance on most current players.
If we look at it like console generations for video games, these are my analogies.

D&D 5e = PS4/Xbox One era (been out forever, feeling clunky and long-in-the-tooth, but no one has really had a good reason or ability to upgrade)
D&D 4e = Sega Dreamcast (the system fans love it, most people have never played it, and it crashed quickly)
3.x = PS2 (the basis of modern game design, but clunky, slow, and you probably don't want to go back to it. also your first DVD player/d20 game)
AD&D = NES (primitive, good for old timer nostalgia. you recognize some of the characters from this era, but if you're a modern player you don't want to play these games)
OD&D/Basic = Pong console (it can do one game, the controls are weird, graphic are primitive. some people can still play for hours and enjoy it, but has little appeal to modern audiences. still, if you look closely enough, you can see the origins.)
That's an interesting analogy, but I don't really think it holds water: older editions of D&D are far more accessible than old console games. the 'advancement" of presentation and techniques is very real (hello, Advantage/Disadvantage!), but I can say as someone who tried AD&D after 4E came out in my 20's, it's not as obsolete the same way that tech dependent entertainment is.

Dreamcast or Wii U are a pretty apt comparison for the market position of 4E, though, to be honest. ouch.
 

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Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
I dunno, I kinda just roll with the changes (evolve or die, as they say). Sure there's stuff from the TSR-era I miss, but I think 5e is the best and most playable version of the game yet. I welcome all the new players and enjoy seeing what they bring to the game.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Giving it more thought, my age of internets comment could use some expanding.

I really got going in D&D in 3E. I tried a little 2E, but always flamed out. Didn't get a real group going until 3E. Took me awhile to master that beast, but the mastery journey was so much fun for me. 2008 comes along and now 4E was all the rage. Early play was a nightmare. The game was the opposite of what I wanted in an RPG. Worst part was, I knew nobody who played 2E anymore. That likely meant that 3E days were numbered. I'd soon be playing 4E, or nothing at all.

Then, along came Paizo and not only kept 3E alive, but made it thrive. I had the best decade of gaming with Pathfinder Classic. I never thought id leave D&D behind, but I just didnt look back. I mean, technically PF1 was D&D, so like the Gin Blossoms say, "you cant call it cheatin, she reminds me of you" The fears of having to find a 3E group somewhere, some how, just never materialized. I got lucky.

Fast forward a few years, and here comes 5E. The come back home call was appealing enough to take a look, but it just wasnt as fancy as my PF1. I felt a little bad for 4E fans as it seems they were facing my reality in 2008. Though, I heard plenty of hold outs and heartbreakers dropping that I figured those folks would keep their favorite fantasy RPG alive anyways. I kept on keeping on with good old Pathfinder Classic.

Fast forward a few more years, and here comes PF2. Playtest ended up being another nightmare. It was, once again, not what I wanted from an RPG. Only this time, there was so much material available, so many systems, and a vibrant online community to cause any fear. I didnt have to move on. Any day of the week I could have a game going in a number of editions and systems (though really I might have to give up on ever playing in Traveller and accept my fate as forever Ref...) That anxiety just doesnt exist anymore.

So, ultimately it doesn't matter if TSR, WOTC, Paizo, or even Elon Musk owns and publishes D&D anymore.
 

Retreater

Legend
That's an interesting analogy, but I don't really think it holds water: older editions of D&D are far more accessible than old console games. the 'advancement" of presentation and techniques is very real (hello, Advantage/Disadvantage!), but I can say as someone who tried AD&D after 4E came out in my 20's, it's not as obsolete the same way that tech dependent entertainment is.

Dreamcast or Wii U are a pretty apt comparison for the market position of 4E, though, to be honest. ouch.
Maybe. I mean you can still easily find some older video game and systems at used retailers. (PS3, Wii, and360 era mostly - but also a lot of PS2 games.) Game Pass has backwards compatible 360 (and some original Xbox) games for download. I do have a heck of a time finding Dreamcast, though. :(
But most stores aren't carrying 3.5 or prior games, and you're not apt to find any being played (if you're a new gamer). From experience, I've seen how difficult of a time my wife is having trying to find a 4e game (her favorite system).
Granted, you get to a point where the NES's RF switch won't plug in to a modern TV, but even then you can get a retro box that plugs in with HDMI.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Maybe. I mean you can still easily find some older video game and systems at used retailers. (PS3, Wii, and360 era mostly - but also a lot of PS2 games.) Game Pass has backwards compatible 360 (and some original Xbox) games for download. I do have a heck of a time finding Dreamcast, though. :(
But most stores aren't carrying 3.5 or prior games, and you're not apt to find any being played (if you're a new gamer). From experience, I've seen how difficult of a time my wife is having trying to find a 4e game (her favorite system).
Granted, you get to a point where the NES's RF switch won't plug in to a modern TV, but even then you can get a retro box that plugs in with HDMI.
Hey, tons of prior Edition material is available cheaply in print now:


And Roll20 has AD&D stuff, I believe. it's not that hard to find older edition stuff, and...it's not that hard to grasp for younger people who are interested.

The main thing is, the video games have had upgraded hardware since the 80's. My RPG hardware has not been upgraded since 3E came out, and might even have taken a downgrade due to college living. My kids have actually taken a little shine to NES and SNES games, because of watching me play and having characters that they care about from new games (Kirby, Mario, King Dedede, etc), but the accessibility gap of retro video games is much steeper than retro tabletop or board games even with stuff like NSO.
 

Yora

Legend
Recently, Old-School Essentials has made quite a splash as yet another retroclone of B/X. The most authentic to the original game yet, 40 years after its release.
Even with the OSR scene having returned back to its slumber in R'yleh several years ago, this game still seems to have a considerable market. (It's somewhat notorious for each print run being out of stock too quickly.) The game is almost unchanged from the one that was released in 1981, with all the quirks and oddities of game design from that time. But much more accessible to new players than AD&D ever was, which I think is the key to its continuing success.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
The big turning point and split in D&D that I see is not between TSR and WotC D&D, but between pre-Dragonlance and post-Dragonlance D&D. Dragonlance changed everything.16 years before 3rd edition was released.

Early D&D was the game of dungeon crawling and XP for treasure. OD&D, AD&D 1st edition, and B/X. But then came Ravenloft and the revised Basic and Expert Sets in 1983, and Dragonlance and the BECMI Companion Set in 1984 and there was a really big noticable shift. Dungeon crawling was out, Sword of Shanara, Wheel of Time, and happy pastoral quaintness was in. "You know, for kids!"
The Hickman revolution. It’s mostly misunderstood.
When the OSR was a thing back in about 2008 to 2014, the people involved didn't get excited about returning to pre-3rd Edition D&D.
The people in the OSR will be glad to know they don’t exist anymore.
(I know there was one 2nd ed. retroclone in the works, but that never got completed.)
It’s been on Drivethrurpg since 2015. For Gold and Glory.
Hey, tons of prior Edition material is available cheaply in print now…
Cheap is dependent on perspective.
 



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