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Author Topic: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something  (Read 3615 times)

jeff37923

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2021, 03:30:43 PM »
Something to consider is the current secondary market.

Classic Traveller had its last associated game module published in 1986, then went fallow for decades. Starting in 2000 and going to 2003, the Classic Traveller reprints were sold. Then starting in 2006, the entire Classic Traveller back catalog started coming out on CD-ROM. The PDF of The Traveller Book came out on DriveThru RPG in 2014 with an option for Print On Demand.


Yes, anyone can produce an RPG and make some quick cash. NOT everyone can create a RPG that has lasted and is still profitable for the IP holder after 44 years (since Classic Traveller first appeared in 1977).

Part of the ongoing monetary influx from older games is that we have the technology and communications infrastructure now to keep selling those games to people who enjoy them.

Squidi

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2021, 03:56:48 PM »
But flooding the market does NOT do the suppliers any favors.
I used to work at Activision as a programmer on a Tony Hawk clone. I know all about flooding the market with low quality product. I still flog myself daily in repentance of my crimes against humanity.

However, going into a store an getting to choose from D&D, Star Wars, Marvel, Champions, 7th Sea, Traveller, Torg, Deadlands, TMNT, Rifts, Vampire the Masquerade, GURPS, Legend of the Five Rings, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Toon, Paranoia, Call of Cthulhu, and so on is not the same thing as flooding the market with too many Guitar Hero releases. Especially when you consider that almost every one that I listed is still in existence today, actively being published (often at a lower standard). How can the heyday of these memorable properties be "flooding the market"?

I think if you look at a list of RPG releases over the years, you'll probably notice the memorable ones starting to go from gushing to trickle in the late 90s, with probably the mid 2010s being when you can start counting them on one hand. Since I think 2013 is roughly when the world culture collapse started, I'd probably look at that year (plus or minus one) for some particular catalyst harming the market variety... hey, what year was D&D 5e released?

Trond

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2021, 04:51:19 PM »
I'm not as in tune with RPG history, but I seem to remember the 80s and 90s being dominated by non-D&D (like Palladium Books or West End Games), or something like Magic the Gathering or Mage Knights being far more popular. Someone who is more familiar with RPG history will have to tell me if the times with the most variety coincided with the times when D&D was most troubled...

I've followed RPG history pretty well. (I have an old website at https://darkshire.net/jhkim/rpg/encyclopedia/ ).

D&D has always been the market leader. However, relatively speaking, it's true that there is more variety when D&D is troubled. The times when D&D is doing well, you get a lot of D&D imitator systems -- like during the D20 boom of the early 2000s or in the late 1970s. The times when D&D is doing poorly, there is a greater variety of other systems. The 1980s saw D&D shrink and a wide variety of other games came out - like GURPS, Call of Cthulhu, etc. The 1990s saw a lot of systems that imitated Vampire: The Masquerade and less variety. There are tons of exceptions, of course, but that seems like the broad trend to me.

I think your right here, but I just want to add an interesting observation:

I have played in various groups in three countries; Norway, Canada, and USA. D&D was shunned by a few of them. The only game that was played in every single group I was in was Call of Cthulhu. There is something to that game that a lot of people like, either as an occasional alternative to D&D or as their favorite game. Not sure how representative my observations are though.

Gamecock City Gamer

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2021, 05:37:29 PM »
I am lucky enough to have a FLGS that encourages other RPGs. I am currently running Dungeon Crawl Classics, and we have a GM running Degenesis: Rebirth, and another running Numenera. Prior to COVID we had a pretty active D&D group going (running games every night of the week, and multiple games on Saturdays and Sundays). I was one that was desperately wanting to get a group into tabletop RPG games. I started a FB group and had some business cards made advertising "Play D&D". We grew from 3 members to 130 in four years, and most only want to play D&D. Even the store says they have people asking to learn D&D. The pop-culture today has made "D&D" the term for roleplaying games, much like "Xerox" was standard for copy machines, or "Hoover" was synonymous with vacuum cleaners. Some people asking stores if they have any D&D going on, may not even really know what D&D is.

It's kind of deceptive, but sometimes, instead of advertising DCC, Deadlands, etc. I just tell people I'm running a "Western-themed D&D" or a "Space-themed D&D" (for the Firefly RPG). I find that people may be drawn by a theme/setting rather than the actual game itself.

I am planning on running Bedlam Hall (PbtA), One Ring 2e, and Alien RPG in the near future as well. So far, I have at least some interest in all of them!  People in our group are starting to branch out, but it is a long-drawn-out process, but there is now a growing interest in systems other than D&D.

Heck, I had a full table for the Wendy's RPG! Yeah, I ran it, and I'm not ashamed! lol!
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Omega

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #49 on: September 11, 2021, 08:24:55 AM »
The Knock-on effects:

D&D is shielded more than ever from bad financial decisions by the magic and Hasbro bankroll.

4e is a great example of this. 5e was a blistering turn around when it became apparent 4e was being outsold by a clone.

And they were able to bankroll the design, promotion, and rollout of 5e as if no financial consequences were felt...


Actually 5e was the last gasp of WOTCs D&D branch and had it failed then Hasbro would have likely closed it down. From talking with some 4e staff Hasbro increasingly tightened WOTCs budget leash to the point they couldnt afford different art for certain product. WOTC has a standing track record up till 5e of near consistenrly fucking up its non-MTG products and trying to fuck that up too.

Remember. With WOTC failure is the only option. And if it isnt broke, break it.

Right now 5e is still puttering along. But WOTC is champing at the bit to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

One of the ongoing problems for WOTC is they are, even now, deadlocked with Solomon on being able to do any sort of animated or movie D&D material without him somehow connected.

As for why companies are using 5e as a basis. That is fairly simple as others have noted.
A: Its an existing system that is absurdly easy to tweak and adapt. That and its an edition that has more of a 2e D&D feel than 3 or 4e.
B: Its popular. And companies have a high tendency to mimic whatever is in the lead currently.
C: which oft connects to A, is that using an existing system can save alot of legwork depending on the project.

Theres still alot of other systems out there. Theres always someone who has their own ideas on how to go about an RPG game.

Shawn Driscoll

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #50 on: September 11, 2021, 05:00:19 PM »
How do you draw people into games you’d like to run that are not 5E?
Show them a franchise RPG hard-bound as a very art-filled book for the coffee table.

Chris24601

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #51 on: September 11, 2021, 06:19:37 PM »
How do you draw people into games you’d like to run that are not 5E?
Start with a system mechanically adjacent, but with a few differences. Palladium Fantasy 1e is a solid choice as combat and saves are still d20+mods, AR is like ascending AC and the skill list is small and percentiles easy to grok, but it introduces a few new mechanics like active defenses and armor SDC.

Star Wars SAGA edition is also a solid choice if you can find it as it’s very close to 5e mechanically, but has significant differences and changes up the genre a bit.

From there you can start to expand out. Something like Mekton where it’s d10’s instead of d20’s and crits/fumbles are handled by exploding dice and ablative armor works, particularly to expand out of the fantasy genre (if you started with Palladium Fantasy; just prebuild the mecha for it initially.

From there a dice add system like d6 Star Wars and then a success counting system would be a way to spiral out from 5e mechanics into a broader spectrum.

Krugus

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #52 on: September 11, 2021, 09:50:14 PM »
Oh that's easy.   If your the ForeverGM of the group, just tell them THIS is what we are playing next and they will just fall in line.

No?

Well its works with my Friends & Family group  ;D

Currently playing (the much hated around here) Pathfinder2e system as the OS for my Homebrew world due to not finding anything better that could replace it with ATM.  At least the PF2e high level game is solid unlike 5e's  ::)

I have thought about using Savage Worlds for the next OS for my Homebrew world but have yet to invest any $$ in those books yet.   I hear that it could be the system I'm looking for?

BoxCrayonTales

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #53 on: September 11, 2021, 10:38:25 PM »
It’s just an unfortunate fact of life that D&D dominates 99% of the tabletop gaming scene and everything else is drops in the bucket. However, the recent success of D&D is probably due entirely to free advertising from Netflix Stranger Things rather than any strength of the rules. Had 4e still been around when that happened, then it probably would not have died.

Another part of it is probably due to dungeon crawling and the like just being easier to understand due to reinforcement by numerous fantasy films, books, and games, most of which are based on D&D anyway. Getting new people into scifi, horror, or urban fantasy is more difficult. I speak from experience: I used a quickstart with pre-made characters and I still couldn’t get my then friend group into it. I even tried playing RISUS and still couldn’t get a session going. It’s way easier and more convenient to play co-op video games.

Aside from D&D getting new blood all the time thru Netflix ads, the overwhelming majority of players for everything else seems to be the aging demographic who got into the hobby prior to the 2000s when the worldwide RPG market suffered an economic collapse that killed a lot of companies and left others shadows of themselves.

Mistwell

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #54 on: September 12, 2021, 12:57:00 AM »
It's not challenge. It's TIME.

Learning new RPG rules takes time. Learning a rhythm for that game takes time. Learning to GM it takes time. Learning how to put together adventures for it takes time. Making your own accessories instead of just buying them takes time, Yes man, time is important to adults with busy lives.
But that TIME is part of the hobby. It part of why you here, doing this, instead of over there, doing that.

The argument actually reminds me of someone who was a miniature gamer - that hated miniatures. He hated assembling them, he hated painting them, he even hated buying them. He was perfectly happy to play a game of Warmachine with little cardboard circles that he cut out. And I asked him, "dude, why do you play miniature games? Wouldn't you prefer to play a video game or CCG or something?"

His response was just to shrug and say, "I dunno. I'm good at Warmachine, I guess."

I mean, I guess if he has fun playing the way he plays, that's his business. I was just reminded of that conversation for some reason.

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There is enough difference that it takes time to figure it out. Heck, if it didn't it wouldn't BE a different rules set!
I really don't think that it is as time consuming or challenging as you are making it out to be.

The time to learn rules is not the hobby to me, or most players. It's PLAYING THE GAME which is the hobby and the fun for most people. Which, again, is why there is basically one RPG and a thousand rounding error indie games out there. The hobby isn't reading and learning new rules. That's a small sub-hobby for some people. Actually playing RPGs is the primary hobby.

Mistwell

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #55 on: September 12, 2021, 01:05:45 AM »
It's not challenge. It's TIME.

It is also Organized Play.

An Organized Play group for a particular game played in FLGS locations can suck all of the available and potential Players out of the room. Particularly in the cases of DnD 5E's Adventurer's League and Paizo's Pathfinder Society, you have a group of people who are the Game Publisher's unpaid advertising arm that will passive-aggressively act to discourage the playing of anything except their Organized Play group's flagship game. The tactics used are very SJW - I've been labeled a homophobe, a racist, and a misogynist by leading members of Organized Play groups because I wanted to run either d6 Star Wars or Traveller in my home town at FLGS's and NOT either DnD 5E or Pathfinder 1E. That is some pretty high barriers to climb over just to engage in some public gaming.

Organized Play iis good for particular corporations in the industry, but is killing participation in the wider hobby.

That is preposterous Jeff.

You're not a homophobe, racist, or misogynist because you wanted to run either d6 Star Wars or Traveller.

You're a homophobe, racist, and misogynist because of your views concerning queer people, minorities and women. It's totally unrelated to your views about RPGs.  Star Wars and Traveller are great games and anyone who treats you poorly because you want to play those games are douchebags.

jeff37923

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #56 on: September 12, 2021, 04:28:01 AM »
It's not challenge. It's TIME.

It is also Organized Play.

An Organized Play group for a particular game played in FLGS locations can suck all of the available and potential Players out of the room. Particularly in the cases of DnD 5E's Adventurer's League and Paizo's Pathfinder Society, you have a group of people who are the Game Publisher's unpaid advertising arm that will passive-aggressively act to discourage the playing of anything except their Organized Play group's flagship game. The tactics used are very SJW - I've been labeled a homophobe, a racist, and a misogynist by leading members of Organized Play groups because I wanted to run either d6 Star Wars or Traveller in my home town at FLGS's and NOT either DnD 5E or Pathfinder 1E. That is some pretty high barriers to climb over just to engage in some public gaming.

Organized Play iis good for particular corporations in the industry, but is killing participation in the wider hobby.

That is preposterous Jeff.

You're not a homophobe, racist, or misogynist because you wanted to run either d6 Star Wars or Traveller.

You're a homophobe, racist, and misogynist because of your views concerning queer people, minorities and women. It's totally unrelated to your views about RPGs.  Star Wars and Traveller are great games and anyone who treats you poorly because you want to play those games are douchebags.

Thank you for illustrating my point.

dkabq

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2021, 12:22:41 PM »
I feel many people playing TTRPGS today are really just missing out on the boardgame they need. If you only have 2 hours to play and the rules are just an excuse to hang out, just get a light board game or play a drama game.

Im not saying TTRPGS need to be rules heavy, but if rules as a concept are a bother, no matter how well designed or light the rules are they will always be too much.

And 5e is in no fucking way rules lite.

Right, except all my game playing friends have already learned to play 5e but have not learned to play the new hotness of indie games. A new board game would take more time to learn than paying 5e which we've all already learned.

We don't need to spend any time anymore to learn any rules - we've already learned it, and we have digital tools with the rules snippet any time it comes up, and digital maps and encounters already pre-loaded in our digital table top tool to just immediately start playing. The DM has time to figure out HOW he wants to play the encounter and how it works with other encounters and whether he wants to add or subtract anything, and doesn't have to spend time on the rules for the encounter because it's already laid out with the rules stuff.

I mean this really is the honest answer for why indie games almost never become anything beyond niche interest for guys who like many different rules sets. Rules isn't the hobby for most players.

I agree with Mistwell, to an extent. Unlike when I was in middle/high school and my gaming group played just about everything (just off the top of my head: AD&D, Traveler, Space Opera, Bushido, V&V, Top Secret), adults with adult obligations (job, family, home maintenance, etc.) are going to be time-limited. So it is understandable that people that are time-limited are going to gravitate to the game everyone knows how to play and for which there are "ready-to-eat" adventures you can drop into your VTT of choice. Of course, the downside to this is that you are limited to the available products and the game style they support. You won't be sandbox gaming. And the players' input into how the game develops is going to be limited by the scope of the "ready-to-eat" adventures.

That said, I believe that if the GM has the time, you can greatly expand the scope of your game and even play with something other than 5E. In regards to using rules other than 5E, the more what you want to play is conceptually similar to 5E the easier. The players in my DCC campaign were 5E-only players. There was a learning curve (both for them and me), but it wasn't intractable nor did it suck any fun out of the game. I made the effort to make player aids and to keep the initial adventures simple. And it helps that my players are all engineers and/or software guys, so they are used to figuring things out.

In terms of game style, I like a sandbox game. Yes, it does take extra time. Fortunately for me, I happen to have some (but much more limited than back in high school) "extra time". The payoff is that my game or what the players can do are not limited by available adventures. That does put the onus of creating adventures on me. In many instances I will grab a "ready-to-eat" adventure and convert it to meet my needs rather than creating one from the whole cloth. I leverage the large variety of VTT maps that are available. I also pre-create random encounters, which allows me to give the PCs leeway in their actions. And sometimes I just pull down my pants and slide on the ice (i.e., make shit up on the fly). Again, yes it takes extra time, but over the 3+ years I have been running my game, it is gone in directions that I never would have imagined due to the freedom of the PCs to make choices.

Regards.


« Last Edit: September 12, 2021, 12:24:22 PM by dkabq »

Eirikrautha

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #58 on: September 12, 2021, 08:07:32 PM »
No one who is posting to this thread has any complaint about "not enough time" when it comes to reading RPG rules.  Everyone here spends enough time posting on this board to read every rulebook ever written.

Shrieking Banshee

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Re: If It’s Fear, I Think People Need Therapy or Something
« Reply #59 on: September 12, 2021, 08:35:14 PM »
I have thought about using Savage Worlds for the next OS for my Homebrew world but have yet to invest any $$ in those books yet.   I hear that it could be the system I'm looking for?
It was for me. Im working on a elaborate Savage Pathfinder houserules affair (as in not just a list of extra houserules but an entire 200+ page document) for fine tuning.
I find Savage Worlds is a mixture of all the flavors I generally like. If your looking for something more 'numbers mashy' I will say its not great at that (maxing out on those +1s and hit points into the hundreds is not what it does best).