Jump to content
wcw43921

How Dungeons And Dragons Somehow Became More Popular Than Ever

Recommended Posts

Again, D&D isn't popular because of a resurgence of role playing games but because of pop culture.  Mentions in movies and TV shows and depictions and the arise of pop geek culture (wearing tee shirts with dice on them, not actually PLAYING games) boosted it.  RPGs in general are no more popular than they were 10 or 20 years ago.

 

Plus, the Marvel movie popularity doesn't really have any coattails.  Comic book sales continue to plummet (for a variety of reasons, but one would have expected them to go up from popularity of the films).  Its because the films are about spectacle, but are not relatable spectacle.  That is, these aren't heroes you really want to emulate or be, they're miserable.  They are heroes you like to watch and wonder over the effects and things happening, but not be a part of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, the passive experience of enjoying an MCU movie doesn't necessarily translate into a deep desire to have an active RPG experience set in the same world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big advantage a fantasy setting has over a superhero setting is simplicity.  Modern life is complicated, add super tech and it becomes even more so.  Fantasy settings are in a simpler time which makes it easier to imagine and easier to craft stories for, and if you even need to invoke deus ex machina you just call it magic.  Culturally, fantasy settings have existed for thousands of years, much of that time as a 'real' part of the world, while superheroes have always existed in a parallel universe which is harder to conceive.  Both settings can tell great stories, but the bar is higher for superheroes.

 

I think another reason that the popularity of superhero movies doesn't translate into RPG interest is that superhero movies typically have the same cast of characters (multiple reboots of Spiderman, Batman, & Superman for instance).  That makes the universe seem closed - the only heroes available have already been laid out.  (The mutants in the X-men would be something of an exception, but even the core X-men are relatively fixed). Conversely, there are lots of different fantasy settings and characters so you could more easily imagine a character that is unique to you and not predefined.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not surprised that D&D is still alive and kicking considering its history, but I am surprised that I can't stand it. I played back when there was something some will remember as THACO, then, many years later, I played 4e for about 2 years before it became boring. Somewhere in between I played some D&D (pre-3e) a few times, but never got into it. I tried 5e w/ four different groups (each their own styles and preferences) in the last year and I just can't stand how boring I find the classes and races. I do like many things about the rule system, but I was never able to find a class I actually liked enough to stick w/ it for more than a few sessions (only class I enjoyed was a swordmage back in 4e; and no, the puny attempts of the 5e eldritch fighter are pathetic at best).

I have played for most of my life w/ a few groups since 1992-present and seems I have come full circle. The 1st tabletop RPG game I ever played was Champions (I believe 4e; also I don't think Hero's Quest counts, right?) and only played for a few weeks, but liked the game so much my 1st GM actually dedicated the book and gifted it to me (its still being held on by 3 different types of tape). After that I discovered RIFTS and played that for a few years on and off, but then discovered Palladium Fantasy and we were hooked on that for over a decade in which we had campaigns that lasted years and even stretched to  playing descendants of previous characters.

One of the many reasons I believe we played PF so long was because not only we loved fantasy, but also only one of us in the entire group had any idea there was a book called Lord of the Rings (the rest of us learned of it by watching the movies), thus we never had that Tolkien concept of dwarves, elves, etc. We always made our own versions of how our races would be and more often than not the races wouldn't have a racial stereotype and were instead influenced by the culture in which they grew up rather than any innate racial behavior. Dwarven women having beards...I think not, thank you! Hahaha!

Now after about 2yrs w/o being able to play I was able to get a small group (and hope to find more people but its really hard) for the last 7 months playing champions! I love this system because imagination is the limit and we were lucky enough that our GM has been playing this system since early 80's so balance (though it took a few versions to fine tune) was not much of an issue; specially since we use the gazillion of old and new books he has of the hero system (and the hero software we bought is also a great help). Our newest member to the system is an old D&D player that actually enjoys 5e, but has come to like the Hero System so much he's actually planning of running his 5e campaign using HS instead.

Could it be that maybe another reason D&D is seeing growth again is because its also bringing back a lot of those D&D players that decided to stick w/ 3e/3.5e when 4e came out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/13/2019 at 4:00 PM, Christopher R Taylor said:

RPGs in general are no more popular than they were 10 or 20 years ago.

 

Not sure I would agree with this.  I'm currently running 3 tables a week and both stores that I run at have seen a dramatic increase in player base over the last 2-3 years.

 

I also feel like there is a life cycle contribution to the game.  The tables seem to have primarily two crowds mixed in  - Pre-family youth and post-family seniors.  It feels like the original players from the 80s-90s have raised their kids and are returning to table top gaming with their newly found free time and meeting the youth who are burning out on tables/phones and wanting some person-to-person gaming.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Jayzon said:

One of the many reasons I believe we played PF so long was because not only we loved fantasy, but also only one of us in the entire group had any idea there was a book called Lord of the Rings (the rest of us learned of it by watching the movies), thus we never had that Tolkien concept of dwarves, elves, etc. We always made our own versions of how our races would be and more often than not the races wouldn't have a racial stereotype and were instead influenced by the culture in which they grew up rather than any innate racial behavior. Dwarven women having beards...I think not, thank you! Hahaha!

 

I liked Palladium Fantasy. Compared to DnD of the time it was the  far superior game system. I ran a couple of campaigns with it back in the day. I found it worked well for Low Fantasy.

 

And welcome to the boards. 😀

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the welcome!

Another thing we did with Palladium Fantasy was add special, non-game breaking, unique abilities to each class to make them more special instead of just a tittle and specific skills and tweaked some to make better sense for us. Some quick examples would be warrior monks were considered the warrior caste of the church (whichever it was), a knight simply became a title of an officer in the armed forces who were more often than not nobles and trained in cavalry, a Diabolist was renamed into Runemaster and actually had some rudimentary spell casting as well. We played campaigns in which finding a dwarven made sword was one of the most impressive things to find and others in which we had characters running around w/ rune weapons. Oh my do I miss that. At least I have an equally awesome small group of people now dedicated to champions/hero system which I hope can grow just a the old one did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My main house rule was modifying bonuses from stats so that you started getting bonuses from 12+ and penalties from 9 down. Exactly like later happened in 3rd ed Dnd.

 

My main campaign memory was the Elf whose player rolled up up 30 Physical Attraction. Literally prettier than even the gods and goddesses of love (as stated in the book.) Oh and the faerie wizard who got a hold of the Size of the Behemoth spell. Pronounced it it "bear-moth" because he would become the size of a bear and had big old butterfly wings...

 

Good times. 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, drunkonduty said:

My main house rule was modifying bonuses from stats so that you started getting bonuses from 12+ and penalties from 9 down. Exactly like later happened in 3rd ed Dnd.

 

My main campaign memory was the Elf whose player rolled up up 30 Physical Attraction. Literally prettier than even the gods and goddesses of love (as stated in the book.) Oh and the faerie wizard who got a hold of the Size of the Behemoth spell. Pronounced it it "bear-moth" because he would become the size of a bear and had big old butterfly wings...

 

Good times. 🙂

Haha, good one! The first exaggerated character we had in the group was a dwarf he nicknamed 'stumpy' and rolled max strength plus choose all the physical skills that boosted it even further, ironically he was a thief that never picked stealth if you can believe that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...