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D&D sales jumped 33% last year!
I was in Target a few weeks ago and they had D&D ads on their giant monitors - showing people playing and everything. It’s amazing.
It’s also one of the places where I break from OSR. I promote and advocate for the little indie stuff, for going back and playing B/X to the hilt. But the reality is that 5e is the best designed and most accessible the game has ever been. I love the 1e, TPK on the first trap Murder dungeons where you count torches and rations....but that is not a mainstream vision of the game at all.
5e’s popularity is good for everyone. You hear all of this bellyaching about 5e stealing all of the oxygen. “People only play D&D because it’s the most popular.” That is absolutely true, and as I’ve said here before it’s what people mostly play because it’s the most available. Doesn’t matter how much I dislike certain aspects of it, coming from over 30 years of exposure to it. It’s the RPG that a kid with $15 can walk into Target and buy.
Maybe next year, two years from now that kid is running Through Ultan’s Door or putting something in Zinequest. Maybe their interest will drive them to Emmy Allen, Patrick Stuart, Ben Milton, Harvey Stroh, and others away from the more available, corporate-owned game. I don’t see why the indie crowd doesn’t get this, it’s more like the kind of bland, unfocused “I don’t like popular stuff” elitism that characterizes many scenes. Let’s face it, Monsterhearts, Deep Carbon Observatory, and UVG are not for everyone. But 5e is designed to be.
I love that D&D is bigger now than ever- I despise Critical Role, I fucking hate all of the memes that speak to 5e bullshit, and I don’t like WOTC’s published adventures much. But this is -awesome- news to be celebrated
Part of what allows this game (and other RPGs) to thrive is that it is different things to different people. Where boardgames are rigid in structure D&D lets people take the game where they want to be. I've seen some pretty crazy settings and storylines over the years.
It's easy to run badly too, and you kind of need to just figure it out. But it's doable, and it does help that the starter sets are both good. (At least the original Starter Set is. I think haven't played the Essentials kit but I hear good things.)
I've been playing weekly for a few years now, and it's almost always the highlight of my week.
Think about that the next time you buy a $50 splat book or adventure.
Gonna be interesting come time for Chris Perkins and Jeremy Crawford to renegotiate their contracts. How much them writers get? Not nearly enough apparently!
I have almost all of their books, but im at the limit for releases. If they pump up the volume (dance dance) i can't imagine quality and sales will stay linear.
I bet we will see more things like those themed dice sets to go with each adventure as well.
I hope they do Dragonlance justice (if that is really coming this year). I want a Ravenloft sized box with an honest to god cloth map, minis for each character (this assumes its Tanis and co again), and all the swag. Or Gord the Rogue is back in Greyhawk, that'd be cool.
jason10mm wrote: This suggests to me that a "5.5 edition" with really streamlined rules and even stronger emphasis on narrative improv is coming. As well as a lot more was to bling your table.
Thing is the theory crafting and focus on builds is a huge draw for some people. Seems to me if someone really wants that they could play Pathfinder (or Diablo) but 5e is good enough at it.
The thing is 5e is very much trying to be all things to all people, and the miracle is that it holds a together at all.
I can see them trying a more minis focused tactical combat line and a streaming friendly narrative one.
Id like to see Battlesystem come back for a mass combat game. Spelljammer as well (with the undoubtedly GLORIOUS minis they can do today). 5e is a brand now, not just a specific rpg edition.