So there have been many posts on the end of gaming as we know it and I figured hell I might as well jump on this bandwagon for one post and give my meaningless and utterly arbitrary opinion before I move on to something else that people find also arbitrary.
Is the sky falling Chicken Little? I don’t pretend to be an expert, and I don’t pretend to have the foggiest on how some of this stuff works, as far as costs, time, skills, etc. Is the role-playing industry in a slump? I think so. Will it recover? Most likely. Is role-playing doomed and will all players move to MMORPGs? No.
Really I think that the industry may have to change the way it does business to stay afloat. It may boil down to not charging as much for their products to get the casual gamer to purchase items. Seriously, many casual gamers balk at the $40 price on a PHB or campaign setting, etc. I know so many casual gamers who love to play Dungeons and Dragons and who wouldn’t mind laying down say $20-$25 for a book, but not $40+. Another is additional source books. While I appreciate these books for giving new insight and new ideas, I feel that they come out too close too fast. Look at WotC. How many books have they released just within the past 6 months? I understand it. They are a business, they want to make money, but hey… I’m a human.. I want to eat.
Another thing that may be hurting the giant (WotC) is the whole 3.x/4e divide. Yes it was there when 2e and 3.0 came out and 3.0 to 3.5, but it wasn’t this prevalent and this divided. People are still blogging about why they hate 4e or 3.x, why which system is better, works better, smells, tastes, and even farts better. This divide hurts sales. I don’t know if there will ever be a unified front for DnDers, but the rift that has grown definitely hurt things.
Now there is a chance that DnD will fall from grace, but guess what, it already has. It has had ups and downs many times before, and it caused people to really look at the game, really play test it, and it emerged in a new form that attracted a HUGE new gaming community. Does 4e offer that? I don’t know. I think that people are too divided between the systems or just straight up not digging DnD to have that happen.
I know that there is the possibility that through this many more independent games will give rise as other games decline, which is cool, because there are some amazing games that are out there or are just waiting to be discovered. You know what I say to that? Punk Rock it! In the link above, Mishler mentions the cost of art and getting professional artists and etc and it breaking the bank and what not, which I can understand. But…. Punk Rock it! There are so many untapped artists out there that are truly amazing! Go to a Con, go to the artist alley or whatever and there are so many artists there that would wet themselves and work for pennies or for free just to get their names and art in print! At this year’s Otakon I saw some truly amazing artists and having their art in my upcoming role-playing book (I’m actually not writing one) would be amazing. All you have to do is ask and you will almost definitely find someone. Need help play testing? Punk Rock it! Stargazer is asking for play-testers on RPG Bloggers. He’s got the right idea!
Gaming will not leave us. We will not become a wastelandof death and decay. As long as there are people who love it, and there is a copious amount of us.
Finally two more things then I will leave you alone. Many people feel that MMORPG’s will replace Tabletop. While I agree that they have hurt our numbers, it is important to remember that MMO’s can’t give the same experience, interaction, creativity, and freedom of a tabletop. MMO’s may have flashy graphics, fun classes, powers, and beautiful zones, but they lack story, they lack that epic flair that can only arise from tabletop gaming. I play WoW and I enjoy it, but I will put it down in a second for some tabletop action! The epic moment of fighting a boss in an instance is no where near as epic as a player describing how he is dispatching the GM’s beloved villain and rolls an amazing crit on it and to see the GM’s dumbfounded face when it happens. That is epic! That is awesome and creative! And that is what MMO’s can’t give. Sure there are people who have left our ranks to join those of MMO-only legion, but who cares.. we will survive. Some players may just be lacking the motivation to play tabletop. They may be lazy. That is where you (the player or GM) and others who want to play, poke, prod, punch, kick, and scream till they acquiesce to your subtle hints and requests and play. Also keep in mind that some don’t want to play because of past experiences/game styles of previous or current GMs.. Now we get into the whole communication and trying new things realm and I’m not going to post about that right now, but there you have it! MMOs are bright shiny things that make people go, “ooooooooo.. pretty lights..” But they won’t beat out tabletop if we don’t let them!
Finally check out the article by Newbie DM. He brings up a good point about rewarding the DM and putting the responsibility on the DM to get the players into it and get them going and motivating them. I could honestly do a whole post on this and I may leave that for tomorrow, since, in all honesty, that was the original intent of this rant, but I ended up feeling I needed to formulate my whole idea/opinion on the matter of tabletop dying out.. Anyways, it’s a good post and I recommend reading it. I may post on it tomorrow.
Just remember that this is all my opinion, how I look at it. Feel free to shoot it down, agree with it, whatever, just be constructive about it. No trolling. Thanks!