Joseph Erwin – Freelance Dungeon Master

Join in the Adventures!

Can’t Say We Didn’t See This Coming…

You know, when I made that post about the future of the hobby, I kind of discounted the role WotC would play in the changing landscape of RPGs.

But then again, all the signs were there, weren’t they? D&D had been getting more and more marketing publicity, and major properties like Critical Role had been getting lots of funding and attention. Then there were the comments about D&D being “under-monetized” as a property, and well… here we are. Tight-fisted grip on intellectual property.

Obviously this is bad for publishers who have made a good living publishing D&D content under the OGL for years. What I’m really quite happy to see is people realizing that, for all the “fun and adventure” aesthetic WotC has cultivated around the brand lately, the company (and Hasbro of course) is run by bottom-line-obsessed marketers with no respect for the people who actually play the game.

And this happens with every brand that gets big; if a trend or property gets big enough, money-hogs can smell it from miles away. We’ve seen it happen with everything which gains a degree of mainstream popularity, and eventually the things which was fun and unique is turned into just another way of parting people from their money.

“That’s Drizzt! And Boo! I saw it and I clapped!!”

I don’t run D&D at all these days (I moved on when I started to see where it was going a few years ago), and I don’t publish D&D content, but this still hurts. D&D, like with most people, was something which played a big role in my life at some point or another. It was the first system I played with my dad and it was the first system I played with friends outside my home.

But that was then, and this is now.

So as an addendum to the question of “where is the hobby headed,” I think we can safely speculate this:

WotC has cut off a lot of good will from fans just getting into the hobby, as well as veterans who have gotten a lot of joy out of it over the years. Hopefully, the vacuum is filled by other games (preferably ones easier to play than D&D). I love this hobby and I love the people who share it with me, and I want to see things other than D&D played.

Because holy crap, I’m so sick of D&D. (Visit r/rpg on Reddit if you want more detail as to why I and many other people feel that way).

Let’s use this as an opportunity to spread the hobby to new people, and show them that maybe there’s more to an RPG than railroad-y Classes and progression, obtuse complexity, Armor Class, and those stupid treasure-chest mimics.

Seriously, are there no other ideas in the universe? Why not something new for once?

Published by Joe Erwin

I am an independent creator and GM with a deep love of storytelling and adventure! I desire most to share these things with others, and I hope to do that through my work and my writing.

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