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12:01 AM
@BESW My support for these claims comes from my experience in other industries where there has been the type of "dominant franchise" at the top. I work in the confluence of insurance, tech and data analytics. The ability for a disruptive influence to take over and change the landscape is there and is much more likely than it would have been in the past.
Even setting aside that Wizards' dominance sets toxic workplace standards for the entire industry, these are not indications that D&D is a gateway to the hobby. It's just a gateway to itself.
So your argument is not that D&D is good for the hobby, but that it's so bad for the hobby there's going to be a revolution? I guess I can buy that.
and the fact that among my friend group, if I tried to get them to play any rpg it was dismissed as being "a game for nerds", however 5e has gotten them playing, and gotten them interested in non-D&D rpgs
Is that anecdotal, sure, but it's something I've seen.
@BESW and yet, living where I do, I've had family members ask me if it's linked to the occult, or am I not worried about being corrupted, when I've told them I play D&D. I've made the effort to educate them, but those attitudes are still there.
@BESW No, my argument is that D&D is good for the hobby, due to the number of people it brings to it (and the fact that it being somewhat popular that it has actually done something right). As a corollary to that, WoTC are in danger of their franchise being disrupted due to the fact that their culture is being exposed the way it has.
@BESW this is surprisingly common yeah :(
@BESW On how we as a community here treat players of indie games when they post about them, thats a culture problem we need to address as a community here, actively. Admittedly, I haven't engaged with non-D&D questions here as much, so I haven't been exposed to those sorts of comments, but we should address them as part of our community standards on how we treat people coming here
@BESW Part of the problem with getting others involved in playing non-D&D rpgs, is getting examples of people playing them to be popular media. A large part of the reason D&D dominates is because some of the most popular shows on streaming platforms, like Critical Role, chose D&D as their game of choice.
This drew people into the hobby of TTRPGs, but at the same time setup a self-reinforcing network effect (people who came to the hobby because of those streams, then started playing, buying and popularising that game, which then lead to more money being pumped into D&D streams and more people being drawn in)
@illustro I think think you can draw that conclusion. D&D has been at this for nigh on 50 years, "The ability for a disruptive influence to take over and change the landscape is there and is much more likely than it would have been in the past." I just don't see that in the RPG sphere.
12:15 AM
It's the same sort of thing that happens with messaging platforms. People's friends are on one messaging platform, and therefore they have to use that platform, which creates an inertia to move away from that platform.
It's like saying supermarkets have helped mom-and-pop stores
Whatsapp is the dominant messaging platform in Europe, Line is the dominant in JApan, WeChat in China, and iMessage for large swathes of the US.
And even then, the sort of disruptive industries we get now are things like uber which have to be exploitive to be competitive
@AncientSwordRage No, it's not at all. mom-and-pop stores are selling an inherently fungible product, and are at the mercy of that fact in their industry. They do not have the same sort of network effects that things like TTRPGs have.
@illustro I think that's much less due to 5e and more the world changing as a whole. If Critical Role played Gurps or similar it'd be a different story
12:21 AM
@AncientSwordRage But why has the world changed? Because information moves so much more rapidly now (both for good and bad), and has fundamentally changed how disruption happens (because the entrance cost to all industries is now lower as a result of how quickly that information flows
@illustro WotC didn't bring about that change though
@illustro some people want to shop and MAP shops but too many people went to Supermarkets. It's the same thing we're describing
@AncientSwordRage We have always had exploitative companies. Uber being that way is not a new phenomenon. Ireland had the land barons exploiting the native (Catholic) irish population in the 1600s, to the extent that they instituted laws to bake in that exploitation, the clothing and fashion industry regularly exploits poor people all over the world, and has done for centuries in the name of being compatitive
I think it's easy to see WotC/D&D benefiting from this world change and point to it as being the reason for the change
@AncientSwordRage I didn't say WoTC did. I said 5e did. WoTC make 5e, but it is the property that brought the people in, not the company
WoTC is not D&D, and D&D is not WoTC, no matter how much they (or indeed others) might want to think that
@illustro I'm not claiming exploitation is new, I'm saying currently market disruption has to be exploitive to keep up with the status quo
@illustro yeah but they're inextricably linked
@illustro that's like saying it's Tesla and Elon Musk aren't the same thing - it misses the point....
12:28 AM
@AncientSwordRage It doesn't have to be, at all. Insurance is currently being disrupted, and the exploitative behaviour is not being displayed by those disrupters.
@illustro it is?
@AncientSwordRage D&D was originally created by...not WoTC. They might be heavily linked now, but they will not necessarily always be so. See the Activision/Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft as to why shitty behaviour within a companies culture can lead to them not having a company anymore. IF the shitty behaviour at Blizzard never came to light, Microsoft wouldn't have been able to afford them.
@AncientSwordRage Yes. There are a number of digital first insurers who have entered the industry recently, utilising the fact that they have better tech skills and can analyse data better than the incumbents to take parts of the insurance pie (so to speak) that would never have been feasible even 10 years ago
@illustro that sounds completely unrelated to anything we've been discussing
Then there is the new, and growing concept of parametric insurance, which is disrupting how people price products, but also how people get paid when they need to claim, making it better for everyone
@AncientSwordRage We were (earlier in the conversation) talking about WoTC's history and current practices visa-vie their influence in the TTRPG space. Their current practices are really a reflection of wider practices that have been present in the gaming industry as a whole for a long time (see how video game companies exploit the people actually making the video games)
The Activision/Blizzard is a wakeup call to all companies in the gaming space (virtual, table top, or otherwise), that bad corporate culture and behaviour can get you bought out, and you may no longer be a company anymore
@illustro but that also doesn't have the network effect you spoke about. If I can get cheaper insurance I don't need to go into that with friends. That disruption is making a personal choice cheaper. Supermarkets were also a disruption that made things cheaper. Likewise with uber. They're all using economy of scale
12:38 AM
At the same time, there is an existential threat to all companies in all industries, brought around by the pace of change that is happening due to the way tech accelerates change and removes some of the barriers to change.
If D&D 5e is inviting a disruptive competitor they'd need someway of exploiting that economy of scale, but individuals can't.
@AncientSwordRage Not necessarily cheaper, but better for everyone, for the same cost, in the case of parametric insurance that I've observed
Disruption doesn't have to bring down price, disruption can target other weakpoints in the system, and tech accelerates the move away because of that
@illustro what do you think D&D 5Es weak point is?
Digital first banks like Revolut & Monzo are prime examples of that. They didn't make banking cheaper (it was already essentially free in the UK), but they made it better and faster.
@illustro so are you saying D&D could be out competed by an indie game that was better and faster?
12:45 AM
@AncientSwordRage It has a few. It's complicated, focused on combat by default, requires the purchasing of many sourcebooks released frequently. Until recently, it didn't have a digital way of searching through those sourcebooks (D&D Beyond solved that), but even now, their digital solution is clunky in a number of places. They don't have a way to play remotely that is simple and easy (roll20, Digital Foundry etc require both a time and money investment on the part of the DM to work)
The DM is the driver of the story in D&D and as a result that puts a lot of pressure on them and can lead to DM burnout
@illustro loads of indie games are simple and not combat focused, and don't require buying lots of sourcebooks. Lots don't require DMs at all. What is left for the indie games to become 'disruptive' to D&D5e?
Oh, I see. I don't make market-driven value judgements, I evaluate benefit and success on entirely unrelated metrics. We were having two different conversations. That makes sense. Carry on, I have nothing to add to that topic.
To be honest, the best way D&D could be disrupted would be for an indie TTRPG to come up with a way of playing it online that is easy and flows nicely that is built into their system. That way they are giving themselves the best chance of doing that disruption, and getting a network effect started.
Isn't that a high bar that d&d 5e has set?
@BESW I'm not really making market-driven value judgements, I'm observing that the success of the hobby as a whole better by having more people in it. The market side of things has already happened, and we can't change that, what we can do is change how we deal with people. The increase in the number of people playing and the popularity of the hobby has already changed attitudes of people I know to the hobby, for the better, and has encouraged them to join it in many cases.
12:58 AM
It's one thing to note that the "increase in the number of people playing" has coincided with D&D5Es market dominance, but it's another to correlate the two
@AncientSwordRage Not really. The TTRPG industry does not have a particularly high bar to entry when it comes to digital disruption potential. It certainly has other bars to entry (like you need to be a good game designer to make a good game for example) that limit how quickly such a disruption might happen. I see the same sort of thing in insurance. In order to be a good insurer, you need good actuaries, but the subset of people who are both good actuaries and good at coding tech is vanishingly small
Hence the disruption happening now in insurance is coming from companies that are not insurance incumbants
Are these people saying "I would have played another RPG, but D&D was just the best one" or are they saying "I got into D&D because everyone else I know is/it's the only one I've heard of/what do you.mean there are other RPGs?"
@illustro we're still talking company to company, and insuring thifns is a world away from playing a game
@AncientSwordRage The two are correlated, the stretch comes in assigning causality, but sure, I get your point. But the fact is, that D&D has achieved a level of penetration into the public consciousness that no other TTRPG has, and that penetration has brought more people to the hobby. See Stranger Things, Vin Diesel playing D&D on youtube (with a bunch of people from Critical Role), etc.
@AncientSwordRage I'm pointing out the similarities between the two industries (most TTRPG designers are not going to be good at coding, the same way most actuaries are not), and how the disruption happening in the insurance industry is a model for how such disruption can be implemented in the TTRPG space
@BESW Do I think it's a good thing that the hobby is currently so D&D centric, no. Do I think that the influx of people playing D&D is good for the hobby as a whole, yes. How do I reconcile those two, because I know that disruption in other industries has target similiar problems and brought about change quickly.
@AncientSwordRage Just to jump back here. There are actually significant network effects with insurance and other financial services. People have a fabulous (not in a good way) tendancy to not move their financial services products very often, and to rely on the recommendations of friends and family when picking products that they will buy.
Is the effect as strong as it is in the in-person TTRPG space, no, does it exist, yes.
The problem in person TTRPGs have with overcoming the network effect is one of population density. About 10 years ago, I moved from my home city to London. In my home city I couldn't find a non-D&D TTRPG game for love nor money, and even D&D games were difficult to find. I moved to London, and there were a wealth of both. D&D was certainly more prevalent but others were available and I played frequently.
Moving back to my home city 3 years ago, I found that the prevalence of both D&D and non-D&D has increased for in-person events (in part because of an increase in population density and demographics over the 7 or so years I was away). During that same time, the ability for me to find a game online, that was playable increased hugely. 10 years ago, playing TTRPGs online was actively difficult if you wanted to experience it in the same way you did in person
That has changed significantly over the last 5 years (and in particular over the course of the pandemic), but it's still not easy
1:16 AM
@illustro insurance isn't a great comparison as it's a necessity, not entertainment. Plus it's hardly a disruption if it's the same sort of product being sold differently
That disruption already happened and it's D&DBeyond/Roll20 etc.
@AncientSwordRage There will of course be a mix of the two. Right now I suspect it's skewed towards the latter tbh.
@illustro my guess is its majority the latter
@AncientSwordRage It depends on where you live on how much of a necessity it is. If you live in the US, then Health Insurance is an absolute necessity (due to failures on the part of the government). If you are in Europe, for example, it's not. Life insurance isn't really a necessity anywhere.
But this is glossing over the all the negatives that D&D has brought with it. It's so prevalent people are just saying "well everyone else is playing that, I guess I have to"
@AncientSwordRage Addressing "Plus it's hardly a disruption if it's the same sort of product being sold differently". No not really. The disruption I'm talking about is actual, genuinely new products that change how insurance works significantly compared to how it worked in the past to cover the risks that it covers.
1:21 AM
@illustro indie games have been doing that for years
@illustro no...that's still recognisably insurance. This is where the analogy breaks down.
I've said what I can, I've got things to go and places to be.
Taking banking, as a slightly easier example. In my country, it's common for traditional banks to say "it takes 2 working days for transactions to be processed and credited to the beneficiaries accounts" despite it no longer being an actual requirement for that delay to be that long. The digital disruptive banks came in and said we'll move the money within seconds if you send it. This resulted in millions of people moving to those banks as their primary service.
@AncientSwordRage I haven't described the products I'm talking about being disruptive...primarily because I don't want to get bogged down in the weeds with that, so yes, to a certain extent I'm asking you to take on faith, from someone working in the industry that there is disruption happening in insurance that makes the new things significantly different to the insurance of the past.
Enabled by technology
@AncientSwordRage Doing what for years? Putting out new games that need to be played in person, or creating disruptive digital play platforms for their games?
@AncientSwordRage Roll20 has significant issues that really prevent it from being disruptive in the way I'm talking about (It's hard to use with a steep learning curve, it's interface isn't great, and it's enormously computer hardware intensive). D&D Beyond is, right now, a digital bookshelf, with some helpful tools, but it's not a tabletop replacement. Are they going that way, absolutely, I expect within a few years they will have a VTT as part of their subscription offering)
@AncientSwordRage Fair enough! Night and good chatting.
illustro casts smite conversation
1:42 AM
"A TTRPG Co-Op — the Future of Indie TTRPGs?" article by Max Fefer on Medium. 2021 was a busy year for the indie TTRPG scene. Itchfunding, TTRPG TikTok, and degreening from Kickstarter have been exciting developments.
"Interview with 2-Minute Tabletop: Maps, Tokens and More!" Interview with Ross McConnell for The Geek Post.
Heartbeats in Perfect Sync by Nathan Blades. An urban fantasy shounen anime in TTRPG form!
Big Feels TTRPG A bundle hosted by kumada1. People play TTRPGs for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it's for the feeling of success. Sometimes it's for the feeling of closeness to a character. Sometimes it's for the feeling of introspection, or tragedy, or anger, or justice. Here in this bundle, you'll find 65 TTRPGs that inspire feelings. Romance, compassion, consideration, righteousness, apprehension, peace, and more.
2:45 AM
How's everyone doing this weekend?
About to watch the Hilda movie with friends!
@BESW nice
Played pokemon with my wife most of today and contemplated permutations of Wordle patterns
3:19 AM
@BESW let me know how it is
1 hour later…
4:25 AM
@AncientSwordRage It was good! I wish they'd stuck the landing on the end better, it didn't go far enough in my opinion. But otherwise pretty much exactly what I'd want from a movie-length conclusion to season two.
Maybe they'll do something more with it in the third season.
4:58 AM
"Transitioning Away From D&D" by Dee Pennyway. Here’s a short thread on how to get your D&D group to play other games.
A couple years ago Dee Pennyway wrote a twitter thread about "stuff that Mnemonic does that DISRUPTS the tabletop industry." The thread is gone along with the account, but at the time I had summarized it thusly and I think it's useful to see what sorts of things a clued-in and fed-up TRPG creator thought were important enough to stake their career on, in terms of improving the industry:
> - Mnemonic was the first game setting that used community copies (free copies of the game that people can take, no questions asked, if paying the full price is a hardship, often refilled any time someone buys the game at full price) as a standard practice (and the KS campaign doubled down, as every pledge added at least one community copy)
- massively international team pulling in creators from places that are systemically locked out by things like financial marginalization
- a pricing plan that treated print editions as upgrades to digital editions, which made it more accessible to indep
It's pretty wide-reaching, from contracting with employees in ways that further the employees' career paths after leaving the project, to publication policies that actively fight centralized distribution, to specific tools for supporting table-level design as a value of its own as well as a gateway into the whole industry (and not just the Mnemonic IP).
3 hours later…
8:12 AM
Stealing the Crone by breathingstories. Orchestrate a daring escape with your mischievous grandparent, and cause no end of chaos!
3 hours later…
11:16 AM
@BESW sounds awesome
Yeah, it's the sort of things I wouldn't think of as an outsider who only gets to see it from the consumer end of things but is really important stuff for making TRPGs better long-term.
But looking at it I can totally see how, for example, seeking new and robust ways to collaborate with independent sellers can set up precautions against what happens when major companies try to control every aspect of the making and distribution in-house (see: the DCD fiasco, or the events which led to the Paramount Decision, or the inevitable infrastructure collapse from [waves generally in the direction of Amazon])
I'm really glad that there are a lot of indie and small press creators working hard to not "do Corporate."
"We don't want to do Corporate." by Dee Pennyway. The goal for me is not “make enough money to do nothing else but this” if achieving that goal means breaking the ladder behind me. So we’re down here looking for ways to make it sustainable that are outside the corporate model.
For example, Dee's working on a great website structure but the goal isn't to be a central host for Mnemonic stuff; the goal is to be a transparent model other creators can learn from to make their own sites.
11:53 AM
For the last year or two I've shared info here about a multitude projects guided by similar principles and attitudes with creators including but really not limited to (off the top of my head) Momatoes, Pidj, Aaron Lim, SoulMuppet Publishing, Feral Indie Studio, TheDovetailor and Diwata ng Manila, and Diogo Nogueira.
Q: What is the standard wording for a teleportation ability in D&D 5e?

Ayden sI am attempting to create a homebrew ability to teleport as part of your movement, while still reducing your movement speed as if you walked and allowing you to split up your movement between normal movement or multiple teleports (eg. teleport 10 feet, attack, move 10 feet and then teleport 10 fe...

12:47 PM
@BESW absolute same.
4 hours later…
4:31 PM
@illustro agree and they were not subject to balance review I don't think...
@BESW can you show some examples of this?
@BESW that's kind of odd, given that PF gets called D&D 3.75 sometimes ...
4:50 PM
@AncientSwordRage That's a good point; CR is a heck of a marketing tool using non traditional means of advertising
Do you have any sort of relationship with the author of this game? I ask because it feels like you're trying to persuade people to buy the product. — Dan B yesterday
@KorvinStarmast yeah some people can't think much beyond D&D unfortunately
I knew somebody who claimed only arcade games were games, and that things like Minecraft or Skyrim weren't actually games at all but interactive stories
@AncientSwordRage I had not seen that. Note that we do have a meta about full disclosure if one is a producer; and I recall KRyan's question some years before I got here that was raised for the company he was working with (producing Legend?) at the time.
@KorvinStarmast yup, but if anything it'd be easier to hide you were/are involved in D&D5e then a game made by a single person on itch.io
@AncientSwordRage what? That's a very video game centric PoV. Heck, D&D was an indie game when it came out (Guidon and TSR were indie companies) and there as a lot of "what kind of game is this" as a response to it when it came out. The big players in games , board and card, were Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley, and in the wargame market. Avalon Hill. So there is nothing new under the sun, I suppose.
I've flagged this as spam, because it seems like you only made this completely trivial question to link to a website article. — Theik Dec 5 '21 at 19:27
4:56 PM
@AncientSwordRage The barrier to entry is a lot lower, thanks to the World Wide web, and to things like kickstarter, but one still has to carve out a market to become commercially successful. That's true for a lot of products, not just games. Marketing is a challenge for any successful product.
@KorvinStarmast but I mean if they clicked the link they'd see I wasn't involved. Instead the assumption seems to be guilty until proven innocent for indie game questions
See also 'overnight sensation' bands who have been playing for years and barely getting by, and then one day they get noticed and played and successfully marketed. (Was watching an old interview with Ann Wilson of Heart, a little indie band from Seattle who were barely scraping by and living in Canada (this was early 70's, a lot of folks headed to Canada to avoid the draft and such) and then they got that break).
@AncientSwordRage How about you not tar all of us here at RPGSE with that brush?
@KorvinStarmast sound cloud etc is helping with that
Also see how Jonathan Coulton got started
@AncientSwordRage and note how other community members responded differently to Theik.
5:13 PM
@KorvinStarmast I'm sorry for what I said, that wasn't right. I didn't intend to tar anybody with a brush... Perhaps I should have said "if there's the possibility of somebody not disclosing an affiliation, the assumption seems to be guilty until proven innocent for indie game questions"
I've never seen someone suspect it of a non-indie game question.
@KorvinStarmast yeah that was appreciated, vast vast vast majority of people here are absolutely lovely
Again, apologies for what I wrote about people assumptions, I wasn't careful with my words at all
5:31 PM
@AncientSwordRage thanks for offering that but I wasn't offended, it just seemed to be a case of a single data point or two leading to a broad brush that from my perspective isn't a fair assessment. I have enjoyed how other games do become more visible to me thanks to this site (and that is why I hate that we stopped allowing Game Rec questions, it was a way to expand one's landscape) and if one visits chat one will see all kinds of info on non D&D games from a variety of users.
@KorvinStarmast thanks for that, it's not a huge sample but I've not gone looking for every instance either. Definitely not fair to broad brush just yet. It doesn't take much to put people off though, and I'm just trying to be conscious of that
How about we set up a regular game rec event in chat?
As to your assertion about supermarkets and mom&pop stores, I don't think that's right. D&D's tide rising with 5e did indeed increase sales of other games, and I'll use myself as an example. (D&D the gateway drug and all that). I have purchased a number of non D&D games since I got back into the hobby to include Microscope, Flotsam, and Pirates and Dragons (which is a d6 based game with a strong pirate/maritime/theme). I got for free access to a Star Trek RPG.
@KorvinStarmast that's great
I think what I missed during the first reading if the conversation was what happens behind the scenes in terms of writing contracts for game developers etc
@AncientSwordRage Might want to run that one up the flag pole and see who salutes it. Not a bad idea. Also I got to play Golden Sky Stories with trogdor a few times, with other RPGSE chatizens, and I only wish we could have done it in person. It took me a bit of play to begin to grasp how the flow of 'game currency' went. it's a neat game.
It's a bit too nuanced and I'm not involved/up to speed enough to go into it now
5:38 PM
@AncientSwordRage when it comes to contracts and game development I will not attempt to project deep understanding. (My modest grasp of that has to do with trying to get stories and modules published some decades ago, not games). I have a lead on maybe getting a few articles published for pay, will see how that works out
5:58 PM
@KorvinStarmast keep us in the loop, especially if it's RPG related
2 hours later…
7:57 PM
Q: What makes Arcane Propulsion Arm so powerful that it's categorized as Very Rare?

bluecalamityArcane Propulsion Arm is basically a thrown weapon with the returning property. An artificer could make a +1 yklwa, and it'd be stronger than an Arcane Propulsion Arm, though it'd have half the range. You can't be unequipped, but the same's true of an arm blade or anything owned by an Eldritch Kn...

4 hours later…
11:29 PM
Q: General Rule For Areas of Effect and Large+ Creatures?

NovakHow much of a Large+ creature (any creature occupying more than a single 5' x 5' square) must be included in a spell's area of effect before it is, well, affected? If there is a simple statement of a general rule, I cannot find it. The PF2E core rulebook gives the typical areas of effect on pp45...


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