I admit that I really liked 5E when it first came out but slowly I’ve grown less interested in it for a variety of reasons. So some may say that I don’t have a dog in this fight. Yeah, sure. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion. And why the heck not? All the cool kids are doing it.
I do want to pat myself on the back about being correct on 5E ending up with an “App Store”. Say hello DM’s Guild. But with recent acquisition of D&D Beyond, I think there’s a lot more crazy ahead.
I’m pretty sure most folks agree that WOTC will have a VTT as part of D&D Beyond. There’s conjecture that they may attempt to buy Roll20. I dunno. I bet that price tag would be pretty high. Astral would be cheap since development has been abandon on it. Or they could make their own. So on this one, I got no idea. But they will add a VTT.
So what’s that mean? Here’s where things start get “interesting”. With a VTT, D&D Beyond becomes a one stop shop and WOTC will push it hard on fans. Here’s where I think things start to get crazy. Sure lots of folks have free accounts but if you want those extras, you’ll need a paid account. They will want fans to flock to it. I’m betting that there will exclusive D&D Beyond content. I’m also guessing that the license that DrivethruRPG has for DM’s Guild is going to come up for renegotiation pretty soon. I’m guessing that what is now DM’s Guild will get rolled into D&D Beyond. Pretty soon, it will feel more like an MMO with DLC rather than a table top RPG.
D&D Beyond also hosts forums. So we stack with fan created content that may not be to liking of all. I’ll bet there will some out there who are going to get really butt hurt. In the end, some one will get a time out or an outright ban from those forums. I betting that it will follow the same pattern as many video game publishers where the form is linked to your account. Get banned or a time out, loose access to all that digital content that you paid for.
WOTC has already started to distance itself from the rest of the RPG industry. They don’t even attend Gencon. So with that and the above in mind, I predict that D&D Beyond will end up being the equivalent of a gated and curated community with all us unwashed barbarians at the gate. Plus even less support for your FLGS.
There’s another thing I want to bring up in this post. D&D made big bucks last year. I attribute much of this to the COVID lock downs. What else are people going to do with their friends? Plus, look around. The economy sucks right now. People have a lot less disposable income. One of the first things that people cut out of their budgets is entertainment. So maybe not so many folks will be buying that cool set of virtual dice?
Just thoughts, folks. Don’t get to hung up in everything. Sit back and roll some dice.
I make a lot of analogies with food and RPG’s. This one has been sitting there in the back of my mind for a while. So, I might as well rant.
Some like pineapple on their pizza. Some don’t. Some think it’s a total abomination. If you go to your favorite pizza place and they tell that all of their pizzas have pineapple and if you don’t like it then you can pick it off when you get home. Or they tell that they won’t put pineapple on any pizzas. What would think about that place? If you’re ordering or even sitting down to eat your pizza, and a stranger walks up to you and yells at you, calling you names, and generally being a jerk just because there’s pineapple or no pineapple on your pizza. If you’re allergic to pineapple. Should you demand that no one else have pineapple on their pizza. If you like pineapple, should you demand that everyone have pineapple on their pizza.
And this is what turns so many RPG groups/forums/communities into cesspools. It boils down to people and even publishers screaming about what someone else has on their pizza.
I know what some folks might say. But about people who say or do bad things. That’s why I said putting pineapple on a pizza and not rat poison. Now, if you can’t distinguish between what’s pineapple and what’s rat poison then there’s very little that I can do for you with a simple blog post.
I was doing my usual brain dead web surfing the other day and I stumbled across this article and it got me thinking. D&D isn’t for everybody. That’s OK.
Alright, maybe I should say RPG’s in general but the big marketing push right now is that D&D is cool and for everybody. Let’s face it. It’s just not everybody’s thing. Old timers know what’s it like to recruit players. We’d talk and invite just about anybody. And some folks just didn’t enjoy the game.
Some folks don’t like Monopoly, Risk, poker, bridge, or what have you. It doesn’t mean that the games are bad or the people are bad. It’s just not their thing. Some people will throw themselves into a career that may not pay the best but they have a passion for it. Rather than taking whatever pays the best but they don’t enjoy. Like I said, it’s the big marketing push is to make the game for everybody. Remember, when they were calling World of Warcraft “the new golf”? Yeah, how’s that going now? Just like video games or other games as I’ve said. Not all people enjoy the same things which is perfectly fine.
If you’re not having fun as player or a GM. Think about it. Is it the people? It’s magical thing when a group just clicks. It always doesn’t happen. Or is it that the game just isn’t your thing but you’re doing because it’s supposed to cool. Do it because you enjoy it.
This was a post from my old blog. I dug through my old backups. It’s still relevant today. Without further ado, The Bacon Cheeseburger of Offense.
I like bacon cheeseburgers. I’m not insisting you like bacon cheeseburgers. I’m not going to make you eat a bacon cheeseburger. Just let me enjoy my bacon cheeseburger in peace.
I know this offends some people. There are those who insist that since bacon cheeseburgers are not health foods. No one should be allowed to eat them. Just as one salad doesn’t make thin, one bacon cheeseburger is not going to make you fat. Moderation. I know the bun excludes anyone who chooses or must be gluten free. I know I’ve excluded vegetarians and vegans with the cheese and meat. I know that a bacon cheeseburger violates Hindu, Jewish and Muslim dietary laws. If eaten on Friday, the bacon cheeseburger violates Catholic dietary laws. With one meal, I have excluded most of the world’s population. This doesn’t make me a bad person. Yes, an overly simplified example but then I’m an overly simple guy.
It’s that time of year when I begin to think about the whole status of the blog and all the other little online RPG things that I do. I know most people wait until the end of the year to do this but, for me, it’s when I get the notification that it’s time renew the domain and web hosting. I go through this debate every year. I just need to think and justify it to myself to shell out the dollars to pay for a better blogging plan.
There’s a lot of things that did happen this year. Some successes. Some new insights. Some are kind of what do I do know? The most interesting insight so far this year is the uselessness of posting to Facebook. I used to cross post from the blog to a few RPG groups there. I haven’t done that in over a month and a half. You know what? It hasn’t hurt the traffic on the blog at all. Looking further back on the good old stats, the only posts that did garner any traffic from Facebook posts where one’s that were a bit controversial. I know I’m sounding really biased with this but even outside of RPG Circles, Facebook is more about ads and controversy.
Sales over on DrivethruRPG have been good this year. Well, I should say good by my previous sales numbers. A few sales came in from Lulu but nothing spectacular. And traffic here on the blog has been much better than last year. Those are all good things.
So what about the bad and not so great things? I think it’s safe to say that idea of a podcast is totally dead. When I compared time versus listenership, it just isn’t worth the time. What about Youtube? Well, there’s plenty of things that annoy me there. Ads and god only knows what the community standards are gong to be this week. Sure it’s popular but… Then there’s Patreon. It’s handy for a reoccurring tip jar and I’ll probably make a few more adjustments for that. And Buy Me Coffee has made an even smaller impact. Like I said, I’m not trying to make a bunch of money but I would at least like to break even and have a little extra RPG fun money on the side.
So these are things that bouncing around inside my head right now. I’ve got a couple more ideas that lingering in the back of my skull but I’ll see where things go from there. I dunno.