Through out this post I am speaking only about myself and my views. This is not directed at anyone in particular. Yes I recognze there are always exceptions to blanket statements. If the reader finds the ideas put fourth below somehow offensive, I don’t necessarily care. Leave a comment, just remeber I'm never going to see it.
There is a new generation of RPG players out there and they have the buying power in the RPG industy.
- Ones that have absolutely no connection to the war gaming history of the hobby.
- Players who really only want to see their tiefling sorcerer steal a kiss from the barbarian the evening before setting off to face the big bad.
- Players who don't want a scribe, a mapper, or a caller.
- Players who want to watch RPG's on youube and Twitch, the way we used to watch Conan and Krull.
- ones who want to hear how the light plays off the gems on the gypsie's hem.
- Players who don't mind if the game they’re watching is not a group of friends creating an emergent story. Rather a group of actors brought together via casting call, and running through a GM's vision of the game.
- Players who don't particularity care "Miniatures move and fight using a ratio of either 1:20 (one miniature representing 20 troops) or 1:10 "
This is why D&D 5thE has done so well. It is not a system nerds game. It is a game tht allows players to make characters with clearly defined roles who progress quickly and can do epic things pretty much right out of the box.
Here’s the twist though, it's not about D&D it could have been any system. The system might as well be flip a coin, heads succeed tails fail. The experience today is no longer about the games. It is about personality, story, and aesthetics. Mostly aesthetics.
Everyday there are more new fans and players and less second generation (started in the 80's) Players. So pack up any fancy system ideas and discussions about game theory. It mattered when I started. Then The Big model mattered, Then The OSR mattered (before it ate it’s self), narrative gaming always mattered. However, like all things do the RPG landscape has changed. What much of the next generation thinks of as RPG gaming and entertainment is an evolution of what I enjoyed about the RPG hobby.
I’ll still enjoy trying to think of clever mechanics to emulate genre or generate a desired tone of play. I'll think about those things for my enjoyment, but I understand that it’s a compete waste of time. The RPG community at large has past me by. It belongs to the young, as it should. The idea of what makes an RPG experience has evolved.