Is tabletop role-playing in decline?

Dr Zaius

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Do you think that tabletop role-playing is in decline? Is the hey-day of games like D&D a thing of the past?
 

Aries

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Hard to say Don.

If I go to my friends store, I see a massive array of titles of books recently released. That sounds positive. Then again, it's not like there are many stores selling the stuff, so it's like wargaming, those that like it love it, but, don't wait to get rich selling it.

The computer made a lot of gaming "easier" and possibly stole away a lot of table top gamers, and the internet and games like EQ and WoW have made is such that when you mention RPG, no one even thinks you meant table top in the first place.

Myself, I won't play anything other than a table top rolegame. A friend offering me a free account on WoW is basically throwing away his money, as it doesn't interest me. And no, I don't care if I might "meet" many interesting people while playing.

To me, an RPG is something with a PC record sheet you rolled up with funny shaped dice. It's people sitting around eating munchies while trying to do the impossibly fantastic largely within a shared imagination around a table.

Is it dying? likely no more than wargaming is. It might be in a slump, just waiting for some radical opportunity to occur.
 

Dion

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I don't think table top role-playing is in decline. It's part of a niche market. ;)
 
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Dr Zaius

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I don't think table top role-playing is in decline. It's part of a niche market.
Are you saying that electronic gaming hasn't had any effect on it at all?
 

Dion

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Oh ya, electronic gaming has influenced table top gaming more than anything. After playing a compturized role playing game it is very unlikely that a person will ever get into table top role playing because of the lack of visuals and sound. That is why I referred to it as niche market. I guess that is why so many role playing companies are trying to push minitures. I loved it when minitures was just a hobby. I must admit I was facinated at the miniuture artist's painting skills. Now I take minitures for granted. Minitures don't impress me anymore simply because there's so many. Now they seem more important than the game itself. :cry:
 

Dr Zaius

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In the group I used to role-play with, miniatures were only used once in a while to help keep track of where all the characters were during a battle. We had a big piece of grid overlay that we could mark on with special markers, and the miniatures were placed on this grid. I don't think anyone (including the DM) took them all that seriously.

There are some elements of role-playing that simply can't be reproduced with an electronic game -- at least not yet.
 

Portal

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The improv theatre and cooperative storytelling aspect of tabletop RPGs haven't come close to being approached by PC games as of yet.

Trying playing some tabletop D&D with a DM who's a professional screen-writer and some actors for fellow players and see if WoW can touch that. :)
 

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The improv theatre and cooperative storytelling aspect of tabletop RPGs haven't come close to being approached by PC games as of yet.

Trying playing some tabletop D&D with a DM who's a professional screen-writer and some actors for fellow players and see if WoW can touch that. :)
Precisely.

WoW might look like a fine arcade game, but isn't worth squat in a competition for actual fun against "REAL" rpgs.

I game once a week usually sun these days. Session begins with about 1 hour of general chat as the host's kids are seen to bed. Most of us like munchies as much as the next person, and often the host has something homemade, plus one of the players has a penchant for over the top cooking that gets brought to the game. Ain't going to get any of that with WoW eh.

We have a large stash of minis, but usually we lack the actual correct figure. On WoW you might have the proper image, but heck, if the DM describes the creature and you can't imagine it, you have my pity I suppose (I have a great imagination myself).

We like to laugh and joke about the dreadful dice rolls as well as the how did you manage that successful dice rolls. We've knocked off hopelessly impossible monsters, and we have had our butts near stomped by totally loser creatures too. In WoW a 10th level monster is always only what it is, never any surprises. You never get to kill off a 70th level monster with ******** luck in WoW, but we have knocked off ultra monsters simply because we came up with a stunt the game designer could never have foreseen.

Player creation. Don't even pretend your WoW characters are anything but uber maxed out killing machines. Oh whip dee doo, like that is so special.
Right now I am playing a Barbarian half ogre that only wants to hang out with halflings, because my PC wants to discover the ultimate spice and become a master chef. Still, he's good in a fight. Hard to hate something that can just grab the impossible AC adversary and hold onto it while ANOTHER PC has fun whacking it while you hold it for them :) Grapple, not to be taken likely. Plus, if you can't get past the super dwarve's mega AC, you can always just settle for smashing it into the ground, or a tree truck, or other enemies, or if you are lucky, just heave it out into a lake :)

Table top RPGs will never be as "easy" to sell as PC games, but PC RPGs will never be even close to as fun.
 
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Dion

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The improv theatre and cooperative storytelling aspect of tabletop RPGs haven't come close to being approached by PC games as of yet.

Trying playing some tabletop D&D with a DM who's a professional screen-writer and some actors for fellow players and see if WoW can touch that. :)
Yaba! I agree with that %100. I always said the best RPG sessions are the one's with a great DM. When I DM (though I'm not a great DM) I like to award players that have great role playing skills (not stratagy skills) with extra experience points because those types of players make the game extra fun for everyone.
 

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There really isn't much Role Playing in MMORPG's. If you think about it, every game out there boils down to killing creatures for loot and experience in an attempt to get to the next level and afford to buy new armor or spells. There are some variations but MMORPG's haven't made many leaps and bounds since Meridian 59, Ultima Online, or Everquest first came out.

Sure there are more classes and people group together to kill more difficult monsters and some games allow you to kill other players but that is pretty much all you do. Computer role playing games have taken Pen and Paper games and dumbed them down to the point to where the only thing to do is hit things with a sword or spell.

Where is the character development? Where is the story line? How many MMORPGs do you know where there are moral dilemmas that must be faced? Computers limit creativity. As a DM/GM if a player is facing an opponent and tries to find a creative but peaceful way to resolve the conflict, he is rewarded for the thought that he put into his actions. On a PC there is no way to anticipate all of the outlandish things people can come up with.

People all over the world role play every day. Workplaces have incorporated role plays into their training to help employees become more familiar with ways to handle situations. While this varies slightly from rulesets that are designed for recreation, the basic premise remains the same.

Role Playing is much more about the journey than it is about the destination. That is the biggest thing that PC gamers have trouble with. I remember bringing a younger guy into a GURPS game I had going in Japan. He was astonished that there was no way to "beat" the game. There wasn't a certain level he could get to and win.

Pen and Paper wins hands down when it comes to stimulating imagination and creativity. Rather than have a program tell you what your options are, you are left to use your brain to try to resolve problems and advance the gameplay. You can create absolutely anything you can dream up. If I want to create a setting based in Kentucky during Prohibition, I can do that. If I want to create the alien planet of Belzork, where creatures breathe cherry soda through their toe nails, (good luck finding anyone wanting to play that) I can do that too.

Character development is another big thing where Pen and Paper beats PC games. If when making a character, my stats come out to be less than perfect, I can still have a lot of fun dealing with his limitations. It's not about stats and who does the most damage with a two handed sword. It's about creating a story. Much like a great book, only instead of reading it, someone is writing it about you and the adventures you have been on.

I think I have rambled on enough. Those are just my 2 cents.



Ben
 

Dr Zaius

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I wish one of you guys would start up a text-based RPG adventure here on the forums. That's really what we created this section for. Bear in mind it doesn't have to be a continues campaign lasting years. Instead, it could just be a single adventure or whatever.

If a few people get involved, it will soon take on a life of its own.
 

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Well, I and a couple of friends came to Tabletop D&D after ages of playing RPGs on the PC. And we like both of it.
One for the action and fantastic tales you can "live through" alone and the other as an ever occuring 'social event' where one can meet a couple of times a months and have a great evening of gaming and talk (and munchies ;)).
So I'd say people who really like the RP aspect of RPGs will always 'return' to tabletop.
 

M Faulkner

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Have to agree with Portal. The group dynamics and interactions is what makes it fun. I recently have started playing D&D again. Everyone in the group is in the over 35 crowd and we have as much fun laughing at ourselves than actually playing. Everyone in the group is a boardgamer and most are wargamers. Our dice rolls are so absurd that when we roll a 1 on a d20 we have have a stupid dunce hat to wear. (even the DM)
 

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Have to agree with Portal. The group dynamics and interactions is what makes it fun. I recently have started playing D&D again. Everyone in the group is in the over 35 crowd and we have as much fun laughing at ourselves than actually playing. Everyone in the group is a boardgamer and most are wargamers. Our dice rolls are so absurd that when we roll a 1 on a d20 we have have a stupid dunce hat to wear. (even the DM)
You guys don't play on Sundays do you? I am up in Elyria right now but Sundays are my only day off of work.



Ben
 

M Faulkner

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You guys don't play on Sundays do you? I am up in Elyria right now but Sundays are my only day off of work.



Ben
We have been playing on Sundays, but it will be changing to Saturdays. Our DM's wife (who plays also) got a job promotion and had to move to the Boston area. Their family is in the Cleveland area so they will come in once a month and need to play on Saturday because they have to drive back on Sunday. We are trying to set up a remote play. We meet at one of the player's house and he has webcam and voice. The DM and his wife will have the same. We are working on it. Let me know if you can possibly make it. I am available for ASL also. I live in Medina (south of you)

Mike
 
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