How will the next D&D compete with Warcraft?

Interesting musings at OgreCave about the future of D&D. As games like World of Warcraft begin to compete successfully for the attention of tabletop gamers, what can D&D do better than an online roleplaying game?

A few years ago, nobody would’ve been taking this question seriously, as computer RPGs were still relatively crude and offered little of the social experience that’s so integral to a tabletop RPG. But that’s changing rapidly, and it may fall to the next edition of D&D to demonstrate what a traditional tabletop RPG can do better than a beautiful-looking, highly interactive online RPG can. Then and now, most people would cite face-to-face interaction as tabletop RPG’s trump card. From the OgreCave post:

So here’s the question: if having other real live in-the-flesh people at the table with you is a competitive advantage over WoW – and I think it is – how can the next version of the D&D rules take advantage of it instead of just falling back on it as granted? How can tabletop RPG rules actually make the fact of tabletop-ness part of the game itself?

That’s a great question with which to begin!

(As an aside: I’m glad somebody else is talking about it, because I too have been getting the exciting-yet-ominous sense that a new edition of D&D is out on the horizon… distant, to be sure, but getting closer.)

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2 thoughts on “How will the next D&D compete with Warcraft?

  1. Adaen of Bridgewater

    Hi there, I’ve been enjoying reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

    With regard to D&D 4e, I’m pretty sure it is on the “short-term scope”….D&D has been on the ~10 year plan. For WotC to have things developed and tested, they would likely need to have begun at least preliminary work by now. There are a fair number of rumors out there anyway; and where there’s smoke, there is likely to be fire.

    With regard to using rules to leverage the face-to-face aspect of the game (vs. Online gaming), I agree. Our table-top games definitely need to do something in this area. You may be aware that there is an Indy movement that has been striving to do just that. Some websites of interest include:

    http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/
    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/rpg-create/
    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/rpgwritersclub/

    Enjoy,

    ~Adaen of Bridgewater, http://www.highadventuregames.com

  2. Andy

    Thanks for the comments, Adaen! I’ll check out the links you provided–I’ve not followed much of the indie gaming movement, but I’ve gathered that there’s some exciting stuff going on there.

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