Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Loving The Tabletop

Second to the actual designers of 3rd Edition D&D (Monte Cook et al), Ryan Dancey is basically the man responsible for the D&D landscape - and by extension the tabletop roleplaying landscape - as it stands today. He masterminded the d20 and Open Gaming Licenses and opened the barn door on massive third-party support for the new edition of D&D when it was released at the turn of the millenium. The open letter which he published to the D&D mailing list did a lot, I'm sure, to persuade many grognards that Wizards of the Coast's acquisition of TSR might actually be a very good thing for the hobby.

His blog is always a provocative read and the most recent entries, along with an ongoing discussion on ENWorld which I took part in, are worth mentioning here. RD talks about the future of tabletop roleplaying and muses on how it is ever going to survive alongside easier, more instantly gratifying, and half the time, simply more fun past-times such as MMO's like World of Warcraft.

It's a big question, because a hobby that is ultimately surviving on nothing except the unwillingness of its oldest players to let it go (which arguably D&D became near the end of the TSR era) is not really a hobby at all. It's vital that D&D - and tabletop roleplaying in general, including CCG's like Magic and Pokemon - all remain a viable business so that their publishers keep material flowing into the channel, and hopefully, enticing new blood into the game.

Fans of tabletop roleplaying could do worse than to check out both the comments on the blog and the thread at ENW.

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