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Christopher_rowe
07-02-2008, 09:03 PM
Fourth Edition brought me back to gaming, as I posted elsewhere on this site. the "buzz" on the internet and in various old media outlets piqued my interest, so I bought the books on Amazon and went to a couple of demos.

So, it turns out I'm not alone.

I liked what I saw, so I joined my local "Meetup" group for D&D in our small southern city (Lexington, KY). I joined this forum. I started looking for a game, and thinking about running one myself. Eventually, I put out an e-mail call through Craigs List, to my own social circle, to the gaming list, and through other social networking sites to see if anybody else wanted to join in a ground up 4E game. Enough people responded that I decided that we should have an organizing get together at a local coffee shop. I just got back from that.

So, here's who showed up.

* A male late thirties sf/fantasy writer who played years ago, as a teen more or less, and is interested in getting back into it because of the buzz (that's me.)

* A woman in her early thirties, a PR professional who's never played any RPG except for a game of Vampire in college that left a bad taste in her mouth because "I thought it was supposed to be _fun_, not flipping through books to tell people they can't do whatever they just said they wanted to do."

* A male early thirties computer programmer who hasn't played an RPG "in about five days," who runs a regular 3.5 game and never gets to play, and who is deeply suspicious of 4.0 but wants a playing opportunity and was interested in what I said about collaborative storytelling in my call.

* Another woman in her early thirties, a technical writer and editor, (wife of the guy previous) who has played D&D since 8th grade, shares his suspicions, but is willing to give it a shot.

* A spitfire of a woman in her mid-twenties who works for a big insurance company and who's never played a tabletop RPG, and until recently had never read a fantasy novel or knew anything about computer games, but who then joined some MMO and stayed up until 7 am the first night and now uses phrases like "hitting 70" and "my little alts" and other codewords mysterious to me, and who expressed worry about the big rulebooks, but who by the end of the 90 minute together was paging through a copy of the PHB making notes in her iPhone.

And you know what, you don't want to read capsule biographies of the 15 people (not counting children) who showed up. The teenagers, the retirees, the Republican precinct captain and the "raging liberal," the stay at home mom and the auto mechanic, the never-playeds and the haven't-played-this-weeks.

The rules of logic clearly go out the window in internet forums, so let me argue from my particular experience, let me drop an anecdote on you.

Fourth Edition is bringing a lot of people to this hobby. Maybe they're not shopping at your local gaming store (because they don't know it exists), but they heard the piece on NPR and picked up the books on Amazon, or they read an interview on Slate and used the Barnes & Noble gift certificate they got for Father's Day, or they got a little tired of their MMO and decided to try out something a little different.

I'm looking forward to my new campaign.

Talmek
07-02-2008, 09:20 PM
This could be the best thing to come out of 4th edition. I don't mean that it's a bad system or anything, but anything bringing new blood to a dying hobby can't be bad.

You have to admit, regardless of your personal feelings concerning 4th's release...Mr. Rowe here has a point.

Grimwell
07-02-2008, 10:48 PM
Fantastic post! Really! It's nice to have a real world anecdote to relate to.

Re: dying hobby
The first solution to a "dying hobby" is to stop saying it's dead. :) It's not dead. I still buy random things, and so do the rest of us. Changing hobby? Yes. Changing market? Sure! Dead hobby? Nah.

Plenty of room for more folks, I'm all for it.

Webhead
07-02-2008, 11:05 PM
Very cool to hear. It's encouraging to hear that you've found such a broad and eclectic group of folks interested in gaming. Here's hoping that it works out for the best!

Cheers.

tesral
07-02-2008, 11:11 PM
Fantastic post! Really! It's nice to have a real world anecdote to relate to.

Re: dying hobby
The first solution to a "dying hobby" is to stop saying it's dead. :) It's not dead. I still buy random things, and so do the rest of us. Changing hobby? Yes. Changing market? Sure! Dead hobby? Nah.

Plenty of room for more folks, I'm all for it.

Maybe I am a lich. I didn't know I was dead. I keep hearing how the hobby is dead but I never noticed the hobby being dead. We are all liches, that must be it. Dead and don't count any more.

We have local hobby shops that have lived for years on the dead hobby, they must be crypts or something.

Forry or no Forry, just because a few guys have rediscovered gaming, does not mean it was dead before they woke up. Morbidity if any was on the other side.

I see this attitude in many places on many subjects. Blogger Y rediscovers or discovers something and suddenly it is important or important again, as if without them it was nothing. The world revolves around them. Get a Life. Better yet, sit down and game.

Skunkape
07-03-2008, 07:12 AM
Fantastic post! Really! It's nice to have a real world anecdote to relate to.

Re: dying hobby
The first solution to a "dying hobby" is to stop saying it's dead. :) It's not dead. I still buy random things, and so do the rest of us. Changing hobby? Yes. Changing market? Sure! Dead hobby? Nah.

Plenty of room for more folks, I'm all for it.

I think we can relate the 'dying hobby' of gaming to the 'dying of the dotcom', you know people have made comments that the dotcom is dead, but I still see Amazon and Wal-mart out there and they're alive and well. Sure there was a rush when dotcom first started and we had a great big bubble because of it, but the bubble burst and there are still sites out there that are making money.

You can see the same kinds of things that happened when the 3.5 OGL came out. Everyone and they're brother wanted to jump on the band wagon and produce stuff for 3.5. Well guess what, there's only so much the market will handle and if you flood it with too much stuff, people aren't going to buy everything that's out there so not every company will survive. So I don't thing the gaming hobby is dying, I just think it's changing to a different kind of animal.

If 4e can bring in new blood, good for it. I'll just continue to do what I always have done, look over the product and if I like it, I'll buy it, if not, I won't, but that's the same thing I've been doing for as long as I've been buying things and while I'll listen to people's opinions on different products, it's my decision in the end as to whether I'm buying it or not.

By the way Christopher, I did like the info on the players who showed up, thanks for posting it!

Webhead
07-03-2008, 10:09 AM
If 4e can bring in new blood, good for it. I'll just continue to do what I always have done, look over the product and if I like it, I'll buy it, if not, I won't, but that's the same thing I've been doing for as long as I've been buying things and while I'll listen to people's opinions on different products, it's my decision in the end as to whether I'm buying it or not.

Yep. I am not a impulsive buyer. I always have to research and understand (at least partially) what I'm buying before I do. There is far too much to throw away money on to do it frivolously. If I'm gonna spend money, I'll do it on things I'm convinced I will get my money's worth from.

I never got the impression that our hobby was dying or dead...just that it has changed a bit over the last several years, and I don't just mean "changed" in a bad way. I think in some ways, the hobby has grown and expanded from what it was before.

It's still exciting to hear stories about large groups of gamers coming together. It's a nice reminder that our hobby is still thriving in the dining rooms, dens and basements of America.

Stormhound
07-03-2008, 10:45 AM
Our hobby's not dead, it's just resting!

Okay, someone had to. But dead? People play games, and people enjoy fantasy themes (e.g. Potter, Narnia, LOTR), and so long as both conditions hold true our hobby has a strong pulse. It may not have as much of a PR image given media portrayals of gamer stereotypes, and current events may be squeezing the life out of the FLGS, but dead? Ha!

boulet
07-03-2008, 11:06 AM
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.
c'mon you all know someone had to do this one !

Valdar
07-03-2008, 11:26 AM
That's a pretty spectacular story- Mine's similar. I'm to the point now that there are so many people on my waitlist that I need to tell them to nominate a DM and go play themselves.

Also, just thought I'd point out that the OP didn't use the term "dying hobby", it was the second post. So those of you who are acting like the OP is saying that 4e is saving D&D from extinction based on his experience alone, there's nothing there that says that.

Webhead
07-03-2008, 11:56 AM
c'mon you all know someone had to do this one !

Ia! Ia! R'lyeh! Fhtagn!

:D:D:D:D:D

tesral
07-03-2008, 12:12 PM
Ia! Ia! R'lyeh! Fhtagn!

:D:D:D:D:D

Damn it, now I have to trim the tentacles off my beak. There is always one joker in the crowd.

It not bad enough that I'm a lich?

Webhead
07-03-2008, 12:55 PM
Damn it, now I have to trim the tentacles off my beak. There is always one joker in the crowd.

But the tentacles are so very becoming...

Ah well...servitude to the great, slobbering Old Ones is not for everybody (or anybody interested in retaining some measure of sanity). :)

boulet
07-03-2008, 01:00 PM
Why are you complaining ? Liches are like the best villains ever :

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/images/oots0197.gif

Tamerath
07-03-2008, 01:42 PM
Fourth Edition brought me back to gaming, as I posted elsewhere on this site. the "buzz" on the internet and in various old media outlets piqued my interest, so I bought the books on Amazon and went to a couple of demos...


Wonderful post! I agree that however you feel about D&D, that bringing together new players into our favorite hobby is a wonderful thing. Being a player that's been around the table for years....when I introduced my fiancee to D&D for the first time and saw her smile and love the game as I have...it made me really LOVE this game again.

Engar
07-03-2008, 02:38 PM
Your post reminds me of the comic craze of the 80's. Interest that is trend deep.

EDIT: sorry, my cynical was showing, I hope it brings many great players.

wbrandel
07-03-2008, 02:39 PM
I have played D&D since the first AD&D (TSR) was on the market, with each change D&D seems to get better. I do have high expectations for 4E but as for bringing in new players that is always good. my group is looking forward to the start of the 4E campaign that I am planning, what is most remarkable is that the one who can't wait for each game the most is a 52 year old former Navy SEAL

tesral
07-03-2008, 03:50 PM
Wonderful post! I agree that however you feel about D&D, that bringing together new players into our favorite hobby is a wonderful thing. Being a player that's been around the table for years....when I introduced my fiancee to D&D for the first time and saw her smile and love the game as I have...it made me really LOVE this game again.

Tee hee. My wife has a week off starting tonight. I introduced her to gaming as well.

Mead
07-03-2008, 04:45 PM
I'm trying to introduce my wife to gaming as well. Having to do the roundabout path though, since she initially had zero interest in fantasy gaming of any kind. Gonna use some simple DDM to get her off the mumorpugers (take a hit, baby, the first one's free) and onto the tabletop, and then branch into some solo D&D or maybe Serenity or SG-1. Then we'll see what happens.

Webhead
07-03-2008, 07:11 PM
Is that your Blue Sun tattoo, Mead? :eek: :cool:

gdmcbride
07-03-2008, 07:20 PM
I often joke, the first gamer-doctor I ever met, I married.

I am incredibly fortunate in this arena. My wife is a gamer and was before I even met her. On our first date, she mentioned how years earlier she had played through 'The Temple of Elemental Evil'.

In fact, to this day, we both play in a campaign run by a friend of ours every other week. Of course, as entangled as I am with this hobby, my spouse being a gamer or at least VERY gamer tolerant was practically a given.

Gary

Mead
07-03-2008, 08:50 PM
Is that your Blue Sun tattoo, Mead? :eek: :cool:

Yep :cool:

Check my profile or photo album or some place there in my user info, there's a pic

Talmek
07-03-2008, 09:11 PM
Please allow me to clarify:

When I said "dying", I meant in comparison to the MMO Rush. Table-top RPGs have lost many patrons simply because of the allure of the computer screen. I myself played and still play MMOs, unfortunately because I cannot find a group near where I live. I do not want my hobby to die, but without other players I don't have many options. Sure, I could attempt a play-by-post...but I am one of those that would enjoy interaction, as opposed to posting on a forum (no matter how much I like it :D)

I in no way wished to put words in the OP's mouth. I simply meant that we have lost players from our hobby, that D&D 4th, 5th, or 100th edition will and can be a positive thing if it brings new blood to the fold.

I hope this clears things up a bit.

Stormhound
07-03-2008, 09:56 PM
Oh, there's no doubting the influence of computers on the hobby, though that's both positive and negative (I can't even begin to tell you how many hours of hand-written notes are contained in the large notebook I created for my first campaign...whereas now, I can't imagine trying to run a game without at least having a computer to do the "writing" on).

And I think the MMO Rush may be helpful, in the long run. It opens more people to the concept of RPGs, and some of these are bound to cross over to pnp games. It seems apparent to me that part of 4e is WOTC capitalizing on MMO concepts to facilitate this crossover and get new blood.

And hey, we GMs are always looking for new blood... :madgrin: