#RPGaDay2019 9th August: ‘Critical’

August has come around once again which means it’s time for RPGaDay 2019. In a shift from the questions format of previous years this year is characterised by a series of prompts, which I’ll be attempting to answer each day with a short post, with the prompt word highlighted in bold each day.

Day 9: Critical

I wish the success of Critical Role would expand out more into the hobby as a whole. I’ve come across so many new gamers in the last few years that have been drawn in by the show but know of virtually nothing outside of D&D. The hardest part is that many aren’t even interested in trying a different game, whether due to a lack of interest in non-fantasy settings or from the belief that you can just reskin D&D 5th edition ad infinitum. I had hoped we’d seen the back of that after the bubble burst on the 3.5/d20 market. It’s especially frustrating as somebody that got into gaming through a society where virtually every table was running a different system. This isn’t to say that I blame Critical Role or wish it didn’t exist. I think they have made tremendous strides in attracting new people to the hobby and showcasing what is possible. I just wonder what they could achieve if they started expanding out into other systems rather than sticking almost exclusively to D&D. They’ve got a fanbase that would leap onto anything that appeared on the show, to the point that even just discussing a smaller game would probably boost its sales significantly.

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3 thoughts on “#RPGaDay2019 9th August: ‘Critical’

  1. I agree with the point you’re making about too many people treating D&D as the be-all-and-end-all of RPGs, and the prevalence of D&D in streaming shows like Critical Role doesn’t help. But when it comes to specifics, Critical Role ran Call of Cthulhu just last week, and they’ve previously run Deadlands, Vampire: The Masquerade, Tails of Equestria, and they’ve played Honey Heist three times. Other streaming shows/podcasts have even more variety, with The Adventure Zone for example using other games systems for whole campaigns instead of just one-shots.

    I guess I’m saying it’s not as bad as it can look. Critical Role is intimately connected to D&D, but people can still find other great games through it, either through their occasional one-shots or by moving to other similar shows that have more variety in their systems.

    1. Ah, I wasn’t aware that they had done quite that many non-D&D games, from the people I know the only one that’s ever mentioned is Honey Heist. A lot of my issue is from the local gaming scene being heavily D&D orientated with people going on about how amazing Critical Role is but showing no interest in alternatives. Just frustrating given my preference for other systems.

      1. The problem might be that those were only one-shots and not longer campaigns. So they might easily get lost or overlooked if you go through the videolists and they are not converted into their podcast, at least I think.

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