Raven on tombstone

The Death of Tabletop RPGs: Did D&D Doom Us?

I… really should write more posts. I’ve been meaning to, but blah blah sorry sob story… whatever. You’re not here about that, you’re here because of my clickbaity title, which means you probably care either about proving me wrong, the title hit a nerve, or you’re genuinely curious about my ominous predictions about the death of tabletop RPGs.

Raven on tombstone

Actually, there might be some other reason why you’re here, so scratch that. I’m not omnipotent. I’m not even semi-potent. Most of the time, I’m just trying to be more than normal. What I’ve learned though, is that normalcy is seldom escapable, and that’s a good thing.

Most roleplayers like to live on the fringes. Most of us were goths when goths were a thing, or punks, or the emo kids, or drama students. We’re the kind of people who wilt in the sunlight, who can’t throw balls, who use words like ‘dimwitted’ and ‘Ludite’ to mock others and feel intellectually superior. I’m exaggerating and generalizing here, but in my experience, few of us ever thought ourselves normal.

For some of us, normal is a swearword. We’d never want to gain that label.

But then D&D 5e came along, and suddenly TTRPGs were immensely popular. And “normal” kids were playing them. For some of us, it felt like a betrayal. Like we’d lost our last refuge to the football jocks.

Of course, there’s a bright side to all this. TTRPGs are doing well, and more of us are getting to make a living producing content for our favorite collaborative games. Roleplaying is more accessible than ever before, and that’s worth celebrating.

But that doesn’t mean the grognards need to like it.

So, kids, if you ever hear an old-school gamer ranting about the death of RPGs, or about how Warhammer FRP 1e or Vampire the Masquerade is better than Dungeons & Dragons could ever be, just let it slide.

The hobby isn’t dying, but evolution can be painful.


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