What does D&D mean to me? It’s an important question, because some might think after being laid off (twice) while working on D&D, I might have negative feelings about it. I don’t.
Generation of the world or universe, the setting, is important to numerous aspects of creating media, from novels to games. Careful design can’t be undervalued.
Since that day my first nameless elf died in the gray-ooze cave in The Keep on the Borderlands, I was hooked. I got into roleplaying games over three decades ago because I was interested in the drama.
Canon serves as a framework for a setting, but after that, strict adherence to and advancement of canon along an official timeline is harmful to the setting and its audience.
I believe fifth edition’s success owes much to a studied return to the roots of the D&D game, along with the calculated inclusion of fan favorites from all editions.
In most dictionaries, the definition of “geek” is way behind the times. It’s still classified a pejorative term that implies negative qualities or insular, intellectual behavior. Synonyms include dork, freak, nerd, and weirdo—basically a social misfit. The reason I say this sort of definition, and the people who still use it, are behind the times is because geek has been moving toward chic since Revenge of the Nerds (1984) was in theaters. As the dorks of the 80s grew up and became business leaders, computer specialists, game designers, scientists, writers, and other sorts of accomplished professionals, “geek” has become synonymous with success and disposable income.
You have been sucker punched. As a gamer, you’ve been categorized and used as a negative stereotype to illustrate points about terrible movies. Video games and gamers get a bum rap in film criticism. Film critics seem to like to use video games and the people who play them as a culturally understood idiom. This practice makes the critics look as bad as what they might be criticizing.
If you can’t produce an elevator pitch, your idea isn’t solid enough. All games rely on this initial expression to become all they can be. A lack of focus at such an early stage leads, at least, to wasted work as designers realize a game’s scope needs narrowing. At worst, uncertain direction at the outset is a path of failure. Kitchen-sink design’s best results . . .
Lots of conventions, from PAX to Comicpalooza, have D&D games and organized play. None of them are like D&D Experience. This convention is about hardcore D&D gaming and D&D news. It’s all D&D all the time on official channels. Players who come here come to play the game from sunup until the witching hour. When they’re not playing, they’re learning more about D&D from the experts.
Mysteries must have answers in all roleplaying games. At least, the secrets the players wish for their characters to uncover should have some means of being laid bare. That means the DM, at least, has to know, or have an idea, where a path of exploration leads. In the case of published work, the designers should know such answers and, more important, reveal them.