Yeah, it's pretty well known in the wargaming/roleplaying community. I prefer the 40k(Dark Heresy + Rogue Trader) and Fantasy roleplays, tried them all for the the first time at my University club, and D&D just didn't do it for me.
I got into warhammer through AD&D back in the early 90's so yeah, theres a few of us around. You will find though that (like 40K) a lot of the veterans go on and on and on about how X edition was so much better...
DnD is one of the most expensive game out there and it's certainly is not the best.
Combats and tests are boring, Combats are too long and the only thing required to survive are high stats and a good magical armor.
Oh, and class levels sucks, there is no way to possibly make a character development system worse than with class levels.
It also comes with a culture of munchkinism. Upgrade are so rare that most people will try to maximise their combat effectiveness instead of taking option that makes sense with the character background.
All in all, DnD is pretty much the inferior one in the RPG world. It's only saving grace is that rolling a dice with a lot of sides is quite fun on it's own.
True it may be but D&D is still by far one of the more popular RPGs out there and for that reason alone it must be doing something right. Previous editions of the game were much better than the current in my opinion (whilst I haven't played the current edition as of yet, reading them that seems to be the case).
You've got a point with it being more expensive though, they are a lot of much cheaper to play RPGs out there.
I think it's PR they are doing right.
It's an old game with a loyal fanbase that defined a whole genre of games. But now, with all the better options, it's pretty much obsolete. It's just that most gamers don't know the other options that deserve more love.
Basically, it's popular because it's well-known, it's well-known because it's popular. It's a positive feedback.
I'd like to bash this game a little more ;D.
I think combats are not deadly enough. The only thing you risk from that firebreathing behemot ? losing HP. Seriously how wrong is that? I want my character to be at risk, When I put him in combat, I want him to risk his skin, I wanna see people getting maimed. I wanna have my character's girlfriend cheating on him because she can no longer bear to see his scared face. I wanna see the other players think before they engage a fight. I wanna make a plan with the other players to tackle that stronghold.
I also hate, really really hate Vancian magic. This thing makes absolutely no sense to me. You're a wizard? fine. You can make fireballs? Good. What? you can engulf the whole room into flame and at the same time cannot light my cigar ? How pathetic! In DnD, the spellcaster progression makes little sense. " Oh yeah, I nuke the whole place, now, I can still go do the iron man, but for some reason I can cast no more spells. That makes sense.
I'd have to say that D&D is actually borderline common knowledge. Nearly everyone I know, including many of my friends parents, know of the game. It's heavily referenced, usually negatively, in TV shows etc.
I haven't played it much, but its an extremely fun game if you have the time and a good dose of creativity amongst the participants.
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