Roleplaying Pro is hosting this month’s RPG Blog Carnival (which I will be hosting next month, so stay tuned). The topic is The Future of Roleplaying. Sam of Roleplaying Pro has posed a few questions to the community, which I will answer and then I’ll give my thoughts on how the next edition of world’s most popular roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, will look in the not-so distant future.
What games do you see emerging as the big players in the near future?
I am not plugged enough to be aware of any new systems that will be released in the near future, with the exception of the Pathfinder RPG. I expect that when it splashes down from the heavens on August 13th during GenCon 2009, that it will sell out each day (assuming Paizo withholds product to release every day), especially considering that the incomplete BETA rules that could be downloaded for FREE sold out last year! I know a lot of people are waiting for the final hardback print edition after having watched the beta evolve over the last year or more.
Otherwise, I don’t really see any shift in the status quo. D&D (in its current incarnation) will continue to hold the lion’s share of the market followed closely by White Wolf and Paizo (though whether or not Paizo usurps the number two spot will be interesting). Though I do think a big shake-up would do the industry some good.
What companies should we be watching out for to release the next big product?
I would keep my eye on Green Ronin, I know for a fact that they will be announcing something big today, judging from the big countdown on their website. The self-mastered warrior publishing company is a favorite of mine that is constantly developing awesome games and supplements (here’s looking at you Mutants & Masterminds).
That being said, I have heard rumblings about some new faces in the industry that call themselves Nevermet Press. So I would certainly keep my eyes peeled for developments concerning that company.
How will technology become more integrated into roleplaying games?
I think we’ll continue to see online suites of tools emerge and evolve. These will be from independent software developers like SmiteWorks (the developer of Fantasy Grounds) and RP Tools as well as in-house tools produced by game publishers like Dungeons & Dragons Insider.
While these tools will undoubtedly get better, I do not see them becoming the indispensable tools the developers want them to be. More and more players will be utilizing the digital products, but nothing is going to replace a table, some tangible polyhedrons, and physical books. I have some more to say on technology, but I think it is better left for another post.
What industry writer do we need to be on the lookout for?
Me. Seriously though, Jonathan Jacobs, Quinn Murphy, and I collaborated on an article that should be appearing in the Gen Con edition of Kobold Quarterly (issue #10). We plan on doing more together, so be on the lookout.
What blogs do you see exploding into becoming the next big thing?
This is hard one to pin down. What I do expect to see is more burn-out as many of the bloggers that have picked up the habit find that is difficult to consistently create content. The thing I expect the most is seeing a condensing of the RPG blogosphere where several smaller blogs combine their efforts into a larger, more prolific site that might be able to compete with the big dogs (that are usually multi-authored).
What do you see for the future of the industry?
I think the economy is going to be a crucible that will kill off some poorly managed publishers and make everyone ratchet their designs up a notch. I see more RPGs blurring the lines between miniature, board, and card games.
The fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons continues to ease the burden of preparation and decision making of players and dungeon masters alike by prepackaging dungeon tiles, monster minis, and player character minis, and power cards into all inclusive kits that can accommodate up to six players.
These kits include the rulebook, three adventures that re-use the included reversible adventure tiles and monster minis, six player character minis, power cards, treasure cards, condition tokens, and a single d20. All you need to play!
The power cards are exchangeable, allowing players to truly customize their character. For improved customization, there will also be quarterly expansion pack releases for each of the major components: treasure, powers, monster minis, player minis, and adventure tiles. These collectable expansions give the Dungeon Master and players access to uncommon and rare components for use in your game.
Don’t forget to register your collection with D&DI where you can use the items you receive from the collectable expansions in automated adventures where you can game with your group online or play with thousands of other players across the globe!