Okay. Before I begin this post, let me preface it by telling you what sparked it (although in all fairness I’m been mulling it over for a few weeks). I tried to organize a D&D Game Day for the upcoming date for DMG2 and I couldn’t make heads or tails out of the websites for the RPGA, DCI, or any of that stuff (I’m still not sure what DCI is in regards to RPGA). But this post isn’t really about website bashing, or any bashing actually. It’s more a post on looking at the future of the hobby and how the industry needs to not only embrace the DM, but encourage and makes things easy for him to do his job, because without DM’s, players will run to their avatars on MMORPG’s and get off the tabletop. I usually will try to shy away from posts like this because complaining is not really my thing… And again, I’m not attacking anyone here… There’s a message in this post somewhere, but it will be a little convoluted, bear with me.
I’ve been reading some doom and gloom articles recently about the RPG industry. Guys with big names that readers seem to recognize giving expert opinions on the future of the hobby, opinions on print runs and profit margins, and thoughts on what the industry needs to do to survive because the end day is upon us… That’s fantastic if you’re into that stuff. I’m not. I’m more practical. The industry, my friend, needs you. The DM.
You see, the DM is a man of many hats. You run games, you organize them. You may get your group together via emails, or phone calls. You are the glue that holds the 7 guys around the table together. Without you, those guys wouldn’t be there on Friday night rolling dice. Maybe they’d be on a play by post board or something, maybe playing WOW, but neither of those is true tabletopping. The DM is the single most important member of a particular group, because without a DM that group has no reason to be sitting there holding their character sheets.
So then the industry in order to survive, needs to appreciate the DM more. Make our job easier. Make it fun. Make it interesting. Make us feel special. Make us want to do this. WOTC seems to be doing a good job of this with the DM rewards I’ve read about. That’s wonderful, unfortunately for me, navigating that site lead me nowhere if not my WordPress login to write this post. There needs to be an emphasis on the RPG industry as a whole to single out DM’s for what we do. We teach the game to new players! We bring in customers to their fold who’ll hopefully get as much out of the game as we do! We are their most important customer.
So the future isn’t in whether or not a PDF with black or white line art can sell for as much as a full color art PDF and maintain the profit margin… ughh.. it’s boring just to type that… The future lies in us, we keep these games running. The industry needs to try to keep us running. Make it fun. Make it easy. Make it rewarding. We’ll try to take care of the rest.