Sunday, August 7, 2011

The way forward is back in the past...Basic D&D revived.

As the D&D RPG is in a state of flux and the way forward is yet to be determined I thought a bit about how I would make changes.  The following suggestions assume that one would want to use Basic D&D to grow a player base by acquiring new players, it is not the end all be all of a full plan, just focused on new player acquisition .

Goal: Remove barrier to entry on playing, price, and presentation.  No boxes, no hard back tomes, nothing above $5.

Plan: Create a simplified instant play adventure series.  Each with 4 pre-made characters.  Individual adventures should be comic book sized in page count and presentation.  These are cheap to print, easy to stock and impulse purchase friendly. Ideally create a monthly adventure series meant to guide characters from 1st to 3 rd level over a year of play.  This is the new Basic D&D and adventure series year one would be "The Caves of Chaos"

The center page of each issue would be the map for each adventure.  Each comic would have an unlock code allowing you to go online and unlock a digital version of the adventure, and a online comic book version of the whole adventure played out by the pre-gens featured in the adventure. Every 6 issues would be combined into a book (graphic novel sized and priced $20 and would contain the adventures and the printed online comic series)

2) The core adventure rules would be part of issue one (double sized issue!) and could be downloaded for free online after that.

3) A basic (all red) dice set could be made and offered cheaply ($3 or $4) or if you subscribed to a years worth of issues you get a deluxe set free.  These could be pearl or glitter or something else with a dragon image on the d6 and a set of exclusive pre-painted figures (old D&D mini sculpts).

4) The year end annual would have a final adventure and rules to create your own characters (4 basic classes)

Impossible? Preposterous? TSR did something similar before, but I think it was a bit unfocused and random.

This would be the starting point for entry into the D&D system.  One might even allow this Basic D&D rules system to be OGL to stimulate the comic and game industry supporting this vehicle of game play/ comic combo.  That way they support and spread the growth of your entry rules broadly.  Imagine a Batman, or Spider man adventure comic.  Now tie your basic rules set to a super hero movie comic?  That's gold Jerry!  Nintendo used to allow 3rd party games but they had to be reviewed for quality before publishing.  The infamous Nintendo seal of quality.  Why not do the same and requires a D&D approved logo on every "action comic" that is licensed and approved.  They did ads in comics back in the day, why not do more.

 Anyway, there is a lot more but what do you want for free?


JDJarvis said...

sounds sensible to me.

Fenway5 said...

@JDJ its an idea to put the games in front of possible new fans in a different more friendly format. My not be a great idea but its a start.

Venger Satanis said...

I'd change it to 6 player character types and speed progress - 3rd level after a year of playing? That's the saddest thing I've ever read!