How many people did you infect with D&D ?

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How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby shesheyan » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:21 pm

Follow up question to your D&D origines :

Over the years, how many people did you infect/show/teach D&D ?

I had a first group of 5-6 players in the 80s. We learned the game together. My brother learned from me but decided to play with his friends (his age). My second group of 4-5 players was in the 90s and early 2000. They knew how to play when I met them. Same thing for my third group of four players during 4E. Now I'm playing 5E with another group of 4 who already know how to play.

It seems that over a period of 37 years I only thought the game to about 10% of the people I played with. Not sure if this is normal or its indicative of a problem with the growth of the community of RPG players.

How about you?
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby Havard » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:47 pm

Very few people sadly. For the most part we played with the same group we started out with. While the group did change over the years, many were already gamers when they joined. I guess I brought the game to maybe a handful of people, but no more than that.

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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby ghendar » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:44 pm

Like Havard, not nearly enough.
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If the Unapproachable East was so unapproachable, how did anyone get there?
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby Angel Tarragon » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:48 pm

None so far, but I have three people that take a vested interest in everything I have an interest in...so potentially three.
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby RobJN » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:45 am

I've played the game with numerous new-comers, mostly in middle and high school. Couldn't say whether or not (m)any of them kept with it, but I like to think they at least had a good time while we played....
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby timemrick » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:55 pm

I've been gaming for around 35 years, in a variety of systems, so it's actually a bit difficult for me to think back and answer this question. Overall, I've personally introduced very few people to D&D for the first time. However, I have had a handful of players who hadn't played in a long campaign before joining mine, so you could say that I was responsible for nurturing their initial infection. :mrgreen:

The only two groups that I can definitely say I infected were my very first players and my most recent recruits:
  • My first group (in middle school and high school) learned the game together, and I was their DM, so I can count them.
  • My wife and I taught our kids D&D v.3.5, and more recently, D&D 5E.
On the other hand, I have helped inspire a number of players to try DMing themselves:
  • The year after I graduated from college, one of my players ran a game loosely based on my campaign world.
  • I was one of several mutual friends who encouraged my wife to finally DM for the first time.
  • One of the players in my most recent Freeport Pathfinder campaign, who was a longtime CRPGer but had played very little tabletop before my game, ended up running some D&D 5E for us.
  • And I know that my kids want to try running something someday, but they haven't yet.
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby Illuminatus » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:44 pm

I had a lot of first-time players back in college, when our games attracted curious bystanders. Some of them actually started out openly contemptuous of the game…and one of them was running his own campaign a year later! Since then, I’ve had maybe three or four first-timers.

It’s interesting that this topic comes up now, because I’ll be heading home for the holidays and my hometown friends have met someone who always wanted to play and never had a chance. So I’m looking forward to introducing yet another new player to the game. I have some ideas for what I want to do…but if anyone has suggestions for a great first-time adventure I’d be happy to hear them.
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby timemrick » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:49 pm

Illuminatus wrote:It’s interesting that this topic comes up now, because I’ll be heading home for the holidays and my hometown friends have met someone who always wanted to play and never had a chance. So I’m looking forward to introducing yet another new player to the game. I have some ideas for what I want to do…but if anyone has suggestions for a great first-time adventure I’d be happy to hear them.

Which edition(s) do you play? I've have good experiences with The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (module U1, 1e but played it with 2e), Death in Freeport (3.0), and Dead Man's Quest (Dragon Magazine, 3.5).
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby Illuminatus » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:24 am

timemrick wrote:
Illuminatus wrote:It’s interesting that this topic comes up now, because I’ll be heading home for the holidays and my hometown friends have met someone who always wanted to play and never had a chance. So I’m looking forward to introducing yet another new player to the game. I have some ideas for what I want to do…but if anyone has suggestions for a great first-time adventure I’d be happy to hear them.

Which edition(s) do you play? I've have good experiences with The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (module U1, 1e but played it with 2e), Death in Freeport (3.0), and Dead Man's Quest (Dragon Magazine, 3.5).


I play 2e, converting 1e or BECMI as needed.

I have a pdf of Saltmarsh. I’ll definitely give it a read.

For a new player I’d like to do something with a “classic” dungeon-crawl feel (but with enough plot to be more than just hack-n-slash) and finishable in a single session.

An idea that I got at zenopusarchives.blogspot.com has been rattling around in my head: modifying Holme’s old Blue Book dungeon with a plot from Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue” and Howard’s “Rogues in the House.”
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:17 pm

I don't think I have actively recruited any newbie players to play D&D.

But I have pointed a lot of people at resources that can help them.

And I do try to help fans of lesser known D&D settings find each other.
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby shesheyan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:13 pm

Seems I've infected more people that I remembered at first. I worked for a gaming store for about a year and sold several D&D 3E books during that time. I remember doing, at least, 2 demo games to groups of 4-5 players. Which leads me to think that local gaming stores are probably the most active promoters of RPGs to potential new players.
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:06 pm

shesheyan wrote:Seems I've infected more people that I remembered at first. I worked for a gaming store for about a year and sold several D&D 3E books during that time. I remember doing, at least, 2 demo games to groups of 4-5 players. Which leads me to think that local gaming stores are probably the most active promoters of RPGs to potential new players.


Not according to The Verge. They say they have been told that 50% of 5e fans are trying D&D after watching live-streamed D&D games.

I will have to see if AuldDragon's live-streamed Spelljammer show makes anyone start playing D&D.
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby shesheyan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:15 pm

Big Mac wrote:
shesheyan wrote:Seems I've infected more people that I remembered at first. I worked for a gaming store for about a year and sold several D&D 3E books during that time. I remember doing, at least, 2 demo games to groups of 4-5 players. Which leads me to think that local gaming stores are probably the most active promoters of RPGs to potential new players.


Not according to The Verge. They say they have been told that 50% of 5e fans are trying D&D after watching live-streamed D&D games.

I will have to see if AuldDragon's live-streamed Spelljammer show makes anyone start playing D&D.


Times HAVE changed then. I'm just sad that if people learn of D&D on the internet, they will buy their books on the internet. Yet another segment of the gaming market that doesn't need Brick & Mortar gaming stores... its not surprising many stores have closed in my area.
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Re: How many people did you infect with D&D ?

Postby Big Mac » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:58 pm

shesheyan wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
shesheyan wrote:Seems I've infected more people that I remembered at first. I worked for a gaming store for about a year and sold several D&D 3E books during that time. I remember doing, at least, 2 demo games to groups of 4-5 players. Which leads me to think that local gaming stores are probably the most active promoters of RPGs to potential new players.


Not according to The Verge. They say they have been told that 50% of 5e fans are trying D&D after watching live-streamed D&D games.

I will have to see if AuldDragon's live-streamed Spelljammer show makes anyone start playing D&D.


Times HAVE changed then.


I'm not totally convinced the swing is that big. And I'm not convinced that Critical Role is the major reason for those folks buying D&D books, because I can't see that the WotC bean counters could spot that Critical Roll was that important to customer expansion and then allow Green Ronin to snap up the rights to publishing a Critical Roll book. There must be a reason why WotC decided to sit back, stick with their major focus on Forgotten Realms.

Having said that, WotC have authorised Maze Arcana to do their live-streamed Eberron show (and Keith Baker has helped them). So perhaps this live-streamed show thing is something where they are happy to sit back, let people wanting to create shows assume the risk (and the production cost) and wait for the mass of shows to cause a boost in sales. (From where I stand, organisations like Maze Arcana, who started out with a couple of Eberron shows and have moved onto making Forgotten Realms shows for the official D&D Twitch channel are actually driving people towards WotC's campaign settings, rather than just driving people towards the 5e rules. So I think that WotC might want to see more organisations like Maze Arcana spring up. I think that's why a couple of the Maze Arcana staff are on that specialist DMs Guild scheme, where they get to colaboarte with WotC.)

From my point-of-view, as someone who likes the older D&D worlds, I would actually like it if we had a few more people copying AuldDragon and if there was some way that The Piazza could help those people organise games that showcase the old rules and a wide range of D&D campaign settings. I'm not sure exactly how that could be done...yet, but if The Piazza could help Threshold Magazine and Wildspace: The Spelljammer Fanzine get set up, there has to be a way to do it. (And from where I'm standing, that wouldn't be about driving sales and improving market share or other money stuff. It would be about making it possible for folks that like this live-streaming stuff to see out of print campaign settings...and older rules...that don't get commercial backing. But there would actually need to be a few people that wanted to do the AuldDragon thing, otherwise it would never happen.)

shesheyan wrote:I'm just sad that if people learn of D&D on the internet, they will buy their books on the internet. Yet another segment of the gaming market that doesn't need Brick & Mortar gaming stores... its not surprising many stores have closed in my area.


Bits and Mortar and Free RPG Day are both things where publishers are doing something to help get gamers to go and visit stores. But one of the problems is that not all stores have the space for people to meet up and play tabletop games. IMO, the real way to move forward is to have a building big enough to have a game shop in one part of the building, a place for people to buy drinks and play games in another part of the building and maybe a few private rooms with awesome gaming tables and LCD TVs or projectors for displaying things like maps. Not every brick & mortar gaming store is going to be able to convert over to that sort of model. So I think it's going to be a case of the most fun gaming stores (and the ones that can get a secondary income from gamers popping in for a coffee or lunch) managing to stay in business longer.

One thing that I think is a bigger threat to brick and mortar stores is DriveThru RPG. DriveThru have cut a deal with WotC to supply old D&D books in Print on Demand basis. If gaming stores do not have the ability to buy those books in (at a lower price) so that they can sell them at the same price that means the bricks and mortar stores are totally cut out of that sector of the marketplace. The retrogaming section of the hobby might be a smaller slice of the market, but DriveThru has a monopoly on these sorts of sales.

Considering that DriveThru get their books printed by Lightning Source, they could presumably deliver directly to gaming stores on both sides of the Atlantic (and may just be able to cater to the more distant parts of the world that Kickstarter publishers tend to shy away from). If DriveThru was able to set up some sort of secure client, they might actually be able to sell/hire out a "Print on Demand veiwing unit" that stores could mount in their stores. Customers could then pay at the till and the stores could get deliveries shipped directly to their store. (And if they were selling enough, an entire box of Print on Demand books could be shipped to them in one go.) Stores could also choose to buy in a few PoD versions of old products that expand upon some of the new things that WotC has been publishing.
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