Dungeons & Dragons and the Influence of Tabletop RPGs | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios


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100 thoughts on “Dungeons & Dragons and the Influence of Tabletop RPGs | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios”

  1. nattleszami says:

    Wow that's awesome

  2. jytt13 says:

    Don't forget Jesse Cox!

  3. ValenteFV says:

    Really want to find a place to play

  4. mewtiny says:

    Great video – and I also have always wanted to play (and to find a good DM) but I am dubious about the claims that D&D introduced the notion of equipping your character or levelling up…

  5. HitGirl20 says:

    Thank you for showing so many girls!!!!!

  6. Coldpaws says:

    I don't know where you live, but there may be a meetup (on meetup . com) group in your area for people who play games or even specifically RPGs. I have had a lot of fun meeting new people through meetup so you could give that a try.

  7. Matt Kray says:

    Good work and a nice introduction to the hobby.

  8. Sasha Shepto says:

    god i love these off books

  9. snakestealth24 says:

    Ah the memories. The days of Dueling Grounds. FYI I'm the first face you see in the vid lol.

  10. Joe Weinmunson says:

    It strikes me as odd that almost every game they showed was D&D played using maps and figurines. I've been roleplaying for more than 30 years and we've rarely bothered with maps and minis. Also, I still play D&D on occasion, but prefer games like Savage Worlds, GURPS, Trail of Cthulhu, or Fiasco–just like those rules systems better.

  11. radiofingernail says:

    No discussion of The Forge? Monsterhearts? Nobilis?? Ribbon Drive???? Durance??????? Dungeons and Dragons is the foundation of the culture, but it's moved forward in pretty important and fascinating ways. We don't just tell "heavy stories" about three lobed brains anymore!

  12. SAFR Projects says:

    "Is it Low-Light?"
    "But is it Low-Light?"
    poor DM

  13. Poneet Rahul says:

    this is claiming: progression/evolution requires logic. what games do humans not play or like?

  14. WussGawd says:

    Sigh. It'd be really nice if somebody realized there are games other than Dungeons and Dragons to our hobby. It's arguable that right now, D&D is a smaller RPG than Pathfinder.

    What sci-fi elements in D&D? LOL.

  15. Uniden says:

    Yay dodger

  16. fangirl1030 says:

    i know people meet up for Magic:The Gathering, but wasnt so sure about D&D
    thanks, i'll try that πŸ™‚

  17. Smirnoff Knights says:

    Totes glad our gaming group made it's way into the background of this one for 'asking questions', lol. No, this was a well done little piece honestly. Kudos!

  18. Azure76 says:

    i want to play this now

  19. DM.Michael says:

    Need to get LeVar Burton to review it, "…but don't take MY word for it."

  20. PogieJoe says:

    I didn't know much about RPGs before this but now I have a new respect. Thanks, OffBook!

  21. TheNewAntediluvian says:

    Just play an mmo

  22. Jack McNamee says:

    Psionics, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks. D&D has been heavily influenced by Science Fantasy.

  23. SayburGames says:

    Here you go, /watch?v=7owa_G4Tfms

  24. mknightpixie says:

    I really miss playing D&D. Thanks for making this video.

  25. Hrizzzz says:

    D&D also had a time in which people were calling it evil and cultish. Crazy compared to nowadays.

  26. dojomojomofo says:

    An MMO is inflexible. It works consistently on its own simple set of rules. A good DM knows when and how to bend the rules. Sometimes you even end up in a situation where the players, DM, and rulebooks don't have a plan for the situations you may end up in, so it requires some creativity on the DM's part to continue the game. But in an MMO, there are hard constraints – like running into invisible walls at off-limits areas, or walking somewhere for 20 minutes.

  27. Ja L says:

    cool, 1 day we shall clash

  28. Stephen Chast says:

    I didn't catch it until the second view, but every edition of D&D is represented in these video clips. Well Done!

  29. Arkham Trailer Park says:

    In 1980s during the Satanic Panic books were confiscated, counselors seen, speciasl aired, movies made against D&D. Then again, 1st edition did use real life mythological demons, devils and gods, had much dark content and nudity. There were even stats for Satan in Dragon Magazine issue 28. People were still superstitious in the 70s/80s . And parents hated having children smarter then they were πŸ˜‰

  30. Anthony C Lanni says:

    No credit given for bandarji's photo at 5:15:

    I only noticed because I'm in the shot. πŸ˜‰

  31. Anthony C Lanni says:

    Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, module S3, published in 1980, is probably the best (and possibly the first) example of sci-fi in D&D.

  32. Spoon says:

    I should try real RPGs

  33. Buzzsaw990 says:

    I have always been a nerd, but I never thought of D&D as cool or fun or worth my time. Then my friend can along and dragged my group of friends kicking and screaming into dungeon world. Now we can go more than two weeks without getting the group together. I don't think we will ever stop playing video games but I think we can do both side by side and I think others will too.

  34. The Geeky Hostess says:

    Woot! Thrilled and surprised to find myself in this! Well done, guys!

  35. Palaeoloxodon says:

    yup, and jesse

  36. BlitzWing00 says:

    D&D died for me when it went from 3.5e to 4e. I only see "Dungeons & Dragons" as a label they use to sell stuff that they're trying to say is D&D. Anybody play the new Neverwinter MMO? I have, it's nothing like the original Neverwinter PC game and the 4e rules it's using is nothing like D&D. I'm sure it makes lots of money though.

  37. LucienFirelight says:

    Pathfinder is still releasing new stuff. It is like 3.75 and they are even making an mmo based off of it

  38. BlitzWing00 says:

    Unfortunately my friends insist on playing the current name brand D&D, but I'm grateful Pathfinder has continued where 3.5e left off even though I've never played it.

    What's this about a Pathfinder MMO? I might be interest in that. Hope it turns out awesome!

  39. TheFrostspec says:

    I am a DM and proud of the creativity of my group.

  40. Mike Maverick says:

    I wish I can learn how to play tabletop games. I usually play Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, and now Cardfight Vanguard. On top of that, I play video game RPGs, and I haven't got a chance to experience table top RPGs yet…

  41. Shane Le Plastrier says:

    I played D&D back in the late 70's right thru the 80's, waiting with anticiapation for the postman to arrive with new D&D books and modules, very fond moments playing with mates and that's what it was all about sharing time with mates.

  42. Mustard Lee says:

    I was there!

  43. HeroesOfShadow says:

    Two thoughts– video games are always a wash, and not the same as comparing editions of the tabletop game. Saying that 4e is nothing like any prior edition of DnD is simply the kind of nonsensical criticism I hear from people who love 1st ed or 2nd ed and think 3rd/4th/any other edition is crap. Don't be an "edition warrior". Pathfinder is awesome. Other versions of the game are awesome too, but different people like different things for different reasons.

  44. BlitzWing00 says:

    Baldur's Gate & the original Neverwinter PC games probably played a significant role contributing to the D&D title just like I suspect the novel books did. They felt like D&D.

    4e did feel nothing like anything prior, it's not really a continuation of the spirit of what D&D is. I don't know how you can think that's a good thing. It alienated a good portion of the fans & 4e failed financially as indicated by lay offs. But hey, go slap the D&D title on Shadowrun or some other RPG and call it D&D.

  45. frostxr says:

    Never played a real D&D , was always curious about it. Remember reading some of the books back in high school , that's about as close as I came. Just I wouldn't want to go all hardcore and dress up or anything, But Mansions of Madness will have to scratch that itch for now.

  46. Sean Long says:

    You definitely don't have to "go all hardcore and dress up".

    I've been playing RPGs, D&D included, for …. lord in heaven, thirty-three or thirty-four years, now. I've yet to "dress up" – or as most gamers would call it, go to a game "in garb". πŸ™‚

  47. Sean Long says:

    Heya, Mike.

    Many of the very same stores you've been buying your TCG supplies from, are also frequented by tabletop-RPG players. And many of them have a bulletin board or other place, where you could put up a postcard stating that you're a novice player looking to join a group and learn to play. πŸ™‚

    Good luck, and I hope you have a blast! πŸ™‚

  48. SangoProductions213 says:

    What 4th edition did was take the techniques some players were already using and gave them stats and choices. (Besides…"I swing my sword! I do damage!")
    It gave people an even more strategic element, since you don't have shoe horn rules to work for some crazy maneuver your player comes up with.
    But, it's different from what you're used to, and I can see why you don't like it, you probably wouldn't like the other editions either, based on your comments.

  49. BlitzWing00 says:

    I'm not sure how you can say 4e gave the players more choices when the character customization and skills system was so simplified it felt like I couldn't do anything other than using my attack powers. The spell list was also cut pretty short, it seemed like an arcade game…hit Button A to fire magic missile, over and over again. I don't think it was an improvement, it felt like a bad knock off of D&D.

    Yeah I'm not interested in other editions, 4e 'cured' me of D&D, don't want to play anymore.

  50. SangoProductions213 says:

    Well, there's a saying I like to reference: "Opinions are like a$holes; everyone has one, and they all stink."

  51. BlitzWing00 says:

    Yeah, but my main point was not an opinion. You claimed 4e gave players more choices, I said it overall did the opposite with the reasons I provided. That's not opinion.

  52. SangoProductions213 says:

    You see it as reducing it, I see it as raising it. It's an opinion.
    3.5: you had no real meaningful choices in character creation besides feats, which you got every 3 levels, and at 8th level, you can start taking advanced classes (which takes quite a while, and we never even got there in several of my games).
    Not to mention, melee combat was stale as hell. " I do a spinning back flip and slice his knee!" "Ok, roll your normal damage."
    In 4.0, even characters of same class/race can be different.

  53. SangoProductions213 says:

    I ran out of room, btw, so, just respond again for a continued argument.

  54. Eugene Baldovino says:

    this brings back memories. I used to play Stormbringer, a paranormal one (can't remember the name), and TMNT by Palladium books. I still have my dice. Although, I don't play anymore. I keep my dice in my creative workspace to remind me that it's important to be sponaneous when you're telling stories.

  55. BlitzWing00 says:

    What are you talking about? When you level up you could get new skills, access to new spells, or even take a level of another class giving you access to tons of new stuff. I suppose if you were playing a single class vanilla fighter there won't be much, but that's not the fault of rules.

    4e did focus more on tactical combat with being able sliding enemies to other squares and stuff, IDK if that's what you are saying is more choice. IMO combat is boring, but I still don't see how 4e "raised it".

  56. BlitzWing00 says:

    Also I never said characters in 4e can't be different when they're the same class. Sure they CAN be different in 4e, but in 3.5 they can be REALLY different.

    You keep reference attacking and just doing damage in your comments. Are you just looking at combat? I'm talking about the whole system. If your campaigns focus mostly on combat and very little on role playing, I think both of us were getting very different things out of our D&D sessions. Maybe you don't even use the stuff that was cut.

  57. SangoProductions213 says:

    Because…Roll Playing is the only thing that is decided by the system. You can Role Play anything you want with any system you want. Some are more optimized and have specific rules better suited to it than others, but you could play D&D (any version) in modern day or the Star Wars universe.

  58. fl333r says:

    this seems interesting and I wanna get into it… but wikipedia overwhelmed me when i searched this up and it feels like its impossible to start o(≧o≦)o

  59. Stryder Heap says:

    and i get an ad for tampons and fashion bloggers,…. Really hit the perfect demographic for that one!

  60. BlitzWing00 says:

    The combat system isn't the only important system of D&D nor the only requiring rolls. Skills required rolls too and it assisted in the role playing. Character creation/customization was an important aspect, as well as the spells, lore, and stuff. If you just mainly cared about the combat system, I can understand why you're saying what you're saying….however D&D wasn't just mainly about the combat system, though it apparently it is now. It's less of a RPG now (ROLE Playing Game not ROLL).

  61. SangoProductions213 says:

    Right, I ran out of room in that other post (forgot I didn't get to posting it). I have a strong distaste for the new skill system, I will admit that. I just went ahead and gave conversions so it worked like 3.5 skills.
    But….I still don't see how it's less about Role playing than it ever was. As I stated in my previous comment.
    Character customisation is at a high. Back then, you picked a class, and you were basically like any other barbarian or whatever. Well I already made this argument…

  62. Frank Skov says:

    Excellent, but why only the focus on D&D, theres been a huge development in RPGs besides D&D with more focus on roleplaying and less on combat and dice rolling, such as World of Darkness, Kult, and Fusion

  63. BlitzWing00 says:

    Technically you shouldn't be doing that for the skills, and technically you're not really playing 4e then. I'm not even sure how your argument would be intact if you're swapping out sections of the game like that but saying '4e' gives more choice.

    If somebody picks a class with limited choices I don't think that a fault of the game. Besides I recall fighters can be pretty diverse in 3e.

    4e is less of a RPG because it's mainly more about combat and less other stuff. Warhammer 40k ain't a RPG.

  64. SangoProductions213 says:

    I already made my points, and you have made your's. And, no system is ever perfect.
    As you stated, you don't fault the game for limited choices…so a bit of hypocrisy when you fault this new game for limited skill choices…
    You don't like it. I like it. We aren't going to convince each other of the other's opinions.

  65. SangoProductions213 says:

    just go to a local game store, and ask them if they run D&D games. Often, for newcomers, they'll have pre-made characters so you can get past the complicated parts, and just play. Then, when you feel like you would like to make your own, you can buy the books.
    Also, just reading the Player's Handbook is normally enough to get started if you're new.

  66. BlitzWing00 says:

    Hypocrisy? We're talking about different things. You were talking about a player picking a class that had very limited choices and faulting the system for his picking. I was talking about elements in 3e that had a lot of choices but became more restrictive in 4e. I had nothing to do with Wizards of the Coast choosing to do that.

    If anything, you using a hybrid 4e with elements of 3.5e seems hypocritical, but didn't say it directly trying to be polite.

    I think there's not much else to say here.

  67. MordecaiXLII says:

    Theres is a WH40k RPG. It's called Dark Heresy.

  68. BlitzWing00 says:

    I suspected as much. But I was referring to the WH40k with the models and just table top combat not being a Role Playing Game….I didn't have room to specify. =D

    I have played WH40k and Necromunda a few times way back. It was fun, I just wouldn't have the patience to paint all the neat miniatures. Maybe when 3d printers come out I'll just print them out. =)

  69. Melindaington says:

    It's not so bad. There's a massive amount of info but you don't need to know it all. You'll have the DM and other players to help walk you through it. I've played through a few campaigns and probably only encountered 5% at most of what there is to see/fight/use/etc.

  70. Jeffrey says:

    i need friends to play this…

  71. Uncle Red says:

    Im just getting into DnD now (next year is my grade 12 year), I have a couple friends that are willing and now all we have to do is actually start. I love the idea of using imagination, it makes it more real. And hey id rather have fun with friends this way then the other teenagers now a days by drinking and getting pregnant. so ya im pretty excited to start dnd

  72. Jon Diagram says:

    How about make it reall? like build a map In minecraft and start the storie from there just invite friends and play your map.

  73. Gusstavv's Stuff says:

    I've played almost all D&D worlds, Ghostbusters RPG, Robotech, Call of Cthulhu, Vampire the Masquerade (and all the other series like Werewolf, Mage, etc)… and the best of all always is D&D Γ±__Γ±

  74. HeroesOfShadow says:

    You're still in here, weeks later, at the front line of the edition wars? You need to go over here man: watch?v=yRZ1CYYIsCg

  75. A. K. B says:

    Great basic overview, though I think some of the statements were overly ambitious.

  76. TheModelguy82 says:

    Dude where's the Mountain Dew. I started with 2nd and enjoyed 3 but 4th reminds to much MTG. I hope D&D Next is better system then 4th.

  77. WASDLeftClick says:

    Maybe I should give tabletop RPGs a try someday. I like RPG videogames, so maybe tabletop could be enjoyable too.

  78. Game Master Toolbox says:

    You are talking about a sandbox format of playing.

  79. Game Master Toolbox says:

    You in for some great times, but don't let A-holes spoil your fun.

  80. Game Master Toolbox says:

    Try Google Hangouts. There are a lot of sites you can find with Google plus to get a game going.

  81. Game Master Toolbox says:

    Just go by what the others are playing and stick with that. But if you are the one starting it, why not get a game that is a little rules lighter like BareBones Fantasy. It is only 82 pages. I have a review on my channel if you want to check it out.

  82. Game Master Toolbox says:

    "Technically you shouldn't be doing that for the skills, and technically you're not really playing 4e then." Oh come one now, house ruling a rpg system is just another aspect of the hobby. Just to be sure, I don't have a horse in this race, but that first sentence was a bit off.

  83. Game Master Toolbox says:

    True, basic dnd didn't even had skills or proficiencies which came later, and people still play the fuck out of that. But DnD has always been a game about dungeon exploring. It is where most of the rules concentrate on.

  84. Game Master Toolbox says:

    Oh, check out the complete book of skill by implement games for DnD 4. I did a video about it titled RE: To DawnforgedCast's 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons video.

  85. Game Master Toolbox says:

    Oh and the best part is the pdf is free.

  86. BlitzWing00 says:

    I have nothing against house rules or anybody who uses it. But technically it is still changing the rules, how the game was meant to be played as written by the authors. That's why they have official erratas and corrections. I personally don't care about the rules, but since we were arguing about the editions (set of rules), I have to be technical.

  87. Jon Diagram says:

    yup instead of just imagine you see it.

  88. Venger Satanis says:

    That's precisely the problem with 4th edition. It's too far removed from the original conception of the game where Gygax and others specifically authorize the Dungeon Master to make the game his own and alter whatever rules he sees fit. THAT is D&D, my friend!

  89. BlackAdder6 says:

    As a D&D player who started on 4e, I will have you know our emphasis in games is certainly on story. Its really just about how your specific group plays

  90. Venger Satanis says:

    That's good. Although, there's still a big difference between the macro-story which the DM creates and the micro-stories of player characters which old school rules and gaming philosophy make possible. If you've never read it (short and free), I encourage you to google "Quick Primer for Old School Gaming".

    Also, when I ran 4th edition, combats took a minimum of 45 minutes to get through. I remember major battles with lots of opponents took almost 2 hours to finish! No time for roleplaying.

  91. Alanvalentinus Nala says:

    That Wyth Marshal guy is either
    A. doesn't get out much gaming wise, and thus only works with D&D
    B. Is lying to make him self look good or
    C. A serious Nazi about not using different rules.

    why someone would use D&D to run scifi psychics Ill never know.

  92. Alanvalentinus Nala says:

    what is going on with the girl at6:31? that is not someones game, that is a dramatic performance, what movie or show is that from?

  93. Jonic_P says:

    Man… Wish I could find some place to play D&D, always wanted to but none of my friends play and I don't really know much about D&D

  94. Ronnie Bradley says:

    I like the video although as an old school gamer it does sadden me that the only image of RPGs shown now are with battlemaps and minis when many dont use those for their RPGs (myself amongst them).

  95. Cynic667 says:

    6:35 Hello Dodger!

  96. incredible genki says:

    so awesome video

  97. TheToddFather says:

    I think that the philosophy of playing an RPG will lead to such things as Hologram rooms where "readers" can experience by being part of the story just as it is with pad and pencil in modern times playing RPG's. I love RPG's!!! Wish I lived in an area where there was more then just me that played. I am the lone wolf in my area. I am disabled so I cannot travel any length of time to the larger cities where there are groups.

  98. Lyndon Howlett says:

    OMG I saw jesse cox…

  99. Edelwulf Karlsson says:

    There are a lot more girls per gaming group in that vid than I have ever seen. I see maybe one in every four groups of a half dozen or so guys where I play.

  100. rpgresearch says:

    Just in case you weren't already aware, we have been providing research & information on the effects of all role-playing game formats since 2004. This is a not-for-profit community site sharing as much research with the public as possible. Hopefully you will find it a useful resource.

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