Using Computers with Paper and Pencil Games…

In the previous post, I reference the article HOW DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS COULD MASTER ITS NEXT RETAILING ADVENTURE (BONG RIP NOT INCLUDED) – from Fast Company.

Very interesting article. The vision of an RPG that is played on paper using computer and tablets to enhance the game experience…hmmmm.

OK, first, as always I understand that Wizards of the Coast, as a company owned by Hasbro, seeks to make a profit by selling gaming stuff. I’m good with that.

I’m not sure I really, personally, like the idea of having your character on an app, on a tablet, that somehow interacts with your DM’s computer to track everything. Sure, use the computer to write adventures, create maps to print out, prep work, and all that, but leave the paper, pencils, and dice in the game, at the tabletop! That is part of the experience!

When I was a young kid, I learned about probability from playing D&D. I learned what a bell curve is. When I got to college I was ahead of my classmates in that area. The computer will rob kids of that experience.

All of us spend enough time looking at display screens already. I don’t see their inclusion in D&D as a big benefit. Oh, maybe the DM has some stuff on a tablet to refer to — that’s not a big deal. But really, I think migrating it to some kind of online/tablet-based thing is dumb.

I disagree with the guy in the article. It’s not all about the story. It is also about the experience. How much can you change the experience before you have lost what was special about RPGs?

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