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interests / rec.games.frp.dnd / Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

SubjectAuthor
* Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthKyonshi
+* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthJustisaur
|`* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthSpalls Hurgenson
| `* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthJustisaur
|  `- Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthSpalls Hurgenson
`* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthdozens
 +- Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthJustisaur
 `* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthKyonshi
  `* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthSpalls Hurgenson
   `* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthKyonshi
    `* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthSpalls Hurgenson
     `* Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthJustisaur
      +- Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthKyonshi
      `- Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental healthSpalls Hurgenson

1
Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (Kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.advocacy,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2024 09:03:22 +0200
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 by: Kyonshi - Sat, 13 Apr 2024 07:03 UTC

Source:
https://www.jcu.edu.au/news/releases/2024/april/dungeons-and-dragons-may-improve-mental-health

Researchers have found that people who play the game Dungeons and
Dragons (D&D) show improvements in their mental health.

James Cook University PhD researcher Alyssia Merrick led the study,
which analysed the effect the game had on 25 people who played over
eight weeks.

She said D&D is a tabletop game involving paper and pen, typically
played over a series of sessions and with three to six people taking on
player characters’ roles and one person who takes on the role of the
Dungeon Master (DM).

“The DM is charged with guiding the players’ journey and plays the role
of enemies and nonplayer characters the players interact with. Players
roll dice to determine the result of game actions. The die roll is
modified by the abilities given to the players’ characters,” said Ms
Merrick.

She said researchers measured aspects of the mental health of 25 people
with a mean age of 28, including eight females. Four had never played
D&D at any level.

They played eight one-hour sessions of D&D over eight weeks before their
mental health was measured again.

“The game involved players tracking a goblin through a cave system after
it had stolen from a town, and players faced monsters and traps as part
of this pursuit,” said Ms Merrick.

She said participants demonstrated significant decreases in depression,
stress and anxiety and significant increases in self-esteem and
self-efficacy over the study period.

“Players often say playing D&D is cathartic and provides a space to
express emotions in the game without concern for outside consequences.
Due to the nature of the game being cooperative, D&D also offers players
a sense of connectedness and a safe space to explore their mental health
problems, allowing them to feel more at ease.

“This work and a growing number of other case studies suggest D&D can be
harnessed to minimise the impact of anxiety symptoms,” said Ms Merrick.

Link to paper here:
https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/81119/1/JCU_Merrick%20et%20al%202023%20AAM.pdf

Contacts
Alyssia Merrick
E: alyssia.merrick@my.jcu.edu.au

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.advocacy,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2024 08:36:54 -0700
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 by: Justisaur - Sat, 13 Apr 2024 15:36 UTC

On 4/13/2024 12:03 AM, Kyonshi wrote:
> Source:
> https://www.jcu.edu.au/news/releases/2024/april/dungeons-and-dragons-may-improve-mental-health
>
> Researchers have found that people who play the game Dungeons and
> Dragons (D&D) show improvements in their mental health.

> They played eight one-hour sessions of D&D over eight weeks before their
> mental health was measured again.

Ugh, I tried running some one hour sessions on roll20. It's just not
long enough, one person has to go eary, or is a bit late and you've lost
a good deal of time. I've run and played some 2 hour sessions in roll20
and even that feels very short, but it was just barely enough. I had
some 3 hours live sessions which were supposed to be 4, and even that
felt like it wasn't long enough even minimizing the social niceties of
catching up and goodbys. 4 felt like the real minimum it works for. I
used to run 6 hour sessions, but I just don't have the stamina for it
anymore.

I have to wonder if those were online or in person, as I strongly feel
the in person games feel more therapeutic.

I feel like generally computer games are the opposite for mental health,
no studies to go off of, and I love my computer games, but I can tell I
feel worse both mental health and physically after a longer session.
Better than watching TV though, as at least it's still good for your
reactions and staying sharp mentally.

> Link to paper here:
> https://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/81119/1/JCU_Merrick%20et%20al%202023%20AAM.pdf
>

I always used to say D&D keeps me sane. I haven't played a live game
since covid (well maybe 1-3 sessions total) and the last online was over
a year ago. I'm sure the covid lockdown wasn't good for mental health
and I feel far more anxious and depressed than I have perhaps ever (well
no, my mid-late teens/early 20's were worse, combined with life changing
injuries and even more isolation.)

I'm hanging on but I really need to get some D&D or RPGs going. I've
done a bit of soloing in the more distant past, but I don't feel it has
any or much positive mental effect either.

I suppose I should try to get back to the meetups or something, but I
had negligible interest in non 5e last time I tried, which I really
dislike. What I'd really like to see from D&D is a much simplified
current version like the basic sets. (I know there's basic 5e, but it's
still the same rules just with a lot of player options dropped, only 4
classes/races, which isn't the problem.)

--
-Justisaur

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Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: doz...@tilde.team (dozens)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.advocacy,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2024 09:51:30 -0600
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 by: dozens - Sat, 13 Apr 2024 15:51 UTC

On 4/13/24 1:03 AM, Kyonshi wrote:
> Source:
> https://www.jcu.edu.au/news/releases/2024/april/dungeons-and-dragons-may-improve-mental-health
>
> Researchers have found that people who play the game Dungeons and
> Dragons (D&D) show improvements in their mental health.

Came here to post this. Got scooped by Kyonshi. Typical day :)

Good find though. When I was going through tough times (coincidentally
around the start of the pandemic) I could tell that ttrpgs were a very
important part of my mental healthcare strategy. Even without a
scientific study to prove it. Stories of empowerment, and just feeling
something other than trauma for a little while, made a huge difference
for me.

Highlights:

> A typical leisure playing session of D&D lasts between 3 to 8 hr. The
current study split up the typical session of eight hours into eight 1
hr sessions over 8 weeks.

My longest regular sessions used to max out around 4 hours. My shortest
regular sessions run 2 hours. 8 hours sounds unimaginable to me! I have
to assume there would be tons of breaks baked in. But still. Also, 1
hour seems like it would be very challenging to pull off and still get
the feeling of having played a "complete" session.

> A D&D module was specifically developed for the current study. It was
written by two of the aforementioned DMs [...] This quest involved
players tracking a goblin who had stolen a town’s belongings through a
cave system (PCs found themselves facing monsters and traps as part of
this pursuit). The quest culminated in a social dilemma, in which the
goblin confessed to stealing the town’s items to feel as if they fit
into regular society. Through their combined effort, PCs were able to
resolve the conflict with the goblin and return the missing items to the
town, where they were heralded as heroes.

I wonder if the author(s) would be willing to publish the module. I'd be
interested in reading it at the very least for the sake of novelty.
Maybe even playing through it!

> D&D is an example of play. Play has been defined as an unproductive
activity, governed by rules and facilitated using make-believe

I think the existence of this study challenges this definition! What is
unproductive about significantly decreasing depression, stress, and
anxiety; and increasing self-esteem and self-efficacy?

> Given that play facilitates escapism in a form that is usually
positive and enjoyable, it may therefore lead to flow

The whole section on flow, starting on page 10, is really good.

The conclusion makes me wonder whether D&D has decreased efficacy
compared to other ttrpgs. Specifically ones that aren't so heavily
focused on combat and violence. On the other hand, D&D does tend to have
very clear and accomplishable goals, which can feel very good when one
is otherwise experiencing a lot of hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed.

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.advocacy,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
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 by: Justisaur - Sat, 13 Apr 2024 17:00 UTC

On 4/13/2024 8:51 AM, dozens wrote:
> On 4/13/24 1:03 AM, Kyonshi wrote:
> > A D&D module was specifically developed for the current study. It was
> written by two of the aforementioned DMs [...] This quest involved
> players tracking a goblin who had stolen a town’s belongings through a
> cave system (PCs found themselves facing monsters and traps as part of
> this pursuit). The quest culminated in a social dilemma, in which the
> goblin confessed to stealing the town’s items to feel as if they fit
> into regular society. Through their combined effort, PCs were able to
> resolve the conflict with the goblin and return the missing items to the
> town, where they were heralded as heroes.
>
> I wonder if the author(s) would be willing to publish the module. I'd be
> interested in reading it at the very least for the sake of novelty.
> Maybe even playing through it!

I'd love to try some specifically 'theraputic' modules.

> > D&D is an example of play. Play has been defined as an unproductive
> activity, governed by rules and facilitated using make-believe
>
> I think the existence of this study challenges this definition! What is
> unproductive about significantly decreasing depression, stress, and
> anxiety; and increasing self-esteem and self-efficacy?

Yes. Of course what really needs to happen is a larger study with a
control group. Of course finding other activities that don't have any
impact one way or another may be difficult. Is it better than an hour
of yoga, meditation, acupuncture, prayer, reading, playing a CRPG etc.

> > Given that play facilitates escapism in a form that is usually
> positive and enjoyable, it may therefore lead to flow

> The whole section on flow, starting on page 10, is really good.

I hadn't read the paper, I just saw a lot of formulae and numbers early
and decided it was above me. Thanks for pointing that out. Some good
quotes:

"If a D&D game’s challenge level is too high, players are likely to feel
anxious. If the challenge level is too low, players may feel bored."

People have different levels of that though and it can be hard to get
into a game that has the right level for you. It's not just that
though. I feel like 5e is too mechanical and slow and leads to boredom.
My own system ended up too fast on the other hand, which I didn't
think was possible before making it. I over-optimized for speed of play
which I didn't have an answer for. It's also hard to know as I was the
one running it, was that just because I was so familiar with it?

I feel like Dungeon Robber (which I partially based it on) may go that
direction for live play as well (while it feels a bit slow playing the
CRPG version.)

> The conclusion makes me wonder whether D&D has decreased efficacy
> compared to other ttrpgs. Specifically ones that aren't so heavily
> focused on combat and violence. On the other hand, D&D does tend to have
> very clear and accomplishable goals, which can feel very good when one
> is otherwise experiencing a lot of hopelessness and feeling overwhelmed.

It sounds like the adventure they did may not have had much if any
combat in it though as it talks about tracking down a goblin who stole
things and finding out the goblin just felt like it didn't fit in, and
stole things to feel like it did (no mention of how the PCs reacted or
solved it at that point.)

That may go toward that balance though, Even back in 2e I felt that
about half non-combat activities and half combat was a good balance.
All of the 5e I've played has been far on the side of combat,
exacerbated by the slow and prolonged combat system, and even skills
being mechanical resolutions.

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
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\\
^'

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2024 14:07:47 -0400
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Sat, 13 Apr 2024 18:07 UTC

On Sat, 13 Apr 2024 08:36:54 -0700, Justisaur <justisaur@yahoo.com>
wrote:
>On 4/13/2024 12:03 AM, Kyonshi wrote:
>> Source:
>> https://www.jcu.edu.au/news/releases/2024/april/dungeons-and-dragons-may-improve-mental-health

>> Researchers have found that people who play the game Dungeons and
>> Dragons (D&D) show improvements in their mental health.

>> They played eight one-hour sessions of D&D over eight weeks before their
>> mental health was measured again.

>Ugh, I tried running some one hour sessions on roll20. It's just not
>long enough, one person has to go eary, or is a bit late and you've lost
>a good deal of time. I've run and played some 2 hour sessions in roll20
>and even that feels very short, but it was just barely enough. I had
>some 3 hours live sessions which were supposed to be 4, and even that
>felt like it wasn't long enough even minimizing the social niceties of
>catching up and goodbys. 4 felt like the real minimum it works for. I
>used to run 6 hour sessions, but I just don't have the stamina for it
>anymore.

>I have to wonder if those were online or in person, as I strongly feel
>the in person games feel more therapeutic.

While I generally agree with the sentiment that longer sessions make
for better games, I'd guess that the therapeutic benefits come not
actually from the gameplay, but the social interaction. If you're
stuggling mentally, just being able to come together and open up -
even if its only for an hour - is going to be incredibly helpful.

I mean, as much as I love the game and will cheerfully tout its
virtues, it's not really D&D that's the magic. Getting these same
people together to build Lego with others or freeform theater or any
other similar activity would probably have the same effect. It's about
getting people together, in a relaxed environment, where they can open
up and trust themselves and others. It just happens that D&D is good
at this, and is seen as a 'fun' activity suitable for both kids and
adults.

Making the games longer than an hour would have a negative effect,
especially since (as I'm sure we all can attest) getting people
together for any significant amount of time can be very difficult. And
- especially if you're struggling with your own issues - longer
sessions might just be too exhausting.

TL;DR: I'm fine with the one hour sessions. I'm just hoping that it
will lead these players to keep at the game and join the rest of us as
we play through the night.*

* not that I can do that anymore. But back in the day we'd do 12+
hours at a stretch if we could. ;-P

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2024 06:23:03 -0700
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 by: Justisaur - Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:23 UTC

On 4/13/2024 11:07 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:

> * not that I can do that anymore. But back in the day we'd do 12+
> hours at a stretch if we could. ;-P

Oof. I don't think I ever did that long, We did have some Saturday
night sessions that went from like 9 pm to 6 am. That was probably more
too late than too long.

I played games at a con for probably 16 hours minus meals and some
breaks when I was 15, but they were different games.

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
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\\
^'

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2024 10:17:40 -0400
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Mon, 15 Apr 2024 14:17 UTC

On Mon, 15 Apr 2024 06:23:03 -0700, Justisaur <justisaur@yahoo.com>
wrote:
>On 4/13/2024 11:07 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:

>> * not that I can do that anymore. But back in the day we'd do 12+
>> hours at a stretch if we could. ;-P

>Oof. I don't think I ever did that long, We did have some Saturday
>night sessions that went from like 9 pm to 6 am. That was probably more
>too late than too long.

>I played games at a con for probably 16 hours minus meals and some
>breaks when I was 15, but they were different games.

When I was younger*, our gang would meet up around noon and keep at it
until two or three in the morning. It wasn't constant playing - we'd
have breaks for lunch and dinner, sometimes even leaving the
basement!** And there were constant diversions in between - some even
game related! - from discussions about music, fencing instructions, or
showing off the latest video game.

And oh-so-many Python*** quotes.

Out of the 12 or so hours, we'd have maybe six or seven actual
'game-play'. It was mostly just a chance for some young men and women
to get together and have fun every other week.

As we got older - and our time became more precious - those long
sessions became only fond memories. Now we're LUCKY if we can extend
it to six hours (with usual time off for dinner breaks), and it was
usually closer to three or four hours.

Sadly, these days the average is rolling around zero. Covid really did
a number on our group...

* A bit older than you were in your con-days
** we didn't actually play in the basement
*** Monty, not the computing language. That I have to make such a
distinction just goes to show how much the culture has shifted over
the past three decades ;-)

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (Kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd,rec.games.frp.advocacy,rec.games.frp.misc
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2024 13:31:43 +0200
Organization: Campaign Wiki
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 by: Kyonshi - Wed, 17 Apr 2024 11:31 UTC

On 4/13/2024 5:51 PM, dozens wrote:
> On 4/13/24 1:03 AM, Kyonshi wrote:
>> Source:
>> https://www.jcu.edu.au/news/releases/2024/april/dungeons-and-dragons-may-improve-mental-health
>>
>> Researchers have found that people who play the game Dungeons and
>> Dragons (D&D) show improvements in their mental health.
>
> Came here to post this. Got scooped by Kyonshi. Typical day :)

I got admit I am trying to fill the frp-hierarchy with a bit more life,
because I think it's kind of sad if it disappears. After all
..storyteller and .industry already got kicked out of the big eight. So I
periodically check for appropriate news to post. It's a bit of a pet
project.

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2024 18:29:40 -0400
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Wed, 17 Apr 2024 22:29 UTC

On Wed, 17 Apr 2024 13:31:43 +0200, Kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:

>I got admit I am trying to fill the frp-hierarchy with a bit more life,
>because I think it's kind of sad if it disappears. After all
>.storyteller and .industry already got kicked out of the big eight. So I
>periodically check for appropriate news to post. It's a bit of a pet
>project.

And its appreciated.

Even the smallest effort can keep a newsgroup alive. For whatever
reason, a lot of people don't like to create new threads, preferring
only to respond to existing posts. But if nobody posts, there's no
traffic. No traffic, no reason to read. No reason to read, people stop
visiting. And then the newsgroup dies.

But even an occassional post can keep a newsgroup going on
indefinitely. More posts encourage others to step up and start their
own threads. People come back, participate. There's a lot of lurkers
out there just waiting for a reason to keep reading Usenet.

So thank you for your posts. Usenet is a precious resource and
something close to my heart, and anything to keep it alive is quite
welcome.

(I just wish I had more to say about frp.dnd... but I'm barely
involved in the game anymore and completely out of touch with the
latest trends. I mean, I guess we could rehash old issues, like: who
would in a fight, Drizzt Duorden or Elminster? ;-)

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (Kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2024 01:15:57 +0200
Organization: Campaign Wiki
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 by: Kyonshi - Wed, 17 Apr 2024 23:15 UTC

On 4/18/2024 12:29 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:

> (I just wish I had more to say about frp.dnd... but I'm barely
> involved in the game anymore and completely out of touch with the
> latest trends. I mean, I guess we could rehash old issues, like: who
> would in a fight, Drizzt Duorden or Elminster? ;-)
>
>

cue to me ranting how the Forgotten Realms are the worst of the DnD
settings and really never should have become as popular as they somehow are

:P

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2024 16:30:40 +0000
From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2024 12:30:39 -0400
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Thu, 18 Apr 2024 16:30 UTC

On Thu, 18 Apr 2024 01:15:57 +0200, Kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:

>On 4/18/2024 12:29 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>
>> (I just wish I had more to say about frp.dnd... but I'm barely
>> involved in the game anymore and completely out of touch with the
>> latest trends. I mean, I guess we could rehash old issues, like: who
>> would in a fight, Drizzt Duorden or Elminster? ;-)
>>
>>
>
>cue to me ranting how the Forgotten Realms are the worst of the DnD
>settings and really never should have become as popular as they somehow are

I actually quite enjoyed the original "Forgotten Realms" setting, as
described in the originally grey-boxed AD&D release. A lot of my own
campaign material emulated the style of its 'Cyclopedia of the Realms'
sourcebook. It was only later that the setting started to annoy me, as
it became ever-more magic-heavy and every corner of it was detailed by
TSR/WOTC, leaving no room for exploration or development by players
and DMs. Forcing obvious fantasy-equivalents to real-world places
(Kara Tur = China! Maztica = Central America! Al Qadim = Mythic
Arabia!) didn't help; it just made the entire construct feel all the
more disjointed. And once certain characters started gaining undue
popularity, the whole thing started feeling weirdly tiny and
soap-operaish ("Oh look, Drizzt Duorden is in this adventure too!")

The "Forgotten Realms" was never /great/, but in its original form, it
was a good 'starting point' - a baseline 'adventure world' - for
beginner players, I think. It certainly appealed to me more than the
"Mystara" setting of BECMI D&D, or Greyhawk.

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: justis...@yahoo.com (Justisaur)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2024 08:10:18 -0700
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 by: Justisaur - Fri, 19 Apr 2024 15:10 UTC

On 4/18/2024 9:30 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
> On Thu, 18 Apr 2024 01:15:57 +0200, Kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On 4/18/2024 12:29 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>
>>> (I just wish I had more to say about frp.dnd... but I'm barely
>>> involved in the game anymore and completely out of touch with the
>>> latest trends. I mean, I guess we could rehash old issues, like: who
>>> would in a fight, Drizzt Duorden or Elminster? ;-)
>>>
>>>
>>
>> cue to me ranting how the Forgotten Realms are the worst of the DnD
>> settings and really never should have become as popular as they somehow are
>
> I actually quite enjoyed the original "Forgotten Realms" setting, as
> described in the originally grey-boxed AD&D release. A lot of my own
> campaign material emulated the style of its 'Cyclopedia of the Realms'
> sourcebook. It was only later that the setting started to annoy me, as
> it became ever-more magic-heavy and every corner of it was detailed by
> TSR/WOTC, leaving no room for exploration or development by players
> and DMs. Forcing obvious fantasy-equivalents to real-world places
> (Kara Tur = China! Maztica = Central America! Al Qadim = Mythic
> Arabia!) didn't help; it just made the entire construct feel all the
> more disjointed. And once certain characters started gaining undue
> popularity, the whole thing started feeling weirdly tiny and
> soap-operaish ("Oh look, Drizzt Duorden is in this adventure too!")
>
>
> The "Forgotten Realms" was never /great/, but in its original form, it
> was a good 'starting point' - a baseline 'adventure world' - for
> beginner players, I think. It certainly appealed to me more than the
> "Mystara" setting of BECMI D&D, or Greyhawk.
>

I loved the original 1e gray box, the Waterdeep supplement added some
really nice tables for things like picking pockets. 2e after
spellplague was so-so. While the novels were o.k. for high-fantasy
pulp, I found they made my job harder as a DM as many of my players knew
them far better than I did and I always felt changes to the world would
be criticized. They weren't but I felt the imagined pressure and
pressure to constrain my adventures to the written setting.

--
-Justisaur

ø-ø
(\_/)\
`-'\ `--.___,
¶¬'\( ,_.-'
\\
^'

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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From: gmke...@gmail.com (Kyonshi)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2024 01:29:42 +0200
Organization: Campaign Wiki
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 by: Kyonshi - Fri, 19 Apr 2024 23:29 UTC

On 4/19/2024 5:10 PM, Justisaur wrote:
> On 4/18/2024 9:30 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>> On Thu, 18 Apr 2024 01:15:57 +0200, Kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On 4/18/2024 12:29 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>>
>>>> (I just wish I had more to say about frp.dnd... but I'm barely
>>>> involved in the game anymore and completely out of touch with the
>>>> latest trends. I mean, I guess we could rehash old issues, like: who
>>>> would in a fight, Drizzt Duorden or Elminster? ;-)
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> cue to me ranting how the Forgotten Realms are the worst of the DnD
>>> settings and really never should have become as popular as they
>>> somehow are
>>
>> I actually quite enjoyed the original "Forgotten Realms" setting, as
>> described in the originally grey-boxed AD&D release. A lot of my own
>> campaign material emulated the style of its 'Cyclopedia of the Realms'
>> sourcebook. It was only later that the setting started to annoy me, as
>> it became ever-more magic-heavy and every corner of it was detailed by
>> TSR/WOTC, leaving no room for exploration or development by players
>> and DMs. Forcing obvious fantasy-equivalents to real-world places
>> (Kara Tur = China! Maztica = Central America! Al Qadim = Mythic
>> Arabia!) didn't help; it just made the entire construct feel all the
>> more disjointed. And once certain characters started gaining undue
>> popularity, the whole thing started feeling weirdly tiny and
>> soap-operaish ("Oh look, Drizzt Duorden is in this adventure too!")
>>
>>
>> The "Forgotten Realms" was never /great/, but in its original form, it
>> was a good 'starting point' - a baseline 'adventure world' -  for
>> beginner players, I think. It certainly appealed to me more than the
>> "Mystara" setting of BECMI D&D, or Greyhawk.
>>
>
> I loved the original 1e gray box, the Waterdeep supplement added some
> really nice tables for things like picking pockets.  2e after
> spellplague was so-so.  While the novels were o.k. for high-fantasy
> pulp, I found they made my job harder as a DM as many of my players knew
> them far better than I did and I always felt changes to the world would
> be criticized.  They weren't but I felt the imagined pressure and
> pressure to constrain my adventures to the written setting.
>
>

I came into Forgotten Realms in 2e, after already having read a few
novels and played a few games I sprung for the campaign set. And I felt
it was grating in ways that few other settings have been. There was the
feeling about the whole setting material that this was basically just a
theme park of a world, where even if you don't succeed, some high level
NPC will swoop in and save everyone.
I did notice the barely logical worldbuilding in other settings as well.
I have a fondness for Mystara. But at least that setting didn't throw a
bunch of high level NPCs at you that were just there to show you how
much you and your party sucked.

Even then I was ok with the setting until the switch to 3rd edition
happened and the setting had a time jump of a few decades. That's
basically the best sign for a setting to say: yeah, the designers don't
care about this setting, why should you?

It is my understanding that by now multiple further jumps have happened.

Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

<hul72jhanbld89fpefg9d6038e3dri2non@4ax.com>

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From: spallshu...@gmail.com (Spalls Hurgenson)
Newsgroups: rec.games.frp.dnd
Subject: Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health
Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2024 11:14:01 -0400
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 by: Spalls Hurgenson - Sat, 20 Apr 2024 15:14 UTC

On Fri, 19 Apr 2024 08:10:18 -0700, Justisaur <justisaur@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>On 4/18/2024 9:30 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>> On Thu, 18 Apr 2024 01:15:57 +0200, Kyonshi <gmkeros@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> On 4/18/2024 12:29 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>>
>>>> (I just wish I had more to say about frp.dnd... but I'm barely
>>>> involved in the game anymore and completely out of touch with the
>>>> latest trends. I mean, I guess we could rehash old issues, like: who
>>>> would in a fight, Drizzt Duorden or Elminster? ;-)

>>> cue to me ranting how the Forgotten Realms are the worst of the DnD
>>> settings and really never should have become as popular as they somehow are

>> The "Forgotten Realms" was never /great/, but in its original form, it
>> was a good 'starting point' - a baseline 'adventure world' - for
>> beginner players, I think. It certainly appealed to me more than the
>> "Mystara" setting of BECMI D&D, or Greyhawk.

>I loved the original 1e gray box, the Waterdeep supplement added some
>really nice tables for things like picking pockets. 2e after
>spellplague was so-so.

Honestly, the quality was going down even before that. The 1st Edition
supplements ('FR1 Waterdeep and the North' through 'FR6 Dreams of the
Red Wizards' (1988), why yes, I do still own all my old books why do
you ask? ;-) retained a lot of the feel of the original campaign
setting. But the world-building started declining after that, and by
the time 'FR13 Anauroch' (1991) released, there was little reason to
stick with the Forgotten Realms after that. TSR was pumping out too
much material, too quickly and with too little review* and it resulted
in a very messy setting.

The 2E/3E Spellplague transition was just the icing on a very shitty
cake, by that time.

>While the novels were o.k. for high-fantasy
>pulp, I found they made my job harder as a DM as many of my players knew
>them far better than I did and I always felt changes to the world would
>be criticized. They weren't but I felt the imagined pressure and
>pressure to constrain my adventures to the written setting.

Fortunately, I very rarely had to deal with that, since most of my
campaigns were in a home-brew setting. But we occassionally played in
the Forgotten Realms (usually when one of the players wanted to try
their hand at DMing) and what you described was a definite problem.
Although it was less pressure to conform, and more an issue with every
player KNOWING too much about the world. "Oh, let's go visit
Elminster" or "Red Wizards are all evil bastards" or "that skull
symbol is actually the mark of the secretive cult of Myrkul".

As much as we might have tried to avoid 'player knowledge = PC
knowledge', so much of the lore was so commonly known that it was hard
to avert. Between the novels, comics, video games and immense hoard of
official supplements, we all were saturated with Forgotten Realms lore
and it pretty much ruined all sense of mystery and wonder... which I'd
argue is an important part of any fantasy setting.

Which is probably another reason why the original material resonates
so fondly with me; it came out before all the magic was gone from the
setting.

* inevitable commentary about Lorraine Williams doubtlessly to follow


interests / rec.games.frp.dnd / Re: Study: Dungeons and Dragons may improve mental health

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