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What’s the first rule of 4e D&D you might ask? Don’t tell anyone it’s 4e.

I am sick of hearing people talk about Pathfinder like it’s anything other than re-branding of 3e D&D. I have to stifle a laugh whenever I hear someone say, “I’ve never played D&D, but I have a Pathfinder character.”

The greatest trick Pathfinder ever pulled was convincing players it wasn’t D&D.

But maybe that is at the heart of its success.

One of the most common phrases I hear among people — gamers or otherwise — who never got into D&D, is “I was always interested in D&D, but I never tried it.”

For some reason, perhaps due to Pop Culture Osmosis, there is a persistent air of mystique around D&D. I think the majority of players who’ve been at it for a few years know otherwise — but D&D is still seen as a lofty nerd paradise.

I think the easiest way to attract players to a game at this point — is to quite literally not tell them what game they’re playing — bizarre expectations have been built up around the D&D brand, to the point where I think WotC would probably turn a better profit if they released an RPG in direct competition with themselves.

The post title could alternatively be:
The first rule of D&D is, don’t tell anyone it’s D&D.

Good grief.