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Kenny Johnson
Works at Merrill Lynch
Attends University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Lives in Milwaukee, WI
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Kenny Johnson

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You're not biased for or against the Xbox One or PS4. You're biased against Nintendo! GAL! :)
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Kenny Johnson

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I also love Borthright! It was the game that got me into AD&D. Great video!
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Kenny Johnson

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Also, a new player used to just need the player's handbook. When I got started I didn't need the dungeon master's guide or monster manual. I don't think there are a whole lot of new player groups forming where everybody is new to role playing games. The market has shrunk too much for that. 
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My daughter. 
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Cutie. :)
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Kenny Johnson

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i purchased your books on Drive Thru to support ya but I think we have a huge philosophical difference in how we game. I don't know if you're as high on verisimilitude as I am. I don't view role-playing games as primarily a storytelling activity. I view them primarily as a game. My job as a DM is to be God. Run the world and be the world. My players job is to live in the world I have created for them. All of the story telling happens from their actions. I am much more about character driven experiences than "story" driven experiences if you get me. A DM is like physics or mathematics in our universe. I always get scared when people start talking about "storytelling" and everything in role-playing games because it (usually) means that I'm about to play through someones draft of their unpublished fantasy book. Or when players start talking about "storytelling" it means I'm about to have to have a player try to force his unpublished fantasy book into the game. One of the big reasons I've hated the power creep of more modern role-playing games is that I think it pushes players away from actually creating stories. I don't want to tell a story, I want to create one. When players start (in D&D) as level 1 characters and weak and have to fight their way to the top, a lot more stories are told. 

When people focus on storytelling I find that DM's usually will fudge the game in order to "tell the story" which to me, is cheating the players. The stories are created through actions and not being awesome. Players usually, in my experience, think storytelling means them being awesome. I'm big on verisimilitude and having things make sense. I'm also big on the rules and I don't get the hate for miniatures and stuff like that. I think for a lot of people it's easier to get in the mindset of the "world" when they have a miniature to represent their character. But, I've also spent thousands of dollars on Dwarven Forge sets. But, I'll buy any product you release just because I think you're enjoyable to watch. Even if you play with people who cannot get THAC0. :)
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Kenny Johnson

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This video is really bothering me. Are kids and college students today dumber than they were in the 70's and 80's when role-playing games were at their highest point? I think too many people make the mistake of assuming that the people who aren't playing games are doing so because they are too stupid to understand the rules. The reason why I question your whole premise is that people aren't funneling into the hobby anymore because the barrier to entry is high not on complexity but on getting people to play. If I don't have 4-6 players we cannot play. Finding and forming a new group is the barrier of entry. The rules....not so much. 

If you view role-playing games as primarily as a way to sit around with your friends and all tell a story together, then yes, maybe other systems can do. But, if you view these games as primarily a game first and story telling system second, then I don't think these rules light systems do it. I think that you really want more people playing games but complexity t the issue. Minecraft isn't a simple game and its largest audience are kids not adults. MOBA computer games are highly complex and detailed and kids play those in huge numbers. 

Jaws of the Sixth Serpent doesn't do it because where in the hell is a new player going to hear about that system or find people sell it to them? D&D at least is a baseline for all gamers to have and then grow from up. I think the fact that the hobby has only gotten smaller in recent years further proves my point because a healthy D&D is required for a healthy RPG industry. Talk to shop owners and game publishers and they (usually) well freely admit that they are bottom feeders when it comes to the hobby. they feed off D&D. Someone gets into the hobby (usually) with D&D and they branch out because they went to a con, a buddy introduced them to another system, or whatever. 

I just really disagree with your belief that kids today are so dumb when they are playing games far more complex than D&D. League of Legends, DOTA 2, Minecraft and other very popular computer games are much more complex than D&D but the barrier to entry is so much lower because it's easier to find people to play with. Magic the Gathering is more complex than D&D but someone knows if they play Magic they can go to any game shop in the world and find people to play with. If you play any RPG you do not have any guarantee of people to play with. I just am very skeptical of these mythical groups comprised entirely out of people new to the hobby. But, keep tilting at those windmills.
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Okay, based on what I see in my feed, you really want to engage on this topic.  I'll bite, but do my a favour first, okay?  Take a deep breath.  Relax.  It's one video.  It will not change the hobby.  It will not offset D&D encounters or Pathfinder Society.

To the main point - I don't think the insinuation is that people are dumber now than they used to be.  I believe that it is about asking as little as possible of a new player.  As you said, the biggest thing is that you need players to game with.  Sure, a good group can do their utmost to lift the burden of entry as little as possible.  What I believe the gentleman here is saying is that you can select a system that does that for you.  Because as I'm sure we're all aware, not every group is a good one for new players.

And sure, you might have a hard time getting players for a lesser known game.  Hell, you will.  I can attest to that.  But the first game you play does not have to be what you spend the majority of your time in the hobby on.  It should give you a taste and leave you wanting more.  If you really want it, I gave it a goggle, and the first hit was it's page for sale on DriveThruRPG.  So yeah, it's available out there.  Yes, I know this sidesteps the stores.  I like to support them, too, but I can't always.

I don't think that people branching out from D&D is bad for the hobby.  The fact is, D&D isn't right for every gamer.  I personally know many people who wouldn't even play roleplaying games any more if the only options were games like D&D.  I do think that it can help to have companies capable of getting new players to join.  They can advertise in ways that others can't.  As for how profitable D&D and Pathfinder are right now, I don't know.

Regarding some other comments, sure, there might be players who can't or don't want to master a system (as system mastery if definitely a thing with games like D&D in many groups).  You're right that not everyone places story first.  Not everyone places the game first, either.  Different is not wrong here.  There's space for both.

Ultimately, I think the game to introduce a player with depends mostly on the player and what they're into.  Think of it like a more fun version of a job interview.  You want to show them what the hobby has to offer that they're interested in.  And, where I agree with the gentlemen here - you want to make it as easy on them as possible to get involved.

D&D isn't the worst option, but it's not always the best either.
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Kenny Johnson

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D&D is role playing for the vast majority of the audience and it's the one game that even non gamers have heard of. I think it's a great entry point because it gives us commonality among players. Almost all role players are familiar with D&D on some level. The fact that a lot of drama geeks and liberal arts majors cannot perform basic arithmetic shouldn't be used as a criticism of D&D but for the players. I think the complexity of D&D today stems from the spacial rules around combat and not the core engine. Running new players through 1st or 2nd edition new players seem to get in well enough. I think indy games can turn peole off because not everybody is interested in the shared story aspect. To many, role playing games are still games first and foremost and drama outlets much further down on the list. 
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Kenny Johnson

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My daughter is three months old.
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She is a big girl! Cute!
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Work
Occupation
Analyst
Employment
  • Merrill Lynch
    Financial Advisor, 2011 - present
  • Wells Fargo FMG
    CSC Consultant, 2008 - 2012
  • Apple Inc.
    2007 - 2008
  • Artifact Entertainment
    World Master, 2003 - 2004
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Currently
Milwaukee, WI
Previously
Rocklin, CA - Phoenix, AZ - Taipei, Taiwan - Beijing, CHina - San Francisco, CA
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Education
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Masters of Accounting, 2010 - present
  • Arizona State University
    Applied Mathematics, 2004 - 2004
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Male
Birthday
August 4
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Married
There is no comic book store here. I was there and it looks like apartments and houses. I tried calling and no one picked up the phone.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
The store is fantastic! It is quite big with a large play area and the staff is very helpful and willing to help you find what you like.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I really enjoy Pizza Shuttle and it's my go-to pizza in Milwaukee. I wish the dough was more NY style and they were move even when distributing cheese and toppings.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
5 reviews
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The store is in a nice location and depending on which employee you talk with the customer service can be very good or very poor. My big problem with the store is that they over charge their customers on everything. I was in today to buy 'A Game of Thrones' the Living Card Game and they were charging $3 more for the core set than the MSRP or any other store in Milwaukee. I ask why and was treated very rudely. I know that most likely it's because they are in Bayshore and it's expensive but they get the traffic that comes with a mall. I can drive just a few minutes down the road and save $6 on the two core sets I was going to purchase.
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Quality: Poor to fairAppeal: Very goodService: Poor to fair
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I ordered food tonight and the delivery driver didn't come up to my apartment door nor did he use the buzzer at my building. They never refunded the money spent and the owner was rude when called about getting the food.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago