What innovation could RPG groups gain the most benefit from?
A lot of groups are already doing things like cooperative world-building, treating the DM as a fellow player instead of an antagonist and vice versa, and other things I talk about. These are innovations in gaming but they’re not generally applicable. For groups to gain the most benefit, the most groups have to gain benefit, not just a subset of players. So I say holograms.
A visual, three-dimensional representation of a game enhances just about every aspect of it. It makes battles easier by clearly showing you where enemies are, how they’re different, what you can see from there you’re standing, and even temporary bits like areas of effects or threatened squares. It deepens immersion by letting DMs show players how big or scary monsters are or how damp and run-down this factory looks. It increases player investment by letting them make moving representations of their characters including idle animations, combat styles, and taunts. It lets DMs be creative by letting them have pitched mid-air battles, design chaos architecture, or give the players a sense of speed, distance, or ambiance that isn’t possible with static miniatures beholder to gravity. With holograms like the ones in the Iron Man movies, we can even push one floor of a building aside to look at what’s going on below it, or rotate the battlefield so each player can see what’s happening from their character’s perspective. We haven’t even touched on the applications for competitive wargaming or board games. It’s the kind of thing that changes tabletop gaming into the spectacle it’s always tried to spoof.