An insight from a small and humble poll
When asked "Which of these endgames do you like to see in every WoTC 5E adventure as written?"
, these have been among the popular answers:
- At least one heroically "good" ending (PC can achieve a morally correct outcome)
- And I am good with [2 or more] possible endings examined & explored in the adventure as written
While not a scientifically accurate representation of the entire D&D 5E community, this poll may suggest that a significant* number of D&D 5E players prefer each WoTC 5E published adventure as-written
to examine and explore a number of suggested endings, one of which should have a "good" / morally correct outcome.
This +++++ thread treats this idea as an "invitation" to engage in some hypotheticals...
* albeit an estimated percentage is not possible to assert without robust data
But wait, what is heroically "good" and "morally correct" anyway?
When we run or (re)write adventures for our own group, chatGPT says:
And what if you are a writer at WoTC? If tasked with including a "good" ending with every adventure, how do you navigate the issue of every gaming table having different expectations and moral codes in the fiction?
This reminds me of a book called "How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question" by Michael Schur. The author seemed to be in a somewhat analogous situation, trying to define good and bad in the fiction for the TV show "The Good Place". Here's an excerpt:
Now I have zilch experience at moral philosophy, so I found this book very interesting. For example, it describes The Trolley Problem -- in essence, is it OK to cause the death of one person in order to prevent a bunch of other people from not dying? And then goes about explaining ways of approaching this thought experiment.
The Trolley Problem reminds me of potential situations in D&D too, such as: is it "good" or "evil" to extrajudicially murder a handful of brainwashed cultists who are actively trying to summon the elder god from destroying the entire city full of innocent people? You may have your own, even trickier, example from a previous game.
One possibility is, since the fiction is never set in stone, the author could attempt to avoid writing the kind of story that expressly puts the PCs in morally ambiguous situations.
Another possibility is when the author writes the adventure story that sets up morally challenging scenario, but not really provide any suggested guidance of good and bad, which may obfuscate understanding of what exactly is the heroically "good" / morally correct outcome that some D&D gamers prefer to see in the adventure as written.
OK, what if...?
Hypothetically, what if every WoTC 5E adventure as-written
examined & explored 2 or more suggested endings, including at least one heroically "good" ending where the PCs can achieve a morally correct outcome?
How would that affect your game?
On the flip side, if you worked at WoTC and were tasked with the above, how would you approach it? What kind of moral code/framework you would you draw from?
This is a +++++ thread
The intent of this +++++ thread is to offer a psychologically-safe and efficient
option for Enworlders who wish the discuss the What if? and related scenarios, based on the basic premise described above.
[+ positive contributions]
By participating in this thread, please make positive contributions to the premise.
[+ other contributions in another thread]
If you don't agree with the above premise, that's totally valid. Just asking you to refrain from arguing about that here in this
This is not
the thread for analyzing, expounding or arguing about:
- the poll that drove the insight
- to what extent the insight is accurate or inaccurate
- if adventures as-written should exclude suggested endings
- if adventures as-written should exclude a "good" ending
- subtracting or adding to adventures from the way they were written
If you to want to initiate an argument about:
- the poll, sure, just take it to the poll thread
- not wanting adventure page count to include suggested endings, I could see why, just take it to another thread
- why "good" endings are not appropriate for every campaign, such as grimdark and morally grey settings, I agree but please take it to another thread
- how a DM can rewrite adventures on their own, honestly not relevant to the ideating here, so please take it to another thread
Again, nobody is forcing you to agree with anything, just saying if you don't have a positive contribution to make here, please take it another thread.
[+ please be nice to others]
Please don't make assertions about other people or their games or their moral code.
If you're not sure about the wording of your post, imagine you are responding to a young innocent child, not in a patronizing way, but rather considerately and non-accusatory
[+ positive feedback]
Those who participate may benefit from positive feedback; how else would we know if our contributions are helpful or not?
I would suggest a liberal use of Like if you find a post helpful!
If you feel someone's post contravenes the +++++ thread, first try respectfully pointing out the part you think is problematic and ask a clarifying question
[+ stick to values, not opinions]
Discussing morality/ethics is hard, because values are close to our heart and our sense of self.
Our opinions, however, may come and go, the more we learn and course-correct.
This thread is not about our attachment to our opinions as right or wrong.
If you are not sure about the helpfulness of expressing an opinion, then default to an unpresumptuous inquisitive mindset, like the beginning of a hypothesis to be tested or with child-like curiosity