April's D&D Feedback Survey Results

WotC has revealed the results of its latest monthly feedback survey. Last month's survey dealt with game scheduling habits, character races, and Adventurer's League content. Additionally, a new survey has been posted covering problem spells, the DRAGON+ mobile app, and the Waterborne Adventures UA column.

The new survey is here. April's survey results are here, but below is a quick list of the take-home points.

  • It turns out that that 1st-6th level games are still the most common a year after D&D 5E's launch.
  • The most likely end point of a campaign is 10th-12th level.
  • There is a preference for more open, sandboxy adventures.
  • Smaller races are seen as weaker options.
  • Adventurer's League content is reasonably well received, with specifically designed adventures more popular than Tyranny of Dragons adaptions for AL.
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Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I don't think the complaint about small races was necessarily related to weapons. It could just be they strike people as too plain, not interesting enough. I know that's how they strike me for the most part.

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First Post
IMO, sandboxes as adventures seem to miss the point. They're gazeteers with plot hooks and some maps. The level of detail in an adventure product is usually pointless in a sandbox, as you arent expected to use all of it. The parts your PC's dont explore is wasted design time. So why detail 15 rooms of a dungeon a party might never set foot in?

The Paizo regional companions are perfect for this sort of thing. 64 pages of campaign detail, organizations, important NPC's, locales and hooks.
The clue here is "sandboxy", not a sandbox adventure, which is a bit of an oxymoron. 5e should be really good at is, with the much larger range that monsters are useable as opponents. Adventures I liked that I found sandboxy are Red Hand of Doom and Reavers of Harkenworld. They are not sandboxes, but it's really easy to adept the adventures to how your PC's act and get a good story out of it.

I think that RHoD did a really good job giving advice on how to stage the city battle based on what the PC's had done earlier in the adventure. You could do something like that, but with abstract points used to evolve the story of the "sandboxy" adventure. For instance a political faction getting control over an area of a large city, taking control of trade or taking control of a kingdom. Or, an invading army of monsters sacking villages, taking slaves or whatever.

In other words, evolving stories that don't necessarily have one expected outcome. It takes a bit more work for both the writers to make something like this work, but it's something I would pay for. Cookie cutter dungeons isn't something I am so fond on spending money on. You also have a ton of these adventures already, while good sandboxy adventures are 1-in-a-100.

Settle down vtuder. I'm saying let them use small greatswords. Which do 2d6 like all other greatswords. Since hit points arent meat, we dont need special rules for a slightly smaller greatsword.
That's where you're wrong, though. It is not now, nor has it ever been, that Hit Points "aren't meat". Hit Point are a lot of things, including meat. As long as Hit Points include even one iota of meat within their definition, anything which violates that is going to be unacceptable.

The designers have already made their say on the matter. They already conceded that you can have a Halfling with Strength 20, the same as a Human or Half-Orc. Their racial bonus to Strength is that they overlooked the -2 penalty that they really deserve. Neither side is really happy with that compromise, either, but there it is. That's as far as they're willing to go on the issue.


On the sandbox thing: I prefer sandbox adventures. But by that I mean things like Kingmaker. Very different than a regional guide. There are a lot of things going on, but the players have huge choices and the "bad guys" aren't just sitting around waiting for them. I feel Princes of the A. isn't much of a sandbox. The old "L series" adventures are sandboxes IMO. Red Hand of Doom is sort of a sandbox. More a sandbox on rails in that it is easy to feel like there is a lot of choice even when there really isn't much.

I'm familiar with all of these adventures, and I'd say PotA fits in with them. The party can go where they like and check out whatever rumors they want. That led to the group I'm running heading straight to Scarlet Moon Hall. Lucky for them, they're level 5 due to previous adventuring, but they still only came away from the opening confrontation in that place by the skin of their teeth.

A connect-the-dots adventure would have made sure they discovered Feathergale Spire first. But the region is wide open to explore.

I'm A Banana

Were it a point, it wouldnt be a big deal. But its effectively 10+ from the loss GWM.

...using an optional rules module...

...meaning the "problem" (if there is one) is more in GWM than in the halfling race. GWM is not an assumed part of the game, small races are.


First Post
I kind of wish that they had simply limited classes to 10 levels, but apparently people like seeing 20 levels of classes in the game even if most people never get around to playing half or 2/3rds of them.

Looks like a best of both worlds to me.

Just because there are 20 doesn't mean you have to go all the way. It gives "everyone" choice.

I think WotC has a problem with confounding lore and story*. They have this major focus on story this time around, but when they were initially describing it, they were sort of half talking story, and half talking lore. The release schedule is all based around releasing lore as part of a shared meta-plot story. I think what the feedback may imply is that there are a lot of people who are way more interested in the lore than in the story. We want sandboxes we can play our own stories in (and apparently this is true even in organized play!) rather than a plot we are forced to interact with. We want our characters to determine what happens in the world, not have a meta-plot imposed on our games.

Maybe I don't want Tiamat to invade, or the elemental prophets, or whatever. But maybe I'd love to have lore on deities, dragons, and elemental cults. And hey, throw in some little pre-made adventure hooks to play with, and no one is going to complain.

Then organized play and the transmedia experience can expand those adventure hooks rather than having a single meta-plot be the be all and end all of D&D that season. Honestly, a single metaplot that you are expected to get involved with is kind of contrary to the individualistic creative drive most players of RPGs tend to have.

* Lore as in setting and traditional D&D elements; story as in specific narratives.

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