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D&D 5E Are DMs getting lazy?


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And at that time TSR was making a TON of money. RPGs were the thing to play. There was no competition from MMORGs, smart phones, game consoles, Minecraft and Youtube. There was no way to get access to a multitude of homebrewed adventures to run via the internet. There was no 40-year legacy of previous products to draw upon and modify. It was a different world.

Keep in mind that a lazy DM in, say, 1981, would have had access to the following, beyond the core books (and basic and expert D&D rules)

B1 In Search of the Unknown
D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth
D3 Vault of the Drow
S1 Tomb of Horrors
G1-2-3 Against the Giants
B2 The Keep on the Borderlands
S2 White Plume Mountain
T1 The Village of Hommlet
C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
C2 The Ghost Tower of Inverness
Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits
S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks
X1 The Isle of Dread
A1–4 Slavers Series
B3 Palace of the Silver Princess
I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City
L1 The Secret of Bone Hill
U1 The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh
X2 Castle Amber

PLUS Deities and Demigods, the Fiend Folio, the World of Greyhawk Folio,
PLUS PLUS Monthly issues of Dragon, which had been in print since 1976 (since 75 as the strategic review)
ADD, from even earlier, licensed Judges Guild products.

They may have been industrious with their games, but DMs also still had some help.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
True, but, this is what three YEARS into the life cycle of 1e. How much of that would have been available in after the PHB was released? I mean, after 5 months of 5e, you will have two complete 15 level adventure paths. That's about the equivalent of 16 modules. Plus web enhancements (now coming monthly), plus various other odds and sods. Let's see where we are in 2017 before we make this same comparison.

I have already responded to this, though at least you said three years and not five.

The DMG and the first wave of those came out in 79.

I certainly don't agree with 16 modules! And their is quality as well as quantity. And their was Dragon. Since 1976.

But the more general point was a different one. For 30+years, DMs have gotten a certain amount of support. Presumably, that is the "playing life-time" of most people here, even if weare a bunch of oldsters.

Now is the era of the homebrewing DM. I think people are confused about the 70's or early 80's. DIY was a new idea then. If you baked your own bread, you lived on a farm or were a hippy. Now DYI is main stream. And its come to D&D apparently bigger then ever.
 
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TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
And at that time TSR was making a TON of money. RPGs were the thing to play.

Sure. Absolutely. Of course TSR almost went bankrupt within a couple of years...but that was more them then the market. But you might be surprised at how much money WotC is making right now. And people are playing D&D, and that game very much like D&D. They are playing it right now and spending money on it.


Warmaster Horus said:
There was no competition from MMORGs, smart phones, game consoles, Minecraft and Youtube.

See, there have been a lot of posts like this in the thread, and they can read a little silly. People had lives back then. They did not think of life as slow paced. (And people have always imagined an earlier, simpler time, its a cliche). Even in the realm of geeky-hobbiess, there where other RPGs and hobby games and other geeky things you could do. (Join the Society for Creative Anachronism, own 50 different avalon hill wargames, watch Star Wars at a theater still showing it 5 years after it came out). But again, we know people are buying and playing D&D. And again, in another thread here some of them are playing it a lot.

Warmaster Horus said:
There was no way to get access to a multitude of homebrewed adventures to run via the internet. There was no 40-year legacy of previous products to draw upon and modify. It was a different world.

Sure. Definitely.

But I do think that overall this post captures the contradiction here. If time is so tight...then WotC should cater to that in a way they still haven't. But maybe thats not right. Maybe people want to adopt existing adventures, find and post their own stuff on the interwebs. Put time into it. The time of the de-lazy DM is here.
 

1976...star wars came out?

May 1977. Five theater viewings and they were all awesome.

Yes. And you see that everywhere, not only in the increased demand of adventures but also on the constant cries for simplification, the complains about easy to understand 3 sentence rules and the demand for shorter and shorter combat (usually the rules heaviest part of D&D). I also think that things like "fail forward" is a symptom of this laziness as people do not want find other ways to succeed once their original thought out plan is blocked. Instead just continue like normal and add en extra encounter later on.

But to be fair, its not only the DMs who got lazy.

There is so much mixed up in this post. I see some of it, but I can't agree with the lot. If gamers have gotten progressively lazier since the early 80's and that laziness has driven gaming toward faster combat resolution then how did 3E & 4E come about? These editions complicated combat resolution and expanded the time required to resolve it. If your theory was correct on this, then by the time 4E launched, combat resolution would have been even simpler and faster than OD&D.

Counter to that, rules & procedures have gotten more complex & numerous. 5E has been the first edition backing away from that trend somewhat. This ramping up of complexity was driven by gamer demand. A gamer population that was just getting lazier with time wouldn't be demanding more complex rules leading to longer combat resolution times.

The fail forward mess is simply a clashing of story gaming and role playing. Some people want to intermingle the game types and that preference is currently enjoying a level of popularity. This stems from the desire to play the hero in some story rather than portray a fictional persona in a game. It's a style issue and again, has little to do with laziness.

One thing, that HAS changed since the early 80's, and continues to change is our desire for instant gratification, especially in entertainment options. Having busy lives as adults with kids hasn't changed much, but our entertainment options certainly have. You can log in to an MMO whenever there is a odd hour or so that you happen to be free. No scheduling, coordinating or anything, just login and play. Young people today are growing up in a world of instant on-demand gratification. These are people who can't relate to the experience of things like having to be in front of the TV when a favorite program comes on, needing to go to a record store to buy an album if you wanted to hear certain music whenever you wanted, or even (more recently) having to wait hours for a file to download from the internet.

There is so much out there grabbing our attention constantly that it isn't a surprise that few people take the time to just think. I have internet access on a home PC, but I have never gotten a smart phone, tablet, or other mobile device that keeps me constantly tethered to the digital world and so far I have not regretted that decision.
 

Mallus

Legend
Too much to consume so only very few are willing to invest too much time in anything specific, thats why there is a demand for more and more premade stuff and even simpler rules.
Rules complexity isn't a measure of game/campaign complexity. There are complex, long-running campaigns run using simple rules. FYI, my longest running campaign, with the greatest amount of player engagement and most wholly & well-realized fictional world, used a stripped-down version of AD&D 2e -- which half the time I ignored in favor of pure free-form.

Preferring complex rule systems denotes only & that exactly that: a preference for complex rules. Nothing more can be imputed --good or bad-- from it.
 

Mallus

Legend
The rise of the Adventure Path is, IMO, one of the worst things to happen in the gaming space.
Adventure Paths aren't my cup of tea, either, but their popularity merely demonstrates that railroading --or a reasonable facsimile of it-- is actually popular with a segment of the player base large enough to make Paizo really, really successful.

(which isn't a knock on sandbox-style campaigns, mind you)

As for the whole laziness thing...

I think the biggest difference between gaming now and gaming in the days of yore is the Internet; that vast, always-on gripe-sharing network which collates individual data points into meaningless drivel which you can mistake for a trend. Yes, people complain about a lack of 5e material. So what? The biggest difference between 2015 and 1982 is that have easy access to these complaints, published tirelessly for your consumption by a self-selecting group of complainers.

There's always been demand for adventures & settings. Because some people don't enjoy creating them. Period. Frankly, I don't really like adventure design (but love setting-creation).

And on the subject of free time... for a lot of people, there is less of it now. Not so much because of additional 'distractions', but because of more significant cultural changes; like more co-parenting/more involved male parenting, particularly of younger children, more working hours per week (including 'little' things like checking email after hours), the increase in (over)scheduled activities for kids & teens, particularly the high-achieving/middle-class-and-above variety,etc.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I have already responded to this, though at least you said three years and not five.

The DMG and the first wave of those came out in 79..

You know, this actually doesn't help your argument of there being a lot of support from the get go, since the DMG didn't come out until years after the MM did. I find it pretty disingenuous to not start counting the 1e era until after the DMG was for sale--years after AD&D was actually out there. And if you're going to throw out Dragon as a resource, I can easily counter that with DTRPG.

There are more things available for 5e, at a much faster pace, than there was for 1e. So I'm not sold on your argument at all.
 

See, there have been a lot of posts like this in the thread, and they can read a little silly. People had lives back then. They did not think of life as slow paced. (And people have always imagined an earlier, simpler time, its a cliche). Even in the realm of geeky-hobbiess, there where other RPGs and hobby games and other geeky things you could do. (Join the Society for Creative Anachronism, own 50 different avalon hill wargames, watch Star Wars at a theater still showing it 5 years after it came out). But again, we know people are buying and playing D&D. And again, in another thread here some of them are playing it a lot.

I disagree. Leisure time has not expanded since the late '70s and the venues for satisfying a person's desire to engage in gaming has exploded. It's a major hassle for me to get the grandkids to consider RPG'ing because they're playing Clash of Clans and NBA 2k13 in the time I would of been RPG'ing as a kid. In college I belonged to one of three large gaming groups on campus that had rooms at the Union for gaming on Friday and Saturday nights. Those don't exist anymore. Sure, people are playing D&D but it's 'market share' today is reduced from what it had been by the forces I've described.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Adventure Paths aren't my cup of tea, either, but their popularity merely demonstrates that railroading --or a reasonable facsimile of it-- is actually popular with a segment of the player base large enough to make Paizo really, really successful.

I probably should have said "The *dominance* of Adventure Paths" since I don't mind their existence but rather don't like how they have edged out shorter, episodic adventures.
 

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