D&D 5E D&D 5e Post-Mortem

dave2008

Legend
I'm not bashing anyone's enjoyment of 5e. I know I'm in the minority for not liking it. I can only say what doesn't work for me.
All of these points are IMO....
1) Poorly designed adventures
2) Weak campaign settings
And it's difficult to build my own of either because of...
3) Badly implemented CR system
4) Inconsistent monster design rules
5) Lack of guidance in how to reward characters (nothing to spend gold on, no magic item economy, etc)
And things get stale when...
6) There are clearly better weapons, ability scores, and ancestry options - and new options are stagnant
7) Every party feels about the same
8) Tactics don't really matter when the rules don't reward smart play ... and it's not really required anyway
Because the monsters...
9) Don't have enough actions to threaten a party
10) Don't have high enough damage potential to threaten (low damage, low attack bonus, easy accessibility of PC healing)
11) Conversely have too many HP to die quickly, and not enough to require the party to work together (mostly because there's little threat - see Point 10)
12) Or have breath weapons that can TPK a party ("Rocks fall, everyone dies")
And the characters are limited by...
13) The game ending at 10th level (because there's no guidance on what to do or published content)
14) They can already stomp high level baddies at mid tier
15) There's no point to adventure because there are no rewards (see Point 5)
It is so interesting how different people can play the "same" game and come away with so vastly different experiences. Life is a mystery!
 

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Retreater

Legend
It is so interesting how different people can play the "same" game and come away with so vastly different experiences. Life is a mystery!
Yes. I'm just as perplexed that others don't have the same experience as I do.
I can say that the several DMs I personally know (not online) are more aligned with my opinions.
If not for ENWorld and social media, I'd think 5e is unpopular.
 

I think we sometimes have some misplaced nostalgia for 4e monsters. There are a lot of boring 4e monsters to go along with the grindy ones (solos). Solos didn't really improve until MM3 (and they did other things to make them a little less varied too, i,e, worse IMO). I think in general "elites" were the best designed. 5e "solos' in general are better than 4e solos IMO.
That may be true, but 4e did a lot of things with monsters well. Including monster roles in the stat block made it easy for me to mix different types of monsters that synergized well. It also made monster tactics easier to run. Most monster entries had sample encounters with multiple monsters so you could just throw that at your players as an encounter.
 


Retreater

Legend
If only there were a place to post PDFs just for DMs to use. Let just about anyone post to it with documents to add details or whole campaigns. Call it something fake old-timey like a Guild for DMs or something. If only there were such a thing. :cautious:
Yes, I'm aware of DMs Guild and third party content. I own my share of it.
The issue I have is that it's all built on the same flimsy foundation.
Then are you going to use Matt Colville's house rules for MCDM? Monte Cook's when you play Numenera 5e? Wolfgang Baur's for Kobold Press? And then what happens when you mix together several different rules for Minions? A couple different Psionic systems? Can a party of characters from Masterclass Codex hold their own against monsters from Tome of Beasts - who knows?
I already had the disaster happen of bringing in loot from a Goodman Games adventure, with the magic item economy of Level Up, in a Frog God Games campaign.
There are no standards for any of this design, no Lingua Franca, because Wizards hasn't developed it. It's all a mish-mash of numbers under the guise of "DM Fiat" - which Wizards uses not to give DMs freedom but to hide their sloppy design.
 

dave2008

Legend
That may be true, but 4e did a lot of things with monsters well. Including monster roles in the stat block made it easy for me to mix different types of monsters that synergized well. It also made monster tactics easier to run. Most monster entries had sample encounters with multiple monsters so you could just throw that at your players as an encounter.
I agree! As I have said multiple times in this discussion I liked 4e monsters and think the are, generally, the high water mark for D&D monster design. It is not that I don't think they are great. I just don't think they are immensely better than 5e monsters (and in some cases worse).
 
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Oofta

Legend
I'm not bashing anyone's enjoyment of 5e. I know I'm in the minority for not liking it. I can only say what doesn't work for me.
All of these points are IMO....
1) Poorly designed adventures
2) Weak campaign settings
And it's difficult to build my own of either because of...
3) Badly implemented CR system
4) Inconsistent monster design rules
5) Lack of guidance in how to reward characters (nothing to spend gold on, no magic item economy, etc)
And things get stale when...
6) There are clearly better weapons, ability scores, and ancestry options - and new options are stagnant
7) Every party feels about the same
8) Tactics don't really matter when the rules don't reward smart play ... and it's not really required anyway
Because the monsters...
9) Don't have enough actions to threaten a party
10) Don't have high enough damage potential to threaten (low damage, low attack bonus, easy accessibility of PC healing)
11) Conversely have too many HP to die quickly, and not enough to require the party to work together (mostly because there's little threat - see Point 10)
12) Or have breath weapons that can TPK a party ("Rocks fall, everyone dies")
And the characters are limited by...
13) The game ending at 10th level (because there's no guidance on what to do or published content)
14) They can already stomp high level baddies at mid tier
15) There's no point to adventure because there are no rewards (see Point 5)

I can't speak to modules, I don't use them. As for the rest? All I can say is that we play very different games and none of those are issues in my games. Hope you find a game that suits your needs better.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Yes, I'm aware of DMs Guild and third party content. I own my share of it.
The issue I have is that it's all built on the same flimsy foundation.
Then are you going to use Matt Colville's house rules for MCDM? Monte Cook's when you play Numenera 5e? Wolfgang Baur's for Kobold Press? And then what happens when you mix together several different rules for Minions? A couple different Psionic systems? Can a party of characters from Masterclass Codex hold their own against monsters from Tome of Beasts - who knows?
I already had the disaster happen of bringing in loot from a Goodman Games adventure, with the magic item economy of Level Up, in a Frog God Games campaign.
There are no standards for any of this design, no Lingua Franca, because Wizards hasn't developed it. It's all a mish-mash of numbers under the guise of "DM Fiat" - which Wizards uses not to give DMs freedom but to hide their sloppy design.
I don't remember if you've ever said, but do you have any particular RPGs you think do give you what you need (outside of the D&D sphere?) Me personally, I've yet to read or run any RPG that doesn't require me to hack 'n slash the rules to pieces to recreate a game I think works for my preferred style of playing (which is why 5E or and D&D has never bothered me because it's the same stuff I always do for every game I pick up.) Do you have a few that you are able to play right out of the box and give you the experience you want?
 

Retreater

Legend
I don't remember if you've ever said, but do you have any particular RPGs you think do give you what you need (outside of the D&D sphere?) Me personally, I've yet to read or run any RPG that doesn't require me to hack 'n slash the rules to pieces to recreate a game I think works for my preferred style of playing (which is why 5E or and D&D has never bothered me because it's the same stuff I always do for every game I pick up.) Do you have a few that you are able to play right out of the box and give you the experience you want?
I think every system requires some GM finesse, but I'm finding that 5e doesn't work for my needs regardless of how I try to adapt it.
While none of the following are perfect, I'd say they're an improvement over 5e...

Similar games...
  • 3.x/PF1
  • PF2
  • Gamma World 7e
  • D&D 4E
  • 13th Age
Different games (where "balance" isn't as important, so they give me the experience I expect)...
  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Warhammer Fantasy
  • Forbidden Lands (Year Zero Engine in general)
I have different expectations for games in the "D&D Sphere:" balance, continuity, and tactics. 5e doesn't meet those expectations.
 

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