D&D 5E D&D 5e Post-Mortem

dave2008

Legend
Adding on to this, not only was 5e picked up quickly by my family and friends, but it also remained casual to play as our campaigns stretched on for years. Everyone in the group has busy lives and nearly everyone doesn't think about D&D except when we play on Friday or Saturday, and we have a great time each session.
That may be why it is so successful and also reviled. It is a good casual game, but frustrates those you want something else?
 
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Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
I mainly played 1e but started DMing at times. I found it easy enough.

When 3e came out man was I excited. But I refused to DM it. It felt like a lot of work and complexity for little gain. But mostly I felt DMing it was a hassle and a chore.

When 5e landed I was cautiously optimistic. However many years later we are playing more and getting the kids into it. I have no probleM DMing it.

I personally think it presntationof rules…sucked. But if I cut sections out and have them on hand with my SM screen it is game the f on!

I am interested in ONE in passing but 5e was good enough that I find ONE to be a solution looking for a problem.

With one exception is have found all versions of D&D to be the imperfect vessel for perfect fun. I wish I was playing today instead of working :D
 

Retreater

Legend
I will say that I've played 5e with many young people - my nephews, neighborhood teens, teenagers at the library, etc. It's been great to have so many people come into the hobby. I've even run games for my father-in-law, who is a rugged outdoorsman in his 60s.

What I do have to wonder about is how much of 5e's success was actually out of its control?
1) Fantasy isn't "just for nerds" anymore. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, etc., all had mass appeal.
2) "D&D" as a brand has gotten widespread acceptance, as shown in Big Bang Theory, Stranger Things, etc.
3) Also, it's just kinda cool to be a nerd.

If all these same factors were in place, and D&D was more like 4th edition (for example), do we think it wouldn't have gained increased traction. What if B/X were still the flavor of the day - would it have been more popular with an (arguably) even more approachable system?
 

OB1

Jedi Master
I will say that I've played 5e with many young people - my nephews, neighborhood teens, teenagers at the library, etc. It's been great to have so many people come into the hobby. I've even run games for my father-in-law, who is a rugged outdoorsman in his 60s.

What I do have to wonder about is how much of 5e's success was actually out of its control?
1) Fantasy isn't "just for nerds" anymore. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, etc., all had mass appeal.
2) "D&D" as a brand has gotten widespread acceptance, as shown in Big Bang Theory, Stranger Things, etc.
3) Also, it's just kinda cool to be a nerd.

If all these same factors were in place, and D&D was more like 4th edition (for example), do we think it wouldn't have gained increased traction. What if B/X were still the flavor of the day - would it have been more popular with an (arguably) even more approachable system?
I think there are two equally important factors at play. WotC did a good job of finding out what most people wanted out of D&D in 2014 and then delivered a product that met those expectations and set it up to be able to ride a wave of factors (like the ones you mention) outside of it's control. As tastes have evolved over the last 10 years, 5.24 looks to do the same, make a game that appeals to the widest possible audience of today, and hope that the attention of things like the D&D movie and BG3 continues to encourage new audiences to check out the game and discover something they enjoy.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
If all these same factors were in place, and D&D was more like 4th edition (for example), do we think it wouldn't have gained increased traction. What if B/X were still the flavor of the day - would it have been more popular with an (arguably) even more approachable system?
It would have gained more traction compared to real-world 4E, yes. I doubt it would have hit the same level as 5E in pop culture fad momentum. If the game were still around B/X levels of complicated, it likely would have had more traction than 5E. No matter how used to the mechanics of games we are as gamers, they're still hard to grasp for newbs. A lighter version of 5E would have done even better than real-world 5E, I think.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I will say that I've played 5e with many young people - my nephews, neighborhood teens, teenagers at the library, etc. It's been great to have so many people come into the hobby. I've even run games for my father-in-law, who is a rugged outdoorsman in his 60s.

What I do have to wonder about is how much of 5e's success was actually out of its control?
1) Fantasy isn't "just for nerds" anymore. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, etc., all had mass appeal.
2) "D&D" as a brand has gotten widespread acceptance, as shown in Big Bang Theory, Stranger Things, etc.
3) Also, it's just kinda cool to be a nerd.

If all these same factors were in place, and D&D was more like 4th edition (for example), do we think it wouldn't have gained increased traction. What if B/X were still the flavor of the day - would it have been more popular with an (arguably) even more approachable system?
The Critical Role folks skipped 4E in favor of Pathfinder, but, also abandoned PF for 5E. I think that says something for the system theory. A lot of us old hands like to point out why 5E isn't as tactical, or customizable, or skill play, etc.. enough. Nobody says 5E is their favorite edition, however, most folks will play it in favor of getting the group together. Its "everybody's second favorite edition" which might sound like damning with faint praise, but is actually a strength of 5E.
 

MuhVerisimilitude

Adventurer
When I first played it it was my favourite edition, but the more I play it the less I actually like it. Some of the things at first feel good, but I believe in my case it was only that the lack of fiddly things was refreshing coming from 3.5 and PF1.

The system was allowed to get stagnant. They never did anything with it. Pretty much no books. No new classes. No Tome of Battle. Nothing. Half hearted campaign setting books that wasted pages on unwanted adventures. What happened to pure campaign setting books? What happened to class splat-books?
 


payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
When I first played it it was my favourite edition, but the more I play it the less I actually like it. Some of the things at first feel good, but I believe in my case it was only that the lack of fiddly things was refreshing coming from 3.5 and PF1.

The system was allowed to get stagnant. They never did anything with it. Pretty much no books. No new classes. No Tome of Battle. Nothing. Half hearted campaign setting books that wasted pages on unwanted adventures. What happened to pure campaign setting books? What happened to class splat-books?
Turns out the splats were not needed. Some folks have the ability to blast through material and need constant refresh, updates, and new challenges. Casual gamers get fatigued from all that. I think we often take the casual for granted. For much of D&D history they were along for the ride. Now, they are being catered to and it turns out to be a good move on WotC part.
 

As Churchill once said "5E is the worst TTRPG except for all the others that I have ever tried." (People often misquote that one).

I complain a lot about 5E and see many flaws, but after playing numerous other RPGs going back to 1E (and reading many, many others) I can't say that there is one that I personally see as an overall improvement. So comparing 5E to some Platonic ideal of what you want a game to be is well and good but I also think you have to recognize how it stacks up against the actual alternatives.
 

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