D&D General D&D tries to be a little of everything, and that's its secret strength (and weakness)


One can like vast portions of a game while also feeling strongly that specific elements should be changed. If someone wants to change 10-20% of the rules, that means they're happy keeping 80-90% of them. This isn't something that should be taken for granted.

D&D is a game with a 320 page player's handbook. As someone who likes playing in homebrew worlds and likes thinking about game design, I don't think anyone could write a 320 page RPG book where I wouldn't want to change more than a page of rules. But I wouldn't take the time to think through and discuss those changes if I didn't like the underlying game.
Just to clarify: some people have pages of house rules, not just minor tweaks. If they want to do that and their players see okay with it, cool. I'd probably think twice about joining a game with more than the typical handful of changes, but that's me.

But some people profess an active dislike about fundamental core concepts of the game. Things that can't be changed with a few house rules. If you've read many threads you likely have seen it. Endless posts about terrible, lazy and basically incompetent design. Longing for a game that simply functions differently, often as a game based on PbtA (Powered by the Apocalypse). Or we're discussing 5E and they want to play 4E or an OSR game. Perhaps some of them are just trolling, perhaps they just feel like venting because the game doesn't work for them. Because when house rules are suggested they complain that they aren't game designers and if the people writing the game would just do their job they wouldn't have to.

So yes, when the problem with D&D basically comes down to the fact that it is D&D then they would probably be better off playing a different game. Because as malleable and flexible as D&D is, no game can be for everyone.

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Because it's easier to get a group of players who know D&D to read, understand and agree to a half page of house rules than to read and learn to play another game.
This is talking about two different things,

If you have a style of D&D that you like that the base game does not do out of the box, but you can get there with a half-page of house rules for your table... then that's exactly the situation you and WotC want you to be in. House-ruling at your own personal table is precisely the thing that has been a foundational part of D&D since the beginning.

But that's not what the rest of us are saying when we talk about just playing a different RPG. Those statements are addressed to all the player who want WOTC to change the base game itself to incorporate all the styles they personally want in D&D so that they don't have to make a half-page of house rules. All the people who vent in the One D&D boards about how the numbers of 5E don't balance out as well as the numbers of 4E did. All the people who vent that they can't hammer 5E into the same sort of gritty sword-and-sorcery experience they got back in AD&D. So on and so forth. And they insult the designers of D&D that they just can't "fix" the game the way they think it should play.

But if you tell those people "Well, if you think 4E and AD&D were so much better than your massively hammered version 5E... then why don't you just play 4E or AD&D and be happy?"... they respond with "I can't find any players." DESPITE there being an entire world connected via internet of potential players out there. Nope... "everyone only wants to play 5E" is their automatic response... and thus they have to be miserable playing a game they don't like because they can't put in the work to really find just 3 other people across the globe to play the game they want.

Well... at that point, all the rest of us can do is shrug our shoulders and say "Sorry! I guess you're just screwed then."

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