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D&D General D&D's feel - ENWorld vs. rpg.net

JEB

Hero
After sharing my thoughts on the "what makes D&D feel like D&D" poll here, I recreated the poll in Google Forms and shared it on a thread on rpg.net. Got 47 responses (compared to ENWorld's 132 responses), which I just posted my thoughts on here.

While the rpg.net poll had less than half the responses of the ENWorld version, I think there were still some interesting comparisons, which I will go into below.

Important caveat up front: I specifically asked folks who responded to the ENWorld poll here to refrain from responding to the rpg.net version, because I wanted to see how each forums' preferences differed. So really, the "rpg.net" results are "rpg.net users, minus anyone who had already responded on ENWorld". I still think this indicates some different forum cultures, however.

Anyway, here are the tiers I used before, as seen in both sets of results (items in bold are in different tiers between each set of responses):

ENWorldrpg.net
Very important to D&D's feel (80% and up)Ability scores (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha) [87.1%]
Distinct character classes [87.1%]
Levels [87.1%]
Hit points [81.8%]
Levels [95.7%]
Hit points [87.2%]
Distinct character classes [85.1%]
Ability scores (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha) [83.0%]
Armor Class [83.0%]
Important to D&D's feel (60% to 80%)Armor Class [73.5%]
Using multiple types of dice [70.5%]

Saving throws [66.7%]
Saving throws [70.2%]
Lists of specific spells [61.7%]
Debatable importance (40% to 60%)Distinct character races/lineages [58.3%]
Experience points [50.8%]
Lists of specific spells [49.2%]
Alignment [45.5%]
Using multiple types of dice [59.6%]
Experience points [57.4%]
Distinct character races/lineages: 26 (55.3%)
Hit dice [40.4%]
Less important to D&D's feel (20% to 40%)Lists of specific magic items [39.4%]
Initiative [36.4%]
Hit dice [24.2%]
Lists of specific equipment [24.2%]
Initiative [38.3%]
Lists of specific magic items [36.2%]
Alignment [31.9%]
Lists of specific equipment [31.9%]
Deities [25.5%]
Creature types [25.5%]
Not important to D&D's feel (20% and below)Creature types [17.4%]
Deities [16.7%]

Great Wheel cosmology [15.9%]
Multiclassing [15.9%]
Feats [10.6%]
Proficiencies [10.6%]
Damage types [9.1%]
Surprise [5.3%]
Advantage/disadvantage [4.5%]
Conditions [4.5%]
Challenge ratings [3.8%]
World Axis cosmology [3.0%]
Backgrounds [2.3%]
Multiclassing [19.1%]
Surprise [17.0%]
Proficiencies [12.8%]
Damage types [12.8%]
Great Wheel cosmology [12.8%]
Challenge ratings [8.5%]
Conditions [6.4%]
Backgrounds [4.3%]
Feats [4.3%]
World Axis cosmology [4.3%]
Advantage/disadvantage [2.1%]

Some observations:
  • Both forums agree on the most important stuff to D&D's feel, except that levels and HP rank highest on rpg.net. Also, Armor Class is a top-tier element to rpg.net folks.
  • Multiple types of dice were much more important to ENWorld folks than to rpg.net folks.
  • Both forums are divided when it comes to races and XP, suggesting this might be a general feeling among D&D fans, and not just here on ENWorld.
  • Alignment is much less important to rpg.net folks than ENWorld folks as far as feel. However, Hit Dice are much less important to ENWorld folks than rpg.net folks. I note these two because they're both D&D elements that could be termed both iconic and possibly obsolete... but I'm not sure what the contrast actually means.
  • Deities and creature types are seen as slightly more important to D&D's "feel" by the rpg.net crowd.
  • The Great Wheel is considered less part of what makes D&D "D&D" on rpg.net, while the World Axis a little more so - suggesting a very tiny 4E bias (but probably not a statistically significant one).
  • As far as 5E elements, ENWorld folks think advantage/disadvantage outranks backgrounds, while rpg.net folks think backgrounds outrank advantage/disadvantage. I'd note one of those is mainly a game mechanic, and the other mainly a roleplaying mechanic. Though again, so small a difference as to possibly have no significance.


Bonus! If I combine both sets of results (to make a total of 179 responses), this is what the tiers look like:

Very important to D&D's feel (80% and up):
Levels: 160 [89.39%]
Distinct character classes: 155 [86.59%]
Ability scores (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha): 154 [86.03%]
Hit points: 149 [83.24%]

Important to D&D's feel (60% to 80%):
Armor Class: 136 [75.98%]
Using multiple types of dice: 121 [67.60%]
Saving throws: 121 [67.60%]

Debatable importance (40% to 60%):
Distinct character races/lineages: 103 [57.54%]
Experience points: 94 [52.51%]
Lists of specific spells: 94 [52.51%]
Alignment: 75 [41.90%]

Less important to D&D's feel (20% to 40%):
Initiative: 66 [36.87%]
Lists of specific magic items: 69 [38.55%]
Hit dice: 51 [28.49%]
Lists of specific equipment: 47 [26.26%]

Not important to D&D's feel (20% and below):
Creature types: 35 [19.55%]
Deities: 34 [18.99%]
Multiclassing: 30 [16.76%]
Great Wheel cosmology: 27 [15.08%]
Proficiencies: 20 [11.17%]
Damage types: 18 [10.06%]
Feats: 16 [8.94%]
Surprise: 15 [8.38%]
Conditions: 9 [5.03%]
Challenge ratings: 9 [5.03%]
Advantage/disadvantage: 7 [3.91%]
World Axis cosmology: 6 [3.35%]
Backgrounds: 5 [2.79%]

Of course, a sample size so small probably doesn't say anything about D&D fans generally, but it does at least indicate what both forums agree on (and may say something about "D&D players who still frequent forums").

Thoughts, everyone?
 
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teitan

Legend
I'd say alignment is pretty iconic to D&D myself. They make memes about it. I'd venture out to the general public because these forums represent the vocal minority. That minority has a lot more power now than it did even 5 years ago. Let's see what the public really has to say?
 


I'd say alignment is pretty iconic to D&D myself. They make memes about it. I'd venture out to the general public because these forums represent the vocal minority. That minority has a lot more power now than it did even 5 years ago. Let's see what the public really has to say?
based on reddit memes no one cares about alignment unless your evil, they are to busy dealing with bards or whether lizards have mammaries.
 



This is kind of hilarious because it rather looks like ENworld has a more open-minded/progressive take on "What D&D is" than RPG.net, which is perhaps not what one might have expected.
 



TwoSix

Unserious gamer
The Great Wheel is considered less part of what makes D&D "D&D" on rpg.net, while the World Axis a little more so - suggesting a very tiny 4E bias (but probably not a statistically significant one).
Not too surprising, the d20 forum on rpg.net has always been more pro-4e (and pro-OSR) than ENWorld.
 

I just posted a fresh copy of the "feel" poll on r/DnD on Reddit, the largest single community of D&D players I could find online (2.3 million users, 7300 active). That's as close to a public query as I can get, I think. I'll be back in a week with the results...
You might want to ask on r/dndnext or r/rpg; content on r/dnd that isn't art tends to get buried extremely fast and go unnoticed.
 

JEB

Hero
You might want to ask on r/dndnext or r/rpg; content on r/dnd that isn't art tends to get buried extremely fast and go unnoticed.
I deliberately avoided r/dndnext because it's aimed at 5E players specifically, but r/rpg might be worth a try if r/dnd isn't productive!
 








Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I'd say alignment is pretty iconic to D&D myself. They make memes about it. I'd venture out to the general public because these forums represent the vocal minority. That minority has a lot more power now than it did even 5 years ago. Let's see what the public really has to say?
It is absolutely iconic to D&D, but is it essential to the feel of D&D? I’d agree with @JEB that it is an element that is deeply associated with D&D, but that is pretty much obsolete. I don’t think the feel of D&D would be all that different without alignment (but I liked 4e, so what do I know? 😜)
 

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