D&D (2024) DMG adventure design advice - a bit contradictory?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
If I did not want people to map out all the events of an adventure, I would not ask them "How does the adventure play out?" - which is to say, invite them to map out all the events of the adventure. Nor would I tell them to "Determine the encounters or events that take the characters from the beginning of the adventure to the end", which is an instruction to map out the events of the adventure, in a sequence from the beginning of the adventure to its end.
Cool.

Why start a thread if you aren’t even kinda open to hearing that the answer to the question in the title might be, “nope”?
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Seems to me a pretty obvious contradiction. Don't plan endings...but plan endings. Don't railroad, but plan every event and encounter.
That isn’t an accurate description of the text.
This is the Dungeon Master's Guide. It should never leave key words implicit. The "potential," "possible," etc. that should be there are not there. One of the greatest problems of the 5.0 DMG was that it was crap-awful at actually guiding. This preview, while only a small slice, does not bode well for improvements on that front.
the only thing that doesn’t bode well for improvement here is the attitude of a chunk of the community toward new things.
 

I find this is a general criticism of the 5.0 DMG. It does not discuss things in most cases. Occasionally it actually does do so. The vast majority of the time, its advice boils down to, "You can do X. Or, you can not do X! You decide." Which isn't a discussion. It's barely even a reference.

Huzzah for EMPOWERMENT! May it enable DMs to forge the path that is right for them!
 

John Lloyd1

Rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty
My thoughts are:
  • This is an overview of the process. It is not going to have the detail to unpack these issues. For example, if you look at the 8 steps of the lazy dungeon master with out the explanations you will not understand how it works. The explanations are in the pages we haven't seen yet.
  • There is an inherit tension between improvisation and preparation. Unless someone goes completely to one side or other of the pendulum, any framework will contain some contradiction.
  • The are many different frameworks, DM styles and play styles. No one solution is going to make everyone happy. The best approach for the DMG is to pick one framework. It should not be a collection of frameworks and variations.
 



TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
the only thing that doesn’t bode well for improvement here is the attitude of a chunk of the community toward new things.
None of the ideas in the quoted text of the DMG being discussed here are actually novel.

What would be novel is having the DMG acknowledge the innate tension in adventure path style play, and be direct that while the players have some freedom to diverge, there's a tacit social contract that the players won't try to derail the DM's overarching plot.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Because you've often zero real-world time between the players taking an action and you having to produce the resulting encounter, "planning encounters in response to player actions" is just a long-form way of saying "wing it".

That doesn't work for everyone.
Winging it is something I do a lot... but relies on years of preparation and experience in how D&D adventures and encounters work, and what "fits" the game and the World of Greyhawk in particular.

Improvisation is a skill!

Cheers,
Merric
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Winging it is something I do a lot... but relies on years of preparation and experience in how D&D adventures and encounters work,
Check - I've been DMing for 40 years as of a few weeks ago.
and what "fits" the game and the World of Greyhawk in particular.
Check - I'm running in my own completely homebrew setting.

So why am I still no good at winging it?

Simple: because the more I wing it the more likely I am to forget what I just said and contradict myself, and thus introduce (unacceptable) inconsistencies.
Improvisation is a skill!
Improvisation in itself isn't the problem. Remembering everything you've improvised so as not to contradict it later, is. And taking notes on the fly is flat-out not an option as doing so would grind the whole game to a halt.
 

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