D&D General Does Dungeons & Dragon ever make you feel overwhelmed? (Letter about 1E that could be about any edition)

Jmarso

Adventurer
Not overwhelmed, no. It's never been work/ a school assignment. It's a game, meant to be fun, and that's how I and everyone I've ever played with have treated it. I haven't always played it correctly, especially in the beginning, and I've improved my understanding of the various rulesets over the years. In the meantime, I always play to my group's current understanding of the rules. I've never felt overwhelmed by it.
 

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Horwath

Hero
I can relate. I know that past editions have had way more content and products than 5e has had so far, but I was really enjoying the simplicity of 5e back at the start and started to feel a bit overwhelmed by it around when Volo's came out. I've purchased every single 5e book that's come out so far, but I haven't read them all.

It's hard to keep up with all the races, subclasses, spells, magic items and so on that players want to make use of now.
Personally, 5E is very light on additional options(that is in general a good thing, more quality not quantity), I mean we got for player's more or less just 3 books with rules. PHB, XGE and Tasha's. SCAG, VOLO's, MToF have just s sprinkle of content for players. Over 7 years.
Comparing that to a book threadmill of 3.5e or PF1, this is really light reading.
 

I could understand the frustration, especially as an adult. When you have a full life outside of D&D, keeping up with the changes seems more like homework or even a second job than a hobby. My experience was different. I got into D&D as a kid and 2e was coming out. I was hyped, and then a little let down. Imagine a new edition that doesn't impress a child. Nice job TSR! So from an early age I was reading articles, adapting material, and merging editions. We used both AD&D and 2e at the same time until 3e came out. Then, we kept some of the material from 3.0 when 3.5 was rushed out.

I suppose I'm lucky that I experienced the big changes when I was first learning the game. It prepared me for the rest of my life.
 

pukunui

Legend
Personally, 5E is very light on additional options(that is in general a good thing, more quality not quantity), I mean we got for player's more or less just 3 books with rules. PHB, XGE and Tasha's. SCAG, VOLO's, MToF have just s sprinkle of content for players. Over 7 years.
Comparing that to a book threadmill of 3.5e or PF1, this is really light reading.
I know. I wonder if the fact that it’s spread out across so many books (a new spell here, a new race there) makes it feel like there’s more there than there actually is.
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
And here I sit, in my corner, wondering why you didn't include the answer in your scan, and where the city of "Sam Jose" might be....
I am out of town right now, but if I remember when I get back home I will snap a pic of the answer to the letter, which from what I remember is very unsatisfying - or at least, I would have been unsatisfied with it if I was that dude from "Sam Jose"
I have the Dragon CD-ROM archive handy so here you go:
1633452369828.png
 

As long as the new casters still have the "character is a X level caster" text, I can work backwards to use it correctly by my view.
From the current examples of the new stat blocks, they won’t.

The best we can do if we would rather that stay (unless you‘re a personal friend of those in charge and call up and say “Yo man, what the crap? If you haven’t heard the issues some people have with this, lemme explain“) is to make sure to give useful feedback on every survey that comes out.
 


Orius

Hero
Hmmmff, this guy had yet to see the excesses of 3e. Now THAT gets overwhelming. I've been going over some of that material, and there's just way too many things like feats to read over. The worst part is that I like the concept of feats but when every 3e book boasts dozens of new feats as a selling point, it's a lot of work as a DM to properly evaluate it all, especially since I don't have a strong charop mindset. That's not getting into spells and magic items, but those can be more readily controlled. I don't blame a lot of guys for going back to the old rules or OSR sometimes but I like what 3e does in general.
 


TSR-Hobbies

Explorer
There is no way I could keep up on everything out there, especially today. When we play it is very collaborative and my players sometimes know more about specific materials for their characters than I do.
 


Maybe if they sold books in some kind of "deluxe" binding folders that you can insert pages that you print on expensive photo paper when errata(patch) comes out it would be a good compromise.

This was actually tried with the Monstrous Compendium in 2e--it was a three-ring binder and you could insert monster sheets on three-holed looseleaf paper. You can guess what happened--the thing fell apart and the pages got torn.
 

Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
This was actually tried with the Monstrous Compendium in 2e--it was a three-ring binder and you could insert monster sheets on three-holed looseleaf paper. You can guess what happened--the thing fell apart and the pages got torn.
Even before it started to fall apart, the best aspect of this system was lost. Being able to have a single source of monsters in alphabetical order (or a custom, personalized order of your choosing) was a great thing in the day of multiple books and the pre-WWW Internet. But then they ruined that by printing monsters on both sides of the page. :rolleyes:
 

haakon1

Adventurer
I feel the this one. I spend a lot of time on D&D, and played since 1982, but there’s just so much stuff I’ll just never ”catch up” on.

I only fully get AD&D 1e, 3.0/3.5e, AD&D Oriental Adventure, and Greyhawk. And I don’t fully know 1e UA (edition 1.5) or 3/3.5e splatbooks - it’s a conscious choice to not have a ton of splat, splat being the main criticism of 2e & 3/3.5e.

I feel underinformed on Forgotten Realms and 5e.

I know some 2e, 4e & Nentir Vale, PF1 & Golarion, and the Basic D&D Known World. Perhaps “enough” but it’s not deep.

Zero knowledge or interest of Dragonlance, Dark Sun, Spelljammer, or PF2.

I’m on,y getting to the Witcher and Wheel of Time because they are on TV.

is it possible (or advisable?) to be up to date on all these things?
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
is it possible (or advisable?) to be up to date on all these things?

I honestly don't think it's possible, considering that you added fantasy books on top of D&D itself. D&D is extremely vast, thousands of hours of reading at the very least, and if you start on massive series of books like the Witcher and especially Wheel of Time, it will take you a while more (although both of these are definitely worth reading - way more than D&D books - if you have the time and the inclination). With all my other activities, I even have trouble following all the publications of Brandon Sanderson, despite him being my favourite author these days. Also, D&D, as a game, is meant to be played. Over the years, I think I've read most of what has been published, but I have not even experienced it, although I've played thousands of sessions (in engineering school only, I played 6 sessions a week for 3 years, although it was certainly a bit too much). And there is no need for it, just enjoy the game as it exists in the tables that you have fun with.
 

From the current examples of the new stat blocks, they won’t.

The best we can do if we would rather that stay (unless you‘re a personal friend of those in charge and call up and say “Yo man, what the crap? If you haven’t heard the issues some people have with this, lemme explain“) is to make sure to give useful feedback on every survey that comes out.
I am totally torn between both approaches.
A big problem of casters as enemies always has been, that they are encountered fully rested in most cases. So they always punch way over a non caster. And if you know the system as a DM well, it is a boring fight: fireball, shield, fireball, shield, fireball, shield. (Or something like that).
At least with the new approach, you get some variation.

Actually, In the playtest there was a rule that yoi can't spam the same spell over and over again.
Probably some recharge mechanic for PC spellcasters could be nice too. That would greatly nerf some over the top spells.
Something as simple as: you can't cast the same spell twice in a row as your action a prepared spellcaster (wizard/cleric/druid/paladin/Artificer).
You might allow casting the same spell twice in a row if you prepare it twice and so on.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
It wasn't until all the splat books of 2E that I felt like things were getting out of handle with creating too much material which IME would see very little use.

Since then, I rarely buy new material because it just isn't worth it to me. I like to keep the core of the game simple and develop my own game world. Occasionally a player will buy something, like Ravenloft or Frostmaiden, and want to run it or have me run it, which is fine.

So, while I am glad to see the continued success of D&D, extremely little of the material is for me anymore. Fortunately, I never felt it was necessary for me to enjoy the game.
 

Every edition along a long enough timeline gets fat.
It’s honestly time for a new edition/fresh start just to clean up some rules and make entry easier.

That being said, nothing stops you from playing only the core 3 (plus whatever you I want to allow) from any edition.

Next D&D game I run will probably be 2E with just the core 3.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
That being said, nothing stops you from playing only the core 3 (plus whatever you I want to allow) from any edition.

I think that's the right spirit. There are great things in every edition, and it's not hard to find those, if only by asking here. But considering the whole of any edition is usually way too much, including 5e at the time.
 

I honestly don't think it's possible, considering that you added fantasy books on top of D&D itself. D&D is extremely vast, thousands of hours of reading at the very least, and if you start on massive series of books like the Witcher and especially Wheel of Time, it will take you a while more (although both of these are definitely worth reading - way more than D&D books - if you have the time and the inclination).
The question is, do you need to read all of something to be "up to date", and I'd definitely say you do not need to.

You just need to be aware something exists, and to find a good summary/analysis of it, maybe read one book of it (if that). If you read around the subject you're likely to simply absorb a lot of the information. This isn't just true of D&D, it's true of most subjects. If you're going to go into depth on something you probably need to read/research more on it, but that's going way beyond being "up to date". The only major exception I'm aware of is tech, particularly IT management stuff, where things are moving so fast it is genuinely probably humanly impossible to be "up to date" even in a light way, on everything you might be expected to be.

With D&D, it's absolutely possible to gain a decent understanding of pretty much all of D&D and maintain that understanding to an "up to date" standard without huge hassle. Whether you want to is another question entirely!

As for being overwhelmed, those closest I've come was in 3.5E (specifically), when splatbooks were coming very thick and fast, and I just lost interest in keeping track of them. But I think that's different to being overwhelmed. Even with 4E's errata, I never felt like it was "too much, too fast". I've definitely played videogames which updated so much so fast I was overwhelmed, but never a tabletop one.
 

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