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D&D 5E Grumbling about New (and Announced) Releases

Aldarc

Legend
I have mixed feelings. I really like the direction 5e has been moving in mechanically with these recent releases. The changes to races and monsters that we’re starting to see are very much what I’ve wanted from D&D, pretty much since 5e’s release - they’re revisiting ideas that I think worked very well from a design perspective, but were just too polarizing at the time of the 5e playtest to make it. It looks like a sign that the general audience’s taste is beginning to shift in a direction that is better aligned with my own.
Same.

Similarly, I love the idea of a faewild campaign, but Witchlight does not look at all like what I would want out of such a thing. It’s not that it’s too whimsical exactly, more that its brand of whimsy just doesn’t quite resonate right with me. I don’t know, it’s hard to describe but it’s just not the vibes I’m looking for.
I agree. I'm a bit surprised that it came out of a 4e campaign idea, because this seems more "Carnival Whimsy" whereas I would have expected more "Faerie Queen Whimsy" from a 4e Feywild campaign.

The Critical Role campaign just isn’t for me. I like Critical Role as a passive form of entertainment, but I have no desire to play in that world myself. I imagine my feelings towards Critical Role is similar to how some folks feel about published settings in general - that feeling of “why would I want to run a game in Matt Mercer’s setting? Sure, it’s got some cool ideas, but it isn’t mine.”
Same again, though for me, I think that I would rather just run the Nentir Vale than Exandria. Exandria feels a bit like Matt Mercer trying to turn Nentir Vale into the Forgotten Realms.

Fizban’s I am actually pretty stoked for though. I wasn’t at first because I don’t really care that much about gem dragons, and I figured they were going to be its main selling point. But the more we’ve learned about the book, the more it seems like it’s going to be much broader than that, with stats for lots of other types of dragons, along with dragon-themed magic items, spells, races, subclasses, gifts, etc. So, I’m definitely into it.
Draconomicons and the like are always big hits for me.
 

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Li Shenron

Legend
I don't think it's possible to have too many monsters, adventures or settings, so their announced releases are mostly fine with me, even though I don't know yet if I'll buy any of those books... Monsters of the Multiverse is perhaps the prime candidate, but if it contains too much reprints of Volo's (which I already have) then I'll skip it.

I am on the other hand largely uninterested in rulesbooks nowadays. I think core 5e does it for me (except for being thin on characters options, for which Xanathar stepped in more than enough) almost perfectly and I wouldn't want any updates that is only going to confuse players and split the base, I hate what Tasha has already done to it.
 

Same.


I agree. I'm a bit surprised that it came out of a 4e campaign idea, because this seems more "Carnival Whimsy" whereas I would have expected more "Faerie Queen Whimsy" from a 4e Feywild campaign.


Same again, though for me, I think that I would rather just run the Nentir Vale than Exandria. Exandria feels a bit like Matt Mercer trying to turn Nentir Vale into the Forgotten Realms.


Draconomicons and the like are always big hits for me.

The Nentir Vale originally was supposed to be part of FR or something, and FR already eat some of the best parts of that setting, but with its own spin on this, sometimes more interesting (4e/5e style Tieflings, Dragonborn, Gloomwrought, others).
 

Retreater

Legend
I mean,the entire book of dragons helps with the variety aspect, but I have trouble imagining dragons as uninteresting.
So (at least in my games), I might use dragons once or twice in a given campaign. They're big opponents. Having a "dragon dungeon" where you fight multiple dragons doesn't seem feasible. But undead, demons, devils, aberrations, etc, you can do that.
I can't imagine a campaign that uses more than a handful of them.
I find them uninteresting because their powers are exactly what even someone not in the hobby would expect. Case in point, yesterday I was talking to a coworker who was looking at the cover of Dragon of Icespire Peak. She doesn't play D&D.
"I guess that's a white dragon. It probably breathes icy air instead of fire."
Replace that dragon with a beholder, and you get something that's uniquely D&D. Something that gets the imagination going. Something that can surprise the players.
Dragons are everywhere in pop culture. They are one of the lowest common denominator monsters in the game.
How many are already in the MM? Dozens of variations, between the ages and colors? I don't think I need more.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I don't have any problem with anything that is being produced, just like I didn't have any problems with the books already produced. And this is true even with the fact that I haven't actually bought a lot of them.

I honestly am perfectly fine playing and running D&D with whatever I have at hand and don't care one way or another if other books that might be useful to me are published. If one is and I can make use of it, great! Then I will. But if five books in a row are ones that I have no use or need for... okay, no big deal. Won't buy any of them and that's fine. But that doesn't matter to me at all because I have plenty of material and ideas already to run plenty of games for as long as I need. Heck... I have Google... and thus I have several thousand "D&D books" worth of material at my fingertips right now to put together campaigns in any setting I might want... so who cares if WotC isn't publishing it in a single book?

Now there of course is something to be said for having WotC publish a single book that pulls a lot of stuff together of one thematic idea for ease-of-use if nothing else. But even when they do so... I personally NEVER use just what is in that book-- I go outside the book and find all kinds of other stuff that I can use in addition to it, because the book is never written with just me and my requirements in mind. It's a book meant for an average and certain type of DM and player... so I go into it knowing full well that I am going to make it my own by using it as a springboard for my own complete work, adding, subtracting, writing, re-writing, editing, and all that stuff so that it works for me and what I want. And which is why I don't write-off any book that WotC publishes as "not for me"... because any of them at any point might have some things in them worth cribbing from. And if that's the case, then I'll buy it.
 

AtomicPope

Adventurer
I have a love for new, shiny things, but not all new, shiny things. I'm really loving what I'm seeing with the new Dragon Book. As far as Critical Role, meh. None of their products have captured my attention. Not a single one. I like the idea of Strixhaven more than the setting itself. MtG is not a good setting for D&D since the world was not designed with RPGs in mind. However, the book they released was a very good sourcebook and I have no problem stealing those good ideas for a proper RPG campaign world. The Ravinca book is full of useful tidbits to steal. I've used it in Eberron, Greyhawk, Spelljammer, and in one-shots.

The Dragonbook has my hopes up. I can't wait.
 

Nefermandias

Adventurer
I mean the monster manual 5e dragons are pretty dull tbh. 'here is big stack of HP which sometimes does a damage cone'

That's literally it.

Then again, that sums up most 5e stat blocks. As interesting stat blocks were a part of 4e design, and therefore had to be removed.
I can taste the salt in this post, but it's still completely true.
 

Aldarc

Legend
and FR already eat some of the best parts of that setting, but with its own spin on this, sometimes more interesting (4e/5e style Tieflings, Dragonborn, Gloomwrought, others).
The Nentir Vale was originally conceived to be part of the Forgotten Realms, but then it thankfully became its own thing, as I think that the Nentir Vale supports the conceits of 4e much better than Forgotten Realms as it was built from the ground-up with those themes in mind (e.g., Dawn War, Chaoskampf, power sources, points of light, etc.). The idea that FR ate the best parts and/or made more interesting spins on them, I suspect misidentifies what those "best parts" were that made Nentir Vale work for me as a setting whereas Forgotten Realms utterly fails.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
I have no real objection to any of the new books individually, but I do feel like 5E has reached an inevitable tipping point of edition bloat. And while I like a lot of things in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, I think that book for me marks the point of "enough is too much" and was really the first time I saw power creep become a pervasive problem at my tables (due to a few specific unbalanced subclasses and abilities).

There's more content than I can reasonably use. I'm interested in the Strixhaven book and the Critical Role adventure, but the fact is that I'm still in the middle of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden and Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus campaigns and will likely be playing them well into 2022. I own both Candlekeep Mysteries and Wild Beyond the Witchlight and haven't even read them. So in terms of adventures I feel like I'm swimming in them, and there's a backlog.

That said, the CR adventure is overdue and something that will absolutely help grow the game, and it will be a hugely successful book from a sales perspective. As a pro DM, selfishly I'm thrilled to see it because people will want to hire me to run it for them. In terms of story ideas and lore, I thought the Wildemount book was very strong. However, the player-facing subclasses and spells in that book I found to be game-breakingly powerful at the table, so I hope things are handled more carefully on the mechanics side for this book if there are any new subclasses or races thrown in.

Fizban's just isn't something I feel is missing from my table. I like dragons but feel they are generally best used as abstractions at a distance to preserve their mystique. I use them sparingly and don't feel like I'd necessarily know what to do with a book full of dragon stuff. I have pre-ordered that one on DNDBeyond but, like a few other books, I'm unlikely to pick up a physical copy.
 

MarkB

Legend
I'm unlikely to buy the Critical Role adventure or the Strixhaven setting book any time soon, but that's just because I'm not in need of a new setting or adventure right now. I'd happily be a player in either setting.

Fizban's is sounding really interesting, and the only reason I'm hesitating to purchase it is because I've backed Level Up, and I know those books will also have some new takes on dragons and related subjects, so I want to see the one I've already bought before I invest in another one.
 

Bolares

Hero
The Critical Role campaign just isn’t for me. I like Critical Role as a passive form of entertainment, but I have no desire to play in that world myself. I imagine my feelings towards Critical Role is similar to how some folks feel about published settings in general - that feeling of “why would I want to run a game in Matt Mercer’s setting? Sure, it’s got some cool ideas, but it isn’t mine.”
This is how I feel about campaigns in FR. I could give less of a sh*t about that world, but all the adventures (almost all) are set there, so I focus on the story an leave the setting to the background in my game. That's what I'll probably do with this, not because I don't like Exandria, but because my group doesn't watch CR and wouldn't care mucha bout the setting.
 

I wonder how Planescape would be received if it was released today for the first time. I'm pretty sure that lots of people would grumble about this non-standard setting with the weird semi-goth art and a total rewrite of the planes.
This is a gem. Around here? With horror and despair, perhaps? I find the idea very amusing.

The Critical Role campaign just isn’t for me. I like Critical Role as a passive form of entertainment, but I have no desire to play in that world myself. I imagine my feelings towards Critical Role is similar to how some folks feel about published settings in general - that feeling of “why would I want to run a game in Matt Mercer’s setting? Sure, it’s got some cool ideas, but it isn’t mine.”
Well, if you've played any adventure published for 5e (and most of D&D history), you've played in someone else's setting. All major 5E AP were played in Ed Greenwood's home setting (admittedly, a very different Realms from his home Realms for a while now). The highly praised classic modules were played in Gygax's or Arneson's home setting. So, not exactly a new thing.
 

grimslade

Doddering Old Git
I am surprised the Dragon book took this long to come out. It is a popular book in every edition and half the name of the game. I definitely don't need it, but it may have ideas to mine for other BBEGs.
Strixhaven has too much that I want to strip mine for campaigns. I am genuinely intrigued to see the setting in TTRPG form.
I don't normally buy the adventure campaign books, but Wild Beyond the WitchLight is too different not to get. I don't see it as the harbinger of future content but it would be nice to have a variety of styles to the adventure paths.
The Exandria AP is probably a pass for me. I liked the Wildmount book, but I haven't used a single thing from it, nor campaigned in the world. Maybe, I will eventually watch a Critical Role session and be intrigued, but not on my purchasing radar now.
Spelljammer or Planejammer teased with the newest UA races or dark horse perpetual contender DarkSun will be hard to pass up.
 

A bit off topic but what did you find most enjoyable with Wildemount? From an outsider's perspective I saw a high fantasy world that takes inspiration from pre-renaissance Europe. That's a pretty saturated space even for someone like me who enjoys that stuff. Is there anything particularly interesting game or mechanics-wise?
I was looking to answer this post, but I answered it in a different thread. 😀

One innovation that seemed to have started in the Wildemount setting guide was adding two or three adventure hooks at each location described. I found this very useful.

I also really like the fact that while the Dwendelian empire was very “standard European-centric fantasy”, the other areas seemed different. Xhorhas didn’t feel like a European empire with a different coat of paint (and the implication of the Luxen were pretty cool), the Menagerie Coast definitely had more of a Polynesian feel, and the Biting North seemed to revolve around survival and exploration rather than pillaging and raiding.
 
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Retreater

Legend
Well, if you've played any adventure published for 5e (and most of D&D history), you've played in someone else's setting. All major 5E AP were played in Ed Greenwood's home setting (admittedly, a very different Realms from his home Realms for a while now). The highly praised classic modules were played in Gygax's or Arneson's home setting. So, not exactly a new thing.
My discounting of CR material is that - while I'm not a fan - a number of my players are. They will know more about the setting than I will, and the comparisons to how Matt Mercer runs his game is something I don't want.
I also don't like running things in other established campaign settings the players are familiar with. I want to make it my own, I want them to be surprised when they encounter NPCs and locations.
 

Bolares

Hero
My discounting of CR material is that - while I'm not a fan - a number of my players are. They will know more about the setting than I will, and the comparisons to how Matt Mercer runs his game is something I don't want.
I also don't like running things in other established campaign settings the players are familiar with. I want to make it my own, I want them to be surprised when they encounter NPCs and locations.
Well, if it counts for something, it seems that most of this adventure will take place in a part of the world CR has not explored so much yet (but will explore in campaign 3)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
To be fair, I suspect it will be more American College than British public school. Fewer cold showers.
One of the criticisms the Magic Set got was excessive American-cebtricness that the designers weren't even aware of: all American College tropes, turned out to be very different from global players experiences.
 

Retreater

Legend
Well, if it counts for something, it seems that most of this adventure will take place in a part of the world CR has not explored so much yet (but will explore in campaign 3)
So by the time it's published and I would get around to running it, I'd likely have the same problem.
My wife is a CR fan, however. So if any of you plan to run it online, she'd like to play it.
 

One of the criticisms the Magic Set got was excessive American-cebtricness that the designers weren't even aware of: all American College tropes, turned out to be very different from global players experiences.
People write what they know. I don't see anything wrong with that. I would rather that than have them make a pigs ear of trying to make it British. To non-Americans it has novelty value. There are some things that might need more explanation though.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
My discounting of CR material is that - while I'm not a fan - a number of my players are. They will know more about the setting than I will, and the comparisons to how Matt Mercer runs his game is something I don't want.
I also don't like running things in other established campaign settings the players are familiar with. I want to make it my own, I want them to be surprised when they encounter NPCs and locations.
That's how I feel about playing in any media Setting too (bad experience with the Wheel of Time RPG in College). However, the advantage that the Critical Role book has is that the serial numbers can be easily filed off, and there's still a lot of generally applicable DM prep material to repurpose.
 

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