D&D General How am I a D&D outlier? How are you one?


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MGibster

Legend
Hrm. I have to admit, I actually don't know if my players are white or not, having almost never seen their faces, but, I think most of them have been white. The ones I do know, have almost always been white. The last POC that I know was at my table would have been about 2000 or so.
I started gaming around 1988 and I didn't have a regular black player at my table until 2018 when I ran Curse of Strahd. A friend asked me to run CoS for his group and half the players were black, half were Latino, and 75% of them were gay. This was a combination that would have blown my mind back in 1991. (I think I played Cyberpunk 2020 for 2-3 years before I saw a photo of Mike Pondsmith and was surprised that he was black.) I think I saw more black gamers at my local game store a few years after Magic the Gathering become popular. I make no claims that there's a connection just when I can recall noticing it.
 

haakon1

Adventurer
How are you an outlier? How do you feel like one?
My unusualness:
  1. Long campaign - me too. Always many year, but
  2. I don’t play 5e except if someone else is running it. 3.5e for me.
  3. I convert materials from other editions all the time. Running 1e module for one party, 3e stuff for another. I’ve converted from Basic, 1e, 2e, 3e, 5e, and PF1.
  4. Restricted races - me too. Because I play Core rules.
  5. I don’t encourage multiclassing and most of my players don’t do it.
  6. Yup, I don’t have a predetermined plot either.
  7. I don’t like high levels. I prefer low levels and I’m OK to about 10th. I get annoyed by high powered modules as they are usually Supers stories. There are a few good ones, though.
  8. Balance. I care less than you do. I have a party with 2nd-10th level together. New players don’t come in at the same level as the party - they take over an NPC of their choice or build a character at a lower level if the player has the skill.
  9. Encounter design is about what makes sense, not balance or skills or scene building for me too.
  10. I’m a Greyhawk fanatic. I’m currently.
  11. I use Excel for the minimat and Zoom, not tabletop program, for my “live“ campaign.
  12. I use Excel and Word for my email campaign. I play on email.
  13. Resource management - even weight and dropping your pack to go fast - is a core part of my game as well.
  14. One of my players became a lord and is building his steading and detailing people and buildings.
  15. Large parties. 7 players on Zoom campaign, 7 players in email campaign.
  16. Slow prep. The game played on Zoom on Saturday, I’d been working on since July. (It’ll last us months.)
  17. I don’t play 4 hours per week. Zoom game is more like 8 times a year. Email is all the time and hard to translate to equivalent butts-in-seat time.
  18. I recruit new players. In Zoom, 6 of 7 players never played D&D before (the 7th was at GenCon’s in when it was at Parkside, pre Milwaukee, so complete expert). On email, 2 players have only ever been DM’d by me, and 3 more hadn’t played since 1e or 2e was in print.
 
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MGibster

Legend
  1. I don't think player races really matter all that much though I wish they did.
  2. I roll out in the open where players can see.
  3. I like alignment though I'm resigned to knowing my players aren't into it like I am.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It’s that old distinction between anecdotes & data.

Before one of my friends invited his GF to join us in the mid-80’s, I hadn’t even seen a female human being in a game store besides Moms buying stuff for their kids.
Since forever our player base has fairly consistently been about 1/3 female, with variance now and then of course. Relatively recently (i.e. the last three-ish years or so) that number has ticked up somewhat mostly due to one game being nearly all women and most of those being new to our crew.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
1. My go-to edition is OD&D (by which I mean the white box, blue box, red box, and black box* editions; they're all coequal in my eyes and not different enough from each other for me to go about drawing pedantic distinctions).

* For the curious, I'm a Millennial who started gaming on black box OD&D and 2nd Edition AD&D.
Sorry to ask, but I am curious about this kinda thing. Which blue box and which black box are you talking about?

I ask because the original 1974 (and AFAIK only) white box was OD&D. But, as far as I know, both blue boxes and both black boxes were versions of Basic D&D. There are similarities between OD&D and Basic D&D, but they are different. The old red box is also Basic D&D.

Original blue Basic D&D box, though it's sometimes called white:

BasicBlueDND.jpg


Revised blue Basic D&D (technically E of the BECMI line) box:

s-l300.jpg


Original black Basic D&D (technically M of the BECMI line) box:

81a1dcc822caab69fca09da69c2e0d3d.jpg


Revised black Basic D&D box:
 

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Depends on the campaign. My style varies based on the nature of the campaign I'm running.

In my current campaign, it is very adversarial style of DMing compared to what is considered acceptable in many circles. I'm running a deadly megadungeon and I play to "win", within the rule of the game and the setting. Players have all bought into this.

Also, I don't like short sessions. I would rather have fewer but longer sessions. My general schedule for my main campaign is 8 hours per session, once per month.
 

Egon Spengler

"We eat gods for breakfast!"
Sorry to ask, but I am curious about this kinda thing. Which blue box and which black box are you talking about?

You've got 'em on your list. The '77 Basic Set and the '91 D&D Game. At least in the area where I grew up (the Midwest around the Great Lakes), it was typical to distinguish all of those sets from Advanced D&D by referring to them as "Original D&D" (preceded by a box color if you needed to specify a certain version). As far as I can recall, this wasn't unusual on the internet back in the 90s either (see: the OD&Dities fanzine), though I'm sure there were straight-up flame-wars at the time on alt.rec.games.frp.dnd over the nomenclature. Curiously, the text of Mentzer Basic itself lends some support this tradition:

8d532mu.png


From what I understand, the modern practice of over-specifying the Original/Classic D&D versions (LBB, Holmes, B/X, BECMI, RC) originated on Usenet as well, but didn't gain any real traction until the Dragonsfoot forums in the early 2000s. (I also recall that Usenet posters tried to coin "BD&D," but it never caught on.)
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Another way I’m an outlier is on the player side of the screen- I’ve played most of the basic races, classes and alignments. Especially most of the stereotypes/iconic combinations. And that incldues multiclassin.

So now, my tastes have become more esoteric.

This means, if you were trying to peg my FRPG character taste, the safest bet is to say my character will have a mix of some melee and some supernatural abilities, probably from multiclassing, but not necessarily.

For example, the last 3.5Ed PC I designed was a straight up, single classed fighter, but had magical abilities due to race, templates, and feats.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
1. I play with XP. The only adjustments are that players get minor boosts during milestones, but their main source is through fighting.

2. I run dungeons in every adventure. They aren't always an underground prisons, but they use the dungeon crawling rules.

3. I use the rules for dungeon crawls.

4. I don't really "balance" anything. I create the adventure based on what makes sense in the world, not what would balance the game. If something can be arbitrarily decided, like how many zombies are in a graveyard, I either roll randomly or make it a reasonable number.

5. I do high-level adventures, and I enjoy them more than any other tier of adventure.

6. I hate playing Wizards, bards, and paladins.
 



Asisreo

Patron Badass
Possibly referring to the 1e rules for movement while exploring a dungeon, wandering monster checks/frequency, mapping, monitoring light-source durations, etc.?

If not, I too am curious. :)
Basically that, except I have a "dungeon crawl" DM screen that makes running the dungeon crawls much easier than flipping through the book.

So, I can quickly ask their marching order, their speed, their light sources, etc. as well as adjudicating what actions like map-drawing and scouting ahead entails. When they tell me what they want to do, rather than go to page whatever to know how discovering traps works, I have the rules in my face during that time, except put into actual natural language and not the spaghetti code WoTC decided to write it as.
 

Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
Lets see....

1) - long campaigns - I like them to last a decades.
2) - I really prefer mid and high level play. levels 1-3 I find near torture, and 4-5 is where it is just getting good. As an addendum I detest the concept of E6
3) - I tend not to run major humanocentric games I like my taverns to look like Mos Esiley Cantina.
4) - I tend to ignore "canon" and "official" - I never use setting lore (unless I steal pieces for my own setting) and usually by halfway through the lifetime of the game I'm using more 3rd party material than WotC. (Did similar with TSR stuff, lots of Role Aides and Dragon material).
5) - never used minis. Every. If combat was detailed enough to need a map for that fight, we just used markers to indicate position.
6) - I tend to run very cinematic - encumbrance and other such tracking is ignored, and death is generally off the table unless it is dramaticly appropriate - The game isn't a wargame, or a battle of combat wits, but a shared experience.
7) - I like the classic alignment system and it being prescriptive instead of descriptive. If I don't want that feel, I'll play a different game than D&D.
8) - I tend to run High Fantasy / Big Darn Heroes kind of games, where the world will be at stake at some point. Also no non-good alignments - the characters are heroes, no adventurers.
9) - All gaming is FtF, never have done digital gaming, never will. In fact phones, pads and computers are not allowed at the table.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Lets see....

1) - long campaigns - I like them to last a decades.
2) - I really prefer mid and high level play. levels 1-3 I find near torture, and 4-5 is where it is just getting good. As an addendum I detest the concept of E6
3) - I tend not to run major humanocentric games I like my taverns to look like Mos Esiley Cantina.
4) - I tend to ignore "canon" and "official" - I never use setting lore (unless I steal pieces for my own setting) and usually by halfway through the lifetime of the game I'm using more 3rd party material than WotC. (Did similar with TSR stuff, lots of Role Aides and Dragon material).
5) - never used minis. Every. If combat was detailed enough to need a map for that fight, we just used markers to indicate position.
6) - I tend to run very cinematic - encumbrance and other such tracking is ignored, and death is generally off the table unless it is dramaticly appropriate - The game isn't a wargame, or a battle of combat wits, but a shared experience.
7) - I like the classic alignment system and it being prescriptive instead of descriptive. If I don't want that feel, I'll play a different game than D&D.
8) - I tend to run High Fantasy / Big Darn Heroes kind of games, where the world will be at stake at some point. Also no non-good alignments - the characters are heroes, no adventurers.
9) - All gaming is FtF, never have done digital gaming, never will. In fact phones, pads and computers are not allowed at the table.
I'm with you as far as #1 above.

After that, through #8 we probably couldn't be much more opposite if we tried. :)

For #9: I'll only DM in-person games but if I want to play I've no choice but go digitial until the plague is over. Phones and tablets are essential at my table, however, as most (nearly all, now?) player-side rules and resources for my game are online; spell write-ups being by far the most commonly referenced.
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
An outlier? I guess the following, though some may be less outlier-y now than they used to be.

1 From the time I began playing (1993 or so) almost every group I ever played with had multiple girls in it. I never got the "boys club" aspects of D&D or it's culture.

2. I'm happy to restrict player options, even banning stuff that's in the Player's Handbook. If we are playing in an Ancient Greek setting, you can save your musket-wielding chicken-people or whatever for another campaign.

3. There's no wrong way to play, but some characters and even players are a poor fit for a given table. We do not need to accommodate one person's disruption at the expense of everyone else's fun.

4. I love alignment in D&D. It may be my absolute favorite aspect of the game. But as noted above, I'm not going to tell you you can't do something. If your Lawful Good paladin is slaughtering innocent people, we will remove the terms "Good" and maybe even "Lawful" from your sheet. And that will have consequences down the line.

5. I vehemently disagree with anybody who claims that D&D "can't do" genres beyond sword & sorcery or pseudo-medieval high fantasy. In fact, my preferred milieu is Victorian steampunk or gaslamp fantasy. But I'll also happily use the OD&D rules to run games set in ancient, historical, present-day, or futuristic worlds, both magical and mundane. The period or genre, after all, is just a backdrop—a coat of paint on the game. As long as there are "dungeons" (or the period-appropriate equivalent) to explore and hexes to crawl (even if a hex represents a cubic parsec of interstellar space rather than a square league of wilderness), the game itself works just fine. The key to making OD&D function in any setting is simply to keep the game about exploration and treasure-hunting.
It is shocking to me the sheer volume of people who insist that D&D "can't do" something. It I guess that's easier than admitting there stuff THEY can't conceptualize doing with D&D.
 
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Li Shenron

Legend
There are probably others, but that is enough for now.

How are you an outlier? How do you feel like one?
I agree/share maybe only half of your preferences, but something tells me I would love to play with you.

Me, I am an outlier mostly because I feel D&D as a private thing, meant to be made your own by designing your additional materials, DIY props, and house rules (even though I use ZERO house rules in 5e, but I do have my own ways of managing stuff through rule zero), and I love playing with beginners, casual players and anyone with the attitude of wanting to learn rather than teach. The dark side of that is my hate for the most vocals manifestations of the hobby: I hate fanboys, rules lawyers, powergamers, people who make youtube videos to praise the latest books, simulationist theirycrafters, and generally anyone who gets excited about buying anything "new", without ever putting enough attention into the here and now of the game (if ever actually playing it).
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I agree/share maybe only half of your preferences, but something tells me I would love to play with you.

bambi GIF


Gosh. That is very nice of you.

If you were local I'd talk to you about joining up, except that I promised the one woman in my F2F group that if we got a fifth player it'd be another woman or a non-binary person.
 

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