D&D General "I'm glad to be back playing D&D."


Reeks of Jedi
With my group I try to show off other games and they are thankfully accommodating. I try to play some form D&D and then after that something different like Cyberpunk or Vampire or Paranoia etc.

About the time Dragonlance 5E came out I swore off DMing 5E until 5.5E came out and hopefully fixed some of my issues with the system (Yeah yeah hope for the best, prepare for the worst).

We instead played some CoC, AD&D 2E, some Shadowdark, and some Cyberpunk Red. Someday we will play some Star Wars which has been requested (isn't a new version coming out soon?)

CoC was a disaster. 2E and Shadowdark went fine though while most liked the ramped up difficulty they did not like feeling less powerful compared to 5E. Cyberpunk was okay but like CoC, it just isn't some of the players "thing".

Well, I wanted to get them back into their comfort zone and I had recently picked up the 3rd party adventure Rise of the Drow, so yeah back in the saddle for 5E... with some houserules. Like no multi-saves for things like turning to stone, it's one and done and a couple others to give it more AD&D feel.

I asked them when making characters to think more like Lord of the Rings and less Sponge Bob, so the party is a Warforged, Goblin, Tabaxi, Human, and Elf.

Anyways, to the point. Several times 3 of the 5 expressed "I am glad to be playing D&D again." Which kind of hurt my feelings. Which I don't know if they mean 5E or just to be back to "D&D like 2E and Shadowdark". Although one of the teens did say "I like this and 2E" Which did make me feel good.

I noticed they are back to playing in "5E mode" though. Rush into a room, not worry about traps or monsters due to ease of healing and/or a plethora of HP. As opposed to 2E and Shadowdark where they were more cautious. Maybe once they encounter a Basilik or something they will remember they aren't immortal.

Overall, I as a DM have been learning to try not to fit a square peg into a round hole. They (we) love D&D and trying to get them to play something wholly different like CoC and Cyberpunk might just not be for us. I'm not going to stop having us play OSR on occasion. Thankfully it's "close enough" to 5E, I may use Shadowdark or C&C for a Megadungeon at some point. But yeah I'm learning to "let go" when it comes to my expectations of non-D&D games because I want us ALL to have fun and as long as they are having a good time that should be enough for me as the DM.

I'm not giving up on them liking The One Ring either. Come on Moria book! Ran a campaign once but I didn't get the reward system. After like 2 adventures the party was pretty decked out it seems just from level up rewards. IDK.

Oh and I want them to try Avatar tLA, but so far that idea went over like a lead balloon. Plus the system seems pretty different to what we all used to. Oh well, fun to read anyways.

But yeah, guess I'm not done with 5E and that's not exactly a bad thing as I can fine tune it while keeping them happy and having fun.

the hobbit fire GIF
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B/X Known World
Cool. Just remember it should be fun for you, too. If it’s not, that’s a conversation you should have with them.

And yeah, “5E mode” is definitely a thing. It is very reminiscent of video games, to be honest. Upping the damage monsters and traps, etc do is an easy way to put a little bit of brakes on that style of play. Limiting things like healing potions helps as well. Something like the Safe Haven resting rules also helps.


My unasked for advice is: don't take it personally.

Most of us on this forum are not just GMs, we're GMs who are into it enough to, well, invest time in a forum like this. We're hardcore. So for most of us, trying different rules systems and so on is fun and interesting. Whereas a lot of players enjoy getting together and playing the game, but most RPGs are really complex, and from their perspective the challenge of trying new rules systems isn't worth it, because the basic thing they want to do - get together and hang out while role-playing - isn't necessarily improved much. To the contrary, it's probably worse, because now they are having to think about new rules while trying to RP.

D&D 5e is an extremely complicated game. I know that a lot of folks here will disagree, but that's only because we are A) the kind of people who enjoy learning really complicated games, and B) are comparing it to even more complicated games...like D&D 3e. Most of my players just don't want to learn another complicated game to get back to what is essentially the same experience. Whenever I talk them into trying something, like my short Call of Cthulhu campaign last summer, it only happens because I basically walk them through it as we go. And then they are relieved to be back to D&D.

My solution has been to occasionally change it up with RPGs that are extremely rules lite, not as campaigns but as one-off games. Dread, Fiasco, and 12 Candles can be learned and played in one evening, so they scratch my itch for something new, especially in terms of setting, tone, and pacing, while not turning off the players with another 300 page rule book.


Last 5E D&D I ran was our Saltmarsh game, I think that ended in 2020. Been on the other side of the DM's for D&D for the most part (I've run Halloween D&D games, and a couple other systems as one-shots). It's been quite eye-opening to be a player and tempered my DMing in the process - especially in being more tolerant to players wanting input in the world/background and how their characters fit.

At times, it does seem older D&D was more of a survivalist game and about just keeping from getting yourself killed. The players I have been around with for 5E want more than that - they want to make an impact in the world and often have long-term goals they want to accomplish rather than to dragged along from dungeon to dungeon by events outside their control. I feel like I'm not describing it well - in 2E and before, it always seemed like the players were behind the eight ball and struggling to just tread water as they are swept along on the current. 3E, you could tread water, and might be able to swim parallel to the shore. 5E feels more like the players have enough tools to be able have a hand at the tiller, even if they don't quite know what's beyond the horizon.

I'm being a DM's assistant in a 5E game now (Tyranny of Dragons) and being in the middle has a weird feeling. I can sense the desire from the main DM to present something interesting and yet challenging without being overwhelmed. From the players, I can sense the desire to kick back and have fun while being engaged with the story. There's some "feeling out" going on both sides, and in the end they want the same thing - that the time they spend together tells an interesting and entertaining story, using the D&D rules do so.

I hope in the near future to be running a Dragonlance game and taken all the latest knowledge I've accumilated and make it an enjoyable experience for both sides of the screen. I like D&D, and 5E especially. The game has its quirks, but as long as the result is that both sides feel like it is time well-spent with a story worth telling afterward - well, to me that's more important than any old pile of rules or system.


Everyone was extremely bored.
Ha ha - been there.
I tried CoC once with my D&D group. I still remember trying to describe a lighthouse in the most eerily way, and suddenly we could hear one of the players snoring. He simply fell asleep! Now I think it was stacked against us. Firstly we played on Roll20 and if I am ever to DM a CoC (or any horror game honestly) I think it has to be face-to-face. Those games requires those kind intensities that are hard on a VTT. Also the player in question had just come off from a long and grueling day at work. So there's that.

I never take stuff like that personally. If nothing else it has given us a meme we often laugh about. I'm just happy I have found a steady group for playing TTRPGs, even if they mostly want to feel powerful and play D&D 5e or PF1.


Like others said, don't take it personally.

I'we been playing with the same group of friends for 16 years, with exception of one friend who joined us 10 years ago. In the early years, we tried different games ( CoC, All flesh must be eaten, 7th sea, FATE, old and new WoD, Houses of the bloodied, Shadowrun, Dark Heresy), but we always came back to D&D. Last 10 years we play more or less only 5th edition D&D. I tried and ran some Knave, Cairn and Mork Borg, and while we did have couple of fun sessions, they just didn't like those games enough for anything than occasional one shot.

We, as a group, had a nice good conversation, and concluded that D&D just checks all the boxes when it comes to what we want out of games. 2 of 5 said they flat out don't wan't and don't have time to learn new complex systems. So we continue to play D&D 5th edition going forward, but if i find some fun rules light game, they are wiling to do session or two. Since we are limited to playing once a week for 3 to max 4h, game that everyone knows and likes gives us best bang for the buck.


Jacob Rodgers
With The One Ring, what was your trouble with Rewards? They should only get one when they advance their Valour, which is roughly equivalent to a Level in D&D-alikes. Was it happening too often? Was no one advancing Wisdom and thus getting Virtues? (feats, basically)

And, of course, the phrase What Would Aragorn Do? can be a good touchstone to ensure your group tries to play with a Middle-earth vibe and not a Forgotten Realms Murder Hobo vibe.


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
My unasked for advice is: don't take it personally.
This. I have found few things to be true in my time with gaming. You can lead a gamer to mountain dew, but you cant make them drink. Also, sometimes your best friends make the worst gamers. Most folks seem willing, or at least willing to go with flow, when it comes to a one shot or short campaign of a new system. Though, many will cling to D&D like Linus Van Pelt to his blankie. If you have a particular TTRPG that you love, you probably need to find likeminded allies instead of hoping on conversion.

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