D&D 5E In Search Of: The 5e Dungeon Master's Guide

hawkeyefan

Legend
It seems to me our discussion is over.

The underlined is self-contradictory. The bolded are all comments I elaborated on the very post you were responding to with additional detail and answers to the very questions you went on to ask. Thankfully @Malmuria already eloquently addressed the 'fear' aspect.

IMO. There's no point to continue when things get to this level.

It’s fine! You weren’t saying anything anyway!
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It seems to me our discussion is over.

Mod Note:
"Our discussion is over, but let me keep discussing," is similarly self-contradictory. That doesn't strengthen your position.

If you want to disengage, by all means do so - but then actually do it. The mixed message isn't appropriate.

It’s fine! You weren’t saying anything anyway!

So, why were you engaging? And as if the insult makes anything better? Come on.

Sometimes, people get caught in a position where they can't seem to allow the other person to have the last word. Let me take that out of your hands - the two of you should stop responding to each other.
 

The books can say "Here's how to do this, or here's how you can do that" without presenting these suggestions or ideas as the only way to do so. I mean, they actually already do this, just not always with consistency or clarity.

But referencing these different styles, or at least suggesting that there are different styles, without defining them… that’s helpful? How? To whom?
I agree with this and would go a step further. Far from being a reference guide to different styles, the way the DMG is currently organized does a disservice to different styles by separating the information useful to running them in different sections and not identifying that the information is relevant to that style.

You can pull different variant rules from across the DMG if you want to play a more OSR style, but you won’t find the word OSR in the book nor will the rules reference each other.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I agree with this and would go a step further. Far from being a reference guide to different styles, the way the DMG is currently organized does a disservice to different styles by separating the information useful to running them in different sections and not identifying that the information is relevant to that style.

You can pull different variant rules from across the DMG if you want to play a more OSR style, but you won’t find the word OSR in the book nor will the rules reference each other.
I think it’s a good thing that 5e doesn’t try to define what rules are ‘OSR style’ rules.
 

Imaro

Legend
I agree with this and would go a step further. Far from being a reference guide to different styles, the way the DMG is currently organized does a disservice to different styles by separating the information useful to running them in different sections and not identifying that the information is relevant to that style.

You can pull different variant rules from across the DMG if you want to play a more OSR style, but you won’t find the word OSR in the book nor will the rules reference each other.
I guess the problem I see with that approach is... Give me a concise, 100% accurate definition of OSR play. And no this isn't rhetorical because people playing in the OSR style are playing everything from exact replicas like OSE to super simple modernized games like Mork Borg to highly character customizable games like Worlds Without Number and those of a more narrative path like Whitehack. On the DM side you have everything from site-based dungeon play to hexcrawl or pointcrawl exploration or sandbox play , as well as DM-driven and/or player-driven campaigns... and not surprisingly many using a mixture of some or all of these... And that's just one "style" of play.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
I agree with this and would go a step further. Far from being a reference guide to different styles, the way the DMG is currently organized does a disservice to different styles by separating the information useful to running them in different sections and not identifying that the information is relevant to that style.

You can pull different variant rules from across the DMG if you want to play a more OSR style, but you won’t find the word OSR in the book nor will the rules reference each other.

Yup, this is a big part of what I’m saying.

The issue is that “play style”, despite the book offering two examples, generally just means “the collection of processes and rules that I prefer”.

And while I believe that such preferences can be collected under loosely defined headers, many find that idea off-putting.

I think it’d be good for D&D to actually categorize the styles of play that they expect are likely with the 5e rules, and how to achieve those styles. They can use the obligatory caveat (in bold and italics early on): “These styles are not universal, and are in no way meant to impugn any particular mode of play, but are instead used to make communication possible.”
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I guess the problem I see with that approach is... Give me a concise, 100% accurate definition of OSR play. And no this isn't rhetorical because people playing in the OSR style are playing everything from exact replicas like OSE to super simple modernized games like Mork Borg to highly character customizable games like Worlds Without Number and those of a more narrative path like Whitehack. On the DM side you have everything from site-based dungeon play to hexcrawl or pointcrawl exploration or sandbox play , as well as DM-driven and/or player-driven campaigns... and not surprisingly many using a mixture of some or all of these... And that's just one "style" of play.

It is interesting that the people who are most demanding of a prescriptive DMG are also those who are most confident in their ability to describe how other people play.
 

Imaro

Legend
I think it’d be good for D&D to actually categorize the styles of play that they expect are likely with the 5e rules, and how to achieve those styles. They can use the obligatory caveat (in bold and italics early on): “These styles are not universal, and are in no way meant to impugn any particular mode of play, but are instead used to make communication possible.”

With the amount of influence and reach D&D has... I find it hard to believe this won't take on a life of it's own and become THE way these styles are defined by the vast majority of players. It's one of the main reasons I'm not sold on the DMG being prescriptive at all, because regardless of how many disclaimers they put in the book whatever they define is going to be taken by most as truth.
 

Oofta

Legend
With the amount of influence and reach D&D has... I find it hard to believe this won't take on a life of it's own and become THE way these styles are defined by the vast majority of players. It's one of the main reasons I'm not sold on the DMG being prescriptive at all, because regardless of how many disclaimers they put in the book whatever they define is going to be taken by most as truth.
We already have plenty of options where a single sentence here or there has lead to years of "this is how thou shalt play" arguments from some people. We don't need more.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
With the amount of influence and reach D&D has... I find it hard to believe this won't take on a life of it's own and become THE way these styles are defined by the vast majority of players. It's one of the main reasons I'm not sold on the DMG being prescriptive at all, because regardless of how many disclaimers they put in the book whatever they define is going to be taken by most as truth.

If they're offering more than one way to do things, and say things like "there's more than one way to do things, and every game is different, try different methods until you find what works for you and your players" then I don't see a problem. Those who've been playing long are, I expect, well aware that the rules can be changed to suit.

Maybe an analogy would help... currently, the DMG (and the 5E rules largely) are like a fill in the blank question. I'd prefer to see a multiple-choice question, with e) come up with your own thing as an option.

We already have plenty of options where a single sentence here or there has lead to years of "this is how thou shalt play" arguments from some people. We don't need more.

And yet in one of these threads, you said that even in early editions you played where it was a focal point of play, your group happily abandoned any kind of encumbrance/carrying capacity and resource management type rules because they didn't suit.

But how did you know to do that if the book was saying that these are the rules?

How did anyone play a campaign without keeping strict time records?
 

It stands to reason than that you are claiming that the 1e DMG was closer in purpose to the 5e DMG than the 4e DMG was. That is a pretty bold claim and would require some evidence to support.
It is not bold at all if one actually does the homework and compare the 2 DMGs and I only discovered this myself after reading Snarf's post and he was spot on. And considering 4e was/is the outlier edition in D&D I don't know how that could be a surprise to anyone.
 

Oofta

Legend
And yet in one of these threads, you said that even in early editions you played where it was a focal point of play, your group happily abandoned any kind of encumbrance/carrying capacity and resource management type rules because they didn't suit.

But how did you know to do that if the book was saying that these are the rules?

How did anyone play a campaign without keeping strict time records?

Huh? How did we know that if we ignored the rules that the D&D police would not bust down our door and throw us in a literal dungeon for not playing exactly the way the book said? This is actually a question?

In 5E the text in the DMG is quite explicit - the rules are not in charge of the game you [as the DM] are.
 

Imaro

Legend
If they're offering more than one way to do things, and say things like "there's more than one way to do things, and every game is different, try different methods until you find what works for you and your players" then I don't see a problem. Those who've been playing long are, I expect, well aware that the rules can be changed to suit.

Maybe an analogy would help... currently, the DMG (and the 5E rules largely) are like a fill in the blank question. I'd prefer to see a multiple-choice question, with e) come up with your own thing as an option.

But if ultimately... "try different methods until you find what works for you and your players"... is the true playstyle, why spend the page space to confuse the issue by then trying to define and codify various other playstyles? This playstyle of finding what works for you vs trying to be or do playstyle X (for whatever value the Forge or the WotC designers or whoever has arbitrarily assigned to X) is what at least I, and I believe others, have been claiming is at the heart of D&D and what we don't want obfuscated or confused in any way. This is a non-prescriptive playstyle and yet your suggestions seem to steadily push for a "best" way to do things while giving minimal lip service to the playstyle of doing what's best for your own game (even if that means learning through trial and error).
 

Oofta

Legend
But if ultimately... "try different methods until you find what works for you and your players"... is the true playstyle, why spend the page space to confuse the issue by then trying to define and codify various other playstyles? This playstyle of finding what works for you vs trying to be or do playstyle X (for whatever value the Forge or the WotC designers or whoever has arbitrarily assigned to X) is what at least I, and I believe others, have been claiming is at the heart of D&D and what we don't want obfuscated or confused in any way. This is a non-prescriptive playstyle and yet your suggestions seem to steadily push for a "best" way to do things while giving minimal lip service to the playstyle of doing what's best for your own game (even if that means learning through trial and error).
Yep. Pretty much any style - whether it's style of DMing or type of player - will always boil down to gamer speak that never actually fully encompasses any style. People are more complex than the simplified frameworks we're supposed to use and those frameworks don't really tell us much anyway.

I read over the intro to the 4E DMG again a while back and one of the things that they had was a list of the "types of players". I didn't see how it was helpful then or now any more than "pay attention to your players, solicit and listen to feedback". What else do you really need? No book on game theory is going to give the majority of people a leg up, there's no substitute for simply doing.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Yep. Pretty much any style - whether it's style of DMing or type of player - will always boil down to gamer speak that never actually fully encompasses any style. People are more complex than the simplified frameworks we're supposed to use and those frameworks don't really tell us much anyway.

I read over the intro to the 4E DMG again a while back and one of the things that they had was a list of the "types of players". I didn't see how it was helpful then or now any more than "pay attention to your players, solicit and listen to feedback". What else do you really need? No book on game theory is going to give the majority of people a leg up, there's no substitute for simply doing.
As long as there are people willing to pay for advice they don't need, there will be people producing it.
 



One of these things is not like the others. Magic items and monsters are much, much harder to build and balance. Traps, not so much. They give you all of the information to make just the traps you need.
This is both wrong and extremely instructive as to why it is wrong.

The DMG has 100 pages of magical items and the entire MM is devoted to individual monsters. But only 4 pages are devoted to traps. You don’t think that the much more space given ti the first two is the reason why you see greater variety in magical items and minsters than in traps?

An orc and an efreeti are different. So are a flametongue and a frost brand. But they are not meaningfully more different than a standard poison trap and a hallway with a wall of spikes and a door at the opposite end. Two rounds after the party enters, an unseen servant opens the door that pushes the intruders into the wall of spikes.
 

It is not bold at all if one actually does the homework and compare the 2 DMGs and I only discovered this myself after reading Snarf's post and he was spot on. And considering 4e was/is the outlier edition in D&D I don't know how that could be a surprise to anyone.
What is the difference? You’re just saying that they are different as if this is meaningful without justifying your claim.
 

The DMG is entirely non-prescriptive guidance. The PHB is entirely non-prescriptive rules for the DM, prescriptive rules for the players.

It is interesting that the people who are most demanding of a prescriptive DMG are also those who are most confident in their ability to describe how other people play.

With the amount of influence and reach D&D has... I find it hard to believe this won't take on a life of it's own and become THE way these styles are defined by the vast majority of players. It's one of the main reasons I'm not sold on the DMG being prescriptive at all, because regardless of how many disclaimers they put in the book whatever they define is going to be taken by most as truth.
Here’s the rub. The argument seems to be that the defaults that are already in the DMG aren’t prescriptive, but any new information added must be prescriptive.

So, for instance, 20 pages in a 300 page book describing the default D&D cosmology (including a full half-page illustration of the cosmology) isn’t prescriptive, because some alternatives get a one paragraph write-up.

On the other hand, language like:
“Some people prefer a more OSR-style game. If you want to try this, here are some rule variants that taken together restrict healing (and can increase the lethality of the campaign), and put a greater emphasis on exploration (including removing certain spells)” is considered prescriptive, because whatever is indicated will become the new standard.

At the end of the day, it is “appeal ad conservatum”. Change is viewed with suspicion, because it’s change.
 

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