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


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Should there be any books written for people that have been playing D&D for decades or even for a few years?
What do you mean by “should”? A product whose target audience is “DMs who have several years of experience” is pretty clearly a niche product.

Under WotC’s current marketing strategy, such products are probably best left to DMsGuild and DriveThruRPG.

There are legitimately good products that have been made in that niche: “Return of the Lazy DM” and “The monsters know what they are doing”.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I've always been of the opinion that no game can be all things to all people. The DMG should probably be more narrowly focused rather than giving so many different options for how to play the game. It would be more useful to new DMs I think.
All things to all people vs alot of things to a lot of people. I agree with you on the first, but I think you agree with me on the later?
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
This pretty quickly turns into “the status quo should not be changed because it is the status quo”.

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Unless we have infinite page count... eventually something has to be loss for something gained.
Ever page added loses something. Can you imagine how absolutely useless an infinitely long book would be? Heck, how many people would read a 5000 page DMG? Or even bother to reference it? It needs to be long enough to cover the subject, and short enough to be interesting.
They can save pages just by cutting out repetitive phrasing and the like. Maybe sacrifice a bit of artwork, though I don't want to downplay the role of the art, and wouldn't want to cut back too much.

There's a lot that can be done without really losing any of the actual content.
Repetition is important in learning a new subject. Now, with a book one can re-read it for repetition, but that assumes it is written in "the right" way the first time. Which can only be true for a subset of readers. A well written instructional manual will cover difficult topics several times, in different ways and with different approaches or examples each time. Because people are different.

There are so many resources and ways to learn to DM today that anyone who really is interested should not have an external challenge in learning how to do so. Books, videos, blogs.. tens or hundreds of thousands of them.

None of that is to say the DMG could not have been better written or edited.
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
Ever page added loses something. Can you imagine how absolutely useless an infinitely long book would be? Heck, how many people would read a 5000 page DMG? Or even bother to reference it? It needs to be long enough to cover the subject, and short enough to be interesting.

Repetition is important in learning a new subject. Now, with a book one can re-read it for repetition, but that assumes it is written in "the right" way the first time. Which can only be true for a subset of readers. A well written instructional manual will cover difficult topics several times, in different ways and with different approaches or examples each time. Because people are different.

There are so many resources and ways to learn to DM today that anyone who really is interested should not have an external challenge in learning how to do so. Books, videos, blogs.. tens or hundreds of thousands of them.

None of that is to say the DMG could not have been better written or edited.

Sure, there is nothing wrong with repeating specific things... especially in light of incorporating them with new material. Like, if the adventure design section said "Hey remember when we said that Instigator type players would want things that tempt them toward action? This is what we're doing here".

I think that's a totally different (and worthwhile) thing than having three paragraphs in a row that essentially say the same thing.

If they focused on the idea of the book as a reference book and thought of it as a work of technical writing, they could maximize the space they have.
 


Aldarc

Legend
Regardless of what others may feel about the 5e DMG, WotC seem to believe that the 5e DMG can be improved with respect to its usefulness to newcomer GMs and Chris Perkins will rewrite/reorganize it with that goal in mind. Others may feel that WotC is doing is unnecessary, but I don't see how trying to make the next DMG more new player friendly is a bad thing, but maybe there is some critical point that I am missing about why this is a step in the wrong direction.

It seems to me that if the DMG is meant to teach people how to run the game then it should be new player friendly, but if the book is meant to be a toolkit, then it should also be new player friendly.
 

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