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

hawkeyefan

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 newplayer 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.

Well, I think it's that this version of the game and the DMG are a success because of all the new people the game has brought in!

But more new people? Pssh what do we want even more success?
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Everyone knows three is a magic number.

It is!

Sweetest Day Vintage GIF by Clio Awards
 


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.
Yes. A lot of posts of the forum (mine included) are just “spitting in the wind”. Yes, it would be great if 5e worked harder to balance the classes across all pillars, but realistically, this is a major change that would involve a lot of errata and rewriting of spells and class features.

But this is different. The DMG IS being rewritten by Chris Perkins. The only question is “what changes should be made?”. So discussions about what people like and dislike in the 2014 DMG have some use.

There is also a secondary point: the DMG SHOULD be rewritten. The 2014 DMG was written for the 2014 D&D market: sure, WotC wanted to reach out to “boys aged 10-14”, but the larger part of the 2014 D&D market was players of BECMI, AD&D, 3rd ed., Pathfinder and 4th ed., most of which were from late 20s to late 50s.

The 2023 D&D market looks very different from the 2014 market. There are a lot more girls and women, more minorities, and crucially, due to the success of 5e, the majority of the market probably started with 5e. It skews a lot younger, and their perception of D&D has been shaped a lot more by CR than Jack Vance or Chainmail.

Stuff in the 2014 DMG that isn’t used by most of the market can probably be dropped. Very few games reach high levels (and the planar cosmology doesn’t even exist in some campaign settings), so planar travel may be dropped. I suspect that the 10 pages of tables for randomizing settlements awkwardly stuck in the middle of the book will also likely be dropped.

But it’s not just about the 2023 market. It’s also about what else is being done at WotC and in the industry. Will 2023 DMG keep the Honour and Renown variant rule? Probably not if it gets reprinted in greater detail in Dragonlance. Same thing for variant rules on gritty play or hexcrawling if WotC announces Greyhawk and sticks the rules in there.

Clocks are big on the RPG scene, so we may see D&D’s take on clocks in the 2023 DMG.
 

Oofta

Legend
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.
I'm not sure I could disagree much more. Every DM and group has to find their own groove and what works for me and mine may not work for you and yours. I think emphasizing that flexibility is part of the appeal of 5E. For example when it comes to the role of the dice I'd be frustrated with a table where overcoming every obstacle came down to a dice roll. On the other hand I want investment skill proficiencies to mean something. I'm glad they talk about the extremes and explain a middle ground.

If you narrowly focus on one style that doesn't happen to fit, DMs will think they're doing it wrong just because someone somewhere thought that particular style was best.
 

I'm happy to hear the DMG is being re-written. I don't need a new version of it, but even though I find it useful, I haven't needed the 5E DMG to run my 5E games. (not really). But making it more useful for new DMs is a good thing. IMO, it is by far the weakest of the core 3 books. IMO, the success of 5E is not because the existing DMG is a great book (its not), but because the system is good, the PHB is good, LMoP is good, and society was ready for a good and accessible version of D&D.
 

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