D&D General Matt Colville on adventure length

Having done vtt gaming for a long time, there is definitely a learning curve in building online groups.
A reason why it’s best to learn whilst still at school, so you have in-person friends to practice on. Once in the adult world it becomes a lot harder to have access to people willing to tolerate us being rubbish.

It’s very easy for an adult to take the DM role when playing with children. It’s important to let youngsters play on their own. Sure, they won’t be very good, but thier friends won’t care.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Titles. We shouldn’t underestimate the effect of titles in conveying what the campaign is about. From what you say, this seems to describe your campaign well.

Some of the WotC campaigns suffer from misleading titles.
I think the WotC campaign titles are intended to convey "buy this, it'll be awesome" rather than provide useful information.

I'm always interested in new adventures, for any edition of D&D, but I've stopped buying WotC ones. The titles may have had something to do with it.

For some reason "Princes of the Apocalypse" or "Tomb of Annihilation" grab me much more than "The Wild Beyond the Witchlight" or "Rime of the Frostmaiden".
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
Titles. We shouldn’t underestimate the effect of titles in conveying what the campaign is about. From what you say, this seems to describe your campaign well.

Some of the WotC campaigns suffer from misleading titles.
Apart from Dragon Heist (which wins every award for most misleading title), are there any that are really misleading?

Cheers!
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Supporter
I think the WotC campaign titles are intended to convey "buy this, it'll be awesome" rather than provide useful information.

I'm always interested in new adventures, for any edition of D&D, but I've stopped buying WotC ones. The titles may have had something to do with it.

For some reason "Princes of the Apocalypse" or "Tomb of Annihilation" grab me much more than "The Wild Beyond the Witchlight" or "Rime of the Frostmaiden".
Well, it's obvious really: You respond well to the threat of imminent global destruction (or something like that). I mean, "Apocalypse", "Annihilation"! ;)

Cheers,
Merric
 


Clint_L

Legend
Especially compared to playing D&D, which is easy to pick up without reading anything at all. You need to know more rules to play Snakes and Ladders.
I know that you are being hyperbolic, but even so, the PHB is hundreds of pages long. D&D is a highly complex game to learn. Players generally don’t just pick it up unless they are already experienced gamers, and even then they get confused at times. I have players who have been playing for years that I still have to remind about rules.

“You can cast a second spell on your turn if it is a cantrip and the first spell was a bonus action” is a little more complicated than “roll a die and move that many spaces.” And the former is just one of hundreds of rules and abstract concepts in the PHB.
 

Gus L

Explorer
Titles. We shouldn’t underestimate the effect of titles in conveying what the campaign is about. From what you say, this seems to describe your campaign well.
I tend to agree both that this describes the intended campaign well enough (or perhaps the setting) but and that titles are helpful ... but I don't know how helpful.

E.G. In the example I gave about the new players and the owlbear - the near instantaneous deaths of a fighter and MU (Why an MU would step into the front line with an owlbear I do not know...) didn't really push those players into fully embracing the dungeon crawling Western style of the setting... rather they helped make it their own after some grumbling (there had been plans for the future of that fighter, a story beyond eaten by a growly hoot)... The adventure became about hunting down the owlbear and killing it, which the party did, and then finding that it's pelt was worth 500 GP (or 1/4 a level for one PC - nice but not great loot) deciding to hunt monsters rather then continue plundering the tomb they were in. That was fine. They went on to seek out a swat of Manticores (also not a great idea for a 2nd level party) and became embroiled in a scenario with them that was heroic (trying to save a ranch full of regular people) but not especially lucrative or easy. So the lesson reiterated was that players bend the setting to their interests in ways that are often independent of or even actively counter to the setting's stated goals and especially its mechanical incentives.

Now as to names... This was once a thread about using smaller adventures in place of huge campaign tombs. Traditionally smaller location based adventures have gotten a name based on the location "Keep on the Borderlands", "Place of the Silver Princess", "Lair of the Lamb" or "Caverns of Thracia" for example. These don't actually seem very evocative of what the characters are intended to do there though... The play style or setting goals of are absent here. Perhaps "Massacre on the Borderlands" or "Escape from the Lamb" would work better... but again the play style is not actually defined.

So if titles are helpful to evoke a feeling or ideas about play style ... they still don't seem that helpful.
 

I know that you are being hyperbolic, but even so, the PHB is hundreds of pages long. D&D is a highly complex game to learn. Players generally don’t just pick it up unless they are already experienced gamers, and even then they get confused at times. I have players who have been playing for years that I still have to remind about rules.

“You can cast a second spell on your turn if it is a cantrip and the first spell was a bonus action” is a little more complicated than “roll a die and move that many spaces.” And the former is just one of hundreds of rules and abstract concepts in the PHB.
I've seen plenty of players just pick up D&D without reading any rules, in fact I did that myself.

And a couple of my current players haven't read the whole PHB after around 7 years. That's why they tend not to play casters - they got bored reading through the spell lists.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I've seen plenty of players just pick up D&D without reading any rules, in fact I did that myself.
Ultimately, in cases like that, you’re learning the rules by someone teaching them to you and demonstrating them. (To use the Chutes and Ladders reference, like how pre-literate kids learn to play.)
But there are still tons more rules to learn via that indirect method than a whole lot of board games.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top