D&D 5E Mordenkainens feedback.

Wild! My players all have copies of several books, including a few adventures. Definitely into the lore and thinking about their character between sessions.

I think the hobby in general is a mix of your players and mine, but enough are like mine that these books keep topping the book sales charts on Amazon, flying off FLGS shelves, etc. IMO you can’t explain that as just DMs.

also, the lore for gnomes was actually decent. They’re the only one, I think, but it’s something! (Okay, really it’s just elves and dwarves they messed up, and the Halfling stuff is...kinda meh and unnecessary)
IDR there being any difference in say elves, gnomes and halflings through 3E. Just exapnded on things here and there. Operative words being I dont remember so they may have but it was subtle at best. In 4E and 5E those changes were more apparent right? Is it a case of changing things for the sake of change to cater to the new edition?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

DeviousQuail

Adventurer
Wild! My players all have copies of several books, including a few adventures. Definitely into the lore and thinking about their character between sessions.
When 5e kicked off I bought the core 3 as I planned on dming. One other player bought the PHB. For a while it was just me buying SCAG, Volo's, etc. Then a switch flipped in my group around the time that MToF came out. I bought it and told the others about my purchase only to find out two of them purchased it as well. With Tasha's I think we've reached the point where I no longer own more books than the rest of my group combined. It's been a slow but welcome shift.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
When 5e kicked off I bought the core 3 as I planned on dming. One other player bought the PHB. For a while it was just me buying SCAG, Volo's, etc. Then a switch flipped in my group around the time that MToF came out. I bought it and told the others about my purchase only to find out two of them purchased it as well. With Tasha's I think we've reached the point where I no longer own more books than the rest of my group combined. It's been a slow but welcome shift.
Nice!

I found that Xanathar's was the first non-core book that I saw a lot of "only-players" buying, and I've seen that fact lead to a lot of players taking a more assertive stance toward what the game should allow than they did before.

I'm not sure why, but if I had to guess, I think it might be that the tools and downtime rules feel player facing, even though they are actually DM facing, and it creates a strong sense of ... idk...I see a lot more people saying things like, "Well, I'm playing a tinker/inventor, and that kind of falls flat for me if I can't use downtime to make cool things, and if I can't leverage my tools knowledge during play, so those rules should be part of the game." rather than the more "DM may I?" attitude that used to be the solid majority of what I saw outside my own group.

I think that, in short, making so many books into a combination of lore, crunch, DM material, and Player material, makes more players feel like they'll get something out of those books, and also makes players feel more empowered to advocate for the game they want to play, which leads to more engagement with the game, which leads to caring more about lore and the rules in general, in a loop that also leads to more purchases by players.


That's my theory, anyway.
 

Nice!

I found that Xanathar's was the first non-core book that I saw a lot of "only-players" buying, and I've seen that fact lead to a lot of players taking a more assertive stance toward what the game should allow than they did before.

I'm not sure why, but if I had to guess, I think it might be that the tools and downtime rules feel player facing, even though they are actually DM facing, and it creates a strong sense of ... idk...I see a lot more people saying things like, "Well, I'm playing a tinker/inventor, and that kind of falls flat for me if I can't use downtime to make cool things, and if I can't leverage my tools knowledge during play, so those rules should be part of the game." rather than the more "DM may I?" attitude that used to be the solid majority of what I saw outside my own group.

I think that, in short, making so many books into a combination of lore, crunch, DM material, and Player material, makes more players feel like they'll get something out of those books, and also makes players feel more empowered to advocate for the game they want to play, which leads to more engagement with the game, which leads to caring more about lore and the rules in general, in a loop that also leads to more purchases by players.


That's my theory, anyway.
That might be why I bought it.
 

Gorg

Explorer
Yep. I've been tempted at times to require players to buy a PHB if they want to play after a few introductory sessions. Everyone in our group can afford one and should but for some reason players generally want to just show up and play while giving zero thought to their characters in between sessions.
That statement just blows my mind- that nobody even bothers to get the phb... seriously?? I'd never heard of this until very recently. Why would you NOT? How else are you supposed to know about the game you're playing? Do they have that little commitment that they won't even get the rulebook? Why would I want someone in my campaign if they care that little about it- or the others involved?

I mean jeez, they give you the core rules for free on WoTC's website. You can download the phb in pdf formet, if you think the cost of a hardcover is too salty; You can buy the book used all over the net and at all the gamestores (that sell used D&D stuff)... Do you need them to hold your hand, too?

Sorry, that sort of laziness and entitlement just pushes my buttons.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
That statement just blows my mind- that nobody even bothers to get the phb... seriously?? I'd never heard of this until very recently. Why would you NOT? How else are you supposed to know about the game you're playing? Do they have that little commitment that they won't even get the rulebook? Why would I want someone in my campaign if they care that little about it- or the others involved?

I mean jeez, they give you the core rules for free on WoTC's website. You can download the phb in pdf formet, if you think the cost of a hardcover is too salty; You can buy the book used all over the net and at all the gamestores (that sell used D&D stuff)... Do you need them to hold your hand, too?

Sorry, that sort of laziness and entitlement just pushes my buttons.
People just borrow them at the game. They usually do get their own dice, though.

I'm not in the business of gatekeeping my hobby when my friends and family are willing to participate, even if at a more casual level.
 

Gorg

Explorer
People just borrow them at the game. They usually do get their own dice, though.

I'm not in the business of gatekeeping my hobby when my friends and family are willing to participate, even if at a more casual level.
I don't know what's more annoying about that- having to waste precious game time while people look up simple stuff that they should have done on their own time; or the disrepect shown to the DM in particular- whose had to spend hours of their own time preparing adventures etal for these players, not to mention lots of $$ buying all the game materials.

Not pointing that at your group- just people like that in general. I actually did run into a player like that once, and he wore on everyone's nerves after a while. We all had to wait, while he updated his character, agonized over spell choices, etc etc. This was during 3E, when the core rulebooks were HALF the price they are now... When we finally got to play, his ignorance of the rules, options, etc would then bog the sessions down even more.

P.S. Your second sentence only showed up in the quote, not in the thread... Weird, lol.

edit: ...and now it's there. Is this board haunted or something?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
IDR there being any difference in say elves, gnomes and halflings through 3E. Just exapnded on things here and there. Operative words being I dont remember so they may have but it was subtle at best. In 4E and 5E those changes were more apparent right? Is it a case of changing things for the sake of change to cater to the new edition?
Some of it is changing things just to have a new take with the new edition, yeah, IMO.

In 4e at least, though, those changes were geared toward playability, making those options have a more interesting or more impactful or thematic place in the world, etc. Gnomes, for instance, are still largely 4e gnomes in my groups games.

Halflings were really cool, but our halflings tends to vary wildly from campaign to campaign and world to world, and have developed into a sort of mix between the 4e halfling, bits of Kender, and like...Bud Cubby from Fanatasy High. (See below for reference) Basically, they're almost never motivated by fear, and have a strong sense of fairness and equality and empathy, and their games and stories and songs all have lessons and reminders and training applications for how to survive in a world that is fairly safe but can suddenly become incredibly dangerous without warning. So, every halfling raised in a halfling town or caravan or part of a city knows how to fight, unarmed and armed, how to ride animals like goats and ponies, how to hide both singly and in groups and coordinate movement while hiding, and a bunch of other stuff that they often feel like everyone just knows because it is just how they're raised. And they aren't afraid to actually deal with things they see as wrong. The inertia that humans experience, where fear of reprisal tends to have to be outweighed by either incentive or by things being bad enough that reprisal just isn't that scary anymore, halflings rarely experience.

So you can probably guess that I don't love the 5e/mordy's halfling


Bud Cubby
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't know what's more annoying about that- having to waste precious game time while people look up simple stuff that they should have done on their own time; or the disrepect shown to the DM in particular- whose had to spend hours of their own time preparing adventures etal for these players, not to mention lots of $$ buying all the game materials.

Not pointing that at your group- just people like that in general. I actually did run into a player like that once, and he wore on everyone's nerves after a while. We all had to wait, while he updated his character, agonized over spell choices, etc etc. This was during 3E, when the core rulebooks were HALF the price they are now... When we finally got to play, his ignorance of the rules, options, etc would then bog the sessions down even more.

P.S. Your second sentence only showed up in the quote, not in the thread... Weird, lol.

edit: ...and now it's there. Is this board haunted or something?
That's my bad, I added the second section on a quick dirty edit.

It probably helps if the people involved are family, I suppose, but the rules are easy enough in 5E that it doesn't bog anything down.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
D&D does not "need" a new setting.

Worse they could not even do it in the current businesses practices. WotC only releases a couple books a year and makes them all super generic. So "all" D&D gamers will buy "all" the books.
This literally isn't even true. The books aren't generic, they just aren't hyper-niche like past edition books often were.
A setting book(s) by it's very nature "says" to many gamers "don't buy this book, you can't use it in your game...unless you use this setting". Like how Dark Sun has pages of rules of "Hard Fun in the Desert" that just don't fit in any other setting. So if you make a new setting The Primal Wastelands, full of animal people that use "primal power", that is all useless to anyone playing "core" D&D.
No, it doesn't. The majority of people play in homebrew worlds, and yet setting books in 5e have thus far sold very well. Probably because they're built to also be guides on how to play a particular type of dnd game, with a tone and themes found in the setting. In other words, they add bits from the setting book into their game.
But, wait....it gets worse. With the WoTC thing of "A book once in a while" you will never "get" the setting. Sure they can make a slim Campaign Setting book and fill it with vague stuff. Wow, the Land of Dancing Penguin Ninjas! But such a book is lucky to get like five paragraphs to describe a whole land. Same thing with races and setting and divine power and features and everything else. You'd get a baddy written glossed over vague mess of words. And you'd never get a source book on EACH land, or even land area. Or god. Or race. You'd be lucky if in a couple years they even put out a "players guide" or something like that.
Why on earth would you want a whole book on one "land", or even worse one god or race!?
Sorry, that sort of laziness and entitlement just pushes my buttons.
Or they don't want to spend money on hobbies because their budget is tight as it is, or they don't want a bunch of clutter in their home (I often consider selling all my gaming stuff along with all my other hobby stuff, or putting it all in storage until I have a bigger place where it might not feel like clutter when I walk into the room they're in), or don't have time to do homework for their hobbies, or whatever other reason.

DnD doesn't need to be super serious for everyone involved. Some people play quite casually, and that's good. They don't need to all buy the core player book, when they can just read up and learn the rules during play.

Gatekeeping like this isn't helpful to the hobby. Not everyone is ever going to engage with the hobby on a deep level. That's perfectly okay.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Wild! My players all have copies of several books, including a few adventures. Definitely into the lore and thinking about their character between sessions.
My players all have at least the PHB, one has a copy of Tasha's, and another also has the Monster Manual, DMG, Volo's Guide to Monsters, and Xanathar's Guide to Everything on top of the PHB. They don't buy adventure books and mostly don't get monster books, but they certainly ted to buy more player-oriented material.
also, the lore for gnomes was actually decent. They’re the only one, I think, but it’s something! (Okay, really it’s just elves and dwarves they messed up, and the Halfling stuff is...kinda meh and unnecessary)
Coming into 5e as my first edition, I had absolutely no problem with the lore connected to elves/dwarves that was changed in Mordenkainen's (well, besides the victim-blaming for the Duergar, that is). I quite liked the gnome lore, and I agree that the halfling lore was very forgettable (almost like they should be the ones called the "forgotten folk", instead of gnomes ;) ). I also really liked the Shadar-Kai lore. I wish they had gone a bit more in-depth with lore for the Raven Queen and Vecna, but what they gave was really good, IMO.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
My players all have at least the PHB, one has a copy of Tasha's, and another also has the Monster Manual, DMG, Volo's Guide to Monsters, and Xanathar's Guide to Everything on top of the PHB. They don't buy adventure books and mostly don't get monster books, but they certainly ted to buy more player-oriented material.

Coming into 5e as my first edition, I had absolutely no problem with the lore connected to elves/dwarves that was changed in Mordenkainen's (well, besides the victim-blaming for the Duergar, that is). I quite liked the gnome lore, and I agree that the halfling lore was very forgettable (almost like they should be the ones called the "forgotten folk", instead of gnomes ;) ). I also really liked the Shadar-Kai lore. I wish they had gone a bit more in-depth with lore for the Raven Queen and Vecna, but what they gave was really good, IMO.
The Raven Queen lore would just be, at worst, something I'd never bother using, if they hadn't completely changed her nature from a being who guarded against interference with the natural cycle of death into a capricious interloper in that very cycle. Downgrading her from a god was also weak, but at least if they'd translated her lore and identity a bit more faithfully, it wouldn't be a "why even use the name" situation.

The elves...it's mostly their gods that had annoying changes.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
My players all have at least the PHB, one has a copy of Tasha's, and another also has the Monster Manual, DMG, Volo's Guide to Monsters, and Xanathar's Guide to Everything on top of the PHB. They don't buy adventure books and mostly don't get monster books, but they certainly ted to buy more player-oriented material.

Coming into 5e as my first edition, I had absolutely no problem with the lore connected to elves/dwarves that was changed in Mordenkainen's (well, besides the victim-blaming for the Duergar, that is). I quite liked the gnome lore, and I agree that the halfling lore was very forgettable (almost like they should be the ones called the "forgotten folk", instead of gnomes ;) ). I also really liked the Shadar-Kai lore. I wish they had gone a bit more in-depth with lore for the Raven Queen and Vecna, but what they gave was really good, IMO.
I took the stuff like Duerager rejection by the other Dwarves as an intentional problematic element that was a hook to potentially build a campaign around, particularly with the genetic memory aspect introduced for Dwarves.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
The Raven Queen lore would just be, at worst, something I'd never bother using, if they hadn't completely changed her nature from a being who guarded against interference with the natural cycle of death into a capricious interloper in that very cycle. Downgrading her from a god was also weak, but at least if they'd translated her lore and identity a bit more faithfully, it wouldn't be a "why even use the name" situation.

The elves...it's mostly their gods that had annoying changes.
Did they downgrade her from a god? I just assumed they didn't include her in any of the deity tables because she didn't count as a member of the Seldarine or the Drow Pantheon.

And that didn't bug me, as 5e is my first edition in D&D. I understand lore-changes being annoying for old-school players who are familiar with the lore, but a lot of players are new, so the lore changes seems like a small/non-existent issue from my standpoint.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Did they downgrade her from a god? I just assumed they didn't include her in any of the deity tables because she didn't count as a member of the Seldarine or the Drow Pantheon.

And that didn't bug me, as 5e is my first edition in D&D. I understand lore-changes being annoying for old-school players who are familiar with the lore, but a lot of players are new, so the lore changes seems like a small/non-existent issue from my standpoint.
In MToF, she is not a god, but sort of a gothic fairy queen of the Shadowfell. In Wildemont, she is a god, and closer to the old lore (Exandria uses the 4E default pantheon as a base).
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Did they downgrade her from a god? I just assumed they didn't include her in any of the deity tables because she didn't count as a member of the Seldarine or the Drow Pantheon.

And that didn't bug me, as 5e is my first edition in D&D. I understand lore-changes being annoying for old-school players who are familiar with the lore, but a lot of players are new, so the lore changes seems like a small/non-existent issue from my standpoint.
The Raven Queen was created (or first brought into the foreground) with 4e and became quite popular when the Avenger class - roughly, prototype for Paladin of Vengeance - was introduced.

If you want to see a setting mess with a god through several edition changes, look at what kinds of hoops and cartwheels the FR version of Bane was put through. (I prefer the Dawn War Pantheon version of Bane.)
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
Okay. Well, I guess I've been doing that "incorrectly" at my tables (in a way that is much cooler and more fun, IMO). I had just assumed she was a god, like she was listed as in the PHB and in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount.
To be super pedantic, the Raven Queen isn't in the PHB, but in the DMG as part of the example DM built pantheon (which is the 4E and Exandria pantheon).
 


Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top