D&D 5E New D&D Player Survey!

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The purpose of a setting is not to be enjoyed, it's to provide a background against which the game can be enjoyed.
The role of a setting, be it in a game, novel, movie, or story, is to support what is being told. Many stories are enhanced, or perhaps only able to be told in a particular way, buy the setting. While it can be relegated to the background, doing so leaves very useful tools on the ground, unused. Crafting the same story in Forgotten Realms and Dark Sun is missing out on all the opportunities the setting gives you. In some ways the setting is another character in the story.
 

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kapars

Explorer
Eberron, Exandria, and Spelljammer. I left out Homebrew (even though that would probably take the Exandria spot) because I wanted to make it clear that I would like more content for all of those settings. I don't really see the point in answering "homebrew" in a survey like this.
I answered homebrew of existing content with the reason being I’m too lazy to read up decades worth of Forgotten Realms lore. The kids I DM for don’t seem to care :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Eberron, Exandria, and Spelljammer. I left out Homebrew (even though that would probably take the Exandria spot) because I wanted to make it clear that I would like more content for all of those settings. I don't really see the point in answering "homebrew" in a survey like this.
The point is to encourage them to put out more material around how-to-worldbuild, which has always been sadly lacking in any edition.
 




Parmandur

Book-Friend
I personally prefer big, interesting kitchen sinks with mysteries that the DM has to create answers for, like Eberron (or, I guess Greyhawk, if what @Snarf Zagyg has said about it is accurate).
Sure, that's a preference. But you put your finger exactly on why the Forgotten Realms is perennially the most popular across 5 Editions: it is the easiest to mold and customize because it isn't burdened with excess flavor. But it has plenty of resources thst can be used, like, anywhere.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Sure, that's a preference. But you put your finger exactly on why the Forgotten Realms is perennially the most popular across 5 Editions: it is the easiest to mold and customize because it isn't burdened with excess flavor. But it has plenty of resources thst can be used, like, anywhere.
I think an aspect about why it's been "the most popular" should also include how much they push it. We didn't have official support for any setting besides FR for how many years in 5e? How many FR novels are there because one character Drizzt Do'urden took off?

(And really, can we claim that's 4e's Abeir-Toril was the most popular setting of that edition?)

If you sell ice cream, and all you have is vanilla except after 9pm on Wednesdays when you also have black cherry and cookie dough, saying vanilla is the king of flavors because the most people order isn't a real sample.
 

Ibrandul

Adventurer
(And really, can we claim that's 4e's Abeir-Toril was the most popular setting of that edition?)

If you sell ice cream, and all you have is vanilla except after 9pm on Wednesdays when you also have black cherry and cookie dough, saying vanilla is the king of flavors because the most people order isn't a real sample.
4e FR does have its fans, but it certainly wasn't popular compared to the 1e–3.5e version of FR. But that gets to the difficulty with your ice cream analogy. WotC went about building 5e very deliberately in response to what they believed D&D fans (including the ones they had lost as active players thanks to 4e) wanted. And that includes selecting FR as the default setting: even after the debacle* of 4e, their market research indicated that FR was still their most popular setting by a wide margin, especially the pre-4e version of FR.

So a better analogy would be that the ice cream parlor used to offer a dozen flavors but has decided for economic reasons that they can now only afford to offer one. So they switch to vanilla-only because far more customers prefer vanilla than any other single flavor, but then some ice cream preachers start ranting on their doorstep about how delicious ice cream is and live-streaming themselves licking various weird-looking scoops and the parlor starts to sell a ton of vanilla, more than they ever dreamed possible, and then a gazillion more people show up demanding raw ice cream ingredients to cook up their own bizarre flavors, and suddenly the parlor is obscenely rich and can offer all their old flavors and then some, and everybody's happy except the people who hate the old flavors, and also the vanilla fetishists who are pissed off the parlor only has ten open tubs of vanilla rather than a hundred tubs like they used to in the good old days.

*(in terms of sales, not necessarily in terms of quality of game design; I'm talking about why WotC did what they did, not edition-warring)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think an aspect about why it's been "the most popular" should also include how much they push it. We didn't have official support for any setting besides FR for how many years in 5e? How many FR novels are there because one character Drizzt Do'urden took off?
Don't confuse cause and effect: once the FR was out there, Greenwood ultimate fanfiction pastiche cleaned up for family audiences by Grubb, the genie was out of the bottle. WotC keeps going back because it is popular, not the other way around.
(And really, can we claim that's 4e's Abeir-Toril was the most popular setting of that edition?)
This is a good example of what I mean: WotC plan was to focus in a different Setting every year, with Nentir Vale as a baseline. After three years 4E went back to FR focused, because they wanted money.
If you sell ice cream, and all you have is vanilla except after 9pm on Wednesdays when you also have black cherry and cookie dough, saying vanilla is the king of flavors because the most people order isn't a real sample.
You see, this analogy also makes my point, because people do really love Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream more than other ice cream flavors. Indeed, if we designate homebrew as Chocolate and Forgotten Realms as Vanilla, it works out pretty well to explain why WotC often goes for a flavor profile of toppings thst are designated for Vanilla, but go great with Chocolate.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
4e FR does have its fans, but it certainly wasn't popular compared to the 1e–3.5e version of FR. But that gets to the difficulty with your ice cream analogy. WotC went about building 5e very deliberately in response to what they believed D&D fans (including the ones they had lost as active players thanks to 4e) wanted. And that includes selecting FR as the default setting: even after the debacle* of 4e, their market research indicated that FR was still their most popular setting by a wide margin, especially the pre-4e version of FR.

So a better analogy would be that the ice cream parlor used to offer a dozen flavors but has decided for economic reasons that they can now only afford to offer one. So they switch to vanilla-only because far more customers prefer vanilla than any other single flavor, but then some ice cream preachers start ranting on their doorstep about how delicious ice cream is and live-streaming themselves licking various weird-looking scoops and the parlor starts to sell a ton of vanilla, more than they ever dreamed possible, and then a gazillion more people show up demanding raw ice cream ingredients to cook up their own bizarre flavors, and suddenly the parlor is obscenely rich and can offer all their old flavors and then some, and everybody's happy except the people who hate the old flavors, and also the vanilla fetishists who are pissed off the parlor only has ten open tubs of vanilla rather than a hundred tubs like they used to in the good old days.

*(in terms of sales, not necessarily in terms of quality of game design; I'm talking about why WotC did what they did, not edition-warring)
OK, I'm not sure if this is perfect of overstretching the analogy, but I love it.
 




beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
I'm glad that they're asking the community questions, but it seems like they have already decided which direction to move in. (changing the game to appeal to a "younger" audience)
 

payn

Legend
I'm glad that they're asking the community questions, but it seems like they have already decided which direction to move in. (changing the game to appeal to a "younger" audience)
Angry Lebron James GIF by Bleacher Report
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Filled it out as well. Standard questions and responses, nothing new that hasn't really already been asked of me before in various surveys of the past.

I'm always curious when they get responses from people like me who started back in Original D&D, have played every edition, and are still currently playing 5E whether my indicators of what I've spent money on in the last year actually have some sort of meaning. Do adults who started D&D in more recent years buy different products then us long-timers who have been buying products all along? Probably doesn't mean much, but curious nonetheless.
As an old time that started in the 80s but stopped playing in the early 90s only to return with 5e, I would guess that my customer profile was quite different than yours. I had decades of catching up to do, more disposable income than in the past, and I spent A LOT of money on TTRPG stuff in my renewed enthusiasm for the hobby the first few years after 5e came out. Over the past couple of years I've cut back drastically on my spending on physical products with most of my spend on digital tool licenses and subscriptions and buying digital assets. But I think that is a trend that cuts accross demographics due to two years of COVID restrictions.
 

I'm glad that they're asking the community questions, but it seems like they have already decided which direction to move in. (changing the game to appeal to a "younger" audience)
I mean long term the people who are younger now will grow to be the older in 10 years... and some of us old timers will move on (or worse) from gaming... if they don't target youth they lose D&D forever.
 


payn

Legend
How does asking about box sets folks bought back in the 80's appeal to a younger audience? Birthright setting doesn't exactly scream baby zoomer. :unsure:
 

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