D&D 5E New Vs Old

HammerMan

Legend
IN multi other threads I have heard people talk about new and old players... even I am guilty of it. BUT, what does it really mean?

In a recent thread someone said that New Players come in expecting a game like Critical Role, and that wont fit with the old astatic so even as the hobby grows the ability to find players that match "YOUR" style lowers...

Now I have never seen Critical Role, I don't watch people play RPGs (I do watch people play video games though) so I don't really know what is so different.

I personally think (and I think this dates back to the late 90's) that over time players have wanted more out of combat scenarios and more out of combat rules. I think that the current 'new' players of D&D would not be any more different to the old guard of 4e then the 3.5 newbies would be to the late game 2e players... it seems an advancement that even brings old men like me along (I 100% support less combat focus). I also think (and again this goes back to end of 2e/begining of 3e) newer players are more intrested in balance then older players... but again in small steps.

what are your experences? old vs new?
 

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payn

Legend
When I started I managed to get at a table with some folks older than myself. I didn't really get into D&D until 3E. I wanted to find out the difference from how the game is now, compared to how it was then. I had a lot of conversations that sort of tracked, but it wouldnt be until years later I would understand the theory behind them. For some it was about the adventure, not the mechanics. Also, skill play vs character driven campaign was a big difference.

What I have come to discover is that a lot of folks think old and new are monocultures. That old folks like fewer classes and easier mechanics but more focus on the dungeon and skill play. Of course they expect the opposite of new gamers in that they expect advanced mechanics options and story driven games. The truth is, I have met both new and old gamers that fall into these buckets. Its not useful to frame the discussion in old vs new, but in playstyle preference. YMMV.
 

Any way you slice it, D&D is combat is the primary part of it and everything else is secondary. Yes it doesnt have to be and Roleplaying has next to nothing to do with the system you are playing... BUT there are better systems that aid the game a lot better for out of combat RP and gaining XP etc etc.

Me, Im looking forward to the new The One Ring addition, which is more about "The Fellowship" and less about combat.

Crit Role is great at what it does and i think people think that what they do requires D&D and it doesnt. I would love to see them make another weekly game thats not D&D/Fantasy.
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
New vs. Old or Young vs. Old?

In one of my current groups, the four players consist of two people who have not played since 2E during teens/college days (20+ years ago) and two people who have never played before. We range in age from 38 to 50.

The two folks who have played before have some expectations based on how they used to play, but these are pretty different. One player is ready for everything to go against him always and the other is always looking for ways to get something more/something cool. Neverthless, in terms of 5E and stuff that has developed since 2E they still seem kinda "newish" to me.

The two folks who have never played before at all did not arrive via Critical Role (one of them tried it but it was not for her). One of them loves Arrowverse shows and GoT and the like and the other is coming from being a hardcore board game player (Euro games and co-op games). You'd think the former would want a more over the top heroic game, but she doesn't seem to have much in the way of expectations except to be challenged and have fun each session. The latter player doesn't really have much in the way of expectation, but is very much about grasping the rules and making the best choices for his character (not necessarily optimized).

So my experience of new vs. old in this group doesn't really tell me much based on the framework you've laid out.

On the other hand, I had three players drop my other group who are newish and in their late 20s/early 30s who I think just were just used to a different style of game. Two of them in particular seemed to just want to play through cool stories and scenarios that took maybe three to six months to play through but had little interest in granular tactical combats or slow-advancement/development of characters (like I like to run) and seem frustrated by it. Ultimately, we were not a good fit, I think (we're still friends, just don't play RPGs together). So they were kinda young (compared to my old ass, at least) but mostly kinda new to the game (had only played on an off for three or four years). But not sure their desired game style had anything to do with their age or experience (though I guess if the games they had first played had been like mine they might have decided D&D was not for them).

Not sure what if anything this says or if my experience of new and/or younger players is just insufficient to come to any conclusions.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I once had great success running a BD&D adventure for a group of folks who cut their teeth on 3E. This was long before Critical Role (and indeed 5E), but even back then, online battle lines had been drawn between the grognards and the new blood.

So, my takeaway is the same as @payn's: The stereotypes of old players and new players are not nearly as universal as we sometimes imagine.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
IN multi other threads I have heard people talk about new and old players... even I am guilty of it. BUT, what does it really mean?

New players can be exciting and vigorous, but sometimes a little harsh on the palate.

Old players, on the other hand, are smooth and mellow, but on occasion you will find that they have turned to vinegar.

Wait ... players. I thought you were asking about wine!

Eh, same thing.
 


Undrave

Hero
I really want to know what is it about Critical Role that's so different as to be incompatible with 'old school'? I've heard that mentioned before and I've never really been given any explanations?
 

schneeland

Adventurer
Critical Role is really big on the acting aspect of gaming (incl. doing funny voices) and often even peripheral scenes are acted out. Player skill, on the other hand, does not seem to play a big role and character death is rare (both of which I would rank as typical in old-school games). The adventure itself seems to go in large, partly GM-planned narrative arcs and emergent story telling based on random tables and the whims of the dice is IMO less pronounced. So I would place Critical Role firmly in the camp of trad gaming, at least for their main campaign.
The main point for me, though, is that - irrespective of gaming style - Critical Role is an entertainment product. I think their play style fits this quite well.

Disclaimer: I have only seen season 1 - things might have changed afterwards.
 


Raith5

Adventurer
I am an old player and I love combat. I like roleplaying and world building that gives the combat meaning - but man, I have enough social interactions in real life and if I want do some exploring Id go for hike. Combat is the one thing that D&D can always deliver on that I cannot do in real life. D&D is just team based escapism.

That not to say the game should adapt to newer players and non-combat mechanics and options should be expanded on - but I dont think that all older role players are all thespians or all wargamers.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Any way you slice it, D&D is combat is the primary part of it and everything else is secondary.

And that is only YOUR opinion, for your games, thanks a lot for that, but that's all that it is, your opinion.

Crit Role is great at what it does and i think people think that what they do requires D&D and it doesnt.

And yet, it's almost the only way (with minor variations, maybe a bit less real acting and (certainly) voices and maybe a bit more technical gaming now and then) I've seen it played in France and in the UK and in Australia and in Singapore, for more than 40 years, with hundreds of players of all ages, and yes, it requires D&D because all the other games that we've tried, despite all their qualities, had a different feel, and we all came back to D&D in the end, because it's the only game that gives us that feel.

So, no, total disagreement.
 

And that is only YOUR opinion, for your games, thanks a lot for that, but that's all that it is, your opinion.



And yet, it's almost the only way (with minor variations, maybe a bit less real acting and (certainly) voices and maybe a bit more technical gaming now and then) I've seen it played in France and in the UK and in Australia and in Singapore, for more than 40 years, with hundreds of players of all ages, and yes, it requires D&D because all the other games that we've tried, despite all their qualities, had a different feel, and we all came back to D&D in the end, because it's the only game that gives us that feel.

So, no, total disagreement.
The game was LITERALLY adapted from a war game.
 

Oofta

Legend
It's not about new vs old, it's just different people having different preferences. I've always run a very RP heavy game, done funny voices, encouraged character interactions. I don't have the time to dedicate to as many hours as CR (or the Dwarven Forge budget even if I wanted to) so our games have slightly less RP and interactions. I hand wave quite a bit of shopping because I'm more interested in the story.

But while my DM sessions for the first year or so were dominated by dungeon crawls, we slowly expanded into world building and story telling aspects of the game. It was just more fun for us, combat is exciting as well but I want a reason for there to be combat more than to just get loot.
 





J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Which does not change the fact that the game was created primarily for combat.

Even modern D&D we can go through the PHB and DMG and MM and see how much of each is devoted to combat in some way vs not combat.
Yes, everyone knows all that.
This exact same argument appears on probably a dozen active threads on this forum at this very moment. And it's just as weak every single time it's brought up.
 
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