D&D 5E New Vs Old

Oofta

Legend
And those characters did what? Went into dungeons filled with monsters to collect treasure.
It didn't take long for people to go from wargame to world building. A half century ago. Today, like always, D&D is to a large extent what you make it.

I've always had sessions where there was no combat and sessions where the dice were rolling constantly. I don't see any reason to pigeonhole people into one style of play just because of the origins of the game, their age, or any other external criteria.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


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.
I honestly dont see the issue. In my original post I said RPing has almost nothing to do with the game system.

If you love RPing while playing D&D, great! So do I. I dont see why saying "D&D is designed with combat in mind" is such an issue, it has nothing to do with RPing at the table.
 

J-H

Hero
I have two players who are late 40s/early 50s and played D&D 1e back in the 1980s.
I have four players who are under the age of 25, and thus haven't played D&D for more than a decade at most. Two of them are new and have only played in games I'm running.

Everyone's having fun.

Problem is overblown by internet debates.
 

"Old" players are generally products of their beginning edition and the times. OD&D and 1E players tend to avoid combat, focusing on exploration and gaining treasure. 2E players tend to focus more on story, with a bit less emphasis on hard coded rules. 3E players tend to focus on "builds" and often believe in RAW as the primary form of play, which I believe to be a product of the emerging commonality of the internet. While I don't have much experience with 4E players, the few I've known seem to enjoy over the top, superheroic, almost anime style gaming.

I don't really have much experience with "new" players, i.e. the ones who started with 5E. I've done several one-shots that introduced such players, but they seldom have much expectations going in. None of them came in from CR or other sources, so I don't know how common that really is. I've also not played any longer than that introductory adventure, so I really don't know how they eventually end up in terms of style and preference.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
what are your experences? old vs new?

I don't have experience with large numbers of new, young players. But, I do have one experience to talk about - a couple years ago, I taught my de-facto goddaughter and a friend of hers how to play D&D. She went on to become a huge fan of Critical Role, start running her own games with her friends, and her dad now runs a game we play in with her.

I have also, just for gaming-cultural literacy, started watching the new Critical Role campaign that started just a few weeks ago. I figured it was past time that I really got to understand this thing that gets talked about so much.

When I look at CR, and how my goddaughter plays, and how people talk about young players expecting a game "like Critical Role", I... don't think I know what they mean by "like Critical Role" because... it isn't really groundbreaking in its style. It isn't all that dissimilar from the game I ran for her myself, honestly. And I've been playing D&D since the 80s.
 
Last edited:

Oofta

Legend
I have two players who are late 40s/early 50s and played D&D 1e back in the 1980s.
I have four players who are under the age of 25, and thus haven't played D&D for more than a decade at most. Two of them are new and have only played in games I'm running.

Everyone's having fun.

Problem is overblown by internet debates.
I have the same experience. Our ages range from 20s to 60s. Some of my nephews played with me back when they were preteens but not since. Some have been playing nearly as long as I have (not sure), some are brand new to the game. I don't really see a big difference of expectations or styles.

There have always been and will always be groups of people that have different preferences and styles.
 

Arilyn

Hero
I'm old and I recall plenty of players in the 80s wanting games that are actually closer to Critical Role. I vastly prefer newer games and styles to the supposed old school gaming of the past. I don't thing it's a split between old and young, just players having differing play styles and preferences.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
The game was LITERALLY adapted from a war game.
to be something a wargame couldn't: a world building role-playing game focusing on story and the world. If you don't believe me, just ask a guy named "Dave" who created this thing called "Blackmoor". The whole point of D&D coming about in the first place was not to be a wargame, but a world building role-playing game where you could emulate those fantasy settings in literature (and create your own).

This is reinforced by the rules. If worldbuilding and role-playing weren't so key to the game, the DMG wouldn't have devoted so much space to that, and the classes wouldn't have baked in features built around those ideas from day 1.

to the point, I agree with @payn, naturally, as we agreed in those other threads. The evolution of the game wasn't changed because of age of players, but with how our society has evolved and shifted trends. It's bad to stereotype someone based on race, gender identity, orientation, or religion, so we shouldn't do it on age either.
 



When I look at CR, and how my goddaughter plays, and how people talk about young players expecting a game "like Critical Role", I... don't think I know what they mean by "like Critical Role" because... it isn't really groundbreaking in its style. It isn't all that dissimilar from the game I ran for her myself, honestly. And I've been playing D&D since the 80s.
Yep. It has high production values and they're professional actors, but in style and essence it is basically how I've always played.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
I don't like to watch CR, because I just can't get into it. I get distracted and start doing other things after a half hour. But I love CR for what it's done, and doing, for the hobby. I don't care if you (general you) hate everyone involved in CR, there can be no denying our hobby is better with them. A bigger hobby helps us all.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
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.
You should hyphenate out-of-combat when you use it like this. I thought at first that you meant they wanted to get more from the combat rules and scenarios. Your point seemed incoherent to me until I re-read and realized you meant they wanted more rules for and scenarios focusing on things outside of combat.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
So... I don't think you make a lot of generalization about older vs younger players. There is going to be people who like all sorts of ways of playing.

However, I think we can make one somewhat solid generalization. Older players (as in people who have been playing for a long time) have the opportunity of having their opinion be better informed - they have tried several different systems, different groups etc etc, so they understand what works for them better.

Of course, there is no guarantee this will actually happen, but at least there is a possibility for it to have happened.

Anyway, I strongly recommend that people who have played only one system try others - even if you return to 5e, you will have gained a better appreciation for it.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
On a wargame perspective DnD is an awful evolution.
Combat grossly favor one side,
balance is crappy,
the referee also control one side,
I wonder why wargame lover would play dnd?

This shows a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of the type of wargame that D&D was descended from. There were often unbalanced scenarios, referee adjudication based on knowledge of the scenario and warfare, and multiple engagements strung together in campaign play.

It was nothing like a 40K tournament.
 

teitan

Legend
New to me just means anybody who has started in the last 5 years. I don’t have anything against. The ones I grit my teeth about are the ones who say “you don’t need to read the DMG” and then don’t understand optional rules or what the DM’s job is and accuse people of being “bad DMs” who are excellent DMs because they said no you can’t take a feat because we aren’t using feats in this campaign or one shot. There has been a disconnect with some newer players and I don’t blame the critical role crowd because a lot of my players are the critical role crowd type players and they get it. But I’ve seen horror stories or experienced them online and they really do not get the vibe of CR and “love each other”.
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
Which does not change the fact that the game was created primarily for combat.

I'm sorry but no. There is no proof of that, so if you think you have some, please show it.

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.

And I've posted the page count, do you know that the combat section of the PH is only 3% of the pages, and that it's even worse in the DMG ?

And yes, combat is more complex and would require a bit more explanation than the rest of the game, technically, but even then, there are no claims whatsoever that it's "primarily for combat".
 

Horwath

Hero
Currently playing 2 campaigns(both 5E), and the players year of birth is from 1981 to 1998,

And I can say that all enjoy roleplay and exploration part, MacGyvering around various obstacles, traps, terrain problems, etc... Talking with NPCs and interparty brainstorming on a plot is always cool, but...

There is something when DM says "roll for initiative", it's like instantly in a completely new game. Everyone go from casual, relaxed position to anticipating tension, awaiting next result of the dice roll.

And no matter the age of players, this reaction is similar in all of them.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top