D&D General Rant: Sometimes I Hate the D&D Community

I’ve never understood why people can’t just play the game they like and let other people (and in the age of the Internet, the other people are often people they will never even encounter IRL, much less play with) play the games they like. Unfortunately there are all sorts of groups online dedicated to telling each other why everyone that plays differently than they do are Dumb And Wrong. Some people want to hate on things that are popular and some people get angry at newcomers to their beloved hobby and even others get angry at any perceived “dumbing down.”

No one is coming to confiscate your Rules Cyclopedia or copy of OSE. Live and let live. If everyone at your table is having fun, it doesn’t detract from my or anyone else’s fun.

The problem with some people is that, whether they think of it consciously that way or not, really expect they're in a struggle for mindspace.

People have, at some point, almost always had trouble getting players together for a game, or notice that they're not getting additional material for the version of the game they use. And the take-home they get from that is that people who want different things out of a game are a passive threat to their enjoyment.

Its hard to even call it completely irrational. Ask anyone who's wanted to get together a game of something other than the current edition of D&D in certain areas how much differences in taste doesn't matter.

But the reality is, getting into a death battle about it is pointless. The fact you're telling people their fun is bad and wrong isn't going to stop them mostly, so what are you doing other than cooking up stress?
 

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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Sometimes though, it isn't so much a question of "play the game you like" it's a query about a specific edition that brings out the toxicity. There's a thread right now which asks what people think is wrong with 5e. I've participated in a thread about 4e and, while it's true that there are many that seem vehemently against anything 4e, there are also those who take any criticism of the edition as a personal attack.

These aren't threads saying that you're wrong to play that edition either, people just get overly worked up about their favourite edition or about the edition that they dislike. Thankfully, I've only experienced these sorts of players online.
What always bothers me is when one side is dismissive, or makes claims that aren't true. And when you step in to clear the air, you get personally attacked for it.

Examples:

"3rd edition was a horrible mess because of Pun-Pun."

(Actually, Pun-Pun was a funny thought experiment about what would happen if all books were legal and you replaced the DM with a machine...a broken machine).

"4th edition was just an MMO and all the classes were the same."

(Most classes already had roles, it was just now that design was built around those roles, giving each class a job. And while there were some similar seeming powers initially, it didn't take long for each class to gain a unique identity- my Ranger could attack three times, with each successful attack giving an opponent more debuffs once per day. My Barbarian could give up a healing surge to dish out a huge attack. And my Warlord could tell all his allies to stop bleeding out and stand the hell up).

Now some might say, there's no reason to engage with these people, but I dislike misinformation- especially since a lot of people will read something erroneous and then continue to parrot it as if it were undeniable fact.
 

payn

Legend
What always bothers me is when one side is dismissive, or makes claims that aren't true. And when you step in to clear the air, you get personally attacked for it.

Examples:

"3rd edition was a horrible mess because of Pun-Pun."

(Actually, Pun-Pun was a funny thought experiment about what would happen if all books were legal and you replaced the DM with a machine...a broken machine).

"4th edition was just an MMO and all the classes were the same."

(Most classes already had roles, it was just now that design was built around those roles, giving each class a job. And while there were some similar seeming powers initially, it didn't take long for each class to gain a unique identity- my Ranger could attack three times, with each successful attack giving an opponent more debuffs once per day. My Barbarian could give up a healing surge to dish out a huge attack. And my Warlord could tell all his allies to stop bleeding out and stand the hell up).

Now some might say, there's no reason to engage with these people, but I dislike misinformation- especially since a lot of people will read something erroneous and then continue to parrot it as if it were undeniable fact.
Problem is folks cant admit their preferences. It's like the minute you say, "It's fine, but I dont like it", you lost the argument. Like fun can be objectively defined. It cant, its all subjective. The only thing you can argue is if math works the way its supposed to, but again, the math is supposed to make the game fun, so it can really be anything.
 


Celebrim

Legend
Eh.

Here is the thing. I admire Eberron. It's brilliantly conceived and executed setting that manages to take the D&D kitchen sink and find original places for all the pieces in an imaginative and coherent manner. But I'd never run Eberron. It's not to my taste. I can tell the guy that put it together is a genius and I might play in his campaign, but I'm not going out of my way to play Eberron. Because I understand that things can be of high quality and not be to my taste, because taste is subjective.

But I can also be disappointed when my tastes are left behind by the developers or the community. The thing about being a fan is that part of the fun of being a fan is stuffing cash in your fist, waving it in the air, and going, "Take my money!" We want to be wowed. We want to get the cool new toys. And if the market has turned to making cool new toys to your taste, but not to mine, it's not as simple as saying, "Well, you could always do the work yourself."

I could. I'm a geek. I'm a nerd. I make my own stuff. That's part of the package I think.

But it's not the same thing. I can make my own cake and that's fun, but sometimes - actually in the case of baking most of the time - I want someone else to bake the cake for me. And if for some reason cedar and cinnamon flavored cakes are all the rage for 10 years running, it is a bit disappointing that I can no longer get my fig with goat cheese frosted cakes.
 

Clearly the solution is to hostilely take over the community and enact minority rule.

Does anyone have advice on excluding people with different preferences then mine? Or should I focus on oppressing them and forcing them to play the game my way??
 



Haiku Elvis

Adventurer
Just produce a new edition that forces them to play your way.
There is no new edition OneD&D has always been here.
(Backwards compatible since the dawn of time).
There will be no new editions OneD&D is forever.
(Leading to an endless subscription/ aaS sales model of perfection)
Join us! You will never want to leave! *

* our digital walled garden.**
** Technically you can leave but we hope the sunken costs mean you don't and you stay here forever ***
*** Unless you play bards then we hope nothing of the sort
****Urgh bards.
 
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That's still an opinion though, so they should be able to express it.
You see comments like this a lot in this sort of meta-discussion, so this post is not directed at you per se, since you're only expressing a very common idea.

This idea is very reductive and unhelpful. The point of these discussions is not that someone should not be able to express their opinion, it's about how they express that opinion. That matters. Take responsibility for the way you choose to express what you're expressing.

And moreover:

That you have an opinion is trivial. We all have opinions.

What that opinion is, is also generally uninteresting in itself, because

Why you hold that opinion is what matters. Especially since we're in a discussion forum. The only thing that can really be discussed is the reasoning behind an opinion, not the opinion by itself.

And the fact is, many people hold many opinions that are based on misunderstandings, misinterpretations, ignorance, faulty reasoning, and let's face it, prejudice and bigotry.

So if you hold an opinion for one or more of these reasons, it is entirely appropriate for others to point that out. The fact that it's an opinion does not shield it from criticism. Far too often in online discussions you see someone throw out their opinion, and then when it's challenged, retreat to "It's just my opinion! I have a right to my opinion!" Great. But if you express it in a discussion forum, expect it to be discussed. And if others point out why your opinion seems to be based on something other than facts and good reasoning, they're not violating your right to your opinion. They're just expressing theirs.
 

That you have an opinion is trivial. We all have opinions.

What that opinion is, is also generally uninteresting in itself, because

Why you hold that opinion is what matters. Especially since we're in a discussion forum. The only thing that can really be discussed is the reasoning behind an opinion, not the opinion by itself.

I have to disagree with this.

A significant percent of the time, I come to discussions specifically to find out the "what". I want to find out what other peoples opinions are. I want to see what different ideas people have. To see what details people catch that I didn't. To see what different perspectives people have. The "what" is extremely important. And the idea that other peoples opinions are generally uninteresting is troublingly dismissive. Furthermore, judging opinions based only on the "why" that a poster gives as explanation is just layers of fallacies.

Now, a lot of the other things you said, I agree with. How things are expressed matters, and we don't have to be tolerant of bigotry and prejudice just because it's an opinion. But that's a big step away from everything else you said. If I were to make some assumptions, I think your meta-discussion here makes sense when talking about some of the 50+ page, long term (often circular) discussions that sometimes go on here. But those are a small percentage of the threads that take place on ENWorld.
 

Reynard

Legend
You see comments like this a lot in this sort of meta-discussion, so this post is not directed at you per se, since you're only expressing a very common idea.

This idea is very reductive and unhelpful. The point of these discussions is not that someone should not be able to express their opinion, it's about how they express that opinion. That matters. Take responsibility for the way you choose to express what you're expressing.

And moreover:

That you have an opinion is trivial. We all have opinions.

What that opinion is, is also generally uninteresting in itself, because

Why you hold that opinion is what matters. Especially since we're in a discussion forum. The only thing that can really be discussed is the reasoning behind an opinion, not the opinion by itself.

And the fact is, many people hold many opinions that are based on misunderstandings, misinterpretations, ignorance, faulty reasoning, and let's face it, prejudice and bigotry.

So if you hold an opinion for one or more of these reasons, it is entirely appropriate for others to point that out. The fact that it's an opinion does not shield it from criticism. Far too often in online discussions you see someone throw out their opinion, and then when it's challenged, retreat to "It's just my opinion! I have a right to my opinion!" Great. But if you express it in a discussion forum, expect it to be discussed. And if others point out why your opinion seems to be based on something other than facts and good reasoning, they're not violating your right to your opinion. They're just expressing theirs.
You also see, far too often, people ascribing motives to people that hold an opinion and then attacking them for that assumed motive and not criticizing the opinion itself. See: anytime someone says they prefer evil orcs.
 

You also see, far too often, people ascribing motives to people that hold an opinion and then attacking them for that assumed motive and not criticizing the opinion itself. See: anytime someone says they prefer evil orcs.

More broadly, and I'm not entirely immune to the disease myself, you see a lot of what I call "Internet Telepathy" where people will assume a motive for many posts that is not in evidence from the post. Some of this is an understandable defense mechanism when you've encountered enough people who do a fair bit of dog-whistling, or less malign but still bad, are using a line of discussion as a tactic. But in practice it still basically creates a lot of counterproductive collateral damage to discussion.
 

At the Badwrongfun Anonymous meeting;

"Hi, My name is aco175, and I like flanking."
"Hi Aco."

okay I don't know what the answer is... but I can tell you what I tried. Through most of 4e I was SUPER happy, so when people talked it down I tried to just ignore them. When NEXT was announced I got super upset that 4e wasn't going forward and through out the play test got into many fights on here. I found that I had to just stop argueing for my own mental health and it was the first time since early 3e that I walked away from enworld (and other boards)

5e is a good 'compromise' edition, and this becomes a problem when you find your group can't agree between PF, 4e, or a non D&D game BUT can all 'accept' 5e... It also hard to get new people into games not in print (as a oWoD player I can tell you when the 25th A books came out I found new players, but not for long) and even older players feel they have 'played out' some or even all options they want to try over the years (with 4e it took about 2ish years and 3 campaigns into 5e life span that people in my group hit this.

through out 5e I have gotten into fights here... I still have a 2017 warning in my inbox. but I took 2 long periods (one about a year, and one about 8ish months) deciding that I would house rule and just play the game... each time coming back to talk about something that had excited me about 5e, just to find arguments back

when teh 2024 (now called 1D&D) edition change was announced I vowed not to make the mistake of leaving. I would stay and argue for my point and I would start early by bringing up problems I and my group have and what we want to fix it. I don't know that it is doing any good
 

This idea is very reductive and unhelpful. The point of these discussions is not that someone should not be able to express their opinion, it's about how they express that opinion. That matters. Take responsibility for the way you choose to express what you're expressing.

And moreover:

That you have an opinion is trivial. We all have opinions.

What that opinion is, is also generally uninteresting in itself, because

Why you hold that opinion is what matters. Especially since we're in a discussion forum. The only thing that can really be discussed is the reasoning behind an opinion, not the opinion by itself.
the trouble is that sometimes it feels like if you even bring up an issue some people (and often the same people) are drawn in to tell you that you are wrong
And the fact is, many people hold many opinions that are based on misunderstandings, misinterpretations, ignorance, faulty reasoning, and let's face it, prejudice and bigotry.
and what makes my above statement worse is we ALL think OUR opinions are based on understanding and THEY, the other is the one with misunderstandings, misinterpretations, ignorance, faulty reasoning, and let's face it, prejudice and bigotry.

Take skill checks, or if there should be social skills at all, or if there should be a warlord, or if LFQW is still an issue... all of these have two sides that will tell you that THE OTHER side is full of misunderstandings, misinterpretations, ignorance, and faulty reasoning.

When we have edition wars starting it is again because BOTH sides think THEY are understanding and the other side isn't (I'm sure there are some trolls but most of us are trying to argue in good faith)
 

You also see, far too often, people ascribing motives to people that hold an opinion and then attacking them for that assumed motive and not criticizing the opinion itself. See: anytime someone says they prefer evil orcs.
Admittedly not here but on FB, but in a discussion of evil orcs I saw a person say they understand where the idea comes from and maybe they would play in such a game either way... BUT in the homebrew world with 40 years of history in it, they would not change the game they run in the one and only world they run... but maybe if they ever make a second world... and this person was not only attacked in the sub thread as only being prejudice and bigoted, but in OTHER conversations I saw this person brought up as "Don't be like _____".
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I have to disagree with this.

A significant percent of the time, I come to discussions specifically to find out the "what". I want to find out what other peoples opinions are.

But what the opinion is doesn't really help you if you don't know the context.

It is like movie reviews - a reviewer saying, "I liked this movie" doesn't give you much information, unless the reviewer tells you why, or you know why from following the reviewer and have learned something of their tastes.

People liking (or disliking) some rule, setting, supplement, or what have you doesn't help you until you know how they like to play the game, what their tables and house rules are like, and so on.
 

I have to disagree with this.

A significant percent of the time, I come to discussions specifically to find out the "what".
As with anything, don't take the words too literally. I did say that the "what" by itself is only generally uninteresting, meaning sometimes it is interesting by itself. Especially in the context of certain discussions. If the point of a particular discussion is to find out the "whats" of various people, then obviously the "what" has value by itself. But in the context of the type of discussion I'm addressing, I think my point stands in general.
 

You also see, far too often, people ascribing motives to people that hold an opinion and then attacking them for that assumed motive and not criticizing the opinion itself. See: anytime someone says they prefer evil orcs.
This is true - but you might note that if the person saying they prefer evil orcs provides their reasoning as to why. they are less likely to have motives ascribed to them, since their motives are explicitly stated.
 

Take skill checks, or if there should be social skills at all, or if there should be a warlord, or if LFQW is still an issue... all of these have two sides that will tell you that THE OTHER side is full of misunderstandings, misinterpretations, ignorance, and faulty reasoning.
To be clear, I was referring to demonstrable misinterpretations, etc. Cases where people claim the rules say X, but when you check the rules it does not say X, and in reality X is a common misrepresentation of the rules made by haters of a particular ruleset.

An opinion on whether or not there should be social skills is not something that can really be informed by demonstrable misunderstandings, since it's very much a matter of preference. So it's not an example of what I'm talking about.
 

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