D&D 5E Ray Winninger, in charge of D&D, states his old school bonefides.

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JEB

Legend
Why does it matter? Where is the unfairness? Who is it unfair to?
The creators who worked on products that weren't really problematic, but are having their works lumped in with material like Oriental Adventures, for one. Some of whom still work on the game today and are clearly working to make it better, like Jeremy Crawford. (Unless he's disavowed Heroes of the Feywild as an old shame and I missed it?)

And the fans who enjoyed said products (to include fans who jumped on with 4E just before the 5E switchover), and could read in that disclaimer the implication that the things they liked were wrong, whether or not that implication has merit in an individual case. Many take such things as implicit criticism of themselves as well as of the work.

Note, arguing that folks shouldn't be offended by something is generally a non-starter... all you can do is try to understand and accept why they might be offended.
 

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I'm sure many older fans agree there's stuff in the back catalog that merits the disclaimer. That doesn't mean they're fine with every single D&D product prior to 5E being labeled as potentially problematic.

I’m usually in the “woke gone too far” camp around here, but I honestly can’t even imagine what it would be like to care. On all sides and in all subgroups, it’s amazing to me how whiny, entitled and delicate so many are in the online ttrpg community.

Buy what you* want and play what you want, but please, for the love of Gord, stop whining.

*Not you you - the older-generation “theys” you’re talking about.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
While I would much rather see specific disclaimers I think most folks upset at those disclaimers would be much more upset at targeted disclaimers especially if there weren't any on WotC edition material.
 



JEB

Legend
While I would much rather see specific disclaimers I think most folks upset at those disclaimers would be much more upset at targeted disclaimers especially if there weren't any on WotC edition material.
Targeted disclaimers would certainly have made dedicated fans of those specific products much more upset, agreed. But most of the other older fans probably wouldn't have cared, so long as it wasn't one of their favorites that got targeted.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Ray Winninger felt like flexing his old school bonafides.

Edit to add:

I'm fairly certain he was responding to 5e old school style players. I'm not sure that makes any difference for some but maybe.

I responded to him that it definitely counts, and also that I looked forward to when he revives Greyhawk as a 5e setting.

He just clicked like on it without a denial.

Just sayin!
 



And the fans who enjoyed said products (to include fans who jumped on with 4E just before the 5E switchover), and could read in that disclaimer the implication that the things they liked were wrong, whether or not that implication has merit in an individual case. Many take such things as implicit criticism of themselves as well as of the work.
Really? What an odd and self defeating way to think about things.
 

pemerton

Legend
WotC is a commercial publishing house that also creates valuable trademarks and associated "brand" material that it can make money from in films, on t-shirts, etc.

It's not a charity, and not even a not-for-profit.

So suggesting that it should do thing to be nice to "fans", or to avoid being unfair to "fans", seems silly. The sorts of unfairness rules that govern a commercial publisher go to the way it deals with its employees, not entering into contractual relationships with firms that don't meet labour or environmental standards, etc; and with abiding by non-discrimination requirements in sales, tenders etc. But what it says about its present or past material - eg selling them with disclaimers, or not selling them at all, or poking fun at them - is not in the realm of fairness. The only sensible evaluations are from the commercial perspective - ie is this making money (and preferably the most available given the investment), or if not directly making money is this a good way to promote sales?

EDIT: I mean, people can wish that WotC might write and publish this or that thing that they would like to buy. In just the same way, I can wish that when I go to the supermarket the icecream or the camembert will be on special. But WotC has no duty to anyone to deliver on those wishes, and failing to do so isn't treating anyone unfairly.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I think that's a fairly common, if misguided, form of fan complaint. They sell books, they aren't doing favours. Anyway...
 



AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Targeted disclaimers would certainly have made dedicated fans of those specific products much more upset, agreed. But most of the other older fans probably wouldn't have cared, so long as it wasn't one of their favorites that got targeted.
Again, targeted disclaimers are impractical and bound to miss something that would end up offending specific people, instead of just a general "older material has a 'modern sensibilities warning' on it!!!" complaint that people are complaining about right now. It's just way better to say "this may have problematic content and is a product of its time" on every non-5e D&D product than trying to separate the wheat from the tares from the 40 years of pre-5e content.
 

pemerton

Legend
I think there's a category mistake that gets made sometimes, one that conflates fans with customers.
I'm a "fan" of D&D in that, if I look around my room, I can see shelves with over 2.5 metres of D&D material - rulebooks, modules, setting material, magazines, etc - that include Moldvay-Cook-Marsh B/X, the Rules Cyclopedia, a "special collectors' edition" white box, plenty of AD&D and AD&D 2nd ed, a fair bit of 3E stuff, and 60 cm+ of 4e material.

Some of that material I've used to play D&D - mostly AD&D and 4e. Some of I've used to play other RPGs - Rolemaster, and more recently Burning Wheel.

I don't have any 5e material, other than what I've downloaded as PDFs released for free by WotC.

In a similar vein, I have about five-and-a-half shelf-metres of comics behind me, a good chunk of that X-Men, which stops around 1997 when I gave up on the post-Claremont era.

If WotC, or Disney/Marvel, publishes something of interest to me I might buy it. If they don't, I won't. It's a pretty simple equation! And I reckon their market research is probably as good as it gets in their respective industries.
 

JEB

Legend
Again, targeted disclaimers are impractical and bound to miss something that would end up offending specific people, instead of just a general "older material has a 'modern sensibilities warning' on it!!!" complaint that people are complaining about right now. It's just way better to say "this may have problematic content and is a product of its time" on every non-5e D&D product than trying to separate the wheat from the tares from the 40 years of pre-5e content.
It's definitely the safest and most pragmatic solution, and the one that requires the least effort on their parts. As I said before, efficient.

I wonder if we'll see the disclaimer applied to older 5E products once the anniversary revision is released in 2024?
 



Older gamers seem to differ on whether or not 5E's version of Ravenloft would qualify as "good treatment of classic settings". It's about more than just bringing the old stuff back. (Hollywood sure wishes it was that easy...)

"We brought back Total Recall, just like you asked. Why are you saying you never listen to us?"
 

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