D&D 5E Regarding DMG, Starter Set and Essentials kit: Are they good for the starting DMs?

pemerton

Legend
Has any DMG had enough examples to suit you (other than 4e, which I assume is a yes for you)? If not, why do you think D&D hasn't gone to this supposed "industry standard" after nearly 50 years?
I've already posted upthread that both Moldvay Basic and Gygax's DMG have many worked examples. The examples in Moldvay enabled me to learn how to play and run the game. Gygax's DMG is not as good as a teaching tool, for various reasons - the main but not sole one being its lack of clear organisation - but it's not wanting for examples.

I think in this thread I noted one way in which the 4e DMG lacked explanation connected to clear examples - namely, of how to factor condition-infliction into the p 42 framework - and this was something that the book was criticised for back in its day. I've also been a prominent critic of the lack of good explanation accompanying some of the skill challenge examples in the 4e DMG and Rules Compendium, which illustrate without explanation how narration of failure can be decoupled from causal/process reasoning about the player's declared action (ie they are examples but not worked examples).

As I think I've also mentioned, the lack of examples in Classic Traveller for play (as opposed to PC gen, which has a terrific example) was one of the reasons why I wasn't able to work out how to play it until after I'd read and played Moldvay Basic, even though I owned and read Traveller first.
 

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pemerton

Legend
13A is a game with a far more specific playstyle than non-4e D&D has ever advocated.
I think Gygax's AD&D books advocate a very specific playstyle. The core of it is found in the discussion of class functions (PHB pp 18, 106; DMG p 86) and of "successful adventures" (PHB pp 107-9), reinforced by the example of play (DMG pp 97-100).

It's very "prescriptive" (to use a term that's occurred in this thread).

Many RPGers disregarded those prescriptions and turned some aspects of the game - especially its core PC build and action resolution mechanics - to other sorts of play. I don't think that modern RPGers are incapable of doing something similar in relation to D&D rulebooks.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I think the DMG is useful for people who already play the game. It could, of course, be better.
If you feel that the DMG could be better and WotC believes that it could be improved for newbie DMs, why have you spent pages arguing against improving it for new players and newbie DMs? Maybe you aren't arguing that, but that's how it reads to me. I'm not sure why there is so much reluctance to improve the DMG if you and WotC earnestly believe that it can be improved. The main difference is that WotC has declared with respect to what that they believe that it can be improved.

So you may feel that the DMG should not be new player friendly or provide guidance for new DMs, but how might WotC see it differently since they have announced the what they did about Chris Perkins rewriting the upcoming One D&D DMG?

Do you think that WotC's desire to improve, reorganize, and rewrite the 5e DMG for the greater benefit of newbie DMs going forward in One D&D is a bad decision?
 

If you feel that the DMG could be better and WotC believes that it could be improved for newbie DMs, why have you spent pages arguing against improving it for new players and newbie DMs
It's not a case of arguing against "could the DMG be better?". Of course it could, it's rubbish.

The argument is "the DMG is not a good way to teach new players to be DMs". That's irrespective of how good, bad, or indifferent it is, it's the wrong format for teaching new players how to be DMs.
 

Aldarc

Legend
It's not a case of arguing against "could the DMG be better?". Of course it could, it's rubbish.

The argument is "the DMG is not a good way to teach new players to be DMs". That's irrespective of how good, bad, or indifferent it is, it's the wrong format for teaching new players how to be DMs.
So what does WotC hope to achieve by improving the One D&D DMG for the sake of new DMs?

Consider that a lot of press releases and articles that came out about One D&D repeated variations of this line:
Perkins, whose primary focus is on the Dungeon Master’s Guide, says that the goal is to make DMing more accessible for newcomers,...
 

So what does WotC hope to achieve by improving the One D&D DMG for the sake of new DMs?

Consider that a lot of press releases and articles that came out about One D&D repeated variations of this line:
I don't think anyone is saying WotC always makes good decisions.

Game designers are not educators, they don't necessarily have the expertise to make good teaching tools. The Lost Mines of Phandelver starter set was excellent, but a lot of the people who made that have moved on.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I don't think anyone is saying WotC always makes good decisions.

Game designers are not educators, they don't necessarily have the expertise to make good teaching tools. The Lost Mines of Phandelver starter set was excellent, but a lot of the people who made that have moved on.
IMO, none of this addresses my question. Could you directly answer my question below please?

So what does WotC hope to achieve by improving the One D&D DMG for the sake of new DMs?
 

I do too, but I do not see design notes as a teaching tool for new DMs.

I gotta say. The ideas that the questions and answers around “what is the concept behind this play/idea/technique/move/rule” and “how does it fit into the whole framework” aren’t (a) natural for aspiring practitioners and (b) helpful (if not outright imperative in most cases) to their facility and growth in whatever the enterprise might be seems to be exclusive to D&D GMing.

I can hardly think of a single other discipline (from martial arts to varying sports to driving a car/motorcycle to academic study to drawing to understanding people/myself so I can be a better friend/partner/son/citizen) in my life where this is true. And it definitely wasn’t true when I was 7 and learning to run games nor is it at 45 where I’m still learning!

Why do you (and others) feel like this is true for D&D? Maybe frame your answer around these questions:

* Do you feel like those two questions above are not natural outgrowths of humans trying to learn a thing (even if they do not articulate the questions)?

* Do you feel like those questions and their answers are not helpful (or worse…somehow distractions) to skill/facility acquisition and growth?
 

IMO, none of this addresses my question. Could you directly answer my question below please?
To uphold tradition, because D&D has to have a book called the DMG, irrespective of it being a good idea or not.
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Aldarc

Legend
To uphold tradition, because D&D has to have a book called the DMG, irrespective of it being a good idea or not.
This still seems like a non-answer to me. Maybe it would help if I rephrase what you are telling me in the context of my question.

Despite what WotC has said, you believe that WotC does not genuinely hope to achieve anything for new DMs with regards to these changes to the One D&D? But instead, you believe that they are simply printing a DMG because "tradition"?

This argument is essentially a bad faith take about One D&D and WotC. And none of this actually addresses the question of what you think that WotC hopes to achieve by making these changes. You are repeating your belief that the DMG is not a good way to teach new players. But please note, Paul, that I am not asking whether it is or not. My actual question that keeps getting glided over is below:
So what does WotC hope to achieve by improving the One D&D DMG for the sake of new DMs?
I am asking you to speculate here, but addressing the actual question would be appreciated on my end.
 

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