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

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"?
Hoping to achieve something is not the same as likely to succeed in doing something.
This argument is essentially a bad faith take about One D&D and WotC.
What do you mean by "bad faith"? Wanting to achieve something and having the necessary skills to achieve that thing are not the same.
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:

I am asking you to speculate here, but addressing the actual question would be appreciated on my end.
Frankly I don't care about what WotC hope to achieve. I'm not them, I don't speak for them. As a professional educator and a DM with 40 years' experience, I believe I have a good insight into the best way to teach people to be DMs - much more so than the people who work at WotC, who do not have my experience.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Aldarc

Legend
Hoping to achieve something is not the same as likely to succeed in doing something.
Wanting to achieve something and having the necessary skills to achieve that thing are not the same.
Your truisms aside, what you say here is not the point. Neither of us know whether they will succeed at their goal or what steps they will take in that regard. However, we do know their goal. We know that WotC believed that their goal to improve the DMG for newcomer DMs was important enough to tell the public that Chris Perkins was writing the One D&D DMG for this purpose. We can judge whether or not they succeed at their goal once it's printed, but you are already writing them off and making your judgment about it.

What do you mean by "bad faith"?
I mean that you are not taking WotC by their word of their stated goals but are instead applying a cynical reading that claims that they are only printing the DMG for the sake of tradition.

Frankly I don't care about what WotC hope to achieve. I'm not them, I don't speak for them. As a professional educator and a DM with 40 years' experience, I believe I have a good insight into the best way to teach people to be DMs - much more so than the people who work at WotC, who do not have my experience.
I'm sorry, but your difficulty in answering my simple question has made me skeptical of any special insight you may purport to have in regards to helping teach new DMs. This is the part where, if I was teaching my students, I would pull out my red-ink pen and write "address/answer the question" in the margins and deduct points.

Now, I only have your words in this forum in the past and present to rely on. You may believe that you have a better insight into the best way to teach people to be DMs, but I have not seen you demonstrate on this thread or elsewhere much desire to aid newcomer DMs to that end. Regardless of whether the DMG is the best way to learn how to be a DM or not, I have seen you arguing against the very idea of trying to improve the DMG so that it is more new player friendly and beneficial for new DMs. But I am open to giving you a shot here. What can WotC reasonably do to help improve the experience for newcomer DMs?
 

Neither of us know whether they will succeed at their goal or what steps they will take in that regard.
If someone tells me they are going to build a bridge across a river using sugar cubes I don't need to see the outcome to come to the conclusion that it is unlikely to be very successful.

A new DMG won't be any better than the old DMG at teaching new players how to be a DM because the problem isn't that the old one is badly written (although it is) the problem is it is the wrong tool for the job.
Chris Perkins
What are his teaching qualifications again? I must have missed that.
I'm sorry, but your difficulty in answering my simple question has made me skeptical of any special insight you may purport to have in regards to helping teach new DMs.
You question is far from simple, since I am not qualified in telepathy, I cannot know what WotC are thinking. I am qualified to judge if a proposed approach to teaching is likely to be effective.
 

pemerton

Legend
It doesn't surprise me that WotC wants to write a DMG that will be helpful for new RPGers. That seems a fairly obvious sort of thing to do, for a publishing house that specialises in selling books to all sorts of RPGers including many new ones.

Given that they own the copyright to a first-rate teaching RPG - Moldvay Basic - which overlaps quite a bit with their current flagship product, and given that there are many other examples of good teaching RPGs around, I don't think they'll have much trouble getting a reasonable way towards their goal.

I would expect them to look at how they use layout, how they use headings, how they introduce concepts and techniques, and how they illustrate concepts and techniques with examples.

Ideally, there will be a reasonable degree of interconnection between the various examples across the PHB and the DMG. This is a strength of Moldvay's examples - across his rulebook you get to see a dungeon designed and then explored, including by the sample character from the chapter on PC gen.
 

Aldarc

Legend
A new DMG won't be any better than the old DMG at teaching new players how to be a DM because the problem isn't that the old one is badly written (although it is) the problem is it is the wrong tool for the job.
What is the right tool at WotC's disposal for the job? What magnificent insight are you willing to part down upon us unqualified plebs about how to properly teach newcomers how to run the game?

What are his teaching qualifications again? I must have missed that.
To the best of my knowledge, Chris Perkins does not have any teaching qualifications. He has been working, writing, and game mastering at WotC on the D&D team for 25 years (so the entire WotC era D&D), with writing credits that include a fair number of 5e adventures and articles on helping DMs. But if WotC needs to teach new players maths, then I'm sure that your teaching qualifications will undoubtedly be pertinent then.

Now what Chris Perkins is having to do is what other games do on a regular basis: teaching people how to play the game they designed. Many of these other games were not designed by people who like appealing to their teaching qualifications and yet they do the job of providing instruction, guidelines, and game aids for helping new game masters. So what makes D&D the special exception to this? Or to put this in other words: why can't D&D better teach newcomers how to run their game the way that other TTRPGs successfully can?

You question is far from simple, since I am not qualified in telepathy, I cannot know what WotC are thinking. I am qualified to judge if a proposed approach to teaching is likely to be effective.
I am not asking you to be qualified in telepathy. I am asking you to make an educated guess based upon the available statements that WotC has made.
 


Aldarc

Legend
I'm not Paul, but from my perspective since playing is the best teacher, I'd suggest free online play examples which can remain available and be improved upon through future iterations of the game.
Playing is the best experience, but how do I run the game so I can play it as a DM? Most play examples, IME, are often from the perspective of the players and it shows barely anything about how to run the game from the DM side of things. This imbalance of information is often the problem, IMO, about a lot of online play examples. There are some videos that teach the GM side of things - e.g., Stonetop - but these are quite rare IME.
 

Oofta

Legend
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?

This is a thread on whether we think the starter kits are a good idea. I think they are. If someone is interested in playing, they should buy a starter kit before anything else and run a game or two. If you've already played a fair amount or watched enough actual play streams to understand how the game function, I think the DMG works just fine.

That doesn't mean that it can't be improved, everything can be improved.
 

Playing is the best experience, but how do I run the game so I can play it as a DM? Most play examples, IME, are often from the perspective of the players and it shows barely anything about how to run the game from the DM side of things. This imbalance of information is often the problem, IMO, about a lot of online play examples. There are some videos that teach the GM side of things - e.g., Stonetop - but these are quite rare IME.
There are obviously countless ways to address the issue, but I was envisioning a table of 2-3 persons which included a DM as the primary educator with the DM able to provide examples of various styles of play.
i.e. Players have their characters search the room for a secret door.

Old Style - players describe what their characters are doing, DM determines success or failure
Moderns Style (A) - make a check, die determines success of failure
Modern Style (B) - make a check, die determines existence or not
Modern Style (C) - make a check, die value determine success or success with a complication
Combination Style ...etc

They'd run through these examples so the viewer could see how the DM dealt with it in each particular playstyle.
 
Last edited:

Oofta

Legend
I'm not Paul, but from my perspective since playing is the best teacher, I'd suggest free online play examples which can remain available and be improved upon through future iterations of the game.

If you go to DndBeyond there's a New Player Guide link. Of course there's only so much free content WOTC is going to give away, but they have the link to the basic rules PDFs, a video and a link to the starter sets. If you don't want to buy a starter set there are a ton of free resources a web search away.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top