D&D 5E The Audience - Do you feel like you're the target audience?

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I thought there would be a poll. I came for a poll.

Shock What GIF by ProBit Global
LOL. HOnestly? It didn't occur to me to add a poll here. It's just something that's been rattling around in my brain for a while. People have been going on at length about how WotC is not servicing the fandom. That they should be doing this or that or the other thing. Fair enough. Everyone's entitled to an opinion. But, for me? Purely for myself? I'm happier than a pig in poop. This is the best of all worlds. The deep lore stuff is available. And the practical stuff is available.

Heck, if things were reversed and WotC was doing lots of lore books and DM's Guild was doing mostly adventures and practical stuff, my purchasing would be reversed. That's the way it was all through 3e. I bought almost no WotC books in 3e or 3.5. The vast majority of my purchases for 3e were adventure and practical stuff. Dungeon Magazine. The World's Largest Dungeon from AEG. The Foul Locales series from Mythic Press. That sort of thing.

The primary reason I got into Scarred Lands was for their monster books. The primary reason I didn't stick with it is because I got tired of having to write everything myself.


IMO the difference between “gameable setting material” and “sandbox adventure” is thin to nonexistent, and it’s where my own tastes lie. I’m gearing up to run Curse of Strahd and though I’m changing plenty, this is the sweet spot it’s in (mostly) and I love it for it.
Sure. I get that. I'm actually a fan of Waterdeep Dragon Heist. To me, that's the best presentation of a city I've seen. Grounds the group in the city nicely. Lots of ways to incorpate the city material into the adventure. Add on some bells and whistles, and it's a great little sandbox.

I would actually probably agree. I'd love to see more sandbox setting guides like Curse of Strahd.


For what its worth, I think I get where you are coming from. I do find the 'you can still find it' answer to 2e/3e lore a bit 'meh' as an answer since I dont like PDF, but from a gaming usage perspective, I dont really fault how Wizards is doing their releases. I fault some aspects, but honestly I'm just working to solve that myself.


B/X Known World
I do not want setting books. I truly hope that WotC continues to produce books that are practical for running the game, rather than books that are meant to be read. I don't need books to read. I HAVE books to read. I want books to use.
I'm almost the opposite in some respects but in perfect agreement in others.

I absolutely do want setting books. I absolutely do not want adventure books.


Because setting books, when done properly (I'm looking at Wildemount and Eberron here), are infinitely more valuable and useful at the table than any adventure ever published.


Because with minimal or no work at all I can straight up steal ideas and hooks from well-done setting books and drop them into my games, even if they're reskinned slightly and added to entirely different settings. Whereas an adventure, especially a 1-12+ adventure path, is essentially useless to me without a huge amount of work adapting, changing, pulling apart, putting back together, etc. Basically turning a linear railroad adventure into a sandbox, i.e. something that will actually be usable at the table.

I've tried to run adventures. Dropped real money. Spent hours prepping. Making maps. Learning NPCs, locations, factions, etc. And within five minutes at the table the PCs turned left when they had to turn right to follow the railroad. So all that was wasted. All the time, all the money, all the prep...poof. Completely wasted. So it's sandbox or nothing. WotC doesn't make sandboxes. But a few of their setting books have almost all the right elements for great sandboxes.

I do not want setting books. I truly hope that WotC continues to produce books that are practical for running the game, rather than books that are meant to be read. I don't need books to read. I HAVE books to read. I want books to use.
I suppose I’m in the odd position of both agreeing and disagreeing with you: on one hand, I like campaign settings as books to be read - full of things to be made into sandboxes, as others said up thread. On the other hand, I can’t agree with you more that modules and campaign books (and monster books, it turns out) need to be written as artifacts used to support playing the game at the table. The idea of ‘adventure as a good read’ just isn’t useful to me.


Victoria Rules
I don't think I've been the target audience since about 1985. That said, every now and then a gem still goes by.

Over time I've bought various settings - FR (twice), Birthright, Greyhawk, etc. - but other than the original FR I've never got all that much use of them. I've also got a fair amount of setting-expansion material e.g. some Mystara Gazetteers, some FR stuff, etc.; and for me personally I'm getting it to read - and mine for ideas - rather than to directly use in play. Ergo, it has to be engagingly readable or it's not much use.

Adventure books and modules, on the other hand, have to be exactly readable enough to be useful, and that's it. Function over form. Give me the info I need in a concise, organized, point-form manner that makes the most efficient use of space. Give me detached or removable maps so I can look at the map and read the text at the same time, i.e. no page-flipping; and whie you're at it make sure the maps and the write-ups agree with each other. And don't give me a pile of info I don't need, which usually includes 99% of the backstory stuff they insist on including.


Trust the Fungus
I don't feel like I've been the target audience for Official D&D for fifteen years and counting, with practically everything WotC has published and practically everything they've said about what they've published since 2008-2009 or so confirming that they don't consider people like me to be a market worth servicing.

I used to take that pretty personally, but seeing how well they've succeeded at bringing new players into the hobby-- and inspiring people like them to explore the games they used to make for people like me-- the more I recognize that it's just business.

I guess I can keep griping about how the new stuff isn't for me... but WotC's keeping the old stuff in print, in circulation, and most of the new fans of the old stuff these days... are people that discovered the old stuff because of the new stuff, WotC's marketing and their outreach and the fact that they have been keeping the old stuff alive. There are creatives and companies that are making new old stuff, that are making products for people like me... they're just a little harder to find these days, while players are easier to find than ever, because of WotC's efforts.

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