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


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.
This is almost exactly how I would describe adventure books. I never run them, but I steal a tone of ideas for them and run them in my games with little effort. I use almost nothing from setting books. They can be fun to read, but they have very little impact at my table in most cases.

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Dusty Dragon
Not all setting books are equal.

IMO, the best are campaign builders. I believe that the author of Yoon-Suin would forgive me for posting this: It really, really works.



Dusty Dragon
I think that can describe either a "Setting" ot an "Adventure," and the line between the two is more fuzzy thst we usually assume in our conversations.
I can 100% guarantee you that Yoon Suin is not "an adventure". It's a setting book with which you build your campaign (which is made up of several adventures you've created or "inserted in" that are more or less related, depending on your style).

Edit: The best - by far - material I've purchased for 5e was Yoon Suin (... which isn't 5e. Woopti do, just convert. Monster stats are made up) and Dungeons of Drakkeheim. It's notable that in both cases, these are 3rd party product. What's going on?

Well I don't think it would be fair to say they are "more creative" or "cooler", because that's entirely a matter of taste. I think Yoon Suin the setting is cool, others might find it boorish, for example. There is something to be said for something being the creative product of one (or two) persons... but that's still not "it".

But in both cases, the products are made with serious attention being given to DM usability. Something I find is lacking in a lot of WotC adventures...
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Forking this over from the https://www.enworld.org/threads/manual-of-the-planes-for-5e-on-dmsguild.700597/ thread where this sidebar is taking away from the excellent work those folks are doing.

Something that was said in that thread caught my eye:

See, this is how I feel about it. I was doing a bit of a nostalgia dive into my 3e books collection and I realized pretty quickly how much I do not want those kinds of books anymore. I've got, for example, pretty much the entire run of Scarred Lands. LOVED the setting. ADORED it. Reading it now? Zero interest in running it because I realize that despite having all this lore and background and whatnot, any campaign I build in Scarred Lands is going to be me pretty much home brewing 100% of the campaign. Sure, it will draw on various Scarred Lands ideas, but, since there are almost no actual, practical, usable elements in the books (other than monsters I suppose), I'm stuck writing 99% of everything myself.

I have neither the time, inclination or frankly, skill to do that. I really don't. I freely admit that. I don't want books of setting material. Setting material books are completely useless to me. Don't tell me that there is a thieves guild operating in this city. Instead, give me two or three short adventures plus a half dozen sidebar adventures using that thieves guild. Sure, that means I get less background material for the city. I get that. There is a limit on page count after all. But, that adventure location with NPC's, maps, and actual adventures is something I can use RIGHT NOW. It doesn't mean that I have to take the pages of setting material and then incorporate it into whatever adventure I happen to bake. And, even better, I can use that material as a skeleton framework to build and scaffold a larger adventure onto.

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.

It's why I actually really like the Spelljammer set. Almost zero lore, but, a whole adventure path that I can mine for use in my own game. Fantastic. My current adventure is borrowing the Lizard Folk lair from Ghosts of Saltmarsh, used one of the mine levels from Dungeon of the Mad Mage and will likely borrow from Shattered Obelisk and Light of X pretty soon. Being able to mix and match and borrow and steal from adventures to build a coherent larger adventure is the primary purpose that I buy books.

So, finally, after decades of being told that nope, D&D books should be these lore tomes building massive libraries of material - what we got for most of 2e, 3e and 4e - I'm FINALLY dead square in the middle of WotC's target audience. Please excuse me for being really happy about that.
I'm the opposite.
I bought a lot of the adventure books and stopped reading then often after the first chapter while I read the rules and setting books completely.
Give me a Guide to Ravenloft or Ebberon over another Anthology or 1 to 12 campaign any day.
Like, even trying to imagine doing all the homework necessary to make one of the adventure books runnable at the table gives me nausea. it would take me ten times the time to make a published WotC playable than for me to just invent everything from scratch. The only exception so far are Dragons if Stormwreck Isle and Light if Xyraxis which look easy to run and are the only ones I read completely.

And harvesting them for bits and parts ... the bang for the buck is not there.
Like I bought Strixhaven in the hopes that it will give me rules for running a magical school/University campaign and it was completely useless.
The only thing useful are the backgrounds and new spells.

At first I didn't like the Fizbane and Bigsby Books, but now I fins their presentation style of sigestable chunks of encounters/locations that I can just drop into my campaigns quite useful.

So at the moment I'm going trough the DMs Guild buying 2e and 3e modules that give me lore.
Like the Astromundi Cluster and the 2e Spelljammer Box helped me way more to run my spelljammer campaign than the 5e box set, where the Astral adventures guide is just bad.


I can 100% guarantee you that Yoon Suin is not "an adventure". It's a setting book with which you build your campaign (which is made up of several adventures you've created or "inserted in" that are more or less related, depending on your style).
Sure, fir thst priduct: but an "Adventure" product can be that sort of "setting builder" just as easily.


Both adventures and settings are quite handy for different people and at different times in our gaming careers. There's also a use for setting-agnostic and setting-specific adventures and content books (Elves of Evermeet, Draconomicon, etc.), mini adventures and complete campaigns, etc. etc., build-your-own guides, etc.


I'll be honest. I have increasingly felt over the past five or so years that I have never been the target audience for D&D 5e. I was playing 4e D&D. My favor was not being courted by the D&D Next playtest. And there have subsequently been little to no bones thrown in my direction with a lot seemingly aimed at either older (Gen X) or younger (Gen Z) crowds. That is disappointing and somewhat heartbreaking. I still play D&D 5e, but there are other games out there that have increasingly drawn my attention.

Yes. I feel like I'm one of the target audiences being catered to.
Specifically, the audience that left sometime during 3rd edition and was drawn back by 5th edition's elegance, freedom and inclusiveness.

I tend to mostly homebrew, so I can find use in both setting books and adventures as inspiration.
But the toolbox approach works best for me, some of the better examples of this for me were...

VRGtR - a toolbox of horror
Theros - a toolbox of Gods
Ravnica - a toolbox of Factions/Guilds

What I really don't need is some of the lore stuff we got back in the 2E days, for example, the dozen or so pages of NPC family tree charts in the Ravenloft box set.

Mark Hope

No, I am not the target audience and that's fine. I've been running a persistent D&D campaign since 1983 and have so much gaming material that there isn't really anything that WotC can offer me. If I see something I like, I hoover it up, add it to my game world or my houserules, and carry on as I have. I run hacked versions of BX and AD&D (depending on how much crunch I want in a given arc). I did make a temporary foray into 3e/PF but went back to the TSR rulesets. I think it's great that WotC have helped the hobby to grow and given D&D a fresh lease of life - as has been mentioned, that makes it easy to find players but I don't have any feelings about their material one way or the other. This is as it should be.

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