D&D 5E We're Getting Old - and is WotC Accounting For That?

Blackbrrd

First Post
I gotta say, 4E is the first edition I felt like I could competently DM. It was just brilliant for that purpose. And it did, indeed, have a lot of hand-holding. Loved the advice in the DMG. The problem, I think, is that getting that info into a prospective DM's hands required a $90 buy-in as opposed to $30 for a player. Gotta fix that somehow.

I have played with the same group since about 1998. One of the other members have tried to DM a couple of times earlier, but it was basically unsuccessful. That is, until he tried running 4e. The big changer was how much easier it was to run planned encounters and have a fun fight. In earlier editions it was a fudge fest from him as he couldn't manage to plan an encounter that didn't go off the scale - in one direction or the other.

5e does seem to have the same type of predictability and also does seem to "fix" the slow (untweaked) combat of 4e.

I think Pathfinder has done so well due to the best adventure support ever. The only reason I didn't jump on it was that I was sooooo tired of the save-or-die mechanic and the slightly haywire math of 3e.

If 5e can take the predictable math from 4e, fast combat of [unknown system here] and good adventure support of Pathfinder I think we have a winner. Looking at how much adventure support 5e has gotten, I think we have a winner.
 

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Rhenny

Adventurer
Interesting thread. I haven't read every part, but I'd like to add.

I've noticed interesting trends as I've aged.

First, I like a simpler game now. I have less time to study, play and DM the game, so I don't want too much clutter and complicated rules that need to be micromanaged. Also, when I DM, it is usually for a group that plays online only 2 or 3 times a month. Everyone is very busy, so each time we sit down to play, we have to re-study and refresh our memory. If rules and characters are too complicated, it takes longer to refresh, and during play, it usually takes longer to make decisions. I like the way D&D Next seems to be pretty simple...it makes casual gaming work.

Second, I am drawn much more to the roleplaying and story telling aspect of the game now. I still like combat, but now I enjoy a balance of interaction and exploration whereas in my youth, I liked more hack and slash (although I still liked story and puzzles even back in the day). As a DM, I like to DM sandboxy type adventures that give me flexibility to include political, social encounters, and open ended sessions where players decide to do what they like. Of course, I also like to run story driven adventures and dungeon crawls within the larger sandbox, but it is nice to have the sandbox as the overarching structure for the campaign.

I think these are some of the changes that have developed as I've aged. I'm not sure if that's what everyone else has experienced.
 

Weather Report

Banned
Banned
Interesting thread. I haven't read every part, but I'd like to add.

I've noticed interesting trends as I've aged.

First, I like a simpler game now. I have less time to study, play and DM the game, so I don't want too much clutter and complicated rules that need to be micromanaged. Also, when I DM, it is usually for a group that plays online only 2 or 3 times a month. Everyone is very busy, so each time we sit down to play, we have to re-study and refresh our memory. If rules and characters are too complicated, it takes longer to refresh, and during play, it usually takes longer to make decisions. I like the way D&D Next seems to be pretty simple...it makes casual gaming work.

Second, I am drawn much more to the roleplaying and story telling aspect of the game now. I still like combat, but now I enjoy a balance of interaction and exploration whereas in my youth, I liked more hack and slash (although I still liked story and puzzles even back in the day). As a DM, I like to DM sandboxy type adventures that give me flexibility to include political, social encounters, and open ended sessions where players decide to do what they like. Of course, I also like to run story driven adventures and dungeon crawls within the larger sandbox, but it is nice to have the sandbox as the overarching structure for the campaign.

I think these are some of the changes that have developed as I've aged. I'm not sure if that's what everyone else has experienced.


Ditto.
 



joethelawyer

Banned
Banned
The OSR has been a bigger influence out there than I think many people realize. I think the link I will provide below, as well as the pdf attachment will show that, by detailing the variant game systems that have been created under the OSR umbrella, broadly speaking. They are mostly old school dnd game clones or variants. A lot of OSR types are consulting for WOTC now, adding their points of view. Plus Mearls has made posts in the past stating that he is taking it back somewhat to the roots of the game, to paraphrase a lot of :):):):) he said in the past.

I don't think what WOTC needs is a great system as much as great modules that a DM can run under any system of DnD, past or present (though I realize that would be difficult with 4e, owing to how different things are under that system).

That being said, I have no idea how 5e will turn out as a system. Let's face reality, far more people will find a way to download the thing to check it out than will buy it. That being said, as long as it isn't too radical from 1-3e, and you have conversions or can convert on your own easily enough any adventures published for 5e to all or mostly all of the older systems, they will do well.

I think Paizo took the right route to concentrate on the modules for the $, not the system. If 5e has a good OGL and people can write modules for it while at the same time writing a module for all older systems, it would be fantastic for everyone involved. All of a sudden the OSR types as well as 5e types and 3e types can all be buying the stuff they put out

To the extent they focus on system and exclusivity and a restrictive OGL they will fail in the long run, IMHO. I just wonder if they got rid of or pushed out all the good module writers so they either work for or freelance for Paizo now and write adventure paths. I wonder if it's too late.

Here's the link mentioned above. Check out the pdf attached to the post too.

http://greysix.weebly.com/dd-retroclones.html

Later
 

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Scrivener of Doom

Adventurer
I have to totally disagree with you. Most groups I have came across or helped started, it was 7 players and 6 of those wanted to DM.

In my 32 years of running this game I have never before heard of this.

I am not doubting your experience, of course: I am just expressing amazement! :)
 

Weather Report

Banned
Banned
In my 32 years of running this game I have never before heard of this.

I am not doubting your experience, of course: I am just expressing amazement! :)

I was also surprised, usually seems people want to be player, a not want the labour of love that is DMing, of the 9 players who participated in my campaign of 5 years (some came and went, moving etc), not one ever offered to DM.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Here's the link mentioned above. Check out the pdf attached to the post too.

http://greysix.weebly.com/dd-retroclones.html

Later

That's pretty damn cool stuff, joe. Unfortunately the PDF is difficult to navigate because its so bit, at least on my 14" laptop. I'll put it up on my 42" TV later and take a better look.

I was also surprised, usually seems people want to be player, a not want the labour of love that is DMing, of the 9 players who participated in my campaign of 5 years (some came and went, moving etc), not one ever offered to DM.

That's just it. I actually, overall, prefer to DM - I love designing a setting, creating back-story, weaving together plot threads, drawing out site maps, telling a story, and running the game - but its a true labour (or labor as we say in the former colonies!). The group I play with (although have been on hiatus for about a year) doesn't get how much work goes into DMing, because none of them have really done it extensively.

Its kind of like teaching. A one-hour class can require hours of prep - reading, taking notes, etc. Of course another one-hour class can require no prep at all. It really depends upon the class, if you've taught thematerial before, etc.

But the catch-22 of DMing--in terms of prep time and the busy lives of the aging gamer base--is that while we can say that WotC should make it easier for us to prepare, those of us who DM by and large get a great deal of pleasure out of preparation, we just don't have the time for it. My point being, even if WotC provided tons of amazing adventures, pre-made setting stuff, encounters, etc, I'd still want to make it my own - create my own setting, weave together my own adventures, and so forth.

I do hope that WotC focuses a lot of creative energy on crafting good adventures, but that they also create products that will help DMs in their own creative process, not just provide stuff to circumvent that.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
In my 32 years of running this game I have never before heard of this.

I am not doubting your experience, of course: I am just expressing amazement! :)

I'm not sure it's all that rare. In my 32 years, virtually every group I played in had multiple people interested in GMing. The ratio hasn't usually been as high as 6 in 7 being more like 3 in 5.
 

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