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

gweinel

Explorer
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.

The core of our gaming group which consists 5-6 gamers all wanted and DMed in the course of our 20 years of gaming history. However, the less hard core gamers of our group which consist another 6-8 gamers never had the patience and the will to DM. So, for my experience i would say that about 50% of our group DMs.
 

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I've found that more people than not at least want to give DMing a spin, although few actually stuck with it.

I wonder if player playstyle has anything to do with a desire to DM?
 

pemerton

Legend
I know there are those that *hate* DM fiat, but without it, DMs are in reality players in charge of the guy that always loses and never gets full character development, leading to burn out. DMs need freedom from the mechanics, in order to drive the narrative and elicit the Oohs and Ahhs from the players, game after game.
I'm not sure what you're saying here. I am in my 24th straight year of GMing on a regular basis (weekly for about the first decade, fortnightly since then) and have never needed freedom from the action resolution mechanics. I just need a game where the mechanics engender interesting stuff!

If D&Dnext's mechanics can't do that, I won't be GMing it.

they made a game to please the players that enjoy the video-gaming tradition.
Hasbro/WotC had a ready-made audience for 4E - Magic players. They might not be used to the rpg mindset, but they would find 4E's rule paradigms familiar. If 5% of all Magic players had adopted 4E, I think it would have been considered a success. Seems the branches of Hasbro didn't work together on this tough.
One place they should have looked first was in the tabletop wargaming crowd. 4E was about tactical combat and this would have been right up their alley.
4e was marketed to roleplayers because it is a heroic fantasy roleplaying game.

Not all roleplayers were/are interested in playing it, but that is true of any RPG. It doesn't follow that the game's true audience is players of some other sort of game.

(And some stats. I GM for a group of 5 players. Number of video-game players of the WoW-ish/Final Fantasy sort: 4. Number of MtG players: 1, but not for many years. Number of wargamers: 2. Number of people who have been playing D&D since the early to mid 80s: 5 - the 6th started playing about 15 years ago, with Rolemaster.)

I mean, in some ways Hasbro is carrying a full cast of designers for a year or two without producing a single new product. We've never seen this kind of gap before between editions.
Isn't this at least in part because enough subscribers are still paying for access to that "failed" game, 4e, that it is able to keep WotC's cash flow ticking over?
 

jasper

Rotten DM
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.
the 7 players and 6 dms were from my high school group around 1980-1982. Then add in my military time, college time, and just getting grounded (wife, job etc) group.
So some of that could be put to me travelling a lot. If you add in the huge ego/control freaks/ I want try people I used to come across will make up the rest of time.
I have wished I could come across a group on 1 Dm + 1 gm and the rest players group.
 

Halivar

First Post
4e was marketed to roleplayers because it is a heroic fantasy roleplaying game.

Not all roleplayers were/are interested in playing it, but that is true of any RPG. It doesn't follow that the game's true audience is players of some other sort of game.
I only suggest that it could have been a fantastic gateway product for those who would never have known about it. Us? The Roleplayers? We didn't need the marketing; we already knew about it. All it could have done was harm (and it did, as many took instant offense to the implication that it was in any way an upgrade to 3rd edition).
 

pemerton

Legend
Us? The Roleplayers? We didn't need the marketing; we already knew about it. All it could have done was harm
In my own case, the marketing drew my attention to a game that I might otherwise have just ignored as an offshoot of 3E.

it could have been a fantastic gateway product for those who would never have known about it
The biggest difference between a wargame and an RPG is that in an RPG fictional positioning matters, and is key to action resolution. I think that one of the weaker parts of the 4e rulebooks is in their failure to explain the role of fictional positioning in action resolution.

I think that any rulebook hoping to act as a gateway for wargamers has to deal with this. It also would need robust action resolution rules - I agee that 4e has these.
 

jrowland

First Post
I just need a game where the mechanics engender interesting stuff!

Its that pesty 'interesting stuff' I am talking about. You may be a fine mechanics-riven DM. Great for you! (honestly, no sarcasm intended). But for a lot of DMs, and especially for new DMs, when the mechanics dominate the 'interesting stuff' burn-out ensues.
 

Balesir

Adventurer
Its that pesty 'interesting stuff' I am talking about. You may be a fine mechanics-riven DM. Great for you! (honestly, no sarcasm intended). But for a lot of DMs, and especially for new DMs, when the mechanics dominate the 'interesting stuff' burn-out ensues.
I think what [MENTION=42582]pemerton[/MENTION] is saying (and I agree 100% with this) is that, with a really great system for D&D, we are generating the "interesting stuff" with and because of the mechanics, not in spite of them.
 


jrowland

First Post
I think what @pemerton is saying (and I agree 100% with this) is that, with a really great system for D&D, we are generating the "interesting stuff" with and because of the mechanics, not in spite of them.

I can certainly appreciate a procedural approach to "interesting stuff", but I where I disagree is when the mechanics get in the way of the real live people sitting around a table. Perhaps you would call that "bad mechanics" and would continue to yearn for the "really great system for D&D", but I think that is making perfect the enemy of the good (or good enough).
 

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