D&D 5E What are the different 'tones' supported by 5e D&D?

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This is a maddening exercise as you can break down tone so many ways. Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones might be called the same tone by some, but drastically different than others.

I would not bother trying to inventory them. Instead, I ask my new players questions to help me design the campaign around their style ... and then I test it out with an adventure before restarting a full campaign.

The questions I ask are:

1.) What are your favorite stories?
2.) Who are some characters from tv, movies or books that you relate to?
3.) Would you rather solve a murder mystery, win a big race, singlehandedly put out a structural fire, or get away with a major robbery?
4.) Tell me what you think of Ryan Reynolds, Meryl Streep, Hugh Jackman, Harrison Ford, and Anya Taylor-Joy. (The list changes over time).
5.) Imagine you've been playing a character in my game for 2 years. We're about to retire the campaign. Tell me about what would make that ending really feel right to you.

If I tell you my favorite stories are the Princess Bride, Babylon 5, and Green Eggs and Ham ... it tells you things about me. If I tell you I love Ash from Evil Dead, Londo from B5, Fezzik from Princess Bride, and Deadpool ... it tells you even more.

I can turn these answers into ideas for my game, and then test them out in a short diagnostic adventure before running something bigger.

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