D&D 5E What Do You Not Like About The 2014 5E DMG?

grimmgoose

Adventurer
I think this is one of the perspective problems about the DMG. Some readers want it to be full of rules,

Of course there are people that exist in both spectrums, but it seems to me that most fall a little more to one side or the other. And that creates some of the consternation we see around the DMG.
I want it to be full of options and twists that appeal to me, the Dungeon Master. The current DMG falls flat in that regard. It's a bloated nothing.

The Chase rules are bad, there is nothing in there to assist me with sieges or mass battles, there's no "Skill Challenge" mechanic to field encounters that aren't combat (Group Checks are barely a system). I don't have Setting Rules to tweak my game to be gritty low-fantasy, or horror, or making magic dangerous.

I've used the DMG. In my current game, I use the "Natural Healing" setting rule, which is clearly an afterthought because DnDBeyond doesn't support it. Other than that, it's House Rules that make my game unique - so why did I spend $60 on the DMG - and why is WOTC asking me to spend $60 on it again? For Bastions? For attempt #3 at a functional CR system?
 

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Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
I want it to be full of options and twists that appeal to me, the Dungeon Master. The current DMG falls flat in that regard. It's a bloated nothing.

The Chase rules are bad, there is nothing in there to assist me with sieges or mass battles, there's no "Skill Challenge" mechanic to field encounters that aren't combat (Group Checks are barely a system). I don't have Setting Rules to tweak my game to be gritty low-fantasy, or horror, or making magic dangerous.

I've used the DMG. In my current game, I use the "Natural Healing" setting rule, which is clearly an afterthought because DnDBeyond doesn't support it. Other than that, it's House Rules that make my game unique - so why did I spend $60 on the DMG - and why is WOTC asking me to spend $60 on it again? For Bastions? For attempt #3 at a functional CR system?
For what it's worth (in this case, $10), all three new core books are to be labeled at $50 (probably $49.99). I am surprised at the antipathy directed toward the 2014 DMG, but one's experience is one's experience. Some of the points here are good. It always amazes me how refined some of the readers of ENWorld are in their critical faculties.

Cheers!
 
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I want it to be full of options and twists that appeal to me, the Dungeon Master. The current DMG falls flat in that regard. It's a bloated nothing.

The Chase rules are bad, there is nothing in there to assist me with sieges or mass battles, there's no "Skill Challenge" mechanic to field encounters that aren't combat (Group Checks are barely a system). I don't have Setting Rules to tweak my game to be gritty low-fantasy, or horror, or making magic dangerous.

I've used the DMG. In my current game, I use the "Natural Healing" setting rule, which is clearly an afterthought because DnDBeyond doesn't support it. Other than that, it's House Rules that make my game unique - so why did I spend $60 on the DMG - and why is WOTC asking me to spend $60 on it again? For Bastions? For attempt #3 at a functional CR system?
I hear you, and that was the point of my post. You want it full of alternative rules so you can alter the game. Others want it full of creative points such as world building, encounter design, magic items, and planar information. You seem to fall heavily into the first category, hence, the conflict.

And just for the record, I do advocate new rules based on playstyle. I always have, and said so in my last post. But those shouldn't be alternative rules. They should be new rules that specifically fit the table's playstyle.
 


From my perspective at least, it's very inflexible. 5E is a superhero fantasy game. You can't turn it into a horror game; you can't tweak it into a gritty/low-fantasy; it is superhero fantasy. It isn't LOTR - it's Marvel Superheroes with swords and spells.

Further than that, it is a resource-management game. There's nothing you can do to take out the resource management - that is the game. Meaning, the game revolves around Long Rests.

That's what I mean by inflexible. There aren't any tweaks to make the 5E game you want - you're very much locked-in to what the designers intended. And that isn't what I want from my TTRPGs.
I disagree with a lot of this. I've run no-magic games set in Rome just using the martial classes. I've run terrifying games before, have made my players afraid, and the core rules even have things like the Survivor Rules for playing weaker, more traditional horror protagonists. And I've not only run it in the style of LotR, I've also run it with the actual Lord of the Rings Roleplaying (for 5E) game too. It isn't inflexible unless you just assume that it can't do anything but Superheroes with swords and spells, which is your limitation, not the game's limitation.
 

grimmgoose

Adventurer
I disagree with a lot of this. I've run no-magic games set in Rome just using the martial classes. I've run terrifying games before, have made my players afraid, and the core rules even have things like the Survivor Rules for playing weaker, more traditional horror protagonists. And I've not only run it in the style of LotR, I've also run it with the actual Lord of the Rings Roleplaying (for 5E) game too. It isn't inflexible unless you just assume that it can't do anything but Superheroes with swords and spells, which is your limitation, not the game's limitation.
Yeah, I just think the system is fighting you every step of the way here. Sure, I can do no-magic games by removing over 50% of the system by just using martial classes too, but that's addition by subtraction. I don't see that as a "plus"; it's a homebrew. Like Monopoly can just be a race-to-the-finish-line if you take the money out of the game.

In the DMG, under "Horror" the options are: "make a Fear check, and become Frightened!" or "Make a Charisma check to resist the horror! Set the DC on the magnitude of the horrific circumstances, or they become insane!" Like sure, there are technically rules, but I don't find them to be of any substance.

The LOTR for 5E is a separate book that requires a purchase. That's not the DMG, and not WOTC, so I don't think it really counts for this discussion.

I mean, if you're happy with 5E, all the more power to you. I find it limiting in ways I do not find other games. Technically, you can do anything with the 5E engine, but it's not going to help you when you go outside of its limited playground.

edit: I am sure, @Shardstone, that you are good DM; I'm not trying to call into question your imagination. It's obvious that you've done a great job working around 5E's limitations! I'm saying that we shouldn't have to settle for anything other than greatness from a game that calls itself "The World's Greatest Roleplaying Game". I think D&D could be a modular system for all genres and peoples and campaigns, but it isn't right now.
 
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Yeah, I just think the system is fighting you every step of the way here. Sure, I can do no-magic games by removing over 50% of the system by just using martial classes too, but that's addition by subtraction. I don't see that as a "plus"; it's a homebrew. Like Monopoly can just be a race-to-the-finish-line if you take the money out of the game.

In the DMG, under "Horror" the options are: "make a Fear check, and become Frightened!" or "Make a Charisma check to resist the horror! Set the DC on the magnitude of the horrific circumstances, or they become insane!" Like sure, there are technically rules, but I don't find them to be of any substance.

The LOTR for 5E is a separate book that requires a purchase. That's not the DMG, and not WOTC, so I don't think it really counts for this discussion.

I mean, if you're happy with 5E, all the more power to you. I find it limiting in ways I do not find other games. Technically, you can do anything with the 5E engine, but it's not going to help you when you go outside of its limited playground.

edit: I am sure, @Shardstone, that you are good DM; I'm not trying to call into question your imagination. It's obvious that you've done a great job working around 5E's limitations! I'm saying that we shouldn't have to settle for anything other than greatness from a game that calls itself "The World's Greatest Roleplaying Game". I think D&D could be a modular system for all genres and peoples and campaigns, but it isn't right now.
I agree with your edit 100%
 



Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
Yeah, I just think the system is fighting you every step of the way here. Sure, I can do no-magic games by removing over 50% of the system by just using martial classes too, but that's addition by subtraction.
Hi Grimm Goose. I like your contributions, but -- based on my experience and understanding -- I am going to have to go with Shardstone on this one. I have always experienced my role as DM to be one of creating a consistent and fun world precisely through editing what player options are available...this has been true with every edition I have DMed, which began with 2nd edition. My quibble is with your premise that the limiting of options in some way consists of subtracting from the core of the game. I think the game -- going back to its very origins -- was designed so that DMs could decide to include some elements and not include others.

To Shardstone's example of the Roman campaign, I loved the 2nd edition Historical Guides, and I am even running a 5th edition campaign now that takes inspiration from the Historical Guide A Mighty Fortress, set in Elizabethan England. My experience is that I am fully running a D&D 5th edition campaign even if my players are not playing dragonborn (as but one example).

I realize that the Forgotten Realms became the setting where all options are available, but in my opinion the FR became a bit blah when dragonborn and tabaxi became unremarkable denizens walking around Waterdeep. There is nothing about other settings, let alone one's own campaign setting, that requires one to include all options. This is not only true for species, but classes, available spells, magic items, and so forth. The books offer a broad palette. Some artists keep their selections to certain hues for effect.

Cheers!
 

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