D&D 5E What's fun?

Which three of these eight aesthetics are fun for you?

  • Sensation.

    Votes: 3 4.4%
  • Fantasy.

    Votes: 35 51.5%
  • Narrative.

    Votes: 41 60.3%
  • Challenge.

    Votes: 39 57.4%
  • Fellowship.

    Votes: 34 50.0%
  • Discovery.

    Votes: 36 52.9%
  • Expression.

    Votes: 14 20.6%
  • Submission.

    Votes: 1 1.5%

overgeeked

B/X Known World
People keep talking about this or that being "fun" or this or that being "not fun." Hopefully we can all recognize that fun is entirely subjective. There's no right or wrong way, either something is fun for you or it isn't and there's no point in arguing about why someone else doesn't have fun in exactly the same way as you.

Some people have fun playing games on easy mode, some people have fun playing Elden Ring. There's all kinds of genres, all kinds of styles of game (board, war, tabletop, video, etc), and there's all kinds of fun to be had. From Civilization on settler to Darkest Dungeon on Stygian.

This thread is about the different types of fun. In video games there's the MDA framework, which stands for Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics. The wiki article is here and the article that put forward the theory is here.

For the purposes of this thread all that matters is the A, aesthetics. Because, according to the MDA framework, that's where the fun is for players.

There are eight aesthetics, as follows:

Sensation (Game as sense-pleasure): Player enjoys memorable audio-visual effects.
Fantasy (Game as make-believe): Imaginary world.
Narrative (Game as drama): A story that drives the player to keep coming back.
Challenge (Game as obstacle course): Urge to master something. Boosts a game's replayability.
Fellowship (Game as social framework): A community where the player is an active part of it. Almost exclusive for multiplayer games.
Discovery (Game as uncharted territory): Urge to explore game world.
Expression (Game as self-discovery): Own creativity. For example, creating character resembling player's own avatar.
Submission (Game as pastime): Connection to the game, as a whole, despite of constraints.

Now, first off, this is a video game framework/theory so there will be some bits that don't line up perfectly, like the listed Sensation above. Imagine the 5E equivalent to that, which would be something like the DM's narration of the setting.

This is a subjective poll about personal preference. The thread not devolving into arguments and finger pointing would be great.

So the poll. Using the MDA framework and the closest 5E equivalent to these eight aesthetics, what are your top three choices of what's fun for you?
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


Narrative, Fellowship, and Challenge from a player side, which is how I voted since I've been a player much more than DM lately.

As a DM I'd switch Challenge out for Fantasy.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Can you add "Verisimilitude" or "Believability"? Because that would be one of my three choices. Thanks!
Sorry. The poll is about the MDA framework and that's not part of the framework. Not sure which of the eight above would be closest.

Though I agree, verisimilitude is tops for me as well.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
In order, I believe mine would be Discovery, Fellowship, and Narrative, though I don't think there's any of the above that are fully absent in 5e play for me.

I originally was going to list Submission third, but then I realized that I've been very hesitant to try out solo RPG play, and that the vast majority of my positive experiences, or perhaps more aptly memories, at the table would not exist without my fellow players.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Picked:

Fantasy - Because... well look at the actual world.

Narrative - I'm a storyteller. Have been since a very young age. I like sharing that people people.

Expression - See above. I like making things and sharing them and watching them grow.

I look side-eye at:

Submission - There HAS to have been a better word to have used here. HAS TO.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Sorry. The poll is about the MDA framework and that's not part of the framework. Not sure which of the eight above would be closest.

Though I agree, verisimilitude is tops for me as well.
Well, then I can only vote for two: Narrative and Challenge.

If you can figure out where you would want to put Verisimilitude, you can add it to that as my third vote.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
I would imagine Fantasy is the best fit for that, though you could make an argument for Discovery.
Yeah, that's about where I am, too. Though I'm leaning more towards Fantasy as Discovery, to me, sounds more like uncovering the unknown. Whereas Fantasy is the world itself, no matter how closely it matches reality, has realism, or verisimilitude. But, those are my thoughts, not the right answer.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I would imagine Fantasy is the best fit for that, though you could make an argument for Discovery.
Neither feels right to me to represent something like "Believability".

Fantasy is by its very nature unbelievable, and Discovery is more about learning about the world than the world being convincing.

I like my games to be believable--to make sense--for logic and reason to make the fantasy understandable--so you could actually imagine it happening.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top