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Critical Role Why Critical Role is so successful...

Preparing for exploration and preparing for combat encounters both take time and skill. Since 3E, play culture has emphasized the latter, so most GMs have put effort into crafting encounters. If you came up with 3E, you probably feel creating and running combat encounters is a core task of being a DM, while creating engaging exploration content is a bonus 'nice to have.' However, it's not inherently more difficult to prepare exploration than combat encounters. It's just different.
 

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I've played with hundreds (if not thousands) of people in the 40+ years I have been playing D&D. Some people will ... just ... not ... get ... it. You can try all you like, but they either lack the mind or desire to get even the basics - but they love the story and enjoy being in the game. A few of the players that asked questions like, "What do I roll when I attack?" or "What do I add for my initiative?" after playing for years were great fun to have at the table - they just didn't give a rat's atouille about the rules and never would.
Those players do exist, but you don't have to play with them. I understand if you are doing it for the sake of great friendship, of course. I love my friends and forgive a lot of shenanigans. But there are players who are great fun to have at the table and also know the rules of the game.

And if you don't know them, you can meet them! One of the coolest things about our hobby becoming so popular is being able to find good players and become friends with them.
 

Those players do exist, but you don't have to play with them. I understand if you are doing it for the sake of great friendship, of course. I love my friends and forgive a lot of shenanigans. But there are players who are great fun to have at the table and also know the rules of the game.

And if you don't know them, you can meet them! One of the coolest things about our hobby becoming so popular is being able to find good players and become friends with them.
Or as the boardgaming hobbyists like to say: "it's easier to makes gamers into friends than friends into gamers."

Although for me it's more of a different style of play when we're mostly friends as opposed to a group formed for the sake of gaming.
 

I've played with hundreds (if not thousands) of people in the 40+ years I have been playing D&D. Some people will ... just ... not ... get ... it. You can try all you like, but they either lack the mind or desire to get even the basics - but they love the story and enjoy being in the game. A few of the players that asked questions like, "What do I roll when I attack?" or "What do I add for my initiative?" after playing for years were great fun to have at the table - they just didn't give a rat's atouille about the rules and never would.
True words. Very, very true.
 

Or as the boardgaming hobbyists like to say: "it's easier to makes gamers into friends than friends into gamers."
Yeah. And it really is true. Some gamers have become my best friends, and others are just amazing people I am glad to have met. My friends? They are awesome too, and some of them are great gamers. Others are still my friends, but have no business being near a gaming table.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I've played with hundreds (if not thousands) of people in the 40+ years I have been playing D&D. Some people will ... just ... not ... get ... it. You can try all you like, but they either lack the mind or desire to get even the basics - but they love the story and enjoy being in the game. A few of the players that asked questions like, "What do I roll when I attack?" or "What do I add for my initiative?" after playing for years were great fun to have at the table - they just didn't give a rat's atouille about the rules and never would.
This. And I honestly find the idea that those players are somehow "mediocre" players that you'd be better off without at your table pretty...gross.

Nah. They're some of the best players in my group. They engage with their character and the story, and just do not care about the numbers and crunchy widgets. I'd rather have them at my table than their opposite.
 

Wishbone

Paladin Radmaster
There is more spread throughout the books, but it does deserve more. I really wish WotC would release a series of videos - with quizzes to prove you paid attention - that address the art, rather than the science, of being a DM. It could be a 10 hour series and if you completed it, you could have completing it associated to your DCI number.

Has WotC ever attempted to put out a whole book dedicated to exploration?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Has WotC ever attempted to put out a whole book dedicated to exploration?

Well, they've never put out a book on how to run combat or how to handle social interactions. Why would they do a book on exploration?

I think this is one of those things a video series would be better, but honestly even then I'm not sure anyone could do it justice. There are so many different styles, your best bet is likely just finding a podcast or stream you enjoy and try to get ideas from there. I could explain how I handle a lot of things, but it may not work for anyone else. Maybe a separate thread of suggestions?

D&D gives you the tools, the DM and players have always been responsible for figuring out how to use those tools. The answer may well vary from table to table.
 


This. And I honestly find the idea that those players are somehow "mediocre" players that you'd be better off without at your table pretty...gross.
Gross is not taking a shower. Maybe the rest of the table is totally cool with your smell, but it's generally polite to show up clean.
 

Wishbone

Paladin Radmaster
Well, they've never put out a book on how to run combat or how to handle social interactions. Why would they do a book on exploration?

I think this is one of those things a video series would be better, but honestly even then I'm not sure anyone could do it justice. There are so many different styles, your best bet is likely just finding a podcast or stream you enjoy and try to get ideas from there. I could explain how I handle a lot of things, but it may not work for anyone else. Maybe a separate thread of suggestions?

D&D gives you the tools, the DM and players have always been responsible for figuring out how to use those tools. The answer may well vary from table to table.

I was thinking of Into the Unknown from 4e and Dungeonscape from 3.5e and how both cover aspects of exploration specific to dungeons. A separate thread with potential suggestions for different styles of play sounds like it could be really useful.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I was thinking of Into the Unknown from 4e and Dungeonscape from 3.5e and how both cover aspects of exploration specific to dungeons. A separate thread with potential suggestions for different styles of play sounds like it could be really useful.

Maybe when I have a bit of time, actually been a bit swamped. :)

I do think there are many areas of exploration though, it's all about discovery, clues and having player choices having meaningful impact. That can be in a dungeon, a city, or a royal ball.
 





It's not necessarily a panacea for creative exploration as a broad concept, but I would love a thick book with all kinds of dungeon terrain, materials, traps, etc, with ready-to-go 5e mechanics. Maybe even a series of pre-constructed rooms with huge traps, mechanisms, and magic gimmicks that could be plopped into any combat. I feel like there were a bunch of things like grass that would grab you and poisonous mushroom squares for set piece design in 4e that never really made the jump to 5e. I may have to dig out some old edition books for inspiration.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's not necessarily a panacea for creative exploration as a broad concept, but I would love a thick book with all kinds of dungeon terrain, materials, traps, etc, with ready-to-go 5e mechanics. Maybe even a series of pre-constructed rooms with huge traps, mechanisms, and magic gimmicks that could be plopped into any combat. I feel like there were a bunch of things like grass that would grab you and poisonous mushroom squares for set piece design in 4e that never really made the jump to 5e. I may have to dig out some old edition books for inspiration.
Yes! Let us know if you find any gems!

4e had so much cool stuff for hazards and traps and puzzles that could be their own encounter or be part of a larger encounter.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
Tell that to @Celtavian and others who remain unconvinced an extremely rules- and math-heavy game such as Pathfinder 2 isn't for everybody, and certainly not for the average 5E gamer...

Why do you put words in other people's mouths? No one said anything of the kind one way or the other.

You're the one that keeps thinking that PF2 has to compete with 5E, but it doesn't. It needs to find enough players who enjoy that crunchier play-style to take it up. It has a lot going for it and doesn't have to be 5E to compete. It doesn't try to be 5E. Near as I can tell it is literally built for people that don't like the rules-lite 5E approach of which I am one. I know I'm not alone.

My entire group of 30 plus year D&D veterans grew bored of 5E because it was too light on rules. PF2 is there to appeal to a group like us who don't want another rules-lite 5E experience. Not sure why you think PF2 can't compete in the RPG market. Still not sure why you think all gamers are all looking for a rules-lite 5E experience.

There's a lot of older gamers used to more rules in the game whether they come from 2nd edition or 3rd edition or PF1. Paizo made a bet there are enough of them around to sustain and grow PF2. We will see in time.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
What I don't understand is how anyone could think Pathfinder doesn't compete against D&D...

They're geared towards exactly the same niche of exactly the same genre, with a similar emphasis on mechanically balanced combat, and sharing maybe 95% of the same heritage, tropes, and history...

Just baffling.

But even if you somehow manage to ignore all that, D&D is the behemoth of the ttrpg world - every other game competes with D&D to some extent.

Some more, some less. Maybe Powered by the Apocalypse, or Maid the RPG, are examples of the former.

But if there's a single game that is in the latter category, it's Pathfinder. Paizo is, by far, WotC's most direct and most prominent competitor.
 

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