D&D General Why Editions Don't Matter

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I'm starting to wonder, with the amount of info being proposed, that is later being shown to actually be in the current DMG... How many of those crying out for improvements actually own or have even read the DMG...
I think a brief summary of what the DMG really focuses on would be helpful.

There’s whole chapter on world building. (60 pages)
There’s whole chapter on the planes and cosmology in general. (26 pages)
There’s whole chapter section on building NPCs. (8 pages)
There’s whole chapter on creating adventures (15 pages)
There’s whole chapter on Adventure Environments (22 pages)
There’s small chapter on Between Adventures (3 pages)
There's a whole chapter on treasure - magic items (96 pages)
There's a whole chapter on Running the Game (26 pages)
There's a whole chapter on various options and custom creation of spells/monsters/magic items/character options (23 pages)

To me the advice and detail it includes on all those things is important. Especially to newer DM's.
 
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Oofta

Legend
Yes.

I asserted that 2nd ed AD&D lacks certain tools that would have helped a GM avoid running a terrible game from which the players walked. I've pointed to a range of tools that could have helped, one of which was in print - in a different RPG - over 10 years before AD&D 2nd ed was published.

Are you asserting that 2nd ed AD&D in fact had the tools I say it didn't? In that case, please point me to them.

Are you asserting that 2nd ed AD&D was as good as it could possibly be - that there was no way of improving it by including those tools?

I can't tell what your point is.

The person I'm talking about wasn't a first-time GM. And was, as far as I could tell at the time, running a module. He kept GMing in the club where I met him. And as best I could tell at the time, he kept running railroads.
Sounds like an issue you have with their style of DMing than lack of direction to me. Some DMs will run railroad games no matter what the books say.

As far as any game giving specific details on how to run any kind of scenario imaginable, count me skeptical. Or the tools are so generic that we have different definitions.
 

Imaro

Legend
I think a brief summary of what the DMG really focuses on.

There’s large sections on world building. There’s a large section on the planes and cosmology in general.
There’s a large section on building NPCs. There’s a large section on building adventures and campaigns.

Yes but there is also a large section on running the game on options for DM's, as well as environments and handling time between adventures/games... if anything I agree the organization leaves alot to be desired but... I'm just not finding anything fundamental missing...
 

Oofta

Legend
1) Motivations matter and 2) what you call better may not be better to me.


I'm not complaining about some future slippery slope. I'm complaining about right here and now. People have discussed and agree to what amounts to small changes. Even I agree with some small changes. But those small changes aren't enough for you (as you just stated). That's precisely what I'm talking about when I say 'pushing for better and better without any clear end in sight.'

We aren't anti-change for the better. We just aren't for the undefined large changes you want to make.

It's easy to say "it should be better" and "provide more support". So what does that mean? Because a lot of the "more support" are things I wouldn't use or want, that would make the game less enjoyable for me. Maybe it would have broader appeal than what we have, maybe it wouldn't but with the nebulous nature of "do gooder" that we get it's hard to debate anything.

I'm all for improvements. I posted what I think they should be. So rather than nitpicking others posts, how about some details on what that would be? How would it fit in D&D playstyle niche?
 

Oofta

Legend
This is why I think that it's best to "start small" and have advised other DMs do the same. I saw one of my past DMs burn out in real time because he thought that he had to world-build everything about the entire world, including taking into account physics so that the planet's size, solar orbit, etc. made sense.


I would potentially go with something like Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures. Give GMs a starter town or tools to create a basic town (e.g., Fallcrest, Phandelver, Stonetop, Hommlet, etc.) that provides a backdrop and character hooks for an initial scenario. Bonus points if the players get to make input about the village. Then provide tools and guidelines for how to plan/prep session scenarios that build on previous ones.


Good experience and good guidance are like a nice pair of shoes. I can walk further with both than I can with only one. I'm not sure why people seem to reluctant for better guidance so others can walk more comfortably.

Isn't that what the starter sets are for? LMoP had a starter village and hooks, right? Because a lot of people who start DMing have actually been playing for quite a while or want to run a specific module, not a homebrew.
 

Imaro

Legend
Another thing that hasn't been brought up is stylistic choices that in turn affect playstyle that also in turn affect the makeup of the DMG. One really big one I don't see mentioned often is how much extra space the 4e DMG had since magic items were moved to the PHB. Of course this choice in turn was accompanied by a playstyle choice where it was heavily implied (if not outright stated) that players were selecting a pool of magic items and you as DM should reward them one of their choices in specifically defined intervals. While this freed up more room for other things to be discussed in the DMG... it was a very divisive choice and defined a specific playstyle and procedures as the default which didn't suit or fit a large number o f people's playstyle.
 

gorice

Adventurer
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree about the 5e DMG. My experience is that it's mostly worthless as both a teaching device and a set of procedural tools.

As a toolbox: you can look at various use-cases (intrigue, wilderness exploration, dungeon-delving) and I think in every case it comes up short in terms of describing any practical procedures.

As a teaching device: I've mostly said my piece about how I think it works at a rhetorical level. The difference in tone between the introduction to the 4e DMG and the 5e one could give you whiplash. Worth noting that the 'understanding your players' bit in the 5e book is truncated compared to the 4e one (no tips on recognising these players or identifying problems), and looks very strange in context with the rest of the book.

Anyway: I'm neither able nor willing to go into the excruciating textual detail needed to prove these points right now, and I'm not sure I'd convince anyone if I did. Suffice it to say that I think the 5e book is a failure. I'm also not impressed with the official teaching videos I've seen (way too much breathless 'just have fun!', way too little practical advice), though these are a little better.

It will be interesting to see where they go with the new edition.
 

Imaro

Legend
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree about the 5e DMG. My experience is that it's mostly worthless as both a teaching device and a set of procedural tools.

As a toolbox: you can look at various use-cases (intrigue, wilderness exploration, dungeon-delving) and I think in every case it comes up short in terms of describing any practical procedures.

As a teaching device: I've mostly said my piece about how I think it works at a rhetorical level. The difference in tone between the introduction to the 4e DMG and the 5e one could give you whiplash. Worth noting that the 'understanding your players' bit in the 5e book is truncated compared to the 4e one (no tips on recognising these players or identifying problems), and looks very strange in context with the rest of the book.

Anyway: I'm neither able nor willing to go into the excruciating textual detail needed to prove these points right now, and I'm not sure I'd convince anyone if I did. Suffice it to say that I think the 5e book is a failure. I'm also not impressed with the official teaching videos I've seen (way too much breathless 'just have fun!', way too little practical advice), though these are a little better.

It will be interesting to see where they go with the new edition.

I'm curious... can you accept that maybe your specific needs aren't everyone's specific needs/desires/wants and thus the DMG could succeed for others where it didn't for you?
 

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree about the 5e DMG. My experience is that it's mostly worthless as both a teaching device and a set of procedural tools.

As a toolbox: you can look at various use-cases (intrigue, wilderness exploration, dungeon-delving) and I think in every case it comes up short in terms of describing any practical procedures.

As a teaching device: I've mostly said my piece about how I think it works at a rhetorical level. The difference in tone between the introduction to the 4e DMG and the 5e one could give you whiplash. Worth noting that the 'understanding your players' bit in the 5e book is truncated compared to the 4e one (no tips on recognising these players or identifying problems), and looks very strange in context with the rest of the book.

Anyway: I'm neither able nor willing to go into the excruciating textual detail needed to prove these points right now, and I'm not sure I'd convince anyone if I did. Suffice it to say that I think the 5e book is a failure. I'm also not impressed with the official teaching videos I've seen (way too much breathless 'just have fun!', way too little practical advice), though these are a little better.

It will be interesting to see where they go with the new edition.
Perhaps like 4e required two DMGs to get their message across and their attempt to explain how Skill Challenges actually work (which from my point of view - failed), a further 5e DMG may have satisfied your needs. I think the Starter Sets became a rather lucrative model and thus saw the removal of the "Example of Play" section from the DMG. I'm not sure they're going to reverse that trend going on into the future, the Starter Sets appear to sell well.

EDIT: I do think from what I have seen of the latest UA that their layout style and thought process seems to align closer to the indie games such as Dungeon World and such, specifically with regards to actions that may be taken by characters.
 
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Imaro

Legend
It will be interesting to see where they go with the new edition.

Wanted to address this separately... I think when people claim a "new" edition is being released... it really is in WotC's best interests to keep them as compatible as possible... especially since they now own dnd Beyond and will have to add anything radically different in... and I'm sure they don't want to jeopardize their install base providing monthly sub revenue. But like you said... we'll see.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Perhaps like 4e required two DMGs to get their message across and their attempt to explain how Skill Challenges actually work (which from my point of view - failed), a further 5e DMG may have satisfied your needs.

EDIT: I do think from what I have seen of the latest UA that their layout style and thought process seems to align closer to the indie games such as Dungeon World and such, specifically with regards to actions that may be taken by characters.
They were never going to make a DMG2 for 5e. Players wouldn't have been incentivized to buy it, and WotC won't produce a book that only a segment of their fan base would find useful.
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
I'm starting to wonder, with the amount of info being proposed, that is later being shown to actually be in the current DMG... How many of those crying out for improvements actually own or have even read the DMG...
I'm starting to think that people aren't actually listening to what people are saying in terms of critiquing what information is presented and how it's being presented and are instead slinging allegations. to dismiss them.
 

Imaro

Legend
I'm starting to think that people aren't actually listening to what people are saying in terms of critiquing what information is presented and how it's being presented and are instead slinging allegations. to dismiss them.

Well when poster A claims the player types are not discussed in the 5e DMG and a few posts later it's shown they are... well that's one of the examples that made me arrive at my thought. Care to share yours?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
This discussion is generating a ton of reports, against folks on various sides of arguments. It has received more than its fear share of babysitting.

Thread closed.
 

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