5e is Selling so That Means It's "Good?"

Recently on the dystopic hellscape known as "Twitter", my criticisms of WotC and 5e were met with counter arguments that "D&D is more popular than ever before," so naturally this means that everything WotC is doing is good and that 5e is the best iteration of the game that has ever been created.

Let's dig into this claim. One of the responses was this tweet here:

Fair enough. But As I point out in my tweet, sales does not equal "good." If that was the case than Avengers Endgame, Avatar, all the Michael Bay Transformers movies, And The Last Jedi are the pinnacle of cinema. It just doesn't get any better than those kinds of movies. Sorry super creative indie films like Donnie Darko, any David Lynch film, Lost in Translation, Night of the Living Dead, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Memento, any early Tarantino movie, No Country for Old Men, The Usual Suspects, and any other classic indie film, but your sales show that you are just awful by comparison and just not worth anyone's time.

Do you see the logical fallacy the 5e obsessed are engaging in here?

Let's think of another example. Mexican food. Delicious.

"Mexican-inspired restaurant chain Taco Bell’s average sales per unit reached approximately 1.6 million U.S. dollars in 2020, up from 1.5 million the previous year." Source.
I don't think any Taqueria, even if we combined all of their sales into one giant entity, could compete with that. So by the 5e fanboys logic, the best Mexican food to ever exist is Taco Bell.

The fast food comparison runs deeper. It's my view that many who play 5e are consuming TTRPG fast food. And look there is nothing wrong with eating Taco Bell or playing 5e, but I think it is fallacious to make the claim that WotC and 5e are the best based on sales.

I started in this hobby with "New School" play. I entered this hobby at 4e and moved to 5e and I gobbled up that TTRPG fast food voraciously for a time. But like when I eat too much Taco Bell, I started to feel "off." I couldn't put my finger on it until a friend who was into OSRs told me to check those out. That's when I realized that I had been consuming the TTRPG equivalent of fast food. I was eating TTRPG Taco Bell and my friend finally took me to that delicious taqueria for some real Mexican food. I realized then what my problem was and now the prospect of playing 5e is very low on my list of desires or priorities.

I'll end this post on a positive note. I think 5e being fast food is good. It's helping to compartmentalize the hobby's demographic. Most of the furries, SJWs, and general cringe inducing weirdos have confined themselves to 5e and they mostly have zero interest in playing anything else. I say let them have 5e. Those players who are serious about the hobby and really love it will change in their TTRPG tastes like I did given time. And the OSR will be waiting for them.


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