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Mankcam

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I feel similarly. I think a lot of people felt that way about 2e when it came, when it was afraid to use the word demon, and things like that. In both cases, it didn't have too much effect on me as I care more about the mechanics and don't use published adventures much.

I am somewhat disappointed that they have mostly followed Paizo's lead with adventure paths. Most of their adventures are hardbacks supposed to take characters from levels 1 to 15. They can be hard to use - trying to find key info during play in a big book that doesn't want to stay open. If your characters don't do what's expected, the rest of the adventure is over.
Yeah while I think there is certainly a place for the big hardback campaigns, I still think that having smaller adventures is very useful, stuff that the GM mix and match in homebrew settinga, like the old classic D&D modules.

This is where Goodman Games streaks ahead of WotC in regards to their D&D 5E and DCC line of adventure modules, and something I thought that WotC may have looked at as complimenting their hardback line. As it stands, however, those hardback campaigns just don't have the same versaility for me, and most of them also don't have the same vibe that I like.
 

TristramEvans

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I haven't been keeping up, but does 5e D&D have an OGL?
 

Voros

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Yeah while I think there is certainly a place for the big hardback campaigns, I still think that having smaller adventures is very useful, stuff that the GM mix and match in homebrew settinga, like the old classic D&D modules.

This is where Goodman Games streaks ahead of WotC in regards to their D&D 5E and DCC line of adventure modules, and something I thought that WotC may have looked at as complimenting their hardback line. As it stands, however, those hardback campaigns just don't have the same versaility for me, and most of them also don't have the same vibe that I like.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh is an excellent collection of shorter classic adventures (including several great UK TSR modules) placed within a fine sandbox/pointcrawl with new material.

Dungeon of the Mad Mage is also a terrific megadungeon.
 

Akrasia

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This is where Goodman Games streaks ahead of WotC in regards to their D&D 5E and DCC line of adventure modules, and something I thought that WotC may have looked at as complimenting their hardback line. As it stands, however, those hardback campaigns just don't have the same versaility for me, and most of them also don't have the same vibe that I like.
I'm not a big fan of the hardback 'adventure path' volumes either, and am grateful for alternatives, like Goodman Games' 5e modules.

Fortunately, converting 1e adventures to 5e isn't that difficult. (I'm planning on using N1 in my 5e Greyhawk campaign once the PCs get to level 3 or so.)

Ghosts of Saltmarsh is an excellent collection of shorter classic adventures (including several great UK TSR modules) placed within a fine sandbox/pointcrawl with new material.
...
Ghosts of Saltmarsh is definitely worth getting -- and explicitly set in the World of Greyhawk as well!

Tales of the Yawning Portal also converts 7 older modules (including Tome of Horrors, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, White Plume Mountain, and Against the Giants) to 5e.
 

Mankcam

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I'm not a big fan of the hardback 'adventure path' volumes either, and am grateful for alternatives, like Goodman Games' 5e modules.

Fortunately, converting 1e adventures to 5e isn't that difficult. (I'm planning on using N1 in my 5e Greyhawk campaign once the PCs get to level 3 or so.)



Ghosts of Saltmarsh is definitely worth getting -- and explicitly set in the World of Greyhawk as well!

Tales of the Yawning Portal also converts 7 older modules (including Tome of Horrors, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, White Plume Mountain, and Against the Giants) to 5e.
Yeah I actually have Tales Of The Yawning Portal, I thought it was a great idea, and wish WotC did more collected adventures anthologies like this one
 

Chris Brady

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Yeah I actually have Tales Of The Yawning Portal, I thought it was a great idea, and wish WotC did more collected adventures anthologies like this one
Maybe next time they could pick dungeons that actually EXIST in the Realms, rather than trying to shove previous ones into it.
 

Brock Savage

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The biggest problem I have found with current D&D is that the players are new and all want their sessions to go like Youtube sessions. When they don't they get disillusioned and hyper critical of those at the table.
I gave up on finding players from the local gaming community long ago; life is too short to deal with a bunch of weirdos. Honestly in your case I'd round up a bunch of PF/3x players; there should be a ton of them out there.

5e is well balanced but has very little room for mastery.
This is a feature, not a flaw; 3x and Pathfinder was written with player-side system mastery in mind. Do we really need another game in that vein?

That said, I believe system mastery is extremely important on 5e's DM side to keep combat and exploration interesting over the course of a long term game.

5e as it is, is one of the best D&D editions put out... it just gets boring after a few sessions in my experience. I miss continuous options and customization. It feels like it is the core book and I am still waiting for the supplement books.
I feel like this is a case of a DM with a poor or mediocre understanding of the rules. On Reddit's DM Academy, the most common complaints are from DMs who are unable to challenge their players. Invariably. they have a poor command of the rules and do not understand the philosophy behind 5e's encounter design (it is essentially an old school game of resource management with more bells and whistles than say, B/X*). Unfortunately WoTC understates this core design element in the DMG, leading to a lot of DMs trying to shoehorn unsuitable campaigns into the 5e system (e.g. a soap opera of political intrigue with maybe one combat a session) and becoming frustrated when combat is shitty.

D&D just feels too crowded for me these days.

It feels like too much effort to make a setting and find a place for Tieflings and Warlocks and a variety of Paladins and Elves and...

Sure you can rule them out. But at a certain point you start wondering why you would then use D&D.
I agree 100% that if you used every class, race, spell and option in the books the game would feel silly, implausible, and crowded. I am surprised that so many otherwise sensible people believe that kitchen sink settings are somehow desirable and good.The wealth of 5e material is a tool box. I don't use all the classes, spells, archetypes, monsters, and races in the books; only the ones that fit my vision for the campaign reach the table.

*Deviating from the resource management "adventuring day" is of course possible but it requires a degree of system mastery to pull off; most DMs are better off using another system.
 

Brock Savage

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Fortunately, converting 1e adventures to 5e isn't that difficult. (I'm planning on using N1 in my 5e Greyhawk campaign once the PCs get to level 3 or so.)
The vast majority of my campaign has been derived from converted 1e , B/X. and OSR adventures. It was a lot easier than I thought and it saves a ton of time; most of my prep time involves reskinning things to fit my game's setting and adjusting the treasure.

Tales of the Yawning Portal also converts 7 older modules (including Tome of Horrors, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, White Plume Mountain, and Against the Giants) to 5e.
Like you I don't have much use for most of the WotC Forgotten Realms "big book" adventures but enjoyed Tales of the Yawning Portal as I could cannibalize it for my own campaign easily enough.

I am somewhat disappointed that they have mostly followed Paizo's lead with adventure paths. Most of their adventures are hardbacks supposed to take characters from levels 1 to 15.
I generally don't care for this style of book either but won't criticize WotC or the people who buy them. A single adventure book that takes adventurers from 1-15 or whatever can be very attractive to a DM with limited time and system mastery. Heck, I bought Curse of Strahd so I could run a side game with comparatively little effort.
 
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Voros

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I gave up on finding players from the local gaming community long ago; life is too short to deal with a bunch of weirdos. Honestly in your case I'd round up a bunch of PF/3x players; there should be a ton of them out there.

This is a feature, not a flaw; 3x and Pathfinder was written with player-side system mastery in mind. Do we really need another game in that vein?

That said, I believe system mastery is extremely important on 5e's DM side to keep combat and exploration interesting over the course of a long term game.

I feel like this is a case of a DM with a poor or mediocre understanding of the rules. On Reddit's DM Academy, the most common complaints are from DMs who are unable to challenge their players. Invariably. they have a poor command of the rules and do not understand the philosophy behind 5e's encounter design (it is essentially an old school game of resource management with more bells and whistles than say, B/X*). Unfortunately WoTC understates this core design element in the DMG, leading to a lot of DMs trying to shoehorn unsuitable campaigns into the 5e system (e.g. a soap opera of political intrigue with maybe one combat a session) and becoming frustrated when combat is shitty.

I agree 100% that if you used every class, race, spell and option in the books the game would feel silly, implausible, and crowded. I am surprised that so many otherwise sensible people believe that kitchen sink settings are somehow desirable and good.The wealth of 5e material is a tool box. I don't use all the classes, spells, archetypes, monsters, and races in the books; only the ones that fit my vision for the campaign reach the table.

*Deviating from the resource management "adventuring day" is of course possible but it requires a degree of system mastery to pull off; most DMs are better off using another system.
D&D's default to me has always been kitchen-sink fantasy.
 

Brock Savage

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D&D's default to me has always been kitchen-sink fantasy.
I agree that D&D defaulting to kitchen sink fantasy is a tradition that dates back all the way to Arneson and Gygax basing their adventures on whatever crappy movie they watched the night before. Tradition doesn't make that good or desirable.

Golarion and Forgotten Realms include just about every fantasy trope imaginable in their attempt to reach as large a market as possible. Like most art developed for a wide audience, they are utterly banal and this should surprise no one on this board.

That said, B/X didn't try to include every fantasy trope under the sun and I think it's better off for it.
 

TristramEvans

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That reminds me, does anyone else recall before 5e premiered, there was promotional art revealed that had this new, unique Pixar-ish quality to it? There was backlash on the forums at the time, but I was excited, because it seemed like they were giving the edition this singular, strong aesthetic identity. Unfortunately, if that was ever the plan it was abandoned by the time the game premiered and the art was, well, fine, but sort of generic and lackluster IMO. I was disappointed, as it seemed like a missed opportunity. I realize D&D is meant to be an umbrella game to appeal to everyone, but I find games are strongest when the art reinforces a particular style and approach. I've tried and failed to find those pictures again since (googling "D&D art" or even "5th edition art concepts" is like pissing in the ocean).
 

Jetstream

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That reminds me, does anyone else recall before 5e premiered, there was promotional art revealed that had this new, unique Pixar-ish quality to it? There was backlash on the forums at the time, but I was excited, because it seemed like they were giving the edition this singular, strong aesthetic identity. Unfortunately, if that was ever the plan it was abandoned by the time the game premiered and the art was, well, fine, but sort of generic and lackluster IMO. I was disappointed, as it seemed like a missed opportunity. I realize D&D is meant to be an umbrella game to appeal to everyone, but I find games are strongest when the art reinforces a particular style and approach. I've tried and failed to find those pictures again since (googling "D&D art" or even "5th edition art concepts" is like pissing in the ocean).
Bigger games seem allergic to strong aesthetics lately. I don't get why.

I know Exalted, for instance, too a lot of shit for its comic booky/anime look, but I really miss it.
 

TJS

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I find 5e very difficult to pare back. A large menagerie of races seems like such a basic part of the expectation. Although I feel that if instead/as well as paring back I offer up some kind of setting specific alternatives than it may work.

And for classes, well paring back normally means cutting down on the range of magic available, but we've now reached the stage where just about every class is laden down with magic.

I don't think 5E has to be as bland as the WOTC offerings make it. I think a lot of the Kobold Press stuff is really good and shows how you can work around with the basic assumtions of modern D&D/Pathfiner (Their Southlands campaign setting - as part of the overall Midgard campaign setting is pretty interesting). A kind of semi-fairytale tone seems to be where modern D&D works best. I wouldn't want to do Dark Sun with 5E.

But I grew up with 2E so for me D&D will always feel like it should be a fairly generic baseline that is built to be hacked into a multitude of different directions.

To me, as well, the main reason to to do anything with D&D would be to take advantage of the massive enthusiasm that exists for it now, so I wouldn't want to undercut that (and to honest if I can sell a group on a radically hacked D&D I can also sell them on a better system.)
 

Faylar

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I gave up on finding players from the local gaming community long ago; life is too short to deal with a bunch of weirdos. Honestly in your case I'd round up a bunch of PF/3x players; there should be a ton of them out there.

This is a feature, not a flaw; 3x and Pathfinder was written with player-side system mastery in mind. Do we really need another game in that vein?

That said, I believe system mastery is extremely important on 5e's DM side to keep combat and exploration interesting over the course of a long term game.

I feel like this is a case of a DM with a poor or mediocre understanding of the rules. On Reddit's DM Academy, the most common complaints are from DMs who are unable to challenge their players. Invariably. they have a poor command of the rules and do not understand the philosophy behind 5e's encounter design (it is essentially an old school game of resource management with more bells and whistles than say, B/X*). Unfortunately WoTC understates this core design element in the DMG, leading to a lot of DMs trying to shoehorn unsuitable campaigns into the 5e system (e.g. a soap opera of political intrigue with maybe one combat a session) and becoming frustrated when combat is shitty.
I've played every edition of D&D over decades. I'm able to tell the difference between system flaws and DM flaws, I am also familiar with all of the resources to find groups.

What I am describing is a fundamental problem with game pacing and that all of your character decisions are done and over by level 3. After that, you are riding your decisions made in the first 3 levels. Unless you get something given to you that redefines your character for you, you lose a lot of flexibility. Sorry, but I play my character and decide it's direction of growth, I don't expect the DM to do that.

Player mastery should be included in every game, if you don't foster that, you may as well call it a beginner game and expect people to move on to something else once they get it... which leads to me back to feeling like its a core rulebook without the supplements.
 

Faylar

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I find 5e very difficult to pare back. A large menagerie of races seems like such a basic part of the expectation. Although I feel that if instead/as well as paring back I offer up some kind of setting specific alternatives than it may work.

And for classes, well paring back normally means cutting down on the range of magic available, but we've now reached the stage where just about every class is laden down with magic.

I don't think 5E has to be as bland as the WOTC offerings make it. I think a lot of the Kobold Press stuff is really good and shows how you can work around with the basic assumtions of modern D&D/Pathfiner (Their Southlands campaign setting - as part of the overall Midgard campaign setting is pretty interesting). A kind of semi-fairytale tone seems to be where modern D&D works best. I wouldn't want to do Dark Sun with 5E.

But I grew up with 2E so for me D&D will always feel like it should be a fairly generic baseline that is built to be hacked into a multitude of different directions.

To me, as well, the main reason to to do anything with D&D would be to take advantage of the massive enthusiasm that exists for it now, so I wouldn't want to undercut that (and to honest if I can sell a group on a radically hacked D&D I can also sell them on a better system.)
I made a campaign for forgotten realms on a new island near the Moonsahes. I was amazed by how many races Forgotten realms has from previous editions that never made it into 5e. In this case, i think they just decided to front load the main book with races because they always planned a core +1 for their official stuff. Previously, all of those options came in supplements. like the 2e guide books and the 3e splat books.
 

Mankcam

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Maybe next time they could pick dungeons that actually EXIST in the Realms, rather than trying to shove previous ones into it.
That's not a big issue for me, but yeah considering that Forgotten Realms is as close to a default setting that D&D currently has, it certainly does make sense to have setting specific adventure modules
 

TristramEvans

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Player mastery should be included in every game, if you don't foster that, you may as well call it a beginner game and expect people to move on to something else once they get it... which leads to me back to feeling like its a core rulebook without the supplements.

I dunno, for me the goal of a role-playing game is, well, role-playing. Not mastering a system.
 

Ladybird

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Bigger games seem allergic to strong aesthetics lately. I don't get why.

I know Exalted, for instance, too a lot of shit for its comic booky/anime look, but I really miss it.
It's an unfortunate part of being so big; they have to appeal to a bigger audience to keep expanding, which means that they can't dig deeply into any particular niche. Smaller games can get away with it, even back in the 80's boom days of D&D it was still small compared to nowadays, but big games get stuck.
 

finarvyn

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Yeah while I think there is certainly a place for the big hardback campaigns, I still think that having smaller adventures is very useful, stuff that the GM mix and match in homebrew settinga, like the old classic D&D modules.

This is where Goodman Games streaks ahead of WotC in regards to their D&D 5E and DCC line of adventure modules, and something I thought that WotC may have looked at as complimenting their hardback line. As it stands, however, those hardback campaigns just don't have the same versaility for me, and most of them also don't have the same vibe that I like.
I definitely agree with you on this. The problem I have with hardbacks is mostly that they take so darned long to run. Also, there are so many details to remember and my memory is getting less sharp nowadays, so I can't always remember significant NPCs or keep the plot threads straight. My group meets rather infrequently (perhaps twice a month) and so running a hardback looks like a year minimum. :sad:

As others have noted, however, some of the hardbacks are mini-campaigns or smaller modules. The YAWNING PORTAL book has a bunch of smaller adventures and SALTMARSH is sandboxy and was based on several older modules, so they have much better potential for my group.
 

Faylar

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I dunno, for me the goal of a role-playing game is, well, role-playing. Not mastering a system.
Then why use a system at all and not just go free form?
Why have any discussion at all about editions or different systems if it simply comes down to role playing in the end?
Its a Role Playing GAME
I play games for the mechanics of them and the mastery of said mechanics. That is part of the fun of a game.
 

Voros

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That reminds me, does anyone else recall before 5e premiered, there was promotional art revealed that had this new, unique Pixar-ish quality to it? There was backlash on the forums at the time, but I was excited, because it seemed like they were giving the edition this singular, strong aesthetic identity. Unfortunately, if that was ever the plan it was abandoned by the time the game premiered and the art was, well, fine, but sort of generic and lackluster IMO. I was disappointed, as it seemed like a missed opportunity. I realize D&D is meant to be an umbrella game to appeal to everyone, but I find games are strongest when the art reinforces a particular style and approach. I've tried and failed to find those pictures again since (googling "D&D art" or even "5th edition art concepts" is like pissing in the ocean).
I like the core 5E art but liked that they branched out with a distinctive cartoon style for the recent Acquisitions Inc. release.

BF497D5D-49EA-4BCF-9742-277466058F17.jpeg

B7FF10B1-C42F-461E-AB31-2B84C9BCF178.jpeg
F2E720FC-4A99-4BB6-931E-1B799A78D2DE.jpeg

4F4194E6-3087-4D88-85C9-9C9C6276BFFE.jpeg
 

TristramEvans

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Then why use a system at all and not just go free form?
That's kind of a bizarre question. It's like I said

"The point of a car for me is the experience of driving, not learning exactly how the engine works"
and someone asks "Then why not just walk?"

A system provides benefits - a method of task resolution, providing a structured element of chance, a way of modelling the way an environment reacts to player's actions.


Why have any discussion at all about editions or different systems if it simply comes down to role playing in the end?
Different systems appeal to different player tastes. There is no "perfect game system", because every game group is unique.

Its a Role Playing GAME
I play games for the mechanics of them and the mastery of said mechanics. That is part of the fun of a game.

Sure, that's your preference. I'm not saying it's "wrong", just that I (and presumably many other gamers), don't share that same preference, or find fun in the same way. So when you make a blanket statement like "Every RPG should include system mastery" it just reads as "every game should be made to specifically appeal to me".
 

TristramEvans

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So I found that concept art I was talking about before. Heh, remember when they were calling 5th edition "D&D Next"?

Not sure if some of this made it into the game or not, but , while I understand this wouldn't appeal to everyone's tastes, I was kinda digging picturing the entire game done in this sort of style:


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Faylar

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Sure, that's your preference. I'm not saying it's "wrong", just that I (and presumably many other gamers), don't share that same preference, or find fun in the same way. So when you make a blanket statement like "Every RPG should include system mastery" it just reads as "every game should be made to specifically appeal to me".
No, there is an assumption to be made that when one states an opinion they are referring to themselves and their own tastes. I never made a claim that I speak for everyone and I don't accept an insinuation that I did. Sorry
 

Faylar

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Sorry if I came off as rude earlier @TristramEvans
Had a bad night and looking at my posts from earlier, I misinterpreted yours and responded more tersely than I should have.

Really, I do apologize.
 

TristramEvans

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Sorry if I came off as rude earlier @TristramEvans
Had a bad night and looking at my posts from earlier, I misinterpreted yours and responded more tersely than I should have.

Really, I do apologize.

Not at all, I was just thinking I may have picked a pedantic argument when it wasn't necessary.

It's all good in the hood, bro ;)

 

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I like the core 5E art but liked that they branched out with a distinctive cartoon style for the recent Acquisitions Inc. release.

View attachment 13461

View attachment 13462
That's Mike Krahulik, aka Gabe from Penny Arcade, aka Jim Darkmagic. Wizards have worked with them quite a bit over the last decade or so, obviously up to doing a supplement about their campaign.
 

Chris Brady

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That's Mike Krahulik, aka Gabe from Penny Arcade, aka Jim Darkmagic. Wizards have worked with them quite a bit over the last decade or so, obviously up to doing a supplement about their campaign.
Personally, I'm not a fan of them. That book was... Rather bland and anachronistic.
 

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That's Mike Krahulik, aka Gabe from Penny Arcade, aka Jim Darkmagic. Wizards have worked with them quite a bit over the last decade or so, obviously up to doing a supplement about their campaign.
Krahulik only did the cover.
 

TristramEvans

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Those halflings feel so out of place with the rest of the art.
Personally, they're my favourite. I'd rather the other pieces pushed further towards the style of the halflings.

Of the pieces I love this one best:

d5rsp0v-dc6f86d9-7a6a-4359-8879-d3bc1682fd9b.jpg

I just really like it when RPG art focuses on "real life" situations, as a break from action set pieces.
 

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I think they just have too many "little people" races, and haven't quite nailed the visual language for Halflings and Gnomes in the same way they have for most of the other races.
I think part of it is that, with each recent edition, they've been trying to move away from halflings as obvious ripoffs of hobbits, initially for legal reasons. Note the tiny feet with shoes on them. With 5e, they finally realized that kender are not the direction to go as they're really annoying. But they don't have a good idea for a replacement archetype for halflings. Personally, I've removed halflings or gnomes from home games, you don't need both.
 

Chris Brady

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I think part of it is that, with each recent edition, they've been trying to move away from halflings as obvious ripoffs of hobbits, initially for legal reasons. Note the tiny feet with shoes on them. With 5e, they finally realized that kender are not the direction to go as they're really annoying. But they don't have a good idea for a replacement archetype for halflings. Personally, I've removed halflings or gnomes from home games, you don't need both.
Going with Kender styled builds is being avoided NOT because they're annoying, it's because people keep ASSOCIATING them with Halflings. In fact, they still are! And it's almost like people WANT to keep them annoying, because they get to keep a scapegoat for said annoying behaviour.

Also, PC's are supposed to be unique versions of the race. Adventurer's are not ever meant to be norm, and yet, players LOVE to make Tasslehoff into the poster child of ALL Halflings.
 

Voros

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