A small survey from Geek Native shows a surprising data point about D&D. Readers think that urban settings are the most underrepresented in the game.
Geek Native asks many weird questions of readers, usually in conjunction with a giveaway (better than asking you to spam a friend). There’s one going on right now; in a competition to win a copy of the game History Heroes – Children, you’re being asked whether or not games can sometimes be better ways to teach kids than schools.
It was a competition to win a copy of the DMs Guild Rime of the Frostmaiden supplement Caul of Winter that the blog asked; “Which environment type do you think is underused in D&D?”.
The responses were even, and votes spread equally among the suggested categories, with one exception.
- Arctic 9%
- Coastal 9%
- Desert 9%
- Forest 9%
- Grassland 9%
- Mountain 9%
- Underdark 9%
- Underwater 9%
- Urban 18%
That’s right. Readers, at least people taking part in the poll, suggest that city settings, the urban environment, tend to be underused in D&D.
It’s worth noting it was not a huge sample size, less than 100, and so not significantly significant when compared to the legion of D&D 5e players. It was also a competition; perhaps people were bashing radio buttons at random to complete the entry process as quickly as possible.
However, the random bashing of buttons doesn’t explain why the urban environment gets twice as many votes as the other options or why the others are so equally balanced.
Why do D&D players think urban settings are underused?
Wizards of the Coast has had a focus on Waterdeep that big Forgotten Realms city for quite some time. Perhaps, though, the action got into the mega-dungeon and external locations too quickly?
Or is the case that many DMs, as the name Dungeons & Dragons suggest, take characters underground to explore the dangers there in many of their tabletop sessions?
It might also be the case that busy urban settings, crowded with NPCs and shops, are a much more challenging environment to run for DMs.
Creative commons credit: Fantasy Castle sketch by Sketchbook Universe.
Do you agree with the results of this small survey? Let us know your theories in the comments below.
Correction: (24th April 2021): An earlier version of this write-up incorrectly listed “Coastal” twice.