Vox Populi Forum
The link I saw had a funny twist on how LOTR was written. It started as one thing and then the story evolved as things happened. (Aragorn is no chick ... sorry lost me there.)
Did I not read far enough down?
The graph paper puzzle link reminds me of a Matt Colville thing. There are a lot of "How to Play D&D" on the web. Not sure why but I guess those are the easiest to make. Watch it for 5 minutes and you can pick it up is the best advice I would give but if you are thinking of getting rich by talking to your web cam, I guess it's something.
D&D 5E is indeed painful. It is definitely a step backwards from 1E but a step forward from all those in between. 3 dot whatever was just a bunch of new rules sandwiched in to fake complexity -- it is called crunchyness.
The best logic I heard was they screwed the pooch so bad on D&D 4E that they needed to do anything to get the players back. So, give them what they (the players) think they want. So, 7,000 new character classes. My favorite is role playing a salt shaker ... well you don't get to do much but when you do ... man, it's special.
Prepare the content with "writers" who like to write to hear themselves write and you get what you got. Did anyone other than maybe the writer's Mom read the 70,000 word description of how to calculate initiative? Did Mom also read the 8,000 Reddit posts clarifying what could have been 4 sentences?
If you attempt to follow the rules as written, it's a jumbled mess. But, WOTC / Hasbro can't fix it because they need to make the cash. It's not a sin, just the reality. Players don't want to take their medicine.
So, we get all the great advances in game design ... Look Dudes, I added a new Stat "Fardlyness". It's 4d6 drop the lowest. Then, run the modulo ... well ... look it up on this table and it will measure whether you have -20% or +20% on your rolls to do Farding things.
There's a bunch of noise in the board game market of "near RPGs". The RPGs are so terrible that the players play board games to simulate what used to be in the RPGs. Funny thing ... we used to do board game things inside the RPGs. Odd how things change.
There have been some great starts in the redo of the DM's guide which is where all the pain starts and ends but it's a tough slog. The Ref has no good tools to do their jobs (aside from the obvious here - take no slight).
In fact, good DM tools are so far removed from the average DM that they wouldn't even recognize it. If I did that I wouldn't be able to spend 30 minutes describing the scroll work on this candle holder ... oh, it's completely non-magical but I wrote this soaring prose about what the metal looks like.
In short, three dudes against three goblins .... about 45 minutes.