Stop calling the way I play D&D 'Homebrew'

Stop calling the way I play D&D 'Homebrew'

Apr 24, 2024    

Bottom line up front:

  1. The default term for a campaign or adventure made by the GM should be a campaign or an adventure. There is no need to stick the word ‘homebrew’ to the front of it.

  2. When a publisher sells an adventure or campaign, that should be called a pre-written adventure or pre-written campaign.

I try to keep it positive, but this is a pet peeve. I don’t know when it crawled into the D&D vernacular, maybe it’s been here forever, but increasingly I’ve heard the term ‘homebrew’ being used too broadly.

I don’t know when this started, maybe it has been around forever, but increasingly I am hearing the term ‘homebrew’ being used to describe anything made by the players of the game rather than a vendor selling to the players of the game. Here’s an example that even uses the term “Homebrew Campaign” Link to Video

When I learned to run Adventurer’s League, I got an important introduction to running 5th edition ‘Rules as Written’ or RAW. The rules of 5e are specific enough and have consensus interpretations thanks to the internet. Many people enjoy playing RAW, especially in community games run by GMs with whom they have not built trust. However, when I asked if there was a way to run my own adventures I was told, “Adventurer’s League isn’t for homebrew. You need to run official approved stuff.”

I can understand not wanting players to use classes and feats from reddit, they will break the game and other people’s fun, but restraining the creativity of the dungeon master on content like monsters, and even scenarios was a new one to me.

I’m going to have to side with Matt Coleville on this one. In his recent video, “How Long Should An Adventure Be?” where he discusses how long-form 50-session campaign books are becoming the default form of play in modern D&D. He says, “making it the default is bad, it makes all of our lives harder.” I agree. As an extension, I believe relegating the creativity of the DM as a lesser category of homebrew hurts the game.