I have ambivalent feelings about D&D. When I came back to roleplaying I played 5E for a bit and really liked it until I got into the indie space and was just blown away at how the form had grown. It didn't take long for me to sell my 5E books and swear off the game—I was tired of it; the setting, the races, the monsters, all of it...it was cheesy and tired and I was done with it. But every once in a while I get an itch and almost buy all of the books again, but something stops me, which is a miracle because all I do is buy RPGs. I just know I will regret buying them and would just resell them again. D&D just isn't about a deep, emotional, mature experience...maybe it can be, but it certainly isn't designed to be. And that's fine, but it's not what I'm looking for anymore. Not if I'm going to invest a lot of time into it, anyway. Still, there is something about D&D, something about rolling the D20 that is exciting and gives the game tension and stakes, something about so many options—spells, magic items, combat choices, classes, leveling—all working together in a complex but seamless tapestry, that is still, to some degree, elegant. It's been tested; it's reliable. I don't know, maybe it's just childhood nostalgia; you always remember your first love. But other games have given social and emotional roleplaying more depth and innovated in areas most mainstream designers never even thought to look.
Does D&D need to change? I know the answer. I know what your going to say. "No. It does a couple of things well and that's what it is supposed to do. It's about dungeoneering, goddamnit!" Fine. But challenge that assumption—is there anything that D&D could do better? Is the lie-detector roll...opps, I mean the "insight" roll, the best we can do? Should D&D change, even a little? And if it should, how should it change? And if not, why?
Also, knowing how level headed everyone is when discussing D&D, I know I don't have to worry about anyone freaking out on me. Thank goodness for that!
What I mean is this: D&D doesn't have good mechanics for social situations—there's nothing like PbtA moves, Fate's skills or aspects, or even something basic, like Burning Wheels' Dual of Wits. You couldn't play a good Game of Trones campaign with D&D IMO, for example. Or at least, that's not what it is designed to do. Should D&D have better social mechanics? And if so, what should they be like? That is the question I'm really trying to ask. Oh, and I'm talking about D&D 5E here.