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D&D 5e Discussion

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  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    Guess you better tie him up and interrogate him until he spills the beans.

  • bssbss BIBIBABIBABIBUBIII Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    I don't think Wizards is this dumb, but it'd be hilarious if they NDAed the first round of the playtest.

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  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    Playtesting has been going on for a bit now, and it was all NDA'd.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    Yeah my guess is they're gradually opening up the playtest further and further. It's like they're tempting someone to blab, waiting for an excuse to shut it down.

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  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Edit: sorry, wrong thread.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Where is the poll option for 'I don't care how the fuck many hitpoints he has at any level (design your own damn game) just keep random chance well out of it.'?

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  • LochielLochiel Registered User regular
    Talk about an amazingly useless poll. They frame the question as "What kind of D&D do you want", but how many hit points a starting character should have is dependent on so many different factors. They are making a lot of assumptions. Do 1st level creatures all have the same Hit and Damage? Do the same creatures have the same Hit and Damage across all of the editions?

    Given that the discussion was on low level play, specifically combat vs sneaky, the options should be written to focus on that. My suggestions would be "Enough to survive all the things" "Enough to survive a decent fight" "Enough to survive, if you have to fight" "Enough to make your first combat a slow death" "Enough to be considered alive, but no more."

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  • DextolenDextolen Registered User
    Modification to poll title: "What's your favorite class of the classes we've already picked for D&D 5E PHB?"

  • GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    And my friend Monte Cook is enamored with wizards.

    No, really?

  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    Abbalah wrote: »
    valiance wrote: »
    Mad Mac wrote: »
    I think the only thing that needs to be said about Vancian Casting is that it's such a popular and successful system that I can't name another game that uses it besides DnD and it's direct clones.

    Isn't that all the more reason to include it if you want 5E to be "iconic" D&D?

    I don't think Vancian Wizards necessarily denies at-will sorcerors, fighter feats, thief skills, miracles for clerics etc.

    Design-wise 4E makes sense, its a unified, easy to understand design: at wills, encounters, dailies for everyone.

    But flavor wise I would prefer every class get its own system or combination of systems. Wizards get Vancian casting. Sorcerors get spontaneous casting at-wills with a chance of failure/backfire/whatever. Clerics get miracles, Thieves get Skills, Fighters get Combat Technique

    This is why trying to actually make a game where the classes all use different subsystems is a terrible idea.

    The best argument that can be summoned for it is 'Doing things the 4e way is good design, but I'd rather have broken and badly designed in order to get marginally more mechanically-enforced flavor'

    I think the best argument that can be summoned for it is: since fighting, vancian spellcasting, and divine spellcasting are all different things, then you're best served by running them through different subsystems. Vincent Baker has a smart explanation of this I think :
    http://lumpley.com/comment.php?entry=475
    We Forge-heads are all like, what your game's about? It should do that and do it well. Don't worry about doing other things, make the best thing-for-doing-exactly-that that you can.

    A natural extension is, if your game calls for you to do 6 things, make 6 subsystems, each one being the best thing-for-doing-exactly-that that you can make.
    Right now ... you've got 3 things: learning, socially dominating, physically dominating.

    You're going "what's the best single mechanism I can make that does those 3 things?"

    You COULD, if you wanted, instead go "what's the best mechanism I could make for learning? What's the best mechanism I could make for socially dominating? What's the best mechanism I could make for physically dominating?"

    For instance, it's probably not the case that the best possible mechanism for learning is driven by the same kind of competitive escalation-of-intensity that drives the best possible mechanism for physically dominating.

    In other words, any unified mechanism is probably a second-best solution (or worse) for at least one of the three things. If you wanted, you could make three mechanisms, each custom-built, instead.

    I like mechanical reinforcement of flavor and I don't think it has to be broken or badly designed.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    okay so where is this unbroken and well designed game with subsystems so i can have an example of what you are talking about

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  • gtrmpgtrmp Registered User regular
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    okay so where is this unbroken and well designed game with subsystems so i can have an example of what you are talking about

    That would be D&D 4th Edition, which has separate subsystems for tactical combat (including combat-related powers), rituals, and skill challenges.

  • HugglesHuggles Cinnabar is very toxic Not very huggableRegistered User regular
    Don't all three essentially boil down to the same?

    -I'm going to do something
    -I roll a d20 and add a number to it
    -This result either meets or does not meet a target number

    Treating different classes like completely different systems is simply adding complexity without gaining anything apart from less abuse from neckbeards who require absolute systematic verisimilitude in the mechanics for each class.

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  • AbbalahAbbalah Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    valiance wrote: »

    I like mechanical reinforcement of flavor and I don't think it has to be broken or badly designed.

    Mechanical enforcement of flavor is silly because it ties people to very specific and narrow character archetypes that restrict the breadth of the game and increase the concentration of cliches in a an already cliche-heavy genre. It also leads to byzantine and contradictory rules because rules written to enforce Flavor A eventually end up clashing with ones that enforce Flavor B because there's no coherent design philosophy behind flavor enforcement.

    And again, while subsystem-heavy games may not have to be broken or badly designed, they often are because they are much more difficult to design in a balanced way - which is probably why you went with 'this theoretical idea COULD be done in a balanced, well-designed way' instead of '3.5/pathfinder/whatever is well-designed and balanced.'

    I don't feel like I need to argue the absolutist 'A game built around separate subsystems cannot ever be balanced' when I have the much more easily-made argument 'That type of game is much more difficult to balance and WotC does not have the design team to pull it off' available to me.


    Also the balance issue doesn't really touch on the complexity issue - players should not have to learn an entirely new set of rules when they decide to roll a new class. Requiring them to do so shuts down options at the table, makes play flow less well, worsens the work-to-fun ratio of the game, and makes it harder to get new players involved. There are huge benefits to a coherent system that simply cannot be reasonably outweighed by the desire to have someone else write your flavor for you.

    Abbalah on
  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    gtrmp wrote: »
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    okay so where is this unbroken and well designed game with subsystems so i can have an example of what you are talking about

    That would be D&D 4th Edition, which has separate subsystems for tactical combat (including combat-related powers), rituals, and skill challenges.

    I think there are two very different systems though - one in which different subsystems exist for different, complementary components, and one in which different subsystems exist in parallel with one another. There's "chunked into three different minigames" and there's "each player is playing a different minigame".

  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    Horseshoe wrote: »
    okay so where is this unbroken and well designed game with subsystems so i can have an example of what you are talking about

    Shadowrun 4th is probably closest. Magic and Technomancing function pretty differently from everything else in the game.

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  • ToothyToothy Registered User regular
    As a new Shadowrun player (4th edition), I hope that DND 5e has a rulebook that is nothing like that one. The content is great, but, my god, is it laid out terribly.

  • bssbss BIBIBABIBABIBUBIII Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    The Wizards articles have lost all meaning to me until I can see the results of the most recent Vancian magic poll.
    SJ wrote: »
    Playtesting has been going on for a bit now, and it was all NDA'd.

    I'm not really sure if I'd consider the DDXP demo a playtest, but that's just quibbling. If they even pretend to care about the NDA by the time the "open" playtest rolls around, I think a lot of people will lose their shit just for the sheer ridiculousness of it.

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  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    People have been losing their shit over D&D for like 40 years I don't think that's gonna change regardless of what they do.

  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    SJ wrote: »
    People have been losing their shit over D&D for like 40 years I don't think that's gonna change regardless of what they do.

    Dear lord, this makes me feel old.

    Hensler on
  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    James Dean was the actor, Jimmy Dean was in the sausage business.

    James Deen is both an actor AND in the sausage business.
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  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »

    At least this one isn't so terrible.

  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    A system that has a separate mechanic for both combat and magic would be wfrp. I love it, but the magic system is fluffy/flavorful for the warhammer world....it's not going to work in other game worlds. Which is a huge negative when you are trying to make a new edition of D&D that will be played in many different settings.

    In wfrp you can cast as often as you like but miscasts can result in severe negatives, from insanity to summoned hostile demons etc. Lesser miscast results are loud noises (could wake up the bad guys) to glowing casters (ah crap here comes the witch hunters).

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    i played wfrp once

    first encounter the dice got uppity

    otto got shot twice in the chest

    game over

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  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    Maybe otto shoulda ran away from those bandits hmmmmmm

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    look that witch hunter looked pretty goddamn dead

    otto figured he'd pick the corpse and just move on

    then otto rolled some shitty dice

    then the witch hunter rolled some really good dice

    and shot otto with each pistol

    right in the center of mass

    it was an amazing feat of probability that forever made me love wfrp

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    whfrp is an excellent example of a game designed to emulate a specific piece of fiction

    dnd is hobbled by the fact that it is a frankensteinly hodgepodge doomed to be crushed under the weight of five thousand grognards all with differing opinions of what modern games should look like, none of whom actually know what constitutes an elegant game

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  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous WALK 3X FASTER New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    Otto probably should've used his fate points.

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  • nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I dig the different subsystems thing.

    that's really the part I dug about 3.5 and felt was lacking in 4.

    It's like this. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is a great game. It's super fun and well built but it has a template that all characters must fit. It is forth edition. Alliance is fun but I would love a game that was as well built as that but built each Avenger separately Cap as a first or third PS with a unique shield mechanic sorta like Dark Spectre. Ironman focused on his jetpack-like fight and various gadgets without the need to target. Maybe like Star Wars Bounty Hunter. Thor a third-person beat-em-up with massive area effect powers. Hulk just like Ultimate Destruction. And so on.

    If they made that game that was just as we built and functional as Ultimate Alliance I would love the shit out of that game.

    If fifth were that game to Fourth editions Ultimate Alliance I would love fifth.

    But it won't be that game.

    nightmarenny on
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  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    bss wrote: »
    Just to add to this, in my experience the people who were the most "BUT I CAN'T BE CREATIVE IN 4e WHYYYYYYYYYY" about it were the people whose idea of creativity was finding the holes in 3e and driving PC god trucks through them. They could optimize the shit out of everything but got bothered by the idea that I flavored magic missile to be a ray. It didn't work like a ray in the rules, I didn't try to make it work like a ray, I just wanted my flavor to have magic rays shoot out of my fingers rather than magic bolts. It was like unfathomable to them, they were bound by some kind of anti-creativity.

    In that theory, 4e "stifled creativity" because it was so good at narrowing the brokenness and the exploiters (or, favorably, "system masters") had nothing to drive their trucks through, and despite their flaunted creativity they knew nothing outside of the bounds of the ruleset.

    I think at least some of the people that felt 4e limited creativity aren't interested in being able to create mechanical combos and exploit loopholes like parts of 3e allowed. You may have encountered more people that just wanted to break the mechanics of the game but I've heard more discussion along the lines of the following:

    (Before I start this I feel the need for a disclaimer. This is not how all groups will be affected. It's more subtle than that, but it's something I feel does affect most players, especially those that are new to the hobby.)

    When you're faced with a problem (let's say the party are on the second floor of a building that's burning down) the mechanics of the game you're playing can affect how you go about addressing it.

    In 4e your character sheet in front of you has a list of Powers you can use and a list of Skills that you have varying levels of competence in. This can lure players into looking to their character sheet for the solution to the problem. As an extreme example you have players saying things like "I'll roll Acrobatics to try and climb down the outside of the building" and then roll a die.

    In older versions of D&D (let's say use OD&D or Basic for this example) your character sheet was the six ability scores (which barely affected any rolls, or didn't at all in some versions), class, level and equipment. You probably had some class features too but nothing on par with the selection of powers, feats and skills in 4e. Here the player is less likely to look at their sheet for the solution to the problem. At best they'd look down and think "how can I use rope to get out of this situation?". Generally you end up with more player collaboration and imaginative suggestions. At least, this is my own experience.

    There's nothing wrong with what happened in the 4e example. It's still being creative. But when you have that list of Skills in front of you there's always the temptation to try and get the biggest number on your side. "How can I use my Acrobatics Skill in this situation" is creative, yes, but it's just that bit more limited and has the danger of removing some variety from the game. 4e opened D&D up to a load of cool new stuff but I do think the oldies have a point when they suggest that part of the original core of D&D was lost in the change. Here's hoping 5e can bring that back without sacrificing the good stuff from 4e.

  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    They are literally lying to themselves if they look at it that way, but okay.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    They're not so much lying to themselves as they are playing with blinders on. They're so focused on what their sheets says they can do that they're not thinking about what their sheet doesn't say they can do.

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
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  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    SUPERSUGA wrote: »
    bss wrote: »
    Just to add to this, in my experience the people who were the most "BUT I CAN'T BE CREATIVE IN 4e WHYYYYYYYYYY" about it were the people whose idea of creativity was finding the holes in 3e and driving PC god trucks through them. They could optimize the shit out of everything but got bothered by the idea that I flavored magic missile to be a ray. It didn't work like a ray in the rules, I didn't try to make it work like a ray, I just wanted my flavor to have magic rays shoot out of my fingers rather than magic bolts. It was like unfathomable to them, they were bound by some kind of anti-creativity.

    In that theory, 4e "stifled creativity" because it was so good at narrowing the brokenness and the exploiters (or, favorably, "system masters") had nothing to drive their trucks through, and despite their flaunted creativity they knew nothing outside of the bounds of the ruleset.

    I think at least some of the people that felt 4e limited creativity aren't interested in being able to create mechanical combos and exploit loopholes like parts of 3e allowed. You may have encountered more people that just wanted to break the mechanics of the game but I've heard more discussion along the lines of the following:

    (Before I start this I feel the need for a disclaimer. This is not how all groups will be affected. It's more subtle than that, but it's something I feel does affect most players, especially those that are new to the hobby.)

    When you're faced with a problem (let's say the party are on the second floor of a building that's burning down) the mechanics of the game you're playing can affect how you go about addressing it.

    In 4e your character sheet in front of you has a list of Powers you can use and a list of Skills that you have varying levels of competence in. This can lure players into looking to their character sheet for the solution to the problem. As an extreme example you have players saying things like "I'll roll Acrobatics to try and climb down the outside of the building" and then roll a die.

    In older versions of D&D (let's say use OD&D or Basic for this example) your character sheet was the six ability scores (which barely affected any rolls, or didn't at all in some versions), class, level and equipment. You probably had some class features too but nothing on par with the selection of powers, feats and skills in 4e. Here the player is less likely to look at their sheet for the solution to the problem. At best they'd look down and think "how can I use rope to get out of this situation?". Generally you end up with more player collaboration and imaginative suggestions. At least, this is my own experience.

    There's nothing wrong with what happened in the 4e example. It's still being creative. But when you have that list of Skills in front of you there's always the temptation to try and get the biggest number on your side. "How can I use my Acrobatics Skill in this situation" is creative, yes, but it's just that bit more limited and has the danger of removing some variety from the game. 4e opened D&D up to a load of cool new stuff but I do think the oldies have a point when they suggest that part of the original core of D&D was lost in the change. Here's hoping 5e can bring that back without sacrificing the good stuff from 4e.

    See, and my answer to that is that if you want to do something, you tell the DM what you want, and he figures out an appropriate roll for it. In no game I've either played or DM'd have I had players say "I make an Acrobatics check to climb down the building." It's always "I climb down the building," followed by the DM saying "Okay, make an Acrobatics check."

    In short, this is one of the Three Classic Complaints of 4E, namely, "My DM isn't experienced/is bad/is kind of a jerk."

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Pharezon's human garbage heapRegistered User regular
    On the flip side, as a DM, I'm constantly having to remind my players to describe their action, not state it. During a skill challenge, don't just say, "I'm making an acrobatics check." Say, "I'm going to try to jump-climb the wall, then vault over on top of the wagon and surprise them." And then I'll say, "Okay, make an acrobatics check." and I might add, "since this is a social challenge, I won't count it as a success or failure, but if you succeed I'll give the next person who tries to intimidate them a +2 to represent your surprising them."

    Also, as a DM, always, always, always give a flat +2 on top of all other bonuses for well described actions. At the very least do this outside of combat (we actually had a random game at a game shop where we made no attack rolls, and whether you hit or missed was determined by how impressed the DM was with your description of the attack. That was fun).

    Grey Ghost wrote: »
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  • ThemindtakerThemindtaker Registered User regular
    While playing with the blinders of your sheet's scores on does seem like the opposite of good roleplay, it also can (read as is possible, not is always) lead to a more developed sense of your character. This is why my group lets PCs train in any skill, not restricted by class, because the point of the skill values is that they are representative of your character's skill in that arena. So if I approach a burning building with a heroic character who is highly athletic or acrobatic, they might say to themselves "okay, dangerous but I can do what others can't - get in and to people with less risk to myself than most people," while the charismatic PC will approach it and go "yeah adding another body to fuel the fire isn't going to help anyone, and that's all me running in will do." If IRL you have a winning personality, are you going to be more inclined to rush into burning buildings? No. But maybe your player sees the 12 in diplomacy staring out among a bunch of 4-7s and realizes she would try something else - convincing the people fleeing in terror to stay and help you douse the flames, for example. I know this isn't always the way it works, and sometimes situations arise where you just have to try something different regardless of skills, but I don't think either system inherently kills your creativity, as long as you're familiar with each set of confines; in fact, I find that restricting yourself to what you're good at makes your character feel more real.

    TL;DR, I have found that being "restricted" by my skill scores leads to me trying to find creative solutions to problems using what my PC is good at, simultaneously grounding my character in his or her own reality and leading to creative solutions to the problem.

    Horseshoe wrote: »
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  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Part of the blinders issue, I think, is from people not knowing their characters enough to start thinking outside of them. When you spend five minutes every frigging turn relearning your character sheet, you don't have TIME to think up something clever. In the game I play in, it's usually the group char op guy, or me, the group designer, who does the crazy creative stuff. Attention is another thing - a lot of people bring distractions to games these days and that leaves them playing the game very mechanically because they're too distracted by Minecraft to get creative.

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  • bssbss BIBIBABIBABIBUBIII Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Part of the blinders issue, I think, is from people not knowing their characters enough to start thinking outside of them. When you spend five minutes every frigging turn relearning your character sheet, you don't have TIME to think up something clever. In the game I play in, it's usually the group char op guy, or me, the group designer, who does the crazy creative stuff. Attention is another thing - a lot of people bring distractions to games these days and that leaves them playing the game very mechanically because they're too distracted by Minecraft to get creative.

    The two issues you mention here are absolutely the cause behind every habitually "uncreative" situation I've witnessed at the table. Either "oh shit, I can do that!?" because the player just came up for air from trying to wrap their head around the rules and their sheet, or "uh, yeah, I roll a d20" because they have their nose in their phone. The first is unfortunate, the second is bullshit, but neither are the pooh-poohing about 4e being restrictive. Every edition is wholly restrictive if you only go by what's on your sheet.

    It's even worse with skills, in my opinion, because people get stuck in partitions where they think all actions must fit the definition of the skill's text, rather than doing whatever the hell they come up with and us bending it into a skill. I like some skills because they capture important things to specialize in, but for the sake of everyone at the table I wouldn't mind 5e's skill-less system. All that said, though, I think that attentive players with a couple games under their belt and a good DM quickly learn that they should think first and fit it to the rules second. If they really don't like the rule outcome, they are free to come up with something else (there is no final choice until you roll).

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  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    I think Incenj's point is good but doesn't go far enough. At the end of the day, if you see groups of people RPing and being creative in one system and the same group not doing it in another, the system has problems. With 4e that problem was counter-intuitive but real - my group had that problem of thinking in terms of game actions instead of real actions. And I do think that means that having lots of in-game actions tends to make players think of those as what they should 'do', rather than describing what their character does.

    It's frustrating talking about these problems of game design because so many people, e.g. here, just blame the players or the DM. That's too simplistic. Game systems create trends in play that are complex and hard to predict.

    Skills are probably part of the culprit. I think with a skill system you either need a very wide system that covers everything a player can do, or no skills at all. You want to be able to go 'I hold my sword behind my back, hiss like a snake to distract him, and leap to attack, striking with my sword from a weird angle' or whatever, and then be hunting on the sheet to find how to represent that. If you start at the sheet, because you have enough skills to create options, but not too many to parse, then you get 'I use Acrobatics to get Combat Advantage' thing.

    Every game that I like the skill system of, has lots and lot of skills, basically enough to let you roll something for anything you can think of, or at least find a skill that's vaguely applicable.

    This has been me thinking aloud, but I think that is part of the problem. So another edition should have either no skills or a lot lot more.

    And if you're hunting through my post to work out how to prove that it's the player's fault or the DM's fault alone, then you're as much a part of the problem with 5e as Monte Cook is.

    I figure I could take a bear.
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