Will you be switching to D&D Next when it comes out or will you stay with Pathfinder?


4th Edition

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Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:
That's what I'd thought, but Snorter was saying you got it just for being trained in a skill, so the whole situational approach was pointless.

Sorry about that; I think I misread, and confused some effect from a feat as being the advantage from mere proficiency.

It seems you are rewarded for making the extra effort to describe your action.

That said, I would probably do what PMing suggested, and total up the whole situation, then give advantage to whichever side had the largest aggregate advantage.


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Yeah, that seems to make much more sense to me too. I suspect we'll start doing that pretty much from the get-go.


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You actually shouldn't do that tally up and do the net advantage/disadvantage math, guys.

I think everyone makes this same thinking. I know I was in that camp! It seems like an oversight and it really should work differently but here's a time where the designers know best.

After playing that way, I realized this can't be the right way because it always provide advantage to things and reduces the real threat of disadvantage and/or the negation of advantage.

This comes into play against monsters that will get advantage on your players a lot. At higher level play it isn't surprising to have things get cancelled out from spells, etc.

As a player, you almost come to expect advantage a lot of the time. You roleplay your Ass off out of combat for inspiration. Those times where it's a struggle and your actions bring you out of disadvantage to straight dice feel more meaningful and dangerous.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
Ffordesoon wrote:
Have you played 5e yet, sunshadow? Honest question.
Haven't had a chance, and frankly, will be very, very picky about the group I choose to do so with. It has a lot of potential to be really good with the right group, and I will wait for the right group to try it; no point in doing anything else. I just don't believe that WotC can afford for everyone to take that approach or worse, try it out with the wrong DM and hate it.

I am confused on how this is any different from any version of the game. A bad DM experience is going to turn you off the game; it doesn't matter what edition you play.


sunshadow21 wrote:

And that approach worries me, a lot. For one, they've tried it twice before, and it has yet to actually work. For whatever reason, the brand doesn't have the cross platform appeal that WotC wants it to have. Second, no matter how insignificant tabletop gaming is, it's still the...

WoTC's major profit earner is not DnD, it's Magic. DnD is just an ancilliary source of income. How much effort should they devote to it? How much effort do you expect Hasbro wants them to devote to it? There are something like...what? 6 designers dedicated to DnD, with the first adventure given to a 3pp to do. How many releases do you think 6 developers could by their itself, which are not simply rehashes of 4E and 3E books?

A slow and steady approach probably is the most viable avenue for them right now.

As for Brand, one really successful movie could more than make up for all of DnD sales in a year. That is at least one avenue Hasbro seems to be interested in pursuing, given their current legal fight with Sweetpea.


MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Ffordesoon wrote:
Have you played 5e yet, sunshadow? Honest question.
Haven't had a chance, and frankly, will be very, very picky about the group I choose to do so with. It has a lot of potential to be really good with the right group, and I will wait for the right group to try it; no point in doing anything else. I just don't believe that WotC can afford for everyone to take that approach or worse, try it out with the wrong DM and hate it.
I am confused on how this is any different from any version of the game. A bad DM experience is going to turn you off the game; it doesn't matter what edition you play.

It's the old "giving more power to the players keeps bad GM's from abusing their players" argument. There may be edge cases where it's true, but I don't buy it in general.

It is probably more true for areas like organized play or running any written adventure by the book, since there many of the ways a GM can screw with players are actually handled by the adventure writers or the organization.


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MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
And that approach worries me, a lot. For one, they've tried it twice before, and it has yet to actually work. For whatever reason, the brand doesn't have the cross platform appeal that WotC wants it to have. Second, no matter how insignificant tabletop gaming is, it's still the...

WoTC's major profit earner is not DnD, it's Magic. DnD is just an ancilliary source of income. How much effort should they devote to it? How much effort do you expect Hasbro wants them to devote to it? There are something like...what? 6 designers dedicated to DnD, with the first adventure given to a 3pp to do. How many releases do you think 6 developers could by their itself, which are not simply rehashes of 4E and 3E books?

A slow and steady approach probably is the most viable avenue for them right now.

As for Brand, one really successful movie could more than make up for all of DnD sales in a year. That is at least one avenue Hasbro seems to be interested in pursuing, given their current legal fight with Sweetpea.

This actually might be a selling point for me. It's an answer to the decades old question of "If your customers can play for years with just the core rules, how do you survive as a business?" That's plagued RPGs since the beginning.

The general answer since the mid 2E days has been to produce system bloat. Paizo's has been to focus more on APs,but even they have a strong focus on new rules. The 3.x system is designed for new rules expansions.

The idea of trying to use the RPG to establish the brand rather than as the actual money-maker is an interesting one.


Indeed...a rules light system has less moving parts, and so is much harder to crank out endless rules supplements. I think 5E HAS to do a slower release schedule than 3E or 4E, If they want the edition to remain viable for the long-term.


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I've looked at the D&D next and was underwhelmed to say the least. People complain about stat bloat and this or that, Pathfinder isn't perfect. There isn't a game that's perfect, this D&D 5th or next or whatever it's being repackaged as this edition isn't for me. It smacks of over simplification, it's simply a hybrid of that dreadful Saga edition that killed StarWars oh so many years ago. I've cast my lot in with Pathfinder and once a Goonie always a Goonie..wait sorry, got off track.
WoTC can "tap" a lot of things but my wallet isn't one of them.


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Pathfinder.


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Strangely enough most of the people I game with consider SAGA to be the best version of Star Wars they have seen, and they have played every version from West End's all d6 system to the current system with the unique dice.


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Grey Lensman wrote:
Strangely enough most of the people I game with consider SAGA to be the best version of Star Wars they have seen, and they have played every version from West End's all d6 system to the current system with the unique dice.

Every group is different, my circle has played every edition of StarWars as well and consider the Saga edition a train wreck. To each there own I suppose but I can point out that the Saga edition at least in a life span and sales aspect failed.


Steve Geddes wrote:
What were the objections?

Mainly how they handle getting magic items at all. Aside from potions and scrolls, you can't go out and buy any magic items. 5th is trying to stress "you don't need magic items to be great". They're upset because to them, and I'm quoting here, "hoarding treasure and magic items becomes irrelevant; especially getting gold because you can't do anything with it."

And that's the point of 5th - the system is focusing more on your character's abilities. They want when you get that first +1 weapon to be a big deal - no matter if it's level 5 or level 12. It's now entirely reliant upon the GM to decide if and when he wants to give out magical gear. My other two players love that; it makes treasure more meaningful.

Liberty's Edge

Cptexploderman wrote:
Grey Lensman wrote:
Strangely enough most of the people I game with consider SAGA to be the best version of Star Wars they have seen, and they have played every version from West End's all d6 system to the current system with the unique dice.
Every group is different, my circle has played every edition of StarWars as well and consider the Saga edition a train wreck. To each there own I suppose but I can point out that the Saga edition at least in a life span and sales aspect failed.

My order would be WEG d6 #1, SAGA #2, SWd20 #2,198,753. I haven't played the new one yet.

I loved every WEG game I played, and I hate that they're gone. WEG, Chaosium, and TSR were my '80s, gaming-wise. SW SAGA was a good system, and a definite improvement over d20. I actually wish 4e were MORE like SAGA, I might have enjoyed the game a lot more. d20 Star Wars, well, I just pretend it doesn't exist, much like Episodes 1-3.


houstonderek wrote:
I actually wish 4e were MORE like SAGA, I might have enjoyed the game a lot more.

My group feels the same way about this point. My personal problem with the WEG system was the Star Wars GM's practically orgasmed over how they could screw with the players every single time the wild die came up as a one. It really soured me on the system.

Shadow Lodge

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Cptexploderman wrote:
it's being repackaged as this edition

What does this even mean?

Between Pathfinder and 5e, one of them is something repackaged, and one of them is something new.

5e is new.

Oh, and Cptexploderman? Favoriting your own posts doesn't make it look like more people agree with you. It makes you look like you're desperate to make people THINK that more people agree with you.


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Olondir wrote:

You actually shouldn't do that tally up and do the net advantage/disadvantage math, guys.

I think everyone makes this same thinking. I know I was in that camp! It seems like an oversight and it really should work differently but here's a time where the designers know best.

After playing that way, I realized this can't be the right way because it always provide advantage to things and reduces the real threat of disadvantage and/or the negation of advantage.

This comes into play against monsters that will get advantage on your players a lot. At higher level play it isn't surprising to have things get cancelled out from spells, etc.

As a player, you almost come to expect advantage a lot of the time. You roleplay your Ass off out of combat for inspiration. Those times where it's a struggle and your actions bring you out of disadvantage to straight dice feel more meaningful and dangerous.

Cheers. I do wonder how it will mess with the play.

I suspect we'll still do it, but well reserve the right to tweak it later.

Liberty's Edge

I guess I must be the odd man out when it comes to WEG SW. I like and had fun with the rpg. Though I hated how they realized how their rules dealing with the force made it unbalanced in the right hands. Their solution instead of trying to fix the problem was to screw over force users.

I will never get the complaint that a system is too oversimplified and dumbed down. How is making it easier to run or make characters for a rpg a bad thing. I get if by making it easier something is lost. Nothing is lost in 5E character creation. I can make the same characters I did in PF that I can in 5E. With PF I need Herolab and refuse to make characters or join a game of PF if I can't. With 5E I may use Herolab down the line. Right now I'm enjoying making characters the old fashioned way


MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Ffordesoon wrote:
Have you played 5e yet, sunshadow? Honest question.
Haven't had a chance, and frankly, will be very, very picky about the group I choose to do so with. It has a lot of potential to be really good with the right group, and I will wait for the right group to try it; no point in doing anything else. I just don't believe that WotC can afford for everyone to take that approach or worse, try it out with the wrong DM and hate it.
I am confused on how this is any different from any version of the game. A bad DM experience is going to turn you off the game; it doesn't matter what edition you play.

A bad DM could not flat out destroy interest in 3rd edition on their own. A bad DM could make it boring, dull, and uninteresting, but not make it into a complete disaster without help from the rest of the group. Even if it did turn people off from the systme, it was rarely enough make them want to poison the well for other people in the process or make them flat out refuse to ever try the system again with a different group. Aside from system burnout, I've rarely seen anyone who actually hated 3rd edition, and even most people with system burnout were simply tired of it, not hating it. Every other edition of D&D fully has the capability of turning people off not just for a specific group or for a short time, but permanently and in a way that makes them actively hate it, and they can do so in the span of a single session. It's a big difference.


MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:

And that approach worries me, a lot. For one, they've tried it twice before, and it has yet to actually work. For whatever reason, the brand doesn't have the cross platform appeal that WotC wants it to have. Second, no matter how insignificant tabletop gaming is, it's still the...

WoTC's major profit earner is not DnD, it's Magic. DnD is just an ancilliary source of income. How much effort should they devote to it? How much effort do you expect Hasbro wants them to devote to it? There are something like...what? 6 designers dedicated to DnD, with the first adventure given to a 3pp to do. How many releases do you think 6 developers could by their itself, which are not simply rehashes of 4E and 3E books?

A slow and steady approach probably is the most viable avenue for them right now.

As for Brand, one really successful movie could more than make up for all of DnD sales in a year. That is at least one avenue Hasbro seems to be interested in pursuing, given their current legal fight with Sweetpea.

First, I'll believe that a good D&D movie can be made when I see, not a second before. Even if they get the movie rights back, it's still an uphill battle, and Hasbro's record of success is mixed at best.

Second, they are going to need a really good license if they only intend to have 6 designers working in house. Someone is going to need to be able to create enough content to keep the system from becoming just another book on the shelf, and WotC isn't going to do it, they need to make sure someone else can. So far, we haven't seen such a license.

In the end, support, or lack thereof, is going to be what determines the fate of the system. Having 6 people going from product to product with no real game plan on future direction or growth is not going to suffice. They don't need a ton of splat books, but they do still need some kind of consistent plan, and it's very clear they don't have that right now. A handful of short story arcs is not a business plan. That is the part that worries me; I'm not worried about quantity, I'm worried about the lack of a clear direction going forward. WotC has shown in the past that it's far to easy to end up creating a confusing mess without some kind of plan, and they are basically repeating the exact same mistake they made with 3.5 and 4E in that regard. Given how long they've been doing this, it's a ridiculous mistake to still be making, and shows that WotC execs don't really care about the brand when it comes time to actually invest time and money into it to make it better, and that isn't likely to change even if they find success in other markets.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Ffordesoon wrote:
Have you played 5e yet, sunshadow? Honest question.
Haven't had a chance, and frankly, will be very, very picky about the group I choose to do so with. It has a lot of potential to be really good with the right group, and I will wait for the right group to try it; no point in doing anything else. I just don't believe that WotC can afford for everyone to take that approach or worse, try it out with the wrong DM and hate it.
I am confused on how this is any different from any version of the game. A bad DM experience is going to turn you off the game; it doesn't matter what edition you play.
A bad DM could not flat out destroy interest in 3rd edition on their own. A bad DM could make it boring, dull, and uninteresting, but not make it into a complete disaster without help from the rest of the group. Even if it did turn people off from the systme, it was rarely enough make them want to poison the well for other people in the process or make them flat out refuse to ever try the system again with a different group. Aside from system burnout, I've rarely seen anyone who actually hated 3rd edition, and even most people with system burnout were simply tired of it, not hating it. Every other edition of D&D fully has the capability of turning people off not just for a specific group or for a short time, but permanently and in a way that makes them actively hate it, and they can do so in the span of a single session. It's a big difference.

Argument by assertion.

I've played under good GMs and bad GMs in every version of D&D from 1E AD&D on and dozens of other game systems as well. I'd never make that kind of flat assertion about any system. Bad GMing is too variable and personal preference is too wide. A new tentative player is likely to walk away from a bad first experience whether it's because of a bad system, a bad GM or just incompatibility. An experienced player new to a particular system is likely to be able to tell that it's bad GMing that's at fault.

I've never bought into the whole "player control stops GM abuse" argument. My worst experiences with GMs involved things that could be done in any system, from blatant cheating to favoritism to GMPCs to death trap adventures to bad railroading and on and on.


Steve Geddes wrote:


Cheers. I do wonder how it will mess with the play.

I suspect we'll still do it, but well reserve the right to tweak it later.

Try it for sure! I'm just sharing my own experiences with trying out fights at lvl 5, 10, and 15. Players will hit often thanks to near constant advantage.

But that isn't a bad thing necessarily and you can always tweak as you'd like. no one can tell you what you and your group likes from RPGs except yourselves.


sunshadow21 wrote:
First, I'll believe that a good D&D movie can be made when I see, not a second before. Even if they get the movie rights back, it's still an uphill battle, and Hasbro's record of success is mixed at best.

Making a good D&D movie (trilogy) is very simple:

The Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale

The shear amount of revenue and interest in D&D that a trilogy based on the single-most-successful (and, frankly, best) books in D&D literary history would be mind-boggling.

But WOTC is TERRIBLE at cross-media marketing. Painfully terrible. FOX doesn't fail as hard as Hasbro.

Hasbro owns literally half of The Hub; have we seen a TVPG/14 computer-generated TV series based on the Blocks of MTG that run in tandem with the Set releases? No.

Has Hasbro sunk billions of dollars into no less than 8 god-awful movies and counting based on toys and games? You betcha! Have they ever thought to make an Icewind Dale of Legend of Drizz't movie? Of COURSE not! Instead, it's MUCH better to make a movie that's just BASED on D&D... "based on" meaning, of course, "we took a generic fantasy movie so terrible it's worthy of the "Produced for SyFy" label, flipped through the PHB and threw in a few awkwardly-placed and contrived references to D&D, like 'Scroll of Magic Missile... Red Mage... Thief!' just to remind you why nerds were always shoved into lockers in high school."


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chbgraphicarts wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
First, I'll believe that a good D&D movie can be made when I see, not a second before. Even if they get the movie rights back, it's still an uphill battle, and Hasbro's record of success is mixed at best.

Making a good D&D movie (trilogy) is very simple:

The Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale

The shear amount of revenue and interest in D&D that a trilogy based on the single-most-successful (and, frankly, best) books in D&D literary history would be mind-boggling.

But WOTC is TERRIBLE at cross-media marketing. Painfully terrible. FOX doesn't fail as hard as Hasbro.

Hasbro owns literally half of The Hub; have we seen a TVPG/14 computer-generated TV series based on the Blocks of MTG that run in tandem with the Set releases? No.

Has Hasbro sunk billions of dollars into no less than 8 god-awful movies and counting based on toys and games? You betcha! Have they ever thought to make an Icewind Dale of Legend of Drizz't movie? Of COURSE not! Instead, it's MUCH better to make a movie that's just BASED on D&D... "based on" meaning, of course, "we took a generic fantasy movie so terrible it's worthy of the "Produced for SyFy" label, flipped through the PHB and threw in a few awkwardly-placed and contrived references to D&D, like 'Scroll of Magic Missile... Red Mage... Thief!' just to remind you why nerds were always shoved into lockers in high school."

Actually, you know what - I kinda take back what I said. The D&D movie is a magnificent representation of 95% of all homebrew D&D campaigns:

Weird, nonsensical villains with unrealistic or nonexistent motivations; main characters who act like idiots who are only saved by the grace of fate and because the story can't progress without them; contrived plotpoints and plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon; painfully awkward, contrived, and unnecessarily flowery dialogue; and, of course, a Big Bad who is a bigger screen-chewing ham than BRIAN!!! BLESSED!!!


chbgraphicarts wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
First, I'll believe that a good D&D movie can be made when I see, not a second before. Even if they get the movie rights back, it's still an uphill battle, and Hasbro's record of success is mixed at best.

Making a good D&D movie (trilogy) is very simple:

The Forgotten Realms: Icewind Dale

The shear amount of revenue and interest in D&D that a trilogy based on the single-most-successful (and, frankly, best) books in D&D literary history would be mind-boggling.

That probably would be their best chance. I really hope they don't.

Can you imagine the influx of fresh angsty good double-scimitar wielding Drow exiled from their homelands and named Z'zzrt or something similar. It was bad enough back in the day.


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chbgraphicarts wrote:

Actually, you know what - I kinda take back what I said. The D&D movie is a magnificent representation of 95% of all homebrew D&D campaigns:

Weird, nonsensical villains with unrealistic or nonexistent motivations; main characters who act like idiots who are only saved by the grace of fate and because the story can't progress without them; contrived plotpoints and plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon; painfully awkward, contrived, and unnecessarily flowery dialogue; and, of course, a Big Bad who is a bigger screen-chewing ham than BRIAN!!! BLESSED!!!

Now I know you're making at least that part up. It is not possible to outham BRIAN BLESSED. Even the Hormel corporation isn't capable of that. ;P


Quote:

This actually might be a selling point for me. It's an answer to the decades old question of "If your customers can play for years with just the core rules, how do you survive as a business?" That's plagued RPGs since the beginning.

The general answer since the mid 2E days has been to produce system bloat. Paizo's has been to focus more on APs,but even they have a strong focus on new rules. The 3.x system is designed for new rules expansions.

The idea of trying to use the RPG to establish the brand rather than as the actual money-maker is an interesting one.

I agree with this. The modern world just generally seems to be geared to cross media publishing. Look at how many kids toys have movies and board games released for them. Honestly Paizo is an exception in even the RPG world in that they can sell through the volume that they do. Most RPGs cannot achieve the volume that Paizo does, so relying on that strategy of business does not seem to be particularly long term thinking.


A bad DM is a bad DM, regardless of edition. DMs can, did, still do, and will make terrible rulings, whether something is written a certain way or not. A good DM does the same thing with good rulings. It is fairly easy to tell if a DM is trying to be a control freak, in any edition.

3rd edition didn't remove anymore control from a DM than was previously present. DMs have always had ultimate control of how the game runs, and was always the last say on any form of ruling. The only thing that changed was that 3rd edition wrote so much down, that people ultimately just went with "I swing my weapon at it" or "I cast *name of spell* at it".


Alan_Beven wrote:
Quote:

This actually might be a selling point for me. It's an answer to the decades old question of "If your customers can play for years with just the core rules, how do you survive as a business?" That's plagued RPGs since the beginning.

The general answer since the mid 2E days has been to produce system bloat. Paizo's has been to focus more on APs,but even they have a strong focus on new rules. The 3.x system is designed for new rules expansions.

The idea of trying to use the RPG to establish the brand rather than as the actual money-maker is an interesting one.

I agree with this. The modern world just generally seems to be geared to cross media publishing. Look at how many kids toys have movies and board games released for them. Honestly Paizo is an exception in even the RPG world in that they can sell through the volume that they do. Most RPGs cannot achieve the volume that Paizo does, so relying on that strategy of business does not seem to be particularly long term thinking.

I don't disagree, but for now, the rpg is the only real thing the D&D brand has to build off of. It has some good novel writers and a few decent computer and board games out there, but none of those are going to be usable as a foundation. Treating the rpg as something that eventually will be a secondary product in a greater brand of proven products across multiple markets is one thing; acting as though that day is already here, which is what WotC seems to be doing right now, is foolish. People can speculate on movies or cross media promotion on a scale that would render the rpg insignificant, but speculation doesn't make a brand money. To achieve what they want to achieve, they need a foundation and a plan to build on that foundation. Right now, they don't have either; they just seem to be throwing darts at a dart board hoping enough of them hit the bullseye to allow the brand to reach the critical mass the brand needs.


Adjule wrote:

A bad DM is a bad DM, regardless of edition. DMs can, did, still do, and will make terrible rulings, whether something is written a certain way or not. A good DM does the same thing with good rulings. It is fairly easy to tell if a DM is trying to be a control freak, in any edition.

3rd edition didn't remove anymore control from a DM than was previously present. DMs have always had ultimate control of how the game runs, and was always the last say on any form of ruling. The only thing that changed was that 3rd edition wrote so much down, that people ultimately just went with "I swing my weapon at it" or "I cast *name of spell* at it".

But by giving players a certain amount of ability to see the behavior and a variety of ways to respond, it did limit the ability of a bad DM to completely ruin it for someone else. Even if someone didn't like the experience as a whole, even brand new people could usually tell what aspect they didn't like, whether it be the DM, the group, the system, or a combination of those things. That is the real difference between 3rd edition and the other versions. DMs could still be arrogant, stupid and/or dumb, but it was much, much harder to mask and much easier for new players to identify; this in turn made it much harder to get away with. Many players are fine with merely inexperienced or inadvertent mistakes, but not so much with deliberate choices, regardless of what system is being used. 3rd edition made it easy to see the difference where other versions of D&D did not.


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Olondir wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Cheers. I do wonder how it will mess with the play.

I suspect we'll still do it, but well reserve the right to tweak it later.

Try it for sure! I'm just sharing my own experiences with trying out fights at lvl 5, 10, and 15. Players will hit often thanks to near constant advantage.

I appreciate the comment. Theory is not one of my strengths.

I see a rule where you have five sources of advantage but because the light is poor none of them have any effect and it doesn't seem right. I've certainly got no experience as to how often that kind of situation comes up in play though, or what effect it will have on more "usual" situations.


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sunshadow21 wrote:
Adjule wrote:

A bad DM is a bad DM, regardless of edition. DMs can, did, still do, and will make terrible rulings, whether something is written a certain way or not. A good DM does the same thing with good rulings. It is fairly easy to tell if a DM is trying to be a control freak, in any edition.

3rd edition didn't remove anymore control from a DM than was previously present. DMs have always had ultimate control of how the game runs, and was always the last say on any form of ruling. The only thing that changed was that 3rd edition wrote so much down, that people ultimately just went with "I swing my weapon at it" or "I cast *name of spell* at it".

But by giving players a certain amount of ability to see the behavior and a variety of ways to respond, it did limit the ability of a bad DM to completely ruin it for someone else. Even if someone didn't like the experience as a whole, even brand new people could usually tell what aspect they didn't like, whether it be the DM, the group, the system, or a combination of those things. That is the real difference between 3rd edition and the other versions. DMs could still be arrogant, stupid and/or dumb, but it was much, much harder to mask and much easier for new players to identify; this in turn made it much harder to get away with. Many players are fine with merely inexperienced or inadvertent mistakes, but not so much with deliberate choices, regardless of what system is being used. 3rd edition made it easy to see the difference where other versions of D&D did not.

I don't see the difference you see. Maybe we've had different experiences with different bad GMs.

Even in 3.x so much of the game is going on behind the curtain, that what you're talking about is hard to see. You don't know the DCs or the modifiers or the monsters/NPCs abilities. You don't know why things happen, whether they were planned out all along or whether the GM is just making things up to mess with you.

3.x addresses a small chunk of the ways GMs can suck and not the ways I've had the most problems with. And it does so at the expense of tremendous rules bloat and limitations on what good GMs can do. As much fun as I've had with the system over the years, I'm not sure the trade off is a good one.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Olondir wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Cheers. I do wonder how it will mess with the play.

I suspect we'll still do it, but well reserve the right to tweak it later.

Try it for sure! I'm just sharing my own experiences with trying out fights at lvl 5, 10, and 15. Players will hit often thanks to near constant advantage.

I appreciate the comment. Theory is not one of my strengths.

I see a rule where you have five sources of advantage but because the light is poor none of them have any effect and it doesn't seem right. I've certainly got no experience as to how often that kind of situation comes up in play though, or what effect it will have on more "usual" situations.

I'm very wary of the "That make no sense. House ruling it away." reaction. If it really bothers me, I'll look for a way to change it, but not on first glance. I want to play with the game as written for awhile to see if I can figure out why the "makes no sense at first glance" rule was left in.

If it's obvious to me, it was probably obvious to the designer too. Which suggests there's a reason it stayed.


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Sunshadow:

I would argue that giving new players too much control - and a bevy of trap options, in the case of 3.x - is far more likely to put them off a system than a bad DM. Players know pretty quickly, when someone else is screwing them, but they're reluctant to believe they've screwed themselves, especially when the options they picked are all designed to sound attractive. A new player would always rather blame Drew the crappy DM for their problems than feel like the game lied to them.

I also think that it's much worse for a session - especially a player's first session - to be boring than it is for their session to be badly run. At least a badly run session is memorable and gives you a story to tell. A boring session is, well, boring, and a boring first session with a system can give the player the impression that the system itself is boring. Hence, the idea that a single session of 3.x can be made dull as dishwater for everyone involved does not seem to me an improvement over other negative outcomes.

Finally, I would think the alleged safety net 3.x gives the inexperienced DM would be more of a problem than anything, because it gives the DM more stuff to keep track of that isn't the story. How is the DM supposed to keep details consistent if she can't focus totally on the story she's telling? Also, more player control means the DM might have to deal with the pressure of players constantly on the lookout for mistakes on her part. An inexperienced DM can make a ton of mistakes and still end the game on a satisfying note for everyone, but distrustful players can make her paranoid, which can then turn the game into an escalating struggle for control rather than the exercise in collaborative storytelling it's supposed to be.

Oh, and it's worth noting that 5e does have a fairly robust set of rules for common play scenarios, not to mention a table that lists common DCs for all skill checks. It might be simpler than 3.x, but the safety net you speak of is still pretty generous in comparison to a true rules-light system like Swords & Wizardry or Numenera.


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thejeff wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Olondir wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Cheers. I do wonder how it will mess with the play.

I suspect we'll still do it, but well reserve the right to tweak it later.

Try it for sure! I'm just sharing my own experiences with trying out fights at lvl 5, 10, and 15. Players will hit often thanks to near constant advantage.

I appreciate the comment. Theory is not one of my strengths.

I see a rule where you have five sources of advantage but because the light is poor none of them have any effect and it doesn't seem right. I've certainly got no experience as to how often that kind of situation comes up in play though, or what effect it will have on more "usual" situations.

I'm very wary of the "That make no sense. House ruling it away." reaction. If it really bothers me, I'll look for a way to change it, but not on first glance. I want to play with the game as written for awhile to see if I can figure out why the "makes no sense at first glance" rule was left in.

If it's obvious to me, it was probably obvious to the designer too. Which suggests there's a reason it stayed.

I generally think game designers will do a better job of game design than I will.

Nonetheless, I have a peculiar stance in that balance in an RPG is almost totally unimportant to me. It seems to me that quite often the disconnect between what game designers do and what I prefer stems from balance considerations.

Having said that, I do take your point. We have one member of our group who very much takes your position - namely to play a game as written first before tinkering with it, so we may well play the first 5E campaign with the "5:1 = draw" approach.

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