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Chainsaw Hobbit
2012-01-10, 12:54 PM
Dungeons & Dragons is a game where people sit around a table, and dream together. They don't want to play Strikers, Leaders, Defenders, and Controllers; they want to play mysterious wizards, and gallant knights, and grim warriors, and wild druids who dance in moonlit groves and continually make love to the raw essence of nature. They don't want to battle Skirmishers, Elite Soldiers, and Minion Artilleries; they want to battle savage orcs, and dreadful dragons, and mind-violating horrors from beyond the void.

I don't see why anyone cares if spells and swords have similar effects during combat. Warriors should feel like Conan, thives should feel like Bilbo, paladins should feel like Galahad, and mages should feel like Merlin. Magical items should be rare and mysterious things of wonder, not required mechanical benefits. Swinging axe should should be a genuinely different experience from hurling a bolt of magic. Orcs should be diseased, horrific cannibal fiends; and the players should really experience this when fighting them. Mind flayers should be terrifying alien entities, unknowable and unfathomable, and the players should feel this as they are mercilessly mind-raped.

Adventurers should delve into forgotten catacombs and ruined temples, facing horrifying creatures and sadistic traps, either emerging rich or dying entertainingly. Problems should be simple, men should be mighty, cities should be great, women should be beautiful, dragons should be vile, and fae should be beguiling.

This is Dungeons & Dragons.

Waddacku
2012-01-10, 01:10 PM
I don't see why anyone cares if spells and swords have similar effects during combat.

Swinging axe should should be a genuinely different experience from hurling a bolt of magic.
Aren't you contradicting yourself a little here?

navar100
2012-01-10, 01:11 PM
If my wizard casting a spell is similar to Bob's fighter swinging his sword, then I'm not feeling like a wizard at all. I'm just a fighter who wields a sword but I call my sword "magic". I want them to be different. The fighter should certainly be able to do cool nifty stuff with his shtick of poking monsters with pointy sticks commensurate with the cool nifty stuff of the wizard's shtick of casting spells for spectacular effects. I just don't want them to be the same thing but labeled differently.

gkathellar
2012-01-10, 01:24 PM
I'm going to quibble a little, but my quibbling is going to lead to a point. Bear with me.


They don't want to play Strikers, Leaders, Defenders, and Controllers; they want to play mysterious wizards, and gallant knights, and grim warriors, and wild druids who dance in moonlit groves and continually make love to the raw essence of nature. They don't want to battle Skirmishers, Elite Soldiers, and Minion Artilleries; they want to battle savage orcs, and dreadful dragons, and mind-violating horrors from beyond the void.

Do any of those things have to be mutually exclusive? Why can't my mysterious wizard be a Controller, if that's what he does on the battlefield? Why can't my cunning Rogue be a Striker, if that perfectly describes his role in a fight? And why do the tactical wargame elements of the game and the roleplaying elements have to conflict with each other? I never played a lot of 4E, but when I did I played Strikers, because the conceptual image of a Striker fit exactly what I wanted to do with my character. A friend of mine played Defenders for the same reason. Those character roles helped me figure out what I wanted to do and fueled my imagination. And I understand that they turn people off, but ... they're just mechanical labels, as they would be in any game.


I don't see why anyone cares if spells and swords have similar effects during combat.

I agree. The only thing that matters is whether the guy with swords and the guy with spells both feel valuable to the game session, and have at least a somewhat distinct feel.


Warriors should feel like Conan, thives should feel like Bilbo, paladins should feel like Galahad, and mages should feel like Merlin. Magical items should be rare and mysterious things of wonder, not required mechanical benefits.

Really? I'd rather my warriors feel like Musashi or Ip Man or Lichtenhauer. I'd rather my thieves feel like Imoen or Rattrap or Odysseus. I'd rather my paladins feel like Aragorn or Faramir or Paksennarion or Optimus Prime. I'd rather my mages feel like the Laughing Man, like Sisyphus, like Sandman's Morpheus or the Elf-Queen Skuld. And every once in a while, I like playing in Eberron or a world full of Magitek, where magic items really do seem to grow on trees.


Swinging axe should should be a genuinely different experience from hurling a bolt of magic.

So long as you can have fun either way.


Orcs should be diseased, horrific cannibal fiends; and the players should really experience this when fighting them. Mind flayers should be terrifying alien entities, unknowable and unfathomable, and the players should feel this as they are mercilessly mind-raped.

I don't know, I like me some shamanic Warcraft-orcs (and no, I'm not a WoW player). And sometimes it's fun to walk into a room full of eldritch horrors, knowing everything about them and knowing things they don't. Maybe there's room for all of these things. I don't see why there wouldn't be.


Adventurers should delve into forgotten catacombs and ruined temples, facing horrifying creatures and sadistic traps, either emerging rich or dying entertainingly. Problems should be simple, men should be mighty, cities should be great, women should be beautiful, dragons should be vile, and fae should be beguiling.

Adventurers should run detective agencies in bustling cities full of magic, face evil men with good intentions and good men with evil ones, and come out of it knowing that they have made a difference in a world full cruelty, however small. Problems should be complicated, men should be weak in some ways and strong in others, cities should living beings growing and decaying all at once, women should be whatever they damn well please, dragons should be awful and majestic and larger than life, fae should be otherworldly and always a little bit off, and people should be people.


This is Dungeons & Dragons.

That's your Dungeons & Dragons. It's not mine. It's not everyone's. I wouldn't mind sharing in your Dungeons & Dragons, it sounds beautiful.

But it could never be mine.

And this is my point ó the new edition, whatever it is, it can't be just one person's vision. It was drifting away from that by 2E, it was far afield of that by 3E, and in 4E it's hard to say if it tried too hard to be one person's or if it thought it was everyone's D&D and so only tried to look like some people's on the surface. But 5E can't be one person's vision. We've moved too far afield of that.

Dr. Yes
2012-01-10, 02:03 PM
The thing that sets D&D apart from the beautifully-rendered, fully realized computer and console RPGs available on today's market is the ability to customize and really tell your own story. If you want to make everything conform to the old high fantasy archetypes, you might as well just play Diablo or Oblivion. If you want to make your own characters with their own biases and unique reactions to situations, or if you want to create a world with its own history and cosmic mysteries, THEN you're in business, because that's what tabletop games do best.

Zeru the Dark
2012-01-10, 03:02 PM
Dungeons and Dragons is a Halfling gunslinger in a duster with a six-shooter blessed by a lost God, it is the shining knight in the quest for the Grail, it is Eberron, Faerun, Greyhawk, and much more besides; D&D is a lot of numbers and math that gives rules to a game of imagination. Everything else doesn't matter; settings are neat, but I can devise my own setting, or use one from another system or book for all it matters. What I want from D&D is all that math and all those numbers, so I don't have to make them up myself. Every group has a markedly different idea of what D&D is to them, and in fact, that IS D&D. It needs to be flexible enough to do all of that.

Yora
2012-01-10, 03:29 PM
This is what in regard to 4th Edition has become known as "disassociated mechanics".

When the book presents you a table labled Fireball, what you do in the game is "I deal 6d6 area fire damage" or "I deal 2d4 single target damage". You don't send a ball of flame that sets everyone on fire and screaming, or conjure magical orbs of energy that blast from your fingers and leave a scorched mark in your enemies chest.

Presentation is very important.

TheThan
2012-01-10, 03:35 PM
This is what in regard to 4th Edition has become known as "disassociated mechanics".

When the book presents you a table labled Fireball, what you do in the game is "I deal 6d6 area fire damage" or "I deal 2d4 single target damage". You don't send a ball of flame that sets everyone on fire and screaming, or conjure magical orbs of energy that blast from your fingers and leave a scorched mark in your enemies chest.

Presentation is very important.

This is very true. When I play a wizard, I want to feel like Iím playing a wizard. I donít want to use mechanic 686 on enemy 124. I want to throw fireballs, and enchant NPCs and screw with the elemental forces of nature, not use a generic mechanic.

Yora
2012-01-10, 03:39 PM
I've seen some people say that there are even a couple of abilities about which nobody really has any idea what the character is supposed to be doing to his enemy. The name of the ability isn't really helpful and the description only list the mechanical effect.
That's really bad when you consider that in "the good old days" all a fighter had was standard attack and everything else was the players having creative ideas what things their character would do.

gkathellar
2012-01-10, 03:39 PM
This is what in regard to 4th Edition has become known as "disassociated mechanics".

When the book presents you a table labled Fireball, what you do in the game is "I deal 6d6 area fire damage" or "I deal 2d4 single target damage". You don't send a ball of flame that sets everyone on fire and screaming, or conjure magical orbs of energy that blast from your fingers and leave a scorched mark in your enemies chest.

Presentation is very important.

This makes me curious. Let's compare flavor text.


A globe of orange flame coalesces in your hand. You hurl it at your enemies, and it explodes on impact.

A fireball spell is an explosion of flame that detonates with a low roar and deals 1d6 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 10d6) to every creature within the area. Unattended objects also take this damage. The explosion creates almost no pressure.

You point your finger and determine the range (distance and height) at which the fireball is to burst. A glowing, pea-sized bead streaks from the pointing digit and, unless it impacts upon a material body or solid barrier prior to attaining the prescribed range, blossoms into the fireball at that point.

3.5's flavor text is a little more substantive, but not especially. The flavor text is mixed in with the rules text, which makes it impossible to skip over. On the other hand, in 4E's case the flavor text is the first thing after the spell's name, while in 3.5 the various descriptors and spell levels and details are placed first.

I think the way 3.5 presents flavor in this case is a little stronger, because you can't really skip it if you're trying to get the full rules for the spell. On the other hand, I don't think the difference is as big as you're making it out to be.

EDIT: This raises the question, of course: do you think 4E's spells and powers would be more relatable if the flavor text was lengthened, and perhaps a little more poetic?

Seerow
2012-01-10, 03:40 PM
This is what in regard to 4th Edition has become known as "disassociated mechanics".

When the book presents you a table labled Fireball, what you do in the game is "I deal 6d6 area fire damage" or "I deal 2d4 single target damage". You don't send a ball of flame that sets everyone on fire and screaming, or conjure magical orbs of energy that blast from your fingers and leave a scorched mark in your enemies chest.

Presentation is very important.

Um, Fireball doing 6d6 fire damage in an area isn't disassociated. It's basically exactly what's expected of a fireball. Extra descriptive effects have always been left to the players/GM, to allow more creative interpretations.

A disassociated mechanic is when what the power actually does, and what the flavor says it should do, don't line up. Or when there is no way for a character to explain in character how his abilities work. For example, a Fighter's daily powers are disassociated, because there's no real sensible explanation for why the given daily power may only be used once per day. There's a lot of half-assed explanations, but none really hold up when examined closely. But a Wizard if asked what his fireball does, will answer "It lights things on fire in an area" and that's exactly what the mechanics do. Not disassociated at all.

Yora
2012-01-10, 03:43 PM
I admit, as someone who never played 4th edition, I made this example up. I don't have anything to quote from.
But when I did try to read the rulebooks, that's how it felt to me and that's what I've seen a number of 4th Ed. players claim.

gkathellar
2012-01-10, 03:50 PM
I admit, as someone who never played 4th edition, I made this example up. I don't have anything to quote from.
But when I did try to read the rulebooks, that's how it felt to me and that's what I've seen a number of 4th Ed. players claim.

I think this attitude may stem largely from 4E presentation being very different than 3E presentation (moreso than the difference between 2E and 3E). Gone are the class tables, gone are the seven qualifiers before you get to the text to every spell ... 4E is short and to the point in its presentation, and its mechanics are largely internally consistent and connected.

The problem is, D&D traditionally isn't any of those things, so the clean, concise presentation really throws people for a loop. (Note I'm not insulting said people or praising 4E in saying this: I'm just suggesting that sloppy presentation may be one of the sacred cows people reacted to the death of.)

Eldan
2012-01-10, 04:07 PM
If we are talking presentation, know what I'd really like to get back from 3E books?

Pictures in the back of pages that look like ink or pencil or coal sketches done by someone in the world, as opposed to highly detailed painting done by a modern artist. It just feels better to me.

DefKab
2012-01-10, 04:16 PM
My problem with most people's complaints about 4th Ed, is that what they're complaining about is themselves. If your Fighter and your Wizard feel the same, then maybe it's not the mechanics you use (cause I'd like to see a wizard from ANY addition try the tactic of walking up to a creature and using the mechanic labeled 'sword' on them. Dare ya), but your creativity? If you can't look past simplistic damage formula and uniform attack procedure, if that's all that roleplaying to you is, then, yes, everything looks the same. But if you live your wizard, act like he's a wizard, and flavor your actions as if he was a wizard, then maybe you'd feel like you're playing a wizard...

I've played 4th Edition for a long while now, and I can honestly say that a Sword and Board Human Fighter didn't even feel the same as my Sword and Board Dwarven Fighter... They were completely different characters, and though they had similar powers, and the EXACT same mechanics, I played them different. Drastically different, and that's about the Role you Play, not the Roll you Play.

My Dungeons and Dragons? It's Roleplaying.

Eldan
2012-01-10, 04:21 PM
It is, and fluffing is a big thing in any edition. But you know what? I want my mechanics to do whta they should represent. A fireball should be round and set things on fire and not damage a fire elemental. A vorpal sword should not work on a headless zombie. I shouldn't be able to poison or throw sand in the eyes of a skeleton. I should not be able to trip an ooze. (I'm reasonably sure many of those are examples I've seen mentioned in 4E. I wouldn't know, I never got past about half of the 4E PHB before getting bored).

Seerow
2012-01-10, 04:23 PM
It is, and fluffing is a big thing in any edition. But you know what? I want my mechanics to do whta they should represent. A fireball should be round and set things on fire and not damage a fire elemental. A vorpal sword should not work on a headless zombie. I shouldn't be able to poison or throw sand in the eyes of a skeleton. I should not be able to trip an ooze. (I'm reasonably sure many of those are examples I've seen mentioned in 4E. I wouldn't know, I never got past about half of the 4E PHB before getting bored).

To be fair, a Vorpal Sword shouldn't be required to behead someone. A magic property that says "I kill anything on a crit because of awesome magic in my weapon" should work on a headless zombie, a slime, or anything else.

gkathellar
2012-01-10, 04:25 PM
Drastically different, and that's about the Role you Play, not the Roll you Play.

Which is all well and good for you, but it's right there in the name: Roleplaying and Game. They embark on the winding spiral path! The paths of imagination and rules intersect! Only when game mechanics and roleplay work in harmony has one truly achieved the Tao of the RPG!

Fiery Diamond
2012-01-10, 04:28 PM
My main problem with 4E (yes, I have played it a little) is that everyone is equalized. Not in terms of power - that's fine; I don't have a problem with a sword-swinger being able to kick the same amount of butt just as easily as a wizard or sorcerer. No, in terms of presentation:

"I swing my sword, and special, magical-ish stuff happens. I can do this once an encounter."
"I cast a spell, and magic happens. I can do this once an encounter."

"I swing my sword and deal extra damage. This can only be done once a day."
"I cast a spell, and deal damage. This can only be done once a day."

"I select my option to swing my sword."
"I select my option to cast my spell."
(This one threw me for a loop, actually. Imagine my surprise to learn that "attacking" wasn't a basic and common mechanic! Instead you have your "at will" - which is swinging your sword for a fighter and casting a minor spell for a caster. I don't use the same mechanic for trying to slash someone with my knife if I'm a caster as the fighter-type does for trying to slash someone with his sword. Buh-whuh?)

It seems like everyone has a drop-down list of things to pick from, like in an RPG video game like Final Fantasy, and the only difference is in what the titles and headings are. Magic doesn't do anything that can't be done with either a sword or bow, really. Likewise, swords and bows don't really do anything that magic can't do.

You know, I think that was the big problem with magic in 3.5. Magic should be able to do things that can't be done without it... but swords, bows, and wits should be able to do things that magic can't.

DefKab
2012-01-10, 04:43 PM
My main problem with 4E (yes, I have played it a little) is that everyone is equalized. Not in terms of power - that's fine; I don't have a problem with a sword-swinger being able to kick the same amount of butt just as easily as a wizard or sorcerer. No, in terms of presentation:

"I swing my sword, and special, magical-ish stuff happens. I can do this once an encounter."
"I cast a spell, and magic happens. I can do this once an encounter."

"I swing my sword and deal extra damage. This can only be done once a day."
"I cast a spell, and deal damage. This can only be done once a day."

"I select my option to swing my sword."
"I select my option to cast my spell."

It seems like everyone has a drop-down list of things to pick from, like in an RPG video game like Final Fantasy, and the only difference is in what the titles and headings are. Magic doesn't do anything that can't be done with either a sword or bow, really. Likewise, swords and bows don't really do anything that magic can't do.

You know, I think that was the big problem with magic in 3.5. Magic should be able to do things that can't be done without it... but swords, bows, and wits should be able to do things that magic can't.

"Any sufficiently advance technology is indistinguishable from magic."
I ask you to really think about that for a little bit.
What this says to me is that magic is inherently tied to world physics. It has to be able to be done at all, if it is to be done by magic. Look at a fireball, in comparison with a bomb. Both are round explosions that set things on fire. The magic is in that you dont need a bomb to make the explosion. Magic is making the possible quick and easy, not doing the 'impossible'.

And to prove my point, try to make a system with a core mechanic that has completely different feels for magic and conventional means. You cant. Magic will have its own mechanic, meaning it breaks away from your world's mechanics. And while thats fine, it doesnt support the idea that everything is woven from the same cloth, which is 4ths aim.

The sad truth is that magic and conventional weaponry are in no competition. As soon as your fighter leaps 30 feet in the air and cuts off the arm of the enemy, you're no longer playing with conventional physics. Your fighter is now using magic.

Shyftir
2012-01-10, 05:29 PM
Um, actually the Basic Attack options do work the same way for everyone. It's still just d20 +stat+bonus. It's just that at-will powers add an extra effect on top of damage, so they are generally more useful than basic attacks.

Anyway I want a game that is tactical because D&D always was. The tactics have altered some but they've always been there. I do however want the abilities to be more flavorful and more off-the-cuff. I don't want a "feat' or "power" to be required to attempt to push someone down or move them back. I just wanna be able to do it. (in case you are wondering that criticizes both 4e and 3.5, and I've never played AD&D so I'm not being especially grognard-y here.)
I want D&D to be a storytelling game, but I also want it to involve fun and interesting combat. (I want to play a character whose personality shines in combat. I want my role & roll to compliment and drive each other.)

gkathellar
2012-01-10, 05:41 PM
I do however want the abilities to be more flavorful and more off-the-cuff. I don't want a "feat' or "power" to be required to attempt to push someone down or move them back. I just wanna be able to do it.

IIRC the Book of Iron Might is a 3rd-party sourcebook that provides excellent (if somewhat complicated) rules for this. Now guess who wrote the Book of Iron Might.

Mike Mearls. Who is in charge of developing 5E. Which could, in theory, bode well for this. Maybe. Mearls wrote everything good in Malhavoc's catalog, but outside of Malhavoc Press his work has been spotty. EDIT: And of course, he's working with Monte Cook, who wrote everything bad in Malhavoc's Catalog.

Urpriest
2012-01-10, 05:56 PM
If you want an actual example of Fluff-Mechanics disassociation in 4e, take a look at the warlock's Infernal Moon Curse. I have no idea what that thing is supposed to do or how that fluff came about besides as a justification for the mechanics.

Fighter dailies aren't an example. They work for the same reason ToB maneuvers are once per encounter: you only get the opportunity to use the power once in a while. Most of the time circumstances aren't right for it. Think of any movie ever. If the hero does some awesome stunt in the final battle, you don't ask "why didn't they do that for every battle?" It's a story, stories work like that.

navar100
2012-01-10, 06:55 PM
My problem with most people's complaints about 4th Ed, is that what they're complaining about is themselves. If your Fighter and your Wizard feel the same, then maybe it's not the mechanics you use (cause I'd like to see a wizard from ANY addition try the tactic of walking up to a creature and using the mechanic labeled 'sword' on them. Dare ya), but your creativity? If you can't look past simplistic damage formula and uniform attack procedure, if that's all that roleplaying to you is, then, yes, everything looks the same. But if you live your wizard, act like he's a wizard, and flavor your actions as if he was a wizard, then maybe you'd feel like you're playing a wizard...

I've played 4th Edition for a long while now, and I can honestly say that a Sword and Board Human Fighter didn't even feel the same as my Sword and Board Dwarven Fighter... They were completely different characters, and though they had similar powers, and the EXACT same mechanics, I played them different. Drastically different, and that's about the Role you Play, not the Roll you Play.

My Dungeons and Dragons? It's Roleplaying.

Sorry, I don't fallacy that wind of storm. Game mechanics are equally as important to me as the character personality. If I don't have fun with the mechanics, I'm not having fun at all.

Blacky the Blackball
2012-01-10, 07:33 PM
I think the big problem in 4e (and I say this as someone who liked the edition) wasn't in the powers themselves but in the presentation. The whole "you can re-fluff" thing put too much emphasis on the mechanics of each power rather than the description of what the character was doing.

The emphasis was on:

"You can achieve [Mechanical Effect] once per round/encounter/day. It is described as your character doing [Action]. You are free to change [Action] to whatever other description you like, providing it still does [Mechanical Effect]."

It should have been the other way around:

"Your character can reliably do [Action] once per round/encounter/day. This normally results in [Mechanical Effect]. The DM is free to change [Mechanical Effect] based on the current situation, if [Action] would have a different result in those circumstances."

The latter emphasis would have guided people towards creativity much more, I think. The former emphasis makes it more like - as has been described earlier in this thread - simply choosing from a drop-down of powers rather than creatively deciding what to do (and using a power as a tool to do that).

Coplantor
2012-01-10, 07:38 PM
Sorry, I don't fallacy that wind of storm. Game mechanics are equally as important to me as the character personality. If I don't have fun with the mechanics, I'm not having fun at all.

This is pretty much my lately experience with games, my top three RPGs right now are DnD 3.5, alternity and Cthulhutech.

I've built and rolled far more 3.5 characters than I'll ever play, even gave them full descriptions and personalities mostly because I find extremely enjoyable looking for the right feat, class level and skill combinations to create the exact character I want, sometimes I think of a concept and look for the best mechanics to represent it, or I think of some cool mechanic, make a character and then think "well, what does those numbers mean?" (when I played 2nd ed I rolled randomly and then try to make sense out of the numbers in the best possible way)

Alternity is not DnD, it's got some simpler mechanics and some other are more complex, the die rolling in particular. PRetty much, you roll a d20 and if you roll equal to or less than the DC, then you succeeded, to make things easier or harder, when you roll your d20, you either add or substract the result from another die (easiest tasks substract a d12 and the hardest ones add 3d20). But I love it, just rolling the dice is so much fun. And the same can be said about Cthulhutech which uses only d10, but you have to look for combinations in order to get higher results (you either add equals or three or more consecutive numbers).

Some of those games are rules heavy, some give you a lot of options, some are full of fluff, some are just a skeleton with no flesh, meant for you to give life to it. Fluff and crunch are not mutually exclusive, the system should be capable of being fun by itself, so anyone looking for roleplaying or "rollplaying" should have good time with it.

Tengu_temp
2012-01-10, 08:03 PM
If your group is good at roleplaying and telling stories, then you can achieve what the OP wants no matter what game you're playing.

If your group is just interested in killing monsters and taking their stuff, then you won't achieve what the OP wants no matter what game you're playing.

Kurald Galain
2012-01-10, 08:24 PM
I've seen some people say that there are even a couple of abilities about which nobody really has any idea what the character is supposed to be doing to his enemy.
Yes, there are several of those, and it starts with the really basic things like Marking and Sneak Attacks. It is impossible to give these abilities consistent fluff in a way that does not contradict their crunch.

For example, if you Mark an enemy (which fighters and paladins do all the time), it gets a penalty to attack people other than you... somehow. It doesn't matter where you are, what you're doing, or whether you're blinded and stunned at the time; it just gets a penalty. Also, any mark overrides a previous mark, regardless of whether this prior mark was a spell, a tricky sword maneuver, or a divine curse. So yes, your tricky sword maneuver dispels divine curses... somehow.

It is true that many players don't mind this. However, there are also players that find that 4E combat basically means you stop roleplaying and play a board game for awhile.



3.5's flavor text is a little more substantive, but not especially. The flavor text is mixed in with the rules text, which makes it impossible to skip over. On the other hand, in 4E's case the flavor text is the first thing after the spell's name, while in 3.5 the various descriptors and spell levels and details are placed first.
That's not really the point. The thing is that 3E's fireball consistently acts like a ball of fire (e.g. it doesn't work underwater), whereas 4E's fireball does not (e.g. fire elementals are not immune to it).

3E assumes "this spell makes fire" and figures out the effects from there, depending on circumstances; 4E assumes "this deals 6d6 damage" and figures out the fluff from there, depending on circumstances. Basically what Blacky is saying above.

I'm not saying either approach is wrong or better, but there is a clear difference here.

NowhereMan583
2012-01-10, 08:26 PM
The emphasis was on:

"You can achieve [Mechanical Effect] once per round/encounter/day. It is described as your character doing [Action]. You are free to change [Action] to whatever other description you like, providing it still does [Mechanical Effect]."



The former emphasis makes it more like - as has been described earlier in this thread - simply choosing from a drop-down of powers rather than creatively deciding what to do (and using a power as a tool to do that).

Not only that, but saying that "you are free to change [Action] to whatever other description you like" contains within it the implication that your decision there isn't really important. It almost comes off as "Yeah, whatever you want, kid. It still does [Mechanical Effect], right? Okay."

Earlier in the thread, it was pointed out that in 3E, flavor and mechanics were entwined in spell descriptions. This gives us the impression that they're equally important -- in fact, it looks very much like the distinction is not acknowledged.

By putting all the flavor text in one sentence at the beginning of the description, and saying we're free to change it if we like, the book makes it easy to just skim past it. Sure, it's placed first, right after the title... but so are the acknowledgements in a book, or the FBI warning on a film. Separating flavor from mechanics by placement (and, IIRC, typeface) is a stylistic choice that makes it more difficult for the reader to intuitively combine the thought "I'm casting Fireball" with the thought "There's an explosion of flame, detonating with a low roar".

Wyntonian
2012-01-10, 08:27 PM
Do you know what I have?

http://cdn.mdjunction.com/components/com_joomlaboard/uploaded/images/hugs05-446cc35671126ad37759657dddf7c764.jpg

Not petty semantics, appreciation!

Tengu_temp
2012-01-10, 08:32 PM
Also, I'd like to point out three things:
1. As far as I'm aware, no edition of DND put more than token effort into encouraging roleplaying as a core concept of the game.
2. All editions of DND had specific roles for monsters and characters, only 4e lets you know what they are from the get-go.
3. Most non-DND RPGs use, and have used for a long time, similar mechanics for all of their classes/characters. Making mages and fighters use completely different mechanics does nothing but unnecessarily complicate the game.

Kurald Galain
2012-01-10, 08:37 PM
3. Most non-DND RPGs use, and have used for a long time, similar mechanics for all of their classes/characters. Making mages and fighters use completely different mechanics does nothing but unnecessarily complicate the game.
Well, they could (for example) decide that the "prone" effect is caused by martial maneuvers, whereas the "daze" effect is caused by arcane spells, and not the other way around.

This is one way of making classes (and power sources) more distinct. It's precisely what MtG does in its more recent sets, in that most mechanical keywords have one or two colors attached. First Strike belongs in white and red, Regeneration belongs in black and green, Unblockability belongs in blue, and so forth.

gkathellar
2012-01-10, 08:59 PM
That's not really the point. The thing is that 3E's fireball consistently acts like a ball of fire (e.g. it doesn't work underwater), whereas 4E's fireball does not (e.g. fire elementals are not immune to it).

3E assumes "this spell makes fire" and figures out the effects from there, depending on circumstances; 4E assumes "this deals 6d6 damage" and figures out the fluff from there, depending on circumstances. Basically what Blacky is saying above.

I'm not saying either approach is wrong or better, but there is a clear difference here.

Emphasis mine. I can see the rest of your point here but ... no, no it doesn't. It sort of looks like it does if you squint, but then you notice that the way Fireball functions implies that it both burns things and does not burn things, simultaneously behaving like and behaving nothing like actual fire, and the only real differentiation between these two states is whether it's dealing damage or not.

RedWarlock
2012-01-10, 10:12 PM
If we are talking presentation, know what I'd really like to get back from 3E books?

Pictures in the back of pages that look like ink or pencil or coal sketches done by someone in the world, as opposed to highly detailed painting done by a modern artist. It just feels better to me.

As a growing professional artist looking to soon submit work to WotC, I object.

Coplantor
2012-01-10, 10:17 PM
As a growing professional artist looking to soon submit work to WotC, I object.

I find this statement quite confusing, would you care to elaborate why?

RedWarlock
2012-01-10, 10:34 PM
I find this statement quite confusing, would you care to elaborate why?

Cuz I'd be out of a job? (My initial comment was semi-joking, but as I think about it, there's a few different potential reasons why this kind of method makes my life harder.)

My favorite stuff to illustrate is monsters, and monster descriptions are 9/10ths of when they're drawn. Especially with the recent spate of recycled 3e are being reused in 4e material, which as a cost-saving measure is entirely valid, if slightly cheesy, it makes the likelihood that me, as an untested, fresh artist getting to actually DRAW D&D monsters less and less likely.

Drawings done by 'someone in the world' don't look anything like the work I've been preparing to do, especially as I'm primarily a digital artist. Traditional 'simple' works take less time, meaning you're more likely to see one or two 'signature' artists getting used for their overarching style, meaning that much less work available for the rest of us.

Those one or two artists being relied upon also leads to problems, moreso in the area of art direction. Look at the Elves. I thought the 3.0 PHB illustration of elves was very unique, interesting for suggesting something non-pointy-eared-human for their elves. Which, after Sam Wood and Todd Lockwood finished drawing, was promptly forgotten, aside from tortured, really BAD depictions of Mialee, who really wasn't bad looking by them, but failed her save on Ugly Stick with every subsequent artist's attempt.

Eldan
2012-01-11, 02:24 PM
I'm not saying use them exclusively. But I'd just like to see a page from a naturalist's journal or two somewhere in the books. Journals like that are a bit of a hobby of mine.

TheArsenal
2012-01-11, 02:36 PM
The title sums it up: Thats the million dollar question. Who answers it wins the best RPG of all time.


Also, I'd like to point out three things:
1. As far as I'm aware, no edition of DND put more than token effort into encouraging roleplaying as a core concept of the game.

Yet the rules are incredibly disjointed from roleplaying, resulting in difficulty in roleplaying anything but superficialities.

But youl say "But 3e did THIS!"

Yeah? So 4e made it better by having it make LESS sense?


2. All editions of DND had specific roles for monsters and characters, only 4e lets you know what they are from the get-go.

Not realy. I could be a healer as a druid, a battle tank as a cleric and the support as a wizard but to be frank the fighter generally can only swing a sword.

Making the classes be ONLY one thing is just limiting.


3. Most non-DND RPGs use, and have used for a long time, similar mechanics for all of their classes/characters. Making mages and fighters use completely different mechanics does nothing but unnecessarily complicate the game.


Because as we all know it makes RPGing a HECK of a lot easier. "How can I only do this once per day?"

Every RPG ive read has the spells be a separate mechanic.

Tengu_temp
2012-01-11, 03:31 PM
Not realy. I could be a healer as a druid, a battle tank as a cleric and the support as a wizard but to be frank the fighter generally can only swing a sword.

So, the only 3e classes that have any flexibility are spellcasters. How is that supposed to be a good thing?


Every RPG ive read has the spells be a separate mechanic.

And I'm sure you noticed that for most of the modern ones the spellcasting is either something all characters are supposed to be doing by default, something that uses very similar mechanics to the rest of the game, or both. You know, so you don't have to learn a completely new set of mechanics each time you pick a new character?

TheArsenal
2012-01-11, 04:32 PM
So, the only 3e classes that have any flexibility are spellcasters. How is that supposed to be a good thing?

It always perplexed me that question:

WHAT DID YOU EXPECT!

Geez a wizard capable of doing more then a Fighter? WHAT A SHOCK! Wizards ALWAYS do more in fiction then just fighters.

I DO understand that giving more combat abilities to fighter is good. I have a good supplement for that but its sort of like comparing a guy trained with making bricks with a guy that knows robotics.

DUH! Wizards summon stuff, they teleport, they shoot lightning!

If you want just "I SHOOT LAZORS" restrict everything other then evocation


And I'm sure you noticed that for most of the modern ones the spellcasting is either something all characters are supposed to be doing by default, something that uses very similar mechanics to the rest of the game, or both. You know, so you don't have to learn a completely new set of mechanics each time you pick a new character?

Uh yes, that is preferable to 4e. I would prefer more mechaniks to 4es overall nonmakesenseattude.

Something UNIQUE to each character is preferable to a big sploog of forgetable bland SUPER ATTACKS that each character has.


But again- this is edition wars

Tengu_temp
2012-01-11, 04:58 PM
Let me get this straight. You're saying that:

Flexibility and using magic/supernatural powers are the same thing.
Spellcasters do all the stuff in all fantasy novels, while mundane characters are more or less unimportant.
Having the above in a game is a good thing.
Inconsistent design is a good thing.
Streamlined mechanics are a bad thing.

Yeah, I have nothing to add here.

Aidan305
2012-01-11, 06:00 PM
I think the point that should be argued is not that one should be fundamentally better than the other, but that the two do fundamentally different things. Sure, a wizard can shoot lightning and summon monsters, but you (rarely) see them sneaking around or picking locks. You're also unlikely to see them wading through a horde of foes, bringing their axe to bear in the midst of a beserker rage.

It was this difference of character, or difference of archetype that I feel that 4e didn't pull off well. While the flavour of the abilities were nominally the same, the fact remained that the mechanical effects frequently ended up fairly identical.

3.x had the mechanical differences shown much more clearly, but also had magic overlapping too much with everything else leading to the "OMG! Mages can do everything whenever they want!" mentality.

eulmanis12
2012-01-11, 06:10 PM
D&D is a bag of chips, a bottle of root beer, and 5 good friends having fun on the weekends. Its about suprising eachother, having a good laugh, and most importantly a good time. Its about staring the enemy in the face and seeing who blinks first. Its about doing things that you can't do in real life but have always wanted to. Its about seeing how ludicrous you can be and still keep a straight face. Its about fun.

Aidan305
2012-01-11, 07:16 PM
D&D is a bag of chips, a bottle of root beer, and five good friends having fun on the weekends. It's about suprising each other, having a good laugh, and most importantly a good time. Its about staring the enemy in the face and seeing who blinks first. Its about doing things that you can't do in real life but have always wanted to. Its about seeing how ludicrous you can be and still keep a straight face. Its about fun.

I'm in complete agreement here. The "What is D&D" question was something I spent a while thinking about yesterday and this was pretty much the only thing I could define it as, with the corollary "in a fantasy setting".

Stubbazubba
2012-01-11, 07:27 PM
Let me get this straight. You're saying that:

Flexibility and using magic/supernatural powers are the same thing.
Spellcasters do all the stuff in all fantasy novels, while mundane characters are more or less unimportant.
Having the above in a game is a good thing.
Inconsistent design is a good thing.
Streamlined mechanics are a bad thing.

Yeah, I have nothing to add here.

I agree with you that caster dominance needs to go away or be mitigated in a big way.

However, I disagree that all classes should use identical mechanics. Any mechanic which makes you feel sufficiently warrior-esque will feel very strange using it to pick locks and sneak, which will also feel very strange for raining fire upon your foes from afar, and vice versa.

If you make a generic mechanic for all resolutions which is identical from class to class, then you may as well have no classes, make all of that completely a fluff choice. You should have all of your attacks (awesome sword maneuvers, sneaky backstabs, once-in-a-lifetime shots from afar, or a summoned meteor) be resolved by a 3-coin flip. Each success contributes to an opponent's demise, and opponent's have 1-10 HP. Abilities can also be fluffed any way you want. All resolutions boil down to this; declare whether you want to deal one, two, or three damage. Now flip three coins. If you declared one (a low-powered attack), then as long as one of those three coins is heads, you succeed. Two for two damage (medium attack), or all three for three (heavy attack). Heck, to be generous, let's add a fourth coin, and Super Moves which can only be done when all four coins are heads, but which deal 6 damage or something. Anyways, you would have nice, fast combats, consistent mechanics, but a complete lack of differentiation between the classes. The effects can literally be described however you want, but the mechanics feel so same-y it will not engage very many players for very long.

Mechanics working differently to do different stuff is a feature, not a bug, it actually makes it kind of fun to explore new classes and new mechanics. When you cast lightning from your fingertips which fries 8 men charging you, it should feel different from when you attack 8 men in rapid succession in a primal rage, which should feel different from when you sneak right around the 7 guards and slit the enemy captain's throat where he stands. Implementation is usually what kills the different subsystems; different mechanics have to work well both individually and together. All of D&D could be wrapped up in a skill system, either 3.5's or 4e's, and be universally consistent and streamlined, but those systems are very ill-suited for representing the range of things they're intended to represent. The skill systems have other problems, too, but at the very least, it's the fact that everything being exactly the same doesn't keep our interest nearly as long as having varied systems for different things.

Tengu_temp
2012-01-11, 07:37 PM
I'm not saying all mechanics should be completely identical, but they should be streamlined. Look at Mutants and Masterminds: different powers have different effects, but the basic mechanic for the majority of them is the same: activate a power, roll 1d20+modifiers to make something happen. You don't need to learn a completely new system if you decide to make a character who bases on powers you haven't used before. Instead, you can focus on playing that character and having fun in the game. And this is why streamlining is a good thing.

Beleriphon
2012-01-11, 09:58 PM
(This one threw me for a loop, actually. Imagine my surprise to learn that "attacking" wasn't a basic and common mechanic! Instead you have your "at will" - which is swinging your sword for a fighter and casting a minor spell for a caster. I don't use the same mechanic for trying to slash someone with my knife if I'm a caster as the fighter-type does for trying to slash someone with his sword. Buh-whuh?)


Actually they do, they're called melee basic and ranged basic attacks. All characters have them, fighers and other melee types just have melee attacks they can use, and are typically better choices, in addition to the melee basic attack. So you do use the same mechaics as the fighter as the wizard for stabbing orcs, its just the fighter has a better and different option only he can use.

TheArsenal
2012-01-12, 10:31 AM
Let me get this straight. You're saying that:

Flexibility and using magic/supernatural powers are the same thing.
Spellcasters do all the stuff in all fantasy novels, while mundane characters are more or less unimportant.
Having the above in a game is a good thing.
Inconsistent design is a good thing.
Streamlined mechanics are a bad thing.

Yeah, I have nothing to add here.

You know i could also do some smartass thing about what you saying stands for but this is an argument on the internet- it will go on forever.

Civil War Man
2012-01-12, 11:22 AM
Geez a wizard capable of doing more then a Fighter? WHAT A SHOCK! Wizards ALWAYS do more in fiction then just fighters.

This may be splitting hairs, but wizards don't always do more. I agree that they are almost always capable of doing more, but that is a bad thing in many settings, and in many more the wizard intentionally takes a back seat. Merlin acts primarily as a mentor and advisor to Arthur, for example.

Fighters also require some flexibility. Attacking a monster with a weapon is their primary focus, but that is not the end all of being a fighter. Conan is not Arthur Pendragon. Arthur Pendragon is not Carrot Ironfoundersson. Carrot is not William Turner. William Turner is not Roy Greenhilt. Some of those differences are just flavor. Some can be covered by spending points in different skills (which, this time around, fighters need enough to be able to differentiate themselves from one another). Some of these differences need to be covered mechanically, whether it's through different classes or a wider variety of abilities within the fighter class.

Need_A_Life
2012-01-12, 12:12 PM
Dungeons & Dragons is a game where people sit around a table, and dream together.This is really where it's at. No matter the trappings or mechanics, a roleplaying game is about creating elaborate worlds, weave stories and create some great memories.

I don't see why anyone cares if spells and swords have similar effects during combat.Because if I want to fight using the primal powers of the universe to smite my foes, it should feel different from stabbing them in the gut.
Warriors should feel like battle-hardened veterans, their skill tempered in battle. No mere beast should defeat such a warrior for his skill, strength and determination will inevitably lay waste to those who oppose him.
Thieves should be intelligent and use cunning to defeat people who would crush them in an honest fight. No man could defeat such a man for his skill, cunning and quick tongue is more than anyone could hope to counter.
Mages should exert their will upon the universe by force of will, disciplined or otherwise. No one will defeat such a being for his power and determination will pit the very forces of creation against his enemies.

Adventurers should be respected and feared. Going where they please, destroying demons, gods and crippling armies and nations with powers beyond that of common men, they are forces of nature to appease, not rabble to be mocked.
Their problems should be not "how do we solve this," but "how do we want to solve this." The fate of the world as we know it will be determined by what they eventually decide.

That is Dungeons & Dragons a hero's lot.

TheArsenal
2012-01-12, 12:34 PM
This may be splitting hairs, but wizards don't always do more. I agree that they are almost always capable of doing more, but that is a bad thing in many settings, and in many more the wizard intentionally takes a back seat. Merlin acts primarily as a mentor and advisor to Arthur, for example.

Oh I totally agree, but it totaly baffles me when people say that reality warping wizards should not be reality warping wizards =P .

But I got an idea:
(Keep the universal spells: They occupy less space and if you want, make them fluffy on your own time)
Maybe there can be TWO types of wizard:

A battle wizard that gets weekened fro casting slightly weaker spells

Or a Sage wizard capable of casting spells that are more powerfull, but take up a long period of time to cast.

hangedman1984
2012-01-12, 12:58 PM
and in many more the wizard intentionally takes a back seat. Merlin acts primarily as a mentor and advisor to Arthur, for example.

Which is all well and good in a conventional story, but in a game that doesn't focus on just one main character but a group instead, one shouldn't have to always take a backseat just to avoid outshining the fighter.

Eldan
2012-01-12, 01:45 PM
I'd assume in those situations, Merlin would be an NPC and the various knights PCs. Same with Gandalf and the Fellowship. They are there to give the hook and move the adventure along when the party gets stuck.

That's part of the problem, probably: too many legendary fighter PCs, not enough legendary wizard PCs.

Morph Bark
2012-01-12, 02:09 PM
If we are talking presentation, know what I'd really like to get back from 3E books?

Pictures in the back of pages that look like ink or pencil or coal sketches done by someone in the world, as opposed to highly detailed painting done by a modern artist. It just feels better to me.

You mean the first page of every chapter? Yeah, those were pretty cool. It also makes for a very different feel of the book than the detailed Photoshopped paintings, though it also largely depends on the content of either.

Eldan
2012-01-12, 02:19 PM
Also the nonmagical equipment chapter. And part of the races chapter, I think (I haven't seen an actual PHB in years).

Morph Bark
2012-01-12, 02:53 PM
Personally, I think I would like a mix of the two. I just wouldn't want to get rid of the 4E style art that much, as I still quite like it.

Vitruviansquid
2012-01-13, 01:55 AM
I'm actually going to address the thread starter directly because I feel like this point could use some more inspection.

I have never played a DnD game in which I felt anything close to what you described, and I'm willing to bet most people on this forum haven't either, or at least haven't for long after their first few games. I make this claim based on the fact that if you browse either DnD subforum, you will will find more threads about character optimization, rules questions/exploits, and world building/running than you would about roleplay. Even the threads about alignment tend to be more

Neither do the rules of either of the more represented editions allow players to feel like a character from heroic literature, whether we're talking about ancient ones like Hector, medieval ones like Beowulf, or modern ones like Harry Potter. This is because the two latest DnD's rules are primarily concerned with whether your character Can Do something, (whether you can climb a cliff, whether you can kill a monster, whether you can cast a spell, whether you can convince a mayor, and so on) which seems to me like a rare concern in most heroic fiction. Instead, the games are a bit more like... well, games (at least in comparison to many other RPG's, such as World of Darkness, which explicitly calls a player the Storyteller) by which I mean systems of rules that players navigate through to win or achieve objectives. As far as I understand about the older editions, which I haven't played, this is where DnD's roots lie.

I would assert that DnD has always been about simulating action movies in that the primary questions the rules answer are what one Can Do. This isn't that much of a bad thing. After all, DnD's dice rolling is perhaps an even more faithful way to insert an audience in the action genre than an action movie or story, since the DnD medium allows truly random results whereas both movies and literature can only try to simulate randomness. As a result, only interactive media like the RPG (or video games) can faithfully do action right. True, the Indiana Jones movies generate excitement by making audiences wonder how and whether Indy will survive a certain encounter, but the audience always understands that he can't die. With an DnD, the audience always understands that a certain character does have a chance to fail and/or die.

So, in conclusion (or tl;dr), the way I see it, DnD is, at its core, an insanely complex and expansive (how many books does 3.5 have?) set of rules for solving problems in a fantasy world that can potentially contain any problem for the players to solve. I think the main sins of 3.5 and 4e were that the former game made problem solving too easy for some players by the inclusion of too many game-breakingly powerful mechanics in contrast with weak options and that the second made problem-solving too limited in scope by its strict rules on what can and cannot be done to solve problems. This isn't to say that I disagree with the first post completely. I think 5e has potential to do very well if it incorporated more mechanics that encourage players to feel like Conan or Bilbo rather than feel like a bunch of players using a complex set of rules to solve a problem.

kyoryu
2012-01-13, 02:16 AM
My problem with most people's complaints about 4th Ed, is that what they're complaining about is themselves. If your Fighter and your Wizard feel the same, then maybe it's not the mechanics you use (cause I'd like to see a wizard from ANY addition try the tactic of walking up to a creature and using the mechanic labeled 'sword' on them. Dare ya), but your creativity? If you can't look past simplistic damage formula and uniform attack procedure, if that's all that roleplaying to you is, then, yes, everything looks the same. But if you live your wizard, act like he's a wizard, and flavor your actions as if he was a wizard, then maybe you'd feel like you're playing a wizard...

There's also a few more points that I'd make...

1) Building characters (except Essentials) feels pretty similar across all classes.
2) Many of the effects that make characters play differently isn't really obvious from first glance at a character sheet or power description, until you actually see how it works out in play. A lot of the more subtle stuff isn't even immediately obvious in play.


I've played 4th Edition for a long while now, and I can honestly say that a Sword and Board Human Fighter didn't even feel the same as my Sword and Board Dwarven Fighter... They were completely different characters, and though they had similar powers, and the EXACT same mechanics, I played them different. Drastically different, and that's about the Role you Play, not the Roll you Play.


I've always argued that a good roleplayer can have a stable of Human Fighters, and have them each be different, and have it be immediately obvious to the other players which one he/she is playing within a minute of picking up the sheet.



Fighter dailies aren't an example. They work for the same reason ToB maneuvers are once per encounter: you only get the opportunity to use the power once in a while. Most of the time circumstances aren't right for it. Think of any movie ever. If the hero does some awesome stunt in the final battle, you don't ask "why didn't they do that for every battle?" It's a story, stories work like that.

Actually, that's not the example I use. I play goalie in hockey (well, did). Sometimes you see a goalie pull off an amazing move to make a save - so why doesn't he just do that every time? And why do they usually seem to do these things when it's most critical?

And you can see that in just about every sport. Except maybe baseball.



That's not really the point. The thing is that 3E's fireball consistently acts like a ball of fire (e.g. it doesn't work underwater), whereas 4E's fireball does not (e.g. fire elementals are not immune to it).


A) Where in the description of fireball (posted earlier) does it say that fireballs don't work under water?
B) Fire elementals certainly are immune to fireballs. (Or at least have significant resistance, I forget which). There's a difference in organization in how these things are assigned, though - in 4E, immunity to fireballs is a property of the thing getting hit, as a result of it being immune to damage tagged "fire".

Now, elementals being immune to fire vs. having fire resistance is an interesting debate point, but I'm not entirely sure it means that one acts 'like a fireball' and the other doesn't.

I do think a lot of the 3e vs. 4e stuff is the fact that in many ways, you can do a lot of the same things, you just do it differently, and it's not immediately obvious to 3e players that you can still do those things, as it's not where they expect it to be.

Kurald Galain
2012-01-13, 06:10 AM
A) Where in the description of fireball (posted earlier) does it say that fireballs don't work under water?
B) Fire elementals certainly are immune to fireballs. (Or at least have significant resistance, I forget which).
(a) In the environmental rules. It's a property of fire spells in general.
(b) I'm afraid not. Check the Greater Fire Elemental from MM3, for example, and you will find that it has zero resistance to fire. The designers have stated that this was deliberate.

It's the pattern that counts. In 3E, a sneak attack represents a hit to a vital area, and therefore you cannot use it on a skeleton (which doesn't have vital areas). In 4E, a sneak attack represents, well, doing more damage but nobody knows how, and it works on everything because it wouldn't be fair otherwise.This is a typical example of one of those abilities where nobody has any idea what the character is really doing IC.

Once again, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with either approach, but there is a clear difference in approach.

Synovia
2012-01-13, 12:48 PM
Because as we all know it makes RPGing a HECK of a lot easier. "How can I only do this once per day?"

Every RPG ive read has the spells be a separate mechanic.


Have you ever been involved in a combat sport? (any sort of fighting/wrestling/etc)

Or done any heavy weightlifting?


There are plenty of things that you can only do once a day (or less frequently). If I'm wrestling, and have an opponent on top of me, and arch to keep my back off the ground, I probably won't be able to do it again for hours (encounter power). If I go into the weight room and try to bench press max weight once, it'll be days before my muscles heal enough to do it again (daily).

There's plenty of examples like this.

The argument could be made that maybe these sorts of powers should just take big additive penalties each time you use them (and penalties reset after day/encounter/whatever), but the idea that melee combatants can do everything they do over and over again is silly, and unrealistic.

The_Admiral
2012-01-13, 01:28 PM
Here's how I explain it.
At Will
Simple tricks you can repeat over and over. The most basic stuff. Like punching and kicking combos simple to pull off.

Per Encounter
Tougher tricks to pull off that require concentration and are easily foiled.

Daily
A combination of luck and skill. Very likely to make an enemy go WTF? It is the million to one shot, the ball hitting the racket just right, its every single factor lining up in your favor.

Tyndmyr
2012-01-13, 01:34 PM
Um, Fireball doing 6d6 fire damage in an area isn't disassociated. It's basically exactly what's expected of a fireball. Extra descriptive effects have always been left to the players/GM, to allow more creative interpretations.

It *is* disassociated, because what it actually does is create a cube of fire.

Even the newest RPG player can be expected to understand the difference between a ball and a cube, and explaining why a "ball" has six equally large sides and four corners is...problematic.

Kurald Galain
2012-01-13, 01:37 PM
Have you ever been involved in a combat sport? (any sort of fighting/wrestling/etc)

One of the problems with this approach is that with sufficient training, you could learn to do it more than once per day, especially if you're out climbing mountains and slaughtering orcs all day. Also, you could probably do lesser versions (say, bench press 20 kg less) more often.

The bigger problem is that neither fluff nor crunch of martial powers is anything like what you just described. Instead, these powers do something like "hit so hard that it will be easier to hit that guy in the future, but only for you" and "hit so hard that you cure your own wounds", "throw nine daggers at the same time", or "set up a bunch of feints so that you can push the guy around by hitting him".

Let's take the daggers as an example. Once per day, a first-level rogue can throw nine daggers at the same time, all aimed at an enemy's forehead so that (on a hit) blood will flow into his eyes. And yet, the same rogue can never do this with one dagger to one victim.
(and that's just ignoring questions such as "how does he do that against enemies with no blood" or "how does this work with a blunt weapon" or "why doesn't he just aim in the eye to kill"?)

Siegel
2012-01-13, 01:43 PM
it's an old dinosaur that doesn't know what it wants to be. The fans don't know what they want from it. It does a lot of stuff but it does nothing that great. It's best a doing tactical dungeoncrawling but "the world largest dungeon" is not something everyone wants to play.

DnD needs to know what it wants to do because there are tons of systems out there that do better jobs at things that DnD wants to do.

For me, DnD should do Worlds Largest Dungeon, that would be a cool thing.

That sounds really harch but it is. Shadowrun isn't best when doing a Harry Poter Magic academy riff, it's about people making Shadowruns.

DnD doesn't know what it wants to do

Tengu_temp
2012-01-13, 03:34 PM
I'm not a big fan of daily powers. I know they're a part of DND tradition*, but I wouldn't mind seeing them gone completely in favour of encounter powers and stuff that uses other rechargable mechanics.

* - Vancian magic says hello. And I don't like it either.

Yora
2012-01-13, 03:53 PM
Limited use abilities are always a problem. In video games, I am always extremely reluctant to use potions or spend money as I am always thinking that I might need it later.
Since I don't know what else I will fight during the day, I'd probably use daily powers always only during very obvious boss fights. Most days I wouldn't use them at all.
Though I am not a fan of once per encounter abilities either, at least I'd know that I would have it back in the next fight my character gets into.

TheArsenal
2012-01-13, 04:15 PM
IM exactly the opposite, I like to have strategy of what to keep, otheriwse you just have a mindless hack and slash

Though I don't like spell slots because they don't make sense. I hope we get power points as replacements to everything.

Tengu_temp
2012-01-13, 04:31 PM
IM exactly the opposite, I like to have strategy of what to keep, otheriwse you just have a mindless hack and slash

Have you ever played any RPG that doesn't have daily resources, or uses very little of them? Like Mutants and Masterminds, or Weapons of the Gods, or any tactical RPG video game? Because they tend to be exactly the opposite of mindless hack and slash as far as combat is concerned.

TheArsenal
2012-01-13, 04:56 PM
Yes, but they are much more limited in the combat interaction. Their bonus is rapid speed in reactions (And fights last 5 minutes).

But your opinion is also valid in that you have to think less about things if you only have encounter powers.

I just prefer the conservation element in my games.

Inkpencil
2012-01-13, 06:00 PM
I would say the immovables for D&D would be:

Elves, dwarves, halflings, and humans
goblins, orcs, kobolds, and dragons
swords, bows, armor, and ten-foot poles rope
a class system with distinct mechanics
skill checks for combat and non-combat
a tactical combat system with multiple effective options for every participant

I'm not saying it's all been done perfectly (or even well) as written, but to me, it's just not D&D without it.

Yora
2012-01-13, 06:13 PM
There will also be the 6 traditional ability scores, I'm extremely sure of that.

Kurald Galain
2012-01-13, 06:44 PM
There will also be the 6 traditional ability scores, I'm extremely sure of that.

And there will be Alignment, because one of the recent quotes from the devteam states that.

TheEmerged
2012-01-13, 06:50 PM
I'm not a big fan of daily powers. I know they're a part of DND tradition*, but I wouldn't mind seeing them gone completely in favour of encounter powers and stuff that uses other rechargable mechanics.

* - Vancian magic says hello. And I don't like it either.

Here's my issue - daily powers work better for some classes than others. Trying to shoehorn that usage onto every class was the problem. They clearly wanted a unified power mechanic for simplicity's sake, and in-my-experience & opinion paid for it.

Having said that, the move to primarily at-wills/basic attacks was not necessarily an improvement. If anything, the sense of certain classes doing the same thing every round/every combat got worse, not better.

Right now I'm running a superheroic campaign grounded in (but not restricted to) the Gamma World rules, and it works better than you might initially think. The concept of having very reliable powers, some "neat tricks", and some other resource mechanics (I'm using a variant on the Power Strike power some Essential builds use) works. The players don't care for some of the randomness, but it suits the "you don't understand how your powers work yet" stage of the campaign.

averagejoe
2012-01-13, 11:51 PM
The Mod They Call Me: This seems to be discussion that belongs in a fifth edition thread.