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kamikasei
2007-12-21, 02:42 AM
A spin-off from here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3689094&postcount=149).

Various people on these boards argue that D&D is too anime, or becoming too anime, or drawing inspiration from anime in a way that's undesirable, or that this or that feat or class or ability is "too anime".

What's anime?

Now, I know what anime is; I watch a decent amount of it, and several of my favourite shows and movies are anime. I'm consicous therefore of the wide range of genres, styles, moods, tones, etc. that the medium of anime includes. So what I'm asking is, people here who argue that things are "too anime": what do you actually mean?

What I'd like would be for people to answer without recourse to the word "anime" as much as possible. Don't say, "XYZ is clearly anime". Say something like, "XYZ is extremely reminiscent of this or that scene or plot point or ability from this particular show". Just describing something as "too anime" is not going to help clarify your problem with it, which is my aim here, any more than if I described something I didn't like as "too tv-ish" or "too book-ish".

It seems to me that those who use the "too anime" argument are using "anime" as code for some particular set of horrible, unpleasant associations that they recognize but I, unfortunately, cannot. Breaking this code or arguing around it has derailed a few other threads recently, so I'm hoping we can cut this Gordian knot in a dedicated thread here instead.

3... 2... 1... explicate!

Khanderas
2007-12-21, 02:49 AM
I would assume a deviation from low-power, gritty versions of DnD, where the heroes survive by luck and wit and rerolls en equal measures.
Later versions (according to many posters here atleast) get a powerscale that reminds them of Anime. The deal where you start off relativly normal, a couple of months into the game you toss mountains. Eventually gods become bugs.

I have exaggerated immensly here, for umm... clarity ?

Jack Zander
2007-12-21, 02:55 AM
Anime to me is two characters standing off to each other and taking turns to throw punches/spells/maneuvers. Most of the time these battles result in one or two misses, or a technique that renders one person helpless for a little bit until they get over the effects while the other gloats and does something ineffectual with their time. Once that stage is over, the killing blow occurs and the enemy is dead in one hit.

Yeah... that pretty much sums up DnD right there. I guess I can see their argument now.

horseboy
2007-12-21, 02:58 AM
I would assume a deviation from low-power, gritty versions of DnD, where the heroes survive by luck and wit and rerolls en equal measures.
Later versions (according to many posters here atleast) get a powerscale that reminds them of Anime. The deal where you start off relativly normal, a couple of months into the game you toss mountains. Eventually gods become bugs.

I have exaggerated immensly here, for umm... clarity ?

Hasn't that always been true of D&D though? There was an Immortals box set for a reason. Granted it took a couple of years instead of months, but the amount of time is really the only difference there.

kamikasei
2007-12-21, 02:59 AM
So, is it just "anime = shonen fighting anime", then? Does anyone who makes "too anime" claims want to speak up and say that they mean something different by it?

Reinboom
2007-12-21, 03:01 AM
That's just one style of anime however...
I think people default to the cash cows, and larger name animes that got translated out...
Like Naruto, Dragon Ball + Z, Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakushou, Rorouni Kenshin etc.

Which are a rather specific set of anime... and in no way a decent representation of anime as a whole.
They could also be thinking of wuxia...

Really, I don't take "D&D is too anime" as an insult to D&D, I'm taking it as an insult to anime. :smallconfused:

Icewalker
2007-12-21, 03:02 AM
Well, I think partially it is referring to how in many animes the way fighting ends up is different from reality, or even a reality accepting whatever magic and such exists in those worlds.

Tengu
2007-12-21, 03:03 AM
They usually mean that, kamikasei. Or, more precisely, people accuse DND of getting too anime each time a class that's not a caster receives an ability that people wouldn't be able to do in real life - as if only casters could receive more options, and others were forced to swing swords or disarm traps the same way at level 20 as they did at level 1, just be much better at it.

Swordguy
2007-12-21, 03:07 AM
There are several anime tropes that seem to be increasingly present in D&D, specifically in TOB.

Note: I'm aware there are several anime styles. I'm talking about the "fighting" anime, such as Inuyasha, DB, DBZ, DB GT, Naruto, etc. that are popularly accessible to the populace, and are what the "layman" thinks of when anime is mentioned.

1) Complicated technique names: This is a pure fluff thing. People know that they don't have to yell out the technique when performing it. However, listen to the post-battle report:

"I started the fight against the giant creature with a Swooping Dragon Strike, leaping far over him and cleaving his shoulder during the flight. He turned to face me and with a flash, winked into invisibility. Fortunately, I knew to activate my Hunter's Sense, and lo! I could smell the stink of the leather straps holding his armor together. Judging from the scent, he was sneaking towards me, so I waited until he was right on top of me before assuming Wolf Climbs the Mountain. He tried to strike back, blinking back into view, but his bulk hindered the attack, and so I was able to make a Hamstring Attack that brought him crashing to the ground. I climbed upon his chest and finished him off with a Fountain of Blood. His friends, dumbstruck at the ease by which he fell, turned and ran..."

Without knowing any details about the environment, weapons used, culture, etc, I asked my wife (a gamer) if she could identify where the above passage came from. She thought for a moment, and asked if it was from Inuyasha or Naruto or one of the shows on late night Adult Swim. Why? The technique names sound like the anime trope of (verb)+(animal)+(synonym for attack).

2) Mental pictures seem to mirror what we see in anime. An example is the Swooping Dragon Strike, above. It mirrors the huge amount of "hang time" one sees in anime on a regular basis, with the deadly strike in the middle. Ghost Blade is another. I reference Fist of the North Star, where people are striking so fast they're generating afterimages and people are fooled into blocking those. That's Ghost Blade to a T.

3) Inherent ability, not items. In general, anime heroes have inborn abilities that allow them to defy physics (hang time, cleave through rock, striking so fast you create doubles of your weapon that the enemy thinks are real, being so light on your feet you can run across heavily broken ground without a thought, etc.), whereas if WESTERN-style non-cartoon heroes (just to head off the Brock Sampson argument) want to do something similar, they need an item or external magic. Inborn power that you unlock as you get more experienced is an Eastern trope that stems from cultures based on personal enlightenment. Western power tends to derive from "stuff", be it a sword (Excalibur), a ring (o' the Neiblung), a book (spellbook anyone?), or other item - stemming from a culture that is, in fact, materialistic.

3a) The fact that characters that are supposed to be not especially "magical" (fighters, etc), and rely on sheer skill get abilities that are supernatural (in the "people can't do that" sense, not the RAW definition) in nature. If items were giving them these powers, people wouldn't bat an eye. That fact that they get them as inherent abilities rubs people wrong (see above).


There's some other stuff, but those are, I feel, the big three. They're almost ENTIRELY fluff-based, and yes, you can change fluff. But the question becomes should we have to?

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-21, 03:12 AM
Yeah. I think that probably most of the people making those accusations have only really seen Dragon Ball Z and its ilk (or in the case of the younger ones, Naruto and its ilk).

For the record, anime is not a genre. It's one country's entire animation industry. At its narrowest, it's a collection of styles and common tropes.

Swordguy ninja: ...you know, maybe it's because I've grown to appreciate anime over the past six months or so, but besides the goofy names which I have no trouble ignoring, I just don't see anything wrong with any of that. Why shouldn't everyone in a magical fantasy-land have access to supernatural abilities? Why should everything our characters do depend on whatever glow-in-the-dark magical junk they're carting around? That sounds like damn good ideas to me, and a refreshing change from hidebound fantasy conventions; not "lol Dragon Ball ripoff".

Dode
2007-12-21, 03:13 AM
Vancian spellcasting like in the ToB is "anime".

And "Swooping Dragon Strike" is really wordy and stupid and thus anime.
As opposed to "Combat Reflexes Whirlwind Attack" or "Shock Trooper Power Leap Attacked Battle Jump", which is terse and not anime.

Ganurath
2007-12-21, 03:16 AM
You know, I just had a realization. People have no right to complain about the arbitrary power levels of anime characters and minmaxing through knowledge of concrete stats and rules in the same lifetime.

On topic, I had no idea D&D was turning anime. Perhaps I should get ToB.

Swordguy
2007-12-21, 03:17 AM
Yeah. I think that probably most of the people making those accusations have only really seen Dragon Ball Z and its ilk (or in the case of the younger ones, Naruto and its ilk).

For the record, anime is not a genre. It's one country's entire animation industry. At its narrowest, it's a collection of styles and common tropes.

You're right. I haven't seen much anime. I watched it when I was much younger (when all that was on was DBZ) and decided I didn't like the tropes that were presented, nor the animation style, with a very few exceptions (Macross series stuff mainly). I've watched some with friends who do like the genre since then, and have seen some stuff I've enjoyed (Cowboy Bebop) and a whole lot I haven't.

But here's the thing. THAT'S ALL MOST PEOPLE HAVE SEEN. The denizens of this board do NOT a majority make. Most of you could be considered anime conisseurs - you've tried lots of stuff, far more than the average viewer.

And, just because there's more styles of anime out there than the fighting anime, doesn't mean that ToB stuff doesn't resemble it more than it resembles rational or realistic fighting techniques, of which there's a whole lot of really cool ones that WoTC could have drawn from.

Reinboom
2007-12-21, 03:17 AM
Vancian spellcasting like in the ToB is "anime".

And "Swooping Dragon Strike" is really wordy and stupid and thus anime.
As opposed to "Combat Reflexes Whirlwind Attack" or "Shock Trooper Power Leap Attacked Battle Jump", which is terse and not anime.

Vancian spellcasting = Wizard.
Vancian is a style of magic casting used by a single author, and in no way is like ToB at all.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-21, 03:19 AM
Except the "preparing and expending a finite number of techniques in your mind through meditation each day" part.

Swordguy
2007-12-21, 03:22 AM
Vancian spellcasting like in the ToB is "anime".

And "Swooping Dragon Strike" is really wordy and stupid and thus anime.
As opposed to "Combat Reflexes Whirlwind Attack" or "Shock Trooper Power Leap Attacked Battle Jump", which is terse and not anime.

Ha.

Because "Shock Trooper Power Leap Attacked Battle Jump" isn't an actual name of a technique. It's a bunch of game terms strung together. The technique names in the ToB are, in fact, the technique names.

Secondly, Vancian spellcasting is in fact NOT anime, insofar as it came from the east. Japanese spellcasting in mythology tends to be quite subtle and prayerful. Shugenja are more priests (in the religious sense) than spellcasters. Western sources came up with the "throw fireballs around" style of spellcasting, and the Japanese took it and incorporated it into their animation because it looked a whole lot cooler than a guy chanting and having the gaki dissipate.

Thirdly, Vancian spellcasting has NOTHING TO DO with the ToB, except for the wierd memorization of techniques on a daily basis thing.

EDIT: @ Nerd-o-Rama:
Swordguy ninja: ...you know, maybe it's because I've grown to appreciate anime over the past six months or so, but besides the goofy names which I have no trouble ignoring, I just don't see anything wrong with any of that. Why shouldn't everyone in a magical fantasy-land have access to supernatural abilities? Why should everything our characters do depend on whatever glow-in-the-dark magical junk they're carting around? That sounds like damn good ideas to me, and a refreshing change from hidebound fantasy conventions; not "lol Dragon Ball ripoff".

For me at least, I play D&D to play with Western Fantasy tropes. Magic is rare and powerful and always exacts a price. It's not something for everybody - but even if you don't have it, you can make your way in the world through sheer guts and skill. D&D has lost that from its earlier roots (though it didn't help itself once it started requiring people to have magic items to attack certain critters). If I want a magic-heavy land where everyone has plentiful magical abilities, I'll go play another game (and am about to). I don't play D&D to break new ground in gaming, I play it specifically TO indulge in those "hidebound fantasy conventions." It's nice to be able to know exactly where you stand sometimes.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-21, 03:27 AM
I haven't actually read any Vance. What, exactly, else is there to "Vancian spellcasting"?

Xefas
2007-12-21, 03:29 AM
I think when people are referring to "D&D is too anime", they're complaining about the core spellcasters that've been in the game since the very beginning.

I mean, how many wizards do you see flying around, shooting laser beams at people, and who then teleport away when they get in trouble?

Sure you don't have to say "Instant Transmission!" every time you use Teleport or Dimension Door, but that doesn't make it any less like DBZ.

As for all the good anime...well, they just don't know about those.

EDIT: I feel compelled to start a project converting all the spell names into shounen fighting anime-type technique names. By everyone's logic, that makes it like anime.

illathid
2007-12-21, 03:36 AM
EDIT: I feel compelled to start a project converting all the spell names into shounen fighting anime-type technique names. By everyone's logic, that makes it like anime.

That sounds like a fun companion to this thread (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=849692) on the WotC boards. I'd be willing to help if you start the thread.


You may now resume your on topic discussion.

Reinboom
2007-12-21, 03:37 AM
EDIT: I feel compelled to start a project converting all the spell names into shounen fighting anime-type technique names. By everyone's logic, that makes it like anime.

Please, don't insult anime more. :smallfrown:

(J/K, and I would fully support that project... just... wouldn't use it :P)

Kantolin
2007-12-21, 03:38 AM
One thing jumped out at me.


Secondly, Vancian spellcasting is in fact NOT anime, insofar as it came from the east. Japanese spellcasting in mythology tends to be quite subtle and prayerful. Shugenja are more priests (in the religious sense) than spellcasters. Western sources came up with the "throw fireballs around" style of spellcasting, and the Japanese took it and incorporated it into their animation because it looked a whole lot cooler than a guy chanting and having the gaki dissipate.

How is 'The Japanese took it and incorporated it into their animation' different from 'This is what people think when they say 'anime'?

Would stating: 'The Japanese took it and now it is what people think of when they think 'anime'' work? As regardless of where it came from, I believe the stereotypical 'That game system feels too anime' means flying around and shooting lazers.

Also, count me in another school that finds 'Shock Trooper' and 'Desert Wind' to be about similar in style. But hey.

Tengu
2007-12-21, 03:39 AM
On a completely side note, I think it'd be fun if people meant that DND is becoming more like FLCL, and it actually happened.

Artanis
2007-12-21, 03:41 AM
*revs up a guitar*

Reinboom
2007-12-21, 03:44 AM
On a completely side note, I think it'd be fun if people meant that DND is becoming more like FLCL, and it actually happened.

I support this even more so...
Flying insane extraworldly women in bunny outfits flying on a guitar only to pick it up from under them to strike a multiple story tall gun wielding hand?
Hell yes.

But really, I just want to stat out atomsk.

Xefas
2007-12-21, 03:44 AM
On a completely side note, I think it'd be fun if people meant that DND is becoming more like FLCL, and it actually happened.

We have Warforged and you can enchant a Greataxe to use Shout or Irresistible Dance when you pretend to strum it to simulate a guitar. And, while "Chaotic Horny" isn't an official alignment, I'm sure most groups wouldn't have a problem swinging it.

Also, I'm gonna go make that thread now...

Swordguy
2007-12-21, 03:46 AM
One thing jumped out at me.

How is 'The Japanese took it and incorporated it into their animation' different from 'This is what people think when they say 'anime'?

Would stating: 'The Japanese took it and now it is what people think of when they think 'anime'' work? As regardless of where it came from, I believe the stereotypical 'That game system feels too anime' means flying around and shooting lazers.

Also, count me in another school that finds 'Shock Trooper' and 'Desert Wind' to be about similar in style. But hey.


It's not "anime" because it's generally accepted as being magic in a western idiom. Go watch some old sword-and-sorcery flicks sometime (pre 1980), and you'll see magic that can at times (and special effects budget allowing) resemble that of D&D. In short, western audiences had it first, and we've had it repackaged and sold back to us in anime format - but we also get to see it in "regular" form (Mummy movies, D&D movies, Conan, etc) that aren't in any way anime. Therefore, it's not inherently "anime" as much as a swordsman leaping 50 feet in the air and cutting as he falls is.

Also, I'm trying to present a rational and calm analytic argument here (especially regarding the difference between inherent ability and granted ability). The hyperbole I'm getting back from some folks is distressing (this isn't a shot at Kantolin). Counter the arguments with fact, not rhetoric. Don't set up straw men. Please.

Mewtarthio
2007-12-21, 03:47 AM
On a completely side note, I think it'd be fun if people meant that DND is becoming more like FLCL, and it actually happened.

The sad thing is, people would think that was less "anime."

By the way, FLCL has already been incorporated in Unearthed Arcana (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/campaigns/sanity.htm).

TheThan
2007-12-21, 03:49 AM
It also has to do with abilities and powers that give a character the look or feel of an anime character. Take for instance monkey grip, it lets you wield an oversized sword much easier (doesn’t actually reduce any penalties though). Cloud Strife from final fantasy VII, Guts from berserk, Sano from Rorouni Kenshin, and dozens of other anime characters all wield ridiculously huge swords. Now players can create a character that wields a gigantic sword just like their favorite anime characters.

Another thing (which is as much a product of wuxia as anime) is the superhuman power some seem to have. A lot of people call it wirefu, its characters with powers that seem inhuman without the use of magic. In classic DnD, its acceptable for a wizard to cast blur, and leave an afterimage, or cast haste and move faster than the eye can see or cast fly and fly around the battlefield. But for a warrior of some kind to be able to perform the same sorts of actions without the use of magic is unacceptable and therefore deemed anime.

Personally it doesn’t bother me too much, anime is becoming more mainstream, so its more likely to get mixed up in dnd (heck I wouldn’t be surprised to see harry potter type stuff running amok in the next eddition).
In fact my preferred setting is a homebrewed oriental adventures setting.

Miles Invictus
2007-12-21, 03:55 AM
Guys, I think Dode was being sarcastic.

ToB undoubtedly has been influenced by anime. Crack open the book and read the first few chapters, if you don't believe me -- the authors themselves 'fess up to it. That's not a good reason to deride it entirely. The crunch itself is great: melee characters have a variety of tactical options, something only spellcasters used to have. I don't care for the fluff, but the crunch is good enough that I'm willing to ignore it.

I suspect that the equivalent 4th edition maneuvers will have more "grounded" names and descriptions anyway, making some of this discussion moot.

Dode
2007-12-21, 04:00 AM
Ha.

Because "Shock Trooper Power Leap Attacked Battle Jump" isn't an actual name of a technique. It's a bunch of game terms strung together. The technique names in the ToB are, in fact, the technique names.
You speak as if "techniques" aren't in fact game terms. But that is obviously wrong, because they're in the ToB as game terms, specifically, finite special attacks. So I guess I misheard you.

Thirdly, Vancian spellcasting has NOTHING TO DO with the ToB, except for the wierd memorization of techniques on a daily basis thing.Yeah, nothing at all to do with it except for the defining feature.

shadow_archmagi
2007-12-21, 06:02 AM
I have, what I hope is a gem of wisdom.

Consider beowulf. He fought and defeated a giant troll-monster-thing when dozens of others had already fallen to it. Clear example of a high level player, yet nothing supernatural. Hell, consider legolas and his "I can shoot two arrows at once and hit both" gimmick. In the book version of Helm's Deep, if I recall, Gimli gets cut off from the rest and never heads back to the keep, and instead continues fighting for the entire battle. Yet they didn't (as far as I know) fly, or teleport, or hurl lightning about. (Don't bring up gandalf. He wasn't a wizard he was a Maia.)


The common theme I see in anime, and what, personally, bothers me, isn't that people have inherent magical abilities, its that through close combat one gains bloody magic

That is, its one thing if, through studying the arcane for years on end, and mastering its ways, spending hours with spellbooks, you get some dominion of matter, and in D&D, this is supposed to be balanced out by your extreme vulnerability. But a fighter doesn't have that weakness, in fact, he was designed to win in a close up fight. I do believe I've rambled on long enough.

kamikasei
2007-12-21, 06:18 AM
But that's a complaint about magic weapons (eg Lighting enchantments), or Duskblades (and gishes in general), or anything else in the game that isn't pure Fighting or pure Wizarding. It doesn't really apply to the Warblade, say, yet people will still point to that class as Too Anime.

Would you regard a Beowulf statted up as an unarmed swordsage with lots of Setting Sun and Stone Dragon focus to represent his skill as a wrestler as being "more anime" than a Beowulf who was just a Fighter with a high Strength and grapple modifier? From my point of view the chief difference is simply that the former is mechanically more interesting and perhaps capable than the latter; there's no significant flavour difference.

Lord_Kimboat
2007-12-21, 06:26 AM
Well, at least to me, this has sprung out of nowhere. Not that that is unusual, I live in an isolated area. But I've never thought that D&D has been anything remotely like Anime - except for a few instances. I do know one guy who creates characters that are all like some cute anime girls (catgirls, etc.) but that's really about it.

However, since I'm not much of an anime fan, I may have missed a lot of this. It's been mentioned that ToB has a bunch of anime stuff in it - well I don't have that book so I can't comment. But what is turning anime in D&D? I saw the lame 4ed Gnome Tiefling interview thing - it was animated and maybe anime style if I squint the right way. So how is D&D becoming like anime?

Roderick_BR
2007-12-21, 06:29 AM
The common theme I see in anime, and what, personally, bothers me, isn't that people have inherent magical abilities, its that through close combat one gains bloody magic

That is, its one thing if, through studying the arcane for years on end, and mastering its ways, spending hours with spellbooks, you get some dominion of matter, and in D&D, this is supposed to be balanced out by your extreme vulnerability. But a fighter doesn't have that weakness, in fact, he was designed to win in a close up fight. I do believe I've rambled on long enough.
And yet, a wizard learns how to cast better spells like fly, teleport, and scry, by setting orcs ablaze.
Yeah, sometimes anime does get ridiculous (like Naruto. Those guys cast spells, I don't care what they call those things, that is magic to me. Change "chacka" to "mana", and you have it. Fun show to watch, still).
In some, like DBZ, just train a bit of martial arts, and you can fly. Wait, what? :smallconfused:

I like the moves in ToB, when they are not ridiculous. Most of the tiger claw and iron heart maneuvers are cool. You can hit harder, or walk and attack with both weapons, something a normal fighter can't do without a special training.
To be able to pounce, you need to select that ability at around 13th-14th level, and do it once every encounter. A 1st level barbarian can do it every round.

As someone pointed out, most of the time its just the fluff that people get annoyed. There had a thread about people complaining about some wizard feat called gold wyrm adept something, that allowed you to avoid hitting allies with an area spell. Shock and horror, it was awful and everything.
But in the Complete Adventurer (or Arcane, don't remember right now) there's a feat simply called "Extraordinary Spell Aim", that does the exact same thing. I never see anyone complaining about it.
It's just name. Fluff that can be changed.

Another example of fluff? Somewhere in the core books, they say that you can chance a bluff without affecting the crunch. Then they use the "move silently" skill. Lidda calls it "tip toeing" or the likes, while Amber calls it "walk over dry leafs" or something. In the end, it's still yer ol' Move Silently skill.

Reinboom
2007-12-21, 06:37 AM
So I guess I misheard you.
Yeah, nothing at all to do with it except for the defining feature.

Ok, then. Lets call ToB vancian (which is wrong). And since your first statement said that ToB was anime because it was vancian, this means that what is vancian is anime, right? Since the statement you originally made can't work unless you are inclusive (and largely targetting) vancian casting with the statement... this means that vancian is anime.
Vancian has been there since 1st edition.
So..
D&D has been an anime all along!

(This post is littered with sarcasm and misuse of terms, just to emphasize the improper use of terms but a few. Please, think of the terms.)

kamikasei
2007-12-21, 06:38 AM
Yeah, sometimes anime does get ridiculous (like Naruto. Those guys cast spells, I don't care what they call those things, that is magic to me. Change "chacka" to "mana", and you have it. Fun show to watch, still).

In fairness, they're not claiming not to be wizards. They're not saying they ought to be statted up using the Ninja class in D&D. In the world of Naruto, ninja can use what amounts to magic. It's not particularly ridiculous in the setting, any more than the existence of wizards is ridiculous in other settings.

Dode
2007-12-21, 06:39 AM
Shifty rogue with clearly magical abilities? Clearly the Assassin is little more then WoTC cribbing notes off Naruto.

D&D 3.5 Core is getting too anime

Reinboom
2007-12-21, 06:42 AM
Shifty rogue with clearly magical abilities? Clearly the Assassin is little more then WoTC cribbing notes off Naruto.

D&D 3.5 Core is getting too anime

Assassin was in 3.0 Core, IIRC (and my sources show this to be true).

3.0 core was 2000.

Naruto started in 2002.

-edit-
Ah, yes, confirmed. Assassin - with spells - was 3.0.

@ Kamikasei below: That's hilarious.

kamikasei
2007-12-21, 06:42 AM
Vancian has been there since 1st edition.
So..
D&D has been an anime all along!

Soylent D&D is anime! Anime!!!

Dode
2007-12-21, 06:43 AM
Ok, then. Lets call ToB vancian (which is wrong). And since your first statement said that ToB was anime because it was vancian, this means that what is vancian is anime, right? Since the statement you originally made can't work unless you are inclusive (and largely targetting) vancian casting with the statement... this means that vancian is anime.
Vancian has been there since 1st edition.
So..
D&D has been an anime all along
What's this?

A Gish?

I know what D&D 1E is getting

And it's not getting too close to a genre of well established Western fantasy literary mores, drawing inspiration from the 18th Century Romantic period of Arthurian Romance

Reinboom
2007-12-21, 06:45 AM
What's this?

A Gish?

I know what D&D 1E is getting

And it's not getting too close to a genre of well established Western fantasy literary mores, drawing inspiration from the 18th Century Romantic period of Arthurian Romance

You know, I'm not the one who said it. :smallsigh:

Vancian spellcasting like in the ToB is "anime".

Talk to this guy.

Learnedguy
2007-12-21, 07:17 AM
If D&D turning anime means that I'll be able to field a Berserk campaign, then I'm all in (actually I already can), considering the fact that Berserk probably is the best graphic medium interpretion of D&D. And no, they don't scream out the name of their attack, and yes, to do the vastly superhuman tricks, the hero has to use a magical set of armor.

Kinda ironic that it would be an anime (well technically a manga). The later chapter even got characters who you could put into the different nichés:smallbiggrin:

Mr. Friendly
2007-12-21, 07:31 AM
When I hear the D&D is too Anime, all I can think of is the Slayers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slayers) anime.

Edit: Oh and Naruto and company us Chakra as a power source. Chakras, as you may remember, are used in Incarnum. Thus Naruto and Co. use Incarnum and shape soulmelds.

FWIW, I hated Naruto when I first saw it, but over time was won over by my D&D group who sold me on it as "Look how D&D it is! You can practically hear the dice rolling!"

Closet_Skeleton
2007-12-21, 07:50 AM
Shugenja are more priests (in the religious sense) than spellcasters.

Actually, Shugenja are warrior monks who seclude themselves in the mountains. The D&D Shugenja is based off the Legend of the Five Rings cardgame, which is a fantasy world which doesn't represent Japan at any point in its history.

Japanese 'spellcasters' may have been priests, but so are all real world (even if they were charlatans or superstitious fools) spellcasters. The word 'Mage' and 'Magic' comes from Magi, the Persian word for Priest.

I've used anime inspiration in my D&D games, but most of what I use has a Western source that some Japanese Xenophile adapted before me.

Here are my problems with this stupid arguement:

1. Japanese console games aren't anime. Cloud Strife is not an anime character, he is a videogame character. A lot of the things people are complaining about originated in Japanese Role Playing games, which in turn are based off D&D anyway.

2. Wuxia is Chinese and Tome of Battle is actually more like Wuxia.

3. Nobody complained about the tentacle monsters in the Monster Manual, oh wait, those are Lovecraft rip offs.

4. D&D isn't exactly medieval.

5. Anime isn't a genre.

6. I've yet to see giant sweatdrops and facefaulting in a D&D book.

SpikeFightwicky
2007-12-21, 08:05 AM
But that's a complaint about magic weapons (eg Lighting enchantments), or Duskblades (and gishes in general), or anything else in the game that isn't pure Fighting or pure Wizarding. It doesn't really apply to the Warblade, say, yet people will still point to that class as Too Anime.

Would you regard a Beowulf statted up as an unarmed swordsage with lots of Setting Sun and Stone Dragon focus to represent his skill as a wrestler as being "more anime" than a Beowulf who was just a Fighter with a high Strength and grapple modifier? From my point of view the chief difference is simply that the former is mechanically more interesting and perhaps capable than the latter; there's no significant flavour difference.

OMG that would be NOTHING similar to a Beowulf build... That build is so anime, the closest it gets is Beowurufu. :smallwink:

Whenever I see a 'OMGZ D&D is turning into ANIME I HATE WOTC' comment, it reeks of narrowmindedness (to me, at least). It's about as logical as saying: D&D has some Conan elements in it. Conan is a movie. OH MY GOD, Battlefield Earth is ALSO a movie AND in which humans fight large inhuman invaders (and have a heaping metric ton of DM Fiat to win the day)! Our party fought off a bunch of attacking ogres last session.... Hey WotC, stop making D&D into cheezy B movies!

But I digress... watch stuff like 'Ringing Bell' or 'Grave of the Fireflies'. How many D&D games emulate those? (I watched Ringing Bell when I was about 6... I think my parents thought it would be another happy Disney story. Couldn't be further from the truth!) Probably none. But the bottom line only knows DBZ and Naruto, and likely only saw the Americ censor/dub version (western actors can't act well in eastern shows, apparently) so we're stuck with OMG ToB is ANIME, 4th ed. has ToB elements, thus 4th Ed is ANIME!

Matthew
2007-12-21, 08:30 AM
In my opinion, when people say D&D is getting too anime, what they really mean is that D&D is getting too ridiculous.

It's like Xena Warrior Princess or Hercules the Legendary Journeys, though; when I first watched them I thought they were the most ridiculous things I had ever seen, especially some of the fight scenes. Now I watch the fight scenes and I no longer think that, I just accept it within it's genre.

D&D is such an open game that it has no particular genre, but there is something of a genre shift going on, which is reflecting popular culture, and that's towards the more 'fantastic'.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-12-21, 09:16 AM
(western actors can't act well in eastern shows, apparently)

fixed and re-adjusted to account for Sturgeon's law.

Drascin
2007-12-21, 09:16 AM
On a completely side note, I think it'd be fun if people meant that DND is becoming more like FLCL, and it actually happened.

That would probably require the addition of Sanity checks. Not for the characters, but for the players.

I love it :smallamused:


When I hear the D&D is too Anime, all I can think of is the Slayers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slayers) anime.

Hear, hear. Slayers is probably the most accurate depiction of an average D&D game in any audiovisual medium. You got the pyromaniac sorcerer, the stupid fighter, the totally overpowered BBEG that somehow keeps being screwed by the heroes, the random NPCs that are nothing but fodder for the PCs, the fixation with dungeons and inns, etc, etc. There's a lot of jokes and metahumor, and not a single "player" takes the campaign seriously. Yep, sounds pretty much like standard D&D :smalltongue:


If D&D turning anime means that I'll be able to field a Berserk campaign, then I'm all in (actually I already can), considering the fact that Berserk probably is the best graphic medium interpretion of D&D. And no, they don't scream out the name of their attack, and yes, to do the vastly superhuman tricks, the hero has to use a magical set of armor.

Kinda ironic that it would be an anime (well technically a manga). The later chapter even got characters who you could put into the different nichés:smallbiggrin:

...someone who agrees with me? Man, what is this world coming to?

Yeah, that's what I keep saying in the fighter threads: if you need to think what a high level meleer should be, look at Gatsu, not Aragorn. Gatsu is a very accurate depiction of what a high level D&D melee character is supposed to be - technically non-magic, but patently superhuman in both skill and resistance. I'd say he'd make a good Barbarian/Crusader, with some levels of Frenzied Berserker after the armor comes into play.

And yeah, the group in the latest chapters could certainly be statted easily as well:

Serpico: Rogue/swashbuckler. Had heavy access to Complete Scoundrel, too. Has a Cape of Flying and a Rapier of Being More Awesome Than You.
Isidoro: Useless comic relief... I mean, probably getting around level 2 or 3 of Rogue. Carries a few fireball beads and a Flaming burst shortsword.
Schierke: Mmmmm... casts spells, but also uses a kind of magic that bases in the contact with spirits... I'll go with Sorc/Binder/reflavored Anima Mage.
Kiasca: Was a mid-level fighter/marshal until... you know.
Farnese: Aristocrat, of course. Getting her first levels in Sorcerer as we speak.

...y'know, it's a pity Vancian just doesn't work for Berserk. Everything else wouldn't even require houseruling to make a campaign out of it.

Jayabalard
2007-12-21, 10:34 AM
I think when people are referring to "D&D is too anime", they're complaining about the core spellcasters that've been in the game since the very beginning.

I mean, how many wizards do you see flying around, shooting laser beams at people, and who then teleport away when they get in trouble?IMO, this is completely backwards.

"Too anime" isn't a complaint about spellcasters; everyone expects them to be able to do things that are impossible in the real world, because they're using magic. Magic is what lets you get out of obeying the laws of physics, so that's ok.

The "Too anime" complaint is about the non spell casters doing things that are impossible in the real world; not just things that are "slightly" impossible, but completely telling the laws of physics to sit down and shut up. It's the ultimate level of cinematic, which is why you'll sometimes see people using both terms to describe this situation.

DeathQuaker
2007-12-21, 10:58 AM
Hear, hear. Slayers is probably the most accurate depiction of an average D&D game in any audiovisual medium. You got the pyromaniac sorcerer, the stupid fighter, the totally overpowered BBEG that somehow keeps being screwed by the heroes, the random NPCs that are nothing but fodder for the PCs, the fixation with dungeons and inns, etc, etc. There's a lot of jokes and metahumor, and not a single "player" takes the campaign seriously. Yep, sounds pretty much like standard D&D :smalltongue:

I have heard, though I have no proof, that the Slayers was a matter of fact based somewhat on the author's own gaming experiences.

Slayers itself is EXTREMELY high power level. The main character can literally level a city with a single spell. (When Slayers d20 came out, they interpreted this as 2d6 per caster level, no maximum. Lina does something like 36d6 damage (fortitude partial)).

I am *not* familiar with fighting anime--not my thing--but most anime I have seen (which runs the gamut from dystopic future to fantasy to space opera to quasi-shounen-detective-with-shoujo-characterization ((a.k.a. Read or Die)) to even, I have to admit, some magical girl) does fall on the high power level scale (though one of the exceptions is my Avatar). I remember Exalted was described as "anime-like" to indicate it was high-power-level (well, that and the art).

I agree that calling something "too anime" is horribly inaccurate (because yes, it's a medium, not a genre) though the only generalized principle I can draw from that is that it means "high power" (and that's a poor generalization at that).

And I don't know if D&D actually is accurately described by that. It gets powerful, certainly, and 4e might tilt that scale (I have no idea) but just the whole idea of starting at level 1 is so *not* high-power-level anime ("Hi! I'm Lina Inverse, and I'm 16 years old AND a 19th level spellcaster!") that I don't get the connection.

In summary: I have no idea what those people are talking about.

(I also have no idea what I'm talking about, but that's not new.)

Catch
2007-12-21, 11:20 AM
See, I remember the "ZOMG ANIMU" comments when ToB first became popular, and I was more than a little surprised at the general consensus of what "anime" was, especially from people who hadn't watched much of it. I mean, if I rode the same train of thought, I could loudly make an almost identical claim that "D&D is too wuxia."

Does giving an attack a name make it "anime?" If face you with my left side, bring my right leg up and kick with a high sweeping motion, it's still the same attack, no matter what you call it. Call it a roundhouse kick or call it Leopard Leaps From The Tree, it's still the same thing, which is why I don't agree with the "anime" comments.

In game, do you introduce yourself as a Fighter? No. You might be a warrior or a soldier or an armsman or a general. Names aren't important.

Would a fireball be more "western" if it was called Fire2? Maybe, but it's more interesting and realistic to call it something descriptive.

What's the difference between these two attack routines?

"I strike him down with my Elder Mountain Hammer!" and "I hit him really hard."

The name. Well, and a lack of creativity.

Anyway, to keep things short, fluff is the easiest thing to change in D&D and it has no impact on the game mechanics whatsoever. Why would someone scorn a perfectly viable class or ability simply on merit of its name?

Thinker
2007-12-21, 11:20 AM
IMO, this is completely backwards.

"Too anime" isn't a complaint about spellcasters; everyone expects them to be able to do things that are impossible in the real world, because they're using magic. Magic is what lets you get out of obeying the laws of physics, so that's ok.

The "Too anime" complaint is about the non spell casters doing things that are impossible in the real world; not just things that are "slightly" impossible, but completely telling the laws of physics to sit down and shut up. It's the ultimate level of cinematic, which is why you'll sometimes see people using both terms to describe this situation.

That doesn't mean that non spell casters shouldn't be able to do the fantastic. As the characters get further and further away from being mortal they should become less recognizable as being such. A good way to show this is by giving abilities that are clearly above and beyond what a mundane person could do.

I don't think there needs to be a distinction in east and west. They are there as inspiration for creators of new things. There is nothing inherently anime about anything in DnD, but plenty has been inspired by it.

hamishspence
2007-12-21, 11:44 AM
I define anime primarily in terms of art style. Maybe manga is a better term. Hate it. Razor sharp edges, ridiculously distorted bodies (Mouths, i'm looking at YOU)

Now if every single picture in 4th ed rulebooks was pure anime style, I would have trouble opening them. YUCK!!!!

Now this is a personal taste. Most modern D&D art tries to stick to realistic physiques, and when it doesn't (Wayne Reynolds) it is overmuscling that is main culpit. Apart from that, I place Wayne Reynolds near top of my list of D&D artists.

Now anime as an influence is a difficult thing to define. When I cracked open TOB, I did not think Anime, I thought: Computer games. LOTS of computer game style stuff, some more realistic than others, but all cool. I said to myself: I could see Jedi or Sith doing these things (Esp hurl weapon Iron Heart power)

so, i might have been INDIRECTLY influenced by it by thinking these things cool.

Rich has seen anime, and if you assume he tributes anything he finds interesting, the I Choose YOU paladin mounts are proof of it.

So I say. It is the art that makes me wince. The ideas, I do not know well enough.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 11:49 AM
Actually, Shugenja are warrior monks who seclude themselves in the mountains. The D&D Shugenja is based off the Legend of the Five Rings cardgame, which is a fantasy world which doesn't represent Japan at any point in its history.

Except, of course, that Legend of the Five Rings came out in 1995, and the Shujenja class first appeared in 1E Oriental Adventures in 1985.

But on the OP, I have to admit to not watching a tonne of anime. But I fail to see the real complaint. Sure, D&D may be drawing from multiple sources, and that's obviously a bad things right? After all, we all want to play exactly the same game, and none of us have the creativity or imagination to discreetly apply what amounts to pure fluff in a manner that is consistent with our gaming desires. :)

And while one could play the ToB manuevers complete with big eyes, spiky hair and yelling out the manuever's name while completing it, I certainly didn't. My wizard character also doesn't sceam "Level 10 Fireball" or "Evard's Black Tentacles!" when casting either. But maybe I am not playing right.

[/sarcasm]

Really people, its fluff. Pure fluff. Find anywhere in the rules where it says anything about anime. Just because, gasp, WotC tried to level the playing field a bit between pure casters and warriors, and gave warriors some mythical abilities, does not make it anime.

Matthew
2007-12-21, 11:58 AM
Really people, its fluff. Pure fluff. Find anywhere in the rules where it says anything about anime. Just because, gasp, WotC tried to level the playing field a bit between pure casters and warriors, and gave warriors some mythical abilities, does not make it anime.

I just cannot agree with this point of view. To me, fluff/flavour/description is actually quite important. Mechanics independent of fluff just seems silly to me. I could take a Wizard, give him a Dagger and call it a Long Sword, but it just isn't a satisfactory outcome for me. I want my Wizard to be able to use a Long Sword, not a Dagger that has been reflavoured as a Long Sword.

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 12:00 PM
Yes, when people say "D&D is becoming too anime" they're referring to shonen anime, specifically fighting anime. However, as was mentioned, that's what's usually shown on TV, and what most people think of when they see the word "Anime"... they don't think "Oh, it's becoming more like Fruits Basket", they think "Dammit, more Dragonball Z". I have a fair amount of experience with a wide variety of anime (I was the sponsor of a High School anime club for two years, and my ex and I watch a lot of anime), but I knew what people meant when they said "becoming too anime", so I have to wonder if people are being deliberately obtuse on this point to give them a chance to be pedantic.

The Tome of Battle is not Vancian spellcasting, either in the traditional sense or in the gaming sense. While you have to prepare certain maneuvers ahead of time, you can use them multiple times a day based on that single preparation. That's at odds both with Vance and with the usual way the term is used in gaming circles. Vancian spellcasting includes a single preparation resulting in being able to cast a spell once (and I'll point out that in the Dying Earth novels, people bragged about being able to hold 5 or 6 spells at once, and magic could be severely screwed up... like when Cugel accidentally reversed an Imprisonment spell and freed EVERYONE in the area who had ever been caught in one.)

Beowulf is the example people like to bring up when they're protesting "Western stuff has just as much wild and crazy fighting in it as anime!". Beowulf fighting sea monsters while swimming, ripping off Grendel's arm, etc.. Realize, though, that none of those are really supernatural feats... superhuman, yes, but not supernatural in the traditional sense of the word. The Geats (and other Swedes) regularly swam, and even had wrestling contests in the water. Wrestling was a combat form to them, same as sword-and-board, and severe injury was possible. You might not rip off your opponent's arm, but you could break their arm pretty bad... ripping it off is a superhuman extension of what they knew, not a supernatural one.

On the other hand, short-distance teleportation, or making your sword catch on fire because of your skills (and not even a Shishio Makoto style trick... just burning because you will it to) comes across as very "anime"; in reading those particular Desert Wind maneuvers, I was taken back to the fight between Kenshin and Shishio, and thought "There's no way they don't know who they're cribbing off of." In a Monk, it's not objectionable because they're specifically a mystic character (though, FWIW, I usually discourage monks in games I run; I don't feel they fit the tone I usually go for). In a Wizard, it's not objectionable because they're specifically a character who wields magic. In a fighter, who's given as a non-magical character? In a rogue, whose magic is in mechanics? It's harder to see as being "within genre" when the genre is defined as being "Medieval European-inspired sword and sorcery", of which I see Dungeons and Dragons being a subgenre of.

That said, I think it is the more contemporary view of Dungeons and Dragons, not as a subgenre of Medieval European-inspired sword and sorcery but, instead, as a system for role-playing, which transcends it's original genre. That's not a problem, but it does tend to clash with some people's perception of what D&D is, because that's what it was. If I want to play Asian-based fantasy, I'm not going to play D&D; I'm going to drag out Legend of the Five Rings, because the system better emulates what I'd want from it. If I want to play magical warriors and wizards in a gritty world, I'm going to play Earthdawn, not Eberron. When I look to get away from the D&D experience, I get away from D&D. When I see radical changes or additions being made to the system to better accommodate styles of play that I feel are better covered by other games, I see D&D as getting away from me.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 12:01 PM
I just cannot agree with this point of view. To me, fluff/flavour/description is actually quite important. Mechanics independent of fluff just seems silly to me. I could take a Wizard, give him a Dagger and call it a Long Sword, but it just isn't a satisfactory outcome for me. I want my Wizard to be able to use a Long Sword, not a Dagger that has been reflavoured as a Long Sword.

That's a straw man argument there Matthew. The difference between longsword and dagger is a mechanical one, covered by the rules. They have different weights, lengths, rules governing them, and damages.

Mechanics are never fluff. And fluff is never mechanics.

Of course, now that I have said that, 20 people will chime in with examples that disprove my assertion, but I'll stand by it for now.

EDIT for ninjaness above!:

And, I am a bit confused when people talk about "fighters" wielding these powers with nothing more than normal human ability. Fighters, as a class, do not get manuevers. If they are exhibiting "magical" or supernatural abilities, its because they either a) have a magic item (which no one begrudges them), b) have somehow received a supernatural SLA (which no one begrudges them), c) have multi-classed into a gish, ToB class, or mage class or d) taken a feat which allows them to take a manuever.

None of these are coming from the fighter's natural ability as a warrior. If people want to say that the ToB classes are fighters, that's all well and good. But its simply not accurate. They (the ToB classes) are specialized mystic warriors who do channel magical energy, in one form or another. And any fighter that takes the feats to gain access to a manuever or two has spent time and energy learning how to channel magical energy too. So its not a case of "normal people" suddenly channeling magic. Its magical characters channeling magic. Which is not a problem, is it?

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 12:03 PM
I just cannot agree with this point of view. To me, fluff/flavour/description is actually quite important. Mechanics independent of fluff just seems silly to me. I could take a Wizard, give him a Dagger and call it a Long Sword, but it just isn't a satisfactory outcome for me. I want my Wizard to be able to use a Long Sword, not a Dagger that has been reflavoured as a Long Sword.

I agree wholeheartedly. (http://rpg-crank.livejournal.com/17892.html)

Starsinger
2007-12-21, 12:03 PM
Yes, when people say "D&D is becoming too anime" they're referring to shonen anime, specifically fighting anime. However, as was mentioned, that's what's usually shown on TV, and what most people think of when they see the word "Anime"... they don't think "Oh, it's becoming more like Fruits Basket", they think "Dammit, more Dragonball Z".

Yeah.. I think, if anything D&D should become more like Sailor Moon or Gravitation.. :smallbiggrin:

Actually, I'm pretty sure the Warlock class can be refluffed to make suitable magical girls.. had I not promised my DM that an upcoming warlock wouldn't be annoying I'd give that a shot..

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 12:08 PM
That's a straw man argument there Matthew. The difference between longsword and dagger is a mechanical one, covered by the rules. They have different weights, lengths, rules governing them, and damages.

I disagree that it is a straw man, and think that your statement proves why. People frequently say "If you don't like the fluff, change it! It doesn't matter, so long as the rules are the same." I feel very strongly that the meat of a game comes from description and how it attaches to the bones underneath. If Matthew wants his wizard to wield a longsword, but can't swing the feats necessary, then changing the description of his dagger into one matching a longsword is no different than saying "If you don't like how X maneuver is described as working, describe it differently. So long as the mechanics stay the same, it doesn't matter."

But your quote proves that they are different. His dagger/longsword won't function like a real longsword, it will just be called one. Similarly, a maneuver which has been given different meat to cover its crunch won't be what you want... it will just be a recovered bit of bone, with the meat hanging on it loosely.

NEO|Phyte
2007-12-21, 12:12 PM
In a fighter, who's given as a non-magical character? In a rogue, whose magic is in mechanics? It's harder to see as being "within genre" when the genre is defined as being "Medieval European-inspired sword and sorcery", of which I see Dungeons and Dragons being a subgenre of.
I'm away from my books currently, but doesn't the class with access to your 'anime' manouvers actually have fluff-based connections to the arcane? I seem to recall that being brought up in previous threads.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-12-21, 12:13 PM
Except, of course, that Legend of the Five Rings came out in 1995, and the Shujenja class first appeared in 1E Oriental Adventures in 1985.

The name Sukenja was used in the original Oriental Adventures, but that isn't the Shugenja class that appeared in 3rd Edition.

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 12:14 PM
Yeah.. I think, if anything D&D should become more like Sailor Moon or Gravitation.. :smallbiggrin:

Actually, I'm pretty sure the Warlock class can be refluffed to make suitable magical girls.. had I not promised my DM that an upcoming warlock wouldn't be annoying I'd give that a shot..
DEAR GODS IT CAN! THE GOGGLES, THEY DO NOTHING!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2188/2127339000_8bdcb01897.jpg

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 12:16 PM
I'm away from my books currently, but doesn't the class with access to your 'anime' manouvers actually have fluff-based connections to the arcane? I seem to recall that being brought up in previous threads.

They're also provided as replacements for the fighter. While their meat may connect them to the arcane (or, at least, monk-style training), not everyone wants to play that.

NEO|Phyte
2007-12-21, 12:23 PM
They're also provided as replacements for the fighter. While their meat may connect them to the arcane (or, at least, monk-style training), not everyone wants to play that.

If you mean fighter as the class, the Warblade would be its replacement. If you mean fighters in general, you'd be correct that not everyone wants to play that (personally, I prefer my fighters as fighters, not some shifty fellow with barely any armor on), but what about the ones that DO?

Frosty
2007-12-21, 12:24 PM
You want DnD to be nitty gritty and less "anime"? Then get rid of ALL magic in your world. that'll be nitty-gritty enough for you.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 12:30 PM
I disagree that it is a straw man, and think that your statement proves why. People frequently say "If you don't like the fluff, change it! It doesn't matter, so long as the rules are the same." I feel very strongly that the meat of a game comes from description and how it attaches to the bones underneath. If Matthew wants his wizard to wield a longsword, but can't swing the feats necessary, then changing the description of his dagger into one matching a longsword is no different than saying "If you don't like how X maneuver is described as working, describe it differently. So long as the mechanics stay the same, it doesn't matter."

But your quote proves that they are different. His dagger/longsword won't function like a real longsword, it will just be called one. Similarly, a maneuver which has been given different meat to cover its crunch won't be what you want... it will just be a recovered bit of bone, with the meat hanging on it loosely.

I understand what you are saying there, but the meat, as you refer to it, of the ToB, which is the book all the anime nay-sayers seem to focus upon, doesn't have any meat that relates to anime. If you can provide some, please do.

Sure, these mystic warriors can do some "magical" effects, but so can the Cleric. The Paladin. The Ranger. The Monk. The Druid. The Wizard. The Rogue. And don't even get me started on the non-core classes. :)

Calling a book anime because the names of the manuevers bears some superfical similarity to a genre of cartoon seems a bit over the top. After all, look at the majority of the manuevers. Most of them do things that other classes / feats can replicate. Without resorting to magic. And the ones that can't be replicated in that way... well, they can be replicated with magic items or spells. None of which are accused of being anime.

Something tells me that if the names of the manuevers didn't bear that similarity to anime, this entire discussion (and the thousands that preceeded it) would never have occured.

Now, if the RULES required that a Crusader scream out "DIVINE AVALANCHE!!!!" as he flew through the air, accompanied by lengthy jumps and swirling color patterns, and his eyes grew to five times their normal size... well that would be anime.

If its the effect of the manuevers that is "too anime" can someone explain to me how Smite Evil, Pounce, Turn Undead, Summon Mount, hell... the entire magic system, managed to avoid being called "anime" for 30+ years?

Tengu
2007-12-21, 12:43 PM
Actually, I'm pretty sure the Warlock class can be refluffed to make suitable magical girls.. had I not promised my DM that an upcoming warlock wouldn't be annoying I'd give that a shot..

Well yeah, the only things you really need is to get rid of the alignment restrictions, add Transformation Sequence as a class feature and refluff most of the powers. Refluff them heavily.

On a side (but still very offtopic) note, I think I'll add some FLCL d20 content to the homebrew section. We'll probably see the return of the forgotten 3.0 skill, Innuendo, for example - but you can use it only for sexual references, shout outs to other shows, and breaking the fourth wall. And it can be used unconsciously, without intent.

Deepblue706
2007-12-21, 12:50 PM
The term "anime" is used by most people to describe the highly fantastical elements of the game that cross what they see as proper boundaries. Turn Undead isn't among them because it's something done in vampire movies. Summon Mount isn't because Gandalf did it Lord of the Rings, and Link does it in Zelda. The closest thing they can associate wordy techniques that are superior to conventional methods of fighting is found in anime, thus that's why they use that term.

While I won't say D&D is getting to be too "anime", I do agree with the sentiment - it's getting way too fantastic, focusing on all the "wrong" things. Of course, as they're trying to sell a product, WotC will exploit the desires of younger crowds who crave the next level of entertainment, because the younger audience is already accustomed to the previous generation's "boring" methods of play, and need something bigger, stronger, faster, better...and if they are not the target audience, WotC loses out.

After the release of 4ed, I may very well just make a permanent switch to GURPS.

Matthew
2007-12-21, 12:51 PM
That's a straw man argument there Matthew. The difference between longsword and dagger is a mechanical one, covered by the rules. They have different weights, lengths, rules governing them, and damages.

Mechanics are never fluff. And fluff is never mechanics.

Of course, now that I have said that, 20 people will chime in with examples that disprove my assertion, but I'll stand by it for now.

As Nexx says and as far as I understand your argument, I don't think it is a Straw Man. If you could clarify what your argument is with this example in mind, I would be much obliged.

To extend it to Tome of Battle, I could reflavour the War Blade as a Fighter or a Knight, but mechanically that's not what he is. I could call a Fighter a War Blade, if I wanted or a Ninja or whatever, but things are defined by their mechanics.

Now if your argument is that as long as the mechanics represent the fluff, then all is well, that's slightly different. I could, for instance, take the mechanics of a War Hammer and reflavour it as a Blunt Axe of the Xantos Clan, but when it comes down to it, that's not what it is. If the rules say creature X is 'only affected by War Hammers', then this poses a question as to the true nature of the 'Blunt Axe of the Xantos Clan.'

A War Blade is a War Blade; a character can make knowledge checks to know about them. If you reflavour that Class, then you need to alter the mechanics to reflect the representation, even if only slightly.

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 12:53 PM
If its the effect of the manuevers that is "too anime" can someone explain to me how Smite Evil, [...] Turn Undead, Summon Mount, hell... the entire magic system, managed to avoid being called "anime" for 30+ years?

Again, these are from characters who are specifically described as utilizing magic. It is understood that they will have magical abilities. That a paladin, a representative of a god, can do things with that god's power is within genre (though it should be noted that they grew more magical with the introduction of 3.0; warhorses became something you summoned from the aether, rather than quested for and kept next to your as a living being). That a wizard can cast spells is within the genre. That a common fighter can summon a fire elemental to flank his opponents, heal themselves and others by hitting people, or gain an incredible sense of smell by assuming a particular stance (all 1st level maneuvers) goes beyond the genre conventions of D&D.

Artanis
2007-12-21, 12:55 PM
As Nexx says and as far as I understand your argument, I don't think it is a Straw Man. If you could clarify what your argument is with this example in mind, I would be much obliged.

To extend it to Tome of Battle, I could reflavour the War Blade as a Fighter or a Knight, but mechanically that's not what he is. I could call a Fighter a War Blade, if I wanted or a Ninja or whatever, but things are defined by their mechanics.
Just as another example...

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0209.html

NEO|Phyte
2007-12-21, 12:58 PM
Incidentally, when I came up with the idea to make a character that took the Bloodclaw Master and Bloodstorm Blade PrCs, did I unwittingly copy some anime? The main reason I did it was the get the power of the 4-armed full attack minus the need to close to melee range. It also fits wonderfully with the discussion at hand, what with the less-than-natural (4 weapons, 13 attacks, 100' of space in between, within 6 seconds) abilities without any magical (or even supernatural) assistance.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 12:59 PM
The reason that I referred to it as a straw man argument was because you took an example of mechanics, called it fluff, and then used that to "prove" your point.

I said: "ToB and all the anime arguments are about fluff"
You said: "Sure, fluff. I can have my wiazrd wield a dagger, and call it a longsword, and its still fluff."
I said: "Nope, those are rules. Not fluff."

Not sure I am understanding your question, or your earlier point. Sure, your wizard can call his dagger a longsword IC, but OOC (where the rules are) its a dagger. And IC, he is going to get some odd looks when he takes his "longsword" to a smith for sharpening, and asks how much to sharpen it. :)

And your point about things being defined by their mechanics is exactly what I am talking about. A Fighter is just that. I can call the Warblade a Fighter, but I am wrong. He isn't a Fighter. He is a warrior, they both fight, etc. but by the rules, he's a Warblade. That's not fluff, that is mechanics.

Or in Mr. Nexx's terminology, that's not meat, that's bones. And the meat is the tasty part sure. But the meat doesn't exist without the bones. Well, except in Oryx & Crake. Chickie-nobbs for the win! :)

You can cook the meat however you want. You can serve it with whatever side dish you prefer. But you still need to acknowledge the bones. That's my whole point. Meat is what our imaginations let us do. Bones is what the rules provide. And the anime arguments are pure meat arguments. You want chicken and I want pork. Both meats. Both completely different. Both have the same "bones".

:)

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 01:01 PM
If you mean fighter as the class, the Warblade would be its replacement. If you mean fighters in general, you'd be correct that not everyone wants to play that (personally, I prefer my fighters as fighters, not some shifty fellow with barely any armor on), but what about the ones that DO?

This goes back to the change in D&D from a subgenre of sword and sorcery to a system for role-playing that transcends that original genre.

OD&D, 1e, and 2e were very much in the sword and sorcery genre. There were some exceptions (Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, Dark Sun, Spelljammer), but even these drew from the sword and sorcery genre as their primary inspiration.

3.x has, IMO, moved away from that. While you can still play the sword and sorcery genre within D&D, the game has expanded beyond being solely of that genre. It is now making attempts to encompass shonen-style play, gritty adventure, etc. If you want to use D&D as your only system, this is good news. If you want to play "a shifty fellow with barely any armor on", then D&D's glasnost is great news. If you use D&D to play a specific subgenre of sword and sorcery, the game looks to be moving away from what you want, especially as those modifications and supplements become part of the core.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 01:01 PM
That a common fighter can summon a fire elemental to flank his opponents, heal themselves and others by hitting people, or gain an incredible sense of smell by assuming a particular stance (all 1st level maneuvers) goes beyond the genre conventions of D&D.

Except "common fighters" don't do these things. Show me anywhere where "common fighters" get manuevers or any other flashy, magical abilities or something other than that. Warblades, Swordsages and Crusaders are not "common fighters". Fighters are "common fighters". The other three are, at the least, mystic warriors or divine champions.

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 01:04 PM
You can cook the meat however you want. You can serve it with whatever side dish you prefer. But you still need to acknowledge the bones. That's my whole point. Meat is what our imaginations let us do. Bones is what the rules provide. And the anime arguments are pure meat arguments. You want chicken and I want pork. Both meats. Both completely different. Both have the same "bones".

A lamb and a cow do not have the same meat. If you put lamb meat on cow bones, it's not the same thing as having beef for dinner.

Attilargh
2007-12-21, 01:06 PM
Could you quit the food talk, please? The simile is starting to slip into the territory of Dis (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Dissimile), and you're making me hungry.

Alyosha
2007-12-21, 01:07 PM
Being an old anime fan, I might lack recent experience with newer series to determine this.

But I do know that if DnD is going to turn out more like DBZ, Naruto, or Sailor Moon, I might just vomit.


But if DnD takes more themes and cues from things like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Floating Castle(can I get verfication on that title?), and other such high-budget anime, I might just pay attention.

The oversized swords and laser beams I can do without. As for more Eastern Mythology/Theology creeping into the mix, I might not mind so much.

But there is something to be said about the earthy, gritty nature of Western Style DnD. And I do appreciate that influence much more than I appreciate Eastern influences.

I like magic to be a result of intense commitment, study and sacrifice.

I like Constructs to be the result of near lifetimes of resource accrual, study, experimentation, and a whole lot of trial and error. Giant metal creatures should not be common or easy to make.

As for the inner power vs outside assistance argument, I go for both. People who have a lot of courage and willpower can overcome any number of obstacles. That inner power might manifest in supernatural abilities, or it might just be a "never say die" attitude that causes the person to find new and different ways to get around what tries to stop him.

Eventually no matter how much inner power a person unlocks, they will find a limit. Items that increase a person's ability beyond its limits is helpful in that regard. The items might help a weak person become strong (like the skinny, awkward teen who finds the Hammer of Thor and becomes a god). Or the items might help to increase an already abundant power. I figure no matter where a person's power source comes from, it makes good storytelling and good gaming.

In the end, you have to get your inspirational material from somewhere. Even if anime turns out to be a poor source, it at least is one that people can use until they find better.

Matthew
2007-12-21, 01:11 PM
The reason that I referred to it as a straw man argument was because you took an example of mechanics, called it fluff, and then used that to "prove" your point.

I said: "ToB and all the anime arguments are about fluff"
You said: "Sure, fluff. I can have my wiazrd wield a dagger, and call it a longsword, and its still fluff."
I said: "Nope, those are rules. Not fluff."

Okay, you're misunderstanding my meaning, then. To put it another way, I could call a Dagger (Mechanics) an Arming Sword (Description). Similarly, I could take the Wall of Blades Manoeuvre and call it Skilful Parry, but that's not actually what it is and it doesn't undo any of the problems that I have with it.


Not sure I am understanding your question, or your earlier point. Sure, your wizard can call his dagger a longsword IC, but OOC (where the rules are) its a dagger. And IC, he is going to get some odd looks when he takes his "longsword" to a smith for sharpening, and asks how much to sharpen it. :)

Which is the problem, in my opinion. Reflavouring stuff often requires mechanical alteration.


And your point about things being defined by their mechanics is exactly what I am talking about. A Fighter is just that. I can call the Warblade a Fighter, but I am wrong. He isn't a Fighter. He is a warrior, they both fight, etc. but by the rules, he's a Warblade. That's not fluff, that is mechanics.

I don't mean just mechanically, of course, I mean in the game world as well.

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 01:11 PM
Except "common fighters" don't do these things. Show me anywhere where "common fighters" get manuevers or any other flashy, magical abilities or something other than that. Warblades, Swordsages and Crusaders are not "common fighters". Fighters are "common fighters". The other three are, at the least, mystic warriors or divine champions.

They're presented as replacements for them; they're arguably necessary replacements for them, because the fighter is made incompetent at his job by the presence of powerful spellcasters.

And I refer you to pages 30-32 of Tome of Battle. Specifically the feats "Martial Stance" and "Martial Maneuver", which are listed as being available as fighter bonus feats. All of the ones I listed can be selected by a 1st level fighter of any race.

Starsinger
2007-12-21, 01:12 PM
But I do know that if DnD is going to turn out more like Sailor Moon I might just vomit.


What's wrong with D&D becoming more like Sailormoon? I can only imagine you want more hacking and slashing.. or you dislike mini-skirts. Either way I can understand that.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 01:12 PM
A lamb and a cow do not have the same meat. If you put lamb meat on cow bones, it's not the same thing as having beef for dinner.


*grins*

Fine, you want Filet Mignon, I want a hamburger, and Bob wants an all beef franfurter. We're all eating different kinds of meat, all from the same bones. Heck, the same cow.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 01:15 PM
And I refer you to pages 30-32 of Tome of Battle. Specifically the feats "Martial Stance" and "Martial Maneuver", which are listed as being available as fighter bonus feats. All of the ones I listed can be selected by a 1st level fighter of any race.

Yup, which means a "common fighter" has taken the time and energy to learn how to do something semi-mystical. I can only speculate on the sheer number of feats that already permitted such, but I'd be willing to bet there are dozens. Heck, I seem to recall one (I am away from books at the moment) that a first level fighter could take that would let him actually cast a single first level spell. Damned if I can remember it's name now though.

So again, its not a "common fighter" who does something magical. Its a fighter who has specifically trained to do that. Not manifesting an ability out of nowhere, or without any explanation. Rather he's trained in one small aspect of magic.

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 01:19 PM
*grins*

Fine, you want Filet Mignon, I want a hamburger, and Bob wants an all beef franfurter. We're all eating different kinds of meat, all from the same bones. Heck, the same cow.

Any analogy breaks down if you carry it far enough.

The meat of a game is what makes it the game it is. Mechanically, several board games play very similarly... you roll dice to move around the board, and certain features of the board will move you ahead rapidly, while others will cost you a turn, or move you backwards. However, how their in-game rationale... their meat... is what makes the games different from each other.

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 01:20 PM
Yup, which means a "common fighter" has taken the time and energy to learn how to do something semi-mystical. I can only speculate on the sheer number of feats that already permitted such, but I'd be willing to bet there are dozens. Heck, I seem to recall one (I am away from books at the moment) that a first level fighter could take that would let him actually cast a single first level spell. Damned if I can remember it's name now though.

So again, its not a "common fighter" who does something magical. Its a fighter who has specifically trained to do that. Not manifesting an ability out of nowhere, or without any explanation. Rather he's trained in one small aspect of magic.

Which goes outside the genre... which is what I want to play when I'm playing D&D. That such abilities are available as a side-line, to common fighters, isn't what I'm looking at playing.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 01:24 PM
Any analogy breaks down if you carry it far enough.

The meat of a game is what makes it the game it is. Mechanically, several board games play very similarly... you roll dice to move around the board, and certain features of the board will move you ahead rapidly, while others will cost you a turn, or move you backwards. However, how their in-game rationale... their meat... is what makes the games different from each other.

Very true. But how you interpret the rules, and thus form your "meat" is totally up to you. I didn't memorize the ToB, so I may be wrong on this, but I can't recall any page that told me how I had to play or even visualize, the use of manuevers. There are tonnes of rules on how they work, how they recover, and a few passages here and there that described the manuevers in action. But I don't remember any of those being much different than the spell descritpions and class ability descriptions in a dozen or more other sourcebooks.

Sure, this gave people who wanted to play sword swinging folks a tonne of other options. And some no doubt looked at these and said "Sweet! Now I can finally play just like <insert anime character here>!" but that was them, making a decision how to interpret that information.

To put it back in food terms, you choose how to cut and flavour the meat. WotC just provided the cow. So if you choose to make it anime, then you did it. Not the source.


Which goes outside the genre... which is what I want to play when I'm playing D&D. That such abilities are available as a side-line, to common fighters, isn't what I'm looking at playing.

Does this mean that you never play multiclassed characters, or that you feel that any gish build is "outside the genre"? And how do you define that genre? What is it based on? Mythology (European, Greek, African, Asian, Slavic, etc) is quite literally filled with "common fighters" doing things that no human could ever do. That's why they are heroes, rather than peasants.

Again, its your choice. No one holds a gun to your head and forces you to use them, or play them. That "common fighters" have thousands of available feats, most of which allow them to do things that are so far outside the ability of real humans, is a fact of the game. If those feats don't work for your game, you ignore them, houserule them out, or just plain old don't buy the book. Why does this particular set of options (as opposed to the old standard Leap Attack - Shock Trooper - Pouncing - Power Attacking) seem anime? Hell, the aforementioned combo is almost the epitome of anime. You really do fly through the air, to land a tremendous blow that is so far outside of normal warrior parameters as to be fantastical.

Roderick_BR
2007-12-21, 01:35 PM
When I hear the D&D is too Anime, all I can think of is the Slayers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slayers) anime.

Edit: Oh and Naruto and company us Chakra as a power source. Chakras, as you may remember, are used in Incarnum. Thus Naruto and Co. use Incarnum and shape soulmelds.

FWIW, I hated Naruto when I first saw it, but over time was won over by my D&D group who sold me on it as "Look how D&D it is! You can practically hear the dice rolling!"
Heh. Now it makes sense :smallbiggrin:

And you could also look into Record of Lodoss War. It is directly based in D&D 1E. All the base classes are there, except for the halfling: Fighter, wizard, cleric, rogue, elf, dwarf.

Premier
2007-12-21, 01:35 PM
Another aspect of the whole "it's too anime"-criticism is the laissez faire mentality of PCs, weapons and other accroutements. In pre-3E D&D, PCs were all humans, elves, dwarves, hobbits, etc.; they were wielding longswords, battleaxes, slings, and polearms; and they were adventuring in a somewhat medieval-like world - all of these elements familiar to us from the body of Western fantasy literature. In 3E, you have PC half-angels with wings, half-demons with tentacles, centaurs, vampires, brooding teens with ridiculous hairdo and half-gelatinous cube half-warforged three-quarters succubi rubbing shoulders in every backwater tavern; they wield energy blades fed by their psionic powers, ridiculous spiked chains and dire I-cut-myself-in-half-with-the-other-end axes; and they live in a world that no longer even pays lip service to Middle Age Europe. In other words, you have a garish mishmash of elements alien to Western fantasy literature (and the western roleplaying tradition) and having no central focus style-wise. Like anime (or, for the nitpicky, technically like manga).

Artanis
2007-12-21, 01:42 PM
Another aspect of the whole "it's too anime"-criticism is the laissez faire mentality of PCs, weapons and other accroutements. In pre-3E D&D, PCs were all humans, elves, dwarves, hobbits, etc.; they were wielding longswords, battleaxes, slings, and polearms; and they were adventuring in a somewhat medieval-like world - all of these elements familiar to us from the body of Western fantasy literature. In 3E, you have PC half-angels with wings, half-demons with tentacles, centaurs, vampires, brooding teens with ridiculous hairdo and half-gelatinous cube half-warforged three-quarters succubi rubbing shoulders in every backwater tavern; they wield energy blades fed by their psionic powers, ridiculous spiked chains and dire I-cut-myself-in-half-with-the-other-end axes; and they live in a world that no longer even pays lip service to Middle Age Europe. In other words, you have a garish mishmash of elements alien to Western fantasy literature (and the western roleplaying tradition) and having no central focus style-wise. Like anime (or, for the nitpicky, technically like manga).
The problem with listing this is that a lot of people complain about how much they're reducing this sort of thing. Just look at how many people whine about there being separate entries for "monster" and "PC" versions of enemies in the MM, as opposed to being able to simply stick class levels on damn well near anything.

It's like they say, you can't please everybody.

Solo
2007-12-21, 02:14 PM
Bah, you kids now days with your anime and your Naruto and your nose piercings and your Internets and your hentai and your 4chan and your indoor plumbing and your electric bills... In my day, if we wanted a character who was a primary fighter to also do magical things, we played a Cleric, by gosh! Of course, not everyone liked Divine spellcasting, so a few of them made Gishes, like Assasins, Duskblades, and Eldritch Knights. But no, those magical abilities were too good for you young whippersnappers. You had to go make new classes with newfangled names for abilities that let you do similar things! Well, you can keep them, yessiree, along with your working organs and your real teeth and your regular bladder control! I'll stick with the real DnD, thank you very much!

I hope this teaches you a lesson, you young punks! Serves you right for choosing the path of defeat!

Jothki
2007-12-21, 02:55 PM
Is it just me, or do magical techniques make perfect sense flavorwise in a world with Vanacian casting?

While full casters take a lot of time to set up spells that can be be used at will and against any target, non-full casters using a magical technique would quickly slap a spell together and immediately unleash it without needing to store it in their mind.

They could be able to pull spells out of nowhere so easily for several reasons. First, because the spells wouldn't be very complicated compared to even the simplest kinds of magic used by a full caster. While normal spells need to be able to aquire targets and possibly have complex effects, magical techniques usually just bind themselves to the caster's body or weapon. In addition, magical techniques wouldn't be propertly memorized, just set up and then immediately used on the spot, so that portion of the downtime wouldn't be necessary.

Second, while full casters piece together their spells and ideally understand a good bit about them, non-casters would learn magical techniques by route, drilling the structure of the spell into themselves until they reach the point where they can construct it mid-battle. They may have no clue how magic works in general, but they have achieved total mastery of the spells that they do know.

Tyger
2007-12-21, 02:59 PM
Solo, one again, you win the internet.

MagicPrime
2007-12-21, 03:00 PM
Bah, you kids now days with your anime and your Naruto and your nose piercings and your Internets and your hentai and your 4chan and your indoor plumbing and your electric bills... In my day, if we wanted a character who was a primary fighter to also do magical things, we played a Cleric, by gosh! Of course, not everyone liked Divine spellcasting, so a few of them made Gishes, like Assasins, Duskblades, and Eldritch Knights. But no, those magical abilities were too good for you young whippersnappers. You had to go make new classes with newfangled names for abilities that let you do similar things! Well, you can keep them, yessiree, along with your working organs and your real teeth and your regular bladder control! I'll stick with the real DnD, thank you very much!

I hope this teaches you a lesson, you young punks! Serves you right for choosing the path of defeat!

*shakes head, cleans out ear* What the hell was that?

Solo
2007-12-21, 03:01 PM
*shakes head, cleans out ear* What the hell was that?

50CCs of pure Awesome.

Tengu
2007-12-21, 03:03 PM
50CCs of pure Awesome.

I agree. Also, a YGO the Abridged Movie reference if I'm not mistaken.

Matthew
2007-12-21, 03:10 PM
I agree. Also, a YGO the Abridged Movie reference if I'm not mistaken.

Just shows how out of touch I am, as I have no idea what anything on this page is about.

horseboy
2007-12-21, 03:22 PM
Another aspect of the whole "it's too anime"-criticism is the laissez faire mentality of PCs, weapons and other accroutements. In pre-3E D&D, PCs were all humans, elves, dwarves, hobbits, etc.; they were wielding longswords, battleaxes, slings, and polearms; and they were adventuring in a somewhat medieval-like world - all of these elements familiar to us from the body of Western fantasy literature. In 3E, you have PC half-angels with wings, half-demons with tentacles, centaurs, vampires, brooding teens with ridiculous hairdo and half-gelatinous cube half-warforged three-quarters succubi rubbing shoulders in every backwater tavern; they wield energy blades fed by their psionic powers, ridiculous spiked chains and dire I-cut-myself-in-half-with-the-other-end axes; and they live in a world that no longer even pays lip service to Middle Age Europe. In other words, you have a garish mishmash of elements alien to Western fantasy literature (and the western roleplaying tradition) and having no central focus style-wise. Like anime (or, for the nitpicky, technically like manga).
That's just it, you're about 12 years late to this party. Most of this WAS available during the era of 2nd edition. During the 90's boom, there were all kinds of 2nd party groups that were publishing these things. (Role-aids anyone? I had a DM pull a DMPC Pervect using their demons book.) D&D needed them if they were going to compete in the crowded market, especially since so many people were leaving because they've "done everything D&D has to offer." It proved popular enough that it stuck around.


3) Inherent ability, not items. In general, anime heroes have inborn abilities that allow them to defy physics (hang time, cleave through rock, striking so fast you create doubles of your weapon that the enemy thinks are real, being so light on your feet you can run across heavily broken ground without a thought, etc.), whereas if WESTERN-style non-cartoon heroes (just to head off the Brock Sampson argument) want to do something similar, they need an item or external magic. Inborn power that you unlock as you get more experienced is an Eastern trope that stems from cultures based on personal enlightenment. Western power tends to derive from "stuff", be it a sword (Excalibur), a ring (o' the Neiblung), a book (spellbook anyone?), or other item - stemming from a culture that is, in fact, materialistic.

3a) The fact that characters that are supposed to be not especially "magical" (fighters, etc), and rely on sheer skill get abilities that are supernatural (in the "people can't do that" sense, not the RAW definition) in nature. If items were giving them these powers, people wouldn't bat an eye. That fact that they get them as inherent abilities rubs people wrong (see above).


Cartoons, well, hard pressed to come up with a modern "western" action cartoon. Anyway, Yeah, you can see this all the time in things like X-men or Justice League . And given that anyone over level 5+ in 3.x is to be considered "super human" then it's not really that much of a stretch there. Or is part of this that whole stupid "anyone over level 5+ in 3.x is to be considered 'super human'" part of the "it's too anime," argument?

Solo
2007-12-21, 03:26 PM
Just shows how out of touch I am, as I have no idea what anything on this page is about.

You have chosen the path of defeat.


"CC" stands for Cubic Centimeter. It's a unit of measuring volume used in hospitals and etc for injections.

Yugio: The Abridged Series and Yugioh: The Abridged Movie are both parodied fan-dubs of the Yugioh series.

horseboy
2007-12-21, 03:36 PM
You have chosen the path of defeat.


"CC" stands for Cubic Centimeter. It's a unit of measuring volume used in hospitals and etc for injections.And motorcycle engines. :smallcool:


Yugio: The Abridged Series and Yugioh: The Abridged Movie are both parodied fan-dubs of the Yugioh series.

Here (http://www.yugiohtheabridgedseries.com/) they're mighty funny.

Jayabalard
2007-12-21, 03:50 PM
Yes, when people say "D&D is becoming too anime" they're referring to shonen anime, specifically fighting anime. However, as was mentioned, that's what's usually shown on TV, and what most people think of when they see the word "Anime"... they don't think "Oh, it's becoming more like Fruits Basket", they think "Dammit, more Dragonball Z". I have a fair amount of experience with a wide variety of anime (I was the sponsor of a High School anime club for two years, and my ex and I watch a lot of anime), but I knew what people meant when they said "becoming too anime", so I have to wonder if people are being deliberately obtuse on this point to give them a chance to be pedantic.You know, I kind of wonder the same thing.


That doesn't mean that non spell casters shouldn't be able to do the fantastic. As the characters get further and further away from being mortal they should become less recognizable as being such. A good way to show this is by giving abilities that are clearly above and beyond what a mundane person could do.Actually, that's precisely what I mean. People who are explicitly not using magic are not moving away from being mortal; they have nothing supernatural about them.

Attilargh
2007-12-21, 03:54 PM
I find it curious that even though we have people who can turn seemingly innocious gestures, words and bat droppings into curtains of fiery doom, people seem to have trouble with other people turning really showy swordsmanship into curtains of fiery doom. Maybe I've watched too much Avatar.


Just shows how out of touch I am, as I have no idea what anything on this page is about.
In that case, you need an overdose of TV Tropes (www.tvtropes.org)!


And given that anyone over level 5+ in 3.x is to be considered "super human" then it's not really that much of a stretch there. Or is part of this that whole stupid "anyone over level 5+ in 3.x is to be considered 'super human'" part of the "it's too anime," argument?
What's so stupid about it? By what I've heard it makes quite a lot of sense.

kamikasei
2007-12-21, 04:03 PM
What's so stupid about it? By what I've heard it makes quite a lot of sense.

I think he's saying it's stupid to use the "characters above fifth level are basically superhuman" idea to argue that therefore D&D has become too anime.

In other words:
A - "D&D is too anime! Look at ridiculous anime overpower symptoms X, Y and Z! People shouldn't be able to do such things without magic!"
B - "But once you get past fifth level you're basically superhuman anyway. You're going to be doing things that normal people can't do without magic, regardless of X, Y or Z."
A - "Exactly! D&D is too overpowered and anime!"

I think what horseboy's saying is that A is being stupid here.

Learnedguy
2007-12-21, 04:07 PM
Another aspect of the whole "it's too anime"-criticism is the laissez faire mentality of PCs, weapons and other accroutements. In pre-3E D&D, PCs were all humans, elves, dwarves, hobbits, etc.; they were wielding longswords, battleaxes, slings, and polearms; and they were adventuring in a somewhat medieval-like world - all of these elements familiar to us from the body of Western fantasy literature. In 3E, you have PC half-angels with wings, half-demons with tentacles, centaurs, vampires, brooding teens with ridiculous hairdo and half-gelatinous cube half-warforged three-quarters succubi rubbing shoulders in every backwater tavern; they wield energy blades fed by their psionic powers, ridiculous spiked chains and dire I-cut-myself-in-half-with-the-other-end axes; and they live in a world that no longer even pays lip service to Middle Age Europe. In other words, you have a garish mishmash of elements alien to Western fantasy literature (and the western roleplaying tradition) and having no central focus style-wise. Like anime (or, for the nitpicky, technically like manga).

Are you blaming people's vanity on WotC:smallamused: ?

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 04:21 PM
Very true. But how you interpret the rules, and thus form your "meat" is totally up to you. I didn't memorize the ToB, so I may be wrong on this, but I can't recall any page that told me how I had to play or even visualize, the use of manuevers. There are tonnes of rules on how they work, how they recover, and a few passages here and there that described the manuevers in action. But I don't remember any of those being much different than the spell descritpions and class ability descriptions in a dozen or more other sourcebooks.

What non-magical explanation do you have for summoning a fire elemental?


Sure, this gave people who wanted to play sword swinging folks a tonne of other options. And some no doubt looked at these and said "Sweet! Now I can finally play just like <insert anime character here>!" but that was them, making a decision how to interpret that information.

To put it back in food terms, you choose how to cut and flavour the meat. WotC just provided the cow. So if you choose to make it anime, then you did it. Not the source.


Is Tome of Battle martial arts of the Dungeons & Dragons Game? Is it only good for an Oriental Adventures-style game? Does it challenge your conception of a Western European fantasy world? In short: Sort of, no, and we certainly hope so.
If you've ever played a ninja or samurai - or for that matter, a monk - amid a group of "standard" D&D heroes, then this book is for you. Thanks to the influence of Japanese anime, Hong Kong action movies, and popular video games, the notion of a fantasy setting has grown very broad in the last few years. Fantasy gaming isn't just about knights and castles and dragons anymore. Ninjas and samurai, ronin and shugenja, yakuza and monks - all these and more have gradually filtered into people's expectations for a fantasy world. Games such as Final Fantasy and Soul Calibur, as well as movies such as Kill Bill and The Matrix, are excellent examples of how martial arts have become "Westernized in film and electronic gaming -- and how eagerly Western Audiences have accepted martial arts idioms in their action stories and games.
Tome of Battle: Book of the Nine Swords deliberately blends the genres of Far East action games and the "typical D&D game world." Portions of this material resemble a martial-arts supplement suitable for an Oriental Adventures game. Other parts, however, deliberately fantasticize and genericize martial arts idiots (such as fighting schools and special combat maneuvers) and import them into the default D&D campaign. More than any other, this book represents "culture-blind" D&D: fantasy gaming in a world where silent ninjas and wandering kung-fu masters live side by side with noble paladins and fearsome monsters. Tome of Battle isn't your parents' D&D -- it's bigger, bolder, and even more fantastic than ever before.

I omitted the italicization of names, but otherwise that's verbatim. Bolding is for emphasis.

Once again, it is not bad that the material exists... but it does contribute, quite deliberately on the part of the designers, to an "anime" flavor to the game. The teriyaki you taste is not your imagination; the game designers put it there, said they put it there, and then congratulated themselves. There will be people who want to play this. I encourage them to have fun in their games. However, I'm not one of them... I prefer what they refer to as "your parents D&D game."


Does this mean that you never play multiclassed characters, or that you feel that any gish build is "outside the genre"? And how do you define that genre? What is it based on? Mythology (European, Greek, African, Asian, Slavic, etc) is quite literally filled with "common fighters" doing things that no human could ever do. That's why they are heroes, rather than peasants.

Do you want a reading list?

Beowulf. The Icelandic Sagas (Njal's and Egil's, especially). Poul Anderson's "Three Hearts and Three Lions", "The Broken Sword", and some of his stories out of "The Armies of Elfland." Parts of Jack Vance and Tolkien (especially the Hobbit). Though they're game-company fiction, I'd also point to RA Salvatore's Cleric Quintet (including Danica, who is not presented as an ordinary fighter), the Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends series, and the first Moonshae Trilogy, by Douglas Niles. To extend it further I'd have to go upstairs (and into storage) to root through my library.

As I have said before, I don't object to ToB:Bo9S in principle; if people are having fun with it, great. However, it's not the game I come to D&D to play, which is why I dislike it as a supplement to games I'm in.

Nightgaunt
2007-12-21, 04:23 PM
I understand what you are saying there, but the meat, as you refer to it, of the ToB, which is the book all the anime nay-sayers seem to focus upon, doesn't have any meat that relates to anime. If you can provide some, please do.

NINJAED! (and in the typical Eastern way)



Blending Genres:
Is Tome of Battle martial arts for a Dungeons and Dragons Game? Is it good only for an Oriental Adventures-style game? Does it challenge your conception of a Western European fantasy world? In short: sort of, no, and we certainly hope so.
... (parts removed, don't want to type all of it) ...
Thanks to the influence of Japanese anime, Hong Kong action movies, and popular video games, the notion of a fantasy setting has grown very broad in the last few years. Fantasy gaming isn't just about knights and castles and dragons anymore. Ninjas and samurai, ronin and shugenja, yakuza and monks- all these have gradually filtered into people's expectations for a fantasy world. Games such as final fantasy and soul calibur, as well as movies such as Kill Bill and The Matrix, are excellent examples of how martial arts have become "Westernized" in film and electronic gaming - and how eagerly Western audiences have accepted martial arts idioms in their action stories and games.
Tome of Battle: Book of the Nine Swords deliberately blends the genres of Far East action games and the "typical" D&D game world. Portions of this material resemble a martial-arts supplement suitable for an Oriental Adventures game. Other parts, however, deliberatly fantasticize and genericize martial arts idioms (such as fighting schools and special combat maneuvers) and import them into the default D&D campaign. More than any other, this book represents a "culture-blind" D&D: fantasy gaming in a world where silent ninjas and wandering kung-fu masters live side by side with noble paladins and fearsome monsters. Tome of Battle isn't your parents D&D - it's bigger, bolder, and even more fantastic then ever before.


I think that pretty much explains the authors view point on their own work. Some people take exception to the blending of genres, others don't. Their is a ToB character in the game I DM for, and he fits in just find with the rest of the group, though I have to admit he is occasionally taunted for his "silly" sounding attacks.

horseboy
2007-12-21, 04:28 PM
I think he's saying it's stupid to use the "characters above fifth level are basically superhuman" idea to argue that therefore D&D has become too anime.

In other words:
A - "D&D is too anime! Look at ridiculous anime overpower symptoms X, Y and Z! People shouldn't be able to do such things without magic!"
B - "But once you get past fifth level you're basically superhuman anyway. You're going to be doing things that normal people can't do without magic, regardless of X, Y or Z."
A - "Exactly! D&D is too overpowered and anime!"

I think what horseboy's saying is that A is being stupid here.


What's so stupid about it? By what I've heard it makes quite a lot of sense.

Kinda, sorta but not quite. The D&D 5th level starts breaking physics is the biggest hand wave in gaming. It annoys me to no end. It's established that anything past level 6 is "super human". Because anime is more in people's face than comic books (I guess) they think super human being anime instead of super hero.

Bah! I'd just go back to my generic hating, but it's not just D&D this keeps popping up in. Every freakin' time something new in ANYTHING people start shouting "ITZ TEH ANIME INVASION! SUXOR SUXOR SUXOR!" As I said, I'm just tired of it.

Serenity
2007-12-21, 04:37 PM
Does ToB draw some inspiration from shounen anime and wuxia? Certainly. Does using it force you to play a Super-Sayian flying around throwing fireballs and shouting silly names? Absolutely not. You can make a 20th level Swordsage who is little more supernatural than a rogue or fighter. The maneuvers he can toss around at that level enable him to strike weak points in enemy's armor for extra damage, strike at all foes surrounding him, trick enemies into attacking each other, or deliver a deadly blow with a ferocious pounce. Is he a bit beyond what could happen in the real world? Yes, but then, so is a rogue so good at dodging that he can completely evade a fireball in a tiny room, or a fighter for whom leaping off a cliff is a good option for getting to the bottom. Can you build a character who does explicitly magical things, like unleashing fireballs or cloaking themselves in shadow? Certainly, in which case the character has explicitly trained in supernatural techniques, which in a high-magic world like D&D is certainly an option. No one complains that the monk is able to access supernatural abilities through hard training, or that a fighter is capable of multiclassing into Wizard, after all.

One of the early posts identified one of the anime qualities as character's inherent power, rather than reliance on items for great feats. If that's anime, I'll certainly cop to anime influence there. But how, exactly, is that supposed to be a bad thing? Everyone complains that D&D assumes a 'magic item market' and that characters who don't glow like Christmas trees under Detect Magic are helpless. Isn't more inherent power what we want?

What non-magical explanation do I have for summoning a fire elemental? None. That's why it's an explicitly supernatural ability, available to an explicitly supernatural class. Can a fighter learn to do it? Sure. That represents him taking training to combine the martial with the mystical. He can only take the Martial Study feat three times, so the prerequisites of the higher-level maneuvers prohibit the fighter from learning much more than a tiny handful of low-powered mystical tricks--equivalent to feats like Wild Talent. Plus, he doesn't get a recovery system, so he can only use it once an encounter. He's hardly become a spellcasting machine.

The swordsage is an explicitly supernatural class, a wuxia warrior who can mix the mystical with the martial. The Crusader is an explicitly supernatural class, a divine warrior who powers his combat prowess with his unswerving faith and zeal, much like a Paladin. The Warblade is not a supernatural class, and therefore gets access to maneuvers that are superhuman, but not supernatural.

Thinker
2007-12-21, 04:47 PM
Kinda, sorta but not quite. The D&D 5th level starts breaking physics is the biggest hand wave in gaming. It annoys me to no end. It's established that anything past level 6 is "super human". Because anime is more in people's face than comic books (I guess) they think super human being anime instead of super hero.

Bah! I'd just go back to my generic hating, but it's not just D&D this keeps popping up in. Every freakin' time something new in ANYTHING people start shouting "ITZ TEH ANIME INVASION! SUXOR SUXOR SUXOR!" As I said, I'm just tired of it.

HORSEBOY IS PART OF THE ANIME INVASION!!!1 ZOMG HE IS PART HORSE AND PART BOY!1!1 GET HIM!!!1111

Attilargh
2007-12-21, 04:49 PM
What non-magical explanation do you have for summoning a fire elemental?
For a Supernatural ability like the maneuver Distracting Ember? Not one.

Nightgaunt
2007-12-21, 05:09 PM
@ Serenity

It seems as though MrNexx has been extremly clear on what the issue is. His issue is the same as mine, the blending of styles from what was a classical medieval setting in to a "fantasy Mix-Up" is what he doesn't like. it's a matter of opinion, not, as you say, a bad thing or a good thing. It just isn't what we prefer out of Dungeons and Dragons and what causes us not to want to play it. I think the point is pretty cut and dry. We're not saying it's evil, we're just saying it isn't what it used to be, which is precisely what the authors of the book state explicitly.

Serenity
2007-12-21, 05:22 PM
Well, what I'm saying is twofold. Firstly, and I'm trying to say this as tactfully as I can, it strikes me as somewhat closed minded to say that fantasy should only draw its inspiration from 'classical' sources. More importantly, my second point is that if you want the effectiveness of a ToB character without playing something with a superpowered 'anime' feel, it's easy to do that. Play a Warblade, and equip yourself with maneuvers from Iron Heart, Diamond Mind, White Raven and/or Tiger Claw. The character will be superhuman, but not supernatural. Even a Swordsage, the most wuxia of the classes, can be built as a 'mundane' by avoiding the supernatural disciplines.

On a side note, I can understand arguments that the Stone Dragon maneuvers might qualify as supernatural. Quick solution: call them supernatural, take them off the Warblade's list, and give Warblades Setting Sun instead.

Premier
2007-12-21, 05:29 PM
The problem with listing this is that a lot of people complain about how much they're reducing this sort of thing.

I don't see the problem, since the people complaining about 3E being too mangalike are not the same people as the ones complaining about it not being "mangalike" enough.

As you yourself said, you can't please everybody. But the way I see it personally, the western fantasy element is the one that's been present in D&D ever since its beginnings, so if it comes to an exclusive choice, that's the one that has more "right" to be in D&D, and the "anything goes" mentality is the newcomer that should never have been made part of the same brand.

Kaelik
2007-12-21, 05:34 PM
Okay, and for MrNexx and anyone else of that persuasion. Remove ToB. Is D&D too anime now? Because the complaint that started this thread had nothing to do with ToB.

As for "inherent power" being too anime. Well then Hell. I want as much anime as possible.

I don't like that WBL is a needed and assumed part of a character. I don't like that in 4th ed Wizards are going to have +X items just like fighters.

I don't like +X items at all, because it makes more sense to just make the right number of pluses inherent to the class, and then make all magic items provide new things to do. Then you can dispense with them if you want a low magic world, and not have characters incapable of hitting AC/making saves/having other people fail saves.

The only way to do this is to have the characters have inherent abilities. Why on earth would you be against that?

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 05:39 PM
Well, what I'm saying is twofold. Firstly, and I'm trying to say this as tactfully as I can, it strikes me as somewhat closed minded to say that fantasy should only draw its inspiration from 'classical' sources.

Please note that I only feel this way about D&D. If I want something else, I play another game. I play D&D (the game) to play D&D (the subgenre). As I said at the outset, if I (fall ill and decide I) want "Eastern" fantasy, I'll use Lot5R. If I want magic-using warriors and magicians fighting in a gritty world, I'll go with Earthdawn. But when I'm playing D&D, I want D&D.

MrNexx
2007-12-21, 05:49 PM
Okay, and for MrNexx and anyone else of that persuasion. Remove ToB. Is D&D too anime now? Because the complaint that started this thread had nothing to do with ToB.

I don't think that the initial complaint had nothing to do with ToB; that is a major influence on the changing tone in 3.x. It may not have mentioned it by name, but that doesn't mean that it had nothing to do with it.

If you don't include ToB in the canon, it is less pervasive, and certainly less so at lower levels. You have fewer combos or named attacks, and less of a feeling that those without supernatural backing will be casually acting in a supernatural fashion. There are specific feats (Leap Attack, Whirlwind Attack) that emulate some of this, but despite their presence in some builds, they are, IMO, less prevalent than by having an entire book dedicated to them.

deadseashoals
2007-12-21, 06:17 PM
I don't like +X items at all, because it makes more sense to just make the right number of pluses inherent to the class, and then make all magic items provide new things to do. Then you can dispense with them if you want a low magic world, and not have characters incapable of hitting AC/making saves/having other people fail saves.

QFT, though I don't want to derail the thread or anything. Just one of my design peeves.

To me, the entire "too anime" argument is just a giant example of confirmation bias. If you already think D&D is going the way of anime influence, nothing any other person says is going to make you say, "oh, I guess such and such could have been influenced by somesuch in additon to anime." To provide a small example, it has been pointed out that fancy technique names don't just come from anime (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3012026&postcount=61). Yet, every time this damn topic comes up, people completely demonize the Tome of Battle maneuver names.

Swordguy
2007-12-21, 06:19 PM
For the record, I'm in the Nexx/Matthew camp. They've expressed my feelings much more clearly than I managed to do so.

I also can't help but note that nobody has commented or refuted the postings of the ToB text that says flat-out Wuxia and anime were major influences of the book.

kamikasei
2007-12-21, 06:22 PM
I knew what people meant when they said "becoming too anime", so I have to wonder if people are being deliberately obtuse on this point to give them a chance to be pedantic.


You know, I kind of wonder the same thing.

Honestly... I see person after person cry "too anime!" at the slightest provocation, with the attitude that anything that reminds them in any way of anything from an anime they've ever seen inevitably means that everything else they don't like about shounen fighting anime will come along with it (the worst offender being that recent thread decrying the existence of "fey step" as an eladrin racial ability, which apparently means that 4e is going to be some sort of bastard child of Bleach and DBZ where Inuyasha fusions with Naruto to battle Vegeta on the Mystic Moon in a giant robot with a giant sword and SPIKY HAIR, dattebayo!).

And it's simply silly. If you feel D&D's gotten too high-powered or fantastical, fine; if you see the influence of certain genres of anime at work in this change, that's reasonable. Several people in this thread have argued that D&D is moving away from their tastes and that part of that movement is to include elements from some anime. It's a shame they feel the trend from the publishers isn't to their liking, but their position is entirely understandable.

But several posters in the anime-derailings seemed straight-up animephobic, such that any hint of anime was treated as an undifferentiated, cancerous pestilence that had to be purged wholesale lest the greatly-feared Big Swords and Spiky Hair and Called Attacks and god knows what else be close behind. In all honesty, in starting this thread, I was aiming to give those posters the benefit of the doubt that their attitude wasn't as indefensible as it seemed.

In other words: screw you guys! I'm going to start my own Fourth Edition! With Bankai! And schoolgirls! ...In fact, forget the Fourth Edition and the Bankai!

Thread Derail no Jutsu!

Serenity
2007-12-21, 06:32 PM
Please note that I only feel this way about D&D. If I want something else, I play another game. I play D&D (the game) to play D&D (the subgenre). As I said at the outset, if I (fall ill and decide I) want "Eastern" fantasy, I'll use Lot5R. If I want magic-using warriors and magicians fighting in a gritty world, I'll go with Earthdawn. But when I'm playing D&D, I want D&D.

I guess my problem is that I simply don't see how non-Western fantasy influences can't be part of D&D, nor how their availability detracts in any way from the Western fantasy influences. And most of all, I don't see how the Warblade's maneuver list in any way contradicts the abilities of warriors in Western fantasy. ToB does not contain any non-supernatural class 'casually' using supernatural abilities. If a Warblade of a fighter uses a supernatural maneuver, it's because they invested resources into learning a minor supernatural trick, nor one that they can use very often.

A warblade wields the 'arcane' arts of concentration, observation, and intelligence in battle; the 'mystic' power of ferocious two-weapon fighting; the ancient secrets of leadership in battle; the mysteries of being very skilled with a blade; and the magic of hitting things really, really hard. I'll admit that the maneuvers in that last do sometimes tread the line; fair enough. Switch that out for Setting Sun, the art of tripping and throwing enemies. Even a Swordsage can be built mundanely if the player doesn't select Shadow Hand or Desert Wind--and even in those, there are a handful of non-supernatural maneuvers.

horseboy
2007-12-21, 06:34 PM
HORSEBOY IS PART OF THE ANIME INVASION!!!1 ZOMG HE IS PART HORSE AND PART BOY!1!1 GET HIM!!!1111

LOL I needed that. Now if only I had enough brain bleach to remove all those arguments I had with people calling KOTOR "anigay".

deadseashoals
2007-12-21, 06:36 PM
I also can't help but note that nobody has commented or refuted the postings of the ToB text that says flat-out Wuxia and anime were major influences of the book.

There's nothing to say about that. It's obviously true, and if you find it that distasteful, then don't use it. ToB is not core D&D.

Edit: Though that doesn't mean you can't do as has been suggested a million times, and use a selection the great mechanics presented therein.

horseboy
2007-12-21, 06:44 PM
I guess my problem is that I simply don't see how non-Western fantasy influences can't be part of D&D, nor how their availability detracts in any way from the Western fantasy influences. And most of all, I don't see how the Warblade's maneuver list in any way contradicts the abilities of warriors in Western fantasy. ToB does not contain any non-supernatural class 'casually' using supernatural abilities.
Especially what with David Carridine the monk already there.

Mark Hall
2007-12-21, 06:45 PM
I guess my problem is that I simply don't see how non-Western fantasy influences can't be part of D&D, nor how their availability detracts in any way from the Western fantasy influences.

Because the experience I go for with D&D has very few of these. Beyond playing a game with me, I find it difficult to explain beyond that.


And most of all, I don't see how the Warblade's maneuver list in any way contradicts the abilities of warriors in Western fantasy. ToB does not contain any non-supernatural class 'casually' using supernatural abilities. If a Warblade of a fighter uses a supernatural maneuver, it's because they invested resources into learning a minor supernatural trick, nor one that they can use very often.

It is possible to build a war blade, especially at low levels, that doesn't contradict these abilities. However, as levels climb, it becomes harder and harder to build them in that manner, and the mechanics are still those quite reminiscent of a shonen anime... you have a handful of attacks that you can use once in a fight.

Mark Hall
2007-12-21, 06:47 PM
Especially what with David Carridine the monk already there.

I've already stated my dislike for the monk in standard D&D. It does have a place in Greyhawk, in the form of the Scarlett Brotherhood... but you'll note that this is an organization from a somewhat exotic locale, much like the singular character of Danica (in the Cleric Quintet), as opposed to the more conventional Ivan Bouldershoulder.

Solo
2007-12-21, 07:11 PM
Here (http://www.yugiohtheabridgedseries.com/) they're mighty funny.

In America.


For the record, I'm in the Nexx/Matthew camp. They've expressed my feelings much more clearly than I managed to do so.

I also can't help but note that nobody has commented or refuted the postings of the ToB text that says flat-out Wuxia and anime were major influences of the book.

We are, however, debating whether that influence was too much or not. In America.

Xuincherguixe
2007-12-21, 07:15 PM
I'm not certain, but I'd be willing to bet good money D&D has been having Anime inspirations for years.

And as others have pointed out, D&D has probably influenced Anime more.

horseboy
2007-12-21, 07:17 PM
In America.

I'm very angry for reasons I'm about to explain!

Serenity
2007-12-21, 07:23 PM
It is possible to build a war blade, especially at low levels, that doesn't contradict these abilities. However, as levels climb, it becomes harder and harder to build them in that manner.

Do tell? I've just been looking through my books, and I posted, in descriptive form, a number of 8th level maneuvers, none of which are remotely supernatural. Some of the 7th level ones: cut rough an enemy to strike a second; hit someone hard enough to knock them backwards; slice an enemy's hamstrings to hamper their movement; slightly daze a foe so they can't make a full attack; inspire allies into swift action with a display of martial prowess. Are high level warblades performing superhuman feats? Certainly; a Diamond Mind adept is capable of bursts of incredible speed, a Tiger Claw adept fights with inhuman ferocity and well-honed jumping prowess, and an Iron Heart adept is capable of extraordinary feats with a blade. All of this, however, is perfectly comparable to Beowulf ripping off a monster's arm, or swimming for three days in full armor--superhuman, not supernatural.

Solo
2007-12-21, 07:56 PM
So, in summary, making a Gish who smites people with magical powers is good, but making a Warblade who smites people with pseudo-magical powers is bad. Cause that would be too "anime".

Get it through your heads people! Stop choosing the path of defeat!

Volug
2007-12-21, 07:59 PM
You know what? Who cares?

I like DnD and Anime. If they want to make DnD 4 ED more anime-ish then fine. I'll stick with 3.5 ED like everyone else.

kthnxbai

Tyger
2007-12-21, 09:38 PM
As for a post "challenging or refuting" the ToB quoted "behind the scenes" quote that Mr.Nexx provided... what would be the point of that? Its fact. The designers were influenced by anime. Fine, easily accepted, and really quite obvious.

That said, what does that have to do with the overall argument that I've been making, and that Solo has quite nicely encapsulated?

Q: If a Warblade uses a manuever to do additional damage, its anime?
Q: If a Paladin uses a class ability to do additional damage, its not anime?

Q: If a Swordsage ignites his sword with his mystic energies, its anime?
Q: If a Fighter uses a Flaming sword, its not anime?

???

Maybe that's the question that I keep forgetting to ask, and the one that will help me understand the "too anime" camp. Why is ToB anime and core not? Lets even narrow that down a bit. Explain why in the 4 questions asked above, the first and third are "anime" while the second and fourth are not. Maybe that will help those of us who are confused to understand.


You know what? Who cares?

I like DnD and Anime. If they want to make DnD 4 ED more anime-ish then fine. I'll stick with 3.5 ED like everyone else.

kthnxbai

Not so fast there mon ami. I for one (and I know I am hardly alone) can hardly wait for 4.0. So you won't be sticking with 3.5 like "everyone else." :) But the beauty of it is, you are free to chose. Of course, chosing that, 6 months prior to actually seeing the rules is a bit of an odd choice. But then, my two year old won't even try brocolli... because its yucky. He's never actually tasted it, but I suppose that's as valid as your argument. :smallwink:

Matthew
2007-12-21, 09:44 PM
So, in summary, making a Gish who smites people with magical powers is good, but making a Warblade who smites people with pseudo-magical powers is bad. Cause that would be too "anime".

Get it through your heads people! Stop choosing the path of defeat!

What is this path of defeat you're rabbiting on about? Is that from this Yugi-o abridged series as well?

Anywho, no, that's really a very poor summation of the argument.

Q1 "What do people mean when they say D&D is too anime?"
A1 "They likely generally mean that it has become too ridiculous."

Q2 "Is this a fair criticism of D&D and anime?"
A2 "It is unfortunately a subjective perception. Both D&D and anime vary in presentation, as do the preferences of the audience."

Q3 "Is Tome of Battle too anime?"
A3 "It's probably more Wuxia than anything else. I would consider it fairly ridiculous within conventional medieval default D&D fantasy, but once you 'normalise' it, it is no longer ridiculous."

It might perhaps be better put as...

"Dungeons & Dragons has become too 'anime' for my taste."

...followed by an explanation of what is meant by 'anime' in the context of this statement (which for me, would just mean ridiculous, though I would be unlikely to use the word 'anime' to express that feeling).

MCerberus
2007-12-21, 09:59 PM
It's because people perceive something as anime. You can see something as anime (even if you are stretching it a bit) the same way some people afraid of dogs see my Yorkie as a killer with a bite that can rend flesh.

Sucrose
2007-12-21, 10:19 PM
A small rant:


It is possible to build a war blade, especially at low levels, that doesn't contradict these abilities. However, as levels climb, it becomes harder and harder to build them in that manner, and the mechanics are still those quite reminiscent of a shonen anime... you have a handful of attacks that you can use once in a fight.

Except.... it doesn't. As Serenity has said, it's really not that hard to avoid things that are supernatural, and just get the things that are superhuman, if you have any care at all toward maintaining your character's non-mystical status.

As far as the "mechanics of shonen anime," it's a clunky mechanic, sure. But it's no worse than Vancian magic. It's just an abstraction of the realities of combat; typically, you don't get a chance to use the same technique twice without reevaluating the situation to make sure that it'll work okay. That's the Warblade's recovery mechanic.

Finally, re: meat. I agree with you, Mr. Nexx, the flavor of your character is important. I disagree with the assertion that the flavor of the mechanics used to represent your character cannot be altered to better fit the character that you want to play.

Your Fighter does not call himself that. He did not go to Fighter school, taking classes in Power Attack and Improved Sunder. He's an elite shock trooper, who knows how to swing hard, and smash weaponry to demoralize his opponents. My Warblade didn't learn from Jiraiya-sensei the mystical art of the Sapphire Nightmare Blade. He just knows that he has an eye for weaknesses in his opponent's defense, and he can exploit them, and do so again if his opponent is stupid enough to leave another hole. In this case, the recovery mechanic would represent him taking a moment to study his opponent's improved defenses after his last attack.

Now, you may think that it's a lot of work to reflavor things to suit my character better, and you're right. However, I do it anyway because, while the in-game persona of my character is identical to a properly-roleplayed Fighter, the out-of-game mechanics are much more enjoyable, as I have more decisions than how much to Power Attack for.

Lastly, I think that you may argue that the presence of Knowledge checks to let people ID members of a given class makes the meat that the bones are initially served with more important to what your character can be. To this, I respond: that is one adaptation idea, and one sponsored by WOTC. I fail to see why one cannot use another, in which it's whatever the player of the character decides that he could be, so long as his mechanical abilities, translated to in-game terms, make sense.

Tl, dr version: ToB is wuxia-influenced. How much your character that utilizes ToB is wuxia-influenced is ultimately your choice.

Cuddly
2007-12-21, 10:50 PM
Also, I'm trying to present a rational and calm analytic argument here (especially regarding the difference between inherent ability and granted ability). The hyperbole I'm getting back from some folks is distressing (this isn't a shot at Kantolin). Counter the arguments with fact, not rhetoric. Don't set up straw men. Please.

You ever watch Indiana Jones?
You ever punch someone in the jaw like he does?
It hurts your hand, A LOT. You're as likely to incapacitate yourself as you are to incapacitate the opponent. Yet Indiana has some strange ability to be throwing right hooks and crosses, one shotting guys all day.

What about Commando, where Arnie attacks a Columbian cartel's stronghold head on. Every bullet magically misses him, but his errantly thrown grenades kill a dozen Columbians at a time. Or Rambo.

Ot howabout the movie (all of them) where two guys pummel the snot out of each other, taking more abuse than anything humanely possible? Predator comes to mind.

Western art is full of "innate ability". We just don't make a big deal out of it, since our heros wear plot armor, and we all metagame the crap out of films. So we just ignore it, or don't notice.

I think the difference is more stylistic than "innate ability". Rambo was clearly a high level player character against waves of poorly DMed NPCs. The knights in Chaucer pummeled the living hell out of each other, "until Blood doth flowed from their armor," [i]all day[i]. Western fantasy violence is about hardcore endurance. Bleeding all day and pushing on. Even ancient Greek fantasy share the same elements.

Compare that to anime (or a shocktrooping two handing leap attacking frenziend berserker), and a wizard with a save-or-die, and it's not about this Western style "make em bleed more than you". It's a brief, brutal, efficient exchange of violence. Like in anime. Even if it took 4 DBZ episodes to pull of that one super ultra omg! it's over 9000!! attack.

Swordguy
2007-12-21, 11:04 PM
We are, however, debating whether that influence was too much or not.

Then it's entirely subjective, and there's no point discussing it. Opinions aren't going to be changed by this.

Cuddly
2007-12-21, 11:08 PM
Then it's entirely subjective, and there's no point discussing it. Opinions aren't going to be changed by this.

But the Wizards employees who cruise the boards may take note.

horseboy
2007-12-21, 11:32 PM
Then it's entirely subjective, and there's no point discussing it. Opinions aren't going to be changed by this.

But then what would we do all day? :smallconfused:

MCerberus
2007-12-21, 11:33 PM
But then what would we do all day? :smallconfused:

Complain. Since you can't debate, you should complain!

Ulzgoroth
2007-12-21, 11:50 PM
Swordguy's post on the first page is probably the best thing in this thread.

For my part: I hate most anime I've ever seen. 'nuf said, really. I am quite fond of fantasy mash-ups, everything and the kitchen sink possibly even hanging out in one bar. But your magi-ninjas, 20-lb sword wielders, and people who cut things 20 feet away in half with a sweep of their blade are not invited. That's just me, though, having them in your game only hurts me if I read about it (and that's my fault...).

Having them integrated so deeply into a book that by all accounts contains mechanics I want to use (and threatening to get into the entire next edition, if I hadn't already written that off), that does hurt me. Pulling the nasty bits off of ToB is a pain, even if you don't try to be sure you haven't neutered any classes in the process. And it's not like the infection is contained, either...unless the fullblade is someone else's fault? :smallannoyed:

Corlis
2007-12-21, 11:56 PM
Hm, a couple of points.

Firstly, I think some people not only don't want to play an anime-ish character themselves, but they also don't want the game world they play in to even have anime elements. Perhaps that sounds kind of prissy, but it is a valid taste, as many of us have preferences for the game worlds we like to play in; some of us like High-Fantasy, some like Low; some like Steam-Punk, some like Medieval; some like a Norse theme, some like Arabian Nights. The point is, we don't just get our enjoyment just from how we build our own characters, but we also get enjoyment from the world that our characters like in, and how they interact with it.

Secondly, I think that some people fear that if anime elements are put right into the core rules, these elements will inevitably work their way into most of the game worlds their DM creates, if only because it would take work to remove or refluff those elements. Thus, they believe that if WotC puts wuxia/anime things into the Core Rules, many of the game worlds they play in will begin to include such elements by default, which they don't like. For example, they fear that even if they write their character as a superhuman-but-not-explicitly-magical warrior, a la Beowulf, Mat Cauthon, or Lancelot, and refluff all their abilities as needed, they'll still end up in a world populated by Goku clones anyhow, ruining their experience.

Now I don't really know if anime elements in the core rules will cause a significant number of game worlds to include them, and it doesn't matter to me myself because I don't mind a bit of anime too much, but those are people's fears as I see them.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-12-22, 12:05 AM
But then what would we do all day? :smallconfused:

Kill sentient beings who believe differently than you for profit or watch your short, lovable monk friend get killed, then bring him back, depending on what side of this argument you fall.

Mark Hall
2007-12-22, 12:44 AM
Firstly, I think some people not only don't want to play an anime-ish character themselves, but they also don't want the game world they play in to even have anime elements. Perhaps that sounds kind of prissy, but it is a valid taste, as many of us have preferences for the game worlds we like to play in; some of us like High-Fantasy, some like Low; some like Steam-Punk, some like Medieval; some like a Norse theme, some like Arabian Nights. The point is, we don't just get our enjoyment just from how we build our own characters, but we also get enjoyment from the world that our characters like in, and how they interact with it.

This is an essential part of my argument.


Secondly, I think that some people fear that if anime elements are put right into the core rules, these elements will inevitably work their way into most of the game worlds their DM creates, if only because it would take work to remove or refluff those elements. Thus, they believe that if WotC puts wuxia/anime things into the Core Rules, many of the game worlds they play in will begin to include such elements by default, which they don't like. For example, they fear that even if they write their character as a superhuman-but-not-explicitly-magical warrior, a la Beowulf, Mat Cauthon, or Lancelot, and refluff all their abilities as needed, they'll still end up in a world populated by Goku clones anyhow, ruining their experience.

This is another aspect of my argument.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-22, 12:53 AM
Kill sentient beings who believe differently than you for profit or watch your short, lovable monk friend get killed, then bring him back, depending on what side of this argument you fall.
...Okay, this statement may have convinced me over to the "too anime" side, because I frankly can't tell which is which.

horseboy
2007-12-22, 01:01 AM
...Okay, this statement may have convinced me over to the "too anime" side, because I frankly can't tell which is which.

Well, I figure it was what happens when Krillian isn't played by Giacomo. :smallamused:

Randugulf
2007-12-22, 01:10 AM
Corlis pretty much said what i was gonna say. I don't like anime and don't want to see it in the dnd worlds i may play.

Of course another thing to think about is if it does become to much a part of the core rules then any dnd based games are going to be screwed up as well. Hey i'm still holding out for another baldurs gate.

psychoticbarber
2007-12-22, 01:13 AM
I think that, for me, the question is not "What is anime, and is D&D too much like it?", but rather, "What is D&D?"... because depending on how you define that second question, you would have very different ideas about whether or not there is too much anime influence in D&D.

Some people like very low-magic D&D, sometimes much more like medieval reenactment. It's often very Tolkien-inspired, magic is rare and rather unreliable, and the strong or clever often do the best. I am not in any way against this, in fact, I'm creating a campaign setting very much like this. I do not want to take this style of play away from the people who want it, either.

However, when I think of D&D, this is not what I think of.

I think of great Wizards, heroic Warriors, and guileful Rogues. For me, it is not an issue of when the game gets "supernatural", but rather when the PCs become super-normal. As far as I'm concerned, this better happen at character creation.

I think that really both of these styles of play are appropriate and both should be accessible. Unfortunately, D&D hasn't often been much for the whole "accessibility" thing. The Wizards of the Coast say you can change the game to suit your needs, but they don't do a very good job of giving you useful tools to do it your way. I think this is sad.

Is there too much anime in D&D? That depends on how you like your D&D.

Mark Hall
2007-12-22, 01:18 AM
Is there too much anime in D&D? That depends on how you like your D&D.

Precisely. I'll note that the question was originally about the definition of "anime" when used as an adjective describing D&D. Some people made a genuine attempt at explaining it... and then other people argued that they were wrong.

I will have to take a closer look at the Book of Nine Swords. I still don't like the mechanics, but I may be too sweeping in my statements about it.

psychoticbarber
2007-12-22, 01:21 AM
Precisely. I'll note that the question was originally about the definition of "anime" when used as an adjective describing D&D.

Fair enough. It's late, and I'm tired.

Jayabalard
2007-12-22, 01:59 AM
Q: If a Warblade uses a manuever to do additional damage, its anime?Yup; the warblade is explicitly a non-magic user.

Q: If a Paladin uses a class ability to do additional damage, its not anime?Again, correct. The paladin is explicitly a user of divine magic.


Q: If a Swordsage ignites his sword with his mystic energies, its anime?Yup, he's using his inner strength to ignite his sword.

Q: If a Fighter uses a Flaming sword, its not anime?I'm going to assume that by "flaming sword" you mean a magic sword; since the flaming part of the sword is external, and based on magic, so the answer is "No, it's not anime".

Sucrose
2007-12-22, 02:15 AM
Yup; the warblade is explicitly a non-magic user.
Again, correct. The paladin is explicitly a user of divine magic.

Yup, he's using his inner strength to ignite his sword.
I'm going to assume that by "flaming sword" you mean a magic sword; since the flaming part of the sword is external, and based on magic, so the answer is "No, it's not anime".

Only part of this that I cannot agree with is the warblade answer; what, is Power Attack mystical, now? The non-supernatural maneuvers that add damage have similarly natural explanations, like just forgetting about defense, and throwing the best possible attack, momentum from jumping or charging, noticing a weak point in your enemy's defense, and so on.

Ominous
2007-12-22, 02:34 AM
(like Naruto. Those guys cast spells, I don't care what they call those things, that is magic to me. Change "chacka" to "mana", and you have it. Fun show to watch, still).

Just wait until you get to "Naruto Filler Hell". 100 episodes of pure uncut filler crap. It's the reason I stopped watching Naruto and focused solely on Bleach, which reminds me that a sub of the newest Bleach should be on "teh internets" today.

When Wizards starts adding Mecha, fight scenes that involve more roleplaying and staring at one another than fighting, or psychic children that can wipe out whole cities with an explosion of darkness (Akira was the first anime I saw...I was 5...I have yet to recover psychologically :p ), then and only then will D&D be truly Anime.

Fhaolan
2007-12-22, 03:13 AM
D&D is becoming too anime!!!!

heh... hahh.. hahhhAHHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHAAAAHAAA!

*wipes tears from eyes*

Oh dear lord that's funny. This whole thing has got to be the funniest thing I've seen in years.

Okay. Let me get this straight. People are accusing WotC of altering D&D to make it more like anime? Anime fantasy? Like Record of the Lodoss War? Legend of Crystania? Rune Soldier? Which were all based off of 'replays' (for those not in the know, a 'replay' is a novelization of actual RPG sessions. Record of the Lodoss War and Legend of Crystania were based on old pre-Advanced D&D games, and it's quite obvious. The characters don't announce themselves as 'I'm a 5th level Cleric!', but it's pretty darn close. Replays are quite popular in Japan, apparantly. There are entire publishing companies devoted to them, like Group SNE.) Lots of fantasy anime is based on these 'replays', and owe a lot to D&D. There's more D&D in anime than there is anime in D&D, in other words.

And don't try to pull the 'European Culture' card on me. I pride myself on my research into European mythology and legends, and I see a lot of parallels between that stuff and anime. It's got different window dressing, but it's really the same crap. Cuchulain dancing across spears while they are still in the air, and many other Celtic legends would probably be considered 'anime' by most of the posters here. Are Hungarian myths and legends too Oriental? They have stories of warriors so awesome that their weapons burst into flame because they're moving so fast. The Spanish Sword Circle had *really* dumb names for all their rapier and cut-and-thrust maneuvers, easily equalling the anime ones. "Iron Gate Protected by Bulls Horns!" and whatnot.

Solo
2007-12-22, 03:17 AM
D&D is becoming too anime!!!!

heh... hahh.. hahhhAHHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAHAAAAHAAA!

*wipes tears from eyes*

Oh dear lord that's funny. This whole thing has got to be the funniest thing I've seen in years.

Okay. Let me get this straight. People are accusing WotC of altering D&D to make it more like anime? Anime fantasy? Like Record of the Lodoss War? Legend of Crystania? Rune Soldier? Which were all based off of 'replays' (for those not in the know, a 'replay' is a novelization of actual RPG sessions. Record of the Lodoss War and Legend of Crystania were based on old pre-Advanced D&D games, and it's quite obvious. The characters don't announce themselves as 'I'm a 5th level Cleric!', but it's pretty darn close. Replays are quite popular in Japan, apparantly. There are entire publishing companies devoted to them, like Group SNE.) Lots of fantasy anime is based on these 'replays', and owe a lot to D&D. There's more D&D in anime than there is anime in D&D, in other words.

And don't try to pull the 'European Culture' card on me. I pride myself on my research into European mythology and legends, and I see a lot of parallels between that stuff and anime. It's got different window dressing, but it's really the same crap. Cuchulain dancing across spears while they are still in the air, and many other Celtic legends would probably be considered 'anime' by most of the posters here. Are Hungarian myths and legends too Oriental? They have stories of warriors so awesome that their weapons burst into flame because they're moving so fast. The Spanish Sword Circle had *really* dumb names for all their rapier and cut-and-thrust maneuvers, easily equalling the anime ones. "Iron Gate Protected by Bulls Horns!" and whatnot.

You youngsters and your "logic" and your "reason" and your "research" and your nipple clamps and your photo booths... in my day, when we wanted supporting arguments, we made them ourselves! Out of thin air, if need be!

Ominous
2007-12-22, 03:38 AM
You youngsters and your "logic" and your "reason" and your "research" and your nipple clamps and your photo booths... in my day, when we wanted supporting arguments, we made them ourselves! Out of thin air, if need be!

Take heart that 107% of statics are made up on the spot.

Reel On, Love
2007-12-22, 03:48 AM
The Spanish Sword Circle had *really* dumb names for all their rapier and cut-and-thrust maneuvers, easily equalling the anime ones. "Iron Gate Protected by Bulls Horns!" and whatnot.

Let's not forget sword-and-buckler manuals with maneuvers like "The Fiddle-Stick" and "Exchanging the Sword".

Then there's (two-handed) German longsword, with names like "The Fool's Stance", "the Guard of Wrath" and "Extended Guard of Wrath", "the Murder-Stroke", "the Fire-Poker", the "Window Guard". This isn't as fancy as the Spanish "Iron Gate Protected by Bull's Horns stuff", but there are still maneuvers and stances with names.

What's more, the fighting manuals of the time were all written in rhyme! Talk about fancy!

In a culture which already has many fantastic things, one can only expect the names to get even fancier.

JadedDM
2007-12-22, 03:55 AM
Okay. Let me get this straight. People are accusing WotC of altering D&D to make it more like anime? Anime fantasy? Like Record of the Lodoss War? Legend of Crystania? Rune Soldier? Which were all based off of 'replays' (for those not in the know, a 'replay' is a novelization of actual RPG sessions. Record of the Lodoss War and Legend of Crystania were based on old pre-Advanced D&D games, and it's quite obvious.

Because that's the ONLY type of anime that exists? The arguments for D&D NOT being anime are outright ridiculous. The debater chooses a random anime, and bases all of their arguments on that anime alone. What?

"How can you say D&D is like anime? Yu-gi-oh is an anime! And until the day comes that PCs fight each other by playing a children's card game instead of swords and magic, D&D can never be anime!"

Generally when someone says D&D is 'anime' they are referring to stuff like Dragonball Z. Not Record of Lodoss War.

Reel On, Love
2007-12-22, 03:59 AM
Because... Tome of Battle characters blow up planets, fire hundreds of energy bolts, fly around, "power up"...

Oh. Wait.

Mark Hall
2007-12-22, 04:00 AM
And don't try to pull the 'European Culture' card on me. I pride myself on my research into European mythology and legends, and I see a lot of parallels between that stuff and anime. It's got different window dressing, but it's really the same crap. Cuchulain dancing across spears while they are still in the air, and many other Celtic legends would probably be considered 'anime' by most of the posters here. Are Hungarian myths and legends too Oriental? They have stories of warriors so awesome that their weapons burst into flame because they're moving so fast. The Spanish Sword Circle had *really* dumb names for all their rapier and cut-and-thrust maneuvers, easily equalling the anime ones. "Iron Gate Protected by Bulls Horns!" and whatnot.

And yet... all of this had remarkably little effect on the sword and sorcery genre that birthed Dungeons and Dragons.

bluish_wolf
2007-12-22, 05:03 AM
... The debater chooses a random anime, and bases all of their arguments on that anime alone. What?
...
Generally when someone says D&D is 'anime' they are referring to ... Dragonball Z ...

You do realize your argument blatantly contradicts itself, right?

Jerthanis
2007-12-22, 07:36 AM
Okay, basically, when I sit down to tell a story... I don't think, "What's realistic, what could this character with these stats do, how does this fit into the larger world, what benchmarks should I adhere to in terms of what a character can and cannot do..." and so on... I think, "What would rock?" and I use that as my guiding star. Quite simply, it rocks to be able to make choices as a character, both in and out of combat, and ToB facilitates both.

The fact is, gritty is what you make of it, and realism is relative. The book series by Matthew Woodring Stover, Heroes Die/Blade of Tyshalle is absolutely full of characters doing amazing stuff that doesn't even make sense how awesome it is... yet it's the grittiest combat and writing I've ever read, with blood and guts and visceral tension in every word on the page. Characters don't float gracefully in midair, or balance impossibly, or what have you, but they're very clearly superhuman in their capacities. Tome of Battle can be like this, and D&D has always been this to some extent. Similarly, Realism is really really relative.

D&D is based on the Sword and Sorcery genre, which was spawned, and is still largely dominated by Robert Howard's Conan stories. Yet what Conan is capable of in those stories is hardly realistic. He can easily defeat a veritable army of assassins while in his smallclothes while wielding an improvised weapon. He outmuscles Constrictor snakes, climbs sheer walls and outruns gods on their home turf... and these are all things that can be done in the core books without even meaning to, just by being high level. So the only difference with the Tome of Battle classes is that you're doing different unrealistic feats with slightly different names attached to them.

Many of the most extraordinary feats brought up to argue that ToB is supernatural and over-the-top come from either the Desert Wind or Devoted Spirit styles... both of which are explicitly supernatural styles, manipulating magical energy. In the case of the Crusader's Devoted Spirit, the abilities literally come from a divine source, and is no different than a Paladin laying on hands or smiting evil. In the case of the Swordsage, this is a person who trained in arcane and mystic lore such that they can recognize certain auras by touch, and can manipulate magic in certain ways to allow them to perform supernatural abilities. And besides, aside from that one school, and one or two abilities here and there, all the abilities in most of the other schools are either, "You hit it with your weapon" or "You throw/push/pull/maneuver around them" I've read about Conan throwing a guy off a building once... that action doesn't become more Anime just because I've also seen Spike Spiegel do it.

I do have to admit, the names of the attacks are very clearly inspired by Chinese wuxia movies, which were also the inspiration behind Japanese Anime having that convention. It's worth pointing out that there are dozens of cultures who do this though. I never seem to recall anyone saying that the Princess Bride or Wheel of Time were "Too Anime", despite the fact that both are WAY more over the top about named special moves than ToB ever could be. I will concede that the names "Soaring Dragon Stance" and "Comet throw" were intentionally meant to mimic that style of action movie... however, the mechanics behind them are extremely down to earth if you ignore the one or two maneuvers outside of Desert Wind that aren't down to earth. Renaming Girallion Flesh Ripper to "The one that shreds their muscles from their bones" doesn't change its targets or damage. Changing "Time Stands Still" to "Hit 'em as many times as you can" doesn't change it's effect.

Basically, mechanics are married to flavor... but flavor is mutable in some respects, and the ToB mechanics married to the ToB flavor are very good at being flexible enough to allow their flavor to change in some ways.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-12-22, 08:02 AM
The fact is, gritty is what you make of it, and realism is relative. The book series by Matthew Woodring Stover, Heroes Die/Blade of Tyshalle is absolutely full of characters doing amazing stuff that doesn't even make sense how awesome it is... yet it's the grittiest combat and writing I've ever read, with blood and guts and visceral tension in every word on the page. Characters don't float gracefully in midair, or balance impossibly, or what have you, but they're very clearly superhuman in their capacities. Tome of Battle can be like this, and D&D has always been this to some extent. Similarly, Realism is really really relative.

Ooh, someone else has read the Acts of Caine. I think I've mentioned before that to build Caine-style gritty infighters I use ToB--Unarmed Swordsage, with Shadow Blade and two knives, going into two Bloodclaw Master levels.

Brigham
2007-12-22, 08:53 AM
This reminds me of a monk I played who, at one point, ran full speed jumping and tumbling down a sixty degree grade chasing after a gnome who tripped and was rolling to his doom. Very Inuyasha, I think.

Also, the monk's name was Brock and he had this Encyclopedia of Abominations, and he would go around trying to find as many has he could and make notes about them and such. My DM was quick to point out that I had in fact made a character straight out of Pokemon.

That's probably not what you meant by D&D being too anime, though.

horseboy
2007-12-22, 11:31 AM
I never seem to recall anyone saying that the Princess Bride or Wheel of Time were "Too Anime", despite the fact that both are WAY more over the top about named special moves than ToB ever could be.

Because someone has studied their Agrippa (http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~wew/fencing/masters.html).

Serenity
2007-12-22, 11:55 AM
I will have to take a closer look at the Book of Nine Swords. I still don't like the mechanics, but I may be too sweeping in my statements about it.

I'm glad to see you're keeping an open mind. I suggest you look specifically at the Warblade and the disciplines immediately available to him, as well as the mechanics of Setting Sun.

Fhaolan
2007-12-22, 12:31 PM
And yet... all of this had remarkably little effect on the sword and sorcery genre that birthed Dungeons and Dragons.

Well, technically that's true, I'll give you that. Sword and Sorcery is one of the two narrow subsets of fantasy that had quite a hand in defining the orignal D&D system.

Unfortunately the other narrow subset of fantasy involved was High Fantasy, of which Tolkien was only one of the authors. Another was Eric Rücker Eddison, who nobody seems to remember anymore. Pity that.

Sword & Sorcery is a lot like a Low-Magic campaign. High Fantasy is a lot like a High-Magic campaign. S&S is all about legends. HF is all about myth.

I fully admit that D&D doesn't handle S&S campaigns anymore. I wish it did, because I *prefer* low-magic. However, to me it stopped handling low-magic campaigns ever since AD&D was first published. To me, AD&D was the 'high magic' expansion for D&D. 2nd edition emphasized the high-magic even more. Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planescape, these are not Sword & Sorcery campaign settings in any way, shape, or form, and these were popular as far as I can tell. 3.x... 3.x basically abandoned the last few remenants of Sword & Sorcery and is pure High Fantasy now.

So yes, if you define things that way, D&D has moved closer to Anime. Because a lot of Anime belongs in the High Fantasy subgenre, and D&D is becoming more and more High Fantasy, and isn't supporting Sword & Sorcery anymore.

So.... I guess I agree with you in a way. I'm not really reaching the exact same conclusion, and I'm definately reaching them from another direction, but there you go. :smallbiggrin:

Mark Hall
2007-12-22, 02:30 PM
I fully admit that D&D doesn't handle S&S campaigns anymore. I wish it did, because I *prefer* low-magic. However, to me it stopped handling low-magic campaigns ever since AD&D was first published. To me, AD&D was the 'high magic' expansion for D&D. 2nd edition emphasized the high-magic even more. Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planescape, these are not Sword & Sorcery campaign settings in any way, shape, or form, and these were popular as far as I can tell. 3.x... 3.x basically abandoned the last few remenants of Sword & Sorcery and is pure High Fantasy now.

I can't really agree with this based on my own experience. We played S&S through the 90s, using 2nd edition; they would blend into HF as the levels increased (the Bloodstone Saga (http://mymegaverse.org/nexx/tsr/Bloodstone.htm) isn't exactly S&S), but earlier was pure S&S. It depends very much on the DM and the style of game. I will say that was primarily in Forgotten Realms, as opposed to Spelljammer, Dark Sun, or Planescape, and with a miserly DM... but S&S was certainly possible.

It's somewhat of the "quartiles of D&D" theory; in 3.x, levels 1-5 are supposed to be sword and sorcery, but they fly past. Levels 6-10 were defined as being high fantasy, with 11-15 being wuxia, and 16-20 being superheroes. IME, 2nd edition proceeded through these steps slower; we never really got as far as 11-15, despite playing longer campaigns.

Deepblue706
2007-12-22, 02:59 PM
Only part of this that I cannot agree with is the warblade answer; what, is Power Attack mystical, now? The non-supernatural maneuvers that add damage have similarly natural explanations, like just forgetting about defense, and throwing the best possible attack, momentum from jumping or charging, noticing a weak point in your enemy's defense, and so on.

Power Attack should be noted as highly cinematic enough, already. I personally dislike most things that go far beyond that level of fantasy. I think the idea here is that some aspects cross a certain boundary, which can be subtle, but significant, for some players.

NoDot
2007-12-22, 04:51 PM
Cuchulain dancing across spears while they are still in the air,OK, Cuchulainn did weird things (Warp Spasm, etc.) that would put some people to shame (Didn't he parry 150 hurling balls deliberately thrown at him with one arm when he was five?), but did he really dance across flying spears? He didn't seem the type. (I'm not as familiar with the poem as I'd like to be. Forgive me if I'm wrong.)

Matthew
2007-12-22, 06:08 PM
Darn, I wrote a fairly lengthy reply to this before I went Christmas shopping this morning, but the Forum appears to have eaten it... oh well, anyway...


Okay. Let me get this straight. People are accusing WotC of altering D&D to make it more like anime? Anime fantasy? Like Record of the Lodoss War? Legend of Crystania? Rune Soldier? Which were all based off of 'replays' (for those not in the know, a 'replay' is a novelization of actual RPG sessions. Record of the Lodoss War and Legend of Crystania were based on old pre-Advanced D&D games, and it's quite obvious. The characters don't announce themselves as 'I'm a 5th level Cleric!', but it's pretty darn close. Replays are quite popular in Japan, apparantly. There are entire publishing companies devoted to them, like Group SNE.) Lots of fantasy anime is based on these 'replays', and owe a lot to D&D. There's more D&D in anime than there is anime in D&D, in other words.

Absolutely, but do people really mean that D&D is increasingly becoming like 'anime' or are they using the word 'anime' as a surrogate? D&D has always had the potential to be ridiculous, it may well be the case that the more ridiculous campaigns lend themselves well to representation in this medium.


And don't try to pull the 'European Culture' card on me. I pride myself on my research into European mythology and legends, and I see a lot of parallels between that stuff and anime. It's got different window dressing, but it's really the same crap. Cuchulain dancing across spears while they are still in the air, and many other Celtic legends would probably be considered 'anime' by most of the posters here. Are Hungarian myths and legends too Oriental? They have stories of warriors so awesome that their weapons burst into flame because they're moving so fast. The Spanish Sword Circle had *really* dumb names for all their rapier and cut-and-thrust maneuvers, easily equalling the anime ones. "Iron Gate Protected by Bulls Horns!" and whatnot.
Indeed, western mythology has a lot of craziness in it, there's no getting away from that, but it's not universal to every myth either (any more than it is universal to anime or eastern mythology). So, it must follow that when people say 'D&D has become too anime', they have a much more specific set of complaints in mind than what such a crass generalisation implies. I cannot escape the conclusion that when people say this, what they really mean is that "D&D has become too ridiculous for me", which seems a much more valid complaint, since it is entirely based on preference. 'Anime' may just be shorthand for 'too crazy', 'currently popular with the youth market' and 'outside my comfort zone'. There's a review for Castles & Crusades on RPGNet that pretty much summed it up, I think (though, bear in mind this is opinion, not fact): Castles & Crusades Review (http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/11/11008.phtml).

Solo
2007-12-22, 06:25 PM
Darn, I wrote a fairly lengthy reply to this before I went Christmas shopping this morning, but the Forum appears to have eaten it... oh well...

It was moist and delicious.

Fhaolan
2007-12-22, 08:59 PM
Absolutely, but do people really mean that D&D is increasingly becoming like 'anime' or are they using the word 'anime' as a surrogate? D&D has always had the potential to be ridiculous, it may well be the case that the more ridiculous campaigns lend themselves well to representation in this medium.
<snip>
I cannot escape the conclusion that when people say this, what they really mean is that "D&D has become too ridiculous for me", which seems a much more valid complaint, since it is entirely based on preference. 'Anime' may just be shorthand for 'too crazy', 'currently popular with the youth market' and 'outside my comfort zone'.

Ah, now this I can get fully behind. Yes, D&D has become increasingly... over-the-top with each edition. Power creep, which I think is actually more visible over time *within* each edition as each splatbook cranks up the power a bit more. Then a new edition comes along and resets the zero point lower than the previous edition+all suppliments, but still higher than the original release of the previous edition.

I personally have something against using the term 'anime' as short hand for that, though. Anime covers a such a wide range it's almost useless as a category as it is. For example, when someone first mentioned to me that D&D was becoming more anime, my first reaction was... "I didn't think warforged was done that badly?", my second reaction was "No... my characters actually *do* something occasionally.", and then finally my reaction above about the replays.

Why? Because my first exposure to anime was all the sci-fi stuff with giant robots. And then the Dragonball junk, which is drawn in the style, but is really just a mechanism to expose children to more commercials, much like Saturday morning cartoons are in America. I was astonished when I sat down and watched some and discovered how little actually *happens* during one of those episodes. They just stand around and 'power up' for fifteen minutes. Finally, I found the 'replays', which was far more entertaining for me. I seem to have managed to avoid the kind that everyone else seems to have a problem with.

The anime shorthand completely missed it's mark with me. There are too many different types of anime, and the one that is being objected to isn't one that everyone's seen. It's too easy to misunderstand and get confused, which makes it *awful* shorthand.

And, to be brutally honest, as shorthand it's also saying that D&D can't have influences from other cultures. Which is silly. If you strip off all the non-European culture from D&D, you're not left with much. Take out the Oriental stuff, do you also remove the Indian and Middle Eastern stuff? Oh, and the Steppes, which means a good chunk of Russian myths and legends. If you take out Persia, you should also remove most of the Greek stuff, as there was a lot of cultural crossover in their development. How about the Egyptian stuff? Admitedly there isn't much African material that's made it into D&D over the years, but if you take out the stuff from the Americas it does cut a few creatures out of the list, such as wolverines and whatnot. Where do you draw the line? Conan, the big name in the Sword and Sorcery field, had a lot of Persian and Chinese influence in Howards' stories, as well as the more obvious Celtic and Germanic sources. Do we drop Conan's influence from D&D?

Oh and DoNot? Yeah, Cuchulain did all sorts of weird-ass stuff. Dancing on flying spears, countering all those hurling balls (which are basically small shotput balls as I understand it, actually made of stone), beating up full-grown warriors before he was old enough to walk, etc. My main source for those stories is 'The Hound of Ulster', a translation by Eleanor Hull. I don't know how old this version is, because it was printed before copyright laws made it normal to put print dates on books. :smallbiggrin:

Matthew
2007-12-22, 09:38 PM
The anime shorthand completely missed it's mark with me. There are too many different types of anime, and the one that is being objected to isn't one that everyone's seen. It's too easy to misunderstand and get confused, which makes it *awful* shorthand.

I agree, but I think it's still worth recognising the possibility (indeed, in my opinion, the probability) that this is the case. Personally, I wouldn't use it either.


And, to be brutally honest, as shorthand it's also saying that D&D can't have influences from other cultures. Which is silly. If you strip off all the non-European culture from D&D, you're not left with much. Take out the Oriental stuff, do you also remove the Indian and Middle Eastern stuff? Oh, and the Steppes, which means a good chunk of Russian myths and legends. If you take out Persia, you should also remove most of the Greek stuff, as there was a lot of cultural crossover in their development. How about the Egyptian stuff? Admitedly there isn't much African material that's made it into D&D over the years, but if you take out the stuff from the Americas it does cut a few creatures out of the list, such as wolverines and whatnot. Where do you draw the line? Conan, the big name in the Sword and Sorcery field, had a lot of Persian and Chinese influence in Howards' stories, as well as the more obvious Celtic and Germanic sources. Do we drop Conan's influence from D&D?

I would say that as short hand it could be thought to mean this; on the other hand, it may simply mean 'alien', as in strange and unfamiliar, rather than simply 'foreign'.

I am not inclined towards keeping stuff out of D&D in general, but I do have particular preferences, which are themselves dependent on context. If, for instance, I choose to play standard or default D20, I expect it to be more 'fantastic' than when I play standard or default AD&D (though, obviously, both are actually capable of supporting a great variety of play styles, Spelljammer springs to mind...). If I choose to play in D20 Eberron, I would hope for a significantly different experience than playing in AD&D Greyhawk.

To be clear, I wouldn't be particularly interested in running a lengthy AD&D game in my Home Brewed Campaign Setting that involved the equivalent of War Blades, Dragon Shamans, Double Axes or War Forged. Apart from disrupting the mechanics :smallwink:, I think it would interfere with the 'feel' of the setting, which I have worked reasonably hard to create over the years. So, I reserve the right to exclude some things from that setting, but I'm happy to include them in others. I consider that to be 'fair' and it has never been more than a theoretical problem as of yet.

Sequinox
2007-12-22, 09:57 PM
I was astonished when I sat down and watched some and discovered how little actually *happens* during one of those episodes. They just stand around and 'power up' for fifteen minutes.

And that right there is why Manga trumps Anime.


Just wait until you get to "Naruto Filler Hell". 100 episodes of pure uncut filler crap.

Skipped it in the manga. Just moved on to the time jump. REPEAT: Manga trumps Anime. It's just that simple.

souldoubt
2007-12-23, 12:02 AM
People have been saying that D&D is becoming too anime? Where are they saying this, I'd like to refute them. Oh well, I'll just post my piece here.

I know EXACTLY what people mean when they say that D&D is become too anime. They are talking about a certain sub-genre of anime that consists of drawn-out battles and stupid attack names, amounting to little more than combat soap-operas for eleven-year-old boys. I've seen quite a bit of anime, so I'm familiar with the sub-genre.

For the record, I hate DBZ with a deep, burning passion. I dislike Naruto nearly as much. If anyone EVER makes D&D like Dragonball Z or something even remotely similar, I will personally hunt down whoever is responsible, and shoot them. In the face. And I will NOT scream out "Shooting You in the Face Final Attack of DOOM!" while I do it. I make this vow in clear conscience, because I am confident that D&D will never become what people seem to think of as "too anime."

To a certain extent I can see why people would say that "D&D is becoming too anime." They speak partly out of ignorance of anime (not a big problem, since we know what they mean anyway). But they also say it because they don't like the direction D&D has been heading since 3E. Allow me to elucidate....


And don't try to pull the 'European Culture' card on me. I pride myself on my research into European mythology and legends, and I see a lot of parallels between that stuff and anime. It's got different window dressing, but it's really the same crap. Cuchulain dancing across spears while they are still in the air, and many other Celtic legends would probably be considered 'anime' by most of the posters here. Are Hungarian myths and legends too Oriental? They have stories of warriors so awesome that their weapons burst into flame because they're moving so fast.

THANK you for pointing this out. Hasn't anyone out there ever studied any mythology, even in passing? Ever heard of Beowulf? Hell, just go see the movie. You just might come away thinking, "Oh, that was SO anime." But it's not. It's so Beowulf. It was many, many year between reading the text and watching the film, but I'm pretty sure some of the crazy **** that Beowulf did in the movie was actually toned down from the original story.

One of my favorite things about 3E when they first released it was the capacity for non-spellcasters to become proverbial spinning blades of death, and the sort of epic capabilities (I'm using the "epic" outside of game termonology here) you could achieve without having to wear funny robes and wave your fingers around. It gave the game a much needed booster shot of mythic-ness, and at least the potential to ascend in the direction of of a Beowulf-like epic feel -- whereas D&D had previously languished in a state of diluted Tolkeinian knock-off, a far cry from old JRR's own mythic influences. Non-spellcasters had gained a tiny bit of something wanting. People might mistakenly try to pin the name "anime" on this quality, but I prefer to call it "BAD ASS". So you might as well say, "D&D has become too bad ass."

Having said all that, I do understand some people's beef with ToB. Personally, I picked up ToB off the shelf, paged through it for a bit, and then put it back, with absolutely no desire to buy it. I thought the mechanics delivered a system that was too complex to justify the lameness of the fluff that accompanied it. I can't say that nothing in the development of D&D has been influenced by anime over the past 10 years or so. But I can say nothing in D&D has been shaped by anime alone, and that that influence hasn't produced only bad results.

In Conclusion
So what we're dealing with hear is a misaprehension of fluff. If you think, "D&D is too anime," then you're envisioning things in the wrong light. If, intead you think, "My fighter can accomplish amazing feats in combat, like a figure right out of legends or the pages of an ancient epic," then I think you're pointed in the right direction. If you don't like that direction, well, go play another game, or play whatever variation of D&D you like and envision it in the light you want it.

Mark Hall
2007-12-23, 12:13 AM
Skipped it in the manga. Just moved on to the time jump. REPEAT: Manga trumps Anime. It's just that simple.

In many cases, I will agree, but I point to Trigun as a counter-example... that thing was damn near incomprehensible in the manga, while it was just a bit weird (trending towards awesome) in the Anime.

VeisuItaTyhjyys
2007-12-23, 12:15 AM
...Okay, this statement may have convinced me over to the "too anime" side, because I frankly can't tell which is which.

Isn't it obvious; the first one is about D&D, while the former is about anime.

Wait.
Damn!

SofS
2007-12-23, 01:04 AM
You know, I didn't have the "Tome of Battle is totally anime" reaction that seems so common at all. My first reaction was actually more like "oh, go to HELL" when I saw that it was "fixing" physical combat by giving character readied per-encounter abilities (had a similar, though less violent, reaction when I realized that skill tricks were also limited by encounter), but a calmer read through the text suggested something between chambara and wuxia, which most in this thread have noted does not really have all that much to do with most anime. D&D in general is more like North American superhero stuff than anime, and that goes double for the "Eastern" things they dropped in. What is the monk like if not a Westerner's vague impression of a kung fu fighter suitable for some B-list DC team?

Most here have noted in detail that anime is a really, really broad designation that takes in pretty much every genre conceivable. If one were to take "fighting" anime as a subcategory, one could find a parallel to D&D in that the concept of the important hit that resolves a battle is common to both. It's also common to virtually every depiction of personal combat in fiction that I can think of. Everyone loves the TKO ending for some reason. One can't honestly pin that to all Japanese animation.

Anime is just another word that has so many meanings that it is largely without meaning in common parlance. It's sort of like how the red rose, so long an important symbol, is still important but doesn't really mean much. If you get some and you don't know who sent them, what do they mean? A secret admirer? Your parents are proud of you? Someone is trying to take you to bed? It's just a flower with a presence that suggests communication is trying to take place. Anime is a word that means, depending on the speaker, Japanese animation, all animation, kawaii/cuteness, vaguely depressed arrogance, super-intense protagonists, ultra-hyper sidekicks, a vague stylized aesthetic, waiting around forever for things to happen, or any combination of these things and others. It's fast becoming less and less communicative. Thus, calling D&D "too anime" is a fairly senseless statement much of the time. Most of us still get what the speaker means, but that won't last forever.

P.S. Not everybody is against the ToB because of the names of the maneuvers. Some of us find the mechanics perfectly understandable and yet we dislike it. Tell me what in life could possibly be described by "readying" or "refreshing" maneuvers, or why you'd suddenly forget how to do something you just did every single time you did it until you spent six seconds or so remembering it (sometimes hitting someone as part of remembering) and I will consider the system again.

Ominous
2007-12-23, 01:19 AM
Well, technically that's true, I'll give you that. Sword and Sorcery is one of the two narrow subsets of fantasy that had quite a hand in defining the orignal D&D system.

Unfortunately the other narrow subset of fantasy involved was High Fantasy, of which Tolkien was only one of the authors. Another was Eric Rücker Eddison, who nobody seems to remember anymore. Pity that.

Sword & Sorcery is a lot like a Low-Magic campaign. High Fantasy is a lot like a High-Magic campaign. S&S is all about legends. HF is all about myth.

I fully admit that D&D doesn't handle S&S campaigns anymore. I wish it did, because I *prefer* low-magic. However, to me it stopped handling low-magic campaigns ever since AD&D was first published. To me, AD&D was the 'high magic' expansion for D&D. 2nd edition emphasized the high-magic even more. Dark Sun, Spelljammer, Planescape, these are not Sword & Sorcery campaign settings in any way, shape, or form, and these were popular as far as I can tell. 3.x... 3.x basically abandoned the last few remenants of Sword & Sorcery and is pure High Fantasy now.

So yes, if you define things that way, D&D has moved closer to Anime. Because a lot of Anime belongs in the High Fantasy subgenre, and D&D is becoming more and more High Fantasy, and isn't supporting Sword & Sorcery anymore.

So.... I guess I agree with you in a way. I'm not really reaching the exact same conclusion, and I'm definately reaching them from another direction, but there you go. :smallbiggrin:

If you haven't yet, I recommend looking at Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game (the P&P not the Miniatures). It's very gritty, dark, and low magic. While wizards can cast as many spells as they want, they have to roll to succeed in casting the spell, there's the possibility of gaining insanity points, and if you roll doubles, triples, or, God forbid, quadruples bad things happen.

Serenity
2007-12-23, 02:10 AM
Because you don't forget maneuvers, any more than a wizard forgets how to cast the spell he just cast. The book describes the need to refresh maneuvers as the need to position yourself correctly or achieve the right frame of mind. If you really want to use the same maneuver over and over, a swordsage or warblade can do it every other round, which I would say is a fairly accurate representation of repositioning yourself and reassessing the situation. Crusaders have a significantly different recovery mechanic, but their maneuvers are explicitly described as flashes of divine insight.

Fhaolan
2007-12-23, 02:14 AM
If you haven't yet, I recommend looking at Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying Game (the P&P not the Miniatures). It's very gritty, dark, and low magic. While wizards can cast as many spells as they want, they have to roll to succeed in casting the spell, there's the possibility of gaining insanity points, and if you roll doubles, triples, or, God forbid, quadruples bad things happen.

Yeah, I've messed around a bit with WFRG several years ago. Never could get a game off the ground as such for me to really experience the system. The gaming group I was playing with at the time was far more into the Warhammer 40k miniature game, or GURPs, and getting them to try something new was too much effort for me to bother with. :smallsmile:

souldoubt
2007-12-23, 02:34 AM
<snip>

SofS, I think we are in agreement.

Hallavast
2007-12-23, 04:27 AM
:smallsigh:

As one of the probable instigators of this absurd thread, I feel compelled to make a few clarifications on what I meant in previous threads that I'm sure have helped spawn this one.

First, let me say that there are very few animes that I like. Whether the reason this is intrinsically linked to the style, itself, is hard to know for sure. I do know that I've sat through some very bad storytelling over and over again, and some of these shows have common themes that I can't stand.

The problems that I experienced with Anime bleeding over into D&D had little to do with the influences in mechanical aspects of the game (though these undoubtedly exist). You see, as long as I DM, I can ignore these small inconveniences as they pertain to the narrative aspect of the game, so the mechanical aspect didn't bother me so much.

However, as I look back at my experience, I have to say that it was actually a few players in my D&D group that started me on my crusade against anime. A few of my players delighted in roleplaying characters derived from their favorite animes and mangas (like Berserk and Naruto). I had slender barbarians running around swinging swords twice their size and "ninjas" wanting to throw gigantic exploding throwing stars in the middle of town while attempting to somehow stay suspended in the air for multiple rounds by jumping back and forth between two trees. And one of these players would pose idiotically and say something like "believe it!" whenever he did something he thought was cool. Then he would throw his head back in a forced laugh with his eyes shut and his mouth wide open. He would also reffer to important NPCs as Kakarot or Jiu Bei. His characters would tend to die horribly again and again. As a result, a few of the other characters began accusing me of being out to get his characters. I replied that every time his character died there was good reason. Like when his Druid tried to dramatically stare down a giant instead of actually fighting it. Or when he insulted a dwarf warlord's mother while he was being interrogated. Or when his "ninja" tried to punch a foreign ambassador in the king's court and was killed trying to escape from prison.

I am a firm believer that watching/reading too much anime and manga brainwashes or otherwise twists people's perception of reality to the point that they make bad decisions within the context of a roleplaying game and give horrible narrative roleplaying performances.

Is this perhaps a biased opinion based on just a few bad experiences? Probably. But I refuse to run the risk of going through this again, and I ban all anime refferences in games that I GM.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-12-23, 04:30 AM
Is this perhaps a biased opinion based on just a few bad experiences? Probably. But I refuse to run the risk of going through this again, and I ban all anime refferences in games that I GM.

...you do realize you're saying "I know I'm wrong, I just don't care"?

Hallavast
2007-12-23, 04:48 AM
...you do realize you're saying "I know I'm wrong, I just don't care"?

I wouldn't say I'm "wrong". Are you wrong if you have a trauma-induced phobia of something?

I'm sure I would like to say something about how the social effects of widespread anime fanboyism are bleeding in to my roleplaying game of choice. I, personally, never said the game of Dungeons and Dragons, itself, is becoming more like anime. I am merely relating my own experiences about those with whom I have played the game. I can't speak for the general public, but I have a feeling that I'm not the only one this has happened to. I'm simply putting people on thier guard. IF my experience is one common to others who play RPGs I would be honor-bound to warn them in case such an occurance would do them as much psychological trauma as it has done myself.

:smallwink:

Swordguy
2007-12-23, 05:22 AM
...you do realize you're saying "I know I'm wrong, I just don't care"?

I can sympathize with him - I had a similar experience with old-school psionics. Same result - I don't allow psionics in my D&D games, and I don't much care that they've revamped the system. The experience was simply too traumatic.

kamikasei
2007-12-23, 07:48 AM
First, let me say that there are very few animes that I like. Whether the reason this is intrinsically linked to the style, itself, is hard to know for sure. I do know that I've sat through some very bad storytelling over and over again, and some of these shows have common themes that I can't stand.

Out of curiosity, what shows/movies have you seen?


However, as I look back at my experience, I have to say that it was actually a few players in my D&D group that started me on my crusade against anime. A few of my players delighted in roleplaying characters derived from their favorite animes and mangas (like Berserk and Naruto). I had slender barbarians running around swinging swords twice their size and "ninjas" wanting to throw gigantic exploding throwing stars in the middle of town while attempting to somehow stay suspended in the air for multiple rounds by jumping back and forth between two trees. And one of these players would pose idiotically and say something like "believe it!" whenever he did something he thought was cool. Then he would throw his head back in a forced laugh with his eyes shut and his mouth wide open. He would also reffer to important NPCs as Kakarot or Jiu Bei. His characters would tend to die horribly again and again. As a result, a few of the other characters began accusing me of being out to get his characters. I replied that every time his character died there was good reason. Like when his Druid tried to dramatically stare down a giant instead of actually fighting it. Or when he insulted a dwarf warlord's mother while he was being interrogated. Or when his "ninja" tried to punch a foreign ambassador in the king's court and was killed trying to escape from prison.

I am a firm believer that watching/reading too much anime and manga brainwashes or otherwise twists people's perception of reality to the point that they make bad decisions within the context of a roleplaying game and give horrible narrative roleplaying performances.

O...kay. I'll grant that an obsessive interest in any given thing can "brainwash or otherwise twist people's perception of reality" - I suspect other groups have had similar bad experiences with obsessive comics fans, for example. But none of what you've said sounds like "D&D is too anime"; it sounds like "I play with a few people who are crazy into X and obnoxious about it".

My point being, it doesn't sound like anything in D&D is causing this player's behaviour.

shadow_archmagi
2007-12-23, 08:21 AM
I've lost track of the point of this argument.


I have not read the Tome of Battle, so I cannot be a judge on actual mechanics, but would it not be simpler to declare the fluff un-anime, and if it comes up, describe it as you please?

Drascin
2007-12-23, 08:29 AM
Well, Hallavast, I can't honestly say I understand the whole "animephobia" stuff, but you're well within your rights to limit the characters your players play... especially if they keep referencing such insufferable characters (seriously, believe me when I say Naruto is as irritating for a lot of us animephiles as for you, or even more, as we're much more exposed to it) and do so in such a horribly obnoxious manner. But then, obnoxious people kinda get kicked from my game on principle, so I don't tend to have those problems.

Though I can't really understand your problem with people referencing Berserk - I find Berserk reflects D&D characters and rules infinitely better than most actual D&D novels :smalltongue: (excepts for mages, of course. Damn Vancian).

Matthew
2007-12-23, 08:31 AM
I have not read the Tome of Battle, so I cannot be a judge on actual mechanics, but would it not be simpler to declare the fluff un-anime, and if it comes up, describe it as you please?

I imagine that the contention is that the mechanics are themselves too absurd and, for some people, closely related to the description to make it worthwhile to do so.

shadow_archmagi
2007-12-23, 08:34 AM
So, what good can come of this thread?

Matthew
2007-12-23, 08:37 AM
A clearer understanding of what is generally meant by the statement "D&D has become/is becoming too 'anime'."

kamikasei
2007-12-23, 08:57 AM
A clearer understanding of what is generally meant by the statement "D&D has become/is becoming too 'anime'."

Yes, thank you.

My intent in creating the thread wasn't for argument or to settle some debate as to whether D&D is too anime, but to answer the question of what that claim meant.

It seems the question has been answered, more or less: many think the game has become too high-powered and, I guess, "permissive" or "kitchen-sink-y" for their taste in a way they associate with certain anime, among other things, and some people who specifically dislike shounen fighting anime are very sensitive to anything that reminds them of it, both for itself and the fear that other aspects they dislike will follow.

The former camp as represented by, eg, Matthew and Nexx tend to be more precise about their tastes than to try to encapsulate them in "too anime"; the latter camp I feel comfortable in judging guilty of poor communication (and a little irrational reactionism), but the discussion here has clarified where they're coming from.

The question having been answered in my view, the thread is now concerned mostly with ancillary sub-arguments. Don't bother trying to find a single point any more.

Prophaniti
2007-12-23, 10:54 AM
When I hear the claim, what I think of is people who are supposed to be normal warriors doing things that are clearly impossible, like cutting rocks and trees in half with a single downward swipe(sorry, not even a katana can do that) or 'hangtime', waiting in the air for the dramatically appropriate moment to strike. This is something that is more reflected in fluff and story telling than any rules. I understand the point, ToB gives people abilities that can't be done without magic, but doesn't call it magic (note that it never says it's NOT magic either...). I agree with the point, but still use ToB anyway if it fits the campaign.

Personally, I've never made the claim about D&D or understood it. I think those who do miss an important aspect of D&D: It is and can only be what we make of it. If we want to run campaigns that feel like our favorite anime, we can, but are by no means limited to that. If we want to run a campaign where magic is rare, powerful and costly, and the majority fighting is accomplished through more gritty and realistic means, we can do that too.

I've never viewed D&D as a game that is 'too' anything, because it can't be unless we let it. Something I think everyone tends to forget about D&D, including the current owners of the franchise, is that it's a tool, not a restraint. Rules are there to simplify play, not to eliminate all options other than those in print, fluff included. Do as you like, and if something doesn't properly reflect the feel of the world or campaign you want, don't use it.

Simple as that.

Matthew
2007-12-23, 11:39 AM
Simple as that.

Unfortunately, it's not quite a simple as that, because there is a 'default' and that default is what the majority of products are modelled after. Consequently, it is possible for a franchise an individual is following (such as Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms or Eberron) to take what they might consider a 'wrong' turn.

As long as individual products remain aesthetically discrete, there's not much of a problem, but as soon as they begin linking into one another the consumer runs the risk of buying something that is 0-100% useless, ill suited or hateful to him. Of course, reviews can go a long way towards informing that consumer, but sometimes a book will just contain three things you *really* like and thirty things you *really* hate.

None of the above is necessarily a problem, so long as the consumer

1) Is well informed about what he is buying

2) Has plenty of alternatives

Prophaniti
2007-12-23, 11:49 AM
Well, the only real problem with your scenario is losing money on something that wasnt what you wanted it to be, which is a risk with anything. That's why I love the internet, and torrents of all published D&D books in pdf. Free, I can pick and choose what I want, and use material as inspiration without anyone taking it as Holy Word because it's printed by WotC. That's the main thing I was talking about, is people thinking the books are god, as far as rules go.

Swordguy
2007-12-23, 12:10 PM
None of the above is necessarily a problem, so long as the consumer

1) Is well informed about what he is buying

2) Has plenty of alternatives

And right now, to up-power melee non-casters, there isn't really a good alternative to the ToB.

Matthew
2007-12-23, 12:16 PM
Well, the only real problem with your scenario is losing money on something that wasnt what you wanted it to be, which is a risk with anything. That's why I love the internet, and torrents of all published D&D books in pdf. Free, I can pick and choose what I want, and use material as inspiration without anyone taking it as Holy Word because it's printed by WotC. That's the main thing I was talking about, is people thinking the books are god, as far as rules go.

Not really. The risk of losing money is certainly a significant part of it, but the main consideration is whether or not you have alternatives. There is currently a lot of material being published for Dungeons & Dragons like systems, but we should never forget just how big their piece of the pie is or Wizard's capability to put out quality product. Their resources, market penetration and fanbase make everything else look like a sideshow.

If you want access to by far and away the best supported and most widely known RPG in the English speaking world, you have to get with the program. That goes for writers and developers, as well as third party companies, people looking for a new group or club to join or canvassing for players.

To be clear, it's not a problem for me, as I fall into none of the above categories, but it appears to be a real problem for other people.

Also, torrents are illegal and we're not allowed to discuss them on this Forum. :smallwink:


And right now, to up-power melee non-casters, there isn't really a good alternative to the ToB.

I actually meant to include alternative derivative systems, but yes, that's true. There is currently no wide ranging official power up for Melee Characters beyond level 6 or so, if you discount the Tome of Battle.

shadow_archmagi
2007-12-23, 12:27 PM
When I hear the claim, what I think of is people who are supposed to be normal warriors doing things that are clearly impossible, like cutting rocks and trees in half with a single downward swipe(sorry, not even a katana can do that) or 'hangtime', waiting in the air for the dramatically appropriate moment to strike. This is something that is more reflected in fluff and story telling than any rules. I understand the point, ToB gives people abilities that can't be done without magic, but doesn't call it magic (note that it never says it's NOT magic either...). I agree with the point, but still use ToB anyway if it fits the campaign.

Personally, I've never made the claim about D&D or understood it. I think those who do miss an important aspect of D&D: It is and can only be what we make of it. If we want to run campaigns that feel like our favorite anime, we can, but are by no means limited to that. If we want to run a campaign where magic is rare, powerful and costly, and the majority fighting is accomplished through more gritty and realistic means, we can do that too.

I've never viewed D&D as a game that is 'too' anything, because it can't be unless we let it. Something I think everyone tends to forget about D&D, including the current owners of the franchise, is that it's a tool, not a restraint. Rules are there to simplify play, not to eliminate all options other than those in print, fluff included. Do as you like, and if something doesn't properly reflect the feel of the world or campaign you want, don't use it.

Simple as that.

You win. That is pure truth right there in my opinion.

I propose we now devote this thread to finding a ToB alternative, for those who prefer it.

Prophaniti
2007-12-23, 01:00 PM
Also, torrents are illegal and we're not allowed to discuss them on this Forum. :smallwink:
Heh, yeah... I should probably not say potentially incriminating things on here:smalleek:.

You win. That is pure truth right there in my opinion. Thank you, sir. I'd sig that, but I don't think it will make people more likely to read my posts. I tend to be long-winded.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-23, 01:25 PM
And right now, to up-power melee non-casters, there isn't really a good alternative to the ToB.
And how, exactly, do you "power up" non-casters without either giving the non-casters more inherent abilities (making them too anime, in your words), or making them into casters? Which is it? Is there anything they could do to make you not complain?

Crow
2007-12-23, 01:28 PM
And how, exactly, do you "power up" non-casters without either giving the non-casters more inherent abilities (making them too anime, in your words), or making them into casters? Which is it? Is there anything they could do to make you not complain?

By doing what really needs to be done and powering down the casters by cleaning up the spell lists.

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-23, 01:31 PM
Or by making a half bajillion of tactical feats, special skills, etc. to give the warriors an edge.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-23, 01:36 PM
Crow: I agree, but it's never going to happen. WotC never "nerfs" entire classes, only major easily-identifiable exploits. It would piss off their customer base too much to lose the awesomeness that are wizards.

I just realized the problem people have: Wizards of the Coast believes its customer base wants a higher-power, over-the-top-action game. And for the most part, that is what new customers want. They just ignore the whining from traditionalists and old-schoolers who don't like the new direction because you're probably going to buy their crap anyway due to branding. If there's one thing Hasbro knows, it's marketing. If there's another thing they know, it's pissing people off and getting away with it.

Azerian: They tried that. It was called th Complete series.

Illiterate Scribe
2007-12-23, 01:57 PM
I just realized the problem people have: Wizards of the Coast believes its customer base wants a higher-power, over-the-top-action game.

Exactly - and on the other side, you get people who merely react like this -

http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/2097/fightanvi4.jpg

There have been attempts on the WotC boards (the 'Truenaming' (?) threads) to give an entirely different flavour to a various types of magic (including ToB) - it wouldn't be too hard, in a setting book perhaps, to offer something like that, similarly to the way that OA renamed all of the 3.0 weapons.

Hallavast
2007-12-23, 03:12 PM
Out of curiosity, what shows/movies have you seen?

Off the top of my head, I've seen at least parts of:

DBZ (and other DB spinoffs)
Yu-gi-oh
Pokemon
Naruto
Zatch Bell
Shaman King
Inuyasha
FMA
Samurai Champloo
Bleach
Helsing
Berserk (manga)
Cowboy Bebop
Ninja Scroll
One Piece
Princess Mononoke
Spirited Away
Streetfighter the Movie
and likely many more that I can't remember




My point being, it doesn't sound like anything in D&D is causing this player's behaviour.


That's a fair assessment. Though, one might argue that RPGs in general give anime buffs the opportunity to express their insanity. But that would be indirect at best.

kamikasei
2007-12-23, 03:27 PM
Off the top of my head, I've seen at least parts of:

DBZ (and other DB spinoffs)
Yu-gi-oh
Pokemon
Naruto
Zatch Bell
Shaman King
Inuyasha
FMA
Samurai Champloo
Bleach
Helsing
Berserk (manga)
Cowboy Bebop
Ninja Scroll
One Piece
Princess Mononoke
Spirited Away
Streetfighter the Movie
and likely many more that I can't remember

You didn't like Princess Mononoke, or Cowboy Bebop? I'm afraid this means you're a soulless abomination, please turn yourself in for immediate destruction.

But, yeah, while I haven't seen all of those myself, trust me that no one expects you to like DBZ, or Yu-Gi-Oh...

(I hope it was the movie, not the series, of Ninja Scroll. From what I've heard the series is... completely insane. Like, I think posting the plot synopsis would actually break forum rules, insane.)

Nerd-o-rama
2007-12-23, 03:32 PM
That's a fair assessment. Though, one might argue that RPGs in general give anime buffs the opportunity to express their insanity. But that would be indirect at best.
RPGs in general give people with normally poor social skills (or at least painful shyness) a chance to socialize, yes. They can still be annoying, despite the less judgmental atmosphere of a game: witness the average 127 Monty Python quotes used during a session of D&D. Your friends just have a different (and if it's Naruto, I'll admit, pretty objectively bad) television fixation.

I still may have to go Jeet Kun Do on your ass for not liking Cowboy Bebop, though. EDIT @\/: Well, alright then.

Hallavast
2007-12-23, 03:34 PM
You didn't like Princess Mononoke, or Cowboy Bebop? I'm afraid this means you're a soulless abomination, please turn yourself in for immediate destruction.

But, yeah, while I haven't seen all of those myself, trust me that no one expects you to like DBZ, or Yu-Gi-Oh...

(I hope it was the movie, not the series, of Ninja Scroll. From what I've heard the series is... completely insane. Like, I think posting the plot synopsis would actually break forum rules, insane.)

LMAO. I actually like Princess Mononoke, and Cowboy Bebop isn't half bad.

Fhaolan
2007-12-23, 03:38 PM
Princess Mononoke

I watched Princess Mononoke with a friend of mine, and he had a fascinating comment. "Is this Earthdawn, the movie?"

Earthdawn is possibly the top contender for the high-magic RPG, where *everyone* has access to magical abilites of one kind or another.


That's a fair assessment. Though, one might argue that RPGs in general give anime buffs the opportunity to express their insanity. But that would be indirect at best.

RPGs give *everyone* an opportunity to express their insanities. It's one of the reasons why RPGs got the bad reputation they did. :smallsmile:

Azerian Kelimon
2007-12-23, 03:45 PM
And MMO's topped it off when desperate gamers threw themselves into depravity. Not that it's bad, it's publicity and publicity is good.

Matthew
2007-12-23, 04:08 PM
You didn't like Princess Mononoke, or Cowboy Bebop? I'm afraid this means you're a soulless abomination, please turn yourself in for immediate destruction.

But, yeah, while I haven't seen all of those myself, trust me that no one expects you to like DBZ, or Yu-Gi-Oh...

(I hope it was the movie, not the series, of Ninja Scroll. From what I've heard the series is... completely insane. Like, I think posting the plot synopsis would actually break forum rules, insane.)

Hee, hee. I've seen quite a few of these, as well. In fact, I have actually watched Yu-Gi-Oh from start to finish (it was on Sky One early in the morning), as well as Zoids (also on Sky One early in the morning).

Let's see... this sounds like fun, what else have I watched?

Ghost in the Shell (film)
Akira (film)
Ninja Scroll (film)
Kai-Doh-Maru (film)
Blood: The last Vampire (film)
RahXephon (series)

...all of which I thought were great and not particularly absurd.

Nausica: Valley of the Wind (film)
Laputa: Castle in the Sky (film)
My Neighbour Totoro (film)
Kiki's Delivery Service (film)
Princess Mononoke (film)
Spirited Away (film)

...all of which I thought were good and not particularly absurd

Hellsing
Excel Saga

...which I thought were highly entertaining and purposefully absurd.

I've also seen a number of 'one off episodes' of stuff, which I'd be hard pressed to name.

Serenity
2007-12-23, 04:12 PM
By doing what really needs to be done and powering down the casters by cleaning up the spell lists.

Which is what things like Warlocks, Binders, and Truenamers were an attempt at, some of which are regularly derided on these boards as weak. Beyond that, there's not much way to power down casters without, I don't know, releasing a new edition. At any rate, if the gulf is as large as has been identified on these boards, I think the best thing is to power melee up slightly and power down casting slightly so that they meet in the middle.

ToB does not give characters magical abilities without calling them magic. Any supernatural abilities a crusader has are drawn from his faith and zeal, much like a cleric or paladin. Any supernatural abilities a swordsage can employ are the result of intensive training in a mystical art that just happens to include a lot of physical training in addition to arcane study; he is very comparable to a monk or psychic warrior, both of whom mix the supernatural with physical prowess without much protest from the boards. A warblade, however, learns maneuvers that are merely extraordinary. What is so 'magic by another name' about devestating strikes to weak points in an enemy's defenses, of being quick and skilled enough to strike at all the enemies surrounding you, or of rending opponents with your blades, all of which are accomplished by 8th level maneuvers?

Drascin
2007-12-23, 04:20 PM
Hee, hee. I've seen quite a few of these, as well. In fact, I have actually watched Yu-Gi-Oh from start to finish (it was on Sky One early in the morning), as well as Zoids (also on Sky One early in the morning).

Let's see... this sounds like fun, what else have I watched?

Ghost in the Shell (film)
Akira (film)
Ninja Scroll (film)
Kai-Doh-Maru (film)
Blood: The last Vampire (film)
RahXephon (series)

...all of which I thought were great and not particularly absurd.

Nausica: Valley of the Wind (film)
Laputa: Castle in the Sky (film)
My Neighbour Totoro (film)
Kiki's Delivery Service (film)
Princess Mononoke (film)
Spirited Away (film)

...all of which I thought were good and not particularly absurd

Hellsing
Excel Saga

...which I thought were highly entertaining and purposefully absurd.

I've also seen a number of 'one off episodes' of stuff, which I'd be hard pressed to name.

I have to say, Matthew, that is quite a good selection of titles - you could pass more handily for a good animephile than most self-appointed "otaku" I know :smalltongue: . Even I still have to find and watch some of those (I'll get you one day, Laputa! One day! *clenches fist*).

shadow_archmagi
2007-12-23, 06:25 PM
So, does anyone have an alternative to the ToB?

horseboy
2007-12-23, 09:22 PM
You didn't like Princess Mononoke, or Cowboy Bebop
Well, Bebop isn't really all that it's made out to be. Not enough giant robot. Every body knows, giant robot is to anime what cow bell is to rock. :smallwink:

Matthew
2007-12-23, 09:23 PM
I have to say, Matthew, that is quite a good selection of titles - you could pass more handily for a good animephile than most self-appointed "otaku" I know :smalltongue: . Even I still have to find and watch some of those (I'll get you one day, Laputa! One day! *clenches fist*).

Heh, heh, who would have guessed? As I say, I thought all of those titles were good. I have seen a fair bit of anime over the years and I tend to forget the ones that were bad or I only saw a few episodes of. My girlfriend is Japanese, so she recommends titles from time to time; I prefer to watch them with English subtitles whenever possible. Currently, I'm trying to get hold of a copy of Record of the Lodoss War, Tales from Earthsea (which I heard was bad, but have to see anyway) and the original Gundam series.

I should probably add Apple Seed (original film) Vampire Hunter D, Metropolis and Afro Samurai to the list (though this last was probably the worst of those listed so far). There's a couple of other films that spring to mind, but I don't recall their titles.


So, does anyone have an alternative to the ToB?

Reducing the power of Spell Casters is my preferred solution, but in combination with a number of other combat based house rules.

Crow
2007-12-23, 09:57 PM
Which is what things like Warlocks, Binders, and Truenamers were an attempt at, some of which are regularly derided on these boards as weak. Beyond that, there's not much way to power down casters without, I don't know, releasing a new edition. At any rate, if the gulf is as large as has been identified on these boards, I think the best thing is to power melee up slightly and power down casting slightly so that they meet in the middle.

Part of the problem with the new casters (which I liked for the most part, though implementation would have been better had they spent more time on it), was that they were decried as "weak" because the Clerics, Druids, and Wizards will still in the mix. When something is good to such a degree as those 3 classes, everything is going to be "weak".


ToB does not give characters magical abilities without calling them magic. Any supernatural abilities a crusader has are drawn from his faith and zeal, much like a cleric or paladin. Any supernatural abilities a swordsage can employ are the result of intensive training in a mystical art that just happens to include a lot of physical training in addition to arcane study; he is very comparable to a monk or psychic warrior, both of whom mix the supernatural with physical prowess without much protest from the boards. A warblade, however, learns maneuvers that are merely extraordinary. What is so 'magic by another name' about devestating strikes to weak points in an enemy's defenses, of being quick and skilled enough to strike at all the enemies surrounding you, or of rending opponents with your blades, all of which are accomplished by 8th level maneuvers?

I personally did not like the way ToB was presented. The designers freely admit to the work having a certain flavor, which happens to be one I do not like in my games.

Let me sum up my feelings like so;

A new edition is needed because there is no way to fix the current edition's problems without everybody crying fowl. If they're going to cry, let them cry but at least get the job done right.

Right?

Power down the casters. Most of all, clean up the spell lists. The spells are what is really broken. Every argument around here comes down to the spells these classes are using. Change the spells or remove them, otherwise at least imposed reasonable limits on the casters' ability to use those spells (and supercede the abilities of their companions).

Give the melee types (I say melee here as a catchall for most of the non-casters, even though style may vary) more options in combat, without neccessarily "powering them up". More importantly, do this in a way that is maybe a little less "fluffy". There are more functional names that you can use for martial maneuvers that will decrease the number of people who cry anime at these things. Also, eliminate recovery mechanics. Make abilities truely situational. More in the style of tactical feats. All of these martial changes together you may refer to as "ToB Lite", if that makes it easier to discuss.

If 4e can do something close to what I describe above, I will be a very happy man.

Solo
2007-12-23, 10:44 PM
So, does anyone have an alternative to the ToB?

Psychic warrior ftw!

Tengu
2007-12-24, 06:11 AM
I watched Princess Mononoke with a friend of mine, and he had a fascinating comment. "Is this Earthdawn, the movie?"


Heh, if Mononoke is Earthdawn, then Avatar is Exalted. Well, a G-rated version of Exalted.
Yup, I'm currently watching it.

Drascin
2007-12-24, 07:21 AM
Give the melee types (I say melee here as a catchall for most of the non-casters, even though style may vary) more options in combat, without neccessarily "powering them up". More importantly, do this in a way that is maybe a little less "fluffy". There are more functional names that you can use for martial maneuvers that will decrease the number of people who cry anime at these things. Also, eliminate recovery mechanics. Make abilities truely situational. More in the style of tactical feats. All of these martial changes together you may refer to as "ToB Lite", if that makes it easier to discuss.

If 4e can do something close to what I describe above, I will be a very happy man.

And I would have also been very happy with a book in this style (only I'd disagree with the "not powering them up". I think balance should meet in the middle - power up melees, power down casters). In fact, I'd still say a "Big Honkin' Book o'Tactical Feats" would be awesome ToB or not ToB.

Mmmmm... that sounds like a good idea for a community project. Anyone would be up for working on that?

NoDot
2007-12-24, 08:34 AM
So, does anyone have an alternative to the ToB?This (http://bb.bbboy.net/thegamingden-viewthread?forum=1&thread=723) works. (Although, people complain about Foil. I'm not going to touch that, though.)

Snooder
2007-12-29, 01:19 AM
Give the melee types (I say melee here as a catchall for most of the non-casters, even though style may vary) more options in combat, without neccessarily "powering them up". More importantly, do this in a way that is maybe a little less "fluffy". There are more functional names that you can use for martial maneuvers that will decrease the number of people who cry anime at these things. Also, eliminate recovery mechanics. Make abilities truely situational. More in the style of tactical feats. All of these martial changes together you may refer to as "ToB Lite", if that makes it easier to discuss.

The problem with Tactical Feats, as the problem with pretty much ALL feats is that they are feats. Feats are designed to be and supposed to be weaker than class abilities. Class abilities themselves are weaker than spells, thus any normal and sane feat that still fits within the feat system will be horrendously underpowered. You can fix this by warping the feat system so some feats are just better, or you can create a new suite of class abilities only available to melee classes that does this.

As far as making abilities situational, I personally don't like that idea. One of the problems with the current state of fighters is that they are TOO situational. If you create an ability that only works once in a blue moon, you either:
a.) have to design every campaign around that blue moon
b.) have an ineffective fighter
c.) have to give the fighter enough abilities to cover every different and unique situation

A and B are obviously bad ideas. C is probably more what you had in mind, but I don't really like it because it forces Player and DM to keep track of too many different abilities. If an ability works all the time, a character can have a few, lets say three, of them and be constantly useful and entertaining. If each ability requires a very specific situation, then the character starts needing 10 or more to cover each of bull rush, charge, overrrun, grapple, flanking, ranged, Favored Weapon, mounted charge, AoO, flatfooted, e.t.c. It's much harder for casual or 'beer & pretzels' gamers to play.