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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Yes. Good fluff sells a game. D&D is probably the only RPG that can still sell if it doesn't have good fluff in its core books, but that doesn't mean people want it to.
    Yeah, in my experience good fluff will save bad mechanics more often than the reverse. A game with good fluff will still attract players even if the mechanics are bad, because it just looks cool. See pretty much all of the old World of Darkness games. They've got some of the most vague and inconsistent rules I've ever seen, but they still draw loads of players because of the setting and atmosphere.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    It's like the old Nietzsche quote, which is usually paraphrased "It's better to be feared than loved" When it more goes like this(quoted from Wikipedia)

    “The answer is that one would like to be both the one and the other; but because it is difficult to combine them, it is far safer to be feared than loved if you cannot be both.” As Machiavelli asserts, commitments made in peace are not always kept in adversity; however, commitments made in fear are kept out of fear. Yet, a prince must ensure that he is not feared to the point of hatred.

    It's best to have strong mechanics and strong fluff, but when you can't have both, have strong mechanics, so long as you don't completely ruin the fluff.

    Fluff is great for attracting players, but it doesn't make the game good. Take Exalted for example, Exalted has some amazing fluff, but the mechanics are complete and utter garbage, the game is nearly unplayable. Yeah you'll sell some books, but if you want the system to have real staying power, you need to focus on mechanics. Luckily, D&D has implied fluff that sells it automatically, so they need to look at the long haul, ie mechanics.

    And let me let you in on a game design secret. Very often, good games mechanics are completely(or at least mostly) divorced from their fluff. This isn't exclusive to RPGs. Lets use board games as an example. Many great games(Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Power Grid, Puerto Rico, Agricola, Dominion, and 90% of of BBG's top 100) could be re skinned to completely different fluff with little no no changes to the rules at all(You could make a version of Agricola where instead of building a farm you are building a military, and the winning is the one who "wins" the war at the end, same mechanics). Many really bad games(such as Risk or Monopoly) are so tied up in trying to support their theme that their mechanics suck. Very few people enjoy the mechanics of Monopoly, they enjoy the thought of owning half of New York and making their friends bankrupt.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    Fluff is great for attracting players, but it doesn't make the game good. Take Exalted for example, Exalted has some amazing fluff, but the mechanics are complete and utter garbage, the game is nearly unplayable. Yeah you'll sell some books, but if you want the system to have real staying power, you need to focus on mechanics.
    Exalted still has a big fanbase eleven years after its release. How again is that not staying power?

    Many great games(Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Power Grid, Puerto Rico, Agricola, Dominion, and 90% of of BBG's top 100) could be re skinned to completely different fluff with little no no changes to the rules at all
    I don't think that's true at all. They are good games precisely because the mechanics enforce their fluff. For instance, Settlers needs to be about settling and trade; if you re-theme the game as "some guy is dead and you need to find the culprit" then it stops making sense. (I haven't played Agricola so I can't comment on that, but I seriously doubt you can make it into a successful army game).

    This also goes for D&D: whenever the mechanics clash with the fluff, most people don't mind at all, but some people complain. Have too many of such clashes causes the game to lose audience. And the reality is that WOTC has lost a lot of audience over the past years.

    Risk and Monopoly were made in a vastly different time period, when expectations for boardgames were different. That's not a good comparison. With their humongous sales figures, you really can't call them "really bad games", and the issues in their mechanics clearly don't come from trying to support their fluff (but rather, from their simplicity). Finally, the reason these games sell well is not because they compensate their rules with such great fluff (they really don't) but because of brand recognition.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I don't think that's true at all. They are good games precisely because the mechanics enforce their fluff. For instance, Settlers needs to be about settling and trade; if you re-theme the game as "some guy is dead and you need to find the culprit" then it stops making sense. (I haven't played Agricola so I can't comment on that, but I seriously doubt you can make it into a successful army game).
    Yeah no.

    You can strip all the "fluff" from Settlers and it's still a good game. Additionally, it is a bit of a stretch to say that Settlers has much to do with settling an island or dealing with bandits -- I mean, why can't you use other people's roads to establish settlements?

    The argument is completely wrong in Dominion, of course.

    But that is really neither here nor there. Board Games are not Roleplaying Games and, as a rule, board games with good fluff and bad mechanics are just not as fun as games with good mechanics and bad fluff. For example, Twilight Imperium has excellent fluff but the mechanics are so bad I would never play it again.

    * * * *

    The main reason I objected to the initial claim is that I can think of exactly zero games that had good mechanics but faded into obscurity because their fluff was no good. It doesn't take a lot of brainpower to write fluff that you enjoy and that is exactly what would happen in any game which was fun to play but for some reason had "bad" fluff.

    No, what is hard is writing good mechanics and people are far too willing to put up with bad mechanics because they get caught up in the fluff they enjoy. As a result we have tons of games out there with awful mechanics and decent fluff that still sell books and encourage gaming companies to simply hire good writers and mediocre game designers. You don't have to look very hard to find proof of that proposition
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I find that the best game mechanics are in harmony with the fluff.

    A good example is Call of Cthulhu. The game has an insanity mechanic. That mechanic plays directly into the fluff of the game. It works this way: the single most useful skill slowly drives you character crazy.

    In D&D you have hit points. You get more as you go up levels. That means that you grow less and less afraid of your enemies and are willing to go after other enemies. It's like courage. Even with no other bonuses to hit or damage, those hit points make your character more fearless. It's hit points that make D&D a heroic game. Even if everything else about your character stayed the same, you could still combat stronger and tougher foes.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    If anyone's interested, James Wyatt (Creative Manager of WotC AKA the dude in charge of story in the D&D universe, specifically Forgotten Realms) had an hour long panel at the Escapist Expo yesterday, specifically about how story and mechanics are going to interact in D&D Next. It also has a general Q&A for him based on questions people have sent in.

    Linky

    I'll try and transcribe some of the points that come up here as I listen to it.

    - Playtesting is estimated to take two years
    - Splatbook emphasis on new settings and fluff rather than mechanics and crunch.
    - Strong support for worldbuilding.
    - Character optimization is going to be possible, but isn't a design objective.
    - First level characters are meant to be weaker than they were in 4E and 3.5E.
    - Enemies will be able to be created with player creation rules.
    - There are some things that they haven't figured out with regard to lore - for example, Kobolds and their relations to Dragons is something they're working on. They want to be as inclusive as they can, leading options for the players instead of saying yes/no.
    - There explicitly will be multiclassing in the game.
    - They hope to support living campaigns, but admit that it might be tricky with how modular the system is.
    - Wizards are going to have more options than other classes because "it's magic".

    Talking about adding in splatbooks that are full of "powers, feats, and magic items", similar to what 3E and 4E did with splats.

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    "It is my earnest hope that that's a direction we don't go down again, that we want to give you stories, setting material....somehow we had (previously) convinced ourselves that setting material wasn't important or wasn't what we should put our focus on...rather than giving people more of what they were clearly excited about getting."


    After a few people in the crowd say they like using their own settings, and state their issues with using published settings.

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    "What I hear from you folks, and from a lot of DMs, is we like making our own stuff up. We want to make sure we give you tools to help you do that, which might be very little, or it might be a lot. There have been some pretty cool products in the past like the Worldbuilder's Handbook for 2nd Edition that could give a lot of inspiration, and a lot of information that you might not have a mastery of, personally. Published Settings and adventures, even if you don't use them directly can be really good for looting, pulling material out of and adapting to whatever you're doing. But its also the case that we want to empower the DM who says I don't need you Wizards, I'm going to make up my own campaign, my own world, and don't need you to tell me how to do it."


    On the subject of premade adventures

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    "To be complete honest, as the co-author as one of those adventures [from 4E], I think we did a really poor job in taking the awesome adventure building and campaign building advice that was in the 4E Dungeon Master's Guide and putting it into practice and modeling how we thought 4E should be played, and that was a terrible mistake. All of which is a longwinded way of saying our business plan for adventures wasn't good, and our design for adventures could have been better. And that steered us away from putting a lot of emphasis on adventures. But it's true, we sit around and talk about it at the office about the adventures that are classics, and there's good reasons why the first playtest packet for D&D Next had the Keep on the Borderlands in it."


    "While trying to give everyone the game that they want, are you at all worried about the system being stretched too thin?"

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    "I don't think so. The ugly truth is that people don't need us to play D&D. D&D, at its heart, is a really simple thing. You sit around and pretend to be adventurers going into a dangerous environment and killing stuff and performing heroic quests and all this and people don't look back on the adventure they played three years ago and say "remember when I moved three squares that way and did a Tide of Iron and forced the guy four squares back into the fire?" They talk about "Remember when we went into that tomb and there was that monstrosity with six arms and three heads, and you cast that spell that made it blind?" You remember stuff in world terms, not in game terms. I think as long as we give you the tools you need to tell your stories in the world, there's not much else that we really need to give you. We can and we probably will, give you an option to sit down at the table and play a tactical miniatures boardgame or even play dungeon command right now which is a really fun game, and we can give you tools to help you with a really intense intrigue game if that's what you really want, and we don't think that's going to stretch the system."


    Some players really enjoy kitting out their players, not for a good story, and not for the verisimilitude of the world, but because they want to be powerful. Will this be supported in D&D Next?

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    "3.5 in particular was really all about character optimization. We've launched a topic on our forums called the character optimization forums where people can talk about what kind of character would be the best character, even if they'll never play that character (someone yells out "Pun-Pun") - [laughs], really, why would you ever want to? That will always be possible within the framework of the game as long as we give you rules, and why would we want to make it impossible, that's part of our player base we'd be alienating or saying no this game is not for you. But it's definitely not a point of emphasis."


    1st level character powers varies between editions. What does a first level character in D&D Next mean to you?

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    "In D&D Next, first level characters are certainly more fragile than they have been in the last two editions, slightly less fragile than in first or second edition because the rules for going below 0 hit points are much more forgiving ... in 4E we spelled out that the PCs were special, we really want to ...in 3.5 we gave tables for how many player character classes existed in each city, and we wanted to de-emphasize that in 4E, player characters were more special, they were the ones who had survived awhile. Even at first level, they were tough, could hold their own. I'm actually not sure about how we are philosophically in what is true about the rest of the world in D&D compared to first level characters. I expect it's going to be more common to see NPCs who are level four clerics rather than "Dark Acolytes", NPCs statted up as monsters...I'm babbling here, sorry [laughs]. Mike, our boss, has been steering us very clearly toward an experience that is more like the classic feel of "I'm fragile, I could go into this dungeon and be killed by a giant rat."


    In 4E there were many race and class options. Are there going to be as many options, or will you have broader classes which can be used to create a wider range of characters? Additionally, is there anything from 4E character creation that's on the chopping block?

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    "The answer to your second question is no. We can't say one way or another for your first question....our plan is to get the core right and expand out from there. Right now we have the four core classes and the four core races, have to make sure we get those right. We're thinking of those as the races and classes that are by and large in every D&D setting. When we get beyond that circle and get to classes that...those four classes are really broad, people can make fighters with different abilities that are really different from each other. When we get to paladin or ranger those might be much narrow classes that don't offer as much breadth because they're much more specific. You can imagine a D&D world that doesn't have paladins at all. The farther out we get from core the more explicitly optional things are going to be. We have a very rough design document circulation around that has all of the races that have been in the 1st PHB from past editions...half-orc, half-elf, tiefling, dragonborn, gnomes, as these are the less common races. Your DM will have a say about what role these races play in the world. I don't want to tell anyone you were wrong about liking a race or class, and don't want to tell anyone no about what they can play. Even if we don't give it to you right upfront or put an emphasis on it.


    In previous editions, there was a large disparity between what a Fighter could do and what a Wizard could do. How do you plan to deal with class imbalance?

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    "There are two things to deal with. The first is actual power imbalance, which has been true in past editions - a high level Fighter can take on all of a god's minions while the Wizard faces the God themself. I say that because that's happened in one of my games - I was a Ranger. In Forgotten Realms, virtually every high level character that's been statted up is a Wizard. So there is a power disparity, but there's also the disparity of options. We don't want the Fighter to have as many options as the Wizard because "it's magic". It's a world full of magic and magic is the stuff that can do all this stuff...over the life of the edition, maybe there will be as many Fighter maneuvers as there will be Wizard spells at launch.


    I'm not in love with all of his answers, but I suppose it's good to know the design direction they're planning on it.

    I feel like a lot of this information answers questions we've raised - does anyone else have an opinion on his responses?
    Last edited by Menteith; 2012-09-21 at 12:55 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Exalted still has a big fanbase eleven years after its release. How again is that not staying power?
    Exalted has a fan base that are desperate to "fix" the rules of the game(see the massive amount of fan revisions, including the giant wiki), and WW has given up and is just letting freelancers write the next edition. The game has a dedicated fan base, but very few of those people are under any delusion that Exalted isn't a broken broken game.

    I don't think that's true at all. They are good games precisely because the mechanics enforce their fluff. For instance, Settlers needs to be about settling and trade; if you re-theme the game as "some guy is dead and you need to find the culprit" then it stops making sense. (I haven't played Agricola so I can't comment on that, but I seriously doubt you can make it into a successful army game).
    You are dead wrong. Many game companies, Mayfair games in particular, when translating a game to English for an American release have be known to change the game, or even pull out the theme entirely and put a new theme in. Good game mechanics are about math, and not about setting or fluff. I can make fluff to justify almost any mechanic, but I can't make a mechanic to justify any fluff.

    Example, Ninja Versus Ninja is the same exact game as Foray! The only difference is they made all the pieces look like ninjas, and game some story about sneaking into an enemy ninja dojos base. The game sells based on it's ninja theme, but the mechanics are what makes the game good or not.

    This also goes for D&D: whenever the mechanics clash with the fluff, most people don't mind at all, but some people complain. Have too many of such clashes causes the game to lose audience. And the reality is that WOTC has lost a lot of audience over the past years.
    Really, I've never had anyone complain that a strictly non magical fighter can jump over 30 feet(mechanics not fitting the fluff), but I've had a ton of people complain that the turn undead rules are unintuitive and poorly executed(bad mechanics)

    Risk and Monopoly were made in a vastly different time period, when expectations for boardgames were different. That's not a good comparison. With their humongous sales figures, you really can't call them "really bad games", and the issues in their mechanics clearly don't come from trying to support their fluff (but rather, from their simplicity). Finally, the reason these games sell well is not because they compensate their rules with such great fluff (they really don't) but because of brand recognition.
    It is true, the art of game design has advanced a lot since those games where made, and we've learned that things like roll to move and player eliminate(both mechanics) are bad. Being old, however, doesn't stop a game from being bad. I also think Scooby Doo is a terrible TV show, but it is old and popular. Lets face it, McDonalds has great sales figure, but I doubt anyone would claim that their food is of high quality. Most people buy and play Monopoly and Risk because they are not aware of how many games are out there.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    Exalted has a fan base that are desperate to "fix" the rules of the game
    Sure. Nevertheless, you suggested earlier that a game with poor mechanics cannot have staying power. Exalted proves that yes, it can. There are numerous other examples; for example, the card game Munchkin has rather bad mechanics (which is quite possibly intentional), but it's just sheer fun and its sales figures are through the roof.

    Many game companies, Mayfair games in particular, when translating a game to English for an American release have be known to change the game, or even pull out the theme entirely and put a new theme in.
    I'm sure that there are some games where you can replace one fluff by another without affecting the game quality. But this clearly isn't what makes a game good, because there are many popular games (e.g. Settlers) where the fluff is not so easy to change. Settlers is also vastly more popular than Ninja vs Ninja. This underlines the claim that having fluff and crunch rely upon each other makes for a more popular game than having the fluff "tacked on" to some mathematical model.

    The difference is that a game with intertwined fluff and crunch is immersive, whereas a game with tacked-on fluff is moving pieces of wood around a table. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with moving pieces of wood around a table (e.g. playing chess) but you'll cater to a bigger audience if you can do both. You don't choose between fluff and mechanics, the key is doing both.

    Really, I've never had anyone complain that a strictly non magical fighter can jump over 30 feet(mechanics not fitting the fluff)
    There is nothing clashing between the mechanics of jumping and the fluff of jumping. You are talking about things that aren't possible in real life, but that has nothing to do with fluff/crunch clashes. This debate has been done to death already so I'm not going to repeat it here; just look in the earlier 5 threads for examples if you want.

    Being old, however, doesn't stop a game from being bad.
    No, but being popular does stop a game from being bad - at least, from a marketing point of view. It's a philosophical debate whether quality is decided by popular demand, but from a sales point of view: yes it is. WOTC does not want a game that the critics love but the players won't buy.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by James Wyatt View Post
    To be complete honest, as the co-author as one of those adventures [from 4E], I think we did a really poor job in taking the awesome adventure building and campaign building advice that was in the 4E Dungeon Master's Guide and putting it into practice and modeling how we thought 4E should be played, and that was a terrible mistake. All of which is a longwinded way of saying our business plan for adventures wasn't good, and our design for adventures could have been better.
    No joke.

    It is hard for me to put into words how badly WotC's published adventures crippled 4e's chances right out of the gate.

    -O

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Stuff I like

    - The idea that they shouldn't restrict options. I'm reading this as no racial/alignment restrictions, and not tying mechanics to their own fluff. I might be wrong on that reading, but I believe this means they intend to have as many character/setting possibilities available as they can, which is a really good thing.

    - Increased support/better writing for their own adventures and settings. I use a homebrew setting for my 3.5 games, but if they put more effort into realizing a setting and making it appealing to me, I'd love to be able to use their material to support my games, rather than just letting class/race fluff wither and be ignored. I'd like to see some good fluff written before I sign on board, but I'm glad it's a priority.

    Stuff I don't like

    - The idea that Fighters need to always be a simpler class, and have fewer options than magic users, purely because "it's magic". If they got this route, I'd really like to see them flat out state that certain classes are just fundamentally weaker in the D&D Next Player's Handbook, and make it clear that mundane classes are intended to be simpler and less powerful.

    - Low design priority on the character optimization subgame. I don't think that this is a massive issue, as I believe 3.5's design was at least partially accidental, and expect there to be a good deal of interesting aspects of character building in D&D Next, but it's worth noting that they're putting a low priority on something that I care about.
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    Hath but one page...

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    - Low design priority on the character optimization subgame. I don't think that this is a massive issue, as I believe 3.5's design was at least partially accidental, and expect there to be a good deal of interesting aspects of character building in D&D Next, but it's worth noting that they're putting a low priority on something that I care about.
    Honestly, being relegated to being worthless because the designers decided it was "fun" to have do math and argue semantics for hours upon hours is one of the worst "features" to have ever been added to 3.5, and needs to be excised. It's not fun, it's not good design, and it doesn't make for good debate. I use optimization discussions as ban lists, because trying to DM under that situation either requires you to be the best optimizer in the game, or get someone else to do it for you, at which point YOU AREN'T DMING ANYMORE.

    So screw that with an ice auger.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    Honestly, being relegated to being worthless because the designers decided it was "fun" to have do math and argue semantics for hours upon hours is one of the worst "features" to have ever been added to 3.5, and needs to be excised. It's not fun, it's not good design, and it doesn't make for good debate. I use optimization discussions as ban lists, because trying to DM under that situation either requires you to be the best optimizer in the game, or get someone else to do it for you, at which point YOU AREN'T DMING ANYMORE.

    So screw that with an ice auger.
    As in our previous discussions, I don't feel the same way. I'm really sorry you've had such a negative experience with it. My group isn't actively malicious, nor am I when I take part in other games, and I take great pleasure in optimizing a character (hence why I enjoy the Iron Chef competition on these forums so much). Different experiences lead to different conclusions for us, and I really enjoy a game with a good deal of character building depth.

    I also believe that the "broken" aspects of optimization are more likely to occur if CharOp isn't something being heavily considered in the design process. During a beta, you want people trying to min/max the crap out of the game so you can find the glaring problems and remove them. I believe that if the developers don't work on optimization significantly, it's more likely that the unfun, broken features are more likely to make it a final product (as they did in 3.5).
    Last edited by Menteith; 2012-09-21 at 06:02 PM.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
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    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    As in our previous discussions, I'm really sorry you've had such a negative experience with it. My group isn't actively malicious, nor am I when I take part in other games, and I take great pleasure in optimizing a character (hence why I enjoy the Iron Chef competition on these forums so much). Different experiences /shrug.
    I'm not attributing malice to optimizers, I'm just ****ing tired of either being worthless to play, or needing to ****ing handheld in order to do something. That kind of design is terrible design and is fully incapable of adding or contributing any kind of depth to the game.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    I'm not attributing malice to optimizers, I'm just ****ing tired of either being worthless to play, or needing to ****ing handheld in order to do something. That kind of design is terrible design and is fully incapable of adding or contributing any kind of depth to the game.
    I edited my post just after you posted this, but I'll respond to you here too.

    - I think it's bad when the game requires a significant amount of technical knowledge to play.

    - I think it's bad to have a game which doesn't have compelling choices in CharGen or allow someone with a significant amount of technical knowledge to use that knowledge.

    - I think that munchkinery is way more likely if the developers don't fully push the optimization limits of the system during beta to identify weird/nonfunctional rules interactions. With such an open and long beta, this is less of a concern (as there certainly will be players who'll push the bounds for them), but still worth noting.

    I get what you're saying, and I think that it's really ****ty that's happened to you, but I don't fault the system for it because my groups have never pulled that on me, nor have I pulled that on them. I've never actually had different degrees of optimization cause a problem within any of my group, regardless of whether it was in a PbP or RL, with me as a DM or a player, with longtime friends or people who've never touched the game.
    Last edited by Menteith; 2012-09-21 at 06:13 PM.
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    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    I'm not attributing malice to optimizers, I'm just ****ing tired of either being worthless to play, or needing to ****ing handheld in order to do something. That kind of design is terrible design and is fully incapable of adding or contributing any kind of depth to the game.
    That doesn't mean that optimization is bad. It means the optimization floor needs to be lower, so you can't build a totally worthless character by accident. A common example here would be Tome of Battle as the baseline, rather than the Fighter. While the Fighter can in theory be built to be good in a narrow field, it is infinitely easier to screw up and be useless. On the other hand, if you are playing a Tome of Battle character, whether you optimize or not you're going to be effective.




    We don't want the Fighter to have as many options as the Wizard because "it's magic". It's a world full of magic and magic is the stuff that can do all this stuff...over the life of the edition, maybe there will be as many Fighter maneuvers as there will be Wizard spells at launch.
    Hey look one more thing to add to my ever growing list of "Reasons why I have little interest in 5e"
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Hey look one more thing to add to my ever growing list of "Reasons why I have little interest in 5e"
    With two more years on development time, I'll have hope they'll change their minds. All I can do is give feedback and hope that we see a more robust system module for people who want a more interesting mundane character. I'm guessing/hoping he was referring just to the core set of rules during the panel, rather than something they wanted across every game.

    The biggest point he made during the hour long presentation is that they wanted to create a system that could appeal to every gamer. They think that they can do it, and I'll do my best to help them reach that goal with feedback.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    I edited my post just after you posted this, but I'll respond to you here too.

    - I think it's bad when the game requires a significant amount of technical knowledge to play.

    - I think it's bad to have a game which doesn't have compelling choices in CharGen or allow someone with a significant amount of technical knowledge to use that knowledge.

    - I think that munchkinery is way more likely if the developers don't fully push the optimization limits of the system during beta to identify weird/nonfunctional rules interactions. With such an open and long beta, this is less of a concern (as there certainly will be players who'll push the bounds for them), but still worth noting.

    I get what you're saying, and I think that it's really ****ty that's happened to you, but I don't fault the system for it because my groups have never pulled that on me, nor have I pulled that on them. I've never actually had different degrees of optimization cause a problem within any of my group, regardless of whether it was in a PbP or RL, with me as a DM or a player, with longtime friends or people who've never touched the game.
    I certainly hope the open playtesting aids in minimising munchkinery and ridiculous shenanigans. There should be some reward for system mastery, but not the difference between playing an unoptimised fighter vs. playing a cheesed-out wizard.

    In the group that introduced me to D&D, one of the older players seemed to enjoy the sort of prestige of being the one at the table who would optimise more. (He did nothing like the shenanigans I've seen online, but still, with a group of newbies at the table...)
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    With two more years on development time, I'll have hope they'll change their minds. All I can do is give feedback and hope that we see a more robust system module for people who want a more interesting mundane character. I'm guessing/hoping he was referring just to the core set of rules during the panel, rather than something they wanted across every game.

    The biggest point he made during the hour long presentation is that they wanted to create a system that could appeal to every gamer. They think that they can do it, and I'll do my best to help them reach that goal with feedback.
    Saying "We want to appeal to every gamer" and saying "We're designing this to make Fighters suck" (in slightly different words) is mutually exclusive. Yes we can hope they're going to change their minds on that, but I find it hard to have faith they will, given how hard they're clinging to this crappy bounded accuracy mess and the absolute lack of a skill system.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Saying "We want to appeal to every gamer" and saying "We're designing this to make Fighters suck" (in slightly different words) is mutually exclusive. Yes we can hope they're going to change their minds on that, but I find it hard to have faith they will, given how hard they're clinging to this crappy bounded accuracy mess and the absolute lack of a skill system.
    I'm holding out until we see how modules work. I fully expect to see them clone 3.5's (or Pathfinder's) skill system through a module if you want it, and it's entirely possible that they'll have a module that significantly improves Fighters/mundanes. I understand their desire to get a solid core together, especially this early in the development cycle, but I really, really want to see the major selling point of D&D Next in action.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
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    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Saying "We want to appeal to every gamer" and saying "We're designing this to make Fighters suck" (in slightly different words) is mutually exclusive. Yes we can hope they're going to change their minds on that, but I find it hard to have faith they will, given how hard they're clinging to this crappy bounded accuracy mess and the absolute lack of a skill system.
    I think the comment wasn't "Fighters suck", but more Wizards have more "magical" tools than the fighter. That said the strength of the tools both have is a separate issue than the number of tools.

    The fighter is the plumbers bag, it performs a narrow set of tasks exceptionally well (ie. plumbing). The wizard is the home reno store multi-tool. It can do some stuff the plumbing bag can't, but at the same time it doesn't do as good a job at plumbing.

    The fighters still fight, and do it well. Making sure the wizard can't horn in on that shtick goes a long way towards making fighters not suck.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Fighters don't need 50 pages of Maneuvers to be complex, deep, and fun to play. Maneuvers aren't spells, and comparing the to spells isn't going to help anyone.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    Fighters don't need 50 pages of Maneuvers to be complex, deep, and fun to play. Maneuvers aren't spells, and comparing the to spells isn't going to help anyone.
    I think the issue is that Wizards seem likely to have access to many of the effects which made them absurdly powerful out of the box in 3.5 (such as Flight, Teleport, Invisibility, Charm Person, Disguise Self) and the developers simply giving up on having the classes be similar in power is frustrating. It's worth noting that balanced classes can work on very different systems and still feel distinct from each other - a Warblade, Dread Necromancer, and Factotum represent "iconic" classes of D&D (Fighter, Mage, Rogue) very well and are still reasonably balanced, and to hear that the developers aren't striving for a balanced system is disheartening.
    Last edited by Menteith; 2012-09-21 at 07:41 PM.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    I think the issue is that Wizards seem likely to have access to many of the effects which made them absurdly powerful out of the box in 3.5 (such as Flight, Teleport, Invisibility, Charm Person, Disguise Self) and the developers simply giving up on having the classes be similar in power is frustrating. It's worth noting that balanced classes can work on very different systems and still feel distinct from each other - a Warblade, Dread Necromancer, and Factotum represent "iconic" classes of D&D (Fighter, Mage, Rogue) very well and are still reasonably balanced, and to hear that the developers aren't striving for a balanced system is disheartening.
    When did they say that? Everything I've heard is that they're explicitly trying to balance the classes to each other, just without homogenizing them as they did in 4E.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    When did they say that? Everything I've heard is that they're explicitly trying to balance the classes to each other, just without homogenizing them as they did in 4E.
    The quote I provided from the most recent panel on D&D Next, yesterday at The Escapist Expo;

    "In previous editions, there was a large disparity between what a Fighter could do and what a Wizard could do. How do you plan to deal with class imbalance?

    "There are two things to deal with. The first is actual power imbalance, which has been true in past editions - a high level Fighter can take on all of a god's minions while the Wizard faces the God themself. I say that because that's happened in one of my games - I was a Ranger. In Forgotten Realms, virtually every high level character that's been statted up is a Wizard. So there is a power disparity, but there's also the disparity of options. We don't want the Fighter to have as many options as the Wizard because "it's magic". It's a world full of magic and magic is the stuff that can do all this stuff...over the life of the edition, maybe there will be as many Fighter maneuvers as there will be Wizard spells at launch.
    The creative lead on the project, in his most recent discussion on the subject, has stated that they do not want the Fighter to have as many options as the Wizard (in the context of the question asked at him, "Fighter" stands for mundane, see his comment about being a Ranger earlier in the quote). Since 3.5 (arguably the pinnacle of unbalance) had well balanced "Fighters" and "Wizards" (Warblades/Crusaders out of the box, optimized Paladins/Rangers/Barbarians etc against Beguilers, Dread Necromancers, Warmages, Healers, Bardic Sages, etc), it's clearly possible to have a "Fighter" balanced against a "Wizard". But they're taking the lazy/easy way out by simply saying they're fine with the Fighter right now, even after recognizing there's an issue.

    I believe that it's possible to create a less powerful, less versatile Wizard (as compared to 3.5) and still preserve the "Wizard" feel to the class. Many of these boards have suggested ways to keep them in check. I also believe that it's possible to create an interesting, versatile mundane class to appeal to people who don't want to accept Magic = Powerful and Mundane = Limited. Recognizing a problem (differences in versatility across classes) really early on in the development cycle, and refusing to fix the problem, bugs me. Especially in the core rules.
    Last edited by Menteith; 2012-09-21 at 08:04 PM.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    Fighters don't need 50 pages of Maneuvers to be complex, deep, and fun to play. Maneuvers aren't spells, and comparing the to spells isn't going to help anyone.
    They aren't spells, but they are the Fighter's answer to them. If a level 5 Wizard has 40 spells in his spell book while a level 5 Fighter has 5 Maneuvers, 3 of which he gets to choose himself, you have a very big problem.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2012-09-21 at 08:07 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Yay for fragile characters, players need to feel like they can & will die if they make stupid decisions (like fighting the town sheriff)

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Anderlith View Post
    Yay for fragile characters, players need to feel like they can & will die if they make stupid decisions (like fighting the town sheriff)
    That really depends on the town. It's not as if fighting sheriffs of particular towns from, say, a nearby forest hideout is absent from the literature.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    That really depends on the town. It's not as if fighting sheriffs of particular towns from, say, a nearby forest hideout is absent from the literature.
    Everyone knows Robin Hood was a level 20 Ranger, that's why he was able to take on the Sheriff. Even then, how often did he outright win?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    On the other hand, getting killed by random rat #3384 isn't fun. God, I hate fragile characters - every combat is reduced to luck of the die. That may be a good game design for a board game or poker, but it's crap design for a RPG that's supposed to be telling a story.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    So I'm late to the party, and undoubtedly this has been discussed upstream, and i understand that dnd doesn't simulate real world situations perfectly. But I just noticed the weight and carrying rules in the packet, and I have a huge problem with them.
    There's the neat formula- simple, direct. Str x 10 = encumbered. Encumbered weight x5= Max lift. Well, the current deadlift record is 1015 lbs. That works out to a 20 Str. Cool.
    So the average guy, by this formula, isn't encumbered until 150 lbs, and can deadlift 500. Hmmm... That's awfully high. I am a carpenter by trade, so I lift large heavy objects all day. 150 lbs is a lot to ask of a laborer- ie a strong person- just to lift. I'd say that a person of above average strength IRL gets encumbered at around 75 lbs. That's like a large bag of concrete.
    I also lift weights, and I know that I can deadlift 300 lbs. Now, I'm not the strongest guy in town, but I am a big strong guy. In 5e terms, I have a Str of 6.
    I don't expect perfect rules, but this is just stupid. It totally takes my head out of the game.

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