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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I agree that too many manoeuvres actually roll the dice rather than spending them. Compare Step of the Wind, where I can spend all 3d10 of my level 10 dice and get in the worst case an extra three squares of movement (but it's ok, I can walk on water) to Spring Attack where for the cost of one die I get an extra 6 squares movement guaranteed. At least Hurricane Strike didn't make the same mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Example: composed attack. Normally, when you have disadvantage, you roll two dice and pick the lowest. That is an elegant mechanic. With a composed attack, however, you roll 2d20, pick the lowest, roll 2d6, pick the lowest of that, add that to the lowest d20 rolled, then use either that result or the other d20, whichever is lowest. Try having a beginning player use that consistently; this is not an elegant mechanic, it's just rolling dice for the sake of it.
    If you think that's bad, have you read the latest Turn Undead? It takes up more than an whole column of text, around 450 words, to describe it. I'd flat out ban it just for how long it would take to resolve in combat.
    Last edited by Excession; 2012-11-13 at 07:27 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    I'm sorry, there's is quite frankly no part of that remark, or the concept and thought processes that it's built upon that is not blatantly offensive.
    I'm sorry you find different views of elfgames offensive. However...

    If optimization means boring by-the-numbers play than that form of optimization should be excised in full for something that is both interesting and dynamic, not elevated as something for "intelligent players". That direction leads to traps and poor design that made 3.5 such a terribly balanced and written system for it's genre.

    Making a game where the fun aspects of play are outright worse is the way crappy games get made, and in this case especially, is based in bad logic, as it's not necessary for preparatory challenges to so strongly influence execution challenges.
    You missed my point, too. Because I agree with all that.

    -O

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Excession View Post
    I agree that too many manoeuvres actually roll the dice rather than spending them. Compare Step of the Wind, where I can spend all 3d10 of my level 10 dice and get in the worst case an extra three squares of movement (but it's ok, I can walk on water) to Spring Attack where for the cost of one die I get an extra 6 squares movement guaranteed. At least Hurricane Strike didn't make the same mistake.
    To be fair, you'll get at least 6 squares of movement from Step of the Wind with 3d10 literally 99% of the time.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Is anyone else bothered by the overly fiddly maneuvers where sometimes you roll and add and sometimes you roll and take the highest?

    I dunno. I don't love expertise dice as a universal mechanic. I think it's an "if the only tool you have is a hammer..." issue with the design team.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    I'm sorry you find different views of elfgames offensive.
    Not different views, that view. Because that view, the way it's phrased is everything in my post. It is elevating boring design decisions based of the arguments inherent to optimization appeal. It is deliberately, and knowingly deciding to make what makes the basic interaction between the ruleset and the player as misleading and unintuitive as possible, for the only purpose of "optimization" and pretenses to "intelligence".

    You missed my point, too. Because I agree with all that.
    Then why essentially call everyone that doesn't optimize an idiot with the qualifier "intelligent players"? Why should the mechanics force a choice between what is fun and what is effective? Why should the smallest optimization choices eclipse the fun but ineffective choice? Why does your entire comment, if you truly agree with my post, essentially state that power is more important than fun?

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    Not different views, that view. Because that view, the way it's phrased is everything in my post. It is elevating boring design decisions based of the arguments inherent to optimization appeal. It is deliberately, and knowingly deciding to make what makes the basic interaction between the ruleset and the player as misleading and unintuitive as possible, for the only purpose of "optimization" and pretenses to "intelligence".

    Then why essentially call everyone that doesn't optimize an idiot with the qualifier "intelligent players"? Why should the mechanics force a choice between what is fun and what is effective? Why should the smallest optimization choices eclipse the fun but ineffective choice? Why does your entire comment, if you truly agree with my post, essentially state that power is more important than fun?
    Zeful, I think you're having a knee-jerk reaction here. I know what you're trying to say, and what you're against, but I don't think that that is what he was trying to say. Just cool it.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    To be fair, you'll get at least 6 squares of movement from Step of the Wind with 3d10 literally 99% of the time.
    True, but I would greatly prefer to be able to look at how far I need to go and use that many dice. Having to pre-declare how many dice I'm going to use and take the risk of not making it, or the near-guarantee of making it but having no Flurry of Blows, doesn't strike me as fun. A fixed distance per dice would be my preference, or at least let me keep rolling dice if the first one is a 1.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    To be fair, you'll get at least 6 squares of movement from Step of the Wind with 3d10 literally 99% of the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Excession View Post
    I agree that too many manoeuvres actually roll the dice rather than spending them. Compare Step of the Wind, where I can spend all 3d10 of my level 10 dice and get in the worst case an extra three squares of movement (but it's ok, I can walk on water) to Spring Attack where for the cost of one die I get an extra 6 squares movement guaranteed. At least Hurricane Strike didn't make the same mistake
    Actually, Step of the Wind is one of the "roll all dice and take the highest" ones. So you'll never get more than 10 squares (at least up until level 10), and the lowest you can get is 1 square, and I don't think there's a 99% chance of getting at least 6 squares.

    Kinda makes dumping all of those dice into movement a rather unattractive option.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    Actually, Step of the Wind is one of the "roll all dice and take the highest" ones. So you'll never get more than 10 squares (at least up until level 10), and the lowest you can get is 1 square, and I don't think there's a 99% chance of getting at least 6 squares.

    Kinda makes dumping all of those dice into movement a rather unattractive option.
    Yeah, that's particularly underwhelming, especially if I want to use it to move before hitting something.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    Actually, Step of the Wind is one of the "roll all dice and take the highest" ones. So you'll never get more than 10 squares (at least up until level 10), and the lowest you can get is 1 square, and I don't think there's a 99% chance of getting at least 6 squares.

    Kinda makes dumping all of those dice into movement a rather unattractive option.
    Well that's what I get for doing the math without going to check what the ability actually does. In that case, you still get at least 6 87.5% of the time with 3d10, and 75% of the time with 2d10.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    Actually, Step of the Wind is one of the "roll all dice and take the highest" ones. So you'll never get more than 10 squares (at least up until level 10), and the lowest you can get is 1 square, and I don't think there's a 99% chance of getting at least 6 squares.

    Kinda makes dumping all of those dice into movement a rather unattractive option.
    Oops. Thanks for the correction. The odds of making 6 or more squares from 3d10 turn out to be about 87%. With 2d10 it's about 75%. May as well just roll the one die, and if you come up short at least you have Iron Root Defense to dump the leftovers into, right? Well, assuming you took it in one of your few slots.

    On another note, while walking on water sounds cool, how many encounters do you remember recently where you would have used it? If the first step is walking up walls, the second should just be flight.
    Last edited by Excession; 2012-11-13 at 09:20 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Excession View Post
    Oops. Thanks for the correction. The odds of making 6 or more squares from 3d10 turn out to be about 87%. With 2d10 it's about 75%. May as well just roll the one die, and if you come up short at least you have Iron Root Defense to dump the leftovers into, right? Well, assuming you took it in one of your few slots.

    On another note, while walking on water sounds cool, how many encounters do you remember recently where you would have used it? If the first step is walking up walls, the second should just be flight.
    In 3.5 when I think "monk abilities" I think "switching out slow fall for that ACF from Stormwrack" because walking on water comes up relatively often, whereas falling next a wall may have come up once or twice in a year of playing three games a week.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    Is anyone else bothered by the overly fiddly maneuvers where sometimes you roll and add and sometimes you roll and take the highest?
    It's basically a corollary of the Bounded Accuracy design goal. If you are adding Expertise to something that scales with level, you're allowed to use (add up) multiple dice. If you're adding to something that doesn't scale with level, you only get to add one die to your result, and spending multiple dice raises your average bonus but doesn't change your maximum bonus.

    I think in many cases this distinction is necessary to prevent scaling imbalances.

    I dunno. I don't love expertise dice as a universal mechanic. I think it's an "if the only tool you have is a hammer..." issue with the design team.
    Here we can agree. Like I mentioned earlier -- wasn't Expertise originally conceived as a way to make Fighters DIFFERENT from other non-caster classes?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    Well that's what I get for doing the math without going to check what the ability actually does. In that case, you still get at least 6 87.5% of the time with 3d10, and 75% of the time with 2d10.
    Still, you're committing a lot of Expertise Dice to a movement maneuver which may or may not actually let you move the distance you need to depending on the fickle whims of fate. That seems like either really poorly-thought-out design or open sadism on the part of the Dev Team.

    I'm an old 3.5 fanboy but I'm pretty sure this is something the editions all had in common; tactical movement abilities work when you use them without having to roll a "Do You Suck?" check first. My philosophy is fine-grained modular design while minimizing the number of unnecessary rolls, that's why a lot of the early 5e stuff had me really excited. This seems like the polar opposite of that; it's clumsily lumping more classes into one mechanic and adding pointless rolls.

    My hope is that the Expertise Dice / Maneuver thing is like a combat counterpoint to Vancian casting; less power but more frequently, with possible learned maneuvers broken up into class based lists with schools. That way they can keep some diversity in it at least, and still let mundanes have nice things without taking away from casters. Still, at this point I'm expecting another 4e.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Example: composed attack. Normally, when you have disadvantage, you roll two dice and pick the lowest. That is an elegant mechanic. With a composed attack, however, you roll 2d20, pick the lowest, roll 2d6, pick the lowest of that, add that to the lowest d20 rolled, then use either that result or the other d20, whichever is lowest. Try having a beginning player use that consistently; this is not an elegant mechanic, it's just rolling dice for the sake of it.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    After looking around and doing some thinking, I'm starting to think that they are doing something wrong in how they're laying out the classes and such.

    To clarify, I've not seen much information about what their goals are for the classes at level 20. It could be that I've not been looking in the right places but not having a good idea of where things will end up somewhat worries me as it could very easily lead to a breakdown of the system beyond a certain point. It could be that they have some idea written down somewhere but, with their current philosophy others have stated as being 'throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks,' my faith is not high for this.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    It's not necessarily that they're actually throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks. That's just what it seems like from out here, based on the apparent randomness of much of the material, combined with the lack of a stated direction or goal (and "accommodate ALL the fans" doesn't count).
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    Not different views, that view. Because that view, the way it's phrased is everything in my post. It is elevating boring design decisions based of the arguments inherent to optimization appeal. It is deliberately, and knowingly deciding to make what makes the basic interaction between the ruleset and the player as misleading and unintuitive as possible, for the only purpose of "optimization" and pretenses to "intelligence".

    Then why essentially call everyone that doesn't optimize an idiot with the qualifier "intelligent players"? Why should the mechanics force a choice between what is fun and what is effective? Why should the smallest optimization choices eclipse the fun but ineffective choice? Why does your entire comment, if you truly agree with my post, essentially state that power is more important than fun?
    Because I didn't say that, and I don't want that? I think you're dead-set on believing that when I said "recognize" I meant it like, "give a special trophy to and reward their system mastery." And when I said "intelligent" I meant it as in, "if you don't optimize you're an idiot." You're stuck on something in your brain, and I don't think I can dislodge it.

    And really, this is about as far as I'm interested in having this conversation because it's just altogether too surreal to be the target of internet elfgame rage and being told I disgust someone for holding the same opinions that they seem to have.

    -O

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by AgentPaper View Post
    Unless you linked to the wrong place, that's an article talking about how simplicity is better than efficiency in computer programming. Which doesn't have anything at all to do with DnD.
    That is the right article, although on review I see it doesn't quite make my point as directly as I'd remembered (). I was basically getting at the idea that consistency, correctness, completeness, and so forth do not correlate to commercial success or popularity.

    In other words, good game design may not make D&DN a successful game.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    @Zeful: Obryn said that the game should assume that PC choices are made not based on aesthetic, but mechanics. How do you think this assumption would impact their approach to designing said options? If they assume that PCs optimize, would they ever waste manpower to create the 3.5 Monk, which no one would take? Obryn suggests this assumption so that the choices they put in the game will be mechanically equivalent, and not force you to choose between a mechanically superior choice and a 'more fun' choice. That's how that assumption impacts design.

    You're reacting as if he said that this is what DMs should do, which is a completely different issue. That's not a good rule for players (at least not necessarily, depending on your group's preferences), but as a designer, it's important to look at it that way and say, "Yeah, if taking this 'fun' option is always a mechanically inferior choice, we need to change one of those options, so that it's not a choice between mechanical oomph and fun."

    The 3.5 design team, as you pointed out, was pernicious in its attempt to reward players for system mastery by deliberately placing a bunch of weak options in the game whose only purpose was to not be taken. They assumed players would not make optimized choices until they had gotten over 3.5's significant mechanical learning curve (see this thread for how long it takes many players to get there), and they would then feel smug and accomplished once they did. That was the exact opposite of obryn's intention.

    tl;dr - Assuming players optimize is bad for DMing, but really helpful for designers who want their options to be balanced.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    That is the right article, although on review I see it doesn't quite make my point as directly as I'd remembered (). I was basically getting at the idea that consistency, correctness, completeness, and so forth do not correlate to commercial success or popularity.

    In other words, good game design may not make D&DN a successful game.
    Consistency, Correctness, and Completeness actually have very little to do with good game design. Games that focus on those three elements end up being very dry, stale, and boring. That's not to say that Inconsistency, Incorrectness, and Incompleteness are good for game design, but just that it can't be your main focus.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Why does a Monk have to be lawful? This is really bugging me. A monk doesn't have to be lawful-only to fit it's mechanics, a monk shouldn't be lawful-only just to fight one ridged view of the class. You could be a Chaotic Good Monk, getting back at the rival clan of ninjas that killed your father & kicked your dog. Your monastery taught you all you know of Kung Fu, but your Master forbid you from using your skills for violence. You disagree & set off to make the world a better place one punch to the face at a time.

    Also, why does the monk need Expertise dice? He is stealing from the fighter (The rogue stole first true, but that is what thieves do) Why not expand the Ki mechanic & give monks a pool of points they can use for cool stuff every encounter that refreshes after every encounter?

    Why are we getting a monk? Monks aren't iconic. Give us a ranger, a paladin, a bard, give us back the Sorcerer & Warlock, something-anything other than a monk.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Anderlith View Post
    Why does a Monk have to be lawful? This is really bugging me. A monk doesn't have to be lawful-only to fit it's mechanics, a monk shouldn't be lawful-only just to fight one ridged view of the class. You could be a Chaotic Good Monk, getting back at the rival clan of ninjas that killed your father & kicked your dog. Your monastery taught you all you know of Kung Fu, but your Master forbid you from using your skills for violence. You disagree & set off to make the world a better place one punch to the face at a time.

    [...]

    Why are we getting a monk? Monks aren't iconic. Give us a ranger, a paladin, a bard, give us back the Sorcerer & Warlock, something-anything other than a monk.
    The monk has been Lawful-only since 1e, as Gygax associated the monk's strict mental and physical discipline with a lawful alignment. That's also why 5e has a monk class: as the devs have said, every class that has been in any edition's PHB 1 is showing up in 5e's PHB.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Anderlith View Post
    Why does a Monk have to be lawful? This is really bugging me. A monk doesn't have to be lawful-only to fit it's mechanics, a monk shouldn't be lawful-only just to fight one ridged view of the class. You could be a Chaotic Good Monk, getting back at the rival clan of ninjas that killed your father & kicked your dog. Your monastery taught you all you know of Kung Fu, but your Master forbid you from using your skills for violence. You disagree & set off to make the world a better place one punch to the face at a time.
    It's complicated, but the basic reason is that "lawful" actually means two things (actually, more, but let's just talk about two for now).

    On the one hand, "lawful" means you obey your masters and keep your promises. "Chaotic" means you follow whatever your heart tells you and do whatever is convenient and sensible at the time.

    On the other hand, "lawful" also means you believe in hard work, dedication, and singular focus to achieve your goals. "Chaotic" means you think whatever will happen will happen, so it's best to go with the flow.


    It's hard to imagine a monk who isn't "lawful" in the secondary sense, unless you want to go with the idea that they were just born with their mastery of kung-fu. So, in that way, the alignment restriction makes a sort of sense.

    The problem is you can't be "lawful" in one way and "chaotic" in the other without being "neutral" because alignment is stupid like that.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    The restriction of the Monk to Lawful alignment makes sense, but it shouldn't be there anyway. Sure, the discipline and self-perfection associated with the class implies a Lawful alignment... except when it doesn't. Someone might want to come up with a Monk for whom it makes sense to be Neutral or Chaotic. Why forbid such ideas? We don't gain anything meaningful but lose a lot of character concepts.
    On another note, I don't think that there's any real incentive to use crossbows. It's basically the same as it was in 3rd edition - they offer a bigger damage die, which doesn't mean that much, but take an action to reload.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Anderlith View Post
    Why are we getting a monk? Monks aren't iconic. Give us a ranger, a paladin, a bard, give us back the Sorcerer & Warlock, something-anything other than a monk.
    Monks are pretty much iconic. They've been around since the 1st edition of D&D, after all.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    Monks are pretty much iconic. They've been around since the 1st edition of D&D, after all.
    To me, monks have always been one of those things that just... doesn't belong. Like psionics, the main problem with the idea is it clashes thematically with what the rest of the system is doing. It feels like it was thrown in as an afterthought rather than considered from inception as a core part of the world and narratives the game is trying to build.

    If I had to choose to get rid of 3.5 core classes, Monk would be the first on my list. Followed by the druid, cause druids suck.
    Last edited by Craft (Cheese); 2012-11-14 at 06:48 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Also, why does the monk need Expertise dice? He is stealing from the fighter (The rogue stole first true, but that is what thieves do) Why not expand the Ki mechanic & give monks a pool of points they can use for cool stuff every encounter that refreshes after every encounter?
    I think they're looking to see if expertise dice can be the non-spell casters gimmick. It could work, but they need to re-evaluate it a little bit. If we imagine expertise dice as representing the extra ability that comes from years of study in your basic class descriptor then the way the dice are used should reflect that. So while the current design works for the fighter, where the expertise dice feed directly into combat maneuvers, we can see it breaks down for something like the monk, where some of the maneuvers are more "set up" maneuvers.

    Perhaps it would be better if the monks maneuvers all used ki, and what the monks combat dice represented was the amount of ki available on a given turn. So for example at the start (or end) of the monks turn, they would roll their expertise dice, and this number represents the amount of ki they have for this turn to spend on their maneuvers. You could then allow ki to bestowed across cumulative turns, but only up to the max value of the monks expertise dice.

    For the thief it's a bit harder, but maybe instead of applying to combat at all, expertise dice should be how the thieves "skill monkey" trait manifests itself. The thieves expertise dice canbe used to add to their skill rolls and ability checks in a given turn, or alternatively if they're "aiding another" they can spend those dice to aid someone else's skill or ability check.

    If they use expertise dice like this, I could see them being able to stretch the core idea across multiple martial classes, where each classes uniqueness comes from how the expertise dice contribute to the class concept, rather than being 20 different forms of the same basic combat maneuver.

    On another note, I don't think that there's any real incentive to use crossbows. It's basically the same as it was in 3rd edition - they offer a bigger damage die, which doesn't mean that much, but take an action to reload.
    This is a holdover from older D&D where the expectation wasn't that you would always fight with a crossbow, but that you would carry one around with you when exploring and for encounters that start at a distance, your party would first loose a volley of bolts before switching weapons as the combat distance closed. In this case, the reload time doesn't really matter because baring special circumstances, you weren't expected to be reloading.

    To me, monks have always been one of those things that just... doesn't belong. Like psionics, the main problem with the idea is it clashes thematically with what the rest of the system is doing. It feels like it was thrown in as an afterthought rather than considered from inception as a core part of the world and narratives the game is trying to build.
    It was pretty much an afterthought. I seem to recall an interview with Gygax where he basically said that like psionics, the monk was thrown together and included because so many people were clamoring for an "official" implementation. And since this was around the time that they were getting really into the "if its not official D&D it's not D&D" phase, there had to be an official implementation, even if it didn't quite work.
    Last edited by 1337 b4k4; 2012-11-14 at 07:05 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbazubba View Post
    The 3.5 design team, as you pointed out, was pernicious in its attempt to reward players for system mastery by deliberately placing a bunch of weak options in the game whose only purpose was to not be taken.
    No, that never happened.

    A game designer later said it happened, in a blatant CYA maneuver. People asked "hey, how come there's these sucky options in 3E" and the only thing he could think of was to claim they meant to do that.
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