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Thread: D&D Next Blog: Tone and Edition
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 11:25 PM #21
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
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Common = Stuff that was in all editions
Uncommon = Stuff that wasn't in all editions but was in editions/books that sold well
Rare = Stuff that wasn't in all editions but was in editions/books that didn't sell well
Is this the vibe being tested?
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 11:35 PM #22
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
I think, as others have said they should change the terms.
I like the idea of Original, Classic, and Modern.
Though I guess every new race would end up being labeled modern...
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 11:39 PM #23
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
Seems fine enough to me.
Friday, 27th April, 2012, 11:49 PM #24
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
No. Absolutely not. The books do not need to tell me how often races should appear in my game. Put the races in the book, let ME, the DM decide what's going to be in my world, let ME, the DM decide what my players can or cannot play.
I do not want to have a little "Mythic Rare" symbol next to ANY race that says "these races are rare, you have to pay $50 to buy them on ebay." No really, D&D does not need a rarity system, it lends NOTHING to a game. Tell the DMs that THEY can control what is in THEIR game. End of story, we don't need to go any further than that.
You cannot on one hand put the DM in charge, and then run around telling them what they should or should not be doing. Especially if it's some abstract designer decision of "oh, Dragonborn are rare in Mearls mind, so they must be rare in the books and everyone else's campaign."
The whole article is about accepting other people's views of differing ideas of fantasy, except when it comes down to it, they really haven't accepted other people's views, and are acting like they are by foisting their views on everyone. How is that a solution?
If all races are default "0", then DM's can assign their own rarities to them. There is absolutely no need to attach rarities to races, it will be the first thing any DM with any kahones will ignore. Tell the DM they're in charge, give the DM options, and leave it at that. If people are offended by the fact that players can, and want to play more than the "core four", well tough beans! There's a lot of definitions of fantasy, if that DM doesn't want to allow those races, they can do so without the books telling players that their racial choices are less valid.
Saturday, 28th April, 2012, 12:09 AM #25
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Is it D&D without Dragonborn/Tieflings/etc.? Yes.
Is it D&D with those things? Maybe.
Tieflings have been around a while; there's nothing wrong with a player being able to play one. Putting them in a race chapter in the beginning of the PHB sends the wrong message. It distances the game from the base races that are generic fantasy assumptions now (humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings, principally). It tritely says that "we're cool and dark and gritty" without actually being any of those things. It pushes a style that includes extraplanar beings as everyday things.
Dragonborn present much the same issues. Dragon people in dragon supplements can be kind of fun and interesting, but they aren't at the core of D&D.
So with both, the answer is that the sine qua non races, classes, etc. need to be presented upfront and they set the tone for the game, while the weirder options should be out there for those who care to look. The 4e treatment of eladrin, dragonborn, and tieflings is a perfect example of how the way information is presented can completely misrepresent that information. They aren't bad concepts (except maybe the eladrin), but they are fringe-y, and they were done poorly and they were waved in everyone's faces from day 1. Bad idea.
There really should be a nice treatment for the core four races, and a separate section of brief treatments for a set of alternative races, to be expanded on in supplements (the same for many other rules).
Saturday, 28th April, 2012, 12:15 AM #26
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
Instead of races, classes, and rule modules being categorized by an artificial construct like rarity, they should be instead rated by degree of sphincter-puckering induced in grognards. This will likely produce more accurate categories and does not make undesirable assumptions on the default game world.
Saturday, 28th April, 2012, 12:24 AM #27
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
Saturday, 28th April, 2012, 12:31 AM #28
Novice (Lvl 1)
It is entirely sufficient to say that the DM decides the setting of your campaign, and in that setting some races (or whatever other options you decide) do not exist.
Saturday, 28th April, 2012, 12:32 AM #29
Guide (Lvl 11)
I have to agree with the sentiments on labelling. Don't use rarity, instead a keyword like 'Classic' or an actual campaign setting would be sensible for races and classes.
Edit: a good example of this is Trail of Cthulhu, with Traditional and Pulp labels for everything from character types to gun rules.
Saturday, 28th April, 2012, 12:32 AM #30
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
However, it's important to note that more is not better. Humans, elves, and dwarves are where it's at. Partially because of LotR but for a lot of other reasons as well. Making a race chapter with 10 races, some of the unrecognizable, some of them offensive to some people's sensibilities, is not a step forward.
If D&D is going to be played by any significant number of people, it has to be pretty generic to start, and then allow you to do what you want with a plethora of options, which is the substance of the suggestions I made.
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