D&D 5th Edition D&D Next Blog: Tone and Edition - Page 4





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  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
    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 agree that the DMG should provide guidelines that explicitly suggest that DMs creating their own campaign worlds allocate different races along the common / uncommon / rare / unknown spectrum. That's a critical part of the DM empowerment goal of D&DN, and the whole idea would be screwed up without it.

    But just because DMs can customize doesn't mean that the PH shouldn't provide a sensible default structure. In fact, the PH should provide a sensible default set of rarities because the PH needs to provide a sense of the shared common D&D experience for players who aren't familiar with it. The only question is what common D&D experience does the D&DN want to project. For better or worse, it appears that the target experience is "classic, but with a nod to recent" and I have to say -- the rarities proposed on the blog fit that target well.

    That all said, I agree with the idea that the rarity structure would be stronger if "classic, with a nod to recent (i.e. 4e)" was one of several rarity structures provided in the PH.

    -KS
    Last edited by KidSnide; Friday, 27th April, 2012 at 11:51 PM.

 

  • #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    Did I say that? I didn't say that. There's a core, which is generic. Then you build on that. If you add fifty elven subraces and high magic, you get FR. If you add warforged and dinosaurs, you get Eberron. If you add tieflings and warlords, you get 4e (or, more specifically, its default setting and style, whatever that's called).
    I don't think a "generic core" of D&D is a good idea. Yes, there is some limitation because of the number of pages and price tag, but I don't even think humans, elves, dwarves and whatever short-people race you like best should necessarily consitutue "generic".

    Sure, they can be MADE generic, with the humans being Captain Generic and the others crewing the Blandmobile, but I really don't think that is or should be the case.

    When you add in "non-generic" races, I think that sorta forces the "generic 4" to prove their worth. Humans, Elves, Dwarves, short-people need something more than being just humans, elves, dwarves and short-people.

    And as for "setting and style", I don't really think that plane-touched or dragon-born are particularly setting specific. The only reason they feel this way is because of their fluff. If dragons exist in a given world, which in most D&D worlds they do, there has likely been some cross-breeding either on purpose or by deviant dragons and wizards to create dragon-humanoids. Whether this was enough to build a civilization or not is up to the DM, but the fluff need not specify some ancient conflict between noble draongborn and evil demon-people.

    The same goes for plane-touched, few, to no D&D realms exist without any contact from the planes, and that contact, like with dragons, likely resulted either on purpose or by deviation in plane-touched humanoids. No specific empires or setting fluff required. They exist as much or as little as the DM commands, they hail from whatever background the DM deigns to give them.

    Classical Mythology is positively littered with the offspring of gods and demons. D&D draws from that IMO a lot more than it does merely from Tolkein. Where is my Hercules? My 22 str plane-touched human? What about my Achilles? Judeo-Christian theology is filled with the idea of evil beings attempting to procreate with humans. These are NOT uncommon ideas.

    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.
    Deal with it. You know what offends me? Halfings. Dwarves. People who play them. But you know what? They're gonna be there, and I'm not going to fight that, because I know some people have a lot of fun playing these things. What exactly gives you the right to dictate other people's fun?

    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.
    I disagree. If DDN is going to get ANYWHERE, it needs to make a mark for itsself. If "Basic" D&D is so basic that we can't do anything other than play humans, dwarves, elves and short-people, you know what people are going to do? NOT PLAY IT. Why should I drop hundreds of dollars on something "generic"? That's not my desired D&D experience, I can get that from ANY d20 system, namely, ones I already own.

  • #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
    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.
    Hear! Hear!

    And, for that matter, forget giving races special abilities or bonuses to stats or racial features!

    The books do not need to tell us what an elf is like! Or, a dwarf!

    Let ME, the DM, decide what races have in my world! Let ME, the DM, decide whether elves can see in the dark or have ghoul's paralysis!

    /sarcasm

    Seriously. No one is going to force you to use rarity if it's in there. Make an all-dragonborn world if you want and ban humans as PCs... No one is going to take your dice away.

    These rules are tools that inform us of the baseline assumptions about the game world. If you want to change stuff, or not use stuff in your game, then change it or don't use it.

    That doesn't mean it's not a useful tool for others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by P1NBACK View Post
    Seriously. No one is going to force you to use rarity if it's in there. Make an all-dragonborn world if you want and ban humans as PCs... No one is going to take your dice away.

    These rules are tools that inform us of the baseline assumptions about the game world. If you want to change stuff, or not use stuff in your game, then change it or don't use it.

    That doesn't mean it's not a useful tool for others.
    My question is this: a useful tool for WHAT exactly? For dictating the fun of others? For demeaning people who don't like "the basics"? What exactly does the rarity accomplish?

    Yeah, I'm down with being able to decide which races are rare in my games, I already do that. What is accomplished by telling me that X race is rare by default? Is the "core world" Greyhawk? Middle Earth? Because frankly those are the only two settings I can name that aren't fond of racial diversity.

    Which begs the question? Why do the books need a "core world"? What is the benefit? Especially if the "core world" is Blandtopia.

  • #35
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    In my opinion it's only really a useful tool when presented in say a setting book.

    The core rules shouldn't present a "true" way to play D&D. They should provide you with options, and you get to pick.

    As it stands all they really do is provide a way for someone to tell others how D&D should really be played. We don't need any of that in the new edition, especially if it seeks to foster all styles of play.

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    I think the whole "rarity" system for races and classes is just PR.

    There are competing groups of folks: DM/Players that want only "classic" PCs and Classes, those that just don't care, those that care only if it impacts the story elements of their game, and those who want the everything and the "kitchen sink."

    By making an arbitrary rarity system it allows folks like me who don't care to restrict what's playable unless the story elements of our game require it (say if i am running the G series of modules and I don't want player's playing Drow) to have their Race cake while others who want a 1st Edition feel to the race list can say no rare races.

    My problem with this is, there is a implicit power in saying that one race is common or rarer than the other. It puts an assumption in the mind of the DM and players that somehow Dragonborn are extra while Humans are always there. That decision should be in the hands of the DM and players.

    If you are going to have a rarity system is should tie in with default assumptions of WotC's published material. Let's say they call for a Dungeon article and they don't want rare races in it, that is a handy short hand for it.

    Personally I want the all options in the PHB because I want the choice to use all, some or none of the races provided. Let me make the choice.

    To those that want to deny me the choice of what races start in the PHB, it really goes against the spirit of the 5e design goals, which is an edition for everyone. I will fight you tooth and nail on putting your limited scope in the PHB.

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    I'm still struggling to see the point of introducing a rarity system. This isn't like the old editions were Paladins required 18 CHA, so if you don't have an 18 in your stat array you're SOL? IOW, you'd need to roll to determine you could play a Dragonborn? It's fluff, and not particularly interesting fluff. I could see a campaign world writeup that suggested certain races were unusual or rare, but again, that's fluff. Putting "Rare" in the Dragonborn or Tiefling racial write-up seems to have little purpose, especially if you're playing in homebrew world that may have different designations.

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    I see the point of having rarity of classes in the books. It is a nice compromise between traditionalists and and more creative artists.

    But it shouldn't be presented a core. It should be presented as examples.

    Say "If you want a game like Nentir Vale, then you might have a race rarity like:

    Common: Humans, elves, dwarves, halflings
    Uncommon: Half-orcs, half-elves, gnomes, high elves
    Rare: Dragonborn, tieflings, drow

    "If you want a game like the Noble of the Circle, then you might have a race rarity like:

    Common: Humans, elves, dwarves, halflings
    Uncommon: Half-elves, high elves
    Rare: Dragonborn, tieflings, drow, gnomes, half-orcs,

    If you want a game like Six Sunken Worlds (my setting), then you might have a race rarity like:

    Common: Humans, dragonborn, half-orcs, half-elves
    Uncommon: Drow, tieflings, gnomes
    Rare: Elves, dwarves, halfling, high elves, gnomes"
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  • #39
    Quote Originally Posted by shidaku View Post
    I disagree. If DDN is going to get ANYWHERE, it needs to make a mark for itsself. If "Basic" D&D is so basic that we can't do anything other than play humans, dwarves, elves and short-people, you know what people are going to do? NOT PLAY IT. Why should I drop hundreds of dollars on something "generic"? That's not my desired D&D experience, I can get that from ANY d20 system, namely, ones I already own.
    You mean that patterning a product after things that you bought doesn't attract you? Sheesh.

    Now if you're saying that the game needs to innovate, I agree. But it needs to mechanically innovate. 3e is the same game as 2e, but with better mechanics. The same needs to be done again. If it's not better than 3.5, which is still free online, there is no reason to buy it.

    There also is a need for innovation in tone, but I don't count adding in weird races as innovation. Expanding the range of styles that D&D can own (from comedy to gritty political drama to superhero fantasy) is innovative. Thrusting one of those styles down the reader's throat is not.

    What exactly gives you the right to dictate other people's fun?
    The fact that I am the deity of storytelling.
    (Actually, I'm advocating a return to the days of options and creative freedom. Don't know where this non-sequitur came from).

    If dragons exist in a given world, which in most D&D worlds they do, there has likely been some cross-breeding either on purpose or by deviant dragons and wizards to create dragon-humanoids. Whether this was enough to build a civilization or not is up to the DM, but the fluff need not specify some ancient conflict between noble draongborn and evil demon-people.


    Classical Mythology is positively littered with the offspring of gods and demons. D&D draws from that IMO a lot more than it does merely from Tolkein. Where is my Hercules? My 22 str plane-touched human? What about my Achilles? Judeo-Christian theology is filled with the idea of evil beings attempting to procreate with humans. These are NOT uncommon ideas.
    Yes, this is certainly true. That's why the monster manuals are filled with these kinds of things. That's why rules for playing monsters are important. That's not a statement that these things are ever going to be the primary PC races. Trying to make them that radically changes the game away from being classic fantasy and away from being grounded in humanity. There is one primary PC race: human. Really, everything else is optional.

    I don't think a "generic core" of D&D is a good idea. Yes, there is some limitation because of the number of pages and price tag, but I don't even think humans, elves, dwarves and whatever short-people race you like best should necessarily consitutue "generic".
    Perhaps you should try another rpg. There are plenty that don't make this assumption, but D&D is not one of them.
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  • #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    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.
    Whereas slicing everything out of the race chapter except for a select four isn't a step forward either.

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