Thread: Of Fighters and Sammiches
Friday, 12th October, 2012, 03:26 PM #51
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
- Washington, DC
ř Ignore cmbarona
You know, I wonder if some of this isn't so much the sandwich as the menu. Or the person behind the counter doesn't speak the same language you do, at least not fluently. So it's understandably hard to order, and sometimes you get a different sandwich than you really wanted. Sure, you can send it back, but it's no less frustrating of an experience.
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Defender (Lvl 8)
- Join Date
- May 2008
ř Ignore Cybit
I'm going to wonder if a lot of it isn't nostalgia colored glasses on the old sandwich as well, at this point.
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
- Boulder, CO
ř Ignore CleverNickName
Saying that it fails for me is a bit of an overstatement. It is a good class, and it is fun to play, and it seems more or less balanced for the system it was written in. And maybe I'm speaking a different language, or maybe my glasses are indeed nostalgia-colored.
From the Fighter Design Goals (that I linked to in my original post, back in April), I got the feeling that the 5E fighter will be very retro, more like the BECM and 2E fighters of yore. "Other classes will have nifty tricks, but not the fighter," it seems to say. "This one doesn't focus on magic."
To me, it sounded like they were describing a fighter that would be very close to the BECM fighter. So when I rolled up a 5E fighter for the first time (I am usually the DM, so this was my first chance to playtest the new rules as a player), I expected it to have more of a BECM feel. Instead, it felt more like a rebuilt 3rd Edition fighter. It's kind of hard to describe it. The 5E fighter has a more modern feel...it seems a bit more "fiddly" or "freestyle" than the design goals implied it would be.
That's not to say it's a bad thing; I DM a 3.5E game at the moment and I enjoy it a great deal. Mostly I think the problem is with my own expectations, and my interpretation of the design goals for the class...and as some of the more recent comments in this thread have pointed out, this is completely my fault. Mike Mearls explained what their plan was for the class, and I obviously interpreted it differently from what he intended. When he wrote "You can expect fighters to do fairly mundane things with weapons, but with overwhelming skill," I didn't imagine a new dice mechanic. I imagined weapon mastery.
This seems to be happening a lot in 5th Edition, now that I think about it. This is not just about building another edition of the game; this is about changing assumptions of the game. (And as far as I am concerned, this is the right way to go.) After all, there cannot be a single, unifying edition of D&D if everyone looks at hit points (or clerics, or longswords, or whatever) and sees something different. In order to bring all gamers together, they first must get everyone to agree on at least the fundamentals. Fundamentals, like what a fighter does with a sword. What is and isn't a "super power" or "magic." What dice should and should not be used for. That sort of thing.
I'm not comfortable with this, but I can't deny that this is what needs to happen. D&D has some pretty stiff competition out there...not just from Pathfinder, 3PPs, and countless retro-clone companies, but from itself as well: older editions of the game are still being bought, sold, and traded in bookstores and all over the Internet. They have to be accommodating and cutting-edge at the same time. And if they could do that without changing anything, well, they would already be done.
Nobody orders a simple turkey & swiss anymore...everyone wants gluten-free, everyone wants low-carb, everyone wants a build-your-own smorgassboard. It's nobody's fault, really, and it's neither a good thing nor a bad thing. The deli has no choice but to change its menu to keep up with the times. Sure, they can make custom orders for their favorite customers for a little while, but eventually they will have to switch suppliers or maybe get new kitchen equipment, and they simply won't be able to give you that same old sandwich anymore. When that moment comes, I can either (a) order something else, (b) stand around and complain to nobody, or (c) make my own sandwiches at home.
Well, I've done the "stand around complaining to nobody" part. I'll probably make my own sandwiches at home for a while (until I remember how dry they were), and then I will come back and try one of those new-fangled "flat bread wraps" that all the kids are talking about.
5th Edition cannot be a BECM clone, no matter how much I want it to be. So maybe I was a bit harsh with my critique of the 5th Edition fighter. It isn't what I was expecting, it isn't what I would have designed, and it doesn't play the way I would prefer it to. But it is exactly what the game needs: something for old and new gamers to rally around (provided both are willing to overlook a few things), and a showcase for the new combat mechanics.
Last edited by CleverNickName; Friday, 12th October, 2012 at 10:28 PM.
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