D&D 5th Edition With Respect to the Door and Expectations....The REAL Reason 5e Can't Unite the Base - Page 8


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  1. #71
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    As long as all major archetypes are provided in a balanced manner I have no issues with unbalanced options as long as they are explicitly called out as such, preferably with a sidebar that explains the value of unbalanced spell casters. Call a spade a spade. Don't sit a 10th level 3e fighter next to a 3e cleric and act like they provide equally valuable contributions to the party.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spatula View Post
    The same is true of every other edition of D&D, as well. So... what's the point in singling out 4e for this?
    Because it's significantly easier to play alternate styles of campaign with earlier editions with no house rules. In 2e and 3e there's non-combat benefits to levelling via the skill system and in all prior editions spellcasters can memorize and cast non-offensive spells.
    4e was purposely designed around the "sweet spot". By its very design goals it is a more narrow play experience.
    This is not a bad thing. WotC made the decision to narrow style of play in exchange for more consistant play. If you want to play a game in the sweet spot 4e is your game. I heartily recommend it as such. However, if you want to play a game below the sweet spot (see E6) or above the sweet spot then 4e is not the optimal choice. You can still do it but you will have to do more house ruling or hacking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Because it's significantly easier to play alternate styles of campaign with earlier editions with no house rules.
    Well, either the alternate styles are encouraged, rewarded, prompted, and enabled, or they're not. That was your claim, that 4e didn't do any of the above. Meanwhile, I'm wondering how "Game of Thrones style power plays" are encouraged, rewarded, etc. by D&D, period. If I wanted to play such a game, D&D of any stripe would be far from my first choice because of the lack of support for those kinds of stories.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Because it's significantly easier to play alternate styles of campaign with earlier editions with no house rules.
    My current AD&D campaign is set in the homebrew we created for 4e. While the mechanical particulars are quite different, the style is the same.

    Also... 4e is one thing very well. It balances casters and non-casters outside of combat. Both groups are forced to use skills as the principle lever to manipulate events. Casters don't get to monopolize non-combat situations via their long list of utility magics.
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    The thread is not about "rejecting anything referencing old school", it's exactly the opposite! Make old school names actually have some point of reference again.
    Last edited by Herschel; Wednesday, 25th July, 2012 at 09:57 PM.

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    Ignore Jester Canuck
    Quote Originally Posted by Spatula View Post
    Well, either the alternate styles are encouraged, rewarded, prompted, and enabled, or they're not. That was your claim, that 4e didn't do any of the above. Meanwhile, I'm wondering how "Game of Thrones style power plays" are encouraged, rewarded, etc. by D&D, period. If I wanted to play such a game, D&D of any stripe would be far from my first choice because of the lack of support for those kinds of stories.
    Okay, not exactly disputing or countering my arguments. But okay.
    That wasn't a list that must be fulfilled, the minimum requirements or something. But let's do it anyway.

    Editions: 1e (post-Unearthed Arcana), 2e, and 3e.
    Encouraged. 1e. Not so much. 2e had a number of kits with heavy role-playing benefits and penalties. While there was little in the 3e core rules, but there was Prestige Classes and the like.
    Rewarded. You gain skill ranks or proficiencies in all three which can make you better at non-combat stuff if you so choose. Many classes and advanced classes also had options and powers not very useful in a fight and more tied to story. Not every class sadly, which was a flaw in those couple classes not the entire edition.
    Prompted. Not so much, no. All editions are equally crap for that, but all it takes is one page in the DMG. 4e had some great text on role-playing in the first PHB and it's introduction to RPing was solid. Credit where credit is due. But not much on the follow-up and still poor compared to, well, every other RPG.
    Enabled. Non-combat options. Done. Actual mechanics beyond "DM may I?" and "look at page 42." I don't think we need a lot of rules and instead need guidelines and advice, I just don't think there was enough in 4e.
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    You know, I don't even think people here agree about what "playstyle" means. It appears to me that some people apparently mean by "different playstyle" that you can "play a different genre with different coloring" than the standard. It's as if Spelljammer and Ravenloft were playstyles--instead of settings and assumptions that might have had some playstyle influences that came along with them?

  • #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    While I get the point that WotC certainly benefits from consolidating the players onto one rulebase, I think your suggestion that individual players get *no* benefit from that is a bit short-sighted.

    Think of it this way - this very site would not exist if D&D were not the biggest game around. Having lots of folks playing the same thing creates those "network externalities" they used to talk about, that are as valuable to you as to WotC.

    You ever order pizza along with others, and have the discussion about what toppings to get, and have the other person not want exactly the same thing as you? So, you compromise a bit, and come to an agreement that is nobody's dream, but is good enough, and allows you to enjoy pizza more economically, and with friends?

    Gaming is like that. Every campaign is pizza. And, the gaming community as a whole is pizza - eventually, you get to points where it makes sense for you to place separate orders, yes. But if you're a bit flexible you can get more pizza more cheaply and enjoy it with more people if you aren't so darned stubborn about your requirements. While you should play what you like, being too demanding and picky has its own drawbacks.
    You're... not being very convincing. As I just said, I don't see being able to play with people I don't like as an advantage to something. The greater gaming community isn't a bunch of friends I want to get along and compromise with. it's a bunch of strangers who I share a certain degree of mutual dislike with. Having EnWorld be big and inclusive isn't an advantage. If half the people here just left and never posted here again, I wouldn't miss them.

    The simple truth is that I've never felt like any part of a "gaming community". The community of ENWorld in particular has gone out of its way to make me feel like an unwanted outsider over the many years I've posted here. I mostly keep coming back only out of stubbornness and respect for some of the posters here that I do like. In a way, you're asking me to show a certain level of openness and willingness to compromise that very few people on ENWorld have ever shown me.

    I'd rather leave the hobby than compromise and get along with grognards and knee-jerk 4E haters. I have no intention of buying a 5E that doesn't appeal to my tastes. I have no intention of spending money I could otherwise put to use buying videogames or better RPGs on a game that asks me to compromise on things I consider to be absolutely vital to a tabletop game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Except... 4e didn't have enough fans to be sustainable. The success of any new products require increasing the fanbase. Your incentive to share is having any new content at all; a third of most future books is infinitely more content than no books.
    4E has plenty of fans to be sustainable for a long time to come. The open question is whether it has enough fans to warrant further investment from a large company like WotC. A smaller publisher would kill to have 4E's fanbase, I'm certain of that. Which is exactly why I expect various smaller companies to try to snatch up that fanbase like Paizo did with 3.5E fans if WotC drops the ball.

    And if you thought it was insulting before, you should have read the first draft where I brought in the Brady Bunch in relation to the new middle child and said "Marsha Marsha Marsha!"
    That reference is too old for me. I wouldn't know what the heck you were talking about.

    Which is why I'm cranky about this. Unwavering stubbornness and slamming old editions will just mean 5e will fail and D&D will go away.
    Your books will continue to exist on your shelf but it will only get harder for you to find people to game with when the best selling RPGs on the market are Pathfinder, Marvel,DragonAge, Dark Heresy, and likely some of the World of Darkness books.
    I could say just as easily that unwavering stubbornness and slamming new editions will just mean 5E will fail and D&D will go away. Fans of older games don't want to compromise, so why are you leveling all this accusation at fans of 4E?

    Simply put, no one has any reason to compromise, and there are a lot of reasons not to. If this inability to compromise is enough to kill 5E and the D&D brand, then the brand is doomed to die. Nothing can save it. It's a pity, but hardly something worth bothering about. D&D isn't a good cause worthy of my charity, it's a product. I've seen products and brands I've cared a lot more about die with no hope of return, so it wouldn't bother me that much if D&D followed suit. I'm sure Hasbro would try a revival in a decade or so anyways...

    Also, an industry driven by a larger number of competing companies without a single central game sounds like it wouldn't be that bad. More competition would create a better product. Maybe the industry would be less stagnant and insular that way.

  • #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Because it's significantly easier to play alternate styles of campaign with earlier editions with no house rules.
    Lol! That's funny, because it's the exact opposite of what's true.

    Classic D&D was barely playable, /at all/, without house rules (even if those house rules consisted of little more than informally ignoring all the bits that didn't make sense). D&D's long dependence on the Vancian model made it worthless for emulating the vast majority of fantasy fiction, and all myth/legend. It's dependence on the cleric for healing also dictated a very specific playstyle. The range of characters playable was stunted by oddball armor/weapon proscriptions and hard-coded class-exclusive restrictions on fairly common adventuring tasks like spotting a tripwire or tracking a band of orc raiders through the wilderness.

    That said, it was very easy to play classic D&D in a lot of styles and with wildly different characters and settings with extensive house rules, because the community back then was very accepting of house rules - 'variants' as I recall them being called. House rules and DM snap decisions were the norm, so there was little to no resistance to them from players. 3e (abetted by the internet) changed all that, and the RAW became sacred, and what you could do with D&D, itself, contracted greatly (though, at the same time the d20 OGL opened up the core system to a much wider range of things beyond D&D).

    In 2e and 3e there's non-combat benefits to levelling via the skill system and in all prior editions spellcasters can memorize and cast non-offensive spells.
    And, in 4e, there's a skill system where leveling /really/ maters (unlike 2e's proficiencies and 3e's ranks where you needed to pour proficiencies or ranks into a skill just to remain OK for your level, while all your other skills became increasingly worthless). And casters don't need to memorize non-offensive spells, they get utilities automatically, and can learn and cast rituals without having to trade-out combat spells. That made the game much better at doing /both/ combat and non-combat.

    4e was purposely designed around the "sweet spot". By its very design goals it is a more narrow play experience.
    The 'sweet spot' in question was the narrow range of levels at which prior eds of D&D tended to have some semblance of class balance and had the best chance of being fun for everyone at the table. It's not a narrow range of play styles, it's a narrow range of levels /at which the game worked/. In earlier eds, the game worked at levels from 4-7 or even 2-10 or so, but was always a pain at 1st and fell apart by the teens. 4e worked from 1-30, an unprecedentedly broader range of levels than ever before.

    It also worked with a much broader variety of play styles, since you could alter campaign pacing without wrecking class balance, and could use a more varied mix of archetypes without trashing party effectiveness - most particularly and obviously by having leaders (healers) of varied archetypes (sources) and moving daily healing resource from the healer to the character being healed. It also gave the most sophisticated out-of-combat challenge design and resolution system to date (sadly broken though it's first iteration indisputably was).

    5e is supposed to try to take the best from all editions, and 4e has a lot of 'bests' to contribute. Miss-characterization of the positive aspects of 4e only does the development of 5e a grave dis-service. The edition war is over, 4e is dead, but there are still a lot of goodies to be looted from it's body.
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Wednesday, 25th July, 2012 at 10:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Because it's significantly easier to play alternate styles of campaign with earlier editions with no house rules. In 2e and 3e there's non-combat benefits to levelling via the skill system and in all prior editions spellcasters can memorize and cast non-offensive spells.
    4e was purposely designed around the "sweet spot". By its very design goals it is a more narrow play experience.
    And once again your comparison is extremely selective. Somehow 2e NWPs (which are more akin to feats than skills) and 3e spells are allowed to be non-combat yet 4e utility powers and 4e feats are not. Not even the multiclass feats which normally give you a strong combat benefit and a new trained skill.

    And as I've pointed out you don't need to change rules for a non-magic campaign - merely to flip an explicit toggle (inherent bonusses) and to tell the players to be sensible selecting PCs. Stealth based again. You have the skills - and skill challenges.

    4e purposely narrowed and zoomed in on one specific set of power levels. From the very slightly larger than life low cinematic to the high but not planet shattering cinematic. Within that set of power levels you have more details filled in - and that means more versatile characters as well as more competent characters in general (mostly thanks to the 3e skill system having ... issues).

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