D&D 5th Edition With Respect to the Door and Expectations....The REAL Reason 5e Can't Unite the Base - Page 9




  1. #81
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    What we need more than anything (outside of useless arguments about the expediency of balancing an unbalanced system or vice versa) is specificially quanitified effects and design intention of mechanics, spells, classes and features. We need transparency and precision in this effort.

    * If we have a clear, coherent, transparent, properly quantified core + clear, coherent, transparent, properly quantified module, then we can "unbalance a balanced system" or "balance an unbalanced system" toward predictable ouput within a reasonable margin of error.

    ** The problem I see in this is that there is lobby out there that finds clear, coherent, trasparent, properly quantified rules as "immersion breaking" or "not DnD" and maintains the rigid position of this being a nonstarter.

    If you're going to tell someone to "do it themselves" through "balancing an unbalanced system" and the requirement for this is this * then you have just reserved the right to abstain from this ** position.

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    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).
    I'd argue 3e was the king of house rules as the OGL made finding a variant that catered to you exceedingly easy. There were books for every niche.
    4e killed house rules. Entirely accidentally mind you. The official books had no house rules, as that did not work with the "everything is Core" initiative and the DDI tools didn't help. I don't blame WotC for that, it was a side effect. I don't think anyone realized it was happening until retrospect kicked in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    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).
    Ummm... the 4e skill system is pretty much exactly the same as the 3e system. The only difference is it automatically puts ranks into the skills you chose at first level via your 1/2 level bonus. And, like 3e, if you're not trained in a skill you really shouldn't bother even attempting it (unless you have a high ability score, in which case you probably should have trained that skill).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    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.
    Except Utilities are almost exclusively combat orientated. And rituals drain the party coffers, being prohibitively expensive at low levels for very little benefit. I've had fun with rituals (and really threw a magnificent monkey wrench into my DM's game two weeks ago with a couple rituals) but it came at the cost of a magic item.
    What is fun for casters is the cantrips. I loved cantrips in my wizard and it was a great shame more classes didn't have them. I was especially disappointed by the psion, who had a mage hand equivalent as an encounter power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Ummm... the 4e skill system is pretty much exactly the same as the 3e system. The only difference is it automatically puts ranks into the skills you chose at first level via your 1/2 level bonus.
    No, the half-level bonus applies to all skills, not just the ones you're trained in. In 3E, skills you don't put any ranks in fall further and further behind the typical DCs for your level, making them worthless. In 4E you always have a baseline capability, meaning skills you're not trained in are not necessarily useless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    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.
    Yes, I'm sure 4e had a completely sustainable fanbase. Which is totally why WotC decided to tank their profit for eighteen months and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, risking all their jobs and the survival of the brand, on the success of a new edition. #sarcasm

    I hope 4e does survive somewhere. Hopefully there will be enough options to play a faster, better 4e clone with 5e. Really. I honestly, truly hope that.
    If not, I'm sure there will be some small retro-clones produced using the OGL.
    But the latter will be much smaller productions, likely PDF only, and much smaller than 4e.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwinBahamut View Post
    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?
    Because, from what I've seen here and on the WotC message boards, older fans are happy with the compromised version they've been given and are happy to get something, and are not asking for everything. Meanwhile, the 4e fans are arguing over Vancian magic and every single throw back.

    If you don't want to buy 5e that's fine. I wish you well and hope you have continued fun playing whatever games you end up buying and enjoying. Roll some dice, have some laughs, make some memories with friends. I salute you.
    But please, please, please don't ruin it for the rest of us who want 5e to succeed and are looking forward to it.

    Remember: the best revenge is living well. Thusly, the best revenge on WotC is to play something else and have fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    Tactical play is possible (and probably easier) without painted detailed figures, and probably without a grid
    This depends on where the tactics are located. In Rolemaster, for example, the tactical dyamics are in the allocation of points from a combat pool to attack, defence, initiative, etc. That doesn't require a grid, but does require lots of scratch paper.

    I had never run gridded combat, in over 25 years of GMing, until I started running 4e. But I don't use miniatures - I use coloured plastic tokens (old board game pieces collected over the years).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Skill Challenges don't work.

    <snip>

    Skill Challenges almost always become "PCs try and sell their best or second best skill".

    Which brings us to Stealth. Now, typically this means the entire party rolling stealth.
    That skill challenges don't work is a contentious claim - here's a thread where many have had the contrary experience, and in my OP I link to some more actual play examples.

    In running skill challenges I haven't had trouble getting players to use other than optimal skills (eg in the Reforging Whelm challenge described in that thread the fighter checked Diplomacy, Religion and Diplomacy as well as Endurance). For Stealth, I use the group check rules, which [I]don't[I] require the whole party to succeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Now, other non-combat resolution. The problem here lies in the lack of other character support for non-combat options other than skill challenges. You pick skills at first level which is your only non-combat choice and after that, the remaining 29 levels, every choice reflects combat.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    You mean their only non-combat choice other than some of their 17 feats and however many utility powers? (nine?) Oh, and depending on their class, their tricks, stances, and features? And even some attack powers? (And yes, I do take non-combat feats and mixed feats).
    The invoker PC in my party has the Linguist feat, two skill training feats, and a familiar feat. One of the fighter's utility is Mighty Sprint, and Fighter's Grit can also be used out of combat. The sorcerer uses Dominant Winds out of combat as well as in it. The wizard (when we had one) had cantrips. Etc.

    Of the warlock and wizard utilities in PHB, about half are non-combat.

    Also, many combat powers can be used out of combat in all sorts of ways - using Twist of Space to teleport targets, using the 15th lvl witch possession daily in Heroes of the Feywild to try and read an NPC's mind, using Slaad's Gambit to teleport through a crystal ball to the location visible inside it, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    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 has a skill system too - quite a robust one - as well as utility powers and rituals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    I'd argue 3e was the king of house rules as the OGL made finding a variant that catered to you exceedingly easy. There were books for every niche.
    If you define "every niche" as "play a different genre that works more or less like every other d20 game," then that would be correct. The range of niches for which I'm interested is considerably wider than that. Or to bring out the old GURPS/Hero discussion, the game is generic but not universal. (Actually, d20 isn't even generic, but the framework of d20 is, which is close enough for the important distinction here.) Understanding the distinction is crucial to understanding some of the preferences that other people have.

    Also, see my previous comment about what people mean by "playstyle."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Yes, I'm sure 4e had a completely sustainable fanbase. Which is totally why WotC decided to tank their profit for eighteen months and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, risking all their jobs and the survival of the brand, on the success of a new edition. #sarcasm
    They could simply believe they can be more profitable. Perhaps they don't want the steady profits they're receiving from a sustainable fanbase, but want to grow the profits instead? #easyresponsestoglibcomments

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Because, from what I've seen here and on the WotC message boards, older fans are happy with the compromised version they've been given and are happy to get something, and are not asking for everything. Meanwhile, the 4e fans are arguing over Vancian magic and every single throw back.
    Sure. That's why there was all the sturm und drang about the reaper feat and overnight healing and at-will magic, because older fans are happy with what they got. It wasn't long ago that every second thread seemed to be about one of these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    If you don't want to buy 5e that's fine. I wish you well and hope you have continued fun playing whatever games you end up buying and enjoying. Roll some dice, have some laughs, make some memories with friends. I salute you.
    But please, please, please don't ruin it for the rest of us who want 5e to succeed and are looking forward to it.
    This still applies in reverse as well, and isn't helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jester Canuck View Post
    Remember: the best revenge is living well. Thusly, the best revenge on WotC is to play something else and have fun.
    Revenge? Why would anyone want revenge?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifth Element View Post
    No, the half-level bonus applies to all skills, not just the ones you're trained in. In 3E, skills you don't put any ranks in fall further and further behind the typical DCs for your level, making them worthless. In 4E you always have a baseline capability, meaning skills you're not trained in are not necessarily useless.
    Not useless, but far enough behind that there are many situations in which you are far better off allowing someone who is trained in the skill to roll during a skill challenge. Though, on the other hand, if you're using DMG 2 challenge DCs, most things are so easy that it's barely worth bothering to roll in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fifth Element View Post
    Revenge? Why would anyone want revenge?
    I too was taken aback by that statement. What does revenge have to do with anything? The thread topic is stating that we cannot unite the fanbase due to battle lines being drawn since the game's inception. Either that is affirmed or or denied by our conversation here. Where does revenge enter into the equation of "how do we unite the fanbase under a single set of rules with plug and play modules constructed to capture their specific playstyles/genre preferences?"

  • #90
    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post

    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.
    No, no it really doesn't. The fighter gets 3 skills... the wizard gets 4 skills + ritual caster + 3 free rituals + cantrips.
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