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  1. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libramarian View Post
    I don't want tools to estimate whether they're likely to win *. It's inconveniencing to me to have to explain to the players that I'm not using them.

    <snip>

    I want all design resources possible to go towards making encounters fun no matter the balance, rather than towards this XP budgeting thing. It's just a more robust and more inclusive and less passive aggressive way of making encounters fun.
    This, right here, is where there is an unbelievable amount of divergence in expectation of core tenets of game design. Without tools to properly measure the output of an encounter versus PC output, </snip>I can't even know where the encounter lies on the TPK > survivable > walk-through sliding scale...<snip>forget about working on the details that actually make it compelling/rich from a tactical/strategic standpoint and climactic from a narrative standpoint (balance is just a means toward this end).

    Possibly more importantly than that is the temerity to make the statement that you don't want (and I'm assuming where I've put a *, it is implied that "to exist" would be there...otherwise the followup statement doesn't make any sense as you state "I'm not using them" - implying option rather than core - and further, nothing is inconvenient if you don't have to confront it) an option/rule to exist because its "inconvenient" for you. I've seen you say elsewhere that the mere existence of certain rules/options is an inconvenience for you because you will then have to "explain yourself to your players" when you choose to houserule them out. The implication of course is such that for Libramarian's convenience within the social accords of his game, others' design hopes (for options...not core) must be dashed. Its amazingly Orwellian.

    - Edited to get Libramarian's name correct.
    </snip>
    Last edited by Manbearcat; Friday, 27th July, 2012 at 07:03 AM.

 

  • #112
    Quote Originally Posted by Libramarian View Post
    I don't want tools to estimate whether they're likely to win. It's inconveniencing to me to have to explain to the players that I'm not using them.
    I don't know what to say.

    First, it's a tool, not a rule. It's a tool that helps DMs create balanced encounters or estimate the difficulty of encounters they built some other way. It's not a rule saying that you have to create balanced encounters or you are DMing wrong.

    Second, a huge, major point of D&DN is that it's a toolbox game that you can adjust to fit your play style. Everyone is going to have tools they don't use. If your game is fun, you won't have to explain why you're not using certain tools.

    -KS

  • #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libramarian View Post
    I don't want tools to estimate whether they're likely to win. It's inconveniencing to me to have to explain to the players that I'm not using them.
    That takes you what? Thirty seconds up front. Per campaign. And it saves some DMs a vast amount of time - ten minutes per planned encounter or so wouldn't be unrealistic with a perfectionist DM. For that matter accidental TPKs can break new DMs, whereas paranoia at the thought of killing PCs leads to softballs and therefore boring campaigns.

    So you'd consider 30 seconds for you once as more important than half an hour per session (assuming three encounters) and a handful of broken DMs and boring campaigns.

    Mike Mearls knows that this puts the DM and players into conflict. He's said on his blog, talking about CR in 3e:
    In D&D, the DM has more power over the flow and implementation of play than the players. However, the players have the rules to keep the DM in line. So, if the DM throws Tiamat at a 1st level party, the players can call out the DM for throwing a CR 20+ monster at them. After all, the rules explicitly say that's wrong.
    With all due respect to @mearls, if that's really the case then it's the fault of seriously shoddy writing in the gamebook. You just need to say that "this is a guideline that generally leads to good results, but what's there is there and the DM need not make this the only way".

  • #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    This, right here, is where there is an unbelievable amount of divergence in expectation of core tenets of game design.
    Yeah - I can barely believe that the quoted poster is serious, but I know he is, so ...

    It's like, what the heck kind of world do you live in where providing the DM with information - information that he is free to ignore to his heart's content - makes any darn sense at all?

    It's just ... I can't understand how you can deliberately espouse ignorance as a virtue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    With all due respect to @mearls, if that's really the case
    It's not.

    Come on, @mearls - get your schtuff together.
    Last edited by Patryn of Elvenshae; Friday, 27th July, 2012 at 11:15 PM.
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  • #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    This, right here, is where there is an unbelievable amount of divergence in expectation of core tenets of game design. Without tools to properly measure the output of an encounter versus PC output, I can't even know where the encounter lies on the TPK > survivable > walk-through sliding scale...<snip>forget about working on the details that actually make it compelling/rich from a tactical/strategic standpoint and climactic from a narrative standpoint (balance is just a means toward this end).
    I don't know that there is that much divergence. Who doesn't like tactically compelling and narratively climactic encounters? I just prefer for them to happen a little less often and less predictably in exchange for being able to basically abdicate encounter balancing responsibility. What I need to be able to do this is a system where balance is not required for reasonably fun and meaningful encounters -- so attrition, nonrenewable resources, retreat rules, limited refluffing, limited monster scaling, flatter math, that stuff.

    Possibly more importantly than that is the temerity to make the statement that you don't want (and I'm assuming where I've put a *, it is implied that "to exist" would be there...otherwise the followup statement doesn't make any sense as you state "I'm not using them" - implying option rather than core - and further, nothing is inconvenient if you don't have to confront it) an option/rule to exist because its "inconvenient" for you. I've seen you say elsewhere that the mere existence of certain rules/options is an inconvenience for you because you will then have to "explain yourself to your players" when you choose to houserule them out. The implication of course is such that for Libramarian's convenience within the social accords of his game, others' design hopes (for options...not core) must be dashed. Its amazingly Orwellian.

    - Edited to get Libramarian's name correct.
    </snip>
    This is overwrought. We're not actually working together on the game. Both of us individually have essentially zero control over how it will turn out. We're just chattering about what we would like to see. There are things I would like to see that you wouldn't and vice versa. I think we should both just say plainly what we would like and for the most part let the designers worry about working out the compromise. Does it make it better if I say that I wouldn't begrudge you if you end up getting what you want instead of me getting what I want?
    Quote Originally Posted by KidSnide View Post
    I don't know what to say.

    First, it's a tool, not a rule. It's a tool that helps DMs create balanced encounters or estimate the difficulty of encounters they built some other way. It's not a rule saying that you have to create balanced encounters or you are DMing wrong.

    Second, a huge, major point of D&DN is that it's a toolbox game that you can adjust to fit your play style. Everyone is going to have tools they don't use. If your game is fun, you won't have to explain why you're not using certain tools.

    -KS
    How do you explain Mike Mearls' comments about 3e CR? Can you understand why I'm concerned about XP budgeting as a rule or a tool in DDN?
    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    That takes you what? Thirty seconds up front. Per campaign. And it saves some DMs a vast amount of time - ten minutes per planned encounter or so wouldn't be unrealistic with a perfectionist DM. For that matter accidental TPKs can break new DMs, whereas paranoia at the thought of killing PCs leads to softballs and therefore boring campaigns.

    So you'd consider 30 seconds for you once as more important than half an hour per session (assuming three encounters) and a handful of broken DMs and boring campaigns.
    It's not just that. There are many aspects of the encounter system that are affected one way or the other by which way you go on this as a guiding philosophy.

    I think they're planning to present the encounter balancing system as it is presented in 3e and 4e: as a core part of the rules, with the implication that if you're not using it, it's tantamount to houseruling it out of the game.

    I want it to be presented clearly as OPT-IN by the DM, rather than OPT-OUT. Only then would I say that it's presented as a tool rather than telling us how to play D&D.
    Quote Originally Posted by Patryn of Elvenshae View Post
    It's just ... I can't understand how you can deliberately espouse ignorance as a virtue.
    Probably because I am not. I think ignorance can be productive, which is not really an unusual idea in general at all. People like being surprised. That's productive ignorance right there. Have you ever been upset at a movie trailer for giving too much away? Would it not sound ridiculous if I said you were "espousing ignorance as a virtue"?

  • #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libramarian View Post
    I think they're planning to present the encounter balancing system as it is presented in 3e and 4e: as a core part of the rules, with the implication that if you're not using it, it's tantamount to houseruling it out of the game.

    I want it to be presented clearly as OPT-IN by the DM, rather than OPT-OUT. Only then would I say that it's presented as a tool rather than telling us how to play D&D.
    Perhaps you should be a little clearer what you expect the result of such opting-out to be, maybe with examples. Are you suggesting a attack from Tiamat should be a viable encounter for first level characters? Sure, you could argue that it would make a great story, but D&D is also a game, with numerical values for protagonists and antagonists, and outside of certain boundaries, the outcome becomes very predictable (PC cake walk or TPK).

    The CR and XP Budget systems help the DM know what fights fall inside the boundaries, and it's there that you can have more unpredictable, surprising, tactically interesting fights because the sides are more evenly matched. Note 1e and 2e did this as well, though perhaps a bit less refined, by assigning monsters levels.

    Your way you could be "surprised" by having a minor, narratively insignificant encounter turn into a TPK or an final climatic battle turn into a boring cake walk for the PCs. Is this what you think should be the base assumption of the system, with a ability to avoid this unpredictability optional? I too share everyone's bafflement over this. It sounds to me like you don't want to 1) put in the minimal effort to select creatures appropriate for an encounter and 2) be held accountable by your players for a TPK because you willfully ignored the guidelines for a balanced encounter.

    I think ignorance can be productive, which is not really an unusual idea in general at all. People like being surprised. That's productive ignorance right there. Have you ever been upset at a movie trailer for giving too much away? Would it not sound ridiculous if I said you were "espousing ignorance as a virtue"?
    That element of surprise due to ignorance you describe applies to an audience, which in a game is the players. A movie's director, and the DM, should have a better idea of what's going on, and the likely outcome if a scene. Again, surprise for the DM will come from (in addition to player actions and choices) more balanced encounters, which will also help meet your criteria of more tactically and narratively compelling battles.
    Last edited by Sir Brennen; Tuesday, 31st July, 2012 at 02:24 AM. Reason: My own worst grammar nazi
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  • #118
    He says they have deflated HP and damage across the board, yet the new minotaur deals an extra d12 damage; and I wonder how much they are deflating character HP and damage (not sure how thee could lower weapon damage as it stands).

  • #119
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    Thank you for your reply Libramarian. However, I don't think its possible that we can have a meeting of the minds or even any constructive dialogue on this one so I'm just going to thank you and leave it be. I'm still in disbelief. I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt of sincerity regarding your second paragraph and merely wonder why you even bother posting if you feel that attempting to communicate and resolve our differences (as outlined in your second paragraph) has zero net worth (for the hobby or community in general or the next iteration in DnD specifically). To keep it family safe, under the auspices of that philosophy, it would seem that posting anything on these boards is the equivalent of gratuitous, self-gratification...and nothing more. If that is your philosophy, then I don't see the purpose in attempting to communicate anything further. That is not snark so please don't take it as such. That is my honest assessment of your last few posts. So with that, I've acknowledged what you wrote (the polite thing to do in my estimation), and I'll bow out.

  • #120
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    I really like the 4e design priciples you see in the monster design. But this time in coherence with the world.

    elite = big
    solo = even bigger

    Cool.

    Don┤t forget, as AC and to hit does not automatically go up with level for everyone, a solo medium sized enemy is just a monster some levels higher.

    I also like, that Armors give a base AC now. I always believed, it is clearer, that AC bonuses are added to base AC, and the base AC is modified by magic etc.

    Chainmal AC 16 is also quite good (sounds like in 4e, but with slightly lowere to hit bonuses, a little bit more useful)

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