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Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 02:56 AM #21
Defender (Lvl 8)
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Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 03:20 AM #22
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
Unless you mean either:
1. 5e should not have any elements drawn from 4e whatsoever; or
2. 5e has too many elements drawn from 4e and not enough from other editions.
If the former, then WotC probably would not have much hope of bringing gamers who like 4e into 5e. If the latter, then WotC probably would not have much hope of bringing gamers who like any edition of D&D into 5e.
Speaking as someone who likes 4e myself, saying that there are too many elements drawn from 4e in the current playtest draft of the 5e rules is a bit like saying there is too much gold in seawater.
Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 03:23 AM #23
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 03:59 AM #24
Each PC has to be a viable tool for a player expressing his/her agency (= protagonism) in the game. That is a fairly strong constraint, which PCs modelled on the variety of chess pieces would almost certainly fail to satisfy if mechanical effectiveness was even remotely relevant to gameplay (which it frequently is in D&D).
I think it is a potential mistake to assume that mechanical variations in resolution are the key to producing dramatic and rewarding differences in the fiction of the sort that you mention.
For example, in my own experience 4e is quite good at producing those differences, despite the similar mechanical frameworks for PC build and action resolution. Better than classic D&D, to be honest. But even for others who have had different experiences, it doesn't follow that mechanical differentiation of the sort you describe is going to produce ficitonal differentiation of the sort you seem to want.
Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 04:31 AM #25
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
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Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 04:52 AM #26
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
I'ma add to the chorus here, with a slightly different twist:Originally Posted by Bluenose
Personally, I think Chess is boring. It is a Solved Game. You will always loose to someone who knows more than you do. Thus, it's not balanced: there is system mastery built into it. Even two people who have similar system mastery may not be balanced (what with the White advantage).
Monopoly is also boring. It's not exactly Solved, but it is largely random who succeeds and who fails. Park Place is not balanced with Baltic Avenue. Add to that house rules that change the game around.
Starcraft is also pretty boring to me, and, like Chess, it's kind of Solved. But it's also not perfectly balanced (there's a reason everyone knows what a Zerg Rush is).
You're also not really talking about the same sort of balance. In all three games, the balance is PvP in a defined boundary: clearly if one person wins abusing a certain strategy, that strategy is unbalanced. In D&D, the balance is a much more subtle beast. You're cooperating against the DM's challenges and even then, the odds are heavily in your favor, and they MUST be: the price for failure is always very very very final. Rather than PvP balance, it's more PvE, with the balancing mechanism being: one player should not be more effective in more circumstances than other players. Which is very subtle and mostly psychological.
What this means in 5e, and with regards to the goals Mearls mentioned, I think it means that all characters need to be able to contribute to each of the three major challenges present in the D&D game. Not even necessarily in equal measure, just that they be able to have some "spotlight time" in a given session, and perhaps to do something no other character can do at least once per session.
Personally, I'm really curious what this massive gulf between players and R&D was, and how they realized it was there. I'm tempted to conjecture about what it may be, but I'd really like to know what THEY saw, and how they saw it was a problem.
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Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 05:43 AM #27
It discourages participation by players in situations at which their PCs are not strong (because any failure will lead to death).
It produces "fight to the death" combats that can put more weight on the encounter building guidelines, and/or the retreat rules, than they can reasonably be expected to bear.
It creates an incentive structure in which players have a reason to leverage any advantage, however marginal, and however tedious in play, in order to avoid the game crashing to a halt.
Given some of D&Dnext's design goals, like making a broader range of actions viable for a broader range of PCs, and desirable for a broader range of players; and also supporting a range of styles from Gygaxian "skilled play" dungeon crawling to 4e-style mythic fantasy; I think it would help for the designers to consider how a broader range of stakes, and less extreme failure conditions, can be made part of the game.
Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 06:46 AM #28
Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 07:10 AM #29
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
Tuesday, 4th September, 2012, 07:20 AM #30
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
Then there is the case of capture. It's pretty rare to see PCs surrender. They'd rather suffer a TPK, it seems, than surrender to their enemies. They always seem to assume they'll be executed summarily - of course - maybe that's because that's how they generally behave as PCs when enemies surrender to them.
These have always been part of the game and alternatives to PC/party death. Yet, players don't exactly embrace them. There may be ways to encourage it in the rules, I suppose. Mutants and Masterminds does a reasonable job by handing out hero points when PCs suffer significant setbacks or complications. It is, after all, in-genre for superheroes to be on the short end of the stick and then turn the situation around as the story progresses to the climactic confrontation. D&D might be able to make use of that idea.
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