D&D 5th Edition Monsters taking PC classes: I want it in Next. - Page 9




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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    Everything can "break the game" when you give the players enough freedom. So either you restrict the freedom of your players heavily, turning 5E even more into a board game than an RPG, or accept that there will be no perfect balance.

    Even more, you can only "break" the game when you have a very specific vision of how the game should be played (most often tactical combat dungeon crawling) and allow no deviation from it (either because of preference or lack of rules).
    As soon as you expand the scope of the game it is much more difficult to "break" as it consists of more than just one activity.
    I'm not sure if this is a dig at my assumed playstyle or not, but a player ability can be just as problematic if it has nothing to do with combat. If a feat is available called "Most Interesting Adventurer In The World" and selecting that feat means that NPCs automatically fawn over you and beg your friendship, it's just as broken in a game design sense.

    Toward the end of my 3rd edition days my group had several instances where a character's player felt guilty hogging the limelight with everything their characters were capable of, and retired the characters or worked with me to houserule the class into a more restricted form. In 4e there is still optimization of course, but so far it doesn't allow for the excess we saw back in the previous edition. I'd like to hope we can have the same experience with 5th edition.

    This branch of the conversation is drifting offtopic so it probably better belongs in the "Every option must be worth taking" thread.

    I'd also like to note that nowhere in my posts did I deny that monsters with player class levels should be available as option. I'm perfectly fine with that, but I believe such onerous NPC advancement should not be the default method.

 

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    Can I just ask one quick question?

    Can everyone who thinks balance is irrelevant explain to me why they have so much opposition to the book with things like the monster rules being labeled potentially unbalanced?

    I mean what's the issue? If you don't think balance is a big deal, then you don't mind the book being labeled 'unbalanced.' Seriously, what I think they should do is give rules for converting any monster to a PC of equal level (level equal to monster level). Screw balance, roll with it. Yeah, there will be overpowered PC Class/Monster combos, but that's part of the fun when you're playing a monster party.

    Label it appropriately, then the rules can maximize that sort of crazy ridiculous fun without ANY concern as to how balanced it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    Everything can "break the game" when you give the players enough freedom. So either you restrict the freedom of your players heavily, turning 5E even more into a board game than an RPG, or accept that there will be no perfect balance.

    Even more, you can only "break" the game when you have a very specific vision of how the game should be played (most often tactical combat dungeon crawling) and allow no deviation from it (either because of preference or lack of rules).
    As soon as you expand the scope of the game it is much more difficult to "break" as it consists of more than just one activity.
    The only scenario that I can think of where a game absolutely cannot "break" is under the auspices of a playstyle that is underwritten by a (i) complete anarchy of direction/focus with respect to genre emulation and where there is the acceptance of (ii) an utter vacuum of mood, tone and pacing. The moment (i) or (ii) moves even slightly from anarchy and vacuum the game will absolutely "break" when elements are introduced that undermine any of those. So you actually have it 180 degrees backward. The number of playstyles that are excluded are pretty much all but that narrow playstyle that is premised upon (i) and (ii).

    If I throw guys with laser guns or space clown aliens or Taco Bells or rocket skateboards into a "spaghetti western paced" based game or a "feudal setting game that presupposes limited archaic levels of tech" or a "No Country for Old Men mood" game...that game becomes inevitably "broken". If I have a game where I want horror and fear to be a strong undercurrent and the PCs are so powerful that the threat is rendered inert or the "horror mechanics" become irrelevant then the game becomes inevitably "broken". If I want exploration of an ancient, enchanted forest to be truly relevant...to be scary, wondrous and interesting...then there cannot be readily available resource schemes or tools that customarily bypass this aspect of the game such that it becomes standard operating procedure to fly over the forest or "ask a tree where the important thing is" and teleport/tree stride there. I could write a book on this of examples. Anything that isn't genre anarchy and an utter vacuum of mood, tone and pacing can be broken by elements that don't comport (or are in outright discord) with the implied setting/genre or player resource schemes that lead to unbounded power and thus lead to inevitable, absurd SoPs that allow PCs to fully bypass challenges by just not engaging with them. In homage to the week of its anniversary, throw a D&D wizard into "The Princess Bride" and everything that makes that film great ceases to exist. Every scene becomes "broken."

    Contrary to your position, anarchy of direction, unbounded options/power narrow PC choices and they narrow the scope of potential gameplay accordingly as power play gimmicks become standard operating procedure. This is especially so in a game like D&D where nothing but absolute success is incentivized as failure is uniformly and ultimately punitive...where it narrows the scope of the game in the most complete way; TPK/campaign ending.

    And what this has to do with "tactical combat dungeon crawling" I'm not really sure.

    Like Greyice posts above, I hope every weird, overpowered oddity of D&D history (and new ones) are available to players for 5e. But there really needs to be DM advice for just what these components engender within play and what scope of play they crowd out...because in my experience there are an abundance of playstyles out there that are excluded by the "genre anarchy" and "mood, tone, pace vacuum".

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    Can everyone who thinks balance is irrelevant explain to me why they have so much opposition to the book with things like the monster rules being labeled potentially unbalanced?
    I don't think balance is irrelevant. I think what you define as balance is not what I define as balance though. The unbalanced label is pejorative; I have monster PCs quite regularly and they're pretty well balanced.

    As to why I wouldn't want a rulebook written that way, I don't want advice, judgments, or labels on what's balanced when I buy a rulebook. I just want rules. I'll decide what's balanced.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    I don't think balance is irrelevant. I think what you define as balance is not what I define as balance though. The unbalanced label is pejorative; I have monster PCs quite regularly and they're pretty well balanced.

    As to why I wouldn't want a rulebook written that way, I don't want advice, judgments, or labels on what's balanced when I buy a rulebook. I just want rules. I'll decide what's balanced.
    If you're talking 4E, they're not really monster PCs, they're humanoid PCs with different skins (and even there Bugbears can break the Damage records in heroic tier easily thanks to being broken).

    As for 3E, the monster rules were terrible and resulted in 95% horrible PCs - and about 2% insane broken PCs that were ridiculous. Okay, yes, most of those were things that got caster boosts. But remember Dragonwrought Kobolds. Oh yes. Kobold characters in 3E. Good times.

    As for whether or not you want the advice in the rulebook - Why does it matter, again? As the DM, you decide what you want and don't want - it's just a simple warning that the rules in those books are not intended to be balanced.

    This opposition continues to make no sense. It literally is saying "telling us anything about the rules you're putting out STEALS ALL MY POWER AS DM!"

    Explain. How does that line being in the book negatively impact your gaming experience in any way?

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    In a way, I think that since 3e, we have played with relatively well balanced versions of D&D for so long that we have forgotten why balance is important. It seems somewhat cruel of me to suggest this, but maybe we need another Complete Book of Elves or Complete Book of Humanoids to remind us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreyICE View Post
    As for 3E, the monster rules were terrible and resulted in 95% horrible PCs - and about 2% insane broken PCs that were ridiculous. Okay, yes, most of those were things that got caster boosts. But remember Dragonwrought Kobolds. Oh yes. Kobold characters in 3E. Good times.
    I find that most LAs are ridiculous-some low, some high. The monster classes are poorly designed. Some monsters are clearly not well suited to be PCs for various reasons. Those issues are not difficult things to fix though. I've run all kinds of monster characters from the mundane (half-ogre, treant) to the far out (a blink dog with a halfling upper body, an epic rogue pixie); they do fine IME. They spice things up.

    As for whether or not you want the advice in the rulebook - Why does it matter, again? As the DM, you decide what you want and don't want - it's just a simple warning that the rules in those books are not intended to be balanced.
    They are intended to be balanced. And they have imbalances in them. Just like all rpg rules.

    This opposition continues to make no sense. It literally is saying "telling us anything about the rules you're putting out STEALS ALL MY POWER AS DM!"

    Explain. How does that line being in the book negatively impact your gaming experience in any way?
    Well, for me, it's wasted text and I'm paying money for it. I don't want to pay for wasted space. Save that kind of stuff for the next "for Dummies" book, not the core rules. One of my frustrations with the D&D line is not just the increase in price per page (expected) but the decrease in substantive "crunch" per page. This became an increasing problem late in the 3.5 era and got even worse with 4e. I want value, and I want rulebooks with substance.

    But more importantly, what if a beginning DM reads it and decides he doesn't want to experiment with monster characters on that basis?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    But more importantly, what if a beginning DM reads it and decides he doesn't want to experiment with monster characters on that basis?
    Probably not the reaction you wanted, but I would think that the warning or disclaimer has done its job, and that it's a good thing.

    Let's save the experimentation for after the DM has gained a few levels of experience himself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahnehnois View Post
    Well, for me, it's wasted text and I'm paying money for it. I don't want to pay for wasted space. Save that kind of stuff for the next "for Dummies" book, not the core rules. One of my frustrations with the D&D line is not just the increase in price per page (expected) but the decrease in substantive "crunch" per page. This became an increasing problem late in the 3.5 era and got even worse with 4e. I want value, and I want rulebooks with substance.

    But more importantly, what if a beginning DM reads it and decides he doesn't want to experiment with monster characters on that basis?
    Oh for gods sake, we've TRIED making RPG rules without white space before. Go read that ridiculous tome Dangerous Journies sometime if you want to see what results.

    You're seriously arguing that 1-2 sentences in a book is you having wasted money. We have hit the nadir of relevant complaints here.

    If a DM decides he doesn't want to experiment with monster characters, that is the DM's DECISION. You have no damn right to insist that the DM accept your monster character, which WILL increase the DM's workload, WILL increase what the DM needs to know, and WILL result in your character requiring more DM attention than other characters.

    Saying "what if the DM chooses not to accept my character" is ridiculous. It's really, really, really not the DM's job to accept a single special flower. Basically, everything FireLance says is correct. You don't like not getting monster characters. I don't like not getting the Deck of Many Things at level 1. Such is life.

  • #90
    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    turning it instead into a world creation game.
    And why is this bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by CM View Post
    I'm not sure if this is a dig at my assumed playstyle or not, but a player ability can be just as problematic if it has nothing to do with combat. If a feat is available called "Most Interesting Adventurer In The World" and selecting that feat means that NPCs automatically fawn over you and beg your friendship, it's just as broken in a game design sense.
    Why is this broken? A lot of other RPGs can handle celebrities just fine.
    Again, it is only broken when you have you have a very specific idea of how the game should look like (the PCs being unknown "lone hero" adventurers).

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