D&D Next (5E) If an option is presented, it needs to be good enough to take. - Page 10




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  1. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    Everything you mention here is strictly combat related; except the skill points, which don't appear in every edition anyway. There's more to the game than just combat...or at least there should be.
    Strictly in combat terms, no. In terms of overall usefulness to the party, absolutely.

    Lanefan
    In a system without skills, what else does level measure if not combat related elements? Even in a system WITH skills, like 3e or 4e, what else does a level measure besides combat effectiveness?

    Sure, there should be more to the game than just combat. But, let's be honest, combat is likely going to play a pretty big part in a lot of campaigns. There's a reason that virtually every single module has well over half its content tied into combat.

    Meh, I agree, I'd rather have flight than plusses. But how about fire resistance? Or Swimming? We keep focusing on a really game changing ability like flight. But, there's an awful lot of other abilities out there that are a heck of a lot less useful (but a lot more flavourful) than a +1 or +2.
    The rules don't give the DM their authority. The consent of the players does. - Mallus

 

  • #92
    Flying is an odd option, in that it is a great power relative to creatures that cannot fly. It also plays to world assumptions about what consitutes an obstacle - in worlds where flight is common, ravines are not obstacles, but storms might be.

    In a campaign where almost everyone can fly, a suit of armour that grants flight, and enables your otherwise ground-hogging fighter to join the game is a necessity.

    In a campaign where almost no-one can fly, the same suit gives you great options both in an out of combat. Its not necessary, but its a good choice of item.

    There is probably a middle ground where at-will flight is "meh" compared to +1 defences, because you have enough capacity in the party to deal with flying threats and obstacles. The plusses win in that zone.

    So IMO, flying is "better" than +1 when flight is either common or rare.

  • #93
    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    But, let's be honest, combat is likely going to play a pretty big part in a lot of campaigns. There's a reason that virtually every single module has well over half its content tied into combat.
    Or rather, every module having so much combat content is the reason why combat plays a big part in campaigns.

  • #94
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    Ignore Tony Vargas
    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Sure, there should be more to the game than just combat. But, let's be honest, combat is likely going to play a pretty big part in a lot of campaigns. There's a reason that virtually every single module has well over half its content tied into combat.
    It's a grim reality that it's almost always possible to resort to violence. If you can't talk your way past the guards, you can try to kill them. If you can't sneak past them, you can try to kill them. Modules need to allow for the possibility that almost any encounter might turn violent. Add to that that combat is exciting and high-stakes and thus games devote some fairly detailed rules to it, and, no, you're not getting away from combat too easily. On top of that, heroic fantasy tends to be a pretty violent genre.

  • #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by slobo777 View Post
    in worlds where flight is common, ravines are not obstacles, but storms might be.
    I just wanted to pick up on this one comment in an excellent post that I sadly can't XP.

    The game gives us rules to adjudicate ravines - jumping rules, climbing rules, falling damage rules, rope use rules, etc. They may not be the best such rules that can be created, but they are there.

    Where are the rules for storms, and adjudicating a storm as an obstacle? No version of D&D has them that I'm aware of (the Wilderness Survival Guide has half-baked rules for being struck by lightning while on the ground; a number of Dragon somewhere in the low-ish 100s had an article about clouds as an obstacle to flight; 4e has rules for winds causing forced movement at the start of a turn).

    This tells me something about the game: namely, that it is not intended to support flight as a source of challenges or complications. Rather, flight is meant to be a solution to those challenges.

    This makes it hard to compare flight to a +1 armour: the latter is about contributing to action resolution, whereas the former is ultimately about circumventing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    Or rather, every module having so much combat content is the reason why combat plays a big part in campaigns.
    If you want to play a non-combat game, why would you start with D&D? Especially those editions of D&D which have no mechanics for resolving social conflicts?

    Of the fantasy RPGs I know, I'd choose Burning Wheel for such a game, but I'm sure there are others that could do the job too. But D&D isn't one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    It's a grim reality that it's almost always possible to resort to violence.

    <snip>

    On top of that, heroic fantasy tends to be a pretty violent genre.
    I think the second quoted sentence helps explain the first. I mean, in the real world many people don't resort to violence even when the stakes are very high (like losing one's job, say, or being evicted from one's house). It is possible to set up situations in an RPG that similarly, in virtue of both their mechanical and their fictional framing, make non-violent approaches desirable and violent ones effectively non-viable.

    But typically we don't do that, because that's not what the genre is about!

  • #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Pemerton
    If you want to play a non-combat game, why would you start with D&D? Especially those editions of D&D which have no mechanics for resolving social conflicts?

    Of the fantasy RPGs I know, I'd choose Burning Wheel for such a game, but I'm sure there are others that could do the job too. But D&D isn't one of them.
    Shhh, we're not supposed to notice that 90% of the rules for D&D focus on combat. D&D has never been about combat and "true" roleplayers all know that.
    The rules don't give the DM their authority. The consent of the players does. - Mallus

  • #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Shhh, we're not supposed to notice that 90% of the rules for D&D focus on combat. D&D has never been about combat and "true" roleplayers all know that.
    The weird thing for me is that I'm from the "D&D is not about combat" school - I think it's about a range of fantasy tropes/themes - but I would never deny that combat is its preeminent mode of conflict resolution!

    It's like @Tony Vargas said - violence is inherent to the genre.

  • #98
    You missed a golden opportunity for a Python quote, there, @pemerton . I am dissapoint.
    "A rock on a stick has a 5' reach unless otherwise specified."

  • #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Shhh, we're not supposed to notice that 90% of the rules for D&D focus on combat. D&D has never been about combat and "true" roleplayers all know that.
    Yeah, its not that the edition with unified mechanics which allowed for, compared to other D&D editions, a lot of non combat play was widely successful and that the edition which focused completely on balanced tactical combat was a huge failure...

  • #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Derren View Post
    Yeah, its not that the edition with unified mechanics which allowed for, compared to other D&D editions, a lot of non combat play was widely successful and that the edition which focused completely on balanced tactical combat was a huge failure...
    Two fallacies there.

    1: 4e lasted longer than either 3.5 or 3.0. Are we going to call 3.0 a miserable failure then?

    2: 4e offered more general non-combat support than any other edition. To the DM it offered a structure and pacing mechanic (Skill Challenges) unmatched by any other edition of D&D. To the PCs it mixed the broad general competence of AD&D characters who rolled attributes with a measure of detail in what they were skilled along the lines of 3.5 but without completely falling at things they weren't skilled at. And then it offered them specialisations in the form of utility powers that allow you to go above and beyond your normal skills.

    2b: The part of non-combat 4e did not do was give wizards many easy ways to make non-combat situations irrelevant. As @pmerton pointed out, if flight was meant to do something other than resolve situations and bypass a range of non-combat challenges then there would be rules for storms adding problems to flight.

    So yeah, if you want to call 4e a failure (I don't) then the lesson to take away is that the verson of D&D that is far and away the best set up for non-combat play and allows a lot of non-combat play even compared to 3.X is the one that failed. And the edition you are praising is the one that gives fighters 2+Int points per level and makes Climb, Jump, and Swim into three separate skills (in 4e these are all covered by Athletics) - making 3.X fighters the least competent out of combat characters of any edition.
    Last edited by Neonchameleon; Friday, 5th October, 2012 at 06:19 PM.

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