5E UA and depth of complexity - Page 11
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  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
    No, you may assume, for the purposes of this thread, that the answer is "yes".

    If you want to discuss why you don't want to see more complexity in the game, or why you believe there will be no more complexity in the game, feel free to start a new thread.

    This thread was created to discuss the subject of what forms more complexity could take
    Quite clearly, the answer is "no". That's the reality. You might as well create a thread about how you want more machine guns and space ships in 5e. It's clearly out of the design scope of the game. Sure, you could create a thread like that, but it would be a wasted exercise because it's not really going to happen. The design team has made it clear with the aforementioned reasons why they are staying away from adding that sort complexity to the game.

    Also, you (nor anyone who isn't a mod) gets to decide exactly what can and can't be posted in a thread about a certain topic. I don't get to create a thread about how D&D needs to add class X, but no one is allowed to disagree in that thread or say why think class X isn't needed. It's called a discussion, not an echo chamber.
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  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
    Hiya!

    Then don't use it and let those who do want it have it.

    Bye-ya!
    You don't understand how a business or product management works, do you?

    *Edit* Let me clarify so it sounds less snarky. Whenever anyone designs a product, they have a set of defined requirements of what that product should do. In this case, a lot of those requirements are based off of marketing research (like most products). Everything costs money and time. Adding new rules and complexity takes money and time. So at some point it's not worth it because you're not getting the return. I.e., if they come out with a class that only a few people want, they aren't going to get their return on it.

    So they, like any business, asks themselves two questions:
    1. Is it in scope of the product's goal?
    2. Is it worth the return

    If the answer is no to either, let alone both, then don't expect to see it.

    It's quite clear that they don't want to forsake those folks who want these things though, because they came up with the DM's Guild, a place where WE spend the time and energy to come up with all the things we find we might want added. They gave us the tools, which is above and beyond what most businesses do.
    Last edited by Sacrosanct; Friday, 27th January, 2017 at 04:57 PM.
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  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hemlock View Post
    It seems as if neither of us is completely clear on what, if anything, our disagreement is about, because we seem to agree on most things and are merely confused about where the other person is disagreeing.
    I anticipated that when I wrote: "I think the misunderstanding is coming from the vague idea "mechanics". We have agreed that they are out there, but we haven't really spoken on what they are like. This would be easier if we had a common frame of reference."

    We both agree that before we can expect a game to feature interesting play around a concept that there needs to be some sort of system that supports that concept in an interesting way. You wrote, correctly, "You can't build a mechanically-interesting class solving mysteries, for example, unless there's a framework in place for how you would mechanically solve mysteries."

    I think we both agree that different scenarios require different mechanical support to capture the peculiarities of the problem. That is to say, it is usually a mistake to (as some have done), try to support both social interaction and physical combat with the same system, unless you also call out the differences between the two in some way. I'm thinking of for example 'Dogs in the Vineyard' which features some of the strongest joint mechanics for both social interaction and physical combat that I've seen in any system, but which (correctly I think) calls out that physical combat trumps social interaction. That said, DitV isn't intended to support (among other things) tactical combat and if you were wanting to run a game with tactical combat as one of the intellectual interests of the game you'd be disappointed in the results.

    Where I may have misunderstood you, or where we may not agree, is on what makes for interesting character design when a system has diverse subsystems. When you wrote, "Otherwise you wind up with something both bland and redundant like "you get advantage on all your skill checks related to solving mysteries", instead of "Once per Episode, you can make an intuitive leap to Find A Clue automatically without needing to Notice the corresponding signs first." is where I found some room to quibble with.

    I took this to mean that you believed that the character creation subsystem in order to meaningfully interact with a subsystem needs to have that subsystem in its scope and needs to know the subsystems details. And not only do I disagree, I would consider this bad design, for very similar reasons that it is bad design to have those sorts of dependencies in object oriented code. It would be wrong to expect that the character creation designer fully understands the scope and details of all the subsystems that may eventually be a part of the system. All the character creation designer needs to understand is that at some point somebody is going to want to create that subsystem and he needs to provide a strong interface with character design for that system.

    Otherwise, what happens is that if I want to write a Mystery/Investigation subsystem to extend the system, I find that I have to create new classes to meaningfully interact with the new subsystem, and if I do that, I haven't created one game where in one session we can have exciting tactical combat, and in the text we can have an exciting murder mystery. I instead have created two games that require very different characters, each of which might not be able to fully interact with the other system.

    Now, this sort of design is really common in RPG history, but I think its also subtly wrong and we ought to know better now. Pathfinder is having problems right now along theses lines. Further back, GURPS is an excellent example, precisely because you wouldn't expect it to be. GURPS bills itself a generic universal system, which is true, but once you become familiar with it you realize that is not a generic, universal, coherent system. You could port a Supers character to a non-Supers universe, and the rules would allow you to understand the interaction, but the character is built on such different expectations that it would in no way be balanced. You wouldn't (or maybe shouldn't) allow Supers resources in a generic fantasy game. You could build a character with psionics, but psionics is built on the assumption of parity with guys wielding machine guns and lasers, not swinging swords. If you ported your psionics character to a generic fantasy game with magic, he'd not be balanced with the magic wielder who is built on the assumption of being balanced with sword-slingers. All the subsystems use the same base rules, but they aren't really meant to be used together. Instead, the core mechanics are used to create a bunch of different non-interacting game ideas.

    What I would argue is that if you have an elegant design, such as 5e, you can create an interesting subsystem that is not integral to the game but which is fully integratable with the game. You do it really through the same way you'd do dependency injection, by stubbing out an interface the details of which you do not need to know. And further, I would argue that this is the most interesting way to do it. So for example, when I write mechanics for the subsystem like, "If you are proficient in Perception, you automatically notice Hidden Clues without needing to roll.", the fact that a character like a Bard or a Ranger - which isn't built with solving Murder Mysteries and being a viable detective in mind - nonetheless meaningfully interacts with the subsystem is a feature and not a bug. In that sense, that my Detective class has 'boring' abilities like, "You have proficiency in Perception, Insight, and Investigation..." is actually exciting provided my Mystery/Investigation subsystem is also exciting, both because he meaningfully interacts with the subsystem and has spot light, and because the Detective class is still fully useable when we aren't playing a game entirely focused on that subsystem. And if you have an existing group of characters, not specifically focused around Intrigue or Mysteries, and your DM decides to buy the Mystery subsystem, your characters are still meaningfully interacting with this system.

    Compare with the case where I design the Detective class based on detailed knowledge of the Mystery/Investigation subsystem. In that case, the Mystery/Investigation game is the only one that I can meaningfully be a part of, as most of my abilities are called out as only interacting with that subsystem. Likewise, in this case, if some GM decides to homebrew his own Mystery/Investigation subsystem, he finds he has to make changes everywhere in the game to make his new subsystem compatible.

    what you call "proposition validation" and the Alexandrian calls "game structure"....
    I like my term better. It's less vague.
    Last edited by Celebrim; Friday, 27th January, 2017 at 06:09 PM.
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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    Quite clearly, the answer is "no". That's the reality. You might as well create a thread about how you want more machine guns and space ships in 5e. It's clearly out of the design scope of the game. Sure, you could create a thread like that, but it would be a wasted exercise because it's not really going to happen.
    Invalid comparison. You could easily drop high tech ideas into the 5e framework. That would be increased Breadth of Complexity, and not Depth of Complexity (to use the OP's terms). The new technology subsystem would not necessarily provide options for existing characters, and GMs/tables could take it or leave it. It's setting information, and as setting information it's DM focused options.

    On the other hand, new character build options have a tendency to creep into every game because they are player focused options that players will actively advocate for and expect as build options because they are player focused and official. This is easily observed from the history of 3e and in fact was actively pursued as a product management strategy by the 3e team. That is to say, very clearly, the 3e marketing team felt that having player focused options available in all splat books, encouraged more sales of the book than making splat books purely DM focused options, for the obvious reason that there are more players than DMs. And inevitably, this means that you have players showing up with a new splat book and begging the DM to be allowed to take the new race/class/feat/spell.

    The design team has made it clear with the aforementioned reasons why they are staying away from adding that sort complexity to the game.
    I don't think that they have. Now, if you mean that they've made clear that they won't make the same mistake as the 3e team of trying to use Depth of Complexity to market the system with the ultimate result of killing the goose that laid the golden egg, then I agree. I don't expect to see a greater density of character build options in the game than already exists. But that's a totally different issue than whether you could have lasers in 5e.

    Also, you (nor anyone who isn't a mod) gets to decide exactly what can and can't be posted in a thread about a certain topic. I don't get to create a thread about how D&D needs to add class X, but no one is allowed to disagree in that thread or say why think class X isn't needed. It's called a discussion, not an echo chamber.
    Considering most of the mod slaps I've ever earned have been for some sort of 'thread crapping', I suspect you're quite wrong about this as well.
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    You don't understand how a business or product management works, do you?
    Having a bad day?

  6. #106
    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    Factotum is really interesting in some ways and very disappointing in others. On the one hand, it is an attempt at a skill monkey class, and one of the better ones of the 3e era. But on the other hand, so far as I can tell, most people didn't take Factotum for that, but for the ability to use ability bonuses not associated with combat in combat.
    I try not to hold "charopers abuse this option because they've also convinced their DM's to let them take Iaijustu as a skill" against the design of the game. I had a Factotum (one of my aforementioned "not really useful in combat" characters) that was an absolute blast to play. That is the character that taught me the joys of Grease.


    -snip-

    5e to me doesn't have particularly broad classes, but has room for filling out the space using its very flexible character creation rules and the idea of archetypes. There is a lot of room for making minor class variants using the existing frame work. The idea seems to be a good compromise - everyone has baggage, but you can swap it out for different baggage.
    Now this I can agree with. It boils down aesthetics of play (more on that later); as a strong seeker of narrative, fantasy, I want my classes to be specific archetypes that have a strong place in the world. Of course, as an expression seeker I can also see the appeal of a generic class (and certainly of a skill monkey; I must admit I still miss skill points). I'm never opposed to a broader range of options. Even if they don't really appeal to me, personally.

    I very much disagree. D&D never has had a lot of heavy setting baggage or any sort of setting other than what is now called 'generic fantasy'.
    Now here I disagree, and evidence seems strong that WotC would also disagree with this. D&D is not "generic" fantasy. It is certainly broad and there's always been a strong emphasis in wide appeal (well, until 5e, at least so far), but it has always had its own identity. I wouldn't use the term "setting" because that term, especially in D&D, comes with its own baggage (if you'll excuse the mixed lexicon). D&D is a very specific kind of fantasy; it is one where magic is split into two (or three, if you count Primal) different realms which not only have different sources but different practical applications (Wizards can't heal, Clerics cant magic missile, Druids cant summon skeletons). It is a game where Paladins serve a specific role and function (and 5e probably gives us the broadest possible range of options for the roles and archetypes performed by Paladins). Clerics get their magic from gods or their intermediaries; Wizards from study and use of their spellbooks. Magic has material, verbal and/or somatic components. Magic is broken into "levels". Fighters specialize in a specific weapon or weapon group or fighting style. Alignment. Races. Aberrations. Dragons.

    D&D has always had a specific image of the fantasy worlds its rules reflect. While that may not be "setting" specific the way some other game systems might be, and while some officially published settings have played with or twisted some of those specific images, they still exist and are baked into the system. And while that image may, in many ways, be incredibly broad, that is still a very long way from generic. D&D has an identity.

    Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is another matter entirely. But that is what it is.

    I think D&D has never really settled on what a class is. Some are generic. Some are specific. Some are professions. No one has really ever created a coherent idea of what a class is.
    In practice this is true. While WotC talking heads have expressed their desire to give each class a distinct identity, they clearly failed in some ways. A lot of that is because a D&D edition without a Fighter would probably start a mass riot. I think the only potential definition of class that could hold true is that is a series of mechanics that define a character's abilities within the world. Does it need to be more complicated than that? Should every class be an archetype? Or should every class have a defined function within the world? Is the room for both to exist in the same system? These are neither rhetorical questions nor are they meant to be facetious. I'd like to think there's room for both.

    ...Dissociated mechanics...
    So here's the thing folks: dissociated mechanics exist. This isn't really a matter of debate; any set of specific, arbitrary rules made to represent abstract ideas are going to have some dissociation. I would argue that all RPG mechanics are dissociated to one degree or another. Where there's room for debate is: how much that matters to any given individual. And that goes back to the aesthetics of play. How much Warlord healing or second winds or Fighter daily powers broke your immersion (and how much immersion, the Fantasy aesthetic primarily, even mattered to you in the first place) had a lot (certainly not all but a lot) to do with what side of the 4e Edition War you found yourself on. If it was important to your sense of Expression to be able to invest skill points in Craft or Profession skills you probably hated the simplification of the skill system.

    Edition Wars are basically "BadWrongFun" arguments magnified.
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  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    Invalid comparison. You could easily drop high tech ideas into the 5e framework. That would be increased Breadth of Complexity, and not Depth of Complexity (to use the OP's terms).
    You couldn't drop it in easily and do it well. If you implemented modern firearms into 5e easily, then you have a really bad representation of how modern firearms work. If you wanted to represent modern firearms into 5e with any sort of accuracy, you'd have to add a lot of complexity for things like ballistic variations and probably a complete rewrite for how armor works.


    Considering most of the mod slaps I've ever earned have been for some sort of 'thread crapping', I suspect you're quite wrong about this as well.
    We'll see, won't we? Telling someone they aren't allowed to disagree with your stance on a topic is different than preventing threadcapping.

    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    Having a bad day?
    My, aren't you just on a disingenuous roll lately. How nice of you to completely ignore 95% of my post to take a personal shot.

  8. #108
    I would like a warlock redesigned as a kind of prestige class.
    Available only after level 5, because patron don't care about low level character.
    The class will be ability less, and thus available to all classes or mc mix

    I like the premise where You put away your initial class in hope for stronger power.
    Unfortunately it is the the case due to game balance. But it has a lot of role play possibilities.
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krachek View Post
    I would like a warlock redesigned as a kind of prestige class.
    Available only after level 5, because patron don't care about low level character.
    The class will be ability less, and thus available to all classes or mc mix

    I like the premise where You put away your initial class in hope for stronger power.
    Unfortunately it is the the case due to game balance. But it has a lot of role play possibilities.
    But you can just play another class to level 5 and then multi-class, and roleplay it how you want.

    Maybe that's not exactly what you want, but if WotC catered to everybody's exact demands the game would be a mess.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
    Hiya!

    Then don't use it and let those who do want it have it.

    Bye-ya!
    You've got it already! There's 3.5, 4e, Pathfinder, etc. etc. etc...

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