D&D 5th Edition UA and depth of complexity - Page 12
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  1. #111
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    Hiya!

    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsetaker View Post
    Hiya!

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

    Bye-ya!
    Then make it yourself for those that want it and leave the game crunch-light for those who don't.

    Bye-ya!

    ^_^

    Paul L. Ming

  2. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    You've got it already! There's 3.5, 4e, Pathfinder, etc. etc. etc...
    Everything in 5e is something we had already in a past edition. That's kinda the point, really, that it's for fans of all past editions, not exclusively for fans of 2e & earlier, and everyone else can go play something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by pming View Post
    Then make it yourself for those that want it and leave the game crunch-light for those who don't.
    I don't know how easy you think game design is - I know I /like/ tinkering and have been doing so almost as long as I've been gaming, but I don't kid myself I'm that good at it - or how much time you think people have, or how much duplication of effort to achieve inconsistent results it takes for you to notice the inefficiency, but let's just consider the relative ease and convenience of the two 'just' options here.

    If WotC leaves out something you want, you can, with time, effort, skill & talent adapt or create it, and add it to a game you run. You can't play it though, for that, you'd have to find a like-minded DM. I think we're all aware of how well that can go - if nothing else, we've heard Moonsong complain about the challenges she's faced in that arena. Really, that's just scratching the surface of all the issues you're going to have.

    Conversely, if what you want is rules-lite D&D, and WotC puts out a book stuffed with heavy rules, all you have to do is not buy it.

    Which of those is a more reasonable thing to demand other people be forced to do (or rather, not do)?

    Seriously, it's an old argument, and 5e's attempt at compromising on it was rather ambitiously to try to include everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    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.
    Blackmoor (0D&D supplement II) featured a space ship. Just say'n. D&D's not very pure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    If you wanted to represent modern firearms into 5e with any sort of accuracy,
    But, why would you want to do that, when D&D already doesn't represent medieval weapons & armor with any sort of accuracy?

    ;P

    Seriously, though, sure, there'd be obvious issues, but you could probably work around them by 1) not having unrealistic(npi) expectations of realism and 2) getting creative with you you model RoF... maybe 3) getting more abstract with things like ammo.

    And example of a D&D-like game that has handled modern fire arms (and sci-fi weapons) in the past is Gamma World. The 1e GW 'slug thrower,' though not technically a modern firearm (it used a battery to propel slugs), behaved like one. It didn't do a lot of damage, relative to the superhuman toughness of mutants, but it was workable. I forget how some of the middle eds did it right now (S&SS's d20 GW used d20 Modern, for instance, if you're familiar with that), but the last one abstracted ammo down to either having it (blaze away) or not (can't use your 'guns' until you get some). Very rapid fire could be swapped from the attack mechanic to AE and save mechanics as you hose down a beaten zone...

    I'm not sure how important that tangent was, sorry if I latched onto something dropped out trivially in passing. My point wasn't that modern firearms have a place in D&D - they're genre-inappropriate anachronisms with no more justification than space ships or psionic powers - but that the system could conceivable accommodate them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gradine View Post
    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".
    Nod. This seems like a somewhat fraught issue, and could be argued in a variety of directions. I could be argued that D&D isn't fantasy at all, or that it's only emulating certain sub-genres or certain sources of inspiration, or that it's failed to emulate the fantasy genre, or that it's defined it's own genre, or that it's the fantasy of the various (many & varied) settings published for it over the years, or of only what those have in common, etc...

    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).
    And where both have required 'memorizing' (or 'preparing') spells. And where instantly healing alies in combat is expected. Among other oddities. But is that genre, setting, or system artifacts that should be glossed over?

    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.
    I think that, particularly in 5e, given it's desire to call back the best of all past editions, classes have to embrace everything they've been, from generic building blocks, to primary character identity, to bundles of contributions to the party's success, to genre archetypes, to system kludges, and whateverallelse I may have missed.

    Inelegant, but necessary - the DM can pair away the classes that don't live up to his vision.

    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
    You can certainly define them into existence that way if you want. But the concept becomes irrelevant.

    Where there's room for debate is: how much that matters to any given individual.
    That's room for subjective judgement and wrongbadfun accusations. Debate? Not so much.

    In the context of 5e, whingeing over concerns like that is something that can be left to DMs to fix with the odd tweak of the mechanic-fluff coupling. 5e could have made that a little easier, perhaps, by drawing a clearer line between the two, but it's not unmanageable.

    Edition Wars are basically "BadWrongFun" arguments magnified.
    And that's all dissociated mechanics is, surplus badwrongfun ordnance.
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Friday, 27th January, 2017 at 06:42 PM.

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post

    You can certainly define them into existence that way if you want. But the concept becomes irrelevant.
    Exactly. If all mechanics are dissociative, and the degree of dissociation is a matter of opinion, what use is the term?

    And that's all dissociated mechanics is, surplus badwrongfun ordnance.
    Love it. Great name for a band. (Although not as good as "The Alternative Facts".)
    Laugh Tony Vargas laughed with this post

  4. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gradine View Post
    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 do, and a designer should, but that's neither here nor there. Nor is it the problem I have with the Factotum.

    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.
    In or out of combat? That is the problem I have with the Factotum. Although, to be fair, it's not a problem of the Factotum design, but rather than the skill system still isn't to the place where it can support a skill based class.

    as a strong seeker of narrative, fantasy, I want my classes to be specific archetypes that have a strong place in the world.
    I think we have a lot of the same desires from a system, but we are plugging those desires into very different slots with different expectations of what a slot does. In general, I would never expect a class itself to give anything but the most vague descriptions of an individual's place in the world, and that mostly as a source of inspiration and not as a proscriptive 'rule'. In other words, discussion of the class might give you some ideas for the sort of background you might have, but it wouldn't tell you who you are. That would be up to you, the setting, and a discussion with your GM - who knows the setting better than the book's writer ever could.

    So for example, a 1st level explorer (very generic jack of all trades martial class), might have backgrounds like the following that determine place in the world that the class simply cannot:

    "I am the third son of a lower middle class family of teamsters. We make our living hauling cut stone from Stonechapel to Amalteen. It's an honest job, but not without its hazards, but are family prides itself as being as hard as the stone we haul and as strong as the oxen that pull it. My father has just died. He left to my oldest brother the family home, and the family business. To the next oldest brother, he left a team of oxen and the money for a bride price. To me, he left his sword. I don't get along well with my eldest brother. His hardness touches his heart, and has made him a cruel man with a cutting tongue. I don't want to work for my brother the rest of my life. I think my father meant me to seek my own fortune. I've bid my family farewell, and am looking in Amalteen for a small mercenary company or perhaps a small privateer that will allow me to sign on."

    "I was a teenage runaway. My family were upper class furriers from a noble house of Ostland. But the open sea was my calling, and I wanted to sea warm and faraway lands. When I was 14, I ripped the sleeves off my shirt, and signed on as a cabin boy with a merchant. In the four years since that time I have been at sea and have seen many things, and am now accounted an able bodied seaman. A recent cruise was with Captain Terralse aboard a schooner called The Queen's Piranha. I soon came to realize that my Captain was not an honest man, but a conveyer of opium and other contraband and even slaves. One day, the Captain informed us that we would turn pirate, and waylay a small vessel. When I saw the cruel treatment that honest folk aboard the ship were subject to, and the Captain proposed to sell the passengers into slavery, I became upset and tried to aid the passengers in escaping. I was caught, and struck the captain in desperate fury. He beat me to a bloody pulp, and instead of selling me in to slavery, declared that munity should be punished by death, and decided to maroon me on a sandbar on a barrier reef that was only exposed at high tide. I am a strong swimmer, but in my condition, I could not possibly have swam the 20 miles to shore. I was sure I would drown or be fish food. Just when I thought I would die, I was rescued by a group of dolphins and a sea elf, who assisted me to shore. I've since made back some money, but I'm beginning to believe that I ought to do more with my life."

    "I am a vagrant tinker, of Concheeri blood. I was raised by a prostitute and sold at 10 to a tinker to be his apprentice. Since that time I've been on the road. I can think of no better possible life than to be free of all obligations. Life is a grand adventure, and nothing delights me more than wandering into new lands. Over the last seven years, I've been up and down the whole Sword Coast, plying my trade as tinker, occasionally busking, or working as a farm hand when I can get no other work. But if I could find a way to make enough money not to work, I'd take it in a heartbeat."

    "I am a Tumesi outcast. I grew up with the travelling people, but I'm cursed, and though my parents tried to protect me eventually my community threw me out. I'm fortunate they didn't drown me, as some wanted - to the old God Ugopoth, whose mark I bear. Now I must conceal my identity from people who hate me, and would kill me in even less pleasant ways if they new the truth. I tell everyone that I'm blind in one eye, and wear an eyepatch to conceal the wound I took from a tree branch. But often they suspect the truth, and make signs against the elder evils when I'm near. I was taken in by bandits, for my skill with a blade and other unsavory reasons. But when they saw what I really was, even they didn't want me near them. The eye underneath my eye patch works perfectly well but it is as bright pink, as the other is shining blue. Somedays, I think maybe I should poke it out myself."

    And so on and so on. In 5e terms, we might have backgrounds or archetypes for 'explorer' if the ideas were strong enough and didn't overlap completely: sailor, pirate, tramp, tinkerer, lumberjack, planeswalker, guide, dungeon delver, archaeologist, etc. In 3e terms, we might support those ideas with feats, either customized to the idea or picked from more generic feats that supported the idea.

    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.
    If you go back far enough, you'll find that even if it has its own identity, it's not recognized as such. The people making D&D weren't setting out to create a non-generic system. They didn't expect every idea to be associated with every fantasy story, but they had a kitchen sink approach of throwing every idea from every fantasy story into the game, and they believed that if you wanted to emulate a specific fantasy story than you could do so with just a bit of tweaking and selection of the available options. In large part, I think this is still true, albeit we know 'better' now (and sometimes I think we are wrong) that the genera emulation was very imperfect.

    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.
    All of that is true, and is what I call 'kitchen sink fantasy' and what I've heard called 'generic fantasy', since even if you don't necessarily find that in a lot of novels, most cRPGs end up looking like D&D with some small tweaks. And even in novels, there is more D&D out there than you think, and not just in Chronicles of the Dragonlance. Feist's works are D&D in every detail. So is 'The Deeds of Paksenarrion'. Bujold's Chalion setting very easily could be D&D, as could Sanderson's Elantris (which actually features D&D clerics). For that matter, 'Game of Thones' isn't that far off D&D in a very low magic setting with very few spellcasters, but at least some that resemble D&D clerics.

    D&D both is generic and created its own generic genera.

    So here's the thing folks: dissociated mechanics exist.
    Yes.

    any set of specific, arbitrary rules made to represent abstract ideas are going to have some dissociation.
    No. Any set of rules are going to have some abstractions. Being abstract doesn't make them dissociated. While we are on the subject, being dissociated doesn't make them bad. In most cases, "class" and "hit points" are for example dissociated mechanics, unless you are playing Order of the Stick and breaking the 4th wall. The characters within the setting are unable to describe themselves in terms of their class or hit points, and are unable to make choices about them. They exist only in the metagame as abstractions of something real in the fiction. Characers in the fiction can make decisions about what they observe in the fiction - this guy is wounded, this guy has the profession and skills of a wizard - but they can't see "class" or "hit points". That in and of itself isn't bad. However, there are times when disassociation is bad.

    Where there's room for debate is: how much that matters to any given individual.
    I agree that some of this is personal preference. Particularly if the game doesn't spell out the connection between a mechanic and the fiction well, then something like spell slots of hit points can be a no sale for a player. And I'm sympathetic to that, albeit I think in this case there are good justifications for both and much stronger explanations for Vancian spell-casting in fiction than are usually advanced, and perhaps even stronger narrativist justifications for using Vancian spellcasting even when it is disassociated from the fiction's magical system. But, that being said, while some of this is personal preference and some of this is just what you are used to, there are cases when its very easy to predict when a disassociated mechanic is not a good idea, and that's when they are intimately tied to the player's proposition-fortune-resolution cycle or when they break the games normal proposition-fortune-resolution cycle or when they are going to regularly break with the fictional positioning of the game.

    I'll give you an example I'm certain you haven't thought of that meets the third case - the price list in 1e AD&D. It's a disassociated mechanic that's given D&D more trouble over the years than hit points. The reason it is disassociated is that Gygax gives it a post hoc fictional justification, just as some many defenders of disassociated mechanics are prone to do when the disassociation is challenged. Gygax gives us price lists that are - as he well knows - purely gamist in nature. He knows that they are because we can tell from his other work that he's a good enough historian to know realistic prices. He then justifies his purely gamist prices with fictional positioning - the price list represents the prices of goods in a hyperinflationary scenario similar to the Klondike Goldrush. But why is this bad? Well, because it only tells us the mechanics for prices in a hyperinflationary scenario similar to the Klondike Goldrush, but as soon as the fictional positioning changes from that, we would expect that the prices would change. Gygax's post hoc rationalization leaves us ultimately with more questions than answers. Over the long run, players associated the mechanic by arguing that it was the list of normal prices - leading to published works calling out prices in the setting as being two or three times the prices in the Player's Handbook because of the hyperinflation and scarcity of goods available. But this attempt at rectifying the rules ran into the trouble that elsewhere in the work, Gygax had used realistic prices (in silver pieces) for common labor, income from taxation, non-adventuring commodities, etc. The post hoc rationalization of the price list players were using in practice also didn't work. It wasn't until 3.5e put everything on a gold piece standard that the damage was undone and things sort of became coherent.

    Most people would not care about this example, but the very fact that the changes were made over the course of the games history means that the problems came up and people did care. On the other hand, problem no one who didn't care was bothered by or even noticed the rectifying process of reassociating the price mechanics. Noone was hurt by 'fixing' it.

    I'm hesitant to dig into this with more specific and more telling examples, because apparently there are some strong personal feelings around this. But I will dig a little more into this using Celebrim's patented 'World's Simplest RPG', to show that the problem with the world's simplest RPG is disassociation between the mechanics and the fiction. For those who've not encountered Celebrim's World's Simplest RPG before, it has only one rule - "Whenever the player proposes to do something, flip a coin. If it's heads, the player succeeds. If it's tails, the player fails." Technically, the entire RPG has about a page of rules, but the rest are so basic to RPGs that most people wouldn't recognize them as rules. The do things like define 'GM', 'Player', 'Game', and 'Story'. In terms of system, that's the sole mechanic of the game.

    Celebrim's World's Simplest RPG is generic, universal, and coherent. You can use it to play any game you want. The elegant mechanic can handle every proposition the player possibly could have. They seem to work ok at first, if the player confines themselves to playing the game intuitively, and the DM develops post hoc justifications for why. In many cases, a coin flip is a good guess of whether something passes or fails. Hit it with your sword? Coin flip is fine. Dodge the sword? Coin flip is fine. Pick the lock. Again, coin flip. But the system will quickly fall apart. The problem is, regardless of who the fictional positioning says your character is, and regardless of what the proposition is, the system answers "Coin flip." And this creates disassociated mechanics. Or to put it another way, it becomes impossible to ignore that the resolution mechanics don't match the fiction. Superman tries to jump a puddle? Coin flip. Grandma tries to jump the Atlantic Ocean? Coin flip. More subtly, we don't yet have a rule for triviality. You want to stand up at your desk? Coin flip. You want to navigate to the bath room in your own home? Coin flip. This is a world that doesn't ever work like its stated to work, inhabited by characters who no matter what post hoc justification you give to the coin flip, won't be able to avoid noticing that their world is wacky land.

    We can start talking about how we evolve the World's Simplest RPG in to 'The World's Minimally Playable RPG', and what we'd end up talking about is the process of associating the mechanics with the fictional positioning. How far we go along that path might be a matter of taste, but it's a real thing and it really matters in some areas more than others and not merely as a matter of taste.
    Last edited by Celebrim; Friday, 27th January, 2017 at 11:24 PM.

  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    *snip things we agree on*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.
    You misunderstood me. It is possible to have a core system which enables classes to interact with interesting subsystems in interesting ways without having detailed knowledge of those subsystems. 5E does this for combat. You can do a lot of interesting things with Action Surge, for instance.

    But 5E doesn't do it for anything except combat.

    I wasn't making a generic statement about game design, merely a statement about 5E's design space, since the conversational context as I understood it was was "empty design space [in 5E]".

    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.
    Right. No disagreements there.

    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.
    Eh. I think this just makes the Detective class redundant and not mechanically interesting. You're defining your subsystem in such a way that it doesn't create an empty design space.

    I'd be fine with a subsystem that was written this way, because I actually don't like class proliferation, but in the context of this subsystem if someone tried to propone a Detective class I would shut it down even harder than otherwise. "The concept you're describing is already more than adequately covered by the Lore Bard. No need for class bloat."

    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.
    Yep. This is the only context I can imagine in which a Detective class becomes truly a valuable addition to 5E. 5E's chassis is too bland for it to be otherwise.

    Just look at the way 5E describes bears. "Bears have advantage on Perception checks involving smell." Seriously?!? Bears have amazing senses of smell, superior to a bloodhound's. They can detect a carcass from forty miles away IIRC. Advantage on smell checks doesn't begin to adequately describe what they can do--it implies that a human with Perception Expertise is as good or better at smelling than a bear, which means that either humans can now track smells from miles away, or bears cannot, and neither one makes sense. Garbage like this is what happens when you try to define mechanically interesting capabilities on a bland generic chassis.
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    Ceterum autem censeo cyclic initiative esse delendam

    Dropping the turn-by-turn initiative system is the best thing I ever did for 5E: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthr...ous-initiative

  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post

    And that's all dissociated mechanics is, surplus badwrongfun ordnance.

    I disagree.


    I do not feel that other people enjoying a game or rule is badwrongfun. However, from my perspective, I find that a difference between how I expect something to work and how the game system says something works can be a barrier when it comes to enjoying a game.

    How much of a difference can occur before an issue arises? That depends on a variety of factors, and my mental sweet spot may be different than that of another gamer's brain. That being said, I'd assert that completely dismissing the idea of 'disassociated mechanics' is potentially a statement born of willful ignorance.

  7. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    That's room for subjective judgement and wrongbadfun accusations. Debate? Not so much.
    You are right, of course; debate was certainly the wrong choice of words there.

    In the context of 5e, whingeing over concerns like that is something that can be left to DMs to fix with the odd tweak of the mechanic-fluff coupling. 5e could have made that a little easier, perhaps, by drawing a clearer line between the two, but it's not unmanageable.

    And that's all dissociated mechanics is, surplus badwrongfun ordnance.
    Well, yes and no. Dissociated mechanics can and do have a significant impact on some folks' ability to enjoy the game. You couldn't use dissociated mechanics as an "objective" argument for why 4e was a "terrible edition", but it could very well be a legitimate reason why someone would absolutely hate that edition.

    It's the difference between "this is the reason I hate this system" and "this is the reason the system you like is terrible." Or, conversely, "that makes sense why you'd hate this system" and "your reasons for hating this system are wrong."

  8. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gradine View Post
    Well, yes and no. Dissociated mechanics can and do have a significant impact on some folks' ability to enjoy the game.
    I still don't buy it. Ever since the Alexandrian coined the term as a cornerstone of his exercise in serial libel at the start of the Edition War (there, I capitalized it), it's been defined, re-defined, and applied as a rationalization or excuse for something that needs no rationalization or excuse:

    simple personal preference.

    I've had lots of folks go into great detail trying to hammer out a definition of the term that consistently explained their entirely subjective preferences. While I've seen some pretty solid, not quite entirely tautological definitions, I've never also seen them applied consistently. Hit points, for instance, are a huge stumbling block for the rationalization, as they'll often fit a definition precisely, and to a very high degree - and they've been central to D&D the whole time.

    You couldn't use dissociated mechanics as an "objective" argument for why 4e was a "terrible edition"
    People could and did - incessantly. They were just entirely invalid arguments.

    Expressing dislike or disappointment with an edition doesn't require edition warring. People have done just that with 5e, here, and there's no edition war this time around. You probably didn't notice, because they were either providing constructive feedback or saying goodbye (and actually leaving). Even the harshest critics of 5e don't seem to feel the need to coin bogus terminology to shore up their positions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny3D3D View Post
    I disagree.


    I do not feel that other people enjoying a game or rule is badwrongfun. However, from my perspective, I find that a difference between how I expect something to work and how the game system says something works can be a barrier when it comes to enjoying a game.

    How much of a difference can occur before an issue arises? That depends on a variety of factors, and my mental sweet spot may be different than that of another gamer's brain. That being said, I'd assert that completely dismissing the idea of 'disassociated mechanics' is potentially a statement born of willful ignorance.
    In other words "dissociative mechanics" means "rules that rub me wrong".

  10. #120
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    I still don't buy it. Ever since the Alexandrian coined the term as a cornerstone of his exercise in serial libel at the start of the Edition War (there, I capitalized it), it's been defined, re-defined, and applied as a rationalization or excuse for something that needs no rationalization or excuse:

    simple personal preference.

    I've had lots of folks go into great detail trying to hammer out a definition of the term that consistently explained their entirely subjective preferences. While I've seen some pretty solid, not quite entirely tautological definitions, I've never also seen them applied consistently. Hit points, for instance, are a huge stumbling block for the rationalization, as they'll often fit a definition precisely, and to a very high degree - and they've been central to D&D the whole time.

    People could and did - incessantly. They were just entirely invalid arguments.

    Expressing dislike or disappointment with an edition doesn't require edition warring. People have done just that with 5e, here, and there's no edition war this time around. You probably didn't notice, because they were either providing constructive feedback or saying goodbye (and actually leaving). Even the harshest critics of 5e don't seem to feel the need to coin bogus terminology to shore up their positions.
    People have a right to attempt to quantify their personal preferences. For a certain type of gamer, "Dissociated Mechanics" is about as good a terminology as any for a game mechanic that breaks their sense of immersion. That the term was tied to (or coined during) a particularly contentious "Edition War" and used (wrongly) as an objective measure of a system's inherent worth does not mean that the term does not still have value.

    Look, I remember what it was like; I even engaged in a little 4venging from time to time. I remember the asinine conversations over what a "hit point" meant and if and how it differed from "meat points". I was a college student then and had plenty of intellectual energy to burn on what defined a "miss" or the varying value of "cinematic" versus "naturalistic" mechanics. I do not remember those times fondly.

    That said, that particular Edition War gave us so many great examples of how the Aesthetics of Play can impact someone's enjoyment of a particular game or system.

    Now, does the term "Dissociated Mechanics" have little value to someone, like yourself (or myself, to be honest), for whom rationalizing such dissociations are easy, or part of the fun, or just simply unnecessary? Of course; you or I might be able to conceptualize that HP are an abstraction (or simply prefer that model) and from there the bulk of the "Dissociated Mechanics" of 4e make perfect sense and don't break our immersion (if, again, immersion is something we ever particularly care about).

    But the term has value for conceptualizing a particular personal preference; it's just one that doesn't seem to matter to us, specifically. For someone who prefers the model of HP as actual physical health and endurance and nothing more, damage on a miss and second winds and martial healing are definitely Dissociated Mechanics. I don't know how you could argue otherwise. To call that a failure on the part of the imagination of that particular player is as much WrongBadFun as declaring all of 4e bunk and garbage because those mechanics exist. The system just isn't built for them.

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