5E UA and depth of complexity - Page 4
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    Topologically equivalent.
    I love this as a rejoinder, but I don't see how it supports your initial analogy. If unlike a U-Haul and boxes, the shapes in question are abstractions that can be twisted and stretched, then I have no problem with the analogy of shapes to classes. The problem is that classes as implement are often unmallable and irregular, and so don't fit together.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    Non sequitur? You claimed the game never had a true skill monkey and ever increased emphasis on combat and I disagreed. I said that's a playstyle choice, and not a game design choice and you doubled down and said it was the game. So show me where in the rules where it says combat is the pillar you should be playing more importantly over the others.
    Showing you where such a quote could be found in the rules would not prove or disprove that the game had a true skill monkey. Nor would the existence of this quote, or the nonexistence of this quote, have a darn thing to do with what I was talking about.

    Once again, the game has never had a true skill monkey class. Whether or not they evolved the game toward combat over exploration (something tangential to anything I'm talking about here), they evolved the closest thing that they had to a skill monkey class more and more into a combat role - sneak attack as a defining feature, striker role in 4e, and so forth. That has nothing to do with playstyle. It's a fact of how the class was designed in the rules.

    And I said that's not true, because it's not. I gave an example as to why. A 2nd level thief with an 80% chance is not low. And at 3rd level, it can go to 95% and 90% respectively.
    Even if I accept 95% as reliable, and I don't, your example is one that I already talked about in my discussion. I said in the very portion you quoted, "The abilities to distribute your points as you saw fit, didn't make you a skill monkey - it meant only that there was at least 1 skill you could be sort of reliable in at low level, before magic made your job obsolete." The numbers you are here quoting are exactly the ability to focus your skill points into a few areas and achieve a narrow sort of reliability I was referring to in my quote. I made that quote in full understanding of what the rules provided for, not the ignorance of it. Your numbers in fact prove my point, rather than undermine it. Congradulations, at 3rd level, you can have a 95% chance in a few narrow skill areas. That doesn't make you a good skill monkey. And 95% isn't reliable. What is the chance that a 3rd level Wizards invisibility will fail by comparison? If you can't assert something with 100% confidence, it's not reliable. That's what I mean by reliable in this context. The idea of skill reliability didn't evolve in D&D until 3e, with 'take 10', 'take 20', and '1' not necessarily being a failure.

    Sorry, but your claims are not true and easily proven as such.
    You don't even know what my claims are. You don't know or understand what you are passionately disagreeing with. But by golly you are going to be really passionate and in your face about it.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacrosanct View Post
    Congrats. I've been playing for 35. So what. This means nothing.
    It means we've had ample time to become set in our ways.

    So show me where in the rules where it says combat is the pillar you should be playing more importantly over the others.
    The only fact to back such a claim is the measurable system devoted to combat. Page count, or less quantitatively 'emphasis.' It's a fact that combat is a major portion of the rules in that sense. So are spells. Those facts have been used to claim that D&D is a violent game or even a Satanic game. Both claims that are flatly false.

    You can play D&D with as much or as little combat as you like.

    In fact, I'd argue the trend has been mostly towards /more/ coverage of non-combat, not less. Until the survival guides late in 1e, the game had no non-weapon proficiencies, and only a few % special abilities of specific classes acting a bit like non-combat skills. 2e kept non-weapon proficiencies and added Kits and the Skillsl & Powers supplement. 3e converted non-weapon proficiencies to Skills and added feats. 4e kept skills & feats, added back and expanded Kits as Backgrounds & Themes, broke out non-combat Rituals from combat spells, and added Skill Challenges to resolve more complex non-combat situations in a more structured & participatory way.
    5e has retained skills, feats, backgrounds & rituals, and formally articulated the Three Pillars concept.
    Last edited by Tony Vargas; Thursday, 26th January, 2017 at 09:09 PM.

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    Showing you where such a quote could be found in the rules would not prove or disprove that the game had a true skill monkey. Nor would the existence of this quote, or the nonexistence of this quote, have a darn thing to do with what I was talking about.
    You made the claim it as a game design thing, so you should be able to show in the rules of the actual game where that is. Otherwise it's a personal playstyle preference, like I said.



    Even if I accept 95% as reliable, and I don't, your example is one that I already talked about in my discussion. I said in the very portion you quoted, "The abilities to distribute your points as you saw fit, didn't make you a skill monkey - it meant only that there was at least 1 skill you could be sort of reliable in at low level, before magic made your job obsolete." The numbers you are here quoting are exactly the ability to focus your skill points into a few areas and achieve a narrow sort of reliability I was referring to in my quote. I made that quote in full understanding of what the rules provided for, not the ignorance of it. Your numbers in fact prove my point, rather than undermine it. Congradulations, at 3rd level, you can have a 95% chance in a few narrow skill areas. That doesn't make you a good skill monkey. And 95% isn't reliable. What is the chance that a 3rd level Wizards invisibility will fail by comparison? If you can't assert something with 100% confidence, it's not reliable. That's what I mean by reliable in this context. The idea of skill reliability didn't evolve in D&D until 3e, with 'take 10', 'take 20', and '1' not necessarily being a failure.
    You said the abilities were so low that they were essentially a failure. That simply isn't true. Then you immediately shifted the goal posts and said "well, maybe 1 or 2 could, but they'd be obsolete by magic anyway" which also isn't true. For one, It only takes a couple levels to get a skill up to the 90%, so even a "low level " 5ish thief would be very competent in several skills. The point is that you could choose. Secondly, "replaced by magic anyway" is a fallacy, and has been argued to death over the years. For reasons including but not limited to "is there a caster around, does the caster have that spell, does the caster have that spell ready, how many times is that spell needed, etc, etc.

    I also can't help notice how you go from "none of the skills" to "maybe 1" to "a few" all in the same post.


    You don't even know what my claims are.
    I'm only going by the words you are actually saying. If your claims are not what you're actually saying, then you can hardly blame me for that.


    You don't know or understand what you are passionately disagreeing with. But by golly you are going to be really passionate and in your face about it.
    Irony.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    I love this as a rejoinder, but I don't see how it supports your initial analogy. If unlike a U-Haul and boxes, the shapes in question are abstractions that can be twisted and stretched, then I have no problem with the analogy of shapes to classes. The problem is that classes as implement are often unmallable and irregular, and so don't fit together.
    I'm not sure how this relates to the extended metaphor, but I feel like pointing out that, whatever you may feel about boxes, they - or rather, specifically, /cubes/ - can tessellate 3-space.

    So if you don't want to leave any design space empty, make your classes cubes and stack 'em up...


    ...of course, that is prettymuch the exact opposite of the 5e class design philosophy, which was to be true to the traditional class concepts (in as much as they could identify them), first.

  6. #36
    I think breadth of complexity will come slowly, but it will come. Whether or not it will be something other than more spells or more magic goodies that your DM may or may not want to give you is a good question. It isn't what they are focusing on now, maybe we will see something in late Feb/early March, just a guess.

    One thing that I think is probably not going to happen is more "baggageless" stuff. I think the driving force for WotC ever since the end of 3.5 is to make something that is easy for new/casual/busy players to play (and similarly new/casual/busy DM's to DM). Their convenience is more important to WotC (and more importantly Hasbro who wants you to see the movie and buy the action figures that will follow) than the existential happiness of a bunch of old gamers who will probably buy product anyway (especially the action figure, because action figures are the new minis). WotC tried to do instructions (if you want to be a ninja be a shadow monk), and I guess that didn't take enough, so it is only going to be more explicit (you want to be a samurai, here is the samurai subclass).

    Why not new classes? Well first of all, WotC values their own convenience too, and subclasses are easier to make than classes. Secondly, I think there are things that are Known (purposely capital letter) about D&D in the wider world: Dice, Tolkien races, alignment, and, most importantly for this discussion, classes (at least fighter, wizard, rogue, and cleric). Your casual gamer might prefer that samurai was a class (that is easier to find), but it isn't much harder to find subclasses (you pretty much have to have one), and a lot of people would be like "of course a samurai is a fighter, because obviously the samurai fights." It is hard to argue with logic like that, unless you are playing a barbarian. Since people tend to want fairly specific things (that tend to have baggage), baggage will follow.

    I am not saying I agree with this idea, but I think it is what will happen. All a player can do is hope that something with baggage he/she likes will come along.

  7. #37
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    Expansion of the current subclass options I think can only happen for a few of them. Totems for the totem barbarian, manoeuvres for the battlemaster, spells for any class/subclass that uses spells. Subclass abilities for archetypes like the champion, assassin, diviner, or devotion paladin are pretty much locked into what they have (although 2 will likely gain more spells) and are unlikely to have any additional features released for them. Now, it may happen that substitution levels show up at a later date which could act like prestige classes for certain archetypes; perhaps a Master of Dreams ability replaces the 10th level ability of an illusionist (or any wizard that joins the order), but otherwise I think that for an increase in customisation of current subclass option, only the general options will be updated for a broader group to add customisation, that is, more feats or other general options.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celebrim View Post
    I love this as a rejoinder, but I don't see how it supports your initial analogy. If unlike a U-Haul and boxes, the shapes in question are abstractions that can be twisted and stretched, then I have no problem with the analogy of shapes to classes. The problem is that classes as implement are often unmallable and irregular, and so don't fit together.
    That's why I presented it as analogy not simulation.

    Let's just drop it. I was trying to engage in a conversation, not get into a pissing match to prove who's smarter. (I suppose the fact that I hoped for that on these forums might suggest that it's not me.)

  9. #39
    Surprisingly, since I didn't like them much in 3e, I would actually like to see the return of prestige classes at some point. There are some character concepts or mechanics that I think would be better served under such a system than by trying to force it into existing subclass systems. These concepts would include things like the Kensei and Arcane Archer, neither of which had impressed me when they came around in UA form.

    From a more bird's-eye design perspective they could also work better as pseudo capstones, in the sense that a 5 level prestige class could be taken at level 6-7 and still have the possibility of seeing itself finished, given Wizard's statements regarding the most common levels of play. Seems like most people don't care about the balance or innovation of capstones, and rightly so, which is a bummer.
    XP Tony Vargas gave XP for this post

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vargas View Post
    You can play D&D with as much or as little combat as you like.
    You can, although a question I've been pondering lately is why combat tends to be so much more exciting than the other aspects. There's nothing like the adrenaline rush of, "Roll initiative..."

    Some ideas/thoughts that have come up, in no particular order.

    - Is it because there are more rules? I.e., rounds, hit points, etc. As opposed to "make an opposed roll" or whatever.

    - One possibility is that what makes combat fun is that each character contributes in much different ways, with special abilities, different weapons, spells, feats, etc. The other pillars tend to mostly be different bonuses for the same skills. Imagine if every class had the same weapons and attacks, and the only thing that varied was the attack bonuses.

    - My thread about uncertainty was really the result of thinking about this problem. I was trying to imagine what, for example, a conversation with a guard would be like with more nuanced rules.

    - Yes, a "good" DM or a well-written adventure can make the other pillars exciting, but that's the DMing or the writing, not the rules. You can drop a monster in a room and with zero preparation it's still fun to kill the monster.

    - Or is it just that combat is inherently more exciting than talking or walking?
    XP Tony Vargas, ScaleyBob gave XP for this post

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