5E Would you define the current edition of D&D rules-light or rules-heavy?

Poll: Would you define the current edition of D&D rules-light or rules-heavy?

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  1. #1
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    Would you define the current edition of D&D rules-light or rules-heavy?

    All considered, what would you call D&D 5th edition between "rules-light" and "rules-heavy"?

    This is more about your personal view that trying to nail some truth. Each one has its own experience with other editions/systems that may lead to consider 5e very differently compared to someone else, so it is ok that your answer is relative to your general perception of what RPG rules are or what should be.

    However, to set the stage more evenly, consider only the three CORE books, no supplemental material.

    There is no middle ground option in the poll, otherwise it would naturally be the most popular answer, but it would also tell the least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    There is no middle ground option in the poll, otherwise it would naturally be the most popular answer, but it would also tell the least.
    But that's the correct answer - it's the very definition of mid-crunch! If Fate or Cypher System are rules-light, and Pathfinder or HERO is rules-heavy, D&D 5E is squarely in the middle.
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    Goldilocks.

    I wouldn't classify any edition of D&D as being rules-light, and 5e certainly carries less weight than 3e, 4e, or any of the games I've generally seen listed as rules-heavy.

    For me, it really is "just about right" - there are some things I wish were expressed better, and some things that really bug me, but the rules themselves are surprisingly sound.

    (And, yes, I know that that doesn't really help with a poll that deliberately excluded the middle option. Sorry about that. If I absolutely must choose, then it's closer to rules-light.)
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    To me its rule-heavy. Not that they are complicated rules or hard to understand, but there's many of them for every aspect of the game. There's not a lot of thing handwaved, even in 5e. I dont think rule-lite system needs rules about wielding-using-carrying-free-hands, the difference between spell components, 3 types of actions, specific ranges in feet, new features for each of the 12 classes at each level.

    That's why I use a simple streamlined OSR, Basic 5e rules with many things left out or Fantasy AGE to get new players into TTrpg.
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    I agree with the above first two replies.

    By design, 5E also does a good job of letting the player or DM dial the crunch up or down to the level they prefer.

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    I compare it to previous D&D editions, and in that respect its rules-light.
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    Without a source of comparison, it's rules medium.

    Compared to Pathfinder, GURPs, or WHRP it's rules light.
    Compared to Honey Heist, Dread, or All Outta Bubblegum it's rules heavy.

    Honestly, it's probably closer to Pathfinder than it is to more narrative games like Vampire, Star Trek Adventures, or Genesys. So if forced to choose it'd be heavy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    But that's the correct answer - it's the very definition of mid-crunch! If Fate or Cypher System are rules-light, and Pathfinder or HERO is rules-heavy, D&D 5E is squarely in the middle.
    Fate and Cypher still have pretty large rulebooks and a lot of moving parts.

    You can make RPGs whose rules fit on a single page:
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    Tearable RPG
    All Out of Bubblegum

    Dread also has a mid-sized rulebook, being 96-pages. But a lot of that is scenarios and not rules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester David View Post
    You can make RPGs whose rules fit on a single page
    Sure. Those are ultra-light.
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    Didn't answer because I don't think it's rules-light or rules-heavy. It's lighter than 1e and 2e, but heavier than lots of other games I play. I think it's a great balance, and answering anything other than rules-medium or rules-just-right wouldn't reflect my true thoughts.

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