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5.5E 4e design in 5.5e ?


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Hussar

Legend
It's not a bother, it's just a different mindset. One that is more interested in seeing what the dice give you, and making the best out of those results. And as a player, not having to worry about builds is pretty nice instead I can focus on "building" my character through the items, knowledge, and adventures they experience.
I totally get that. That's fine.

But why do you care when I do it? If you don't want to, that's fine. But, @Lanefan is arguing that no one should be allowed to build their character. That everyone should be forced to play the way he wants to play.

If someone in my group wanted to die roll their character, I certainly wouldn't stop them. More power to them. And, frankly, I adore those people who think point buy means three stats of 8. Their nickname is always some variation of "victim" because they're going to really, really suck at a lot of things. Watching players take 8 Str so they can make those Dex monkeys just makes my heart sing because you can guarantee that there's going to be lots of athletic checks in their future. :D

Makes it really, really easy to challenge the party when players make one trick ponies.
 

Hussar

Legend
Ah - you're assuming it'll survive for that hundred hours.
Put it another way then. Why are you forcing me to play a character I don't want to play? What's in it for you? As you said, if I roll the minimum, I have to play one of the basic characters. Which means I'm going to spend several hours, at least until I can fall on my sword, playing something I don't want to play.

Who is this benefiting?
 

Mordhau

Explorer
Put it another way then. Why are you forcing me to play a character I don't want to play? What's in it for you? As you said, if I roll the minimum, I have to play one of the basic characters. Which means I'm going to spend several hours, at least until I can fall on my sword, playing something I don't want to play.

Who is this benefiting?
The player who rolled well and gets to play something special.

I've always felt that early D&D is really premised on the idea that you play the game an awful lot. (By all accounts Gygax did). So it all evens out in the wash. (In theory anyway).
 

Hussar

Legend
The player who rolled well and gets to play something special.

I've always felt that early D&D is really premised on the idea that you play the game an awful lot. (By all accounts Gygax did). So it all evens out in the wash. (In theory anyway).
Yeah, I've never really been a big believer in the "over time" approach to balance. It's false. What "over time" actually means is that you have basically imbalanced points all the way along.

It's like no one in the world actually has 2.4 children and 1.2 dogs. Yes, that's the average, but, you never actually see it in the real world. Same with die rolled. I'm being forced to play characters I don't want to play just so I can, potentially, play a character I do want to play? On what planet is that good game design?
 

Tallifer

Hero
(To add my two cents as if anyone cared, I also much prefer Point Buy both as a dungeon master and as a player.)

What I loved about 4E was the clear and concise presentation of the rules, most especially spells (whether Powers, Rituals, Martial Practices, magic item Properties ). I hate wading through the paragraphs of purple prose to find the actual effect of some of the 5E spells.
 

Nefermandias

Adventurer
Nice try! But I am not a fan of the cancel process! ❌
Put back boing buy as a legitimate method,
add more sample of popular point buy results, like 4ed did,
Keep rolled stats as an method for experimented players.
Still people like to « beat the game », so it would be nice to add a softer way to improve a score without too much risk.
I thought the "c" word was banned from the forum?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I totally get that. That's fine.

But why do you care when I do it? If you don't want to, that's fine. But, @Lanefan is arguing that no one should be allowed to build their character. That everyone should be forced to play the way he wants to play.
Not quite.

I'm more arguing that the game shouldn't force an elaborate character-build phase; that char-gen should by default be quick and easy to allow the table to get it done and get on with the campaign.
If someone in my group wanted to die roll their character, I certainly wouldn't stop them. More power to them. And, frankly, I adore those people who think point buy means three stats of 8. Their nickname is always some variation of "victim" because they're going to really, really suck at a lot of things. Watching players take 8 Str so they can make those Dex monkeys just makes my heart sing because you can guarantee that there's going to be lots of athletic checks in their future. :D

Makes it really, really easy to challenge the party when players make one trick ponies.
Another different philosophy: your last sentence implies you're tailoring your challenges to suit (or hose) the PCs being played. Me, no matter what PCs the players bring along I try to run the adventure the same as I would with any other mix of PCs.
Hussar said:
Put it another way then. Why are you forcing me to play a character I don't want to play? What's in it for you? As you said, if I roll the minimum, I have to play one of the basic characters. Which means I'm going to spend several hours, at least until I can fall on my sword, playing something I don't want to play.
Flip this question around and ask why are you so hung up on playing this character, right now? What's wrong with some flexibility of thought/plan when arriving at roll-up night? And don't you (as many do) decide what character to roll up and-or play based in some part on what other people are playing, which you all might not even learn until roll-up night?

And yes, rolling the minimum does force your hand somewhat; no sugar-coating that. Good thing it doesn't happen very often, eh? :) (I can't think of an occasion when a player's had a character with a highest starting stat of 13; I can recall one that started with a high of 14, and it did OK)
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yeah, I've never really been a big believer in the "over time" approach to balance. It's false. What "over time" actually means is that you have basically imbalanced points all the way along.
Depends how much one cares about those individual points, I guess.

Personally, I'm all about long-term balance and don't really care much about balance in any given moment, as long as the in-the-moment imbalances tend to cancel out in the long run or at least have clear opportunity to do so.

My usual example: Illusionists are historically* rather hopeless against low-grade undead, constructs, and other non-intelligent (or extremely intelligent) foes. Flip side is they can be absolute superstars against low-intelligence foes, and that's the long-term balance: you-as-Illusionist can be the star of the show in this adventure but in the next adventure you might be playing second fiddle. For this and other reasons I intentionally try to run a mix of adventure types such that each class gets a chance to shine now and then (though whether that class is in fact present in the party at the time is up to chance).

* - as in, pre-4e. Illusionists since then are hopeless, period, due to all the nerfing of illusion effects.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So standard array it is then.
Nah, roll the dice but have most if not all other features baked into the classes such that the choice of class makes many other choices for you.

And I'm guilty as well: char-gen in our system used to be much simpler and faster than it is now, but a long slow process of bloat has made it considerably more tedious. This is something I want to fix one of these days, if real life would ever get out of the way. :)
 


Hussar

Legend
Another different philosophy: your last sentence implies you're tailoring your challenges to suit (or hose) the PCs being played. Me, no matter what PCs the players bring along I try to run the adventure the same as I would with any other mix of PCs.
Nope. I just design with the idea that everything can be a challenge. So, my dungeons frequently feature water hazards and climbing hazards, for example. I'm not doing it to "gotcha" anyone. I'm simply presenting balanced challenges which means that one trick pony characters do really, really well in some challenges and are pretty much dead weight in others. Whereas the players who don't dive down the optimization hole do well in every situation.

Flip this question around and ask why are you so hung up on playing this character, right now? What's wrong with some flexibility of thought/plan when arriving at roll-up night? And don't you (as many do) decide what character to roll up and-or play based in some part on what other people are playing, which you all might not even learn until roll-up night?

And yes, rolling the minimum does force your hand somewhat; no sugar-coating that. Good thing it doesn't happen very often, eh? :) (I can't think of an occasion when a player's had a character with a highest starting stat of 13; I can recall one that started with a high of 14, and it did OK)
It's not about playing this character right now. It's about not being forced to play a character I'm not interested in. Again, what's the upside? But, it's funny that out of all the characters you've seen, only one with a highest stat of 14? That means other character is 15+ right?

So, basically, every other character, other than that one, is a higher point buy value than standard array. Which rolls right back to my point that the only reason people die roll their characters is because they want higher value characters.
 

Hussar

Legend
So standard array it is then.
I mean seriously. How much faster is it to make a character with standard array and choose one of the packages right there in the PHB. You are getting exactly the same amount of choice points that you would get in 1e. It can't possibly take more than 5 minutes to bang out a 5e character if you follow the suggestions.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I mean seriously. How much faster is it to make a character with standard array and choose one of the packages right there in the PHB. You are getting exactly the same amount of choice points that you would get in 1e. It can't possibly take more than 5 minutes to bang out a 5e character if you follow the suggestions.
And for me it is like putting on super serious concept restraints... and I do not trust the balance of the things that relax those (both multiclassing and feats)
 

Mordhau

Explorer
I think rolling dice in D&D is disappointing because it doesn't result in a character I wouldn't have thought to play. It just results in playing a class I wouldn't have chosen to play.

In Warhammer I can roll the dice and get "Agitator" and that's fun, I have a collection of political pamphlets. Who is this frustrated firebrand? What is his cause?

In D&D I roll the dice and get 18 Int and less than 10 in everything else. Guess I'm a wizard. There's nothing particularly interesting about that. It doesn't tell me anything about what kind of wizard I am, or give me any kind of hook.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Nope. I just design with the idea that everything can be a challenge. So, my dungeons frequently feature water hazards and climbing hazards, for example. I'm not doing it to "gotcha" anyone. I'm simply presenting balanced challenges which means that one trick pony characters do really, really well in some challenges and are pretty much dead weight in others. Whereas the players who don't dive down the optimization hole do well in every situation.
Nice! Sounds great. :)
It's not about playing this character right now. It's about not being forced to play a character I'm not interested in. Again, what's the upside? But, it's funny that out of all the characters you've seen, only one with a highest stat of 14? That means other character is 15+ right?

So, basically, every other character, other than that one, is a higher point buy value than standard array. Which rolls right back to my point that the only reason people die roll their characters is because they want higher value characters.
You seem to be forgetting the 1e recommendation that a character start with at least 2 scores of 15+; never mind that 1e had a class where even two 15s wasn't enough (Illusionist needed Int 15 and Dex 16, if memory serves).

Point buy and standard array are low by our standards, yes; but given the difference in how bonuses work it sorta makes sense in context. In 1e bonuses didn't kick in until 15 or 16, depending on what bonus and-or what stat. In 3e-4e-5e they kick in at 12 across the board; meaning that a lower average still gives some bonuses. (the flip side, of course, is that penalties also kick in sooner, starting at 9 in the newer versions where they once didn't start until 6 or 7, again depending on stat and-or specific penalty)

The other big difference is that stats go up a lot more, and a lot more reliably, under the ASI system than in the pre-3e editions; which means that a lower starting point will eventually be erased anyway.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In D&D I roll the dice and get 18 Int and less than 10 in everything else. Guess I'm a wizard. There's nothing particularly interesting about that. It doesn't tell me anything about what kind of wizard I am, or give me any kind of hook.
Wizard is still a starting point; and there's nothing saying you can't also randomize said wizard's background, species, etc. and conceptualize from there. Or, and I've done this more than a few times, just give it one schtick or catchphrase or whatever and see how the character naturally develops from there as play goes on.

The one thing a stat set like 18-10-10-9-9-9 does very strongly suggest is that you're almost certainly going to be single-class, which kind of reflects the reality of this person who has one really good aspect but not that much else going for it.
 

Hussar

Legend
Wizard is still a starting point; and there's nothing saying you can't also randomize said wizard's background, species, etc. and conceptualize from there. Or, and I've done this more than a few times, just give it one schtick or catchphrase or whatever and see how the character naturally develops from there as play goes on.

The one thing a stat set like 18-10-10-9-9-9 does very strongly suggest is that you're almost certainly going to be single-class, which kind of reflects the reality of this person who has one really good aspect but not that much else going for it.
You're still ignoring the bigger issue though.

Why am I being forced to play that character? I don't want to play a character like this. How is this possibly good game design to force a player to play something they don't want to play just because of random chance?

And, not only that, but, if I simply jump on my sword and kill my character, I'm now a bad player. Not only am I being forced to play a character that I don't want to play, but, even doing anything about it is off the table as well.

Like I said, if someone wants to play a randomly rolled character, more power to them. But, the notion that this is somehow good game design rather than an artifact of very bad game design that has been consigned to the dustbin of history in pretty much any other game that isn't AD&D says volumes. Think about it, virtually no game out there forces randomly generated stats on the player. There's a very good reason for that.
 

Aldarc

Legend
You're still ignoring the bigger issue though.

Why am I being forced to play that character? I don't want to play a character like this. How is this possibly good game design to force a player to play something they don't want to play just because of random chance?

And, not only that, but, if I simply jump on my sword and kill my character, I'm now a bad player. Not only am I being forced to play a character that I don't want to play, but, even doing anything about it is off the table as well.

Like I said, if someone wants to play a randomly rolled character, more power to them. But, the notion that this is somehow good game design rather than an artifact of very bad game design that has been consigned to the dustbin of history in pretty much any other game that isn't AD&D says volumes. Think about it, virtually no game out there forces randomly generated stats on the player. There's a very good reason for that.
I'm honestly flummoxed by this as well. As you asked earlier: whose interests does this serve?

Why has this turned into another ability score generation thread?

Up to this point I've been learning some interesting things about 4e.
Is there something in particular that interests you that we could discuss in further detail?
 

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