D&D General 5.5 and making the game easier for players and harder for DMs

I don't have a lot of sympathy for the first group because far too often it becomes borderline trolling. Everybody has a right to complain, but if you aren't looking for constructive advice or giving constructive criticism, when it's just a constant drumbeat of negativity I just don't see the point. There will always be things to complain about, and that's fine. Want to have a discussion about how to implement concepts from [insert game or edition X], fine. I may not agree, but at least it's a contribution. But constantly repeating that 5E is terrible, broke and [insert game or edition X] does it so much better when it cannot be applied at all to 5E gets old.

I don't care if you like sauerkraut on your brat, but please stop telling me that my grilled chicken is terrible and that a brat with sauerkraut is just fantastic.
To be fair, the brat is always better than the chicken though. ;) (And that's not an opinion, it is a strongly tested fact that the universe agrees on. I mean, place chicken and a brat down on the ground and even ants will choose the brat. And they don't even have taste buds. :))

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To be fair, the brat is always better than the chicken though. ;) (And that's not an opinion, it is a strongly tested fact that the universe agrees on. I mean, place chicken and a brat down on the ground and even ants will choose the brat. And they don't even have taste buds. :))

That just means you haven't had good grilled chicken! The secret is not just the coating (mostly paprika and secret ingredients), it's basting it with melted butter with lemon.

And ... now I'm hungry. 😖


I think we have a fundamental disagreement. They were concerned about the DM when making 2014. In fact, they were so concerned, they streamlined all the rules. They made it easier for DMs. No more insane stacking of bonuses. No more remembering rules upon rules, and then dozens of exceptions. Nope, straight and simple (for a game like D&D). That is taking the DM into consideration. In fact, it is putting them at the forefront.

The other thing people often miss is the constant reiteration throughout the books to consult your DM. How the DM is the arbitrator. How they are the final decision maker. How they create and tailor the rules for their tables. I don't think this is a full-proof argument, because many tables design and play via osmosis. But this argument still holds some validity.

Again, those books aren't doing errata. They present alternatives to playstyles by introducing optional rules and monster abilities. I appreciate your concern and thoughtfulness, but I feel you perception and my perception are too far apart to actually come to an understanding.
Yes we have a fundamental disagreement because the mere act of "streamlining the rules" is not automatically a demonstration of being concerned about the GM. You can see than unequivocally in the way that many of those rules were "streamlined" by eliminating the hooks dials & levers that provided the GM with leverage in how/if they functioned, resting for example. Others were "streamlined" so much they were removed entirely under the guise of being made "OpTiOnAL" without stopping to ask if they were such an important part of the DM's toolkit that multiple editions had entire chapters dedicated to helping the GM use them constructively in various ways... (including the 5e DMG 5e!)

There is a difference between being "concerned" about the GM and being concerned enough to proactively advocate for the gm in design. That difference is infinitely critical because the GM needs to rely on the rules printed in the PHB ruleset shared with players to provide them with support in ways that cannot be patched in later via Thebesda ype DLC with a DMG


Doing the best imitation of myself
Honestly? In my experience it seems to be people who hate 5e, who stopped playing 5e, who have found games they like more than 5e... who keep coming to these threads to complain about how bad 5e is. The second most common group of people are those that hate 5e, who wish they could stop playing 5e, but everyone they play with likes 5e, so they feel forced to keep playing.

And I guess I have a little sympathy for those in the second situation, it must suck to feel forced to play something you don't like because that's what everyone else likes, but it is hard to tug those situations out of the mire and see them as anything other than a rare if unfortunate circumstance.
That sounds about right to me. The group that really makes me sad is anyone who doesn't play 5E and yet comes back here to trash it. I was with Enworld almost from the beginning (especially since it started in my hometown) but when 5E came out, there was a pretty long break where I didn't come here because I wasn't interested in it. And starting to play it again brought me back because learning and discussing the games I'm playing is important to me. But if I was playing some other game and hated 5E? What's even the point?

I guess for the second group, I just suggest saying "I'd like to run <different game that I like>" the next time there was a break. I've never been with a group that wouldn't try something new (suggest Feng Shui, it sells really well). Sometimes we've had a player who just kept talking about not playing their favorite game system but eventually the group convinced them to wait for the next break.

I think you are pretty much spot on with the reasons, though.

Off the top of my head? In no particular order
  • While life is unfair, I see no reason a game should be.
  • I don't want a one time roll of the dice to dictate who my character is. I envision who my character is before a single ability score or class is chosen, the rules are there to allow me to play the character I want.
  • I don't want either extreme of an overly buff PC that is statistically better at everything.
  • I don't want to play the guy who hides in the back because their scores are s**t, even if they live longer because they're hiding in the back.
  • I want balance between the starting point for all the characters in the group.
  • If my character has poor scores they would have just stayed on the farm.
  • I've seen the DM allow a reroll for "poor" scores if they like the player.
  • I've just never, and I mean never, going back to 1E days seen the point. We used various methods to ensure we had decent scores back in the day. I started using a variation of point buy system back in 2E based on the rules used for Living City.
  • I don't want to.

As a DM, I already have to know and track a ton of stuff and half the time remind players of their own stuff.

A player is not going to track bleed damage for instance. If WM adds a ton of effects etc, then it can die in a fire. They players will not track their own stuff. It will be on me or 2 rounds later there will be a “oh yeah, this should have happened.”
I don’t know what WM idea, but I agree on who has to track everything.

I mean, if you only play a single character in a year, why waste that on grossly imbalanced groups?
Balance in ability scores doesn’t matter to me or my players/I prefer rolled because …
  • It’s not a competition between players or characters, but a team sport. Do you resent sports or work teammates if they are good at what they do? Or better than you? Then why be jealous in D&D?
  • Random seems more like life and is what I grew up with. If a player wanted to do point buy instead, that’d be fine.
  • Extreme stats are more likely. And since my house rule is you can toss the stats - “stay on the farm” - if you roll any stat below 8, you have a decent chance of getting primo stats.
  • Player ability has far more effect on character effectiveness than ability scores.
  • Since I run more traditional D&D (3.5e specifically), magic items are common. It’s not just level + ability scores driving results.

I was with a group of six players once. We each rolled 4d6 one time. Dropped the lowest. That determined the abilities for all the PCs. I was the lucky one that rolled a 17. We had two that rolled 9s. The rest were all solid, I think the 12-14 range. So it worked out nicely, in the fact they we all had the same starting ability scores, just placed differently.
Yup, that’s pretty typical. It’s fun if somebody rolls an 18.

My players already forget about the myriad of stuff their characters can do, I can't wait to see even more stuff stacked on top of that.

Why players think they love bloat I'll never understand.
It’s interesting. I had a player in my email game say this weekend they couldn’t do anything against a monster that they figured (correctly) has damage resistance magic, since they have no magic weapons.

I told them about a half dozen things they could do, and suddenly they’re back in the fight, maneuvering to flank and set up a Sneak Attack. Team work!

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