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D&D 5E 5e* - D&D-now

clearstream

(He, Him)
I want advocate an interpretation of 5e. Let's call the game played this way 5e*. To be playing 5e* a DM must ensure that "narrate" (PHB 6 How to Play) means "say something meaningful". When it comes to ability checks they must prefer the plain rule about meaningful consequences (DMG 237 Using Ability Scores). When it comes to combat, they must narrate results in ways that are meaningful. They're expected to use their power as an author of fiction to achieve that.

DM "Your blade barely scratches the orc. She winds her horn!"

DM says when game mechanics are engaged. DM sets up the scene - gets things rolling - and players say what their characters think, do and say (PHB 185 Roleplaying). DM says roll, or narrates what happens next. DM might turn it back on player. 5e* tells players that they can respond to what DM narrates, as if it matters (because it does.)

DM "That off-duty guard is the one you befriended earlier, do you let her spot you or just sneak on by?"

5e* is a fully consistent game system. You play 5e* with the same rules as you play 5e. It's 100% RAI from RAW. None of the words are changed: only the interpretation of that one word - "narrate". It's always been on DM to make the game meaningful... make results matter: say something meaningful.

One impulse you might have to fight playing this way is to roll where there is uncertainty, even where it doesn't matter. Fight that impulse. If it doesn't matter, then if it's possible say "yes". If it's impossible - clarify. Only say "roll" when there are meaningful consequences.

It might be unclear what "meaningful" means. I think the term should be left vague. It's what each group agrees on. I can say that it should mean something like "matters." In RPG, G is predefined and constrained. G can only go so far. RP is alive and limitless. Say something that follows from what players said, that matters to your shared fiction. Start and end with that fiction. The basic pattern (How to Play) is F > G > F. But 5e leaves it to you - the DM - to judge what follows, and what's meaningful.

You might hit points where your preestablished fiction (your NPCs and plots, your maps) doesn't do the work needed. Make up something meaningful that follows. Change stuff on the fly. The Middle Way is not the lukewarm way. It's the way of Ignoring the Dice when players get creative, and Rolling With It when you need "to improvise and react to a changing situation".

5e* isn't novel. Many are already playing something like it. If it makes a contribution, it might be that one word - "narrates". Don't say something meaningless.

[EDITED Based on thread.]
 
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Hussar

Legend
I must be really dense this morning. I'm not seeing the point here. DM drives most of the fiction outside of what the players can drive directly. Ok... and? Why is this being presented as some sort of breakthrough?

-- or, wait... Is this one of those, "Only the DM can call for rolls" balls of ... opinion? Players should never call for rolls? Players must only narrate and then the DM tells them what roll is appropriate? Is that the path we're being led down here?

'Cos, well, for my money, treating my players as if they were completely unaware that they are playing a game and probably know the rules better than I do is just not something I'm going to do. If the player says, "Let me do the talking, I have the best diplomacy score" then, well, fine? I'm certainly not going to get on their case about it.

Or, the player says, "I search the room. Perception X, what do I find?" again, totally fine. Not going to futz about it. Saves time, keeps the game moving at a fair pace, and, 99% of the time, it's exactly what would happen anyway.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
..a DM must ensure that "narrate" ... must prefer the plain rule about meaningful consequences ... they must narrate results in ways that are meaningful. They're expected to use ...

It should go without saying...
... Only say "roll" when there are meaningful consequences.

And on ... all feels very one true way. It's one thing to say "this is what I do and why, what do you do"?

I simply disagree with the basic premise for the same reasons @Hussar states. Maybe I'll post more later, no time right now.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Did everyone miss the part where this is a purely hypothetical different ruleset? “The DM must” is laying out how this hypothetical different ruleset would work, not prescribing how people ought to run the existing ruleset.

I swear, the hypervigilance to anything that could possibly be construed as telling DMs what to do is unreal around here.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Anyway, to the actual topic…
DM might turn it back on player - "That off-duty guard is totally on your side, do you want to let her spot you or just sneak past?"
You play 5e* with the same rules as you play 5e. It's 100% RAI from RAW. None of the words are changed: only the interpretation of that one word - "narrate".
These two statements seem to me to be at odds with one another. By my reading of 5e, one would have to go outside the RAW to rule that the player decides whether or not the guard spots them, so I don’t see how both of these things can be true of 5e*
 



Hussar

Legend
Did everyone miss the part where this is a purely hypothetical different ruleset? “The DM must” is laying out how this hypothetical different ruleset would work, not prescribing how people ought to run the existing ruleset.

I swear, the hypervigilance to anything that could possibly be construed as telling DMs what to do is unreal around here.
Not questioning the hypothetical - just not following it. Did I understand the point right?
 

I think that DnD is close to what Marvel MCU propose with their multiverse.
Each words in the rules can be interpreted with many possibilities, time every single players and DM and we are close to a complex multiverse!
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Another if you don't play it the way I say you're playing it wrong? Good grief. :rolleyes:
It's explicitly NOT saying that. I'll quote the relevant portion.

"5e* is a fully consistent game system. I would say more consistent, but YMMV. [Or it may be better to say that 5e* is no less consistent than 5e 😀] You play 5e* with the same rules as you play 5e."

He's differentiating his homebrewed 5e* from normal 5e.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I want advocate an interpretation of 5e. Let's call the game played this way 5e*. To be playing 5e* a DM must ensure that "narrate" (PHB 6, How to Play) means "say something meaningful".
Page 6 doesn't say that. In fact, it implies very strongly that what you are saying there is incorrect.

"Describing the results often leads to another decision point, which brings the flow of the game right back to step 1."

"Often leads to" means that sometimes it doesn't, and a narration that doesn't lead to the players making any kind of decision isn't meaningful.
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Not questioning the hypothetical - just not following it. Did I understand the point right?
I don’t know as I’m not the original poster, but, no, I don’t think you did.

What I took away from it was that the OP thinks the game would be better if there was a rule that the DM must always communicate something meaningful with their narration. They’re a bit vague on what constitutes “meaningful,” but I think that’s intentional. The point, as I understand it is mostly to encourage DMs to think more consciously about what meaning they are conveying with their narration and perhaps be a bit more intentional about it.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Page 6 doesn't say that. In fact, it implies very strongly that what you are saying there is incorrect.

"Describing the results often leads to another decision point, which brings the flow of the game right back to step 1."

"Often leads to" means that sometimes it doesn't, and a narration that doesn't lead to the players making any kind of decision isn't meaningful.
Well, yeah. That’s the critical point of distinction between 5e and this 5e*, isn’t it? If I understood correctly, everything else about the two rule sets is hypothetically identical.
 

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