D&D (2024) A simpler game is a better game...for us

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
On the contrary. I think that subsystems have been used since 4e far better than they were quarter of a century ago. Races, classes, and monsters all work by exception based design so they get to have their own subsystems that best exemplify them and how they are distinctive built on top of a common core that's designed with bolt-ons in mind.

This isn't the 1e "throw everything against the wall and see what sticks including helmet rules, weapon speed factors, etc." approach. And it's not the 2e "Let's overwrite parts of the existing system and take away abilities to give new ones with things such as kits and 'Non-Weapon Proficiencies'". But there are definite subsystems - and I'll take the Battlemaster and the Echo Knight over any two 2e kits any day.
The battlemaster was vastly improved upon by the base fighter in Level Up, and I stand by the Echo Knight being, while a very cool idea, overpowered, but I get your point.
 

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JiffyPopTart

Bree-Yark
I love any thread where someone compares 1e as being simpler than modern design. I just grab a random rules section from the ADDICT document and paste it.

3. Note that such speed factor considerations are not applicable when either closing or charging to melee, but after an initial round of combat, or in cases where closing/charging was not necessary, the speed factor considerations are applicable.

Zagyg, amused by all this pointless bickering, plucks Tenser, Otis, and Robilar out of the space-time continuum, and drops them into a demi-plane of his own devising at a time in their pasts when they were all 1st level. He gives Tenser a dagger, Otis a club, and Robilar an awl pike.(Zagyg always did have a soft spot for ol’ Robilar.) Zagyg also loads the mystical dice of fate such that the three always tie for initiative. Then he sits back to watch.

In the 1st round, the reluctant combatants close to striking distance, so no melee takes place.

In the 2nd round, a comparison of weapon lengths determines who strikes when. Robilar’s pike (18‘) is first, followed by Otis’ club (3‘), and, finally, Tenser‘s dagger (15“).

Speed factors are not considered (per 1 & 2, above) as this was their first round of combat after closing.

In round 3, however (with initiative tied), the speed factor rules apply Because there is a ten-point difference in speed factors between Tenser’s dagger and Robilar’s pike, Tenser is allowed to attack twice before Robilar, and once more at the same time as Robilar. The difference between Robilar’s pike and Otis’ club is nine. Because the difference (9) is at least twice the lower factor (4) — or five or more in any case — Otis can also attack twice before Robilar, although without the benefit of a
third attack as Tenser has.

Thus, the attack sequence this round is Tenser/Otis, Tenser/Otis,
Tenser/Robilar.
 

I love any thread where someone compares 1e as being simpler than modern design. I just grab a random rules section from the ADDICT document and paste it.

3. Note that such speed factor considerations are not applicable when either closing or charging to melee, but after an initial round of combat, or in cases where closing/charging was not necessary, the speed factor considerations are applicable.

Zagyg, amused by all this pointless bickering, plucks Tenser, Otis, and Robilar out of the space-time continuum, and drops them into a demi-plane of his own devising at a time in their pasts when they were all 1st level. He gives Tenser a dagger, Otis a club, and Robilar an awl pike.(Zagyg always did have a soft spot for ol’ Robilar.) Zagyg also loads the mystical dice of fate such that the three always tie for initiative. Then he sits back to watch.

In the 1st round, the reluctant combatants close to striking distance, so no melee takes place.

In the 2nd round, a comparison of weapon lengths determines who strikes when. Robilar’s pike (18‘) is first, followed by Otis’ club (3‘), and, finally, Tenser‘s dagger (15“).

Speed factors are not considered (per 1 & 2, above) as this was their first round of combat after closing.

In round 3, however (with initiative tied), the speed factor rules apply Because there is a ten-point difference in speed factors between Tenser’s dagger and Robilar’s pike, Tenser is allowed to attack twice before Robilar, and once more at the same time as Robilar. The difference between Robilar’s pike and Otis’ club is nine. Because the difference (9) is at least twice the lower factor (4) — or five or more in any case — Otis can also attack twice before Robilar, although without the benefit of a
third attack as Tenser has.

Thus, the attack sequence this round is Tenser/Otis, Tenser/Otis,
Tenser/Robilar.
I didnt include a e in 1dnd for a reason.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
What are others seeing that I'm not?
Remove enough from something and it ceases to be able to support anything else without a ton of heavy lifting.

That's the fundamental problem with ultra-reductionism as a game design philosophy. People think "less is more" means "the more you take away, the more you can do." That is not true. What the pithy phrase means is that you need to remember that rules are tools--they need to serve a function. If they are actually fighting against the function for which they were designed, then they should be changed or removed.

Sadly, the facile reading--the idea that if you take something away it will always make things better--leads to a significant number of game design ills. You have to actually find a balance between "enough structure to enable interesting interactions" and "not so much structure that it becomes unwieldy or opaque." Finding depth, which makes things fun and engaging, between the extremes of "empty"(/dull) and "byzantine"(/confounding) is one of the greatest challenges in game design.

Unfortunately, right now we're in an age where reductionism is the name of the game and it's almost impossible to convince people that cutting things solely to cut things out is not actually a productive strategy.
 

mamba

Legend
Remove enough from something and it ceases to be able to support anything else without a ton of heavy lifting.

That's the fundamental problem with ultra-reductionism as a game design philosophy. People think "less is more" means "the more you take away, the more you can do." That is not true.
we are a far cry from D&D crossing that threshold

Unfortunately, right now we're in an age where reductionism is the name of the game and it's almost impossible to convince people that cutting things solely to cut things out is not actually a productive strategy.
I am not sure I agree that we are in this age. Apart from that I do agree, the more you take out, the better your design has to be (rather than the better it becomes).

Assuming you achieve that level of design, I prefer that approach however (at least up to a point, I like a certain level of crunch, the story focused, handwave everything else games are not for me).

What we are looking for is a solid, well designed foundation which you can then build upon with optional additions. The foundation is not the end goal, but the most basic level of an already functioning game (that can be/ is sufficient for some while others want more complex systems on top)
 
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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
we are a far cry from D&D crossing that threshold
No, we are not. 5e has a number of mechanics that the designers effectively threw up their hands and said, "Eh, you figure it out." Which, to be clear, that strategy is not always inappropriate. There are times when it is wise to say, "You know better than we do what is needed here." 5e is over-reliant on it.

Is it every single thing of the entire game? No. But it comes up. Quite a bit. And "One D&D" appears to be going even further, doing things like eliminating individual differences in class spell lists for...no reason I can determine other than "because fewer things is better than more things." It doesn't make spell lists any easier to learn, and it actually makes several classes more complicated than before (Bard in particular.)
 

mamba

Legend
No, we are not. 5e has a number of mechanics that the designers effectively threw up their hands and said, "Eh, you figure it out."

And "One D&D" appears to be going even further, doing things like eliminating individual differences in class spell lists
Having shared lists is not saying ‘you figure it out’, it is the exact opposite, so if this is your example for it…

Also, the rationale has been explained here more than once, so if you cannot determine the reason, that is on you as far as I am concerned.

Giving you a rule is simple and always works, giving you a list falls apart the second you encounter a spell that is not on it and not in the PHB (or expansions).

Having a rule is simple, solid, flexible design, precisely what you are looking for in a foundation. Having a list is not
 
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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Having shared lists is not saying ‘you figure it out’, it is the exact opposite, so if this is your example for it…

Also, the rationale has been explained here more than once, so if you cannot determine the reason, that is on you as far as I am concerned
....those were very clearly two distinct thoughts. Misquoting me by mashing together two separate parts of my post as though they were one single thought is clearly not discussing in good faith. I'm done. (And no, I'm not going to comb through over 100 posts to find where people allegedly explained this, sorry.)
 

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