A "Why Oh Why" RPG Thread [+]

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Why oh why don't more people use ki in D&D worlds?

Ki exists, and provides an alternative means to perform exceptional (bonus action dash), superhuman (paralyzing a guy with a touch), and even magical (four elements shenanigans) effects, all using an internal power source that resets with 30 minutes of meditation.

So why are Monks the only people using this ability? At the very least, you'd expect ki-using subclasses to exist for other classes!
Good question. Never gave it much thought beyond thinking that monk should be a subclass of fighter. Another thought that I had that if D&D ever added psionics back into the game, the psionic class should use ki for its powers. All classes and subclasses are a bit arbitrary if you think about them too hard.

Why oh why are so many players so vehemently attached to alignment?
I'm already burnt out discussing this in the recent "So, how about alignment thread":

In short, it is part of D&D's DNA. I would except it being relegated to the DMG as a variant rule, but would not want it to disappear from the game entirely. I use it more like a faction system at the cosmological level. But if you want the details, there is a current and lengthy tread on this.
 

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mcmillan

Adventurer
Why oh why don't more people use ki in D&D worlds?
I feel like it started off as orientalism - treating the monk as the weird foreign class because it was cool, but now is kind associated with D&D-type monks as well. Daniel Kwan in his Candlekeep Mysteries adventure "Book of Inner Alchemy" has a bit that explains ki as something that applies to all living things, just that monks have spent time with training in how to use it. I think I remember him talking in interviews that was partially a goal to bring it to a more culturally accurate view of ki.
Another thought that I had that if D&D ever added psionics back into the game, the psionic class should use ki for its powers.
Not sure if you were playing during the 4e era, but that edition did classify monks as psionic but had them different mechanically than the other psionic classes. I actually like how Level Up did their monk equivalent (Adepts). Since a lot of classes get an "exertion pool" for features they just had some of the typical features associated with ki-use rely on the exertion and they get more in their pool than other classes
 

Gradine

The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
Now for my own question:

Why oh why are so many players so vehemently attached to alignment?
This one is actually pretty easily explained. See, long before Stranger Things, before Critical Role, even before Horrible Nerds Comedy Show, broader popular culture had really one and only one primary interaction with Dungeons & Dragons: alignment chart memes.

Even now there are probably more people who understand the alignment system, and more specifically how each alignment is represented by Batman, then there are people who play D&D
 

Corollary: Should a wizard in any campaign I run encounter a sword with moving parts, you can bet your sweet dollar I'm gonna say they have proficiency with it.
Chainsword-wielding wizard go!
This one is actually pretty easily explained. See, long before Stranger Things, before Critical Role, even before Horrible Nerds Comedy Show, broader popular culture had really one and only one primary interaction with Dungeons & Dragons: alignment chart memes.

Even now there are probably more people who understand the alignment system, and more specifically how each alignment is represented by Batman, then there are people who play D&D
It's got to be more than that. I've noticed the vehemence since long before the Internet as we know it was a Thing.
 



Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Some fictions explain some things a lot and other things a little.

For example, a hard sci-fi novel might devote many pages to how-to's of time travel, and the romcom will never explain how he travels back to the past via a closet.

This question of mine is most pertinent to RPGs with levelling like that of D&D 5E (and actually one of my new players touched upon this issue recently).

Why oh why don't player characters (and any NPCs close to them) discuss/analyze their special status as individuals who rapidly gain in supranormal abilities and fortitude coinciding with the start and end of a series of incidental activities (ie., adventures)?
 
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Why oh why don't player characters (and any NPCs close to them) discuss/analyze their special status as individuals who rapidly gain in supranormal abilities and fortitude coinciding with the start and end of a series of incidental activities (ie., adventures)?
In my interpretation, because that doesn't actually happen.

Even on an extremely simulationist view of the game world, the rules are only a simplified model of what the world actually is. It has to be!

I don't think D&D characters have any idea of their level. All they know is that they're getting better over time. Probably spellcasters know when they manage to cast a new level of spell, but that's about it. Levels, hit points, experience, and so on are just abstractions that let us handle the game world in bite-sized chunks.

I will admit there is one piece of evidence against my view, though, and that's level titles. If those were actually supposed to be used in play (I don't know anyone who did, except for the name levels) then levels would indeed be baked into the IC reality.
 

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