A "Why Oh Why" RPG Thread [+]

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Interesting. I can kinda see it. Fair is fair!

Why don't rangers have the same limitation, though?
I think it's fair to say that the Ranger doesn't have the same dedication to the wild as a Druid. They are the vanguard for society, blazing new trails and allowing civilization to spread by destroying deadly monsters. I don't recall the lore for the two classes ever being particularly tied either; Rangers don't belong to Druid Circles, and I can certainly see times when they would be both allies and enemies, depending on the circumstances.

Really, the Ranger class has long had an issue with it's core identity, and what it's supposed to be. A Druidic Knight? A warrior with wilderness skills? A hunter of monsters? We're told their magic is similar to a Druid's, yet they've had their own unique spell list for decades (barring that edition where they lost almost all of their primal powers and became hybrid melee/ranged damage dealers).
 

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Really, the Ranger class has long had an issue with it's core identity, and what it's supposed to be. A Druidic Knight? A warrior with wilderness skills? A hunter of monsters? We're told their magic is similar to a Druid's, yet they've had their own unique spell list for decades (barring that edition where they lost almost all of their primal powers and became hybrid melee/ranged damage dealers).
And now with OneD&D, their spell list is identical to that of the druid's, apart from evocations. (Why do rangers need spells at all, anyway? None of their usual archetypes cast spells. Is it just to give them a rationale to not just be fighters?)

It's always kind of annoyed me that bards are arcane. Legendarily, they're strongly associated with druids. 1e is the only edition to remember that... But it also required them to have thief levels, which was apparently an ethnic slur against the Welsh. :p
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
And now with OneD&D, their spell list is identical to that of the druid's, apart from evocations. (Why do rangers need spells at all, anyway? None of their usual archetypes cast spells. Is it just to give them a rationale to not just be fighters?)

It's always kind of annoyed me that bards are arcane. Legendarily, they're strongly associated with druids. 1e is the only edition to remember that... But it also required them to have thief levels, which was apparently an ethnic slur against the Welsh. :p
Yeah, the D&D Bard is also a mish-mash of different archetypes that got drunk in a tavern one night and 9 months later gave birth to the class as we know it.

And yeah, I had forgotten D&D ONE is just giving them primal magic.

So as far as Rangers having magic, I don't know. It's often believed that they were trying to emulate Aragorn, who has some exceptional abilities due to his training and Numenorean heritage, but wasn't a magician by any means. So how the 1e Ranger ended up with Druid and M-U spells is a bit odd.

I think in 2e, they decided the Ranger should be a reflection of the Paladin in some respects, which was brought forward in 3e, abandoned in 4e, then brought back with a vengeance in 5e.

I've never minded their magic use, as without it, they might as well be a Subclass of Fighter. But the class is just one of those strange artifacts of D&D. Most characters in fiction you would think of as Rangers wouldn't be a good fit for the class.

Including, amusingly enough, one of the iconic D&D Rangers, Drizzt Do'Urden, who, according to his backstory was originally trained as a Fighter, doesn't often cast spells beyond his native Drow abilities, and whose "animal companion" is a sentient extradimensional creature that is summoned by a magic item- in other words, he's barely a Ranger at all!
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Why oh why is it so hard to have a good Session Zero?
In my experience, a lot of players (and possibly a few GMs) think of Session 0 as their only time to get their characters ready for the next session. Anyone can make a playable character without much effort, especially with access to so many digital tools. And for many players, that is just the right amount of "work" they are willing to put into a game.

Honestly, I don't believe you can accomplish what you want in one session with your average group of players. Even if you are fortunate enough to find the right group of dedicated individuals who are willing to go that extra mile to make your next campaign extraordinary, that kind of preparation requires more than a single meet-and-greet session. It takes time and effort to collaborate and produce something better than a handful of random characters forced together to make a story. But most importantly, it requires a willingness and commitment by all involved to do so.

So, unless you are blessed with a large pool of talented and dedicated players both willing to do more than just come up with a tank, healer, etc., or are willing to go beyond "Session 0" to cultivate the the right kind of characters for your campaign, you might want to lower your expectations and hope for the best.
 

ART!

Deluxe Unhuman
Why oh why...is there a polyhedral dice gap between d12 and d20? I know they exist (how recent a development is this?), but they don't get much if any love or use.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
Why oh why...is there a polyhedral dice gap between d12 and d20? I know they exist (how recent a development is this?), but they don't get much if any love or use.
So the original polyhedral dice - d4, d6, d8, d12, and d20 - are all regular polyhedrons and are the platonic solids. They have the nice characteristic that all of their faces are the same size and are all regular polygons and fit together in a regular pattern and so make for good randomizers. I know that d20s and d4s as well as d6s were used in ancient times in dice games (not so sure about the d12 and the d8 off the top of my head). There is no regular polygon between a d12 and a d20.

Now you'll notice that I left off the d10. That's because it's the one of the "core 6" polyhedral dice that is not a platonic solid. Instead it's an irregular polyhedron - it's faces are not regular polygons but instead weird diamonds that fit together in an irregular pattern. The d10 became prominent in the late 1970s - I think I've read it was actually invented in the early 20th century but nobody really used it. Prior to the d10 folks just used a 20 side die numbered 1-10 twice (or just ignored the 10s digit when rolling a d10). But with a d10 you could easily create a d100 and now you had the 1% granularity that so many people wanted.

The rest of the non-platonic dice come into games much later - in the 80s and 90s and even the early 00s. By that point the game had standardized around the dice we know and love (and in fact many folks were arguing that polyhedral dice were overkill and you should be making games with just d6s or d10s). So the embrace of the d14, d16, and d18 has not been terribly widespread.

EDIT - Or what @The Shadow said.
 

I've never minded their magic use, as without it, they might as well be a Subclass of Fighter. But the class is just one of those strange artifacts of D&D. Most characters in fiction you would think of as Rangers wouldn't be a good fit for the class.
Even with spell use they could be a fighter subclass.

Some days I think we should go back to the core four classes and make everything else a subclass. Barbarians, paladins and rangers are fighters. Bards are rogues. Druids are clerics or maybe wizards. It's a little harder to shoehorn the sorcerer and the warlock into the wizard, though.
 

(Why do rangers need spells at all, anyway? None of their usual archetypes cast spells. Is it just to give them a rationale to not just be fighters?)
Honestly, this one confuses me as well. I've only ever played xD&D rangers in AD&D - never in any of the "modern" editions of the game - where Rangers don't even get their spells until something like 8th level. Because high-level games were rare for me, I almost never had a Ranger that could cast spells, and still enjoyed playing them as a class distinct from Fighter.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
So the way this was explained to me is, Druids gain their powers from a pact made with primal spirits of nature. While allowing Druids to use some weapons is "fair", as most Humanoids lack claws or a bite, having access to better "hide" than animals have naturally is not kosher. You want nature powers, you have to abide by nature rules.
But that doesn't really answer the question, though. Plenty of humanoids lack protective shells, scales, etc., too...but oh heavens no, they aren't allowed to cover up with metal for protection. But if they're lacking claws and fangs, metal is acceptable?

It's just so weird and arbitrary; I feel like it should be all-or-nothing. For my part, I'd prefer druids who won't use metal of any kind, not even coins for currency...they fight with spears and bows, their armor is made from chitin and hides, they trade in pearls and pelts, etc. Much more evocative. If you're going to put in a restriction "for flavor," commit to it. :)
 
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