Follower of the Way
Anxiety does not work that way. If logic could solve the problem, it would not be a problem in the first place. (One of the wisest things any of my co-players have ever said over the years.)Yeah. They’re part of being a DM. That’s why they come up all the time. I can’t stress enough… they aren’t important. The outcome doesn’t fundamentally matter in almost every case.
Other forum users.Slapped down by who? Your players. Tell them it’s the best you can do and get over it.
Yes, it is. You literally spoke, to me, about my beliefs being irrelevant. That is, by definition, personal.It’s not personal
Not at all. Several other games meet it handily.I’m sorry but you have unreasonable expectations. You’ve set a bar that’s higher than anyone else is able to match and then you are demanding that this company meets it.
Yes, it is. Well, sort of. Your use of the word "complex" covers too many things.It is not possible to have a complex system of interlocking rules and processes without there being conflicts.
The problem is, you are speaking of a complex system of singular, finite rules which are meant to cover the nigh-infinite possibility space. And yes, if we narrowly restrict ourselves to exclusively singular, finite rules, we're stuck. We'll always eventually end up with something at least as unwieldy as 3e was.
But the false dichotomy hidden in the use of the word "complex" here is that "singular, finite rule" is not the only type of rule that one can make. My term for one of the alternatives (there may be others) is "extensible framework rules." These are rules that take advantage of abstraction to catch a whole category of situations, rather than needing to address singular, specific cases individually. The price paid for this--as there must always be a price paid for any given design--is that abstraction means you can no longer have a perfect 1:1 correspondence of rules to situations. An extensible framework rule treats multiple different situations the same. Hence, a mixed ruleset--one containing a reasonable, practical set of singular-finite rules coupled with a set of extensible-framework rules--can actually achieve both goals. It can cover a trans-finite set of possible actions with consistent and effective results, while still furnishing useful, well-made singular and finite rules for all but relatively unlikely stuff.
Video games that include truly open-ended content often exploit things like this. It really isn't that hard to port the same concepts (obviously implemented quite differently) into the TTRPG space.
They are to me, and they are to several people I've actually played with. Far from the usual attitude on forums these days--where "balance" is treated as a four-letter word, unless some new book has just come out and needs to be decried for being overpowered--my experience is that a lot of people actually do care about playing a relatively well-balanced game. Some of that comes from the video game space, unbalanced video games are usually not very fun and tend to have major problems as a result. But some of it also just comes from players wanting to have a reasonable, stimulating challenge without fears of trivializing things or, conversely, getting completely curbstomped for light and transient causes. For DMs, as with the OP, it comes from wanting to have a game that just...works, and doesn't need constant minding to make sure it doesn't shake itself apart. Tools that actually do the job they're designed to do, reasonably consistently, across time and advancement. Advice that is actually practical, functional, constructive, rather than wishy-washy nothing like "Some DMs do <X>, and some DMs don't do <X>, you'll have to decide what is best for you." (I went looking once to see how many times I saw phrasing like that in the 5e DMG. It's in the dozens at least, I lost count.)None of the things I’ve put in bold that you say are driving you up the wall are actually worth getting worked up about.