D&D 5E Blow Torch Vs Scalpel: Neogrognardism 101.

Zardnaar

Legend
As it turns out I have turned into a neo grognard which is distinct from the original grognards. I did move onto 3rd ed and last year I went back to OSR. I am not change is bad type purist in terms of Gygaxian Orthodoxy. However I prefer the scalpel approach vs the blowtorch. At the time I thought 3.0 was logical progression from 2nd ed but some of that OSR fun was left behind which lead to the rise of the min/max forums which later became the char op forums which seems systematic to WoTC derived D&D.

Understandably the 4E players more than a few of them are upset WoTC is using a blowtorch on 4E. That was kind of my view back in 2008 but its not that bad as I have other options and I have been enjoying a few retroclones as several of them have fixed various issues I had with AD&D and even a basic change like ascending ACs improves AD&D IMHO. That is what I call the scalpel approach. Find something wrong and fix it without making to many drastic changes. Other issues with AD&D involves some classes like the thief sucking, Priest and Thief THACO falling behind warrior THACO and xp tables like the Druid and Wizard. The scalpel approach would be to change THACO a little bit. The wizard for example is supposed to level up slower than the fighter but it will hit level 10 before the fighter. BECMI maintains the ratio of the wizard to fighter xp and the wizard will never level up faster than the fighter. In hindsight 3.0 was half scalpel half blowtorch as they did fall over themselves to keep a few sacred cows around.

Of course not everyone likes classes leveling at different rates but I was just making an example where Druid and Wizard xp tables could be looked at in the context of AD&D. A wizard at higher levels is also the most powerful class, hence the (in theory) slower xp tables but D&D still manages to be better balanced than 3rd ed for example. Due to the way those xp tables worked though it was not as big of a problem as 3rd ed as you leveled up a lot slower and high level games seem to be rare anyway. A level 18 wizard may be overpowered but I have seen 0 AD&D games ruined by a level 18 wizard. Theory craft vs in game experience, scalpel vs blowtorch.

This is why I am a little meh towards D&DN as they have chosen to use a blowtorch on things like classic vancian wizard and ye olde spells. 3rd ed was borked but there were other ways of fixing it. Since BECMI- Pathfinder and most of the retroclones all basically use the same spell system it is very easy to switch between games if you like playing spell casters the main difference being BECMI and 1st ed direct damage spells vs 2nd and 3rd ed which capped them. I'm to old, grumpy and set in my ways with my expectations of D&D to easily change my mind in this regard. I would if D&DN turns out to be the greatest version of D&D ever. I would assume all those players using OSR, Pathfinder and the 3.5 holdout presumably feel the same otherwise they would be playing something else if it was a deal breaker.

Wall of text interlude. I like this picture. Completely pointless I admit but it looks great IMHO.




As a general rule I do not care if they add things I do not like. Book of 9 Swords for example in 3.5 I have no problem with. Non vancian spell casters being added are also fine as I know not everyone likes vancian. I just do not like it when they take something away from what I like either. The arguments around GWS and damage on a miss is kind of like that. To me a miss is a miss so a mechanic like that is kind of taking away something I am used to- no damage on a miss. It would be easier to swallow if it was a feat that was not a major style going back to 1989 and the fighters handbook.

The amin thing I am sick of from WoTC is independent of each editions game rules. It is the rapid edition cycles and new core rule boks to buy ever 3 years or so (3.0, 3.5, 4E, essentials) and then D&DN in 2014. They have more or less equaled TSR's edition cycle rate in around half the time. Blowtorch, scalpel. I have no idea which way D&DN will go but I have my suspicions. D&DN could be the greatest D&D ever and still tank hard because they used a blow torch two editions in a row. 1d6 vs 1d10 for initiative AD&D/AD&D 2nd ed is a scalpel, D&DN is a blowtorch.

Blow torches are sometimes needed. 3rd ed seemed to get away with it in 2000. See how it plays out.
 

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fjw70

Adventurer
Personally I like the periodic blowtorches. I don't need version 1.1 of a game that is just a few scalpel swipes away from version 1.0. I want a new edition that has some significant differences than the previous edition(s). Ideally a company would keep all editions in print to pick and choose from but that may not be feasible.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Multiple editions in print doesn't seem feasible but I wish WoTC would do 1 splat a year for previous edition via kick starter may be feasible.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
Personally I am not a big fan of splat books. I want adventures and lukily those are easy to convert from one edition to another.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Kind of what I meant by splats. Reprint the core books every few ears assuming they can sell them and print an official adventure or whatever. A new official AD&D adventure would be sweet.
 

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
Kind of what I meant by splats. Reprint the core books every few ears assuming they can sell them and print an official adventure or whatever. A new official AD&D adventure would be sweet.
They did publish a few AD&D adventures a while ago: one in the Slave Lords reprint, and another in Dungeon.
 


Random comment, but I'd pay for new print issues of Dungeon. I'm more likely to use adventures from a large selection with a yearly subscription, than I am to buy adventures ala carte.
 



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