Can we stop the Angel Summoner BMX Bandit comparisons

Vyvyan Basterd

Adventurer
I have yet to see a perfectly balanced system and that includes non DnD games.

Luckily I never asked for a "perfectly balanced system." I just want one that reduces gaps in power levels amongst characters. BECMI, 1E, 2E, and 4E D&D all did this well enough. Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Witch Hunter and countless other systems did this well enough also.

There are three issues that I see one is a game may start out pretty closely balanced but as new splats come out the game slowly starts having power gaps.

I think those power gaps will exist from day one and that's OK. It's when options keep rolling out and the base system cannot handle combos that cause an ever-widening gap that I take issue.

The only cure for this is to either say no to them core only or be willing to police them and adjust them if there is a problem.

Far from "the only cure." The only cure you find acceptable maybe. I acknowledge it is a cure, but not one that meets my groups desires for a fun game.

Again you have a choice you can whine on message boards that game is broken or as DM you can take control and start saying no to certain combos.

Thank you for insinuating that I'm whining about the problem. As DM I did take control. I took control by saying "I will never run 3E again. Who wants to take the reins?" The fact that the other 5 people I gamed with wouldn't take on DMing (when 2 of them had DMed extensively before), shows that we all had the same issue based on our desires for a fun game.

The third is there will always be people who have system mastery and players who are not interested. Now if you end up with a situation where those who have it are walking all over those who don't and they can't have fun with a weaker character and the non system mastery folks can't have fun then there is only one logical choice and that is don't play together.

We almost didn't. We almost quit gaming altogether because we couldn't find a replacement game to our liking. The weekend before 4E was announced I had decided I was going to tell the group we were done. The hopes of a better system when the announcement was made changed my mind and I continued to run a game I didn't like anymore just to keep us together long enough to try 4E. It wasn't an easy decision as you try to make it sound, mainly because we aren't a bunch of gamers that play D&D, we are a long-time group of friends that enjoy getting together over a game. I'd say we'd still hang out without the weekly structure of a game, but I have many great friends that I rarely see on a regular basis because they no longer game with us.

I know a lot of people don't want to hear this but sometimes certain play styles don't work together. If the issue comes that no matter what you do half your table is going to be unhappy then right there is a clue that maybe this group should either play something else or split into separate groups.

The group got along in different playstyles for many, many years. 29 years total, with the last year or two of 3E becoming a problem still means over 25 years of different playstyles working together in games that didn't cause as great a divide as the one that finally caused a problem.

I acknowledge that this is not a problem for all groups, but to dismiss someone who doesn't share your experiences is just rude.
 

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Elf Witch

First Post
My favorite system- HERO- is point based. Each PC in the party starts off with the same point total. However, system mastery means that player choices about what particular powers a PC has- and how limited they are- can make for a party with a great detective adventuring alongside a planet-busting incorporeal being.

I have played both Hero and Shadowrun and watched a player with system mastery build a character that was superior to everyone else.

In Shadowrun the troll never took a dangerous hit and rarely missed. I didn't care because my mage got to do cool things. The player playing the other street sam used to complain about it and felt over shadowed. They kept the character because he was the team leader and had great role playing opportunities.

In our Hero game the planet buster ran rough shod over the rest of us. The GM was partly at fault because he catered to the guy and the guy was a spot light hog.

The big difference was the GM in Shadowrun gave us plenty of opportunities for our characters to shine he ran all kinds of different type of encounters. The Hero GM ran encounters that only planet buster could really shine at.

DM can make or break a game by not fine tuning encounters to the players.
 

Elf Witch

First Post
This makes a lot of sense to me.

The alternative, of course, is to suck it up and play anyhow to support and hang out with your gaming friends, keeping your whining at the table to a minimum and then complaining over here on ENworld.

That's what I do about the game I'm a player in (but don't DM), whose rules I don't like . . . I still like the people, and I learn stuff from them for the games I DO like (that I run).

Diversity of opinion on what is good at the gaming table isn't necessarily a bad thing . . . complaining about it when you don't get your way is.

I have played in games that were not the best simply because I was playing with friends.

And yes I have even whined about it sometimes here on EnWorld it is a good place to release frustration.

But there is a big difference between doing that and blaming the system for what is a table problem not a system problem. Like I said you will always have players with great system mastery who will know how to milk the system for every advantage. The only way I see that ever going away is for the choice to be taken out of players hands. Every character is a pre gen and thus can't be tweaked. Personally I would hate a game like that.
 

Elf Witch

First Post
Luckily I never asked for a "perfectly balanced system." I just want one that reduces gaps in power levels amongst characters. BECMI, 1E, 2E, and 4E D&D all did this well enough. Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Witch Hunter and countless other systems did this well enough also.



I think those power gaps will exist from day one and that's OK. It's when options keep rolling out and the base system cannot handle combos that cause an ever-widening gap that I take issue.



Far from "the only cure." The only cure you find acceptable maybe. I acknowledge it is a cure, but not one that meets my groups desires for a fun game.



Thank you for insinuating that I'm whining about the problem. As DM I did take control. I took control by saying "I will never run 3E again. Who wants to take the reins?" The fact that the other 5 people I gamed with wouldn't take on DMing (when 2 of them had DMed extensively before), shows that we all had the same issue based on our desires for a fun game.



We almost didn't. We almost quit gaming altogether because we couldn't find a replacement game to our liking. The weekend before 4E was announced I had decided I was going to tell the group we were done. The hopes of a better system when the announcement was made changed my mind and I continued to run a game I didn't like anymore just to keep us together long enough to try 4E. It wasn't an easy decision as you try to make it sound, mainly because we aren't a bunch of gamers that play D&D, we are a long-time group of friends that enjoy getting together over a game. I'd say we'd still hang out without the weekly structure of a game, but I have many great friends that I rarely see on a regular basis because they no longer game with us.



The group got along in different playstyles for many, many years. 29 years total, with the last year or two of 3E becoming a problem still means over 25 years of different playstyles working together in games that didn't cause as great a divide as the one that finally caused a problem.

I acknowledge that this is not a problem for all groups, but to dismiss someone who doesn't share your experiences is just rude.

So you don't like 3E simple don't play it. I get that a lot of people don't like it and there are other systems that work better.

What I don't get is if you found a solution why come on and complain about an old problem. As a player and a DM who loves 3E I get really tired of the insulting Angel Summoner, mages and Muggles dismissive posts. I have been told by people who have an issue with 3E that I don't because obliviously my players don't have system mastery or they hold back.

None of that is true the reason we don't have an issue is because we have DMs who know the system and know how to tailor the game for the party and we have players who try and work together as a team.

As for the gap as things keep rolling out there is a solution one that you dismissed which as DM take control of your game and say no to broken combos. Game designers are not perfect and they can't possibly anticipate everything clever gamers can come up with there are more of us then of them.

It is not the only cure you find another system but if you want to play the system that you are having an issue with then it is one of the only cures and that is to ban things that are making the game unfun.

If people want to play together and yet no one is willing to bend a little then what you have is people wanting their cake and eating it to. Like I said the cure for that is to try and find another system or don't play together. Or I guess you could keep playing and people just deal with the fact that they are unhappy.

I am not dismissing that some people have issues with certain systems. Not all systems will work the same with every group.
 

Vyvyan Basterd

Adventurer
But there is a big difference between doing that and blaming the system for what is a table problem not a system problem.

In your opinion, of course. I do believe the system is the problem.

What I don't get is if you found a solution why come on and complain about an old problem.

First, it was the topic of this thread. Second, I also recently shared my opinions in the 5E threads on the topic. I hope they can achieve both the variety I like and the balance, like 4 out of 5 editions of D&D I've enjoyed.

As a player and a DM who loves 3E I get really tired of the insulting Angel Summoner, mages and Muggles dismissive posts. I have been told by people who have an issue with 3E that I don't because obliviously my players don't have system mastery or they hold back.

It could also be because you have players of relatively equal system mastery expertise, whether that is high or low. Or it could be because you are willing to police add-ons more tha others are. I'm not being dismissive of your success at making 3E work for you. I hope the 5E team can achieve a solution for me that doesn't get in the way of people who didn't experience the problem like you, just as their stated goal.

None of that is true the reason we don't have an issue is because we have DMs who know the system and know how to tailor the game for the party and we have players who try and work together as a team.

The above is just as dismissive as you claim others are being towards you. You strongly insinuate that someone with the problem doesn't know the system, doesn't know how to tailor the game for their party, and has players that don't try to work together as a team.

I knew the system quite well. I designed adventures to allow all to shine for many years. And my group has table rules to encourage teamwork dating back to BECMI. The solutions I came to to shrinking the power gap were similar to yours, they just didn't satisfy our needs as a group.

As for the gap as things keep rolling out there is a solution one that you dismissed which as DM take control of your game and say no to broken combos. Game designers are not perfect and they can't possibly anticipate everything clever gamers can come up with there are more of us then of them.

When did I dismiss it? I said it works for many people, just not for me. I don't consider it fun. How is that dismissive to you? I understand designers are not perfect. But 3E was the first system with open multiclassing and granular feats that allowed those broken combos to come to life. There were literally thousands of tiny switches to check. It's frustrating for some to keep finding that you next neat idea is broken too. Will the DM say yes this time? Will I be allowed to keep playing it even if he says yes once we find out how it works in play? It's fine that you are OK with these choices, we weren't.

It is not the only cure you find another system but if you want to play the system that you are having an issue with then it is one of the only cures and that is to ban things that are making the game unfun.

I don't disagree, but you seem heated over the fact that I discuss my experiences with coming to that choice here on the messageboards.

If people want to play together and yet no one is willing to bend a little...

Except neither side was happy in 3E because it wasn't a little bend, it was alot.
 

Vyvyan Basterd

Adventurer
What I don't get is if you found a solution why come on and complain about an old problem.

Another thing...

I don't consider this an old problem. In light of the direction 5E is headed I hope that they will truly delve into this once-again-current problem as they have promised.

You sound like you did alot of work to avoid the problem. I understand that you love the system. If the designers of 5E were to give you most of what you love about 3E without having to do the policing work to maintain balance, would you be happier?
 

khantroll

Explorer
While I know you were speaking to Elf Witch, Vyvyan, my answer to your question would be that I don't think they can. I don't think that you can have D&D, and offer all of the content that is part and parcel to the game, and the customization, without still forcing a level of DM control on challenge/balance.

If they do, they take away the feel of the game. It's part of why I don't play 4e. It just doesn't feel right to me.
 

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