D&D 5E Combat as war, sport, or ??

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I'm not sure why. Illusionism is the act of presenting the world as though it were one thing when it is not. Specifically, it presents the appearance of natural continuity and concreteness when it is in fact neither concrete nor continuous: the ogre is quantum, the spooky haunted house is located on whatever road the players take, the suspect latched onto by the players is actually innocent. There is no fact of the matter, just an illusory presentation of there being a fact of the matter.

Conversely, with varying mechanical representation, you absolutely still can have a fact of the matter. That fact is simply representational and relational. An ogre is strong relative to a town guardsman. There is no such thing as truly absolute strength; it is always relative to some chosen standard.
I don't want relational facts. I want independent facts.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
What do hit points physically represent?

They don't. That's my point. They don't actually have any tie to physical reality. They are a mechanical construct that is almost purely abstracted. Especially the very last one.

A minion (the usual go-to berserk button for critics of 4e) is simply making that abstraction easier to use. It recognizes that, for a sufficiently high-level character, it's merely a matter of "did you hit or not?" for whether the creature in question survives. Hence, rather than bothering with the time-draining bookkeeping (which so many old school fans claim to hate!) of checking every target's HP and keeping tabs on all this crap, you just simplify the abstraction from "this is roughly how many hits this creature takes to die" to "this creature only really needs one solid hit to die, but solid hits aren't as easy as glancing blows."

There is still a concrete reality. When we use mechanics, we are necessarily dealing with an abstraction. We should make that abstraction serve us, not the other way around.
That was my issue with 4e: it emphasized the abstraction more than I was comfortable with.
 




EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Why not? In a system that allows for it, I certainly can finish creating an NPC, and then model their interactions with the rest of the world exactly as a PC. The only difference is that I as the DM am the decision making force behind them, instead of a different person.
There is no fact about the fictional world which exists independently of you having made it so, and no fact about the fictional world or its contents which remains true other than because you will it to be so. The instant you actually desire it any such fact to be false, it is false.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
There is no fact about the fictional world which exists independently of you having made it so, and no fact about the fictional world or its contents which remains true other than because you will it to be so. The instant you actually desire it any such fact to be false, it is false.
Not if you're playing fair according that style. Once you create something in the game, it's true unless circumstances or the PCs change it.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Not if you're playing fair according that style. Once you create something in the game, it's true unless circumstances or the PCs change it.
.... which are the conditions under which you would desire to change it. Exactly like I said.

The literal one and only limit is your choice. And even then, more than one user on here has explicitly said they would do things that violate what has been established as true if it would, in their opinion, produce a better game as a result. I believe you have even agreed with that position, supporting the idea that the DM knows better than the players what said players will enjoy.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
.... which are the conditions under which you would desire to change it. Exactly like I said.

The literal one and only limit is your choice. And even then, more than one user on here has explicitly said they would do things that violate what has been established as true if it would, in their opinion, produce a better game as a result. I believe you have even agreed with that position, supporting the idea that the DM knows better than the players what said players will enjoy.
I don't remember that exchange exactly. I would prefer to let the world run from campaign start, with events occurring based on existing factors or PC action (or possibly a random table. Tables are fun).
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I don't remember that exchange exactly. I would prefer to let the world run from campaign start, with events occurring based on existing factors or PC action (or possibly a random table. Tables are fun).
So, if a table generated a response that you were absolutely, 100% certain would harm the enjoyment of your players, you would proceed without reservation?
 

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