D&D 5E Concept of Perfect Imbalance for DndNext Game Design

The wizard? Yes. The fighter? No.

The 3E fighter is effectively just as locked in by build choices as the 4E fighter. There's not much meaningful difference in terms of versatility between "take a feat to not be utterly hopeless at doing X", and "take a power to do X". Except that the former is obfuscated, confusing, and excessively complicated.



4E has a ton of "tools" compared to just about any other RPG besides 3E. And 3E is just too wildly imbalanced to be "really exciting".



Overstated a lot. There are plenty of useful options in 4E to optimize things other than damage output numbers.
Hmmh, i tend to agree with you in all your points, actually.

The fighter options without feats were a bit too penalized, the feats that enabled them too good:

twf -6/-10
disarm, trip etc

but at least it was possible to try. And if you had enough advantages, you could do so.
imbalance of 3rd edtion was to great above level 7 or so. But before that it worked quite well.
And of course, you could optimize different things, but in the end, damage output was a bit too important.
If you only took interesting powers, you usually lacked the punch you needed to actually end the fight. Which is a shame, as those different powers are really exciting in some cases, but got boring, once you used them in every fight, no matter ehat enemy you faced.
 

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Sounds like a really, really, really, (insert a transfinite number of 'really's) bad way to balance an RPG.

Make a broken game, when the PCs figure out how to exploit it, break it differently, lather, rinse, repeat. *blech*

The conceptually related serial-balance that was attempted in classic D&D never really worked, either, but at least it was an attempt at balance.


Digression: I get the feeling that there are a lot of folks casting around for ways to denigrate balance or glorify imbalance without actually admitting that they just love imbalanced games where one player can 'win' by creating a 'better' character everyone else. Is that really such a shameful style of play? Besides, it's not like any degree of achievable balance can eliminate that sort of system mastery contest.
 

Cadfan

First Post
Digression: I get the feeling that there are a lot of folks casting around for ways to denigrate balance or glorify imbalance without actually admitting that they just love imbalanced games where one player can 'win' by creating a 'better' character everyone else. Is that really such a shameful style of play? Besides, it's not like any degree of achievable balance can eliminate that sort of system mastery contest.
I work occasionally in a game store. I can verify that these players exist in large quantities. You're right that there's an odd mixture of pride and shame in them. They're clearly proud at their skill in exploiting the system to make a character that either the other PCs, or the DM, cannot match. But they feel fear that if it were ever clearly noted that they were exploiting the system, the DM would shut them down.

It makes them sound sort of manic when they describe their character. "Listen to this crazy thing I got away with! My DM was so angry! But its not like I'm overpowered or anything. Listen to the way I totally humiliating this other player by performing better at his shtick than he can! But I'm not overpowered, really."

It goes in cycles, but the current offenders in my area are Use Magic Device based Rogues in 3e or 3e variant games.
 

I work occasionally in a game store. I can verify that these players exist in large quantities. You're right that there's an odd mixture of pride and shame in them. They're clearly proud at their skill in exploiting the system to make a character that either the other PCs, or the DM, cannot match. But they feel fear that if it were ever clearly noted that they were exploiting the system, the DM would shut them down.

It makes them sound sort of manic when they describe their character. "Listen to this crazy thing I got away with! My DM was so angry! But its not like I'm overpowered or anything. Listen to the way I totally humiliating this other player by performing better at his shtick than he can! But I'm not overpowered, really."

It goes in cycles, but the current offenders in my area are Use Magic Device based Rogues in 3e or 3e variant games.
Yeah, I've observed a few players like that. Even in 4e, which supposedly went overboard in the balance department. Lair Assault is a nice venue for such play.

I like the 'system mastery' aspect of play, myself, I just see no need for a system to cater to it intentionally. No matter how well-balanced the system, there's always something to have a little fun with. ;)
 
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