D&D General D&D Editions: Anybody Else Feel Like They Don't Fit In?


Victoria Rules
I get that, but I see the fact that many monsters should exist above or below that scale (or both) as a real flaw.

1 to 30 is just too small a range to encompass all possible creatures in the universe.
Who says the scale has to stop at 30? (or at 1, for that matter, though there's a too-wide gulf between 0 and 1 which would require lots of 0.x values to fill in e.g. the strength score of a common butterfly might be 0.3)

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Thomas Shey

“Attributes are measured on a 3 to 18 scale, with 3 being the best.”

If that statement doesn’t make you twitch, I would feel pretty confident in saying you’re in the minority.

As Aldarac says, if you view it as ranking rather than magnitude, it shouldn't. While not my gig in other ways, that's essentially the way Amber Diceless and its successor work. I'd tend to do it as 1-16, where 1 was defined as the absolute peak of normal humanity, but other than that...

Thomas Shey

Disagree; the stats serve an IMO vital purpose as points of mechanical comparison.

Knowing, for example, the constitution score of this animated blob of jelly tells you how resilient it is compared to a typical human, how resistant it is to various effects in comparison to a human, and so forth. Further, knowing the con scores of the four other jellies with it allow you to compare them against each other.

The problem is that to do that properly if you're assuming linear progression requires massive numbers in some cases, and that'll probably drown any easy application of the numbers to other mechanics.

(Of course you don't have to have the numbers be linear in their expression, but outside the stylization of superhero games, that can have its own issues, especially if you want a 16 point range).

Thomas Shey

IMO, a mere 5-point scale is probably insufficient to go from Aunt May to the Hulk, but I appreciate the concept in principle.

Even outside of MHR a lot of the more well constructed superhero games use a doubling scale to handle everything. Of course outside of coarse direct-map-to-reality things like lift, they don't really mean mechanically what you'd expect from that, but that's because they usually don't in the genre either, in practice.

So, this may feel like a strange thread, but I hope people will bear with me.

I have been playing and DM'ing "Dungeons & Dragons" since the early-80s, and I am feeling more and more like there is no place in the hobby where I truly "fit" anymore. I grew up with the mechanical simplicity of B/X D&D, starting with the 1980 B/X Boxed sets supplemented by an AD&D Monster Manual. We quickly abandoned "race as class" and cherry-picked rules from the hardcover books (I read them all, and still have my Dungeoneer and Wilderness Survival Guides, but that basic game continued. I had some enduring campaigns as 1st-Edition turned to 2nd, and I kept playing D&D, but I always longed for a better skill system; as the combination of "wing it" and Nonweapon Proficiencies never quite cut it for me.

When 3e dropped, I loved it at first, but the longer I played, the more something became clear to me. Dungeons & Dragons had become more "over-the-top fantastical" than I liked. Cook and Tweet basically had turned the default setting of Dungeons & Dragons into a high-magic Monty Haul campaign. The magic system still grated and the constant embrace of making characters MORE magical was taking it further from the kind of fantasy stories I want to tell.

I grew up on Arthurian legends, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Conan, and a bunch of other "Sword & Sorcery" stuff. I didn't want my fantasy game to let me play the medieval equivalent of the X-Men, where every character has magical powers. I've thought about going back to the OSR, but the truth is that I want a game that has more rules guidance than those games offer. I just don't want one where every character can teleport, cast spells, and all of the other high-magic shenanigans that D&D embraces from the get-go.

The 5.24e embrace of this flavor has me turned off more than anything else. But I don't see a home for myself. Part of me wants to go backwards, but OSR type games are usually either too lethal (or grim-dark), too enamored of outdated game mechanics (OSE), or they're overly enamored with tables and whacky subsystems (looking at you DCC). I want there to be more fun combat options, but I don't want a lot of fiddly rules that will slow the game down. I see promise in something like DCC's "Mighty Deeds of Arms," or DMScotty's "Luck Dice" (or Professor DM's "Deathbringer Dice") or whatever you want to call them. I see some fun sub-systems in DC20, but I also see it getting way too fiddly.

Shadowdark speaks to my tastes a little (I love "roll to cast"), but I'd have to houserule some additions and alterations to it to really get the game I want. There's some other heavily house-ruled versions of OSR or "simplified 5e" that work for me, but they aren't there. But while I love the d20 resolution mechanic, I may need to walk away from a D&D that is becoming increasingly fantastical. And I don't know where to go.

Sorry for the wall of text, but is anybody else in this boat?
I haven’t read the entire thread. Has anyone suggested World Without Numbers?

Spells are limited but slightly more powerful in that they usually last a scene.

It’s the Feats (or talents - I forget what they are called) that are super interesting and really define the characters.

I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit.

Thomas Shey

Sure. Just keep in mind that it was sufficient for the editors and writers of Marvel Comics. As gamers we tend to think we need far more mechanics, crunch, and numbers than we really do.

"Need" is subjective here. What one set "needs" can vary rather radically from someone else.


Where is that Singe?
Actually this is exactly how Whitehack works. You have to roll equal to or under a target value (ability score, etc), but higher is better, and meeting your target value is a critical. So it's like blackjack in a sense.
Sure, there are games that do it this way. I just think if you are going to use a roll-under approach, this makes more sense than the "1 is best" version.

Edgar Ironpelt

Within the scope of bounded accuracy, I think it is enough personally.

For things you might want outside that scope, I would just rule automatic. For example, a god of archery never misses with their bow--- NEVER. No roll is required for such an entity, nor should it be IMO.

(And this is coming from someone who despises "automatic" things in 5E... ;) )
So what happens when the God of Archery shoots an arrow at the God of Dodging Ranged Attacks?

I want mechanics that don't pack it in when the absurdly difficult meets the ridiculously capable. Or when the absurdly easy meets the ridiculously inept. That's why I prefer inflationary numbers, despite their drawbacks, to most any sort of bounded accuracy.

One exception to my no-bounded-accuracy preference would be the nominal 'lockpicking' roll needed to 'open the lock holding shut' an open doorway. And yes, I do define this in my homebrew based on The Fantasy Trip.

On the other hand, there's the question: "What is the DC (in 3.5e) for a Spot check to spot a mountain?" I've never carried things quite that far, but I have worked out that the DC to spot a Gargantuan creature who is moving and not trying to hide is DC -36 (negative 36). Given enough penalties (e.g. for distance) it is possible to fail to notice such a creature.

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