D&D General D&D is a Team Sport. What are the positions?

Scribe

Legend
Again, dunno - designing with this in mind would certainly force them to make sure the bloody classes are halfway balanced against each other. :)

We only have to look at MOBA/MMO PvP to see the pitfalls, and the benefits of course, but it would be a large impact on the game.

I think I would like it, but its way more involved than what I'm tinkering with.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Branching stories.
So Choose Your Own Adventure? That’s predetermined with fake choices.
Or have it determined by what happens in the scene
Sure. But you seem to think that it’s either “my character is the center of the story” or “LOL it’s all random nonsense” when there’s a vast excluded middle there.
Yeah, but I can't think of anything more boring than playing DnD in a game where my character doesn't matter as a fictional person.
Again, that’s an excluded middle. The options are not “random” or “personally meaningful to my character.”
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yeah, but I can't think of anything more boring than playing DnD in a game where my character doesn't matter as a fictional person.
But whose resposibility is it to make that character matter as a fictional person: the game's (as in, the DM's), or yours?

I don't think it's the game's. The game IMO works best when it just is what it is, and agnostic to which specific characters happen to be in play at the moment.

It's on you-as-player to make your character matter - and while you're at it, please make it entertaining and-or memorable. :)
 

Reynard

Legend
I specifically ask that they roll up their characters without discussing it with others. That way, they each get to start the campaign playing what they want (as far as the dice will co-operate, anyway) and then during their first adventure or two have to go through the very realistic sorting-out phase where they learn what they're short of (or have too much of) and find ways to compensate.
I understand that people do that and for them it adds something to the experience, but to me is is rarely beneficial and just serves to bog down the start of play.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I understand that people do that and for them it adds something to the experience, but to me is is rarely beneficial and just serves to bog down the start of play.
IME between the steady parade to the grave, the usual party infighting that goes with a new group, and-or their need for rather extreme caution, the first few adventures are usually pretty bogged down anyway*. Thus, I don't care about a bit more bog.

* - they can also be the best part of the whole damn campaign! :)

Edit to add: some metal band just has to use "Parade to the Grave" as an album title...
 

So Choose Your Own Adventure? That’s predetermined with fake choices.

Sure. But you seem to think that it’s either “my character is the center of the story” or “LOL it’s all random nonsense” when there’s a vast excluded middle there.

Again, that’s an excluded middle. The options are not “random” or “personally meaningful to my character.”
I was responding to your assertation that caring about the story, at all, means that nothing else can matter, and all choices are eliminated.

Edit: post #63, for reference. Where you equated "caring about the story" with removing all choice, all risk, and all agency from the dm.
 
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But whose resposibility is it to make that character matter as a fictional person: the game's (as in, the DM's), or yours?

I don't think it's the game's. The game IMO works best when it just is what it is, and agnostic to which specific characters happen to be in play at the moment.

It's on you-as-player to make your character matter - and while you're at it, please make it entertaining and-or memorable. :)
The player can't do it on their own - the dm needs to work with them by giving them opportunities to engage with their interests. If I want to play an undead slayer, that can only really happen if there are undead to slay, and it's rare for DnD groups to allow players to add stuff like that to the game (for cromulent reasons).

The game design can only hinder this, by requiring the players do certain things regardless of the fiction/playstyle desires, like "every party needs a healer" meaning someone has to choose to play a cleric. There's no reason to force the issue, so the designers (rightly) chose to make it not necessary to have a cleric in the group by either giving other options for healers (3x, PF2) or removing the need for a dedicated healer entirely (4e, 5e).
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The player can't do it on their own - the dm needs to work with them by giving them opportunities to engage with their interests. If I want to play an undead slayer, that can only really happen if there are undead to slay, and it's rare for DnD groups to allow players to add stuff like that to the game (for cromulent reasons).
I have a character of my own who despises undead, and even if we go ages between seeing any he still brings them up in conversation on a regular basis. :)
The game design can only hinder this, by requiring the players do certain things regardless of the fiction/playstyle desires, like "every party needs a healer" meaning someone has to choose to play a cleric.
No it doesn't.

If nobody wants to play a Cleric then the party either has to go and find one another way (i.e. recruit an adventuring NPC) or go without.
There's no reason to force the issue, so the designers (rightly) chose to make it not necessary to have a cleric in the group by either giving other options for healers (3x, PF2) or removing the need for a dedicated healer entirely (4e, 5e).
Not a choice I agree with; not just for healing but for the general collapsing of niche walls that's happened over the last few editions.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I also value character customizability highly. Meaning, I do not like hard baked classes that do not allow for multiple roles and styles. The more a class is hard locked in an intended role, the less I'm going to like that game. Especially, if that class can only be a defender or striker, but not move between those examples.
What does that mean though? For real. What is being "hard baked"/"hard locked"/lacking "multiple roles and styles"?

Because, for example, the 5e Fighter cannot choose not to be good at defense. I mean, unless you literally just break your character, but anyone in any edition can do that so I assume you have excluded that path. The Cleric cannot choose not to be a great healer, the spells are always there, they can only ignore them, not actually cut them out.

So, what actually makes something "hard locked"? Does drifting count? Do subclasses/builds count? If you take a feat and an item and some DM elbow grease, does that count? What is it that makes "multiple roles and styles"?

3E had a lot of faults, but its custom character building was definitely a strength for me.
Surprising, since 3e has by far the most degenerate solutions and dominant strategies of all D&D games. You are hard-locked invisibly, especially if you want to play a character that doesn't use spells.

Building an actually functional Fighter or Barbarian sucks, and almost always makes you a debilitatingly over-specialized one-trick-pony (or should I say one-trip-pony? I'm so punny.)

To reinvent the wheel in my own mind and have a little fun, here is my list of roles;
  • Combatant - Strong in battle in both taking and dealing damage. Keeps team alive.
  • Guide - Aids their compatriots in and out of battle, makes the team stronger.
  • Director - Manipulates the situation in favor of the party in any pillar.
  • Allure - Silvered tongue social operator and inspiration for the party.
It seems to me that you want the game to actually break the pillars entirely. No more pillars. Because otherwise, you are saying people must be forced to choose to be good at only one of the things the game or mediocre at all of them.

Unless, of course, you play a spellcaster. Then you can be a full time Combatant/Guide/Director/Allure if you feel like it. Or you can let the caddies have some fun in the Combatant space while trivializing everything else because the "Director" role means being good at everything. (The perennial problem of the jack of all trades: how to sail between the Scylla of "good at nothing" and the Charybdis of "great at everything." The 3e Bard fell into the former most of the time. The Wizard, as always, has sailed straight into the latter unless the GM actively plays favorites.)
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Because, for example, the 5e Fighter cannot choose not to be good at defense.
Leather armour, no shield, two weapons, high strength, feats and-or magic items geared toward giving out pain rather than preventing it.

All offense, no defense. In other words, a typical swashbuckler...and a DM's dream, as combats involving this character will always be short. :)
It seems to me that you want the game to actually break the pillars entirely. No more pillars. Because otherwise, you are saying people must be forced to choose to be good at only one of the things the game or mediocre at all of them.
Well, each class being good at a few things while bad at a lot of things is what I'd be after; with the things each class is good at being different and distinct. In other words each class has its own fairly clear niche, and the idea of the adventuring party is to have a group that can more or less cover for each other's weaknesses with their own strengths.

The Wizard's niche should be the casting of effective spells on a not-necessarily-constant basis and with some risk attached, while its weaknesses should be durability, combat, and most other physically-strenuous activity.
 

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