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D&D 5E D&D is Not RAW: The Importance of Custom, Culture, and Mods in 5e

dragoner

Dying in Chargen
The most fundamental advantage that 5e has over all other RPGs is its ubiquity combined with its history.
I would put the community first; then after one has bought their first $1,000 custom dice at GenCon, one would expect them to play something else? Bad crazy.

I do agree that house rules are as old as the game, and that they go hand in hand with the rules lawyering, both inherited from wargames.
 

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Plaguescarred

Explorer
The more rules a system has, the more guidelines it has to play the game as designed. And it's fine for many, and not to some others. Those that are used to houserule things out to their liking still will, whatever system they use. The only good thing about heavier ruleset, is that it requires less houseruling to make it work by the book though. But inherently, the more rules and options there is in a game, the more likely you end up disliking some, or finding some under/overpowered and likely need to adjust.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
He didn't say it was more or less hackable he said it invites a departure from RAW more than any other game... I took that to mean it has more people departing from RAW than any other game (Whether it is more or less hackable than game X is irrelevant)... this means the more people playing a game the more departures from RAW it tends to have, and D&D has multitudes more playing (and hacking) it's rules than any other game.
Hello again

Hackable is just a more vigorous departure from RAW. You cannot hack rules without departing from the original rules, after all. But I digress, this is a minor point.

You are making an error in categorization here - relative vs absolute. Yes, more people playing D&D 5e than other game. Therefore, more people are houseruling 5e than other game. This is very true. However, in no way shape or form does this mean that 5e is more open to houseruling (deviation from RAW, hackable, whatever term you want) than any other games.

Let us take the rats vs elephants example again. You could say "there are a lot more rats than elephants! So much so that the total mass of rats is bigger than the total mass of elephants". This claim may be true or not (I didn't bother looking it up), but let us assume that it is true and treat it as a fact for now. This fact does NOT mean that rats are bigger animals than elephants...

The reason why it doesn't matter is because each game is played by itself, not collectively. You aren't playing in every D&D campaign on earth, you are playing one (or three).
 

I'm not against homebrewing D&D. I do it all the time. But if another game already has RAW something I want to homebrew into D&D, it's perfectly reasonable to consider just playing that other game instead. Claiming so doesn't make you a RAW purist.
 



I think you have a good point. At which point, modifications to the rules makes the game to be "not D&D" + any longer? That is highly debatable and at some point one rule change might make no longer D&D for some and for others, 50 pages of houserules still qualifies the game for D&D...

I really do think that it is a matter of tolerance to change which will make a difference. That said...
What makes D&D what it is?
Is it stats? AC, Vancian casting? Saving Throws? Alignments? Or is it something else? Or a combination of all of the above plus a something more? I have a very clear picture of what is D&D but it is my view, not necessarily that of everyone.
 

IME, it's an edition thing, in addition to a cultural thing. OD&D was rules light and meant to be run and modified by the DM (there's even a suggestion on how to make a dragon PC). 1E was intended to be truly RAW, a unified system out of the hodgepodge of OD&D, but it was such a mess that houserules were necessary to have a reasonable game. 2E was much more friendly with homebrew and houserules, many of the popular ones becoming staples in 3E.

3E and 4E became the era of RAW, and this is where culture comes into play. The game didn't encourage houserules or homebrew (despite the fact that all 3PP are essentially homebrew), but it wasn't just D&D effected by this mindset. I found other games being pushed in a similar direction, and I think it was largely due to the frequency of internet commentary. Without an agreed upon set of rules, it made discussion and comparisons difficult, so the idea of RAW became entrenched. I tried RAW for quite some time, but I found that it limited me as a DM and player to just what the game specifically allowed.

5E is the best system for houserules and homebrew, because it's built upon a solid chassis. You can make a lot of tweaks, while still keeping it "D&D," but you can go whole hog and turn into something almost completely different using the same base mechanics. By abandoning RAW, this frees up the DM to work with their group to customize the game for their specific needs. The game was playtested to appeal to the largest possible base, but a compromised edition seldom works for most groups, while now everyone can make it work for them.
 

Mannahnin

Adventurer
It doesn't matter if 5e has 1000 times the amount of players than the GLOG, the GLOG gaming culture is all about rule hacking.
I was trying to think of a good example of a game more inherently open to and inviting of hacks than D&D after your first reply, but the GLOG certainly seems to fit the bill! Of course, does GLOG even have one central set of RAW yet?
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I was trying to think of a good example of a game more inherently open to and inviting of hacks than D&D after your first reply, but the GLOG certainly seems to fit the bill! Of course, does GLOG even have one central set of RAW yet?
The GLOG, by its very structure, cannot really have RAW. The closest to RAW is either the original rules by Goblin Punch: The GLOG

Or, the most "realized/complete" version of the rules by Skerples (the best starting point IMO): OSR: GLOG-based Homebrew v.2: Many Rats on Sticks Edition

Lastly, it must be noted that the GLOG is a conspiracy... but perhaps I've said too much.
 

I don't know. Maybe I'm just that snobby know-it-all, but I don't really feel that "oh my God this game structure can really well work for emulating that superhero cartoon for kids I love for some reason" or "Cthulhu fhtagn! This game just begs to be hacked for lovecraftian horror!" when I look at big midschool ruleset without a clearly stated purpose, my first thought would be "ok, maybe I can use it to run a spaghetti western, I guess, if I figure out a way to put six-shooters in it..."

And judging by the perceived (and totally anecdotal) rules modification to setting/flavour modification ratio, I'm not entirely alone.
Not alone, but still way off in left field from my perspective. I personally think you completely miss the point and not of hacking D&D
 


Rules of some sort actually have to exist in order for us to fairly play a game. If there are no rules, if it is all continuous ad-hoc invention that can be changed under my feet as a player at any moment, then we are not playing a game. You're telling me a story, but manipulating me into thinking I have some say in it.

RAW is a vital part of RPGs, just as much as tinkering. If there is genuinely actually zero RAW, any difference between D&D and Let's Pretend vanishes.

Also, creating your own settings...isn't a RAW thing at all, like...settings are entirely outside the question of RAW and rulings and the like.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Rules of some sort actually have to exist in order for us to fairly play a game. If there are no rules, if it is all continuous ad-hoc invention that can be changed under my feet as a player at any moment, then we are not playing a game. You're telling me a story, but manipulating me into thinking I have some say in it.

RAW is a vital part of RPGs, just as much as tinkering. If there is genuinely actually zero RAW, any difference between D&D and Let's Pretend vanishes.

Also, creating your own settings...isn't a RAW thing at all, like...settings are entirely outside the question of RAW and rulings and the like.
I'm not sure you were reacting to my GLOG comment, but what I meant by "there is no RAW" is that there is no official RAW. there are several sets of rules
 

I'm not sure you were reacting to my GLOG comment, but what I meant by "there is no RAW" is that there is no official RAW. there are several sets of rules
Hadn't even seen your post; was only replying to the OP.

Official-ness is unimportant, as far as I'm concerned. You're using a set of rules. Those rules either really matter to some extent, and only change with deliberation (and with the players being informed as such), or they don't matter to any extent and thus change arbitrarily (with or without players being informed). RAW doesn't mean "absolutely fixed and unchanging" unless you require that the only rules that are allowed to matter are received from a third party, which is quite uncommon in practice. Doesn't mean the rules agreed upon by the table suddenly vanish. Just means they're used, and changed, by consent.
 


Alzrius

The EN World kitten
A. Social norms. Social norms are the general norms that we have that govern how we interact as a group; they aren't specific to RPGs, but they are the social grease of any social situation. Since RPGs are inherently a social game, these always apply. This would be simple things like, "Don't commit to playing and not show up." Or, "Remember to wear pants."
Believe it or not, sometimes people do forget their pants when heading out to game.
 

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