D&D 5E [D&D Next] Second Packet - initial impressions

VinylTap

First Post
The whole argument is a little creepy. It enrages some people to such a degree they can't even suffer the possibility of the option mentioned in the rule book. What if they stuck it into its own differently coloured box? There's enough support for the play-style that its very unlikely to go away, no matter how much bandwidth is spilled over the matter.

But let me just say this: [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Ask not what your character can do for you but what you can do for your character."[/FONT]
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Balesir

Adventurer
Wow, this is the most passive-aggressive, biased and incorrect... you know what... be honest were you just trying to insult people that enjoy a certain playstyle or was this really supposed to help Cadfan understand why some playstyle(s) might prefer random rolling of stats?
I'm pointing out to [MENTION=40961]Cadfan[/MENTION] that the playstyle exists. I'm not going to pretend that I don't find the playstyle dysfunctional on a variety of levels, but it exists nevertheless and, for those that enjoy that playstyle, they're welcome to it, as far as I'm concerned.

Casual beer and pretzels, the players aren't out to participate in an epic year-spanning campaign and really just want to explore a dungeon, kill some monsters and get loot every week for a couple hours... they aren't really hung up on being a particular race or class and the risk of death is part of the fun for them. They decide, in order to get a variable experience in race and class amongst the players and because it is quicker and simpler, to let the dice decide attributes for them.
That's not the playstyle I described, and I think it's one that would actually work much better with selecting stat arrays, in fact (since the chance of getting a character that sucks is removed). Unless, of course, part of the "fun" is laughing when "Ol' Ben" gets a completely hopeless set of rolls...
 
Last edited:

Underman

First Post
I'm pointing out to @Cadfan that the playstyle exists. I'm not going to pretend that I don't find the playstyle dysfunctional on a variety of levels, but it exists nevertheless and, for those that enjoy that playstyle, they're welcome to it, as far as I'm concerned.
I agree with Imaro, I'm also not into that playstyle personally, but your choice of words read to me like extending a hand and slapping the face at the same time. For shame. If I used the same choice of words towards the 4E playstyle, I would receive a backlash like no other, and I would deserve it too.
 

Imaro

Legend
I'm pointing out to @Cadfan that the playstyle exists. I'm not going to pretend that I don't find the playstyle dysfunctional on a variety of levels, but it exists nevertheless and, for those that enjoy that playstyle, they're welcome to it, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not asking you to pretend anything about the playstyle... but I think it's a dis-service to make sweeping generalizations about a playstyle and those who enjoy it... because you don't enjoy it. It does nothing but stir up the pot and IMO, shows you probably aren't familiar or knowledgeable enough about it to present it objectively.

That's not the playstyle I described, and I think it's one that would actually work much better with selecting stat arrays, actually (since the chance of getting a character that sucks is removed). Unless, of course, part of the "fun" is laughing when "Ol' Ben" gets a completely hopeless set of rolls...

Takes to long to divide out all those points... so no, plus again the players aren't hung up on being anything in particular... gaming isn't "serious business" to them... so the attributes don't matter as much... for them it's the challenge of playing with what they are dealt and succeeding... it's fun... for them.
 

fenriswolf456

First Post
I assume you've not around these boards for a decade. Just google "quadratic wizards". It yields 11 thousand results, I'm sure that's enough to keep you entertained for a while.

And the point being? This was an issue with 3.X, from what I gather. Presumably the design team is taking Lessons Learned and applying them to 5E, and will attempt to keep spells more balanced. This does not mean that a spell cannot continue to be useful at higher levels. 4E seems to have managed that, and it hasn't lead to the supposed "Wizards pwn everything so why even bother?" syndrome.

But personally I got rather bored with the fact that my higher level 2E wizards just ended up stacking a bunch of Magic Missles, because that was pretty much the only useful first level spell after a few levels. I would much rather have my other spells prove useful, than just taking up space in my spell book.

You were asserting that you could guess ability scores on your own; otherwise, I suppose that avoiding a long string of question and rolls might be beneficial. I wouldn't like to have, in the middle of what's supposed to be a frantic combat, the wizard's player asking and rolling to see if the critter comes from Plant's Vs zombies or a Romero movie.

Most players can, I think. Even brand new players bring with them a basic understanding of most common creatures, and if not, then the DM will need to take the time to describe them.

Anyway, can't you see this is exactly the same issue that came up in 3e so frequently? That the best way to get the most from your spells was with metagame knowledge - like knowing what creatures had the best (Ex) abilities to Polymorph into, or to avoid damage spells in favor of save or be out?

But this is really more just a player issue. If a player is one that just has to know what the perfect counters are for what they're facing, they're going to find out that information. With Piercing/Slashing/Crushing brought back, they will now be doing the same thing with their mundane characters, asking what armour enemies are wearing and pulling out the perfect counter-weapon. It's only been a caster issue because spells usually have more range of defenses to go up against.

The closest I've come to this are a couple players who tend to use their long experience playing in various games and at times applying it to the current encounter (i.e. working to keep Hobgoblins apart from each other to negate an AC bonus they get). This could be metagaming, or it could be thought of as character experience (one is a former soldier/medic, so would likely have some battlefield knowledge of common foes).

It's the opposite of a game you can jump into, it's a game you have to pour hours before you start playing. This may appeal to a certain segament of the gamer population, the ones that came with pun-pun and the like, but I think it's a terrible decision if they want to reach to new players who are forced to play the n00b class while the "good players" push the I win buttons.

*boggles*

So you are saying that earlier editions of D&D were difficult for new players to get into? I jumped in and played casters just fine in 1E/2E, without having to memorize anything. I played many various 'mundane' classes, and can't remember a time where I felt inadequate as a character. Even as a DM, I didn't pour over the monster stats and try to memorize everything.

And from what I'm hearing, the 'n00b class' (presuming Fighter here, with all the refencing to quadratic wizards) is turning out to be potent and interesting to play. Will it hold up from 1 to 20? That we will have to see.
 

the Jester

Legend
It's a practical and principle thing. Practical in that years of experience have made me dislike the actual results of rolling stats, and principle in being opposed to randomly determining something that will define the effectiveness of your character over the length of the campaign. The principle part in particular, as I don't like what it says about the game when the system makes ability scores so important and so permanent, then leaves it to dice.

I think you're conflating "practical and principle" with "the way I like to play."

Lots of people like rolling stats. There is nothing wrong with that in principle, no matter how many times or how loudly you claim otherwise, and there is nothing wrong with it in practice for those who enjoy playing that way- unless you're claiming that they're having badwrongfun.

Nah, I'm objectively right here. There's no conceivable way that "playstyle" can justify this. That word is not a magical aegis that makes bad game design not count.

Game mechanics have to support each other. If they work at cross purposes, nothing about "playstyle" will make the problem vanish.

Got you. Everyone who likes to roll stats is doing it wrong, and you are doing it right.

Oh wait, no, they have legitimate differences in playstyle. There really is nothing "objective" about your preference; the words "point buy" aren't a magical sword that cuts all the good of stat rolling away, nor is rolling dice an objectively bad mechanic. In fact, I find that it is so far superior to point buy and arrays that I have never, not ever, not once allowed even one player to use point buy or a stat array even once. And I've been running D&D solid since 1981, without ever having a gap longer than three months or so between games that I have run. Nor do I have a hard time getting players, keeping players, engaging players, challenging players or entertaining players. So how you think rolling for stats is magically ruining the game escapes me.

See, there's nothing wrong with using point buy or an array- if it suits your playstyle. But claiming that you have the "right" playstyle and everyone else is having badwrongfun is not very persuasive.

D&D is presently designed for characters to be played over a long period of time. I think that's a objectively true statement that really can't be argued against.

You think so, but you're wrong.

First of all, do you have a citation from one of the designers?

D&D is designed not just for long time campaign play; it is also designed for one shot play, for a couple sessions of play, even for simply fooling around with character generation and never playing at all. If you think it is "objectively true" that D&D is designed for long-term characters, you will have to show me something stronger than your own assertion to persuade me that you're anything but conflating your own playstyle preferences with "how D&D should be".

Randomly cursing some characters with comparative incompetence to others works at cross purposes with this goal. The same is true of randomly blessing some characters with hyper-competence.

Again- I disagree. Vehemently, even. Some of the most interesting and fun games I've been a part of as either player or dm involve characters with a noticeable power disparity. Sometimes, for some players, it's really fun to play the weak man of the party. For some players, it's really fun to be the badass who nobody touches.

Not to say that some groups wouldn't agree with you 100%; that's fine, for their playstyle. But I don't care how much you say it, it is not "objectively true" just because you say it.

EDIT: And that's not even addressing the basic assertion you're making that rolling stats leads to some characters being incompetent vs. others being hypercompetent. Is there a difference in ability? Of course! There is also a difference in ability between any two characters built differently but with point buy, or even two characters who have the same stats, class and race. Not the same as engendering incompetence and hypercompetence.

So, yeah. Rolling for stats is objectively bad even if people had fun in the past in spite of it, or if they had fun in the past in a game that had a different context (e.g., rolling for stats is perfectly appropriate if you play with disposable characters).

No; you don't like rolling for stats is not the same as "objectively bad."

I find cheese to be disgusting. If I were to claim that cheese is objectively bad, that would be exactly the same as your assertion.

EDIT 2: At least you've backed away from your "objective" argument about how rolling stats is bad for the kids. Thanks for that much.

EDIT 3: And yes, cheese is the ultimate motivating force of all evil in the universe.
 
Last edited:

Balesir

Adventurer
I'm not asking you to pretend anything about the playstyle... but I think it's a dis-service to make sweeping generalizations about a playstyle and those who enjoy it... because you don't enjoy it. It does nothing but stir up the pot and IMO, shows you probably aren't familiar or knowledgeable enough about it to present it objectively.
I didn't (intend to) generalise about any broad playstyle; I simply described (in some detail) a play style that I have seen in use where I can see that random attributes is actually an advantage. Might there be other playstyles for which this is true? Sure - I even mention one of them (although it's not one I have seen used to any extent while playing D&D).

My message to Cadfan was simple: there exists at least one playstyle for which rolling attributes randomly is a logical and optimal way to proceed. Even though I personally find the style positively toxic, there appear to be those who like it. Ergo the assertion that "it's not a playstyle thing" is demonstrably false.

Takes to long to divide out all those points... so no, plus again the players aren't hung up on being anything in particular... gaming isn't "serious business" to them... so the attributes don't matter as much... for them it's the challenge of playing with what they are dealt and succeeding... it's fun... for them.
All of which seems to fit perfectly with handing them a stat array and saying "build on that". They probably won't get an "optimal" character that way - but they won't care (and why should they?); but they also won't get a hopeless character that way (which would just be less fun and thus a waste of precious relaxation time). They don't have to be "hung up on being something in particular" and gaming doesn't have to be "serious business" for them, but if they were playing with me as GM I would suggest taking an array because it's likely to give them an easy, functional start without the risk of spending an evening suffering a really ineffective character. Everybody's happy!
 

Imaro

Legend
All of which seems to fit perfectly with handing them a stat array and saying "build on that". They probably won't get an "optimal" character that way - but they won't care (and why should they?); but they also won't get a hopeless character that way (which would just be less fun and thus a waste of precious relaxation time). They don't have to be "hung up on being something in particular" and gaming doesn't have to be "serious business" for them, but if they were playing with me as GM I would suggest taking an array because it's likely to give them an easy, functional start without the risk of spending an evening suffering a really ineffective character. Everybody's happy!

Did you totally ignore the part where I stated... "for them it's the challenge of playing with what they are dealt and succeeding"? Some people enjoy trying to succeed when the odds are stacked against them, it's a thrill and a rush for them. It's similar to the reason people play videogames on different difficulty levels. If anything it seems toxic and dysfunctional for a DM to be told by the players what they enjoy and then decide his fun is better and he knows best...
 

Balesir

Adventurer
Did you totally ignore the part where I stated... "for them it's the challenge of playing with what they are dealt and succeeding"? Some people enjoy trying to succeed when the odds are stacked against them, it's a thrill and a rush for them.
Just a minute... So, you are saying that they like generally failing but occasionally succeeding and they play this way in a "Casual, beer and pretzels" way??? That's one I haven't seen before. My experience is that beer & pretzels gamers don't want things to be that grim (or arbitrary), but if you have met such folk then I suppose they must exist.

It's similar to the reason people play videogames on different difficulty levels.
I though they did that so they could boast about how L337 they are...

If anything it seems toxic and dysfunctional for a DM to be told by the players what they enjoy and then decide his fun is better and he knows best...
If the players genuinely wanted a beer & pretzels arbitrary hurt fest I would save both them and me some time by suggesting they find an alternative GM.
 

Imaro

Legend
Just a minute... So, you are saying that they like generally failing but occasionally succeeding and they play this way in a "Casual, beer and pretzels" way??? That's one I haven't seen before. My experience is that beer & pretzels gamers don't want things to be that grim (or arbitrary), but if you have met such folk then I suppose they must exist.

I though they did that so they could boast about how L337 they are...

If the players genuinely wanted a beer & pretzels arbitrary hurt fest I would save both them and me some time by suggesting they find an alternative GM.

So playing in a casual manner automatically equates to not wanting a challenge... Hmmm, there's something a little off with that logic. I play MW3 casually, but I play online for the challenge more experienced players offer because I find it fun... In fact most of the people I know, who work 9-5's and can't spend hours practicing, are the same way... yet they enjoy the challenge....strange according to your logic they should only play against the target dummies.

Your whole argument seems to be predicated on the "fact" that rolling for attributes assures failure. that's not a fact. It's not even a fact that majority of your attributes will be low...

Honestly rolling 4d6 drop one you have a pretty good chance of ending up with decent to good scores... though there's always that really high score or really low score that an array will never give you... the point is that some people find fun in the challenge of taking an underdog and having him succeed, especially where thye aren't under the pressure of ruining the epic storyline that they would be a part of in a less casual game. Is the reason it is hard for you to grasp what might be fun for others... or even what other playtyles exist because you've only experienced a very narrow range of playstyles??
 
Last edited:



Balesir

Adventurer
So playing in a casual manner automatically equates to not wanting a challenge...
No - rolling for attributes has nothing to do with challenge, it's just random handicapping or overpowering. That's not challenge - that's dumb luck that applies to the whole game instead of just one action or plan.

Hmmm, there's something a little off with that logic. I play MW3 casually, but I play online for the challenge more experienced players offer because I find it fun...
I have no idea what "MW3" is - some sort of FPS computer game, I guess - but playing against more skilled or experienced players is a challenge; playing with your shots randomly misfiring is just making things arbitrary and frustrating for yourself and everyone else.

Your whole argument seems to be predicated on the "fact" that rolling for attributes assures failure. that's not a fact. It's not even a fact that majority of your attributes will be low...
Of course not; it's a crapshoot. Pretty much literally. You are choosing to have the effectiveness of your character for the whole event randomly either overpowered or nerfed. Failing on one rolled-for task in an evening is fun; so is getting the randomly powerful guy for the duration. Getting saddled with the doofus for the session is not so fun, though - except maybe for your sadistic "friends".

the point is that some people find fun in the challenge of taking an underdog and having him succeed
So let them choose to have a low powered array. If that's really what it's about, then at least do it by choice, rather than by random chance. Does the guy who rolls low really get asked if he wants to be "doofus for the day"?

Is the reason it is hard for you to grasp what might be fun for others... or even what other playtyles exist because you've only experienced a very narrow range of playstyles??
There's really no need to resort to ad hominems. I have played many, many playstyles over nearly 40 years of roleplaying; that's how come I know of a few I really don't like (as well as quite a few that I do).

The style preferences are also often game specific. The style I described, for example, works quite well in Call of Cthulhu; it just fails miserably, for me, in D&D. CoC really is all about your character's descent into madness and death; D&D doesn't bill itself that way.
 

Imaro

Legend
No - rolling for attributes has nothing to do with challenge, it's just random handicapping or overpowering. That's not challenge - that's dumb luck that applies to the whole game instead of just one action or plan.

Yes, having random ability scores does have something to do with challenge. It's the challenge of succeeding or failing with what fate dealt you. How many timess do I have to repeat that??

I have no idea what "MW3" is - some sort of FPS computer game, I guess - but playing against more skilled or experienced players is a challenge; playing with your shots randomly misfiring is just making things arbitrary and frustrating for yourself and everyone else.

FYI: Modern Warfare 3

So again explain to me how playing with whatever lady luck gives you (even if it is a missfiring gun)... isn't a challenge as opposed to what you carefully optimize or pick? It seems like you're equating challenge to a very specific type of challenge (perhaps challenges Balesir approves of??) for some reason.

Of course not; it's a crapshoot. Pretty much literally. You are choosing to have the effectiveness of your character for the whole event randomly either overpowered or nerfed. Failing on one rolled-for task in an evening is fun; so is getting the randomly powerful guy for the duration. Getting saddled with the doofus for the session is not so fun, though - except maybe for your sadistic "friends".

And you fail to see how that can be fun and challenging for some people? It seems pretty simple to me. Randomness is fun for alot of people (in the same way gambling can be). Having bad (or even good) scores can be fun and challenging because you're not playing exactly what you built to do exactly what you want in exactly the way you want.

So let them choose to have a low powered array. If that's really what it's about, then at least do it by choice, rather than by random chance. Does the guy who rolls low really get asked if he wants to be "doofus for the day"?

You still don't get it. It's not about picking bad scores... randomness is not picking bad scores. It's about letting fate decide and succeding on what was given.

There's really no need to resort to ad hominems. I have played many, many playstyles over nearly 40 years of roleplaying; that's how come I know of a few I really don't like (as well as quite a few that I do).

What ad hominem? I asked a question.

The style preferences are also often game specific. The style I described, for example, works quite well in Call of Cthulhu; it just fails miserably, for me, in D&D. CoC really is all about your character's descent into madness and death; D&D doesn't bill itself that way.

Really? I think whaty it "bills itself as" depends a great deal on what edition of D&D we are talking about here. And since 5e is supppose to unite the editions... random character generation has been the default method more than it hasn't.
 

Cadfan

First Post
EDIT 2: At least you've backed away from your "objective" argument about how rolling stats is bad for the kids. Thanks for that much.
Not repeating myself unnecessarily is not the same thing as backing away from something.

Even in this thread, ardent defenders of rolling for stats have agreed that strict adherence to stat rolls should be mitigated by "common sense." Well, that's bad news for new players who don't have the age and experience to know what sense is common to the context. Pretty simple point, not too debatable.

As for the rest, I've made my point. There's a difference between saying "X is bad" and saying "X doesn't go with Y, and is bad in the context of Y." I appreciate you keeping that straight for approximately half your post.
 


I hate random stats and hope that it is listed as option d or 4 and not 1 or a.

Here is why: I have players who after 4 years who still ask if we can roll stats and the best quickest way to get him to stop complaining.


I will say I got sick of one character being way better then others. 4e taught me to love pt buy.

I have seen great rp from stats that are low... I also saw a 3.5 Druid get blinded and go 4 levels of the best rp ever... But I have also scean many more disruptions. Alot of people also allow re rolls of bad stats so everyone has great, witch leads to over powering
 

Jacob Marley

First Post
Hi, I am Jacob Marley and I enjoy rolling for stats in D&D.

No - rolling for attributes has nothing to do with challenge, it's just random handicapping or overpowering. That's not challenge - that's dumb luck that applies to the whole game instead of just one action or plan.

The point is that some of us don't come to the table with a pre-existing idea of what our character is. The challenge is to take this random collection of numbers and make something interesting out of it. Balance between characters is not a priority amongst us.

So let them choose to have a low powered array. If that's really what it's about, then at least do it by choice, rather than by random chance. Does the guy who rolls low really get asked if he wants to be "doofus for the day"?

This misses the point. Again, the point is that we want the unknown. We want to take that unknown and watch as it becomes known. And then to mold and shape that into something special. Telling us to choose either by an array or by a point-buy system is to deny us the very point to which we are playing.

Its not about being overpowered or underpowered. Its about the whole journey of discovering who this character is.

The style preferences are also often game specific. The style I described, for example, works quite well in Call of Cthulhu; it just fails miserably, for me, in D&D. CoC really is all about your character's descent into madness and death; D&D doesn't bill itself that way.

I've played for twenty-one years across three seperate editions of D&D (1st, 3rd, and 4th) to know full-well that this style fits D&D.

Edit:
I hate random stats and hope that it is listed as option d or 4 and not 1 or a.

If people are really that concerned about one option being listed before another, well fine, put it in alphabetical order then: Array, Dice, Point-buy. Seriously, is it that big a deal?
 
Last edited:

JamesonCourage

Adventurer
Hi, I am Jacob Marley and I enjoy rolling for stats in D&D.
I really wish I could XP this post. I'm in no mood to get into arguments myself, so I've been XPing those who are making similar points to my own mental replies. This post deserves some XP (if anyone wants to cover me). As always, play what you like :)
 

drothgery

First Post
Hi, I am Jacob Marley and I enjoy rolling for stats in D&D.
Many people do. But rolling for stats fairly and by the book often results in wildly imbalanced stats, and the extremely generous house rules for dice rolling that have been in place in every extended game with rolled stats I've ever played in (choose the best from multiple stat arrays, rerolling 1s, bonus points afterwards, ...) defeat the point of rolling.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top