D&D General D&D without Resource Management

Would you like D&D to have less resource management?

  • Yes

    Votes: 20 15.4%
  • Yes but only as an optional variant of play

    Votes: 12 9.2%
  • Yes but only as a individual PC/NPC/Monster choice

    Votes: 3 2.3%
  • No

    Votes: 30 23.1%
  • No but I'd definitely play another game with less resource management

    Votes: 14 10.8%
  • No. If anything it needs even more resource management

    Votes: 39 30.0%
  • Somewhar. Shift resource manage to another part of the game like gold or items

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Somewhat. Tie resource manage to the playstyle and genre mechanics.

    Votes: 11 8.5%


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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
1. Make magic less "I Win" button, and more "I create opportunities" button.
2. Give non-magic characters actually defined, useful utility beyond "you can make skill checks good."

It really isn't that hard. The only thing preventing it is folks being terribly precious about D&D magic as always offering "I win" buttons rather than being merely one useful tool (or set of tools, if you prefer) in a larger toolbox.

It would even be a step closer to D&D's roots. Vance's spellcasters cannot solve problems like this willy-nilly. They have to be skilled with a blade and sneaky and (etc., etc.) because their spells, while powerful, are not instant win buttons all by themselves. Conan's sorcerous opponents (and his spellcaster friends) certainly don't have "I win" buttons. Galadriel, Gandalf, Saruman, and Sauron are some of the mightiest beings to live in the Third Age, yet they consistently act with subtleties. Etc.
Agreed on all counts, but unfortunately I am consistently informed that what you are suggesting is not what modern D&D fans want, despite most of them having no experience of such things in gaming.
 

kunadam

Adventurer
1. Make magic less "I Win" button, and more "I create opportunities" button.
2. Give non-magic characters actually defined, useful utility beyond "you can make skill checks good."
I would be OK with that. I think damage should be dealt by the fighter types and magic is there for all the other things (no, magic is there to counter magic).

Based on what you describe, you have seen some really f*up groups (excuse my language). While I have seen some - to me - strange newbies, they also quickly fall in line with the general assumption that the party is a team, and we need to work together. Probably the fact that none is interested in the system, thus no min/maxing, also helps.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I would be OK with that. I think damage should be dealt by the fighter types and magic is there for all the other things (no, magic is there to counter magic).

Based on what you describe, you have seen some really f*up groups (excuse my language). While I have seen some - to me - strange newbies, they also quickly fall in line with the general assumption that the party is a team, and we need to work together. Probably the fact that none is interested in the system, thus no min/maxing, also helps.
Well, as I said above, the key is to make it so that the way to min-max IS to be a team player. That optimization, fairly consistently, rewards teamwork much more than solo effort. That way, the folks you speak of (who don't care about min-maxing) are unaffected because they'll be doing what they were already going to do, and the other folks (who do care about min-maxing) will only be affected by feeling a natural urge toward pro-social, constructive behavior. When team optimization is what leads to effective strategy, it becomes advantageous to help your allies be the best they can be. When playing a "support" character provides rewarding gameplay in and of itself, folks who enjoy being a support character will feel concretely rewarded for their choices, rather than the nebulous moral satisfaction of "taking one for the team" by playing Brother Bactine. Etc.

Everybody wins! Well, except the folks who want the game to be all about them. But I'm not really inclined to support such desires. Tedious at the best of times. If someone needs their character to be the most powerful, most important person in the game in order to enjoy playing, I think they should reconsider their priorities and perhaps look into single-player activities.

For lack of a better term, the game must be designed to generally (not always, but most of the time) fulfill that old saying, attributed to Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: "We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
What is the point of doing so? It only opens opportunities for the DM to inflict problems on you. Avoiding it maximizes your chances of winning. Having a conversation with your fellow runners worsens your chance of crossing the finish first.
If she's being fair, the DM can't really interfere with the characters chatting during rest any more than she could if the players just wanted to handwave the resting time.
Because ruthless personal optimization pushes you to thinking only in monodimensional, selfish terms, with little to no interest in what others are doing, who they are, etc. beyond their pure instrumental value...and even that is usually perfunctory at best.

Such selfish thinking was, and still is, pervasive in 3e/PF1e groups. It is considered a truism that the game should be played in a fully self-centered way.
Well, yes and no. 3e most certainly rewarded specialization, no doubt about that; but hyper-specializing in something (which was usually the most optimal way to go) always meant leaving glaring weaknesses elsewhere; and if you didn't have others in the party to cover off those weaknesses you could get hosed in a hurry.

5e, conversely, seems to want the players to make jacks of all trades; capable of turning their hands to anything while at the same time having few if any true weaknesses. Thus, much less need for party interdependence other than sheer strength in numbers.

Given those options, I'd prefer the 3e approach.
I prefer to play games where the characters are expected to get along reasonably well, mostly because that, too, is a big part of encouraging actual teamwork, rather than "X solo adventurers who just happen to adventure in the same place at the same time." That doesn't mean there can't be conflicts--every group of humans with at least two members has internal conflict now and then, and the N=1 case isn't a guarantee of no conflict either!--but if you want teamwork, you need to have a team, and that means, y'know, people who get along to at least some degree.
Tolerating each other's presence for long enough to get the mission done is sometimes the best one can hope for. :)
Edit: Also, I'm a bit surprised you haven't had to deal with the rather common "old-school" approach of "side chatter is always IC, so any goofing around can and will be used against you." Folks on this very forum still advocate this approach today.
I've done this when the side chatter gets to the point where the game's been forgotten. Haven't had to do it in a long time, which is nice; but in the past there have now and then been characters who have blown their stealth attempts by loudly conversing about some strange faction called the Vancouver Canucks...
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I wish I had time to play every day.
I was referring to adventuring day, not real-time day. :)
It isn't really hard at all to do it most of the time. I don't do it all the time. There are encounters where the PCs think they'll have just one encounter that day and really unload. That is fun when it isn't the norm, but instead the exception ... and usually they hold some in reserve because you never know ... what else ... might pop up.

Levels 5 to 16 of almost all of my campaigns are a giant sandbox with dungeons, politics, mysteries, exploration, etc... There are always clocks running. Bad guys are scheming. Resources are dwindling. Seasons are changing. The PCs in my game rarely ever think, "I'm betting we have lots of time before something goes wrong." It is usually, "If we go do XXXXX, then YYYYY might happen while we're gone. We need to rush!" As long as you have those types of drivers pushing the PCs forward ... 6 to 8 encounters with the design ideas I discussed above providing examples of some ways to use easy, medium and hard encounters amongst deadly ... isn't just easy. It is near automatic.
Sometimes I can build and maintain this degree of in-game stress on the PCs, but it gets repetitious (for both sides of the screen) after a while.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
1: Zone of truth. You're so good at detecting lies that you don't need it.

2: Speak with the dead is easy. You're just that good. Sherlock Holmes could do it. Of course he probably can't instantly detect who actually killed the victim, but with some extra work...

3: Create food and water: You could be so tough you don't need food or water.

4: Tongues and comprehend languages are pointless if you already know all languages, which is certainly possible. Might be a bit far fetched for entirely unknown languages, but those can probably be extrapolated from the ones you already know.

5: Being impossibly silent is easy. We see this all the time in fiction.

6: Moving invisibly can be done too. This has been seen in fiction (Rurouni Kenshin is a good example).
Most of these are variations on stretching the limits of what isn't supernatural beyond what I would accept. I prefer @EzekielRaiden 's ideas if this was a real problem.
 


payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Well, as I said above, the key is to make it so that the way to min-max IS to be a team player. That optimization, fairly consistently, rewards teamwork much more than solo effort. That way, the folks you speak of (who don't care about min-maxing) are unaffected because they'll be doing what they were already going to do, and the other folks (who do care about min-maxing) will only be affected by feeling a natural urge toward pro-social, constructive behavior. When team optimization is what leads to effective strategy, it becomes advantageous to help your allies be the best they can be. When playing a "support" character provides rewarding gameplay in and of itself, folks who enjoy being a support character will feel concretely rewarded for their choices, rather than the nebulous moral satisfaction of "taking one for the team" by playing Brother Bactine. Etc.

Everybody wins! Well, except the folks who want the game to be all about them. But I'm not really inclined to support such desires. Tedious at the best of times. If someone needs their character to be the most powerful, most important person in the game in order to enjoy playing, I think they should reconsider their priorities and perhaps look into single-player activities.

For lack of a better term, the game must be designed to generally (not always, but most of the time) fulfill that old saying, attributed to Benjamin Franklin at the signing of the Declaration of Independence: "We must all hang together, or most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
My problem with this is in games were its implemented character customization has often taken a back seat. In a "bump, set, spike" situation your character is a "bump" 9/10 fights and then 1/10 they get to "spike." Also, the matches drag on forever and eat up time Id rather be spending on things outside of the match. From my experience the more a game is designed to keep people inline, the worse it is to play. Clearly. YMMV.
 


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