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D&D General D&D's feel - forums vs. Reddit


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Argyle King

Legend
I think it's worth mentioning that whether or not a particular piece of the game is good/bad (in terms of making the game better/worse) is a very different question than whether or not something is identified as feeling like (or being important to the feel of) D&D.
 



DEFCON 1

Legend
I'm saddened that Great Wheel isn't seen as important
I'm sure it is for specific settings that use it, but it isn't for D&D in general. D&D in general does almost nothing with the outer planes. If it wasn't for a few spells that allow you to plane shift to them, the base game book would never have PCs interact with those planes at all. It's all generic "planar creatures are summoned here" stuff, none of which require specifics from where they arrive from.
 

dave2008

Legend
I'm saddened that Great Wheel isn't seen as important
Well it is not surprising since D&D has had different cosmologies and most people use their own homebrew (if they consider cosmology at all). As @DEFCON 1 noted, it just isn't crucial to D&D in general. I loved learn about the Great Wheel cosmos when I gt my 1e Deities and Demigods, but it had no relevance in my games. We never even travelled to the outer planes until I played 4e. Frankly it would be odd if it was seen as an important part of D&D.
 

I think D&D could work well with 4 classes IF they let the archetypes have more impact on the base class. Like having 10 features over 20 levels instead of 5-6, the ability to change how primary features of the class work (changing the spellcasting stat, frex).
It could, but if you don't want to change the number of mechanical options, you're just adding taxonomy to character creation. Being a Devotion Paladin Warrior instead of a Devotion Paladin isn't really helping anyone have more fun or making the game easier to get started with.

If you wanted to reduce complexity by removing options, yes fewer classes. If you want to shift towards a system that looks more like a classless system (ie with broader silos), yes fewer classes but you're making the game a lot more complex for players. And there's always room to debate which classes to have and whether [idea] should be a class or subclass, but that's less a debate about number of classes than it is a debate about execution.
 

cbwjm

Hero
I'm saddened that Great Wheel isn't seen as important
I think that a lot of people create their own homebrew cosmology or otherwise play in a setting where it really isn't all that important. It doesn't even have an impact in descent to avernus, an adventure set on one of the outer planes. I wouldn't be surprised if new players who have picked up DnD with 5e have no idea that the great wheel exists.
 

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff
Publisher
I think that a lot of people create their own homebrew cosmology or otherwise play in a setting where it really isn't all that important. It doesn't even have an impact in descent to avernus, an adventure set on one of the outer planes. I wouldn't be surprised if new players who have picked up DnD with 5e have no idea that the great wheel exists.
Yeah, rationally I know. I just love Planescape.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
It confirms for me the idea that mushing D&D back down to just four classes, or three classes, or even two classes (weapon-user / spell-user) is something that some people might say, but almost nobody actually wants.
I don’t think that conclusion follows from the data. The poll option is “distinct character classes,” not “many character classes.” Personally I would like to see D&D pair down to about 3-5 basic classes, with a lot of what are currently classes becoming subclasses (though with considerably more mechanical weight to them than 5e subclasses have) and for the things that are currently subclasses becoming a third tier of specialization - “kits” or “archetypes” or whatever you want to call them. But I would still rank “distinct character classes” as highly important to the feel of D&D. I suspect many have similar thoughts on the matter.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I find it fascinating that despite the claims that Alignment is dead, and a pointless relic, nearly half of all respondents consider it important to the feel of D&D.

I feel less alone, now I know it’s not just me and @Oofta that feel that way.
That doesn’t surprise me at all. Alignment is very nearly irrelevant in 5e. It’s also a long-time staple of the game. Many still love it despite its minimal relevance, and many who hate it still recognize that it feels distinctly and strongly D&D. I voted for it being important to the feel of D&D, even though I strongly feel it has outlived its usefulness.
 

TheSword

Legend
That doesn’t surprise me at all. Alignment is very nearly irrelevant in 5e. It’s also a long-time staple of the game. Many still love it despite its minimal relevance, and many who hate it still recognize that it feels distinctly and strongly D&D. I voted for it being important to the feel of D&D, even though I strongly feel it has outlived its usefulness.
I’m not sure how something can be important and simultaneously have outlived it’s usefulness. That sounds a bit like sophistry.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I’m not sure how something can be important and simultaneously have outlived it’s usefulness. That sounds a bit like sophistry.
Important to the feel of D&D. Feeling like D&D is, in my view, not strongly correlated with having a lot of design utility. In fact, it may even be negatively correlated. The feel of D&D is in many ways defined by vestigial elements that no longer serve particularly useful design functions.
 


TheSword

Legend
Important to the feel of D&D. Feeling like D&D is, in my view, not strongly correlated with having a lot of design utility. In fact, it may even be negatively correlated. The feel of D&D is in many ways defined by vestigial elements that no longer serve particularly useful design functions.
I think you’re probably placing too much emphasis on how D&D’s feel is different to what it’s like to play. To an average person asking the how it feels to play a game and how the game plays would be the same question. I guess obviously feel differently about it though.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Well it is not surprising since D&D has had different cosmologies and most people use their own homebrew (if they consider cosmology at all). As @DEFCON 1 noted, it just isn't crucial to D&D in general. I loved learn about the Great Wheel cosmos when I gt my 1e Deities and Demigods, but it had no relevance in my games. We never even travelled to the outer planes until I played 4e. Frankly it would be odd if it was seen as an important part of D&D.

Considering that most interesting D&D cosmic foes are in the mid levels and that's where campaigns then to stop, most people tend to not interact with the cosmologies directly. This nudges cosmologies to be more roleplay and then more shifted to homebrew.

I think outside of 4e, most mid-level play were one shots or grinds so the makeup and layout of the planes rarely came up.

It's hard for something to get tied to the feel of the game if only the most controversial edition is the one that focused directly on it.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Personally I would like to see D&D pair down to about 3-5 basic classes, with a lot of what are currently classes becoming subclasses (though with considerably more mechanical weight to them than 5e subclasses have) and for the things that are currently subclasses becoming a third tier of specialization - “kits” or “archetypes” or whatever you want to call them.
That's the big question though, isn't it? At what point do three classes with many subclasses with "mechanical weight" basically become many, many classes that just happen to share a few of the same features? Three to five classes that each have 5 class features but 8-10 distinct subclass features (to give them more mechanical weight) can essentially be considered a whole host of independent classes that share 5 features each. Where's the dividing line on how many matching or unmatching class features make something a class or merely a subclass of another?

When most of the respondents said they wanted distinct classes... I believe the emphasis was truly on "distinct". While @JEB didn't put a separation in their poll between 12 (or so) classes and the Core Four classes... had they done so I have a very hard time believing Core Four would have beaten out 12. Because quite frankly... every single person who says something like "We really only need 5 classes" will each have a different class in mind for that fifth class. There wouldn't be any overwhelming acceptance of what other class would or wouldn't be required for their game. And if they were told "Oh no, you don't have any choice, you're losing that fifth class you like because it's Core Four only"... I truly believe they'd respond with "Well, if that's the case, then just leave the full 12 in place. As much as I hate Bards and Sorcerers, I don't want to lose the Monk".

If other folks want to believe otherwise, that's cool, because it doesn't really matter anyway-- D&D is never going to go back to the Core Four regardless. :)
 
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