• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

Do you really want dials and options?

Dausuul

Legend
However, experience from the last few years seems to suggest that including desired options is only half the story. The other half is excluding options that are not wanted.

The warlord class. The tiefling and dragonborn races. The come and get it power. Even though the game might have options they want, the fact that it also includes options that they don't want seems to be a sticking point for some people.

The nature of a dial is that you can turn it up or down. The reason people objected so much to tieflings, dragonborn, and warlords is that they were in the core PHB, which implies they are "present by default." You have to go out of your way to exclude them, and the electronic tools offer no support for it.

As Rechan says, if stuff like this gets moved off into its own book, it's more palatable.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Aldarc

Legend
I think the underlying problem is not that those options exist, but rather that they exist and there is a feeling that they will show up "At My Table".

For instance, many have said they are fine with Dragonborn and Tieflings existing as player options, but the problem was that they were in PHB1. That implies some level of significance. That a player is going to come along and say "Oh hey I want to play a tiefling" and the DM feels cornered because the Tiefling is in the PHB1, how can they deny that?

Like psionics, people want that icky thing sequestered into its own book where it's not touching the stuff they like, so they can just disavow that book.
See what I find problematic about this view is that tieflings and dragonborn are worthy of exclusion, but races like elves, dwarves, and half-races aren't. I typically homebrew, so I'm no stranger to constantly denying the classic player races of the PHB1 of 1-4E.
 

IronWolf

blank
All the dials and options to support any game you want seems a rather daunting task. And to top it off a task that very well might be difficult to pull off in an effective manner. I am not sure a single game can be all things to all people.

As some others have said, I pretty much have lots of dials and options now. I have that choice by way of choosing which game system comes with its default dials set to the game I want to play. I can then make subtle adjustments from those defaults that are already in the ballpark I want.

I am anxious to see what they come up with, but I suspect it is going to be a tricky line to toe.
 

The problem is when the dm makes the game how much doees he need to explain... will evvery game be 2 ppagess of what is and is not in this game? I remeber theUA book in 3e had a checklist o er 4 pages to show what options whereallowed
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
So, search your feelings and answer true: are you really in favor of dials and options? If you can get the play experience you want, would it bug you that other people can adjust the game to get different play experiences that you specifically would not like?
Frankly, I would be quite happy if the vast majority of 4e's "innovations" had never been conceived. That said, it would be wrong of me to try to deprive people who enjoy them of their mechanics of choice. There are many things other people do that I don't like, but as long as they keep to themselves I respect their right to be different.

I would rather spread my emphasis on realism and storytelling and let other people decide if they want to join me or not.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
The nature of a dial is that you can turn it up or down. The reason people objected so much to tieflings, dragonborn, and warlords is that they were in the core PHB, which implies they are "present by default."

Which was the whole point of them saying that EVERYTHING was "Core"... so we'd stop having these stupid semantical arguments. If everything is part of the core game, then you can add and subtract anything you want at your leisure... things you like and things you don't like. The whole "first book is the real game, everything else is a supplement" way of thought was supposed to go away.

But of course, since old habit die hard... we still get people even to this day complaining about it. Still stuck in "PHI is the real game and far be it for me to deny the use of something in it". Because apparently being DM means you get to run your game any way you want, unless the players want something from the first Player's Handbook, in which case you're stuck. And thus, if the first PH includes material you don't like, then obviously it's the fault of the game and it's not worth playing as much... rather than perhaps as the DM, you just need to use a little stronger hand with your players.

I find this completely perplexing
 
Last edited:

IronWolf

blank
The problem is when the dm makes the game how much doees he need to explain... will evvery game be 2 ppagess of what is and is not in this game?

This thought had crossed my mind as well. I guess it depends on just how many dials and knobs there are or if it more of a choose a Lite Rules, Medium Rules or Heavy Rules option to quickly convey what type of game you are playing.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Which was the whole point of them saying that EVERYTHING was "Core"... so we'd stop having these stupid semantical arguments. If everything is part of the core game, then you can add and subtract anything you want at your leisure... things you like and things you don't like. The whole "first book is the real game, everything else is a supplement" way of thought was supposed to go away.

Mmf. I always had the impression that the reason they started pushing the "everything is core" line was that core books sold more copies. Also, standardization of the game was seen as a good thing.

But of course, since old habit die hard... we still get people even to this day complaining about it. Still stuck in "PHI is the real game and far be it for me to deny the use of something in it". Because apparently being DM means you get to run your game any way you want, unless the players want something from the first Player's Handbook, in which case you're stuck. And thus, if the first PH includes material you don't like, then obviously it's the fault of the game and it's not worth playing as much... rather than perhaps as the DM, you just need to use a little stronger hand with your players.

I have no hesitation banning anything I damn well please, no matter what book it's in. However, as others have pointed out, it's far easier to do your blacklisting/whitelisting on a book level rather than going class by class, power by power, and feat by feat. A dial is better than having to go into the guts of the machine and rewire it by hand.

And the PHB sets the tone. No matter what marketing guff WotC may spout, the Player's Handbook really is the core book. It's the thing everyone at the table has and reads. If tieflings and dragonborn are in the PHB, then every time you're flipping through your copy and run across them, you get reminded of them. If those races bug you on a deep-down level, as they do for many people, it's a constant if minor irritant.
 

Hassassin

First Post
The problem is when the dm makes the game how much doees he need to explain... will evvery game be 2 ppagess of what is and is not in this game? I remeber theUA book in 3e had a checklist o er 4 pages to show what options whereallowed

The players don't need to know that the DM uses a "skill challenge" if he just describes a situation, asks for actions and calls for rolls as appropriate. Likewise if there are rules for different levels of magic item commonness, combat length (through monster dmg/hp), etc.

I think where possible optional rules shouldn't be player facing, but something like playable races or vancian vs. non-vancian magic obviously has to.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
And the PHB sets the tone. No matter what marketing guff WotC may spout, the Player's Handbook really is the core book. It's the thing everyone at the table has and reads. If tieflings and dragonborn are in the PHB, then every time you're flipping through your copy and run across them, you get reminded of them. If those races bug you on a deep-down level, as they do for many people, it's a constant if minor irritant.

And every time some people see elves, eladrin, *and* half-elves, they're going to be irritated. And every time some people see feats, they're going to be irritated. And every time some people see healing surges, THEY'RE going to be irritated.

It is impossible for anyone to produce a book that won't annoy some people some of the time. So it comes down to two options-- either the company produces a book that has nothing in it, or the people who are playing the game just have to get over it. Because these "minor irritants" have and will always exist.
 

Remove ads

Top