D&D 5E Does/Should D&D Have the Player's Game Experience as a goal?

Oofta

Legend
I didn't advocate for one true way. I asked you what the books say on this topic. You said you didn't think anything in the books was all that unclear. So, what are the rules on this topic?

You don't have an answer. Know why?

BECAUSE THERE'S NO CLEAR ANSWER. They don't provide explicit rules for this basic and fundamental element of play.

Now, before you start with the "one true way" nonsense again... I'm not saying they only should describe it one way. I am suggesting they describe all three ways... all of the time, some of the time, and never... and share with folks the pros and cons of each.

And given the wasted word count in this section of the book, I'm not at all convinced that they can't offer such detailed advice, and still come out with words to spare.

Wait ... we go from "should the DM tell the players the target DC" to ... I don't have an answer? I do have an answer. It's personal preference. Some people like knowing the exact DC ahead of time, I don't. I feel like it's too gamist. But the thing is there is no one true way and what works for me may not work for another group. I also don't tell people monster's exact HP, or many other numbers although I will tell them the AC after a round or two because it speeds up the game. Again, there's no right or wrong way. Could they discuss it more like the do with The Role of the Dice section in the DMG? Sure. There are dozens of things they could discuss more. How many volumes do you want the DMG to be?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Literally millions of people have started playing with 5E. The new players far outnumber the old hands. Claiming that people don't understand, can't possibly grasp what D&D is on it's face simply untrue.

We've seen double digit growth for a decade, far exceeding anyone's expectations. You can posit that it could have been even more successful all you want but there is zero proof that your ideas of what the game should look like have no basis in fact.

I've never seen anyone praise the DMG on any thread. If I did, I'd disagree with them, as would the people writing the new version. The DMG needs to be redone.
just because something is doing better than it's done before doesn't mean it's doing the best it could possibly do, it can be better.
 


Okay... according to the books, should a DM announce all DCs to players ahead of a roll? Some? Or none?

What are the advantages to each approach?

This is a pretty fundamental element of play, and one of the prime functions of the DM in play. As such, it likely deserves explicit instruction, no?
I'll answer: no! The rule are sufficient for understanding what DC is and how to use it, but whether and when to do so openly or in secret has to do with developing your personal style as a DM.

To me, that's the same as telling DMs whether or not they should role their dice in the open. For the record, I always give the DC in advance unless there's a plot reason why I can't, and the same for rolling dice in the open. But other DMs feel very strongly the other way on one or both counts, and they aren't wrong. For them.

A secondary guide book which explores different options would be fine, and that's kind of what I think the DMG should be. But it shouldn't tell you a right way or a wrong way. And there are a lot of really good 3PP on the art of DMing for those who are interested; that's the best place for this kind of material, IMO.***

***Plug for the OP: I own a bunch of The Lazy DM books and they are an excellent resource in this regard!

Quoting these both together as the latter without the former makes things hard to parse.

I don't understand the bolded bit here. "Developing (and then using) your personal style as a DM" doesn't happen in a vacuum. As @hawkeyefan says, the methodology that a system entails or a GM employs in handling action resolution (from situation/obstacle-framing, when to roll dice vs when to elide, how obstacle ratings/difficulty class come about, '# of obstacles/threats until a scene is resolved, how to deftly telegraph consequences) is a fundamental element of play. Its not just about "style" (end there) because "style (or approach)" yields the experience of the decision-space in each moment of play for players and, added up, the totality of the experience of playing a given game.

How is sound, clear instruction on the implications of various modes of handling the various parts of action resolution not pretty much paramount to any game's text on GMing?
 


You're the one insisting that there could be a formula that tells you exactly what impact a magic item has. How this would work, what it would look like, how to account for table variation? "Feedback!" That is ridiculous. It's a pipe dream, something that cannot work unless you have a much more constrained system and throw DM empowerment out the window.

We are not playing a board game or an MMO. There simply is no way to figure out how a specific magical item will affect a party because there are simply too many variables. A fair number of items will be relatively straightforward, a +2 weapon is better than a +1. But how much does a flaming rapier change? Is it in the hands of a rogue, a paladin or a fighter? What level are they? What are the PC's ability scores? A high level rogue with a 20 dex sees minimal difference in damage, a fighter is adding 3.5 average damage to every attack that hits, at higher levels and with action surge that could start to add up.

On the other hand, a DM that has a good idea of what their PCs are can have a decent grasp. If an item is more powerful than expected, which happens sometimes, they an change course the next game. I'm not pushing back against what you want as transparency because I think it's an inherently bad idea, I'm pushing back because what you want is impossible.
BUT it is perfectly possible for the GM to be absolutely sure that a particular set of restrictions on things like races, classes, items, etc. is going to do exactly a certain thing. I mean, you do realize that your argument here basically blows up ANY GM claim to be doing anything for any particular reason...
 

pemerton

Legend
How is sound, clear instruction on the implications of various modes of handling the various parts of action resolution not pretty much paramount to any game's text on GMing?
Only dictatorial game designers would impinge on the freedom of RPGers by actually giving advice on what to do.

(Unless they're Gygax. Then it's not being dictatorial, it's just "Gygaxian prose".)
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
I'll answer: no! The rule are sufficient for understanding what DC is and how to use it, but whether and when to do so openly or in secret has to do with developing your personal style as a DM.

But there’s no guidance on how to develop one’s style. That’s my point.

To me, that's the same as telling DMs whether or not they should role their dice in the open. For the record, I always give the DC in advance unless there's a plot reason why I can't, and the same for rolling dice in the open. But other DMs feel very strongly the other way on one or both counts, and they aren't wrong. For them.

A secondary guide book which explores different options would be fine, and that's kind of what I think the DMG should be. But it shouldn't tell you a right way or a wrong way.

I can’t stress any more how I’m not advocating for one specific right way on all things. I’m advocating for multiple options and an explanation of the pros and cons of each option.


Wait ... we go from "should the DM tell the players the target DC" to ... I don't have an answer?

That wasn’t the question I asked, no. I asked “What do the books tell us about this?” I am not advocating for one approach above any others.

The books offer no guidance. They literally do not describe the process beyond that the DM sets the DC. How the DC is communicated to the players and when? Nothing. It’s remarkable, really.

I do have an answer. It's personal preference. Some people like knowing the exact DC ahead of time, I don't. I feel like it's too gamist. But the thing is there is no one true way and what works for me may not work for another group. I also don't tell people monster's exact HP, or many other numbers although I will tell them the AC after a round or two because it speeds up the game. Again, there's no right or wrong way.

Dude… please stop with the one true way thing. I’m not advocating for one way. I’ll say it once more: I’m not saying there is one correct way.

The text should discuss the different ways and what they mean for the player experience.

Could they discuss it more like the do with The Role of the Dice section in the DMG? Sure. There are dozens of things they could discuss more. How many volumes do you want the DMG to be?

Just one. One that’s useful.

The Role of the Dice section is along the lines of what I’m talking about, except I’d want it to actually say something. I don’t think “some people like A, some like B, and some like both” is really useful without talking about what makes A or B likable, and so on.

I’m suggesting guidance with substance.

How is sound, clear instruction on the implications of various modes of handling the various parts of action resolution not pretty much paramount to any game's text on GMing?

I really don’t understand the resistance to this idea.

I can only come up with two possibilities. The first is that the folks who’ve been playing and DMing longest want the text to continue to cater to them. That it’s okay or even preferable that the books assume prior experience for the reader. I don’t know why anyone would want this, but it seems to possibly be the case.

The second possibility is one I hope isn’t the case, but which I just can’t dismiss. It’s that people DMing just want stuff to be vague and fuzzy so that they don’t have to adhere to any kind of standard of play. They get to do whatever they want without concern how the experience is for the players.
 

Oofta

Legend
BUT it is perfectly possible for the GM to be absolutely sure that a particular set of restrictions on things like races, classes, items, etc. is going to do exactly a certain thing. I mean, you do realize that your argument here basically blows up ANY GM claim to be doing anything for any particular reason...

That's a problem because ... why? That's kind of the point. Different groups can play the game differently.
 


Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top