D&D 5E Evil characters material not going to be in the PHB

Should evil character material be in the PHB or out?

  • All of it or as much as possible should be in the PHB

    Votes: 51 33.8%
  • A mix: some of it in the PHB, some of it in the DMG

    Votes: 35 23.2%
  • All of it or as much as possible should be in the DMG

    Votes: 65 43.0%

Cybit

First Post
Regarding evil: Maybe a line or two, but no need to dwell on it in the PHB. Outside of 1E, it historically has gotten pretty much little to no mention in the PHB.

Keeping the PHB small: I think part of our problem (as veteran gamers) is that we have no idea how ridiculous it is for someone who has never played a D&D or tabletop game before to try to enter any current D&D-esque RPG. Next needs to be a gateway game for those who have never played D&D before to be able to enter, and a 500 page core book doesn't do that.

I've been running a 4E game (started as PF) for a group of 8-12 year old kids at the LGS, and while Pathfinder is a fantastic system, it is absolutely terrible for getting kids initially into tabletop. Only through massive handholding was I able to even get them into it a little, and we ended up switching to 4E. They've been playing 4E for months and I am pretty sure they don't really understand the game.

We need a game for beginners to get into this hobby. We can't keep just catering to ourselves, otherwise this hobby will end with us. I am hopeful D&D Next is that game.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Totally disagree. "Lawful stupid" is a D&D phenomenon. In the real world, we can see puritanical zealotry for what it is. Sure paladins would have their fans, but most people would know better.

Lawful stupid paladins are as much a DM's fault as a player's. A DM should force an alignment change (after warning a player) if a paladin isn't actually being played in accordance with his alignment. In 3e or prior, that means he is no longer a paladin. So yeah, a DM has to have a grasp that "lawful stupid isn't good." I don't think that should be too hard to figure out with some sort of reasonable guidance for newbies.
 

Regarding evil: Maybe a line or two, but no need to dwell on it in the PHB. Outside of 1E, it historically has gotten pretty much little to no mention in the PHB.

Keeping the PHB small: I think part of our problem (as veteran gamers) is that we have no idea how ridiculous it is for someone who has never played a D&D or tabletop game before to try to enter any current D&D-esque RPG. Next needs to be a gateway game for those who have never played D&D before to be able to enter, and a 500 page core book doesn't do that.

I've been running a 4E game (started as PF) for a group of 8-12 year old kids at the LGS, and while Pathfinder is a fantastic system, it is absolutely terrible for getting kids initially into tabletop. Only through massive handholding was I able to even get them into it a little, and we ended up switching to 4E. They've been playing 4E for months and I am pretty sure they don't really understand the game.

We need a game for beginners to get into this hobby. We can't keep just catering to ourselves, otherwise this hobby will end with us. I am hopeful D&D Next is that game.

5e will have a Red Box style "basic" version of the game. Mike Mearls has said this on multiple occasions. It will include all you need to play up to at least 10th level. Options will be reduced (4 classes and races, baked in subclasses, no feats) but will use exactly the same rules framework as the standard game, and will be directly importable.

The PHB will present the players' information for the "standard" game. The standard game is going to have everything you would have found in the 2e or 3e PHB and more. There is no good excuse for simplifying the options in the standard game, because there is already going to be an easy-entry option--the standard game isn't designed for that purpose.
 



pemerton

Legend
It's not modern morality, it's more similar to ancient morality (though not an exact replica of that morality). It's more similar to Beowulf morality, Gilgamesh morality, and Odysseus morality. It's got something in common with the morality of Arabian Nights, Siegfried in the Nibelung, and King Arthur.

Given that context, it's just not as complicated as some are making it. You kill the monsters. You trick the wicked. You respect the dead. There isn't a whole lot of struggle in the shades of gray, and it's a lot more black and white than modern concepts of morality.
I agree, but I think that this then puts some limits around scenario design that aren't always respected. For instance, if you give the PCs the technical capacity to cure large-scale suffering, and then frame situations where large scale suffering could be averted but only via boring non-adventuring stuff (eg digging wells, innoculating against measles) you put that sort of moral code under pressure that it can't really bear.

Gygax made a mistake along these lines in his DMG by framing "good" in terms of human rights - a notion that already is at odds with ancient morality, for instance because of its claims about universality of dignity and denial of the moral significance of status - and then giving us a game which purports to somewhat realistically model kings, serfs and the like.

I think Tolkien does a better job in LotR - we have the romantic trappings of kings and peasants, but no slave markets, no economy to speak of, and hence a canvass on which we can engage with situations in terms of ancient morality without too much jarring against the expectations of contemporary morality. (Contrast REH's Conan, which is clearly written from a modernist perspective and doesn't particularly embrace ancient morality. An RPG that really approached scenarios REH style could be expected to give rise to serious moral discussion and potential disagreement among participants.)
 

I agree, but I think that this then puts some limits around scenario design that aren't always respected. For instance, if you give the PCs the technical capacity to cure large-scale suffering, and then frame situations where large scale suffering could be averted but only via boring non-adventuring stuff (eg digging wells, innoculating against measles) you put that sort of moral code under pressure that it can't really bear.

Gygax made a mistake along these lines in his DMG by framing "good" in terms of human rights - a notion that already is at odds with ancient morality, for instance because of its claims about universality of dignity and denial of the moral significance of status - and then giving us a game which purports to somewhat realistically model kings, serfs and the like.

I think Tolkien does a better job in LotR - we have the romantic trappings of kings and peasants, but no slave markets, no economy to speak of, and hence a canvass on which we can engage with situations in terms of ancient morality without too much jarring against the expectations of contemporary morality. (Contrast REH's Conan, which is clearly written from a modernist perspective and doesn't particularly embrace ancient morality. An RPG that really approached scenarios REH style could be expected to give rise to serious moral discussion and potential disagreement among participants.)
One to three people with shovels can dig a well in nearly any terrain, provided a source of water is located and at a depth that does not require mining equipment. As a 1st-level Commoner in a D&D world, I would be more concerned that the 20th-level fighter kill the red dragon snacking on people and livestock in the area. And, should a town need the location of a source of water, Locate Object costs 150 gold pieces and, provided other remuneration (such as long-term payment, the building of a church, civil service as taxes or simple charity) cannot be worked out, is within the purchase price of a village without straining their resources. With strain on resources, and entirely by RAW (actual wealth will be higher), a Thorp of seventy-five people can afford such a spell, albeit barely.

As for inoculating against measles, a wand of Cure Disease, 50 Charges, costs 11,250 and is affordable at a moderate strain in resources by a populace barely large enough to qualify as a small town.
 

GreyLord

Legend
Lawful stupid paladins are as much a DM's fault as a player's. A DM should force an alignment change (after warning a player) if a paladin isn't actually being played in accordance with his alignment. In 3e or prior, that means he is no longer a paladin. So yeah, a DM has to have a grasp that "lawful stupid isn't good." I don't think that should be too hard to figure out with some sort of reasonable guidance for newbies.

That would be great if it happened all the time.

Unfortunately for Ansalon, Tracy forgot that Lawful Stupid wasn't good, and hence Krynn got stoned (like literally).
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Regarding "evil" content: throw it in. Throw it all in and let the individual tables/games/DMs/players sort it out.

Regarding page count: there's a little game called Pathfinder that seems to be doing well enough these days, yet its basic rulebook is big enough and heavy enough to kill bears with. If it applies to players it should be in the PH (the question of exactly *what* applies to players vis-a-vis DMs e.g. magic item prices etc. is another thing entirely) and if it's well done people will buy it regardless of size.

Regarding evil characters: I love 'em! As both player and DM if someone brings in a nasty character my usual first thought is "hey, this could be entertaining, let's see where it goes" while if someone brings in a paladin or other goody-two-shoes type my first thought usually "the boredom quotient of this game just went up".

Regarding party infighting: it happens. Have fun with it! And if you're the DM when an in-party brawl breaks out don't get upset that your story has stalled for a while; instead just sit back and enjoy the entertainment... :) (the trick, of course, is to make sure you invite players who are mature enough and with-it enough to be able to whale on each other in the game and laugh it off outside it)

Lan-"the boring part comes later when your lawful characters start suing each other to settle differences"-efan
 
Last edited:

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top