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D&D 5E FeeFiFoFum *splat* goes the giants

HammerMan

Explorer
Exactly, that's were codifying encounters for computation is bound to fail in 5e. 4e, which went further than any previous editions simplified this by having maps where starting positions were indicated, which meant that a number of DMs teleported characters and monsters on the map to the starting positions when combat started so that the conditions were as standard as possible. I'm not criticising that approach, but even in that case, initiative coud mean quite a bit of swinginess even before all the other dices started rolling.
citation needed

I have played adventure league the entire time it was open, and I ran/playesd and played 4e from playtest through playtest and into the first year of 5e. not once have I seen this happen or even heard of it.
 

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HammerMan

Explorer
The thing is that none of these factors are linear, and that some will matter in some fights more than in others, so in the end, while a few examples in a side bar might be interesting, they could also be misleading.

I was in no way saying my math was 100% or that my wording was the best (no one is hiring me to write RPGs) I am saying more detail is needed and gave a quick example. again I think you need multi axises to properly balance (4e used a level and a type and I think even that didn't go far enough)

both the monster detail needs a bit more, and the encounter building needs a bit more.
 

Stalker0

Legend
maybe next time read the whole thing before you respond... you quoted my "Hit like" and ignored my "Under damage and less HP" you HIT aka have the + to hit like those levels.

example: If your party has a + magic item to hit remember they are hitting like a party multi levels (+1 prof) higher would. a +3 sword on a 3rd level character makes them hit as often as a 20th level PC with no items.
I didn’t ignore it, but I felt like the example was trying to imply a combat equivalency that does not exist. To hit doesn’t actually mean anything in combat (at least for a fighter), it’s just a piece of the puzzle:

to hit x damage x number of attacks.

in a thread talking about how magic items effect encounter difficulty, a +3 item has a definite impact, but not nearly that to a +17 level gap.

and if we really want to get technical…the to hit is still not even equal. A 20th fighter certainly has +2 more strength and has a +6 prof bonus over +2, so with a +3 sword the 3rd level character is still -2 attack.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
citation needed

I have played adventure league the entire time it was open, and I ran/playesd and played 4e from playtest through playtest and into the first year of 5e. not once have I seen this happen or even heard of it.

What do you mean "citation needed" ? It has happened to me personally with 2 different DMs, because when you have maps like the one below, the DM just said "OK, combat starts" and put the figurines in one of the of the grid cells in the area of the right, where, in his scenario, it says "start here".

M2.jpg

M.jpg


To them, it was mostly a combat game, and it did not really matter how you played and what you did before, as soon as the doors were touched or some noise was made, it was "push your miniature on the map and roll dices" time.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I was in no way saying my math was 100% or that my wording was the best (no one is hiring me to write RPGs) I am saying more detail is needed and gave a quick example. again I think you need multi axises to properly balance (4e used a level and a type and I think even that didn't go far enough)

both the monster detail needs a bit more, and the encounter building needs a bit more.

That is debatable and debated, lacking these details did not prevent 5e from being the most successful TTRPG ever, so I don't think that there is a "need". Some DMs might appreciate a bit more help, understood, but as this current discussion shows, there are probably more opinions than there are DMs, and it is so dependent on the circumstances that it is, like everything in 5e, up to the DM to customise it. You can't be a DM in 5e like you were in 4e where everything was pre-chewed for you, it's the nature of a much more open game, you need to learn the ropes and how to fill in the blanks.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
There are many ways to play the game, some people like combat more than anything, and the challenge, etc. 4e in particular appealed to them because it was very organised and balanced, and the rules were clear, which allowed them to really optimise their tactics. And the good side of the coin was that the encounters were much easier to calibrate.

Not my type of game, but as I say, it's a very rich game full of possibilities.
some would say that this strict organization would strangle it out of possibilities. Are you familiar with combat as sport vs combat as war as a gaming concept?
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
some would say that this strict organization would strangle it out of possibilities. Are you familiar with combat as sport vs combat as war as a gaming concept?

The fact is that it is not really the way I enjoy playing D&D, but when saddled with an edition that has this as a design intent and friends who enjoy it (as well as roleplaying, it's not incompatible, just, as you say, constrained), you play it, and still somewhat enjoy it.

But I'm not judging, you will find people even on these forums who will explain that the constraining forces the creativity, that creativity is enhanced by constraints. My view is like yours, that it strangles it, at best it allows it but forcing it along very specific channels.

These are the same people who want the same type of game out of 5e, and are really frustrated by the fuzzy rules supported by plain language instead of jargon, and the "DM's rulings over rules" concept.

I honestly don't care, to each his own and all playstyles are valid if you enjoy them, it's just that some editions are much more suitable to certain playstyles.

And coming back to this thread, this is why, with 5e combat not being designed for that type of game, it makes it harder to create a fool-proof encounter calculator. The monsters' powers are fuzzy, the situations and characters ability are fuzzy, the possibilities are much greater, the game is more open. For me, it makes it more suitable to a very open game, and less for one where encounters are calibrated as a technical challenge, that's all.
 

some would say that this strict organization would strangle it out of possibilities. Are you familiar with combat as sport vs combat as war as a gaming concept?
Right, so some people liked it and some didn't. That's what he said above.

Nothing wrong with Combat as Sport (or Combat as Performance), and it still allows for just as much creative play. It's just a different set of constraints to be creative within.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Right, so some people liked it and some didn't. That's what he said above.

Nothing wrong with Combat as Sport (or Combat as Performance), and it still allows for just as much creative play. It's just a different set of constraints to be creative within.

Exactly, just so that you know, the 3e design intent was recently shared, and it did not come up as a surprise to me that one of the intents was to make the game "competitive", and I'll take any bet that this was even more one of the design intent of 4e. On the other hand, in my opinion, 5e has clearly reverted to the really collaborative / casual style of play.

I think it's good overall, that everyone has something to play with and that the hobby is so varied, as long as some people don't try to enforce that their way of playing the game is obviously the one true way and superior to the others.
 

Exactly, just so that you know, the 3e design intent was recently shared, and it did not come up as a surprise to me that one of the intents was to make the game "competitive", and I'll take any bet that this was even more one of the design intent of 4e. On the other hand, in my opinion, 5e has clearly reverted to the really collaborative / casual style of play.

I think it's good overall, that everyone has something to play with and that the hobby is so varied, as long as some people don't try to enforce that their way of playing the game is obviously the one true way and superior to the others.
Near as I can tell, 5e was designed to sort-of support all three. Certainly they wanted CaS and CaW to both work, which meant dialing back some of the balancing stuff and adding fuzzier skill checks (compared to 3e and 4e) to make CaW work better... but playing lose with those rules, while keeping stuff refluffable, and bringing down the base difficulty, made Combat as Performance very easy to handle as well.

It all goes back to 5e trying to be a jack-of-all-editions game, and largely succeeding.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
That is debatable and debated, lacking these details did not prevent 5e from being the most successful TTRPG ever, so I don't think that there is a "need". Some DMs might appreciate a bit more help, understood, but as this current discussion shows, there are probably more opinions than there are DMs, and it is so dependent on the circumstances that it is, like everything in 5e, up to the DM to customise it. You can't be a DM in 5e like you were in 4e where everything was pre-chewed for you, it's the nature of a much more open game, you need to learn the ropes and how to fill in the blanks.

If DMs need help or explanation of how to run the game there are a ton of resources. Blogs, podcasts, how-to videos. Some of this could have been included in the core books, but there's no way to have enough page count to even begin to match a fraction of the advice on rule implementation and guidance that's available with a simple google search. In addition, any advice would have been taken as official "this is how you're supposed to run the game" and we'd be arguing about that.

It's impossible to come up with blanket rules for every group in a game as flexible as 5E. It's why we have "rulings over rules".
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Near as I can tell, 5e was designed to sort-of support all three. Certainly they wanted CaS and CaW to both work, which meant dialing back some of the balancing stuff and adding fuzzier skill checks (compared to 3e and 4e) to make CaW work better... but playing lose with those rules, while keeping stuff refluffable, and bringing down the base difficulty, made Combat as Performance very easy to handle as well.

It all goes back to 5e trying to be a jack-of-all-editions game, and largely succeeding.

Thanks for this, I admit that I was not that familiar about the CaS / CaW duality, and you were right to add in Combat as Performance, although I did not find references to that.

The fact is that, in our campaigns, while some fights are calibrated (CaS I suppose), it's overall extremely open, and some fights will be a cakewalk (maybe because of preparation), whereas others are not intended to be fought, and if it happens, it means defeat. But in any case, we are not that serious about it, it's mostly an element of the story.
 

HammerMan

Explorer
What do you mean "citation needed" ? It has happened to me personally with 2 different DMs, because when you have maps like the one below, the DM just said "OK, combat starts" and put the figurines in one of the of the grid cells in the area of the right, where, in his scenario, it says "start here".

View attachment 145210
View attachment 145209

To them, it was mostly a combat game, and it did not really matter how you played and what you did before, as soon as the doors were touched or some noise was made, it was "push your miniature on the map and roll dices" time.
a number of DMs teleported characters and monsters on the map

is not the same as "I had a DM do it once"

also isn't that "start here" on the stairs... I would assume it is meant to be the entrance, so that is a REALLY bad example.
 

HammerMan

Explorer
That is debatable and debated, lacking these details did not prevent 5e from being the most successful TTRPG ever, so I don't think that there is a "need". Some DMs might appreciate a bit more help, understood, but as this current discussion shows, there are probably more opinions than there are DMs, and it is so dependent on the circumstances that it is, like everything in 5e, up to the DM to customise it. You can't be a DM in 5e like you were in 4e where everything was pre-chewed for you, it's the nature of a much more open game, you need to learn the ropes and how to fill in the blanks.
so your argument against improvement is "We did fine without it"

god could you imagine that argument when the tolet was invented...I mean out houses did fine.

could you imagine that argument when seat belts, airbags, glasses, just about anything that improves something was being discussed...

unless your argument is "5e is perfect and needs no changes ever" your argument holds no water (but I notice the dig at 4e being 'prechewed' instead of balanced and informed)

what would improving the encounter designs mess up for you? what would make the game worse about having MORE information?
 

HammerMan

Explorer
The fact is that it is not really the way I enjoy playing D&D, but when saddled with an edition that has this as a design intent and friends who enjoy it (as well as roleplaying, it's not incompatible, just, as you say, constrained), you play it, and still somewhat enjoy it.

But I'm not judging, you will find people even on these forums who will explain that the constraining forces the creativity, that creativity is enhanced by constraints. My view is like yours, that it strangles it, at best it allows it but forcing it along very specific channels.

These are the same people who want the same type of game out of 5e, and are really frustrated by the fuzzy rules supported by plain language instead of jargon, and the "DM's rulings over rules" concept.

I honestly don't care, to each his own and all playstyles are valid if you enjoy them, it's just that some editions are much more suitable to certain playstyles.

And coming back to this thread, this is why, with 5e combat not being designed for that type of game, it makes it harder to create a fool-proof encounter calculator. The monsters' powers are fuzzy, the situations and characters ability are fuzzy, the possibilities are much greater, the game is more open. For me, it makes it more suitable to a very open game, and less for one where encounters are calibrated as a technical challenge, that's all.
hey we could even have a sport/war discussion IN a Guide for DMs that allows them to decide how they want to run there games with guidelines for both (I personally would mix and match)
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
a number of DMs teleported characters and monsters on the map

is not the same as "I had a DM do it once"

No, two DMs did it consistently at our tables, and I saw it be done in clubs on multiple occasions. Even if your experience is wider than mine (I sort of doubt it in general, but why not), does this mean that it has to be the same ?

also isn't that "start here" on the stairs... I would assume it is meant to be the entrance, so that is a REALLY bad example.

Nonetheless, it's what happened, and honestly, show me maps from other editions where the entrance is labelled "start here" ? This is designed to be a combat game (amongst other things) much more than any other edition, and some people played it as such. Surprised ?
 

HammerMan

Explorer
If DMs need help or explanation of how to run the game there are a ton of resources. Blogs, podcasts, how-to videos. Some of this could have been included in the core books, but there's no way to have enough page count to even begin to match a fraction of the advice on rule implementation and guidance that's available with a simple google search. In addition, any advice would have been taken as official "this is how you're supposed to run the game" and we'd be arguing about that.

It's impossible to come up with blanket rules for every group in a game as flexible as 5E. It's why we have "rulings over rules".
my suggestion is a ground up redesign of what book is what... take epic stuff out for later (like they would ever balance that at start) take 3/4 the magic items out (they are optional anyway) replace that with advice (or a guide) on how to DM.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
so your argument against improvement is "We did fine without it"

No, my argument is "millions of people are doing fine without it", and everything that you propose is highly debatable in terms of influence.

You are confusing quantity with quality. More is not necessarily better, keeping things simple and streamlined is a great quality too.

unless your argument is "5e is perfect and needs no changes ever" your argument holds no water (but I notice the dig at 4e being 'prechewed' instead of balanced and informed)

Did I ever day that 5e was perfect ? Certainly not, but if you're looking for areas of improvement, there are other people on this thread telling you that it's not necessarily the place to start.

As for 4e, yes, it is balanced and I have said it on multiple occasions, as for "informed" I have no idea what it means in this context, but it is certain that the other side of the coin that says "balanced and controlled" is "rigid and constrained". Once more, there is no perfect system, only systems better suited for some types of game, although of course you can choose to override that, my opinion is that it just takes more effort.

what would improving the encounter designs mess up for you? what would make the game worse about having MORE information?

Yes, because it could have people make more mistakes like thinking that some things do have influence where there are none. What is certain is that the more you put, the more meat there is for people who want to ruleslawyer it and find defects anyway.

And I've said it's not a bad idea, it just needs careful consideration about what you mention there.
 

HammerMan

Explorer
No, two DMs did it consistently at our tables, and I saw it be done in clubs on multiple occasions. Even if your experience is wider than mine (I sort of doubt it in general, but why not), does this mean that it has to be the same ?



Nonetheless, it's what happened, and honestly, show me maps from other editions where the entrance is labelled "start here" ? This is designed to be a combat game (amongst other things) much more than any other edition, and some people played it as such. Surprised ?
start here and enter here are not really different, so no I wont be going back to look for maps that are labled or not.

and forget "my experience' "your experience" do you REALLY believe that if you asked right now in a 4e thread that 1/2 the people who like 4e would say that is there experience? how about 1/3? 10% maybe? less then 5%? and no I am not asking you to do it... I am asking what you believe (Purely your thoughts). or, do you think that the 4e fan base would be no more or less likely to have this experience then any other edition? The important part here can be tricky because I said people who like (aka fans) because an argument can be made that people that had your experience did not like the game and people who had mine did.

However before declaiming it a "Combat Game" think about it this way... every edition (at least since 1993 when I started playing) has had more rules for combat then any other part of the game.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
hey we could even have a sport/war discussion IN a Guide for DMs that allows them to decide how they want to run there games with guidelines for both (I personally would mix and match)
In a sense, it's already there, possibly not with the level of detail or the specific orientation that you want, but remember that for me, more is not necessarily better. It's really hard to touch on so many concepts without making the whole book hard to read for newbies, whereas experienced gamers can certainly find a lot of information in their memories or how to integrate knowledge from outside sources like the web...
 

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