D&D General Hot Take: D&D Has Not Recovered From 2E to 3.0 Transition

Too true. Odds are fairly good that your insurance company or bank still has COBOL code that was originally written in the 70s. Frequently it's code that nobody really understands so they can't replace it. :oops:
I spent a year working for a water company helping migrate data... this was in 2015ish and the program we were moving to was SAP... the one it was coming from though was made in the early 70's... it was being run through an emulator on a windows 95 platform that emulated some old version of dos... the reason I had that job was the guy who upkept the system was leaving the state and as such no one knew how to update it.
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
It depends, but not necessarily. Languages may rise and fall in popularity, but they don't really get outdated. Programming concepts, like functional/OOP programming and patterns don't get outdated.

Plus, a lot of outdated code still sees use to this day due to legacy projects, many of which need to be maintained.


Sorry should have been more clear. Without that maintenance though they crash and burn?
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Sorry should have been more clear. Without that maintenance though they crash and burn?
Potentially. Typically, not right away.

Let's assume a hypothetical user is running their software in Windows. Each time Microsoft makes a change, it may crash and burn. It probably won't fail the day after you have no one to support it (that'd be either bad luck or sabotage), but it's generally a matter of when, rather than if.

The user might be able to roll back the Windows update, but that entails its own issues. Just missing out on standard security updates can leave a machine increasingly vulnerable to malicious action. It's not like you can typically opt out of that one update; if you avoid the update that breaks your software you usually have to skip all subsequent updates.
 

Staffan

Legend
To me this is a feature. I see it as part of strategy preparing for the battle. If a team is well equipped they can punch above their weight. I am not saying level 1 newbs should be able to take out a full grown dragon; but an ogre that falls upon them? I like this and systems like PF2 make it impossible because of level. Not saying the math is perfect, I think it can be tweaked, but I don't like level invulnerability because its higher. YMMV.
Yes and no. I think punching above your weight because you prepared well and prepared just the right silver bullet spell or brought the right gear is fine. For example, in one game I was running the PCs were fighting an aboleth in a cavern filled with water to a depth somewhere between 30 and 40 feet. My plan was to have the aboleth do hit-and-run attacks with psychic nonsense and slimey tentacles and such, and really making a nuisance of itself and forcing the PCs to either play whack-a-mole with it or go underwater.

Then the cleric cast control water, lowering the water in the area by 40 feet. So now there's nowhere for the aboleth to swim, and it's limited to its land movement rate of 5 ft. Made the whole thing a lot easier by letting the melee characters just walk up to the abomination and filet it.

But things like hold person and Tasha's hideous laughter are a bit too widely usable to fit in the silver bullet category. They're just cheap.

Too true. Odds are fairly good that your insurance company or bank still has COBOL code that was originally written in the 70s. Frequently it's code that nobody really understands so they can't replace it. :oops:
dependency.png
 

Jaeger

That someone better
Kind of amazing how some companies think reducing head count will automatically leads to more profit. Someone has to do the work to build or support their products.

In my personal experience much of that has to do with a lot of managers largely having never having actually worked in the departments that they are put in charge of. (Lots of lateral moves of people with finance and business management degrees...)

Modern Corporations also do not value institutional knowledge, and see the employee payroll as a drag on profitability; instead of seeing good employee's as prime assets that can make the business thrive...
 

payn

Legend
Yes and no. I think punching above your weight because you prepared well and prepared just the right silver bullet spell or brought the right gear is fine. For example, in one game I was running the PCs were fighting an aboleth in a cavern filled with water to a depth somewhere between 30 and 40 feet. My plan was to have the aboleth do hit-and-run attacks with psychic nonsense and slimey tentacles and such, and really making a nuisance of itself and forcing the PCs to either play whack-a-mole with it or go underwater.

Then the cleric cast control water, lowering the water in the area by 40 feet. So now there's nowhere for the aboleth to swim, and it's limited to its land movement rate of 5 ft. Made the whole thing a lot easier by letting the melee characters just walk up to the abomination and filet it.

But things like hold person and Tasha's hideous laughter are a bit too widely usable to fit in the silver bullet category. They're just cheap.
A lot of it is perspective. The control water sounds like your creature was foiled by good planning. The hideous laughter, hold person, garden variety SOD tend to be a little too clutch. I certainly wouldn't mind adjusting them so they were two tier. Above half HP (before bloodied) the spell is a nuisance or applies heavy damage. Under half HP (bloodied) the spell becomes SOD. I think this allows both sides of the field a chance to adjust tactics in order to survive and stop the fight from ending instantly.

Though, I certainly do not want to nerf spells to combat crosswbows. By that I mean spells that only work in a death by thousand papercuts fight. I dont want to drag out fights, and I dont want to force my monsters cool tactics on the PCs without any recourse besides their rapid papercut deployment. Finally, I especially dont want level bands that work as "must be this tall to fight this monster" in place. Im a straight up strategy over tactics guy and want these options to work accordingly. YMMV.
 

glass

(he, him)
Which, of course, is why they slashed the D&D staff to the bone over multiple rounds of layoffs, created a new edition, and shut down DDI. That's what big businesses do with things that make stupendous amounts of money.
They shut DDi down in January 2020, well after the period for which we had minimum figures and well past the end of 4e as current edition. Nobody thinks it was still making massive money into the 5e era, but it was making enough that they kept it going for 5.5 years. Damn those inconvenient facts, getting in the way of your edition warring!
 
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Staffan

Legend
A lot of it is perspective. The control water sounds like your creature was foiled by good planning.
Right. It was totally fair (or at least unfair in a fair way) – it was just the right spell for just the right situation, so that's when I tip my hat to the player and start plotting revenge with my next batch of monsters.

The hideous laughter, hold person, garden variety SOD tend to be a little too clutch. I certainly wouldn't mind adjusting them so they were two tier. Above half HP (before bloodied) the spell is a nuisance or applies heavy damage. Under half HP (bloodied) the spell becomes SOD. I think this allows both sides of the field a chance to adjust tactics in order to survive and stop the fight from ending instantly.
I still think 13th age has the best solution to save-or-suck spells, where they are limited by hit points (and an implicit rule that you'll know if a target is valid). That also gives you another "knob" when balancing the spell – a save-or-die can have a lower hp threshold than save-or-flee.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Something similar happened to me. We were working on a big project to do revisions that it badly needed, they decided to do mass layoffs. Two weeks later they called me up and asked me if I wanted my old job back supporting the old system. Being an in-demand IT person, I didn't literally laugh out loud because but there was no way I was going back.

Kind of amazing how some companies think reducing head count will automatically leads to more profit. Someone has to do the work to build or support their products.

In any case, good luck and have fun learning!
They shut DDi down in January 2020, well after the period for which we had minimum figures and well past well past the end of 4e as current edition. Nobody thinks it was still making massive money into the 5e era, but it was making enough that they kept it going for 5.5 years. Damn those inconvenient facts, getting in the way of your edition warring!

My personal theory is the numbers on DDI slowly dwindled and/or the cost of maintaining it exceeded the benefits of running it. Software would have been a decade old or so in 2020.

Maybe both without maintenance code eventually starts to break afaik.
 

glass

(he, him)
My personal theory is the numbers on DDI slowly dwindled and/or the cost of maintaining it exceeded the benefits of running it. Software would have been a decade old or so in 2020.
My guess is that they had nobody left who knew how to fix it when it broke, so they shut it down before it did shut itself down. No way to know how much money it was making at that point, other than it was presumably less than at the peak but more than zero.
 


My guess is that they had nobody left who knew how to fix it when it broke, so they shut it down before it did shut itself down. No way to know how much money it was making at that point, other than it was presumably less than at the peak but more than zero.
the important point is it did infact shut down, something important to remember when thinking about trusting WotC with a digital only purchase that is locked behind a severer.
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Yes and no. I think punching above your weight because you prepared well and prepared just the right silver bullet spell or brought the right gear is fine. For example, in one game I was running the PCs were fighting an aboleth in a cavern filled with water to a depth somewhere between 30 and 40 feet. My plan was to have the aboleth do hit-and-run attacks with psychic nonsense and slimey tentacles and such, and really making a nuisance of itself and forcing the PCs to either play whack-a-mole with it or go underwater.

Then the cleric cast control water, lowering the water in the area by 40 feet. So now there's nowhere for the aboleth to swim, and it's limited to its land movement rate of 5 ft. Made the whole thing a lot easier by letting the melee characters just walk up to the abomination and filet it.

But things like hold person and Tasha's hideous laughter are a bit too widely usable to fit in the silver bullet category. They're just cheap.
This seems to me is an issue with spell design in 5e extreme open ended control value and extreme versatility

Random person in Nebraska Raises his hand
 

Staffan

Legend
This seems to me is an issue with spell design in 5e extreme open ended control value and extreme versatility
Like I said in the other reply: I don't have a problem with control water. It's a narrow spell, and its use was timed perfectly. Well played. It's the more generally useful save-or-suck spells I have an issue with.
 

Voadam

Legend
This seems to me is an issue with spell design in 5e extreme open ended control value and extreme versatility
Clerics have always had open ended control and a lot of versatility.*

*(4e being the exception by limiting their spells/powers instead of choosing from everything any day).

By the end of 2e there were three 288 page volumes of the priest's spell compendium for clerics to choose spells from each game day.

I liked 3.5's Unearthed Arcana spontaneous divine caster alternate rules that gave them spells known like a sorcerer to give them more individuality in their daily powers but still broad scroll casting flexible opportunities.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
By the end of 2e there were three 288 page volumes of the priest's spell compendium for clerics to choose spells from each game day.
Did they have access to all of those spells, though? Because notwithstanding sphere access, I recall there being spell research rules for clerics, and I know I saw at least a few references to them finding old clerical spells on forgotten scrolls, tablets, etc. Which was weird to consider, because priests request their spells from their god, which means that their celestial/infernal patron is the one actually making and dispensing those spells; why do they have to be independently "invented" by different priests across the mortal world?
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Did they have access to all of those spells, though? Because notwithstanding sphere access, I recall there being spell research rules for clerics, and I know I saw at least a few references to them finding old clerical spells on forgotten scrolls, tablets, etc. Which was weird to consider, because priests request their spells from their god, which means that their celestial/infernal patron is the one actually making and dispensing those spells; why do they have to be independently "invented" by different priests across the mortal world?
As I recall it's less that they were invented, and more that, with prayer, meditation and offerings, you convince your deity to grant you the new spell. The Tome of Magic points out that Gods can have access to other Spheres and spells than those they normally grant, but in times of need or crisis, can suddenly grant access to their priests (this was done to explain the new Spheres printed in that book, as well as the existence of Quest spells that exceeded the normal power level of Clerical magic).
 


Voadam

Legend
Did they have access to all of those spells, though? Because notwithstanding sphere access, I recall there being spell research rules for clerics, and I know I saw at least a few references to them finding old clerical spells on forgotten scrolls, tablets, etc. Which was weird to consider, because priests request their spells from their god, which means that their celestial/infernal patron is the one actually making and dispensing those spells; why do they have to be independently "invented" by different priests across the mortal world?
As a default yes. If your game used the Tome of Magic or Prayers from the Faithful or the Compendiums that expanded the lists to choose from. Just like Unearthed Arcana added to the lists in 1e.

The compendium says that the standard rule is that clerics get everything but that a more useful rule is that PH spells are common and special spells are for research and that the DM is the ultimate arbiter of what's available and they recommend that clerics only get PH spells outside of special tomes or research.

Page 7:

"Players and DMs should be aware that while the standard rule is that priests have free access to all spells on their respective lists, a more useful ruling is to use all common spells in allowed spheres. This gives the maximum ability to the DM to reward players occasionally with new spells and to encourage magical research as a campaign activity. We highly recommend that additions to priest spell lists be allowed only through research or through the recovery of certain lost tomes.
The DM always decides whether a priesthood is allowed a spell if there is any question."

So there is support for a DM to differ from the standard rule, but the baseline is still there.
 

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