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5E How Close do you stick with the Game As Written?

Do you play D&D as Written

  • Yes, I mostly stick to the core

    Votes: 84 64.6%
  • No, I change things in major ways

    Votes: 35 26.9%
  • Something else explained below

    Votes: 11 8.5%

  • Total voters
    130

Stormonu

Hero
Up until late 3E, I always tried to stick as close to RAW as I could, though looking back in 1E & 2E there were a lot of gray areas there weren't rules or they were very loose and needed some filling in.

When I stepped away from 3E to some other games for a bit, I started to realize I'd let myself be strait-jacketed by the system. With 5E, I very firmly find myself willing to go along with the rules as long as they meet my expectations, but the moment something seems out of whack I have no issue putting my foot down and saying "This is how we're going to do it, damned what the book says."

Likewise, through 3E I pretty much stuck to core items, rules and whatnot. Coming back to 5E, I'm back to my old pre-3E self and experimenting with everything, mostly as I feel it won't throw the whole thing out of whack if I tweak this or that. 3E very much had all sorts of unintended consequences when you changed things - or it was a lot of work. Don't have the same impressions with 5E, whether it's actual changes or I just don't care what I change nowadays.
 
I answered the poll from the perspective of my (ongoing) 4e campaign.

I use the rules mostly as written, with some minor tweaks eg one of the PCs is a Primordial Adept, and I adapted the examples given in the rulebook to design an elemental air-based theme for him.

I don't use the Nentir Vale setting, but I use the core cosmology and backstory pretty much as written. (For the prime material plane I'm using the old B/X module Night's Dark Terror.)

In the past, I've run Rolemaster games using Greyhawk and Oriental Adventures as settings. I tend to use what's written - that's the point of a pre-written campaign world.

In all my games I add to what's written, based on what seems like a good idea and what comes out of actual play. So I wouldn't expect my Greyhawk, or Kozakura, or coming Dusk War, to be identical to anyone elses.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Most things are run as written, but I am willing to make exceptions and have them run as close to the core rules as possible. We have a half-gnoll paladin who is the son of the player's character in our last campaign.
 

The_Gneech

Villager
So far pretty much RAW, but we've only just started with a new game system. Hacks will come as the need arises, I'm sure. My players tend to want their special snowflake status. ;)

-The Gneech :cool:
 
I answered the poll from the perspective of my (ongoing) 4e campaign.

I use the rules mostly as written, with some minor tweaks eg one of the PCs is a Primordial Adept, and I adapted the examples given in the rulebook to design an elemental air-based theme for him.

I don't use the Nentir Vale setting, but I use the core cosmology and backstory pretty much as written. (For the prime material plane I'm using the old B/X module Night's Dark Terror.)

In the past, I've run Rolemaster games using Greyhawk and Oriental Adventures as settings. I tend to use what's written - that's the point of a pre-written campaign world.

In all my games I add to what's written, based on what seems like a good idea and what comes out of actual play. So I wouldn't expect my Greyhawk, or Kozakura, or coming Dusk War, to be identical to anyone elses.
This is almost exactly what I'm talking about.
 

Prism

Villager
One of my frustrations with 4e is that (due to reliance on the character builder) it's really hard for me to house rule magic items and player character class abilities. It's nice to have that freedom back.
I felt that our group had the same issue. We gravitated towards the character builder and iplay4e because it seemed so easy but then struggled with any real form of house ruled customization. Now maybe that was a failing of us (and possibly the digital tools too) rather than the edition. We could have gone back to pen and paper but at the time we were too invested in the tools

With 5e we have already introduced a couple of house rules and done some class customization much like we used to in the past. I can't put my finger on why it feels 'right' to do so and we didn't in the last edition. Secretly I am quite glad that DungeonScape didn't arrive as it was looking a bit rigid for me yet I know our group probably would have gone that route out of laziness
 
In 3e, I mostly stick to the core. It's already a very complex game, and adding house rules almost invariably adds more complexity, which is really not what I want.

5e appears to be a much lighter game, and as such I won't feel the need to avoid house rules to the same extent. Especially if it is indeed a modular design - I could well see myself designing a small campaign-specific module to use.

Having said that, I've barely had a chance to run 5e, and want to run it as-is a bit before using too many house rules. And, sadly, I have no expectation that I'll get to run it again for quite some time. :(
 

aramis erak

Explorer
As it sits, I try to run as close as possible, but... I don't always get it right.
In play, I don't worry about whether I got it right, but if I get it wrong, I respect and accept being corrected by players...
 

Wolfskin

Villager
I play it was written unless I have a reason to change stuff. I don't like to change rules for change's sake.
 

SilentBoba

Villager
The only thing I'm certain of changing at this point is the Skill & Background system: I say "thing" and not "things" because I want to integrate the two more closely as 13th Age does backgrounds: basically each character can have a primary background that allows them two areas of interest (a skill, toolkit or language) and also the chance to argue that their background would be useful for a skill check outside those named areas of interest. If they make the case (and probably fill in an amusing bit of backstory in the process) then they can add half their proficiency to a skill check toward which they normally wouldn't gain any proficiency. Then the PC can have either a third area of interest, or a completely separate Secondary Background (a different vocation they dabbled in, for instance) that allows no named areas of interest but still gives the half proficiency if they make a case. 13th Age allows you to put points into Backgrounds, and then functions as I described above for letting the player make a case for their PC to have knowledge of a task, at which point they get a bonus up to the number of points in that background. I wanted to synthesize the two approaches, since I think it's quite possible for a person to have some diversity in their backstory, or else quite a bit of focused knowledge.

I may write up this houserule as a separate post in more detail so folks here can help me refine it.
 

Jan van Leyden

Villager
Usually starting out with RAW and making rulings when deemed necessary.

Reals hosue rules are a rare case, because our campaigns tend to be long running (5+ years), nobody really likes to discuss this stuff, and I'm way too lazy to write down and organize lots of house rules. What house rules do exist is mostly on a strategic/meta level: level for new/replacement characters, xp and level progression, and so on.
 

Ragmon

Explorer
Well I house ruled a lot of things, mainly all of the 5E rules, and imported 3.5's rules. Simply put we are playing 3.5 after we tried 5E since it came out.

IMO, just like 4e would have been called D&D: Tactics, 5E should have been called D&D: Lets learn the basics before we move one to something more... interesting.

PS: Yea, yea, I have a negative opinion of 5E.

To normally respond
Functions we added:
- Flanking
- Charge
- No full healing after 8 hour rest.
- We automatically used the customize option for backgrounds, instead of just taking backgrounds, thus creating out own.
- 3.5 magic items.
- Can't think of any other thing ATM.

IMO without house rules 5E is frustrating due to the fact that it lacks a lot of functions that just about every other TTRPG has integrated in their system (see above).
 

DMZ2112

Chaotic Looseleaf
For me, as a dungeon master, the name of the game is describing the widest possible field of options while deviating from the core rules as little as possible.

Case in point, my D&D5 Dragonlance conversion. I don't even like calling it a conversion; I'm just adapting the D&D5 rules to fit the setting elements of Dragonlance. Tinkers needed a new background, so I wrote one. The handler needed a new rogue archetype, so I designed one. But the Wizard of High Sorcery is not substantially different than the wizard as described in the D&D5 PHB (nor is it intended to be), so why fudge? Similarly, the Knight of Solamnia is easily represented by existing multiclassing rules and the Krynnish half-ogre fills the same niche as the core half-orc.

This also makes it very easy for my players; fewer things to remember beyond what's in the PHB. I am very excited that D&D5 is flexible enough to let me do these things without tremendous effort. If I am making sweeping changes to the rules I might as well write my own RPG, and if the rules of the RPG are so terrible that I can't make extensive use of them then I need to find another game.
 

TerraDave

5ever
Through 2E, 3E, 4E....there was a tendency to make the system tighter and tighter, make things feel less optional and present a clearer default to the DM.

5E definitely reverses that, and in some ways does make the question a more interesting one. If I say no dragonborn as PCs, is that not "RAW"? What if I say no feats or multiclassing? If we have a whole "core" rule book about making your own worlds, own cosmos, own adventures, is that D&D as written?
 

Henrix

Villager
The rules I mostly use as is. A few houserules, rate of healing, traits for other stuff than characters, as well as minor stuff as it comes along and it fits better in the story if it works in a different way just then.

Settingwise, no. I change stuff at will, sometimes to keep my players on their toes.
 

the Jester

Legend
There's a lot of range between RAW and "No, I make major changes".

I fall into a "RAW with a few house rules and lots of custom options" category not represented by the poll.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I am not running a 5e game right now, but I am considering one in the nearish future. So, my answer is based on my usual approach to games....

If I have to make huge changes to a rule set, I usually go looking for a different rule set. So, the actual rules will stay mostly intact.

However, I don't feel the presence of a particular monster in the world, or PC race, or a class, to be "rules" - they are more setting elements. If no player is interested in a given PHB race at game start, they may not be present in the world. Monsters don't really exist until I use them in an adventure, or mention them in setting.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
There's a lot of range between RAW and "No, I make major changes".

I fall into a "RAW with a few house rules and lots of custom options" category not represented by the poll.
True. I thought so, as well. Probably why the No's are lagging so far behind.
 
There's a lot of range between RAW and "No, I make major changes".

I fall into a "RAW with a few house rules and lots of custom options" category not represented by the poll.
I don't consider adding options as a major change; a few new feats our spells doesn't really change the game. A major change is something that replaces, rather than augments, the core game.
 

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