D&D 5E How complex do you like your character creation process?

How complex do you like your character creation process?

  • 1. Super simple. Even 5E's streamlined process is too much.

    Votes: 11 11.5%
  • 2. Simple. 5E's streamlined process fits me well and I use it.

    Votes: 8 8.3%
  • 3. Standard. 5E's typical process, with choices I can think about, is enough.

    Votes: 31 32.3%
  • 4. More. I like 5E's process, but I think we could have some more choices.

    Votes: 28 29.2%
  • 5. Mega-More. I find 5E's process unsatisfying and I want a lot more choices!

    Votes: 11 11.5%
  • 6. Other. Please explain in your post.

    Votes: 7 7.3%

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
For myself: more. It's part of the reason one of my groups switched to PF2.

But for the game as a whole, I wish it was more variable. Some classes (or at least subclasses) should be pretty much plug-and-play - you're a champion, you're good to go.
There are a few of those - like the psi warrior is a bit like a battlemaster with all the maneuvers chosen for you already.
 

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There are a few of those - like the psi warrior is a bit like a battlemaster with all the maneuvers chosen for you already.
The problem with this in 5e is that it's pretty close to a "Wizards rule, fighters drool" situation. The battlemaster doesn't have any choices that aren't available at level 3, and they're the most flexible fighter-type. Meanwhile there aren't really prebuilt casters (possibly the Soulknife)
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I don't think I'd want to see D&D go that way tbh but there is game space there. I'd want much shorter games; Japanese style single long sessions would be ideal.
I could go with that, I favor shorter games anyway. Campaigns of roughly a dozen sessions are my ideal.
 

The problem with this in 5e is that it's pretty close to a "Wizards rule, fighters drool" situation. The battlemaster doesn't have any choices that aren't available at level 3, and they're the most flexible fighter-type. Meanwhile there aren't really prebuilt casters (possibly the Soulknife)
The most annoying bit to me is: there's no reason fighter subclasses couldn't do so much more than they do. EK could have totally covered all the gish concepts, but it falls flat.

And since the DnD team doesn't want to make anything "obsolete," they're unwilling to make corrections.
 


I could go with that, I favor shorter games anyway. Campaigns of roughly a dozen sessions are my ideal.
Mine too. And really short campaigns have the advantage that you can burn your characters and not leave them in positions where you groan at the thought of picking them up again. The longer the campaign the more comfortable I want my characters to feel - but in an ultra short campaigns let the dice fall where they will. I don't want to be stuck playing a "Throg smash" barbarian for a year - but for a session or two it's a blast.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Interesting... is that a campaign, though, or an adventure?

IME, most "adventures" take from 4-12 sessions, and of course a campaign is a series of adventures.
Honestly, I doubt I could tell you the difference. We just play till the game comes to a natural stopping point.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Interesting... is that a campaign, though, or an adventure?

IME, most "adventures" take from 4-12 sessions, and of course a campaign is a series of adventures.
This.

A single session game is a one-off*.

A single-adventure game covering several sessions (e.g. a play-through of a classic module) is just that and no more.

I don't call it a campaign until it gets to multiple adventures and-or multiple parties running within the same setting; adventure paths always qualify as campaigns as despite it all being in the same book (in the WotC publishing model anyway) there's different discrete adventures embedded in there.

* - and usually involves large amounts of beer and some very silly gaming. :)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
This.

A single session game is a one-off*.

A single-adventure game covering several sessions (e.g. a play-through of a classic module) is just that and no more.

I don't call it a campaign until it gets to multiple adventures and-or multiple parties running within the same setting; adventure paths always qualify as campaigns as despite it all being in the same book (in the WotC publishing model anyway) there's different discrete adventures embedded in there.

* - and usually involves large amounts of beer and some very silly gaming. :)
"Adventure" is more of a publishing category: the campaign is what happens at the table.
 
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DND_Reborn

Legend
I just brought it up because I think it is best to have a common understanding of these types of terms to avoid confusion (as minor as it might be). To reference the PHB:

1641676766949.png


IMO an adventure can stand by itself. A campaign requires multiple adventures. How big an adventure is or a campaign is largely subjective, of course. 🤷‍♂️

For some, adventures might be the chapters and the book the campaign, for others the adventures might be the books and a series creates a campaign.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I just brought it up because I think it is best to have a common understanding of these types of terms to avoid confusion (as minor as it might be). To reference the PHB:

View attachment 149613

IMO an adventure can stand by itself. A campaign requires multiple adventures. How big an adventure is or a campaign is largely subjective, of course. 🤷‍♂️

For some, adventures might be the chapters and the book the campaign, for others the adventures might be the books and a series creates a campaign.
That passage really is pretty vague, and includes both understandings being discussed here. For me, any game that lasts more than one meeting is a campaign.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
This. I would have trouble dividing up any of my games into discrete adventures, at best I might be able to divide them into general arcs.
Do your PCs never take any downtime or R&R breaks between missions? If they do, there's your division points.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Not really, honestly. My last game, which was about two dozen sessions, only covered about 2 weeks of in-game time.
This is one reason I really like training rules: forcing characters to train up for newl levels also forces parties into downtime, which has the nice side effect of their being able to - if they want - interact with more non-adventuring aspects of the setting and broaden their scope a bit.
 


Complexity isn’t what I’m looking for, it’s options. While option-rich systems can be complex, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.
Part of the problem is that we don't really have a good single word for "rich" systems as opposed to merely overwrought ones.

Because that's usually what people are asking for when they say complexity. They don't want a needlessly overwrought, janky mess that requires constant maintenance just to function. They want something that involves "deep" choices. Thing is, most people are aware that making a simple set of rules that lead to "deep" or "rich" choices is really, really hard. Go is famous for having extremely deep strategy despite having few rules, but it's famous for that specifically because it's hard to pull that off.

So, in general, if a ruleset is simple it usually isn't deep. People thus ask for a "complex" ruleset, because they presume that it will be a well-made complex ruleset and thus not needlessly overwrought or janky. It would be nice if we had a word in English that meant "complex enough to offer a deep/rich play experience, but not enough to be unwieldy or overwrought," but we don't. So people use the ready-to-hand word.

Bit like how, in casual conversation, we have a single word that means both "having healthy self-regard" and "having excessive and unhealthy self-regard," but we still constantly use both terms: both "pride parades" and "pride goeth before a fall." Not much interest in renaming them to "<group> Healthy Self-Worth Parades."
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Complexity isn’t what I’m looking for, it’s options. While option-rich systems can be complex, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.
I'm not sure how this can be possible.

Every new option is in itself an increase in complexity to the system as a whole. Further, as every decision point is a potential slowdown to the char-gen process, adding more decision points (or more options per decision) can only serve to bog that process down.
 

I'm not sure how this can be possible.
A good illustration would be 5e backgrounds and subclasses vs 2e kits.

I'd consider 5e to be more option rich than 2e because there are very significant differences between the subclasses; I can't think of anything in 2e that resembles the Echo Knight - and if we look at e.g. the specialist casters there are many more differences. But although I'd call 5e much more option rich because the choices are in most cases more meaningful it's a lot simpler to actually work the mechanics because the backgrounds and subclasses (and remember there are two layers here so the combinations matter) layer over the class framework while the kits frequently unpick things about them. And in 1e, of course, things like the thief-acrobat was, I think, a class.

Reducing complexity for larger options is a part of good game design.
Every new option is in itself an increase in complexity to the system as a whole. Further, as every decision point is a potential slowdown to the char-gen process, adding more decision points (or more options per decision) can only serve to bog that process down.
CharGen is, within reason (I'd argue the number of feats in 3.X and 4e are not within reason) not somewhere slowdown is a problem because you have all the time in the world at chargen. By contrast complexity and difficulties in play (like having to remember which subsystem to use) are meaningful issues because if one person is slowed so is everyone as they have to wait and it's being done at the table.
 

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