D&D 5E How crunchy is D&D 5E

How crunchy is D&D 5E?

  • 1 -- improv storytelling with no mechanics

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3 -- rules light/narrative style games

    Votes: 3 1.9%
  • 4

    Votes: 17 10.6%
  • 5 -- rules medium

    Votes: 69 43.1%
  • 6

    Votes: 55 34.4%
  • 7 -- rules heavy/crunchy games

    Votes: 15 9.4%
  • 8

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • 9 -- rules ultra-heavy

    Votes: 0 0.0%

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I didn't think too hard about definitions when I voted. My definition of crunchy hinges on how much crap do I need to know to run the silly thing. That's a lot higher for D&D (for me anyway) than it is to play D&D. In order to feel comfortable with adjudication I need to have all the mechanics for all the characters, plus all the game mechanics firmly in hand. Where D&D is crunchy for me is in the sheer proliferation of special rules, exceptions and modifiers than come directly out of the class and subclass system, not the basic game mechanics. The exceptions and modifiers rather than the rules, as it were.

This may obviously not be the experience of others with 5E. Their MMV.
 

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cbwjm

Legend
I didn't think too hard about definitions when I voted. My definition of crunchy hinges on how much crap do I need to know to run the silly thing. That's a lot higher for D&D (for me anyway) than it is to play D&D. In order to feel comfortable with adjudication I need to have all the mechanics for all the characters, plus all the game mechanics firmly in hand. Where D&D is crunchy for me is in the sheer proliferation of special rules, exceptions and modifiers than come directly out of the class and subclass system, not the basic game mechanics. The exceptions and modifiers rather than the rules, as it were.

This may obviously not be the experience of others with 5E. Their MMV.
I think part of the reason I don't think it is higher than a 5 or 6, it's pretty easy to run but I think part of the reason I think that is because it's built upon my knowledge of past editions so some parts at least I find easy to understand. Someone coming into the game brand new might rate it higher.
 

John Lloyd1

Explorer
I didn't think too hard about definitions when I voted. My definition of crunchy hinges on how much crap do I need to know to run the silly thing. That's a lot higher for D&D (for me anyway) than it is to play D&D. In order to feel comfortable with adjudication I need to have all the mechanics for all the characters, plus all the game mechanics firmly in hand. Where D&D is crunchy for me is in the sheer proliferation of special rules, exceptions and modifiers than come directly out of the class and subclass system, not the basic game mechanics. The exceptions and modifiers rather than the rules, as it were.

This may obviously not be the experience of others with 5E. Their MMV.
I don't think that I need to know all the character mechanics when I DM. I trust the players to know the characters and what they can do. Of course, I can question them if it seems a bit fishy and get them to provide the exact wording.

It does help that I have some very experienced players who will jump in if another player has misinterpreted how a feature works.

Even though I am not a hugely experienced DM, I have found that when I make a ruling in 5E, it will generally line up with what is written. The additional rules can be pretty intuitive. For me this makes it seem less crunchy.
 



gorice

Adventurer
I voted 7. The crunchiness of 5e depends a lot on how you play and who you play with. If you're just running everything by fiat with new players, it's not rules-light, but it's a manageable 5-6 (for the players, not the DM). If you're playing with a bunch of people who actually care about specific rule interactions and ability wording, I find the game is extremely convoluted. There isn't a lot of maths, but there are are a lot of moving parts and opaque and counterintuitive rules.
 

I think part of the reason I don't think it is higher than a 5 or 6, it's pretty easy to run but I think part of the reason I think that is because it's built upon my knowledge of past editions so some parts at least I find easy to understand. Someone coming into the game brand new might rate it higher.

I've been thinking about how old 5e is as well. It came out in 2014, which is a long time ago for a D&D edition.

Most systems get a lot crunchier with age. Add-on modules and rules expansions add a lot of hard detail and complexity even if the base system is rules light. By 7 years in, AD&D2E had close to 30 splat books, adding everything from new classes to completely different magic systems (and a lot of settings and monster books as well). 3E after 7 years had already graduated to 3.5E, and also added in totally new crunch systems like Book of 9 Swords (in addition to a complete Complete series, etc). 4E already had 3 PHBs and 2 DMGs before it switched to the Essentials version just 2 years in.

By comparison, 5e is 7 years old and has a scant 5 splatbooks beyond the core. And they're actively making moves to remove crunch from some areas (races and alignment). So, on one hand, I can understand that 5e may seem like a lot of complicated material for people just getting into it. But as someone who's been through a few editions, it is almost astounding how rules-light it feels compared to other versions of a similar age.
 

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