How happy are you with your regular ruleset?

How happy are you with your regular ruleset?

  • Very satisfied

    Votes: 26 28.3%
  • Satisfied

    Votes: 43 46.7%
  • Somewhat satisfied

    Votes: 13 14.1%
  • Neutral

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Somewhat unsatisfied

    Votes: 6 6.5%
  • Unsatisfied

    Votes: 3 3.3%
  • Very unsatisfied

    Votes: 0 0.0%

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I have three "regular rulesets" that I cycle through: 5E, Savage Worlds, and Call of Cthulhu.

I'm Unsatisfied with 5E, Very Satisfied with Call of Cthulhu, and Satisfied with Savage Worlds.

...

I think Chaosium is just continually knocking it out of the park with the CoC line. 7E is great (it has some rough spots - the Automatic Fire rules are pretty atrocious) but the mechanics, adventures, and supplements are all A Tier.
Man, we have different experiences. I loathed CoC 7e as a ruleset. Everything was around a horrible skill system, where similar skills were separated and there was zero synergy between things you think someone good at one would be good at others. I dumped a large number of my starting points into variations of a skill because I'd be good at all of them, and then many never came up in play. Advancement mechanics were very randomized, making some characters advance a lot faster than others based on pure luck, without enough rolls over the course of a campaign for averages to statistical assert themselves. In addition, since the system required a successful roll in play and a failing roll at advancement time, if you didn't start competent in a skill from character creation it's basically impossible to become so. You need to min/max to have a character where you aren't shooting yourself in the foot before play starts, and that's entirely from the ruleset.

The poll asked about rulesets, so adventures and the like that you mentioned are out of scope. But the player-facing rules of CoC 7E were literally the worst modern set of mechanics I have played with.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
if you are ok, talk a little bit about what you are finding limiting in 5e after playing it for so long?
It does not deliver the gaming experience I want and, frankly, it's boring as a game.

Characters are too powerful from the jump, they are practically immortal, can't really be hurt...and when they are hurt it doesn't last, so there are effectively zero stakes. The classes are ridiculously unbalanced. The monsters are boring. What little balance early levels have vanishes quickly as you progress. There's too many rules and most of them are pointlessly fiddly. It sounds paradoxical, but heavier games are more limiting than lighter games. You have 13 classes and any idea you have either fits within those 13 classes or it doesn't fit in 5E. Lighter games, with more free-form character creation offer that ever elusive "anything you can imagine" that 5E promises but is systemically incapable of delivering on.

If you have even a basic understanding of math, the referee follows the default guidelines for the game, and your group even poorly works together...you're all but guaranteed to win every fight and never lose. It feels like the cartoon version of D&D. If I wanted cartoon characters obeying cartoon physics, I'd play Toon. I love that game, for what it's worth.

5E is like the worst of all possible worlds. It sells itself as a collaborative storytelling game but sucks at it and the majority of the community isn't actually interested in either collaboration (the railroading "storyteller" DMs) or they're not interested in story (the gamers who optimize the fun and drama out of play). Everything 5E wants to do, other games do better. If you want any drama or story, you have to bring it yourself. At which point, what's the point of playing 5E instead of something else? The singular selling point is the brand recognition.

For fantasy gaming, I'm of two minds. Either I want something that's lighter and more player-creativity focused, so OSR, NSR, and FKR games. Rules light, quick play, more fragile characters, and the players have to think and be creative to survive. Those sing. Or I want a game that's lighter and overtly focused on story creation, so PbtA, FitD, Fate Accelerated, Fate Condensed, etc. Those sing, too.
 


If you have even a basic understanding of math, the referee follows the default guidelines for the game, and your group even poorly works together...you're all but guaranteed to win every fight and never lose. It feels like the cartoon version of D&D. If I wanted cartoon characters obeying cartoon physics, I'd play Toon. I love that game, for what it's worth.
I agree with you on easy and medium encounters. But for boss fights, even ones printed, I find this not to be true. I see DMs all the time in real life or on posts that have to "hold their punches" in order for the PCs to survive.

I also agree with you that the CR system really doesn't hold much water. I have been part of an 8th level, and again with a different group, a 12th level party that was TPK by a much lower CR than should have. On the other side, our 13th level group just killed a CR 31 fight, and it wasn't even the boss fight. (We only needed a short rest afterwards.) Maybe this shows how swingy the dice can be?
 

zakael19

Adventurer
I agree with you on easy and medium encounters. But for boss fights, even ones printed, I find this not to be true. I see DMs all the time in real life or on posts that have to "hold their punches" in order for the PCs to survive.

I also agree with you that the CR system really doesn't hold much water. I have been part of an 8th level, and again with a different group, a 12th level party that was TPK by a much lower CR than should have. On the other side, our 13th level group just killed a CR 31 fight, and it wasn't even the boss fight. (We only needed a short rest afterwards.) Maybe this shows how swingy the dice can be?

There's a few problems with the CR system: how it takes defenses into account, how swingy hits can be, and how it can't account well for party composition. For the first, things like resistance to damage are given heavy weighting in the math for CR - look at a werewolf for instance. CR3 (threatening to a level 5 party), but with a paltry +4 to hit & low damage. All the threat is from its resistance to weapon damage, with the idea that martials can't be counted on to have magical weapons. The play culture and in fact most modules gives you a +1 NLT level 5, so you have a wet blanket monster.

Now, switch to immunity / resistance to spell damages that happen to aim well at the group makeup and you can 1-round certain players with ease. The notorious Berez fight in Curse of Strahd is a great example of that, with the Hut the real threat with its deep resistances + massive DPR + huge pool of health. So now you've got something that can casually TPK a standard party not played well, likely to do a non-martial's pool of HP per round in damage.

Finally, spell casters tend to have the ability to trivialize a lot of things - hence legendary resistances. But that's entirely swingy/dice dependent. If you don't have a strong/well played spell caster, things might get a lot more difficult. If the encounters don't resource deplete, parties can nova and make everything trivial. The core rules don't do a good job with doing a baseline limitation on resting and making anything else a variant rule, so you can then do proscriptive challenges around that.

Again, there's advice out there on this, tons of 3rd party content that smooth math, etc etc - but ya gotta work for it.
 



prabe

Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
Supporter
If you are okay, can you elaborate a bit on that last bolded piece?
In my experience and opinion--I'm not looking for any fights, here:

The problems with 5e are ... well, apart from some features/spells/rules that don't seem to have been super well-considered, mostly about A) the Bonds/Ideals/Flaws/Traits not being super well-implemented, B) Inspiration not being particularly well-implemented (and really being the weak carrot for BIFTs) (and there not really being a stick isn't great, either), and C) the game as written not having any way for the PCs to grab mechanics and push the story in their preferred direction. Better advice for DMs who aren't running published adventures (or trying to imitate them) would have been nice.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
It does not deliver the gaming experience I want and, frankly, it's boring as a game.

Characters are too powerful from the jump, they are practically immortal, can't really be hurt...and when they are hurt it doesn't last, so there are effectively zero stakes. The classes are ridiculously unbalanced. The monsters are boring. What little balance early levels have vanishes quickly as you progress. There's too many rules and most of them are pointlessly fiddly. It sounds paradoxical, but heavier games are more limiting than lighter games. You have 13 classes and any idea you have either fits within those 13 classes or it doesn't fit in 5E. Lighter games, with more free-form character creation offer that ever elusive "anything you can imagine" that 5E promises but is systemically incapable of delivering on.

If you have even a basic understanding of math, the referee follows the default guidelines for the game, and your group even poorly works together...you're all but guaranteed to win every fight and never lose. It feels like the cartoon version of D&D. If I wanted cartoon characters obeying cartoon physics, I'd play Toon. I love that game, for what it's worth.

5E is like the worst of all possible worlds. It sells itself as a collaborative storytelling game but sucks at it and the majority of the community isn't actually interested in either collaboration (the railroading "storyteller" DMs) or they're not interested in story (the gamers who optimize the fun and drama out of play). Everything 5E wants to do, other games do better. If you want any drama or story, you have to bring it yourself. At which point, what's the point of playing 5E instead of something else? The singular selling point is the brand recognition.

For fantasy gaming, I'm of two minds. Either I want something that's lighter and more player-creativity focused, so OSR, NSR, and FKR games. Rules light, quick play, more fragile characters, and the players have to think and be creative to survive. Those sing. Or I want a game that's lighter and overtly focused on story creation, so PbtA, FitD, Fate Accelerated, Fate Condensed, etc. Those sing, too.
That singular selling point is worth more than the rest combined to a lot of folks, unfortunately.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
In my experience and opinion--I'm not looking for any fights, here:

The problems with 5e are ... well, apart from some features/spells/rules that don't seem to have been super well-considered, mostly about A) the Bonds/Ideals/Flaws/Traits not being super well-implemented, B) Inspiration not being particularly well-implemented (and really being the weak carrot for BIFTs) (and there not really being a stick isn't great, either), and C) the game as written not having any way for the PCs to grab mechanics and push the story in their preferred direction. Better advice for DMs who aren't running published adventures (or trying to imitate them) would have been nice.
Sounds like your main problem is that 5e isn't enough of a narrative game for your tastes, is that correct.
 

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