D&D General How much crunch do you want in combat?

How much combat crunch?

  • More than 5E (4E and similar)

    Votes: 11 28.2%
  • About the same as 5E

    Votes: 15 38.5%
  • Less than 5E (AD&D and similar)

    Votes: 7 17.9%
  • A lot less than 5E (a few rounds of rolls)

    Votes: 4 10.3%
  • Significantly less (a few rolls)

    Votes: 2 5.1%
  • Dramatically less (one roll)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

Depends on the kind of crunch and the type of game...

If we're going to have stuff like initiative rolls and movement speeds, it damn better be something like 4e to make it worth the hassle.
'I'm going to sidestep here, so I can Shield Push this grimlock into the lizardman, which triggers the lizardman's reaction tail trip, so the grimlock is no longer blocking the sight line for our wizard... oh and as a minor action, I'm going to take a sip of my dwarven tankard, so I have the Tipsy condition now, and you know I'm going to get first Drunk and then Wasted in the coming rounds'

Anything lighter, I want everyone to get to roll once, figure out the benefits/setbacks from that roll, move on.
'I'm going to try to limit how many goblins can fit into the room by pushing the cart against the double doors'
'while the dragonborn's playing with the cart, I realize that there's a big, old rug going across the room to the door, so... I will set it on fire, he has fire resistance, he'll be fine'
'oh man, then I guess I'll just focus on lockpicking the door open, so we have somewhere to move to, because this whole room is going up in flames soon..'

5e is in the absolute worst spot. It has a whole bunch of minutia, but all that effort doesn't take you anywhere interesting.
 
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I'm generally quite happy with how combat works in 5e. Many combats are quick and dirty and can be run in the theater of the mind easily enough. Others can be a little more fiddly and might require a map and/or minis.

I think the only minor complaint I have is that there isn't enough incentive in 5e combat to do something other than attack. I'd love to see more swashbuckling action - swinging on chandeliers, pushing people off ledges, tipping over burning braziers, etc. Since the focus is frequently on dealing hit point damage, though, I find players often don't bother to do cool, cinematic things. They just run up and hit the thing with their weapon (or hang back and shoot spells or arrows at it). As a DM, you have to really work at making combats more dynamic.
You should play with me sometime. All my characters are Flynning it up. Heck, in 3.0, I, as a paladin, ran on airship railing while wearing full plate. Sure, I failed my skill check, but had a nat 20 on the Reflex save.

EDIT: Autocorrect doesn’t like “paladin”. Fixed now.
 
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Yeah, when I play, I tend to play “leap on the back of the dragon” type characters.
Those are the most fun. I’ve done that kind of stuff, too, as well as swing on chandeliers, fling cauldrons at bad guys, collapse tunnels. I think that’s one reason why my best friend always wants me to be a player in his games, as there is no idea what I’m going to do in a given encounter.

Granted, I’ve become a bit more reserved after my 9 year break. Part of that is understanding that at least one player (and my friend’s BiL) enjoys engaging with the rules a lot. So, I let him have his super tactical gameplay until the big climactic battle, when invariably something will tear all plans apart, and then it’s Flynn to the rescue :)
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Yeah, when I play, I tend to play “leap on the back of the dragon” type characters.
Yes! Drive it like you stole it.
Those are the most fun. I’ve done that kind of stuff, too, as well as swing on chandeliers, fling cauldrons at bad guys, collapse tunnels. I think that’s one reason why my best friend always wants me to be a player in his games, as there is no idea what I’m going to do in a given encounter.

Granted, I’ve become a bit more reserved after my 9 year break. Part of that is understanding that at least one player (and my friend’s BiL) enjoys engaging with the rules a lot. So, I let him have his super tactical gameplay until the big climactic battle, when invariably something will tear all plans apart, and then it’s Flynn to the rescue :)
Tactical infinity and shenanigans are why I still play these games.
 




Pedantic

Legend
I really don't love that 4e became the trope namer here. 2A/4E/4D is significantly less options than it's given credit for.

Give me Fantasy Craft levels of crunch. I want 10 different damage types, 2-non damage kill conditions, a list of combat actions that starts at 12 options and scales up as you pick up combat techniques, 4 different types of fencing sword before you get into weapon customization and then there's the whole spender/gainer Edge system that's entirely a side product build from a subset of feats.

Also, your might additionally learn spells.
 

I am okay with the amount of crunch 5e currently has available for it's players. The crunch allows me to think creatively by opening up possible tactics I can use. ;)
 

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