I want my actions to matter

mamba

Legend
You seem to have missed...

"So the question isn't necessarily how many skills(though you can have too few or too many), but rather how do we make it so that a reasonable number of the skills we are using can be chosen. "Optimal" becomes a combination of number of skills and the points/proficiencies you can choose."
well, I quoted it, so at a minimum I did not miss it, I did not have any actual numbers in mind for min / max however ;) So 18 is too low and 2000 is too high. What is a reasonable number then? I am not sure I even want 50…
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
well, I quoted it. So 18 is too low and 2000 is too high. What is a reasonable number then? I am not sure I even want 50…
3e had like 48 skills and 10 of them, the knowledge skills, were basically duplicates. With 4 skills points a level and no cross class skills, it worked out fine. The reason for that is that relatively few of those skills were opposed, so you could stop at like +8 to +10(ranks + mods) and do very well for most skills since DCs rarely went higher than 25. DCs of 10-15 were typical, 5 and 20 uncommon and 25+ rare. At least if the DM was setting DCs correctly.
 
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Committed Hero

Adventurer
The optimal skill number is a variable calculated along several axes: what are a game's core activities, how much simulationism does the designer want, how important is character differentiation and/or niche protection, how closely should the design emulate other games in the genre, and I'm sure some other things I'm overlooking.
 

in a way that ensures that WotC keeps D&D in a state that leaves it as the ones safeguarding it want it and away from whatever unspecified changes you want to see, yes

I can't square how this response interacts with what I wrote that you're quoting. What I wrote was an attempt to clarify (a) what your "it" was and (b) what your position was on that "it."

My question about your sense of the historical record doesn't have anything to do with WotC policy (whether that policy is goal-directed or simply emergent).

well, then I am not even sure why you are complaining or what is being safeguarded here

All you gave was WotC presumably reacting to cultural changes, that is not one group safeguarding the game.

Are you saying the only time it was safeguarded was 5e, while the previous editions reacting to cultural changes were not?

Also not clear to me what is happening with these three sentences. Here is what I wrote:

* TSR clearly reacted to the culture in its clean-up and areas of add-on/redesign with 2e. These reactions were overwhelmingly a response to the very loud "GM as Stortyteller" movement (of which TSR got on board early with Dragonlance and incorporating the Hickman school of thought/play) and "1e is a pile of discrete rules that don't intersect with each other too often" refrains.

* 3e was a, WotC, further reaction to that "pile of discrete rules" and to the decades-developing "Simulationist" interests/interpretations of a loud cohort of D&D players.

* 4e was a lot of things. Clearly it was a dictate from on high to achieve a huge cash number where several internal "cooks" had ideas on how to go about that in terms of design. Beyond all that came before it (probably especially late 3.x and B/X D&D), the clear influences on 4e were (a) the indie games and movements of the time where "cut to the action", play transparently, empower players, and scene resolution techniques (including "Fail Forward") and systemization were all paramount, (b) MtG tech/formulations (which makes sense given its in-house), (c) Eurogames (which deeply engages both (a) and (b) and were absolutely crushing the TTRPG market), (d) Diablo and WoW thematically and some game-tech.

* 5e was the biggest "react to the culture" edition of all time in terms of messaging, curated surveys, engagement (both what they said and who they said it to and who they engaged/courted), and design.




As far as what I'm "complaining" about?

What I'm pointing at is the internet and meat-space hostility and (creepy as hell imo...I've been involved in many, many technical disciplines and cultural phenomenon...I've never seen anything like this to be honest with you) "fighting over brand identity" and "safeguarding brand identity's (mis) perceived purity" (as if D&D hasn't been tons of different things over the years) that has coalesced within, around, and in front of all of this. And its not just that its happened (and its still happening). Its the various ways its happened. Its the shape of the bullying/othering, the underhanded coalition-building via mobbing and misdirection and shaming and various machiavellian cultural control levers being pulled or wedged in the "off" position. Mostly its the passive-aggressiveness and caprice inherent to all of those. I'll take physical, direct, and in-my-face of those things all day any day. At least I know who is hitting me and there is little underhanded about it! Maybe that was the best part about the 4e edition wars in meatspace. Various dudes had the temerity (and courage I guess) to actually take the initiative and be direct with their derision in meat-space!


Even if I don't play any future iterations of WotC's games, I still interact with the culture-at-large routinely (either by persisting in the same spaces or running older or indie versions of D&D) and I've got young people that I've shepherded into this cultural milieu. It would be great if the culture of D&D (and TTRPGing at large) could be like the very healthy and vigorous cultures of climbing or jiujitsu. While there are significant disagreements within those cultures on various things both technical and cultural, there is still a very healthy brotherhood and cultural fabric where stuff that I mentioned above really just doesn't happen...and if it does on a very isolated and micro-scale, it gets pointed out and selected against very quickly (so the next cultural iteration or macro culture isn't infected by it).


This is a big divergence from this thread and (despite the word count and likely what appears to be passion; I'm basically summoning myself from another time here to ghost-write this), I'm not terribly interested in writing about this here and now. I'm not writing anything else about this. If you'd like to respond to any of the above, have at it, but I'm done here. Or if you'd like to PM me on the subject, that is (y)
 

mamba

Legend
I can't square how this response interacts with what I wrote that you're quoting.
maybe because I have no good idea of what you are actually claiming, so let’s start from the beginning ;)

‘this’ was D&D being safeguarded as described by you in what I quoted
D&D has been intensely safeguarded for decades against anything that pushes back against a very specific, novel approach to simulation. Decades. Since late 80s through today.

My question was how are people even going about safeguarding it, when they have no control over what TSR / WotC do. For most of that time neither one collected feedback and acted upon it, that only changed after that behavior drove 4e into the ditch. Even now that WotC is polling people, they themselves say they go against that outcome when the feel like it.

At a minimum this still requires a large percentage of respondents to ‘safeguard’, and if that is what it takes, then this is not really safeguarding, it is WotC doing what most prefer instead of something only a small fraction wants. I expect the safeguarding to happen by a small but vocal minority, if 70+% agree on something, that is not safeguarding.

Also, your reply showed D&D changing with the times, which is pretty much the opposite of being safeguarded.

So given this, how is this safeguarding accomplished?

What I'm pointing at is the internet and meat-space hostility and (creepy as hell imo...I've been involved in many, many technical disciplines and cultural phenomenon...I've never seen anything like this to be honest with you) "fighting over brand identity" and "safeguarding brand identity's (mis) perceived purity"
so ‘safeguarding‘ is different people having different ideas of what D&D should be / develop into and discussing them online.

That is not safeguarding at all, people simply have different opinions and pretty much none of this online chatter makes any difference to what WotC is actually doing with D&D…

Oh well, not expecting an answer from you I guess…
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Also not clear to me what is happening with these three sentences. Here is what I wrote:

* TSR clearly reacted to the culture in its clean-up and areas of add-on/redesign with 2e. These reactions were overwhelmingly a response to the very loud "GM as Stortyteller" movement (of which TSR got on board early with Dragonlance and incorporating the Hickman school of thought/play) and "1e is a pile of discrete rules that don't intersect with each other too often" refrains.
2e was, sadly, also a reaction to culture external to the hobby: the Satanic panic crowd.
* 3e was a, WotC, further reaction to that "pile of discrete rules" and to the decades-developing "Simulationist" interests/interpretations of a loud cohort of D&D players.

* 4e was a lot of things. Clearly it was a dictate from on high to achieve a huge cash number where several internal "cooks" had ideas on how to go about that in terms of design. Beyond all that came before it (probably especially late 3.x and B/X D&D), the clear influences on 4e were (a) the indie games and movements of the time where "cut to the action", play transparently, empower players, and scene resolution techniques (including "Fail Forward") and systemization were all paramount, (b) MtG tech/formulations (which makes sense given its in-house), (c) Eurogames (which deeply engages both (a) and (b) and were absolutely crushing the TTRPG market), (d) Diablo and WoW thematically and some game-tech.
IMO the M:tG (bolded) influence was already loud and clear in 3e, with its rule-for-everything chassis and general sense of "you can't do/try something unless a rule says you can", which was a big change from TSR which - despite Gygax's best attempts! - always seemed like "you can do/try anything unless a rule says you can't". 4e just continued along the same path in some ways, while at the same time backing off a bit in others.
As far as what I'm "complaining" about?

What I'm pointing at is the internet and meat-space hostility and (creepy as hell imo...I've been involved in many, many technical disciplines and cultural phenomenon...I've never seen anything like this to be honest with you) "fighting over brand identity" and "safeguarding brand identity's (mis) perceived purity" (as if D&D hasn't been tons of different things over the years) that has coalesced within, around, and in front of all of this. And its not just that its happened (and its still happening). Its the various ways its happened. Its the shape of the bullying/othering, the underhanded coalition-building via mobbing and misdirection and shaming and various machiavellian cultural control levers being pulled or wedged in the "off" position. Mostly its the passive-aggressiveness and caprice inherent to all of those. I'll take physical, direct, and in-my-face of those things all day any day. At least I know who is hitting me and there is little underhanded about it! Maybe that was the best part about the 4e edition wars in meatspace. Various dudes had the temerity (and courage I guess) to actually take the initiative and be direct with their derision in meat-space!
All fair comment, and examples of such abound here - and not just from the D&D-first crew. :)
This is a big divergence from this thread and (despite the word count and likely what appears to be passion; I'm basically summoning myself from another time here to ghost-write this), I'm not terribly interested in writing about this here and now. I'm not writing anything else about this. If you'd like to respond to any of the above, have at it, but I'm done here. Or if you'd like to PM me on the subject, that is (y)
Ah well, I had at it anyway FWIW. :)
 

Bagpuss

Legend
3e had like 48 skills and 10 of them, the knowledge skills, were basically duplicates. With 4 skills points a level and no cross class skills, it worked out fine. The reason for that is that relatively few of those skills were opposed, so you could stop at like +8 to +10(ranks + mods) and do very well for most skills since DCs rarely went higher than 25. DCs of 10-15 were typical, 5 and 20 uncommon and 25+ rare. At least if the DM was setting DCs correctly.

Except a lot of classes only got 2 skill points per level (and frequently the ones that wouldn't gain bonuses from a high Int). Standard DC for climbing a wall is 20, a rock cliff 25, with armour check penalties and the I don't think it was as fine as you make out. For Escape Artist, Manacles or even a tight space were DC 30.

If you wanted to know about Monsters you needed all those knowledge skills, and at pretty high ranks if you wanted more than the very basic information about them.

Every player I gamed with during 3E constantly complained about not having enough skill points, even the a rogues who were getting 8 a level. So not sure it worked out fine.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Except a lot of classes only got 2 skill points per level (and frequently the ones that wouldn't gain bonuses from a high Int). Standard DC for climbing a wall is 20, a rock cliff 25, with armour check penalties and the I don't think it was as fine as you make out. For Escape Artist, Manacles or even a tight space were DC 30.

If you wanted to know about Monsters you needed all those knowledge skills, and at pretty high ranks if you wanted more than the very basic information about them.

Every player I gamed with during 3E constantly complained about not having enough skill points, even the a rogues who were getting 8 a level. So not sure it worked out fine.
I think you missed the portion of that post that said, "With 4 skill points a level and no cross class skills, it worked out fine." I should now amend that to say that classes that got more should still get more.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
3e had like 48 skills and 10 of them, the knowledge skills, were basically duplicates. With 4 skills points a level and no cross class skills, it worked out fine. The reason for that is that relatively few of those skills were opposed, so you could stop at like +8 to +10(ranks + mods) and do very well for most skills since DCs rarely went higher than 25, and even those were rare. DCs of 10-15 were typical, 5 and 20 uncommon and 25+ rare. At least if the DM were setting DCs correctly.
I agree with this DC recollection. Most of the time players were making a check it was less "I want to climb THE wall"* &more "I want to climb a tree to be safer from wolves". Even knowledge skills were rarely players wanting to go deeper than "is it vulnerable/resist equipped to any elements " or "do I know anything about its capabilities before we need to learn from experience?".

The sldx ladder went up to like 43, but at a certain point they shift to examples where players want to make a bonkers check like track the path where a goblin traveled a week ago and there is snow on the ground. For "who could do it" that one had something like a level 20 ranger with maxed ranks in the relevant skill who had maintained favored enemy goblins for 20 levels and maybe added a feat or something for tracking. The extreme DCs were mostly for "you can try" when a player wants to make a bonkers check that could provide some (mis)information or a +2 elsewhere if the player rolled really high.

* the game of thrones near space elevator level wall
 

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