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If you could put D&D into any other non middle ages genre, what would it be?

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
The *entire point* of having levels in D&D is to allow you to level out of the danger zone of being felled before your melee charge reaches the opponent.

Besides, there are numerous other aspects of firearm enabled settings that D&D simply isn't equipped to handle...
No. The point of levels are to gain abilities and power over time, giving the player a sense of progress, and allowing kobolds and dragons to be completely different in terms of power without characters having to be able to take on dragons at the same level that kobolds are a challenge.

And maybe there are, but HP isn’t one of them.
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
And maybe there are, but HP isn’t one of them.
But I don't think high-damage guns and reduced hp PCs is part of the solution, either. HP are a central mechanic in D&D, they're essentially plot armor, and old-west heroes are as plot-armored as any others. Their hats get shot off, their friends get shot, their horses get shot out from under them, posts & waterbarrels & windowsills get shot right in front of their faces, and they take shoulder wounds with alarming regularity, but they don't get killed so much relative to the amount of lead flying around.

Unlike a D&D Barbarian, though, they have the courtesy to duck, dodge about, get behind cover, and act concerned about the barrage rather than stand out in the middle of it on a pile of bodies.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
But I don't think high-damage guns and reduced hp PCs is part of the solution, either. HP are a central mechanic in D&D, they're essentially plot armor, and old-west heroes are as plot-armored as any others. Their hats get shot off, their friends get shot, their horses get shot out from under them, posts & waterbarrels & windowsills get shot right in front of their faces, and they take shoulder wounds with alarming regularity, but they don't get killed so much relative to the amount of lead flying around.

Unlike a D&D Barbarian, though, they have the courtesy to duck, dodge about, get behind cover, and act concerned about the barrage rather than stand out in the middle of it on a pile of bodies.
Its a good solution if you want “rocket tagshootouts. Otherwise, HP as is with dmg guns works fine.

Bc dnd already models shootouts. 5e general rules doesn’t incentivize melee combat in any way other than imposing disadvantage on ranged attacks when threatened by a melee opponent. If you’re swapping out the classes, ya only include features that require melee attacks if you want that class to be the “kung fu Master in the old west” archetype, or to include support for brawling in the saloon.
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
Its a good solution if you want “rocket tagshootouts.
I mean, if you want that, fine, but I don't think that model the genre that well - that is, you might manage to create high-damage guns, low-hp characters, combat rules to incentivize them dodging and use cover and other genre bits to avoid getting hit - and what you'll have is a combat that plays out as a LOT of missing.

A completely separate, almost non-combat, sub-system for a showdown, like 0D&D had a separate sub-system for jousting, might be a thing, though.

Bc dnd already models shootouts. 5e general rules doesn’t incentivize melee combat in any way other than imposing disadvantage on ranged attacks when threatened by a melee opponent. If you’re swapping out the classes, ya only include features that require melee attacks if you want that class to be the “kung fu Master in the old west” archetype, or to include support for brawling in the saloon.
The fighter, for instance, has one ranged style, the rest are all melee. You'd probably want to create new styles - like Brawler and Gunfighter, I suppose. Actually probably more than one gunfighter, like a Quickdraw, Two-gun, Rifleman...
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
I mean, if you want that, fine, but I don't think that model the genre that well - that is, you might manage to create high-damage guns, low-hp characters, combat rules to incentivize them dodging and use cover and other genre bits to avoid getting hit - and what you'll have is a combat that plays out as a LOT of missing.
right, which is what some ppl want from such a game. It’s not what I want from a Wild West game, but for folks who do, it’s not like dnd can’t model it well, you just don’t use the phb classes and weapons to do it.

A completely separate, almost non-combat, sub-system for a showdown, like 0D&D had a separate sub-system for jousting, might be a thing, though.
depending on how complex you want a duel to be, it can either be an ability check contest, or an opposed skill challenge modeled after the dmg Chase scene section. Ie, a skill challenge.

[/quote]The fighter, for instance, has one ranged style, the rest are all melee. You'd probably want to create new styles - like Brawler and Gunfighter, I suppose. Actually probably more than one gunfighter, like a Quickdraw, Two-gun, Rifleman...[/QUOTE]

Right, you’d want a new set of classes and/or subclasses for a total Wild West game.

My preference would be a Weird West game that is closer to DnD rules, with some variants and new options to give each class room to participate in such a campaign, and guns that are in line with phb weapons.
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
depending on how complex you want a duel to be, it can either be an ability check contest, or an opposed skill challenge modeled after the dmg Chase scene section. Ie, a skill challenge.
Or something like the old samurai 'psychic duel?' (Which I don't remember well enough - it might've just been a contested check.)

Right, you’d want a new set of classes and/or subclasses for a total Wild West game.
My preference would be a Weird West game that is closer to DnD rules, with some variants and new options to give each class room to participate in such a campaign, and guns that are in line with phb weapons.
5e's so all-in with sub-classes, I'd want to go that route as much as possible. Combat Styles, alone, could mostly-adapt the Fighter & (spelless) Ranger to the setting. Rogue could get a Gambler sub-class ;) ...
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
No. The point of levels are to gain abilities and power over time, giving the player a sense of progress, and allowing kobolds and dragons to be completely different in terms of power without characters having to be able to take on dragons at the same level that kobolds are a challenge.

And maybe there are, but HP isn’t one of them.
Thanks for missing the point.

We were talking about levels in the context of hit points. The fact that hit points increase with levels.

As a matter of fact, there exists RPGs where you basically don't get more hit points per "level", and in fact have no levels at all, only skill scores.

And no, the point is definitely to not feature one-shot kills, which you pretty much need if melee is going to be a major thing.

Which is the root cause of the "mockery" of guns that started this little sub-thread.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
But I don't think high-damage guns and reduced hp PCs is part of the solution, either. HP are a central mechanic in D&D, they're essentially plot armor, and old-west heroes are as plot-armored as any others. Their hats get shot off, their friends get shot, their horses get shot out from under them, posts & waterbarrels & windowsills get shot right in front of their faces, and they take shoulder wounds with alarming regularity, but they don't get killed so much relative to the amount of lead flying around.
Now you come across as someone unfamiliar with other role-playing designs than hit points and levels, but I'm sure that's not really the case.

Meaning all of that is certainly not a defining feature of hit points, and in fact, a way to use hit points that is deeply unsatisfactory to many.

How's that? Because with hit points you *know* the first stab or bullet is not going to reduce your fighting capability in any way. Not everybody is capable of feeling the excitement and (exaggerated) fear of death there.

This is a major reason why other RPGs were invented.

That is, to better model a scenario where each bullet could kill you (but not really, since you're a hero). But fundamentally, to replace hit points with Dodge tests, built in physical resistance, and relying much more on armor, cover and tactics.

If all you know is D&D, it is very hard to see and appreciate this. Not that this applies to you. Right?

For a general set of expectations on gun duels, I am arguing one of these games, where hit points don't increase with levels, is a better fit.

(And for the umpteenth time, not because D&D is bad, only because it's suited to another set of expectations on how a combat "should" go down)
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Thanks for missing the point.

We were talking about levels in the context of hit points. The fact that hit points increase with levels.

As a matter of fact, there exists RPGs where you basically don't get more hit points per "level", and in fact have no levels at all, only skill scores.

And no, the point is definitely to not feature one-shot kills, which you pretty much need if melee is going to be a major thing.

Which is the root cause of the "mockery" of guns that started this little sub-thread.
Cap, tbh, you’ve exhausted my ability to give a damn about this argument. You’re going in circles. I didn’t miss the point, you failed to make it. Meanwhile, you haven’t really addressed anyone else’s points, much less mine.

So, I’m done. This isn’t a thread about Wild West games. I’m gonna go ahead and stop participating in this needless derail.
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
Now you come across as someone unfamiliar with other role-playing designs than hit points and levels, but I'm sure that's not really the case.
Its precisely because I'm all too familiar with a variety of ways of modeling - and failing to model - plot armor, that I find the idea tweaking firearms to high-damage in D&D is a poor solution.

Meaning all of that is certainly not a defining feature of hit points, and in fact, a way to use hit points that is deeply unsatisfactory to many.
Hps are a model of plot armor, and a workable one. That's better than a lot of other, nor sophisticated systems have managed.
Yes, thinking of them as undifferentiated physical structure that must be abated is problematic unless you're talking golems and the like - so don't think of them that way.

How's that? Because with hit points you *know* the first stab or bullet is not going to reduce your fighting capability in any way.
The player does, the character is imagined as Not knowing it.
Not everybody is capable of feeling the excitement and (exaggerated) fear of death there.
That's a failure of imagination, but not an insurmountable one.

This is a major reason why other RPGs were invented.
Well, and Vancian casting, and a lot if other things D&D did ...oddly.

That is, to better model a scenario where each bullet could kill you (but not really, since you're a hero). But fundamentally, to replace hit points with Dodge tests, built in physical resistance, and relying much more on armor, cover and tactics.
There's a simple catch-22 there, if you design your plot-armor mechanic to 'feel' to the player like real danger, RPGs not being that opaque, it'll have to actually be that, and PC death will be too frequent for players to get into any one character.
As a designer, you have to trust players to have some imagination.
(And for the umpteenth time, not because D&D is bad, only because it's suited to another set of expectations on how a combat "should" go down)
Oh, it's bad, real bad, y'know it.
But, seriously, hps as plot armor are one of the less-bad bits.
 

Paul Farquhar

Explorer
Pop quiz: When a wild-west gunslinger shoots an umber hulk, what should happen?

(I'm not directing this at any one person. I'm just trying to point out that the damage mechanic needs to encompass more than just "shootout at high noon." Also, as an aside, the protagonist, who is a PC, always wins the shootout at high noon, so attack and damage mechanics are already secondary to what's happening there.)
Easily answered if you look at Valley of Gwangi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Valley_of_Gwangi.

Monsters absorb lots and lots of bullets. Pretty much exactly like D&D.

Other examples of firearms vs monsters can be seen in the original King Kong, and films such as The Land that Time Forgot and Warlords of Atlantis.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Its precisely because I'm all too familiar with a variety of ways of modeling - and failing to model - plot armor, that I find the idea tweaking firearms to high-damage in D&D is a poor solution.
Agreed.

Hps are a model of plot armor, and a workable one. That's better than a lot of other, nor sophisticated systems have managed.
Yes, but now you've reduced the problem to plot armor only.

The crucial difference is whether the bullet has a zero or non-zero chance at ruining your day. That is, if the danger is immediate or postponed (until you've run out of hp).

More generally, is EVERY bullet a threat or just the last one?


The player does, the character is imagined as Not knowing it. That's a failure of imagination, but not an insurmountable one.
Well, about the only reason why were having this discussion and a large factor as to why games like Runequest and WFRP popped up, is precisely because players can't or won't do that!


There's a simple catch-22 there, if you design your plot-armor mechanic to 'feel' to the player like real danger, RPGs not being that opaque, it'll have to actually be that, and PC death will be too frequent for players to get into any one character.
I won't deny there is a design challenge there.

I dismiss the implied notion "since the problem is unsolvable, let's simply go with hit points" however.


But, seriously, hps as plot armor are one of the less-bad bits.
And equally seriously, that's a bit too simplistic to usefully analyse the situation imo...
 
I really don't understand how this thread devolved into "How do bullets D&D?" There are literally Drow gunslingers in Dragon Heist, this already exists.
 

Oofta

Explorer
I really don't understand how this thread devolved into "How do bullets D&D?" There are literally Drow gunslingers in Dragon Heist, this already exists.
I agree, it's a silly argument. Because we're familiar with the damage bullets can do some people assume for some reason they're more deadly that traditional D&D weapons. Which is odd because in reality people get shot multiple times and survive. On TV, a throwing knife is deadly 99.9% of the time. Yet somehow having a couple of pounds of metal perforate your abdomen or lopping your head off isn't as deadly as a 9mm?

Kind of makes me want to play an old-west style game with a PC that can cast heat metal. To me the only question would be how long do you have to maintain it on a gun until it misfires. :hmm:
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
The crucial difference is whether the bullet has a zero or non-zero chance at ruining your day. That is, if the danger is immediate or postponed (until you've run out of hp).
More generally, is EVERY bullet a threat or just the last one?
That's the thing, whatever plot armor mechanism you settle on, it'll either make only that last bullet a 'real threat' - or it'll fail as plot armor (at least some of the time, a "protagonist who shouldn't die at this point in the story," will).

Well, about the only reason why were having this discussion and a large factor as to why games like Runequest and WFRP popped up, is precisely because players can't or won't do that!
Meh. RQ, for instance, did scads of things differently from D&D, not just eschewing a plot armor mechanic. Armor absorbing damage, skill-based instead of class/level, completely different take on magic, etc, etc...

I won't deny there is a design challenge there.
I dismiss the implied notion "since the problem is unsolvable, let's simply go with hit points" however.
The 'problem' (emulating genre with a creaky old RPG mechanic) isn't insoluble, it's just not soluble by making firearms into instant-death wands, or treating hps as structural integrity units instead of plot armor (or something that can be a fig-leaf for plot armor, like 'luck,' which notoriously runs out).
 

Lanefan

Hero
How's that? Because with hit points you *know* the first stab or bullet is not going to reduce your fighting capability in any way.
Unless you're using a 3e-like set of criticals cards with add-on effects; or unless your game has a specific-to-firearms rule that provokes some sort of save-or-suck (or die) if more than x points of damage (e.g. natural 5-6 on d6) is done by a single shot; or any other mechanic that allows you-as-DM to sometimes bypass h.p.

Not everybody is capable of feeling the excitement and (exaggerated) fear of death there.
Agreed, but as it's so trivially easy to houserule in some tweaks to make firearms scarier and-or deadlier I really don't see this as an unsolvable problem.

If all you know is D&D, it is very hard to see and appreciate this. Not that this applies to you. Right?
It largely applies to me, and even I could make firearms work in my game if I had to...not that I'd ever want to do this, mind you. But I could. :)
 

Eltab

Villager
- IRL history shows that plenty of melee weapons are just as deadly as guns.

- If you want one-hit-one-kill NPCs, that was a 4e Minion by definition.

- Personally, I want a PC who has more HP than a single weapon can deliver in one hit, so I can crawl behind cover after getting shot. The classic 1e Wizard with 1 HP, a Robe, a Dagger, and 1 Spell all day was not really much fun - or "Wizard-y" - to play.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I agree, it's a silly argument. Because we're familiar with the damage bullets can do some people assume for some reason they're more deadly that traditional D&D weapons.
I'm sure you realize things change if you somehow increase the range of your longswords to 100 ft...
 

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