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

CapnZapp

Adventurer
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).

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...

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).
Not sure what you're on exactly. It feels like you're trying to oppose my points, but honestly I'm not sure.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I'm sure you realize things change if you somehow increase the range of your longswords to 100 ft...
Good point. Because there's no weapon in D&D that does the same damage of a longsword that has a short range of 150 feet. It's not possible to take a feat that increases range to 600 feet without penalty while ignoring cover.
 

robus

Explorer
My post in my OP: I'd really love to hear how you would apply D&D rules to a different genre.
Last 8 pages: That would never work


Should have been expected, really...
I’ll bite.

Leaving guns aside, I think the best way to apply D&D rules to a different genre is to basically remove player options that aren’t appropriate. While WotC seems to want to allow all races & classes in any adventure, preserving genre feel means cutting stuff that, if it appeared, would be like a needle being dragged across an LP. For example, in my “Curse of Innistrad” campaign setting, the genre is humans against the creatures of the night. So players can only choose human as their character race, and only a small subset of classes are available. No wizards, no bards etc.

With those limitations in place the genre can be more effectively preserved while not messing with the rules much at all. Basically constrain your PC options to suit the genre.
 

robus

Explorer
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).
HP, in my opinion, is not plot armor, it is tracking a character’s ability to continue to defend themself from attack. It’s why HP shouldn’t factor into PCs taking out sleeping baddies. If they’ve stealthed close enough then, sure, they’re dead.

This is why guns raise a problem. There’s no real defense to being shot at (except for cover). Unless you’re Neo in the Matrix and you can switch to bullet time (now that might be a fun D&D setting :) )

There are actually two separate “guns in D&D” discussions:

1) Only good guys have guns, i.e. “humans” vs “monsters” which can really benefit from upping the damage dealing produced by the guns. Blasting away zombies or what have you with a BFG is awesome.

2) Bad guys also have guns. This the one that suddenly causes trouble because for a gun to feel right, it’s got to hit hard and players don’t like it when their PCs get hit hard and perhaps die. So I agree with CapnZapp, it needs something beyond just rebranding HP. My proposal: shooting a gun accurately is hard. So I would say that a gun shot only hits if you roll a nat-20 (sharpshooter can lower that to 19 or even 18). (this is in an active combat situation, if you’re sniping and the enemy is exposed then you just kill them, only a mean DM would turn this on the players btw, just like we do in regular D&D :) ). If the shot hits a PC, then the targeted player rolls 2d10 to figure out where their character got hit: 2=headshot, they’re dead, 20=bullet just grazed them. In between means arm, leg, gut etc. Taking cover, but still partially visible means the shooter has disadvantage. Sneaking up behind a person who thinks they have cover gives the shooter advantage. (There would also need to be wound level tracker to make sure people didn’t just take a bunch of shots with no cost)

Utterly unplaytested of course :) and my worry would be that things would get boring because the hits would be rare. But that’s kind of what I think you’d have to do to make guns (in the hands of baddies) feel right.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
HP, in my opinion, is not plot armor, it is tracking a character’s ability to continue to defend themself from attack.
I don't suppose there's a whole lot of functional difference. Either way, if you're being shot at, you're not being hit, or taking less serious hits, whether it's modeling author force (plot armor), divine intervention, a sixth sense, finite luck, or desperate defense.

This is why guns raise a problem. There’s no real defense to being shot at (except for cover). Unless you’re Neo in the Matrix and you can switch to bullet time (now that might be a fun D&D setting :) )
And in some genres, bullet-time would be just fine. In most genres, characters being shot at do move & dodge, defending themselves not by seeing a bullet and moving out of it's trajectory like Neo, but by making themselves a much harder target.

2) Bad guys also have guns. This the one that suddenly causes trouble because for a gun to feel right, it’s got to hit hard and players don’t like it when their PCs get hit hard and perhaps die.
That's one of the inconsistent expectations that monkeywrenches adapting D&D/d20 to some genres. Firearms kill. They also miss. They also wound, sometimes not even that seriously. It's a deadly weapon. So is a dagger doing 1d4. Deadly just means it does actual damage, and can kill an ordinary person under ordinary circumstances, enough of the time that you wouldn't want to use it if your intent wasn't to kill. If you want most of the redshirts and black hats in the setting to obligingly drop dead when shot, give them fewer hps. They'll also obligingly drop unconscious when you break a whiskey bottle over their head, or give 'me the old one-two. Which is probably as it should be.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
HP, in my opinion, is not plot armor, it is tracking a character’s ability to continue to defend themself from attack. It’s why HP shouldn’t factor into PCs taking out sleeping baddies. If they’ve stealthed close enough then, sure, they’re dead.

This is why guns raise a problem. There’s no real defense to being shot at

Somebody should tell that to the people that make kevlar. I could also say that there's no defense against getting run through by a sword ... except in D&D there is. Not all bullet wounds are fatal and HP will always be an abstraction of many things, not just how tough you are.
 

robus

Explorer
Somebody should tell that to the people that make kevlar. I could also say that there's no defense against getting run through by a sword ... except in D&D there is. Not all bullet wounds are fatal and HP will always be an abstraction of many things, not just how tough you are.
Sure, there are solutions in *some settings*, but most action adventure scenarios don't have people running around in kevlar :)
 

robus

Explorer
That's one of the inconsistent expectations that monkeywrenches adapting D&D/d20 to some genres. Firearms kill. They also miss. They also wound, sometimes not even that seriously. It's a deadly weapon. So is a dagger doing 1d4.
I addressed that by discussing the fact that HP is recording your ability to defend yourself from the attack. If you're not defending yourself then that dagger attack is going to kill you no matter what your HP. The difference for guns is there is no reasonable defensive tactic except cover.

If you want most of the redshirts and black hats in the setting to obligingly drop dead when shot, give them fewer hps.
Sure that's fine for cannon-fodder, but for actual shootouts with competent adversaries?
 

Saelorn

Explorer
If you're not defending yourself then that dagger attack is going to kill you no matter what your HP.
How do your players feel about their epic god-slaying hero being murdered in their sleep by some punk with a knife, with their only possible defense being a Perception roll (at Disadvantage) to wake up in time?
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I addressed that by discussing the fact that HP is recording your ability to defend yourself from the attack. If you're not defending yourself then that dagger attack is going to kill you no matter what your HP. The difference for guns is there is no reasonable defensive tactic except cover..
I don't suppose there's a whole lot of functional difference between HP as 'plot armor' or hp as 'ability to defend yourself.' Either way, if you're being shot at, you're not being hit, or taking less serious hits, whether it's modeling author force (plot armor), divine intervention, a sixth sense, finite luck, or desperate defense.

Picking one of those possible interpretations and calling it 'fact' is overstepping.

In some genres, bullet-time would be just fine. In most genres, characters being shot at do move & dodge, defending themselves not by seeing a bullet and moving out of it's trajectory like Neo, but by making themselves a much harder target.

Even IRL, you can decrease your chances of getting shot by more tactics than just seeking hard cover. A moving target is harder to hit, for instance. What do characters in genre shootouts (rather than showdowns) do? They /move/ & fire, making themselves harder targets to hit. That's defending yourself.

Sure that's fine for cannon-fodder, but for actual shootouts with competent adversaries?
There's going to be more running, dodging, seeking cover, dropping prone, and more rounds exchanged - and hps ablated - before someone in a white hat gets shot in the shoulder, or someone in a black hat get's killed or implausibly disarmed.
 

robus

Explorer
How do your players feel about their epic god-slaying hero being murdered in their sleep by some punk with a knife, with their only possible defense being a Perception roll (at Disadvantage) to wake up in time?
Well, I'm not that kind of DM. :) It's actually entirely feasible for me, as DM, to kill any PC, at any moment, for any reason, but that wouldn't be much fun would it?
 

robus

Explorer
Picking one of those possible interpretations and calling it 'fact' is overstepping.
I mis-spoke, I meant "point", but I take your point :)

There's going to be more running, dodging, seeking cover, dropping prone, and more rounds exchanged - and hps ablated - before someone in a white hat gets shot in the shoulder, or someone in a black hat get's killed or implausibly disarmed.
Sure, I'm just not sure it'll give the right feel for me is all.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I mis-spoke, I meant "point", but I take your point :)
Sure, I'm just not sure it'll give the right feel for me is all.
Nod. Feel or expectations seems like it's the main stumbling block

Hit points can and do model the same sorts of things when swords, arrows, fireballs, and lightning blots are flying around. But itty-bitty pellets of streamlined lead start flying around ...
 

robus

Explorer
Hit points can and do model the same sorts of things when swords, arrows, fireballs, and lightning blots are flying around. But itty-bitty pellets of streamlined lead start flying around ...
It's all fun and games until the lead starts flying... :)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Good point. Because there's no weapon in D&D that does the same damage of a longsword that has a short range of 150 feet. It's not possible to take a feat that increases range to 600 feet without penalty while ignoring cover.
Yes, ranged combat in 5E is seriously reeling on the brink; that is, of becoming too close to melee as to make melee superfluous.

It's still a primitive game for that purpose (since there's basically nothing in place to encourage behavior commensurate with ranged tactics) so this is not a good thing.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Leaving guns aside, I think the best way to apply D&D rules to a different genre is to basically remove player options that aren’t appropriate.
You need more than that.

Even if your fine with the effect of a ranged attack on a healthy hero (i.e. none at all) I'd wager you still pretty much need new rules.

A couple of very basic example suggestions:

* if you don't start with the enemy in sight, your attacks against him are at Disadvantage.

(To discourage hiding completely behind a corner, only popping out during your own turn)

* Somebody upthread suggested everyone walks around pretty much unarmored, and that "fighters" gain their AC through other means, such as using cover intelligently.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I don't suppose there's a whole lot of functional difference.
On the contrary: As I've explained, it's at the core of the issue, since plot armor is only part of the problem, and many players simply can't marry hit point loss with the sensation of danger.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
That's one of the inconsistent expectations that monkeywrenches adapting D&D/d20 to some genres. Firearms kill. They also miss. They also wound, sometimes not even that seriously. It's a deadly weapon. So is a dagger doing 1d4. Deadly just means it does actual damage, and can kill an ordinary person under ordinary circumstances, enough of the time that you wouldn't want to use it if your intent wasn't to kill. If you want most of the redshirts and black hats in the setting to obligingly drop dead when shot, give them fewer hps. They'll also obligingly drop unconscious when you break a whiskey bottle over their head, or give 'me the old one-two. Which is probably as it should be.
And again, this only takes you so far.

If you're the hero behind an outhouse, and you need to Sprint across open ground to the next cover where your friends are, the excitement is whether you will make it without getting shot.

If the game engine uses hit points, it might reduce the excitement to a question of getting there with 64 hp or maybe 56 hp.

That is a vastly different experience.

See how this also ties into the issue of ranged tactics? (That is, how you basically don't need them when you got hit points instead.)
 

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