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

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Do you ever wish forum posts were like Facebook posts, where you could turn off commenting on posts you create? And just let them die and be forgotten?

That’s how I’m feeling about this one. Went off the rails right away. I don’t know, maybe I’m at fault for presenting a discussion idea I thought would be fun to talk about without realizing how fast it would degrade into an off topic back and forth. It was supposed to be about what other genre/setting/era outside of traditional D&D might be fun for you to play with the D&D rules, and it immediately got stuck on the guns in the Wild West and how D&D sucks for that.

If you think D&D rules don’t work for that, good for you. Then don’t talk about it. Talk about what setting/genre you think would be fun. And if you can’t think of one, then this thread clearly isn’t for you. Anything else is threadcapping.

I swear, we can’t even have a basic discussion of “I think this would be fun” without people chiming in to say how that’s wrong, how it sucks, etc.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
A knife strike that hits is also often a wound that does major damage and is often lethal, yet we're okay with hit points modeling those sorts of injuries.
Not to me, HP loss is modeling the effort to turn that potentially lethal knife blow into just a scratch, requiring both mental and physical effort. For a gun fight I would say HP is simply tracking how long it is until your luck finally runs out. I could live with that I think. People with low HP are simply inexperienced in the art of gunfighting and are quick to dispatch with a single shot. Hmm that’s growing on me...
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Do you ever wish forum posts were like Facebook posts, where you could turn off commenting on posts you create? And just let them die and be forgotten?

That’s how I’m feeling about this one. Went off the rails right away. I don’t know, maybe I’m at fault for presenting a discussion idea I thought would be fun to talk about without realizing how fast it would degrade into an off topic back and forth. It was supposed to be about what other genre/setting/era outside of traditional D&D might be fun for you to play with the D&D rules, and it immediately got stuck on the guns in the Wild West and how D&D sucks for that.

If you think D&D rules don’t work for that, good for you. Then don’t talk about it. Talk about what setting/genre you think would be fun. And if you can’t think of one, then this thread clearly isn’t for you. Anything else is threadcapping.

I swear, we can’t even have a basic discussion of “I think this would be fun” without people chiming in to say how that’s wrong, how it sucks, etc.
How about starting it over with a “no guns allowed” proviso? :)
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
Not to me, HP loss is modeling the effort to turn that potentially lethal knife blow into just a scratch, requiring both mental and physical effort. For a gun fight I would say HP is simply tracking how long it is until your luck finally runs out. I could live with that I think. People with low HP are simply inexperienced in the art of gunfighting and are quick to dispatch with a single shot. Hmm that’s growing on me...
Given the stories I like to tell, and my players like to play, I am completely content with this being how HP interact with firearms.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
And as the most recent threadcrapper, I’ll make an effort to get it back on the rails...

Other genre’s I’d like to apply D&D?

* Humans vs creatures of the night. Basically gothic horror type of thing, only humans as PCs
* Ancient World and a voyage of fantastic discovery and strange creatures.
* Alien world full of ancient ruins and strange creatures and unique character races (Zendikar would be my model)
* Virtual reality, players would have 3 characters: their human character, their custom VR avatar and a proper D&D character for playing virtual adventures.
* Jungle exploration adventure but without airdropped PCs from another part of the world.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
I'm a big fan of voyage of discovery type adventures, whether their more realistic or more Indiana Jones-y. It's a fun kind of story. The nature of ship travel also lends itself very well to nice, manageable, self contained adventure episodes.

On the gothic horror front what's the mental image you have there? Mostly I default to something that feels like the show Supernatural, which is a little WoD around the edges, but I think D&D could be used for it, even if it maybe isn't ideal in a couple of ways. The Supernatural model has protagonists who play on film like D&D heroes play at the tabletop in terms of survivability at whatnot, which is why I think it would work pretty well. Lovecraftian horror seems to fit the rules set less well, but is certainly doable.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
On the gothic horror front what's the mental image you have there? Mostly I default to something that feels like the show Supernatural, which is a little WoD around the edges, but I think D&D could be used for it, even if it maybe isn't ideal in a couple of ways. The Supernatural model has protagonists who play on film like D&D heroes play at the tabletop in terms of survivability at whatnot, which is why I think it would work pretty well. Lovecraftian horror seems to fit the rules set less well, but is certainly doable.
It really could be anything from medieval type witch-hunter, through Dracula, and into Cthulhu (and perhaps even to some kind of Doom/Quake type scenario, so leaving the gothic there a bit :)) The key part for me is (somewhat helpless) humans facing terrible horrors.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
It really could be anything from medieval type witch-hunter, through Dracula, and into Cthulhu (and perhaps even to some kind of Doom/Quake type scenario, so leaving the gothic there a bit :)) The key part for me is (somewhat helpless) humans facing terrible horrors.
Hmm. That's a pretty broad range. I think the extent to which a given example there is going end up with a combat intense 'average' session probably determines the usefulness of the D&D rule set. In a traditionally Lovecraftian horror game that has very little in the way of combat I'd probably pick another system. Everything else on that list would be doable, with the basic question being "can I combat terrible horrors with a BFG or spell equivalent?". The more helpless the humans the less useful D&D is as an engine IMO.
 
So... I guess here are a ideas of mine;

- Renaissance era, with things like pirates, and some gunpowder. Flying ships as blimps and stuff.
- Victorian merging things like "jack the ripper" style murders in the cities, tensions between colonial powers and local communities. Maybe mix some Cthulhu, vampires both fit well in that aesthetic.
- WWI style, with lots of steampunk mixed in. Imagine orcs in tweed and tieflings at the forefront with gatling guns.
- Gamma World style, with just a dash of sci-fi but mostly post-apocalyptic wasteland. Less Dark Sun, more Mad Max.

Those are some of my ideas; a lot of different RPGs tackle some of these ideas in different form already. I of course want to see different cultures as well (Asian, African, Middle East are sorely lacking right now in D&D) but these are ones that would require some new mechanics to truly get right.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I didn't say anyone wasn't content (I am btw) with certain things, nor that the system might be better at one that the other (it i). The fact remains that, contentedness aside, D&D isn't modelling accurate damage from any kind of weapon. An individual might not be happy about how HP models faux-modern ranged combat, but really, so what? It isn't designed to do that. The point at which people find it "entirely inadequate" is because those people have very different expectations about firearms and their damage relative to melee with blunt and bladed weapons. Those expectations are based on very fictional understandings of medieval combat and less fictional understandings of firearms. You can't be ok with highly fictional on the one hand and not on the other without a willingness to admit that it's your expectations, not the system, that are the issue. Or at least a big part of the issue.

I do agree that there's more to it than that, but I also think it's pretty cogent to point out what amounts to a category mistake at the heart of the issue at hand.
My point is that anyone dismissing complaints against a hp-driven firearms-enabled campaign can't or won't see the bigger picture.

It is not, I repeat not, as easy as "if you don't like it, you're lacking in understanding".

The damage model drives behavior on the battle mat. Hit points enable melee and deemphasizes cover and tactics. The resulting way combats execute is why people complain.

That's why I participate in this thread. I see far too many unenlightened and reductive analyses, and so a deeper explanation is in order.

PS. As already discussed, D&D offers a fairly primitive ruleset when it comes to ranged-centric combat, with the ability to spend every character's turn except your own in complete safety as maybe the most egregious example. (That's not the fault of hit points, but it is a complaint that cannot and should not be dismissed with the crude notion this is only about people holding different genres to different standards, with it's undercurrent of "they're wrong")
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
[MENTION=12731]CapnZapp[/MENTION] I think you're mistaking my point for something it's not. The lack of understanding specifically indexes the inability (by design) of HP to simulate damage from any real world weapons - HP as simulation. One big subset of arguments about HP and firearms is how while they might work for melee they don't for firearms (as a simulation). They don't 'work' for either, the only difference is the extent to which people don't realize that they don't work for melee (again, as a simulation). In both cases they are a heavily fictionalized account of combat. It's not that I don't understand the complaints, I just don't have a lot of sympathy for them - HP is what it is and asking it do something very different from what it's designed to do is always going to messy and complicated. Maybe worth it as a hack (who doesn't love a good rules hack) but don't complain that it doesn't fit like a glove. So, to sum up, I am only addressing some specific points about the value of HP as simulation as regards melee versus firearms damage for people who complain about the lack of 'realism' in the HP system.

To your point, which is about how HP interact with the tactical considerations in the game at range, I probably agree. The pace of ranged centric combat probably requires some kind of tweak to the tactical mechanics of the game. The turn by turn thing is hard to overcome unless you want to buff the role of reactions, and maybe stretch multiple attacks over multiple initiative steps to try and interweave things more. Rules for overwatch and holding actions become more necessary too. That actually sounds like a fun thread, we should do that - the tactics and game play are probably a bigger barrier to satisfying play than HP anyway.
 
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Fanaelialae

Adventurer
I've always wanted to run a modern day game where the PCs are ordinary people by day, but enter a Dreamland by night where they are D&Desque characters. At first it would seem that these two aspects are distinct, but it would become apparent that these two worlds are connected in some fashion. At night they would be Big Damn Heroes, but by day they would need to manage the risks they take (as well as other aspects of their lives) because they're functionally normal people. Slaying demons by night and contending with mall security by day.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
[MENTION=12731]CapnZapp[/MENTION] I think you're mistaking my point for something it's not. The lack of understanding specifically indexes the inability (by design) of HP to simulate damage from any real world weapons - HP as simulation. One big subset of arguments about HP and firearms is how while they might work for melee they don't for firearms (as a simulation).
Well, as I said, this is only part of why you might see complaints. And it is the easiest part to dismiss.

That is, I see a lot of posters choosing to define the complaints as this only, in order for them to ignore the complaints.

To your point, which is about how HP interact with the tactical considerations in the game at range, I probably agree.
If that means you're no longer as dismissive of the complaints (that you take in the possibility the complainers aren't merely applying double standards to hp in melee and ranged) then my presence here is working.

The pace of ranged centric combat probably requires some kind of tweak to the tactical mechanics of the game. The turn by turn thing is hard to overcome unless you want to buff the role of reactions, and maybe stretch multiple attacks over multiple initiative steps to try and interweave things more. Rules for overwatch and holding actions become more necessary too. That actually sounds like a fun thread, we should do that - the tactics and game play are probably a bigger barrier to satisfying play than HP anyway.
Sure, but now you make it sound like you're discussing an issue completely separate from hit points.

My points is that hit points are intrinsically linked to the question of tactics in the gameplay.

That is, you can always skip minding cover if all you stand to lose is a couple of hit points. Yes, in the long run you can't afford to lose hp carelessly, but skipping cover is a definite choice to weigh against getting to your destination quicker.

Contrast to other games where getting shot at means risking a Dodge check, and possibly having to pay a rare Fate Point. You're much more likely to choose the safer but slower path.

So the hit points damage model directly impacts how the game plays out; creating an argument against using it that is not nearly as easy to dismiss than merely "I dislike hp-as-simulation for ranged combat even though I don't mind it for melee combat".

Best regards

PS. As always, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with using hit points for a gunpowder game.

I'm only trying to bridge two different viewpoints by explaining why resistance against hit points have real solid origins, rather than it being just "wrong"
 
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Fenris-77

Explorer
I was only addressing a specific portion of the complaints, and even then not dismissing them outright, just adding some much needed context. There are all sorts of other very legitimate complaints about the HP depending on what a group wants their campaign to feel like. It's not your presence either (awesome as that may be) as I was only indexing a limited portion of the conversation. Sorry if it seemed like I was being outright dismissive, that wasn't the intent - I just think the focus should be on mechanics and game play, and not on the philosophy of HP as simulation.

As for the tactics, I feel like HP are one moving part in what needs to be a larger conversation. To change the tactical feel of the game HP do need to be addressed, but not, i think, in isolation. You could layer in more consequences and another mechanic or two, along with appropriately leveled damage to give the 5E rule set some of the vibe your looking for (be it from Fate or whatever). I would start with an idea - "I want combat to feel like X" and then list the mechanics involved plus things that are missing. Those mechanics are all interwoven, so changing one can change another, and I think you'd need to balance things out as a package. I think the idea of consequences would be central to that conversation, but I also think that there are probably a lot of ways to add consequences other than just massaging the HP system. This could obviously apply to non-firearms games as well if a group wanted a crunchier, grittier, feel to combat.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Very well.

But remember you don't need to reinvent the wheel here. The problem has been tackled before. You know, by other games.

(And yet again, you might end up keeping hit points, if only because it's simple and familiar.

Not here to dump on hit points, after all.

Only here to dump on the notion you must be shortsighted somehow to dismiss them)
 

MarkB

Adventurer
Very well.

But remember you don't need to reinvent the wheel here. The problem has been tackled before. You know, by other games.
Now that you mention it, while I've seen injury and death handled differently in a variety of systems, I can't think of any I've played that specifically support and encourage tactical ranged combat - and it's something I've occasionally looked for in a system. Is there a particular system that does it well?
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
Personally, I'm not actually going to rejig 5E for ranged combat at all. I use 5E for more traditional fantasy games and I'm completely happy with it (and the HP system)as-is. My first choice for a ranged heavy game would be a different system. However, playing with rules is fun, and I'm always interested in conceptual rules hacking.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Personally, I'm not actually going to rejig 5E for ranged combat at all. I use 5E for more traditional fantasy games and I'm completely happy with it (and the HP system)as-is. My first choice for a ranged heavy game would be a different system. However, playing with rules is fun, and I'm always interested in conceptual rules hacking.
But do you really need to? I think the thing that bothers me most about this "D&D doesn't work with guns" is that unless you assume fully automatic weapons and an unlimited ammo supply, guns are really all that much different in game terms than what we already have. Particularly if you limit to 19th century or earlier tech, they really aren't all that much more effective. Cheaper? Easier to use? More portable and reliable in the real world? Sure. But D&D ignores most of those factors.

In the real world, most hunters won't use even a modern compound bow on a deer more than 30 feet away, in D&D there's no penalty to hit out to 50 yards or 200 yards with a feat. Heck, I had a guy with a 2nd level character and a sling (and hex) doing 20+ points of damage at 100 feet away when using sharpshooter.

So tell me ... what would a firearm look like from a rules perspective that it would be so much more deadly? Or are people just saying that guns are automatic death delivery devices?
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
Don't get me wrong, I think D&D works fine with guns, up to a point. I'll quite happily use 5E for steampunk settings that use firearms and it's dandy. The firearms I use don't tend to be that much different than the missile weapons already in the game though. I up the damage a little, maybe monkey with the ranges, but I'm not changing much. I'm not aiming for deadly firearms though, which is the main reason I don't have any issues IMO.
 

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