D&D 5E Is D&D 90% Combat?

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In response to Cubicle 7’s announcement that their next Doctor Who role playing game would be powered by D&D 5E, there was a vehement (and in some places toxic) backlash on social media. While that backlash has several dimensions, one element of it is a claim that D&D is mainly about combat.

Head of D&D Ray Winninger disagreed (with snark!), tweeting "Woke up this morning to Twitter assuring me that [D&D] is "ninety percent combat." I must be playing (and designing) it wrong." WotC's Dan Dillon also said "So guess we're gonna recall all those Wild Beyond the Witchlight books and rework them into combat slogs, yeah? Since we did it wrong."

So, is D&D 90% combat?



And in other news, attacking C7 designers for making games is not OK.

 

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Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Dude. I never even came close to saying that tax evasion was okay. ROFL

It kind of read like you were minimizing it...

Almost everyone commits felonies every day without even being aware of it. Plus, you are engaging in another false equivalence. People hold different things to be sacred. A person can view working under the table as okay, but cheating at a game as horrible.

... especially in light to the wordcount spent decrying cheaters and shoplifters. So I took it the same way as @HammerMan , and was surprised.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
almost everyone commits felonies every day (not sure that is true or testable) and then you said people hold 2 different thing sacred...

a person can view (Tax evasion) as okay but cheating at a game as horrible.
I never said that person was me.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I'm afraid you're still not seeing Wittgenstein's point. I'll put it rhetorically first: What makes you think "chess" is in fact a fully defined concept?
No, I get it. I don't have to reach that point to make mine.
Now an example, followed by his claim. I'll use the example of colors, which works well because they're on a continuum, not discrete. Suppose someone calls a book "red;" are there in fact universally necessary and sufficient conditions for some object qualifying as "red?" Presumably something that's pink would not qualify, as there's a separate term for that (but I know some people who will call pink a species of red...). Okay, but how far away from pink does it have to get before it objectively belongs in the <red> category? Do you really think there's an actual answer to that??? Wittgenstein doesn't. Or how about if it's orange? We surely then would not call the book "red." But how reddish of an orange does it need to be before it does get called "red?" This isn't a question of, "Where's the line?" for Wittgenstein; it's a question of, "Is there a line?" His unequivocal answer is, "No."

Let's try another just in case it isn't yet fully clear: suppose someone says, "Bob sure is tall." Do you imagine there actually is a fully objective set of criteria for "tall" vs. "short" vs "middlin'?" I can assure you there isn't.

Do you see it now?
I'm not sure you followed my response. I acknowledged that categories can be so broad as to be not useful in detail. However, I don't accept that categories are not useful for classification period. As you not, I may not be able to describe red in some ways, but I can do a tighter definition in others, and adhere to it, and it has use. If I define red as a +/- from a center frequency of light, then I can do work with this to categorize red and not red. Someone else might have a different category they prefer, but that doesn't mean mine doesn't do useful work. And this is acknowledging that measurement of wavelenght may itself include uncertainty.

Fundamentally, this is a discussion about uncertainty. We operated in a constant regime of uncertainty in doing everything we do. It's useful to acknowledge this, and sometime uncertainty is the factor in complicating decision points. I happen to have done a good bit of work in the area of decision making under deep uncertainty and what that means, so I get the concept. However, that uncertainty exists doesn't obviate classification or decisions. In some areas, uncertainty is not large enough to complicate at all. For example, while I might have quibbles at the edges of what is or isn't red, I can use a very uncertain model of red to select between reds and blues. It still does work.
In life there's a certain personality that wants clear, definite, objective answers to all meaningful questions. Wittgenstein's claim is that in the end reality is always going to disappoint that sort of person.
And this is the most banal reading of Wittgenstein's arguments. It's often used improperly as a cudgel to smash any attempt to do a better job of being clear or precising defining something under the guise that it is futile work. Wittgenstein did not make this claim, just that absolute precision is impossible and often cannot even be closely approached. This doesn't, however, discard all use of definition or efforts to categorize.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It kind of read like you were minimizing it...
No. @HammerMan falsely equated the 24% of people who work under the table as also being okay with cheating at the game. I simply pointed out that people can have different views on what's right or wrong. Someone could view taxation as theft and be okay with not reporting income, but not be okay with cheating at a game. That's not minimizing it at all.
 

G

Guest 7034872

Guest
I trust that my players and I (and my DMs and I) are all working togather. So if the DM fudges things, or a Player fudges things, it's okay as long as it all ends up fun.
That's where I ended up, too. If people at my table want to play some hack-and-slash with wildly OP PCs and loose rules enforcement, I'm more concerned with everyone having fun than I am with who is being faithful to the stated rules and who is not. Some guy speeds on the highway: is that illegal? Yep. Do I care? Not if he isn't endangering anyone (including me).
You are at war...every choice is serious, every ruling must be perfect...or you lose the war.
I am playing a sport... it's just a game, if things don't go smoothly we can adjust them, but in the end it's just a fun time with friends...
I'm with you on this. I note that some people take their sports very seriously, though (some even make careers of them), so it's not like I'm going to pedantically say those who are less relaxed than I are "doing it wrong." I do NOT want to say that (and neither did you)--I only want to say there's nothing wrong with the relaxed approach.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I am not now, nor have I ever been, at war with the players. My games are not adversarial in the slightest. You really need to stop assuming. You're bad at it.

Yep. I trust them not to cheat, since cheating violates the social contract and compromises the integrity of the game.

Not even close. I have no idea how you got to war and being adversarial from what I have been saying.
I am trying to understand you.

You police any miss used rule or fudged die roll with 2 strikes your out.
You think that there is some integrity to the game that falls apart if someone hits on a 8 once or twice when they really needed a 14. and you make it sound like the whole game is ruined if it happened (caught or not)

the war isn't with your players per say, but war/sport as serious business or life and death compared to 'its' just a game...for fun'
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter


That second web-link is... Most of those headlines have nothing to do with the cases discussed. (And yes, some of the cases are atrocious, but it doesn't seem to lead to much support that most people commit three felonies a day).
 

G

Guest 7034872

Guest
Fundamentally, this is a discussion about uncertainty.
No, this is something he explicitly rejects. It's about whether or not there even is a fact of the matter to be discerned. His claim is there isn't.
And this is the most banal reading of Wittgenstein's arguments. It's often used improperly as a cudgel to smash any attempt to do a better job of being clear or precising defining something under the guise that it is futile work. Wittgenstein did not make this claim, just that absolute precision is impossible and often cannot even be closely approached. This doesn't, however, discard all use of definition or efforts to categorize.
Wittgenstein spent his life trying to achieve greater precision. The question is, about what is that precision to be achieved? You either misunderstood my claims or built a straw man for them, because neither Wittgenstein nor I would ever say the pursuit of precision is futile, pointless, or bad. The claim, rather, is that demanding exactness where something is not exact is futile (and fundamentally confused).

I should hope my readings of Wittgenstein have not been banal; I used to teach him.
 


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