D&D 5E Is D&D 90% Combat?

Status
Not open for further replies.
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.

 

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I mean... I just don't get it.

yeah, and she has, and will miss. It isn't ALWAYS a call to fudge some dice. But if in her mind THIS time is when it is, I wont call her on it. If she does it alot it might become a joke...but she isn't a problem so I don't care.
Cool. You don't care about cheating. There are a huge number of us that do, though, because it actively harms the game.
you can't cheat if you don't have rules... but you can bend rules and/or ignore rules sometimes and still play by them most times... why have rules, as the basic structure, why break rules (and as such the structure) cause they are not working to enhance the fun at that moment.
If you can just cheat whenever you feel like it, then there are no real rules and there is no basic structure. The "structure" you mention is just an illusion. The "rules" you mention are also illusion and don't really exist, since rules are prescriptive.

You are correct that you can't cheat if you don't have rules, but that only applies when cheating is forbidden. If cheating is allowed by the DM, then it is no longer cheating and the rules are no longer rules. It's simply, "You can do what you feel like, when you feel like it."
this doesn't sound like any exchange I have ever seen IRL... You do this alot, you take an arrgument throw it to the most illogical conculsions and then pretend that is what I said.
So no.

1. I didn't pretend it was what you said. It was an exaggeration to illustrate.
2. It's not an illogical conclusion to say that there are no rules or the rules don't matter if cheating is allowed whenever the player feels like it. It's a fact.

we have a wizard. He is 3rd level (we normally start 3rd or 5th) so we all know he has cantrips + 6 spells (4 1st and 2 2nd and I can do that from memory). We hit a dungeon, and first fight he uses 3 1st level slots and some cantrips. We don't take a rest, go right into the next room, and he opens up with BOTH of his 2nd level spells (meaning he has 1 slot left and it is 1st level) so a player asks "Is any of the equipment form eaither encounter magic?" and the wizard says he can ritual cast detect magic if they give him 10 minutes... but they don't have the time so he casts it with his last slot. (and yes the stone with the seal is magic...with an arcana check it is transmutation... we joke that is the most used school of magic) we have 2 more fights... the wizard is cantripping the whole way. We end the session, but not the dungeon.
We come back the next week and fight the last 2 fights... the first one he just throws cantrips, the second he pulls out a shield spell and turns a massive hit (that might have killed him) into a miss. We didn't rest. He didn't have the slot left. Was it a mistake (it was a week out of game) was it fudgeing, was it cheating? I don't care I am not calling him on it... I let it go.
I wouldn't assume he was cheating. Players can lose track of slots from week to week. However, if I know he's out of slots I'm going to gently remind him that he used them all up and had been reduced to cantrips. The hit would then happen and we would play it out from there.

You don't have to "call him on it" or "let it go" as the only two options. Calling him on it implies cheating and that's a far cry from knowing it's cheating. Now, if it was a repeated pattern where a player of mine "forgot" spell slots on a regular basis, then it would be time to talk to him about a better accounting system for his slots.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Speaking in more general terms:

There are several features of 5e D&D that permit GM manipulation or "subversion" (your word, that you used upthread). The three that I think are most obvious are (i) that the GM often rolls and some of those rolls are secret, or are modified by secret modifiers, (ii) that the GM often sets target numbers, some of which are kept secret, and some of which - even if revealed - are extrapolated from secret information not available to the players, and (iii) that the GM generally decides what the consequence of success on a check is, and that that decision may be informed by extrapolation from secret information not available to the players.

4e D&D doesn't have full-fledged (ii) and doesn't have (iii).

In 4e, on (ii) for skill checks, doesn't the DM set the level (which determines the DC) and the complexity (number of successes needed) and have the power to reward clever ideas? The DM doesn't have to reveal all of the relevant skills (or difficulties?) do they?

In 4e, on (iii) for skill checks, doesn't it still depend a great deal on the DM and what they know. In the negotiation example in the PHB, the DM still determines the "reasonable assistance" and the "more trouble" outcomes in the case of a failure. In the dead witness, the DM decides what the corpse knows and how much ill will subsequent undead encounters will have if there is a failure.. In the chase example the DM determines if there is a monetary reward or a combat encounter, or where they take refuge if there is a failure. In the interrogation the DM determines what the valuable information and any other benefit, or what how bad the bad information is on a failure. etc...

So... I feel like I must be missing the point you're trying to make here.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Cool. You don't care about cheating. There are a huge number of us that do, though, because it actively harms the game.
I don't care that you care... but I find it weird in a game of make believe. I DO care that you would say it 'harms the game' the 30+ years of experence I have is 0 harm has been done. More harm has been caused by policeing the rule In MY experience.
If you can just cheat whenever you feel like it, then there are no real rules and there is no basic structure.
the rules and structrure act as guide lines. THey help form the game, but the game is not beholden to them in my experence.
The "structure" you mention is just an illusion. The "rules" you mention are also illusion and don't really exist, since rules are prescriptive.
the whole game is an illusion... yours mine, anyones... its a game of make believe. We use sheets and dice and books and chips and cards and rules and norms... but it is still just a game of make believe

You are correct that you can't cheat if you don't have rules, but that only applies when cheating is forbidden. If cheating is allowed by the DM, then it is no longer cheating and the rules are no longer rules. It's simply, "You can do what you feel like, when you feel like it."
it. is. a. game. I have seen people cheat all the time (always have more hp, almost always hit, crit 50% or more of the time, and NEVER loose) and I have seen people fusge sometimes (I gave an example already maybe 2) I have seen people cheat to loose too, like when a hit could not possible have killed someone they call there character dead (cause they want an excuse to make a new one). I don't care. It is about fun. if they are having fun and so are the rest of us then why care.

Now can it get to be annoying, or interfere with someone elses fun? Yes it can. Are there ways to talk to them then... also yes.
So no.

1. I didn't pretend it was what you said. It was an exaggeration to illustrate.
2. It's not an illogical conclusion to say that there are no rules or the rules don't matter if cheating is allowed whenever the player feels like it. It's a fact.
it is not a fact, it is your opinion.
I wouldn't assume he was cheating. Players can lose track of slots from week to week.
and I covered that in my write up... maybe he cheated maybe he miss added maybe he misremembered. At the end of the day it doesn't matter.
However, if I know he's out of slots I'm going to gently remind him that he used them all up and had been reduced to cantrips.
and what does that add?
The hit would then happen and we would play it out from there.
and if that turns the fight into a death of a character that someone really wanted to play but just died in session 2?
You don't have to "call him on it" or "let it go" as the only two options.
I mean they really are. I can come up with a bunch of names for it 'remind him' or 'ignore it' 'coach him' or let it slide'
Calling him on it implies cheating and that's a far cry from knowing it's cheating. Now, if it was a repeated pattern where a player of mine "forgot" spell slots on a regular basis, then it would be time to talk to him about a better accounting system for his slots.
why? I mean if the player says they are having trouble with spell slots, or if they often say things like "Shoot do I have any 1st level spell slots" I can suggest ways to manage it... but if they are happy as is, why would I interfere>
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I mean... I just don't get it.

yeah, and she has, and will miss. It isn't ALWAYS a call to fudge some dice. But if in her mind THIS time is when it is, I wont call her on it. If she does it alot it might become a joke...but she isn't a problem so I don't care.

you can't cheat if you don't have rules... but you can bend rules and/or ignore rules sometimes and still play by them most times... why have rules, as the basic structure, why break rules (and as such the structure) cause they are not working to enhance the fun at that moment.

this doesn't sound like any exchange I have ever seen IRL... You do this alot, you take an arrgument throw it to the most illogical conculsions and then pretend that is what I said.

I can give you a better example though

we have a wizard. He is 3rd level (we normally start 3rd or 5th) so we all know he has cantrips + 6 spells (4 1st and 2 2nd and I can do that from memory). We hit a dungeon, and first fight he uses 3 1st level slots and some cantrips. We don't take a rest, go right into the next room, and he opens up with BOTH of his 2nd level spells (meaning he has 1 slot left and it is 1st level) so a player asks "Is any of the equipment form eaither encounter magic?" and the wizard says he can ritual cast detect magic if they give him 10 minutes... but they don't have the time so he casts it with his last slot. (and yes the stone with the seal is magic...with an arcana check it is transmutation... we joke that is the most used school of magic) we have 2 more fights... the wizard is cantripping the whole way. We end the session, but not the dungeon.
We come back the next week and fight the last 2 fights... the first one he just throws cantrips, the second he pulls out a shield spell and turns a massive hit (that might have killed him) into a miss. We didn't rest. He didn't have the slot left. Was it a mistake (it was a week out of game) was it fudgeing, was it cheating? I don't care I am not calling him on it... I let it go.

does that mean he has infinite spell slots? no. and I don't expect he would try to. At later levels I wont be able to double check him though, and he could slip an extra spell or 2 every now and then...
I fairly regularly see players decide to reset their hp/spell slots/etc to a staggering frequency*, it's a symptom of the ultra trivial recovery in 5e making it too much work for the gm to actively track so it could be proven. More problematic than bob doing that maybe by mistake or whatever is the fact that Alice & Dave follow the rules while making sure to stay on the ball tracking that stuff but notice bob doing it again & also can't be expected to track it for Bob..

* Often certain players simply decide new session=long rest even if the bodies are still warm. Last week I saw it happen when a couple couldn't make it & the partial group kicked off with Bob saying "lets go chase that ghoul that was running away" before one of the other players immediately asked andy:"weren't you almost dead?">bob:"yea I think you might be right">GM tired of noticing it:"what does your sheet say bob?">bob:"I must have forgotten to add it to the new printout, I think I had 6hp"... Looking further bob was probably regularly using two bonus action class abilities with oner of them being a 5th level ability not normally available to a level 3 pc. Bob's not playing the same game as everyone else & blithely does it without care but if I as the gm give everyone else perks bob will just step up his dismissal of the rules or I will look like I'm playing favorites.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
it. is. a. game. I have seen people cheat all the time (always have more hp, almost always hit, crit 50% or more of the time, and NEVER loose) and I have seen people fusge sometimes (I gave an example already maybe 2) I have seen people cheat to loose too, like when a hit could not possible have killed someone they call there character dead (cause they want an excuse to make a new one). I don't care. It is about fun. if they are having fun and so are the rest of us then why care.

Now can it get to be annoying, or interfere with someone elses fun? Yes it can. Are there ways to talk to them then... also yes.
This seems to be the important part. I'm glad you've found a bunch of players who apparently agree with you that it doesn't matter.

--

Tangentially, I wonder if the propensity to fudge/cheat in games for fun -- and how such fudging/cheating by others is viewed --- is correlated at all to how various other things are viewed (violating IP laws when it's a big companies IP; filling the water cup at the restaurant with self-serve soda; modest use of the office photo-copier for personal use; not reporting income on one's taxes; going over the speed limit; etc...). I'm guessing most people do at least one of that parenthetical list, and wonder how everyone would rate it and put in the fudging dice/hp as a D&D player.
 

HammerMan

Legend
I fairly regularly see players decide to reset their hp/spell slots/etc to a staggering frequency*, it's a symptom of the ultra trivial recovery in 5e making it too much work for the gm to actively track so it could be proven. More problematic than bob doing that maybe by mistake or whatever is the fact that Alice & Dave follow the rules while making sure to stay on the ball tracking that stuff but notice bob doing it again & also can't be expected to track it for Bob..
yup... When i went to my first PF game and was told we were going to roll for stats. I knew other players would 'cheat' and I just didn't feel like going through the motions. I just picked what I wanted and told the DM that...and that I would not have the highest ones. It took him a bit to agree but when he saw all the 'rolled' stats he did.
* Often certain players simply decide new session=long rest even if the bodies are still warm. Last week I saw it happen when a couple couldn't make it & the partial group kicked off with Bob saying "lets go chase that ghoul that was running away" before one of the other players immediately asked andy:"weren't you almost dead?">bob:"yea I think you might be right">GM tired of noticing it:"what does your sheet say bob?">bob:"I must have forgotten to add it to the new printout, I think I had 6hp"... Looking further bob was probably regularly using two bonus action class abilities with oner of them being a 5th level ability not normally available to a level 3 pc. Bob's not playing the same game as everyone else & blithely does it without care but if I as the gm give everyone else perks bob will just step up his dismissal of the rules or I will look like I'm playing favorites.
yeah I would say unless other players have a problem, I would just let it go. if (as in my experence) others notice the trend it may become a bit of a joke (+1 floating jimmy bless, Criting Jon) and Bob may or may not take that as a reason to cut back... but we are all there just for fun.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't care that you care... but I find it weird in a game of make believe. I DO care that you would say it 'harms the game' the 30+ years of experence I have is 0 harm has been done. More harm has been caused by policeing the rule In MY experience.
Excellent. So having no rules and allowing what the players to do is good for your game. It harms my game and the games of a great many, probably the vast majority of us who play. Games without rules are few and far between.
the rules and structrure act as guide lines. THey help form the game, but the game is not beholden to them in my experence.
Correct. The DM can alter them as he sees fit. It's cheating for the players to do so and the players are by default beholden to them.
the whole game is an illusion... yours mine, anyones... its a game of make believe. We use sheets and dice and books and chips and cards and rules and norms... but it is still just a game of make believe
It's no more illusion than Monopoly is. Yes it's a game of the imagination, but it has structure and rules, cheating is by default forbidden, and as a game it is not an illusion at all.
I have seen people cheat all the time (always have more hp, almost always hit, crit 50% or more of the time, and NEVER loose) and I have seen people fusge sometimes (I gave an example already maybe 2) I have seen people cheat to loose too, like when a hit could not possible have killed someone they call there character dead (cause they want an excuse to make a new one). I don't care. It is about fun. if they are having fun and so are the rest of us then why care.
I get that you don't get it, but can you at least accept that for huge numbers of us someone cheating robs us of enjoyment? That is harm to our game. The cheaters are saying to us, "Screw you. I don't care about your fun and I don't care about the time and effort the DM put into the game. I just care about my own fun."
and what does that add?
Integrity. Both my integrity and the game's integrity. Allowing to happen sacrifices both.
and if that turns the fight into a death of a character that someone really wanted to play but just died in session 2?
I don't know how it is in your game, but my players want death to be on the table. Death off the table for us = no point in even playing the game.
I mean they really are. I can come up with a bunch of names for it 'remind him' or 'ignore it' 'coach him' or let it slide'
I reject your False Dichotomy. I already showed you how I would do it differently.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Tangentially, I wonder if the propensity to fudge/cheat in games for fun -- and how such fudging/cheating by others is viewed --- is correlated at all to how various other things are viewed (violating IP laws when it's a big companies IP; filling the water cup at the restaurant with self-serve soda; modest use of the office photo-copier for personal use; not reporting income on one's taxes; going over the speed limit; etc...). I'm guessing most people do at least one of that parenthetical list, and wonder how everyone would rate it and put in the fudging dice/hp as a D&D player.
interesting... Now 'cheating' in real life can get you ostracized from my group (the fake cancer story was the worst but there are others)

(violating IP laws when it's a big companies IP; ) my group was 50/50 on this until we started meeting artists... now we are BIG on not liking pirates.

filling the water cup at the restaurant with self-serve soda; I don't think I have ever known someone to do THAT... I do sometimes refill before I leave at self serve though.

modest use of the office photo-copier for personal use; LOL GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY... when I was in HS I had my mom make copies of character sheets. When I was older I started doing it. I never lie about it though (so like the above choosing stats) I will just tell my boss "Yeah, I am going to use the fax/copier" I don't know how I would react if they cared... I never have seen it yet.

not reporting income on one's taxes; Um that's not little... you go to big boy prision for that (unless your rich then you can get away with it but no one I know is rich)

going over the speed limit; etc... this one I think is the MOST like D&D dice fudgeing on your list. I would tell someone to be more careful, but I wouldn't end a freindship over it... and I (and I assume most) always have a good reason (excuse) when I do it.
 

Oofta

Legend
I think most editions of D&D, and also a significant number of other games, at least suggest that the GM has final say. But they also usually say something along the lines of “when in doubt” or “when the rules are unclear”.

Many folks read that as “the GM is free to do whatever they want” but I don’t think that’s really the case. If I’m playing D&D and the DM constantly vetos things that should have pretty clear processes and potential results, I’m likely not gonna stick around. Or ask that we change how this works. I’d expect that would be true for many people.

So, if a DM is constantly making tasks incredibly hard by always using high DCs for ability checks, or if he’s raising opponent ACs, or if he’s constantly not allowing for ability checks where they seem relevant… maybe that’s all technically “by the book”… but it seems like it would stink.

What the DMG says (underling is mine)
  • The DM creates a world for the other players to explore, and also creates and runs adventures that drive the story.
  • You can also lean on the other players to help you with rules mastery and world-building.
  • The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren’t in charge. You’re the DM, and you are in charge of the game.
  • That said, your goal isn’t to slaughter the adventurers but to create a campaign world that revolves around their actions and decisions, and to keep your players coming back for more!
  • A player tells the DM what he or she wants to do, and the DM determines whether it is successful or not, in some cases asking the player to make a die roll to determine success.
So can the DM give some control to the PCs? Sure. It's always been and always will be an option. If the DM does things the players don't care for, they don't come back. No DM can be the right one for everyone. I've had people occasionally leave because of it, I've left games because the game wasn't for me, I've had players tell me it's the best campaign they've ever played in. There is no one size fits all.

But the default assumption in the DMG and the PHB is that the DM is in charge of the world, the rules and what happens when a PC attempts something.
 

South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
A long time ago a man named Wittgenstein tried to explain to the world that rules for languages and rules for games are never exact and only seem so insofar as we decline to examine their details. Suppose a friend and I play a game of chess. Suppose my friend is much better at it than I, so she spots me a rook; is that still chess? Suppose on top of spotting me a rook, she also lets me take back foolish moves when I make them even though she herself does not; is that still chess? Wittgenstein's whole point here was that if you think there is an actual fact of the matter with which to answer these questions, you don't understand what games (or languages) are yet.

Suppose HammerMan and his players decide to allow something like "mulligans" in the game and everyone at the table endorses this principle. Is that still D&D? What makes anyone suppose there even is a definite answer to be found for that question??
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Oh yes. I buy the PDFs of DM's screens sometimes and print the backsides of them and put them in a plastic slip so that they're sitting in front of me. I just can't stand the actual screens.

Since I run digitally, I tend to use them as quick references; its often very useful to have things like tables or lists of modifiers and the like all in one place. But I can't say I ever used a screen as, well, a screen.

(This doesn't mean I absolutely never do a secret roll, but most of the time when that's the case its because even knowing a PC-facing roll is occurring conveys information (passive perception rolls in games that do that for example)).
 

Oofta

Legend
I was replying to this from you:
If, by "every other version", you means something other than every other version, fair enough. The only versions in the past 13 years are 5e and 4e, and I've already posted that 4e is different from what you have described.

I don't have enough knowledge of 3E to have a confident opinion of how much it may have fitted your description.

What I'm trying to get at is that your description of the "default" for D&D may be true as a statistical matter - ie what does the typical game look like - but is not true as a normative matter, in terms of what the rules of the game say, once we look at some non-5e versions of D&D.

I don't know if you care about that. I care, because I get frustrated by descriptions of "default" D&D that paint 4e D&D or classic D&D as deviant.

In practice in all of our 4E games the DM still made the final call. There were still things not covered directly by the rules that the DM just had to adjudicate. There were times when the text was not clear and the DM would make a final ruling.

I meant no offense, not sure why this is a sensitive topic.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Excellent. So having no rules and allowing what the players to do is good for your game. It harms my game and the games of a great many, probably the vast majority of us who play. Games without rules are few and far between.
sigh... again with "I am in the right, more people agree...I know even though there is no way to know"
also totally misframing what I said about not careing if someone cheats, to 'no rules ever'
Correct. The DM can alter them as he sees fit. It's cheating for the players to do so and the players are by default beholden to them.
I disagree
It's no more illusion than Monopoly is. Yes it's a game of the imagination, but it has structure and rules, cheating is by default forbidden, and as a game it is not an illusion at all.
OMG...please tell me you don't think this is in anyway real or realish or real from a point of view, please tell me you know we play make believe.
I get that you don't get it, but can you at least accept that for huge numbers of us someone cheating robs us of enjoyment?
some... I can understand that some, but no not a huge number. And neither of us can PROVE a number. I also don't understand HOW it robs you of your enjoyment... maybe if you showed the harm.
The cheaters are saying to us, "Screw you. I don't care about your fun and I don't care about the time and effort the DM put into the game. I just care about my own fun."
no... you are putting words in there mouths. I have NEVER seen ANYONE say something like that.

actually wait... thats not true I did know a guy in2e that said something like that, he was no in any group though and never stayed friends with us.
Integrity. Both my integrity and the game's integrity. Allowing to happen sacrifices both.
your integrity? if you aren't the one doing it, and no one is forceing you too how does it effect YOUR integrity?

here is a simple test. If a player rolls a 4 tells you they hit a 17, and roll damage, BUT you don't know what there bonus to hit is, compared to the player rolls a die you can't see it (in my case I am too old I have to pick up my own sometimes) says he hits a 17, compared to You KNOW he has a +7 to hit, rolled a 4 and really hit 11 (aka miss) but calls a 17. In all 3 he is 'cheating' but you only know it is the 3rd. How does it effect your game at all in any of the 3 or does knowing it and catching it matter?
I don't know how it is in your game, but my players want death to be on the table. Death off the table for us = no point in even playing the game.
I have played both with and without it on the table (like we literally played a game as immortals once) but in general death IS a possibility... the fact that sometimes people fudge one way or another (or make honest mistakes especially math ones) doesn't bother us at all
I reject your False Dichotomy. I already showed you how I would do it differently.
no you called them on it in a friendly way, but you called them on it (weather that be call them on the mistake or call them on cheating doesn't matter)
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Presumably most people play RPGs to have fun, but identifying that goal doesn't take us very far in identifying what the various participants ought to be doing to try and ensure that the experience is fun. The particular game being played, its systems, the "ethos" it brings with it, etc, are all considerations. Eg D&D benefits from maps in a way that is largely irrelevant to Prince Valiant. D&D as typically approached benefits from - even, arguably, depends upon - cooperative party play in a way that Burning Wheel doesn't have to and even Classic Traveller can depart from. If I wanted to play a game of intense emotional and tactical rivalry between protagonists - if that was the sort of fun I was looking for - I wouldn't choose D&D. It's lack of social conflict resolution mechanics would be just one of the reasons for that; the fact that it is designed around a sort-of "combined arms" paradigm of problem-solving is another. Whereas Burning Wheel or (I would think) Apocalypse World would handle the game of intense emotional and tactical rivalry pretty handily.

And of course even within the context of how a given system rolls, there can be vastly different things people get fun out of (this tends to be really pronounced in wide-net systems rather than more tightly focused ones). I don't tend to find investigation and clue-seeking particularly interesting, so I'd avoid getting in a game heavily focused on it, but it can come up in all kinds of games that I otherwise like, so I just have to accept that I'm going to have to bide my time during those parts of a session--they aren't fun for me, but they are for other people, so they're just part of the price tag of participating.
 

HammerMan

Legend
A long time ago a man named Wittgenstein tried to explain to the world that rules for languages and rules for games are never exact and only seem so insofar as we decline to examine their details. Suppose a friend and I play a game of chess. Suppose my friend is much better at it than I, so she spots me a rook; is that still chess? Suppose on top of spotting me a rook, she also lets me take back foolish moves when I make them even though she herself does not; is that still chess? Wittgenstein's whole point here was that if you think there is an actual fact of the matter with which to answer these questions, you don't understand what games (or languages) are yet.

Suppose HammerMan and his players decide to allow something like "mulligans" in the game and everyone at the table endorses this principle. Is that still D&D? What makes anyone suppose there even is a definite answer to be found for that question??
yup... that sounds like a much smarter way of saying what I am saying (glad we have people who can quote smart people)

heck I have seen tables that literally wont let you undo an action you declaired even if it was dumb, missaid or a misunderstanding.
 


Oofta

Legend
DitV doesn't operate in the same fashion as D&D. There are no secret numbers.

Marvel Heroic RP doesn't operate in the same fashion as D&D. There are no secret numbers, and all checks are opposed (either by an antagonist, or by the Doom Pool which is a fluctuating dice pool managed by the GM that represents opposition from "the world" or "the scene" or "the crisis" that is independent of any particular antagonist).

Speaking in more general terms:

There are several features of 5e D&D that permit GM manipulation or "subversion" (your word, that you used upthread). The three that I think are most obvious are (i) that the GM often rolls and some of those rolls are secret, or are modified by secret modifiers, (ii) that the GM often sets target numbers, some of which are kept secret, and some of which - even if revealed - are extrapolated from secret information not available to the players, and (iii) that the GM generally decides what the consequence of success on a check is, and that that decision may be informed by extrapolation from secret information not available to the players.

Burning Wheel doesn't have full-fledged (i), doesn't have full-fledged (ii), and doesn't have (iii).

Apocalypse World doesn't have (i), doesn't have (ii), and doesn't have full-fledged (iii).

MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic doesn't have full-fledged (i), doesn't have (ii) and doesn't have (iii).

Classic Traveller doesn't have full-fledged (ii) and doesn't have full-fledged (iii).

4e D&D doesn't have full-fledged (ii) and doesn't have (iii).

Dogs in the Vineyard doesn't have full-fledged (i), doesn't have (ii), and doesn't have (iii).

These various departures from 5e D&D's (i), (ii) and (iii) aren't magical. They're pretty straightforward aspects of RPG design, that have fairly obvious and predictable consequences for the degree and manner of GM influence over what happens next.

So taking DiTV as an example. Based on a quick google search, if you enter into a conflict you and your opponent have a pool of dice. This pool of dice is determined somehow (I don't care enough to buy the game) but it is made clear to both sides how many dice are in the pool, correct? From that point on it's a question of how many dice you want to spend escalating and possible fallout. But from the very beginning of the conflict things are transparent. You know exactly what you're facing, unlike D&D where you may or may not know

But this is a pointless argument. I can't disprove anything you say about a system I don't use. I disagree on 4E. The DCs are set by the DM, monster's statistics and modifiers are hidden from the players.
 

Oofta

Legend
In 4e, on (ii) for skill checks, doesn't the DM set the level (which determines the DC) and the complexity (number of successes needed) and have the power to reward clever ideas? The DM doesn't have to reveal all of the relevant skills (or difficulties?) do they?

In 4e, on (iii) for skill checks, doesn't it still depend a great deal on the DM and what they know. In the negotiation example in the PHB, the DM still determines the "reasonable assistance" and the "more trouble" outcomes in the case of a failure. In the dead witness, the DM decides what the corpse knows and how much ill will subsequent undead encounters will have if there is a failure.. In the chase example the DM determines if there is a monetary reward or a combat encounter, or where they take refuge if there is a failure. In the interrogation the DM determines what the valuable information and any other benefit, or what how bad the bad information is on a failure. etc...

So... I feel like I must be missing the point you're trying to make here.

I will say that 4E tried to systemize a lot of things and reduce the leeway the DM had. But in many ways it was similar to the climbing DCs from 3.5 that gave you a different DC based on the type of wall. It gave it the semblance of standardization, but it really just pushed it down the road a bit because the DM decided what category the wall fell into. Obviously 5E is more rulings over rules than 4E was.

In any case, in every edition of D&D most DMs have made calls in the moment to keep a game going if there was any disagreement which can be followed up by further conversation after the game. Saying that a DM should double check the rules now and then while admitting to mistakes is hardly anything earth shattering, it's just good advice in general.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
sigh... again with "I am in the right, more people agree...I know even though there is no way to know"
I'm comfortable with my anecdotal evidence. Almost 40 years of play in many, many groups and zero instances of games like yours encountered, including at the many conventions I've gone to. Is it theoretically possible that I somehow missed huge numbers of players and tables that play like you do? I suppose. Those odds would likely be as long as my winning the lottery tomorrow, though.
also totally misframing what I said about not careing if someone cheats, to 'no rules ever'
I'm not misframing what you said. I'm telling you what it means to allow players to do whatever they feel like, whenever they feel like it. If your players are allowed to "cheat" whenever they feel like it, there are no rules in your game. Rules are prescriptive and you've set it up so that nothing in your game is prescriptive. Ergo, no rules.
I disagree
And the game default disagrees with you.
OMG...please tell me you don't think this is in anyway real or realish or real from a point of view, please tell me you know we play make believe.
OMG...please tell me that you really did understand what I was saying and aren't wearing blinders.

Being a game of the imagination doesn't make it an illusion. It's still a game with rules like monopoly. You can even use pieces like monopoly if you want. D&D is a real game. It's just played in a different medium.
no... you are putting words in there mouths. I have NEVER seen ANYONE say something like that.
I'm not putting words in their mouths. I'm telling you what cheating means. Your game doesn't have cheating. You've chosen to get rid of rules and just let the players decide when to use or ignore what the game says. For games with actual rules(prescriptive), that's what cheating means.
your integrity? if you aren't the one doing it
If I say nothing, I am in fact taking part in it. I know the truth and am now lying by omission if I say nothing. My integrity means something to me.
here is a simple test. If a player rolls a 4 tells you they hit a 17, and roll damage, BUT you don't know what there bonus to hit is, compared to the player rolls a die you can't see it (in my case I am too old I have to pick up my own sometimes) says he hits a 17, compared to You KNOW he has a +7 to hit, rolled a 4 and really hit 11 (aka miss) but calls a 17. In all 3 he is 'cheating' but you only know it is the 3rd. How does it effect your game at all in any of the 3 or does knowing it and catching it matter?
I always know or know within 1 of what the PCs bonuses are.

The answer is that even if I don't know the player cheated, that player has still compromised the integrity of the game. In instances where the player was caught, that player gets only one warning and will be kicked out the next time he cheats. The integrity of the game is very important to me and my players.
no you called them on it in a friendly way, but you called them on it (weather that be call them on the mistake or call them on cheating doesn't matter)
As I said, "called on it" strongly implies cheating, so no I didn't call him on it in any way, friendly or not. I approached it from a position of assuming a mistake and reminded him. That's different than "calling him on it."
 

hawkeyefan

Legend
What the DMG says (underling is mine)
  • The DM creates a world for the other players to explore, and also creates and runs adventures that drive the story.
  • You can also lean on the other players to help you with rules mastery and world-building.
  • The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren’t in charge. You’re the DM, and you are in charge of the game.
  • That said, your goal isn’t to slaughter the adventurers but to create a campaign world that revolves around their actions and decisions, and to keep your players coming back for more!
  • A player tells the DM what he or she wants to do, and the DM determines whether it is successful or not, in some cases asking the player to make a die roll to determine success.
So can the DM give some control to the PCs? Sure. It's always been and always will be an option. If the DM does things the players don't care for, they don't come back. No DM can be the right one for everyone. I've had people occasionally leave because of it, I've left games because the game wasn't for me, I've had players tell me it's the best campaign they've ever played in. There is no one size fits all.

But the default assumption in the DMG and the PHB is that the DM is in charge of the world, the rules and what happens when a PC attempts something.

Yes, I get that. But my point was about how such authority is tempered by other phrases and descriptions of the process. The authority is there to facilitate play not to empower the DM.

I don't expect there are many games where the DM actually exercises the full level of authority granted by the entries you've quoted because that game would absolutely suck. It would involve the DM deciding the results of every declared action without any rolls. That's not how the game is meant to work, even if it is technically allowed by the rules.

No one plays D&D that way, and if they did, I'd likely utter the dreaded phrase "they're doing it wrong".

So yeah, I don't really care about the hypothetical extreme that doesn't actually exist.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

The Weather Outside Is Frightful!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top