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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
wow... okay color me surprised.

edit @Maxperson if 24% of the country admits openly to breaking a law (way worse then a game rule) and 12% think it is okay... I am starting to think that people who think rules of games are sacrosanct may not hold the majority you think they do.
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.
 

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South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
Your post 1430 chess example where your better friend spots you a rook is a house rule, nobody is arguing against houserules. An example that was more comparable to someone deciding to bend the rules of d&d would be secretly flipping extra tile(s) while making a valid move in Go or Shogi & having your oponent not notice or not call you on cheating this time
The analogy with chess is an analogy. Wittgenstein's larger point is about languages, and his point--which applies to both games and languages--is that there is no central conceptual core to them around which an exhaustively adequate set of necessary and sufficient conditions can be given. The terms live and die by what he calls "family resemblances," not core defining criteria (because there is no such core, he thinks).

Especially over the past two weeks I've noticed something in EN World: people get into awfully acerbic and even personal quarrels over things where there simply is no fact of the matter for what they're quarreling about. Which makes me wonder: why the quarrel?
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The analogy with chess is an analogy. Wittgenstein's larger point is about languages, and his point--which applies to both games and languages--is that there is no central conceptual core to them around which an exhaustively adequate set of necessary and sufficient conditions can be given. The terms live and die by what he calls "family resemblances," not core defining criteria (because there is no such core, he thinks).

Especially over the past two weeks I've noticed something in EN World: people get into awfully acerbic and even personal quarrels over things where there simply is no fact of the matter for what they're quarreling about. Which makes me wonder: why the quarrel?
The exampleanalogy is fatally flawed for this purpose because it is a mutually agreed upon change. Your friend decided to spot you a rook & you accepted, you didn't spot yourself a rook when you thought the friend wasn't looking close enough.
 


HammerMan

Legend
It's my moral obligation to report what I observed, not make a judgment about it.

She's not entitled to steal. Period. People with the mindset that the poor should be allowed to steal from stores got 6 CVS stores closed because it got so bad. A bunch of poor people who needed jobs lost them because of those thieves. A bunch of people who used those local stores suddenly didn't have them to shop at any longer. The elderly who couldn't travel far and poor without vehicles got screwed.

this is crazy... I (and neither did anyone else) force 6 CVS store to close (I am assuming that was the place law enforcement changed things so at best you can argue about the law there) and no it is NOT my (or your) obligation... it IS your CHOICE.

i will not now nore will I ever stand with 'stealing a loaf of bread to feed my sisters child' being something I 1) need to stop 2) need to report or 3) have an OBLIGATION one way or another too
It invalidates those who work within the rules like they are supposed to.
how... you are saying it will but HOW? what does if I hit or miss or if Jonny hits or miss matter?
You're spitting on me and the work I do to kill something within the rules,
I am not spitting on you and neither is anyone else... I wonder how many people cheated you didn't catch, and how many times you have been spit on and no noticed... I bet 1 is more common.
since you just declare you hit for max damage with each swing? Whether you view it as spitting on me(metaphorically) or not isn't relevant, that IS what you are doing to me in a game that I am playing in if you cheat. When I join a game, I have the reasonable expectation that the rules mean something and will be followed.
why? you have no answeredWHY you feel this way just that you do.
 

HammerMan

Legend
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.
wait... I thought you were MR LAW AND ORDER just a moment ago... you are okay with tax evasion but not fudging a die roll in a game...
 

HammerMan

Legend
cheating at a game as horrible.
I may finally have understood... Its been months of you saying things that didn't make sense, but in another thread someone said something to someone else and I think it may be it...

I get it now. You believe you are at war with your players and to give them any inch is a sign of weakness or surrendering your DM authority. Without tight rigid control the first thing players do is stomp over the DM. Players cannot be trusted to do what is best for a game and cannot be reasoned or compromised with. They can only know hard restrictions and they must earn their right to have fun.
now the full thing is a bit hyperbolic, but the concept is what hit me. I said in another thread I used to think like you as a teenager (and you thought I was calling you immature) but this is a MAJOR turn in how I dm today compared to 30 years ago.

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.

War Vs Sport

does this make sense to you? are you seeing what I am?

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...
 


HammerMan

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

a crime is okay, fudgeing the dice isn't
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I may finally have understood... Its been months of you saying things that didn't make sense, but in another thread someone said something to someone else and I think it may be it...

now the full thing is a bit hyperbolic, but the concept is what hit me. I said in another thread I used to think like you as a teenager (and you thought I was calling you immature) but this is a MAJOR turn in how I dm today compared to 30 years ago.
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.
I trust that my players and I (and my DMs and I) are all working togather.
Yep. I trust them not to cheat, since cheating violates the social contract and compromises the integrity of the game.
does this make sense to you? are you seeing what I am?
Not even close. I have no idea how you got to war and being adversarial from what I have been saying.
 

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.
 

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.
 

South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
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).
 

South by Southwest

Incorrigible Daydreamer
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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