Mechanics of Revived Settings; your thoughts?

Coroc

Explorer
I got a new tough nut for y'all to crunch: Dragonlances. How would you rule the damage Output of these?

Imagine the Situation of air combat with a Dragon rider wielding a dragonlance. If he is a fighter he would eventually get 2 attacks per round. But with the dragonlance having such a high damage boost (at least it should, also in 5e) and the realistic Scenario that it is the impact ergo 1 attack how would you rule that?

In fact the same Situation applies to nomral mounted Lance combat, imagine a joust, it would be awfully stupid to make the attacks of the Knights e.g. 2 per round when it is 1 impact.

I once read a question in rpg stackexchange forum which up to date makes my toes cringe. Someone asked if he could dual wield Lances, and over 60% or so of the answers stated that with two weapon fighting this would not be a Problem at all since it states the Lance being a one handed weapon and he would get two attacks in a jousting Situation by that. Oh dear Lord.
 

Satyrn

Villager
The thing is, elves, dwarves and halflings are the most tired sub-Tolkien derivative clichés, who should really be at the top of the list for the chop in order to make a setting that is actually interesting.
I can get behind that. And if I was to build a setting based on your view instead of [MENTION=7635]Remathilis[/MENTION]'s - the basics of D&D ought to be present in D&D - I'd happily chop them.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I got a new tough nut for y'all to crunch: Dragonlances. How would you rule the damage Output of these?

Imagine the Situation of air combat with a Dragon rider wielding a dragonlance. If he is a fighter he would eventually get 2 attacks per round. But with the dragonlance having such a high damage boost (at least it should, also in 5e) and the realistic Scenario that it is the impact ergo 1 attack how would you rule that?

In fact the same Situation applies to nomral mounted Lance combat, imagine a joust, it would be awfully stupid to make the attacks of the Knights e.g. 2 per round when it is 1 impact.

I once read a question in rpg stackexchange forum which up to date makes my toes cringe. Someone asked if he could dual wield Lances, and over 60% or so of the answers stated that with two weapon fighting this would not be a Problem at all since it states the Lance being a one handed weapon and he would get two attacks in a jousting Situation by that. Oh dear Lord.
Jousting I wouldn't handle as combat: probably just opposing Athletics checks.
 
I can get behind that. And if I was to build a setting based on your view instead of [MENTION=7635]Remathilis[/MENTION]'s - the basics of D&D ought to be present in D&D - I'd happily chop them.
At the risk of sounding corporate, there are a few concerns that need to taken into account in regards to settings.

Wizards is a giant in the realm of RPGs (a big fish in a small pond) so the return on their investment needs to be sizable. I vaguely recall their goal is like 50,000 sales to be considered a success. (I might be off on the number, its been a while). The more useful a book, the more people buy it, the more niche the book is, the less people buy of it. Consider: The Sword Coast Guide was one of the lowest selling books in 5e because it was of limited use to people not running in Faerun. A book like VGtM (which mixed lore, PC races, and monsters), XGtE (which mixed PC and DM rules) and MToF (which again mixes monsters and PC stuff) all sold better because it can be used by a multitude of players (far more than say, Monster Manual 2 or Complete Guide to Warriors would). Further, WotC only puts out one such book a year (so far, this may change in 2018). This means every release needs to hit maximum audience penetration.

Second, its worth noting what people like. FiveThirtyEight famously determined the most played/popular classes and races in 5e, and well, a lot of iconics are popular as well. A setting that lacks elves (and by extension half-elves) is going to annoy a large chunk of the D&D population. sure, [MENTION=24049]Paul[/MENTION]_Farquhar might like it, but Wizards has to cater to more than just him; they have to sell that setting to a large swath of D&D players and a large swath of D&D players like their elves!

So with those two metrics in mind, does it REALLY make sense to produce setting-books for settings that remove popular options from the game? Your already creating a niche product (by producing a specific setting that may/may not interact well with supplements current and potential, by limiting the genre of fantasy to one players may/may not enjoy) it makes less sense to remove popular options from play. Your further limiting your potential sales when you tell paladin or elf fans they need not apply.

The safest play, IMHO, would be to follow Paizo's lead and create a single world that literally has every option they print found on it (Golarion); they have Faerun primed for that role already. The fact they are talking about anything revolving older settings is a calculated risk, and one I think WotC will hedge by making them as friendly to all players as possible. Its the biggest reason why I've expect a "Guide to the D&D Multiverse" rather than specific D&D campaign setting books for a while now; mitigate the risk that a Dark Sun player will skip the Ravenloft CS by bundling DS and RL in one book.

As to the more avante garde settings; this is exactly what the OGL is there for. A setting like Midnight (which resembles D&D mechanically but no where in terms of race, class, magic, monsters, etc) is perfect for a publisher with a lower sale threshold for success. Settings that radically change D&D assumptions are perfect fodder for small publishers, but poor choices for WotC. I'd love to see more settings like Primeval Thule or Tal'Dorei do things different than WotC can. I think those small, niche settings have a home there, because WotC needs to go big and going big means satisfying the biggest possible audience.
 

Eltab

Villager
I got a new tough nut for y'all to crunch: Dragonlances. How would you rule the damage Output of these?

Imagine the Situation of air combat with a Dragon rider wielding a dragonlance. If he is a fighter he would eventually get 2 attacks per round. But with the dragonlance having such a high damage boost (at least it should, also in 5e) and the realistic Scenario that it is the impact ergo 1 attack how would you rule that?

In fact the same Situation applies to nomral mounted Lance combat, imagine a joust, it would be awfully stupid to make the attacks of the Knights e.g. 2 per round when it is 1 impact.

I once read a question in rpg stackexchange forum which up to date makes my toes cringe. Someone asked if he could dual wield Lances, and over 60% or so of the answers stated that with two weapon fighting this would not be a Problem at all since it states the Lance being a one handed weapon and he would get two attacks in a jousting Situation by that. Oh dear Lord.
A lance is not really a "one-handed weapon" - you have to brace it against your torso, or your mount. Yeah sure you can carry two lances at a time (one on each side), but you cannot wield both of them at once.
Plus, your flying mount is rather large; 10-foot pole is to horse as ... something very bulky and clumsy (sapling?) ... is to dragon.

OTOH, if you were to be more abstract, there is only one Blow but several Attacks go into it. If you only hit with one attack, your opponent received a soft blow; if you hit with several of your attacks then he took a solid strike.
edit: And if you hit with all your attacks he has to roll an opposed skill check to stay in the saddle.
 
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OTOH, if you were to be more abstract, there is only one Blow but several Attacks go into it. If you only hit with one attack, your opponent received a soft blow; if you hit with several of your attacks over he took a solid strike.
I've seen this approach work well in other systems.
 

Parmandur

Legend
At the risk of sounding corporate, there are a few concerns that need to taken into account in regards to settings.

Wizards is a giant in the realm of RPGs (a big fish in a small pond) so the return on their investment needs to be sizable. I vaguely recall their goal is like 50,000 sales to be considered a success. (I might be off on the number, its been a while). The more useful a book, the more people buy it, the more niche the book is, the less people buy of it. Consider: The Sword Coast Guide was one of the lowest selling books in 5e because it was of limited use to people not running in Faerun. A book like VGtM (which mixed lore, PC races, and monsters), XGtE (which mixed PC and DM rules) and MToF (which again mixes monsters and PC stuff) all sold better because it can be used by a multitude of players (far more than say, Monster Manual 2 or Complete Guide to Warriors would). Further, WotC only puts out one such book a year (so far, this may change in 2018). This means every release needs to hit maximum audience penetration.

Second, its worth noting what people like. FiveThirtyEight famously determined the most played/popular classes and races in 5e, and well, a lot of iconics are popular as well. A setting that lacks elves (and by extension half-elves) is going to annoy a large chunk of the D&D population. sure, [MENTION=24049]Paul[/MENTION]_Farquhar might like it, but Wizards has to cater to more than just him; they have to sell that setting to a large swath of D&D players and a large swath of D&D players like their elves!

So with those two metrics in mind, does it REALLY make sense to produce setting-books for settings that remove popular options from the game? Your already creating a niche product (by producing a specific setting that may/may not interact well with supplements current and potential, by limiting the genre of fantasy to one players may/may not enjoy) it makes less sense to remove popular options from play. Your further limiting your potential sales when you tell paladin or elf fans they need not apply.

The safest play, IMHO, would be to follow Paizo's lead and create a single world that literally has every option they print found on it (Golarion); they have Faerun primed for that role already. The fact they are talking about anything revolving older settings is a calculated risk, and one I think WotC will hedge by making them as friendly to all players as possible. Its the biggest reason why I've expect a "Guide to the D&D Multiverse" rather than specific D&D campaign setting books for a while now; mitigate the risk that a Dark Sun player will skip the Ravenloft CS by bundling DS and RL in one book.

As to the more avante garde settings; this is exactly what the OGL is there for. A setting like Midnight (which resembles D&D mechanically but no where in terms of race, class, magic, monsters, etc) is perfect for a publisher with a lower sale threshold for success. Settings that radically change D&D assumptions are perfect fodder for small publishers, but poor choices for WotC. I'd love to see more settings like Primeval Thule or Tal'Dorei do things different than WotC can. I think those small, niche settings have a home there, because WotC needs to go big and going big means satisfying the biggest possible audience.
Their goal for each book has been stated to be 100,000 copies: not an unreasonable goal, considering the ~10 million Americans playng the game, but only achievable still by hitting it's if right ntes for a diverse audience. We can surmise that they are meeting their set goal, considering that they haven't shaken up their publishing strategy in four years, a WotC record.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
TWe can surmise that they are meeting their set goal, considering that they haven't shaken up their publishing strategy in four years, a WotC record.
As a tangential thought, I will say that they seem to be at least tweaking it. The plan for 2 or 3 AL seasons per year has been reduced, and Xanathar's Guide to Everything as almost entirely a crunch book is something they seemed initially reluctant to try.

Despite Xanathar's selling really well, it doesn't seem to have been received as well as Volo's Guide to Monsters, which seems to have been very well received.

And of course, now Mordenkainan's Tome of Foes is coming out as another VGtM style book. If it does as well, I expect that type of product is going to keep coming out. Lore + Character options (races) + Monsters seems to be working for most people. (No complaints from me, because I agree that VGtM is one of the best 5e products.)

I'm sure they will put out more (non-race) crunch, since they're still putting it out there for playtesting in UA articles, but I'm guessing they'll put it out in a different format--probably in a book that includes more lore. Maybe something similar to the VGtM format, but with crunch other than races in that section.

Moving along my stream of consciousness thoughts...

SCAG was interesting as an experiment that didn't do so well. There was too little Forgotten Realms in it for people who wanted a FR setting book, and too little not-necessarily-FR (by page count) for people who didn't. Of course, if you aren't counting by pages literally none of the crunch in the book is FR specific, except Ghostwise Halflings. Duergar and Svirfneblin are classic D&D (not FR specific), as is Battlerager and Bladesinger, and even the FR-specifically titled Purple Dragon Knight subclass had an alternative title "banneret" for non-FR usage. The non-human deity charts near the beginning of the book are also not FR, nor are the descriptions of the deities in the racial sections later in the book.

I think the biggest problem with the non-FR stuff in SCAG was that people new to the game couldn't tell what actually is FR stuff (like sun elves or gold dwarves) and what isn't. And of course, the page count issue for that stuff compared to the actual FR stuff. For me, the book is absolutely worth it for all the classic D&D stuff crammed into it that probably isn't going to be republished for 5e elsewhere for quite some time (as well as some gems like green flame blade), but that's in spite of the fact that probably 75% of the pages in the book are of little or no value to me, since even when I do FR, I run it in 2e/3e era rather than 5e era.

Probably the more effective way to handle settings for WotC is to create books that aren't setting specific, and then address setting details in sidebars. OR, to make a book that gives us information on multiple settings, while also including setting non-specific stuff.

A book with a bunch of crunch (and suggestions for where it could fit into multiple settings) and then chapters on different genres with example settings given--skillfully woven together in such a way that people who want to play "pulp fantasy" can get a lot out of that section, even if the Mystara-specific example isn't of much use to them, for instance. Basically, that's the sort of book they could publish the mechanics for various settings in and still hit a wide market.

Of course, they wouldn't have much room for monsters. They'd need to make some sort of monsters of the multiverse book to include the various setting monsters. They could include tables at the back listing which of the monsters were traditionally found on which worlds.
 
I can get behind that. And if I was to build a setting based on your view instead of @Remathilis's - the basics of D&D ought to be present in D&D - I'd happily chop them.
Well, Dark Sun doesn't chop them, it just makes them non-core.

Core Dark Sun races:
Human (psionic variant)
Mul (Dwarven subrace)
Half Giant (replaces half orc)
Tri-Kreen

Non-core but still playable:
Elf (Arthas subrace)
Half Elf
Halfling (Arthas subrace)
Dwarf (Arthas subrace)
Yuan-Ti pureblood

Gnomes, Tieflings, Dragonborn are presented as non-core in the PHB, ergo they can be freely cut from the setting.


That's what Starfinder does too: it has all new core races (apart from human) but old races (elves, dwarves, etc) still exist in the setting and can be played with GM permission.
 
That's what Starfinder does too: it has all new core races (apart from human) but old races (elves, dwarves, etc) still exist in the setting and can be played with GM permission.
Nitpick; Starfinder is a new game, not a "setting" for Pathfinder and comes with it's own core rules and bestiary. It does not require the Pathfinder core rules to play, so it can get away with not using the Pathfinder core races or classes. That is a different scenario than a setting that would require the PHB to play.

Which was my initial point on DS; I think it would be far better served getting the Starfinder treatment if it wants to retain it's more radical changes.
 
Nitpick; Starfinder is a new game, not a "setting" for Pathfinder and comes with it's own core rules and bestiary. It does not require the Pathfinder core rules to play, so it can get away with not using the Pathfinder core races or classes. That is a different scenario than a setting that would require the PHB to play.

Which was my initial point on DS; I think it would be far better served getting the Starfinder treatment if it wants to retain it's more radical changes.
Starfinder makes drastic (and IMO unnecessary and undesirable) changes to the core rules*, yet it is still called and marketed as "Pathfinder in Space" (Star = Space, Finder = Finder).

But if your criterion is "does it require the core rule books to play" then Dark Sun would certainly require the PHB, and the DMG and MM would be as useful as they are for any game.

I think your unfamiliarity with both the setting and 1st/2nd edition rules has lead you to believe Dark Sun is more different than it actually is. DS didn't have Barbarians, Monks, Sorcerers and Warlocks because they weren't part of the core game at the time. Neither where Dragonborn or Tieflings, Half Orcs weren't a core race in 2nd edition, gnomes weren't a core race in Basic/Expert. Meanwhile, Psionics was already part of 1st and 2nd edition, it was just more common in Dark Sun.


*Edit: By "core rules" I mean rules for magic and combat, not classes and races, which I do not consider "core".
 
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Coroc

Explorer
[MENTION=6906155]Paul Farquhar[/MENTION] #130 your take on Athas is Genius, the halfgiants maybe resolved. I would have gone with reskinning ho for mul, but theres a different way as you Point out:

halforc -> halfgiants
mountain dwarf -> mul
hill dwarf -> athasian dwarf

But now i think of it, it would even be better to reskin halforc for mul still and take mountain dwarf with ist +2 str and +2 con for halfgiant! That is neat, you can even leave heavy armor prof as is and the stat increase fits better.


for the rest go stout -> athasian halfling
Wood elf but with int raised instead of wisdom -> athasian elf
human (nonvariant) -> athasian human
halfelf tbd
thrikreen -> reskin dragonborn breath attack for poisonous bite, put 4 claw attack Routine into one attack 1d4 natural wepons give +2 dex +1 wis
 

Coroc

Explorer
Addendum to my post #133:

Of course minor alterations got to be made: Mul should get Advantage on Exhaustion checks maybe leave orcs die hard Feature i do not know about this
Elf should get movement of 40-50 (and no Special immunities vs charm sleep)
Thrikreen get Speed 35-40 leap and does never Need to sleep but cannot jump backwards or sidewards.
Halfgiants also should get Speed 35-40. Alignment shift of course too.


Determine which races get darkvision.

And of course size and Age categories have to be adapted.
 
*Edit: By "core rules" I mean rules for magic and combat, not classes and races, which I do not consider "core".
See, that's were the difference in definition comes from; to me the core game includes races, classes, spells, monsters, and the IP of the whole game, not just the mechanical frame. My reason is that there are and were a lot of games that use those mechanics that aren't D&D: Pathfinder, Star Wars d20, d20 Modern, the One Ring, etc that I would not call D&D even though the share a lot of the same resolution mechanics like AC and ability scores. I know colloquially we call them"D&D", but that's like calling all tissues "Kleenex" or all web searches "googling".
 
Also, I started playing in 1992 with BECMI before moving to 2e and playing though to today. I've seen lots of 2e and still own several box sets. I'm very familiar with AD&D, and for the record I don't feel how TSR handled every setting as it's own mini-game was Wise; it lead to the fragmenting if the game that caused it's downfall. A Krynn supplement was useless to a non Dragonlance player, and even generic non-world-specific stuff often was of little use to a player of specific worlds. (What use was the Complete Paladin's Handbook to a Dark Sun players, or the Complete Gladiator's Handbook to a Ravenloft player?)

It wasn't the industries finest moment and not one I want to ever go back to.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
At the risk of sounding corporate, there are a few concerns that need to taken into account in regards to settings.

Wizards is a giant in the realm of RPGs (a big fish in a small pond) so the return on their investment needs to be sizable. I vaguely recall their goal is like 50,000 sales to be considered a success. (I might be off on the number, its been a while). The more useful a book, the more people buy it, the more niche the book is, the less people buy of it. Consider: The Sword Coast Guide was one of the lowest selling books in 5e because it was of limited use to people not running in Faerun. A book like VGtM (which mixed lore, PC races, and monsters), XGtE (which mixed PC and DM rules) and MToF (which again mixes monsters and PC stuff) all sold better because it can be used by a multitude of players (far more than say, Monster Manual 2 or Complete Guide to Warriors would). Further, WotC only puts out one such book a year (so far, this may change in 2018). This means every release needs to hit maximum audience penetration.

Second, its worth noting what people like. FiveThirtyEight famously determined the most played/popular classes and races in 5e, and well, a lot of iconics are popular as well. A setting that lacks elves (and by extension half-elves) is going to annoy a large chunk of the D&D population. sure, [MENTION=24049]Paul[/MENTION]_Farquhar might like it, but Wizards has to cater to more than just him; they have to sell that setting to a large swath of D&D players and a large swath of D&D players like their elves!

So with those two metrics in mind, does it REALLY make sense to produce setting-books for settings that remove popular options from the game? Your already creating a niche product (by producing a specific setting that may/may not interact well with supplements current and potential, by limiting the genre of fantasy to one players may/may not enjoy) it makes less sense to remove popular options from play. Your further limiting your potential sales when you tell paladin or elf fans they need not apply.

The safest play, IMHO, would be to follow Paizo's lead and create a single world that literally has every option they print found on it (Golarion); they have Faerun primed for that role already. The fact they are talking about anything revolving older settings is a calculated risk, and one I think WotC will hedge by making them as friendly to all players as possible. Its the biggest reason why I've expect a "Guide to the D&D Multiverse" rather than specific D&D campaign setting books for a while now; mitigate the risk that a Dark Sun player will skip the Ravenloft CS by bundling DS and RL in one book.

As to the more avante garde settings; this is exactly what the OGL is there for. A setting like Midnight (which resembles D&D mechanically but no where in terms of race, class, magic, monsters, etc) is perfect for a publisher with a lower sale threshold for success. Settings that radically change D&D assumptions are perfect fodder for small publishers, but poor choices for WotC. I'd love to see more settings like Primeval Thule or Tal'Dorei do things different than WotC can. I think those small, niche settings have a home there, because WotC needs to go big and going big means satisfying the biggest possible audience.
So, while I normally dislike large block quotes, your points are worth looking at in full, because I happen to agree with a lot of it. Let me start with the areas of agreement-

a. I agree that this is a decision that will largely determined by corporate interests; they have no desire, given their limited release schedule, to produce niche products.

b. I also agree that SCAG is instructive; while not a failure, it also wasn't successful to the extent that other products have been.

c. I would agree that VGtM is probably the "gold standard" for success; well-written lore combined with player and DM options. Something for everyone (which means more possible purchases).

d. I also agree that we are very unlikely to see a standalone campaign setting (such as GH, or DS, or DL) in a release. So nothing like 1e's Dragonlance Adventures (to use one example).

e. Building on all of that, the one thing they obviously want to avoid is the fragmenting of the game. So we are definitely not going to see the late-era TSR splintering into multiple campaign settings, with different modules for each.

So far, all good! Based on all of that, I could see (as you do) a "Guide to the D&D Multiverse" or, perhaps, a specific AP that has a short section detailing that campaign world (with sidebars for placing it in FR, or "gating" to it, or whatever).

So, where is the difference? It's in expectations and beliefs. See, here's the thing. Do you know one way that they can ensure that people may not purchase it? If they butcher it. Why would, say, an Eberron fan purchase a Guide to the Multiverse is Keith Baker tweets, "All they did was apply the standard PHB and give us the Eberron names."

There are people out there, right now, that are running, trying to run, or want to run the alternate settings, and they want rules for it. Rules for classes and races and feats that are necessary to that setting. This doesn't mean that a DM can't decide to allow FR-standard races and/or classes (Purple Dragon Knight?) into the setting. But it means that the rules will be there for what the setting *should be* if the DM chooses.

Because, and this is really the important point, nobody is running Dark Sun (to use an example) because they love their standard Elf Paladins. We have a generic D&D setting already. And there is no arbiter of D&D correctness that will keep you from running your Elf Paladin in whatever campaign you want; just those, like me, who will say that we have too many Elves and the only good Paladin is a dead Paladin. But that's okay! I am not the arbiter of campaigns, or your table. You can keep on Elf Paladining to your heart's content.

In the end, it's a pointless conversation, because WoTC will do what they do. And we will find out when stuff is released. Hopefully, if and/or when they release information about other setting and/or modern/mutant/space play, we can re-visit this thread. :)
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
Also, I started playing in 1992 with BECMI before moving to 2e and playing though to today. I've seen lots of 2e and still own several box sets. I'm very familiar with AD&D, and for the record I don't feel how TSR handled every setting as it's own mini-game was Wise; it lead to the fragmenting if the game that caused it's downfall. A Krynn supplement was useless to a non Dragonlance player, and even generic non-world-specific stuff often was of little use to a player of specific worlds. (What use was the Complete Paladin's Handbook to a Dark Sun players, or the Complete Gladiator's Handbook to a Ravenloft player?)

It wasn't the industries finest moment and not one I want to ever go back to.
Emphasis mine.


I agree with 99% of your statement, however concerning the bolded part...

What use? None.

At that moment. I always looked at those books a part of the toolkit for D&D. Did I use the Gladiator's every campaign? Nope.

But I did in several campaigns, so it went from useless to relevant in a flick of a switch.


I guess my point is....I don't think the bolded portio is relevant to your point...they never were intended to be used all together. Same with settings and race/classes exclusions per this debate.



----------------
Side note: If of course, you are talking a long running main campaign setting for all the adventures over the course of years, then the problem you mention becomes severely highlighted. "Bob or Suzy" would never be able to lay a paladin.

Which could be a problem.
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
...So far, all good! Based on all of that, I could see (as you do) a "Guide to the D&D Multiverse" or, perhaps, a specific AP that has a short section detailing that campaign world (with sidebars for placing it in FR, or "gating" to it, or whatever).

So, where is the difference? It's in expectations and beliefs. See, here's the thing. Do you know one way that they can ensure that people may not purchase it? If they butcher it. Why would, say, an Eberron fan purchase a Guide to the Multiverse is Keith Baker tweets, "All they did was apply the standard PHB and give us the Eberron names."

There are people out there, right now, that are running, trying to run, or want to run the alternate settings, and they want rules for it. Rules for classes and races and feats that are necessary to that setting. This doesn't mean that a DM can't decide to allow FR-standard races and/or classes (Purple Dragon Knight?) into the setting. But it means that the rules will be there for what the setting *should be* if the DM chooses.

Because, and this is really the important point, nobody is running Dark Sun (to use an example) because they love their standard Elf Paladins. We have a generic D&D setting already. And there is no arbiter of D&D correctness that will keep you from running your Elf Paladin in whatever campaign you want; just those, like me, who will say that we have too many Elves and the only good Paladin is a dead Paladin. But that's okay! I am not the arbiter of campaigns, or your table. You can keep on Elf Paladining to your heart's content.
Well said.
 
See, that's were the difference in definition comes from; to me the core game includes races, classes, spells, monsters, and the IP of the whole game, not just the mechanical frame. My reason is that there are and were a lot of games that use those mechanics that aren't D&D: Pathfinder, Star Wars d20, d20 Modern, the One Ring, etc that I would not call D&D even though the share a lot of the same resolution mechanics like AC and ability scores. I know colloquially we call them"D&D", but that's like calling all tissues "Kleenex" or all web searches "googling".
Well then, IMO you are just plain wrong, because all D20 games are based on 3rd edition, which has very very different core mechanics to 5e.

Example of a core rule in 5e: "In combat you get one action, and may get up to one quick action and reaction." This is core rule of 5e, but is not a rule in any D20 games.

An example of the many core mechanics that are part of D20 which are not part of 5e: "for every 5 points of BAB you get an extra attack at BAB-5". And there are many more regarding multiclassing, skills etc.

If you have played those games (I have) you would be aware that the feel of gameplay is very different.

On the other hand, Pathfinder has pretty much all the same classes and races as D&D 5e - so you are pretty much proving my point for me - it's not the classes and races that are core, it is the gameplay mechanics.


Actually, of course, although it is quite different to 5e, Pathfinder is fundamentally the same as D&D 3.5. But there is one simple way to tell them apart: one says "D&D" on the cover and the other says "Pathfinder" on the cover. Ergo, the only thing that determines whether something is or is not D&D is whether it says D&D on the cover or not.

Notice what is says at the top.
 
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