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D&D General My "Perfect D&D" Would Include...

My "Perfect D&D" Would include...

  • Alignment

    Votes: 41 39.0%
  • Species as Class

    Votes: 7 6.7%
  • Species Class and Level Limits

    Votes: 7 6.7%
  • "Kits"

    Votes: 17 16.2%
  • Prestige Classes

    Votes: 24 22.9%
  • Class Archetypes

    Votes: 51 48.6%
  • Open Multiclassing (ie not limited by species)

    Votes: 54 51.4%
  • Psionics (as a separate, distinct magic subsystem)

    Votes: 37 35.2%
  • Paragon Paths

    Votes: 20 19.0%
  • "Encounter Abilities" in some form

    Votes: 26 24.8%
  • Complex Martials

    Votes: 50 47.6%
  • Advantage/Disadvantage

    Votes: 67 63.8%
  • Save or Die/Suck effects

    Votes: 29 27.6%
  • Level Drain

    Votes: 23 21.9%
  • Rulership/Leadership rules

    Votes: 48 45.7%
  • Warfare Rules

    Votes: 45 42.9%
  • Paths to immortality

    Votes: 21 20.0%
  • 20 levels or less

    Votes: 52 49.5%
  • 20 levels or more

    Votes: 21 20.0%
  • Epic Level Rules (distinct from pre-epic advancement)

    Votes: 24 22.9%
  • Narrow species choices

    Votes: 25 23.8%
  • Broad species choices

    Votes: 33 31.4%
  • Quadratic Wizards

    Votes: 8 7.6%
  • Grid based combat

    Votes: 54 51.4%
  • Theater of the mind based combat

    Votes: 57 54.3%
  • Skill Challenges

    Votes: 48 45.7%
  • Detailed Travel/Journey Rules

    Votes: 61 58.1%
  • Detailed Social Rules/Social "combat"

    Votes: 33 31.4%
  • Skills

    Votes: 90 85.7%
  • Feats

    Votes: 67 63.8%
  • Categorical Sving throws (AD&D)

    Votes: 9 8.6%
  • 3 Saves (Fort, Ref, Will)

    Votes: 40 38.1%
  • Ability based Saves

    Votes: 35 33.3%
  • Proficiency Bonus

    Votes: 50 47.6%
  • XP from treasure

    Votes: 30 28.6%
  • XP from combat

    Votes: 36 34.3%
  • XP from story

    Votes: 64 61.0%
  • Player facing item creation rules

    Votes: 35 33.3%
  • Templates (for monsters)

    Votes: 50 47.6%
  • Random treasure tables

    Votes: 53 50.5%
  • Something I forgot

    Votes: 33 31.4%

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I think this is one of the reasons I prefer BECMI's solution - low-level characters face monsters in dungeons, mid-level characters deal with kingdom-level threats, and high-level characters go waltzing off through gates to other planes.
2e & earlier didn't really have a skill system like everything from 3.x on where skills kept advancing the value they added to the d20 roll. Sure there were some very barebones hints of one but they generally were some combination of describing your action & gm adjudication
 

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Matt Thomason

Adventurer
I absolutely want that list. So that at level 16, when I have taken a series of abilities that let me consistently make the climb checks to cling to a vertical surface and move my full speed, I can make confident, declarative statements about how I solve problems.

The challenge shouldn't be "make a climb check" the challenge should be "get to this idol floating in the middle of the lava lake" and the climbing is a tool a player might choose to use. I want that decision to matter, in a way that "this is a level 15 challenge, you're using climb, okay, you could describe that as clinging to the ceiling" can't handle. I want to pick climbing not because it's narratively interesting but because I think it's the optimal solution, and is a better choice than something else I could have done.

This is important because it is in opposition to a narrative understanding of challenge, and produces gameplay that cannot be achieved in a game that uses a relative method or narrative method to resolve skill checks. Either the game is designed with that kind of player facing challenge in mind, or it isn't.
I find this sort of thing fascinating, because I have some similarities to you here as well as some pretty major differences.

I'm with you all the way on the challenge being how to get the idol floating in the middle of the lava lake, and it being up to the players to decide how they're going to achieve that. Also that the difficulty of that can differ wildly depending on the plan they come up with.

The part where I differ is about the rulebook giving me a defined list of ways to do it, because I don't want to be restricted to that list. I want a game that gives the GM the tools to handle anything the players might come up with in that instance, I'm also not too concerned with optimal solutions - I want a game where two different players using two exact copies of the same character sheet might try two completely different solutions because they thought about how to solve the solution as a narrative obstacle more than as a game challenge with numeric success likelihoods attached, and figured that jumping would be 2% more likely to succeed than floating across on a tree trunk before it burned under them.

I absolutely respect the way you play the game - as I said, I'm just fascinated by how people enjoy different styles of play :)
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
It is terrifying that almost a quarter century is 'recent'.
I put it to you that the Great Dividing Line above is:

Grid based combat vs. Theater of the mind based combat

You can come up with a great long list and none of those things hint at a real separator in terms of how combat flows and how the game is actually played, until you get to that one.

That is the Great Generational Divide. That is the OD&D/1st/2nd/BECMI vs 3//4/5 divide.

That is TSR vs WotC. Old vs New.
Doesn't 5e pretend to be ToM?
 

Matt Thomason

Adventurer
I put it to you that the Great Dividing Line above is:

Grid based combat vs. Theater of the mind based combat

You can come up with a great long list and none of those things hint at a real separator in terms of how combat flows and how the game is actually played, until you get to that one.

That is the Great Generational Divide. That is the OD&D/1st/2nd/BECMI vs 3//4/5 divide.

That is TSR vs WotC. Old vs New.

Absolutely, but here's another thing I find interesting
I love playing wargames for the tactical combat. I do not want that tactical combat in my RPGs - that is where I want narrative combat. It's not that I don't enjoy tactical combat, but because that is not what I play an RPG for.
 

Matt Thomason

Adventurer
2e & earlier didn't really have a skill system like everything from 3.x on where skills kept advancing the value they added to the d20 roll. Sure there were some very barebones hints of one but they generally were some combination of describing your action & gm adjudication
The latter being by far the system I prefer to having pages of rulebooks dedicated to it ;)
 


Steel_Wind

Legend
It is terrifying that almost a quarter century is 'recent'.

Doesn't 5e pretend to be ToM?
Spell templates, attacks of opportunity? No. When you have AoO and "reactions" hard-coded into combat, it's a grid based game.

5e is a grid based game with simpler character generation than 3.x/PF1/4/PF2. Some might ignore rules in 5e because they want to play it TotM, sure. But by default, 5e is a battlemat game.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I put it to you that the Great Dividing Line above is:

Grid based combat vs. Theater of the mind based combat

You can come up with a great long list and none of those things hint at a real separator in terms of how combat flows and how the game is actually played, until you get to that one.

That is the Great Generational Divide. That is the OD&D/1st/2nd/BECMI vs 3//4/5 divide.

That is TSR vs WotC. Old vs New.
This strikes me as off. I mean, people used minis in the TSR era. After all, D&D is based on wargaming.
 

Pedantic

Legend
The part where I differ is about the rulebook giving me a defined list of ways to do it, because I don't want to be restricted to that list. I want a game that gives the GM the tools to handle anything the players might come up with in that instance, I'm also not too concerned with optimal solutions - I want a game where two different players using two exact copies of the same character sheet might try two completely different solutions because they thought about how to solve the solution as a narrative obstacle more than as a game challenge with numeric success likelihoods attached, and figured that jumping would be 2% more likely to succeed than floating across on a tree trunk before it burned under them.
I find this is best achieved by having more and more detailed rules, not by having less, so that the appropriate sub-system can be called up as necessary, and no one has to make a game design decision to resolve a situation, or if it is ultimately necessary, the GM can refer to the closest likely resolution mechanism with minor adjustment. Fundamentally, I want to engage the same parts of my brain that I use when playing a conventional board game when I play a TTRPG, just in a much broader gamespace, with a variable victory condition and a much more shifting endpoint, in addition to the whole roleplaying, embodying a character and exploring a fictional world element.

To paraphrase Brennan Lee Mulligan, I want to play a character who "wants to save the world as quickly and efficiently as possible" and then to be stymied/challenged by forces outside of my control that I can do my best to conquer. I play a lot of games, I don't want the one I play when I'm pretending to be an elf to not be an interesting one, just because I'm also pretending to be an elf.
 


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