D&D 5E No One Plays High Level?

Oofta

Legend
Pintos exploding wasn’t a myth though. Regardless, faulty analogy or not, I think I made my point.

My point is that people often confuse singular instances (cars starting on fire) with the big picture (is the car more or less safe than other cars).

As far as D&D people conflate their personal experience with or opinions on high level play with the real reasons many people don't play high level games.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Well, firstly, the burden of proof would be on the person asserting that two styles are so utterly incompatible that they cannot both be supported meaningfully.

Second, many people make a great deal of the idea that D&D does in fact try to be many things to many people--perhaps not all things to all people, but a pretty sizable chunk on both axes. I mean, 5e was literally billed to us, in part, as the "big tent" edition that was supposed to offer stuff for effectively everyone. I am of course rather convinced that it failed miserably at that task, and that that is why they quietly stopped talking about it about 2/3 of the way through the D&D Next playtest, but that doesn't mean the goal couldn't be achieved, just that they failed to do so.

Frankly, a lot of the things people claim are totally incompatible aren't. Supporting them doesn't even require the level of "modularity" that playtest-5e originally was claimed to (potentially) offer. E.g. you're gonna have your work cut out for you to explain how purely opt-in "zero level" rules would be incompatible with other styles of play.
I agree the zero-level thing likely wouldn't be a problem (though I doubt it would would pass WotC's popularly test at a sufficient level for them to bother with it), but I would like to see a successful example of a game supporting multiple playstyles before I stop being concerned about it. As you say, WotC 5e ain't it.
 

Oofta

Legend
The claim made in the video is that "No one plays high level" is obviously false. Statements that "High level play simply doesn't work" or "It falls apart" or related statements are also false. They may not work for a specific style of play style or specific DM. But for many people who are interested in playing high level it does work.

Saying that high level 5E D&D works has nothing to do with that there should be more support for high level play or that, depending on DM and group, high level play is a worthy goal. We have no idea what percentage of people play high level, nor do we know all of the reasons behind those percentages.

I wish high level play was better supported, in particular more support for high level monsters. Fortunately it sounds like they are moving in that direction. But I also think they need to stop having modules where people are doing what should be high level campaigns. Fighting gods at level 12? Going to the hells at level 2? Really? They've left very few concepts for high level campaigns when they do that.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
My point is that people often confuse singular instances (cars starting on fire) with the big picture (is the car more or less safe than other cars).

As far as D&D people conflate their personal experience with or opinions on high level play with the real reasons many people don't play high level games.
One can agree with that while also agreeing that people often do the opposite and claim that since they have no problem that there isn’t one.
 



Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I agree the zero-level thing likely wouldn't be a problem (though I doubt it would would pass WotC's popularly test at a sufficient level for them to bother with it), but I would like to see a successful example of a game supporting multiple playstyles before I stop being concerned about it. As you say, WotC 5e ain't it.
The issues isn't "Cant" but "Doesn't"

It's like Epic Boons.
The DMG Epic Boons were half as....given a half effort.
And when they recognized this and retried in in the new playtest,, they still only gave a half effort.
The idea of Epic Boons isn't bad. The designers just don't care enough about it to do it right.

5e or a future edition could support multiple playstyles if the designers have the time, energy, and drive to do it.
 

Autumnal

Bruce Baugh, Writer of Fortune
Okay, returning to my comment about “I had a problem, therefore a problem exists”. What I should have said is that “I had a problem, therefore a problem exists with the game” is often mistaken. in my personal and professional experience, the number one reason a game session goes badly is thst it’s being played by human beings. Human beings are subject to fatigue, intense emotions (good and bad - being in the midst of falling in love can be as distracting as being stuck with a situation that makes you angry every day), low blood sugar, high blood pressure, confusing elements from similar but distinct games, chronic pain and other symptoms of illness, anger and fear and misery over your social situation and political developments, concern for the ailments and suffering of people who matter to you (along with pets and such, too; the brain responds to the loss of a loved pet the same way and with the same intensity as to the loss of a loved human being), allergies, and more. All these things can and routinely do make game sessions burn down, fall over, and sink into the swamp. But the problem was not the game.

We tend not to talk about this very much, and particularly not as an aspect of game design, in sort of an equivalent to evaluating character power in white-room abstracted scenarios. There are things games can do to help out some players. Monte Cook‘s sidebar cross-references, Arcane Library’s self-contained spreads, good indexes, and so on - nothing works for all people and all sources of trouble, so some people will continue to have problems, but it can improve some things for some people. But there will continue to be bad, unsatisfactory sessions that are not the fault of the game.
 


Oofta

Legend
If high level 5e D&D is supposed to be playable in different ways, at least a similar number of the ways low lever D&D 5e is playable, then it is inherently broken.

"It doesn't work for my style of play and I'm unwilling to change my style of play" is not the same as broken.
 

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