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D&D General On Grognardism...

I don't see the need to split off a side discussion about rules comparisons. I can sum up my case pretty adequately here.

3e went a long way towards unifying D&D by unifying behind the basic "Most things you do are going to have you roll a D20 and add something and you are going to try to equal or beat a DC". This concept is actually separate from the idea of blank canvas space, but it's an important concept of why I say that 5e is the most rules light version of the game.

By removing the various subsystems of Old School and consolidating them you empower a player to gain system master easier (which speeds up gameplay) but also it allows a GM to improvise something while remaining within the bounds of challenges the party might encounter.

As a concrete example....let's say I want to include some undead in my adventure design. The party had a 9th level cleric. In am Old School game I would have to break out the turning chart to see what kind of undead the cleric could turn, destroy, or have no power over.

In 5e I don't have a codified chart, as any undead can be turned by any cleric. This frees me up as the GM to include, let's say a mummy for theme purposes" without fear it isn't going to work with the party.


I feel more empowered to improvise in a system that doesn't have those codified bits that limit things.

As another example, let's take the idea of a surprise round. In 5e it's very simple and relies entirely on GM fiat to decide if any person or thing is surprised. Then you run combat as normal and all the surprised beings can't take a tions on the first round. That's it...the entire rule.

I can't even begin to tell you the rule for surprise rounds in 1e, because we never used the actual rules when we played back in the day. I know it's an opposed d6 roll with I think mtiple rounds of surprise, but then you have classes that roll different dice and monsters that have different interactions....and it's kind of a mess.

Finally I'll point to something pretty basic, the weapon table. Weapons have reach values, initiative modifiers, different damage versus different sized foes, and even adjustments based on the AC of the opponent in 1e. 5e has nowhere near this comexity.
That bolded bit misses the problem even though you mentioned it in the underlined bit. As a DM in past editions you had more flexibility & dials you could crank, not so in 5e. take the 3.5 MM where you had a cr5 mummy & cr15 mummy lord along with cr4 allip xr9 bodak cd12 devourer cr2 ghost cr2 lacedon cr4 ghast cr almost anything lich template cr 14 mohrg cr3 shadow cr9 greater shadow cr7 specter cr almost anything vampire template cr4 vampire spawn cr4 wight cr5 wraith cr16 dread wraith nine different CRs of zombie ranging from cr1/2 to cr6 nine different CRs of skeleton ranging from cr1/3 to cr8.. etc

Some of those were templates that could be applied to any creature while the others could get a template to shift them thematically & have a challenge that fits where you want it while being called a mummy with whatever flavoring refluff that suits. "No I'm sure I can just do it because any undead can be turned by any cleric nerf me with gm fiat if you don't like it" is a serious negative not an improvement. Players are almost never going to be unhappy to find that something works better like having turning buffed to work on any undead no matter how long the list of cool boons you give... the same is not true of nerfs
 

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lingual

Adventurer
I don't see the need to split off a side discussion about rules comparisons. I can sum up my case pretty adequately here.

3e went a long way towards unifying D&D by unifying behind the basic "Most things you do are going to have you roll a D20 and add something and you are going to try to equal or beat a DC". This concept is actually separate from the idea of blank canvas space, but it's an important concept of why I say that 5e is the most rules light version of the game.

By removing the various subsystems of Old School and consolidating them you empower a player to gain system master easier (which speeds up gameplay) but also it allows a GM to improvise something while remaining within the bounds of challenges the party might encounter.

As a concrete example....let's say I want to include some undead in my adventure design. The party had a 9th level cleric. In am Old School game I would have to break out the turning chart to see what kind of undead the cleric could turn, destroy, or have no power over.

In 5e I don't have a codified chart, as any undead can be turned by any cleric. This frees me up as the GM to include, let's say a mummy for theme purposes" without fear it isn't going to work with the party.

I feel more empowered to improvise in a system that doesn't have those codified bits that limit things.

As another example, let's take the idea of a surprise round. In 5e it's very simple and relies entirely on GM fiat to decide if any person or thing is surprised. Then you run combat as normal and all the surprised beings can't take a tions on the first round. That's it...the entire rule.

I can't even begin to tell you the rule for surprise rounds in 1e, because we never used the actual rules when we played back in the day. I know it's an opposed d6 roll with I think mtiple rounds of surprise, but then you have classes that roll different dice and monsters that have different interactions....and it's kind of a mess.

Finally I'll point to something pretty basic, the weapon table. Weapons have reach values, initiative modifiers, different damage versus different sized foes, and even adjustments based on the AC of the opponent in 1e. 5e has nowhere near this comexity.
Don't forget about speed factor😁

There were situations where actually tie-ing initiative was better than winning if you were using a dagger vs a two-handed sword.

Surprise was a complete mess. Something like you could do something per segment of surprise? Still love the ADnD campaign I'm still in though. We don't use half of the stuff in the DMG.

I don't know where those who hate 5E (might just be the same person in this thread) and claim that it is rules heavy are coming from.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
That bolded bit misses the problem even though you mentioned it in the underlined bit. As a DM in past editions you had more flexibility & dials you could crank, not so in 5e. take the 3.5 MM where you had a cr5 mummy & cr15 mummy lord along with cr4 allip xr9 bodak cd12 devourer cr2 ghost cr2 lacedon cr4 ghast cr almost anything lich template cr 14 mohrg cr3 shadow cr9 greater shadow cr7 specter cr almost anything vampire template cr4 vampire spawn cr4 wight cr5 wraith cr16 dread wraith nine different CRs of zombie ranging from cr1/2 to cr6 nine different CRs of skeleton ranging from cr1/3 to cr8.. etc

Some of those were templates that could be applied to any creature while the others could get a template to shift them thematically & have a challenge that fits where you want it while being called a mummy with whatever flavoring refluff that suits. "No I'm sure I can just do it because any undead can be turned by any cleric nerf me with gm fiat if you don't like it" is a serious negative not an improvement. Players are almost never going to be unhappy to find that something works better like having turning buffed to work on any undead no matter how long the list of cool boons you give... the same is not true of nerfs
I'm not sure I'm following your logic. You seem to be saying 3e has more dials than 5e, which I'm not arguing with....because I'm not talking about 3e at all in my post. I'm saying that 5e turning undead is a simpler rule than 1e turning because it's a unified system, not a stepped table of individual monsters.

If "dials for GMs and players" was the discussion then 3e probably has more than all the other editions combined due to the sheer amount of content. I'm comparing rules complexity between 1e and 5e.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
If you think RPG design peaked in the late 70s, what about that design speaks to you so strongly?
I'm likely a grognard. I wanted to say that I don't think RPG design peaked in the late 70s, and I wonder if it has even yet peaked now?

In each era I have seen games with novel and ofttimes influential ideas. There were such games in the 70s. There are such games now.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In my experience, the more accounting-heavy, gold-value treasure method they put in was one of the least-popular decisions made by the AL organizers. I understand its purpose, but it led to several AL tables ditching the AL rules for home games; the only tables that stayed AL had players who were planning to bring their characters to conventions.
Am I reading this right, that AL forces a treasury division method on its players/PCs rather than letting the PCs decide in character how to divide it?

Bleah!
 


Am I reading this right, that AL forces a treasury division method on its players/PCs rather than letting the PCs decide in character how to divide it?

Bleah!
It did in the past when goldfsrner type players could abuse the system as I described earlier. Now it doesn't even have one and just removes thst whole step with your levels so can get one of these
 

I'm not sure I'm following your logic. You seem to be saying 3e has more dials than 5e, which I'm not arguing with....because I'm not talking about 3e at all in my post. I'm saying that 5e turning undead is a simpler rule than 1e turning because it's a unified system, not a stepped table of individual monsters.

If "dials for GMs and players" was the discussion then 3e probably has more than all the other editions combined due to the sheer amount of content. I'm comparing rules complexity between 1e and 5e.
You missed the point but still swung back to describing it again. I used 3.5 monsters to illuminate something it more easily illustrated but had in common with 1e because that information is also more readily available. Your post I quoted earlier is clearly painting the bolded bits as an improvement 5e hss in the paragraph before and after the bolded section illustrating differences. That spin on things is backwards though
 

I don't really have a question, but more of an invitation for discussion. If you think RPG design peaked in the late 70s, what about that design speaks to you so strongly?

I do have a lot of nostalgia for that Basic rulebook I had in the early 80s, but having played the game compared to a modem design my admiration for that system is entirely based on the nostalgia it represents. Descending AC, wizards with one spell a day and 4hp, puzzles mixing real world knowledge with character problem solving and "beating the adventure" versus "telling a good story" all are things I avoid in 2021.
One factor to consider is the groups people play with. Yes, there are those that like old school. But, a lot of the times, it's because it represents the "old groups" they used to play with. It has nothing to do with ruleset. It's like hearing a Foreigner song with old friends, and smiling, even though it is terrible (Double Vision anyone?). Nostalgia is powerful. You see the same thing with video games: The original Everquest is another example. People have really fond memories, but get them to play now, and the game mechanics drive them crazy.
I think almost everyone is reasonable in their understanding that the 1st edition or 2nd edition is simply different than 5e. But, again, I think it goes back to what groups they played with, not the actual rule system.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Am I reading this right, that AL forces a treasury division method on its players/PCs rather than letting the PCs decide in character how to divide it?

Bleah!
It doesn’t, really. During a session, any found items can be distributed as the group sees fit. After the session, all characters in the group have access to the found and kept items since they may be heading off to another event table with a completely different group of PCs the next time they play.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mod Note:
@Sacrosanct and @Ifurita'sFan

Your engagement does not seem constructive. It seems to be getting more and more personal, confrontational and repetitive. It is probably time for the two of you to back off, before someone does something that calls for more than a warning.
 

I'm likely a grognard. I wanted to say that I don't think RPG design peaked in the late 70s, and I wonder if it has even yet peaked now?

In each era I have seen games with novel and ofttimes influential ideas. There were such games in the 70s. There are such games now.

This is why I tend to roll my eyes about some of the statements I see from older gamers. I've been gaming since '75. There are games from the start of the hobby I think are sound, and there are ones where I honestly think later games do everything they did better. People aren't required to agree with either set of buckets, but when you're automatically going with "older was better" or "newer is better" as a basic approach, I can't help but think it says more about you than the games involved.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It did in the past when goldfsrner type players could abuse the system as I described earlier. Now it doesn't even have one and just removes thst whole step with your levels so can get one of these
Sorry, this doesn't parse - did you maybe hit "post" before you finished typing?

Please elaborate.
 

GuyBoy

Adventurer
Just my tuppence worth:
I’ve played since 1976 and still revere OD&D, though I suspect it’s as much the memories of the adventures and fun that I revere than the system per se. So I’m a “grognard” in the sense of the thrill of entering my first dungeon, sword in hand as Aelric the Warrior, and designing and stocking the Dungeon of Shadows for my first campaign.
What I’m trying to say is that our gaming preferences, grognard or whatever, are as much determined by where we were in our lives at the time as it is by where the game was at the time.
For me, I played a lot of Original and 1E between 76 and 84, whilst I was at school and university, with only rugby and partying as competition for gaming. Career and family kept me away from 2E, so I like that ruleset and culture less; not due to any actual intrinsic criteria, just because it spoke less to me.
I started playing again, with a great group, with 3e, so I’m keen on that gaming zeitgeist. For a number of reasons, 4e didn’t do it for me, but that’s just me (and my group). Maybe we were right, maybe wrong. Does it matter?
I love 5e and feel just as “grognard-y” about that ruleset and gaming culture.

I respect Gygax, Arneson, Jaquays, Kuntz etc for giving me the game I love and don’t go too deeply into fall-outs about systems, “skilled play” or similar debates, though I do feel strongly about inclusivity and disliked the Ernie stuff a couple months back.

The group I game with are all different, from a combat-oriented, skilled character designer, to a romantic role player, to a grimdark roleplayer, to an actor, to a tactician. All different, all friends and a very cohesive group.

It’s a great game, however you play. Enjoy.
 

Sorry, this doesn't parse - did you maybe hit "post" before you finished typing?

Please elaborate.
Gold farmers ate an mmorpg thing where people do everything they can to snag anything of value in order to sell it for gold do they can sell the hold for real word currency. Often this is done with a group of antisocial gold farmers who ignore the social norms h niceties of the game. I'm on my phone now but I mentioned a few ways that certain players abised the old AL rules to act like gold farmers earlier in this post
 

Just my tuppence worth:
I’ve played since 1976 and still revere OD&D, though I suspect it’s as much the memories of the adventures and fun that I revere than the system per se. So I’m a “grognard” in the sense of the thrill of entering my first dungeon, sword in hand as Aelric the Warrior, and designing and stocking the Dungeon of Shadows for my first campaign.
What I’m trying to say is that our gaming preferences, grognard or whatever, are as much determined by where we were in our lives at the time as it is by where the game was at the time.
For me, I played a lot of Original and 1E between 76 and 84, whilst I was at school and university, with only rugby and partying as competition for gaming. Career and family kept me away from 2E, so I like that ruleset and culture less; not due to any actual intrinsic criteria, just because it spoke less to me.
I started playing again, with a great group, with 3e, so I’m keen on that gaming zeitgeist. For a number of reasons, 4e didn’t do it for me, but that’s just me (and my group). Maybe we were right, maybe wrong. Does it matter?
I love 5e and feel just as “grognard-y” about that ruleset and gaming culture.

I respect Gygax, Arneson, Jaquays, Kuntz etc for giving me the game I love and don’t go too deeply into fall-outs about systems, “skilled play” or similar debates, though I do feel strongly about inclusivity and disliked the Ernie stuff a couple months back.

The group I game with are all different, from a combat-oriented, skilled character designer, to a romantic role player, to a grimdark roleplayer, to an actor, to a tactician. All different, all friends and a very cohesive group.

It’s a great game, however you play. Enjoy.
Preach!

i have come to the same conclusion. What hit me was the fact I loved the game how WE played (1e AD&D) it at the time—-but surely we had our own brand.

I suspect a lot of what we did was not uncommon since a lot made it to 5e “officially.” All editions have some good in them. One I liked and played very little but it was an outlier.

follow your bliss! And remember what “pure” game you played before (I.e. older editions) was probably houseruled and fiddled with.

We play 5e with some 1e sensibilities and have a damn blast
 
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