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5E On meaningless restrictions

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
So maybe in the interests of niche protection (and, yes, somewhat against the intent of this thread) the idea of background giving you two extra skills needs to be shut down?
As someone who's had ideas that were nonstandard, I'm not a big fan of eliminating the mechanic entirely, but I'd have less problem if a GM wanted approval of every background. Of course, I'm not particularly a powergamer, and I grok niche protection pretty thoroughly.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So now to play the concept I want, I must choose a particular race or get DM approval?
You can (almost certainly) play whatever concept you want.

Where the problems arise is the expectation (or dare I say entitlement) of there being hard-coded mechanical backing and support for any concept.

The game's going to mechanically support some common tropes and whatever else happens to be close enough for rosk and roll. You're free to go outside of that but in doing so you're on your own and the mechanics aren't necessarily going to support you.

The DM is going to approve anyways, why not just go ahead and pre-rule that it always will be?
Is the DM always going to approve? Sounds like a rather large assumption...
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
You can (almost certainly) play whatever concept you want.

Where the problems arise is the expectation (or dare I say entitlement) of there being hard-coded mechanical backing and support for any concept.

The game's going to mechanically support some common tropes and whatever else happens to be close enough for rosk and roll. You're free to go outside of that but in doing so you're on your own and the mechanics aren't necessarily going to support you.
Well that's not really true is it. If 70% of concepts get mechanical support and I'm told to play the concept anyways without mechanical support then that's a totally different game than what everyone else at the table is playing. That's really not fair IMO.

That said I'm with your general point that concepts in general don't need mechanical support (and I agree with that) - it's just when there is mechanical support then it doesn't really work well to say play the concept without mechanical support


Is the DM always going to approve? Sounds like a rather large assumption...
Sounds like a thoughtless objection ;)
 
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The archetype can be modeled without skill restrictions. The only role skills play there is ensuring that each class has access to the skills relevant to their archetypes, which is accomplished just fine by allowing anyone to take any skills.
"can"
There are many ways to model archtypes. Just because such a model can be built in a manner other than RAW does not invalidate the RAW method.

the single valid purpose of class restrictions is to simplify character creation by making sure that classes that have to pick several spells at level 1, and/or other class features, don’t also have to pick 3-4 skills from the entire skill list. The bard goes hard on making you pick stuff early on, but it’s the exception.
Not sure it's the only valid purpose, but even if it is, then it is a valid reason. Valid reasons are valid reasons. And look at the growth of 5E, making the game more accessible via simplified character creation seem like a very good business decision (in hindsight).

The thing is: what is the reason, and is it a good enough reason to justify not allowing players to pick whatever skills they like for all their skill choices? (rather than pick whatever you want for two and then two off this list)
Well, perhaps it is accessibility. Which has helped lead to the explosive growth of 5E. So whether or not that's a good enough "gaming" reason, it is certainly been proven a very good business reason.

I believe upthread someone argued that the class archtypes help new players not get confused about what to do. I'm not sure this works (because they still have the full list for half of their choices anyways) I can definitely agree that there are potentially mechanically bad skill choices, but those are still on several class skill lists, so the restriction isn't helping there.
Since most players don't create their own background and pick from the ones presented to them, and supported by the growth of 5E, I think it's proven to work (from a business perspective).
 

There is only one meaningless restriction in the game: Druids can't wear metal.

Once they confirmed that armor material can be refluffed, there's no meaning to this. Metal armour just don't fit into their idea of a druid, but if it fits your character, then it should not be a problem.
I still have a problem removing this restriction or allowing refluffed materials. But at least I understand that's because it is ingrained from decades of playing with such a restriction :)
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I still have a problem removing this restriction or allowing refluffed materials. But at least I understand that's because it is ingrained from decades of playing with such a restriction :)
I'm ... ambivalent at best about druids, even though they're really important in my setting. I'd probably be more willing to let someone playing a class I don't much like, because I don't want my feelings about the class to negatively effect their play.
 

I still have a problem removing this restriction or allowing refluffed materials. But at least I understand that's because it is ingrained from decades of playing with such a restriction :)
and hey, in doing so you could come up with neat adventure plots, like the druid wanting Scale Mail so we gotta go kill a dragon, or maybe there's an ironwood grove or something that you need to find to make some might-as-well-be-metal armor.
 

Monayuris

Adventurer
There is only one meaningless restriction in the game: Druids can't wear metal.

Once they confirmed that armor material can be refluffed, there's no meaning to this. Metal armour just don't fit into their idea of a druid, but if it fits your character, then it should not be a problem.
Druids can't wear metal armor is definitely not a meaningless restriction.

Lack of access to the AC provided by metal armors is balanced by the massive amounts of buffer hit points druids get from the wild shape rules.
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
Druids can't wear metal armor is definitely not a meaningless restriction.

Lack of access to the AC provided by metal armors is balanced by the massive amounts of buffer hit points druids get from the wild shape rules.
That's just your perceived balance, and even then its for Moon Druids only. What about the caster druids? They got no Mage armor/Shield, no Shield of Faith, and they can't cast spells in wild shape.
Then there's the stupidity of having proficiency in Medium armour, but can't use any of them bar Hide because they are all metal. Why not just remove it all and leave Light armour?
 

Monayuris

Adventurer
That's just your perceived balance, and even then its for Moon Druids only. What about the caster druids? They got no Mage armor/Shield, no Shield of Faith, and they can't cast spells in wild shape.
Then there's the stupidity of having proficiency in Medium armour, but can't use any of them bar Hide because they are all metal. Why not just remove it all and leave Light armour?
Caster druids can still wild shape as many times as Moon Druids.

At second level, if they turn into wolves, they get two sets of 11 hit points. Which means total hit points (assuming Con 14), 17+11+11= 39 hit points. Which is equivalent to a 3rd or 4th level fighter. Which is pretty good for a non-tank character.

I'd say if you want druids to have AC equivalent to metal armors, they should be given the option to quest for scales of certain creatures (dragons or wyverns or such).

Give a role-playing or in campaign incentive that creates more adventure.
 

Immoralkickass

Explorer
Caster druids can still wild shape as many times as Moon Druids.

At second level, if they turn into wolves, they get two sets of 11 hit points. Which means total hit points (assuming Con 14), 17+11+11= 39 hit points. Which is equivalent to a 3rd or 4th level fighter. Which is pretty good for a non-tank character.

I'd say if you want druids to have AC equivalent to metal armors, they should be given the option to quest for scales of certain creatures (dragons or wyverns or such).

Give a role-playing or in campaign incentive that creates more adventure.
You're kidding right? No way those measly extra HP is comparable to real defensive abilities. Besides, you're straying from the real argument whether they are meaningless restrictions or not.

My point on why they are 'meaningless':
  • Its not an actual rule. Its more like a parent telling their kid to not do something.
  • They clarified that armour materials can be refluffed, for example, you can wear a breastplate that is made of Tortoise shell. Meaning, the restriction wasn't meant to stop you from getting high AC anyway.
 

Monayuris

Adventurer
You're kidding right? No way those measly extra HP is comparable to real defensive abilities. Besides, you're straying from the real argument whether they are meaningless restrictions or not.

My point on why they are 'meaningless':
  • Its not an actual rule. Its more like a parent telling their kid to not do something.
  • They clarified that armour materials can be refluffed, for example, you can wear a breastplate that is made of Tortoise shell. Meaning, the restriction wasn't meant to stop you from getting high AC anyway.
Getting more than double your hit points is pretty strong. Not to mention the other advantages of access to senses and abilities.

Not being able to wear metal armor was a restriction to Druids since the beginning. It is definitely an actual rule. It literally states as much in the class description.

Where do the rules state that armor materials can be refluffed? Why would tortoise shell armor be as readily available as metal? This is something that will vary from campaign to campaign and as such is not an official rule.

Like I said, high AC armor of natural materials can be obtained as a part of an adventure. I would not allow a Druid player to just buy plate mail and say it was dragon scale. But they can go and slay a dragon, strip it’s scales, and commission a smith to craft a set.
 


By the way, I've noticed a trend in this thread and you are guilty of it as well - where you argue against removing "meaningless restrictions" by bringing up what happens when "all restrictions, both meaningful and meaningless" are removed. I guess I just find it odd to see so many people arguing against a position that was never taken by me or anyone else in this thread.
Non, you are guilty of misrepresentation or misunderstanding.

The point is, you are starting from an invalid assumption*: meaningless restrictions exist.

Just because you can't see/understand the meaning doesn't make it meaningless.

Just because it's not relevant to the way play at your table does not mean it's irrelevant to everyone.

And thus, it follows: any restriction could be labelled "meaningless" and therefore any restriction could be removed.


*NB, this appears to stem from another a priori invalid assumption: the only reason for restrictions is to limit powergaming and enforce class balance.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Non, you are guilty of misrepresentation or misunderstanding.

The point is, you are starting from an invalid assumption*: meaningless restrictions exist.

Just because you can't see/understand the meaning doesn't make it meaningless.

Just because it's not relevant to the way play at your table does not mean it's irrelevant to everyone.

And thus, it follows: any restriction could be labelled "meaningless" and therefore any restriction could be removed.


*NB, this appears to stem from another a priori invalid assumption: the only reason for restrictions is to limit powergaming and enforce class balance.
Would it help your sensibilities if we called them "near meaningless restrictions"?
 


I'm not sure why that would ever be necessary.
Mostly to make sure the character fits within the setting.

But it also allows flexibility. Rather than the DM come up with a long list of things that are and are not allowed, the player can say "can I have X", the DM then checks out X, weighs up the pros and cons and says "yay" or "neigh".
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Mostly to make sure the character fits within the setting.

But it also allows flexibility. Rather than the DM come up with a long list of things that are and are not allowed, the player can say "can I have X", the DM then checks out X, weighs up the pros and cons and says "yay" or "neigh".
absolutely hate it. Lay out what is acceptable and isn’t upfront. That gives me the information I need in order to pick what to play.
 

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