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D&D General On simulating things: what, why, and how?


No flips for you!
Of course looking at other games is helpful. I was referring to the idea that a person who has problems with the game they play should just stop and play a different one instead that may match better with their sensibilities. If that's not what you meant, I apologize.
Okay. How is that harmful? If the game you are playing doesn't match your sensibilities, how is it possibly harmful to suggest playing one that does?

"This shirt doesn't fit." Is recommending a different size of garment harmful?

"I don't like this food." Is recommending some different cuisine harmful?

"This game doesn't do what I want." Is recommending one that does actually harmful?

This reads more like you just don't want to acknowledge other games exist for some reason I cannot grasp, and so are offended when they come up, or someone recommends the idea of playing one because it might suit you better. I don't get that. What part of your personal identity is so tied to D&D that it feels offensive for people to recommend different games to you?

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B/X Known World
Yeah, but apparently momentum doesn’t. See: falling damage. :)
That one and lava bathing bug me the most for some reason. I just house rule it. Didn’t Gygax say it was supposed to compound rather than be linear? 1d6 for 10 feet. 2d6 for 20 feet…so you’d take 3d6 for falling 20 feet. Not that that’s accurate simulation. But it’s a lot better.


Nobody is 'refighting' anything. I was just pointing out how silly the whole debate about realism and simulation could get. More in regards to the idea of it being a basis of deciding anything at all about how the setting works than anything else.
Oh, no. I disagree here.

Go back to 2007/8. You'll see these EXACT same discussions happening. Virtually word for word. Then, skip forward to 2012 with the D&D Next development and you'll see the same conversations yet again. These aren't new arguments. This is edition warring 101. Lay the groundwork for being able to claim how WotC doesn't care about fans and is changing the "soul" of the game to something different. It's 100% edition warring.

That's a pretty circular argument. The reason that it's realistic to kill dragons with spears and swords is because you can kill them with spears and swords in the game? I mean, that's the only place that dragons are killed, right? So now the game is defining the reality that we're simulating... in... the... game?
Well, makes much more sense than you concluding from game stats (somehow!) that dragons are super resilient (unlike real animals) and then complaining it is unrealistic that people can kill them by the rules of that very same game! o_O


It's pretty clear that @hawkeyefan does understand, and is asking where does one draw the line? And so far the line at best seems to be around "magic" and "monsters", and no other kind of fantasticalness, even if genre-appropriate, need apply. Oh except I guess for specific exceptions granted by the rare non-magical class feature or feat that does so, like Uncanny Dodge and Evasion.
Oh, it's absolutely clear where the line is drawn.

Everything I like is on this side of the good line and everything I don't like is on that side of the good line. It's purely self-serving. If people actually cared about simulation, then they'd have much larger problems with D&D. For the most part, any time the mechanics are used in D&D, the situation gets locked up in a sort of Schrodinger's Cat Box until such time as everything is resolved, we open the box and get the result.

How we got from A to B though? No idea. The mechanics couldn't care less. So, we fill it in with whatever narrative suits the table and move on. But, then some folks consider that "fill it in with whatever" to be simulating something and not just making stuff up. The fact that the system can't actually answer even basic questions about what happens in the fiction, thus making it not a simulation (a simulation MUST tell you something about how it got from A to B or it's not a simulation) is discounted. Doesn't matter. I like it so, it's simulation.


No flips for you!
Well, makes much more sense than you concluding from game stats (somehow!) that dragons are super resilient (unlike real animals) and then complaining it is unrealistic that people can kill them by the rules of that very same game! o_O
Wait, your argument is that a dragon is just another animal?


Well, makes much more sense than you concluding from game stats (somehow!) that dragons are super resilient (unlike real animals) and then complaining it is unrealistic that people can kill them by the rules of that very same game! o_O
Ok, let's nip this in the bud shall we?

A 40 foot crocodile would weight in at 18000 pounds (just as a quick Google Search, I'm sure there's quibble room here). Now, I'm going to put a lone armored man in an arena with a sword and shield and then plunk down Mr. Crocodile.

Who do you put money on? Even if that man somehow managed to kill the crocodile, he'd most likely be maimed forever. Loss of limb(s) at a minimum. Now, a 40 foot crocodile is about the size of a wyvern. Not a full dragon, just a wyvern. A fairly dangerous mid range monster that the PC's routinely kill.

The idea that you could routinely kill 9 ton flying crocodiles with a sword without any sort of magic or fantastic elements is a bad joke. Never minding an actual dragon.

And, even if our knight DID manage to kill that dragon with a sword, let's see him or her do it again. And do it a third time. Because, well, in a high level campaign, facing three dragons isn't unheard of. Or, even better, two at a time - something that does happen in 1e modules. There are encounters with multiple dragons in high level 1e modules (and not just Dragonlance). And the party is meant to win these encounters.

Dragons absolutely ARE super resilient compared to real world animals. An ancient red dragon clocks in at around 60 TONS. That's TWELVE mastadons in size, for comparison. Does your fighter kill 12 mastodons with a sword? A dragon isn't a T-Rex, it's several times the size of a T-Rex. An ancient red dragon is the size of a 737.

Thomas Shey

The whole "simulation" thing is 100% disingenuous. It's always made in bad faith.

Ehm, no. It may be made with tunnelvision in many cases, but its not always done in bad faith. People are quite able to be sincere and think you're comparing apples to oranges. This comes up when things like social (or to a lesser degree, intellectual) mechanics come up in any context, simulation, narrative supporting, whatever. To some people those are simply third rails and don't exist in the same mindspace they have for mechanics.

I don't think its a very helpful POV either, but its not disingenuous.

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