D&D General On Skilled Play: D&D as a Game


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Voadam

Legend
@Voadam

I don’t wish to turn this thread into a deep dive analysis into Forge Incoherency Hypothesis (where I agree...where I disagree), but to address your thoughts above would take a VERY high word count (and derail the thread hard). My inquiry was basically to ask folks who already have a deep grasp of the hypothesis and developed opinions around it to let me know if there was an unrealized proxy war happening here.

But if you want to discuss Forge Incoherency Hypothesis and how it does or does not apply to 5e, I’ll gladly entertain that conversation if you want to PM me about it or start a new thread specifically about it (that conversation will be intense and volatile and overwhelm anything else)!
That's fine, I don't have enough interest in the Forge stuff to dive into researching the Forge or to start my own thread about it, just enough to react and think critically about specific propositions like what you posted. :)
 

This is a very interesting and unexpected take.

In a singular move you have a limited resource that entails a decision-point between 4 powerful effects:

* Damage (that will reliably kill a mook or remove a substantial chunk of most creatures HP at mid level)

* Control (dictating enemy attacks to a tank is a huge control effect)

* Buff (+1 forward is powerful in DW)

* Mitigation (halve damage + armor turns most attacks into nothingburgers)

This is a move that allows a decision-point to toggle between Leader/Striker/Defender Stance or aspects of all 3. Do you think a 4e Fighter that had that kind of multivariate punishment (which you could build towards but not get to how powerful/versatile Defend is) for Mark violation would yield a less cognitively demanding/potentially skillfully deployed PC (again, across a hefty population of decision-points with this Mark usage)? It seems your answer is “<nuanced> yes.” I wonder if the player-base and the designers who felt that 4e was/is a more tactically robust and cognitively intensive game (and those that decried the game because it didn’t have “a simple Fighter”) would agree with you.

EDIT - Is your take a version of “5e Wizards with all of their choices/capability at low level (say, level 3) are less cognitively demanding/less potentially skillful (they’re EZMode) in application than their AD&D/Basic Wizards counterparts?”
As a player I am a singularly 'focused on getting results', in a narrative sense, vs worried about which mechanics are invoked. So, when I see a super effective move that I can make, which then FOLLOWS UP with "and you now get to pick from all these cool effects the exact one you want" my answer is "hey, this meets all my needs." When I played a fighter in DW I just spammed Defend Another all over the place. It is easy to reliably invoke and is amazingly effective. Now, if I played the same fighter with YOUR wimpier version of DA, I'd have to work harder to leverage my high hit points and lots of DR, etc. into keeping the rest of the party in one piece. It probably would require more thought and more energy to do it.

5e wizards are certainly easy mode compared to 1e wizards. Now, low level... Eh, maybe you spend more time on analysis and choosing when to spend slots in 5e. OTOH spell selection is vastly easier. HIGH level play, the 1e wizard (Magic User) is quite a bit trickier to play. You have to do a LOT of prep. Questioner of All Things layers his prep. He's got Staff of Power to deal with a lot of minor utility stuff, and then a couple other items which cover other basic needs, as well as certain contingencies. So then there's the fun question of picking the right mix of potions, scrolls, and memorized spells so as to provide additional contingency options, backups for things that might get expended etc. OTOH my 5e Transmuter could rely much more on simply having the ability to use go-to spells multiple times and that a number of utilities can be left to rituals. He found far less need to plan out exactly how each spell selection fit into the whole kit.
 



Big N. Medium (or just north or south of the equator, depending upon the session) G.
OK, no disagreement there, but it is very much simulating B/X at a narrative level too, though I suppose GNS doesn't really talk about simulationism in terms of one game simulating the narrative of another... Pity, it could be more convolved! lol. I guess, like you, I never really bought some of the tenets of GNS, though it seems to have mostly been born and died during a time when I was oblivious to what was going on with RPGs...
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
@Voadam

I don’t wish to turn this thread into a deep dive analysis into Forge Incoherency Hypothesis (where I agree...where I disagree), but to address your thoughts above would take a VERY high word count (and derail the thread hard). My inquiry was basically to ask folks who already have a deep grasp of the hypothesis and developed opinions around it to let me know if there was an unrealized proxy war happening here.

But if you want to discuss Forge Incoherency Hypothesis and how it does or does not apply to 5e, I’ll gladly entertain that conversation if you want to PM me about it or start a new thread specifically about it (that conversation will be intense and volatile and overwhelm anything else)!
EDIT I believe the hypothesis that the agendas or modes are necessarily incoherent doesn't drive reliable intuitions, and might lead to resisting important alternatives. So that there is unlikely to be an unrealised proxy war happening here such as might be thought to arise if the hypothesis amounted to a robust statement about our gaming reality.
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
Big N. Medium (or just north or south of the equator, depending upon the session) G.
You don't think with the fronts and such, some S?

EDIT This is where the word agendas can be quite helpful. Often one reads a post suggesting RPG X is unsuitable for Y and someone turns around and says, well we are doing Y with it. When I read DW, I think about the pithy expression of a game world that can be done using its concepts. So I might feel less committed by the DW rules to N and get right onto some S even if the DW designers had N as their big agenda (using the language of GNS).
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
You're good. There is nothing actionable in it, so you're just missing some theory crafting and self indulgent pontificating.
There's some kind of dissonance here. I have been leaving each round of discussion on this thread with new or better formed ideas, and new points of reference, that I have been actively using as I develop my next 5e (via FG), multi-DM campaign.

For example, this morning I was able to finally state in a simple way an important cohering principle for the campaign - working from ideas around simulationist agendas (albeit I find "simulationist" obstructive as a label). Yesterday, thinking about fronts, I was able to pithily state our... well I guess you could just call them "fronts" (in the DW sense). Albeit using my own motives and means framing.

Thus if a reader is finding nothing actionable I guess it means they know all the theory already, or they can't grasp the theory, or maybe they grasp the theory, but don't know how to translate that into action. If you are interested, I'm happy to talk over how I approach that last part.
 

You don't think with the fronts and such, some S?

EDIT This is where the word agendas can be quite helpful. Often one reads a post suggesting RPG X is unsuitable for Y and someone turns around and says, well we are doing Y with it. When I read DW, I think about the pithy expression of a game world that can be done using its concepts. So I might feel less committed by the DW rules to N and get right onto some S even if the DW designers had N as their big agenda (using the language of GNS).
The 'S' in GNS refers to simulating SOME GENRE (or maybe more specific material, I mean you can go as specific as you want there). I think you could make a case that DW has an agenda to simulate classic dungeon crawl narratives. I really am not knowledgeable enough about it to make any statement as to whether or not that qualifies in 'GNS Theory'.
 

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