Presentation vs design... vs philosophy

HarbingerX

Rob Of The North
In the original Deities and Demigods, he was listed as:
F: 11
MU: 3
Th: 15

S: 16
I: 18
W; 14
D: 19
C: 17
CH: 18

So, I think that you'd put him a touch higher on the 5e scale. Then again, it's all pretty arbitrary.


EDIT- Which is to say, no matter what edition you use, mapping literary fantasy characters to D&D has always been an inexact science at best. And pulling stuff out of your posterior at worse.
Deities and Demigods may have beefed up their stats to discourage players going and killing heroes and gods, a problem that cropped up after Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes was published.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Deities and Demigods may have beefed up their stats to discourage players going and killing heroes and gods, a problem that cropped up after Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes was published.
Maybe! He wasn't listed in GD&H.

He's in my favorite 1e supplement, Lankhmar, city of adventure, as well.

He's got the following statline:
S: 15, I: 16, W: 11, D: 19, C: 17, Ch: 18.

Pretty similar. A little lower, but very similar.

They give different levels for different ages (as in the books), but state that his "peak" is:
F:10
MU: 3
Th: 15

So pretty similar, all things considered.
 

HarbingerX

Rob Of The North
And just for fun, here's my Deities & Demigods stats for Cthulhu... :)

AC 2
Special: Immune to mind control, +2 or better magic weapon to hit, regeneration
Magic Resistance: 80%
HP 400
# Atks: 30
Dmg: d10 (x30)
Fighter 16+ HD Monster
MU: 20

S:25 I:20 W:23 D:20 C:25 CH:-7

So Cthulhu is F16/MU20 multi-class. Funny how his AC's only 2. That's ascending AC 18. See, bounded accuracy was a thing even back then.
 
Tell me if you need another two dozen pages before we can continue discussing Pathfinder 2...
About the only thing this thread has raised to discuss regarding Pathfinder 2 that I recall is that Pathfinder 2's presentation reminds some people who don't like 4e of 4e - and bears no resemblance to it for almost anyone who does like 4e.

This is ... not good. And is the opposite of what 5e managed - which is to include at least some of the parts people liked from every edition even if all of them are watered down.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I (a) see far more of 4e than 3.X in 5e and (b) the parts I dislike of and associate with 3.X such as the pointless feats (as opposed to 4e's much more pointful ones), absurdly fiddly skill system, fiddly rules everywhere and ridiculous multiclassing, absurd degree of caster supremacy, and even Vancian casting aren't present. But reasonably flavourful characters, meaningful feats with a lack of prerequisite chains, some measure of balance, a sensible and non-fiddly skill system, short rests, and more are. It's hideously watered down 4e - but it's closer to 4e than 3.X.

You're welcome to disagree - and that's the point. You see what puts you off about 4e (even if based on your OP it just about all came from 3.5) when you look at PF2. I see nothing about the parts of 4e I like.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Interesting. I'm not going to debate "5E is a watered down 4E" even though the concept is absurd to me (having played both games).

But you have a point in how 5E managed to attract customers from all editions, something I have a hard time seeing PF2 do. That ties right back to my underlying point about PF2 - "what were they thinking making a game like this?"

From where I stand, they made a game with 3.x (i.e. PF1) sensibilities, then took away most of the stuff PF1 players love (and love to hate), venturing far too close to 4E in the process. Even if the resemblances were superficial, and even if you don't subscribe to the point I'm arguing in this thread, it's still enough to scare people away. And of course, they failed to throw the huge massive 5E crowds even a small bone (not only is the game far too cluttery; it is an unapologetic throwback to the pre-5E days in many respects).
 

Sadras

Hero
I'm not exaggerating when I say I (a) see far more of 4e than 3.X in 5e ...(snip)...
Mechanically I can see that but as a 2e fan, 5e feels (whatever that means) like 2e.
I felt 3e required system mastery and was too heavy, 4e felt locked for the tinkerers, BUT 5e for me gets it right. No system mastery required and very tinker friendly = feels like 2e.

I now have the freedom to incorporate 4e's skill challenges, rituals and change the fighting styles to martial at-wills.
I have the freedom to incorporate 3e's touch attack for incorporeals and whatever else I may want.
Those who do not like feats or even skills can remove them and play 1e styled games.

That for me is why 5e casts the larger net. They did good for the D&D fan-base, not necessarily for specialists of each edition.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Interesting. I'm not going to debate "5E is a watered down 4E" even though the concept is absurd to me (having played both games).

But you have a point in how 5E managed to attract customers from all editions, something I have a hard time seeing PF2 do. That ties right back to my underlying point about PF2 - "what were they thinking making a game like this?"
Maybe the reason you’re not getting much discussion on this topic is because it has a pretty straightforward answer, which has been given multiple times. There’s only so many ways you can say “they wanted to corner a niche they thought 5e wasn’t catering to rather than trying to directly compete with it, and its only natural that some of the same designers working to develop an evolution of basically the same system are naturally going to produce something that looks similar in some ways.” You may not like that answer, but it is the right one to the question you’ve asked.
 
All right, so not the same thing then, yes?

And yeah, "there are plenty of stories of people with no magical or supernatural abilities confronting and winning fights against dragons." They break a lot of the laws of our real-world physics to do so, and perform far beyond what we typically think of normal humans can do in the real world. Yet, they remain distinctly non-magical from the point of view of the narrative that they are in.

So, we can say they perform truly extraordinary feats, but make no access to actual magic.

Like the 4e maneuvers allow the characters to do...even if mechanically, it's found under the same structure (AEDU) as the magic-wielding heroes.
Although I already laid out my case for this twice-over (but my case was in terms of model physics and attendant narrative), I want to go back to this again for a moment.

The problem I have with saying “but stories showed mundane, martial characters slaying beasts” is this:

1) Those stories do this by way of unilateral authorial control over the fiction. The author does not need to mediate disputes over “what happens” when mundane, martial characters meet Ancient Red Dragons in mortal, melee combat. They simply write their vision.

2) TTRPG mechanics don’t remotely look anything like the above.

a) They don’t have unilateral vision by the PC playing the Fighter vs the Ancient Red Dragon.

b) They do have the requirement to pass the litmus test of a GM when they make the action declaration.

c) They do have the requirement to have their vision mediated through a dispute process of action resolution mechanics that can be either punitive in terms of 1st order interaction (one instance of action resolution being difficult to accomplish and extreme in fallout) or, more likely historically, the interaction of multiple instances of action resolution and their interactions and downstream effects.


TLDR - The existence of an author’s unilateral vision tells us nothing about what story one should expect to unfold at a classic D&D table when Epic Tier Martial Hero meets Ancient Red Dragon in mortal, melee combat. Doesn’t tell us about the outcome or the process (what permissible action declarations and how action resolution should expect to mathematically resolve).
 
Mechanically I can see that but as a 2e fan, 5e feels (whatever that means) like 2e.
I felt 3e required system mastery and was too heavy, 4e felt locked for the tinkerers, BUT 5e for me gets it right. No system mastery required and very tinker friendly = feels like 2e.
Whereas to me I absolutely can not stand 2e - but it's because of the bits 5e took out. THAC0, Non Weapon Proficiencies, Thief Skills, and Saving Throws all using separate mechanics for no good reason might as well be nails on a blackboard to me. (Note that it's the "for no good reason" part; I have no trouble at all with e.g. what the saving throws are). And given that THAC0 and Non Weapon Proficiencies manages to be the basline in-combat mechanics and the out of combat mechanics I'm never going to have a good time with 2e. But I can see how 5e resembles it to someone who likes that game.

Here again what you see if you like something is different from what you see if you don't, even if you've played both games (as I have). For you the stuff I can't stand is no big deal - but for me it's nails on a blackboard. And this was the thing 5e got right.

And what people consider tinker friendly differs; in another thread I showed how to make a goblin on a pogo stick as a character entirely by the 4e RAW and have it feel like one in play :) Tinkering with 4e is a different art to 2e.

Which brings me on to my biggest disappointment in 5e - it's a level of clean to run that I only otherwise get in 4e in D&D, but the monster creation rules absolutely drive me up the wall. I can create just about any monsters I like but creating my own monsters by the book is, after 4e's MM3 on a business card horrible. So I'd far rather tinker in 4e.
 

Sadras

Hero
Whereas to me I absolutely can not stand 2e - but it's because of the bits 5e took out. THAC0, Non Weapon Proficiencies, Thief Skills, and Saving Throws all using separate mechanics for no good reason might as well be nails on a blackboard to me.

...(snip)...

Here again what you see if you like something is different from what you see if you don't, even if you've played both games (as I have). For you the stuff I can't stand is no big deal - but for me it's nails on a blackboard. And this was the thing 5e got right.
Perfectly said! I bolded the part that is crucial in these edition discussions.

And what people consider tinker friendly differs; in another thread I showed how to make a goblin on a pogo stick as a character entirely by the 4e RAW and have it feel like one in play :) Tinkering with 4e is a different art to 2e.

Which brings me on to my biggest disappointment in 5e - it's a level of clean to run that I only otherwise get in 4e in D&D, but the monster creation rules absolutely drive me up the wall. I can create just about any monsters I like but creating my own monsters by the book is, after 4e's MM3 on a business card horrible. So I'd far rather tinker in 4e.
When I referred to tinkering I meant the system not so much monsters as I find that easy in both those editions (not 3e). But I do agree with you messing around with 4e monsters is a joy.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Whereas to me I absolutely can not stand 2e - but it's because of the bits 5e took out. THAC0, Non Weapon Proficiencies, Thief Skills, and Saving Throws all using separate mechanics for no good reason might as well be nails on a blackboard to me. (Note that it's the "for no good reason" part; I have no trouble at all with e.g. what the saving throws are).
Can't speak to THAC0 and Non-Weapon Proficiencies, never having used either, but the other two are to me features rather than bugs: they're good examples of using appropriate tools for different jobs rather than trying to shoehorn everything into one mechanic.

Thief skills being d%? Absolutely - allows for far more granularity than a simple d20. (ditto for various other things that use d% e.g. system shock rolls)

Saving throws? Absolutely - along with what class and level you are and what stats you have, what you're specifically saving against makes a difference in such a system - it's an added variable. One of these days I'd like to expand this further - maybe go to 8 or 10 different types of save rather than just 5 (e.g. split out Poison, Paralyzation and Death into their own charts rather than have them all the same).

And what people consider tinker friendly differs; in another thread I showed how to make a goblin on a pogo stick as a character entirely by the 4e RAW and have it feel like one in play :) Tinkering with 4e is a different art to 2e.
Different type of tinkering, I think.

When I talk of tinkering or kitbashing I'm referring to making actual changes to the rules and-or system, rather than using the existing rules to do something unusual.
 
Can't speak to THAC0 and Non-Weapon Proficiencies, never having used either, but the other two are to me features rather than bugs: they're good examples of using appropriate tools for different jobs rather than trying to shoehorn everything into one mechanic.

Thief skills being d%? Absolutely - allows for far more granularity than a simple d20. (ditto for various other things that use d% e.g. system shock rolls)

Saving throws? Absolutely - along with what class and level you are and what stats you have, what you're specifically saving against makes a difference in such a system - it's an added variable. One of these days I'd like to expand this further - maybe go to 8 or 10 different types of save rather than just 5 (e.g. split out Poison, Paralyzation and Death into their own charts rather than have them all the same).
I couldn't disagree more. A 2% difference in the odds of success (which is the largest possible difference in individual percentile roles from ones rounded to 5% or a d20) on a simple pass/fail check makes a difference in one roll out of 50. One roll in every 50 being different isn't even meaningful in terms of attacks, never mind thief skills. You're adding fiddliness without adding meaningful differentiation. All you are doing is making things unnecessarily fiddly. Adding insult to injury four out of the eight thief skills in 1e are in exact 5% incremements anyway (and climb walls goes to 0.1%).

And saving throws? I'm not arguing with the idea of saving throws being Death/Poison/Paralysis, RodStaffWand, Petrification or Polymorph, Breath, Spell - it works as a strongly gamist system (with paralysis being moved to the save or die group from the save or lose-but-survive group in later iterations due to it normally being followed by a coup de grace). I'm arguing against them gratuitiously using different dice rolling methods with no mathematical reason. 1d20 + modifier vs target number would make no mathematical difference and be easier to learn. You don't even have the excuse here of that oh-so-important 2% difference in probability.

And THAC0 was an improvement in calculation from those attack tables in oD&D that do nothing but enforce a slowness on the game. If you want to use lookup tables for weapons vs armour type Rolemaster (or, better, MERP) at least gives you both flavour and realism from them

When I talk of tinkering or kitbashing I'm referring to making actual changes to the rules and-or system, rather than using the existing rules to do something unusual.
I refer to both. But a better, more adaptable system like 4e or 5e requires a whole lot less in the way of actual changes to have decent sized effects. And also by being cleaner they show much more clearly when planned kitbashes don't measure up.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I couldn't disagree more. A 2% difference in the odds of success (which is the largest possible difference in individual percentile roles from ones rounded to 5% or a d20) on a simple pass/fail check makes a difference in one roll out of 50. One roll in every 50 being different isn't even meaningful in terms of attacks, never mind thief skills. You're adding fiddliness without adding meaningful differentiation. All you are doing is making things unnecessarily fiddly. Adding insult to injury four out of the eight thief skills in 1e are in exact 5% incremements anyway (and climb walls goes to 0.1%).
Over the years I've seen enough rolls - very significant rolls - made or lost by just 1% or 2% to make me keep that granularity all day long.

And saving throws? I'm not arguing with the idea of saving throws being Death/Poison/Paralysis, RodStaffWand, Petrification or Polymorph, Breath, Spell - it works as a strongly gamist system (with paralysis being moved to the save or die group from the save or lose-but-survive group in later iterations due to it normally being followed by a coup de grace). I'm arguing against them gratuitiously using different dice rolling methods with no mathematical reason. 1d20 + modifier vs target number would make no mathematical difference and be easier to learn.
That's all saves are now. The big difference is that the target number (i.e. the save matrix) is strictly DM-side info. The player still rolls the d20 and tells me the modified total, and I look at the chart - it ain't that hard. :)

And THAC0 was an improvement in calculation from those attack tables in oD&D that do nothing but enforce a slowness on the game.
I always found THAC0 hard to grok, personally. The only time it made any sense to me was when the target's AC was in fact 0; otherwise it added an extra calculation I otherwise didn't need to make.

I refer to both. But a better, more adaptable system like 4e or 5e requires a whole lot less in the way of actual changes to have decent sized effects. And also by being cleaner they show much more clearly when planned kitbashes don't measure up.
I've never tried kitbashing 4e or 5e but when playing 3e our DM tried some serious reworking of it, only to find that the unified mechanics (which he tried to maintain) caused far too many knock-on effects: changing something here knocked something else out of whack there and there, and fixing those caused problems elsewhere, repeat...

With freestanding sub-systems, there's no pressure to make any one element procedurally conform to any other element; it is what it is and does the job it does, and can be independently tweaked if so desired without nearly as many knock-ons.
 
Over the years I've seen enough rolls - very significant rolls - made or lost by just 1% or 2% to make me keep that granularity all day long.
Sure, over the course of years you will see a 1 in 100 chance come into play from time to time. Over a long enough series of rolls, a 1 in a thousand or 1 in a million chance will also come into play. Does that mean you should switch to rolling d1000s or d1000000s?

This isn't to imply that you're doing it wrong. If it's fun for you and your table, then there's evidently no problem.

The point is simply that there comes a point where granularity results in diminishing returns. A +1/-1 on a d20 is fairly likely to come into play in any given game session. A +1/-1 on a d100 might only come into play a few times in a (20 level) campaign. The same on a d1000 or d1000000 will likely occur at some point over the course of years, but not necessarily within the scope of any given campaign. This, of course, assumes that this check is being rolled with fair regularity.

If you like the granularity then by all means use it. But that doesn't make it necessarily significant. Those significant rolls that were missed by 1% could have easily been missed by 1 point on a d20 as well.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I always found THAC0 hard to grok, personally. The only time it made any sense to me was when the target's AC was in fact 0; otherwise it added an extra calculation I otherwise didn't need to make.
There's only one to two simple steps. You subtract what you rolled on the D20(plus modifiers) from your THACO and tell it to the DM. If your THAC0 is 17 and you roll a 12, you hit AC 5(17-12).
 
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lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I refer to both. But a better, more adaptable system like 4e or 5e requires a whole lot less in the way of actual changes to have decent sized effects. And also by being cleaner they show much more clearly when planned kitbashes don't measure up.
The change in terminology that you use (adaptable) from what you are replying to (tinkering, kitbashing, "change"), is noticable; this is before getting into normative and perjoative language like a "better ... system[.]"

As was pointed out upthread, the strength of older systems such as OD&D, 1e, and B/X is both cultural and within the system; specifically, that they invite change.

While 4e might be "adaptable," and "refluffable" in many ways, this is not at all the same as what you were responding to, and this is fairly obvious just if you look at the difference in the DMG in 4e.

In other words, some games invite experimentation, and others don't. Or, as you might put it, some games are so harsh and, um CLEAN that they show you, with EXTREME PREJUDICE when your puny little attempts at having fun do not measure up to the purity of the system.

I kid, mostly, but then again the system doesn't matter. Just what people play.
 
Over the years I've seen enough rolls - very significant rolls - made or lost by just 1% or 2% to make me keep that granularity all day long.
They can be made or lost by that one time in 50 - but that doesn't mean that's a significant difference in character choices.

That's all saves are now. The big difference is that the target number (i.e. the save matrix) is strictly DM-side info. The player still rolls the d20 and tells me the modified total, and I look at the chart - it ain't that hard. :)
First, no that's not the difference. The big difference is that the old school saves were effects based; you had a better chance on the spell save than the death save whereas in 3.X you throw glitterdust and hold person at the brutes and blindness or stinking cloud at the casters.

Second as a DM or a player why would I want that? As a player not knowing how tough I am blinds me and takes away information I should have making me less connected to the world. And as a DM it's an extra piece of busywork for me.

I always found THAC0 hard to grok, personally. The only time it made any sense to me was when the target's AC was in fact 0; otherwise it added an extra calculation I otherwise didn't need to make.
I'd prefer a simple calculation to a lookup table any day of the week where the output is the same. Especially on something that's supposed to be fast.

I've never tried kitbashing 4e or 5e but when playing 3e our DM tried some serious reworking of it, only to find that the unified mechanics (which he tried to maintain) caused far too many knock-on effects: changing something here knocked something else out of whack there and there, and fixing those caused problems elsewhere, repeat...
4e is either worse or better than 3e that way depending on your perspective. I prefer the 3.X and 4e approach because it imposes some quality control on me - and because it allows me to make far reaching changes when I want to. But there is a much higher barrier to effectiveness.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
There's only one to two simple steps. You subtract what you rolled on the D20(plus modifiers) from your THACO and tell it to the DM. If your THAC0 is 17 and you roll a 12, you hit AC 5(17-12).
Eh, some people swore by THAC0, other people swore at it. Tables were so very ur-Gygaxian, and I can't recall not seeing a game with the DM Screen.

I mean ... c'mon.... that Trampier two-piece panel. That artwork, perhaps more than anything (yes, even more than the DMG or PHB cover) instantly evokes D&D for a whole generation.
 

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