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5E Professions in 5e

dave2008

Legend
Rules help define what matters in a game. If a game doesn't have a rule about chamber pots it's likely because they don't matter and most of the time they won't be included.

It's weird because when you pop away from D&D you can find a lot of rules for a lot of weird things in other RPGs because the RPGs value different things and put their rules into the different things they value.
Yes, but defining what matters vs. @wingsandsword opinion of it "not existing" if there are no rules are different things. Of course their are rules for "professions," he/she just doesn't seem to like them and that's OK.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
Rules help define what matters in a game. If a game doesn't have a rule about chamber pots it's likely because they don't matter and most of the time they won't be included.

It's weird because when you pop away from D&D you can find a lot of rules for a lot of weird things in other RPGs because the RPGs value different things and put their rules into the different things they value.
This wouldn't be the time to reference F.A.T.A.L., would it?
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Rules help define what matters in a game. If a game doesn't have a rule about chamber pots it's likely because they don't matter and most of the time they won't be included.
Depends, rules also help define what the designers believe there needs to be rules to adjudicate fairly, but that's not necessarily what's important. Lack of rules could also indicate that the designers didn't think it needed to be spelled out.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Depends, rules also help define what the designers believe there needs to be rules to adjudicate fairly, but that's not necessarily what's important. Lack of rules could also indicate that the designers didn't think it needed to be spelled out.
Games have what I like to think of as a trajectory, generally the answer to the design question, what do I want the game to do. They tend to include solid rules for things right "in the path of the game", less solid rules for actions peripheral to the trajectory, and no rules for things off the trajectory. Some games have broad trajectories, while other have very tightly focused ones. No game is designed to cover all situations all the time, an idea both silly and impractical by turns.

Taking the above into account, it's still not rocket surgery to use the rules given in pretty much any game and adapt them to an edge case. Anyone who is playing a game that's already on the edge of a particular trajectory probably shouldn't complain that their hammer isn't any good at spreading plaster.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Games have what I like to think of as a trajectory, generally the answer to the design question, what do I want the game to do. They tend to include solid rules for things right "in the path of the game", less solid rules for actions peripheral to the trajectory, and no rules for things off the trajectory. Some games have broad trajectories, while other have very tightly focused ones. No game is designed to cover all situations all the time, an idea both silly and impractical by turns.

Taking the above into account, it's still not rocket surgery to use the rules given in pretty much any game and adapt them to an edge case. Anyone who is playing a game that's already on the edge of a particular trajectory probably shouldn't complain that their hammer isn't any good at spreading plaster.
Yeah, the most important things are going to have some rules around them to shape those things - Pendragon's various passions and famous-level stats are good examples. You can be so brave you're compelled by the rules of the game to act in a valorous manner, even when it's a bad idea, objectively. It ratchets up the medieval romance aspect of the Arthurian stories for the game.

But there are lots of things important to a D&D game that aren't covered by rules. Are there defined rules for the powers of a king, emperor, or queen? I guess if we take wingsandsword's approach to games, they don't exist. And yet, I think most players would consider that to be fairly ridiculous to assert that kings, queens, damsels in distress, and a whole host of other elements of classic D&D games don't exist...
 


Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Games have what I like to think of as a trajectory, generally the answer to the design question, what do I want the game to do. They tend to include solid rules for things right "in the path of the game", less solid rules for actions peripheral to the trajectory, and no rules for things off the trajectory. Some games have broad trajectories, while other have very tightly focused ones. No game is designed to cover all situations all the time, an idea both silly and impractical by turns.

Taking the above into account, it's still not rocket surgery to use the rules given in pretty much any game and adapt them to an edge case. Anyone who is playing a game that's already on the edge of a particular trajectory probably shouldn't complain that their hammer isn't any good at spreading plaster.
There's some merit to this, but I think it's a bit too blunt. D&D, for instance, has almost the same rule for on trajectory as off: GM decides. I think it might be worthwhile to break it down a bit more and look at both what authorities exist, but also what constraints and principles are provided. 5e is, broadly, GM decides as the core mechanic for everything, but there are some areas that provide tighter constraints and guidance than others. Clearly, combat is one. How the out of combat skill system works, though, it a bit hodge-podge, with some areas being well defined and others wide open. I don't think it's fair to say that social interaction is off-trajectory merely because the rules don't provide strong constraints or guidance for social interaction. It's one of the three pillars, after all!

I think it's worthwhile, though, to look at what a game prioritizes, the trajectory as you call it. Clearly, 5e prioritizes different things than, say, FATE. Those priorities are built with authorities (who has say), constraints that limit authorities, and principles -- or guidance on best use of authority. 5e has primarily laid all authority on the GM by using a GM decides core mechanic. This is somewhat constrained by the combat subsystem, in that the GM decides authority is tightly curtailed in the combat subsystem, but still the core mechanic. It also has few principles of play that aren't community developed (which is interesting, to say the least).

To bring this to the topic at hand, 5e does not prioritize professions, or rather, as has been mentioned, it's assumed profession is adventurer. Backgrounds are what you did before you became an adventurer. There's very little support for, either in priority or toolsets, simulating normal people doing normal things. You can do it, because GM decides, but it would be better to embrace the game for what it is rather than continue to play a previous edition with 5e rules. That way never leads to happiness.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
There's some merit to this, but I think it's a bit too blunt. D&D, for instance, has almost the same rule for on trajectory as off: GM decides. I think it might be worthwhile to break it down a bit more and look at both what authorities exist, but also what constraints and principles are provided. 5e is, broadly, GM decides as the core mechanic for everything, but there are some areas that provide tighter constraints and guidance than others. Clearly, combat is one. How the out of combat skill system works, though, it a bit hodge-podge, with some areas being well defined and others wide open. I don't think it's fair to say that social interaction is off-trajectory merely because the rules don't provide strong constraints or guidance for social interaction. It's one of the three pillars, after all!
Well, I prefer to think of it as general. D&D provides a lot more widgets than some games, and treads closer to being a generic fantasy game than a lot of properties. Obviously, every system has it's own set of constraints, tighter or looser, and breadth, wider or narrower, as design elements. In order to speak generally about RPGs you need to paint with a pretty broad brush.

Examining the trajectory of any game, and getting gritty about how the knobs and dials are set, and how the teleos of play is realized through the mechanics, is always an interesting exercise. Social interaction, both to a degree in general, and very much in D&D specifically, has historically been softly designed. I wouldn't say that makes it off trajectory though. As you say, the three pillars pretty much have to be somewhere on trajectory for most games. In the case of D&D the SI rules are, I think it's fair to say, set quite a ways off to the side though.
I think it's worthwhile, though, to look at what a game prioritizes, the trajectory as you call it. Clearly, 5e prioritizes different things than, say, FATE. Those priorities are built with authorities (who has say), constraints that limit authorities, and principles -- or guidance on best use of authority. 5e has primarily laid all authority on the GM by using a GM decides core mechanic. This is somewhat constrained by the combat subsystem, in that the GM decides authority is tightly curtailed in the combat subsystem, but still the core mechanic. It also has few principles of play that aren't community developed (which is interesting, to say the least).
Yeah, that's a fair characterization of D&D. What were thinking of when you community developed?
To bring this to the topic at hand, 5e does not prioritize professions, or rather, as has been mentioned, it's assumed profession is adventurer. Backgrounds are what you did before you became an adventurer. There's very little support for, either in priority or toolsets, simulating normal people doing normal things. You can do it, because GM decides, but it would be better to embrace the game for what it is rather than continue to play a previous edition with 5e rules. That way never leads to happiness.
Also very fair. You can play a very interesting fantasy game where the characters are regular joes, but D&D isn't the tool for that job.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Well, I prefer to think of it as general. D&D provides a lot more widgets than some games, and treads closer to being a generic fantasy game than a lot of properties. Obviously, every system has it's own set of constraints, tighter or looser, and breadth, wider or narrower, as design elements. In order to speak generally about RPGs you need to paint with a pretty broad brush.
Sure, but I think it's useful to be careful about what gets painted. Talking about genre emulation is a good broad brush. Talking about what things a system prioritizes (which I think is analogous to your trajectory) is a good broad brush. Some care is useful, though.

Examining the trajectory of any game, and getting gritty about how the knobs and dials are set, and how the teleos of play is realized through the mechanics, is always an interesting exercise. Social interaction, both to a degree in general, and very much in D&D specifically, has historically been softly designed. I wouldn't say that makes it off trajectory though. As you say, the three pillars pretty much have to be somewhere on trajectory for most games. In the case of D&D the SI rules are, I think it's fair to say, set quite a ways off to the side though.
I don't know that I can agree with this outside of D&D. Even, there, 3.x had the diplomancer and 4e actually had a pretty robust social resolution mechanic via skill challenges. Plus, there are a number of systems, even in the 80's, that operationalized social interaction much better than 5e does.

As for 5e, yes, it doesn't provide much for the social interaction pillar, but it claims to focus on that as one of the three main pillars of the game. So, at that point, either were ignoring the designer's own voice (which I think is valid) about what they considered important or we have to consider that maybe they though that what was provided was sufficiently on point. Probably something in the middle. I don't think the D&D community, writ large, is receptive to more codified social interaction because that involves binding stakes on the PCs. And, one of the only authorities afforded players in D&D is absolute control over PCs. One of the few explicit principles in 5e is that players say what PCs do. So, having social interactions that can bind players into a course of action is directly against a core authority in D&D and one of the few explicit principles.


Yeah, that's a fair characterization of D&D. What were thinking of when you community developed?
Don't railroad.
Don't DMNPC.
Various good suggestions on how to run games.

None of these are really presented in the rules. Hinted at, maybe even given minimal mention, but not developed. Instead, there's a huge wealth of community generated principles for play that has developed. The designers probably didn't even consider these because, at this point, they're an ingrained part of the community.
Also very fair. You can play a very interesting fantasy game where the characters are regular joes, but D&D isn't the tool for that job.
Yup.
 

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