D&D General Rules, Rules, Rules: Thoughts on the Past, Present, and Future of D&D


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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Keystone cops is better than everyone being statues as other people run around doing things. Again, it’s an artificial game mechanic not how the real world (or the fiction) actually works.
I don't agree. I'd rather hold my nose and look the other way at the mechanic(as a necessary evil) than roleplay bumbling fools.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'd rather hold my nose and look the other way at the mechanic (as a necessary evil) than roleplay bumbling fools.
What if I told you it didn't have to be that way? You could have a more realistic way of managing turn order and not have the result be Keystone Cops. We used to have it in the game. Some wargames still have it, too. Instead of the rigid and unrealistic statues of 5E's turn order, we could go back to using phases. As in the movement phase. The missile phase. The melee phase. Etc. Everyone who's going to moves. Then everyone who's going to fire missiles does. Etc. Everyone declares in order, everyone resolves in order, and all the effects happen simultaneously. If that's too much of a change, you could easily add some verisimilitude to 5E without changing how turns happen. Just have the results take effect at the end of the round. You keep the silly rigidity for game purposes but you adjudicate them in a more realistic manner. Best of both worlds. You also cut out silly edge cases like the one Lanefan presented. "No you can't hold hands and move together because that's not how turn order works." Sod turn order, it's unrealistic.
 

pemerton

Legend
I've had players that I guarantee would look at this chart, max out their persuasion and then expect to get indifferent people to help them all the time and then argue about level of risk. Heck, a friendly creature "accepts a significant risk or sacrifice to do as asked". So ... because you're friends with the local bartender you can just ask them to risk their lives? What does significant risk or sacrifice even mean? How friendly do they need to be?
The answer to your last two questions seems to be "rulings not rules", "GM judgement call", etc. But for the first one - what is the problem if a player whose PC develops strong CHA (Persuasion) skill and then goes about making friends is able to have those friend risk their lives for the PC? I don't see what harm that is going to do to the game.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
What if I told you it didn't have to be that way? You could have a more realistic way of managing turn order and not have the result be Keystone Cops. We used to have it in the game. Some wargames still have it, too. Instead of the rigid and unrealistic statues of 5E's turn order, we could go back to using phases. As in the movement phase. The missile phase. The melee phase. Etc. Everyone who's going to moves. Then everyone who's going to fire missiles does. Etc. Everyone declares in order, everyone resolves in order, and all the effects happen simultaneously. If that's too much of a change, you could easily add some verisimilitude to 5E without changing how turns happen. Just have the results take effect at the end of the round. You keep the silly rigidity for game purposes but you adjudicate them in a more realistic manner. Best of both worlds. You also cut out silly edge cases like the one Lanefan presented. "No you can't hold hands and move together because that's not how turn order works." Sod turn order, it's unrealistic.

Declare then resolve is one of those things that looks good on paper but only works as long as the number of different declarations is small enough to keep track of. And of course, there's always the question of whether everything should resolve simultaneously; this is more of an issue with modern games than fantasy, but putting down someone before they can get their shot/spell off is not a self-evidently ridiculous idea.

(Mind you, doing it right requires more fiddliness with initiative than most people are up for, and random-roll initiative is hardly the poster boy for having it look right, but true simultaneity is not a panacea here).
 

Aldarc

Legend
"Empowered" to do the designers' jobs, but with the happy accident of pushing some nostalgia buttons.
I think it's going for a 2E style of Dungeon Mastering, but it's questionable IMO (YTMV) whether it's the best fit for the modern game as is, particularly WotC-era. The game is unquestionably popular, but if that's mostly player-side popularity with a lot DM burnout and low DM retention rates, then there may be a problem somewhere in the works. I'm glad that WotC is looking at ways to make DMing easier, but it may not be enough or even in the right areas.

It's absolutely vacant as a design philosophy. Oh, woo, five hundred goblins are a threat at level 20. That's going to be a fun fight to run and play through, for sure.
This is a little too absolute for my taste. What we would call the "bounded accuracy" design philosophy works perfectly fine in other games. It's just potentially at odds with some aspects of the zero to hero power fantasy tone prevalent in D&D. People gave Paizo crap for not adopting the 5e's bounded accuracy design philosophy, but I think that what they did has worked out well for them, as clearly not everyone wants that sort of BA design philosophy for their fantasy adventure games.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
This is a little too absolute for my taste. What we would call the "bounded accuracy" design philosophy works perfectly fine in other games. It's just potentially at odds with some aspects of the zero to hero power fantasy tone prevalent in D&D. People gave Paizo crap for not adopting the 5e's bounded accuracy design philosophy, but I think that what they did has worked out well for them, as clearly not everyone wants that sort of BA design philosophy for their fantasy adventure games.

Yeah, though I'm not a big fan of bounded accuracy (i think it kind of artificially forces some things together that aren't self-evidently that way) there are plenty of fantasy games that don't make low level opponents completely non-starters, or high level ones completely impossible. That doesn't mean you don't have a fairly big thumb on the scales with some of them, but somehow GURPS, Savage Worlds and Fantasy Hero all get by without completely moving out of range of lower opponents.

Its arguably not a very traditional D&D style feel for at least some decades now, but that's a different argument.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
When initiative is tied, it's simultaneous or close to it. When it's not, it's impossible for the fiction to be simultaneous without turning the situation into keystone cops where the fighter(who has stated his intent to run out) 10 feet from the door and fully aware of 10 goblins who are 40 feet from the door, and ready to act, has to stumble or get distracted or something else absurd in order to explain how all 10 get to the door before he can get there.
If someone's action is to move, the move should start on their initiative and be tracked tick by tick from there. So in this case, it's that the fighter's initiative indicates the point at which he decided that running for the door would be a good idea...meanwhile the gobboes each start(ed) moving on their init's and maybe by now some have already cut off our intrepid fighter if they can cover the distance in time.

Movement as, in effect, a mini-teleport is garbage.
 



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