Some Wrecan Stuff

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Originally posted by wrecan:


When Third Edition came out, there was some commotion. You may want to look around, which is currently archived on Google to see some of the reaction. The community was a lot smaller, but there were definitely a lot of the same fears and resentment. Here's just a few of the ones I found:

  • Halaster said Third edition was for power gamers who want invicible PCs. "I think I'm staying in 2E, where the charcters at least have a CHANCE to die." (A refrain often said about 4th)
  • Jigga4evr complains the game is being dumbed down "for five-year olds." (Another common refrain about 4th)
  • SP began a hellacious thread in which pro- and anti-Third edition people went at each other, with many arguments that could be transplanted into the pro- and anti-4E debates on these forums.
  • W Smith began a thread tracking Third Edition's sales on amazon, leading to an argument about whether amazon sales are indicative of commercial success. (A similrar argument erupted on this forum.)
  • Barry Smith made the argument that he would not switch to Third because of all the money he had invested in Second. Others in the thread make the "it doesn't feel like D&D" argument often seen on these forums abotu 4th.
  • Stephen Jaros began a thread much like yours, asking "vets" if they were switching, which led to a lot of complaints about 3E.

These are only a handful of the threads about the switch. Sadly, the are not easy to search.

Originally posted by wrecan:

Another reason why 4th is so weak and video gamey.
Thanks for reminding me. People complained about Third Edition being "video gamey" too.

jonahnynla, for example, claimed that Third Edition was based on Diablo II.

So did DrKan41267, and others in this thread.

So did Barry Smith in this thread.

Ooh! And Mars, Bringer of War in this gem from 1993, compared Second Edition to the videogame Gauntlet!! So I guess this complaint even predates Third Edition (oddly)!


First Post
Who is this Wrecan? Where can I bask in his eternal wisdom?

There's also a character named Wrecan in The Order of the Stick, recently. Veldrina's bodyguard.

The reason I mention it:
The Giant's news post 5/18/15 said:
I also fulfilled another promise with today's strip, if a less joyous one. Mark Monack, who went by the screen name "Wrecan," was a pillar of the message board community for many years. He was, among his other roles, the founder of one of the forum's odder traditions: counting the number of strips each character appears in, a project that continues many years after he began it. When he passed in 2013, I asked his wife Jodie if there was anything I could do to help out. She told me he would have loved nothing more than to have a walk-on character named Wrecan in OOTS. Now, there is one.
Not that I actually know much of anything about him myself.

Wow, this is terribly sad. I didn't know anything about Wrecan but he must have been a paragon of common sense in the community. All the more important to save some of his input.

[MENTION=37579]Jester Canuck[/MENTION]
Here is a link through wayback machine to Wrecan's Unearthed Wrecana if you want to go through and pull things out

I get only the "access denied" sign from the WotC website. Am I doing something wrong?

Originally posted by wrecan:

a little thread derail
[sblock]Cantakerous, the thread was a satirical thread in which you were asking a serious question. Thus, it was off-topic. It's like standing up in the middle of Young Frankenstein to discuss the actual physics of renimating dead tissue.[/sblock]

Now, to answer your actual question...

This is something so utterly fundemental to RP, how do you get around either being dead, or never harmed enough to sustain damage, with no in between?
Few people survive a single stab wound. They are deadly. As far as I'm concerned, hit points are a cinematic abstraction (and always have been). When you fight, you are getting bruised a bit and battered. Maybe a split lip or a minor abrasion or cut here and there.

When a blow drops you, that's when you're dead or dying. Until then, you're mostly tired and bruised.

Even after your hp are at full, though, it doesn't mean you aren't injured. Only that your injuries aren't affecting your ability to fight. You still might have aches and pains. Maybe your minor cuts are bandaged and might reopen in future battles. But that stuff doesn't require mechanical rules.

This is how I played it in 3rd, 2nd, AD&D and Basic/Expert/Immortals. The only difference there was that we had to keep track of the silly accounting of how much you heal after a week's travel.

If you believe that hp loss should mean you're getting stabbed and lacerated repeatedly, how do you explain the fact that a 16 Con 11th level fighter with 103 hp reduced to 1 hp attacks with the same force and vigor as when the fighter was at full hp? Do those grave wounds, which will take 10 days to heal without magical assistance (5 days given bedrest), all happen to land on his fleshy parts that have nothing to do with fighting? No hamstrings, no broken arms, no dizzying concussions? He's bleeding profusely from several wounds that won't fully heal for an entire week or more, but he suffers no adverse effects in battle, skills or movement?

Originally posted by wrecan:

Actually, single stab wounds are rarely fatal.
In the middle ages I can guarantee you one thing...

The stab wounds that require a week to heal also hinder your ability to continue fighting as effectively as before you were stabbed.

There is a weird disconnect among roleplayers who seem to have no qualms about the fact that D&D has no wound penalties for loss of hp, but yet still require days to heal the hp that otherwise has no mechanical impact.

Really, before 4th edition, hit points represent only one thing: are you conscious? And for that purpose, all you needed to know was whether your hp was positive, zero or (after AD&D) between zero and negative ten.

After 4th, hit points add the "bloodied" condition which more or less translates to "Are you p.o.'ed?"

But other than that, mechanically, hit points have no effect. You aren't slowed. You don't suffer penalties to your ability to attack, the damage you inflict, the speed you walk, or anything else. It didn't in Basic, AD&D, 2d, 3rd, and it doesn't in 4th.

So hit points doesn't measure wounds. It never did. Hopefully, it never will. So if it doesn't measure wounds, why should we care if it replenishes overnight? (We shouldn't.)

the idea that a veteran of numerous battles is never cut or stabbed unless he receives a fatal blow is also a bit extreme and unrealistic.
Such things are better left to DM description. However, please note that I never said damage means there were no cuts or stabs. In fact, I specifically mention cuts, bruises, contusions and the like. You are getting injured, but not in ways that affect your ability to fight. How can I conclude that? because you're not suffering any penalties to fight!

Once in my life I've had the misfortune of being shot. Because I was a testosterone laden idiot in my youth, twice I've been badly stabbed and cut a few times more than that. Now, that just me, personally.
After each of these wounds did you maintain the ability to fight with the same vigor, strength and fortitude as you possessed before you got shot or stabbed?

I imagine you couldn't. Which means you're right. We're not talking about reality. Third edition ain't realistic as it doesn't simulate your injuries. Nor is Fourth.

You surely do NOT do it at the top of your form if it is any time soon after... and here I mean soon as in less than a week after a hard fight... IF you're a fast healer.
Then surely one should be suffering penalties as soon as one is injured, right?

Let's start again: Dungeons & Dragons has no rules for wounds. None. Never did, except as optional rules few people used.

if you simply ignore the idea of any wounding
Why not? We've been ignoring the idea of wounding since the game was invented!

Yeah, that pesky thing called verisimilitude. We LIKE it.
So when your fighter gets stabbed, what penalty to attack, damage and speed does he suffer? Anything?

This isn't heroic fantasy anymore. I'm not sure what it IS, but I am fairly certain of what it is NOT.
Well, it's not third edition. It's got too much internal consistency. Heroic fantasy? You betcha.

Originally posted by wrecan:

Will somebody who thinks that damage actually means getting stabbed/bludgeoned, etc. please answer the question I posed:

Imagine a 103-hp fighter reduced to 1 hp after a gruleing battle with another swordsman. The 103-hp fighter has wounds that will take a week to fully heal without magical assistance and yet he fights just as well after receiving all those grave wounds as he did before receiving them.

How do you explain that?
Originally posted by wrecan:

"Mechanical" representation, not the textual description. That's fluff, not mechanics.

Can't somebody answer the question? I've asked it three times already. Shall we go for a fourth?

Imagine a 103-hp fighter (11th level, 16 Con) reduced to 1 hp after a grueling battle with another swordsman. The 103-hp fighter has wounds that will take a week to fully heal without magical assistance and yet he fights just as well (i.e., no penalties to attack, damage or speed) after receiving all those grave wounds as he did before receiving them.

How do you explain that in a way that still requires one to spend a week healing?

Originally posted by wrecan:

We are talking about more or less mediveal area clothing
Which is much sturdier than modern-day industrial clothing. Industrial clothing is built to be mass-produced and last a few years of casual use. medieval clothing is hand-built to withstand many years of grueling physical labor. Adventurers -- the guys who are going to encounter harpoon-weilding goblins -- will have clothes built for their job.

Ever seen Die Hard? You might see a example of 4E regeneration HP in this movie, but I see a guy who continusly looses HP over the whole film without regenerating them between combat. He can fight if he mus, but he is a total wreck and at the end he really has low HP and is out of action for quite some time.
What Die Hard movie did you watch? I watched the one where McClane is out of action for no more than a few minutes at a time (enough time to activate a healing surge) and never seems to suffer any wound penalties (though at one point the loss of one shoe does penalize his movement across the difficult terrain of shattered glass). Heck, at the end of the movie, McClane's in good enough shape to get it on with his wife in the back of a limo. Where's the wound penalty? Where's the weeks of recuperation.

Indiana Jones is another one. One night's sleep and Indy goes from hurts everywhere but a few isolated parts of his body to good enough to swim the open seas from a freighter to a German U-Boat, beat up a few Nazis and steal a bazooka!

When all enemies are fighting with poisoned weapons then all hits must be physical ones, even if they are only minor which goes against the "HP is fatigue etc." theory.
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

When someone is attacking with poison and the poison affects the recipient, he received a small graze that otherwise doesn't affect his combat abilities. When he is either missed or is hit and saves against the poison, he was not grazed by the weapon.

Now, for the fifth time, answer my question:

Imagine a 103-hp fighter (11th level, 16 Con) reduced to 1 hp after a grueling battle with another swordsman. The 103-hp fighter has wounds that will take a week to fully heal without magical assistance and yet he fights just as well (i.e., no penalties to attack, damage or speed) after receiving all those grave wounds as he did before receiving them.

How do you explain that in a way that still requires one to spend a week healing?

You cited Die Hard, but McClane doesn't spend a week healing. Everyone in that movie is in top-fighting form until they're dead. People may look battered and bruised, but a few minutes rest is all anybody ever requires (assuming they don't die).

Obviously, people haven't tried hard enough.
I. Don't. Care. It's not the topic of the thread. We're comparing 3rd edition healing to 4th edition healing, not to Psychotic_Robot's House Ruled Wound Penalty Chart.

By that reasoning, a fireball doesn't actually represent a ball of fire because fireball doesn't act like a ball of fire.
No, it represents a ball of magical fire -- possibly even cartoon fire -- that puts scorch marks on the people it doesn't kill, and magically doesn't burn all the scrolls sitting in the wizard's cloth backpack. (Well, not since 3rd edition eliminated item saving throws in area of effect spells.)

1. To the poster who wanted an answer about the 103 HP person... The answer is the RULES didn't have a penalty.
And now the rules don't require a week to heal. If you're going to cite the rules to justify third, then the rules equally justify Fourth.

If you'll notice, this thread was not started to mock Third Edition healign rules. Cantankerous is asking us to justify Fourth Edition healing rules. To which I replied that I can often use the same justifications used by those defending Third Edition rules. And you have just proved my point.

2. To those who claim that John McClain is a good 4e example - BAH. Six hours after his ordeal (any one of the 4) and I say he's barely able to get out of BED!
But you have no evidence for that assertion, which means it cannot be used to justify Third Edition healing.

To explain away 99% of all swings with Maces, Axes, Polearms, swords, Arrows, Bolts, Lighting Bolts, Fireballs, Magic Missles, Falling Rocks, Hail Storms, Teeth, Claws and the million other ways a person is attacked as 'near misses and the expenditure of endurance is over the top unrealistic.' Let's face it - 4e healing is broken
But that problem exists equally in Third, which also doesn't have rules for broken arms, severed fingers, etc. (All of which should take a lot longer to recover from than the either the five days needed in Third or the six hours needed in Fourth.) Again, all you're pointing out is that neither third nor fourth had wound penalties.

That has nothing to do with healing rates.

What we have been railing against is the Lack of REASON behind what they have established.
Except we gave you a perfectly good reason: hit points are a total abstraction. Which it has to be, because combat in D&D is nothing like real combat.

At least 3e had an answer.
What was that answer? You fight just as well after a battle as before. But these invisible hit points take five days to replenish. But there's no outward manifestation of the depleted hit point pool because D&D doesn't have wound penalties.

As long as hit points exist period, and they always have, there will be mechanical issues that simply don't work. That is why your 103 HP Fighter needs only a week to recover ...if he has a high enough Con and full bed rest and healing poultices and a good doctor and the love of a good woman (or man or whatever

It's still infinitely easier to deal with than it taking six hours
Why? What's he recovering? From the outside, the fighter at 1 hp and 103 hp perform equally well on the battlefield. Any amount of healing is an arbitrary distinction.

the wear down factor.
Why must the wear down factor be a week rather than a good night's rest? How did this "wear down factor" manifest in games? Was it anything other than role-playing being worn? Because in that case, you're complaining that the game doesn't give you mechanics to reflect your roleplay, something which I think is a hindrance to roleplay rather than a help.

No, Wrecan, you don't get slowed in the older editions, or now, by your wounds, directly, but in the older editions, all of them, you did atleast get worn down by them... it was a gestalt effect, instead of specific because hit points are a gestalt, not specific.
There is no "gestalt effect". Hit points are an abstraction, but the only "effect" they have is to tell you whether you're conscious or unconscious. Anything beyond that is your own roleplay patina utterly unsupported by the rules.

And as a disclaimer: I had no problem with 3rd edition one-week recuperation rules. I don't have a problem with 4th edition one-day recuperation rules. I didn't have a problem with AD&D and 2d edition recuperation rules that sometimes required months of recuperation. Why? Because I always understood that hp are an abstraction that don't necessarily reflect physical injury, so the amount of time it takes to replenish the hp pool is utterly arbitrary. I can live with pretty much any rate of recuperation. Heck, as long as the game is otherwise designed to be challenging, I'd be fine with total recuperation after every encounter. It doesn't bug my sense of plausibility because hp-pools don't exist in the real world.

Originally posted by wrecan:

Thread derai: I loved Troy. I note that the fight between Menelaus and Paris goes the same way. Paris starts out fine (albeit he's a Heroic Tier character outclassed by the Paragon Tier Menelaus). He takes a few blows, but nothing debilitating, but at the end of the fight, his defenses are down and he's weak, ready to fall. When Hector (who, along with Achilles, is clearly Epic Tier) steps in and saves Paris, Paris is still weak, but he runs with no penalty and it's clear he could still fight if he had to. By the next morning, he'd be totally fine.

Actually Troy is a great representation of D&D Tiers. Most of the soldiers are minions (the Myrmidons are either Heroic warriors or Epic minions!). Only a handful of heroes are Epic (Achilles, Hector and maybe Agamemnon as an Epic Warlord). Most of the other named characters are Paragon (Odysseus, Ajax, Menelaus, Boagrias (the giant Achilles kills int he first scene)) and a few are merely Heroic (Paris and Patrocles). Hm. I'll have to remember that.

Originally posted by wrecan:

In a world where magic exists its logical that magic can heal but not that people start regenerating without any magic.
But I guess that is too simulationist for you.
Except, of course, that there is no regeneration with healing surges. Lost limbs don't regenerate -- only lost hit points.

Yes, mediveal clothing was stronger than for example jeans.
Thats hard to believe.
I note you seem to have a hard time believing many things that happen to be true. Denim is just a more comfortable cotton version of twill, a woolen durable fabric from which most medieval clothing is fashioned. The reason everybody switched from wool to denim in the 18th century is not because denim was more durable than wool but because it was more comfortable than wool.

In Die Hard part 1 1/2. At the end of the movies McClane can barely walk.
What movie is Die Hard 1 1/2?! Do you mean Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard With a Vengeance or Live Free or Die Hard? I didn't see the last one, but as far as I know in none of those movies does John McClane spend a week recuperating from his injuries.

In fact...
Die Hard: McClane and wife make out in the back of a limo -- bruised and battered, but able to walk just fine
Die Hard 2: McClane and wife make out in the back of a limo -- bruised and battered, but able to walk just fine
Die Hard 3: McClane makes a call to his wife on a New York City payphone -- bruised and battered, but able to walk just fine
As I said, I didn't see Die Hard 4. According to the imdb synopsis, the only serious injury he sustained was a gunshot through the shoulder (which he exacerbated with a second shot through the shoulder to kill the villain pressed up against him), for which he is receiving medical attention. However, from the synopsis, I get no indication that McClane won't be in fine fighting shape come tomorrow, with a few stitches.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: Indy goes from so battered he can't fool around with Marion to able to swim the ocean, stowaway on a U-Boat, beat up Nazis and steal a bazooka, all with a night's sleep.
Temple of Doom: Indy and company fall from plane onto the Himalayas in a raft and still has enough energy to fool around with the lounge singer he met in Shanghai earlier that day.
Last Crusade: Indy gets the crud kicked out of him in a German castle and is perfectly fine when they hijack a zeppelin in Berlin the next day. (And the scene with his father being shot is a great cinematic way to run a skill challenge during a death count!)
Crystal Skull: Ugh. Indy exhibits all the healing surges we've come to expect from the previous three... it's just a really bad movie.

Troy: Paris gets the snot beat out of him by Menelaus -- he suffers no penalties as he flees cowardly.
Hector and Patrocles go at it for several minutes, neither getting hurt -- after Patrocles dies, Hector is clearly able to fight, but is weary of fighting (i.e., low on healing surges) and all sides agree to back down -- the next day, Hector is fine.
Achilles and Hector go at it for several minutes, neither getting hurt -- after Hector dies, Achilles suffers no visible injuries.

So where's the movies in which the hero is at top fighting form throughout the combat, but it takes him a week to recover from his injuries without magical assistance.

He does not regenerate like 4E heroes do.
He appears to regenerate just like 4E Heroes do.

How does a Pit Fiend grace someone with his tail stinger?
The word is "graze", not "grace". And a stinger can cause a minor puncture.

Already answered, read my posts.
And I explained why your "answer" was nonresponsive.

Originally posted by dulsi:


Create a Magical Musical Instrument

Trumpets announce the forty-fifth installment of the Master DM Competitions!

The purpose of this competition is to create a new magical musical instrument and the history of its creation.

Originally posted by wrecan:

The Alphorn

In a distant city, there sits a small theater in the round, about 140’ in diameter. For the most part, the amphitheater sits unattended. Occasionally, a community play or festival is held in the theatre, but such events are rare, only a few times a year. These shows are incidental to the true purpose of the monument.

Every so often, an enterprising entertainer will appear in town, and will ring the gong that sits outside the amphitheater. The gong echoes throughout the city and instantly causes a commotion, because the citizens know that the gong means one thing: someone plans to use the alphorn.

The alphorn is magical horn, some twenty feet long. It is made from bronze burnished to an iridescent shine, circled with brass rings etched with detailed images of satyrs and nymphs frolicking. It is kept well-secured in the vaults of the city’s monarch, only to be brought out when the gong is raised. The challenger who rang the gong is treated as an honored guest in the city, while the alphorn is brought up from the vaults and installed in the amphitheater. This can take several days, which gives people from the surrounding villages to enter the city for the performance.

On the night of the event, the alphorn is placed in the center of the stage. A raised platform is constructed behind it so that the performer can reach the mouthpiece. However, before the performer begins, the alphorn, magically, on its own, will regale the audience with some of its musical numbers. The alphorn will play pieces for the horn, but it also produces musical symphonies, tells bawdy tales, and recites epic poems to make the hardiest men weep. After an hour of entertainment from the alphorn, the performer will be invited to take the stage.

The performer can attempt any form of audible performance, from oration, to song, to percussion. The magic of the alphorn will amplify that performance so that it can be heard perfectly throughout the amphitheater. The performer gets one chance to impress the alphorn. If the alphorn finds the performance lacking, the performer will be heckled from unseen voices. Some have reported that the alphorn takes them over and forces them to embarrass themselves on stage.

If the performance is deemed worthy, the alphorn will repeat the performance verbatim, perhaps adding its own flourishes. Very few performers have ever been able to impress the alphorn. Those who succeed have their images carved in stone on the roof of the amphitheater, their names immortalized with other great performers. Their talents will be praised throughout the land, and other performers will treat him with great respect.

If the performance is found lacking, he will be run out of town. His effigy will be burned, and his embarrassment will be known far and wide. People will no longer repeat his tales or sing his praises. His career as a performer is essentially over.

Origin of the Alphorn
The alphorn was originally built as a magical bugle by a cloud giant bard. The cloud giant enchanted the bugle to improve his performances, allowing it to intuitively read audiences and play what they wanted.

The alphorn and its owner traveled the lands, playing for magical creatures and humanoids alike. The alphorn loved its master and oven has said that never before had it ever heard a better performer. The alphorn could memorize the best pieces it heard and played them for its master while he slept. But even giants age and even giants die. Before the alphorn’s master passed on, he brought his alphorn to the city where it currently resides. The giant had performed there once, and found the city to be the most receptive of all the places in his travels, to good art. The city took possession of the alphorn and built the theater to its specifications. For many years, the alphorn entertained the city. But over time, the alphorn grew bored playing the same tunes over and over. And it could tell that the townsfolk were getting bored as well. So the alphorn devised a new strategy, to attract talented bards from around the globe to perform.

The alphorn has high standards. The bard must make a Perform check that exceeds 35. The bard make not take 10 or 20 on the check, and it only gets one attempt. Because the consequences of failure are so dire, few will attempt the performance until they are reasonably assured of success. (Note that evil bards will suffer a negative level when Performing, which is an additional penalty!) The alphorn will also use detect thought to gauge how the audience is receiving the performance.

If the alphorn is unhappy with the performance, it will use the tools at its disposal to disrupt the performance. It will use ventriloquism to mimic hecklers, egging the audience on to further heckling. It will engage in an ego battle with the performer and force him to embarrass himself. it may even use hold person on the performer, and then ghost sound to mimic the performer’s voice and make him embarrass himself.

Using the Alphorn

The alphorn could be a great focal point for any performer -- a way to recognize a character and give him some “face time”. If it is to be included, you can introduce legends of the alphorn well before the party encounters it. Maybe the bard’s mentor faced the alphorn and failed, and has labored under the shame ever since. Maybe the party at low-level meets a high-level bard introduced as one who “impressed the alphorn”. As the bard increases in level, people might start asking him when he will face the alphorn.

Since the alphorn is an intelligent item. There are other ways to include it in a campaign. The alphorn could be stolen and the players hired to get it back. The monarch could have fallen to a despot who plans to force the alphorn to serve it in war to direct his troops and the party is recruited to rescue it. Maybe the party comes to see an NPC try the alphorn, but mid-performance, the alphorn detects a plot to kill the king with its detect thoughts ability, but the assassin got away before the alphorn could figure out who in the crowd is the plotter. After the performance, the alphorn, which detected the PCs’ valor, asks them to find the assassin. Maybe the giant who created the alphorn didn’t give the alphorn to the city. Maybe the alphorn had an artistic disagreement and left him and now he wants to reclaim it. Perhaps the party is brought in to mediate the dispute. There are many possibilities.

Stat Block
Alphorn, Intelligent Huge Pipes of Sounding
The alphorn can use the following powers: at will -- detect thoughts, ghost sound, 3/day -- hold person, 1/day -- sculpt sound, ventriloquism. Languages: Celestial, Common, Elven, Giant. Can read all spoken languages. Has darkvision and hearing 120’. Can communicate telepathically with its wielder.

Int: 17. Wis: 10. Cha: 17. Ego: 12. CL: 18. AL: Neutral good. Price: 62,000 gp. Weight: 180 lbs. Pre-requisites: Craft wondrous item feat, detect thoughts, ghost sound, hold person, sculpt sound, ventriloquism.

Optional elements:
1. The item is not normally used as an instrument. (It is usually used as a microphone.)
2. The instrument is sized for beings that are neither Small, Medium nor Large. (It is built for and by a huge cloud giant.)
11. The instrument has dangerous adverse effects if the melody to activate its power(s) is not played properly (i.e., if the perform check is failed) (If a Perform check of DC 35 is not met, the Alphorn will actively try to destroy the PC’s reputation.)

Originally posted by wrecan:


What is the average burrowing velocity of the average bulette moving through combined layers of shale and sandstone, assuming the bulette in question is 1) fully grown, 2) in good health, 3) currently chasing a scrumptious adventurer?

European or African Bullete?

Originally posted by wrecan:

Granted, but your own skewed mockery of how older editions played out was also a bit overdone, don't you think?

Yes.  Yes, it was.  Mostly to emphasize that icedcrow's original hypothetical was one DM and 1 player (the player uniquely qualified to handle this encounter), ignoring the other players.  I thought that was a telling feature.

Also, where is it written in the books that traps are supposed to be played in exactly that fashion?

In the DMG, which gives a hypothetical dungeon with traps that work in that fashion.  In the various "gygaxian" modules that worked that way.

In hindsight, it all seems very mean, but AD&D was designed for high mortality at low levels.  It wasn't mean to kill off a character because it took all of ten minutes to roll up a new one.  Also, AD&D was absolutely designed for spotlighting different characters at different times.  Rust monsters forced melee characters into the background so arcanists could shine.  Magic resistance and antimagic fields shunned the wizards in favor of the fighters.  Undead generally favored the clerics and traps favored the thieves.  It wasn't a flaw; it was a feature.

But it also had the effect of forcing people to sit on the sidelines.  But I don't think it fair to blame them.  RPGs were new in 1978 when this was being invented.  And they came out of wargames where it was common to create scenarios where one type of piece was useless.  The difference is in wargames, one player controls all the pieces for one side; in RPGs each player controls one piece.

But we learn.  It's a process.  People can feel nostalgia for all the times your thief singlehandedly removed the trap or picked the pocket that changed the plot, or the wizard who roasted the ice dragon with his delayed blast fireball set with no delay.  But that's bcause nostalgia sloches over the broing parts where your wizard sat and waited for the thief to check for traps in every tile and every stone for traps, and where your rogue sat and did his puny 1d2+3 damage against the gelatinous cube with no back and acidic ooze that would eat all your weapons (except your sap) while the fighter wailed away with his improvised cudgel.  I get that.  It's totally natural.

But let's not blind ourselves to the flaws of prior editions (or this edition for that matter).  And let's not denigrate the current edition as if its played only by ADHD ritalin addicts.  Okay?

My rewrite of yours was showing that the notion of spotlight-stealing players and such is not a fault of the rules, but a player/DM problem.

This is a fallacy known as the Oberoni Fallacy, which states that a design flaw is not less of a design flaw just because the DM can fix it.  In AD&D only thieves (sometimes bards) could remove traps.  Traps were a unique obstacle where the thieves were intended to shine.  Can a DM work around the system to correct for it?  Yes.  Does that mean the system didn't have this flaw?  No.

it's really a player issue all along and not a rules flaw.

it's a player issue because it's a flaw in the system.

Spotlights and self-centeredness are a player issue, not a rules issue. 

I wholeheartedly vehemently disagree.  In my experience player issues are as often as not the product of a flaw in the system.

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