D&D 5E "Tactics are an Important Part of D&D" (a poll)

True or False: "Tactics are important part of D&D"

  • True.

    Votes: 70 72.9%
  • False.

    Votes: 26 27.1%

Yeah, I really enjoyed 4e and what it was trying to do, but while I could handle the bandwidth of that, 4e's way of showing how much more powerful characters got over the levels did make it hard for a lot of people to keep up- the increased complexity just falls over with a lot of my RPG-playing pals.
I find this very interesting, because most 4e characters never got as complex as, say, a high-level Wizard or Druid did in 3.5e. In fact, by comparison to 3e or PF, 4e was absolutely WAY more tame in terms of both the total amount of content published, and in terms of the level of inter-connectedness of that content. It had many powers and feats and such, to be sure, but a single character was usually unable to access 90% of those powers and half or more of those feats.
 

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Jer

Legend
Supporter
I find this very interesting, because most 4e characters never got as complex as, say, a high-level Wizard or Druid did in 3.5e.
My player who was playing a 3.5 Druid feels this. He still talks about how annoying the druid was to play by the time we retired that campaign and moved to 4e (around 12th level I think).
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I find this very interesting, because most 4e characters never got as complex as, say, a high-level Wizard or Druid did in 3.5e. In fact, by comparison to 3e or PF, 4e was absolutely WAY more tame in terms of both the total amount of content published, and in terms of the level of inter-connectedness of that content. It had many powers and feats and such, to be sure, but a single character was usually unable to access 90% of those powers and half or more of those feats.
I think part of it was that 4e's complexity was more in-your-face, both because of the character builder and the fact that each book tended to present a laundry list of new feats. 3e/PF had a huge amount of complexity, but you had to go spelunking into an awful lot of books to really bring out the worst.

3e/PF, especially mid-to-high level, was way more complex at the table, for sure. 4e had much smoother methods of resolution, it just had a lot of individual options that needed to be tracked.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
Fun in the right kind of party? Sure. Necessary, to the extent that it would earn the title "important"? Nah.
 

payn

Legend
After another round of PF2, I was reminded I'm not a big tactics guy. If they are spectrums I'm probably an 8 for strategy and a 3 for tactics. I prefer the long term planning, exploiting situations, and taking advantage. I also like a little unknown improv tossed into the mix to spice up those well laid plans. Though, I typically prefer combat to be very quick and decisive. I live more for what happens before and after combat than for what is going on during.
 

After another round of PF2, I was reminded I'm not a big tactics guy. If they are spectrums I'm probably an 8 for strategy and a 3 for tactics. I prefer the long term planning, exploiting situations, and taking advantage. I also like a little unknown improv tossed into the mix to spice up those well laid plans. Though, I typically prefer combat to be very quick and decisive. I live more for what happens before and after combat than for what is going on during.
This, to me, is the best evidence yet that D&D actually would benefit from a split of the line.

Make one game that is for the strategic folks, and another that is for the tactical folks. Since these are actually different design goals, different enough that fulfilling both often means doing badly at both, this could be a major benefit to the hobby. Don't force people who want a strategy-focused game to slog through combats they think should be (as you say) quick and decisive. Likewise, don't force people who yearn for the tactically-deep combats to slog through stuff that (in their eyes) feels like doing your taxes just so you can avoid being squished.
 

payn

Legend
This, to me, is the best evidence yet that D&D actually would benefit from a split of the line.

Make one game that is for the strategic folks, and another that is for the tactical folks. Since these are actually different design goals, different enough that fulfilling both often means doing badly at both, this could be a major benefit to the hobby. Don't force people who want a strategy-focused game to slog through combats they think should be (as you say) quick and decisive. Likewise, don't force people who yearn for the tactically-deep combats to slog through stuff that (in their eyes) feels like doing your taxes just so you can avoid being squished.
In a perfect world, I think you are right. I don't know if there is enough gamers to support two lines though. Seems like shooting for the middle was the best bet. I mean, after all, 5E is everyone's second favorite edition.

This discussion does remind me why I like Traveller so much. Its far more focused on strategy and combat is combat. Doesn't get more complex as the game goes on.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
There's no "both" option, thus did not vote.

Because "both" is the answer. Tactics are an important part of D&D when they add to the drama-tension-etc. but are not an important part of D&D when they cause the game to grind to a halt for hours while the players (in character) make plans.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Last gaming session we had an encounter that absolutely illustrated the importance of tactics. They stumbled onto some guardians and entered battle willy-nilly as they usually do. They all took a couple 30 HP hits and ran. The guardians were magical and only cared about defending the room they were in. They spent 10 (real-world) minutes healing and planning, then tried the encounter again with a sound strategy that made use of a bunch of their strengths and while they still took some lumps, they beat the guardians with only two people getting as low as half their HP.

Tactics absolutely make a difference, provided the party sticks to the strategy once combat actually starts. I've seen so many times where they say "we'll open with a fireball from the wizard," but then someone charges right into melee before the wizard has a chance to do anything.

This only works if they yell their own name as a battle cry.
 

MadArkitekt

Eternal
Epic
This poll is open to be looked at from the perspective of a DM or player, and has a very simple premise:

True or False: "Tactics are important part of D&D"

By tactics I mean things like cover, elevation, flanking, making use of the environment in other ways, and coming up with plans that are actually sound (and don't only succeed because of DM fiat), and so on.
True
Its combat, if you don't move as a unit, it's gonna be a bad day.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I want to say "true."

However, what D&D views as good tactics doesn't always match up with what actually would be good tactics in a situation (even with leeway given for fantasy elements and narrative tropes).

I think that still makes my vote "true," but I would also say false it a lot of ways. Anecdotally, I've seen a lot of D&D players struggle with other rpgs in which small-unit tactics are important.
 

Reynard

Legend
My perspective is this: tactically precise combat doesn't necessarily need to be an important part of the game, BUT if it is then the tactical rules of the game need to be well designed.
 



Andvari

Adventurer
Having more tactical options does indeed = more tactics.
This is kind of my point. Sometimes players get trapped by their character sheet and don’t think outside the options written there. You don’t need a feat or special ability to pick up a goblin and throw it at their friends. Or douse a tripped ogre in liquor and set him on fire.

In a computer game the actions have to be pre-defined by the designers, but in D&D you just tell the DM what you want to do and he tells you to roll some dice. :)
 
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Vaalingrade

Legend
Except DMs are trained to make those ideas suboptimal.

Oh, you wanna throw a goblin? Time for lots of rolls, each with a chance of failure and also a penalty to each!

Wanna set that ogre on fire? Time to argue forever about whether dwarven rum would actually light so they can wiggle out of letting it work.

The character sheet is there to provide consistency and reliability and I'm kind of tire of people disparaging it. All that does it encourage lazy game design.
 

Andvari

Adventurer
My players don’t seem to mind being able to do those things - despite them not being on their feat lists on their sheets. I like rewarding them for using the environment creatively. Even if some DMs don’t.
 

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