D&D General The Crab Bucket Fallacy


Bob: Cool, I want to have a real on and off the field martial leader. Here's a draft of the Warlord -- it gets all these powerful cool abilities but I think it's fine because they aren't really better than the Wizard's spells at those levels.

Arnold: Whoa, that's way overpowered. The Fighter doesn't get anything near that.

Bob: I'm not comparing it to the Fighter, I'm comparing it to the Wizard which you said was fine???

Arnold: The Fighter is fine, but no one will play a Fighter if you add this Warlord.

Bob: What do you mean? The Warlord doesn't get heavy armor nor martial ranged weapons.*

Arnold: That's not enough

Bob: It's a lot. There isn't much else you can remove from the Fighter.

Arnold: Couldn't that be a fighter subclass?

Bob: There is not enough design space and power to balance it with the Champion.

The bolded is the problem.
If a rigid element or bad element is core to the game but also narrow in mechanical space, there is no design space to add much.

The fighter, the barbarian, their subclasses, the Monk and many spells are too narrow mechanically in scope that if elements of them are simple or bad, there is not enogh mechanical room to add anything much with it.

*The 4e warrior traded heavy armor and bows/xbows for support/

log in or register to remove this ad

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
You're running in circles to keep up that Negative Nancy vibe going. Personally, I'd think having that having a choice of features that you can select from would be great regardless of edition regardless of what else a certain previous edition did.
Choices are great. Level Up character generation has a lot of choice, and none of the issues I personally had with 4e. Plenty of people like it though, and that's fine.


The BeastMaster Ranger is a form of Crab Bucket.

You can never get the "Man and his Bear back to back against the dragon" play because
  1. The Ranger has too much mechanical baggage
  2. The Druid has even more
  3. No subclass in any class has enough design space for it
  4. WOTC and the Community is too adament on having "NO MORE NEW CLASSES! 13 IZ TOO MUCH! ARGLEBLARGE!"
Same issue with Benders/Elementalist/Kineticist, Shamnan/Spirit Mage, Gladiator, Necromancer, Time Mage, True Magic, and one of the Psionic problems.

The Snarf Supposition: 100% of so-called fallacies made up by people on the internet are either not, in fact, fallacies, or are just special pleading for an already recognized fallacy. Instead, they are just trying to use fancy terms to get people that already agree with you to agree with you by asserting that the people who disagree with you are illogical. See, e.g., the Crab Bucket Fallacy, the Stormwind Fallacy, the Oberoni Fallacy et al.
Ironically you've misused special pleading here (it's an ad hoc exception to a rule, not a specific example of a rule), but moreover this paragraph is extremely dismissive and condescending.


Follower of the Way
Ironically you've misused special pleading here (it's an ad hoc exception to a rule, not a specific example of a rule), but moreover this paragraph is extremely dismissive and condescending.
Indeed. Sometimes, even if a proposed fallacy is simply a re-packaging of a well-known logical fallacy, it is okay to give it a new label. E.g. the "motte-and-bailey" fallacy is technically just a particular form of the fallacy of equivocation. But it is useful to call out this specific form of equivocation, because it reflects a common erroneous argumentation method, one that is often subtle and hard to see unless your attention is called to it.

Oberoni, I'm not sure precisely what category of informal fallacy it falls under. Possibly another equivocation fallacy, using different senses of the word "problem" (in the first sense, "flaw", and in the second sense, "impediment"--"There can be no flaws in the ruleset because anything that could potentially be an impediment can be addressed with Rule 0"). Stormwind is clearly a false dichotomy (either you're roleplaying or you're optimizing, you cannot ever do both and necessarily to draw closer to one is to move further away from the other), but it's useful to be specific about why the dichotomy is false, rather than simply declaring that it is false.

An Advertisement