D&D General The Crab Bucket Fallacy

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Wasn't meant to be offensive but we're in the minority by posting here on ENworld or old WotC forums.

You'll absorb stuff every if you don't directly experience it just by posting and reading what others say.

Most of us are also veterans of multiple editions.
It kinda was. A lot of my 3.x experience predated even looking for stuff online and I literally worked for an ISP/ web hosting company for most of that. .the Internet was a very different thing back then
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
A few pages back there was much discussion about the cause of ‘a players perceived need to have a high stat to do something’.

I was that player and then I wasn’t so I get both sides. In general it’s not something specific to game mechanics but internal to the player. I can’t tell you exactly why I was that way, but I can tell you it was painful to play with people that intentionally took sub par builds and made subpar actions during play. Such occurrences sucked all the fun out for me. If I had to guess I’d say it all centered around treating the game as a puzzle and wanting to see how well a particular solution played out.

Possibly as I’ve become more familiar with the game or seen others play differently I started to care less about the puzzle and seeing how that played out. Instead I started doing things just for fun, just because the character in my mind would do something even if suboptimal and dang was it so much more fun!
 

Oofta

Legend
Jason Bulmahn was pretty upfront about how 3e was broken and how his house rules that became the basis for PF1 not only perpetuated many of those problems but also added to them.

Third edition absolutely had balance issues, an optimized PC far outshone other PCs with the same class. At around level 15 or so, an optimized caster made everyone else in the group superfluous. I had friends that tried PF1, and their main complaint was that instead of fixing the optimizer issue they just doubled down on it along with making builds even more complex.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Then don't. The vast majority of those changes are exactly like the thing Zardaar brought up earlier. Extreme edge cases applicable to one power, of one class, which require chaining half a dozen specific elements together to get something that can do an unusually massive amount of damage, or survive an unusually extreme amount of damage, or get excessive skill bonuses.

It's nothing like what Mr. Bulmahn spoke of, as @Aldarc said. Nothing at all.

The vast majority of players neither looked at nor cared about the errata--and, where it was relevant, it was usually already updated on online tools. Exactly like how 5e works now, with D&D Beyond.
I don't use D&D Beyond, and object to the forced "errata" (an inappropriate word but the one they use) with which it is rife.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The vast majority of players neither looked at nor cared about the errata
Absolutely.
I think the vast majority of 3E players played like the internet assumed.

I also suspect most games didn't go to high level which is where 3E breaks down.

So a lot of 3E problems are theoretical. Theory crafting.

4E games fell apart for different reasons over high level 3E games but that's a bigger problem than 3E largely theoretical failings.
4e doesn’t “break down” at any level. At worst it bogs down in epic. In the heroic tier, and early paragon, it doesn’t even have that problem.

By your logic 4e’s problems were hypothetical.

3/.5e had serious issues when played at all levels, really. I remember seeing those Ivory Tower issues playing lower level Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Rogue.

I assure you, I wa not plugged in to any D&D forums yet at that point.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Yup but you're part of the hivemind. So was I. Every other group of saw playing 3.X was more casual.

I noticed this as early as 2002 through to 2014 with Pathfinder.

I'm not saying 3E wasn't broken at higher level but it needed the right amount of knowledge. Split book material etc to really abuse it.

When 3.5 came out adding natural spell to core I knew it was good because of internet chatter and seeing it in Dungeon Magazine (I didn't buy the 3.0 softcovers).

Most players any edition are casuals, most games don't go much past 10 or even 7 according to WotC.

E6 3.X variant seemed to be how most people were playing. D&Ds sweet spot is 3-7 4th was 1-3 imho.

3E is ooe of the few editions I don't get nostalgic over. Played it for 10 years.
Definitely agree with forum/social media posters being part of the hivemind, I've seen it in the groups I play with, many aren't paying attention to anything said online, have no idea that the fighter "is bad", or even that WotC is updating the game in some cases. They just keep on playing because they enjoy playing.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Definitely agree with forum/social media posters being part of the hivemind, I've seen it in the groups I play with, many aren't paying attention to anything said online, have no idea that the fighter "is bad", or even that WotC is updating the game in some cases. They just keep on playing because they enjoy playing.
Yup. Very few of the issues brought up with great heat have I ever seen in real life (where I wasn't the one bringing them up, that is).
 

Clint_L

Hero
Much earlier in this thread, I reviewed a bunch class tier lists from various sources, and in none of them were fighters at or near the bottom; to the contrary, they were consistently one of the highest ranked classes (typically ahead of most spell casting classes, incidentally). They are also by far the most popular class.

So fighters being "bad" is not a widespread opinion. From what I can see, it mostly comes from optimizers who define "good" and "bad" very narrowly, focus on very high level play that 99% of campaigns never achieve, and downplay the value of being able to deliver and soak a ton of damage without spending resources. And then need to discuss it in every thread, to try to make their opinion seem prevalent.
 

Scribe

Legend
A few pages back there was much discussion about the cause of ‘a players perceived need to have a high stat to do something’.

I was that player and then I wasn’t so I get both sides. In general it’s not something specific to game mechanics but internal to the player. I can’t tell you exactly why I was that way, but I can tell you it was painful to play with people that intentionally took sub par builds and made subpar actions during play. Such occurrences sucked all the fun out for me. If I had to guess I’d say it all centered around treating the game as a puzzle and wanting to see how well a particular solution played out.

When I'm playing a game on my own? If I play it more than once, and lord help me if its something I really get into, then yeah I'm going to optimize, as that is for me the point after its been seen/played/completed once. Do it again, but better, and better, until eventually you break it.

If I'm playing with others? You have to just live and let live. When I apply this behavior to 5e, its especially important because...well 5e is not PF1. Its not a game that really cares, or demands, for optimization.
 

I’m trying and failing to sleep off a sinus infection so my dumb, suffering brain says “lets look at ENW for a moment.”

I see this thread. Oofta, que?

Fighters never run out of HP in my games. They may run out of GP because they have to buy healing potions by the pallet, but running out of HP? Nah. Never seen it.

I have a semi-open magic mart for that.

But my campaigns tend to be relatively low magic.




This is some pretty serious insight I think.

In all my B/X games, all my RC games, my looooooong 3.x FR game continued from late 2e (/killme), my Shadow of Yesterday game, my multiple 4e games, the 5e game I co-GMed through level 18, my multiple Dungeon World/Stonetop games, my multiple Torchbearer games, my one-off Burning Wheel/Cortex Fantasy Heroic/13th Age/Beyond the Wall games…

Not a one of them featured prolific healing potions that could be “bought by the pallete.” Never a “magic-mart” was there.
And if there ever was either of those things (forget both…either), I wouldn’t for a moment conceive of my game as “low magic.”

This could be revelatory in the same way that “oh..6-8, resource-draining, combat encounters a day is totally legit…not awkward as hell to resolve with any consistency nor crippling to pacing (table time pacing specifically or pacing of unfolding fiction generally)” is. Is this a thing out there in D&D meatspace? Healing potions by the pallet + magic-marts? And then the calculation yielding = low magic?

If this is common feature/conception of games out in the wild, then man does it explain a lot about various divides (both in outcomes and in the process that derives those divergent outcomes).

I totally understand the phenomena of GMs extrapolating fictional backstory to executing blocks on powerful spellcasters (well of course my BBEGs enclave and every antagonist ever would have the full suite of Anti-Wizard9000 measures! Of course they would…no security measures are ever foiled, breached, or faulty in the real world! And medieval cultures were cleverer-er!). I obviously don’t agree with it, but I know how it works, and I know that it happens, and I know the role it plays in the discussion.

But I had no idea about the above. I’d love to hear more and I’d love and love to hear other testimonials on the subject.
 

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