D&D General The Importance of Verisimilitude (or "Why you don't need realism to keep it real")

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
This is super easy to come up for an explanation, though. You could say the AC is partly magical, and that magic begins to fade when the dragon dies. Or the process of creating scale mail armor from dragon scales weakens them and causes some scales to loosen/fall off. Or that the lower AC is because on a Dragon, the scales cover almost the entire body, while humanoid scale mail doesn't.

And if you can't come up with an explanation on the fly . . . is that such a big deal? Is the simulation of D&D so fragile that your fun is ruined when the DM tells you that a feature exists for game balance purposes and it would ruin game balance to let PCs get all the features monsters have? Immersion isn't the end all be all of the game. Fun is. Fun can be ruined by unbalanced mechanical features. Is it better to preserve immersion and grant the players a set of +3 Scale Mail that gives you immunity to fire damage for killing a Wyrmling Dragon when they're at level 3, or is it better to preserve game balance and still give them the opportunity to make a nice magic item but not give it the full potential of the Dragon's version? Or if you make the mistake of giving an overpowered magic item, do you maintain immersion and railroad the party into losing it, choose to just deal with it and let them keep the OP magic item, or do you explain that it's causing problems for game balance and nerf it?

Does every monster in every bestiary in every 5e book need to provide an explanation for the AC, hit points, damage, ability scores, and other monster features? Or can a Dragon just have 19 AC because they're a dragon and need to be hard to hit. Does every monster need rules for why the PC equivalent of a feature is weaker than the monster's if they choose to make a magic item out of them? Or can the rules leave that up to the DM and not waste space on pages of repetitive and bland lore justifications? Why can't game features be designed around making the game balanced and not be constrained by requiring exhaustive lore justifications for every minute mechanic or perceived discrepancy?

The answer for the incessant "why? why? why?" of mechanical features or aspects of the game is almost always "A wizard did it". Why do owlbears exist? A wizard did it. Why do orcs exist? A god created them. Why can't I cast Shield of Faith and Guiding Bolt on the same turn if I have enough spell slots? Magic has rules, and those rules say Guiding Bolt isn't a cantrip. Why does that giant's greatclub deal 3d8 thunder extra damage but lose that when they die? Magic. Why are scales more protective on living dragons than as scale mail? Magic. Why can that Avatar of Vecna cast Meteor Swarm 3 times a day? Even level 20 Wizards can't do that! It's because he's a freaking god and the main villain gets god magic.

As a DM, it would just get exhausting to have to give expansive explanations for all minor details when the reason is for game balance and the lore justification will always be some flavor of "A wizard did it". It did get exhausting when I tried to do that when I first started DMing. Eventually I grew out of the notion that every mechanic needed a lore justification and decided game balance was more important. And it seems like WotC has learned that too, given the mechanical changes to recent monster stat blocks.
Fun can also be ruined by a lack of immersion, which can often result from a lack of in-universe explanation for in-universe things. I find your rant rather dismissive, particularly since, as you say, things in WotC game design are mostly going your way. What are you trying to accomplish with this?

Also, describing changing your attitude from one more simulation-based to one more gamist as "growing out of it" is quite insulting to those who hold the former view. It is in no way moving forward; it is simply a change, and any value that change has is individual and subjective. If you no longer care why something is the way it is in the world, that's fine. Don't go telling others that you used to feel like they do, but you "grew out of it".
 

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Tony Vargas

Legend
Fun can also be ruined by a lack of immersion,
Or by successful immersion.

Immersion is a very subjective, rarefied state, that somehow survives being, y'know, sitting around a table rolling dice, yet shatters at a weird and inconsistent variety of genre bits.
I want just enough explanation to tell me why, if a player has their character make armour out of that dragon's hide and scales, the character's AC bonus from that armour won't be as high as was the dragon's. That way, when the player (justifiably) asks about this, I have a ready-made (and backed-by-RAW) answer.
Otherwise, when the player raises this question, I'm left twisting in the wind.
:unsure: A RaW answer would mean there's a mechanic for making armor out of dragon hide & scales... I think there may have been something like that at some point... it could be simple, like, when you skin a dragon it's hide is worth so many gp that can be used to make magical armor or shields. Or it could be some precise formula working from the Dragons AC (or age category & color) to the type and bonus of the resulting armor.

But rationales like "not all a dragon's power survives it's death" or "a huge dragon's hide is far too thick to serve a humanoid as armor, so the parts that are useable as such do not provide as much protection" or whatever, aren't RaW, they're, well 'fluff' 🤷‍♂️
 

Clint_L

Hero
I would probably tell them that the AC reflects the thickness of the hide and the dense muscle underneath, whereas to make armour for a character it is more like just the outer surface of the hide.

Like, I can wear a jacket made out of alligator hide but I'm not going to be anything like as tough to injure as an alligator.
 

I would probably tell them that the AC reflects the thickness of the hide and the dense muscle underneath, whereas to make armour for a character it is more like just the outer surface of the hide.

Like, I can wear a jacket made out of alligator hide but I'm not going to be anything like as tough to injure as an alligator.
AC represents a creature's total ability to not be damaged by physical attacks. There are many different factors that can increase or decrease it. The Dragon has access to special powers and/or abilities that grant it more AC than normal creatures.
 

Irlo

Hero
I would probably tell them that the AC reflects the thickness of the hide and the dense muscle underneath, whereas to make armour for a character it is more like just the outer surface of the hide.

Like, I can wear a jacket made out of alligator hide but I'm not going to be anything like as tough to injure as an alligator.
That would be my answer, in the very unlikely event that anyone asked the question.

It seems trivial to me, but this is a great example of the fact that the lines of verisimilitude are very personal.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Fun can also be ruined by a lack of immersion, which can often result from a lack of in-universe explanation for in-universe things. I find your rant rather dismissive, particularly since, as you say, things in WotC game design are mostly going your way. What are you trying to accomplish with this?
I can honestly say that I cannot remember a single instance where my game was ruined by a lack of immersion. I can think of several where they were by mechanical imbalance, poorly designed mechanics, or other more common/major problems.

The reason I made the post is that the whole deal of "all mechanical features need to be explained by lore" seems a bit extreme, and the example of "why doesn't the game give a lore reason for Dragon Scale Mail being weaker than living dragon scales" seemed to exemplify the trivial nature of the issue. Who cares? If a minor mechanical discrepancy was designed for game balance, who cares if the DMG doesn't explain it? As I demonstrated in the previous post, it is trivially easy to come up with a justification as a DM. In the few cases where I've included Dragonscale Armor in my games none of my players have ever questioned why it doesn't grant full immunity to a damage type or less AC than the dragon. In similar situations where I have had my players ask for a reason, they've never made a big deal if I say "if I let this Potion of Dragon Breath deal the same amount of damage as an Adult Dragon, it would ruin balance, so that's why it's less powerful".

As someone that has consumed a lot of online media criticism, this is very similar to when a critic gives a list of highly improbably coincidences necessary for the plot to happen. Sometimes the plot contrivances are so major, noticeable, or there's just too many of them that it makes it difficult to maintain my suspension of disbelief, but most of the time I'm fine with ignoring a minor contrivance so I can still enjoy the movie. In D&D Honor Among Thieves, why does Simon get his foot stuck for so long while distracting the guards? It would be very easy to pull your shoe out of that hole. The reason is because it lets the directors include one of the best scenes in the movie, and I'm more than willing to ignore the contrivance in order to enjoy the amazing scene.

It's the same issue. Sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief to enjoy the game. And a lot of the complaints I've seen here seem a bit trivial or pedantic. The kind of stuff that, in my experience, really is not a big deal.
Also, describing changing your attitude from one more simulation-based to one more gamist as "growing out of it" is quite insulting to those who hold the former view. It is in no way moving forward; it is simply a change, and any value that change has is individual and subjective. If you no longer care why something is the way it is in the world, that's fine. Don't go telling others that you used to feel like they do, but you "grew out of it".
Okay. Perhaps I should explain. When I started playing and DMing for D&D, I was still a teenager. And as someone on the autism spectrum, I tend to like things being orderly/consistent. I spent a lot of time while learning how to DM trying to figure out the math of the game, breaking down all of the stat blocks in the Monster Manual to figure out how they calculated attack bonus, damage rolls, hit points, and all kinds of minor aspects of them. It was an anxiety-driven need to understand the math of the system and irrational fear of/hatred to the rare case where something didn't fit with the formula of 5e. If an NPC had a mace that dealt 2d6 base bludgeoning damage and they weren't Large and didn't have the Brute feature (what Bugbears have), it annoyed me to no end.

For me, getting over this irrational compulsion for the system to be perfectly logical and consistent was something I did "grow out of". I've gotten better at controlling my knee-jerk gut reactions to stuff like this in general, not just for D&D. For me, it was a matter of maturity and growth. It was an irrational aspect of being an adolescent with autism, and I've moved on from that kind of minor nitpicking. I'm not saying that you or for other people in this thread have the same problem, but for me it was definitely an irrational, anxiety-based aversion to things not fitting nice and neat.

For an example of how WotC has shifted their game design since 2014, given WotC's recent changes to stat block design, I would be very surprised if the Angels in the 2024 Monster Manual have the Angelic Weapon feature. The game doesn't need to explain why the Deva does an extra 4d8 radiant damage on all of its weapons, it's a freaking angel, and its weapons deal an extra 4d8 radiant damage. The Giants in Bigby's often deal unexplained extra elemental damage with their weapons, so I would be surprised if WotC didn't update the angels to fit their newer design style.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I can honestly say that I cannot remember a single instance where my game was ruined by a lack of immersion. I can think of several where they were by mechanical imbalance, poorly designed mechanics, or other more common/major problems.

The reason I made the post is that the whole deal of "all mechanical features need to be explained by lore" seems a bit extreme, and the example of "why doesn't the game give a lore reason for Dragon Scale Mail being weaker than living dragon scales" seemed to exemplify the trivial nature of the issue. Who cares? If a minor mechanical discrepancy was designed for game balance, who cares if the DMG doesn't explain it? As I demonstrated in the previous post, it is trivially easy to come up with a justification as a DM. In the few cases where I've included Dragonscale Armor in my games none of my players have ever questioned why it doesn't grant full immunity to a damage type or less AC than the dragon. In similar situations where I have had my players ask for a reason, they've never made a big deal if I say "if I let this Potion of Dragon Breath deal the same amount of damage as an Adult Dragon, it would ruin balance, so that's why it's less powerful".

As someone that has consumed a lot of online media criticism, this is very similar to when a critic gives a list of highly improbably coincidences necessary for the plot to happen. Sometimes the plot contrivances are so major, noticeable, or there's just too many of them that it makes it difficult to maintain my suspension of disbelief, but most of the time I'm fine with ignoring a minor contrivance so I can still enjoy the movie. In D&D Honor Among Thieves, why does Simon get his foot stuck for so long while distracting the guards? It would be very easy to pull your shoe out of that hole. The reason is because it lets the directors include one of the best scenes in the movie, and I'm more than willing to ignore the contrivance in order to enjoy the amazing scene.

It's the same issue. Sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief to enjoy the game. And a lot of the complaints I've seen here seem a bit trivial or pedantic. The kind of stuff that, in my experience, really is not a big deal.

Okay. Perhaps I should explain. When I started playing and DMing for D&D, I was still a teenager. And as someone on the autism spectrum, I tend to like things being orderly/consistent. I spent a lot of time while learning how to DM trying to figure out the math of the game, breaking down all of the stat blocks in the Monster Manual to figure out how they calculated attack bonus, damage rolls, hit points, and all kinds of minor aspects of them. It was an anxiety-driven need to understand the math of the system and irrational fear of/hatred to the rare case where something didn't fit with the formula of 5e. If an NPC had a mace that dealt 2d6 base bludgeoning damage and they weren't Large and didn't have the Brute feature (what Bugbears have), it annoyed me to no end.

For me, getting over this irrational compulsion for the system to be perfectly logical and consistent was something I did "grow out of". I've gotten better at controlling my knee-jerk gut reactions to stuff like this in general, not just for D&D. For me, it was a matter of maturity and growth. It was an irrational aspect of being an adolescent with autism, and I've moved on from that kind of minor nitpicking. I'm not saying that you or for other people in this thread have the same problem, but for me it was definitely an irrational, anxiety-based aversion to things not fitting nice and neat.

For an example of how WotC has shifted their game design since 2014, given WotC's recent changes to stat block design, I would be very surprised if the Angels in the 2024 Monster Manual have the Angelic Weapon feature. The game doesn't need to explain why the Deva does an extra 4d8 radiant damage on all of its weapons, it's a freaking angel, and its weapons deal an extra 4d8 radiant damage. The Giants in Bigby's often deal unexplained extra elemental damage with their weapons, so I would be surprised if WotC didn't update the angels to fit their newer design style.
Like I said, WotC design is clearly moving your way (a big reason why I no longer buy their products). Good for you and those like you, less good for people like me who liked it better the way it was.

Your story makes your earlier comment better in context though; thank you for the explanation. I almost always prefer to have an answer if there is one.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
That second description looks like it draws a very arbitrary and subjective line that can only lead to more disagreement. Which is not unusual for how we like to coin/use words to discuss RPGs. Even after 50 years, it seems, the jargon has not caught up to the games.

Going by the second phrasing of the definition, though, genuineness and authenticity, in no way forces RL realism. Genuineness and authenticity could be in reference to the Fantasy genre, itself, or to archetypes within it, examples of it like specific works, and their settings, and so forth.

You could, of course, still get completely arbitrary. Define your own setting, and the things you place in it are, by definition, genuine and authentic to the settings, and the things you exclude are not.

If a player wants to play in your game and experience your setting, he should want stick to the options you offer, so as to have that experience. That much seems cut and dried.

I like this response.

And I'll add that the last bit, which I bolded, is true without needing to try to justify one's preferences with arguments about verisimilitude. There's nothing wrong with saying, "Hey, this is how I'm imagining this world and it's going to bum me out if you won't play along."
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
This is super easy to come up for an explanation, though. You could say the AC is partly magical, and that magic begins to fade when the dragon dies. Or the process of creating scale mail armor from dragon scales weakens them and causes some scales to loosen/fall off. Or that the lower AC is because on a Dragon, the scales cover almost the entire body, while humanoid scale mail doesn't.
If it's that easy the desingers could come up with any one of those explanations and include those ten words or so in the monster write-up (or, to cover more ground at once, in the write-up on armour types).
And if you can't come up with an explanation on the fly . . . is that such a big deal?
Yes. As a player, I'll ask for these explanations and expect them to make coherent fictional sense; and when they don't, I'll argue. Which means if I'm the DM and I can't provide those same sort of explanations, that's simply unacceptable.
Is the simulation of D&D so fragile that your fun is ruined when the DM tells you that a feature exists for game balance purposes and it would ruin game balance to let PCs get all the features monsters have?
Yes. If the armour gives x-bonus when worn by one being it should give the same bonus when worn by another unless there's a damn good reason for the difference. Otherwise, you don't have simulation at all.
Immersion isn't the end all be all of the game. Fun is. Fun can be ruined by unbalanced mechanical features. Is it better to preserve immersion and grant the players a set of +3 Scale Mail that gives you immunity to fire damage for killing a Wyrmling Dragon when they're at level 3, or is it better to preserve game balance and still give them the opportunity to make a nice magic item but not give it the full potential of the Dragon's version?
Hell, if at 3rd level they can afford to pay a master armourer/artificer to turn that Wyrmling's hide into a suit of +3 scale with fire resist, I have no problem with their doing just that (though they might have a problem with how in-game long it could take). So yes, in cases like this where there's a clear choice, it is better to preserve that immersion rather than break it for purely gamist reasons.
Or if you make the mistake of giving an overpowered magic item, do you maintain immersion and railroad the party into losing it, choose to just deal with it and let them keep the OP magic item, or do you explain that it's causing problems for game balance and nerf it?
I let 'em keep it. Odds are high that sooner or later they'll find a way to break it anyway; and if they don't, so what?
Does every monster in every bestiary in every 5e book need to provide an explanation for the AC, hit points, damage, ability scores, and other monster features? Or can a Dragon just have 19 AC because they're a dragon and need to be hard to hit. Does every monster need rules for why the PC equivalent of a feature is weaker than the monster's if they choose to make a magic item out of them? Or can the rules leave that up to the DM and not waste space on pages of repetitive and bland lore justifications? Why can't game features be designed around making the game balanced and not be constrained by requiring exhaustive lore justifications for every minute mechanic or perceived discrepancy?
Because pure gamism isn't the answer to everything (and might not be the answer to anything). If you're trying as a DM to produce an immersive setting then things within that setting have to be consistent with themselves to the point where it all makes in-fiction sense and the players - both in and out of character - more or less know what to expect.
As a DM, it would just get exhausting to have to give expansive explanations for all minor details when the reason is for game balance and the lore justification will always be some flavor of "A wizard did it". It did get exhausting when I tried to do that when I first started DMing. Eventually I grew out of the notion that every mechanic needed a lore justification and decided game balance was more important. And it seems like WotC has learned that too, given the mechanical changes to recent monster stat blocks.
I've been DMing for nigh-on 40 years and I still don't think game balance - in the way you seem to mean it - is all that important. They get some majestically powerful item at 2nd level? So what. Consistency within the lore is IMO far more important, and while "A wizard did it" is indeed a greatly-overused crutch, there's a few occasions when it is the most reasonable explanation; while in al the other cases it's on me (or, better, the designers) to come up with a better one.

Put another way, it's my view that the lore is what's there first, and - as the mechanics are merely our abstract means of relating to and interacting with said lore - something's clearly gone wrong if the lore has to bend to suit the mechanics.
 

Which is an admission that the spell is working as intended, reliably, each time it's used. So in other words, the effect of the spell unto itself is uncompromised even if you've made its activation cumbersome to the point of lacking utility.
Except that, if we assume that Shield works the way it has for the past fifteen years, the reason it works is because it is fast. "Hey! I've just been hit. So I'm going to stop, draw a pentagram, light wax, and chant for three minutes to protect myself from the incoming blow" doesn't work.

You can go back to the old "shield is like Mage Armour" paradigm - but that's fundamentally different from the modern Shield spell.
This is an extremely bad-faith take on your part.
No it isn't. It's an attempt to understand a festering garbage-fire of an edition warring article that showed nothing more than that the author was entirely trapped in his own paradigm and invented problems because of it.
To treat that as an attack on you, your likes, and your preferred game is to profoundly misunderstand what it's about, though it rather sadly explains a lot about the tenor of your posts here. I'd urge you once again to look at what's being said not as an attack, but rather to understand why 4E is being held up as an example of what isn't preferred in this regard.
Indeed. And what is being said is "I can't be bothered to understand why 4e does things the way it does so I'm gong to invent edition warring jargon".
The parsing of 3.X between 3E and 3.5E as compared to 4E is largely a moot point,
Meanwhile pretending 3.0 and 3.5 are the same edition rather than 3.0 being the shortest lived edition in history and 3.5 a shameless cash grab is simply false.
in that it insists on comparing 3.0 and 3.5's length's separately to 4E's unified whole, which is largely pointless because 4E itself was bifurcated by the Essentials line, which is a truism that's not undone by pointing out that Essentials wasn't a "point-five" edition the way 3.5 was. To quote D&D historian Shannon Appelcline in his overview of Heroes of the Fallen Lands:
Applecline is only partly right; plenty of people (myself included) played using a mix of the two parts at the same table. And you literally could not use 3.0 with 3.5 in the same way with no real issues when the classes had e.g. different skills and literally hundreds of spells were changed. The analogy does not hold.

So no I don't think you were right. I think that this is a rare case where Applecline was outright incorrect. And that the backlash against the different design paradigm in Essentials is comparable to the different design paradigm in The Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords - which was sometimes used with no issues at all in 3.5 games, while a lot of people decried it as "The Book of Weaboo Fitan Magic"

There's even a mini edition-war inside 5e with Tasha's Cauldron of Everything and a group that refuses to accept that and a minor fracture there.
In that regard, the simpler and less pedantic method is to measure the total length of 3.X's life against that of 4E(ssentials)' life, and that's without taking into account the additional time that the former received under the Pathfinder banner.
And the simpler and less pedantic method is to treat the earth as flat. This doesn't make it correct. 3.5 worked (despite selling less than 3.0) because it allowed the 3.5 designers to resell PHBs and all the splatbooks in a way that was incompatible enough. Meanwhile Pathfinder once again worked by allowing the designers to resell PHBs and a collection of new splatbooks.

A better metric would be to say that 3.X got three editions.
Calling it a "proxy" strikes me as disingenuous here, as it again suggests an element of duplicity on the part of people who found fault with that idea. I believe that it's still the case with 5E, just that it's one which people have elected to live with insofar as it's being far less of an issue with regard to its application. Which is to say, it's less of a break in verisimilitude for a fighter to use Second Wind on themselves once per rest (short or long) than it is for the warlord to use their Inspiring Word on other people twice per encounter (i.e shouting other people healed).
Despite the fact that the fighter is literally healing themselves out of thin air - while the warlord is allowing people to spend their own resources. Somehow magical healing out of thin air breaks peoples versimilitude while encouraging people to dig deeply into their own resources and take inspiration from others to use their own stamina doesn't. And yes, a lot of this problem is that healing surges were poorly explained. While the other part is the "D&D versimilitude" crew almost entirely caring about D&D's tradition and not what people in the real world or in fiction do.
Which is an issue of modeling what's happening when hit points are lost, since the same mechanic is used to present injuries which you can't simply shrug off or ignore. Hence other models such as wound/vitality points. All of which is to say that there's a reason why I originally stated that verisimilitude wasn't an all-encompasing principle back in the OP. However, that caveat seems to have been lost.
Versimilitude was never all encompassing. It was always a proxy for familiarity that never in many of the cases where it was brought up made any sense when compared with the real world. If it had been anything other than a mix of familiarity and feeling then the simple fact that the 4e fighter has to pace themselves when the 3.X fighter is an untiring robot, spamming the same attacks again and again would have had the versimiltiude people on the side of 4e. Those that didn't go over to a different game entirely (like GURPS or Rolemaster or any one of the dozens of other games that did things better this way than D&D).
I don't grant your premise that it did model the real-world effects of fatigue and "non-bonebreaking injuries" better than previous editions; quite the opposite really.
And yet I have demonstrated how and why and a an example. You are not engaging with the example. Simply using "versimilitude" as your excuse with no actual evidence and no tie to real world situations. This is because versimilitude is and has always been a proxy for familiarity.
Phrasing it this way is simply edition-warring, and no, you can't say that you're simply doing so in regard to edition-warring that was lobbed at you first. There needs to be a circumstance under which we can look at areas where 4E didn't do well without its de4Enders coming in to deny all premises and champion the game as the best edition ever in every imaginable regard. And if you find that hyperbole ridiculous, it mirrors the tenor of your posts here.
In short you want a safe space to edition war in peace? And not have your incorrect examples pointed out has being incorrect.

There are plenty of areas where 4e didn't do well. For one the combat is far too slow. For another it surrendered much of the bonus of a class based system. It wasn't that the characters were samey - but the pacing and type of engagement pre-essentials could be. But when you start claiming versimilitude for the pre-4e video game style hit points with consequence free damage (or even the related "fighters can spam the same moves all day") then you are going to get disagreed with.
So how about dialing it down, okay?

Which makes one wonder why 4E was so ill-received by so many people to the point that it had to be shelved so quickly if it did so well.
Off the top of my head:
  1. It changed a lot and a lot of people liked the old way - with the most invested in the old way being the most invested.
  2. It was a complex game with a lot of modifiers and in a different way to 5e. I for one don't really miss hanging five paperclips off a model's sword.
  3. It was released before it was ready (they had a 24 month development cycle and went back to the drawing board after 10 months because Project Orcus was bad).
    1. A big consequence of this was that pre-Essentials combat hhad exceptionallly flabby monsters
    2. A second big consequence was some things were not fit for purpose at launch (Skill Challenges)
    3. A third was a lot was badly explained
  4. The first adventure (Keep on the Shadowfell) was a truly awful introduction; once you reach the Keep itself it's 17 chained fights in a row in bland rooms with nothing between them. And you never get a second chance to make a first impression. For that matter most of the early adventures were pretty bad.
  5. There were two major playstyles missing; the simple "I hit it" fighter (which was fixed by Essentials) and the "I win in prep time" wizard (which was deliberately left out).
And it didn't have to be shelved "so quickly" - it lasted longer than 3.0 and about as long as 3.5. It, like 3.5, had a full round of splatbooks for all the classes and a period nearer the end for weirder splatbooks. It didn't have (the almost certainly lossmaking) two dozen books for each of Eberron and the Forgotten Realms.
If your issue is that people are misrepresenting narrative mechanics, perhaps it would be best to then not turn around and misrepresent verisimilitude in turn.
If your issue is that I am pointing out that you are misrepresenting what you call narrative mechanics, and using versimilitude in a way that appears to be entirely a proxy for familiarity and that makes no sense to anyone not steeped in D&D traditions then perhaps it would be best to stop both.

Or possibly you'd be able to come up with counter-examples where versimilitude leads to you rejecting the familiar.
I don't believe that to be the case. While there are certain "definitional" characteristics of particular games that, in the minds of their audience, make those games what they are, that can't just be chalked up to "familiarity" with its not-so-vague implication that the alternatives are superior but people are simply too stuck on what they know to recognize that. There are, in fact, other issues of preference in play, and we should be able to talk about those without people who have different preferences coming in and threadcrapping by saying "your preferences are wrong!"
I'm not saying "your preferences are wrong". I'm saying "your description doesn't match your preferences". And your attempt to pretend the two are the same is the threadcrapping.
You can, but that doesn't mean you're correct. There's no "justification" going on here; only an attempt to explain something that a lot of people can intuit but have a hard time explaining. And yet, when someone tries, there's always someone who feels attacked by that and so comes in to sabotage the entire thing. :(
And I am engaging with your attempt to explain things - and pointing out that they do not actually match what you are saying. Your "explanations" are not Word of God. They are a potential explanation that doesn't actually match up with what you are saying what the issue is. And that you consider your explanations so untouchable that you consider a critique pointing out that your explanations are inaccurate in significant places to be "sabotage" is telling.

People like familiarity. And familiarity helps build shared worlds. This is not complex. Making it something more than that however means that the "more" can be investigated and critiqued.

Just out of curiosity what would have changed about your argument if you'd written "familiarity" in your OP every time you wrote versimilitude? Sections 2-4 would have been identical - and you wouldn't have borrowed and then discarded a dictionary word.
I'm not sure what you think that "soft cap" is that kept wizards to casting fifth-level spells and below, let alone what "problems" are "overwhelming" in that regard.
Is this a question based on not knowing the AD&D experience and hit point charts?
 

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