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D&D General Things That Bug You

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
This sounds like the kind of idea I would love in principle but never remember to keep track of in practice. Like most of my failed houserules.

We found it a lot easier to say "I hit AC 16 Blunt" and then compare against the target's Blunt AC than to do it as the rules suggested and be like I am using a blunt weapon and you are using a chain shirt, thus I get +2 more to hit you.

We used those rules for like 13 years.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Really? Everyone? It was not historically true among cultures in our own world and there is no reason for it to be true in all fantasy worlds.
D&D typically doesn't display or represent real world cultures that don't have swords in it's settings.
 



Reynard

Legend
To an extent, this was the purpose for the "Weapons vs. AC" tables in 1E (and maybe in 2E--I didn't play that enough to say for sure), which everyone that I know of mostly ignored.
One of the reasons "martial" characters were seen as less interesting in the AD&D era was that people ignored all the rules that made them interesting. Weapon types vs AC, weapon lengths, weapon speeds, etc.. all added depth to the martial aspect of the game, and fighters especially were useful because they could potentially use all of the weapons. But people did not like keeping track of that stuff so the only things that mattered for weapons were damage and range (and maybe handedness for shield use). This basically nerfed one of the fighters' most important abilities.

Of course all that stuff was leftover from the wargaming roots of D&D and I'm not saying people were wrong to ditch it for faster, more cinematic combat. I am just saying it had an impact that was rarely compensated for.
 


Once you've seen a 747 get into the air, relating to dragon flight stops being an issue.
Heh, I mostly included that because it keeps being used as an example of the futility of realism.

But honestly, dragons in GoT, Harry Potter, and even the classic Disney Maleficent transformed as a dragon, don’t look that blatantly unrealistic to me. I can buy that those can fly.

(it also betrays my preference for four-limbed dragons rather than winged, four-legged heraldic dragons)
 

Faolyn

Hero
Alluded to earlier in the thread, but one thing that bugs me is Armour Class, as a concept.

I grew up playing Warhammer, and only came to D&D as an adult. It took me a while to acclimatise to the nonsensical abstraction of AC. The Warhammer approach (copied over into WFRP) makes much more intuitive sense. Amour affects how much damage a hit does (as, for that matter, does strength), not whether the hit is likely to hit. I get that it's all a gamey abstraction; but D&D already has a 'roll to hit/roll to wound' distinction. Which makes it even weirder to me that they moved part of what, conceptually, belongs to the damage roll into the 'to hit' roll.
I dunno. I played GURPS for a long time and I found few things as frustrating as a player than getting a solid hit in only for it to get soaked by the armor.

I just assume that, for D&D, you frequently hit on "misses," its just that the armor absorbs the damage. Which is the same thing as having armor reduce damage, but without having to make the damage die roll.
 

JEB

Adventurer
I just assume that, for D&D, you frequently hit on "misses," its just that the armor absorbs the damage. Which is the same thing as having armor reduce damage, but without having to make the damage die roll.
4E's "damage on a miss" powers certainly back up this assumption.
 

pogre

Legend
5e - Wall of Force - I know all of the official rulings on it, but I still find it a troublesome spell.
3.x e - Mordenkainen's Disjunction - perhaps the most unfun spell in the history of D&D.
 

My biggest gripe with 5E and most other editions is that the trope "terrifying arcane power gained by unearthing of dark, ancient secrets" - which is central to so many published campaigns (perhaps the granddaddy of tropes) and implicit in a lot of the descriptive text - is not reflected in the mechanics, like at all.

There are no spells, feats, class features, magic items etc. that can be more easily (or only) gained through nefarious sacrifice rather than plucky ambition. There are no moral trade-offs required for the upper echelons of arcane or divine power. 8th and 9th level spells don't have any profound costs, just gp equivalents. And the "ancient secrets" are almost always re-skins of existing knowledge or an adequately CR balanced magic item.

It feels like a very central trope to fantasy adventure is just artifice and macgunnfin-ism in D&D.
 

Mind of tempest

Adventurer
My biggest gripe with 5E and most other editions is that the trope "terrifying arcane power gained by unearthing of dark, ancient secrets" - which is central to so many published campaigns (perhaps the granddaddy of tropes) and implicit in a lot of the descriptive text - is not reflected in the mechanics, like at all.

There are no spells, feats, class features, magic items etc. that can be more easily (or only) gained through nefarious sacrifice rather than plucky ambition. There are no moral trade-offs required for the upper echelons of arcane or divine power. 8th and 9th level spells don't have any profound costs, just gp equivalents. And the "ancient secrets" are almost always re-skins of existing knowledge or an adequately CR balanced magic item.

It feels like a very central trope to fantasy adventure is just artifice and macgunnfin-ism in D&D.
yeah, that is odd.
 

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff
From the top of my head I can think of two
  • Perception. Is just a stupid skill that shouldn't exist.
  • Saving throws. Why the hell have it, if in 4E we had defenses that work better in every way? Or, maybe get rid of AC and add armour saving throw, either would be fine
 

Eubani

Adventurer
What I hate is whenever you say gee I wish a Fighter could have an ability that did something other than attack for HP damage, a grognard from the low IQ region says "but you can just explain what you want to do". Trying to explain this in a way that their lonely brain cell can get that it something every class can do is painful.
 

My biggest gripe with 5E and most other editions is that the trope "terrifying arcane power gained by unearthing of dark, ancient secrets" - which is central to so many published campaigns (perhaps the granddaddy of tropes) and implicit in a lot of the descriptive text - is not reflected in the mechanics, like at all.

There are no spells, feats, class features, magic items etc. that can be more easily (or only) gained through nefarious sacrifice rather than plucky ambition. There are no moral trade-offs required for the upper echelons of arcane or divine power. 8th and 9th level spells don't have any profound costs, just gp equivalents. And the "ancient secrets" are almost always re-skins of existing knowledge or an adequately CR balanced magic item.

It feels like a very central trope to fantasy adventure is just artifice and macgunnfin-ism in D&D.
I am a fan of this conceit as well and like it as a theme in my homebrew but rarely implement it mechanically. As far as I know in D&D, only Dark Sun Defilers have ever come close to having a "cost" for magic. The fiction in Dragonlance heavily implies a "cost" as well, but this is not reflected in the game materials.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
I am a fan of this conceit as well and like it as a theme in my homebrew but rarely implement it mechanically. As far as I know in D&D, only Dark Sun Defilers have ever come close to having a "cost" for magic. The fiction in Dragonlance heavily implies a "cost" as well, but this is not reflected in the game materials.

I'm rather find of systems that embrace the Linear Fighter / Quadratic Wizard concept, but with the extreme power of higher magics imposing serious costs on the wizards, as exemplified by Doug Kovac's famous illustration of a magic user's progress through levels in the DCC rulebook:

wizards_doug_kovacs_2011.jpg
 

Mind of tempest

Adventurer
I'm rather find of systems that embrace the Linear Fighter / Quadratic Wizard concept, but with the extreme power of higher magics imposing serious costs on the wizards, as exemplified by Doug Kovac's famous illustration of a magic user's progress through levels in the DCC rulebook:

wizards_doug_kovacs_2011.jpg
man, those first six levels were mad.
 


loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff
Why is that? It seems very natural to me, but I'm sure my experiences are different than yours. Just curious why you feel it shouldn't exist.
It isn't, hm, active. Like, when character is Investigating, they're looking around, searching for clues, when they're using Athletics, they use physical strength -- climb, lift, push, etc. For every other skill, the risk and reward are pretty obvious.

With Perception, though? I can't see (perceive, if you insist) any way it can backfire. It feels more like a saving throw, or when using Passive Perception, like "Defence vs. Stealth"
 

dave2008

Legend
It isn't, hm, active. Like, when character is Investigating, they're looking around, searching for clues, when they're using Athletics, they use physical strength -- climb, lift, push, etc. For every other skill, the risk and reward are pretty obvious.

With Perception, though? I can't see (perceive, if you insist) any way it can backfire. It feels more like a saving throw, or when using Passive Perception, like "Defence vs. Stealth"
OK, thank you for the clarification. I guess they way we use perception there are clear risks and rewards. Whether you sense the dragon lurking behind the glamoured cave entrance has serious consequences IMO.

I do understand how passive perception is a bit of an odd skill out though. It just doesn't bother me.
 

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