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D&D General Things That Bug You

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It's a DCCRPG thing.

I mean, have you seen what that system does to its casters? :)

Yeah. I think too many people are think the D&D base is a low magic, dark fantasy, sword and sorcery gameplay. But a fire and forget, barely restricted, wizard PC never meshed with that.

Anyway

-----

What bugs me?

Not enough named spears and axes.
One would think the magic items in tombs would have more Ancient and Classical era weapons.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I do not get this joke?
In DCCRPG, pretty much every time a caster casts a spell there's a risk of failure. A relatively common result of a significant failure is that the caster becomes somehow physically deformed.

Therefore - and there's a series of (I hope comedic but I'm really not sure) illustrations in the rulebook that show this progression - casters in DCCRPG really can end up as twisted wrecks by the end of their careers.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Well, different people have different theories of best tactics. But by-and-large I don't see giving up two attacks (which may both fail) in order to make an opponent prone is particularly worthwhile. Both the attacker and target are now prone, so attacks between those two are normal while anyone attacking from more than 5 ft away is at disadvantage. Oh, and the person doing the grapple has to have a free hand to make the grapple. I would also rule that you need to continue using that hand in order to maintain the grapple (although it's not clear).

I guess you could rule that the grappler isn't prone, can still use both hands and so on, but that's not how I read the rules.

Might be useful to stop someone from running away I suppose but it doesn't come up often.
Always interesting to hear about different styles! I would say that most combats at my table end up involving someone (usually an NPC) trying to run away, and the PCs trying to stop them. It's pretty rare at my table for a combat to be so evenly balanced that both sides think they can still win right up until the end. Usually one side or another realizes they are in trouble and tries to retreat (either an orderly withdrawal for disciplined foes, or a rout otherwise).

The big exceptions where stopping a retreat doesn't come up are the occasional mindless opponents who fight to the death, or if the PCs decide that a rout is victory enough and let the enemy go.

Grappling also comes up a lot at my table when there are environmental hazards or persistent AoE spells on the battlefield. The chance for 2x2d10 extra damage from dragging someone into a 2nd level Moonbeam (2d10 upon being dragged into the area, then another 2d10 at the start of the dragged enemy's turn) is easily worth giving up one attack to grapple.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Always interesting to hear about different styles! I would say that most combats at my table end up involving someone (usually an NPC) trying to run away, and the PCs trying to stop them. It's pretty rare at my table for a combat to be so evenly balanced that both sides think they can still win right up until the end. Usually one side or another realizes they are in trouble and tries to retreat (either an orderly withdrawal for disciplined foes, or a rout otherwise).

The big exceptions where stopping a retreat doesn't come up are the occasional mindless opponents who fight to the death, or if the PCs decide that a rout is victory enough and let the enemy go.

Grappling also comes up a lot at my table when there are environmental hazards or persistent AoE spells on the battlefield. The chance for 2x2d10 extra damage from dragging someone into a 2nd level Moonbeam (2d10 upon being dragged into the area, then another 2d10 at the start of the dragged enemy's turn) is easily worth giving up one attack to grapple.
Sentinel seems to be the go-to tactic for stopping people from running away in the games I've played (or just chasing after them because I have a rogue and a monk in my current group). After all you don't know who's going to run until after they've, well, run.

The 5-11 points from moonbeam or 7-14 points from spirit guardians average damage (twice in most cases as you say) is decent, but it assumes a lot of things. Like a strength based PC with a free hand and that sacrificing an attack is worth it and that the grappler succeeds while also being able to get to the AOE with only half movement.

But maybe I just haven't played with the right groups. 🤷‍♂️
 

Always interesting to hear about different styles! I would say that most combats at my table end up involving someone (usually an NPC) trying to run away, and the PCs trying to stop them. It's pretty rare at my table for a combat to be so evenly balanced that both sides think they can still win right up until the end. Usually one side or another realizes they are in trouble and tries to retreat (either an orderly withdrawal for disciplined foes, or a rout otherwise).

The big exceptions where stopping a retreat doesn't come up are the occasional mindless opponents who fight to the death, or if the PCs decide that a rout is victory enough and let the enemy go.

Grappling also comes up a lot at my table when there are environmental hazards or persistent AoE spells on the battlefield. The chance for 2x2d10 extra damage from dragging someone into a 2nd level Moonbeam (2d10 upon being dragged into the area, then another 2d10 at the start of the dragged enemy's turn) is easily worth giving up one attack to grapple.
Grappling is great in optimized teams, it's easy to build a character good at it, and it's easy for other pc's to take advantage of it if they know it's coming.

But it depends on planning, really: if no one want to play a grappler, or people want to play characters that can't really benefit form it (ie all ranged-attack builds) or even if all players build their characters in isolation and try to forma a party during play, it's not nearly as good.

Note: this does the opposite of bug me - I'd say it's a feature that such a teamwork-focused option exists.
 


Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Sentinel seems to be the go-to tactic for stopping people from running away in the games I've played (or just chasing after them because I have a rogue and a monk in my current group). After all you don't know who's going to run until after they've, well, run.

The 5-11 points from moonbeam or 7-14 points from spirit guardians average damage (twice in most cases as you say) is decent, but it assumes a lot of things. Like a strength based PC with a free hand and that sacrificing an attack is worth it and that the grappler succeeds while also being able to get to the AOE with only half movement.

But maybe I just haven't played with the right groups. 🤷‍♂️
Definitely differences in table styles--I think I've only had one of the PCs take Sentinel. It's thought of as a good feat, but just never seems that anyone actually takes it.

And yes, the grappling to take advantage of hazards is definitely situational. @jmartkdr2 makes a great point that how often it comes up is going to depend on the PCs' tactics (and advanced character design planning) as well.
Grappling is great in optimized teams, it's easy to build a character good at it, and it's easy for other pc's to take advantage of it if they know it's coming.

But it depends on planning, really: if no one want to play a grappler, or people want to play characters that can't really benefit form it (ie all ranged-attack builds) or even if all players build their characters in isolation and try to forma a party during play, it's not nearly as good.

Note: this does the opposite of bug me - I'd say it's a feature that such a teamwork-focused option exists.
That's an excellent point. The difference in expected utility for grappling skyrockets with coordination on PC builds. I've never seen the whiteroom optimized Hasted grappling concepts in actual play, but once you start combining on-turn grabbing with off-turn readied pushes into something like Spirit Guardians it gets scary quickly. But even the lower level of unplanned coordination (e.g. a druid player starting to memorize Moonbeam when another player shows up with a decent grappler) makes grappling far better than it is with no coordination at all.
 

turnip_farmer

Adventurer
In DCCRPG, pretty much every time a caster casts a spell there's a risk of failure. A relatively common result of a significant failure is that the caster becomes somehow physically deformed.

Therefore - and there's a series of (I hope comedic but I'm really not sure) illustrations in the rulebook that show this progression - casters in DCCRPG really can end up as twisted wrecks by the end of their careers.

See post 276!

It is a Warhammer thing as well though. Using magic is exposing yourself to the corrupting powers of Chaos, and always runs the risk of being transformed into a Chaos Spawn or pulled from the mortal sphere by some angry daemon.

As it should be.
 

Sentinel seems to be the go-to tactic for stopping people from running away in the games I've played (or just chasing after them because I have a rogue and a monk in my current group). After all you don't know who's going to run until after they've, well, run.

The 5-11 points from moonbeam or 7-14 points from spirit guardians average damage (twice in most cases as you say) is decent, but it assumes a lot of things. Like a strength based PC with a free hand and that sacrificing an attack is worth it and that the grappler succeeds while also being able to get to the AOE with only half movement.

But maybe I just haven't played with the right groups. 🤷‍♂️
Knocking something prone is a slick move when you have at least two people in melee against an opponent with a fair amount of HP. It also forces the enemy to choose between using an action to break the hold or attacking with disadvantage.
 


What bugs me?

Why can't anyone remember their AC? It's one number! It's at the top of your character sheet! If never changes (apart from special things like the shield spell). So, when I look at you and say "I rolled a 16, does it hit?" why do you look at me blankly then then scramble around reading from pieces of paper? Sheesh.

But you know what really bugs me… I do the same thing as a player. Every round, every combat, every game, I can't seem to remember than one number. Whyyyyyy?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
What bugs me?

Why can't anyone remember their AC? It's one number! It's at the top of your character sheet! If never changes (apart from special things like the shield spell). So, when I look at you and say "I rolled a 16, does it hit?" why do you look at me blankly then then scramble around reading from pieces of paper? Sheesh.

But you know what really bugs me… I do the same thing as a player. Every round, every combat, every game, I can't seem to remember than one number. Whyyyyyy?
Same here, except for me it's to-hit and damage bonuses...and just when I finally do remember them something happens that changes one.
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
I hate the silliness that are the surprised condition. Technically, there's no surprise round, it's a regular round, but every creature that's surprised skips its turn. But they still roll initiative, and they might lose the condition before you get to do something.

More of an editing thing, but I hate how everything is super verbose. Having to look up a simple class feature and have four paragraphs of text is not encouraging.

I hate that having twenty-six sources of advantage is cancelled by having one disadvantage. Advantage/disadvantage is still my favourite introduction in 5E, but I wish it was slightly more granular.

I hate that we still have the silly "I'm a level 6 wizard that can cast level 3 spells." It's one of the part that new players always find confusing.

I hate how little choice there is for armor and shields. There is nothing exciting about it. There's very little room to expand and reward your players that way.
 

Shroompunk Warlord

Archdruid of the Warp Zones
Races: There are too many races in your standard D&D world, too many races indigenous to too small of geographical regions, and there's far too little distinction between them to go around. Doubled and tripled for the utterly unnecessary subraces. AD&D Specific: the majority of officially published AD&D player races had the exact same class and multiclass selection as Dwarves; only the very weird campaign settings with the very weird races (PS, SJ, DS) substantially broke from this mold, and even then subclass access remained relatively rare.

Multiverse: There are a lot of incredibly specific, niche, obscure, weird, and not particularly relatable cosmological assumptions built into the D&D rules that are then imposed upon the majority of officially-published D&D settings when they are not thematically appropriate to that setting. In some case, they are not thematically appropriate to any setting, but they're "part of D&D" so they have to be shoehorned in.

For a brief overview:
  • Alignment: In the interest in not rehashing old arguments, everything about alignment bothers me and I wish it would go away entirely. I will say, however, that the idea of moral principles as literal metaphysical forces is something that occurs in a very small proportion of the stories that D&D is based off of, and an even smaller proportion of the stories people want to portray in D&D.
  • Cosmology: I love the Great Wheel Cosmology, in both the Greyhawk setting it was derived from, and in the Planescape setting that was derived from it. The Forgotten Realms setting had its own cosmology going on, and the Dragonlance setting had its own cosmology going on, and these settings were lessened by having their own mythologies and afterlives homogenized to make them fit into "the multiverse". I love the World Axis cosmology, too, except for the Forgotten Realms having been folded, spindled, and mutilated-- again-- to be made to fit into it.
  • Theology: The standard D&D assumption that the gods feed on mortal worship and are only as strong as mortals' belief in them is an incredibly monotheistic approach to polytheistic religion. And it's a good setup for a maltheistic world where mortal heroes oppose the malignant divine. It's not a very good setup when Good and Evil are objective moral forces, and the "Good" gods work to uphold and preserve the system that empowers the Evil gods, and mortal heroes are expected to uphold and preserve that system too, or else.
  • Religion: There's a "pantheon" of gods spread across the whole world, who each have their own portfolio or special interests... except they're all unrelated to each other, they don't have any shared origins, and they're all rivals for mortals' delicious prayers. Regardless of their ethos or their portfolio, they're all structured like medieval Catholic churches and they all behave like Midwest tent revivals. The one thing they do not resemble, in any way, is any pre-Christian or indigenous religion I've ever heard of.
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with any or all of these assumptions in a D&D fantasy world... but it bothers the hell out of me that they're all present in the majority of official D&D worlds and most people don't seem to have the slightest inkling that this isn't just what "fantasy worlds" look like.

Mechanically... a broad overview:

Race: I started with AD&D, so this is pure hindsight, but it bugs me how little difference race makes compared to class in AD&D onward. Some ability score adjustments/restrictions that don't matter (unless you're playing a half-ogre or something) and F/C/T/FC/FT in AD&D, fishing for +2 to as many of your prime and secondary requisites as possible for your chosen class in WotC/Paizo D&D. Somewhere in the low single digits, your biological and/or mythological distinctiveness simply stops being a meaningful part of your character's function.

Multiclassing: It still really bothers me that after four years of trying to fix 3.0's multiclassing system in 3.5, and abandoning it entirely in 4e, they simply re-adopted it wholesale with few, minor, alterations in 5e.

Hit Points and Armor Class: I actually like these as written, and lean into hit points intentionally by saying they really are "meat points", a measure of how much punishment a character's physical body can take and keep functioning. What bugs me is that people keep trying to fix AC by turning armor into damage reduction and making the game less realistic because the relationship between weapons that have big damage dice in D&D and weapons that can effectively damage someone in heavy armor in real life is exactly reversed.

Armor: The only armor penalties in D&D that are even remotely justified are stealth and swimming. Reckon I've known a lot of men and women with Heavy Armor Proficiency, courtesy of various martial arts and reenactment groups, but I suspect I've still never met a single 7th level Fighter... yet I've known quite a few people who can reliably hit a DC 15 Tumble check in non-masterwork half-plate and field plate.

Proficiencies & Skills: I feel like these could have been a great idea, if they hadn't started by limiting what normal characters could previously do. Guarantee you I'm not a Fighter or any Fighter sub-class, and I'm probably not more than 3rd level-- if that-- but I'm solidly, demonstrably proficient in more weapons than a name-level Fighter in AD&D. And fewer than any cherry private or rookie patrolman. Particularly egregious when a high-level Fighter in magical plate mail (see above) is helpless in the face of a 1st level Wizard's grease spell because he didn't invest any of his three skill points per level (why?) in Balance.

I can't do anything heroically or preternaturally well, but I am basically competent in more things than any low-level D&D character, and aside from a couple specific talents, I don't think I'm some kind of Renaissance Man compared to other people. (Definitely a Bard, though.)

Two Weapon Fighting: Fighting with two swords doesn't work that way. Fighting with two guns especially does not work that way.

Ability Scores: The ability score cap in 5e bugs me. One, it means that despite every race just boiling down to "the one with the +2 I want", everyone's going to end up with same ability scores by level 12 anyway. Two, it means that the pinnacle of human(oid) development-- pre-immortality-- is acheivable at 4th level.

Bounded Accuracy: It's a great idea in theory, but in execution it means that your capped ability scores and your fixed proficiency bonus probably aren't going to change by more than five points for most of your skills from 1st to 20th level, so you're only marginally more effective at doing the exact same stuff at 20th level then you were when you rolled the character.

Honestly... more of my little "it just bugs me" problems with D&D come from people trying to fix what just bugs them than from what's in D&D itself.
 


Races: There are too many races in your standard D&D world, too many races indigenous to too small of geographical regions, and there's far too little distinction between them to go around. Doubled and tripled for the utterly unnecessary subraces. AD&D Specific: the majority of officially published AD&D player races had the exact same class and multiclass selection as Dwarves; only the very weird campaign settings with the very weird races (PS, SJ, DS) substantially broke from this mold, and even then subclass access remained relatively rare.

Multiverse: There are a lot of incredibly specific, niche, obscure, weird, and not particularly relatable cosmological assumptions built into the D&D rules that are then imposed upon the majority of officially-published D&D settings when they are not thematically appropriate to that setting. In some case, they are not thematically appropriate to any setting, but they're "part of D&D" so they have to be shoehorned in.

For a brief overview:
  • Alignment: In the interest in not rehashing old arguments, everything about alignment bothers me and I wish it would go away entirely. I will say, however, that the idea of moral principles as literal metaphysical forces is something that occurs in a very small proportion of the stories that D&D is based off of, and an even smaller proportion of the stories people want to portray in D&D.
  • Cosmology: I love the Great Wheel Cosmology, in both the Greyhawk setting it was derived from, and in the Planescape setting that was derived from it. The Forgotten Realms setting had its own cosmology going on, and the Dragonlance setting had its own cosmology going on, and these settings were lessened by having their own mythologies and afterlives homogenized to make them fit into "the multiverse". I love the World Axis cosmology, too, except for the Forgotten Realms having been folded, spindled, and mutilated-- again-- to be made to fit into it.
  • Theology: The standard D&D assumption that the gods feed on mortal worship and are only as strong as mortals' belief in them is an incredibly monotheistic approach to polytheistic religion. And it's a good setup for a maltheistic world where mortal heroes oppose the malignant divine. It's not a very good setup when Good and Evil are objective moral forces, and the "Good" gods work to uphold and preserve the system that empowers the Evil gods, and mortal heroes are expected to uphold and preserve that system too, or else.
  • Religion: There's a "pantheon" of gods spread across the whole world, who each have their own portfolio or special interests... except they're all unrelated to each other, they don't have any shared origins, and they're all rivals for mortals' delicious prayers. Regardless of their ethos or their portfolio, they're all structured like medieval Catholic churches and they all behave like Midwest tent revivals. The one thing they do not resemble, in any way, is any pre-Christian or indigenous religion I've ever heard of.
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with any or all of these assumptions in a D&D fantasy world... but it bothers the hell out of me that they're all present in the majority of official D&D worlds and most people don't seem to have the slightest inkling that this isn't just what "fantasy worlds" look like.

Mechanically... a broad overview:

Race: I started with AD&D, so this is pure hindsight, but it bugs me how little difference race makes compared to class in AD&D onward. Some ability score adjustments/restrictions that don't matter (unless you're playing a half-ogre or something) and F/C/T/FC/FT in AD&D, fishing for +2 to as many of your prime and secondary requisites as possible for your chosen class in WotC/Paizo D&D. Somewhere in the low single digits, your biological and/or mythological distinctiveness simply stops being a meaningful part of your character's function.

Multiclassing: It still really bothers me that after four years of trying to fix 3.0's multiclassing system in 3.5, and abandoning it entirely in 4e, they simply re-adopted it wholesale with few, minor, alterations in 5e.

Hit Points and Armor Class: I actually like these as written, and lean into hit points intentionally by saying they really are "meat points", a measure of how much punishment a character's physical body can take and keep functioning. What bugs me is that people keep trying to fix AC by turning armor into damage reduction and making the game less realistic because the relationship between weapons that have big damage dice in D&D and weapons that can effectively damage someone in heavy armor in real life is exactly reversed.

Armor: The only armor penalties in D&D that are even remotely justified are stealth and swimming. Reckon I've known a lot of men and women with Heavy Armor Proficiency, courtesy of various martial arts and reenactment groups, but I suspect I've still never met a single 7th level Fighter... yet I've known quite a few people who can reliably hit a DC 15 Tumble check in non-masterwork half-plate and field plate.

Proficiencies & Skills: I feel like these could have been a great idea, if they hadn't started by limiting what normal characters could previously do. Guarantee you I'm not a Fighter or any Fighter sub-class, and I'm probably not more than 3rd level-- if that-- but I'm solidly, demonstrably proficient in more weapons than a name-level Fighter in AD&D. And fewer than any cherry private or rookie patrolman. Particularly egregious when a high-level Fighter in magical plate mail (see above) is helpless in the face of a 1st level Wizard's grease spell because he didn't invest any of his three skill points per level (why?) in Balance.

I can't do anything heroically or preternaturally well, but I am basically competent in more things than any low-level D&D character, and aside from a couple specific talents, I don't think I'm some kind of Renaissance Man compared to other people. (Definitely a Bard, though.)

Two Weapon Fighting: Fighting with two swords doesn't work that way. Fighting with two guns especially does not work that way.

Ability Scores: The ability score cap in 5e bugs me. One, it means that despite every race just boiling down to "the one with the +2 I want", everyone's going to end up with same ability scores by level 12 anyway. Two, it means that the pinnacle of human(oid) development-- pre-immortality-- is acheivable at 4th level.

Bounded Accuracy: It's a great idea in theory, but in execution it means that your capped ability scores and your fixed proficiency bonus probably aren't going to change by more than five points for most of your skills from 1st to 20th level, so you're only marginally more effective at doing the exact same stuff at 20th level then you were when you rolled the character.

Honestly... more of my little "it just bugs me" problems with D&D come from people trying to fix what just bugs them than from what's in D&D itself.
You're bang on about D&D's assumed cosmology and its hack-handed approach to religion, doubly compounded by its strange desire to have monotheism in most of the campaign worlds, despite structuring all the religions as if they were monotheism!
 

Mind of tempest

Adventurer
Races: There are too many races in your standard D&D world, too many races indigenous to too small of geographical regions, and there's far too little distinction between them to go around. Doubled and tripled for the utterly unnecessary subraces. AD&D Specific: the majority of officially published AD&D player races had the exact same class and multiclass selection as Dwarves; only the very weird campaign settings with the very weird races (PS, SJ, DS) substantially broke from this mold, and even then subclass access remained relatively rare.

Multiverse: There are a lot of incredibly specific, niche, obscure, weird, and not particularly relatable cosmological assumptions built into the D&D rules that are then imposed upon the majority of officially-published D&D settings when they are not thematically appropriate to that setting. In some case, they are not thematically appropriate to any setting, but they're "part of D&D" so they have to be shoehorned in.

For a brief overview:
  • Alignment: In the interest in not rehashing old arguments, everything about alignment bothers me and I wish it would go away entirely. I will say, however, that the idea of moral principles as literal metaphysical forces is something that occurs in a very small proportion of the stories that D&D is based off of, and an even smaller proportion of the stories people want to portray in D&D.
  • Cosmology: I love the Great Wheel Cosmology, in both the Greyhawk setting it was derived from, and in the Planescape setting that was derived from it. The Forgotten Realms setting had its own cosmology going on, and the Dragonlance setting had its own cosmology going on, and these settings were lessened by having their own mythologies and afterlives homogenized to make them fit into "the multiverse". I love the World Axis cosmology, too, except for the Forgotten Realms having been folded, spindled, and mutilated-- again-- to be made to fit into it.
  • Theology: The standard D&D assumption that the gods feed on mortal worship and are only as strong as mortals' belief in them is an incredibly monotheistic approach to polytheistic religion. And it's a good setup for a maltheistic world where mortal heroes oppose the malignant divine. It's not a very good setup when Good and Evil are objective moral forces, and the "Good" gods work to uphold and preserve the system that empowers the Evil gods, and mortal heroes are expected to uphold and preserve that system too, or else.
  • Religion: There's a "pantheon" of gods spread across the whole world, who each have their own portfolio or special interests... except they're all unrelated to each other, they don't have any shared origins, and they're all rivals for mortals' delicious prayers. Regardless of their ethos or their portfolio, they're all structured like medieval Catholic churches and they all behave like Midwest tent revivals. The one thing they do not resemble, in any way, is any pre-Christian or indigenous religion I've ever heard of.
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with any or all of these assumptions in a D&D fantasy world... but it bothers the hell out of me that they're all present in the majority of official D&D worlds and most people don't seem to have the slightest inkling that this isn't just what "fantasy worlds" look like.

Mechanically... a broad overview:

Race: I started with AD&D, so this is pure hindsight, but it bugs me how little difference race makes compared to class in AD&D onward. Some ability score adjustments/restrictions that don't matter (unless you're playing a half-ogre or something) and F/C/T/FC/FT in AD&D, fishing for +2 to as many of your prime and secondary requisites as possible for your chosen class in WotC/Paizo D&D. Somewhere in the low single digits, your biological and/or mythological distinctiveness simply stops being a meaningful part of your character's function.

Multiclassing: It still really bothers me that after four years of trying to fix 3.0's multiclassing system in 3.5, and abandoning it entirely in 4e, they simply re-adopted it wholesale with few, minor, alterations in 5e.

Hit Points and Armor Class: I actually like these as written, and lean into hit points intentionally by saying they really are "meat points", a measure of how much punishment a character's physical body can take and keep functioning. What bugs me is that people keep trying to fix AC by turning armor into damage reduction and making the game less realistic because the relationship between weapons that have big damage dice in D&D and weapons that can effectively damage someone in heavy armor in real life is exactly reversed.

Armor: The only armor penalties in D&D that are even remotely justified are stealth and swimming. Reckon I've known a lot of men and women with Heavy Armor Proficiency, courtesy of various martial arts and reenactment groups, but I suspect I've still never met a single 7th level Fighter... yet I've known quite a few people who can reliably hit a DC 15 Tumble check in non-masterwork half-plate and field plate.

Proficiencies & Skills: I feel like these could have been a great idea, if they hadn't started by limiting what normal characters could previously do. Guarantee you I'm not a Fighter or any Fighter sub-class, and I'm probably not more than 3rd level-- if that-- but I'm solidly, demonstrably proficient in more weapons than a name-level Fighter in AD&D. And fewer than any cherry private or rookie patrolman. Particularly egregious when a high-level Fighter in magical plate mail (see above) is helpless in the face of a 1st level Wizard's grease spell because he didn't invest any of his three skill points per level (why?) in Balance.

I can't do anything heroically or preternaturally well, but I am basically competent in more things than any low-level D&D character, and aside from a couple specific talents, I don't think I'm some kind of Renaissance Man compared to other people. (Definitely a Bard, though.)

Two Weapon Fighting: Fighting with two swords doesn't work that way. Fighting with two guns especially does not work that way.

Ability Scores: The ability score cap in 5e bugs me. One, it means that despite every race just boiling down to "the one with the +2 I want", everyone's going to end up with same ability scores by level 12 anyway. Two, it means that the pinnacle of human(oid) development-- pre-immortality-- is acheivable at 4th level.

Bounded Accuracy: It's a great idea in theory, but in execution it means that your capped ability scores and your fixed proficiency bonus probably aren't going to change by more than five points for most of your skills from 1st to 20th level, so you're only marginally more effective at doing the exact same stuff at 20th level then you were when you rolled the character.

Honestly... more of my little "it just bugs me" problems with D&D come from people trying to fix what just bugs them than from what's in D&D itself.
yeah I get you, want a thread about it or something.
 

Multiverse: There are a lot of incredibly specific, niche, obscure, weird, and not particularly relatable cosmological assumptions built into the D&D rules that are then imposed upon the majority of officially-published D&D settings when they are not thematically appropriate to that setting. In some case, they are not thematically appropriate to any setting, but they're "part of D&D" so they have to be shoehorned in.

For a brief overview:
  • Alignment: In the interest in not rehashing old arguments, everything about alignment bothers me and I wish it would go away entirely. I will say, however, that the idea of moral principles as literal metaphysical forces is something that occurs in a very small proportion of the stories that D&D is based off of, and an even smaller proportion of the stories people want to portray in D&D.
  • Cosmology: I love the Great Wheel Cosmology, in both the Greyhawk setting it was derived from, and in the Planescape setting that was derived from it. The Forgotten Realms setting had its own cosmology going on, and the Dragonlance setting had its own cosmology going on, and these settings were lessened by having their own mythologies and afterlives homogenized to make them fit into "the multiverse". I love the World Axis cosmology, too, except for the Forgotten Realms having been folded, spindled, and mutilated-- again-- to be made to fit into it.
  • Theology: The standard D&D assumption that the gods feed on mortal worship and are only as strong as mortals' belief in them is an incredibly monotheistic approach to polytheistic religion. And it's a good setup for a maltheistic world where mortal heroes oppose the malignant divine. It's not a very good setup when Good and Evil are objective moral forces, and the "Good" gods work to uphold and preserve the system that empowers the Evil gods, and mortal heroes are expected to uphold and preserve that system too, or else.
  • Religion: There's a "pantheon" of gods spread across the whole world, who each have their own portfolio or special interests... except they're all unrelated to each other, they don't have any shared origins, and they're all rivals for mortals' delicious prayers. Regardless of their ethos or their portfolio, they're all structured like medieval Catholic churches and they all behave like Midwest tent revivals. The one thing they do not resemble, in any way, is any pre-Christian or indigenous religion I've ever heard of.
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with any or all of these assumptions in a D&D fantasy world... but it bothers the hell out of me that they're all present in the majority of official D&D worlds and most people don't seem to have the slightest inkling that this isn't just what "fantasy worlds" look like.
I've been chewing on similar observances for a while. It's nice to see them presented so succinctly. When I find some time I want to do a 'rebuild' of Forgotten Realms culture and political structure, using a more nuanced and realistic (in a 15th century sense) treatment of religion as a foundation. Might do it here, so strangers can yell at me ;) For all the the things I appreciate about Greenwood's imagination his notions of culture, nationality and religion are bizarrely compartmentalized.
 

Mind of tempest

Adventurer
I've been chewing on similar observances for a while. It's nice to see them presented so succinctly. When I find some time I want to do a 'rebuild' of Forgotten Realms culture and political structure, using a more nuanced and realistic (in a 15th century sense) treatment of religion as a foundation. Might do it here, so strangers can yell at me ;) For all the the things I appreciate about Greenwood's imagination his notions of culture, nationality and religion are bizarrely compartmentalized.
I would read it.
 

rmcoen

Explorer
I read through all these pages, and I noted that there were several that my group of "RAW or nothing!" diehards had already edited or handwaved away. Simplest example being "if you can't see your target, you have disadvantage REGARDLESS OF THE TARGETS ABILITY TO SEE YOU".

I also hate - oops, wrong thread... - I am also BUGGED by the "binary status" of "0hp" vs. "anything greater than 0". My table addresses this with some flavor text ("Bruised" at 75%, "Bloodied" at 50%, and "Battered" at 25%) which have no penalties associated, and the houserule "If you hit 0hp, you gain a level of exhaustion."
What's the point of the flavor text? Twofold. First... it's a clue to monster status; likewise, it's a clue for monster behavior to change either due to its own status or its foes' status (like attacking "the weakest"). Second... I don't allow anyone at my table to state their hp!

So the healer types have to judge for themselves when to heal their allies, with the exhaustion penalty if a character goes down to 0. In effect, it incentivizes keeping people "topped up" [Bruised or better], rather than waiting for a collapse or "I'm at 6 hp, these things do 5, I can wait a round" nonsense metagaming.

But none of my players want a "death spiral" of penalties on these statuses so really I've doused the pig in perfume and given it some lipstick...
 

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