D&D 5E To much 5th edition content?

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
To me, although I'd like to see an actual swordmage, there's already at least three subclasses that are different takes on the concept. The Eldritch Knight, the Bladesinger, the Hexblade/Pact of the Sword, and arguably the battlesmith artificer one or both of the Soulknight and Eldritch Trickster rogues.
That's what I mean about too much content and missing content at the same time.

5e has hordes of arcane gishes. Piles of them heaped on each other. And yet every single one of them fails to fill the niche in as unique and fun way as the 4e swordmage did.
 

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Vael

Hero
5e is at this weird point where I think it's full of bloat and inconsistencies, while simultaneously missing certain things still.
Yeah, and while I agree with WotC about not adding too many classes to the game, I think they've been too conservative. Only the Artificer since 5e debuted? There are a few character concepts that have been ill fits as subclasses of existing classes.
 

S'mon

Legend
Something else. CR and such are taking D&D in a direction I (personally) don't want to see it go.
I don't watch CR, so I'm wondering what direction CR specifically is pushing D&D? The short clips of CR I have watched seemed fairly 'normal D&D' to me, my impression was even a bit old school in places (restricted resurrection, GM fiated falling damage...) whereas something like the recent 'Strixhaven Barristas Adventure' seems way out there. Players who have come to my table (real or VTT) via CR tend to be more into in-character acting than the others, but their expectations don't seem wildly out of whack.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
Yeah, and while I agree with WotC about not adding too many classes to the game, I think they've been too conservative. Only the Artificer since 5e debuted? There are a few character concepts that have been ill fits as subclasses of existing classes.
Yeah I like the less classes approach as a whole but it's been way too little for my liking. Swordmage, warlord, psion, and maybe a summoner.

I used to be against a summoner class but Pathfinder 2e did it well. You're not summoning hordes, you're summoning a single creature which you improve as you level.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I don't watch CR, so I'm wondering what direction CR specifically is pushing D&D? The short clips of CR I have watched seemed fairly 'normal D&D' to me, my impression was even a bit old school in places (restricted resurrection, GM fiated falling damage...) whereas something like the recent 'Strixhaven Barristas Adventure' seems way out there. Players who have come to my table (real or VTT) via CR tend to be more into in-character acting than the others, but their expectations don't seem wildly out of whack.
Critical Role is pretty normal D&D, with DM performance practice influenced by 2e, 3E, and Pathfinder (their home game was Pathfinder for years until shortly before they began airing it publically). They are really into plot and character, I suppose, but no more so than any group I've personally experienced. They aren't even that young.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Critical Role is pretty normal D&D, with DM performance practice influenced by 2e, 3E, and Pathfinder (their home game was Pathfinder for years until shortly before they began airing it publically).
They do have their own twists here and there, or so I'm given to understand (I don't watch the show). Didn't the Blood Hunter (affiliate link) class that Matt Mercer made come from CR?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm a little leary of the accelerated product schedule, and even though I've bought every book up to now except Acquisitions Incorporated, I have felt for a while I will need to be more choosy. But theyn they keep dropping stuff that I want..
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
They do have their own twists here and there, or so I'm given to understand (I don't watch the show). Didn't the Blood Hunter (affiliate link) class that Matt Mercer made come from CR?
Nope, though he made it, and it later appeared on Critical Role. It started as a homebrew for Vin Diesel, so that he could play his Last Witch Hunter character in a promo video run by Mercer. Mercer then expanded on it, and at least one player has run one now.

One of the things about the show that is fun is that the twists aren't in how the game is run, or the world building, both of which are pretty normal: it's the fun the crew has together as friends goofing off and riffing that is infectious.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Is the Blood Hunter a good class? Has anyone played one or allowed one in their campaign?
I haven't played one, but it seems relatively popular. The gist is that the Blood Hunter is a martial pseudocaster thst uses their own HP and hit dice as a resource to do special moves, similar to Ki except more dangerous.
 

Is the Blood Hunter a good class? Has anyone played one or allowed one in their campaign?
To put it bluntly, no it isn't. It's basically a spell-less ranger that hasn't quite got the flexibility of the PHB ranger (and I don't think has the damage of it), never mind the Tasha's one.
 

I don't watch CR, so I'm wondering what direction CR specifically is pushing D&D? The short clips of CR I have watched seemed fairly 'normal D&D' to me, my impression was even a bit old school in places (restricted resurrection, GM fiated falling damage...) whereas something like the recent 'Strixhaven Barristas Adventure' seems way out there. Players who have come to my table (real or VTT) via CR tend to be more into in-character acting than the others, but their expectations don't seem wildly out of whack.
Mercer's basically as good at 90s style DMing as it's possible to be. Using the Six Cultures of Play I'd call him very much a trad DM working well with a mixed trad and neo-trad/OC group that's again as reasonably good as it's possible to be (for one they are all professional voice actors).
 

S'mon

Legend
Mercer's basically as good at 90s style DMing as it's possible to be. Using the Six Cultures of Play I'd call him very much a trad DM working well with a mixed trad and neo-trad/OC group that's again as reasonably good as it's possible to be (for one they are all professional voice actors).
That's my impression thanks. So is CR pushing D&D in a neo-Trad/OC direction? If so it seems more about audience demand than what Mercer does as a DM? I do have the impression 5e is moving towards being centred more on OC style play - what I call "Ginny D&D" :) - but I'm not sure if CR is in itself much of a major factor. It seems more about the new player (or fan) base the game began attracting even before CR; they tend to be fans of CR but I don't think CR is making them into OC-type players, rather OC style is what they like, and CR fits what they like well enough.

Edit: I think one of my player groups would like it if I was more of an OC style GM, Kimberly Pauley especially makes these lovely, beautifully realised PCs worthy of a novel protagonist, and I always feel bad when I brutally murderise them. :D
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
That's my impression thanks. So is CR pushing D&D in a neo-Trad/OC direction? If so it seems more about audience demand than what Mercer does as a DM? I do have the impression 5e is moving towards being centred more on OC style play - what I call "Ginny D&D" :) - but I'm not sure if CR is in itself much of a major factor. It seems more about the new player (or fan) base the game began attracting even before CR; they tend to be fans of CR but I don't think CR is making them into OC-type players, rather OC style is what they like, and CR fits what they like well enough.

Edit: I think one of my player groups would like it if I was more of an OC style GM, Kimberly Pauley especially makes these lovely, beautifully realised PCs worthy of a novel protagonist, and I always feel bad when I brutally murderise them. :D
I'm not really sure what "OC" means here, but I'd definitely say that CR is riding the wave of what is already popular rather than driving the demand. Same as WotC themselves.
 

S'mon

Legend
I'm not really sure what "OC" means here, but I'd definitely say that CR is riding the wave of what is already popular rather than driving the demand. Same as WotC themselves.
'Original Character' - the essay Neonchameleon linked explains it. I first saw "OC" in 'looking for game' posts on the UK D&D Facebook group, where it seems to be the dominant culture among new players.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Mercer's basically as good at 90s style DMing as it's possible to be. Using the Six Cultures of Play I'd call him very much a trad DM working well with a mixed trad and neo-trad/OC group that's again as reasonably good as it's possible to be (for one they are all professional voice actors).
Wow, what a great article! It’s funny, I’ve never considered myself an OSR person or associated with the OSR crowd, but put this way, it seems like my play preferences are very well aligned with the norms of the OSR play culture as described here; though with a lot of influence from story game culture as well.
 

That's my impression thanks. So is CR pushing D&D in a neo-Trad/OC direction? If so it seems more about audience demand than what Mercer does as a DM? I do have the impression 5e is moving towards being centred more on OC style play - what I call "Ginny D&D" :)
groans
- but I'm not sure if CR is in itself much of a major factor. It seems more about the new player (or fan) base the game began attracting even before CR; they tend to be fans of CR but I don't think CR is making them into OC-type players, rather OC style is what they like, and CR fits what they like well enough.
Honestly the combination of Neo-Trad GM and OC players is what I've been seeing as the largest group for as long as I've had much to do with the wider RPG community (i.e. since the 90s in my case). The problem is that there has historically been some truly bad advice for this.

D&D pulled that audience in massively with the Dragonlance saga and novels in the 80s and playing through such an epic scripted set of nonsense but in the 90s White Wolf were, in part, able to challenge D&D because "Angsty superpowered vampires" appealed massively to the OC crowd. Of course I could say things about Storyteller as a system and in specific the advice given to Storytellers. For that matter the Big Model is largely irrelevant to Storygames (it became a model big enough to explain everything including impossibilities). Storygames grew out, more than anything, of the impulse "We want to do what White Wolf promises but is unable to deliver on; the biggest thing they get wrong is the role of the Storyteller and the second is expecting indefinite length to stories as not everything should be a soap opera".
Edit: I think one of my player groups would like it if I was more of an OC style GM, Kimberly Pauley especially makes these lovely, beautifully realised PCs worthy of a novel protagonist, and I always feel bad when I brutally murderise them. :D
To quote D. Vincent Baker "Treat your NPCs like stolen cars". Soft trad GMs can get on really well with OC players as long as they remember "Be a fan of the player characters" (more Vincent Baker advice - and something Matt Mercer is excellent at) and remember the PCs are the stars of the show. And Soft Classic DMs can get on really well with OC players; when do you get a better chance to really see who your character is than when they're put through hell and have to decide what to do without knowing they'll survive? (This depends on the player).

When I refer to soft I'm not referring to levels of difficulty. If a trad GM sticks to Their Vision and Their Story at the obvious expense of the PCs they'll lose the reason the OC players are playing. And OC gamers are often there to see their characters challenged (and sometimes put through hell) but they mostly aren't here for number crunching let alone knowing their encumbrance to the nearest copper piece.

And now I come to think about it 5e works really well for OC players. You've got multi layered archetypes, and there aren't too many to remember but the subclasses work really well for further diversification and making your OC feel distinctive.
 

Wow, what a great article! It’s funny, I’ve never considered myself an OSR person or associated with the OSR crowd, but put this way, it seems like my play preferences are very well aligned with the norms of the OSR play culture as described here; though with a lot of influence from story game culture as well.
The overlap seems to go one way. IME a lot of Storygames people find the OSR's ideas interesting and worth borrowing. But there doesn't seem to be anything like the willingness from the other side to look at Storygames - indeed many of them seem to treat it as a culture war thing.
 


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