What are your biggest immersion breakers, rules wise?

Meta gaming

To the point that i do not ever play with or dm for a group that contains even one chronic metagamer

Cannot stand it

Takes all the mystery and immersion in d&d and flushes it down the toilet drain
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Non-lethal damage.

Player: "I swing my mighty greataxe at the foul villain, and roll a... natural 20!"
DM: "Wow! Roll damage!"
Player: "...30 slashing damage. Oh wait, I forgot rage, make that 32 damage."
DM: "An explosion of blood bursts forth as the enemy is cleft in twain by the jagged steel of your axe! He's deader than dead. You kill him so hard the guy next to him feels it."
Player: "...oh, this is a non-lethal critical hit from a greataxe."
DM: o_O
 

Flamestrike

Explorer
1 hour long short rests. I wish they had have made them a few minutes of inactivity instead (quick swig of water etc).

It's just so jarring when players are hunting down a safe place to rest for exactly one hour midway through clearing a dungeon level.

I just allow 2 handwaved short rests per PC per long rest (representing a swig of water, map check, quick bandage of wounds, refocus and rebreather). It's far less immersion breaking.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Thats the actual rules. Those 6 arrows didnt pierce your skin. They likely glanced off your armor, or you dodged them at the last second, or deflected them away with your weapon (losing HP in the process).
All fine until those arrows are poison-tipped, at which point this train of thought comes off the rails.

If I get hit by 6 poisoned arrows I have to make 6 saves vs poison; and the very fact I have to make those saves at all says that each arrow either touched my skin (for contact poison) or broke my skin (for just abut any other type of poison).
 

Bohandas

Villager
Conversely to a lot of you I prefer to think of HP as actually being meat points. It fits with a mystical aesthetic. Think about the legends of how Rasputin died; how he allegedly was repeatedly shot and stabbed and beaten with chains but just wouldn't stay down until they bound him up and threw him in the river to drown
 

Bohandas

Villager
Oh, speaking of poison, the fact that all poisons in 3e take exactly the same amount of time to take effect and their effects, if survived, are all in the same ballpark in terms of how long it takes to heal from them
 

Horwath

Explorer
I do not mind hig HPs, high level PCs/NPCs are (super)heroes.

I see high level combat as The Expandables movies, players getting missed by every bullet fired from the 80s, and tanking puches and kicks that would leave a regular guy with subdural hematoma, cracked ribs and puctured lungs and spleen at least, but all they do when they fall is shake it off or limp a little for few minutes.
 

Coroc

Explorer
For the HP = injury I offer my players following solution since some come from a different system where injuries actually lead to malus in certain stats:

I tell them D&D hp are totally abstract and they can RP it anyway they like but it does not have mechanical consequences. So a char down to 1 hp might be exhausted or covered with bleeding wounds.
Fatality aka real damage only applies if the character gets knocked out and fails his death saves or gets instakilled.

So it is better to keep your narrative ideas a bit lower in profile, only if you really die then act it out e.g. like "the cut from the orc slashes you in half" or so.

For the short rest long rest I use gritty healing short rest is a nights rest and long rest is a weekend preferable at some nice place where you can relax, it is assumed that the party uses their healing capability to get rid of their injuries thereby restoring their hp to max.

D&D never was a good simulation in some areas, so just do not try to make it one.
Example: Armor should reduce damage, instead it allows you to escape being hit

What I do not like are some of the RAW weapon concepts.

Bow and arrows should not be able to work effectively against armored foes, instead they dish out better dpr than xbow bec. of their ROF. Als o Bow damage boon should depend on STR not on dex.

Quarterstaff 1 handed is stupid. Qarterstaff doing 1d8 2handed and 1d6 1-handed is as plain stupid and unbelievable as it can get. Saw of the tip of a spear to make it do more damage? That's b***t.
Instant houserule by me to make it 2h use only thereby doing 1d6. The crown of it was adding pm feat to quarterstaff but not to spear, and some folks would use quarterstaff 1h with a shield and pm ( and duelist eventually) . If I played in a campaign where the DM would allow this I would lose my immersion.

Leather and studded leather do not exist in my campaigns for the same reason. There is padded armor Gambeson and Brigandine instead. The same goes for ring mail. That is a thing which did never exist and would not work in reality.

Oh did I mention the dual lance wielding gnome paladin? Ah no I better let this one out.
 

Flamestrike

Explorer
All fine until those arrows are poison-tipped, at which point this train of thought comes off the rails.

If I get hit by 6 poisoned arrows I have to make 6 saves vs poison; and the very fact I have to make those saves at all says that each arrow either touched my skin (for contact poison) or broke my skin (for just abut any other type of poison).
It says nothing of the sort.

Hit points RAW represent (expressly) 'Luck, resolve, health and the will to live'. Implicity they ALSO represent fighting skill (martials get more) and experience (you get more as you advance in level).

If you make 6 saves against poison, and lose Hit points as a result of those saves (succesful or otherwise), its (RAW) that you've lost [Luck, Resolve, The will to Live and Health] in any combination you choose to narrate that hit point loss.

The dice roll for an attack comes up a 'hit' against my AC and I take damage from an arrow and from the poison on it (after a save)? I can narrate that (keeping within RAW) as me simply luckily dodging the arrow (Luck being a component of HP); it never actually struck me at all.

Hit points reduced from my luck at avoiding the attack.

Consider a Frost giant that 'hits' 2 Fighters with his Axe dealing 30 damage to each. One Fighter is 1st level with 10 HP - he is struck squarely and killed outright (narrated as him being cloven in half). He is not very lucky or experienced or both.

The other Fighter however is 20th level with 200 hit points; he is lucky, has more resolve than a robot, and is as experienced as deadly as Achillies or the greatest warrior on the planet. The 'hit' on him is narrated as him leaping over the axe as it crashes to the ground narrowly missing him, his extreme skill on show as he anticipates the clumsy strike, as he springs into the air, readying a devestating counter attack of his own.

Hit points are not meat. It's not fair criticising them as immersion breaking when that's not what they represent. If they did represent 'meat' then yeah, sure. The issue here is a lack of imagination in narration of what they represent in game.
 
Yeah, this falls under (a) on my list: those six arrows didn't actually hit me. Except they hit me. But not really (but kinda...) Ugh.
They were all near-misses, right? So near, you had to make a Fortitude save from the mere proximity to the poison...

Honestly, the usual culprits don't bother me. Leveling, and all the things that come with leveling, are features I consider personally desirable in the game mechanics because I am willing to embrace them as desirable features in the narratives they represent. This is the kind of fantasy I want from D&D.

You've all heard me bitching about these things before, but what breaks my immersion are the opposite things... the things where, ironically, in the name of realism these superhuman and borderline godlike figures can't accomplish feats that trained human warriors and athletes are simply expected to do. The dichotomy between a 3rd level spell (character level 5th) and a +18 rank skill check (character level 15th), and the apologia for that dichotomy... breaks my teeth along with my immersion.

It's strange for something that occurs out-of-game to break immersion, but large portions of the alignment rules do that-- the morality depicted by them doesn't make sense, and every ironclad rule about class alignments that must be present to "represent the archetype" of the class has half a dozen exceptions that make the rule itself even more incomprehensible. It's really hard to portray a consistent ethos when the rules you're supposed to be following are only barely implied and seem to be inconsistent.

(This is not about Paladins. Paladins, as much as I want them opened up for Neutral and Chaotic Good, still make sense in their current form.)

Everything about 3e/5e multiclassing is broken. A lot of people complain, more or less reasonably, about the wrongness of someone training all of their life for their first level in their first class, only to pick up their first level in a completely unrelated class by spending the night at a Holiday Inn Express. Yeah, that's legit.

But what gets me isn't starting a new class. It's stopping.

This skillset you've been actively developing your entire life, right? This skillset that you continue improving just by using it. You're going to tell me that you're going to stop getting better at it, even though you're still actively using it every day, because you're consciously focusing on the skills you picked up last week?

It wasn't much better in AD&D, but in order for a dual-class character to advance in their new class, they had to not use any of the class abilities from their old class-- doesn't quite make sense, but at least it answers why characters stopped advancement in their old class.


D&D never was a good simulation in some areas, so just do not try to make it one.
Example: Armor should reduce damage, instead it allows you to escape being hit
I see this assumption a lot, and it's weird. Mail armor, certainly, reduces the damage you take from being hit by a weapon. But steel plate armor? Steel plate armor either negates the hit entirely, or makes the hit a lot worse when the armor itself starts digging into the wound.

Bow and arrows should not be able to work effectively against armored foes, instead they dish out better dpr than xbow bec. of their ROF. Als o Bow damage boon should depend on STR not on dex.
Lot of recorded cases of the English longbow killing a knight's horse by going through his armor, his leg, his armor again, his saddle, and then the horse itself. Build an arrow to pierce armor, it's going to pierce armor.

Agree with you on crossbows. Designers decided to make crossbows Simple Weapons, then made them suck because they're Simple Weapons, and now designers are justifying that crossbows suck because "some things just aren't as useful in real life". No basis in reality, just generations of gamers confusing a xeroxed copy of a copy of the map for the terrain.

Leather and studded leather do not exist in my campaigns for the same reason. There is padded armor Gambeson and Brigandine instead. The same goes for ring mail. That is a thing which did never exist and would not work in reality.
Leather armor is a real thing that exists. Like shields, it's much more effective than it has ever been portrayed in D&D. Unless it's too hot outside.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It says nothing of the sort.
It does to me: how else does the poison get into me?

Hit points RAW represent (expressly) 'Luck, resolve, health and the will to live'. Implicity they ALSO represent fighting skill (martials get more) and experience (you get more as you advance in level).
Under "health" comes physical harm...

If you make 6 saves against poison, and lose Hit points as a result of those saves (succesful or otherwise), its (RAW) that you've lost [Luck, Resolve, The will to Live and Health] in any combination you choose to narrate that hit point loss.

The dice roll for an attack comes up a 'hit' against my AC and I take damage from an arrow and from the poison on it (after a save)? I can narrate that (keeping within RAW) as me simply luckily dodging the arrow (Luck being a component of HP); it never actually struck me at all.
Erm...so...if the arrow never struck you at all, how did the poison on it get to you in order to force that save, particularly if you failed said save?

Consider a Frost giant that 'hits' 2 Fighters with his Axe dealing 30 damage to each. One Fighter is 1st level with 10 HP - he is struck squarely and killed outright (narrated as him being cloven in half). He is not very lucky or experienced or both.

The other Fighter however is 20th level with 200 hit points; he is lucky, has more resolve than a robot, and is as experienced as deadly as Achillies or the greatest warrior on the planet. The 'hit' on him is narrated as him leaping over the axe as it crashes to the ground narrowly missing him, his extreme skill on show as he anticipates the clumsy strike, as he springs into the air, readying a devestating counter attack of his own.
If that's how you choose to narrate it, all's fair.

But it's just as valid to narrate a 30-point hit to the 200-point warrior as a significant clobber upside the head but still not enough to faze our intrepid hero.

Hit points are not meat. It's not fair criticising them as immersion breaking when that's not what they represent. If they did represent 'meat' then yeah, sure.
Ah, but to me they do represent meat, at least in part; with the proportion of meat each point represents decreasing as the total rises.

What this means is that the 30 point hit to the 200-point warrior is going to at the least leave a bruise or a mark if it's knocking her from 200 to 170, or leave a lot more marks and obvious injury if it's knocking her from 40 to 10. The last few are almost all meat; a 200-point warrior who is down to 3 h.p. is bleeding all over the place but can still fight.

The issue here is a lack of imagination in narration of what they represent in game.
Agreed, though not in the way you'd probably like. :)

The bigger issue is the lack of a decent wound or injury system; or the division of hit points into body/fatigue or wound/vitality points. 1e's idea of death at -10 gave a nice opening for this - going into negatives could easily be seen as leaving a lasting injury or requiring a longer recovery time - but then sadly never really followed up on it.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Honestly, the usual culprits don't bother me. Leveling, and all the things that come with leveling, are features I consider personally desirable in the game mechanics because I am willing to embrace them as desirable features in the narratives they represent. This is the kind of fantasy I want from D&D.
Agreed.

Everything about 3e/5e multiclassing is broken. A lot of people complain, more or less reasonably, about the wrongness of someone training all of their life for their first level in their first class, only to pick up their first level in a completely unrelated class by spending the night at a Holiday Inn Express. Yeah, that's legit.

But what gets me isn't starting a new class. It's stopping.

This skillset you've been actively developing your entire life, right? This skillset that you continue improving just by using it. You're going to tell me that you're going to stop getting better at it, even though you're still actively using it every day, because you're consciously focusing on the skills you picked up last week?

It wasn't much better in AD&D, but in order for a dual-class character to advance in their new class, they had to not use any of the class abilities from their old class-- doesn't quite make sense, but at least it answers why characters stopped advancement in their old class.
The way to do it is the non-Human version used in 1e, where the two (or three!) classes advanced together with earned xp being divided into each class; and each class bumps when it bumps.

Thus, if your Elf Fighter-MU got 250 xp, 125 would go to Fighter and 125 to MU.

You're quite right that stopping advancement in one class in order to start or continue it in another is dumb. It's baked into 3e-4e-5e however, as these editions see levels as additive (a 4th Fighter/4th Wizard is an 8th level character) rather than independent (a 4th-4th is just that: 4th level in two classes and probably about the same power level as a 5th level single-class).
 

Coroc

Explorer
They were all near-misses, right? So near, you had to make a Fortitude save from the mere proximity to
....

1)

I see this assumption a lot, and it's weird. Mail armor, certainly, reduces the damage you take from being hit by a weapon. But steel plate armor? Steel plate armor either negates the hit entirely, or makes the hit a lot worse when the armor itself starts digging into the wound.

2)

Lot of recorded cases of the English longbow killing a knight's horse by going through his armor, his leg, his armor again, his saddle, and then the horse itself. Build an arrow to pierce armor, it's going to pierce armor.

Agree with you on crossbows. Designers decided to make crossbows Simple Weapons, then made them suck because they're Simple Weapons, and now designers are justifying that crossbows suck because "some things just aren't as useful in real life". No basis in reality, just generations of gamers confusing a xeroxed copy of a copy of the map for the terrain.

3)

Leather armor is a real thing that exists. Like shields, it's much more effective than it has ever been portrayed in D&D. Unless it's too hot outside.
Steel plate armor digs itself only into the gambeson worn underneath it and the only weapon which would penetrate is a warhammer / halberd / poleaxe / spiked mace (the piercing side), a mace might dent it though and some very strong crossbow might penetrate. A knight in full plate is a guy who can take on 20 : 1 in melee vs unarmored / lightly armored. It makes you close to invulnerable except in those places where there are openings.

so 2)

refers to either weak parts or openings (helmet slits joints etc of an armor) there are no horse armors enclosing the animal so much like a full plate, most are rather akin to banded armor or thalf plate at best.
An arrow will not penetrate normal to high quality plate armor no matter if you got a 200 Lb draw weight bow and no matter if point blank. it will make a slight dent eventually.

" English longbow killing a knight's horse by going through his armor, his leg, his armor again, his saddle, and then the horse itself"
Yeah sure, and the ten unarmored enemy archers standing on the other side of that poor horse dropped dead also with the arrow only loosing momentum after exiting the last of them. That is called fishermens / hunters latin in Germany. Those are storys from the twilight zone you would say.

3)

It did exist as cuirboully cured and hardened in oil leather armor, but it was not that widespread and it certainly is a stiff armor, not the thing people are imagining on the agile stealthy rogue. It probably was better versus blunt weapons than a breastplate but it might have been less comfortable.

Normal buff jackets (padded armor) could have outer layers of leather, but again the armor effect was from layered linen. The leather protected from dirt and water and abrasion a little but it was not contributing much to the effectiveness.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I do not mind hig HPs, high level PCs/NPCs are (super)heroes.

I see high level combat as The Expandables movies, players getting missed by every bullet fired from the 80s, and tanking puches and kicks that would leave a regular guy with subdural hematoma, cracked ribs and puctured lungs and spleen at least, but all they do when they fall is shake it off or limp a little for few minutes.
Exactly. People in the D&D movies have action movie hit points and recovery. Get shot? Mere flesh wound, bandage it out and say "ow" the first time you use that arm and then forget it's even there the next scene. Hit hard enough to be knocked out? No concussion, ever. Just wake up a bit later shake your head and you're immediately good to go. Thrown 20 feet across a room? Good thing that wall you slammed into broke your fall. :rolleyes:
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Nothing.

Really, if I can accept that a critical blow from a great axe to my human is just a minor inconvenience, then none of the rest of these holds the slightest candle to that in terms of lack of verisimilitude.
 

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