D&D 5E [+] What can D&D 5E learn from video games?


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overgeeked

B/X Known World
Thats my biggest gripe with them. I start to use them, but I think I still have to fully grasp them.
Does something take multiple successful checks to accomplish? That’s a clock. Draw a number of boxes equal to how many successful checks are required to overcome the obstacle. Mark one box for every successful check and two boxes on a crit. When the boxes are all checked, the obstacle is overcome.
ops, completely overread these two words. Yeah, clocks are definitely better, but I don't get how they would help with a sense of discovery for the players.
I really don’t see what you’re asking. Why are clocks connected to a sense of discovery?
 

Reynard

Legend
TTRPGs should not be push your luck dice games with improv prompts. Skills and player abilities should do things, those things should have obvious impacts on situations, and leveraging those abilities to overcome situations should be the core gameplay loop. The impact of my action should never be interchangeable with a different action.
Mileage varies, obviously. What you just described sounds much more like Magic or a board game's rules than an RPG to me. RPGs are necessarily "push your luck dice games with improv" because they are inherently far more open ended than other kinds of games.
 

Pedantic

Legend
Mileage varies, obviously. What you just described sounds much more like Magic or a board game's rules than an RPG to me. RPGs are necessarily "push your luck dice games with improv" because they are inherently far more open ended than other kinds of games.
Yeah, this is the thing in these games that always gets my hackles up. Magic is a particularly bad example, but yes, they should be more like other kinds of games, and there's nothing "necessary" about the latter point.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Does something take multiple successful checks to accomplish? That’s a clock. Draw a number of boxes equal to how many successful checks are required to overcome the obstacle. Mark one box for every successful check and two boxes on a crit. When the boxes are all checked, the obstacle is overcome.

I really don’t see what you’re asking. Why are clocks connected to a sense of discovery?
See to me that feels too codified to have universal rules for. I'd rather just figure it out on my own during prep, as much as possible, and improv the rest based on what the PCs do. There are too many things PCs can try to just decide ahead of time how many successes they need.

YMMV, of course.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Yeah, this is the thing in these games that always gets my hackles up. Magic is a particularly bad example, but yes, they should be more like other kinds of games, and there's nothing "necessary" about the latter point.
RPGs shouldn't be their own kind of game? That's a hot take.
 


Reynard

Legend
That's a bit much, but I don't think TTRPGs are really that exceptional, or that they're fundamentally that different as design projects.
I fundamentally disagree. They are a very specific kind of game, and should not be subject to the design parameters of other kinds of games. Specifically, while they have rules of variable specifity about action in play, they have something distinct: the GM (or referee or Storyteller or whatever). One of the participants is specifically charged with adjudicating play outside of prescribed situations. That's new and different and inherent in the very definition of RPG because the game that literally defined the genre included it.

I don't actually consider games that eschew the GM to be RPGs. They are interesting and fun and cool,but they are a different game style. This isn't because I don't think the participants are playinga game in which they role play, but rather because the defined form at its inception made a GM absolutely integral to the form.
 

To my mind, the salient feature that specifically distinguishes a tabletop RPG from other kinds of game is that it is (and I quote myself)...
A game whose ruleset is partially unbounded due to some combination of (1) the fictional personas are not limited to the gameplay moves outlined in the rules, (2) the rules by definition include gameplay moves that intend to allow an effectively unlimited activity set, (3) the rules grant explicit or implicit permission to players to add to the ruleset. Restrictions on permissible declarations will follow from the implicit or explicit restrictions of the fiction (†), from the rules (††), or from the expectations of other players (†††).
The symbols enclosed in parentheses were footnotes that expanded on the final sentence, which I do not believe are pertinent enough to include here.

For instance, no matter how imaginatively one constructs one's open-world video game (and games such as Minecraft, Breath of the Wild, Baldur's Gate 3, or Tears of the Kingdom all rate highly on this score!), such a game is still bounded by its code. You can only ever do what the code allows you to do, no more, no less. Board games and card games, which are not meant to be played with a computer or console doing the heavy mechanical lifting, are even more restricted on this score.

As such, clearly there is something about tabletop RPGs, where resolution of in-fiction activity (aka gameplay) is mediated both by the game's rules/mechanics and by the ability of the human participants to step beyond the bounds of the mechanics, that is simply unlike other kinds of game, such that it's not clear to me that ensuring this "unboundedness" in RPG gameplay can be achieved without at least some degree of "push your luck [gameplay] with improv prompts".

At the very least, it seems out of line to suggest that RPGs, writ large, "should not" include such elements as part of their gameplay. Some games - ones that are quite well-thought in most RPG-ing circles - actually revolve around just this sort of play.

For instance, as I understand it, in a game such as Apocalypse World, when a player invokes the game mechanics of a Move and rolls badly, thus obliging the MC - what that game calls GMs - to make their own Move in response, the MC is not expected to know ahead of time what Move they will make - and not only that, in fact: it would contravene the principles of how the MC role works in that game for them to pre-prepare such responses! (The perspective of someone more familiar with PbtA games would be appreciated here.)

As another example, Dread. While the game doesn't use dice, it undoubtedly does use "push your luck" mechanics in a very open-ended way that, dare I say, involves a great deal of improv from both the players and the GM-player (the "host" as the game refers to the role).
 

Retros_x

Explorer
I really don’t see what you’re asking. Why are clocks connected to a sense of discovery?
One of OP points was "discovery" and skill challenges were put as an answer to that. I don't understand how skill challenges or clocks are helping with building a sense for discovery, thats why I asked.
 

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