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


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MuhVerisimilitude

Adventurer
Limit Breaks. After you’ve taken a certain threshold of damage you gain a huge buff and can wreck face.
There's actually an RPG that does this. Icon. Each class has a limit break technique that they learn at level 2 or 3 or around there. I'm not 100% sure on how the rules for it work, but if I remember correctly you spend a particular resource to perform the limit break and this resource is gained by deliberately NOT resting between combats.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
There's actually an RPG that does this. Icon. Each class has a limit break technique that they learn at level 2 or 3 or around there. I'm not 100% sure on how the rules for it work, but if I remember correctly you spend a particular resource to perform the limit break and this resource is gained by deliberately NOT resting between combats.
Another game, Fabula Ultima, has this as well. Fabula Ultima just won an ENNIE and the High Fantasy supplement with limit breaks was just released in the last few days.

But it’s stuff like this that I love. Design the game around how you want it played. Don’t want lots of rests? Reward not resting.
 

Limit Breaks kind of reminds me of the GYRO (green, yellow, red, out) system found in the Sentinel Comics rpg. You have certain abilities available to you based on what color you are in, which also acts as a health tracker. You can only use abilities in your current color tier or earlier tiers. More powerful abilities coming in the yellow and red tiers. I haven't played it myself, but it sounds like a cool way to emulate something like superheroes, tons of anime, etc.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
There's actually an RPG that does this. Icon. Each class has a limit break technique that they learn at level 2 or 3 or around there. I'm not 100% sure on how the rules for it work, but if I remember correctly you spend a particular resource to perform the limit break and this resource is gained by deliberately NOT resting between combats.
Final Fantasy d20 is a fan project based on Pathfinder that has Limit Breaks trigger at 50% HP. Everyone gets second wind and each class has 2 class Limit Breaks at level 1 that then improve every few levels.

so I suppose the idea is the Limit Breaks essentially match the Blooded condition for PCs
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Final Fantasy d20 is a fan project based on Pathfinder that has Limit Breaks trigger at 50% HP. Everyone gets second wind and each class has 2 class Limit Breaks at level 1 that then improve every few levels.

so I suppose the idea is the Limit Breaks essentially match the Blooded condition for PCs
Half health triggers the bloodied condition and they get to do a cool move as a result…exactly like D&D 4E.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
A skinner box is a behavior conditioner. Push the button, get the reward. Scientists put a lab rat into a Skinner box to train it to do something. If it pushes the lever it gets a treat. Reinforcing a specific behavior by rewarding it. In game terms, reward the behavior you want to see. You want PCs to charge in and kill everything, reward that behavior. You want the PCs to slow down and think things through, reward that behavior.
Sorry I’m late to the party, but I think the most interesting insight from Skinner’s experiments is being brushed over here. What was found was that if the rat is consistently rewarded for the desired behavior, it quickly learns that it only needs to perform the behavior when it wants the reward. Once the rat figures out that push lever = get treat, it leaves the lever alone until it’s hungry. However, if the reward is associated with the desired behavior but not predictably so - that is to say, if the rat has a random chance of getting a treat when it pushes the lever, the behavior becomes compulsive. The rat knows that it sometimes gets a treat when it pushes the lever, but it never knows if this time will be the time it works. So it keeps pushing the lever over and over again, long after it has built up an enormous stockpile of treats, and in fact will keep pushing the lever even if you stop refilling it with treats. This is so effective, you can even set it up so that sometimes the lever randomly delivers an electric shock instead of a treat, and the rat will keep pushing it, enduring the shocks for the promise of a chance of a treat.

D&D is already well on top of this, or at least its designers are. That’s (part of) why 5e has hoard tables for doling out treasure instead of specific wealth-by-level guidelines. Because randomized treasure actually makes for a stronger motivator than predictable payouts.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
MMOs and MOBAs: Having combat roles helps players understand what they are signing up for when they select a given class/character. I don't think that MMOs provide the best model for combat roles; however, I do think that MOBAs provide a better model for TTRPGs for several reasons. (1) MMO combat roles (and "the holy trinity") often involve managing aggro mechanics, enrage timers, etc. that are mostly non-applicable to NPCs played by a GM. (2) MOBA roles/classes (depending on the game's nomenclature) are more varied and informative than in MMO's: e.g., melee damage, ranged damage, mage support, mage control, bruiser, tank (less about aggro and more about absorbing damage, initiating fights, and peeling opponents for the team), etc.
Following up on this idea, I haven’t really played any MOBAs myself, but I did get into Overwatch for a bit, which combines MOBA elements with FPS gameplay, and one thing I noticed is that tanks there do manage aggro, in a sense. It’s just that instead of “agro” being a numerical value that you increase or decrease with your abilities and the computer uses to determine NPC behavior, you manage the other players’ actual attention by selectively applying pressure. The enemy team knows it’s not in their best interest to shoot at you (assuming you’re the tank) because you’re the hardest character on your team to kill. Your job is to pressure them, to make yourself enough of a problem that they can’t afford to ignore you, even though they know that shooting at you is literally less valuable than shooting at your team’s healers or DPS characters. Accordingly, a lot of tank characters are just as offensively powerful as, or even more offensively powerful than, the DPS characters, with DPS characters’ main advantage over tanks actually being their mobility.

4e’s marking mechanics and various Defender powers imitated aggro-as-numerical-value from MMOs. But since that proved unpopular, maybe 5e would do better to embrace the aggro-as-pressure model from MOBAs.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Following up on this idea, I haven’t really played any MOBAs myself, but I did get into Overwatch for a bit, which combines MOBA elements with FPS gameplay, and one thing I noticed is that tanks there do manage aggro, in a sense. It’s just that instead of “agro” being a numerical value that you increase or decrease with your abilities and the computer uses to determine NPC behavior, you manage the other players’ actual attention by selectively applying pressure. The enemy team knows it’s not in their best interest to shoot at you (assuming you’re the tank) because you’re the hardest character on your team to kill. Your job is to pressure them, to make yourself enough of a problem that they can’t afford to ignore you, even though they know that shooting at you is literally less valuable than shooting at your team’s healers or DPS characters. Accordingly, a lot of tank characters are just as offensively powerful as, or even more offensively powerful than, the DPS characters, with DPS characters’ main advantage over tanks actually being their mobility.

4e’s marking mechanics and various Defender powers imitated aggro-as-numerical-value from MMOs. But since that proved unpopular, maybe 5e would do better to embrace the aggro-as-pressure model from MOBAs.
I honestly do not believe that marking was an unpopular mechanic.
 

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