OneDnD What could OneD&D to bring YOU back to D&D? (+)

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Sometimes, I feel like I'm standing at the checkout of Home Depot and the cashier is trying to convince me that I should spackle the same way that I caulk because there's a new set of screwdrivers in aisle four.

I'm struggling to understand the direction of the product or why I'm being told to use it in a particular way.
Which, to me, is an odd take. Because when I'm looking at 5E stuff I get no sense whatsoever that they're trying to have an opinion on how the game should be played. Quite the opposite. It's like they took pains to specifically avoid having any opinion at all how the game should be played. It vaguely waves at several disparate styles of play and does none of them well at all. A common refrain about 5E is that it's the 2nd best edition at several things but isn't the best at being anything except popular. It seems to entirely lack any defining identity whatsoever. I wish the game had some specific goal or identity it was pushing. At least then I could like it or dislike it for what it's trying to do. As it stands it seems to only want to be as bland and milquetoast as possible.
 

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Micah Sweet

Legend
Which, to me, is an odd take. Because when I'm looking at 5E stuff I get no sense whatsoever that they're trying to have an opinion on how the game should be played. Quite the opposite. It's like they took pains to specifically avoid having any opinion at all how the game should be played. It vaguely waves at several disparate styles of play and does none of them well at all. A common refrain about 5E is that it's the 2nd best edition at several things but isn't the best at being anything except popular. It seems to entirely lack any defining identity whatsoever. I wish the game had some specific goal or identity it was pushing. At least then I could like it or dislike it for what it's trying to do. As it stands it seems to only want to be as bland and milquetoast as possible.
The upcoming edition shift does seem to be moving at least a little in a direction. Not sure if it's toward something or just away from what I'd prefer, but it does seem to be moving.
 


Argyle King

Legend
Which, to me, is an odd take. Because when I'm looking at 5E stuff I get no sense whatsoever that they're trying to have an opinion on how the game should be played. Quite the opposite. It's like they took pains to specifically avoid having any opinion at all how the game should be played. It vaguely waves at several disparate styles of play and does none of them well at all. A common refrain about 5E is that it's the 2nd best edition at several things but isn't the best at being anything except popular. It seems to entirely lack any defining identity whatsoever. I wish the game had some specific goal or identity it was pushing. At least then I could like it or dislike it for what it's trying to do. As it stands it seems to only want to be as bland and milquetoast as possible.

It could be that my perception is mistaken.

However -from answers to rules questions; what's considered "natural" language and intuitive; choices for how to errata or change something; an so-forth -my perception is that there is a particular way that the folks writing the game see it and use it.

If they do, I get the impression that their way differs greatly from pretty much any group with which I've game.

Certainly, there is a wide variety of approaches to rpgs. So, that's not unusual. But what sticks out in particular is some of the "fixes" and actual game design (rules errata, design of feats, changes in how the game works going forward) give the impression that I am playing the game very differently than how the people writing and designing it see it working.

I say that because some of the changes and "fixes" to things go in a direction which I don't feel addresses the underlying issue. So, I'm confused about how some of the improvements are seen as better.

It would help to understand the ideas behind why those changes are occurring. It's difficult to get excited about 5.1 when I feel as though I don't understand the mentality behind the design direction.

Occasionally, even when information is put out, I don't even feel like I'm speaking the same language (which has been true during late 4e and during most of 5e). The words being said seem to mean something different to the people saying the things than how I understand them as a listener.

Maybe that's an issue on my end. Either way, the result is that I have a lot of confusion and uncertainty about the product.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
It could be that my perception is mistaken.

However -from answers to rules questions; what's considered "natural" language and intuitive; choices for how to errata or change something; an so-forth -my perception is that there is a particular way that the folks writing the game see it and use it.

If they do, I get the impression that their way differs greatly from pretty much any group with which I've game.

Certainly, there is a wide variety of approaches to rpgs. So, that's not unusual. But what sticks out in particular is some of the "fixes" and actual game design (rules errata, design of feats, changes in how the game works going forward) give the impression that I am playing the game very differently than how the people writing and designing it see it working.

I say that because some of the changes and "fixes" to things go in a direction which I don't feel addresses the underlying issue. So, I'm confused about how some of the improvements are seen as better.

It would help to understand the ideas behind why those changes are occurring. It's difficult to get excited about 5.1 when I feel as though I don't understand the mentality behind the design direction.

Occasionally, even when information is put out, I don't even feel like I'm speaking the same language (which has been true during late 4e and during most of 5e). The words being said seem to mean something different to the people saying the things than how I understand them as a listener.

Maybe that's an issue on my end. Either way, the result is that I have a lot of confusion and uncertainty about the product.
That's the trouble with "natural" language. It's open to interpretation. The designers meant one thing but instead of flat out saying that they couched it in ambiguous "natural" language, which a lot of people interpret in a lot of different ways...so they have to come in and "fix" things that are due to people interpreting the "natural" language differently than they intended.

It's a game. It should be designed and written like a game. The rules should be explained like game rules typically are. The fluff can be as flowery and "natural" as they like.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
It could be that my perception is mistaken.

However -from answers to rules questions; what's considered "natural" language and intuitive; choices for how to errata or change something; an so-forth -my perception is that there is a particular way that the folks writing the game see it and use it.

If they do, I get the impression that their way differs greatly from pretty much any group with which I've game.

Certainly, there is a wide variety of approaches to rpgs. So, that's not unusual. But what sticks out in particular is some of the "fixes" and actual game design (rules errata, design of feats, changes in how the game works going forward) give the impression that I am playing the game very differently than how the people writing and designing it see it working.

I say that because some of the changes and "fixes" to things go in a direction which I don't feel addresses the underlying issue. So, I'm confused about how some of the improvements are seen as better.

It would help to understand the ideas behind why those changes are occurring. It's difficult to get excited about 5.1 when I feel as though I don't understand the mentality behind the design direction.

Occasionally, even when information is put out, I don't even feel like I'm speaking the same language (which has been true during late 4e and during most of 5e). The words being said seem to mean something different to the people saying the things than how I understand them as a listener.

Maybe that's an issue on my end. Either way, the result is that I have a lot of confusion and uncertainty about the product.
Completely agree. Some design insights in the books would be very much welcomed. Doing so when errata is released would also be nice.

One thing about 13th Age I really liked (even though I ultimately fell on the other side of that game) was that they made sure to explain, in the book, why they were making the decisions they were making. The fact that I didn't agree with most of those decisions was less important than that they justified them to me.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
That's the trouble with "natural" language. It's open to interpretation. The designers meant one thing but instead of flat out saying that they couched it in ambiguous "natural" language, which a lot of people interpret in a lot of different ways...so they have to come in and "fix" things that are due to people interpreting the "natural" language differently than they intended.

It's a game. It should be designed and written like a game. The rules should be explained like game rules typically are. The fluff can be as flowery and "natural" as they like.
I understand the appeal, but the trouble with separating lore and mechanics is, IMO, that it makes the mechanics far less interesting to read, which makes them less likely to be read, which defeats the purpose of having them. And the same thing happens to the lore, as disconnecting it from the rules makes a certain segment of players disregard it entirely.

In the end, the entire product becomes less appealing.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I understand the appeal, but the trouble with separating lore and mechanics is, IMO, that it makes the mechanics far less interesting to read, which makes them less likely to be read, which defeats the purpose of having them. And the same thing happens to the lore, as disconnecting it from the rules makes a certain segment of players disregard it entirely.

In the end, the entire product becomes less appealing.
As a counterpoint, most players and DMs don’t bother reading the rules now with their “more engaging” natural language. And many who do bother are confused by the ambiguity of the language. So it’s self-defeating. It’s more interesting, according to you, but if fails at the primary function which is to accurately convey rules information.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
As a counterpoint, most players and DMs don’t bother reading the rules now with their “more engaging” natural language. And many who do bother are confused by the ambiguity of the language. So it’s self-defeating. It’s more interesting, according to you, but if fails at the primary function which is to accurately convey rules information.
Well, it is just my opinion, but I found the 5e books far more readable than the 4e ones, and that's a big deal to me.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Well, it is just my opinion, but I found the 5e books far more readable than the 4e ones, and that's a big deal to me.
Sure. Everyone has their preferences. For me, clearly stated rules in a game book beat all other considerations. I found 4E to be fantastic for that, which made them more readable to me. I also liked the fluff a lot more than 5E. Far more actual lore, inspirational bits and bobs, adventure seeds, immediately useable content, etc.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Sure. Everyone has their preferences. For me, clearly stated rules in a game book beat all other considerations. I found 4E to be fantastic for that, which made them more readable to me. I also liked the fluff a lot more than 5E. Far more actual lore, inspirational bits and bobs, adventure seeds, immediately useable content, etc.
Totally. I feel that 2e did a better job with lore on every point you mentioned, for example. 4e lore was ok, but to me I would have preferred it for a different fantasy game.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
That's the trouble with "natural" language. It's open to interpretation. The designers meant one thing but instead of flat out saying that they couched it in ambiguous "natural" language, which a lot of people interpret in a lot of different ways...so they have to come in and "fix" things that are due to people interpreting the "natural" language differently than they intended.

It's a game. It should be designed and written like a game. The rules should be explained like game rules typically are. The fluff can be as flowery and "natural" as they like.
I would suspect that 'open for interpretation' is exactly what the designers want, because that way more people can make the rules the way they want it, rather that be beholden to one narrow and niche game play.

With hundreds of RPGs on the market, all catering to very specific people and game styles / genres... D&D is positioned as the big tent. And that's part of the reason why it can be as big as it is... since it can be anything to anybody.

The game right now has rules than can be interpreted as a game like you prefer. Not as airtight as you might want, but is doable. And you can bang them into a better shape for yourself if you feel you need to. But the rules are also open enough that those people who don't want the same sort of airtight mechanics that you want, can hammer them in the way they prefer as well. Again, not perfect... but doable.

And the reason we all do that hammering rather than find and play that one specific game that is 100% what we want is because I think we all actually like the idea of having a wider pool of people to game with. We like the varieties of D&D players we can sit down with and game with and enjoy playing with. That variety is the spice of life, so we swallow whatever distaste we might have for certain D&D styles and gameplay and stay with the game (or a variant of it). After all... we wouldn't all be here on this D&D message board if we didn't want to play it in some form or fashion. :)
 


Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I am not at all burned out on 5e. I've still never played a Barbarian, Paladin, Monk, or Warlock beyond a couple sessions. I'm still in two great campaigns per week.

For One D&D to grab me it just needs to be not a horrible disruption to what's already there. And so far the playtest isn't that. It's almost all improvements from what I've seen, though some of the nerfs are irritating. Nothing I've seen in there would turn me away from what I love about 5e.

As for adventures I actually think they've been doing very well on that front for a while now (with one exception). But I truly would like Greyhawk.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
5E's lack of solid rules is one of the reasons I've not wasted my time or money with it. If I'm making my own rules, I don't need to buy broken books.

Homewbrewers can homebrew, but you don't put that responsibility on people and then demand money for it.
Man how is this a plus thread with stuff like this? This is not the thread for you. Like, specifically, this isn't the place for this kind of stuff.
 

honestly, I would do the digital release first and keep it for levels 1-10.

Then once it's run through the basics, it would be easy to expand and/or have the books of a higher quality due to actual play feedback (it's easier to adjust after the fact).

5e currently seems to hit a wall after 10+ and knowing how the rules work before releasing it would help a lot to get high levels playable.
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
5E's lack of solid rules is one of the reasons I've not wasted my time or money with it. If I'm making my own rules, I don't need to buy broken books.

Homewbrewers can homebrew, but you don't put that responsibility on people and then demand money for it.
When D&D came out, I played it entirely RAW for a while just so I could get familiar with the rules as they were published before I started playing around with or tweaking them. In fact, I still play almost entirely RAW in the sense that my homebrew is mostly adding on certain down-time subsystems rather than changing any core mechanics.

My friends and I have enjoyed playing this "broken" game for nearly a decade.

If the game isn't fun for you to play then absolutely, no reason to buy it. But despite it being amenable to homebrewing, homebrewing is not required to play it.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
When D&D came out, I played it entirely RAW for a while just so I could get familiar with the rules as they were published before I started playing around with or tweaking them. In fact, I still play almost entirely RAW in the sense that my homebrew is mostly adding on certain down-time subsystems rather than changing any core mechanics.

My friends and I have enjoyed playing this "broken" game for nearly a decade.

If the game isn't fun for you to play then absolutely, no reason to buy it. But despite it being amenable to homebrewing, homebrewing is not required to play it.
You can play with anything, but there are fully-designed games out there, and I don't feel a need to waste my time and money on a half-baked product where I have to do extra work. If WotC decides to make being a DM obnoxious again, I will continue to contribute to the DM shortage. If they want my money, they need to sell me a product that actually has a RAW in the first place. This goes double for any design I'd do - I don't want to have to guess how the average DM fills in the blanks in the rules to design content for them to use those rules with.
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Reduce reliance on magic in all classes (a magic subclass is fine)
Make skills useful
Dont use spells when skills can do fine (eg Alarm - just make it a Skill use)
Use Feats to define Subclass features and let them be swappable.
Just use custom lineage with a series of background/heritage feats
Better monsters, logical CR, a way to add class and roles to creatures
Lairs for all creatures (ie monsters are just one possible component of an encounter)

and bring back Birthright* (though I’ve been looking the Duchy of Karameikos and thinking how it could be adapted as a domain-based game with PCs as Barons)
 

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