What criticisms do you have for current or previously used systems?

What criticisms do you have for current or previously used systems?

  • (Combat) Combat too “ad hoc” or “hand wavy”

    Votes: 3 8.3%
  • (Combat) Combat too slow/involved/complex

    Votes: 16 44.4%
  • (Combat) Inaccurate challenge ratings

    Votes: 12 33.3%
  • (Combat) Overly “cinematic” combat

    Votes: 2 5.6%
  • (Combat) Overly “realistic” combat

    Votes: 5 13.9%
  • (Combat) Overly combat focused

    Votes: 10 27.8%
  • (Combat) Overly tactical combat

    Votes: 8 22.2%
  • (Core Rules) Balance issues

    Votes: 9 25.0%
  • (Core Rules) Dice system (dice pools, specialty dice, number of dice types used)

    Votes: 4 11.1%
  • (Core Rules) Excessive work required to build adventures

    Votes: 9 25.0%
  • (Core Rules) Incongruent incentives for advancement

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • (Core Rules) Insufficient risk/danger to PCs

    Votes: 9 25.0%
  • (Core Rules) Lack of “fail forward” mechanic

    Votes: 5 13.9%
  • (Core Rules) Lack of skill synergy

    Votes: 5 13.9%
  • (Core Rules) Lack of subsystems for non-combat play

    Votes: 15 41.7%
  • (Core Rules) Lack of system for character personality, motivations, nature, goals (e.g. BIFT, Passio

    Votes: 4 11.1%
  • (Core Rules) Lacks horizontal character growth

    Votes: 10 27.8%
  • (Core Rules) Overly dangerous/deadly to PCs

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • (Core Rules) Overly reliant on a DM/GM/referee

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • (Core Rules) Overly reliant on modifiers/math

    Votes: 8 22.2%
  • (Core Rules) Roleplay too systemized

    Votes: 3 8.3%
  • (Core Rules) Simplistic pass/fail mechanics

    Votes: 9 25.0%
  • (Core Rules) Skill list overly big/long/specialized

    Votes: 9 25.0%
  • (Core Rules) Starting PCs are too powerful

    Votes: 5 13.9%
  • (Core Rules) Starting PCs not powerful enough

    Votes: 5 13.9%
  • (Core Rules) System not scalable for different party sizes

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • (Core Rules) Unclear roles and constraints between GM and players at the table

    Votes: 4 11.1%
  • (Core Rules) Unclear, inconsistent or overly involved subsystems (skills, spells, saving throws, mon

    Votes: 10 27.8%
  • (Dynamics) Lack of mechanics for pushing story narrative

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • (Dynamics) Overemphasis on roleplay

    Votes: 1 2.8%
  • (Dynamics) Rules effects need to better represent other media (TV, film, books, comics)

    Votes: 3 8.3%
  • (Dynamics) Rules effects overly represent other media (TV, film, books, comics)

    Votes: 1 2.8%
  • (Dynamics) Rules feel overly heavy/crunchy

    Votes: 9 25.0%
  • (Dynamics) Rules feel overly light/barebones

    Votes: 11 30.6%
  • (Dynamics) Style over substance

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • (Dynamics) System doesn’t fit the setting well

    Votes: 8 22.2%
  • (Dynamics) System tended to result in GM as sole storyteller

    Votes: 4 11.1%
  • (Dynamics) Underemphasis on roleplay

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • (Rulebook) Art, layout, editing, writing

    Votes: 7 19.4%
  • (Rulebook) Not enough advice for GMs creating their own adventures

    Votes: 8 22.2%
  • (Rulebook) Rule explanations are unclear

    Votes: 13 36.1%
  • (Rulebook) Rules are poorly organized/hard to find

    Votes: 20 55.6%
  • (Rulebook) Rules feel incomplete

    Votes: 12 33.3%
  • (Rulebook) System needs more content (subclasses, adventures, systems)

    Votes: 6 16.7%
  • (Social) Difficult to shift mindset from previous system(s)

    Votes: 2 5.6%
  • (Social) Missed access to IP resources from other systems (iconic monsters, spells)

    Votes: 2 5.6%
  • (Social) Prefer GMless group story building

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • (Social) System fatigue

    Votes: 4 11.1%
  • Other (describe below):

    Votes: 3 8.3%
  • (Dynamics) Overemphasis on “story”

    Votes: 5 13.9%
  • (Dynamics) Overemphasis on “realism”

    Votes: 4 11.1%

Thomas Shey

Legend
Sure I also notice a lot of "Insert game does X in a Y way, but I prefer X done in a Z way; therefore insert game sucks". Having some awareness about your preferences is a good thing.

Yeah, at the least you ought to do "insert game does X in a Y way, and that just doesn't work for me".
 

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Anyone designing a game might care more about some feedback than others, but it's still useful to know what larger groups of people are griping about. It's even useful to know that fewer people are griping about "X" if you are designing for a particular niche.

To take this comment as an excuse to muse on a something peculiar about how online people tend to react to my game, I spend a lot of time reading different forums and subreddits and what have you.

As a would be game designer, I take to heart the advice to stay engaged with your intended audience, and as such, when I read a great mass of discussions about 5e in particular, there's a lot of common trends that become apparent.

5e's lack of meaningful procedures and rules for things like Exploration, or Crafting, are a common complaint people say they'd wish was different, up to and including saying it should be just as indepth as Combat is. There's a lot of want and desire for just more in that game.

And yet, often when my game, which is trying to go just that far in delivering relatively equal depth across all of its experiences, is exposed to others online, its been rejected, with some even going as far as to say that no one actually wants a game like that.

Course, the caveat is that I have yet to actually run into anybody, online or in real life, who was a 5e person, that talked to me about my game and what they can do in it that wasn't enthusiastically supportive.

Around 100ish people have played Labyrinthian in its proto-state and the bulk of those were coming direct from 5e, with a handful having it be their first RPG experience ever, and while there was some reservations about certain things, I've yet to run into any actual dislike for what the game is doing, other than from online people.

So I suppose the point of this musing is, it is important to listen to people and what they're clamoring for, and I think some don't really want to listen to 5e players.
 

So I suppose the point of this musing is, it is important to listen to people and what they're clamoring for, and I think some don't really want to listen to 5e players.
That's a good point, and a bit why I took particular systems out of the equation and tried to be as generic as possible in this. It's still hard to get out from behind the IP Wars and just get to what people actually are looking for in their systems, but people like to revert to their IP or "GNS" stance and do battle there.

This poll's gripe list might skew a bit toward D&D gripes simply because it has more players, but I think the generic complaints about system are still worth looking at.
 
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