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What don't you like about D&D?


Urbannen said:
Law/Chaos alignment axis - completely meaningless except for spells and effects or as an add-on to the Good/Evil axis. I mean, how do Elves and Orcs share and alignment? Good and Evil are defined as moral choices, Law and Chaos are defined as a disparate group of personality tendancies.
No, they're defined as beliefs about how societies should operate. Law equals order and collectivism, Chaos equals freedom and individualism.

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First Post
Things I don’t like about D&D:

1. Hit points.
1. Non-scaling AC.
2. Armor that makes you harder to hit, instead of harder to hurt.
3. Fire & Forget magic.
4. Alignment.
5. AoOs (Or anything else that needlessly slows down combat.)
6. Three books needed to run a full game, as opposed to one core book.
7. Excessive prep time before playing.
8. The mere word “miniature” or anything resembling one.
9. The very notion of the PrC class.
10. The "Wal-Mart" feel of magic, and magic items.

Yeah, I used to bitch and moan and flail away at that dead horse.

Then, True20 came along and fixed every single one of the problems I had with D&D. I’m not joking or exaggerating- every single one. So, I shut the hell up, converted everything to True20, and have been contentedly emulating D&D ever since. I sometimes wish others would do the same (and no, that’s not directed to anyone in this online community, but rather to some specific people I know from the local hobby store.)

Now, there are some who would argue that what we are playing at that point “isn’t D&D.” I’m just thankful that I’m not one of those people as I prepare to kick in the next door, kill whatever is behind it, and loot the bodies afterwards all the while still vaguely trying to reason out an answer to the riddle we gave up on a floor earlier. In between turns, I catch up with my friends, laugh at them, laugh with them, and try hard to hang on to that last beer since GM bribery never goes out of style.

‘Cause that’s what D&D is to me.
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First Post
The Tolkienesque races, and gnomes: I prefer sword & sorcery (which typically has only humans) and anime/console RPG-style fantasy (which typically has strange races unique to a particular world/setting).

The wealth by level guidelines: Again, the types of fantasy I like don't 'do' the grab bag of equipment approach. One iconic item (usually a weapon) per PC is more than enough.

The lack of a strong 'drama point' or 'hero point' style mechanism: I like the ability to say, as a player, THIS action is important to me and/or my character, and I WILL succeed at it unless my opponent is willing to pony up the same level of commitment.

Alignment: Mostly a sword & sorcery vs. high fantasy thing, but I also don't care for the implementation, especially along the Law/Chaos axis.

Vancian magic: It was cool in The Dying Earth. I might give it the nod as the coolest implementation of a spellcasting system in a book, if only for the delightfully creative spell names. However, it's somewhat clunky, hard to explain to new players, and I'm sick of it. Ans while Gygax captured the Vancian feel in the early spell names, it's been a while since designers routinely did so. Also, from a game design perspective, I prefer 'per encounter' abilities.

Non-effects-based powers system: Since playing HERO, I can't help but prefer mechanics that say what a power/feat/spell/tech/etc. does in game terms, letting the player define the flavor. The 'grab bag of rules exceptions' approach to D&D spells seems untidy and inelegant.

Base 20 levels, and the significant change in feel between level 1 and level 20: Make mine 100 or 255. I want meaningful mechanical advancement at least once per session, without the feel of the game significantly changing over the course of, say, 26 sessions. Ideally, I want a typical campaign to go from level 5-10 to level 30-40, like in most console RPGs, without the flavor of the game changing a great deal.

Level Adjustment: Between the designers stated desire to err on the side of making LA races weak and the somewhat clunky mechanic itself, I'd love to see a better implementation. Which would be easier using a higher base number of levels! [/SUBTLE]

Campaigns that start at 1st level: The characters I'm interested in as adventurers wouldn't start "adventuring" in the D&D sense until they had several levels under their belts. If the game didn't change so dramatically, I might not mind this, but it's not like Spycraft where you can divorce 'power and experience relative to the wider world' from 'character level.'

Ability scores instead of ability modifiers: The scores are an anachronism and only get in the way. True20 demonstrates that dropping them is essentially harmless.


First Post
The thing I hate most? The fans. Well, not all fans, but mostly those who engage in ridiculous wars and campaigns of hatemongering, i.e. those who bash this edition or that (or claim that it isn't what it clearly is), those who bash this game or that, those who bash this campaign setting or that, those who bash this race or that (I wouldn't blink if someone started expressing hatred towards this die or that. Excapt the hate of d02, of course, which know no limit ;) )

Then there are some parts in the rules that could use some more evolving, but by and large it's a fine system. Not perfect, but what ever is?


First Post
DMH said:
That a single person can go hand to hand with a dragon 50 feet long and win (that number dropped at lot as I thought about it).
same with human vs giant
and halfling vs human

skilled person versus one size larger, maybe
but when an elephant wants you dead, you die

oh, and halflings having as many hitpoints as humans


First Post
Felnar said:
same with human vs giant
and halfling vs human

skilled person versus one size larger, maybe
but when an elephant wants you dead, you die

oh, and halflings having as many hitpoints as humans

There is a great misconception about HP on this thread and in general all over this website - does everyone think that HP are LIFE.
Hit Points are a combination of things stamina/life/endurance/absorption/ability to dodge even armour class and constitution even though they have separate scores.

Halflings can have as many Hit Points as a Human. Why? Because they might be able to dodge blows better - and they generally do.

A human can take on a Dragon, he won't necessarily win - and if any DM uses a Dragon tactically 90% of the time the Dragon would win. Why don't I throw Dragons in my adventures? Because if I did - the party would die. That is why the dragon stands as the pinnacle of monsters.

You don't want to play Dragons that strong! Don't complain.

My main problem with D&D

Endless Prestige Classes

Its not the skills, feats, classes that cause the problem - it that magic at high levels is very definitive. Magic defines the type of campaign, setting, difficulty, power of the PCs, Monsters - Magic.
When it comes to work - Magic in all its aspects messes the DM - items, monsters, powers, spells.

My hate with Prestige Class - too many endless near useless books of emplty pages and there examples thereof, what a waste of space and money.
Rather a book with feats for various settings, expansion on skills such as profession and craft, some of the knowledges, more monster racial books like they did with Undead and Dragons, Illithids and Beholders.
Give us the feats - we'll customise our prestige classes - just give us ideas(2-3 paragraphs) with basic templates - not a full drawn up imbalanced 700 prestige classes with 2-3 page examples.


http://www.enworld.org/showthread.php?t=184734 #70


Arr Matey!

What I no be liking about D&D...

First, let us be addressing what others have mentioned...

  • Levels - They are a nice way to gauge the power of characters. Are they really needed? No, not really. But then the game really isn't roleplaying/storyteller centered either, like other games out there. After all, if you put up one character against another that has gained enough experience to make a starting character three times over, how do you describe them? Not to mention, it will make those lame-posterior roleplaying stories about your character that I really don't care about that much shorter. I'd rather hear: "My character is a 23rd level gnome wizard/fighter/barbarian/ranger/monk/rogue, who has a staff. The staff of power...and he was turned into an undead lich because of the staff." than to listen to: "My character is pretty powerful. But not as powerful as my friend Petey's character. My character is a gnome and I spent a lot of points on first starting as a barbarian, but then I picked up some ranger abilities, and then thought I would be a rogue, or a fighter, but I couldn't decide. So, I did a little of both. I really wanted to be able to backstab people. Then I decided I wanted to be able to cast magic, so I became a wizard...and he has this staff... the staff of power... and he was turned into an undead lick because of the staff... and..."

    My biggest problem with levels really isn't the levels themselves; but how they are perceived. I've mentioned this before. But too often I see people thinking that at 1st level they are full-formed hero. Where the world is populated with NPCs that are 1st to 3rd level. I think this is wrong. I think it's better to consider levels 1-9 as pre-master. With 10th level being the first level of full capable master of whatever class/profession that you choose to be. Why? Well, just look at the numbers. How many skill ranks do you think an average person would need to be a capable person in a given profession? What would the BAB be for someone who can take on the combative challenges of the world?

  • AC Progression - I too agree that there should be some sort of progression. So, I can get better in hitting things, but I can't get better in avoiding to be hit? Unless I have magick? Not very realistic if you ask me. That's why I use the AC progression that other d20 games use, that's in WotC:UA. If need be, I make it non-stackable with armour AC.

  • Vancian "fire and forget" Magick - I don't like it either. It's more restrictive than it is flexible, and the addition of the Sorcerer just emphasizes that more. I don’t think it really add flavour to the game, just frustration and restriction. Personally, in my own game, I like all the other magick variant systems that are out there, and have adopted the idea that different cultures have developed different magick systems. As such, in some places, their wizards might be much more superior to the wizards of another region.

    WayneLigon raised the point that balance would be lost if players were allowed to engineer their own spells. I don’t believe so. Look at Ars Magica, or something of a similar vane in d20, the Elements of Magic book, or Chaos Magic. With a good rule system, spells would then be measured against each other, and could easily use a d20 mechanic to make it balanced.

  • Inflated Numbers - Yeah, the game does have some ridiculous numbers when it comes to higher levels. But that is the price we have to pay when you want to play a hero. Now, I’d love to run/play a game with a laptop. Because there are some nice programmes out there that manage things, and I’d really like to put some programmes through their paces, that only the strains of a tabletop game can do. But that’s a completely different topic.

  • Preparation – Preparation of a game, especially for the DM can be greatly time consuming. Everyone knows that. I just wish more people would be more sharing and open with their resources. DMs that have run a campaign, and probably aren’t going to run it again: Post the outline, or whatever, on the net. Share. I’d love to see places like d20 Wiki and other wiki’s get some more love. Especially Jürgen Hubert’s d20NPC Wiki. I’d love to see people sharing their characters and NPCs at d20 NPC Wiki more often.

  • Shields and Helmets – Helmets, I’ve houseruled in the past, when I was running AD&D, gave a +1 to AC. Then I believe that it was put into one of the books somewhere. But for the most part, I don’t really have a problem with the lack of them since D&D doesn’t do hit locations. As for shields though, I seriously think that they should have higher numbers. Someone can’t seriously tell me that on average, a typical shield only decreases (at best) your chances to be hit by 10%.

    Personally, I houseruled that all shields have double AC, except for bucklers. So, bucklers: +1, small/light shields: +2, large/heavy shields: +4, tower shields: +8. Does it make shields more effective? Heck yeah! But I think that’s the way it should be.

  • Classes, (Prestige and Otherwise) - I too would rather see a flexible system for designing characters. Pick some skills, pick some feats. Pick some abilities. Voilá, a unique character. Now, I don't mind if you outline what you think is a 'fighter', and you can come up with all the nice new shiny prestige classes in all the new books. But the problem I see is that nothing really goes by the numbers. There is the allusion that there is balance in the classes, but we all know there isn't. You want to play a character that has great saves, great BAB, great skill points? Pay for it. Then have the XP costs per level reflect it.

    Spending 'points' to pick up the abilities/feats/skills you want in a completely flexible system. Hey, it's been done, and if anyone really wanted that level of complication, then those third party supplements would be a lot more popular. Does it make the game better to let people choose what they want in a character? Yes and no. Too often I see people labour over making their characters, and take a few hours over picking just the right feats. Just making the game that much more flexible, without streamlining the process is just going to make it that much more agonizing for DMs.

  • Mechanics -- A lot of the mechanics I don’t like. Like the undead turning mechanic, or the Death at -10. But there are variant mechanics for them out there, and easy enough to adopt for your own game.

  • Skill & Skill Points -- I just don’t think skills are done well in the d20 system. There is little consistency on how class-skills are assigned to classes. I also think that some of the classes themselves really have too few skill points. Then your left with one or to characters being the possessors of needed skills for an adventure. (Then I see people argue that the INT bonus justifies the fact that a character doesn’t have that many skill points per level.

    No one ever bothers with cross-class skills, unless it’s part of the character concept, because the cost is too high to the character. Spending what few points they have just to keep a handful of class skills relevant.

Arashi Ravenblade, you say the game doesn’t have enough rules and options. Well, first… I’d consider rules and options to be diametrically opposed to each other. However, I am curious. What rules would you like to see?


First Post
My main dislike of the 3.5 system is the shallow level advancement. People advance too quickly, particularly at higher levels. Next time I run a game, I'll attempt to change this by going to 1000 XP to 2nd level and then 1.6 times the XP needed for current level to go to the next. Provides for quick advancement through lower levels and then slows down dramatically later.

painandgreed said:
People advance too quickly, particularly at higher levels.

I've found that an easier solution to this is:

1) Enforce verisimilitude by reducing the number of level-appropriate challenges as players increase in level; just because you've gained 6 levels doesn't mean all the kobolds in the world turn into ogres and young dragons. This keeps things a little more realistic, as well as allowing players to actually feel like badasses from time to time. :)

2) Apply a modifier to the XP awarded; this has the advantage of being really easy to calculate and rather invisible to the players. It's also easy to alter if, later on, you'd like to pick up the pace a bit.

By far, however, the easiest solution is to change to a "You level up when I decide you do" system, but that generally requires a measure of player trust. If you've got it, then ramp them up relatively quickly to your favorite level range, and then just slow things down.


First Post
Patryn of Elvenshae said:
I've found that an easier solution to this is:

1) Enforce verisimilitude by reducing the number of level-appropriate challenges as players increase in level; just because you've gained 6 levels doesn't mean all the kobolds in the world turn into ogres and young dragons.

And gives them a reason to go to other planes, where high-CR creatures are more common. :)

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