What game mechanics when introduced were absolutely hated?

Celebrim

Legend
Yes, as I was alluding, the introduction of cantrips in UA was hated by most people, and then gradually became an accepted part of the game.

Pretty much the definition of what the OP is looking for, n'est-ce pas?
I thought you were implying that cantrips themselves as a concept where hated, and I can't remember anyone who didn't think they were really cool, just not worth ever taking.
 
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lowkey13

Guest
I thought you were implying that cantrips themselves as a concept where hated, and I can't remember anyone who didn't think they were really cool, just not worth ever taking.
I think people hated them for different reasons; some because the implementation was terrible. Some because they hated the concept. Some because Clerics didn't get their own orisons (but see Dragon 108).

But they are a great example of a concept that was universally panned when introduced for multiple reasons that became part of D&D.*


*I will continue to state that the only good thing to come from UA is the Pole Arm appendix T, but that is my opinion.
 

Celebrim

Legend
*I will continue to state that the only good thing to come from UA is the Pole Arm appendix T, but that is my opinion.
It's a defensible one in retrospect. Certainly in hindsight I'm a lot less happy with UA than I was at the time it came out. There are a ton of cool ideas there, but the implementation is often lacking, and there is a ton of power creep that pretty much broke the game as written.

In particular, I'm convinced weapon specialization did nothing good for the game, and of course the Cavalier was just a straight up better fighter and broke the Paladin.

I think that cantrips are a sound concept that was needed, but the implementation was lacking. I think there are a handful of spells in the extended spell list UA introduced that are worthwhile and have deservedly stuck around. I don't mind the non-human pantheons, but I could totally understand if someone felt there should be a single pantheon for all races. Expanded magic items were for the most part nice, and there is no more cheese in the expanded list than in the original.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I personally differentiate cantrips from at-will battle magic, 4e had that but it also had something else quite distinct which were actually called cantrips these were not very good at all in battle (though you might improvise things once in a while) they were highly versatile low impact simple magics that were great for flavor they could be very much seen as improvisational because of the versatility but they also had a few which were a once per encounter ability.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
RuneQuest was where I first seen at-will battle magic in the 1970s and rituals. They did not have daily magics but they did have rituals which were limited in ways like once a month or once a year or on a specific lunar phase and the like.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
User experience improvements like ascending armor classes, simplified initiatives, casting times, and actions, unified XP tables, unified stat bonus tables.
All of those have been excoriated by at least someone complaining about the designers "dumbing down" the game. Yet here we are with most of them pretty routinely accepted. There are occasional holdouts who will wave a standard for a more... esoteric... design, but they are largely ignored by designers looking to keep the game accessible.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
User experience improvements like ascending armor classes, simplified initiatives, casting times, and actions, unified XP tables, unified stat bonus tables.
All of those have been excoriated by at least someone complaining about the designers "dumbing down" the game. Yet here we are with most of them pretty routinely accepted. There are occasional holdouts who will wave a standard for a more... esoteric... design, but they are largely ignored by designers looking to keep the game accessible.
I didn't see many complaints about those things when 3e came out. As someone who decided to largely skip 3e (only playing it when it was the only game around) and stuck with AD&D, it wasn't unified tables or ascending AC that people seemed to complain about. It was the required system mastery, the implication that magic wish lists were now mandatory, and the mountain of extra work a DM had to do, especially when statting up monsters or homebrew monsters (monsters as classes), and the huge numbers bloat that dragged down combat speed (different bonuses for each attack, tracking statuses, etc).
 
Attacks of opportunity in D&D 3e spring to mind for my group. For us, it felt very restrictive, stifling creativity. Heck, years later, when playing Pathfinder, I remember a session at a con where most of the PCs finished a fight with a boss while prone because none of us wanted to trigger the AOO from standing up.

Going to the original Mage: The Ascension, my group did not like Paradox. Yes, we knew it was part of the theme of the game, but it also felt frustrating to have this wonderfully creative spell system, but be bound to have everything appear mundane, lest you invoke Paradox. So in essence, they used their magic to just cause countless electrical malfunctions.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Attacks of opportunity in D&D 3e spring to mind for my group. For us, it felt very restrictive, stifling creativity. Heck, years later, when playing Pathfinder, I remember a session at a con where most of the PCs finished a fight with a boss while prone because none of us wanted to trigger the AOO from standing up.
1e had attacks of opportunity and flanking. They didnt call the AOO but I do not think it got into the detail level of standing up causing them.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I personally differentiate cantrips from at-will battle magic...
I'm mostly fine with that distinction.

It turns out that the least disruptive at will form of magic is one that replicates a basic attack (preferably requiring a focus of some sort that is effectively a weapon). And I'm not really bothered by the 'pew pew'.

Where at-will magic becomes a problem is when it can repeatedly at no cost do something that "muggles" can't do repeatedly at no cost. In most games "muggles" can go stabby stabby all day long, so the fact that you can let lose with a roman candle or a cloud of sparks isn't a big deal. But if you can, for example, create water or light or any other valuable resource at will, that's a big deal and it changes what sort of challenges are meaningful.

How much this is a problem was really brought home when we switched from my 3.25e D&D homebrew system, to Pathfinder to give me a break from GMing, and the novice GM running Pathfinder is continually cursing both how the cantrips work in practice, and how inelegantly the writers for the system deal with the existence of limitless magic.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'm mostly fine with that distinction.

It turns out that the least disruptive at will form of magic is one that replicates a basic attack (preferably requiring a focus of some sort that is effectively a weapon). And I'm not really bothered by the 'pew pew'.
Some of the later at-will magics in 4e became more dramatic... technically one of those was like the effect of a very good intimidate attack. ( a DM might allow it )

Where at-will magic becomes a problem is when it can repeatedly at no cost do something that "muggles" can't do repeatedly at no cost. In most games "muggles" can go stabby stabby all day long, so the fact that you can let lose with a roman candle or a cloud of sparks isn't a big deal. But if you can, for example, create water or light or any other valuable resource at will, that's a big deal and it changes what sort of challenges are meaningful.
Faerie water tastes nice convinces someones body for a moment or two to get up when they are dying of dehydration but lasts only a short bit (rather granting a few temp hit points against heat damage).

How much this is a problem was really brought home when we switched from my 3.25e D&D homebrew system, to Pathfinder to give me a break from GMing, and the novice GM running Pathfinder is continually cursing both how the cantrips work in practice, and how inelegantly the writers for the system deal with the existence of limitless magic.
I think the 4e writers were pretty careful in most cases ... rituals with long term effect like food creation cost money to do for instance.
 
That it did, though it was mostly semi-nebulous stuff like "if your opponent turns their back and flees rather than cautiously withdrawing, you get a free attack." I recall it only coming up when an opponent failed a Morale check.

In any case, the proliferation of AOOs in 3e was something my group did not care for, and certainly was one of the things that caused us to move to Castles & Crusades instead back then.

1e had attacks of opportunity and flanking. They didnt call the AOO but I do not think it got into the detail level of standing up causing them.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That it did, though it was mostly semi-nebulous stuff like "if your opponent turns their back and flees rather than cautiously withdrawing, you get a free attack." I recall it only coming up when an opponent failed a Morale check.
Major difference I think what made it nebulous was little of it was written as player facing rules or clearly for that matter.
 

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