D&D 5E What (if anything) do you find "wrong" with 5E?

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
My father was the type of guy who believed in learning by doing. That's why when I was 5 he tossed me into the deep end of the pool; so he could learn CPR.

My father always told me that laughter was the best form of medicine. Which, now that I think of it, is probably why all of my siblings died of tuberculosis.
 

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Medic

Neutral Evil
Those D&D tropes are based on those fantasy works popular around the time of D&D's creation and initial popularity.

It's why Paladin is a base class and Elf is a playable race out the PHB and not Ninja and Asgardian.
Merlin, Prospero, Soumaoro, Circe, Mimir, all predate Gandalf, and every character I just mentioned, in D&D terms, vaguely inhabits the "wizard" archetype.

Despite this, no iteration of Dungeons & Dragons™ could successfully approximate them in play. They are inspirations that the game draws from, yes, but the actual Wizard class as it exists is unique and does not functionally resemble any of them. The D&D Wizard's "trope" is "D&D Wizard." Repeat ad nauseum for every class.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Merlin, Prospero, Soumaoro, Circe, Mimir, all predate Gandalf, and every character I just mentioned, in D&D terms, vaguely inhabits the "wizard" archetype.

Despite this, no iteration of Dungeons & Dragons™ could successfully approximate them in play. They are inspirations that the game draws from, yes, but the actual Wizard class as it exists is unique and does not functionally resemble any of them. The D&D Wizard's "trope" is "D&D Wizard." Repeat ad nauseum for every class.

Exactly.


The point is ... of the original AD&D classes, only three* were based on any specific antecedent (as opposed to general tropes)-

The Ranger (Strider)
The Paladin (Three Hearts, Three Lions)
The Monk (Remo Williams)

....and none of them were actually very good at capturing the specific antecedent.


*The Cleric was generally based on a Van Helsing idea from Hammer Horror films, but was transmogrified prior to publication with Gygax additions, so it's hard to really determine.
 



Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Absolutely true--but if anything, that tends to work a bit against the D&D trope of separating of spellcasters from others.

This is true of legends and myths as well.. For instance the ancient greeks and celts I would say skill was allowed to accomplish what we would call impossible things
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Merlin, Prospero, Soumaoro, Circe, Mimir, all predate Gandalf, and every character I just mentioned, in D&D terms, vaguely inhabits the "wizard" archetype.

Despite this, no iteration of Dungeons & Dragons™ could successfully approximate them in play. They are inspirations that the game draws from, yes, but the actual Wizard class as it exists is unique and does not functionally resemble any of them. The D&D Wizard's "trope" is "D&D Wizard." Repeat ad nauseum for every class.

Again the point is not to recreate perfectly or nearly archetypes.

It's to earnestly take inspiration from the media that the new players of 5e generation would know and be popular with and to analyze the trends of popular fantasy of the various demographics of D&D players.

Not to half-ass the attempt to understand popular things or to make poor attempts to fit in like Buscemi's character in 30 Rock.

Because some new players once they learn the game chaff with the D&D tropes and desire to change them.

If the goal of 5e is to get everyone to buy the PHB, DMG, MM,. Xanatars and Tasha's then a huge chunk of them bounce to another system, buy only unofficial product, or leave the hobby, 5e is great.

Because of all the under 30 D&D players l've played 5e with, only one still has any official setting or adventure books past the starter set.
 



James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Is there any reason, at all, to suppose that what "newbies like" is in any way consistent. Rather than varying dramatically, just like what veterans want is all over the map.


What's the Paladin, chopped liver?


No, it is not confusing the issue; it is the issue. An untrained character in 4e adds half their level. Dividing that by two would imply that a non-proficient character would add level over four, but they add nothing. Level/4 != 0, and therefore it is not true that 5e maths is 4e maths divided by two. QED.


Wait, what? There may not be elves or orcs, but there are ogier and shadowspawn. Magic is not (universally) ritualistic; weaves can be cast in seconds and can be extremely powerful, allowing the caster to obliterate enemies, physically enter dreams, and even have effects backwards through time. And most importantly, it culminates with a battle outside of reality (kinda) between the chief protagonist and the actual god of evil.. WoT is plenty high fantasy. EDIT: Wheel of Time is plenty high fantasy. World of Tiers may well not be (never heard of it). Sorry for the misunderstanding! :oops: :(
World of Tiers and Chronicles of Amber are multiverse spanning stories that switch between fighting aliens with rayguns, monsters out of myth with swords, and everything in between, with protagonists who are larger than life (and in the case of Amber, are basically demigods).
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
While D&D is bad at modeling anything that isn't D&D, it's history is littered with attempts to do so, and further, the Players Handbook usually tells people "you can make any kind of hero you want". 2e was notorious in this respect, since the beginning of each class description offered up literary and mythological characters as being represented by that class. Most of whom the class utterly failed at representing.

People belly up to the game all the time wanting to play some specific character they have envisioned with the belief that D&D will somehow support it- but it doesn't. Like Snarf keeps saying, D&D only really supports D&D.

I saw a lot of strange AD&D characters made before people really grokked that. Now we can wish D&D was different, and better captured other kinds of fantasy, but WotC will only do that if that's where the money is.

Thus, in the end, you need a new game (or a hack of 5e).

The reason I brought up Appendix E is because, while D&D is inspired by many of those fantasy stories (and some are in turn, inspired by D&D), none of them (yes not even Dragonlance and the Drizzt books) are accurate depictions of D&D.

There should be some kind of disclaimer, because otherwise, a new player might got "Ooh, I can play Mat Cauthon or Sparhawk in D&D!" only to find out...no, not really.
 


Hussar

Legend
I think ultimately, a lot of the arguing about the game's mechanics come down to the very basic argument about what D&D is.

Is D&D a gritty, low magic game where an arrow is a serious threat to most people, and magic is rare and little understood?

Is D&D a high magic game of floating castles and dragons, with powerful artifacts and reality warping magic available to players?

Is D&D a simulation, trying to map rules to some vague sense of verisimilitude?

Or is D&D a game, trying to make rules that are fun and allow for epic shenanigans?

The answer is, all of the above. Any given version of the game attempts to fulfill all of these visions simultaneously. In the 1e DMG, Gary Gygax stated that D&D is not a simulation, and anyone thinking it was or should be was crazy. But at the same time, he crafted a great many rules in order to bind D&D to a medieval-inspired world of castles and hamlets, where wizards were inscrutable, and adventurers very mortal (even as he filled the DMG with fantastical magic items and artifacts, and the PHB with 9 levels of miraculous spells).

The players have argued about what D&D is ever since it's conception. Is it a wargame where you take control not of armies or even squads, but lone heroes?

Is it a game about a group working together to create amazing stories?

The reality is- all of the above. But as long as opposing viewpoints about what the game is (or should be, in their opinion) persist, of course we're going to quibble about whether or not Fighters should be more fantastical or if there's a problem with out of combat healing or if Wizards need to be limited to 3rd level spells.

I've long held the belief that spellcasters are really strong in 5e, despite attempts to ratchet them down in power from 3.5...and yet, recently in a thread about lightning bolt, of all things, I saw some well-reasoned arguments that implied that spellcasters are...not strong enough, of all things, due to limited high level spell slots, spells not improving on their own, and upcasting being weak!

And it made me stop and realize that complaints and debates about the game will never cease, and continue probably until the heat death of the universe, since there's no way we can ever come to any consensus about what D&D actually is.

It’s almost like DnD is … incoherent.

runs and hides
 

If the goal of 5e is to get everyone to buy the PHB, DMG, MM,. Xanatars and Tasha's then a huge chunk of them bounce to another system, buy only unofficial product, or leave the hobby, 5e is great.
There's often debates on forums about whether the popularity of 5e is good for the hobby as a whole, that is, whether the intense interest in 5e creates opportunity for third party creators and creators of different games. You seem to be saying yes, which in my view is a good thing. Dnd covers a niche of fantasy, tropes that may have been based in Appendix N + LOTR, but that is now largely self-referential. If you want other genres--super hero fantasy, urban heists, lovecraftian cosmic horror--try other systems. I don't know that this is the aim of WOTC as a corporation, but if this is what it models for the hobby I'm cool with it.

When I was a youth I of course had all the dnd stuff, but I got Palladium's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other Strangeness. I'm sure I could have made 2e do a TMNT game, but it wasn't something I expected or required from the game.

btw, it's not like LOTR-style fantasy died after 2005; the movies are still popular and they are making a tv show. Moreover, Baldur's Gate 3 will be coming out...sometime...as will the dnd movie. And of course, there is critical role. If any younger fans get into the game via any of that media, they will find exactly what they are looking for.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
If we're picking a target for now, getting to Captain America level doesn't seem that unpopular on here anyway:

View attachment 258008
I actually asked a player today:

Do you think Captain America could defeat a T-Rex?

His answer was "Hell, yes!"
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
There's often debates on forums about whether the popularity of 5e is good for the hobby as a whole, that is, whether the intense interest in 5e creates opportunity for third party creators and creators of different games. You seem to be saying yes, which in my view is a good thing. Dnd covers a niche of fantasy, tropes that may have been based in Appendix N + LOTR, but that is now largely self-referential. If you want other genres--super hero fantasy, urban heists, lovecraftian cosmic horror--try other systems. I don't know that this is the aim of WOTC as a corporation, but if this is what it models for the hobby I'm cool with it.

I actually don't want to add more subgenres to D&D, just to make serious attempts at the genres it claims to incorporate and allow.

The point was that D&D was always about dipping its toe into other forms, styles,and genres of fantasy. Not go fully into it but sprinkle a bit here and there. Dip a foot into the pool to pull out new monsters, races, and PC options.

5th edition is just the first edition to be officially squeamish about the pool and shove 90% of wetness to 3PP.

Then you get what the nice percentage of the Spelljammer: AoS reviews state "It's nice but plays too safe and has too little content"
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
While D&D is bad at modeling anything that isn't D&D, it's history is littered with attempts to do so, and further, the Players Handbook usually tells people "you can make any kind of hero you want". 2e was notorious in this respect, since the beginning of each class description offered up literary and mythological characters as being represented by that class. Most of whom the class utterly failed at representing.

People belly up to the game all the time wanting to play some specific character they have envisioned with the belief that D&D will somehow support it- but it doesn't. Like Snarf keeps saying, D&D only really supports D&D.

I saw a lot of strange AD&D characters made before people really grokked that. Now we can wish D&D was different, and better captured other kinds of fantasy, but WotC will only do that if that's where the money is.

Thus, in the end, you need a new game (or a hack of 5e).

The reason I brought up Appendix E is because, while D&D is inspired by many of those fantasy stories (and some are in turn, inspired by D&D), none of them (yes not even Dragonlance and the Drizzt books) are accurate depictions of D&D.

There should be some kind of disclaimer, because otherwise, a new player might got "Ooh, I can play Mat Cauthon or Sparhawk in D&D!" only to find out...no, not really.
Someone mentioned earlier that all of 3.x's classes & PrCs & feats did a pretty ok job at making a player feel like they could. The fact that the two almost always came with requirements to be met before a PC would qualify for starting to take them meant that a player could start. Having to find meet & possibly plan towards those requirements would cause the player looking to realize "no not really not quite" or "well sorta but it won't be worth it by then" were not just because the GM was a big meanie who wouldn't let them be awesome like the PHB hints that they should be able to. Now 5e sets up the GM to build the bucket freeze the ice fill the bucket with icewater & douse the excited player in icewater of their own crafting all while the phb is telling them to let their imagination run free with your story.

edit: The PrC bingo may have had faults of its own but 5e choosing to get rid of things like prerequisites while using monolithic one & done prereq free class/subclass structure has pretty significant faults that get dumped on the GM
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
While D&D is bad at modeling anything that isn't D&D, it's history is littered with attempts to do so, and further, the Players Handbook usually tells people "you can make any kind of hero you want". 2e was notorious in this respect, since the beginning of each class description offered up literary and mythological characters as being represented by that class. Most of whom the class utterly failed at representing.

People belly up to the game all the time wanting to play some specific character they have envisioned with the belief that D&D will somehow support it- but it doesn't. Like Snarf keeps saying, D&D only really supports D&D.

I saw a lot of strange AD&D characters made before people really grokked that. Now we can wish D&D was different, and better captured other kinds of fantasy, but WotC will only do that if that's where the money is.

Thus, in the end, you need a new game (or a hack of 5e).

The reason I brought up Appendix E is because, while D&D is inspired by many of those fantasy stories (and some are in turn, inspired by D&D), none of them (yes not even Dragonlance and the Drizzt books) are accurate depictions of D&D.

There should be some kind of disclaimer, because otherwise, a new player might got "Ooh, I can play Mat Cauthon or Sparhawk in D&D!" only to find out...no, not really.
And 3e was the best edition for letting you do it. Between the dozens of classes, hundreds of prestige classes, hundreds of feats and myriad of skills, you could make almost any concept you could think of.
 

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