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


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Hussar

Legend
I don't measure quality from a business perspective.

Fair enough. But, it appears that you measure quality based on how closely it appeals to you personally. Which is probably why you get a fair degree of push back. After all, this:

That's the thing. 5e is so popular that WotC no longer has to actually produce quality product to sell tons. They have no motivation to do their best work, because they're popular enough that it won't affect the bottom line.

is absolute rubbish. I'm sorry, but, it's just not true. Not producing quality products? Seriously? WotC probably has the highest production values of any gaming books, probably the highest quality art, the writing is very well edited and the adventures have few, if any, actual mistakes in them. How is that not a "quality product". Unless quality means, "appeals specifically to me" of course.

You can piddle on WotC for a lot of things. Not being terribly adventurous with mechanics, for one. Fair enough. They tend to say pretty solidly in the middle of the road. I'll admit that I find the naval combat rules in Ghosts of Saltmarsh to be very lacking, for example. There are far better, for me, mechanics out there.

But, here's the thing. My "great naval combat mechanics" was absolutely panned by my group. They hated it and wanted the WotC mechanics to be used because they have zero interest in dealing with the more complex mechanics that I prefer. They want naval combat to be mostly narrative and abstracted. So, which rules should I use? The fantastic ones that I really want to use but my players hate, or the boring, vanilla ones that are in Ghosts of Saltmarsh that my players actually enjoy?

And, which one is higher quality?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Its focus on combat, how any non combat action is linked to the same proficiency value which is mainly affected by your level (and thus combat power) and, by now, the class and level system itself.

In 5E its impossible to make a character which is good at non combat skills but bad at combat nor is it possible to make an expert for one skill but bad at every other skills.
I think that modular systems like the one from Shadowun, Traveller or DSA are vastly superior to restrictive class/level system like in D&D.

To be fair, these are strongly connected; once it got out of the "We're trying to do anything but actually fight if possible" era early on, D&D has focused on action-adventure fiction, which is usually perceived as heavily about combat.

Given that its almost certainly seen as actively undesirable to have characters who are incompetent in combat. For all that I'm not a fan of class-and-level either, given the basis of the kind of adventures it focuses on, I can't say they're wrong.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I
Its focus on combat, how any non combat action is linked to the same proficiency value which is mainly affected by your level (and thus combat power) and, by now, the class and level system itself.
Spend a feat and your one skill will get double the benefit of level it allows you to somewhat specialize... go ahead and put the wrong attribute for combat as your best but which is best for that skill... tadah bad at combat great at a skill. Not as extreme as you mentioned but definitely hinting at it.
 

Pentallion

Explorer
Bring back 18(00) strength.
Get rid of short rests. They're for video games. Change the system to allow for increasing to hits and increasing AC. ie bring back better protection items. Let ACs head further past 20, even to 30 and increase to hits accordingly as levels advance.
 






ScuroNotte

Explorer
  • For me the Ranger and Sorcerer class need a revamp
  • Too many things are focused on Dexterity ie initiative, AC, ranger weapons
  • Need ranged weapons for strength based characters.
  • The Rogue being the favorite child. Giving features as feats from other classes but features from the rogue class are reserved only for that class only
On a side note, I am of the few who do not believe Level up 5e corrected many issues
 

Hussar

Legend
"Corrected" is a very difficult term. It presumes that there was something wrong in the first place. And, it also presumes, when people claim that X corrects Y, that everyone agrees that Y was actually a problem.

So, yeah, if you want your D&D to be more complex and rules heavy, then absolutely Level Up corrects 5e. People have been asking for a more rules heavy leaning D&D for a while, so, fair enough. That's a correction, for a given value of correct. For others, making the game more mechanics heavy isn't a correction at all.

A better example of this is the whole 3e/4e divide. So many of the changes made in 4e were in direct response to the problems that mostly appeared in organized play. It just wasn't a problem in home games. So, when 4e changed something to "correct" 3e, people saw it as an attack on how they played. Coupled with some spectacularly bad marketing and the complete failure to muzzle 4e Devs from speaking to the public and it went from bad to worse.

The single biggest issue is that people are incapable of differentiating their personal preferences from judgements of quality.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
On a side note, I am of the few who do not believe Level up 5e corrected many issues
Their goals were to cleave pretty tight to 5e for balance but they also did many subtle things which could have surprising effects shrug... I just see it as a better starting point. And yes I prefer the more interesting martial types and the abilities for exploration/social interactions. The cleave in Level Up is stronger than in 5e by the way... far less situational. The two weapon fighter actually gets 2 offhand attacks if you have extra attack. In other words a bit of buff for melee combatants.
 
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Thomas Shey

Legend
The single biggest issue is that people are incapable of differentiating their personal preferences from judgements of quality.

Well as a lot of discussion in this thread has shown, "quality" always has an at least significant subjective element. In the end, in anything but certain extremely "functional" things, that's almost always true. You have to have a criterion for what you expect something to be to assess it's quality. Otherwise you're stuck either going by popularity or by financial success, and the problems with using those isn't any less than the million subjective taste judgments.

It just also tends to be a thing that the wider a net a game system tries to spread the harder it is to judge what "quality" means.
 

Hussar

Legend
Well as a lot of discussion in this thread has shown, "quality" always has an at least significant subjective element. In the end, in anything but certain extremely "functional" things, that's almost always true. You have to have a criterion for what you expect something to be to assess it's quality. Otherwise you're stuck either going by popularity or by financial success, and the problems with using those isn't any less than the million subjective taste judgments.

It just also tends to be a thing that the wider a net a game system tries to spread the harder it is to judge what "quality" means.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with a subjective judgement of quality. Most quality judgements are subjective.

The problem comes when people take it a step further. "I don't like this, therefore it's poor quality" is generally the criticism. Or, "This is poor quality" without actually taking the time to explain the criteria being used to judge the quality. And then the typical appeal to the masses, "Well, gamers think this is bad/good", without any grounding or basis outside of personal anecdote.

If you want to actually claim that something is poor quality, instead of simply "I don't like it", you have to do the work. I keep banging this drum, but there's the truth. Are monks really that bad? Or are they bad at your table because of the way your group plays? And since so few people will actually do any of the actual work to back up their opinions - tracking numbers over time generally helps - it's all tea leaves and gut feelings.

To put it another way, one person's cash grab crap is another person's ideal situation.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
To put it another way, one person's cash grab crap is another person's ideal situation.

Yeah, but some of it can't be baked down because its a dislike on a fundamental level to something done.

As an example, I find Advantage/Disadvantage does at least two things I don't find at all attractive. But if someone else doesn't have an issue with either of those and/or considers things A/D brings to the table more than a fair tradeoff, what do we have to talk about regarding it? Not much, far as I can tell.
 

Hussar

Legend
Yeah, but some of it can't be baked down because its a dislike on a fundamental level to something done.

As an example, I find Advantage/Disadvantage does at least two things I don't find at all attractive. But if someone else doesn't have an issue with either of those and/or considers things A/D brings to the table more than a fair tradeoff, what do we have to talk about regarding it? Not much, far as I can tell.
And, honestly? That's where the conversation should end. I don't like it is a perfectly fine thing to say. "I don't like it and I want to change it at my table, how can I do that?" is also a perfectly understandable conversation. "I don't like it, therefore it's poorly designed and needs to be changed for everyone who plays the game" is a conversation that will almost never go well.

I mean, heck, I'm with you. I don't like the naval combat rules presented in Ghosts of Saltmarsh. I want a crunchier system. So, I went out and got a crunchier one that I really like. However, my players did a hard "Nope" as soon as I tried to use it and wanted to use the system in GoS.

So, which is a better design? The question is meaningless. The reason for using one system or another is pure preference. Both systems are perfectly fine for what they are. And it is so important to keep in mind that my table, your table and Bob's table over there are not necessarily having the same experiences. Like, at all. So, when people talk about D&D being combat on training wheels, I really don't understand because I have no problem challenging my players. I really don't. CR works for me - although of course, I recognize that it's a predictive system and absolutely not perfect. But, it's a decent enough benchmark, for me. So on and so forth.

Conversations get so much more productive when people accept that their tables are not reflective of anything other than their own table.
 

Greg K

Legend
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.
Don't forget that Gygax cites the Thief influences as being Zelazny's Shadowjack (i.e. Jack of Shadows) and Vance's Cugel.
 

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