What is the essence of D&D

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
When most people play the game they seem to rely on resources the game provides like all those not designed for any party random encounter tables and no real guidelines about what might be level appropriate. The fact was the cleric having super huge impact on play was exactly the primacy of magic FULL stop.
I never felt compelled to have a cleric, or a wizard, or any other particular class in the party. I still had tons of fun playing. I also loved to play fighters and rogues. I never felt outclassed or invalidated by wizards or clerics. They were tons of fun to play with or without spellcasters around.

Full stop. ;)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
My own experience tells me the way to really do this is to define a clear conceptual space for each caster so they are as specialized as anyone else, make spells less certain, and define a clear conceptual space for martial skill and be fine with letting at will things be awesome.
Tony likes to point out something to the effect that you could give the fighter every single martial archetypes non-combat arena abilities allow free swapping and it would still not compete with the versatility of an old school mage. Because I think of there ability to be "master class" at that versatility
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
One of the problems in creating a magic system is that it has to blow your mind. It has to feel magical and special. It has to give the element of wow and look what I found. Look what I can do with this.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I never felt outclassed or invalidated by wizards or clerics.
That high level thief had every ability undermined... that i could tell back in 1e and the level 9 fighter felt like a henchman to the level 10 or 11 mage. Anecdotes notwithstanding (you get how they arent really important?) Your comments themselves have demonstrated how dramatically different and how more difficult the game had to be played without the caster it reminds me of the pdf Tony quoted for 5e how things would be 10x harder without the casters.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
I never felt compelled to have a cleric, or a wizard, or any other particular class in the party. I still had tons of fun playing. I also loved to play fighters and rogues. I never felt outclassed or invalidated by wizards or clerics. They were tons of fun to play with or without spellcasters around.

Full stop. ;)
In pre 3.x days it was never the fighter I pitied. It was the thief. Although I never had problems with people not wanting to play any of these classes it was the thief that I saw having trouble keeping up at higher levels. And it’s amazing that I don’t hear near as much crying from their group. Thief was playing on hard mode. I respected them.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
It has to be compared to modern technology in many ways... and we get more awesome as we go along.
I think it’s very person specific and generational to an extent I think. I dont like magic to feel like comic books with at will effects. I like a little casting time and the feel that each spell is specifically crafted and built from esoteric components and secrets and magic words, sigils, and magic diagrams, and checking the constellations to see if the time is right and such things.
 

Hussar

Legend
I was kind of startled that the example of this super-jump was used as an example. So 4e reduced this imaginary "Primacy of Magic" by...giving rogues magical powers? WTF?
Are you really surprised? I mean, you've been in those umpteen skills threads. Under 5e rules there is zero chance of a rogue doing this. None. Flat out can't. And, we have @Zardnaar talking about how it isn't D&D to allow it.

Seems to me to fit perfectly with what @lowkey13 was claiming that no one was claiming.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Are you really surprised? I mean, you've been in those umpteen skills threads. Under 5e rules there is zero chance of a rogue doing this. None. Flat out can't. And, we have @Zardnaar talking about how it isn't D&D to allow it.

Seems to me to fit perfectly with what @lowkey13 was claiming that no one was claiming.
I pull out the hiding in plain site that a rogue might get at level 16 as something a rogue will not be doing any time soon it only requires you basically get hidden somehow and not move and you can be invisible launching your ninja bolts at enemies every round but them unable to pin down where you are even though you have no ongoing cover.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Never played much pre 3.x or COC?
If you arent limited to a time of year for your casting... you do not have that. Ever played games that actually had constellations and time of year or day of month limits and such affecting them... apparently not.

Daily is silly

If COC is Cthulu then I do not doubt they have something closer to in flavor.
 
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Hussar

Legend
One of the problems in creating a magic system is that it has to blow your mind. It has to feel magical and special. It has to give the element of wow and look what I found. Look what I can do with this.
Bingo!

And right there, ladies and gentlemen, there is the essence of D&D. Magic has to feel "magical and special". Which means it HAS to be better than non-magical, otherwise, it's not magical or special and doesn't give that element of wow and look what I found.

Imagine a D&D wizards needed to spend hours to cast a single spell. Or days, or weeks even. Where no magic item is better than a +1 sword. Nothing. Magical items are never more powerful than a +1 sword.

People would absolutely hate it. It wouldn't even be considered D&D. Heck, apparently allowing a 23rd level character to jump twice as far as normal is a bridge too far to keep it in the D&D family. :D Sorry, bad pun.

All these examples do nothing but prove the point. We LOVE finding that ring of regeneration. We REMEMBER that Holy Avenger. Table goes nuts when the wizard drops that second fireball on the baddies, turning them all into crispy critters. How did you beat the gathering of giants in the Hall? Well, we dropped two fireballs on them and those 42 hp giants all went poof. On and on and on.

Magic being "magical and special" (if that's a more acceptable phrase than "Primacy of Magic" ) is the essence of D&D. It's the one strand the binds all editions together. Stray from that and people start claiming that it's not really D&D anymore. Doesn't matter whether I or @Tony Vargas or @lowkey13 all think that 4e is part of the D&D family. I know that we do. But, the broader perception, that unless Magic is "magical and special" it's not really D&D is very real and very easy to display.

Where @lowkey13 is making a mistake is that he thinks that I'm attaching a value judgement to this. I'm not. I'm simply looking at the facts.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think it’s very person specific and generational to an extent I think. I dont like magic to feel like comic books with at will effects.
If all magic were 1 minute rituals up to hours of rituals it would feel like magic in mythology and legend aside from the odd man out of Celtic Sorcerers... but that wouldn't float either
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Just because something's in one edition doesn't make it the essence of D&D. THAC0 come to mind you can switch that out doesn't change the playstyle.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
In pre 3.x days it was never the fighter I pitied. It was the thief. Although I never had problems with people not wanting to play any of these classes it was the thief that I saw having trouble keeping up at higher levels. And it’s amazing that I don’t hear near as much crying from their group. Thief was playing on hard mode. I respected them.
I loved thieves. Nobody else had the skills to get places the way they did and I got lots of scouting time where I would be the first one to see the wondrous unknown.............and be eaten.
 
Er, not one thing I said involved the DM holding any hands. The DMs job is to provide a fun challenge to the players. Period. Full stop. If the party has no healers, it's a bad DM who just throws things they can't handle at them and the PC's die.
That feels like a very 'new' idea, to me. Then I realize it's almost 20 years since 3.0 introduced CR guidelines.

But, yeah, old school, you show up w/o a cleric, you fight the same 12 zombies in the moathouse as if you had three. You die.

Common pact back in the day: first one to die rolls a cleric.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
That high level thief had every ability undermined... that i could tell back in 1e and the level 9 fighter felt like a henchman to the level 10 or 11 mage. Anecdotes notwithstanding (you get how they arent really important?)
You are making an opinion claim about primacy of magic vs non-magical classes. Counter opinions matter. And I'm far from alone in mine.
 

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