D&D 5E What rule(s) is 5e missing?

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
3.X, PF1, and 4e had rules for monster knowledge. In later 3.5 and in 4e, they tried to expand on this by having lore examples that a given DC could let the party know. There's a few too many monsters out there, that, lacking any info about what they can do, offer no real way to interact or plan around their strategies.

You just...get smacked by an ability you weren't aware of, and if you survive, well, you'll know next time. And if you don't, your next characters will run into the same problem...etc..
 

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Reynard

Legend
3.X, PF1, and 4e had rules for monster knowledge. In later 3.5 and in 4e, they tried to expand on this by having lore examples that a given DC could let the party know. There's a few too many monsters out there, that, lacking any info about what they can do, offer no real way to interact or plan around their strategies.

You just...get smacked by an ability you weren't aware of, and if you survive, well, you'll know next time. And if you don't, your next characters will run into the same problem...etc..
Both of those approaches are fine. it just depends on the type of game you are playing. I reskin monsters and change up abilities all the time to try and hand on to a little bit of that wonder.
 


Reynard

Legend
The problem comes when that wonder leads to a feeling of being constantly lost and blindsided instead.
You are descending into a hole in the earth filled with weird and deadly monsters, for the purpose of pulling shiny baubles out of the ground. What would you expect?

Now, obviously, that's only one style of game and one sort of story you can tell with D&D. Sometimes certainty is good as a foundation on which to build a different kind of game that tells a different kind of story. But I like wonder in my games, even the terrifying kind, and I think most of my players appreciate it.
 

payn

Legend
The assumption of an effect like Guidance does seem to be present, but I've heard people claim that Guidance was a mistake (and apparently the developers have said so?), and there seems to be a lot of pushback towards players who want to use Guidance often.

Heck, when I suggested a player can throw out a Guidance every 10th turn for whatever die roll someone might need to make out of combat, I was told something to the effect that "that would be narratively ridiculous to me".

My analogy, a Sorcerer refreshing Dancing Lights ever 10th round for hands-free light sources, was also ill received, but I see that happen all the time at tables. /shrug

There does seem to be a lack of consensus about how difficult the game should be- I usually try to be a player advocate, because when I play the game, I look at what frustrates me and figure I can't be the only one.
Well that's two things going on here. How difficult things should be, and how often you should be able to spam cantrips. On one hand if you want dark dungeons to be a thing, you need a way to curb cantrip spam. If you dont think thats fun, you should just handwave that aspect away. The rule book straddles the fence and doesn't say one way or the other. So, tables have to decide themselves.

Some people want D&D characters to be heroes, and others want them to be The Mystery Men (look it up if you haven't seen it!). And the developers don't seem to want to come out and say which is a more apt description, so the people who play and DM this game keep butting heads about it.
The problem is the word hero/heroic. Folks interchange meaning all the time with it. Some folks (like myself) think hero to mean in deed. What you do is heroic, not what you are capable of physically/mentally. Where as other folks think of power when they define hero/heroic.

My opinion is that the game is best to start low powered so folks can have the average person stepping up and being a hero. Then, the power level ramps up significantly so folks can feel powerful from abilities.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
You are descending into a hole in the earth filled with weird and deadly monsters, for the purpose of pulling shiny baubles out of the ground. What would you expect?
I'd... do may homework? There's a good chance I have a genius if not superhuman intellect and have lived in a world of monsters and magic all my life. Surely I should be able to recognize things quite often. Even I know what a tiger or a tapir or a water bear looks like and I'm not magic Reed Richards.
Now, obviously, that's only one style of game and one sort of story you can tell with D&D. Sometimes certainty is good as a foundation on which to build a different kind of game that tells a different kind of story. But I like wonder in my games, even the terrifying kind, and I think most of my players appreciate it.
But not everyone is you or your players and this kind of thing can often become frustrating instead of fun. My character just constantly feeling like an idiot who doesn't know how the world works is a problem for me. Wonder, to paraphrase a great, blue gent, is a sometimes food.
 

Reynard

Legend
I'd... do may homework? There's a good chance I have a genius if not superhuman intellect and have lived in a world of monsters and magic all my life. Surely I should be able to recognize things quite often. Even I know what a tiger or a tapir or a water bear looks like and I'm not magic Reed Richards.
But the rules don't apply DOWN THERE. DOWN THERE is a place of chaos and wyrd that touches the edges of what isn't. DOWN THERE is not of this world.
But not everyone is you or your players and this kind of thing can often become frustrating instead of fun. My character just constantly feeling like an idiot who doesn't know how the world works is a problem for me. Wonder, to paraphrase a great, blue gent, is a sometimes food.
Isn't that what I said, that this was simply my preference for a particular kind of game?
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
You are descending into a hole in the earth filled with weird and deadly monsters, for the purpose of pulling shiny baubles out of the ground. What would you expect?

Now, obviously, that's only one style of game and one sort of story you can tell with D&D. Sometimes certainty is good as a foundation on which to build a different kind of game that tells a different kind of story. But I like wonder in my games, even the terrifying kind, and I think most of my players appreciate it.
And if everyone at your table is having fun, that's great! I don't believe there's "one true way" to play D&D. But I do think it's a problem for most games more often than not. There are a lot of creatures that you need specialized knowledge to deal with and "just run away" doesn't always work as well as some might suppose.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
But the rules don't apply DOWN THERE. DOWN THERE is a place of chaos and wyrd that touches the edges of what isn't. DOWN THERE is not of this world.
In the typical campaign, down there has been around centuries if not thousands of years in a world of super-geniuses. Down there should be better documented than up here because all the bad crap comes from down there. Er... DOWN THERE.
Isn't that what I said, that this was simply my preference for a particular kind of game?
The caps locks implies a certain vehemence. And that doesn't matter to a system written for a general audience.
 


Reynard

Legend
And if everyone at your table is having fun, that's great! I don't believe there's "one true way" to play D&D. But I do think it's a problem for most games more often than not. There are a lot of creatures that you need specialized knowledge to deal with and "just run away" doesn't always work as well as some might suppose.
I might put too much emphasis on wonder, but I suppose that's because fantasy without wonder is just lazy historical fiction.
 

Reynard

Legend
In the typical campaign, down there has been around centuries if not thousands of years in a world of super-geniuses. Down there should be better documented than up here because all the bad crap comes from down there. Er... DOWN THERE.
You're assuming there is logic and rules to it. Hard fantasy, if you will. I'm not a fan of hard fantasy, simply because it isn't fantastical.
The caps locks implies a certain vehemence. And that doesn't matter to a system written for a general audience.
I was trying to imply emphasis, not any sort of yelling.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I might put too much emphasis on wonder, but I suppose that's because fantasy without wonder is just lazy historical fiction.
I feel like people conflate mystery with wonder.

A twenty ton red dragon dropping onto the ground before you, the ground trembling at the impact, its wings fanning out to tint the waning sunlight red around you as it lets out a mighty roar is more wonderous than a shadowy Mystery Box spewing sludge that does untyped damage.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
You're assuming there is logic and rules to it. Hard fantasy, if you will. I'm not a fan of hard fantasy, simply because it isn't fantastical.
'Fantasy' is literally in the name, dude. It might not by mysterious or unexplained, and you might not like it, but it is not 'not fantasitical'
I was trying to imply emphasis, not any sort of yelling.
Internet, my good sir. Italics are helpful.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I might put too much emphasis on wonder, but I suppose that's because fantasy without wonder is just lazy historical fiction.
Wonder is important, and that's why so many aspects of the game are DM-facing. I don't discount this. But at the same time, when PC's run into problems, and they gripe about it, an answer I see a lot is "you should have planned better/used better tactics". Which is hard to do if you have no idea what you're facing.

Which brings me to another rule we should bring back from the days of yore. SAGES.
 

Reynard

Legend
I feel like people conflate mystery with wonder.

A twenty ton red dragon dropping onto the ground before you, the ground trembling at the impact, its wings fanning out to tint the waning sunlight red around you as it lets out a mighty roar is more wonderous than a shadowy Mystery Box spewing sludge that does untyped damage.
I disagree insofar as everything about that dragon was expected and matched expectations. It can still be awesome (in both the original and modern senses) but that isn't the same as invoking wonder.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I am curious about minions too. Cant you just give them one hit point? Is there something more expansive than that which requires rules mechanics?
In 4e they also automatically did average damage on a hit, tended to have high to-hit values, took no damage on miss IIRC, and maybe one or two other little things.
I think you'd probably hate it when I make chocolate chip cookies then. :) Much like I prefer a soft cookie, I prefer D&D with a lot of leeway. Besides, a lot of crunch is just artificial fluff, does it matter what the DC for climbing a wall based on material if the DM just decides the material of the wall anyway?
Yeah honestly I kinda want 5e to loosen up a bit more, not get more high strung.
In Matt Coville's Flee, Mortals! big fat monster book, he implemented minion rules in which the minions have normal hit points but drop to 0 if they take any damage. It makes sense given their explanation: some spells (like sleep) interact in weird ways when you specifically give minions 1 hit point.
That works really well. You can just apply that to any monster, too, if you want dangerous archer minions, just apply that rule to the Archer or Scout statblock.
Uh…unless you’re altering Matt’s minion rules there’s nothing about them that will “put fear” into the PCs. Once the group lands its one hit and it does 1 hp of damage per minion, your players will laugh and wade through them…fearless as ever.
Um...no, they won't, because ganking 1 minion per attack still leaves 20 minions shooting at you for damage that would be normal on an MM mook. It just means you can use more mooks, force the PCs to strategize, and exert more control over the battlefield.

Now, sure, I run minions more like very large swarms instead, and often run their attacks as a group attack AoE, so that their turns only take about as much time as two regular monsters, at most, rather than 10 monsters, but the other way works fine, too.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I disagree insofar as everything about that dragon was expected and matched expectations. It can still be awesome (in both the original and modern senses) but that isn't the same as invoking wonder.
Before we go any farther, please define what wonderous mean to you. It seems to hinge on ignorance on the part of viewer, but I grew up in the Shenandoah Valley and let me tell you there is to me a wonder an a grandeur to many vistas even though I know what trees are and how deer are actually just graceful rats.
 

I disagree insofar as everything about that dragon was expected and matched expectations. It can still be awesome (in both the original and modern senses) but that isn't the same as invoking wonder.
oh boy the discussion of subverting expectations is something that youtube has argued good/bad/it depends since Dan and Dave said it about Game of thrown
 


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