D&D 5E What rule(s) is 5e missing?

An actual item crafting system would be nice.
The Rivendell book for Adventures in Middle-Earth 5E has em(is) and they are interesting. You are trying to get enough crafting points (6 total or a bit more) to meet the crafting requirement and you can spend Hit Die to give yourself extra crafting points to meet that goal. (Which is also a nice way of representing that you're putting in all that effort in a hot environment and getting some sweat on your brow. Especially if you decide to go adventuring straight after and your character STILL doesn't have those Hit Die spent because no break was taken after forging.)

But due to the low magic setting of LoTR, you'd pretty much have to "tweak" the system if you wanted to create the idea that forging a legendary Artifact of power is a much bigger deal/not as easy as forging a simple sword would be.
 

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overgeeked

B/X Known World
I think you are misunderstanding the point of the minion rules.
I don't think so. They're there to provide both a moment to shine for the PCs (mowing the minions down with ease) while also providing something akin to a challenge (by doing reasonable damage). Matt's minion rules provide the first but not the second.
Just a quick addendum: if the plot relies on the intimidation being successful, it's not a problem with the rules on intimidation.
Right. The problem there is the DM is running a railroad where specific things must happen, and they're further compounding the problem by locking the things that must happen behind random rolls. That's just bad DMing.
Oh, and as with all DCs the number given is just a starting point that can be adjusted based on DM's discretion. If nothing else, do you have a way to change someone's attitude toward you? If not, why would it be easy to convince someone who is actively hostile to give you info?
I think part of the problem is that people don't read the social rules for 5E. There's three steps. DM determines starting disposition. Players try to adjust that disposition. DM asks for a roll when the players finally come to the point or ask for something.

And every seems to skip over this bit:

"That said, a hostile creature might be so ill-disposed toward the party that no Charisma check can improve its attitude, in which case any attempt to sway it through diplomacy fails automatically."

Negotiating with hostile creatures isn't a thing PCs should be doing.

But then...that's why there are reaction tables in older editions. Not every monster you face is automatically hostile and trying to murder you.

So, back to the thread, 5E is missing reaction tables.
I could respond with "why do DM's think the players have to have a high chance of failure? Why is the expected baseline a 60% chance to succeed instead of 75%? It's so odd, I can't think of a single interesting story where the protagonist fails at everything. Why is that the prevailing fantasy of modern D&D dungeonmasters?
Unless there's a fair chance of success or failure there's no point in rolling. If you've stacked things so well in your favor, it should be automatic. If things are so lop-sided against you, it should be automatic. No need to roll for a foregone conclusion. Most rolls should be in that vast excluded middle.
But that's not exactly the problem. The problem is a task that is difficult for a optimized high level character
Two things. First, max level with max stat and proficiency isn't optimized. Second, the problem is we define difficult differently so that's making us talk past each other. "Difficult" isn't 60% chance of success. That's about twice as likely as MLB's all-time best hitter hitting a ball while at bat. That's the opposite of "difficult". That's easy. Difficult is something like 25% chance of success.
should not be a task that is reasonable, or an expected option for a character of any level. At any level of the game, characters should be allowed to have reasonable chances of success at reasonable things.
It almost reads like we define a lot of things differently. In an RPG the expectation is players have the freedom to try anything. Literally anything...as long as it's within bounds of the genre and the PC's capabilities. Chance of success is never guaranteed. You can try to fast-talk the king into giving up your crown...that in no way implies that you have any chance of success.

The problem is the bolded bits. What's reasonable to one is insane to another. Thinking that you have a chance to fast-talk the king into giving up his crown might seem reasonable to a player with max CHA and expertise in persuasion, while also being insane to the DM. There's no objective standard for what's "reasonable". When there's a conflict between what the player and DM expect, the DM is the final arbiter. If the DM's call seem arbitrary or unreasonable to you as a player, ask the DM why they made that call.

Also, you're talking about reasonable here. But you're the one who set the example DC at 20. That is, by definition, not something with a reasonable chance of success. The DCs are largely based around an assumed +0 roll. So something that for the average person has a 5% chance of success is not what I'd call reasonable. That your PC has a bonus to that task makes it easier to accomplish, but that's a show of how awesome the PC is compared to an average person.
If my party has no Charisma-based characters, and our best diplomat has a Persuade check of +3 which should be viable for play since the rules never enforce someone being better than this (and in fact, people tell me all the time you don't need to optimize for 5e), and you go "wait, wouldn't it be better if we work together instead of fight each other needlessly?" your DC shouldn't be 20.
No. You've got it backwards. The world does not mold and transform to suit the PCs and the load-out they bring to the table. NPCs don't suddenly become more easily negotiated with simply because none of the players wanted to run a face character. Likewise, doors that would be locked don't magically become unlocked if the party has no rogue or PC with proficiency with thieves' tools. That's not how any of this works. The PCs shouldn't have a reasonable chance to overcome every obstacle. Some things will be harder, others easier. That's kind of what I was asking about up thread. Why would you assume that no matter what you and your party should always be able to tackle every obstacle and challenge no matter what? That's the opposite of reasonable.
The social interaction rules give you opportunities to lower the DC or possibly gain advantage- but that's out of a player's control. They have to convince the DM for this to be a viable or reasonable course of action.
Yes, exactly. Welcome to a human-run RPGs. That's literally how the game works. Everything is an interaction between the player and the DM. You have to present your case that something is reasonable to the human running the game.
So let's say our hypothetical +3 Persuade guy drops the DC to 15. And you get that help action. You still need to roll a 12 or better, and what is that at this point, a 37.5% chance of success? Not even a coin flip.
Um...no. A 12 or better with 2d20 is 69.75% chance of success. Load up anydice and drop this in "output [highest 1 of 2d20]" then click "at least". Look at the # line for 12.
Is it any wonder why there's so many murderhobos out there who decide "man, it's just easier to beat monsters up than to talk to them"?
Well, that's down to there being no reaction tables in the game and the assumption that every single monster is there to fight. Both players and DMs make that mistake. But yeah, sometimes you're not going to be able to talk to the monsters trying to eat you.
The social pillar is woefully undersupported, mechanically speaking. yet people think they need to resort to dice as often as with the combat pillar. That's the problem.

Dice are only used if there is uncertainty in the outcome.
Exactly. It's so odd. Players want the dice to solve everything...and to use them all the time...yet want their chances of success to be so high that there's no point in bothering with the roll. I honestly don't get it. The fun of rolling is the anticipation of the result...not the sound the math rocks make on the table. Like opening a present. It could be DragonQuest for the NES or a pair of socks or noting or a glitter bomb or dog poo.
Because "check to get hostile creatures to cooperate as long as they aren't taking a risk or sacrificing anything by doing so", doesn't sound to me like it should require a ridiculously high DC.
We're defining hostile differently then. Hostile means they don't like you, are not disposed to listening to you, and consider themselves your enemy. There's almost zero chance of saying "hey, could you not" to a creature who actively wants to harm you. That's not a reasonable expectation.
Since, in most respects, your chance at succeeding at a skill check is often the same as your chance to hit, it comes down to, what level would you expect players to face an AC of 20?

You probably shouldn't see DC's of 20 any sooner than that.
I expect players to face AC20 around the same time they have AC20...so 1st or 2nd level...in most cases.
5e, IMO, needs rules for "degrees of success". The social interaction rules take a stab at it, but I think it could be done better for all aspects of the system.
It does, sort of. In the DMG. There's an optional rule for degrees of failure on page 242. It's not hard to use a similar framework for degrees of success. There's also pass/fail, critical/fumble as degrees of success.
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.
It really is weird to me. I agree with what you're saying here. If you're going somewhere dangerous to do dangerous things...you should, I dunno, expect some...danger. It's odd that some players want this weird mish-mash of "danger" as a veneer we all pretend is there but really isn't. Like most combat in 5E is so wildly tipped in the players' favor that it's a foregone conclusion...to the point where rolling dice is just wasting table time...yet players seem to honestly think it's somehow dangerous...when it really isn't. I want danger in my games. I want risk. I want consequences. I want wonder. I want terror. I appreciate it when I'm on either side of the screen. I don't get when, why, and how "let's play a game of pretend with actual in-game risks" morphed into "let's pretend we're playing a game with actual in-game risks."
 

Reynard

Legend
It really is weird to me. I agree with what you're saying here. If you're going somewhere dangerous to do dangerous things...you should, I dunno, expect some...danger. It's odd that some players want this weird mish-mash of "danger" as a veneer we all pretend is there but really isn't. Like most combat in 5E is so wildly tipped in the players' favor that it's a foregone conclusion...to the point where rolling dice is just wasting table time...yet players seem to honestly think it's somehow dangerous...when it really isn't. I want danger in my games. I want risk. I want consequences. I want wonder. I want terror. I appreciate it when I'm on either side of the screen. I don't get when, why, and how "let's play a game of pretend with actual in-game risks" morphed into "let's pretend we're playing a game with actual in-game risks."
I'm probably repeating myself, but IMO 5E is the MCU of D&D -- and I don't mean that in a bad way. I love the MCU. But it is built to provide a low stakes, high gloss rollercoaster experience by relying heavily on cliches, nostalgia and tropes and then subverting them just a little bit.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm probably repeating myself, but IMO 5E is the MCU of D&D -- and I don't mean that in a bad way. I love the MCU. But it is built to provide a low stakes, high gloss rollercoaster experience by relying heavily on cliches, nostalgia and tropes and then subverting them just a little bit.
Yeah, I agree. Though I really don't like superhero fantasy as presented in 5E. It's so bad at it. Way too many fiddly rules. Superhero fantasy would be amazing, if you could actually do superhero stuff instead of be limited to the precise wording of some spell description or lack of some spell component. It's the D&D engine trying to do something it's bad at. Or rather a whole host of sacred cows are diametrically opposed to it. Marvel Heroic with a fantasy face-lift would be amazing. D&D with all the risks stripped out...blerg.
 


James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I don't think so. They're there to provide both a moment to shine for the PCs (mowing the minions down with ease) while also providing something akin to a challenge (by doing reasonable damage). Matt's minion rules provide the first but not the second.

Right. The problem there is the DM is running a railroad where specific things must happen, and they're further compounding the problem by locking the things that must happen behind random rolls. That's just bad DMing.

I think part of the problem is that people don't read the social rules for 5E. There's three steps. DM determines starting disposition. Players try to adjust that disposition. DM asks for a roll when the players finally come to the point or ask for something.

And every seems to skip over this bit:

"That said, a hostile creature might be so ill-disposed toward the party that no Charisma check can improve its attitude, in which case any attempt to sway it through diplomacy fails automatically."

Negotiating with hostile creatures isn't a thing PCs should be doing.

But then...that's why there are reaction tables in older editions. Not every monster you face is automatically hostile and trying to murder you.

So, back to the thread, 5E is missing reaction tables.

Unless there's a fair chance of success or failure there's no point in rolling. If you've stacked things so well in your favor, it should be automatic. If things are so lop-sided against you, it should be automatic. No need to roll for a foregone conclusion. Most rolls should be in that vast excluded middle.

Two things. First, max level with max stat and proficiency isn't optimized. Second, the problem is we define difficult differently so that's making us talk past each other. "Difficult" isn't 60% chance of success. That's about twice as likely as MLB's all-time best hitter hitting a ball while at bat. That's the opposite of "difficult". That's easy. Difficult is something like 25% chance of success.

It almost reads like we define a lot of things differently. In an RPG the expectation is players have the freedom to try anything. Literally anything...as long as it's within bounds of the genre and the PC's capabilities. Chance of success is never guaranteed. You can try to fast-talk the king into giving up your crown...that in no way implies that you have any chance of success.

The problem is the bolded bits. What's reasonable to one is insane to another. Thinking that you have a chance to fast-talk the king into giving up his crown might seem reasonable to a player with max CHA and expertise in persuasion, while also being insane to the DM. There's no objective standard for what's "reasonable". When there's a conflict between what the player and DM expect, the DM is the final arbiter. If the DM's call seem arbitrary or unreasonable to you as a player, ask the DM why they made that call.

Also, you're talking about reasonable here. But you're the one who set the example DC at 20. That is, by definition, not something with a reasonable chance of success. The DCs are largely based around an assumed +0 roll. So something that for the average person has a 5% chance of success is not what I'd call reasonable. That your PC has a bonus to that task makes it easier to accomplish, but that's a show of how awesome the PC is compared to an average person.

No. You've got it backwards. The world does not mold and transform to suit the PCs and the load-out they bring to the table. NPCs don't suddenly become more easily negotiated with simply because none of the players wanted to run a face character. Likewise, doors that would be locked don't magically become unlocked if the party has no rogue or PC with proficiency with thieves' tools. That's not how any of this works. The PCs shouldn't have a reasonable chance to overcome every obstacle. Some things will be harder, others easier. That's kind of what I was asking about up thread. Why would you assume that no matter what you and your party should always be able to tackle every obstacle and challenge no matter what? That's the opposite of reasonable.

Yes, exactly. Welcome to a human-run RPGs. That's literally how the game works. Everything is an interaction between the player and the DM. You have to present your case that something is reasonable to the human running the game.

Um...no. A 12 or better with 2d20 is 69.75% chance of success. Load up anydice and drop this in "output [highest 1 of 2d20]" then click "at least". Look at the # line for 12.

Well, that's down to there being no reaction tables in the game and the assumption that every single monster is there to fight. Both players and DMs make that mistake. But yeah, sometimes you're not going to be able to talk to the monsters trying to eat you.

Exactly. It's so odd. Players want the dice to solve everything...and to use them all the time...yet want their chances of success to be so high that there's no point in bothering with the roll. I honestly don't get it. The fun of rolling is the anticipation of the result...not the sound the math rocks make on the table. Like opening a present. It could be DragonQuest for the NES or a pair of socks or noting or a glitter bomb or dog poo.

We're defining hostile differently then. Hostile means they don't like you, are not disposed to listening to you, and consider themselves your enemy. There's almost zero chance of saying "hey, could you not" to a creature who actively wants to harm you. That's not a reasonable expectation.

I expect players to face AC20 around the same time they have AC20...so 1st or 2nd level...in most cases.

It does, sort of. In the DMG. There's an optional rule for degrees of failure on page 242. It's not hard to use a similar framework for degrees of success. There's also pass/fail, critical/fumble as degrees of success.

It really is weird to me. I agree with what you're saying here. If you're going somewhere dangerous to do dangerous things...you should, I dunno, expect some...danger. It's odd that some players want this weird mish-mash of "danger" as a veneer we all pretend is there but really isn't. Like most combat in 5E is so wildly tipped in the players' favor that it's a foregone conclusion...to the point where rolling dice is just wasting table time...yet players seem to honestly think it's somehow dangerous...when it really isn't. I want danger in my games. I want risk. I want consequences. I want wonder. I want terror. I appreciate it when I'm on either side of the screen. I don't get when, why, and how "let's play a game of pretend with actual in-game risks" morphed into "let's pretend we're playing a game with actual in-game risks."
I didn't set the DC at 20, I was replying to Reynard. Also, as to the benefit of Advantage, I was going off of the idea that "advantage" grants about a +4.5 bonus to a roll. I'm not a maths guy, so if that's wrong, I'll just admit to misunderstanding what others have said about Advantage/Disadvantage.
 

I'm trying to think of what 5E needs. Granted, a number of the stuff I think about are pretty much covered by various 3PP products to begin with.

Awakened Animals Characters:Humblewood+Animal Adventures+Monarchies of Mau+Pugmire

Firearms DMG Firearm rules/guns+Mercer's Fighter Gunslinger subclass/guns+Iron Kingdom: Requiem

Expanded 5E Weapons list: Iron Kingdom+Requiem+Dark Souls: The Roleplaying Ga-oh.....right........sad face.

Class that Commands Golems/Golem Rules: Warjacks/Warcasters/Mechaniks from Iron Kingdom: Requiem.

Playable Gnolls: Exploring Eberron

Negative Energy Plane 5E: Exploring Eberron

Large/Small PCs: Arcadia

Minions: Flee, Mortals!

Tabaxi Lore: Monarchies of Mau.

Various other races not present in 5E: Midgard, Odyssey of the Dragon Lords, Laser and Liches: Retroverse

Aarakocra Racial Feats/Backgrounds: Humblewood

Leader type class: Noble from Touch of Class/ENWorld

Gun Monk: Iron Kingdom RPG: Borderlands and Beyond (not released yet.)

Playable Beholder/Dreamed beings: Arcadia

5E Gunblade: Iron Kingdom:Requiem mechaniks rules

Exploration/Social variants: Adventures in Middle-Earth 5E

5E Sci-Fi/Spaceships/Tech: Esper Genesis+Arcana of The Ancients

Mecha/Kaiju: Everyday Heroes (not released yet.)

5E Doom: Carbon 2185+Return to Planet Apocalypse

Factions that level up: Adventuring Companies from Iron Kingdoms: Requiem

That covers a lot of stuff that comes to mind for me
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I find it strange that people think 5e is easy. Like, yeah, you win most encounters, but if you're going to face the fabled 6-8 per diem, you're supposed to.

I find 5e harder than 4e, and I died more than once in 4e. Three times, I think. And each time, no resurrection was possible.

I've seen characters die in Adventurer's League twice now, and that's with rules for "easy resurrections"; and this was before ToA, which I didn't play in due to real life factors.

My few tastes of Tier 3 play in AL, in fact, had us run up against some very unfair puzzles and traps.

Now, can you punch above your weight class in 5e? Absolutely. This is the flipside of bounded accuracy that I never see discussed; yes, I can keep fighting goblins until Tier 3. I can also fight a CR 17 at level 10 and win.

It's the number and frequency of the difficult encounters, and the resources I'm forced to use that determine difficulty, if the encounters are fair.

But who can say what a fair encounter is? That's group dependent, and Challenge Rating is, and has always been a terrible metric for determining what players can face.

Just look up "That Damn Crab" sometime, to see a classic misstep in action.
 

payn

Legend
I find it strange that people think 5e is easy. Like, yeah, you win most encounters, but if you're going to face the fabled 6-8 per diem, you're supposed to.

I find 5e harder than 4e, and I died more than once in 4e. Three times, I think. And each time, no resurrection was possible.

I've seen characters die in Adventurer's League twice now, and that's with rules for "easy resurrections"; and this was before ToA, which I didn't play in due to real life factors.

My few tastes of Tier 3 play in AL, in fact, had us run up against some very unfair puzzles and traps.

Now, can you punch above your weight class in 5e? Absolutely. This is the flipside of bounded accuracy that I never see discussed; yes, I can keep fighting goblins until Tier 3. I can also fight a CR 17 at level 10 and win.

It's the number and frequency of the difficult encounters, and the resources I'm forced to use that determine difficulty, if the encounters are fair.

But who can say what a fair encounter is? That's group dependent, and Challenge Rating is, and has always been a terrible metric for determining what players can face.

Just look up "That Damn Crab" sometime, to see a classic misstep in action.
Any game can be made more difficult. The GM has total control over that. I think people mean the default RAW with no deviation and no accounting for numerous encounters per day. As the editions roll on, healing gets a bit easier, PCs have more options to stave off death. So, I would say modern D&D is easier to survive, but its relative to the rules. The claims of impossible to kill heroes of 5E is just hyperbole.
 

Reynard

Legend
Any game can be made more difficult. The GM has total control over that. I think people mean the default RAW with no deviation and no accounting for numerous encounters per day. As the editions roll on, healing gets a bit easier, PCs have more options to stave off death. So, I would say modern D&D is easier to survive, but its relative to the rules. The claims of impossible to kill heroes of 5E is just hyperbole.
I think other PCs kill PCs more than DMs do in 5E -- specifically by not interrupting the death save process. It isn't that hard to drop a PC to 0 but unless everyone is down or other PCs ignore the bleeding out party member, it is really hard to keep them down past 5th level.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I find it strange that people think 5e is easy.
So you think 5E is hard...
Like, yeah, you win most encounters,
But also that 5E is easy...
but if you're going to face the fabled 6-8 per diem, you're supposed to.
And that 5E is designed to be easy.

Man, this is a roller coaster.
Now, can you punch above your weight class in 5e? Absolutely. This is the flipside of bounded accuracy that I never see discussed; yes, I can keep fighting goblins until Tier 3. I can also fight a CR 17 at level 10 and win.
So you can reasonably take on something that's supposed to be a challenge for characters almost double your level...yet you maintain that 5E is hard...while describing in detail just how easy it is.
It's the number and frequency of the difficult encounters, and the resources I'm forced to use that determine difficulty, if the encounters are fair.
I've found that the only way to challenge PCs in 5E is to throw double deadly fights at them at a minimum. Then stack several of those together, before they're able to rest. Short of that...nothing phases 5E PCs. They just walk all over everything and rest as frequently as the DM will let them. It's almost like they're allergic to risk and challenge.
I think other PCs kill PCs more than DMs do in 5E -- specifically by not interrupting the death save process. It isn't that hard to drop a PC to 0 but unless everyone is down or other PCs ignore the bleeding out party member, it is really hard to keep them down past 5th level.
Even at lower levels with players who know their roles it's hard to keep them down. Especially if you're using the game's default assumptions about CR and encounter design.
 



Vaalingrade

Legend
It's really weird that the players who can literally do anything in the game so often have issues arbitrarily killing the ones who can't. Or that they want to so badly that it's a thing to complain about all the time.
 

I find it strange that people think 5e is easy. Like, yeah, you win most encounters, but if you're going to face the fabled 6-8 per diem, you're supposed to.

I find 5e harder than 4e, and I died more than once in 4e. Three times, I think. And each time, no resurrection was possible.

I've seen characters die in Adventurer's League twice now,
it depends on what you compare it to. I think 5e is less deadly and easier then 3e/3.5 and 2e and Basic... I think it is about on par with 4e to deadlyness.

I have never run or played in a game that DEATH seemed unable to be achived. I have never played in a game that failure didn't happen (not always death, but sometimes)
 

Reynard

Legend
I don't think the discussion about difficulty is really about the GM winning or even killing PCs arbitrarily. It's about wanting to produce a certain tone and mood that is associated with tension and the potential for the unexpected. Flattening the math to avoid swinginess and eliminating "save or die/suck" mechanics isn't an issue because us mean old GMs are mad we can't crush players hopes and dreams @Vaalingrade it is an issue because it makes certain kinds of play more difficult.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't think the discussion about difficulty is really about the GM winning or even killing PCs arbitrarily. It's about wanting to produce a certain tone and mood that is associated with tension and the potential for the unexpected. Flattening the math to avoid swinginess and eliminating "save or die/suck" mechanics isn't an issue because us mean old GMs are mad we can't crush players hopes and dreams @Vaalingrade it is an issue because it makes certain kinds of play more difficult.
Doesn't it seem like challenging play should be more challenging to run, though?

What I mean is, flattening the math and all that makes it harder to run a player-challenging game, because the game math almost never starts the PCs off at a disadvantage, but I think that's a good thing. It means that challenging the players (whether in addtion to or instead of the characters) requires more DM input, and is also challenging for the DM. I can't see how that's anything but good.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I don't think the discussion about difficulty is really about the GM winning or even killing PCs arbitrarily. It's about wanting to produce a certain tone and mood that is associated with tension and the potential for the unexpected. Flattening the math to avoid swinginess and eliminating "save or die/suck" mechanics isn't an issue because us mean old GMs are mad we can't crush players hopes and dreams @Vaalingrade it is an issue because it makes certain kinds of play more difficult.
If your problem is "the way I and my group wants to play is hindered by the default difficulty" of 5e, I can accept that. Then you have to change things or sadly, even, find another game (or version of game) that more accurately models what you want.

And there's nothing wrong with wanting changes either, it's why we're here debating the topic. But since it is a debate, being told "D&D is easy mode for babies" by people who want a more difficult game might not be particularly helpful.

Bounded accuracy works both ways. It makes easy tasks harder than they need to be (setting a DC for a Tier 1 player above, say 15, IMO) and makes hard tasks easier than they should be (letting four level 10 characters beat up a Goristro Demon using only 25% of their resources).

So of course the people who say "the game should be harder" are going to clash with the people who think "actually, I've seen it be very difficult, thanks" because we have different standards. And no matter what the developer's intent, D&D 5e wasn't designed for everyone.

Often, the question I have is, who, exactly, is it designed for?
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I don't think the discussion about difficulty is really about the GM winning or even killing PCs arbitrarily. It's about wanting to produce a certain tone and mood that is associated with tension and the potential for the unexpected. Flattening the math to avoid swinginess and eliminating "save or die/suck" mechanics isn't an issue because us mean old GMs are mad we can't crush players hopes and dreams @Vaalingrade it is an issue because it makes certain kinds of play more difficult.
All these complaints about not being able to keep PCs down, not being able to keep them dead, them getting back up after going down... well it all sounds like being upset about not being able to clench the win rather than challenge.

If they're going down, there's certainly challenge, and you can have challenge without people going down at all. The focus seems on making PCs dead and keeping them that way.
 

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