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D&D 5E What Single Thing Would You Eliminate

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Nothing wrong with playing a character who is very different than yourself; although it will probably be more challenging than playing a character similar to yourself, it is often very fun and rewarding to do. But (and I know you’re never going to agree with me on this, that’s ok, you are welcome to your opinion), D&D is a cooperative game, and there should accordingly be an expectation of cooperation between players, and therefore between characters.
Which has always struck me as a bit of a disconnect, in that most typical D&D settings are based very heavily on what amounts to a medieval "every person for themself" ethos where the strong and-or rich win out and the weak and-or poor are cast aside.
This is another thing we just aren’t going to agree on. I mean, if that’s fun for you, knock yourself out. But personally I prefer as a player to strive for my character to succeed, and as a DM I want my players to do the same.
Absolutely. My point is that striving for character success can sometimes directly clash with striving for as-player enjoyment, as in the example I gave above; and in my view it's player enjoyment that must be sacrificed if one intends on remaining true to the character.
I think with good game design, that clash can be avoided.
Impossible to avoid unless players put their own enjoyment ahead of just doing what the character would do; which while fine for the players plays hell with the integrity of the roleplay.
From an abstract, narrative-focused perspective, yes, failure can absolutely be as interesting as success. But from a practical gameplay perspective, success is what you should strive for.
Strive for, yes. Expect, no. Demand, definitely not.

Big difference. :)
I don’t want my players striving to fail because they think it will be more interesting. Failure will come as a natural result of the difficulty of achieving success, and yes, it will be interesting when it happens. But pursuing it actively short-circuits the whole process.
I'm not talking about specifically pursuing failure (though it might have seemed as if I was due to poor wording). I'm talking about failure simply being part of the game and, indirectly, taking a bit of a shot at players who are so conditioned to constant success that they complain about any failure.
Again, we just aren’t going to agree on this. You don’t like such mechanics, and that’s fine. I do, when they are executed well. Or I’ll say “when they are executed in the ways I prefer,” since saying “well” implies that the quality of execution can be measured objectively.
I just can't reconcile such meta-mechanics with immersion.
Oh, yeah, I find the practice of awarding XP for “good roleplaying” highly objectionable, to put it politely. That’s definitely not what I’m advocating for here.
Yet how else can one hope to reward a player for following (which in most cases means roleplaying) one's bonds, flaws, ideals, etc., which is what you seemed to be saying you wanted? Meta-mechanics are out. What's left?

This is why I say it's impossible to execute well.
You do you, but even in small amounts this practice is objectionable to me. Like, I actually find it worse than story-based character advancement. It has all the same problems and more for me.
Fair enough. :)
 

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Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Fair enough. As a player I do find it frustrating when there's simply too much adventuring to do and not enough time - both in-game and out-of-game - to get to it all.
I get that. It can be a little too much like real life sometimes. :) It does help a bit if the majority of the plotlines are positive opportunities for the PCs, rather than crises requiring attention.

While I acknowledge the drawbacks, I really like how an overabundance of opportunities introduces natural time pressure without requiring me to impose doom clocks. So if the PCs are pursuing a long-buried artifact, the PCs are incentivized to dig it up quickly just so they can go attend to their other priorities, not because the artifact itself is time-sensitive after eons of sitting inert. I don't need to introduce a rival party of treasure hunters that just happens to be close to finding the artifact at the same time the PCs are. (I totally could, and I could probably even make it seem natural, but adding doom clocks to everything feels forced after awhile.)

Multiple ongoing plotlines - and I've hit this one as DM - also carry the risk of varying levels of interest in each one between players, where for example one player is really keen on following up plotline A, another would rather follow B and isn't the least bit interested in A, and a third isn't interested in either one and would rather just go beat up Giants in the woods. Here it becomes a juggling act. :)
Also true. It can be a very complicated juggling act, particularly with a group with disparate interests. But that's a tricky issue to address even with only one plotline. In some ways, multiple plotlines make it easier to keep everyone's interest, at least if the OOC dynamics of the group are somewhat egalitarian, so that everyone gets a chance to pursue their priorities.
 

Coroc

Hero
I agree with you, but perhaps not for the same reason. If all of the weapon-wielding choices had (exclusive) options that would keep all of them viable, I'd be for that. But ranged and two handed weapon have feats that give more than sword and board and much more than two weapon.
Here we go again. Duelling with board can be so much stronger with much more resilience. All those -5/+10 haters seem to get either of two situations almost every fight:

max AC of mobs is 13

or

Either a bless spell or advantage seems to be misteriously always on
 

Coroc

Hero
Wimpy monsters.

I always need to add 2 good saves, more HP, and some extra abilities/feats to almost every critter in the MM. And ALWAYS adding bonus actions and reactions to keep up with players.

Take Hobgoblins. AC 18. So do your players still hit with every attack despite SS? Check their dice.

Use enemy casters (x2) or (x3) with AE. They can be glasscanons, if they get two of their fireballs centered on the group, things start to look different.

Use Barlgura stats for things like wolfweres. Heavy melee hitters that do not go down fast.

Use flyers/archers etc. everything which can maintain a distance.

All of these can be found in the MM.

Use counterspell/dispel magic fro menemy casters, if nothing else help (e.g. your mobs always get charmed)
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Which has always struck me as a bit of a disconnect, in that most typical D&D settings are based very heavily on what amounts to a medieval "every person for themself" ethos where the strong and-or rich win out and the weak and-or poor are cast aside.
I don’t agree that most typical D&D settings are based on that at all. It’s a perfectly valid setting conceit, but I don’t think it’s at all typical of published D&D settings.

Absolutely. My point is that striving for character success can sometimes directly clash with striving for as-player enjoyment, as in the example I gave above; and in my view it's player enjoyment that must be sacrificed if one intends on remaining true to the character.

Impossible to avoid unless players put their own enjoyment ahead of just doing what the character would do; which while fine for the players plays hell with the integrity of the roleplay.
Eh, I disagree.

Strive for, yes. Expect, no. Demand, definitely not.

Big difference. :)

I'm not talking about specifically pursuing failure (though it might have seemed as if I was due to poor wording). I'm talking about failure simply being part of the game and, indirectly, taking a bit of a shot at players who are so conditioned to constant success that they complain about any failure.
Yeah, for sure. Aim for success, accept failure when it happens. I think we’re on the same page here.

I just can't reconcile such meta-mechanics with immersion.

Yet how else can one hope to reward a player for following (which in most cases means roleplaying) one's bonds, flaws, ideals, etc., which is what you seemed to be saying you wanted? Meta-mechanics are out. What's left?
Well, meta mechanics aren’t out for me. Like I said, I like the idea a lot, I just have some quibbles with the specific execution of the mechanic in 5e. But the idea behind it is one I’m very much in favor of, I would just tweak some details about how Inspiration (or a similar mechanic) is awarded and used. From what I know of your preferences, I don’t think you would like my take on such a mechanic. But that’s fine, we can enjoy different things. 🙂
 


CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
@Krachek good call. Rerolling is obnoxious already, especially when we already have Advantage/Disadvantage (and buff dice, like Inspiration and Bless). Why not just take this to its logical conclusion and eliminate dice altogether? We could just let everyone pick the numbers they want each time and be done with it. 🎲
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Here we go again. Duelling with board can be so much stronger with much more resilience. All those -5/+10 haters seem to get either of two situations almost every fight:

max AC of mobs is 13

or

Either a bless spell or advantage seems to be misteriously always on
I can understand that you think I'm slotting into a common argument, but can we take a step back to address what I actually said.

I want all of the weapon-wielding options to have strong and exclusive feats to make all of them equally (if differently) powerful. I am not a "-5/+10 hater" as you try to dismiss. I want strong feat options for weapon and shield, two weapon, and possibly even weapon and free hand as well as the existing ones.

First, not all classes get fighting styles while they all get ASI/feats. A barbarian doesn't get dueling style, nor does the rogue or monk, or melee subclass from some other classes like bladesinger or hexblade. That isn't in scope for what I was talking about. If you want to have a separate discussion about dueling style vs. other styles, since then they have a similar availability and opportunity cost, it's a valuable disucssion but not at all what I was addressing.

Second of all, exclusive. Having both Sharpshooter and Crossbow Expert for an additional attack, or the melee version of it with Polearm Master and Great Weapon Master. That place where you get more per attack and then more attacks generally isn't an opportunity available for the other weapon types.

The dismissal of what I said needs to be without a fighting style, and include that the feats to boost two weapon fighting and weapon and shield are as strong as for heavy weapons or archery, including being several multiplicative feats like there are for both of those styles. And I don't think that's your position. Let's try to talk, not talk past each other.

I'd be glad to have a civilized discussion about how to have varied and multiplicative feats for all of the styles to give them each their own strengths and feels because currently not all are equally well served by the feats available.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I can understand that you think I'm slotting into a common argument, but can we take a step back to address what I actually said.

I want all of the weapon-wielding options to have strong and exclusive feats to make all of them equally (if differently) powerful. I am not a "-5/+10 hater" as you try to dismiss. I want strong feat options for weapon and shield, two weapon, and possibly even weapon and free hand as well as the existing ones.

First, not all classes get fighting styles while they all get ASI/feats. A barbarian doesn't get dueling style, nor does the rogue or monk, or melee subclass from some other classes like bladesinger or hexblade. That isn't in scope for what I was talking about. If you want to have a separate discussion about dueling style vs. other styles, since then they have a similar availability and opportunity cost, it's a valuable disucssion but not at all what I was addressing.

Second of all, exclusive. Having both Sharpshooter and Crossbow Expert for an additional attack, or the melee version of it with Polearm Master and Great Weapon Master. That place where you get more per attack and then more attacks generally isn't an opportunity available for the other weapon types.

The dismissal of what I said needs to be without a fighting style, and include that the feats to boost two weapon fighting and weapon and shield are as strong as for heavy weapons or archery, including being several multiplicative feats like there are for both of those styles. And I don't think that's your position. Let's try to talk, not talk past each other.

I'd be glad to have a civilized discussion about how to have varied and multiplicative feats for all of the styles to give them each their own strengths and feels because currently not all are equally well served by the feats available.

So just ban stacking feats? You can only take 1 feat per weapon type? Modify shield master so strength based sword-and-board fighters have something decent?

Part of the problem is that sharpshooter gives you multiple useful benefits while shield master is barely worth a half feat if run as Sage Advice tells us to run it. Sharpshooter gives you -5/+10, ridiculous range with no penalty, getting rid of all cover penalties. Shield master? A bonus to a save that almost never happens*, a bonus shove at the end of your turn and evasion. Only evasion is really worth much and it takes up your reaction interfering with things like sentinel. You can do a shove with any attack if it's worth it, which it may be once in a blue moon.

To me it always felt like they went out of their way to nerf strength based PCs. So my solution was to make shield master stronger by ignoring sage advice and always giving the dex save bonus. It was that or nerf other feats which I'd rather not do. Or maybe I just don't understand what you're trying to say. 🤷‍♂️

*The dex save bonus only applies if it only targets a single individual. That's, what 2 spells? Disintegrate and Enervation? Maybe there's a couple others. Not even those for sorcerers that twin spells for some reason.
 

Coroc

Hero
I can understand that you think I'm slotting into a common argument, but can we take a step back to address what I actually said.

I want all of the weapon-wielding options to have strong and exclusive feats to make all of them equally (if differently) powerful. I am not a "-5/+10 hater" as you try to dismiss. I want strong feat options for weapon and shield, two weapon, and possibly even weapon and free hand as well as the existing ones.

First, not all classes get fighting styles while they all get ASI/feats. A barbarian doesn't get dueling style, nor does the rogue or monk, or melee subclass from some other classes like bladesinger or hexblade. That isn't in scope for what I was talking about. If you want to have a separate discussion about dueling style vs. other styles, since then they have a similar availability and opportunity cost, it's a valuable disucssion but not at all what I was addressing.

Second of all, exclusive. Having both Sharpshooter and Crossbow Expert for an additional attack, or the melee version of it with Polearm Master and Great Weapon Master. That place where you get more per attack and then more attacks generally isn't an opportunity available for the other weapon types.

The dismissal of what I said needs to be without a fighting style, and include that the feats to boost two weapon fighting and weapon and shield are as strong as for heavy weapons or archery, including being several multiplicative feats like there are for both of those styles. And I don't think that's your position. Let's try to talk, not talk past each other.

I'd be glad to have a civilized discussion about how to have varied and multiplicative feats for all of the styles to give them each their own strengths and feels because currently not all are equally well served by the feats available.
yes you are right, some weapons seem to be stronger than others, and have more feat based possibilities. But is that a bug or a feature?
i myself do not like that handcrossbow allows for unrealistic umph damage builds, the ss feat should not be possible with that weapon which shoots better pub darts.
but also i dislike a bit that duel can be combined with shield.
otoh i would say that greatsword and rapier clearly should get reach.
but for simplicity wizards obviously decided to offer only some RL derived options. So you have to houserule things you don't like, I'm afraid.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
yes you are right, some weapons seem to be stronger than others, and have more feat based possibilities. But is that a bug or a feature?
It is undeniably a bug. Much like the trident. No PC voluntarily takes the trident - if you only use simple weapons you don't have the proficiency, and if you do it is the inferior option. That option may not as well exist, and players who want to use it are penalized mathematically for doing so over other martial weapons.

Same for different fighting styles. I don't want them to be the same, but if you are going to effectively eliminate some fighting styles from the same level of effectiveness by not providing support for them, players will be mechanically penalized for taking them.

It is indisputably a bug unless you want trap options.

i myself do not like that handcrossbow allows for unrealistic umph damage builds, the ss feat should not be possible with that weapon which shoots better pub darts.
but also i dislike a bit that duel can be combined with shield.
otoh i would say that greatsword and rapier clearly should get reach.
but for simplicity wizards obviously decided to offer only some RL derived options. So you have to houserule things you don't like, I'm afraid.
I'd rather balance by giving them all the same, but in a thread about elimination if my choice is to cut or leave the same I'd rather cut. Not because I dislike the -5/+10, but because other fighting methods have a much lower ceiling in terms of feats I find unfair. As I originally said - I had agreed with -5/+10, but not for the reasons others thought - because in the context of removal only, it's the option that makes sense.
 
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It is undeniably a bug. Much like the trident. No PC voluntarily takes the trident - if you only use simple weapons you don't have the proficiency, and if you do it is the inferior option. That option may not as well exist, and players who want to use it are penalized mathematically for doing so over other martial weapons.

Same for different fighting styles. I don't want them to be the same, but if you are going to effectively eliminate some fighting styles from the same level of effectiveness by not providing support for them, players will be mechanically penalized for taking them.

It is indisputably a bug unless you want trap options.


I'd rather balance by giving them all the same, but in a thread about elimination if my choice is to cut or leave the same I'd rather cut. Not because I dislike the -5/+10, but because other fighting methods have a much lower ceiling in terms of feats I find unfair. As I originally said - I had agreed with -5/+10, but not for the reasons others thought - because in the context of removal only, it's the option that makes sense.
The only trap option is something a player finds unfun. I’ve seen a sea elf abjuration wizard who had a 15 STR and wielded a trident. It was flavorful, fun, & effective - definitely not a “trap option”.
 


The only trap option is something a player finds unfun. I’ve seen a sea elf abjuration wizard who had a 15 STR and wielded a trident. It was flavorful, fun, & effective - definitely not a “trap option”.
If some players are changing their character because tridents are objectively worse, it's a bad thing. Just because a problem doesn't affect everybody doesn't mean it's not a problem.

Is anyone choosing tridents because they are an inferior option?
 

If some players are changing their character because tridents are objectively worse, it's a bad thing. Just because a problem doesn't affect everybody doesn't mean it's not a problem.

Is anyone choosing tridents because they are an inferior option?
Who’s changing their character because of ... tridents? Honest question - I don’t understand the angle here. Are we concerned about d6 vs d8 damage? Is that it?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Who’s changing their character because of ... tridents? Honest question - I don’t understand the angle here. Are we concerned about d6 vs d8 damage? Is that it?
There is a certain school of thought that suggests if your character isn't The Best at something, that character is Not Good at it. Now by definition, Not Good = Bad, and this line of thinking also holds that Bad is unacceptable.

The trident does d6 damage, which isn't The Best. Some folks find that completely unacceptable.

Meanwhile, my coastal druid is over here like
8204ac10b6d0a57b0c3688d2cac05eaf.png

(credit: @wifihunters via Pinterest)
 
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Who’s changing their character because of ... tridents? Honest question - I don’t understand the angle here. Are we concerned about d6 vs d8 damage? Is that it?
There are absolutely players who decide not to use tridents because it's a weakness with no benefit. So they wanted to play a sea dog warrior with a trident, but find out that will remove a ton of options for them, so they change the look of the character to one who uses a better weapon. And so on.

d6 to d8 is enough to create this result by itself, yes, if there's no tradeoff for it.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
There are absolutely players who decide not to use tridents because it's a weakness with no benefit. So they wanted to play a sea dog warrior with a trident, but find out that will remove a ton of options for them, so they change the look of the character to one who uses a better weapon. And so on.

d6 to d8 is enough to create this result by itself, yes, if there's no tradeoff for it.
But a trident doesn't "remove a ton of options," in fact it adds two (thrown and versatile). As for the perceived "weakness" of d6 vs d8 damage, you're talking about 1 point of damage, on average. Tempest in a teapot.
 

But a trident doesn't "remove a ton of options," in fact it adds two (thrown and versatile). As for the perceived "weakness" of d6 vs d8 damage, you're talking about 1 point of damage, on average. Tempest in a teapot.
Okay, so what's the advantage of having a weaker trident? What does a trident do that a spear doesn't?
 


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