The super-strong GM force separated from the elctro-weak Player force in the early RPG epoch, and is most powerful within 2x10^15 femtometers of the screen.especially if [MENTION=996]Tony Vargas[/MENTION]'s philosophy of super-strong GM force is being applied.
Only at very low levels.The flipside to this, presumably, is that 5e throws back to the pre-4e game-centred philosophy of disposable characters?
That is a major feature in achieving 5e's DM Empowerment goal, yes, and applying a Forge label to it doesn't make that a bad thing (for 5e). 5e isn't simply a bad game asking you to paper over its flaws with 'GM Force,' it presents players with an explanation of the DM's central role in resolving all aspects of the game, and instills an expectation that the exercise of that role will be both commonplace, and for the good of the play experience, for all.Force is a very specific phenomenon. 5e being very vulnerable to the phenomenon due to its construct and its ethos. It is the phenomenon that you're seeing [MENTION=996]Tony Vargas[/MENTION] not just saying 5e is vulnerable to, but advocating the technique as the best/required way to run 5e.
So, 'GM Force' or 'DM Empowerment,' the idea is that the success and quality of each instance the game experience (campaign/session) rests primarily with the DM, rather than the players or the system (or the designers of that system).
Keep in mind that you're talking about a guy who started with 0D&D in the 70s, and has played every edition /through/ 4e, not just 4e: "4e fan" doesn't really do that experience justice.
But, FWIW, 60% is a pretty fair target for success, in general, as far as balancing feeling challenged with feeling competent - and 5e hits that target pretty consistently when it comes to things like attack rolls (really, more like 65-70%). Skills are all over the place, taken as a whole, but for characters actually good at a skill - good stats & proficient - pegging DCs to a similar level of success wouldn't be a bad idea. Less skillful characters'll still have a shot, and experts will be able to auto-succeed, if available.
Plus, of course, the DM can leaven any target success rate by declaring success or failures when such would improve play.
Bounded Accuracy is one reason you have some "can't do X" scenarios, because the game doesn't cover as wide a range of growth or as varied growth among classes as, say, 3.5 or AD&D.The point being made is: many of the "5 Edition SUCKS because can't do X" are utterly false. I particularly like 5th edition because of Bounded Accuracy
But, while it may not be strictly 'false,' when considering only the range of dice results and the numbers generated by player choices to say "can't do X," once you factor in the DM's contribution, it's laughable: anything/everything becomes entirely possible!
GM power is a reality of the traditional RPG structure. While there are a (very) few games that do away with the GM role, or share it among all players, the vast majority of games have a GM, and the reality is that the situations of the in-game universe, and interpretation & modification of the rules are entirely within his power. It's true of DMs in all versions of D&D.Several critics made are, for me, gross simplifications (like the godlike, unfettered DM power)
3.x acknowledged that power in 'Rule 0,' only to have the community go all RAW on it,
4e tried, through balance/clarity/playability, to minimize the need for the exercise of DM power.
5e acknowledges the legitimate power of the DM - and leverages it, making every effort to direct it in positive ways. 5e doesn't just tell the DM "you're god, go crazy," the DMG is full of advice for the DM on using that power constructively. And, it doesn't just tell players "you're just along for the ride," it gives them lots of choices, and prepares them for the role of the DM from the first 'how to play' explanation in the basic rules, and throughout the details of the system that follow.
For what 5e is trying to be, in the time it's trying to be it, with the history behind it, and the fan-base before it, I think 'DM Empowerment' has proven a very effective strategy.