5E Why does 5E SUCK?

pemerton

Legend
“Objective DC” and “Subjective DC” don’t get to the heart of the matter for me and also seem to have a bunch of baggage attached to the terms that further cloud things.
That sounds plausible! I use the terminology for lack of anything better that also has currency. I'm not wedded to it, though.

In the Dwarf and forge example, I imagine in the “objective DC” system you would look for an already established DC that indicates super hot – say resisting the heat of Hell – and set the DC close to that. But you’re right, that doesn’t take into consideration the PCs narrative place in the world. When the Dwarf makes the Endurance check it’s not really a straight up ‘can my skin handle this fire’. It’s more like ‘can this Dwarven paragon of XYZ pit himself against the forces of Moradin’s fire and magic forge and prevail’. There are ways to model this in the “objective system” if you had an exhaustive list of DCs and/or modifiers say

Regular Forge DC20
Forge of Moradin +10
Paragon of Moradin sticking hands into a fire created by moradin-10
Etc

But the “subjective system” has already pre-loaded all these assumptions into the math. This pre-loading might be the essence of “subjective”. It’s more like “narratively empowered skill checks”.

The “subjective DC” system involves loose definitions of what a skill check can mean. Encourages you to make sure you’re in the right ballpark in terms of appropriate challenge, and then use the level appropriate DC that gives you higher levels of drama. It also certainly encourages the ‘just in time’ DMing you talk about.
I agree with all this.

If I've followed you correctly, I also think we agree that once you set about making it "objective" rather than "subjective" you lose some of that spontaneity and looseness around what a skill check can mean. (There can be benefits, too. As I've said upthread, I like Rolemaster and I like Burning Wheel. But these systems generally won't give you spontaneous action declarations like sticking the hands into the forge. They're more likely to give you very "grounded", nitty-gritty-of-the-gameworld-oriented action declarations. Different approaches for different play experiences!)
 

pemerton

Legend
Elaborating the point about nitty-gritty. BW has rules for player content-introduction, either via appeal to GM fiat or (more typically) via successful perception or knowledge skill checks.

So BW encourages players to make checks to introduce detailed content into the game - facts about the contents of rooms (discerned via successful perception checks), facts about who lives in the village (known via successful knowledge checks), etc. And then to leverage that newly-introduced fiction in further action declarations.

Hence BW is aimed at producing a detailed gameworld whose detail is always growing as play progresses.

Whereas I would say the gameworld in 4e is much more "dream-like" in quality. The key personalities - gods, primordials, some NPCs who matter to the PCs - might exist in a degree of detail, but much of the gameworld remains rather abstract and undetailed. (Except when combat maps get drawn up. 4e has a bit of a personality change when resolution moves from non-combat to combat.)

I think a dreamlike gameworld lightly detailed works well for a game oriented on mythic heroism and cosmological struggle. I haven't run 4e Dark Sun, but think it might be a tricky fit because Dark Sun seems exactly the sort of setting that emphasises groundedness, world details and so on. (BW, on the other hand, I think would be an excellent fit for Dark Sun.)
 

bert1000

Villager
Untrue. He was specifically talking about needing to know that the PCs were Paragon and I was responding to that.
I'm willing to accept the current narrative in this thread (again, I'm glad to see the agreement), but I still maintain that knowing the level of the characters is completely unneeded. He was talking about a specific mountain, but he didn't know the DC until he knew the PCs were Paragon. If the PCs had been a different tier then THAT EXACT SAME MOUNTAIN would have been a different DC. Thus I saw him proclaiming the merits of "shifting DCs for static challenges".

Again, I'm good with accepting being corrected on this. But I still say that knowing the level or tier of the PCs should be irrelevant.

snip


I have stated many, many times now that I greatly respect that 4E nails a playstyle for a certain niche. And I'm still completely on that point. But the flip side of adding a whole mechanical rebuild to offer something a large community outside of that niche don't want or need is not good for forging a sustainable fanbase.

snip


Again, just to be clear, over and over in this thread I took exception to the insistence that PC level play any role in the setting of DCs. I see that as directly connected to "shifting DCs for static items". I accept that I've been enlightened that this is not mandatory.
And that's cool. But just keep in mind it is completely fair for people to be not fond of 4E over the exact same issue.
And I'm willing to concede.
The claims within this very thread about presumed more slippery slime and or the need to know PC levels for DCs still create the same fundamental issue as far as I'm concerned. I accept that there is clearly a distinction between that and actually changing the DC of a fixed item.


So there is no longer really any debate, right?

BryonD and a group of others prefers setting DCs independent of PCs (presumably ahead of time)based on world building principles and playing a ‘the world is what the world is’ type of exploration-led game. The ideal in this style would be having everything defined before the PCs interact with it. If something isn’t defined, a DM call is made based on the things that have already been defined in the world.

AA and a group of others prefer scene-framing drama-led games where table time is spent playing out the conflicts that ‘matter’ and skipping or fast forwarding through the rest. The ideal in this style is to keep things loose so they can be filled in later. If something isn’t defined, a DM call is made based on dramatic potential AND consistency with the defined world. The dramatic potential part is where knowing level-DCs are helpful.

To me these are both valid playstyles and people are now just expressing personal preferences.

Or is there a different “fundamental issue” you are referencing?
 
I get that feats are "optional," but they're a given when you're doing AL. I also think sticking "optional" to things is a poor excuse to have them improperly balanced.
Even if the idea was for the standard game to be balanced - and I don't see a lot of reasons to believe that was the idea, if balance was on the radar, at all, it seems more like it was far behind classic feel, DM Empowerment, and validating various fan-base bugaboos - presenting a lot of optional and alternate sub-systems that might be used in any combinations clearly puts achieving any level of balance in the DM's court.


It seems pretty jarring when my level 5 fighter gets 1 attack per round against orcs, but 5 attacks per round against goblins, which are only marginally inferior to orcs. If the goblin boss shows up, 1 attack per round on him. I don't think this was a vast problem, but it was jarring at times. The fact that the boundaries of that bonus never changed was odd too.

The 4e minion thing OTOH, how jarring really is it? PC damage output increases pretty steeply. A level 1 goblin warrior has 29 hit points. A level 7 fighter, using an at-will power and assuming he rolls reasonably well, can get a one-hit kill. He can get a one-hit kill on a level 8 hobgoblin warrior (minion) too of course. In fact he can probably kill 2-3 of them in a round, maybe even 4 or 5 in a 'perfect storm' (IE they trigger his CC and OA, he gets to use Cleave, etc). So there's SOME difference there, but its not huge.

EDIT: And [MENTION=42582]pemerton[/MENTION]'s response is very germane here too. There's no such thing as "sweeps" or even a modeling of attacks into any specific fiction in AD&D. A combat round is 1 minute long, there are no absolute rules about positioning and thus no hard-and-fast positional requirements, etc.
I'm not really seeing a big difference between the two approaches: Both are trying to do the same thing, make the fighter look like a badass when slaughtering much weaker enemies. Neither put him in the same class as an AE attack doing enough damage to kill said enemies even on a successful save (or with auto-damage).

I'll add a third approach, since I used it in AD&D, which is adopting wargaming rules where one figure represents multiple creatures. You could have a mid-high level fighter base-to-base 'engage' a 'unit,' of say 6 or 8 figures, who each represented 5 or 10 orcs or goblins or whatever, and remove figures from the back of the formation as the fighter killed them.

Come to think of it, that's really not so different from swarms/mobs, which, IIRC, 3.x introduced and 4e and 5e both retained. You have stats for the individual creature, but when you stuff enough of them in the same space, they get different stats as a swarm.
 

pemerton

Legend
Come to think of it, that's really not so different from swarms/mobs, which, IIRC, 3.x introduced and 4e and 5e both retained. You have stats for the individual creature, but when you stuff enough of them in the same space, they get different stats as a swarm.
In 4e there are no systematic rules for turning creatures into a swarm.

Of course, there aren't systematic rules for transitioning between elite/standard/solo/minion either, but at least there are some models to be followed in the DMG (eg minion orcs and ogres compared to standard ones) and there can be the idea of keeping the XP total the same, as some vague measure of ingame potency.

When it came to designing my hobgoblin phalanx swarms, or the various demon swarms I've used in my game, I looked at other swarm designs, came up with something that seemed mechanically on-level and had the right sort of flavour (eg my hobgoblin swarm could "absorb" an adjacent hobgoblin minion to regenerate), and relied on the broader fiction to carry the weight of it.

I tended to assume three to four hobgoblins per square in my phalanxes, so 30-ish hobgoblins in a 3x3 phalanx and 50-ish in a 4x4 phalanx. (From memory, the former were 13th level and the latter 16th.)
 

tyrlaan

Villager
The 4e minion thing OTOH, how jarring really is it? PC damage output increases pretty steeply. A level 1 goblin warrior has 29 hit points. A level 7 fighter, using an at-will power and assuming he rolls reasonably well, can get a one-hit kill. He can get a one-hit kill on a level 8 hobgoblin warrior (minion) too of course. In fact he can probably kill 2-3 of them in a round, maybe even 4 or 5 in a 'perfect storm' (IE they trigger his CC and OA, he gets to use Cleave, etc). So there's SOME difference there, but its not huge. 4e minions aren't a perfect emulation of weaker lower level enemies, but they certainly aren't any more crazy than many oddities of other editions, and they do add a fun dramatic element to the game.
When I ran 4e, I don't recall ever doing the elite -> standard -> minion progression. Honestly, it just never occurred to me. So when I used goblins, for example, they had a "level range shelf life". I just wouldn't bother with them after a certain level because they weren't a reasonable challenge anymore. If the PCs fought goblins past this level range, I'd just consider it a slaughter and gloss over it.

Until you explained it as you did above, I'm not sure if I even saw a scenario where I would have liked to have done the elite -> standard -> minion thing, but your comparison put it in a different light. I would however say that while a level 8 minion vs a level 3 (or whatever) standard monster might be one-hit-one-kill either way, the chance to hit is not the same, which would probably continue to steer me from doing something like this.
 
Thanks for these. It’s always nice to talk concrete examples vs. generalities.

I do see some difference in what you are describing in some of the examples. Maybe I just object to the terminology. “Objective DC” and “Subjective DC” don’t get to the heart of the matter for me and also seem to have a bunch of baggage attached to the terms that further cloud things.

In the Dwarf and forge example, I imagine in the “objective DC” system you would look for an already established DC that indicates super hot – say resisting the heat of Hell – and set the DC close to that. But you’re right, that doesn’t take into consideration the PCs narrative place in the world. When the Dwarf makes the Endurance check it’s not really a straight up ‘can my skin handle this fire’. It’s more like ‘can this Dwarven paragon of XYZ pit himself against the forces of Moradin’s fire and magic forge and prevail’. There are ways to model this in the “objective system” if you had an exhaustive list of DCs and/or modifiers say

Regular Forge DC20
Forge of Moradin +10
Paragon of Moradin sticking hands into a fire created by moradin-10
Etc

But the “subjective system” has already pre-loaded all these assumptions into the math. This pre-loading might be the essence of “subjective”. It’s more like “narratively empowered skill checks”.

The “subjective DC” system involves loose definitions of what a skill check can mean. Encourages you to make sure you’re in the right ballpark in terms of appropriate challenge, and then use the level appropriate DC that gives you higher levels of drama. It also certainly encourages the ‘just in time’ DMing you talk about.

Thanks. I agree there is definitely something here that is independent of sandbox/exploration-led and scene framing/drama-led split.
Consider how a 'simulationist' approach to this might be constructed. The question in this case, can the dwarf withstand the forge and hold the hammer, can be broken down into elements. The first question is which elements are relevant. The hotness and 'power' of the forge is some sort of baseline here. However, a LOT of other factors could be included, and the more that are, the 'more faithful' the simulation is. So what is the dwarf's CON, that factors in, what is his STR, that factors in, how much help is he getting from Moradin, that factors in (and that might be purely modeled by bonuses that have to be gained in explicit ways, from items, spells, etc). Level CAN be used as a factor, presumably as a proxy for 'mettle', luck, and some of that divine favor. In an idealized system however they would appear as separate factors that could be applied differently in different situations (IE luck in combat might not translate to luck at gambling or forging weapons).

The real difference here is just the way that things are broken down. In 4e's sort of 'subjective' approach you picked a number, based basically on dramatic considerations, and maybe tweaked it a bit, certainly for any explicit resource use or something that was calculated to increase the odds. But overall its pretty much one base number. The ideal simulationist is cataloging all possible factors.

It just gets muddy in that IMHO the 'simulationists' are really not trying to simulate anything, because nobody really ever knows enough about all but the most trivial game situations to really accurately judge DCs in any objective fashion. The above example is a great one, you can't possibly equate this dwarf's actions to the real world, unless you just discount anything in the fiction that isn't realistic and mundane, at which point the answer is "its impossible, when you stick your hands in 900C fire they burn away in seconds" (which is literally true BTW, you'd get maybe 5 seconds, tops). So ANY DC that anyone contemplates that is achievable is based on some other agenda, or else has to be based on unknowable factors like the effects of magic, which is effectively whatever the GM wants it to be.

This is the process by which I came to the conclusion that gamist or dramatic considerations are really the driving agendas and its better to set DCs by what serves them best. You can now refer back to a gamist agenda, the game as a contest, and justify that DCs AUGHT to be 'neutral', that is set without reference to any specific narrative considerations at all, but this is now revealed to be an extreme gamist agenda of a certain sort, not 'simulationism'.
 
I'll add a third approach, since I used it in AD&D, which is adopting wargaming rules where one figure represents multiple creatures. You could have a mid-high level fighter base-to-base 'engage' a 'unit,' of say 6 or 8 figures, who each represented 5 or 10 orcs or goblins or whatever, and remove figures from the back of the formation as the fighter killed them.

Come to think of it, that's really not so different from swarms/mobs, which, IIRC, 3.x introduced and 4e and 5e both retained. You have stats for the individual creature, but when you stuff enough of them in the same space, they get different stats as a swarm.
Sure, Chainmail provides all the rules needed for this approach, and obviously was expected to be used in OD&D, so it was simply an integral part of the core rules. Even in AD&D you could certainly have employed the Chainmail rules for 'swarms' (IE units). Swords & Spells I'm pretty sure has a similar concept, since it is basically Chainmail retooled to a d20 base and post-Blackmoor-Era combat system. I have a copy of Battlesystem too, and my guess is you COULD probably do it with those rules too, though it has been a LONG time since I really looked at them carefully.
 
When I ran 4e, I don't recall ever doing the elite -> standard -> minion progression. Honestly, it just never occurred to me. So when I used goblins, for example, they had a "level range shelf life". I just wouldn't bother with them after a certain level because they weren't a reasonable challenge anymore. If the PCs fought goblins past this level range, I'd just consider it a slaughter and gloss over it.

Until you explained it as you did above, I'm not sure if I even saw a scenario where I would have liked to have done the elite -> standard -> minion thing, but your comparison put it in a different light. I would however say that while a level 8 minion vs a level 3 (or whatever) standard monster might be one-hit-one-kill either way, the chance to hit is not the same, which would probably continue to steer me from doing something like this.
You could look at the hit probability as a level of abstraction, the level 8 orc minions ARE harder to hit, but at the same time, they go down easier, so maybe some 'misses' just represent fairly trivial wounds that leave the minion still standing. Its a bit hand-wavy in that there are other mechanical differences between hits and misses, but when dealing with these sorts of foes, which are mainly there for color and a bit of variety, it isn't critical. If a DM is really interested in keeping the narrative at the highest level of quality he could simply smooth over this stuff with declarative rulings, or just narrative.

So "you hit the orc with your shield and he looks bloodied, but he stands firm" (Tide of Iron deployed against level 8 orc minion, misses by 4 points). Mechanically its a miss, there's no actual damage applied, and the power's effect is ignored, but a plausible narrative is still generated. Of course I note that a clean miss isn't 'implausible', they happen. Really it would only start to get implausible if you swung 6 or 8 times and missed minions when you would have hit regular orcs. Anything short of that is well within 2 sigma.

So, the question at that point is whether the convenience of not having to tally hit points and most conditions on minions outweighs the burden of enhancing the narrative in a believable way.
 

pemerton

Legend
If a DM is really interested in keeping the narrative at the highest level of quality he could simply smooth over this stuff with declarative rulings, or just narrative.

So "you hit the orc with your shield and he looks bloodied, but he stands firm" (Tide of Iron deployed against level 8 orc minion, misses by 4 points). Mechanically its a miss, there's no actual damage applied, and the power's effect is ignored, but a plausible narrative is still generated.
Yep.

(and that might be purely modeled by bonuses that have to be gained in explicit ways, from items, spells, etc).
This is certainly the case in RM, and mostly the case in BW.

It just gets muddy in that IMHO the 'simulationists' are really not trying to simulate anything, because nobody really ever knows enough about all but the most trivial game situations to really accurately judge DCs in any objective fashion. The above example is a great one, you can't possibly equate this dwarf's actions to the real world, unless you just discount anything in the fiction that isn't realistic and mundane, at which point the answer is "its impossible, when you stick your hands in 900C fire they burn away in seconds" (which is literally true BTW, you'd get maybe 5 seconds, tops). So ANY DC that anyone contemplates that is achievable is based on some other agenda, or else has to be based on unknowable factors like the effects of magic, which is effectively whatever the GM wants it to be.

This is the process by which I came to the conclusion that gamist or dramatic considerations are really the driving agendas and its better to set DCs by what serves them best. You can now refer back to a gamist agenda, the game as a contest, and justify that DCs AUGHT to be 'neutral', that is set without reference to any specific narrative considerations at all, but this is now revealed to be an extreme gamist agenda of a certain sort, not 'simulationism'.
I agree with your last paragraph in particular. You can see it in some of the posts on that old thread about bear-taming and water weirds that I linked to earlier. Complaints about the manner in which DCs are set and actions adjudicate end up being complaints about things being too easy, or not easy enough. It's a concern about challenge and "neutrality", not about simulation or the fiction at all!
 
Yep.

This is certainly the case in RM, and mostly the case in BW.

I agree with your last paragraph in particular. You can see it in some of the posts on that old thread about bear-taming and water weirds that I linked to earlier. Complaints about the manner in which DCs are set and actions adjudicate end up being complaints about things being too easy, or not easy enough. It's a concern about challenge and "neutrality", not about simulation or the fiction at all!
Yeah, I'm probably overstating it a BIT when I say "nobody ever knows anything about", but we still don't know MUCH. I mean, for instance, in a real melee combat what's the ratio of attempted attacks to successful damage dealing blows? How effective are defensive tactics? What happens if an enemy 'goes kamikaze' what's his chance of landing a blow in that case? These are only a tiny fraction of the questions, and nobody has even the slightest objective evidence for any given answer. The questions often don't even have objective answers because it depends on exactly how you imagine the abstraction working. Often games don't even have a coherent idea of what the abstraction is exactly. D&D is especially guilty of this, HP and AC are notoriously slippery concepts.

About the best we can hope for is that people might be able to classify things as "easy" or "hard", but even then those are highly subjective judgments based largely on what we ourselves happen to be good at, what we THINK we know, but often don't, etc. IMHO most of what people call objective DCs are just about worthless as actual predictors of how something might go in the real world, and as already stated if it isn't objectively drawn from real-life than it logically must simply be invented and is just representing some other agenda.

I feel the same way about claims that you can 'design a realistic simulation of a world', its just utterly impossible. With our greatest supercomputers we can't even determine what the climate of said world would be. Its all DM fiat (say it like "its turtles, it just turtles all the way down").
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
Originally Posted by AbdulAlhazred
I just thought, when we fought the three owlbears under the dead wizard's tower for instance, that the wizard kinda had the day there. I forced one back with CoD, and a 2nd one back with T-Wave, and then both got murderized with ranged attacks. I don't know if we would have survived in close combat with several owlbears at once. It seemed like the linchpin of the Dragon Slaying/Trapping was the Alarm spell. Without some sort of magic along those lines we'd have had no plan at all.


I'd forgotten those three owlbears! Hmmm... don't have any specific remembrance of magic being extraordinarily useful. Just that someone in the party tried to befriend one of them and failed. And was it Alzardel who ended up with the two intact hides? I know Doodle blew several stealth checks, and that you guys nearly got ambushed by the big guy sneaking up from behind, when Gia failed her perception check to hear him coming.
 
I'd forgotten those three owlbears! Hmmm... don't have any specific remembrance of magic being extraordinarily useful. Just that someone in the party tried to befriend one of them and failed. And was it Alzardel who ended up with the two intact hides? I know Doodle blew several stealth checks, and that you guys nearly got ambushed by the big guy sneaking up from behind, when Gia failed her perception check to hear him coming.
Yeah, Alzardel stuck a CoD on the one in front, which then either had to take the nasty damage every round or back off, at which point Doodle and the fighter pincushioned it. The 2nd owlbear was stuck behind that one and basically in the same boat (IIRC it retreated). The big guy snuck up, but then Alzardel went back to that end of the tunnel and T-Waved it off Gia, who then baked it with her Cantrip, and I forget what else happened, but it died.

I feel like my options are not often really game changing, but they're always GOOD, and then the fighters, well, aside from ironically both having cantrips that they use heavily they do really nice damage, but the variety of really different options is low, and neither of them has anything that feels terribly impressive or plot bending outside of fights.
 

Diamondeye

Villager
Having read the rules but so far not had an opportunity to play it, I'd say it's a significant improvement over 4E but if I had my pick of systems it still takes at best 3rd place behind 3.X and PF.

I would definitely play and run this system, it just isn't my first choice, and I wouldn't run it without some house rules that, as far as I'm concerned, it's unplayable without. That said, positives first:

  • Baked-in fighter/mage option as a fighter archetype
  • Huge improvements to the monk
  • Wide racial and subrace options
  • Addition of the warlock to as well as the 3E class list
  • TWF is a real option not hidden behind massive feat taxes or the Ranger
  • single-weapon without shield is viable
  • Much better approach to multiclass spellcasters than 3E
  • class archetypes in general that in many cases open up very different options from the tradition of the base

Not exhaustive but all I can think of off the top of my head

Now, on to the topic - things that at first glance I really dislike
  • Crit rules - terrible. They do not differentiate weapons from each other and as a result, the weapons list is compressed yet again because of insufficient differentiators. If running the game I would use 3.5 crit values and balance be damned.
  • Feats - should be a mandatory, base part of the system and much more extensive.
  • Armor - Amazingly, worse than the 3.X list, easily the worst part of that system, with a total failure to give any reason to use more than a few options. DEX minimums need a complete revision with scaling within types, chain shirt needs moved to light, bare minimum. Armor charts might seem like an unimportant thing, but since lots of characters wear armor the "mithril breastplate or GTFO" of 3.X got old a long time ago.
  • Magic items - DMG list is unusable. Magic items are expected to be far fewer (unacceptable) and far less powerful (unacceptable). D&D has always been a system where magical items were important. Customized items are basically gone, and some iconic items like the Frost Brand are essentially gutted. This is the biggest thing that would mitigate against playing in this system as opposed to running it - the fear that a DM might actually use this train wreck. D&D should not attempt to duplicate fantasy where magical items were rare or nonexistent; lots of items are not optional. The DMG was a total waste of money for that alone.
  • Saving throws - lol.


The player base is also still way too concerned with "unbalanced" options. Balance is YOUR job. It's not the systems job. Players need to quit shoving their job off onto the game designer. You know what your group wants, he doesn't.
 

BryonD

Adventurer
TODAY I would say that I don't think I consider 'keeping everyone on the d20' to be critical. 5e obviously does, and if the game had been released in 2008, or maybe 2000, I'd have probably thought that was a great and worthy design goal. Now I think its fine if one guy has a much higher DC, the other guy just better bring some element into the conflict that lets him do something effective! And I'm not likely to ask for more than one check using a given skill before the fiction moves on, so at worst you get stuck trying to fumble through something, and hopefully you invent a reason why the endurance check is really arcana, or etc.
On the one hand, the bounded accuracy of 5E clearly pushes in this direction. But it is hugely different than 4E in the sense that characters who are experts in something can and will leave others far behind. A 15th level character with a +0 Dex save is completely feasible. That couldn't happen even in 3E. (granted the 15th level character will almost certainly have a few pluses from magic items). For example, in my game the characters just hit L10 and Wis saves range from +1 to +10. The rogue has +14 in a few skills.

So there are points where you can draw a clear similarity with either 3E or 4E. But the final result is pretty unique from either.
 

BryonD

Adventurer
But he was not talking about "shifting DCs for static challenges". He was talking about setting a DC . Setting a DC is not shifting it.
Understood. But you seem to not grasp that when you frame it as a function of character level, the implication that it will continue to be a function of character level is present. Thus when character level changes the result will follow the function and "shift". I accept that you say you DON'T actually do this. I suppose you just track what level the party was the first time they go anywhere so you know what the DC was when it first came into existence.

Unneeded by whom? The fact that you don't use a particular GMing technique doesn't determine the question, for the rest of humanity, whether or not they want to use that technique!
When did I ever suggest otherwise? I have said OVER and OVER that I greatly respect the merits of 4E for the niche it services. I've repeated that there are legitimate reasons a lot of people don't like 4E and this is one of them. I'm talking from the perspective of a portion of that other group. You need to quit inserting yourself as the center of every comment.
 

BryonD

Adventurer
Or is there a different “fundamental issue” you are referencing?
Nope.

Expect the issue of the swinging pendulum of "if you like 4E it is because it is vastly better" and "if you don't like 4E it is unfair to claim that anything is different at all".

As, you say here: They are different. And different groups prefer each and both sides need to accept that.
 
Understood. But you seem to not grasp that when you frame it as a function of character level, the implication that it will continue to be a function of character level is present. Thus when character level changes the result will follow the function and "shift". I accept that you say you DON'T actually do this. I suppose you just track what level the party was the first time they go anywhere so you know what the DC was when it first came into existence.
Yeah, I just write down the DC. In my 4e hack I just refer to the level of effects, not the DCs and you can look those up on the chart. If you wanted to change the relationship between fiction and levels you'd just adjust the DC chart. So, consequently, my current practice is to simply assign everything in the game world a level.
 

Marshall

Villager
I think this is at least part of why "objective" DCs push towards grittiness. I think it also helps explain how objective DCs fit with bounded accuracy (which is part of 5e, and BE, and Rolemaster in virtue of its open-ended and crit/insta-death rules).

Thoughts?
I disagree. Its not the objective DCs themselves that leads to grittiness, it's the fact that objective DCs are so subjective that your chances of success are unfathomable. Aside from a handful of fixed, obvious challenges(ie doors, locks, walls) everything else is set difficulty at the whim of the GM based on his subjective feelings at that second. 99.9% of the time, that judgement is going to give a DC that is wildly to difficult for the task at hand even tho it is ostensibly based on objective reality of the fiction. Truly objective DCs will quickly lead to gonzoland as the PCs rapidly(even at 5e's anemic pace) outlevel their surroundings.
OTOH, subjective DCs ground the GM into a here-and-now reality that both sides of the table can predict. It also lets you slide the grittiness meter simply by choosing the higher or lower end of the scale and/or knowingly exceeding it.
 

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