5E Why does 5E SUCK?

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
The 4E magi are trying to cast a spell on the 5E players to get us all to dislike the game and try 4E. Don't fall for it, Imaro. They'll never relent.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
The fact that you misunderstand it pretty much tells the whole story...
Again with the assumptions...

And the PCs start in the South, and the campaign is structured such that they will move inevitably northwards, finding greater and greater challenges as they do so. Its EXACTLY like the old classic multi-level dungeon where you start at the 1st level and the monsters are weak, the treasures small. Each level is more dangerous and rewarding. You can, and most everyone does, apply some sort of 'fictional logic' to try to whitewash this sort of structure as anything but a gamist consideration, but it really doesn't work.
Wrong instead of assuming... how about you ask me what the structure for the campaign is... The Far North is a weird fantasy setting so no... the challenges are not structured like you're claiming. I was asked about a particular/specific challenge (weather) not the general structure of challenges in my campaign... Always with the assumptions.

What is most telling about this is the strictness of the segregation. Nobody has adventures that contain level 1 to level 10 elements combined together, even though it might make perfectly good logical sense. It wouldn't make DRAMATIC sense (and when it in some fashion would then systems have specific mechanics that cater to it, fighter multi-attacks in AD&D, minions in 4e, and extreme damage progression in 5e).
What segregation? Are we talking about your campaign or mine? If we're discussing mine then that's a weird conclusion to draw... my players have run into things (not DC's of course because they aren't based on level in 5e) like monsters, traps, etc. that are wildly divergent in level... to reach the same ghost town they found the Dragon in they also fought off a rogue pack of starving wolves, and encountered a randomly determined pack of ghouls (because of campaign backstory various types of undead haunt the entirety of the Far North and no they don't get tougher the further north you go)...


And what do you know, the dragon just happened to be amenable to such an approach, so the PCs of some specific level could hope to succeed, in at least a social approach. Given that you admit they MIGHT have won a fight I don't see how this supports your point in any particular way.
I admit it was an unknown, the dice can be unpredictable and players can think of the darnedest things to do and I won't rule out that my players, if working together could have thought of a way to defeat the creature... They've surprised me before. But then I guess you're apparently more knowledgeable about my campaign, players and the stats of the dragon than I am...

As to the Dragon being bartered with... That's what the dice are for...uncertainty. The paladin in the party rolled high enough on a persuasion roll (not surprising seeing as his Charisma was pretty high) and the Dragon was amenable to listening to the party... I don't understand your objection to this, how would you have done it? Just ruled that the dragon, as an intelligent and conniving creature would just attack?

The original point was that adventures are written with a level of PC in mind. This is still true, even if you can find some tiny fraction of all adventures ever published that weren't. I'd note that said adventures were VERY SELF-CONSCIOUSLY designed that way, meaning that their authors were well aware of the fact that there was a convention and that they were defying it. You can squirm all you want, but any attempt to deny the truth, that adventures are specifically graded for PCs of certain levels, is just ridiculous and makes you look silly.
No it's not true if I list even one that wasn't written with level in mind... You don't get to make a blanket statement, have me show evidence your blanket statement is in fact false and then claim well those examples don't matter. It doesn't matter why they were designed that way, they exist and prove your generalization isn't true. I don't need to squirm when I have presented evidence to counter your point and your only reply is well that doesn't count because...mumble, mumble the designers purposefully made them that way...lol!! So did those who created one's based around level.
 
Through the tone/mood of his campaign... It's not that hard. For a grittier/darker campaign DC's will be higher because most things are hard without the proper training, luck, or natural ability... while in a more mythical or high fantasy campaign DC's will be lower, because you want everyone to be relatively competent and successful at most things. in other words by setting DC's the way he does in a 5e campaign the DM is creating a tone, and mood for his camapign and informing the PC's of that. A campaign where DC's run higher and failure for those untrained is going to feel more GoT while a campaign where DC's are generally lower is going to feel more LotR...
Well, first of all I'm not sure I agree with you about that. There are a number of different levers to move in terms of tone/mood, and how they interact is not always THAT straightforward. Nor in a level-based game would it really be possible for a single tone to be set merely by some DCs because characters ALWAYS progress, even in 5e, and that would imply that the tone/mood would be inconsistent in a fairly jarring way.

EDIT: This brings me to something else I am curious about... I noticed earlier that some fans of 4e claimed that it helped one create genre appropriate DC's, I think perhaps it was @Manbearcat but I could be wrong... Anyway, my question is what genre are we talking about? Because fantasy isn't all one genre and depending on how a DM chooses to set his DC's determines alot about the feel and tone of the world... so what genre exactly is 4e creating appropriate DC's for?
I think 4e is most well-adapted in general for a 'fantasy superheroes' type of game. However, you can generate different tone/mood by changing the fiction associated with the DCs. If you want a darker sort of game, then you'd probably use 'grittier' DCs, that is you would hold back the growth of the fiction into the fantastical as the PCs level up. You could create more of a whimsical or a mythic tone with a game that grew the fiction quickly and extended it up to a rather ridiculous type of extreme at epic (something like the bragging stories of Celtish myths where heroes swallow lakes and etc).

Now, you could also push 4e down into less heroic genre paths. It can do an S&S type of story reasonably well, though maybe epic tier graduates outside of what you normally find in that genre. It has certainly been used for Science Fantasy, and a certain type of Military Space Opera, with some new classes and etc of course. These things might or might not include differences in fiction relative to DCs (where its even comparable).

I don't think 4e is a good system for true 'gritty' low fantasy, procedural crawling, high realism empire building, or a number of other such genre where limited character agency and perhaps casual death are high on the agenda.

I can honestly say I don't know what the Proficiency bonuses/ability bonuses/special abilities/spells/etc. are that my players can bring to bear on each and every task... so no, I don't make up a DC that fits the characters. But thanks for the "hint"... how about you just let me answer next time and we discuss from there?

Oh, and I gave another process in my reply above... but yeah keep thinking your way is the only way to do things...
Yes, I know, all 'sandbox' adherents vehemently claim the same thing, and yet their player's still progress the ladder of lower to higher level challenges, graduating through areas where all, except possibly a few for color or hook reasons, adhere to a specific value that represents the 'level' of that adventure, as much as they try to deny that such a thing exists. Funny how that works.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
Well, first of all I'm not sure I agree with you about that. There are a number of different levers to move in terms of tone/mood, and how they interact is not always THAT straightforward. Nor in a level-based game would it really be possible for a single tone to be set merely by some DCs because characters ALWAYS progress, even in 5e, and that would imply that the tone/mood would be inconsistent in a fairly jarring way.
I never said only DC's but DC's would be a part of it... healing times, max level, etc are all levers that can be used to produce a different feel. In 5e those with training progress greatly, those raising only attributes progress slightly and those with neither don't progress at all... That seems pretty straight forward remember I am only talking to DC's here.


I think 4e is most well-adapted in general for a 'fantasy superheroes' type of game. However, you can generate different tone/mood by changing the fiction associated with the DCs. If you want a darker sort of game, then you'd probably use 'grittier' DCs, that is you would hold back the growth of the fiction into the fantastical as the PCs level up. You could create more of a whimsical or a mythic tone with a game that grew the fiction quickly and extended it up to a rather ridiculous type of extreme at epic (something like the bragging stories of Celtish myths where heroes swallow lakes and etc).
I agree about 4e being fantasy superheroes... it's a progression from Green Arrow to Flash to Superman or if you're a marvel fan, Punisher to Wolverine to Silver Surfer. However I disagree with most of the rest of your post...

In the case of gritty what happens when they get a paragon class and epic destiny? These aren't optional they are built into 4e...how do we describe the abilities granted by these as gritty, down to earth, etc.?

How do you represent that mythic tone in heroic tier through the PC's? Their powers don't seem mythical at that point, they do the same things they do in heroic in every other game mechanically... if it pushes one creature it doesn't push numerous creatures because you describe it a mythical way. You still are able to be killed by goblins and kobolds...

Now, you could also push 4e down into less heroic genre paths. It can do an S&S type of story reasonably well, though maybe epic tier graduates outside of what you normally find in that genre. It has certainly been used for Science Fantasy, and a certain type of Military Space Opera, with some new classes and etc of course. These things might or might not include differences in fiction relative to DCs (where its even comparable).

I don't think 4e is a good system for true 'gritty' low fantasy, procedural crawling, high realism empire building, or a number of other such genre where limited character agency and perhaps casual death are high on the agenda.
I agree with most of this... unless you're claiming that the genres you're listing must by their nature have limited character agency... not sure about that one.


Yes, I know, all 'sandbox' adherents vehemently claim the same thing, and yet their player's still progress the ladder of lower to higher level challenges, graduating through areas where all, except possibly a few for color or hook reasons, adhere to a specific value that represents the 'level' of that adventure, as much as they try to deny that such a thing exists. Funny how that works.
I don't speak for everyone running a sand box game in the world only how I run mine... but if you're calling me out as a liar then state it plain and simple (and I hope you have some kind of proof)... if not I really don't care how other people are running their sand boxes...
 
I never said only DC's but DC's would be a part of it... healing times, max level, etc are all levers that can be used to produce a different feel. In 5e those with training progress greatly, those raising only attributes progress slightly and those with neither don't progress at all... That seems pretty straight forward remember I am only talking to DC's here.

I agree about 4e being fantasy superheroes... it's a progression from Green Arrow to Flash to Superman or if you're a marvel fan, Punisher to Wolverine to Silver Surfer. However I disagree with most of the rest of your post...

In the case of gritty what happens when they get a paragon class and epic destiny? These aren't optional they are built into 4e...how do we describe the abilities granted by these as gritty, down to earth, etc.?

How do you represent that mythic tone in heroic tier through the PC's? Their powers don't seem mythical at that point, they do the same things they do in heroic in every other game mechanically... if it pushes one creature it doesn't push numerous creatures because you describe it a mythical way. You still are able to be killed by goblins and kobolds...
As you yourself said, I only addressed DCs, or the fiction attached to them. If I was going to make a grittier game, say one of a dark doomed world, fated to end, I could do a lot of things. I could really push the concept of POL, so the 'points of light' are VERY far apart, so much so that you can't even find another one without great trouble, and they are almost mythical places to each other. The gods pretty much seem not to even care about the world anymore, only a few relics of their power still exist. The PCs would progress, yes, but always hunted, always one step behind in any attempt to stave off the doom of the world. They would become powerful, but always overshadowed by the mighty heroes of ages past, who's traces they sometimes stumble across amidst the ruins of long-dead kingdoms and cities.

The opponents they would face would always be powerful, deadly, and merciless. Most scenarios wouldn't involve 'winning', but just staying alive and maybe accomplishing some bare minimum goals that would provide only a tantalizing glimpse of some hope, which would be snatched away before too long.

Epic could be handled a few ways. You could break with the tone and present the world as having hope reborn, new superheroes capable of defeating evil. You could play it to theme and simply make epic one long superhuman quest to just snatch some tiny measure of victory from uttermost defeat. To save 100 people from the apocalypse and give them some hope of a new world, etc.

You could also constantly play up things like supplies, enduring the environment, etc. This is all stuff that is actually pretty well outlined in the DS material, though it isn't strictly really quite a gritty sort of game. It certainly wouldn't be the same as a B/X based game, where desperate ordinary individuals take up the struggle because they must and die in droves, but even B/X has high level play where that sort of thing isn't really appropriate.

I agree with most of this... unless you're claiming that the genres you're listing must by their nature have limited character agency... not sure about that one.
In most high grit games the idea is that you have to muck your way through in a mostly pretty mundane way. You need torches. There may be light spells, but they're precious and you need to save them for a very bad situation, if you even have one. If the torches run out, you're up the creek without a paddle. Not having unlimited light spells and whatnot is the sort of thing I'm talking about. 4e handles logistics mostly in a sort of "here's something to explain why you don't have to care about it" sort of way, which isn't really compatible with the sort of exploration play that was common in early D&D and which even 2e supports pretty well.

I don't speak for everyone running a sand box game in the world only how I run mine... but if you're calling me out as a liar then state it plain and simple (and I hope you have some kind of proof)... if not I really don't care how other people are running their sand boxes...
Yep, every time I have this discussion the sandbox DM claims to be the 'one unicorn' of such DMs who's game doesn't work that way. I have no reason to want to offend anyone, and maybe you're REALLY that one unicorn DM, but look at it from my perspective. In FORTY YEARS of play I haven't personally witnessed that sandbox yet. There are certainly sandboxes, which I would classify as 'games which eschew a plot and explicit development.' However, they always arrange their adventuring in such a way that the PCs face things they can face, or if they don't its because the players actively and usually perversely chose not to. The dragon didn't eat the PCs in your game because it wouldn't be fun. Instead he's a clever wily beast who has some complicated agenda, which it sounds like was invented on the spot, but I could be wrong.

From this it follows that all games have at least a GAMIST agenda that includes an ongoing game in which it is feasible for the PCs to progress in levels. It may have a narrative agenda too, at least in the sense of creating an interesting story out of that progression. I guess you could have a sort of almost entirely narrative sandbox where the generation of stories of bathos and or absurdity, etc would be the goal, where random luck might let PCs progress a bit before the inevitable axe comes down. No doubt there are various possible nuances.

The point is, again, that in the end the DCs and other mechanical elements serve some sort of agenda in which setting them WRT the characters is at some level key.

Think of it this way, making a sandbox using 4e is no more difficult to imagine than making one using 5e. IMHO its easier to the extent that you want to know that each adventure has some specific difficulty level, regardless of the mechanism by which the characters are conveyed to the appropriate adventure, either by exploration and hooks or by the application of dramatic means to drive a story forward.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
Yep, every time I have this discussion the sandbox DM claims to be the 'one unicorn' of such DMs who's game doesn't work that way. I have no reason to want to offend anyone, and maybe you're REALLY that one unicorn DM, but look at it from my perspective. In FORTY YEARS of play I haven't personally witnessed that sandbox yet. There are certainly sandboxes, which I would classify as 'games which eschew a plot and explicit development.' However, they always arrange their adventuring in such a way that the PCs face things they can face, or if they don't its because the players actively and usually perversely chose not to. The dragon didn't eat the PCs in your game because it wouldn't be fun. Instead he's a clever wily beast who has some complicated agenda, which it sounds like was invented on the spot, but I could be wrong.
Again with the insinuations and half-baked assumptions instead of just asking... you probably haven't witnessed this in 40 years because you were to busy finding ways to assert what you already believed to be true instead of having a dialogue or observing impartially... And yes for the record you are wrong, the dragon and his goals as a hook were created before we started play... I wasn't even sure they would head in that direction when play started and the items they took into the outpost had ramifications that affected them and the outpost...

But please continue to tell me about the campaign I created and run every week and you've never witnessed or participated in...


From this it follows that all games have at least a GAMIST agenda that includes an ongoing game in which it is feasible for the PCs to progress in levels. It may have a narrative agenda too, at least in the sense of creating an interesting story out of that progression. I guess you could have a sort of almost entirely narrative sandbox where the generation of stories of bathos and or absurdity, etc would be the goal, where random luck might let PCs progress a bit before the inevitable axe comes down. No doubt there are various possible nuances.
It follows from what... your oppinion? Ok, I'll grant you that but it doesn't follow from anything objective.

Running a sandbox that is not scaled to the level of the PC's is not the only factor to speak to the feasibility for the PC's to progress in levels... just as an example the optional hero point rules in the DMG add to the feasibility of the PC's progressing but doesn't cause the environment to scale with them, inspiration, magic items, etc. are all things that can make the feasibility of survival greater without forcing a scaled world. The Far North sandbox starts PC's that die off on the same level (at 0xp) as their previous characters, this also affects that feasibility... The one thing playing in this mode has taught me is that outside of 3rd level, 5e PC's are pretty resilient and if working together capable of handling alot more than what the guidelines would suggest.

Right now at 8th level only 2 PC's from the original group have survived (A rogue who retired and became a lawyer for the Empire and a Ranger who believes he is "home"), but the narrative is that of the setting and the things that transpire in it... like the Thieve's World stories, not of one particular character I think that's the problem you're having is that you assuem it's the story of a particular group of characters when in fact it is the story of the Far North, and the things that transpire within it.

The point is, again, that in the end the DCs and other mechanical elements serve some sort of agenda in which setting them WRT the characters is at some level key.
You keep asserting this as if it must be true but you've presented no evidence... In my game the DC's are not set dependent on character level...

Think of it this way, making a sandbox using 4e is no more difficult to imagine than making one using 5e. IMHO its easier to the extent that you want to know that each adventure has some specific difficulty level, regardless of the mechanism by which the characters are conveyed to the appropriate adventure, either by exploration and hooks or by the application of dramatic means to drive a story forward.
No... this is leading right into the very thing you keep claiming is unavoidable. In knowing the exact easy/moderate/hard DC's of every level as in 4e, the DM's impartiality becomes even harder. Instead of saying hey weather is rough out here in the Far North and making it hard/very hard as in 5e... I now must decide what level weather is the decide how hard it is in a particular place... this then leads to my placement of it it creating a "leveling effect" in my sandbox. I don't want to do that, so for me it's not made easier and I'm starting to see where you and @Hussar are coming from now...
 
However when a system is one of, if not the, best selling game system around, complaining that it's "horribly unbalanced" and "broken" is silly.
That's called an 'Appeal to Popularity,' an informal fallacy.

Lots of very popular things turn out to be pretty bad. Smoking, for instance.

Or, look at it another way: D&D is successful, for a TTRPG, but TTRPGs are amazingly unpopular compared to other forms of games played for entertainment, which could point to D&D (and RPGs in general) being just terrible ('broken') games - if popularity were a valid proof of quality.
 

Jessica

Villager
That's called an 'Appeal to Popularity,' an informal fallacy.

Lots of very popular things turn out to be pretty bad. Smoking, for instance.

Or, look at it another way: D&D is successful, for a TTRPG, but TTRPGs are amazingly unpopular compared to other forms of games played for entertainment, which could point to D&D (and RPGs in general) being just terrible ('broken') games - if popularity were a valid proof of quality.
Through appealing to popularity the Michael Bay Transformers series are objectively better forms of entertainment than D&D. TBH any single one of the Michael Bay Transformers movies are better forms of entertainment than D&D. Just check those box office earnings.
 

Manbearcat

Adventurer
Isn't the Hard DC based on the fiction though, not on when the DM things is dramatic? I haven't looked at my 4e books in a while so maybe what you say is true. I also don't recall being able to spend HS proactively as a resource (only as a penalty after the fact) but again I haven't looked /played in a while.

Those would be good examples of "subjectiveness". Thanks.

This looks like playstyle to me more than the mechanics of DCs. 4e certainly advocated this play style (one I like) but I also played many games of 3e and earlier this way too.

The bandit routing doesn't cease to exist in "scene framing" style either, the DM and Players just decide they don't want to engage with that stuff or 'play it out'.

More and more, I think "subjective DC" seems to be a code for "dramatic scene framing" playstyle and "objective DC" for "exploration play style".
I think conversation has progressed well beyond this point so I won't go into much of this. The sources for most of this stuff are primarily DMG2 and RC, but also several WotC articles (Dungeon and freebies).

As to your last sentence, I wouldn't use the word "code" there. I would basically just say that each playstyle requires certain component parts of the resolution mechanics in order for them to synergize with GMing techniques and tone/genre. Subjective DCs are definitely more widely used in "protagonism/thematic/genre logic-centered" play where where the only thing that is ever on-screen is meant to be dramatic (hence the conflict-charged scene being the exclusive locus of play). Objective DCs are useful on "serial (time and spatially) exploration-centered play" whereby the players are meant to transit a pre-built map and experience "a living, breathing world" (the on-screen will feature plenty of benign material along with its conflict-charged material) and aim solely for 1st person, PC habitation at all times.

Well, I will say this: I haven't spent the considerable time that [MENTION=6696971]Manbearcat[/MENTION] and I imagine [MENTION=42582]pemerton[/MENTION] have in doing analysis of Forge discussion and reading up on theory in indy game design. I've read a lot of discussion about techniques and application, but I leave the heavy theoretical lifting to others.
Honestly, all I care about is talking about games with fellow TTRPG peers that have a passion similar to my own. I want to talk about the impacts of design decisions, resolution mechanics, techniques, play goals and how different systems produce different experiences. I want to talk about these things from a GMing perspective. I might involve myself in a discussion about PC builds, mechanics, and balance now and again, but mostly I want to talk about GM-side stuff.

There is all kinds of analysis on the PC side of things, from maths/balance to fluff/crunch nuance to theme, etc. But for whatever weird reason, there is an enormous amount of resistance to trying to look at GMing in a technical manner. I don't know if it is the "it's more art than engineering" ethos or the "system doesn't matter because rule 0 and GM power" ethos or what, but I find it frustrating as hell. I have yet to come by this sort of resistance to technical analysis in any other passion of mine (of which I have many and participate in vigorous discussion about). The Forge was a just a place where folks who like this sort of technical analysis can go to discuss system imperatives, what they induce during play, and GMing techniques (among other things). So you could use pretty straight-forward terminology like "GM-force" (* technique whereby a GM wrests control of a player's thematically, strategically, or tactically significant decisions from that player) or "fictional positioning" (** the physical and temporal location of stuff in our shared imaginary space and their context) without people freaking the hell out. Both of those things are important component parts of an RPG discussion but people flip their lids and go OMGFORGE WTF when they're used. Like I said prior, I'll use any accepted terminology that people want to use. I'll sub GM Ham Sandwich for "GM-Force" or Kookoocachoo for "fictional positioning" if that makes people feel better (for whatever weird reason...yeah, I know the reasons...I call 1st world TTRPG problems for people's care about what Ron Edwards said once upon a time...I just fought a grueling, life-altering 2 year battle with brain cancer where I lost someone extremely precious...I do not care how people feel about Ron Edwards). So long as I don't have to say something like the mouthful of * and ** every single time I need to invoke a meaningful RPG concept, I'm good. If people want to come up with some good terms, fill me in and I'll use them and gladly.

If I have time this weekend, I think I might take an Exploration sequence and examine the moving parts or handling it in several modern systems (4e, 13th Age, 5e, Dungeon World, maybe Cortex + Heroic Fantasy if I have time) for comparison. Maybe something interesting and insightful will come out of that. Probably not but I'm game for uselessly bashing my head against a wall.
 

Manbearcat

Adventurer
EDIT: This brings me to something else I am curious about... I noticed earlier that some fans of 4e claimed that it helped one create genre appropriate DC's, I think perhaps it was [MENTION=6696971]Manbearcat[/MENTION] but I could be wrong... Anyway, my question is what genre are we talking about? Because fantasy isn't all one genre and depending on how a DM chooses to set his DC's determines alot about the feel and tone of the world... so what genre exactly is 4e creating appropriate DC's for?
My bold. 4e definitely has genre step changes throughout the tiers (as is explicated and intended). Further, you've got some setting books and advice in DMG2 that show the potential malleability of 4e's chassis to various genre drift.

By default however, it is something like this (very generally):

Heroic Tier:

- Fate of a village
- Haunted crypts, bandit hideouts, and the the dark woods
- Cultists, orcs, corrupt lords/governors, and ghouls
- The fantasy equivalent of Indiana Jones and Die Hard

Paragon Tier:

- Fate of a nation or even the world
- Uncharted, untamed, dangerous regions of the world and long forgotten dungeons/ruins
- Giants, golems, mind flayers, beholders, the king's corrupt court, malevolent corporations/orgs
- The fantasy equivalent of X-Men

Epic Tier:

- The fate/designs/organization of otherworldly realms and the cosmology that governs the prime world
- Otherworldly realms, parallel dimensions, or the locale of a world-conquering empires
- Arch-liches, (arch)devils, (arch)demonds, ancient dragons, primordials, elder primal spirits, and gods
- Greek myth, Diablo, and the highest order of comic book stuff (eg where Galactus, Thanos and Darkseid are antagonists)
 
Having a tool that tells you about what DCs would be easy, moderate, or hard for a character of a given level to succeed against is handy if you're trying to get a specific feel, sure. In some sub-genres, the hero usually succeeds at all sorts of tasks that get in their way, so you'd want to choose DCs that are close to the 'easy' column. In others, you have an ensemble cast where each hero is a specialist, and the team needs them to step up at their specialties - and you'd lean more towards hard DCs.

Of course, it's a not a tool that works for everything: There's also a trope in which a highly skilled character has a blindspot, some, often mundane, task that they're comically bad at - that's something that'd have to be reflected in the character (or even in RP), since it wouldn't make sense for DCs to bump up just for him.

That all models genre (various sub-genres).


OTOH, a tool that gives you a guide for DCs based on the in-fiction task, itself, is a different tool entirely. It won't help you model a genre of your choosing, but if you stick to it, it'll model whatever genre or setting or other assumption it's meant to (assuming it's a well-designed tool, anyway). You could still use it in the above processes, but you'd be using it to establish fiction rather than DCs, you'd have to figure out what DCs fit the sub-genre tone you're going for, then you'd use the tool to look up what the task has to be to 'justify' that DC.


Having both tools would give you more flexibility, of course.
 

tyrlaan

Villager
There is all kinds of analysis on the PC side of things, from maths/balance to fluff/crunch nuance to theme, etc. But for whatever weird reason, there is an enormous amount of resistance to trying to look at GMing in a technical manner. I don't know if it is the "it's more art than engineering" ethos or the "system doesn't matter because rule 0 and GM power" ethos or what, but I find it frustrating as hell. I have yet to come by this sort of resistance to technical analysis in any other passion of mine (of which I have many and participate in vigorous discussion about). The Forge was a just a place where folks who like this sort of technical analysis can go to discuss system imperatives, what they induce during play, and GMing techniques (among other things). So you could use pretty straight-forward terminology like "GM-force" (* technique whereby a GM wrests control of a player's thematically, strategically, or tactically significant decisions from that player) or "fictional positioning" (** the physical and temporal location of stuff in our shared imaginary space and their context) without people freaking the hell out. Both of those things are important component parts of an RPG discussion but people flip their lids and go OMGFORGE WTF when they're used. Like I said prior, I'll use any accepted terminology that people want to use. I'll sub GM Ham Sandwich for "GM-Force" or Kookoocachoo for "fictional positioning" if that makes people feel better (for whatever weird reason...yeah, I know the reasons...I call 1st world TTRPG problems for people's care about what Ron Edwards said once upon a time...I just fought a grueling, life-altering 2 year battle with brain cancer where I lost someone extremely precious...I do not care how people feel about Ron Edwards). So long as I don't have to say something like the mouthful of * and ** every single time I need to invoke a meaningful RPG concept, I'm good. If people want to come up with some good terms, fill me in and I'll use them and gladly.
I know, right?

My theory is two-fold. One is that GMs have strong personalities and I just think things get taken too personally, out of context, delivered insensitively, and so on. In response, GMs are unlikely to just accept it and move on because of said strong personalities, so things keep going down the road less constructive.

The other is that people are too tied up with the need to fight the edition fight*, whether it's to hate on other editions, defend against "haters", or justify their preferred edition. Sadly, I think my theory may be pretty spot on. I mean how much of this DC setting theory conversation is actually about the differences and their pros and cons rather than which one is "better"? And then the comments about how So-and-so's example is "BS" and So-and-so's counterpoint is "corner case" or a "strawman" or etc. And yeah, sometimes those call outs are true.

Now you combine those two and you've got a nice mixing pot for crap as opposed to constructive conversation.

*Let's not kid ourselves, the edition war isn't over, only the "battlefield" and tactics have changed.
 

Hussar

Legend
Heh. It's kinda funny. Imaro's blizzard example uses DC's from medium to very hard. But those DC's are determined by the system which is, in turn, determined by level. Because 5e's skill system is largely flat, it works fine. But, if we read Chapter 8 of the 5e DMG on determining DC's, we see that as soon as we go beyond those stock DC's, we are advised to take level into account.

Isn't it interesting that it's impossible in Imaro's "objective " system, for a party to have no chance of success? After all, impassible blizzards are a very real event. Being caught in the open in a blizzard is a pretty quick way to die.

But in Imaro's "objective " system, any level characters will always have a chance of success.

But, apparently, this doesn't count for designing challenges based on level.
 

Shasarak

Villager
Isn't it interesting that it's impossible in Imaro's "objective " system, for a party to have no chance of success? After all, impassible blizzards are a very real event. Being caught in the open in a blizzard is a pretty quick way to die.

But in Imaro's "objective " system, any level characters will always have a chance of success.
That is just Bounded Accuracy - now everyone has a chance of success.
 

Hussar

Legend
That is just Bounded Accuracy - now everyone has a chance of success.
Exactly my point. Why is 19 the number chosen? If the PC's capabilities are not a factor then why aren't difficult tasks actually more difficult? Why is being caught in a blizzard just hard enough to be challenging to the PC's but not overwhelming?

Explain to me why 19 is hard?
 

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