D&D General Why Editions Don't Matter

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Oofta

Legend
I think you might misunderstand me. I'm not saying I want more crunch, or that I'm uncomfortable making rulings, or that you're a bad wrong DM for doing so. I'm actually very comfortable making rulings and inventing stuff -- it's part of the fun of the game, for me.

What I'm saying is: I want to know when and under which circumstances to do these things. Like, here's some text from a game called Wanderhome, picked randomly from my folder of PDFs.
View attachment 261907
This text explains how to start playing the game. It's a bit vague about who gets to say what (maybe a flaw, but whatever), but it's pretty clear that you start the game by establishing a scene as a group, and gives you some tools to do that.

In 5e, establishing the location is a DM's responsibility, I guess? I'm fine with that. How do I do that, though? Am I allowed to start my PCs in a jail cell with no stuff, or do they get some say in it? How do I decide if and when monsters attack? Can my players influence where we go in the next scene, or do they have to go where I tell them?

This is the kind of basic stuff I'm talking about when I say 'joining the dots'. Experienced DMs will have their own answers to these questions, but new ones often struggle.
At a certain point if you're comparing D&D (any version) to games like Blades in the Dark, it's like comparing Monopoly to Clue. There are superficial similarities. Both are competitive family oriented board games that have tokens you move around trying to win. Beyond that? Not a ton of similarities.

D&D doesn't tell you where to start or where to go because that's not the point if the core rules. You can start wherever it makes sense whether that's a jail cell, stranded on a desert island or just staring at a job board with 1-5 other random individuals you happen to fall in with.

Again, if people have issues with the why, what and how ther are literally hundreds if not thousands of modules you can use between official publications, AL mods and Dmsguild. You have more resources a few clicks away than we have ever had if you want to just follow someone else's script.

Me? I'll just continue to throw whatever random **** that I likely just made up on the spot* as the players go off on some wild tangent I never expected.

That is the heart of D&D to me and always has been. They give you the canvass, the art supplies, the studio and then set you free.

*Actually I do think quite a bit about how the world works and who's who. I just think more in goals and attitudes than set scenarios.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
The similarities to me are primarily in the resulting narrative of the game. Did we stop the goblin invasion? Can we make an alliance between these two factions work, how much does my dwarf like ale? How many sessions will I get with my new elf PC this time before they die?

I've run my campaigns based on a world I created when I was in high school (hint: a long, long time ago). Some overall themes come and go but ultimately it's all about sitting around a table telling jokes and having fun pretending to be something we're not in a world that only exists in our imagination.

I do think rules matter, different editions can feel quite different. But the stories we tell? The things we'll remember and tell stories about years later? Those stay the same.
To a gamer, sure. But to everyone else, we're all sitting around pretending to play elves and dwarves, acting out weird accents while rolling a d20 to resolve tasks and combat, adjusting HP, killing monsters, and taking their stuff.
 

MGibster

Legend
The completeness of a set of rules is not a matter of opinion. Either it is complete or it is incomplete, and whichever the case may be, it is the case no matter what anyone’s opinion may be.
Well it really depends on what you mean by complete. If you mean the publisher has published all they intend to publish, sure, it's complete. If you mean that the rules are missing some things you think should be there, then it's not complete.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I would wager that most new DMs don’t struggle with much of 5e in general, tbh.
IME you would lose that wager, but obviously YMMV.

I understand quite well that you see it that way.
Well, that is the way it is. If you see that, you would understand you likely have dozens and dozens of house-rules, if not hundreds.

Unless, of course, you never make "rulings". ;)

Anyway, at this point I think it is best to agree to disagree and move on? :)
 





Oofta

Legend
IME you would lose that wager, but obviously YMMV.


Well, that is the way it is. If you see that, you would understand you likely have dozens and dozens of house-rules, if not hundreds.

Unless, of course, you never make "rulings". ;)

Anyway, at this point I think it is best to agree to disagree and move on? :)
I rarely make a ruling I have to remember. In the rare case that I do, I add it to the list. Which is less than a page.

The rulings I do make are situational and unique to that particular situation. You seem to run a very different game than any I've encountered.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
The rulings I do make are situational and unique to that particular situation.
If the same situation repeats itself, do you change the ruling?

If so, that is an inconsistency as a player I could not tolerate. If not, well, then it is just another house-rule to add to your short list.

You seem to run a very different game than any I've encountered.
Something I take immense pride in. :D
 

Oofta

Legend
If the same situation repeats itself, do you change the ruling?

If so, that is an inconsistency as a player I could not tolerate. If not, well, then it is just another house-rule to add to your short list.


Something I take immense pride in. :D
Umm ... you do understand what rare and unique mean, right? ;)

But seriously. I have no idea what kind of rulings you're making that require this much documentation or what would qualify.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Umm ... you do understand what rare and unique mean, right? ;)
Well, compare it to magic items in D&D, rare and unique means pretty kick ass IMO! :D

But seriously. I have no idea what kind of rulings you're making that require this much documentation or what would qualify.
Oh, it could be anything really. It is more about establishing your "ruling" for future use and it standardizes it for new players, so they know what to expect in those situations.

For example:

Jumping. Your base running jump distance equals your Strength score. You can increase this distance by making a Strength (Athletics) check, adding your Strength modifier (minimum 1) for every 5 points on the check. If you roll less than 5, you fail to jump. You must move at least twice the distance you want to jump on foot immediately before you jump.

For a standing jump, your total distance is half, and for a high jump it is one-fourth your total distance.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Well it really depends on what you mean by complete. If you mean the publisher has published all they intend to publish, sure, it's complete. If you mean that the rules are missing some things you think should be there, then it's not complete.
I would say a game ruleset is complete when it contains all the rules necessary to play the game.
 



Cadence

Legend
Supporter
To be fair, a friend of mine has proposed that CR is a secret test of character. Once you realize they are nonsense, you have come to realize the designers are fallible and truly become a DM.

Secret?

And if that's the test, they sure left a tone of quizzes in their too! :)
 

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
Stands on hill, waving the Hero System flag, surrounded by the bodies of literally fives of his fellow Hero fans.
1663725541495.png
 

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