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D&D General Why is tradition (in D&D) important to you? [+]

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
the misinformation campaign lunched (and I have my own tinfoil I wont spread it hear theory) against 4e is one of the most successful ones I have ever seen outside of politics. The number of false stories and false 'facts' that have been and are still considered 'common knowledge' amazes me...
Just because people didn't like the game doesn't mean there was a conspiracy. The internet echo chamber is a real thing and people like what they like. I don't think I would have continued playing D&D if 5E had not come out (probably would have tried PF) but my wife hates 4E with a passion and loves 5E.

Different strokes for different folks and all. There's no need for conspiracy theories or playing the blame game, some people just like or dislike different things.
 

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MGibster

Legend
o ... the old feeble minded codgers were holding the game back? No ageism here folks ... move along ... yeah, you too gramps ... nothing to see. :mad:
I can’t move along too quickly, Sonny boy. My arthritis is acting up something fierce and I need to get to the apothecary for a nice poultice to help with my gout.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Just because people didn't like the game doesn't mean there was a conspiracy.
not at all, and when people say "I don't like D&D," or "I don't like batman", or "I don't like 4e" that is fine...

The internet echo chamber is a real thing and people like what they like.
of course it is.

I don't think I would have continued playing D&D if 5E had not come out (probably would have tried PF) but my wife hates 4E with a passion and loves 5E.

Different strokes for different folks and all. There's no need for conspiracy theories or playing the blame game, some people just like or dislike different things.
there IS a reason to lay blame for lies though...

back to the "I don't like D&D" that is cool, not everyone does, but if someone said "I don't like D&D because it involves swimming pools" that would be wrong... if enough people repeated the lie "You can't play D&D without a swimming pool, and knowing how to swim" then that would be closer to a conspiracy... or maybe closer to home "I don't like/want to play D&D because if my character dies they will expect me to commit suicided in real life" or "I don't like d&D because it is satanic"

some of the 4e blatant untruths I have seen in the last 3 months on this very board are closer to satanic panic level of crazy not true then "I don't like it"
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
there IS a reason to lay blame for lies though...

Mod note:
I seems to me that a thread about tradition in gaming is NOT where you should go about placing blame for lies about a game that's come and gone.

Maybe we need a threat to make this stick. So: If folks can't stop reliving edition wars in this thread, they will soon find they cannot post in the thread.

Bring it back on topic, folks.
 


Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Started playing in the early 80s, but I'm not very traditionalist about D&D.

I dont care much either way about the fluff, because I always make my own campaign world's and create my own. Gnolls going from doglike humanoid #3 to essentially prime material demon hoardes doesnt bother or excite me because in my world they are my world's gnolls. Simarly changes and edits to Forgotten Realms doesn't phase me because the parts of the FR I import (I use their pantheon) to my world dont have to reflect those changes either.

In the area of mechanics, however, I think the sacred cows hold the game back. The basis of the entire system (d20+mod) is too shaky to build the game system I think best. At low mods the d20 creates way too much swing and you have illiterate barbarians out-researching a scholar wizard. At the other end of the spectrum in an escalating mod system like 3e when the bonus eclipses the die you have created a system where you either are good or bad at something with no inbetween.

im not arguing d20+mod doesn't work, it just allows a lot of anomolies that you don't find in other systems. I thought Take 10/20 was an excellent way to account for this but that seems to have been dropped in all but passive skill numbers.

Similarly, since 3e attribute scores have essentially been -5 to +5. We keep the 3-20 scale for old school feel, but to an outside observer that scale has no purpose.

All that said, if I sit down to play D&D then if those things were all missing I would think the game was misnamed.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Similarly, since 3e attribute scores have essentially been -5 to +5. We keep the 3-20 scale for old school feel, but to an outside observer that scale has no purpose.
I honestly think that is one of the traditions that makes me scratch my head the most... 3/5 of the 50 years attributes went from 3-18, and we keep those for tradition... and 18 Int Wizard sounds traditional. Having a 18 Dex rogue or thief does too, but the 18/00 str fighter went away after 2e.

if we really are 99% of the time counting -1 through +5 with out liers being -2 or +6, +7,+8 (belt of giant str) why do we need the 3-18 scale? tradition.

I mean you can even generate by rolling 7d6 drop the lowest take a -2 to each die assign die to stat...so it's not like we NEED 3d6.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Similarly, since 3e attribute scores have essentially been -5 to +5. We keep the 3-20 scale for old school feel, but to an outside observer that scale has no purpose.
3e scores routinely went above 20(+5). You could start with that +5 and have a 25(+7) by 20th level, and then you had commonly found or purchased stat increase items. Seeing a 30(+10) or higher at high levels wasn't uncommon.
 

HammerMan

Legend
3e scores routinely went above 20(+5). You could start with that +5 and have a 25(+7) by 20th level, and then you had commonly found or purchased stat increase items. Seeing a 30(+10) or higher at high levels wasn't uncommon.
as much as I disliked it, the 'get +6 item' to stat was a common thought too... so you could start (depending on roll) between 16-20, get 6 level up pts so 22-26 and get a Xof +6 Y for up to a 32 pretty easy... the miniature handbook introduced the belt of magnificence and made it even more gonzo (for gp value less then any 3 +6) you get a +6 to all 6 stats...
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
But, that's true of every edition. 2e was developed because AD&D sales were in the toilet.
2e was developed in the form it took in response to the Satanic panic. Without that, I suspect it would have been just a cleaned-up 1e.
3.5 was always planned, although it came out earlier than expected, simply because of the market.

There's a very, very good reason we haven't gotten a 6e yet and it has nothing to do with how good the ruleset is and everything to do with the fact that it's still selling. No one ever makes a new edition of any game for any other reason than bottom line.

This idea that we "used" to get new editions as a way to make the game better, but, now it's just cash grab is simply not true.
3e is the only edition that in my eyes was specifically done as an attempt to make the game better. We can argue all day about whether it succeeded, but the intentions were good.
 

payn

Legend
All this talk about stats reminds me of PF2 launching. They kept stats around for tradition sake, but monster stat blocks are only modifiers. I.E. Str 4, Dex 1, Con 2, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha 0

A poster was complaining that that just didn't tell him how strong a monster was. For them, seeing an 18 in Str means "real strong" and seeing Str 4 didn't translate the feeling.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
All this talk about stats reminds me of PF2 launching. They kept stats around for tradition sake, but monster stat blocks are only modifiers. I.E. Str 4, Dex 1, Con 2, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha 0

A poster was complaining that that just didn't tell him how strong a monster was. For them, seeing an 18 in Str means "real strong" and seeing Str 4 didn't translate the feeling.
The more I hear about PF2, the less I ever want to play it.
 

I've noticed this come up in a number of discussions lately. Tradition in D&D is something I find really interesting. Sometimes, when changes are being made to D&D, one of the common arguments against change is the valuing of Tradition. For example, some folks may argue that Wizards of the Coast shouldn't change the name of something, stop using a rule, or publish a new setting instead of an old one because of Tradition.

For me, there are a few traditions that I think help define D&D, even if they don't make much sense. The six ability scores are a good example of this; if D&D were created now I doubt they would use such ambiguous names that can often define the same things, such as Intelligence and Wisdom. But without those six ability scores, D&D just doesn't feel like D&D.

On the other hand, tradition really doesn't hold much sway over me. Though I've been playing since 2e, I've really enjoyed seeing play restrictions (such as race/class restrictions, multiclass restrictions, etc) go by the wayside. I find changes really invigorating. And I've always used homebrewed campaign settings.

So I'm curious about those of you who really value Tradition in D&D. Why is it important to you? What value does it have?

Please keep in mind this is a + Thread. I honestly expect to disagree with a lot of folks who post here, but I'm not going to post those disagreements. Instead, I want to know more about perspectives that are different than mine!
I have enjoy "dnd-isms" as a set of in-jokes. Part of this is nostalgia for how we used to play when we were kids, and part of it is corny meta-level references. I think the Order of the Stick comic captures the way I like to interact with dnd "tradition" quite nicely.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
I honestly think that is one of the traditions that makes me scratch my head the most... 3/5 of the 50 years attributes went from 3-18, and we keep those for tradition... and 18 Int Wizard sounds traditional. Having a 18 Dex rogue or thief does too, but the 18/00 str fighter went away after 2e.

if we really are 99% of the time counting -1 through +5 with out liers being -2 or +6, +7,+8 (belt of giant str) why do we need the 3-18 scale? tradition.

I mean you can even generate by rolling 7d6 drop the lowest take a -2 to each die assign die to stat...so it's not like we NEED 3d6.
Why keep the 3-18? Because there are players who still roll stats. And rolling a straight d6-2 for the individual stat modifier generates the wrong distribution.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
how can you separate ANY item for sale from it's need to make money...

I mean is there ANY reason to put out ANY rpg if you don't want to sell it for money?
Sure there is. Just like with rock bands putting out albums that aren't expected to sell much.

It's the contrast between a money-first approach (write songs that market research shows will likely sell big) and a more artistic approach of simply writing good songs and having any money they bring in be a pleasant side effect.
 


HammerMan

Legend
Sure there is. Just like with rock bands putting out albums that aren't expected to sell much.

It's the contrast between a money-first approach (write songs that market research shows will likely sell big) and a more artistic approach of simply writing good songs and having any money they bring in be a pleasant side effect.
if they didn't want it to make money they wouldn't be selling it...

If the 'rock band' was playing in the park for free and giving away there CDs/8tracks/tapes...what do they do put singles out for format now? then sure... but if they write the songs, then sing them for money and sell the record (or what ever) for money...they are doing it to make money.
 

HammerMan

Legend
Why keep the 3-18? Because there are players who still roll stats. And rolling a straight d6-2 for the individual stat modifier generates the wrong distribution.
what makes it wrong? roll 7d6 drop the lowest then apply -2 to all of them and assign where you want... I mean I have seen 100 different stat generating systems (Some don't even use dice but decks of cards) to generate 3-18... what makes 1 right and 1 wrong?

I assume very few people roll 3d6 place them as they get them... a few more roll 3d6 arrange to suit... but I assume most are rolling 4d6 drop the lowest and arrange to suit (I actually got to the point were I assumed with good evidence that a not negligible number where making up there own numbers or rerolling until they got what they wanted)

the answer of course, is exactly what we are talking about TRADITION
 

Sure there is. Just like with rock bands putting out albums that aren't expected to sell much.

It's the contrast between a money-first approach (write songs that market research shows will likely sell big) and a more artistic approach of simply writing good songs and having any money they bring in be a pleasant side effect.
In theory yes. But artists who starve to death don't make any art, so it is not unreasonable to pay some attention to the commercial viability.
 
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