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

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
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
1d6-2 is a flat distribution with all results being equally likely, 3d6 generates a bell with -1, +0, +1, and +2 modifiers being significantly more likely than +3 and even more likely than +4. The former isn't a compatible replacement for the latter even if it covers a similar range.
 

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HammerMan

Legend
1d6-2 is a flat distribution with all results being equally likely, 3d6 generates a bell with -1, +0, +1, and +2 modifiers being significantly more likely than +3 and even more likely than +4. The former isn't a compatible replacement for the latter even if it covers a similar range.
and 4d6 reroll 1's drop the lowest roll 7 numbers drop the lowest gives you a MASSIVE chance of having many PCs with 17+s... still see people do it... what does any of that have to do with 3-18? nothing.

tradition.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
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.
Pretty much no musician, other than the fabulously wealthy and Harry from the Sultans of Swing (he's got a daytime job, he's doing alright), is putting out albums just for the art - they want to get paid. After all, they do have to put food on the table. They want to be able to make a living at their art.
This was actually a point of controversy for elements of the counterculture in the late 60s/early 70s who wanted all concerts to be free, man, and free from commercial sell-outs and with more artist integrity. Completely forgetting, of course, that artists need to eat and should be paid for their work.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
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?
A lot of creators do this very thing in the RPG industry. The saying "if you want to end up with a million dollars making RPGs, start with 2 million" came about for a reason. Most indie creators just don't make money in this hobby. It's why we all have day jobs.

There are many products I've created and released knowing I'd never break even to what I spent on them, but I did so because it's fun to share ideas, and the best reward is seeing others having fun with something you created.

Right now, there are more than 12,000 free items on DTRPG. There seems to be a lot of evidence to counter your argument.

As an aside, in a + thread about tradition, you seem pretty intent on complaining about it. Do you know what a "+" indicator means? (not snarky, serious question).
 
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payn

Legend
Among other things that I've heard, yes.
So I guess I ask myself what parts of tradition are valuable to me. For example, if folks wanted D&D to be an RPG based on Gundam suits i'd find that too far afield of tradition for my states. If you take a traditional mechanic and find a better way to use it, then im ok with that tradition getting a make over.
 

ART!

Legend
Tradition in D&D is important to me (insofar as it's important to me) because if I want to play something that doesn't feel like D&D then I will play something else.

That sounds very simplistic typing it out, but that's what it comes down to. Change "too many things" and at some point it won't feel like D&D to me.

Very little of my nostalgia or connection to D&D has to do with the mechanics, but I also know that for most of the people I have, do and will game with, those things are important, and so they're important to me.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So I guess I ask myself what parts of tradition are valuable to me. For example, if folks wanted D&D to be an RPG based on Gundam suits i'd find that too far afield of tradition for my states. If you take a traditional mechanic and find a better way to use it, then im ok with that tradition getting a make over.
For me it depends. Getting rid of stats and going straight bonus is going to ensure that I don't play the game. Taking stats and getting rid of penalties is a change that was acceptable to me. We're all going to be drawing these lines in different areas. There may be a tradition that I'll bend on that you won't.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
and 4d6 reroll 1's drop the lowest roll 7 numbers drop the lowest gives you a MASSIVE chance of having many PCs with 17+s... still see people do it... what does any of that have to do with 3-18? nothing.

tradition.
With 6 stats and a die roll method that boosts the expected result to 12 instead of 10, sure, you do get things skewing a little higher and the chances of getting a 17+ in a stat do increase (I'd take issue with the claim of MASSIVE!!1!). But that doesn't approximate a flat distribution. The most frequent bonus will still be +1 and those are a lot more likely than +3 or +4. Either way, the assumption the rules make is that stats are distributed along something much closer to a normal distribution than a flat one.

And, while that is traditional, it's a pretty fundamental assumption throughout D&D character design that bonuses that deviate from +0 should be less frequent (rolled)/more expensive (bought with points) the better they are. Do you think there's something wrong with that design?
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
For me it depends. Getting rid of stats and going straight bonus is going to ensure that I don't play the game. Taking stats and getting rid of penalties is a change that was acceptable to me. We're all going to be drawing these lines in different areas. There may be a tradition that I'll bend on that you won't.
Anecdote: I was walking through character creation with a totally new to RPGs person a couple years ago. They didn't even play videogame RPGs previously.

I went over how to assign the array to stats, and then determine the stat bonus. I went over how you very rarely use the stat itself but the bonus is used every time the stat was involved in a die roll.

After we were finished creating the whole character and I gave them a character sheet to copy their worksheet I er to I stopped paying super close attention to what they were doing.

After they were finished copying over I took a look at the sheet to make sure it was all filled out as needed to play and I noticed something that jumped out to me as super odd....

In the attribute section the large circles had written in large print +3, +1, 0, etc.. in the very small inset box was written a very tiny 16, 12, 10, etc. I pointed out to them that it was backwards from how we usually did it and they said "That doesn't make sense to me. Why would I put the thing I never use in the big circle and the thing I always look at in the small box?"

I couldnt argue with the logic. Why indeed?
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Anecdote: I was walking through character creation with a totally new to RPGs person a couple years ago. They didn't even play videogame RPGs previously.

I went over how to assign the array to stats, and then determine the stat bonus. I went over how you very rarely use the stat itself but the bonus is used every time the stat was involved in a die roll.

After we were finished creating the whole character and I gave them a character sheet to copy their worksheet I er to I stopped paying super close attention to what they were doing.

After they were finished copying over I took a look at the sheet to make sure it was all filled out as needed to play and I noticed something that jumped out to me as super odd....

In the attribute section the large circles had written in large print +3, +1, 0, etc.. in the very small inset box was written a very tiny 16, 12, 10, etc. I pointed out to them that it was backwards from how we usually did it and they said "That doesn't make sense to me. Why would I put the thing I never use in the big circle and the thing I always look at in the small box?"

I couldnt argue with the logic. Why indeed?
I can tell you why I do it. A part of me just likes looking at bigger numbers. :p

I've learned that 5e doesn't care if you have a 14, 16, or 20. Things are going to be a challenge no matter what, because the numbers just don't make that big of a difference, so I don't go out of my way to optimize the numbers. However, I'd rather look at 17 in the big box and the +3 in the small one.
 


Hex08

Explorer
One of my favorite D&D traditions is the really big dungeon crawl. I don't always want to play one but I remember running Night Below in 2e and myself and my players having a blast.
 
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Hussar

Legend
They changed a lot of fundamental things and made it into a different game with similar labels. Whether that new game was good or not is not particularly relevant, to a lot of people it didn't feel like D&D in the same way that every other game has. If it had been released as it's own separate game (and given a little more development time) I think it could have been reasonably successful.

There was more than just one issue. 🤷‍♂️

This relates back to the topic in that you can call that "look and feel" of D&D tradition if you want. However to me it was the difference between creating a new game with a lot of similarities to D&D that has new structure and creating a new edition that evolved and refined the game. My first 5E PC was an homage to one of my first PCs from back in my 1E days. The new PC, a dual wielding dwarven rogue, was the grandson of that old PC. While things obviously worked a lot different, in play the new PC felt much the same. The beats and rhythms were the same even if I always wanted to roll high, my new PC was a rogue instead of a thief and I did sneak attacks instead of backstabs. I took a half-hearted stab at doing the same thing in 4E and just couldn't make it work and gave up.

So to me tradition includes that ephemeral look and feel of the game that's hard to put a finger on. It's just one of those things that you know when you see it.

I’d buy this except that 5e has every single issue that 4e had but is seen as “traditional”.

I believethe ephemeral thing you are looking for is personal preference.
 

Magister Ludorum

Adventurer
Traditions that are important to me include the flowing.
  • Ability scores that can be generated on 3d6.
  • Spells that are divided into spell levels.
  • It's especially important to me that lower level spells aren't forgotten when you go up in level.
  • Character classes and character levels.
  • Leveling up increases the power level of a character.
  • D20+modifier to hit.
  • Monsters
  • Miniatures and battle mats not needed to play.
  • Psionics that don't require material components.
I have played every version of the games from the white box to 5e. I still own all the books except for one addition. I won't say which one because this is a +thread.

There are things I don't like about 5e, but it's my favorite edition of the game so far. (Unless I can get strings to wiring that 2e/5e fusion system that I can't get out of my head.

I didn't include megadungeons and puzzles that the player has to solve because I don't really like them, but I think they should be included for those who do.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I’d buy this except that 5e has every single issue that 4e had but is seen as “traditional”.

"You had an amputation at the knee and they have a sprained ankle, so same issue." - It feels like degree matters.

It also feels like transitions matter. Even if they didn't like it as a whole, 4e probably softened the impact of some of the things in 5e for those who still preferred 3.5/PF to 4. "So last year we had steak and all new sides for Thanksgiving instead of a Turkey and the usual... So anyway, back to Turkey this year but we're keeping some of the side dish changes we tried out."
 
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Horwath

Hero
What I feel that is tradition that should be kept:

1. Races: Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, etc...
Mechanics could be less impactful, i.e. no difference in racial scores for "standard" races, skill here and there, expertise maybe, 1st or 2nd level spell once per day

2. Levels! Levels are default power scale for D&D and it should remain at all cost

3. Classes, but... with more flexible base, few "must take" features, and majority of "a la carte" features to take.

4. Feats. For everyone to take. Personal touch to characters. Maybe add "feat point" system as we see that half-feat and full-feat currently have some issues with power scaling. Having feats worth 1 to 8 points, with +1 to ability worth 4 points would go long way to balancing feats.

5. Spell levels. same s character levels, default D&D power scale. Maybe add 10th level spells for full casters at 19th level. While we are here, fix scaling of damage spells. it's beyond pathetic.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I’d buy this except that 5e has every single issue that 4e had but is seen as “traditional”.

I believethe ephemeral thing you are looking for is personal preference.

I'll just have to disagree. There are a lot more options now, but for our games it's more flavor than substance. We went from sometimes wanting low, sometimes high. Sometimes adding then subtracting to always adding. But we're still rolling d20s followed by some math. Wizards have cantrips but in older versions we just handed out wands like candy. Healing is easier now, but we just bought six packs of healing potions and, again, wands. Scrolls for casters were also a big thing.

So all of the "wizards can actually do something more then 5 times a day" and "healing is too easy" was just overcome in previous edition games I played using different options. I'm sure it varied more for some people, but the overall experience has been reasonably consistent for me even though I've played with several different groups over the years.

Is it exactly the same? Of course not. If it were we wouldn't need new editions. In the end though, I still have the option of playing a simple BDF (big dumb fighter) or a caster that has to track what spells they can cast. If you prefer older editions, that's fine. I'm just discussing the role of keeping around traditional tropes like the simple BDF or wizard. For me, those end up feeling much the same. Yes, it's just a matter of opinion and preference.

I'd ask for more detail because I'm always interested in other's perspectives, but that's not what this thread is for.
 

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