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D&D General Why TSR-era D&D Will Always Be D&D

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Of course distinguishing this from a sunk cost fallacy is largely in the eye of the beholder.

Well, no. Because you are assuming ("eye of the beholder") that they are indistinguishable.

Sunk cost fallacy is a fallacy, which means that it is, by definition, irrational (or, if you prefer, it is a part of the cognitive biases we all have). All it means is that people suck at understanding future benefits, and overvalue past costs.

On the other hand, path dependency matters even assuming a world with perfect information and rational actors.

Now, if this is too theoretical for you, I'll give you an easy example:

You are watching Is it Cake? on Netflix. After 15 minutes, you realize that the show is terrible.

Sunk Cost Fallacy: I've already invested 15 minutes, I might as well keep watching.

Path Dependency: No effect, since there is no real cost to switching to something better (or if you are a real stickler, the de minimis cost of ending the show and putting something else on will be outweighed by the benefit you will receive from watching anything other than Is it Cake?).
 

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Hex08

Hero
Of course distinguishing this from a sunk cost fallacy is largely in the eye of the beholder.
Which is largely the problem with informal logical fallacies. Sometimes there is honest disagreement on their application and sometimes there are those who only have a basic, or no, understanding of their proper usage but still insist on using them (not saying that is what you are doing).
 

Staffan

Legend
Gold as xp wasn't in 2e as written, though it may have been an option. Many tables IME had stopped giving xp for g.p. long before this as a house rule or policy.
It was in there as a sidebar (likely for legacy reasons), with strong recommendations not to.

The only time I used it was when running Night Below, which was written with that assumption. Which I think was pretty damn lazy of the designer. They ought to have put in appropriate story XP rewards instead.
 


Well, no. Because you are assuming ("eye of the beholder") that they are indistinguishable.

Sunk cost fallacy is a fallacy, which means that it is, by definition, irrational (or, if you prefer, it is a part of the cognitive biases we all have). All it means is that people suck at understanding future benefits, and overvalue past costs.

"I have been using these 6 stats for 30+ years I don't see why I should change?"
"because overtime they have become very dubious at best, and over those years you will find even what they mean has changed"
"I have been using these 6 stats for 30+ years I don't see why I should change?"

or people who say that damage on a miss NEVER makes sense but when you give them a justification change it to it wasn't that way before...

more then a little of the hold over from 1e to 5e is a sunk cost policy but with the "I already learned X and X is now how I think about it so I don't want to spend time learning Y"


heck every now and then in OSR circles I get told THAC0 not only was better then +to hit but there was ABSOLUTLY NO reason to change it
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
"I have been using these 6 stats for 30+ years I don't see why I should change?"
"because overtime they have become very dubious at best, and over those years you will find even what they mean has changed"
"I have been using these 6 stats for 30+ years I don't see why I should change?"

Just because some people say that, doesn't mean that is:

(1) the actual reason that they don't want to change (a lot of people don't examine their own thoughts too deeply; cf. Socrates); and

(2) the reason it isn't being changed.

If you are going to propose a new system of ability scores, it is not enough that it be just better than the current system if you were starting from scratch. In other words, the six ability scores that exist already have a lot of things going for them- they have the buy-in of generations of players, they have interdependencies that exist from OD&D through 5e (from items to classes to memes to spells), and they have a recognition factor built-in.

All of that means is that the cost of switching from those core six is very, very high at this point. So any proposal would have to be worth it.

or people who say that damage on a miss NEVER makes sense but when you give them a justification change it to it wasn't that way before...

People who don't like damage on a miss almost always cite "verisimilitude" or similar reasons. That's not the same thing.

more then a little of the hold over from 1e to 5e is a sunk cost policy but with the "I already learned X and X is now how I think about it so I don't want to spend time learning Y"

Fallacy, not policy. But you actual example isn't a sunk cost fallacy, necessarily. In fact, a lot of time invested learning something that you want to continue to use (especially with a TTRPG) makes a lot of sense.

This is why some groups are resistant to taking the time to learn new and complex games. Will the benefit (long-term enjoyment of the new system) be worth the cost (the time invested in learning the system and ramping-up to system mastery).

heck every now and then in OSR circles I get told THAC0 not only was better then +to hit but there was ABSOLUTLY NO reason to change it

I mean, that's not true.

Real grognards know that THAC0 can never beat a TABLE!!!!!!!!!
 
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Hex08

Hero
"I have been using these 6 stats for 30+ years I don't see why I should change?"
"because overtime they have become very dubious at best, and over those years you will find even what they mean has changed"
"I have been using these 6 stats for 30+ years I don't see why I should change?"
These are opinions held by individual gamers about the system and are entirely subjective. The sunk cost fallacy is the unwillingness to change a behavior based on previously invested time. If the player agreed with the argument that the stats were a dubious system but refused to change "because that's the way I have always done it and changing is too much work" then you might have a sunk cost fallacy but if they genuinely like the system as is or don't agree with the arguments presented you don't.
 
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Oofta

Legend
It's funny. When people talk about systems that are "better" than the 6 ability scores, you get a bunch of different answers. Problem is, most of them are contradictory and I don't think there's a great way to model a person's abilities in the first place. Modelling always requires compromise, no set of numbers that are practical are going to be that good.

When it comes to physical attributes, in a broad sense strength and dexterity make sense. A lot of times that weight lifter won't have the manual dexterity of that kid that can restack a set of cups in 30 milliseconds. The kid that can stack cups faster seems humanly possible (it's actually slightly under 5 seconds, you can see it here) won't be able to lift a fraction of what the weight lifter can. Same with intelligence and wisdom, my brother-in-law is truly brilliant but has absolutely no common sense.

On the other hand, the attributes fall apart at the detailed level. It's like how Newtonian physics works reasonably well most of the time in our day to day lives, but then that Einstein fellow came along and upset the apple cart. If you model acrobatics in D&D, all you need is dexterity, but gymnasts are actually quite strong, just a different application of that strength than that weight lifter.

So I agree, and disagree, with Snarf on this one. Are there different systems for representing a character? Of course. Are they better? Well ... I'm not so convinced. A half dozen attributes is easy to grasp and envision. Any system that gets up to even a dozen would probably be too much, to accurately represent reality with any granularity would like require a few dozen, if not hundreds. It wouldn't be workable.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
"I have been using these 6 stats for 30+ years I don't see why I should change?"
"because overtime they have become very dubious at best, and over those years you will find even what they mean has changed"
"I have been using these 6 stats for 30+ years I don't see why I should change?"

or people who say that damage on a miss NEVER makes sense but when you give them a justification change it to it wasn't that way before...

more then a little of the hold over from 1e to 5e is a sunk cost policy but with the "I already learned X and X is now how I think about it so I don't want to spend time learning Y"


heck every now and then in OSR circles I get told THAC0 not only was better then +to hit but there was ABSOLUTLY NO reason to change it
I have a friend who makes this claim about Thac0, and to this day, calls 3e "that horrible WotC edition". I don't even think he's cognizant that 4e or 5e are things. Worse, half the rules he uses are completely made up, so for the life of me, I don't even understand what his gripe is, since our discussions never progress past Thac0.

Which to this day I sometimes have issues calculating when I go over to play D&D with him. I did once try to get his opinion on the Player's Option line, but he just says "I never owned those books".
 

These are opinions held by individual gamers about the system and are entirely subjective. The sunk cost fallacy is the unwillingness to change a behavior based on previously invested time. If the player agreed with the argument that the stats were a dubious system but refused to change "because that's the way I have always done it and changing is too much work" then you might have a sunk cost fallacy but if they genuinely like the system as is or don't agree with the arguments presented you don't.
I have heard people say they didn't care if somethingwas better or quicker they aren't wasting time even trying it
 

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