WotC's Adam Lee discusses cinematic flair in a new Behind the Screens

An interesting read. And his 'cinematic' mode has a lot in common with the Firefly RPG's "taken...

An interesting read. And his 'cinematic' mode has a lot in common with the Firefly RPG's "taken out" mechanic (which means you're out of the scene; not dead), which is definitely appropriate to that game.

And yet...

At the beginning of my DM career, I noticed that some players got a sad face when their characters died, or that other players checked out and began fiddling with other stuff in the middle of the game. What did those players want that I wasn’t giving them? Sad faces and a lack of engagement are anathema to a DM. But from those two reactions came my two modes of D&D play.

Interesting that he then goes on to use the "Lord of the Rings" films as his 'cinematic' example - it's hard to argue that those movies would have been better had Boromir not died.
 


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jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
An interesting read. And his 'cinematic' mode has a lot in common with the Firefly RPG's "taken out" mechanic (which means you're out of the scene; not dead), which is definitely appropriate to that game.
Star Wars Saga Edition--another WOTC product, of course!--had a way of handling it that I really liked: you get a certain number of Force Points per level. They can be used to add a D6 to almost any roll, to power certain extra-strong moves, or to declare that your character is only knocked out any time he/she would otherwise have died. This means that as long as you save at least one Force Point, your character won't die unless you want him/her to. It also means that spending your last Force Point is a big deal and automatically makes whatever task you're trying to do into something epic. It's particularly useful since there's no resurrection in Star Wars, of course.

If I wanted to run a very cinematic 5E game, I'd probably import the Force Point mechanic. (I'd likely keep the death saves, because they're fun; they could take the place of the "con check to wake up" mechanic from Saga Edition.)
 

Uchawi

First Post
To support a cinematic campaign it goes beyond just what any player can experience. It goes deeper into the mechanics of the game. Obviously hit points have a lot of room for cinematic interpretations based on their abstract nature, but where I tend to run into a problem as a player is when comparing classes. A caster has a toolbox of cinematic action with spells, and the next closest class would be one that is skill based, but the biggest difficulty is with martial classes and playing 'DM may I'. That is where I wish 5E had implemented maneuvers for martial classes.
 

To support a cinematic campaign it goes beyond just what any player can experience. It goes deeper into the mechanics of the game. Obviously hit points have a lot of room for cinematic interpretations based on their abstract nature, but where I tend to run into a problem as a player is when comparing classes. A caster has a toolbox of cinematic action with spells, and the next closest class would be one that is skill based, but the biggest difficulty is with martial classes and playing 'DM may I'. That is where I wish 5E had implemented maneuvers for martial classes.


One of the players packets has manoeuvres, and you can convert the ToB/Bo9S classes quite easily, I am having a blast converting to 5th Ed.
 


The Human Target

Adventurer
Interesting that he then goes on to use the "Lord of the Rings" films as his 'cinematic' example - it's hard to argue that those movies would have been better had Boromir not died.

Boromir was going to die earlier from fumbling a jump check over a chasm but Tolkien fudged it because it was boring.

But when Boromir started to die after falling sway to the Ring and then saving Frodo, he let it stand because it was an awesome story.

And because Boromir's player was fine with dying because he had this idea about coming back as the interesting NPC so often mentioned by the DM, Gollum.
 
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Uchawi

First Post
One of the players packets has manoeuvres, and you can convert the ToB/Bo9S classes quite easily, I am having a blast converting to 5th Ed.
That's cool. I used to take the time to do that when I first started to play many years ago, but the time I have is precious, so I want a game with little prep or extra work.
 

That's cool. I used to take the time to do that when I first started to play many years ago, but the time I have is precious, so I want a game with little prep or extra work.


Ah, I can dig, my time is precious too, but I enjoy designing and converting as much as DMing/playing, just in a different way.

Converted the Favoured Soul at work today (took less than an hour).
 

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