"Your Class is Not Your Character": Is this a real problem?

Saelorn

Hero
That paladins have three spell slots at fourth level is crunch. That those paladin spells are granted by a god is fluff.
That paladins gain the Heavy Armour proficiency is crunch. That paladins are heavily armoured knights is fluff.
The tenets of the Devotion paladin are crunch. That paladins stand for goodness and justice is fluff.

Changing the crunch is house rules. Changing the fluff is not house rules, or home brew, or deviating from the rules. Just re-fluffing.
That paladins have three spell slots at fourth level, is a reflection of the true capacity for someone with this specific training and experience, to cast spells. It is both fluff and crunch. It is the same sentence written in two different languages.

That paladins learn to wear heavy armor, which is represented by heavy armor proficiency, is both fluff and crunch.

That a paladin will follow a specified code of conduct is both fluff and crunch.

Changing the connection between a given piece of fluff, and its corresponding crunch, requires a house rule. You're changing how the game works. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's a matter for the DM to handle.)

Inventing your own crunch, to represent fluff that is otherwise not present in the book, is just home-brewing. You're adding stuff to the game. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, either, but it's also a matter for the DM to handle.)
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker
So, I allow the Order Domain in my setting/campaigns, but I call it the Command Domain, because I think that better reflects what it does. I probably changed the names of the Domain abilities here and there to reflect the domain name I'm using. How am I changing how the domain works in the game by changing those names? Allowing the domain is a house rule; that's not in question here.
 
So, I allow the Order Domain in my setting/campaigns, but I call it the Command Domain, because I think that better reflects what it does. I probably changed the names of the Domain abilities here and there to reflect the domain name I'm using. How am I changing how the domain works in the game by changing those names? Allowing the domain is a house rule; that's not in question here.
Why is allowing an official printed player subclass option a house rule?
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Why is allowing an official printed player subclass option a house rule?
Some DMs (like me) don't allow everything that gets printed to be automatically added to their campaigns. All sorts of stuff gets published, but not all of it will fit the tone, setting, or style of the game I'm running.
 
Some DMs (like me) don't allow everything that gets printed to be automatically added to their campaigns. All sorts of stuff gets published, but not all of it will fit the tone, setting, or style of the game I'm running.
Which is perfectly fine but it not a houserule. DM providing parameters for players to choose from for an individual campaign is part of the rules.

if I say that I don't like dragonborn so I take it out of my game. Then when I put them back in I called it a houserule. Dragonborn- might not be the best example.

Pretty much all book past the PHB are optional as a rule.
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Which is perfectly fine but it not a houserule. DM providing parameters for players to choose from for an individual campaign is part of the rules.

if I say that I don't like dragonborn so I take it out of my game. Then when I put them back in I called it a houserule. Dragonborn- might not be the best example.

Pretty much all book past the PHB are optional as a rule.
I think I misunderstood your earlier post, sorry about that. I thought you were saying something along the lines of "This subclass was published, and therefore it should automatically be allowed." But that's not what you were getting at.

I'm gonna go clean my glasses.
 
I think I misunderstood your earlier post, sorry about that. I thought you were saying something along the lines of "This subclass was published, and therefore it should automatically be allowed." But that's not what you were getting at.

I'm gonna go clean my glasses.
Oh yes, i could see that. Exact opposite intention. Full thought half post
 

Tallifer

Adventurer
I do not mind a player trying to roleplay a class against type, as long as they recognize that their character is acting against others' expectations: NPCs will react in disgust to an immoral paladin, with distrust or hatred towards a good necromancer, with scorn towards a rogue who cannot sneak or disarm traps. In fact as a dungeon master I can tolerate and chuckle at it more; as a player nothing frustrates me more than a cleric who cannot heal and who loots every shrine or tomb he stumbles across.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
Regardless of an individual's personal preference while walking down the street, the fact they have the proficiency on their sheet reflects the fact that they have learned how to wear it effectively at some point in the past. You still went to paladin school (or whatever), even if you make a point of looking like you hadn't.
Yes, a particular piece of rules mechanics/crunch (having proficiency in heavy armour) has given paladins a common associated fluff (they are commonly heavily-armoured knights.
You can't change the crunch. (Your paladin character will have heavy armour proficiency.) You can however change the fluff: your paladin might stick to light armour and thus not follow the usual paladin flavour.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
That paladins have three spell slots at fourth level, is a reflection of the true capacity for someone with this specific training and experience, to cast spells. It is both fluff and crunch. It is the same sentence written in two different languages.

That paladins learn to wear heavy armor, which is represented by heavy armor proficiency, is both fluff and crunch.

That a paladin will follow a specified code of conduct is both fluff and crunch.

Changing the connection between a given piece of fluff, and its corresponding crunch, requires a house rule. You're changing how the game works. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's a matter for the DM to handle.)

Inventing your own crunch, to represent fluff that is otherwise not present in the book, is just home-brewing. You're adding stuff to the game. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, either, but it's also a matter for the DM to handle.)
This sounds like another issue of the same words having different meanings for different people.

That paladins have three spell slots at fourth level is rules mechanics: pure crunch.
The power that grants them those slots (and their spellcasting and powers in general) is fluff. Commonly it is a god. Sometimes it is another power that the paladin swore their oath to. Sometimes it is the power within the paladin themselves, manifesting itself from the oath. All fluff or flavour, and thus variable.
 

Saelorn

Hero
That paladins have three spell slots at fourth level is rules mechanics: pure crunch.
In what way is this not fluff? If we're reading a novel about this character, then it will come up at some point that they can only use magic three times in a day. It's a true fact, about this person who lives in that world. As far as the narrative is concerned, it is as true as the fact that their name is Alex, or that they studied swordsmanship at the Temple of Light in the city of Haven.
 
In what way is this not fluff? If we're reading a novel about this character, then it will come up at some point that they can only use magic three times in a day.
Or, it might not. You might be left wondering why they didn't use an ability they displayed in one scene in another where it'd've been even more useful (of course, it'd be author force in a book, in a game, it might be an arbitrary n/day, or even n/session resource limitation).
 
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In what way is this not fluff? If we're reading a novel about this character, then it will come up at some point that they can only use magic three times in a day. It's a true fact, about this person who lives in that world. As far as the narrative is concerned, it is as true as the fact that their name is Alex, or that they studied swordsmanship at the Temple of Light in the city of Haven.
It's crunch because it's always the same amount regardless of what you call them. The value of each spell slot is a constant and how those spell slots interact with other mechanics have numerical value that every player can relate to.
 

FlyingChihuahua

Adventurer
Honestly I've seen the opposite problem. Whenever the topic of multiclassing comes up around here, I see a lot of "I allow multiclassing, but only if they have a story reason to." Why? If I'm a paladin, and I wanna take levels in Warlock, why can't I just take the mechanical benefits of the Warlock class, but in-story attribute the new powers to where ever my Paladin powers come from?
You'll excuse me if I think this is just someone wanting to avoid the consequences of going into a warlock pact, right?
 

Saelorn

Hero
It's crunch because it's always the same amount regardless of what you call them. The value of each spell slot is a constant and how those spell slots interact with other mechanics have numerical value that every player can relate to.
I didn't ask why it's crunch. I asked why it isn't fluff.

The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. They're two sides of the same coin.
 
I didn't ask why it's crunch. I asked why it isn't fluff.

The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. They're two sides of the same coin.
Which is true for the most part. For most people the order of importance is a factor. Spell slots are crunch first and fluff second because of balance considerations where the colour of a PCs hair is fluff first and crunch almost never.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
assuming that PC adventuring classes aren’t extremely rare...

there also may well be non-PC classes that are a lot more common in your world with any combination of abilities.
Er, I mentioned PCs being rare as an exception ;)

I also mentioned home brew as another exception, which covers your second point.
 
You'll excuse me if I think this is just someone wanting to avoid the consequences of going into a warlock pact, right?
it's completely possible for the warlock pact to act exactly like the relationship a Paladin already is in. Ancient pally/ fey pact seems perfectly fine.

The warlock class does not have any built-in 'consequences' than any other class. if you don't like the mechanical implications of the multi-class then just don't allow it.
 

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