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It's incredible how much Pathfinder style thinking still dominates the D&D space. There are people doing "60 feats!" supplements for 5e. If you've read what feats are in 5e you know why this is extremely bonkers.
If a menagerie of race and class options can be casually justified as an endemic part of the D&D experience, I don't see why a laundry list of Feats would be that controversial.
It’s true that me and 5e love one another♥ It’s the game that keeps on giving♥♥♥
Keeping track of food, water, ropes, light sources, etc., is all pointless, because running out of those things is actively hard to do, and the tracking is actively un-fun. (This is where I differ from Sandra, and possibly Adam [?].)
To be clear I’ve done two things to make this a great part of the game.
I nerfed the spells that give endless supplies of these things, such as goodberry and the “light” cantrip. I added mandatory material components to them.
I made the tracking into a fun puzzle sub game that the players have come to enjoy as a constant source of prioritizing and making interesting choices. They really mourned their horse, mostly because they lost so many item slots. Same when a hench dies, they mourn the loss of her item slots much more than the additional firepower she brought. Item slots are one of their most precious resources. It’s also a pretty straight-forward subgame. If you pick up something and you don’t have slots, you erase something else. Just as in real life, if you want put something in your backpack and it’s full, you toss something out. The visual representation of putting things in this or that compartment or strapping it on etc makes it fun and maps well to their model of “realism” or w/e. We were talking about this sub-game just the other day, after using the same version (after a lot of false starts with crappy iterations of the inventory sheets with chains and shapes and such, now it’s all circles and all easy) since July 2018 and how, even though it’s something they spend a lot of time on, is something they really enjoy.
They have definitely died from lack of rope, lack of bedroll, lack of food, lack of water etc at various points in time during our four-and-a-half years as a group. When Razira (an NPC hench) died they were like “OH SHIT WHO IS GONNA CARRY THE ROPE?!?!”
I’m happy because that’s part of the sort of logistics game of OSR that I kinda envied when I was on the outside looking in, and it took a while to get there but wow did we get there.♥
All the hacking and changing we do, or I do rather, usually fall into one of these categories:
“How do these rooms connect?” I leave my chair and go up and point. Keeping it BIG.
My love for 5e as we play it has remained constant since summer of 2014 when the Starter Set came out. It’s dynamite, we’ve stumbled on the perfect. However, our play has gradually diverged from the RAW and the more changes we make the less I can honestly defend the RAW.
5e is like Emacs (a computer app from the seventies that I started using in, uh, I think 1999?). I love Emacs, always have. And my Emacs has slowly mutated and evolved as I keep scripting it and changing it. And my love for it is constant. But when I sit down to a fresh install without having my conf file at the ready I’m like “WTF?? Emacs sucks!!!!!”
Same with 5e. Us playing the Starter Set when it came out was such an amazing experience and I loved it as it was in every way. So much better than anything I had played before (including D&D 4e, Labyrinth Lord, Fate and Apocalypse World). If I were to sit down with vanilla 5e now I’d be like… “wtf?”
I do really enjoy it on the player side. I can make a character pretty much instantly w/o looking in books (as long as that character is a level one champion). It’s just that I’d have a hard time trusting the DM. Knowing that even Mearls and Crawford do things that in my game, with the rules I’ve set up for my own DMing in place, would be considered game-breaking cheating. (If you scale the encounters on the fly to match the party, you are taking their lives in your own hands. And then it becomes your fault if they die. I don’t want that. No offense to groups that groove on that style.)
Listen, my review of 5e can be summarized in three sentences:
5e is open source. It’s very compatible with 0e, B/X/RC, 1e, 2e, 3e/PF1, OSR, and 5e material. I summarized WotC’s own conversion formulas in a few sentences and glued them to the inside of the screen. It has an awesome array of character classes and options compared to OSR games. (In LotFP: “I guess I’ll roll up a specialist. Again.”) Yes, it’s flawed, thehere is some bathwater to throw out but there are plenty of babies swimming around in that tub.
(Uh, why do I only go on S-G when I’m completly manic & incomprehensible…)
I start thinking of Tolkien, or Game of Thrones, or other bits of media which I find enjoyable and exciting.
Can you imagine the characters in the photo, above, infiltrating the Red Wedding?
The tomb dwarves unleashed a FULL METAL FRANKENSTEIN and Drooma got another scarWe found a ghost lantern possessing the soul of THE STARFALLENWe also found a TRIANGULAR-HEADED SKELETONIn the tomb of MOA we found a PSYCHIC SKULL of a ten-year-old SUPER PRINCESS HEIR TO ALL OF OMUShe had lost her memory and was panicked and afraid and so naturally RAN LET LOOSE THE FIRES OF HELL upon the poor childAfter Drooma fragmented the girl skull we found MOA'S STAFF!
I’m not gonna try to defend the Tyranny of Dragons duology or other railroaded bad adventure books. I advocate location-based DMing. Porte-Monstre-Trésor. Places, interactive dangers, rewards.
Am I the only one missing the voice of @2097 defending D&D5 as the best RPG, providing some contrast and variety to this conversation?
Judging from previous threads, she seems to have had quite a different experience with 5E than most posters here.
Not sure that is a selling point for 5e. “We have this car model and 90% of people report deadly crashes with it.” “Pish-posh! 2097 made a new speed record in that very same model!”
@Rafu: I enjoy @2097’s input on 5e, but her success with it seems an outlier involving brutal modifications to the rules, something I know all too well.
Addressed in my posts above, where I wrote things to the extent of: Our modifications are indeed extreme but they have been gradual over 4 years of fantasy heartbreaker style houseruling. We loved it from day one and our game now is pretty different from then.
@2097’s experiences lead me to believe she has players who are more willing to set aside mechanics to engage with the fiction.
I have designed the game to foster that mentality. With a lot of care & effort & thought put into things such as IIEE, dice&clouds etc. The players didn’t start out that way. And, we’ve taken in new players and put them through the same journey.
To put it bluntly, without fun toys for the players, the players will make their own fun. (That itself is an interesting concept: does creating mechanics that produce discrete effects by engaging the fiction reduce fictional engagement or enhance it?)
Toys need to be designed with care and fictional engagement is the primary factor to keep in mind. I certainly have been frustrated playing OSR games where typically the DM loves that the classes are so stripped down while the players – or at least me – have been frustrated by that.
This is why I kicked out the “Insight” skill rolls and stuff like that. That was a really early change.The “Split the tree” story here is also relevant.
An abstraction is simplifying or…abstracting something to make it easier to work with. This actually has nothing to do with dissociation as it is used in D&D circles. A “dissociated” mechanic is one that doesn’t map to anything in the game world. Hit points map to “How hard is this person to kill?” Armor Class maps to “Having more defenses makes you harder to hit.” and experience points and levels map to increased “experience” doing things and the increasing ability that comes with it. Dissociated things are: Action points. Powers that can EACH be used only once before you need a five minute breather. Losing XP for resting might fall in here, I’m not sure because the whole category sortof annoys me.
5e certainly does have plenty of AEDU things in it and yes those are weird. They’re a strike against the game in this sence. They have pros to them, in terms of mechanical interest, but “mechanical interest” is exactly what’s under fire in this convo so, yeah…
I like the idea of having a thing that you can spend once in order to add extra effort to the roll. Inspiration serves as that thing. I really push myself to increase my chance to hit but I don’t have the energy to do that all the time.
I guess some of the AEDU stuff could be described similarly. The fighters “Action Surge”, I can only give my all once. The second time I’m like “whaddaya mean give my all again, I already gave it? Let me rest.”
Yeah, I guess that’s my lackluster defense of 5e’s AUDU elements. It’s all things that you do, in contrast to the “event”-style AEDU powers of PHB1-era 4e, such as the “Come And Get It” fighter power, where the Fighter player can make it so that the monsters all of a sudden decide to walk over to the fighter to get smacked. (That said, Clint Krause is right when he says that Damn Good D&D can be ran with any edition.)
She also plays it in a pretty different way from most posters here.
But it’s true that she sincerely likes the game
and anyone who’s been around here for a while will know that I still don’t really understand why. =/
After being really really frustrated & displeased with my old style of no-rule, no-myth, GM-fiat games I was slowly, over a decade (starting with Trail of Cthulhu in 2008), gradually discovering the joy of mechanics-with-consequences, and of pre-committed-world-details.
At the time of 5e’s release I was running Fate in our home group and I was playing in several OSR campaigns. (The famous mirror story happened here, with LL-AEC rules, increasing my love for D&D.)
I had a laundry list of complaints with Fate and with Labyrinth Lord. 5e coincidentally happened to adress every single one of them in a genius way. Such was the accident of history that caused me to latch on so tightly to 5e.
A tightly designed story game – or for that matter, D&D 4e, or its polar opposite Apocalypse World – is like a diamond. It has a beautiful crystal structure; all of its parts are related in a uniform and elegant way. But if you try to extend this structure in any way - even by adding another diamond - you get an ugly kludge. D&D 5e, on the other hand, is like a ball of mud. You can add any amount of mud to it and it still looks like a ball of mud. That makes it a magical game and my very favorite game.
PS.I am in tears of joy for seeing my viewpoint so well remembered, represented & understood. I feel seen and validated. I appreciate it so much. #manic2097 #emo2097
I am in tears of joy for seeing my viewpoint so well remembered, represented & understood. I feel seen and validated. I appreciate it so much. #manic2097 #emo2097
A tightly designed story game – or for that matter, D&D 4e, or its polar opposite Apocalypse World – is like a diamond.
Its just a way of rearranging the game's presentation