Dissociated mechanics



  • That's something I personally absolutely loved. Hunter's Mark and Swift Quiver as spells. It imbues every character with a sense of magic and wonder.
    I'm hesitant to be negative about something you're so clearly enthusiastic about, but I can't see it.

    Other stuff you talk about, ghost lantern, I can see how that's magical and wondrous, but why is shooting lots of arrows a magic spell? Like, thematically?
  • A martial practitioner can't produce overtly supernatural effects, such as rays of blinding radiance or shields of invisible magic force.
    See, they get it♥

    Reaping Strike and Sure Strike absolutely makes sense. I'm personally not a fan of them being phrased as initiable events; I'd rather the combat system "operands" be items (weapons), conditions, locations etc rather than actions (something akin to Fate where there are basically only four actions but it all comes together to create a lot more texture because of the surrounding context).

    Some of them have even more outlandish names like Tide of Iron or Steel Serpent Strike but it's still something that could be done.

    But obv Come and Get It is hard to explain even using mythological terms.

    Btw, one word I associate with mythic power? "Primal" rather than "martial". Martial just means war-related, right?
    1) As @EmmatheExcrucian correctly pointed out, 4E is drawing from myth and legend as inspiration for martial heroes here. This is something other iterations of D&D fall pretty flat on, in my opinion.
    Fall flat...? They're not just about that. (I mean Chainmail, with its superheroes, is. But something like Torchbearer isn't.)
    2) There absolutely is a fictional basis for martial exploits in 4E and it ties into the larger Dawn War setting underlying the game.
    Yes. It's not incoherent in the context of Nentir Vale or when playing 4E. And neither is Hunter's Mark and Swift Quiver being spells in 5e.
    3) There seems to be a common notion than anybody and everybody is using martial powers in 4E, whereas it truly is reserved for larger-than-life heroes. In other words, "martial" is *not* a synonym for "mundane".
    The way I used the word mundane in my earlier post was when I wrote that I love it when the mundane and the wondrous meet. As they do in Star Wars (and 4E and 5e both fall pretty flat by not including X-wings and wookiees).

    | Human + Spellbook → Sandra approved
    | Human + Millenium Falcon → Sandra approved
    | Human + the, uh, "Force" → Sandra approved
    | Human + Power of Grayskull → Sandra approved
    | Human + fueled by religious stuff (whether divine like the jawbone fight or infernal like some warlock pacts) → Sandra approved
    | Human but can do weird shit just because → Sandra not really into it.

    I mean sometimes I can be. And I'm not begrudging 4E for being that way.

    But I really love a game where the interface between humanity and wonder is explicit. That's why I was happy to see the fighter and the ranger get spells now.

    Like, my threshold for this is kinda low. Chi fueled stuff like hadoukens? Sure!

    IDK I don't think this issue is the end of the world either way. I'm not that invested in this position. Coming from a game like Labyrinth Lord AEC (an AD&D 1e clone, which is what I played after 4E but before I started running 5e), IDK, I just like the way 5e does it better. Maybe a lot of this is irrational, based on where you were in your life when you started playing the edition. Me being ready to start up a new group when the 5e Starter Set come out, fresh after finally "clicking" with roleplaying games after flailing around frustratedly for 2 decades with them... I got attached to it emotionally. The things in it that makes sense I like, the things that doesn't make sense I've changed (which isn't a good case for it, I know).

    That's just how it is w/ 4E. Everyone that loves 4E has either:

    1. loved the exploits straight from the start because they wanted to play mythic tier
    2. made peace with them because they found some way to rationalize them
    3. changed them, either homebrew or going essentials only
    4. ignored them and loved the game inspite of them

    Emma is obv the first of those four and that's cool. IDK about Trent, could be 1 or 2. For me I'm more into the third category.
    Other stuff you talk about, ghost lantern, I can see how that's magical and wondrous, but why is shooting lots of arrows a magic spell? Like, thematically?
    I love shooting arrows but I want to shoot them even faster and also not run out in my quiver so I'll use a spell to make the quiver magically produce the arrows to me and make it so I can draw them faster than normal. It's absolutely the sort of spell I could see a ranger want to do. Setting fire, causing ice to rain down on my forest? Naw... making my knife sharper or my quiver better? Yes, that's what I pray for.

    It's also one of the most powerful spells in the game (but that's because there's sort of a bug that lets you get it at a lower level than intended so that's neither good advocacy for 5e (bug-ridden mess as it is) nor indicative of the intended power level of Swift Quiver).

    It's also good and clear from a game design perspective. Just as it was clean design to make spells and exploits use the same "power" structure in 4E, it makes sense to make some of the ranger's abilities spells in 5e.
  • That's a perfect example of "association" at work, I think.

    One person sees "Swift Quiver" and thinks: "That's stupid. My ranger just got really good at drawing arrows, aiming, and firing at speed. That's awesome. But now we have to represent it with a spell and I can only do it after a long rest? Dumb. Makes no sense. Either it's something I can do or it's not."

    Another person sees the same "Swift Quiver" and thinks: "Ah, cool. That's my ranger saying a quick prayer to her gods and suddenly, aided by divine providence, her hand can do the impossible for a short time! I love that image!"
  • Yes! Swift Quiver as a spell feels "dissociated" or like an extradiegetical conceit if it clashes with your perception of the SIS♥
  • I forgot swift quiver also give you unlimited ammunition for the duration, I was thinking it only lets you shoot more. Shooting more is definitely something that doesn't feel like it needs to be a magic spell for me. A quiver creating endless arrows does. Not sure if that's relevant, but maybe illustrates what feels appropriate ("associated"?) as a spell, for me.

    I have no problem with Paul's second image. I like that image.

    I dislike the fact that D&D seems to have this self-reinforcing resistance to conceiving other images, not based on prayers to gods or occult formulas, which is especially noticeable when comparing 4E to 3E or 5E, since 4E bucked the trend.
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