Legends and Lore - Charting the Course for D&D: Your Voice, Your Game

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Doug DM: "Lets run a D&D Campaign!"
Tim Tactician: "Yeah, lets use the tactical combat option, powers, and feats!"
Art Actor: "Yeah, quick combat, no skills, powers or feats!"
Ed Explorer: "Just skills and quick combat!"
Sam Slayer: "Tactical combat and all the killin' options!"
Mike Munchkin: "Everything!"
Doug DM: "Ummmmm.... Lets play Traveller!"



I think this is absurd.  Groups will either decide together what options they want to use (with option-less probably comprising the lion's share), or for convention/tournament/WPN play the DM/organizer will decide and post which options will be used.  Your example would probably come down to a sub-set of the options mentioned with everyone being content, but not getting everything they want.  Which is the most likely result with any RPG ever produced options or no.



I think it's both absurd and has a high possibility of being an experience people will actually have at the gaming table. It's become apparant that everyone, even people currently playing similar games, have a very different idea of what the ideal D&D should be, so an average gaming group may run into this problem... Whether it is resolved satisfactorily or not will depend largely on the individual group.

Of course, once 5e hits organized play and said organized play chooses which subsets of the rules it wishes to use, that subset will become the de facto vision of 5e that most people will play and will be the vision that 5e ends up being judged upon, no matter how much WotC wants 5e to be the game for everyone.

I respect that WotC wants to make D&D more appealing to a larger audience but what I've heard so far is that their vision is, essentially, that they have no vision and want to be all things to all people. I really don't see how that will be an effective strategy, but maybe WotC will pull it off. I'm willing to at least give it a chance and kick the tires for a bit. I certainly won't write 5e off like the 3.5 crowd that WotC so desperately wants back wrote off 4e.

My favorite itteration of the d20 system was and is the starwars saga edition version. I would love to see a fantasy adaptation of that game. replacing the starwars tropes, abilities items and feats with those of the tradtional D&D setting. Also any D&D game should include the tradtional end game for higer levels ie... the dtuff from wrath of the immortals.

When the Saga editition was printed many though this was the egine that would power the Classical D20 fantasy setting that is currently D&D.

Those are my two cents. 
Trevor, thank you for all your feedback on our questions so far.  It is very much appreciated.

There have been some great questions and some great feedback. If I've missed some questions, please point them out to me and I'll do what I can to track down some information. We're still really early in this process but we're definitely paying attention to all the conversations going on - yesterday was pretty busy for me and the team as you can imagine :P



Trevor Kidd Community Manager

I just hope they clean up feats. Feats try to cover way too much design space.

I think this is a case of a multitude of writers that design feats but are not privvy to the "rules." 4th edition design originally stated that feats would be toned down and less important. Thus why there's only a few feats in the PHB that anyone actually has a use for these days. New feats became better quickly. I think feats need to pick a side. They either need to be decidedly impressive generally or decidedly unimpressive generally.

Although I think I'd rather that feats were separated so that you pick combat feats and non-combat feats. But who's to say feats are even going to be in the next edition?



I'd actually prefer a 3 pronged attack: class features that appear each level, little bumps that one can choose from that would normally be class feats, and combat and non-combat would switch off.  Also, racial features to deal with combat and with non-combat (possibly cultural things, not sure) that would be every level as well, but set at odds with the aformentioned class features.  So basically, at level 2 you would pick 1 from 2-3 combat class features to augment, and 1 from 2-3 race non-combat features to augment.  And then reserve feats for general stuff only.  Everything else would be inserted into the feature model, as if it was expected to make the character more powerful.  The reason is simple: defining the character by race and class would then be not only assumed, but important, important enough to be a core tenent of the system.  And feats would be more what they feel like they're intended for: general increases in power and ability.  being better at x weapon, y armor, quicker at acting, etc.  Features would be things like extending the teleport range of an eladrin or allowing them to gain a +2 to one of their class skills, or letting a rogue get better sneak attack damage or better stealth or intimidation. 

Basically, bolted on feats.  And since you get one each level, their power could grow gradually but consistently.  Kind of like Perks in Fallout 3.


Yeah, I think I'd just as soon see feats just be relegated to non-combat things. Maybe rename them 'talents' or something. Some could have prereqs on class or race like they do now. There could be racial power swaps too, and maybe 'cultural' ones if you wanted, but I think that wouldn't REALLY be needed, just assume the player will pick stuff consistent with their backstory, that avoids needing to wrestle with what exactly is a particular 'culture' in a given setting. Since they wouldn't mainly be combat related it wouldn't be a big deal, nobody needs to pick certain ones to optimize.

I'm still voting for 'mastery' as a package concept for combat stuff beyond basic class features. It would just be a mixin similar to theme. That also removes a lot of the optimization hunting, you can make masteries for different weapon types, fighting styles, whatever. They are cross-class, so they let you do things like 'swordmage' (IE wizard plus 'sword mastery'). Theme can be pretty much like it is now, but maybe you'd have some swap in class features there that would relate to combat, and same for mastery. I don't know exactly, but I think you can keep the really open-ended stuff out of the combat sphere and thus keep min/maxing to a dull roar.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I honestly don't need much. 4E is a pretty workable system but I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to influence the next iteration.

If I had to ask for only one thing, in hopes that I'll be more likely to get it, it would be this.

I would very much like to see rules for combat resolution that do not require a grid, minis or ah hour or more of time. They can be optional rules in the core book, but that's all I'm really really hungry for. Lightning fast combats resolved with narration and dice is my one wish. Combat as skill challenge is the closest thing in 4E and is not quite there, though I do use it in a pinch. I only want to have to interupt the story by getting out a map and minis for the biggest most set piece battles.

So, if that comes back, I'll most likely be happy.

My 2nd tier requests are some that others have mentioned.

1. Less reliance on combat as a progression mechanic or means to challenge the party.
2. Faster character creation with less reliance on digital tools.
3. Or....FREE digital character creation tools.
4. Monster math that is less predictable (I'd prefer that every level 8 skirmisher not have similar AC and damage output to every other level 8 skirmisher.) More variation in monster capabilities to keep players guessing.
5. Varying levels of complexity for each class (or for many classes). You should be able to make a complex fighter or a simple wizard.
Doug DM: "Lets run a D&D Campaign!"
Tim Tactician: "Yeah, lets use the tactical combat option, powers, and feats!"
Art Actor: "Yeah, quick combat, no skills, powers or feats!"
Ed Explorer: "Just skills and quick combat!"
Sam Slayer: "Tactical combat and all the killin' options!"
Mike Munchkin: "Everything!"
Doug DM: "Ummmmm.... Lets play Traveller!"



I think this is absurd.  Groups will either decide together what options they want to use (with option-less probably comprising the lion's share), or for convention/tournament/WPN play the DM/organizer will decide and post which options will be used.  Your example would probably come down to a sub-set of the options mentioned with everyone being content, but not getting everything they want.  Which is the most likely result with any RPG ever produced options or no.

I don't think it is absurd at all! There are a couple of intertwined issues here that various people have touched on at different points. They all amount though to what is it that WotC will focus on? Lets face it, there's not enough developer hours in the day to provide modules, errata, options, etc for all styles of play. Nor is it going to be realistically possible to allow organized play to use any old mish-mash of different options. Thus there will basically be ONE 'favored' style and some tack-on optional rules for everything else. If 'skills' aren't a part of the core package that WotC pays attention to then they'll languish without support (think of all the 4e subsystems this happened to). Modules won't take them into account, they won't be usable in organized play, they won't basically be on the radar. The upshot will be that if I as DM want to run a game in a certain way with say 'tactical combat' I've now got to negotiate with each and every player and try to get them to go along with that. Some classes and/or whatever sorts of options will be more or less compatible with that mode of play too. If you think it is hard to balance a feat or a power NOW with one consistent core system then imagine how you do that with even a handful of significantly diverse options. Again, this will drive things down the road of one 'workable' style of play and set of options and others that are at best going to require a bunch of hacking to make work, hacking that again will not be done by WotC because clearly they don't have enough hours in the day to do that.

I'm not at all going to say that Mike isn't sincere in his dream of 'unity edition' D&D. It is simply not a viable concept. It cannot succeed IMHO. The actual game as it will actually be played that emerges from this whole process could be anything. I wouldn't even speculate on how good it will be or who it will end up appealing to. However, it is just not IMHO possible to make a game that is good for everyone. The best outcome I could see would be a core system that is under OGL where some 3PPs could take it in one or another direction and leave others to WotC, but that still leaves the issue of digital support, which is really what killed 4e 3PP support, not licensing. That may not stop people from trying, but it is hard to know how well that will go. At best it will mean non-focused-on options/play styles will be 2nd class citizens that don't have full DDI support.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
 
I don't think it is absurd at all! There are a couple of intertwined issues here that various people have touched on at different points. They all amount though to what is it that WotC will focus on? Lets face it, there's not enough developer hours in the day to provide modules, errata, options, etc for all styles of play. Nor is it going to be realistically possible to allow organized play to use any old mish-mash of different options. Thus there will basically be ONE 'favored' style and some tack-on optional rules for everything else. If 'skills' aren't a part of the core package that WotC pays attention to then they'll languish without support (think of all the 4e subsystems this happened to). Modules won't take them into account, they won't be usable in organized play, they won't basically be on the radar. The upshot will be that if I as DM want to run a game in a certain way with say 'tactical combat' I've now got to negotiate with each and every player and try to get them to go along with that. Some classes and/or whatever sorts of options will be more or less compatible with that mode of play too. If you think it is hard to balance a feat or a power NOW with one consistent core system then imagine how you do that with even a handful of significantly diverse options. Again, this will drive things down the road of one 'workable' style of play and set of options and others that are at best going to require a bunch of hacking to make work, hacking that again will not be done by WotC because clearly they don't have enough hours in the day to do that.

I'm not at all going to say that Mike isn't sincere in his dream of 'unity edition' D&D. It is simply not a viable concept. It cannot succeed IMHO. The actual game as it will actually be played that emerges from this whole process could be anything. I wouldn't even speculate on how good it will be or who it will end up appealing to. However, it is just not IMHO possible to make a game that is good for everyone. The best outcome I could see would be a core system that is under OGL where some 3PPs could take it in one or another direction and leave others to WotC, but that still leaves the issue of digital support, which is really what killed 4e 3PP support, not licensing. That may not stop people from trying, but it is hard to know how well that will go. At best it will mean non-focused-on options/play styles will be 2nd class citizens that don't have full DDI support.



Don't take it the wrong way, but I have troubles reading posts and that since a very long time. You should consider paragraphs, seriously! Again don't take that the wrong way, you have some great ideas and some good points, but they always get lost in gigantic walls of text...
Doug DM: "Lets run a D&D Campaign!"
Tim Tactician: "Yeah, lets use the tactical combat option, powers, and feats!"
Art Actor: "Yeah, quick combat, no skills, powers or feats!"
Ed Explorer: "Just skills and quick combat!"
Sam Slayer: "Tactical combat and all the killin' options!"
Mike Munchkin: "Everything!"
Doug DM: "Ummmmm.... Lets play Traveller!"



I think this is absurd.  Groups will either decide together what options they want to use (with option-less probably comprising the lion's share), or for convention/tournament/WPN play the DM/organizer will decide and post which options will be used.  Your example would probably come down to a sub-set of the options mentioned with everyone being content, but not getting everything they want.  Which is the most likely result with any RPG ever produced options or no.

I don't think it is absurd at all! There are a couple of intertwined issues here that various people have touched on at different points. They all amount though to what is it that WotC will focus on? Lets face it, there's not enough developer hours in the day to provide modules, errata, options, etc for all styles of play. Nor is it going to be realistically possible to allow organized play to use any old mish-mash of different options. Thus there will basically be ONE 'favored' style and some tack-on optional rules for everything else. If 'skills' aren't a part of the core package that WotC pays attention to then they'll languish without support (think of all the 4e subsystems this happened to). Modules won't take them into account, they won't be usable in organized play, they won't basically be on the radar. The upshot will be that if I as DM want to run a game in a certain way with say 'tactical combat' I've now got to negotiate with each and every player and try to get them to go along with that. Some classes and/or whatever sorts of options will be more or less compatible with that mode of play too. If you think it is hard to balance a feat or a power NOW with one consistent core system then imagine how you do that with even a handful of significantly diverse options. Again, this will drive things down the road of one 'workable' style of play and set of options and others that are at best going to require a bunch of hacking to make work, hacking that again will not be done by WotC because clearly they don't have enough hours in the day to do that.

I'm not at all going to say that Mike isn't sincere in his dream of 'unity edition' D&D. It is simply not a viable concept. It cannot succeed IMHO. The actual game as it will actually be played that emerges from this whole process could be anything. I wouldn't even speculate on how good it will be or who it will end up appealing to. However, it is just not IMHO possible to make a game that is good for everyone. The best outcome I could see would be a core system that is under OGL where some 3PPs could take it in one or another direction and leave others to WotC, but that still leaves the issue of digital support, which is really what killed 4e 3PP support, not licensing. That may not stop people from trying, but it is hard to know how well that will go. At best it will mean non-focused-on options/play styles will be 2nd class citizens that don't have full DDI support.

While I won't go so far as to call that situation absurd, I certainly think the likelihood of it happening is drastically overstated.

Being a player who played and mostly enjoyed every edition (and still plays them) at some point or other, I don't think giving some options to nod to those systems will be as herculean as you make it sound. Certainly not when they'll be getting direct feedback from the grognards of those very systems. 

Most peoples complaints about 4E amount to "bring back A, B and C and I'll be happy" or "Get rid of A,B and C and I'll be happy". I don't think making a modular ruleset that includes options for A, B and C and for removing A, B and C will be nearly as impossible as you make it sound. Difficult? Of course. Lots of potential for mistakes? Absolutely. But realistically possible? I think so.

Keep in mind, this is a community that is used to hacking up its rulesystems so if a small amout of that is required by each niche group, I think it will still have the potential for great success. I'm a person who very much liked 4E but I'm still thrilled at this prospect. From what I'm reading on the forums and about a dozen blogs, the only people not at least open to this idea as being a good thing are the hardest of hardcore grogn4ards like frothsof (no offense froth, I know you have an unquenchable love for traditional 4E and you wear it on your sleeve and I'm ok with that). But I think you get my point.

Edit: Paragraph breaks added for BeastSoul
From what I'm reading on the forums and about a dozen blogs, the only people not at least open to this idea as being a good thing are the hardest of hardcore grogn4ards like frothsof (no offense froth, I know you have an unquenchable love for traditional 4E and you wear it on your sleeve and I'm ok with that). But I think you get my point.



yeah, im not going to diss anybody if you want to move on to the new edition, certainly not you. i feel like im only getting started w 4th though
From what I'm reading on the forums and about a dozen blogs, the only people not at least open to this idea as being a good thing are the hardest of hardcore grogn4ards like frothsof (no offense froth, I know you have an unquenchable love for traditional 4E and you wear it on your sleeve and I'm ok with that). But I think you get my point.



yeah, im not going to diss anybody if you want to move on to the new edition, certainly not you. i feel like im only getting started w 4th though

If it's any consolation, I'll still play 4th with you anytime Froth.
ill give you dudes another bit of froth speculation:

they cancelled that ravenloft book bc they are going to make it a 5e setting-likely the first setting for 5e
Agree with frothsof on a couple of points. I'll riff.

I felt I was just getting started with 4e. Enjoyed it for 2 years. Got my wife playing D&D.
...

Who's to say that a group of people who dig up their 1e books and plays that game aren't playing "real" D&D? Or 4e? Or 3e? Or PF?

1e, 2e, 3e, 3.5e, PF, 4e, 5e, I guess none of it really matters. They are different perspectives on fantasy gaming--different games, really. If no edition matters, and no version of one game matters to fantasy RPGing, then to that end, nothing matters if I play one fantasy GAME over another. They are all as legitimate "takes" on the fantasy setting--as are all of the editions of D&D.

This is really about getting together with friends, solving problems, and sharing some sort of love for shared fantasy worlds. No one game company owns that. No one brand owns that. Many will try. Some, repeatedly. Some, successfully.

 
One small redirect.
so in the end, you might not play the basic core game for all organized play, but its already the default regardless of any input yall give.

This just isn't true. Yes, of course our team has made some basic rules that can be used to play a game, but these rules and other aspects of the game can and will likely change based on playtesting and feedback. Just because the design/development team is able to put something together for others to look at and play, doesn't mean that all the core decisions are set in stone.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

One small redirect.
so in the end, you might not play the basic core game for all organized play, but its already the default regardless of any input yall give.

This just isn't true. Yes, of course our team has made some basic rules that can be used to play a game, but these rules and other aspects of the game can and will likely change based on playtesting and feedback. Just because the design/development team is able to put something together for others to look at and play, doesn't mean that all the core decisions are set in stone.


Thanks so much for this Trevor. This is great information. There are some posters who are quasi-trolling this announcement basically saying that our input in the playtest won't be meaningful or that it's already 80 percent complete or that the job is simply too big to do properly. It's just blind negativity and I'm glad to have an official statement that it's simply not the case. Do I expect full ground-up rewrites based on player feedback? Of course not, but this statement from you gives those of us who are going into this with a positive outlook and willing to give WotC the benefit of the doubt, a little more firm ground to stand on when faced with the already-started onslaught of anti-5E rhetoric.
Trevor, can you tell us if the new skirmish game rules (tactical mini's game) have anything to do with the work being done on 5e? We've been playtesting the skirmish rules for months now and I'm wondering if any of that feedback has gone into informing the decisions of the RPG developers.
Trevor, can you tell us if the new skirmish game rules (tactical mini's game) have anything to do with the work being done on 5e? We've been playtesting the skirmish rules for months now and I'm wondering if any of that feedback has gone into informing the decisions of the RPG developers.

I really don't know much about how that feedback is being used, but I would suspect that there's not much if any cross-over. One area where I know we've learned some things is from that beta process in general, and we will be using the lessons learned in that beta when looking at how we'll be doing this next one.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

according to those that have played it, there is a basic core system, then you can add on other edition flavor and mechanics to it. i dont see the point of that personally but i think its fair to speculate that convention or organized play will be the basic core as the default. when you dudes go to ddxp, im 99% positive it will be the basic core game but they mgiht show you an add-on to show how it works

so in the end, you might not play the basic core game for all organized play, but its already the default regardless of any input yall give. but i can see some events being the 2nd edition add-on package or a 'moderate' package. its unclear how they will phrase the names but schwalb seems to imply it could be by edition. 'i want to play basic+3rd edtion', for example. but i dont see why i wouldnt just play the old edition except for a few cases-if you like every edition. or youre a new player. or you have an interest in trying to get paid by wizards


Well, this certainly would be the best course I can think of. Each play style needs a strong label and identity so that people understand what it is and you can say "I want to play Anniversary Edition 4e" or something like that. It's hard to see how they will all get reasonable 'face time' with WotC, but it isn't like I dislike other styles of play, got most editions of D&D on the shelf already. So its not like I'm going to treat whatever 5e is like dead fish.

OTOH I can't help feeling like Mike and Co are not anywhere near the same page with me on what my preferred style of play is, and axing the one system that really supported that best after a short run leaves a lot of potential stuff that could have been done for it lying on the cutting room floor.

I'm running an adventure I just wrote this last week tonight. I promise I'll polish it up a little and drop it on you all in a few days. I think it will perfectly illustrate what 4e is hands down better at than any other system I've run so far. Who knows where 5e will fall in that spectrum, but given the things I hear from the devs, it probably won't be the ideal system for this, and we're unlikely to see this sort of stuff again anytime soon. I guess we'll see.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I hope ability scores are an optional module. (Death to ability scores)



Could you expand on this?  I have absolutely no idea why you would take that point of view.  Any RPG I've played without ability scores, or with weakely determinative ability scores (call of cthulhu), has felt either too abstract, or too arbitrary, in resolving things that ability scores would normally have been used to resolve, to me.  The lone exception in my experience would be diceless fate based systems, but those don't feel even remotely like DND.



Base "What you're good at" off of class or skills. Ability scores are, at best, redundant when these things already exist. Why, for instance, would you ever have a fighter who wasn't strong? (I mean that from a story perspective too. Why would a person who wasn't good at hitting things with a sword EVER become a fighter? Especially when his life is on the line?)
how on earth someone could say ability scores in coc are 'weakly determinative' is beyond me
Why, for instance, would you ever have a fighter who wasn't strong? (I mean that from a story perspective too. Why would a person who wasn't good at hitting things with a sword EVER become a fighter? Especially when his life is on the line?)



How are you using "Fighter"?

The reason I ask is because if your definition of "Fighter" uses the word "Strength," then no, you wouldn't want a fighter with a low strength score. However, if you are using fighter as a way to say, "Martial Defender," then why wouldn't you allow a high Dex character to use his speed, accuracy, and agility to engage the enemy in close combat, hold their attention, and protect the other members of the party?

I've made a "light fighter" build whose highest score was Dex. However, in order to be mechanically viable, Str had to be the second-highest. Why not let fighters choose their schtick? "Light" or "Heavy"? Strength-based or Dex-based?

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

Defenders: We ARE the wall!

 

I've replaced the previous Edition Warring line in my sig with this one, because honestly, everybody needs to work together to make the D&D they like without trampling on somebody else's D&D.

 

Miss d20 Modern? Take a look at Dias Ex Machina Game's UltraModern 4e!

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
I hope ability scores are an optional module. (Death to ability scores)



Could you expand on this?  I have absolutely no idea why you would take that point of view.  Any RPG I've played without ability scores, or with weakely determinative ability scores (call of cthulhu), has felt either too abstract, or too arbitrary, in resolving things that ability scores would normally have been used to resolve, to me.  The lone exception in my experience would be diceless fate based systems, but those don't feel even remotely like DND.



Base "What you're good at" off of class or skills. Ability scores are, at best, redundant when these things already exist. Why, for instance, would you ever have a fighter who wasn't strong? (I mean that from a story perspective too. Why would a person who wasn't good at hitting things with a sword EVER become a fighter? Especially when his life is on the line?)

Easy. Billy's dad was a fighter and even though he wasn't suited for it, Billy's dad drilled him in fighting techniques day and night. Or maybe billy got constcipted into an army. "here is your spear and your helmet. For the glory of 'fill in the black'!" There are plenty of reasons why a character might not be what you think a fighter should be.

My favorite itteration of the d20 system was and is the starwars saga edition version. I would love to see a fantasy adaptation of that game. replacing the starwars tropes, abilities items and feats with those of the tradtional D&D setting. Also any D&D game should include the tradtional end game for higer levels ie... the dtuff from wrath of the immortals.

When the Saga editition was printed many though this was the egine that would power the Classical D20 fantasy setting that is currently D&D.

Those are my two cents.



Please, please, please, please, please, please do not let this come to pass. I loathe saga with every fiber of my being.

Base "What you're good at" off of class or skills. Ability scores are, at best, redundant when these things already exist. Why, for instance, would you ever have a fighter who wasn't strong? (I mean that from a story perspective too. Why would a person who wasn't good at hitting things with a sword EVER become a fighter? Especially when his life is on the line?)

Easy. Billy's dad was a fighter and even though he wasn't suited for it, Billy's dad drilled him in fighting techniques day and night. Or maybe billy got constcipted into an army. "here is your spear and your helmet. For the glory of 'fill in the black'!" There are plenty of reasons why a character might not be what you think a fighter should be.


And so he is built with melee training and the heros story is about how such an "different" character is quite competant ... see RDJ a 12 strength on the outside makes a great Intelligence based martial character in Sherlock.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 Easy. Billy's dad was a fighter and even though he wasn't suited for it, Billy's dad drilled him in fighting techniques day and night. Or maybe billy got constcipted into an army. "here is your spear and your helmet. For the glory of 'fill in the black'!" There are plenty of reasons why a character might not be what you think a fighter should be.



The first example is a good reason to ditch ability scores. Billy should be good with a sword because he's trained with it all his life. His strength score should have nothing to do with it. The second example doesn't sound like a fighter. More like an NPC. Care to expand on how Billy is supposed to survive the first battle? (this might help us determine his actual class. Maybe he's a rogue?)
Wow, what an announcement to start off 2012.

I have to admit to being cautiously optimistic though, a lot of what has been talked about in the Legend and Lore articles have struck a chord with me so definitely something to look forward to.

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
Wow, what an announcement to start off 2012.

I have to admit to being cautiously optimistic though, a lot of what has been talked about in the Legend and Lore articles have struck a chord with me so definitely something to look forward to.



Well have fun are you going to play test?
 I felt a lot of sour notes and the only chord I heard was a bit overly ummm well likely to fall flat but you know... I dont get the impression they care - see I like to narrarate instead of having the game tell me absolutely what the thing that the dice just said is happening so I am one of those non-target folk that Mearles will chat merrily with the escapist about as he builds boring martial types.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

The first example is a good reason to ditch ability scores. Billy should be good with a sword because he's trained with it all his life.

Then you have never seen someone with absolutly no aptitude in something be trained in it. I know prople that are clumsy enough that I don't trust them with sharp objects. No ammount of training would get me to change my mind. As for myself countless hours of musical training as a child hasn't given me the ability to play an instrument. Lots of training doesn't means lots of skill...

The second example doesn't sound like a fighter. More like an NPC. Care to expand on how Billy is supposed to survive the first battle? (this might help us determine his actual class. Maybe he's a rogue?)

As a conscript, I'd assume that the army is using some sort of formation fighting. You get a spear(nice, cheap easy to make weapon), stay in line and get lucky enough to live to see the next fight. Hard to see how you can learn to be a rogue while wielding a spear in formation...

And the only difference between an NPC and a PC is the player. Nothing in background should point to one of the other. Or did you means 'monster'. If so, you'll find human fighter as monsters and as PC's so I fail to see what you mean.

What you seem to be missing DrNick is that no one stat governs what a great fighter is. I can make a slayer that is 100% dex or int with no bump in str. Ask a fencer which is more important, strength enough to bend your foil, dexterity enough to hit the spot you want to or the intellegence to pick out the best spot to hit?

Wow, what an announcement to start off 2012.

I have to admit to being cautiously optimistic though, a lot of what has been talked about in the Legend and Lore articles have struck a chord with me so definitely something to look forward to.



Well have fun are you going to play test?
 I felt a lot of sour notes and the only chord I heard was a bit overly ummm well likely to fall flat but you know... I dont get the impression they care - see I like to narrarate instead of having the game tell me absolutely what the thing that the dice just said is happening so I am one of those non-target folk that Mearles will chat merrily with the escapist about as he builds boring martial types.



I have put my name forward for the play testing - it would be fun to see what was coming down the pipe.

It really is too soon to judge 5e without having a chance to see it at work, but I think that DnD really needs the options for players that really just want to hit the monster with their sword as well as those that want a more tactical game - the Slayer and Weaponmaster show that it is possible to have both.

Member of the Axis of Awesome

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The first example is a good reason to ditch ability scores. Billy should be good with a sword because he's trained with it all his life.

Then you have never seen someone with absolutly no aptitude in something be trained in it. I know prople that are clumsy enough that I don't trust them with sharp objects. No ammount of training would get me to change my mind. As for myself countless hours of musical training as a child hasn't given me the ability to play an instrument. Lots of training doesn't means lots of skill...

The second example doesn't sound like a fighter. More like an NPC. Care to expand on how Billy is supposed to survive the first battle? (this might help us determine his actual class. Maybe he's a rogue?)

As a conscript, I'd assume that the army is using some sort of formation fighting. You get a spear(nice, cheap easy to make weapon), stay in line and get lucky enough to live to see the next fight. Hard to see how you can learn to be a rogue while wielding a spear in formation...

And the only difference between an NPC and a PC is the player. Nothing in background should point to one of the other. Or did you means 'monster'. If so, you'll find human fighter as monsters and as PC's so I fail to see what you mean.

What you seem to be missing DrNick is that no one stat governs what a great fighter is. I can make a slayer that is 100% dex or int with no bump in str. Ask a fencer which is more important, strength enough to bend your foil, dexterity enough to hit the spot you want to or the intellegence to pick out the best spot to hit?




I suspect you and I have very different playstyles as neither of those characters sounds very fun or rewarding to play to me. All the best!
I suspect you and I have very different playstyles as neither of those characters sounds very fun or rewarding to play to me. All the best!


And this is one of the points that the team will have to work on for the new rules... Is a fighter a muscular man, or someone skilled with a sword ? Are both the same  thing? Does one depend on the other ?
Some will think that only bodyduilders can be good at fighting. Some will think "fighter" is a training you can succeed in even if you are not very strong. Some will see cinematographic Conan types as the fighter archetypes. Some will think fencer, or samurai. Or Aragorn, all in stamina and "wisdom". There are many fighter archetypes, the classic D&D one was just one of them.
And the designers will have to create a game system allowing all these archetypes - or will lose a part of the crowd they try to please. And even then, they risk losing those who have a very set view of what a given archetype must be.

Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
I suspect you and I have very different playstyles as neither of those characters sounds very fun or rewarding to play to me. All the best!


And this is one of the points that the team will have to work on for the new rules... Is a fighter a muscular man, or someone skilled with a sword ? Are both the same  thing? Does one depend on the other ?
Some will think that only bodyduilders can be good at fighting. Some will think "fighter" is a training you can succeed in even if you are not very strong. Some will see cinematographic Conan types as the fighter archetypes. Some will think fencer, or samurai. Or Aragorn, all in stamina and "wisdom". There are many fighter archetypes, the classic D&D one was just one of them.
And the designers will have to create a game system allowing all these archetypes - or will lose a part of the crowd they try to please. And even then, they risk losing those who have a very set view of what a given archetype must be.




Conan the high level heroic fighter wearing only a chainmail shirt which Gygax very much wanted the game to evoke. Would have been functionally his wizard friends sidekick and further outclassed by the smarter Lancelot model standing next to him.

My point being the game clinging to a simulation fails when it meets up with the larger than life heroics that has been part of there intent since way far back.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

For anyone at Wizards listening.

I came to 4E because the game went to 4E, not due to any dislike of 3.5. I went from each version (more or less) as they happended.  I've been playing since 78.  As a GM I drop things I don't like, change things as needed.  It's part of D&D. 

A lot of people are talking about rules this and rules that, and while important to me, I'll say this clearly.

If you are not full in 100% on this one.... working versions of the Character Builder, Monster Builder and Compendium at LAUNCH, I will not be happy.

It's only been 4 years, and for 4 years we've waiting for these tool to show up, and get fixed, get updated and we're still waiting for them to get a decent release schedule of updates to match book release.

No matter what you, or we, come up with for rules, I can't stress how much being ready to go on launch day means to me.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

Conan in D&D? There was an AD&D supplement for it, Conan Unchained.

From its wiki page:

Rick Swan reviewed the adventure in The Space Gamer #73. Swan felt that David Cook gave a good shot at "what is in essence a pretty cheesy assignment" by adding new rules such as a "Fear Factor" for monsters to inspire terror, "Luck Points" to allow player characters to perform heroic feats, and a healing rule to mend wounded characters faster. Swan felt Cook approached the material with respect although "Conan isn't a particularly good choice for the D&D system" because his world is barren, without magic or interesting monsters. Swan concluded by saying that "Conan and D&D go together like peanut butter and tuna fish – it can be done, but you can bet there's going to be a funny taste."



I'd be in favor of detatching stats from character competency, but that is a SACRED COW and 5e is all about appeasing those burned by change.
Keep in mind, this is a community that is used to hacking up its rulesystems so if a small amout of that is required by each niche group, I think it will still have the potential for great success. I'm a person who very much liked 4E but I'm still thrilled at this prospect. From what I'm reading on the forums and about a dozen blogs, the only people not at least open to this idea as being a good thing are the hardest of hardcore grogn4ards like frothsof (no offense froth, I know you have an unquenchable love for traditional 4E and you wear it on your sleeve and I'm ok with that). But I think you get my point.



Rather than replying directly to AbdulAlhazred I thought it more appropriate to reply to this.  I agree with where I think you are going with this.  I have NEVER played any RPG for a significant amount of time without houseruling.  Now to some people here that might mean adding a bonus feat or something, but I am talking about rewriting or creating entire subsystems.  I think the idea that there is one way most people play D&D is a myth perpetuated by those who are resistant to change.  5e will be no different, with one exception.  It will actually be designed precisely to allow for different styles of play, and different tastes.  It will be designed to be customized.  It will be designed to be houseruled, except that the house rules will be professionally designed.

I too am thrilled at the prospect of what could potentially be the best version of D&D, and the one I will play for as long as I continue to role-play.  If not...I'll go back to 4e.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
Gaining victory through rules bias is a hollow victory and they know it.
Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

I suspect you and I have very different playstyles as neither of those characters sounds very fun or rewarding to play to me. All the best!


And this is one of the points that the team will have to work on for the new rules... Is a fighter a muscular man, or someone skilled with a sword ? Are both the same  thing? Does one depend on the other ?
Some will think that only bodyduilders can be good at fighting. Some will think "fighter" is a training you can succeed in even if you are not very strong. Some will see cinematographic Conan types as the fighter archetypes. Some will think fencer, or samurai. Or Aragorn, all in stamina and "wisdom". There are many fighter archetypes, the classic D&D one was just one of them.
And the designers will have to create a game system allowing all these archetypes - or will lose a part of the crowd they try to please. And even then, they risk losing those who have a very set view of what a given archetype must be.


I look at it this way. After 'Billy' trains every day with his sword for 4 years he's going to be PRETTY STRONG. Beyond that what is a hero? A hero is the tip top of the 1% of all the people in the world. Only THE absolutely most capable guy even lives long enough to make it to level 1 in that dark world out there. The others either died trying or went home and took up farming. 'Billy' either measured up or he didn't get a story written about him.

And lets go a bit deeper, what does 'fighter' really mean in terms of the IN-GAME reality? Do we think that people go around with labels that say they're a fighter, a rogue, a ranger, a warlord, etc? Lots of people fight with melee weapons. Many of them are not 'fighters'. Fighters happen to be the model for the particularly sticky tough guy that has the physical stamina to stand in front of an ogre and fight it out toe-to-toe. The guy that happens to be quick and fights resourcefully can easily be modeled using the rogue class. He is quick and dodges in and out, hanging on the flank of the enemy repeatedly taking him in a weak point. He may be strong (like say a Brutal Scoundrel) but he's not going to normally stand in front of that ogre blocking its path (for long anyway). Different physical types play to different types of strategy and get modeled by different sets of class features.

Class is just mechanics, the character's backstory and how it is fluffed determine how he's seen in the game world by the other characters. The system isn't perfect, rogues always get certain skills by default that might not match a given backstory, all rangers fight with 2 weapons, etc. It could be polished up some, and I wouldn't mind seeing your weapon choice determine attack stat for instance (so a fighter using a rapier would be attacking with DEX). Still, it is a pretty solid system. If you want to build some of the more odball combinations of mechanics you'll generally need to use a feat or two or build a hybrid to do it, but you CAN do it if you really want. A high dex rogue could MC into fighter for just the one use per encounter of CC and maybe one of the shield feats and/or a utility power or style feat that gives him some defenderish capabilities. It will work OK. Make CON a secondary, maybe take toughness, you can do it.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
ok, i've read most of the posts so far and here is my 2 cp

I am mostly a DM and what I really like about 4e is how much easer it is to build unique monsters and put together a dynamic and interesting encounter, be it a combat or RP

keeping the monster mechanics seperate from the player mechanics is awesome!!

my wish, my hope is that WOTC keeps this in mind when putting together the next version of the game. 

Joe 
Conan in D&D? There was an AD&D supplement for it, Conan Unchained.

From its wiki page:

Rick Swan reviewed the adventure in The Space Gamer #73. Swan felt that David Cook gave a good shot at "what is in essence a pretty cheesy assignment" by adding new rules such as a "Fear Factor" for monsters to inspire terror, "Luck Points" to allow player characters to perform heroic feats, and a healing rule to mend wounded characters faster. Swan felt Cook approached the material with respect although "Conan isn't a particularly good choice for the D&D system" because his world is barren, without magic or interesting monsters. Swan concluded by saying that "Conan and D&D go together like peanut butter and tuna fish – it can be done, but you can bet there's going to be a funny taste."



Hit points were "sort of" intended to be those luck points or atleast there defensive aspect ... and buffer against real harm the game just didnt quite follow through on it, he even refers to the fighter as intended to be like a super hero.

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy game, of course, and this most reasonably indicates that statements regarding "realism" in a game must go out the window. (Quite frankly, there is no game with any true realism in it, or it would be real and not a game. Folks seeking realism should go and participate in whatever the game is based on, if possible, viz. if they are looking for realism in wargames they should enlist in the military service.) It got worse thereafter. 

D&D is a HEROIC fantasy game. Who can slit Conan's throat at a blow? The examples are too numerous to mention, but the point is that the game is aimed at allowing participants to create a heroic character who is not subject to some fluke. Getting killed requires a lot of (mis-)play in most cases. How does the fighter escape the dragon's breath? The same way other superheroes do - bending a link of chain or slipping into an unnoticed crevass in the rock he was chained to or whatever, i.e. the same way all other larger-than-life sword & sorcery heroes manage to avoid certain death. " - Gary Gygax.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Keep in mind, this is a community that is used to hacking up its rulesystems so if a small amout of that is required by each niche group, I think it will still have the potential for great success. I'm a person who very much liked 4E but I'm still thrilled at this prospect. From what I'm reading on the forums and about a dozen blogs, the only people not at least open to this idea as being a good thing are the hardest of hardcore grogn4ards like frothsof (no offense froth, I know you have an unquenchable love for traditional 4E and you wear it on your sleeve and I'm ok with that). But I think you get my point.



Rather than replying directly to AbdulAlhazred I thought it more appropriate to reply to this.  I agree with where I think you are going with this.  I have NEVER played any RPG for a significant amount of time without houseruling.  Now to some people here that might mean adding a bonus feat or something, but I am talking about rewriting or creating entire subsystems.  I think the idea that there is one way most people play D&D is a myth perpetuated by those who are resistant to change.  5e will be no different, with one exception.  It will actually be designed precisely to allow for different styles of play, and different tastes.  It will be designed to be customized.  It will be designed to be houseruled, except that the house rules will be professionally designed.

I too am thrilled at the prospect of what could potentially be the best version of D&D, and the one I will play for as long as I continue to role-play.  If not...I'll go back to 4e.

Thanks, I said as much in about 4 different places over the last few days. My main conceit was that through the oddities and quirks of 1E, many of us learned "what D&D is" based on the game that it became as we tried to make it actually work for us.  Perhaps the essence of D&D isn't AC, or HP, or THAC0 or Beholders (although each has its place in its history). Perhaps the essence of D&D is that it needs to be broken up, beaten, molded by each of us to make it our own. Perhaps, in the quest for better and more complete and more balanced rules, (all noble pursuits), we got away from that idea that the system isn't supposed to be perfect or complete, lest we feel no need to personalize it.  Perhaps that's why so many people said 4E was excellent but somehow "off". Because, it was streamlined and sleek but left little for us to really tear down and build back up in our own image. It was already its own image. Perhaps that doesn't even make sense. Anyway, it's late...

Oh, also Kalex, in the interest of finding common ground after our disagreement the other day, I read a thread where you were discussing your issues with the 4E math and monster scaling the threat level and feel and I have to say that I've seen those exact same issues. I didn't want to get involved at the time because when I brought up similar points, I was summarily shouted down. But yeah, just know that you are not alone in those perceptions.
ok, i've read most of the posts so far and here is my 2 cp

I am mostly a DM and what I really like about 4e is how much easer it is to build unique monsters and put together a dynamic and interesting encounter, be it a combat or RP

keeping the monster mechanics seperate from the player mechanics is awesome!!

my wish, my hope is that WOTC keeps this in mind when putting together the next version of the game. 

Joe 



This, an its not like you can't give enemies abilities that mimic those of the PC's, I do it all the time for my humanoid opponents.
Conan in D&D? There was an AD&D supplement for it, Conan Unchained.

From its wiki page:

Rick Swan reviewed the adventure in The Space Gamer #73. Swan felt that David Cook gave a good shot at "what is in essence a pretty cheesy assignment" by adding new rules such as a "Fear Factor" for monsters to inspire terror, "Luck Points" to allow player characters to perform heroic feats, and a healing rule to mend wounded characters faster. Swan felt Cook approached the material with respect although "Conan isn't a particularly good choice for the D&D system" because his world is barren, without magic or interesting monsters. Swan concluded by saying that "Conan and D&D go together like peanut butter and tuna fish – it can be done, but you can bet there's going to be a funny taste."



Hit points were "sort of" intended to be those luck points or atleast there defensive aspect ... and buffer against real harm the game just didnt quite follow through on it, he even refers to the fighter as intended to be like a super hero.

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy game, of course, and this most reasonably indicates that statements regarding "realism" in a game must go out the window. (Quite frankly, there is no game with any true realism in it, or it would be real and not a game. Folks seeking realism should go and participate in whatever the game is based on, if possible, viz. if they are looking for realism in wargames they should enlist in the military service.) It got worse thereafter. 

D&D is a HEROIC fantasy game. Who can slit Conan's throat at a blow? The examples are too numerous to mention, but the point is that the game is aimed at allowing participants to create a heroic character who is not subject to some fluke. Getting killed requires a lot of (mis-)play in most cases. How does the fighter escape the dragon's breath? The same way other superheroes do - bending a link of chain or slipping into an unnoticed crevass in the rock he was chained to or whatever, i.e. the same way all other larger-than-life sword & sorcery heroes manage to avoid certain death. " - Gary Gygax.


You cut it off right before the best part!

"In summation, most players find that the game of seeking and gaining, with the ensuing increase in character capability is the thing. Combat at best is something to be done quickly so as to get on with the fun,"

Get combat out of the way quickly so we can get on with the fun!
;)
My main conceit was that through the oddities and quirks of 1E, many of us learned "what D&D is" based on the game that it became as we tried to make it actually work for us.  Perhaps the essence of D&D isn't AC, or HP, or THAC0 or Beholders (although each has its place in its history). Perhaps the essence of D&D is that it needs to be broken up, beaten, molded by each of us to make it our own. Perhaps, in the quest for better and more complete and more balanced rules, (all noble pursuits), we got away from that idea that the system isn't supposed to be perfect or complete, lest we feel no need to personalize it.  Perhaps that's why so many people said 4E was excellent but somehow "off".

Sure, maybe D&D is this unique and special case where everything that makes other games good makes it bad, and everything that makes other games bad makes it good.

Or, maybe, just maybe, a bunch of geeks are getting loaded on nostalgia and rationalizing their preference for inferior prior versions of a game, because they can't handle the idea that they enjoyed the game more when it wasn't as good.

But, games in general weren't quite as good back then. And we were younger, and easier to impress.

There is no shame in being nostalgic for a sucky game, no need to rationalize that nostalgia by somehow making up reasons that bad is good - and absolutely no need to get in the way of the hobby's continued evolution.


Nostalgia is part of the human condition, and you see this sort of thing everywhere.  When solid state hi-fi stereo came out, there were officianados who /swore/ the sibilant hiss of vaccum-tube-based predecessors improved their listening enjoyment.  When CDs delivered superior sound, there were those who insisted the mushier sound of analog was somehow sublime.  When CGI came on the scene, fans of stop-motion animation decried it's 'blurriness' and lack of artistry, because it looked more realistic (with a phenomenon known as 'motion blur' vs stop-motion 'strobing').  Anything that people form an affection for when they're young and gets improved upon later is somehow eulogized, even as younger (or simply more rational) people embrace the improvements.


Ironically, this has even happened with D&D before.  AD&D went 20 years and 2 editions without ever reaching the quality standards of other 80s games, because TSR was just afraid to rock the boat.  When 3e finally did bring the game into the 80s (early 90s, even), there was some virulent rejection and some moving on, and it ultimately worked - mainly because the AD&D die-hards had nothing to work with.  This time they did, and the result is the abandonment of the first version of D&D to come close to catching up with the times. 

It's sad for D&D, and a sad comment on the folks making it happen, but D&D is just the part of our hobby most visible to the mainstream, the rest marches on, leaving D&D eating dust in it's long-accustomed reregaurd position.

 

 

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