Rule of Three - (2012 March 20th)

Rule-of-Three (2012 March 20th)
by Rodney Thompson

You've got questions—we've got answers! Here's how it works—each week, our Community Manager will be scouring all available sources to find whatever questions you're asking. We'll pick three of them for R&D to answer.

Talk about this news here.

 
1) Personally, I've always found the minion rule to be a bit too gamist for my taste.  I much perfer this sort of scaling.  That said, I'm a bit concerned about the discussion of damage inflation, especially given that one of the items that most excites me about the upcoming edition being a flattening of the math but will withold judgement until I see the system in action.  Please, please don't use damage as just another means of level inflation.  I like the thought of tenth level characters being challenged by lower level creatures in larger numbers.

2) As a proponent of Editions of Dungeons and Dragons prior to 4th edition, I think that alignment is a central part of Dungeons and Dragons and definitely want to see it in game.  That said, I'd rather the mechanical aspects apply in a less pronounced fashion to beings not touched by some sort of cosmic good or evil in some fashion or another.  As an example, I dislike detect alignment spells a la 3.x detecting the alignment of a corrupt political official.  It's a disservice to the game and often difficult to handle from a DM standpoint. detracting from the game.  Allow those spells and effects to interact with devils, demons, angels, or servants of divine entities.  Leave the rest to whatever sense motive mechanic in the works.  

3)  Classes mechanics don't necessarily differentiate classes, so a repetition of mechanics isn't always a bad thing.  Combat maneuvers for martial characters (forgive my co-opt of the 4th ed term for a second) seems like an excellent direction to take the classes, especially given the concern that a large number of players have expressed in relation to boring and underpowered melee combat.  These sorts of maneuvers could be exactly the sort of flavor that would make combat more entertaining.

Rule-of-Three (2012 March 20th)
by Rodney Thompson

You've got questions—we've got answers! Here's how it works—each week, our Community Manager will be scouring all available sources to find whatever questions you're asking. We'll pick three of them for R&D to answer.

Talk about this news here.

 

Interesting article. Quick comments:

- Using relative hit points to average damage for minions sounds ok. On the other hand a major point for having minions in the first place is that you don't have to track their hit points, they're either dead or not dead, so "minions with hit points" might defeat the purpose. Guess I'll have to see how it actually works in practice to have an opinion one way or another.


- Bringing back nine alignments is ok with me, but then again the five alignment system was ok to. My only gripe about alignments in the older editions was when they caused alignment disputes over whether or not a character was a particular alignment. From the article it sounds like the mechanical effects will be mainly inherent to NPC monsters and such that are "innately aligned" by the core of their nature, and if it's limited to that that's fine. I think most of the conflict happens when player characters are potentially game mechanically affected based on the character's given alignment.


- In terms of different mechanics for different classes I'll be happy if they at least have different mechanics within the same general archetypes of classes. So fighter and rogue using one type of mechanic while other martial characters like barbarians and warlords use other mechanics would work for me. Anything to improve the chance that you can play the sort of class you'd like to play using the sort of game mechanics you like to use is good idea I think.
1. I think minions are an unusual edition to the game.  They help the game significantly, but they do give me immersion pause.  I like the idea that they are shooting for "effectively minions" as presented in that answer.

As for the "bounded accuracy," and attack/defenses not scaling with level, is that really much different effectively than having armor function as damage reduction?  I'd suggest looking at the massive poll at the top of this forum about where opinions are on that.  I'm hesistantly worried that will put a lot of onus on gaming the mechanics of the system to effectively become invulnerable.  There aren't enough specifics presented here to see.

2. I honestly don't think anyone was expecting the nine alignments to not be presented as the default alignment grid.  What's interesting, and will be unfortunate to some/many, is reading into the deeper meaning behind the post that DDN will be given a distinctly flavorful presentation (war between Law and Chaos, Rod of Seven Parts, fundamental forces of existence).  I won't lie and say that doesn't help me as a DM and player out tremendously, because it does.  And I am personally excited to play DDN.  For others though, while overriding a default assumption that there is a war between Law and Chaos may be acceptable (like overriding a default assumption about Dwarves getting bonuses against Giants, or some such), I can easily see understandable disapproval in needing to override default assumptions about mechanical alignment.

I hope at least that mechanical alignment effects as presented in core are much more associated with those planar concepts and fundamental forces than they are with personality.

3. Sounds intriguing, not enough detail to comment.

Somnia, the Evanescent Plane -- A 3-set Block
Set 1 — Somnia
Set 2 — TBD
Set 3 — TBD
Planeswalker's Guide to Somnia

Build Around This
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BAT #1 was built using the Legacy format with Spiny Starfish, Sage's Knowledge, and Make a Wish. Winner: Dilleux_Lepaire with Fishy Starfishies. Runner-Up: JBTM
I like the concept of bounded accuracy. It will be interesting to see how far they run with that idea, and how they handle scaling damage. Too much in combat calculations is a serious problem to overcome.
This article is extremely disappointing. The author clearly doesn't understand minions at all, and having alignment mechanics as a core assumption rather than as an optional module is a massive strike against the new edition.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
They do not seem to grasp the actual purpose of minions, which is to reduce the amount of work the DM has to do, allowing them to be used without recording anything or rolling anything. I've already put PCs up against enemies so low in level that they can be one-shotted, but their abilities require as much effort to use as when they were higher-level than the party.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.
This article is extremely disappointing. The author clearly doesn't understand minions at all, and having alignment mechanics as a core assumption rather than as an optional module is a massive strike against the new edition.



Alignment simply existing as a default would be fine. Alignment having mechanics, as they implied, as a default, is very discouraging. I absolutely love Planescape, and hope it has a nice fat set of optional rules regarding alignment, but I still don't want it built into the core game.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.
1. I like the sound of this. I'd like to learn more about how damage output is going to scale with level, though.

2. I'm truely thankful. I hope that the mechanical bits are easy to take out for those that don't want them. Otherwise, I'm pleased as punch.

3. Sounds about right, I suppose.
This article is extremely disappointing. The author clearly doesn't understand minions at all, and having alignment mechanics as a core assumption rather than as an optional module is a massive strike against the new edition.



Alignment simply existing as a default would be fine. Alignment having mechanics, as they implied, as a default, is very discouraging. I absolutely love Planescape, and hope it has a nice fat set of optional rules regarding alignment, but I still don't want it built into the core game.

Rodney mentioned that they want the alignment system to be easily extractable from the game if it doesn't work for a particular DM or gaming group. 

 
I love using minions, mainly because it's fun to fill encounters with those little freaks and have the party blast them to pieces. Also, I have found that designing adventures for just one or two players to be very easy with the XP / Encounter Level system of 4E, and minions allow several monsters to be added to a given encounter for a single PC without overwhelming that lone PC.

So, I hope that the new rules for monsters and encounter creation permit a similarly easy-to-use, easy-to-customize system. I found the 3E rules especially to be confusing when designing and balancing an adventure for fewer than the default number of players,  and I did not like the 3E style of "one monster per encounter". My preferred style is to have the PCs hacking through scores of monsters; frankly, most of my players in my D&D games prefer the latter, too.

 In regards to the return of the nine alignments: LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. Thank you. Alignments are such an iconic part of default D&D. Now, if they hadn't been added to the game, I would've included them anyway through a house-rule, but it's nice to see that the designers are taking into account even the small things which make D&D the classic game that it is.
Rodney mentioned that they want the alignment system to be easily extractable from the game if it doesn't work for a particular DM or gaming group.



Having to extract something somewhat defeats the purpose of a modular system. It's also hell if they don't have an "alignment matters" toggle in DDI. And oh bloody if they start balancing things based on alignment restrictions... ugh.
Fire Blog Control, Change, and Chaos: The Elemental Power Source Elemental Heroes Example Classes Xaosmith Exulter Chaos Bringer Director Elemental Heroes: Looking Back - Class and Story Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Xaosmith (January 16, 2012) Elemental Heroes: Complete Class Beta - The Harbinger (May 16, 2012) Check out my Elemental Heroes blog series and help me develop four unique elemental classes.
Rodney mentioned that they want the alignment system to be easily extractable from the game if it doesn't work for a particular DM or gaming group.



Having to extract something somewhat defeats the purpose of a modular system. It's also hell if they don't have an "alignment matters" toggle in DDI. And oh bloody if they start balancing things based on alignment restrictions... ugh.

Removing a module is as simple as adding it.  It doesn't matter where it defaults to.  It's modular.  That's the point.

Celebrate our differences.

Removing a module is as simple as adding it. It doesn't matter where it defaults to. It's modular. That's the point.

The system still needs basic assumptions, assumptions that are by their nature going to be more difficult to alter exactly because they're basic assumptions. Removing something from the basic assumptions is not going to be as simple as adding a module. That's not what being modular means.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Removing a module is as simple as adding it.  It doesn't matter where it defaults to.  It's modular.  That's the point.




This makes sense to me.
Rodney mentioned that they want the alignment system to be easily extractable from the game if it doesn't work for a particular DM or gaming group.



Having to extract something somewhat defeats the purpose of a modular system. It's also hell if they don't have an "alignment matters" toggle in DDI. And oh bloody if they start balancing things based on alignment restrictions... ugh.

Removing a module is as simple as adding it.  It doesn't matter where it defaults to.  It's modular.  That's the point.



Provided they extract just as easily as you claim they will.  I'll need to see it to believe it.
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Removing a module is as simple as adding it. It doesn't matter where it defaults to. It's modular. That's the point.

The system still needs basic assumptions, assumptions that are by their nature going to be more difficult to alter exactly because they're basic assumptions. Removing something from the basic assumptions is not going to be as simple as adding a module. That's not what being modular means.

Your assumptions likely do not equal mine.  I assume modular means modular, not modular + your assumptions.

Celebrate our differences.

and I did not like the 3E style of "one monster per encounter".



Huh? 3e never emphasized one creature per encounter over multiple creatures per encounter.
and I did not like the 3E style of "one monster per encounter".



Huh? 3e never emphasized one creature per encounter over multiple creatures per encounter.



It's interesting that you say this. Maybe your experience was different from mine. I played through all (yes, all; I was very active in gaming and in the RPGA when 3E was out and big) of the adventures from Dungeon, the various published adventures, and so on. Now, obviously in a home game, a DM could design a 3E adventure with multiple monsters per encounter. However, the norm in 3E, generally speaking, was that the party fought one big monster per encounter. Sometimes this was more obvious in certain adventures over others. One of the adventures I remember especially well was "Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil". Just to guess (I fully admit that my memory could be faulty), I would guess from memory that about 30-50% of the encounters in the adventure were one or two monsters versus the party. At any rate, regardless of the exact numbers, the published 4E adventures have far more encounters featuring large groups of multiple monsters than your typical 3E adventure did.

That's not to say in any way that the 3E adventures were somehow bad. Many of them were outstanding! However, the 4E rules really helped when designing large encounters full of monsters, without overwhelming the party or, alternatively, making them fight monsters which have no chance whatsoever to hurt them.

What I'm talking about is also referenced in this article: www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/d...

Quote from the article: "For editions before 3rd, most encounter areas throw multiple enemies against the party in each area. 1st Edition modules in particular feature encounters with dozens of orcs or goblins, especially in higher-level adventures. Your best bet is to rebuild these to feature minions led by higher-level NPC humanoids.

For 3rd Edition adventures, look at combining multiple areas into a single encounter to bring enough monsters to bear on the party. 3rd Edition assumed one monster fought the party, forcing you to combine encounters unless you are willing to design many solos. (Emphasis added.) Other than monsters, pay attention to traps and encounter terrain. Traps in older editions tended to zap the party once and were then unable to keep attacking. Again, aim for the flavor of the trap and avoid attacks that instantly kill PCs."


 
Removing a module is as simple as adding it. It doesn't matter where it defaults to. It's modular. That's the point.

The system still needs basic assumptions, assumptions that are by their nature going to be more difficult to alter exactly because they're basic assumptions. Removing something from the basic assumptions is not going to be as simple as adding a module. That's not what being modular means.


But the point is that the basic assumptions are really thin in nature.  Like, "a higher number for AC is better" is a core system assumption you won't be able to eliminate. 

But the entire point behind the very idea of modularity is that you can add or take out things like the alignment system and have it not disrupt the game.  You just take it out - anything that it would have affected, it doesn't anymore.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Your assumptions likely do not equal mine.  I assume modular means modular, not modular + your assumptions.

I'm pretty sure that the developers already said somewhere that, while the game will be mostly moduler, it does still need a base set of rules and assumptions to build off of.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Your assumptions likely do not equal mine.  I assume modular means modular, not modular + your assumptions.

I'm pretty sure that the developers already said somewhere that, while the game will be mostly moduler, it does still need a base set of rules and assumptions to build off of.



A base set of assumptions that they assume that the majority want.  I wonder if that means you and I are in the minority?
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby (1937- ) Vanador: OK. You ripped a gateway to Hell, killed half the town, and raised the dead as feral zombies. We're going to kill you. But it can go two ways. We want you to run as fast as you possibly can toward the south of the town to draw the Zombies to you, and right before they catch you, I'll put an arrow through your head to end it instantly. If you don't agree to do this, we'll tie you this building and let the Zombies rip you apart slowly. Dimitry: God I love being Neutral. 4th edition is dead, long live 4th edition. Salla: opinionated, but commonly right.
fun quotes
58419928 wrote:
You have to do the work first, and show you can do the work, before someone is going to pay you for it.
69216168 wrote:
If you can't understand how someone yelling at another person would make them fight harder and longer, then you need to look at the forums a bit closer.
quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Doesn't matter whether I'm in the majority or in the minority. What matters is whether I'm right or wrong. I know what's better for other people than they do. ;)

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
and I did not like the 3E style of "one monster per encounter".



Huh? 3e never emphasized one creature per encounter over multiple creatures per encounter.



It's interesting that you say this. Maybe your experience was different from mine. I played through all (yes, all; I was very active in gaming and in the RPGA when 3E was out and big) of the adventures from Dungeon, the various published adventures, and so on. Now, obviously in a home game, a DM could design a 3E adventure with multiple monsters per encounter. However, the norm in 3E, generally speaking, was that the party fought one big monster per encounter. 



Huh. While I was a Dungeon subscriber, most of my adventures are homemade, following the guidelines in the DMG (pages 48-51).

Huh. While I was a Dungeon subscriber, most of my adventures are homemade, following the guidelines in the DMG (pages 48-51).



Yeah, I found myself often altering published adventures just to throw in more monsters into encounters and to make things more "epic" (at least, in my and my group's understanding of "epic").  I'm glad that you home-made most of your adventures, because that's really a lost art among DMs!
Your assumptions likely do not equal mine.  I assume modular means modular, not modular + your assumptions.

I'm pretty sure that the developers already said somewhere that, while the game will be mostly moduler, it does still need a base set of rules and assumptions to build off of.

Did you even read the article or just go into attack mode because they said the word "alignment?"

However, we want alignment to be a tool, not a straightjacket, so the execution of those mechanics should serve that goal, and really only apply when dealing with the powerful, elemental forces of alignments, not someone who just behaves a certain way. Additionally, I believe we'll also want it to be easy for a DM to strip those mechanics out of his or her campaign, if the DM so chooses.

Celebrate our differences.

Did you even read the article?

I did. In fact, I just got back from another thread where I highlighted the same thing that you did. That said, I have no idea why you chose to highlight that. It seems pretty irrelevant to my point.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Did you even read the article?

I did. In fact, I just got back from another thread where I highlighted the same thing that you did. That said, I have no idea why you chose to highlight that. It seems pretty irrelevant to my point.

Well, considering that your point is already irrelevant, any counterpoint would also be irrelevant by association.

It is optional.  It means you choose whether it is in or out.  Your choice.  You are complaining about nothing.

Celebrate our differences.

If you don't understand the difference between having the choice to add something and having the choice to remove it, then we're just going to stay at an impasse.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
If you don't understand the difference between having the choice to add something and having the choice to remove it, then we're just going to stay at an impasse.

When something is designed to be optional, there is only a semantical difference.

5E is a big box.  The modules are a bunch of little boxes.  By default, 5E will have some of those little boxes in it.  If you don't want one of those little boxes that are defaulted in the big box, you remove it.  If you want one of those little boxes that are defaulted out of the big box, you put it in.  It's really quite simple.

Celebrate our differences.

1) Yeah, that's what I would have done, too. I like it. Now I wonder... what about Solo monsters?

2) -.- Bad news. I don't want to talk about alignment, it always degenerates on a moral debate with people who don't know anything about phylosophy at all and people who do and still think fantasy should trump that stuff "because evil exists". But I will say that the mechanics need to be really easy to strip out. That's one less point for D&D Next, because it requires work I don't need to do in 4E.

3) This seems nice on paper; I wonder how they will balance it though. 
Are you interested in an online 4E game on Sunday? Contact me with a PM!
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
When something is designed to be optional, there is only a semantical difference.

5E is a big box.  The modules are a bunch of little boxes.  By default, 5E will have some of those little boxes in it.  If you don't want one of those little boxes that are defaulted in the big box, you remove it.  If you want one of those little boxes that are defaulted out of the big box, you put it in.  It's really quite simple.

That's simply not my impressions of of 5E or what it means by being modular. My impression is more like if I have some vanilla ice cream as a base and a bunch of candies and sprinkles and fruits and whatever else that I can add however I desire. Adding that stuff may be easy, but taking the lactose out of the ice cream isn't as simple. Is it a perfect metaphor? Of course not. That's why it's just a metaphor, but it illustrates my understanding of the system better than the idea that every rule can be exactly as easily added or removed.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
When something is designed to be optional, there is only a semantical difference.

5E is a big box.  The modules are a bunch of little boxes.  By default, 5E will have some of those little boxes in it.  If you don't want one of those little boxes that are defaulted in the big box, you remove it.  If you want one of those little boxes that are defaulted out of the big box, you put it in.  It's really quite simple.

That's simply not my impressions of of 5E or what it means by being modular. My impression is more like if I have some vanilla ice cream as a base and a bunch of candies and sprinkles and fruits and whatever else that I can add however I desire. Adding that stuff may be easy, but taking the lactose out of the ice cream isn't as simple. Is it a perfect metaphor? Of course not. That's why it's just a metaphor, but it illustrates my understanding of the system better than the idea that every rule can be exactly as easily added or removed.

That's up to you if you want to overcomplicate things and it's up to me if I want to oversimplify them.  The article was quite clear with their intent with alignment being simple to remove, and the way it was described, it was a lot closer to being a little box than it did being lactose.



Celebrate our differences.

The article was quite clear with their intent with alignment being simple to remove, and the way it was described, it was a lot closer to being a little box than it did being lactose.

The article was quite clear with their intent that alignments would be considered fundamental forces of existence, like fire or lightning, and the way it was described, it was closer to being lactose than was was to being a little box.

Like I said, impasse.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
The article was quite clear with their intent with alignment being simple to remove, and the way it was described, it was a lot closer to being a little box than it did being lactose.

The article was quite clear with their intent that alignments would be considered fundamental forces of existence, like fire or lightning, and the way it was described, it was closer to being lactose than was was to being a little box.

Like I said, impasse.


But... They LITERALLY said they wanted to make it easy to remove. You can ignore that if you want, but then it's not an impasse, it's you chosing to ignore the facts.
The article was quite clear with their intent with alignment being simple to remove, and the way it was described, it was a lot closer to being a little box than it did being lactose.

The article was quite clear with their intent that alignments would be considered fundamental forces of existence, like fire or lightning, and the way it was described, it was closer to being lactose than was was to being a little box.

Like I said, impasse.

LOL.  They said that a "fundamental force of existence makes sense," but they then went on to add all the reasons why they were not going to integrate it like "forces of fire and lightning."  Reading comprehension goes a long, long way.

Having mechanics that interact with a fundamental force of existence makes sense, much in the same way that having mechanics that interact with fire, lightning, etc. make sense. However, we want alignment to be a tool, not a straightjacket, so the execution of those mechanics should serve that goal, and really only apply when dealing with the powerful, elemental forces of alignments, not someone who just behaves a certain way. Additionally, I believe we'll also want it to be easy for a DM to strip those mechanics out of his or her campaign, if the DM so chooses.

Celebrate our differences.

I'm pretty OK with alignments, though I use them as factions only, without the mystical threads of morality woven in.  I (being an avid reader of  Michael Moorcock) am extremely fond of the Law-Chaos dynamic (though Cosmos/Chaos may be better terminology, since Law(s) can have many different flavors).  I refuse to Judge the behavior of the characters in my campaigns (though certain NPCs may be rather opinionated!).  "Alignment=Faction" is just as likely to get an innocent man executed for wearing the wrong color as it is to get a villain off the hook because he's paid off the right people.
I like "Evil" being a quality which is projected onto others by mortals for their own purposes.  Similarly, "Good" might be worn as a cloak to mask one's true motives.
All-in-all, I think Planescape got alot of stuff right concerning alignments.

-DS
But... They LITERALLY said they wanted to make it easy to remove.

I don't know why you think that I don't know this. I've referenced it multiple times myself. I simply don't think that they'll succeed in making it easy to remove, exactly because of the way they're describing how it would fit into the system. And even if they did succeed in making it easy to remove, which I very much hope they do, that still leave the problem of my needing to actually remove it.

They then went on to add all the reasons why they were not going to integrate it like "forces of fire and lightning."

Please reword whatever it is that you're trying to say here, because from my side of the screen, it sounds like you're directly contradicting what's actually written in the article and what you just quoted.

Reading comprehension...

Oh no, condescending internet cliches. What ever will I do?

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
They then went on to add all the reasons why they were not going to integrate it like "forces of fire and lightning."

Please reword whatever it is that you're trying to say here, because from my side of the screen, it sounds like you're directly contradicting what's actually written in the article and what you just quoted.

Reading comprehension...

Oh no, condescending internet cliches. What ever will I do?

I quoted that first sentence because it was the one you mentioned.  But I think you may be confused by the word "However."  Let me help:
"Used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously." 

Oddly enough, the sentence immediately prior to the word "However" is the sentence that you are so focused on.
Having mechanics that interact with a fundamental force of existence makes sense, much in the same way that having mechanics that interact with fire, lightning, etc. make sense. However...

In other words, they are not going to integrate it in that way and they went on to explain how it was going to be used instead.

Cliches are cliches for a reason...


Celebrate our differences.

Really? You're trying to pull dictionary definitions? Do you think that makes you sound smart? Fine, I'll play along for now.

"Used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously."

"Seems to contradict" means that it doesn't actually contradict.

"Penguins are birds. However, they do not fly."

I'm pretty sure that the second statement does not contradict the first. Despite being unable to fly, penguins are still birds.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Really? You're trying to pull dictionary definitions? Do you think that makes you sound smart? Fine, I'll play along for now.

"Used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously."

"Seems to contradict" means that it doesn't actually contradict.

"Penguins are birds. However, they do not fly."

I'm pretty sure that the second statement does not contradict the first. Despite being unable to fly, penguins are still birds.

You completely fail at context.  You need to incorporate what follows the "However" of the statement in question.

Try this:
"I was going to go to the store.  However, I decided against it and am instead going to stay home."

So yeah, it certainly can contrast, and certainly does so in the rule of 3 article, as they completely contradicted the first statement with the new direction.  "Seems to" does not apply, and does not need to, if you notice the "or" in the defiintion.

I'm done here.  I can't help it if you employ selective reading.

Celebrate our differences.

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