I don't want D&D Next built around movies.

This was brought up in my other thread so I figured I would start a new thread on it. I don't want D&D Next built around this one of many playstyles. Not everyone wants there games to be run like it's a movie where the main character always wins. The game should be designed to accommodate this playstyle but it shouldn't be the default.
i disagee.

i want the cinematic style to be the assumed default. you can have your style, but you'll be the one to have to make it work use a module.
i disagee.

i want the cinematic style to be the assumed default. you can have your style, but you'll be the one to have to make it work use a module.



Sooooooooooooooo what makes your style more special than someone else's to the point where they have to go out of their way to have it?

Why not make it equal for everyone?
I want no assumed default playstyle in this regard.  this style of campaign should depend entirely on writing and encounter design.
I want no assumed default playstyle in this regard.  this style of campaign should depend entirely on writing and encounter design.




With this I agree.  

I like a more grounded survival style to my games. I don't need long extravagant fights or epic story lines for my enjoyment of the game. I don't have any players who do either.

A nice relaxed pace intersperced with extreme danger is where our fun is had.
i disagee.

i want the cinematic style to be the assumed default. you can have your style, but you'll be the one to have to make it work use a module.



Sooooooooooooooo what makes your style more special than someone else's to the point where they have to go out of their way to have it?

Why not make it equal for everyone?



i could flip the question right back at you, why should your style be the default, as you stated in your OP. but to be honest, i don't give half a flip of a dire rat's backside about everyone else's game.

the only game that actually matters to me is the one being played at my table, and a game where the party starts off as 2nd fiddle redshirts who need to "earn" the "right" to have fun won't see my money. 
i disagee.

i want the cinematic style to be the assumed default. you can have your style, but you'll be the one to have to make it work use a module.



Sooooooooooooooo what makes your style more special than someone else's to the point where they have to go out of their way to have it?

Why not make it equal for everyone?



i could flip the question right back at you, why should your style be the default, as you stated in your OP. but to be honest, i don't give half a flip of a dire rat's backside about everyone else's game.

the only game that actually matters to me is the one being played at my table, and a game where the party starts off as 2nd fiddle redshirts who need to "earn" the "right" to have fun won't see my money. 



Because what I propose isn't a playstyle. What I propose is a default that can accommodate all playstyles.

To do the modularity thing properly in my opinion, the default should either be low to start with (with options - modules - to make it more cinematic), or be sort of middle-of-the-road, with modules to take it in either "extreme."

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

I've always visualized D&D as cinematic action.  

In Basic and 2e, my mind's eye was influenced most by fantasy films like Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans.  Ya know, stop motion visual effects, models, matte paintings, Harry Harryhausen at his best ;).

Now days, I see things as CGI.  A man transforms into a werewolf, and it's digitally timed, flowing, rather than choppy, stop-n-go photography.

D&D has always been cinematic for me and the different kinds of F/X technology my mind's eye uses can sometimes help set the feel for me.  It really is the difference between going to see the Dark Crystal (an '80s movie) and Avatar.

I'm sure DDN will incorporate more than one kind of playstyle.  It's straight-forward enough I think, even without involving mechanics.  Just let yourself imagine (cinematic or not, it's all good).
/\ Art
if you don't want cinematic to be the default, then propose a default that will accomodate everyone.
i disagee.

i want the cinematic style to be the assumed default. you can have your style, but you'll be the one to have to make it work use a module.



Sooooooooooooooo what makes your style more special than someone else's to the point where they have to go out of their way to have it?

Why not make it equal for everyone?



i could flip the question right back at you, why should your style be the default, as you stated in your OP. but to be honest, i don't give half a flip of a dire rat's backside about everyone else's game.

the only game that actually matters to me is the one being played at my table, and a game where the party starts off as 2nd fiddle redshirts who need to "earn" the "right" to have fun won't see my money. 



Because what I propose isn't a playstyle. What I propose is a default that can accommodate all playstyles.



Removing the cinematic as a default playstyle proposes a different default playstyle unless they can somehow make the game have no default playstyle.  However, this would mean having no default flavour or mechanics, as both engender a specific play style by default.
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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
if you don't want cinematic to be the default, then propose a default that will accomodate everyone.



That's the DM's job, not the game itself. The game should not be built around that. If you want cinematic then you talk to the DM about not needing to roll dice and just explain everything to you as you go along.

What's the point in dice if the game needs to go in one direction anyway?

Edit: Cinematic has to do with film and movies. A film or movie can never change unless the director says so, it's all planned out.
i disagee.

i want the cinematic style to be the assumed default. you can have your style, but you'll be the one to have to make it work use a module.



Sooooooooooooooo what makes your style more special than someone else's to the point where they have to go out of their way to have it?

Why not make it equal for everyone?



i could flip the question right back at you, why should your style be the default, as you stated in your OP. but to be honest, i don't give half a flip of a dire rat's backside about everyone else's game.

the only game that actually matters to me is the one being played at my table, and a game where the party starts off as 2nd fiddle redshirts who need to "earn" the "right" to have fun won't see my money. 



Because what I propose isn't a playstyle. What I propose is a default that can accommodate all playstyles.



Removing the cinematic as a default playstyle proposes a different default playstyle unless they can somehow make the game have no default playstyle.  However, this would mean having no default flavour or mechanics, as both engender a specific play style by default.



Just so we are clear on something. technically as long as you are rolling dice you can't have cinematic unless you ignore those rolls or only count those that progress the story forward. I think some peoples view of cinematic is a bit off. Movies happen one way and one way only with nothing changing in between unless that change was planned from the start. Bruce Willis' character doesn't accidentally get killed during the movie causing the sequel to change. if his character dies then it was planned from the beginning.

For the sake of this discussion, don't we need to define cinematic?  Are we talking about visual style?  

So when my fighter swings his sword at a goblin and pushes him back (or slides him forward, whatever), what does that look like?  In the movies, the fighter might impale the goblin on the sword and pull him closer.  Very visual.  In a book passage however, the very same action might be described as the fighter leaning in as he swings the sword and grabbing the hapless goblin by the neck.  Say, three or four sentences vs. a few seconds of screen time.

I can resolve this scene in my mind, using either method (cinematic or bookish); my imagination does most of the work, the mechanics not so much.

Edit:  What is the antithesis of cinematic anyway?
/\ Art
@XunValDorl_of_HouseKilsek
I don't disagree with your definitions but keep in mind that no one playing D&D wants a completely cinematic experience.   They do roll dice.  

The question is ask is this -->  How strong is the DM script with the characters.  

Does the DM create a world and then turn his players loose live or die as the dice fall.   Or does the DM plan on the group becoming might heroes and plan his campaign accordingly.   This is a continuum to be honest and is not a yes or no question.   Everyone has degrees of cinematicness it is just how much.

 
@XunValDorl_of_HouseKilsek
I don't disagree with your definitions but keep in mind that no one playing D&D wants a completely cinematic experience.   They do roll dice.  

The question is ask is this -->  How strong is the DM script with the characters.  

Does the DM create a world and then turn his players loose live or die as the dice fall.   Or does the DM plan on the group becoming might heroes and plan his campaign accordingly.   This is a continuum to be honest and is not a yes or no question.   Everyone has degrees of cinematicness it is just how much.

 



Well let's look at the default of the game for a moment. If you play straight by the default then you roll the dice and let things happen. Now what the DMG suggests isn't default, it is merely suggestions but if you look straight at the mechanics and you roll with that then basically where the dice fall is what you get. If that wasn't the defaut then we wouldn't have elements like HP, dice rolling, healing surges, raise dead etc...

I am going by the strict default here and I think the game really needs to make clear what the default is.
i could flip the question right back at you, why should your style be the default, as you stated in your OP.



He did not say he wanted his style to be the default in his OP; he said that he did not want cinematic to be the default.

I agree. There should be no default playstyle assumed in the core rules set. Optional modules can handle the different playstyles more efficiently.

Just so we are clear on something. technically as long as you are rolling dice you can't have cinematic unless you ignore those rolls or only count those that progress the story forward.

Let me get this straight:  Cinematic = scripted?  Rolling dice = non-cinematic?  So, if I roll dice than my games are not scripted.  OTOH if I don't roll (or if I ignore certain rolls), then my games are scripted.  Xun wants non-scripted games (not scripted, cinematic games).  That's Xun's reasoning, as best I can figure.

Rolling dice is integral to D&D.  It's a probability-based game after all.  By the same token, D&D is a game with a story and that means at least some scripting.  If nothing more than "The bridge to the other side just collapsed.  Okay.  What do you do?"  Do they use ropes and grapple over or do they maybe find another route?  How the story goes is up to the players.  

Yeah, there might be some dice rolling involved but that doesn't necessarily mean there's no going forward.  If the PCs miss a roll for instance, then maybe that means they get lost on the trip around the chasm; they will eventually find their way though.  The story is still moving along.
/\ Art
Just so we are clear on something. technically as long as you are rolling dice you can't have cinematic unless you ignore those rolls or only count those that progress the story forward.

Let me get this straight:  Cinematic = scripted?  Rolling dice = non-cinematic?  So, if I roll dice than my games are not scripted.  OTOH if I don't roll (or if I ignore certain rolls), then my games are scripted.  Xun wants non-scripted games (not scripted, cinematic games).  That's Xun's reasoning, as best I can figure.

Rolling dice is integral to D&D.  It's a probability-based game after all.  By the same token, D&D is a game with a story and that means at least some scripting.  If nothing more than "The bridge to the other side just collapsed.  Okay.  What do you do?"  Do they use ropes and grapple over or do they maybe find another route?  How the story goes is up to the players.  

Yeah, there might be some dice rolling involved but that doesn't necessarily mean there's no going forward.  If the PCs miss a roll for instance, then maybe that means they get lost on the trip around the chasm; they will eventually find their way though.  The story is still moving along.



Cinematic has actually been used wrong. Like I have said before, cinematic is a movie term in which everything that happens is scripted with nothing that happens during changing the outcome of the movie.

What if that roll kills the PC and that PC is not able to come back? I never said you can't roll dice and not have the story go forward but sometimes rolling the dice can ensure the game doesn't go forward at all and that is not cinematic.

If a movie about Jason comes out then you can expect Jason to be in it from beginning to end. Now if we take that into D&D there could be a way to take out Jason, if a player is clever enough, right there from the beginning or they may purposely steer clear of him. A better name for it would be DM Directed or even Railroading if you want to be close to as cinematic as possible.

The the meaning of the word has gotten lost when it comes to D&D discussions.

Well, if I wanted a BBEG to stick around from start to finish, I might have him work from behind the scenes (at first), only to reveal himself (and his true power) once the PCs had gotten to the point I was aiming for (the big finale maybe).  I'm not gonna have Jason bust in the door and chase the PCs right after the opening titles, especially if he's the A-lister on the marquee ;).  A bit of forethought works wonders.

Also, nothing the heroes do in a movie is free of complications.  They get caught trying to pick the safe, the car gets driven off a cliff and explodes, you name it.  They always seem to find a way though.  Same thing in D&D; a few rolls to see if there are any complications.  A bad roll doesn't necessarily have to be a game stopper, it's just a set-back.  Die rolls can be seen as a way to keep a game rolling, not to stall it.
/\ Art
I thought the OP was talking about how often 4e makes reference to cinematic action - and it does.  Do I think 4e's Fireball is more cinematic that 3.5's?  Uh, no. 

But it was part of the 4e verbiage.  Just like pulp noir was for Eberron.  Wtf is pulp noir?  I don't know, but I read it and something forms between my ears and I liked it enough to give Eberron a try and I loved it. (I am not saying pulp noir isn't a real thing, just that I don't know what it is but it was great marketing speak.)

If you don't want 5th to talk about being cinematic, that's not a big deal.

Cinematic has actually been used wrong. Like I have said before, cinematic is a movie term in which everything that happens is scripted with nothing that happens during changing the outcome of the movie.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

But saying cinematic means sort of scripted... I would agree that 4e plays it a little safe in it's mechanics but not to the point that the outcome is determined.  Lots of PC have died in our campaigns and it was never the plan for that evening's session of D&D.

For the sake of this discussion, don't we need to define cinematic?  Are we talking about visual style?

Cinematic (in the context of a D&D game) includes visual style, but it means more then just visual style. It means the game as a whole is setup to emulate the cinematic style of action and plot from movies. It is generally taken to mean action-adventure movie, not a subtle spy thriller or a gritty documentary.

Healing surges, for example, are a very cinematic thing. The characters can suffer nearly deadly wounds, and shrug it off by resting a few minutes. In much the same way a hero in an action-adventure movie might limp through the rest of that scene after taking a wound to the foot, but it won't stop him from running a few minutes later. The way the hero might be nearly dead and bleeding from multiple wounds, but he can stop, bandages his arm and catches his breath, and suddenly just has a few scratches.

It also plays into secondary things. Cinematic campaigns tend to gloss over the details and day to day concerns. I wouldn't expect characters in a cinematic campaign to track ammuntion or food. Money and treasure are treated as secondary concerns, often more a matter of style then anything, rather then serious matters of having enough money to live. The characters might be described as rich or poor, but it won't impact their characters in play. They will always have enough money to buy what they need to advance the plot.

It also makes a big difference in campaign settings and themes. In a cinematic campaign, the characters are larger then life and better then everybody else, simply by virtue of being a hero. A heroic soldier may have a background that says they went through basic training with everybody else in the army, but they have special weapon training in a rare exotic weapon and high powered skills that nobody else has. These plot and setting holes are simply ignored in this type of campaign.

Cinematic is very much at the story telling end of the game (as opposed to the simulation or game end). It differers from other story telling styles in that it emphasizes big flashy fights and generally simplistic plots and story, where most other story telling styles emphasize complex plots and deep emotional stories.

I want no assumed default playstyle in this regard.  this style of campaign should depend entirely on writing and encounter design.



The problem is that there's going to be a default playstyle, no matter what. Unless they create multiple systems, but that's not what they are going to do. Modules aren't a synonym for panacea, nor philosopher's stone. People will get dissatisfied, and there's going to be a certain playstyle the game is aimed for. I'd rather it be heroic fantasy.
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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.
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Personally I think of 'cinematic' as high-action, big set pieces, lots of drama, pyrotechnics, great pacing, etc. In terms of fixed story paths and outcomes, I think of that as 'railroading'. I think you can have a 'cinematic' experience with different story paths and multiple endings and without railroading the players / characters.
For the sake of this discussion, don't we need to define cinematic?  Are we talking about visual style?

Cinematic (in the context of a D&D game) includes visual style, but it means more then just visual style. It means the game as a whole is setup to emulate the cinematic style of action and plot from movies. It is generally taken to mean action-adventure movie, not a subtle spy thriller or a gritty documentary.

Healing surges, for example, are a very cinematic thing. The characters can suffer nearly deadly wounds, and shrug it off by resting a few minutes. In much the same way a hero in an action-adventure movie might limp through the rest of that scene after taking a wound to the foot, but it won't stop him from running a few minutes later. The way the hero might be nearly dead and bleeding from multiple wounds, but he can stop, bandages his arm and catches his breath, and suddenly just has a few scratches.

It also plays into secondary things. Cinematic campaigns tend to gloss over the details and day to day concerns. I wouldn't expect characters in a cinematic campaign to track ammuntion or food. Money and treasure are treated as secondary concerns, often more a matter of style then anything, rather then serious matters of having enough money to live. The characters might be described as rich or poor, but it won't impact their characters in play. They will always have enough money to buy what they need to advance the plot.

It also makes a big difference in campaign settings and themes. In a cinematic campaign, the characters are larger then life and better then everybody else, simply by virtue of being a hero. A heroic soldier may have a background that says they went through basic training with everybody else in the army, but they have special weapon training in a rare exotic weapon and high powered skills that nobody else has. These plot and setting holes are simply ignored in this type of campaign.

Cinematic is very much at the story telling end of the game (as opposed to the simulation or game end). It differers from other story telling styles in that it emphasizes big flashy fights and generally simplistic plots and story, where most other story telling styles emphasize complex plots and deep emotional stories.




Exactly! I like for things to fit. If you are the only "Mage" around then who taught you and why aren't there more walking around.

Those types of games don't really worry about how you came to be, only the fact that you are.

Personally I think of 'cinematic' as high-action, big set pieces, lots of drama, pyrotechnics, great pacing, etc. In terms of fixed story paths and outcomes, I think of that as 'railroading'. I think you can have a 'cinematic' experience with different story paths and multiple endings and without railroading the players / characters.



Well technically that's not "cinematic", that's just visual effects and other movie elements.

I want no assumed default playstyle in this regard.  this style of campaign should depend entirely on writing and encounter design.



The problem is that there's going to be a default playstyle, no matter what. Unless they create multiple systems, but that's not what they are going to do. Modules aren't a synonym for panacea, nor philosopher's stone. People will get dissatisfied, and there's going to be a certain playstyle the game is aimed for. I'd rather it be heroic fantasy.




See I'd rather the default playstyle was just fantasy.  You can be a hero, you can be a villain, you can be an explorer that never saves the world, or you can be the messiah that does nothing but seek to bring an end to the BBEG's terrible rule.  I want these all to be possible.  I want to be able to start as a seasoned veteran or as a farmhand.  I want variable power curves dependent on easily quantifiable and codified rules.  All of this defaulting into a fantasy setting.  I even want that to be easily changed over to a Sci Fi setting given the corest of rules.  Playing the hero isn't always what I am trying to do.  Forcing me to make that character violates the design principles of 5e because I can't play the game I want.
Personally I think of 'cinematic' as high-action, big set pieces, lots of drama, pyrotechnics, great pacing, etc. In terms of fixed story paths and outcomes, I think of that as 'railroading'. I think you can have a 'cinematic' experience with different story paths and multiple endings and without railroading the players / characters.



Well technically that's not "cinematic", that's just visual effects and other movie elements.




Well, technically "cinematic" means "relating to the cinema" in the diccionaries that I've looked so far (if you have another source, please quote).

So, obviously, his take on that official meaning is just as valid as yours, as both relate to cinema in one way or another.

But, as far as I know, "cinematic" is used more often with the meaning of "something that reproduces dynamic and flashy action sequences and plots, trying to make it look more movie-like". This thread is the first time I've seen someone (you) use it to mean... "something scripted and/or devoid of choices and/or randomness"? I add the question mark because, truth to be told, I'm not exactly sure if that was what you were trying to mean.

Anyway, please try to make clear what is what you don't want to be the default playstyle, because I don't think that most people in this thread are discussing about what you wanted them to discuss about.

And, on another topic... if I were you I'd try to make the title of my threads a little more impersonal and a little more informative. Several threads titled "I don't want D&D Next built around X" opened by the same user don't seem to me like a great idea from an organizative POV and, and I don't mean to offend you with this, it also makes you look a little egotistical and immature, because it reads to me like if you wanted to impose your opinion somehow, even if that is not your intention, and I'm sure it is not. I'd suggest you to use more generic titles like "Should the cinematic playstyle be supported by D&DN?" or "Cinematic playstyle in D&DN".
Personally I think of 'cinematic' as high-action, big set pieces, lots of drama, pyrotechnics, great pacing, etc. In terms of fixed story paths and outcomes, I think of that as 'railroading'. I think you can have a 'cinematic' experience with different story paths and multiple endings and without railroading the players / characters.



Well technically that's not "cinematic", that's just visual effects and other movie elements.




Well, technically "cinematic" means "relating to the cinema" in the diccionaries that I've looked so far (if you have another source, please quote).

So, obviously, his take on that official meaning is just as valid as yours, as both relate to cinema in one way or another.

But, as far as I know, "cinematic" is used more often with the meaning of "something that reproduces dynamic and flashy action sequences and plots, trying to make it look more movie-like". This thread is the first time I've seen someone (you) use it to mean... "something scripted and/or devoid of choices and/or randomness"? I add the question mark because, truth to be told, I'm not exactly sure if that was what you were trying to mean.

Anyway, please try to make clear what is what you don't want to be the default playstyle, because I don't think that most people in this thread are discussing about what you wanted them to discuss about.

And, on another topic... if I were you I'd try to make the title of my threads a little more impersonal and a little more informative. Several threads titled "I don't want D&D Next built around X" opened by the same user don't seem to me like a great idea from an organizative POV and, and I don't mean to offend you with this, it also makes you look a little egotistical and immature, because it reads to me like if you wanted to impose your opinion somehow, even if that is not your intention, and I'm sure it is not. I'd suggest you to use more generic titles like "Should the cinematic playstyle be supported by D&DN?" or "Cinematic playstyle in D&DN".



Yeah, I take cinematic within a game context to mean flashy action, high adventure, etc.  Insomuch as that is "relating to cinema".  If Xun thought that's what the community was assuming, then spiffy.  But if he assumed cinematic meant "predetermined", I really don't think anyone was wanting or assuming that cinematic meant that within the context of relating games to cinema. 

Mainly, I think we're using the term to mean action and movement, excitement, etc.  Which makes sense, considering the word's linguistic roots with kinetic.

Xun, when we say we want cinematic playstyle, we mean we want games that have mechanics that allow for showy, action-packed high adventure and excitement.  Now, that adventure could be terrifying, or enlightening, or enlivening, but we want our games to move.  Think the Mummy moves, the battles of Lord of the Rings, the act of killing a gaggle of guards in Assassin's Creed, then running from them across rooftops and down alleyways.

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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
Personally I think of 'cinematic' as high-action, big set pieces, lots of drama, pyrotechnics, great pacing, etc. In terms of fixed story paths and outcomes, I think of that as 'railroading'. I think you can have a 'cinematic' experience with different story paths and multiple endings and without railroading the players / characters.



Well technically that's not "cinematic", that's just visual effects and other movie elements.


Why exactly is that not cinematic.  Cinematic really just means suggesting, or related to, or suitable for motion pictures.  This is not so precise a definition as to mean the action is predetermined by a script.

I think you need to be more clear.  Do you have a problem with powers/abilities that are cinematic?  Or do you have a problem with characters being assumed to be the winner?  The former is part of the basic assumptions of 4e, while the latter is a matter of playstyle and is not inherent in the design of 4e.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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Save the breasts.

Reading the descriptions of cinematic here it was summed up by the statement that surges were cinematic because it allowed for characters to shrug off wounds and keep going... and to a degree that's true.

 What cinematic means to me is the game allows the telling of any story that the DM or adventure presents, without has never told me i cant getting in the way. Prior to 4E there were too many story elements you had to either (a) never use, or (b) fudge the rules for, in order to be able to tell them.

Chase scenes were attrocious prior to 4E, because 2-3 bad dice rolls would end the chase, and if it was part of the story, then the prep the DM did would end. Similarly scenes where the characters were captured and had their possessions taken away were almost impossible to do in prior versions, because the power was all with the possessions, not the characters.

The movie analogy is a good one, because it thinks about entertainment. Any of us can name many many movies where the heroes don't win, or characters die, or there is huge amount of pain, failure and loss on behalf of the central characters. What I think you are opposed to is the Michael Bay method of storytelling, which isn't cinematic, it's pure action and glory.

Anyone who has written a script, especially if it has been filmed, will tell you you need to have story development, character development and drama, as well as an interesting story to tell. Miss any one of those any you have a bad story, same with D&D. You don't want to bore your players, you want to challenge them and keep things entertaining.

You can have the superhero type of storytelling where you can be sure of the outcome before you start, or you can have D&D set in Oz (the HBO prison series, not the fantasy world) where the characters change almost constantly, but you need to entertain.

Going back to movies, would you have enjoyed Raiders of the Lost Ark if during the chase scene after getting out of the Well of the Souls Indy failed a skill check, fell off the truck and never saw the Ark again? Probably not. Yet only 15 minutes earlier he was trapped in a room full of snakes with no obvious way out and the Ark in the hands of the bad guy, and the story kept going. Because it was designed cinematically.

You want your system to never be responsible for the premature ending of a story. Proper cinema can tell any story, and that is what you should be aiming for. D&D 4e has never told me I can't tell a particular story, while 3(.5) did it all the time. 1st and 2nd eds were about half way between the two, because they didn't try to cover too much and you could just make it up and run systemless.

Whatever D&D next is, if it doesn't have the freedom for me to present different types of story in different ways, then it will have failed in its promise to me. If I can't picture the heroes covered in dirt and dripping with sweat as they plan their escape from the mines of flame; or them flying on the backs of winged cats while chasing the members of the dragon cult as they carry the princess away; or them leading an army of 5000 soldiers into battle against the evil warlord who has overrun and killed the neighboring kingdom; as well as just walking into a dungeon and killing everything in there for the treasure, then the game is probably too restrictive.

I love 4E because it never told me what I couldn't do as a DM, including letting my playerscake up the story when they wanted to. No prior edition of D&D did that, there was always mechanical reasons why something wouldn't work without ignoring the rules. No matter what the mechanics do, D&D Next should not be a step backwards in this regard.


 
My thoughts on what works and what doesn't in D&D and how D&D Next may benefit are detailed on my blog, Vorpal Thoughts.
D&D should never attempt to become a movie or novel simulator. It was never intended to be one. Even Gygax had no desire to play having to jump through hoops to satisfy some wannabe novelists epic story and neither do I. If I want story hour I'll go down to the local library and plunk myself down on the mat with the 5 year olds.

And seriously, if you need "But the heroes never die" and "we won't reach the end of this fabulous story if we don't win" to play D&D then please don't play D&D.
If you're reading this there's a good chance you should be wearing a helmet, consequently I really can't bring myself to care about your opinion.
You want your system to never be responsible for the premature ending of a story. Proper cinema can tell any story, and that is what you should be aiming for. D&D 4e has never told me I can't tell a particular story, while 3(.5) did it all the time. 1st and 2nd eds were about half way between the two, because they didn't try to cover too much and you could just make it up and run systemless. 



How did 3.X do that? I've never had a problem doing whatever I wanted to do with it, so I'm curious how it stymied others.

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

Why not have an optional "newb" mode where if you, the player, choose to take it you suffer a -2 penalty to all rolls. This penalty is reduced to -1 at second level and goes away at third. This can help anyone who wants that fanboy feel without affecting anyone else at the table.
Some of us would rather see D&D evolve instead of remaining stagnant with gameplay paradigms from the 1970s, thank you.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Some of us would rather see D&D evolve instead of remaining stagnant with gameplay paradigms from the 1970s, thank you.



Sometimes in order to go forward you need to go back, and in order to rebuild you need to get back to the foundation of the concept.
If you're reading this there's a good chance you should be wearing a helmet, consequently I really can't bring myself to care about your opinion.
Some of us would rather see D&D evolve



Some of us wouldn't.
When I read 'cinematic,' what springs to mind is stylish action, dynamic environments, and a 'Rule of Cool' approach to physics and probability. None of that seems particularly egregious to anything other than the absolute lowest-of-low fantasy.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
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I want no assumed default playstyle in this regard.  this style of campaign should depend entirely on writing and encounter design.



This.

Mechanically speaking, "Naturalism" (what's there is there go crazy and explore and you can probably technically beat anything if you're smart and lucky enough) is the most important default to support because getting fanfiction.net heroic crap is simply a matter of scale (don't build a bigger world) and selection (stick to at-level stuff all day).
Some of us would rather see D&D evolve instead of remaining stagnant with gameplay paradigms from the 1970s, thank you.



going from "awesome world to explore and have adventures in" to "storytime railroad gaia online RP thread" isn't really an evolution