Roleplaying Required

After DMing and having at length disussions with my players, and after reading many threads on the community boards, I see a trend.  In 5e, players who enjoyed playing the pregen that they played generally were the ones who focused primarily on roleplaying rather than a particular game mechanic.  Players who really immersed themselves in their character, thinking and acting how they felt the character should, felt as if the character worked well and enjoyed the open nature of the skill system because it allowed them to stay in character rather than search through a list of abilities to decide what worked best for a specific situation. 

To me, this is a step in the right direction.   I like to play RPGs to explore fantasy worlds and become an interesting character.  If the characters are given too many "buttons" they tend to become too mechanical, more video game-like.  

As such, so far (without any mods) the core 5e seems to not only encourage, but require players to roleplay in order to really enjoy the game.  What are your thoughts?

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

I think maybe this is almost dead on. I'd further add that players who are interested in coming up with imaginative solutions to things can be added to this list as they are rewarded for their creative, 'outside the stated rules' efforts. So they've addressed the roleplayers and the clever tacticians. As a player, I am probably a mix of both of these styles, so DDN is already very close to my perfect game.

I personally do not fully enjoy the boardgamey feel of later editions of the game, but I can certainly see where they would appeal to many players. Having your options spelled out for you frees your mind to focus on other things happening in the game. It's on your character sheet, you simply review and do. Or ... it's on cards. Either way, there is more information, but it becomes simpler the more you play in that style. Some players require the complex structure of pre-definition. I don't think this is a fault. It's just a different way for them to wrap their minds around the game on the whole.

Fortunately, the options are coming to cater to their playstyle, too.
After DMing and having at length disussions with my players, and after reading many threads on the community boards, I see a trend.  In 5e, players who enjoyed playing the pregen that they played generally were the ones who focused primarily on roleplaying rather than a particular game mechanic.


I'm sorry, but I can roleplay in any system, so yes the things I am going to look at for critique are the game mechanics. That doesn't mean that people who don't like the mechanics are somehow not roleplaying, it means we don't allow good players and good RP to be an excuse for poor game mechanics.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
@Rhenny

Well, if the true goal is to simply enable the RP experience you've described above why bother with any kind of rules at all? Wouldn't it be easier to have the players create a brief description of their characters and then (once the story starts) simply have them describe their actions with the DM adjudicating the results? No need to grab those pesky dice, they'd just interfere with the narrative, right?

The rules of the system are what help the players and DM define the characters and campaign story.  What the last few editions of D&D have done well (IMHO) is offering character creation rules with plenty of options for customization.

This is what I want from D&D Next, it doesn't need to be the AW-E-D mechanic of 4th or the amount multiclassing options that tended to be the norm in 3rd. But some level of customization within the character classes has become essential to D&D's well being. For the record, the extra options in these editions never hampered the RP in my games.

I've been DMing for 30+ years and back in the early days of the game there was no difference between two different fighters save the gear they owned, ability scores and the players vision of the character. If that's where D&D Next is headed, then why bother with such simple rules when I could create a shared story experience with no rules at all.
My original observation did not in any way say that players could not roleplay in other iterations, nor did it say that the rules were not important.  All I said was that it seems that players who are roleplaying are more enthusiastic about the characters they play in this iteration.  The open skills system (which is a mechanic) is encouraging (and possibly requiring) roleplaying.

I am not bashing players or other systems.   Just observing.

Cheers. 

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Ok, so you are never required to roleplay to have fun. But the OP is suggesting that the mechanics may be encouraging roleplay and people are having fun with that. Poor mechanics (and I will agree that some of them need some tweaking) seem irrelevant to this observation.

It also seems counter-intuitive to bash roleplaying as viable enjoyment of the playtest when we're playtesting a roleplaying game. There are no sides to this debate. The roleplay and the mechanics are meant to mesh together for the complete experience. Nothing but roleplay is open storytelling. Nothing but mechanics is a boardgame.

If lots of players are having lots of fun roleplaying while using the mechanics, then this is probably a good thing...

Or have I finally gone crazy? 

It also seems counter-intuitive to bash roleplaying as viable enjoyment of the playtest when we're playtesting a roleplaying game. There are no sides to this debate. The roleplay and the mechanics are meant to mesh together for the complete experience. Nothing but roleplay is open storytelling. Nothing but mechanics is a boardgame. 



At which point in my post did I bash roleplaying? I agree 100% that RP is the key element to an enjoyable gaming experience.

Perhaps I misread the OP's intent, but I've noticed that when someone raises an issue about the simplicity of the playtest materials that many people on these forums will respond with "Well, just RP creatively" as the proposed fix

My point is that creative RP can and should be part of any game, it's not a unique or defining facet of D&D Next. I'm also tired of the implication in some posts that the "powers" in 4E got in the way of roleplaying - YOU CAN RP IN ANY RULES SYSTEM (sorry for shouting). D&D Next needs to define itself as different than what came before or why bother with a new edition of the game? As I stated above, what I really want are a set of rules that offer solid options for players to customize their characters, interesting monsters to pit them against (a hero is only as good as their villian) put together in a way that enhances the groups shared "RP vision" of their particular game world.

This brings me to the playtest materials (for the record I understand this is just our first glimpse) that have very simple design for a couple of the character classes (fighter and rogue).  While more stuff is coming, now is the time to begin discussion of what we think the game needs to look like.

I'm not trying to "edition war", I just want the next iteration of the game to build on the rich history that has come before.
I agree with both sides of this discussion.

The open skill system and interesting backgrounds are a good thing.

Where the concerns come in are the healing and combat systems and their mechanical issues.

The thing I have noticed is that most of the mechanical critiques aren't against the RP enhancing backgrounds but against mechanical flaws in the combat. This is true from all ends of the spectrum. We have 4th players not happy with the lack of battlefield control right along with 3.X and 2E players.

We have varied ideas of how to solve it but we tend to agree that it should be solved.

Good observation OP, entirely valid on the open non combat elements.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.


It also seems counter-intuitive to bash roleplaying as viable enjoyment of the playtest when we're playtesting a roleplaying game. There are no sides to this debate. The roleplay and the mechanics are meant to mesh together for the complete experience. Nothing but roleplay is open storytelling. Nothing but mechanics is a boardgame. 



At which point in my post did I bash roleplaying? I agree 100% that RP is the key element to an enjoyable gaming experience.

...

I'm not trying to "edition war", I just want the next iteration of the game to build on the rich history that has come before.



1. Maybe 'bash roleplay' was a strong term. It actually wasn't directed at your response anyway. It was Bone_naga's "...it means we don't allow good players and good RP to be an excuse for poor game mechanics." that drew the comment. The wording felt like a jab to me. Nowhere in the OP's statement does it say they are using good roleplay as an excuse for bad mechanics.

2. Edition warring... Well, see, you and I have been playing D&D since the dawn of freakin' time. And I get the impression that you enjoy bits and pieces of all editions ... like I do. So yeah. There's no warring here...or did I miss a post somewhere? :P

As such, so far (without any mods) the core 5e seems to not only encourage, but require players to roleplay in order to really enjoy the game.  What are your thoughts?



It can be said of any other rpg around. If you do'nt roleplay in 4E, you won't have fun with 4E. Rules are toys for roleplayers - some of us feel better having many or precise toys, some of us prefer more freedom.
There are many roleplayers who did not enjoy the playtest, too. At least me.

I think that the more roleplaying there is at the table during the test, the less the rules were really seen and tested - I mean the less they were important for the "fun" of the particpants. There is a famous playtest around on the internet, where the fighter's player said that he only began to have fun when he stoped "fighting" and began doing "anything else". So he had fun - not because of the way the fighter was implemented, but in spite of it.
I'll confess that it looks exactly like my own memories of old school D&D - we rolepayed in spite of the game system, rather than because of it.

I am not saying that everyone should think as I do - only that some of us make a distinction between RP-created-fun and system-created-fun. The first depends mostly on the people playing, not the game, the other one depends on the game rules themselves. And "we" (if I am not the only one, who knows?) want both kind of fun. We want improvisation ad RP, and we want fun toys too. I've DMed often "special session" with no rules at all, so I don't "need" any system to have fun - but i still nuy good systems because it is even more fun with good rules to toy with
Some others want RP first, or only, and don't feel interested in the "system derived" kind of fun.

Also, I wonder how much the feedback on the rules themselves will be weighted by the players who roleplayed "around" them. Does "the fighter was fun, I kept improvizing and not doing basic attacks" mean that basic attacks only is a good idea because he had fun ? Or that maybe it is a bad idea, as he had no fun with them, only with his roleplay/impros ? Will his fun be the same in three sessions, or four ? I really don't know ( I know the answer from my point of view, but have no idea what the "majority" can think).

Anyway - cool for those who had fun. Alas for those who, like me, did not. But c'est la vie : we don't all want the same thing from the RPGs we play.
Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
I'm sorry, but I can roleplay in any system,



This. 

I've successfully roleplayed in a game where the mechanic of determination is coin flips (and my powers were the ability to shoot red-hot General Tso's Chicken from my fingertips, control over all noodle-like things, and the supernatural ability to gripe about tips), and I've successfully roleplayed in Rolemaster Classic, where to determine if you hit, you have to consult the chart (specific to your weapon) that takes up an entire page with the 20 different kinds of armors listed up at the top, and the roll results, from 1 to 155, running on the sides, that you need to cross-reference to see how much damage you did.

Systems don't roleplay. People do. 

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Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

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Yes, of course you can roleplay in any system. Thats just stating the obvious and add little to the discussion really.

Rather, what needs to be considered is how the written rules either encourage or discourage RPing. ie The general consensus against 4E is that it discouraged RPing relative to previous versions - why is that the perception and what can be done differently to avoid it?
The general consensus against 4E is that it discouraged RPing relative to previous versions - why is that the perception and what can be done differently to avoid it?



That "general consensus" is flat-out wrong.  4E, unlike D20 and previous editions, removed restrictions that prevented roleplaying.

It also removed the "I am incompetent at everything except X, and I am bad at X" factor of earlier games, meaning there was no longer a "I suck therefore..." cue - but that didn't discourage or PREVENT roleplaying, it encouraged actual characters by eliminating mechanical penalties to nonrelevant actions, thus encouraging characters to have, y'know, backgrounds.  And hobbies.  And non-mechanically-crippled things they did other than "I'm Fighter McFighterson, the Fighter".
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Yes, of course you can roleplay in any system. Thats just stating the obvious and add little to the discussion really.

Rather, what needs to be considered is how the written rules either encourage or discourage RPing. ie The general consensus against 4E is that it discouraged RPing relative to previous versions - why is that the perception and what can be done differently to avoid it?



Thank you. 

A large part of that perception is the edition's relative comparison of a pen and paper MMO. Perhaps this was the spin that the marketing team gave to the board when deciding the next edition before 4e came out. When playing 4e, it certainly feels like there's quite a bit less roleplaying.  

I do think the DnD Next needs to stay way from the automatic roleplaying of 4e. 

Reaping Strike
"You punctuate your scything attacks with wicked jabs and small cutting blows that slip through your enemy's defenses."

I'd much rather see more abstractions than what is above. I would rather see more flavor for characters; flavor that they can help create themselves rather than have it done for them.         
 
I'd much rather see more abstractions than what is above. I would rather see more flavor for characters; flavor that they can help create themselves rather than have it done for them.         


 
Guess all those spell casters with there spells described for them cant roleplay because of it..

Look at the links in my sig for variations on both improvisation and distinctive presentations of how the powers are flavored. In particular dynamic reflavoring.

I hit it with my sword... is not inspiring. Those with imaginations and who want vivid visualisations will do so whether its the one button mash or a rainbow of moves.

And for reaping strike... I will just quote 


Reaping Strike 



  • Pointed Vulnerabilities : I aim at their weak spots (all things have them) even if you cant quite hit them solid the enemy will scramble and exhaust themselves preventing a full impact... and that serves my purpose too.

  • Barrage : Its a bloody barrage I can't help but hit them solid or not.

  • Smash Through : Your heavy weapon crashes into their shield with a thunder and clamor. Tho the brunt of your rageful strike has been averted, you cannot help but smile at the crunch of pain he feels in his arm.(Thanks DracoSuave)

  • Blade Trap : They thought they had avoided my sabre but it had backup even there best defense lead them in to my dagger (use with offhand weapon)

  • Haft Follow up : If your foe blocks your axe blade, you pivot your weapon at the point of impact, driving the haft into his stomach.(Thanks Puget Sound)

  • Spinning Reprise: Weirdly the first cut of this move is both an aiming and a set up for the finale.. so I prefer that it "miss" as that means the follow up spin is perfect and full.

  • Careful Perfection: Ancient ultra secret attack hard to follow, yup never misses sometimes they hurt worse than others but outright missing is out of the question. (Note I use bloodied minions house rule - minions are bloodied if missed or hit by auto damage a second bloodying kills them)

  • Between a Blade and a Hot Place You skillfully manipulate your foe's position - if they don't fall by your blade they'll fall by hazards of the battlefield. Next time, they'll learn to mind their surroundings.(Thanks Quickleaf)



 



  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."

 

You are forgetting that the Reaping Strike's roleplaying is already there for the player. When you use it, it does the same thing. There is no abstraction, there is nothing. It was this design choice that cemented 4e's reputation.

As for spells, yes, they are quite a bit different. They are not abstractions but rather something concrete in the system. When you throw a fireball, you throw a fireball. When you cast Major creation, you...well...opportunties abound. Now, could this change? Mage certainly tried it, with mixed results.  

What you could do is post a possible change. You would certainly have to have something different from the current playtest magic. Having something different than 4e would help as well. But something is better than nothing. 
You are forgetting that the Reaping Strike's roleplaying is already there for the player.   



No a sample description is there for you nothing more and its mentioned rather explicitly its only a sample page 55 of the players handbook is I beleive where ... and when I use say cleave and describe it as knocking the lamp from one enemies hand in to his adjacent ally (described by the dm) the dm may even go beyond the mechanics based on the description or not.  
 
Roleplaying is an internal experience I think you are using the wrong term anyway. Playing a role is about making decisions based on capabilities and picturing yourself within the game world... its not really even detectable.

The descriptions and visualisations are something else... Play acting. 

You are very much applying double standards to spells...  cant see how they arent preventing you with there descriptions.. if my knockdown assault is preventing me from seeing it as a blow that hits a pressure point causing a momentary black out.. .or seeing it as a martial throw.
  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."

 

No, the problem is the abstraction of combat and the unabstraction of things like Reaping Strike have created the perception of a game that has reduced roleplaying to something secondary. I notice how little roleplaying is actually done during DnD Encounters Wednesdays at my local store. I asked one of the players why their player character (remember, PC) did so little roleplaying.

The only they seemed to give was "it's on the card." They were pointing to the power cards they had. Now, this could just be some of the local groups but that answer perfectly summed up 4e.

It's not really a double standard. When a wizard learns a fireball spell, he learns a fireball spell. Now we 'could' do the same for a fighter. When he uses reaping strike, he punctuateshis scything attacks with wicked jabs and small cutting blows that slip through his enemy's defenses.

     
No, the problem is the abstraction of combat and the unabstraction of things like Reaping Strike have created the perception of a game that has reduced roleplaying to something secondary.  


The descriptions of moves are sample visualisations I really dont think I understand your assertion in the slightest.
 
Roleplaying is an internal experience of making decisions for the character based on there abilities.

Having a repertoire of maneuvers that your character specializes in especially ones which are very flexible and subject to your own flavoring as I have pointed out, whether that repertoire is magical abilities or non-magical abilities enhances my roleplaying. I cant climb inside the head of others.

Combat has always had considerable abstraction starting with hit points to hit and saving throws...  

  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."

 

Remember, this is just the core.  I'm sure WoTC will flesh out maneuvers for melee combat, and other options that will give players more to grab on to.  In fact, I love reading everyone's playtest reports because in them, I can see all of the ways that players and DMs develop interesting actions within their games.  Those examples, whether they are from combat, exploration or roleplaying/interaction, serve as models for others who are not as familiar with the game (and quite frankly even for some who have played/DMd D&D for 30 years..like myself).  WoTC needs to use that type of modeling within the final iteration of the rules to make the game experience rich and appealing to all play styles.  

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Honestly I feel that I can roleplay in any system as well.

I do however feel that some abilities and mechanics can detract from the immersion.

Since we are already using Reaping as an example I will use it.

When reaping is applied to ranged attacks as it can be in this play test it breaks down. It's hard for me to justify a mechanic that allows a single arrow at max range from a rider on horseback ignoring the 3/4 cover of an opponent and doing damage when the character isn't even specialized as an archer.

I can do it mind you.

I just shouldn't have to find a way to tell the guy with a better attack with Dex weapons why he can't hit a single shot in five but the melee brute can "hit" every single one.

I'm sure they'll restrict it to melee but don't you think we as play testers have a duty to point these things out?

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Anyone who has enjoyed systemless roleplaying knows that you don't need mechanics at all.

But some mechanics aid roleplaying and others get in the way.

D&D has often suffered from the latter (3.X was particularly bad with this, especially when it came to skills) and mechanics which stand in the way of good roleplaying should be pared back.

Still, this doesn't mean that characters shouldn't have varying options for mechanical complexity, because different things add to the experience of different players.  Each player, with each class, should be able to set the complexity for themselves.

That's EXACTLY what a modular system should give us!

I'll note though, that I agree with the OP.  Feedback like "I roleplayed heaps with the Fighter and had a BLAST" might mean that you've had fun, which IS good, but isn't really useful or effective playtesting feedback.

It should not, and with luck will not, carry the same weight as carefully considered and constructive criticism of the mechanics for having a negative impact on the play experience.             
I have to agree with the OP.
  Those who have been RP-ing with this new playtest have been having a lot of fun.  I've been at the table for Encounters since day one, we saw very little RP from players ranging from 20+years experience to brand new players.  I have a player at my table who tries to RP as often as he can, it just doesn't work well as he really only has his alignment to RP.  It hasn't been until I started to change the way things were run that people started to really try and do some and have fun with it. 

  The perception of 4e was that it was supposed to be the D&D of WoW.  It was an MMO brought to the table.  A nice idea, but it was more video game mechanical than RPG.  DDN needs to have solid core rules, that's what we're here to determine, but it still needs to have an "openness" that encourages RP as well.

  I think part of this is simplicity,  one of my players is new to gaming and he has problems with is 4e character having a glut of rules and stats.  He really enjoyed his first DDN encounter because his character had much easier rules and stats to follow.
Admiral,

I completely agree with you here.

You are 100% right about the 3rd skill mechanics.

It got really really outrageous to fluff them after a few levels.

We are currently having a rather intense disagreement on the reaper mechanic.

It's nice to hop over here and see you posting something where we have common ground.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Hey, those of us who are here for the RIGHT reasons are all trying to make a better game.

So there's no shame in disagreeing, or agreeing for that matter! Laughing

But for THIS topic...

There's no good saying "it's ok, you can roleplay" in place of mechanics.  Some things you can roleplay, some things you NEED mechanics for. 

While people disagree over what you need them for, that just means that we need well written OPTIONAL rules for a LOT of things.       
Well said Brave Knight of WTF

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Remember, this is just the core.  I'm sure WoTC will flesh out maneuvers for melee combat, and other options that will give players more to grab on to.  In fact, I love reading everyone's playtest reports because in them, I can see all of the ways that players and DMs develop interesting actions within their games.  Those examples, whether they are from combat, exploration or roleplaying/interaction, serve as models for others who are not as familiar with the game (and quite frankly even for some who have played/DMd D&D for 30 years..like myself).  WoTC needs to use that type of modeling within the final iteration of the rules to make the game experience rich and appealing to all play styles.  



most people that i see here that talk about what intresting actions they did in combat turn out to butcher the action econemy of the playtests to do so.

seen things like i hit the oponent in his leg to trip him,and then a discription of how he did damage and tripped the target.
this is not alouwed in the playtest rules.
you only have 1 action so you can attack, or make a improvised action not both.

seen things mentioned like i swing from the chandeleer and atack the target with advantage.
again this is not alouwed you only have 1 action so you can swing from the chandeleer or attack not both.

people who have used actions like above in their playtest should not say the liked the playtest.
becouse they have gutted one of the base rules to acomplish those things. 
When a wizard learns a fireball spell, he learns a fireball spell.

Correct.

When [a character] uses reaping strike, he punctuates his scything attacks with wicked jabs and small cutting blows that slip through his enemy's defenses.

Wrong.  In 4e, this is absolutely not the case.

Let us find a 4e wizard example that is more fair to your analogy.  Consider the wizard's beguiling strands spell.  What do you think it does?  Its flavour text (and it is only flavour text) says "A strand of scintillating colors and gleaming lights clouds your enemies’ minds and forces them to move away."

It has the mechanical effect of dealing psychic damage and pushing enemies away.  Because it is a charm spell, it is affecting their minds at some level.  But beyond that, how does it force them to move away?  Is it your force of will?  Are they seeing horrible mental images?  Are they being physically pushed aside by raw magic?  The spell doesn't say.  That's up to you to decide. 

The flavour text means nothing.  All that matters is what the power does.  You can call the power whatever you like and imagine its effects in any way that you and your DM wish.

The same holds for any martial power.  Reaping strike gives an example roleplay action, but there is absolutely nothing stopping you from calling the exploit overwhelming blow and describing your action in any way that makes sense to you.  Reflavour the power names and descriptions into anything you like.  If you are looking for guidance, there have even been articles in Dragon on that very subject.

Don't use flavour text as an excuse for the inability to be creative.

people who have used actions like above in their playtest should not say the liked the playtest... becouse they have gutted one of the base rules to acomplish those things.

Well said.  Those playtesters who have used improvised and free-form mechanics have not, in fact, been playtesting the system we have been asked to playtest.  What is great is that they are showing that roleplaying can be done in whatever system is provided to us, whether the system is good, bad, or in its absolute infancy.  They are showing, at least indirectly, that roleplaying can and must be divorced from the game mechanics.

Do not try to mechanically regulate roleplaying.  The rules should not actively discourage it, no, but neither should the rules try to do the work for you.  Think about what you want to do, then look at the rules to try to figure out how to do it.  If there is no rule, then you can look to the DM to adjudicate it for you.  This is a rule (Rule Zero) in and of itself, but Rule Zero should not be used where intelligent, coherent and functional game design can be used instead.
On the chandelier example, I'm not sure that isn't allowed as it would technically be defined as a move.
But I'd have to check the packet to confirm.
Regardless I'm not trying to start an argument on that mechanic.

One thing I do like though is some of the connections built into backgrounds.

I like that a first level character can choose the option to be a knight and it gives a very simple description of how he can be expected to be received in that setting.

I see this as a great tool for new players that helps those unfamiliar with constructing more detailed characters.

As a DM it provides me with a way to drop plot hooks that I know a player will seek out.

Good simple tool in my opinion.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

On the chandelier example, I'm not sure that isn't allowed as it would technically be defined as a move. But I'd have to check the packet to confirm. Regardless I'm not trying to start an argument on that mechanic. One thing I do like though is some of the connections built into backgrounds. I like that a first level character can choose the option to be a knight and it gives a very simple description of how he can be expected to be received in that setting. I see this as a great tool for new players that helps those unfamiliar with constructing more detailed characters. As a DM it provides me with a way to drop plot hooks that I know a player will seek out. Good simple tool in my opinion.



options like that where introduced in essentials already.
Edwin_su,

Indeed, but I like that it could be included in core.

New players aren't going to have a copy of Essentials lying around.

Sure it's old hat to you and me but having it in the core would be a wonderful change of pace. Especially if it helps them tie in their skil set.

More advanced players know how to work with the DM on their background and help him set the stage for their character.

I have a 13 year old in my group who just started with us and I can see her benefitting greatly from this as a core inclusion.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

The general consensus against 4E is that it discouraged RPing relative to previous versions - why is that the perception and what can be done differently to avoid it?



That "general consensus" is flat-out wrong.  4E, unlike D20 and previous editions, removed restrictions that prevented roleplaying.

It also removed the "I am incompetent at everything except X, and I am bad at X" factor of earlier games, meaning there was no longer a "I suck therefore..." cue - but that didn't discourage or PREVENT roleplaying, it encouraged actual characters by eliminating mechanical penalties to nonrelevant actions, thus encouraging characters to have, y'know, backgrounds.  And hobbies.  And non-mechanically-crippled things they did other than "I'm Fighter McFighterson, the Fighter".



You hit that ball out of the park, LordOfWeasels. To support you, just because something is "commonly believed" (and even claiming that it is a common belief that 4e killed roleplaying is something I find suspicious) doesn't mean that it's right. After all, numerous scientific and social facts were "commonly believed"....like the earth being flat, or the center of the universe, or that blacks weren't people, or.....well, a lot of stuff that's just a load of crock.

Your second paragraph about characters no longer being useless outside of a band of specific abilities is also, unsurprisingly, dead-on.
 

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

 

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

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
I can roleplay in a game of Pick Up Sticks. 

Getting out of the way of roleplaying - is not the same as "enhances roleplaying." 

D&D's policy is to simply be a game you can roleplay in (like any other game).

It does nothing to enhance roleplaying - because the three books have very little to say about roleplaying.  
After DMing and having at length disussions with my players, and after reading many threads on the community boards, I see a trend.  In 5e, players who enjoyed playing the pregen that they played generally were the ones who focused primarily on roleplaying rather than a particular game mechanic.  Players who really immersed themselves in their character, thinking and acting how they felt the character should, felt as if the character worked well and enjoyed the open nature of the skill system because it allowed them to stay in character rather than search through a list of abilities to decide what worked best for a specific situation. 

To me, this is a step in the right direction.   I like to play RPGs to explore fantasy worlds and become an interesting character.  If the characters are given too many "buttons" they tend to become too mechanical, more video game-like.  

As such, so far (without any mods) the core 5e seems to not only encourage, but require players to roleplay in order to really enjoy the game.  What are your thoughts?



My thoughts are that I enjoyed the game.  I enjoyed my character.  I enjoyed playing with the table I was at.  And as a mechanical game it was ... mediocre at best.  What we were playtesting was not whether I was roleplaying with a fun and creative group, but whether the game aided this.  People who are just saying "I had fun" and immersed themselves in the characer are not playtesting.   They are playing.  Which is a different experience entirely.

And if I just want a set of rules that resolve disputes and get out of the way I'm going to break out 3:16 with its two stats: For Attacking and Not For Attacking.  Or if I want a set of rules to encourage dramatic descriptive play I'm going to break out Wushu.
It's worth pointing out that organized play like encounters is a hard setting to role play in. I went to a beginner pathfinder adventure and no one role played - but it was pregen characters with strangers, and not a scathing indictment of how pathfinder kills role play. I hope those who judge 4e by encounters understand that as well.

As for the flavor text of reaping strike, I disagree 100%. For those who listened to the penny arcade podcast, that was 100% real time exploration of how a new player experiences flavour text. And if you listen, Jim starts out by reading the text out loud. He then asks if magic can be anything, and when he gets a yes, he makes the magic missle spell out Jim in smoke. Tha leads him to making Jim an entertainer, Etc etc.
That transition, from wizard of the coast flavor text to Jim based flavour text, is what the wotc text is meant to encourage. And, in my experience, written flavour text that makes you think about what the ability does, encourages that kind of role playing. But, ymmv.
That "general consensus" is flat-out wrong.  4E, unlike D20 and previous editions, removed restrictions that prevented roleplaying.



Whether the consensus is right or wrong is entirely irrelevant, actually. What is relevant is that such a perception exists, and that it does indeed keep people from playing the game. Some folks, like myself, have tried 4E and didn't like it, and some folks haven't even tried it and still just dislike it. They are welcome to their opinions of course, but I prefer to try out a game system for several game sessions before making any judgments about it.

So, the perception is there. Now the question is - what to do about it? I don't really have a stake in that, as 4E isn't my cup of tea, but I submit a backhanded "you're wrong" is not the best way to handle it, if one wants to bring more players to their game.

Just my opinion, is all.

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.

That "general consensus" is flat-out wrong.  4E, unlike D20 and previous editions, removed restrictions that prevented roleplaying.



Whether the consensus is right or wrong is entirely irrelevant, actually.



It really kind of *is* relevant.  Because once you've established that this "common perception" is, in fact, wrong, then countering is much easier.  You start with "that's not true, at all"

 What is relevant is that such a perception exists, and that it does indeed keep people from playing the game.



Yes, but the only correct response to someone saying that's why they don't want to play 4E is to point out that that's not true - their reason for not playing is not actually in the system at all.  It's like saying you hate Pathfinder because you hate that everyone's HP starts at 1 and never goes up no matter how long you play.

So, the perception is there. Now the question is - what to do about it?



You point out that the perception is groundless and wrong, has no source in reality, and, fundamentally, isn't there.

There's really nothing else you *can* do.  Someone complains that they don't like Vampire: The Requiem because they hate Twilight and they don't *want* to play a sparkly sun-walking emo high school student?  The only thing you can do is say "that's not true.  At all.  In any way.  It has no basis in fact.  It's nuts."


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Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
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I don't agree that's necessarily a valid comparison - the Twilight stuff in VtR vs. players feeling like they can't roleplay in 4E. The former is something you can verifiably point to (although I would point out that one *could* make a Twilight-esque vampire with the Players bloodline coupled with a high enough level of the Coil of Banes from the Ordo Dracul, if one were so inclined). The latter is a feeling, which, as something subjective, is an entirely different beast. It's much harder, and far more condescending I think, to tell someone "no, your subjective feeling is just plain wrong." It also doesn't do much to encourage players to play the game, in my opinion.

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 been playing 4e for about a year and a half now, never had any roleplay problems. Hell, just yesterday I had a game where I tied up a goblina nd interrogated him by beating him with a shark's liver(don't ask). I didn't need a mechanical power called "Liver Interrogation" in order to roleplay beating a helpless golbin with some aquatic animal's rotting organ.
LordofWeasels,

Try applying that common perception is wrong argument when discussing religion.

I guarantee that arguing that point is rather pointless.

You want to know why I didn't like fourth?

Combat took too friggin long.
My characters effectiveness in combat was really just a bunch of tiny variations on what every other class had with a few little unique things tossed in here and there.
I felt that the entire system would have been better resolved by making all of the push,pull,slide into a single core mechanic along with slows, stuns what have you.
Then you just allow all classes to access these and simply add a line here and there to increase the base distance.
Give them a base cost in damage that could put all this info in a handy chart and then everyone gets to do all the fun stuff without all the clunk and clamor.
Teleportation based on race was pretty gimmicky.
The idea that a power took the place of player thought on how to draw enemies to the fighter was contrary to any real reasoning.
Stripping down of non combat material in the PHB to make room for a separate power tree for each class left something to be desired.

now let's do third

Uneccessary feat requirements
Inclusion of half orc as a standard was pretty much a gimmick as well
Skills were way to concentrated in a handful of classes.
Skills left bards and thieves better equipped to provide knowledge than the book worms
Fighters couldn't see a darned thing
AoO favored Dex based classes and left the standard fighter with his pants down when fighting more toe to toe with more than one opponent
Lost too much balance at higher levels.
Still let the wizard take over the rogues non combat role no matter how good the rogue.
Let the wizard do more damage and to more targets after mid levels.
Bards still got stuck singing instead of fighting if they wanted to be helpful in combat.
Feats were pooled in a way that failed to separate utility from combat.

2e players option
Too many ways to abuse the flaw system to gain perks
Tried to redefine combat without really addressing how to adjust monsters properly.
Conflicted with many well designed supplements.

AD&D wasn't old enough to really learn the full ends and outs so I'll leave that alone.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Bringing this back to the op, I think it's fair to say that RPGs are more fun when you role play. And, that character creation rules have a lot to do with how easy it is to get into your character. I've played a but of fate(starblazers) and love it's character creation compared to d&d or call of cthulhu. I think the new character creation of next is better than 4e or 3e - there were a lot of feats to look through that didn't really add to the role playing. I think next packaging up archetypes into themes makes sense. If we're looking for feedback on next, it should be focusing on ways to easily create hooks and connections between characters.
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