Being able to ditch a rule easily is key to 5e success

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I'm going to use an example of this concept.   In 3e, there were prestige classes.   I disliked them and my group didn't play with them.  I started to say I banned them but that would imply my characters where asking and they weren't.   I might have compromised in a few cases.  But overall didn't like them.

In 4e, I didn't like universal AEDU.  I like it for some classes.  It makes a lot of sense for a Paladin for example.

The difference is I could easily ditch prestige classes.   If I wanted to easily ditch AEDU, I pretty much had to just not play the game.

So one key to 5e is making sure the rules are independent and easily ditchable by those that don't want them.   We all have something we don't like.   I do believe that 5e has that goal in mind.  When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.   This is a big win and may actually make 5e more playable for the different styles than we think.

Thoughts? 
Eh...I'm not really a fan of rule systems where being able to ignore half of it is considered a good thing.
I don't know if being able to ditch a rule easily is the key to success in general... some rules are going to be pretty integral to the game.

But being able to ditch a rule easily will go a long way to making it modular.  And if a rule can be added or removed without too much trouble, that should be set up as a switch. 
@Emerikol:
I think this design philosophy is the only way to go forward and the only way to please most of the player base. That's not to say that everyone will approve of it, and not to say that there's anything wrong with not approving of it; but, that being the case, they obviously cannot please everyone in this regard.

I, for one, would like all the rules available but none (or as few as necessary) required to play. I realize that it takes some required rules to play effectively; but I want options to choose from to build the necessary set required, to play the game the way I (or, more specifically, the players in the group that I play with) like to play.

@EnglishLanguage:
How do you expect WotC to achieve the goal, of designing a system that includes options that all players will want, without having interchangable and overlapping rules modules? Some of which will have to be ignored at different tables to achieve their preferred playstyle.
A system that isn't friendly to removing core mechanics from the game isn't friendly to house rules.   I really don't think you have one with out the other. 

Let it not be that a player who comes to 5e is told to go and play something else because the system doesn't support their style of play anymore.     I do recal people on these forums telling me that I was better off playing a previous edition of D&D then trying to modify 4e enough to an acceptable level.      

One group of players is demanding that the system work only one way and the main reason is that they don't want the game to be different at every table.   They want everything they do in the game to be coded into the rules.   They want the DM to be forced to 'behave' for the sake of rules.   With this mindset,  there are no house rules needed, and to suggest a house rule is the same thing as criticising the sacred mechanics of the game, which are apparently perfect and need no modification.     

House rules exist for any number of reasons and the least of which is fixing something that is considered (albeit subjectively) broken.



Sure some rules should be easier ditchable. But some rules will have so many hooks impaled in other rules, gameplay aspects, and balance that simply ditching them without pages of explanation of the effects would be irresponsible.

There can be major changes, seen or unseen, that occur when removing and adding rules. And there is only so much room in the DMG.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I can't wait to ditch random healing, the boring fighter, the vancian casting wizard, and the advantage/disadvantage mechanic.
Not just the ability to ditch rules, but having alternative rules to substitute for them, is key.  I can (and will) decide to get rid of Vancian magic, but if I've got nothing to replace it with that essentially means dropping the wizard from the game -- unless I want to do a whole lot of work, which I'd rather avoid by just plugging in a good modular substitute.

Also key is that each modular sub-system provide not just rules to do away with one thing and/or add another, but very specific explanations as to how this is likely to effect playstyle and game balance, and how it might interact with other modular rules.

I can't wait to ditch random healing, the boring fighter, the vancian casting wizard, and the advantage/disadvantage mechanic.

Based on what WotC has been saying, the first 3 out of 4 of those are all very likely to be modular, and the last is easy to houserule back to the +2/-2 of yore.  So rejoice, you likely won't wait in vain.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

I think that things like Vancian magic will be easy to remove or add to the game.   The more complex types of rules will be those like the action economy of 4e.     Which ended up forcing shared actions on mounts, familiars, and beast companions.    Take that out and you'll be doing a lot of rework or deleting entire classes like the beast master or shaman from the game.


I'm all for that, Emerikol.  I think that's been part of the design goals from the start. 

But I don't think it should actually appear in the books, other than the usual, "Your the DM... so your group is having fun." line.  Everyone wanted to ditch 4e healing system from jump, but I insisted we play it for a couple months so we know what we are getting rid of and how best to change it.  We ended up keeping it once we saw how the cleric still was important to the party.

It would be a small win for WotC if some 5th rulestuff made it's way into everyone's Pathfinder games. 

Let the grognards play their game with WotC CB support, and hey maybe you can try this new mechanic the kids seem to like.

My fear, though, is balancing Optional Rules.  There could be obvious rule combinations that hurt one class and break another.  But I am worried more about the subtler problems.  Complaints that 5th is too deadly, by people using an optional Natural Healing system.  Complaints that 5th is not deadly enough, by people using an optional Death Saving Throw system. 

I don't know that they can one system right, much less a network of modular subsystems.
I can't wait to ditch random healing, the boring fighter, the vancian casting wizard, and the advantage/disadvantage mechanic.

Based on what WotC has been saying, the first 3 out of 4 of those are all very likely to be modular, and the last is easy to houserule back to the +2/-2 of yore.  So rejoice, you likely won't wait in vain.



I won't be able to drop the Vancian wizard since the wizard will be Vancian according to the Devs. They said they will try to give us a non-Vancian arcane caster in Core. My only likely alternative will be banning the wizard and refluffing/reworking whatever they give us as a substitute.
I'm going to use an example of this concept.   In 3e, there were prestige classes.   I disliked them and my group didn't play with them.  I started to say I banned them but that would imply my characters where asking and they weren't.   I might have compromised in a few cases.  But overall didn't like them.

In 4e, I didn't like universal AEDU.  I like it for some classes.  It makes a lot of sense for a Paladin for example.

The difference is I could easily ditch prestige classes.   If I wanted to easily ditch AEDU, I pretty much had to just not play the game.

So one key to 5e is making sure the rules are independent and easily ditchable by those that don't want them.   We all have something we don't like.   I do believe that 5e has that goal in mind.  When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.   This is a big win and may actually make 5e more playable for the different styles than we think.

Thoughts? 



Here's the problem: You are very confused.

Why could you ban prestige classes? Because of discreteness. They are not necessary to the game system; they are just another class.

Why couldn't you get rid of AEDU? Because it is built into the game system.

Getting rid of AEDU in 4th would be like getting rid of the d20 system in 3rd edition. AEDU is the core that the game is built around.

Infinite modularity is neither possible nor desirable in a game like this. 
Getting rid of AEDU in 4th would be like getting rid of the d20 system in 3rd edition. AEDU is the core that the game is built around.


I think that's a mistake... if you want a game built around modularity.  (Which 4e was not.) 

That said, I think AEDU is closer to Vancian casting than the d20 resolution mechanic.  AEDU is simply the means to classify and manage PC abilities.  There's no reason a 4e class could be designed that didn't use AEDU.  Whether it was balanced would depend on how it was specifically designed (and what you mean by "balanced").  But it could be done, and the advent of Essentials classes that didn't follow a strict AEDU format was evidence of it.
I'm going to use an example of this concept.   In 3e, there were prestige classes.   I disliked them and my group didn't play with them.  I started to say I banned them but that would imply my characters where asking and they weren't.   I might have compromised in a few cases.  But overall didn't like them.

In 4e, I didn't like universal AEDU.  I like it for some classes.  It makes a lot of sense for a Paladin for example.

The difference is I could easily ditch prestige classes.   If I wanted to easily ditch AEDU, I pretty much had to just not play the game.

So one key to 5e is making sure the rules are independent and easily ditchable by those that don't want them.   We all have something we don't like.   I do believe that 5e has that goal in mind.  When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.   This is a big win and may actually make 5e more playable for the different styles than we think.

Thoughts? 



Here's the problem: You are very confused.

Why could you ban prestige classes? Because of discreteness. They are not necessary to the game system; they are just another class.

Why couldn't you get rid of AEDU? Because it is built into the game system.

Getting rid of AEDU in 4th would be like getting rid of the d20 system in 3rd edition. AEDU is the core that the game is built around.

Infinite modularity is neither possible nor desirable in a game like this. 



Correction, it's only not desirable for you and for your playstyle.

The fact is AEDU was very easy to remove.     You could even replace it with a point system.    I know some people have even found ways of adding Vancian back into their 4e games.   

For me, things like this are easy to change.  What is more difficult is when the spells, monsters, and magical items are only written for one particular style of play.     That's why I'm advocating for the return of all the so called 'broken' spells, monsters, and magical items to the game as options.    It's one thing to include a system like Vancian, but that's only part of the puzzle.   We need spells, magical items,  and monsters with both classic and gamist mechanics, and perhaps an option in between.    

Let each group pick and chose what is desirable for their gaming style.

 



Here's the problem: You are very confused.
 



You say I'm confused then restate what I said.  I said that AEDU is baked into the system.  You said it was "Because it is built into the game system".  Don't get the difference.   I do not like AEDU for all classes.  So I'm stuck when 4e first comes out.

In earlier editions of the game, there were many subsystems that classes were based upon.   If I disliked one of those subsystems I could just not play with it.   I believe 5e is now offering me some options.  I can use or not use various subsystems and play what I like.   I don't universally hate AEDU but I'd prefer it be just one option instead of the option for everything.
My fear, though, is balancing Optional Rules.  There could be obvious rule combinations that hurt one class and break another.  But I am worried more about the subtler problems.  Complaints that 5th is too deadly, by people using an optional Natural Healing system.  Complaints that 5th is not deadly enough, by people using an optional Death Saving Throw system. 

I don't know that they can one system right, much less a network of modular subsystems.

I have this fear as well.

Well, I'm not really worried about folks complaining that the game is "too X" while using modular rules that explicitly make the game more X.  Those people will just be laughed at.  That's like complaining that your low-magic campaign doesn't have enough magic.

I won't be able to drop the Vancian wizard since the wizard will be Vancian according to the Devs. They said they will try to give us a non-Vancian arcane caster in Core. My only likely alternative will be banning the wizard and refluffing/reworking whatever they give us as a substitute.

Well, 3 out of 4 aint bad.  But I do agree: the response to "I don't want Vancian casting, please don't force me to use it," has thus far been unsatisfactory.  However, at this stage I am giving WotC the benefit of the doubt that they'll build a working (modular) alternative.  Because if they don't generally allow people to expigate the game of daily resources like Vancian casting, they'll lose a sizable chunk of their intended audience (including me); and I'm hoping they'll exercise better business sense than that.  Maybe I'm being over-optimistic.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan


I won't be able to drop the Vancian wizard since the wizard will be Vancian according to the Devs. They said they will try to give us a non-Vancian arcane caster in Core. My only likely alternative will be banning the wizard and refluffing/reworking whatever they give us as a substitute.



Of course you'll be able to drop the Vancian casting style & replace it with something else. 
People have been doing this for decades.  There's no end variant casting systems out there.  Spell pts, manna systems, HP/Con based things, etc etc etc.  Some published, some not.
Heck, there's no reason you couldn't just port 4es AEDU/ritual system directly into some other edition wholesale if you wanted.
And you've got a year+ to tinker about.  So you should be able to find something you like & be ready to go when 5e launches. 
Yeah, if its not in the PH or an official source, we don't use it. So if there isn't a Core, Intelligence-based, Arcane caster that doesn't use Vancian casting, I'm out of luck. I want to play an arcane scholar, someone who spends more time with books than people, who learns spells and uses a spellbook, but who isn't constrained by the Vancian school of magical theory.  
I'm going to use an example of this concept.   In 3e, there were prestige classes.   I disliked them and my group didn't play with them.  I started to say I banned them but that would imply my characters where asking and they weren't.   I might have compromised in a few cases.  But overall didn't like them.

In 4e, I didn't like universal AEDU.  I like it for some classes.  It makes a lot of sense for a Paladin for example.

The difference is I could easily ditch prestige classes.   If I wanted to easily ditch AEDU, I pretty much had to just not play the game.

So one key to 5e is making sure the rules are independent and easily ditchable by those that don't want them.   We all have something we don't like.   I do believe that 5e has that goal in mind.  When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.   This is a big win and may actually make 5e more playable for the different styles than we think.

Thoughts? 



Here's the problem: You are very confused.

Why could you ban prestige classes? Because of discreteness. They are not necessary to the game system; they are just another class.

Why couldn't you get rid of AEDU? Because it is built into the game system.

Getting rid of AEDU in 4th would be like getting rid of the d20 system in 3rd edition. AEDU is the core that the game is built around.

Infinite modularity is neither possible nor desirable in a game like this. 



Then don't design a game like that.

That said, I think AEDU is closer to Vancian casting than the d20 resolution mechanic. AEDU is simply the means to classify and manage PC abilities. There's no reason a 4e class could be designed that didn't use AEDU. Whether it was balanced would depend on how it was specifically designed (and what you mean by "balanced"). But it could be done, and the advent of Essentials classes that didn't follow a strict AEDU format was evidence of it.


Yeah, but they also weren't that great.


In any event, the game itself was balanced around AEDU characters, so yeah, it didn't really work right if you tried to go around it. You could kind of backdoor "effective" AEDU characters, but they were just another way of stating it.


In earlier editions of the game, there were many subsystems that classes were based upon. If I disliked one of those subsystems I could just not play with it. I believe 5e is now offering me some options. I can use or not use various subsystems and play what I like. I don't universally hate AEDU but I'd prefer it be just one option instead of the option for everything.


Here's the problem: This was trash. Not only did they add massive and pointless complexity to the system, but many of them were just very bad.


Then don't design a game like that.


If you don't make choices consciously, then you make them unconsciously, and those unconscious choices are pretty much invariably bad. See also: 3.x. They didn't decide how to make characters in a coherent, uniform manner, so one particular type of character became silly broken.

I'm a programmer by trade and do a lot of object oriented programming.  I understand how that system works.  Funny thing is Mike Mearls was also a programmer before becoming a game designer.  I mentioned the OO concept at Origins and I think it resonated with him concept wise for D&D.  Meaning he agreed and gave me good examples.

The key is making each subsystem (an Object if you will) as independent of all the other subsystems as possible.  Now there does have to be a core that connects all these subsystems.  It needs to be simple and lightweight.  Let the subsystems do the heavy lifting.

Now if you design the game this way plugging new systems in or taking systems out is far easier.  If every subsystem in the game started using Hit Dice then they would no longer be removable.  Instead if Hit Dice remain in the healing subsystem and are used nowhere else then swapping out the healing subsystem becomes far easier.

So what are the implications of all this?
1.  It should be easy and painless to pick and choose subsystems.
2.  Classes are their own subsystems.  Did you notice that themes are mostly independent of class?  Backgrounds too?   So each of those are subsystems.  
3.  You can make up your own new subsystem and you know a lot more about what is needed to interface with the core.  

It really is a thoughtful and good idea.  I'm impressed by the subtle things I see.  So I am hopeful.  I don't need perfection ruleswise from 5e.  If it is a lot easier to houserule I'll just go that route.

 
I'm a programmer by trade and do a lot of object oriented programming.  I understand how that system works.  Funny thing is Mike Mearls was also a programmer before becoming a game designer.  I mentioned the OO concept at Origins and I think it resonated with him concept wise for D&D.  Meaning he agreed and gave me good examples.

The key is making each subsystem (an Object if you will) as independent of all the other subsystems as possible.  Now there does have to be a core that connects all these subsystems.  It needs to be simple and lightweight.  Let the subsystems do the heavy lifting.



I'm a programmer too. The problem with this is that while it sounds like a really cute idea, it is the sort of thing that a computer programmer would suggest without really understanding what they're talking about.

Modularity is useful for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is that if you connect together a bunch of black boxes, and those black boxes give the same outputs given the same inputs, then it doesn't matter which black boxes you use particularly, save for the efficiency of each black box. This allows you to sectionalize your program and attack each section of it in a small, easily managed chunk.

The issue is that you actually have to have the same output given the same input for those different modules if you don't want to have to change out the rest of the program. This is where the analogy breaks down, and is why modularity in the way imagined by a computer programmer doesn't really apply to this situation - these modules will not be interchangable. They have different outputs for the same inputs, and that is a problem because you then need to change your other modules because now you're getting different inputs to them.

In other words, thinking like a computer programmer can easily lead you to disaster if you try to apply it incorrectly. And it will.

What can be modularized in D&D are the classes and the monsters. What can't be modularized is the underlying math, and herein lies the rub - it is easy to ban, say, the fighter or the wizard, but it is not so easy to try and put one into the slot for the other. If you look at a 2nd edition fighter and a 4th edition fighter, they're completely different. A 2nd edition fighter is a striker with some tankiness to them, whereas a 4th edition fighter is a tank who also can dish out a lot of damage. They sound similar, but they're extremely different, and they don't fit the same roles at all. Worse, the damage output scales completely differently.

There are times when you actually have to make a decision, and the core of the game - the math underlying it, as well as the capabilities of characters - is when you have to make that decision. How complex are characters? What sorts of things are they capable of? This informs the design of EVERYTHING ELSE in the game. Without making a decision here, you will end up making a total mess, as many computer programmers do when they try to be clever about the wrong thing. Modularity IS a good thing in a computer program, but you have to make decisions as to what that program is going to do and design the modules to fit that, not the other way around.
People do know that the DM/GM can use whatever rules he wants? I do know that in 4e there wasn't really a DM (he just controlled the creatures) but in other editions, the DM had the power.
@TD
To rephrase what Kubernes said...

I agree that if I put in a healing system that is gritty I have to take that into consideration as the DM.  I realize that not being fully healed up between rounds will affect certain things in the game.  No doubting that.  But that is something the DM can handle.  Keep in mind that the xp budget is a guideline.  There could be guidelines for DMs to prep their encounters based upon the grittyness of a module.

If you remember, there were few if any guidelines in 1e for monsters.  DMs managed through experience to find appropriate challenges.  The CR and XP budgets were improvements.  The latter even more so than the former.  But I believe DMs can handle it.

I used the healing example because it is relevant for me.  If I got 4e healing surges and now way to easily remove them, then that would be a very big negative for me. 
@TD
To rephrase what Kubernes said...

I agree that if I put in a healing system that is gritty I have to take that into consideration as the DM.  I realize that not being fully healed up between rounds will affect certain things in the game.  No doubting that.  But that is something the DM can handle.  Keep in mind that the xp budget is a guideline.  There could be guidelines for DMs to prep their encounters based upon the grittyness of a module.



I'm just going to go ahead and say no, they really can't. There are guidelines but they really don't necessarily work very well. NOT being at full hit points for every encounter makes an enormous difference in encounter difficulty, and can lead to very strange difficulty spikes. Moreover, monsters have to be designed for a certain level of grittiness - for example, if character hp pretty much goes down over the course of an adventure, an encounter should use up X% of character hit points. If characters are at maximum hit points after every encounter, an encounter should use 50% - 200% of party hit points depending on difficulty and amount of healing in combat. These two things are fundamentally incompatable and make for completely different monster design.

If you remember, there were few if any guidelines in 1e for monsters.  DMs managed through experience to find appropriate challenges.  The CR and XP budgets were improvements.  The latter even more so than the former.  But I believe DMs can handle it.



Yeah, and 1st edition was designed poorly. The xp budget of 4th edition was the biggest leap forward. CRs were a cute idea, but they didn't work in practice.

I used the healing example because it is relevant for me.  If I got 4e healing surges and now way to easily remove them, then that would be a very big negative for me. 



Here's the thing: This is the sort of thing that has to be in the core of the system because the amount of hp and the ease of healing informs pretty much everything else - powers, damage amount, monster hit points, monster damage, how powerful healing is, ect.
People do know that the DM/GM can use whatever rules he wants? I do know that in 4e there wasn't really a DM (he just controlled the creatures) but in other editions, the DM had the power.


Boy, I better go talk to my DM then, he's been doing it wrong this whole time.
People do know that the DM/GM can use whatever rules he wants? I do know that in 4e there wasn't really a DM (he just controlled the creatures) but in other editions, the DM had the power.



Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Most people are really bad at design.

If you don't make choices consciously, then you make them unconsciously, and those unconscious choices are pretty much invariably bad. See also: 3.x. They didn't decide how to make characters in a coherent, uniform manner, so one particular type of character became silly broken.




Who said anything about unconscious choices?  There are multiple ways to design games and your way is only one way. 
I'm going to use an example of this concept.   In 3e, there were prestige classes.   I disliked them and my group didn't play with them.  I started to say I banned them but that would imply my characters where asking and they weren't.   I might have compromised in a few cases.  But overall didn't like them.

In 4e, I didn't like universal AEDU.  I like it for some classes.  It makes a lot of sense for a Paladin for example.

The difference is I could easily ditch prestige classes.   If I wanted to easily ditch AEDU, I pretty much had to just not play the game.

I see the distinction.  The only downside to ditching prestige classes is that there were some PrCs that kludged impractical multi-class options.  The Mystic Theurge for evenly-advancing cleric/wizards, for instance, or several 'Gish' PrCs. 

The downside to ditching AEDU - or even deviating from it as badly as Essentials did - would be trashing class balance.

You could ditch PrCs without hurting playability, and might even improve balance a little be closing a few egrigious loopholes.  

Ideally, 5e modules, I agree, should be more like PrCs - they should be things you can cut loose without hurting game balance.  So if, for instance, most of one classes functionality ends up bound to a module, that would be bad - classes need to be balanced within themselves, regardless of modules being used.

When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.

Thoughts? 

Sounds nice.  I don't think he can deliver it, though.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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I'm going to use an example of this concept.   In 3e, there were prestige classes.   I disliked them and my group didn't play with them.  I started to say I banned them but that would imply my characters where asking and they weren't.   I might have compromised in a few cases.  But overall didn't like them.

In 4e, I didn't like universal AEDU.  I like it for some classes.  It makes a lot of sense for a Paladin for example.

The difference is I could easily ditch prestige classes.   If I wanted to easily ditch AEDU, I pretty much had to just not play the game.

So one key to 5e is making sure the rules are independent and easily ditchable by those that don't want them.   We all have something we don't like.   I do believe that 5e has that goal in mind.  When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.   This is a big win and may actually make 5e more playable for the different styles than we think.

Thoughts? 



Here's the problem: You are very confused.

Why could you ban prestige classes? Because of discreteness. They are not necessary to the game system; they are just another class.

Why couldn't you get rid of AEDU? Because it is built into the game system.

Getting rid of AEDU in 4th would be like getting rid of the d20 system in 3rd edition. AEDU is the core that the game is built around.

Infinite modularity is neither possible nor desirable in a game like this. 



i disagree with this.
yes aedu was a main part of the initial release, but later with the introduction of essentials he could just have swapped to the essentials non aedu variants for the classes where he thought aedu did not fit well.

I'm just going to go ahead and say no, they really can't.


Here is the problem with making such pronouncements.   We have massive examples where basically your just wrong.  1e,2e, and even 3e to a degree where all operating under the assumption that at any given time a group might not be a full strength.  It was only 4e that assumed you fully healed between encounters.  Now I know in 3e at higher levels you could assume this most of the time but you couldn't for at least some of the game.  

If a DM chooses to play a grittier game he adjusts things appropriately.  It's been happening for years.  It's only since 3e that DM hand holding became the norm.   And I'm in favor of some DM handholding because new DMs do need guidance and help but it can be done.   Prior to that magic item balance, monster encounter balance, etc.. were all handled by DMs.  They often screwed up early and then learned and then they didn't have any more problems.  


If you remember, there were few if any guidelines in 1e for monsters.  DMs managed through experience to find appropriate challenges.  The CR and XP budgets were improvements.  The latter even more so than the former.  But I believe DMs can handle it.



Yeah, and 1st edition was designed poorly. The xp budget of 4th edition was the biggest leap forward. CRs were a cute idea, but they didn't work in practice.


I used CRs for years to build encounters.  They were not as easy as xp budget but they did work in practice.  I can assert that with certainty.



I used the healing example because it is relevant for me.  If I got 4e healing surges and now way to easily remove them, then that would be a very big negative for me. 



Here's the thing: This is the sort of thing that has to be in the core of the system because the amount of hp and the ease of healing informs pretty much everything else - powers, damage amount, monster hit points, monster damage, how powerful healing is, ect.



I disagree.  There is a correlation between adventure difficulty and healing.  Clear guidelines are all that is needed for DMs to adjust their campaigns appropriately.  I'm not against though a "standardized" preselected ruleset for the DMs who don't want to think for themselves.   I think you'll find that people who play D&D really are smarter than you give them credit for and DMs probably even more so (on average).  I don't mind the training wheel analogy as an approach though.  Let's make a basic set of module assumptions that we can call the training wheels.  DMs can then once they learn how to ride take off these wheels and do what they want.

Keep this in mind TD....
Millions of people used the 1e rules to play D&D and have fun.  And guess what?  They had fun.   So you can argue that something works better or is easier, but saying it flat out doesn't work otherwise, really is kind of ridiculous.






When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.

Thoughts? 

Sounds nice.  I don't think he can deliver it, though.




I think he will deliver a game that is fun for a lot of people.  I am thinking maybe I'll be one of those people.  That's my only standard for judgment.  Will it be perfect no.   Will it be more flexible and easier to houserule than 3e or 2e?  I think yes and thats important to me.   For example if they can't offer a good set of healing rules, I fully intend on houseruling it.   And I bet despite TD's dire predictions, my campaign will run along just fine with that change.  I hope you and others can do the same.


sidenote:
Despite disagreeing with you on pretty much everything I appreciate that we've established a good tone.  I'd much rather read your thoughts and you mine without either of us getting triggered or angry.  I apologize in advance when I fail on that count.

 
Millions of people used the 1e rules to play D&D and have fun.  And guess what?  They had fun.

And still do. We call our system 1.5 (or 1.75) since we start with 1st Ed, and throw in some 2nd and a little bit of 3rd. That's our edition of choice, but we like the direction 5e appears to be going. One of the playtest comments was, "Yeah, I'd play this."

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

I'm a programmer by trade and do a lot of object oriented programming.  I understand how that system works.  Funny thing is Mike Mearls was also a programmer before becoming a game designer.  I mentioned the OO concept at Origins and I think it resonated with him concept wise for D&D.  Meaning he agreed and gave me good examples.

The key is making each subsystem (an Object if you will) as independent of all the other subsystems as possible.  Now there does have to be a core that connects all these subsystems.  It needs to be simple and lightweight.  Let the subsystems do the heavy lifting.

Now if you design the game this way plugging new systems in or taking systems out is far easier.  If every subsystem in the game started using Hit Dice then they would no longer be removable.  Instead if Hit Dice remain in the healing subsystem and are used nowhere else then swapping out the healing subsystem becomes far easier.

So what are the implications of all this?
1.  It should be easy and painless to pick and choose subsystems.
2.  Classes are their own subsystems.  Did you notice that themes are mostly independent of class?  Backgrounds too?   So each of those are subsystems.  
3.  You can make up your own new subsystem and you know a lot more about what is needed to interface with the core.  

It really is a thoughtful and good idea.  I'm impressed by the subtle things I see.  So I am hopeful.  I don't need perfection ruleswise from 5e.  If it is a lot easier to houserule I'll just go that route.

 



I also agree with this design methodology.  Anytime you have data and functionality that acts on that data you can't go wrong with OO design. 

 Looking at the 5e character sheets I can clearly see how Merals is thinking as a programmer.  I think he invisions themes and backgrounds as "Interfaces".    

What I'm hoping is that the root 'class' that characters and monsters derive from is the same.



   



What can be modularized in D&D are the classes and the monsters. What can't be modularized is the underlying math, and herein lies the rub - it is easy to ban, say, the fighter or the wizard, but it is not so easy to try and put one into the slot for the other. If you look at a 2nd edition fighter and a 4th edition fighter, they're completely different. A 2nd edition fighter is a striker with some tankiness to them, whereas a 4th edition fighter is a tank who also can dish out a lot of damage. They sound similar, but they're extremely different, and they don't fit the same roles at all. Worse, the damage output scales completely differently.

There are times when you actually have to make a decision, and the core of the game - the math underlying it, as well as the capabilities of characters - is when you have to make that decision. How complex are characters? What sorts of things are they capable of? This informs the design of EVERYTHING ELSE in the game. Without making a decision here, you will end up making a total mess, as many computer programmers do when they try to be clever about the wrong thing. Modularity IS a good thing in a computer program, but you have to make decisions as to what that program is going to do and design the modules to fit that, not the other way around.



With OOP you wouldn't limit a particular class to only one role.    If you want mechanical roles in your game you can add them in as a module.    If we used a OOP analogy, the role would be come an interface.     They would not be linked to any particular class until you created a character with that option.   In this case the different between a striker fighter and a defender fighter is that one fighter has the defender interface and the other has the striker interface.      


In trying to please everyone, it will be very easy to please no one.

To an extent, modularity is good, taken too far and people will groan that they are payign for something they will only ever use small portions of. Much like I raged for days on end at having to buy the Forgotten Realms book to get a Swordmage and Dark Pact. That non-FR material later referenced this class and build only made it worse.
The trick is making sure a super-majority of the options offered will see use by a super-majority of the target audience... especially if they are expected to have extremely high profit margins.

I am hopeful, especially as I am being respected enough to be included in the development process (plural playtests with feedback responded to does placate me quite abit), for the current undertaking.
However, while this may be some people's favourite D&D ever, it will be competeing with it's own previous incarnations, some of which have continued growing after being cast aside (Pathfinder)... why pay for a book you will use half of when you cna keep to a book you will use most if not all of?
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
@Verdegris_Sage
It's my theory that most people are not 100% happy with their edition of choice.  In fact people often play with lots of houserules.   So 5e will be chosen because it will make playing something closer to exactly what they want easier.   And if they still want a houserule it will be even easier to interface with the core system and not break it.



 
It's my theory that most people are not 100% happy with their edition of choice.  In fact people often play with lots of houserules.   So 5e will be chosen because it will make playing something closer to exactly what they want easier.   And if they still want a houserule it will be even easier to interface with the core system and not break it.

That's our hope. We have a few house rules, but the fewer we have to add and the closer the core system (possibly plus options) is to our preferred method, the likelier we will be to buy into 5e.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."


When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.

Thoughts? 

Sounds nice.  I don't think he can deliver it, though.

I think he will deliver a game that is fun for a lot of people.

I'm sure he can.  There are a lot of people who liked D&D when it was broken, and he's shown himself quite capable of producing some amusingly-broken stuff.  I don't think he'll be able to deliver on the lofty 5e goal of "something for everyone and it all balances."  Let alone the above microcosm of that goal.  I'm only basing my pessimism on his past work, though, and even more so on the overly-ambitious goals they've been set.  5e could be a masterwork where he exceeds all his past accomplishments.  I don't mean to be disparaging of Mr. Mearls abilities as a designer, he's just been given a nigh-impossible set of specs.  It's not a challenge I'd want to undertake, that's for sure.  ;)


Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I'm going to use an example of this concept.   In 3e, there were prestige classes.   I disliked them and my group didn't play with them.  I started to say I banned them but that would imply my characters where asking and they weren't.   I might have compromised in a few cases.  But overall didn't like them.

In 4e, I didn't like universal AEDU.  I like it for some classes.  It makes a lot of sense for a Paladin for example.

The difference is I could easily ditch prestige classes.   If I wanted to easily ditch AEDU, I pretty much had to just not play the game.

So one key to 5e is making sure the rules are independent and easily ditchable by those that don't want them.   We all have something we don't like.   I do believe that 5e has that goal in mind.  When I talked to Mike Mearls at Origins, he definitely emphasized that rules were written to not be overly interdependent.   So changing healing didn't blow up some other part of the game.   This is a big win and may actually make 5e more playable for the different styles than we think.

Thoughts? 


If by ditch you mean the ability to convert a class' default undesireable subsystem for one you think is actually fun, then I not only agree but I've been advocating for that among the caster classes for quite a while now.
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.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.


If by ditch you mean the ability to convert a class' default undesireable subsystem for one you think is actually fun, then I not only agree but I've been advocating for that among the caster classes for quite a while now.



Yeah things like that.  We will mix and match subsystems to get the game we want.