Press Triangle to Attack

Many people have complained about the level of "press triangle to attack" in the playtest, mostly in regards to the Fighter. I'd like to go one beyond that, and say that I observed and was bored to death by "press triangle to attack" across all five pregen characters. We were fighting encounters that often lasted 5-8 rounds, during which all characters at the table did little more than "press triangle to attack". The Wizard spamming Magic Missile and the Pelor Cleric spamming Radiant Lance seemed little different than the other characters, and having the few daily spells they had didn't break up the monotony very much at all. In fact, the player of the Pelor Cleric changed his character's name from Steve to "Radiant Lance", as it had essentially become his entire identity. I was bored DMing against the PCs "pressing triangle to attack".

I expected to miss Encounter powers, but not to this degree.
...whatever
I'm a PC gamer. What is this triangle you speak of?
Did your fighter try pushing any of the kobolds into the pit trap?  Did the wizard try using his magic missile at the trees, instead of the monsters in them, to start a fire?  Did the rogue try his animal handling skill on the rats in the garbage?

If your players are ignoring the options available to them, no playtest or set of rules will help.  In a badly designed RPG, the designers try to anticipate any possible situation and write specific rules to cover them, which in turn causes players to limit themselves mentally to those few available options.  In a good RPG, the rules are loose enough that players can attempt *anything*.  It's not the designers' fault if players fail to even try.


After having played a game for a few years with many other shapes instead of just triangle, I've come to the conclusing that pressing triangle, circle, square, star or diamond each round instead of just triangle is not much different than pressing just triangle.

What really gets me involved in the game is when I want to press delta, hexagon or amorphous blob, because they seem like a really good idea even if they are not formally part of the rules and the DM says "sure, you can try that."

 
On the other hand - option fatigue is a thing.

People like choices. Some people are overwhelmed by too-many choices.

Also - not everyone is super creative.

My players love those power cards. Just love 'em.

They didn't enjoy spamming basic attacks. They didn't really improvise.

Maybe this worked great for a lot of groups. It didn't for mine.

As for the argument that no rules set would help, I disagree. They love the power cards and love cross-class combo attacks. They actively plan,
Execute, etc.

They didn't in Next. But ymmv.
By saying, "press triangle to attack," you seem to be implying that this is some sort of action game (God of War?).  Maybe I'm not getting the specific reference you had in mind.  In any case, I think it would be a much better analogy to compare with Final Fantasy.  It would make more sense to say, "select the Attack option," - to contrast with the "Defend," "Item," and "Run" options.

Thinking back to FF4 and FF6, I can't help but wonder why I thought the combat mechanics were fun.  Maybe, by letting me play five characters at once, I felt like I had significant choices in whether to attack or not, because I could decide how many characters would attack, or whose turn to spend on an item or defense.  If that's the case, then it wouldn't translate well to a tabletop game where you only control one character.  The real fun came with the casters, it seems, and deciding which spell to cast on which target (and even managing your limited resources of MP).  If you look at a character like Sabin or Cyan, though, they definitely show that more options are more fun when it comes to hitting stuff.

I think characters, in general, need to have more choices.  Whether that amounts to selecting one of three at-will attacks, or managing a more limited resource, I agree that something needs to be done.

(As for improvisation, unless it is highly situational [bad guy standing next to a pit trap], I am of the opinion that improvised options should be less effective than standard options, or else everything written in the book will become meaningless as players go out of their way to avoid using the codified options.)


The metagame is not the game.

Did your fighter try pushing any of the kobolds into the pit trap?  Did the wizard try using his magic missile at the trees, instead of the monsters in them, to start a fire?  Did the rogue try his animal handling skill on the rats in the garbage?

If your players are ignoring the options available to them, no playtest or set of rules will help.  In a badly designed RPG, the designers try to anticipate any possible situation and write specific rules to cover them, which in turn causes players to limit themselves mentally to those few available options.  In a good RPG, the rules are loose enough that players can attempt *anything*.  It's not the designers' fault if players fail to even try.


A good RPG provides you with good rules for many things, that you can ignore and bypass with imagination - and it includes the last part in its own rules.
The best provide rules that are made to encourage player investment and imagination.
The worst provide you with nothing and sell it as an encouragement for creativity. They are the most commercially profitable, as you can sell blank pages as the new best system ever.


Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
Did your fighter try pushing any of the kobolds into the pit trap?  Did the wizard try using his magic missile at the trees, instead of the monsters in them, to start a fire?  Did the rogue try his animal handling skill on the rats in the garbage?

If your players are ignoring the options available to them, no playtest or set of rules will help.  In a badly designed RPG, the designers try to anticipate any possible situation and write specific rules to cover them, which in turn causes players to limit themselves mentally to those few available options.  In a good RPG, the rules are loose enough that players can attempt *anything*.  It's not the designers' fault if players fail to even try.



I agree with you except for the idea of starting fires by attacking the trees with magic missile.  The missile is described in the playtest as 'magical force'.  In both 3e and 4e, it actually has the force keyword.  Think pushy rather than hot.

I just bring it up as a quibble ;).
/\ Art
By saying, "press triangle to attack," you seem to be implying that this is some sort of action game (God of War?).  Maybe I'm not getting the specific reference you had in mind.  In any case, I think it would be a much better analogy to compare with Final Fantasy.  It would make more sense to say, "select the Attack option," - to contrast with the "Defend," "Item," and "Run" options.

Thinking back to FF4 and FF6, I can't help but wonder why I thought the combat mechanics were fun.  Maybe, by letting me play five characters at once, I felt like I had significant choices in whether to attack or not, because I could decide how many characters would attack, or whose turn to spend on an item or defense.  If that's the case, then it wouldn't translate well to a tabletop game where you only control one character.  The real fun came with the casters, it seems, and deciding which spell to cast on which target (and even managing your limited resources of MP).  If you look at a character like Sabin or Cyan, though, they definitely show that more options are more fun when it comes to hitting stuff.



Yes, those work because you control a party.  A lot of games like that have horrible mechanics if you just controlled one person.

I think characters, in general, need to have more choices.  Whether that amounts to selecting one of three at-will attacks, or managing a more limited resource, I agree that something needs to be done.



One has to be careful about how this is implemented.  If you have 3 at-wills, but it's seldom debatable which is the best one to use, then that's not much of a choice.  Ideally you want at least two competing with each other in any given round.

(As for improvisation, unless it is highly situational [bad guy standing next to a pit trap], I am of the opinion that improvised options should be less effective than standard options, or else everything written in the book will become meaningless as players go out of their way to avoid using the codified options.)



Imho, improv shouldn't be the best option every turn.  But coming up once per fight (per person) wouldn't be bad.  More often than that and it would seem like the core options are no good.


Thinking back to FF4 and FF6, I can't help but wonder why I thought the combat mechanics were fun.  Maybe, by letting me play five characters at once, I felt like I had significant choices in whether to attack or not, because I could decide how many characters would attack, or whose turn to spend on an item or defense.  If that's the case, then it wouldn't translate well to a tabletop game where you only control one character.  The real fun came with the casters, it seems, and deciding which spell to cast on which target (and even managing your limited resources of MP).  If you look at a character like Sabin or Cyan, though, they definitely show that more options are more fun when it comes to hitting stuff.




Yeah...infact on one of the playtests we did of D&DNext...we tried 1 player controlling entire party, he wasn't as bored as on the other playtest...also the reason why the first NWN is so boring if you don't go caster (click the target and wait for it to die, then go for the next one...and repeat)
But even then, there's a difference between FF and Chrono Trigger, to use another example.

CT was highly tactical, and it was awesome as a result.  Reproducing, to some degree, the CT experience of character interaction and tactics is one of the things that really sold me on 4e.  Those are the aspects that took the game from a math exercise to something truly great.


Edit:

I'm editing so this can remain, referring to the post below:


Mind =

Only without the angry face.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
But even then, there's a difference between FF and Chrono Trigger, to use another example.

CT was highly tactical, and it was awesome as a result.  Reproducing, to some degree, the CT experience of character interaction and tactics is one of the things that really sold me on 4e.  Those are the aspects that took the game from a math exercise to something truly great.



I'd just like to point out that your 9999th post was about Chrono Trigger, and that's awesome.
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If your players are ignoring the options available to them, no playtest or set of rules will help.  In a badly designed RPG, the designers try to anticipate any possible situation and write specific rules to cover them, which in turn causes players to limit themselves mentally to those few available options.  In a good RPG, the rules are loose enough that players can attempt *anything*.  It's not the designers' fault if players fail to even try.



What you said doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  You start by saying, "If your players are ignoring the options available to them, no playtest or set of rules will help" (which is perfectly accurate).  However, you then ignore your own statement to try to pretend that giving players pre-codified options is some kind of loophole in your opening statement.  It isn't.  Even if the system in question has codified options, your opening statement remains true.  It's just that in a system with pre-codified options, the players who can't see beyond the rules (and, as you said, wouldn't be helped by any system) have more options, and those who can see beyond the rules have more ammunition to play with.  You even refute the bulk of your argument with your closing sentance, "It's not the designers' fault if players fail to even try."

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

 

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

 

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

 

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#BoobsNotBlood

I know there is a rabidly anti-4e contingent, usually the Caster Uber Alles Coalition or the Casters and Caddies group wearing other hats but...

Just thought I would mention that past the very first levels of 4e you almost never took the same action twice in an encounter.  You went through your encounter powers one at a time and when you were done with that the fight was either over or nearly over.  The only exception that comes to mind is the Ranger who tried to make sure most rounds he used Twinstrike + minor action attack.

That is very good design.  "I roll to hit the orc" repeated 10x with maybe one "I do an improv check to push the one who ran to the edge of the pit in" is terrible game design.

It could be there is more coming, it could be it's a problem that dissapears at level 7 or so... but currently 5e has an unplayable combat system. 
I think I'm going to have to agree with this being an issue with your group more than an issue with the game.  

The thing is, there are two RPGs that I'm aware of that have what you seem to want--the PCs selecting a different, codified, special ability/attack each round--D&D 4e and Exalted (sort of--if you build yourself with that in mind).  I've literally never seen what you appear to want in any other system ever.

All 15986158168 other RPGs in existence have "press Triangle to attack" and couple it with "you have literally infinite other buttons, though, because you can attempt anything you can describe."  I mean, where's the maneuver list in World of Darkness?  In Shadowrun?  Crap, even most Superheroes use the same power over and over (though they--wait for it--improvise with it most often).

My group had no problem with Next--personally, we all consider it our favorite edition of D&D so far (and for one guy, it's the only edition of D&D he likes at all).  Nobody felt like anything was repetetitive, and nobody was bored, because they did lots of stuff that wasn't "I attack/cast magic missile/radiant lance."  Hell, even if the PCs never did anything else, the NPCs sure did all kinds of crazy stuff, so I just can't imagine being bored with this game.

And we don't have dozens of blank pages or whatever.  We have very solid rules for adjucating this stuff--attribute checks and (dis)advantage are all we need--trust me, it works fantastically.  Plus, it's the very first playtest.  Of course the rules are going to be short.
But even then, there's a difference between FF and Chrono Trigger, to use another example.

CT was highly tactical, and it was awesome as a result.  Reproducing, to some degree, the CT experience of character interaction and tactics is one of the things that really sold me on 4e.  Those are the aspects that took the game from a math exercise to something truly great.



Well, I grant 4E has some character interaction, I don't see how it is remotely CT-like.
Did your fighter try pushing any of the kobolds into the pit trap?  Did the wizard try using his magic missile at the trees, instead of the monsters in them, to start a fire?  Did the rogue try his animal handling skill on the rats in the garbage?



Pushing a Kobold is a waste of time.  If you hit them, they die.  Magic Missile can't start fires.  It's pure FORCE.  Can you start a fire by hitting a tree with a baseball bat?  If you do, will that quickly defeat a guy about to attack you (assuming he's not a fireman with little awareness of what is going on outside of fire)?  The rogue thing I can see.

There's a difference between a DM allowing players to be innovative and allowing players to do things that don't make sense.  And also, sometimes being innovative is just less effective than other options.

If your players are ignoring the options available to them, no playtest or set of rules will help.  In a badly designed RPG, the designers try to anticipate any possible situation and write specific rules to cover them, which in turn causes players to limit themselves mentally to those few available options.  In a good RPG, the rules are loose enough that players can attempt *anything*.  It's not the designers' fault if players fail to even try.



It's also a bad RPG if how innovation works and how effective it is isn't easily communicated to the players.  It's hard for them to weigh options when one thing is measured in newtons and the other and pounds, especially if they don't know how to convert off-hand.  That's currently a problem in the playtest rules.
I think I'm going to have to agree with this being an issue with your group more than an issue with the game.  

The thing is, there are two RPGs that I'm aware of that have what you seem to want--the PCs selecting a different, codified, special ability/attack each round--D&D 4e and Exalted.  I've literally never seen what you appear to want in any other system ever.

All 15986158168 other RPGs in existence have "press Triangle to attack" and couple it with "you have literally infinite other buttons, though, because you can attempt anything you can describe."  I mean, where's the maneuver list in World of Darkness?  In Shadowrun?  Crap, even most Superheroes use the same power over and over (though they--wait for it--improvise with it most often).

My group had no problem with Next--personally, we all consider it our favorite edition of D&D so far (and for one guy, it's the only edition of D&D he likes at all).  Nobody felt like anything was repetetitive, and nobody was bored, because they did lots of stuff that wasn't "I attack/cast magic missile/radiant lance."  Hell, even if the PCs never did anything else, the NPCs sure did all kinds of crazy stuff, so I just can't imagine being bored with this game.

And we don't have dozens of blank pages or whatever.  We have very solid rules for adjucating this stuff--attribute checks and (dis)advantage are all we need--trust me, it works fantastically.  Plus, it's the very first playtest.  Of course the rules are going to be short.



There are a few others, you just have to look for them.  3e ToB has plenty of melee options, and probably my favorite system for martial characters to date.  Savage worlds has quite a few although they are all at will (and fairly balanced most). It also has a very solid improvisation ruleset (that is actually useful) with acrobatic/smarts tricks and tests of will.  GURPS has tons of options for melee characters as well with rapid attack, deceptive attack, feints, beats, and other tricks you can do in combat but the system is too complicated IMHO.  13th Age appears to have a solid list of martial abilities.  I'm sure there are more games as well.  The trend seems to be that newer games are providing more options for martial characters (or at least equal to those of casters).
3e ToB has plenty of melee options, and probably my favorite system for martial characters to date.

I suppose I should have included that.

Savage worlds has quite a few although they are all at will (and fairly balanced most).

Er, what?  Savage Worlds is my favorite RPG--I run it twice a week.  Where are these at-will powers?  Please don't tell me you're suggesting things like Sweep and Frenzy are different.  Are you really advocating that, "Press Y to attack," "Press X to attack everyone in front of you," and "Press B to attack twice" is satisfactory to those who hate the way things are now.

It also has a very solid improvisation ruleset (that is actually useful) with acrobatic/smarts tricks and tests of will.

Yeah, that stuff is awesome--but there's a solid improvisation ruleset in Next as well.  It's called "do anything you want and these rules will cover it."  Excluding tricks and tests of wills, that's exactly the same system that Savage Worlds has--if you do something else, it's covered by an attribute test.

GURPS has tons of options for melee characters as well with rapid attack, deceptive attack, feints, beats, and other tricks you can do in combat but the system is too complicated IMHO.

Fair enough--there are 18946187461 GURPS books out, so they were bound to stumble onto something like this.  But I don't think you and I are thinking of the same thing here based on your use of things like "rapid attack," "deceptive attack," and "feints."  Those are unquestionably coming in Next--the narrative combat module article virtually mentioned stuff like that by name.

But I really don't see what is gained by having a codified option that says, "When you feint, you do X and get Y" rather than a system that says, "anything you do is covered by these general rules."
A good RPG provides you with good rules for many things, that you can ignore and bypass with imagination - and it includes the last part in its own rules.
The best provide rules that are made to encourage player investment and imagination.
The worst provide you with nothing and sell it as an encouragement for creativity. They are the most commercially profitable, as you can sell blank pages as the new best system ever.



I agree.  Thats why I did not like the last edition, it was like reading a combat book with the extra bonus of being make up your own roleplaying.  I dont need to pay to be able to play "Lets Pretend" thank you very much.

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Savage worlds has quite a few although they are all at will (and fairly balanced most).

Er, what?  Savage Worlds is my favorite RPG--I run it twice a week.  Where are these at-will powers?  Please don't tell me you're suggesting things like Sweep and Frenzy are different.  Are you really advocating that, "Press Y to attack," "Press X to attack everyone in front of you," and "Press B to attack twice" is satisfactory to those who hate the way things are now.



I find that with the lesser versions (the ones where you suffer -2 to the fighting roll), it is not always clear whether it is best to use frenzy, sweep, regular attack, wild attack, grapple, push, or use some sort of trick/test of will.  That is part of the reason I enjoy savage worlds so much, the basic at-will options are all fairly balanced against one another so you actually have good reason to mix things up.  Yes it is rather simplistic, but compared to 3e or now 5e I feel like I have infinitely more options as a melee character.  (It helps that I usually take either the acrobat or strong willed edges with my melee characters).

Talking with my friends who took part in the playtest, the general feel was that just a single at-will more would have been really nice - don't have to have a flood of options, but having a second choice of attack would be nice.

The biggest reason I liked the way powers worked for 4e was that it made my attacks feel like they were actually doing something interesting. This may have been one of the reasons a lot of people in my group liked leader classes lol. While one guy really liked his damage numbers (and there is totally a place for that), being able to attack with Priest's Shield and have my melee attack protect myself and an ally was awesome, or Healer's Strike coming in and saving an ally in addition to hitting hard. Improvisation can't really add things like that (unless "I swirl holy energy around my weapon to _____" flies lol).

Also improvisation definitely has balance questions. Someone above mentioned feinting, and that is something that has seen a number of different rules attempt to balance - should the set up be a move action, a standard action, what checks to use. I could certainly think that it would be like Cha vs Will (or Cha based will save) and a move action - that seems to make sense - but (certainly in 3e) balance turned out to say it required a full standard action unless you invested in a feat. The same goes for disarm, trip, etc.

And unless you're going to do a specific action like that (pretty much anything that doesn't fall into feint, disarm, trip, or grapple probably just results in normal damage), I can say "I swing around and hit the orc in the head with my hammer!" or "I stab the ogre in the knee," but it won't mean anything different from "I attack the monster," unless we're getting into called-shots and such, in which case there have always been rules for adjudicating those because they could be very powerful and needed to be balanced.

Improv is cool, and great - toooootally encourage it. And it's fun to see people take a basic spell/ability description and do something neat and unexpected with it. But it would be reaaaaally nice to have a few of those abilities with descriptions to work with : )
I've heard some complain that all 4e Powers were basically "do x damage and add y effect."

I was always happy we could finally add the effect. It always satisfied me more than "you may attack 4 times, only 2 have a chance to hit. Wait? You moved? No - one attack only. Do x damage."
One big thing for me is I like design that makes you do something more than just hit for damage. So a fighter in 4e can melee basic attack, but rarely wants to. Instead you would use something like cleave, which damages an adjacent target, or tide of iron, which pushes someone, or footwork lure, to pull someone in. Even reaping strike is mildly interesting (1/2 str mod damage on miss, full str mod damage if 2-handed), because it gives you an option if you're feeling an attack debuff or fighting an enemy with very high AC.

I don't want to have the basic attack be the standard, then have other things to do by taking penalty on the attack. I want all the good options to be something more than just "I do damage."
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
Yeah - its nice to have a variety of "basic attacks" that are different. You have your choice of say 2 or 3 out of 10-15.

Already you'd have at least 2 interesting rounds of combat decisions (up from 0).

Press triangle OR square - and your attacks do damage AND ...

How I love AND
Triangle?
Pbbt.
You press X to attack, L1 for Mirror Slice, and R1 for Ripper Blast


Anyways...
Until I find a(nother) DM who does improvised action in a way that doesn't cause me to roll my eyes, I would like options with my attacks.

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 don't mind 1 attack since I get to take about 3 turns in the time it took us to do 1 turn of 4e (not hating, I actually liked 4e).  But, I like the speed of combat.  I like getting rid of minor actions, in general I like combat to flow fairly quickly,  I don't even mind if the rogue hides 1/3rd to 1/4th of the time, since his turn will come up again rather quickly.  My biggest problem with 4e was 2 hour combats.  I know there are ways of making it go faster it just seemed to take quite a lot of time.
I don't mind 1 attack since I get to take about 3 turns in the time it took us to do 1 turn of 4e (not hating, I actually liked 4e).  But, I like the speed of combat.  I like getting rid of minor actions, in general I like combat to flow fairly quickly,  I don't even mind if the rogue hides 1/3rd to 1/4th of the time, since his turn will come up again rather quickly.  My biggest problem with 4e was 2 hour combats.  I know there are ways of making it go faster it just seemed to take quite a lot of time.



I definitely know how that feels. Sometimes it seemed like many monsters just got boatloads of HP, but I never felt comfortable using the "double all damage" solution. There's also an element related to breaking out grids and minis and terrain constantly. Some of that is necessary - how do you know how many monsters you're gonna hit with your wizard's AoE, or how can you be sure your rogue is flanking someone - but I think there is a real place to some smaller combats done TotM.

I tend to look askew at TotM because in my mind, the moment you have effects that target areas or things that push/move an enemy, you'll need to draw things, scale your drawing a little, and at that point you might as well have used a grid. However, it REALLY speeds things up. I toyed with it a bit a while back in a 4e game where I had a few smaller fights - jumping some guards and then busting into a room with a handful more, etc - done without the grid and kinda winged it, and then when they got to the "boss fight" broke out the grid. The first fights were real fast, and then the boss fight took a while (though the boss surrendered when he got bloodied because he had a MOUNTAIN of HP, but there wasn't anything he could reasonably do vs the party).

I also am a huge fan of minor actions - they were what let me do all my neat buffing/healing and attacking or being useful schtick - but I can totally see how is every character had a bunch of possible minors, that everything would bog down a la what happened with immediate reactions. I think things like minor actions should stay (the playtest melee cleric's heals were minor actions-by-any-other-name), but there need to not be a whole ton of them, so that when you do decide to use them, it feels pretty special, like "ooh, I just did that rare extra thing on my turn!" Same applies to interrupts.
I vaguely remember reading a psychology article on choice where they made some studies with birds and it turned out they seemed to be happier if they had a choice (between 2 meals or 2 mates) even if the options provided seemed quite the same (don't ask me any details I seriously don't remember).

Call me crazy but I would say that a lot of people would be happier with the fighter even if they had as little as 3 (maybe even 2?) codified manouvres (stab, slash, chop, whatever) even if the mechanical differences between them were small.
There might just be psychological thing there, like it "feels better" to roll more dice, or it "feels better" to roll your own saving throws as if you were trying to actively defend your character (even if, ruling out foul play, the mathematical effects of DM rolling your saves is exactly the same, yet for many people this "feels wrong").
I tend to look askew at TotM because in my mind, the moment you have effects that target areas or things that push/move an enemy, you'll need to draw things, scale your drawing a little, and at that point you might as well have used a grid. However, it REALLY speeds things up. I toyed with it a bit a while back in a 4e game where I had a few smaller fights - jumping some guards and then busting into a room with a handful more, etc - done without the grid and kinda winged it, and then when they got to the "boss fight" broke out the grid. The first fights were real fast, and then the boss fight took a while (though the boss surrendered when he got bloodied because he had a MOUNTAIN of HP, but there wasn't anything he could reasonably do vs the party).



I've gone in the opposite direction, where I used to avoided the grid but have come to use it more and more.  Savage Worlds is the game that changed my mind on it, because you use the minis not just to mark position but also to track status (upright=unshaken, lying down=shaken, chips under mini for wounds), so the game actually played more easily with the minis than without.  And during my second playtest of Next (the first we played without minis), I adopted some of these same habits and it sped up play.  For minions (i.e., basic goblins, kobolds, cultists, etc.) I didn't bother tracking hp, I just figured that if they were not one-shotted, then they were wounded (lay them down), and a second hit would take them out, so I didn't have to track hp for those.  Obviously this didn't work for larger mobs.  But it did make me think that maybe a minion/extra rule might be good for Next, something like an hp threshold.  Below this, you wound.  Above this, automatic kill. 
 
It also has a very solid improvisation ruleset (that is actually useful) with acrobatic/smarts tricks and tests of will.

Yeah, that stuff is awesome--but there's a solid improvisation ruleset in Next as well.  It's called "do anything you want and these rules will cover it."  Excluding tricks and tests of wills, that's exactly the same system that Savage Worlds has--if you do something else, it's covered by an attribute test.



A ruleset needs to be more than "ask your DM if he feels like letting you do X" to qualify as a 'ruleset'.  Improvisation needs some sort of ground rules to work within.

Regardless, improv should be the kind of thing to do when your other options run out.  "X, Y, and Z attacks didn't hurt this monster...maybe I can smash him in the back of the head with a chair".  If that list of other attack options is 1 item long, either the characters will "press triangle to attack" a lot, or be playing "DM May I" a lot...neither of which is fun.  

 
But I really don't see what is gained by having a codified option that says, "When you feint, you do X and get Y" rather than a system that says, "anything you do is covered by these general rules."



It says "these are the boundaries within which improvisation operates".  
"When you feint, you do X and get Y" tells the DM and players rough boundaries of what to expect when improving
"anything you do is covered by these general rules." tells you nothing of consequence.

  with the extra bonus of being make up your own roleplaying.



Making up definitions for roleplaying ... are you taking those acting classes again and thinking thats roleplaying....

OR are you rollling dice and thinking that makes it roleplaying... cause I am pretty sure lets pretend is roleplaying and I think I learned how to do that before learning to read. 
  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."

 

  with the extra bonus of being make up your own roleplaying.



Making up definitions for roleplaying ... are you taking those acting classes again and thinking thats roleplaying....

OR are you rollling dice and thinking that makes it roleplaying... cause I am pretty sure lets pretend is roleplaying and I think I learned how to do that before learning to read. 



Actually I remember the last time we discussed roleplaying that you did not use the real definition of roleplaying.

I think you confused it with acting and funny voices or some such.

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
  with the extra bonus of being make up your own roleplaying.



Making up definitions for roleplaying ... are you taking those acting classes again and thinking thats roleplaying....

OR are you rollling dice and thinking that makes it roleplaying... cause I am pretty sure lets pretend is roleplaying and I think I learned how to do that before learning to read. 



Actually I remember the last time we discussed roleplaying that you did not use the real definition of roleplaying.



I bet we can find some children to teach you to pretend..   I specifically said it doesnt take funny voices .. just making choices from the character point of view and within the scope of there capabilities within the game and your own imagination.... which is why it didnt have anything to do with acting or making fancy speaches.

Those wanting rules for how to do it.. well there arent any.

  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."

 

  with the extra bonus of being make up your own roleplaying.



Making up definitions for roleplaying ... are you taking those acting classes again and thinking thats roleplaying....

OR are you rollling dice and thinking that makes it roleplaying... cause I am pretty sure lets pretend is roleplaying and I think I learned how to do that before learning to read. 



Actually I remember the last time we discussed roleplaying that you did not use the real definition of roleplaying.



I bet we can find some children to teach you to pretend..   I specifically said it doesnt take funny voices .. just making choices from the character point of view and within the scope of there capabilities within the game and your own imagination.... which is why it didnt have anything to do with acting or making fancy speaches.

Those wanting rules for how to do it.. well there arent any.




All we need is some half way descent rules for stuff that happens out of combat - you know the actual important stuff that seperates a roleplaying game from a tactical combat simulator.

When even skills are nothing more then: Can do X in combat, you know there is a serious problem.

That is the problem with Forge design:  Here are your non-combat abilities which let you be more effective at combat. 

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
Look at the fighter skill lists.  In what edition have they had serious non-combat skills available?

Intimidation?  That almost never works the way you want it to and is based off Charisma.

Riding?  Great, you don't fall off your horse between combats.

Athletics?  A bonus to jumping pits and climbing walls, arguably the fighters best out of combat skill.  Useful in combat too though.

There ARE classes that have extremely useful out of class skills, rogue immediately springing to mind, the casters to varying degress, sometimes the barbarian. 
  with the extra bonus of being make up your own roleplaying.



Making up definitions for roleplaying ... are you taking those acting classes again and thinking thats roleplaying....

OR are you rollling dice and thinking that makes it roleplaying... cause I am pretty sure lets pretend is roleplaying and I think I learned how to do that before learning to read. 



Actually I remember the last time we discussed roleplaying that you did not use the real definition of roleplaying.



I bet we can find some children to teach you to pretend..   I specifically said it doesnt take funny voices .. just making choices from the character point of view and within the scope of there capabilities within the game and your own imagination.... which is why it didnt have anything to do with acting or making fancy speaches.

Those wanting rules for how to do it.. well there arent any.




All we need is some half way descent rules for stuff that happens out of combat  



If there is no conflict... there is not story and really no need for heavy handed mechanics.

Conflict.... can be convincing a town to face down there oppressors.
its not wow do I get 4 coppers working in the bar today.
 

 
  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."

 

Look at the fighter skill lists.  In what edition have they had serious non-combat skills available?



I believe that it was either 1st edition or BECMI that let the player do what ever they had experience in.

Member of the Axis of Awesome

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
Look at the fighter skill lists.  In what edition have they had serious non-combat skills available?



I believe that it was either 1st edition or BECMI that let the player do what ever they had experience in.



It was never really enumerated In 1e much but people rather well let you shoot for  anything you could convince the DM of... It meant my DM who didnt know how to swim, assumed it was really hard and had you rolling dex every turn to avoid drowning.. shrug.
  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."

 

 A ruleset needs to be more than "ask your DM if he feels like letting you do X" to qualify as a 'ruleset'.  Improvisation needs some sort of ground rules to work within.

This is such an alien mindset to me that I don't even know where to begin approaching it.

The GM isn't supposed to do things on whim, he's supposed to impartially adjucate the rules of the world.

If you try to do X, it should never ever be a question of whether or not the GM feels like letting you do X--it should only be a question of "Is X logical?  Does the situation allow for X?  What rule best covers X?"

I mean, when you walk downstairs, you don't ask if Physics feels like letting gravity work for you--it just does.  That's how GMing should work.

"GM may I?" is a nonsense phrase.  If a PC is asking the GM if he can do something, it should only be because he doesn't fully understand the situation and needs clarification.

It says "these are the boundaries within which improvisation operates".  
"When you feint, you do X and get Y" tells the DM and players rough boundaries of what to expect when improving
"anything you do is covered by these general rules." tells you nothing of consequence.

The boundaries of improvising are laid by the world and situation.  There isn't a situation that could possibly come up that I couldn't adjucate on the spot using only logic and the playtest packet other than something like, "What do I get at 4th level?"
The issue I have with many people saying "Why don't you improvise?" (I know I'm paraphrasing and simplifying many positions) is that if you check out their playtest reports, they or their DM frequently did not follow the (limited) guidelines on Improvisation within the packet and allowed both effects and damage for Improvised Actions (or allowed the rogue Sneak attack on every action by letting them improvise as a move to gain advantage) making those Improvised actions more powerful than they are written to be (which unfortunately, is usually useless compared to the at will attack, never mind an actual daily spell attack except the cleric healing is so limited they had to save all their spells for that, whereas proper use of Wizard Daily spells ended encounters).
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