Missed opportunities for showcasing modularity

I can't help but think that this playtest packet could have shown us some modular options.  Two areas which leap instantly to mind are attribute and hit point generation.

It wouldn't have been too hard to give Old School (3d6 play them as they fall), Heroic (4d6, drop one and arrange to taste) and Point Buy options for attributes.

The same goes for HP.  Surely we could have had Hard Core (roll them), Gritty (what we got) and Heroic (add your con score instead of the modifier). 

Unless they mean something different by modularity in design?

What do you all think? Any other areas for modularity?

 
I don't see why Point Buy or play them as they fall should be any different from how they were in previous editions.  I know I'm doing my abilities point buy 4e style regardless.  I assume WotC will include them but there isn't must need to playtest point buy (and the standard array which they did include (given a tiny bit of modularity there) is one end-point to point buy).

I think play them as they fall has often been a problem of extremely unbalanced abilities, hence why they didn't announce them. 

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

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A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

Except right now isn't the time for modularity.

Right now, they're mostly trying to test out the core rules, ironing out the bugs.

Once we get the core rules perfected, then they can start giving us modules to test out.
D&D Experience Level: Relatively new First Edition: 4th Known Editions: 4th, 3.5 --- Magic Experience Level: Fairly skilled First Expansion: 7th Edition Play Style: Very Casual
I would argue that modularity was one of the core promises they made with this edition.  The only nod that I've seen towards this concept was in packet 1, where they said "for an old school feel, drop themes."  Furthermore, giving use a few ways to do HP or attributes (at least) would stop the people who complain about those things all over these forums.  Or at least change the direction of the complaining.
Except right now isn't the time for modularity.

Right now, they're mostly trying to test out the core rules, ironing out the bugs.

Once we get the core rules perfected, then they can start giving us modules to test out.



I have to disagree here.  From what WotC has been saying, modularity is a core assumption.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
Except right now isn't the time for modularity.

Right now, they're mostly trying to test out the core rules, ironing out the bugs.

Once we get the core rules perfected, then they can start giving us modules to test out.



I have to disagree here.  From what WotC has been saying, modularity is a core assumption.



Just because it's going to be part of the game doesn't mean it's something they need to put in now, bogging down things by throwing multiple ways to do HP, classes, whatever.  That's why they need to figure out the baseline for everything.  Modules come as alternate rules to the core rules of the game.  Thus the need to actually figure out the core rules and make sure they work fine.  After that, then they can start throwing out some alternate rules to try out.
I think the problem here is that modularity was absolutely a core promise of Next. Look how many times people try to argue that something is fine because "if you don't like it just wait for the module".

Yeah, the core rules are important. But there's a whole lot of complaints right now that would absolutely be resolved with "here are three ways of determining hit points - deadly, gritty, and heroic" or "here are two different xp progression charts, fast and classic" or even "here are some parts you should add/remove for a more modern/oldschool feel".

Part of the problem with a core system that assumes modules is making sure that the core rules interact well with the modules. Once the game is released, I strongly doubt that each module will then get a playtest period, so it makes a whole lot of sense to start testing ideas for modules now.

Additionally, "modular" doesn't have to mean "buy these addons", it can mean something like GURPS' or FATE's power levels or even just  "here are the peasants (roll 3d6, roll hp), here are the badass normals (4d6 drop lowest and arrange, roll hp+con), here are the superhuman heroes (point buy, max hp), restrict backgrounds and specialties based on power level according to this list." Hell, it can even mean "If you want less powerful casters, drop these spells from the list and restrict wizards to two schools of magic each".

What I was expecting from "modular" was a really simple (think Red Box) core system with lots of optional extras, complete with lists of suggested packages of options so you could "play like AD&D" or "play like 3.5" or "play like 4e". Instead all we've seen is a suggestion (absent from the current package) to drop backgrounds if you don't like them.
The sorcerer and the Warlock are examples of modularity.  There are some options in the How to Play doc that are further examples.  If you are looking for a big "This is a module" sign, I think that isn't how they are implemented.  They also have 2 more years accoring to thier schedule to develop the game.  Plenty of time to intruduce modules.  They even said that they want to get the core (mostly) done first before many modules are introduced.  Have patience.
In fact, this is absolutely not the time to show us modularity, because this is a playtest, not a preview!  They want us to test particular rules, not tell them which rules look most attractive.

They probably know the HP are on the low side right now, but they want us to test them to see how many of us get killed.  But as for stats, they have 30 years of basically the same stat system, they have a system and options that work, and here there's no need to reinvent the wheel.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

Guys, when it gets down to it, all the modularity in the world won't do a thing if the core rules aren't perfected.

Also, remember....this is a playtest. You have not purchased a finished product. This early into the process, a lot of the features that may be in the final product are going to be missing. What we need to do is test what we have, and wait for them to give us more to test.

Here we are, three months into a two year process. We still have a long way to go before we even get close to the final version of the game, so I'm sure when they're ready, they'll give us some modules to test out.

But they aren't important right now. What is important is the core rules. If the core rules don't work, then the modules aren't going to work either. So we need to test the core rules before we get too heavily invested into the modules.

So, just be patient and hang in there. We're in for a long ride.
D&D Experience Level: Relatively new First Edition: 4th Known Editions: 4th, 3.5 --- Magic Experience Level: Fairly skilled First Expansion: 7th Edition Play Style: Very Casual
To a certain extent I agree that, this being a playtest, we shouldn't expect too much in the way of fully-developed features.  On the other hand, if we as the community don't speak up about features that are important to us, there's no guarantee that they'll even make it into the testing process.

The sorcerer and the Warlock are examples of modularity.  There are some options in the How to Play doc that are further examples.  If you are looking for a big "This is a module" sign, I think that isn't how they are implemented.  They also have 2 more years accoring to thier schedule to develop the game.  Plenty of time to intruduce modules.  They even said that they want to get the core (mostly) done first before many modules are introduced.  Have patience.



The sorcerer and warlock as they are now are examples of diversity, not modularity.  In fact, the way they have their basic casting systems enmeshed in class features and baked-in flavor right now is a great example of a lack of modularity.
To answer the OP, this is an early pre-release draft and nowhere near ready for publication. We might have those options in a later version, or not. I won't complain if Point Buy and "3d6 times 6" are gone; the former tends to lend itself to beardy cheesemongering, while the latter requires character concepts based upon the stats rolled and tends to produce fairly un-heroic characters.
Here's a thought...they've also told us that they want us to "kit-bash" the game, meaning they want us to be comfortable with making up or changing rules. So, if you want something that is outside of the bare-bones version of the game that they are giving us, make something up and try it out. Then, come back here and tell everyone what you did, and how it worked. Modularity is coming, but as they've said over and over, if you listen, is that they really need the most basic of the rules to work correctly first. Then they will start playing around and giving us more tools.
To a certain extent I agree that, this being a playtest, we shouldn't expect too much in the way of fully-developed features.  On the other hand, if we as the community don't speak up about features that are important to us, there's no guarantee that they'll even make it into the testing process.

The sorcerer and the Warlock are examples of modularity.  There are some options in the How to Play doc that are further examples.  If you are looking for a big "This is a module" sign, I think that isn't how they are implemented.  They also have 2 more years accoring to thier schedule to develop the game.  Plenty of time to intruduce modules.  They even said that they want to get the core (mostly) done first before many modules are introduced.  Have patience.



The sorcerer and warlock as they are now are examples of diversity, not modularity.  In fact, the way they have their basic casting systems enmeshed in class features and baked-in flavor right now is a great example of a lack of modularity.

modular means to that you can easily ignore it/not use it.  seems that works with the sorcerer/warlock.  Actually any class is like this if you don't want/like/need it.  6 in one 1/2 a doz in the other.


And apart from the semantics  presenting casting systems within a class was exactly how WoTC said they would do it.   Not initially, but if you followed the various blogs and such, this would not be a surprise at all.

Also, all one has to do to make a spell point wizard is exchange the mechanics leaving all else in place.
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