A short reflection on what used to be AD&D.

Hey yall,

As the godfather once said at a convention when he was asked about the [blank] edition -"I feel bad for all the poor DM's now, I never intended for them to sing and dance around the table.  I wanted the PC's to be the circus monkeys not the DM's!"

Good point there... I dont want to be a monkey with cymbals when I am the DM!! I want to be the master of puppets and control the game and only roll the dice because I like the noise they make.  I see this in the light of DnDNext!!!

We've come a long way since the days of 1e and 2e but I think the wizards are now seeing the value in reflecting on the elder days of AD&D.  Remember when there was a clearer distinction between advanced and basic?

I cannot remember a time when I didn't play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.  I was so excited when 2e came out I nearly had an accident. I think there's too much hate on 2e and not enough on 3/3.5e.  3e change way too much way too quickly!!! Good gravy the name changed I mean, what  was that about!  If there is basic and there is advanced why was advanced taken out of it's title that was confusing even for a long time vet.  I have a lot friends who say [explitive] any new edition I dont play unless it says advanced!!

As pompous prickly and proud as that seems there is a good point there.  I remember the starter box for AD&D. Now the red box is a beginners box for an "advanced" version even though advanced has been taken out of the title...ummmm what? Didn't Gygax relegate that for basic dnd??? Connfuuuuusionnnnn!!!  I remember rolling a few in the basement finishing off a Ravenloft adventure wondering what you'd had to be on to enjoy the new edition.  

I guess with every edition you have to take it with a grain of salt.  I mean I didn't mind 4e I kind of dug the special maneuvers but with all these ridiculous tiles and this and that and all this other bunk you had to buy I felt like saying [explitive] I might as well being playing my ps3.  4e felt like it was designed by a WarHammer 40k fan.    

It just seems like ever since 1e and 2e there is something missing some spiritual element that just isn't there. Pathfinder is the spiritual successor to DnD??? ummm yeah right.  It just feels like theyve been accidentally taking away some of the things that actually mattered and adding all this stuff that is just well...a lot of fluff.

So being a DM/Player and a DM that likes control of the game and playing without a grid I am happy to see that may very well be a possibility once again.  Now that we've run it and understand what direction they want it to head in we've once again returned to our 2e books...now youre probably thinking hmmm why would they do that...2e sucked.  The reason why is because 2e had way more potential than any of the last 3 editions.  It's not like the great Zeb missed the mark completely but it just needed a dash of Gygax but he wasnt there anymore.  I mean if it completely sucked then why did it give birth to so many more options campaigns and adventures than the last 3? Because it had gumption, it had some ummmf to it, it had blood and guts and most importantly it had soul.  The last 3 have been not been completely soulless but they were getting there.  

DnDnext really made us miss the 2e days in the basement running hours of Ravenloft and Planescape campaigns beers pizza metallica rolling for initiative.  Its sad that they havent thought of reviving/refining 2e and maybe prayerfully add "advanced" back to the title.  I mean what is Dungeons and Dragons if it isnt Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, right? Maybe those days are gone, but one can only hope for the best.

Honestly the artwork has come a long way but I think the next version needs some hardcore Frank Frazetta I have two girls in my group and they keep asking where all the pretty succubi have gone.  And also honestly they need to revive Ravenloft, Dark Sun and please please please give me some Planescape ughhh.  I want campaign setting boxes to open Christmas morning, I want some demon summoning for goodness sake!  Anyway as I said before one can only hope.

Get back to the grind stone WoTC we're actually counting on you this time,

Salem




 
I heartily agree that people are too reminiscent of 3.x and not 1e and 2e. Most of my D&D experience was when 2e was going great guns. I still remember Dark Sun (and its re-release), Spelljammer, and the old Forgotten Realms. Unfortunately, I also remember the campaign boxes as being either too expensive (dad was a cheapskate) or chronically sold out.

There's a few ways I can think of for WotC to try and go back toward 1e and 2e without a lot of the imbalances that were chronic to that era. Unfortunately, I doubt most of them will be very popular.

Unlink the setting from the core book. 3.x started this by folding the Greyhawk pantheon into the PHB. It wasn't even listed as a "sample pantheon," but as the official one. I've got a hunch this was designed to help bring Gygax back into things, because he was starting to work with TSR shortly after the WotC buyout. A PHB written to be setting-agnostic like the 2e one was, would've just provided a list of domains and an instruction that clerics should ask the DM for guidance.

As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, 2e was setting- agnostic. 5e should IMO also be setting- agnostic. Instead of putting in the Nentir Vale or World of Greyhawk, why not just provide the DM with a set of better tools for designing his own campaign and a chapter in the back with a brief summary of the major campaign settings?

Dragon magazine during the 2e era was available without a DDi subscription. Making it available as a webzine on Google Books or the Kindle store (or both?) would help get material out to players who just want the magazine and not all the other baggage that DDi comes with, and those of us on a shoestring.

That having been said, 2e did have a few failings- limited advancement or slow advancement for non-human races, not fixing the balance of the Vancian system, gross imbalances in later products because someone in corporate HQ outlawed playtesting, and Dragon magazine's perpetual focus on the Forgotten Realms to the detriment of all other settings. Were those failings big enough for everyone to shun 2e, though? I don't think so.

I also like the option for gridded play, but then again I'm a miniatures junkie. My first experience with Dwarven Forge was love at first sight, although I've since migrated to building my own pieces using Hirst Arts molds.


All this having been said, there's one other way that 5e could recapture a bit of the feel of 1e, 1.5, and 2e- drop all the color pictures except from chapter dividers, and go back to black-and-white printing for the bulk of the book. All those expensive color backgrounds and color illustrations don't really do anything for me.
It just seems like ever since 1e and 2e there is something missing some spiritual element that just isn't there.

Like what?  Druicide?  Ranger-limit of three in any given party?  Level limits?  No PC Dwarf Clerics allowed?  Free fiefdoms? Sex-change traps?

Sex-change traps?

Hey, don't knock the sex change traps. Those things are fun.
Hey folks,

This isn't really feedback on a playtest session, so I'll be moving it to D&D Next General Discussion.

Thanks,

Monica

Monica

Wizards of the Coast Online Community Coordinator

A friendly dragon.

Getting to Know Your Magic Online Client

Basic Dungeons & Dragons FREE

As a reflection by a sort of 'younger' player (I'm 26 and started playing just before I turned 18), I can say that I do have a sort of fondness for the concept for 3.x Edition. That's the one I 'grew up' on.

You know, it's funny; I can actually think of my experience with D&D like generations of close family members.

My roleplaying 'life' started with 3.x. That's what I first started out knowing, and I loved the idea of being a hero in a dangerous world. My first character was a Cleric of Pelor, so you can imagine what kind of hero I was: The one that looked out for the whole party, and no man was gonna be left behind. And let me tell you, I played with the game breakers; it was hard to keep up, but I joined in and spent those hours upon hours making epic-level characters that had their "I Win" button. I even DM'ed a game; I was trying to figure out where my place was on the roleplaying table. Nothing else to base your experience on; youth, a child among older brothers.

My new college roommate and I (Yeah, got lucky by having a random roommate who ALSO loved DnD), we waited with baited breath for 4e to release, and when we finally got our hands on it, our eyes lit up and we devoured the whole PHB in a span of hours. We couldn't believe what they had done, everyone was so bad-ass now, the wizard never completely ran out of spells, and character creation was so simple! My favorite character, even today, is still my Halfling Rogue who my close friends know the voice I assume for him. Not to mention, just like in growing up, I got to understand the concept of moral ambiguity in a game setting. But, eventually, and let me tell you it was a VERY long-awaited eventually, I came to see 4E kind of like one sees their parents when they finally move out of the house. They're not perfect; And you love them and they're really helpful and they make a lot of sense, but sometimes they're just kinda lame. And I found out that the 'person' DnD was, and now is, isn't the same. Was this a good thing? Now I'd say no, but then I wasn't sure.

So, at some point, like all people do with their 'family', they start looking for their older roots, the grandparents. I got a chance to play in a 2E game one time. I thumbed through the books a bit. All of a sudden, I saw where the game had come from, and where it was now. So much had changed, even just beyond the rules. Notice that classes in 2E, many of them were invariably connected with features that were more 'fluff'-related (I hate that term, by the way)? Things seemed bigger than yourself: you weren't this impervious action-hero that my 4E Rogue seemed to be, but one guy, set off to change the world, and somehow the world ended up changing in ways you didn't expect. I mean, when someone hits level 15 or above, people freaking know you by then. You're big deal; people know you /RonBurgundy. And it's fun to think of it like that.

Now: I'm a mature gamer. I know what I like, what I don't like, and what makes sense on the table. What DnD was, is, and maybe even will be. I think Grandpa Gygax had something going with his ideas, and combined with fluid and easily understood mechanics, these things could come together to make a very hopeful 5E (as long as they change the blasted name, heh).
That "spiritual element" that is missing is the fact that you played it as a kid, through kid's eyes. Nothing more.

This is why people who love those editions have such a hard time defining what exactly it was about those editions that made them love it so much. This is where the whole question of "feel" comes from. It is a feel, but it's not a feel for that specific edition, it's a feel for that particular time in your life.

IMHO, anyway.
That "spiritual element" that is missing is the fact that you played it as a kid, through kid's eyes. Nothing more.

This is why people who love those editions have such a hard time defining what exactly it was about those editions that made them love it so much. This is where the whole question of "feel" comes from. It is a feel, but it's not a feel for that specific edition, it's a feel for that particular time in your life.

IMHO, anyway.



+1
That "spiritual element" that is missing is the fact that you played it as a kid, through kid's eyes. Nothing more.

This is why people who love those editions have such a hard time defining what exactly it was about those editions that made them love it so much. This is where the whole question of "feel" comes from. It is a feel, but it's not a feel for that specific edition, it's a feel for that particular time in your life.

IMHO, anyway.


I disagree here.

I am already feeling this way while running the playtest; and I'm 44 years old now.

In fact, I felt that way for each of the BECMI, AD&D and AD&D 2E editions of the game (at various ages). 
Sex-change traps?

Hey, don't knock the sex change traps. Those things are fun.



yes and sex change mecanic can be very dangroes.
We once faced a Medar ( male medusa ) who had a belt of maculinity femininity just in case his plan would go wrong.

the plan
step 1: have medusas turn powerfull monsters to stone.
step 2: pose as a scuplter and sell the statues of the creatures to a city.
step 3: one night use medar power to turn all the creatures back to flesh again.
step 4: raid the city tresury while everybody is off fighting the monsters. 
That "spiritual element" that is missing is the fact that you played it as a kid, through kid's eyes. Nothing more.

This is why people who love those editions have such a hard time defining what exactly it was about those editions that made them love it so much. This is where the whole question of "feel" comes from. It is a feel, but it's not a feel for that specific edition, it's a feel for that particular time in your life.

IMHO, anyway.



While I agree with this in many ways, try playing D&D with your kids. Like Christmas, that magic returns.  Mine started with 3.5, and I moved them to 4e.  They went without complaint, but we started playing less, we got less done, the loss of a chracter just really had no impact.

Crap, they're getting older I feared, now 14 and 15, I've lost the chance...

They asked to try 5e, just because. 

I've had a character creation session, and 2 game sessions already, the third comes this weekend.  I have two new players, friends of my kids, and when we run out of levels in the playtest, they have aready asked to make new ones and run something else till they can continue on.

Trust me, this isn't 1e or 2e, I realize, but "something" in this new version has inspired them. 

I still love playing, and I hope I do till I die, but look at the pictures from GenCon and Pax, that's an aged crowd.   I understand "why" Wizards wants to create a new playing buzz for the younger generation.

BTW, I hated everything about THAC0... there was no magic or feeling when it came to D&D math at that point.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

I also stared late, my last year of High School, and I was started with 3.5. 

To me that was Dungeons and Dragons and I had a blast leveling up my impulsive Draconic Human Sorcerer on the run from his Red Dragon Grandfather trying to kill him. My DM even brought dear old granddad in at key events, a Great Wyrm Red Dragon against a party of 6 7th levelers, scary.

AD&D is hard for me. I've only played once, in college, and I had a bad DM. Bad in the sense that he was an enormous railroader who wouldn't let anyone creatively get out of situations. He also played a character with us (a rogue) who would steal and almost kill us at times to prove he was the most badass character out of the lot. It was hard, but I try not to take it out on the 1e editions. Never played 2, can't speak. What I will say is something I did like, right off the bat from the early editions is the DM rolling all the die. Now I like rolling my own die, it's fun and you feel like you have more control. But there's something to be said about not knowing the result.

Now if I search the ground for slime and I roll a 6, the DM tells me "You find no slime" but I know it was just a low roll. I play my character doesn't know, but even that changes your approach a little, and some people simply can't not meta-game. But if I search the ground for slime, and the DM rolls the 6 behind his screen "Good news, you find no slime". Oh good! Now I can merrily go about my way- What! a Grey ooze!?
Just my opinion.

It took me a while to play 4e. I was the first out of my original group to get the handbook, they refused for a while, but it seemed far less customizable. Currently I'm in a 4e campaign and I have fun because end of the day Hey! It's still D&D. And if you have friends to laugh and fool around with you'll have a good time.

But recently we've started playtesting, and I think we're all feeling the same thing.

Twice we've playtested, both times because 2 or more of our players have missed important sessions. The first time I was a Fighter, the second (yesterday) I DM'd. It's simple. Just pure and simple D&D. It's really easy to make a couple of characters without much prep time (the first game level one with all vets took us 10 mins. the second level 3 with one newbie took us about half an hour) and then you just play. It doesn't have to be very planned out, I wrote up 3 hooks and waited to see where they went with them and just winged it from there. It was an AWESOME game. Simple and fun, because once you don't have a TON of mechanics (or all the clutter of abilities 4e has) you can just play the game.

I'm super excited for Next. I didn't have this experience waiting for 4e but Next feels like "Returning to D&D". Being raised on 3.X the thing I missed most was creation options in 4e. Not like there weren't choices (there were a TON) but not a whole lot different. You had your class, you could hybrid or take different powers or paragon paths but no where near the level of customization 3e had, love it or hate it. And frankly I think this is better than 3.X. Even with only 6 classes right now it feels just as customizable. Working with players to homebrew new backgrounds or even a specialty is easy and fun and I simply can't wait for october to get more. I'm going to buy this the day it comes out and i hope to pelor I have a group waiting to play it with me.
 
I'm not sure how I feel about the "spiritual feeling" of D&D. I started playing with 1E and DMing with 2E, so the love I have for those editions may very well be due to the fact that they were the ones that introduced me to the game. However, as time has gone by, that feeling has never left. In the years since learning how to play in 1E, I have had numerous opportunities both to play and to DM every edition of the game (except 3E...I skipped it completely). While I have a particular place in my heart for every edition, the 1E/2E pull is still the strongest. Maybe it's nothing more than them being the introductions for me to this game. I still DM a weekly 2E game, and that "spiritual feeling" is still there, and just as strong as it was back in the day. I introduced both of my sons to D&D using the 2E mechanics, and I can tell that spiritual feeling is there for them, too. If I ask either one of them which edition they'd like to play at the next game-night, they would both say 2E. Perhaps it's for the same reason. But maybe there actually is something about those AD&D rules that just isn't there (quite as strongly) anymore. I could ask my wife (she's a shrink) about the more philosophical / psychological implications of a beloved game from one's past and the influence it could carry with it into the future, but since 2E is her favorite edition, too, I might get a biased answer.

As an aside, I have never (and still don't) understand the confusion / dislike of THAC0. I get it...adding is easier than subtracting, but only marginally so, especially in such small numbers as was used in THAC0. The usual response I get is "Today's method is more intuitive", presumably because the mind adds numbers at an easier level than it subtracts them. Whatever the case, I have yet to have any players of any age (the youngest being 6, the oldest being in their 50s) have more trouble with THAC0 than they do with Weapon bonus + STR (or DEX, or CHA, or whatever) mod + Feat bonus + Item bonus + Ability bonus + Buff bonus - debuff penalty.....
That "spiritual element" that is missing is the fact that you played it as a kid, through kid's eyes. Nothing more.



Not really. This has something to do with it but it's not the only thing. AD&D focuses on the story while the later editions have so many things to distract you from the story.

1) Little to no rules. You don't really know what you can or cannot do until you asked your DM. Which pretty much means that you can either do amazing things or ... well euh nothing at all with the bad DMs. With a good DM, this is exhilarating.

2) Heavy focus on in-game character development. 3rd edition felt a little bit like Diablo. You try to create an optimal build and you spend your money to get the best gear, and once you're happy with what you got, you go back in the dungeon (your DM's adventures) to try your cool new abilities or big shinny sword. 4th edition felt a little bit like a MMO. You try to optimize you character for their role and you go on adventures to see how well the whole party works. In AD&D, you have nothing to optimize, you don't have any character options. You don't have magic marts either; your money is used for story elements like buying a castle. The only difference you'll ever get between fighter A and fighter B is what happens in-game.

3) Magic is magical. In 3rd edition, you had too many spell slots and you could buy scrolls to have an nearly unlimited supply of out of combat magic. In 4th edition, magic is pratically unexisting outside of combat. You didn't have any magic marts either (or worse, item creation feats). Magic items were rare and special.

Bottom line, I think AD&D is story-centric, 3rd edition is character-centric and 4th edition is party-centric. That's the "spiritual element" he can't put a name on. The change is vicious. Nothing in either 3rd or 4th edition prevents you from playing the game like you used to in AD&D. But all those guidelines, rules, character options, etc... just draw the attention away from the story. It's a trap you very easily fall into.
It just seems like ever since 1e and 2e there is something missing some spiritual element that just isn't there.

Like what?  Druicide?  Ranger-limit of three in any given party?  Level limits?  No PC Dwarf Clerics allowed?  Free fiefdoms? Sex-change traps?


 As an avid player of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game ( I play it weekly)I feel I should set some facts in order to prevent confusion or misunderstandings about the rules quoted and misquoted within the post. I am not attempting in any way to take part in edition warring behavior and as most will attest to I am a an advocate for cross edition input for Next. I am not against any version of the game. To each his own I say. I am however well versed with this ruleset as it is my absolute favorite. I will therefore set the record strait. I am fine with others not likeing my prefered version. 
 
1.  Ok- Druicide is a given truth in AD&D and a rule that reflects old world druidic religion in Celtic beliefs. yes, they slew one another as a way of assension to the high ranks of the priesthood. This is one possible reason that it is included within the AD&D rulesets, by the way 15th level is when it comes into play in 2e. at 3,000,000 xp. 
 2. 3 Rangers in a given party-This is a 1e rule and arbitrary to be sure. Not included in the 2nd e. ruleset at all. it was meant to keep rangers who are supposed to be loners from congregating, they are not usually found in groups on the same tract of land or forest. Hunters are known for protecting their hunting grounds and not sharing them to the depletion of the game there in. 
3.level limits- I never minded them at all and there were always optional r.a.w. ways of ignoring them or overcoming them through slow advancement. The removal of demi-human level limits and class limitations may in fact be part of the reason there is so much power creep in the later editions of the D&D game where they have been removed. Consider the extra feat and skills give to humans in 3e. for example Your p.c. Dwarf Cleric statement is just in error entirely according to both the 1e. and 2e. Players handbooks. Dwarves can be Clerics in both versions of the game.
4.  free Feifdoms- Not free at all. A tract of land had to be cleared of monsters and brought under the rule of the P.C. fighter to become his land. Not an easy task. He also had to build a stronghold on that land which takes years of game time and ate up most if not all of his treasure horde. Nothing was just given to him. He did attract followers and men at arms who wanted to serve him because of his fame. It was a possible plot device for the fighter class.
5.Sex change traps- These were brought about by cursed magical items such as a Girtle of feminity or masculinity. These curses took effect on the foolhearty who arbitrarily put on the item before it was identified. Not smart. Many cursed items exsist in the D&D game after all.
That "spiritual element" that is missing is the fact that you played it as a kid, through kid's eyes. Nothing more.

This is why people who love those editions have such a hard time defining what exactly it was about those editions that made them love it so much. This is where the whole question of "feel" comes from. It is a feel, but it's not a feel for that specific edition, it's a feel for that particular time in your life.

IMHO, anyway.


I disagree here.

I am already feeling this way while running the playtest; and I'm 44 years old now.

In fact, I felt that way for each of the BECMI, AD&D and AD&D 2E editions of the game (at various ages). 



That's called nostalgia. The way to get rid of it is to play the games you played when you were a child and realize it was the people you were with and not the game. Many people look back fondly on childhood games of Monopoly, but can't stand it as an adult. They build antique cars and can't stand how they drive and their lack of modern features. Its just pure nostalgia, nothing more...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
That "spiritual element" that is missing is the fact that you played it as a kid, through kid's eyes. Nothing more.



Not really. This has something to do with it but it's not the only thing. AD&D focuses on the story while the later editions have so many things to distract you from the story.

1) Little to no rules. You don't really know what you can or cannot do until you asked your DM. Which pretty much means that you can either do amazing things or ... well euh nothing at all with the bad DMs. With a good DM, this is exhilarating.

2) Heavy focus on in-game character development. 3rd edition felt a little bit like Diablo. You try to create an optimal build and you spend your money to get the best gear, and once you're happy with what you got, you go back in the dungeon (your DM's adventures) to try your cool new abilities or big shinny sword. 4th edition felt a little bit like a MMO. You try to optimize you character for their role and you go on adventures to see how well the whole party works. In AD&D, you have nothing to optimize, you don't have any character options. You don't have magic marts either; your money is used for story elements like buying a castle. The only difference you'll ever get between fighter A and fighter B is what happens in-game.

3) Magic is magical. In 3rd edition, you had too many spell slots and you could buy scrolls to have an nearly unlimited supply of out of combat magic. In 4th edition, magic is pratically unexisting outside of combat. You didn't have any magic marts either (or worse, item creation feats). Magic items were rare and special.

Bottom line, I think AD&D is story-centric, 3rd edition is character-centric and 4th edition is party-centric. That's the "spiritual element" he can't put a name on. The change is vicious. Nothing in either 3rd or 4th edition prevents you from playing the game like you used to in AD&D. But all those guidelines, rules, character options, etc... just draw the attention away from the story. It's a trap you very easily fall into.



That wasn't the game, that was the 'good DM' that made it fun.

Here's a test you can do. Take that same 'good DM' and go play another role playing game like GURPS or RIFTS and see if you have just as much fun. If you do, its the DM, not the game...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

2ed was not a game in itself, it gave a basic set up for new DMs to run a simple game or module, it was a tool kit of rules an experienced DM used to piece together a game. I have never met an experienced dedicated DM who runs 2ed "by the book", many critical thoughts given about 2ed here are not very valid.

Majority of detailed rules were adjusted or even dropped and replaced, many critical opinions I read on here are about details almost no 2ed experienced DM uses. Some rules seemed bad depending on how they were used, also some DMs suck no matter what system you put in their hands.

The majority of people complaining about 2ed I fine are people who got in with a bad DM and stayed in the game, noting that as their experience and judging 2ed based off that one experience.

As a full-time dedicated DM I found 3rd/3.5/4th boring for me but I can only judge a system as a DM, I stopped playing characters in 1996 and will probably never return to being a player for the rest of my life.

WOTC gamers should be happy there are such things as "Player DMs"(I know I been accused of putting this group down, which is true I have and I admit my opinion of them are low but cannot help what I think).

I know 3rd/3.5/4 never brang any full-time dedicated DMs to their game and never will(even Chris plays, again the only thing we seen him do is run overly scripted games at conventions and on youtube, we could make children look like good DMs if we overly scripted a session for them like what is done for Chris, I would like to see him run a full session with two days to prep for it from scratch before I form an opinion of his dming skills), I am sure next will run into the same problems. Even if a game came out that inspired people to being full time DMs it would most likely turn off players.
 
Lets think positive, what works should be focused on, I say work on pushing forward with "player DMs". I see no other way to have the wotc games stay alive, wotc needs a play station for its game, "player DMs" maybe like a ps2 but you can do a lot with ps2.

Good luck wotc gamers, I am settled and have my own game, I will evolve it and be playing until the end of my days. None of this has ever slowed my gaming down, new games have not taken anything away from my gaming or the amount of people I can recruit ect(so I am not as bitter as I may come across sometimes, I think text words come lacking some emotion, I sound worse in text then if you can hear the tone of my voice).


-----------------------------


For people who say they have a hard time with thaco -


You start with a 20 thaco at level one and lowers as you level(there are other ways to lower thaco as well), armor class starts at 10 but does not lower due to gaining levels, you must manually lower this through things like dexterity, armor and magical items ect.

Fighter thaco 20, goblin has 8 ac -
20-8=12 Roll 12 or more on a d20 to hit the goblin.

Fighter thaco 13, dragon -2 ac -
13+2=15 Roll 15 or more on a d20 to hit the dragon.
(Minus ac is added to the thaco number when doing the math here)

Fighter thaco -2, giant -5 ac -
-2 + -5=3 Roll 3 or more on a d20 to hit the giant.
(Minus ac is added to the thaco number when doing the math here, -5 covers the -2 thaco number plus an additional 3, meaning roll 3 or above to hit)

It is child's math an runs as fast as wotc rolling combat system.

Anyone who has a hard time learning this should be ashamed of themselves. Also anyone who says wotc rolling system is faster is deceiving you directly. Both rolling systems make you stop an ask a math question, you do the math then roll(they work at exactly the same speed).




Actually Thac0 has an extra step, when you run into a negative AC you have to add instead of subtract which means Thac0 is more complicated. Its not so much that people can't learn it, its why learn it when there is an easier way that is more intuitive to normal people that haven't been doing Thac0 since they were 10 years old?

Its about making the math side of the game as simple as possible so new players don't have to learn quadratic equations to be able to play...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
It just seems like ever since 1e and 2e there is something missing some spiritual element that just isn't there.

Like what?  Druicide?  Ranger-limit of three in any given party?  Level limits?  No PC Dwarf Clerics allowed?  Free fiefdoms? Sex-change traps?




Yup all that and more. 

Oh, and dorfs could be all the clerics they wanted. They was wizard impossible. Still are in my games. 

Its about making the math side of the game as simple as possible so new players don't have to learn quadratic equations to be able to play...



That might have been the intent, but when you end up with:
Weapon bonus + Stat mod + Feat bonus + Item bonus + Ability bonus + Buff bonus - condition penalty - debuff penalty = Attack Bonus
Then you've failed in your intent to make things "as simple as possible".

Even if THAC0 is an entirely alien concept that someone has never even considered in their RPG-playing lifetime, they will not spend more time trying to figure it out than countless buffs, debuffs, situational modifiers, and static modifiers.

Its about making the math side of the game as simple as possible so new players don't have to learn quadratic equations to be able to play...



That might have been the intent, but when you end up with:
Weapon bonus + Stat mod + Feat bonus + Item bonus + Ability bonus + Buff bonus - condition penalty - debuff penalty = Attack Bonus
Then you've failed in your intent to make things "as simple as possible".

Even if THAC0 is an entirely alien concept that someone has never even considered in their RPG-playing lifetime, they will not spend more time trying to figure it out than countless buffs, debuffs, situational modifiers, and static modifiers.



The problem is you do all that in 2E at mid to high levels also, so your not actually gaining anything. Sometimes you would be doing more of that in 2E than in later editions due to the way 2E had a resolution mechanic for everything and each of them was done differently...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
That wasn't the game, that was the 'good DM' that made it fun.



Of course! But that's true for any story-centric RPG. In spirit, AD&D is closer to Amber than a simulationist game like GURPS or 3rd edition or a wargame-like game such as 4th edition. You have very light rules and you do pretty much everything you want. The only difference with a game like Amber is that you roll a die to determine success. To be honest, we barely knew the rules.

We also like all kinds of other games: board games, war games, video games, etc... My point was that the later editions of D&D had more in common with other types of game than AD&D and we ended up playing D&D similarly to those other types of games. I also enjoyed 3rd edition but for different reasons. I probably would have enjoyed 4th edition too if combats hadn't been so god damn long.
      

Here's a test you can do. Take that same 'good DM' and go play another role playing game like GURPS or RIFTS and see if you have just as much fun. If you do, its the DM, not the game...



We played GURPS back then. In a fantasy setting with GURPS Magic and everything. It wasn't satisfying at all for a whole bunch of different reasons (mostly too simulationist and slow character progression). We tried a whole bunch of other games but none of them were as fun as AD&D.

As a side note, don't ever play Amber with the wrong type of DM. It's really not that fun.
I agree, Thac0 was much easier than the attack calculations I've seen in 3.x and SWSE, even when you factored in a few basic modifiers like cover, concealment, and Shield spells. All it required was signed numbers, and didn't involve looking all over the character sheet for various data points. It was 6th grade arithmetic.

It was also a vast improvement over the to-hit matrices that took up a two-page spread in the 1e DMG. It boiled down six or seven huge tables into two: a five-line one for PCs, printed on both sides of the DM screen, and a one-line one for monsters on the inside only.

And that ain't even touching the fact that you could actually hit something reliably.
lokiare says -

"The problem is you do all that in 2E at mid to high levels also, so your not actually gaining anything. Sometimes you would be doing more of that in 2E than in later editions due to the way 2E had a resolution mechanic for everything and each of them was done differently... "


What I stated in a post before this statement of his -


"2ed
was not a game in itself, it gave a basic set up for new DMs to run a simple game or module, it was a tool kit of rules an experienced DM used to piece together a game. I have never met an experienced dedicated DM who runs 2ed "by the book", many critical thoughts given about 2ed here are not very valid.


Majority of detailed rules were adjusted or even dropped and replaced, many critical opinions I read on here are about details almost no 2ed experienced DM uses. Some rules seemed bad depending on how they were used, also some DMs suck no matter what system you put in their hands."

Let me add -

I think the problem is lokiare you simply don't know enough about how 2ed is used and has it plays with a good DM. Thaco works fine and as fast as d20 rules for combat, also combat is faster in ad&d then wotc editions for the most part, due to the speed the games are always better paced then wotc games, which makes it much more fun(I am speaking of 2ed styled games as the 2ed books are only helping to hold up the game created borrowing from them).



You do realize I played and ran 2E from near the beginning right? I know exactly how it worked. You seem not to realize that you were playing a heavily house ruled version and that the actual rules were riddled with complicated subsystems.

As to the Thac0 thing yes there is an extra step. Deciding whether you add or subtract. Also have you seen the test scores of children in the U.S.? I have several nephews myself that have problems doing basic math in their head. So any way to simplify the math is a good thing for new or young players. Its also good for players that get math fatigue. Math fatigue is when you do a bunch of easy math problems back to back and start to lose your focus or your ability to concentrate on the game instead of the math.

Anyone that things math needs to be complicated for the sake of tradition should be ashamed of themselves...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I view D&D like a martial art i.e. "absorb what is useful" but never try to adhere to a single approach, because each player and DM brings a new experience to the table. Therefore, I expect 5E to be an evolution of my combined experience as a player or a DM. The spirit of D&D is pushing forward to find new experiences and capture some of the feeling when we first played. If I went back to play 1E, I would be thinking something is missing.
See I would like to see THAC0 back so kids have to use the piles of mush between their ears. I am not the type to just shrug and say oh well kids are just stupid now days.

As to the Thac0 thing yes there is an extra step. Deciding whether you add or subtract.


Just like in 3E, 4E, and DDN with debuffs and status effect penalties? Got it.

So any way to simplify the math is a good thing for new or young players. Its also good for players that get math fatigue. Math fatigue is when you do a bunch of easy math problems back to back and start to lose your focus or your ability to concentrate on the game instead of the math.


If simple subtraction (or addition, by your standards) gives you math fatigue, then you must have avoided 3E and 4E like a plague. When you combine the simple addition and subtration of ability score bonuses, buffs, debuffs, status effects, weapon bonuses, auras, and so on, people who do NOT suffer from math fatigue get fatigued. 

Anyone that things math needs to be complicated for the sake of tradition should be ashamed of themselves...


Pretty sure no one is advocating for "complicated" math. At least no one in this thread, that is. As a matter of fact, I'm almost certain that no one is even advocating for a core return of THAC0. We were discussing THAC0, but not saying that it should be re-implemented.
EDIT: except for Drycanth, it seems.
In AD&D, you have nothing to optimize, you don't have any character options.

How much of the old AD&D spirit do you feel is lost by the addition of character options?  Just looking at feats and skills, how much do you feel like they shift the gameplay away from story-focus and into character-focus?

The metagame is not the game.

As an aside, I have never (and still don't) understand the confusion / dislike of THAC0. I get it...adding is easier than subtracting, but only marginally so, especially in such small numbers as was used in THAC0. The usual response I get is "Today's method is more intuitive", presumably because the mind adds numbers at an easier level than it subtracts them. Whatever the case, I have yet to have any players of any age (the youngest being 6, the oldest being in their 50s) have more trouble with THAC0 than they do with Weapon bonus + STR (or DEX, or CHA, or whatever) mod + Feat bonus + Item bonus + Ability bonus + Buff bonus - debuff penalty.....


Indeed, the usual response is "it's more intuitive", but I don't think it is really the add vs subtract issue.  I mean, yeah, adding is ever so slightly easier to process than subtraction (more intelligent people well versed in psychology can explain why), but you are very right to point out that calculating THAC0 isn't really more complicated or difficult than d20 + ability mod + feat bonus + situational bonus - situational penalty.

But let's be fair here. The plethora of situational modifiers is not intrinsic to the current method of determining To-Hit values.  It's a consequence of related design choices and a lack of oversight on how many of these modifiers can quickly become...fiddly.  I can just as easily imagine all of these bonuses and penalties popping up in a system that used THAC0, or some spiritual successor.

I think the "real" reason the 3.X/4E method is more "intuitive" is that it plays into the human psychological perspective of "bigger = better".  It just doesn't "feel" right, to an outsider (and every new player is by definition an "outsider") for an Armor Class of -X to be better than +X.  The dragon's AC of -2 feels very awkward.

There are plenty of arguments for negative values, mostly around mathmatical models (and the limitations of a scale that starts at 0 when dealing with a d20 as the sole source of variability, but someone more versed in math would have to back me up on this), but I don't think anyone can credibly argue that steadily decreasing Armor Class values is an elegant expression of becoming harder to hit. 
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.

I think the "real" reason the 3.X/4E method is more "intuitive" is that it plays into the human psychological perspective of "bigger = better".  It just doesn't "feel" right, to an outsider (and every new player is by definition an "outsider") for an Armor Class of -X to be better than +X.  The dragon's AC of -2 feels very awkward. 



I can get behind this train of thought. It makes oodles more sense than rants about the poor state of America's educational system.
How much of the old AD&D spirit do you feel is lost by the addition of character options?  Just looking at feats and skills, how much do you feel like they shift the gameplay away from story-focus and into character-focus?



I can only tell you what happened in my gaming groups.

Most of my players went from coming over to my place to discuss the long term goals of their characters (stuff like getting married, buying a house, raising a baby dragon) to reading the splatbooks in my living room looking for the most obscene possible combinations of feats, prestige classes, spells and gear.

As a player, I was starting a new character every 4-8 weeks; my characters lost their interest once I validated the concept. When given the option, I love tinkering with character options and I love trying them...

I can only tell you what happened in my gaming groups.

Most of my players went from coming over to my place to discuss the long term goals of their characters (stuff like getting married, buying a house, raising a baby dragon) to reading the splatbooks in my living room looking for the most obscene possible combinations of feats, prestige classes, spells and gear.

It also forced the DM to try to make challenges that would actually challenge people using those insane combinations, and is most of why I've argued tha CharOp needs to be shut down and CharOp-related discussion needs to be flat-out banned.
I cannot remember a time when I didn't play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.  I was so excited when 2e came out I nearly had an accident. I think there's too much hate on 2e and not enough on 3/3.5e.  3e change way too much way too quickly!!! Good gravy the name changed I mean, what  was that about!  If there is basic and there is advanced why was advanced taken out of it's title that was confusing even for a long time vet.  I have a lot friends who say [explitive] any new edition I dont play unless it says advanced!!


For what it's worth, part of the problem was splitting the audience. They were publishing two incompatible lines of books, essentially competing with themselves. 

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

Also check out my books at 5mwd.com/publishingIncluding Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuildinga compilation of my blog series on Worldbuilding.

 

I started in 1982 with the red box set.  I played.  I eventually started DMing with AD&D 1e.  It actually made more sense to me and I loved it.  

Since then I've awaited each new edition with great expectations.  The only edition I quit outright was 4e.  It was not the game I wanted anymore.  Now that I've thought about my preferences more analytically, I've found that I probably fall somewhere between 1e and 3e.  (And thats not 2e by the way ).

Things I want in a game...
1.  Opened ended simulationist spells.  I don't want rules first.  I want flavor interpreted by the DM using the rules as guidelines.
2.  I do want a good solid skill system.  The number of skills would likely be longer than any D&D has yet provided.  I would like more skill points too and no cross class stuff.
3.  I like feats as powers/manuevers.  I didn't like the static stuff that 3e had.  So martial stuff would be represented by feats and magic by spells.  Classes would pick from one or both pools depending on design.
4.  I want most of the other stuff simplified and streamlined.  I'd like rules for TOTM and GRID.  

I think 3e and especially 4e became too codified.  

So when I harken back to the earlier age it is not nostalgia.  It is the desire for a simpler game with greater DM/player trust. 
It is funny.  I played basic d&d as a kid, 1e and 2e (as a teen and young adult), 3/3.5 (as an adult) and 4e (as a 40+ adult), and now I'm playtesting this iteration.    I tried to get my son to play D&D, and he tried it with 4e (since that was the most recent version to get him into at 11/12 years old).   He liked it, but didn't love it.

But, he and his friends love to play Warhammer 40K roleplaying games (like Deathwatch) and they rarely use the dice.  They can sit at a table, or on couches, and the GM spins a wild story.  The players interact with him, and he arbitrarily decides what happens...they can do it for hours.  Every once in a while, they roll a die, but most of it is just narrative.  They get their arms blown off.  They shoot plasma weapons at giant bug creatures from space, causing them to explode, green ichor splattering their powered armor.   They keep track of their characters with character sheets, but essentially they are story telling for fun. 

Maybe the "improv," free form, story driven - narrative foregrounded roleplaying experience is something that attracts the younger mind, the creative mind, the artistic mind.     Maybe the rules driven, dice rolling, tightly controlled rpg experience is something that attracts the logical thinkers, the system analysts, the squential thinkers, the pragmatic thinkers.   Some people favor one over the other, and some people want to experience both simultaneously.   This is where I hope D&DNext fits in.  I think WoTC is really on to the fact that different types of thinkers, different types of gamers derive satisfaction from different styles/mechanisms in the game, which is why D&DNext is an inevitable outgrowth of all that has come before it.

 

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

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

 

 


I can only tell you what happened in my gaming groups.

Most of my players went from coming over to my place to discuss the long term goals of their characters (stuff like getting married, buying a house, raising a baby dragon) to reading the splatbooks in my living room looking for the most obscene possible combinations of feats, prestige classes, spells and gear.

It also forced the DM to try to make challenges that would actually challenge people using those insane combinations, and is most of why I've argued tha CharOp needs to be shut down and CharOp-related discussion needs to be flat-out banned.



Yes, God forbid people have fun in a way outside of the designated fun zones

If his players took to optimizing that readily, then clearly they enjoyed it more. It's not a bad thing that they got to do it, nor is it a good thing if they were forced to play a way that they enjoyed less but he enjoyed more. 
 
Yes, God forbid people have fun in a way outside of the designated fun zones

If his players took to optimizing that readily, then clearly they enjoyed it more. It's not a bad thing that they got to do it, nor is it a good thing if they were forced to play a way that they enjoyed less but he enjoyed more. 



I am happy that a reasonable amount of optimization can be enjoyed without the game being turned to mush. I hope the same will be true for 5e.
  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."

 

2.  I do want a good solid skill system.  The number of skills would likely be longer than any D&D has yet provided.  I would like more skill points too and no cross class stuff.

[snip]

So when I harken back to the earlier age it is not nostalgia.  It is the desire for a simpler game with greater DM/player trust. 



Adding skills to the game is not simplifying the game.  Its making it too complicated.  Stick to the attributes.  They're the core of D&D, and should be kept as the most basic form of the game.  Build from there with modules that add more stuff.  A giant skill list should not be part of the basic game.  It should be part of an add-on.
We need a one spell magic user... hey he can blast it with his wizard fire...  so the core can be truly simple. (wasnt that 0e?)

And with that why should weapons have different damage ranges they are all deadly (d6 that was definitely in 0e). 
  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."

 

We need a one spell magic user... hey he can blast it with his wizard fire...  so the core can be truly simple. (wasnt that 0e?)

And with that why should weapons have different damage ranges they are all deadly (d6 that was definitely in 0e). 

So what's your point?
We need a one spell magic user... hey he can blast it with his wizard fire...  so the core can be truly simple. (wasnt that 0e?)

And with that why should weapons have different damage ranges they are all deadly (d6 that was definitely in 0e). 

So what's your point?



Simple isnt the real target.
  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."