What issues are contentious

What issues are contentious? I'm thinking WotC needs to ask question in their survey when they notice a thread gets above 5,000 responses in less than a week. For instance the "5 Minute Work Day" thread which is the only thread to go into 'maintenance' that I've seen, ever...

What do you think, should WotC put stuff like that into their polls?Smile
"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.
Class balance
interesting race concepts (kreen, Deva)
Interesting racial mechanics (bloodhunt, dragon breath)
race balance
the problem with this idea is that it wouldn't accomplish anything. if they actively used every contentious forum thread to design the game, that game would be terrible. i think there's a few adages about committees and camels and chefs and soup.

the people working on 5e are professional game designers, they don't need our bickering to distract them from their jobs. besides, they have people who read the forums and make reports about what the community is talking about.
Paladins.
Want to start a big ol' internet fight, then mention Paladins.
But what is the root cause of Paladin threads going south?

Alignment. 

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

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

 

57019168 wrote:
I am a hero, not a chump.
I think there should only be 1 issue:

What's core instead of being in a module.

There's really no reason why most anything can't be a module, so the only points of argument should be what's in core. Some of us want a stripped, minimal core in order to not play favorties with playstyles. Others argue that some kind of default is essential, but much can be changed by way of the modules. This should really be what most of the discussions center around.



And some are so adamant that not only should their preffered playstyle be the default in the initial rulebooks that if ANYTHING outside of their preferred playstyle is included in those rulebooks EVEN as a module that they refuse to buy it.  This is an attitude that I find frankly selfish in the extreme unless the rulebooks are designed to be VERY small, VERY cheap and modular themselves (ie what would previously have been 1 phb would now be split into several books)

There most likely will be a default setup (along the lines of 3e Forgotten Realms would be my guess and thats fine- the main question is how easy will that default be to modify into something folks are comfortable with at their home table.
 
But what is the root cause of Paladin threads going south?

Alignment. 

Actually, not always.
Most of them devolve into mandatory behavior vs. just the abilities, with alignment being only one vector for the former.

Some people just can't understand that "who you are" and "what you do" are not obligated to be inerweaved.
Casting types for casting classes.
What should/shouldn't be considered "core".

These are the two I keep seeing over and over again.
To me most of the big arguments boil down to a debate between those who want a fleshed out, balanced game and those who want a loose scaffolding for RP. The latter camp think that too many mechanics restrict RP. The former camp sees this as a fallacy. To them, strong mechanics don't have to her in the way of RP.
To me most of the big arguments boil down to a debate between those who want a fleshed out, balanced game and those who want a loose scaffolding for RP. The latter camp think that too many mechanics restrict RP. The former camp sees this as a fallacy. To them, strong mechanics don't have to her in the way of RP.

I'm not so sure.  As a fan of RP, I want strong mechanics and less DM Fiat.  Strong mechanics let the game get past the rules and into RP.  DM Fiat prevents the players from knowing what game they are getting into when the game starts.

Alignment
Class Balance
Race Options
Non-magical Healing
HP Definition
"Bounded Accuracy" and the things which break it.

That's my list of "most contested" for Next.

Personally I'd like to see both sides made happy for each, optional mechanical systems for alignment, optional trash and gold classes, many races (ban 'em if you don't want 'em) optional "off switch" to deactivate non-magical healing (assuming banning the Warlord didn't do it for you), optional "physical only" rules for HP with wounds, death spiral etc, and TRUE bounded accuracy supported (by making everything which breaks it optional).

That's my dream for Next.          
Alignment
Class Balance
Race Options
Non-magical Healing
HP Definition
"Bounded Accuracy" and the things which break it.

That's my list of "most contested" for Next.

Personally I'd like to see both sides made happy for each, optional mechanical systems for alignment, optional trash and gold classes, many races (ban 'em if you don't want 'em) optional "off switch" to deactivate non-magical healing (assuming banning the Warlord didn't do it for you), optional "physical only" rules for HP with wounds, death spiral etc, and TRUE bounded accuracy supported (by making everything which breaks it optional).

That's my dream for Next.          



On this point I agree with the Admiral.  I likely want the stuff he doesn't want but I agree we want options for both sides.

Thanks Emerikol.

Now you've gone and broken the foundations of the world.

Tongue Out

Seriously though, options and modules are the key here... none of these issues needs to be a game breaker.

People just need to let out a breath and let other people have options and modules too, we don't all have to use everything.       
.  Strong mechanics let the game get past the rules and into RP.  



I would argue the exact oppossite.   Not to say you can't have strong mechanics, but the concept of "rules of role-playing" is flawed at its core because their will never be a consensus as to what is balanced.  I don't think I have ever played a game in which the GM ultimatly didn't make changes to it.  For example it became very common for GM's in 4th edition to lower hitpoints of monsters and fluff dice towards the end of combats to speed up the game, in particular when a combat encounter was already decided in the first few rounds and the only thing left was an hour long "clean up" which boiled down to nothing but rolling dice.  You can't fault a GM for making that call.


If there is one golden rule of role-playing its that rules are ment to be broken and in fact I have never read a role-playing book that somewhere in the front didn't advise you to ignore rules if they get in the way of role-playing and the story your trying to tell.

   


 

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"

I will second Admiral and Em. Third?
I will second Admiral and Em. Third?



I would consider it but I'm sure thats one of the signs of the apocalypse.

Can I just agree with you and the admiral?
:P 
I did say it first.

So you should be safe just agreeing with me here stoloc.

Wink

But, seriously, modules.

They are the way, the truth and the life for D&D Next.     
While on this forum it is certainly the listed topics that are most contentious, this forum is just a tiny subset of the D&D community. For example, one thing that isn't very contentious here but is contentious elsewhere is modularity itself, which on other forums is often argued as a terrible idea. The approach to designing the game is also contentious; some argue that the new edition should draw more on a previous one, some argue that it should draw less, some argue that any resemblence to any previous editions is a bad idea, others argue that they should pic an edition and refine it rather than starting from scratch, some argue for top-down design, some argue for bottom-up, etc etc.

It is actually very hard to find which topics are most contentious, because you would need to gather data from many places, not just these forums.
 It was because of the forums 4th ed ended up the way it did. Warlocks and Book of 9 Swords were popular on the forums = lets design 4th ed like them. Book of 9 swords was probably popular because it was optional. I don't think most of the older D&D players care about giving non spellcasters options it was the way 4th ed implemented them that was the problem.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 It was because of the forums 4th ed ended up the way it did. Warlocks and Book of 9 Swords were popular on the forums = lets design 4th ed like them. Book of 9 swords was probably popular because it was optional. I don't think most of the older D&D players care about giving non spellcasters options it was the way 4th ed implemented them that was the problem.



I don't know about most but there is a vocal group who are opposed to giving noncasters cool stuff because they feel it makes casters feel less "magical"
Paladins.
Want to start a big ol' internet fight, then mention Paladins.




What is wrong with the War Cleric?

Teeheehee

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

 It was because of the forums 4th ed ended up the way it did. Warlocks and Book of 9 Swords were popular on the forums = lets design 4th ed like them. Book of 9 swords was probably popular because it was optional. I don't think most of the older D&D players care about giving non spellcasters options it was the way 4th ed implemented them that was the problem.



I don't know about most but there is a vocal group who are opposed to giving noncasters cool stuff because they feel it makes casters feel less "magical"



 I think they are only a small minority though. ALot of 3.5 and Pathfinder feats kinda of duplicate elements of 4th ed powers for example. It was the way 4th ed was executed I think rather than giving fihgters/rogues or whatever options that was the true source of the sundering (edition wars).

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

It was the way 4th ed was executed I think rather than giving fihgters/rogues or whatever options that was the true source of the sundering (edition wars).

I always thought the real source of the sundering was the ungodly pain in the ass of converting characters from 3.5 to 4E, especially when some fruity multiclass shenanigans were involved..

.  Strong mechanics let the game get past the rules and into RP.  



I would argue the exact oppossite.   Not to say you can't have strong mechanics, but the concept of "rules of role-playing" is flawed at its core because their will never be a consensus as to what is balanced.  I don't think I have ever played a game in which the GM ultimatly didn't make changes to it.  For example it became very common for GM's in 4th edition to lower hitpoints of monsters and fluff dice towards the end of combats to speed up the game, in particular when a combat encounter was already decided in the first few rounds and the only thing left was an hour long "clean up" which boiled down to nothing but rolling dice.  You can't fault a GM for making that call.


If there is one golden rule of role-playing its that rules are ment to be broken and in fact I have never read a role-playing book that somewhere in the front didn't advise you to ignore rules if they get in the way of role-playing and the story your trying to tell.

I'm not advocating the complete lack of DM Fiat, I am advocating minimalizing it.  Strong mechanics make the DM's job easier, lowering the overall number of needed house rules and on the spot rulings.

I don't know how common your example is, either.  I would argue that all D&D games have a point where you are just dice rolling and playing "clean up".  If that is an issue at the table, I'd say you were playing the wrong game.  Which is different from playing the game wrong, something people should avoid saying to other people.  I'd recommend a system that eliminates HP entirely if an hour of rolling dice isn't a group's cup of tea.

It was the way 4th ed was executed I think rather than giving fihgters/rogues or whatever options that was the true source of the sundering (edition wars).

I always thought the real source of the sundering was the ungodly pain in the ass of converting characters from 3.5 to 4E, especially when some fruity multiclass shenanigans were involved..




 Theres multiple reasons I suppose YMMV.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

.  Strong mechanics let the game get past the rules and into RP.  

I would argue the exact oppossite.

Suffice it to say: contentious.  It should be enough, here, to note that there is disagreement - which is something both sides can agree upon.'

Edit: I can't believe that nobody has mentioned dis/advantage yet.  That one is still highly controversial.

The metagame is not the game.
 It was because of the forums 4th ed ended up the way it did. Warlocks and Book of 9 Swords were popular on the forums = lets design 4th ed like them. Book of 9 swords was probably popular because it was optional. I don't think most of the older D&D players care about giving non spellcasters options it was the way 4th ed implemented them that was the problem.



I don't know if I am an older player or not, since I started early 3.0, but I have always felt every class should have cool options, and I absolutely had a giant problem with how 4e did class options for everyone in general. The homogenized progression and resource management, as I have said in the past, literally made me feel very hurt and betrayed. I suppose I should look on the bright side though, because as a result I have at least had some in-game contact with most of the existing3/3.5 material. End Tangent.
 It was because of the forums 4th ed ended up the way it did. Warlocks and Book of 9 Swords were popular on the forums = lets design 4th ed like them. Book of 9 swords was probably popular because it was optional. I don't think most of the older D&D players care about giving non spellcasters options it was the way 4th ed implemented them that was the problem.



I don't know about most but there is a vocal group who are opposed to giving noncasters cool stuff because they feel it makes casters feel less "magical"



Want to know what those people can do?

(Semi-explicit content, do not follow link if you are an anal-retentive prude who can't take a hilarious, ironic, and well-crafted joke.)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1XLY2e3BZ8

Why is that my response to that vocal group? Because Roland cut a mountain in half with his sword, Durandal.
 
I'm not advocating the complete lack of DM Fiat, I am advocating minimalizing it.  Strong mechanics make the DM's job easier, lowering the overall number of needed house rules and on the spot rulings.

I don't know how common your example is, either.  I would argue that all D&D games have a point where you are just dice rolling and playing "clean up".  If that is an issue at the table, I'd say you were playing the wrong game.  Which is different from playing the game wrong, something people should avoid saying to other people.  I'd recommend a system that eliminates HP entirely if an hour of rolling dice isn't a group's cup of tea.




Well that was just one example of many changes players made to 4th edition.  The point isn't to pick out a specific mechanic that players change, the point is to make the point that DM's ALWAYS change mechanics.  Its a rare DM indeed that takes a RPG mechanic at face value and doesn't make changes, often not even because there is something wrong but simply because people like to change mechanics for changes sake!  More often than not however changes are made to help bring to life a specific type of setting or campaign style.  As such the most important element of a good mechanic is that it can in fact be changed and elements of it can be removed without too much trouble.  This is ultimatly why 4th edition is widely regarded as the least popular edition of D&D ever made, as it is also one of the most inflexible ones.  Many mechanics like Healing Surges or the need for miniatures where simply impossible to "remove" from the game without severly heavy modification to the whole core system of the game.

I think it bares saying that if the rules are too defined and to stringent, the game becomes less about role-playing and more about executing the mechanic.  Which is why any system of a mechanic beyond the absolute core should be optional and up to the GM/player preferences.  This is why in my ways systems like GURPS are superior to D&D, because the absolute core of the mechanic can be written on the back of a napkin and you don't need any more of it than that to play a role-playing game, but in the same token it has effectively a detailed rule for every conceivable thing you could ever do with an RPG as optional rules and entire suppliments are dedicated to different play styles.  Picking and choosing what people like in their game or not even just that, but in any specific setting or campaign is what makes role-playing interesting.  Its a rare GM that has a "house rule" that applies to every game they ever run, most of the time its very specific to a setting or campaign as they try to get a certain style or theme going for a game world.

This is harder to do with a class system and in a sense D&D has never endevoured to be completetly customizable, but there are elements of modularity that must exist like for example the option to play with or without miniatures.


Another words, you can make the rules as strong and as defining as you want and the players who like that sort of game should get the desired support from the system, but those players who don't want things laid out in that fashion shouldn't be told "your playing the wrong game".... because we tried that with 4th edition and it failed miserably.  If D&D NEXT really endevours to re-capture the heaps of audiance they lost to more flexible systems like Pathfinder, it will need to adapt and itself be as if not more flexible.  Else there will be even fewer people playing 5th edition because each time a new edition comes out, there are going to be hold outs from the previous edition and so the domino effect and edition wars will continue and 4th edition will simply be a new front.

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"