Why so much focus on combat?

I was under the impression that Mearls & Co. were set on returning to D&D's roots as a game best-played in equal thirds -- exploration, roleplay, and melee. 
 
Mearls' latest L&L column re: expertise die really hits home the fact the designers at the very least seem to be spending the vast majority of their time worrying about only one-third of the game, e.g. creating a new, slick melee mechanic. As impressed as I was with the multiplicity of functions expertise die serves in-game, I gotta wonder if this hasn't been achieved at the expense of the other two-thirds of the game.

Am I off base here? Thoughts?
Combat requires the most rules; you can explore without touching a die, and mechanics just get in the way of roleplaying.  It gets more attention because it needs to be the most balanced part of the game, and is the most intricate.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
What Salla said. Combat is the thing that needs the most rules and the deepest rules in order to work and be fun. Other than including a couple of social skills to help out with role-playing disputes every once in a while, rules don't get in the way of role-playing, and exploration is similarly a rules-lite endeavor.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
It's true. If exploration had as many rules it would be counterintuitive to it's purpose
My two copper.
Unless, of course, you were exploring rules.
The rules are there to quantify what can (or needs to) be distilled down to numbers. Combat, being kind of intricate, needs weapon damages, AC values, movement rates, and spell effects as descriptions and as numeric terms. And that's where people want "interesting" things to do; hence maneuvers. Feedback said fighters were boring, so they added XD.

RP and exploration don't need as many rules. The ability checks quantify any interactions that could have variable results. (Player: "Ssaranath draws his two-handed sword and towers over the prevaricating gnome, saying, "Is ready?" while looking at the belt he had commissioned." DM: "Roll Charisma, and if you have a skill that will help with the intimidation, add that." Player: "Rolled a 19, plus a total bonus of 6. 25." DM: "The gnome is nodding frantically, stunned into speechlessness by the huge dragonborn looming over him.") Those rules are in there, too, but it's much less complicated than all the possibilities of combat.

So, with combat needing more rules, it'll take up more of the design time.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Yeah. Exploration and Social interaction varies so much from group to group too. Anything from complex skill checks, shill challenges, hexcrawling, Social combat, or dice less RP.

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

I suppose it could be summed up by saying 'combat is the only part of the game that actually requires math'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Well the OP does have a point per say... but Exploration & Interaction likely won't come up much in the playtest. Allot of it rests on the DM's adventures.


What I think Mike refered to in terms of the three pillars is:

A. Class Features and Feats won't solely be based on combat. I think this will be more apparant once more work on the rogue/ranger/bard and spells in general are done.

B. Books for campain settings will (hopefully) include more content then it has in 4Es past (and I think the two latest FR books Mezoberanzan and Elminster's Forgotten Realms, is a good indication, being all fluff, that they are already taking this seriously).
Well the OP does have a point per say... but Exploration & Interaction likely won't come up much in the playtest. Allot of it rests on the DM's adventures.


What I think Mike refered to in terms of the three pillars is:

A. Class Features and Feats won't solely be based on combat. I think this will be more apparant once more work on the rogue/ranger/bard and spells in general are done.

B. Books for campain settings will (hopefully) include more content then it has in 4Es past (and I think the two latest FR books Mezoberanzan and Elminster's Forgotten Realms, is a good indication, being all fluff, that they are already taking this seriously).



If piracy is a good indicator for interest of popularity of a product...the fact that people weren't interested enough menzoberranzan book to even bother to pirate it is not a good indicator of that being the best option.
As impressed as I was with the multiplicity of functions expertise die serves in-game, I gotta wonder if this hasn't been achieved at the expense of the other two-thirds of the game.



We arent playing Quakers & Quadricorns, so I am OK with so much emphasis being put on combat.

btw - I am a Quaker, and as much fun as Q&Q sounds, I think D&D would be a much bigger commercial success
I suppose it could be summed up by saying 'combat is the only part of the game that actually requires math'.

It might be argued that if math were provided for other areas, those other areas might see more use.

also this is a playtest.

and as combat has the most math and ballance issues so it woulden't be strange to focus on those issues.
so there could be more exploration and interaction rules/moduals in the finished product.

but if they are convinced of these things they might not even playtesting them, they should leave some things to make you buy the finished product. 
Frankly if I and my group want to play an RPG focused mostly on fantasy combat, we play D&D. If we want to play something more evenly mixed, we play something else, usually World of Darkness. This has been the case since 2nd edition for us. D&D has always been the most combat heavy RPG that my group plays.

It is true that this is just a playtest, and that combat mechanics take up the majority of these mechanics and thus the initial books as well. But looking at say WoD, combat mechanics are generally less than 1/5th of the core book.

Others may disagree, but for me and my players D&D has always been predominantly about the combat. We RP, and we certainly enjoy exploring, but those two are always secondary.
adding al the stuff together from the playtest that is PHB material we are around 110 pages, and in older editions player handbooks where around 300 pahes so still plenty of room.
They have 2 .pdf's for exploration.

They are called adventures. 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I assumed these would be the types of responses I'd get and I can't say that I disagree all that much. If these boards are any indication of the pulse of the gaming community, I'd assume my concerns place me in the minority. 

I'd say this, though. When I read the magic item pdf, I was immediately encouraged with the flavor of where WotC is taking DDNext. Same thing when I read Schindehette's comments about dragon's. I'd like to see a lot more of those details.   
Actually, from my group's playtest experiences so far, we feel that this iteration is allowing us to explore and interact/roleplay more because combats can be resolved in less time.   Our typical 2 1/2 hour session can now include 2 or 3 interaction segments, exploration and 3-4 combat encounters.   It seems easy to balance the pillars.  

Like an episode of Star Trek (or any structured story) approx 17 min first conflict....17 min 2nd escalating conflict and climax....17 min falling action and resolution, I can now spend about equal amounts of time in game sessions with interaction, exploration and combat.   It is also very easy to flow from one pillar to another.   Sometimes what begins as a combat encounter ends with interaction.   Sometimes what begins with exploration becomes combat or interaction.  Sometimes what begins as interaction turns into combat.   I like the smooth flow that I'm experiencing.

And I agree with what everyone else has written about needing rules for combat so that's where a lot of the playtest attention is.   


   


  

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

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

 

 

I was under the impression that Mearls & Co. were set on returning to D&D's roots as a game ....


If that first parameter is true... then focusing on combat is utterly the correct route.
  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."

 

I was under the impression that Mearls & Co. were set on returning to D&D's roots as a game ....


If that first parameter is true... then focusing on combat is utterly the correct route.



Correct.
Tabletop wargames -> Chainmail -> Dungeons & Dragons
It was born out of Chainmail, a tabletop wargame. OD&D is such a small step away from pure combat. BECMI and AD&D strated really fleshing out options aside from combat. If D&D truly "returned to its roots", we'd have a tabletop wargame again and little else.
I was under the impression that Mearls & Co. were set on returning to D&D's roots as a game ....


If that first parameter is true... then focusing on combat is utterly the correct route.



Correct.
Tabletop wargames -> Chainmail -> Dungeons & Dragons
It was born out of Chainmail, a tabletop wargame. OD&D is such a small step away from pure combat. BECMI and AD&D strated really fleshing out options aside from combat. If D&D truly "returned to its roots", we'd have a tabletop wargame again and little else.


100% true. I actually had a lot of trouble running 1e because I had no history in TT War Games. So I handed it over to a friend of mine, a veteran warhammer fantasy and 40k player, and it came very easily to him.
My two copper.
I was under the impression that Mearls & Co. were set on returning to D&D's roots as a game best-played in equal thirds -- exploration, roleplay, and melee.

D&D's roots were wargames.  D&D grew out of a wargame called "Chainmail."  Original D&D said "wargame" right on the cover.  Combat emphasis /is/ returning to the game's roots.

Mearls' latest L&L column re: expertise die really hits home the fact the designers at the very least seem to be spending the vast majority of their time worrying about only one-third of the game, e.g. creating a new, slick melee mechanic. As impressed as I was with the multiplicity of functions expertise die serves in-game, I gotta wonder if this hasn't been achieved at the expense of the other two-thirds of the game.

Am I off base here? Thoughts?

Most RPGs put a lot of mechanics into combat.  There are some good reasons.  Combat is immediately life-and-death.  Negotiations may be "life & death" but a wrong move at the negotiating table probably won't leave you disemboweled a fraction of a second later.   You can't (in fairness and for safety's sake) fall back on the abilities of the players to resolve combat.  You can just talk through a social interaction or give the players a puzzle to solve when they're trying to open an ancient tomb - you can't (shouldn't) give them museum-replica swords and have them fight it out.  And, combat can very often be resorted to when other means fail.  If you social interaction tests fail, you can just fight it out.  If you can't find the secret entrance into the fortress, you can storm it.  

So RPGs need good rules for combat more urgently than good rule for exploration, and can often let social interaction rules slide entirely and call it 'roleplaying.'

 

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

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

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

 

 

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Combat requires the most rules; you can explore without touching a die, and mechanics just get in the way of roleplaying.  It gets more attention because it needs to be the most balanced part of the game, and is the most intricate.

This.
What Salla said. Combat is the thing that needs the most rules and the deepest rules in order to work and be fun. Other than including a couple of social skills to help out with role-playing disputes every once in a while, rules don't get in the way of role-playing, and exploration is similarly a rules-lite endeavor.

And this.
It's true. If exploration had as many rules it would be counterintuitive to it's purpose

And this.

This mistake people have made in the past, currently make in the present, and (if past behavior is indicative of future trends) will continue to make in the future, is to assume that the number of pages/rules for each of the three pillars determines how much time you spend on each pillar while you play the game.

You make the game what you want it to be.  I've always found it silly when people say "[Insert Name of RPG Here] is all about combat."  I've always wondered how the designers managed that.  Do they send teams to your house if you try to roleplay things other than combat?  When you have your character attempt to to avoid a fight does your character sheet spontaneously combust?

All that happens as a result of comprehensive and balanced combat rules is that you can have satisfying and balanced combat.  You don't (well, you shouldn't) need comprehensive exploration rules.  What would they say, anyway?  Similarly, you don't need comprehensive interaction rules.  Again, what would they say?
I suppose it could be summed up by saying 'combat is the only part of the game that actually requires math'.

It might be argued that if math were provided for other areas, those other areas might see more use.




Apparently you missed something.

There was this thing called Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition. It had tons of cool math and rules for non combat.

People bitched about there being rules for non combat AND for it being too focused on combat.

And now we have a thread wanting exactly what the 4E bashers trash it for.

Life is amazing sometimes.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

I suppose it could be summed up by saying 'combat is the only part of the game that actually requires math'.

It might be argued that if math were provided for other areas, those other areas might see more use.




Apparently you missed something.

There was this thing called Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition. It had tons of cool math and rules for non combat.

People bitched about there being rules for non combat AND for it being too focused on combat.

And now we have a thread wanting exactly what the 4E bashers trash it for.

Life is amazing sometimes.

Things like this would be more amazing if they were less predictable.



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

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

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

 

 

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I would argue that they have paid a lot MORE attention than in the past. It
s surprising to me. Especially since it's a playtest.
I mean, backgrounds are a huge success on the RP front and getting players to think about "their dude" 
A few guidelines for using the internet: 1. Mentally add "In my opinion" to the end of basically anything someone else says. Of course it's their opinion, they don't need to let you know. You're pretty smart. 2. Assume everyone means everything in the best manner they could mean it. Save yourself some stress and give people the benefit of the doubt. We'll all be happier if we type less emoticons. 3. Don't try to read people's minds. Sometimes people mean exactly what they say. You probably don't know them any better than they know themselves. 4. Let grammar slide. If you understood what they meant, you're good. It's better for your health. 5. Breath. It's just a dumb game.
I like both styles of gaming: all all roleplaying/no combat, and combat/no roleplaying

Imagine you're doing the first, with a system that works horribly for social roleplaying. You play a game...and act it out. People who like acting, story, and non-combat will go through the whole game not rolling dice, and have a great time. For example: 4th edition. I've run 4E games with no combat. Its super-boring skill system doesn't hurt, because we're mostly ignoring the dice anyway.

Now imagine doing the second, with a system that has great social systems and terrible combat. You start going into combat...and it falls apart.

This is why you playtest combat more than anything. If you're doing a social game, who frickin' cares what the dice say? You'll have fun without ever touching them. But combat doesn't work that way.
I can't seem to write this response without comparing editions...which isn't anything that I want to get into. Thanks for everyone's input.
Combat is what requires rules.  Rules for combat are what takes combat beyond the five-year-old playground level: "Bang! I got you! No you didn't! Yes I did!"

The need for rules for everything else is dramatically lower.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Combat, I do agree, takes up the largest portion of rules for good reason.  I don't think that means that the Social and Exploration pillars should be rules light though.

For much the same reason as Mand's example of "Bang! I got you", Social interaction between PC's and NPC's needs rules that allow the DM to adjudicate fairly.  That way, when they decide to screw the party over, they know exactly what they're doing (feel guilty, dang you!).  Seriously though, if for no reason other than our characters are either so much more silver-tongued, or so much more socially in-ept, that there has to be good rules in place.  Even more so when PC with PC interaction, and contested rolls, are the case.

Exploration, even more so than the Social Pillar, in my opinion needs good guidlines at the least for DM's to have at hand.  It takes that unfleshed out Idea of what a landscape looks like, and fills in the blanks with speeds, weather and terrain information.  Details that take an adventure from just another game and make it exceptional.
I don't by the argument that combat takes the most rules. Look at other systems that don't focus on combat - they aren't always rules light (or rules empty), they have non combat feats, skills, and powers. I think d&d would do well to include non combat powers (utility powers) for every class. The reason combat has more rules, I believe is historic, and the game would be better if it had more focus on non combat. But, I've given up hope the developers will see that.
Apparently you missed something.
There was this thing called Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition. It had tons of cool math and rules for non combat.

I manage the D&D rules forum FAQ, so I did not miss that there was a 4e

People bitched about there being rules for non combat AND for it being too focused on combat

They typically complained about how skill challenges worked, rather than the existence of non-combat mechanics (i.e. skills challenges tended to be used as a substitute for roleplaying, rather than an enhancement). They're not actually diametrically opposed issues, but I see your point.

I was more referring to math for things like:
- running an empire
- raising an army
- swaying a crowd
- gaining political influence
- pitching woo
etc.

If math for these were included in supplements, players might become interested in them. i.e. any system that allows you to 'score points' (or advantages) by say: romantically pitching woo to an NPC lass will naturally cause some of the gamiest of gamers to be woo pitchin' fools. That's not a bad thing (and this sort of thing absolutely happened in say, the Pendragon RPG for example).

That said, I do not advocate for such options being in the core rules.

However, presenting more abilities, powers etc. in roleplaying terms (rather than purely combat stats) seems to be a laudable goal of 5e.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />I was more referring to math for things like:
- running an empire
- raising an army
- swaying a crowd
- gaining political influence
- pitching woo
etc.



Of those, only swaying a crowd and, perhaps, gaining political influence might require mechanical systems of some sort.  The rest, and especially the last, definitely strike me as pure plot-based or RP-based actions.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
definitely strike me as pure plot-based or RP-based actions.

They absolutely can be, but that probably won't encourage 'gamer' types. Pendragon for instance provided mechanics, XP rewards and a chance to increase a 'passion' trait (don't let the name fool you... it could be used to rage in combat). This appealed to optimizers, and still set the 'expectations' for the game for non-optimizers.

That is to say: the mere existence of a rule can alter the tone of the game.

Another example: the Menzoberranzan supplement established 'worth' values for Drow PC's. This often resulted in players trying to obtain 'Worth' via Drow-ish behavior (even though "Worth" wasn't necessarily very mechanically useful... it was just roleplaying fluff).
I can't seem to write this response without comparing editions...which isn't anything that I want to get into. Thanks for everyone's input.



Well, without going into previous editions, what specific, non-combat thing are missing?  

Are you looking for crafting?  An elaborate spell research system?  Details on how to create a religion and church?  

  
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
The majority of the classic PHB is filled with character creation, leveling, and combat rules.

The classic DMG has its combat section dwarfed by exploration, adventuring, crafting, campaign building, roleplaying, encounter, NPC, etc. rules.  Depending on what edition you want to recall, the DMG seems to have more of what the OP desires out of this next edition.  Adventure mods & campaign setting books themselves should also cover more of what the OP desires, and at most, will only cover stats and tactics combat-wise.

The PHB portion of the rules currently seems to be the focus of the playtest, as this is the foundation of the entire rules system.  I dunno if they're planning to stick with the classic three-book style: PHB, DMG, and MM (I don't see why they wouldn't).  But I imagine we won't see DMG related stuff until we're into things like Legacy rules and whatnot.
The majority of the classic PHB is filled with character creation, leveling, and combat rules.

The classic DMG has its combat section dwarfed by exploration, adventuring, crafting, campaign building, roleplaying, encounter, NPC, etc. rules.  Depending on what edition you want to recall, the DMG seems to have more of what the OP desires out of this next edition.  Adventure mods & campaign setting books themselves should also cover more of what the OP desires, and at most, will only cover stats and tactics combat-wise.

The PHB portion of the rules currently seems to be the focus of the playtest, as this is the foundation of the entire rules system.  I dunno if they're planning to stick with the classic three-book style: PHB, DMG, and MM (I don't see why they wouldn't).  But I imagine we won't see DMG related stuff until we're into things like Legacy rules and whatnot.

Random selections from the 4e DMG confirm that... 
  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."

 

you really dont need to playtest exploration and roleplaying. The mechanics are what needs to be delt with. Unless of course there is a specific issue you would like to share.
I think gone are the days where you'd have a book that would give you a bunch of % to roll.

No more of the following:



  • "There is a 90% chance that the innkeeper is a Man, and 80% chance he is married.  His wife works in the kitchen.  He has 1d6-1 children.  75% that the younges is working as an errand boy.  On any given night there is a 65% chance (+1% for every 10 people who live in the village) for someone to be in the tavern area of the inn." (This is from Dragon 29)

  • "A kayak has a 25% chance of capsizing in mild weather conditions, 40% chance during moderate, 60% during dangerous, and 80% in severe"

  • "A sage you consulted has a 31-50% chance to know an answer out of his field, 46%-60% to know if it's in a minor field, 61%-80% if it's in their major field, and 81-100% if it's in their special catagory. "


I know these weren't the only types of rules - but really, this is what we got in older editions.  And yeah, sometimes it was fun, but there isn't any reason we need to special rules for these things. 
 
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
I like both styles of gaming: all all roleplaying/no combat, and combat/no roleplaying.

I haven't seen the latter since the early days of 1E. People keep roleplaying during combat.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
What Salla said. Combat is the thing that needs the most rules and the deepest rules in order to work and be fun. Other than including a couple of social skills to help out with role-playing disputes every once in a while, rules don't get in the way of role-playing, and exploration is similarly a rules-lite endeavor.


It's funny, I remember people saying 4e's rules were all about combat too.  At the time, I told them that combat is the most rules-contentious portion of the game, and that's why it had the most rules.  I imagine that logical argument will get ignored with regard to Next as well.

Also, as Warrl said, I've never known people to stop roleplaying during combat.  Sure, the new players sometimes do it because they haven't gotten the rules down to an intuitive level yet, but I can't even count the number of times a player had their character spit, snarl, cuss, or scream in combat.

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

 

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

 

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

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.