Is there such a thing as an invalid playstyle?

I know all of us are trying to come to terms with the D&D Next all inclusive mantality and stated design goals however: In a game where numbers are effected by the choices of a dungeon master and manipulated by magic items and gear. I.E. the human is making decisions that profoundly effect how the numbers stack up- Can there exsist an invalid playstyle? Something that changes the overall feel and playability of the game? "I.E. Breaks it" In the past this has always been the case. Should the system be responsible to compensate for us being unwilling to come to a baseline understanding on how it should operate to remain playable over the long term? We all talk about what constitutes the Core of the game but what happens when the core doesn't suit our playstyle? What happens when no module exsists to fix someones poor decision making ability? Will we blame the game for being inflexable or will we thumb through the ( Currently non exsistant ) modules to overcome the lack of say, system mastery till we find something that fixes us?

Who will represent those who can't control their own games for example but still want to play? This seems rediculous but Iv'e dealt with players who just couldn't hack it and therefore had to be removed from our game. One particular fellow had 15 dead characters all push pinned to the wall over the course of a campaign because he was just plain well, lame and got them killed. He had a vastly different understanding on how to be a player and he became a pain because he couldn't come away from that premise. Is the game expected to take responsiblity for that?

What are your thoughts?
There are invalid playstyles, but they all revolve around ruining fun. One big one springs to my mind.

1) The completely uncooperative player - I'm not talking about someone who occasionally does his own thing, I'm talking about someone who refuses to do anything BUT his own thing. The rogue that constantly steals from the party, the fighter that always starts a fight with no notice, or the wizard who uses teleport and solves the session alone (at the other players behest). D&D is a cooperative game, at least since 2e on. Uncooperative players ruin the game for everyone but themselves.
My two copper.
I second Jenks.  For me the best sign of a bad playstyle is when someone defends his character's action with: 


"But that's how my character would act"

Heard that one before The "But I was just playing my character" pog! I would agree that this is one invalid playstyle. Anyone else agree? Anyone have another, or do you think this is the only one?
Can there exsist an invalid playstyle?



The only invalid playstyle is one that ruins the fun for the other players at the table.  If everybody at the table is having fun playing a game, they are by definition doing it right, because the purpose of playing a game is to have fun.
I agree.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Keep the feedback coming folks. I like the input.
The book ignorer.

If you never do anything in the books, you aren't playing the game.

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!

Fisticuffs at the table.
There's always THAT ONE GUY who takes it too far.  I'm still trying to banish the daemons running throughout my town because of said player!

In all seriousness, the only invalid style is intentionally being a jerkface that wrecks it for others. 

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
In abstract no. A particular playstyle might not work within a particular group, but find the right group and they are fine. I've had fun in evil backstabbing campaigns, political campaigns and a lot of other campaign styles that people will tell you are no fun or impossible. Some styles are harder then others, and require more experienced, flexible and mature players.

The only people who I see who have trouble with playstyles are the inflexible. The ones that refuse to every consider that their hero might not be able to win a fight, despite being told that it was a horror Ravenloft game with Cuthulu mythos additions. The ones that thought they where being flexible when they alternated between drow two weapon ranger/rogues and drow two weapon rogue/rangers. Even most of those players are fine as long as they are in a game that their style fits.

In practice, there some players who's style is so rigidly narrow that they can never find games they can play in. Mostly ones who's play styles are confrontational/criminal to the rest of the party. The rogue who habitually pickpockets NPCs just to see what he finds is annoying but the party and DM can live with him if that is his only problem. If he is constantly doing the same to other PCs, there is going to be problems and that character will find it hard to survive even in evil campaigns.

There are invalid playstyles, but they all revolve around ruining fun. One big one springs to my mind.

1) The completely uncooperative player - I'm not talking about someone who occasionally does his own thing, I'm talking about someone who refuses to do anything BUT his own thing. The rogue that constantly steals from the party, the fighter that always starts a fight with no notice, or the wizard who uses teleport and solves the session alone (at the other players behest). D&D is a cooperative game, at least since 2e on. Uncooperative players ruin the game for everyone but themselves.



In my last game session, I had a player have their Rogue hold an important NPC hostage and steal his stuff. A bunch of elves were shadowing the group to make sure they didn't cause trouble while they were in the area. It caused a nice dynamic change to the story, and was a good role playing opportunity for the rest of the group as they had to decide how to handle the elves and whether to side with the Rogue or not. Its going to create a good dynamic later on when they have to decide whether to side with the elves or another group. So even this play style is valid...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.
There are invalid playstyles, but they all revolve around ruining fun. One big one springs to my mind.

1) The completely uncooperative player - I'm not talking about someone who occasionally does his own thing, I'm talking about someone who refuses to do anything BUT his own thing. The rogue that constantly steals from the party, the fighter that always starts a fight with no notice, or the wizard who uses teleport and solves the session alone (at the other players behest). D&D is a cooperative game, at least since 2e on. Uncooperative players ruin the game for everyone but themselves.



In my last game session, I had a player have their Rogue hold an important NPC hostage and steal his stuff. A bunch of elves were shadowing the group to make sure they didn't cause trouble while they were in the area. It caused a nice dynamic change to the story, and was a good role playing opportunity for the rest of the group as they had to decide how to handle the elves and whether to side with the Rogue or not. Its going to create a good dynamic later on when they have to decide whether to side with the elves or another group. So even this play style is valid...


While seemingly disruptive, my question to you is, did this ruin/destroy/wreck the fun/enjoyment of the other players?
If it didn't, then, we may have found a common ground that we can all agree on.
Overall, I agree that disruptive players who cut the breaklines and trainwreck the game are the only playstyle that would be invalid. I've played with players that have been disruptive but it was amusing or entertaining. 
Player Killing
Player Killing



 PCs fighting it out in game?

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I'm going to say some things that a lot of people aren't going to like - because we are taught to get along, play well, and be as inclusive as possible (a good thing in many situations).

Any particular RPG is going to support a certain fictional genre better than other genres.

Game A might support heroic high fantasy better. Game B might support sci-fi espionage better. Game C might support monty-python lighthearted antics better.

When I want to remove a bolt and nut, I grab a box-end wrench and a ratchet. Can I remove that bolt and nut with a pair of pliers? More or less. Can I do it with a hammer and a chisel? Yeah, probably. But when you want to do something you get the right tool for the right job.

The same applies to RPGs. When I want to play Heroic High-Fantasy, my go-to game is Dungeons and Dragons. When I want to play dark and brooding intrigue-heavy modern games, I use a different system.

An invalid playstyle is one that does not work well with the the rules of a certain role-playing game.

This makes three core assumptions.
The RPG in question is specifically designed for a certain kind of game and
the RPG group in question is playing that certain kind of game and
an "invalid playstyle" is one that does not fit well with that kind of game.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Player Killing



 PCs fighting it out in game?



I'm not talking about a duel. 

I mean he straight out killed your character. For what reason? I guess extra loot. 

I'm going to say some things that a lot of people aren't going to like - because we are taught to get along, play well, and be as inclusive as possible (a good thing in many situations).

Any particular RPG is going to support a certain fictional genre better than other genres.

Game A might support heroic high fantasy better. Game B might support sci-fi espionage better. Game C might support monty-python lighthearted antics better.

When I want to remove a bolt and nut, I grab a box-end wrench and a ratchet. Can I remove that bolt and nut with a pair of pliers? More or less. Can I do it with a hammer and a chisel? Yeah, probably. But when you want to do something you get the right tool for the right job.

The same applies to RPGs. When I want to play Heroic High-Fantasy, my go-to game is Dungeons and Dragons. When I want to play dark and brooding intrigue-heavy modern games, I use a different system.

An invalid playstyle is one that does not work well with the the rules of a certain role-playing game.

This makes three core assumptions.
The RPG in question is specifically designed for a certain kind of game and
the RPG group in question is playing that certain kind of game and
an "invalid playstyle" is one that does not fit well with that kind of game.


Very good. Truth is seldom politically correct. This is the best example of why the player in my game referenced in the Op. got 15 characters killed. He did not understand how to reconcile himself with the fact that the game, AD&D 2nd edition was not designed with his behavior in mind, in fact it punished it. So he just would not adjust his playstyle and kept losing his character at least one per month and sometimes more than one per session. This was not an inherent problem with the system but with the player. To make allowances for him alone was unfair to the other players who chose to play intelligently. So to make the game all inclusive for next should we automatically give him a lame-o module? Is the game broken because he can't mesh his style of play with it? The reason I ask is sooner or later the player or D.M. is going to demand that he can do x without any consequences for  example "the skewing of mathmatics to the detriment of the system". This is possible with any version of D&D. Nothing built by man can not be destructed by him.
The only invalid playstyle is one that ruins the fun for the other players at the table.  If everybody at the table is having fun playing a game, they are by definition doing it right, because the purpose of playing a game is to have fun.

This.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

+6 to being a jerk.

That said, what's ruins fun for one group (dwarf hater in a group of dwarf lovers), may not ruin fun for others (dwarf hater in a group of elf lovers).  But most of the time, being a jerk is universal.

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.

Player Killing



Player killing is bad.  PC killing on the other hand is not always bad.  It depends on the group and why it happened.
Player Killing



 PCs fighting it out in game?



I'm not talking about a duel. 

I mean he straight out killed your character. For what reason? I guess extra loot. 




So it's okay for a legitimate reason, then?
Player Killing



 PCs fighting it out in game?



I'm not talking about a duel. 

I mean he straight out killed your character. For what reason? I guess extra loot. 




So it's okay for a legitimate reason, then?


Storyline-based, where both players are okay with it? Yes.
The only invalid playstyle is one that ruins the fun for the other players at the table.  If everybody at the table is having fun playing a game, they are by definition doing it right, because the purpose of playing a game is to have fun.

D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Player Killing



 PCs fighting it out in game?



I'm not talking about a duel. 

I mean he straight out killed your character. For what reason? I guess extra loot. 




So it's okay for a legitimate reason, then?


Storyline-based, where both players are okay with it? Yes.



I play with a group that takes it one step further.  If legitimate roleplay takes it to that level, it's okay.  We all understand that it's never done personally.  So while it is rare, it does happen and it's never an issue.
It's that understanding that's rare, Max, which is why so many people do have issues when it comes up.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Orzel the PC is dangerously hostile all liches and dragons. No exceptions.

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!

It's that understanding that's rare, Max, which is why so many people do have issues when it comes up.



I think it's more that people don't have it explained to them that it can happen and not to take it personally.  When we get new players in that group, we tell them at the beginning that it sometimes happens that roleplay pits PC against PC and that sometimes one character will die.  We let them know that it's never done personally.  When you explain it to people from the beginning, they are MUCH less likely to have a problem with it when it happens.
PC vs PC could be an interesting game option.

In one game, I mentioned my PCs hatred for undead and another player purposely made a necromancy/pale master just to create a rift and to use the "you need me. Deal with it." trope. The campaign ended with a fun duel and me winning via luck.

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!

PC vs PC could be an interesting game option.


Not as much as you might think.

It can be an interesting plot option, but as a game option it's nearly universally bad.  PCs aren't designed with PCvPC combat in mind, and the system is practically guaranteed to not handle it very well. 
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Well isn't that the point of the thread. Playstyles that don't fit the core rules and accompanying rules modules?

PC vs PC could be interesting but it is very hard to make work.

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!

Well isn't that the point of the thread. Playstyles that don't fit the core rules and accompanying rules modules? PC vs PC could be interesting but it is very hard to make work.



I think you're better off giving them rival kingdoms/lands to rule.
Well isn't that the point of the thread. Playstyles that don't fit the core rules and accompanying rules modules? PC vs PC could be interesting but it is very hard to make work.



If every class is encounter balanced... ummm. OK yes hard. 
  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."

 

Use armies? The use of armies to deal with intraparty issues in a bandage over the issue.

What if the PCs respects his men too much to have them fight and die over his personal beefs? Or if a PC is the mole/double agent?

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!

Use armies? The use of armies to deal with intraparty issues in a bandage over the issue. What if the PCs respects his men too much to have them fight and die over his personal beefs? Or if a PC is the mole/double agent?



I was just giving a suggestion on how to do a PC v PC type game.  As for the PC who respects his men too much, he's not going to have much choice when Vlad the Impaler (PC#2) has sent his army towards him.  If you want to do a PC as a mole/double agent, then do the game in teams. 

Or don't do it at all and arrange for a different PC v PC type game.  Another issue with the PC v PC type game is that it tends to be short.  Someone will win the fight fairly quickly, so they're generally just a one or two night thing.  It's hard to go from level 1 to 20 while trying to kill each other
PC vs PC only works if it plays out a lot like Spy vs Spy.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
PC vs PC only works if it plays out a lot like Spy vs Spy.



Wooden sticks and traps that don't actually cause anyone to die?
PC vs PC only works if it plays out a lot like Spy vs Spy.



PC vs PC only works out when the campaign and group support that idea. It's an alternate playstyle that does not fit well with how Dungeons and Dragons is made, nor the core assumptions of the game.

Dungeons and Dragons has always been a group of adventurers working together to overcome a challenge (and kill things and loot the bodies). Attacking other players (unless it's a previously-understood part of the game) only invites drama, hurt feelings, and a lack of teamwork at the table. In short, it takes everything that makes D&D run well, and throws it under a bus.

You can use D&D to run player-vs-player games; you can also use D&D to run sci-fi games about alien invasions. Neither are really what the rules are intended for, balanced for, or good at.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

Sign In to post comments