Reskinning and Bending the Rules in DND Next Products.

What do you think the core-books and other products in general, should include when it comes to subjects like reskinning/refluffing and rule bending and rule ignoring? Should there be little paragraphs here and there spread out threw the books, or should there perhaps be an entire chapter in the DMG for these subjects? Should the books insist that you should always follow the rules or should they emphasize that the rules are not important if you don`t want them to be, or something in between that? Does it all depend on what kind of game you want to play and what kind of campaign the DM is running? What do you think?
The books are guidelines for the game.  There is no need to have any wording on reskinning or refluffing anything.

As long as your players are aware of your changes and agree to keep gaming with you, have at it.

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

I think it would be neat if there was a sidebar explaining how you could re-flavor one of the more focused classes into something with similar abilities but a different theme. It wouldn't have to be much, maybe just a paragraph near the multi-classing rules, but enough to encourage players to work with the DM instead of taking everything in the class description as written in stone. Maybe they could have an example of re-fluffing the paladin into a dragon slayer, swapping out its smite evil for smite dragon and replacing its immunity to fear with resistance against breath weapons (to demonstrate how they don't need to be exact replacements for every ability, as long as it's close enough that you're pretty sure it won't be unbalanced).

The metagame is not the game.

What do you think the core-books and other products in general, should include when it comes to subjects like reskinning/refluffing and rule bending and rule ignoring? Should there be little paragraphs here and there spread out threw the books, or should there perhaps be an entire chapter in the DMG for these subjects? Should the books insist that you should always follow the rules or should they emphasize that the rules are not important if you don`t want them to be, or something in between that? Does it all depend on what kind of game you want to play and what kind of campaign the DM is running? What do you think?



It's been understood since the beginning of time that D&D much like Monopoly is house ruleable. The only thing that ought to be explained is that balance might get out of whack (more out of whack) if balance is a concern.
There should probably be an explanation and an example of the idea in reskinning/refluffing a class in the back of the standard PHB somewhere. A fuller treatment should go in the DMG, covering a few related issues. Still wouldn't be a big chapter, just a page or two.

The different types of reworking that are possible, from simple reskinning the appearance of effects with no changes to mechanics, to changes in mechanics to suit an alternate character theme. What to watch for in terms of balance problems and how to fix them in game. How to bring over material from other campaign worlds, what sort of issues to watch out for when doing so.

It isn't exactly a deep topic, but the idea is pretty fundamental to D&D and should be explained somewhere.

The whole concept of rule bending/breaking is purely DMG material and is actually a rather more complex issue. Not an issue of the DM being allowed to or not, but rather how much he should. This is a matter of DM style and campaign style, and effects a lot of things. This deserves a page of it's own in the DMG.

People who are going to ignore or change the rules are going to so whether it's spelled out or not.

However, encouraging a certain level of reskinning isn't a bad idea at all. I do approve highly of saying "yes" to the players, especially where reflavoring and reskinning is concerned.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

I would like a sidebar about reskinning and reflavorign for players.

more importantly, the game needs a robust section on improvisation, particularly for the DM,. to let him know how to improvse actions that impose conditions without rendering maneuvers and spells useless.

If someone wants to throw sand in a vilain's face, momentarily blinding him, the game should give guidance on how to do that in a way where he feels comfortable that the rogue who took the "slash the eyes" skill trick isn't going feel cheated. 
The books are guidelines for the game.  There is no need to have any wording on reskinning or refluffing anything.

As long as your players are aware of your changes and agree to keep gaming with you, have at it.



I agree that the books, and in effect, the rules, are only guidelines. The rules should be an aid in telling the story and playing your character. However I believe it would be nice if this was mentioned in the core books, just to clearify this to new players.
The rules do not cover everyithing and they will never cover everything. Personally I see this as a good thing! My games always run more fluently when I can make decissions on the fly, without having to look up the rules. The more freedom I as a DM have, the smoother my games are and the more freedom my players feel they have to. I think it is important as a dm to know when it is ok to bend the rules or even out right ignore the rules. For some reason some players seem to believe that the rules of the game is the physics of the world their characters live in, that all people and living creatures in the world has stat blocks and that a peasant could never kill a powerfull wizard with a lucky blow. This is meta thinking and should be avoided in games that emphasize story over crunch. In other types of games that people may run, where crunch is most important, I guess meta-gaming is ok and even very fun, but this should be a choice for the person running the campaign, and that should be mentioned in the books.

Let`s say that I start a Dark Sun campaign and I want one of the PC`s to be the one who assassinated Kalak in act 0, aka in his backstory, even though he was a common slave who just threw a spear and got lucky. in that case, shouldn`t the rules be ignored to let this happened? Should a meta-concept like level come into it?

If a character in my game wants to stab an unsuspecting innkeeper or a sleeping guard, should they even have to role. If a character has a great idea that would scare the giants away, mid combat, or makes a deal with the dragen through pure RP, shuldn`t I just ignore the rules and let clever thinking solve the solution?....

Maybe that wasn`t the best examples of what I was trying to get across, but I`m sure you could come up with good examples or reasons to break, bend or ignore the rules yourselves 

Again, if tactical combat is what your game is all about, I get why the rules must be important! I get that people play for different reasons. As long as you are having fun, you are doing it right! 
If someone wants to throw sand in a vilain's face, momentarily blinding him, the game should give guidance on how to do that in a way where he feels comfortable that the rogue who took the "slash the eyes" skill trick isn't going feel cheated. 

That's always been thorny for me, as a DM. It's that troublesome thing that was mentioned in a Q&A some weeks ago -- do you let a player improvise an ability that someone else took the effort to pick by feat/skill/feature? In the case of throwing sand, what if the player decides he should throw sand more often? Should the ruling be adjusted based on how often he's planning to do it so that it's inferior to the rogue's skill trick? How do you give the player that wants to throw sand what he wants (the ability to blind somebody) without diminishing the value of what the rogue has worked for?

'Cause, I mean... it's a two-way street. If I wanna throw sand in a villain's face and the DM says "well, that's gonna be unfair to abilities that blind stuff, so maybe it should just be -1 to perception" (or whatever underwhelming concession), I feel like improvising isn't worth the effort. Because the DM is deliberately making sure it's not as potent as a pre-existing ability.

Whadya think? What's the sidebar say, in your mind? 
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.

'Cause, I mean... it's a two-way street. If I wanna throw sand in a villain's face and the DM says "well, that's gonna be unfair to abilities that blind stuff, so maybe it should just be -1 to perception" (or whatever underwhelming concession), I feel like improvising isn't worth the effort. Because the DM is deliberately making sure it's not as potent as a pre-existing ability.



I feel that's exactly the point. Let it do something useful, but not something that mimics a pre-existing ability, otherwise, why take the ability? I'm not saying -1 Perception (which is lame) but why not "All creatures have concealment from the target." The target isn't exactly blinded, but everyone got something out of it, and that improv action is def useful.
If someone wants to throw sand in a vilain's face, momentarily blinding him, the game should give guidance on how to do that in a way where he feels comfortable that the rogue who took the "slash the eyes" skill trick isn't going feel cheated. 

That's always been thorny for me, as a DM. It's that troublesome thing that was mentioned in a Q&A some weeks ago -- do you let a player improvise an ability that someone else took the effort to pick by feat/skill/feature? In the case of throwing sand, what if the player decides he should throw sand more often? Should the ruling be adjusted based on how often he's planning to do it so that it's inferior to the rogue's skill trick? How do you give the player that wants to throw sand what he wants (the ability to blind somebody) without diminishing the value of what the rogue has worked for?

'Cause, I mean... it's a two-way street. If I wanna throw sand in a villain's face and the DM says "well, that's gonna be unfair to abilities that blind stuff, so maybe it should just be -1 to perception" (or whatever underwhelming concession), I feel like improvising isn't worth the effort. Because the DM is deliberately making sure it's not as potent as a pre-existing ability.

Whadya think? What's the sidebar say, in your mind? 



Go the savage worlds route. Have simple rules for basic improvised actions.

Tricks: As an action you can perform a trick. This trick can be almost anything you can think of, from throwing sand in someones eyes, taunting them, cutting a Z in their shirt, etc. Make an opposed ability check to determine if your trick is successful.  If successful the target is Dazed until the end of their next turn. While dazed the target grants advantage, has disadvantage on attacks, and cannot take reactions.

Examples:
 
Not the face! - You throw sand in someones eyes, or otherwise try to obscure your targets vision. Make an opposed Dex check with your target. If successful the target is dazed as they wipe the sand from their eyes. (It would be downright foolish to assume that sand in the eyes completely blinds anyone for a full 6 seconds).

Yo Mama! - You insult someones mama. Make an opposed Int check to taunt your foe. If you succeed the target is dazed (either from anger, or merely being able to figure out your insult).

Disarm! - You knock a foes weapon to the ground. If this was real life your target would be dead, but this is heroic fantasy where disarming a foe is somehow easier than simply killing them. Make an opposed Str or Dex check. If you succeed the target is dazed as they scramble to pick up their weapon. (We assume for simplicity that they retrieve their weapon from the floor in just a second or two. They can't take reactions, they have to can't attack as well, and they can't defend themselves as well so daze works perfectly here).
   
More complex improvisation would require DM intervention but dazed covers most things your PCs will do.
For some reason some players seem to believe that the rules of the game is the physics of the world their characters live in,

They are. You can test them, in-game. If there's a rule stating that you can long-jump a number of feet equal to your Strength score, then that's a directly-measurably fact. If there is then a rule stating that you can swim at a rate equal to half your base move speed plus a quarter of your strength, then people in-game can recognize that relation and plan for it (though not everyone will even think to look for the correlation).

Being conscious of the world around you is not meta-gaming, unless you act upon information that the character would not have.

The metagame is not the game.

Whadya think? What's the sidebar say, in your mind? 


I don't think it should be a sidebar.  It should be a section of the DMG, preferably with a chart.

The chart would simply list common conditions.  When someone tries to improvise an action, the DM looks at the chart and decides what condition that action would impose if successful.  Then the chart tells the DM what sort of roll he should require.  The trick is making it attractive enough for people to try and not so attractive that it trumps maneuvers.

As for "doing it all the time" I'm less concerned.  A rule of thumb would be "the same improvised trick won't work twice in a fight, and incurs disadvantage when attempted against the same NPC in a subequent fight."  Moreover, most improvised tricks have to be situational.  I don't imagine PCs will run around dropping throw rugs around the dungeon so they can later pull the rugs out from under NPCs.
 
If someone wants to throw sand in a vilain's face, momentarily blinding him, the game should give guidance on how to do that in a way where he feels comfortable that the rogue who took the "slash the eyes" skill trick isn't going feel cheated. 

That's always been thorny for me, as a DM. It's that troublesome thing that was mentioned in a Q&A some weeks ago -- do you let a player improvise an ability that someone else took the effort to pick by feat/skill/feature? In the case of throwing sand, what if the player decides he should throw sand more often? Should the ruling be adjusted based on how often he's planning to do it so that it's inferior to the rogue's skill trick? How do you give the player that wants to throw sand what he wants (the ability to blind somebody) without diminishing the value of what the rogue has worked for?

'Cause, I mean... it's a two-way street. If I wanna throw sand in a villain's face and the DM says "well, that's gonna be unfair to abilities that blind stuff, so maybe it should just be -1 to perception" (or whatever underwhelming concession), I feel like improvising isn't worth the effort. Because the DM is deliberately making sure it's not as potent as a pre-existing ability.

Whadya think? What's the sidebar say, in your mind? 



I always let my players improvise and be clever within the frames of what seems likely or what the character should be able to do. Let them do it as a basic attack and let there be a risk involved. If they don`t make it, let them loose their turn, take damage, fall prone or whatever seems to fit. Also let them know that it may not work the same way next time or work at all again. But I personally feel the game is more fun if you reward clever thinking and let players do what their powers or the rules cover.
In my last game a player was playing  The Angel of Death, a deva avenger, I had alowed him to acquire a soul that followed him around. During combat he asked if he could use the soul to posess a dire rat he was fighting. I said sure, he could use wisdom vs. will and dominate the creture, save ends. This did not overpower anything and I let him know that his powers might be unstable after he fell down from heaven, so it might not work the same way or at all, later on. It made sense for the character to be able to do this, so he should be able to do it.
For some reason some players seem to believe that the rules of the game is the physics of the world their characters live in,

They are. You can test them, in-game. If there's a rule stating that you can long-jump a number of feet equal to your Strength score, then that's a directly-measurably fact. If there is then a rule stating that you can swim at a rate equal to half your base move speed plus a quarter of your strength, then people in-game can recognize that relation and plan for it (though not everyone will even think to look for the correlation).

Being conscious of the world around you is not meta-gaming, unless you act upon information that the character would not have.




Sure, in a pressed situation, conflict or some sort of challange or encounter it may matter some. But in travelling and exploring where it has no impact on story whatsoever, why not just ignore those rules. What if you have a skill challange that involves swimming, but the characters does something clever before or during the challange, like stealing a boat, bribing the Ferryman, using a ritual or whatever, something that breaks the challange, shouldn`t narrative override the rules and let the challange be broken instead of solved how it was intended?

In the games I run, I make it clear to my players that the rules are just guidelines and an aid to tell the story. The games are always mor fun and  run more fluidly when we do it like this. I understand that this may not be the case for everyone.
I think a page or two about changing the imagry or reskinning is important to players because it does help fuel creativity and shows players that their imagination isn't limited to what's just on the pages. SOmething simple like changing Chainmail to Scale or perhaps a light field plate. It all has the same stats but the looks are different. Same could go for a spell, say Magic Missile. Perhaps your character is a Necromancer and he wants his Magic Missiles to appear as small eldritch flaming skulls, that's cool.
Yes, at least a page or two on reskinning races, characters and items would be great, including a few fun and creative examples. The DMG should include a chapter on situations where rule bending and rule ignoring is appropriate and what kinds of games and types of campaigns should allow houserules and such. If you play a crunch focused game, balance is important, if the narrative is the most important part of the game, maby balance isn`t all that important or doesn`t even matter at all. It all depends on play-style I guess, and personally I believe the corebooks, at least, should mention this to some extent.
Rules shmules!:p IMO they should only be considered guidelines, an aid in telling the story. If dnd looses track of that and gets too obsessed with balance and crunch, we end up with something that feels more like a videogame or a boared game than a roleplaying game.
Balance shmalance! I think all of us players in the group had different levels when we played ad&d, it was still fun as hell. It felt more real, like a story, not a game, that the characters involved were not equally powerfull. That reduced the meta-game feeling for me at least. Although that edition had things about it I didn`t like too. All editions have had good and bad things about them. 4e is great, a very fun and smooth system to run and to play, my prefered system at the time being, but I must admit it is easy for the focus to fall on the crunch, even if you are running a story based campaign.
I hope the next one will give more room for the players and dm to adjust the system to fit the focus of the game, it seems like it so far
I want to be able to play an unbalanced game if I want, that allows  characters to be on different levels even, without that crashing too much with how the game plays and the system works. To me it is very important to avoid that my game feels meta!
Should the books insist that you should always follow the rules or should they emphasize that the rules are not important if you don`t want them to be, or something in between that? Does it all depend on what kind of game you want to play and what kind of campaign the DM is running? What do you think?



I think they should,  or at least they should state "If you remove rules that exist to balance a system,  you lose the right to complain about the system".

Because it's *really* amazing how often you'll find that people complaining about something have actually disregarded the rules that exist to balance it.  Wizards are a very common example.  People disregard spell components,  DM's let them rest after every encounter,  and then they insist Wizards are horribly broken.  Well yeah,  that's what happens when you disregard rules meant to balance things. 

I honestly believe everyone should be able to houserule the game any way they want,  but I just get irked at the amount of things people insist are a problem when it's actually their disregard for rules that caused the problem.   
The 1st Ed PHB laid it all down with passages like (not verbatim, too lazy too grab it): spells may be deleted, diminished, augmented, or the DM may come up with new ones.

That.
Re-flavouring should be encouraged. 
There should be guidelines explaining what you can do safely (like changing the visual of a spell) and what may have gameplay implications (like changing the damage type of a spell) and what can actually have balance knock-off effects (like allowing a rogue to wield 2HD weapons).
In short a caveat about houseruling: if you take all breakes off, that's fine, but you'd better know what you are doing, for we cannot vouch for the system to be functional then. 
Sure, in a pressed situation, conflict or some sort of challange or encounter it may matter some. But in travelling and exploring where it has no impact on story whatsoever, why not just ignore those rules?

I think it's unfair to the players to have a situation resolve one way some of the time, but then follow completely different rules at other times. If the players are going to be drawn into the world at all, then they need to feel like the world is a consistent place where things make sense. When they consider what actions to take, they should be able to understand what's involved, so they can make rational decisions.
What if you have a skill challange that involves swimming, but the characters does something clever before or during the challange, like stealing a boat, bribing the Ferryman, using a ritual or whatever, something that breaks the challange, shouldn`t narrative override the rules and let the challange be broken instead of solved how it was intended?

I don't see how this is related to anything else. I don't pose skill challenges, because I have no opinion on what happens or how the players go about resolving their situations. I am the laws of nature. I am neutral in all things. If there's a boat, then of course that's an easier way to cross a river than just trying to swim it; and I'm not going to decide whether a boat is available based on whether I want the PCs to take it, either - I'm going to decide whether a boat is available based on what is logical and appropriate for that place in the world.

In the games I run, I make it clear to my players that the rules are just guidelines and an aid to tell the story. The games are always more fun and run more fluidly when we do it like this. I understand that this may not be the case for everyone.

Yes, our approaches vary drastically. I always make it a point to my players that they are the ones in control, and my job is only to adjudicate their actions and control NPCs. Granted, some of those NPCs might be doing some fairly important things, but they are constrained by the laws of nature just as much as the PCs are, and the players always have the option of just walking away and not dealing with it.

The metagame is not the game.

     How much reskinning do you see in football?, baseball?. track?, chess?, Bridge?, or any other game?  The answer is durn little or none at all.  And when you see some, it is with an acknowledgement that the reskinning is producing an inferior game [which may do for special types of play, but is not the real thing.]
     D&D rules are much the same.  You should not have to reskin, and if you do you are saying the game is junk.  We don't want a game that assumes reskinning. 
     How much reskinning do you see in football?, baseball?. track?, chess?, Bridge?, or any other game?  The answer is durn little or none at all.  And when you see some, it is with an acknowledgement that the reskinning is producing an inferior game [which may do for special types of play, but is not the real thing.]
     D&D rules are much the same.  You should not have to reskin, and if you do you are saying the game is junk.  We don't want a game that assumes reskinning. 


I take strong exception to this viewpoint.  D&D isn't bridge or chess, and it's definitely not a sport (thank Yog).  All of your examples are intrinsically competitive, and not particularly creative - not in the sense that D&D is, anyway.  Granted, organized play is much more standardized, but organized play is not, to my mind, the primary mode of the game - that would be the single table, which is encouraged to adapt the game however its players see fit.
I realize plenty of folks prefer to take the rules and setting exactly as given, but making changes to suit your tastes doesn't mean you think the game is junk, or broken, or badwrongfun.  As for myself, I do in fact want a game that assumes the option, if nothing else, of reskinning, refluffing, rewriting, houseruling, parodying, folding, spindling, or mutilation according to the whims of its players.  Even if I never make another change or adjustment to the game, it's important that it be built with that option in mind.

It's been understood since the beginning of time that D&D much like Monopoly is house ruleable.


You houserule Monopoly!?!?!?!?!?!
     How much reskinning do you see in football?, baseball?. track?, chess?, Bridge?, or any other game?  The answer is durn little or none at all.  And when you see some, it is with an acknowledgement that the reskinning is producing an inferior game [which may do for special types of play, but is not the real thing.]
     D&D rules are much the same.  You should not have to reskin, and if you do you are saying the game is junk.  We don't want a game that assumes reskinning. 



I have never disagreed more with anyone ever, when it comes to the philosophy of the game and what it`s all about!:p Well, as long as you are having fun, I guess
     How much reskinning do you see in football?, baseball?. track?, chess?, Bridge?, or any other game?  The answer is durn little or none at all.  And when you see some, it is with an acknowledgement that the reskinning is producing an inferior game [which may do for special types of play, but is not the real thing.]
     D&D rules are much the same.  You should not have to reskin, and if you do you are saying the game is junk.  We don't want a game that assumes reskinning. 



I have never disagreed more with anyone ever, when it comes to the philosophy of the game and what it`s all about!:p Well, as long as you are having fun, I guess



+1

First, let me say that the analogy to sports and boardgames is totally irrelevant because neither of them come close to what D&D strives for and/or achieves. They (sports & boardgames) both have a finite destination: winning the game amongst competition where as D&D has none of that traditionally speaking. 

Second, how would one even attempt at going about "reskinning" Basketball without changing everyone preconception of what that game is? If that's the case David's attempting to make, I don't think it's a very good one. Sports, generally speaking, are pretty inflexable when it comes to the structure of the game. A football field will always be 120 yards long (2 end-zones, 10 yards apiece) and the idea of baseball is to hit the ball with a bat and run around the bases. There is no room for "reskinning there". Period.   As for a game like Monopoly, sure you can re-skin the game just fine as they have created MULTIPLE version of the game including Star Wars and Star Trek monopoly or Pirates of the Carribean "Life" and Risk: 2210. Yet the basics of the game remain unchanged (sort of like D&D's penchant for being a class-based, d20 using, level-based, fantasy RPG).   

D&D, to me anyways, has always been about opening up and letting your imagination go wild. It's about fantasy and fun and daring adventures. Adhereing to some philosophy that the "D&D Rules should not be reskinned" puts such iron-clad shackles on my expressive believes and imagination that I have to ask: why bother? If I can't make the concept I have for a character or if I'm told my imagination is wrong, then D&D has failed utterly at being what it is designed to do.
I would expect if you like a specific version of D&D at the expense of all others, or even a specific style of play, then you will take a hard line on the rules and equate it to sports, chess, etc. However, a roleplaying game in general should strive to be flexible, and usually that means it is simple at the core with the ability to expand.
     How much reskinning do you see in football?, baseball?. track?, chess?, Bridge?, or any other game?  The answer is durn little or none at all.  And when you see some, it is with an acknowledgement that the reskinning is producing an inferior game [which may do for special types of play, but is not the real thing.]
     D&D rules are much the same.  You should not have to reskin, and if you do you are saying the game is junk.  We don't want a game that assumes reskinning. 



I have never disagreed more with anyone ever, when it comes to the philosophy of the game and what it`s all about!:p Well, as long as you are having fun, I guess



+1

First, let me say that the analogy to sports and boardgames is totally irrelevant because neither of them come close to what D&D strives for and/or achieves. They (sports & boardgames) both have a finite destination: winning the game amongst competition where as D&D has none of that traditionally speaking. 


      Now when you limit the claim right from the start with "traditionally speaking", you are voiding the claim of "totaly irrelevant".  You may claim this claim is mere rhetorical excess, but that still is a flaw.  More important, the charge of irrelevance is itself irrelevant.   We can play D&D as a competitive game, no problem.  In fact a couple of versions of the game were just that.


Second, how would one even attempt at going about "reskinning" Basketball without changing everyone preconception of what that game is? If that's the case David's attempting to make, I don't think it's a very good one. Sports, generally speaking, are pretty inflexable when it comes to the structure of the game. A football field will always be 120 yards long (2 end-zones, 10 yards apiece)


     Canadian football fields are about 110 yards [100 meters or so].  Other versions use other distances.


 and the idea of baseball is to hit the ball with a bat and run around the bases. There is no room for "reskinning there". Period.  As for a game like Monopoly, sure you can re-skin the game just fine as they have created MULTIPLE version of the game including Star Wars and Star Trek monopoly or Pirates of the Carribean "Life" and Risk: 2210. Yet the basics of the game remain unchanged (sort of like D&D's penchant for being a class-based, d20 using, level-based, fantasy RPG).


       Now we seem to be using a most flexible definition of "reskinning".  Baseball can't reskin, but monopoly frequently does.  But basketball doesn't reskin when it makes its changes....

D&D, to me anyways, has always been about opening up and letting your imagination go wild. It's about fantasy and fun and daring adventures. Adhereing to some philosophy that the "D&D Rules should not be reskinned" puts such iron-clad shackles on my expressive believes and imagination


      But D&D is not a game of creating a character.  That is just a tiny part of the game.  We strive to survive and prosper in the fantasy world.  The world is not our creation.  It is our problem.




I disagree. The rules should have the ability to be re-skinned and changed to fit multiple play-styles. If I want to play a game with iron-clad rules I'd be playing a video game.
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)

      But D&D is not a game of creating a character.  That is just a tiny part of the game.  We strive to survive and prosper in the fantasy world.  The world is not our creation.  It is our problem.






Creating a character, developing and roleplaying that character may actually be the absolutely biggest part of the game for me and many gamers I know. And yea, the world IS my creation! Even if a dm use a premade setting, he or she is like a diracter adapting a story based on a book, a comic or history, it will be that dm`s interpretation!
How many versions is there of Batman, for example? Or do you really think 300 happened like that in the real world? No, it`s all interpretations! Interpretations by very creative people who perhaps started out as dnd-gamers themselves.
For me the story and rp will always come first! Being allowed creativity and inspiration to create is one of the many reasons so many people love the game! Dnd has always been a game that goes beyond the rules. To focus to much on the crunch and the rules lessens the experience for many gamers who play dnd, regardless of edition!
I know many feel the same, that the rules are the least important part of the game and that "rules-lawyer" is a bad word:p To me that is what makes tabletop rpg`s uniqe and magic! Something so much more than a videogame or a board-game.
But as I said before, nomatter how you play it, as long as you are having fun, you are doing it right!

      But D&D is not a game of creating a character.  That is just a tiny part of the game.  We strive to survive and prosper in the fantasy world.  The world is not our creation.  It is our problem.






Creating a character, developing and roleplaying that character may actually be the absolutely biggest part of the game for me and many gamers I know. And yea, the world IS my creation! Even if a dm use a premade setting, he or she is like a diracter adapting a story based on a book, a comic or history, it will be that dm`s interpretation!
How many versions is there of Batman, for example? Or do you really think 300 happened like that in the real world? No, it`s all interpretations! Interpretations by very creative people who perhaps started out as dnd-gamers themselves.
For me the story and rp will always come first! Being allowed creativity and inspiration to create is one of the many reasons so many people love the game! Dnd has always been a game that goes beyond the rules. To focus to much on the crunch and the rules lessens the experience for many gamers who play dnd, regardless of edition!
I know many feel the same, that the rules are the least important part of the game and that "rules-lawyer" is a bad word:p To me that is what makes tabletop rpg`s uniqe and magic! Something so much more than a videogame or a board-game.
But as I said before, nomatter how you play it, as long as you are having fun, you are doing it right!


I agree. half of the fun is creating a character and a world in which you envision. I know people try to create their own settings. The whole game is about using your imagination and being creative. The mechanics are just there for aid and when they stop aiding then they should be changed if they are impeding fun. 
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)
We can play D&D as a competitive game, no problem.  In fact a couple of versions of the game were just that.



Playing any but the earliest incarnations of the rules as a competitive experience does in fact require a deliberate change to the game.  More to the point, what others and I are saying is that D&D is a different type of game, and is, in its basic premise, particularly open to all manner of changes.

And just what definition of "reskinning" are you using?  It might help the discussion if we're on the same page there, but I maintain that the full range of possible changes is intrinsically "okay" for not just D&D specifically but all traditional roleplaying games.
     How much reskinning do you see in football?, baseball?. track?, chess?, Bridge?, or any other game?  The answer is durn little or none at all.  And when you see some, it is with an acknowledgement that the reskinning is producing an inferior game [which may do for special types of play, but is not the real thing.]
     D&D rules are much the same.  You should not have to reskin, and if you do you are saying the game is junk.  We don't want a game that assumes reskinning. 

I don't see why not. If a mage wants to reskin a Magic Missile to do fire damage instead of force damage, there's nothing saying it cannot be done. If the DM wants to bend the rules so his world can be based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom, with lower gravity and air pressure, he should be able to. He'd have to work out the carrying capacity, endurance, and jump distances, but it's quite doable. And it wouldn't produce an inferior game at all, nor would it be saying the game is junk. D&D as written is a starting point, not the be-all-and-end-all of the rules. We all begin with the same starting point, but I daresay my game won't be 100% the same as someone else's. And it still will be D&D.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

They say Next will be modular. That means there will be a lot of versions of the system within the game itself, if I understand it correctly. I`m hoping for lots of optional rules and a chapter about making your own houserules, when to ignore or bend rules and some creative suggestions on how to reskin a monster, a character or an item.
Rules shmules!:p IMO they should only be considered guidelines, an aid in telling the story. If dnd looses track of that and gets too obsessed with balance and crunch, we end up with something that feels more like a videogame or a boared game than a roleplaying game.



I'm paying them for rules, not suggestions. I will not be paying them for terrible rules on the absolutly backwards and incomprehensible myth that "Bad rules make good roleplaying". I can roleplay just as well, if not better, in a system with good rules as one that has terrible rules.
    
Balance shmalance! I think all of us players in the group had different levels when we played ad&d, it was still fun as hell. It felt more real, like a story, not a game, that the characters involved were not equally powerfull.



If your group WANTS characters to be of unequal power, this should be handled by making them different levels, NOT by entire CLASSES being more or less powerful than eachother BY DEFAULT. Level is a mechanic that models how powerful an entity is in the game world. The moment level starts meaning different things to different characters just because one waves a magic stick around and the other swings a sword, you have made it meaningless. Making level actually mean something by making all characters of the same level equal makes the game better for everyone, since people who want characters of equal power aren't screwed over by the devs deciding one character class should be arbitrarily better than others, and those who want their characters to be of unequal power "because it makes it feel more like a story" when half the group is sidekicks can just jack up the powerful characters levels and KNOW that will actually make them more powerful.
 
I want to be able to play an unbalanced game if I want, that allows  characters to be on different levels even, without that crashing too much with how the game plays and the system works. To me it is very important to avoid that my game feels meta!



Almost every day on these forums, I ask why one or more people are even playing a game when they seem to recoil at the very THOUGHT that there are *shudder* rules in it.

PS: Balance doesn't stop you from making characters different levels if you wanted to. A balanced game is balanced by default, but if you don't CARE about balancce, you can change things to your little hearts content until the game is suitably broken for you. Honestly, you'd think from the way the anti-balance brigade talks that 4E was LITERALLY a videogame, because for some reason putting a "4" on the cover suddenly removed their ability to change anything in the system.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
So if you PAY for a house, does that mean you can`t paint it in a different colour or remodel it?
"I pay for the rules", sorry, I just never got that arguementation at all! Just because you payed for something, does that mean you can`t be creative? I think it is a bonus that the game is adjustable, something that makes it worth more, not less!