X + Y = Boring

158 posts / 0 new
Last post
Perhaps I am overanalyzing,

but the recent legends and Lore seems to have brought into perspective something I have been suspecting

Here are a few things to note;

Most classes(if not all) can utilize their best score to calculate base attack. Each class seems to have a "base attack" mechanic which mirrors all other classes in regards to their main attack.

Quick Example
Sorcerer INT (Magic)
Cleric WIS (Magic)
Fighter STR(Weapon)
Rogue DEX (Weapon)

all of the damage output in the game has been geared toward creating equal output for each class...even though SOME classes (cough cough Barbarian) are pumping out far more damage than other classes at the moment, it has been stated that the Devs are working on balancing.

They seem to be using an x+b formula to generate combat stats, the classes are blandly similar in regards to combat. Really, playing a Fighter is pointless, it would be better to play a Cleric which has more than enough attack to hit any AC, plenty of hit points, can heal himself with a word, gains martial damage die at high levels and has access to spells and armor.

The classes seem pointless and boring. NO ONE SEEMS TO HAVE ANY REAL WEAKNESS, sure they seem unique but not really.

With endless cantrips Magic is just weapon by any other name.

Weapon                       Price                  Damage               Weight                 
Lance of Faith                free                2d6 radiant               nil
Ray of Frost                   free                    1d10                      nil

Note: My friend just now made a great analogy, he said classes in this game are like having five different guns that all shoot the exact same bullet. You can call them what you want but in the end they are all just damage. So I will leave you with that short phrase that summarizes what would have been an otherwise long rant.

My point being, classes don't seem to serve any real roles, no flavor.
I remember in AD&D each class served a clear role and could carry out those roles in distinct ways, I was hoping to see a return to not only the simplicity of AD&D (which NEXT clearly favors simplicity, a direction I strongly encourage and applaud) but please do not sacrifice unique weaknesses. There will be disagreements of course, this is a forum afterall to which all of the world has access and yearning to express myriad opinion, this one is just mine.

My proposed class generation formula.
((general weakness + unique weakness) - (general strength + unique strength) ) + unique stengths^levels

         
 

8.8 My House Rules! (roll the d20) *click to roll*8.8
What exactly is a weakness a "-" in front of a number?
Game ballance has become too much of an issue for many people for this idea to be reasonable to implement, sadly
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com

The classes seem pointless and boring. NO ONE SEEMS TO HAVE ANY REAL WEAKNESS, sure they seem unique but not really.

With endless cantrips Magic is just weapon by any other name.

Weapon                       Price                  Damage               Weight                 
Lance of Faith                free                2d6 radiant               nil
Ray of Frost                   free                    1d10                      nil

Note: My friend just now made a great analogy, he said classes in this game are like having five different guns that all shoot the exact same bullet. You can call them what you want but in the end they are all just damage. So I will leave you with that short phrase that summarizes what would have been an otherwise long rant.

My point being, classes don't seem to serve any real roles, no flavor.
      



Is it not the case that roles are mostly dependent on specialisation, rather than class? In 4th ed role was tightly wrapped up in class and it proved to be overly constraining. The point is that each player needs to create its own role for his or her PC in DDN.

As a side note, I think every class needs to do damage because D&D is mostly about damage. Sure in 4th ed conditions were important, but even then hp are key. I like the fact that wizards do not have to pull out crossbows but I do think it would be good to see defensive cantrips or the like.
Game ballance has become too much of an issue for many people for this idea to be reasonable to implement, sadly

People focus on perfect balance rather than perfect imbalance. I didn't get into role-playing to deal damage, I got into role-playing to play a ranger(formerly a freeman) hell bent on revenging the death of his bride at the hands of orcs.

Many players have become focused on damage and killing, combat should be TEAMWORK and todays idea of team work is every player doing their share of damage.

For example, old school.

The Fighter(or Barbarian) is in the skirmish of orcs putting blade to task.
The Cleric is at the overflow, using his weapon to fend off any orcs that made it past the fighter, using any oppurtunity to call on his divine connection to keep the fighter healthy and strong (stronger if possible)
The Wizard uses hold portal to keep the entrance shut off to a second group of orcs permitting time to empty the room of the first wave.
The Rogue sees the orc leader to the rear, takes a few turns to stealth around, by this time the fighter has thinned the herd, the Cleric gets another oppurtunity to heal the fighter.
The Wizard seeing that the leader is clearly still healthy and strong enfeebles him with a spell.
The Rogue seizes the oppurtunity to back stab the orc leader, greatly diminshing his hit points, sure he had to spend a few turns sneaking but in the end it was worth it because the Fighter and Cleric approach the enfeebled orc leader and quickly finish the job.
All rejoice, share in the loot and needing a good long week of rest return to the tavern to meet with Regus the Dwarven Trader who explains to them that more trouble is coming and the Growlak Blacktooth has banded the Gnolls under one banner and has allied with the Orcs in a bid to wipe humans and elves from Thyatis. DUN DUN DUN The Rogue finds this out all to well when he meets with his Guilds prince and finds that, uncharacteristically, his prince intends to lend support to Blacktooth and has ordered his guild to do the same or face the consequences. Without his party present the rouge would not dare face down his prince alone and uses his cluff to convince the Prince he is onboard and high tailed it to the Tavern.
The Wizard meets with Nalthos and old wizard and long time friend and mentor, he reports something strange is going on in Thyatis and that an old darkiness may be once again creeping in the unseen places.

and so and and so forth.

In new school games players snub the idea of being a "support" role in combat, rather than carefully selecting characters which compliment strenghts and weaknesses, you don't have to worry, no matter what you play you can ultimately stand alone and the spot light will shine on you, so brightly you won't notice that it is shining on everyone else too.

Using a spell for any other purpose than to ouright cause and orc to explode into bits of chunky salsa? Pashaw!

A rogue thats more useful off the field than on? PASHAW!

Then there is the monk....which just doesn't belong in a core setting and I have rejected ever since 3rd.

Now it seems clerics are BRIBED with damage output just to insure the party has a healer. Everyone complains that Clerics are heal-bots...if you don't want the responsibility of healing then DON"T play a cleric, simple as that. But don't beg for DEVS to make Clerics into combat monsters with free action healing  just so you don't have to miss your attack roll. Same goes for the other support classes.

Let your class have glaring weaknesses! The Wizard in Next feels "about" right, I will say that. It doesn't seem that way because the classes surrounding him pump out damage like water from a well...but that doesn't mean the wizard is broken, rather a diamond in a pile of shattered glass.



8.8 My House Rules! (roll the d20) *click to roll*8.8
People focus on perfect balance rather than perfect imbalance.



THIS is the essense of the problem.  Perfect imbalance is what WoTC should strive for.  Too much balance is boring as hell.

What exactly is a weakness a "-" in front of a number?

In game development terms this refers to creating a basic flaw which might me shared by other classes, a flaw which is unique to the class, an adavntange that may be shared by another class an an adavtage enjoyed only by that class, more advantages may be gained with level thus increasing the over all power of the character.
8.8 My House Rules! (roll the d20) *click to roll*8.8
People focus on perfect balance rather than perfect imbalance.



THIS is the essense of the problem.  Perfect imbalance is what WoTC should strive for.  Too much balance is boring as hell.


THANK YOU my point exactly!
8.8 My House Rules! (roll the d20) *click to roll*8.8
4e had perfect imbalance, no one expected a defender to have a striker's damage out put, but they were expected to be sticky. 

You've just described a role system, the only difference is that 4e's worked while your's relied on everyone playing the class the same way instead of really trying to flex whatever power the class actually had. 
People focus on perfect balance rather than perfect imbalance.



THIS is the essense of the problem.  Perfect imbalance is what WoTC should strive for.  Too much balance is boring as hell.


THANK YOU my point exactly!


+1 for me
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
Yeah, these Next Spells are all boring XdY+Z. Fireball, lightning bolt, meteor, ugh so bland.

They should look to 4e for some truly inspiring spells. Hell, just the 4e wizards at-will spells do way cooler things than  XdY+Z damage. I mean youve got spells that create walls of wind that slow and push enemies, spells that summon colums of lightning that hurt foes who approach, spells that control your foe's minds to make them attack eachother or move away, youve got spells that create powerful icy wind to blast a group of enemies and scatter them around the battlefield, you have spells that create powerful bursts of thunder to damage multiple enemies and knock them back. I wish the 5e wizard could even accomplish 1/4 of this stuff, and those are things the 4e wizard could do at-will.
4e had perfect imbalance, no one expected a defender to have a striker's damage out put, but they were expected to be sticky. 

You've just described a role system, the only difference is that 4e's worked while your's relied on everyone playing the class the same way instead of really trying to flex whatever power the class actually had. 


Many 3E people never made it into 4E because they saw the mechanics as all basically the same.

Everyone has at will, daily, and encounter powers that were predominantly used for combat.

I think that D&D Next needs to escape the idea of combat as the central theme of the classes and try to develop the concept of roleplaying more.

Think about the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.  Frodo and Sam did not need to be balanced with Aragorn and Gandalf and Legolas and Gimli.  These four weren't even balanced probably.  Only Gandalf could defeat a Balrog singlehandedly.  They all had a role to play.

Rogues have always been valuable outside of combat.  I'd prefer that, except for the occasional knife to the back, they be less capable of high powered combat.   4E made them into a power striker in combat. I think that was a mistake.
No max, the classes had the same power format, not the same mechanics.

The fighter for example has no wall powers, while wizard's do.

I don't see how the 'perfect imbalance' described is any different from 4e's role's, except 4e's roles actually worked as advertised.


Book and story groups don't need any sort of parity because they're all being played by the author essentially.

DnD parities need to be at least in the same ball park because most people wanna have a real impact on how the story goes instead of hoping the DM will be nice. 
if you don't want the responsibility of healing then DON"T play a cleric, simple as that.

Then no one plays a cleric, the party dies a couple of times and the people just stop playing D&D.

Developing the basic building blocks of the game is boring, but it will pay dividends when you want to add complexity, including advanced rules where sheer power is the primary concern.
Yeah, these Next Spells are all boring XdY+Z. Fireball, lightning bolt, meteor, ugh so bland.

They should look to 4e for some truly inspiring spells. Hell, just the 4e wizards at-will spells do way cooler things than  XdY+Z damage. I mean youve got spells that create walls of wind that slow and push enemies, spells that summon colums of lightning that hurt foes who approach, spells that control your foe's minds to make them attack eachother or move away, youve got spells that create powerful icy wind to blast a group of enemies and scatter them around the battlefield, you have spells that create powerful bursts of thunder to damage multiple enemies and knock them back. I wish the 5e wizard could even accomplish 1/4 of this stuff, and those are things the 4e wizard could do at-will.



Please get rid of the combat focus.  I don't want roleplaying to center around pushing people around the battlefield and slowing them and confusing them and such.  That is too much effort into combat.  Spells and abilities should be about much more than just combat. 

This is the biggest problem with 4E.  It was all about the miniatures and not enough about the imagination.  Each spell and power was defined by a set of damage and an effect on the battlefield. 
Yeah just like every sword swing had been for years.
 
if you don't want the responsibility of healing then DON"T play a cleric, simple as that.

Then no one plays a cleric, the party dies a couple of times and the people just stop playing D&D.



Clerics are the divine emmisary of the Gods.  Their role does not need to involve combat.  They can provide guidance, they can receive inspiration, they can perform minor miracles (and eventually major miracles).

Clerics can be part fighter but their role needs to center around being the mouthpiece and footsoldier of their religion.   

Think about the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.  Frodo and Sam did not need to be balanced with Aragorn and Gandalf and Legolas and Gimli.  These four weren't even balanced probably.  Only Gandalf could defeat a Balrog singlehandedly.  They all had a role to play.

And that's why it's a novel/movie and not a tabletop RPG. Because if it were the players of the hobbits would have walked away on the second evening to go to the movie rather than to continue playing the crappy characters the DM assigned them next to the Aragorns and Legolases the other guys at the table received

 

Clerics are the divine emmisary of the Gods.  Their role does not need to involve combat.  They can provide guidance, they can receive inspiration, they can perform minor miracles (and eventually major miracles).

And people have to chose a victim to pressgang into playing that class, since they need one but way too few people want to play one.

Kinda like in WoW were strikers had to wait 40 minutes in the que of the dungeon finder while healers and tanks had instant invites as soon as they clicked on the button. Because there were too many players with the former and hardly any players willing to play the later

Yeah just like every sword swing had been for years.
 



Combat shouldn't take hours.  I prefer 3-4 battles over 2 hours with each battle lasting 10 minutes.  The rest of the time is composed of roleplaying, developing plot, continuing the storyline, reaching into the characters themselves.

This is what roleplaying is about.  The mechanics should support roleplaying.  I only want combat to be at most 50% of that. 

Yeah, these Next Spells are all boring XdY+Z. Fireball, lightning bolt, meteor, ugh so bland.

They should look to 4e for some truly inspiring spells. Hell, just the 4e wizards at-will spells do way cooler things than  XdY+Z damage. I mean youve got spells that create walls of wind that slow and push enemies, spells that summon colums of lightning that hurt foes who approach, spells that control your foe's minds to make them attack eachother or move away, youve got spells that create powerful icy wind to blast a group of enemies and scatter them around the battlefield, you have spells that create powerful bursts of thunder to damage multiple enemies and knock them back. I wish the 5e wizard could even accomplish 1/4 of this stuff, and those are things the 4e wizard could do at-will.



Please get rid of the combat focus.  I don't want roleplaying to center around pushing people around the battlefield and slowing them and confusing them and such.  That is too much effort into combat.  Spells and abilities should be about much more than just combat. 

This is the biggest problem with 4E.  It was all about the miniatures and not enough about the imagination.  Each spell and power was defined by a set of damage and an effect on the battlefield. 

Dude, wish you lived near by you sound like my kind of roleplayer!
8.8 My House Rules! (roll the d20) *click to roll*8.8
Yeah just like every sword swing had been for years.
 


And every spell. The only spells that didn't affect the battlefield in pre 4e only existed to bypass RP anyway.

DM: OK you have a long harsh trek through the jungle ahead of you. You will need to plan your resources and gather food along the way. Maybe even negotiate with the locals.
Wizard: Yawn...I cast win travel (teleport or fly).

DM: Ok the noble looks like he wants to tell you some key piece of information but he doesn't know if he can trust you. He wants you to first...
Wizard: Yawn...I cast win social (charm person).

4e was the first edition where RP was actually required to get things done because wizards didn't have winbuttons for every situation.  
if you don't want the responsibility of healing then DON"T play a cleric, simple as that.

Then no one plays a cleric, the party dies a couple of times and the people just stop playing D&D.



Clerics are the divine emmisary of the Gods.  Their role does not need to involve combat.  They can provide guidance, they can receive inspiration, they can perform minor miracles (and eventually major miracles).

Clerics can be part fighter but their role needs to center around being the mouthpiece and footsoldier of their religion.   


Man, you keep hitting the nail on the head.
8.8 My House Rules! (roll the d20) *click to roll*8.8
Yeah just like every sword swing had been for years.
 



Combat shouldn't take hours.  I prefer 3-4 battles over 2 hours with each battle lasting 10 minutes.  The rest of the time is composed of roleplaying, developing plot, continuing the storyline, reaching into the characters themselves.

This is what roleplaying is about.  The mechanics should support roleplaying.  I only want combat to be at most 50% of that. 




Don't need a rulebook to talk in Elizabethen English and pretend to be a dwarf. Don't need a rulebook to stay true to an arbitrary character personality.
if you don't want the responsibility of healing then DON"T play a cleric, simple as that.

Then no one plays a cleric, the party dies a couple of times and the people just stop playing D&D.




If the game is unplayable without a Cleric, count me out.
Another reason I liked 4e was that there were ways to heal and recover with out having specific classes in the party, they were less efficient mind, but workable. So if no one wanted to play the cleric no one had to play the cleric.
Yeah just like every sword swing had been for years.
 


And every spell. The only spells that didn't affect the battlefield in pre 4e only existed to bypass RP anyway.

DM: OK you have a long harsh trek through the jungle ahead of you. You will need to plan your resources and gather food along the way. Maybe even negotiate with the locals.
Wizard: Yawn...I cast win travel (teleport or fly).

DM: Ok the noble looks like he wants to tell you some key piece of information but he doesn't know if he can trust you. He wants you to first...
Wizard: Yawn...I cast win social (charm person).

4e was the first edition where RP was actually required to get things done because wizards didn't have winbuttons for every situation.  

He gets a savings throw. No spell should ever garuntee success. Starting to think Magic Missile needs an attack roll as well.
8.8 My House Rules! (roll the d20) *click to roll*8.8
No max, the classes had the same power format, not the same mechanics.

The fighter for example has no wall powers, while wizard's do.



actualy no, they had the same mecanics (roll a D20, add relevant ability bonus, compare to static defense)

What you refer to is effect, not mecanics 
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
I've removed content from this thread. Edition warring is in violation of the Code of Conduct

You can review the Code of Conduct here: company.wizards.com/conduct

4e had perfect imbalance, no one expected a defender to have a striker's damage out put, but they were expected to be sticky.



No it didn't.  The sameness of class power mechanics across all classes in the name of balance made it far less enjoyable than 3e was. 



Arbitrarily different mechanics just to have arbitrarily different mechanics is outdated game design. Enjoyability is yet another subjective label that may or may not be true for any given player. Having a standard for action economy was VERY refreshing. Looks like 5th will keep that feature yet disguise it. 
Effects are mechanics.

And yes the same basic system was used, but that does not make the classes the same, that just means they are playing the same game.  The powers were not identical or fighters would have wall powers like wizards. 
Another reason I liked 4e was that there were ways to heal and recover with out having specific classes in the party, they were less efficient mind, but workable. So if no one wanted to play the cleric no one had to play the cleric.

That is exactly my point, no need to put together a party of classes which counter balance each other. Play anything you want, doesn't matter, they can all kill and heal with equal effeciency making your statement completely superfulous.

Again, this is turning into edition warring I fear and even my blood is getting heated. This thread is not for Edition Warrior to defend their favorite edition. All I keep seeing are the 4E players jumping in every forums saying "4E was super awesome" which is fine, I am glad you enjoy it but PLEASE don't bog down constructive converation regarding the direction of DnD Next with praise for Fourth Edition, Third Edition or any other edition.

8.8 My House Rules! (roll the d20) *click to roll*8.8

Another reason I liked 4e was that there were ways to heal and recover with out having specific classes in the party, they were less efficient mind, but workable. So if no one wanted to play the cleric no one had to play the cleric.

Well, a rose by any other name. In the end you still needed a leader. Whether this leader is called cleric or warlord or whatever doesn't matter in the end, as long as you have leader.

We just had to play our latest round of LFR without a leader and man did it suck. Sure, I discovered I had a surprisingly high number of ways to spend a surge I wasn't really aware of because usually a leader took care of that for me. However spending surges without a leader isn't pretty. 4 surges just to get yourself from close to 0 to full? Surprised I spend 6/8 just after the first encounter of the adventure 


It's a big difference if you have to live by your surge value of 28 per surge or your surge value + 2d6 + 30 augmented by a competent leader

Effects are mechanics.

And yes the same basic system was used, but that does not make the classes the same, that just means they are playing the same game.  The powers were not identical or fighters would have wall powers like wizards. 



Even among the same roles, classes play wildly different.

For example, a Fighter plays nothing like a Swordmage plays nothing like a Battlemind plays nothing like a Warden. 
4e had perfect imbalance, no one expected a defender to have a striker's damage out put, but they were expected to be sticky. 

You've just described a role system, the only difference is that 4e's worked while your's relied on everyone playing the class the same way instead of really trying to flex whatever power the class actually had. 


Many 3E people never made it into 4E because they saw the mechanics as all basically the same.

Everyone has at will, daily, and encounter powers that were predominantly used for combat.

I think that D&D Next needs to escape the idea of combat as the central theme of the classes and try to develop the concept of roleplaying more.

Think about the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.  Frodo and Sam did not need to be balanced with Aragorn and Gandalf and Legolas and Gimli.  These four weren't even balanced probably.  Only Gandalf could defeat a Balrog singlehandedly.  They all had a role to play.

Rogues have always been valuable outside of combat.  I'd prefer that, except for the occasional knife to the back, they be less capable of high powered combat.   4E made them into a power striker in combat. I think that was a mistake.




Right, but rituals and skills did exist. Riddle me this, take a page count of stuff related to combat in ANY version of D&D and divide it by total pages and find me a book that has less then 50% that is a core book..

Plus Lord of the Rings is a novel.  D&D is not a fantasy novel simulator. It's a tactical fantasy RPG from it's inception. 
I said it could be done, I didn't say it was easy.

Any role was ultimately replaceable but not having one made it harder.

Valuable but not mandatory.
Yeah just like every sword swing had been for years.
 



Combat shouldn't take hours.  I prefer 3-4 battles over 2 hours with each battle lasting 10 minutes.  The rest of the time is composed of roleplaying, developing plot, continuing the storyline, reaching into the characters themselves.

This is what roleplaying is about.  The mechanics should support roleplaying.  I only want combat to be at most 50% of that. 




Goal post moving..
Yeah just like every sword swing had been for years.
 



Thats ok see "I hit it with my sword" inspires imagination out of sheer boredom. (yup I have heard that argued)
  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."

 

There hasn't been any edition warring here.  Nobody is shouting down other editions while putting their pet edition up as the best.  We are comparing previous edition pros and cons in the context of what is best to do for next.  With all due respect, that is not edition warring.
4e had perfect imbalance, no one expected a defender to have a striker's damage out put, but they were expected to be sticky.



No it didn't.  The sameness of class power mechanics across all classes in the name of balance made it far less enjoyable than 3e was. 



Arbitrarily different mechanics just to have arbitrarily different mechanics is outdated game design.



Change for the sake of change results in boring.  Sometimes old designs are the best designs.  4e was fun, but not nearly as fun for me as 3e was.  The variations in class mechanics was one of the primary reasons for that.



No max, the classes had the same power format, not the same mechanics.

The fighter for example has no wall powers, while wizard's do.



actualy no, they had the same mecanics (roll a D20, add relevant ability bonus, compare to static defense)

What you refer to is effect, not mecanics 



What screwball definitions are you jerrymandering with? Both are mechanics ...   just like to hit is a mechanic and damage is a mechanic. 
 
  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."