I like things unbalanced!

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I liked things when they were unbalanced.

Having had a look at these boards and seen people's comments about balance and mechanics, I can't help feeling, as a 30-year veteran, that a subtle magic about D&D is being missed. This worries me seeing as D&D Next is trying to get that magic back.

First, in terms of mechanics, it seems as though people are obsessing too much over the number crunch to enjoy the flavour of the game. Before 3rd Edition I had never heard of the term 'game mechanic'. Even though 1st edition went on about bell curves and the like, this was largely ignored; we just wanted to game and the best 'mechanic’ we had for this was our imaginations. This was just how we…ahem…rolled. So I say leave the mechanics to engineers and let's just drive our imaginations. Oh and I know it's a playtest, but it is apparent on the boards that feedback seems to be coming from the vocal minority rather than the silent majority. WotC should remember that the largest demographic of its player's probably don't frequent these boards.

Second, what is it with people's issues about balance? Why do the character classes have to be balanced? Back in pre-3rd editions, a wizard (magic-user) was so weak at early levels it was all he/she could do to survive. But the payoff was exactly that: the challenge of surviving to see your character growing in power to be more powerful than all the other characters. And this seems right to me: adventuring with a hardy party to learn the mysteries of magic before becoming a master of them…and them.

It seems to me when people talk about balance they mean balanced in combat. Well in my view they shouldn't be or else they're all fighters with different weaponry. For instance, if you truly break down the 5e Wizard's at-will spell Ray of Frost, it’s a ‘mechanic’ for ensuring the wizard always has a weapon available just as powerful as a fighter’s. What’s wrong with a wizard using up his spells and coming unstuck? Wizards are about intelligence, right? So if they’re clever they shouldn’t get themselves in such situations, and if they do they should have a back up plan instead of a semi-automatic Ray of Frost. And in early editions, Thieves (Rogues) rarely got involved in combat except to perform a vicious backstab. Some newer players might see this as boring, but believe me, the Thief shined in his own special way; all the characters did and it didn’t rely on combat.

So I’m going to be controversial and state that I think a clever lack of mechanics and balance can be good. It sets things up for good roleplay. Characters have to depend on each other. And if not, they accept the risk of working alone. The DM has to make informed decisions rather than rely on a rulebook to cover everything. All in all, every character relies on the other, every player relies on the other and that’s what used to make D&D special.

Deleted. Not worth the time.
Unbalanced doesn't force the players to rely on RP, it forces everyone not playing a power build to rely on RP, that's what unbalanced means.
I liked things when they were unbalanced.


And I didn't!
Ha-ha!  Take that witty retort!

Tongue Out
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Unbalanced doesn't force the players to rely on RP, it forces everyone not playing a power build to rely on RP, that's what unbalanced means.

And that's good.
How? it just means the power builds can ignore all the RP stuff more than they already do, and causes tenson between the power builds and everyone else since they wanna do completely different thigns every step of the way.
Some people can't have fun if they aren't the ones shining brightest all the time.  To cater to these player's needs, no one can ever shine and we must all cast the same dull light at all times.

Some of the unfortunate casualties of this philosophy are the exciting, scenarios at the edge of the balance spectrum.  Such as when the fighter and thief are using their brawn and guile to shepherd the exhausted and spent wizard and cleric out of a dangerous dungeon, or when the wizard gets to display his full potential in a single dazzling display of power.
That's just not true, balance means that the fighters brawn and the rogues guile actually matter instead of just beign around to carry the wizard through the first few levels.
Although I really, truly understand where you're comming from (and I agree with most of what you said) the thing is that people play this game in very different ways.

Some like you and I like to role with things and couldn't care less if classes weren't balanced.
But some players also enjoy combat more as a "puzzle" or a game of chess when it comes to rules situations (combat being a big part of it) and the game needs to cater to their tastes too.


I think everyone should read this :
www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?317...

Makes it easier to "agree to disagree" 
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Mainly because no class should be forced to play BMX bandit at any time.
Thing is it is easier to unbalance a balanced game than to balance an unbalanced game.

If the base game is balanced, all you have to do is say spellcasters end encounters (be they social, exploration, or combat) by spending just a single spell slot.

Then the people who want a balanced game have balance, and you can get your Godcasters. Everyone wins.  
Unbalanced doesn't force the players to rely on RP, it forces everyone not playing a power build to rely on RP, that's what unbalanced means.



So what do those playing a "power build" rely upon when the DM actually does his job & crafts an adventure where that's not an advantage?  (it's not that hard) Where they're actually challenged?

Unbalanced doesn't force the players to rely on RP, it forces everyone not playing a power build to rely on RP, that's what unbalanced means.



So what do those playing a "power build" rely upon when the DM actually does his job & crafts an adventure where that's not an advantage?  (it's not that hard) Where they're actually challenged?




Laugh when they take a step back and the rest of the party is screwed because the adventure was balanced around broken?

Or just shine all the brighter because the adventure was built just for them? 
LEt's see, use magic to create unlimited wealth and buy victory via hordes of expndable mercs.

Use magic to collapse dungeon.

Use magic to create constructs/undead to go into anti-magic zones for you.

Use magic to do something completely different.

Even if you can somehow challenge the power builds you've probably done it either by laying down enough heavy handed crap that no one cares, or by setting the difficulty so high the rest of the party may as well not be there. 
Some people can't have fun if they aren't the ones shining brightest all the time.  To cater to these player's needs, no one can ever shine and we must all cast the same dull light at all times.



I don't know why people assume balance means everyone's equal. Good balance should be situational, to ensure that everyone gets a chance to shine at some point, but not always. So ideally you'd have each class shine 25% of the time, be average about 50% of the time and suck 25% of the time or something similar.



The matter of fact here is that this is a public forum and attracts players from every angle.

I agree with Despiser's view, but know that my view is only one facet of the whole and that others will agree, disagree and probably vocally decry my preference as idiocy.

Players will continue to gravitate towards like minded folks and play the game that suits their play style.

D&D Next looks like a step in the right direction to me.
or hey better yet, each class is actually good at things and everyone can be awesome together.
No thanks. If DDN isn't balanced I would rather spend my money on something else. Thankfully, though, it is looking like they are taking balance seriously. 
That's just not true, balance means that the fighters brawn and the rogues guile actually matter instead of just beign around to carry the wizard through the first few levels.



No, if your fighters brawn & your thiefs guille stop mattering that means your DM isn't doing their job anymore.
It also means that the fighter & rogues players probably aren't making the effort.

And in 33 years of play?  I've yet to see a caster dominate the play mechanicly IRL. 
Infact because of you people sobbing here on these boards about the caster dominance that you allow at your tables,  Something (pick any situation in D&D) happens and we'll pause & stare expectantly at the poor wizard/cleric/druid player(s).  The harder the situation?  The more likely this is to occur.  Sometimes even we all take 1 giant step away so as to give them the entire stage.  Yes, we'll watch them get beat down/run out of spells that apply, etc etc etc.  Then we mock them as they've failed to single handily win the encounter or situation via game mechanics.
{note: we ALL play both casters & non-casters.  We even play fighters....Surprised)  
I read and played 3e, the mages are completely borked. Earlier editions may have been less so but Everythign I've read and heard about them including a few perusals of the old character creation rules indicates that the game was only slightly less borked than 3e, and it used primarliy frustration mechanics to achieve this.
I read and played 3e, the mages are completely borked. Earlier editions may have been less so but Everythign I've read and heard about them including a few perusals of the old character creation rules indicates that the game was only slightly less borked than 3e, and it used primarliy frustration mechanics to achieve this.



It was actually a design goal of 3e to have mages be borked. The pure casters were essentially the top of the Ivory Tower.
Sorc, and dread ncro were top of the damned tower, druid wizard, and cleric used the tower as Pocky.

I liked things when they were unbalanced.



You can still have unbalanced.  As a point of fact, it's easier to throw balance off-kilter by putting your finger on the scale than it is to refine an imbalanced ruleset.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

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

 

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

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Frankly the only reason I dislike an unbalanced game is because of being on the game design end.  As the DM I want predictable power levels.  I want to be able to look at my party and say okay you can handle this specific threat given that you have these levels.  I like balance only because I like level to be a clear indicator of power level...now ask me how I feel about differing advancement based upon setting...Basically I have no problem with people being stronger than the other characters I just want that higher strength to be represented by a higher level.  SO maybe in this campaign setting (my home one) wizards level faster than everyone else because in this setting wizards are especially powerful (because I have also made them rarer) however I can still look at my party and do some math to figure out exactly what strength enemies I can throw at the party.  I don't have to trial and error my way through because I don't realize that a 5th level wizard is like a 10th level fighter in terms of damage output and battlefield effectiveness.  Basically I can still have unbalanced parties, but the frickin math will work out easy so I know what I can send at the party and what will fall flat.
if you like the imbalance of the games you used to play, why don't you play those instead of trying to subvert 5e for those of us who want a more well-made game?


if you like the imbalance of the games you used to play, why don't you play those instead of trying to subvert 5e for those of us who want a more well-made game?


also, you post reminds me of the louis ck joke about a white guy who goes to africa and says "look at all these minorities, i'm the only majority here."



I always have to be careful when quoting Louis CK. Lots of stuff slips out that can cause a ban. At least it's a funny ban.
if you like the imbalance of the games you used to play, why don't you play those instead of trying to subvert 5e for those of us who want a more well-made game?


also, you post reminds me of the louis ck joke about a white guy who goes to africa and says "look at all these minorities, i'm the only majority here."


The guy is just expressing his opinion on what DDN should be, he isn't more trying to subvert 5e than you are, you have different opinions.

and BTW: balanced does not equal well-made, nor does unballanced means badly-made 
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I've removed content from this thread. Posting obscenity is a violation of the Code of Conduct

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Please remember to keep your posts polite, on topic and refrain from personal attacks. You are free to disagree with one another as long as it is done in a respectful manner. 



i didn't see any obscenity in my post.
if you like the imbalance of the games you used to play, why don't you play those instead of trying to subvert 5e for those of us who want a more well-made game?


also, you post reminds me of the louis ck joke about a white guy who goes to africa and says "look at all these minorities, i'm the only majority here."


The guy is just expressing his opinion on what DDN should be, he isn't more trying to subvert 5e than you are, you have different opinions.

and BTW: balanced does not equal well-made, nor does unballanced means badly-made 




unbalanced absolutely does mean that the game is badly made. it can still be fun, but imbalance is never an objectively positive quality in a game.
I've removed content from this thread. Posting obscenity is a violation of the Code of Conduct

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

Please remember to keep your posts polite, on topic and refrain from personal attacks. You are free to disagree with one another as long as it is done in a respectful manner. 



i didn't see any obscenity in my post.



I think it was because of the quote. Mine was removed, as well. They kinda removed anything to do with it :P

I liked things when they were unbalanced.



You can still have unbalanced.  As a point of fact, it's easier to throw balance off-kilter by putting your finger on the scale than it is to refine an imbalanced ruleset.


Let's get something straight here, I highly doubt there is anyone who wants an unbalanced game on these boards.  No one wants a character that sucks at everything all the time.

People just have different frames of reference.  For example on the time scale, at the low end of 1 all characters get to contribute evenly throughout a campaign.  Somewhere in the middle around 5 characters contribute evenly throughout a play session and at the peak 10, it's even in a given encounter.  When it comes to aspects, at the lower end of 1, all characters excel at an aspect of a game (combat, exploration, etc), but may be bad in other aspects.  In the middle characters may excel at all aspects, but only situationally (a rogue with the advantage of surprise, etc.), and at the peak all characters are even at all apsects.

Just because someone doesn't want the dials at 10 (or 11 as it seems a lot would like to see), doesn't mean they don't want a balanced game.  They just want a different type of balance that lends itself to a different style of play.  There are situations that can't happen at setting 10.  No one can ever shine.  No one will face a situation where they're utterly dependant on their companions.  A lot people including myself enjoy these aspects of the game.

And while it may be easy to take a game designed with a setting of 10, and make it truly unbalanced, it's quite difficult to change the dial to a different balance setting.
No, if your fighters brawn & your thiefs guille stop mattering that means your DM isn't doing their job anymore.


To be honest, when making a campaign, I'd rather, you know, spend time fine-tuning the campaign to make it more fun, not ban half the Wizard's spell list and have to contrive excuses the other half of their spells can't break the campaign.
if you like the imbalance of the games you used to play, why don't you play those instead of trying to subvert 5e for those of us who want a more well-made game?


also, you post reminds me of the louis ck joke about a white guy who goes to africa and says "look at all these minorities, i'm the only majority here."


The guy is just expressing his opinion on what DDN should be, he isn't more trying to subvert 5e than you are, you have different opinions.

and BTW: balanced does not equal well-made, nor does unballanced means badly-made 




unbalanced absolutely does mean that the game is badly made. it can still be fun, but imbalance is never an objectively positive quality in a game.




Your confusing ojective and subjective entirely.  Your insistance that it is a negative aspect, or at least not a positive aspect, is a subjective opinion.  Objective means untainted by opinion.  Positive or negative aspects are never objective as the positve and negative qualitative review is always subjective.  To you imbalance is negative.  To the OP imbalance is positive.  They are subjective opinions.  Do not try to make yourself seem more correct by misusing the word objective.  Especially do not missuse it when you are directly stating a subjective opinion.

An imbalanced game that was designed to be imbalance is in fact a well designed game.  It met all of it's design goals.  That you do not like it does not mean it was poorly designed, it just means you don't like the game they designed.  If they set out to design a balanced game, and instead ended up with an imbalanced pile of crap then yeah it was a poorly designed game.
And while it may be easy to take a game designed with a setting of 10, and make it truly unbalanced, it's quite difficult to change the dial to a different balance setting.


Not really.  If the game is already balanced, and you want to move the balancing point, you actually have an easier time of doing that.  You just have to figure out what the new balance point is going to be.
There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

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

 

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

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Okay!

But you're not going to get it stock.  It's far easier to imbalance a balanced game than it is to balance an imbalanced game, so you get to be the one who gets the extra work.  Sorry.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I like things perfectly imbalanced while balanced for mastery.

Booyah.

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!

First, in terms of mechanics, it seems as though people are obsessing too much over the number crunch to enjoy the flavour of the game.

False dichotomy, 15 yard penalty.

Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
if you like the imbalance of the games you used to play, why don't you play those instead of trying to subvert 5e for those of us who want a more well-made game?


also, you post reminds me of the louis ck joke about a white guy who goes to africa and says "look at all these minorities, i'm the only majority here."


The guy is just expressing his opinion on what DDN should be, he isn't more trying to subvert 5e than you are, you have different opinions.

and BTW: balanced does not equal well-made, nor does unballanced means badly-made 




unbalanced absolutely does mean that the game is badly made. it can still be fun, but imbalance is never an objectively positive quality in a game.




Your confusing ojective and subjective entirely.  Your insistance that it is a negative aspect, or at least not a positive aspect, is a subjective opinion.  Objective means untainted by opinion.  Positive or negative aspects are never objective as the positve and negative qualitative review is always subjective.  To you imbalance is negative.  To the OP imbalance is positive.  They are subjective opinions.  Do not try to make yourself seem more correct by misusing the word objective.  Especially do not missuse it when you are directly stating a subjective opinion.

An imbalanced game that was designed to be imbalance is in fact a well designed game.  It met all of it's design goals.  That you do not like it does not mean it was poorly designed, it just means you don't like the game they designed.  If they set out to design a balanced game, and instead ended up with an imbalanced pile of crap then yeah it was a poorly designed game.



www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/difficulti...

who in their right mind sets out to make an imbalanced game? (aside from the OSR clone crowd)

every edition of dnd was designed with a goal of balance. the only difference between older and newer editions is that that enforcing balance used to be wholly under the DM's list of tasks. newer games rely more heavily on the written rules for system balance.

 

if you like the imbalance of the games you used to play, why don't you play those instead of trying to subvert 5e for those of us who want a more well-made game?


also, you post reminds me of the louis ck joke about a white guy who goes to africa and says "look at all these minorities, i'm the only majority here."


The guy is just expressing his opinion on what DDN should be, he isn't more trying to subvert 5e than you are, you have different opinions.

and BTW: balanced does not equal well-made, nor does unballanced means badly-made 




unbalanced absolutely does mean that the game is badly made. it can still be fun, but imbalance is never an objectively positive quality in a game.


Never said it was a positive thing, but if the object of a game is to be fun, and an unballanced game can be fun, then it is a well-made game
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www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/perfec...

I don't remember who posted it first on this forum, but it bears watching  
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com