interaction and rp options as part of a class or not ?

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Many people want to see more rp and interaction options for classes, things thatt have been sugested is paladins having to tide money to their religion.
but in my opinion many of these options would depend on the campaign setting, and should not be a inherrent part of a class but somthing that is added to it.

So should rp options be inherrent to a class or added trough options like background, legacy and maybe some other kind of system that is added onto the class?
 
Definitely not.

A class is a mechanical construct, a collection of abilities.  It should not have dictated behaviors attached to it.  All that does is stifle creativity and freedom.  Any class should be able to be roleplayed in whatever fashion the player wants; if he wants to cleave to old stereotypes, he can; if he doesn't, he shouldn't be forced to do so.
This post assumes the perspective that we're willing to consider the benefits of potentially pasting RP elements onto classes, and that isn't a cardinal sin. I don't know that I would really do it.

Not all ways of interacting with the interaction pillar are created equal.

I'm going to start with the assertion that if somebody plays a class that requires them to tithe money to their religion and they tithe the money to their religion and that's all that comes out of it, that doesn't count as roleplaying. It's just a weird puppet show version of roleplaying, where somebody does something roleplayish because the game is making them do it. What we'd have to hope for is that some of what's associated with that kind of seeps into the rest of the things the player has the character do.

Through that lens, we don't want to pasting just any RP elements onto character options (like class). We want to be looking for RP elements that to the greatest extent possible inspire the player to explore who the character is and expand what his or her place in the world is. (While at the same time not being bafflingly narrow; when you choose a class, you're choosing a very broad archetype, not a particular life story.) Is a tithe requirement the best concievable way to do an enforced RP element? I kind of doubt it.

There are some systems that have as part of character creation extensive models that help you think about what your character is like. D&D has a little bit of this, but it's always been sort of a sideshow. Even if you do the part in the 4e PHB that talks about what your character is like and how they respond to things and stuff, none of that ends up on your character sheet. D&D's alignment system says so deperately little about a character that its effect is pretty weak.

If there was an RP requirement for a class, I'd want it to have the following properties -

- It's something that happens primarily on-screen, rather than being some kind of bookkeeping thing that happens between sessions.
- It's something that the player is encouraged to get invested in. Customizability is a good driver for that.
- It's something that encourages the player to have it inform the character, instead of being just a "Oh right, I have to X, I'm playing a Y" thing.

I don't believe that it's impossible to have game structures that encourage roleplaying, but I also - perhaps much more strongly - don't believe that relatively boring behavior quirks are an effective way to produce them.
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Since all players are expected to roleplay, then any class representation should offer mechanical solutions to indicate when dice rolling may be involved. And skills are the main component at this moment to address it for all classes. So all classes should have access to skills and special abilities to further define a niche.

I would not mind additional rules to support roleplay for all classes, like an equivalent of the fate system, skill challenges, etc.

In reference to fluff like guild dues, tithes, etc. I would prefer they be treated outside the class.  
I don't know exactly what is being talked about. Are there other examples of RP interaction options other that tithing?

I am a huge fan of things like languages, group and multiple checks, skill challenges, companion management, animal training and rearing, explanar conversation, and political systems.

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I agree.

A class is a construct. A collection combat mechanics that have nothing to do with your character. This is a good thing. Being a fighter means that you can fight. Being a wizard means you can cast spells.

None of this says anything about how you have to act out of combat.

 
Actually classes are not purely combat constructs. Over 50% of the class in the playtest have out of combat class features.

But classes shouldn't force behavior unless the behavior fuels the class' features like a cleric's need for prayer or meditation.

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Perhaps the character creation should be broken into the three pillars rather than class/background/specialty? Not gonna happen, but then again I want to see combat switched over to using the skill system.

Working with class/background/specialty as a base, I think it does make sense to have different classes better or worse at combat, and get more features for the other pillars, accordingly.

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I can't articulate why but I really dislike the whole pillar thing. Something about this topic has brought that to the front of my mind.


I don't think the tithe is a particularly good class ....thing. (I want to call it a mechanic, but it doesn't really interact with anything) Lesp did a good job saying why it sucks. it sucks.


I disagree with the sentiment that a class says nothing about what your character does out of combat. A class says quite a lot about your character's background, beliefs, favoured tools and way of life. It says an awful lot about your character beyond combat. When creating a character that doesn't follow all the trends we've got surrounding characters, a player creates tension because they've broken the mold. This is a good thing. Without the mold, we can't break it. In breaking the mold, we define what's normal. In defining what's normal, we allow ourselves to challenge those definitions and we make better characters.


I don't think the given examples are very good for this, but little things like weapon and armour choices inform roleplay. Class abilities that encourage certain tactics tell us what kind of a person someone is and what they're willing to do to win. Trying to think what else. Access to spells. A wizard feels crazy different from a sorcerer because wizards have this big ol' book they read all the time. It forms roleplaying associations and speaks about what kinds of people are wizards.


To use Lesp's words, a spellbook is a mechanical construct in a class that is "something that happens primarily on-screen, rather than being some kind of bookkeeping thing that happens between sessions" by being something the wizard interacts with at least once each day and is something they're seeking to expand at all times, "it's something that the player is encouraged to get invested in" because they have to protect it and it holds importance outside the context of their character or even their class. It holds power. And "it's something that encourages the player to have it inform the character, instead of being just a "Oh right, I have to X, I'm playing a Y" thing" because the book can be expanded through gameplay via finding scrolls. It also means that whatever else the character may be, they're literate, probably academic or at the very least they respect books as objects of power. It gives the character a distinctly academic flavour because of the spellbook.

But classes shouldn't force behavior unless the behavior fuels the class' features like a cleric's need for prayer or meditation.

Thus, we all have our own sense of how much "mandatory fluff" is acceptable and/or required.

"Prayer and Meditation" have absolutely nothing to do with marking a spell-slot as "used" and informing another player to add some number of hitpoints to his current total.

Actually, the rules does say the cleric has to pray, meditate, or do some other time expending action for a certain amount of time to regain spells (unless you DM uses a dial or module to remove it). So that is a RP and Interaction mechanic as the cleric must have some time alone (unless the DM say no).

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!

So that is a RP and Interaction mechanic as the cleric must have some time alone (unless the DM say no).

Not really, no.
It's just "Long Rest = get your spell slots back."

Mecahnics are a means to an end and are pointless without an archetypal classification.    

In D&D a class isn't playable if it's strictly defined with combat mecahnics only.   If all the game did was give you a bunch of classes named Combat Class A, Combat Class B, Combat Class C,  the game would not be playable as a role playing system.

Before you can even design a class you need to define a pattern of behavior for such an archetype.
The pattern of behavior of the class should not be confused with an individual character's personality or background.  

For example,  the wizard strives to be a master of magical energies, shaping them and casting them as spells. To do so, he studies strange tongues and obscure facts and devotes much of his time to magical research etc....

From that description any number of game mechanics can be created.     The mechancics themselves are not the purpose of the class, they are simply a means to abstractly represent the character in the game when needed.  

That's why every archetype "class"-ification must outline all the advantages and disadvantages in and out of combat inorder to make that archetype come to life as a playable concept.    The class definition should provide examples of the kind of character the class is supposed to represent.  For example, the ranger class in the PHB might make mention of the fictional Robin Hood.   When that image comes to mind people do not think of mechanics,  the pattern of behavior and appearance of the character is what comes to mind.    Now, some people might have completely different concepts on what a ranger is for their campaign, but that doesn't mean the default ranger D&D class should be reduced to mechanics and be completely void of any imagery devices.

I find it odd that some players don't like the idea of archetypal disadvantages (like the frail wizard).   To them there is no such thing as an in game role playing hindrance for a class at all.   These people are perfectly fine with classes that can't use a particular weapon or armor (for mechanical balance reasons ), but they are violently opposed to role playing rules of any kind, despite the fact that their games are mostly combat focused anyway.  

It's true that many class hindrances are campaign specific.  For example, a warlock in one campaign setting might be hunted down and burned on the stake for practicing witchcraft (a disadvantage),  but in another that might not ever happen.    Regardless, I think we really do need a default set of D&D archetypes for the core.   Thankfully, D&D next has default concepts for races and classes, because without them the game wouldn't be role-playable.   Default role playing features don't create problems for alternate campaign settings at all.   In fact, the campaign setting is within its rights to modify the default classes/races and/or eliminate them completely.




For example,  the wizard strives to be a master of magical energies, shaping them and casting them as spells. To do so, he studies strange tongues and obscure facts and devotes much of his time to magical research etc....



Not necessarily, no.  That's the default.  That's the stereotype.  It is not, in any way, a requirement, nor should it be.

If you want to play lame stereotypical characters, go to town.  If you want your players to play lame stereotypical characters, you can force them to in your game.  The system has no business dictating roleplay to anybody.
These people are perfectly fine with classes that can't use a particular weapon or armor (for mechanical balance reasons )

Actually, that's a bunch of crap too.



For example,  the wizard strives to be a master of magical energies, shaping them and casting them as spells. To do so, he studies strange tongues and obscure facts and devotes much of his time to magical research etc....



Not necessarily, no.  That's the default.  That's the stereotype.  It is not, in any way, a requirement, nor should it be.

If you want to play lame stereotypical characters, go to town.  If you want your players to play lame stereotypical characters, you can force them to in your game.  The system has no business dictating roleplay to anybody.




ok well, if you want to call King Aurthor a wizard then make your own campaign setting, but I doubt the designers are going to change that for you.   D&D is full of so called stereotypical concepts. 




For example,  the wizard strives to be a master of magical energies, shaping them and casting them as spells. To do so, he studies strange tongues and obscure facts and devotes much of his time to magical research etc....



Not necessarily, no.  That's the default.  That's the stereotype.  It is not, in any way, a requirement, nor should it be.

If you want to play lame stereotypical characters, go to town.  If you want your players to play lame stereotypical characters, you can force them to in your game.  The system has no business dictating roleplay to anybody.




ok well, if you want to call King Aurthor a wizard then make your own campaign setting, but I doubt the designers are going to change that for you.   D&D is full of so called stereotypical concepts. 



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For example,  the wizard strives to be a master of magical energies, shaping them and casting them as spells. To do so, he studies strange tongues and obscure facts and devotes much of his time to magical research etc....



Not necessarily, no.  That's the default.  That's the stereotype.  It is not, in any way, a requirement, nor should it be.

If you want to play lame stereotypical characters, go to town.  If you want your players to play lame stereotypical characters, you can force them to in your game.  The system has no business dictating roleplay to anybody.

Indeed. This is why I love Savage Worlds. The freeform character building allows for all manner of interesting RP without the stigma gained from traditional stereotypes.

For example, I recently played in a game set in the modern day where the PCs were "magical" detectives. Magic worked very much in the D&D sense in that learning and mastering spells was more like a science than sorcery. Even so we had one player who learned to blend magic and martial arts from reading magical ninjutsu scrolls, another who learned his magic from his native american grandfather and considered himself a shaman who could see and speak with the spirits of magic, another player who was a traditional bookworm magician, and lastly a Vietnam Vet who took a little too much acid and could now see patterns in the universe nobody else could which allowed him to cast spells.

One thing I want for D&D to allow is the freedom of expression and creativity that other RPGs do. D&D has traditionally had the problem of making the "fluff" too "crunchy" which has only ever restricted options. It was only in 4e where most of the fluff of a class was actually removed from the crunch that you could create the type of "concepts" traditionally only seen in non D&D rpgs.

One thing I want for D&D to allow is the freedom of expression and creativity that other RPGs do. D&D has traditionally had the problem of making the "fluff" too "crunchy" which has only ever restricted options. It was only in 4e where most of the fluff of a class was actually removed from the crunch that you could create the type of "concepts" traditionally only seen in non D&D rpgs.



IMO, the day "fluff" (a terribly dismissive term) and "crunch" were used D&D went in the wrong direction. 



One thing I want for D&D to allow is the freedom of expression and creativity that other RPGs do. D&D has traditionally had the problem of making the "fluff" too "crunchy" which has only ever restricted options. It was only in 4e where most of the fluff of a class was actually removed from the crunch that you could create the type of "concepts" traditionally only seen in non D&D rpgs.



IMO, the day "fluff" (a terribly dismissive term) and "crunch" were used D&D went in the wrong direction. 



Wat? I love fluff. I think fluff is the best part about any RPG. I just generally don't like the fluff provided by the game and I do not think the game should dictate the fluff (except for specific campaign settings).

For example, if the base game had the fluff that all elves are actually humanoid plants and all dwarves are actually lesser earth elementals, many a grognard would scoff at the ridiculousness of such a game. But, in my homebrew fantasy world that is the way things are. Nothing changes mechanically, but the races have different fluff.

I want the games base fluff to be mutable so that anyone can create whatever concepts they want to. I don't want particular mechanics chosen for me based on fluff that only end up restricting creativity. This is why I oppose baked in RP mechanics because RP is mostly fluff, and the way you play class X could be 100% opposite of the way I play class X.
I'm sort of confused by this topic. When I read "RP options" as part of class, I didn't think restrictions. What I thought were mechanics like the Druid's Wild Empathy feature in 3E or the Bard's Words of Friendship power in 4E, things that expand or enhance role-playing options. These were even abilities that character could choose not to use if they didn't want to.

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One thing I want for D&D to allow is the freedom of expression and creativity that other RPGs do. D&D has traditionally had the problem of making the "fluff" too "crunchy" which has only ever restricted options. It was only in 4e where most of the fluff of a class was actually removed from the crunch that you could create the type of "concepts" traditionally only seen in non D&D rpgs.



IMO, the day "fluff" (a terribly dismissive term) and "crunch" were used D&D went in the wrong direction. 



Wat? I love fluff. I think fluff is the best part about any RPG. I just generally don't like the fluff provided by the game and I do not think the game should dictate the fluff (except for specific campaign settings).

For example, if the base game had the fluff that all elves are actually humanoid plants and all dwarves are actually lesser earth elementals, many a grognard would scoff at the ridiculousness of such a game. But, in my homebrew fantasy world that is the way things are. Nothing changes mechanically, but the races have different fluff.

I want the games base fluff to be mutable so that anyone can create whatever concepts they want to. I don't want particular mechanics chosen for me based on fluff that only end up restricting creativity. This is why I oppose baked in RP mechanics because RP is mostly fluff, and the way you play class X could be 100% opposite of the way I play class X.



That doesn't really work.  What about the gnome?   More recent versions have turned him into a fey creature and loaded him up with mechanics to fit that concept.    To me gnomes are not fey creatures at all and shouldn't have any fey like abilities.    They are closer related to dwarves and require mechanics to fit that "fluff"     Now, I'm fine with the fey gnome in the PHB, but I'm not going to simply reflavour another race for my campaign.   I'm going to create a new Rock Gnome race with mechanics to match the fluff.  

The "fluff" is what dictates mechanics. 

You can't remove all the fluff without ending up with a bunch of empty container classes/races.  In such a system, a player would say, "I'm making a forest dwarf wizard" and then  reflavour No-name Class A and no-name Race D.   The details of class A in PHB would simply be a bunch of non-descriptive mechanics and nothing more.     Now, that might be what you want for D&D, but it isn't D&D.      The system needs a set of default archetypes, otherwise people won't be able to relate to it.  




In such a system, a player would say, "I'm making a forest dwarf wizard" and then  reflavour No-name Class A and no-name Race D. 

Traditional fluff intrusion would insist your dwarf come from a mine or mountain, and never be a wizard.

"Must", "Cannot", "Always", and "Never" need to be stripped out of fluff-chanics.   Everything else can stay.

In such a system, a player would say, "I'm making a forest dwarf wizard" and then  reflavour No-name Class A and no-name Race D. 

Traditional fluff intrusion would insist your dwarf come from a mine or mountain, and never be a wizard.

"Must", "Cannot", "Always", and "Never" need to be stripped out of fluff-chanics.   Everything else can stay.

Agreed. I personally want to see a viable earth-based dwarven arcanist, either with weapons or pure caster. If that requires that I use elf and scratch it out and write dwarf, I don't count that as a good solution.

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One thing I want for D&D to allow is the freedom of expression and creativity that other RPGs do. D&D has traditionally had the problem of making the "fluff" too "crunchy" which has only ever restricted options. It was only in 4e where most of the fluff of a class was actually removed from the crunch that you could create the type of "concepts" traditionally only seen in non D&D rpgs.



IMO, the day "fluff" (a terribly dismissive term) and "crunch" were used D&D went in the wrong direction. 



Wat? I love fluff. I think fluff is the best part about any RPG. I just generally don't like the fluff provided by the game and I do not think the game should dictate the fluff (except for specific campaign settings).

For example, if the base game had the fluff that all elves are actually humanoid plants and all dwarves are actually lesser earth elementals, many a grognard would scoff at the ridiculousness of such a game. But, in my homebrew fantasy world that is the way things are. Nothing changes mechanically, but the races have different fluff.

I want the games base fluff to be mutable so that anyone can create whatever concepts they want to. I don't want particular mechanics chosen for me based on fluff that only end up restricting creativity. This is why I oppose baked in RP mechanics because RP is mostly fluff, and the way you play class X could be 100% opposite of the way I play class X.



That doesn't really work.  What about the gnome?   More recent versions have turned him into a fey creature and loaded him up with mechanics to fit that concept.    To me gnomes are not fey creatures at all and shouldn't have any fey like abilities.    They are closer related to dwarves and require mechanics to fit that "fluff"     Now, I'm fine with the fey gnome in the PHB, but I'm not going to simply reflavour another race for my campaign.   I'm going to create a new Rock Gnome race with mechanics to match the fluff.  

The "fluff" is what dictates mechanics. 

You can't remove all the fluff without ending up with a bunch of empty container classes/races.  In such a system, a player would say, "I'm making a forest dwarf wizard" and then  reflavour No-name Class A and no-name Race D.   The details of class A in PHB would simply be a bunch of non-descriptive mechanics and nothing more.     Now, that might be what you want for D&D, but it isn't D&D.      The system needs a set of default archetypes, otherwise people won't be able to relate to it.  


No one is really talking about removing the fluff.  I agree with Lawolf in saying that I love fluff.  In light doses, even mechanically interactive or mechanically restrictive fluff can be an enhancment to the game experience.  The problem is that the questions of "what fluff should this particular race/class/phlebotinum have," "should this fluff be mechanically enforced," and "what is the best way to mechanically enforce this fluff" are individual campaign/setting questions and shouldn't be predetermined settings.
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.

 

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In such a system, a player would say, "I'm making a forest dwarf wizard" and then  reflavour No-name Class A and no-name Race D. 

Traditional fluff intrusion would insist your dwarf come from a mine or mountain, and never be a wizard.

"Must", "Cannot", "Always", and "Never" need to be stripped out of fluff-chanics.   Everything else can stay.




I'm perfectly fine with traditional fluff.  As long as the system has mechanics that support it.   Even if the default game says that elves are immune to sleep spells, that halflings need two hands to use medium sized weapons, that rangers have a hated enemy, that the cleric can't use bladed weapons, that wizards are usually frail and have low hit points.    

The fact is, mecahnics can't exist without fluff. If you remove all the fluff what you end up with is a bunch of empty container classes and races.   

 


I'm perfectly fine with traditional fluff.  As long as the system has mechanics that support it.

So, you find "No Dwarf Wizards!" to be perfectly fine?

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The fact is, mecahnics can't exist without fluff. If you remove all the fluff what you end up with is a bunch of empty container classes and races.   

 



That you can give whatever flavor you feel like.  This is not a bad thing.
Default flavor is fine.  Mandatory flavor is not.

No one is really talking about removing the fluff.  I agree with Lawolf in saying that I love fluff.  In light doses, even mechanically interactive or mechanically restrictive fluff can be an enhancment to the game experience.  The problem is that the questions of "what fluff should this particular race/class/phlebotinum have," "should this fluff be mechanically enforced," and "what is the best way to mechanically enforce this fluff" are individual campaign/setting questions and shouldn't be predetermined settings.



Without default settings your windows installlation wouldn't even boot up correctly.  The same is true with a role playing game.   It needs defaults.    If you don't like them change them with modules, but the game needs to work and provide classes that people can relate to.       

If the Paladin in the default seting has a clearly defined code of honor to follow I'd be perfectly happy with that.  It's just default role playing information and that's very valuable because it helps people understand the class from a role playing perspective. 

IMO, D&D has a right to say, "in D&D land, the ranger is X or the druid is a tree hugger".  The mechanics are really just a means to abstract the features that are derived from the fluff.  



 


Default flavor is fine.  Mandatory flavor is not.


In other words:
Fluff?  Yes please.
Mechanically enforced fluff?  Let us handle that, but feel free to give options in a sidebar to inspire/guide us.
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.


No one is really talking about removing the fluff.  I agree with Lawolf in saying that I love fluff.  In light doses, even mechanically interactive or mechanically restrictive fluff can be an enhancment to the game experience.  The problem is that the questions of "what fluff should this particular race/class/phlebotinum have," "should this fluff be mechanically enforced," and "what is the best way to mechanically enforce this fluff" are individual campaign/setting questions and shouldn't be predetermined settings.



Without default settings your windows installlation wouldn't even boot up correctly.  The same is true with a role playing game.   It needs defaults.


Which is fine if we're talking about default fluff, but not if that default fluff is by default mechanically enforced.
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.



Without default settings your windows installlation wouldn't even boot up correctly.  The same is true with a role playing game.  ..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />

 



How much yoga did you have to do to be able to reach that far?
Safe Mode is fine.  No option to not boot directly into Metro is not.
I'm perfectly fine with traditional fluff.  As long as the system has mechanics that support it.

So, you find "No Dwarf Wizards!" to be perfectly fine?




That would just be a default.    It might be a very bad set of defaults for the core PHB, but since I could just ignore it wouldn't be a big deal.    If I recal, pre-3e dwarves and arcane magic didn't mix all that well, but they got some great saving throws against magic.   


Safe Mode is fine.  No option to not boot directly into Metro is not.



Save mode is a set of defaults.    

The core of D&D next should be like safe mode  



No one is really talking about removing the fluff.  I agree with Lawolf in saying that I love fluff.  In light doses, even mechanically interactive or mechanically restrictive fluff can be an enhancment to the game experience.  The problem is that the questions of "what fluff should this particular race/class/phlebotinum have," "should this fluff be mechanically enforced," and "what is the best way to mechanically enforce this fluff" are individual campaign/setting questions and shouldn't be predetermined settings.



Without default settings your windows installlation wouldn't even boot up correctly.  The same is true with a role playing game.   It needs defaults.


Which is fine if we're talking about default fluff, but not if that default fluff is by default mechanically enforced.



I don't understand that comment.    If you remove the fluff shouldn't the associated mecahnics go along with it?

I mean, if the default Paladin must follow his code of honor or lose his paladinhood then don't both go down the drain once you remove the code of honor?
 



No one is really talking about removing the fluff.  I agree with Lawolf in saying that I love fluff.  In light doses, even mechanically interactive or mechanically restrictive fluff can be an enhancment to the game experience.  The problem is that the questions of "what fluff should this particular race/class/phlebotinum have," "should this fluff be mechanically enforced," and "what is the best way to mechanically enforce this fluff" are individual campaign/setting questions and shouldn't be predetermined settings.



Without default settings your windows installlation wouldn't even boot up correctly.  The same is true with a role playing game.   It needs defaults.


Which is fine if we're talking about default fluff, but not if that default fluff is by default mechanically enforced.



I don't understand that comment.    If you remove the fluff shouldn't the associated mecahnics go along with it?


I'm glad you asked, because it very much does look like you misunderstood.  Please recall that I said default fluff is fine, but having mechanical enforcement for that fluff being the default isn't.  So the paladin's code of conduct is good fluff.  However, the losing one's powers when it's violated is mechanical enforcement and is not cool.
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.

   If the Paladin in the default seting has a clearly defined code of honor to follow I'd be perfectly happy with that.  It's just default role playing information and that's very valuable because it helps people understand the class from a role playing perspective. 



DMgorgon, you are confusing destricption (aka fluff) with mechanics.

Under the paladin's description it can talk about how they receive power through worship to their god(s), how they follow their god(s) tenants, how they smite enemies of their god(s), how some donate 10% of their earnings to the church, and how it is rumored that some who fall out of the grace of their god are punished and may even have their powers revoked.

That is all mostly fluff though. The paladin should not have a mechanically enforced code of conduct. The paladin should not have mechanics to remove their powers when they stray off the given path. Someone who makes a paladin of the Raven Queen or a Lord of Chaos will not necessarily follow a code, pay a tithe, or even be subject to power removal. A paladin who gains divine power from worshipping himself will almost certainly not follow any of the descriptive fluff above.

As soon as you produce mechanics based on fluff, it restricts options for creativity. In a game about imaginary heroes that is simply bad form.

The "fluff" is what dictates mechanics. 

You can't remove all the fluff without ending up with a bunch of empty container classes/races.  In such a system, a player would say, "I'm making a forest dwarf wizard" and then  reflavour No-name Class A and no-name Race D. The details of class A in PHB would simply be a bunch of non-descriptive mechanics and nothing more. Now, that might be what you want for D&D, but it isn't D&D. The system needs a set of default archetypes, otherwise people won't be able to relate to it.

I'm not really sure you know what you are talking about. Afterall I love savage worlds because I can "make up the fluff" without having mechanics being forced on me. Same with 4e. I rarely play a typical "from the book" concept so 4e gives me the freedom to play D&D my way, while still not interfering with doing things "your way".

Take V/S/M spellcasting components for example. 4e does not assume these at base. In 4e I am free to make a spellcaster who casts magic that appears more similar to Avatar's elemental bending, or LotR magic that just happens, or to Harry Potter style wand magic, or to The Dresden Files style magic. But 4e in no way prevents me from using the more traditional (and more obscure apparently) "jazz hands and jibber jabber" that was pre 4e spellcasting. You are free to fluff your wizard needing spell pouches full of bat guano, wigly fingers, and arcane mutterings while I am not. In 3e this was not the case though because they attached mechanics (jazz hands and jibber jabber) to fluff (how you cast your spells). It was basicially impossible to create a true to form representation of most fantasy spellcasters because most spellcasters in fantasy do not cast spells like a D&D wizard.

P.S. I think a forest dwarf wizard sounds awesome! Why would you (as the GM) want to stop your player from coming up with interesting RP possibilites that come from the forest dwarf wizard?

Forest dwarf wizard does sound awesome.  Feels sorta Radagastian to me.  Maybe his guano spell component is caked into his beard.