What's your playstyle?

I keep reading on these boards that D&D Next isn't for some people because it doesn't suit their playstyle.

It's sometimes difficult to understand what some people call playstyle. So I'll ask, what is your playstyle? Is D&D Next compatible with your playstyle? Why? Why not?

I'll start.

My playstyle pretty much is:
1) Story-based.
2) Open-ended.
3) The challenge unit in my games is the whole adventuring day. Each stand-only encounter is only part of the overall challenge.
4) Low-magic settings. I don't like casters that go Dragon Ball Z all day.

 Now when applied to D&D Next:
1) Check. Combats are fast enough that they don't get in the way of the story. It could be improved if you could one-shot critters when attacking from stealth and stuff like that.
2) Not check. Maneuvers and skill tricks pretty much imply that there's a limit on what your character can do. D&D Next could be significantly improved.
3) Check. Daily resources and bound accuracy.
4) Not check. At-will cantrips and a functional ritual system. This is a work in progress so I'll be patient and see what it looks like at the end.
"Playstyle" is a very vague term that can mean quite a lot of things. In general, I'd say...

* I like to place a high focus both on my character's story and my character's mechanics, but I like those to be two distinct things (I don't need mechanics to reflect my story, and I want enforcement of story kept out of my mechanics).
Next is doing an okay job of keeping story out of mechanics, but not enough to really impress me. We still have things like the conflation of innate racial features and cultural features that bugs me, and subraces themself just make me roll my eyes.

* I like to role-play, and I get really excited when a DM includes aspects of my character's story in the campaign. While role-playing I generally take on either a serious, leaderly, strategic role or a humorous, bafoon persona, quite different extremes, depending on the character.
Next could neither promote nor detract from this if it tried, so it's irrelevant.

* I'm fine with being railroaded as long as a DM knows how to actually do it well.
Next could neither promote nor detract from this if it tried, so it's irrelevant.

* I cannot stand prepared casting and will always avoid it like the plague, as will I avoid in casting at all in low-level games without at-will casting (playing a caster is simply no fun if I can't play a caster), but otherwise I've played and like to play a variety of classes.
Next's cantrips are okay as far as at-will casting goes, but I think I'll like it better once I see more options. I'm sure I'll also like it better once I can look at more spontaneous casters or spontaneous variants for existing prepared casters.

* I dislike low-magic settings, because in my experience they become all about the loot. When magic items are everywhere, they have no power to draw, and the story can be better focused on, so high-magic is superior for role-playing as far as I am concerned.
Next isn't doing a great job here. Magic items are too big a deal. I want an abundance of minor, meaningless magical trinkets that one could get at any bazaar.

* I generally dislike random encounters. If a battle does not advance the plot meaningfully or at least have some other extremely fun and unique gimmick, then I will consider it a waste of time.
Next could neither promote nor detract from this if it tried, so it's irrelevant.

* I am the king of character sheets. I regularly have characters sheets 20+ pages long, custom made in Word for each individual character. This is because I hate having to flip through books in the middle of a game. All of my spells, all of my feats, every mechanic a character of mine plans on using, will be detailed somewhere on my sheet for easy reference, including things like grapple rules, full ready stats for anything I can summon, and full ready modifications for anything that I can shape-shift into.
Next could neither promote nor detract from this if it tried, so it's irrelevant. All official characters sheets ever have been terrible, and there's nothing that Next can do about it.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I DM more than I play, but in general I tend towards

- Exciting, unique characters. Not necessarily bizarre or strange characters (there's a line past which strangeness turns me off), but I like it when every character feels like they have a unique story to them.
- Big, fantastical worlds, with an emphasis on making the lore matter. If a world element isn't something the players are interested in and excited about and which is affecting the story or shaping the world, it might as well not exist.
- Lots of emphasis on NPC contacts and recurring elements.
- Lots of emphasis on teamwork in the "work together" sense. I'm okay with some of the "take turns fixing problems" sense of teamwork, but that's less interesting to me.
- Letting the players decide what the world is like. If someone has an idea for a god that they want their character to worship, that god exists. If the sorcerer says that sorcerer magic works in a certain way, that's how it works. If someone wants to be a minotaur, then there are some socialized minotaurs running around. I'm not creating a universal set of rules that everybody has to love, I'm making something fun for three to six specific other humans.
- Magic item specialness via specificity, rather than simple rarity. While I don't just dump magic items everywhere, I think that giving magic items names and quirks does a lot more to make them feel special then making there be half as many of them (not that that's an actual choice you have to make, since you can do both.)
- Bending the world around the characters to help the characters be distinct and thematic. If someone is playing a greataxe-wielding barbarian from the frigid northlands, then there's probably going to be a +1 Frost Greataxe in the treasure pretty quick, with a name and description that fits the character.
- I try to avoid making anything feel like "just another X". I name most enemies when writing down the initiative order, for example. (Unless there's too many of them. I can only think of ways to describe wolves so quickly.) I try to avoid pointless encounters with random enemies that don't serve any purpose other than to deplete resources. (Unless the random enemies are sufficiently awesome.)
- I don't use the rules of the game as physics too heavily. The rules are for adjudicating ambiguities.

Next doesn't really strongly support or strongly interfere with many elements of my style, but that's largely because the style is more... style-y, and less a preference for specific game mechanical elements. I have been straight-up ignoring the two-axis alignment system (in favor of a priorities/allegiances/values system), but I've been doing that for years, and wouldn't for a second consider not modding any two-axis system to do that instead.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Letting the players decide what the world is like. If someone has an idea for a god that they want their character to worship, that god exists. If the sorcerer says that sorcerer magic works in a certain way, that's how it works. If someone wants to be a minotaur, then there are some socialized minotaurs running around. I'm not creating a universal set of rules that everybody has to love, I'm making something fun for three to six specific other humans.

That right there is some great DMing. I wish more DMs would do that.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
As a DM, I favor

1) Story based.
2) High frequency, low power magic. Magic is everywhere but is rarely something that technology can't reproduce except in major cases.
3) Evermoving. Between session I determine what everyone else is doing.
4) Resource heavy. I tend to give PCs stuff then threaten to take them away for tensoin.
5) Lots of Politics. That is how I do 3 and 4.
6) Few dungeons. I favor city and wilderness adventuring. It's harder to make sense of dungeons with all my NPCs walking around.

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!

My style of play would be somewhere in between 1e and 4e, with an emphasis on providing mechanisms for each class to contribute to the game. 1E and 4E offer the most distinct views of D&D. I favor a strong bias towards each class have access to the same mechanics whenever possible, so all classes should have abilities that access to the same attacks methods (AC), defense methods (save or unified defenses), skills, healing resources, etc. What makes each class unique is how they use all the items available or add new features like spell use, skill mastery, rage, etc. I prefer a rock, paper, scissors approach to class interaction with the game. So any class may eventually have a tool or feature that will let them shine. I also want the capabilty to run any type of setting I want from no-magic to very high and certain resources like healing should support the same pacing for story purposes, but also have mechanisms to speed it up or slow it down.

I like this thread. My style is like so:



  • I tend to invent stories off player actions as they happen. I've got a very broad script of sorts that includes events and some NPCs and such, but they only come in when the players aren't giving me enough to invent something from what they're giving me.

  • I try to strike a balance between world building and player interest. I expect players with new ideas (either their own or something published) to collaborate with me to make it fit in the world by providing context. It's very rare that we can't integrate something very close to what they initially ask for, but it's got to happen through collaboration.

  • I like crazy ideas. Not so much "strange characters" like a grey ooze wizard or whatever, but just weird people who have eccentric ideas and players who just go for it and try stuff.

  • I like to tweak the game rules as I notice things or as players bring things to my attention. I will very often change things around between sessions, but I always run it by my players and ask for their input. I base my tweaks on actual gameplay, not speculation based on writing. I try not to meddle with the same system more than once every three or four sessions so we can get a feel for the change and see if it's doing what we want.

  • I keep things reasonably even between social, combat and exploration. I do my best to make sure they all feed off each other, so a combat will cause a wall to collapse into a secret passage, which sparks exploration for a bit and some clues about who they need to find and convince to help them.

  • I do not keep challenges entirely within the party's ability. If they don't have a trapfinder, then they just have to deal with the traps somehow else. If they don't have a tankey dude, they'll have to find another way to stop that umber hulk from charging down that hallway and murdering the children.

  • In dungeons, I like puzzles. I will often create death traps that are obvious and clues around it on how to disable it or place monsters that are obviously not meant to be fought. Players always have the option to fight, of course, but if they do they can expect to have losses.

  • I don't use battle mats.


And that leads me into what I want from the game, and how the game might suit my playstyle:



  • It's got to let me invent things as I go, using math that's consistent to how players are built.



    1. I realise that this doesn't really come from my play style listed above, but since I spend as much time playing as I do DMing, I find it easiest if everything conforms to player math on both sides of the screen, even if they're not determined in the same way. So far, the playtest does not deliver this but I've still got hope.



  • It's got to let me adapt and change the system mid adventure (often several times during an adventure) on the fly without a lot of fuss.



    1. Promises of modularity would suit me here. I'm quietly confident they'll supprot my playstyle in this regard.



  • It's got to stress simple, quickly applied mechanics that do not have a lot of exceptions.



    1. Touch and go here but mostly this is what I'd hope for.



  • Combat can't take too long. I want to focus on several pillars in a session so one thing can't swallow the game.



    1. This is working

My style for D&D is high-fantasy stories where the characters are bigger than life heroes who engage in lots of interaction and exploration (both with a failing forward philosophy) punctuated by important set-piece battles (whereas taking out a mook or five is just a d20 check, if that... if its a not a set-piece battle 99% of the foes are just minions).

In my style of D&D spellcasters are people for whom casting a bolt of fire is as easy for them as a warrior swinging a sword. While bigger spells may tire them a bit, they can use an array of simple magics whenever and however much they wish.

In my style of D&D magic is so common that it is just a commodity like any other (though just like a banker, you're unlikely to find a magic peddler in a backwater hamlet) and in many ways has replaced technology (ex. a town uses everburning torches to light its streets and a kingdom might use a series of pouches of shared acquisition to form the backbone of an rapid inter-kingdom mail service... in one game I play in where we've become the rulers of a realm, we keep one such pouch with us at all times so that we can be informed of matters in our realm and issue replies to pressing matters while we're off adventuring).

In short, 4E has been my near perfect D&D system.
1) Story-based. I have an outline of the whole current quest -- who is where and why -- and they're free to pursue the quest in any way they choose.
2) Open-ended. I always plan the background and setting of where they're going next (once they decide where "next" is) as a baseline, and write up the next session based on what they've done the previous week.
3) The challenge unit in my games is variable. When we're adventuring, everything's "on screen," though we move quickly through sleeping at night (unless a plot point requires interaction). "Downtime" (i.e., R&R) is usually off-screen, and we use e-mails and such to cover that time. Just like life, things happen when they happen. I don't plan a specific number of encounters, or so many combats per day or anything. If it takes the party a week to talk to all the villagers, then it takes a week. If they dive in and charge into the mine, well ... they face what they face.
4) Our campaigns vary from extremely low magic to medium-high magic. In the Paarl campaign, there are no mage adventurers, so all magic in the part is from limited magic items. In the Forgotten Realms campaign, magic is common (though high-level magic is very expensive).

So far it looks like 5e will fit the bill. I haven't seen anything in the packets or "what's coming up" or the design goals that would be a show-stopper.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

1) Story focused.  I don't do dungeon crawls for dungeon crawling sake, although I might put a person or item the players need in a dungeon on rare occassions.  I don't do encounters that serve no purpose other than to soften the players up for the set-piece encounters.  While I am happy to have encounters that are not meant to be winnable, I want to know when I'm making an encounter that isn't winnable.  While I am happy to have players die, I want them to die because they chose to take a risk or to sacrifice themselves, not simply because they chose to play the game.

While you don't really need a system to support story, I find that a lot of the mechanics in Next actively get in the way of my stories.  Hit points as a daily resource is probably the chief offender.  Sometimes my story requires 12 set-piece encounters in a day, sometimes it requires one.  The former is next to impossible in a daily-HP system, because every encounter is necessarily either easy (because you win without getting particularly hurt) or your last encounter of the day (because you got so hurt that going on is pointlessly suicidal).  There's a little wiggle-room from magical healing and HD, but we're still talking maybe three tough encounters in a day at most, and that only if you hand out a lot of potions/wands that you can't easily take back later, and even if you do then you've just thrown away any benefits you got out of making HP daily.  The latter is a pain in the butt with daily-HP, because the encounter math isn't designed for encounters that take the party from full-resources to almost dead, it's designed for a serious of encounters to do so, and pushing the envelope that far makes it very difficult to avoid pushing too far.  Not that I'm against impossible challenges, I just want to know when I'm making a challenge impossible.  

Mind you, strictly encounter-based HP has it's own problems, and surges did a lousy job of bifurcating the daily and encounter pools, but there are ways it can be handled well.  No edition ever has.

I find that low-level HP less than the maximum damage of low-level monsters also gets in the way of my story-centric playstyle.  It means that PCs can die do to bad luck instead of purposeful or stupid risk-taking decisions, and that means that for the first two or three levels PCs are not heroes but cowering schmucks who may or may not become heroes, so why bother getting attached to them or attaching the over-arching story to them.  YMMV.  But it doesn't fly for me.  On both counts, then, Next is falling flat for me.

2) I like my characters to have strong connections to the campaign world, to develop their personalities over the course of the campaign, and to make decisions in character.  You shouldn't need rules for this, but rules can help.  Players are often tempted to make "smart" decisions instead of in-character decisions, to avoid attachments to NPCs they fear I will use against them, and if I see one more orphan character I'm ripping up his sheet right then and there.  Rules like fate points, flaws, and shared background creation can help with this stuff, provided the mechanical hooks are strictly carrots (happy to grant that DMs hitting you with a stick for not behaving the way the DM thinks your character should behave is badwrongfun).  Fortunately, this stuff is easy to add in, and I would be pretty surprised if a module like this didn't come out.  A lot can also be done with just DM advice, like "when starting a campaign, make sure all your players have a strong relationship with at least one NPC and one other PC."


3) Combat with depth.  I do not run combat-heavy games, by D&D standards.  I have plenty of action in the other two pillars; I've run many a 4 hour game without a single combat.  But if a fight is just going to be "I cast fireball, and they're all dead" or "I use my favorite maneuver twice, and it's over," I'm not even going to bother rolling initiative.  There's no point.  When I have combat, I want it to be chess, not yahtzee.  If it takes an hour, so be it.  If it takes 3 hours, then we've got a problem.  4e with less healing would have been great.  5e is flat, void of meaningful decision making, and boring to me.  

4) A corollary of 3 is that every class needs to contribute equally in combat (differently, but equally).  If combat only takes 5 minutes, then it's almost OK if the fighter dominates it but then the rogue gets to dominate the interaction scene that comes next and the wizard gets to dominate the exploration scene after that.  None of them are in the wings for more than 5 minutes at a time.  If combat takes an hour, then being carried for that hour is a bore.  In general, I tend to swap between pillars relatively infrequently - not that I'm giving short shrift to different pillars, but that the exploration scene or the interaction scene will have half a dozen challenges in it and take a long time, it's not just disarm the trap and then move on to the next encounter or diplomacize the duke and head off to the dungeon.  There are plenty of other reasons why I don't like balancing across pillars, but when my playstyle involves staying in a given pillar for over an hour having one PC that can only rarely and/or ineffectively contribute in that pillar is a real problem.  Next falls woefully flat here, as has every edition of D&D so far. 

5) I like my players to be creative.  Think about the world, the environment, the situation, and come with an in-character solution instead of reaching for your axe or your character sheet.  4e in practice did a terrible job at this, although I happen to think that had more to do with presentation than mechanics.  Next acts like it's trying to do better, but it has not been my experience that it has succeeded.  You're still better off not trying an ability check that's even remotely difficult if you aren't trained in the skill, martial characters are still better off making basic attacks or at best using their limited selection of trained-only maneuvers/skill tricks round after round than trying anything creative, and I'm not feeling like the looser spell descriptions (relative to 4e) are really granting any more room for creativity (although I never had a problem bending 4e's rules when it seemed appropriate, so maybe that's just me).   I think forcing players to learn maneuvers discourages creativity in combat, and I'd love an expanded page 42 down the road, but honestly Next is really neither here nor there on this one.
Since 4th edition my Dm style has become one of a character driven world, as 4th edition lent itselve very well for this style of game.

level 1 to 5 concentrated on the history of the characters.
6 to 10 leading them to their paragon paths.
10 to 15 getting more integrated in ht paragon path
15 to 20 leading the player to their epic destinies.
20 to 25 letting players get to grip that with great power comes great responsibility
25 to 30 defeating a big waorl treatning treat. 
I think forcing players to learn maneuvers discourages creativity in combat, and I'd love an expanded page 42 down the road, but honestly Next is really neither here nor there on this one.



That was my main problem with 3rd edition, 4th edition and now D&D Next.
) I like my players to be creative.  Think about the world, the environment, the situation, and come with an in-character solution instead of reaching for your axe or your character sheet.  Next acts like it's trying to do better, but it has not been my experience that it has succeeded.  You're still better off not trying an ability check that's even remotely difficult if you aren't trained in the skill, martial characters are still better off making basic attacks or at best using their limited selection of trained-only maneuvers/skill tricks round after round than trying anything creative, and I'm not feeling like the looser spell descriptions (relative to 4e) are really granting any more room for creativity (although I never had a problem bending 4e's rules when it seemed appropriate, so maybe that's just me).   I think forcing players to learn maneuvers discourages creativity in combat, and I'd love an expanded page 42 down the road, but honestly Next is really neither here nor there on this one.

If we use Manoeuvers, I'm going to encourage those who play warriors to come up with their own in addition to what Wizards presents. We love making stuff up!

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Yeah I'd much rather maneuvers just be suggestions for how you might attack something and then do the lot through improvised actions.
I keep reading on these boards that D&D Next isn't for some people because it doesn't suit their playstyle.

It's sometimes difficult to understand what some people call playstyle. So I'll ask, what is your playstyle? Is D&D Next compatible with your playstyle? Why? Why not?

One important question is also what people mean by "suiting" their playstyle.  I did a poll on EnWorld about that, and the conclusion I drew is that for some, supporting a playstyle meant keeping all other playstyles down - in effect, 'forcing' the playstyle.  While for others, it merely meant 'allowing' the playstyle - that the playstyle was possible under the rules.  

You can see how that's a problem.  Even if you identify these nebulous 'playstyles,' you still have to find a way to 'support' them to everyone's satisfaction, and some will only be satisfied if their style is assumed, over-rewarded, 'core,' or otherwise elevated above all others...


 

 

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My style is more roleplay oriented than rollplay.  Essentially I try to minimize the role of the dice.  This phrase is fairly nebulous and often used in an inflammatory fashion, so I'll give an example or two:

If you were trying to convince the local baron to lend aid to your quest, and you used your diplomacy skill successfully, I may say "The baron seems very narcissistic and overly concerned with his standing among his peers."  If you then tried to appeal to him by explaining how helping you would bring him prestige, you would succeed, although the actual diplomacy check itself would never guarantee success or failure.  It merely points you in the right direction.

Similarly for non-interaction skills:  Something like disable traps, would not automatically disable the trap.  Rather, it would reveal the workings, and it would be up to the player to decide with the tools they have exactly how they would disable it (or modify it to their advantage).  Similarly if you failed the check, you could still attempt to come up with whatever way you could to disable it, which may or may not work.

If one of my players were to suspect an illusion, I may allow some sort of a check to give them some clues, so that they could better decide whether they believe it or not.  However if at any point they said, "I disbelieve!", my response would simply be, "OK".  This actually reminds me of a funny story.  I was playing with a new group one time and some Duerger, or whatever the underdarkish dwarf it is that could create illusions, made some illusionary orcs charge in down a hall of the dungeon.  Initially the players thought they were real until after a few rounds of combat they realized their swordblades were passing right through the orcs, and the orcs were unable to injure them.  At this point they decided they were illusionary and declared that they disbelieved them.  They had some sort of pre-conceived notion that by disbelieving, the illusions would immediately vanish or become transparent and fuzzy.  When this didn't happen, after a few rounds they convinced themselves they must be some sort of deadly ghost.  Back in those days ghosts did real bad things, so this immediately led to abject terror, and the players all fleeing for their lives.
I keep reading on these boards that D&D Next isn't for some people because it doesn't suit their playstyle.

It's sometimes difficult to understand what some people call playstyle. So I'll ask, what is your playstyle? Is D&D Next compatible with your playstyle? Why? Why not?

One important question is also what people mean by "suiting" their playstyle.  I did a poll on EnWorld about that, and the conclusion I drew is that for some, supporting a playstyle meant keeping all other playstyles down - 'forcing' the playstyle, while for others, it just meant 'allowing' the playstyle.  

You can see how that's a problem.  Even if you identify these nebulous 'playstyles,' you still have to find a way to 'support' them to everyone's satisfaction, and some will only be satisfied if their style is assumed, over-rewarded, 'core,' or otherwise elevated above all others...



There are so little optional modules availabe right now that it kind of makes sense that people are afraid that their playstyle isn't going to be supported and they want it in the play test, right now, just to make sure it's going to be in there in the final product. I'm sure it will tone down a bit when the actual modules come out.
I keep reading on these boards that D&D Next isn't for some people because it doesn't suit their playstyle.

It's sometimes difficult to understand what some people call playstyle. So I'll ask, what is your playstyle? Is D&D Next compatible with your playstyle? Why? Why not?

One important question is also what people mean by "suiting" their playstyle.  I did a poll on EnWorld about that, and the conclusion I drew is that for some, supporting a playstyle meant keeping all other playstyles down - 'forcing' the playstyle, while for others, it just meant 'allowing' the playstyle.  

You can see how that's a problem.  Even if you identify these nebulous 'playstyles,' you still have to find a way to 'support' them to everyone's satisfaction, and some will only be satisfied if their style is assumed, over-rewarded, 'core,' or otherwise elevated above all others...



There are so little optional modules availabe right now that it kind of makes sense that people are afraid that their playstyle isn't going to be supported and they want it in the play test, right now, just to make sure it's going to be in there in the final product. I'm sure it will tone down a bit when the actual modules come out.

I actually meant the definition of 'supported.'  

For some, 'supported' means "there's no other way to play the game but my way" or "playing the game my way gives me advantages over those playing it another way."  

For others, it means "I can play the game my way and it works."  

"I can re-design the game to work when played my way" is a whole 'nuther, even weaker definition of 'support...'


I can understand the concern of those who want the modules to be available so they can build the game they want out of 5e to support the style they want.  But, there are different meanings of 'support' and the modular aproach fails some of them, up front.  

 

 

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  1. Combat as War
    Always looking for a deal on poison, and oil flask. Rate of Fire gives ranged combat a boost. Players are rewarded for playing smart.


  2. Classless
    Maneuvers for everyone, rogue tricks as a feat combined with 3e style multiclassing. Vancian traditon Wizards have combat skills



  3. Stories based
    Many stories going on. Players can jump into what they want and tackle them in reverse.



  4. Lots of house rules.
    Game wont look anything like Next



  5. Less damage/less healing


  6. Realistic

What I find interesting is pretty much wants a player-driven, story-oriented game that is free to change as and when they like, but the go on to interpret different things as best serving their needs to that end. In some cases, extremely different.
My DM style has changed over the years (sometimes cyclical), I've done chracter based, sandbox, storylines (adenture paths) etc.

Lately I've settled on a sandbox type game with some dungeoncrawling and a lot of player freedom.

1) Character action and character motivation based storytelling rather than character background-story based. Subtle difference but I'm more interested in what characters do or decide to not do during a session than in the essay sized background story the players wrote for their character. I've had too many times that (anecdote alert!) that the were characters with elaborate backgrounds did hardly anything interesting (subjectivity alert!) during sessions while characters with no or little background did and at the same time shaped the story and their character. That said most of my campaigns had 5+ players which meant that I had to prioritize my attention towards what happend on the table durting the session vs how the adventure did or didn't fit into one or more of the characters background.

2) The future is uncertain, the dice and the players will tell. Part of playing (for the PC's)and DM-ing is interpreting what the dice results mean, sometimes it's simple; a low roll on an attack mean someone misses, sometimes it's a bit harder: according to the dice the orc patrol the PC's encounter are willing to parlay. I don't know what the storyline will be in 3 sessions because the players decide which of the many leads they will follow and why. Based on what the players do and what the dice say (for instance for random encounter, morale or reaction check) I have to improvise as much a cohesive story as possible.

3) The campaignworld is a living changing entity, stuff happens even if the PC's don't interact. It is the basis upon which I can improvise, which does mean that it is generic enough that players don't need to much campaign specific info to assess a situation. Seeing a hobgoblin walking the street of a  large city for instance is a rare event and worthy of investigation. Also players can choose "odd-ball" character ideas and/or races but there will be consequences against the campaignworlds (Greyhawk in my case) background. If a player wants to play a hobgoblin the campaign doesn't retroactively have hobgoblins tribes that are accepted in civilized society but it will mean that the vast majority of the civil poplation will automatically assume that character is a monster and the player will have to take that into account (otherwise why play a hobgoblin?)

Every NPC has a story, small or large. The players are free to interact with any NPC and their story or ignore them and create their own. Every session the NPC stories advance through rumors and events which the players can then continue to interact with or ignore.

With all things there are consequences for character actions or lack of actions.

Combat is deadly.

We've pretty much tossed out the magic system. There are multiple orders of magic, each of which has it's advantages and disadvantages. Each spell type has rules for scaling to determine which slot or how many points are used. Currently players use slots which as used are marked off like a ranger would mark off arrows fired from her quiver.

There are 4 types of arcane casters for each order based on hit dice.

d4 has all cantrips, rituals and spell slots/points
d6 can only cast rituals and spells that his order grants a bonus to
d8 can only cast a single type of spell that the order grants a bonus to, or can only perform rituals (instead of slots/points this person gains extra arcane knowledge skills)

There are "at will" cantrips however they are extremely simple and minor in effect/affect. Light a candle, turn water into coolaid, change the colour of a dress, mend a torn cloak, clean mud off boots, etc...

Rituals are used and take 10 minutes per slot or point calculated.

A "hard" game would have the players write out each spell slot beforehand.

A "soft" game lets players mark the slot off as used.

Arcane magic can heal, however, it is not as good as divine healing.

Clerics use a piety point system similar to HarnMaster.  
My playstyle alters slightly depending on the campaign I'm running, so I'll talk about the playstyle I'm using for the playtest.

1. Player influenced; though I build the world for my players they are the ones that give me much of its flavor, tribes, armies, entire cities and nations will exist if my players require it for their back story. All my players understand that I'll work with them as long as they work with me.

2. Low magic, I prederr casters with at-will magic but I don't tend to have worlds where magic is what technology is to us. If sending stone cell phones and cloaks with bags of holding sewn into the pockets are going to exist it will be for a story purpose alone, and likely be in use by someone of importance befoere it ever falls into the PCs hands.

3. The invisible Railroad; I have a general concept for the direction of the campaign, my players tend to get from point a to point b without ever realizing I had planned point b 4 sessions ago. My players are happy because they have complete freedom to do what they want as they want, I encourage them to do so and to trust me to keep the game going strong. And if I miscalculate what my players enjoy and are likely to do so much that they end up at point 24 instead of point b then I'm complelty ok with it, I can and will improve every and any session at the drop of a hat if I need to.

4. Reactionary world; this ties into 3, I have plans for how things will likely go down but I always make sure my players see atleast some of their effects on the world. And the world will always change in some fashion in accordance with their actions. My players aren't confined to a finite box, I just know what makes them all happy enough that I can progress the game into becoming a cohesive story without them realizing I ever planned it all out.

5. Finally, I like to see imagination encouraged. Though some complain that rules can stifle imagination i'd argue my players were more creative with 4e fighters the 3.5 ones. I feel that it is the dm who really decides how much imagination is used. Whether I give ideas outright, give hints towarrds unconventional methods, or have the bad guys show by example I make sure my players know that if they are smart they can improve as much as they are comfortable with.
My playstyle alters slightly depending on the campaign I'm running, so I'll talk about the playstyle I'm using for the playtest.

1. Player influenced; though I build the world for my players they are the ones that give me much of its flavor, tribes, armies, entire cities and nations will exist if my players require it for their back story. All my players understand that I'll work with them as long as they work with me.

2. Low magic, I prederr casters with at-will magic but I don't tend to have worlds where magic is what technology is to us. If sending stone cell phones and cloaks with bags of holding sewn into the pockets are going to exist it will be for a story purpose alone, and likely be in use by someone of importance befoere it ever falls into the PCs hands.

3. The invisible Railroad; I have a general concept for the direction of the campaign, my players tend to get from point a to point b without ever realizing I had planned point b 4 sessions ago. My players are happy because they have complete freedom to do what they want as they want, I encourage them to do so and to trust me to keep the game going strong. And if I miscalculate what my players enjoy and are likely to do so much that they end up at point 24 instead of point b then I'm complelty ok with it, I can and will improve every and any session at the drop of a hat if I need to.

4. Reactionary world; this ties into 3, I have plans for how things will likely go down but I always make sure my players see atleast some of their effects on the world. And the world will always change in some fashion in accordance with their actions. My players aren't confined to a finite box, I just know what makes them all happy enough that I can progress the game into becoming a cohesive story without them realizing I ever planned it all out.

5. Finally, I like to see imagination encouraged. Though some complain that rules can stifle imagination i'd argue my players were more creative with 4e fighters the 3.5 ones. I feel that it is the dm who really decides how much imagination is used. Whether I give ideas outright, give hints towarrds unconventional methods, or have the bad guys show by example I make sure my players know that if they are smart they can improve as much as they are comfortable with.