The problem with traditional D&D and appealing to new players

This is an exchange from RPG.net that sums up my feelings on the subject:


Originally Posted by maedsl  
Is it any wonder new players are few and far between when they are confronted with 600+ page Rulebooks ???

Originally Posted by Spectralent

For the record, as a "new player" (having started in the 00s and not the 80s), the reason you might not be seeing many new players in your old-school campaigns is that a lot of people from my generation have expectations of games coming from video games or entertainment media rather than wargaming (I realise video games are entertainment media, but there's a bit of a difference between Skyrim and The Avengers). Poking tiles with 11ft poles and avoiding fighting to avoid wasting potions is less appealing, I typically find. We generally seem pretty good at drawing in new players with nWoD, GGG, FFG40k, and 4e, with varying degrees of appeal to storytelling, action, and combat tactics.

 

 
If the image in your head when you first come to D&D is Skyrim, the Avengers, or for that matter Desolation of Smaug, traditional D&D is bound to disappoint.

...whatever

kadim wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:
But it is more important for Dave that the mechanics and system resemble the fantasy he knows and loves than that the mechanics reflect the aesthetics of 1979 or 1987.

Mechanics don't resemble fantasy. Mechanics don't resemble anything. They're just numbers and dice. Asthetics.. yeah, the asthetics can and should change, but there's also nothing wrong with keeping it more or less to the style of the game and including more. But that's done with things like artwork and presentation. The mechanics could literally be anything at all.

 

But sure, keep the artwork a good mix of old and new, keep the books looking fresh and well organised. Throw some new races in the mix, play around with classes. Make it distinct, and make it unique. But in attempting to create something that pleases everybody, a person more often than not turns out something that pleases nobody. D&D won't please everybody and isn't designed to please everybody. I can only take that as a good sign. Being aware of your audience is not the same as being subservient to it.

The 4E Wizard shooting Rays of Frost and Scorching Bursts and some of the more dramatic powers on the Fighter, Rogue, Ranger, and Warlord power lists paint a far different picture than AD&D. The Warlock and Warblade classes of 3.5E paint a far different picture than the traditional Fighter or Wizard.

 

Some people want the 4E Wizard, 4E Fighter, 3.5 Warlock, or 3.5E Warblade. They want hard coded mechanical powers that paint a vivid picture. They want more than "use your imagination".

...whatever

thecasualoblivion wrote:

 

Shasarak wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

This is an exchange from RPG.net that sums up my feelings on the subject:

 

Originally Posted by maedsl  
Is it any wonder new players are few and far between when they are confronted with 600+ page Rulebooks ???

 

Originally Posted by Spectralent

For the record, as a "new player" (having started in the 00s and not the 80s), the reason you might not be seeing many new players in your old-school campaigns is that a lot of people from my generation have expectations of games coming from video games or entertainment media rather than wargaming (I realise video games are entertainment media, but there's a bit of a difference between Skyrim and The Avengers). Poking tiles with 11ft poles and avoiding fighting to avoid wasting potions is less appealing, I typically find. We generally seem pretty good at drawing in new players with nWoD, GGG, FFG40k, and 4e, with varying degrees of appeal to storytelling, action, and combat tactics.

 

 

 
If the image in your head when you first come to D&D is Skyrim, the Avengers, or for that matter Desolation of Smaug, traditional D&D is bound to disappoint.

 

 

And heaven forbid if you play first person shooters and the game just does not let you one shot the BBEG with your repeating crossbow loaded with exploding ammo. 

 

Again with the caricatures, sigh. If you can't stand life in 2014, maybe you should withdraw from it.

 

Moving past your misrepresentation, what I was speaking of was an aesthetic, a look and feel. The look and feel of things like I described. Your caricature has nothing to do with aesthetics.

 

Why are your Gaming caricatures any more legitimate then my Gaming caricatures?

 

Or are we only targeting Skyrim players for some reason?

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SirAntoine wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

 

kadim wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:
I want it from the system. I want mechanics that model the idea I have in my head. Taking inspiration and going from there is not enough.

See this is the thing. You, veteran gamer who's been around a while and knows what they want in a system, wants a game for the system. Dave over there, who's staring at a game shop on the bus home and wondering about giving it a go, does not know what they want in a system and wants a game to play a game. They don't really want it for the system. They want that game to be easy to pick up with sufficient complexity once they get into it to keep them there. The actual peculiarities of the system are unimportant until they move from staring at the shop on the bus home to playing every week or two and then even further on to maybe running a game. Perhaps before that they decide they want to play a game that isn't D&D 'cause there are things they want to do, but I'm gonna put my money on Dave only really thinking the system through that far after a few months of playing, and then only if it becomes a regular hobby of theirs.

 

So yeah I can see that as a good reason why a veteran might not want whatever D&D is in 5e, but I don't buy it for Dave.

 

But it is more important for Dave that the mechanics and system resemble the fantasy he knows and loves than that the mechanics reflect the aesthetics of 1979 or 1987.

 

The fantasy he knows, however, is not all he's likely to want or like.  Just like one novel is different from another, and one movie more realistic than another, albeit in the fantasy genre, no one is stopping the game from being its own thing.

I take issue with the word likely. You can't say what is or isn't likely. All that can be said is that if somebody likes a certain fantasy before going into D&D blind, they like the fantasy they know. D&D in its idiosyncrasies may or may not appeal. If it doesn't, D&D will be judged on how well it does the fantasy that Dave already likes.
...whatever

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ClockworkSaber wrote:
Tell me with a straight face that D&D Next isn't almost a clone of 3.5
What the huh?  Out of every edition of D&D, 5E is least like 3.5E.  I'm not sure how you can say with a straight face that they're even remotely alike.  Systematically, they stripped numerous free actions, making them Fetas or Fighter only.  The Feats are nothing alike.  They don't use the same save system.  The classes are nothing alike.  The Prestige/Paragon system in 5E is likely going to be nothing even remotely like 3.5E.  Multiclassing is not even remotely the same.  Skills are not the same.  In fact, I have a hard time finding much of anything that 5E and 3.5E do that could be called similar, much less a clone.

Enlighten me, please.  How are they alike?

thecasualoblivion wrote:

 

SirAntoine wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

 

kadim wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:
I want it from the system. I want mechanics that model the idea I have in my head. Taking inspiration and going from there is not enough.

See this is the thing. You, veteran gamer who's been around a while and knows what they want in a system, wants a game for the system. Dave over there, who's staring at a game shop on the bus home and wondering about giving it a go, does not know what they want in a system and wants a game to play a game. They don't really want it for the system. They want that game to be easy to pick up with sufficient complexity once they get into it to keep them there. The actual peculiarities of the system are unimportant until they move from staring at the shop on the bus home to playing every week or two and then even further on to maybe running a game. Perhaps before that they decide they want to play a game that isn't D&D 'cause there are things they want to do, but I'm gonna put my money on Dave only really thinking the system through that far after a few months of playing, and then only if it becomes a regular hobby of theirs.

 

So yeah I can see that as a good reason why a veteran might not want whatever D&D is in 5e, but I don't buy it for Dave.

 

But it is more important for Dave that the mechanics and system resemble the fantasy he knows and loves than that the mechanics reflect the aesthetics of 1979 or 1987.

 

The fantasy he knows, however, is not all he's likely to want or like.  Just like one novel is different from another, and one movie more realistic than another, albeit in the fantasy genre, no one is stopping the game from being its own thing.

 

I take issue with the word likely. You can't say what is or isn't likely. All that can be said is that if somebody likes a certain fantasy before going into D&D blind, they like the fantasy they know. D&D in its idiosyncrasies may or may not appeal. If it doesn't, D&D will be judged on how well it does the fantasy that Dave already likes.

 

I think it can be said it's likely even with this degree of verification because I'm relating it to a fan of fantasy novels being interested in reading new novels always, despite the differences.  D&D is a game, not a book, so let's take a look at that.  Who that likes fantasy RPG's would never play another one unless it wasn't different?  I don't think that is plausible.  They will certainly try out new games, and be on the lookout for them, and they'll welcome differences even if some differences are disappointments for them.  You are generalizing yourself when you posit that new players, first are likely to want D&D to be like the other media.  If someone finds an interest in it, it is more reasonable to think that interest will be self-sustaining despite differences because they are inherently trying something new and inviting it to be different for the joys of the potential differences, too.

 

I might also ask whether you are really suggesting D&D be made friendly to people who "don't read"?

thecasualoblivion wrote:
The 4E Wizard shooting Rays of Frost and Scorching Bursts and some of the more dramatic powers on the Fighter, Rogue, Ranger, and Warlord power lists paint a far different picture than AD&D. The Warlock and Warblade classes of 3.5E paint a far different picture than the traditional Fighter or Wizard.

 

Some people want the 4E Wizard, 4E Fighter, 3.5 Warlock, or 3.5E Warblade. They want hard coded mechanical powers that paint a vivid picture. They want more than "use your imagination".

Ahh so the not-so-hidden agenda comes out.

 

Look, you don't like the playtest. That's cool, it's not going to please everyone. But trying to suggest that the playtest doesn't have hard-coded mechanics like you're suggesting simply isn't true. It might not go as far as you personally would like, but that's not actually WOTC's problem. Maybe 5e's final form won't be for you either. Whatever, that happens.

 

Your personal feelings do not justify any claim that D&D - any D&D - is incapable of inspiring people and accommodating their ideas as they break into the hobby. Systemic arguments ultimately fail here because people who don't know about game systems don't care what system they're using. They only care that they're given an outlet for their imagination and a game to play.

 

So if you have trouble accepting that then I'm sorry, but for one reason or another the company has decided to go a different direction. Might not be the right one. Changing direction is a risk, and it certainly didn't pay off last time. But that's what they're doing and while I believe that it will fail with the specific group of veteran gamers that want things Next doesn't have (assuming 5e looks a lot like Next), I don't believe that the specific group that feels that way speak for new players who have never played before.

ClockworkSaber wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

If the image in your head when you first come to D&D is Skyrim, the Avengers, or for that matter Desolation of Smaug, traditional D&D is bound to disappoint.

 


I'm also a player that started in '00s. A friend showed let me borrow his PHB and I read it cover to cover in a day. That being said, I am also familiar with "Old school" D&D (1st, AD&D, 2nd) - in the form of reading about the classic and iconic adventurers, the mechanics, etc. The problem I have with "traditional" or "old school" D&D is that to me it invariably felt like a DMs powertrip and little else. Dungeons (Tomb of Horrors) were straight up PC slaughter houses. The PCs weren't "challenged" they were completely outgunned and it was *supposed to be that way*.

 

To be fair, the Tomb of Horrors and some other modules were designed as tournament games where players were ranked on how well they did—these weren't casual game adventures. Also, the Tomb of Horrors was ramped up in deadliness, specifically in respose to several players of "Monty Haul" games who claimed that their PCs could survive anything, even taking on armies of gods. These weren't story adventures meant to challenge characters, but tournament scenarios meant to challenge players.

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

 

Chakravant wrote:

 

ClockworkSaber wrote:
Tell me with a straight face that D&D Next isn't almost a clone of 3.5

What the huh?  Out of every edition of D&D, 5E is least like 3.5E.  I'm not sure how you can say with a straight face that they're even remotely alike.  Systematically, they stripped numerous free actions, making them Fetas or Fighter only.  The Feats are nothing alike.  They don't use the same save system.  The classes are nothing alike.  The Prestige/Paragon system in 5E is likely going to be nothing even remotely like 3.5E.  Multiclassing is not even remotely the same.  Skills are not the same.  In fact, I have a hard time finding much of anything that 5E and 3.5E do that could be called similar, much less a clone.

Enlighten me, please.  How are they alike?

Next/5th ed is MORE like 3.5 than it is like 4th ed.

You have saves (not defenses).
Vancian casting.

No "powers".

Unique level progression (each class gets different stuff at different levels as opposed to 4th editions one-size-fits-all level up chart).

Feats *are* just alike - their scope may be different but you've still got them. Granted 4th ed had feats as well, that were largely identicle to 3.x's
Multiclassing is the same to! You just level up into a different class.

For something to be "almost the same" is not the same thing as being EXACTLY IN EVERY SINGLE WAY AND DETAIL the same. The guts, the nuts and bolts, of Next appears very close to 3.x.

People complaining about choices being gutted need to remember that no one on these boards has even SEEN the final product of 5th edition. I would bet my bottom dollar that in the end 5th edition looks more like 3.5 than it does any other edition.

kadim wrote:

I don't think anyone's wrong, but I also don't think it matters 'cause I just don't see a problem with a game being its own unique thing. Uniqueness, real, publically available uniqueness, is very hard to come by. D&D's got all kinds of little quirks, but the quirks don't have to exclude people, nor do they really get in the way of anyone playing.

 

I think a game like this should emphasise its uniqueness and show people how it's different, not try to emulate whatever other medium or product happens to be en vogue.

 

I just think D&D should be D&D. It shouldn't try to emulate what's in the movies or stories or any of that. It should be what it is without apology. I don't really think that it shouldn't change either (and it has, in many ways), but I don't think there's much good to come from aping whatever looks successful in the moment.

 

Well said, Kadim.

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

Mephi1234 wrote:

 

Gatt wrote:

The current 20-something and under crowd has had "RPG" defined for them by video games,  but there's *no way* to make them a PnP gamer.  If you reference video games,  you'll find a number of common trends...

Wow... so much wrong with this post.     Video game players are as varried as table top gamers, and there are a TON of different kinds of table top games.

 

Is anyone actually surprised that Gatt would say something like this? It's kinda par for the course.

Doesn't make it any more acceptable.

ClockworkSaber wrote:

 

Chakravant wrote:

 

ClockworkSaber wrote:
Tell me with a straight face that D&D Next isn't almost a clone of 3.5

What the huh?  Out of every edition of D&D, 5E is least like 3.5E.  I'm not sure how you can say with a straight face that they're even remotely alike.  Systematically, they stripped numerous free actions, making them Fetas or Fighter only.  The Feats are nothing alike.  They don't use the same save system.  The classes are nothing alike.  The Prestige/Paragon system in 5E is likely going to be nothing even remotely like 3.5E.  Multiclassing is not even remotely the same.  Skills are not the same.  In fact, I have a hard time finding much of anything that 5E and 3.5E do that could be called similar, much less a clone.

Enlighten me, please.  How are they alike?

 

Next/5th ed is MORE like 3.5 than it is like 4th ed.

No argument here, although that doesn't make it more like 3.5E.
You have saves (not defenses).
3.5E and 4E use the same save system (F/R/W), unlike 5E.  This is a wash.
Vancian casting.
Present in every edition but 4E.  Not a sign 5E is like 3.5E.
No "powers".
Elaborate.  3.5E has many "powers" within its classes.
Unique level progression (each class gets different stuff at different levels as opposed to 4th editions one-size-fits-all level up chart).
Again, pointing out how 5E is not 4E is not pointing out how it is like 3.5E.
Feats *are* just alike - their scope may be different but you've still got them.
Scope is different, prereqs are different, trees are removed... but yeah, they're just alike.  For what definition of just alike, I'm not certain.
Multiclassing is the same to! You just level up into a different class.
Except that in 5E, you have prereqs and reduced numbers of attacks for doing so, neither of which is present in 3.5E.
For something to be "almost the same" is not the same thing as being EXACTLY IN EVERY SINGLE WAY AND DETAIL the same.
Sure, but 5E and 3.5E aren't even remotely the same.  The changes between the two were all intentional, and done so to distance the two products.  5E is intentionally not similar to 3.5E.  That is how it is being designed from the ground up.
The guts, the nuts and bolts, of Next appears very close to 3.x.
Quite the opposite, in point of fact.
People complaining about choices being gutted need to remember that no one on these boards has even SEEN the final product of 5th edition. I would bet my bottom dollar that in the end 5th edition looks more like 3.5 than it does any other edition.
I'll take that bet.  Mearls has gone on record in tweets saying there will only be one Feat for every dominant play style.  Only one Archery Feat, TWF, or Great Weapon Feat.  Ever.  He's also said most classes will be in the PHB, with most additions being subpar subclasses.  There will never be 75+ classes in 5E.  Ever.  The current design team is in fact looking at 3.5E as a thing to not model itself after.  It is seen as the king of bloat, cruft, and imbalance by the current developers.

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

ClockworkSaber wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

If the image in your head when you first come to D&D is Skyrim, the Avengers, or for that matter Desolation of Smaug, traditional D&D is bound to disappoint.

 


I'm also a player that started in '00s. A friend showed let me borrow his PHB and I read it cover to cover in a day. That being said, I am also familiar with "Old school" D&D (1st, AD&D, 2nd) - in the form of reading about the classic and iconic adventurers, the mechanics, etc. The problem I have with "traditional" or "old school" D&D is that to me it invariably felt like a DMs powertrip and little else. Dungeons (Tomb of Horrors) were straight up PC slaughter houses. The PCs weren't "challenged" they were completely outgunned and it was *supposed to be that way*.

 

To be fair, the Tomb of Horrors and some other modules were designed as tournament games where players were ranked on how well they did—these weren't casual game adventures. Also, the Tomb of Horrors was ramped up in deadliness, specifically in respose to several players of "Monty Haul" games who claimed that their PCs could survive anything, even taking on armies of gods. These weren't story adventures meant to challenge characters, but tournament scenarios meant to challenge players.
 

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

Tomb of Horrors had the strenuous suggested to NOT let the players use their beloved PCs in it, because their odds of survival were so low. The Tomb was only published because so many people heard about the "unwinnable" adventure that Gygax used to deflate braggart player's egos (sadly, the two players he original wrote it for survived unscathed). This wasn't even a tournament adventure, it was just a slaughterfest (in case the name really doesn't give it away).

Some_Like_It_Hot wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

 

kadim wrote:

I don't think anyone's wrong, but I also don't think it matters 'cause I just don't see a problem with a game being its own unique thing. Uniqueness, real, publically available uniqueness, is very hard to come by. D&D's got all kinds of little quirks, but the quirks don't have to exclude people, nor do they really get in the way of anyone playing.

 

I think a game like this should emphasise its uniqueness and show people how it's different, not try to emulate whatever other medium or product happens to be en vogue.

 

I just think D&D should be D&D. It shouldn't try to emulate what's in the movies or stories or any of that. It should be what it is without apology. I don't really think that it shouldn't change either (and it has, in many ways), but I don't think there's much good to come from aping whatever looks successful in the moment.

 

That isn't a growth strategy, and D&D is too big for that.

 

D&D isn't just D&D, due to its market position in the hobby it also represents generic fantasy. Its place in the tabletop RPG is too large for it to be limited to navel gazing. If people want a game limited to traditional D&D only, it would be better for them to splinter off into their own community, rather than demanding that everyone accommodate them.

 

 

Didn't they?  I sort of thought that's what PF is.  Or does "traditional D&D" stop at 2e?  I don't mean to be snarky; just looking for clarity in the term.

 

I have active games in every edition from 2e to 4e with PF taking the spot of 3.5.  In no edition have I ever experienced the problems ascribed to "traditional D&D".  If we wanted a meat-grinder of an adventure, we played one.  If we wanted something that was epically heroic high fantasy, we played that.  If the game didn't support what we wanted, we modded it.  If you embed the possibility for those mods into the base rule set, you've got a fairly attractive system whatever your underlying mechanics are.

 

That the face of fantasy is changing is undeniable.  Current fantasy tropes (video games and movies, mostly) are far different than those of the 70's - 80's.  Hell, even in the 90's, we didn't play conventional parties very often unless that was the theme.  We had custom classes and kits piled on top of custom races and weird humanoids.  I don't think that's a problem.  What is something that will have to change from most early editions (4.0 excluded) is having a base of cool power to build on.  Cool at-will powers and class features were my favorite parts of 4e, and I often include them or something like them in earlier edition games that I play.

 

I think D&D has lost market share because it failed to accomodate the old in its pursuit of the new.  Both won't be accessible unless the game is easy to modify to suit those different expectations.  To do that out of the gate, it will need to have a lot of those modifications embedded.  I hope the final product pulls it off well.

 

Truth.

 

Ultimately, we don't need to give up one to accomodate the other. We just need the tools to accomodate a wider range of styles.

Shiroiken wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

ClockworkSaber wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

If the image in your head when you first come to D&D is Skyrim, the Avengers, or for that matter Desolation of Smaug, traditional D&D is bound to disappoint.

 


I'm also a player that started in '00s. A friend showed let me borrow his PHB and I read it cover to cover in a day. That being said, I am also familiar with "Old school" D&D (1st, AD&D, 2nd) - in the form of reading about the classic and iconic adventurers, the mechanics, etc. The problem I have with "traditional" or "old school" D&D is that to me it invariably felt like a DMs powertrip and little else. Dungeons (Tomb of Horrors) were straight up PC slaughter houses. The PCs weren't "challenged" they were completely outgunned and it was *supposed to be that way*.

 

To be fair, the Tomb of Horrors and some other modules were designed as tournament games where players were ranked on how well they did—these weren't casual game adventures. Also, the Tomb of Horrors was ramped up in deadliness, specifically in respose to several players of "Monty Haul" games who claimed that their PCs could survive anything, even taking on armies of gods. These weren't story adventures meant to challenge characters, but tournament scenarios meant to challenge players.
 

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

Tomb of Horrors had the strenuous suggested to NOT let the players use their beloved PCs in it, because their odds of survival were so low. The Tomb was only published because so many people heard about the "unwinnable" adventure that Gygax used to deflate braggart player's egos (sadly, the two players he original wrote it for survived unscathed). This wasn't even a tournament adventure, it was just a slaughterfest (in case the name really doesn't give it away).

 

It was created to be the ultimate challenge.

Chakravant wrote:

I'll take that bet.  Mearls has gone on record in tweets saying there will only be one Feat for every dominant play style.  Only one Archery Feat, TWF, or Great Weapon Feat.  Ever.  He's also said most classes will be in the PHB, with most additions being subpar subclasses.  There will never be 75+ classes in 5E.  Ever.  The current design team is in fact looking at 3.5E as a thing to not model itself after.  It is seen as the king of bloat, cruft, and imbalance by the current developers.


See now I like all that. 3.x was my favorite edition but it deffinately had too many classes/prestige classes. That being said I'm not sure you can ever have enough feats - and losing the feat chains isn't going to hurt my feelings - in fact I'm very pro feats being quite "large" and expanding your capacilities/options in big sweeps rather than having to wait till level 12 to do something cool as an archer in 3.5. I guess we'll have to wait and see but god damn... its not going to be until like June at the earliest that it will drop.

SirAntoine wrote:

 

Shiroiken wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

ClockworkSaber wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

If the image in your head when you first come to D&D is Skyrim, the Avengers, or for that matter Desolation of Smaug, traditional D&D is bound to disappoint.

 


I'm also a player that started in '00s. A friend showed let me borrow his PHB and I read it cover to cover in a day. That being said, I am also familiar with "Old school" D&D (1st, AD&D, 2nd) - in the form of reading about the classic and iconic adventurers, the mechanics, etc. The problem I have with "traditional" or "old school" D&D is that to me it invariably felt like a DMs powertrip and little else. Dungeons (Tomb of Horrors) were straight up PC slaughter houses. The PCs weren't "challenged" they were completely outgunned and it was *supposed to be that way*.

 

To be fair, the Tomb of Horrors and some other modules were designed as tournament games where players were ranked on how well they did—these weren't casual game adventures. Also, the Tomb of Horrors was ramped up in deadliness, specifically in respose to several players of "Monty Haul" games who claimed that their PCs could survive anything, even taking on armies of gods. These weren't story adventures meant to challenge characters, but tournament scenarios meant to challenge players.
 

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

Tomb of Horrors had the strenuous suggested to NOT let the players use their beloved PCs in it, because their odds of survival were so low. The Tomb was only published because so many people heard about the "unwinnable" adventure that Gygax used to deflate braggart player's egos (sadly, the two players he original wrote it for survived unscathed). This wasn't even a tournament adventure, it was just a slaughterfest (in case the name really doesn't give it away).

 

 

It was created to be the ultimate challenge.

A party of 3.5 min-maxed focused specialist conjurers would make the tomb of horrors their bitch.

blacksheepcannibal wrote:

Because "Go play your videogames, kid" is really good for attracting new players  

 

It's the old players that have the disposable income to spend on the game.  If you alienate your older players in favor of attracting new ones, your game will fail.  The change over needs to be very, very gradual so that you are replacing the older ones who leave the game due to attrition with new ones attracted by the gradual changes.

I think the modern gamer is all about their own experience, so if the game does not allow for their character concept to share the limelight with others, then they will move on. If the world can not compete with online games or other media, then they will move on. If the rules do not present a level of fairness and consistency so their efforts are not squandered, then they will move on. Of course there will be die hards, like the posters on this forum, but we are the minority.

SirAntoine wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

 

kadim wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:
I want it from the system. I want mechanics that model the idea I have in my head. Taking inspiration and going from there is not enough.

See this is the thing. You, veteran gamer who's been around a while and knows what they want in a system, wants a game for the system. Dave over there, who's staring at a game shop on the bus home and wondering about giving it a go, does not know what they want in a system and wants a game to play a game. They don't really want it for the system. They want that game to be easy to pick up with sufficient complexity once they get into it to keep them there. The actual peculiarities of the system are unimportant until they move from staring at the shop on the bus home to playing every week or two and then even further on to maybe running a game. Perhaps before that they decide they want to play a game that isn't D&D 'cause there are things they want to do, but I'm gonna put my money on Dave only really thinking the system through that far after a few months of playing, and then only if it becomes a regular hobby of theirs.

 

So yeah I can see that as a good reason why a veteran might not want whatever D&D is in 5e, but I don't buy it for Dave.

 

But it is more important for Dave that the mechanics and system resemble the fantasy he knows and loves than that the mechanics reflect the aesthetics of 1979 or 1987.

 

The fantasy he knows, however, is not all he's likely to want or like.  Just like one novel is different from another, and one movie more realistic than another, albeit in the fantasy genre, no one is stopping the game from being its own thing.

 

And, really, not all "modern" fantasy fits into the same teacup—the expectations of someone who is a fan of Game of Thrones is different from a fan of Skyrim which is different from a fan of the Hobbit/LotR movies which is different from fans of Dragon Age which is different from fans of anime "x" which is different from fans of anime "b"....

ClockworkSaber wrote:

 

Chakravant wrote:

I'll take that bet.  Mearls has gone on record in tweets saying there will only be one Feat for every dominant play style.  Only one Archery Feat, TWF, or Great Weapon Feat.  Ever.  He's also said most classes will be in the PHB, with most additions being subpar subclasses.  There will never be 75+ classes in 5E.  Ever.  The current design team is in fact looking at 3.5E as a thing to not model itself after.  It is seen as the king of bloat, cruft, and imbalance by the current developers.


See now I like all that. 3.x was my favorite edition but it deffinately had too many classes/prestige classes. That being said I'm not sure you can ever have enough feats - and losing the feat chains isn't going to hurt my feelings - in fact I'm very pro feats being quite "large" and expanding your capacilities/options in big sweeps rather than having to wait till level 12 to do something cool as an archer in 3.5. I guess we'll have to wait and see but god damn... its not going to be until like June at the earliest that it will drop.

So you agree they are quite different, but you like the differences?  While that's fine, that doesn't make them even remotely similar.

ClockworkSaber wrote:


2.) I already established that Traditional D&D needs to die (The kind where the GM is just roffle stomping his players for the fun of it).

 

First, that's not traditional D&D.  That's just a bad DM.  Second, you have not established any such thing about traditional D&D.  A claim =/= establishing.

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

 

Is it just me, or dont some video games use "Nintendo Hard" the same way as "Old School" DnD?

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Shirebrok wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

Mephi1234 wrote:

 

Gatt wrote:

The current 20-something and under crowd has had "RPG" defined for them by video games,  but there's *no way* to make them a PnP gamer.  If you reference video games,  you'll find a number of common trends...

Wow... so much wrong with this post.     Video game players are as varried as table top gamers, and there are a TON of different kinds of table top games.

 

Is anyone actually surprised that Gatt would say something like this? It's kinda par for the course.

 

Doesn't make it any more acceptable.

 

No, it doesn't.

Azzy1974 wrote:

And, really, not all "modern" fantasy fits into the same teacup—the expectations of someone who is a fan of Game of Thrones is different from a fan of Skyrim which is different from a fan of the Hobbit/LotR movies which is different from fans of Dragon Age which is different from fans of anime "x" which is different from fans of anime "b"....

 

Which is different from someone who is a fan of the Hobbit book.  

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Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

And, really, not all "modern" fantasy fits into the same teacup—the expectations of someone who is a fan of Game of Thrones is different from a fan of Skyrim which is different from a fan of the Hobbit/LotR movies which is different from fans of Dragon Age which is different from fans of anime "x" which is different from fans of anime "b"....

 

 

Which is different from someone who is a fan of the Hobbit book.  

 

I'm currently re-reading the Hobbit.  The second movie left a filthy feel in my mind which needed to be scrubbed clean by the actual facts of the book.

Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

 

 

Is it just me, or dont some video games use "Nintendo Hard" the same way as "Old School" DnD?

Yes, some games mention the phrase "Nintendo Hard" when talking about difficulty, and using it that way makes sense.

 

I'm not so sure how it would relate to "Old School D&D", however. For starters, what is "Old School D&D"? Other than the basic rulesets, I don't understand what that really represents.

I suspect the people saying gamers these days want insta gratification actually == gamers these days are not into 20 minutes of excitement packed into 4 hours of boredom.

 

Then again alot of older gamers can't seem to acknowledge that vast swaths of their gameplay were actually boring, non eventful and trivial. Heck, certainly my early and even ongoing gaming was like that (and I've worked on house rules or new RPG's entirely, to deal with that).

 

Don't think poking at tiles has to be removed, either. Even if you are enjoying time with friends and aquantances, just have to be honest with oneself when there were boring periods (often highlighted by quoting monty python, for example - yes, the game was boring at that point - that's why you quoted MP! Accept it!)

 

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

 

Philosopher Gamer

Shirebrok wrote:

 

Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

 

 

Is it just me, or dont some video games use "Nintendo Hard" the same way as "Old School" DnD?

 

Yes, some games mention the phrase "Nintendo Hard" when talking about difficulty, and using it that way makes sense.

 

I'm not so sure how it would relate to "Old School D&D", however. For starters, what is "Old School D&D"? Other than the basic rulesets, I don't understand what that really represents.

 

Sure, there seems to be a certain number of people who imagine that "Old School" DnD was filled with the dead bodies of characters who had the audacity of thinking that they could open Door 1 instead of Door 2. 

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Some of my favorite moments in D&D would be considered non-eventful.  A Native American Shaman and a Shintoist Kitsune talking about theological similarities would bore most people, but those trivial moments to me are more fun than all the combats in the world.  Combat is not exciting to me.  Character interaction is.

Shasarak wrote:

 

Shirebrok wrote:

 

Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

 

 

Is it just me, or dont some video games use "Nintendo Hard" the same way as "Old School" DnD?

 

Yes, some games mention the phrase "Nintendo Hard" when talking about difficulty, and using it that way makes sense.

 

I'm not so sure how it would relate to "Old School D&D", however. For starters, what is "Old School D&D"? Other than the basic rulesets, I don't understand what that really represents.

 

 

Sure, there seems to be a certain number of people who imagine that "Old School" DnD was filled with the dead bodies of characters who had the audacity of thinking that they could open Door 1 instead of Door 2. 

Although they might make the mistake of thinking ALL old school D&D was at that difficulty of play, if we look past that mistake, what's wrong with that difficulty level of play in itself?

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

 

Philosopher Gamer

Noon wrote:

I suspect the people saying gamers these days want insta gratification actually == gamers these days are not into 20 minutes of excitement packed into 4 hours of boredom.

 

 

Yeah, I know right.  An hour and a half real time to play out 30 seconds of game time, to me, does not equal cinematic game play - unless it is some kind of artistic french film type of cinematic

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I know I can't speak for new players/younger audiences, but I can use my 14 year old son as an example.    He was introduced to D&D 4e a couple of years ago, and didn't stick with it.   Instead, he and his friends play a less structured Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch.   Basically, they just tell stories and every once in a while roll a die to see what happens.   For them, story and quick action resolution is key.     I think D&DNext has that going for it.

 

One of the problems with trying to make D&D appeal to video game crowd is that no matter how hard WoTC tries to do it, there will always be video games that do it better.  

 

The key to pen and paper RPG is to keep the story telling, open action, improvisational aspects of the game foregrounded because those are what video games can't do as well.    Combat can always be done better in a video game, and the speed of combat for video games is much greater than the speed of table top, so it isn't worth trying to emulate that.  

 

If D&D Next can deliver faster game play, action resolution, story telling and quicker combats that don't drag on for really long periods of time, I think they will capture younger players like my son and his friends.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

And, really, not all "modern" fantasy fits into the same teacup—the expectations of someone who is a fan of Game of Thrones is different from a fan of Skyrim which is different from a fan of the Hobbit/LotR movies which is different from fans of Dragon Age which is different from fans of anime "x" which is different from fans of anime "b"....

 

 

Which is different from someone who is a fan of the Hobbit book.  

 

Yeah, but I was only including "modern fantasy" on that list.

The problem with modern D&D and new players is that it has too many choices at level 1 and too many possible builds, so you have too many classes and variants you want to play. And no one really has enough time to play all those millions of possible characters... (at least if you have school or a job or friends other than roleplayers)

 

I think 5e is doing a good job in reducing choices at level one (no feat until you know your character and the story a little better) and at later levels (which of those archery feats is the most effective...)

 

If 5e also comes with tools to expand the game (creating new feats, adding feats at level 1) even better.

 

I really, really hope, 5e will give enough options to scale complexity and lethality up and down. Would make a great game. (Notice, that lethality changed a bit over the course of the playtest, currently hovering at a middle ground)

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

And, really, not all "modern" fantasy fits into the same teacup—the expectations of someone who is a fan of Game of Thrones is different from a fan of Skyrim which is different from a fan of the Hobbit/LotR movies which is different from fans of Dragon Age which is different from fans of anime "x" which is different from fans of anime "b"....

 

 

Which is different from someone who is a fan of the Hobbit book.  

 

Yeah, but I was only including "modern fantasy" on that list.

Going to play the old man here, but isen't this not only a trend in computer games but somthing that is more general in media these days.

It seems that in any TV series or movie that has action it it the action scenes have become bigger and bigger, same for the explosions.

 

It used to be that if 2 cars hit eachother during a car chace they ended up dented and a rear view mirror might break of.

now when 2 cars colide in a movie it sends sparks all over the place, one car flies of the road rolls over but lands on it''s weels and continues the chase.

 

ClockworkSaber wrote:

 

SirAntoine wrote:

 

Shiroiken wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

ClockworkSaber wrote:

 

thecasualoblivion wrote:

If the image in your head when you first come to D&D is Skyrim, the Avengers, or for that matter Desolation of Smaug, traditional D&D is bound to disappoint.

 


I'm also a player that started in '00s. A friend showed let me borrow his PHB and I read it cover to cover in a day. That being said, I am also familiar with "Old school" D&D (1st, AD&D, 2nd) - in the form of reading about the classic and iconic adventurers, the mechanics, etc. The problem I have with "traditional" or "old school" D&D is that to me it invariably felt like a DMs powertrip and little else. Dungeons (Tomb of Horrors) were straight up PC slaughter houses. The PCs weren't "challenged" they were completely outgunned and it was *supposed to be that way*.

 

To be fair, the Tomb of Horrors and some other modules were designed as tournament games where players were ranked on how well they did—these weren't casual game adventures. Also, the Tomb of Horrors was ramped up in deadliness, specifically in respose to several players of "Monty Haul" games who claimed that their PCs could survive anything, even taking on armies of gods. These weren't story adventures meant to challenge characters, but tournament scenarios meant to challenge players.
 

"Hahaha! My completely undectable trap/ambush TPKd all your characters! Bwahah!"
If thats "Old school" D&D then old school D&D is garbage.

 

That isn't old-scchool, IMO, though. I'd suggest looking at modules like The Keep on the Borderlands, The Isle of Dread, The Villiage of Hommlet, and other non-tournament modules for a better idea of "traditional" adventuring.

Tomb of Horrors had the strenuous suggested to NOT let the players use their beloved PCs in it, because their odds of survival were so low. The Tomb was only published because so many people heard about the "unwinnable" adventure that Gygax used to deflate braggart player's egos (sadly, the two players he original wrote it for survived unscathed). This wasn't even a tournament adventure, it was just a slaughterfest (in case the name really doesn't give it away).

 

 

It was created to be the ultimate challenge.

 

A party of 3.5 min-maxed focused specialist conjurers would make the tomb of horrors their bitch.

 

They probably wouldn't get through the first room in my opinion, but I'd have to at least consider editing the module for 3.5.

edwin_su wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

And, really, not all "modern" fantasy fits into the same teacup—the expectations of someone who is a fan of Game of Thrones is different from a fan of Skyrim which is different from a fan of the Hobbit/LotR movies which is different from fans of Dragon Age which is different from fans of anime "x" which is different from fans of anime "b"....

 

 

Which is different from someone who is a fan of the Hobbit book.  

 

Yeah, but I was only including "modern fantasy" on that list.

 

Going to play the old man here, but isen't this not only a trend in computer games but somthing that is more general in media these days.

It seems that in any TV series or movie that has action it it the action scenes have become bigger and bigger, same for the explosions.

 

It used to be that if 2 cars hit eachother during a car chace they ended up dented and a rear view mirror might break of.

now when 2 cars colide in a movie it sends sparks all over the place, one car flies of the road rolls over but lands on it''s weels and continues the chase.

 

I think this is called the Jerry Bruckheimer Effect.  lol

 

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Rhenny wrote:

 

edwin_su wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

And, really, not all "modern" fantasy fits into the same teacup—the expectations of someone who is a fan of Game of Thrones is different from a fan of Skyrim which is different from a fan of the Hobbit/LotR movies which is different from fans of Dragon Age which is different from fans of anime "x" which is different from fans of anime "b"....

 

 

Which is different from someone who is a fan of the Hobbit book.  

 

Yeah, but I was only including "modern fantasy" on that list.

 

Going to play the old man here, but isen't this not only a trend in computer games but somthing that is more general in media these days.

It seems that in any TV series or movie that has action it it the action scenes have become bigger and bigger, same for the explosions.

 

It used to be that if 2 cars hit eachother during a car chace they ended up dented and a rear view mirror might break of.

now when 2 cars colide in a movie it sends sparks all over the place, one car flies of the road rolls over but lands on it''s weels and continues the chase.

 

 

I think this is called the Jerry Bruckheimer Effect.  lol

Michael Bay Effect, perfected in Bad Boys 2.

Chakravant wrote:

 

Rhenny wrote:

 

edwin_su wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

Shasarak wrote:

 

Azzy1974 wrote:

And, really, not all "modern" fantasy fits into the same teacup—the expectations of someone who is a fan of Game of Thrones is different from a fan of Skyrim which is different from a fan of the Hobbit/LotR movies which is different from fans of Dragon Age which is different from fans of anime "x" which is different from fans of anime "b"....

 

 

Which is different from someone who is a fan of the Hobbit book.  

 

Yeah, but I was only including "modern fantasy" on that list.

 

Going to play the old man here, but isen't this not only a trend in computer games but somthing that is more general in media these days.

It seems that in any TV series or movie that has action it it the action scenes have become bigger and bigger, same for the explosions.

 

It used to be that if 2 cars hit eachother during a car chace they ended up dented and a rear view mirror might break of.

now when 2 cars colide in a movie it sends sparks all over the place, one car flies of the road rolls over but lands on it''s weels and continues the chase.

 

 

I think this is called the Jerry Bruckheimer Effect.  lol

Michael Bay Effect, perfected in Bad Boys 2.

 Yes...both of those directors have a ton of explosions and super unrealistic stunts.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

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