>Three Pillars >combat, exploration, and roleplay Oh gods. They don't understand RPGs at all, do they? They obviously don't and just happen to have more money and a bigger name than much better developers.
"Roleplay" is not a separate thing. That thing where people giving speeches in character, doing dumb things because "That's what my character would do" is not roleplay.
Roleplay is, outside of character creation, how you play the whole game. That's what makes it an RPG. You take the role of a character, you are given the information available to the character, and you make decisions from the character's perspective. The better the RPG, the less you are tempted to use out-of-character knowledge, and the less you're asked to make decisions about the character rather than as the character.
Once you get the idea that things like combat and exploration are not roleplaying like the designer currently have, you stop trying to make a good RPG. You awkwardly tie some boardgames together, and encourage the players to do some awful improv acting in between.
D&D has been going further and further along this path and there's no hope in sight at this point.
Even if by "Roleplay" they mean "Social" the fact of the matter is that kind of division of specialization makes the game boring to play and/or harder to GM well. Either people without skill in a particular area will be bored (and therefore more likely to be disruptive) or the DM will be forced to contrive their relevance (increasing their workload even more than this edition which is already over reliant on Fiat already has).
Nothing good can come from reverting to a style of game design that was largely abandoned since the early '00s. Even modern designed classless systems do a better job at ensuring everyone's relevance than this. A non-engaged player is a time bomb during a session, some players have longer fuses than other but this is true none the less, this philosophy not only promotes bad game design but increases the likelyhood of player disenfranchisement over the long run, especially with groups with inexpedience or poor DMs.
In my games players have always been Exceptional individuals, not Exceptions to the internal logic of the game world.
Umm... those aren't the three pillars. The three pillars are combat, exploration, and interaction. Presumably referring to social interaction, since the whole game is technically a form of interaction. And I believe the idea of separating the pillars is to make sure that each class has a baseline competency in each pillar. They may introduce some pillar imbalance (an idea I don't like), but they still want to maintain a baseline competency that ensures everyone is at least relevant in every scene.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been."
I like the 3 pillar approach, DnD isnt a video game that needs to be balanced around combat only! Its an RPG that plays in a different way, so that sometimes some classes are better at doing "y" than "x"! This way everyone gets to contribute in a way he likes according to the class he has picked. And thats why we always had prestige classes like loremaster, or rangers good at tracking/scouting and rogues good for trapfinding and stealing... All these classes maybe had a bad time in combat compared to others, but exploration and RP time always redressed this!
> Nothing good can come from reverting to a style of game design that was largely abandoned since the early '00s. Even modern designed classless systems do a better job at ensuring everyone's relevance than this. A non-engaged player is a time bomb during a session, some players have longer fuses than other but this is true none the less, this philosophy not only promotes bad game design but increases the likelyhood of player disenfranchisement over the long run, especially with groups with inexpedience or poor DMs.
I might agree if the game was healthy, but it's not, and the whole reason to reverting back to an earlier type of play is to enlarge the dwindling player base and save the game from the disastrous past five years of poor design decisions.
I don't believe that the older style of play was abandoned, if anything the evidence is that WotC abandoned that style of play and the player base went elsewhere so they could keep playing it.
Groups with inexperienced or poor DM's are going to be difficult to no matter what edition your using, but the great advantage that the 5E rules have is they will enable the gaming group to play the traditional or correct way (the way that was a commercial success). This will create better players and DM's and we'll see fewer people on these forums talking about powers, surges, min-maxing, sliding, and so forth. Instead they'll be talking about the great adventure that they had tracking down the menacing orc band who as it turned out was willing to pay the party better protection money than the village elders were. They'll talk about having fun, they'll talk about everything but miniature wargaming.
The cover of the 1st edition Player’s Handbook by artist D.A. Trampier. A motley crew of adventurers, the bloodied bodies of lizard men, the hint of arcane malevolence surrounding the idol, the daring thieves prying the jewels from the statue. This is arguably the most iconic piece of art in all of RPGdom.
Roleplay should not be exclusive from combat or exploration.
I don't understand where the idea that the pillars can't bleed into eachother is coming from. If a car company mentions that speed and luxury are important to them, you don't assume that the seats turn to rock when you speed up.
First off, yea, 3rd one is interaction. If they do the pillars right I think it can work. I want to have the ability to move some of my focus off of combat and into another area. Here's a few things I think they can do to make things balance out.
1) Admit the three pillars are not equal in your average D&D game. Combat > Exploration > Interaction because of the amount of dice rolling and number crunching you do in each. I've had a session that was pure Interaction, hardly a single d20 was rolled.
I think combat should be pretty static, you can't add too much to it or take away too much. (Well, you can take away a bunch if you're nuts, but it should be obvious what you're doing if you do that. And it shouldn't make you god in the other areas.) Example, if you switch a combat feat out for a familiar, you're getting more in exploration then you lost in combat because a +1 in combat =/= a +1 in the others. This especially applies the other way around, you shouldn't be able to dump all of exploration and interaction to become a derp fighter who outshines everyone in combat.
2) All classes should have a pretty standard focus on each pillar, kind of like how 4e looks. You can pick any class and expect to contribute a lot in combat and at least a decent amount in exploration and interaction. There might be some variance, but not enough to make a player want to kill off his bard who feels worthless.
3) Changing your focus from one pillar to another gives you abilities for a quantity of situations, not quality in what you already do. Let's take two different rogue ideas, an knife throwing rogue and a rogue with some cleric spell slots. The "rogue" part of each of these characters is the exact same, only difference is whatever resource was spent on knife throwing / spell casting.
The knife throwing rogue used his resources to stay pretty standard with the default pillars. Maybe a hint more combat, but he didn't give up all his exploration or interaction to do that. (If any that is, he probably switched a sneak attack for it which was already combat.)
The cleric rogue shifted his focus onto exploration a bit. That doesn't mean he's outshining other rogues in the exploration things all rogues do. He just has resources for more situations, like cure disease, party skill buff, and summoning horses. This is what I mean in quantity not quality. He's become more of a jack of all trades, not a better rogue.
This is how I think pillar shifting can be done without a huge risk of outshining players or getting bored in other situations because you dumped interaction. The three pillars idea is actually a pretty general concept. It can be implemented in a bad way and it can be implemented in a good way. We really need to see how WotC is using it before we can judge it's game design merit.
PS: I haven't done tons of pondering in this area, and I'm still forming how I think this can be achieved. So opinions and other ideas are welcome. It's definitely a tricky thing, but I would rather they try it then lock character options down to "you will be awesome at combat because everyone else is."
Homebrew Psionics blog posts archive: Spoiler:Show
UPDATED Dec/18/2012: BAMN! Random update with a modest amount of hard rules for Animal Affinity, Telepathy, and Telekinesis. ADDED: Discipline Burn and more "soft" ideas. Dec/13/2012: Small Psionics Homebrew Update, now that I'm done with Finals.
Really old. Nov/02/2012: I'm working on a homebrew Wilder, and so a homebrew Psionics system. Here's a 3 part post with info on where I am in the design process. Part 1, Hard rules/example soulknife discipline: Link. Part 2, Basic ideas/goals on basic numbers and classes: Link. Part 3, Direction/ideas I want to take with specific disciplines: Link.