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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    I should perhaps specify that my problem is when the monster is basically boiled down to its in-combat nature and literally nothing else. Which really leaves no room for other ideas. How about eliciting help from a monster instead of fighting it; convincing it to ally with you for a common cause? What skills could it use that could benefit the party in that instance? How easy is it to barter with, and what sort of temperament does it have? Would it be willing to negotiate, or is it violent and murderous?

    The goblins in the 4e Monster Manual are all listed basically as 'stealth, thievery' without any variation in that, and the rest of it consists of combat abilities. In that same book, the red dragon's only non-combat abilities are 'flight', and having 'bluff', 'insight' and 'intimidation', for instance, and the rest consists of its frightful presence, breath weapon and melee attacks.

    Naturally, yes, you can list other things about a given monster in its ecology write-up. The problem is, 4th edition doesn't have one. The red dragon's description is this;

    Red dragons breathe fire and make their lairs inside mountains and volcanoes. They are the mightiest of the chromatic dragons, and the oldest of them rival demon princes and demigods in power.
    There's more after that. A knowledge check. This is what you get from that non-combat knowledge check;
    DC 20: Though red dragons prefer to lair deep underground, they often have high perches aboveground where they survey their territory, watching for intruders.
    What else is listed? More combat abilities, and the tactics it would use in a fight. Now, naturally, one of you has rightfully pointed out that there wouldn't have been room for anything else on the page. Except... have you looked at the 4th edition books? Not only are the fonts much larger, but they leave a good third of the page around the edges as white space. Yes, seriously.

    For example.

    Contrast that to the 2nd or 3rd edition monster books, which practically fill the page, and have a smaller font. This is the description of a red dragon:

    Red dragons are the most covetous of all dragons, forever seeking to increase their treasure hoards. They are exceptionally vain, which is reflected in their proud bearing and disdainful expression. The small scales of a wyrmling red dragon are a bright glossy scarlet, making the dragon easily spotted by predators and hunters, so it stays underground and does not venture outside until it is more able to take care of itself. Toward the end of young age, the scales turn a deeper red, and the glossy texture is replaced by a smooth, dull finish. As the dragon grows older, the scales become large, thick, and as strong as metal. The neck frill and wings are an ash blue or purple-gray toward the edges, becoming darker with age. The pupils of a red dragon fade as it ages; the oldest red dragons have eyes that resemble molten lava orbs.

    Red dragons lair in large caves that extend deep into the earth, which shimmer with the heat of their bodies and are marked by a sulfurous, smoky odor. However, they always have a high perch nearby from which to haughtily survey their territory, which they consider to be everything in sight. This high perch sometimes intrudes upon the territory of a silver dragon, and for this reason red dragons and silver dragons are often enemies.

    Red dragons are meat eaters by preference, and their favorite food is a human or elven youth. Sometimes they charm villagers into regularly sacrificing townsfolk to them.
    In addition, the sample dragon listed, whose stat block actually takes up les space... includes skills such as appraise, its trapmaking skills, its knowledge of things like arcane lore and religion, and its skills with using magic items and spells. In addition it has a long list of sorcerer's spells available to it, one or two of which could indeed provide aid to a party (heal and restoration) were it persuaded to ally with them, even if only temporarily.

    This sort of thing gives the monster a list of abilities that it has which make it part of the world that it lives in. It feels less like a collection of hit points when it has most of the same features as your own characters.

    Certainly to a better degree than 4th edition, at the very least.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Forum screwed up again. Reveal to me Narsils post!
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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    I should perhaps specify that my problem is when the monster is basically boiled down to its in-combat nature and literally nothing else. Which really leaves no room for other ideas. How about eliciting help from a monster instead of fighting it; convincing it to ally with you for a common cause? What skills could it use that could benefit the party in that instance? How easy is it to barter with, and what sort of temperament does it have? Would it be willing to negotiate, or is it violent and murderous?
    Well how many of those things are going to be common to all creatures of a type? You might have a general Djin write up, but you can't expect every Djin in the universe to have the same skill sets. So you make the Djin entry for generic things that you absolutely need to make a Djin, then let the DM fill in anything extra he feels they need for the adventure. Either way, there is probably a 1/10,000 chance that the DM needs to know that the djin invested his skill ranks in craft(basket weaving), or that the monster took toughness 18 times, because these are things that are utterly irrelevant in any situation, but would need to be included if making monsters was just like making characters.



    As to the rest of your post, your big concern seems to be about fluff, or the lack thereof. That has nothing to do with what shows up in the statblock, and long as what is in the statblock allows the creature to do what the fluff says it does. So if your Hydra entry says the Hydra hides under water and stalks its prey, the Hydra better have water breathing and a decent stealth modifier to pull that off.

    Either way your complaints point to problems with how 4e handled monster design, not necessarily with the idea that monster design should not be the same as PC design.
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    On art: Ok, if we need something that's practically softcore just to sell books, the game's better off dying in a trash heap. D&D should stand on its own feet of a solid, balanced, fun system, not "that one game with the pictures, you know what I mean!".
    I think that there's a happy middle ground between "totally realistic" (wherein males and females in anything more than cloth can barely be told apart in armor) and "totally absurd" (hyper-sexualized poses and body-forms, as well as outfits designed only to show off either set of bodies but that otherwise would explode/tear apart/fall off as soon as the wearer breathed or took a step). That middle ground is "mildly stylized".

    What's "Mildly Stylized", you ask? Some of the outfits on "Women fighters in reasonable armor" have "boob plates" that show that, well, they're girls, but still cover the torso overall. Or the armor for Fem!Shep in the 3 Mass Effect games. The iconic PF Paladin. All those examples are stylized to show off a bit of the feminine nature of the subject, but also still look comparatively practical, functional, comfortable, etc.
    Yes, "boob plates" focuse blows a different way or whatnot. But there's still metal there. Plus, D&D has all sorts of enhancing magic, or super-materials, ME has future-composites, and so on.

    The point is that it's not totally wrong to show they're a girl, give the girls a somewhat stylized, mildly unrealistic look, if it's fitting the genre to a point, and not going overboard (and the guys get similar treatment).

    It does seem less good to go further and further in the "stylized" direction. After a point the outfits become less about "function" and more about "sexy".

    One reason this is a big issue: getting female gamers interested without having to spend half an hour convincing them the game isn't totally immature sexist boy stuff (or however they'd word it). Guys and girls should both think the art's fun, rather than trying to "look sexy" for one group but not the other.


    On Monster Rules: I'd say the "build monsters unique, but not with totally arbitrary abilities".
    I mean, I think there should sometimes be abilities that PCs can't easily replicate; we want the monsters to be at least sort of special after all.
    I know juggling a billion little things is one reason I don't really ever want to DM a traditional game.

    On template-stacking shenanigans: If you really want an Undead Demon Beholder Squid Rogue, great. But, uh, maybe a point-buy based game is a better choice? That seems just silly and cheesy and breaks immersion worse than reduced monster stat blocks. I mean, at some point you need to realize that stacking that stuff is basically only for crunchy benefits.

    On "REAL RPG's worry about imagination, not rules": Uh, I'm paying for a set of rules to arbitrate how we interact with the world. I mean, I guess it would be fun to say "I win, the bad guys die", but making some risk isn't a bad idea (though I'm not big on super-lethal games, I can enjoy them plenty without the "constant risk of death" or whatever).
    Plus, it helps give guidelines on how things fit together.

    The reason you see so many debates online about rules is because rules are tangible things. You can objectively calculate things within rules. You can objectively compare rules in various systems.

    You can't really do that with imagination. The most you can do there is grammar critique, possibly literary criticism.

    Really, the whole post about "imagination" seems rather condescending. What's wrong with us wanting to get an elegant, well-balanced system when we're paying money for it?
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Narsil View Post
    The goblins in the 4e Monster Manual are all listed basically as 'stealth, thievery' without any variation in that, and the rest of it consists of combat abilities. In that same book, the red dragon's only non-combat abilities are 'flight', and having 'bluff', 'insight' and 'intimidation', for instance, and the rest consists of its frightful presence, breath weapon and melee attacks.

    Naturally, yes, you can list other things about a given monster in its ecology write-up. The problem is, 4th edition doesn't have one.
    I'll put a useless word about this... 4th Ed had a goal, in my eyes, to provide the rules in a case where a group of heroes (or whatever you want to call them) had to do tactical battle with various fantastic enemies. The rules are very good at presenting that goal, but if you're looking for more from the rules, yes, you'll be left wanting.
    But if you realize the intent of the rule system, then you know that it's no good in a diplomatic situation, and some people adapt to that.

    I guess my point is NO GAME WILL EVER BE A CATCH ALL.
    And it shouldn't be. A game, like a book, or a movie, has an intended audience, one that aligns with the makers of the game. If you are NOT that audience, shrug it off, and move along. I don't like country music. Am I going to be angry when a country singer is voted best musician ever? (And one was, Johnny Cash, best ever.) No, of course not. So why are you mad when a certain game gets made? Find another. There's enough out there that you don't have to have animosity about the intent of a game. You can either accept it and play, dont accept it and move on, or sit, and grumble, and be upset about something out of your control...

    So. Yes. 4th Ed doesn't fit your (or most it seems) playstyle. But it is by no means bad, just because of its intent.

    It's bad on other levels, but that's another discussion...

    Move on. Play YOUR game, and hope that 5th Ed is another like it.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Either way your complaints point to problems with how 4e handled monster design, not necessarily with the idea that monster design should not be the same as PC design.
    It was more addressing one of the counterpoints that basically pointed to monsters as better off as minimalist, because there'd have to be something missing, than than actually supporting monsters-built-as-PCs with that post. And to continue the point of my post, while the average dungeon master doesn't need to know the individual djinn's basketweaving score... it does help to know what sort of random abilities a monster might expect to have outside of combat. Whether it's included in the stat block or in the fluff is irrelevant, but generally it would be nice to have it there. And not, for instance, completely absent.

    As for monsters being built the same as player characters, I would actually like that to a degree. Because it would allow for, and this might be a shocking idea, actually playing those monsters as player characters. While 3rd edition didn't manage it especially well, the kernel of an idea was there, and it really only needed to be improved upon for the next edition. But instead with 4th edition they basically jettisonned the entire thing top-to-bottom in their quest to streamline and simplify things.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    To be honest, these pictures doen't bother me. I don't exactly see anything wrong with titillation in general. If it sells more books, good on you, you came up with a way to make more money. I would suppose you're aiming for a more female demographic, and I would likely be curious how the mechanics and fluff of the system would reflect the feminine target audience, and if "feminine game mechanics" is even possible.
    Why can't we have both hot guys and sexy girls in the same game?
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    You guys are vastly overstating the risque factor in the D/D art.

    I've never seen anything in a D/D book that walked the line anywhere close to how people are describing it in this thread. I think a lot of people are mistaking don't like for offended by. If you're really offended by a piece of artwork, you'll know it.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Narsil View Post
    It was more addressing one of the counterpoints that basically pointed to monsters as better off as minimalist, because there'd have to be something missing, than than actually supporting monsters-built-as-PCs with that post. And to continue the point of my post, while the average dungeon master doesn't need to know the individual djinn's basketweaving score... it does help to know what sort of random abilities a monster might expect to have outside of combat. Whether it's included in the stat block or in the fluff is irrelevant, but generally it would be nice to have it there. And not, for instance, completely absent.
    But once again having those details has nothing to do with the stat blocks being minimalist. If you say in the fluff that a race is exceptionally good at stonework, putting a note to that effect in the stat block is fine. If a monster hunts for it's food, it should have tracking and stealth.

    But the point is you can make your fluff, then set the crunch to represent that, and not need to worry about "Well what does he do with his other feats?" or "What are his other 15 powers?", etc.

    As for monsters being built the same as player characters, I would actually like that to a degree. Because it would allow for, and this might be a shocking idea, actually playing those monsters as player characters. While 3rd edition didn't manage it especially well, the kernel of an idea was there, and it really only needed to be improved upon for the next edition. But instead with 4th edition they basically jettisonned the entire thing top-to-bottom in their quest to streamline and simplify things.
    I'm pretty sure I actually addressed this several posts back. You can have minimalist monsters and let the player fill in the details/blanks when he actually picks up the monster as a race. This doesn't mean when the monster is on the DM side of the screen, that you need those things. Putting those details in the splat book simply slows things down, giving the DM needless information, and sets in stone details that aren't needed.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by DefKab View Post
    <words>
    My problem kind of arose when 4th edition advertised as the next iteration of one of my favourite role-playing games. With fantastic new ideas and concepts that would fix many of the problems therein.

    And it kind of failed to deliver on that front. My problem specifically here is that I'm an argumentative ******** with an incredible stubborn streak and obsessive compulsive disorder. So whenever someone posts something I disagree with, I tend to have reactions somewhat like this;



    I do deeply apologise for that.

    That said, while country music itself sucks, Johnny Cash is oddly awesome in a way that transcends genre.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    I'm pretty sure I actually addressed this several posts back. You can have minimalist monsters and let the player fill in the details/blanks when he actually picks up the monster as a race. This doesn't mean when the monster is on the DM side of the screen, that you need those things. Putting those details in the splat book simply slows things down, giving the DM needless information, and sets in stone details that aren't needed.
    Though the monster details in 4th edition didn't have the kind of information required to actually run most of those as player characters outside of a random entry at the end for some of the monsters listed. So that's a moot point, really, but I think it actually helps with running encounters to have many of the standard monsters with skills in things like trapmaking and use magic device, much like the sample dragon has.

    I mean, that means that the sample dragon can be given things that it would almost certainly be using against the party. Wands, staffs, and scrolls. And it would have set traps for various attempted intruders. How is the fact that the dragon would be knowledgeable in magic and local events needless information to a DM who's probably not just using this monster for a fight, but for a campaign? And the healing and restoration spells aren't necessarily useless information in that fight either, when the dragon suddenly restores a good 130 of its hit points, and eliminates the effect of that enervation spell that was cast on it.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Narsil View Post
    -More Words-
    Oh, no need to apologize. I wasn't arguing, just seeing a point to be made. 4th Ed was kind of my game. Its... I really like it. But I'm not a marketer, I didn't even know it was out until way late, so I never got the pitch that WOTC was giving, so I completely understand your point.

    And on another point, its ACTUAL GOAL DESIGN is not what the game represents. Which is upsetting. It's a really good game, if you have REALLY specific wants, and people who'll put up with it. And you're awfully creative...

    That being said, I still love 3.5. I didn't for a while, but then I found things that make it interesting again. Like, I want to try E6, and see if that hits where I want 3.5 to be.

    But I play a lot of different RPGs, and to someone who's only played DnD, it can be daunting to try and understand another way of playing...

    I have to repeat an above question tho. Where are all these articles about 5E coming from?

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by pffh View Post
    Why can't we have both hot guys and sexy girls in the same game?
    Impossible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    You guys are vastly overstating the risque factor in the D/D art.

    I've never seen anything in a D/D book that walked the line anywhere close to how people are describing it in this thread. I think a lot of people are mistaking don't like for offended by. If you're really offended by a piece of artwork, you'll know it.
    I think this is partially my fault, as I mentioned that I personally don't care if it was porn if it theoretically helped sell more books then it served it's purpose. Somehow this became, D&D Next is going to be shipped with the lewdest, crudest images imaginable.

    D&D artwork so far I've found rather tame, for instance the book I just flipped through (Tome of Battle) seemed to have nothing scandalous. Maybe 4E changed that, I do remember 1 picture in which there was a lizard with obvious breasts (that were covered in useless armor!). I guess this might be sexualizing lizards. Maybe? I personally thought it was just bad art.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by DefKab View Post
    <Additional Words>
    Quite a few of them are here.

    Beyond that, pretty much all over the place. From various conventions and interviews, for instance.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    I imagine, when you're writing for a non-setting-specific game like D&D, that it must be frustrating coming up with all this fluff that people replace with their own.

    I imagine it must also be frustrating to pay for the development and inclusion of that fluff only for people to replace it with their own.

    Not really arguing one way or another. Just thinking out loud, here.

    --

    Oh, and Narsil, the dragon is not a strong example, since dragons have not one, but two books devoted to them. I see the point you're making, but, y'know... the fluff is out there.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    However, 3rd edition had all of that information in the core Monster Manual, plus a Draconomicon, Races of the Dragon, and Dragon Magic, on top of that. And it wasn't fluff that had been filtered through 4th edition's rather distorted view of Dungeons & Dragons. I actually read the second Draconomicon for 4th edition, and stopped reading at the point with the Iron Dragon having been turned into an aggressive creature 'one step from chaotic evil'. Given that it was one of my favourites to have appeared in Dragon Magazine, as one of the ferrous dragons.
    Last edited by Scots Dragon; 2012-05-07 at 05:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Well, now we can argue over the merits of one Draconomicon versus two Draconomicons.

    *shrug* I, personally, did not find Races of the Dragon or Dragon Magic all that useful, but... to each their own. Still, to me, the quality of information and the clarity with which it is conveyed is paramount to simple quantity. I like 4e's approach to "here is the basic information you need to run a combat encounter" in the Monster Manuals. Fluff folks (which includes me!) could pick up the various campaign books, setting books (Nentir Vale, Feywild, Shadowgloom, Elemental Chaos, Astral Sea, etc.), or adventure modules.

    And that's a totally viable strategy. If putting fluff in fluff-books creates space for you to put more monsters in your monster book, well, I'm not going to object.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    The natural problem arises when the 4th edition Monster Manual had information on, to count it up, four hundred and ninety-six monsters all-in-all. Most of those being variations on one central theme, such as goblins or orcs spread across multiple levels.

    The 3.5e Monster Manual had statistics for about four hundred and seventy-four monsters, with guidelines for at least a hundred and ten more in the dragon age categories. You'd think with all of that needless fluff and information cut out that they would have had room for more than twenty-two additional monsters. But instead they're actually missing a few things, given the amount of monsters devoted to internal variants.
    Last edited by Scots Dragon; 2012-05-07 at 06:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    The better Monster Manual books all came later in both 3.5 and 4th edition.

    The 3.5 Monster Manual 3, 4 and 5 are better usable and have plothooks than both 3.5 Monster Manual 1 and 2.
    4th edition Monster Manual 3, Demonomicon and Monster Vault plus Threats to Nentir Vale are also better than 4th edition Monster Manual 1 and 2, although these two had at least some plot ideas put inside.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    RE Monster design:
    I admit I don't really use monsters. Virtually all my games involve creating a society of which the players are a not-really-special member of. The most interesting conflicts come about when the players are pitted against a foe who reacts, plans and otherwise does their own thing.

    You might say this is a BBEG and thus worth a full statblock, I say fine. But the captain of the guard and the king and his advisor all have this too! I manage this mainly by creating NPCs on the fly. While key actors are statted out beforehand, random patrolman at east market gate does not have an attack bonus. When it becomes relevant, I refer to my notes of approximately which level he should be, decide what his bonus is and fill in abilities as I go. (this tends to result in a bias towards abilities that 'just happen' to be useful to the current situation, even though I try to be fair; but after that, guardsman Jim has a name now and he becomes an NPC in a file)

    While monsters do exist and I do follow their stat blocks (which *are* conveinient), they tend to be... background fauna. A G. Cube or manticore tends to serve as a distraction or a centerpiece; but not actual actors in the world.

    --------------------------

    Now, what would be very useful is a series of guidelines that would say: "a level 4 guard in a town can be expected to have an attack bonus from 4 to 8, and at least three martial feats or two and one diplomatic/leadership type"

    And macro guidelines that involve scaling up the individual character rules: "A town with a wizard's guild of size 30, highest level 7, can be expected to have a library covering most spells from level 1 to 3; be expected to have everlasting torches lining important streets or at least government buildings; have contributed apprentices and minor magic items for the town guard and richer segments of society; magic traps are to be expected"

    It requires the creators of the system know their own system like the back of their hand. I need guidelines that govern how the world works, that still makes sense given individual abilities. They need to know how ability X impacts the world and society as a whole. I can't do this for *everything*. That is what I want out of a setting book.

    The lack of this prevents me from running high level campaigns, not power creep.

    This is hard. But I imagine that at 60 dollars for a book, they can afford to spend some time knowing how their system fits together.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Narsil View Post
    The natural problem arises when the 4th edition Monster Manual had information on, to count it up, four hundred and ninety-six monsters all-in-all. Most of those being variations on one central theme, such as goblins or orcs spread across multiple levels.

    The 3.5e Monster Manual had statistics for about four hundred and seventy-four monsters, with guidelines for at least a hundred and ten more in the dragon age categories. You'd think with all of that needless fluff and information cut out that they would have had room for more than twenty-two additional monsters. But instead they're actually missing a few things, given the amount of monsters devoted to internal variants.
    I'm going to go with the numbers you provide, because honestly, I'm not going to bother counting two editions worth of Monster Manuals, and the raw numbers aren't particularly relevant.

    Why?

    Because "beating" 3.x in raw monster count doesn't inherently make 4e better. 4e stands on its own merits.

    When making 4e's Monster Manual, sure, maybe someone was tallying up and keeping score, but I imagine they were much more focused on questions like:

    What do we want to fit in this book? What can we fit in this book? What artwork do we use? What layout? What levels do we focus on? What monsters need to be in here? What monsters can wait for the next book? What roles do we need to fill? What information do we need to present to the players and the DM? How do we make a quality sourcebook within the budget and resources available?

    Again, it's not about raw numbers. When I say, "they can fit in more monsters," I don't mean, "they can fit in more monsters relative to 3.x." I mean, "they can fit in more monsters as compared to how many they would otherwise fit if they added in information which would mostly go unused." It's entirely an internal comparison. If the 4e book didn't meet the needs of my 4e game, then whether or not it has more monsters than its 3.x counterpart is irrelevant.

    The relevant bits of most monsters most of the time is going to be their combat abilities. If the monster has additional noncombat traits, those are details which I as the DM am better suited to evaluate in terms of my campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaEmil View Post
    The better Monster Manual books all came later in both 3.5 and 4th edition.

    The 3.5 Monster Manual 3, 4 and 5 are better usable and have plothooks than both 3.5 Monster Manual 1 and 2.
    4th edition Monster Manual 3, Demonomicon and Monster Vault plus Threats to Nentir Vale are also better than 4th edition Monster Manual 1 and 2, although these two had at least some plot ideas put inside.
    I found the Nentir Vale book to be superb. A variety of monsters, all placed within their environment, with some interesting interactions. Any DM looking to draw up a region and populate it with enemies would do well to use it as a guide. I'm just sad that they never released more books like it. I'd love to see a "Points of Light" campaign guide like the Eberron or Forgotten Realms books, especially if 5e moves away from the Points of Light style.
    Last edited by Fatebreaker; 2012-05-07 at 08:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    People are making this all much too complicated. It really is easy:

    "Does the image evoke sexuality in a situation where it would not happen in real life"? If yes, don't use the image in the books.

    Easy, nothing more to say about that.
    Except that there IS NO SUCH SITUATION. Period. People hit on each other and often get it on in the damnedest places. Sexuality is part of mortal life and the human thought process. Trying to divorce the two is not only unnatural its harmful to the people its generally trying to protect.

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    wink Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Tolle View Post
    Once again, there is a difference between having attractive characters and having sexist art. Hell, there's a difference between having sexy characters and having art that promotes sexual stereotypes. BUt if you want to have sexy females in your fantasy art, then it's only fair that the men should be wearing similar outfits and be in similar poses. Note- Conan and He-Man aren't really sexually posed. If you want men depicted the way women are depicted in games you'll want something like

    This
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    Or This
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    See the difference between this and the usual pictures of He-Man and Conan? The difference in posing and expression? That's the difference between a power fantasy and a "sexy" fantasy.

    A little too sexy you say? You don't like that kind of posing in your fantasy? Well that's what female gamers have to put up with constantly.
    Neither pic bothers me one damn bit. There should be a variety of art in the books. The more art the better. More art variety means less pages of crunch for WoTC to screw up. See unlike some people I realize that no one is holding a gun to my head and forcing to me ogle a picture I dont find appealing. Neither am i so insecure in my appearance or sexuality that I'm rendered uncomfortable by such images.

    Also you know nothing about women. Gamer or otherwise. If you did you would know that they enjoy looking at fantasy models in sexual poses and outfits just as much as we do. They enjoy the art and the fantasy too. Sometimes the psychology of why they enjoy it is different (and sometimes it isnt ) but what matters is that the vast majority of humanity, gamer or not, ENJOY sexy fantasy models.

    Art is not a place where people should be forcing their outdated ideas of morality or social responsibility. Art is a place for freedom of expression. A place where your inner desires and demons are SUPPOSED to come out and play without some school marm or her proxy wiggling their fingers and saying no.

    Perhaps if you actually know a woman, and she's one of the very small handful who are bothered by sexy images ( i know theres a few repressed and damaged souls out there who are) you and she would be better served by having a conversation about what the image actually makes her feel and why then by foolishly attempting to be a white knight in PC armor.

    That way you'll be enjoying the purpose of art. Invoking free and provocative thought and expanding your boundaries.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    You seem to be under the assumption that Dungeons & Dragons exists to be a generic simulator that embodies various trends in fantasy literature. A blank canvas upon which the Dungeon Master can craft an entire world and set of concepts from scratch and customise various elements to their liking. And on some level, you'd be right, in that D&D - and especially the d20 system - is in fact meant to be customisable.

    But the canvas isn't as blank as you want it to be, and hasn't been for quite some time now. Basically, Dungeons & Dragons has a default setting, and has pretty much always had a default setting, in a trend that has carried on since at least the mid-to-late-1980s with various campaign sourcebooks and adventures that existed as part of several pre-made worlds. Which happened to include Dragonlance, Greyhawk, Mystara, the Forgotten Realms and various others along those lines. There were existing characters, existing monsters, existing situations and existing villains.

    While the ecologies and fluff are something that Dungeon Masters can often ignore or even alter at their whim, not all of them do. In fact, many of them prefer to use the existing material because not only does that make a lot less work for them, it also happens to explain to them where this monster might fit into the existing campaign setting that they're making use of.

    All of this material was left out when 4th edition hit. And has in fact not yet been provided in many cases, given entire categories of monster being changed and replaced as part of the new edition's sweeping alterations to the existing Dungeons & Dragons material.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Players should be able to fail. But failure doesn't mean death 100% of the time. Failure means the bad guy got away, you got captured, your friend the NPC died, or the BBEG wizard completed his ritual initiating Armageddon. PCs that care about the world around them are going to find these threats serious. Even PCs that only care about themselves are gonna pay attention when their stuff gets taken and they get sold into slavery because they lost a fight.

    One failure can segway into the next quest. 'Escape the slavers.' 'Find the man who took your stuff.' 'Try to survive Armageddon.'

    I'm not saying don't kill players. When PCs slaughter npc enemies without a second thought their friends are more likely to return the favor. And an alligator isn't going in for convoluted plots so whatever it beats is gonna get eaten soon. However if you're feeling magnanimous as a DM you can hand the bad guys the villain ball now and then. Strap the heroes into a James Bond death trap.

    As a player I'd feel worse knowing the people I was trying to protect died horribly than that my character had died horribly. My buddy doesn't really care at all about imaginary people. However he really rages when people take his in game stuff. There are multiple failure states.

    I wouldn't care to play in a game where I knew I couldn't lose. I don't mind if that loss involves my death or not.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Also 3.5 characters were built different than monsters. Racial HD with arbitrary abilities, arbitrary BA progression, arbitrary level adjustment ect. Its totally fine to just make up numbers for monsters. Its not totally fine to just make up numbers for NPCs. If I'm facing a human ranger I want him to be built using the same rules I would use to build a human ranger. That's what is important to verisimilitude for me.

    I also wouldn't mind for monsters to have some description beyond their shape as an exp speed bump. Iconic monsters don't need explanation so much. A skeleton doesn't need its habitat explained or its day/night sleep cycle covered. But some weird thing the game designers just made up does need to be placed in the world. If I make up a thing called a chain snake I have to explain how it fits into the world in terms of habitat, food chain, behavior, ect. You haven't seen dozens of movies with chain snakes in them but I'll bet you've seen a zombie or several hundred shamble across the screen.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    As for the setting, D&D has a generic default setting. It looks more or less like what you see in Order Of The Stick minus a bit of what OOTS admits is homebrew. The designers had a kitchen sink approach to the game when they drew up the players handbook and all the other player source books. Its generally assumed that all this material is available. In fact you're a bad DM if you don't let players choose from all the options! (/sarcasm)

    Do you remember reading about the game where the DM said, "In my world the only magic users are druids (and rangers)." Have you played in a game like that very often? I've had people on this forum complain that a game like that would "Limit them" somehow, be angry at me for suggesting it. A world with only druid magic is very different than a world with only sorcerer magic. Its very very different from a world where every kind of imaginable magic coexists. A world where werewolves, and vampires run around but there aren't any magic users as such would be interesting. Van Helsing anybody? That world is totally not the generic D&D world.

    The rules themselves have a massive effect. 3.X default is a world of demi gods. The most powerful people bend reality around themselves. Death is an inconvenience. The various planes of existence are your playground. 3.X 6E is entirely different. In 6E men are just men, not superheroes or gods. Death is a serious problem if not 'the last adventure.' Dragons are always threatening. A mortal man could kill a powerful wizard. The implications of the rules should have a huge impact on the setting.

    Lets look at the Tippyverse. The Tippyverse is not the default D&D setting. Its very close to the default setting but Emperor Tippy figured out the implications of high level magic. Go read about it if you want. Its existence clearly demonstrates that the default setting is clearly something else.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironvyper View Post
    Art is not a place where people should be forcing their outdated ideas of morality or social responsibility. Art is a place for freedom of expression. A place where your inner desires and demons are SUPPOSED to come out and play without some school marm or her proxy wiggling their fingers and saying no.

    Perhaps if you actually know a woman, and she's one of the very small handful who are bothered by sexy images ( i know theres a few repressed and damaged souls out there who are) you and she would be better served by having a conversation about what the image actually makes her feel and why then by foolishly attempting to be a white knight in PC armor.

    That way you'll be enjoying the purpose of art. Invoking free and provocative thought and expanding your boundaries.
    Wow. Could you maybe tone down the condescension a little bit, please?

    I get that you apparently think it's better for the game to have everyone in the art be on the verge of nudity and sex, but it's pretty clear a lot of us don't prefer that.

    Trying to sell your position as some sort of "one true way" and invoking "true art" doesn't actually help you any.

    Can we maybe just drop this whole art conversation? It's pretty clear each side isn't going to convince the other, at least not at this time, and we've clearly degraded to the point of haughty insults, so it's better if we cut the head off the snake (as it were).
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by MukkTB View Post
    Its very very different from a world where every kind of imaginable magic coexists.
    My preferred method of working around this is saying that the different types of magic are all actually the same thing, they just look very different and have slightly different capabilities because the styles were invented by different cultures who discovered magic independently. Like eastern vs. western swordfighting styles. So you can just say "The place you start off in only has wizards and clerics: You can be a Druid or a Psion if you really want, but you have to fluff yourself as being a traveler from a faraway land."

    This way, you can have a more defined flavor and tone for your setting, only having a few PCs who are special and break the mold. (And being special is normal for PCs anyway.)

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