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    Some immediate thoughts salvaged from oblivion:

    The less (and weaker) spells you may cast, the more (and expertised) skills you should acquire (I'm looking at you, Fighter).
    Branching off that, the bland Fighter and Rogue classes should be "gestalted" permanently to be one Ultimate Mundane Whatever class, which specializes in being better in all things which all other classes can at least mechanically attempt to do by default (like weapon attack rolls, trained skill checks, etc., but not spellcasting, rage, or sneak attack).
    And this new class shall be the true "class for newbies" as it helps learn the basics of the system better than the current fighter (in any post-3.X edition).

    5E spellcaster specific:
    Prepared casters should prepare much less spells than a equal level spontaneous caster to compensate for being able to rebuild their arsenal each day; probably like casting mod + half level spells (rounded down, minimum 1).
    Meanwhile, spontaneous casters should have at least a number of permanent spells equal to their level, plus quite more automatic additions depending on their subclasses.
    Below are the things I personally care when rating whether I consider a RPG rule as a favorite or not, in order;

    • Legally guraranteed for free commercial redistribution (OGL, CC-BY-SA, etc.)
    • All game entities (PC, NPC, monsters, etc.) generally follow the same creation structure and gameplay rules (with some obvious exceptions)
    • Martial and Magical character archetypes do not completely overshadow each other in common situations (combat, exploration, socialization, etc.)

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomPeasant View Post
    Or just give people multiple personality traits. You don't need five different versions of "this is my character's motivation". You need one. And you can let people pick multiple if that is for some reason important to them.
    That's how you end up with a one dimensional character. Either that, or you play an avatar with just one thing different from you, the player.

    Multiple motivations in multiple different categories of kinds of motivations distinguish how your character is different from you as a player and give the character depth.

    Of course, I mean "multiple personality traits" when I say motivations. Its just that the best ones affect decisions. Because how you make decisions for your character in the fantasy environment is Roleplaying.

    "I have a verbal tick" or "I have a strange accent" are somewhat motivational, since they may affect your decision on whether or not your character speaks. "I have a verbal tick when I lie" or "My feigned noble accent slips when I talk to commoners" are very motivational, since they'll affect your decisions to lie or speak to commoners when it'll give you away.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    The high level power of D&D is fine. It is perfectly acceptable and appropriate that PCs can "rewrite reality" so to speak and do awesome powerful things. Such power does not need to be nerfed nor removed from the game. If the campaign you envision cannot exist with such power perhaps end the campaign before the level of the power that ruins it for you or maybe another game system is more suitable. If you still want to play D&D you are not wrong to remove or alter the power that bugs you, but D&D is not wrong to have had the power in the first place and is undeserving of scorn because such power exists.
    Quote Originally Posted by OgresAreCute View Post
    "Welcome to Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition, where the DCs are made up and the rules don't matter."

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    Narrowly defined "martial maneuvers" are bad. They constrain a character's ability to trip, move opponents around, disable them in all sorts of ways, and engage in interesting combat actions by turning them into just another ability. DCC's Mighty Deeds system (simple framework that allows for quick thinking and all sorts of possibilities depending on character, environment, and circumstance) is a much better way to allow for martial characters to do things besides hitting the enemy with a weapon when it comes to combat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    The cover of the original product said:
    DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
    Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames
    Campaigns Playable with Paper and Pencil
    and Miniature Figures

    Having said that, you're assuming distinctions that didn't exist yet. A "wargame" was pretty much any simulation game that was published by a wargame company. Scrimmage was a wargame of American football. Russian Civil War was a wargame of politics. Conquistador was a wargame of exploration. Outdoor Survival was a wargame of wilderness survival. The Plot to Assassinate Hitler was a politics / assassination wargame.
    I'm presuming that role playing existed in other contexts, particularly medical, and was interested to see if D&D used it to define itself (whether or not it used the term wargame).




    Two characters with shields stood next to each other should get defensive bonuses. Make it such that if the enemy didn't possess area attacks players will want to create a shield wall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I reject any definition of role-playing games that removes all editions of D&D as role-playing games. I do think it is important to remember "words are defined by use" (or more accurately, averages in the association engine that is the human brain). So, if the common systems that everyone is used to referring to as role-playing games aren't role-playing games, then a mistake was made in that definition.
    That sounds to me like a good reason to encourage people not to use the term "role-playing game" to describe things that don't involve role-playing. (Of which, as I define the terms, only 4e, not the entire D&D line, has issue with, IME)

    That said, I'm pretty sure, even if people started using "quark" to describe atoms, or "atom" to describe molecules, or "human" to describe uplifted dogs and AI piloting man-shaped meat-suits, that the word would also retain a stricter definition that excluded those additions. "RPG" should do likewise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    The high level power of D&D is fine. It is perfectly acceptable and appropriate that PCs can "rewrite reality" so to speak and do awesome powerful things. Such power does not need to be nerfed nor removed from the game. If the campaign you envision cannot exist with such power perhaps end the campaign before the level of the power that ruins it for you or maybe another game system is more suitable. If you still want to play D&D you are not wrong to remove or alter the power that bugs you, but D&D is not wrong to have had the power in the first place and is undeserving of scorn because such power exists.
    +1 to this!

    Gods how I hate the "teleport breaks the game" kind of rants. xD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    +1 to this!

    Gods how I hate the "teleport breaks the game" kind of rants. xD
    Teleport (long-range, not tactical) breaks SOME kinds of games.

    It's not unreasonable for a DM to want travel to be part of the game. But, if a DM does want travel to be a part of the game, it's on them to either keep the game low-level enough that long-range teleports are rare, or to work with the players to keep their characters within the bounds of people for whom travel applies to. And both of these require player buy-in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Teleport (long-range, not tactical) breaks SOME kinds of games.

    It's not unreasonable for a DM to want travel to be part of the game. But, if a DM does want travel to be a part of the game, it's on them to either keep the game low-level enough that long-range teleports are rare, or to work with the players to keep their characters within the bounds of people for whom travel applies to. And both of these require player buy-in.
    Or just run a system that doesn't have long ranged teleportation. There's a great many out there. I recommend Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, it's n not as complex as Anima: Beyond Fantasy but still fairly crunchy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Or just run a system that doesn't have long ranged teleportation. There's a great many out there. I recommend Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, it's n not as complex as Anima: Beyond Fantasy but still fairly crunchy.
    Also true. There's a lot of systems.

    Notably, games set in the modern day don't do travel plots well, usually. Planes and cars kinda wreck that. :P
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    That sounds to me like a good reason to encourage people not to use the term "role-playing game" to describe things that don't involve role-playing. (Of which, as I define the terms, only 4e, not the entire D&D line, has issue with, IME)
    The real problem with your definition is that it uses a subjective quality judgement as its core. Essentially it is confusing "ice cream flavours I like" with "ice cream". Ice cream is the objective category and then we can discuss subjective things about it. Or even objective things, but even if we could prove that 4th is a bad role-playing game by an objective measure that wouldn't make it not a role-playing game.

    So if you want to argue that D&D 4e is not a role-playing game, your definition should refer to something fundamental about the game. Not your experience with it. Because if your experience with D&D 4e is enough to disqualify it from being a role-playing game, than my experience with D&D 3.5e and D&D 5e should be enough to disqualify them as role-playing games. You know what the most helpful thing any edition has done for my role playing: added nine (or six depending how you count) new descriptive terms to my lexicon to describe characters. Yes I am referring to the alignment system, and also the extent I use it (what can I say, if I describe a character as "Lawful Neutral" people know what I mean). Otherwise it has pretty much just gotten in the way or left me to my own devices; a state of affairs so bad I understand why some people thing "not getting in the way" is the best a role-playing game can do. Even though its not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Gods how I hate the "teleport breaks the game" kind of rants. xD
    I remember having a bigger discussion about this and the problem is basically a combination of the (kinda) forced shift in scope and the fact that not everyone gets to participate. Teleport can kind of sideline the ranger's entire character concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    The high level power of D&D is fine. It is perfectly acceptable and appropriate that PCs can "rewrite reality" so to speak and do awesome powerful things. Such power does not need to be nerfed nor removed from the game. If the campaign you envision cannot exist with such power perhaps end the campaign before the level of the power that ruins it for you or maybe another game system is more suitable. If you still want to play D&D you are not wrong to remove or alter the power that bugs you, but D&D is not wrong to have had the power in the first place and is undeserving of scorn because such power exists.
    The problem isn't high level power, it's when high level power is unbalanced internally with the system. Or if you're trying to run anything other than Dragonball Z-like anime as your campaign. And for Wotc D&D, the blindingly fast leveling speed.

    Not so much a problem if you don't care about any kind of simulation or movie/book campaign of course. If you're trying to run Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars trilogy over 6 months, getting to level 11 in that time and wrapping up the campaign works fine. If you're trying to run an internally consistent open table multiple party campaign, capping levels at 11 by retirement with occasional special adventures for retires is fine.

    But if you want to play anime heroes /demigods following an adventure path of heroic saving the world-ness, the wotc 1-20 fast leveling (1-30 in 4e) is perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    I remember having a bigger discussion about this and the problem is basically a combination of the (kinda) forced shift in scope and the fact that not everyone gets to participate. Teleport can kind of sideline the ranger's entire character concept.
    Not... really?

    Ok, it means the Ranger won't get to roll his Survival checks whenever you're travelling back home or to other familiar locations. But the Ranger (and other survival-type characters) will still get to flex when you don't know where you're going. If you don't know where the bandit hide-out is, you can't teleport there and you rely on the outdoorsfolk to find the tracks (or you got clues to where it was from other means, like questioning NPCs, gathering information, communing, etc).

    For Teleport in most editions, you need to have some idea of where you're teleporting to, and you need to get to 7th level spells (Greater Teleport/Teleport Without Error) to do it without any mishaps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Otherwise it has pretty much just gotten in the way or left me to my own devices; a state of affairs so bad I understand why some people thing "not getting in the way" is the best a role-playing game can do. Even though its not.
    As someone who thinks that there is genuine value in roleplaying games that 'do not get in the way', I want to point out that this is a reactionary accusation at best, and at worst just hurtful. This is the exact kind of thinking that leads to accusations of brain damage over such petty things as roleplaying game preferences.

    I don't go around claiming people who enjoy a more genre-emulating experience (probably not the best term for what I'm referring to, but I can't think of a better one) want the game to roleplay for them because they suck at it either, so I genuinely I don't get this sentiment of needing to discredit other preferences. Even within an argument.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Also true. There's a lot of systems.

    Notably, games set in the modern day don't do travel plots well, usually. Planes and cars kinda wreck that. :P
    Planes mostly, cars partially. You can plan a travel based adventure around the players having access to modern vehicles, but you do have to take it into considering. The important part is that the players are still traveling, they can just do it faster.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Planes mostly, cars partially. You can plan a travel based adventure around the players having access to modern vehicles, but you do have to take it into considering. The important part is that the players are still traveling, they can just do it faster.
    Something to also keep in mind is that modern travel methods suffer from many of the problems that Faily pointed out for magical ones. You can't exactly land a plane without an airfield, and cars will struggle in heavily forested areas, or places without roads.

    And like she said, travel that has a focus on exploration and searching tends to be easier to implement in a gameable manner than travel that is just meant to get the PCs somewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    As someone who thinks that there is genuine value in roleplaying games that 'do not get in the way', [...]
    That's true, let me put this a different way: It's not that the genre-emulating* system are better than freeform*, it's that freeform is not better than genre-emulating. Having almost no constraints on character personality or decision making is nice, but it comes at the cost of not really having any guides or supports. It is a trade-off like many other things and it may be worth it or not in different contexts**, but across the entire hobby neither should be considered superior to the other.

    So that is my position on the matter. I brought it up because of the extreme position of: Any rules relating to character personality or decision making is inherently bad for role-playing. I disagree but I'm not really arguing against here. I just think that one of the causes of that belief*** is that D&D (the most popular system in the hobby) has a real checked past with providing rules for personality and decisions. So someone with similar experiences as mine with D&D, working around the rules more often than with them, but hasn't played other systems that have done a better job with those rules, may very well believe that getting out of the way is strictly the best way a system can approach role-playing. And I already went over how I feel about that.

    * I don't have great words for this either, hopefully the result of the post explains what I mean.
    ** I've found the more focused the game is the more chance they have of getting personality/decision rules right.
    *** There are others, including "I like it", which, if you do, is true.

    To Faily: Forgot to quote you, I just zeroed in on the person to seemed hurt. Yes, it isn't going to do it every time on its own. Although, I would be shocked if there weren't spells that let a wizard be a better tracker than a ranger too. Still, what would you describe as the ranger's "tier-up" ability opposite teleport? I actually don't know if there is one, is there an ability that pushes the scope of the ranger's abilities out like teleport and other spells of its level does for the wizard and comes online around the same time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    That's how you end up with a one dimensional character. Either that, or you play an avatar with just one thing different from you, the player.

    Multiple motivations in multiple different categories of kinds of motivations distinguish how your character is different from you as a player and give the character depth.
    few people can come up with a well rounded character immediately. i generally pick a one dimensional character, and let it grow more complex as i play it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Something to also keep in mind is that modern travel methods suffer from many of the problems that Faily pointed out for magical ones. You can't exactly land a plane without an airfield, and cars will struggle in heavily forested areas, or places without roads.

    And like she said, travel that has a focus on exploration and searching tends to be easier to implement in a gameable manner than travel that is just meant to get the PCs somewhere.
    Okay, got you. Although I suspect you can still manage it just be picking the right address and vehicle (which admittedly is not work then you should need).

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    few people can come up with a well rounded character immediately. i generally pick a one dimensional character, and let it grow more complex as i play it
    Yeah, but I find that being ahead to consider several angles of your personality heroes. Even if it's just 'what makes you angry, what makes you afraid, and what makes you act like a better person'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Also, regarding travel in "modern settings", Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders would like a word with you. Looking away from the silliness that is Jojo, the first half of Stardust Crusaders does a good job of making travel difficult for the protagonists.

    And yes, as Theoboldi said, lots of modern modes of transportation just can't go all-terrain. And then you need to enter in problems like fuel and maintance too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    To Faily: Forgot to quote you, I just zeroed in on the person to seemed hurt. Yes, it isn't going to do it every time on its own. Although, I would be shocked if there weren't spells that let a wizard be a better tracker than a ranger too. Still, what would you describe as the ranger's "tier-up" ability opposite teleport? I actually don't know if there is one, is there an ability that pushes the scope of the ranger's abilities out like teleport and other spells of its level does for the wizard and comes online around the same time?

    Maybe, but that means the Wizard is using spell-slots for tracking and not for other things that they might need it for (which goes back to my previous post about why I like Vancian magic and the resource-management of it).

    I don't agree that Teleport pushes the Ranger or other outdoors-folks out. Teleport is a great resource for the party to get safely and quickly to familiar locations - it's not an exploration spell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Also, regarding travel in "modern settings", Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders would like a word with you. Looking away from the silliness that is Jojo, the first half of Stardust Crusaders does a good job of making travel difficult for the protagonists.

    And yes, as Theoboldi said, lots of modern modes of transportation just can't go all-terrain. And then you need to enter in problems like fuel and maintance too.
    Fair. It's different, but not obviated entirely. Depending on setting and theme and all that, but you can say the same for fantasy games, so... Point taken. :)
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    One thing I will say about teleport is that while it's not broken in absolute terms, I do think it's fair to say that it's positioned in a way that crowds out other fast travel abilities. It's pretty trivial to come up with an adventure that stands up to teleport (for example: any intrigue, exploration, or bug hunt adventure). But it is harder to come up with a non-teleport travel power someone could have (like shadow walk or PGtE's Fae Gates) that are competitive with teleport. So there is a reasonable argument for moving things around so that teleport comes online fairly late, making a progression from "mundane travel" to "limited magical travel" to "easy magical travel".

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Multiple motivations in multiple different categories of kinds of motivations distinguish how your character is different from you as a player and give the character depth.
    I genuinely do not understand how having motivations come from different lists adds anything that simply having multiple motivations does not. Just have a list of character traits that includes everything from "short tempered" to "strict utilitarian" to "wracked by guilt for a personal failure" and let people pick from or roll on it as many times as is appropriate. Having a "Bond" and a "Trait" and a "Background" and an "Alignment" is just making things more complicated for no reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    The high level power of D&D is fine. It is perfectly acceptable and appropriate that PCs can "rewrite reality" so to speak and do awesome powerful things. Such power does not need to be nerfed nor removed from the game. If the campaign you envision cannot exist with such power perhaps end the campaign before the level of the power that ruins it for you or maybe another game system is more suitable. If you still want to play D&D you are not wrong to remove or alter the power that bugs you, but D&D is not wrong to have had the power in the first place and is undeserving of scorn because such power exists.
    Agreed. And I would add that the people who claim that D&D has never promised this sort of power are speaking out of simple historical ignorance. If anything, the level of power and influence high level characters have has declined since D&D first launched.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Teleport (long-range, not tactical) breaks SOME kinds of games.
    Sure, but so does everything. teleport is not special in this regard and framing it that way gives an unreasonable level of charity to people whose argument is nothing more than "things I don't like shouldn't be in the game because I don't like them". teleport is pretty easy to plot around, and something like half the game doesn't have it at all. The people complaining about it don't really have a leg to stand on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    And for Wotc D&D, the blindingly fast leveling speed.
    The problem is the idea of a single leveling speed. If you look at the rest of the fantasy genre, there is not anything like a consistent speed of power progression. Different stories have different progression speeds, different power ceilings, and happen over different timeframes. The game needs to be more upfront about the fact that characters change over the course of the power progression, and to provide a framework for limiting power progression. Which means burying XP in a hole in the ground and moving to milestone leveling, and providing a framework for incremental non-level progression so people don't feel compelled to keep leveling up their characters and end up demanding that their mundane warrior be allowed to play at 20th level.

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    I would note that d&d teleportation generally comes on line at about the same time planar travel options do.

    Its the point at which "Baron von NaughtyPants with skeleton armies who is 1500 miles away" goes from being an epic trek and infiltration mission to "we'll pants him tomorrow morning and come home in time for supper". At that point the game is mechanically saying (without of course telling a new dm or anything) that he and his army are an easy encounter of which you can handle more than one each day.

    The game gives that level of party the tools to hunt down a lich in its private demi-plane, directly attack arch-demons in the Abyss, rescue the demigod of luck from Mechanus, and take on githyanki fortresses in the Astral. You're expected to change the nature of the adventures from mundane riding around on horses and sailing ships beating up mundane enemies into using fantastic trasportation abilities to beat up magical enemies. The fact that lots of people don't get the message is a failure of the books to accurately tell you what the game expects you to do.
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  24. - Top - End - #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    The high level power of D&D is fine. It is perfectly acceptable and appropriate that PCs can "rewrite reality" so to speak and do awesome powerful things. Such power does not need to be nerfed nor removed from the game. If the campaign you envision cannot exist with such power perhaps end the campaign before the level of the power that ruins it for you or maybe another game system is more suitable. If you still want to play D&D you are not wrong to remove or alter the power that bugs you, but D&D is not wrong to have had the power in the first place and is undeserving of scorn because such power exists.
    I'll expand this by claiming that D&D 3.5 is fine as it is and it does not need any kind of fix; none of its content is broken.

    the reason is, of course, that most of its content is not supposed to be used together, and you should not use it together.
    you can play d&d with sword-and-board fighters and healbot clerics, or you can play it with god wizards and codzillas. You can play E6, or you can play epic. You can even play with the book of erotic fantasy. the difference in power level is a plus, it lets you use the same framework to play different games with the same general rules. you only have a problem if you play with inconsistent parts.

    which brings to the second part of my unpopular d&d opinion, which is that bans are not only good, but desirable. Bans are to be used to ensure that the campaign setting is consistent. the power, the themes. sometimes you ban an ability because it's broken for the power level you're aiming at, but just as often you ban stuff because you want a specific system with specific limitations instead of the common generic fantasy mix-mash, and sometimes even for the practical reason that some abilities entail more book-keeping than they're worth.
    bans work when they are not the tool of a tyrannical dm using them to curtail any spell that the players could use to get off the rails. Bans work when they are discussed and agreed upon to provide a consistent framework to play with. Some people prefer to call them in some other way, they say that in this case it's not "ban" but "gentlemen agreement", but really, if nobody - neither player nor npc - can use a certain spell or feat, than that thing is banned.

    I have two main limitations established:

    1)
    you can't create something out of nothing without paying some sort of equivalent price.
    This is a worldbuilding requirement, and not discussed with the players.
    It basically curtails most ways to break an economy - indeed, it explains why there is an economy in the first place and it's not self-resetting traps of create food and fabricate everywhere. It also stops infinite loops. if an item or spell or anything breaks this principle, then it's either banned, or altered appropriately. For example, wall of iron was given a duration of day/level.

    2)
    nothing level appropriate can screw you up too badly without allowing some sort of defence or counterplay
    this is a power balance guideline, and it was agreed upon with the players. We discuss case by case what's acceptable and what isn't. For example, the last instance when it was called was for solid fog; solid fog completely negates ranged attacks, and so a 7th level wizard casting it can become completely immune to a 20th level ranged build. which is particularly relevant for my world because there are guns and they are pretty good for rogues. I argued that if the party rogue had solid fog cast on him, he'd be screwed and he could do nothing; nor are there any level-appropriate items that could help him. we argued for a bit, and a majority of us agreed that the spell was bad for the game we wanted. I asked if changing it to "applies 1 range increment for every 1.5 meters" and "movement is reduced to 1/4th" would be acceptable nerfs, but some players argued it would be then too weak, and we eventually settled for 2 range increments/1.5 meters.

    The point is that bans and nerfs do not come out of the blue. We agree that we want to play a certain type of game with certain mechanics, and then we remove what would break those mechanics. But those mechanics are not broken, because other tables with different preferences may use them. The game is better if it includes both. The single gaming table would be worse if it included both
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  25. - Top - End - #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    few people can come up with a well rounded character immediately. i generally pick a one dimensional character, and let it grow more complex as i play it
    Fair enough. My post came across as more judgmental against avatars and one dimensional characters than intended. But if you want to encourage complex characters, especially among new to roleplaying players but also even with experienced players, suggesting a couple of categories of motivations/personality traits as starting places to think about, and encouraging explicitly listing them as opposed to burying them in a backstory, can be useful.

    And depending on the game, general moral/social attitudes and commonly resulting broad but not required associated behaviors can be a good category.

    That said, obviously Alignment is mostly a sacred cow. Personally I liked it more when as "Team pro-civilization", "Team anti-civilization", and those in between.

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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    I'll expand this by claiming that D&D 3.5 is fine as it is and it does not need any kind of fix; none of its content is broken.

    the reason is, of course, that most of its content is not supposed to be used together, and you should not use it together.
    you can play d&d with sword-and-board fighters and healbot clerics, or you can play it with god wizards and codzillas. You can play E6, or you can play epic. You can even play with the book of erotic fantasy. the difference in power level is a plus, it lets you use the same framework to play different games with the same general rules. you only have a problem if you play with inconsistent parts.

    which brings to the second part of my unpopular d&d opinion, which is that bans are not only good, but desirable. Bans are to be used to ensure that the campaign setting is consistent. the power, the themes. sometimes you ban an ability because it's broken for the power level you're aiming at, but just as often you ban stuff because you want a specific system with specific limitations instead of the common generic fantasy mix-mash, and sometimes even for the practical reason that some abilities entail more book-keeping than they're worth.
    bans work when they are not the tool of a tyrannical dm using them to curtail any spell that the players could use to get off the rails. Bans work when they are discussed and agreed upon to provide a consistent framework to play with. Some people prefer to call them in some other way, they say that in this case it's not "ban" but "gentlemen agreement", but really, if nobody - neither player nor npc - can use a certain spell or feat, than that thing is banned.

    I have two main limitations established:

    1)
    you can't create something out of nothing without paying some sort of equivalent price.
    This is a worldbuilding requirement, and not discussed with the players.
    It basically curtails most ways to break an economy - indeed, it explains why there is an economy in the first place and it's not self-resetting traps of create food and fabricate everywhere. It also stops infinite loops. if an item or spell or anything breaks this principle, then it's either banned, or altered appropriately. For example, wall of iron was given a duration of day/level.

    2)
    nothing level appropriate can screw you up too badly without allowing some sort of defence or counterplay
    this is a power balance guideline, and it was agreed upon with the players. We discuss case by case what's acceptable and what isn't. For example, the last instance when it was called was for solid fog; solid fog completely negates ranged attacks, and so a 7th level wizard casting it can become completely immune to a 20th level ranged build. which is particularly relevant for my world because there are guns and they are pretty good for rogues. I argued that if the party rogue had solid fog cast on him, he'd be screwed and he could do nothing; nor are there any level-appropriate items that could help him. we argued for a bit, and a majority of us agreed that the spell was bad for the game we wanted. I asked if changing it to "applies 1 range increment for every 1.5 meters" and "movement is reduced to 1/4th" would be acceptable nerfs, but some players argued it would be then too weak, and we eventually settled for 2 range increments/1.5 meters.

    The point is that bans and nerfs do not come out of the blue. We agree that we want to play a certain type of game with certain mechanics, and then we remove what would break those mechanics. But those mechanics are not broken, because other tables with different preferences may use them. The game is better if it includes both. The single gaming table would be worse if it included both
    And I would argue that, when two players who simply pick what sounds interesting from the core rulebooks can end up with a Tough Monk and McBearlord the Druid... There's an issue.

    I would agree that, given the kind of people who still play 3.5, it's not really an issue in practice, but it's certainly not something to emulate.
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  27. - Top - End - #177
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    A very unpopular opinion that may get me flamed, but which I hold dearly:
    In 2021, there is no reason to play 3.5 instead of Pathfinder 1, other than for empty nostalgia.

    *ducks*
    ... and sorry for my bad English in the post above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Fair enough. My post came across as more judgmental against avatars and one dimensional characters than intended. But if you want to encourage complex characters, especially among new to roleplaying players but also even with experienced players, suggesting a couple of categories of motivations/personality traits as starting places to think about, and encouraging explicitly listing them as opposed to burying them in a backstory, can be useful.
    I get that it supposed to work like that and maybe sometimes it even does work, but it really seems a lot of potential problems with little advantages. I think "write down a couple of words that describe your character" is almost as fast and much less potentially problematic than "pick one of these nine categories that manages to somehow be both too vague and too confining".

    That said, having like a list with suggestions for motivations or personality traits could probably be kind of useful for some people. It's the idea of turning them into distinct groups and making them an objective reality of the setting that bothers me.

  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    And I would argue that, when two players who simply pick what sounds interesting from the core rulebooks can end up with a Tough Monk and McBearlord the Druid... There's an issue.
    When I was a new player, I picked what sounded cool from the rule books. I made a monk with a repeating crossbow.
    and yet, i never felt useless compared to the party. no, i have no idea what stuff they had, that they couldn't even overpower me.

    aside from that, I can agree in principle... but if you want to fix this issue, you'd lose all the variety to play at different power levels.
    Sure, you could just have D&D be a more constrained game, and play different games when you want to simulate different things. some people in this forum advocate that, one different game for every different need.
    but then, instead of having to learn and master one single complicated game, you'd have to learn dozens of simpler games. how is that any better? Once i got a decent mechanical mastery of d&d, I could use it well enough to craft the setting and the type of adventure I want. And I can improvise rulings and homebrew stuff to fix any problem I spot. I could not do this if i didn't have deep knowledge of this one game. Nor could I do this if D&D didn't allow as much freedom as it does.

    D&D is not a game. D&D is a workshop to custom-create your own game.
    The only real issue is that it's not marketed as such.
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    I'll say that for me, personally, as DM, teleport isn't an issue. But neither is it all that it's cracked up to be. In large measure that's because "travel as logistics challenge" has never appealed to me. Heck, my setting has permanent teleport gates in select locations (basically linking the big cities of one play area) that players can access for a fee starting at about level 3.

    Unpopular opinion--the Caster/martial divide in 5e specifically really only becomes bad when a few things happen:
    1. The DM leans hard into the "realism except for magic" idea, that the rules of the world and thus people's capabilities are limited to their (flawed) understanding of what's possible on earth. Except magic. Magic is allowed to break the rules. Including its own rules. This leads to reading non-spell abilities narrowly (setting high DCs, denying possibilities, etc) while reading spells much more broadly than their own text (often marketed as "being clever"...which really means looking up some exploit online that relies on questionable readings and nonsense "real-world physics" applied selectively plus a lot of special pleading).
    2. The table chases difficulty and "challenge" as the primary goal/source of fun. Which leads to a spiraling arms race.
    3. (optional, but often associated, the table believes that only boss fights matter), the table tends to do one fight per day, usually against either a solo several CRs higher than their average level OR against a boss-type monster and minions. Here it's the lack of variation that really matters.
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