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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    40 minutes is a long time for a D&D 5e combat. AD&D was fast too.

    4e was very slow though. It was a struggle to get through a 4-combat official play adventure night in a single 4 hour sitting. 3e is somewhere in between.
    Keep in mind that I didn't say 'combat,' I said 'an exciting and dynamic set-piece.' I'm not talking about boring, inconsequential beatdowns against 2d8 orcs in a 40ft by 40ft stone room, or the level-appropriate X-encounters-per-day that you find crammed throughout the pages of Adventure Paths and 5e modules. I'm talking the big stuff, sprawling, spiraling encounters with high drama, the kinds of things that show up at the end of an adventure path installment, where there are big bosses with unique squads of minibosses with their own identities and fighting styles. Huge stuff, the kinds of combats that stick with you - those encounters don't eat entire sessions in D&D, which is something I discovered is far from universal once I started branching out.

    Ironsworn, for instance, is a game that gets straight to the action and creates exciting and fun encounters that don't waste your time. It's also the epitome of playing to find out. There's tons of random rolling and it's often hard to predict what could happen next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Here's a really unpopular opinion (or so I believe):

    4e's basic cosmology (the World Axis IIRC) was much much better than the Great Wheel of 2e/3e. Heck, a random bundle of planes thrown together without care would be better than the Great Wheel.
    While I don't think it's inherently better, I do think it's a fine cosmology. Plus in my experience most adventurers don't get ***** the ethereal,lshadow planes anyway, do simplifying the inner and outer planes into two Mages everything simpler.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    There's really no feeling like having an exciting and dynamic set piece involving the whole party (that would have been like 3 hours of a D&D session) take like 40 minutes, and then afterwards have like four or five more of those before the session is over. Stripping out the unnecessary busywork involved with combat and focusing in purely on the action, the drama, and the stakes is something I never thought possible until I started branching out from D&D.
    Yes, skittish I'll note that an exciting day piece doesn't need to take 40 minutes. My groups also normally had the build up to the action, but that's different from busywork.

    Another thing I've noticed is that combat becomes more interesting when there is less of it. One combat a session seems to be about the limit for me, which makes D&D interesting when most groups I've played in have gone for s full refresh between sessions. Plus there has to be a reason for combat, 2d8 orcs in a 20ft square room is o lord interesting then 'right, we've got the guns, so now it's time to take the supreme pumpkin from that street gang'.
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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.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    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.
    So, late answer, but I do think that this is far more reasonable. With D&D being THE entrypoint into the hobby for so many people, its the one that colours expectations, as any other starting place would. And considering how heavily different games can diverge from one another, assumptions gained from one's starting point will just really not track in with other systems.

    I will say that I am not convinced that the people who disliked such roleplaying restrictions in D&D will necessarily be happy with something like, let's say, Masks. Some will, certainly, and I've seen that happen, but just as many will be even more put off by it. Even more probably won't care either way and will be indefferent to the change. It's going to be hard to differentiate between dislike of the quality and dislike of the concept of restrictions, even for the people experiencing them.

    To convince people to try these other systems, I believe, focusing too heavily on the already formed ideas will only make them double down. It's best to instead point out how they do things differently, and how that improves the RP restrictions. For instance, by being more focused, either by genre or setting or thematics. It always helps to look at these other systems as something different one can also enjoy, rather than "here's what we should be playing instead." And that's not what you're saying, despite the quotation marks, but rather the instinctual feeling people tend to get in my experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kymme View Post
    Ironsworn, for instance, is a game that gets straight to the action and creates exciting and fun encounters that don't waste your time. It's also the epitome of playing to find out. There's tons of random rolling and it's often hard to predict what could happen next.
    That's a weird claim to me, because I always thought combat was the absolute worst part of Ironsworn. It's not bad, so to say, but it's very swingy and creatively exhausting, with battles often way outstaying their welcome or just utterly wrecking your resources past the point of being reasonable. I love the system, but combat's always been really rough compared to the basic but straightforward and functional tactics game of D&D combat.

    (I ended up having to homebrew it for my games to do anything other than just use the Battle move for every violent encounter. Getting initiative back on a weak hit with a Face Danger makes things far more diverse and FAR less tedious.)

    It does nail the improvised play, though. One of the best games on the market for it.
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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 Anonymouswizard View Post
    Another thing I've noticed is that combat becomes more interesting when there is less of it. One combat a session seems to be about the limit for me, which makes D&D interesting when most groups I've played in have gone for s full refresh between sessions. Plus there has to be a reason for combat, 2d8 orcs in a 20ft square room is o lord interesting then 'right, we've got the guns, so now it's time to take the supreme pumpkin from that street gang'.
    While I'm perfectly happy running and playing a straight adventuring site crawl full of tricks and traps and combat, i totally get that might not be everyone's gig. And yeah, I'd certainly recommend to any group interested in spending a huge amount of session time on everything but those things branch out into other systems. Modern D&D especially doesn't have game structures in place for much beyond combat. It has universal action resolution rules, but that's not the same thing as game structures.

    That's one of my favorite things about Forbidden Lands. It has game structures for exploration and stronghold building / defense, which I miss in modern D&D. Other game systems have game structures for other activities that make them strong for playing games focused on those activities.

    So ... apparently unpopular opinion in the general public but not really on this board:
    not every kind of game you might want to play is best done with D&D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    While I'm perfectly happy running and playing a straight adventuring site crawl full of tricks and traps and combat, i totally get that might not be everyone's gig. And yeah, I'd certainly recommend to any group interested in spending a huge amount of session time on everything but those things branch out into other systems. Modern D&D especially doesn't have game structures in place for much beyond combat. It has universal action resolution rules, but that's not the same thing as game structures.
    Honestly, I suspect I might enjoy a dungeon crawl in older editions of D&D they had replied to make it about more than combat.

    That's one of my favorite things about Forbidden Lands. It has game structures for exploration and stronghold building / defense, which I miss in modern D&D. Other game systems have game structures for other activities that make them strong for playing games focused on those activities.
    Interesting. Not my kind of thing, but I might be willing to play it.

    So ... apparently unpopular opinion in the general public but not really on this board:
    not every kind of game you might want to play is best done with D&D
    Totally. There's a reason that must of the games I own claim to run one thing. Although I'm interested in picking up more Ubiquity games, maybe One for All.
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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 Tanarii View Post
    40 minutes is a long time for a D&D 5e combat. AD&D was fast too.

    4e was very slow though. It was a struggle to get through a 4-combat official play adventure night in a single 4 hour sitting. 3e is somewhere in between.
    I never understood the "4e combat takes too long" thing. Not after coming from high-level 3.5 combats that were two hours long, with exactly one hour per round. If nothing else, getting a lot more turns in a 4e game was a lot more fun.

    Also, once you got used to it, play went a lot faster, as happens with basically any system. I think my longest turn in 4e, in our final campaign, was ~ 15 minutes, and that involved three* standard action AoE attacks on 7-8 monsters with free action attacks included from critical hits, an opportunity attack or two, and rolling twice on all attacks. The specific attack I was using was a little complex since it had floating damage that could be allocated around as desired. And that only took 15 minutes.

    * Strictly speaking one of those standard action attacks took place right before my turn on the bard's turn, and that didn't have advantage yet since I didn't have my turn to use the daily minor action ability is get advantage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    That's a weird claim to me, because I always thought combat was the absolute worst part of Ironsworn. It's not bad, so to say, but it's very swingy and creatively exhausting, with battles often way outstaying their welcome or just utterly wrecking your resources past the point of being reasonable. I love the system, but combat's always been really rough compared to the basic but straightforward and functional tactics game of D&D combat.

    (I ended up having to homebrew it for my games to do anything other than just use the Battle move for every violent encounter. Getting initiative back on a weak hit with a Face Danger makes things far more diverse and FAR less tedious.)

    It does nail the improvised play, though. One of the best games on the market for it.
    I appreciate your insight! I've only played about... 13-15 hours of Ironsworn and only had 3 fights, one of which was more of a running battle I handled with the Battle move. Fights moved fast, but they were pretty consequential. Right now I don't particularly like or dislike that trait, but I can definitely see it becoming tiresome with enough repetition, or when an exploration sequence gets interrupted by several combats in a row. I might try out your Face Danger rule - only getting Initiative back on a strong hit means that it can be very hard to escape being on the back foot - but only after I've had like... 3-4 more fights using the normal rules.

    Masks has my favorite dramatic conflict system from any PbtA game, because its rules give you a ton of freedom to take different actions. In D&D choosing actions in combat is pretty much a game of 'pick most effective spell for the situation' or 'move towards enemy and attack' or 'full attack an adjacent enemy.' But in Masks, dramatic situations never settle into a stasis, and there isn't always a 'most effective option' every time the spotlight comes back to you. I say that because, while Directly Engage a Threat is typically how you shut down and defeat foes, it's never the only option and, depending on your fictional positioning, might not be an option at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    Imo most people agree that torture is evil.
    In the US, we have a very large, unresolved debate on this very subject. So, I guess it is not so black and white as one would think.



    On topic:
    D&D style game play leads to a ton of unique RPG habits that do not apply at all to most other games.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    I never understood the "4e combat takes too long" thing. Not after coming from high-level 3.5 combats that were two hours long, with exactly one hour per round. If nothing else, getting a lot more turns in a 4e game was a lot more fun.
    High level 3.5 combat may take longer, but 4e was still long. I ran a lot of 4e. I played a lot of 4e. I like 4e.

    A lot of 4e moves were very positioning-dependent. And positioning tended to change enough that you couldn't pre-prep very far in advance. And so, with larger groups especially, people started tuning out, making it take even longer for their turn (since wathcing 4e turns wasn't very exciting).

    These factors all combined together to make for long combat. With people really good at the game, especially with fairly small groups, I believe it could be a lot faster, but in practice it bogged down pretty hard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    A lot of 4e moves were very positioning-dependent. And positioning tended to change enough that you couldn't pre-prep very far in advance. And so, with larger groups especially, people started tuning out, making it take even longer for their turn (since wathcing 4e turns wasn't very exciting).

    These factors all combined together to make for long combat. With people really good at the game, especially with fairly small groups, I believe it could be a lot faster, but in practice it bogged down pretty hard.
    "The <combatant> whose turn came just before mine completely invalidated my plan for my action. All the time and effort I spent planning my turn out was wasted - I may as well have spent the past 40 minutes on my phone! In fact… I think that's what I'll do from now on."

    What can one do to design a system to be resistant to such… line… "devolution" of play?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    "The <combatant> whose turn came just before mine completely invalidated my plan for my action. All the time and effort I spent planning my turn out was wasted - I may as well have spent the past 40 minutes on my phone! In fact… I think that's what I'll do from now on."

    What can one do to design a system to be resistant to such… line… "devolution" of play?
    1. Simultaneous action declaration (an underappreciated idea)
    2. Make calculation of stuff take less time/math
    3. Actions that are less dependent on precise positioning
    4. A system that makes actions less likely to invalidate options (such as lowering movement rates)
    5. Make turns more inherently interesting for people not making the move
    6. Non-deterministic turn order, so people can't think "oh, my turn is after these ten PCs and NPCs, I don't need to pay attention for a bit"

    And while I doubt many people consciously think that, I think that's more or less the path they go down subconsciously.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2021-10-12 at 01:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dafrca View Post
    I tried Fudge as part of a group and really didn't like it. Maybe it was just us, but we gave up on it after trying it for a few games. But to be honest, I do know a few folks who swear by Fate/Fudge and use it exclusively.
    Eh, not every game is for everybody

    Seriously, there's more problems with refusing to try than with just honestly disliking it.
    I agree, I have tried so many different game rule sets and settings over the years because you never know what will grab your imagination or fit your style until you really try it.

    That is also why I keep in mind the ones I liked or disliked might be the opposite for a different player or GM. Although I have never met someone who liked Phoenix Command but that can be a different thread.
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude... seeming to be true within the context of the game world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dafrca View Post
    I agree, I have tried so many different game rule sets and settings over the years because you never know what will grab your imagination or fit your style until you really try it.
    I think it also helps to play it with someone that really gets it and is a fan of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Curious what systems you find that do it better.

    It's not that I doubt they exist. It's just that I'm not really familiar with any.

    Certainly warhammer, Shadowrun, palladium, anything white Wolf, anything PbtA, torchbearer/Crane games, godbound ... not an improvement. I do like Fria Liga (Mutant Zero / Forbidden Lands) because it's more deadly, but I don't think it's superior overall.
    When my son was about 5 or 6 he wanted to play with minis like Dad. So we took a bunch of LEGO people and the rules we used was very simple: roll a die and higher die won. Ties just means the action goes on. Pick a lock, roll a die, combat roll a die, etc. All other questions we just called at the moment. When he found a magic weapon he began to roll a d8 and when the monster was a dragon or those large troll things LEGO has, they rolled a d8. LOL

    Here is the unpopular thought: I had more fun with that dungeon crawl game with him over the year or so he wanted to play than I did with 95% of the published rules I have tried.
    Last edited by dafrca; 2021-10-12 at 12:17 PM.
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude... seeming to be true within the context of the game world.

    "D&D does not have SECRET rules that can only be revealed by meticulous deconstruction of words and grammar. There is only the unclear rules prose that makes people think there are secret rules to be revealed."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Honestly, I'm moving towards combat that is as fast as possible, because I see it as getting in the way of the interesting stuff (it's partially why I like Unknown Armies so much, combat is discouraged). I'm perfectly fine with systems like Forged in the Dark which potentially reduce combat to one roll.
    this is what caused me to try and then use Four Against Darkness' core mechanic for a lot of my simple dungeon crawls. Simple and clean and fast. But when you try to use their system for more, it breaks down.
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude... seeming to be true within the context of the game world.

    "D&D does not have SECRET rules that can only be revealed by meticulous deconstruction of words and grammar. There is only the unclear rules prose that makes people think there are secret rules to be revealed."

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I think it also helps to play it with someone that really gets it and is a fan of it.
    I agree 100%. A fan can help things make sense quickly and allow you to get to the play where learning a new game system without a guide can slow down a lot as the people at the table are all trying to follow and understand mechanics together.
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude... seeming to be true within the context of the game world.

    "D&D does not have SECRET rules that can only be revealed by meticulous deconstruction of words and grammar. There is only the unclear rules prose that makes people think there are secret rules to be revealed."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    What can one do to design a system to be resistant to such… line… "devolution" of play?
    There is a tension between "player turn are a puzzle that require some though to find the optimal move" and "player turn can be planned in advance".

    One solution is to nuke the first part, and give up most technical details like exact distance between creatures (because missing 5ft of movement to make a melee attack is typically the kind of things that can force you to recompute your turn). In general, "soft rules" allow to follow the intention of the player even if the actual situation changed. If you still want to keep to technical details, simultaneous action declaration is another way of making the rules softer (resolving simultaneous actions require some level of arbitration).

    A totally opposite approach is to significantly increase the flexibility of everything, and more generally to eliminate as many threshold effects as possible. E.g, give the character the opportunity to "borrow" movement points from the following round so that they are never missing a few feet, make character less and less effective as they approach 0HP so that there isn't much difference between a 1HP and a 0HP enemy, get rid of "all or nothing" on spells and attacks to have more gradual effects, etc. => Easier said than done, and probably unplayable without computer help because of the added complexity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    There is a tension between "player turn are a puzzle that require some though to find the optimal move" and "player turn can be planned in advance".

    One solution is to nuke the first part, and give up most technical details like exact distance between creatures (because missing 5ft of movement to make a melee attack is typically the kind of things that can force you to recompute your turn). In general, "soft rules" allow to follow the intention of the player even if the actual situation changed. If you still want to keep to technical details, simultaneous action declaration is another way of making the rules softer (resolving simultaneous actions require some level of arbitration).

    A totally opposite approach is to significantly increase the flexibility of everything, and more generally to eliminate as many threshold effects as possible. E.g, give the character the opportunity to "borrow" movement points from the following round so that they are never missing a few feet, make character less and less effective as they approach 0HP so that there isn't much difference between a 1HP and a 0HP enemy, get rid of "all or nothing" on spells and attacks to have more gradual effects, etc. => Easier said than done, and probably unplayable without computer help because of the added complexity.
    Part of it is also "when does the information required to plan the move become available". In 4e, it's "the turn before yours" in many cases.

    That said, I generally agree with your point. Like, in Fate, all ranges and whatnot are fuzzy enough that you can pretty much plot out what you're doing in advance - and there's few enough things relying on precise positioning and calculation (none of this "this square or that square" stuff) that even if your move does get invalidated, it's pretty quick to figure out.

    Combined with turns being more "cinematic" and so more interesting for the rest of the players, as well as generally fast moves and resolution, the problem is greatly reduced (presuming people are fluent with the system, of course).

    PbtA games are similar, plus they add in the fact that without a strict turn order, you can always be hit up next by the GM, and so the "my turn is after these ten PCs and NPCs, I'm checking out" thing doesn't exist (even if some of the others do).

    Oooh, that's a good one. I'd add "non-deterministic turn order" to the list of things that can help push against people checking out.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2021-10-12 at 12:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Part of it is also "when does the information required to plan the move become available". In 4e, it's "the turn before yours" in many cases.

    That said, I generally agree with your point. Like, in Fate, all ranges and whatnot are fuzzy enough that you can pretty much plot out what you're doing in advance - and there's few enough things relying on precise positioning and calculation (none of this "this square or that square" stuff) that even if your move does get invalidated, it's pretty quick to figure out.

    Combined with turns being more "cinematic" and so more interesting for the rest of the players, as well as generally fast moves and resolution, the problem is greatly reduced (presuming people are fluent with the system, of course).
    I feel like a lot of this comes down to "How high-impact is a given turn" and "How much planning needs to be done to properly execute a given turn"

    If your turn is something like "I move towards the Big Monster and Hit it", that's low on both counts (Unless the Big Monster dies, in which case you select a new target). My understanding is that 4e had
    1) A lot of attacks that were fiddly and required precise positioning (Hitting 3 enemies in a precise line in front of you)
    2) The use of "Minion" enemies which went down in one hit, which is a cool concept, but meant that any given turn might radically change how the map looked.

    If the idea was that, on each turn, you were moving into some optimal position and using one of your moves to take out a bunch of Minions, it means you can't really plan your turn without waiting to see what the board looks like, and planning your turn requires a lot of precision.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quertus View Post
    "The <combatant> whose turn came just before mine completely invalidated my plan for my action. All the time and effort I spent planning my turn out was wasted - I may as well have spent the past 40 minutes on my phone! In fact… I think that's what I'll do from now on."

    What can one do to design a system to be resistant to such… line… "devolution" of play?
    Aside from other things, some basic communication is required. If Chargey McChargeface is going to run into the group of minions and whirlwind attack or whatever, it'd be nice for Blasty McBlastface* to know about that prior, or vice versa. Maybe Chargey can run and hit the ghoul next to Tanky and let Blasty use Crimson Dawn Sunset of Extinction** Fireball on the mooks, since Chargey can do a ton more single-target damage than Blasty.

    There's also the sin you mention, not paying attention and tuning out, which is, admittedly, system-agnostic***. Being on your phone means you have to catch up, and that extends your turn, which then tempts other people to be on their phones, which in turn makes things go longer. Paying attention and being aware means you wind up taking less time to resolve your turn, which in turn reduces the temptation for others to tune out. Vicious cycle and all.


    * - To be honest, my tiefling elemental sorcerer in the post upthread was named after Michael Bay, since, well, his job was explosions.

    ** - Damn, I'm going to have to write that down for later use.

    *** - In one of the 5e games we have going, we had a player, single-classed rogue, who would take 5 minutes to attack, move, and hide. He left after he cried about getting in an enemy aoe because two party members were near him, and thought we should have avoided him so he wouldn't wind up in the splash zone, and the rest of the party told him how wrong he was.

  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by dafrca View Post
    I agree, I have tried so many different game rule sets and settings over the years because you never know what will grab your imagination or fit your style until you really try it.
    Totally. I'm hoping to run Cypher at some point to see if I like it in practice. Got a lot of other systems I want to try, it's half the reason I refuse to run D&D (the other half is that it just doesn't really fit my style).

    That is also why I keep in mind the ones I liked or disliked might be the opposite for a different player or GM. Although I have never met someone who liked Phoenix Command but that can be a different thread.
    I dunno, anything possible. There are people who claim to have posted FATAL and enjoyed it, desire the fact that even if you reduce it down to just the mechanics and remove the ones related to 'stuff' it's mediocre at best. Although to be fair they seem to have been involved with the creation.
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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?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    Aside from other things, some basic communication is required. If Chargey McChargeface is going to run into the group of minions and whirlwind attack or whatever, it'd be nice for Blasty McBlastface* to know about that prior, or vice versa. Maybe Chargey can run and hit the ghoul next to Tanky and let Blasty use Crimson Dawn Sunset of Extinction** Fireball on the mooks, since Chargey can do a ton more single-target damage than Blasty.
    Which is nice, but doesn't help the fact that depending on how things roll, various things could change, and depending on what the NPCs do the plans could be invalidated anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    There's also the sin you mention, not paying attention and tuning out, which is, admittedly, system-agnostic***. Being on your phone means you have to catch up, and that extends your turn, which then tempts other people to be on their phones, which in turn makes things go longer. Paying attention and being aware means you wind up taking less time to resolve your turn, which in turn reduces the temptation for others to tune out. Vicious cycle and all.
    I agree 100%. But, in some systems that's incredibly difficult to avoid. I'm not going to ask people to sit and pay attention for an hour of people calculating the bonus of one square vs. another. That's just not realistic.

    You can help this I think with a "next on deck" announcement with turns. Then the player can start figuring it out during the previous turn, which is less likely to completely invalidate everything.

    Turn timers can help too.
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  23. - Top - End - #263
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Which is nice, but doesn't help the fact that depending on how things roll, various things could change, and depending on what the NPCs do the plans could be invalidated anyway.
    That's a risk, but always, in any system. You always want to have a rough backup plan for if you can't do what you were initially planning to, that's just plain good sense. Sometimes it's easier than others; a ranged rogue can just filet another target, Blasty may have to pull another spell out...but then again, Blasty should be prepared to pull that other spell out ANYWAY.

    I agree 100%. But, in some systems that's incredibly difficult to avoid. I'm not going to ask people to sit and pay attention for an hour of people calculating the bonus of one square vs. another. That's just not realistic.

    You can help this I think with a "next on deck" announcement with turns. Then the player can start figuring it out during the previous turn, which is less likely to completely invalidate everything.

    Turn timers can help too.
    Also, players need to learn that perfect is the enemy of good enough. Maybe you can spend 30 seconds figuring out how to get one more target in your fireball, that's cutting the bounds of annoyance. More than that, take what you can get and move on with your life and stop wasting the rest of the group's time.

    Our DMs have started doing the on-deck method, and it's been helpful.

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    I feel like a lot of this comes down to "How high-impact is a given turn" and "How much planning needs to be done to properly execute a given turn"

    If your turn is something like "I move towards the Big Monster and Hit it", that's low on both counts (Unless the Big Monster dies, in which case you select a new target). My understanding is that 4e had
    1) A lot of attacks that were fiddly and required precise positioning (Hitting 3 enemies in a precise line in front of you)
    2) The use of "Minion" enemies which went down in one hit, which is a cool concept, but meant that any given turn might radically change how the map looked.

    If the idea was that, on each turn, you were moving into some optimal position and using one of your moves to take out a bunch of Minions, it means you can't really plan your turn without waiting to see what the board looks like, and planning your turn requires a lot of precision.
    I think "how many turns are between the planning and your action" is relevant as well.

    That's where "on deck" helps, because you're giving a notice at a reasonable distance from the actual action to minimize how much disruption can happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    That's a risk, but always, in any system. You always want to have a rough backup plan for if you can't do what you were initially planning to, that's just plain good sense. Sometimes it's easier than others; a ranged rogue can just filet another target, Blasty may have to pull another spell out...but then again, Blasty should be prepared to pull that other spell out ANYWAY.
    Sure, but that does depend on just how much confidence in your plans you can have. If there are 20 enemies and seven other players, the chance that any planning I make right after my turn is useful quickly approaches zero. That's dependent on any number of factors, between the system and the players and the specific encounter. But I can't blame somebody for not paying laser-attention to everyone else's calculations for an hour. I just can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    Also, players need to learn that perfect is the enemy of good enough. Maybe you can spend 30 seconds figuring out how to get one more target in your fireball, that's cutting the bounds of annoyance. More than that, take what you can get and move on with your life and stop wasting the rest of the group's time.
    For sure, and that's also where a timer can come into play. Heck, you could make it dual stage - declare within 30 seconds and you're fine, take 30-60 and you take some small penalty to rolls. Or throw some carrot in there and give them 15 seconds and they get a +1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    Our DMs have started doing the on-deck method, and it's been helpful.
    I think it solves a lot of the problems, without making unrealistic requirements on the players. If I was running a game again where it was becoming a problem, I'd start with the "on deck" method, and then add timers if it was still an issue.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2021-10-12 at 03:37 PM.
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  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Flumph

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    Two relatively unpopular ones, both related to the current line of discussion:

    People should be allowed to take care of other things during combat, and rules which prevent that (like unpredictable turn order) are bad.
    I'm not a pure energy being powered by TTRPGs, I'm a meat-human with a body. This means that sometimes I need to use the restroom, to refill my water, or other needs. Sometimes I want to look something up that's potentially important without putting everyone's action on pause. When am I supposed to do these things? During a conversation where I might miss a lot of stuff in five minutes, and might miss the chance to say something that's important IC? Or during a time when the entire game is focused on a single person who isn't me, and my absence won't change anything?

    Yes, you can have scheduled breaks for everyone at once. We've tried this. It eats up considerably more time than people stepping out during other people's turns in combat does. And doesn't guarantee there won't be interruptions anyway.

    Too much teamwork is undesirable.
    Obviously "too much" is subjective, but I'm referring to games where the best strategy is for the entire table to workshop every action that each individual character takes. I don't like puppeting other people's characters, nor do I like to have people puppet mine. "Added" actions are fine, like "Hey, can you hide me from divination before we enter the court?", and occasional moments of tactical coordination ok too. But when you can lose the fight because you didn't micromanage where someone else was standing, that's not enjoyable.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2021-10-12 at 03:45 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Two relatively unpopular ones, both related to the current line of discussion:

    People should be allowed to take care of other things during combat, and rules which prevent that (like unpredictable turn order) are bad.
    I'm not a pure energy being powered by TTRPGs, I'm a meat-human with a body. This means that sometimes I need to use the restroom, to refill my water, or other needs. Sometimes I want to look something up that's potentially important without putting everyone's action on pause. When am I supposed to do these things? During a conversation where I might miss a lot of stuff in five minutes, and might miss the chance to say something that's important IC? Or during a time when the entire game is focused on a single person who isn't me, and my absence won't change anything?
    Honestly, if you have enough time for a bio break in between combat turns, I think that's already a problem. In the game, not you.

    I'm also not necessarily advocating non-deterministic turn order. I'm just saying that it's a potential way to keep people paying attention. The downside, as you point out, is that it means people are paying attention.

    I guess it depends on what problem you want to solve. If you have twenty combatants (not entirely unreasonable - six PCs, 14 NPCs), and each takes two minutes per turn? That's forty minutes. That's a long time. Even at a minute per turn it's twenty minutes.

    I'd prefer to get it down to thirty seconds. Then you can get an entire combat done in the time it would normally take to do a single turn. Leaving it that long but letting people check out can work, too, I suppose, if that's the way you wanna go.

    Quote Originally Posted by icefractal View Post
    Too much teamwork is undesirable.
    Obviously "too much" is subjective, but I'm referring to games where the best strategy is for the entire table to workshop every action that each individual character takes. I don't like puppeting other people's characters, nor do I like to have people puppet mine. "Added" actions are fine, like "Hey, can you hide me from divination before we enter the court?", and occasional moments of tactical coordination ok too. But when you can lose the fight because you didn't micromanage where someone else was standing, that's not enjoyable.
    Anything that increases fiddliness (number of factors you have to juggle in combat, etc.) is going to increase turn time, and slow things down. Pretty clearly there's a point where this has diminishing returns.
    Last edited by kyoryu; 2021-10-12 at 03:54 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Daemon

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    Anything that increases fiddliness (number of factors you have to juggle in combat, etc.) is going to increase turn time, and slow things down. Pretty clearly there's a point where this has diminishing returns.
    I agree, although the biggest source of increased turn time in my experience is one or both of
    a) indecision. Sometimes this comes from having tons of options of roughly equal weight (I could do X, I could do Y, and there isn't a clear winner, so...), but mostly this is a personal problem. Often exacerbated by other people trying to "help" and make decisions for other people during those other people's turns.[1]
    b) trying to have the perfect turn. This goes up exponentially with options and with turn granularity. If you've got one action, which can be one of two things, plus movement, you're likely to take your turns fast. If you have 20 different things you could do for your action, each with their own sub-factors, and multiple other sub-actions or ways to trade off one action for another (cf 3e/4e), this gets out of hand really fast. This is also where minion-mancy comes in--even if you only have one minion, you've doubled the number of actions to deal with.

    Action resolution time is (relatively) smaller in my experience...except prismatic spray. That one's oof. Each target in a huge cone (60') gets a save, then a dice roll to see which effect they take, then possibly more dice rolls. And you can't bulk-roll any of that. That brings things to a shuddering halt for a while.

    [1] I've got a player who is indecisive, despite basically doing one thing. And then another player who likes to micromanage others. He's trying to be helpful, but it's noise and slowing things down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I agree, although the biggest source of increased turn time in my experience is one or both of
    a) indecision. Sometimes this comes from having tons of options of roughly equal weight (I could do X, I could do Y, and there isn't a clear winner, so...), but mostly this is a personal problem. Often exacerbated by other people trying to "help" and make decisions for other people during those other people's turns.[1]
    b) trying to have the perfect turn. This goes up exponentially with options and with turn granularity. If you've got one action, which can be one of two things, plus movement, you're likely to take your turns fast. If you have 20 different things you could do for your action, each with their own sub-factors, and multiple other sub-actions or ways to trade off one action for another (cf 3e/4e), this gets out of hand really fast. This is also where minion-mancy comes in--even if you only have one minion, you've doubled the number of actions to deal with.

    Action resolution time is (relatively) smaller in my experience...except prismatic spray. That one's oof. Each target in a huge cone (60') gets a save, then a dice roll to see which effect they take, then possibly more dice rolls. And you can't bulk-roll any of that. That brings things to a shuddering halt for a while.

    [1] I've got a player who is indecisive, despite basically doing one thing. And then another player who likes to micromanage others. He's trying to be helpful, but it's noise and slowing things down.
    I'm going to call in some experience with Board Gaming, and pull out two concepts: Prioritization and Optimization.

    Prioritization is usually fast, that's the question of "What do I do this turn". Those decisions can take a bit, but they're often at least interesting for everybody. "Do I heal a wounded party member, fight off the enemy, or rush towards our objective? Am I trying to protect the mage or kill the enemy mage?" These are rarely a problem.


    The problem, in my experience, is OPTIMIZATION, when a player has picked their goal, and is searching through 40 different options for achieving that goal, trying to determine which is Optimal.

    The cruncher a game, the more of an Optimization Puzzle you can build, which can really slow down gametime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    I'm going to call in some experience with Board Gaming, and pull out two concepts: Prioritization and Optimization.

    Prioritization is usually fast, that's the question of "What do I do this turn". Those decisions can take a bit, but they're often at least interesting for everybody. "Do I heal a wounded party member, fight off the enemy, or rush towards our objective? Am I trying to protect the mage or kill the enemy mage?" These are rarely a problem.


    The problem, in my experience, is OPTIMIZATION, when a player has picked their goal, and is searching through 40 different options for achieving that goal, trying to determine which is Optimal.

    The cruncher a game, the more of an Optimization Puzzle you can build, which can really slow down gametime.
    I agree. And there's also more than just crunchiness--there's attitude as well. If your table's attitudes (including the DM) is "must use all resources, including action economy, in the optimal way or you'll likely fail" (ie chasing the challenge dragon, often associated with rocket tag), then the optimization puzzle becomes necessary even for less crunchy systems. If, instead, you take the "lots of small actions are better than a few big actions" attitude, then it doesn't matter if you do something less optimal, because you'll have time to correct or for interesting things to happen. Plus everyone gets to take more turns, which is a good thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungestGruff View Post
    Druids should be a kind of Cleric, whose Channel Divinity merges with Wildshape.
    Been my line for a while now. Druids started as a sub class of cleric. That's the better idea.
    WOTC is getting satisfied with dominating the market. They no longer have to try that hard anymore, plus they have a vested interest in failing to innovate. 5e is suffering for it, now.
    True dat. But they have the edge lord market share on increase ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ameraaaaaa View Post
    There should be more games where you can play mad scientist with a freeform crafting systems or otherwise flexible enough where i can create a crazy amount of different stuff. Mad scientists are cool and crazy inventions are cooler.
    Only worthwhile if you can fail/die spectacularly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    There are too many playable races, especially animal/furry races.
    Yeah.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    Or just don't give human abilities to all the other races? All the other races are designed as human +. The only answer is to not do this.
    Yeah, For ever benefit offer a disadvantage. Balance, eh?
    Quote Originally Posted by Altheus View Post
    While we're at it, just do away with sorcerers, they don't add anything of value to the game.
    Yep. Worst brain fart at WoTC starting out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cicciograna View Post
    The Forgotten Realms are a crazy place which has turned into a sheethole, all in all it's a bad setting in which everything feels overdone and stale...and yet we all love it, for a reason or the other, so it will never really go.
    Sorry, the 'we love it' part is just untrue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    ... it’s just I ordered a pizza and pineapple doesn’t go on pizzas!
    My wife believes you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glorthindel View Post
    NPC's should be built using the same rules as characters. Fight me.
    They used to be: been there, done that, got the t shirt. I for one am happy for the change in 5e that makes it different.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Adding to my list:
    They need to reintroduce non-human level limits and class restrictions. Those were a feature, not a bug.
    agreed.
    Quote Originally Posted by dafrca View Post
    I miss when I just played the game and didn't worry what people thought, I need to return to that "I do not care what you think" attitude.
    It's not hard to do, at all.
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