Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Kendal

Best Version of DnD?

Recommended Posts

 

You got to wonder what 5e is going to look like in five years.

Well, so far they haven't done any rule additions, as far as I'm aware. They have their Unearthed Arcana articles online where they throw out ideas for future products and houserules to help fix some perceived problems, like they've done a couple tests on psionics rules and the latest article is a possible attempt to fix the ranger's shortcomings, but nothing has actually been released as an official rule yet. They're doing a good job of focusing on putting out well done adventures rather than bloating up the game. Considering that we're approaching it's 2nd full year of existence, I think that's impressive compared to how quickly previous editions started to add rules in.

 

Though those Unearthed Arcana articles, as well as the adventures for 5e, all have player options in them, which will eventually add up to bloat. My fellow gamers are already hounding my "use only what's in the PH, I don't have time for that other crap" DM to use these character options. There is also that Heroes of the Realms book. Yes 5e has slowed the bloat compared to previous editions, which I like, but a slow drip can still fill a bathtub.

 

I don't have issue with player options, it's just that every D&D system from the end of 2E on has added character options that either are solely geared for min/maxers, or are not well thought out and in theory would be useful, but don't properly represent in game terms the ideas presented.

 

I like pathfinder, though the biggest problem I find with it is that there are too many cooks using the pot. This causes lack of rules cohesion, as well as bad rules being added and carried through the system. 3E had this problem also, but that was because the people making the new rules were not the people who created the original rules, and the new people had no idea why those rules were made in the first place. Pathfinder at least explains why certain rules are the way they are.

 

I do like 5th edition also, it is easier and there is less effect from min/maxing than in pathfinder, 3e, or even 4e. Now a new player's character is not much less efficient than a more skilled character creator, which allows a more even playing field and allows player skill in role playing to come out during the game rather than someone's skill in min/maxing before the game even starts. Though I really don't like the 4E thing they kept where a long rest heals all of your HP, no matter how much you were wounded. It makes keeping track of HP seem almost unnecessary. Just as long as you haven't taken more than twice your HP, you're good as new the next day.

 

Halber

Edited by Halberkill
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

For the last few years I have had a long commute (but no longer, yay!) and I got tired of listing to music and switched to other things. One of them was downloading gaming podcasts and audio recordings of con seminars. The “system mastery†label is not something I just made up, it is how the people who design the games we play talk about the hobby. While the term does tend to conjure up thoughts of rules lawyers and power gamers outside of the larger context, the term itself is much more general. If you have ever sat down to play a system you enjoyed, no matter how complex, you have experienced what they would call “system mastery.†It's also important to remember that it is not just a negative term. Designers want you to experience system mastery because it's part of what keeps you coming back to the game they have designed. If you aren't invested in the game to some degree, you probably aren't going to keep playing it.

I'm sorry if you don't like the term, but you're going to have to chase down the industry professionals on that one.  It's a wider term that applies to the broader hobby, including tabletop wargames and board games.

 

Yea, system mastery isn't a term that just refers to min-maxing. It refers to the number of rules governing a game and what all is needed to be understood in order to play. A game with low system mastery requirements is pretty quick to pick up and play, even if you don't have someone already familiar with the game guiding you through. A game with a higher level of system mastery required will tend to have more rules that govern the game and so will take more time to get started in, even if you have someone guiding you. In wargaming, it's like the difference between Warhammer Fantasy and Kings of War. KoW requires a lower level of system mastery because units are counted as a relatively unchanging whole, with only a small number of options and special rules. Warhammer Fantasy required a higher level of mastery, because it had units counted as a collection of individuals that are constantly changing throughout the battle, have a lot of options available, and with more special rules.

 

So Kings of War is easier to jump into and easier to get a more complete understanding of, while Warhammer Fantasy takes more effort and understanding. But in both cases, once a player has a greater understanding of the system they're able to play more effectively and efficiently. For instance, it's mastery of the system that lets a KoW player know that the Reload! rule doesn't come into effect when paired with the Surge spell. A new player who's just starting out with the game may not make that connection. I know that as a very beginning wargamer, I didn't make that connection until I read about it elsewhere. I'd made the connection of Surge allowing players to pull off things like otherwise-unavailable flank charges by doing a move-pivot-Surge, because that's Surge's readily apparent use. But I would have never read into Reload! closely enough to know that a Surging a unit with Reload! would still allow it to shoot.

 

And those differences are the same kind of differences you'll find in various editions of D&D. 4E can be seen as something like RISK to 3E/Pathfinder's Warhammer. RISK requires very little system mastery to enjoy, much like 4E. You're kind of given a situation, your "character" is pretty heavy laid out for you with only a few choices to make in setup before playing, and then you just play until its over. Warhammer has you basically build everything from scratch, using a list of options for everything, and you have to know how it all works together to achieve what you want. You can set up things exactly the way you want, for better or for worse. Kings of War/5E is kind of a middle ground. You've got more choices than RISK/4E, but not as many as Warhammer/3E.

 

Nearly every time that I have seen the term 'system mastery' it has indeed referred to min-maxing - and annoyingly it has shown up in 4e vs. 3.X arguments more often than I have seen in any other forum. (In spite of 4e being linked to system mastery to at least as great an extent as 3.X.)

 

I am actually okay with comparing 5e to Kings of War - they both have rules that are pared down, simple, and clean, while having enough options to be interesting. (And why I left an argument against 5e out of my post - I really have no problems with either the system or the fans for 5e.) And I love Kings of War.

 

But at this point, I can't create the character that I want to play with 5e, but I can with Pathfinder.

 

The downside, in my opinion, of Pathfinder is not system mastery - it is option paralysis. Too many choices for some people. Or, in the case of Molly (the Younger) a lack of desire to look through the books. (Her preferred method - 'Grump, could you build me a rogue duelist type? With two weapons and lots of mobility?')

 

I am less okay in regards to the 3.X/Warhammer comparison - perhaps closer to 3.x/Longest Day, or, gods help us, 3.X/Starfleet Battles? (I sincerely despise Warhammer in its 8th ed and Age of Stockholders editions - but loved 3rd edition Warhammer a whole lot.)

 

System wise, I gravitate toward rules heavy systems a bit - I found Savage Worlds to be the most flavorless system that I had played in a long, long time - all the taste boiled out. But I quite like True 20, and very much enjoy Basic Role Play/Call of Cthulhu/Runequest/Superworld.

 

On GURPS... a weird thing  - I do not much like the GURPS system... but feel that it fits the Traveller setting better than any current system.

 

The Auld Grump

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, GURPS...

 

I have Characters, Campaigns, and High Tech for 4th Edition, and I tried teaching myself the system. It didn't go well. I think it's a system where someone really needs to sit down and show you how to do things before you can even start to get a handle on it at all. I'm pretty sure I've read Characters from front to back twice, and I don't think I could build a character on my own without it taking 8 hours and involving multiple restarts.

 

It probably requires the highest level of system mastery to play out of every RPG system I own. Granted, my list is only FATE(multiple games), D&D 3.x/PF d20, D&D 5E, Deadlands Revised, GURPS 4E, and Shadowrun 4E. I'd still love to play it at some point, though I am a bit sore that they actually discontinue printing books after a year or two of them being published. I had meant to buy Biotech and Ultratech at the same time as the 3 books I currently own, but didn't have the cash. And when I had the cash, I found out they had been out of print and were only available as PDFs. Which, honestly, I can't stand for more than casual reading. When it comes to actually using them for reference, nothing beats a book with about 30 bookmarks right where you want them and distinguishable by touch.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GURPS is definitely an interesting system, in my opinion.  It's one of the few that I've seen that really scales complexity well.  At its core, GURPS can be run with just Skills and Attributes, which are generally easy to understand once you grasp how to buy Skills (essentially, first rank costs 1 point and starts you at Attribute - X, rank 2 costs 2 points, and rank 3+  costs 4 points, with each additional rank increasing the score by 1).  After that, it's 3d6 roll under, roll to Hit, opponent rolls to Dodge, Block, or Parry, on a success roll for damage.  Damage is reduced by Armor, and if you take enough damage, you have to start rolling to stay conscious.  And... that's generally the basics for the whole system.  All in all, I would rate that part, difficulty wise, on par with DnD 3E.

 

Of course, if you're looking at GURPS, you're probably not going to stop just there, and that's where things are going to get... complicated.  Great system, but it can definitely be a rick to learn.

 

As for the overall topic, I like 5e the best right now (having mostly burned myself out on the 3.X paradigm after many, many games of it, but definitely feel it needs at least one players options book to fill in some of the concepts that really aren't all that well represented yet (though, the Race/Class/Archetype/Background system works quite well for this purpose).  I just feel that there needs to just be a few in each category (particularly the Archetypes and Backgrounds) to really make the system shine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the biggest issue with 5e -- in terms of build the character I want -- is lack of ongoing options. WotC decided deliberately to do a very streamlined line...so streamlined that there has been really nothing new crunch-wise since the PHB/DMG/MM, besides some odds n ends released in the adventure books or on-line. There is the Sword Coast book too, which I haven't picked up yet (fear it may be too specific to FR and we play mostly in Greyhawk), but other than that, not much. I'm thinking you would have to create your own content, or go through 3rd parties to find it. As it is now, we're planning a massive throw-down using "retired" characters from our campaign. It was suggested I use my Wiz Baldwin (aka the Mighty K'sograh -- a cursed Wand of Lightning Bolts made him unable to speak his own name, but that of the wizard that created the wand...), but he has a few levels of Elemental Savant from 3e, so not easily converted at all. I'm thinking I would need to write the conversion, and vet it with the group...

 

Damon.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the biggest issue with 5e -- in terms of build the character I want -- is lack of ongoing options. WotC decided deliberately to do a very streamlined line...so streamlined that there has been really nothing new crunch-wise since the PHB/DMG/MM, besides some odds n ends released in the adventure books or on-line. There is the Sword Coast book too, which I haven't picked up yet (fear it may be too specific to FR and we play mostly in Greyhawk), but other than that, not much. I'm thinking you would have to create your own content, or go through 3rd parties to find it. As it is now, we're planning a massive throw-down using "retired" characters from our campaign. It was suggested I use my Wiz Baldwin (aka the Mighty K'sograh -- a cursed Wand of Lightning Bolts made him unable to speak his own name, but that of the wizard that created the wand...), but he has a few levels of Elemental Savant from 3e, so not easily converted at all. I'm thinking I would need to write the conversion, and vet it with the group...

 

Damon.

5e reminds me a great deal of BECMI. (Which is not a bad thing! I ran a lot of Basic games when I was a sprog - the original Basic, that is. I still like that cover, all these years later.)

 

It is not a case of not liking 5e, it is a case of liking Pathfinder better. (Years of experience, lots of options.) *EDIT* Even now, I judge Paizo's hard covers by looking at any new classes and archetypes and wondering if I want to play any of them... so far, the answer has always been 'yes', though sometimes there has been a 'YES! *Happy Dance*'

 

I do think that WotC is doing 5e a disservice by not producing some low cost adventures. I think Paizo is right - the real money is in the adventures, not the expensive hard covers.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the biggest issue with 5e -- in terms of build the character I want -- is lack of ongoing options. WotC decided deliberately to do a very streamlined line...so streamlined that there has been really nothing new crunch-wise since the PHB/DMG/MM, besides some odds n ends released in the adventure books or on-line. There is the Sword Coast book too, which I haven't picked up yet (fear it may be too specific to FR and we play mostly in Greyhawk), but other than that, not much. I'm thinking you would have to create your own content, or go through 3rd parties to find it. As it is now, we're planning a massive throw-down using "retired" characters from our campaign. It was suggested I use my Wiz Baldwin (aka the Mighty K'sograh -- a cursed Wand of Lightning Bolts made him unable to speak his own name, but that of the wizard that created the wand...), but he has a few levels of Elemental Savant from 3e, so not easily converted at all. I'm thinking I would need to write the conversion, and vet it with the group...

 

Damon.

I've got the Sword Coast Guide and it does have some new character options; no new classes but a number of additional archetypes for various classes (Bladesinger school for wizard, new Barbarian schools, patrons for Warlocks, Swashbuckler for Rogue and so forth). One this I like about it is that while most of the write-ups assume Forgotten Realms (as the "default" setting), they do include a paragraph or two on how each option can fit into other settings.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem that we have with 5e at B-A-M is that the core books are the only part that sells.

 

We sold more copies of Mouseguard than we did of some of the 5e books.

 

We sold more of the first few 4e books than 5e, and more Pathfinder than 4e, which does not look good for the game. Pathfinder is no longer the New and Shiny but is still keeping pace with 5e at its best. If a game that is that much older and still selling better than the new game then the new game is doing something wrong.

 

Grump thinks that the supplements are too expensive, and are what the publisher wants to put out, not what the players are looking for. That Wizards has gone back to not listening to the fans.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem that we have with 5e at B-A-M is that the core books are the only part that sells.

 

We sold more copies of Mouseguard than we did of some of the 5e books.

 

We sold more of the first few 4e books than 5e, and more Pathfinder than 4e, which does not look good for the game. Pathfinder is no longer the New and Shiny but is still keeping pace with 5e at its best. If a game that is that much older and still selling better than the new game then the new game is doing something wrong.

 

Grump thinks that the supplements are too expensive, and are what the publisher wants to put out, not what the players are looking for. That Wizards has gone back to not listening to the fans.

I've been reading okay things about Sword Coast - so, maybe they have turned back around?

 

Maybe WotC should try having a monthly Adventure Path, or, hey! how about a magazine of just adventures, maybe title it Dungeon, or something.... (Why, yes, I am a trifle bitter about the way they cancelled Dungeon Magazine....)

 

I don't think that Paizo would be willing to work for them again, though.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding during the 5E playtest was that WOTC's plan was to have their staff focused solely on the core products and hire out adventures.  I know this is how Wolfgang Baur landed the commission for the first two adventures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem that we have with 5e at B-A-M is that the core books are the only part that sells.

 

We sold more copies of Mouseguard than we did of some of the 5e books.

 

We sold more of the first few 4e books than 5e, and more Pathfinder than 4e, which does not look good for the game. Pathfinder is no longer the New and Shiny but is still keeping pace with 5e at its best. If a game that is that much older and still selling better than the new game then the new game is doing something wrong.

 

Grump thinks that the supplements are too expensive, and are what the publisher wants to put out, not what the players are looking for. That Wizards has gone back to not listening to the fans.

What's funny is even with this considered Paizo makes most of its money from people with direct subscriptions to Paizo. WotC does not have any such service, so 5th edition is doing even worse than you think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love some shorter adventures for 5E, or at least nicely-made conversions of classic ones...

 

I'm having a hard time figuring out how these big campaign books lead to iconic, favored characters... They're all kinda built to go from low-level (starting at 1 or 3 depending on the book) to the high levels... So after you finish those books and your characters are like level 15 or so... where do they go from there? There's nothing after.

 

I'm still new to the scene mind you, but the older books I've thumbed through tended to be a bit more "description of the plot, description of all the rooms, description of possible plot developments"... a feel I do not get from any of the 5E stuff I checked.

 

Also releasing extra sub-classes, backgrounds and even playable races as small portions of otherwise quite pricey Forgotten Realm lore books... Not a fan of that...

 

Basically from a mechanics/gameplay standpoint I love 5E... but from a published adventure perspective, not so much.

Edited by BlazingTornado

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The problem that we have with 5e at B-A-M is that the core books are the only part that sells.

 

We sold more copies of Mouseguard than we did of some of the 5e books.

 

We sold more of the first few 4e books than 5e, and more Pathfinder than 4e, which does not look good for the game. Pathfinder is no longer the New and Shiny but is still keeping pace with 5e at its best. If a game that is that much older and still selling better than the new game then the new game is doing something wrong.

 

Grump thinks that the supplements are too expensive, and are what the publisher wants to put out, not what the players are looking for. That Wizards has gone back to not listening to the fans.

What's funny is even with this considered Paizo makes most of its money from people with direct subscriptions to Paizo. WotC does not have any such service, so 5th edition is doing even worse than you think.

 

Do they still have their DDI? Kind of the same thing, if you squint your head and tilt your eyes.

 

The Auld Grump

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The problem that we have with 5e at B-A-M is that the core books are the only part that sells.

 

We sold more copies of Mouseguard than we did of some of the 5e books.

 

We sold more of the first few 4e books than 5e, and more Pathfinder than 4e, which does not look good for the game. Pathfinder is no longer the New and Shiny but is still keeping pace with 5e at its best. If a game that is that much older and still selling better than the new game then the new game is doing something wrong.

 

Grump thinks that the supplements are too expensive, and are what the publisher wants to put out, not what the players are looking for. That Wizards has gone back to not listening to the fans.

What's funny is even with this considered Paizo makes most of its money from people with direct subscriptions to Paizo. WotC does not have any such service, so 5th edition is doing even worse than you think.

 

Do they still have their DDI? Kind of the same thing, if you squint your head and tilt your eyes.

 

The Auld Grump

 

No. Not same at all. Paizo subscriptions give you a physical hard copy at a discount, and then a digital copy for free that you can access as long as Paizo exists. DDI charges you to use digital only, and then not always compiled in a useful format, and not accessible if your subscription expires.

Edited by Halberkill
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

The problem that we have with 5e at B-A-M is that the core books are the only part that sells.

 

We sold more copies of Mouseguard than we did of some of the 5e books.

 

We sold more of the first few 4e books than 5e, and more Pathfinder than 4e, which does not look good for the game. Pathfinder is no longer the New and Shiny but is still keeping pace with 5e at its best. If a game that is that much older and still selling better than the new game then the new game is doing something wrong.

 

Grump thinks that the supplements are too expensive, and are what the publisher wants to put out, not what the players are looking for. That Wizards has gone back to not listening to the fans.

What's funny is even with this considered Paizo makes most of its money from people with direct subscriptions to Paizo. WotC does not have any such service, so 5th edition is doing even worse than you think.

 

Do they still have their DDI? Kind of the same thing, if you squint your head and tilt your eyes.

 

The Auld Grump

 

No. Not same at all. Paizo subscriptions give you a physical hard copy at a discount, and then a digital copy for free that you can access as long as Paizo exists. DDI charges you to use digital only, and then not always compiled in a useful format, and not accessible if your subscription expires.

 

Well, given that I have had Paizo subscriptions, but never bothered with the DDI, I am not exactly in a position to argue the point. ::P: (The fact that having a Paizo subscription gets you a discount on further Paizo subscriptions....)

 

The Auld Grump

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...