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13 minutes ago, Unruly said:

 

That phrase does not compute. Cleric is, and has been, a powerhouse in 3.X and PF if done correctly. At least by my experience. Party buffs, some battlefield control, healing on demand, a decent HP pool, good armor and weapon choices... The problem is that too many people expect the cleric to be a heal bot all the time, when a cleric is best served by wading into the fight to sling buffs and offensive magics, then healing afterwards. 

 

 

5e is actually under the OGL again. They didn't release all the core classes and races under it, so there isn't an SRD that's worth a damn, but the rules themselves are still OGL as opposed to the GSL that 4e was under. They've even, in very limited fashion, opened up the Forgotten Realms for third-parties. The difference this time, I think, is that most of the third-party stuff has been done in digital format through the DM's Guild website. DM's Guild has its own publishing/licensing agreement that is what lets people have some access to the Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft, and it technically allows for the entirety of the D&D rules as opposed to just the rules available in the SRD. 

 

It's more of a hold than they had on 3.x, but less of a hold than they had on 4e. Also, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm fairly certain that while the OGL version of 5e doesn't technically have access to the entirety of the 5e rules WotC can't legally block you from using the rules. Because game rules aren't copyrightable, and that's a principle that's written into American copyright law and which has been upheld in court repeatedly. What they can do is go after you for using certain names, terms, etc, which are copyrightable and which the OGL doesn't release to you. So you can't use "Mind Flayer" or "Illitihid" bur you could make an identical stat block for a monster called a "Brain Peeler" and they wouldn't really have a leg to stand on.

 

Again, not a lawyer, but the person who wrote the following quotes, which I pulled from a document on the American Bar Association's website about why video game rules cant be copyrighted, is. They're very relevant to what I've just stated.

 

"Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act states: “In no case does copyright protection for an original work of 
authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or 
discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such 
work.”1 In using the word “or,” the statute lists these exclusions—ideas, procedures, processes, systems, 
methods of operation, concepts, principles, or discoveries—disjunctively. Thus, each has independent force and effect. This means that neither ideas nor functional elements—such as procedures, processes, systems, or methods of operation—are copyrightable."

 

"In the context of games, § 102(b) means that rules, game mechanics, and any other functional elements—in addition to the overall idea—of a game are not copyrightable. The Copyright Office factsheet on games explains exactly this: Copyright does not protect the idea for game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.6


This is consistent with early cases, which held that game rules and the overall systems created by game 
rules were uncopyrightable. For example, in Affiliated Enterprises, Inc. v. Gruber, the First Circuit held that the rules and overall system for a lottery game “Bank Night” could not be copyrighted, reasoning: “However good and valuable an idea, plan, scheme, or system is, the moment it is disclosed to the public without the protection of a patent, it becomes public property[.]”7 There are a litany of cases that fol-
lowed suit, such as Whist Club v. Foster, which explained: “In the conventional laws or rules of a game, as distinguished from the forms or modes of expression in which they may be stated, there can be no literary property susceptible of copyright.”8"

 

Not actually what I was referring to when talking about reins being tightly held. More in a moment. For the actual Copyright and Trademark office publication on game rules, see here: https://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl108.pdf. As a writer, photographer, and sometime game designer, copyright law, and that statement in particular, have been of interest to me for some time. Interestingly, by signing up for the OGL, publishers may well have ended up with fewer rights to publish material rather than more, since that license included explicit limits on what elements of the game could be included in the works of people using the license. If you sign away rights contractually, you can be sued for violation of that contract even if you're not violating copyright law.

 

What I was actually talking about was the way that the game is written, not any legal protections the publisher is planning to enforce. 3.5/Pathfinder (and to a much greater extent GURPS/Hero) allow and encourage players and GMs to have a much greater level of control of all elements of the game. Sometimes that works out badly, but I'd still rather have that as the baseline assumption instead of what both 5E and early glimpses of PF2 support by design.

 

NB: Yes, I do realize that anybody can do anything they like in his or her own game. But if you're going to bother using rules, it's much more convenient not to have to extensively modify them to get the effect that you want. And at some point it's easier to just go to a different rules set or write your own. Hence the discussion here assumes something close to RAW.

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2 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

What I was actually talking about was the way that the game is written, not any legal protections the publisher is planning to enforce. 3.5/Pathfinder (and to a much greater extent GURPS/Hero) allow and encourage players and GMs to have a much greater level of control of all elements of the game. Sometimes that works out badly, but I'd still rather have that as the baseline assumption instead of what both 5E and early glimpses of PF2 support by design.

 

NB: Yes, I do realize that anybody can do anything they like in his or her own game. But if you're going to bother using rules, it's much more convenient not to have to extensively modify them to get the effect that you want. And at some point it's easier to just go to a different rules set or write your own. Hence the discussion here assumes something close to RAW.

 

Ah, I misunderstood you then.

 

However, I also have to disagree on the new understanding of what you said. I feel that 5e is less constrained in that regard than 3.x/PF are. Both of those have/had a tendency to add rules for edge cases with every new book they put out. They codified all those little things that would have otherwise been table rulings, and so to me they tightened their grip on the game. Instead of a DM saying "ok, you can do that, here are your modifiers" and everyone agreeing, you now had someone at the table complaining and arguing "But the rulebook has this chandelier fighter feat, which says you get these modifiers for fighting while swinging on a chandelier, and unless you have the chandelier fighter feat you can't fight like that at all!" That, to me, is the game having a tight grip on control of the game versus the players having control. Because to do anything other than use the rule in the book means you're no longer using the rules, which you've said is not your desired goal. But to have no written rule at all and a statement that's basically "We can't dream up all the edge cases ourselves, so we're not going to write rules for them. Make them up yourself if/when they come up in your game." in the book is much more freeing.

 

Or perhaps you're talking about the game forcing you into particular types of settings. In which case, yea, D&D/PF both tend to do that. Both tend to push you into a setting of high fantasy, where magic is common, world-ending adventure abounds, and lost civilizations are a dime a dozen. But that's kind of their shtick. Even so, 5e is less demanding in my eyes, because it got rid of so much of the expectation of magic items. There's still some expectation but it's not like it used to be in 3.x/PF, where all magic items had a fixed value and there were specific tables in the rulebooks that dictated how much wealth a character should have to spend on magic items depending on their level.

 

A game like GURPS is a whole lot more open settings-wise, given that it's entirely a generic framework to build around, but even then it's got rules for just about everything. They've got like 4 different books dedicated entirely to rules on how to use magic, there's an entire book dedicated solely to rules for the technology of the last 3 centuries, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's a book dedicated solely to rules for running a game set during the years of the Napoleonic French Empire. There are just a ton of rules and they cover just about everything, and despite the fact that GURPS was always intended to be a generic framework I'm sure there are still rules lawyers who will argue with anything that goes against a book. Again, to me that just limits my ability to run the game I want to run, because to me the on the fly ruling is one of the big parts of cooperative storytelling.

 

*I've never actually played GURPS, but I do have the 4th Edition Core Set books and a copy of High Tech that I bought years ago. I wanted to buy Biotech and Ultratech at the same time, but they were out of print, as were a majority of GURPS books I looked at...

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Agree to disagree.

 

It's pretty clear that the types of flexibility that we each want are very different. I'm looking for something that is primarily a game with storytelling elements and as far as I can tell, you're looking for something that is primarily a storytelling experience with some game elements. When your priors are different, the results of analysis are likely to be different, too.

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9 hours ago, Unruly said:

 

That phrase does not compute. Cleric is, and has been, a powerhouse in 3.X and PF if done correctly. At least by my experience. Party buffs, some battlefield control, healing on demand, a decent HP pool, good armor and weapon choices... The problem is that too many people expect the cleric to be a heal bot all the time, when a cleric is best served by wading into the fight to sling buffs and offensive magics, then healing afterwards.

 

Cleric has always been a powerhouse. (Heck, take a look in BECMI - there was no downside!)

 

People just didn't see it, because they were thinking 'Medic!', not 'Knight Hospitaller'. (Even though the term Knight Hospitaller was actually used in early descriptions of the class!)

 

The Auld Grump

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Face smashy clerics are the best.  I'll gladly take any extra mace going into enemy faces and then healing after over the other option because it not only helps take enemies down faster (or at least spread them out further) but it also gives the character more meaning, purpose, history, and charm ^_^

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I've never played a cleric who wasn't at least willing to beat the almighty snot out of something while simultaneously healing an ally and probably telling said ally to learn to duck better while they're at it. In point of fact, I've never played a healer who /just healed/. All my healers are combat medics, with some emphasis on the combat.

 

I like witches. Prehensile Hair is so damn versatile!

 

I'm reserving judgment on PF2 until I've actually gotten to play it; we may just participate in the playtest, being as how Mr. Thorne and I are kind of a couple of corner cases ourselves.

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3 hours ago, TheAuldGrump said:

 

Cleric has always been a powerhouse. (Heck, take a look in BECMI - there was no downside!)

Except at first level when all they had was Turn Undead.

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2 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:

Except at first level when all they had was Turn Undead.

Turn Undead and the ability to use armor. (Back in the Holmes days, they even had the same chance to hit. Not sure if that was still the case in the later versions of Basic.)

 

And going up levels faster than the Fighting Men.

 

So they had a clear advantage over Fighting Men, trading a very few HP for cool abilities.

 

The Auld Grump

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On 6/28/2018 at 6:50 PM, TheAuldGrump said:

Turn Undead and the ability to use armor. (Back in the Holmes days, they even had the same chance to hit. Not sure if that was still the case in the later versions of Basic.)

  

And going up levels faster than the Fighting Men.

  

So they had a clear advantage over Fighting Men, trading a very few HP for cool abilities.

  

The Auld Grump 

Well, a few hp and the ability to strike with anything with a stronger die than d6, but yeah.

 

 

Anywho the playtest rules have been officializedicized... Anybody got thoughts? I've heard little good so far.

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2 minutes ago, BlazingTornado said:

Well, a few hp and the ability to strike with anything with a stronger die than d6, but yeah.

 

 

Anywho the playtest rules have been officializedicized... Anybody got thoughts? I've heard little good so far.

 

I've got a clot of people plotting characters for a playtest game on the Portal. So far... reaction is mixed. I'm kinda facedesking at some of the racial feats (everything is feats! characters will have more feats than a millipede! *thunk* ), but … well, we'll see how it plays out.

There are a few things that make no noodling sense, and a few we don't like, but we haven't actually gotten to PLAY with any of it yet, and thus cannot venture an actual opinion. *hands in air*

 

I can't even. But I've basically told my boys who break stuff to 'break it as much as you can, it's play test, I'm not going to put any more binders on you than the limited rules already do' - which .. means I may have got myself in for wackiness, and no telling where it's gonna end.

 

Right now, most of the growling at my table is pointed at Paizo; they haven't, as of last check, gotten the surveys for the non-PFS groups available. I /cannot actually/ with that, and I'm just gonna sit on my hands now. >.<

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Oh lord I saw some of the feats posted on Twitter. It's ridiculous.

DkG3iocUcAAgJHN.jpg:large

DkG3y9kU0AA6o3x.jpg:large

 

Someone said these "feats" are more like 4E's Powers, except less good.

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You're not alone. It looks like they're trying to reinvent the wheel by making it a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

 

And while I never played 4e, or even really looked at it outside of a few sideways glances, the way they're doing feats does make me think of powers. Whether they end up working the same way is up to people who will actually play PF2.

 

I dunno. I think 5e might have eaten more of Pathfinder's lunch than Paizo wants to let on, and so they're trying to differentiate themselves further from the classic D&D formula. But that's sort of what Wizards tried to do with 4e, and we all know how well that did...

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3 hours ago, Unruly said:

You're not alone. It looks like they're trying to reinvent the wheel by making it a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

 

And while I never played 4e, or even really looked at it outside of a few sideways glances, the way they're doing feats does make me think of powers. Whether they end up working the same way is up to people who will actually play PF2.

 

I dunno. I think 5e might have eaten more of Pathfinder's lunch than Paizo wants to let on, and so they're trying to differentiate themselves further from the classic D&D formula. But that's sort of what Wizards tried to do with 4e, and we all know how well that did...

Rules wise, PF2 is lining up to be Paizo's 4e.

 

For Paizo, D&D 5e is a major hurdle to overcome. The system is much easier to understand than PF and easily accessible to new players, yet still full of flavor (different flavor than the old editions, but familiar).

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