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Intuitive Rules - 2nd Ed. AD&D vs. D&D 3E/3.5

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But that's the point alanschu, You are looking at it through a CRPG player's perspective whereas Jediphile and I can see it from both a PnP and CRPG player's perspective. The difference is that people not intimately familar with PnP are shielded (or some would say protected) by the computer from the ugly details that you take for granted.

I also disagree with this statement. I played PnP long before I played any cRPG and my first encounter with the concept of AC was from AD&D. And I never thought decreasing AC made much sense.

 

Then again, I think AC the way it works in either D&D edition is stupid anyways. But that is beside the point.

No, that's the point exactly. AC is *stupid*. It makes no sense at all, and attempting to explain it logically is far more difficult than it is whether it should be counted up or down. Why start at 10 anyway? That's silly too, isn't it? I mean, a high AC is good (in 3e), right? So why does my character get a full 10 points to begin with?

Why did German physicist Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit create a scale where water freezes at 32


OBSCVRVM PER OBSCVRIVS ET IGNOTVM PER IGNOTIVS

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OPVS ARTIFICEM PROBAT

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Metadigital is a human encyclopedia... If he's even human :blink:

Edited by Lancer

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Btw, totally off-topic note to Lancer.

 

It seems Mystara has been given a temporary breath of life, and so an upcoming issue of dragon will have an article of "Voyage of the Princess Ark" (if you remember that one) by none other than Bruce Heard.

 

Check it out - no joke!

 

I definitely remember the old series spanning several issues of Dragon. :) Ahh.. good memories. I hadn't heard about this most recent offering, but I need to check it out. Thanks!

 

I guess I need to hang out over at the MMB more!


image002.gifLancer

 

 

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I've seen considerably better trolls re: merits of 2nd edition vs. 3.x.

 

I've played and DMed both for a significant period of time. To me, 3.x is an infinitely better system, because it suits my needs infinitely better. There is a simple unified resolution mechanic and there are exceptions to that mechanic (which I've taken steps to eliminate in my games).

 

On the other hand, there wasn't anything even remotely resembling a unified mechanic in 2nd edition. EVERYTHING was an exception, and rules were horribly inconsistent. Additionally, rules were limiting, rather than defining. They told you what you can't do, rather that what you can do. You can't cast spells in armor UNLESS it's elven chain. Whoa. Two exceptions right there, in that one simple rule.

 

IMO, AD&D 1st edition was a much better system than AD&D 2nd edition. And it had AoOs, even if they weren't named as such.

 

BTW, it took me all of ten minutes to completely grasp the AoOs when 3E came out, even though English is my second language. I've DMed games for people of varying ages (12-30) and none of them ever had any difficulty grasping the concept of AoOs. You do something that drops your guard while next to an enemy, he gets a free attack at you. Duh.

Edited by Sammael

There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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I've seen considerably better trolls re: merits of 2nd edition vs. 3.x.

 

I've played and DMed both for a significant period of time. To me, 3.x is an infinitely better system, because it suits my needs infinitely better. There is a simple unified resolution mechanic and there are exceptions to that mechanic  (which I've taken steps to eliminate in my games).

 

On the other hand, there wasn't anything even remotely resembling a unified mechanic in 2nd edition. EVERYTHING was an exception, and rules were horribly inconsistent. Additionally, rules were limiting, rather than defining. They told you what you can't do, rather that what you can do. You can't cast spells in armor UNLESS it's elven chain. Whoa. Two exceptions right there, in that one simple rule.

 

2e may not have a unified mechanic, but then so what? It's not as if rolling 1d100 rather than 1d20 for the thieving skills amounts to rocket science. The mechanics may have been spread over all sorts of mechanics, but those mechanics were actually rather intuitive and self-explanatory - they required very little or no explanation to grasp. Not so in 3e. So the fact that 3e has a unified mechanic is not a positive issue in itself to me.

 

On the contrary, I find that the system is frequently bent all out of shape just for the sake of catering to the mechanic. For example, all the skill increases per class seem to have no logic to them at all - why do barbarians and rangers gain more skill points per level than cleric and wizards when the latter are supposed to be the scholars who learn all the academic skills?

 

Because they are "supposed" to have higher Intelligence and so "supposed" to end up with a higher number of skill points per level that the ranger or barbarian in spite of getting less by default. That's an illogical rule bent out of shape for the purpose of game balance, and it's not very pretty game design.

 

The same thing is true for many of the class/cross-class skill decisions. Why isn't Swim a class skill for clerics, for example? After all, the cleric could be a priest of the god of the sea, and so swimming would be relevant. Just attempts at weird game balance, I guess, but there is no explanation, and unlike 2e it's actually really costly to choose to "wrong" skills for your character. That's not freedom in character creation.

 

IMO, AD&D 1st edition was a much better system than AD&D 2nd edition. And it had AoOs, even if they weren't named as such.

 

Well, "free attacks" were in 2e as well. And 1e had several flaws IMO. I mean, will you truly claim that the assassin's kill-table didn't steal from role-playing? The bard was also a very strange creature in 1e, though the ranger was definitely much more interesting than in both 2e and 3e. And 2e is definitely far closer to 1e than 3e is to 2e. 2e had a "grandfather clause" to cater to 1e fans. The systems were also fairly close, since 2e was certainly a revision of 1e. 3e is not a revision of 2e - it's a different game.

 

BTW, it took me all of ten minutes to completely grasp the AoOs when 3E came out, even though English is my second language. I've DMed games for people of varying ages (12-30) and none of them ever had any difficulty grasping the concept of AoOs. You do something that drops your guard while next to an enemy, he gets a free attack at you. Duh.

 

Still not logical. You're missing the point of timed actions - yes, I'm open to attack if I drop my guard, but it does not automatically follow from that that my enemy will be able to use it before I act. This is particularly true for spellcasting, where 3e would have us believe that reacting to a dropped guard and swinging a sword is automatically faster than any wave of a wizard's hand. It's just bad logic applied broadly, clumsily and ugly.

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D&D rules are not supposed to reflect any sort of real-life logic. They never were. They are supposed to make the game playable. If you are after "realistic" role-playing, D&D is not for you.

 

 

Still not logical. You're missing the point of timed actions - yes, I'm open to attack if I drop my guard, but it does not automatically follow from that that my enemy will be able to use it before I act.

 

You're right - it doesn't. Which is why there is the "casting on the defensive" option, where it's assumed that you're trying to wave your hands faster than your enemy can react. Because you're waving hands so fast, you have to make a concentration check to do it right and not miscast. There you have it - nearly any rule can be easily justified. But there's no reason to do that, really.

 

I presume you prefer the 2nd edition rule that any attack automatically disrupts spellcasting, even if it deals as little as 1 point of damage?

Edited by Sammael

There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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D&D rules are not supposed to reflect any sort of real-life logic. They never were. They are supposed to make the game playable. If you are after "realistic" role-playing, D&D is not for you.

unrealistic and realisting can live together in harmony :)


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D&D rules are not supposed to reflect any sort of real-life logic. They never were. They are supposed to make the game playable. If you are after "realistic" role-playing, D&D is not for you.

 

My position is that any rule in any RPG that does not serve to suspend disbelief is a problem. Of course D&D is not supposed to be realistic, but that doesn't mean we should accept rules that are just examples of basic stupidity. I mean, even by 2e rules, a warrior can never take more than 60 hp (and that's exceedingly unlikely on 6d10) from any fall, which is a preposterous rule if the warrior is falling off a mountain wearing full plate onto pointed rocks.

 

3e also continues to support the idiotic notion that a high-level warrior can ignore any thief sneaking up on him, because there is no way the thief can do enough damage to kill him outright. That's actually worse in 3e, because you no longer stop to roll for hit points at high levels, and the hp-ratio between a normal man and a 20th level warrior is therefore even more unrealistic. Does it serve to enhance good role-playing that the warrior cannot be killed even if the thief puts a knife right in his heart? Whatever the answer is to that has little to do with whether the rules are "realistic" or not.

 

Still not logical. You're missing the point of timed actions - yes, I'm open to attack if I drop my guard, but it does not automatically follow from that that my enemy will be able to use it before I act.

 

You're right - it doesn't. Which is why there is the "casting on the defensive" option, where it's assumed that you're trying to wave your hands faster than your enemy can react. Because you're waving hands so fast, you have to make a concentration check to do it right and not miscast. There you have it - nearly any rule can be easily justified. But there's no reason to do that, really.

 

2e casting times were pretty fixed, no matter what the situation. I always assumed it was the same in 3e, except now now actions have no timing any more. A knife should be a faster weapon than a two-handed sword in 3e, but it isn't - the weapon is simply a non-factor.

 

I presume you prefer the 2nd edition rule that any attack automatically disrupts spellcasting, even if it deals as little as 1 point of damage?

 

I do, actually. I don't mind the idea that you get to roll a check to see if you can focus on the spell to cast in anyway, but concentration should definitely be impaired when someone is whipping you with the sharp end of his sword. In 2e it was impaired even if you were protected by a Stoneskin spell, which is still logical and appropriate - how can you cast a spell requiring somatic components while a giant is jumping on you? Yet in 3e, this should still be possible somehow... :lol:"

 

The worst part is that the wizard is even more out of balance in 3e than the 2e. In earlier editions of D&D, then wizard was weak at low levels, but gained great power later. But even at the high levels, you could get to him, if you could get close and hit him. Not so in 3e - now the life of the "mageling" is basically forfeit once enemies are close because he has no skill in combat, but neither can he cast spells to defend himself, and he probably doesn't have the spells to protect himself with anyway - he might just as well simply lie down and die. But the 3e archmage is insanely powerful - he likely has a gazillion spells protecting him, and even if the enemies get close, he can probably concentrate through severe physical pain. So much for game balance... not to mention game design.

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But the 3e archmage is insanely powerful - he likely has a gazillion spells protecting him, and even if the enemies get close, he can probably concentrate through severe physical pain. So much for game balance... not to mention game design.

Fight fire with fire :lol:


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D&D combat system is an abstraction. I honestly cannot see how anybody can argue about realism in a system that uses hit points. Hit points, as a basic, fundamental sacred cow of D&D, automatically destroy any suspension of disbelief a player might otherwise have.

 

In any given combat round, it is given that the combatants are constantly swinging their weapons at each other. The attack rolls made by the player are merely an approximation of attacks that actually connect in any meaningful way. In other words, even though a 1st level fighter may have swung his longsword five times at his opponent in any given six seconds, only one of those attacks came close to threatening him. The rest were parries, feints, and other fancy swordplay moves that Josh can tell us more about.

 

As the fighter gains experience, he gets better at connecting his blows. That's why he gains an additional attack at BAB +6, and another at +11 and +16. Eventually, his skill is so great that nearly every swing he makes actually threatens the opponent.

 

Where do the AoOs come from? They come from the numerous otherwise "wasted" swings that every combatnat makes in a round. Only, instead of "wasting" a swing, the opponent uses the split-second opening you've given him to actually connect the blow.

 

Why aren't daggers faster than greatswords? Because it's a whole lot harder to connect a dagger stab than a greatsword swing. Sure, the dagger guy gets to stab a lot faster, but he's a lot easier to avoid, too. Thus, more of his stabs are "wasted" than is the case with larger wepons. Not to mention that he basically has to enter his opponent's square to plant a stab, whereas the greatsword guy can make his swing from a considerable distance. This contributes to the overall time spent "fighting" in any given combat round.


There are no doors in Jefferson that are "special game locked" doors. There are no characters in that game that you can kill that will result in the game ending prematurely.

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D&D combat system is an abstraction. I honestly cannot see how anybody can argue about realism in a system that uses hit points. Hit points, as a basic, fundamental sacred cow of D&D, automatically destroy any suspension of disbelief a player might otherwise have.

 

The basis for most (if not all) RPGs is that you can try to do anything you can think of. This is even more relevant in a game like D&D, where there is magic and other supernatural phenomena. In that case it's more of a problem than a solution that you have to relearn or rather unlearn the laws of physics of real life before you can enter the "reality" of the game itself. That does not enhance the experience.

 

In any given combat round, it is given that the combatants are constantly swinging their weapons at each other. The attack rolls made by the player are merely an approximation of attacks that actually connect in any meaningful way. In other words, even though a 1st level fighter may have swung his longsword five times at his opponent in any given six seconds, only one of those attacks came close to threatening him. The rest were parries, feints, and other fancy swordplay moves that Josh can tell us more about.

 

What's wrong with actually letting the player decide what he wants to do with all those "presumed" attacks? You could make the same argument for 2e, of course, except that 2e, 1e and OD&D all stay very close to the core of the original edition of the game going back all the way to the early 70s, and so they all contain some of those concepts. 3e does not, however, since it's a complete rewrite - not a revision - of the core itself. That being the case, why does the game still hang onto antequated concepts that have long since been abandoned by far better RPG systems?

 

Why aren't daggers faster than greatswords? Because it's a whole lot harder to connect a dagger stab than a greatsword swing. Sure, the dagger guy gets to stab a lot faster, but he's a lot easier to avoid, too. Thus, more of his stabs are "wasted" than is the case with larger wepons.

 

No, that's a premise I don't agree with. If anything, it's much easier to hit with a dagger, where you mere have to jump forward stabbing your weapon - it's very difficult to avoid, whereas swinging a greatsword is a comparatively lengthy process, which you can avoid, if you see the swing coming. As the 2e PHB puts it, try swinging a chair to see what speed factors are all about - far too many people think that swinging a sword is very quick, but if they actually tried to do, they'd realise that large swords are actually very heavy and therefore slow weapons. Skill helps a lot, of course, but that distinction is lost to D&D. Ask any live role-player who ever used a large sword, if you don't believe. Though I don't play live-RPG, I happen to know a few who do, and they agree with me on this point.

 

Not to mention that he basically has to enter his opponent's square to plant a stab, whereas the greatsword guy can make his swing from a considerable distance. This contributes to the overall time spent "fighting" in any given combat round.

 

You're still avoiding the question of speed and timing. Yes, you might have greater reach with your longsword/greatsword, but a quick character can certainly stop close at the right moment and stab you before you can swing your sword at him. This is especially true in a large combat situation, where you have other enemies to consider, and which therefore allows the guy with the dagger to time his approach, while you're busy with another enemy.

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The basis for most (if not all) RPGs is that you can try to do anything you can think of. This is even more relevant in a game like D&D, where there is magic and other supernatural phenomena. In that case it's more of a problem than a solution that you have to relearn or rather unlearn the laws of physics of real life before you can enter the "reality" of the game itself. That does not enhance the experience.

 

This is an incorrect assumption. D&D for one, is a gamist RPG, that tries to create an interesting game for the players, similarly to (for instance) chess. Trying to find an in-world representation for its rules is somewhat futile, as it is not the point of the game. Some rules will have it, some won't, but in general it is beside the "point" of D&D; D&D simply doesn't prioritize it.

 

Some other systems naturally will. However, it is not the main priority of all RPG systems, even if it is important to your way of playing.

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The basis for most (if not all) RPGs is that you can try to do anything you can think of. This is even more relevant in a game like D&D, where there is magic and other supernatural phenomena. In that case it's more of a problem than a solution that you have to relearn or rather unlearn the laws of physics of real life before you can enter the "reality" of the game itself. That does not enhance the experience.

 

This is an incorrect assumption. D&D for one, is a gamist RPG, that tries to create an interesting game for the players, similarly to (for instance) chess. Trying to find an in-world representation for its rules is somewhat futile, as it is not the point of the game. Some rules will have it, some won't, but in general it is beside the "point" of D&D; D&D simply doesn't prioritize it.

 

Some other systems naturally will. However, it is not the main priority of all RPG systems, even if it is important to your way of playing.

 

What's a "gamist RPG" anyway? And if it is what it sounds like to me, what RPG wouldn't that be true for? :thumbsup:

 

Also, it seems pretty silly to compare an RPG to a simple board game like chess, where the rules are very strict, limited and simple. Those simple rules are there to give you a framework by which to set up your strategy and then see how far it can take you. RPGs aren't like that at all.

 

And no matter how "realistic" or not you may prefer them to be (or not), you really cannot deny that it doesn't impede the gaming experience if you constantly have an incredibly unreaslistic rule glaring right in your face. I mean, what if the cost of buying a sword is lower than the components needed for making it? That's right in the rules, but it's just plain and basic stupidity and needs to be changed, no questions asked.

 

The same goes for a lot of other areas. I really don't care how many thousands of hit points that 37th-level warrior/paladin/whatnot is - if he falls off a mountain for a few miles right onto sharp pointed rocks, then he's dead and should be. Period. Of course, you could then argue that I can impose that ruling as a GM, sure, but in that case, why would I even need those stupid rules in the first place, if I'm going to overrule them anyway? Besides, shouldn't a game by professional game designers take this relatively simple and straightforward situation into account in its rules?

 

As a GM (of D&D and other RPGs) of a decade and a half, I can tell you quite frankly, taht there is nothing worse than having to defend a completely stupid and illogical rule because the game insists on it.

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What's a "gamist RPG" anyway? And if it is what it sounds like to me, what RPG wouldn't that be true for?

 

It's a question of prioritization, not whether something exists or not.

 

Gamism refers to competitiveness. Player vs. player, players vs. GM, or (most often in PnP RPGs, D&D included) players vs. GM-created-opposition. Gamism is about encountering problems, and figuring out a way to solve them, and most likely getting some sort of reward out of it (or getting a "penalty" if you don't). There's alot more that can go to it, but that's the basic idea.

 

A gamist RPG is an RPG that prioritizes this above other needs.

 

 

Also, it seems pretty silly to compare an RPG to a simple board game like chess, where the rules are very strict, limited and simple. Those simple rules are there to give you a framework by which to set up your strategy and then see how far it can take you. RPGs aren't like that at all.

 

That is exactly what gamist RPGs are about, though they certainly can be simpler or more complex in rules. That certainly doesn't mean that that is everything a gamist RPG can be about; it is simply a question of prioritization.

 

 

 

And no matter how "realistic" or not you may prefer them to be (or not), you really cannot deny that it doesn't impede the gaming experience if you constantly have an incredibly unreaslistic rule glaring right in your face. I mean, what if the cost of buying a sword is lower than the components needed for making it? That's right in the rules, but it's just plain and basic stupidity and needs to be changed, no questions asked.

 

The same goes for a lot of other areas. I really don't care how many thousands of hit points that 37th-level warrior/paladin/whatnot is - if he falls off a mountain for a few miles right onto sharp pointed rocks, then he's dead and should be. Period. Of course, you could then argue that I can impose that ruling as a GM, sure, but in that case, why would I even need those stupid rules in the first place, if I'm going to overrule them anyway? Besides, shouldn't a game by professional game designers take this relatively simple and straightforward situation into account in its rules?

 

As a gamist RPG, D&D gives the player the option to overcome a problem by making a character that can survive such a fall. Or it might as well not, if it is not relevant to the Game at hand... But apparently the designers felt it is, so realism automatically takes the back seat because it becomes a question of the Game. Again, prioritization.

 

Your problem is that you're trying to prioritize something else in your game than what the rules system prioritizes. You might call it realism, or whatever you want, but the fact itself that you are having these problems with the system proves that you're looking for a different thing in your game than what the system is trying to provide.

 

Neither you or the system are wrong, just different kind of goals. (Though it can certainly be argued whether D&D manages to do well what it tries to do; as long as you don't confuse it with what it isn't trying to do.)

 

There's alot more that can be said on gaming styles, incoherence in gaming styles (in rulesbooks and actual games), and ways to use rules for different kinds of styles... But I'll stop here this time. :)

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What's a "gamist RPG" anyway? And if it is what it sounds like to me, what RPG wouldn't that be true for?

 

It's a question of prioritization, not whether something exists or not.

 

Gamism refers to competitiveness. Player vs. player, players vs. GM, or (most often in PnP RPGs, D&D included) players vs. GM-created-opposition. Gamism is about encountering problems, and figuring out a way to solve them, and most likely getting some sort of reward out of it (or getting a "penalty" if you don't). There's alot more that can go to it, but that's the basic idea.

 

A gamist RPG is an RPG that prioritizes this above other needs.

 

One of the first gaming concepts I ever read in any RPG was that it was not a competition between the GM and the players or among the players themselves. It was right first in the book and a fundamental principle in the game. That was in the red D&D box...

 

So by your own definition, even D&D is not a "gamist RPG".

 

RPGs are not about killing the monsters and overcoming the opposition. That is also just secondary. It's perfectly legitimate to avoid the opposition, make an agreement with them, join them if possible, etc. Though it often turns out differently, it is a fairly important principle that you don't have to solve things in the way the GM thought you would. If that were the case, there would be no need for GM, and you might as well play a CRPG, board game or similar where all the goals and how they must be reached are predetermined, and you just have to figure out how and what is "the correct way" to do it.

 

Also, it seems pretty silly to compare an RPG to a simple board game like chess, where the rules are very strict, limited and simple. Those simple rules are there to give you a framework by which to set up your strategy and then see how far it can take you. RPGs aren't like that at all.

 

That is exactly what gamist RPGs are about, though they certainly can be simpler or more complex in rules. That certainly doesn't mean that that is everything a gamist RPG can be about; it is simply a question of prioritization.

 

If you like board games better than RPGs, then that's fine. I don't, but it's fair enough - to each his own. However, they are not the same. They are different games. RPGs are, very obviously, about ROLE-PLAYING. All the stats and skills and abilities are all just means by which to promote the role-playing experience.

 

And no matter how "realistic" or not you may prefer them to be (or not), you really cannot deny that it doesn't impede the gaming experience if you constantly have an incredibly unreaslistic rule glaring right in your face. I mean, what if the cost of buying a sword is lower than the components needed for making it? That's right in the rules, but it's just plain and basic stupidity and needs to be changed, no questions asked.

 

The same goes for a lot of other areas. I really don't care how many thousands of hit points that 37th-level warrior/paladin/whatnot is - if he falls off a mountain for a few miles right onto sharp pointed rocks, then he's dead and should be. Period. Of course, you could then argue that I can impose that ruling as a GM, sure, but in that case, why would I even need those stupid rules in the first place, if I'm going to overrule them anyway? Besides, shouldn't a game by professional game designers take this relatively simple and straightforward situation into account in its rules?

 

As a gamist RPG, D&D gives the player the option to overcome a problem by making a character that can survive such a fall.

 

Surviving such a fall is for a superhero RPG, not a game where you have to make believe that you're a mortal of any sort.

 

Your problem is that you're trying to prioritize something else in your game than what the rules system prioritizes. You might call it realism, or whatever you want, but the fact itself that you are having these problems with the system proves that you're looking for a different thing in your game than what the system is trying to provide.

 

By that logic you can make up any stupid rule you want in an RPG, and when players and gamemasters then criticise it, you can just say that it's because they want something else than what was written. Well, duh... But you're ignoring that there is a rule that is illogical and is stupid, and you're ignoring the people who use the rules and who say this is a problem. 3e Epic rules has DCs for swimming up a waterfall. Sounds silly to me, so I won't buy or use those rules. That's not the same as pointing out that the cost of making a magical item is lower than it is to create it. For example, in D&D most magical weapons are always swords with bonuses. Why? Clerics and wizards can't use them, and they're the ones who can make them, so why did they? That's basic stupidity for you right there... Sure there shouldn't be magical swords, but I dare say the clerics would have made magical hammers and maces and the wizards magical staffs and daggers before they made swords, so why aren't there more of those?

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One of the first gaming concepts I ever read in any RPG was that it was not a competition between the GM and the players or among the players themselves. It was right first in the book and a fundamental principle in the game. That was in the red D&D box...

 

So by your own definition, even D&D is not a "gamist RPG".

 

RPGs are not about killing the monsters and overcoming the opposition. That is also just secondary. It's perfectly legitimate to avoid the opposition, make an agreement with them, join them if possible, etc. Though it often turns out differently, it is a fairly important principle that you don't have to solve things in the way the GM thought you would. If that were the case, there would be no need for GM, and you might as well play a CRPG, board game or similar where all the goals and how they must be reached are predetermined, and you just have to figure out how and what is "the correct way" to do it.

 

It is mentioned in the current edition of D&D as well. It is however, incorrect.

 

D&D is based on success. Those who are successful, get a prize (experience, items, whatever). Gaining a prize gives you both the higher chance to be successful and the possibility to gain better prizes. Those who are not successful don't get a prize, or can even get a penalty (loss of items, death, whatever). If that is not competitiviness, then I don't know what is.

 

Whether the opposition is monsters, traps or diplomacy doesn't matter. If you have a diplomacy roll, where you succeed in a treaty and get lots of prestige on success or degenerate to a war on failure, then that is competitiviness right there. If the game revolves around concepts like success and rewards, then the game prioritizes it over others and is thus a gamist/competitive game.

 

D&D's rules of success-based experience, item hauling and exponential power from levelling are all part of it's gamist style.

 

And as I said, D&D is not a player vs. player or players vs. GM type of competitiveness, but player vs. GM-made-opposition style.

 

My guess as to why the designers decided to include the part about it not being competitive is either to differentiate it from player vs. player competitiveness (which is isn't), or because the designers themselves don't realize what it is.

 

 

If you like board games better than RPGs, then that's fine. I don't, but it's fair enough - to each his own. However, they are not the same. They are different games. RPGs are, very obviously, about ROLE-PLAYING. All the stats and skills and abilities are all just means by which to promote the role-playing experience.

 

It seems to me you are assuming roleplaying needs realism. While some kind of simulation of a real world (or a simplification of such) can be roleplaying as well, it is certainly not the only type. Again, you're trying to define the whole genre according to your own preference. Also, again, it is about prioritization.

 

 

By that logic you can make up any stupid rule you want in an RPG, and when players and gamemasters then criticise it, you can just say that it's because they want something else than what was written. Well, duh... But you're ignoring that there is a rule that is illogical and is stupid, and you're ignoring the people who use the rules and who say this is a problem. 3e Epic rules has DCs for swimming up a waterfall. Sounds silly to me, so I won't buy or use those rules.

 

This is simply because you are equating "illogical" and "stupid" with "not realistic".

 

Again, D&D is a gamist game. That means realism takes a back seat for competitiveness, but it can still be there. In the case of your swim check or long fall examples, the competitiveness is in the possibility of creating characters that can make such checks, or dealing with a problem requiring that check with a character who can't make it.

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One of the first gaming concepts I ever read in any RPG was that it was not a competition between the GM and the players or among the players themselves. It was right first in the book and a fundamental principle in the game. That was in the red D&D box...

 

So by your own definition, even D&D is not a "gamist RPG".

 

RPGs are not about killing the monsters and overcoming the opposition. That is also just secondary. It's perfectly legitimate to avoid the opposition, make an agreement with them, join them if possible, etc. Though it often turns out differently, it is a fairly important principle that you don't have to solve things in the way the GM thought you would. If that were the case, there would be no need for GM, and you might as well play a CRPG, board game or similar where all the goals and how they must be reached are predetermined, and you just have to figure out how and what is "the correct way" to do it.

 

It is mentioned in the current edition of D&D as well. It is however, incorrect.

 

So even if the rules support my interpretation and conflicts with your's then both the game designers and I are still wrong and you're right... :)

 

Sounds like I'm not the one expecting the wrong things from D&D after all...

 

D&D is based on success. Those who are successful, get a prize (experience, items, whatever). Gaining a prize gives you both the higher chance to be successful and the possibility to gain better prizes. Those who are not successful don't get a prize, or can even get a penalty (loss of items, death, whatever). If that is not competitiviness, then I don't know what is.

 

That is monty haul and munchkinism, not role-playing. RPGs, even D&D, are not about 'getting the best prize'. If it were, then why is treasure determined randomly? Besides, you completely forget that experience is shared among the group - it really doesn't matter who killed the dragon (unless you have a kill board, but then that's between the players), since everybody was in danger and so gets an equal share of the xp. As for gaining prizes, who decides who gets what? The GM assigns xp to be shared among the group - the players have no control over it. The GM also gives out loot, but who gets what is decided among the players out of his control. Your entire argument is flawed. If you like to play D&D that way, great for you, but that's not what the rules support. You even know that yourself, so how can you even argue it.

 

Whether the opposition is monsters, traps or diplomacy doesn't matter. If you have a diplomacy roll, where you succeed in a treaty and get lots of prestige on success or degenerate to a war on failure, then that is competitiviness right there. If the game revolves around concepts like success and rewards, then the game prioritizes it over others and is thus a gamist/competitive game.

 

And what "prize" do you get for avoiding a war? None... except perhaps the knowledge of knowing that several thousand people lived instead of died, but then that's not a "prize" as such...

 

You cannot twist a character's attempts to reach a goal into a competive process just because it fits your argument better.

 

D&D's rules of success-based experience, item hauling and exponential power from levelling are all part of it's gamist style.

 

No. Item acquisition is random and can even be overruled by the GM. Most GMs look first at whether they want a particular item in their campaigns before they allow the pcs to find it, even if it was rolled randomly. They don't begin planning a scenario by setting up which great magical item should be awarded to the PC that "does best" in the game. How could they? They have no control over whether he gets it or not.

 

And as I said, D&D is not a player vs. player or players vs. GM type of competitiveness, but player vs. GM-made-opposition style.

 

But since the GM sets up that opposition, that's just GM vs. players by extension.

 

My guess as to why the designers decided to include the part about it not being competitive is either to differentiate it from player vs. player competitiveness (which is isn't), or because the designers themselves don't realize what it  is.

 

Yes, clearly you know better than game designers of many years and GMs of over a decade's experience like your's truly... :)"

 

It seems to me you are assuming roleplaying needs realism. While some kind of simulation of a real world (or a simplification of such) can be roleplaying as well, it is certainly not the only type. Again, you're trying to define the whole genre according to your own preference. Also, again, it is about prioritization.

 

Unlike you?

 

Besides, let me repeat myself: No, they don't need "realism". They do need to have rules that suspend disbelief. They do not rules that are not obviously stupid.

 

By that logic you can make up any stupid rule you want in an RPG, and when players and gamemasters then criticise it, you can just say that it's because they want something else than what was written. Well, duh... But you're ignoring that there is a rule that is illogical and is stupid, and you're ignoring the people who use the rules and who say this is a problem. 3e Epic rules has DCs for swimming up a waterfall. Sounds silly to me, so I won't buy or use those rules.

 

This is simply because you are equating "illogical" and "stupid" with "not realistic".

 

Again, D&D is a gamist game. That means realism takes a back seat for competitiveness, but it can still be there. In the case of your swim check or long fall examples, the competitiveness is in the possibility of creating characters that can make such checks, or dealing with a problem requiring that check with a character who can't make it.

 

You're not saying anything new. You're just repeating yourself and sounding like a broken record. I've already shown you the opposite, and you've even admitted that the rules do not support your take on things.

 

And you're painting my argument as being for realism, which I have already said repeatedly is not the case. Is it "realism" to demand that a sword costs more than the iron value listed in the same rulebook? Or put differently, is being unrealistic in itself a good thing in an RPG? Would it be good if beggars in the streets of Waterdeep had longswords +5 or if every mouse had 1000+ hp?

 

You have not argued against "stupid" or "illogical" yourself, after all, nor have you said they are bad elements in an RPG...

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So even if the rules support my interpretation and conflicts with your's then both the game designers and I are still wrong and you're right...

 

Feel free to point out any actual rule that does that (there are those too, you know... D&D is somewhat incoherent in when it comes to gaming style). Simply the book saying "this game is not competitive" doesn't mean much when actual evidence, the rules themselves, seem to indicate otherwise.

 

 

That is monty haul and munchkinism, not role-playing. RPGs, even D&D, are not about 'getting the best prize'. If it were, then why is treasure determined randomly? Besides, you completely forget that experience is shared among the group - it really doesn't matter who killed the dragon (unless you have a kill board, but then that's between the players), since everybody was in danger and so gets an equal share of the xp. As for gaining prizes, who decides who gets what? The GM assigns xp to be shared among the group - the players have no control over it. The GM also gives out loot, but who gets what is decided among the players out of his control. Your entire argument is flawed. If you like to play D&D that way, great for you, but that's not what the rules support. You even know that yourself, so how can you even argue it.

 

Again, group vs. GM-made opposition, not player vs. player. In by the book D&D, the players either loses or wins as group. The possibility of losing and winning and the rewards are still there, and so is the competitiveness.

 

 

And what "prize" do you get for avoiding a war? None... except perhaps the knowledge of knowing that several thousand people lived instead of died, but then that's not a "prize" as such...

 

You cannot twist a character's attempts to reach a goal into a competive process just because it fits your argument better.

 

If there is a chance for losing and winning and rewards it is a competitive process, and these exists in almost all RPG game systems... However, if the game system focuses (prioritizes) on these elements, then the game system itself becomes competitive.

 

 

But since the GM sets up that opposition, that's just GM vs. players by extension.

 

Not unless GM tries to all out kill the players, or do whatever constitutes as winning at any specific GM vs. players game... D&D, however, isn't such. (A part of) The GM's job in D&D is to create encounters for characters, and these are the competitive part of it. The GM helps create the Game for the characters, he doesn't try to win it.

 

That doesn't mean the orc, the pit trap or the haggling merchant don't try to "win" against the players in the game world. This is what players vs. GM-made-opposition competitiveness is about.

 

Besides, let me repeat myself: No, they don't need "realism". They do need to have rules that suspend disbelief. They do not rules that are not obviously stupid.

 

Like I said, whatever you want to call it. Amounts to the same thing: a simulation of the real world, or a simplification there of.

 

 

You're not saying anything new. You're just repeating yourself and sounding like a broken record.

 

Because you are not understanding what I'm talking about. You are still assuming that competitiveness always means person vs. person, and that all RPGs should prioritize simulation/realism/whatever-you-want-to-call-it over others.

 

 

 

Is it "realism" to demand that a sword costs more than the iron value listed in the same rulebook? Or put differently, is being unrealistic in itself a good thing in an RPG?

 

Again, it's about the prioritization. It doesn't mean you completely throw out the aspects that you don't prioritize, but rather only in those instances where they are in contradiction with the aspects you are trying to prioritize. Hit Points are a good example of a rule where there exists even no slight realism. The long fall in your previous example is one where some exists, but has not been prioritized.

 

 

Anyway, I have no idea where you're getting this sword prize thing from. It certainly isn't so in 3rd edition. Wouldn't know about previous editions, I don't own the books for those.

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Feel free to point out any actual rule that does that (there are those too, you know... D&D is somewhat incoherent in when it comes to gaming style). Simply the book saying "this game is not competitive" doesn't mean much when actual evidence, the rules themselves, seem to indicate otherwise.

 

So it comes down the same thing again - the game designers and players of years of experience know nothing... Sure. The game designers only wrote it. The players only use it...

 

Right... Whatever...

 

Again, group vs. GM-made opposition, not player vs. player. In by the book D&D, the players either loses or wins as group. The possibility of losing and winning and the rewards are still there, and so is the competitiveness.

 

So who are they competing against if not the GM or each other? There's nobody else present unless you count the characters, in which case it would be better to stop playing altogether (for your mental health - D&D sadly lacks sanity rules, which says a lot)...

 

You cannot twist a character's attempts to reach a goal into a competive process just because it fits your argument better.

 

If there is a chance for losing and winning and rewards it is a competitive process, and these exists in almost all RPG game systems... However, if the game system focuses (prioritizes) on these elements, then the game system itself becomes competitive.

 

The point of an RPG is not to "win" cool "prizes". It is not a gameshow. The pcs are exploring the dungeons, not taking the chance of seeing what's behind door number three. The "prize" lies in the narrative of the evolving plot for the characters. Whether they find "cool gadgets" along is of little or no consequence to that.

 

But since the GM sets up that opposition, that's just GM vs. players by extension.

 

Not unless GM tries to all out kill the players, or do whatever constitutes as winning at any specific GM vs. players game... D&D, however, isn't such. (A part of) The GM's job in D&D is to create encounters for characters, and these are the competitive part of it. The GM helps create the Game for the characters, he doesn't try to win it.

 

That doesn't mean the orc, the pit trap or the haggling merchant don't try to "win" against the players in the game world. This is what players vs. GM-made-opposition competitiveness is about.

 

Ah, okay... so it's competitive, only neither the players nor the GM is trying to "win" over the others... Yup, that makes a lot of sense... :lol::)

 

Because you are not understanding what I'm talking about. You are still assuming that competitiveness always means person vs. person, and that all RPGs should prioritize simulation/realism/whatever-you-want-to-call-it over others.

 

And you're completely ignoring my points, which doesn't make for the best of discussions. It also makes me think that it's because you have no arguments to support your own position and instead just continues to spew the same points over and over while ignoring mine, in which case you're better off not "arguing" at all. And implying that I don't want to listen just because I'm not writing something you don't like to read is pretty... well, let's just say unfair, since I don't want to offend too much.

 

You're also refusing to see that since every character or NPC in an RPG is played or represented by an active player (including the GM), that means it does become competitive between players. Who makes the decision on what the orc does if not the GM?

 

Is it "realism" to demand that a sword costs more than the iron value listed in the same rulebook? Or put differently, is being unrealistic in itself a good thing in an RPG?

 

Again, it's about the prioritization. It doesn't mean you completely throw out the aspects that you don't prioritize, but rather only in those instances where they are in contradiction with the aspects you are trying to prioritize. Hit Points are a good example of a rule where there exists even no slight realism. The long fall in your previous example is one where some exists, but has not been prioritized.

 

What has that got to do with the whether it's reasonable for a sword to cost less than it does to create it? You're completely ignoring the issue... again.

 

Anyway, I have no idea where you're getting this sword prize thing from. It certainly isn't so in 3rd edition. Wouldn't know about previous editions, I don't own the books for those.

 

You're the one who argued that RPGs shouldn't be "realistic". This is an example, and they do occur in some RPGs. But if you don't want to answer that admittedly academic example, we could take the other one I mentioned, and which you conveniently cut from what you chose to reply to, which was about why there are not more magical weapons of the sorts that wizards and clerics use, when they are the ones who can make magical weapons. That's basic stupidity, too.

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