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Ghostse

Gorilla Channel Executive Producer
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
All this talk about X system being better or worse for roleplaying feels like a cop-out to me.

You're not wrong but you are overlooking that some systems inspire more roleplay than others. While experienced players tend to ignore the instructions to GMs and players, reading them gives good insight the design goals of the system.

I have a player who is ... I guess I'll call them a Theater Minor, where they'll play with but they really don't want to think about their character's actions, just the end result. "I use perception on the room" is what they do unless you prompt or force them to do more; no questions, no attempts to see what's around, just roll perception.
They wouldn't be able to pull that shit in 1e/1eA/2e because there are no skills (Rogues have abilities, gawd), you have to describe what you do. They want to roll number and have the good things happen - and if they roll like shit to tag in another party member to try.

1e DMG straight up tells the GM to punish players using knowledge their characters wouldn't possess. Not just consequences, take their magic items until they learn to play correctly.

3.x was more about letting players have skills and encouraging players to describe their actions and then the GM determining skils

4e had skill challenges for most roleplay sorts of scenarios where dice would be needed, and would give GMs ideas of skills that could be rolled and actions that might use those skills, but they encouraged players to be creative, encouraged rewarding creative solutions, and if it was really good, giving an auto-success.

5e just seems to inspire "I use skill, tell me what I did" from players, and the DMG and PHB don't seem to discourage that.

I will readily grant the incrementing editions do not occur in a vacuum, and if you got in a time machine back to 1984 with a copy of 5e, that group would probably respond differently than people in current year do.
Like asking you what sort of faggot shit was this about having characters who are men pretending to be women. You a fucking queer or something?
 

Corn Flakes

Battle Creek's Finest
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Apr 25, 2020
You're not wrong but you are overlooking that some systems inspire more roleplay than others. While experienced players tend to ignore the instructions to GMs and players, reading them gives good insight the design goals of the system.

I have a player who is ... I guess I'll call them a Theater Minor, where they'll play with but they really don't want to think about their character's actions, just the end result. "I use perception on the room" is what they do unless you prompt or force them to do more; no questions, no attempts to see what's around, just roll perception.
They wouldn't be able to pull that shit in 1e/1eA/2e because there are no skills (Rogues have abilities, gawd), you have to describe what you do. They want to roll number and have the good things happen - and if they roll like shit to tag in another party member to try.

1e DMG straight up tells the GM to punish players using knowledge their characters wouldn't possess. Not just consequences, take their magic items until they learn to play correctly.

3.x was more about letting players have skills and encouraging players to describe their actions and then the GM determining skils

4e had skill challenges for most roleplay sorts of scenarios where dice would be needed, and would give GMs ideas of skills that could be rolled and actions that might use those skills, but they encouraged players to be creative, encouraged rewarding creative solutions, and if it was really good, giving an auto-success.

5e just seems to inspire "I use skill, tell me what I did" from players, and the DMG and PHB don't seem to discourage that.

I will readily grant the incrementing editions do not occur in a vacuum, and if you got in a time machine back to 1984 with a copy of 5e, that group would probably respond differently than people in current year do.
Like asking you what sort of faggot shit was this about having characters who are men pretending to be women. You a fucking queer or something?
I get where you're coming from, but the flipside is that these changes happened for a reason: players like rolling dice.

I started playing during the tail end of AD&D, and let met tell you: the complaints about railroading GMs were already there and they were fierce. When 3e dropped, I saw a lot of people over the moon because the system made it a lot simpler to understand what your character could do and what their bonuses were, and shitty GMs couldn't just tell you "no, you can't do that" just because whatever you were trying to do would unravel his encounter/mystery and the GM didn't want to improvise a solution. The skill list was on the character sheet itself, and that was considered revolutionary. And as time went on, more and more things were implemented for the sake of "player agency", because while GMs are vital to the game, players are still the majority of people actually buying the product. This all happened because it was successful, and no one could see what was on the other side of that hill.

I'll grant you, I'm not a GM. I've done one-shots and demo games and I help our GM come up with ideas and crunch numbers, but I'm not the guy running the show. So maybe it does feel more annoying on the other side of the DM screen. But as a player, I like having a decent idea of how good my character is at doing something. I like knowing at least part of the odds whenever I declare an action expecting the GM to tell me to roll for it. And in my role as someone who has introduced a lot of people to the hobby over the years, I always make sure to tell people to tell the GM what their character is doing, if there's any rolling to be done the GM will tell you. But not everyone was given a solid introduction to the game.

A lot of GMs play by the dice and the dice alone, demanding skill checks for every action, because that's how they think the game is played. Are those shitty GMs? I'd say so. Could the books do a better job of explaining the role of the GM? Probably. But times have changed and so has the average new player. Attention spans are stupidly short. 20 years ago I was already complaining that no one read the damn PHB properly because I kept having to explain how Power Attack worked. These days I'm overjoyed to see someone reading through five paragraphs on a rulebook without whipping out their cell phone. Yes, I'm aware that this makes me the most boomerific of boomers in the whole of boomerland, but on the bright side I know to treasure even a very young player so long as they're not completely lost to ADHD and social media.
 
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LinkinParkxNaruto[AMV]

I try so hard and got so far
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
That's why Theater Majors like 5e. They don't have to really play, they let their characters think for them and then cry when the dice don't cooperate and blame the "killer" DM
I feel like if all you wanted was to improv and do funny voices you could just RP real time and wouldn't need the challenge element from game mechanics. There's no right or wrong in freestyle improv but in a game you should be able to fuck up, do something wrong and die.

What. Why would anyone do this shit?
Do they hope to recruit you to do their shit for free?
Dunno. I think is more that they are too far up their own asses with the politics of it and want to screen people who think alike. Most people would be pretty straightforward with their briefs but wokes have agendas and want to make sure you get that.
 

Red Pannock

the machine the strangers use to edge their cocks
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Nov 1, 2021
I get where you're coming from, but the flipside is that these changes happened for a reason: players like rolling dice.

I started playing during the tail end of AD&D, and let met tell you: the complaints about railroading GMs were already there and they were fierce. When 3e dropped, I saw a lot of people over the moon because the system made it a lot simpler to understand what your character could do and what their bonuses were, and shitty GMs couldn't just tell you "no, you can't do that" just because whatever you were trying to do would unravel his encounter/mystery and the GM didn't want to improvise a solution. The skill list was on the character sheet itself, and that was considered revolutionary. And as time went on, more and more things were implemented for the sake of "player agency", because while GMs are vital to the game, players are still the majority of people actually buying the product. This all happened because it was successful, and no one could see what was on the other side of that hill.

I'll grant you, I'm not a GM. I've done one-shots and demo games and I help our GM come up with ideas and crunch numbers, but I'm not the guy running the show. So maybe it does feel more annoying on the other side of the DM screen. But as a player, I like having a decent idea of how good my character is at doing something. I like knowing at least part of the odds whenever I declare an action expecting the GM to tell me to roll for it. And in my role as someone who has introduced a lot of people to the hobby over the years, I always make sure to tell people to tell the GM what their character is doing, if there's any rolling to be done the GM will tell you. But not everyone was given a solid introduction to the game.

A lot of GMs play by the dice and the dice alone, demanding skill checks for every action, because that's how they think the game is played. Are those shitty GMs? I'd say so. Could the books do a better job of explaining the role of the GM? Probably. But times have changed and so has the average new player. Attention spans are stupidly short. 20 years ago I was already complaining that no one read the damn PHB properly because I kept having to explain how Power Attack worked. These days I'm overjoyed to see someone reading through five paragraphs on a rulebook without whipping out their cell phone. Yes, I'm aware that this makes me the most boomerific of boomers in the whole of boomerland, but on the bright side I know to treasure even a very young player so long as they're not completely lost to ADHD and social media.
My favorite are those "I walk in room and use perception" people because 75% of the time I just tell people exactly what's in the room anyways. Unless it's dark or there is something. People are used to DMs guarding every little thing as a secret. I've ran games on roll20 where players have tried to "warn" me that they can see enemy HP or my rolls. I've even been "called out" for letting players kill enemies when say, they did 8 damage and it had 10 HP. It's just some shit bug monster ambush that's almost over, who cares if I just let you wrap it up after 4 turns instead of 6?

I do feel like players need to calm the fuck down and try to enjoy the game, whatever it is.
 

Ghostse

Gorilla Channel Executive Producer
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
I get where you're coming from, but the flipside is that these changes happened for a reason: players like rolling dice.

I started playing during the tail end of AD&D, and let met tell you: the complaints about railroading GMs were already there and they were fierce. When 3e dropped, I saw a lot of people over the moon because the system made it a lot simpler to understand what your character could do and what their bonuses were, and shitty GMs couldn't just tell you "no, you can't do that" just because whatever you were trying to do would unravel his encounter/mystery and the GM didn't want to improvise a solution. The skill list was on the character sheet itself, and that was considered revolutionary. And as time went on, more and more things were implemented for the sake of "player agency", because while GMs are vital to the game, players are still the majority of people actually buying the product. This all happened because it was successful, and no one could see what was on the other side of that hill.

I'll grant you, I'm not a GM. I've done one-shots and demo games and I help our GM come up with ideas and crunch numbers, but I'm not the guy running the show. So maybe it does feel more annoying on the other side of the DM screen. But as a player, I like having a decent idea of how good my character is at doing something. I like knowing at least part of the odds whenever I declare an action expecting the GM to tell me to roll for it. And in my role as someone who has introduced a lot of people to the hobby over the years, I always make sure to tell people to tell the GM what their character is doing, if there's any rolling to be done the GM will tell you. But not everyone was given a solid introduction to the game.

A lot of GMs play by the dice and the dice alone, demanding skill checks for every action, because that's how they think the game is played. Are those shitty GMs? I'd say so. Could the books do a better job of explaining the role of the GM? Probably. But times have changed and so has the average new player. Attention spans are stupidly short. 20 years ago I was already complaining that no one read the damn PHB properly because I kept having to explain how Power Attack worked. These days I'm overjoyed to see someone reading through five paragraphs on a rulebook without whipping out their cell phone. Yes, I'm aware that this makes me the most boomerific of boomers in the whole of boomerland, but on the bright side I know to treasure even a very young player so long as they're not completely lost to ADHD and social media.

I think you're assuming I'm making an argument I'm not:
I am not against skills. I generally like skills.

And I definitely accept them as a necessary evil in most RPGs. Yes, in a perfect system skills shouldn't be needed. But reality is imperfect. Your character is there but you are not there. You often don't even have an actual picture of what where you are looks like, and skills balance out how characters interact with the world since you can't use your actual senses.

What I am saying is that 3.x especially (and maybe 2e; I have only read through 2e's combat system mostly so I'm not sure) players had skills but were encouraged to actively use them, and say how they were using them descriptively (and to accept the GM saying "You can't use X skill, that should be Y" provided it didn't completely fly in the face of the rules.). The 5e crowd just wants to say "I use skill" and roll, and often don't even want that. They want the GM to tell them the skill roll they should make. (Like Matt Mercer does!)

I like letting skills determine odds of success and failure, and in fact I really like when results for skill rolls are not just success/failure but gradients. I dislike the mini-max aspect you see in 3.5/PF for skill assignment. I really felt like 4 was the sweet spot in generation: other than racial bonuses, it was "Trained or Untrained?" and maybe a +3 from focus if someone felt like burning a feat. I wouldn't have minded a little more granularity based on INT, but the last thing we need is another spergy subsystem. (The 4e implementation was sort of fucky because they used a lot of scaling DCs per level against things that shouldn't scale, but also didn't give good flat DC matrixes for things outside of swimming, but that's outside of the scope of what we're talking about here)

Sort of in the same vein, I do like what 4e/5e does with passive skills and helping players catch things they might miss from a gameplay perspective. It was a reward for players balancing their skills.

But players were encouraged to think about how they'd USE those skills.
For example, if the secret passage has a 25 Perception DC and you roll a 25... ok cool, I'll tell you about the secret door.
But if you mention looking in the corner, depending on your skills and the door, I will give you a minimum of your deserved +2 and might just give you an autosuccess.
5e, and again the player base doesn't help, just want to walk in roll the skill (or just as often be told what skill they need to roll without describing what they want to do) and see if they succeed or fail. Well, that's not really true; really they just want to win. They don't want to failure, but they want to feel like they could. (which is the primary issue with a Theater Major and new crop of wokes shitting up the hobby.)

Players like rolling dice, but maybe its just the new players, or maybe it 5e, but from my experience 5e players don't like accepting the consequences of that dice roll.

Regarding rolls for every check, I did that early in my GM career until I realized the "you have a 5% chance of forgetting how to breathe".
So now, in addition to getting rid of Autosuccess and Autofailure for skills, I think "A) What are the consequences of this check failing or succeeding and B) What are the odds of them being able to do it?" If there's no big chances from success or failure on a check, I'm liable to either auto succeed or ask for a skill roll to see how well they succeeded. If they're likely to do in anyway, I'll say do it. If its improbable that its impossible, I just say that it is and generally say their experience as an adventure tells them that won't work.

4e/5e passive skills are nice because they give a handy meter for where the auto-success line should be.
Using the earlier secret passage example, players can see anything in plain view. If they want to open shit, I make them tell me what they open ("everything" is an acceptable answer) because some it might be trapped.

For stealth, I've moved to "Roll once when you might fuck up your stealth. As long as you don't do anything less stealthy than that, that's your stealth score. You don't like the roll, I'll usually give you a mechanism make another check that'll depend on the circumstances". Because Stealth has a real Gambler's Ruin problem attached.

And you're right about attention spans. That's definitely a factor too.

I feel like if all you wanted was to improv and do funny voices you could just RP real time and wouldn't need the challenge element from game mechanics. There's no right or wrong in freestyle improv but in a game you should be able to fuck up, do something wrong and die.


Dunno. I think is more that they are too far up their own asses with the politics of it and want to screen people who think alike. Most people would be pretty straightforward with their briefs but wokes have agendas and want to make sure you get that.
There are two reasons.
Firstly, Pure Narrative games don't have name-brand recognition of D&D or even Pathfinder. And that's what a Theater Major really wants, is ass pats and social status and be cool for an audience. And the reason they don't is because without a good resolution mechanics, you're 5 years old in the sandbox saying "Nuh uh!" "Yes uh!" until someone gives in or starts crying. I mean, you should be be in a room filled with actual theater people playing a narrative game with no audience.

The second is that as I told Corn Flake above, they don't want to fail, they just want FEEL like they could fail so they feel good when they succeed. They want that nail biter scene but know that the hero (them) is going to for-sure win. Combine this with people not knowing how to do fucking basic math anymore, and you've got the recipe for them getting really mad when they don't succeed their skill roll.

I like the general rule in Maze Rats for dangerous rolls which is 10+ on a 2d6. No bonuses, the best you get is roll three and keep 2. Everything else is autosuccess of impossible. It makes both players and GMs realize how shitty the odds are and only call for a roll in cases that need it. (I feel the RAW is a bit ague and too general, but it works with the system's goals). 5e just seems to get players primed for only winning.

Regarding the mission statement PDFs, I'll solve the riddle for you.
They are evangelicals spreading the word of Social Justice the Redeemer. Everyone needs to hear Social Justice's the message of universal love and acceptance, lest wicked plans of White Cishet Male to corrupt the minds of everyone and plunge people into the darkness of racism and sexism and trans*/homophobia. Please donate generously to save your soul twitter account from damnation.
They are Jesus Freaks but because Christianity is uncool their Jesus is Tranny Rights.
(They looked into Islam, but what they read they had to double think their way into forgetting right away lest they become islamophobic)

My favorite are those "I walk in room and use perception" people because 75% of the time I just tell people exactly what's in the room anyways. Unless it's dark or there is something. People are used to DMs guarding every little thing as a secret. I've ran games on roll20 where players have tried to "warn" me that they can see enemy HP or my rolls. I've even been "called out" for letting players kill enemies when say, they did 8 damage and it had 10 HP. It's just some shit bug monster ambush that's almost over, who cares if I just let you wrap it up after 4 turns instead of 6?
I had a quote from a GM I heard that I like that went something to tune of
"We are playing pretend. Nothing that happens in the game really matters. The only thing that really matters is the decisions your players make and the consequences of their decisions. When you fudge rolls, you remove that small level of meaning from the game of pretend, so you should never fudge rolls. And when you do fudge your rolls, don't tell your players you did".

There's a level of RAW Dice-slave and then there is a "why are we even bothering to roll dice?", and there's the ideal balance inbetween.
If an enemy is almost dead, I'll think about what the consequences of wrapping the fight up early. If it doesn't matter, I'll just wrap it up. If it does matter, I'll look at the numbers and I've told the fighter before "This monster probably is going to die in two rounds, its not going to attack anyone other than you. If you want to let it make two attacks on you, we'll say its dead and move on"

I do feel like players need to calm the fuck down and try to enjoy the game, whatever it is.
Solid Agree here. Calm down and accept it or leave and find a new game. People have fun in different ways.
 
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Loose Goose

kiwifarms.net
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
So from what i've gathered current D&D is more friendly for the theater nerds wanting to play roles while the oldschool players were more like math nerds who obsess over number crunching?
Returning to this one for a little: the dividing line is not necessarily theater vs. math. Another, maybe even more important one is old AD&D's kind of fantasy, which is focused on action and having adventures where you do a lot of things; and new D&D's kind of fantasy, which is about exploring personalities and setting intricacies, as well as building complicated snowflake characters (math nerds love that stuff, too).

There is enormous difference between "Fred the human Fighter", whose game career has consisted of him looting a series of treasure filled holes and establishing his own barony, and "Ald'you'yll' the dragonborn Blood Hunter", who goes from DM plot to DM plot while fulfilling a prewritten epic destiny in his four page backstory. The first kind of game uses stock characters who may as well be cardboard cutouts (mostly "me, with a battleaxe"), but often has these characters actually doing a whole lot more than the latter kind of game. In really old AD&D, you got most of your levels from plundering treasure. In new editions, it is killing monsters and passing story milestones. That's a whole different ballgame.
 

40 Year Old Boomer

Pasta la vista
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Returning to this one for a little: the dividing line is not necessarily theater vs. math. Another, maybe even more important one is old AD&D's kind of fantasy, which is focused on action and having adventures where you do a lot of things; and new D&D's kind of fantasy, which is about exploring personalities and setting intricacies, as well as building complicated snowflake characters (math nerds love that stuff, too).

There is enormous difference between "Fred the human Fighter", whose game career has consisted of him looting a series of treasure filled holes and establishing his own barony, and "Ald'you'yll' the dragonborn Blood Hunter", who goes from DM plot to DM plot while fulfilling a prewritten epic destiny in his four page backstory. The first kind of game uses stock characters who may as well be cardboard cutouts (mostly "me, with a battleaxe"), but often has these characters actually doing a whole lot more than the latter kind of game. In really old AD&D, you got most of your levels from plundering treasure. In new editions, it is killing monsters and passing story milestones. That's a whole different ballgame.
I never do elaborate back stories for characters even at high level and I encourage my players to do the same. The only time I help them concoct a backstory is if they're playing something weird but still plausible (if improbable), and that seldom goes on for more than a paragraph or two because I don't get too autistic about freak-shit like some people do because it's a goddamn fantasy world (except for a lot of those MtG races but I just hate MtG). I'm of the camp that backstory is levels 1-5. I don't need more than half a page to describe a high level character (Gronk the level 13 half-orc fighter has the folk hero background because people believed he tamed a terrible dragon, but in fact just negotiated a peace between a fairly reasonable and benign gem dragon and the nearby villages that involved its "livestock" getting loose rather than siccing giant spiders on the farmers intentionally). No one in their right mind wants to read a 10+ page story about your level 2 sorcerer. I can't even get these fuckers to read the brief cliff notes on my campaign so they know which god is what and why their short stack goblin is going to get filled with arrows at the city gate and her ears taken off for a 2 gold bounty ffs, so fuck off with the tl;dr (maybe including this long ass post).
 

AngeloTheWizard

Bringer of amusing Let's Sperg threads
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Changing Breeds. One canon explanation for how a CB is born is humans fucking animals. Fans of WW always joked about the book and shapeshifters generally because of how they seemed designed to attract animal-fuckers and otherkin.
I attempted to review that a while ago. Changing Breeds is BAD, on all fronts.
 

Adamska

Last Gunman
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Changing Breeds. One canon explanation for how a CB is born is humans fucking animals. Fans of WW always joked about the book and shapeshifters generally because of how they seemed designed to attract animal-fuckers and otherkin.
Oh this.

Yeah, the book is terrible and is essentially Phil being an utter degenerate. It's actually Onyx Path that made the mistake of letting Phil and his cronies write that book in like 8 months, essentially because War Against the Pure was so popular and there was a lot of interest in playing other shifters. I had strong impressions that Phil really fucking hated WtF (Werewolf the Forsaken, Onyx Path's take), and tried to shove Old Werewolf into it along with his fetishes.

It's in my top 10 worst books I've read hands down. Just play War Against the Pure; it does other shifters but a lot more fun and interesting.

Even did a three part stream of that fictive suicide.
 

Corn Flakes

Battle Creek's Finest
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Apr 25, 2020
@Ghostse
Can't quote the post and to be honest I think we're agreeing past each other on most issues.

The big thing for me isn't anything with regards to rules. The rules can go hang. The books are never good sources for tips on how to play the game, and everybody who sticks with RPGs for any length of time ends up developing their own style.

My point is that while older systems are still out there and still have a few autists interested in playing them, the broader culture we're a part of has changed. The OSR community might be vibrant but it's still tiny compared to all the normies watching Critical Role, and it's the normies that are being catered to. Let's compare and contrast:

Back in 2001, you had to be a pretty nerdy guy (or girl, however statistically unlikely) to be into D&D. There were very few resources on how to play or how to GM, and the vast majority of them were text-only. Magazines (I still have some old Dragons in storage), fanzines, IRC chatrooms and forums. The only way to actually watch a game being played was to either get into a group yourself, or hope that someone was running a game at the local comicbook store. You had to sit around a table with local people in order to actually play. Youtube didn't exist, social media didn't exist, smartphones didn't exist. So, if you wanted to play, you had to read, nigga, read. Queue up some music on your player of choice and flip through the book.

Fast forward 20 years. Social media is everywhere. Everybody has a video player and a twitter feed in their pocket. Chatrooms you could only access from computers are now available on your phone. Between videos and streams, there are thousands of "how to play the game" tutorials and examples on youtube. You can watch games being played (scripted or not) in real time on Twitch. You can play from the comfort of your own computer, with all the distractions that come with the entire world being just one browser tab away. And that world is vastly more polarized now. Information is everywhere, all of it vying for attention. Geek culture has been commoditized and rendered down for mass consumption. Wizards of the Coast is trying to assert more and more control over how people play their game, while at the same time trying to make GMing more "accessible" by removing responsibilities from the role. The autists who would read the rulebooks top to bottom are still there, for sure, but their numbers haven't really increased all that much. A large chunk of new players are people with attention spans that had been worn down to bloody stumps by modern life, people who need things to go fast, and people who think they already know how the game plays because they watched five episodes of Critical Role.

It's a similar thing as to why World of Warcraft Classic could never recapture the awe of OG 2004 World of Warcraft. People already know how it is. They already have all the information. Everything is at their fingertips. So there's nothing left to do but "play the game" and only skim the quest text for objective markers. That's what's going on in D&D these days. A lot of new people are there to roll the dice and "play" their character. They're not really interested in the world or the story the GM wants to tell, or how their characters fit into it. Because that takes a lot more attention than they can muster for anything without a screen, flashy lights, ever-increasing numbers and generic "epic" music.

(Yes, I'll take my cane, my Coke-bottle glasses and my "ok boomers" now.)

Thankfully it's not all new players. Also thankfully, cultural elements rise and fall. Eventually the entertainment media will move on to suck the life out of a different subculture. The deluge of low-effort PbtA shit pouring out of Kickstarter is a good thing as far as I'm concerned, because it's indicative of a genre reaching its saturation point and heading towards a collapse. And at this point that's what TTRPG needs: a collapse, followed by a restructuring by and for those who stick with it.
 

Ghostse

Gorilla Channel Executive Producer
kiwifarms.net
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
@Ghostse
Can't quote the post and to be honest I think we're agreeing past each other on most issues.

The big thing for me isn't anything with regards to rules. The rules can go hang. The books are never good sources for tips on how to play the game, and everybody who sticks with RPGs for any length of time ends up developing their own style.

I think I get what you're saying. And yeah, I think we're agreeing past each other a bit.

But what set us down this tangent was @LinkinParkxNaruto[AMV] asking if earlier versions were more for Math Nerds and modern versions were more for Theater Majors. While I'll agree for experienced DMs that system doesn't matter, it DOES matter for inexperienced DMs. And most groups don't form with experienced DMs. Most seem to form around some people getting curious about D&D and wanting to play, and one person being the DM - possibly because they DMed before, possibly because they played a few sessions of D&D.

You are right, that's what in the pages is secondary to changes into society, but you can't ignore that as D&D iterates it responds to changes in society and amplifies them. Most people showing up to games want, like you said, constant instant gratification regardless of edition or system. They don't want any work or effort, 5e (and 4e to a somewhat lesser extent) are built to do just that for better or worse. You don't have to run them that way, but that's what they were built to do.

Again, I read those parts of the DMGs not for tips and tricks (though there's the occasional nugget) but because it gives you an idea of what a system is trying to do. It also tells you what an inexperienced GM who gives a shit will be reading and getting told. Because once you have some experience you can get a good idea of what to toss and what to houserule, that DM section tells you what sort of game the rules are expecting you to run. And the game is getting less about heros and more about immortal demi-gods who are avatars of the players.

I also agree with you with WotC trying to commoditize DMs. TBF they did that pretty heavy in 4e with things like Skill Challenges and encounter layouts. For a 4e splat you could really just take turns being the GM for the most part and make it through the module. (This ignores that secret sauce of actually doing more than random rooms to tie a series of encounters together, but I digress)What WotC is doing now is dumbing down their products so they can enforce their bland, tranny-friendly ESG-approved vision of Table Top so they don't have people melting down on twitter about the GM making orcs act like they imagine black people act.


To just generally editorialize an not really responding to anything in your post.
I like having player-driven games. I make the world, set the threats, and enjoy seeing the players go and running amok in it. Its fun to see them react and solve to the things they get thrown at them, and its great to see them get invested in the world and the story. But while no one likes to lose, the Modern Theater major cannot handle any set backs without losing their shit. If it doesn't work the first time the exact way they want it to, it is stupid dumb and broken and you're a "killer DM" (even if no one died). Ditto when consequences for their actions come back to roost (if you don't want the shopkeeper to treat you like an asshole, you maybe shouldn't have been an asshole to them).
 

Emperor Julian

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Oh this.

Yeah, the book is terrible and is essentially Phil being an utter degenerate. It's actually Onyx Path that made the mistake of letting Phil and his cronies write that book in like 8 months, essentially because War Against the Pure was so popular and there was a lot of interest in playing other shifters.

War against the pure maintains the wod/CoD tradition of accidently making the protagonists more interesting and colourful than the protagonists, if anything we're lucky they've moved back to ruining wod and we're not going to get an edition were they deliberately sabotage people who want to play the pure.
 

Shaka Brah

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War against the pure maintains the wod/CoD tradition of accidently making the protagonists more interesting and colourful than the protagonists, if anything we're lucky they've moved back to ruining wod and we're not going to get an edition were they deliberately sabotage people who want to play the pure.
Seriously. How did they manage it so many times? Technocracy, Heroes (Beast), and obviously when they still liked fun they released Hunter and the Technocracy sourcebook to satisfy people who liked being antagonists to the main-line splats. Most of the protags in WoD are monsters, so their enemies are largely justified, but they seem to manage to be way cooler too.
 

Emperor Julian

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Seriously. How did they manage it so many times? Technocracy, Heroes (Beast), and obviously when they still liked fun they released Hunter and the Technocracy sourcebook to satisfy people who liked being antagonists to the main-line splats. Most of the protags in WoD are monsters, so their enemies are largely justified, but they seem to manage to be way cooler too.


My personal favourite was Sabbat who did everything the anarchs did but were way more interesting on every level. I can only imagine the level of soy required to favour the Anarchs at the expense of the Sabbat and to a lesser degree the carmarilla in v5 ,It's like replacing the red army with antifa.

How badly they're going to shit the bed with the union is going to be spectacular.
 
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ZMOT

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Now, with this increased focus on making every race and species "nuanced" (read: boring, and just humans with a funny looking model), what's a newer DM to do?
have the party punch up and fight sexism in faerun. that cishet white lord engaging in classism needs to be brought down, adventurers of the forgotten coast unite! it's gonna be epic!
 

Adamska

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Seriously. How did they manage it so many times? Technocracy, Heroes (Beast), and obviously when they still liked fun they released Hunter and the Technocracy sourcebook to satisfy people who liked being antagonists to the main-line splats. Most of the protags in WoD are monsters, so their enemies are largely justified, but they seem to manage to be way cooler too.
Honestly I was a lot more interested in the other shifters in that book. The Sun Worshipping Bull shifters, the psychotic Yandere Cat Shifters, the Alien disease like roach shifters, and much more were a lot more interesting IMO.

Also Changing Breeds has two good sections: The Bird shifters, namely the hummingbird shifters were bad-ass. They were neo-Aztec Death Cultists and terrorists. Also Old Man Possum. He's a treasure. The rest of the book can burn and fuck it existing.
 

Shaka Brah

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Honestly I was a lot more interested in the other shifters in that book. The Sun Worshipping Bull shifters, the psychotic Yandere Cat Shifters, the Alien disease like roach shifters, and much more were a lot more interesting IMO.

Also Changing Breeds has two good sections: The Bird shifters, namely the hummingbird shifters were bad-ass. They were neo-Aztec Death Cultists and terrorists. Also Old Man Possum. He's a treasure. The rest of the book can burn and fuck it existing.
You gotta give it to the guy, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to fuck up on such a grand scale if he wasn't capable of making good content sometimes.
 

Adamska

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You gotta give it to the guy, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to fuck up on such a grand scale if he wasn't capable of making good content sometimes.
Phil didn't write those sections; it was one of the other guys, and I think they were the only non-crony he had in the group since they tried to make the hummingbirds interesting and not filled with cum and badly designed stats. Phil NEVER touched War Against the Pure, he was only tapped to write by Onyx Path Changing Breeds.

Actually, the more I read Phil's work, the more I honestly believe that he isn't that good and White Wolf was smart in firing him for being too nutty. Seriously, they made like a wanted poster that described him as a lunatic at one point, and I don't blame them. I mean hey, maybe if I reread his contributions to Mage I'll remember why he was hired, but they never should let him write anything involving werewolves.
 

Adamska

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In my personal estimation he singlehandedly turned Mage 20 into a flaming pile of garbage, but I'm ornery like that.
Oh yeah he made that one.

I remember trying to read it and finding it very cluttered years ago. I've not touched it since my time STing for VtM games, which was a good while ago, so I'd like to try it out again to confirm.

If my old memories stand, then well fuck, Phil was mostly useless.
 
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