What Was Gygax Thinking?

CRKrueger

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Well, we disagree about that, but that shouldn't surprise either of us at this point. I find your use of truthful there pretty odd considering I can't see how you could even imagine that the 'truth' of the OSR is your to confirm, but that's probably a whole other thread. When the various developers of OSR properties went digging into the tickle trunk of historical D&D they were doing it when D&D3 was the current version, and make no mistake, a distaste or dissatisfaction with the current state of the game was an important part of that process. This isn't more obvious than when you see that across the breadth of the OSR you don't see 3E as a baseline or even a subtle influence. You do see what might be described as reimagined 3E elsewhere, but not in the OSR. In the OSR 3E is luminously present by its very absence. The OSR didn't develop in a bubble, but in the context of 3E as the dominant D&D of the day.
Eh, technically, “OSR” started being bandied about after the 2003 release of 3.5. and really ramped up after the release of 4e in 2008 (and the yanking of all the TSR PDFs). WotC tried to move on from the OGL and memory hole TSR and well…Paizo took over the #1 spot.

In 2000-2002, there wasn’t this big push to reproduce TSR-D&D, the people playing it - just kept playing it.
 

CRKrueger

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Alright.




Definitions of evolution include




and



and



and



None of those definitions support Tristram's notion that it means going from simple to complex, and only one of them supports his notion that it has to be gradual.

Both Tristram and Fenris have completely misunderstood the concept of evolution.
And none of those 4 definitions apply in any way, shape or form to RPGs.
 

CRKrueger

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Could anyone expand on this a bit? I've been using OSR as synonymous with look at older games and what-might-have-beens in RPG design and playstyle direction.

And yes, I do get that most of that focused on old forms of D&D. But in RPGs, everything inevitably circles back to D&D (cue use of rolleyes).

Is OSR now considered to only be a subset of a subset of of retro/revival RPGing?

If it is, how is it differentiated?
OSR is not an “old school renaissance”, it’s a “D&D Revival”. Interest in RQ1 or Traveller LBB is not “OSR”, even though such interest would match an “old school renaissance”.

Think of OSR as a kind of brand name of “people who publish stuff based on TSR-era D&D”. This is sometimes referred to as capital or upper case OSR, while the interest in older RPGs in general is lowercase osr.
 

CRKrueger

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Gygax clearly didn’t like nuts and bolts procedural stuff and thought it should all just be made up in the moment by the DM based on their judgment calls, so in OD&D he just glossed over most of it with vague instructions to refer to other games (Chainmail or Outdoor Survival) or assign a 1 or 2 in 6 chance for various things. But the audience wanted hard & fast rules and explanations for that stuff so even though he resented it and thought it should all be intuitively obvious to the readers just like it was to him, in AD&D he nonetheless tried to provide it. However he wasn’t good at either codifying or (especially) explaining that stuff so he did so grudgingly and with the result that those rules are mostly a big nigh-incomprehensible mess with tons of weird ellipses and contradictions and odd fiddly special case rules that were likely only used at his actual table once (if ever). That’s why the best parts of the AD&D rules are where he leaves the mechanics aside and goes off into tangential philosophical essays.

Where his heart lay, what he enjoyed and was good at creating, was Stuff - character classes and spells and monsters and magic items - with lots of flavor and some bespoke mechanical elements. He had a great intuitive sense for how to take some idea from a book or movie or plastic toy (or, more controversially, something suggested by a fan or ostensible collaborator) and tweak it into something that would fit and work in the context of his game-universe. That plus creating fantasy locations with evocative descriptions and detailed maps and orders of battle, intriguing places and situations you can easily picture in your mind’s eye and that feel less like pure game constructs than something plucked out of an alternate world.

That’s presumably why he was seemingly always seeking out assistant/collaborators who would handle the nuts and bolts crunchy procedural stuff so he didn’t have to be bothered with it - Arneson and Kuntz and Schick and Lakofka and Mentzer and Cook and Grubb and so on. The problem there is that while he wanted them to do that work he didn’t want to share credit or royalties with them…

In a perfect world Gygax would have set aside some of his ego/greed to collaborate with someone who was really good at that “physics engine” procedural stuff - someone like a Steve Perrin or Frank Chadwick or Greg Costikyan - producing a merger of a solid and well-explained mechanical base plus all of his imaginative Stuff layered on top.
Gary wasn’t really a game designer in the beginning, he was just a DIY DM.
His explanations of “How to do something” could be downright incomprehensible.
His explanations of “What to do” and most importantly the long-winded, High Gygaxian “Why you do them” are still some of the best.
 

Sharrow

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Then it was obviously further that. I can't remember the exact distance.

Probably what happened was that it was too far to jump via the rules, so the DM allowed a roll to do it anyway.
The rules say the DM might set a DC to jump more than your normal distance.
 

CRKrueger

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I'm apparently one of the few fans of the later Mouser/Fafhrd stories. I think Leiber was going deeper and darker in those stories.

'The Mouser Goes Below' I consider one of his best.

Swords of Lankhmar I consider his most perverse and best of the series, only challenged by the pitch perfect 'Lean Times in Lankhmar.'
Nah, they are quite beloved. I'm not even a sword & sorcery fiction fan in general, and I own a complete set of the Lankhmar stories.

I never thought D&D did them much justice though.
Lean Times in Lankhmar is probably my #1 favorite piece of fantasy fiction, and one of my favorite short stories of any genre.
Aye, the later Twain stories are very good. Lean Times in Lankhmar is one of the quintessential S&S stories.

I don’t think D&D does Fafhrd and Mouser well, just like it’s not that great doing Conan. Mythras with a quite liberal addition of ideas from across the d100 sphere is the best for both I think.
 

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I've never even heard of anyone using it. The misapprehension of natural 20s always succeeding is far more common. I see people talking about unironically houseruling in critical fumbles on 1s as a "good idea" more often than I've seen that thing even get mentioned on the internet. Its practically the platonic ideal of a waste of space.

Not hearing about something on the interwebs doesn't mean someone isn't using it.

How could anyone measure the use of an optional rule?
 

Voros

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Aside from “The Mouser Goes Below”, the other story in the later collections that I think has limited appeal/acceptance is “Rime Isle”. It’s certainly one I didn’t care for, and not just because of the “edgy” elements. It does have one or two interesting developments in the overall saga of the main characters, though.

I remember very much enjoying “The Frost Monstreme” and “The Curse of the Smalls and the Stars”.

I don't recall what would be edgy in 'Rime Isle' but it has been a while since I read the collection. Perhaps it didn't stick out for me, Leiber was dealing with perverse sexual themes as far back as Coming Attraction in 1950 and was most overt with them in Swords of Lankhmar.
 

TristramEvans

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Aye, the later Twain stories are very good. Lean Times in Lankhmar is one of the quintessential S&S stories.

I don’t think D&D does Fafhrd and Mouser well, just like it’s not that great doing Conan. Mythras with a quite liberal addition of ideas from across the d100 sphere is the best for both I think.

A Mythras Lankhmar could be a thing of beauty.
 

Arminius

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I don't recall what would be edgy in 'Rime Isle' but it has been a while since I read the collection.
Some of what I thought I remembered was actually in the following book, but in “Rime Isle” there’s a theme regarding how Odin interacts with the little girls on the island. The way that Fafhrd ultimately deals with Odin’s plans (?) somewhat redeems the subplot, but not entirely.
 

migo

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Ok. Then no, I disagree too. But then I think almost nothing is a worse idea to get people to move away from D&D than using another rule set to try and be D&D. Be your own thing and the players can discover that game and find out if they like the kinds of games the system facilitates. Try to be D&D and you'll just fail, because you'll never be better at being D&D than D&D.
I don't think so. An RPG like D&D should do two things - help you describe a character, and help you describe the actions. D&D does a good job with the first one, but a poor job of the second. Armor making you harder to hit produces a narrative that's a bit disjointed, whereas armor that reduces damage makes an evocative narrative. With the latter system, it's clear when you miss completely, and when your attack is stopped by the armor, and that gets described differently.

A system that lets you describe a D&D character as well as D&D, but produces a better description of actions is a worthwhile shift away from D&D.
 

rumble

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Armor making you harder to hit produces a narrative that's a bit disjointed, whereas armor that reduces damage makes an evocative narrative. With the latter system, it's clear when you miss completely, and when your attack is stopped by the armor, and that gets described differently.
It just occurred to me that this may be a result of laziness.

In DND, as a GM, I could go through the trouble of having players figure out
1) their base AC (usually 10),
2) their unarmored AC (with ability bonuses), and
3) their armored AC.

Attack roll results up to range 1 are whiffs, range 1-2 are dodges, range 2-3 are cushioned by the armor, and 3+ find a weakness in the armor.

Of course I don't do this.

It's a matter of effort. Shoving that back into mechanics doesn't entirely solve the problem. But I do acknowledge it can be a stepping stone to better GM-ing.
 

AsenRG

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Yes, whether trying to do your best to play RAW is “fun” will vary depending on the group.
Oh, I've tried the D&D/AD&D RAW with various groups...:thumbsup:
As for weapons speed I don’t understand why people make a big thing of it, you only use it in a few situations like tied initiative or against a spell caster casting in melee. Most fights come and go with weapon speed never being used.
Wasn't a big deal for us, either. The reason I didn't stay wasn't related to weapon speeds, I actually found them kinda fun.

I'm apparently one of the few fans of the later Mouser/Fafhrd stories. I think Leiber was going deeper and darker in those stories.
I'm also one of those fans, though I don't necessarily prefer them to the early ones.
I think the authors who write for some time in the same setting finally get around to exploring the more obscure parts of it as well, those nearby and yet hidden from the eye...and what you find in those is seldom nice.
There's a reason those part are ignored pointedly by many NPCs living there...:shade:

Nah, they are quite beloved. I'm not even a sword & sorcery fiction fan in general, and I own a complete set of the Lankhmar stories.

I never thought D&D did them much justice though.
Agreed. Especially the Gray Mouser would be frigging hard to model in the system. It's why I've never read my KS rewards from the DCC Lankhmar's KS...OK, that and laziness/constantly getting to other books first:grin:!
 

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It just occurred to me that this may be a result of laziness.

In DND, as a GM, I could go through the trouble of having players figure out
1) their base AC (usually 10),
2) their unarmored AC (with ability bonuses), and
3) their armored AC.

Attack roll results up to range 1 are whiffs, range 1-2 are dodges, range 2-3 are cushioned by the armor, and 3+ find a weakness in the armor.

Of course I don't do this.

It's a matter of effort. Shoving that back into mechanics doesn't entirely solve the problem. But I do acknowledge it can be a stepping stone to better GM-ing.
Sure, you can, but the GM already has to account for all the enemies in the combat, so there's a lot to keep track of.

And then you get to hit points, which are just weird. Nobody can agree on exactly what they're supposed to be. Up until the end of 3.5, it's pretty clear that mechanically hit points are capacity to take physical damage, but they're supposed to be abstract. Then you have the thing of being in perfect fighting shape down to 1hp, and then out of the fight or dead at 0hp. Which would make sense if hit points are abstract, but then why do you need magical healing to recover them?

4e tried to fix it a little, introducing 'bloodied', and also making the abstraction actually function abstractly, but overall that didn't improve the description.

Compare that to HârnMaster, where the effects are clearly described. You know what happened in the fight.

Hit points and hit dice weren't introduced for any kind of verisimilitude, they came in for purely game reasons. Hit dice initially because players didn't like that they could be taken out with one hit while enemies could absorb multiple hits. And then hit points because Gary wanted a pacing mechanic, that the fight wouldn't drag on forever but it also wouldn't be over too quickly. It works, but in a skirmish wargame or board game sense.

And there's a reason that a lot of early D&D offshoots specifically addressed this problem. It wasn't just about making combat more realistic, but also about making combat more evocative.
 

rumble

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And then hit points because Gary wanted a pacing mechanic,
I think you nailed it here. Hit points are just a timer for a character participation in the story. Injuries don't matter, fatigue doesn't matter. You're either in the fray or you're not.

In game, "healing" could be actual healing, or it could be just resetting your plot durability. Unless you play a game that takes your character out of play for weeks after major injuries, your damage simulation is cinematic, no?

I'm afraid I've never never played any "-Master" game. The referential load has always been too high.
 

AsenRG

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I really wish he wasn't so ubiquitous. His work is not to my taste at all.
Yeah. Not bad, just...forgettable?

This thread is starting to creep into get off my lawn territory
'Tis the Pub!

WotC is operating on the paradigm that the market is of a fixed size and won't expand much or they wouldn't be trying to maximize what they get out of each player.
WotC's market, probably shrinking these days...:grin:
The market of any other game company? Expanding.

High Fantasy built their combat system around the idea that you had a 100% chance to hit at first level and then applied difficulties and resistance to that to find the actual change. I've always wondered why they didn't carry that through into their skill system. But then that was just a list of maybe 20 things that you rolled percentile for and that roll was your rating.
...tell us more?

Not that weird, the 5e Fighter is jumping wearing armor, a backpack, weapons etc. So the jumping distance is shorter than the long jump world record because we’re not playing athletes wearing almost nothing and jumping into a sand pit. If you ever do get into such a competition with your Fighter, that’s absolutely a point where I’d say “roll Athletics to see how much further you jump than your regular jumping distance”. But that’s not the kind of jump I want the jumping rules in an action adventure game to be based on.
I'd bet on the far more likely "nobody writing those rules knew what the world record for long jump was, nobody bothered to check, and everyone was more interested in how that would fit the 5-feet squares than how it would represent the conditioning of PCs", myself...:angel:
 

TJS

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I'd bet on the far more likely "nobody writing those rules knew what the world record for long jump was, nobody bothered to check, and everyone was more interested in how that would fit the 5-feet squares than how it would represent the conditioning of PCs", myself...:angel:
The main reason we looked it up partly to see if the rules were reasonable, and partly because of the incongruity of a Fighter of a reasonably high level (I think about 8) being limited in such a way, when everybody else could teleport further than that with little bother*.

There's an argument to be made that if everyone else can flick around between time and space then maybe the Fighter might be able to at least match the peak of human achievement, if not exceed it at a certain point. (Although personally I think I'd just ban the teleport spell.) That's what we ended up discussing more than anything as it forced us to consider what an 8th level Fighter was supposed to be.

So in the end the realistic human scale fighter failed to jump over the pool of acid, fell in, lost some hit points, climbed out, and continued adventuring :smile:

*Misty Step is a 2nd level spell that allows the caster to teleport 30 feet. And for some reason over the course of 5e the designers have decided it is to be given out like candy to a host of different subclasses and easily picked up through a feat.
 

robertsconley

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Eh, technically, “OSR” started being bandied about after the 2003 release of 3.5. and really ramped up after the release of 4e in 2008 (and the yanking of all the TSR PDFs). WotC tried to move on from the OGL and memory hole TSR and well…Paizo took over the #1 spot.

In 2000-2002, there wasn’t this big push to reproduce TSR-D&D, the people playing it - just kept playing it.
2005 for Old School renaissance

My blog post documenting it

OSR was a lot later and was largely a result of the OSR storefront on lulu around 2010.

The reason I made that post was that even as early as late 2009 people were forgetting the origin of the term.
 
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raniE

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Yeah. Not bad, just...forgettable?


'Tis the Pub!


WotC's market, probably shrinking these days...:grin:
The market of any other game company? Expanding.


...tell us more?


I'd bet on the far more likely "nobody writing those rules knew what the world record for long jump was, nobody bothered to check, and everyone was more interested in how that would fit the 5-feet squares than how it would represent the conditioning of PCs", myself...:angel:
I don’t think so at all. The world record for long jumping is irrelevant because that’s not the kind of jumping anyone is doing in an adventure situation. Same with the world record for high jumping. If you want to see if you can jump up to grab a ledge, how high a stick someone can Fosbury flop over to land head first in a mattress is irrelevant.
 

raniE

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I don't think so. An RPG like D&D should do two things - help you describe a character, and help you describe the actions. D&D does a good job with the first one, but a poor job of the second. Armor making you harder to hit produces a narrative that's a bit disjointed, whereas armor that reduces damage makes an evocative narrative. With the latter system, it's clear when you miss completely, and when your attack is stopped by the armor, and that gets described differently.

A system that lets you describe a D&D character as well as D&D, but produces a better description of actions is a worthwhile shift away from D&D.
I disagree. The armor class system from D&D doesn’t make you harder to hit it makes you harder to damage. It produces reasonable results most of the time. Armor as damage reduction usually makes a two handed sword a better anti armor weapon than a mace or a rondel dagger. To me, that’s a worse system.

The game will also play differently than D&D, yet still be trying to present itself as D&D. Then, D&D stuff doesn’t work, so your system is worse at being D&D than D&D is. This won’t make most people go “yeah, this is what I want” but “why don’t I just play D&D then”. To get someone out of the D&D bubble, present your game by playing to its strengths. Your game’s strength will almost certainly not be “being D&D”. That’s not BRP’s strength, nor GURPS’s.
 

migo

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I disagree. The armor class system from D&D doesn’t make you harder to hit it makes you harder to damage. It produces reasonable results most of the time. Armor as damage reduction usually makes a two handed sword a better anti armor weapon than a mace or a rondel dagger. To me, that’s a worse system.

The game will also play differently than D&D, yet still be trying to present itself as D&D. Then, D&D stuff doesn’t work, so your system is worse at being D&D than D&D is. This won’t make most people go “yeah, this is what I want” but “why don’t I just play D&D then”. To get someone out of the D&D bubble, present your game by playing to its strengths. Your game’s strength will almost certainly not be “being D&D”. That’s not BRP’s strength, nor GURPS’s.
You're completely missing the point. It's about how you describe it. When people talk about it, it's "I hit" or "you miss". It's not, "my sword clashes into his breastplate, doing no damage to him", if you do roll a hit, but roll low on damage it's not going to be "your sword hits into his arm, bruising him, but not cutting through his chainmail". You certainly can narrate it like that, the system doesn't prevent it, but it does absolutely nothing to support or encourage it. For the effort you have to put in to have a good narration of a fight using D&D, you might as well free-form it and not worry about game mechanics at all. The narration in D&D is "I hit...3 damage" "he misses" "she hits, critical, confirmed...18 damage". That's fine game mechanics but it's a shit description of a fight.

An alternate system is better than D&D at being D&D because it achieves what people thought D&D would be before they actually played it.
 

raniE

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You're completely missing the point. It's about how you describe it. When people talk about it, it's "I hit" or "you miss". It's not, "my sword clashes into his breastplate, doing no damage to him", if you do roll a hit, but roll low on damage it's not going to be "your sword hits into his arm, bruising him, but not cutting through his chainmail". You certainly can narrate it like that, the system doesn't prevent it, but it does absolutely nothing to support or encourage it. For the effort you have to put in to have a good narration of a fight using D&D, you might as well free-form it and not worry about game mechanics at all. The narration in D&D is "I hit...3 damage" "he misses" "she hits, critical, confirmed...18 damage". That's fine game mechanics but it's a shit description of a fight.

An alternate system is better than D&D at being D&D because it achieves what people thought D&D would be before they actually played it.
There’s absolutely no difference there between D&D and any other system. Any rule set can be described in a shit way. “Regular hit. Regular parry.” “I hit. Parry fails. 3 damage. Does not go through armor.” So no, this is incorrect because the descriptions of what’s happening being good or bad are almost completely disconnected from what game system you’re using.

RPGs all require player skill, because describing what is happening or what a character is doing in an interesting way is a skill, and it is generally disconnected from the actual game rules being used.
 

Fenris-77

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Eh, technically, “OSR” started being bandied about after the 2003 release of 3.5. and really ramped up after the release of 4e in 2008 (and the yanking of all the TSR PDFs). WotC tried to move on from the OGL and memory hole TSR and well…Paizo took over the #1 spot.

In 2000-2002, there wasn’t this big push to reproduce TSR-D&D, the people playing it - just kept playing it.
I was smooshing 3 and 3.5 together in terms of dates. The fact that the first OSR rules sets were developed while 3.X was dominant remains true. You are 100% correct that the boondoggle with 4E really pushed things along though, no doubt. Interestingly, since Pathfinder was more popular than 4E, there's an argument to be made that even post 4E release that 3.X was still the dominant form at the time.
 

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Telok, I want to say I do understand your complaint about WotC not communicating well to new GMs many things. There's a lot of rules and a few light gameplay examples, but not enough narrator dialogue with the reader on: how to play, what really matters in play, how elements integrate with the fiction, and overall social gathering. Further, adventures on the whole were inconsistent for introducing concepts. e.g. Those starting AL adventures were a hodgepodge of good starters, shameful quests for power leveling tourney PCs, and outright mad scrawling free from editorial oversight... and it only got worse past season 1).

For example, what I deem a very CCG-esque WotC-ism is how several keyword rules are buried in one chapter yet have ramifications elsewhere. But then you have to have read the entire book cover to cover, and know when effects from one chapter interact with another chapter. That said 5e IS an improvement from their writing in this issue over their previous editions -- and is better than my experiences in PF1.

When mechanics become widgets and can combine in strange ways you are thinking more like a deck builder than an emcee hosting a party. And in this (almost competitive?) mental framework you can really lose novices who aren't prepared for that level of (munchkin :wink: ) analysis and synthesis. It has very real effects on the permeability of the material. It's an old complaint of mine that they HAVE been improving on, but is still noticeable.
 

CRKrueger

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Telok, I want to say I do understand your complaint about WotC not communicating well to new GMs many things. There's a lot of rules and a few light gameplay examples, but not enough narrator dialogue with the reader on: how to play, what really matters in play, how elements integrate with the fiction, and overall social gathering. Further, adventures on the whole were inconsistent for introducing concepts. e.g. Those starting AL adventures were a hodgepodge of good starters, shameful quests for power leveling tourney PCs, and outright mad scrawling free from editorial oversight... and it only got worse past season 1).

For example, what I deem a very CCG-esque WotC-ism is how several keyword rules are buried in one chapter yet have ramifications elsewhere. But then you have to have read the entire book cover to cover, and know when effects from one chapter interact with another chapter. That said 5e IS an improvement from their writing in this issue over their previous editions -- and is better than my experiences in PF1.

When mechanics become widgets and can combine in strange ways you are thinking more like a deck builder than an emcee hosting a party. And in this (almost competitive?) mental framework you can really lose novices who aren't prepared for that level of (munchkin :wink: ) analysis and synthesis. It has very real effects on the permeability of the material. It's an old complaint of mine that they HAVE been improving on, but is still noticeable.
I think part of the issue with what Telok Telok was describing is that, true, WotC always was pretty shit at GMing advice, but the main reason I think is that he had a new GM and experienced players. They did what experienced players do…ie, whatever they feel like, and typically not what the GM expects and certainly not what module writers expect.

In the 90’s me and my best friend usually GM’d and one of my players wanted to try out GMing. So he ran a little homemade adventure for just the two of us. We basically avoided a ton of stuff, shot straight through to the objective and got out clean. We weren’t trying to undo his adventure or anything, but were experienced players and he’d been expecting the adventure to go one way, and of course, what we did wasn’t remotely like that. He knew the rules and didn’t flail about, he was just surprised how easily we “beat” the adventure.

After that, I‘ve tried to take it a little easy on new GM’s and rein in some of the “outside the box” stuff until they get their feet under them. At some point, you have to take off the kid gloves, but maybe not the first adventure.
 

AsenRG

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The main reason we looked it up partly to see if the rules were reasonable, and partly because of the incongruity of a Fighter of a reasonably high level (I think about 8) being limited in such a way, when everybody else could teleport further than that with little bother*.

There's an argument to be made that if everyone else can flick around between time and space then maybe the Fighter might be able to at least match the peak of human achievement, if not exceed it at a certain point. (Although personally I think I'd just ban the teleport spell.) That's what we ended up discussing more than anything as it forced us to consider what an 8th level Fighter was supposed to be.
Well, people were discussing at what point Fighters should exceed the peak human potential.
IMO, I'd agree that 8th level is a good number, partly to give some "super levels" to DCC and other OSR systems who reduce the levels to 10, and partly because of the infinity symbol:thumbsup:.

So in the end the realistic human scale fighter failed to jump over the pool of acid, fell in, lost some hit points, climbed out, and continued adventuring :smile:
..."It's just a flesh wound!"
"All over your body, Sir Knight?"
"It's all flesh, right?"

Why is the Fighter, supposedly the most skillful class, the poster boy (or girl, whatever) for "punchbag class", however, I'd never know. But I blame LFQWs.

*Misty Step is a 2nd level spell that allows the caster to teleport 30 feet. And for some reason over the course of 5e the designers have decided it is to be given out like candy to a host of different subclasses and easily picked up through a feat.
Yeah...compare and contrast with my regular warning to newer GMs:
"Don't offer me to pick invisibility, time control or teleport. If you see me doing that, keep in mind that this campaign has probably been going on for too long...or approach me about retiring the character".

I don’t think so at all. The world record for long jumping is irrelevant because that’s not the kind of jumping anyone is doing in an adventure situation. Same with the world record for high jumping. If you want to see if you can jump up to grab a ledge, how high a stick someone can Fosbury flop over to land head first in a mattress is irrelevant.
Sure, but my point is that you're giving too much credit to WotC's design process when it comes to comparing the abilities of PCs to real-world athletes:thumbsup:!
Basically, I doubt that they referenced them even once. What was done in the latest movies, however, was probably referenced more than once.


BTW, who else thinks that there would be stills from the D&D movie in DnDone's books?
 
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T. Foster

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Eh, technically, “OSR” started being bandied about after the 2003 release of 3.5. and really ramped up after the release of 4e in 2008 (and the yanking of all the TSR PDFs). WotC tried to move on from the OGL and memory hole TSR and well…Paizo took over the #1 spot.

In 2000-2002, there wasn’t this big push to reproduce TSR-D&D, the people playing it - just kept playing it.
People in 2000-02 (or at least 01-02) were definitely talking about using the d20 license and/or Hackmaster to create new de-facto 1E adventures - it was a big topic of discussion on Rob Kuntz’s old Proboard forum site (somewhat ironically, since Rob himself insisted d20 was the way forward and trying to stick with the old system made no commercial sense). But you’re right that the idea of creating not just new adventures but a whole new/old system didn’t really come up until TLG announced Casties & Crusades in 2003, and while the initial sales pitch for that was that it was going to bring back an “AD&D-like” system (and allow Gary to publish Castle Zagyg, after his deal to do it for Hackmaster through KenzerCo fell apart in 02) I’m sure the motivation on the TLG side was as much or more about getting out from under the thumb of WotC in the wake of the 3.5 fiasco.
 

raniE

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Well, people were discussing at what point Fighters should exceed the peak human potential.
IMO, I'd agree that 8th level is a good number, partly to give some "super levels" to DCC and other OSR systems who reduce the levels to 10, and partly because of the infinity symbol:thumbsup:.

At level 8, the typical strength and athletics focused fighter can make a running long jump of 25 feet while wearing full plate, carrying a weapon and a shield and landing standing up on a stone floor. That's without having to roll an Athletics check, but then Bob Beamon and Mike Powell couldn't consistently hit 29 feet either, and that was in athletics wear and jumping into a sand pit. The 8th level fighter can also broad jump 10 feet, again in full armor (the world record is slightly over 12 feet, and set after 5e was written) This 8th level strength focused fighter can do a running high jump of 8 feet (basically the world record) only it isn't a Fosbury flop jump, 8 feet up is where the fighter's feet are while his body is fully upright and his arms can reach up. His standing high jump is 4 feet straight up, again that's the position of the feet while the body can be extended straight upward. And this is again without rolling any athletics checks, this is routine. An 8th level strength focused champion fighter in D&D 5e absolutely exceeds peak human potential.

Sure, but my point is that you're giving too much credit to WotC's design process when it comes to comparing the abilities of PCs to real-world athletes:thumbsup:!
Basically, I doubt that they referenced them even once. What was done in the latest movies, however, was probably referenced more than once.

What is it that gives you that impression? Are you basing this on anything except your dislike of D&D?

BTW, who else thinks that there would be stills from the D&D movie in DnDone's books?
I think probably not. Maybe specific tie in books, but not the main stuff, no.
 

Baulderstone

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Which was incidentally Wizards' first strike in dealing with 3pp.
Every edition since then has been a strike, not just for them, but for WotC. TSR went 25 years without making an edition that broke general backwards compatibility with their other editions. B/X and BECMI could be in production alongside AD&D 1 and 2E because gamers generally mixed and matched between them.

I see the short-sighted sense of thinking if you keep coming up with new incompatible versions, you can sell everyone the Forgotten Realms all over again,. but every time you do it is an opening for someone to split and steal a good part of your customer base.
 

AsenRG

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At level 8, the typical strength and athletics focused fighter can make a running long jump of 25 feet while wearing full plate, carrying a weapon and a shield and landing standing up on a stone floor. That's without having to roll an Athletics check, but then Bob Beamon and Mike Powell couldn't consistently hit 29 feet either, and that was in athletics wear and jumping into a sand pit. The 8th level fighter can also broad jump 10 feet, again in full armor (the world record is slightly over 12 feet, and set after 5e was written) This 8th level strength focused fighter can do a running high jump of 8 feet (basically the world record) only it isn't a Fosbury flop jump, 8 feet up is where the fighter's feet are while his body is fully upright and his arms can reach up. His standing high jump is 4 feet straight up, again that's the position of the feet while the body can be extended straight upward. And this is again without rolling any athletics checks, this is routine. An 8th level strength focused champion fighter in D&D 5e absolutely exceeds peak human potential.
So you're saying that 5e is supporting my assessment? I was actually basing it more on "a Fighter in the old editions deals an extra attack to every opponent around him" and other such things, but I'm glad 5e actually agrees for once.
What is it that gives you that impression? Are you basing this on anything except your dislike of D&D?
The bone-headed DC table coupled with lack of examples, actually, coupled with my opinion of corporations in general...and also the fact that the whole edition seems to be based around the assumption of everybody having loads of magic&magic items by the levels where the numbers you pointed above would become relevant:grin:!
I mean, all the other classes had Misty Step or equivalent, right? The only "problem" was that the fighter didn't have a Ring of Misty Step, 5/day, or the like...:devil:

I've had a GMing friend commenting on the table a couple years ago, BTW. He likes D&D a lot more than me, and he was...less charitable than I would have been. So it kinda stuck in my memory.

Also, it's not about D&D, it's more about WotC. I mean, their designers are the ones who gave almost all the classes Misty Step, not me...right?
(I'd have given it to all classes, so we know it's not me:gunslinger:).

I suspect Keving Crawford's games, as a counterexample, would have better-researched DCs and better balance that wouldn't leave the Fighter in the acid-filled ditch. In fact, I remember that the DCs worked fine when I tried to run Scarlet Heroes.

Same for DCC, which I've experienced from both sides of the screen. And I've never used his system, but I believe our robertsconley robertsconley would also have better rules in the area (and doesn't give "free teleport" to almost all classes).

I think probably not. Maybe specific tie in books, but not the main stuff, no.
Well, maybe it's just me. I guess we'll see...well, those few of us that would take a look at it.
 

Telok

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I think part of the issue with what Telok Telok was describing is that, true, WotC always was pretty shit at GMing advice, but the main reason I think is that he had a new GM and experienced players. They did what experienced players do…ie, whatever they feel like, and typically not what the GM expects and certainly not what module writers expect.
Well, we started out nice. One we were using pregens from the module itself, another the only caster was a fighter 1/bard 1, one group started as nothing but fighters & healer clerics. We never got creative with spells, always sticking to basic uses (though 3x heat metal spells is just horrid on a low level fight with three humanoid armor wearers), we followed the plot hooks and obvious paths like good little train cars. It's just that a default style party with nothing but -1 to +2 in everything but athletics & insight (which never got rolled anyways because I don't think the DMs knew what to do with it) and facing dcs of 13 and 15 is... I mean, outside combat the entire party makes the Three Stooges look like highly competent experts.

Yeah, the sort of natural reaction to "my now-dead fighter failed 3/4 noncombat rolls and even a +7 thief is looking at 1/3 fails or more" is looking at options and seeing that spells just work within their defined limits. Even one of those novice DMs noted that for adventurers we were a bunch of incompetent bumblers, but he thought that since the module had the dcs and the normal/medium/middle dc in the chart was 15 then the 13s were 'going light on us' and maybe it was supposed to be that way.

Like in my Dungeons the Dragoning home rule version I stuck an appendix on the pdf explicitly talking about how iterative probability worked and why its bad to call for multi-rolls a lot of the time. It explicitly says the game is in the "action movie hero" style, not to roll for driving a car unless a killer clown biker gang has thrown baskets of rabid weasels in your lap and thats still just a tn 15 check (translate to d&d 5e about a dc 11 or 12). I put in a pic of someone on a bike jumping an exploding bridge while a fighter jet shot missiles at him and said that sort of thing is stll target number 15 or maybe 20 at max.

Writing for rpgs you can't assume native English speakers, you can't assume any comprehension of probability & statistics, you can't assume everyone say the same movies & read the same books you did, you can't assume some 20 year gaming veteran helping the novices, and you can't assume people are going to go watch random internet videos to learn how to play your book & text based game.


Apologies. /rant. It's a sore point with me.
 

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Same for DCC, which I've experienced from both sides of the screen. And I've never used his system, but I believe our robertsconley robertsconley would also have better rules in the area (and doesn't give "free teleport" to almost all classes).
I appreciate the vote of confidence and no I don't give out teleport as a class ability. As for the debate between you and raniE raniE, you are both right and wrong about 5e.

With OD&D, characters don't have much differentiation. Outside of combat and spellcasting not a lot distinguishes one character from another. Even with combat and spellcasting, especially with just the 3 LBB, there isn't a lot of difference in capability except when you start going beyond 9th level when magic-user and to a lesser extent clerics really come into their own. But even then, if fighters have magic items they gain some options.

Keep in mind this is not an oversight. What later editions do with feats and selectable class abilities, OD&D does with magic items for all classes. It not supposed to work with zero magic items being handed out. Nor it is supposed to be monty haul either.

Flipping it back to 5e, broadly speaking the power curve and character capabilities mirror that of OD&D. I know because I was running my Majestic Fantasy RPG campaign (which is based on S&W which is based on OD&D) alongside a 5e campaign. Multiple times, since 2015 I ran three 5e campaigns, and now in the midst of my fourth MF RPG campaign.

But how 5e does that is very different than how OD&D does it. They ramped up the hit points to allow variety in the way that damage is dealt. Of course, no system is perfect so particular options and particular supplements can screw this up for both OD&D and 5e.

To me, the flaws of 5e is that they put way too much thought into how it functions as a game and not how it reflects the life of a D&Dish vaguely medieval fantasy setting. The stuff outside of spellcasting and combat even now is pretty thin on the mechanics. Plus Wizards opted to spread all of it over 20 levels worth of advancement.


OD&D doesn't really do that in its rules either but there Gygax wrote it for an audience that knew how to handle that stuff. He focused on the stuff that he felt people didn't know about. Of course, it quickly escaped that audience leading to TSR being bombarded with questions all the time.

My thing with the Majestic Fantasy RPG is to think of how I want my setting to work whether it is spellcasting, combat, or something else. And then come up with some piece of advice, rules, or aid to make that happen in terms compatible with Swords & Wizardry. It embodies my philosophy of describing first, and roll second. And that player is allowed to attempt anything in the campaign that their character could as if I was standing there witnessing the action. Even if it isn't formally described in the system.

Hence my annoying use of basket-weaving in my examples. :tongue:

D&D 5e doesn't do this, instead it is about how it plays as a game first with the setting stuff sprinkled on top as flavor. Leading to weirdness like all classes can teleport if they get the right options.

As for how the level spread works in my system I follow this, it is rare that a campaign continues beyond level 12.


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When to make a Ruling
 
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