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  • Originally posted by Iguazu View Post
    If one only knew M:tA version of magik, one could find D&D's version a bit odd.
    Definitely true, all though I think the opposite is the more common experience - people used to the exceptions-based spell system from D&D being exposed to the more freeform casting of Mage for the first time.


    Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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    • Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
      In my opinion, damage types are not inherently interesting. How interesting they are is highly dependent on how the rest of the system utilizes them. They’re just kind of a hook on which to hang other mechanics. 5e, by default, doesn’t really do anything interesting with damage types, and if all you do to “fix” that is slap some extra resistances on some monsters, that’s not really much more interesting. But I do think there are interesting things to be done with them, and I think The Witcher 3 provides a good example of that kind of thing.

      As for other ways to differentiate weapons, it’s tricky. You have to find the right balance between making the differences interesting and meaningful, while keeping the cognitive load low enough to be manageable at the table. And the fact that this is a hack to an existing system makes the cognitive load automatically higher than the same system would be as an original design. I made the decision to limit myself to the weapon properties that already exist in 5e, plus Parry because I needed it to make shields-as-weapons work. And even Parry does actually exist in 5e, it’s just normally a monster ability not a weapon property. And I only put it on shields, even though I could easily have made a parrying dagger, or thrown it on certain polearms or whatever. Because I wanted to keep the complexity of this hack as low as possible.
      To be perfectly honest, I've never felt like the whole preparation thing comes up in Witcher games nearly as much as it's hyped up to. You use the right oil, sometimes the right potions, like anti-toxins when fighting poisonous weapons. So I'm always a mite sceptical when people use it as an example.

      Anyhow, there certainly isn't much to work with in 5E, which is why I prefer to cut the weapons list down instead of adding to it. D&D equipment has always been a big list for people who like big lists, but with precious little to fill it. An illusion of variety and realism. 5E removes the few traits that differentiated weapons, like critical range and modifier. Different weapons are around largely because people would be upset if there weren't. There's two ways in which it can go - one is to make real choices, the other is to cut out the illusory ones and let people describe them as they like. We happen to each support one of them.

      Even in a system with more hooks to hang things on, though, I generally prefer fewer meaningful options than many minor ones. Balance issues aside, it helps avoid situations where a player wants a particular weapon for aesthetic/background purposes, but it completely doesn't suit their other mechanical abilities.

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      • Played 1e and 2e, and 5e is like the best of both of those cleaned up and put back together. Tho stripped down compared to 3.X maybe, I would say it's more hyper-efficient, (or maybe a word more between baseline and Hyper-) To me, you get right to the role playing parts of an RPG with 5e

        For 3X, I've heard it called D&D Avengers, makes sense, you got more levels of character detail, and the scale of all that lets you fine tune your character in ways other systems and versions won't do very well. Maybe GURPS could do the same thing really with a little work in some places

        4e, well, I've come to have some respect for the engine. I think really it never should have been called D&D, nor used as the new version or replacement for 3x or D&D. Had it instead been called like 'Dungeon Tactics', it might still be ongoing. An RPG for more tactical play, not quite a MMORG, not quite 40k

        In any system, any rule is gonna draw the style of play to it. 3x is gonna draw the squeezing of points and design to that one more +1 to do something, 5e is gonna draw in rounding out skills and background, Call of Cthulhu is gonna draw in managing your sanity. Mage (White Wolf) is gonna draw in how you've specialized your understanding of some aspect of reality.

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        • Originally posted by Willowfang View Post
          Played 1e and 2e, and 5e is like the best of both of those cleaned up and put back together. Tho stripped down compared to 3.X maybe, I would say it's more hyper-efficient, (or maybe a word more between baseline and Hyper-)
          Super, maybe?

          Originally posted by Willowfang View Post
          4e, well, I've come to have some respect for the engine. I think really it never should have been called D&D, nor used as the new version or replacement for 3x or D&D. Had it instead been called like 'Dungeon Tactics', it might still be ongoing. An RPG for more tactical play, not quite a MMORG, not quite 40k
          It kinda *didn’t* replace 3.5, though, thanks to the OGL and Pathfinder. I still maintain that 4e was a good evolution of how 3.5 *actually played.* It was aesthetically quite different, changing all the lore along with the big mechanical changes was probably not a good move in hindsight, and of course mistakes were made in marketing. Also if the VTT had panned out I think it would have been far more successful.


          Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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          • The story behind the VTT is still the wildest shit in the universe. If that had actually panned out, I think the story of 4e would be so different.


            Remi. she/her. game designer.

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            • Originally posted by Willowfang View Post
              4e, well, I've come to have some respect for the engine. I think really it never should have been called D&D, nor used as the new version or replacement for 3x or D&D. Had it instead been called like 'Dungeon Tactics', it might still be ongoing. An RPG for more tactical play, not quite a MMORG, not quite 40k
              Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
              It kinda *didn’t* replace 3.5, though, thanks to the OGL and Pathfinder. I still maintain that 4e was a good evolution of how 3.5 *actually played.* It was aesthetically quite different, changing all the lore along with the big mechanical changes was probably not a good move in hindsight, and of course mistakes were made in marketing. Also if the VTT had panned out I think it would have been far more successful.
              4E uses classes, races, levels and hit points. It has fighters, clerics, wizards and rogues. It's about adventurers going into places, killing monsters and finding loot. I'm not sure what about it isn't D&D. This entire "4E isn't D&D!" argument is just the No True Scotsman fallacy with more than a dash of gatekeeping.

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              • What turned me off 4e was never the game. It was the way that it’s developers shat on 3.5 and all the previous settings is their Dragon editorials. Especially Planescape and the great wheel. I loved those games and settings and still love them. If they had even said “we are giving you a new toy” instead of “your old toy sucks” I think response would have been different. Likewise if they had let Paizo keep handling Dragon and Dungeon, especially since they could have handled the classic settings, which might have made those fans more willing to give 4e a chance.

                Lessons seems to have been learned. The transition to 5e was less acrimonious and the transition to PF2 was explicitly “same setting, updated systems.”

                4e itself is a solid system, even if it took me a while to separate aforementioned commentary from the game itself.


                Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Kith and Kin, Mummy 2e, Oak Ash and Thorn, Contagion RMCs; Scion - Mysteries of the World

                CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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                • Second Chances, have you seen the 9-item explanation of why they shook up the Realms so hard? Seeing their intent spelled out was super exciting to me.


                  Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                  • Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                    Second Chances, have you seen the 9-item explanation of why they shook up the Realms so hard? Seeing their intent spelled out was super exciting to me.
                    No, I haven't seen that! It would be a very interesting read. Where is it?

                    To be clear, I have no problem shaking stuff up! Settings do need revitalization form time to time. Keith's done a great job tweeking Eberron, Golarion's undergone plenty of updates over the years, and if I am ever so blessed as to write on a Planescape, I know there are parts that need updating (hi Bytopia). I just have a very clear memory of an article bashing the Great Wheel and talking about how the World Axis would be superior in every way. It left a very bad taste in my mouth for a long, long time.


                    Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Kith and Kin, Mummy 2e, Oak Ash and Thorn, Contagion RMCs; Scion - Mysteries of the World

                    CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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                    • As a Gnome player who hasn't really followed D&D lore too closely, what was wrong with Bytopia?


                      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                      • Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                        As a Gnome player who hasn't really followed D&D lore too closely, what was wrong with Bytopia?
                        Most people have little reason to go there. Same problem Arcadia (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the Upper Planes) suffers from. Many players and DM's I've spoken too feel there is little reason to explore them. The only thing that I think needs to be straight up retconned in Bytopia is how insular it is. I'm actually quite fond of the plane and of gnomes myself, it just needs a bit of sprucing up so it can shine alongside the Abyss, Baator, and the Grey Wastes. There was a great series of threads on Planewalker when it was still active about updating some of the planes. I wouldn't use all their suggestions, but there is some really good stuff in the Bytopia thread.

                        Tl;dr: I less would want to change Bytopia, but instead refine it so everyone can see what makes it awesome.


                        Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Kith and Kin, Mummy 2e, Oak Ash and Thorn, Contagion RMCs; Scion - Mysteries of the World

                        CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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                        • The Forgotten Realms designers were reimagining the setting in much the same way that everything about D&D 4e was being reimagined. That started with a new nine-point philosophy for the Realms, which Senior Managing Editor Phil Athans and designer Bruce Cordell outlined in Dragon #366 (August 2008).
                          1. It’s exactly what it says it is: a world of ancient realms to explore and discover.
                          This matched Ed Greenwood's original conception of the Forgotten Realms. It's what he'd imagined in his early campaigns — which had begun in Cormyr, the Dalelands, the Savage Frontier, and the Sword Coast, and only then explored outward. However, over the intervening decades TSR and Wizards had detailed so much of the Realms that little of it was Forgotten any more. Now, Wizards wanted to restore that sense of mystery.
                          2. It’s a thousand stories, all happening at once.
                          The early Realms had succeeded not just based on Ed Greenwood's vision, but also the contributions of developer Jeff Grubb, writer R.A. Salvatore, Moonshae-creator Douglas Niles, and others. Together they told numerous stories of the Realms from numerous points of view.
                          3. It’s a place where your character can be the most important person in the world or die in anonymity.
                          This might have been one of the biggest flaws of the published Realms. At least as far back as the Avatar books (1989), NPCs had risen up to take the prominent roles in Realms-shaking Events. Now, the Realms designers wanted to turn that around, to gave players a chance to shine.
                          4. It’s a fully realized world, full of history and legend.
                          5. It’s a vibrant, ever-changing world that is constantly moving forward.
                          These were more philosophies that were drawn directly from Greenwood's original ideas about the Realms. He'd attracted TSR's attention in the first place through Dragon magazine articles that namedropped people and places to hint at the rich histories and legends of the Realms. Meanwhile, his own campaigns had always seen the Realms as a changing, evolving place — something that TSR and Wizards continued with its Realms-shaking Events from the Time of Troubles onward.
                          6. It’s core D&D “plus.”
                          This was a new marketing precept for D&D; it presumed that the Realms was a superset of D&D, not a variant. This meant that the Realms had to include the cosmology, races, and classes that were being developed for the core 4e game.
                          7. It’s contemporary fantasy.
                          The Forgotten Realms was first published by TSR in 1987, but the setting dated back to 1968 or 1969 when Greenwood started writing short stories in the Realms, while D&D play had begun in 1978. This meant that the setting needed some polishing to make it look more like modern fantasy, and less like the fantasy of the '60s, '70s, or '80s.
                          8. It’s 50% all new.
                          9. We’re not retconning. We’re assuming that everything that was, was.
                          Wizards planned big changes as part of the new 4e Forgotten Realms, but they were intended to be part of the continuing evolution of the Realms, not a reboot.
                          Essentially, the thinking (which I largely agree with!) was that the Realms of 3e is a nearly “solved” world, with no blank space left on the map and few threats the mighty nations and NPC heroes couldn’t handle themselves. It’s also a world absolutely rife with variations on “this land is ruled well and does good trade,” in my reading of especially the 3e material. While the sledgehammer approach did step on a lot of toes, it made a world that actually needs to be played in.


                          Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                          • Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
                            Most people have little reason to go there. Same problem Arcadia (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the Upper Planes) suffers from. Many players and DM's I've spoken too feel there is little reason to explore them. The only thing that I think needs to be straight up retconned in Bytopia is how insular it is. I'm actually quite fond of the plane and of gnomes myself, it just needs a bit of sprucing up so it can shine alongside the Abyss, Baator, and the Grey Wastes. There was a great series of threads on Planewalker when it was still active about updating some of the planes. I wouldn't use all their suggestions, but there is some really good stuff in the https://www.planewalker.com/content/planar-renovation-project-bytopia"]Bytopia thread.[/URL]

                            Tl;dr: I less would want to change Bytopia, but instead refine it so everyone can see what makes it awesome.
                            My thinking has pretty much always been that Planescape is a killer setting for a bunch of systems that definitely aren’t D&D. The philosophical bits don’t mesh well with the great focus on combat across editions, and the weird cosmic stuff is so far beyond the comfortable power level of any edition.


                            Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                            • Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                              Essentially, the thinking (which I largely agree with!) was that the Realms of 3e is a nearly “solved” world, with no blank space left on the map and few threats the mighty nations and NPC heroes couldn’t handle themselves. It’s also a world absolutely rife with variations on “this land is ruled well and does good trade,” in my reading of especially the 3e material. While the sledgehammer approach did step on a lot of toes, it made a world that actually needs to be played in.
                              I can see that. It’s one of the reasons I vastly prefer Eberron’s fixed timeline that never advances from 998 YK, the problems don’t get solved as the timeline advances.


                              Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Kith and Kin, Mummy 2e, Oak Ash and Thorn, Contagion RMCs; Scion - Mysteries of the World

                              CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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                              • Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                                My thinking has pretty much always been that Planescape is a killer setting for a bunch of systems that definitely aren’t D&D. The philosophical bits don’t mesh well with the great focus on combat across editions, and the weird cosmic stuff is so far beyond the comfortable power level of any edition.
                                I think that’s an entirely valid way to feel and to an extend I agree! One of these days I’ll get around to running a Planescape game that uses Scion as its engine. Although I’m sure I’ll also play it with 5e and PF2 too.


                                Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Kith and Kin, Mummy 2e, Oak Ash and Thorn, Contagion RMCs; Scion - Mysteries of the World

                                CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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