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June 8th, 2021, 09:43
Tabletop games shouldn't be excessively complicated anyway. They are meant to be played in a group with friends as a hobby, not require a PhD to be able to know and understand every rule. I for one grew with 3rd Ed, and still prefer 5e.

Of course you miss things from a system when you grew used to it, and you feel like you went through a lot of trouble to learn and master it just so it was taken away from you, but more often than not streamlining and clarifying the rules is a good thing both for the game and the players. Still, to battle-hardened veterans, it appears as "dumbed down", giving the illusion of being a superior player than those who never knew it or played it, that goes in hand with the need to oversell the old system, as if it was a long lost forbidden knowledge and you were one of the few alive to tell it or keep it.

I personally don't care for that. I hate overcomplicated rules, subrules, and subrules of subrules, and when I play a game I want to enjoy its narrative and get to the end smoothly. Also, the more complicated the rules are in a game, the more prone you are to find the one type of player I hate most because of how efficient they are at destroying the fun and the immersion in a game - the rules lawyer.

"But it's too simple! There's just so little you can do now, I can't min-max to oblivion, I can't come up with complicated overpowered builds, my mind needs MORE!". Maybe your mind needs more, or maybe it needs to move on and be positive about change when change is good. Now, can anyone think of what's the most successful turn-based game of all time, that has pretty simple rules, and yet it's considered to be exclusive of intellectual people? No, it's not AD&D, it's Chess. A game does not really need to be more obscure and complex than that to be a solid system that invokes the most bright of minds to exert themselves to max capacity. To me, what makes the fun is not how you roll the dice, but how you tell the story that that can be read in those dice.
Last edited by Nereida; June 8th, 2021 at 09:53.

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June 8th, 2021, 11:05
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
Also, the more complicated the rules are in a game, the more prone you are to find the one type of player I hate most because of how efficient they are at destroying the fun and the immersion in a game - the rules lawyer.
Counterpoint: Rules make games fun in the first place. The fun comes from navigating creatively within their constraints. Rules lawyers simply make sure these boundaries stay in place.

The fun-destroying actually comes from pedantry, which I guess you meant and which I would agree is not a good character trait. Otherwise and generally speaking I actually have high respect for rules lawyers. Minor bending of rules is fine and has always been open for interpretation. Boundaries can be pushed. Bending major underlying rules or circumventing them altogether as a matter of course can quickly amount to cheating, which is also not fun.

As for the D&D rulesets - I experienced editions 2, 3, 3.5 and now 5 (what happened to #4, anyway?). I liked all of them eventually. I'm happy with 5E now. Less micromanagement is a good thing. I spent at least as much time planning my characters now than I did with 3.5. I don't think 5E is necessarily less complex. It is less convoluted, however. I can make lots and lots of fun choices. Works for me.

I also really like the Pathfinder rules, which are similar to D&D 3.5 I guess? Comparing it to D&D 5E now, the plethora of buffs I had to juggle in later levels did feel like overkill. Otherwise I guess I'm just happy to be able to fiddle around so much in general, regardless of the underlying system.

~~~

So here's a quick bullet point list I just came up with, determining the fun of RPG systems.

1. Need to be able to fiddle.
2. Fiddling should be meaningful.
3. Need at least some fiddling, but not too much.
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June 8th, 2021, 11:54
Agreeing with both of you, rules are fun up to a point, and this point must surely vary from one person to the next. For example I enjoy Pathfinder (1E) but sometimes I find it's a lot of searching in the book or on a website to understand some mechanisms, or know which item/feature/effect/… is to be considered. I partly blame my poor memory, and partly the lack of clarity of their Core Rulebook.

I think Pathfinder, especially Wrath of the Righteous, must be the most complex implementation of CPRG game with a SP campaign (maybe there are simulators that are as complex).
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
(what happened to #4, anyway?)
I only know them through CPRGs, so I'm with you on that one IIRC it was used in an MMO but I don't play those. I read it wasn't very well perceived by P&P players but I wasn't interested enough to investigate whether it was true, or why.
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
I also really like the Pathfinder rules, which are similar to D&D 3.5 I guess? Comparing it to D&D 5E now, the plethora of buffs I had to juggle in later levels did feel like overkill. Otherwise I guess I'm just happy to be able to fiddle around so much in general, regardless of the underlying system.
Quite similar, a lot of tweaks here and there to balance the game. The guy who answered on StackExchange seems to know the details
Less interpretation margin is left to the DM, rules are more detailed from what I saw.
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June 8th, 2021, 13:40
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
Well, 2nd Edition, or AD&D, got many options that aren't in 5th Edition. Such as the ability to specialise in a specific weapon or select which thief skill you actually want to improve when you level up. It had two types of multiclassing, different XP requirements depending of the class. Sure, there are certainly many things in 5th edition that aren't in 2nd edition but I was surprised by the idea that 2nd edition somehow felt bare, to Redglyph, in comparison to 5th Edition.
You can customize your character way more in 5e than 2nd edition. There's multiclassing in 5e. Different XP requirements are way out of date and should have been killed off in the 2nd edition.

Did anyone actually use the old rules where dwarfs and elves could only gain a few levels compared to humans? An elf that lived for 1000 years could only become a 6th level fighter, yeah I want to play with those rules .

Have a thief adventure with a barbarian and they won't be adventuring for long. 12th level thief and 5th level barbarian, after a few adventures.

2nd edition didn't have subclasses that let you make a class how you want. Old D&D most fighters played the same way except for weapon specialization. Now you can have an Eldritch Knight early on casting spells. Paladin old D&D, you had to be 9th lvl to cast spells. 5e now you can cast spells at 2nd lvl.

I will summarize old D&D vs 5e. Old D&D the DM would customize your character with magic items. 5e the player makes the character he wants to play. That's why I moved on to 5e. I was tired of having DM's make my character.
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June 8th, 2021, 13:51
That doesn't mean 5e is perfect. You have to homebrew a few rules to make the game harder. Only being able to have one concentration spell up at a time is stupid at higher levels. 15th LVL cleric and they can just have a bless spell on the party is dumb. We allow up to four buffs at higher levels.

So I do agree that no edition is perfect and don't get me started on D&D 4th edition (Warcraft).
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June 8th, 2021, 13:52
Yeah old DnD didn't have more options, it was just as if driven by a pedantic DM with strict rules that seemed to be purposely put in place to get in the way of having fun. This actually happened a lot - say you gather with friends to start a new campaign, everyone rolls their ability scores (in old DnD that's the first thing you did when creating a character, even before choosing the class) - you didn't get any 17? Tough luck, you can't be the paladin you wanted to play, because it has a hard requirement of 17+ Charisma. And even if you rolled a 17.. what if you wanted that 17 to be in Strength, or Constitution? Too bad, rules forced you to put the 17 in Charisma or play something wih different requirements.

I much prefer how you nowadays you can first come up with your character concept, develop a full backstory, personality traits, motivation, then decide a class, and then you roll your stats and put them wherever you want because the point of a game is to enable you to have fun, not to keep you from it.

5e indeed has areas in which it can improve, but it's in essence much easier to both balance and participate in, while the storytelling aspect remains intact, up to the ability of players and DM to build their own story.

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June 8th, 2021, 15:47
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
Tabletop games shouldn't be excessively complicated anyway. They are meant to be played in a group with friends as a hobby, not require a PhD to be able to know and understand every rule. I for one grew with 3rd Ed, and still prefer 5e.
I agree with this that 5th Edition is certainly better for tabletop games. But my point was that the simplification that came with 5th Edition isn't nearly as useful for crpg / video rpg and feel at time overkill. Just one concentration spell at any one time? Just three magic items?
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June 8th, 2021, 16:33
I agree that for a videogame, being limited to three magic items in a setting in which basically your equipment never improves can feel quite stale, as in, lacking sense of progression. In DnD a longsword and a plate armor are the same at level 1 and level 20, there's no "gear upgrades" typical of most other RPGs - all weapon and armour options are available at level 1, although some of the better armours typically take a few levels to gather enough coin to be afforded.

But I'm fully behind the one 1 buff per spellcaster at a time (or rather, 1 Concentration spell, but pretty much the same thing). If there is one thing I'm not looking forward to in the upcoming Pathfinder: WotR, is having to spend 2 minutes watching my characters cast buffs in an unending, unavoidable sequence as a requirement to engage in about any challenging fight that will happen throughout the whole game (and as I tend to play in the harder difficulty settings, probably -every fight-). Fights are balanced for you to have a number of those buffs to boost your AC/AB/damage etc, and becomes just a just tedious, redundant and unnecessary mechanic that again, gets in the way of fun more than adding to it. A change I took with great relief when 3rd transitioned to 5th, and that sadly still plagues Pathfinder, being a subset of 3.5/SRD.

This was also one of the reasons I never finished Kingmaker, and here is hoping that WotR does something to mitigate it (seriously, why has no dev figured out yet a widget/functionalty that allows you to configure and cast "pre-battle buffs" instantly on the condition that you are out of combat and no enemies have spotted you, or something similar?).

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June 8th, 2021, 17:46
Well, overall our equipment keep improving in the game because we find new ones all the time. It's just sad to not be able to equip that ring of fire protection because we already have a girdle, an amulet and some magic gauntlet that are overall more useful. I much prefer the DnD system over something like D-OS where the equipment available in the store suddenly "level up" whenever my party gain a level. Serious, that's ridiculous. I really dislike the entire concept of equipment level, or requiring a certain level to use a piece of equipment.

As for buffing, imo it's part of the fun. Figuring what's more useful to have on before going against that lich or this dragon and balancing it against having more combat spells ready. Of course, when you have to do it all the time like you say you did, it can get pretty tedious but I don't remember it was the case in Kingmaker or BG.
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June 8th, 2021, 17:56
I too prefer the first one, but I can no longer get it to work. It's a great ruleset for a CRPG as its relatively complex. I can't imagine playing this PnP.
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June 8th, 2021, 18:00
I honestly never found myself figuring out what buff is best. All buffs are pretty straightforward and bland. Bull's strength, Bear's Endurance, Cat's Grace, Owl's Wisdom, Improved Invisibility, Haste, Bless, Aid, Shield of Faith, Freedom of Movement, Death Ward, Stoneskin, Good Hope, Resist Energy, just to mention a few of the "mandatory" ones.

It's not like I'll go against a lich or a dragon and say "Hmmm… hard choice here, do I want to have +4 Dexterity on my rogue for this fight or not?". It's a no brainer. The only real choice is the element which you want protection from depending on the fight, hardly a thing you have to "figure".

The alternative for me would be to play the game in trivial difficulties and not need buffs, and quit even earlier because of how boring it is to just run around the world clicking on enemies with one hand to see deplete their health bars while watching a movie on the side because combat can't keep me entertained.

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June 8th, 2021, 18:03
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
Personally, I thought it was the sort of of things that gave some flair, some spirit, to the game. In your example, it could be rationalized by the fact that humans, with their much shorter life, could adapt differently to "new ways" than the other races. With 3rd edition, DnD got much more mathematic. Everything got equalized, balanced… The D20 system… and it lost a lot of flavor, a lot of life.

Sorry, I know we aren't many in my clan, but I'm a 2nd edition nostalgic :-)
I played AD&D in the 80s. I really don't recall weapon specialization. Perhaps those were from some of the boxed sets that came out in the 90s? Or maybe I missed it.

Anyway, from a nostalgia perspective AD&D will always be my favorite. 5E adds way more "abilities" to keep things more interesting for melee classes. Also, the non-combat skills opens up a completely new door tp PnP sessions, which in the 80s (for me) were almost 100% combat.
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June 8th, 2021, 18:49
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
(seriously, why has no dev figured out yet a widget/functionalty that allows you to configure and cast "pre-battle buffs" instantly on the condition that you are out of combat and no enemies have spotted you, or something similar?).
I would swear I came across this somewhere but I can't remember where, partly because I never set it up (though I do agree this is a good idea). Maybe one of the later PoE updates? Can't recall.
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June 8th, 2021, 19:26
Originally Posted by clemford View Post
I played AD&D in the 80s. I really don't recall weapon specialization. Perhaps those were from some of the boxed sets that came out in the 90s? Or maybe I missed it.

Anyway, from a nostalgia perspective AD&D will always be my favorite. 5E adds way more "abilities" to keep things more interesting for melee classes. Also, the non-combat skills opens up a completely new door tp PnP sessions, which in the 80s (for me) were almost 100% combat.
Perhaps it wasn't in AD&D 1st Edition but it was in the 2nd Edition. See here : https://adnd2e.fandom.com/wiki/PHB_C…Specialization

I learned to play D&D during the '90 so 2nd Edition was *the* thing, at that moment :-)
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June 8th, 2021, 19:39
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
I honestly never found myself figuring out what buff is best. All buffs are pretty straightforward and bland. Bull's strength, Bear's Endurance, Cat's Grace, Owl's Wisdom, Improved Invisibility, Haste, Bless, Aid, Shield of Faith, Freedom of Movement, Death Ward, Stoneskin, Good Hope, Resist Energy, just to mention a few of the "mandatory" ones.

It's not like I'll go against a lich or a dragon and say "Hmmm… hard choice here, do I want to have +4 Dexterity on my rogue for this fight or not?". It's a no brainer. The only real choice is the element which you want protection from depending on the fight, hardly a thing you have to "figure".

The alternative for me would be to play the game in trivial difficulties and not need buffs, and quit even earlier because of how boring it is to just run around the world clicking on enemies with one hand to see deplete their health bars while watching a movie on the side because combat can't keep me entertained.
Oh wew. That's some intense power-gaming here. If you used to cast all of these basically all the time, I understand why you were bored from buffing and you found the normal difficulty level too boring. The normal difficulty level certainly wasn't balanced around this.

Now with 5th Edition, we went the other extreme with one concentration spell only. Meaning my wizard can't even cast fly and have a wall of fire at the same time. Or my cleric can't even bless the party and cast "aid" on a member.
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June 8th, 2021, 20:14
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
Oh wew. That's some intense power-gaming here. If you used to cast all of these basically all the time, I understand why you were bored from buffing and you found the normal difficulty level too boring. The normal difficulty level certainly wasn't balanced around this.
I never played normal, I would die of boredom from just running around auto-clicking enemies to see them die without even trying, as I explained in that same post. The difficulty slider in Kingmaker was pretty wonky in general to be fair, so probably not the best example. Pretty sure the hardest difficulty level was balanced around every party member having Vivisectionist cheese builds, amongst other things.

The issue is balancing the game difficulties around how much you max out your character spell/temp buffs, rather than around the characters themselves. And that power imbalance happens only when buffs play such a major role, so in my mind, the game would be better without them, and balanced around that.

You said you enjoy figuring out which buff is best to use in each situation, that is exactly what you have to do when you can only maintain one buff, as in 5e. When you can cast them all, there is nothing you have to figure, you just cast them all - especially when the game requires it and assumes that you will as part of its balancing.

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June 8th, 2021, 20:23
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
Meaning my wizard can't even cast fly and have a wall of fire at the same time. Or my cleric can't even bless the party and cast "aid" on a member.
Don't know about the flying - I only used Misty Step for now, but Aid does not require concentration and is a (long lasting) buff in the traditional sense. Same with Mage Armor for the wizard. Shield became a reaction spell so requires neither concentration nor pre-buffing, just preparation.

~~~

All this rules talk made me revisit my last Pathfinder: Kingmaker savegame for the main campaign. Had a look around. I had stopped playing at level 17 for some reason. My new plan is to completely respec my main character (thanks, mods), put all the companions on the bench, hire 3 mercenaries and finish with a 4-character custom party. Eventually. Solasta first.
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June 8th, 2021, 20:51
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
Oh wew. That's some intense power-gaming here. If you used to cast all of these basically all the time, I understand why you were bored from buffing and you found the normal difficulty level too boring. The normal difficulty level certainly wasn't balanced around this.

Now with 5th Edition, we went the other extreme with one concentration spell only. Meaning my wizard can't even cast fly and have a wall of fire at the same time. Or my cleric can't even bless the party and cast "aid" on a member.
There's the answer! I had no clue what 2E was. I played from about age 8-25 (mostly AD&D but some basic early on). I restarted about 5 years ago with 5E. 5E is the best D&D PnP I've ever played, then again I missed a lot!

For CRPGs I like complex systems (Pathfinder was awesome, couldn't imagine playing PnP though). Drakensang games are great too.
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June 8th, 2021, 21:19
Originally Posted by Nereida View Post
You said you enjoy figuring out which buff is best to use in each situation, that is exactly what you have to do when you can only maintain one buff, as in 5e. When you can cast them all, there is nothing you have to figure, you just cast them all - especially when the game requires it and assumes that you will as part of its balancing.
Because just one spell (per caster) leaves very little option while those options are multiplied when you may cast more than one spell.

Each buff spell means one less battle spell. Each buff spell is a spell I may not have for the next fight where I might need it more. DnD is a system where you are not supposed to spam your spells since you can not be sure when you are going to rest (peacefully) next. You also have a limited quantity of slots per level so casting them all is often not even technically possible. You cannot always have both Protection from Evil on your front guy AND Bless on your entire party. Sometimes, you have to choose .
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June 8th, 2021, 21:32
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Don't know about the flying - I only used Misty Step for now, but Aid does not require concentration and is a (long lasting) buff in the traditional sense.
Yeah, I wasn't sure about that one. The aid spell isn't one I cast in Solasta. It doesn't seem very useful to me. But the fly / firewall spells is a situation that has been frustrating me a couple of time.

By the way, I'm really not a fan of how the memorization slots are organized in Solasta / 5th Edition. I really prefer the old system where you would memorize a number of spells per level instead of a overall number of spells. It keeps low level spells more relevant later in the game.
Last edited by vanedor; June 8th, 2021 at 21:58. Reason: Unfinished sentence
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