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kyxmma
April 3rd, 2008, 23:36
I was never much of a d20 fan to begin with but now I'm just getting sick of it.There are so many other great systems out there that is actually focused on roleplaying then combat. When I go to my local gaming store its all d20 and it drives me nuts. Also I don't like the type of players it attracts where i'm at. I only get a bunch of power players and they don't care about roleplaying-only about getting to a prestige class. I dunno... is it just me lol.

Sorontar
April 4th, 2008, 00:36
I don't think the system is to blame tbh it's the people you are playing with/around. You'll always come across people who want to be uber and the best, doing the most damage and generally kicking arse.

In AD&D they were the people who thought that if a fighter didn't 18 (90+) strength they'd bin them as a failure.

Put them in a Vampire game and they'll still be the same, looking for the max out of a build.

Rollplayers not roleplayers.

Either look for like minded people in your locale (stick a flyer up in the RP stores stating what you want and if needs must offer to run a game) or I'm sure another wonderful soul will pipe up after me.

unerwünscht
April 4th, 2008, 01:34
I have to agree with kyxmma, the D20 system is bringing a new wave of gamers, and this wave is 90% about minmaxing. I know that people have always minmaxed in previous systems, but it just got crazy with D20. Although I don't think its the people as much as it is the system itself. With so many publishers capitalizing on the product, there are so many things like AEG books out there, it almost forces the player to minmax just to survive the game.

But as a DM I have to say, you will not find any minmaxing in my games. I am known to kill minmaxed characters with a quickness.

kyxmma
April 4th, 2008, 02:21
I agree with you. The players in my area that has only played d20 are all about minmaxing and way beyond anything I have experienced playing classic games. They already pick there prestige class before the campaign begins and that is there main focus. They actually pick there presitge class even before there core class. I try to sway them away from thinking that way so I switched to savage worlds or gurps where it is skill based and they don't like it because-and this is what they told me, there are no prestige classes. Obviously I dropped them and started playing with a group with the average age of 35 and i've been enjoying it alot better. They don't care what system as long as it is a good story and thats what I like. But the d20 group in my area just did not care about the story, they just cared about how powerful they can get and what equipment. It makes me worried about the new generation of gamers coming lol.

spliskamatyshak
April 4th, 2008, 02:53
I've been a DM and GM'd other system for almost three decades. I don't particularly care how a player manipulates their character (min/maxing is not unique to d20 by any stretch of the imagination) as long as they roleplay!

One of the best roleplayers I've ever DM'd for is also one of the most notorious min/maxers I have ever seen, but when he's playing his character you'd never know it. It is also a comfort to be able to perform a "signature maneuver" (combat or other action) without the dice getting in the way and that usually involves some manner of min/maxing.

In my games, a rollplayer inevitably does something stupid, which generally gets them killed without any malicious act on my part as the DM. Sometimes a roleplayer plays their character too well (min/maxed or not) and roleplays themselves into a fatal situation. In the later case, when they create a new character I give them some kind of bonus as a reward for roleplaying so well.

Find a roleplayer and he or she will elevate the roleplaying in an entire group as long as the rollplayer(s) don't have VGS (Video Gamer Syndrome). VGS players don't have the patience for true roleplaying as they've gamed on computers and haven't developed the social skills for good old-fashioned D&D (or Vampire or GURPS or T&T or Rolemaster or ... you get the picture).

Sigurd
April 4th, 2008, 03:43
I am not happy with all the work DMing D20 entails.
I don't like the way the game seems to get bigger than any 6 game books real fast.
I don't know if these issues are game design or the length of times publishers have had to expand the rules.


Its a lot of work, but its just a vehicle for your game simulation. Changing rules systems won't change your players - just give them different strings to pull.


-Sigurd

kyxmma
April 4th, 2008, 03:55
True. D20 does take more preparation then other games. Also lets say in GURPS I can make npc up an easily(I'll just say all of his neccessary skills are a 10 for example), but in d20 its a little tougher because there's the certain amount of hp he has for his level plus skills points for his level, and picking feats and etc... it almost forces me to create all possible npc's ahead of time. But in GURPS all I have to say is ok his health is 10, and so are his primary skills for on the fly npc's. Also I think d20 creates wonderful sourcebooks but damn i'm going broke buying them lol. But I have to admit I love brining my stack of books to a game :-). My favorite system is a tie between savage worlds or ubiquity system because they are both simple yet there is a decent amount of character customization. Also you can't be a power player in those systems.

Valarian
April 4th, 2008, 08:37
I like the d20 system ... but I must say I don't play D&D very often. I prefer the variant systems that are around, especially those that separate to-hit and armour with the Defence and Damage Reduction mechanism. I also like the ones that limit the hit points, allowing for a grittier game. Currently, I'm with Mongoose's OGL for d20 play ... theirs are the changes I like the best.

Oberoten
April 4th, 2008, 09:08
I was never much of a d20 fan to begin with but now I'm just getting sick of it.There are so many other great systems out there that is actually focused on roleplaying then combat. When I go to my local gaming store its all d20 and it drives me nuts. Also I don't like the type of players it attracts where i'm at. I only get a bunch of power players and they don't care about roleplaying-only about getting to a prestige class. I dunno... is it just me lol.


Yeah, I even know of GOOD roleplpayer beeing kicked out of some groups due to not beeing good enough on picking their prestige-classes...

Xorn
April 4th, 2008, 13:06
I'm going to sound elitist no matter how I say this, so just apply that filter to everything below, because I'm not trying to be a douche bag.

Whenever I go to a game shop and I'm flipping through a rulebook or chatting up the guy behind the counter, invariably someone will hear me talking about... whatever we're talking about... and decide to serenade me with the details of their campaign. I listen, actively, but I know what's coming:

We all have epic golden dragon mounts... after we killed the third king at fifth level... my rogue has two +8 whosawhatsits of vorpal slaying--a whosawhatsit? That's a rapier/shortsword combined, it's considered a light weapon for my dual wielding and only needs one weapon focus, it's aweshome! *slurp*

Then it's apparent, I'm talking to a min-maxxer. I don't think it's his fault though--his buddies are min-maxxers, and his DM is either a power-munchkin himself, or at least encourages their playstyle. If it's the difference between a game on Saturday or playing MMOs (and I like MMOs) I'll go for the substandard game--I'll play MMOs the other 6 days.

The part that gets me is then it's my turn to talk after a lot of "coooool"s, "oooh sahweet!"s and various considerate offered appreciations for someone that seems to be really enjoying telling us about his game. So then it's my turn, and I talk about my current game.

Nah, party is 3rd level. They've got three magic items between them, and one is a wand of cure light wounds. Well they're currently in a small mining town, trying to free the townsfolk that have been caught up by a kobold tribe that took over the mine and flooded into the city. The kobolds are cute till you're up against a dozen of them, with commanders on dire weasels, then they get pretty nasty! If they don't get the people out of the town in 24 hours, a sieging human army will crush the walls to the ground, and kill anyone still alive.

Thing is, I notice this guy is on the edge of his seat. He asks if there's any spots in my campaign. What? You'd rather be a 3rd level guy that finds packs of kobolds a challenge? What happened to the golden epic dragon mount and the whosawhatsits?

I think it's just a responsibility of existing players and DMs to bring fresh meat into the fold of D&D with the right guiding arm.

I think 3.5 did appeal to the munchkin, but I played Vampire for years, and everytime you see a Brujah punker, you just assume it's a munchkin (that's the local lingo for a min-maxxer) and plan accordingly. In a LARP setting, assume anything you say will be responded to with, "I burn a blood trait for Celerity and I'm Brawny enough to smash your face in..."

Do I think that munchkins are good or bad for the game? Well if everyone is having fun riding their golden dragon epic mounts and swinging whosawhatsits at whosyerdaddies, then no--have fun. Just stop talking to me at the hobby shop, please.

Final point--I really don't think d20 is responsible for this (outside of being the first TRPG); munchkins exist in every rules format. One of my long-running players was a munchkin--everything he played, the numbers came before the story. (That's a true munchkin, to me.) I killed him off, a lot--usually not intentionally, but there was that time that I rolled a die behind my screen and said, "A meteor roars out of the sky and hits you in the head for (I made a spectacle of rolling all my dice over the map) that much damage."

"A meteor!?"

"Yeah. Weird, huh?" We were playing OD&D at the time, as I had hoped he would find less ways to munchkinize his play.

azbo
April 10th, 2008, 02:43
Min Maxing never bothered me as a player or a DM. I guess I'm probably guilty of it a little myself but I still consider myself a pretty solid roleplayer and even though I usually seek to be somewhat formidable by developing a particular tactic in combat (be it sneak attacks as rogue, combat spells as a mage or high damage weaponry as a fighter) but if you're thinking about roleplaying virtually any character in the worlds of DnD who was going to risk engaging in combat with other characters and "monsters" would likely practice some form of effective defense as a highest priority. Warriors would in fact practice heavily with a weapon (specialization) so that they could defeat their opponents and save their lives. min maxing is not incongruous with good roleplaying. 3rd level characters with dragon mounts is another thing. even 15th level characters with dragon mounts gets boring. I would much rather be in the campaign with the kobolds and few magic items but i'll be doing my best to be effective in that world as I would in any other.

I think you need to limit yourself to a certain number of expansions and the DM needs a system to help prepare NPC's if you're going to have lots of encounters with NPC types.

unerwünscht
April 10th, 2008, 03:26
All I have to say to any DM who feels they do not have an issue with Min-Maxing is "Let me play in your game... Just once.... I will change your mind"

Gold Dragon Mounts aside, wait till you see what can be done with ..... Hmm well any class in the game really.

azbo
April 10th, 2008, 05:59
All I have to say to any DM who feels they do not have an issue with Min-Maxing is "Let me play in your game... Just once.... I will change your mind"

Gold Dragon Mounts aside, wait till you see what can be done with ..... Hmm well any class in the game really.
That's a ridiculous suposition. The DM controls the game and an effective DM scales the encounters to the party. No matter how tough you are there is always someone tougher. I like grittier types of games where some of the quests available to you are tougher than you can handle without some serious planning and/or luck. When you hear about ruins where other adventurers have gone and not returned in my campaigns that should be a warning to you that there is significant danger. Minmaxing doesn't overbalance game, as a DM you're semi omnipotent how can a characters stats or skills be beyond your ability to chalenge the party? Monty haul campaigns aren't at all the same as min maxing. NBA players who work on speed, endurance and strength in the off season are real life examples of minmaxing they still are challenged by opposing players (especially those who work as hard as they do).

unerwünscht
April 10th, 2008, 16:00
So you accept the challenge then?

kyxmma
April 10th, 2008, 16:20
Lol this is kind of funny but I think Unerwundcht has a good chance of winning but I may be wrong though.

philth
April 10th, 2008, 16:51
My favorite system is a tie between savage worlds or ubiquity system because they are both simple yet there is a decent amount of character customization. Also you can't be a power player in those systems.

Never played ubiquity, but there are plenty opportunities to min/max in SW.

joshuha
April 10th, 2008, 16:58
Never played ubiquity, but there are plenty opportunities to min/max in SW.

Yep, even in a big thread on the Pinnacle boards about how to min/max.

kyxmma
April 10th, 2008, 17:34
I am enlightened! lol. Even so I don't think it can be as bad as 3.5. But I may be wrong again.

Valarian
April 10th, 2008, 17:58
Where there are rules, there will always be those who want to get the most out of the rules rather than the game. I think the problem with min-maxer players can be found in any game system. As can the monty-haul adventure.

Griogre
April 10th, 2008, 19:30
I have to say I agree with Valarian in general. But more specifically:


I am enlightened! lol. Even so I don't think it can be as bad as 3.5. But I may be wrong again.
The worst problems with min/maxing in 3.5, IMO, come from mixing and matching the various splat books and 3rd party rules with each other - and there a *lot* of splat books mostly developed in a vacuum where they didn't consider the implications of rules in other splat books (or don't know about them or just didn't care). Conceptionally, IMHO, if you play core rules plus one splat book you are usually ok (but not perfect) rules balance wise in D&D.

If you agree this is more or less true for 3.5 then you can see that Savage Worlds might be a less abused system because their usual campaign game worlds tend to use a core SW + extra source book set of rules - and with this type of setup it's easier to see and modify power issues.

Even with all that, given there are basically two types of edges in SW:

1) Those that give you bennies (from RP or not).
2) Those that give a character some sort of advantage in the game.

Unless you believe that every edge in 2 above is exactly equal then there is going to be people who optimize characters acording to what they believe the best edges are.

Sigurd
April 11th, 2008, 01:28
Min\Maxing is fueled by unrestricted access to expansions - WOTC and other publishers.

The publishers are producing material with new player centric improvements in flavour, character, and power. The prestige class is a min\maxers wet dream. Lets take a break from the rules after a couple of levels and choose a new set - how many prestige classes are there? How's a DM supposed to keep up?

Most of the ones I see the most and that are the worst are the WOTC ones, Radiant Servant etc... They are all fine if you want them but easy access to them can warp a game world. Most DM's have great trouble refusing a players fondist wish, in spite of any steriotype of Bastard DMs.

I'm sure 4th edition will be better, maybe for a year. Then the need to sell new books will fill it with exceptions and power creep too.


Sigurd

kyxmma
April 11th, 2008, 02:13
Min\Maxing is fueled by unrestricted access to expansions - WOTC and other publishers.

The publishers are producing material with new player centric improvements in flavour, character, and power. The prestige class is a min\maxers wet dream. Lets take a break from the rules after a couple of levels and choose a new set - how many prestige classes are there? How's a DM supposed to keep up?

Most of the ones I see the most and that are the worst are the WOTC ones, Radiant Servant etc... They are all fine if you want them but easy access to them can warp a game world. Most DM's have great trouble refusing a players fondist wish, in spite of any steriotype of Bastard DMs.

I'm sure 4th edition will be better, maybe for a year. Then the need to sell new books will fill it with exceptions and power creep too.


Sigurd

Well said. Yes I understand that you can min/maxin anygame but WOTC takes it too far in my opinion.

guiguiBob
April 11th, 2008, 03:17
it's their business model, they sell the books to the players looking to min max their character, by advertising a bunch of prestige classes, feats and spells. That's how they make their money and that way they make way more than if they were only publishing adventures and campaign setting. They make the players their primary customers and make more money like that.

bobthebuilder
April 21st, 2008, 06:28
I hate d20 and I have been sick of it for ages. Classic D&D is the best!

FlatNineSharpFive
April 22nd, 2008, 00:36
There are better games out there than D&D, even for the classic fantasy experience. These systems are more fun, require roleplaying mechanically (you do not have to roleplay to play d20, so the roleplaying is a different game altogether), are easier to learn, run, and prepare for. You end up playing an awesome story after two or three hours, not just killing things to take their stuff so you can kill more things to take more stuff...

Anyone who is interested is welcome to PM me, and I'll organize a game.

Valarian
April 22nd, 2008, 13:24
I hate d20 and I have been sick of it for ages. Classic D&D is the best!
Here, I disagree. I think that the d20 rules of D&D3e are superior to the old D&D (red/blue/green/black book) and the AD&D rules. For a start, the reversal of the THAC0 system was a vast improvement over the older rules. In my opinion, the enhancements of the D&D system have improved the system. I've yet to see 4th edition, but I've heard people making pleased noises over it. I doubt that I'll be buying it personally. But that will be for financial reasons, rather than game system.

bobthebuilder
April 23rd, 2008, 01:57
Here, I disagree. I think that the d20 rules of D&D3e are superior to the old D&D (red/blue/green/black book)

Okay then, you play d20 and I'll play Classic D&D. :rv: :bandit: :)

tdwyer11b
April 24th, 2008, 11:07
For a start, the reversal of the THAC0 system was a vast improvement over the older rules.

I never got this argument. I find it pretty easy to use THAC0, maybe I'm the exception. Interestingly, Gamma World had a reverse THAC0 system in it's 4th edition. Maybe TSR was on to something. I remember playing it way back when, and the mechanic took some getting used to since I was used to subtracting for my to hit rolls.:o

Blue Haven
April 24th, 2008, 12:04
I never got this argument. I find it pretty easy to use THAC0, maybe I'm the exception. Interestingly, Gamma World had a reverse THAC0 system in it's 4th edition. Maybe TSR was on to something. I remember playing it way back when, and the mechanic took some getting used to since I was used to subtracting for my to hit rolls.:o

And its easy to use ;) but people that start playing at 3rd edition don´t know that...

Valarian
April 24th, 2008, 12:42
I never got this argument. I find it pretty easy to use THAC0, maybe I'm the exception. Interestingly, Gamma World had a reverse THAC0 system in it's 4th edition. Maybe TSR was on to something. I remember playing it way back when, and the mechanic took some getting used to since I was used to subtracting for my to hit rolls.:o
Maybe it's 'cos I never really got the "Armour makes you more difficult to hit". This never made sense to me. Armour makes to easier to hit, just it takes more to do any damage.

In the dim and distant past, I played D&D (red book through to black), and AD&D. These were the systems my school-era games were run with. One of my friends had Tunnels and Trolls and we played that as well.

With the old D&D and the AD&D rules, I couldn't get around this very well. When the d20 system came out with D&D3e, I finally had a nice easy mechanic for adding the descriptions of combat I wanted. If over 10, it hits you. The rest is dodging (Dex bonus: "You dodge out of the way"), Natural Armour ("The blow bounces off you"), Armour ("Your armour absorbs the blow"), etc.

I've now moved away from pure d20 D&D3e to some of the derivatives. These have separated the AC in to a Defence Value (modified by Dex). Armour has a Damage Reduction value, which reduces damage. Armour also still has the Max Dex and ACP values, so it encumbers. This makes sense to me, and doesn't slow the game down either. With the old THAC0 system, I was always struggling to come up with a decent description of the combat as the game flowed.

Mobius
July 1st, 2008, 17:33
I must admit, I've never been a fan of D&D in my later years as a role player. Loved it when I was a kid, but now I just find the system to be cumbersome, and a bit lacking in drama. However, it's down to the players and GM to make the game what it is regardless of the system.

ShadowedKnight
July 31st, 2008, 09:28
Well, I'll start by saying I'm not as old as some people that roleplay and haven't played their fair share of games.

However, I have played with the THAC0 system for hitting, 3.5 D&D system for hitting, the Star Wars System for hitting, and various other systems for that. I have to say that having armor as a damage reduction is far more accurate than saying that armor makes it harder for you to be hit.

On another note, Min/maxing does not state that a player sucks at roleplaying. I have to agree that min/maxing can be slightly obnoxious on occasion and divert attention from the roleplay aspect of the game, however a smart person knows that in any game there is rules, and in some cases depending on the deviousness of the DM....it can be beneficial to take advantage of those rules.

I agree that WotC has too many books for their game, but that just gives more and more and more to choose from. Some people enjoy having a variety to pick from (not me personally, but that is because I can't make up my mind some times) and thrive on WotC's ability to release more and more books for them to access.

I have played Rifts, Star Wars SE, 4E D&D, Gurps, Shadowrun, Dark Heresy, Inquisitor, and a few others whose names escape me at the moment. I can say with a little certainty that D&D is by far not the worst game for min/maxing (I think Rifts take the cake on that one). So, to be fair it isn't D&D that encourages min/maxing...it is the fact that certain players feel the need to over prepare and take advantage of the rules to avoid getting beat down by the DM/GM/ST/etc within the first few minutes of play due to the possibilities that the DM will be evil in planning the campaign out.

Suggestion for those with min/maxing problems: Help the player roleplay, guide him into it, but don't force him to give up min/maxing, because in all fairness if he can come up with a story to explain why his character is good at things that benefit what he does but crappy at things he doesn't do then it isn't as bad as you make it out to be.

Also, if any one finds this an extremely redundant or ranting/rambling like...I apologize...I have a habit of rambling/ranting

unerwünscht
July 31st, 2008, 22:12
Well, I'll start by saying I'm not as old as some people that roleplay and haven't played their fair share of games. etc...

I have to say, I agree with you 100% on your post.... well 98% HERO System is the WORST you will ever find with Min/Max. But I agree RIFTS is pretty bad as well. :-)

Oberoten
July 31st, 2008, 22:46
GURPS... with it's many books and the min-maxing built into the system comes to mind. :) Much as I love it it is a min/maxers wet dream.

unerwünscht
August 1st, 2008, 02:23
Yea, Hero System is almost the same thing as GURPS, except you build your own advantages and disadvantages from a formula rather than taking the semi-balanced prebuilt ones that come with the GURPS system. I am at least willing to play GURPS with my friends, the Hero System is not allowed around us.

ShadowedKnight
August 1st, 2008, 03:32
I haven't played the Hero System, but thanks for the warning.

As for the min/maxing worse issue....if you can get that player to turn his min/maxing into a roleplay story such as saying his character was from a city like Sparta where you were forced to be good at what you did, then it isn't a problem.

Also, I believe any system can be horrible if you do min/maxing too much (such as a character in a diplomatic campaign focusing on all of the talking classes/specialties/etc in a game and maxing his stats to make it so he's the best there can be at it). However, when you have a character like that...simply throw him a curve ball that he isn't set for and he'll try a different tactic, but killing them off is an unnecessary act.

Oberoten
August 1st, 2008, 04:00
And this is why re-pointing the flaws for different settings is probabaly a good idea. ;)

Functionally Illiterate

Setting Flaw
Fantasy +-0
Modern -2
Call of Cthulhu +4

PneumaPilot
November 6th, 2008, 16:14
I have loved D&D since it went to 3rd Edition. Thought it was crap before that (only played Earthdawn and Shadowrun). I especially loved all the stuff that Paizo did (and is still doing) for the game. I found, though, that as I grew older (I'm 30 now), my tastes changed. Now, the World of Darkness stuff really inspires me. I love the gritty realism mixed with the dark supernatural. I also find the system to be a breath of fresh air after D20.

Brenn
November 14th, 2008, 03:14
There's a solution. Quit d20. I have. Try Reign, I love ORE and its at it's peak in Reign. I've not seen V2 of Wild Talents yet, but it's on my list. You can get a bare bones version of ORE in Nemesis (http://www.nemesis-system.com/), and it's free.

But it boils down to who you game with, regardless of the system. I've an extended group that I've gamed with for, in some cases, over 20 years. I have no desire to seek out anyone else to game with because I don't want to wade through the fools to get to someone I'd actually like to play with. It's too time consuming and I don't have enough time as it is.

One style of player is no better than another. D20 makes me want to min-max, it's like crack and I never was that kind of player before. I just realized that I can do exactly the same thing on countless computer games, so why in the heck do I want to do it in PnP, that's not really what I'm there for. For a group that's into that, fine, I just don't want to be.

I like the new Storyteller system, from what I've experienced of it. I like ORE a whole lot more, I'd even go so far as to say it's what White Wolf should have adopted when they decided to do the reset. Oh well, both are good.

Oberoten
November 14th, 2008, 07:32
I have loved D&D since it went to 3rd Edition. Thought it was crap before that (only played Earthdawn and Shadowrun). I especially loved all the stuff that Paizo did (and is still doing) for the game. I found, though, that as I grew older (I'm 30 now), my tastes changed. Now, the World of Darkness stuff really inspires me. I love the gritty realism mixed with the dark supernatural. I also find the system to be a breath of fresh air after D20.

*grins as everyone who has known me for a while runs*

Ever tried Ars Magica? If you head over to Atlas-Games and check on 4th edition there is a free download link you can follow there.

It was the system that inspired the whole story-telling system idea for White Wolf (they owned it for a time) and if you have played Mage you will recognize the Hermetics.

Ruleset is in my Sig. :)

- Obe

turelus
November 14th, 2008, 11:50
I play D&D 3.5 and have done for about five years now and me and my mates have always "minmaxed" or "powergamed" because combat is a big and enjoyable part of the d20 system. We do however have incredible sessions where we spend 6 hours roleplaying with one another with no use of those combat skills, I have heard so many people in the past talk trash about 3rd edition over 2nd because "they removed all the freedom to roleplay" I personally think that's BS roleplay comes how you want it to come.

I have had players who don't care about RP and only combat so they make awesome characters for combat and sit by bored during roleplay times, but the amazing thing is after a while they really got into the roleplay as well!
I think the problem with the d20 system is to many people think that because it has a lot to do with combat thats all you can do, DM's need to show their groups that you can get exp and loots and have fun out of combat so they look for other ways to complete tasks other than getting out a big axe.

I have to say I see a few threads like this on WW forums now and then and it really makes me sad to see how bashed people who take the time to read and make awesome combat characters get, I never understand why people care! I mean if they guy has fun during combat and your having fun during roleplay... your both having fun.... the games is good?

PneumaPilot
November 14th, 2008, 21:40
Obe, didn't Wizards also own Ars Magica for a while? I thought that's what they were up to just before the M:tG craze set in.

Oberoten
November 14th, 2008, 23:52
Lion Rampant, White Wolf, WotC and now Atlas-Games.

... all things considered I have been most fond of White Wolves and Atla's versions.

- Obe

Orpheus
November 16th, 2008, 14:00
I play D&D 3.5 and have done for about five years now and me and my mates have always "minmaxed" or "powergamed" because combat is a big and enjoyable part of the d20 system. We do however have incredible sessions where we spend 6 hours roleplaying with one another with no use of those combat skills, I have heard so many people in the past talk trash about 3rd edition over 2nd because "they removed all the freedom to roleplay" I personally think that's BS roleplay comes how you want it to come.

I have had players who don't care about RP and only combat so they make awesome characters for combat and sit by bored during roleplay times, but the amazing thing is after a while they really got into the roleplay as well!
I think the problem with the d20 system is to many people think that because it has a lot to do with combat thats all you can do, DM's need to show their groups that you can get exp and loots and have fun out of combat so they look for other ways to complete tasks other than getting out a big axe.

I have to say I see a few threads like this on WW forums now and then and it really makes me sad to see how bashed people who take the time to read and make awesome combat characters get, I never understand why people care! I mean if they guy has fun during combat and your having fun during roleplay... your both having fun.... the games is good?
I have to agree with you on this. I personally don't care for 3.5 since when one does get into combat, especially in the higher levels, it tends to turn into a seriously long bookkeeping scenario. That's not to say that the system prevents one from roleplaying to their heart's content. I went to a D&D Meetup a couple of months ago where the only open slot that I could find for a game was for a 3.5 session. I reluctantly sat in as I had no takers for the Castles & Crusades scenario that I brought along. The DM, who was a little bit weird, had us make level 7(!) characters. I made mine in about 10 minutes: "I'm a dwarf. I'm a fighter. Just assign me some feats. I'm done." The couple with whom I was playing spent TWO HOURS designing their characters for this one-shot scenario. We got to play for about an hour-or-so and didn't get into combat once! We could've been playing ANYTHING as there were maybe two skill rolls the whole time. The roleplaying was great even though we were "playing" 3.5. There were powergamers playing within the AD&D system so there will be powergamers playing within d20. Granted, there's a lot more for them to feast on in d20, but it doesn't mean that anything has been taken away from those who prefer an emphasis on roleplay.

Stumps
December 19th, 2008, 07:12
What? You'd rather be a 3rd level guy that finds packs of kobolds a challenge? What happened to the golden epic dragon mount and the whosawhatsits?

I think it's just a responsibility of existing players and DMs to bring fresh meat into the fold of D&D with the right guiding arm.
You are absolutely correct.

As much as I don't like the feel of d20, it's definitely not the system itself that is to blame. The system is reacting to the demand, and the demand is for really fast gameplay and quick gain systems (as opposed to the ages of running from squirrels..oh, those were the days...:rolleyes: ).

My first GM, close friend, and personal messiah of the Tao of RPG was the best at getting the perspective clear.

I still remember spending most of the first day of our gaming together on the character's that we all had made (we were all pretty new to this, only having played 1-on-1's at the time) as they were to become loved character's that we cherished.

The game started; 5 minutes later one character was knocked out, one was ducking for cover, one was stumped in awe, and the other was already dead.

This wasn't because he was slamming down a gavel and being cruel.

This was because one of the character's tried to bargain a better paying fee of the job by pulling out a hand-gun, and in the GM's world, which mirrored some semblance of reality, doing so wasn't generally a sound idea.

If you wanted to die; you attacked.
If you wanted to live; you out-thought.
If you had no idea; you just got ready to need to attack.
If you wanted experience; you had to role play.

That was another difference.

We started in SR (as a group, not as individuals) so the concept of Karma was used at the GM's discretion dishing out the little amount that you got in that game for acts of staying in-character or adding to the life of the session.

Just kicking *** didn't really do anything.

I open all my campaigns today (the extreme few that I get anymore) the same way, "This works like, 'Who's Line Is It Anyway?'; 'No one really cares, and the points don't really matter' "

Even in d20 standard games, I tend to gut them open on the XP gain systems and re-do them so that the XP gain is done through role-play recognition and not from killing "X" amount of thingies, or completing "X" amount of questies.

If I morn the fact that your character is going to die from what just happened, but at the same time stop and pause at the greatness of that character's plot in the game as well as their death...then you've done a brilliant job!

longarms
December 20th, 2008, 04:59
I have a story that I think reflects the inaccessiblity of the rules. My wife and I met up with a D&D group. The DM and one of the players seemed really into 3.5. Both of them had at least thousands of dollars worth of D&D material. The DM in particular had a whole closet full of books and minatures. Both the DM and the serious player felt that D&D 4.0 was "dumbed down" and thus were sticking with 3.5. The guys seemed pretty hardcore and I was expecting combat in this game to flow with the rules more than combat in the other 3.5 games I've played in.

Then we started playing... I flanked a monster with the other rogue, both of us were using non-reach weapons )adjacent to the monster). The DM granted me a sneak attack, but not to the other rogue. Apparantly, since I was behind the monster I got the sneak attack but the other rogue didn't as he was "in front" of the monster. The other rogue then died because his regular attack was not enough to finish off the monster and it full attacked him.

Obviously, the ruling was wrong for so many reasons. Its fundamental that there is no facing in 3.5, and its also fundamental rule of flanking that both PCs get the flank attack. I went along with it, but on my way home I thought to myself how most 3.5 games I have played in ended up fudging the rules like that, not really sticking to the rulebook and using these adhoc rulings that seem more inline with AD&D 2.0.

There were other adhoc variants of the rules too. No AoO were I knew there should be one, stuff like that.

The session was fun despite the rulings. But the whole experience seemed like yet more evidence of the inaccessiblity of the 3.5 rules - if the rules are not accessible to two fans that are that invested in the game (both time and $$$), then who are they accessible to???

Bidmaron
December 20th, 2008, 15:11
Then we started playing... I flanked a monster with the other rogue, both of us were using non-reach weapons )adjacent to the monster). The DM granted me a sneak attack, but not to the other rogue. Apparantly, since I was behind the monster I got the sneak attack but the other rogue didn't as he was "in front" of the monster. The other rogue then died because his regular attack was not enough to finish off the monster and it full attacked him.

Obviously, the ruling was wrong for so many reasons. Its fundamental that there is no facing in 3.5, and its also fundamental rule of flanking that both PCs get the flank attack. I went along with it, but on my way home I thought to myself how most 3.5 games I have played in ended up fudging the rules like that, not really sticking to the rulebook and using these adhoc rulings that seem more inline with AD&D 2.0.


A ruling cannot be 'wrong'. It might not be consistent with the rules, but as long as the session itself is self-consistent, the ruling cannot be wrong. Not having been there but with what you describe, I might rule the same way. Yes, there is no facing in 3.5, but that doesn't mean you have to like that aspect of 3.5. I know the assumption is that the figures are turning as necessary to defend himself (or attack), but it does seem reasonable to me (for a human who doesn't have 360 degree vision, anyway) that if someone has opponents on all four sides, the figure 'behind' should have a relative advantage, including maybe a percentage chance of a sneak attack.

Someone with that investment in the rules (and I'm guilty as charged and am also not moving to 4 because of the 'dumbing down' and 'powering up' and the fact I'm so heavily invested in 3.5) has probably thought a lot about his own house rules, and I don't think his departures from core indicate that the rules are inaccessible. Maybe it seemed he didn't know the core rule, but he probably did at the point that he decided to do something different in the past. Personally, once I make a house variant, I don't make any effort to remember the original rule.

I'm not trying to dis v4. I think it reflects a market shift toward the MMORPG games where powers start higher and come quicker. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just not for me. I like a game where the delta between reality and the game is a little smaller, that's all.

Merry Christmas, by the way!

longarms
December 21st, 2008, 06:01
"it does seem reasonable to me (for a human who doesn't have 360 degree vision, anyway) that if someone has opponents on all four sides, the figure 'behind' should have a relative advantage"

Well, you raise another thing I don't like about the 3.5 rules (besides its inaccessibility). So many aspects of the rules are intertwined that if you try to house rule on area based on common sense then there is a good chance that game balance is significantly affected in other areas.

For example, a simple house rule that you are bringing facing back, and that only PCs behind the enemy get the sneak attack, makes some sense at a logical level. In fact, that's how Ad&D 2.0 works. However, a small change like this has a huge game balance affect on rogues, who will now sneak attack a fraction as often as they did prior to the house rule, and much less affect on the other classes.

Bidmaron
December 21st, 2008, 13:27
"it does seem reasonable to me (for a human who doesn't have 360 degree vision, anyway) that if someone has opponents on all four sides, the figure 'behind' should have a relative advantage"

Well, you raise another thing I don't like about the 3.5 rules (besides its inaccessibility). So many aspects of the rules are intertwined that if you try to house rule on area based on common sense then there is a good chance that game balance is significantly affected in other areas.

For example, a simple house rule that you are bringing facing back, and that only PCs behind the enemy get the sneak attack, makes some sense at a logical level. In fact, that's how Ad&D 2.0 works. However, a small change like this has a huge game balance affect on rogues, who will now sneak attack a fraction as often as they did prior to the house rule, and much less affect on the other classes.
Actually, I wouldn't bring facing back in my game. What I think I'll do (now that you've made me think about it), is give a guy 'behind' someone who is surrounded on all four sides a +1 to attack and some kind of chance (have to think about this, as it should depend on the level of the attacker) to roll for a sneak attack, maybe 5% per level.
So, facing would only matter if a defender is surrounded. As for its unbalancing effect, well, the number of times that someone is surrounded on all four sides is low enough that I don't think it would be a problem. Plus, once someone made the sneak attack attempt, the defender with a brain will rotate 90 or 180 degrees to keep the rogue out of his baffles.
Just my thought on my game. I don't think 3.5 missing facing kills the ruleset. I didn't think v4 had facing either, but I'm certainly not very knowledgeable about v4.

EugeneZ
December 21st, 2008, 18:32
Actually, I wouldn't bring facing back in my game. What I think I'll do (now that you've made me think about it), is give a guy 'behind' someone who is surrounded on all four sides a +1 to attack and some kind of chance (have to think about this, as it should depend on the level of the attacker) to roll for a sneak attack, maybe 5% per level.
So, facing would only matter if a defender is surrounded. As for its unbalancing effect, well, the number of times that someone is surrounded on all four sides is low enough that I don't think it would be a problem. Plus, once someone made the sneak attack attempt, the defender with a brain will rotate 90 or 180 degrees to keep the rogue out of his baffles.
Just my thought on my game. I don't think 3.5 missing facing kills the ruleset. I didn't think v4 had facing either, but I'm certainly not very knowledgeable about v4.
4e doesn't have facing. And you are going to great length to try and "keep facing out of 3.5" but what longarms said remains essentially true: houserules, especially these kinds of houserules that affect the number in a huge way (on a turn-by-turn basis) disbalance the game. On the other hand, a good DM, when making a houserule that gimps players, will also make sure enemies are appropriately gimped. Or he will inform his players BEFORE they roll rogues.

But this thread is about being tried of d20. You're just tired of your DM, longarms. I think that's largely the case with most people who dislike 3e/4e. It's all about the DM. Since DnD is the most popular system out there, and also the first system most people pick up, it unfortunately attracts a lot of bad DMs. I know this because I was a piss-poor DM when I first started DMing. Don't hate the system, hate the DM. Well, don't hate him. Just find a more compatible one.

Foen
December 21st, 2008, 20:46
I usually avoid these types of discussion (system X vs system Y) because I don't have any strong opinions. However, I think a rule system can be incidental if the GM and players really want to have some RP fun: in these cases, the rules are used by exception and most of the action is RP between characters.

Just my 2c.

Foen

longarms
December 22nd, 2008, 04:38
"But this thread is about being tried of d20. You're just tired of your DM, longarms. I think that's largely the case with most people who dislike 3e/4e."

Well, no, I am tired of 3.5. Every system has its flaws, but the flaws in 3.5 are really apparant to me, e.g. I identified one flaw in each of my posts above, and I could identify more if I had to. And if you still think its because I am tired of my DM - consider this - I first grew tired of 3.5 while I was myself assuming the role of DM. I saw that savage worlds was gaining momentum as a worthy alternative, so I jumped over to that as my primary gaming system.

In fact, since this thread is about being tired of 3.5, I just remembered another more specific flaw - the AoO system. In theory, it makes a lot of sense. In practice, it stifles creativity in combat, particularly with new players that don't know the rules well. Maybe a hypo. example will help illustrate:

DM - the guard tears his spear through the meat on your arm!
newguy - I grab the guard's spear with my other hand and twist it out of his hand!
DM - are you sure? A disarm attempt provokes an AoO since you don't have the improved disarm feat.
newguy - Okay, nevermind, I'll try to knee the guard in the groin and then turn and run!
DM - are you sure? As an unarmed attack against an armed attacker, that will draw an AoO. The guard will get a free attack on you since you don't have the improved unarmed combat feat.
newguy - ok, nevermind. I'll try and slam my shoulder into him and run by him!
DM - ohh, that is an overrun, and since you don't have the improved overrun feat, that'l draw an AoO too.
newguy - ok, will attacking him with my dagger draw an AoO?
DM - nope
newguy - ok, I guess I attack with my dagger


Personally, and speaking generally, I don't think the complexity of 3.5 brought enough to the table to outweigh its drawbacks. This is really amplified by the nature of the VTT. A 3.5 can still be fun despite this (as pointed out by Foen), but I'd rather play Ad&D 2.0 given the choice.

I haven't played 4.0 or read the ruleset, so obviously, none of my comments apply to that ruleset.


Finally:
"Actually, I wouldn't bring facing back in my game. What I think I'll do (now that you've made me think about it), is give a guy 'behind' someone who is surrounded on all four sides a +1 to attack and some kind of chance (have to think about this, as it should depend on the level of the attacker) to roll for a sneak attack, maybe 5% per level."

If I remember my 3.5 rules correctly, in this situation every attacker would get a +2 flanking bonus against the surrounded defender. Furthermore, every attacker would have a 100% chance of getting a sneak attack, if they have the sneak attack ability. just fyi...

kyxmma
January 9th, 2009, 20:21
Im still sick of d20 lol and I still havent found another system where I can min/max as bad as d20. Checked out 4th ed but it wasnt for me. For christmas my wife bought me Basic roleplaying by chaosium. Great system which is completely skill based. Also savage worlds is another great one. Any other skilled based systems people prefer?

Stuart
January 9th, 2009, 23:15
Rolemaster ... obviously:D

kyxmma
January 10th, 2009, 07:03
Rolemaster had a cool idea but way too many charts and mathematics for me. They should rename it to "rollmaster". Its a good system but way to many things to keep up with for my taste.

Foen
January 10th, 2009, 07:24
Kyxmma, you should check out my blog on the Iron Crown web site (http://www.ironcrown.com/index.php?page=blog&c=14): you'll see we are currently building a Rolemaster ruleset which automates much of the "charts and mathematics".

One of the really fun things about Rolemaster is its handling of critical hits. You generally don't die from hit point loss, but from a dagger through your kidneys!

Cheers

Foen

kyxmma
January 11th, 2009, 08:10
Foen, I will definetly check it out. A streamlined rolemaster sounds awesome. Rolemaster has always been a great system but now that it is streamlined it will be something I will defintely be running in the future.

NineShadowEyes
March 16th, 2009, 07:29
I'm sick to death of d20, but not because I think it sucks... just been playing it too much, too long. Want something different. Currently enjoying C&C and GURPS.

As for d20 = min/max... I tend to agree, but isn't that the point? The people who enjoy the min/maxing don't see this as a bad thing. d20 is a great min/max system.

Zoetrope
March 16th, 2009, 08:41
I'm not a fan of D&D, though if I had a choice I'd harken the comments about the classic system, instead of the new incarnations.

So has anyone ever tried Harnmaster (and the Harn setting)? My personal favourite, great rule system and setting in which to play. :D

Combat in Harnmaster is something to be avoided, as you run the risk of being killed very easily. Armour removes damage, but increase the chance of you being hit - you decide the trade-off. Attacks and parries are cross-referenced to see who does what to whom. You fail to parry, you get hit; you fail to hit, they may hit you back with that parry! Injuries seem very real, measured by seriousness which affects your skills - take an S3 wound to the arm, that's 15% off your physical skills (i.e. combat), roll to see if you go into shock and faint from the loss of blood!! None of this "I've still got 23 hit points left, so I'm ok for another hit or six!". Quick, easy to master and works well!

The Harn setting is excellent, very medieval in feel and with excellent source material. Very much designed for roleplaying rather than rollplaying (though I take the point that any system is what you make it - but to me D&D is all combat/treasure/levelling and little else....).

Take a look at Columbia Games (http://www.columbiagames.com) website for more info. I'd highly recommend it! ;)

My 2 cents,
Z

PneumaPilot
March 16th, 2009, 14:37
As a former die-hard D20er, I run a nWoD chronicle now and all of my players pretty much have experience only with D20. This past Thursday night, we got into a fight with some horrific thing, and one guy tries to move past it to get to another part of the room. We all felt a little dirty for not having that provoke an attack of opportunity!

Also, I didn't think it was possible, but I have now seen a min-maxed nWoD character and it really sucks. The guy's a combat god with his Desert Eagle, throwing off the difficulty curve for everyone else. I think I'm going to have him get possessed, kill the other character than no one likes, and then get gunned down by the rest of his team!

The Alchemist
March 16th, 2009, 21:09
I myself am a little partial to the old palladium books Robotech RPG... mind you heavily modified to match Macross, rather than Robotech. ( Harmony Gold RUINED Macross and Mospeada. ) The slow progression of levels is not hindering because of the general level that everyone plays by is relatively similar. Higher levels have some perks but not such a staggering amount that a lower level wouldn't have any chance. I'm also a big fan of the Valkyries, so naturally I may fan-boy a bit for this.

Rienen
March 23rd, 2009, 16:03
Im still sick of d20 lol and I still havent found another system where I can min/max as bad as d20. Checked out 4th ed but it wasnt for me. For christmas my wife bought me Basic roleplaying by chaosium. Great system which is completely skill based. Also savage worlds is another great one. Any other skilled based systems people prefer?

One of my favorites is still Dangerous Journey's : Mythus. Skill based, mana(Heka) based magic system with a lot of flexibility.... pitty the editing sucked so bad on the books though.
After Gygax/GDW lost the lawsuit to TSR, it pretty much killed any possibility of a 2nd Ed. :-P

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_Journeys

I believe DriveTru has a Scanned PDF for something like $5, but the quality of the scan isn't the greatest.

PneumaPilot
March 23rd, 2009, 20:16
I've never played Exalted, although I read the first edition of the rules and about 20% of the second edition. The thing that impressed me the most, though, when I read through it was the way that they encouraged players to describe their characters as doing really awesome things in combat by giving them extra dice to accomplish them if the description was really cool. That was so contrary to the way such things are handled in D20.

Example: "My character ducks under the swordsman's swing, steps right up next to him, headbutts him, spins around and sweeps his legs out from under him, and then places his kukri directly under him as he falls so that he impales himself."

The response in D20: "You can't duck his swing. Your headbutt provokes an attack of opportunity which may cause your whole plan to fail if it is successful. You can't do anything else this round. You'll have to wait until the next round to trip, which will also provoke an attack of opportunity. And there is literally no way to put your dagger under him as he falls."

The response in Exalted: "Awesome! I'll give you 2 extra dice to your attack! Roll it up!"

I seriously want to play some Exalted: Second Edition, but I also want to play all of the World of Darkness games, and right now I only have time to play one game of Hunter: The Vigil each week. Still, I've been so glad that I made the move away from D&D.