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Dogbert
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Joined: 21 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Cervantes wrote:
i think his argument is "they're terrible at design in general so by going rules-lite there's less shit rules"

i wouldn't take that as a super serious argument


I guess Cervantes thinks "If it's good enough for Ajit Pai it's good enough for me."


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Mord
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I may be naive, but I'm willing to believe the following claim: "In November 2017, the D&D RPG book line had its greatest gross revenue of any month since 5e launched."

Consider that there is literally no reason in terms of release schedule that any previous month should have had larger sales. The staggered release schedule for the PHB (Aug '14), MM (Sep '14), and DMG (Dec '14) mean that preorders for those books would not have all dropped at the same time. Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (Nov '15) and Volo's Guide to Monsters (Nov '16) wouldn't have set the world on fire since they were not broadly applicable to most tables (i.e. not player power creep books).

We are now in the "legs" on the core books as well as the previously published splatbooks and adventure paths, and I expect preorders for Xanathar's were actually pretty substantial compared to the previous splatbooks. D&D5 has been selling core books for three and a half years now, so even with attrition, the installed base of 5e has almost certainly grown since launch. Xanathar's contains setting-agnostic player power creep options, so I can very easily see how an absolutely greater number of people would have picked up a copy of Xanathar's than Sword Coast or Volo's. Not to mention the fact that Xanathar's is literally the first such book published for 5e.

Add together the ongoing sales of the items still in print, a cyclical holiday uptick, and preorders for an edition's first book of player options, and I can see how Nov 2017 might take the crown.

The idea that they're having difficulties restocking is also plausible. As far as I know, Xanathar's is traditionally printed, not POD, with all the logistical crap that that implies. It's not hard to imagine that WotC low-balled the estimate on how many copies they would need for the initial print run. If WotC has some specific print vendor or vendors that they use to produce D&D books, it's possible that those manufacturer(s) are in some kind of holiday rush and not able to get more copies of Xanathar's on the print queue fast enough to restock the warehouse. Getting new print vendors up and running would take time and money also, and it's questionable as to whether it would be worth the trouble; if I were the Cockmeister I could imagine myself saying "fuck it, they'll still buy a copy next month if they really want one."
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mord wrote:
I may be naive, but I'm willing to believe the following claim: "In November 2017, the D&D RPG book line had its greatest gross revenue of any month since 5e launched."


For various reasons you cite, this is plausible. But they don't even literally make that claim. Which based on the fact that previous claims of amazing sales have turned out to be deliberately deceptive, makes me unwilling to make any charitable reading.

Quote:
The idea that they're having difficulties restocking is also plausible. As far as I know, Xanathar's is traditionally printed, not POD, with all the logistical crap that that implies. It's not hard to imagine that WotC low-balled the estimate on how many copies they would need for the initial print run. If WotC has some specific print vendor or vendors that they use to produce D&D books, it's possible that those manufacturer(s) are in some kind of holiday rush and not able to get more copies of Xanathar's on the print queue fast enough to restock the warehouse. Getting new print vendors up and running would take time and money also, and it's questionable as to whether it would be worth the trouble; if I were the Cockmeister I could imagine myself saying "fuck it, they'll still buy a copy next month if they really want one."


The problem here is that we live in the 21st century, and printers don't really have problems like that anymore. Once they have the printing proofs at the printer, you can order a new print run of any size you want, and get it within days. Whatever number of orders they have, they could fill those orders if they wanted to.

High demand would not cause problems. If the number of orders was twenty thousand or twenty million it would still be trivial to get those orders filled. The only possible problems they could be having as far as that goes is capitalization. If Wizards had not budgeted enough money to make the down payments on print runs or the shipping costs, then they could be having trouble meeting orders. But for a company that makes hundreds of millions of dollars a year, that should not be an issue. Failing to make large enough orders is a choice on their part. They are saying they are bad at logistics, not that demand is high.

-Frank
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I know Paizo prints their books in China. If WotC does as well then even if the print was done quickly, container ships and customs will make any 'immediate' restock difficult or impossible.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

deaddmwalking wrote:
I know Paizo prints their books in China. If WotC does as well then even if the print was done quickly, container ships and customs will make any 'immediate' restock difficult or impossible.


They don't, surprisingly enough (or at least Xanathar's has 'printed in USA' on it)- China is usually the norm for most of the bigger game companies.

Though, I'm not entirely sold on the idea of USA printers being particularly responsive for medium sized orders- prioritization and booking time is still a problem. Real book companies likely have priority, and something like Xanathar's can't be squeezed in like someone's 100 copy kickstarter. Especially given how rarely WotC publishes books these days (and have to have burned a couple bridges with printers when they set the novel line on fire).
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
Though, I'm not entirely sold on the idea of USA printers being particularly responsive for medium sized orders- prioritization and booking time is still a problem. Real book companies likely have priority, and something like Xanathar's can't be squeezed in like someone's 100 copy kickstarter. Especially given how rarely WotC publishes books these days (and have to have burned a couple bridges with printers when they set the novel line on fire).


None of that has anything to do with the fact that the initial claim is insane and obviously false. If it takes 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 months to get an order filled from whatever printer you happen to be using, the amount of time doesn't particularly change because demand is higher or lower.

The lead time is exactly the same. The amount of requested materials is just an amount. They type a number into an email, and the next printing has that many copies in it. However long that takes is however long that takes, but however many orders there are they could obviously fill them all in the same amount of time. If they got twenty thousand orders, they could print twenty thousand books, and if they got a million orders they could print a million books. It really honestly doesn't matter. It costs more money to order a larger print run, but WotC's capitalization shouldn't be a limiting factor for any remotely plausible print sizes.

WotC simply should not be having problems with keeping up with demand. All that could mean is that they didn't order enough copies printed. But since they could just type an extra zero into their order sizes, that would be a management failure not an indication of success.

I mean, obviously it's better for the company to underestimate a print run size (and make less money or take a financial hit by ordering the proper number of books in two lots) than to overestimate a print run size (and be stuck warehousing books that have been paid for but haven't been sold). Underestimating print run sizes is a nice problem to have. But it's still just a mistake, and nothing in particular to brag about.

-Frank
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erik
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Mord wrote:
I may be naive, but I'm willing to believe the following claim: "In November 2017, the D&D RPG book line had its greatest gross revenue of any month since 5e launched."


For various reasons you cite, this is plausible. But they don't even literally make that claim. Which based on the fact that previous claims of amazing sales have turned out to be deliberately deceptive, makes me unwilling to make any charitable reading.


I think the rule of thumb for interpreting Mearls-speak is to assume that whatever claim of success is made, has been stretched as far as it could possibly be taken to be technically true.

The corollary to this is that there is a simple claim that is more impressive that wasn't made, then they have not achieved that.

If Mearls could have said, this is the best selling book of all 5e! Then he would have said that (or really stretched that even further somehow). And if it was better selling than the last 4e books then he would have stretched it to be highest sales in a timeframe longer than 3.5 years.
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Lago PARANOIA
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

5E D&D has no room for power creep that is not explicitly handing characters more power. Which isn't really a problem, except for the fact that 5E D&D characters are already too strong against hordes and boss monsters, as shown by me knowing an Adventurer's League cleric with 26 AC at level 13.

There's really only a handful of ways to expand:
1.) Brand new races and classes.
2.) Going 'fuck it, you can buy magical items, we just won't call them magical items'.
3.) Options that allow lopsided 'trades', such as trading in hit points or proficiencies or extra languages for bullshit like proficiency bonuses and extra attaks and the like.
4.) Many more magical items that don't require attunement slots, and allowing players to forcibly instantiate them.
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Your freedom to make rulings up on the fly is in direct conflict with my freedom to interact with an internally consistent narrative. Your freedom to run/play a game without needing to understand a complex rule system is in direct conflict with my freedom to play a character whose abilities and flaws function as I intended within that ruleset. Your freedom to add and change rules in the middle of the game is in direct conflict with my ability to understand that rules system before I decided whether or not to join your game.

In short, your entire post is dismissive of not merely my intelligence, but my agency. And I don't mean agency as a player within one of your games, I mean my agency as a person. You do not want me to be informed when I make the fundamental decisions of deciding whether to join your game or buying your rules system.
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Dean
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lago PARANOIA wrote:
5E D&D characters are already too strong against hordes and boss monsters, as shown by me knowing an Adventurer's League cleric with 26 AC at level 13.
I think you're saying characters when you mean full casting classes. If you can tell me what a Barbarian or Rogue or Ranger do to make them chew through a hundred archers I'll be impressed. I'll grant you boss monsters get their asses handed to them but that's because 5e intentionally doesn't have boss monsters. The monster manual was clearly crafted specifically to make monsters that didn't offer tactical challenges. For an example go ahead and try to find a flying creature in the MM with a bow. Classic ranged archers like the Aarakocra and Harpy are made to be melee threats now so the fighter isn't made to feel small in the pants by mild tactical changes.

I think there's tons of space for power creep for most classes in the game, and a book with 100 feats is desperately needed at this points. I think the direction to go in for 5e supplements would be things that offered power creep and more abilities to martial classes and options for magic classes that just offered ways to realize different concepts that don't add more power to the base class. If they offered archetypes to be a rune mage, a blood mage, a bender, and a demonologist I think that would be a great idea.
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Wumpus
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dean wrote:
For an example go ahead and try to find a flying creature in the MM with a bow.


There's the quadrone modron, with multiattack for four shortbow attacks at CR 1 (!!??!)
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Lago PARANOIA
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
I think the direction to go in for 5e supplements would be things that offered power creep and more abilities to martial classes and options for magic classes that just offered ways to realize different concepts that don't add more power to the base class.
This suggestion is impossible to meaningfully implement in the framework of 5E D&D without just straight up going 'feats now give a +2 to ASI and the equivalent of two PHB feats' or 'the Arcanist class is literally the Wizard and Sorcerer classes fully mashed together'.

Seriously, more feats?! Are you fucking kidding me? Unless you are intentionally writing Divine Metamagic-level overpowered feats, what good would that do?
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Josh Kablack wrote:
Your freedom to make rulings up on the fly is in direct conflict with my freedom to interact with an internally consistent narrative. Your freedom to run/play a game without needing to understand a complex rule system is in direct conflict with my freedom to play a character whose abilities and flaws function as I intended within that ruleset. Your freedom to add and change rules in the middle of the game is in direct conflict with my ability to understand that rules system before I decided whether or not to join your game.

In short, your entire post is dismissive of not merely my intelligence, but my agency. And I don't mean agency as a player within one of your games, I mean my agency as a person. You do not want me to be informed when I make the fundamental decisions of deciding whether to join your game or buying your rules system.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dean wrote:
Lago PARANOIA wrote:
5E D&D characters are already too strong against hordes and boss monsters, as shown by me knowing an Adventurer's League cleric with 26 AC at level 13.
I think you're saying characters when you mean full casting classes. If you can tell me what a Barbarian or Rogue or Ranger do to make them chew through a hundred archers I'll be impressed. I'll grant you boss monsters get their asses handed to them but that's because 5e intentionally doesn't have boss monsters. The monster manual was clearly crafted specifically to make monsters that didn't offer tactical challenges.

Razz
5e has shitloads of boss monsters- way too many proportionally, given how many levels are lacking in decent amounts of CR appropriate challenges.

The problem is boss monsters are shit design, not that they don't exist. No amount of bullet spongey hit points overcomes the fact that they're simply behind in action economy. But this is a fundamental D&D problem, not anything unique to 5e.

A PC class, a lieutenant or two and a bunch of henchman are always going to be more interesting tactical fight than a single boss. There is zero way around that.

Dean wrote:
For an example go ahead and try to find a flying creature in the MM with a bow.

Specifically a bow? Weird restriction, especially given that monsters are typically non-humanoid, but eyrines, sprites, solars and the modron mentioned above.

Flying and ranged attacks in general has several more:

Eyrines, Flameskulls, every dragon, efreet, sprites, several mages, cambions, spectators, beholders, solars...


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Dean
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
The problem is boss monsters are shit design, not that they don't exist. No amount of bullet spongey hit points overcomes the fact that they're simply behind in action economy.

I think you and I are saying the same thing I'm just being more derisive about it. I know there are two dozen monsters labeled "Boss Monster" but they're all just fat slabs of hp with axes. Being behind on the action economy is also a thing big bosses in 3.E (Like Dragons, Balors, Nightwalkers, whatever) actually had things to handle. DR allows you to take multiple hits and handle it better, area attacks like dragons breath weapons let you make level appropriate attacks on everyone, radius spells like Blasphemy let you hit a whole party with one action, and summoning minions lets you swing the action economy back your way. In 5E Balors can't summon shit or do cool AOE's, Pit Fiends get a Fireball but 5e gave you till level 20 to prepare for that incredible power, and almost nothing gets summons. For the record I think the 5e legendary actions is a well intentioned idea. For my money balancing bosses around just going twice (by giving them a single other legendary action) would have been a better balanced choice and easier to design around but what're you gonna do.
Voss wrote:
Quote:
For an example go ahead and try to find a flying creature in the MM with a bow.
Specifically a bow? Weird restriction, especially given that monsters are typically non-humanoid, but eyrines, sprites, solars and the modron mentioned above..

I did miss the Quadrone but the others I knew and think my point will hold.
I think it's really obvious that things that were known to have presented any problem to Fighters had the elements Fighters couldn't handle removed.
Things like Harpy's and Aarakocra use clubs and talons now and that's clearly a choice. The 3rd level Harpy archer problem was a known phenomenon, famous not quite for it's difficulty but just that Fighters couldn't handle it because they're dumb and don't like owning a goddamn bow. So 5e took them away. The sprites and solars have large parts of their entry about how you aren't supposed to fight them, they're good guys and noble and true or whatever and you have till CR 12 to get ready for the Erinyes.
It's like when they changed Heal, Haste, and Harm in the 3.E to 3.5 change even though those weren't the real problem spells. "Harpy with a bow" became a meme as a problem for a fighter and they solved it even though the solution (make everyone 400 different flavors of high hp swordsman) is massively shittier than just incentivizing dumb melee'ers to be decent with a goddamn bow.
Lago PARANOIA wrote:
Quote:
I think the direction to go in for 5e supplements would be things that offered power creep and more abilities to martial classes and options for magic classes that just offered ways to realize different concepts that don't add more power to the base class.
This suggestion is impossible to meaningfully implement in the framework of 5E D&D without just straight up going 'feats now give a +2 to ASI and the equivalent of two PHB feats' or 'the Arcanist class is literally the Wizard and Sorcerer classes fully mashed together'.

I don't think that's true and don't understand why you think that. If you made an archetype for Fighter called "Destined" which gave him relevant abilities based on the fighter's magical bloodline (you get wings cause you've got angel juice) you could absolutely make things that offered more power to martials than the archetypes you printed for casters in the same book.

You are totally right about feats though. I have absolutely been playing with the ASI AND feat houserule for the entirety of 5e. Yeesh yeah that's rough. I still think you could have feats that had "+1 to any ability score" and then relevant powers which could make them much more viable without totally breaking the mold. But yeah, it was a terrible choice to make people choose between options and staying on the mathematically viable bounded accuracy train.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Honestly power creeping player damage would be amazing for 5e because 5e combat comes down to being a boring, tacticsless slog where you slam bags of HP into each other.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dean wrote:

I think you and I are saying the same thing I'm just being more derisive about it. I know there are two dozen monsters labeled "Boss Monster" but they're all just fat slabs of hp with axes. Being behind on the action economy is also a thing big bosses in 3.E (Like Dragons, Balors, Nightwalkers, whatever) actually had things to handle. DR allows you to take multiple hits and handle it better, area attacks like dragons breath weapons let you make level appropriate attacks on everyone, radius spells like Blasphemy let you hit a whole party with one action, ..

I don't think we are saying the same thing. Dragon breath and so on is still clearly there. I'll grant you summons, but honestly that comes down to basic encounter design in the first place. The random chance for something from a list that might not even matter or might break the encounter completely was never a good thing.

The big problem is just that boss fights are inherently dull, and dogpiling just works unless you break out area save or die/suck spells, which still isn't interesting. Blasphemy is just bullshit, not a real solution. DR... rarely mattered, especially as the edition went on. You either brought the golf bag or went for spell-based solutions to ignore it. If it affected you, you probably weren't a weapon-based character.

Quote:
I did miss the Quadrone but the others I knew and think my point will hold.
I think it's really obvious that things that were known to have presented any problem to Fighters had the elements Fighters couldn't handle removed.

Given that you're ignoring the things that have ranged attacks that aren't bows, I'm not sure your point does hold.

From games of 5e, there are shitloads of things that fighter types can't handle. Fly, movement shenanigans and/or meaningful ranged attacks are still absurdly necessary, and hand axes or other strength based throwing weapons just don't cut it, due to range and ammo restrictions. For most melee types, switching to a bow is pretty pointless, as they're going to be too far off on the hit and damage bonuses.

It's worth skimming some of the Critical Role fights- Grog (the barbarian) and Percy (the pathfinder gunfighter warped into a fighter archetype) are constantly stymied in fights, especially once the party breaks Percy's only magic damage gun. Outside of DM pity (which doesn't happen often for poor Grog: he often gets kited by flyers using hit and run attacks because the rogue has the speed boots (which bizarrely still use PF rules and are broken as fuck as a result), the flying armor and the teleportation weapon), they're often stuck doing nothing in big fights, largely because the other players snaffled (and hoarded) the good loot and don't bother with spell assistance. (Because the new players are playing the spellcasters and the experienced/clever players are playing beatsticks)

Their new campaign should be interesting to see for character creation, because several members of the group were clearly irritating as fuck at being stymied by the system on a regular basis. What they make in response should be... enlightening. Or stupid...


This state of affairs doesn't even seem to be rare out in the wild. While you get some people with functional system mastery, like Lago's cleric acquaintance, it's incredibly easy for 5e DMs just plow groups into a wall; encounters where they'll crash and burn because they don't have the toolbox to deal with basic shit (let alone the chicanery fucker DMs got up to in older editions).


Last edited by Voss on Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Certainly my experience with 5e was that a lot of players spent a lot of actions trying to move into melee range and not accomplishing anything.

-Frank
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Iduno
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Some idiots suggested I join them in a 5th ed game, because it's "less rules, more play." They seem to think they're playing Heroquest the RPG (which is impossible, GW hates customers too much). Trying to use logic and facts is as effective as convincing religious people using the same.

Is there a game I could get them to play in the unreasonable hope (I *do* love having my hopes dashed) that 5th ed is actually trash? At least something I can get some enjoyment out of? Something that fits the "less rules, more play" they say they think they're getting, with enough actual options to keep it from being a board game.
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Iduno wrote:
Some idiots suggested I join them in a 5th ed game, because it's "less rules, more play." They seem to think they're playing Heroquest the RPG (which is impossible, GW hates customers too much). Trying to use logic and facts is as effective as convincing religious people using the same.

Is there a game I could get them to play in the unreasonable hope (I *do* love having my hopes dashed) that 5th ed is actually trash? At least something I can get some enjoyment out of? Something that fits the "less rules, more play" they say they think they're getting, with enough actual options to keep it from being a board game.


I like Adventurer Conqueror King. It's an OSR thing, so the moment-by-moment rules are very simple. Players are encouraged to have a cadre of henchmen, so you can have comparatively large battles. Hit points are low, so players don't have to default to "I waste it with my crossbow" for an hour. The focus is mostly on strategic depth -- getting to a dungeon, minimizing the number of combat encounters, and getting out with as much treasure as possible. Despite being OSR, the rules are reasonably unambiguous.
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saithorthepyro
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Symbaroum is less rules-heavy in a way since it hasn't really had time to grow and the expansions and additional rules that hit 3rd and PF aren't really there. Added caveat that for all I know it could be garbage, I just play it casually and haven't really analyzed it at all.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'll say Adventurer Conqueror King as well. It has all the bad parts of an OSR, but it's decent despite them.
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Antariuk
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Adventurer Conqueror King looks pretty cool because, OSR wonkiness aside, they made rules for an adventurer economy (or an economy run by adventurers) and incorporated all the old advancement promises of castles, keeps, temples and guilds you could run or build. I haven't played or tested ACKS, but that fact alone puts them head and shoulders above the vast majority of retroclones.
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Dogbert
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Iduno wrote:
Is there a game I could get them to play in the unreasonable hope (I *do* love having my hopes dashed) that 5th ed is actually trash?


If you want to go Wu Wei on them and turn their fallacious argument against them, introduce them to HeroQuest 2.0.
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Heaven's Thunder Hammer
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Somewhat random, but here's a google trends look over time.

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=Role%20Playing%20Games,D%26D,Dungeons%20and%20Dragons
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Korwin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nice, did the same with D&D, D&D 3.5 and D&D 5
https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=D%26D,D%26D%203.5,D%26D%205
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Red_Rob wrote:

I mean, I'm pretty sure the Mayans had a prophecy about what would happen if Frank and PL ever agreed on something. PL will argue with Frank that the sky is blue or grass is green, so when they both separately piss on your idea that is definitely something to think about.
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Ghremdal
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Joined: 26 May 2012
Posts: 192

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

D&D 5e and DnD 5e show a whole lot more searches however.

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=D%26D,D%26D%203.5,D%26D%205,DnD%205e,D%26D%205e

Though how telling is that is anyone's guess. But as much as I don't like it people are buying 5e books, and they are buying more then in 2015. While how much is up for debate, they are buying. Who? and Why? are the big questions though.
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