Posted by : David Guyll November 21, 2011

This picture does not work at any level.
What? No...just...what?

Having actually played 3rd Edition, attacks of opportunity might not have actually come up all the time--though they were pretty common--but the fact that they existed affected how characters moved and what they did. For example, if the wizard was on the ropes the fighter might want to go save his ass, but in the process might take an ogre's greatclub in the face for his troubles. Does he provoke it and try anyway? Up to him. The fact is, we knew the rules, even if knowing the rules just made us do shit to not have to use them.

No, the rules should not become more complex simply by leveling. Being able to run circles around an orc or fire an arrow in his face while right next to him from levels 1-5, but not at levels 6 and up, is both inconsistent and makes no fucking sense. It would be fine to simply have a modular ruleset where you can simply ignore them (which you already can), but it would be best to just make a game that is simple and elegant to learn and play, which 4th Edition already is.

To me the game already gets more complicated the higher level you get. Having players pick up more abilities, class features, feats that can change more, and magic items that can do more is sufficient complexity. At low levels the players mainly concern themselves with a handful of powers and feats with varying complexity. I have seen players just default to feats that give them passive bonuses to their stats because they don't want to have to think too much, and avoid powers that have triggering requirements.

I remember trying a paragon tier barbarian and having plenty of trouble remembering that oh, I spent an action point so this happens, and because I have these feats and I am raging I also get some more bonuses. On top of all this, you want to also increase the rules as you go along? Call me crazy, but the fact that not all groups even hit paragon tier probably makes it even more likely that these level-based rules would be ignored or forgotten.

{ 4 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. The more I read your reaction on Monte's L&L the more I agree. Well said.

    "It would be fine to simply have a modular ruleset where you can simply ignore them (which you already can), but it would be best to just make a game that is simple and elegant to learn and play, which 4th Edition already is."

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think the column is becoming a sounding board for ideas (good thing). I would say that the next iteration of D&D is going to be a 'basic' version with 'optional advanced' rules. Despite the column's content, I don't think this will see the light of day. I do expect though you will get a quick and dirty version of D&D with a lot of stuff adjudicated by the DM with a few suggested ground rules (like a truncated DMG pg 42). Attacks of opportunity, square movement, all these other situational rules will fall into the advanced rule category. So if people want a simulationist experience they can get it, or stick with a looser, more flexible, set of rules.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think I would prefer it if Cook phrased it as "I think" instead of "it is". As it stands I get the impression that these are things that have already been decided, and he is simply trying to convince us that it is a good thing. Out of his proposed changes, really the only thing I can get behind is the modular rules/character power thing. Everything else already exists in 4th Edition by another name (like Passive Perception), or just sounds like a needless change.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Being able to run circles around an orc or fire an arrow in his face while right next to him from levels 1-5, but not at levels 6 and up"

    I didn't get this picture at all. I don't think he's suggesting anything new and like one commenter at the site said Cook just sounds very terse instead of conversational like Mearls. He's just talking against codification of every little thing there is.

    Playing 3.x/PF with noobs taught me that there's so much to absorb and so many terms to learn. On the other hand e.g. in Savage Worlds the rules are presented in such a manner that there are very few terms to learn but it still has "attacks of opportunity" for when you leave melee combat. I could gush a lot about the system but really, SW does rules representation right among many other things. Even if you have experienced players who are motivated to learn a new system in all its detail, as a DM you'll notice how much less mental clutter there is when you move from 3e to 4e and to SW.

    ReplyDelete

Followers

Recent Comments

Popular Post

Blog Archive

- Copyright © Points of Light -Metrominimalist- Powered by Blogger - Designed by Johanes Djogan -