submitted 9 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I recommend this video to look more into OSR philosophy regarding the rules: https://www.youtube.com/live/bCxZ3TivVUM?si=aZ-y2U_AVjn9a6Ua

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[-] [email protected] 35 points 9 months ago

5e has both too many rules and not enough rules.

It has very specific rules in some places. Item interactions, many spell specifics, grapple, holding your breath, etc.

It has very lackluster rules in other places. Social conflict, item and spell crafting, metagame stuff like making your own class or species.

I think a lot of people playing DND would be happier playing a different system. Just not the same system for everyone.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 9 months ago

Exactly. It's sort of an uncomfortable middle ground, but also just kind of messy.

And I'm tired, as someone who DMed it a bunch, hearing people act like broken or missing rules aren't a problem, or somehow even a good thing, because the DM can just make something up. Yeah, not shit. I can do that in literally any game I run. It's just unpleasant to do in 5e, yet I have to do it all the damn time to keep the game running smoothly. I'd rather have a game that either supports me as a GM, or is easier to improvise.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 9 months ago

I think it was a different thread where I posted about how a guy in my dnd group straight face told us something like "the beauty of DND is we can just try out different rules. If we want to do a chase scene we can try it one way, and if it doesn't work or we don't like it we can try something else".

I'm just like that's not a unique property of DND. That's just how playing make believe works. And I'd rather have a game that runs okay out of the box rather than keep playtesting as a DM, or deal with unchecked dm whims as a player.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 9 months ago

That sounds familiar! Partly because I recall reading that, but also because it's a frustratingly common scenario.

D&D is, for a ton of people, synonymous with tabletop RPGs. Often that means people think the things they like about playing tabletop RPGs are unique to D&D, even they aren't.

What gets me are people who complain about Pathfinder 2e having more rules. You're just as free to ignore them, and no one has to read much less memorize all the rules. Besides, is anyone under the illusion that players are learning all the rules to 5e?

[-] [email protected] 4 points 9 months ago

This is why I'm switching to GURPS. It has rules for everything, but it's very clear that you only need a handful of them, and the rest are options you can decide to use or not. I'm probably not going to use the rocket equations in the Space book to make space travel more realistic, but it's nice that they're there in case I wanted to.

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[-] [email protected] 34 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

Calling 5e and pf2e bloated with unnecessary rules, meanwhile Pathfinder and 3.5e are quite literally full of a couple decade's worth of volumes and modules, in comparison to OSR?

I don't know if you're a boomer, a troll, or both

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[-] [email protected] 26 points 9 months ago

If you got to look up rules and nobody cares or wants to, skip it. Its my advice. Use rules only if its necessary and soemwhat contributing to a fun experience.

This is universal.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 9 months ago

This. Our entire campaign is home-brewed using the 5e ruleset, but the application of those rules is selective when it needs to be.

For the most part, we're following them, but if there's a rule that results in a level of attention to detail that we simply don't care to implement, or would have less fun trying to religiously adhere too, we just scrap it in favour of something a bit more light-touch and call it a house rule.

Rules provide a great framework to base your game on, but the ultimate aim is to create an enjoyable experience and have fun, so bend them and break them when and where you need to for the benefit of all involved.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 9 months ago

One risk with this is when you have a new player join your group. They might expect raw and be surprised by a whole kettle of home brew.

I for one would be annoyed if I joined a group and found they were ignoring the rest rules. They may be having fun but I would have made different decisions if I'd known what they were actually playing.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 9 months ago

Every change should be treated the same : you tell about them at character creation and you tell them during the game while allowing for their set of rules on the present session if you cannot think of them in advance. Homebrew, legal rules, anything should be the same. It's not during a game that you tell the multiclass druid cleric that the steroid goodberries dont work in your game, as he's trying to heal someone after a fight. This actually happened to me. Don't fucking nerf the core of a character's mechanics midgame.

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[-] [email protected] 23 points 9 months ago

5e isn't just needlessly complex, it is an unreferencable mess that has very poor general rules with lots of exceptions and poor standardization. The rules for traveling are so misplaced that most players don't know they exist, not that it's possible to find them when needed. And when there are general rules, they tend to be unfun. Stuff like crafting has no depth in 5e, it's just time + gold = item. It might "work", but it's just bookkeeping there is no hidden fun.

For fantasy, I prefer Hackmaster 5e, because it keeps the complexity and detail without dumping special case rules onto players. It's not perfect, but it's way more engaging and characters feel way more interesting. WFRP 4e is also nice, but not as deep (it does suffer from rules being scattered everywhere). I'll likely end up playing OSE ot some point.

[-] [email protected] 20 points 9 months ago

5e is pretty light though, and in most cases too light so the DM has no idea what to do and has to resort to "Rulings".

PF2e on the otherhand is crunchy AF and its awesome like that. It doesn´t have extra rules for everything, its all based on the same framework, which is pretty awesome.

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[-] [email protected] 19 points 9 months ago

Depends on the game the group likes. More narrative driven game it can conflict and have issues

However, there is something nice about knowing a balanced way to do x or y across the board and at different tables.

A good gm should be able to make a note of something or make a quick call especially in pf2e case were generic difficulty dc per level is given

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[-] [email protected] 17 points 9 months ago

5e has too many rules? If anything it seems to be lacking rules. D&D in general has too many options, but 5e often has nothing if you want rules to handle specific non-combat situations,

When systems go even lighter, it stops even feeling like we are playing a Game, and it starts feeling like annotated improv, which is very much not what I want to play. It never feels right to me as a player to be making sweeping declarations without knowledge of what the GM and the other players are planning.

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[-] bouh 12 points 9 months ago

I disagree for 5e about that. In fact many 5e players complain about the lack of specific rules (but IMO they merely want to play pf2e without admitting it).

To me, the problem of 5e is the community first, and lack of specialty second. 5e does a bot of everything. So when you're looking for osr, you will miss many osr feature and many things are too specific or bloated. If you're looking for rule heavy ruleset, it'll be way too light and dm dependent.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 9 months ago

they merely want to play pf2e without admitting it

In my case, I wanted to play pf2e without knowing it. I've been running a DnD curse of Strahd campaign, and I've been getting more and and more irritated at long rests, challenge ratings being meaningless, and martial vs spellcaster balance. Pf2e solves all those issues, and I didn't even realize till I sat down to do prep for a campaign.

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[-] [email protected] 12 points 9 months ago

Meh, don't play it, then. Why turn everything into a competiton?

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[-] Sirsersur 11 points 9 months ago

If we simplify 5e any more it’s gonna turn into Snakes & Ladders. And clearly OSR already exists, so there’s no need to change other systems.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 9 months ago

5e is actually on the high end of medium crunch. That's not a bad thing though. The game mostly works and it is fun, but it does have its rough spots. I agree with you about not needing to change it though

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

Simple rules that can describe almost every situation are also rules that over-generalize characters to the detriment of options (everyone's noticing the same things, instead of perception allowing more observant characters to do what they could do), over-include the player's capabilities in place of the character's. (Players conversational skills failing to match with those of the character they intend to play), overly abstract what they describe (a monster's "power" or a character's actual abilities meaning something in adjudication but nothing consistent/concrete enough in-world), or demand a DM adjudicate without reinforcement or restriction (In the absence of rules every corner case ruling risks the danger of turning the table into a debate between PCs and the DM, inviting rapid ends and either producing embittered DMs or embittered players* - especially under the "pack it up" approach the video suggests - and helping to increase combative tables in the future.)

The games that OSR takes inspiration from did a lot right in their mortal power-level, reasonable growth, real risk of danger, and humanistic tones but if you're trying to sell me that the growth of rules that followed aren't a direct result of weaknesses in those games? I don't think we'll agree.

*The "Dorkness Rising" problem, for a slightly more light-hearted allusion.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 9 months ago

Me and OSR are a complete mismatch in execution. But we work in theory and design. Where we clash is where the meme is. Simple basic rules that are to be used in pretty much every situation. Where the GM is empowered to make those rulings. Where the GM is King.

I have tried running them and constantly kept asking myself "according to the rules what am I supposed to do?" as I want to run systems as they want to be ran. What is a failure? How does the outcome space look like? And when I get to play I feel I get to relinquish so much control to the GM that I feel almost powerless. The GMs rulings and fiat rules. Sure these are my experiences and I can love OSRs and their designs while not wanting to acctually play them.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 9 months ago

5e is already too simple, playing anything simpler makes me want to vomit.

Plus, OSR games are generally made by the most absolute vicious racists and general bigots imaginable. Genuinely awful in every way possible.

[-] [email protected] 12 points 9 months ago* (last edited 9 months ago)

Can you link me some sources on the racism/bigotry? Genuinely curious, didn’t realize this was the case.

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[-] [email protected] 6 points 9 months ago

Take a look at Knave. It is a parring down of 5e.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 9 months ago

I don't find 5e bloated exactly. But I do think it has a few too many systems in place, sometimes with overlapping use-cases.

Like attacks, skill checks, saves... They're all basically the same thing, an opposed check, but they have slightly different rules. Sometimes the player is rolling against a target, but sometimes the target is rolling to save against? It's a little strange, and adds a bit of extra complexity where I don't really think it's necessary.

A lot of it is just legacy systems that are kept because it wouldn't be D&D without them.

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[-] [email protected] 6 points 9 months ago

I'm really looking forward to 'Project: Black Flag' aka 'Tales of the Valiant' aka 'CORE Ruleset', which a like-like to 5e (compatible in regard to power-scaling and adventures) that's in development right now. My community plans to switch to it as soon as it's out as they are cleaning up a lot of rules and pushing for a world-agnostic system that feels a lot better from both a player and a DM.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 9 months ago

I don't know who needs to hear this, but you can try games Powered by the Apocalypse!

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[-] [email protected] 4 points 9 months ago

Hello! So I’m not trying to stir the pot or anything.

Have you looked at Shadowdark?



It was very highly anticipated, had a very successful Kickstarter, and he’s been very well reviewed.

The author has written several well reviewed fifth edition adventures.

Shorthand way to describe it I’ve seen is, modern rules, old school style.

I’m throwing this out there, because it has been described as an old-school variant of fifth edition.

It is so old school that you have to do three d6 down the line.

Also, there is a very interesting real Times Torch mechanic.

A lot of Osr games, put attention on things like scarcity and time this phone put a lot of attention on light.

I haven’t read it so I don’t know for sure but to me that sounds like possibly inspired by dark dungeons. Although I know that wasn’t the first game to have a very prominent darkness mechanic either.

Just wanted to throw this out here I never want anybody to change game systems. I just thought it might be interesting for people who hadn’t heard of it.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 9 months ago

This is why I play Shadowdark. It’s amazing. All the best bits of 5e design, none of the cruft. Ruleslite is the way to go.

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this post was submitted on 04 Sep 2023
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