Author Topic: Things I don't like with D&D  (Read 2791 times)

Eagle Prince

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Things I don't like with D&D
« on: April 28, 2006, 09:15:02 AM »
Just a semi-random collection of things I don't particularly like in D&D, open for discussion for anyone with similar or opposite views on them.

Blanket creature immunites: By this I mean for example how all undead are immune to critical hits, or dragons automatically immune to sleep and paralysis.  There are way too many of these blanket immunities, most don't make all that much sense, and most have a huge impact on game play.  There is a lot that could be said here.

Magic Item Wealth: The cost of powerful magical gear simply being gold is a terrible system on so many levels.  To make it even worse, the system assumes you to have X amount of magic item wealth that forces the system into a certain play style.  Not to mention the pricing and pricing guidelines of magic items is far from balanced.  Quick example, see what 100k of DMG magic gear will do for your attack roll, then see what 100k will improve your AC.  Changes here would possibly take the most work, but are the most needed IMO.

Spellcasting: Its just messed up on so many levels, the least of which is the huge volume of spells and trying to balance all this into the system.  A lot of the changes here are going to depend on what you want the magic system to be like, but there is also many problems with the current system balance-wise and such.  Just for a quick example, spell DCs are horribly designed, even changing them to 10 + 1/2 level + ability mod would be an improvement.  Definally easier to predict and balance, for sure.

Skills: need I say more?  Okay, how about career soldiers (eg fighters, warriors, etc) without access to Spot?  Or seige engineer?  Such job oriented skills should not have to be cross-classed.  And we need not even get into the 2 + Int skill points for so many classes.

Random hp/stats: Hit points per level should just be a flat number.  Random stats should be the 'alternate' and either point-buy or a set arribute array as the standard.

Level power curve/1st level chars: First level characters already get some extra bonuses (max hit points, x4 skills), but they really need more.  To go along with this, each level should net less power gain than the current system.  My rough estiment is you double in power about every 4 levels, it should be at most half this.

Ability score boosters: Just a few things I want to point out here is ability-boosting spells are too low of level, ability-boosting magic gear costs way too little, and I hate the fact that I am basically excepted/need superhuman attributes in 2-4 stats.  With the current rules, a PC with all of his attributes 18 or below after spells/gear/etc would be eaten alive at high levels.

There are others but that is good for now.  I will go into more detail on them if anyone wants to discuss.
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blcdrayco

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2006, 12:12:33 PM »
This is why I play GURPS
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Entsuropi

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2006, 02:16:32 PM »
Everything relating to magic fails to feel magical. When your spell list is a set of tools and explosives, you could quite easily change the names and have a sci-fi engineer.

I disliked that the ranger would use knowledge: dungeoneering to find out what a monster was, then would shout IC things like 'It's a carrion crawler! It's paralysing!'. Should have docked exp for that.

The entire game seems set up to not have NPC's. If you follow the skill descriptions to the letter, you need never speak to a npc again.

My main beef, though, is that there is so much choice but so little actual potential. When I create a character in GURPs, I could, eg, make a race that has the magical ability to twist flames around. Or a character that is a nobleman with a daemonic mount. In D&D I'd need to buy a new book to do that, and use some pre-made option for it. Blah. I'm far more interested in systems that just let me build my class, rather than ones with a list of them.

Sadly Sharn and the very cool illithids are in D&D. If they were in another system i'd be much happier.
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Fellfrosch

blcdrayco

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2006, 06:27:45 PM »
Acording to SJ games, GURPS is compatable with any other systems setting.  I've found this to be true, and that you can quite easily find or convert on your own any critters from D20.
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Entsuropi

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2006, 07:10:08 PM »
You assume I can be bothered to convert every NPC and monster stat from D&D across. I'd rather struggle with a worse system than spend a week converting the MM :P
If you're ever in an argument and Entropy winds up looking staid and temperate in comparison, it might be time to cut your losses and start a new thread about something else :)

Fellfrosch

Eagle Prince

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2006, 09:02:15 PM »
You are of course absolutely right about magic items.  I hear that same comment about magic in D&D all the time.  In fact Harbinger ran a low-magic game for I believe 2 years because of that exact reason.  Why people feel that way is a bit harder, but one of the big reasons is the system requires you to have X amount of magic gear per level.  Another I think is that the majority of classes have supernatural abilities, if not outright spellcasting.  Just in the PHB, there is 11 classes.  7 have outright spellcasting, monk doesn't but does have spell-like and supernatural abilities, and then bbn, ftr, and rogue without.  So only 3 of 11 of the core classes aren't magical.

You are also right about the class choices.  There are now so many PrCs, feats, spells, suppliments, etc you are practically overwhelmed with options.  But when it comes to realizing a certain character concept, it will usually require far too much multiclassing, and even then won't fruit until high level.  And forget the little 'flavorful' feats and abilities, taking them usually means crippling your character.

I am hoping PHB 2 will have some new ways to help with the multiclassing problem.  I believe there is going to be alternate class abilities you can select, akin to the alternate class options in Unearthed Arcana and the enviromental series.  Another question is if it will include the alternate multiclassing rules for BAB and base saves, those are badly needed as core rules.
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Harbinger

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2006, 10:46:27 PM »
How about some broken feats?
Weapon finesse: wait, my rogue or bard has to wait until third level to use his dexterity to hit in melee, but my fighter or barbarian can take at first level?
Weapon proficiency: I can use a feat to use one weapon outside my class weapons list, or I can take a level of fighter and get them all, and a bonus feat.
Improved disarm: my fighter can strip your wizard naked, and you can't do a blessed thing about it! Not so tough without your headband of intellect, are you? If there's a feat to help you disarm, there should be one to help you keep from getting disarmed.
then there are the feats that have such limited utility that I wonder why we have them at all: run, toughness, endurance/diehard, eschew materials, extra turning. In some campaigns or adventures they're useful, sure. But the vast majority of the time they're a waste of space.
Fighter, your intelligence is found to be lacking when compared to the average intelligence of a group of your peers. -White Mage

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Eagle Prince

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2006, 02:52:09 AM »
Yeah, weapon finesse.  We've discussed this a bit before.  This goes back to some other stuff mentioned in this thread, like 1st level needing a power boost and the rules in general requiring an abnormally high level to actually make the character you were trying to /start/ as.

weapon proficiencies need to be redone completely.  Something more like the weapon groups in unearthed arcana + simple/marshal/exotic.  marshal weapon proficiency feat is a real joke.  With simple weapn prof., you get all simple weapons with a feat,  Exotic you only get one weapon, but they are in most all cases better than marshal (usually they are just a copy of a marshal weapon with either a better crit or one step higher on dice damage).
 So as an example, wizard types would get 1 weapon group of their choice, rogue and clerics 2, barbs and ranger maybe 3, ftr 4.  If you chose lets say the sword weapon group, and are also proficient with simple weapons only, then basically you are proficient with daggers.  IF you also have marshal weapon prof. feat, then you add the mashal swords (longsword, shortsword, scimitar, rapier, greatsword, falchion), and exotic weapon prof adds all exotic swords (bastard sword, elvin lightblade/thinblade/courtblade, great scimitar, great falchion, 2-bladed sword, etc).  In the case of most classes you'd also be able to exchange a weapon group for Improved Unarmed Strike.

Basically anything that improves your chance to disarm would also improve your chance of being disarmed.  If a wizard took Improved Disarm, he would get the bonus to disarm other people and avoid being disarmed.  Take away the whole magic item problem and then its not a huge deal anyway.  You see what I mean?  This is a problem because your 14th level wizard is expected to have that +6 headband.
 You could also add in that all nonheld items require a pin (currently only rings and the like require this).  Keep in mind that you can only use light weapons in a grapple (at a -4 attack penalty, unarmed strike is considered a light weapon), that is a -4 to disarm for light weapon and -4 for grappling (-8 on attack roll) vs outside the grapple with a 2-handed weapon (+4 on attack roll).  And if it is a secured item (ie ring), then the defender gets a +4 bonus rather than -4, another 8-point shift for such items.  That should be more than enough, you could still disarm weapons and such, but to disarm items you'd need to beat your opponent at a grappling, a heavy penalty disarm, and would require at least 3 actions (grapple, pin, disarm).

The feats you mention are the sort I meant by 'flavorful' feats.  You can take them for pure flavor but end up crippling your character design, and by this I don't just mean you are not as powerful.  You already need so many feats to make a duel-wielder or whatever, by the time you have all the feats needed to finally get the fighting style you were trying to start with, you are like 10th or 15th level.  No real room for them, even if your focus is rp and not power.

edit: tried to make the item disarm more clear, hope that makes sense now
« Last Edit: April 30, 2006, 05:26:41 PM by Eagle_Prince »
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Harbinger

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2006, 02:11:58 AM »
Still, the very way fighters/barbarians are designed makes them better at grappling than wizards/sorcerers. So I guess that beef is secondary, while my real problem is with it being necessary to have several magic items to be effective at higher levels.
Also, I mentioned it already in person, but the rules about getting attacked while prone. It makes the trip attack way too powerful. In some ways, AoOs (or would that be AsoO?) generally are problematic. I like how M&M has eliminated them. Actually, I like a lot of the ways M&M has streamlined combat.
Hey, I have a great and original idea. Why doesn't somebody write a review of Mutants and Masterminds? That would rock.
Fighter, your intelligence is found to be lacking when compared to the average intelligence of a group of your peers. -White Mage

Small boys throw stones at frogs in jest. But the frogs do not die in jest. The frogs die in earnest. -Pliny the Elder

Entsuropi

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Re: Things I don't like with D&D
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2006, 07:50:26 AM »
We already have one of the first edition.

I find a lot of feats that deal with organisations offensive. Wait, I'm spending one of my ultra-rare feats to get 'favoured in house'? That seems like the sort of thing you just state as a background item, like friends and upbringing.
If you're ever in an argument and Entropy winds up looking staid and temperate in comparison, it might be time to cut your losses and start a new thread about something else :)

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