Tuesday, October 17, 2017

An Essay, of Sorts: An Answer For Jeff B. Regarding 5e...

From Sunday's game session
I got a comment on the Sept. 18th post that I thought deserved a longer and better reply:

If you could modify 5e to your tastes, what would you change?

In a nutshell, simplify and add lightness. The stack of books that seem to be the game boggled me, for starters, and then reading through them got me wondering how I'd be able to keep it all straight in my head during a game.  It came to me that some of the players can do this, and others use apps to do it for them; what I found annoying was the plethora of races, classes, sub-classes, factions, and all of the special rules that went along with each. Now, some of the player do have all this down cold; one, in particular, kept reminding the GM of some special rule or calculation throughout the course of the game and I thought that it really slowed down the pace of the game to have to hit the 'pause' button while the smart phones and tables came out to run the numbers.

I'm sorry, but I don't regard this as much fun; I came to play in an RPG, not take a course in higher algebra. I have very limited amounts of free time and energy, and I found all the special rules just too much to keep my interest and energy going in the game.

I do want to be fair to the GM; he was trying very hard to keep the game going while playing the rules as published. I found this admirable; I also find that I much prefer the way that they GMs in Fifth Daughter's game group routinely leave the rules in the book and rune 'rules lite' in their games. They use the rules as a tool, not as an objective.

I genuinely don't know if one could have a version of 5e that appeals to me; I'm used to the way that some old guys used to play, which was very 'rules lite' and very heavy on role-playing and not roll-playing. I guess I'm saying 'Less rules, more adventure.'

Again, in fairness to the GM and the players in this group, I want to be clear that I had no issues with their play style or anything; I just had no idea what they were talking about, most of the time, or hat all the calculations were all about.

I should also mention that the GM and players have invited me to be part of their next game session, in November, as a sort of 'associate GM'; they want to visit the world of the Petal Throne, and they want me to run it for them. The campaign's regular GM will handle the rules; I will handle the world setting for them. 

I have hopes, and I will report back on what happens.


  1. Very crunchy rules work best on computer RPGs anyway. You can't forget a rule or use the wrong equation, and player experience isn't perfecting your probabilities move by move as though your elf were a killer android with a calculator brain.

    1. I think so too; what I was missing was largely a 'human element'...

  2. Thanks for making a whole post in response to my question!

    What is your preferred RPG?

    1. You're welcome! Happy to oblige!

      None, I suspect; I think I've been spoiled by my time with some guys in the 1970s and 1980s. If I were pressed to name something, though, I think I would select Phil's original EPT; quick, fast and pretty easy. Both Dave and Gary liked it, which I think says something.