Account Share

 

Thread by @machineiv: "D&D thread. Feel free to ignore. Just working out some experiential thoughts and feels. But please don't reply with whatever game you th […]"

, 19 tweets, 4 min read
D&D thread. Feel free to ignore. Just working out some experiential thoughts and feels. But please don't reply with whatever game you think I should be playing instead—my friends are just playing D&D, and I absolutely know whatever point you're going to make.
So I'm running into a frequently recurring issue, in that it feels like no one choice we make, no one action we take matters. The game really doesn't want there to be pivotal choices that at all reflect within the mechanical engagement in any meaningful way.
For example, I'm playing a sniper. An Artificer. The village we were staying in was being terrorised by a tribe of orcs. Pretty standard faire stuff. The orcs managed to get some massive boulders to a precarious position and rolled them down to the town.
We had basically two turns to do things. But the pass/fail mechanics really left something to be desired. Especially considering even actions which we should be pretty good at ultimately had barely more than a 50% chance of success, often less.
Most of the things worth rolling are rated 15+, which means our areas of specialty... failed 50% of the time. While I know things like inspiration exist, we run into a lot of situations where we're just wildly ineffectual, no matter how clever we try to be.
Typically the only time we feel at all effective is when we forgo dice mechanics. Which is to say, literally the only time we feel heroic or effective is literally in spite of the game.
And this problem gets even worse when we're not doing long-form, blow-for-blow combat. My sniper wanted to get one of the fleeing orcs. She climbs to a high place, and shoots three times. With disadvantage... one hits. CRITICAL! Doing... not enough to stop the weakest orc.
I tried stopping the boulders. No such luck. I tried saving people. No such luck. So, really, my character's entire impact in that scene was to mildly inconvenience one of the mook orcs for an hour.
So while I enjoy the players, the characters, and the world, I come out dreading any time I have to pick up the dice, because I know it's going to water down whatever I want to do. It's ultimately going to diminish the value of whatever I try.
The most common thing I hear about D&D (and many other games) is that it's great "when the dice get out of the way and it's about the role-play." Which is to say, it's good when the game isn't actually engaged, and you're enjoying your input in spite of the game.
In a lot of ways, I really dread the dice. Which is a shame, because I like the idea of rolling them, and leaving things to chance. But in practice, it means either wasted time from the statistically likely failure, or wasted time from ineffectual victories.
The game really doesn't know what stories it wants to tell. It definitely doesn't want to play high heroic adventure. It definitely doesn't want high-stakes drama.
I feel like D&D's sort of reverse-modular in this way. To work well, the players have to decide what they want and find which rules to ignore to make that happen. Instead of picking the rules that help foster what you want, it's about fixing the parts that stop you.
I keep thinking of popular fiction, and the things D&D would do with it.

"Han shot first!"

Um, okay. But it doesn't matter because he only does 5-11 damage to Greedo, 10-22 on a critical, and Greedo has 50 hit points. *Yawn*
Now, I'm sure there are people typing, "But a Good DM would just say Greedo died!" Yes. In spite of the rules. A Good DM is willing to ignore the game's physics in order for a good experience, because the game physics doesn't deliver good experiences from choices.
Every time I hear, "A good DM would have," it's followed by something that can be read as, "throw the game out the window."

That means it's a bad game. If being good at the game means rejecting the game during meaningful moments, it's a bad game.
Let's go further. This wouldn't even foster the engagement level of the most shitty D&D inspired genre fiction. Movies like Hawk The Slayer, despite being inspired by D&D games, are literally cooler than what you can accomplish by D&D rules.
Imagine Inigo Montoya, fighting Humperdinck in D&D. Every other time either slashed, they'd hit. And the first nine or so times, it wouldn't matter. Then, somewhere around the tenth hit, finally one of them would fall. That bores the shit out of me.
Unroll please? @threadreaderapp
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.
This content can be removed from Twitter at anytime, get a PDF archive by mail!
This is a Premium feature, you will be asked to pay $30.00/year
for a one year Premium membership with unlimited archiving.
Don't miss anything from @machineiv,
subscribe and get alerts when a new unroll is available!
Did Thread Reader help you today?
Support us: We are indie developers! Read more about the story
Become a 💎 Premium member ($30.00/year) and get exclusive features!
Too expensive?
Make a small donation instead. Buy us a coffee ($5) or help for the server cost ($10):
Donate with 😘 Paypal or  Become a Patron 😍 on Patreon.com
Trending hashtags
Did Thread Reader help you today?
Support us: We are indie developers! Read more about the story
Become a 💎 Premium member ($30.00/year) and get exclusive features!
Too expensive?
Make a small donation instead. Buy us a coffee ($5) or help for the server cost ($10):
Donate with 😘 Paypal or  Become a Patron 😍 on Patreon.com