Author Topic: The DM/MMX Controversy?  (Read 1505 times)

Offline SorO_Lost

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The DM/MMX Controversy?
« on: December 04, 2017, 05:00:54 PM »
Mike Mearls: I am now going to tweet a controversial thing about D&D and being a Dungeon Master.
Mike Mearls: If a PC being too good at combat is messing up your campaign, the issue might be that your campaign is too combat driven.
Mike Mearls:  Your mileage may vary, but too many DMs attack issues from the wrong side of the screen.
Sunsword: I agree with this, however the CR system in 5E isn't perfect and takes time to learn too.
Mike Mearls: I wish we had not called it CR – a lot of folks expect it to behave as it did under 3e, creates false expectations.
He would is half right in that both sides share the blame if he went that way. But since his direction is that too many people blame the characters & players rather than the DM & campaign, I feel he is fully correct.

So, controversial or "no duh"?
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Offline Vladeshi

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 05:41:18 PM »
As a Perma-DM I would side with saying "no duh".
As DM you have a nigh infinite toolbox that also contains everything the players can throw at you and far more.
If your players are too good at combat you have the ability to make combat harder and if that doesn't work then make it harder than that.

The real catch here is that combat that is in the Goldilocks range "not too easy, not impossible, just the right challenge for the players." is a lot a work to do and will require some trial and error for every party composition and may change drastically over a single level up and most DM's do not want to do this much work.

I once spent about eight hours working with my brother to design a dungeon for some friends he was introducing to the game and after the first session we had to change about half of it because they picked up the rules faster than either of us expected and wrecked through the first couple of fights.
Being DM is not for sissies afraid to redo and change everything they already spent tons of time and effort to do the first time.

Though in response to his comment about a campaign being too combat driven, at least in 3.5 in my experience, it is rather difficult to get those types of campaigns without helpful players that are very interested in cooperative storytelling as the rules are mostly about combat.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2017, 06:14:40 PM by Vladeshi »
The following explanation has been removed due to time constraints, character limits on posts, and the DC 30 Spellcraft checks to understand large portions of it.

Offline Jackinthegreen

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 12:34:01 AM »
The game doesn't really need players with a lot of interest in cooperative storytelling.  Some interest/natural ability, yes.  There is a bit of a minimum in terms of how social the players and/or their characters are and also how well the DM also handles social stuff.

But I agree, if a PC being too good at combat is messing up the campaign then it's usually a "duhhh" for the campaign to have too much combat focus.

Offline nijineko

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2017, 07:35:21 AM »
it all boils down to people problems. doesn't matter how light or heavy, how fluffy or crunchy, how "broken" or "balanced" a game is, humans will find a way to twist it to their own ends because, in the end, the game is for the participants, not the participants for the game.

too combat oriented? just having someone saying that already reveals that there is a problem of differing expectations.

just like some people seem to assume that if you have more than a little combat, or even combat at all, you are automatically somehow not roleplaying.

expectations. assumptions. perceptions. the roots of all problems.
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Offline Nifft

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 02:06:51 PM »
Quote
Mike Mearls: If a PC being too good at combat is messing up your campaign, the issue might be that your campaign is too combat driven.

Disagree strongly.

A game with occasional combat shouldn't excuse a poorly designed game whereby only one PC is good at combat.

Ideally, every player has some way to engage with every encounter, and combat -- occasional or frequent -- should be a situation where everyone feels both pressing danger and the thrill of victory.

Combat is one of the 3 major pillars of 5e. It's not the only thing, but it's an important thing, and getting it right is difficult. That is why I am paying for this game. Do your damn job, Mearls.

Offline nijineko

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 03:44:57 PM »
Quote
Mike Mearls: If a PC being too good at combat is messing up your campaign, the issue might be that your campaign is too combat driven.

Disagree strongly.

A game with occasional combat shouldn't excuse a poorly designed game whereby only one PC is good at combat.

Ideally, every player has some way to engage with every encounter, and combat -- occasional or frequent -- should be a situation where everyone feels both pressing danger and the thrill of victory.

Combat is one of the 3 major pillars of 5e. It's not the only thing, but it's an important thing, and getting it right is difficult. That is why I am paying for this game. Do your damn job, Mearls.

a point. since when has D&D not been a combat game? oh, that's right... since never.
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Offline Nytemare3701

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 04:51:15 PM »
Quote from: nijineko

a point. since when has D&D not been a combat game? oh, that's right... since never.

Hell, it was even built on the back of a miniatures wargame with the exploration tacked on in the form of an entirely different game made by another company.
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Offline Nifft

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 05:52:08 PM »
Hell, it was even built on the back of a miniatures wargame with the exploration tacked on in the form of an entirely different game made by another company.

"If one mini in our tactical skirmish wargame seems to be so strong that combat is unbalanced, maybe it's your fault for using our tactical skirmish wargame for tactical skirmish wargaming."

I'm paying you to balance the minis. Do your damn job Mearls.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 10:46:34 PM »
Quote
Mike Mearls: If a PC being too good at combat is messing up your campaign, the issue might be that your campaign is too combat driven.
Disagree strongly. ... Combat is one of the 3 major pillars of 5e.
I'm not following you here.

So if combat is one of the three pillars that means Mc UberGod dominating combat is only dominating 33.3% of the game. Well, actually significantly less really. Since Adventures allow up to seven players, even if Mc UberGod deals four times as much damage as everyone else he only makes up 40% of the party's total damage. His total share & contribution to the campaign's advancement is an equivalent of 13.3%.

Assuming everything was split up, each person is expected to have a median value share of about 14.25% (100/7) with some scoring higher in some pillars at the cost of not performing well in others (aka balance). If anything, your three pillar approach is exactly what Mearls is talking about and the existence of those inherently lessens the impact of someone being better in combat than the rest of his follow players. A character must also focus on other things, otherwise he'll end up being subpar.

This is why Wizards in 3rd were ultimately pegged as broken. It's not that they can deal more damage than an ubercharger, but in their downtime they create minions, castles, items, cure cancer, solve world hunger, and turn turtles into ninjas. It doesn't cost them anything to temporarily master any given pillar.
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Offline Nifft

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 11:23:37 PM »
Quote
Mike Mearls: If a PC being too good at combat is messing up your campaign, the issue might be that your campaign is too combat driven.
Disagree strongly. ... Combat is one of the 3 major pillars of 5e.
I'm not following you here.

So if combat is one of the three pillars that means Mc UberGod dominating combat is only dominating 33.3% of the game. Well, actually significantly less really. Since Adventures allow up to seven players, even if Mc UberGod deals four times as much damage as everyone else he only makes up 40% of the party's total damage. His total share & contribution to the campaign's advancement is an equivalent of 13.3%.

Assuming everything was split up, each person is expected to have a median value share of about 14.25% (100/7) with some scoring higher in some pillars at the cost of not performing well in others (aka balance). If anything, your three pillar approach is exactly what Mearls is talking about and the existence of those inherently lessens the impact of someone being better in combat than the rest of his follow players. A character must also focus on other things, otherwise he'll end up being subpar.

This is why Wizards in 3rd were ultimately pegged as broken. It's not that they can deal more damage than an ubercharger, but in their downtime they create minions, castles, items, cure cancer, solve world hunger, and turn turtles into ninjas. It doesn't cost them anything to temporarily master any given pillar.
Well, it's because a 40% damage increase isn't the problem.

Stockpiling spell slots to unlimited quantities during downtime is the most blatant current problem.

Here's an example: a so-called Coffeelock at character level 12 can stockpile roughly 50 level 5 slots every 10 days, increasing the stockpiled slots at that rate without limit so long as downtime persists.

This isn't at the level of 3.x Wizards -- I suspect nothing else is at that level -- but it's in the same direction, and it's for the same reason that you bring up as if it were a distinction.

If downtime exists in a game, there's currently a character who can stockpile resources without limit.


Those resources are not limited to combat, of course. The so-called Coffeelock could stockpile slots for a season, and then keep nine separate level 5 Animate Dead spells active for 10 days. Quantity has a quality all its own, and all that, and what a Coffeelock brings is unbounded quantity -- or plot-bounded, I suppose.


This is not going to be fixed by DMs caring less about combat.

This is the sort of thing that Mearls should be fixing.

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 05:18:20 PM »
giantitp forums are really in a Tizzy about the coffeelock.

Should be compared to the Glyph of Warding find , or say crafting a Very Rare item.
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Offline Nifft

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 09:38:24 PM »
giantitp forums are really in a Tizzy about the coffeelock.
Seems to be dying down a bit now.

Should be compared to the Glyph of Warding find , or say crafting a Very Rare item.
Can you expand on what you mean by this?

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2017, 02:38:52 PM »
From here on down :
http://minmaxforum.com/index.php?topic=17864.msg323620#msg323620

Use a bag of holding to move around a Glyph + get more Glyphs.
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 05:14:08 PM »
Well, it's because a 40% damage increase isn't the problem. ... and then keep nine separate level 5 Animate Dead spells active for 10 days.
Ok so I did understand you correctly, dominating combat isn't a big deal.

Also my official answer on that subject is a full on condescending "meh". Noobcentral is throwing a hyperboled bitchfest (in other news the sky is blue) but 5th has had an infinite Pact Magic problem since the beginning. It took Jeremy over a year to half-ass patch it, and sageadvice has two year old questions reguarding how poorly it did it, and that's without his bosses undoubtedly breathing down his neck telling him to sit on any nerfs so Xanathar continues to sell. And it's not even the only way to bank Spells either.

Besides, it's hardly as effect as you make it out to be. Go ahead and try to beat Season One of the Adventures and let me known how fast you realize the inherent problem with being limited to 5th level Slots with no other useful Actions can be. While you're at it maybe you can come up with a less pathetic example of abuse too, nine zombies for ten days requiring a ten day prep period of not doing anything. You can craft a Night Caller in the same amount of time and after five cycles into this all the Craplock has been doing is trying to keep the same nine Zombies running around while someone else already has ten of them up without using a single Slot or sacrificing higher level Spell. I mean hell, Danse Macabre can kick out thirteen of them, with bonuses, on top of that if the Craplock just took an 8 hour nap. You don't even need to tax your self three levels of Spell Advancement to take Warlock either. In fact you can take levels in Wizard to buff those Undead even more instead as previously discussed.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 07:00:58 PM by SorO_Lost »
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Offline Nifft

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 09:59:40 PM »
Well, it's because a 40% damage increase isn't the problem. ... Stockpiling spell slots to unlimited quantities during downtime is the most blatant current problem.
Ok so I did understand you correctly, dominating combat isn't a big deal.
What's your goalpost here?

Is there anything that would qualify as a big deal in your opinion?

Besides, it's hardly as effect as you make it out to be. Go ahead and try to beat Season One of the Adventures and let me known how fast you realize the inherent problem with being limited to 5th level Slots with no other useful Actions can be.
3 levels of Warlock gets your Sorcerer unlimited level 5 slots during downtime, but it does not limit you to level 5 slots.

You're still a level 17 Sorcerer.

Level 17 Sorcerers can and do cast spells of higher than 5th level.

If your argument was supposed to be that being limited to level 5 slots would balance the unlimited stockpiling, then you're going to need a better argument.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 12:55:09 AM »
What's your goalpost here?
Trying to figure out what you're saying. You disagreed with Mearl's point to look at something other than combat by talking about how combat is only 1/3 of the game anyway. Puzzling, but your recent rant has very little to do with combat-focus anyway so I don't think you're actually disagreeing with him. Possibly? Still not really sure.

Level 17 Sorcerers can and do cast spells of higher than 5th level.
Yeah they do, but the Craplock can't use a Long Rest to recover his higher level Slots without wiping every single Extra Slot in the process. Optimally you always take a Long Rest to replenish those Slots which means you only convert a few Pact Slots over on a given day and discard them if they end up being unspent for being as worthless as they actually are.

But you seem to be arguing that a 5th's version of a Mystic Theurge could theoretically be broken because you think it's broken. And part of the assumption as you've already shown us is based on spending more Downtime than you're actually allowed. But eh, w/e. It wouldn't be the first time in the last few hours I have no idea what you're trying to say. I do know your Animate Dead example is pretty f'ing funny if you think that's powerful.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 12:56:49 AM by SorO_Lost »
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Offline Nifft

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 03:28:30 PM »
What's your goalpost here?
Trying to figure out what you're saying.

If this was somehow difficult to understand:
Combat is one of the 3 major pillars of 5e. It's not the only thing, but it's an important thing, and getting it right is difficult. That is why I am paying for this game. Do your damn job, Mearls.
... then, uh, you may want to set easier goals for yourself.


Level 17 Sorcerers can and do cast spells of higher than 5th level.
Yeah they do, but the Craplock
The what now?

Please explain this new term you're using, and explain how it prevents 6+ level slots from being available for an appropriately leveled Warlock/Sorcerer.

I think it's pretty clear that level 6+ slots are in fact available, so... yeah. You're just reaching now.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2017, 04:47:36 PM »
... then, uh, you may want to set easier goals for yourself.
:eh
(click to show/hide)


Please explain this new term you're using, and explain how it prevents 6+ level slots from being available for an appropriately leveled Warlock/Sorcerer.
:banghead
(click to show/hide)

I think the main problem Nfft is you don't actually know what you're disagreeing with and just want to rant about Pact Magic being able to fuel Long Rest stuff. Jeremy has already said it's intended on a Paladin/Warlock's Divine Smite. And if you wonder if that should change, you need to look at the value of spending your limited Downtime on extra 5th level Slots for a very limited time vs the impact of getting higher level Slots everyday. If you're wrong, like your Zombie example, and a Sorcerer using Long Rests is more powerful. Than a Craplock isn't a problem on the table top. The problem is the lack of understanding about the table top.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 09:22:19 PM by SorO_Lost »
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2017, 12:07:44 AM »
I think the main problem Nfft is you don't actually know what you're disagreeing with and just want to rant about Pact Magic being able to fuel Long Rest stuff.

And I'm here to give you a Christmas gift.
iamrenejr: Does Aspect of the Moon allow to skip the DC 10 Con save for not taking a long rest?
Jeremy Crawford‏: Aspect of the Moon lets you forgo sleep when you take a long rest. The invocation doesn't remove the need for long rests.
So I guess expect it to be nerfed either way.
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: The DM/MMX Controversy?
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2017, 05:02:16 PM »
Ehh ... err ... I think that tweet-rata just about does it.

The XGtE sleep section has 2 IF clauses, and
the tweet settles/ends the first one.  The 2nd one
is still sleep based which is not the problem for
Elves, Warforged, that Invoc or the 1 psi-thingy.
Their sleep "problems" are just fine.
But it puts the Long Rest mechanics right there.

I think what this does, is it puts any SorLock based
spell banking (Soro's term) onto a resource schedule
of removing exhaustion levels.  As in it still works,
just more slowly, and you have to take a day off
every now and then. 

Stick it on the pile with abusing Rope Trick or
Leomund's Tiny Hut; though less borkt than either
because there's an actual cost to do it.
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