Can flaws improve an rpg system?

Is a perfectly balanced system be boring? Let's take 5E for a moment. By no means is it perfect, but a common complaint is that it's boring, it takes no risks... it's essentially just D&D and exclusively that. It's easy, it's balanced(enough), It allows for Roleplaying and Rollplaying depending on your DM and Group, and it allows for plenty of freedom. But... It doesn't go outside the lines. Excluding it's General, it's talked about very little on the board compared to other editions, which may be that there's nothing that's so noticeable about it that it needs to be discussed.

Now, I say this as someone whose favorite system is 5e, and honestly, I really would rather this not turn into another Edition/D&D hate thread. I'm simply trying to illustrate that maybe a system can be better because it has chinks in its armor, either because working around them or fixing them with your group can be a more interesting experience. The same can even be said of DM-ing styles, Consider the Godsfall podcast. It's nice, high-production and is well-done as an entertainment piece while still being a D&D game... but honestly, it's quite boring after you listen to more relaxed games, where players seem to have more fun, and things are more real.


Yup! Just look at FFG Star Wars RPG. The space combat is a touch flawed but as a whole it's the greatest RPG ever created.

Its woeth noting 5e hasnt been out as long, and the other editions (or at least tg postulates so) seem to "hook" players into not trying new/different systems.

Coming from a guy whos played a whole 2 sessions of dnd (3e i think?) and has been gming a different system for damn near 2 years in case you're wondering. Im not well versed but i know a few people irl who both follow in these trends and defy them.

>the other editions
No, just one.

The Sunk Cost phenomena is pretty much exclusive to 3.PF

No, because if they improve a system they're not a flaw

Are 3, 3.5, and PF not seperate editions?
Yeah yeah i get the meme that they get lumped together here, but "other editions" sends the message of plural.

Also OP did say " I really would rather this not turn into another Edition/D&D hate thread", so kindly fuck the fuck off.

5e is not boring because it's balanced.
5e is boring because it was designed to be as inoffensive and as possible.

4e is more balanced AND more interesting because it had a strong design goal. (Which happened piss off many people because it diverged too far from the first properly marketed edition of D&D.)

>Are 3, 3.5, and PF not seperate editions?
Not really. 3e is the obsolete version of 3.5 and PF is just a copy of 3.5 with the serial numbers filed off and a number of "fixes" crammed in.

So they are separate?

Look man, i play PTU. In case you dont know, the entire system was built off of PTA, which was basically a dnd/d20 hack for Pokemons. Yes they systems share A LOT, but they are very clearly separate.

I get that they (this dnd shit) gets lumped together, and one is just a patched version of the other, but despite how much you dont want to admit it, they are separate.

Only in name. 3.5 games often use PF content and PF games often use 3.5 content.

As far as D&D editions and the changes they entail go, they are all very much the same edition.

How about you don't act like a petulant child when someone clarifies a point for you.

>FFG creating a rpg system worth a damn

At every juncture, i acknowledged that those 3 editions are commonly lumped together. I also explicitly stated ive met a couple people irl who follow the "no new system" thing for various dnds in my post. Im noy sayong they arnt extremely similar. Ive had damn near 0 experience with them and ill accept what user says when they day they are very similar.

My whole point, is that 3.png or whatever the fuck is not one system/edition, despite how similar they are/stole from one another, and that stating "they are" is inviting the whole " I really would rather this not turn into another Edition/D&D hate thread " thing OP wanted to avoid.

>noy, sayong
Excuse the typos, phone posting because causal.

Sounds a lot like what ive seen in ptu/a user. Really, i get it, they are that similar. No, that doesnt make them the same. Ill admit the players from that lump probably have similar tastes/attitudes towards new editions, but i cant say they are the same, or that its exclusive to them.

I was going to write up a long winded post outlining exactly why you're a complete fucking moron, but it's not worth the effort, you're clearly far too stupid to understand any of it anyway.

3.0, 3.5 and Pathfinder are the same edition.


Run 5e if you want, but I won't. Its a fine system, it just makes me think of married with two kids, and your wife slowly gets fatter and more bitchy over time and you're bored.

Why not marry the girl who screams at you in the bathroom and ran away to her mothers that one time, but makes great cookies and is a pasionate lover instead? I bet your kids will be smexier too.

4e is honestly a much better game than 5e. As someone who runs OSR (more or less) I hate 5e's effect on the environment. I get so many people asking why I don't just run 5e, complaining about my houserules, and telling me that the dm isn't allowed to change the rules.

Obviously, a dm can follow all the rules in 5e and still be a shit dm. Its a bit more complex than that.

Plus 5e has mary sue tieflings, drow, bigender characters and the works. I had a girl ask me if she could play a literal cat, who was a witch, and spun a hulu hoop on her tail.

This girl is one of my BETTER players.

My deal is, I don't believe in fairies. I mean this in multiple sense: I think gay/queer people aren't as differant from me as they'd have me believe. They're just people who like doing wierd sex stuff. So what? You wanna identify as a girl? I'll call you a girl everywhere outside the bedroom. In dnd terms, this means no magical transexuals. If you were meant to be a girl, you're born a girl, you don't go on some epic quest to find a magic spell to turn into a girl...

That player insists he's totally not a transexual, by the way. Fuckin nub's gonna admit it eventually.

But anyways, the main way I don't believe in fairies is, I don't believe in elves and dwarves (let alone wierder races). I believe tolkien's whatevers represent differant CULTURES, as much as differant genetic stock. Players just can't play an elf right for my tastes, so I like it when people play a human.

That way, no ones special, everyone must become interesting through their habits and actions, and everyone's on the same page

>I had a girl ask me if she could play a literal cat, who was a witch, and spun a hulu hoop on her tail.
>There is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as virtually anything...
- Gary Gygax

Yeah but she wanted all these powerful powers and I had to keep reminding her that she started at level 1

and her character had like a 50% chance of dying

and she just kept adding backstory! I let the good half in, but no you may not have a tenchi-muyo style shit with a mother who's a fucking mad scientist and an aun't who's a witch and mails you high level spells in pies!

She was cool though, don't get me wrong. Great tits lol!

It's like I can FEEL your Aspergers through my monitor.

I bet you have nice tits too lol!

A system can be flawed and still work. A system can be perfect and have a shit game. A game is about the people at the table more than a system. A shitty DM is shitty no matter if it's 5e, WW, M&MM, GURPS, or HU2e.

Personally I was a huge fan of 2e D&D and resisted 3.x. Granted I prefer 3.x now despite it's obvious flaws in having to plan ahead if you really want any feats or prestige worth anything. I avoided 4e completely because IMHO it was too based in trying to copy MMOs. 5e I just haven't touched so I can't comment. I'm a big fan of Palladium though, which... So power creep in some books, obvious clunk and clutter, some things don't even have clear rules, there have been numerous rule changes, there -are- rules for multiclass but you have to dig them out of one particular Palladium Fantasy rule book, and I think combat with firearms has changed 3 times. Still I like it and the ability to throw together various styles of games from one system even if character creation can be a task, though probably equal to planning out a full build for a character in 3.5 D&D.

>Can flaws improve an rpg system?
>Is a perfectly balanced system be boring?
Want to know how I can tell you're a grognard?

You can like a game despite its flaws.

Hell, you can like a game because its flaws.

This does not mean the game is better because of its flaws.

In videogames (and my "main" genre, fighting games especially), sometimes a game is better because of unintended interactions/bugs, but good developers usually make these bugs into features down the line (see: combos). What I'm trying to say is, it's never "having flaws" that makes games good, it's having exciting shit in them that might be the result of flaws, or might be conscious design (that may have evolved from flaws), and a game can easily lack that while being chock full of flaws.

So no, balance doesn't inherently destroy fun, and imbalance doesn't inherently create it.

I actually made a table top RPG a year or two ago, and accidentally made a combination of one low level offense ability and one top level defense ability combo to do infinite damage in a single turn. Literally infinite damage. It only works in a very specific set of risky circumstances, but if pulled off could erase the target from existence.

I'm unsure what to do about it, because it's hilarious.

I'd cap it at some arbitrary high number, but otherwise, let it rain. "Infinite damage" at high levels under specific circumstances may or may not be even broken in your system.

Editions mean different things for different games. Sometimes it's a new publisher or designer that shakes things up and the whole ruleset gets a runthrough, almost no games are the same as D&D where every edition is very different since AD&D2e. The shift from that, to 3/3.5/PF, to 4e, and to 5e again are much larger than from 3 to 3.5 to PF, which is why in that context they are considered the same edition. If they were the only versions of the game, they'd probably be called editions, but as it stands editions means a much larger change than 3.5 or PF offer.

>an aun't who's a witch and mails you high level spells in pies!
The character might have been shit but I can dig that part.

Pure bollocks.

A system having interesting ideas or mechanics is completely different from it having flaws. Your entire point is utterly stupid and without basis.

If you're making a point about perfect balance theoretically being boring? Sure. That doesn't stop balance being important, or something to aspire to. But good design means weighing balance against interesting options and ensuring that you have a healthy range of distinct and enjoyable options that are all relatively well balanced against one another.

Absolutely none of this necessitates 'flaws', or using some bizarre twisted logic to act as if flaws would improve a system. Flaws are flaws. If you call it a flaw, then removing it would improve whatever you are discussing. If that's not true, then the word 'flaw' is no longer appropriate.

Fair enough.

I don't think it's a fault of the system, it's just that as the most accessible, "casual" edition, 5e is the first game for a lot of people and a lot of them will be "bad" for experienced players/gms. People that don't understand houserules, the role of the gm, who don't know or care about trpgs but want to have the experience the critical role cast are having etc. There are still a shit ton of players and a lot of them will be good so I don't see it as a big mark against the system.

That doesn't mean that what makes it accessible and casual doesn't make it a worse game for some though, I do think it's quite dull and after playing it a couple of years weekly I'm quite done with the system.

I think interesting ideas and mechanics often cause flaws and that's where the question comes from, though you are right that it is not always the case and flaws are still not positive. Flawed masterpiece is a common expression, because if you do something so well and interesting to be considered a masterpiece it might simultaneously not be refined and streamlined enough to be without flaws. Dark Souls is the best example I can think of, but there are probably trpgs that are similar.

If something is a flawed masterpiece, it would still be improved by dealing with those flaws. The hard part is doing so without eroding what made the system great, but that's a matter of hard work and clever design rather than any implicit value in the flaws themselves.