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Grey Maiden

Alan_Beven's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Tales Subscriber. 282 posts. 1 review. 1 list. 1 wishlist.


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thenovalord wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
In my homebrew especially, cloaks (or whatever slot I want) of resistance +5 become commonplace for enemies eventually.
And in my homebrew a +5 item would be an epic thing, rare as hens teeth, with an extensive backstory and deep ties to the campaign world. Not a parlour trick to challenge PCs.
To each their own. A 25K item is not really epic at all, though.

I too have found something I agree with Dave on.

in PF a +5 cloak isn't epic, its a right/essential of all 10th or so level pcs, and is but one of many shiny baubles on any Christmas tree

You are of course by the rules correct. But I hate the Christmas tree with a passion and my home brew insists that magic items are wondrous things rather than stat boosters. Which is one of the things that 5e does better for me!!!


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David Bowles wrote:
In my homebrew especially, cloaks (or whatever slot I want) of resistance +5 become commonplace for enemies eventually.

And in my homebrew a +5 item would be an epic thing, rare as hens teeth, with an extensive backstory and deep ties to the campaign world. Not a parlour trick to challenge PCs.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Monsters built like PCs level the playing field for both the players and GM. It also gives the GM opportunity to build some really cool monsters!

I was wrong about this before, by the way having now got the DMG.

Contrary to what I said earlier, although many monsters are not built using PC rules, it is expected that DMs will sometimes use the players handbook rules to construct enemies. (So you can beef up the Orc that way, if you wish, though you don't have to - you can just use a monster ability from the monster manual, all of which are listed in the DMG).

Although even when adding in class levels the monster still builds by different rules. For example you don't use the class hit point dice.


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I purchased Rise of Tiamat and have completed a read through. I recall some folks not being happy with how Tiamat's stats were presented, I believe that they thought that her combat abilities were boring. Personally I was pleased with the way that she was presented, and I believe that her stats bring in some of the sensibilities of both 1e and 4e. Monster creation in 1e as some have mentioned is not structured with the same subsystem as PC character building, and I always found that to be a feature and not a bug. Why would a giant centipede or wyvern use the same rules as a small humanoid creature? Just like in nature species are different and not evenly distributed. I also think the 4e sensibilities that a monster is only "on screen" for a short while so it only needs to do what it can do is a good thing. I know as a GM I have been pretty intimidated by high level spell casting monsters with 20-25 spells in their spell lists, but also is that monster really going to cast magic missile or faerie fire?

So, yeah, colour me pleased by how the 5e monsters are turning out so far.


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Werecorpse wrote:

I haven't played much 5e but to me what looks like a difference in style of game between 5e & pathfinder is that pathfinder seems to suit the epic adventure path style of game and 5e a more sandbox style.

A pathfinder adventure path often involves events which are essentially a way to gain levels to allow you to trouble a BBEG. The difference between a 3rd and a 15th level character is enormous. So adventure design tends to lean towards a linear adventure progression. You don't want the 4th level characters stumbling into the 9th level adventure because that's a TPK waiting to happen. So you fight goblins, then ghouls, then ogres, then giants etc you don't want to meet a couple of giants when you should be fighting ghouls!

5e seems to have a less steep improvement curve, meaning that at 4th level if you wander into the 9th level dungeon you can survive ( probably only long enough to get out). So this means you can make the world a bit more sandboxy, let the players find their own way. Now maybe this will just lead to the players having a false sense of their ability to defeat a big threat.

Now that I look back on it when 3.0 came out I started running essentially much more linear adventure path style campaigns. I like the story element of the game anyway. Maybe now I will try a bit more sandbox.

Like I said I admit I haven't had much experience with 5e but that's my thoughts .

Some really good observations. My games are (unconsciously) forming in exactly the way that you mention. You can throw "unbalanced" encounters at the PCs and they have a fairly decent chance to at least escape!


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David Bowles wrote:

I really don't understand the campaigns the posters are playing in. My combats rarely end in two rounds and I have seen many many blown SR rolls in my time. I'm beginning to think we don't even have a common frame of reference on pathfinder.

Well here is a link to me asking the Paizo creative director about the very thing a couple years back: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l7ns&page=318?Ask-James-Jacobs-ALL-your-Qu estions-Here#15876

Seems that it has happened for a few of us.


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@sunshadow21 agree with your points that most games share responsibility between players and GM. I like that a lot. My point was that those systems do not remove the GM from the equation entirely, and most encourage and allow the GM to engage in world and campaign building by limiting player options to those that make sense to the campaign. Which to my mind is the only approach that makes any real sense.


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Bluenose wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
thejeff wrote:
There are also systems that take even more control out of the GM's hands. Usually using some kind of narrative mechanic to place some parts of the GM's control of the world into the player's hands. Very different systems and not really to my taste, but far more effective at limiting GM power than anything 3.x has done.
Interesting, I have never seen one of these that I can recall. Do you recall the name of the system I would be interested in taking a look!
Most varieties of Fate play that way. It's very explicit about making world/campaign building a co-operative process, and there are ways to add Aspects to scenes when the GM hasn't mentioned them. The Heroquest RPG (Robin Laws second edition is my preference) treats magic items as just another Ability or perhaps Keyword, and that means that a character is as entitled to pay the cost to have one as they are to pay the cost to develop/cement any other ability or keyword. The One Ring let's you spend XP/AP to raise your Wisdom or Valour, and the second gives you special items that are the closest thing to magic the system provides.

Awesome thanks!! I have never read any of these systems, keen to learn some more. I hear good things about Fate.


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thejeff wrote:
There are also systems that take even more control out of the GM's hands. Usually using some kind of narrative mechanic to place some parts of the GM's control of the world into the player's hands. Very different systems and not really to my taste, but far more effective at limiting GM power than anything 3.x has done.

Interesting, I have never seen one of these that I can recall. Do you recall the name of the system I would be interested in taking a look!


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Logan1138 wrote:
In the old days of gaming (70's-90's) I think people mostly just gamed with their friends (except for the occasional convention game) and this issue with overbearing DM's wasn't as much of a problem. The advent of organized play which sets a bunch of strangers at a table together probably necessitated the massive codification of rules and giving greater authority to the players.

That is an excellent point. I have only played at one convention, and it was a fairly poor experience, so I can certainly understand the potential need for codification in these circumstances. It is a shame that this codification spills over so much into the home games.


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sunshadow21 wrote:

I agree that 3.5 is the only one that went so far as to be DM neutral, but most non D&D systems acknowledge that while the DM is the final arbitrator, there are significant things, especially when it comes to character progression and development and access to new equipment, that are firmly largely, if not entirely, within the control of the player. D&D has never achieved that kind of balance. Officially, it's always either "DM controls everything" or "DM is just another player that happens to run the monsters and NPCs." And the gaming community surrounding the brand does little to soften that all or nothing approach. To me, it's one of the biggest reasons that I'm starting to get weary of new D&D editions, and even to a certain extent, getting weary of PF.

I like the idea of a system where the DM has final say, but I just don't think that the overall community or company support is there to keep it from going off the deep end into DM controls everything, including a great many things they shouldn't.

I would disagree from my observation that "most" non D&D systems offer progression, development and access to equipment solely in players hands. Vampire? Nope, special equipment is earned via roleplay (aka no unilateral crafting), disciplines out of the standard clan 3 are Storyteller permission. Shadowrun, equipment availability is GM realm, I do not recall a crafting system. Tunnels and Trolls? Same as 1st ed DND for loot and advancement. Pendragon is a strange beast where some "advancement" was even out of the players hands via random winter events. No crafting that I can recall. Numenera, GM literally hands out the cyphers and artifacts as a core part of the game. 13th age has no crafting that I can recall, multiclassing is GM permission. I could go on.

I totally get that a bad GM makes a bad game. Some people should not GM. Vote with your feet. I just personally feel that a system that trys to "even the paying field" ends up hurting the game in ways that I do not enjoy. The symptoms in PF of this that bother me are:

- Expectation of magic items in your stats
- Players have the "right" to exchange gold and time for their choice of magic item
- The CR and wealth by level making just utterly unrealistic scenarios where the solution is to "loosen your blade" because you never face an unbalanced fight

I don't hate the above things about PF, but frankly they stop me telling the types of stories that I enjoy telling. I fell that 5e better allows me to tell stories that are close to my interest, complex roleplay, dangerous, dark, horror laden stories.


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in my experience 3.5 is the only system that moved seriously towards a "gm as neutral body" stance. Every other role playing game I have played (somewhere in the 20 region) recognises and embraces the fact that the GM is the ultimate arbitrator of the game. Personally I think 3.5 and PF gives a great illusion of player control that just does not exist.

"Ok you enter the first room of the dungeon and there is an ancient red dragon" "But we are second level" "Roll initative.."


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Even though David Bowles will negate or ignore this, in my 6 month long 5e campaign the movement in combat rules have only ever made combats better. I have yet to destroy anyone by moving to them and "full attacking" because the balance of hit points to damage output in 5e does not work that way.


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I am pretty sure the idea of skill challenges originated with an idea that an out of combat mini game could be fun (and why not!) and then an attempt was made to codify a certain amount of difficulty into a certain amount of xp reward. Which at its core is a pretty good idea. The issue however is that the implementation is just nearly impossible to nail in game, requires preparation, and at its worst it stifles player creativity.

I tried to use a version of the SC which amounts to players saying what they are doing and making skill checks. When roughly enough checks succeed to equal the difficulty that I am going for them you get the xp reward. But to be honest it is fairly arbitrary and not particularly engaging. Because at its heart it's about getting lucky with skill rolls to earn xp. Out of combat (or freeform as I described it above) is at its best when it is the players wits and imagination against the obstacle. And this is kinda the opposite of a skill challenge. I know you can bolt on auto successes etc, but in the end you just end up with a fairly unsatisfying experience in my opinion.

I ended up using the encounter building rules for an average skill challenge, at the players level generally, and awarded that amount of xp every half hour of solid roleplay/skill checks. Not scientific at all, but probably the most satisfying solution to me.


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Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

I agree with your points 1 and 2 but not necessarily with 3 and 4.

I'll start with point #4 because its the easiest. If Skill Challenges don't work for you well then don't use them. If they do well then go right ahead. Game works either way so just go with your preference.

All that said I have found that its pretty easy to get a crappy Skill Challenge and I've found that making good ones often require quite a bit of work as well as some idea as to why it is you want a skill challenge in this spot for them to be good...most of the time. They do work quite well for major trap disarms and the like as well. In this case they are just being used simply as a kind of compromise. Yes the characters can use their skills to say shut down the mechanical monster...which is more variable then simply saying it has to be killed through HP damage but they need to do more then just make a single skill roll (because that would be too easy).

Point #3 is were I'm not all that clear on whether I agree with you or not. I mean I have no idea what you mean by 'Mythic'. OK I would not really want a basic Blacksmith that took up adventuring most of the time mainly because one can do better in the Drama Department. A Blacksmith with 'something' in her background that can be used for character development is fine however. Maybe her Father had some dark secret that will become relevant later in the campaign or maybe she is actually related to the Fey or who knows...but something is better then nothing in this regards for the same reason TV show characters work better if they have interesting elements in their history...its just better drama and story telling.

On the other hand I have found that 4E works best for me when it is essentially 'grounded'. When the PCs are pretty much mortals with some cool combat moves as opposed to fledgling Gods. 4E does a very good job in this department as well. The Dm sets the vast majority of the DCs so one can pretty much chase PCs with target numbers appropriate for their level for a lot...

My "mythic" comment was probably a little off centre, what I was getting at was that the characters in 4e are pretty full on in their power, they have some pretty crazy powers. Being able to push people around with arrows, fire 9 arrows in 6 seconds etc, kind of makes "gritty" harder to pull off. I think what I meant was the you need to embrace the PCs "cool moves" and that PCs are generally portrayed as "superior" to the remainder of the world.

The game also seems to imply that PCs shouldn't suffer too badly from diseases or general hardships. It hints that the NPCs suffering should be what shows the PCs superiority.


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Agreed that combat is one of its strengths.

I also really liked what it did with the "mythology" of the game, the feywild, shadowfell etc. I do realise that many people did not like this, but I felt it "cleaned up" things and makes it less fiddly to run. I like to think of it as a "reimagined" version of the DnD mythos.


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I will start out by saying that I love 4th edition. However I will also note that the rule system does not suit all campaign types, and thats OK by me. What I would like from this thread is to distill some campaign types or themes that play to 4th editions strengths. The things that come to mind for me are:

1. Combat. The 4e combat system is great. Campaigns need to embrace this.
2. Low/No "Throwaway" Combats. The 4th edition combats can be lengthy. Combats should have some form of weight behind them, minimal "random" combats.
3. Strong story, but aimed at "Mythic" level of PC involvement. PCs should not be dirt farmers or blacksmiths in 4th edition.
4. Out of combat is freeform. Skill Challenges never worked for me.

I would love more input from you all given that we have had 6 years to get to know what the rules can do.


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bugleyman wrote:

The best thing WotC could do right now is follow Paizo's lead:

1. Release water-marked PDFs of the 5E core books on dndclassics.com.
2. Make a licensing deal with Lone Wolf for Hero Lab support.

However, because this course of action would be both effective and extremely fast, it is almost guaranteed not to happen. :P

Makes a LOT of sense strategically.


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Southeast Jerome wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:

If you go by the "what does it break" test then the barb10/clr1 above doing 4d6 as their only action for the round in my opinion is fine. Their weapon attacks will rarely do less than this.

I am playing a game where the rogue took magic initiate. We scale using the total of all levels. His cantrips are an ok option, not overpowering.

I agree with this. I don't think either version of the cantrip rule breaks anything, because, like you said, even fully powered cantrips are not overwhelmingly powerful at higher levels. I think my main issue with the rule has more to do with "does this ability make sense within the game world?" It makes sense in-game that a wizard could take a level of fighter and be able to wear armor, or that a fighter could take a level in cleric and be able to stabilize and heal. However, a 10th level Wizard can't take one level of Rogue and immediately get to deal a 5d6 sneak attack, so I'd probably house-rule that a 10th level fighter that takes one level in Wizard can only do 1d8 instead of 3d8 with his ray of frost.

Certainly a reasonable and sensible rule. Prevents level dips getting out of hand.


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If you go by the "what does it break" test then the barb10/clr1 above doing 4d6 as their only action for the round in my opinion is fine. Their weapon attacks will rarely do less than this.

I am playing a game where the rogue took magic initiate. We scale using the total of all levels. His cantrips are an ok option, not overpowering.


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davrion wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
I have to put it out there, I would love to see some form of "Steam and Brass" sooner or later.
I believe there was concern about some of the earlier projects being exclusive to the patrons. I was a patron of a few early projects during the LiveJournal days (was too late for S&B however), and I have no issue with any of the material on those projects I joined being updated and made available to others.

I do recall this. It was a long shot request, but I figure with it being 8 years gone and a revision of system it might be possible. Would love to see it anyways!!


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I have to put it out there, I would love to see some form of "Steam and Brass" sooner or later.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

Sounds like a good approach to me. Just not the only one.

I'm surprised 5E hasn't copped more flak for its looseness. Granted most of my reading of rules discussion has been about pathfinder, nonetheless I thought the extreme-codification=clear=good paradigm was deeply ingrained in today's RPG culture. Apparently not (which does make me tangentially wonder why rules debates about PF go the way they do).

The thing is most RPGs are not as highly complex or wordy as 3.5 or Pathfinder or 4e. I have a fair number of RPGs on my shelf, and PF tops the complexity curve. So 5e probably falls pretty nicely into the average complexity/looseness category.


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Quote:

This actually might be a selling point for me. It's an answer to the decades old question of "If your customers can play for years with just the core rules, how do you survive as a business?" That's plagued RPGs since the beginning.

The general answer since the mid 2E days has been to produce system bloat. Paizo's has been to focus more on APs,but even they have a strong focus on new rules. The 3.x system is designed for new rules expansions.

The idea of trying to use the RPG to establish the brand rather than as the actual money-maker is an interesting one.

I agree with this. The modern world just generally seems to be geared to cross media publishing. Look at how many kids toys have movies and board games released for them. Honestly Paizo is an exception in even the RPG world in that they can sell through the volume that they do. Most RPGs cannot achieve the volume that Paizo does, so relying on that strategy of business does not seem to be particularly long term thinking.


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Kthulhu wrote:
Ffordesoon wrote:
Build optimization confers the greatest chance of success in 3e/3.5/Pathfinder. To have the greatest chance of success in 5e, you have to play the game well at the table. That's the big difference between 3e and 5e.
Or, as I have rather cynically phrased it a few times lately: 3.x/Pathfinder is a character generation system with an ancillary RPG haphazardly duct-taped onto it at the last minute.

After 3 months of playing 5e every weekend my personal experiences are that your statement, while "harsh", is fairly accurate!


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Given the sales figures of 5e so far I think the pricing seems about right to me.


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Chuck Wright wrote:
Or farming these projects out to other companies as they are the adventures.

I love that idea. Use the far broader talent base that is out there. TSR in the 80s and 90s tried to "own" the vast stable of writers and artists. Part it out, nowadays all around the world, and manage the quality of the output to not dilute the brand.

The Frogs have the chops to write some brilliant stuff, I would love to see what they could do in Greyhawk.


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Turbiales wrote:

I'm already Switched. I'm very happy in general with the new rules and welcomed the simplicity of it all.

I will still use Pathfinder for playing the Adventure Paths and the Society Scenarios.

Nice. I am running Rise of the Runelords and performing on the fly conversions for monsters and dungeons. So far it is working well. It may get tougher with "class advanced monsters" or creatures that have nothing close for a reskinning.


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davrion wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
Well I am going to jump to another conclusion and assume you just want to keep pressing your point rather than engaging in a conversation. Enjoy.
Looked like he clarified an assumption you had made. Not sure what exactly is to be made of your response.

He assumed that I assumed he played Pathfinder. I didn't. I compared 5e complexity of advancement to Pathfinder as a lead in to my point that 5e has far lesser off table play compared to PF. You could make that of my response I guess?


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Detect Magic wrote:
I am fine with less choices, because most of the choices you're given in Pathfinder are pretty much just trap options anyway. Then there's all the "must have" feats. If you're building a character that wields a 2-handed weapon, you're going to take Power Attack and Furious Focus. Every single time. If you're building an archer, there goes most of your feats. These feats aren't really options; they're not diversifying your character; they're mandatory for your build to work. I mean, you could take Alertness or such with your archer, but you're going to want to wait 'till you've gotten all the essential feats. Point-blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, etc. When you look at the shear number of choices, and realize you're only ever going to be availing yourself of 10% of them, the illusion evaporates. I'd rather have less, but more meaningful, options. I'm not saying 5th presents a perfect solution, but I appreciate the attempt at simplifying the game. I'm not really a fan of an ever-growing mass of rules text, in the form of feats; they really slow down gameplay.

Extremely well explained. The interesting thing that I found was that my players were amazed that they could just do what they wanted without permission from the rules (feats).


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Well I am going to jump to another conclusion and assume you just want to keep pressing your point rather than engaging in a conversation. Enjoy.


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Irontruth wrote:

The choices available during advancement.

1. They can be rare
2. Options are very limited
3. The impact of some opportunities for choices is minimal

Essentially, it feels like all the options for a character are made at level 1 (or creation). Once you make those decisions, things change, but you don't get to decide how or what changes. The few opportunities do not seem satisfying IMO.

While that is an oversimplification, compared to Pathfinder you are quite right. I have said it before, 5e is a game that plays almost completely "at the table". The "away from table game" is very light on and frankly, I love that. YMMV.


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I think the crux of the "character build limitations" is around whether you feel that you want mechanical choices to vary your character or whether you want Roleplaying choices to define your character. Due to this I don't think that there is a one size fits all, but I am glad that both PF and 5e exists.

To the topic, I have halted my PF games and I am now running two 5e games. One set on Golarion and one set in the Realms.


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And there is plenty of precedent in earlier versions of the game for sword wielding wizards. Generally you had to use some strange corner case to get it to work however. I quite like that 5e says, sure go right ahead and wield a sword as a Mage, but you burned up a small amount of your chargen resources doing so.


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thejeff wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
So some risk that your "tactics" (aka spell buff routine) might come undone and actually make you have to adjust your tactics is now bad and frustrating? I guess I can see how it would upset people, but to me it adds a large dollop of luck to any tactic that relies on a heavy spell casting combo. To me I actually like it, noting it affects NPCs too!

"Heavy spell casting combo", like casting fly on the fighter. "Heavy spell casting combo", which doesn't really exist because you only get one concentration spell.

And since neither wizards nor clerics have proficiency with Constitution saving throws, even the base 10 will fail pretty often.

Not sure how much PF you have played or DMed? I stand by my combo statement, at least in all the PF games I am involved in.

Oh, "heavy spell casting combo" is definitely a thing in PF. But it's already nerfed in 5E by the "only one at a time" part of concentration. Having them all stripped away as well is just a double nerf.

5E doesn't add a large dollop of luck to any tactic that relies on a heavy spell casting combo. It first bans heavy spell casting combos, then adds a large dollop of luck to any tactic that relies on buff spells at all. Even one as simple as "I cast fly on the fighter so he can reach our flying enemy".

Can't disagree too much there it is a fairly large removal of spellcasting power.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
So some risk that your "tactics" (aka spell buff routine) might come undone and actually make you have to adjust your tactics is now bad and frustrating? I guess I can see how it would upset people, but to me it adds a large dollop of luck to any tactic that relies on a heavy spell casting combo. To me I actually like it, noting it affects NPCs too!

One of the reasons I like it is that I'm hoping it makes it more valuable to acquire miscellaneous magic items, rather than focussing on boosting your main schtick.

A magic item allowing you to fly become that much better in a world where the magicuser cant just effortlessly make the entire party flit around.

Admittedly, I dont think of it as a change but rather as a difference. I'm not particularly wedded to any ruleset, so I dont really have a "default" understanding of how magic should work.

Agreed. In my 5e campaign magic items are actually treated as precious things, as they should be.


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thejeff wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
So some risk that your "tactics" (aka spell buff routine) might come undone and actually make you have to adjust your tactics is now bad and frustrating? I guess I can see how it would upset people, but to me it adds a large dollop of luck to any tactic that relies on a heavy spell casting combo. To me I actually like it, noting it affects NPCs too!

"Heavy spell casting combo", like casting fly on the fighter. "Heavy spell casting combo", which doesn't really exist because you only get one concentration spell.

And since neither wizards nor clerics have proficiency with Constitution saving throws, even the base 10 will fail pretty often.

Not sure how much PF you have played or DMed? I stand by my combo statement, at least in all the PF games I am involved in.


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So some risk that your "tactics" (aka spell buff routine) might come undone and actually make you have to adjust your tactics is now bad and frustrating? I guess I can see how it would upset people, but to me it adds a large dollop of luck to any tactic that relies on a heavy spell casting combo. To me I actually like it, noting it affects NPCs too!


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From my playtime with the game so far casters have not been nerfed as much as they have been shifted away from their 3rd edition playstyle. Your mileage may vary here. I find the concentration spells are a different way to create the playstyle from 1st ed. Casters had very few hitpoints and stayed way out of melee. In 5e casters are more survivable, but getting hit penalises them differently but quite harshly.


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For me, more game at the table. I have about 95% less discussions with my players about edge cases, weird rules, complex build options between sessions. We play the game now, and between sessions my players read up on lore and recount cool moments. It is actually incredibly awesome.

The other thing so far is complex, large fights that are fluid and rapidly resolved.

The above are the "outcomes" of 5e for me (over 4e and PF) rather than a dissection of rules differences.


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Charlie D. wrote:

I can run the adventures I want in a world I like. I can use all of my 1E and 2E stuff easily again. I can also easily convert DCC RPG and LotFP RPG adventures and other OGL D20 fantasy. Heck, I even used 4E's Gloomwrought boxed set. D&D Next is a blast to play (we're up to 13th level so far) and when we convert I expect the enjoyment to continue.

Basically, running D&D Next feels like running AD&D 1E to me without the arcane and strange rules. In other words, for me, it is perfect. Lots of action, weird monsters, a world to build, and with much of the character options from later editions for the players to enjoy.

Here's an example. The PCs were 11th level and using a faulty teleport circle. They teleported to a sky island (floating rock in the sky) and the circle went dead. They were surrounded by 100 zombies who attacked in waves.

That combat was intense. Especially as the zombies were actually coffer corpses and about half of them stood back up after getting knocked down.

I can't see me DMing a combat like that in 3E or 4E. But it would have worked in 1E and now it works again in 5E.

The big boss fights that worked somewhat well in 3E and 4E now also work in 5E. For example a lich or dragon has special powers if attacked in its lair. The crypt or cave itself may rise up against intruders to protect the boss monster.

I like the flavor also. All my years of D&D knowledge work again. 4E could be frustrating because so much of that knowledge didn't work. 5E brings back the usefulness of that knowledge while still keeping the best innovations made in 4E that don't completely change the basics of D&D.

I find comfort in 20 levels, many races and classes to choose from, fireball being 3rd level, hex crawls, dungeon crawls, dragons being deadly. and clerics and wizards having different magic. I also like the warlock being added in, adapted from 3E and 4E. I like the dragonborn (from 3E and 4E) and the tiefling (2E but with 4E origin).

D&D 5E is fun. It is traditional. It is also modern with...

Great post and exactly my feelings.

5e for me is a game that is played at the table, not on internet forums or with character building software. Trying to analyse its components misses it magic at the table.


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I have played every edition of dnd to date, and I have soundly houseruled every one of them. Having to put a couple houserules in 5e is no big deal to me. I have yet to meet the person who played 2e straight out of the books (or they never leveled a Druid to level 14).


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So much in 5e depends on how you expect to play. Regarding the concentration thing for example, in most previous editions you could bust out a spell, or in 3.5 a ton of spells, wade into combat and go for it. My players were used to this, but once they worked out how concentration worked they adjusted their tactics. The key thing if you are buffing someone now is not to get hit yourself. It changes the way you play, and the self buffing classes need to expect their buffs to drop more often. As a side note it makes potions way more valuable (assuming I am running them right) as they appear to not require concentration.

Also it's pretty easy to drop the taking damage part from concentration. You could also house rule that the casters ability score modifier could be their maximum number of concentration spells if you want more "buffability" in the game.

Also since the bad guys buffs drop pretty easily as well I am finding I am having them disengage and rebuff themselves during combat.


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Cwylric wrote:
Wall of text

First up glad you had fun! That's why we play. Couple of notes on some of your points from my perspective (not invalidating yours!)

From a customisation perspective do you need 500 mechanical choices to make a unique character?

For the advantage/disadvantage stacking I mostly agree. As DM I just make a balanced judgement call even if it is not RaW.

And I love the fact that two weapon fighting is automatic. It does consume your reaction if I recall correctly however so you lose opportunity attacks.

Give it a few more sessions. It is a very different beast to PF and 3.5 in a lot of ways that may take some getting used to. I am kinda lucky that 5e actually plays the way that I made PF play. So I am no longer fighting the system.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
Alan_Beven wrote:
Spammable damage cantrips are not breaking my game at all. YMMV.

Just don't want casters to have that level of flexibility with magic in my games.

The fact that varied selection of spells exist so they can re-write their powers every day is enough. Cantrips should follow the rest of the spell casting model, X times a day.

For me that is - keep in mind that this is supposed to be a modular system that has an appeal to older edition players and DMs. That's what I'm looking to recreate.

Agreed you should be the world builder. And that's why 5e is great, low number of moving parts you can make that change and play the storytelling style you like.

It will not surprise me to see limited cantrips in the DMG as a "system hack".


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@thejeff. True it would be 2d10 my character is a 4 fighter/4 wizard however.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
thejeff wrote:

I understand your change. The reason I say it relies on it is that if the cantrip is unlimited, as it is without the houserule, it'll almost always be a better choice than the sword. Ranged, much better damage for someone not melee focused, etc.

And my understanding is that attack rolls with spells used your spellcasting modifier. For most casters, that's not going to be relying on DEX, but his main stat. So, an even better chance to hit than with the sword, even if they're proficient. (Somehow I suspect you won't like that rule either :)

No you are right, it would be off the casting stat, not Dex.

That just makes feel more justified in the houserule of limiting use of cantrips.

I don't have a problem with using the casting stat to hit - makes sense and it isn't going to add to damage. I do have a problem of adding casting stat to hit, 1d10 damage at range, and can do it all day every day.

The bolded part is where the casters need to take a hard hit in the shorts. If the system prevents me from delivering that solid, well placed boot stomp then I need to walk away from the system.

The sword thing is a non-issue. Bounded accuracy means that even a weakling wizard with no DEX or STR still has a chance to hit with that sword for 1d8 - the issues start to pop up of what happens when he gets hit back because he is standing where the hitters stand. Bounded accuracy doesn't help if the Wizard has the worst AC in the game. Nor does the wizard have built in class abilities that will help him get through the encounter (2nd wind), it's all prepped and cast spells at that point.

From 4 sessions of actual play with this exact same scenario, it makes next to no difference to the game. The wizard still needs to make a hit roll, with around similar chance that the Martials have, and 1d10 without any modifiers is not exceptional. It's less damage than most longbow wielders do since most have a decent dex.

Spammable damage cantrips are not breaking my game at all. YMMV.


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Well I just played the game last weekend with a party of 4 level 8 characters, 3 out of the four being Martials. I put them up against a group of 20 wererats in a tunnel complex. The wererats were using hit and run tactics with shortbows and I can tell you that even against the very high AC of some of my characters (18 is average) they got some decent licks in. They managed to whittle the characters down to about 1/2 their hit points. The wizard/fighter unleashed a Thunderblast(?) spell that nuked 7 in one go. Fun battle with CR 1 (I think?) foes providing a meaningful challenge to level 8 characters and the entire combat played out in under an hour.

Needless to say I am pleased with 5e at this point.


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James, preparing to run Rise of the Runelords and I am somewhat confused by the Catacombs of Wrath. It seems that the PCs essentially need to stumble upon the entrance to the Catacombs, and there is not really any particular reason to go into them. The Catacombs mostly seem to be a foreshadowing device to the deeper levels? Any advice as to the intent of this area of the adventure, am a little confused?


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James, you have spoken a number of times how you feel that the usage of prophecy can result in lazy storytelling. Do you feel the same way about the excessive use of good vs evil in adventure design? I personally strive to achieve complex morality in my games, but I do find it very tough to pull off. It seems the goodies vs baddies trope is very heavily embedded.

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