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Diffan's page

893 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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I still subscribe and will continue to do so as long as 4e content is still available in the magazines and tools. 5e is much too simple to require a Character Builder program and so far all content has been free for 5e.


CommandoDude wrote:

I'm not sure if this was mentioned, I didn't notice it - but 4e really succeeded in doing something no previous edition was really able to do at all, which is balance the classes (especially along the martial/caster axis).

One thing that has typified Pathfinder for instance is how insanely powerful casters become at high levels, and how much more useful they are out of combat than the skills system that the rest of us get. 4e essentially solved that by ditching the limiting Vancian system and using the AEDU system that brought casters down to par with martials, but still allowing them unique abilities that let them perform traditional caster roles without being op. Casters no longer really had to deal with being powerless at 1st level and warriors were no longer sidelined at later levels - this means players are having fun at all stages of the game, not just when the class they're playing is "in their prime."

Yep, the focus of the spotlight is about role within the round instead of the encounter. For example in 3e if there was an encounter that featured lots of undead or 1 powerful undead the Cleric had the potential to completely obliterate the enemy on his turn, sometimes before anyone else acted. In 4e his radiant spells help immense but the others at the table still get to engage too.

They effectively removed "I Win" buttons for the most part from the game. Still, wizards are unparalleled in terms of monster lock-down and single target penalties as well as mob/minion destruction but they still need help in other areas. Further, by allowing everyone a chance to try skills, you remove the requirement of certain classes to be in the party, like always having a Rogue to picks locks or always a cleric to heal as anyone can get Thievery skill via class, feat, and racial selection as well as other non - casters being able to heal (aka Warlord)


thejeff wrote:
Uchawi wrote:
The key is to mix up encounter challenges so it is hard for the players to predict the story pacing, so in that sense I develop an appropriate level encounter that may encompass multiple rooms, or create the same encounter above the characters levels. The same applies for single rooms, areas, regions, etc. A true sandbox in my mind is a roller coaster ride. You never know what is around the next corner.

How does that work?

My understanding of sandbox is that the GM doesn't restrict things to level appropriate encounters but lets the party figure out what they want to deal with. If they never know what's around the next corner, how can they choose properly?

That's my understanding as well. In my sandbox games the PCs usually start out in an area where the monster threat is minimal in terms of power level. Going into the wilderness and off the beaten path, however, can lead to unexpected dangers like Trolls, Orc warbands, hydras, dragons, and so forth. It's important for PCs to get an idea of their surrou and the local knowledge of the area, going so far as tales, rumors, and superstitions.

These things might be true or an exaggeration or completely baseless. They don't know but for sure it's not always going to be rolled out like a nice, box - shaped encounter with the exact number of monster to XP ratio. It's gonna be what is appropriate for the situation. A group who raids a Kobolds lair isn't fighting 4-6 Kobolds for every 2 to 3 rooms. If they're not cautious then they could awaken the whole tribe and that would be really bad for them.


2097 wrote:
Diffan wrote:
I'm not getting the MMO thing. I've played very few MMO and thought they were really boring and not worth my time and I've found 4e the complete opposite. I've done the whole sandbox campaign with 4E and I think it works great with the system, especially with hex-maps.
The leveling becomes a problem. Do you put level three encounters all over the map or do you mix it up?

I place encounters that are consistent with the world-view and not based on PCs level or the WoW style of zones. The players can, quite easi5, enter an area that far surpasses their level or they can get into a scrap with a group of lv. 2 Kobolds when they're Paragon tier. It depends on what they're doing, where they want to go, and how well they follow up on, ignore, or cautiously circumvent rumors the people they interact with know of.

If there's a fable of an ancient and Evil spirit haunting a nearby house they can investigate but there's no guarantee it's level - appropriate.


I'm not getting the MMO thing. I've played very few MMO and thought they were really boring and not worth my time and I've found 4e the complete opposite. I've done the whole sandbox campaign with 4E and I think it works great with the system, especially with hex-maps.


bugleyman wrote:
Diffan wrote:

Ah, the OGL "Keeping gaming companies married to a specific rule-set since 1999!"

Well I for one am glad WotC hasn't released an OGL yet. I think they'd be better served by up-dating and reviving their GSL to be more expansive. If they allow their basic rules to be expanded upon by 3PP, that would be a good start too. But, in all honesty, people have already been using the Basic rules for creating and converting adventures to 5E for months now. And as far as I know the only things to be hit with C&D letters are on-line character builder programs that give out information beyond the Basic Rule-set. Something WotC has every right to protect.

...which in no way obviates the extra effort currently required to jump through the (unnecessary) hoops created by not having a license. After all, WotC could change who they go after (and why) on a whim, and most people simply can't afford to contend with their legal department...whether or not it is acting within WotC's rights.

Whether WotC calls it -- the OGL or the GSL or the OG-GSL -- they need to release a viable license sooner rather than later if they want a shot at building robust 3rd party support for 5E. Perhaps they don't want third party support.

I think they want 3PP support because, heck, 4E even had 3PP support. However I feel they don't want a repeat of what happened with Paizo in the off-chance they change up systems in X-amount of years. And to both provide 3PP support AND protect themselves later on, they need to be very specific on what gets released so 3PP needs to do more leg work mechanics wise.


Ah, the OGL "Keeping gaming companies married to a specific rule-set since 1999!"

Well I for one am glad WotC hasn't released an OGL yet. I think they'd be better served by up-dating and reviving their GSL to be more expansive. If they allow their basic rules to be expanded upon by 3PP, that would be a good start too. But, in all honesty, people have already been using the Basic rules for creating and converting adventures to 5E for months now. And as far as I know the only things to be hit with C&D letters are on-line character builder programs that give out information beyond the Basic Rule-set. Something WotC has every right to protect.


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thenovalord wrote:
Why do you wish to take an elegant smooth system and make it complicated? I genuinely don't know why you would wish to do that?

I suppose there is a really strong desire for "Gritty" style combat and, I'm assuming, to make entering combat a really tough choice regardless of level? With rules regarding losing limbs even a 10th level Fighter with 75 HP is still wary of Kobolds and Goblins if they score a critical hit and chop off their arm.

Personally, I don't think D&D is the genre or game overall to mimic this particular style.


Matthew, are monsters and NPCS also subject to lingering wounds too?


Laurefindel wrote:
Diffan wrote:
lastknightleft wrote:
(...) As for the non-magical healing funny story. When I read the PHB I came up with a house rule and my players agreed with it. You can use HD recovery during a short rest as long as you use one charge from a healers kit per character healing.(...)
If I'm not mistaken that was the way it originally was in the Playtest, that if you wanted to spend your Hit Die, you needed a Healer's Kit to do so. Now it just helps stabilize people. Though I'm not entirely sure what this houserule is supposed to do or represent?

The fact that broken bones don't heal overnight without some kind of explanation, I guess.

I've heard of people allowing HD healing during short rest up to half the character's hp, but requires magical healing or healing kit when below 1/2 hp.

I'm not sure I follow? If someone narrates HP loss as broken bones, wouldn't that also impact nearly everything they did until healed? And at what point does the damage taken = broken bones? If a character with 35 HP takes 15 damage, is that sufficient enough? And if so, what happens when that character tries to attack with that arm or use their reaction to block (via Shield Master feat)? Are added penalties added when they try to climb or use the arm in any way?

I just don't think D&D's HP system is designed well enough to accomplish the gritty feel many people seem to want from it. Falling off a 40 ft cliff SHOULD negatively impact your character for a long while, regardless of level, but in D&D-land so long as you have 1 HP remaining, you can climb that cliff again, swim, fight, drink and carousel around for as long as you want. Which makes constraints on healing seem overly penalizing for seemingly zero gain.


SmiloDan wrote:
Diffan wrote:

A few additional "Favorite things"

• Self Healing via Hit Die. Not as potent as Healing Surges but I'll take it where I can get it.

• Cantrips. YAY, no more Wizards with crossbows and can't be magic-users for 1/2 the day.

• Non-Magical Healing. Personally I would have loved to have a Warlord sub-class but some of the maneuvers and a feat or two can shore up this area quickly enough. At least I can hold out for future supplements.

• PRof. Bonus is universal. Long gone are the days of various attack progressions and multi-attacks decreasing with each swing.

Would you consider a College of Valor bard or Battle Master fighter "warlordy?"

I also am liking how elegant linking one proficiency bonus to Attacks, Saves, Skills, and Spell DC and Attacks is.

Battle Master fighter, yes to a degree. The biggest thing about the Warlord in 4E was that it used Intelligence as a secondary stat AND they could opt to use their turn to allow other people to attack all the time (instead of being tied to Short Rest mechanics). As for the Valor Bard, not really considering that the Bard is magical in nature and the Warlord isn't. I could reflavor the spells to be non-magical but that sort of defeats the purpose IMO.

lastknightleft wrote:


Yes but 4E made them terrible lol.

Obviously, some would beg to differ.

lastknightleft wrote:

I don't hate 4E I just was uber dissapointed in it, when 4E was announced and they were describing pre-release I was all super excited because 5E was what I was expecting.

As for the non-magical healing funny story. When I read the PHB I came up with a house rule and my players agreed with it. You can use HD recovery during a short rest as long as you use one charge from a healers kit per character healing. So when I got the DMG and read that as an official variant I laughed my ass off for a couple of seconds.

If I'm not mistaken that was the way it originally was in the Playtest, that if you wanted to spend your Hit Die, you needed a Healer's Kit to do so. Now it just helps stabilize people. Though I'm not entirely sure what this houserule is supposed to do or represent?

lastknightleft wrote:


We also houseruled that you don't heal to full health with rest, rather that you heal any unused HD without a healers kit and then your HD pool resets.

The only other houserule is that you need equal amounts of advantage and dissadvantage to cancel themselves out. I don't do the well there are 8 reasons you have dissadvantage, but you did pick up that lucky penny last round, soooo regular attack.

But even as a new DM in 3.5 (when I learned the game) I was creating houserules and homebrews right out the gate so the fact that 5E right now only has two things that I thought needed a houserule out the gate is pretty impressive!

Over the years I've houseruled v3.5 and Pathfinder a LOT, including things like armor as DR, Wound/Vitality system, disease tracks, and other things to the like. So far I haven't house-ruled much of 5E because I really haven't delved too deeply into the system for something to come up. Everything appears to be working as intended so far "officially".


Logan1138 wrote:
Diffan wrote:

A few additional "Favorite things"

• Self Healing via Hit Die. Not as potent as Healing Surges but I'll take it where I can get it.

• Cantrips. YAY, no more Wizards with crossbows and can't be magic-users for 1/2 the day.

• Non-Magical Healing. Personally I would have loved to have a Warlord sub-class but some of the maneuvers and a feat or two can shore up this area quickly enough. At least I can hold out for future supplements.

• PRof. Bonus is universal. Long gone are the days of various attack progressions and multi-attacks decreasing with each swing.

It's always interesting to see that one man's trash is another man's treasure: I dislike ALL of the things you listed above about 5E.

One of the things I do like about 5E is that WotC actively promote the idea that the game should be modified for YOUR table and encourage you to tinker with the rules to make the game play the way YOU want it to play rather than slavishly adhering to the "One True Way". So, Diffan can keep all of the points he listed above and have fun, while I can alter them to play the way I want and have fun.

I think this goes to illustrate the difficult position Wizards is in when they first created this edition. I will say that wizards has always promoted the idea of making a game the way you want to certain degrees.


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A few additional "Favorite things"

• Self Healing via Hit Die. Not as potent as Healing Surges but I'll take it where I can get it.

• Cantrips. YAY, no more Wizards with crossbows and can't be magic-users for 1/2 the day.

• Non-Magical Healing. Personally I would have loved to have a Warlord sub-class but some of the maneuvers and a feat or two can shore up this area quickly enough. At least I can hold out for future supplements.

• PRof. Bonus is universal. Long gone are the days of various attack progressions and multi-attacks decreasing with each swing.


Kthulhu wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Do you criticize Pathfinder for that? I've never seen them reprint every single spell, feat, ability, etc. in their adventures.
Yep, and 3.5 too. However with both systems it isn't an issue anymore just because the game has been out since 2000 and 2008 respectively, giving DMs time to learn what the spells do, etc. That doesn't mean that an alternative solution wasn't there, it was, they just didn't utilize it.
Perhaps, but 3.5 and Pathfinder also have a metric f!&+ton more feats, spells, abilities, etc. I really doubt you or any GM knows all of them.

You're right, published adventures were pretty ridiculous with throwing in material from other supplements that any given DM might not have access to. For things like feats and class features there were times they'd reprint the feature in the monster Stat block or on the same page for ease of reference, though spells were another matter. At the least we'd get a small subscript abbreviation of the boom it was in. But not so with 5e.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Right, "apprentice levels" showed up in the Playtest packets and I was vocally against it on their surveys. I still am to a degree. I don't really think starting at level 3 is the best approach to get around this as a veteran player and would have rather been happy with Level-0 rules for those who want to simulate the farmer-boy grow to soldier thing.
Sure, but I think you are looking at folks wanting this entirely for flavor reasons. For many, it is about ease of play. I've got a player in my group who thought it was fantastic that she could spend two sessions learning the character and getting a feel for the class, before needing to actually make the key decisions that would define her future playstyle.

How many people are really confused by a feat or two and 1-3 spells and/or maneuvers? I think the majority of people buying into 5e are going to be experienced players to which a few added options aren't player - breaking choices that will leave people dumbfounded from the get-go.

Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Barbarian certainly feels distinct from the others, since it gets Rage right out of the gate. Ranger and Paladin get unique at level 2, when they get spells. Is that really any worse than 3.5, where paladins have to wait until level 4 for spells and 5 for a mount?

Barbarians ALL feel the same out of the gate barring weapon choices. I get that's the idea, just not a fan. As for the Ranger and Paladin, it's not worse but it isn't all that much better. I just like more options at earlier levels. A 4e Paladin got multiple choices and he felt like a divine warrior from the get go where's a 5E paladin just sort of doesn't


Kthulhu wrote:
Do you criticize Pathfinder for that? I've never seen them reprint every single spell, feat, ability, etc. in their adventures.

Yep, and 3.5 too. However with both systems it isn't an issue anymore just because the game has been out since 2000 and 2008 respectively, giving DMs time to learn what the spells do, etc. That doesn't mean that an alternative solution wasn't there, it was, they just didn't utilize it.

And I'm not even saying they have to put FULL disclosure on every spell an enemy or NPC has access to in their write-up, just the most common ones that particular NPC/Enemy will bring to bear in combat.


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Diffan wrote:

• Monsters use spells, which have to be referenced in another book, very annoying because it breaks up the flow of the game when the DM has to look up the mechanics.

Do you mean in the two published adventures? Because if you go to the product page for each of them, there is a free pdf download for each that includes all the magic items, monsters, and spells used in the adventure that are not also in the Basic Rules, so that you have them for reference and do not need to even have copies of the core books.

I get that, but you're missing the point that I have to look elsewhere from the monster description to get info on their actions in terms of their spells. It's annoying when every time the monster goes and I use a different spell, I have to look up range, duration, damage or effect before I can even figure out if that's a good choice at the time. It's an annoyance that could've been fixed.


Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Diffan wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

What do you mean by substances at 1st level? Like cold iron, silver, etc.? Or alchemical substances, like acid, thunderstone, tanglefoot bags, etc.?

The monsters are so straightforward, there really is room for spell descriptions.

Substance as in, options. A 1st level Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Barbarian are all pretty much the same unless your human and the DM has agreed to the 1st - level feat variant. The paladin doesn't feel very divine until 3rd level.
But that was their intention. It was meant that you start making real character choices at 3rd level, as 1st and 2nd level are supposed to almost be apprentice levels and pass by very quickly.

Right, "apprentice levels" showed up in the Playtest packets and I was vocally against it on their surveys. I still am to a degree. I don't really think starting at level 3 is the best approach to get around this as a veteran player and would have rather been happy with Level-0 rules for those who want to simulate the farmer-boy grow to soldier thing.


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SmiloDan wrote:

What do you mean by substances at 1st level? Like cold iron, silver, etc.? Or alchemical substances, like acid, thunderstone, tanglefoot bags, etc.?

The monsters are so straightforward, there really is room for spell descriptions.

Substance as in, options. A 1st level Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Barbarian are all pretty much the same unless your human and the DM has agreed to the 1st - level feat variant. The paladin doesn't feel very divine until 3rd level.


Arakhor wrote:
Monsters having the full text of their available spells printed along side might have been done in 4th Edition, but it's never been done at any other time to my knowledge.

Correct, however I never liked it in those editions either. Having to do multiple page references for 1 monster is really annoying. It would have been better to say "These are his common spell attacks"

Firebolt: at-will, 120 ft., 1 trgt, +8 attack, 3d10 fire damage
Fireball: 150-ft. range, 20-ft. area, 5d6 fire damage (save DC 15 1/2).

Etc.

Instead of just throwing out a dozen or so spells from the PHB that the DM now has to look up for their range, components, duration, effects, etc.


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After doing a few sessions with the non-Playtest rules and having access now to the PHB (instead of just the Core material) there are a lot of good things that I like:

• Bounded Accuracy
• Fluid combat
• Simplicity
• Spell design (like Sleep is a lot of fun and still useful after 1st level)
• Bonus actions and how things interact with them
• Less focus on action-during turn (like "Oh wait, did I already use my Intermediate Interrupt and can I use this ability to trigger another effect that uses my Immediate Reaction, etc.) In 4E it sort of bogged the game down a bit IMO.
• Quicker Combats, though I'm assuming that will increase as we gain levels
• Complete removal of Alignment-based restrictions

Things that I'm not a fan of:
• Critical hits are *yawn*.....boring....
• Not enough substances at 1st level
• Multiclassing Rules as I really didn't like v3.5 style and much more preferred 4E's feats and/or Hybrid class rules.
• Monsters use spells, which have to be referenced in another book, very annoying because it breaks up the flow of the game when the DM has to look up the mechanics.


Drejk wrote:
Stefan Hill wrote:

(1) Ravenloft adventure (original 1e redo VERBATIM as 5e, nothing related to the less than appealing 3.5e version).

(2) Ravenloft setting as a hardback (last 2nd ed. version as a template)

That's about it really, quite easy to please me :)

And I would like exactly opposite - redoing the vibrant, living, flavorful 3.5 Ravenloft as a setting for 5th edition instead of anything that happened to Ravenloft prior to White Wolf involvement. And possibly sending the people responsible for revoking the White Wolf licensee to a gods-forgotten office in lower Hell for the next ten thousand years.

The last two supplements of Ravenloft I have was created by Sword & sorcery and I think was designed for 3rd Edition. Those two books were pretty awesome for drawing inspiration and a feel of dread. I'm actually look at them to build a 5e adventure from.


David Bowles wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
If you're playing a high level caster and you're focusing on DAMAGE, the YOU are the one who isn't gaming it out well.
It's hard to win without damage, therefore, martials are needed.

I'd say that this is true from about 1st through 6th or 7th level. It's at this point that martial (ie. non-magical classes) really start to fall to the way side in terms of contributions. It's basically why I'd really fight hard to play E6 when playing v3.5 or E7 (for Pathfinder) because I know that once 4th level spells start to become the norm when combat arises, my character will instantly be taking a back seat to the Rocket Tag that occurs in the mid- to late-levels.

Now I've played the Rise of the Runelords adventure with a rogue (later reworked as a Swashbuckler 3/ Rogue 6/ Swordsage 1) that did an OK job at dealing damage. However I'll point out that he only did this well with a WHOLE lot of 3.5 help ie. Tome of Battle feats, maneuvers, and classes as well as lots of 3.5 magical items like the rod of ropes, and assassinating weapons) and spells from the Cleric and Wizard placed on him.


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David Bowles wrote:
Diffan wrote:

Creature abilities in 4E and D&D:Next sort of replace the need for feats IMO. An Orc doesn't need Power Attack, he could simply have a line that says "-5 to Attack, add an additional +10 to the damage roll" or to illustrate Lightning Reflexes "The Orc has advantage when making Dexterity saving throws."

An endless list of feats based on HD isn't required (and good riddance).

Except for those of us who find "advantage" and "disadvantage" limiting and boring as watching paint dry.

So an active mechanic that requires interaction is boring compared to v3.5/PF's Lightning Reflexes of +2 to Reflex saves.....? Color me confused.

David Bowles wrote:
The Ork needs power attack so the effect of it scales with the BAB of the Ork.

Level and CR are still interchangeable here. If you want a higher level Orc, then use a higher value for the damage expression. -5 to attack, +10 or +20 or +30 to damage depending on what strength you want the Orc to be. Why is that difficult?

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 mosnters!

See, here's where we totally disagree. As a DM for my group I've always felt constrained by the v3.5 system for creating monsters. Making them bend to the requirements of PCs is just too limiting. Want that Orc to wield two battle-axes, well he's gotta have Dexterity value of X and Two-Weapon Fighting feat AND Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting feat and that means he'll need to be Y level and blah-blah-blah. No thanks. I'll just write down "2-battle axe attack" on his character sheet and not bother with the minutia of rules-jargon for a monster that will most likely die in the 2-3 rounds of combat he's featured in.


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Creature abilities in 4E and D&D:Next sort of replace the need for feats IMO. An Orc doesn't need Power Attack, he could simply have a line that says "-5 to Attack, add an additional +10 to the damage roll" or to illustrate Lightning Reflexes "The Orc has advantage when making Dexterity saving throws."

An endless list of feats based on HD isn't required (and good riddance).


Hiram_McDaniels wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Hiram_McDaniels wrote:
In my opinion, the best thing to do with 4E combat is to jettison XP counting, and find some other system for leveling up PC's that doesn't rely on X encounters per adventure, then limit combat only to meaningful, high stakes encounters. So a room in a dungeon shouldn't be an encounter, a floor of a dungeon should be an encounter. Anything incidental, like a rogue sneaking up to a guard and slitting it's throat, can be handled via skill challenge.
Well that's one way of handling it and I've done that before too. I also think people skip over the possibility of awarding story-based XP which helps alleviate the requirement for more combat to fill the XP gap.
I can't tell if you object to my dm style specifically, or to the very concept of houseruling in general.

On the contrary, I'm in very much support of houseruling and I think that removing the XP system is a very elegant way of breaking down the whole "10 encounters per level up" math that the system uses. It's arbitrary and I've seen people post very different ways to accrue XP.

I was also throwing in another way of doing XP in the form of Story Award points, something that not all DMs do. It's something that I've found in a lot of 3rd Edition adventures and only here and there with 4E ones.


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Zardnaar wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Werecorpse, I think Bounded Accuracy will help in the department of keeping monsters relevant to higher level characters.

Kind of does but AoEs and the PC power level and copious amounts of healing negates it. I have used 40 Kobolds on PCs at elvel 8 and 40 hobgoblins at level 12. They can get a few hits in but are mostly bait for level 3 spells.

Depleting PC spells and then hitting them with stuff that matters kind of works.

That's exactly how the system is supposed to work. 40 Kobolds and other mediocre monsters need to be in larger numbers to be a significant threat otherwise we get 3E's and 4E's syndrome of being able to sit down on the ground and let the monsters attacking you, only hitting 5% of the time, which is moronic and stupid yet works RAW.

Just look back at Lord of the Rings where they enter the Mines of Moria: Do you think a group of nine 10th level v3.5, Pathfinder, or 4E D&D characters would've even blinked an eye at the goblins running down the walls towards them in that scene? Nope, they would've laughed as the Fighter greater cleaved / Encounter-Daily powered to his hearts content, the Wizard would've been dropping 20' areas of goblins on whim with fireball, scorching burst, or a myriad of other AoE spells, and everyone else would be killing 2-3 goblins per turn all the while the Goblins would've all had approx. 5% chance to hit them. At least with 5th Edition such a scene is particular fearsome to adventuring parties of most levels barring heroes ramped up with magical gear (something not inherent with the system math).


Werecorpse, I think Bounded Accuracy will help in the department of keeping monsters relevant to higher level characters.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

If the PCs are predominantly AEDU there is no possible way the DM can really have a fast combat. The DM can make choices in the combat that will serve to significantly speed it up. However I would consider those options as something that is in the DMs toolbox. In effect you sometimes hand the PCs much quicker combats as a kind of change of pace - but most of the time our DM of higher level AEDU based PCs would do well to follow your advice and jetson the XP system in terms of leveling while refocusing combats to meaningful encounters.

This is true for the 1st few encounters I suppose however it's been my experience that as people become familiar with their character's abilities, they quickly decipher which powers are good to use and when, cutting down on what people call "option paralysis". What I've found slows down play is Immediate Interrupts and Immediate Reactions. When PCs are always cutting in as the monsters are going (nearly taking a 2nd turn) it can bog down the game significantly. So what I've done is reduce the number of Immediate Reactions/Interrupts any character can have to 1-per tier (not including features like a Fighter's Combat Challenge or a Swordmage's Aegis power).


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 .

While I generally agree with your statement, 3E/Pathfinder/4E leading it to be more adventure-path based, it doesn't necessarily have to be. I'm not entirely sure where the notion came from that these editions push for level-appropriate encounters all the time? Perhaps it's because most 3E/PF/4E adventures have a level range and going off that specific path is uncharted and thus, DMs don't normally allow for that and go a more rail road element. I've certainly done my fair share of sandbox style games with both 3E and 4E and the Players generally know venturing into territories that have significantly difficult threats are going to result in their quick deaths.


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Hiram_McDaniels wrote:


4E combat is too ponderous and slow for my tastes. It's great for big set piece battles, but not so much for room-by-room dungeon crawls.

At first I thought so too until I came to the conclusion that I was doing it wrong with "balanced" encounters and trying to put an even amount of monster-types into these dungeons. For example, each room having 2 standard soldiers, 1 standard lurker, 1 standard artillery. It was pretty balanced but combats would then take 35 - 45 minutes. So I started throwing in LOTS of minions and maybe 1 standard, and the minions would often be a few levels higher than the PCs to make it more difficult, not to mention that I wouldn't differentiate which one was a minion and which wasn't, which tended to make the PCs pause when they were popping off Enounter and Daily powers. The frustration apparent on their face as they "waste" a precious resource on a minion is really priceless, muwhahahaha.

Hiram_McDaniels wrote:
I think what happened is that the designers looked back on all their best and most memorable combats from previous editions and tried to engineer a system that would produce that result all the time, not realizing that a fight with a couple kobold sentries isn't supposed to feel epic.

Which is why, as a DM, it's important to gauge the relativity of your combat encounters. If you throw a few kobold sentries at the PCs, after 2 or 3 rounds and nothing significant has occurred, have the Kobolds retreat or surrender or *gasp* even reduce their HP to where the next shot kills them. The point of combat is to be dramatic, not just something to get into as a throw-a-way encounter. You can also run such an encounter as a Skill challenge. The point is to discern the reason for the Kobold's appearance and decide if combat is the best way to go about overcoming that obstacle. If the Kobolds are there protecting a way through a valley or bridge, can the PCs find a way around without engaging in combat? How about persuading the Kobolds to leave by bribing them or maybe looking for an alternate route.

Basically there are TONS of ways to get around a boring combat that will take 30 minutes but a lot of DMs are either too lazy to do something different or the Players aren't imaginative enough to find a simpler solution (as it pertains to 4E).

Hiram_McDaniels wrote:
In my opinion, the best thing to do with 4E combat is to jettison XP counting, and find some other system for leveling up PC's that doesn't rely on X encounters per adventure, then limit combat only to meaningful, high stakes encounters. So a room in a dungeon shouldn't be an encounter, a floor of a dungeon should be an encounter. Anything incidental, like a rogue sneaking up to a guard and slitting it's throat, can be handled via skill challenge.

Well that's one way of handling it and I've done that before too. I also think people skip over the possibility of awarding story-based XP which helps alleviate the requirement for more combat to fill the XP gap.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I found 4E to be similar to AD&D in spirit. But I never met anyone who agreed with me, so no - I don't think it was supposed to be. I think that was just how I played it.
You aren't the only one. I know of several who have that same opinion.

I too have seen this before from quite a few people in the online community.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Blazej wrote:
thenovalord wrote:
on the other hand, to those of who use it, its drips with flavour, ideas and great art. Gone is the ridiculous superhero art of PF

I was going to comment on how I liked the Monster Manual like many of the monsters that I wouldn't have expected to be in a primary Monster Manual, how I enjoy the way many of the powers were built (that aren't just advantage or disadvantage) like the medusa's gaze or how goblins are naturally good at running and hiding with a small bit, but I stopped after seeing this.

Pen & Paper RPGs, where one can't exclaim their love for one game without taking a shot at another.

I'm mostly dismayed at how much play testing and development went into 5th and that the final result is so underwhelming.

This is another one of my own opinions.

From what I saw, they had a key concept in mind. It didn't matter HOW MUCH feedback they got that was against it, that key idea did not change. Part of that idea was what eventually morphed into bonded accuracy, along with several other items in regards to the core mechanics.

I'm just not sure the online community is that much of a significant portion of players for the game, at least from a polling perspective or as any sort of gauge on things like mechanics. Sure, things like Damage-on-a-Miss was a contentious issue but was this representative of the community on the whole or just those specific people? It's hard to say IMO because it's a topic that I've ONLY ever seen argued on Forums and not real life. Same thing with topics like healing, powers, spell-per-day, Liner Fighter/Quadratic Wizard, 5-Min work days, etc.

I think the designers received the best information they could and that it correlated, to a degree, what they were already going with. And in all honesty just because a group of people (say, 3e fans for example) play and love 3E or PF doesn't necessarily mean they like things such as save-or-die spells, wealth-by-level, or the deluge of Feats and Prestige Classes.

You mention Bounded Accuracy and I think that's probably one of the BEST innovations for the edition. Even though I enjoy playing v3.5 and Pathfinder and 4E one of the biggest problems I had when looking at those systems is the ridiculous height the numbers reach. I do NOT NEED a Fighter with +45/+40/+35 attack modifiers that deals 70s, 80s, or 100s of points of damage or AC to reach the 50+ to feel "Epic". I feel it was done because someone back in the 3.0 system creation thought "Oh, higher numbers means I can feel BIGGER and BADDER!" and all I felt it did was put an arbitrary and fictitious strain on class and monster design. Monsters in the CR 18 - 20 range just got Natural Armor +20 because the Fighter got +18 to 20 BAB.

Not only that but it completely removed these characters (and monsters) from the "commoners" of the settings. Even when reading novels like the Forgotten Realms epic heroes had flaws and could be felled by things like common weapons and people. In v3.5 I can make a 12th level Fighter that literally just sits on the ground why 9 orcs beat on him and they'll only damage him 5% of the time. That's just moronic.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
There were several things in the forums discussing the rules that showed an overwhelming desire for certain things...but when you look at what happened it was as if this feedback was blatantly ignored in surveys, forums, and questionnaires.

Again, forum communities are not indicative of the overall attitude towards the edition, let alone specific mechanics. Going from what Mearls stated, it appeared from looking at the forums the community was "divided" however when looking at the survey data there was a lot more things the player base had or wanted in common.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
I think if they had actually listened more to the feedback instead of what they wanted to absolutely have in it, we'd have gotten a game that was more a blend of 3e and 4e than something new that came out of their beta. I mean, point blank, those who were involved were all 3e and 4e players as the majority, and they were all trying to push their ideas from each of those respective editions.

Its funny you say this because I see a certain amount of people saying there's too much 4E (or insert the edition you didn't like here____) among community posters here, and in other places. TO me I think that means they did something right. Besides "powers" there's a LOT of 4E design in this edition. There's also quite a bit of 3E elements in the game as well, even looking at the books one could jump to the notion that it "feels" like 3E.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
If they actually had listened and changed it accordingly, it would have been a pure blend of 3e and 4e without any of this limited stuff of +6 total over 20 levels as a bonus...or skills being handled like they are.

Perhaps the majority of people who play and like 3E/4E actually think +20 over 20 levels (or the silliness of the BAB system) was not only unnecessary but perhaps even disliked? Further, I've seen a LOT of people complain about skill ranks and points and how the classes were really deprived of points in both 3E and Pathfinder. The fighter getting 2 per level? Really? That's pretty terrible. I'm glad they got rid of points and I really hope they don't show up again in a WotC D&D system. This isn't GURPS.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
They literally made up the rules and asked how people liked them. They took no advice on what NEW rules to implement. Instead, they just removed rules that they saw an overwhelming majority disliking...but otherwise, making up their own rules instead of taking suggestions of what others were suggesting, at least if you looked at the forums and the actual rules that were being suggested.

Well yeah but the rules changed pretty significantly as the process progressed over two years. I still have the very first playtest packet where there were only pre-generated characters. BOY do they look different than ones you can make now with the PHB. The rules, the idea about powers and feats and terminology all changing. The change to the classes and races are ALL different. And it was predominantly due to the feedback from playtesters. If people didn't playtest it and give feedback, why should their preferences be catered to?

GreyWolfLord wrote:
It SHOULD have been something that looked a lot like PF but with a LOT of 4e stuff in there (maybe the defenses as 4e instead of saves...or with the HP boosters, or a second wind for all classes...or other items). That is if what was being discussed would have been reflected in their actual rules and utilized to actually create the rules, rather than only delete the stuff a huge number of people didn't like and discard the rest of the feedback in favor of their own rules they were writing in house.
I'm glad it doesn't look anything like Pathfinder. For one, we already HAVE Pathfinder, and for free to boot. Why would I shell out hundreds of dollars for a system that only has some 4E-stuff bolted onto a d20/SRD system. No thanks, I don't need to pay money for that and I think a lot of others would feel the same. On the other hand, 5E looks like they took ideas and philosophy from a variety of editions to make their system. It has 4E-isms in there along with 3E-isms and 2E-isms, and 1e-isms.
GreyWolfLord wrote:

I actually think PAIZO is more responsive to the feedback then what I saw with WotC...

Personal opinion of course.

How can any of us really know? We saw the surveys and we saw the results. The community is just one aspect of the equation. I think WotC knows the numbers better and wrote their rules accordingly. Sure, the designers had an agenda and idea going into 5E and I think they used survey feedback to tweak these ideas into the form the designers and players both wanted. I can only say that the overall feedback from Amazon reviews and the community (here and on other sites) is generally positive and receptive of this edition.


Adjule wrote:
I think an OGL is good for the hobby. It may not be good for a certain business, but I feel it is for the hobby as a whole.

Which is why I find it a bit baffling that WotC is going to put themselves into a similar circumstance with re-releasing a new OGL.

Adjule wrote:
Why? Because it doesn't alienate an entire portion of the playerbase. When 3rd edition came out, it was a huge change from 2nd edition. Many people didn't want to switch, so they became alienated. And since their system of choice was no longer the supported one, it fell out of favor and those people end up finding it difficult to find people to play 2nd edition. If not for the OGL, the rather large portion of the playerbase that didn't like 4th edition would be SOL, and would experience the same plight from the previous edition change. But, thanks to the OGL, Pathfinder sprang to life and gave them a chance to continue on.

so instead of alienation we get division and warring. I'm not convinced the latter is a better option. People still play 2nd Edition today, just as people still play 3.0, v3.5, and 4E. And when Pathfinder his critical mass, it's going to be very interesting to see how that plays out as Paizo decides how to proceed going forward. I think even a small departure from current PF rules will result in a civil war between those who want to push forward with a better system and those who've invested far too much and are now going to be left out in the cold (who possibly will create a spin-off of Pathfinder of their own considering it's all OGL).

Adjule wrote:
4th edition lovers will experience the same thing that 2nd edition lovers faced. 4th edition isn't supported anymore, a new edition is out. The new kid on the block (5th edition) is getting more play, and those who loved 4th edition but don't like the new edition will find it hard to find players to play their system of choice.

Publicly, yes. Going into a FLGS it's going to be hard to get a group to sit down for a 4E session as opposed to a D&D:Next session. Home games, however, don't suffer from that sort of thing because those running it decide on what to play and bring in people who are probably on-board with that decision.

However the major difference here is that 2nd Edition received 15+ years of supplements, books, novels, and adventures plus HUNDREDS of Dragon/Dungeon magazine content to draw from. Compared to 4th Edition's 5 year run. That's a pretty stark comparison and it's no shocker that 4E fans feel a bit thrown under the bus here. At least with AD&D players they have a vast library to fall back on that they really don't need current content to keep going where as 4E had a lot of areas that just weren't as developed, leaving it to the player base to make up the difference.

Adjule wrote:
Did the OGL hurt WotC financially? I think in some part when they abandoned 3rd edition and Pathfinder scooped it up, it hurt their wallet. Another part in why they were hurt financially was the new system. Was it a good system? I don't know as I never played it (I look at the classes and think "Nope", but the rest of the system seemed rather decent). I think it was just too different for a lot of people. The whole "It looks like World of D&DCraft" that went around the internet probably also didn't help.

I'm fairly certain that no matter what WotC put out after 3.5, it would've failed because it was the second release of "new" rules in under 5 years. Even though people bought v3.5 they were really peeved and expressed it over MANY MANY times on forums and the internet. WotC was losing trust from that point and to come out with a new system a mere 5 years later was just more insult to injury. However I give WotC credit for making 4E look and feel different because I already have a game that does "simulation" and didn't need another one (hence why I don't buy Pathfinder books) and that 4E gave me and my group a different feel but yet had a LOT of ties to the original game that it wasn't that much of a rapid departure. Obviously people felt differently.

Also keep in mind that WotC got flack and people were already writing off 4E before it even hit the shelves. The drama and talk leading up to the game didn't help matters at all.

Adjule wrote:
A 5th edition OGL, I think, could be a good thing. When WotC publishes the inevitable 6th edition, those who loved 5th edition won't be SOL, depending on just how different it would be. Those who loved 4th edition could continue with 13th age, but I don't know how similar, if any, it is to 4th edition. I also haven't heard a thing about 13th Age since the core book was published.

I guess my problem is that WotC will, eventually, get burned when they hit the major saturation point of the system. Oh they've learned that producing TOO much too early is bad and so they'll wait on system-increasing mechanics, churning out Adventures for the most part and maybe one supplement per year to lengthen the cycle's life. But sooner or later, at some point down the road (10, 15 years) they'll come to an impasse where the current model just isn't making them the money Hasbro wants. At that point, when the game changes to meet the new expectation of the gaming generation, they'll be right back to where they were in 2008 and the warring and fighting will begin anew.

I haven't read 13th Age but from some people I hear it's a good successor to 4E and from others I hear there's too much "indy" innovation there to make it as enjoyable.


As far as 4E rules go they released five classes: Fighter (Weaponmaster), Cleric (Templar), Rogue (Scoundrel), Wizard (Arcanist), and Warlord (Marshal) as free downloadable classes from their site. You could still grab them now and they come complete with powers for all 29 levels and Paragon Paths. Couple this with the Rules Compendium and the free Adventures they've published and you can easily and viably play 4E for zero money.

EDIT: It's difficult to grab feats, so you'd need a list of them to choose from to go forward. So there is that problem.

As for the OGL, I really can't express how disappointed I am with WotC for doing it again. Of course those here, who've stuck with Pathfinder, find the information wonderful (and it's obvious why) however I feel what the OGL does is cement the publisher into a quagmire or system glut for the foreseeable future and the second they feel like trying something new or going into a new direction this WHOLE thing is going to happen ALL OVER again. Though it won't be PF but some other 3PP people will latch onto What it does is cause stagnation.


What I would do is use the basic PDF for those who don't want a whole plethora of options and get the PHB for the ones that do. That way each group gets what they want and everything is still balanced


goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

It is funny, because a lot of people keeping complaining about DM fiat in 3.X.

Really? About what?
I do not know. I never complained about DM fiat.
So you said that people were complaining about DM fiat in 3e but don't know what or why? I guess I'm confused.
So am I. I never had that problem with DM fiat in 3.x, but a lot of people complain about DM fiat. Like you below.

I wasn't complaining, just making an observation. I don't really have a problem with fiat. 4e just has less of it because of how the system works. 5E focuses on ruling over rules and that's fine. For 3e and Pathfinder, I've found the latest fiat often occurs because of a lack in clarity where RAI and RAW conflict. From your comment, I got the feeling there might have been more and was curious as to what.

Quote:
goldomark wrote:
Quote:
Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.
Fascinating. Since both 4e and 5e are so rules light this means DM needs to adjudicate all sort of specific situations. DM fiat must be off the charts!
4e isn't rules light, however the rules are pretty clearly defined which cuts down significantly on fiat. As for 5e, fiat is not only a common element within the system but heavily encouraged.
So there is DM fiat with 3.x. According to you.

Well yes, there's fiat in pretty much every edition. How much is in part dependent on the DM and the group and part system.


goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Try making an Orc Barbarian who dual-wields large great axes AND is suitable for a solo encounter vs. 4 PCs and you'll end up making him several levels higher and requiring him to have a plethora of magical gear just so he doesn't go down in the 1st round of combat.
Adding a few levels is that problematic?
For someone who's been playing the system for 14 years? No.
Have you been playing for 14 years?

Well I graduated high school in 2000 and started playing 3.0 that summer. Played for about a year and a half then left til 2005 and picked up 3.5 until 4e came out. From then til now it's been a combination of 3.5, 4e, and Pathfinder with sprinkling of Playtest 5e. So yeah about 14 years.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

For someone who just started with PF, I expect that they would probably open the NPC codex and perhaps find something that fits, or simply use the monsters from the bestiary to create encounters using the monsters as is.

Quick, easy, and you don't really have to do that much math.

Which is fine if you follow the model of going up in level means specific creatures and races become a cake-walk to overcome and greater threats are from large or larger monsters, which now become common place.

But there are going to be homebrewed campaigns that don't follow this model. There are or will be DMs who want races like Goblins and Orcs to be the center-piece villainy of their campaign and it's more difficult to do that when PCs gain power yet the monsters shown quickly approach the point where they're effectiveness wears off. Personally, I'm not a fan of that. It puts too much focus on the PCs becoming "Super" heroes as they gain levels in a too steep vertical power jump as compared to a more lower, horizontal slope that 5E aims at.

ie. as PCs get stronger the default is the challenges they face have to be bigger and more elaborate and on a bigger scale to compete. Orcs and Goblins and oozes don't cut it and are replaced with Dragons, Devils, and Liches.

GreyWolfLord wrote:


Heck, I've been playing PF for a little bit, and that's what I do already.

You don't have to spend any more time on encounter creation than other editions if you don't want to.

Sure unless I want an encounter to be specific and nothing in the Bestiary or NPC list suffices. Then what? I either come up with something that already incorporates what's already created OR I have to then take time to make it work. Sometimes the Bestiary doesn't have the sufficient creatures to fit in what I'd want them to do.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
Plus, if it really was that much trouble, someone probably could take a monster or NPC and reflavor them into that type of creature without having to create them from the ground up...at least that's what I would do.

I do that as well.....now.....that I've had 14 year (and 5 with PF) to tinker with the system to know how and what I want it to do. I also don't hold my monsters to the same standards as PCs, which is basically what I'm saying here. IN 3x/PF the idea is that all monsters, PCs, and NPCs share the same building blocks of creation and for me, as the DM, that can put unnecessary constraints on the type of monsters or encounters I'd like to run. 4E, and to a slightly less extent 5e, have the same method of monster design being that they don't have to specifically conform to having X-feat, Y-Class, or Z-Race combo to achieve what I want them to do.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
If one doesn't want to spend a ton of time creating NPC's and special enemies, why do it? There are tons of tools in PF that I've found to make it easy, quick, and painless.

Because I don't think the tools make it quick, easy, or painless.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
Addendum: Now 4e DOES have some rather easy to use monster creation rules for specific creatures, if you want...but it still takes someone with a little experience to be able to balance it out against a party. A novice may create one that wipes the party or is wiped easily.

Compared to 3E/PF I've personally found the process far less time consuming and more in-line with what I want my PCs to face. For example, taking my ferocious Orc Berserker from earlier had I wanted to have him face 4 PCs (or, 5 as 4E goes) then I simply tag on a Solo role, make him a Brute (lots of HP to soak up multiple rounds of combat), and express his damage total based off his level. His attacks could be dealing 2d10 + 8 and knock people down at-will and he'll probably get a two-attack feature plus probably a burst 1 feature. Add in an aura 1 that drops defenses and have him get +5 to Saving Throws and 2 Action Points and I'm basically done.

In 3.X/PF I have to make sure he has X, Y, and Z feat to use two large Battleaxes. He'll have to have specific stats for those Prerequisites too. He'll have to have quite a few magical weapons and items to defend against the array of magical might a party will bring against him and a way to threatening multiple foes in a standard action and I'll have to add class levels which in turn adds in all sorts of other class features that might or (more likely won't) be important for the encounter at hand. NOt to mention the skill ranks per level and you can't forget about Skill Synergy. And of course a good portion of his stats will change when I make him "rage" which ups everything Strength/Constitution-based by 2.

Basically there's a LOT more involved with just tacking on a few PC levels onto a normal Orc Warrior than there is just making an standard 4E Orc into a Solo encounter.

GreyWolfLord wrote:


PF also has tables which list average HD and HP as well as other things, and in some ways is equally as easy if you use it to create a unique monster. Just like 4e though, you could wipe the party or have the party wipe it if you are a novice using it.

I've played both systems so I'm probably biased in my opinion on the difficulty of both systems. Suffice to say that I felt it was easier to have unforeseen TPKs due to the danger of spells and Critical hits in 3.x/PF than in 4E.

GreyWolfLord wrote:
I rarely use the PF thing if I don't have to, but in a crunch, when running APs or something where I don't want to look up the stats of a monster right then (I don't take all the bestiaries with me), and trying to play it off the hoof...then it's a great way to do something on the fly.

Yea, I've used that before and it works in a pinch. Similar to 4E's compendium where if I want a specific power or ability, I'll just type in the level and role and grab something appropriate and just reflavor. Basically once the DM gets familiar with the system and is comfortable with the adjudication, coming up with stuff off the cuff becomes an easier trend. I just feel I achieved that level of comfort far faster with 4E than I did with 3.5 or Pathfinder. 5E is coming in quite closer to 4E than PF in this regard as well.


goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

It is funny, because a lot of people keeping complaining about DM fiat in 3.X.

Really? About what?
I do not know. I never complained about DM fiat.

So you said that people were complaining about DM fiat in 3e but don't know what or why? I guess I'm confused.

goldomark wrote:
Quote:
Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.
Fascinating. Since both 4e and 5e are so rules light this means DM needs to adjudicate all sort of specific situations. DM fiat must be off the charts!

4e isn't rules light, however the rules are pretty clearly defined which cuts down significantly on fiat. As for 5e, fiat is not only a common element within the system but heavily encouraged.


goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Try making an Orc Barbarian who dual-wields large great axes AND is suitable for a solo encounter vs. 4 PCs and you'll end up making him several levels higher and requiring him to have a plethora of magical gear just so he doesn't go down in the 1st round of combat.
Adding a few levels is that problematic?

For someone who's been playing the system for 14 years? No. For someone new, potentially. Further, how many levels is significant in making him a threat to 4 PCs? How do you engage all 4 with only 1 round of actions, especially when your limited to standard action + move and that's it? Or how do you have the Monster deal with specific single-target conditions? If the wizard or cleric get off just one Hold Monster/ Person spell, encounter over.

To answer these you have to either strap them with magical baubles and items, arbitrarily give them better saves, or basically just ignore the conditions and wave off effects via Fiat. Unfortunately most 3.5/PF players will instantly know something is off when you do that and many will call BS on it. And even if they don't care, tactics for the system put the PCs on heavily favored grounds.

So a I find monster and NPC creation far easier in 4E and 5e because I'm not heavily bogged down by the trappings of verisimilitude.


goldomark wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Can't be that, since an edition that came out around that time did it's best to marginalize the role of the DM as much as possible.

It is funny, because a lot of people keeping complaining about DM fiat in 3.X.

Really? About what? Most of the fiat I see is often regarding lack of rules clarity and, to a lesser extent, on specific situation adjudication.


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goldomark wrote:
Diffan wrote:
goldomark wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
2nd ed didn't even have stats for the monsters in the Monster Manual.
Troll confirmed.

Yeah, I couldn't even figure out what he meant by that.

Didn't have Str/Dex/Con/Int/Wis/Cha, maybe? Because they didn't need them.

The monsters didn't get abilities scores and it was problematic. It didn't make the game unplayable, but it limited it.

3e gave us monsters that were not arbitrary decisions. You had a road map to making monsters and scaling them.

4e and 5e are a return to arbitrary monster making.

I wouldn't call it arbitrary, more like "I don't need a complex formula, or Class XX by level Y to wield two weapons, or Have X, Y, Z feat to make what I want the beast to do work the way I [the DM] intend". The whole 'conform to the everyone uses the same creation process' is one of the worst things I felt was bolted onto 3E and Pathfinder, especially when the system assumes all feats/skills/class options are equal and they're FAR FAR from it.

There is nothing complex about it. Like TAC0 was never complex. It was math a 12 year old should have been able to do. It can be long. That I agree with, but like anything, with practice you start to know the stuff and creation takes a lot less time.

But we all heard this when 4e came out. "Monster making has never been so simple". Yet it wasn't enough to detrone 3.X.

I wonder if the whole "it takes too long to make a monster" is really just a complaint of a vocal minority on the internet.

After 8 years most people who often DM'ed the system were used to the work of making Monsters and NPCs so it wasn't as long drawn out process. However that doesn't mean easier monster/NPC creation wasn't a desired thing. For me it was less about the time involved vs. the complexity required in making them actually viable in the game. Try making an Orc Barbarian who dual-wields large great axes AND is suitable for a solo encounter vs. 4 PCs and you'll end up making him several levels higher and requiring him to have a plethora of magical gear just so he doesn't go down in the 1st round of combat. No thanks.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
goldomark wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
2nd ed didn't even have stats for the monsters in the Monster Manual.
Troll confirmed.

Yeah, I couldn't even figure out what he meant by that.

Didn't have Str/Dex/Con/Int/Wis/Cha, maybe? Because they didn't need them.

The monsters didn't get abilities scores and it was problematic. It didn't make the game unplayable, but it limited it.

3e gave us monsters that were not arbitrary decisions. You had a road map to making monsters and scaling them.

4e and 5e are a return to arbitrary monster making.

I wouldn't call it arbitrary, more like "I don't need a complex formula, or Class XX by level Y to wield two weapons, or Have X, Y, Z feat to make what I want the beast to do work the way I [the DM] intend". The whole 'conform to the everyone uses the same creation process' is one of the worst things I felt was bolted onto 3E and Pathfinder, especially when the system assumes all feats/skills/class options are equal and they're FAR FAR from it.


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David Bowles wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
I don't know how anyone can tell me that they didn't gut arcane casters.

Because they didn't start at pathfinder and build 5E from there. The whole gut/nerf/boost terminology makes no sense to me in this context.

I think high level casters are less powerful in 5E than in PF. It's the expectation that pathfinder should be treated as the "default" that I question.

It's the default because WoTC is essentially asking me to abandon the $700+ I have wrapped up in Pathfinder to play their game. When 3.0 came out, my default position was 2nd ed. 3rd ed was such a huge leap over 2nd that there was no question to me. So it's natural for me to compare to what I'm playing now.

I don't think they're asking that of us at all. They're putting out a product that they hope will cater to a multitude of groups for a multitude of reasons. Sure, they'd LOVE for you to abandon Pathfinder because they're competition however I'm certain they assume it's more likely that people will probably end up playing both.

Considering that both systems are pretty different no both mechanics and approach, they fill different niches for style of games off the bat. So for those time when a group is getting new people OR when someone isn't there or for the nights when you've only got a few hours to game and don't want to get into a lengthy campaign, D&D:Next is a great opportunity to indulge in the RPG world without having to put TONS of time in character creations or have fears of being completely over-shadowed by someone's System-Mastery created build.


Laurefindel wrote:

so,

is it still the place to talk about the nice things of Pathfinder and 5e D&D, or has this ship sailed three pages ago...

Let alone 4e....

I think 5e does a decent job of incorporating elements and mechanics of both 3e/PF and 4E with a focus on story and narrative. It doesn't do PF or 4e well and that, IMO, is a feature because those games are already out and available


GreyWolfLord wrote:
Diffan wrote:
memorax wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:


I'm sorry it doesn't default to your expectation of "Casters rule, martialz drool!"

Happily for you, that still seems to be one of the.cornerstones of Pathfinder.

Out of all the rules to complain about 5E. That martials can actually move and still get all their attacks. casters are still powerful. They are not the do all that they are in Pathfinder. One of the main complaints about PF is that it did almost nothing to fix the fighter. 5E does and it's a flaw. Well different tastes and all that.

Gotta agree here. Since playing 5e I've gone back and made significant changes to my v3.5/PF games that I run. No more "Full-Attack Action" for characters. If they have 2, 3, or 4 attacks they get them on a move (however a move more than 5' still provokes Opportunity Attacks). Some other ideas have filtered in too like Advantage/Disadvantge and the entire Traits/Flaws/Bonds have gone into both 3.5/PF and 4E games.

As for At-Will cantrips in 5E, I suspect that they're quickly out-classed by 5th level and beyond as Fighters get more attacks that they add their stat-modifier to. Not to mention Action Surge which they get to make all their attacks again. Except for the sever lack of skills for the Fighter and the bad save (who requires Strength saving throws?!) it's probably one of the most powerful classes (damage wise) in the game.

I can't say I'm fond of 5e, but that attack option sounds like a good choice. Sounds like a GOOD idea to put into PF games. Do you have them all at the full AB, or is it the descending BAB?

As for others saying it's going to make monsters so horribly overpowered...

If it's a problem with monsters, just make it so that the full attack option only applies to martial characters or something like that. It's already a houserule, so why not houserule the heck out of it?

People complain about martials being too weak (not that I agree, BUT, I do think that they could be beefed up a little at...

Right now I've kept the scaling BAB system though removing it from PCs might be an interesting way to keep things a bit more balanced. As for messing up the CR system, I really don't mind. I use it more like a guideline anyways and encounters with dragons SHOULD be dangerous. Besides even as things are now, if your playing dragons that drop to the ground to use their full-attack I feel you're doing it wrong. 1st round is fly plus breath weapon. Turns where the breath weapon recharges should be spent air borne with grappling attempts to pick up PCs and drop them several hundred feet to their deaths. So I think allowing full-attacks all the time, the PCs are probably getting the better deal as long as they play it right.


David Bowles wrote:

Letting combatants take a full move and take all their attacks has a lot of unforeseen consequences. Something like a dragon just got nearly impossible to deal with. Fly 80 feet, take seven attacks with power attack, good night.

Clearly people should play what they enjoy, but if my only option for tabletop gaming were 5th ed, I'd just go play more Starcraft. That game holds zero interest for me. They tried to be everything to everyone and came up with something I feel inferior to even 4th ed. But as I said, I've been there, done that with 2nd ed, and by extension, 2nd ed redux. I have no interest in playing 2nd ed again.

I think you just made Dragons more interesting, especially when their whole turn consists of Fly, 1 attack, done and then 4 or 5 turns of concentrated attacks and then one attack from the dragon and rinse-repeat.


memorax wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:


I'm sorry it doesn't default to your expectation of "Casters rule, martialz drool!"

Happily for you, that still seems to be one of the.cornerstones of Pathfinder.

Out of all the rules to complain about 5E. That martials can actually move and still get all their attacks. casters are still powerful. They are not the do all that they are in Pathfinder. One of the main complaints about PF is that it did almost nothing to fix the fighter. 5E does and it's a flaw. Well different tastes and all that.

Gotta agree here. Since playing 5e I've gone back and made significant changes to my v3.5/PF games that I run. No more "Full-Attack Action" for characters. If they have 2, 3, or 4 attacks they get them on a move (however a move more than 5' still provokes Opportunity Attacks). Some other ideas have filtered in too like Advantage/Disadvantge and the entire Traits/Flaws/Bonds have gone into both 3.5/PF and 4E games.

As for At-Will cantrips in 5E, I suspect that they're quickly out-classed by 5th level and beyond as Fighters get more attacks that they add their stat-modifier to. Not to mention Action Surge which they get to make all their attacks again. Except for the sever lack of skills for the Fighter and the bad save (who requires Strength saving throws?!) it's probably one of the most powerful classes (damage wise) in the game.


Laurefindel wrote:

I'm glad to see that tieflings are back to their bonus charisma like in 2e. YE!

This may have been the case in 4th ed, which I skipped. Did tiefling had a bonus or a penalty to CHA in 4th ed?

Tieflings got +2 Charisma, +2 to Constitution or Intelligence. Made the Race pretty darn good at nearly any power source sans Primal.


Quark Blast wrote:
Why 5E only forum?

apparently [tags] are difficult for people?

Quark Blast wrote:
Well, 4E is a "dead" system (no longer actively supported by WotC) and 5E is not only active but will seemingly grow bigger yet. Much bigger than 4E ever did.

Oh, another E-warrior......

Quark Blast wrote:
As for 3.x, well, PF kinda keeps that one afloat.

Sorry, don't buy it. For one 3.x is just as "dead" as 4E and Pathfinder is, after 5 years, a completely different game. Every class has changed. Feats and Spells have changed. The combat-system (Combat Maneuvers, etc.) have changed. Monsters have changed. Races have changed. Basic assumptions between the two games have changed. Pathfinder, despite having some 3E basics, has significantly undergone revisions as to come into it's own game.

Quark Blast wrote:
As for pre-3.x, well, I don't know for sure but it seems like you could roll all the pre-3.x players into one group and still not have as many players as are currently hanging onto 4E. So it makes sense that they get lumped together. Especially since the various pre-3.x rules sets seem to interplay among themselves more than they do with 3.x+ editions.

You realize that a lot of 4E fans also play 5E right? So it makes sense to "lump" the two together considering that's it more likely a 4E fan will pick up 5E than someone who hasn't purchased a WotC product in almost a decade and a half (for whatever reason).

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