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Diffan's page

871 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


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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.


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.


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.


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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).


Digitalelf wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Why does it need to be distanced from 4th edition?

So people can discuss each edition separately?

So that those who wish to discuss 4th edition for example, do not have to wade through thread after thread of people talking almost exclusively about 5th edition; kind like "3.5/d20/OGL" has its own forum for that same reason (i.e. placing like topics with other like topics)...

What' so hard about putting a [4e] or [5e/Next] tag in the topic description line?

"Lets talk about Warforged [4E]"

"Lets talk about Tieflings [5e]"

pretty easy to figure out which edition the topic wants to discuss....


Why does it need to be distanced from 4th edition?


Alan_Beven wrote:

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.

Personally, I think 4E can handle a lot more than what some people care to believe. It does, however, require more work on the DM to get it right and it'll often take some time to adjust it correctly. Here's what I'd go with:

1. Gritty: This thematic style can be considered difficult to achieve with 4E due to the way the system operates with Surges and the expectation that you'll go into most combats at nearly full HP. First thing is to remove that expectation right from the get go. Second is to A) Limit how often the PCs get down time in the form of a long rest and B) Have TONS of effects that drain surges. These could be anything from poison gas, necrotic miasmas, devilish curses, even ground that's just saturate with "taint" or evil. Another way to accomplish the gritty feeling is to restrict the game at the system level via Houserules. The two that easily come to mind are 1) starting Surges are half of what they normally would be (so your typical fighter has 10 surges/day, now he has 5) and 2) Regain only 1/2 surges during a long rest.

Another thing to do is put in LOTS an LOTS of disease. Something I did for a Gothic Horror 4E game was have a PC contract Vampirism that was extremely difficult to cure. Each time he failed on the disease track, he'd slowly turn into a vampire and his alignment would change and stuff like that. IT took a while to remove the disease but it was interesting to see a Knight of Torm just tear into the neck of a corrupt noble they had intended to interrogate.

2. High Magic / Epic-ness: It's not a shocker that 4E tends to do the Super-hero PCs style quite easily. Embrace that. Sometimes a fun beer and pretzels kind of game can be just hilarious and fun. I did an Epic campaign where each player created a Hero from 80's cartoons. We had She-Ra, Link, and Snake-Eyes battle the forces of Hordak (She-Ra's enemey) and Cobra as Gannon attempted to use the unified Tri-force and reign domination over all the realms of the cartoons. Sure it was cheesy and silly but it was FUN. She-Ra would fly past on Swiftwind and battle the Cobra air-forces as Snake-Eyes just decimated Hordaks ground troops with Link using both Blade and Bow at his side.

3. Low-magic: First thought might be "no way" but looking at the Dark Sun campaign, it's pretty clear that you can indeed run an entire 1-30 campaign with 4E and not have any magical items at your disposal. You have to use the Inherent bonus rules (which are fun) but it's possible. Heck I had intended to start out such a campaign using ONLY Martial characters with the 0-level rules (provided by Dungeon/Dragon mag) and go from there to 30th level. In doing so what you have to do is then cater the monsters to the story. Personally I think Low-Magic and Gritty sort of go hand-in-hand but that's me.

4. Put more emphasis on out-of-combat to make that just as interesting. One great way of doing so is using 5E's Traits, Flaws, Bonds, and Ideals charts. I mean they're not tied to the mechanics in anyways and there are some really interesting ideas there. Once you do that and the DM has an idea of the sorts of characters he's dealing with (not just in class/race specifics) then he can help tailor the campaign to meet the back stories of these characters.

Also it's great to have the players set goals: 1 short-term, 1 long-term for their character. Have them be fun and unique but obtainable. A short term goal should be achievable around mid- to late-heroic tier. A long-term goal should be achievable around mid- to late-paragon. Make the characters important AS they gain levels to show them that their actions have consequences. I've seen a lot of people who play 4E say there's no substance to the game and that it's all combat. When the rules focus on combat it's easy to get caught up in only that aspect. As a DM, you need to show them that there's more than what your encounter power can do OR that taking a non-combat related feat or utility power can still be a good selection.


2097 wrote:
The MM already has rules for PC vamps those are enough

A feat and perhaps a non-class related Sub-Path would be nice IMO.


I hope to get some vampiric options for D&D Next.


thejeff wrote:
Diffan wrote:
thejeff wrote:


Are you talking about using Daddy's actual old warhammer and sticking to it throughout the game?

Or using a warhammer because Daddy did, but being willing to swap his actual old warhammer for a newer more magical one?
The latter involves nothing more than adding a line to your background. Using the actual old one will be limiting, unless you find a way to get it enchanted and even then you'll be missing out on the special materials most people switch to eventually.

We'll say he wants to use Dad's Warhammer throughout the game. So he plays a Fighter and takes a few Warhammer / Bludgeoning feats. He'll probably want to increase the usefulness of his warhammer by either upgrading it with enchantments and possibly keeping oils on hand like Silversheen. Further, magical items like the Ring of Adamantine Touch (which makes his weapon adamantine for the purposes of by-passing DR) will help overcome the notion of not getting in-game weapons later on.

OR

The DM can work with him to make his Dad's warhammer a Legacy Weapon (Weapons of Legacy, v3.5 supplement) that pretty much levels up with you as a character.

So, like I said, there's TONS of ways to make backgrounds work without hampering your character.

I'm not really fond of what I've seen of the Legacy Weapon implementation, but I do really like the concept.

I had forgotten there was a spell to make an ordinary weapon masterwork, which allows you to enchant it, so yeah, most of that could be done.

It seemed like earlier on you were talking about continuing with the old warhammer without buffing it up and just eating the difference in effectiveness because RP.

Oh, yeah I can see how that would cause confusion. Something I hadn't considered was implementing 4E's "Inherent Bonus" method into 3E. For games that run on little or even no magic AND still use the monsters in the MM a DM could say "Ok, at every 3rd level (3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18) you get a +1 to AC, each attack roll, damage roll, and Saving Throw. You also would give them more Ability Score buffs as the levels progress. Most PCs get +6 enhancement bonus to Ability Scores via items by 18th level so maybe +2 to two scores of your choice at the usual ability score bump levels? I'm sure someone who's far better at math could devise a system that works better and is more fluid but holds to the same concept.

As for Weapon of Legacy, the ones published were mostly "meh" (the ones in the Book of 9 Swords were better IMO) however the rules for creating your own were REALLY fun. I remember my friend and I had crafted two of them that had both in-game elements as well as fun mechanics that we'd normally wouldn't go for. My Knight/Cleric of Torm, for example, crafted a masterwork true-silver Greatsword called Clarion's Call and all sorts of sound-based effects attached to it. My friend's character had crafted a shortsword that was all forced-based. Good times.


Terquem wrote:

I agree with you theJeff, and I don't think it can be emphasized enough that a relationship between the DM and the Players is a necessary element to the success of any campaign

As far as that goes, I should also mentioned that in any of my games, your character would NEVER be carrying around a pile of +1 swords.

We usually find this to be the case when we do published adventures. For example, I ran something called Hereos of the Moonsea (set in FR) where the entire campaign revolved around playing through Realms-based Published Adventures. By the time the party hit 6th level, they had multiple +1 items (swords, armor, cloaks, and rings) not to mention dozens of potions, scrolls, and wands. Talk about X-mas tree effect. I understand that it's the way 3E worked and the designers felt that the only way to beef up monsters was to give them magical gear, but I'd have rather they just added different math to their numbers and instead filled the campaign with perhaps a variety of different valued items.

So instead of using the four +1 longswords the PCs got that = 9,260 gp/selling value worth of GP they'd get something story-driven (like a pearl of high value or a gem or a rare dragon scale) that they could then find a buyer to sell to. I get that 5E is doing this sort of thing, and it's cool, I just wish it was also implemented in previous editions too.

Terquem wrote:


One of the things that irritated me the most about 3.5 when I was playing that was that in order for Yaun-Ti to be "scaled" appropriately for the challenges the game tried to create, every single one of them was supposed to be wearing magical +2 (or was it +3?) studded leather Armor, and carrying magic weapons.

This, in my campaign settings, was simply ludicrous. And it only needed to be so because of the way player abilities scaled in those rules (and subsequently Pathfinder suffers from this as well)

Agreed. One way to overcome this is to simply give them the maths without a reason. Factor in the assumption of magical item but just throw the number in there without cause (ie. no actual magical weapon). I started to do this after our group was well into 4E and we'd go back to 3.5 for a few sessions or a campaign. I'd think to myself "does this Orc really need +2 fullplate at 4th level or can I just give him the AC of +2 fullplate but just reflavor it as especially tough-leathery skin?". I would, however, then give the PCs some item of equal GP retail value they can use or sell but isn't always magical in nature.


thejeff wrote:


Are you talking about using Daddy's actual old warhammer and sticking to it throughout the game?

Or using a warhammer because Daddy did, but being willing to swap his actual old warhammer for a newer more magical one?
The latter involves nothing more than adding a line to your background. Using the actual old one will be limiting, unless you find a way to get it enchanted and even then you'll be missing out on the special materials most people switch to eventually.

We'll say he wants to use Dad's Warhammer throughout the game. So he plays a Fighter and takes a few Warhammer / Bludgeoning feats. He'll probably want to increase the usefulness of his warhammer by either upgrading it with enchantments and possibly keeping oils on hand like Silversheen. Further, magical items like the Ring of Adamantine Touch (which makes his weapon adamantine for the purposes of by-passing DR) will help overcome the notion of not getting in-game weapons later on.

OR

The DM can work with him to make his Dad's warhammer a Legacy Weapon (Weapons of Legacy, v3.5 supplement) that pretty much levels up with you as a character.

So, like I said, there's TONS of ways to make backgrounds work without hampering your character.


JoeJ wrote:
Diffan wrote:
JoeJ wrote:
Diffan wrote:
As 4E is my major system of interest I do this a lot. I often take sub-optimal choices because sometimes those choices help reflect my character better. For example, an Eladrin Bladesinger is often considered a terrible combination (Dex / Int) but I don't really care because I find the archtype fun and interesting.
Whether the difference is big or small, in an RPG a character with an interesting background should not be inherently weaker mechanically than a blank slate with no background at all.
Again, please define "inherently weaker mechanically". What, exactly, are we talking about here? Say I make a character and his backstory is that he uses his dad's Warhammer that was passed down to him. OK, well with that backstory I can easily do that by either A) being a class that has proficiency with martial weapons, B) Grab a feat that allows me to be proficient with said martial weapon(s), C) multiclass into a class that is proficient. And do you honestly think such a choice is going to get me roflstomped?? Please........
I don't know enough about 4e to comment, but in 3.5/PF, you can easily have your interesting character wield Daddy's old warhammer. However, the blank slate character also chooses a warhammer, but swaps it after a few levels for a +1 weapon, which he then sells off a few levels later and buys one that's +2. The interesting character has a less optimal weapon.

I don't think so. Mainly because SO many feats revolve around specifics. A Fighter who grabs Weapon Focus / Weapon Specialization is going to almost ALWAYS look for ways to enhance their preferred weapon. By grabbing a +2 weapon of something else, they're gaining nothing because of the feats they choose. Further the way v3.5 / PF is structured it's almost certain that someone will have a way to magically enhance their preferred weapon, whether it's through magical item creation feats or the item-mart that is often associated with said editions.

JoeJ wrote:


The player who chooses any skills to represent their character's background is weaker than the blank slate who uses all their skill points on purely adventuring skills. The interesting character has a less optimal skill set.

It has far more to do with the adventure being run than the system itself. If I'm playing a game where adventuring is only part of the adventure then putting ranks into Craft [armorsmithing], [weaponsmithing] (to represent say..a Blacksmith) or Diplomacy or Intimidate can easily be important to the campaign as much as Listen, Spot, or Climb/Stealth/Use Magic Device.

JoeJ wrote:


The interesting character can keep up on skills by boosting their INT above the blank slate's, but they can only do that by making some other stat lower. If the blank slate's stats are arranged optimally for their class, then raising INT will necessarily produce a less optimal array.

The difference between the two characters might not be large, but in a roleplaying game there should either be no difference at all, or it should go the other way and favor the more interesting character.

Why shouldn't there be differences? Even assuming you go with point-buy or an array there shouldn't be a guarantee a background-influenced character and a blank-slate character will be mechanically the same. Especially when looking at v3.5/PF vast amount of options such as arch-types, feats, and the multiclass system. There's TONS of ways to bring a background to life through the mechanics without having it severely impact your combat efficiency.


JoeJ wrote:
Diffan wrote:
As 4E is my major system of interest I do this a lot. I often take sub-optimal choices because sometimes those choices help reflect my character better. For example, an Eladrin Bladesinger is often considered a terrible combination (Dex / Int) but I don't really care because I find the archtype fun and interesting.
Whether the difference is big or small, in an RPG a character with an interesting background should not be inherently weaker mechanically than a blank slate with no background at all.

Again, please define "inherently weaker mechanically". What, exactly, are we talking about here? Say I make a character and his backstory is that he uses his dad's Warhammer that was passed down to him. OK, well with that backstory I can easily do that by either A) being a class that has proficiency with martial weapons, B) Grab a feat that allows me to be proficient with said martial weapon(s), C) multiclass into a class that is proficient. And do you honestly think such a choice is going to get me roflstomped?? Please........

Kthulhu wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Wrath wrote:
5th ed has really brought back the feel of roleplay from my early days of playing. I'm loving it for that reason.
That's cool. I'm not sure how players felt constrained by the rule from other editions but that you get that feeling back is a good thing.
Perhaps because the default answer to "I try to do XXX" in 3.0/3.5/PFRPG is "Do you have the feat that allows you to do XXX ?" To the point where players eventually stop bothering to attempt actions that aren't already spelled out as possible.

I think that's FAR more the problem of any given DM rather than the system itself. Yes, the system does provide mechanical features that probably shouldn't be replicated willy-nilly but that goes for ANY class-based game. If a Fighter wants to pick up a spellbook he's never read before and just start speaking the words with the correct components, do you just allow the spell to go off without a hitch? I'm guessing not. But apparently it's perfectly fine for a Wizard to grab a sword he's never used a day in his life with and just take a minor penalty to attack things with it.


Wrath wrote:
5th ed has put in a mechanic to reward good roleplay. The inspiration mechanic has helped my players immensely.

This is something that my group likes too. For the ones who don't need incentive to role-play, it's just icing on the cake. For the ones who don't put in as much effort, now they do on more occasions. It also, IME, helps bring new people out of their shells when it comes to getting into character (either by the choices they make, or what they say, or even how they act). Nice things all around.

Wrath wrote:


Additionally, since there aren't billions of rules laid out for every action, the players are trying more unique actions all the time. They no longer feel constrained by the rules. As DM, neither do I. Now it's just a case of judging if it's standard, advantage or disadvantage to try something.

5th ed has really brought back the feel of roleplay from my early days of playing. I'm loving it for that reason.

That's cool. I'm not sure how players felt constrained by the rule from other editions but that you get that feeling back is a good thing. Personally, I'm not keen on the level of required adjudication on me as a DM, so I really have to maintain more overall perspective on my rulings than just referencing Rule X, which has taken a far strong precedent this edition than in the last two. It unfortunately reminds me of 2E where my DM had his own rulings in a binder to reference so he maintained a level of consistency. I'd hoped to not go back to that.


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Ragnarok Aeon wrote:


Considering that most games of D&D revolve around the combat, when you have a character that is really falling behind on it simply for "backstory" it brings aches and actually ruins the mood and immersion of the game.

Please define "really falling behind". What does that even mean? Falling behind what, exactly? Is there some sort of measure PCs must maintain? If you mean losing a few points of DPR or a +1 or +2 to attack.....yeah for a LOT of people that's fine. Not everyone optimizes their character to the 100 degree for efficiency. And the ones that do don't complain about not being immersed.

Ragnarok Aeon wrote:


In most fantasy stories, the weapons with backstory, the ones inherited, were often legacies for a reason and were generally good. Outside of D&D, you rarely see old weapons get discarded consistently with the exception of rusty and broken standard weapons that were overused.

Did you ever think that the weapon was good simply because the one wielding it was a legend? Though I fail to see how this is relevant to the topic of role-playing?

Ragnarok Aeon wrote:


For a game that is part roleplay, part tactical miniatures, most people don't want to have to shoot themselves in the foot just get a little bit of personal immersion only to be roflstomped by the rest of the in-game world that doesn't care about their meta-sacrifice.

Again, who's shooting themselves in the foot? And why would they be roflstomped in the game just because of the weapon (and subsequently, the backstory that goes along with it) they chose?

Ragnarok Aeon wrote:


Through Darwin's understanding of Natural Selection, we'll see that most players that continue will prefer to roleplay competent characters instead of cripples; while those who'd rather not focus on combat tend to drift to more rules light systems.

Lol, cripples? So by taking a -5 in DPR and a -1 to attacks (arbitrary numbers for a subjective argument) I'm now a cripple who apparently gets roflstomped because I shot myself in the foot for falling behind some unknown metric scale devised, most likely, from theorycrafting in a white-room by people who more than likely don't even play the game.....


Arnwyn wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Dragon Knight wrote:

And the game emphasis roleplaying over roll playing.

How? Or more specifically, where?

I think he's sort of saying it in this statement:

Dragon Knight wrote:
If I want my character to wield his grandfather's warhammer, he can do so without worrying about being underpower and overwhelmed later is his career.

Yea, I'm not buying it. What one considers "underpowered" or "overwhelmed" is really subjective. In many cases all we're really talking about is a few points of DPR.......whoop de-do.

Further, I don't constitute that as role-play because if people were concerned with role-play they wouldn't care about giving up a few points of DPR and instead focus on how cool their character is for wielding a weapon with a really interesting history that plays to the character's backstory. I mean, don't people EVER take non-mechanically powerful options when presented with something that fits more thematically these days?

As 4E is my major system of interest I do this a lot. I often take sub-optimal choices because sometimes those choices help reflect my character better. For example, an Eladrin Bladesinger is often considered a terrible combination (Dex / Int) but I don't really care because I find the archtype fun and interesting.


Southeast Jerome wrote:
Diffan wrote:

The DMG is already out? If that's the case, what exactly does the Oathbreaker do? As for Blackguards, alignment is largely irrelevant with them. If the oath breaker casts curses, summons fiends, and generally dark in nature then we're covered.

DMG is not out yet, but they released a preview of villainous classes.

https://m.facebook.com/dungeonsanddragons/photos/a.98724281070.125189.73340 321070/10152774106171071/?type=1&theater

For some reason the link isn't working.

Southeast Jerome wrote:


Oathbreaker has the type of abilities you're looking for, but might be more eeeevil than you want. Still room for a middle ground, for sure.

I saw 1 spell (Misty Step) that I felt was "Avenger-ish" however there's no alternative to not wearing armor (I'd gladly give up all armor + shield proficiency for Armor of Faith which puts your AC at 12 + Dex + Cha) and there's still quite a few prayers that Avengers had access to that Paladin's don't. Not only that but an Avenger has no need for Lay on Hands, so I'd love some sort of alternative to that. It's not a terrible Oath, but definitely not close enough for my tastes. I, however, fully realize that my tastes shouldn't be specifically catered to.


The DMG is already out? If that's the case, what exactly does the Oathbreaker do? As for Blackguards, alignment is largely irrelevant with them. If the oath breaker casts curses, summons fiends, and generally dark in nature then we're covered.

As for the bear warrior, I'm talking about turning fully into a bear of various power as they level, like a druid. And using rage in bear form. However Im away from a PHB now and don't really know what totem barbarian entails.

Also, I want an Aveger-based class and right now the Oath of Vengeance paladin sadly fails in this regard overall.


Blackguard for the Paladin
Bear warrior for Barbarian
Invoker for the cleric
Brawler for the Fighter
Vampire that fits everyone


Giorgo wrote:

I have many new players who are being introduced to the D&D brand for the first time with this new rules edition.

As the GM, I already have the D&D Starter Set, the Players Handbook, Hoard of the Dragon Queen AP, and I understand the "Default" setting is the Forgotten Realms.

As someone who owns no FR material, or sees anything FR related in the D&D 5th Edition Release Schedules page, where should I go to learn about and acquire FR material for my new campaign?

Thanks in advance. :)

Your in luck because right now things haven't really been nailed down yet. Which means you can use any supplements you want. So far, from the novels, no changes have been made to the continents but it's possible that will change. As for the deities, using the ones from the PHB/Free download is probably best.

The nice thing about using the 4e material is that it doesn't big you down with a TON of lore and details, especially when the focus should be more on your PC's and their immediate surroundings (for new players and all). Personally I'd start somewhere that isn't too bustling or busy, like Loudwater (Western Heartlands).

You can also grab the adventures made for the playtest like Murder in Baldur's Gate, which I hear is pretty good.


Hitdice wrote:

There's also the question of martial classes who take the Magic Initiate feat. If they've blown an ability score increase, they certainly shouldn't be stuck at caster level zero until they multi class.

No, I haven't changed my mind about anything, I still just think 5e depends on player/DM communication in a way that rules heavy systems don't.

5e is in no way different in terms of DM/Player communication than previous editions, it's pretty easy to see Cantrips scale with overall character level, as stated by one of the designers. Now you can ignore that and do your own thing based on your own preferences but the rules for this specific thing is pretty clear. Acknowledge that its a houserule, inform players of the change/ruling so they can better make decisions, and go from there.


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Kthulhu wrote:
I would say the biggest emphasis of roleplaying in 5e as opposed to 3.x is that the focus in 5e is on actually playing the game, whereas in 3.x, playing the game is a minor addition hastily taped onto the REAL product...a character creation system.

That's a pretty darn subjective statement that is vastly more reflective of the individual player than the actual system, and I say this as someone who enjoys creating NPCs and extra characters for fun. So far I've already created about a dozen PCs with 5e and have only had the opportunity to play the "official" game a few times so far.

Character tweaking, mechanics digging, numbers finangling have ALWAYS been apart of the game, regardless if the system "promotes" it or not.


P.H. Dungeon wrote:

I would say that the background mechanics, including the flaws, bonds and such, which are more formally baked into the the character creation process are what adds more emphasis to the role playing. There isn't anything to stop you from doing that kind of thing in previous editions, but it isn't hardwired into the game the same way as it is in 5e.

Diffan wrote:
Dragon Knight wrote:

And the game emphasis roleplaying over roll playing.

How? Or more specifically, where?

Backgrounds provide mechanical benefit for players, including starting items and gold, so I guess there is that. However you can bypass this by going to the items section and just getting gold based off class. This modular element it akin to 4E's Theme's, which also provided a mechanical background element with thematic purposes. Backgrounds in 4E do a similar service in providing other benefits (like the often abused "Auspicious Birth / Born Under A Bad Sign" which allows the use of another ability score instead of Constitution for starting HP).

Bonds, Flaws, Traits, etc. are really fun and all and I'm glad they're in the game, but aide from the DM giving out Inspiration because of them, there's no incentive to do any of this at character creation. Sure, it's in the rules to use but it can simply be ignored by a player with no significant loss (well, besides fun and enjoyment).

So as evident with Backgrounds and BOnds/traits/etc. they're not so much baked in as suggestions to utilize because they're cool. I'm sure when I start running more 5E I'll have players completely by-pass this part of the process.


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Southeast Jerome wrote:
dariusu wrote:


The consensus is character level with backup from twitter posts from the devs.[
I suppose there are good reasons for this from a mechanics standpoint, but it seems strange that a 16th level barbarian could take 1 level of wizard and suddenly be able to do 4d6 damage with ray of frost. What would be the downside for limiting cantrip scaling to combined caster level (as determined above) instead of total level?

The downside is that it becomes less and less important as a tool the higher level you go, penalizing multi-class characters on basic attacks. Cantrips whole point is to be the "go-to" when daily effects are entirely used up OR to be too big of a resource to utilize for the current situation. IF you scale it by caster level (by that particular class or CL overall, based on the Multi-class table) then multiclassing into a non-spellcaster class is always going to be an inferior choice (barring specifics).

So a Barbarian 10 / Cleric 1 gets cantrips. If they're based on the Cleric then it's almost 100% better to NEVER use your turn to cast a Cantrip and instead go with a weapon-based attack. Which begs the question: why are you multiclassing to begin with? Instead, if cantrips are tied to Character level, he can still feel like a cleric like one his peers on the basic level, however they still have LOTS more spells (and of higher level) than him, which separates the distinction.

Some people are fine with this, others (including myself) don't like the penalty. I'm glad cantrips scale with character level instead of caster level. In fact, I'm glad they practically removed Caster Level as a 'thing' for the majority of this edition overall.


Dragon Knight wrote:

And the game emphasis roleplaying over roll playing.

How? Or more specifically, where?

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