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Diffan's page

971 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.

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Lots of things actually...

• Using Hit Die for healing. Basically spend one of your HD to regain 1dX + Con modifier hit points. Regain 1/2 your HD on a long rest (6 to 8 hrs).

• Scale cantrip damage/effects and base it off character level instead of class level. Thus a elf wizard 1/ fighter 8 would do can trip damage of a 9th level wizard.

• Legendary Monster rules. Basically giving big monsters multiple options per turn instead of full-attack OR cast spell. Also lair rules help too.

• Weapon groups. Really, focusing on ONE weapon via a Feat sucks and should've died in a fire a long time ago. For example, Weapon Focus (heavy blade) vs. great sword.

• Move-attack-move without annoying feat chains.

• OoA can immobilize target instead of doing damage (not 5e, but a good feat in 3e which should've also been standard)

• Concentration when multiple spells are in effect. No need to have flying, invisible, stoneskin wizards pew-pewing people with death rays, enervation, and scorching rays.

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My Self wrote:
What classes from 3.5 were overpowered and broken, and are still broken?

The big three are: Cleric, Druid, and Wizard. Still broken? All 3. They tried to tame some of the stuff down with the Druid and there's no Divine Metamagic in Pathfinder (that I'm aware of) but still, full armor and d8 HD and 9th level spells and two good saves and the spell list make both the Cleric and Druid FAR FAR better than most Martials*.

My Self wrote:
What broken classes have been appropriately nerfed?

Well the Druid has been toned down slightly but their companion is still good and they still get Natural Spell. Clerics are still amazing and good but they can't convert their turns into meta-magic effects, so there's a significant nerf. Wizards, honestly, weren't hit at all with Pathfinder but instead build up more with x/day combat effects and at-will Cantrips.

My Self wrote:
What classes from 3.5 were terrible?

Oh boy. Well if we're talking "Base Classes"...lets see:

• Everything from Complete Warrior
• Everything from Complete Adventurer
• Warmage and Wujen from Complete Arcane
• Favored Soul (honestly, why not just play a cleric?), Shugenja from Complete Divine
• Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, and Rogue from the PHB. Barbarian comes close but there's Rage/Pounce that helps it out.
• Dragon Shaman and Knight from PHB2
• Most classes from Dragon mag.

I have never used the Psionics stuff (lack of interest from the party) so I can't comment there. We also didn't use too many supplemental stuff like Incarnum so I can't comment there. Tome of Battle was good, considering what it replaced and I had a friend who liked the Dragon Fire Adept, which is a Dragon-themed Warlock.

Which ones of those have been fixed?

Fixed? Well nothing that doesn't use spells won't compare at later levels to full spellcasters. Period. But if you mean Fixed as-in "I can play this class until at least 10th level and still remain relevant" then I'd say the Monk (unchained version), Paladin, Ranger, and Rogue (unchained version) received some much needed help. Fighter still only good for dips though. To my knowledge they didn't really do a good job converting and up-grading anything else. Their Swashbuckler isn't very good and I haven't seen a Shugejna or Favored Soul stylized class yet.

Which ones are still terrible?

Non-spellcasting classes and even low spellcasting classes still won't hold a candle to anything that's casting 9th level spell with a bit of optimization. So all of them compared to that specific example. I wouldn't play a Pathfinder Swashbuckler or Unchained Rogue/Monk/Barbarian for example.

Which classes received buffs or nerf that they didn't need?

From my perspective, the Wizard received too much in terms of keeping most of his spell-list intact AND giving them spell-like abilities AND at-will cantrips PLUS bonus feats on top.

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Basically it comes down to communication between the DM and the Player. I've had DMs be very lenient when it comes to the Paladin code, relying far more on what a Paladin would know in any questionable situation vs. what the Player knows. And I've had DMs just arbitrarily have Paladins fall because they didn't conform to what the DM felt/thought was within the Lawful Good code OR just to see what the Paladin does in catch-22s they were put in.

We're obsessed because it's really the ONLY class that has this particularly severe clause in it. And, frankly, not one that holds much merit when it comes to the abilities the class has access to. Lets see: Maxed out at 4th level spells, minor self-heals, some combat-effective features which cater to a very specific type, and immunity to diseases (natural or otherwise). Out of the entire list of stuff they get, really only the bonus from Charisma to all Saves and the Immunity to Diseases are the real keepers here. Everything else is just outshone by pretty much most Fighter/Cleric builds.

And that's generally the problem I have with these severe restrictions. You can have a far better, mechanically speaking, character using Cleric and Fighter multiclass AND retain the idea of a holy knight without bending your will to some code that is far too prone to being tampered with from so many different sources. I love the Paladin in 4e and 5e, but I'll not be roped into falling for the traps again and just play a strictly better Ftr/Clr or Warlord (PoW from Dreamscarred Press).

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Arbane the Terrible wrote:

memorax wrote:
It's not to say it's not good advice. It is but once again your trying to unsuccessfully mask the flaws of a class. The Fighter needs more than I swing and I hit. Thier capestone ability is boring imo. Bravery is a joke imo.

At 20th level, it's STILL less useful than the class feature a Paladin got at level 3. :(

Diffan: I like the abilities your modiFighter gets, but it still doesn't fix the basic problem: while the fighter's hitting things with a stick really well, the wizard is flying, predicting the future, controlling minds, and summoning demons.

Right, a Fighter probably won't (or shouldn't?) have those sorts of capabilities because they're not a spellcaster. But where a wizard can summon a Demon the fighter can jump onto the demon and decapitate it with ease of they can drop its HP over half in a round or two.

I don't think the disparity will ever be bridged without significant overhaul of the magic system OR giving the Fighter near superhuman/spell-like abilities. Unfortunately that sort of kills the flavor of the Fighter IMO.

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memorax wrote:

Again if one class can play just fine without a specific build, magic items, specific feats such as a Wizard. Then tell me that their nothing wrong with the Fighter except needing to take a specific build, magic items, specific feats. Is highlighting the strength of wizards while doing the same for the flaws of the Fighter class. It's not a positive selling point imo. The no disparity side of the argument either or ignore or don't want to accept that imo.

It's not to say it's not good advice. It is but once again your trying to unsuccessfully mask the flaws of a class. The Fighter needs more than I swing and I hit. Thier capestone ability is boring imo. Bravery is a joke imo. Armor and weapon training while useful just don't scream interesting to me.

The "unchained Fighter" I created does a WHOLE bunch of fun stuff without resorting to things like Path of War (which, honestly, I think is one of the best supplements for Pathfinder out there). The class I created (with the help of some online research) allows the Fighter to remain competitive without relying heavily on magical items to keep up.


Healthy: When the fighter receives any sort of healing, add the Fighter’s level to the hit points healed.

Larger Than Life (Ex): Starting at 1st level, when making Strength-based checks (not attacks) or any other roll where size matters such as when initiating a combat maneuver, you may treat the Fighter as if he were the indicated size (see chart).

Bonus Feats: At the indicated levels, Fighters get an assortment of bonus feats. Some of these are combat-focused. The fighter gains any Combat feat even if he does not meet the ability prerequisites of that feat. These feats may be changed as a standard action. As these feats can change, they do not act as prerequisites for Prestige Classes and other character feats. When the Fighter reaches 6th level, he gains Any feat. These function like Combat feat except that the fighter gains any possible feat even if he doesn’t meet the ability prerequisites of that feat. These feats may also be changed as a standard action.

Deflect Damage (Ex): If an adjacent ally or the Fighter is injured in combat, the Fighter may make an opposed attack check (adding and shield bonus and enhancement bonus to his attack). If successful, the opponent’s attack does minimum damage (treat any die rolls as 1’s) and any additional effects do not apply.

Tricky (Ex): When a Fighter uses a combat maneuver, such as Disarm, he may do so as a swift action that does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity. If the maneuver fails, the Fighter receives no penalties and triggers no retaliation.

Sentinel (Ex): The Fighter gains innate enhancement bonuses to armor he wears and shield’s he wields, becoming an even more formidable warrior. These bonuses do not stack with existing magical item [enhancement] bonuses.

Enhanced Warfare (Ex): By tapping into his inner strength, his attacks lend more might than your average warrior. These enhancement bonuses apply to attack and damage rolls but do not stack with any existing magical item [enhancement] bonuses.

Warrior’s Path: The path of the Fighter lies in specific styles and approaches to combat. Some adopt a varied path, taking feats and weapons that accommodate a multitude of situations. Some like to become more focused, putting added emphasis on a specific path. Below select a path that best describes the style you most commonly apply. You can change your style with 1 week of physical training.

Dervish: Warriors choosing dual-attack style like the versatility that comes with wielding two weapons, often using a matched pair or two separate ones for utility.
• Double Slice: You gain the double slice feat as a bonus feat so long as you meet the prerequisites. If you already have double slice you may choose another combat feat you already meet the prerequisites for.
• Whirling Blades: Your ambidexterity and aptitude for the dual-style allows you unparalleled precision. From now on you may wield any combination of light or one-handed weapons in each hand and reduce the penalties for fighting with two-weapons by 1.

Great-Weapon: Warriors choosing the great, two-handed weapons emphasize power and might over defense and ranged attacks.
• Focused Frenzy: You gain the focused frenzy feat as a bonus feat so long as you meet the prerequisites. If you already possess focused frenzy you may choose another combat feat you already meet the prerequisites for.
• Reaping Strike: Whenever you miss with a melee attack while using a two-handed weapon, you still deal damage equal to your Strength modifier so long as you can reach the target. Your weapon’s enhancement bonus to damage does not apply nor to any added effects due to making a successful attack.

Shield Warden: Warrior’s choosing the shield know that the best offense is a good defense and can use their shield as both.
• Shield Bash: You gain the shield bash feat as a bonus feat. If you already possess shield bash you may choose another combat feat you already meet the prerequisites for.
• Shield Attack: You add your innate enhancement bonus from shields to attack and damage rolls when you initiate a shield bash or fight with it using Two-Weapon Fighting.

Surging Resistance: You gain an almost supernatural defense against magic, as it persists in being one of your biggest threats. At 5th level you gain the ability to roll 2d20 when making a saving throw and take the better of the two rolls. This can be done once per encounter (or every 10 minutes outside of combat). You gain an additional use per encounter at 11th level, and a 3rd usage at 17th level.

Wade In (Ex): Starting at 6th level, the Fighter may make a Full Attack as a Standard Action so long as he is able to make at least one attack in a round.

Hustle (Ex): If the Fighter moves as a full round action, he ignores all movement penalties due to armor and shield.

Weapon Mastery (Ex): Any feat which applies to any single weapon now applies to all weapons.

Dominate Weapon (Ex): When picking up any magical weapon, the Fighter is considered to meet all the prerequisites for wielding that magical weapon.

Death Stroke (Ex): The Fighter has nearly reached the pinnacle of his training, giving him supreme advantages in the field of war and combat. They know just the right way to twist a sword or adjust a shot to make the very best of a critical moment. From now on, when you succeed on a critical hit the creature must make Fort save or die (DC = 10 + damage done). The creature must be at least under half their full Hit points for this to take place. Like other death effects creatures without discernable anatomies’, most undead, and constructs are immune to this feature. Specific undead creatures, like Vampires, can be slain but the critical hit must come a source that is consistent with the manner in which these creatures can be slain.

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the secret fire wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Diffan wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.

That's pretty much the crux of the situation, a Fighter/Martial character needs to delve into system mastery to do something that, frankly, should be fine with the system already. Has anyone tried just eliminating Full-Attack action altogether? Seems like an easy thing to do and one of the "fixes" I did for our E6 games. Works great IMO.

This is actually crippling to the game balance.

You are aware that any martial who gets a full attack off with any amount of decent optimization at ant level above 10 will, I don't mean might, but will, obliterate any opponent of even relative CR?

Nyet. Non. No.

It is not, at all, crippling to game balance. I know because I've been allowing characters (to include monsters) to mix attack and move actions however they choose for years (ie. move, attack, move, attack, move...and so on, up to their full movement and full iterative attacks).

As a DM, you do need to adjust your CRs upwards a bit to account for the greater effectiveness of the martial classes, but it cripples nothing, and it adds tactical options that weren't there before. When adjusting the CR upwards, it's important not to simply pick bigger boss monsters with even MOAR AWESOME SLAs!, but rather to add more depth to encounters, with additional lieutenants (not mooks, but not bosses), environmental hazards, maybe adding mobility to the mooks, etc.

It does take some experimentation and experience as a DM to "unchain" martials in this way, but the game is still perfectly playable (and, in fact, more fun) once one gets the balance worked out.

This runs similar to my experiences with E6 and removing the stipulation of move or full-attack. Warriors and monsters with multiple attacks are more credible threats but it doesn't really mess with "balance".

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TriOmegaZero wrote:

'Easy' being two feats, skill investment, and whatever Hurtful is.

As opposed to just having that be something all martial character do.

That's pretty much the crux of the situation, a Fighter/Martial character needs to delve into system mastery to do something that, frankly, should be fine with the system already. Has anyone tried just eliminating Full-Attack action altogether? Seems like an easy thing to do and one of the "fixes" I did for our E6 games. Works great IMO.

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I hate the full-attack action. With a blinding hot passion. I find it unfathomable that a highly trained warrior that can survive dragon fire, liches spells, takes on giants and trolls, and can be an overall awesome warrior cannot move and swing his weapon 2, 3, 4 times. Completely ridiculous.

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tony gent wrote:

Hi all just wondering what you think the name old school gaming means to you ?

Is it just a reference to how long someone's been gaming or do you think it describes a style of play.
Your thoughts please

I feel "Old School" is all in how you approach a game, adhering to specific tenants and ideals instead of a particular system. For a more in-depth analysis...

• Char-gen:
- Stats rolled in order
- Limited number of options, usually fitting a Tolkien-esque style campaign.
- Tight reign on options like spells, feats, and other character-based choices.

• Resource Management:
- Making resource replenishment more difficult, costly to the group/campaign to take.
- Using existing resources in uncommon/out of the box ways.

• Obtaining Features:
- Getting new spells, maneuvers, options, etc. takes in-game time, research, and planning. Ex. A Fighter doesn't automatically gain/learn a new combat feat just He needs to learn from a warrior. A wizard doesn't automatically get new spells willy nilly, they need to research for them.
- Higher HP, saves, attack bonus, AC upgrades need to be applies during downtime in a safe area, not in the middle of a monster a infested dungeon.

• Healing/Hit Points
- Restrict healing on a daily basis
- Make afflictions more difficult to remove. 
- Slower hit point recovery

• Adventuring/Exploration:
- No "standardization" on encounters
- No guarantee that encounters will be level appropriate or can be overcome through combat.
- Bigger emphasis on hex-crawling than planned or plotted games.

• Scope/Goals
- Rulings not rules, adjudication is far more important than a rules-lawyer.
- Game isn't designed to be "beaten" but rather experienced. You don't play to level up, leveling up is a by-product of your play. 

These are some of the things that always jump out at me when I discussions on old school. Luckily every version of D&D can do this so its not tied to a specific version. At least, the way I see it

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This is one particular reason why I've come to love E6 (E7 PF) as a whole game. 4th level Spells seems to be the start where magic takes a far stronger sense in the game but Martials (in this instance, any class with a full-BAB is considered so) still do significantly well because they're the only ones that have 2 attacks compared to the spellcasters.

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Zhangar wrote:
I'll just note that 4E was basically Tome of Battle as the entire combat system, and enough of the player base outright rejected it to make Pathfinder possible. =P

That's such a misleading comment that I don't know where to begin.

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Zardnaar wrote:

I thought the core of 3.x is quite good its the added bits (colasses and spells) that is the main problem. Houserule the core d20 mechanics into AD&D and you will have a lot less problems than 3.x. Level 18 wizard might be god mode,but good luck getting there and no CoDzilla.

I've felt the CORE system mechanics were so terribly bad for weapon-based users that it pushes the game towards playing spellcasters. Look at the diminishing attack progression. Look at the Full-Attack Action. Look at ALL the examples where you have to have a feat or take extreme penalties or get attacks with AoO. It's exclusionary-design means that if you don't have X to perform Y, then you're going to pay for it significantly OR it'll be very difficult to perform. To me, that's poor design.

Further the Fighter, in particular, really has nothing distinctive about it. It's focus on [Fighter] Feats in v3.5 and [Combat] Feats in Pathfinder still give it nothing concrete that says THIS is a Fighter. Not more attacks like in 5e, not distinctive abilities and powers like in 4e and not even weapon specialization like they had in AD&D 2e (if I remember correctly?). To distinguish the strength of the Fighter in d20 (3e/PF) they needed to give him ways around the systemic issues that applies to everyone using a weapon like ignores the Full-Attack + move restriction, makes a full 5th attack at their full BAB, increase ALL BAB by +1 or +2 at specific levels, automatic proficiency with all non-racial Exotic Weapons, bonus to saves against ALL magic / SLA's.

Looking at these, I'd actually want to play a Fighter besides for the usual 1 or 2 level dip.

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All 18's across the board?!! Wow, that's sorta crazy. No wonder they feel weak, since they're pretty much superheroes (stat-wise) early on. Well if they're feeling too weak, you could throw easier enemies at them but make their significance to the story higher. And throw lots at them that make combats that much more grand. I mean a 3d4 burning hands spell looks a lot better when it wipes out 5-7 goblins compared to 1 orc.

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Reading Sacred Geometry makes me want to kick puppies.....

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So with all the Martial / Caster discrepancy threads coming in I figured that I delve into probably is one of the most systemic problems facing Martials with v3.5 and Pathfinder. The two being a Full-Attack action and descending attack bonuses. Now this isn't just a problem for Martials as all classes are affected by this to some degree however I feel Martial classes are affected, by far, more than spellcasters since they are the ones that use that particular system the most.

The first problem is Full-Attack. One of the problems this creates is rooting a weapon-based user in place. It doesn't matter if they wield a sword or bow, they only ever benefit from one of their biggest class features when they're standing completely still or have only moved 5-ft. Now imagine if a spellcaster, to cast higher level spells (5th level +), was under the same limitation. I think the entire game would shift in a different way in the way it's played. This also creates a divide in melee-weapon choices, thus making reach weapons FAR more preferable to one-handed/light weapons IF you want to make sure enemies don't slip by you and conversely, weapons like the Spiked Chain become #1 overall.

I'm not entirely sure why the rule of Full-Attack is in place? I don't really understand what it's exactly trying to emulate within the narrative of the game world? Why can't a warrior move 30-ft. and swing a weapon in 6-seconds? Is the time constraint of a round that pivotal to maintain that ALL classes are reduced to move + 1 attack or don't move + ALL attacks? Why is it there?

The second problem are descending attack modifiers. As the AC is static, the modifier is static too and the die roll represents chance / luck / fate / etc. But then why make it further complicated by making iterative attacks worse? What exactly changed between attack #1 and #2 or #3 or #4? What is this specific rule attempting to simulate? I don't think it's endurance or fatigue because it's the same with the opposed hand (a hand that is often 'weaker' by comparison). Does the monster somehow react exceptionally fast after the first swing is created? Even if you take a more narrative view of multi-attacking (each attack isn't 1 swing but the whole round is a commotion of parries and thrusts) then descending attacks don't necessarily make much sense. In sword fighting it's often the 1st attack that is a decoy or ruse that will open up you opponent to secondary and iterative attacks. Except in D&D/PF-Land where the first attack is always swung hardest and all other attacks sort of become weaker and slower and less useful.

So what this boils down to is a Warrior/Martial character who has to stand-still (barring a 5-ft. step) to get his full benefit BUT even then that benefit is hampered as those last attacks become just hopefull-critial threats anyways.

Now imagine if both those rules were removed! Yep, what would happen if the Martial / Warrior didn't have to stand in a 5-ft. area to be a Weapons-Master? What would happen if ALL of their attacks were accurate (and deadly)?

Now one serious downside to removing these restrictions is that you have to remove them from everyone. That means creatuers like Dragons and Hydras and the like can make all their attacks, fly, and be destructive forces of nature in their own right. Well, honestly, I'm OK with that. Dragons are scary dangerous and walking into it's DEN to throw down should be a sure-fire way to get eaten. If a Hydra has come upon you in surprise, best to scatter and used Ranged options until it's close to death. It would change the way the game is played but I think that change is ultimately for the better.


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Irranshalee wrote:

So there have been several people telling me that 5th edition is so much smoother than Pathfinder and the game play is worth buying 5th edition. I made a decision...

I bought a Player's Handbook.

I have been paging through it over the last couple days and I have to say that there appears to be no significant changes that would warrant a shift away from Pathfinder for me. Maybe I am missing something?

Possibly, it really depends on what you're looking for in an RPG. Saying the system more smooth is sort of hard to determine because if you're already geared towards the micromanaging nature of Pathfinder then you only notice a lack of it in 5e as there are FAR less fiddly bits in that system. For some, those fiddly bits are what drives the fun of the game where as for others it's more of a burden.

Irranshalee wrote:
If you have a better understanding of the two systems, would you either point me to a link that describes the differences or would you take a few moment to quickly point out the finer points of 5th edition?

Magic is more limited in the later stages, gaining only a few spells from 6th through 9th level. Magic is also limited because of the Concentration mechanic. Because of this, magic-users aren't slapping multiple stacking spells to own encounters so quickly.

There is more emphasis on encounters and short rests compared to an all-day or X/day limit. Even spellcasters get benefits with short rests.

Healing doesn't require a spellcaster OR days of rest to regain due to full HP regain and Hit Die healing.

Many unnecessary restrictions were removed from hindering weapon-based classes. Example: Two-Weapon Fighting doesn't require feats or stat requirements; you can move-attack-move without a feat; no more god-awful Full-attack action, no more lengthy feat chains to get one good benefit.

Magic items take a back seat to character power, no longer required to possess 15 magical items just to keep up with the maths. Also, maths hacked down to normal levels so we don't have monsters with AC 45, +57 to attack & dealing 235 points of damage a turn.

Death is slightly harder to come by but much more permanent.

There aren't ridiculously obvious trap choices to get fooled by.

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Forever Slayer wrote:
Big corporations are the bane of RPG's and Hasbro is no exception.

Why? By all accounts 5E is doing exceedingly well. 4E did exceedingly well at first go, and many believe 3E sold extremely well too. So if by "Bane" you mean making lots of profit, then......sure?

Forever Slayer wrote:
I believe D&D would be better off in the hands of a smaller company who does not see D&D as a mega money maker but as a table top game that may not earn you billions, will earn you a nice profit while giving gamers the game they want.

They did, back in 2000. It's called the OGL. Your welcome.

Forever Slayer wrote:

I see Hasbro as the kind of company that would break that antique piggy bank in order to get to the money inside. I could see them getting frustrated because D&D didn't meet their crazy goals and shelving it.

What get's me is a company like Hasbro and WoTC can't seem to walk and chew gum at the same time.

I see Hasbro as the kind of company that would continue to work on a brand to make it larger than it has. I see Hasbro as a company that wants to make it more interesting to people who might not ever have gamed before. I see Hasbro as a company that wants to do more with the brand other than basically sit on it for coppers a day. I see Hasbro as a company that wants to branch into other spheres of the entertainment industry so that we can enjoy D&D-ish things in addition to just the TTRPG side of it.

To me those are all great things to strive for. They've hit some set backs, yes but I think they're learning.

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houser2112 wrote:
MAJT69 wrote:
I've been playing D&D since 1979, finding something good in every system. And 5th edition has finally done what even 4E couldn't manage, and driven me away from my very first RPG.
I'm scratching my head at this statement. You stayed for 4E, but not for 5E? Nothing can match the perfection that is 3.PF, but at least 5E feels like D&D. When I was thumbing through 4E's PH, I actually closed the book to make sure I was actually reading a D&D book, it was so alien to me.

Perfection........? Now THAT is the real head scratcher

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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).

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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.

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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 least that's what I would do.

I do that as 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.

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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.

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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.....

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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.

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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.

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EntrerisShadow wrote:

Stylistically (the art, race and class descriptions, etc.), do you prefer the 5th Ed. style or the Pathfinder style?

5th's seems more....realistic and in that sense, I feel 5E's art is better. I like 5E's Monster Manual better artistically than Pathfinder's Bestiary.


Mechanically, what did it do better than Pathfinder?

Keeping spellcasting more reined in at the higher levels of play. It's not as balanced as 4E in the higher levels but then again, it wasn't designed to. It took more cues from 3E in this regard however they also lowered the overall amount of spells one can cast above 6th level and didn't give them anyways to increase that number. Also, spellcasting isn't as good because spells don't instantly increase with power as one levels up. You have to invest in which spells will do that.

Then there's Bounded Accuracy. This is REALLY the main reason why I'm looking for 5E to replace most 3E/PF games I run. The fact that modifiers aren't thrown into the stratosphere and lower level monsters say more relevant longer is a huge plus in my book.

Short Rest mechanics, while having the potential for problems, are always better (in my mind) than daily ones. So that a good portion of classes get these is a nice bonus.

Not tying Alignment into the mechanics of the game is pretty much a 100% step in the right direction when compared to Pathfinder as it still uses Alignment for restrictions on things like classes and prestige classes.

Ridding themselves of the difference between "full-round" and "standard" actions. The fact that Fighters in PF who move are reduced to 1 attack is simply terrible. Flat out. Add on the penalty that if they DO stick around and make a full-attack, their attacks get weaker is just more BS thrown on top. 5E gets rid of both these silly restrictions.


Mechanically, what did it do worse than Pathfinder?

The only thing that comes to mind is customization. I'm not a fan of the Multiclass system and I don't like that I can't swap a classes sub-paths around as I level up. In this area I think 3E and Pathfinder do a better job with mechanical representation for unique characters. Plus I hate that all classes get feats at different levels.


Among those things it did better, can or should any of them be translated to the PF system?

Yep. Remove the 3-tierd BAB system for 1 standard, across the board version. Remove the Full-Attack action and allow classes that get multiple attacks to keep them AND move. Remove the moronic restrictions on Two-Weapon Fighting. Remove auto-scaling spell variables. Remove Bonus spells based on higher ability modifier. Give paladins more spells at earlier levels.


Among those things it did worse, was the PF mechanic the clearly superior option, or could they be fixed with small tweaks?[/quote

Tweaks would probably work best, and time. With enough time and options, I can see 5E being a better product overall.

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Cptexploderman wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
Cptexploderman wrote:
it's being repackaged as this edition

What does this even mean?

Between Pathfinder and 5e, one of them is something repackaged, and one of them is something new.

5e is new.

Oh, and Cptexploderman? Favoriting your own posts doesn't make it look like more people agree with you. It makes you look like you're desperate to make people THINK that more people agree with you.

Easy Kthulhu, it's a game. If you like your unending posts in defense of 5th show you clearly have strong feelings for it. It's alright, dice up and have a go at it. 5th in my OPINION "simply that." draws heavily on Saga ed. Thus my repackaged statement. I fav'd my comment because it made me laugh sorry it's my troll knee jerk reaction. If it hurts you so deeply I promise I won't again.. Honest. I'm totally willing to hug this out, come on, bring it in.

I'm not really seeing the repackaged thing with D&D:Next, can you further elaborate?

I see similarities but the numbers and what they actually accomplish with this edition is FAR from what it once was. For some examples:

Feats - WotC introduced this mechanic with 3E and it's continued to now. It has, however, changed significantly with each edition. In 3E it was a way for character to get special non-class "Features" they could do. In a system that's heavily negative (meaning doing anything is often penalized) feats were meant to make your character feel stronger in a certain area. Like Two-Weapon Fighting, for instance, reduced the -6 / -8 penalties to -2/-2 with a light, off-hand weapon. In 4E they weren't so much "You can do X ability now" but more of a "Add X to an ability you have or a class feature you have or X-damage type". In essence, they boosted your overall capability OR gave you outright power increase or higher numbers in a specific area. They also funneled ALL the Multiclassing to this aspect. In 5E, it's completely devoid of character growth as a requirement, instead making it optional. Further, the benefits received are MUCH greater, as many people refer to D&D:Next's feats as Macro-feats because it gives you multiple benefits at once.

Classes - This one too has similarities yet is vastly different from previous editions. Even just looking at the Core rules, each class has a little bit of 3E and 4E thrown in but on a framework that is set FAR below what either edition is expected to be. For example, a 4E Fighter was pretty much expected to have an AC 19 / 20 / 22 progression by 5th level and progressing to 30's and 40's by tier while a 5E Fighter's AC can easily be set at 18 for a GOOD portion of their career IF they didn't receive magical items. And look at spellcasting. Players aren't getting multiple HIGH level spells this time around, topping out at ONE 9th level, regardless of Intelligence modifier. Suffice to say that they've attempt to blend the better parts of 4E and 3E into something similar yet brand new that has it's own identity.

Also, I might add that WotC has tried REALLY hard to get that "vibe" back, making 5E appear like older versions. Personally, I loved 4E (I still thinks it's the best system by far) however I accept that a lot of people were put off by a lot of it, even down to the layout, colors, and interior design of the books. To many, it didn't "feel" like D&D and while it's subjective, it means that if people don't get that vibe then they're less likely to buy it.

So maybe the idea of it being more like previous editions is done by design, because that way when people look at it they'll say "Oh, this is definitely D&D."

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Snorter wrote:

I think there was less expectation, among the players, that 5E would be similar to any previous edition.

Therefore, no reason for upset, if and when things are found to have changed.

I've run adventures written for Moldvay B/X, Mentzer BECMI, Gygax AD&D, and Cook 2ndEd, in a variety of other editions up to 3.5, without much conversion needed.
A lot of people were expecting 4E to be a revision and clarification of 3.5, incorporating lessons learned since 2000. The rules had been recompiled in the Rules Compendium, several classes had been introduced in later books, to bridge the perceived power discrepancy between martial and caster PCs. When hearing a new edition was in the works, plenty of people believed they'd be getting that info in a new set of core books.

Was that a reasonable belief? You can argue yes or no on that. (Please don't)

Yeah, I heard a lot of that too. Not really sure where the notion came from but LOTS of people were pointing to the Star Wars: Saga rules and Tome of Battle as the building blocks for 4e and I don't refute they drew inspiration from those sourcebooks, a significant portion of the game changed that didn't look like that. I blame the lack of charts and color-coded boxes myself.

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I really like the Dungeon Dragon online subscription. To be able to easily reference ANY magazine, article, adventure, monster, item whatever in just a few seconds AND not take up a full shelf.and a half of space is awesome.

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Chuck Wright wrote:

They talk about alignment tendencies in the Oaths. One of the Oath paths talks about Chaotic Good as being the common alignment.

Yes. They've unhooked alignment from all classes and it's about time.

They did that back in '08 with 4e too, just sayin'.

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Simon Legrande wrote:

As far as I'm concerned, 4e is an abomination. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable.

Uncomfortable? No. Elicits uncontrollable eye-rolling and face-palming for the over dramatic usage of words? Yes.

Further, it sadly demonstrates the gulf and disparity that fans of a niché hobby face over the most moronic things.

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Kenjishinomouri wrote:
Why is Wotc wasting their time follying up a whole new edition of their game when they should just cave in and market their settings and own adventures. They could at least make some money on the success of their most recently successful edition 3.75.

Probably because there are quite a lot of people who don't play Pathfinder or v3.5 because of how......I'm gonna be nice......unwieldy the system can be, especially at higher levels. And because a LOT of people just won't purchase yet another homebrewed 3rd Edition again. Going outside the Paizo bubble and reading comments on 5E, it's shown me just how far people have come in the last 5 or 6 years in terms of what they want in their systems. I've seen people ride the Pathfinder band-wagon and later accept that the system has most of the flaws of v3.5 while only adding enough bells and whistles to keep people's attention OR because they're sticking with a system they already known vs. a brand new edition with a LOT of different rules and style (ie. 4E) and because it was easier.

Now that 5E is out and it's 1) more streamlined. 2) easier and faster to pick up and play. 3) can be used to convert a LOT of v3.5 and 4E material. 4) has better balance across the board than v3.5 and Pathfinder, I think it's a safe bet that 5E will do fairly well early on. The true telling will be later in the year after or a year after release and how they handle the amount of bloat people are used to coming out. Can they create adventures that are useful and fun? It appears that Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle and the Murder in Baldur's Gate / Icewind Dale / Dead in Thay adventures were quite amusing and fun from people's reactions across the forums.

Kenjishinomouri wrote:

Seriously with all their settings they have more than enough products they could sell and easily make a decent profit. WE NEED EBERRON, DRAGONLANCE, FORGOTTEN REALMS, GHOSTWALK, RAVENLOFT..... The list goes on, right there you have 5 months worth of just hardcovers, then you could go for adventures, miniatures, etc.... seriously do they have apes sitting in the ceo chairs making these pathetic decisions. If they are gonna continue to blindly destroy everything they had worked on for so long they could at least get along with it faster and sell the dnd license to paizo, at least then it would be put to good use.

Or they could just make a better game. 5E seems, on many fronts, to be just that. Considering that I frequent places like theRPGsite, who's extremely.......I'm gonna be sided in their view of 4E and WotC in general, the amount of support the new version is getting is pretty amazing to witness. Let alone at other places as well.

I think the fact is: People are getting burnt out on the ridiculousness of the 3rd Edition system (and for many others 4E as well). The bloat, the trap options, the moronic levels of numbers and broken combos and page after page after page of options and the HUGE dependence on magical items, and monster stat blocks that fill entire pages, and high level play being completely dominated by spellcasters are just getting on people's nerves. People don't want to see Players dishing out 158 DPR in 1 turn at 11th level. People don't want to see ACs ascending into the 40's or Attack modiiers hitting +30/+25 yadda-yadda. ALL of that is pretty apparent in v3.5 and Pathfinder (and to an extent 4E as well).

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Daenar wrote:
Still waiting to hear people admit they don't like it because its hard to min max or power game to break a dm's campaign. Even more bold would be admitting they do it because they derive enjoyment from feeling overpowered and ruining other peoples fun.


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insaneogeddon wrote:

Everyone gets like 30 bonus feats- save feats, re-roll feats, spring attack, shot on run, bonus actions etc etc

Monks can be benders- flying, breathing fire etc

Far less caster martial disparity so cannot even limit players by limiting classes?

30 bonus feats...?????

From the free Basic rules I see the Fighter getting 7 Feat opportunities (which override the option of taking an Ability Score bump).

What are Save Feats? You mean like Lightning Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Iron Will that were in v3.5 and Pathfinder? I don't have the PHB yet so I haven't seen how good the Feats are yet.

Spring Attack was a ridiculously moronic thing to throw in as a feat in v3.5 and PF, as was Shot on the Run. And everyone gets like one bonus action.

As for Monks being "benders" I say FINALLY!! Do you know how difficult it was to make a "Bender" style character in v3.5? I had to create it's OWN separate class because a Multi-class Monk/Magic-User was a useless attempt that ended in frustration. The only thing close was a Fire-Bender with the Swordsage using Desert Wind maneuvers. Earth Benders were "sorta" done with the Swordsage and Stone Dragon / Iron Heart / and Setting Sun maneuvers.

Even 4E was rather "meh" on the whole concept. It took someone building their OWN whole Avatar: The Airbender system to do that.

So I'm not really sure I understand the problem here. You get a total of +6 to your attacks and saves over 20 levels compared to +10/+15/+20 attacks and +12/+6 saves of v3.5 and Pathfinder OR +15 in 4E.

Then you look at feats, of which Pathfinder nets 10 per 20 levels and 4E's 18 over 30 levels. Feats in Next are based on class, of which only the Fighter has the highest with 7 over 20 levels.

I have to assume this is a joke.

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Cambrian wrote:

In all fairness a robust system of options is only a great advantage if some choices don't severely outclass others.

For 3rd many feats are just plain bad while others are simply auto picks for a given character type.

In reality 5th ed characters have more options on their turn at first level since they can innately do many things 3rd requires you to have feats to perform.

Yes, some feats were bad (Toughness, for example). Some feats were meh and some where auto-picked. Yet there were a LOT that were chosen for flavor and fun. As for more options, in 5e its largely allowed due to DM fiat. For example your only cleaving if the DM says so. Your only bull rushing and attacking if the DM allows it.

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I really don't have a problem with it. When I play 3e or PF it's obscene the amount of that stack and can stay on for a LONG time, spanning multiple encounters even. It was to the point that you really didnt need a Fighter if there was a cleric in the group and wizards / druids were worse.

Besides, buff spells are still good and contribute to the party but don't necessarily make encounters trivial. And they have things like Cantrips to rely on and Clerics can still wade in with mace in hand.

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And if it tanks, we have only ourselves to blame.

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Rathendar wrote:
Diffan wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Diffan: While your point is not entirely wrong, it is also quite true that those decisions I paraphrased were a large part of the reason for the edition war. I mean, there would have been an outcry whatever they did, but it wouldn't have become impossible to discuss on any major RPG board for years and years without their ample help.

And yet the "decisions" you paraphrased are basically your negative opinions of the edition and less to do with actual reasons for those changes.

Second, how does ANY of that constitute a trust violation? From my perspective the only thing WotC is at fault for is the taking away of PDFs people bought (though why they weren't saved and stored on a device is beyond me) and falling through with their promises on a VTT and on-line tools. Everything else, no it wasn't a breach of trust. They didnt go in a direction people like and they got mad and complained.

If a company i purchase from goes in a direction i do not wish for or desire, then i can no longer trust them to make what i like. How many things have to diverge from a person's preferences for them to be able to say they have no trust in the company's actions to satisfy your personal definition?

Let me ask, you find a product you like. Do you instantly trust them to continue to make the exact same product forever? I don't think it's about trust, something I generally associate with actual people, I think it's about expectations and disappointment. For some, the direction the game took was a disappointment to them. I severely doubt "trust" was broken. Perhaps people might be more cautious about purchasing products from them OR take a longer in-depth look to what their products do before purchase but that's a stance every consumer should be taking.

Further, 4E had LOADS of changes to try the product before buying it. And the same is true with NEXT. You can easily see the game's direction their taking and either that A) suits your needs or B) it doesn't. It has absolutely zip to do with gaining trust back.

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Sissyl wrote:
Diffan: While your point is not entirely wrong, it is also quite true that those decisions I paraphrased were a large part of the reason for the edition war. I mean, there would have been an outcry whatever they did, but it wouldn't have become impossible to discuss on any major RPG board for years and years without their ample help.

And yet the "decisions" you paraphrased are basically your negative opinions of the edition and less to do with actual reasons for those changes.

Second, how does ANY of that constitute a trust violation? From my perspective the only thing WotC is at fault for is the taking away of PDFs people bought (though why they weren't saved and stored on a device is beyond me) and falling through with their promises on a VTT and on-line tools. Everything else, no it wasn't a breach of trust. They didnt go in a direction people like and they got mad and complained.

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Sissyl wrote:

"Okay, guys, time for 4dventure! Let us focus on tactics and combat only, after all we are trying to attract the MtG and WoW players. Skills? Nah, we just make them a guessing game and call them skill challenges. What else?"

"Well, we could do inspiring monsters?"
"Nah, the bean counters want us to use only copyrightable names, so icefrostchoke elemental is what is going to happen."
"Darnit. How about interesting powers for the PCs?"
"So long as they can only do straight damage, inflict ongoing damage or conditions, or move people around the board. The ninety-year-old focus group doesn't understand more than that. They also think we should have more hotels, free parking and do not pass go."
"Umm.. Okay. I know, we can focus on the IP we already have, like the Forgotten Realms?"
"No, focus groups have said there is too much stuff on it, so we are carpet bombing it with a Spellplague and then a century time jump. The fans are going to love it, by our calculations."
"What calcuations?"
"The ninety-year olds told us."
"Sounds like a tough situation... Computer stuff?"
"Yeah, about that, we really want people to pay every month instead of just once, you know like WoW, so we are going to make this really cool three dimensional dungeon delving system. All the details aren't sorted out yet, but hey, we can still promise it."
"The Paizo guys are REALLY getting fan support nowadays, shouldn't we throw some support their way?"
"Hmmm, no. Let's cancel both mags, and fold it into our monthly scheme. We can even do a cool corporate sketch about four parts of the experience interlocking and supporting each other - the bosses upstairs would really like that."
"But... Cancel? Is that wise?"
"Their fans are our fans. They can't do diddlysquat without legal access to the ruleset."
"Uh, sir... You do know about the OGL?"
"Damn, we... I know, we release a new one, charge five grand for using it and include that those that do never get to publish under the OGL again! I mean, this is the new hot stuff, it has to sell...

*rolls eyes*

And the edition war continues......

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