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Adventurer's League and Pathfinder Society scenarios are a good option. Most of them are designed for organized play as one-shot adventures, so that players can drop in and out without interfering with an ongoing story. There's a loose metaplot running through each season to connect the missions together, but it's usually not essential to any given mission.

I think the PFS modules are better overall and there's definitely more selection, but the new season of AL based on Storm King's Thunder is also pretty good. The first module, Treasure of the Broken Hoard, is a series of five one-hour missions that can be mixed and matched, and is a very good intro to the game for new players.


None of the published adventures really fit with what you described, but Out of the Abyss has a demonic invasion of the underdark and stats for several demon lords, so that's probably your best bet.

Quick plot summaries:
Tyranny of Dragons: Heroes must stop to cult of the dragon from releasing Tiamat into the world.

Elemental Evil: Heroes must stop elemental cults from releasing princes of elemental evil into the world.

Out of the Abyss: Heroes escape a drow prison and must stop a demon invasion in the underdark.

Curse of Strahd: Expanded remake of the original AD&D Ravenloft module. Get trapped in Barovia by supernatural mists, defeat D&D dracula.

Storm King's Thunder: The king of the storm giants is missing, and all the giants are warring with each other to jockey for position. Heroes must discover what happened, defeat evil giant lords and other big-bads, and end the fighting.


Amazon has a placeholder page for a hardcover called "Labyrinth" with a 4/4/17 release date and no other info. Assuming that this is the title or codename for the next adventure, that could mean the next adventure is set in Undermountain or Planescape (with the Lady of Pain's prison mazes). Really hoping it's Planescape, but of those two, Undermountain is far more likely.

Storm King's Thunder spoiler:
One of the subplots in Storm King's Thunder is that a NPC named Artus Cimber has the Ring of Winter and has gone missing. The book says that looking for him is a dead end no matter what the PCs do, and that the subplot will get picked up in a future adventure. So maybe Cimber is trapped in a magic/extraplanar maze, which is why no one can find him?


Undone wrote:
Most players I've talked to said they just wouldn't come back if turned away from a game because of that but a better question is what happens when 4/6 are non CC characters? Do you just not play?

This is a concern, but I don't think this will happen much in practice. If there are multiple tables going, it's almost always possible to reshuffle the tables so that everyone can play. Many experienced players already bring multiple characters in case there's a table shuffle, so bringing a backup Core character as well won't be a big deal. Most brand new players are pretty flexible too, so if they happen to build a non-core character, it's easy to just play a core pregen and rebuild later. The key will be a clear explanation of the Core Campaign rules front and center in the next edition of the Organized Play Guide, and clear labeling on signup sites like Warhorn. Make it easy for new players to understand the difference as they're getting started, and make it easy for experienced players to know what they're signing up for.


Hmmmmm, official announcement doesn't mention anything about the Adventurers Handbook. Looks like there will be a free PDF with adventure-specific player options, instead. The Princes of the Apocalypse HC will include "new elemental spells and the element-touched genasi as a new playable race," and the free download will include "more new races plus the player content available in Princes of the Apocalypse."

http://dnd.wizards.com/elemental-evil

Not bad.


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The only class that feels incomplete is the Sorcerer. First thing, I'd add a generic, versatile bloodline, like the Arcane BL in pathfinder, as a Sorcerer option. Draconic and Wild Magic are both good bloodlines to include, but they're both very specific. In general, I'd also like all the classes to have at least three unique paths, one generic and two specialized.

Overall, my hope is that new standalone classes are kept to a minimum and that they put new options into existing classes whenever possible. Using Pathfinder as an example, most of the standalone PF classes are either already essentially covered by a 5E archetype (Hunter, Skald, Warpriest, etc.), or could be easily adapted and slotted into existing 5E classes as new archetypes, without building a whole new class (Bloodrager -> Barbarian path, Shaman -> Cleric domain or Druid circle, Swashbuckler -> Rogue archetype, Samurai -> Paladin oath or Fighter archetype, etc.).


For future HC releases, I like the 2 adventures/year plan that appears to be moving forward. Ideally, at least one of these will be a non-FR setting. I get why they're making FR the default setting, but I'd like to see an official update for Planescape and Eberron at some point, even if it's just one story arc each.

Splat books are tricky. I like options, but it's a royal pain to pull options from multiple books without a decent digital solution, especially at the table. I'd love to see a "Codex of Infinite Rules" app that lets you consolidate and re-sort all your content into your own customized master rulebook. Like the 2E monstrous compendium concept, but digital only and for all the rules and player options, not just monsters, with sorting, filters, etc. I'm not holding my breath for that, though. I feel like this was kind of sort of what Trapdoor was shooting for with the ebook portion of Dungeonscape, and given how little Trapdoor was able to deliver on that concept before the plug got pulled, I'll be happy with any digital solution that lets me access the rules on my tablet offline.


Auxmaulous wrote:

A system emulator for both 1st and 2nd ed would be appreciated.

Using modern 5e concepts with some supplemental material for swapping new rules (spam cantrip, hd healing, etc) for old (updated) ones. The 5e DMG alt-rules section was incredibly short, short enough for me to hold off on picking it up. I was very disappointed when I read through parts of the book at the game store.

I'd like to see conversion guidelines in the other direction, too, along the lines of how to convert adventures written for earlier editions and settings to use 5E rules. Stuff like converting monsters and NPCs, recommended levels for modules, conversion for specific player races, etc. It would probably move units at dndclassics.com, too, if they just linked to a few modules at the end of the conversion guide. There's so much old material out there already, having a cheat sheet to make them 5E compliant would really help to tide us over while we wait for new content.


thenovalord wrote:
Yeah. Running under AL seems counter to the new freedom 5th has brought

I'd agree to a point, but any organized play that allows players to change tables and DMs over the course of their careers is going to have to err on the side of a single consistent ruleset. Even so, in my experience AL still gives a fair amount of leeway to the DM, and quite a bit more than Pathfinder Society for example (which is a totally different thread topic).

The big benefit of AL is for new players who want to try the game but don't have a regular group, and people with busy/unpredictable schedules who can't commit to a regular game. In that context, the relative lack of freedom is not a big deal, because a regular AL group is always free to peel off and start their own regular game with whatever variant rules they want.


Bluenose wrote:
Southeast Jerome wrote:
I've had the same experience with 5e. Our d&d encounters table didn't make this week, so I sat in on another. I rolled up a level 3 Druid (a class I hadn't built before in 5e) with zero prep in about ten minutes, and we were off.
Yet it's still not a particularly quick system compared to real rules-light games, and gets slower at higher levels.

That's fair. I'm not looking for lightning fast - my ideal system is somewhere between 5e and pathfinder in complexity - but I like that the default for 5e is simple enough that it's easy to just sit down and play.


thenovalord wrote:
Yep. Tonight's HOTDQ session got lots done. Pace is the number one thing 5th has injected back in. And movement in combat. The two things dnd5 has given me is pace and movement in combat and a really flexible magic system. The three things that...............

I've had the same experience with 5e. Our d&d encounters table didn't make this week, so I sat in on another. I rolled up a level 3 Druid (a class I hadn't built before in 5e) with zero prep in about ten minutes, and we were off.


I suspect the edition conversions (if we get them) will be focused on importing older published content into 5E, rather than converting 5E content to work with an older edition. However, if the mechanics are well thought through, it should be pretty straightforward to reverse the process.

I'm not sure either would require a 64 page book, though. Paizo's 3.5->PF conversion guide is only 18 pages, and I feel like a 1E <-> 5E conversion guide would be much less crunchy and need even less space to do the job.


http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/end-beginning

Quote:
On top of that, we have a full slate of new articles coming up in 2015. We’re starting a series called Unearthed Arcana, a monthly look at the art of tabletop RPG game design featuring insights into our philosophy, and examples of new and variant material to use at your table.

Here's hoping the first several articles are conversion rules for previous editions. I would have loved to see these conversion guides included in the DMG, but I understand why they were left out. An ongoing web series is a good compromise, I think. I'm not holding my breath for a direct Pathfinder -> 5E conversion, but some guidance on adapting 3.5E combined with Paizo's 3.5E -> Pathfinder conversion rules will go a long way toward being able to run PF APs as a 5E campaign.


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The Man Upstairs: You know the rules, this isn't a toy!
Finn: Um... it kind of is.
The Man Upstairs: No, actually it's a highly sophisticated inter-locking brick system.
Finn: But we bought it at the toy store.
The Man Upstairs: We did, but the way I'm using it makes it an adult thing.
Finn: The box for this one said "Ages 8 to 14"!
The Man Upstairs: That's a suggestion. They have to put that on there.


memorax wrote:
I would be surprised to see say Forgotten Realms get little support. The more popular and profitable settings shoud get more support imo. Less popular the least.

I agree. It's pretty clear that FR will continue to receive the bulk of the setting support, but I do hope that future published campaign arcs will dip into different classic settings over time. If they can keep up with their goal of two arcs per year, I would be happy to see one story per year set in the Realms, with the other in a new setting, like Eberron, Dragonlance, Planescape, Dark Sun, etc.

Mearls has said in interviews that Hasbro has become very interested in the D&D intellectual property, but that the brand recognition for the game itself is much higher than the brand awareness for the individual settings, including FR. So as long as the core IP (the D&D name, iconic monsters) are front and center, I could see the suits not being too concerned about detours into other settings if that's what the D&D team wants to do (and I think they do).


Umbranus wrote:

That answer is rather short sighted.

Most adults have little time for gaming. And if a player wants to use his precious little time having fun without burdening themselves with teaching someone I can understand that. For some people that might be fun. For others it is depriving them of what they started the game for.

And really, what is the best for the child:

- Tell him that the grown ups want to be on their own
- Try it out and tell the child that it did not work out and he can't keep playing after he had fun with it
- Try it out and tell the child that one or more players left because of him
- Start a game especially for the child with people who like the idea of playing alongside him

If a player feels that way after a session or two, that's fine, and if the kid is out of his depth, then have the conversation then. If a player threatens to quit before the kid even joins, though, that's obnoxious. The player doesn't have to teach anything, the DM and the parents can handle that. As long as the subject matter isn't X-rated, you're now just a party with a young adventurer in the group.

Starting a new game would be my first choice, but the OP said that wasn't an option. So between a 12 year old who wants to play, a DM who's cool with the idea, and a couple players who won't even consider it because it will force them to spend time with the target age group for the game, I'm siding with the reasonable ones.


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If a 12 year old wants to spend time socializing with grown ups, that's a good thing to be encouraged. He might even need some hand-holding, just like you would with an apprentice in real life. Historically, 12 years old is when a "child" would go to work with a master to learn a profession. Work that into the story. If your friends are willing to quit a game that's about killing goblins because a kid wants to learn and without giving him a chance, they're not acting like adults.


Wrath wrote:
I like electronic copies of products because it means I don't need an epic bookshelf to hold all my roleplay material. More importantly, it means I don't have to lug tons of physical copies of my rule books to game night. I just carry my iPad, minis and dice now.

This, 1000x this. ^^^^^^^^^

Physical vs. digital doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. I prefer physical for almost every situation except for when I'm actually at the table. Right now, I have room in my work bag to keep the PHB handy, but it's still heavy and a pain to haul around. Once there's more than one player's book, though, forget it. Compare that to Pathfinder, where I have 15 PDF hardcovers and a searchable PRD app on my ipad, and a dice bag in one of the side pockets. No, I don't need digital copies, and I definitely prefer the mechanics of 5E on balance, but the lack of digital options at the table makes me more likely to play Pathfinder when I find myself with time to play.


This was reported back in August, and news since then seems to back up this release model. Overall, I like it - the Adventurer's Handbook hardcover gives us a reasonable amount of new options that are thematically tied to the adventure (Elemental Evil in this case), and Masters of the Apocalypse is the hardcover adventure. If reports are correct, both are coming out in mid-March 2015.

There is a discussion in another thread of whether new 5E campaign setting books are needed. With this model, I'm not so sure they are. With each 6-month story arc, they can re-introduce each of the classic settings with a fresh adventure, and the new 5E rules for each adventure expands out the player options and can also help with conversion of the old material. Tons of the old material and adventures are already available in PDF on dndclassics, so 5E versions of the setting-specific rules and a conversion guide is all you really need to run these settings. If they're smart, each new Adventurer's Handbook will have a listing of PDFs for the setting that are available on dndclassics.com.


Sargava, maybe? It's on the wrong side of the Arcadian Ocean, but Sargava has jungles, pyramids, and was colonized by the "Spanish". The art in the ISWG is also very evocative of pre-columbian Mayan and Aztec civilization.


Bave wrote:
That's a gigantic nerf. A 9th level slot to do an average of 40pts of damage? Think about that for a moment. A 17th level wizard dropping one of his most powerful spell slots to do 40 points of damage.

I agree that MM deals sub-optimal damage when cast in a 9th level, but I can still think of a few good situational uses for it. A blaster wizard is going to have lots of other damage spells like disintegrate and meteor swarm prepared for those high level slots anyway, so its unlikely it would ever be needed at such a high level. A controller or buff/debuff caster, on the other hand, probably wants fewer damage spells prepared, and may prefer versatility of the scalable spells to the big boys. Maybe your enemy has a crazy-high AC, or has resistance or immunity to all your other damage spells, or maybe you're fighting a horde of kobolds that are easy to kill, but are trying to overwhelm you with sheer numbers. Maybe that horde of kobolds has a half-dozen mages spread out across a 200 foot space, all casting buffs and battlefield control spells, and you've got a higher level slot free. Boom, you've just forced them all to make concentration checks, which could turn the tide of the battle.


Kalshane wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Southeast Jerome wrote:
However, a 10th level Wizard can't take one level of Rogue and immediately get to deal a 5d6 sneak attack

No, but he can add 1d6 sneak attack dmg to any cantrip or spell that has an attack roll. Spells and cantrips count as weapons if they have an attack roll. (There was a question a while back about whether casters could benefit from the sharpshooter feat, and the answer is yes for the same reason.)

Where in the rules does it say cantrips or spells count as weapons? The general consensus I've seen is that spells and cantrips DO NOT qualify for sneak attack in 5E.

I wasn't trying to suggest that. My example was just to show that you can't normally jump into a new class late and get all the class's abilities as if you'd been taking that class the whole time. So a 10th level wizard with only one level or rogue only gets to deal 1d6 sneak damage with a weapon attack - he doesn't jump to 5d6 sneak attack damage just because he has 11 total levels.

However, in light of Kalshane's last comment, I think I'm sold on the rule. If you can get a cantrip as a racial trait or via a feat, it makes more sense for it to scale with total character level. The feat is useless otherwise, and the racial trait doesn't require any spellcasting at all. It still seems weird to me, but on balance, that's probably the way it needs to be.


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.

[edit: the Facebook link I posted wasn't working - it's out, I swear :) ]

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.


DaveMage wrote:
I think it's unfortunate. Sounds like the software's concept was good.

I got into the web beta toward the end, and it was very unfinished and buggy, and progress was very slow. Word was that the iOS version was much more complete, but can't confirm. Not surprised the plug got pulled, but hopeful that they get something out the door sooner rather than later.


Fair enough, Chris. My apologies.

Can I mention how great Paizo is at PDF distribution? :)


Gorbacz wrote:
Well, that escalated quickly.

It did, didn't it? Bulgey killed a guy! Did you throw a trident?


bugleyman wrote:

I, for one, am shocked. Shocked!

Now is it OK to say the obvious: That WotC is dropping the ball on digital? Or to request PDFs without being accused of being entitled? Anyone? Anyone?
...Bueller?

Bugley, I immediately thought of you when I saw the news. :)

Seriously, all WotC needs to do is cut and paste the text from the PHB, leave out all the art a la the basic rules, and sell it as a watermarked PDF for $25. WotC gets to overcharge and double dip on the revenue, and the players get a text searchable copy of the full rules to use at the table so we don't have to haul around the hardcovers.


http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/digital_tools_announcement

http://www.trapdoortechnologies.com/dungeonscape/

Based on my experience with the web beta, I see two possible reasons for this:

1 - Trapdoor was waaaay over their head. The web beta is a long way from being ready for release. The interface was buggy, but that's not a huge deal. More troubling was that they hadn't integrated all the character creation rules into a common database, more than two months after the PHB had been released. They claimed that the iOS version was ready to go (I'm skeptical), and were only waiting on pricing approval from WotC, but that leads me to #2

2 - The promise was that Dungeonscape would be a buy-once-use-forever model, with content broken up into small chunks or bundled together, with both e-reader and in-game functionality. They were constantly going back and forth with WotC over pricing, however, which leads me to suspect that WotC had unrealistic expectations as to what the content should cost.

Bottom line, it's now almost November, and there's still no way to legally use the content, or even to read the books, in digital form. Hopefully, this latest fiasco will finally convince WotC to just release watermarked PDFs and be done with it.


Laurefindel wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
The padding you wear under a chain shirt isn't really comparable to what actual padded armor would be.

No, it isn't. But in the abstraction that RPGs do of objects and laws of physics, they are close enough.

Perhaps stealth disadvantage comes from all the fleas and lice biting you and the stench of wet warrior reeking through the vest...

But I wouldn't sweat too much over it. Every armour category has a better/expansive option and a worse/cheap option. Padded fills the niche of cheap and crappy, and since it couldn't go down in AC, it went down in mobility. The rest is just a skin. A quality gambeson could be a "studded leather armour". A crappy leather could be "padded".

Just replace the word "padded" with "tinfoil" and it makes much more sense. Tinfoil armor: It's cheap and has low AC, but at least it's noisy! :)


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Alan_Beven wrote:

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

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

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


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?


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WotC has been releasing DMG previews, and the section on firearms seems to be right on point:

http://media.wizards.com/2014/images/dnd/articles/firearms_p1.jpg

Ultimately up to the DM, but the section on proficiency says that players should be able to acquire firearms proficiency during downtime using the PHB downtime rules, provided they have enough ammunition. This would suggest that the downtime rules permit you to get proficiency in anything you want as long as you have the time and resources to do so. Compared to firearms, getting shield proficiency this way would be pretty trivial. So there you go.


Disadvantage on stealth from the bulk, but no dex penalty? That's it, this edition is dead to me.


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Matthew Koelbl wrote:

My thought regarding the feat comparison would probably be to shift things in the other direction. If a feat that just gives Shield Proficiency seems lackluster (and I agree it does), the solution in my mind would be to add more abilities to the feat, to bring it up to par. Designing a custom Shield feat for non-armored characters would let it be a character designing element.

Whereas trying to create a trade-off to acquire the proficiency via other elements of the system seems dangerous, if only because the same logic could be extended to other feat elements. Why not trade in skills for an armor proficiency? Or for +1 to a stat? Those are also 'partial' elements that come from feats, after all.

All that said, I don't think it will break the system to come up with a way to harvest skills for other bonuses, or create a custom background that goes a little farther afield in the benefits it gives. But it does seem like the sort of thing that can imbalance the system, and would need to be handled with care.

The more I look at the various armor feat chains, the less I'm inclined to mess around with any individual feat. Each armor feat has different value to different classes, but the value for each feat lines up pretty well . Moderately Armored is very valuable for casters, since they don't have to worry as much about being stealthy, but the light armor proficiency prerequisite ensures that casters have to take Lightly Armored, which is still pretty good, first. This way, the really valuable feat (+2 from a shield and and another +2 or +3 from medium armor depending on how stealthy the caster wants to be) is delayed at least until level 4 for humans and level 8 for everyone else.

Same with the Moderately Armored -> Medium Armor Master progression for Rogues. Medium armor is not that valuable for high dex characters, but shield proficiency gives the rogue +2 AC for his first feat. Breastplate is also an (expensive) option to squeeze out another +1 over studded leather (as long as dex is below 18), which is nice. Medium Armor Master is far better, though, letting you use +3 of your dex bonus instead of +2, and removing the disadvantage penalty from scale mail and half-plate (max AC of 20 with shield). Here again, the real value comes two feats in, and the each class's first feat in the chain has a roughly equal benefit for the class that's taking it. I'm not a huge fan of feat chains, but I have to admit the armor progression is pretty well thought out and balanced across the different classes.


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bugleyman wrote:
TheRavyn wrote:
bugleyman wrote:

D&D 5E really needs a "delay" action.

.

Looks like this is now covered by "Ready" (Basic Rules pdf p72)
Dunno. It seems like that replaces the "ready" action in Pathfinder (or 3.5, etc.), but there doesn't seem to be a "hold all of my actions and decide to jump in later" option.

I didn't realize there wasn't a rule for delay, and I don't think my DM realized that either. In my last game, I just said "I delay" and it worked exactly how you'd expect, with my jumping in at a later initiative count and staying there for the rest of the combat.


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Terquem wrote:
DungeonMastering.com wrote:
De nada. Luckily, someone already did the heavy math for us: http://andrewgelman.com/2014/07/12/dnd-5e-advantage-disadvantage-probabilit y/
I looked at that and maybe I didn't look close enough, but did it include the process by which those numbers were calculated. that's what I'd like to learn more about.

TL;DR:

PA=1-(1-(21-x)/20)^2
x is the target number on a d20 roll
PA is the probability of meeting that number on at least one of two d20 rolls

PD=((21-x)/20)^2
PD is the probability of meeting that number on two consecutive d20 rolls

Longer version:

1) calculate probability of hitting a target number - for d20 it's easy, 5% for every number under 20.

PN=(21-x)/20
x is your target number (on the die, not necessarily the DC)
PN is the probability of hitting or exceeding X on one d20 roll

2) Disadvantage is easier to calculate. Since you have to take the lower number, it means you have to meet or exceed X on both rolls.

PD=PN^2=((21-x)/20)^2
PD is the probability of succeeding on two consecutive d20 rolls

3) Advantage is trickier, but still straightforward. Since you have to only make your number on one of two rolls, the other way to look at it is to figure out what the probability of failing an advantage roll for a given number is.

PNf=1-PN
PNf is the probability of failing on a d20 roll

PAf=PNf^2=(1-PN)^2=(1-(21-x)/20)^2
PAf is the probability of failing two consecutive d20 rolls

PA=1-PAf=1-(1-(21-x)/20)^2
PA is the probability of succeeding on at least one of two d20 rolls

(And now we've reached the limits of what I remember from college statistics) :)

For more dice, just change the exponent to the number of dice you're using. "^3", "^4" and so on. Each extra die gives you diminishing returns, but the jump from 2 to 3 dice is still significant. If I were houseruling it, I'd probably allow for stacking up to 2 advantage dice (3 dice total) to see how it works, but that's probably the limit before the complexity overtakes the benefit. I have an excel sheet that I've been playing around with - I'll post on google when I get a chance.


Fake Healer wrote:

So my group is playing 5E and we are enjoying it very much. I am not seeing us using the Advantage/Disadvantage system much though and I want to figure out why.

The actual rules surrounding when they should be used seems to be mostly "when the DM determines you have one". It doesn't clearly define when to use them though.
Here are some questions:
*Is it basically a replacement mechanic for +2/-2 adjustments?
*If you are a rogue using your sneak attack do you get advantage?
*Does higher ground/lower ground trigger use of Adv/Disadv?
*How about surprise round? Does everyone participate in combat on the surprise round with the surpriser getting advantage on attacks and the surprised getting disadvantage?
*How would this work with skills?

I really like the rule but it is so vague on when to use it that it almost doesn't seem to exist in my game currently and that is really a shame. I want to rectify this.

I would get creative and ask your DM whether different things can give you advantage as they come up. The rules are left intentionally vague to encourage creativity by the players and the DM, but if your DM is in the 3.5/Pathfinder mindset, it's easy to fall into the habit of searching for the specific rule that covers this specific situation. Once your DM starts making rulings, I think you'll see him looking for ways to apply it creatively too.

*Is it basically a replacement mechanic for +2/-2 adjustments?
Mostly, yes. The math gives you an effective bonus of between +1 (to roll a 2 or 20) and +5 (to roll a 10-12), depending on the number you need to hit. Average bonus is +3.5 for advantage, and -3.5 for disadvantage.

*If you are a rogue using your sneak attack do you get advantage?
Reverse that - if you have advantage, your attack deals sneak damage. You can also get sneak damage if you hit an opponent who is within 5' of an ally (i.e., in melee) - no advantage on the attack roll, but you deal sneak damage if you hit.

*Does higher ground/lower ground trigger use of Adv/Disadv?
No specific rule that I'm aware of, but many DMs would make that ruling, or take it case by case. Another example is flanking - there are no flank rules in the PHB, but a DM may rule that a flank gives you advantage. The DMG may have more optional rules for Advantage/Disadvantage, but at least in the PHB, I think the lack of too many specific rules is intentional.

*How about surprise round? Does everyone participate in combat on the surprise round with the surpriser getting advantage on attacks and the surprised getting disadvantage?
Again, no set rule that I know of. On the one hand, it makes mechanical sense, but it does step on the toes of the Assassin Rogue a bit, since he gets advantage against anyone who hasn't acted in combat yet. Limiting advantage to opponents who are actually surprised and only during the surprise round would probably be a decent compromise since the Assassin also gets it against anyone who's flatfooted, surprised or not.

*How would this work with skills?
I feel like disadvantage comes up more often than advantage for skill checks. Like picking a lock in the dark, or trying to bluff while your drunk. The Help action can be useful here - instead of making his own knowledge roll, a low Int character can "help" a high Int character and give him advantage with the higher Int bonus for both rolls.


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Rushley son of Halum wrote:

Poog want kill the bad things. Poog not care about others with him, they be dumb and took Poogs win. Stopped Poog being best. Poog not best of course, Zargonel best. But Poog still pretty good. Not big fan of loosing.

Screw those guys. They all nearly dead anyway from lots-legs-kill-goblin-babies-many. Poog just channel to try kill bad thing. Stop bad thing and win! Yes. This plan is good.

But Poog forgot to look up. Friend goblins got channeled. Poog think this funny, Friend goblins fall to ground twitching. Then not twitching Dumb ugly goblins.

That's ok. Poog leave now, Poog no have to win. Poog run off into forest, find Poogself a new tribe. Poog was bored of this place anyway. Too much bad stuff try to kill Poog.

Poog meet Birdcrunchers. Ogre kill Birdcruncher chief. Birdcrunchers pick new chief. Kill stirges, be chief. Reta and Chuffy hit stirges. Poog channel. Hurt friends, Poog chief. Poog happy.

Chief Poog have to kill Ogre now? This not part of deal.

Poog miss Squealy Nord.


Pan wrote:
Speaking of Dungeonscape is it going to be an all or nothing subscription service?

Not exactly - it's a la carte pricing, and once you buy the content, it never expires, but it will still be DRMed up the wazoo and use cloud verification, so If trapdoor goes under and the cloud verification goes away, there's a good chance that the content will become unusable without it.


Legendarius wrote:
If the new tools allow me to basically assemble the stat blocks I need for an adventure I am running into a text file/Word doc/PDF/etc. that will be all I need to create an encounter book to print out at the table or use electronically on my tablet. I fully expect this time with 5E we'll get there with tools in a way we never have in the previous editions. I also guarantee it won't be done fast enough to make a lot of people happy. My guess at the moment is we'll have our 75% solution by summer 2015.

I hope you're right. I'll settle for a searchable e-book of the PHB and a printable character creator at the moment. Based on Trapdoor's steady removal of content from the launch product and delaying more and more components, I get the impression that Trapdoor has bitten off more than it can chew.

I also suspect that WotC has some...let's say 'unrealistic' expectations on pricing. Trapdoor has still not released any pricing information, and has said as recently as a week ago that they're still working on pricing with WotC. If Dungeonscape does everything it promises on the player side of things, I think $20 per rulebook is a fair price. The PHB portion is basically an e-book plus character creator and rules lookup. $20 is about what you pay for the same content in Pathfinder: $10 for a pdf of your typical Pathfinder HC rulebook and $10 for the herolab data of the same book. It wouldn't surprise me if WotC wants to charge us $50 twice for each book, though.

[Unrelated correction to an earlier post: I referred to the origins of Yugoloths being related to Modrons, but I realize now that I was thinking of the origin of Slaads. I hereby surrender my nerd card]


bugleyman wrote:


The fact that they think they need a "digital solution" tells me all I need to know. :-(

I hear you. I'm still holding out hope that Dungeonscape will have some cool options for monster sorting and filtering, but the rollout keeps getting delayed and individual features (like multiclassing) keep getting pulled from the launch version, so I'm growing more and more skeptical that they'll pull it off. They're still trying to get all the PHB stuff to work, so it's going to be a while before we have anything for digitally managing monsters apart from lots of home-brew spreadsheets.


Adjule wrote:

Unless someone has older edition Monster Manuals that detail the blink dog's relationship with the displacer beast, anyone knew to the game will have no clue, since the blink dog didn't get a true write-up. Of course, if that is detailed in the displacer beast entry (which could be), then just a plain stat block is enough (though very disappointing nonetheless). "Blink dogs harbor a long-standing hatred for displacer beasts and attack them on sight." That doesn't give much of a reason as to why they hate them so much.

I agree that 3 pages dedicated to the modrons was a bit much (and 3 pages too many in my opinion, as those could have been better placed in a Planescape book).

I am just glad that I have the Monster Manuals from previous editions.

Yes, the displacer beast entry has two paragraphs describing their origins, and has this passage on the relationship to blink dogs:

Quote:
With blink dog companions at their side, fey hunters drove these predators to the fringes of the Feywild, where many crossed over to the Material Plane. To this day, displacer beasts and blink dogs attack each other on sight.

Not a huge entry, but probably enough to efficiently convey to a new player. It's certainly more info than the 1E MM entries for the displacer beast ("These fierce creatures hate all life, but they particularly hate blink dogs") and blink dogs (no mention of DBs). :)

For me, the more creatures they can squeeze in, the better. For example, I wish the dinosaur entry had another page of statblocks, with some smaller CR1 beasties that are usable as low-level companions/wild-shapes. I love the art in this book, but I'm glad they skipped the art on most of the beasts (including dinosaurs), since just about everyone knows what they look like.

I think it would be fun to see what was on the chopping block before the decision to add those 32 pages. We know Modrons were added in late, and presumably Yugoloths (4 pages) as well, since their origins are related to Modrons. Paging though my 1E MM, the number of monsters that didn't make it into the 5E MM is pretty small - it certainly feels like they tried to fit in as many old school monsters as possible.


Adjule wrote:
I mostly just glanced through mine, checking out the art and which monsters got included. Not sure why the winter wolf, worg, blink dog, death dog, and phase spiders got tossed in the "miscelaneous creatures" section with the animals.

They added 32 pages late in the game to include fan-service creatures like Modrons (although 3 pages for Modrons seems like overkill). A lot of classic creatures still didn't make the cut, though. I think they were trying to include as many classics as possible, and those that don't really require art or a full page of desription got shoehorned into the misc. creatures section.

Blink dogs, for example, look like regular dogs, and only have one power that's easy to summarize, but they're closely tied to displaced beasts in their lore, so it makes sense to include them somewhere instead of dropping them entirely. Winter wolf is a big white wolf, so a just a statblock works fine, too. Death dogs and worgs are a closer call, but IIRC, worgs got a little art in that section, so better to include them than leave them out.


From the ISWG: "The Isle of Kortos: Although most people think of Absalom as an independent city, it is in fact the capital of a nation (also named Absalom) that controls the entire Isle of Kortos (much of which is still unsettled), as well as the settlements of Diobel and Escadar."


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-Max and one of the Wild Things

-Tip and Jack Pumpkinhead from the second Oz book

-Donnie Darko and Frank the Bunny

-Jack and Tyler Durden (always finishing each others sentences and punching each other)

-The Family of Blood and the Scarecrows from Doctor Who

-Norman Bates and Mother

-Pamela Voorhees and Jason

-Haley Joel Osment and Bruce Willis (doesn't realize he's an eidolon, thinks he's part of the party)

-Geppetto and Pinocchio (Geppetto treats his eidolon like a real boy)


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I have a concept kicking around based on Elsa from Frozen. She's either a winter witch or a boreal sorcerer, but she has a couple levels of summoner. Her Eidolon is Olaf, the snowman who loves warm hugs. He uses his carrot nose as a gore attack.

Beyond low levels, this could go a couple ways. You could either concentrate on witch/sorcerer levels, and just keep Olaf around for flavor and comic relief, or you could add some more levels of summoner and evolve him into Marshmallow, the big guardian snowman who guards Elsa's castle.


If you're buying new, you'll almost certainly get a newer printing, but even if you buy an used older printing, it shouldn't be a problem. As RHMG said, the PDF is kept up to date and can be re-downloaded any time, and there is also a free online reference document that has all the rules content in the CRB and other core books. I tend to buy my hardcovers used, and I don't worry about the errata because I will use the online rules for my in-game rules questions.

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/


^^^^What these guys said. Wood elf assassin is a killing machine, but as long as you have finesse weapons and a high dex score, you'll be in good shape no matter what.

One other way to get advantage is situational but your party should keep it in mind: An ally in melee can use his action to aid your attack and give you advantage. You get sneak in this situation no matter what because your ally is already in melee, but this can still be very helpful when a weak character like a caster is threatened by a baddie. Instead of making a weak defensive attack himself, the threatened caster can aid you and you'll have a better chance of landing your attack and dealing sneak damage to take out the threat.


Bave wrote:
Adjule wrote:


Blasting spells are a lot stronger in 5th edition than they are in 3rd or Pathfinder. Your example of magic missile, in a level 1 slot, deals 3d4+3 force damage. You get 3 missiles total at level 1 that deal 1d4+1 force damage each, and can designate 1-3 targets. If you use a 2nd level slot, that's 4 missiles. You gain +1 missile per spell level of the slot you cast it with. 9th level slot used? That's 11 total missiles for 11d4+11 total damage.
That's a gigantic nerf. A 9th level slot to do an average of 40pts of damage? Think about that for a moment. A 17th level wizard dropping one of his most powerful spell slots to do 40 points of damage. Like I said, 5th is going to be nothing but martials and a healer doing the same thing over and over in every combat until WOTC needs to make enough money by generating splat books to re-complicate it all.

Nerved compared to what? PF magic missile maxes out at 5 missiles at CL9 or higher, while in 5E, you get three missiles at level 1, and you can get 5 missiles as early as 5th level (when you gain your first 3rd level slot). I consider that extra slot cost more of a tradeoff than a nerf. There may not be many situations where you want to burn a 9th level slot, but if you have a couple 4th or 5th level slots, it can be very useful.

You also get to regain some of your spell slots during a short rest, and don't have to lock your prepared spells into specific slots until you cast, so that adds versatility as well. I agree that you'd need to be in a really tight spot for MM to be the best use of your lone 9th level slot, but I can imagine a couple situations where it might be the least worst option available.


pauljathome wrote:
Ssalarn wrote:
In 5e, you start out a bit more powerful so you know you're heroes,

I don't see why you think characters start out more powerful. 1st level characters (at least ones from the beginner box, I don't have the PHB) are less powerful than their pathfinder equivalents ( lower stats, less domain powers, etc).

Unless you start characters at level 3 which seems to be a very common practice.

Progression from level 1 to 3 is much faster in 5E, and slows down after that. As I understand it, reaching level 4 in 5E is supposed to take only a little more time than it would take to reach level 2 in PF. This is also reflected in the organized play rules - PFS lets you rebuild for free until level 2, and D&D adventurers' league lets you rebuild until level 4, but the time for both is about three sessions on average.

With that in mind, I'd agree that 5e characters are more powerful than PF, and they appear to do more damage more often at least at low levels. That said, the monsters you're tangling with appear to get a similar bump in power, so I wouldn't call them overpowered as long as the balance is maintained. We'll see how that works out in practice.

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