Participating in the D&D Next Playtest


4th Edition

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Silver Crusade

Well, since my regular thursday game comes up tomorrow, I'll be participating in the D&D Next play test. If you want to see what happened in our sessions, I'll refer you to the D&D Next forums on the Wizards Forums.

I don't think I will reveal anything here. I absolutely think that would start some Nerd Rage. The game is still being hammered out, and now it's up to us to help them hammer it out. I hope more Pathfinder and people who like Fourth who regularly post on this forum will participate.

Diffan I'm looking at you, I'm also looking at you, DigitalMage. You two are the 4e players who are the most likely on this forum to try the playtest. Once the Nerd Rage is over when D&D Next is published, I hope this forum will cool it as well.


I know you won't be discussing it in depth here, GM Elton, but for those in this thread who do share their playtest experiences, please be conscious of discussing details. Portions of the playtest material may be protected by confidentiality agreements. I don't know what the agreement looks like yet, but make sure you're familiar with the restrictions it imposes.

Silver Crusade

Scott Betts wrote:
I know you won't be discussing it in depth here, GM Elton, but for those in this thread who do share their playtest experiences, please be conscious of discussing details. Portions of the playtest material may be protected by confidentiality agreements. I don't know what the agreement looks like yet, but make sure you're familiar with the restrictions it imposes.

Well, Scott, to make sure I just participate in the D&D Next, I'll take a leave of absence on this 4e board. There will be a confidentiality agreement as far as I understand it. We are finally getting a public first look, and so far, the people at Wizards aren't treating anyone like they have an IQ of a Kindergartener.

I can tell that Mearls and company are genuinely excited by the game, and they want everyone to be excited as well. So, no talking down to people this time around to get them to try 4th Edition. This is 5th edition, they want to build bridges, not tear them down. Thank you. :)


I fully plan on participating in the Playtest, though my group doesn't play until Monday. That'll give me ample time to read over the rules and get used to the adventure. I think this is a pretty good opportuinity to get involved with a game as it's taking shape. For me, it's not about Edition Wars or infusing only 4E fundamental aspects or 3E fundamental aspects. It's about finding a compromise that gets the most amount of people playing one of the world's oldest RPGs.

From what I've read, I think the first playtest will include pre-generated characters and will only advance a level or so. This includes races and things of that nature. As more playtests debut, we'll see more and more indepth looks at the rules and how they can be modular to fit any one group or individual playstyle. I'm really looking forward to how Backgrounds and Themes work (if they're included?) as well as the Wizard familiar (if it's included?). We'll just have to wait and see.

Silver Crusade

One thing to Scott. Scott, we may have disagreed and traded Nerd Rage over Fourth, but I want you to know; I did respect your opinion. I accept you man, you fill an important place on the fourth edition boards. Diffan, and DigitalMage, same to you. I doubt if we met somewhere, we would be instant enemies.

Okay, one last thing.

My group of players and I are going to bust 5e. We are going to break it to the best of our ability and give the designers some good, hard feedback. I have in my team:

* Wulfric (Leeal) who knows Pathfinder forwards and backwards and can use the system to it's best and optimized ability.

* Fox (Rienard) who is going to look for patterns that mirror Pathfinder and suggest that they are taken out. She wants a different game. If it's going to be a different game, it's going to be *biblical term taken out of context* well a different game from Pathfinder.

* and I. I will be taking a hard look at Aesthetics. While Wulfric will provide hard data on Balance, i'm looking for flavor balance. My philosophy is -- if the Fighter is at his core a martial artist, then he's a martial artist. A wizard should be mysterious and feared, and a rogue should be the utility expert. The Cleric -- both of them -- should represent their churches or their god. I want the Wizard to be thematically different from a fighter, and the fighter thematically different from the Wizard; and both should excel that their class roles. I also want options for the Fighter in order to excel at being Martially inclined. I want fighters that can be swashbucklers, good swordsmen, axe fighters, and knife fighters (although the latter spills into the Rogue).

I also want good options for the Wizard. But I don't want either to be nerfed in terms of power. Also, I have played Skyrim so I'll be giving suggestions on no options for Gishing in the PHB.

My group just needs someone who is positively biased towards 4e and two others on the fence -- and then we can proceed to give them hard data. Don't worry, Pathfinder and Fourth friends, I think I have the core of an ideal play test group.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I am definitely going to be participating - I plan to download the playtest stuff tonight once its release and I am trying to arrange some members of my Meetup group to play through Caves of Chaos one day of the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

As I don't have a regular group to playtest with my comments may be based on limited actual play, but I will aim to make it clear on my feedback where a criticism or praise is based on reading alone and not actual play.

I am very excited about this - the only thing that turned me off slightly recently was how they described Hit Points and the lack of mentioning morale and the fact that its really the measure of how long you can stay on your feet and keep fighting. And how Hit Dice are the new healing surges - I am interested to see how they work (or don't).

Dark Archive

Our group is debating on doing 5e playtesting on our game nights when people can't show up. Right now it looks like we will be doing it. So likely be doing a game of it once a month.


GM Elton wrote:
One thing to Scott. Scott, we may have disagreed and traded Nerd Rage over Fourth, but I want you to know; I did respect your opinion. I accept you man, you fill an important place on the fourth edition boards. Diffan, and DigitalMage, same to you. I doubt if we met somewhere, we would be instant enemies.

I'm getting the impression that you think I'm being hostile to you or something. I'm not. I just popped in to ask that everyone abide by the playtest agreement. There was a similar warning posted to ENWorld yesterday, and I think it's appropriate to have one here, too. Carry on.


Got my material. Will pitch it to the main gang on Sunday, and see whether they want to give it a try.


Looked over the material. Took ten minutes.

I like a game with a mere 5 pages of Combat rules.

I'll run the module this weekend. Should be a blast.


As far as the playtest confidentiality agreement goes, all it is is an anti-OGL. You have to agree that "you will not use the Playtest Materials for your own benefit (other than to participate in the online playtest) or to the benefit of any third party."

So long as you don't "copy, excerpt, distribute (either in physical or digital format), publish, display, disseminate, release and/or transmit, in whole or in part, or create derivative materials from any Playtest Materials provided to you", you may chat away.

The agreement specifically allows you to "publicly discuss your thoughts regarding the D&D Next Playtest Materials and your playtesting experience".

That being said, let me be the first to say I don't like the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic.

Sovereign Court

Where do you DL it from. I got my email says click here and that takes me to a page with just a bunch of question and answers and no definitive link to DL the stuff

Silver Crusade

Scott Betts wrote:
GM Elton wrote:
One thing to Scott. Scott, we may have disagreed and traded Nerd Rage over Fourth, but I want you to know; I did respect your opinion. I accept you man, you fill an important place on the fourth edition boards. Diffan, and DigitalMage, same to you. I doubt if we met somewhere, we would be instant enemies.
I'm getting the impression that you think I'm being hostile to you or something. I'm not. I just popped in to ask that everyone abide by the playtest agreement. There was a similar warning posted to ENWorld yesterday, and I think it's appropriate to have one here, too. Carry on.

nope, you are not being hostile to me. Perhaps I should reword that:

If we meet in real life, we would be real good friends. We just had spirited discussions here on this forum.


IQ, you have to type in "playtest" in the search window. That will take you to a result that will let you download the package.

Sovereign Court

Tried that, got a link for jobs


Really? Try "5E playtest".

Edit: Sorry. "D&D Next Playtest"


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

Looked over the material. Took ten minutes.

I like a game with a mere 5 pages of Combat rules.

I actually make it seven, though that depends on how you classify the two pages on conditions. Four pages on Exploration, and nine on Spells, is rather less satisfying.


I don't count the conditions, per se. I was just thrilled not to see the convolution of 3E. You can actually read everything about a given subject in one paragraph.


IceniQueen wrote:
Where do you DL it from. I got my email says click here and that takes me to a page with just a bunch of question and answers and no definitive link to DL the stuff

Try going to the "My Stuff" link on that page, then back to the question page, and do a search for "DnD Next Playtest". That's how I eventually got it to work.


I don't like the look of the short rest mechanic, either. But we'll see how it works this weekend.

Sovereign Court

OK now I gets 4E stuff not DDN. WORST Playtest Ever!

I've done MANY Software playtests and not 1 was as complicated as this to get to the download

Edited. I meant 4E not 5E


IQ, are you signed in at WotC? That might make a difference.

Sovereign Court

yes,. After about 50 tries I got to it. Now first grade on the play test I am going to give a Give FAT F as it should not be the BS it is to get to

Lets see how the rest goes.

Once again as I said I have done many beta tests for software and NONE where this difficult to get the downloaded materiel


Apparently there are problems with downloading - I have yet to get my platest package.

I admit I wasn't expecting online testing and I don't know how they actually will go - will my players be willing to register or not or decide that they don't want to. They may decide that betatesting 13th age is enough for them and demand return to PF campaign...

BTW: Elton, I sent you friend invitation on D&D boards as you were first person from here I saw there :)


I must say that having to do a search in the customer service area to find the playtest materials was a short-sighted way to go about the download. They could have at least mentioned that in the e-mail they sent.


I'm logged in and signed up, just waiting for my packet of materials link.


Josh M. wrote:
I'm logged in and signed up, just waiting for my packet of materials link.

Same here. I just finished the final registration bit where you agree to the NDA stuff and now just waiting the 30-60 minutes for the next email.


The whole processes took ~2 minutes here.

Liberty's Edge

Spoiler alert for those waiting: Next is almost entirely 3.5.


Quote:
Spoiler alert for those waiting: Next is almost entirely 3.5.

Don't be ridiculous. There's a lot of 4E in it.

Liberty's Edge

I don't know 4e, but I could probably run this with only a page of notes as to where the system is different.


Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
quote]Spoiler alert for those waiting: Next is almost entirely 3.5.
Don't be ridiculous. There's a lot of 4E in it.

That's wierd. I was reading though it thinking it was an unwelcome return to 1E.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe their stated intention is working, if people see different editions in it.

And that return is decidely not unwelcome. :)

Sovereign Court

I doubt we've seen a lot. WotC is NOT going to give us a game that pretty much fits into a 75 page book.....

However, I am enjoying the simpler rules (though I get that with Savage Worlds already).

Sovereign Court

wargamer wrote:
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:
quote]Spoiler alert for those waiting: Next is almost entirely 3.5.
Don't be ridiculous. There's a lot of 4E in it.
That's wierd. I was reading though it thinking it was an unwelcome return to 1E.

Agree. Basic 1st ed with a little extra

Liberty's Edge

weird. Is it because they've stripped out skills? The skills seem to be there to me still, but may be that's an illusion. I don't think that running skills off of the ability scores is the best idea. Maybe the themes are closer to NWP's than I know. I never played 2e


They've stated that skills and feats will be part of that modular stuff that will be optional. This playtest is about the core rules only.

Which is why I have problems with things like the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic and the Short Rest mechanic. Those kinds of things should be part of the modular stuff. The concepts definitely aren't core rules, having never been mentioned or explored in any edition before 4E.

Liberty's Edge

advantage/disadvantage seems very similar to circumstantial bonuses/negatives to me. I mean if you look at DC's in both PF and Next, they're a set of guidelines, which ultimately the DM gets to resolve in play. Again, though I never played 4e, so as I was reading through this the things which stood out to me as different are it looks damn near impossible to kill these characters due to the rests/healing surges + death = -(Constitution+Level), and the use of ability scores as skills (which exists in PF for untrained skills).

Sovereign Court

I don't think it's nerd rage to say wotc is trying to redesign the game once again, for purpose of profit, and because they were unsuccessful with 4e. <---let me know if this disqualifies me from participating in this thread.

I would further state, that advantage/disadvantage is called GURPS. And the notion mentioned earlier about "flavor balance" concerns me. 5 simple pages of combat rules is called AD&D.

Sounds like they're off to another poor start...

Again, please advise if this kind of intelligent observation disqualifies me from participating in this thread.

Liberty's Edge

ok nevermind I was totally wrong about advantage/disadvantage. The whole time I was reading the document, I was 'translating' from their non-OGL expression of the system. When I first started reading that section I said to myself, oh this is Circumstantial bonuses/negatives +2/-2. Whoops.


Quote:
Sounds like they're off to another poor start...

They said they were going to strip everything down to the bare bones, the things that all editions have in common.

Except for a couple of things like I mentioned above, they seem to be off to a terrific start.


I like both the Advantage/Disadvantage & Short Rest mechanics. I played 4e and this is definitely a step up from that. I mean they had to do something different and they weren't going to completely throw out everything from 4e. Otherwise, what is the point if WOTC isn't going to create anything new?

Wizard & Cleric still have at-will powers with cantrips & orisons as does Pathfinder. The fighter at 2nd gets a twice-daily power: Fighter's Surge ( take two actions on your turn). As does the rogue with Knack ( make a check, gain advantage on the check.)

Looking at the playtest material you can see the first modules. On the character sheet, it says "For a more old-school experience, don't use background and theme." No Background - No Skills, No Theme - No Feats.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I keep getting a "Bad Request" error from the link from the confirmation email.

Any ideas on what's going on?


Loads of people are having trouble downloading it, myself included. Wotc are having server issues so hopefully they'll sort it out soon.


First page of thread about not working download.

Apparently their servers are secretly sabotaged by enemies of new edition. Either that or the PMG decided to start conquest of the Earth by taking over those who were responsible for Its creation (by developing OGL and creating Paizo by letting Lisa go).


My group plays tonight and we may get this going, assuming the server comes back up and everyone can finish the download.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Jerry Wright 307 wrote:

They've stated that skills and feats will be part of that modular stuff that will be optional. This playtest is about the core rules only.

Which is why I have problems with things like the Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic and the Short Rest mechanic. Those kinds of things should be part of the modular stuff. The concepts definitely aren't core rules, having never been mentioned or explored in any edition before 4E.

I don't think they ever intended "Core" to mean "favorite parts of other versions". It seems reasonable to me to have the Advantage/Disadvantage system in the core system. How often you get those conditions are likely to be modular. While a number of conditions use the mechanic, I like that they explicitly give the GM power to give advantage or disadvantage to a character circumstantially.

Overall, I'm a little disappointed that I don't see anything innovative here. It feels a lot like 3.8 to me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Is it just me or is there no advancement for to hit and defense? The characters go to level 3 and there is nothing that says the attacks or defense increase at any level. I had to check 4th edition (never played)...apparently in 4th your attacks went up every other level.

Could it be that they are getting rid of leveling bonuses (BAB) and only keeping additional powers and feats when you level?

So you could be a 10th level fighter who still just has a +5 to hit, the same that you have had since 1st level, but you have nine more combat options?

That might be interesting...and more "realistic."

Of course, I could be misinterpreting what I am reading.


Deinol wrote:
I don't think they ever intended "Core" to mean "favorite parts of other versions". It seems reasonable to me to have the Advantage/Disadvantage system in the core system. How often you get those conditions are likely to be modular. While a number of conditions use the mechanic, I like that they explicitly give the GM power to give advantage or disadvantage to a character circumstantially.

Actually, the stated intention was to go back to all the other editions, and extract what was common to all of them, and that would be the core. The Advantage/Disadvantage and Short Rest mechanics aren't part of that.

Dark Archive

Mactaka wrote:

I keep getting a "Bad Request" error from the link from the confirmation email.

Any ideas on what's going on?

What I did is copy the url from the link in the email and then paste it into the url bar of the browser and then it worked fine... for some odd reason.

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