Now that you have access to the basic rules for 5th edition, what do you think?


4th Edition

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I'm the same. Been enjoying rpg since 1980 then the internet came along and told me I had been playing them wrong


Adjule wrote:


Kalshane wrote:


He is, after all, the one putting the most time and effort into crafting the story and doing all the necessary prep work. Even running something pre-published takes prep time above and beyond reading the material.

I really hope you didn't open a can of worms with this statement, as I have read people calling foul on the bolded portion.

Uh... you were kidding right?


R_Chance wrote:
Adjule wrote:


Kalshane wrote:


He is, after all, the one putting the most time and effort into crafting the story and doing all the necessary prep work. Even running something pre-published takes prep time above and beyond reading the material.

I really hope you didn't open a can of worms with this statement, as I have read people calling foul on the bolded portion.

Uh... you were kidding right?

Nope. I have actually seen people on this forum say the bolded statement was BS, and that players put in just as much or even more time and effort into the game than the DM does. It was in some of the many player entitlement vs dm control freak threads sometime last year.


Adjule wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
Adjule wrote:


Kalshane wrote:


He is, after all, the one putting the most time and effort into crafting the story and doing all the necessary prep work. Even running something pre-published takes prep time above and beyond reading the material.

I really hope you didn't open a can of worms with this statement, as I have read people calling foul on the bolded portion.

Uh... you were kidding right?
Nope. I have actually seen people on this forum say the bolded statement was BS, and that players put in just as much or even more time and effort into the game than the DM does. It was in some of the many player entitlement vs dm control freak threads sometime last year.

yeah but highlighting it you focus attention on it, which is more likely to produce a debate


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Adjule wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
Adjule wrote:


Kalshane wrote:


He is, after all, the one putting the most time and effort into crafting the story and doing all the necessary prep work. Even running something pre-published takes prep time above and beyond reading the material.

I really hope you didn't open a can of worms with this statement, as I have read people calling foul on the bolded portion.

Uh... you were kidding right?
Nope. I have actually seen people on this forum say the bolded statement was BS, and that players put in just as much or even more time and effort into the game than the DM does. It was in some of the many player entitlement vs dm control freak threads sometime last year.

I thought that those people said that the combined time the players put into the game totaled more time than the DM put in. If there are five players and one DM, does the DM spend five times as much time on the game as each player? For some groups and DMs, the answer is yes, for others it is no.

I'm highly skeptical that anyone would think that a DM typically puts less time into the game than one player individually.


Kalshane wrote:
Pan wrote:


I skipped nearly all the supplemntal 3.5 era books except PHBII and DMGII. Now that I am with PF I love the APG. Though I plan to skip the ARG, ACG, and will evaluate PF unchang'd closer to release. Game is only ruined by supplemental material if you choose. Some folks like those options why deny them?

Because there is a large (or at least very vocal) subset of the player-base that get completely outraged if a GM doesn't allow all published material. There's numerous threads related to this on the boards.

Old school players/GMs tend to be less inclined to this (though not immune) as in the BECMI/1e/2E days it wasn't expected for anyone but the DM to know all the rules, players were outright discouraged from reading the DMG and MM, and the DM's word was considered law.

Newer players (though again, not all) tend to take the view that anything published is "Part of the game" and that GM's trying to restrict those options is "being a control freak."

Personally, I think a middle-ground is best, where the game is a collaborative effort, but the GM's word is still final. He is, after all, the one putting the most time and effort into crafting the story and doing all the necessary prep work. Even running something pre-published takes prep time above and beyond reading the material.

Way I deal with players like that is tell them to GM or just F off.


Yeah, wasn't trying to start another one of those debates (they've been argued ad naseum on this forum and elsewhere), I was trying to explain why "Why can't you just not use X?" doesn't work at all tables, depending on the makeup of players and GM and expressing my own preference.

Shadow Lodge

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I think the next few months will be very interesting. Paizo has been #1 in the industry for several years now...but lets be honest, D&D was basically a sleeping dragon for almost all of that time. Actual published products were coming few and far between, and came to a full stop almost 2 years ago. My prediction is that if WotC offers good support, to include both adventures and setting material (instead of almost exclusively rules supplements), they will retake the #1 spot in relatively short order.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Kthulhu wrote:
I think the next few months will be very interesting. Paizo has been #1 in the industry for several years now...but lets be honest, D&D was basically a sleeping dragon for almost all of that time. Actual published products were coming few and far between, and came to a full stop almost 2 years ago. My prediction is that if WotC offers good support, to include both adventures and setting material (instead of almost exclusively rules supplements), they will retake the #1 spot in relatively short order.

Probably, especially since there's always a jump in sales when a new core book comes out, and DND has the advantage of being new, and still being the better known brandname.

What will be more interesting is looking at sales two or so years from now, after the new car smell has worn off. DND products may be on top, or Paizo, or be tied (as they were for awhile)--it'll just be interesting to see how they're both doing, and what tactics are being the most successful at getting sales.

That said, and again, I hope they are both successful, as that is good for gamers and the games industry.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

They should definitely get a spike out of this initial product release. Still, I would be more favorably inclined to take another chance on them if they offered up a "hostage" in the form of licensing a significant part of the new game under the OGL or a similarly permissive license that lets 3pp companies play with it. I actually liked D&D 4th edition as a game system, but I didn't like the way they managed it.

On the other hand, I am really impressed by the way Paizo rose to number 1 in this industry despite the fact that it is possible to get all of the most important rules for free. The only thing preventing Paizo from staying in the number 1 position is my belief that Paizo can do it.


So....my thoughts? Well, I think the paraphrased section below sums up my thoughts on it nicely.

Diffan wrote:
I can say I'm glad bloated numbers with dozens of effects all stacked together are mostly gone. [M]agic isn't an assumed progression a character MUST have to stay relevant. Further, feats are actually worth their salt instead of what they were in 3.5 and 4e.

But to that, I'll add the following - at first, I was ambivalent about the magic system. Granted, my entire GM'ing career was used to the same way of doing it. I read and re-read the section about magic. I'm still ambivalent, but I could see myself coming to like it.

Skills....I LOVE how skills are handled. Much like feats, skills mean something again. The biggest issues I've had with the d20 system were skills and stats, followed by the feat tax.

All weapons critical on natural 20 - yeah....this is also something I'm so glad to see! I got tired of every player who played a fighter take that high crit weapon and improved critical or go Weapon Master. Any attempts I had to curb this were challenge with....well....the nicest way I can put it is "whining".

Unfortunately, these points are also what is making one of my players NOT a fan. The biggest plus he liked was the magic system. I will know my other players thoughts on Saturday. For me though, I'm willing to dive in and give it a honest chance. And from what I've seen....as much as I love 2nd Ed, this might top it, once I look at a Player's Handbook.


Success for all to expand the number of players is the ideal.


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Merlin_47 wrote:

Skills....I LOVE how skills are handled. Much like feats, skills mean something again. The biggest issues I've had with the d20 system were skills and stats, followed by the feat tax.

At first glance, I hate the way skills are handled. You don't get enough and I hate that they're binary. Either all the way or not at all. No provision for dabbling a little bit in a few different things.


thejeff wrote:
Merlin_47 wrote:

Skills....I LOVE how skills are handled. Much like feats, skills mean something again. The biggest issues I've had with the d20 system were skills and stats, followed by the feat tax.

At first glance, I hate the way skills are handled. You don't get enough and I hate that they're binary. Either all the way or not at all. No provision for dabbling a little bit in a few different things.

There's no such thing as trained only skills in 5e, so the binary difference you're talking about is just your ability bonus (any ability check in the game) or your ability bonus plus your proficiency bonus (for ability checks on skills you're proficient in.) That is, in PF Knowledge (Arcana) is a trained only skill and that's that, but in 5e anyone can make an Intelligence (Arcana) check, they just only get to apply their proficiency bonus in addition to their Int modifier if they're proficient in the Arcana skill.


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Hitdice wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Merlin_47 wrote:

Skills....I LOVE how skills are handled. Much like feats, skills mean something again. The biggest issues I've had with the d20 system were skills and stats, followed by the feat tax.

At first glance, I hate the way skills are handled. You don't get enough and I hate that they're binary. Either all the way or not at all. No provision for dabbling a little bit in a few different things.
There's no such thing as trained only skills in 5e, so the binary difference you're talking about is just your ability bonus (any ability check in the game) or your ability bonus plus your proficiency bonus (for ability checks on skills you're proficient in.) That is, in PF Knowledge (Arcana) is a trained only skill and that's that, but in 5e anyone can make an Intelligence (Arcana) check, they just only get to apply their proficiency bonus in addition to their Int modifier if they're proficient in the Arcana skill.

Yeah, but it still divides into here are the few things that I'm better at, all of which I'm equally good at (difference based only on stat) and everything else, which there's also no differentiation in, just the stat.

No way to represent say Knowing a lot about history, something about Arcana and very little about Religion. Which just doesn't match my real-world (or genre) expectations and makes character concepts harder for me.
I'll get over it, but it still annoys me.

I actually prefer in some ways 3.x skills to PF. Being able to take that initial 4x skills and spread them out to cover everything I was interested in and even basically throw some away on character background only skills was something I valued a lot.


I've been working on my own system for the last two years (well longer than that, but the most recent iteration dates from late 2011, give or take). After reading the basic rules (never took part of the playtest), I realize I made similar decisions and took a very similar route about many aspects of the game.

I think bound accuracy is for me the main selling point, but I wonder if it will bother me that for two character with the same ability score, difference between being "untrained" and "very good at" is only two or three points on a d20 for the first tier of play, without much granularity in levels of expertise (feat change that perhaps?)

Bound accuracy also mean that attacks, skills and saves progress at the same pace, allowing the option of swapping one for another. Not sure if that's in the game, but the prospect is interesting.

Also, while proficiency bonuses progress slowly, ability scores increase a lot faster than in any other previous iteration of the game so in the end, bonuses will still escalate quite fast. Since feats use the ability score boost option, it may not be an issue.

Looking at classes, I'm still daunted by all the options and abilities. It still gives that "oh my, I need to know ALL of that" feeling that makes it daunting at first sight, and kill the simple and straightforward play that was somewhat promised.

Overall, it looks good and promising. I won't buy it until I get to see the whole PH and DMG, but it looks like a product of excellent quality.


Laurefindel wrote:
Also, while proficiency bonuses progress slowly, ability scores increase a lot faster than in any other previous iteration of the game so in the end, bonuses will still escalate quite fast. Since feats use the ability score boost option, it may not be an issue.

Yes, I find the "ability scores go up quick, but are capped" design to be an odd choice. I'm not sure how it'll play out. As characters max out their main stats, they'll start to all look a bit alike won't they?

It may not actually be true that they go up faster in practice, since I think they're won't be such easy access to stat booster items. Meaning base numbers go up faster, but effective numbers might not.


I think most GMs will allow feats, and I think most players will likely take a feat or two instead of an ability boost.


thejeff wrote:
It may not actually be true that they go up faster in practice, since I think they're won't be such easy access to stat booster items. Meaning base numbers go up faster, but effective numbers might not.

I hope there won't be easy access to stat booster items or if there are, that they only allow stat to be increased above 20. The answer may be in the open document; I haven't read it that thoroughly.


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Ability scores won't be anywhere near previous, except maybe pre-3rd edition levels. They cap at 20, and point buy caps at 15 and 8. It won't be like in Pathfinder, where if you don't have a 20 at level 1 in your primary stat, then you are doing it wrong.

Scores cap at 20 through level bonuses, only getting higher through magic items (and perhaps spells). It's one of the features I really like about 5th edition D&D.


Adjule wrote:
Ability scores won't be anywhere near previous, except maybe pre-3rd edition levels. They cap at 20, and point buy caps at 15 and 8. It won't be like in Pathfinder, where if you don't have a 20 at level 1 in your primary stat, then you are doing it wrong.

They cap at 15 at 1st level without racial adjustment, which are more generous than ever, but you're right about them being lower than in PF, but they'll be significantly higher than in 1st or 2nd AD&D. Perhaps that's a good balance point.

[edit] Actually, I expect ability scores to be comparable to 3.X/PF, only, they'll be more evenly distributed across the board and less heavily invested in one single stat.

[edit 2] ...unless players use feats, which I expect they will, in which case stat boosts will be more rare.


P.H. Dungeon wrote:

I think most GMs will allow feats, and I think most players will likely take a feat or two instead of an ability boost.

Yeah, I've been looking at the Basic doc so I wasn't thinking about feats. That changes things, though I suspect there will be a strong temptation to hit the cap for your primary and then think about feats.


Laurefindel wrote:
Adjule wrote:
Ability scores won't be anywhere near previous, except maybe pre-3rd edition levels. They cap at 20, and point buy caps at 15 and 8. It won't be like in Pathfinder, where if you don't have a 20 at level 1 in your primary stat, then you are doing it wrong.
They cap at 15 at 1st level without racial adjustment, which are more generous than ever, but you're right about them being lower than in PF, but they'll be significant higher than in 1st or 2nd AD&D. Perhaps that's a good balance point.

And the 15 cap is only with point buy. With rolled stats & racial, it's possible to start at 20. OTOH, maxing out your primary stat to start with won't be as important as in 3.x/PF, since it caps and you will catch up in a few levels.


Adjule wrote:

Ability scores won't be anywhere near previous, except maybe pre-3rd edition levels. They cap at 20, and point buy caps at 15 and 8. It won't be like in Pathfinder, where if you don't have a 20 at level 1 in your primary stat, then you are doing it wrong.

Scores cap at 20 through level bonuses, only getting higher through magic items (and perhaps spells). It's one of the features I really like about 5th edition D&D.

ooohhhh gosh, only one of my pfs characters has a 20 in primary stat.

Sovereign Court

Mulgar wrote:
Adjule wrote:

Ability scores won't be anywhere near previous, except maybe pre-3rd edition levels. They cap at 20, and point buy caps at 15 and 8. It won't be like in Pathfinder, where if you don't have a 20 at level 1 in your primary stat, then you are doing it wrong.

Scores cap at 20 through level bonuses, only getting higher through magic items (and perhaps spells). It's one of the features I really like about 5th edition D&D.

ooohhhh gosh, only one of my pfs characters has a 20 in primary stat.

Doing it wrong.....

spoiler:
J/k


Tools and tool proficiencies are another interesting bit. Essentially replacing craft/professional skills and adding to some other things. Eases a little bit of my irritation with skills.

I don't like that the cost for gaining proficiency with different tools is essentially time. Some games will have enough downtime that everyone will have as many as they want. Others you'll never be able to pick up anything you didn't get from background.


Mulgar wrote:
Adjule wrote:

Ability scores won't be anywhere near previous, except maybe pre-3rd edition levels. They cap at 20, and point buy caps at 15 and 8. It won't be like in Pathfinder, where if you don't have a 20 at level 1 in your primary stat, then you are doing it wrong.

Scores cap at 20 through level bonuses, only getting higher through magic items (and perhaps spells). It's one of the features I really like about 5th edition D&D.

ooohhhh gosh, only one of my pfs characters has a 20 in primary stat.

Then you are doing it wrong and should shred those other characters. :p

Joking. I don't think I have ever had a character who had a score higher than 17 at 1st level, so I am doing it wrong as well. Of course, I don't dump any scores, and prefer to have fairly well-rounded characters when it comes to stats, whether a SAD or MAD class.


I have read both the basic rules pdf and have purchased and perused the starter box, and I for one am not immediately impressed. The rules still feel very 3rd edition, plus and minus a few things along the way. I do realize it is very early to make too much of a judgement. I am also not much of a rules based player or game master (definitely role over roll), and what I disliked most about 4th was that it seemed to be extremely fluff-lite. I really hope 5th does a better job with this. Paizo nails it.

After thinking about it, I concluded that I fell in love with D&D during 3-3.5, and during that time Paizo had a lot of influence (Dragon and Dungeon magazines, artists etc). When Wizards (Hasbro) made its decision to alienate them, I found myself again at Paizo's door when Pathfinder was released. Consistently great products with heart behind them. I may play in someone else's 5th ed game someday, but I believe my money is still going to Paizo.


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Things that I like about 5e: The specific inclusion of LGBT characters is a great little progressive touch.

I also like how wizards are handled. One of my few disappointments with 4e is the traditional wizard fluff combined with the inability to learn new spells via loot/trade/purchase/research. (C'mon, commit to one way or the other!) So I like how 5e wizards can add spells to their books beyond their free level-up spells, I like how save DCs aren't based on spell level like in 3.x, I like how spells scale with the spell slot used, and I like that save-or-lose spells seem to be somewhat tamer than their pre-4e incarnations. (Though apparently Gate is problematic in a whole new way...)

Things that I don't like, or don't care about: Pretty much everything else in 5e is either 'meh' or a definite strike against. Bounded accuracy? 4e already has that thanks to monster castes. Which 5e mostly lacks. Dis/advantage...whatever, I guess. I never found it difficult to add +/-2. I like the lack of alignment restrictions and rules, but 4e already gives me that.

I like 3e style multiclassing in concept, but of all the things to take from 4e and TSR editions...stat prereqs? Really, guys? There is at least one way to do 3e style multiclassing well, but it requires a departure from the tradition of treating 1st level PCs as (semi-)competent.

'Rulings not rules' and 'house rule it!' seem to be a selling point for many fans, but I've never had problems making house rules or rulings in the past. So this point is lost on me.

Proficiency bonuses would be fine by me if characters could/were proficient at dodging swords. Because, ya know, adventurers tend to spend a lot of time doing that. I don't want to go back to feeling like combat is a bunch of dudes standing in one place wailing on each other. Yeah, yeah, hit points are abstract, blah blah blah. It's a huge immersion breaker for me that characters can learn how to dodge fireballs better, but that a nude 20th level fighter is just as easy to hit as he was 19 levels ago. 4e's level-based AC bonus is right up there with the d20 unification, ascending AC, and sliced bread in terms of things I consider unquestionable improvements. So the return to rock 'em sock 'em robot combat leaves me totally cold.

The six-save system...ugh, what's the point of this again? I didn't think that it was possible, but WotC has managed to outdo TSR saves in both number and non-intuitiveness. Apparently there's some kind of rhyme or reason to the madness, but I feel like I've been told a bad joke: If it requires explanation, it's not worth the trouble. And then the 5e team went ahead and ignored half of the six saves...bwuh?

I'm also not a fan of how different spells call for different rolls. Some require the caster to roll an attack, others call for the targets to save, while others call for ability checks. (I would have thought that Maze's Int check is a perfect candidate to be made into an Int save.) I realize that 5e is The D&D of Yesteryear, but c'mon guys. Classic spells are lacking in consistency because they evolved haphazardly over many years, and were written by many disparate gamers who didn't communicate. But the 5e team should know and do better.

The point buy rules and the hard stat cap make me roll my eyes in turn. It's almost as if the 5e team wants to create additional tension and potential drama due to random chargen. Oh, and just say no to random HP.

I'm sure that the ability boost vs. feat option will become broken and/or a no-brainer choice. Savvy players will know to max out their prime stat and take one or two 'duh' feats, while other players will fall into various trap options.

It might just be an OCD pet peeve that some of us gamers have, but what does the 5e team have against assigning class abilities and other features at regular intervals? Would it really have felt 'not enough like D&D' to have a graceful XP table?

My Conclusion: At a younger age, I probably would have bought 5e just for being the new edition. And I'll probably play it at some point when I meet someone who happens to DM it. But I've played three completely distinct editions over twenty years of my life, and 5e doesn't impress me. I could house rule away the stuff I don't like, but why bother when I already have 4e?

5e will be the first edition that I don't buy since I began gaming. Maybe 6e will be more promising!


Been playing numenera recently and the profession's remind me of descriptions and resting for health recharge reminds me of the recovery roles.


Question though with 5e.... is a spy beast druid the ultimate combo... now more codzilla just dzilla.

Sovereign Court

With the exception of casters I like what I see so far. However, 5E needs to get more legs before I can run with this. I want Bards, rangers, barbs, and more. I know these things are coming and I am patient so we shall see.

I also look forward to see what the adventures will be like this time around. PF's big advantage for my table wasnt being 3E, it was adventures. Right now we have tons of rules options and adventures to boot with PF; and more are released all the time. After a decade of 3E/PF I just know how to make this system work for me so 5E has its work cut out for it. I hope to see what WOTC can muster because competition is good.


It looks to me that the game is easy to learn and can therefore be played indefinitely at several levels/types of gaming - parents with young kids, older kids at school on lunch break, weekend power gamers, immersion pros, AP wonks, etc.

I don't yet understand the rational behind the experience points table. I always thought the best way to do experience was to make each level the same (e.g. 1,000 to get to 2nd level, 2,000 for 3rd, 3,000 for 4th, etc.). Split the exp award total among the PCs involved, and each individual amount is divided by the PC's present level. Then give bonus points (if any) for individual actions.

The whole CR thing messes up the game 'cause both the GM and players are encouraged to think that the challenge must match the party else why would we all be here. I broke that habit by starting my campaign in a village near an old "abandoned" mine - quickly christened the Death Dungeon by the players. "Oh, so we have to find out the nature of the threat and not just go kill it and take it's treasure. Interesting..."

As P.H. Dungeon said, "The lack of reliance on magic items is a huge plus for me with this system." Me too! I get that some like the stat-stacking munchkin-the-rules crunchy play but 5th Edition seems to make playing the game a priority and not playing the mechanics of the game a priority. It doesn't just leave room for roleplay but actively encourages it.

Again quoting P.H. Dungeon, "By killing I also meant defeating monsters, and yes pathfinder APs do award some xp for achieving certain goals, but the amount xp gained from that is far less than the xp gained from defeating monsters." Yes! For every published adventure I've ever looked through it was always at least a neutral option to "kill 'm all" and most often the option that got the most experience point reward. Not to mention that if the PCs talk their way through everything then they might not get "paid" for their trouble.

Feats look like they've been mostly fixed in 5th edition. While the Feats system from 3.x looked like a good idea at first glance it rapidly (and naturally by the rules) devolved into a Min-Max feast, because to "roll up" a less than optimal build meant your PC was superfluous to the rest of the party by 6th level or so.

And don't even get me started on Prestige Classes!

Adjule wrote, "I much prefer running and playing in homebrew over published settings like Forgotten Realms, Golarion, Raveloft, Eberron, etc." Couldn't put it more emphatically myself. Though I respect a well run campaign regardless.

137ben said, "I'm highly skeptical that anyone would think that a DM typically puts less time into the game than one player individually." Yep, I figure a typical good GM spends about as much time on the game as the two best (most involved) players combined.

The 5th Edition weak points that pop out for me are two.

1) Stats increasing with levels. That is so non-immersive. Except for Wisdom a person's stats most emphatically do not increase over time. Indeed they get worse starting around age 35 (if not sooner) and by 55 several are in noticeable decline.

2) Skills do seem to be dumbed-down/binary in 5th Edition. On the other hand the results portion of 3.5 Skill Rules had low level characters regularly maxing out the chart - that is, doing something "Heroic" half the time or more and I've even seen PC builds of 1st level characters who could achieve "Nearly Impossible" results one in ten times. The only published world where that kind of crunch at low level even makes passing sense is Eberron.

Sovereign Court

Quark Blast wrote:
1) Stats increasing with levels. That is so non-immersive. Except for Wisdom a person's stats most emphatically do not increase over time. Indeed they get worse starting around age 35 (if not sooner) and by 55 several are in noticeable decline.

What about games that take place entirely in a few months? Do your games often start at age 35 and proceed past 55? What about non-humans that dont have the same lifespan? In 5E magic items and spells will not be boosting your stats commonly, so the increases are going to be the only way to improve them. This helps in two ways, it allows some sense of character progression and maintains BA, also you can swap stat increases for feats with the advanced system.

If you like you could houserule no stat increases and only feats at your table. A neat feature of 5E is the ability to mod it to your liking. I kind of get what you are saying about stat increases and immersion, but I think mechanics like these are best left under hood myself.


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Pan wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
1) Stats increasing with levels. That is so non-immersive. Except for Wisdom a person's stats most emphatically do not increase over time. Indeed they get worse starting around age 35 (if not sooner) and by 55 several are in noticeable decline.

What about games that take place entirely in a few months? Do your games often start at age 35 and proceed past 55? What about non-humans that dont have the same lifespan? In 5E magic items and spells will not be boosting your stats commonly, so the increases are going to be the only way to improve them. This helps in two ways, it allows some sense of character progression and maintains BA, also you can swap stat increases for feats with the advanced system.

If you like you could houserule no stat increases and only feats at your table. A neat feature of 5E is the ability to mod it to your liking. I kind of get what you are saying about stat increases and immersion, but I think mechanics like these are best left under hood myself.

No real disagreement with this from me. 5th Edition is starting to look like the best system of D&D to date. The rules makers really seem to have learned from the last 40+ years.

For me (and many of the players I've known) the leveling up of your PC is something that is inherent in the milieu. It's a fantasy setting and that's the way it works. So take it and roleplay with it.

But PC stats?!? Stats are generally presented as numerical approximations of human ability. And humans, once they reach adulthood (say ~ 21 years old), don't get better stats as they age except in things related to Wisdom. For some people, especially men, Strength can be buffed up considerably at most any age but everyone has natural limits and it's tacitly assumed in the game that a PC has, all thing considered, maxed out his/her natural ability as an adventurer.

Skills and/or Knowledge can certainly increase through a lifetime but even those start to go into noticeable decline after the half-century mark (again, for humans).


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Quark Blast wrote:
Feats look like they've been mostly fixed in 5th edition. While the Feats system from 3.x looked like a good idea at first glance it rapidly (and naturally by the rules) devolved into a Min-Max feast, because to "roll up" a less than optimal build meant your PC was superfluous to the rest of the party by 6th level or so.

The deliberate inclusion of 'trap options' probably exacerbated this.


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Quark Blast wrote:


I don't yet understand the rational behind the experience points table. I always thought the best way to do experience was to make each level the same (e.g. 1,000 to get to 2nd level, 2,000 for 3rd, 3,000 for 4th, etc.). Split the exp award total among the PCs involved, and each individual amount is divided by the PC's present level. Then give bonus points (if any) for individual actions.

a) they want you to get through the lowest couple levels quickly.

b) It doesn't really matter what the numbers are or how you calculate them as long as it takes as much playtime at each level as you're happy with. Your version is mathematically equal to PF's except they're using next level instead of present level. I don't know why one would be better than the other or why dividing the amount gained is better than multiplying the amount needed. Yours is faster, unless you adjust the actual xp awards.
Of course, many people pretty much drop XP entirely and advance by story needs, after dramatic battles or just when they're bored with one level.
Quark Blast wrote:
The whole CR thing messes up the game 'cause both the GM and players are encouraged to think that the challenge must match the party else why would we all be here. I broke that habit by starting my campaign in a village near an old "abandoned" mine - quickly christened the Death Dungeon by the players. "Oh, so we have to find out the nature of the threat and not just go kill it and take it's treasure. Interesting..."

If you're playing anything other than pure sandbox, it's very useful. If there's no particular need to go to the old "abandoned" mine other than loot and the fun of killing things, I'm probably not going to bother. I find that kind of motivation boring. If there's a good enough reason for my character to go in, then I'm probably going to go in regardless of the danger or I'm going to find it an unfun game: playing a character who is strongly motivated to do something, but can't because it's too dangerous isn't my idea of a good time.

Mind you there's nothing with that kind of sandbox, but I do get annoyed with GMs that like to "teach" their players that it's the right way to game. It's a way to game.

Even beyond that, CR is useful. Even a sandbox GM should find it helpful to know what his players should expect to be able to handle, if only to know what hints to give.

Quark Blast wrote:
1) Stats increasing with levels. That is so non-immersive. Except for Wisdom a person's stats most emphatically do not increase over time. Indeed they get worse starting around age 35 (if not sooner) and by 55 several are in noticeable decline.

They're not getting better with time, they're getting better with practice. I'm stronger than I was when I was 20, because I work out more. Maybe I leveled and put points into STR. My Int is probably higher too, at least in the sense it's mostly used in 5E - boosting knowledge skills.


Quark Blast wrote:
Pan wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
1) Stats increasing with levels. That is so non-immersive. Except for Wisdom a person's stats most emphatically do not increase over time. Indeed they get worse starting around age 35 (if not sooner) and by 55 several are in noticeable decline.

What about games that take place entirely in a few months? Do your games often start at age 35 and proceed past 55? What about non-humans that dont have the same lifespan? In 5E magic items and spells will not be boosting your stats commonly, so the increases are going to be the only way to improve them. This helps in two ways, it allows some sense of character progression and maintains BA, also you can swap stat increases for feats with the advanced system.

If you like you could houserule no stat increases and only feats at your table. A neat feature of 5E is the ability to mod it to your liking. I kind of get what you are saying about stat increases and immersion, but I think mechanics like these are best left under hood myself.

No real disagreement with this from me. 5th Edition is starting to look like the best system of D&D to date. The rules makers really seem to have learned from the last 40+ years.

For me (and many of the players I've known) the leveling up of your PC is something that is inherent in the milieu. It's a fantasy setting and that's the way it works. So take it and roleplay with it.

But PC stats?!? Stats are generally presented as numerical approximations of human ability. And humans, once they reach adulthood (say ~ 21 years old), don't get better stats as they age except in things related to Wisdom. For some people, especially men, Strength can be buffed up considerably at most any age but everyone has natural limits and it's tacitly assumed in the game that a PC has, all thing considered, maxed out his/her natural ability as an adventurer.

Skills and/or Knowledge can certainly increase through a lifetime but even those start to go into noticeable decline after the...

I think you're tacitly assuming things not in evidence. Why assume that starting adventurer has maxed out his/her natural ability and then use that as a basis to complain about those natural abilities going up?

Grand Lodge

thejeff wrote:
If there's a good enough reason for my character to go in, then I'm probably going to go in regardless of the danger or I'm going to find it an unfun game: playing a character who is strongly motivated to do something, but can't because it's too dangerous isn't my idea of a good time.

So, you're telling us, that if your character grows up hearing about the ancient red dragon living in the nearby mountains with records of it living there going back for the past thousand years, threatening not only your home town, but the entire region, you're going to take your 1st level character there when your character's sister is taken by that dragon?

And that the dragon better dang well be level appropriate for your character because that campaign won't be any fun for you unless it is??


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Digitalelf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
If there's a good enough reason for my character to go in, then I'm probably going to go in regardless of the danger or I'm going to find it an unfun game: playing a character who is strongly motivated to do something, but can't because it's too dangerous isn't my idea of a good time.
So, you're telling us, that if your character grows up hearing about the ancient red dragon living in the nearby mountains with records of it living there going back for the past thousand years, threatening not only your home town, but the entire region, you're going to take your 1st level character there when your character's sister is taken by that dragon?

Either that or my character's going to sit at home getting dead drunk hating himself for being a coward. Neither way will be much fun to play.

Mind you, he'd go up there hoping to negotiate or to sneak in and rescue her or something other than go toe to toe with the dragon.

He certainly wouldn't shrug his shoulders and go look for an easier adventure. Unless he was an a#+$*$+ who didn't like his sister anyway.

Edit: Or that a dragon isn't a level appropriate challenge for a 1st level character, so a GM who plants an emotional hook that says "Go fight the dragon" at 1st level is being a jerk.

Grand Lodge

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thejeff wrote:
Edit: Or that a dragon isn't a level appropriate challenge for a 1st level character, so a GM who plants an emotional hook that says "Go fight the dragon" at 1st level is being a jerk.

Well, I guess that I am just an unimaginative, huge jerk of a DM because I never run "level appropriate" game settings, and like to plant emotional hooks that say "I may not be strong enough now, but one day VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE!"...

*EDIT*

But then, I fully admit to being, and fully embrace the fact that I am a card-carrying, "you kids get off my lawn" grognard!

Grand Lodge

I like the spell casting; slots, valuable cantrips, recovering spell slots, all of it. I hate vancian casting and the garbage that is the one fight workday because the "godlike" power of casters lasts less than a round of boxing. I may actually play a wizard for the first time. For me this is a band-aid for vancian casting, but its a good one with soothing antibiotics.

I also like the lack of stat bloat, as I see it. The characters seem more like adventurers and less like the Avengers, which (mythic or not) my current Wrath party feels like. Time will tell if this is a false assumption on my part.

So far I'm feeling good about it, but the PHB will be the final verdict for me. I'll definitely play it, but my groups gotten a lot of mileage out of Pathfinder and will mostly likely do so in the future. I hope this version does well. There's plenty of room for more than one successful "mainstream" rpg system these days, and competition spurs awesome creative growth that we (the consumer) will benefit from.


thejeff wrote:

Of course, many people pretty much drop XP entirely and advance by story needs, after dramatic battles...

Agreed and this works well for a tight-nit and/or longtime gaming group.

thejeff wrote:
playing a character who is strongly motivated to do something, but can't because it's too dangerous isn't my idea of a good time.

Agreed again. Which is why I said, "Oh, so we have to find out the nature of the threat and not just go kill it and take it's treasure. Interesting..." And yes, the GM does in fact have to make it interesting both for the players OOC and the PCs IC.

Are there campaigns that work great as min-max crunch fests? You betcha! I've done that a few times myself. I was just pointing out the the CR system encourages that form of play and discourages roleplay (or what people also call "immersive play").

I think the CR concept is most useful in teaching the GM how to build encounters according to the game mechanics. But once that is learned, once the GM gets a "feel" for the system, then focusing slavishly on the CR mode of game prep does actively discourage RP. Just say'n. And Mike Mearls and company seem to agree with that sentiment given how 5th Edition is turning out.

thejeff wrote:
I think you're tacitly assuming things not in evidence. Why assume that starting adventurer has maxed out his/her natural ability and then use that as a basis to complain about those natural abilities going up?

That would be circular reasoning and you would be justified in pointing that out as a criticism of my POV. But I'm not saying that. That you explicitly point out you are stronger than you were at 21 is in fact the best point you can make. As I said previously,

"For some people, especially men, Strength can be buffed up considerably at most any age but everyone has natural limits and it's tacitly assumed in the game that a PC has, all thing considered, maxed out his/her natural ability as an adventurer."

For a Wizard to take time out to buff his Strength would be allowable but then also remember he needs to keep a new routine to maintain the buff. And this new routine would come at the expense of something else. His Arcane studies? One would think not. But then IC, what would it be?

A Fighter with high Strength has that because of his daily routine and doesn't need to spend extra time buffing up - wearing armor, sword practice, etc. naturally produce a stronger person. But everyone has a limit. Even Arnold needed 'roids to be Mr. Universe.

Human Intelligence is virtually static by adulthood and stays that way until sometime after about age 35 - barring traumatic brain injury.

Charisma is also pretty static though it is true that improving Skills (like Diplomacy and Sense Motive) can cover the static nature of this ability.

Dexterity - same thing. Notice there are no world-class gymnasts older than 22 or so.

Constitution - same thing, though it tends to fade much slower than Dexterity but unlike Strength you can't just arbitrarily increase it at age 40.

Even so you will notice a marked lack of older athletes in the more physical sports. There is a huge "die off" among players from their late 20's to around 40.

Pro sports with moderate physical exertion and a large amount of "luck" involved in winning <cough>golf</cough> will see older players still hanging around till their 50's or a little longer but the contenders for the top rank are in the bottom half of the age range.

Dark Archive

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thejeff wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
If there's a good enough reason for my character to go in, then I'm probably going to go in regardless of the danger or I'm going to find it an unfun game: playing a character who is strongly motivated to do something, but can't because it's too dangerous isn't my idea of a good time.
So, you're telling us, that if your character grows up hearing about the ancient red dragon living in the nearby mountains with records of it living there going back for the past thousand years, threatening not only your home town, but the entire region, you're going to take your 1st level character there when your character's sister is taken by that dragon?

Either that or my character's going to sit at home getting dead drunk hating himself for being a coward. Neither way will be much fun to play.

Mind you, he'd go up there hoping to negotiate or to sneak in and rescue her or something other than go toe to toe with the dragon.

He certainly wouldn't shrug his shoulders and go look for an easier adventure. Unless he was an a%#%#*& who didn't like his sister anyway.

Edit: Or that a dragon isn't a level appropriate challenge for a 1st level character, so a GM who plants an emotional hook that says "Go fight the dragon" at 1st level is being a jerk.

Or you go looking for a sword or other magic item to kill the dragon or sneak in to save your sister (and maybe other prisoners) via other adventures...also picking up some friends along the way help you out, each with their own reasons for going along.

My sandbox campaign/plot adventure:
You can run dungeon crawls as mindless monster bashes or you could run them as a legitimate progress for a larger story arc. Last campaign around 95% of their exploration into:

- Goblin & wererat infested silver mine (working for BBEG and were planning on eliminating the threat of silver to be used as weapons in the final battle/reveal).

- Underground garden with an insane treant that was breeding plants so they could live above ground without sunlight (since it thought eternal darkness was coming due to the BBEG).

- A Dwarven hold, being reclaimed by descendents who abandoned their halls because of a family secret and skeletons in the closet.

- A short and fast run deep into the Underdark to rescue some adventures who disappeared six months prior based solely on a string of clues. Traveling 3 days underground in record time, under exhaustion, no rest/spell recovery - planned out of course (that one the players took me by 100% surprise and 100% PC directed). Only a few adventures that ended up prisoners survived, but they saved those that were alive. Had this whole area written out to be a completest, did not at all - expect them to pick up old clues and then decide near the end of the campaign out of the blue to actually go look for them.
Hats off to them, that's why I am happy with my players.

- An ancient swamp, filled with flooded barrows - looking for a witch and her half-ogre son. The players were duped into thinking they were evil and needed to be destroyed when in fact they were both Good and were causing problems for the BBEG.

- Journey to the underdark part II - looking for something the bad guys were looking for there they: met a LN Eye of the Deep/Sorcerer who traded in magic and info with travelers underground - became an ally in the end of campaign War.
Refugees from the Treant's garden - bugbears hiding out from the wrath of the BBEG, who became hideously mutated by remnants of his weapon/energy source used to adapt the treant's plants to darkness.

- A tower in the woods that a declining elven clan ignored. Held an extra dimensional space guarded by a bound devil who watched over a sleeping elven noble (his dreams of monsters made into flesh) - his imprisonment and being forgotten part of the reason of the clans decline.

All of these were designed 100% sandbox/dungeon bash - with PC and NPC motivation and actions and in game events taking them to the different locations. Most of which I hid from the players but as the PCs investigated the bad guy/mysterious goings on, they found leads and they followed at every opportunity.


Anyway


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Quark Blast wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Of course, many people pretty much drop XP entirely and advance by story needs, after dramatic battles...

Agreed and this works well for a tight-nit and/or longtime gaming group.

thejeff wrote:
playing a character who is strongly motivated to do something, but can't because it's too dangerous isn't my idea of a good time.

Agreed again. Which is why I said, "Oh, so we have to find out the nature of the threat and not just go kill it and take it's treasure. Interesting..." And yes, the GM does in fact have to make it interesting both for the players OOC and the PCs IC.

Are there campaigns that work great as min-max crunch fests? You betcha! I've done that a few times myself. I was just pointing out the the CR system encourages that form of play and discourages roleplay (or what people also call "immersive play").

I think the CR concept is most useful in teaching the GM how to build encounters according to the game mechanics. But once that is learned, once the GM gets a "feel" for the system, then focusing slavishly on the CR mode of game prep does actively discourage RP. Just say'n. And Mike Mearls and company seem to agree with that sentiment given how 5th Edition is turning out.

thejeff wrote:
I think you're tacitly assuming things not in evidence. Why assume that starting adventurer has maxed out his/her natural ability and then use that as a basis to complain about those natural abilities going up?

That would be circular reasoning and you would be justified in pointing that out as a criticism of my POV. But I'm not saying that. That you explicitly point out you are stronger than you were at 21 is in fact the best point you can make. As I said previously,

"For some people, especially men, Strength can be buffed up considerably at most any age but everyone has natural limits and it's tacitly assumed in the game that a PC has, all thing considered, maxed out his/her natural ability as an adventurer."

For a Wizard to take time out to buff...

I understand wanting some realism but some old dude is launching fireballs and freezing time. Why can't another person be super strong? Let's say even the martial fighter has a connection with magic that makes him a physical brute


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Auxmaulous wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Digitalelf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
If there's a good enough reason for my character to go in, then I'm probably going to go in regardless of the danger or I'm going to find it an unfun game: playing a character who is strongly motivated to do something, but can't because it's too dangerous isn't my idea of a good time.
So, you're telling us, that if your character grows up hearing about the ancient red dragon living in the nearby mountains with records of it living there going back for the past thousand years, threatening not only your home town, but the entire region, you're going to take your 1st level character there when your character's sister is taken by that dragon?

Either that or my character's going to sit at home getting dead drunk hating himself for being a coward. Neither way will be much fun to play.

Mind you, he'd go up there hoping to negotiate or to sneak in and rescue her or something other than go toe to toe with the dragon.

He certainly wouldn't shrug his shoulders and go look for an easier adventure. Unless he was an a%#%#*& who didn't like his sister anyway.

Edit: Or that a dragon isn't a level appropriate challenge for a 1st level character, so a GM who plants an emotional hook that says "Go fight the dragon" at 1st level is being a jerk.

Or you go looking for a sword or other magic item to kill the dragon or sneak in to save your sister (and maybe other prisoners) via other adventures...also picking up some friends along the way help you out, each with their own reasons for going along.

** spoiler omitted **...

Hell, given the pace of many D&D adventures, you could have all those adventures on your journey to the mountains and up to the dragon's cave. Take a few weeks and you're 15th level by time you're there with the buddies you found along the way. But it would be stupid to set off after the dragon at 1st level right?

Sure, I could see it as the start of campaign with a whole set of level appropriate adventures ending with fighting the dragon. Who was of course, purely by coincidence about to finally kill the sister when you get there just in the nick of time. It would need more setup though. Like the rumor of a dragon-killing sword or something other than going out adventuring to get tough enough to beat the dragon of legend.

But that's got nothing to do with the original topic of CR-appropriate encounters. All along the way of this quest, your going to be faced with the same decision in miniature and you're always going to have to find a reason to face basically CR appropriate encounters. Everytime you introduce a much too tough one, you need to make sure there's both sufficient motivation to bother, but not so much or so time sensitive that they'll have to rush in anyway and have an alternative approach that requires another set of encounters that will get them a little closer to the goal.
By which point you're pretty much setting up the standard CR-appropriate path anyway.

Edit: But we're way off the 5th edition topic and I'm going to bed, so I'll let this die after this.


redviiper wrote:


I understand wanting some realism but some old dude is launching fireballs and freezing time. Why can't another person be super strong? Let's say even the martial fighter has a connection with magic that makes him a physical brute

As a potential story-arc involving a "life long" quest and relic? Awesome!! Let's spec that out and get rolling on the campaign!

As a matter of Game Mechanics? Why? That just makes Fighters into a different type of magic user. Even King Conan shouldn't be thought of as Nathan Jones (aka Megaman). Glory does fade but the telling of tales never dims.

<tangent>This is one of the drawbacks I have with the Eberron setting - everyone is a spell caster, everyone is really just a different type of human, etc. Everything goes, nothing is forbidden. Except the rule that; everything goes and nothing is forbidden. That's even more stultifying than the real world</tangent>


thejeff wrote:

But that's got nothing to do with the original topic of CR-appropriate encounters. All along the way of this quest, your going to be faced with the same decision in miniature and you're always going to have to find a reason to face basically CR appropriate encounters. Everytime you introduce a much too tough one, you need to make sure there's both sufficient motivation to bother, but not so much or so time sensitive that they'll have to rush in anyway and have an alternative approach that requires another set of encounters that will get them a little closer to the goal.

By which point you're pretty much setting up the standard CR-appropriate path anyway.

But that's just it. The PCs having to find out IC that the situation is too tough is a more interesting way of doing things. By the CR method the PCs can pretty much go <bleep>out and crunch through the serial encounters.

If the CR is too high (think Beowulf) then the PCs (and hence players) are going to need do something besides Min-Max their abilities with a Hollywood-style face off.

Beowulf style adventures are just not possible given the CR RAW.


Here's an example my group played out once upon a time. Much abridged.

Player 1 who's PC was a rabid knight was always kvetching about not enough things to hack-n-slash.
Player 2 who's PC was a Paladin needing to quest for his bonded warhorse.
Player 3 who's PC was a wizard that was beginning to delve into the Arcana of the outer planes.
Player 4 who's PC was ranger who was bragging he could track a ghost on the wind in the black of night.

Setting: Major war involving multiple armies
PC Purpose: To aid their country in fighting this war as it expanded into their home turf.

Act 1 - After helping to drive back an enemy charge (that was really a feint by the enemy to get their own spell casters close enough to open a Gate upon the allied camp and drop a Fiend on the field to assassinate the PCs king). The feint worked but the assassination was foiled by the King's Champion who charged at the Fiend to skewer it on his lance. The Fiend opened a Gate and whisked them both to the 1st plane of Heck. The Champion is presumed dead.

Act 2 - The King charges the Paladin with going to the 1st plane of Heck to verify his great friend and champion is slain. The Paladin is allowed to pick a team to accompany him but they must be named now. The PC's are given free passage via a spell from the King's chief adviser (high level cleric) and a tiny bell that, when rung, will bring all natives of the Prime Material plane, who are within the sound of the bell, back to their point of departure. If the Champion is alive the PC's are to return at once and inform the king. He will effect a rescue.

Act 3 - PC's arrive in Heck (think Mordor only much worse) and see the champion's slain and rendered warhorse and a dozen dead 'minor' fiend-minions. The wizard decides to Detect Magic. The Champion's sword is among the bloody carnage (Holy Avenger that the Fiends cannot touch). Paladin picks it up. The ranger tracks incredibly well (including penalties for very unfamiliar terrain).

They find where the Champion is being temporally held in smoking chains. The Paladin hears the whinny of a colt and goes to investigate (unbeknownst to all a colt was whisked away when the Fiend Gated away itself and the Champion - the attack occurred in the main camp remember). The remaining PC's attempt to unchain the Champion. They cannot do so and then start seek loot instead. The Fiend returns with others to transport the Champion. The PC's are hopelessly outclassed. The Paladin hears a commotion and returns carrying the colt, drops the colt and - having no shield - charges to save the others swinging the Champion's sword 2-handed.

Paladin: Initiative on the Fiend by a single digit! Swings and connects with a Natural 20! The Champion's sword has a special purpose of slaying fiends. Fiend (major) is slain in one blow! Fiends (minor) pause, blink, pause some more. Paladin menaces them brandishing the Holy Avenger. Fiends (minor) flee. Paladin cuts the chains from the nearly dead Champion, picks up her colt and orders the wizard to, "Ring the bell, NOW!"

Of course this whole side-adventure was a fun way to get the Paladin his bonded warhorse. With a bit of IC curiosity, a few lucky rolls, and some stupid determination, the PC's managed to rescue the king's Champion.

My point? Adventures like this are actively discouraged using the CR method. By the RAW even the Fiends (minor) would not be allowed I think - they were collectively either 4 or 5 CR levels over the PCs and more if one factors in that they were on their home plane.


Quark Blast wrote:
redviiper wrote:


I understand wanting some realism but some old dude is launching fireballs and freezing time. Why can't another person be super strong? Let's say even the martial fighter has a connection with magic that makes him a physical brute

As a potential story-arc involving a "life long" quest and relic? Awesome!! Let's spec that out and get rolling on the campaign!

As a matter of Game Mechanics? Why? That just makes Fighters into a different type of magic user. Even King Conan shouldn't be thought of as Nathan Jones (aka Megaman). Glory does fade but the telling of tales never dims.

<tangent>This is one of the drawbacks I have with the Eberron setting - everyone is a spell caster, everyone is really just a different type of human, etc. Everything goes, nothing is forbidden. Except the rule that; everything goes and nothing is forbidden. That's even more stultifying than the real world</tangent>

Nation Jones and the rock and probably best slyvestor stallon shows that it is possible to get stronger and stay strong into old age...but I will give you that using stay boosts to stay relevant is sloppy game mechanics. Personally I like the stat boost or feat... provides for more options and more exciting game play. But at the same if someone wants to play a strong man I'd say why not.

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