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


4th Edition

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Auxmaulous wrote:
Starting to have flashbacks as to why so many people were turned off of 4e - and it wasn't because of the system.

This is, was and will always be an utter cop out.

You can't blame people for defending their favorite game on an internet message board; that's what the forums are FOR. You would do the exact same thing if someone took a big wordcrap on your game of choice.

Yeah, 4vengers were a thing; so are paizils, 3bians, ossers, gurpivores, herophiles, wodsters, etc.


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Hiram_McDaniels wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Starting to have flashbacks as to why so many people were turned off of 4e - and it wasn't because of the system.

This is, was and will always be an utter cop out.

You can't blame people for defending their favorite game on an internet message board; that's what the forums are FOR. You would do the exact same thing if someone took a big wordcrap on your game of choice.

Yeah, 4vengers were a thing; so are paizils, 3bians, ossers, gurpivores, herophiles, wodsters, etc.

Are there any fanatic Bunnies & Burrows defenders out there?


Forever Slayer wrote:

Well we all know the basic rules for D&D 5th edition are free for download. If you've read over them, what do you think?

Does it seem like a game you are going to play?

My group was one of the thousands involved with the review/playtest effort. (That was very, very clever on WotC's part by the by.)

We enjoyed the playtest, and several of us have ordered the basic set of materials, e.g., introductory box, PHB, MM, DMG, etc.

That said, my group has been playing 4e for about four years now, and they voted to continue with 4e. For them, the simplicity of the 4e rules, and the PC survival++ nature of 4e makes it a less stressful alternative than Next (5e to me).

Left to my devices, I probably would have converted, because 5e (Next) has less of a combat focus and does a better job of helping me portray the gaming world.

I have a few table rules in 4e that let me bolster the excitement and suspension of disbelief, e.g., PCs can die from really bad decisions like swimming through lava. No, I don't feel obligated to give them multiple saving throws whilst the PC swims despite what the rules might imply. :-D

Next would not require some of the DM hardwires that I have put into 4e.

Here is my review of the boxed, starter set:

"First, as I write this, you can get the starter set most places for less than $13. In other words, you get the entire starter game for the price of a movie ticket for one person.

The box does indeed come with everything you need to play, including a set of polyhedrons (gaming dice) including: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and the the mother of all dice, the d20/icosahedron.

The box comes with a blank character sheet (on the back side of an ad for dungeonsanddragons.com) that can be photocopied plus five pregen characters including: two fighters, a rogue, a wizard, and a cleric. The front of the pre-gen sheets has the basic stats for running an adventure, and the back contains some background for the race, the class, and what the level advancements would be from 2nd through 5th levels.

There is a shortish set of rules in folio form bound with staples aptly called "D&D Starter Set Rulebook." It comes in at 32 pages.

If you have played previous versions of D&D, this next section of the review will give you some insights into how the new rule set plays. If you have never played D&D or a fantasy role-playing game before, you might want to skip to the end.

5e is an amalgam of the previous four editions of D&D (although 1st Ed. was just called AD&D when it came out).

Characters have races (e.g., human, elf, halfling, etc.), classes (e.g., fighter, wizard, rogue, etc.), backgrounds (i.e., back-story that both provides motivations as well as some specific skills), and equipment. Each character has six primary attributes called abilities that include the standard set of: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. These ability scores generate modifiers that are used in play. For example, an average ability score in the 10 to 11 range has a modifier of zero, and a score in the 12 to 13 range has a modifier of +1. If a character had a DEX of 13 then the player would add +1 to any rolls involving DEX.

Those of you who have played D&D before will remember that there are saving throws to either avoid or recovery from bad situations and conditions. In the original version of AD&D and AD&D second edition, these consisted of five separate saves for magic, death, etc. In editions three and four, this number was reduced to three, will, fortitude, and agility. Now all saving throws are based on the six ability score modifiers.

In fact, all of the mechanics are based on ability checks.

But, worry not doughty gamers! The core mechanic in D&D has always been casting the d20, adding some type of modifier, and comparing it to something else.

This remains unchanged.

There is a very cool mechanic called "advantage and disadvantage." The way it works is if you have a situation that grants you an advantage then you roll two d20s and choose the higher of the two to be your roll. If you are in a situation that grants you disadvantage then you also roll two d20s, but you take the smaller of the two rolls to represent your result.

The rulebook covers skills, contests, and the various checks associated with each of the abilities. For example, intelligence checks include: Arcana, history, investigation, nature, and religion. As mentioned previously, saving throws are based on the ability modifiers.

The order of combat rounds remains largely unchanged since the advent of the third edition. You start by determining if surprise has occurred. Then you establish the positions of all of the characters both player characters and non-player characters involved. Then you determine initiative, and then you follow with alternating turns.

One thing that has changed from three and four to the new 5e is that there is less of an emphasis on purely combat abilities and actions.

There are no figures or counters included with this starter box set. There are no hex sheets. There is no mention of Texas (ah! you *are* reading!). There is also no mention of "hexes" or "squares." (Danged auto-corrector!!!)

In this way, the fifth edition really harkens back to the first and second editions. There is a large emphasis on non-combat actions and activities.

The one thing you may find disappointing is that this starter set comes with a large insert that takes up about half of the volume of the box.

I have been told that this was to let the box take up more space and to allow it to hold future released material. It doesn't work for me, but that is a single viewpoint.

For those of you who played in additions since third edition, you will recognize the mechanics of damage resistance and vulnerability. These have been brought forward and are also used in fifth edition.

You will also recognize the conditions in fifth edition as being an amalgam of third edition and fourth edition conditions. The dazed condition no longer exists though, at least in the starter set rulebook.

Finally, there is an included module that is both interesting and serves as a decent, graduated introduction to the 5e rule set.

All in all for less than $13, it would be hard to go wrong buying this boxed set.

I look forward to the release of the Players Handbook in a few weeks."

In service,

Rich

The Original Dr. Games site since 1993.


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I Think I've mentioned before that I've been playing D&D for a while, kind of a long while

I finished reading the basic box rules last night.

Here are things I don't get (not that I think they are "bad" I just don't think I understand the why of these things)

"Hit Dice" as a game mechanic of some kind whereby you "use up" these things called "Hit Dice" to heal yourself, which I don't get at all (in fact the whole section on healing kind of went right over my head as being far more complicated than saying something like, you heal your level plus your con bonus in HP every time you rest). And the whole set of rules on what happens when you reach less than 0 hp, well, I'm just going to have to read those again, and again, ‘cause I can't understand why you would have something like a constitution score, then completely ignore that descriptor when talking about how your character's body handles injuries.

Spell Slots as some kind of adjustable storage container. DO I prepare spells? Do I prepare Spell Slots? Can I have slots with no spells, can I have spells with no slots? Why do I need this added level of complexity?

Concentration for spells that used to be cast and forget (Why do I need to concentrate on Webs, they are webs, they are right there, I put them right there, can we go now?)

There are more things I don't get, but basically when reading the book and seeing what they are trying to tell me (about playing a game of make believe) what I am actually hearing, over and over again, is this

"You know that game you played 38 years ago, and sometimes it didn't make sense but you and your friends kept playing anyway?"

"Well, here is a game with a whole bunch of new rules that will let you do that all over again."


Generic Dungeon Master wrote:

I Think I've mentioned before that I've been playing D&D for a while, kind of a long while

I finished reading the basic box rules last night.

Here are things I don't get (not that I think they are "bad" I just don't think I understand the why of these things)

"Hit Dice" as a game mechanic of some kind whereby you "use up" these things called "Hit Dice" to heal yourself, which I don't get at all (in fact the whole section on healing kind of went right over my head as being far more complicated than saying something like, you heal your level plus your con bonus in HP every time you rest). And the whole set of rules on what happens when you reach less than 0 hp, well, I'm just going to have to read those again, and again, ‘cause I can't understand why you would have something like a constitution score, then completely ignore that descriptor when talking about how your character's body handles injuries.

Spell Slots as some kind of adjustable storage container. DO I prepare spells? Do I prepare Spell Slots? Can I have slots with no spells, can I have spells with no slots? Why do I need this added level of complexity?

Concentration for spells that used to be cast and forget (Why do I need to concentrate on Webs, they are webs, they are right there, I put them right there, can we go now?)

There are more things I don't get, but basically when reading the book and seeing what they are trying to tell me (about playing a game of make believe) what I am actually hearing, over and over again, is this

"You know that game you played 38 years ago, and sometimes it didn't make sense but you and your friends kept playing anyway?"

"Well, here is a game with a whole bunch of new rules that will let you do that all over again."

Of course that's the same thing they told you with 3.0 as well. And even more so with 4E.

That said: Concentration seems to be their solution to over-buffing (and debuffing). Not sure I'm fond of it.

Spell slots: You prepare spells. When you cast you use up spell slots, you don't lose the prepared spells. It's actually a fairly nice cross between prepared and spontaneous. More flexible than either, but I think more limited by number of slots.

Con does play into how many hp you have to start with. I'm not sure it did anything else in that game you played 38 years ago. I'd have to read the dying rules for Next again to see.

The Hit Dice healing mechanic is marginally more complicated than "Heal your level + con bonus when you rest", but it also lets you heal more at a time and more often and gives you more control over it. You may or may not like this, but that's the intent.


In first edition, there was a percentage, based on your con, you must roll below that percentage any time you make it all the way to "Death" in order to survive being returned to life (we started house ruling negative HP long before it was ever a factor in the rules)

When you came back to life, you got to level up, one level, and your Con score was reduced by 1, meaning the percentage chance for you surviving the next resurection, was now lower.

Edit: I decided not to start taking about other edition changes, for my benefit, and everyone else's


Generic Dungeon Master wrote:

In first edition, there was a percentage, based on your con, you must roll below that percentage any time you make it all the way to "Death" in order to survive being returned to life (we started house ruling negative HP long before it was ever a factor in the rules)

When you came back to life, you got to level up, one level, and your Con score was reduced by 1, meaning the percentage chance for you surviving the next resurection, was now lower.

Edit: I decided not to start taking about other edition changes, for my benefit, and everyone else's

That's true. I thought you were talking about actual dying mechanics, not resurrection ones. Of course, the Con penalty and failure chance for raises has been gone since 3.0.


thejeff wrote:

That said: Concentration seems to be their solution to over-buffing (and debuffing). Not sure I'm fond of it.

Spell slots: You prepare spells. When you cast you use up spell slots, you don't lose the prepared spells. It's actually a fairly nice cross between prepared and spontaneous. More flexible than either, but I think more limited by number of slots.

The changes to the magic system is one big aspect I am really going to be watching as people start to actually play the full game. On paper, everything they've done to rein in the power of high level magic users sounds like it might work or it might fall flat on it's face. I like that they didn't do one single fix, but a series of interconnected smaller fixes, but that choice also makes it a bit harder to judge how well it will actually do in an actual game.

Paizo Employee

Generic Dungeon Master wrote:
Here are things I don't get (not that I think they are "bad" I just don't think I understand the why of these things)

I'll give it a shot.

Generic Dungeon Master wrote:
"Hit Dice" as a game mechanic of some kind whereby you "use up" these things called "Hit Dice" to heal yourself, which I don't get at all (in fact the whole section on healing kind of went right over my head as being far more complicated than saying something like, you heal your level plus your con bonus in HP every time you rest). And the whole set of rules on what happens when you reach less than 0 hp, well, I'm just going to have to read those again, and again, ‘cause I can't understand why you would have something like a constitution score, then completely ignore that descriptor when talking about how your character's body handles injuries.

It's a weird hybrid of 4e's healing and... something else.

It helps if you call Hit Dice something else in your head to separate them from old-school hit dice. "Recovery Dice" or something.

You can spend them during a short (1 hour) rest to regain some HP. A long (full night's) rest regains all your HP and hit dice.

Yeah, Con has nothing to do with dying (except, indirectly with massive damage). You just roll an unmodified d20, like in 4e.

Generic Dungeon Master wrote:
Spell Slots as some kind of adjustable storage container. DO I prepare spells? Do I prepare Spell Slots? Can I have slots with no spells, can I have spells with no slots? Why do I need this added level of complexity?

You prepare a small list of spells and then can cast them in any slot that's at least equal to the spell's level. Higher level slots give bigger effects.

It's clearest with spells like cure wounds, where there used to be a version of at every level. You prepare one spell, then can cast with whatever level slot you have available.

Hey, they found another thing to put "level" on! So now your fifth level wizard can cast a first level spell in a third level slot on the second level of a dungeon.

As far as why it's a good idea, I don't feel I'm well-equipped to answer that.

Generic Dungeon Master wrote:
Concentration for spells that used to be cast and forget (Why do I need to concentrate on Webs, they are webs, they are right there, I put them right there, can we go now?)

It's their solution to buffs and stacking battlefield control spells. I'm... not sure how well it'll work in practice, but you're not misunderstanding it.

Generic Dungeon Master wrote:

There are more things I don't get, but basically when reading the book and seeing what they are trying to tell me (about playing a game of make believe) what I am actually hearing, over and over again, is this

"You know that game you played 38 years ago, and sometimes it didn't make sense but you and your friends kept playing anyway?"

"Well, here is a game with a whole bunch of new rules that will let you do that all over again."

Ha! Yeah, I can feel that. I waded through enough of the playtest to familiarize myself, but I can see it being pretty confusing jumping in.

Cheers!
Landon


Landon Winkler wrote:

Generic Dungeon Master wrote:

Concentration for spells that used to be cast and forget (Why do I need to concentrate on Webs, they are webs, they are right there, I put them right there, can we go now?)

It's their solution to buffs and stacking battlefield control spells. I'm... not sure how well it'll work in practice, but you're not misunderstanding it.

That part honestly concerns me a lot. It solves the initial problem, to be certain, but to me at least it potentially creates a lot more. The other changes they made I can see potential for working; this one not so much.


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The hit point/hit dice recovery thing makes some sense. Hit points have always been defined as being not just sheer physical toughness but also (and mostly) the ability to dodge out of the way and turn a mortal wound into a scratch. IOW, the loss of hit points represents fatigue as well as physical damage.

Understood that way, it makes sense that a short rest would allow a character to recover to a degree. However I think they went too far by having a long rest restore all lost hit points. Some damage really is physical injury, and that part shouldn't heal as quickly. Unless we're going to say that there's no actual physical injury until hit points reach 0?


JoeJ wrote:

The hit point/hit dice recovery thing makes some sense. Hit points have always been defined as being not just sheer physical toughness but also (and mostly) the ability to dodge out of the way and turn a mortal wound into a scratch. IOW, the loss of hit points represents fatigue as well as physical damage.

Understood that way, it makes sense that a short rest would allow a character to recover to a degree. However I think they went too far by having a long rest restore all lost hit points. Some damage really is physical injury, and that part shouldn't heal as quickly. Unless we're going to say that there's no actual physical injury until hit points reach 0?

That's how I've come to view them. The complete loss of hit points leaves one unable to avoid actual, non-superficial physical damage any longer. That's why at zero hit points a character cannot take any strenuous actions - they are physically and mentally spent. Any exertion or incoming damage causes lasting harm at that point.

Paizo Employee

sunshadow21 wrote:
That part honestly concerns me a lot. It solves the initial problem, to be certain, but to me at least it potentially creates a lot more. The other changes they made I can see potential for working; this one not so much.

I think the "one buff/battlefield effect at a time" part is fairly elegant, but I'm not sure about being disrupted by damage.

It might lead to some really cool gameplay, but it's a huge change.

Cheers!
Landon


The intent it seems is to have at least arcane casters go back to blasting, since that's mostly what doesn't require concentration.

It's not clear what clerics are supposed to do, since their role is kind of screwed: Can't buff the party multiple times, can't self-buff and wade into the fight without risking losing the only buff you get. I guess they can sit back and heal, but it's kind of sad that's what's left.

At least in some versions of the playtest, it looked like there was a gish dragon disciple version of the sorcerer. I'm not at all sure how that would work, if it's still supposed to be an option.

Of course, we may find some feat in the PHB that changes the equation completely.

Shadow Lodge

After readying through the DnD Basic Rules from the WotC web site, I find that I like a lot of the stuff I've read. The stuff that I wasnt to sure about was the way the spells and spellcasters was changed. From what I read a wizard and clerics get a a small number of cantrips they know and thats it.....its not like before when you had your cantrips in your book and chose them each day as you liked. Also they nerfed the shield spell badly. Its now a reactive spell that lasts until your next turn while still being a 1st level spell. Also detect magic is a 1st level spell again.


Jacob Saltband wrote:
Also detect magic is a 1st level spell again.

But it is also somewhat better. 5e Detect Magic automatically senses magial auras within 30 feet of you, then you can spend an action to see the auras. In Pathfinder, you must spend one action to even determine if there are any auras within the cone, and two more actions to know where the aura is located.


Landon Winkler wrote:


sunshadow21 wrote:


That part honestly concerns me a lot. It solves the initial problem, to be certain, but to me at least it potentially creates a lot more. The other changes they made I can see potential for working; this one not so much.

I think the "one buff/battlefield effect at a time" part is fairly elegant, but I'm not sure about being disrupted by damage.

It might lead to some really cool gameplay, but it's a huge change.

Cheers!
Landon

A huge change for 3.x, normal for 2E and prior editions iirc. Damage always disrupted spell casters in previous editions. Personally I think damage should have a good chance of disrupting spellcasting (if not always). If you're in pain from being hit or dodging to avoid being eviscerated (and a loss of hp could be either) it might just spoil your concentration...

I like the concentration mechanic as well. If you thinks it's a bit harsh allow the effect to wear off after the next round instead of instantly.

Shadow Lodge

I'm kind of disappointed that the DMG wont be available until 3 months after the PH and MM.


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I'm still on the fence about Concentration being broken by damage on all Concentration spells. I think for spells like hold person it fits nicely, but on things like stoneskin (especially with a 100g cost per cast) or protection from energy I am a little concerned. I don't think it will be too bad at early levels, but against higher level foes doing a lot of damage on any given attack, it becomes a crit-or-nothing situation, even for players taking pains to maximize their CON saves.

Beyond that, I can appreciate the one-at-a-time limitation on Concentration spells. I also enjoy that a lot of spells have a better home on other characters besides the caster—a rogue is better off with that invisibility typically.

Jacob Saltband wrote:

After readying through the DnD Basic Rules from the WotC web site, I find that I like a lot of the stuff I've read. The stuff that I wasnt to sure about was the way the spells and spellcasters was changed. From what I read a wizard and clerics get a a small number of cantrips they know and thats it.....its not like before when you had your cantrips in your book and chose them each day as you liked. Also they nerfed the shield spell badly. Its now a reactive spell that lasts until your next turn while still being a 1st level spell. Also detect magic is a 1st level spell again.

Cantrips known seem more limited at a glance, but they're also more viable, especially damaging cantrips. A ray of frost begins at 1d8 with a slowing effect, and scales all the way up to 4d8 (that's an endless resource, mind you). While shield is far different than its former versions, AC values don't climb as quick or high as they have in recent editions. My guess is that mage armor + shield boiled down to either too much AC or too much of a spell slot tax. My gut reaction to shield was negative at first, but the more I think about it the more I appreciate it. Given that Wizards likely won't be making Opportunity Attacks often, having something to spend a Reaction on is important.

On detect magic: it is a 1st level spell now, but it is also a Ritual spell. As such, it will likely avoid wasting too many spell slots (memorizations is a different story, however).


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R_Chance wrote:
Landon Winkler wrote:


sunshadow21 wrote:


That part honestly concerns me a lot. It solves the initial problem, to be certain, but to me at least it potentially creates a lot more. The other changes they made I can see potential for working; this one not so much.

I think the "one buff/battlefield effect at a time" part is fairly elegant, but I'm not sure about being disrupted by damage.

It might lead to some really cool gameplay, but it's a huge change.

Cheers!
Landon

A huge change for 3.x, normal for 2E and prior editions iirc. Damage always disrupted spell casters in previous editions. Personally I think damage should have a good chance of disrupting spellcasting (if not always). If you're in pain from being hit or dodging to avoid being eviscerated (and a loss of hp could be either) it might just spoil your concentration...

I like the concentration mechanic as well. If you thinks it's a bit harsh allow the effect to wear off after the next round instead of instantly.

In AD&D there were a lot less spells that required ongoing concentration. Generally the "disrupt the spellcaster" tactic focused on breaking his concentration while casting.

So while the mechanic may be superficially similar, it will have drastically different effects on gameplay.

Paizo Employee

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R_Chance wrote:

A huge change for 3.x, normal for 2E and prior editions iirc. Damage always disrupted spell casters in previous editions. Personally I think damage should have a good chance of disrupting spellcasting (if not always). If you're in pain from being hit or dodging to avoid being eviscerated (and a loss of hp could be either) it might just spoil your concentration...

I like the concentration mechanic as well. If you thinks it's a bit harsh allow the effect to wear off after the next round instead of instantly.

I don't have a lot of experience with 1st Edition, but 5th is the opposite of 2nd. Spells in 2nd were constantly being disrupted during casting, but their durations generally ran out without any further incident.

On the other hand, 5th doesn't seem to let you disrupt during casting at all... except for a weird corner case where you can be disrupted if you're holding your action to cast a spell. And there's a lot of focus on disrupting spells after they've been cast.

Something like fly demonstrates the difference pretty clearly. In 2nd Edition, casting it during combat might result in you not getting your spell off, but once you're in the air you're golden. But in 5th, casting during combat is fine, but actually flying during combat is... hazardous.

That's not a good thing or a bad thing by itself, but it's a major difference from 2nd, 3rd, and 4th (where sustain effects couldn't normally be disrupted outside of action denial). And it'll take a while before we see how it shakes out.

Cheers!
Landon


The Basic rules probably aren't a prime example of the system's alleged modularity. We'll probably be waiting for the DMG until we see that sort of changing power.

Shadow Lodge

Kagehiro wrote:
The Basic rules probably aren't a prime example of the system's alleged modularity. We'll probably be waiting for the DMG until we see that sort of changing power.

Ya, this is why I was disappointed that the DMG isnt going to be released until 3 months after the PH and MM.

Edit: At least thats the release date Amazon shows for the DMG, November.


R_Chance wrote:
A huge change for 3.x, normal for 2E and prior editions iirc. Damage always disrupted spell casters in previous editions. Personally I think damage should have a good chance of disrupting spellcasting (if not always). If you're in pain from being hit or dodging to avoid being eviscerated (and a loss of hp could be either) it might just spoil your concentration..

At higher levels you're almost assured to lose concentration if you take CR appropriate damage.

Dark Archive

Kagehiro wrote:
The Basic rules probably aren't a prime example of the system's alleged modularity. We'll probably be waiting for the DMG until we see that sort of changing power.

The DMG is where I am getting the greatest indication of modularity and dial control. I'd be curious to see how they handle each system "setting" when it comes to published modules.

I think the DMG can turn off or offer some alternate power uses - but if those variances are not mentioned in the PHB there is going to be a big disconnect between GM expectations and player expectations. Ex: in a harsher game the DMG may define death threshold differently than the basic/PHB version - if this "setting" is only previewed and featured in the DMG it could cause a major communication problem in some groups.

I hope the PHB at least glosses over the various DMG levers - or that it strongly indicates that DM will have levers that will change the way the game plays to minimize confusion in play expectations.


just got through the basic pdf. It seems more complex as I thought after I was told that it is "friendly" to newbies and also oldhands which dont like many rules. Its definately not as simple as Lablord or the original red box. As already mentioned here, there are several not very convincing exceptions to the basic rules and I guess we will see alot more in the upcoming books. (eg the concentration rules for the wizard are quite confusing, or its unclear if you have to rewrite the difficulty of the modules because you dont use the resting rules which are surely not everybodies taste, or its confusing that you dont use advantage/disadvantage - generally a nifty idea - but instead a fixed -2/-5 for cover, etc. etc.)

the layout of the basic pdf is ok, but not really phantastic. Even the simplest Pathfinder books have a more professional layout. What is really annoying that in my copy there was no index and no table of contents which page numbers.

Also I dont like that crunch and fluff is mixed, sometimes even in the same sentence. Either this is intended or it shows a lack of understanding how modern rulebooks should be written.

Really I am disappointed a little bit. I thought its the "holy grail" for the lazy GM who likes a simple but effective game system but its not.


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Enpeze wrote:
the layout of the basic pdf is ok, but not really phantastic. Even the simplest Pathfinder books have a more professional layout. What is really annoying that in my copy there was no index and no table of contents which page numbers.

This may change. The current Basic PDF is not the final version. They still have material from the Monster Manual and Dungeon Masters Guide to add to it. After that, they may include an index/table of contents.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Auxmaulous wrote:
Kagehiro wrote:
The Basic rules probably aren't a prime example of the system's alleged modularity. We'll probably be waiting for the DMG until we see that sort of changing power.

The DMG is where I am getting the greatest indication of modularity and dial control. I'd be curious to see how they handle each system "setting" when it comes to published modules.

I think the DMG can turn off or offer some alternate power uses - but if those variances are not mentioned in the PHB there is going to be a big disconnect between GM expectations and player expectations. Ex: in a harsher game the DMG may define death threshold differently than the basic/PHB version - if this "setting" is only previewed and featured in the DMG it could cause a major communication problem in some groups.

I hope the PHB at least glosses over the various DMG levers - or that it strongly indicates that DM will have levers that will change the way the game plays to minimize confusion in play expectations.

You mean similar to houserules? Not every game is the same, and anyone who goes in thinking they are deserves to be blindsided when it turns out different. Just because it says something in the PHB doesn't mean that is absolute.

Take your desire to change the evoker wizard's Sculpt Spell ability. I don't think there will be alternatives in the DMG or any other book for that. Even with the different rules modules that could be in the DMG, it doesn't matter if they are previewed or referenced in the PHB. Just tell the players what is different from in the PHB, like people have done for the past 40 years.

The DM has always had levers that change the way the game plays, whether officially published or written down on notebook paper. Don't take this post as being hostile towards you. Just your last paragraph doesn't make much sense to me, as games play differently depending on who is running it. Whether anything in the DMG is mentioned in the PHB or not, it shouldn't really matter.

I see the DMG, just from what people have heard about what could be in there, as a book of premade houserules. A houserule for those who want spell/mana points instead of vancian spells/day. A houserule for those who want THAC0 and bring back the confusion so many people felt towards it from pre-3rd edition. A houserule for firearms. Sounds like a fusion of the DMG and Unearthed Arcana.

It does make me sad that the DMG won't be out until November 2014. I wish they would just release the 3 core books all at the same time, not 1-3 months apart.


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Quote:
It does make me sad that the DMG won't be out until November 2014. I wish they would just release the 3 core books all at the same time, not 1-3 months apart.

Hey, it could be worse. For 1st edition AD&D, the Monster Manual was released in 1977, the Players Handbook in 1978, and the Dungeon Masters Guide in 1979.


Auxmaulous wrote:

The DMG is where I am getting the greatest indication of modularity and dial control. I'd be curious to see how they handle each system "setting" when it comes to published modules.

I think the DMG can turn off or offer some alternate power uses - but if those variances are not mentioned in the PHB there is going to be a big disconnect between GM expectations and player expectations. Ex: in a harsher game the DMG may define death threshold differently than the basic/PHB version - if this "setting" is only previewed and featured in the DMG it could cause a major communication problem in some groups.

I hope the PHB at least glosses over the various DMG levers - or that it strongly indicates that DM will have levers that will change the way the game plays to minimize confusion in play expectations.

Well, one indication that they're being as inclusive as they can be as far as settings go is that the PHB includes various setting pantheons like FR and Greyhawk plus others I can't recall atm. Cosmologically they combine a few different explanations to try to unify them.

Enzene wrote:
Really I am disappointed a little bit. I thought its the "holy grail" for the lazy GM who likes a simple but effective game system but its not.

However you developed that impression, it is indeed wrong. I don't know of any D&D or D&D-esque system designed for laziness. It's certainly less verbose than 3.x and Pathfinder.

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Adjule wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:
Kagehiro wrote:
The Basic rules probably aren't a prime example of the system's alleged modularity. We'll probably be waiting for the DMG until we see that sort of changing power.

The DMG is where I am getting the greatest indication of modularity and dial control. I'd be curious to see how they handle each system "setting" when it comes to published modules.

I think the DMG can turn off or offer some alternate power uses - but if those variances are not mentioned in the PHB there is going to be a big disconnect between GM expectations and player expectations. Ex: in a harsher game the DMG may define death threshold differently than the basic/PHB version - if this "setting" is only previewed and featured in the DMG it could cause a major communication problem in some groups.

I hope the PHB at least glosses over the various DMG levers - or that it strongly indicates that DM will have levers that will change the way the game plays to minimize confusion in play expectations.

You mean similar to houserules? Not every game is the same, and anyone who goes in thinking they are deserves to be blindsided when it turns out different. Just because it says something in the PHB doesn't mean that is absolute.

Take your desire to change the evoker wizard's Sculpt Spell ability. I don't think there will be alternatives in the DMG or any other book for that. Even with the different rules modules that could be in the DMG, it doesn't matter if they are previewed or referenced in the PHB. Just tell the players what is different from in the PHB, like people have done for the past 40 years.

Well, no the difference in house rules will be that I will be making a change from the existing rules based on something I want and create for the game.

System modularity (the alternate rules in the boxes in 2nd ed for example) isn't going to be a problem in my home game, but if any number of players out there want to play in a public game there could be some disconnect as to what rules are being used since they won't be previewed or listed in the PHB. The PHB is the default and the DMG is the change - if every player picks up the DMG and studies the modular styles then their won't be an issue. If most players focus on the player content and not the DMG settings (since they won't be in the PHB) then I can see this causing some confusion in casual games, games at game stores, people who game in clubs, etc.

Adjule wrote:

The DM has always had levers that change the way the game plays, whether officially published or written down on notebook paper. Don't take this post as being hostile towards you. Just your last paragraph doesn't make much sense to me, as games play differently depending on who is running it. Whether anything in the DMG is mentioned in the PHB or not, it shouldn't really matter.

I see the DMG, just from what people have heard about what could be in there, as a book of premade houserules. A houserule for those who want spell/mana points instead of vancian spells/day. A houserule for those who want THAC0 and bring back the confusion so many people felt towards it from pre-3rd edition. A houserule for firearms. Sounds like a fusion of the DMG and Unearthed Arcana.

Sure the DM has - and if playing amongst a group of friends that works ok. But in in mind the level of rules lawyering, RAW vs. RAI discussions and general Player vs. DM play style expectations and conflict posts that get tossed around the boards.

Got it?

Ok, now throw out a system where the players have a book with one set of rules and the DM has those rules and then a whole other set of rules to change the way the game plays.

Do you see the potential problem when running pick-up games at the FLGS?

It isn't a deal breaker for me - I do think that assumed play expectations in public or casual play is going to require a lot more communication than simply "I'm running PF or PFS using all the rules".

I don't know how these dials are going to be set up - a bunch of micro changes to make it run like 1e or a suite of changes that affects the entire game play experience like patch.


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It can't be worse than 1E explicitly stating in the rules that players are not allowed to read the DMG.


4E pubic games weren't that much better, honestly, as they usually required the player to read the DM's mind to have any idea of what to reasonably expect.

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Buri wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:

The DMG is where I am getting the greatest indication of modularity and dial control. I'd be curious to see how they handle each system "setting" when it comes to published modules.

I think the DMG can turn off or offer some alternate power uses - but if those variances are not mentioned in the PHB there is going to be a big disconnect between GM expectations and player expectations. Ex: in a harsher game the DMG may define death threshold differently than the basic/PHB version - if this "setting" is only previewed and featured in the DMG it could cause a major communication problem in some groups.

I hope the PHB at least glosses over the various DMG levers - or that it strongly indicates that DM will have levers that will change the way the game plays to minimize confusion in play expectations.

Well, one indication that they're being as inclusive as they can be as far as settings go is that the PHB includes various setting pantheons like FR and Greyhawk plus others I can't recall atm. Cosmologically they combine a few different explanations to try to unify them.

Not talking about campaign settings I was talking about system or mechanical settings. If anything that is something Wotc has as a strong point - solid IP.

On the campaign side I think they are pretty solid and have some major nostalgic draws. The FR brand is a little damaged so I'm not sure what they are going to do to fix it (it was all a dream?) but their other campaigns are a big draw for many people - I have no doubts that they will use the IP they paid for when then acquired TSR to help promote 5e.


But that's going to be true of public play regardless of where the modularity is published. Characters may not be portable from one system modularity variation to another, for example.

Frankly I'd be shocked if there isn't a default set that almost all public play and the vast majority of modules are aimed at. Adapt that for your private home games as you wish.

But then I've always been skeptical of the modularity concept.

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sunshadow21 wrote:
4E pubic games weren't that much better, honestly, as they usually required the player to read the DM's mind to have any idea of what to reasonably expect.

Don't get me wrong guys - every edition has issues.

In this case though, modularity is baked into the DMG and not the PHB.

So you can have a player make up a character with X,Y, Z powers and the here comes the DM saying - "no, it doesn't work that way in the game because we are following these rules right here".

I love the idea of modularity and I hope my game is in there (somewhere) when the DMG comes out, I just hope it doesn't cause too much chaos in the public or casual gaming arena.


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JoeJ wrote:

It can't be worse than 1E explicitly stating in the rules that players are not allowed to read the DMG.

I never understood how that was supposed to work. Once you decide to GM, you can never play again? And you have to make that decision, once and for all, before even looking at the book?

It certainly wasn't a common rule anywhere I played.

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thejeff wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

It can't be worse than 1E explicitly stating in the rules that players are not allowed to read the DMG.

I never understood how that was supposed to work. Once you decide to GM, you can never play again? And you have to make that decision, once and for all, before even looking at the book?

It certainly wasn't a common rule anywhere I played.

I do recall big G mentioning it though - in the 1st ed DMG in fact.

I think back then their wasn't as much chair changing as their was with 3rd ed +.


thejeff wrote:

But that's going to be true of public play regardless of where the modularity is published. Characters may not be portable from one system modularity variation to another, for example.

Frankly I'd be shocked if there isn't a default set that almost all public play and the vast majority of modules are aimed at. Adapt that for your private home games as you wish.

But then I've always been skeptical of the modularity concept.

I would certainly hope that any official organized play will have it's own specific ruleset the same way that PFS does. From what little I played in LFR, there seemed to be very little common ground for resolving routine questions/issues, and the level of table variance was really bad. At least with 5E, it looks like most of the major stuff will be able to be largely defined, even if the DM still holds control over the exact details.


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Auxmaulous wrote:
thejeff wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

It can't be worse than 1E explicitly stating in the rules that players are not allowed to read the DMG.

I never understood how that was supposed to work. Once you decide to GM, you can never play again? And you have to make that decision, once and for all, before even looking at the book?

It certainly wasn't a common rule anywhere I played.

I do recall big G mentioning it though - in the 1st ed DMG in fact.

I think back then their wasn't as much chair changing as their was with 3rd ed +.

Yeah, I remember it to. I always took it as more of a "Players don't need to know any of this and it's probably better if they don't read it, at least at first".

OTOH, the taboo against metagaming hadn't really developed early on. Players were expected to carry knowledge about monsters and traps and similar things on to the next character to get better at beating the game. Looking at the monsters and maybe magic items especially was almost getting an unfair edge.

On the gripping hand, by the early 80s at least, that had changed in many groups. Especially, I suspect, those who came in from a fantasy background rather than a wargaming one.

And I never met a GM who didn't want to play whenever possible. We just kept the good ones too busy running to get much chance.


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Gary Gygax, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master Guide, Preface wrote:
As this book is the exclusive precinct of the DM, you must view any non-DM player possessing it as something less than worthy of honorable death. Peeping players there will undoubtedly be, but they are simply lessening their own enjoyment of the game by taking away some of the sense of wonder that otherwise arises from a game which has rules hidden from participants. It is in your interests, and in theirs, to discourage possession of this book by players. If any of your participants do read herein, it is suggested that you assess them a heavy fee for consulting "sages" and other sources of information not normally attainable by the inhabitants of your milieu. If they express knowledge which could only be garnered by consulting these pages, a magic item or two can be taken as payment -- insufficient, but perhaps it will tend to discourage such actions.

Talk about in-character solutions to out-of-character problems. ;P


Joana wrote:
Gary Gygax, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master Guide, Preface wrote:
As this book is the exclusive precinct of the DM, you must view any non-DM player possessing it as something less than worthy of honorable death. Peeping players there will undoubtedly be, but they are simply lessening their own enjoyment of the game by taking away some of the sense of wonder that otherwise arises from a game which has rules hidden from participants. It is in your interests, and in theirs, to discourage possession of this book by players. If any of your participants do read herein, it is suggested that you assess them a heavy fee for consulting "sages" and other sources of information not normally attainable by the inhabitants of your milieu. If they express knowledge which could only be garnered by consulting these pages, a magic item or two can be taken as payment -- insufficient, but perhaps it will tend to discourage such actions.
Talk about in-character solutions to out-of-character problems. ;P

Actually that's a bit less strict than I remembered or was implied. The use of "non-DM players" implies that players who are also DMs have a valid reason for reading it. There's definitely something about peeking behind the curtain and losing the sense of wonder, but after playing for awhile, even without digging into the DMG, that starts to fade anyway.

Paizo Glitterati Robot

Removed a couple posts/replies. Personal sniping combined with edition war baiting really doesn't belong in this thread or on paizo.com.


Auxmaulous wrote:

Don't get me wrong guys - every edition has issues.

In this case though, modularity is baked into the DMG and not the PHB.

So you can have a player make up a character with X,Y, Z powers and the here comes the DM saying - "no, it doesn't work that way in the game because we are following these rules right here".

I love the idea of modularity and I hope my game is in there (somewhere) when the DMG comes out, I just hope it doesn't cause too much chaos in the public or casual gaming arena.

So it becomes a measure of the DM to notify you up front of which rules are in play. That's a bad thing how?


thejeff wrote:
JoeJ wrote:

It can't be worse than 1E explicitly stating in the rules that players are not allowed to read the DMG.

I never understood how that was supposed to work. Once you decide to GM, you can never play again? And you have to make that decision, once and for all, before even looking at the book?

It certainly wasn't a common rule anywhere I played.

It wasn't followed anywhere that I ever played either. It couldn't very well have been, since we all took turns DMing.


Buri wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:

Don't get me wrong guys - every edition has issues.

In this case though, modularity is baked into the DMG and not the PHB.

So you can have a player make up a character with X,Y, Z powers and the here comes the DM saying - "no, it doesn't work that way in the game because we are following these rules right here".

I love the idea of modularity and I hope my game is in there (somewhere) when the DMG comes out, I just hope it doesn't cause too much chaos in the public or casual gaming arena.

So it becomes a measure of the DM to notify you up front of which rules are in play. That's a bad thing how?

That's always been an expectation for some games. In some, like GURPS, you can't even begin to create a character until the GM tells you which rules are in effect.

Dark Archive

Buri wrote:
Auxmaulous wrote:

Don't get me wrong guys - every edition has issues.

In this case though, modularity is baked into the DMG and not the PHB.

So you can have a player make up a character with X,Y, Z powers and the here comes the DM saying - "no, it doesn't work that way in the game because we are following these rules right here".

I love the idea of modularity and I hope my game is in there (somewhere) when the DMG comes out, I just hope it doesn't cause too much chaos in the public or casual gaming arena.

So it becomes a measure of the DM to notify you up front of which rules are in play. That's a bad thing how?

Yes - for people in a casual play format who don't really know each other it's a bad thing. It's an extra hurdle in play expectations and requires good communication.

One of the main strengths of PFS is that it's supposed to operate under a very fixed format/ set of rules. PFS equivalent for D&D will probably use a fixed rule set while casual play will involve the DM explaining which sub-set of rules he is using.

Depending on the severity of the rules sets and changes between gameplay (from version to version) this can become a problem - at least on a communication/assumption of play level.

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