Lessons for 2nd Edition: 5th Edition D&D and Pathfinder's Complexity


Homebrew and House Rules

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wakedown wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
I don't like that 5e is designed around minimizing player choice (at least compared to earlier additions)

I'm assuming we're talking about "Core PF 1.0" and "Core 5E".

Can I get some more examples here where you feel like 5e is minimizing player choice?

--

I see two areas of "having more choices available": 1) character building and 2) in-game play.

I imagine you're talking about character building choices, since 5e's action economy revision really means a lot more in-game choices per round than core PF.

--

As a random example, let's say I want to make a dwarf paladin, and I'm holding the PF CRB and the 5e PHB.

Let's say he's a melee front-liner and is going to use an axe, so I go with basic S14 D12 C16 I10 W10 Ch14 as my stats in a 20pt buy.

Let's assume my equipment, language and nationality are a wash for both systems (and I think they are).

What really are my choices/decisions in building a PC?

Pathfinder 1.0:

5e:
Time: Character Creation, Level 1

No decisions: Alignment, Divine Sense, Lay Hands

1. Who is my deity? About 100 deities to choose from, but I won't give extra points to 5e here since most people will use a campaign setting to get these.

2. I pick two skills to be really good at for a while. Which two?

3. Which 2 personality traits do I want?

4. What ideal do I want?

5. What kind of bond do I want?

6. What flaw do I want?

7. What's my background?

8. Which skill do I want from it? Which tool?

Time: Character Creation, Level 2

1. I get spells (already!). I get to pick 1 + Charisma modifier, so 3 spells known each day. Technically, 3 decisions.

2. Which fighting style do I want? Defense? Dueling? Great Weapons? Protection?

Time: Character Creation, Level 3

1. Which oath am I going to take (this is a lot like an archetype, which are core, versus non-core)

Time: Character Creation, Level 4

1. Which feat do I want? It's going to make me good at many things (about equal in worth to 3-4 PF feats)

2. Which spell do I want to add for my 4th spell?

Character Building Summary:
By the time I've reached 4th level, I feel like I've made a lot more interesting choices in core 5e over my core PF counterpart:

a) I made a lot of choices in my background

b) I made more fulfilling choices about my skills (even though there were less individual choices). I have several skills I'm really good at and will always be good at. Athletics feels like a better investment since it covers swimming, climbing and jumping.

b) I picked a fighting style

c) I picked an oath/archetype

d) I've selected 4 spells to use, and I'm about to get access to 2nd level spells at 5th level

e) I picked a feat, and it's a doozy of one, comparable to picking 3-4 feats from the 3.5/PF era. In general, I was likely going down a "feat chain" anyway... so having say Weapon Focus + Power Attack + Cleave all combined into a "feat set" really wasn't a big deal.

On e): The choice of feat is still one choice and I have earlier gone into discussing how a "good" build is probably going to have only one to three feats in its whole career. I know feats give you more but that is still one "choice". You can't break the feats apart to get the single mechanic you want.

I can't help but notice that you stopped at level 4, just before the Paladin's spell list starts opening up and chooses its bond and what-have you. You do not mention "choice" of spells (which is still a choice even if it is not permanent). You also omit skills from intelligence and favored class bonuses (which you will choose at every level as well).

And I am not so sure I appreciate you talking like I have not acknowledge your points about choices at the table already. Also, I have already argued that you end up lacking meaningful choices at the table more than once or twice a fight when you blow your heal and superiority die if you have them. And I will again mention that I think it is kind of neat that you can choose the level of complexity you want at the table based on archetype and class. That is pretty keen.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
I can't help but notice that you stopped at level 4, just before the Paladin's spell list starts opening up and chooses its bond and what-have you. You do not mention "choice" of spells (which is still a choice even if it is not permanent). You also omit skills from intelligence and favored class bonuses (which you will choose at every level as well).

Out of curiosity, as I do not have access to the book, do the paladin's choice of options remain fairly static (i.e. run along the same pattern - to clarify what I'm asking) in 5e, as he outlined in his comparison?

As you mention, in PF, the options really, really start opening up at 5th+ for Paladins, for example.


If the PFRPG core rulebook had the OGL stuff from Unearthed Arcana in it, would you get pissy at DMs that disallow the recharge rules?


Thelemic_Noun wrote:
If the PFRPG core rulebook had the OGL stuff from Unearthed Arcana in it, would you get pissy at DMs that disallow the recharge rules?

I don't know if this is quite an apt comparison, as it's definitively published in a different book; I think it'd get dismissed on those grounds, easily enough.

I'd suggest, instead, that Psionics and the Optional Variant Rule "Psionics Are Different" is more similar to feats in 5E.

The suggestion is there for the use of those that want it, but the baseline presumptions of the game are that it's not used.


Tacticslion wrote:
The suggestion is there for the use of those that want it, but the baseline presumptions of the game are that it's not used.

Hmmm. I doubt that. Or at the least I think it's a foolish presumption on their part if so.

I'd be shocked if feats weren't the default in the vast majority of games. It will be interesting to see what they do in the rules for their organized play.


thejeff wrote:
I'd be shocked if feats weren't the default in the vast majority of games.

Remember, folks, at least one person each day will be discovering tabletop RPGs for the first time. They won't have our preconceptions.


Thelemic_Noun wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd be shocked if feats weren't the default in the vast majority of games.
Remember, folks, at least one person each day will be discovering tabletop RPGs for the first time. They won't have our preconceptions.

And they'll look at the core book and go "That looks good" and allow feats. Assuming they're not strongly warned against using them in the PHB.


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Thelemic_Noun wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd be shocked if feats weren't the default in the vast majority of games.
Remember, folks, at least one person each day will be discovering tabletop RPGs for the first time. They won't have our preconceptions.

I would add to this that players who enjoy D&D 3.5 and 4e are predisposed to liking feats, even seeing them as essential to the game.

I've had enough conversations with people who are critical of 3.5 and 4e to know that Feats=Good is not a uniform opinion of TTRPG players.


Squirrel_Dude wrote:
Thelemic_Noun wrote:
thejeff wrote:
I'd be shocked if feats weren't the default in the vast majority of games.
Remember, folks, at least one person each day will be discovering tabletop RPGs for the first time. They won't have our preconceptions.

I would add to this that players who enjoy D&D 3.5 and 4e are predisposed to liking feats, even seeing them as essential to the game.

I've had enough conversations with people who are critical of 3.5 and 4e to know that Feats=Good is not a uniform opinion of TTRPG players.

True. There may be experienced gamers who've developed opinions about feats in previous systems who will apply those opinions, rightly or wrongly, to 5E. I suspect most of those who don't like feats will also be making other fairly drastic changes to the system. Enough to remove them from the default category.

I continue to believe that new players will look at them and think "Oh cool, more stuff I can do" and not realize the problems with them, if there are any, until they have more experience.


I the idea of "problems" is at all addressed to me or anything I wrote, I'd like to say that I don't actually find the inclusion of feats problematic, per se, but am simply noting that they (as I recall from my read-through, though I could be getting that confused with the play test) aren't the core presumptions of the game, but rather an optional variant rules system that happens to be printed into the same book that the core presumptions are.

In that way, I'm not actually saying that feats shouldn't be included, or someone using them is doing it wrong. It's just not the core presumptions of the game.

Also, I've heard people complaining that rolled scores are impossible now for balance purposes, but I'm less certain of that - at least, I'm equally as uncertain for balance purposes as I am for other editions of the game.

Yes, higher scores are the equivalent of feats, but... let's say that you play under the presumption of no feats (which seemed to be the default anyway).

Under that paradigm, as you level, you gain ability score increases.

How many?

Well, that depends on your class, but let's presume the slowest progression - cleric, at every 4th level, I believe.

Random Abilities Compared:
So let's say that someone rolled:

Abe
4d6 ⇒ (6, 4, 6, 6) = 22- 4 = 18
4d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 3, 1) = 10-1 = 9
4d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 2, 1) = 10-1 = 9
4d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 1, 2) = 14-1 = 13
4d6 ⇒ (5, 6, 1, 2) = 14-1 = 13
4d6 ⇒ (5, 3, 1, 4) = 13-1 = 12

Cede
4d6 ⇒ (3, 3, 3, 2) = 11-2 = 9
4d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 4, 6) = 16-2 = 14
4d6 ⇒ (6, 6, 4, 5) = 21-4 = 17
4d6 ⇒ (4, 5, 5, 6) = 20-4 = 16
4d6 ⇒ (6, 3, 3, 3) = 15-3 = 12
4d6 ⇒ (1, 2, 5, 4) = 12-1 = 11

Those are pretty skewed stats.

Let's put them both into clerics, put their highest at wisdom, and increase their stats over time.

So at 1st Level:
Abe has:
STR 9, DEX 9, CON 12, INT 12, WIS 18, CHA 13

Cede has:
STR 9, DEX 11, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 17, CHA 16
-----------------------------------

Okay, so at 4th level, they become:
Abe has:
STR 9, DEX 9, CON 12, INT 12, WIS 20, CHA 13

Cede has:
STR 9, DEX 11, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 19, CHA 16
-----------------------------------

Okay, so at 8th level, they become:
Abe has:
STR 9, DEX 9, CON 12, INT 12, WIS 20, CHA 15

Cede has:
STR 9, DEX 11, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 20, CHA 17
-----------------------------------

Okay, so at 12th level, they become:
Abe has:
STR 9, DEX 9, CON 12, INT 12, WIS 20, CHA 17

Cede has:
STR 11, DEX 11, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 20, CHA 17
-----------------------------------

Okay, so at 16th level, they become:
Abe has:
STR 9, DEX 9, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 20, CHA 17

Cede has:
STR 12, DEX 12, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 20, CHA 17
-----------------------------------

Okay, so at 20th level, they become:
Abe has:
STR 11, DEX 9, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 20, CHA 17

Cede has:
STR 12, DEX 12, CON 12, INT 14, WIS 20, CHA 19
-----------------------------------

That's not that big a difference.

I could have pushed certain scores more, but over-all, I'm looking at it, and it doesn't look that bad.

It gets even better if a person with better stats chooses something like a cleric, and person with lesser stats chooses something like a fighter.

Seems to me that it works out pretty well.

EDIT: The point of the above isn't to say that all of the sets that engage in random rolling will come out so well. The point is simply that, in the end, I think rolling is just as balanced in this edition as rolling in others.

Also, I'm not actually seeing the "optional" part of feats in the free basic rules. Interesting.


Hey, is there any way that charm spells or effects is not recalled afterwords? Or are does the person charmed always remember that they were charmed (or dominated)?

Silver Crusade

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Excaliburproxy wrote:
Before I get into that, I want to say that I really like the inspiration system a lot actually. Though that is in a lot of games (I will point towards Spellbound Kingdoms some more), I think pathfinder could stand to crib the inspiration mechanic (to the extent that hero points don't already fill the same niche of rewarding good role play). You have a point in that Pathfinder option tend to choose background stuff based on mechanics they want. I think you will see the identical thing happen with backgrounds. People are going to choose backgrounds to get the skills they want for their character.

It seems that way at first glance, that people would choose their background for mechanical benefits first and then weave a story around those mechanics that explains why you have them. That's how I've made characters for decades. : )

But in 5E you have no need to do that! Why? Because there is the default assumption that you can customise those backgrounds in any way you like, bearing in mind that no matter what background you choose you get exactly two skills, two (combined) tool proficiencies and/or languages, and one role-playing benefit. You can choose any published role-playing benefit, or work with the DM to make up a new one. There will doubtless be more backgrounds published later, with new role-play benefits.

I'll use the background I chose for my swashbuckler as an example. This is the PC I'm playing in D&D Encounters.

I chose the Noble background, because it's great for the swashbuckling concept (though not mandatory, by any means). As is, the Noble background gives two skills: History and Persuasion (which is Diplomacy by another name). Persuasion was perfect, but History? So I swapped History for Insight (Sense Motive by another name), on the grounds that the political shenanigans between the many noble houses of Waterdeep would lead, by a process of Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest skill, to nobles who can get ahead of the game by understanding what your rivals are thinking.

As is, the Noble background gives one bonus language of your choice, and one proficiency in the gaming set of your choice. I swapped the language for a tool proficiency, and chose thieves' tools, to suit my swashbuckling scoundrel/intrigue-laden noble. I know that he will have a weakness for a pretty face and, well, 'love laughs at locksmiths', right?

I also swapped my gaming set proficiency for vehicles(land), because I imagine taking my latest lady out for a spin in my new buggy. : )

I looked at all the published role-playing benefits (there are two for the Noble), knowing that I could swap it if I wanted (I'd only have to think of a justification for it-bet I can!). I strongly considered 'Military Rank/officer' from the Soldier background (the Three Musketeers were part of the King's personal guard; all were at least 'gentlemen', and Athos was a noble), but in the end I was happy with the original Noble role-playing benefit.

Each background comes with tables for personality traits, ideals, bonds and flaws. Restrictive? Not a bit of it! You can choose any on the list, roll if you want, choose any from another list, or just use these as examples to inspire you. In truth, not restrictive at all! I chose two personality traits from the Noble tables, one ideal from the Noble table, made up a bond myself (I fluffed my silvered rapier as a 'Faberge Blade', made for me by the great swordsmith Faberge himself, because I saved his life without even knowing who I was saving), but instead of the 'wants as much sex as possible' choice from the Noble table I chose 'I can't resist a pretty face' from another table, because when I factor in my 'falls in and out of love easily' personality trait, I'm all about the emotion, not about notches on my bedpost.

It's important to note that I wasn't making up house rules here. Customising backgrounds like this is part of the core rules, not optional rules, even for organised play.

Quote:

I think in terms of character building, there are two paths of enjoyment. In one path, I am looking through the rules and I realize that there is some synthesis of feats and class features that lets a character do a thing that no character I played before could do. There is a roleplay/writing angle to this in that I actually enjoy thinking about the lives and backgrounds of people that have an atypical spread of skills (like my cavalier build that rides a cheetah or my elven void wizard that comes from a prominent magical family and lineage, defying his family's more "western" magical traditions).

In the second path of enjoyment, I start with the character concept. I think "I want to build a Paladin who is like Robocop." Then I pour over the gun rules and paladin archetypes that make that roleplaying angle mechanically viable. Sometimes I can't figure out the puzzle, but in pathfinder there are enough rules that I eventually can get it to work. There is both the pleasure of playing the character I want as well as the pleasure of solving the rules puzzle and Paizo never even needed to make a robocop archetype; it is all in there for someone who cares to look.

I think there is little difference in practice between the two editions. In each case, reading through the rules for character creation gives you character ideas. It speaks well of 5E that almost every class gave me a character idea that enthused me. This process is unchanged between editions, it's just that the details change.

For example, once I read the combat rules I realised that I could, at last, make a Dex based, mobile, charismatic swashbuckler, and still have an extremely effective martial. As soon as I read that the fighter option of Battle Master allowed me to make a fighter who could parry and riposte, my first character build in 5E was obvious.

Trying to make this concept (long desired for me) in PF is ridiculously hard, and to do it in PF I have to buy the new ACG and even then rely on an unpublished theoretical Dex-to-damage-for-a-rapier feat. In 5E I can do it right out of the box.

Now, reading through the various PF books gives me ideas for PF characters, and some of these aren't do-able (yet!) in 5E. But reading through the rules in the Marvel Heroic Role-Playing game gives me ideas for characters that can't be made in PF; it's not really a criticism of any system, it's a feature of every system that the rules themselves give you ideas for character concepts. As more 5E stuff gets published, you'll have enough crunch to give you as many character ideas to last you a gaming lifetime, just like PF.

About whether 'feats are core/not core': in the 5E PHB, feats, multi-classing (and the optional human starting package which includes a free feat) are 'optional', but I think that this is just a way of presenting rules for the newbie as opposed to the 'preferred' way to play. For that, we can look at the required rules for making a 5E character for organised play:-

Point-buy/average HP is required, but how can it be otherwise for organised play? This doesn't really tell us what the 'preferred' way for home play might be.

More revealing is the fact that the so-called 'optional' rules for feats/multiclassing/human bonuses are all included in organised play, indicating to me that it's 'preferred' that all of these rules will be used by everyone who has got their heads around how the game system works.

Anyway, the purpose of this thread is to steal ideas from 5E to use in PF 2.0. For me, the game engine combat/action rules, where there is no 'move action + standard action OR full-round action'; there is instead one action per turn (in which you can make all the attacks you have), during which you can move your speed, breaking up movement between attacks however you like, with one free 'interacting with your environment' per turn.

Also, finesse being a weapon property (which includes Dex-to-damage) instead of a feat would open up viable concepts so far denied in PF. Even after seven years worth of PF material, I can't get Dex-to-damage with my rapier for a PFS character. I'm a fencer in real life, I've been wanting this for thirty years!


wakedown wrote:
I am continuously in the mode where I'm mining it for house rules for PF, but am now starting to worry the house rules document is getting unwieldy. :)

~300 pages unwieldy? ;)

Shadow Lodge

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300 pages?

So it's like Kirth's house rules, but cut in half?

:P

Shadow Lodge

Buri wrote:
~300 pages unwieldy? ;)

The house rules "doc" certainly is... with all this artwork, and the hardcover binding. :)


So, I took a look at 5e's basic rules via PDF. Nothing really jumped out at me as great or terrible - just different - until I hit the exhaustion rules. Once I read the rules, I went back and checked the authors, specifically rules development, and saw a familiar face from the brilliant (in my opinion) design team that did Star Wars Saga Edition (SWSE). The SWSE did one major thing that I felt was not-so-brilliant - one might so so far as to say game breaking, and it looks like it has made it into 5e - a death spiral Condition Track, in the form of the Exhaustion rules.

We had to House Rule extensively to remove this completely horrible idea "feature" from our SWSE games, as it essentially gives each character and opponent (PC, NPC, and monster) around 6-7 effective Hit Points against certain builds.

Is this an optional rule or is it a standard rule? How common are effects which cause exhaustion, in the form of spells, class features, and so forth?

Paizo Glitterati Robot

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Removed some derailing fact versus opinion debate posts. Guys, these kinds of posts add nothing of the conversation. The level of hostility towards others in the conversation needs to dial way back here.


Da'ath wrote:

So, I took a look at 5e's basic rules via PDF. Nothing really jumped out at me as great or terrible - just different - until I hit the exhaustion rules. Once I read the rules, I went back and checked the authors, specifically rules development, and saw a familiar face from the brilliant (in my opinion) design team that did Star Wars Saga Edition (SWSE). The SWSE did one major thing that I felt was not-so-brilliant - one might so so far as to say game breaking, and it looks like it has made it into 5e - a death spiral Condition Track, in the form of the Exhaustion rules.

We had to House Rule extensively to remove this completely horrible idea "feature" from our SWSE games, as it essentially gives each character and opponent (PC, NPC, and monster) around 6-7 effective Hit Points against certain builds.

Is this an optional rule or is it a standard rule? How common are effects which cause exhaustion, in the form of spells, class features, and so forth?

I don't have the book in front of me now, but can you summarize the problem so I can check it out later? In going through the classes over the past couple nights I didn't see anywhere that exhaustion came in, but I haven't gotten too deep in the spells yet.


Da'ath wrote:

So, I took a look at 5e's basic rules via PDF. Nothing really jumped out at me as great or terrible - just different - until I hit the exhaustion rules. Once I read the rules, I went back and checked the authors, specifically rules development, and saw a familiar face from the brilliant (in my opinion) design team that did Star Wars Saga Edition (SWSE). The SWSE did one major thing that I felt was not-so-brilliant - one might so so far as to say game breaking, and it looks like it has made it into 5e - a death spiral Condition Track, in the form of the Exhaustion rules.

We had to House Rule extensively to remove this completely horrible idea "feature" from our SWSE games, as it essentially gives each character and opponent (PC, NPC, and monster) around 6-7 effective Hit Points against certain builds.

Is this an optional rule or is it a standard rule? How common are effects which cause exhaustion, in the form of spells, class features, and so forth?

I don't have the PHB, but in the basic rules the only things that cause exhaustion are Forced Marches and lack of food and water. No spells. No abilities. Nothing else.

So far I don't see any signs of a death spiral.


Simon Legrande wrote:
I don't have the book in front of me now, but can you summarize the problem so I can check it out later? In going through the classes over the past couple nights I didn't see anywhere that exhaustion came in, but I haven't gotten too deep in the spells yet.

I'm going on the assumption that you and others are familiar with the death spiral concept. If you're not,

Death Spiral:
It’s a game mechanic involving the resolution system that somehow creates diminishing capabilities of the character and makes it more likely for the character’s capabilities to further diminish. That is to say, suffering an initial failure makes the second failure more likely, which makes the third even more likely and so on. There is virtually no escape from a Death Spiral once it’s begun.

The exhaustion mechanic I have in front of me has 6 levels, which progressively get worse as exhaustion effects are stacked onto a character: Disadvantage (roll twice, take the lowest for those unfamiliar) on ability checks, Halving speed, Disadvantage on Attack and Saves, Halving Hit Points, Speed reduced to 0, and lastly, Death.

This is based entirely on the Condition Track mechanic introduced in SWSE. Through use of certain powers, feats, talents, and even damage types, you could cause an individual to move 1 step down on the Condition Track. With certain combinations of abilities, you could effectively kill a character in 1-2 rounds by ignoring hit point damage and instead making "surgical strikes" against the Condition Track. I've also seen examples of 1-2 hit (not rounds) kills with this system.

I hope that explains the concern.


I'll check it when I get home. Conditions only use up the last page of the PHB so they seem to have minimal overall impact. Like I said, I don't recall seeing any class abilities that cause exhaustion in yourself or others.

I'll take a look at the spells and what few creatures are included in the basic box.

Silver Crusade

Barbarians who choose the frenzy path get exhausted after they use their last rage of the day, IIRC.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Barbarians who choose the frenzy path get exhausted after they use their last rage of the day, IIRC.

So be careful with doing that if you're not eating or sleeping.

I do agree it will be a problem if they later introduce a quick way to exhaust other people. As is, it isn't a problem.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Istovir wrote:


The big problem I have with 3.xx in general including Pathfinder is what happens when there's a significant divergence in system mastery in a group. Then, unless the DM spends a lot of effort building encounters that have a place for everyone in the group, the players with system mastery play the game while the other players basically watch them. This makes on the table tactics and teamwork much less meaningful, because if player A's character is 5x more effective in combat than player C's, what does it matter what player C does?...

It doesn't entirely come down to system mastery here; I feel my system mastery level is similar to that of some other players... who continually outshine me.

Why? Because they're playing high-mastery full casters (the concept they tend to prefer), and I'm playing martial / part casters, also at a high mastery. And since most of the campaigns I'm in have only one encounter per day, the full caster is just more powerful. With no need to conserve resources for the second, third, and fourth encounter of the day, they can solve most situations with spells, they can throw their biggest spells at any fight, and that balancing factor of me having mostly unlimited actions, while they have limited but more powerful actions is gone.

A side note related to this is that much of the martial side of 3e/PF lacks a use for that swift action, while the casters regularly have uses for them.

I saw above a few discussions regarding mechanics to support your abilities, versus not having any mechanics, and I just want to add to that.

Sometimes it's really nice to have mechanics to support that you're a blacksmith, or you can drive a chariot. It's great to have a way to be good at that, it's even better to feel progress (and the more things that advance as you level, the better, because the feeling of progress is a big deal). Other times, though, it's detrimental to have those mechanics, because they get presented as "you can't do this unless". And suddenly your character can't be a blacksmith, because you didn't actually invest skill ranks. Or when the time comes to drive a chariot, you have no idea how. Because you didn't put points into it three levels ago. That's when having those mechanics is very frustrating.

One thing related to this which I hate in 3e/PF is that all those interesting, secondary abilities compete for resources with the core systems. For someone who optimizes, both out of personal interest and out of a sense of necessity in the games I play, spending a limited resource on something that doesn't contribute to the sorts of things the system is built around when I could have hurts.
i.e. I feel bad that my wizard has Breadth of Experience (which is pretty much superfluous on him anyway), when I could have had a more combat-oriented feat. I, and many of the people I play with, would find it hard to even consider spending something like a feat slot on the character's background or downtime activity (magic item crafting excepted).

By the time we spend skill points on things that feel essential (Perception, anyone?), there are none left to spend on something like Craft or Profession.

As far as 5e... I've read about half the PHB so far (only skimmed a few spells). I see a lot of promise, and I'm going to make sure I get to play or run it a little bit, at least. Hard to say much definitively until I've seen it in action. But I like the intent I'm reading from the rules.


Da'ath wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
I don't have the book in front of me now, but can you summarize the problem so I can check it out later? In going through the classes over the past couple nights I didn't see anywhere that exhaustion came in, but I haven't gotten too deep in the spells yet.

I'm going on the assumption that you and others are familiar with the death spiral concept. If you're not, ** spoiler omitted **

The exhaustion mechanic I have in front of me has 6 levels, which progressively get worse as exhaustion effects are stacked onto a character: Disadvantage (roll twice, take the lowest for those unfamiliar) on ability checks, Halving speed, Disadvantage on Attack and Saves, Halving Hit Points, Speed reduced to 0, and lastly, Death.

This is based entirely on the Condition Track mechanic introduced in SWSE. Through use of certain powers, feats, talents, and even damage types, you could cause an individual to move 1 step down on the Condition Track. With certain combinations of abilities, you could effectively kill a character in 1-2 rounds by ignoring hit point damage and instead making "surgical strikes" against the Condition Track. I've also seen examples of 1-2 hit (not rounds) kills with this system.

I hope that explains the concern.

OK, here are the only ways to become exhausted by the current rules:

Barbarian Frenzy - Gain one level when rage ends.
Forced March - Every hour after 8 make a Con save DC 10+1/hr. Gain one level on failed save.
Go without food for more than 3+Con mod days - Gain one level at the end of each day.
Don't drink enough water - DC 15 Con save if you drink half, no save if you have less. Gain one level at the end of each day you don't get enough.

That's all right there so aside from the Barbarian ability it's mostly DM enforced RP stuff. You don't get disadvantage on saves until you've reached 3 levels of exhaustion so it's not really a death spiral. Resting for 8 hours drops a level assuming you get enough food and water.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

PhelanArcetus wrote:

It doesn't entirely come down to system mastery here; I feel my system mastery level is similar to that of some other players... who continually outshine me.

Why? Because they're playing high-mastery full casters (the concept they tend to prefer), and I'm playing martial / part casters, also at a high mastery. And since most of the campaigns I'm in have only one encounter per day, the full caster is just more powerful. With no need to conserve resources for the second, third, and fourth encounter of the day, they can solve most situations with spells, they can throw their biggest spells at any fight, and that balancing factor of me having mostly unlimited actions, while they have limited but more powerful actions is gone.

***

That's less a problem of the system itself, and more a problem of your group literally not playing the game the designers intended. Pathfinder is built under the assumption of 3-5 combat encounters, with an easy encounter (CR = APL) consuming roughly 20% of the group's daily resources. If you're playing a game that deviates from that expectation, you should adjust classes that are balanced against it accordingly. If you're only doing 1 encounter a session, you should be cutting expendable resources like spell slots, rage and bardic performance rounds, channel energy uses, etc. by 40-60%. That alone will likely substantially change the gaming dynamic you're experiencing.

5e does balance the classes more on single instance performance though, so your group might be one that benefits from such a system, which works under different assumptions.

There is also a system mastery disparity in your group; you, and presumably the rest of your group, know that there will only be 1 encounter per session. By choosing a class rewarded for longevity in a campaign where longevity will never be a factor, you have already made a sub-par choice. Unfortunately, unless your GM applies the appropriate modifications to make up for this, you've started in a hole you'll never get out of, assuming that all system mastery in the group is roughly equal.


Simon Legrande wrote:


OK, here are the only ways to become exhausted by the current rules:

Barbarian Frenzy - Gain one level when rage ends.
Forced March - Every hour after 8 make a Con save DC 10+1/hr. Gain one level on failed save.
Go without food for more than 3+Con mod days - Gain one level at the end of each day.
Don't drink enough water - DC 15 Con save if you drink half, no save if you have less. Gain one level at the end of each day you don't get enough.

That's all right there so aside from the Barbarian ability it's mostly DM enforced RP stuff. You don't get disadvantage on saves until you've reached 3 levels of exhaustion so it's not really a death spiral. Resting for 8 hours drops a level assuming you get enough food...

If they keep it to that, what you mention and what above posters have mentioned, the mechanic should be perfectly fine. It was never a problem as an environmental/hazard mechanic.

The moment they start adding exhaustion effects to offensive spells, talents, feats, damage types and so on, you'll know when to stop buying books - or at the very least, start prepping yourself to do some house rules. I'm hoping they learned a lesson, but I wouldn't bet money on it.


Da'ath wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:


OK, here are the only ways to become exhausted by the current rules:

Barbarian Frenzy - Gain one level when rage ends.
Forced March - Every hour after 8 make a Con save DC 10+1/hr. Gain one level on failed save.
Go without food for more than 3+Con mod days - Gain one level at the end of each day.
Don't drink enough water - DC 15 Con save if you drink half, no save if you have less. Gain one level at the end of each day you don't get enough.

That's all right there so aside from the Barbarian ability it's mostly DM enforced RP stuff. You don't get disadvantage on saves until you've reached 3 levels of exhaustion so it's not really a death spiral. Resting for 8 hours drops a level assuming you get enough food...

If they keep it to that, what you mention and what above posters have mentioned, the mechanic should be perfectly fine. It was never a problem as an environmental/hazard mechanic.

The moment they start adding exhaustion effects to offensive spells, talents, feats, damage types and so on, you'll know when to stop buying books - or at the very least, start prepping yourself to do some house rules. I'm hoping they learned a lesson, but I wouldn't bet money on it.

I agree, I have a feeling it will show up a bit more when the DMG gets released. Based on the way the PHB reads though, I don't think it's going to get out of control. As it stands it can be a deadly mechanic to mess around with, Greater Restoration only reduces the level by 1.


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At first, I too was skeptical of 5E (extremely skeptical) even after I saw some of the playtest stuff. But after having looked through the book, making a handful of characters, and testing a little; I feel I've been pulled into the sway.

A lot of people mention feats, and 5E's lack of them. The feats that are there are actually well worth it and generally balanced, as others have said. However, what's not mentioned, is the lack of need for feats. For example Weapon Finesse is there by default (Finesse on Weapons). Two-Weapon Fighting is there by default, the feat dual wielder just adds onto it giving a bonus to AC, better use with non-light weapons, and quick drawing two weapons at the same time. You can attack between movements without having to take the long feat chain of Dodge->Mobility->Spring Attack.

Another thing that I really liked that I honestly didn't think I would is the proficiency bonus and the way they did skills. If your character is proficient, they get their bonus, if not they don't get the bonus. It means that you don't have to keep pumping into a skill to keep it relevant. I was worried that this would mean that Lv1 is not really any different than Lv20. This is not true. Even though the characters stay the same, the DCs remain static. What this means is that your character can accomplish more amazing things as they level. Yet similarly, if a high level character has a low ability score and is not proficient in a skill, they will be worse than a proficient character with a good relevant score even if the latter is a much lower level. Also, it doesn't show up much, but for all those in-between you can sometimes just use half-proficiency.

Another thing that I really love that noone has mentioned is that the keen eye can pick out. Although the number of options are not bountiful right now, it is set up right from the get go for expansion and thus homebrew. The races are simple and elegant, but still provide a lot of flavor that will last a campaign and all the classes have swappable parts.


Simon Legrande wrote:


I agree, I have a feeling it will show up a bit more when the DMG gets released. Based on the way the PHB reads though, I don't think it's going to get out of control. As it stands it can be a deadly mechanic to mess around with, Greater Restoration only reduces the level by 1.

Two key things I saw no mention of we're somewhat reassuring: no mention of damage threshold and no mention of non-lethal or subdual damage as affecting Exhaustion. These were key concepts in the Condition Track mechanic and essentially built into SWSE's framework, which is what made it very difficult to remove from the game to make these issues "go away".

I admit, I do find the thought that GREATER restoration only moves you up 1 a little surprising; I'd have expected restoration at 1 and greater at 2; with luck, it's a sign they don't intend for it to show up frequently.


Da'ath wrote:
I admit, I do find the thought that GREATER restoration only moves you up 1 a little surprising; I'd have expected restoration at 1 and greater at 2; with luck, it's a sign they don't intend for it to show up frequently.

Well aside from the RP stuff, the only other way right now is an ability for one of the paths for the Barbarian if they decide to frenzy during their rage giving them an extra attack each round.

Scarab Sages

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I will say this: The options you choose for your character feel like they carry a LOT of weight. I have a group I'm running right now with two rogues: A thief and an Assassin, and they're vastly different in terms of abilities, both in combat and outside of it, while still retaining the core feel of the rogue. I REALLY like that aspect of D&D next.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Did they change the "everyone has the same BaB" from the playtest?

Cause sorry, Wizard and Fighter both having +6 to attacks before special abilities at 20th level made me stop reading right then and there.


Nathanael Love wrote:

Did they change the "everyone has the same BaB" from the playtest?

Cause sorry, Wizard and Fighter both having +6 to attacks before special abilities at 20th level made me stop reading right then and there.

I love how "This doesn't work like games I'm used to" is a dealbreaker for some.

Short answer: No they didn't change it. Bounded Accuracy is still part of the game. Base bonus to attack rolls is not what 5E uses to make a fighter better at fighting than a wizard.

Don't worry. A fighter is still better at fighting than a wizard.

Silver Crusade

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Nathanael Love wrote:

Did they change the "everyone has the same BaB" from the playtest?

Cause sorry, Wizard and Fighter both having +6 to attacks before special abilities at 20th level made me stop reading right then and there.

I thought that too, until I actually read the thing. : )

I thought, 'Why be a martial, if casters attack with weapons just as well, and get spells too?'

Turns out that there are many reasons to choose a martial class beyond the numbers. For example, my first PC (the one I'm actually playing in organised play) is a 1st level fighter. Okay, he has the same +5 to attack with his rapier as the elven wizard (16 Dex) has with her shortsword, but while she does 1d6+3, I do 1d8+5, have more HP, can regain 1d10+1 HP as a bonus action once (regained with a short rest), and don't have to keep a hand free to cast spells if I want to use a shield or TWF or fight with a 2HW. I have proficiency in better weapons and armour.

There's a lot more to it than just the +5 to attack.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

Did they change the "everyone has the same BaB" from the playtest?

Cause sorry, Wizard and Fighter both having +6 to attacks before special abilities at 20th level made me stop reading right then and there.

I thought that too, until I actually read the thing. : )

I thought, 'Why be a martial, if casters attack with weapons just as well, and get spells too?'

Turns out that there are many reasons to choose a martial class beyond the numbers. For example, my first PC (the one I'm actually playing in organised play) is a 1st level fighter. Okay, he has the same +5 to attack with his rapier as the elven wizard (16 Dex) has with her shortsword, but while she does 1d6+3, I do 1d8+5, have more HP, can regain 1d10+1 HP as a bonus action once (regained with a short rest), and don't have to keep a hand free to cast spells if I want to use a shield or TWF or fight with a 2HW. I have proficiency in better weapons and armour.

There's a lot more to it than just the +5 to attack.

All that sort of stuff wasn't enough for people to consider martials balanced to casters when they ALSO got much higher base bonuses to hit?

Aren't martials just even further behind now that Wizards also get the same attack bonuses?


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Nathanael Love wrote:
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

Did they change the "everyone has the same BaB" from the playtest?

Cause sorry, Wizard and Fighter both having +6 to attacks before special abilities at 20th level made me stop reading right then and there.

I thought that too, until I actually read the thing. : )

I thought, 'Why be a martial, if casters attack with weapons just as well, and get spells too?'

Turns out that there are many reasons to choose a martial class beyond the numbers. For example, my first PC (the one I'm actually playing in organised play) is a 1st level fighter. Okay, he has the same +5 to attack with his rapier as the elven wizard (16 Dex) has with her shortsword, but while she does 1d6+3, I do 1d8+5, have more HP, can regain 1d10+1 HP as a bonus action once (regained with a short rest), and don't have to keep a hand free to cast spells if I want to use a shield or TWF or fight with a 2HW. I have proficiency in better weapons and armour.

There's a lot more to it than just the +5 to attack.

All that sort of stuff wasn't enough for people to consider martials balanced to casters when they ALSO got much higher base bonuses to hit?

Aren't martials just even further behind now that Wizards also get the same attack bonuses?

Possibly. If you just gave Pathfinder Wizards full BAB with no other changes.

But they made changes to casting as well. And multiple attacks aren't tied to your attack bonus in 5E. It really is a different game. You can't look at one detail in isolation.

Silver Crusade

Especially because martials can full attack while moving their speed, splitting up movement and attacks as desired.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
Especially because martials can full attack while moving their speed, splitting up movement and attacks as desired.

And the fact that, as far as I can tell, martials are the only ones getting multiple attacks now. (Outside of TWF of course)

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