5th Edition vs Pathfinder Critique


4th Edition

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Shadow Lodge

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It sounds to me like your biggest problem with the system is that it doesn't give spellcasters a "win" button.

And yes, a party that has serious different roles filled is definitively stronger than a party that over-specializes. That ain't rocket science.

Silver Crusade

No, that's not it at all. I'm not talking about ignoring martials. Where did you get that? I object to a caster spending all their actions on a given round trying to get away from a martial, and then receiving the same amount of attacks as if they had done nothing.

With a good GM in PF, it's admittedly very difficult to get anything done with all casters. However, the withdraw action will at least save you a lot of damage.

Silver Crusade

Kthulhu wrote:

It sounds to me like your biggest problem with the system is that it doesn't give spellcasters a "win" button.

And yes, a party that has serious different roles filled is definitively stronger than a party that over-specializes. That ain't rocket science.

It seems to me that a party of all martials is the way to go in 5th.


Kthulhu wrote:
A spellcaster shouldn't be able to ignore the enemy that's standing right next to him when he's trying to cast. Whether that enemy be a martial or a spellcaster.

Ignore, no. But not being able to get away from them so that the caster could do something the next round seems a bit much.

Grand Lodge

David Bowles wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:

It sounds to me like your biggest problem with the system is that it doesn't give spellcasters a "win" button.

And yes, a party that has serious different roles filled is definitively stronger than a party that over-specializes. That ain't rocket science.

It seems to me that a party of all martials is the way to go in 5th.

Not necessarily. You're screwed in the healing department, you're all (pretty much) facing the same bad saves, and since proficiency replaced BAB you're not really getting a lot more out of being a martial class attack wise until the mid-levels, when spells take a jump in power.

I think it's quite possible to go all caster or all martial in 5E. I will say that in modules, considering their emphasis on straight P v E combat over ingenuity or role-playing, martials will have a much easier time of it. But a caster party isn't without merit. (A well-timed sleep spell still ends nearly every encounter faster and cleaner than Greatsword swinging fighter.)

sunshadow21 wrote:
Kthulhu wrote:
A spellcaster shouldn't be able to ignore the enemy that's standing right next to him when he's trying to cast. Whether that enemy be a martial or a spellcaster.
Ignore, no. But not being able to get away from them so that the caster could do something the next round seems a bit much.

You can still disengage (certain tank builds notwithstanding). And that again is where I say it encourages party support. And it makes Sentinel feats and the Defense fighting style viable.


David Bowles wrote:
I disagree with your last statement. I think there is a VERY real chance of getting crushed by a martial, because once they are adjacent, you can't get away.

Unless you have a teleport spell like Misty Step or Dimension Door. Or the fighter fails a save vs being Charmed / Frightened / Incapacitated and you walk away. Or be a cleric in heavy armor who is hard to hit. Or just have the Shocking Grasp cantrip, which has a good chance to hit and prevents the target from taking Reactions, letting you move away.

Now sure, they might come right on after you. So maybe you also toss up Expeditious Retreat so you can easily outpace them, and once at range, keep em slowed by Ray of Frost.

Are any of these guarantees you will win a one on one match? Of course not. We could write up characters all day designing one build to trump another. But the idea that a caster 'just loses' to a martial character simply isn't true - nor is the idea that a party needs one or the other in order to survive.

David Bowles wrote:
And cranking down spell slots seems to me to be cranking down choice. Maybe I'm just looking at it very differently.

Right, but at the same time, the more spontaneous casting could be said to open up choice. Even more so with the ritual mechanic. Making your utility and conditional spells available without unduly limiting your core spells... that's a very nice feature.

Sure, some casters are more limited than others. Sorcerers are intentionally blasters, with a small spell list and few spells known - in return for getting to do cool tricks with their spells. Meanwhile, wizards get a much more robust list and many fields to focus on. Bards are pretty limited to the enchanter/buffer role - but at a few levels, can expand their list to just about everything. Yes, a lot of the 'universal' nature of spells got broken up quite a bit - there is much less overlap between class spell lists.

But I think that is a good thing overall, keeping the different casting classes a bit more distinct.

More limited in some ways, sure. More open in others, as well - you can cast while wearing armor if proficient in the armor. You can fire rays into melee without taking extreme penalties. You can cast spells while engaged without provoking. Multiclassing as a caster is much more viable. And every caster, in addition to their spells, now gets a bunch of interesting and useful class features. All of those expand options for both your character build and your tactics at the table.

Now, again - are casters going to be as powerful as they are in 3.5 or PF? No, they are not. But characters as a whole are taking a step back from the scaling of the past, and monsters in turn are more manageable in many ways. The question isn't whether casters are weak compared to past editions, but whether they are a viable choice in this one. And they absolutely are.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
You can still disengage (certain tank builds notwithstanding). And that again is where I say it encourages party support. And it makes Sentinel feats and the Defense fighting style viable.

Great theory, but in reality, arcane casters relied too much on party support before 3rd edition having very few options on their own. Having not played 5E, I have no idea how the idea works out in actual play in this system, but it would definitely be a concern of mine if I were to try to play a caster. Too often the few times I played AD&D, you needed a perfectly balanced party, not just character wise, but making sure that all the players were on the same page as well, for a caster to truly be enjoyable to play, and achieving that kind of balance amongst the players is very hard. At least on paper, it seems like 5E still has most of the problems that AD&D had in that department, which to me is definitely a bit of a turnoff. I don't have the luxury of being able to play in the same group with the same players all the time. I need a system that is capable of handling at least some group variation, and 5E does not seem to be very robust in that area on paper.


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The caster can move away from melee and cast. Only, he'll have to accept the opportunity attack (or whatever it is called).

The fact that casters can't go in and out of combat with impunity is not a bad thing IMO even if it changes the paradigm a bit.

I don't know all the spells yet, but I'm sure there are spells that boost movement and/or allow you to levitate/fly/teleport out of range and/or slow your opponent and/or protects you enough for you to last in melee and/or spells that are cast as a bonus action after you disengage.

These are not available at low level, but even casters are able to fend off enemies in melee at low levels.

As for the rest, I'm sure a 5ed group without a martial character is still less screwed than a 3ed/Pathfinder group without a caster.


Laurefindel wrote:
The fact that casters can't go in and out of combat with impunity is not a bad thing IMO even if it changes the paradigm a bit.

It hurts the robustness of the overall system if you limit it too much. 3.x/PF probably went a bit far, but casters still need some ability to do so, as combat is going to be where the party spends a lot of time, and returning to AD&D levels is to me too far of a step back. Maybe 5E pulls it off in play without having to have the perfect group, but on paper, it seems like it has most, if not quite all, of the difficulties that AD&D had, which makes me less likely to actually try the game because I like to play casters and I need them to be not entirely reliant on teammates or DM fiat to be both fun and useful. 5E just doesn't seem to have that from what I've seen so far.


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I dunno. It's been a long time since I played AD&D and I haven't had the chance to play 5E yet, but I don't recall having any trouble making wizards effective back in the day. Maybe not quite so dominant as they were in 3.x, but plenty of fun nonetheless.

Maybe that was entirely GM fiat. Maybe I just had good teammates. It is supposed to be a cooperative game, not a solo one after all.

Grand Lodge

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sunshadow21 wrote:
Laurefindel wrote:
The fact that casters can't go in and out of combat with impunity is not a bad thing IMO even if it changes the paradigm a bit.
It hurts the robustness of the overall system if you limit it too much. 3.x/PF probably went a bit far, but casters still need some ability to do so, as combat is going to be where the party spends a lot of time, and returning to AD&D levels is to me too far of a step back. Maybe 5E pulls it off in play without having to have the perfect group, but on paper, it seems like it has most, if not quite all, of the difficulties that AD&D had, which makes me less likely to actually try the game because I like to play casters and I need them to be not entirely reliant on teammates or DM fiat to be both fun and useful. 5E just doesn't seem to have that from what I've seen so far.

Well, our level 1 sorcerer did single-handedly end an encounter with 5 goblins last session.... so I can say with certainty it's not unheard of for a caster to hold up by themselves. (Like I said - Sleep is still a great equalizer. Probably moreso now that that there's no save.)


thejeff wrote:

I dunno. It's been a long time since I played AD&D and I haven't had the chance to play 5E yet, but I don't recall having any trouble making wizards effective back in the day. Maybe not quite so dominant as they were in 3.x, but plenty of fun nonetheless.

Maybe that was entirely GM fiat. Maybe I just had good teammates. It is supposed to be a cooperative game, not a solo one after all.

One, effective does not automatically mean fun, for either myself or anyone else at the table. I have never questioned the ability to make an effective 5E wizard; whether it would be what I consider fun while not hurting the fun of others at the same time over the course of a campaign is less clear, however.

Two, I am not looking for a solo character, but I do need a character that when I make it and sit down at the table, I am not completely at the mercy of the DM and the rest of the party for it to do what I expect it to be able to do. At the very least, the wizard should be able to take a hit or two and be able to get of immediate danger. For all that some are trying to say that all of this can be done in 5E, I'm not yet convinced that it could be done routinely in less than ideal groups; maybe it can, maybe it can't, but to me, the jury is still deliberating. The few times I played AD&D, it was way to campaign, group, and DM specific; sometimes I had no problems, while others times a caster was virtually unplayable. Martials are not perfect in PF, but at no time are they unplayable, and on paper, 5E seems to be in danger of doing precisely that with the casters.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
Well, our level 1 sorcerer did single-handedly end an encounter with 5 goblins last session.... so I can say with certainty it's not unheard of for a caster to hold up by themselves. (Like I said - Sleep is still a great equalizer. Probably moreso now that that there's no save.)

I'm less focused on a single encounter than a long campaign. Finding examples of single encounters isn't hard. The jury is still out on long campaigns and will be for a while.


sunshadow21 wrote:
At least on paper, it seems like 5E still has most of the problems that AD&D had in that department, which to me is definitely a bit of a turnoff. I don't have the luxury of being able to play in the same group with the same players all the time. I need a system that is capable of handling at least some group variation, and 5E does not seem to be very robust in that area on paper.

How so? Having a diverse party certainly brings advantages, sure. But 5E to me looks quite good at working for many different types of parties. Perhaps not quite to the level of 4E (if only because Hit Dice aren't quite as robust as Healing Surges). But I'm not seeing any particular weaknesses - even on paper - that would cause issues with regularly different parties.

There isn't any 'hey, this monster is immune to physical damage' or 'this monster is immune to spells' to worry about. You don't have 'hey, we need at least one fighter to keep the party capable once the casters are out of spells'.

Is it good to have one character who can be great with social skills, one character who is great at sneaking and dealing with traps, one character who is great at tanking, one character great for killing bosses, and another character able to deal with swarms of enemies? Sure, it is useful.

But there are plenty of ways to cover those roles without the need for any specific class - and even if you don't happen to bring those roles along, you can deal with the problem the same way adventurers always had. Through improvisition, or through sucking up your lack of expertise and charging on in anyway. You can still use barbarians to kick in the door and set off all the traps in the absence of a rogue. You can still threaten or enchant those you are talking to in the absence of diplomacy.

My 5E group recently ran through the starter adventure, and had different players at the table for pretty much every session:

Week 1: Human Paladin, Gnome Druid, Gnome Rogue, Human Fighter, Tiefling Rogue
Week 2: Gnome Druid, Drow Sorcerer, Elven Ranger
Week 3: Gnome Rogue, Elven Ranger, Human Fighter
Week 4: Gnome Druid, Drow Sorcerer, Elven Ranger, Human Fighter, Dragonborn Barbarian

Weird, rotating cast of characters. One week they had no melee characters, and did fine. One week we had no healer, and did fine. It meant we might have some different tactics, or might use some extra resources to heal up. But at no point did it feel like, "Oh, we didn't bring a cleric (or wizard or fighter or rogue) this week, I guess we're gonna be in big trouble".


That's good to know, because there's a lot of the rules and character options on paper that are less than entirely clear on how they play out in an actual game.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Maybe 5E pulls it off in play without having to have the perfect group, but on paper, it seems like it has most, if not quite all, of the difficulties that AD&D had, which makes me less likely to actually try the game because I like to play casters and I need them to be not entirely reliant on teammates or DM fiat to be both fun and useful. 5E just doesn't seem to have that from what I've seen so far.

Are there any specific issues you are seeing on paper that are concerning you?

Here are a couple reasons why I wouldn't be as worried:

1) Even at low levels, they have at-will cantrips to keep them effective once they've used up their spells. That alone means your all-caster party can remain perfectly viable without bringing along a fighter.

2) Wizards, who are usually the most fragile folks, now get more hp for wizards, plus plenty of unique (and often defensive) class features - and if you *do* want to build for it, making an armored mage is quite viable without needing to jump through as many hoops as in the past.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:

What specific issues are you seeing that are concerning you?

Even at low levels, they have at-will cantrips to keep them effective once they've used up their spells. That alone means your all-caster party can remain perfectly viable without bringing along a fighter.

Add in more hp for wizards, plus plenty of unique (and often defensive) class features - and the fact that if you *do* want to build for it, making an armored mage is a lot more viable than in the past... and I'm just not quite which issues you are looking at that are leaving you at the mercy of the DM or the rest of the party.

I guess when all is said and done, simply reading the rules, which is the only exposure a lot of would be new players will have, I'm left feeling "meh" about 5E as a whole and the magic system and magic items in particular.

Cantrips from what I've read in the rules and people's reaction to them don't excite me in and of themselves. Maybe in conjunction with the added flexibility of what spells you can cast and when, they make for the lost spell slots, but they aren't anything that make me want to rush to try the game. The whole concentration thing for that wide of a swath of spells irritates me even if it doesn't quite turn me off; the idea is fine, but I think it goes a bit too far in limiting nonblasting spells. Continuing to pretend that magic and magic items are somehow rare things in the world while also continuing to prominently display multiple types of casters as common party members is going to continue to set up clashing expectations between DMs and players.

I'm sure that I could very easily make a very effective caster without difficulty, but from what I've read, and from what people are saying on the forums, the range of options both functional and interesting across a wide variety of groups or encounters does not particularly set my imagination on fire. In the end, while I am certain I could a fun and useful caster if I wanted to, I am not at all convinced that given all the other systems I already have, both D&D and otherwise, that I would have any particular reason to seek out 5E specifically. It's not like 4E where certain elements actively turned me off, but I don't see anything that really solves the problems I have with PF either. All it does is exchange them for other limitations and problems, some brand new and some dating back to AD&D.

People are trying to say this is something new and different, but really, its the same basic classes and races put into a different skin, and nothing more. Take away the brand name, and most people wouldn't give it a second glance. In the end what bugs me is more what I don't see than what I do see; simply replacing and shifting the problems around is not a solution and is not going to get me excited or convince me that WotC has somehow learned anything.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
Well, our level 1 sorcerer did single-handedly end an encounter with 5 goblins last session.... so I can say with certainty it's not unheard of for a caster to hold up by themselves. (Like I said - Sleep is still a great equalizer. Probably moreso now that that there's no save.)

We're up to fifth level now and our experience has been similar.

We have a sorceror, ranger, fighter and fighter/bard/warlock. With the exception of the last character (who is terribly sub-optimal buildwise) all of them are finding places to shine and places where they need help. The sorceror is a highly effective combat character but, from time to time, he does need to be helped out a bit by the fighter (who is battlefield control oriented and can do a reasonable job of rescuing).

Although I dont actually like balanced games (my fighter/bard/warlock is a kind of reaction to that) - I've been very impressed at the balance they've achieved between the classes whilst still retaining the traditional "feel". Massaging the numbers and optimising results in a slight gain to effectiveness, but so far we havent found anything truly exceptional (and even deliberately nerfing yourself doesnt do that much damage to your effectiveness).

It's definitely different playing a caster in 5E than in other editions, but we havent found them terribly weak.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:
sunshadow21 wrote:
Maybe 5E pulls it off in play without having to have the perfect group, but on paper, it seems like it has most, if not quite all, of the difficulties that AD&D had, which makes me less likely to actually try the game because I like to play casters and I need them to be not entirely reliant on teammates or DM fiat to be both fun and useful. 5E just doesn't seem to have that from what I've seen so far.

Are there any specific issues you are seeing on paper that are concerning you?

Here are a couple reasons why I wouldn't be as worried:

1) Even at low levels, they have at-will cantrips to keep them effective once they've used up their spells. That alone means your all-caster party can remain perfectly viable without bringing along a fighter.

2) Wizards, who are usually the most fragile folks, now get more hp for wizards, plus plenty of unique (and often defensive) class features - and if you *do* want to build for it, making an armored mage is quite viable without needing to jump through as many hoops as in the past.

Completely agree. Being a mountain dwarf arcane caster (free light and medium armor proficiency) helps out in making an armored mage, at the expense of a bit higher Intelligence score that you could get if you went with another race. And if you are worried about your mage's defense, choose the Abjuration school specialty. They get a pretty decent seeming defensive class ability. Is it good? I don't know as I hadn't seen it in use. But it definitely looks good.


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The difference between martials and casters in 5e is that martials dominate in single target damage while casters rule the AE world and bring a lot of flexibility.

But casters aren't weak. A 5e wizard can waltz into a pack of enemies, reflex a shield spell to be pretty much immune to hits and then PB AE a fireball spell onto himself since he can just shape it so it doesn't hit him.

They have power. It's just that a high level fighter can action surge in his mid teens for 7 attacks with a near 30% crit chance for around 200+ damage if they want and turn single targets into a fine red mist. Because they also have a lot of power.

Silver Crusade

" and monsters in turn are more manageable in many ways. "

I don't want a game of gimped opponents making gimped PCs, or specifically casters, a playable option. If I wanted to be gimped, I'd go play GURPS or some other very gritty, deadly game. But then, I've seen the armor classes of high-level opponents in 5th ed, and they have indeed been gimped.

"The question isn't whether casters are weak compared to past editions"

Actually, that is also my question because why would I ever want to play a cleric without channel ever again? That ability lets my cleric use spells for interesting effects instead of just being a healbot. With no channel, $%^&^ that.

" And that again is where I say it encourages party support. And it makes Sentinel feats and the Defense fighting style viable."

After having lived through 2nd ed, relying on your party that much is suicide for an arcane caster. Just saying.


David Bowles wrote:
...why would I ever want to play a cleric without channel ever again? That ability lets my cleric use spells for interesting effects instead of just being a healbot. With no channel, $%^&^ that.

It sounds like 5E's not for you, so dont take this as any kind of persuasion attempt. It's just another way to think about it: I think channel has been replaced (or is at least it's role is covered by) the hit die mechanic. It's true that cleric's dont have a non-spell way to restore lots of hit points between battles but they dont need it so much, since all of the characters are a little more self-reliant.

I played a low level cleric until he died at level three and I did hardly any hit point healing. It doesnt feel like we're missing a healer now (granted we're only level 5).

Shadow Lodge

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David Bowles - I think part of the problem that you seem to be having with 5e is something I've seen a lot of on these forums....you look at individual differences between PF and 5e, but you either view them in relation to a PF game, or disregard all the other differences that are in 5e. There are a LOT of differences between PF and 5e, and that means that you can't just judge the individual differences without taking that into consideration.


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David Bowles wrote:

" and monsters in turn are more manageable in many ways. "

I don't want a game of gimped opponents making gimped PCs, or specifically casters, a playable option. If I wanted to be gimped, I'd go play GURPS or some other very gritty, deadly game. But then, I've seen the armor classes of high-level opponents in 5th ed, and they have indeed been gimped.

Well, fair enough. For some folks, having bigger numbers is what makes the game more fun, and if that is the case, 5E is definitely not going to deliver as well as past editions.

David Bowles wrote:
Actually, that is also my question because why would I ever want to play a cleric without channel ever again? That ability lets my cleric use spells for interesting effects instead of just being a healbot. With no channel, $%^&^ that.

"Just being a healbot" certainly isn't the clerics lot, and they've done a decent amount to support having quite a few different playstyles available for cleric. That said, if the channel mechanic itself - or that specific implementation of it - is what you need for a cleric, than sure, that's fair.

I like the version of channeling we've got in 5E, and like some of the decent ways each domain can use it - but it definitely isn't as emphasized as much as it was previously. For me, that's a fair trade given the other features that clerics now get, but that won't be the case for everyone.

David Bowles wrote:


" And that again is where I say it encourages party support. And it makes Sentinel feats and the Defense fighting style viable."

After having lived through 2nd ed, relying on your party that much is suicide for an arcane caster. Just saying.

5E really, really is not 2nd ed. I can certainly understand preferring other systems, but I really do think a lot of your complaints are about an imagined version of the game rather than the one that actually exists.


David Bowles wrote:
Actually, that is also my question because why would I ever want to play a cleric without channel ever again? That ability lets my cleric use spells for interesting effects instead of just being a healbot. With no channel, $%^&^ that.

So...5E sucks because it isn't Pathfinder? :P

I any case, I'm not sure why you guys keep going around on this. David doesn't like 5E. Others do. Is there a point to trying to prove which side is "right?"

Shadow Lodge

It's David. There's always a point. ;)


The ability to freely move and attack was one of the things that most impressed me when I first looked at 5e (the others being the backgrounds and finesse as a weapon property instead of a feat tree). I absolutely love the fact that I can play a cinematic, acrobatic, swashbuckling pirate character, who's useful both in and out of combat. It's seems weird to me that anybody would find that a bad thing, although there's obviously no right or wrong in matters of taste.

Clerics in 5e do have a channel divinity ability, even if it's not identical to channeling in 3.PF. Clerics of the life domain can even use their channeling to heal. Light domain clerics can do damage with their channeling, nature domain clerics can use it to charm plants and animals. Each type of cleric has a unique use of their channeling, in addition to the ability to turn undead that all clerics get. Also, the hit dice mechanic means that clerical healing is significantly less necessary in this edition than it is in 3.PF, so there's really not a lot of need for the cleric to be a healbot.

Silver Crusade

"So...5E sucks because it isn't Pathfinder? :P"

Not exactly. It just seems the cleric got its balls completely busted. No multiple attacks. No channel. Most combat summons are gone. Why even have one if healing is never needed? Which it was in the game I tried out. All our cleric did was single target heal. Just like 2nd ed.

Fair enough that we get nowhere.

"It's seems weird to me that anybody would find that a bad thing, although there's obviously no right or wrong in matters of taste."

I can imagine being on the wrong end of that ability. Over. And over. And over. That's why I think its bad.

"Clerics in 5e do have a channel divinity ability"

I know. I read that ability and saw it in action. It can't hold a candle to channel energy, mainly because of limitations of use. And you have to be life domain to get the divinity ability that matters. Oh, and turning undead has always sucked, because its a good way to bring an entire dungeon down on your head by aggroing other encounters.


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bugleyman wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Actually, that is also my question because why would I ever want to play a cleric without channel ever again? That ability lets my cleric use spells for interesting effects instead of just being a healbot. With no channel, $%^&^ that.

So...5E sucks because it isn't Pathfinder? :P

I any case, I'm not sure why you guys keep going around on this. David doesn't like 5E. Others do. Is there a point to trying to prove which side is "right?"

I just find it strange that someone who so greatly hates 5th edition continues to post about it (not directed at you, Bugleyman). I guess I am just strange in that if I don't like something, I don't feel the need to continuously post my hatred. It's why I stayed away from the WotC forums during 4th edition's lifespan. I saw no reason to go there and post how terrible 4th edition was and other such.

Silver Crusade

Fair enough.


David Bowles wrote:
It just seems the cleric got its balls completely busted. No multiple attacks. No channel. Most combat summons are gone. Why even have one if healing is never needed? Which it was in the game I tried out. All our cleric did was single target heal.

What level were you?

Silver Crusade

Steve Geddes wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
It just seems the cleric got its balls completely busted. No multiple attacks. No channel. Most combat summons are gone. Why even have one if healing is never needed? Which it was in the game I tried out. All our cleric did was single target heal.
What level were you?

I think the sheet I got handed was level 3. I'm not sure what level the cleric was in the group. After the session, I looked at the cleric class to see what the guy was working with. Yeah, dumpster fire time. It's unreal how many classes got their multiple attacks stripped.


Cheers. I quite liked mine - I don't think I ever cast cure wounds during a battle though. I was pretty comparable to the fighter.

The small number of attacks is one of the things I really like about 5E.


Steve Geddes wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:
Well, our level 1 sorcerer did single-handedly end an encounter with 5 goblins last session.... so I can say with certainty it's not unheard of for a caster to hold up by themselves. (Like I said - Sleep is still a great equalizer. Probably moreso now that that there's no save.)

We're up to fifth level now and our experience has been similar.

We have a sorceror, ranger, fighter and fighter/bard/warlock. With the exception of the last character (who is terribly sub-optimal buildwise) all of them are finding places to shine and places where they need help. The sorceror is a highly effective combat character but, from time to time, he does need to be helped out a bit by the fighter (who is battlefield control oriented and can do a reasonable job of rescuing).

Although I dont actually like balanced games (my fighter/bard/warlock is a kind of reaction to that) - I've been very impressed at the balance they've achieved between the classes whilst still retaining the traditional "feel". Massaging the numbers and optimising results in a slight gain to effectiveness, but so far we havent found anything truly exceptional (and even deliberately nerfing yourself doesnt do that much damage to your effectiveness).

It's definitely different playing a caster in 5E than in other editions, but we havent found them terribly weak.

In "traditional" D&D (1e, BECM) I wouldn't expect casters to be more powerful than non-casters before 5th level. Quite the opposite, in fact. If they're now reasonably balanced at those levels, then either the power increase of the other classes has been dramatically ramped up or the higher level casters have been heavily weakened - neither would seem to fit well with a "traditional" feel. Or you have a game which is balanced only at low levels, with casters being dominant at higher ones.


I saw Hoards of the Dragon Queen and Rise of the Over-Used BBEL. Looks cheap. The formating, the maps and the lack of art work give it a very late 90s 2e look. You know, when TSR was broke. AP are better done and have a lot more bonus material. Plus at the end of RoT they say to check the WotC website for the full stats of an item and surprise surprise it is not there. Right now Paizo's AP and modules are in another league.

I saw Tiamat's stats. No very god-like. It makes you wonder why she is a goddess. Cause she has 5 bites? She just deals a lot of damage and can ignore failed saves. Like a 5 headed Tarrasque. She has almost no magic. What sort of goddess is that? Not very inspirering. In 2e's Power and Pantheons her avatar felt epic. Not sure the result of 5e's mechanics are very sexy.

So far, all I see is some time spend learning, mastering and teaching 5e for very little return.


I believe the look of Hoard of the Dragon Queen is more on Kobold Press, though I could be wrong. Wolfgang Baur (a regular Paizo AP writer and a regular to these boards as well) could answer that part better than anyone. I probably am wrong.

What is the CR of Tiamat? I don't have access to that adventure, so I don't know. I do know I was greatly underwhelmed with Paizo's Demon Lords, which are basically like lesser gods. Yes, Tiamat's a greater goddess. Do you fight actual Tiamat, or an aspect/avatar of Tiamat?

Paizo's APs are great, but I don't know if comparing Wizards' adventures with Paizo's APs is a good comparison. I think a better comparison would be with Paizo's adventure modules (Dragon's Demand, Wardens of the Reborn Forge, and the other recent ones in their new format). Of course, Paizo's bread and butter is the adventures, so I would expect those to be better. Would Pathfinder be as successful as it is without the APs? Maybe, maybe not.

I would love to see WotC make actual APs, like what Paizo is doing. 6 installments, 2 APs per year. They want to make Forgotten Realms their default, but they also seem to keep a few of their others alive. So, the AP that starts in January/February can be based in Forgotten Realms, while the AP that starts in July/August can be based in one of their other settings (an Eberron adventure, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Dark Sun, etc). Or they can have 3 per year (4 installments each). Honestly, I think that would be awesome.

Liberty's Edge

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I both run and play Pathfinder. I find many of the npcs in the APS to be very poorly designed. Either with feats and spell selections that make no sense. The locations sometimes are even worse. Who thought that putting Ogres who are large sized creatures in a medium sized fort was a good idea. Where they can barely fit and not swarm thwe pcs. Should I know say that I'm running Pathfinder for little return. Of course not. Why because a rpg is imo not the sum of it's adventures. It's the rules. As one is not forced to run a AP or a adventure module to simply run a game.

Of all the reasons to not run 5E that takes the cake. It's worse than martials are effective in this edition.


David Bowles wrote:

"So...5E sucks because it isn't Pathfinder? :P"

Not exactly. It just seems the cleric got its balls completely busted. No multiple attacks. No channel. Most combat summons are gone. Why even have one if healing is never needed? Which it was in the game I tried out. All our cleric did was single target heal. Just like 2nd ed.

I've seen clerics played the same in 3.5 and in 4E. That doesn't mean that is the *only* way they can be played. 4E actively encouraged a cleric's ability to heal while also taking part in combat, and 5E has continued down that road with spells like Healing Word.

Also worth noting - if you are really sad about not getting extra attacks, Spiritual Weapon is basically an extra attack for an entire fight. There are plenty of ways to be an effective melee cleric in 5E. Or, say, more of a blaster - the light domain gets a pretty potent channel divinity, and a spell list that includes fireball.

If you want to build a healbot, you can do that too. But it is certainly not the default.


Adjule wrote:
I just find it strange that someone who so greatly hates 5th edition continues to post about it (not directed at you, Bugleyman). I guess I am just strange in that if I don't like something, I don't feel the need to continuously post my hatred. It's why I stayed away from the WotC forums during 4th edition's lifespan. I saw no reason to go there and post how terrible 4th edition was and other such.

That doesn't even bother me, given that it is the topic of the thread. The thing I don't get is people arguing about someone's reason for disliking a game (though I've done it myself; I guess in this case I have little emotional involvement, so I'm able to be more objective).


Bluenose wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Although I dont actually like balanced games (my fighter/bard/warlock is a kind of reaction to that) - I've been very impressed at the balance they've achieved between the classes whilst still retaining the traditional "feel".
In "traditional" D&D (1e, BECM) I wouldn't expect casters to be more powerful than non-casters before 5th level. Quite the opposite, in fact. If they're now reasonably balanced at those levels, then either the power increase of the other classes has been dramatically ramped up or the higher level casters have been heavily weakened - neither would seem to fit well with a "traditional" feel. Or you have a game which is balanced only at low levels, with casters being dominant at higher ones.

I'm sure it depends on what one considers "feel" to entail. Relative power doesn't factor into that for me - I meant the way the individual classes feel to play in terms of the choices you face and the types of actions you take.

I actually think they've boosted the power level of all classes early on, relative to previous editions. We haven't played passed fifth level, so I don't really know beyond that - my impression is that they've reduced the power of high level casters.


David Bowles wrote:

"It's seems weird to me that anybody would find that a bad thing, although there's obviously no right or wrong in matters of taste."

I can imagine being on the wrong end of that ability. Over. And over. And over. That's why I think its bad.

But you didn't imagine how a PC could use this to do cooler, more awesome things in combat? Interesting.

Silver Crusade

Yes, but I see it even more potent in the hands of a GM like myself. If I were GMing 5th ed, I can guarantee that caster death rates would be sky high, as opposing NPCs would exploit this mechanic constantly. Because they are not dumb.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Although I dont actually like balanced games (my fighter/bard/warlock is a kind of reaction to that) - I've been very impressed at the balance they've achieved between the classes whilst still retaining the traditional "feel".
In "traditional" D&D (1e, BECM) I wouldn't expect casters to be more powerful than non-casters before 5th level. Quite the opposite, in fact. If they're now reasonably balanced at those levels, then either the power increase of the other classes has been dramatically ramped up or the higher level casters have been heavily weakened - neither would seem to fit well with a "traditional" feel. Or you have a game which is balanced only at low levels, with casters being dominant at higher ones.
I'm sure it depends on what one considers "feel" to entail. Relative power doesn't factor into that for me - I meant the way the individual classes feel to play in terms of the choices you face and the types of actions you take.

My definition for "Feel" is based on what I expect a character to be able to do reliably, or conversely on what I think will be hard for them. Which includes a number of things, depending on the level and class of the character. Being able to do the same sort of things is nice, but how well those actions are likely to work also factors into it.

Quote:
I actually think they've boosted the power level of all classes early on, relative to previous editions. We haven't played passed fifth level, so I don't really know beyond that - my impression is that they've reduced the power of high level casters.

My suspicion is that casters have not been toned down as much as it looks like, while non-casters have been kept to "realistic" abilities at higher levels and will fall well behind regardless of how they keep up at lower levels. But that's based on playing a few adventures at various levels rather than any sort of campaign, and I'm certain my group isn't interested in playing 5e again.


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David Bowles wrote:
Yes, but I see it even more potent in the hands of a GM like myself. If I were GMing 5th ed, I can guarantee that caster death rates would be sky high, as opposing NPCs would exploit this mechanic constantly. Because they are not dumb.

Unless you're deliberately trying to screw over the players (and if you are, then the rules don't matter), the monster's ability to use mobility is balanced by the PCs enhanced mobility. A wizard, for example, can move into position, cast their spell, and retreat behind cover. Clerics can do that too, or they can choose to move and attack with weapons - many of the domains make for pretty good front line combatants. Attackers are more mobile, but so are blockers; they can aggressively move to intercept incoming enemies without losing their ability to deal with them. Tactical thinking and creative use of the environment are rewarded significantly more than they are in 3.PF, which makes for more variety and more cinematic action in fights. As a DM, my reaction to the change is that it makes it a lot easier to have people running around, jumping off of things, swinging from chandeliers, and generally acting more like they're in an action movie than a board game. There's no way I can count that as a bad thing.


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memorax wrote:
Who thought that putting Ogres who are large sized creatures in a medium sized fort was a good idea.

Well, to be fair, it was a human fort that the ogres took over.

So... the idea was fine.


Adjule wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Yeah, what she said. :)
I'm a dude :p I know the icon is a bit misleading, but it was the best I could find.

Oh... Well, that's ok, could be The Office influencing my subconscious as I type ;)


sunshadow21 wrote:

<snip>

Encounters don't have to be perfectly balanced, but they do need to have some kind of reasonable workable boundaries for the average encounter.

Description can be key here.

"As you round the bend in the road the sun now is behind mountains. With the low clouds above you the lighting is already equivalent to twilight but you see strewn about unmistakable evidence of great violence. Perhaps half a hundred men-at-arms lay gutted in the field before you. The air is heavy with the smell of death and the charred remains of the town you were planning to stay in tonight."

DM - "PC actions?"

PC 1 - "Let's track the BEBG back to his lair tonight and catch him by surprise."

PC 2 - "Let's look around the carnage for clues, mass-bury the dead with proper rights and then stay on guard till morning."

PCs 3-5 - "We like the second idea best."


Adjule wrote:

What is the CR of Tiamat? <snip>

I would love to see WotC make actual APs, like what Paizo is doing. 6 installments, 2 APs per year. They want to make Forgotten Realms their default, but they also seem to keep a few of their others alive. So, the AP that starts in January/February can be based in Forgotten Realms, while the AP that starts in July/August can be based in one of their other settings (an Eberron adventure, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Dark Sun, etc). Or they can have 3 per year (4 installments each). Honestly, I think that would be awesome.

Tiamat CR=

Spoiler:
30

They could farm out the APs to publishers who favor one setting over the others. Contracting me to write an Eberron AP would be a major mistake for instance ;> This also gives the publisher a vested interest in getting it done well and leaves WotC more time to focus on depth/quality.


Adjule wrote:
I believe the look of Hoard of the Dragon Queen is more on Kobold Press, though I could be wrong. Wolfgang Baur (a regular Paizo AP writer and a regular to these boards as well) could answer that part better than anyone. I probably am wrong.

Some WotC staff did editing. Not sure about layout or what kind of budget KP had to make the adventure or if WotC assumed the expenses.

Quote:
What is the CR of Tiamat?

30. I'm sure damage wise it is a 30 CR, but it just looks boring. Bite/breath weapon/ignore fail saves, repeat.

Quote:
I don't have access to that adventure, so I don't know. I do know I was greatly underwhelmed with Paizo's Demon Lords, which are basically like lesser gods. Yes, Tiamat's a greater goddess. Do you fight actual Tiamat, or an aspect/avatar of Tiamat?

Tiamat. Paizo's lesser gods are more diverse and fun.

Quote:
Paizo's APs are great, but I don't know if comparing Wizards' adventures with Paizo's APs is a good comparison. I think a better comparison would be with Paizo's adventure modules (Dragon's Demand, Wardens of the Reborn Forge, and the other recent ones in their new format).

Even compared to the modules Paizo is way out of their league when it comes to layout, art, maps and bonus material. And I'm sure they would have their digital materail on their website if they said in the adventure that it would be on their website. It sounds like DDI/VTT all over again.

Quote:
Of course, Paizo's bread and butter is the adventures, so I would expect those to be better. Would Pathfinder be as successful as it is without the APs? Maybe, maybe not.

From WotC release schedule it looks like they are going for a similar business model. Next year they are release to adventure that are connected and a few plug-in books. Splat books. I believe. It is called Princes of the Apocalypse. Yup, old Elemental Evil adventure. Again.

It is a third party who is desgining that. Sasquash Games I believe.

Quote:
I would love to see WotC make actual APs, like what Paizo is doing. 6 installments, 2 APs per year.

So far it looks like 1 AP a year with 2 instalments.

Quote:
They want to make Forgotten Realms their default, but they also seem to keep a few of their others alive. So, the AP that starts in January/February can be based in Forgotten Realms, while the AP that starts in July/August can be based in one of their other settings (an Eberron adventure, Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Dark Sun, etc). Or they can have 3 per year (4 installments each). Honestly, I think that would be awesome.

They seemed to have said they want to visite new setting ech year with their AP.

Silver Crusade

JoeJ wrote:
David Bowles wrote:
Yes, but I see it even more potent in the hands of a GM like myself. If I were GMing 5th ed, I can guarantee that caster death rates would be sky high, as opposing NPCs would exploit this mechanic constantly. Because they are not dumb.

Unless you're deliberately trying to screw over the players (and if you are, then the rules don't matter), the monster's ability to use mobility is balanced by the PCs enhanced mobility. A wizard, for example, can move into position, cast their spell, and retreat behind cover. Clerics can do that too, or they can choose to move and attack with weapons - many of the domains make for pretty good front line combatants. Attackers are more mobile, but so are blockers; they can aggressively move to intercept incoming enemies without losing their ability to deal with them. Tactical thinking and creative use of the environment are rewarded significantly more than they are in 3.PF, which makes for more variety and more cinematic action in fights. As a DM, my reaction to the change is that it makes it a lot easier to have people running around, jumping off of things, swinging from chandeliers, and generally acting more like they're in an action movie than a board game. There's no way I can count that as a bad thing.

I don't think that it will end up being as balanced as you think. Unless the monsters in 5th don't scale up well. Which might be the case. And I like board games more than action movies.

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