DnD 5

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modus0

Re: DnD 5

Postby modus0 » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:11 pm

But are they called 'rules' or 'guidelines' in the book?

Because if it's the former, then you could (foolishly) extrapolate that the entire book is merely guidelines and you don't have to follow or even use the rules.

Not that any sane person would do that, right?

And if it's the latter, it seems a bit excessive to devote an entire chapter to them.


EDIT: Geeze, I feel like I've derailed this thread into a discussion on the merits of having codified rules for play acting.

Surely someone else has something else to praise/question/hate on regarding the newest edition of the grandaddy of RPGs? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
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Ygor
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Re: DnD 5

Postby Ygor » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:37 pm

Steve C wrote:I don't think there's a big barrier to entry to D&D. Not with all the video games that use the rules or one of the variations. It eases people into it. There's the obvious ones like Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate. Then there's the not so obvious ones like KotoR. KotoR was the d20 system under the hood in a rather 'pure' way. Then there are the competing rpg systems like Fallout's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. which 3rd ed D&D lifted a lot of ideas from. And as for teaching people to roleplay... well if you played pretend as a little kid you pretty much get it. For the setting the starting point is Tolkien fantasy all the infinite variations of fantasy created by authors who came after. Then there's all the movies and video games on top of those that be used as mental pictures. The biggest hurdle is finding a group of like minded people to play with on a regular basis.


Some people don't play video games and can be interested in D&D.
And Neverwinter Nights, even though it had a tutorial it still had a GIANT manual that broke the mechanics for you- Baldur's Gate had the same problem. The games never really made a great fuss about how the system works, since they put it "under the hood", so even though those games use D&D system, it tries to obscure that that system is there, yet it still gives you a glimpse of it, leaving you more confused (Why did he get an attack of opportunity as I was running around that time and not this time? What does 1d6 mean and how do I interpret it? Those games expect you to know this stuff, or learn as you go)

About the whole Roleplaying thing: Some people are generally confused about it even though they played pretend, as you put it.
For example, in my group, we played and the party was halted on a guard checkpoint where the guardsman demanded some money (I thought it would be a nice way to get them to roleplay a little). I even put out a note to one of the guys (who had some ranks in the Knowledge of those Kingdoms) saying that this it's not customary to pay for an entry on these lands. And those guys didn't know what to do or how to react, because they didn't think they can improvise and talk down a person in this way.
Anything that can help people to understand what this Role acting is and how it works is a big plus I think.

Also, a question to anyone who's read through it: How are the combat rules, is it still on the side of tactical battles, or did they change it to be more freeform, i.e. not grid dependent?
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: DnD 5

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:08 pm

modus0 wrote:But are they called 'rules' or 'guidelines' in the book?


In every iteration of d&d,they have always been guidelines.There was always just one firm rule,in d&d as well as in every pnp game:What the game master says,goes.Thats why house rules are so numerous and widespread.You only stick to the book when you are not experienced enough with the system in question,with a new group,in a convention or similar,or when playing a computer rpg.

Ygor wrote:Also, a question to anyone who's read through it: How are the combat rules, is it still on the side of tactical battles, or did they change it to be more freeform, i.e. not grid dependent?


Spoony says its gridless.
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Wide And Nerdy

Re: DnD 5

Postby Wide And Nerdy » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:57 pm

I take issue with this notion that earlier editions were hard to learn. Anyone who is willing to show up regularly to play a session of a decent length who can also read and do basic math can learn any edition of DnD.

And not to sound Darwinian about it but the people who can't do the reading and the basic math should probably stick to video games/MMOs (if you can read this forum post, congratulations, you're probably smart enough to learn the rules for any edition of DnD. If you suck at roleplaying, 5th edition won't fix that.)

All you have to do is give the person a basic idea of what their character can do, probably don't want to start them with a spell caster, and tell them they can declare their action and we'll help you figure out how to do it. Let them borrow the book between sessions. They'll pick it up.

Thats what the DM is there for (and to a lesser extent, the other more experienced players).

And if you have an entire group of noobs, pick up a starter pack. Pre-gen characters, short simple adventures with explanations. That's how I started DMing in third ed. I'd been a player for a couple of years before trying on the DM hat and most of my group was noobs who I taught as we went.
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modus0

Re: DnD 5

Postby modus0 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:00 am

Daemian Lucifer wrote:
modus0 wrote:But are they called 'rules' or 'guidelines' in the book?


In every iteration of d&d,they have always been guidelines.There was always just one firm rule,in d&d as well as in every pnp game:What the game master says,goes.Thats why house rules are so numerous and widespread.You only stick to the book when you are not experienced enough with the system in question,with a new group,in a convention or similar,or when playing a computer rpg.


That didn't answer my question. What does the book call them?

And Rule 0 isn't the only 'firm' rule in the game, everything presented in the game books that isn't fluff is also a rule. Rule 0 is there to allow DMs (and DMs only) to tinker with the game and cut off the RAW arguments regarding house rules. The players don't get to treat anything in the rulebooks as 'guidelines' without the DM's permission.

The primary reason people instituted house rules is because they either didn't like a particular rule, felt a different interpretation fit their games better, or thought they could do better than the designers (not that they necessarily can't, but what's that 90% rule...).
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The Rocketeer

Re: DnD 5

Postby The Rocketeer » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:33 am

Well it seems like the existence of Rule 0 makes everything else a guideline by default; as long as you have a reasonable, flexible DM, the rest is negotiable.

And if you don't have a reasonable, flexible DM, you're in a shit group.
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Wide And Nerdy

Re: DnD 5

Postby Wide And Nerdy » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:45 pm

modus0 wrote:
Daemian Lucifer wrote:
modus0 wrote:But are they called 'rules' or 'guidelines' in the book?


In every iteration of d&d,they have always been guidelines.There was always just one firm rule,in d&d as well as in every pnp game:What the game master says,goes.Thats why house rules are so numerous and widespread.You only stick to the book when you are not experienced enough with the system in question,with a new group,in a convention or similar,or when playing a computer rpg.


That didn't answer my question. What does the book call them?

And Rule 0 isn't the only 'firm' rule in the game, everything presented in the game books that isn't fluff is also a rule. Rule 0 is there to allow DMs (and DMs only) to tinker with the game and cut off the RAW arguments regarding house rules. The players don't get to treat anything in the rulebooks as 'guidelines' without the DM's permission.

The primary reason people instituted house rules is because they either didn't like a particular rule, felt a different interpretation fit their games better, or thought they could do better than the designers (not that they necessarily can't, but what's that 90% rule...).


What Rocketeer said plus 5th edition seems to emphasize the rules as being modular. You use the parts you like and discard what isn't of use to you.
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Cuthalion

Re: DnD 5

Postby Cuthalion » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:57 am

Edit: Holy cows, I apparently missed several more recent posts. I'm responding to something a few points back, if that makes a difference. modus had responded to me and someone else, and somebody mentioned KotOR.

KotOR was actually really confusing until after I'd played d20. I think it's easy to forget that the function and magnitude of "+1 to fortitude saves" is not obvious. Nor is the distinction between +2 to hit and +2 damage.

I certainly respect modus's opinion that roleplaying rules are at best unnecessary, but I still stand by the idea that games use rules to get us to think in certain ways, and having rules or, in the case of the 5e D&D changes, simply telling players to come up with a short list of things to keep in mind, is helpful in coaxing people to roleplay. It needn't be restrictive, and it needn't turn roleplay into min-maxing. It just helps encourage roleplaying if it's there. Otherwise, it's not a roleplaying game. It's a game that says, "By the way, you're supposed to roleplay as you do this," and never speaks of it again.
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Cuthalion

Re: DnD 5

Postby Cuthalion » Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:17 am

modus0 wrote:That didn't answer my question. What does the book call them?

And Rule 0 isn't the only 'firm' rule in the game, everything presented in the game books that isn't fluff is also a rule.

The RP stuff we've been talking about -- personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws -- are systematized fluff. Not rules. I don't remember if the book agrees with me though. But aside from the inspiration mechanic, all it amounts to is, "Your character should have some kind of a personality. Pick from these lists or make up your own." Little bite-sized chunks of pre-written fluff for your character.

modus0 wrote:EDIT: Geeze, I feel like I've derailed this thread into a discussion on the merits of having codified rules for play acting.

Surely someone else has something else to praise/question/hate on regarding the newest edition of the grandaddy of RPGs? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Eh, no worries. I hate that they chickened out on the new dice mechanics they had in the playtest. They had started turning fixed modifiers into "roll another die", and that was a lot more fun to me. Some of it's still there, but so far it looks like they backed off on a lot of it. I picked the fighter subclass that gets some of those dice ("maneuver dice"?), but I'm sad that it wasn't more widely applied. Dice you spend temporarily to let you add to rolls or do cool things. That said, I haven't read the whole book. So maybe I'm just missing other spots where they are using that.

Edit:
modus0 wrote:But what does spending your hit dice mean for, well, your hit dice? Does it effect the character in any way (like giving them a negative level, or reducing their abilities), or is it just WotC shoehorning an existing mechanic into a role it was never intended to fit? Why include the spending of hit dice when it would be simpler rules-wise to just state that you heal 1/2 your hd (so, 5 points for a fighter) and recover any abilities that require a short rest to recover?

Speaking of which, you now spend hit dice by rolling them to heal yourself. I actually think this works elegantly, as the math of how many hit dice you have (1 per level) keeps it proportional to your total HP. I also like the flexibility of being able to choose when to spend them and how many to spend, rather than the automatic "heal 1/2 your hd" each short rest. More interesting to me, but of course that's subjective.

In answer to your first question there, I'm not aware of any other effects of spending hit dice. It's just a pool of dice to spend to heal yourself. You get another one every level. You get I think half of them back every long rest. If you're a level 5 warrior, which I think means you roll a d10 (or take 6) to improve your HP when you level, you then have 5d10 hit dice. Which happens to be the same amount and size that you've rolled to determine your hit points in the first place. (Except, of course, the first level, where you get max die instead of rolling.) I don't remember if you get to add CON mod to hit die healing rolls, though you do I think still add them in HP determining level-up rolls.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: DnD 5

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:46 am

Cuthalion wrote:Eh, no worries. I hate that they chickened out on the new dice mechanics they had in the playtest. They had started turning fixed modifiers into "roll another die", and that was a lot more fun to me. Some of it's still there, but so far it looks like they backed off on a lot of it. I picked the fighter subclass that gets some of those dice ("maneuver dice"?), but I'm sad that it wasn't more widely applied. Dice you spend temporarily to let you add to rolls or do cool things. That said, I haven't read the whole book. So maybe I'm just missing other spots where they are using that.


The theory of multiple dice is good,and I sure like how theyve implemented it in other games,but Im not so sure I like it here as much.Is Spoony wrong about how they deal with advantage?Basically,he says that every modifier(flanked by one people or ten,opponent prone,etc)results in advantage,and thats it,no scaling.Is that true?

Also,the other systems that use multiple dice usually rely on just one type of die(say just d6 or just d10),but here they are still keeping all the types,right?
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Cuthalion

Re: DnD 5

Postby Cuthalion » Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:58 pm

Haven't finished the Spoony video yet, but I remember advantage not stacking during the playtest. You either have advantage, or you don't. You either have disadvantage, or you don't. If you have both, they cancel out. That is kind of disappointing in situations where you want to combo multiple things to win, or where you've planned out a bunch of circumstances to make sure something goes smoothly. But it works very well as a simple mechanic that feels like it does something every time, unlike a +1, which only feels like it does something 1 in 20 times. So, I like it, even though I think it can take some of the fun out of trying to get every advantage you can (since you really only need one).

You had playtest mechanics that would roll the d20, then add another die (say a d4 or d6) rather than a static modifier. I think those are mostly gone now. You also had at least one mechanic where you had a rechargeable pool of dice you could expend to add to a roll (by rolling the die) or take some special action or feat (a "maneuver"). I still see that on one fighter subclass, but I think it used to be more widely present in the playtest. I'm upset about this, because those seemed like the most promising new mechanics in the playtest, and I very much enjoy varying the dice a little bit and rolling multiple dice instead of always rolling a single 20.

As usual, almost every roll is a d20. If you're rolling for damage, you use some other kind of die or dice. So, you technically need a variety of dice, but in practice only end up using a d20 and one or two others per player.

Again, this is all preliminary. I've only finished one session besides character creation.
Steve C

Re: DnD 5

Postby Steve C » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:48 am

I'm necro'ing this thread. It appears as though this thread was started at around when the PHB was published and ended before the DMG came out. So how is this system?

I'm slowing reading my way through the PHB now. I've got several people asking me to DM it. I'd like to hear what others have to say about it now that it has been out long enough for people to finish a campaign.
Steve C

Re: DnD 5

Postby Steve C » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:47 am

Well the lack of response was a response in and of itself. D&D 5th must not be very popular.
Ivellius

Re: DnD 5

Postby Ivellius » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:25 pm

Eh, I've played a couple of sessions is all. I really like it (more or less skipped 4e), but I have trouble getting groups together to play. Random things off the top of my head:

Advantage is a simple yet elegant mechanic.

I'm pretty happy with the classes and races in the PHB.

I like the in-built subclass system.

Actions have been simplified somewhat compared with 3e.

Low levels feel dangerous, unlike the relatively powerful 1st-level characters in 4e.
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Cuthalion

Re: DnD 5

Postby Cuthalion » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:30 pm

Well, this isn't exactly a fast-moving section of the forums, Steve C. :P

I like it. My opinion on 5th ed hasn't really changed much since my previous post, and my Gnome Fighter (Archer / Battle Master build). He's not an optimal build and will be even less so when I multiclass him to sorcerer next level, but I enjoy playing him. I get 4d8 maneuver dice per short rest, so he has more options than "just shoot him", so that's nice. Each of the spellcasters works a little differently, and that's a nice touch as well. But I'm still sad they backed off from the increased die-rolling they had in the playtest in favour of fixed modifiers.

Also -- and this is not new to 5th ed -- lv1 players are very, very fragile. Twice I've taught a new player 5th ed, and both times they died in the intro session. A little bit was because they were new and reckless, but mostly it was just that, at lv1, it only takes a little bit of bad luck to get taken out of the fight. That's the exact opposite of how it should work: the game should become more dangerous as the players get better at it, not less!

Again, I like 5th edition. I think I like it more than 3rd. It's less convoluted and easier to understand. But it also risks being bland.
Steve C

Re: DnD 5

Postby Steve C » Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:52 am

I don't know the system well enough to say if I like it or not. I can say I do not like the way the PHB is laid out. It's organized stupid. For example Part 1 is pages 1-170. While Part 2 is 25 pages long. Part 3 is 88 pages long. Chapters aren't included as headers or footers making it hard to look up stuff. Things that should be charts and tables are written out long form. And most annoyingly the order is absolutely wrong. You really should read Part 2 before any of Part 1. I assume the editor is to blame for the crappy layout. Totally forgivable for the 1st edition of an indie kickstarter.
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Cuthalion

Re: DnD 5

Postby Cuthalion » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:26 pm

Hm. In my experience, new players start with character creation, and the rules are explained as they go. So, I'm fine with that coming before the rules sections. Plus, having seen how characters end up gives context for the rules (of course, the rules also give context for the character creation, so either way). I think it may be that GMs want one thing, and players who like to study before joining like something different than players who learn after joining. Honestly, most groups I'm in usually only have the GM knowing the rules and having the book (unless they give a pdf to the more initiative-having players who like to plan characters -- but then, it's still about checking the character's options and spell selection).
Steve C

Re: DnD 5

Postby Steve C » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:06 pm

The rules for character creation are indeed explained as you go. But they are the rules specifically for filling out a character sheet rather than character creation. They are missing rules for context *why* you'd want to make choice A vs choice B. Here's a list of benefits and drawbacks for each class. Pick. We'll explain later what you've picked, but for now just pick. What's the difference between an action, a bonus action, a reaction, and advantage? I do not know but it seems really important to the mechanics of these classes. If I wasn't already familiar with 3rd ed I would have been completely lost. Even then I had to keep looking up stuff in the index for info for context.

It irritates me to make a character when I do not understand the choices being presented. It's really common in video games. DnD 5th is the first time I recall a tabletop RPG doing it on purpose. Not a huge gripe and it goes away as soon as you understand the system. It is making learning the game a real chore for me though. It's not a very big book and I'm still not done it.
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Supahewok

Re: DnD 5

Postby Supahewok » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:29 pm

I've played some of each edition of D&D in some form, so I didn't really have a problem coming up with a character. Although, I think the DM may have been on hand for character creation to explain the different kind of actions. Don't remember.

Totally hate the spells section though. I get that there's overlap between classes, so they don't want redundacies, but really? Just alphabetical? They couldn't have even separated them into spell levels? It makes researching new spells a pain in the ass, since if you don't have the spell list memorized, when it comes to to learn a new 2nd level spell you're going to be constantly flipping back and forth from the list at the beginning of the section to the spell descriptions, AND flipping all over to try to compare spells. Horrible.

But as for the rest of it, I really like the character creation options. So far I've played an Elemental monk and Eldritch Knight fighter. The power list for the elemental monk, is kinda... uninspired, with something like half of them being mage spells (they don't even give you the spell description right there, they just say "look up Burning Hands and Stoneskin) but I do like the ones that are original. Just wish it let you have more of them, you only get like 4 total by the time your level 20 and you gain them slowly. One of my DMs agree its lame and is going to let me have more.

My Eldritch Knight is really cool. I've set him up to be a bit of whatever the party needs. He's a fighter who gets low level wizard spells. With Bladeward, Shield, heavy armor and 16 Con, he can be an effective blocker. With Firebolt and Magic Missile, he's got quick and effective ranged attack options. With a longsword, 18 Str, and the Dueling fighting style, he gets +6 to hit and damage, making for a good attacker. And finally, with Sleep, he has some ability to affect crowd control. Its like having a big bag of tricks that I can pull out for any situation. I'm not sure about his longterm potential, as his spellcasting maxes out at having one level 4 spell and that only at the very high end of level system, but that's why I chose spells that don't need a roll to hit (magic missile) or a saving throw to avoid. (Sleep is INSANELY good if you're able to mentally keep track of how badly hurt all of the enemies are, and they can't do a damn thing about it)

As far as I can tell, all classes have this sort of mechanical variety, and I think its stellar.

Advantage is great. Our game has been going for nigh on 3 months, and I don't think Advantage not stacking has been a big deal. Just having that 1 extra redo roll has been enough to nearly always do well on the action, or at least not horribly. And I'm not sure if we've hit a situation where advantage and disadvantage cancel out. That may just be because we're veterans and know how to set ourselves up well, or maybe we've been lucky. Dunno.

Seems to be kind of hard to die. I do know that we're quite a bit a way into the Hoard of the Dragon Queen module, which is supposed to be hard, but we've only had one character death, and it was totally avoidable. (I had a morality crisis and attacked a roper we had managed to talk down, who was trying to eat our live prisoner. Had 1 hit point at the time. It's bite did enough damage to kill me instantly) Have had several close calls, I guess. It takes 3 rounds minimum, usually, to kick the bucket.

They've slashed down the magic items section, as far as I know. We've been getting some interesting magic items, but I dunno if they're from the DMG since that DM won't let me look at it or if he's been making them up. (I think it's the latter) I don't know if I like that. Magic gear was the major money sink for the game, and your major form of progression aside from levels. Now it seems tough to find anything to buy beyond basic equipment.

Feats are great. Most of them really feel like they contribute something of equivalent value to the +1 stat modifier you sacrifice to gain them. Kinda wish there were more though. I'm sure that'll get taken care of with splatbooks. Which, really, I think we should start to be hearing about those any week now.

I like what they've done with hit dice. Rather than the old school mechanic of being a measure of power, they're now a resource pool. For all characters, they can use this pool of dice to regain hp during rests, which I think it a compromise between 4e's second wind and older edition's resting rules. I think that's good, keeps play moving without feeling too "gamey" like 4e. But some subclasses, feats, spells, and items allows you to use these hit dice for other things, like adding one to an attack roll and stuff. Sacrifice long term healing power for a short term power boost. Like that too.

Dragons are neat. They've lost spellcasting, but have gained something called "Lair Actions." Basically, they're a bunch of spell-like abilities specific to each kind of dragon that it only has in its lair, and it gets them in addition to its regular attacks. So the Green Dragon we fought was setting up walls of thorns and fogs of charm in addition to breathing and biting each turn. We sill killed it despite us being level 4, but that was due to good positioning, spell choice, and a great surprise round taking something like 3/8ths of its hitpoints, rather than due to it being wimpy. First time I felt that a dragon was potentially challenging in a long time.

I think overall, there's a lot to love in this edition, even if its got its quibbles like all the rest. (except for 4e, which I don't even count as D&D. It's a tabletop wargame with roleplaying elements, and should be labeled as such) It's going to be my D&D of choice for the next long while, unless I can convince one of my groups to play in another genre, finally.

Edit: On further reflection, I agree with Steve C. The explanation for Abilities and Actions should come before character creation. Pretty sure that's how it was in the 2e books. Having a good DM handy will, as always, mitigate the problem, but, also as always, that shouldn't be necessary here.
Steve C

Re: DnD 5

Postby Steve C » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:43 pm

In 2nd ed it was Stats, Race, Class in that order except it is 31 pages vs 119pgs in 5th ed. In 2nd ed a single race entry would be half a page vs 2-3pgs. A class entry would be 2-3pgs (same as in 5th) but it would be self contained with few choices and fewer that require explanation in a separate section. The majority of class abilities that are not explained in the class section are fairly self evident from other sources like movies. For example a priest can turn undead. In 2nd ed it explains that in vague terms in the class section and in detail in the combat section. There is no choice there and you can make a good guess on what it means from a priest turning a vampire in a horror movie. In 5th ed it calls it Channeling Divinity and there are options for different ways of how to Channel Divinity and the rules on replenishing have specific terms (Short Rest/Long Rest) without any idea of what those terms mean. You also have to pick a Domain with no idea of what that entails or what the spells mean that you are picking. Now pick your skills. What they mean, their importance and what proficiency means will all be explained later.

2nd ed starts with generalities and becomes more and more specific as you read further into the book. 5th starts with specifics and becomes more and more specific as it defines the terms. The difference between 2nd ed and 5th ed is the difference between ingredient lists and cooking instructions. Reference material to look up vs directions to follow.

I agree the spell section is the worst. I tried reading it and gave up after the A's. In addition to not being order of spell level (which is great for learning a system to see how power progresses) it doesn't list what classes can cast a particular spell in the spell description. So you have to cross reference every.single.spell. Like Animal Messenger is on the Bard, Druid and Ranger lists. Bards and Druids can cast it as a ritual but not Rangers. Why not add that line into the spell description instead of requiring me to look up 3 separate sections to see if a Warlock can cast it as a ritual? As a DM making Npcs it will be brutal.
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Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: DnD 5

Postby Lachlan the Sane » Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:02 pm

Steve C wrote:In 2nd ed it was Stats, Race, Class in that order except it is 31 pages vs 119pgs in 5th ed. In 2nd ed a single race entry would be half a page vs 2-3pgs. A class entry would be 2-3pgs (same as in 5th) but it would be self contained with few choices and fewer that require explanation in a separate section. The majority of class abilities that are not explained in the class section are fairly self evident from other sources like movies. For example a priest can turn undead. In 2nd ed it explains that in vague terms in the class section and in detail in the combat section. There is no choice there and you can make a good guess on what it means from a priest turning a vampire in a horror movie. In 5th ed it calls it Channeling Divinity and there are options for different ways of how to Channel Divinity and the rules on replenishing have specific terms (Short Rest/Long Rest) without any idea of what those terms mean. You also have to pick a Domain with no idea of what that entails or what the spells mean that you are picking. Now pick your skills. What they mean, their importance and what proficiency means will all be explained later.

2nd ed starts with generalities and becomes more and more specific as you read further into the book. 5th starts with specifics and becomes more and more specific as it defines the terms. The difference between 2nd ed and 5th ed is the difference between ingredient lists and cooking instructions. Reference material to look up vs directions to follow.

I agree the spell section is the worst. I tried reading it and gave up after the A's. In addition to not being order of spell level (which is great for learning a system to see how power progresses) it doesn't list what classes can cast a particular spell in the spell description. So you have to cross reference every.single.spell. Like Animal Messenger is on the Bard, Druid and Ranger lists. Bards and Druids can cast it as a ritual but not Rangers. Why not add that line into the spell description instead of requiring me to look up 3 separate sections to see if a Warlock can cast it as a ritual? As a DM making Npcs it will be brutal.

Oooooh, that's nasty. 3rd edition also listed all spells in brute-force alphabetical order rather than sorting them by level, because a spell could be of different levels depending on who cast it; for example, by randomly clicking around the spell list on d20srd.org, I found that Wall of Fire is a 4th-level spell for a sorcerer, wizard, or Fire-domain cleric, but a 5th-level spell for druids. However, I was able to find that out by looking at the entry, because right at the top it says "Drd 5, Fire 4, Sor/Wiz 4".
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Cuthalion

Re: DnD 5

Postby Cuthalion » Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:21 am

Supahewok wrote:Totally hate the spells section though. [snip] ...when it comes to to learn a new 2nd level spell you're going to be constantly flipping back and forth from the list at the beginning of the section to the spell descriptions, AND flipping all over to try to compare spells. Horrible.

Agreed. I just multiclassed my fighter into a sorcerer. That back and forth was painful. You and Steve C are right on this one. Remind me not to do that when I finally publish my own game. :P

As far as I can tell, all classes have this sort of mechanical variety, and I think its stellar.

Also agreed. For experienced players though, I'd just have everybody start at level 3, when that kicks in. I think having a couple simpler levels is good for people just learning.

Advantage is great. Our game has been going for nigh on 3 months, and I don't think Advantage not stacking has been a big deal. Just having that 1 extra redo roll has been enough to nearly always do well on the action, or at least not horribly. And I'm not sure if we've hit a situation where advantage and disadvantage cancel out. That may just be because we're veterans and know how to set ourselves up well, or maybe we've been lucky. Dunno.

It comes up for us now and then because we have a druid who does stuff involving visibility, and we've got a rogue who does stealth. When you have to figure out who has advantage and disadvantage from being in versus attacking into or out of fog or invisibility or stealth or who knows what, you often get advantage and disadvantage canceling out.

Seems to be kind of hard to die.

Strongly disagree. At level one, I've had to bend the rules with contrivances twice (once playtest, once final release) to rescue new players who got themselves taken down and, if not dead, unconscious for the rest of the session (usually during the climactic fight or, worse, before it!). The game should be least deadly at level one and most deadly later. It seems to be the opposite so far. (We just started to ding level 5 -- not everyone has the same exp due to missed sessions and players entering at different times. The varying levels hasn't been a problem, but everybody has gotten rapidly less fragile.) At the very least, start people with 10 more HP than they're supposed to just to keep a good enemy die roll from ending the fun for the new guy (or the unlucky experienced guy).

Now it seems tough to find anything to buy beyond basic equipment.

Ugh. Our GM was a jerk, lol, and made us start being marched up a mountain in chains by a cult to be sacrificed. We probably averaged level 3 or 4 by the time we got the sort of stuff you're supposed to start with. But that's our playstyle (and it is satisfying, eventually), not the game's problem. :P

I like what they've done with hit dice. Rather than the old school mechanic of being a measure of power, they're now a resource pool. For all characters, they can use this pool of dice to regain hp during rests, which I think it a compromise between 4e's second wind and older edition's resting rules.

The Old Ways always confused me greatly. Seeing rules measuring monster hit dice, when I didn't even see that measure on the monsters themselves, was frustrating as an inexperienced player. I'm sure I would've been more comfortable with it if I'd had it explained to me before encountering it, or if I'd spent more time playing those editions. I like the new compromise between healing surges / second wind and a more immersion-respecting feel.

Edit: On further reflection, I agree with Steve C. The explanation for Abilities and Actions should come before character creation. Pretty sure that's how it was in the 2e books. Having a good DM handy will, as always, mitigate the problem, but, also as always, that shouldn't be necessary here.

Steve C wrote:The rules for character creation are indeed explained as you go. But they are the rules specifically for filling out a character sheet rather than character creation. They are missing rules for context *why* you'd want to make choice A vs choice B. Here's a list of benefits and drawbacks for each class. Pick. We'll explain later what you've picked, but for now just pick. What's the difference between an action, a bonus action, a reaction, and advantage? I do not know but it seems really important to the mechanics of these classes. If I wasn't already familiar with 3rd ed I would have been completely lost. Even then I had to keep looking up stuff in the index for info for context.

I spent 3 or 4 hours last Saturday reading through the first chapter and character creation for The One Ring RPG so I could make my character for an upcoming game (the GM asked us to in advance). I agree with you now, Steve C. At least TOR explained some of the rules ahead of time, but I still found myself constantly looking through the contents and the index to make sure I actually understood what the consequences were for the decisions I was making. Granted, I could've chalked it up to "favored skill is better than regular skill" and figured out the quantity later, but I wasn't sure when or how often it would come up. And so on with other numbers and keywords.

I also have been playing Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together for the first time, and that game suffers horribly from a similar problem that I had never noticed before. It really doesn't explain what its numbers mean, how they interact, or how to compare the choices you have. Is 30 attack and 3 piercing better than 40 attack? Does the Fortify skill even do anything? How do I increase the power of healing spells? Why don't my and my enemies' attack and defence numbers seem to have any bearing on how much damage is being done? TELL ME?!?!

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