Monday, May 28, 2012

On the #DnDNext playtest: Part three, everyone else.

I realized, after I read the extensive notes on the wizard, that the hopelessly broken wizard is only hopelessly broken if you have a player with any skill whatsoever. Any skill. In fact, using sleep as a room nuke, the elf's ability to walk around in light and darkness, and using any of the many empty boxes in the store room for a long rest, the wizard, alone, could VERY EASILY solo the entire adventure.

Have you ever backed up in Diablo when there were too many critters? There you go.

So, other problems:

My fighter's only "problem," was that he was kind of boring. I Hit. I Hit. I Hit. I Hit. I fell asleep just now thinking about it.

The clerics had a combination of silly at-wills, a defender thing that made no logical sense at all (you can defend [give advantage to] two people, for example, from different attacks, because you have a shield, even though those people are each <5ft from you, even though they may be >10feet apart (because YOU, the cleric, actually have width, in reality, you're not a point. So if you're taking up 1/2 of a 10ft square, that's 3/2 squares from side to side you are "defending" with your shield, magically, without magic.

You know, the DM thinks, I don't know, you turn your shield to defend the guy on your right flank, you are not defending the guy in front of you, right?

Apparently, this is the "old school" way of thinking, which apparently involves hard math. The idea that defending someone to your right that you need to MOVE to defend leaves the guy ON YOUR LEFT undefended. People have written entire novels on their problems with the clerics, so I will let it go at that.

I seriously, seriously, think the only purpose in "advantage" in rolling two dice is A. To sell more dice. And B. To sell every DM who has to do disadvantage on more than one or two monsters at a time a die roller. Maybe it's a die-roller ap. Whatever.

The rogue's comments were largely about feeling a lack of special abilities, which could be fixed with "thieving skills and non-weapon proficiencies." His words, NOT MINE. Technically, there is nothing saying a fighter can't sneak just as effectively in the right scenario.

OVERALL, the problems with the characters are summed up thusly:
My group plays as a group. When they are coming up with characters for a campaign, they talk to each other. They plan to use their unique abilities based on what they want to play, what they want to do in the group. Having a system where all players can each do all things defeats the 'serving a unique role' purpose. Since a long rest restores all hp, even the cleric's healing ability is replicated BY HIDING IN A BOX.

The next installment is about logic, worldbuilding, and the broader problems, and will not be interesting to non-DMs, I think.


  1. Hi,

    Me again.

    Fighter is boring, well if the player sticks to his sheet and doesn't try other things, like grappling then yes, he is boring. But this is a design decision, people have been complaining about the 4e fighter and waxing lyrical about older edition fighters who could only attack. You get what you ask for. There will be more complex fighters available for those that want.

    You can even emulate it by taking the fighter, removing the slayer theme and replacing it with guardian. Now the fighter can defend one ally a turn. Or stop an enemy's movement at level 3.

    As for your reading of the Defender skill. This allows the character with the feet to defend one ally a turn as a reaction. Characters only get one reaction a turn. (How to play document page 9.) So, yes if you are defending the person on your left you are not defending the person on your right.

    The advantage disadvantage system is not about selling more dice (Wizards do not sell many dice, Chessex and other companies do). It is however an elegant way of adjusting probabilities without having to keep track of a myriad of small bonuses and penalties. You either have advantage, disadvantage or neither.

    As for a rogues lack of special abilities, the rogue has 6 trained skills. He cannot roll lower than a ten on these skills giving him a good chance of succeeding on checks. On top of this he has a profession, player's choice, which gives him some role playing advantages.

    A final note, if you allow your players to hide in a box overnight to gain rest that is a indication of poor dming rather than a poor system. At the very least monsters should be reacting to any changes that the players caused. Caves of Chaos Page 3. Dynamic Dungeons sidebar. It would also not be unfair to give creatures a random chance of discovering the hiding heroes. Or have them make an opposed stealth(dex)/perception(wis) check.

    1. There are at least two different storerooms where the storyline describes the lack of attention being paid to them. It is because of this *precise* wording, that resting in a box without being discovered becomes likely.

    2. As a dm I would still require the party to keep quiet by making stealth rolls if they planned to camp out in an enemy lair overnight. No reasonably intelligent creature is going to ignore strange noises coming from an unused room in it's lair

    3. Of course, and they'd also have a chance to be discovered by patrolling guards, but that doesn't mean they couldn't do it. If the party hid for example in a trap (I can't think of one in the caves that would suffice off of the top of my head, this is given as a metaphorical,) or behind a secret door that the enemies are described as being unaware of, this chance would be even lower.