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Oracle_Hunter
2012-08-16, 09:30 AM
There's a 5th Edition of D&D coming out ("D&D Next") and there are playtests and such. So discuss the playtests (within the bounds of the NDA), what you want to see, what you don't want to see, and other aspects of game design that may be relevant.

Useful links:
Playtest sign up (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20120109)
Enworld's info compilation (http://www.enworld.org/forum/showwiki.php?title=Books:D+and+D+Next)


Penny Arcade / PvP 5e Podcasts:
Part 1 of 4 (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4pod/20120806)
Part 2 of 4 (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4pod/20120813)
Part 3 of 4 (http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4pod/20120820)
Part 4 of 4 (http://www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4pod/20120827)


Previous threads:
First edition (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218549)
Second edition (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231033)
Third edition (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=242069)
3.5th edition (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245504)
Fourth edition (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=244672)
5^2 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=245600)

Ashdate
2012-08-16, 11:46 AM
From the previous thread:


It's unreasonable that an epic-level Rogue needs to roll against a monstrous DC to pick the lock on the tavern door, whereas a Heroic-tier Rogue has to roll a much lower DC to pick the same lock.

Some people took "scale you DCs on skill checks" to mean just that, not that the super-duper amazing locked door that epic rogues generally run across have harder to pick locks and that a Heroic rogue wouldn't have a chance of picking one.

I think this sounds like a problem with the "fluff" (which 4e certainly had its issues with), but mechanically it works as intended; players never fall behind and get useless at tasks (a la 3.5e), while numbers still go up. I think most 4e GMs (myself included) understand that a locked door at level 1 is not the same obstacle to a PC as a locked door at level 11; the difference becomes in how you handle a PC trying to "move" through that lock.

If there's not plausible reason for that lock to not be a run-of-the-mill generic lock, then the level 11 PC should more or less auto-succeed, assuming he/she has either Thievery training or a good dex score (and page 42 would confirm this; easy tasks are generally 5 + 1/2 level, so even if you're using level 11 "numbers" the player should still auto-succeed). And if you wanted to be even more purist, that "level 1" lock should have such a low DC (~11?) that even the clumsy fighter with his mere +4 to Thevery checks should have a decent chance of opening.

If instead the party encounters a lock installed by a group of giants (who are around level 11), then it shouldn't be a stretch to suggest that THIS lock is an appropriate challenge for the party rogue. maybe it's of giant design, or the locking mechanics are heavier/larger that common lockpicks are hard to use with it. Whatever.

Again, I'm not saying that the 4e DMG communicated this well (in fact, the DMG communicated a lot of things poorly), but as a system for improvising challenges for players, it works as intended (and I would argue, it works well).


Like the advice to not stat up every NPC, and to only give stats to NPCs that were supposed to engage in combat was taken to mean that NPCs don't matter unless the PCs are killing them.

I think this is another misinterpretation at best, and at worst, ignoring VERY good advice. Not every NPC needs a character sheet! Encouraging the DM to be constantly referencing some stats so he can accurately tell the PCs that THIS guy has a +12 to his Nature check only slows the game down. Instead, the DMG is (rightfully!) encouraging you to not make NPCs the focus of your game.

And it's not like you can't create NPCs with full stats (either PC generated, or monster generated); you absolutely can! But I would question the wisdom in doing so unless (as the advice says) you were planning on using them in some sort of combat. If the NPC is important enough, write out four or five traits/quirks about him/her, and guesstimate their skills/stats if the need should arise. As much as the DM advice given in 4e had problems, it also encouraged the DMs to work "smarter" (not "harder") to deliver their game. And despite its problems, page 42 is a brilliant tool that 3.5 sorely lacked, and that I hope 5e gets.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-08-16, 12:51 PM
Also from the previous thread:


So anyway. First thoughts on the new playtest is that there are way too many knowledge skills, and they've still left out Perform and Repair. Boo. Channel Divinity is now just another healing spell and seems to be there only because they need some mechanic with that name. I like the new fighter mechanic, as well as grouping the feats in 'themes' to avoid choice paralysis. I don't like how a character gets only three skills in a fairly arbitrary grouping.

Regarding Knowledge skills, I think that having lots of them could be useful, but 5e in general suffers (at least thus far) from skills not doing anything specific and instead just being rolled when a somewhat-related situation comes up. If they were like 3e or SWSE skills, where it gave you an explicit list of functions and associated DCs, then you could fold in Knowledge Devotion- or Favored Enemy-style benefits to give you a concrete reason to have those sorts of skills. If you're just going to have skills that say you generally knowa bunch of stuff about X topic, that should really be a trait like "Historical Scholar: You know so much about history, it's like you're reading from the campaign setting sourcebooks" or "Tree-Hugger: you can identify plants and animals and their properties on sight because you just love nature that much" or the like (though obviously without the snark).

Regarding Channel Divinity, it's only a healing ability now, but its real use is as a hook for function calls later, similar to the way you could pick up extra Channel Divinity effects in 4e and to how Turn/Rebuke Undead powered [Divine] feats in 3e. I'd be surprised if alternate Channel Divinity options don't show up in the PHB right off the bat.


I think this is another misinterpretation at best, and at worst, ignoring VERY good advice. Not every NPC needs a character sheet! Encouraging the DM to be constantly referencing some stats so he can accurately tell the PCs that THIS guy has a +12 to his Nature check only slows the game down. Instead, the DMG is (rightfully!) encouraging you to not make NPCs the focus of your game.

And it's not like you can't create NPCs with full stats (either PC generated, or monster generated); you absolutely can! But I would question the wisdom in doing so unless (as the advice says) you were planning on using them in some sort of combat. If the NPC is important enough, write out four or five traits/quirks about him/her, and guesstimate their skills/stats if the need should arise. As much as the DM advice given in 4e had problems, it also encouraged the DMs to work "smarter" (not "harder") to deliver their game. And despite its problems, page 42 is a brilliant tool that 3.5 sorely lacked, and that I hope 5e gets.

Rule #37 of DMing: The likelihood a PC will choose to go someplace is inversely proportional to the likelihood that you prepared for it, and the likelihood that a PC wants to attack a certain NPC is inversely proportional to the likelihood that you have combat stats for that NPC. :smallamused:

I don't want to start this thread off with a symmetric vs. asymmetric NPC rules debate, so suffice it to say that page 42 is vastly overrated, 3e had a big list of sample skill DCs as well, and having a range of acceptable values for stat X at level Y instead of one single value is not a bad thing at all.

Seerow
2012-08-16, 01:02 PM
Regarding Channel Divinity, it's only a healing ability now, but its real use is as a hook for function calls later, similar to the way you could pick up extra Channel Divinity effects in 4e and to how Turn/Rebuke Undead powered [Divine] feats in 3e. I'd be surprised if alternate Channel Divinity options don't show up in the PHB right off the bat.


If this happens, then Clerics should just get channel divinity, and drop spellcasting completely.

I see no reason why Clerics need two separate sets of resources, when we're having to fight tooth and nail to get a single resource for half the classes.

TheOOB
2012-08-16, 01:23 PM
Also from the previous thread:
Regarding Channel Divinity, it's only a healing ability now, but its real use is as a hook for function calls later, similar to the way you could pick up extra Channel Divinity effects in 4e and to how Turn/Rebuke Undead powered [Divine] feats in 3e. I'd be surprised if alternate Channel Divinity options don't show up in the PHB right off the bat.

Well, some options are already present, both the sun and war domain get some kind of alteration to their channel divinity ability, which will be a great way to help make different types of clerics seem different. I hope they don't make a lot of other abilities use channel divinity uses other than the domain however, for the reason Seerow stated.

In Next, they seem to have a design goal that, for spellcasters at least, they would rather make a spell that does something or put rules for some kind of effect in a spell rather than make a new general rule or class ability, for example, see the counterspell spell. I kind of like this, it helps with the idea that you get to choose your own complexity(by class, feat, and ability selection), it also makes there less generic rules to learn. A shining example of this is the Turn Undead spell. Clerics cans till turn undead, but it's not a whole new ability with it's own rules. If a cleric is going to get some new function or ability, it should be a spell(or a domain). If you can't fit the ability in one of those camps, you probably should make a new class.

1337 b4k4
2012-08-16, 01:26 PM
Regarding Knowledge skills, I think that having lots of them could be useful, but 5e in general suffers (at least thus far) from skills not doing anything specific and instead just being rolled when a somewhat-related situation comes up.

I think this is somewhat by design. The stated goal is that all checks are ability checks, and skills are really supposed to represent specializations in an area that provide a fixed bonus to that check. To that end, I think they're doing a poor job of conveying that idea, but it may also explain the abundance of knowledge skills, to reduce the idea that if you don't have the "swim" skill, you can't swim.


From the previous thread:


Reverse metagaming. There are things the characters know that the players don't. Because the players don't know, they don't even know they should be asking if their characters know so they don't even attempt to make a case for knowing something.

In that case, your DM should be providing the information. It's no different than the DM describing the smell of the room, or the dampness of the air. The DM's job is to provide the information to the players that they need to know and should know to make informed choices. Besides, if the players don't know to ask for the knowledge, having a knowledge roll isn't going to help them at all, since they won't know to roll for it.


@Seerow,

I don't know if you saw it, but I would be very interested to hear your ideas on my last thoughts in the last thread RE: combat superiority dice.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-08-16, 02:09 PM
If this happens, then Clerics should just get channel divinity, and drop spellcasting completely.

I see no reason why Clerics need two separate sets of resources, when we're having to fight tooth and nail to get a single resource for half the classes.

Whether clerics need two sets of resources when spells are already plenty variable, and whether they'll end up getting two sets of resources because printing new Channel Divinity options is easy, are two entirely separate issues. :smallamused:


Well, some options are already present, both the sun and war domain get some kind of alteration to their channel divinity ability, which will be a great way to help make different types of clerics seem different. I hope they don't make a lot of other abilities use channel divinity uses other than the domain however, for the reason Seerow stated.

I meant new options on top of those--my guess is that they're going to go the every-god-gets-a-new-Channel-Divinity-use route since that's simpler and more modular than a PrC here and a feat there and specialty over there to differentiate clerics of different faiths--whether we want them or not and whether they're a good idea or not. WotC needs to sell splatbooks, after all, and what better (and easier to write) module to release than a Complete Champion equivalent?


In Next, they seem to have a design goal that, for spellcasters at least, they would rather make a spell that does something or put rules for some kind of effect in a spell rather than make a new general rule or class ability, for example, see the counterspell spell. I kind of like this, it helps with the idea that you get to choose your own complexity(by class, feat, and ability selection), it also makes there less generic rules to learn. A shining example of this is the Turn Undead spell. Clerics cans till turn undead, but it's not a whole new ability with it's own rules. If a cleric is going to get some new function or ability, it should be a spell(or a domain). If you can't fit the ability in one of those camps, you probably should make a new class.

While folding things into spells is a good idea for controlling complexity, it's not a good idea for the modularity they've been touting and have yet to show us on a large scale. Separating out a resource means you have "hooks" you can built onto, and more resources means more things you can swap out. 2e had spells that affected other spells, while 3e had metamagic feats, and having a [metamagic] feat descriptor in 3e allowed for metamagic that behaved differently from spells (affecting spells during preparation, for instance), which may be something desirable. Similarly, having Turn Undead as a separate ability meant that there was a reserved ability slot for ACFs to swap out, [divine] feats to build on, and so forth.

Also, some abilities might not be best relegated to the spell list. There's a big thematic difference between having counterspell be a spell you can learn ("It is possible to counter enemy spells if you learn to do so") and having counterspelling be a basic magic option ("Casting the same spell as another caster does will interfere with and counter their casting"), and the same holds for "All clerics can turn undead [or even just turn a particular creature type" vs. "All clerics can potentially learn how to turn undead." Whether you want all members of a class to have it or not is debatable (I personally am in favor of making Turn Undead a spell like any other), but it is something to be considered before just throwing everything into the spell list.


I think this is somewhat by design. The stated goal is that all checks are ability checks, and skills are really supposed to represent specializations in an area that provide a fixed bonus to that check. To that end, I think they're doing a poor job of conveying that idea, but it may also explain the abundance of knowledge skills, to reduce the idea that if you don't have the "swim" skill, you can't swim.

As I said before, if there aren't going to be any guidelines as to what sorts of knowledge are common or rare, what tangible benefits knowing things has, and so forth, it would be better in my opinion to have Knowledge traits that just let you know stuff rather than having lots of skills cluttering up the design space. When it comes to swimming or seeing things or other straightforward tasks, you can reasonably judge how hard it is for a strong guy to swim in a storm, for an elf to see someone through fog in the dark, and so forth...but figuring out whether a character would know things about red dragons, for instance, is a lot more vague, based on how common they are in your game, how common they are where the character grew up, whether there are legends about them and how accurate those legends are, and so forth.

D&D has never really done knowledge NWPs/skills well, and 3e in particular had lots of wonky rules interactions or vagueness (farmers not being able to identify their cows, a dragon-slayer who grew up in a desert being able to identify fish but not dragons, determining what "a piece of useful information" about a creature means, etc.). Far better to say "If it relates to history, this guy knows it, with a few exceptions for plot-relevant mysteries when the DM would try to prevent you knowing it anyway" than to try to figure out how hard it would be to identify who the queen was in the neighboring kingdom 300 years ago.

Seerow
2012-08-16, 02:31 PM
@Seerow,

I don't know if you saw it, but I would be very interested to hear your ideas on my last thoughts in the last thread RE: combat superiority dice.

I actually didn't see it, you went and edited in a response on me after I saw your initial post. Thanks for the head sup.


So really it seems that the issue is not that the CS thing sucks, or that you dislike it in general, it's that you feel the powers don't go far enough. Fair enough, and I can get behind that and in fact plan on having that be some of the feedback I send back as well. The big trick is balancing the system out. At will powers by definition should be weakish because you can use them repetitively, and making them too powerful runs a high chance of making them broken.

I agree with this to a degree, but right now the degree of separation is too far. We have guidelines of how long an adventuring day is supposed to last, and that adventuring day has a 5th level wizard casting dailies in more than half the rounds of combat for an average day.

As it is, even the options the Fighter gets at 5th level are weaker/less versatile than 1st level spells. I don't think wanting power levels to be on par with a spell a couple levels lower is too out of line. I'd like it if Cleave was more comparable to burning hands, or if a 5th level Fighter could grant cover to himself or an ally by expending dice.




What would you think of the following:

In addition to a few more status inducing powers, and fixing the stupidity that is glancing blow and a few of the others, leave most of the powers relatively low powered as they are.

I'd prefer low powered but more flexible. Like my suggested 'a single ability that lets you use the basic CS maneuvers for more potent effects', but yes.


In exchange, increase the number of dice available with a chart sort of like the wizard spell chart, but instead of spell levels, dice sizes (d4, d6, d8 etc), with a progression of maybe adding 1 die per level, and one size per 3-5 levels. Additionally, each ability has a "powered up" version of the ability that can be used, but such usage burns any CS dice you use until a long rest a la the vancian spells.

I like the idea of burning up CS dice for more potent effects. Personally I'd go with a slightly different implementation, but the general concept is one I agree with.

Personally, the way I'd do it is give Fighters 1 bonus CS die every odd level, at the same time that Wizards gain new spell levels. Higher level combat maneuvers take up more CS dice to use (like an ability you get at level 19-20 takes all 10 dice to use, an ability you get at level 5 takes 3 dice to use), and you gain one maneuver each level. And then some abilities that are more powerful burn a CS die (either for the encounter or daily, depending on designer intents or the power level of the abilities).


And while it would be nice to see more than one reaction, to a degree, it makes sense you can only have one both for game speed and also because a round is only 6 seconds. How much reaction do you plan on doing in 6 seconds?

Additionally, allow fighters to spend their CS dice to take additional reactions at the cost of one die per additional reaction (in addition to the die spent on the ability).

I'm addressing these together because it's a solution I can get behind. I suggested something similar on the wotc forums yesterday. The only real problem I see with this is that Fighters are the only one with a lot of reaction capability. The question is if that's seen as a good or bad thing.

Either way, as it is, I rolled up a defender Fighter, and the best option I found was to take the Hold the Line feat, and avoid anything else at all that went based off reactions because other options just weren't quite as good and you don't get quite enough options to be able to waste some.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-08-16, 03:38 PM
Reverse metagaming. There are things the characters know that the players don't. Because the players don't know, they don't even know they should be asking if their characters know so they don't even attempt to make a case for knowing something.

"You see strange glowing symbols on the wall."

"Okay, I roll Knowledge (Arcana) to see if I know anything about them."


The problem with this is the DM has probably already decided what they want you to know about the strange glowing symbols and what they don't. And if there's something that actually matters in it like a critical plot clue or something, they're not gonna leave that up to the roll of the dice.

"Whoops! Looks like you failed your Heraldic Lore check, so those guys you attacked were actually your allies. Now both the incumbents AND the rebels want you dead! Have fun!"

Nu
2012-08-16, 04:01 PM
Looking over the cleric, particularly war domain, I'm starting to get sort of a feeling of dread... like there's very little reason to play a fighter over it. We've already covered that combat superiority is lackluster, and the war cleric gets almost everything the fighter does... but it can cast spells too.

Let's see... same proficiencies as far as one-handed weapons goes. Doesn't get access to ranged weapons, but doesn't need them because they have spells. Radiant lance will do fine. Almost as tough, d8 dice instead of d10. Less accurate with attacks--at least until you cast a level 1 spell, Divine Favor, which can ONLY affect yourself (can't buff a fighter with it). Did I mention that Divine Favor lasts 6 rounds AND you can attack as part of the same action? Only thing holding them back is so few spells per day, really... I THINK the domain slot doesn't add an extra spell slot of each level per day, but I could be wrong. I think it just adds to the list of spells prepared.

Of course, channel divinity is essentially an extra spell per day, and it's really good in the hands of a war domain cleric--attack and heal as part of the same action. Hmm... isn't this a problem?

AgentPaper
2012-08-16, 04:50 PM
"You see strange glowing symbols on the wall."

"Okay, I roll Knowledge (Arcana) to see if I know anything about them."


The problem with this is the DM has probably already decided what they want you to know about the strange glowing symbols and what they don't. And if there's something that actually matters in it like a critical plot clue or something, they're not gonna leave that up to the roll of the dice.

"Whoops! Looks like you failed your Heraldic Lore check, so those guys you attacked were actually your allies. Now both the incumbents AND the rebels want you dead! Have fun!"

If there's a reason that you should know something, then you know it, no roll required. The knowledge skills, like all skills, are only supposed to come in when there's some sort of uncertainty. If you're a farmer, you probably know a lot about cows. If you grew up in the desert, you probably don't know anything about fish. This is exactly the kind of case where you would roll with advantage or disadvantage, at the DM's discretion. The DM also has the option of simply having you auto-succeed or auto-fail, if there's no possible way you would know or not know something.

There's no need for special rules in the knowledge skills to cover these situations, because they're covered in the rules for all skills. It explicitly says that if you're just walking down the street, you don't need to roll balance to not fall over. Similarly, if a clumsy (8 dex) wizard tries to walk across a thin, rotted rope strung between two ships being tossed in stormy seas, you don't roll for that, the DM just tells you how badly you fail. The same rule applies when your dull (8 int) rogue tries to recall the jewelry being worn by the Djinni involved in the ancient conspiracy between the Elemental Plane of Fire and the Elemental Plane of Slightly-Less-Fire that occurred three thousand years ago.

Seerow
2012-08-16, 05:01 PM
There's no need for special rules in the knowledge skills to cover these situations, because they're covered in the rules for all skills. It explicitly says that if you're just walking down the street, you don't need to roll balance to not fall over.

This part is fine.


Similarly, if a clumsy (8 dex) wizard tries to walk across a thin, rotted rope strung between two ships being tossed in stormy seas, you don't roll for that, the DM just tells you how badly you fail. The same rule applies when your dull (8 int) rogue tries to recall the jewelry being worn by the Djinni involved in the ancient conspiracy between the Elemental Plane of Fire and the Elemental Plane of Slightly-Less-Fire that occurred three thousand years ago.


This part, however is not. What you should and should not be able to do should be based on what the modifiers add up to allowing you to do, not based solely on what the DM thinks is acceptable. If you want the Rogue with 18 dex and balance trained (+7 modifier) to be able to succeed reliably, that check DC needs to be 17 or lower. That means your Wizard with 8 dex and no training (-1) can succeed on that check 15% of the time. Telling him he can't even roll to attempt it is robbing the player of that chance without any mechanical reason for it.

TheOOB
2012-08-16, 06:14 PM
Looking over the cleric, particularly war domain, I'm starting to get sort of a feeling of dread... like there's very little reason to play a fighter over it. We've already covered that combat superiority is lackluster, and the war cleric gets almost everything the fighter does... but it can cast spells too.

You're kidding, right?


Let's see... same proficiencies as far as one-handed weapons goes. Doesn't get access to ranged weapons, but doesn't need them because they have spells. Radiant lance will do fine.

I'm calling foul on this. Radiant Lance only ever does 1d8+4 damage, a ranged weapon deals equivalent base damage, but there are also special abilities and feats fighters can use on them, and cleric blasts are not the greatest.


Almost as tough, d8 dice instead of d10.

I feel parry is relevant, but with a clerics healing it mostly evens out(though a fighter has a higher hit die, parry, and can be healed)


Less accurate with attacks--at least until you cast a level 1 spell, Divine Favor, which can ONLY affect yourself (can't buff a fighter with it). Did I mention that Divine Favor lasts 6 rounds AND you can attack as part of the same action? Only thing holding them back is so few spells per day, really... I THINK the domain slot doesn't add an extra spell slot of each level per day, but I could be wrong. I think it just adds to the list of spells prepared.

I do feel Divine power is a little too strong, especially considering it's level 1(it either needs to drop to +1, or not allow an attack when you cast it.) Though do remember, a cleric can only cast 3 level 1 spells per day, and every divine favor is another spell they can't cast.


Of course, channel divinity is essentially an extra spell per day, and it's really good in the hands of a war domain cleric--attack and heal as part of the same action. Hmm... isn't this a problem?

It is an extra heal, and it is nice with the war domain, but it doesn't look like it gets used often enough to be anything more than a nice occasional ability.

On the other hand, at level 1, a fighter gets 1d6 extra damage on their attack, every round, and by level 5 thats 2d8 damage, every round, at no cost. As far as damage over time, I think the fighter is at the head of the pack. A wizard at level 5 can, using their best spell slot, do 5d6 damage to a target a couple of times(fireball, average damage 17.5), a fighter can easily deal 1d12+2d8+4 damage every attack(average 19.5 damage). In any fight lasting more than a few rounds, the fighters damage per round will be at the highest in their party(unless the rogue can secure advantage every round).

The fighter is quite powerful, and that's just deadly strike, they still have the option to use their expertise dice for other effects.

I will say that, at level 1, a cleric seems a little powerful(which is when channel divinity, crusaders strike, and divine favor are at their best), and the fighter a little weak(expertise dice get dramatically better at level 5), but I find all the classes quite viable and competitive with one another.

navar100
2012-08-16, 06:58 PM
In that case, your DM should be providing the information. It's no different than the DM describing the smell of the room, or the dampness of the air. The DM's job is to provide the information to the players that they need to know and should know to make informed choices. Besides, if the players don't know to ask for the knowledge, having a knowledge roll isn't going to help them at all, since they won't know to roll for it.


Thanks for bringing the conversation here. :smallsmile:

There is a point to this, such as Knowledge Arcana. Making the roll could be considered just an excuse for the DM to tell the player what some magical effect is. However, Knowledge checks serve two important functions:

1) It was common, at least in my experience over several DMs and years of playing, pre-3E for the DM to often say "You just don't know" whenever the player asks about something. DMs flat-out refused to give information until they see fit at their convenience. Knowledge checks became the game mechanic method for arbitrarily saying this PC knows something, tell him already DM. Years of post-3E play of DM telling players stuff because of rolls has diminished this problem. "You just don't know" has become an honest true legitimate "You don't know" instead of its former condescension with "just".

2) On the DM side, DMs often complain about PCs metagaming combat because they've read the Monster Manual. DMs had to fight back by changing monsters, such as trolls wearing rings of fire resistance or be a variant troll that's vulnerable to cold and electricity instead of fire and acid. Knowledge checks became the game mechanic method for arbitrarily saying this PC knows about this monster and the player is permitted to use his personal knowledge for the combat. Fail the check, the PC does not know and the DM is in his rights to metaphorically slap the hand of a player using metagame knowledge in the combat. The complaint of 3E warrior/spellcaster differences on being able to make this check is a fault against the mechanics of the concept, not the concept itself. Knowledge Devotion is an important feat to some. This metagame issue is not going away. Some method is needed.

As for players not knowing to ask, that is when the DM should either fiat tell the player his character knows this or ask for the Knowledge check if there's a chance the PC doesn't. That's DM-style issue, but I would like the 5E DMG to recommend it.

Seerow
2012-08-16, 07:35 PM
Warlock and Sorcerer being released as Vancian Alternatives tomorrow.

Quick take bets, over/under on both outclassing the Fighter and Rogue, and on whether or not they will have heavily ingrained fluff so you can't play a spellpoint character with wizard fluff, or whatever.

1337 b4k4
2012-08-16, 07:37 PM
However, Knowledge checks serve two important functions

Both of your functions essentially boil down to the same thing, using rules to bludgeon players or DMs into playing the game fairly and impartially. As we've discussed before, I don't feel it is appropriate to spend rules space and resources trying to force people to play "correctly." Either they will or they won't and the rules trying to force are just keeping the honest players honest.


Personally, the way I'd do it is give Fighters 1 bonus CS die every odd level, at the same time that Wizards gain new spell levels. Higher level combat maneuvers take up more CS dice to use (like an ability you get at level 19-20 takes all 10 dice to use, an ability you get at level 5 takes 3 dice to use), and you gain one maneuver each level. And then some abilities that are more powerful burn a CS die (either for the encounter or daily, depending on designer intents or the power level of the abilities).

So what would your progression look like? Something like this?

1: 1d6
2: 1d6
3: 2d6
4: 2d6
5: 3d8

TopCheese
2012-08-16, 07:37 PM
If this happens, then Clerics should just get channel divinity, and drop spellcasting completely.

I see no reason why Clerics need two separate sets of resources, when we're having to fight tooth and nail to get a single resource for half the classes.

Actually I like the idea of taking away Channel Divinity and just giving the Cleric a special orison (minor magic or whatever they are calling it now) called Turn Undead/Rebuke Undead. This way it works just like a spell, you don't need more rules, and you don't have to worry about fanboys and fangirls complaining about the Cleric not feeling like a Cleric.

Seerow
2012-08-16, 07:42 PM
So what would your progression look like? Something like this?

1: 1d6
2: 1d6
3: 2d6
4: 2d6
5: 3d8

Basically, yes.

When I did a write up a while ago, it started at a d4, so at level 5 you get d6, 10 is d8, 15 is d10, and you get d12s at 20. Yours would cap out at d12s by level 15, but either way works fine. The important thing is the # of dice, and the abilities that key off of them. Having dice scaling in number alongside spell levels makes it easier to balance the power of the abilities that key off them, and thus is better all around.

1337 b4k4
2012-08-16, 08:13 PM
With so many dice, I think you would either have to reduce the at will capabilities, or make any dice used over the first stay burned until a long rest. Otherwise at 5th level, your fighter is doing [w] + 3d8 per round at will damage. Even if you factor magic, it seems like that just moves the problem from linear fighter / quadratic wizard to quadratic wizard / cubic fighter. I guess arguably the fighter wont get AOE but I'm not sure that's enough of a damper. Even using your progression it's still 3d6 at will, half as much as the rogue sneak attack which is already a bit overpowered in my opinion.

Ziegander
2012-08-16, 08:19 PM
Warlock and Sorcerer being released as Vancian Alternatives tomorrow.

Quick take bets, over/under on both outclassing the Fighter and Rogue, and on whether or not they will have heavily ingrained fluff so you can't play a spellpoint character with wizard fluff, or whatever.

Wait, what? Where is this information coming from?

Seerow
2012-08-16, 08:26 PM
With so many dice, I think you would either have to reduce the at will capabilities, or make any dice used over the first stay burned until a long rest. Otherwise at 5th level, your fighter is doing [w] + 3d8 per round at will damage. Even if you factor magic, it seems like that just moves the problem from linear fighter / quadratic wizard to quadratic wizard / cubic fighter. I guess arguably the fighter wont get AOE but I'm not sure that's enough of a damper. Even using your progression it's still 3d6 at will, half as much as the rogue sneak attack which is already a bit overpowered in my opinion.

Like you pointed out, the damage is still half what the rogue has. In a bounded accuracy system, where hit/AC don't scale much if at all, your scaling has to come from damage and special abilities. If +3d8 single target at level 5 is causing problems, then they've done something wrong with the scaling of the game.




Wait, what? Where is this information coming from?

The GenCon Keynotes Address, they made an announcement at the end.

AgentPaper
2012-08-16, 08:38 PM
This part, however is not. What you should and should not be able to do should be based on what the modifiers add up to allowing you to do, not based solely on what the DM thinks is acceptable. If you want the Rogue with 18 dex and balance trained (+7 modifier) to be able to succeed reliably, that check DC needs to be 17 or lower. That means your Wizard with 8 dex and no training (-1) can succeed on that check 15% of the time. Telling him he can't even roll to attempt it is robbing the player of that chance without any mechanical reason for it.

The situation I described should was meant to be something that even a very skilled, very dextrous rogue would have trouble with (+7 mod, minimum roll 10, automatic advantage), so a DC of at least 20, probably more along the lines of 25.

My point wasn't the specific situation, anyways, so if you don't think that fits, then just imagine an even more ludicrous situation that would call for a DC that high.

Ziegander
2012-08-16, 08:50 PM
The GenCon Keynotes Address, they made an announcement at the end.

Cool.

I also approve of your style of Combat Superiority scaling (gain an extra dice every two levels, start with d4, move to d6s at 5th, d8s at 10th, etc). I think that's a very smooth power curve.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-08-16, 08:56 PM
Warlock and Sorcerer being released as Vancian Alternatives tomorrow.

Quick take bets, over/under on both outclassing the Fighter and Rogue, and on whether or not they will have heavily ingrained fluff so you can't play a spellpoint character with wizard fluff, or whatever.

My guesses: Warlock will be more 3e-like in terms of at-wills and flavor, and probably won't outclass anyone; Sorcerer will be more 4e-like in terms of blasting focus and flavor, and will probably blow both the fighter and rogue out of the water.


With so many dice, I think you would either have to reduce the at will capabilities, or make any dice used over the first stay burned until a long rest. Otherwise at 5th level, your fighter is doing [w] + 3d8 per round at will damage. Even if you factor magic, it seems like that just moves the problem from linear fighter / quadratic wizard to quadratic wizard / cubic fighter. I guess arguably the fighter wont get AOE but I'm not sure that's enough of a damper. Even using your progression it's still 3d6 at will, half as much as the rogue sneak attack which is already a bit overpowered in my opinion.

Honestly, [W]+3d8 damage doesn't sound too bad. The reliably high damage sounds very AD&D, in fact, where the average low-to-mid-level fighter could chew through ~1.5 even-HD monsters per round without breaking a sweat. I wouldn't mind a return to those levels of combat effectiveness for the fighter.

Seerow
2012-08-16, 08:58 PM
My guesses: Warlock will be more 3e-like in terms of at-wills and flavor, and probably won't outclass anyone; Sorcerer will be more 4e-like in terms of blasting focus and flavor, and will probably blow both the fighter and rogue out of the water.

Warlock I believe they said would be the AEDU caster. Or at least Warlock and Sorcerer were mentioned as part of them talking about introducing AEDU and Spell Point classes.

navar100
2012-08-16, 08:59 PM
Both of your functions essentially boil down to the same thing, using rules to bludgeon players or DMs into playing the game fairly and impartially. As we've discussed before, I don't feel it is appropriate to spend rules space and resources trying to force people to play "correctly." Either they will or they won't and the rules trying to force are just keeping the honest players honest.


With rules having ink on paper, people will at least know someone is being arbitrarily obtuse and react accordingly instead of just blindingly accept it as the status quo because they don't know any better.

Nu
2012-08-16, 09:04 PM
You're kidding, right?

I am not. The fighter is extremely unimpressive for me right now.


I'm calling foul on this. Radiant Lance only ever does 1d8+4 damage, a ranged weapon deals equivalent base damage, but there are also special abilities and feats fighters can use on them, and cleric blasts are not the greatest.

Oh, as far as raw damage, the cleric isn't gonna out-damage the fighter most likely. Not that it seems to matter that much with how low HP many of the creatures in the bestiary have. However, it can keep competitive, and the fighter attacks don't scale at any great rate. With an extra d6/d8 from expertise you're looking at maybe edging out the cleric in DPR by 2-4.


I feel parry is relevant, but with a clerics healing it mostly evens out(though a fighter has a higher hit die, parry, and can be healed)

On the other hand, at level 1, a fighter gets 1d6 extra damage on their attack, every round, and by level 5 thats 2d8 damage, every round, at no cost. As far as damage over time, I think the fighter is at the head of the pack. A wizard at level 5 can, using their best spell slot, do 5d6 damage to a target a couple of times(fireball, average damage 17.5), a fighter can easily deal 1d12+2d8+4 damage every attack(average 19.5 damage). In any fight lasting more than a few rounds, the fighters damage per round will be at the highest in their party(unless the rogue can secure advantage every round).

You're exaggerating a bit here methinks. You say "at no cost," but if they're applying that extra damage from deadly strike, that means no parry for the round. Also, using a reaction on parry means you can't take advantage of, say, the guardian trait, which I have to feel will be a priority for defensive fighters. Of course, if you have two clerics in the party, one can take healer and one can take guardian... I almost feel like I'd rather have two clerics than a cleric and a fighter. You'd see a small decrease in damage but a large increase in staying power.


I do feel Divine power is a little too strong, especially considering it's level 1(it either needs to drop to +1, or not allow an attack when you cast it.) Though do remember, a cleric can only cast 3 level 1 spells per day, and every divine favor is another spell they can't cast.

Yes, but that becomes less relevant as you increase in level and get more spells of other levels per day, while divine favor stays just as strong. It affects checks too, not just attacks.


It is an extra heal, and it is nice with the war domain, but it doesn't look like it gets used often enough to be anything more than a nice occasional ability.

It is essentially an extra spell per day (at first). It's at least as good as healing word, and it scales, both in uses per day and in power. It's especially good with the Healer specialty, which I imagine many clerics will take.


The fighter is quite powerful, and that's just deadly strike, they still have the option to use their expertise dice for other effects.

I'm not quite agreeing on "quite powerful," because to me, I think a rogue will deal more damage, a cleric can hold the front line just as well... where is the fighter's niche?


I will say that, at level 1, a cleric seems a little powerful(which is when channel divinity, crusaders strike, and divine favor are at their best), and the fighter a little weak(expertise dice get dramatically better at level 5), but I find all the classes quite viable and competitive with one another.

I should note that by level 5 a cleric has many more spells per day, 2 channel divinity/day, and 2d8 healing with channel divinity (16 points if a healer), and I'd much rather be a cleric than a fighter at that point.

The way I see it is, once you reach level 3 as a cleric, make healing potions that will always be maximized, and keep some healing spells prepared (probably healing word for the level 1 slot), but try to devote your spells to offense unless you absolutely must heal. Of course, channel divinity can be used to heal 2/day starting at level 4 and that will be a big help.

1337 b4k4
2012-08-16, 09:17 PM
Like you pointed out, the damage is still half what the rogue has. In a bounded accuracy system, where hit/AC don't scale much if at all, your scaling has to come from damage and special abilities. If +3d8 single target at level 5 is causing problems, then they've done something wrong with the scaling of the game.

I also said I already thought the rogue sneak attack damage aw overpowered for how easy it is to get. And we're talking at will here. Let's look at our pregen dwarf. With a +6 to hit and average die rolls, our dwarf will reliably hit anything with a 16 or lower AC and deal 20 damage per round. Let's look at our bestiary, the level 5 fighter could pretty much solo anything in the bestiary at will and without breaking a sweat. I'm all for making the fighter the best at fighting, but even the toughest creature in there goes down in 3-4 rounds just from the fighter. To me that seems a bit much, though I do think it's reasonable as an infrequent thing. That's why I suggest something like burning every die spent past the first on a given maneuver, although that might require even more dice. Hmmm, I guess I'll have to run these through some play testing, see of something jumps out.

Seerow
2012-08-16, 09:26 PM
I also said I already thought the rogue sneak attack damage aw overpowered for how easy it is to get. And we're talking at will here. Let's look at our pregen dwarf. With a +6 to hit and average die rolls, our dwarf will reliably hit anything with a 16 or lower AC and deal 20 damage per round. Let's look at our bestiary, the level 5 fighter could pretty much solo anything in the bestiary at will and without breaking a sweat. I'm all for making the fighter the best at fighting, but even the toughest creature in there goes down in 3-4 rounds just from the fighter. To me that seems a bit much, though I do think it's reasonable as an infrequent thing. That's why I suggest something like burning every die spent past the first on a given maneuver, although that might require even more dice. Hmmm, I guess I'll have to run these through some play testing, see of something jumps out.

I could see maybe burning one die on any maneuver with over 1 die, but all dice over 1 is outrageous, especially if you go with my suggestion that higher level maneuvers require the max number of dice you have at the level you get it. (so a 5th level maneuver takes 3 dice, a 20th level one takes 10. Making that 20th level maneuver burn 9 dice is completely unnacceptable unless those maneuvers are far beyond the power of spells, which I doubt I will ever see happen.)

Anyway, I'm going to point you back to "if that level of damage is a problem for the system, they've messed up their scaling", because hit points and damage should be scaling very quickly to make up for the lack of hit/AC bonuses. Honestly I find it a big compromise already to be stuck with flat AC/hit bonuses and have damage/hp still only progressing linearly. Damage progressing only at every other level is an even further compromise but one I can accept because it makes balance of the actual abilities easier. The current rate of scaling, 1 die per 5 levels? Absolutely atrocious. The 3.5 Fighter scales better than that.

As for the fighter being able to take on any monster 1v1 within 4 rounds, the expectation of encounters in 5e seems to be many monsters. The expectation also seems to be a tendency towards fast combats, 2-3 rounds for the most part. A character taking out a single on level enemy is what the game expects. If that is not the intention, the designers got their scaling wrong when they dropped hit points down, and need to bring HP back up.

Seerow
2012-08-16, 09:28 PM
Slightly off topic, earlier today I decided to roll up a Fighter using the current rules, but with picking/choosing skills, feats, and abilities, rather than taking the preselected packages. Just thought I'd share


The character:
Used Invisible Castle to roll a set of stats, got this: invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/3656456/

So going with Human Fighter 5 I have:

Attributes: (Base -> Class/Race -> Level 4 bonus)
Str: 9 -> 10
Dex: 17 -> 20
Con: 13 -> 14 -> 15
Int: 11 -> 12
Wis: 12 -> 13 -> 14
Cha: 11 -> 12

Background trained skills: Stealth (+8), Open Locks (+8), Spot (+5)
Level up trained skills: Bluff (+4), Sleight of Hand (+8). If trained skills can't be used to gain new skills and can only improve skills (this seems unclear in the packet), instead Stealth goes up to +10.
Trait: Undecided. Probably Hearth and Home to keep things simple, or Contact, since I'm practically a spy who traded bluff for open locks.

Feats:
1) Arcane Dabbler (Detect Magic, Mage Hand)
3) Hold the Line

Combat Superiority Dice: 2d8
Fighting Style
1) Jab
3) Shift
5) Push

Gear:
-Whip (2gp)
-Shield (10gp)
-Longbow (50gp)
-100 arrows (5gp)
-Leather Armor (10gp)

73gp remaining for clothes plus assorted other mundane gear.


Hit Points: 44
Armor Class: 17
Initiative: +5
Movement Speed: 30

Melee Attack: +9 1d6+5
Ranged Attack: +9 1d8+5




The character plays as a more defensive oriented rogue. In melee combat, he will take advantage of the ability to Dodge, using Jab to still attempt to make a hit. He will use Shift and Jab in combination with this ability to either interpose himself between an enemy and his allies, or to push the enemy away from his allies, if they are already there. He then uses his hold the line feat to stop any enemy trying to move through his reach to the enemy. Any enemy attempting to attack the character is running up against an AC of 21, and is likely to be wasting their turn. The character has good Con, Dex, and Wisdom, the three abilities that all spells currently in the game target, making him harder than usual to take out via alternative means as well.

In Ranged Combat the character lacks options, but he can put out a decent amount of hurt (with deadly strike averages about 18 damage per shot) with the highest hit bonus in the game from a distance that will take most creatures at least 2 rounds to cover.

Out of combat, the character fills the general role of the rogue. He makes a solid scout and guard, with exceptional stealth and above average spot, and can get through locked doors with ease. He can't deal with traps effectively, however ideally that's a skill the wizard would pick up, assuming there's no rogue in the group. The character can also detect magic and use mage hand at will, which are handy utilities to have, and may be something the Wizard passes up in favor of at will attack spells. If I wasn't grabbing that, I'd probably go with either Rapid Shot (for ranged minion clearing) or Ambusher (to complement his stealth) instead. Or maybe skill training if the level up skill increases can't be spent to get new skills


So things I noted while making this character:
-I originally wanted to go with a rapier, but when using jab there's really no way to justify not using the whip. Even without using jab, reach in exchange for 1 point of average damage is a pretty big trade off, especially when using something like hold the line.
-Cherry picking abilities gave a little more flexibility because I wasn't saddled with any of the really bad options (in the standard packages, each option has at least one bad pick I'd not want to take willingly). As it was I felt like I got everything I really wanted, and it came down to whether I wanted Push or Prone, though being able to have snap shot as well would have been nice.
-Specialties in general were really underwhelming. Very few things really jumped out at me as must have. Limited reactions meant I only wanted one feat from the guardian theme, and there really weren't any options for a normal melee combatant, to take. So the extra feat got put towards turning the fighter into a caster because it seemed the most useful utility of the bunch.
-At level 2, the only thing this character (and any fighter) gets is +1 hit die, and 1 trained skill. That's pretty boring, especially if the level up skill training only lets you get a +1 to a background skill. Level 4 is similarly pretty boring, except you also get a +1 to hit.
-A lot of the time, as a dex based Figher, the character was being defined as "Like a rogue but....". I could see the character coexisting with a rogue nicely (Out of combat, the rogue picks up more of the int/cha based skills, along with stealth, and aims for a 14 in those. In combat the rogue is much more offensive than this fighter pumping out much more damage while the Fighter does his best to keep anything from touching the rogue. Especially by the time the Fighter has Push and the Rogue has hit-and-run), but I think that to some degree we just associate dex with rogue and str with fighter, despite IMO dex making for the more effective Fighter (unless you only want pure damage in which case str is marginally better)
-The stat array I rolled seemed really good, but when I added it up it was just a 29 point buy. I could have gone with the 25 point buy that the array is generated from and just dropped int/cha a bit more, and gotten the same thing. This little exercise did not alleviate any concerns of humans being too strong.

Camelot
2012-08-16, 10:21 PM
"Whoops! Looks like you failed your Heraldic Lore check, so those guys you attacked were actually your allies. Now both the incumbents AND the rebels want you dead! Have fun!"

I think that would be pretty fun, actually.

F)

I played it with the new rules as written. The game is fun, and great for new and veteran players alike.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-08-16, 10:36 PM
Warlock I believe they said would be the AEDU caster. Or at least Warlock and Sorcerer were mentioned as part of them talking about introducing AEDU and Spell Point classes.

Interesting. With the devs talking about having simple caster classes and complex martial classes to complement the simple fighter and complex wizard, I'd have figured they'd be making the warlock the simple caster again. if warlock is AEDU, I guess they'll both be overshadowing the martial types again. :smallsigh:


I also said I already thought the rogue sneak attack damage aw overpowered for how easy it is to get. And we're talking at will here. Let's look at our pregen dwarf. With a +6 to hit and average die rolls, our dwarf will reliably hit anything with a 16 or lower AC and deal 20 damage per round. Let's look at our bestiary, the level 5 fighter could pretty much solo anything in the bestiary at will and without breaking a sweat. I'm all for making the fighter the best at fighting, but even the toughest creature in there goes down in 3-4 rounds just from the fighter. To me that seems a bit much, though I do think it's reasonable as an infrequent thing. That's why I suggest something like burning every die spent past the first on a given maneuver, although that might require even more dice. Hmmm, I guess I'll have to run these through some play testing, see of something jumps out.

1) The rogue gets 1d6 plus 1d6 per level, which is about the same amount of bonus damage a TWF rogue gets in 3e (1d6 per 2 levels, twice per round) except that the rogue is unlikely to get any more attacks as he levels, and HP looks like it'll be at roughly 3e levels. The sky isn't going to fall if the rogue can deal 1d6 per level per round semi-regularly.

2) The fighter being able to slaughter a challenging monster in a few rounds is a good thing. Like I said before, the fighter could 1.5-round most even-HD monsters in AD&D; a 10th-level 2e fighter facing 6 trolls has a good chance of killing them all in under a minute and coming out alive. Considering 2e also tended toward using lots of monsters per combat like 5e is rather than one big baddie, this shouldn't be a problem.

Draz74
2012-08-17, 12:15 AM
Level 4 is similarly pretty boring, except you also get a +1 to hit.

Nitpick: also an ability boost, meaning a +1 increase to Wisdom checks/saves.

Ziegander
2012-08-17, 12:27 AM
I played it with the new rules as written. The game is fun, and great for new and veteran players alike.

At this stage, with the new rules on character creation and things like that, we are seeing the underlying math and mechanics of the Next edition, which is good - a step forward. There seems to still be a few kinks to work out, but the game seems to be playable and, more importantly, testable, as opposed to the early alpha packet we got last time.

At this stage, I would be interested in playtesting this here in a play-by-post format (seeing as I can't play it in real-life). There's enough going on with the moving parts of the system that some more substantial and meaty feedback and data can be acquired. I wonder if, perhaps, Saph could be troubled to run something like this.

I call Fighter!

TheOOB
2012-08-17, 12:39 AM
Actually I like the idea of taking away Channel Divinity and just giving the Cleric a special orison (minor magic or whatever they are calling it now) called Turn Undead/Rebuke Undead. This way it works just like a spell, you don't need more rules, and you don't have to worry about fanboys and fangirls complaining about the Cleric not feeling like a Cleric.

I like channel divinity, for two reasons.

First, I like that the cleric is less spell dependent than the wizard, the wizard is all about spells, and while the cleric is mostly about spells, there are supposed to be able to do other things. So the cleric has less spells per a day, weaker magical abilities, and a generally weaker(but suitably different) spell list. This means the cleric needs something else to make them comparable to the wizard. You can't buff direct combat ability too much without killing the fighter or rogue, so the domain spells/abilities and channel divinity are a good way of giving the cleric something extra. As an added bonus, it ensures the cleric will be the best healing/have the most undead hate even if another class with a very similar spell list(say druid), comes out.

Second, I like channel divinity for the flavor. Every class in Next thus far has some sort of "path" to customize your class(wizard doesn't but they have so many spells they don't need to). The channel divinity allows domains to have a little more flavor, without making them too good(as channel divinity is a very limited resource).

Camelot
2012-08-17, 05:35 AM
At this stage, I would be interested in playtesting this here in a play-by-post format (seeing as I can't play it in real-life). There's enough going on with the moving parts of the system that some more substantial and meaty feedback and data can be acquired. I wonder if, perhaps, Saph could be troubled to run something like this.

I call Fighter!

Me too! I know there's another one going on, but it got full before I even noticed it. I wouldn't mind DMing either, though I'd want to try my hand at creating a custom adventure. Anyone interested?

Kurald Galain
2012-08-17, 07:00 AM
I don't see the difference between a "channel divinity power" and a "cleric spell", neither thematically nor mechanically.

caden_varn
2012-08-17, 07:06 AM
Finally had a chance to look through the packet in a bit of detail and catch up on the thread. Some things that jumped out at me:

HP back to low pre-4E levels.
Booo! I thought the higher starting HP was one of the good things that they brought over from 4E. Definitely a bad step for me.

Rogue = criminal
With thieves cant and a free background that has to be thief or thug. Leave thieves cant to the DM based on his world, or move it out of the class, and think about some other options for the free background. There are plenty of concepts that fit into a sneaky backstabbing combatant that aren't criminal, so lets not pigeon-hole the class unnecessarily.

Combat Superiority for fighters
It's a start, although a grudging one so far. I like the alternative being suggested, with more powerful options that require burning dice.
Re. the concerns over the extra dice available for the more basic options - you can always give each maneouvre a maximum number of dice that can be used for it - say 2 for the basic 'do more damage' option. You can spend extra, but those extra dice are burnt.
One concern I have - when you get up to 10 dice that you can presumably split to different manoeuvres and a load of options, it may slow play down deciding what to do. Although I guess limited actions per turn will rein it in.

Back to rogues
Can we have a similar system to Combat Superiority, based on sneak attack dice for them? At the moment they don't have a heap of options.

Caster versatility
Currently there aren't a great number of non-combat utility spells, but even if they start that way, spells are an easy way to bulk out expansions. They will get more, and we will be back to all-powerful wizards. Especially as they don't even need to use a spell slot if they can manage 10 minutes and a bit of change for a low level spell as a ritual.

All in all - not sure. I am sure I'd prefer to play the game that is getting designed in this thread than the one in the playtest package though :smallsmile:

Stubbazubba
2012-08-17, 07:17 AM
With so many dice, I think you would either have to reduce the at will capabilities, or make any dice used over the first stay burned until a long rest. Otherwise at 5th level, your fighter is doing [w] + 3d8 per round at will damage. Even if you factor magic, it seems like that just moves the problem from linear fighter / quadratic wizard to quadratic wizard / cubic fighter. I guess arguably the fighter wont get AOE but I'm not sure that's enough of a damper. Even using your progression it's still 3d6 at will, half as much as the rogue sneak attack which is already a bit overpowered in my opinion.

Using CS dice is not an at-will ability.

An at-will ability does not have any opportunity cost other than an action/reaction, and that depends. Once you use your CS dice, you cannot use a different ability in a different phase of the turn or round that would require then expenditure of those CS dice, even if it would otherwise be triggered, so there's a much greater opportunity cost. They may not be as big a deal as a caster's daily resource slot, but they are best described as a round-based mana point system, not at-wills.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-17, 07:24 AM
Back to rogues
Can we have a similar system to Combat Superiority, based on sneak attack dice for them? At the moment they don't have a heap of options.

I think the rogue is supposed to be the skill dude again. The problem is that the current skill system doesn't really support this: a character can only be slightly better than average (i.e. +15%) in a slight number of skills (i.e. 3). Sure, rogues can take skills on their dump stat, but in practice most people want skills on their good stats anyway.

caden_varn
2012-08-17, 08:14 AM
I think the rogue is supposed to be the skill dude again. The problem is that the current skill system doesn't really support this: a character can only be slightly better than average (i.e. +15%) in a slight number of skills (i.e. 3). Sure, rogues can take skills on their dump stat, but in practice most people want skills on their good stats anyway.

That does seem to be the case, its just a shame the skill system is rather - basic - at the moment. I guess it is a bit inevitable in the system with such a mechanical combat focus as D&D. A skill-focused character seems a poor fit in such a system.

caden_varn
2012-08-17, 08:22 AM
bah, double-post

1337 b4k4
2012-08-17, 10:07 AM
I could see maybe burning one die on any maneuver with over 1 die, but all dice over 1 is outrageous, especially if you go with my suggestion that higher level maneuvers require the max number of dice you have at the level you get it. (so a 5th level maneuver takes 3 dice, a 20th level one takes 10. Making that 20th level maneuver burn 9 dice is completely unnacceptable unless those maneuvers are far beyond the power of spells, which I doubt I will ever see happen.)

Sorry, I should have been a bit more clear, I was really thinking "burn ay dice over the minimum required to activate the ability" so your 3 die minimum ability would have those dice reset each turn, but if you spent 2 extra dice to buff that ability, those 2 dice would be burnt until a long rest.


Anyway, I'm going to point you back to "if that level of damage is a problem for the system, they've messed up their scaling", because hit points and damage should be scaling very quickly to make up for the lack of hit/AC bonuses. Honestly I find it a big compromise already to be stuck with flat AC/hit bonuses and have damage/hp still only progressing linearly.

This is only true if the enemies scale that quickly too. There's no reason why they couldn't reduce the power scaling of monsters and keep a slow scaling for player HP and damage values. I mean, look at early D&D, a white dragon was only a 6HD creature with d4/d4/2d8 damage. In the current beastiary, we have a Gnoll Leader with 5HD + 5 and d12+3/d12+3 damage. So there's room to scale back the monsters if they wanted. But I do agree they need to pick a scaling system and use it.


As for the fighter being able to take on any monster 1v1 within 4 rounds, the expectation of encounters in 5e seems to be many monsters. The expectation also seems to be a tendency towards fast combats, 2-3 rounds for the most part. A character taking out a single on level enemy is what the game expects. If that is not the intention, the designers got their scaling wrong when they dropped hit points down, and need to bring HP back up.

Having thought this over a bit more, I'm actually tending to agree with you. That sort of damage output encourages the quick and deadly combat and can reduce the slow HP grind that some 4e encounters turned into.

It's worth mentioning too that some of my hesitation likely comes from my own biases of running BECMI most of the time, and really the only other frame of reference (D&D wise) I have is 4e, I haven't spent nearly enough time in 3.x to accurately gauge where these numbers are falling in relation to that system.


I don't see the difference between a "channel divinity power" and a "cleric spell", neither thematically nor mechanically.

It seems to me it's mostly about giving standard clerical duties like healing a spell like resource, without forcing your cleric to expend his actual spell slots on that, or having to give the cleric a bunch of free spell slots. A reaction to the idea that a cleric needs to spend their spell slots on healing all the time. Whether it's a good mechanic and worth the additional mental space remains to be seen.


With thieves cant and a free background that has to be thief or thug. Leave thieves cant to the DM based on his world, or move it out of the class, and think about some other options for the free background. There are plenty of concepts that fit into a sneaky backstabbing combatant that aren't criminal, so lets not pigeon-hole the class unnecessarily.
...

Can we have a similar system to Combat Superiority, based on sneak attack dice for them? At the moment they don't have a heap of options.

Going back to what I said a long time ago about dropping the "fighter" class entirely as it's been made redundant, the other option to fix this would be the reverse, which is dropping the specialized fighter classes, and rolling them all back into the fighter, using specializations and backgrounds to create the barbarian or the rogue from the fighter core. Along with that would include rolling specialty spell casters back into their core classes too. Forget having separate wizard, warlock and sorcerer classes, roll up a "Magic User" class which has access to arcane spells, and have the different casting styles be brought in via backgrounds and specializations again.


All in all - not sure. I am sure I'd prefer to play the game that is getting designed in this thread than the one in the playtest package though

Bear in mind the ideas being tossed around in this thread are building on the playtest package. Getting these ideas fleshed out and sent in as feedback should push the game being designed at WotC in this direction.

Seerow
2012-08-17, 10:11 AM
Warlock and Sorcerer are up.


Sorcerer seems to follow the spell level progression from 3.5, where he gets his spells a level later than the Wizard. He also has a more restricted spell list, in addition to getting only 1 spell known per level.

In exchange for all of this, he gets to use spellpoints, which as far as I can tell have no logical progression to how many you get per level. It's almost like they tuned the spell point gains with the assumption the sorcerer would gain new spell levels at the same time as the Wizard, and then changed what level he gains his spells at the last second without modifying the spellpoints.

Oh, and the Sorcerer also has bloodline abilities. In particular the Playtest Sorcerer is Draconic, and thus gets a Dragon Breath, Dragon Scales, and Dragon Strength.


On the one hand, it is really annoying that, as predicted, the class is entrenched in its fluff. There is no way you could call this Sorcerer as Wizard, at all. On the other hand, the sorcerer does have one new mechanic that is interesting: After he has spent so many spellpoints, he manifests a passive ability. For example after spending 3 willpower, you gain +2 to melee damage rolls. After spending 10 willpower, you manifest dragon scales giving you resistance to an energy type. It may not be the best bonus in the world, but it's something I don't recall seeing before, and is fairly interesting.




The Warlock, unfortunately, is far less interesting. Rather than AEDU, it's just AE. With some rituals thrown in as well. It gains no daily powers, and its utility powers are wrapped up with its Encounter Powers, and all of those powers are pretty underwhelming. You get 2 Lesser invocations per encounter, which is roughly comparable to how many spells a Wizard is casting each encounter... yet the Warlock's invocations are far weaker. They have one that lets them go Ethereal for a round, which is cool and potentially useful, but then they have one that lets them turn out the lights and gain darkvision (oh hey look at that guy who just screwed over the whole party), and one to deal like 2d6 damage in a tiny area.

At least Eldritch Blast is a bit better than in 3.5, as it starts at 3d6 instead of 1d6. Unfortunately it doesn't scale as quickly, you hit 4d6 at level 3, but no bump at level 5.

Loki_42
2012-08-17, 10:39 AM
Warlock and Sorcerer are up.


Sorcerer seems to follow the spell level progression from 3.5, where he gets his spells a level later than the Wizard. He also has a more restricted spell list, in addition to getting only 1 spell known per level.

In exchange for all of this, he gets to use spellpoints, which as far as I can tell have no logical progression to how many you get per level. It's almost like they tuned the spell point gains with the assumption the sorcerer would gain new spell levels at the same time as the Wizard, and then changed what level he gains his spells at the last second without modifying the spellpoints.

Oh, and the Sorcerer also has bloodline abilities. In particular the Playtest Sorcerer is Draconic, and thus gets a Dragon Breath, Dragon Scales, and Dragon Strength.


On the one hand, it is really annoying that, as predicted, the class is entrenched in its fluff. There is no way you could call this Sorcerer as Wizard, at all. On the other hand, the sorcerer does have one new mechanic that is interesting: After he has spent so many spellpoints, he manifests a passive ability. For example after spending 3 willpower, you gain +2 to melee damage rolls. After spending 10 willpower, you manifest dragon scales giving you resistance to an energy type. It may not be the best bonus in the world, but it's something I don't recall seeing before, and is fairly interesting.




The Warlock, unfortunately, is far less interesting. Rather than AEDU, it's just AE. With some rituals thrown in as well. It gains no daily powers, and its utility powers are wrapped up with its Encounter Powers, and all of those powers are pretty underwhelming. You get 2 Lesser invocations per encounter, which is roughly comparable to how many spells a Wizard is casting each encounter... yet the Warlock's invocations are far weaker. They have one that lets them go Ethereal for a round, which is cool and potentially useful, but then they have one that lets them turn out the lights and gain darkvision (oh hey look at that guy who just screwed over the whole party), and one to deal like 2d6 damage in a tiny area.

At least Eldritch Blast is a bit better than in 3.5, as it starts at 3d6 instead of 1d6. Unfortunately it doesn't scale as quickly, you hit 4d6 at level 3, but no bump at level 5.

Wait, where are you seeing these?

Ziegander
2012-08-17, 10:42 AM
Warlock and Sorcerer are up.

EDIT: Link (https://www.wizards.com/DnD/Daily.aspx).

These are two classes that really get so many different things, that operate and trigger from so many different angles, that I have to see them playtested to have any idea how they balance out.

The Sorcerer is, for some reason, the arcane gish/cleric, and may be just as overpowered as the current Cleric is in Next.

The Warlock is noticeably weaker with a strict 2-per-encounter structure to all of its relevant powers. The Rituals are almost meaningless because not only do you get them later than Wizards, but you also can only choose from the smallest, most niche, list of spells.

I still find both classes to be quite interesting, and, in comparing them to the other classes, I would say that the new ranking is something like this:

Cleric/Sorcerer > Wizard > Fighter/Warlock > Rogue. I put Fighter and Warlock as "equal" because, while the Fighter is much better in combat, the Warlock is much better out of combat. In many ways, strangely, the Warlock feels like it can do everything the Rogue wishes it could.

Seerow
2012-08-17, 10:47 AM
Sorry, I should have been a bit more clear, I was really thinking "burn ay dice over the minimum required to activate the ability" so your 3 die minimum ability would have those dice reset each turn, but if you spent 2 extra dice to buff that ability, those 2 dice would be burnt until a long rest.

Okay that's far more reasonable. I could go for something like along those lines.




This is only true if the enemies scale that quickly too. There's no reason why they couldn't reduce the power scaling of monsters and keep a slow scaling for player HP and damage values. I mean, look at early D&D, a white dragon was only a 6HD creature with d4/d4/2d8 damage. In the current beastiary, we have a Gnoll Leader with 5HD + 5 and d12+3/d12+3 damage. So there's room to scale back the monsters if they wanted. But I do agree they need to pick a scaling system and use it.

Well, PCs need an advantage against on level monsters. If high level PCs are dropping in one round, people will cry foul much faster than the other way around. Especially with the AD&D mindset of lots of monsters that are draining your resources, because in that type of environment it's perfectly okay if an average encounter never threatens the PCs with death on its own, and monsters only deal a portion of what the players can.

Even so, 2 attacks at d12+3 is going to average 19 points of damage. A Fighter with a d8 weapon, +4 strength mod, and 3d8 CS dice, will deal 22 points of damage on a hit. That disparity really isn't that huge. With the 2d8 the Fighter has now, it's 17.5, almost identical to the Gnoll, even before accounting for the Gnoll getting an extra +4 damage on each of those attacks from Savagery. (also not accounting for hit/AC differences, which brings things back in the Fighter's favor).

On a related note: I wish I could figure out why some of the to-hit numbers are so low. I mean do these monsters not have any sort of proficiency bonus to hit at all? The Gnoll actually looks like it has a -1 penalty to hit for some inexplicable reason.



Having thought this over a bit more, I'm actually tending to agree with you. That sort of damage output encourages the quick and deadly combat and can reduce the slow HP grind that some 4e encounters turned into.

It's worth mentioning too that some of my hesitation likely comes from my own biases of running BECMI most of the time, and really the only other frame of reference (D&D wise) I have is 4e, I haven't spent nearly enough time in 3.x to accurately gauge where these numbers are falling in relation to that system.

4e was a better comparison for hp/damage numbers last playtest packet, because the hp growth was modeled on 4e. This packet they switched it to the 3.5 style hp growth (con mod each level rather than con score at level 1), which is a pretty big difference. It basically means anything with decent con is going to have MUCH more hp at high levels, and a fair bit less at low levels, balancing out around level 5 or so depending on con value.




It seems to me it's mostly about giving standard clerical duties like healing a spell like resource, without forcing your cleric to expend his actual spell slots on that, or having to give the cleric a bunch of free spell slots. A reaction to the idea that a cleric needs to spend their spell slots on healing all the time. Whether it's a good mechanic and worth the additional mental space remains to be seen.

If what they want is just to allow for more healing without eating up the Cleric's spell slots, then what they need is to make hit dice viable healing for a whole adventuring day on their own. Being able to heal yourself once per day for 1dX at level 1 does not cut it.

I really don't get it, this is a problem they had solved in 4e, and now they're stepping back and trying to solve it again in a way that pisses off everyone except grognards who can't understand that hp is not meat damage.

PinkysBrain
2012-08-17, 10:49 AM
"Whoops! Looks like you failed your Heraldic Lore check, so those guys you attacked were actually your allies. Now both the incumbents AND the rebels want you dead! Have fun!"
As a player I wouldn't really find that all that bad ... friendly fire happens, I'm sure we can work something out ... we'll negotiate, pay for the resurrection, put some more skill points in the skill for next time and move on.

Seerow
2012-08-17, 10:56 AM
EDIT: Link (https://www.wizards.com/DnD/Daily.aspx).

These are two classes that really get so many different things, that operate and trigger from so many different angles, that I have to see them playtested to have any idea how they balance out.

The Sorcerer is, for some reason, the arcane gish/cleric, and may be just as overpowered as the current Cleric is in Next.

The Warlock is noticeably weaker with a strict 2-per-encounter structure to all of its relevant powers. The Rituals are almost meaningless because not only do you get them later than Wizards, but you also can only choose from the smallest, most niche, list of spells.

I still find both classes to be quite interesting, and, in comparing them to the other classes, I would say that the new ranking is something like this:

Cleric/Sorcerer > Wizard > Fighter/Warlock > Rogue. I put Fighter and Warlock as "equal" because, while the Fighter is much better in combat, the Warlock is much better out of combat. In many ways, strangely, the Warlock feels like it can do everything the Rogue wishes it could.

I'm not quite sure I agree here, mostly because while the Rogue is still the class with the least complexity, they have the ability to auto succeed on the majority of the DCs the game recommends you use with at least 6 skills. They also have the best attribute as primary, meaning versatile enough to be good at both melee and ranged, and in both of those areas they pump out the highest single target damage in the game. I would peg the Rogue as better than the Fighter, in and out of combat, and comparable to the Wizard in combat (Wizard shines in AoE, Rogue shines in single target); while the Wizard dominates out of combat. Warlock vs Rogue out of combat is tougher, I'd probably rank them as close to equal.

Either way, Rogue's not at the bottom of the totem pole, he's got a fair bit of versatility and power behind him, he's just exceedingly simple, nearly as boring as the Fighter from the last playtest but not quite.

Knaight
2012-08-17, 11:41 AM
"You see strange glowing symbols on the wall."

"Okay, I roll Knowledge (Arcana) to see if I know anything about them."


The problem with this is the DM has probably already decided what they want you to know about the strange glowing symbols and what they don't. And if there's something that actually matters in it like a critical plot clue or something, they're not gonna leave that up to the roll of the dice.

"Whoops! Looks like you failed your Heraldic Lore check, so those guys you attacked were actually your allies. Now both the incumbents AND the rebels want you dead! Have fun!"
That depends on the GM - speaking personally, I probably wouldn't have decided how much of that information to give out, and am relying on the roll to see. As for the heraldic lore check, there are potentially any number of uses (e.g. interpreting completely unknown and very old heraldry to piece together a lost bit of genealogy during a succession crisis).

Ziegander
2012-08-17, 11:58 AM
I'm not quite sure I agree here, mostly because while the Rogue is still the class with the least complexity, they have the ability to auto succeed on the majority of the DCs the game recommends you use with at least 6 skills. They also have the best attribute as primary, meaning versatile enough to be good at both melee and ranged, and in both of those areas they pump out the highest single target damage in the game. I would peg the Rogue as better than the Fighter, in and out of combat, and comparable to the Wizard in combat (Wizard shines in AoE, Rogue shines in single target); while the Wizard dominates out of combat. Warlock vs Rogue out of combat is tougher, I'd probably rank them as close to equal.

Either way, Rogue's not at the bottom of the totem pole, he's got a fair bit of versatility and power behind him, he's just exceedingly simple, nearly as boring as the Fighter from the last playtest but not quite.

Ah, I misunderstood how the Rogue's Scheme feature actually worked. I don't know if I like that Rogues get a an additional background, but maybe it makes sense. They really should just call it Jack of all Trades and fully integrate the Rogue as the "Background Master" class and be done with it. It would give the Rogue his "one unique thing" and offer lots of additional options (as well as the ability to not be a criminal).

With so many skills, and such expertise with them, the Rogue does feel a bit more powerful now. Again, I really have to see how this stuff plays out now to get a good grasp on the overall balance.

Zombimode
2012-08-17, 12:12 PM
The Sorcerer is, for some reason, the arcane gish/cleric

To elaborate on this point: it seems, that the Bloodline has a huge impact on the general outline of the class. So, saying the Sorcerer is a gish would be rather inaccurate. The Dragon Sorcerer is a gish.


Overall I really like the Sorcerer. It seems like a very interesting class to play. My favorite part are the changes/boni you accumulate at certain thresholds of spend willpower. It's both very flavorful and interesting to play :smallsmile:

navar100
2012-08-17, 12:14 PM
If what they want is just to allow for more healing without eating up the Cleric's spell slots, then what they need is to make hit dice viable healing for a whole adventuring day on their own. Being able to heal yourself once per day for 1dX at level 1 does not cut it.

I really don't get it, this is a problem they had solved in 4e, and now they're stepping back and trying to solve it again in a way that pisses off everyone except grognards who can't understand that hp is not meat damage.

Curious if they're trying real hard not to use Pathfinder's solution of Channeling Energy for healing/hurting undead and make Turn Undead a feat for those clerics and campaigns that need/want the Olde Ways. They'd be trying to come close as possible to similarity without it being exactly the same. In Pathfinder it works quite well. Multiple person simultaneous healing of multiple d6's at a range 3 + CHA modifier per day goes a long way to not needing to cast Cure Spells so often.

LtPowers
2012-08-17, 12:17 PM
Basically, yes.

When I did a write up a while ago, it started at a d4, so at level 5 you get d6, 10 is d8, 15 is d10, and you get d12s at 20. Yours would cap out at d12s by level 15, but either way works fine. The important thing is the # of dice, and the abilities that key off of them. Having dice scaling in number alongside spell levels makes it easier to balance the power of the abilities that key off them, and thus is better all around.

I believe 1337 b4k4 was pointing out that in the playtest document, the superiority dice scale exactly as posted.


Powers &8^]

Seerow
2012-08-17, 12:20 PM
I believe 1337 b4k4 was pointing out that in the playtest document, the superiority dice scale exactly as posted.


Powers &8^]


No he wasn't. In the playtest document the superiority dice only increase to 2 dice at level 5. That's about half the scaling we were discussing.

Knaight
2012-08-17, 12:26 PM
I don't see the difference between a "channel divinity power" and a "cleric spell", neither thematically nor mechanically.

There isn't much of one. That said, channel divinity powers can be run through domains for domain effects, which is nice. Sun gets a light burst, War gets Channel Divinity attached to an attack, and presumably more stuff will show up at higher levels. I actually like how they are handling Domains with Channel Divinity - the domains have a larger effect than just spell access (e.g. Fire and Radiant resistance), and Channel Divinity insures that you have healing spells, keeping the option to channel it into divine powers instead.

The obvious worry is that the cleric is too powerful, but we're still at an early enough play test that I'm not too worried - though the subset of play testers with no mechanical aptitude giving bad data could screw things up if the developers show typical WotC competence.

On the Sorcerer: It's nice to see them move somewhat over to Psion style casting, but the spell list just being a subset of the wizard spell list is not appreciated. Similarly, lagging a level behind in spells is not a feature that they needed to keep, and I'd rather they have avoided a bloodline flavored mechanic. They might also need to tone down the power a little bit, though there's obviously room for bringing other classes (Read: The Fighter) up. The Dragon origin could certainly use toning down, given that it pretty much equals the fighter even when not using spells - it rivals the Fighters melee attack, there's a free +2 damage, and you get resistance on top of it. Dragon Strength vastly outpaces Jab and Dragon Scales vastly outpaces Parry, though they do at least cost daily resources. This is without getting into Dragon Breath, which you don't appear to actually have access to despite it being written down.

On the Warlock: It looks mostly good, though having to use favors on invocations is a bit irritating, particularly as you get a whole two of them at first level and never appear to get more - Granted, a short rest recovers them, but still. The balance of the invocations is also odd - Shadow Veil, a minor, is much better than most of the lesser invocations, and all of the invocations are really good (Eldritch Blast is fantastic, Visage of the Summer court is brokenly overpowered).

Yora
2012-08-17, 12:40 PM
EDIT: Link (https://www.wizards.com/DnD/Daily.aspx).
What is that supposed to link to?

Seerow
2012-08-17, 12:44 PM
What is that supposed to link to?

Looks like it goes to the main D&D page. From there click on the "Start Playtesting Now" link, and download the playtest packet (even if you did already previously). There's a new adventure and the new classes are added into the class pdf.

Yora
2012-08-17, 12:48 PM
Took me some time to figure it out, like always with that damn site.

But that said: "YES! Yes! Sorcerers are arcane psions!"
Thats the most optimal scenario I've not even dared hoping for.

Starbuck_II
2012-08-17, 12:49 PM
On the sorcerer: It's nice to see them move somewhat over to Psion style casting, but the spell list just being a subset of the wizard spell list is not appreciated. Similarly, lagging a level behind in spells is not a feature that they needed to keep, and I'd rather they have avoided a bloodline flavored mechanic. They might also need to tone down the power a little bit, though there's obviously room for bringing other classes (Read: The Fighter) up. The Dragon origin could certainly use toning down, given that it pretty much equals the fighter even when not using spells - it rivals the Fighters melee attack, there's a free +2 damage, and you get resistance on top of it. Dragon Strength vastly outpaces Jab and Dragon Scales vastly outpaces Parry, though they do at least cost daily resources. This is without getting into Dragon Breath, which you don't appear to actually have access to despite it being written down.

Why not availble? Wow, it never says you get it specifically.

Knaight
2012-08-17, 12:53 PM
Why not availble? Wow, it never says you get it specifically.

You're clearly supposed to get it, but that leaves the question of when. Not answering that is sloppy at best, though I do generally like the sorcerer. It appears a bit unbalanced, but hey, at least it isn't at the Warlock level. It is also less typo ridden, given that there's nothing quite on the level of "lasts for ten" in fabrication of the weave. Rounds, minutes? We don't know.

Ziegander
2012-08-17, 12:58 PM
If anyone's interested, I've put up a play-by-post thread for a new round of playtesting (on this forum, not via Skype or anything) HERE (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=252995). Unfortunately, I will not be able to DM, but I really want to dig into all the new crunch we've got to work with. We have actual numbers and data to look at this time around and I'm pretty excited for it!

caden_varn
2012-08-17, 03:18 PM
Bear in mind the ideas being tossed around in this thread are building on the playtest package. Getting these ideas fleshed out and sent in as feedback should push the game being designed at WotC in this direction.

Well, I've been discussing it with my friend, and it has become clear that there is more difference in our play preference and D&D rules preference than I would have guessed (bearing in mind that I started with red box basic, through BECMI then to Advanced (1E) and up, and he has similar experience). We play happily together, and we have both DMed the other for a number of years, and still there are playstyle differences that I did not really appreciate. Getting a game that engages both of us, and a FAR wider community is going to be tricky. I hope that they do not try too hard to please everyone and end up pleasing no one.
I really hope that WotC can pull off a good product, and I think the open playtest is a good thing to hopefully avoid some of the balance issues etc. that we have had earlier.
I think the best thing this thread has reminded me of is 'This is a playtest. If you don't like it, tell them why instead of quitting. You never know, the next iteration may have moved to where you wanted.'

Now if only I can get my players to go for it too...

Excession
2012-08-17, 04:12 PM
Does anyone else find the "As a consequence of knowing this invocation..." lines from the Warlock to be so bad they're hilarious?

I'd also prefer Warlocks to use either Con or Cha for their casting. Maybe it's just me, but selling part of yourself to a being of unfathomable power seems to be one of the least Intelligent ways to gain arcane power.

Knaight
2012-08-17, 04:23 PM
Does anyone else find the "As a consequence of knowing this invocation..." lines from the Warlock to be so bad they're hilarious?

I'd also prefer Warlocks to use either Con or Cha for their casting. Maybe it's just me, but selling part of yourself to a being of unfathomable power seems to be one of the least Intelligent ways to gain arcane power.

They make the Boon lines seem entirely reasonable, and those could use work. As for the stat, I favor intelligence - it takes intellect to drudge through old tomes, piece together rituals to contact ancient entities, study up on ancient entities to contact, and cut a deal with them that doesn't horribly screw you over. Intelligence is fine, ideally enough for hubris to kick in big - which, given that Wisdom isn't exactly a high priority stat, isn't necessarily all that much.

Madara
2012-08-17, 04:25 PM
I don't know if its something wrong on my end or what, but my playtest materials don't include the Warlock or Sorcerer, or at least I can't find them. Were they only at GenCon, or what?

Kurald Galain
2012-08-17, 05:05 PM
Does anyone else find the "As a consequence of knowing this invocation..." lines from the Warlock to be so bad they're hilarious?

Yes. The class has decent enough crunch, but the fluff of it ranges from the laughably bad to the sheer atrocious.

WOTC seems to try really hard to blend 3E and 4E elements, or use 3E elements with some 4E terminology tacked on, or vice versa. This strikes me as an attempt to appeal to the masses, but not as consistent good design; you can't have your cake and eat it. The warlock appears to be an odd mix of 3E's invocations with 4E's pact boons and per-encounter logic.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-08-17, 05:16 PM
I don't know if its something wrong on my end or what, but my playtest materials don't include the Warlock or Sorcerer, or at least I can't find them. Were they only at GenCon, or what?

They were recently added, so you'll need to re-download the playtest packet to get them.

TopCheese
2012-08-17, 05:53 PM
Yes. The class has decent enough crunch, but the fluff of it ranges from the laughably bad to the sheer atrocious.

WOTC seems to try really hard to blend 3E and 4E elements, or use 3E elements with some 4E terminology tacked on, or vice versa. This strikes me as an attempt to appeal to the masses, but not as consistent good design; you can't have your cake and eat it. The warlock appears to be an odd mix of 3E's invocations with 4E's pact boons and per-encounter logic.

The warlock really seems like they blended the 4e Warlock with the 3.5 Binder. If they bring even half the fluff from the Binder to the 5th ed Warlock then I'll be happy. If the mechanics are as decent as the rest of 5th so far then I'll try and play a warlock.

TheOOB
2012-08-17, 06:21 PM
The biggest problem I'm seeing right now is that the rogue and fighter need a little more. The other classes get new special abilities every level, and rogue and fighter levels feel a little dead by comparison. Methinks a fighter should get more CS dice on even levels, and new style abilities on odd levels. Non spellcasters really need a new ability every level, something to look forward too.

Rogues I feel the same way, they feel incomplete. They need something cool every level. I also don't like Skill Mastery, I don't like taking the dice rolling away. I'd rather have a feature that is something like they roll for skills, but if they roll less than 5 they get a 5, and every even level their min goes up. This makes them less likely to win everything at low level, and means they always have the chance to toll high.

Draz74
2012-08-17, 06:21 PM
Ah, I misunderstood how the Rogue's Scheme feature actually worked. I don't know if I like that Rogues get a an additional background, but maybe it makes sense. They really should just call it Jack of all Trades and fully integrate the Rogue as the "Background Master" class and be done with it. It would give the Rogue his "one unique thing" and offer lots of additional options (as well as the ability to not be a criminal).

With so many skills, and such expertise with them, the Rogue does feel a bit more powerful now. Again, I really have to see how this stuff plays out now to get a good grasp on the overall balance.

I foresee one-level Rogue dips being popular. Seems pretty frontloaded.

noparlpf
2012-08-17, 06:23 PM
I think casters get enough abilities already. They don't need very many special abilities because they can do bleeding magic. Mundanes are the ones that need special abilities every level.

Seerow
2012-08-17, 06:47 PM
I think casters get enough abilities already. They don't need very many special abilities because they can do bleeding magic. Mundanes are the ones that need special abilities every level.

Yeah Rogues need some form of resource to manage, and more abilities. Fighters need to be getting a CS ability every level, not just every other level. In an ideal world the Fighter would be able to learn more abilities beyond the default through study/training, and be the martial equivalent of wizard; but I could settle for one ability each level.

noparlpf
2012-08-17, 07:07 PM
Yeah Rogues need some form of resource to manage, and more abilities. Fighters need to be getting a CS ability every level, not just every other level. In an ideal world the Fighter would be able to learn more abilities beyond the default through study/training, and be the martial equivalent of wizard; but I could settle for one ability each level.

I'm currently/sporadically working on reworking the whole system as a pet project sort of thing. I'm not even at the point of playtesting it, but I was giving mundanes one or two abilities per level and leaving casters mostly just casters.

TheOOB
2012-08-17, 07:57 PM
I foresee one-level Rogue dips being popular. Seems pretty frontloaded.

They have not yet released any sort of multi classing rules, but I can pretty much guarantee it won't work like it does in 3e. My guess, It'll either be something like 4e where you can kinda sort get other class features, or like 2e where you can have a sort of dual advancement type deal.

AgentPaper
2012-08-17, 08:00 PM
Out of curiosity, how often have you guys seen people multiclassing in 3.5 for RP/character identity reasons, rather than simply to improve the power/mechanical aspects of their character? For this purpose, I wouldn't count multiclassing if it was done for the sole purpose of getting a PrC.

TheOOB
2012-08-17, 08:23 PM
Out of curiosity, how often have you guys seen people multiclassing in 3.5 for RP/character identity reasons, rather than simply to improve the power/mechanical aspects of their character? For this purpose, I wouldn't count multiclassing if it was done for the sole purpose of getting a PrC.

Not very often.

Honestly, and I hope I don't get digitally stoned for this, I hope PrCs go away and never come back. I think they ruined 3e. Considering how powerful feats are, I can't think of any PrC that couldn't be handled by feats or alternate class features in the new version, and if it's that different make a new class.

Menteith
2012-08-17, 08:28 PM
Out of curiosity, how often have you guys seen people multiclassing in 3.5 for RP/character identity reasons, rather than simply to improve the power/mechanical aspects of their character? For this purpose, I wouldn't count multiclassing if it was done for the sole purpose of getting a PrC.

I don't see classes as in-game constructions. As a D&D3.5 example;

I have a Factotum 2, Duskblade 3, Trapsmith 1, Swiftblade 5 character. I don't see that character as a collection of different classes. Instead, it's an intelligent, magical rogue who knows how to handle himself in a fight. They didn't receive Duskblade training, the Duskblade class is simply the best way that I can represent my vision of the character. (Incidentally, this is a big reason I strongly dislike tying crunch to fluff. As an example of this in D&D Next, check out Thieves' Cant, which seriously limits the range of characters that can be expressed by the "Rogue" class.)

Unless you see a PrC as an in-game construct, I'm not sure why you'd have an issue with this. If the character is honestly best represented by a Prestige class, then the character should take that set of abilities. They don't need to include PrCs in D&D Next if they represent a wide enough range of mechanical abilities through other means, but there's nothing wrong with PrCs.

noparlpf
2012-08-17, 08:36 PM
Out of curiosity, how often have you guys seen people multiclassing in 3.5 for RP/character identity reasons, rather than simply to improve the power/mechanical aspects of their character? For this purpose, I wouldn't count multiclassing if it was done for the sole purpose of getting a PrC.

Where I played at my old school before we all transferred or dropped out or whatever? Fairly often. We were low-to-medium-op, and fluff was bigger than crunch.


Not very often.

Honestly, and I hope I don't get digitally stoned for this, I hope PrCs go away and never come back. I think they ruined 3e. Considering how powerful feats are, I can't think of any PrC that couldn't be handled by feats or alternate class features in the new version, and if it's that different make a new class.

I do like the concept of a Prestige Class because in theory it's a more specialised version of a class to branch into. In 3.X it does frequently end up being lots of dips for powergaming, unfortunately, but that's a player problem, not a game problem.


I don't see classes as in-game constructions. As a D&D3.5 example;

I have a Factotum 2, Duskblade 3, Trapsmith 1, Swiftblade 5 character. I don't see that character as a collection of different classes. Instead, it's an intelligent, magical rogue who knows how to handle himself in a fight. They didn't receive Duskblade training, the Duskblade class is simply the best way that I can represent my vision of the character. (Incidentally, this is a big reason I strongly dislike tying fluff to crunch. As an example of this in D&D Next, check out Thieves' Cant, which seriously limits the range of characters that can be expressed by the "Rogue" class.)

Unless you see a PrC as an in-game construct, I'm not sure why you'd have an issue with this. If the character is honestly best represented by a Prestige class, then the character should take that set of abilities. They don't need to include PrCs in D&D Next if they represent a wide enough range of mechanical abilities through other means, but there's nothing wrong with PrCs.

I don't multiclass much, but when I do, it's because another class or PrC better represents the character I want mechanically than the continuation of the class I'm currently in. More often, I spam alternative class features and racial substitution levels to mix things up for different characters. (Different spell selection doesn't work for me because I prefer mundane classes.)

Wargor
2012-08-17, 08:40 PM
I don't see classes as in-game constructions. As a D&D3.5 example;

I have a Factotum 2, Duskblade 3, Trapsmith 1, Swiftblade 5 character. I don't see that character as a collection of different classes. Instead, it's an intelligent, magical rogue who knows how to handle himself in a fight. They didn't receive Duskblade training, the Duskblade class is simply the best way that I can represent my vision of the character. (Incidentally, this is a big reason I strongly dislike tying fluff to crunch. As an example of this in D&D Next, check out Thieves' Cant, which seriously limits the range of characters that can be expressed by the "Rogue" class.)

Unless you see a PrC as an in-game construct, I'm not sure why you'd have an issue with this. If the character is honestly best represented by a Prestige class, then the character should take that set of abilities. They don't need to include PrCs in D&D Next if they represent a wide enough range of mechanical abilities through other means, but there's nothing wrong with PrCs.

That's the thing, as presented they were in game constructions. As much as you'd like it to be otherwise, (and can quite happily do by ignoring the fluff) crunch and fluff were pretty strictly linked in 3.X, at least in the eyes of the creators. I myself do the same as you really, but I can see the benefits of both methods.

navar100
2012-08-17, 08:46 PM
Out of curiosity, how often have you guys seen people multiclassing in 3.5 for RP/character identity reasons, rather than simply to improve the power/mechanical aspects of their character? For this purpose, I wouldn't count multiclassing if it was done for the sole purpose of getting a PrC.

Is there something wrong with that?

Menteith
2012-08-17, 09:18 PM
That's the thing, as presented they were in game constructions. As much as you'd like it to be otherwise, (and can quite happily do by ignoring the fluff) crunch and fluff were pretty strictly linked in 3.X, at least in the eyes of the creators. I myself do the same as you really, but I can see the benefits of both methods.

I'm not sure why that's relevant to the question. :smallconfused:

"Out of curiosity, how often have you guys seen people multiclassing in 3.5 for RP/character identity reasons, rather than simply to improve the power/mechanical aspects of their character?."

My answer was most of the time. Most of the time I multiclass it is to more fully express mechanically what my character is. Character identity is a primary reason I multiclass. The way I handle what a class is simply makes it more fluid and, (to me) more sensible.

AgentPaper
2012-08-17, 09:23 PM
(Incidentally, this is a big reason I strongly dislike tying fluff to crunch. As an example of this in D&D Next, check out Thieves' Cant, which seriously limits the range of characters that can be expressed by the "Rogue" class.)

You mean, you don't like seeing fluff tied to crunch too much. If you were really to completely untie crunch from fluff, you'd get a purely mathematical game, and a set of books describing what a wizard and a fighter is, but with no correlation between them.

Personally, I don't see any issue with Rogue's being tied to Thieves' Cant. You learn to be a wizard by studying ancient tomes. You learn to be a fighter by fighting in battles. You learn to become a cleric by praying to the gods. Why is it any different for a rogue to learn to be a rogue by spending time associating with criminals?

If anything, I think this might help all the variations on the rogue that have classically been represented by the rogue class. Instead of being a catch-all skilled, sneaky character, the rogue can be a much more specific archetype, and so you can make other, equally specific archetypes into classes as well. It gives a lot more room for the assassin, the ranger, the duelist, the swashbuckler, and all the other classic "roguish" archetypes to come into their own.

What else is a class, but a description of how you became able to do what you currently can do? If you say any character that happens to be able to cast spells is a wizard, then what is a wizard? What makes him different from a sorcerer? Or a warlock? How is a paladin different from a cleric?

TheOOB
2012-08-17, 09:26 PM
I do like the concept of a Prestige Class because in theory it's a more specialised version of a class to branch into. In 3.X it does frequently end up being lots of dips for powergaming, unfortunately, but that's a player problem, not a game problem.

I guess my philosophy is that if a concept is so complex or alien that it can't be represented via feats, spells, or alternate class features, it should be a class in it's own right. PrC's were not a big deal when D&D 3rd came out, but they started getting used for everything, and ended up getting abused. They are an easy tool to make something that looks cool without caring over much about balance or how it interacts with other classes.

Menteith
2012-08-17, 09:33 PM
Personally, I don't see any issue with Rogue's being tied to Thieves' Cant. You learn to be a wizard by studying ancient tomes. You learn to be a fighter by fighting in battles. You learn to become a cleric by praying to the gods. Why is it any different for a rogue to learn to be a rogue by spending time associating with criminals?

Because I might want to have a Half-Orc Rogue who grew up backstabbing amongst a savage clan, with no time for the dealing of humans. Or an elven watcher who stalks amongst the woodlands to protect them against incursions. Or a bounty hunter on retainer to the King, a pirate, a military specialist, a serial killer....

There are many archetypes of the Rogue that wouldn't logically have the ability to write in a "sekret speshial" language that all criminals magically understand. This ability dramatically limits what characters can be represented via the Rogue class. If the point was to limit the range of characters expressed by the class, as you suggest, then I strongly urge them to reconsider said point. I don't believe that they will introduce a wide range of base classes, and I believe they intended to have all "Sneaky" characters use the Rogue class as a base. Thieves' Cant doesn't make sense for all "Sneaky" characters; ergo, I have a problem. If they change one of those two things (all Sneaky characters are Rogues, all Rogues have Thieves' Cant) I'll be fine.

And I honestly don't have a problem with Clerics calling themselves Paladins if they're playing the Paladin archetype. /shrug. And you're right about tying fluff to mechanics vs. mechanics to fluff, I switched the words around in my initial post.

noparlpf
2012-08-17, 09:34 PM
I guess my philosophy is that if a concept is so complex or alien that it can't be represented via feats, spells, or alternate class features, it should be a class in it's own right. PrC's were not a big deal when D&D 3rd came out, but they started getting used for everything, and ended up getting abused. They are an easy tool to make something that looks cool without caring over much about balance or how it interacts with other classes.

Well they are their own classes. Just with prereqs. Doesn't it seem silly to have two classes, say Rogue A and Rogue B, with identical progressions for the first eight levels before they branch out and get different abilities?

AgentPaper
2012-08-17, 10:31 PM
Because I might want to have a Half-Orc Rogue who grew up backstabbing amongst a savage clan, with no time for the dealing of humans. Or an elven watcher who stalks amongst the woodlands to protect them against incursions. Or a bounty hunter on retainer to the King, a pirate, a military specialist, a serial killer....

There are many archetypes of the Rogue that wouldn't logically have the ability to write in a "sekret speshial" language that all criminals magically understand. This ability dramatically limits what characters can be represented via the Rogue class. If the point was to limit the range of characters expressed by the class, as you suggest, then I strongly urge them to reconsider said point. I don't believe that they will introduce a wide range of base classes, and I believe they intended to have all "Sneaky" characters use the Rogue class as a base. Thieves' Cant doesn't make sense for all "Sneaky" characters; ergo, I have a problem. If they change one of those two things (all Sneaky characters are Rogues, all Rogues have Thieves' Cant) I'll be fine.

And I honestly don't have a problem with Clerics calling themselves Paladins if they're playing the Paladin archetype. /shrug. And you're right about tying fluff to mechanics vs. mechanics to fluff, I switched the words around in my initial post.

And what I'm saying is, putting the "Rogue" label on your character should exactly define your character in that way. If you want to make a Wizard that learned his magic from raw, magical talent, you don't complain that the Wizard Class has rules for this stupid "spellbook" thing, you instead roll a sorcerer. If you want to play something that doesn't fit into a criminal background, then you should be playing a different class. Your Half-Orc should be an Assassin. Your Elf should be a Ranger. Your bounty hunter sounds like he'd have come from a criminal background, though he could just as easily be a fighter if you don't want to go that route.

Instead of trying to force the class to fit your character, you should choose a more appropriate class. If you think there is a significant archetype that the current classes don't cover, then that is a class that should be made, rather than ham-fisting some other class to fit that role as well.

Water_Bear
2012-08-17, 10:39 PM
And what I'm saying is, putting the "Rogue" label on your character should exactly define your character in that way. If you want to make a Wizard that learned his magic from raw, magical talent, you don't complain that the Wizard Class has rules for this stupid "spellbook" thing, you instead roll a sorcerer. If you want to play something that doesn't fit into a criminal background, then you should be playing a different class. Your Half-Orc should be an Assassin. Your Elf should be a Ranger. Your bounty hunter sounds like he'd have come from a criminal background, though he could just as easily be a fighter if you don't want to go that route.

Instead of trying to force the class to fit your character, you should choose a more appropriate class. If you think there is a significant archetype that the current classes don't cover, then that is a class that should be made, rather than ham-fisting some other class to fit that role as well.

It seems like you're version of the system would, logically, either end up with a very small number of possible backgrounds or a vast number of classes. It doesn't seem very efficient or reasonable.

I'm usually not a fan of dissociated mechanics; I like my simulationism and fluff as much as the next guy. But it makes way more sense to me to say "here is what you can do" rather than "here is how you learned to do this."

One arbitrarily limits the kinds of characters you can make, the other gives a lot more freedom to players and cuts down on the number of classes the designers need to make and balance. Why make more work for the designers by putting stringent fluff requirements on classes, rather than letting the players define their character's backstory?

noparlpf
2012-08-17, 10:45 PM
I prefer "here is what you can do" and "here are the mechanical prerequisites of that" along with "now go write your own backstory and fluff for how you do it/how you learned to do it".

Menteith
2012-08-17, 10:47 PM
I would be just as irritated if they gave Wizards an ability that forced them all to come from a wizard college, or if they gave Fighters and ability that made them all into soldiers. There is no reason that Thieves' Cant shouldn't be on a background, rather than on the class itself, unless one is seeking to specifically limit what the Rogue class can be. You seem to be seeking to limit the Rogue class in this way.


And what I'm saying is, putting the "Rogue" label on your character should exactly define your character in that way...

This is the crux of what we disagree on. I don't see a reason that a Rogue has to be straight-jacketed into a single role when it could instead easily be used to represent a broad range of characters. You clearly disagree. I don't understand what you see in limiting character options when an equally viable design could be used that would result in a broader range of character options. Could you explain to me why you feel that limiting what a class can represent will result in a better game, especially in light of the fact that WotC does not seem likely to create a wide range of base classes?

Should they create a wide enough range of classes that can allow me to express a range of characters, then I won't have an issue, as I said above. But currently, I don't believe they plan to introduce such a wide range of classes, and they instead intend to use few classes to represent many characters. Do you have a reason to believe that they will create a broad range of classes, rather than sticking to the limited range they've specified in earlier information releases?

AgentPaper
2012-08-17, 11:12 PM
This is the crux of what we disagree on. I don't see a reason that a Rogue has to be straight-jacketed into a single role when it could instead easily be used to represent a broad range of characters. You clearly disagree. I don't understand what you see in limiting character options when an equally viable design could be used that would result in a broader range of character options. Could you explain to me why you feel that limiting what a class can represent will result in a better game, especially in light of the fact that WotC does not seem likely to create a wide enough range of base classes to cover characters I might want to play?

Should they create a wide enough range of classes that can allow me to express a range of characters, then I won't have an issue, as I said above. But currently, I don't believe they plan to introduce such a wide range of classes, and they instead intend to use few classes to represent many characters. Do you have a reason to believe that they will create a broad range of classes, rather than sticking to the limited range they've specified in earlier information releases?

I would be just as irritated if they gave Wizards an ability that forced them all to come from a wizard college, or if they gave Fighters and ability that made them all into soldiers. There is no reason that Thieves' Cant shouldn't be on a background, rather than on the class itself, unless one is seeking to specifically limit what the Rogue class can be. You seem to be seeking to limit the Rogue class in this way.

Ah, but you're only looking at one side of the issue. The more you broaden what a class can do, the more you water down what classes mean as a whole. If you took a wizard to be anyone that can cast arcane spells, then you would remove sorcerers, warlocks, and any other kind of arcane caster from the game entirely. On the other hand, if you define the rogue more, then you allow for more classes to be made that would otherwise be redundant with the rogue. As those classes become more and more well-defined, you become more and more able to give those classes unique, interesting abilities that only make sense with the reduced scope of that class.

I don't mean to say that we need to be extremely strict with how classes are defined. Using your example, you say you would be annoyed if wizards were set to all come from a wizard's college. Learning spells through long hours of study and application of logic and rigor naturally fits a background of going to a wizarding school, but it doesn't lock you into it. You could just as easily have a wizard that found some ancient tome, and spent hours learning spells from it instead of learning from a teacher. Or you could have one who discovered magic independently, or maybe you learned your craft directly from a master, or any other of many different possibilities.

However, as different as these background sound, they all agree that the Wizard picked up certain skills while he was studying. They agree that he has a spellbook, that he learns magic from study, that he can cast rituals, and so on. I would say that the Thieves' Cant falls into this category as well.

Menteith
2012-08-17, 11:23 PM
- I have no problem with Thieves' Cant if there are other classes which can be used to represent my characters.

- I don't believe that WotC is planning to create other classes; I believe they intend for the Rogue class to be used for every "Sneaky" character.

- I am highly limited in what kind of characters I can play if every single one of them is required to have a thorough knowledge of the criminal underworld.

- I don't think that Thieves' Cant should be a required ability for every "Sneaky" character because it acts as a limiter for what I'm allowed to play.

I hope this makes my concerns clear. In theory, I have no issue with the ability. However, in reality, I have an issue with Thieves' Cant. I'll repeat my questions; why are you confidant they WotC will change their design policy and release a large number of base classes, instead of relying on customizable backgrounds and a limited number of base classes? If WotC does not plan on releasing classes like the "Assassin", "Trapsmith", "Spy", etc, do you agree that Thieves' Cant should be a background?

EDIT - A third question;
Why do you think that the things which make individuals distinct from each other should be different base classes, instead of different backgrounds? (which is what I'm advocating for, on the basis that it fits the current design)

noparlpf
2012-08-17, 11:24 PM
Except that I can learn how to pick pockets, cut purses, pick locks, and burgle houses, all without ever communicating with another thief. It should be a background, not an inherent part of the class.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-08-17, 11:35 PM
Except that I can learn how to pick pockets, cut purses, pick locks, and burgle houses, all without ever communicating with another thief. It should be a background, not an inherent part of the class.

Or they could just be embracing the whole mechanical enforcement of stereotypes thing. Next round, the Dwarf will say "Must be an alcoholic" and "Must speak with a bad scottish accent"

Starbuck_II
2012-08-17, 11:56 PM
They have not yet released any sort of multi classing rules, but I can pretty much guarantee it won't work like it does in 3e. My guess, It'll either be something like 4e where you can kinda sort get other class features, or like 2e where you can have a sort of dual advancement type deal.

Actually, they briefly mention you can multiclass like 3E, pg 7 of the new Class PDF under Warlocks: "Unless you have spellcasting from another source:", how you are getting another source unless you multiclass?

So it proves we have 3.5 version to me.

AgentPaper
2012-08-17, 11:56 PM
why are you confidant they WotC will change their design policy and release a large number of base classes, instead of relying on customizable backgrounds and a limited number of base classes?

Er, I don't think they will change their design philosophy, I think they will continue making lots of classes as they have since 3rd edition. If anything, were they to focus on a small number of classes that cover a lot of areas, that would be the change. Even looking at sneaky characters, there's also the Ranger, the Assassin, the Bard, the Ninja, the Scout, the Shadowcaster, and the Lurk.

And even if you don't want to fit into one of those classes, you can choose another class, and find a background, choose feats, and pick skills to improve your sneakiness. I think the problem here is more that you're tied to the "Rogue = Sneaky" and inversely, "Sneaky = Rogue", when neither has to necessarily be the case.


If WotC does not plan on releasing classes like the "Assassin", "Trapsmith", "Spy", etc, do you agree that Thieves' Cant should be a background?

Trapsmith and Spy are skills, not classes. If WotC really did plan to not release Assassins, Rangers, and so on, and instead to lump all of those archetypes into the Rogue, then yes I would expect them to remove Thieves' Cant, at least from the base class. However, I would say that the fact that Thieves' Cant is in there at all is proof that they do want to make classes more narrow, as they have in the past, which leads me to believe that the other classes will be put in. We've already seen this with the Wizard, who instead of being made broad, was made narrow, and now we have the Warlock and the Sorcerer to fill those other niches.


EDIT - A third question;
Why do you think that the things which make individuals distinct from each other should be different base classes, instead of different backgrounds? (which is what I'm advocating for, on the basis that it fits the current design)

Why do you think that backgrounds should be the only way to make individuals distinct?

Edit:

Actually, they briefly mention you can multiclass like 3E, pg 7 of the new Class PDF under Warlocks: "Unless you have spellcasting from another source:", how you are getting another source unless you multiclass?

So it proves we have 3.5 version to me.

You can get spells from feats. Only minor so far, but we might be getting higher level spellcasting at higher level feats.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 12:17 AM
I would say the existence of Thieves' Cant either indicates that WotC intends to create a massive number of highly specialized classes, or that they made a design mistake. From what I have read, the developers do not intend to release a massive number of highly specialized classes. No other classes in the material we have seen have been highly specialized with regard to character background - there are mechanical specializations, as you have noted, but there is nothing that forces a Fighter to be a soldier. There is something that forces the Rogue to be a very specific type of criminal.

""The goal at the moment is to include all the classes that were in the first PH style book for each edition." Specifically mentioned by WotC staff so far are: fighter, cleric, wizard, warlock, sorcerer, bard, paladin, psion, barbarian, monk, druid, warlord, assassin, rogue.", source (http://www.enworld.org/forum/showwiki.php?title=D+and+D+Next:+Classes)

The Rogue in 3.5 was much broader in what characters it could represent, because it wasn't mechanically tied to a stereotype, the way the D&D Next Rogue is with Thieves' Cant. This significantly broader class existed alongside other similarly broad classes. The only base class that had a constraint on character background was the Druid (with Druidic as a specific language known to every Druid), which isn't well thought out either.

I think that backgrounds should be used to represent a character's background. In this case, my character's background is determined by the class I've selected, rather than the background I'd like to select. Why do you think that a class should determine a very significant part of a character's history, rather than allowing a player to choose their own background?

We're actually in agreement for the most part. We both agree that Thieves' Cant is acceptable if there are enough classes around that many characters are feasible. I simply don't believe that WotC will release enough classes to accomplish this (as it seems they're generally relying on backgrounds for this sort of thing in D&D Next), while you do. I believe that placing Thieves' Cant into a "Criminal" background that anyone can select, regardless of class (surely there are criminals out there in other classes who can read a gang sign) is a more appropriate fit with the design philosophy of D&D Next.

navar100
2012-08-18, 12:37 AM
And what I'm saying is, putting the "Rogue" label on your character should exactly define your character in that way. If you want to make a Wizard that learned his magic from raw, magical talent, you don't complain that the Wizard Class has rules for this stupid "spellbook" thing, you instead roll a sorcerer. If you want to play something that doesn't fit into a criminal background, then you should be playing a different class. Your Half-Orc should be an Assassin. Your Elf should be a Ranger. Your bounty hunter sounds like he'd have come from a criminal background, though he could just as easily be a fighter if you don't want to go that route.

Instead of trying to force the class to fit your character, you should choose a more appropriate class. If you think there is a significant archetype that the current classes don't cover, then that is a class that should be made, rather than ham-fisting some other class to fit that role as well.

So, in 3e, if I wanted to play a samurai, I must, must use Complete Warrior's Samurai or perhaps Oriental Adventure's? I couldn't play a Warblade or Swordsage and just call myself a "samurai". I couldn't be a monk/paladin multiclass and call myself a "samurai"? (Miko sounds like a nice name. :smalltongue: )

AgentPaper
2012-08-18, 12:58 AM
So, in 3e, if I wanted to play a samurai, I must, must use Complete Warrior's Samurai or perhaps Oriental Adventure's? I couldn't play a Warblade or Swordsage and just call myself a "samurai". I couldn't be a monk/paladin multiclass and call myself a "samurai"? (Miko sounds like a nice name. :smalltongue: )

That's not what I'm saying whatsoever. Samurai is a perfectly meaningless title. It's basically just Japanese for "Knight". There are certainly differences between the fighting styles of Japan and Europe, but they're not significant enough to justify different classes. It seems like exactly the kind of thing that might turn up as a sub-class of a fighter, just like a Blademaster or such might.


Beyond that, I think the biggest disconnect we're having here is how much Thieves' Cant defines your character. Nowhere in the description of Thieves' Cant does it say you're actually a thief, only that you picked up their language. You could easily be a freedom-fighter who uses dirty tactics and Thieves' Cant to communicate with other rebels. Or you could be a spy who learned Thieves' Cant so that he can easily contact informants or thieves when the need arises (and it often will!). Or maybe your character is part of some other sect of cunning, sneaky-types who use a secret language to communicate.

My question is, how is Thieves' Cant more restrictive than a wizard's spellbook and method of preparation? Or a warlocks pacts? Or a sorcerer's bloodline? Or a Fighter's combat training? Or a Cleric's domain?

TheOOB
2012-08-18, 01:59 AM
Actually, they briefly mention you can multiclass like 3E, pg 7 of the new Class PDF under Warlocks: "Unless you have spellcasting from another source:", how you are getting another source unless you multiclass?

So it proves we have 3.5 version to me.

No, no, that doesn't prove anything. The English language doesn't work like that. The only thing stated or implied there is that it may be possible to gain spellcasting from another source. Nothing more, nothing less. Considering we know two ways(feats and race) to gain spellcasting already, that's not much. It doesn't imply multiclassing, and it certainly doesn't imply 3e style multiclassing. And considering the base +2 weapon attack bonus, and slow progression, we have a definite implication we will NOT have 3e style multiclassing.


Well they are their own classes. Just with prereqs. Doesn't it seem silly to have two classes, say Rogue A and Rogue B, with identical progressions for the first eight levels before they branch out and get different abilities?

They(PrCs) really are not their own classes, as you can't make a character who just has a PrC, you must have at least one base class, and no I don't think the shift in progression is silly.

Here's the problem with PrC's, you have no idea how they will interact with the rest of the game content. You don't know how their abilities will interact with the rest of the classes in the game, past and future, and you certainly don't know how quickly they can gain the prerequisites. If you have an alternate class feature, you can know that a character who has ability a, is say a level 8 rogue. For a PrC you have no idea what the player did before the PrC, and thus you can't balance the PrC's abilities.

Draz74
2012-08-18, 03:55 AM
They have not yet released any sort of multi classing rules, but I can pretty much guarantee it won't work like it does in 3e. My guess, It'll either be something like 4e where you can kinda sort get other class features, or like 2e where you can have a sort of dual advancement type deal.


Multiclassing

Multiclassing: "...here's what we have in mind. When you gain a level, you can choose any class and gain a level in that class, much in the same way that it functioned in 3rd Edition. Of course, those of you who play or played 3E know that there can sometimes be issues with this, and if you aren't careful you can build a character that struggles with effectiveness at higher levels. However, there's a lot of good that comes out of this system, including organic character growth, expansive character building options without the need for large swathes of material, and the ability to express your character's specialties through a unique mix of classes." - Rodney Thompson.

Admittedly not neccessarily up-to-date.

The New Bruceski
2012-08-18, 06:20 AM
I think Thieves' Cant is in there on purpose as a test. Like when everyone wondered where the Cleric's Turn Undead was, they want to see what playtesters consider necessary to D&D, even if it isn't used much in actual play.

That said, I don't like it. A class should be what your character does, not what they are. If you make a bodyguard/enforcer for the criminal underground Fighter may be a class that's the best fit for your idea, but they would be much more likely to know the Cant than a Gentleman Thief who took to it as an escape from the ennui of High Society.

Seerow
2012-08-18, 08:30 AM
Ah, but you're only looking at one side of the issue. The more you broaden what a class can do, the more you water down what classes mean as a whole. If you took a wizard to be anyone that can cast arcane spells, then you would remove sorcerers, warlocks, and any other kind of arcane caster from the game entirely. On the other hand, if you define the rogue more, then you allow for more classes to be made that would otherwise be redundant with the rogue. As those classes become more and more well-defined, you become more and more able to give those classes unique, interesting abilities that only make sense with the reduced scope of that class.


I just want to point out that "Arcane caster" is a concept MUCH broader in scope and potential mechanical implications than "Rogue". If anything, they needed to limit Wizard fluff further, and leave the rogue's fluff open.

There's only so many things you can give to a mundane rogue without making people scratch their heads and 'wtf' at you. Trying to make for example, a Swashbuckler, or a Scout, ends up making some very diluted classes that would have been better off just being a part of the Rogue in the first place. I mean this is the whole reason we got the name "Rogue" instead of "Thief", so you could play a larger range of concepts with the same class.

On the other extreme, the Wizard, whose main defining feature is "Arcane spellcaster who studies anything and everything" gets to do anything and everything that the developers think of, because arcane magic can do anything and everything. His spells known let him do more different things than any other class, and as more material gets released, that will only get worse.

If the Wizard was going to be the Generalist who knows everything, he should be closer to the Warlock, getting to learn every ritual spell out there, but non-rituals he gets restricted to lower level spells. Other classes would cover the specialist roles for specific types of magic (for example a Shapeshifter/Transmuter, and Abjurer, a Blaster, etc), which aren't nearly as flexible/studious/whatever, but are each much better at their chosen school of magic.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 08:49 AM
My question is, how is Thieves' Cant more restrictive than a wizard's spellbook and method of preparation? Or a warlocks pacts? Or a sorcerer's bloodline? Or a Fighter's combat training? Or a Cleric's domain?

In order for you to have a character with Thieves' Cant which makes sense, these things need to be true;

- You've grown up in a literate, relatively civilized society.

- Within this society, there is a significantly large criminal underworld, which all criminals are intimately familiar with.

- Your character has to have been intimately familiar with the slang of this criminal underworld.

- It is impossible for any other class to reach your level of familiarity with the slang of this criminal underworld.

Now here are the restrictions that the mechanics of a Fighter puts on me;

- You are skilled with weapons.

These are not comparable restrictions. A Fighter puts almost no restrictions on my character; a Rogue puts many, many restrictions on my character.

Starbuck_II
2012-08-18, 10:08 AM
In order for you to have a character with Thieves' Cant which makes sense, these things need to be true;

- You've grown up in a literate, relatively civilized society.

These are not comparable restrictions. A Fighter puts almost no restrictions on my character; a Rogue puts many, many restrictions on my character.

Whoa, why does Thieve's Cant require a literate/civilized society?

Loki_42
2012-08-18, 11:00 AM
I'm not necessarily a fan of Thieve's Cant, but I can't understand why everyone is this upset over it. Thieve's Cant is as easy as anything else to refluff, in some way, you are familiar with slang and doublespeak. It's still relatively wide open. Now, I'd be fine if they slipped it into the thief background, in fact, that might still be a better option(or make it a language anyone can learn), but I don't think they need to.

Water_Bear
2012-08-18, 11:07 AM
Whoa, why does Thieve's Cant require a literate/civilized society?

Because, as I understand it, it's a language with both a written and oral components. An Orc tribe living on the caldera of some volcano might not even use pictograms, but somehow their Rogues can read and decode hidden messages in Thieve's Cant.

Still, it's a somewhat weak objection; unless you're a 3.5 Barbarian, everyone in D&D is assumed to be literate.

My main objection is that it makes perfect sense... for the Thief class. Rogue is intentionally vague; unlike how Magic User became the much more specific Wizard, Thief was made to be more widely applicable on purpose editions ago. There really doesn't seem to be a good reason to backslide now.

AgentPaper
2012-08-18, 11:23 AM
In order for you to have a character with Thieves' Cant which makes sense, these things need to be true;

- You've grown up in a literate, relatively civilized society.

Who ever said you had to grow up in this society? It does necessitate that one had to exist, but nothing about you growing up there.


- Within this society, there is a significantly large criminal underworld, which all criminals are intimately familiar with.

You don't need a large criminal underworld to have Thieves' Cant. What you need, is a large number of criminals, who have reason to want to talk to each other without anyone else noticing. I find it had to believe that there are that many settings that wouldn't fit this requirement.


- Your character has to have been intimately familiar with the slang of this criminal underworld.

Yes, which could happen in any number of ways. A gentlemanly thief doesn't just jump out of bed one day and steal the crown jewels. He needs to spend a long time learning how to open locks, sneak around, disarm traps, bluff guards, and fight dirty. Where do you think he learned all of this, a book?


- It is impossible for any other class to reach your level of familiarity with the slang of this criminal underworld.

This I don't think should be true. It should be possible for other characters to learn Thieves' Cant just like any other language, but we don't have all of the rules for that. It would also make sense to spread out the Thieves' Cant a bit more.

I don't have any problem with giving the thieves' cant to a background, I simply don't see why it can't be on the rogue, as well.


Now here are the restrictions that the mechanics of a Fighter puts on me;

- You are skilled with weapons.

These are not comparable restrictions. A Fighter puts almost no restrictions on my character; a Rogue puts many, many restrictions on my character.

This is actually another problem that I hadn't brought up yet. The fighter has even worse issues with this than the rogue. I'd actually far prefer to see the fighter be narrowed in scope a lot, because currently, the fighter seems to make just about every other martial character obsolete. If it were up to me, a fighter would be required to have learned a "school" of combat. Where and how he learned that school would still be up for debate, but it would make the fighter more of the wizard of martial classes. They learn by study and rigorous practice.

This would make other classes, like the Barbarian and the Monk much more able to grab a part of the martial pie, as it were, instead of forcing them to become another kind of spellcaster, as they were in 4E.

Dienekes
2012-08-18, 11:52 AM
Honestly, I'd much rather have just a few classes: Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, and Fighter, or whatever and have each class be flexible enough to become each type of the subtypes. Actually they already seem to be moving to this method which will be odd when they start bringing in classes like the Paladin (which already seems pretty well covered by the Cleric War archetype)

Now if Combat Superiority becomes as fantastic a combat resource as the devs seem to want to make it (based on them talking it up rather than it's actual usefulness), then it makes far more sense to me to use that whole specialization/background mechanic to create the barbarian/monk classes than to try and strike gold again and again.

'Cause really, to me a Barbarian is really defined as prioritizing damage and having a rage mechanic. Damaging CS do this already, and Rage can be a quick add to a background ability. And a monk uses their fists and has some sort of mass of attacks ability. Well, again mass of attacks can be done by CS and Unarmed Combatant ability can allow their fists to act like finesse weapons.

Now as to Thieves Cant, I don't really hate it. But it does make far more sense as a Background ability maybe for Professional Criminal background or something.

kyoryu
2012-08-18, 11:58 AM
Actually, they briefly mention you can multiclass like 3E, pg 7 of the new Class PDF under Warlocks: "Unless you have spellcasting from another source:", how you are getting another source unless you multiclass?

So it proves we have 3.5 version to me.

Even if multiclassing exists, there's no reason to presume it exists as it did in 3.x. Multiclassing has existed in just about *every* version of D&D, if you accept "Elf" as a multiclass in Basic. "Pick a different class every time you level" only exists in 3.x.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 12:00 PM
You don't need a large criminal underworld to have Thieves' Cant. What you need, is a large number of criminals, who have reason to want to talk to each other without anyone else noticing. I find it had to believe that there are that many settings that wouldn't fit this requirement.

You need to have a large number of criminals who have organized to the extent that they have developed their own sekret speshial language which no one else can ever crack. And who have inducted every Rogue, in every city, of every age, by teaching them this sekret speshial language. Incidentally, this also ensures that classes are in-game constructs (There's a clear, in-game distinction between a Rogue and a Fighter with the Thug background who's had a criminal history). I can't actually think of any published setting where there's a magical cabal of criminals that all speak the same code across every city, in every country, with no other person breaking the code. It's comical how silly that idea is, but that's what Thieves' Cant, by RAW, currently is.

"Among thieves, there is a secret language, a way of communicating between members of the criminal underworld that rogues know and use. Creatures hearing you converse in Thievesí Cant might think you say one thing when you are actually saying something else entirely.

Benefit:You have learned the secret language of thieves."

Name me a setting that actually has a "secret language of thieves"? Because off the top of my head, established settings like FR, Eberron, Golarion, Dark Sun, etc. don't have a secret language of thieves.


Yes, which could happen in any number of ways. A gentlemanly thief doesn't just jump out of bed one day and steal the crown jewels. He needs to spend a long time learning how to open locks, sneak around, disarm traps, bluff guards, and fight dirty. Where do you think he learned all of this, a book?

I don't have any problem with giving the thieves' cant to a background, I simply don't see why it can't be on the rogue, as well.


I think they learned it the way most real life criminals learn it - by experience, rather than teaching. As an example, check out people like Bill Mason (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Mason_%28jewel_thief%29), and his autobiographical book Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief - and note that Bill doesn't speak in a magical, sooper sekret language that only jewel thieves can understand. Nor do I think that every Rogue needs to be a criminal; a military specialist who's had formal training within armed forces on sabotage would have no reason to speak in this secret, magical, criminal language - but he magically learns how to do so the second he receives his military training. I should be allowed to choose my character's background - and unless they intend that every Rogue be familiar with crime, they should change it.

TLDR;
Unless the designers are intentionally restricting the range of characters that can be expressed by the Rogue (to characters who are intimately familiar with criminals, in settings where thieves have a secret language), Thieves' Cant should only be part of a background that is available for any class (because every class could have a criminal background).

Camelot
2012-08-18, 12:13 PM
I'm starting my own play-by-post for the 5th edition playtest, here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=253086) on the forum. I'm going to be experimenting with making my own adventure, since I know Reclaiming Blingdenstone is already being done, unless there's some reason that I missed for not being allowed to do that.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-08-18, 01:10 PM
Name me a setting that actually has a "secret language of thieves"? Because off the top of my head, established settings like FR, Eberron, Golarion, Dark Sun, etc. don't have a secret language of thieves.

Technically, FR, Mystara, and the various other 1e had/have a secret language of thieves, since it was around for that edition and every thief spoke Thieves' Cant...but then, in 1e every lawful good character spoke Lawful Good, too. I don't see why the devs want to go back to that sort of thing, particularly now that backgrounds are explicitly separate from class and secret languages are a perfect example of what should be background instead of class.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 01:18 PM
I don't see why the devs want to go back to that sort of thing, particularly now that backgrounds are explicitly separate from class and secret languages are a perfect example of what should be background instead of class.

This is a good summation of my opinion.

ThiagoMartell
2012-08-18, 01:41 PM
- I don't believe that WotC is planning to create other classes; I believe they intend for the Rogue class to be used for every "Sneaky" character.

Wizards of the Coast mentioned pretty soon in the D&D Next design that they planned to have every class to have ever been in a Player's Handbook in the new edition, so...

Menteith
2012-08-18, 01:46 PM
Wizards of the Coast mentioned pretty soon in the D&D Next design that they planned to have every class to have ever been in a Player's Handbook in the new edition, so...

Yup. Refer back to my post which directly quoted that. By "Sneaky" character, I was referring to the broad range of characters that the 3.5 Rogue could cover, which the D&D Next Rogue could also cover without Thieves' Cant artificially limiting what characters the class can support. From what I understand of AgentPaper's argument, they would prefer a system with far more classes, with each class corresponding to a specific type of character, which does not seem to be the intent in D&D Next. My claim is true in context of the discussion.

I do not believe that base classes like "Swashbuckler", "Trapsmith", "Thief", "Pirate", "Detective", "Saboteur", and so on will be put into the game to cover these types of characters. I believe that WotC is going to use the "Rogue" base class to cover all of these characters. Thieves' Cant does not belong on all of these characters. Which is what I specified earlier in the thread.

kyoryu
2012-08-18, 01:59 PM
Seriously, if the biggest problem we have with 5e is that it says that all Thieves get Theives' Cant, we'll be in pretty good shape.

Knaight
2012-08-18, 02:09 PM
Seriously, if the biggest problem we have with 5e is that it says that all Thieves get Theives' Cant, we'll be in pretty good shape.

It's a comparatively minor problem, sure. It's also downright trivial to fix, as all that takes is removing Thieves Cant, sticking it on a background somewhere, and calling it a day. That immediately broadens what the rogue class can represent, and it provides options for everyone else to get Thieves' Cant - say you have a thug who works for someone in the criminal underworld, as muscle. This is someone who fits in the Fighter class, but really has no excuse not to know Thieves' Cant.

ThiagoMartell
2012-08-18, 02:10 PM
Seriously, if the biggest problem we have with 5e is that it says that all Thieves get Theives' Cant, we'll be in pretty good shape.
Indeed.


Yup. Refer back to my post which directly quoted that. By "Sneaky" character, I was referring to the broad range of characters that the 3.5 Rogue could cover, which the D&D Next Rogue could also cover without Thieves' Cant artificially limiting what characters the class can support. From what I understand of AgentPaper's argument, they would prefer a system with far more classes, with each class corresponding to a specific type of character, which does not seem to be the intent in D&D Next. My claim is true in context of the discussion.

I do not believe that base classes like "Swashbuckler", "Trapsmith", "Thief", "Pirate", "Detective", "Saboteur", and so on will be put into the game to cover these types of characters. I believe that WotC is going to use the "Rogue" base class to cover all of these characters. Thieves' Cant does not belong on all of these characters. Which is what I specified earlier in the thread.
For many of those concepts, you have to ignore/refluff the 3.5 Rogue class.
Why can't you refluff Thieves' Chant, then? :smallconfused:

Water_Bear
2012-08-18, 02:21 PM
For many of those concepts, you have to ignore/refluff the 3.5 Rogue class.

Not really; the 3.5 PHB didn't really give much at all in the way of fluff, and didn't tie you to a criminal background.

My PDF software is being funky today, but once I can open it up I'll edit a quote from it in here.


Why can't you refluff Thieves' Chant, then? :smallconfused:

Because there isn't a logical way to explain why all Rogues know the same language which no-one else can learn. Even with Druidic you can hand-wave it as part of how they commune with nature, that anyone who knows it is so deep in their philosophy to be a Druid themselves.

But what kind of universal connection is there between stealthy people who kill people with precision attacks? Obviously not crime, that makes no sense for a huge portion of the characters who have those abilities. The skills are commonplace, and simple enough to be re-discovered several times, so it likely isn't some secret rogue dojo somewhere. They aren't magic, so there's no room for that kind of a hand-wave.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 02:35 PM
For many of those concepts, you have to ignore/refluff the 3.5 Rogue class.
Why can't you refluff Thieves' Chant, then? :smallconfused:

Refluffing is ok with me - I'd rather not have to do so, but it occurs sometimes, especially when the game devs and I have a different vision. I take issue with the fact that this is a mechanical ability of the Rogue class. Fluff != mechanical abilities. As we're still in a beta, and I see this as a pretty simple fix, I'm giving feedback that I believe will result in a more robust game. I'd love to have a system that I can pick up without having to doctor before play.

It's not a substantial problem on its own, but its indicative of a developmental mindset that I find strange. Either the developers didn't believe that players would want to run anything but the most stereotypical Rogue, they don't want players to run anything but the most stereotypical Rogue, or they made a mistake and it should be a Background instead of a class feature.

Knaight
2012-08-18, 02:36 PM
For many of those concepts, you have to ignore/refluff the 3.5 Rogue class.
Why can't you refluff Thieves' Chant, then? :smallconfused:
Thieves' Cant has a specific mechanical effect: The capacity to speak, write in, and understand speech and writing in the language of the criminal underworld. This is much harder to refluff than something like +1d6 damage when flanking, and while you can always have it be learned in counter espionage agents, or polyglots who also know a bunch of other languages, or people who are sneaky and happened to have a friend who knew it and so learned to speak it with a friend, or whatever, it still presents an obstacle to a whole bunch of characters and archetypes, as it gives them an ability they simply shouldn't have.

ThiagoMartell
2012-08-18, 02:36 PM
Not really; the 3.5 PHB didn't really give much at all in the way of fluff, and didn't tie you to a criminal background.

You probably mean the SRD. The 3.5 PHB has a lot of fluff.


Because there isn't a logical way to explain why all Rogues know the same language which no-one else can learn.
Please, tell me how is that any different from your Pirate, Swashbuckler or whatever having a knack for finding and disarming traps.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 02:43 PM
You probably mean the SRD. The 3.5 PHB has a lot of fluff.

"Rogues have little in common with one another. Some are stealthy thieves. Others are silver-tongued tricksters. Still others are scouts, infiltrators, spies, diplomats, or thugs. What they do share is versatility, adaptability, and resourcefulness. In general, rogues are skilled at getting what others don't want them to get: entrance into a locked treasure vault, safe passage past a deadly trap, secret battle plans, a guard's trust, or some random person's pocket money."

"Some rogues are officially inducted into an organized fellowship of rogues or "guild of thieves". Some are self-taught; others learned their skills from independent mentors....Rogues do not see each other as fellows unless they happen to be members of the same guild or students of the same mentors."

Yup, that's some pretty binding fluff right there that limits options.

Knaight
2012-08-18, 02:59 PM
Please, tell me how is that any different from your Pirate, Swashbuckler or whatever having a knack for finding and disarming traps.

It's largely a matter of degree - knowing a secret language is a completely different matter than being marginally better than most at dealing with traps. Added to that, you can simply not take the Disable Device skill for a pirate, swashbuckler, or whatever, and as such not actually be any better at finding and disarming traps - there's an easy way to opt out. Trap Sense, meanwhile, pretty much comes down to dodging better while surprised, which they also have with Uncanny Dodge, and which makes a lot of sense for basically any of the stealthy, agile archetypes Rogue works for.

That said, I'd still rather Trapfinding be handled as some sort of rogue bonus feat where there are other options than as a class feature.

ThiagoMartell
2012-08-18, 02:59 PM
Yup, that's some pretty binding fluff right there that limits options.
Please, spare me your sarcasm. All I said was that the 3.5 PHB has plenty of fluff. And it does.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 03:08 PM
Please, spare me your sarcasm. All I said was that the 3.5 PHB has plenty of fluff. And it does.

As the sum total of Rogue fluff from the PHB fits on half a page, and not all the text on p49 is related to fluff, I feel comfortable disagreeing with you. Fluff for the Rogue exists in 3.5, but it's certainly not the significant amount you're making it out to be. There are spells in the PHB which take up more text than the entirety of Rogue flavor text. Water Bear was correct in saying that the PHB doesn't have much fluff, and that none of it ties you to a criminal background.

ThiagoMartell
2012-08-18, 03:14 PM
As the sum total of Rogue fluff from the PHB fits on half a page, and not all the text on p49 is related to fluff, I feel comfortable disagreeing with you. Fluff for the Rogue exists in 3.5, but it's certainly not the significant amount you're making it out to be. There are spells in the PHB which take up more text than the entirety of Rogue flavor text. Water Bear was correct in saying that the PHB doesn't have much fluff, and that none of it ties you to a criminal background.

Feel free to disagree. Please, don't feel free to demean people with your sarcasm because they disagree with you.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 03:15 PM
Feel free to disagree. Please, don't feel free to demean people with your sarcasm because they disagree with you.

Fair enough. Sorry to have offended you, Thiago.

Dublock
2012-08-18, 03:42 PM
Yea I don't like the fact that it does have...implications that ties the character to the criminal world.

But I fail to see why the DM and player just can't agree to waive it. I know its best to have it in the background but is it so critical that I just can't agree with my players to "forget" that its there and let them have a different style of rogue?

I guess I just don't see it as a big deal.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 03:46 PM
Yea I don't like the fact that it does have...implications that ties the character to the criminal world.

But I fail to see why the DM and player just can't agree to waive it. I know its best to have it in the background but is it so critical that I just can't agree with my players to "forget" that its there and let them have a different style of rogue?

I guess I just don't see it as a big deal.

It's not a huge deal on its own, and if it's kept this way in the final version, I'd probably houserule it into a background. But since we're still in beta, doesn't it make more sense for them to simply fix it now, rather than officially having something like this in the game?

This whole thing sort of ballooned out of my statement a few pages back about how I don't like it when the mechanics of a class are welded to the fluff that WotC writes. As another example of this, and to get off the Thieves' Cant topic, I dislike how in 3.5, Bards can't be lawful (because clearly, a Savage Bard who acts as the center of a tribe and preserves their oral history couldn't possibly have a lawful nature). Do anyone think that Alignment is going to have a mechanical impact on the game, whether through spells like Detect Evil and Holy Word, or through feat/class/background selection?

Camelot
2012-08-18, 03:55 PM
I don't see why the rogue can't teach the cant to everyone else in the group, over the course of a few levels maybe, and then they have their own secret sign language that they can use to communicate with each other in the presence of others. The rogue didn't have to learn it from other thieves, they could have just made it up.

AgentPaper
2012-08-18, 04:08 PM
It also doesn't have to be a literal language, but more the skill of hidden meanings and such. Like, when you say you're in the "waste management" business, that means something completely different when you're talking to someone in the mob. Any king of roguish character might have a reason for wanting to talk this way, so he can discuss what he's doing in the open, rather than looking suspicious and whispering secrets all the time. Other rogues would know what a rogue was talking about, even if they were from different areas of the world and learned in different ways, just by knowing what to listen for, to look for the meaning behind the words instead of just the words themselves.

I don't know if this is what they meant in their description of the Thieves' Cant, though, and if it is they should probably make it more clear.

RebelRogue
2012-08-18, 04:14 PM
I supposed it has a limited scope: while discussing methods of breaking and entering is easy using the cant, a theological debate is nigh impossible. That would make sense to me, at least.

TheOOB
2012-08-18, 04:38 PM
For my 2cp, I think having Thieve's Cant as a class feature is silly, it should be a language, learnable like any other. A fighter could be a thief, part of the guild, and a rogue could be an honorable scout for the royal military. Maybe the rogue could instead get a bonus language, and mention they normally learn code languages.

AgentPaper
2012-08-18, 05:13 PM
For my 2cp, I think having Thieve's Cant as a class feature is silly, it should be a language, learnable like any other. A fighter could be a thief, part of the guild, and a rogue could be an honorable scout for the royal military. Maybe the rogue could instead get a bonus language, and mention they normally learn code languages.

I keep seeing a lot of archetypes thrown out that "don't make sense" with Thieves' Cant, but at least so far all of them either a) aren't really a big enough concept to be a "class" (IE: Trapsmith is a crafting skill) or b) would fit much better into a different class (IE: How is a scout anything but a Ranger, or maybe a Fighter?) or c) aren't exactly far fetched to have Thieves' Cant anyways. (IE: Bounty hunter. How do you find criminals the law can't find? By talking to other criminals)

SSGoW
2012-08-18, 05:15 PM
I don't see how Thieve's Cant changes the game at all...

Back in 3.5 I never saw a game become broken or damaged because the Druid's secrete language -_-;;;

Dublock
2012-08-18, 05:18 PM
It's not a huge deal on its own, and if it's kept this way in the final version, I'd probably houserule it into a background. But since we're still in beta, doesn't it make more sense for them to simply fix it now, rather than officially having something like this in the game?


What I meant by my post is simply that yes feedback should be given to change it, but why so much posts about it? Seems like a simple fix on their end if enough people request it they will change it.

Menteith
2012-08-18, 05:38 PM
@ AgentPaper;
I can imagine characters that I'd like to play, that I'd like to use the Rogue class for, that wouldn't logically know Thieves' Cant. It is possible that I could forcibly change around a character's backstory to account for the class mechanic, but I'd much rather be allowed free reign on my character's background. I don't have a whole lot left to say about the ability; I don't think you and I are going to come to an agreement regarding it. You know why I feel the way I do, and I know why you stick to your position. We simply disagree.


What I meant by my post is simply that yes feedback should be given to change it, but why so much posts about it? Seems like a simple fix on their end if enough people request it they will change it.

Again, the whole thing started a few pages back when a single line from one of my posts (I dislike it when crunch is shackled to fluff, example of this is Thieves' Cant) was quoted and contested. I attempted to clarify my position, and it went back and forth about that for a few pages.

noparlpf
2012-08-18, 05:40 PM
No, no, that doesn't prove anything. The English language doesn't work like that. The only thing stated or implied there is that it may be possible to gain spellcasting from another source. Nothing more, nothing less. Considering we know two ways(feats and race) to gain spellcasting already, that's not much. It doesn't imply multiclassing, and it certainly doesn't imply 3e style multiclassing. And considering the base +2 weapon attack bonus, and slow progression, we have a definite implication we will NOT have 3e style multiclassing.



They(PrCs) really are not their own classes, as you can't make a character who just has a PrC, you must have at least one base class, and no I don't think the shift in progression is silly.

Here's the problem with PrC's, you have no idea how they will interact with the rest of the game content. You don't know how their abilities will interact with the rest of the classes in the game, past and future, and you certainly don't know how quickly they can gain the prerequisites. If you have an alternate class feature, you can know that a character who has ability a, is say a level 8 rogue. For a PrC you have no idea what the player did before the PrC, and thus you can't balance the PrC's abilities.

If in 3.X they had just said "You must be this tall to ride" for the PrCs, or specifically "You need six levels before you can take a level in a PrC, unless a specific PrC says otherwise", all the early-entry shenanigans would have never happened.


Yes, which could happen in any number of ways. A gentlemanly thief doesn't just jump out of bed one day and steal the crown jewels. He needs to spend a long time learning how to open locks, sneak around, disarm traps, bluff guards, and fight dirty. Where do you think he learned all of this, a book?

Where do you think we learn how to do those things? YouTube. So yes, he learned from a book, or a private tutor.

Draz74
2012-08-18, 06:14 PM
Thieves' Cant should certainly be a Background feature.

I find it odd to classify rogue-like archetypes under the banner "sneaky." Some swashbuckler/pirate types are pretty over-the-top flamboyant; the veritable antithesis of sneaky.


Feel free to disagree. Please, don't feel free to demean people with your sarcasm because they disagree with you.

For what it's worth, this may be cultural clash. The USA tends to use sarcasm more than most cultures, and therefore may use it without intending offense where other cultures may see it as "demeaning."

The New Bruceski
2012-08-18, 07:47 PM
Leverage: Hacker, Hitter, Grifter, Thief, and Mastermind. They would all know the Cant, but they would not all be Rogues on paper. It's not exactly the standard D&D genre (Hardisan and Ford would be difficult to stat up well in a game without computers or puppetmasters, though Ford could make a good Warlord) but it makes the point.

Lanaya
2012-08-18, 10:45 PM
Apologies if this has already been asked and answered elsewhere, but I just starting reading through the playtest rules today, and it seems that rogues can apply sneak attack damage whenever they get a hit, even if their target was fully aware of them and capable of defending themselves. Am I missing something, or is sneak attack just a flat damage boost?

Knaight
2012-08-18, 10:47 PM
Apologies if this has already been asked and answered elsewhere, but I just starting reading through the playtest rules today, and it seems that rogues can apply sneak attack damage whenever they get a hit, even if their target was fully aware of them and capable of defending themselves. Am I missing something, or is sneak attack just a flat damage boost?

They have to have Advantage.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-18, 11:44 PM
Yea I don't like the fact that it does have...implications that ties the character to the criminal world.

I second that. I've had enough hassle in the past with players who automatically assume that your character will steal everything that isn't nailed down just because the word "rogue" is on his character sheet; we don't need the rules reinforcing that stereotype.

Zombimode
2012-08-19, 04:13 AM
Apologies if this has already been asked and answered elsewhere, but I just starting reading through the playtest rules today, and it seems that rogues can apply sneak attack damage whenever they get a hit, even if their target was fully aware of them and capable of defending themselves. Am I missing something, or is sneak attack just a flat damage boost?

Two points:
First, like mentioned, they need advantage on the attack roll.
Second, it is once per round.

I don't know how hard or easy it is to get advantage on the attack (since I lack a group of willing playtesters), but I would guess that the intention here is that the SA-bonus should not apply to every attack.

Siegel
2012-08-19, 05:54 AM
I am interested to see on how GMs deal with the Bounty Hunter background. This shifts the campaign focus automaticly. I find this interesting and cool but a lot of railroad GMs will have no way to deal with that.

Dublock
2012-08-19, 07:08 AM
I thought about that Siegel, but those DMs can just act like its a dry season, no bounty currently there (unless its a plot point).

Camelot
2012-08-19, 08:36 AM
Just make one of the villains a bounty. They must have done something to get someone upset. Even if it's just a bunch of kobolds, you can have them be paying a certain amount per kobold head or something.

You would have to find a different motive for the person who put up the bounty than whoever's in charge of the law, since they would likely want the villain's head as well, or say that the bounty offers more money, or both.

Surrealistik
2012-08-19, 11:12 AM
Just rocked the latest playtest.

Sorcerers seem pretty OP, at least so far as combat goes. Heavy armour + martial weapons + casting + good melee + range. They can do it all except utility. Nothing could hit my 19 AC (with the Shield spell) Sorcalops as he destroyed everything at range and in melee with Ray of Frost and Shocking Grasp, never getting hit once, especially with the Fighter spamming Defender on me (and vice versa); it was awesome to effectively play as Golbez though.

In the meanwhile, he held the line with the Protector fighter tank for the Rogue to get massive one hit wonders with ranged sneak attacks, while our Warlock artillery Eldritch Blasted in the background. Throw in caltrops, ball bearings, choke point utilization, and use of the Defender feat between me and the Fighter and every combat was laughably trivial. I don't think we took any damage at all for the entire module; no cleric necessary.

Also the Soldier background is an obvious go to. Training in Spot; nuff said. The 5e Perception equivalent is as OP as its 4e incarnation. This was used a truly dizzying number of times.

That said, I really hate the lack of damage scaling for the spells. I'd like to see ability mod scaling.

Sorcerer DC/attack scaling with levels is also inane; literally 0 progression in the playtest levels, 1-5.

navar100
2012-08-19, 11:13 AM
Just make one of the villains a bounty. They must have done something to get someone upset. Even if it's just a bunch of kobolds, you can have them be paying a certain amount per kobold head or something.

You would have to find a different motive for the person who put up the bounty than whoever's in charge of the law, since they would likely want the villain's head as well, or say that the bounty offers more money, or both.

Make Bounty Hunter like Ranger's Track? A DM plot device disguised as a class (background) feature? :smallsmile:

Starbuck_II
2012-08-19, 11:21 AM
They have to have Advantage.

No the Pregen has to have advantage; the other choice a rogue can choose is to sneak attack flanked creatures instead.

Loki_42
2012-08-19, 01:00 PM
No the Pregen has to have advantage; the other choice a rogue can choose is to sneak attack flanked creatures instead.

The Flank rogue can still sneak attack with advantage, it's an additional method, not the only one.

huttj509
2012-08-19, 04:37 PM
Re: rogue SA.

ALL rogues get SA with advantage (which attacking from unperceived stealth gives).

THIEF rogues also get SA when attacking from stealth, EVEN if they were spotted (and thus don't have advantage).

THUG rogues also get SA when attacking an enemy in melee with 2 friendly creatures. This lets the melee rogue flank with one other person (with lenient flank rules, they don't need to be opposite). It also lets a ranged rogue flank if 2 of his allies are flanking an enemy.

In terms of skills, the rogue is VERY strong. I ran the playutest today at GenCon. I was apparently the FIRST person this weekend that that GM encountered using Take 10. Take 10? Oh, I roll the skill, but I can choose to take either the die roll, or 10. So basically, as is currently, a rogue NEVER rolls less than 10 on a skill check, and there's no non-threatened language in the skill.

In addition, I want to make a knowledge check but dumped int? That's fine, I can treat my int bonus as +3 instead of the -1 from that 8 I rolled. AND I still can't roll less than 10 on the die. So at 1st level, the worst a rogue can get on any skill without external modifiers is 13. 16 if it's a trained skill. My min was a 17 on my hide/stealth roll (dex 18, I had rolled a 17, 16, and 15 in my stat array (before race/class mods), my Mistborn dice loved me).

I also loved being a Halfling Rogue with a Katana, who could ray of frost and mage hand. Loved the mental image. Ok, the Katana meant I couldn't use a shield, but I had a shield/short sword as backup if I needed (short sword did the same damage as katana due to halfling, but dude, little man, big sword).

The look on the group's faces when I said "I unsheathe my Katana and attack the zombie" was priceless.

Only issue I really had with the module was that we had an 8 person party, and some strong characters. Second combat I think almost half the group didn't even get to go, as the 3 stealthed folks shredded half the enemies, leaving the other 5 people to mop up the last 2. I felt bad as I was often going near the front of things, killing something outright, I was the one who searched for and found the trap, etc. I was prominent in both combat and exploration. I was also the only one who took damage though (4 of my 7 hp, shoulda used a hit die before the last big fight, forgot).

Also, our cleric crit on the channel divinity attack on the undead Drow at the end...yeah, think it came to 31, 41 damage or so? Pile of dust after the second person's move that combat. Big bad didn't even get to do anything other than talk trash.

Surrealistik
2012-08-19, 04:48 PM
Yeah, that 'boss' was a complete joke; our rogue basically one shot it with a sneak attack after it dismally missed on a Defender disadvantaged attack vs 19 AC.

Urpriest
2012-08-19, 04:49 PM
THIEF rogues also get SA when attacking from stealth, EVEN if they were spotted (and thus don't have advantage).


As someone who hasn't read the playtest materials, could you explain broadly how this works? How is attacking from stealth distinct from not having been spotted?

Yora
2012-08-19, 04:59 PM
Good question, because I can't find anything like that in the Thief Scheme either.

Seerow
2012-08-19, 05:01 PM
Good question, because I can't find anything like that in the Thief Scheme either.

It's in one of the themes, not part of the thief scheme I think.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-19, 05:12 PM
I dislike the notion of a rogue who gets to apply his sneak attack pretty much all the time. I'd prefer if it's a substantial bonus that you have to work for.

I recall how 4E rogues started as the latter and quickly became the former as more splatbooks were released.

Yora
2012-08-19, 05:14 PM
Okay, so any rogue, either a thief rogue or a thug rogue, can make a sneak attack against a target that did not see you at the beginning of your turn, when he has the Lurker specialization.

That's the Ambusher feat, that allows you to make a sneak attack when you begin your turn hidden, but reveal yourself before you make the attack. Like when you run out of your hiding place and cross the room to get close enough for an attack, and you are plainly visible as you close the distance.


In addition, I want to make a knowledge check but dumped int? That's fine, I can treat my int bonus as +3 instead of the -1 from that 8 I rolled. AND I still can't roll less than 10 on the die. So at 1st level, the worst a rogue can get on any skill without external modifiers is 13. 16 if it's a trained skill. My min was a 17 on my hide/stealth roll (dex 18, I had rolled a 17, 16, and 15 in my stat array (before race/class mods), my Mistborn dice loved me).
Debatable, as it says "your skills" and the 1st playtest package was quite explicit about the fact, that this ability applies only to skills that the rogue has training in.
Which for a thief background rogue would be Find Traps, Open Locks, and Stealth. Not any other skill he might use without having special training in it.

gourdcaptain
2012-08-19, 05:15 PM
The problem with the Sorc for me in the playtest is their DCs and attack rolls don't scale (or even start at the same level as the Wizard, leaving them 2 points behind in both by level 5), they get spell levels a level after the Wiz/Cleric, and they get an oddly abbreviated magic list. I'd say this was because they were gishes, except the way the class is broken down seems to indicate that's purely a function of the Draconic Heritage. As such, it's a weird bias in the direction of the vancian casting classes.

Warlock's better, but they need a few more options before I can really tell what's going on with the class.

Surrealistik
2012-08-19, 05:20 PM
The problem with the Sorc for me in the playtest is their DCs and attack rolls don't scale (or even start at the same level as the Wizard, leaving them 2 points behind in both by level 5), they get spell levels a level after the Wiz/Cleric, and they get an oddly abbreviated magic list. I'd say this was because they were gishes, except the way the class is broken down seems to indicate that's purely a function of the Draconic Heritage. As such, it's a weird bias in the direction of the vancian casting classes.

Warlock's better, but they need a few more options before I can really tell what's going on with the class.

I agree with the lack of progression being lame, but I'll take Sorcs over Warlocks any day, seeing as they're basically indestructible in heavy armour with the Shield spell and Defender feat, while outputting respectable damage at-will, in both melee and range. 1d6+3+Cha mod/1d8+4+Cha mod with penalty kickers aren't at all shabby.

huttj509
2012-08-19, 05:31 PM
Okay, so any rogue, either a thief rogue or a thug rogue, can make a sneak attack against a target that did not see you at the beginning of your turn, when he has the Lurker specialization.

That's the Ambusher feat, that allows you to make a sneak attack when you begin your turn hidden, but reveal yourself before you make the attack. Like when you run out of your hiding place and cross the room to get close enough for an attack, and you are plainly visible as you close the distance.


Debatable, as it says "your skills" and the 1st playtest package was quite explicit about the fact, that this ability applies only to skills that the rogue has training in.
Which for a thief background rogue would be Find Traps, Open Locks, and Stealth. Not any other skill he might use without having special training in it.


You are correct on the lurker thing, I had mis-remembered. I was not the Thief type rogue, and just assumed he had his "SA when not spotted at start" from his thief choice, not from the lurker. That was my error. I heartily apologize, as I hate giving misinformation, especially when trying to clarify a confusion.

Note that rogues get two backgrounds.


Choose a rogue scheme. Two options
are presented here: thief and thug. You gain the
background of the same name, in addition to the
background you gain when you create your
character (the two backgrounds cannot be the
same). In addition, you gain the class features
corresponding to the scheme at the levels noted

If you already have training in a skill and would
gain training in that skill again (for example, a skill
granted by both your class and background), you
instead choose a different skill in which you
become trained.

So rogues get 6 skills trained.

The language in "When you determine the bonus for each of your skills," does not indicate at all to me trained only. Though I guess, hmmm, could be interpreted that way as the sheets son't list the skills individually. When I roll a skill check I'm making an ability check with a possible bonus from the skill, as opposed to a skill check with a modifier from the ability. Subtle, but possibly distinct difference, could be important for them to clarify. Especially since the sheets don't list all the skills, for you to add ability modifiers (which saves space). It seems more of the format "I want to do this" "Make a Dex check, with +3 if you have the slight of hand skill." I had not noticed that.

Edit: So it's still good, if you trained a skill that has a weak attribute for you, but it's not bard "jack of all trades," which is what I thought was borked.

Menteith
2012-08-19, 06:30 PM
Does anyone know how monstrous PCs will be handled? I can't seem to find any info about it, and was hoping someone knew.

Camelot
2012-08-19, 07:56 PM
I really like the idea of electrum, because it helps gold seem more rare and valuable and makes it easier to carry around coins. However, the name bugs me. It doesn't seem to fit into the standard D&D fantasy world. The only alternative names I can think of (with the help of Wikipedia) are "white gold" or "half-gold". Am I just being silly?

Ashdate
2012-08-19, 07:56 PM
I dislike the notion of a rogue who gets to apply his sneak attack pretty much all the time. I'd prefer if it's a substantial bonus that you have to work for.

I recall how 4E rogues started as the latter and quickly became the former as more splatbooks were released.

I agree. I'm not sure the 2e standard (i.e. the back-stab multiplier) is the one to go back to, but making the rogue set up the perfect opportunity to backstab an opponent once a combat/scene sounds more interesting than basing it around the rogue having reliable access to it (such as via flanking).

Oracle_Hunter
2012-08-19, 08:27 PM
Am I just being silly?
Yes, because Electrum has been around since the days of TSR. It was only removed in 3.0 :smalltongue:

Madfellow
2012-08-19, 09:56 PM
I think he's talking more in a fluff sense. However, you should know that the name electrum actually isn't out of place at all. It's derived from an ancient Greek word, electron. It doesn't have the same meaning as the modern English electron, but it goes to show that the name is older than you might think.

AgentPaper
2012-08-19, 10:04 PM
What I can't figure out is why they're throwing in another useless currency when they've already got two other ones they don't use.

Seerow
2012-08-19, 10:13 PM
I played in a game once where Electrum was similar to residiuum; basically a magical material highly prized by mages, could be used to power certain items or to create powerful focii. In practice it was an extra special material that also doubled as a high level currency. I actually kind of liked that. Thinking about it, it makes me think other fantastic materials (like Adamantium or Mithril) might not also be made into coins/currency, that would be used primarily by high level adventurers, while the gold/silver standard is where more mundane things are handled.

But that is kind of off-topic. On topic, the current implementation of Electrum is pretty useless. I really doubt anyone ever said "You know what I really need? A coin that is worth more than silver but less than gold"

Knaight
2012-08-19, 10:14 PM
What I can't figure out is why they're throwing in another useless currency when they've already got two other ones they don't use.
I'm inclined to agree. A 3 tier currency system (copper, silver, gold), using silver as the center where gold used to be would likely work much better. I'd rather they just abstract currency completely already, but that's not going to happen, so they might as well trim it down a little.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-08-19, 10:17 PM
What I can't figure out is why they're throwing in another useless currency when they've already got two other ones they don't use.

"We need to give the appearance that we're trying to appeal to fans of every edition, even the extreme minority players who mostly play pre-3rd edition D&D. Let's add in some useless cosmetic stuff from earlier editions to show how much we 'care'!"

On a more serious note, they said in earlier podcasts they wanted to have most things are priced in silver and copper so gold is made more valuable. That hasn't been reflected in the playtest yet, but hey, that's they claim their intention is.

Knaight
2012-08-19, 10:22 PM
On a more serious note, they said in earlier podcasts they wanted to have most things are priced in silver and copper so gold is made more valuable. That hasn't been reflected in the playtest yet, but hey, that's they claim their intention is.

That may well be what their intention actually is. Given WotC's history of realizing their intentions, or rather, their history of avoiding doing exactly that in a dizzying variety of ways, I find this completely plausible.

Siegel
2012-08-20, 01:55 AM
I thought about that Siegel, but those DMs can just act like its a dry season, no bounty currently there (unless its a plot point).

Well that is taking away the WHOLE BACKGROUND of the PC. That is not fun at all. I think many GMs will react this way though and make the game worse for everyone because of it.

Zombimode
2012-08-20, 02:20 AM
On a more serious note, they said in earlier podcasts they wanted to have most things are priced in silver and copper so gold is made more valuable. That hasn't been reflected in the playtest yet, but hey, that's they claim their intention is.

The playtest adventure also contains a generic +1 weapon, something the designers stated they don't like either (which I wholeheartedly agree with). I think its safe to assume that what we see here in the playtest of loot an currency is not the finished product.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-20, 03:09 AM
On a more serious note, they said in earlier podcasts they wanted to have most things are priced in silver and copper so gold is made more valuable.

Yes. And yet, they have every first-level character start with a ludicrous amount of 150 gold pieces.

I also see that the equipment table inherits 4E's model of paying exponentially more money for the same armor with a +1 bigger bonus; I really don't like medium-level PCs carrying enough wealth to match the GDP of the local kingdom.

Grac
2012-08-20, 03:12 AM
I thought about that Siegel, but those DMs can just act like its a dry season, no bounty currently there (unless its a plot point).

Or, you know, you could just say 'This one doesn't exist in my campaign/doesn't fit the tone/whatever, so you should pick another one.'

Way easier and cleaner.

Craft (Cheese)
2012-08-20, 03:17 AM
Yes. And yet, they have every first-level character start with a ludicrous amount of 150 gold pieces.

I also see that the equipment table inherits 4E's model of paying exponentially more money for the same armor with a +1 bigger bonus; I really don't like medium-level PCs carrying enough wealth to match the GDP of the local kingdom.


I completely agree, but AFAIK, the equipment prices at the moment are copy-pasted over from earlier editions (Note: I haven't finished reading the new playtest packets yet).

Yora
2012-08-20, 06:15 AM
I already made my first homebrew class. :smallbiggrin:

The Witch
Based on Wizard.
Wizards Arcane Magic replaced with sorcerers Sorcery.
Spells known and Max Spell Level taken from 3.5e psion.
Arcane Knowledge and Cantrips are kept.
No Spellbook.
Instead the warlocks Ritual Magic.

Good work. :smallbiggrin:

Camelot
2012-08-20, 10:19 AM
I think he's talking more in a fluff sense. However, you should know that the name electrum actually isn't out of place at all. It's derived from an ancient Greek word, electron. It doesn't have the same meaning as the modern English electron, but it goes to show that the name is older than you might think.

Oh, I do know, I read the Wikipedia page. :smallwink: However, Greek also has different words for gold, silver, copper, etc. Chalkos, Chryso, and Asami may work for some people, but it doesn't fit in my concept of a world based on medieval England/France/Germany. I was just wondering if anyone else felt the same and if those people thought of a different name that fit a world where things were called "Hallowfell" and "Firespike".


What I can't figure out is why they're throwing in another useless currency when they've already got two other ones they don't use.

Because it makes sense for people who care about a modicum of mundane realism. Having only three kinds of coins would be like having only pennies, $1 bills, and $100 bills in American coinage, and the bills would be ten times heavier than they are now. We have pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, $1 bills, $5 bills, $10 bills, $20 bills, $50 bills, $100 bills, and a few larger that are only used by the extremely wealthy. I like my D&D world having iron, copper, silver, electrum, gold, platinum, palladium, and varieties of bars and notes. Coins of the same metal would come in different sizes with different values to make it easier to produce the currency and use it.

Madfellow
2012-08-20, 10:28 AM
About the bounty hunter thing, as a GM I wouldn't have any problem running the occasional sidequest involving a dangerous bounty, or something to that effect.

Oracle_Hunter
2012-08-20, 11:03 AM
Because it makes sense for people who care about a modicum of mundane realism. Having only three kinds of coins would be like having only pennies, $1 bills, and $100 bills in American coinage, and the bills would be ten times heavier than they are now. We have pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, $1 bills, $5 bills, $10 bills, $20 bills, $50 bills, $100 bills, and a few larger that are only used by the extremely wealthy.
As a rule, that is exactly how RL pre-modern societies handled their coinage. Producing lots of coins is hard enough before you have the Industrial Revolution much less producing lots of different types of coins as well. Heck, the main reason you had so many different coins in, say, the Renaissance, is because so many different banks/governments were producing their own.

Again, this is why I hate appeals to "verisimilitude" or "realism."

Dienekes
2012-08-20, 11:43 AM
As a rule, that is exactly how RL pre-modern societies handled their coinage. Producing lots of coins is hard enough before you have the Industrial Revolution much less producing lots of different types of coins as well. Heck, the main reason you had so many different coins in, say, the Renaissance, is because so many different banks/governments were producing their own.

Again, this is why I hate appeals to "verisimilitude" or "realism."

And even then, a lot of times the different type of coins were made from the same materials just in different sizes.

Personally I don't particularly want to track if my character has any of 4 types of silver coins all of varying amount, and another 3 types of gold coins, again all with different and often non-metric value.

I'd rather just abstract it to you have X money currently. Gold/silver/bronze division is fine.

Camelot
2012-08-20, 12:18 PM
And even then, a lot of times the different type of coins were made from the same materials just in different sizes.

Personally I don't particularly want to track if my character has any of 4 types of silver coins all of varying amount, and another 3 types of gold coins, again all with different and often non-metric value.

I'd rather just abstract it to you have X money currently. Gold/silver/bronze division is fine.

Yeah, it's great for the game, but it falls short for the story, in my opinion. What I like to do is tell the players what treasure they find in greater detail than just a number of coins so that it seems more interesting and exciting, then tell them the coin value so they can write it down as that.

genderlich
2012-08-20, 01:01 PM
The Warlock is confusing to me. Do they get more favors per day as they level up? If not, are they just stuck with two pact boons and invocations forever? That seems really weak.

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-08-20, 01:07 PM
Yeah, it's great for the game, but it falls short for the story, in my opinion. What I like to do is tell the players what treasure they find in greater detail than just a number of coins so that it seems more interesting and exciting, then tell them the coin value so they can write it down as that.

I generally treat pp/gp/sp/cp as money of account, so there isn't necessarily any such thing as an actual "gold piece" in circulation, but all of the local and national currencies have their values measured in golds or silvers for ease of trading. When you hand a shopkeeper "thirty gold" you might actually be handing him a bunch of drachma or pfennigs or talents in whatever denomination. That gives the benefits of having the standard prices mean something in-game, and also lets you use colorful currencies to flavor the world.

Water_Bear
2012-08-20, 01:08 PM
Yeah, it's great for the game, but it falls short for the story, in my opinion. What I like to do is tell the players what treasure they find in greater detail than just a number of coins so that it seems more interesting and exciting, then tell them the coin value so they can write it down as that.

Well, that's what Art Items and Trade Goods are for right?

I don't know if they changed it for 4e, but in 3.5 an Art Item (Gem, fancy hairbrush, painting, etc) or Trade Good (cow, bar of silver, bolt of silk, etc) could be traded 1:1 for its gold value, unlike other items which could only be sold for 50% of market price.

You don't need a half-dozen regional currencies to spruce up your treasure, just convert ~25% of the total into diamonds or spices. Heck, if you roll for treasure that kind of thing will happen anyway.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-20, 03:02 PM
I don't know if they changed it for 4e, but in 3.5 an Art Item (Gem, fancy hairbrush, painting, etc) or Trade Good (cow, bar of silver, bolt of silk, etc) could be traded 1:1 for its gold value, unlike other items which could only be sold for 50% of market price.

4.0 doesn't have art items or trade goods, no. It has mundane goods, which cannot be sold period, and magical items, which can be sold for 20% market price (or an item of exactly five levels lower, same thing).

4.4 has common, uncommon, and rare magical items, that sell for 20%, 50%, and either 0% or 100% of their market price, respectively.

Urpriest
2012-08-20, 04:45 PM
4.0 doesn't have art items or trade goods, no. It has mundane goods, which cannot be sold period, and magical items, which can be sold for 20% market price (or an item of exactly five levels lower, same thing).

4.4 has common, uncommon, and rare magical items, that sell for 20%, 50%, and either 0% or 100% of their market price, respectively.

Page 124 of the DMG: 4e absolutely has Art Objects.

Dublock
2012-08-20, 06:43 PM
@Grac and Siegel

I didn't mean to imply it was a good thing, I just meant that the bad DMs are just going to ignore it and do the thing they were going to anyway.

Personally I would be more then happy to work with a player who wanted to actively pursue someone.

Yes there are Art items in 4e and I had a player asked about them once, so I then made sure that I included some "works" in the sewers (since thats where they were) that made them laugh but worth little :p (I did end up giving a few worth while works of art too, just not in the sewers :P).

I personally tend to give a portion of their gold in the weapons/armor that the monsters were using, makes sense and they would pester about it anyway.

obryn
2012-08-20, 07:50 PM
4.0 doesn't have art items or trade goods, no. It has mundane goods, which cannot be sold period, and magical items, which can be sold for 20% market price (or an item of exactly five levels lower, same thing).


Page 124 of the DMG: 4e absolutely has Art Objects.
And gems. And jewelry. All of which is explicitly considered "as good as currency."

Anything can pretty much be treasure, just as in any edition of the game.

-O

Zeful
2012-08-20, 10:12 PM
Oh, and the Sorcerer also has bloodline abilities. In particular the Playtest Sorcerer is Draconic, and thus gets a Dragon Breath, Dragon Scales, and Dragon Strength.

Why would they do something so stupid, cliche and uncreative? It's not April 1st for another 8 or 9 months.

Madfellow
2012-08-20, 10:32 PM
The Warlock is confusing to me. Do they get more favors per day as they level up? If not, are they just stuck with two pact boons and invocations forever? That seems really weak.

The current version doesn't gain any additional favors between levels 1 and 5, but does learn more invocations. At higher level's it'll also gain access to more powerful invocations.

Menteith
2012-08-20, 10:33 PM
Why would they do something so stupid, cliche and uncreative? It's not April 1st for another 8 or 9 months.

Because it's "Iconic". /shrug, I got nothing, I agree with you.

Madfellow
2012-08-20, 10:50 PM
@Grac and Siegel

I didn't mean to imply it was a good thing, I just meant that the bad DMs are just going to ignore it and do the thing they were going to anyway.

Personally I would be more then happy to work with a player who wanted to actively pursue someone.

Here's a funny story. So I was GMing the Reclaiming Blingdenstone adventure for my friends, and one of them made a bounty hunter. The first thing he said was, "Where's the bounty board?" After a quick search he found it, and with no other options I gave them a wanted poster for Talabrina Duskryn. The entire party then made it their mission to capture/kill Talabrina and claim the reward, without talking with any of the major gnomish authority figures to ask about quests. :smallbiggrin:

So I improvised. The party went searching north of town for tracks, and after some searching found 3 sets of tracks belonging to medium-sized humaonids (which meant they couldn't belong to gnomes). They followed the tracks for 20 hours all the way to Mantol Derith, bribed their way in, found Talabrina, and set up an ambush for her on the road back to Blingdenstone. They managed to get a surprise round on her and kill her bodyguards, and then the rogue got a critical hit on a sneak attack and dealt 22 damage in one hit!

Not exactly what I had in mind, but everybody had fun.

Nu
2012-08-21, 02:58 AM
Page 124 of the DMG: 4e absolutely has Art Objects.

There's even some Toril-themed ones listed on page 44 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. I use these a lot in my FR Campaign. My PCs usually end up finding more art objects than coins, because I find the idea of finding a few chests full of gold kind of unrealistic.

Cybren
2012-08-21, 07:39 PM
i'd prefer just having GP as the currency and allow different settings to establish different coinages. D&D is a little silly and treats gold as commonplace rather than rare

Roguenewb
2012-08-21, 09:11 PM
Does anyone know anything about whether or not you can choose your own feats? Or do feats have to be from the speciality?

DrBurr
2012-08-21, 09:27 PM
So I've got my group on the fence for changing my upcoming 2nd game to a Next playtest, I'll push them over Friday. But still trying to think of the best way to run it online with maptools, or similar set up, currently thinking of using a 3.5 framework, any suggestions?

Also those who've played the test so far what are some of the pitfalls encountered in game?

Ashdate
2012-08-21, 09:33 PM
Does anyone know anything about whether or not you can choose your own feats? Or do feats have to be from the speciality?

You choose a specialty, and gain the listed "feats" as you gain levels, as long a you meet the per-requisites. I think it's awkward to call them feats, and even more awkward to not have pre-reqs for specialties but to have pre-reqs for the feats they grant, but that's the current system.

navar100
2012-08-21, 09:39 PM
Because it's "Iconic". /shrug, I got nothing, I agree with you.

Maybe some people actually like the idea of a dragon-blooded magic user who can turn into a dragon or otherwise have draconic qualities. Perhaps they're experimenting 3E Heritage Feats as abilities inherent to the class. Perhaps a player will be able to choose among bloodlines as part of backgrounds. Could have been prudent to offer a second bloodline as well. Unfortunately for them Pathfinder did it first, so they need to develop something unique for the concept. Where as Pathfinder made a prestige class for a dragon-blooded sorcerer to become more dragon-like, 5E will attempt to make it inherent to the class. Might not work, but the concept is not somehow wrong.

Knaight
2012-08-21, 09:44 PM
Maybe some people actually like the idea of a dragon-blooded magic user who can turn into a dragon or otherwise have draconic qualities. Perhaps they're experimenting 3E Heritage Feats as abilities inherent to the class. Perhaps a player will be able to choose among bloodlines as part of backgrounds. Could have been prudent to offer a second bloodline as well. Unfortunately for them Pathfinder did it first, so they need to develop something unique for the concept. Where as Pathfinder made a prestige class for a dragon-blooded sorcerer to become more dragon-like, 5E will attempt to make it inherent to the class. Might not work, but the concept is not somehow wrong.

3.5 did it first, with the Dragon Disciple prestige class. It was completely worthless on just about every account, but they did beat Pathfinder to it. That said - it's trite and cliche, and this whole "bloodline" thing is getting obnoxious.

huttj509
2012-08-21, 09:52 PM
You choose a specialty, and gain the listed "feats" as you gain levels, as long a you meet the per-requisites. I think it's awkward to call them feats, and even more awkward to not have pre-reqs for specialties but to have pre-reqs for the feats they grant, but that's the current system.


The intent down the road has been stated to have Feats, where specialties are pre-selected feat packages. We just only have access to specialties currently (silimar to how we have levels 1-5, while internally they have stuff to at least 10, based on the penny arcade podcast).

Similarly backgrounds are pre-packaged skill bundles, though I'm not sure how they'll handle the bonus thing, they seem to just be a flavorful perk, so for folks who want to pick their own skills, it wouldn't be hard to say "pick one of the perks, or talk to the DM."

I do agree it's awkward to have pre-reqs not stated up-front for the specialty bundles, but at present it seems like a notational side effect of having them be bundles of pre-selected feats, which have their own prereqs.

Zeful
2012-08-21, 10:13 PM
Maybe some people actually like the idea of a dragon-blooded magic user who can turn into a dragon or otherwise have draconic qualities. Perhaps they're experimenting 3E Heritage Feats as abilities inherent to the class. Perhaps a player will be able to choose among bloodlines as part of backgrounds. Could have been prudent to offer a second bloodline as well. Unfortunately for them Pathfinder did it first, so they need to develop something unique for the concept. Where as Pathfinder made a prestige class for a dragon-blooded sorcerer to become more dragon-like, 5E will attempt to make it inherent to the class. Might not work, but the concept is not somehow wrong.

It is when before it was possible to make a Sorcerer that did not possess any BS magical heritage and was a Sorcerer literally "just because". The set of assumptions that are inherent to these kind of classes (all of them because everyone's been doing this since as long as I've been in D&D) pretty much makes any other origin pretty much non-viable. Hell it makes generally divergent settings impossible with the class and one of those things that you have to spend time to address with the setting rather than just having plug and play classes like almost every other edition of D&D. Bloodline classes dictate quite a bit of setting fluff that while you can change is just another thing that you have to document that can push players away from the setting and the game it's in.

And more importantly it is just aping Pathfinder and every homebrewer that has ever decided to "fix" the Sorcerer, they couldn't have figured something that was, while not unique, somewhat creative? They have to go down one of the most well-worn and cliche paths for the sorcerer that exists? Really?

Water_Bear
2012-08-21, 10:37 PM
<Snip>

Seeing as they are transparently aping Pathfinder's Bloodlines, they will almost certainly include something like the Arcane Bloodline; your character has magical powers because... magic! In fact, in Pathfinder the Arcane Bloodline was arguably the mechanically best one because it gave the ability to use metamagic spontaneously.

Some people want Sorcerers who have no specific heritage, and gained their powers from vague mystical forces; these people will take Arcane Bloodline (or the equivilent in 5e). Some people want Sorcerers who gain powers because of their specific heritage and will use whichever Bloodlines relate to their character's lineage.

I don't see how it limits your fluff if you have the option to take either a Bloodline based on a defined heritage or a generic "you're just a Sorcerer" Bloodline. If anything, the mechanics punish players who choose interesting Bloodlines because they are so inferior to the Arcane Bloodline in Pathfinder.

Menteith
2012-08-21, 11:53 PM
When a non-Draconic power source is actually in the 5E info, then I'll believe it. Just because something's true in PF doesn't mean that it'll be true in D&D Next. To be honest, I'm not in love with bloodline powers in general, and would've liked to see something creative and new done with the Sorcerer, and was really hoping to see something that didn't marry mechanics and fluff tightly.

Zeful
2012-08-22, 01:12 AM
Seeing as they are transparently aping Pathfinder's Bloodlines, they will almost certainly include something like the Arcane Bloodline; your character has magical powers because... magic! In fact, in Pathfinder the Arcane Bloodline was arguably the mechanically best one because it gave the ability to use metamagic spontaneously.

Some people want Sorcerers who have no specific heritage, and gained their powers from vague mystical forces; these people will take Arcane Bloodline (or the equivilent in 5e). Some people want Sorcerers who gain powers because of their specific heritage and will use whichever Bloodlines relate to their character's lineage.

I don't see how it limits your fluff if you have the option to take either a Bloodline based on a defined heritage or a generic "you're just a Sorcerer" Bloodline. If anything, the mechanics punish players who choose interesting Bloodlines because they are so inferior to the Arcane Bloodline in Pathfinder.

If I want to make a setting for running a 5e game (and I will, I've already started work on mine), I have three options when it comes to a heritage sorcerer. 1: Ban the class outright if I'm going to make any of the bloodlines impossible to achieve (dragons don't go around screwing people? No Draconic bloodline, same goes for any of the other stupid ones like Ooze or Undead). 2: Make the setting have those elements anyway even if I don't want the themes. or 3: Do what I want and just ban incompatable bloodlines (which FYI, will be all of them if I don't bother outright banning the class entirely, as I've said elsewhere, several times, for the last several years that terribly designed and implemented heritage classes (read: all of them) outright break my suspension of disbelief).

Quite frankly from a base ruleset point of view, I should have to do none of those things, classes from the base ruleset should have generic fluff that does not try to explain specifics to make the basic ruleset plug and play. Heritage Sorcerers are the opposite of this.

And everyone has pointed out the arcane bloodline, every time my dislike for this crap comes up. I've read it several times: it's still crap. I'd rather take the three feats in the entire bloodline represents (off the top of my head it would be "Spell Focus: X", "Dragonblooded Sorcerer" and "Accelerated Metamagic"), and have the entire thing by level 6 than be spoonfed a lazy set of "class features".

TheOOB
2012-08-22, 01:13 AM
Does anyone know anything about whether or not you can choose your own feats? Or do feats have to be from the speciality?

Some of the podcasts they have released strongly imply/outright state that in the future you will get to pick your own feats and in some cases(rogue and fighter) pick your own class abilities instead of being forced down a specific path(though the specialties/paths will likely still be available). Right now they are trying to keep things simple.

WitchSlayer
2012-08-22, 01:45 AM
Seeing as they are transparently aping Pathfinder's Bloodlines, they will almost certainly include something like the Arcane Bloodline; your character has magical powers because... magic! In fact, in Pathfinder the Arcane Bloodline was arguably the mechanically best one because it gave the ability to use metamagic spontaneously.

Whoa there buddy, you might want to cut it with the aping talk considering, as stated, 3e did it somewhat first and 4e did it as well. In fact it looks very very similar to what it was in 4e in style.

Hylas
2012-08-22, 02:17 AM
Yeah, it's great for the game, but it falls short for the story, in my opinion. What I like to do is tell the players what treasure they find in greater detail than just a number of coins so that it seems more interesting and exciting, then tell them the coin value so they can write it down as that.
I was once in a GURPS game where we were rewarded with a chest full of $100 gold coins. Unfortunately we were in a small hamlet and there probably wasn't $100 worth of coins in the entire place to make change, and nothing to buy even worth that much. Talk about starving on a mountain of gold. :smallsigh:

It gets you immersed in the barter system and it helps reinforce the disconnect between the aristocracy and the common folk.

But I'll agree that this level of role playing isn't for everyone and most people want to get back to the smashing and spell casting, however there's still adventure opportunities even with something as mundane and currency exchange. After all, imagine what happens when you're in a modern setting and don't have any quarters for the parking meter because all you have is a credit card?

lesser_minion
2012-08-22, 06:21 AM
Maybe some people actually like the idea of a dragon-blooded magic user who can turn into a dragon or otherwise have draconic qualities.

That is not unreasonable, but why the hell should that class be the sorcerer or even in core? Why can't I have a dragon-blooded fighter or a dragon-blooded rogue?

Look at how 3e did it. There were two 'dragon' base classes, neither of which was sorcerer. There were also feats that let you adapt several other classes to be more draconic.

The whole draconic bloodline thing is actually a complete and utter betrayal of the original concept. It's not 'iconic' in the slightest.

Dienekes
2012-08-22, 07:33 AM
Honestly, I would be ok with bloodlines if they essentially acted like specializations. Undead born or whatever would be tied to necromancy, that way it could be easily refluffed if you prefer spellpoint systems over vancian as just being the new wizard. However I haven't gotten a chance to look at it yet to see how they're going about doing it.

Zeful
2012-08-22, 07:49 AM
Honestly, I would be ok with bloodlines if they essentially acted like specializations. Undead born or whatever would be tied to necromancy, that way it could be easily refluffed if you prefer spellpoint systems over vancian as just being the new wizard. However I haven't gotten a chance to look at it yet to see how they're going about doing it.

I'd rather the system be one that addresses differing manifestations of a sorcerer's power that could be easily be refluffed into bloodlines rather than what we currently get any time anyone and their dog tries to fix the sorcerer.

Camelot
2012-08-22, 08:11 AM
3.5 did it first, with the Dragon Disciple prestige class. It was completely worthless on just about every account, but they did beat Pathfinder to it. That said - it's trite and cliche, and this whole "bloodline" thing is getting obnoxious.

D&D can't afford to leave out the iconic stuff. D&D itself is the iconic roleplaying game. If they decided that they're going to go in a whole new direction with the sorcerer, then everybody who likes the traditional sorcerer (which is probably most of the developers) will be upset and complain. They chose to go the route of sticking with a classic concept and having the other half of the fans complain instead. :smalltongue:

To lesser_minion, the very fact that you have (hypothetically) chosen to play a fighter or a rogue means that you have very few, if any, magical powers. Thus, if you want your character to have draconic blood, it either has no mechanical effect and is just for the story, or you choose an appropriate background or specialty to give you some of that magic. If you want your entire character to be based on the fact that you have draconic blood, that's what the sorcerer is there for.

noparlpf
2012-08-22, 08:12 AM
I'm currently all kinds of confused because I can't find a sorcerer in the playtest packet I downloaded.

Dienekes
2012-08-22, 08:14 AM
I'd rather the system be one that addresses differing manifestations of a sorcerer's power that could be easily be refluffed into bloodlines rather than what we currently get any time anyone and their dog tries to fix the sorcerer.

Out of curiosity, what differing manifestations? And how would they be different if we called them bloodlines or not.


I'm currently all kinds of confused because I can't find a sorcerer in the playtest packet I downloaded.

Sorc and Warlock were a late release, you can find them on the site if you look, I believe

Camelot
2012-08-22, 08:16 AM
I'm currently all kinds of confused because I can't find a sorcerer in the playtest packet I downloaded.

If you downloaded it before they added the two new classes, then you have to go back and download it again. Do the exact same thing you did before.

noparlpf
2012-08-22, 08:20 AM
If you downloaded it before they added the two new classes, then you have to go back and download it again. Do the exact same thing you did before.

Oh, okay. Thanks.

Edit: I just said something, reread the thing I misread, and never mind that.

Yora
2012-08-22, 08:28 AM
I'm currently all kinds of confused because I can't find a sorcerer in the playtest packet I downloaded.

Download it again, it was added a few days later.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-22, 09:05 AM
It strikes me that in the current layout, a bloodline should obviously be a background, not a class feature. Obviously members of another class could also have a dragon in their ancestry somewhere.

Zombimode
2012-08-22, 09:28 AM
It strikes me that in the current layout, a bloodline should obviously be a background, not a class feature. Obviously members of another class could also have a dragon in their ancestry somewhere.

I disagree. Backgrounds are currently social, while the Sorcerers Bloodline is a heritage. It does not make sense to me to have to choose between "Bounty Hunter" and "Dragonblooded".

Stubbazubba
2012-08-22, 09:30 AM
I disagree. Backgrounds are currently social, while the Sorcerers Bloodline is a heritage. It does not make sense to me to have to choose between "Bounty Hunter" and "Dragonblooded".

Nor does it make sense to have to choose between "Fighter" and "Dragonblooded." If its a heritage, it's a racial option, and should replace some or all of your Racial features.

Zombimode
2012-08-22, 09:34 AM
Nor does it make sense to have to choose between "Fighter" and "Dragonblooded."

I do not deny that. But two wrongs don't make a right.

Still, there is a difference between "having some dragonblood/feyblood/whatever-heritage" and "using this heritage to draw immense magical power at the expense of other abilities". The former is something I would like to see but is currently not implemented in 5e. It could be in the form of templates or feats. The later is the Sorcerer class.

lesser_minion
2012-08-22, 09:58 AM
To lesser_minion, the very fact that you have (hypothetically) chosen to play a fighter or a rogue means that you have very few, if any, magical powers.

No, it doesn't, this is a fantasy game. This is the exact same illogic as complaining that it's a violation of the fighter's concept to use a bow.


Thus, if you want your character to have draconic blood, it either has no mechanical effect and is just for the story, or you choose an appropriate background or specialty to give you some of that magic.

Yet the sorcerer, a class that inherently has nothing to do with dragons besides a rumour that 3e explicitly called out as being probably untrue, is not subject to the same principles? Really?


If you want your entire character to be based on the fact that you have draconic blood, that's what the sorcerer is there for.

No, it very much isn't. In 3rd edition, that was what the dragonfire adept and the dragon shaman were there for. Again, in the case of the sorcerer, confirming any theory about the origin of their powers is a genuine, outright betrayal of their concept.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-22, 10:05 AM
I disagree. Backgrounds are currently social, while the Sorcerers Bloodline is a heritage. It does not make sense to me to have to choose between "Bounty Hunter" and "Dragonblooded".

That's a good point now, but I'm willing to bet that (just as in 4E) they'll eventually throw in lycanthrope backgrounds, and so forth. But perhaps "specialties" are better for this.

Note that this is similar to bloodline feats that already exist in 3E and 4E; specialties are just groupings of feats, after all.

Stubbazubba
2012-08-22, 10:06 AM
@Zombimode: Yes, that was my point. It should not be competing with Backgrounds or Classes. It should be competing with Races, or more specifically it should be replacing some or all of your Racial Features, which would make sense and allow for the widest variety of interesting character options, without adding any new layers of power.

Grac
2012-08-22, 10:14 AM
Again, in the case of the sorcerer, confirming any theory about the origin of their powers is a genuine, outright betrayal of their concept.

While I'm annoyed at how people assumed that the dragon rumour was correct in 3.5.... this isn't 3e or 3.5. I would be really happy if they just cleaned up and re-released the Rules Cyclopedia as the next edition, but they aren't. Also, the sorcerer isn't iconic to D&D, so it's not something that can be seriously betrayed. The Wizard, Fighter, Cleric, and Thief, they are iconic. The Paladin and Bard, and Ranger, and Druid, they are iconic. Something splashed into 3rd edition isn't and cannot be iconic. It cannot be betrayed in that sense because there's nothing to betray!

Yora
2012-08-22, 10:24 AM
What makes 2nd edition more iconic than 3rd edition?

Kerrin
2012-08-22, 10:24 AM
I was hoping the sorcerer would turn out to be the spell-point based arcane spellcaster (aka an arcane spellcaster using a psion-like point system).

This would make them mechanically different than the wizard in a nifty way. Also, such a mechanic would fluff well with the "you can cast spells ... just because" explanation. They could provide some fluff examples to give people some ideas on how they might want to expand the "just because" part if the players are so inclined to add such detail to their characters or campaign.

obryn
2012-08-22, 10:27 AM
What makes 2nd edition more iconic than 3rd edition?
Anything that's appeared in at least two editions is considered "iconic" at this point.

-O

Kurald Galain
2012-08-22, 10:39 AM
I agree that the sorcerer isn't iconic, but not because it wasn't in second edition.

Rather, the sorcerer isn't iconic (1) because fiction in general does not distinguish between sorcerers and wizards, so there aren't any major fictional characters that can be archetypically thought of as "sorcerer but really not wizard"; and (2) because it hasn't had a consistent role so far along D&D editions.

In 3.0, the sorcerer is the same as the wizard, only spontaneous. In 4.0, the sorcerer is a blaster wizard, except that regular wizards can also be blasters, and drawing its power from dragons, storms, chaos, or the cosmos (just like wizards, really). In 4.4, the sorcerer instead is an elementalist, except that wizards also have elemental spells, as well as a pyromancer specialty.

The bottom line is that WOTC has failed, so far, to create a meaningful and consistent difference between sorcerers and wizards. And this is why they're not iconic.

DrBurr
2012-08-22, 10:44 AM
Wait Dragonblood and Sorcerer were a rumor in 3rd and Dragonblood was one of the original Sorcerer builds in 4th. So technically doesn't that make a Dragon oriented Sorcerer build in 5th logical if we use the 2 edition iconic rule.

Keep in mind also people that this is 1 build for the sorcerer there will be others like how there are 2 Clerics (Sun & War), 4 Fighters (Duelist, Protector, Slayer, Sharpshooter) and 2 Rogues (Thief and Thug), Likely at least one of these Sorcerers will please, but for now they've shown us the most iconic

Personally I like the Dragonblood Sorcerer idea, I'm just worried it might be a bit OP but haven't actually tested it yet

Yora
2012-08-22, 10:48 AM
Oh, it certainly is a good idea. But it's a refluffed version of the psychic warrior and doesn't resemble sorcerers at all.

The bottom line is that WOTC has failed, so far, to create a meaningful and consistent difference between sorcerers and wizards. And this is why they're not iconic.
Like wizard, but non vancian. I think that is all that almost all of us sorcerer fans want.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-22, 10:51 AM
Oh, it certainly is a good idea. But it's a refluffed version of the psychic warrior and doesn't resemble sorcerers at all.

Like wizard, but non vancian. I think that is all that almost all of us sorcerer fans want.

It's what the 3E fans expect, but not what the 2E or 4E fans expect (or PF fans, who are assumedly also the target audience). Yes, 3E's difference between sorc and wiz is meaningful, but it's not consistent, in that this difference doesn't appear in other editions.

noparlpf
2012-08-22, 10:55 AM
No, it doesn't, this is a fantasy game. This is the exact same illogic as complaining that it's a violation of the fighter's concept to use a bow.

But it is. Rangers use bows. Hence the name "range-r". They're not called Rangers because they range about the wilderness.
I'm not sure whether or not I'm being sarcastic. I'll get back to you. But I do know that WotC has not done well with bow-users in general thus far.


I agree that the sorcerer isn't iconic, but not because it wasn't in second edition.

Rather, the sorcerer isn't iconic (1) because fiction in general does not distinguish between sorcerers and wizards, so there aren't any major fictional characters that can be archetypically thought of as "sorcerer but really not wizard"; and (2) because it hasn't had a consistent role so far along D&D editions.

In 3.0, the sorcerer is the same as the wizard, only spontaneous. In 4.0, the sorcerer is a blaster wizard, except that regular wizards can also be blasters, and drawing its power from dragons, storms, chaos, or the cosmos (just like wizards, really). In 4.4, the sorcerer instead is an elementalist, except that wizards also have elemental spells, as well as a pyromancer specialty.

The bottom line is that WOTC has failed, so far, to create a meaningful and consistent difference between sorcerers and wizards. And this is why they're not iconic.

I agree completely.


Like wizard, but non vancian. I think that is all that almost all of us sorcerer fans want.

Yes yes. I don't like Vancian magic much, and the other easy option for RPG magic is mana points. Which 5e looks to be moving towards with the Sorcerer. Now there's just the question of whether they'll do it well.

Water_Bear
2012-08-22, 11:04 AM
But it is. Rangers use bows. Hence the name "range-r". They're not called Rangers because they range about the wilderness.

Uh... what?

Rangers are called rangers for the same reason Aragorn (the iconic ranger on whom D&D based the class) was called Strider. They are wardens and guardians of the wilderness, who, as you put it "range about" to defend their charges against threats out of the wilds.

With Sorcerers; Sorcerers are at least as iconic as Warlocks, if not more so. Warlocks were a minor class in 3.5 which was released fairly late, and was only a core base class in 4e. Whether that means they are or aren't iconic is up to you, but it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be represented.

At the same time, Sorcerers are fun. I love Sorcerers, I love the way they cast spells, I love the idea of bloodlines. I'm sure there are a lot of other people who agree with me. I don't see why, as long as WotC gives an option for people who don't like Bloodlines, they should be restricted for the rest of us.

noparlpf
2012-08-22, 11:07 AM
Uh... what?

Rangers are called rangers for the same reason Aragorn (the iconic ranger on whom D&D based the class) was called Strider. They are wardens and guardians of the wilderness, who, as you put it "range about" to defend their charges against threats out of the wilds.

You're selectively quoting. You missed the bit where I wasn't sure how sarcastic I was being. I think I was being fairly sarcastic.
But the fact that their name has "range" in it has often led people to think they're bow-users and fighters have to be melee weapon-users.

Yora
2012-08-22, 11:07 AM
Bruce Cordell created 3rd Edition psionics and after the difficulties of the 3.0 version, he revised it with the 3.5e version, which is by far the best magic system ever used in D&D. Not only does he know what works with spell points, he also knows what doesn't work and why it doesn't work, because he already did these mistakes.
And he's on the 5th Ed design team.

And the Dragon Sorcerer seems to be very close to the Psychic Warrior.

Starbuck_II
2012-08-22, 11:10 AM
Uh... what?

Rangers are called rangers for the same reason Aragorn (the iconic ranger on whom D&D based the class) was called Strider. They are wardens and guardians of the wilderness, who, as you put it "range about" to defend their charges against threats out of the wilds.


What no. Aragorn the 1/2 elf (he had elves on his background, if your uncle was an elf, you are a 1/2 elf not a human) was a Paladin (remember he used lay on hands to heal Frodo).
Legolas the elf was the Ranger (bow type). And Gimli the dwarf was the Fighter.

Stubbazubba
2012-08-22, 11:15 AM
(he had elves on his background, if your uncle was an elf, you are a 1/2 elf not a human)

I could be wrong, but I don't think Aragorn had any Elven uncles. His father-in-law, and thus his wife, are both Elves, but Aragorn's Elvish ancestry goes way, way back to the first King of Numenor, Elros Tar-Minyatur, who is Elrond's brother, yes, but that means his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-throw-in-a-few-dozen-more-greats uncle is an elf, not an uncle. Elros became mortal, though, his progeny are all 100% human, regardless of what that super-great uncle Elrond is.

Water_Bear
2012-08-22, 11:19 AM
What no. Aragorn the 1/2 elf (he had elves on his background, if your uncle was an elf, you are a 1/2 elf not a human) was a Paladin (remember he used lay on hands to heal Frodo).
Legolas the elf was the Ranger (bow type). And Gimli the dwarf was the Fighter.

Apparently I'm bad at detecting sarcasm, so sorry if you're not serious but...

Aragorn healed exclusively by using herbs, and failed to heal Frodo of his wounds from the Morgul blade. Elrond Half-Elven was the one who used magic to heal Frodo.

Again, Aragorn had elven blood... diluted by millenia of breeding with humans. The line of Numenoreans was descended from Elrond's mortal brother, but after thousands of years he was almost completely human.

Plus, the Paladin in D&D is a holy knight, where Aragorn fought primarily on foot. The ranger, which is equally tied to Divine magic, is much closer to his capabilities and background. Plus, he was literally a Ranger; one of the Rangers of the North.

noparlpf
2012-08-22, 11:19 AM
I could be wrong, but I don't think Aragorn had any Elven uncles. His father-in-law, and thus his wife, are both Elves, but Aragorn's Elvish ancestry goes way, way back to the first King of Numenor, Elros Tar-Minyatur, who is Elrond's brother, yes, but that means his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-throw-in-a-few-dozen-more-greats uncle is an elf, not an uncle. Elros became mortal, though, his progeny are all 100% human, regardless of what that super-great uncle Elrond is.

Yeah. Aragorn's line was generally superior to ordinary humans, but by the time they got all the way down to him he was basically a slightly above-average human.
And there's no suggestion he'd fit the Paladin archetype. He's proficient with melee weapons and the bow, his background is in the wilderness, he's a tracker and a hunter and a protector. Sounds like Ranger to me.

Edit: Oh yeah, D&D Rangers use divine magic, and I don't think Aragorn really did that. I always forget they have magic because I don't like that flavour and always switch it for other things.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-22, 11:31 AM
Well, the 1E/2E ranger may be Aragorn, but the 3E/4E ranger is Drizz't. The idea that rangers are elf-related healing nature guys is rather outdated; nowadays they are just dual-wielders.

lesser_minion
2012-08-22, 11:42 AM
What no. Aragorn the 1/2 elf (he had elves on his background, if your uncle was an elf, you are a 1/2 elf not a human) was a Paladin (remember he used lay on hands to heal Frodo).

That's not even remotely correct.

Healing knowledge is somewhat commonplace in Middle Earth. Aragorn did not treat Frodo using "lay on hands", he used an obscure herb that nobody else remembered (and it was actually as effective as any attempt to treat the wound could have been).

He does perform some magical feats -- successfully using Saruman's palantir, for example -- but those aren't paladin things in D&D.

The closest thing the Lord of the Rings actually has to a D&D paladin would probably be Glorfindel, who can even use Turn Undead according to the books.

Wulfram
2012-08-22, 11:46 AM
Aragorn the Ranger is a Ranger, Aragorn the King is a Paladin. He's multiclassed.

Kurald Galain
2012-08-22, 11:49 AM
Aragorn the Ranger is a Ranger, Aragorn the King is a Paladin. He's multiclassed.

1E/2E paladins can't multiclass :smalltongue:

lesser_minion
2012-08-22, 11:50 AM
Aragorn the Ranger is a Ranger, Aragorn the King is a Paladin. He's multiclassed.

Pretty sure the correct answer is just "too complicated to really represent as a D&D build". However, Aragorn as Strider from the Fellowship of the Ring has always been the basic inspiration for the D&D Ranger.

Dienekes
2012-08-22, 11:51 AM
Now it's been awhile since I've read good old LotR, but I don't remember Aragorn doing anything remotely magical enough to be a Paladin. Now, he might have multiclassed Fighter a bit, though.

Doug Lampert
2012-08-22, 12:02 PM
I was once in a GURPS game where we were rewarded with a chest full of $100 gold coins. Unfortunately we were in a small hamlet and there probably wasn't $100 worth of coins in the entire place to make change, and nothing to buy even worth that much. Talk about starving on a mountain of gold. :smallsigh:

Historically the common solution was to break or cut the coins into peices.
The Spanish Gold Real was routinely reduced to 8ths (and traded one for one with the early US$, hence the dollar is worth 8 bits and a quarter is 2 bits).

The English silver penny cut into four peices (called farthings).

Found currency will be trading at metal value minus a discount for appraisal, current currency will be trading at a premium over metal price.

Since found currency should already be at a discount cutting it in two is effectively cost free.

Or you can give the richest man in town ONE gold coin, and he runs a talley stick for your total expenditures (talley sticks and markers were fairly common in cash poor communities). You will of course be robbed on the exchange rate, but that's normal (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0122.html) and probably happens to all out-of-towners.

Gwendol
2012-08-22, 12:33 PM
2 thumbs up for the 5e sorcerer: finally making them manifest their magical nature by introducing mana points. The bloodline stuff looks fun, but really, with only one to "choose" from it's neither here nor there.
The fighter however is shortshafted. I'm definitely making fighting styles optional since picking whatever feats you want at every odd level seems to be the only way to make the class interesting. TWF seems like the weaker option (again), especially in light of many monsters getting multiattack...
That said, a TWF fighter-rogue could get interesting.