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Stray
2014-04-02, 05:42 AM
New Legends & Lore (http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20140401) article is up and... I hope it's not a very elaborate April Fools joke. It would be very very sad if Mearls had put more effort and created more content for a joke article than he puts in his regular column. If this is true, then it seems that playtest worked, if it is a joke, they know exactly what is wrong with the fighter and are just mocking us.

Morty
2014-04-02, 05:53 AM
I honestly doubt it's an April's Fools joke. It would be a lot more... I don't know, over-the-top if it was. The best case scenario, though, is that it is a joke, because all those actions are actually such basic building blocks of the combat system that you don't need to take a separate fighter path just to execute them.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 06:57 AM
If that article is a April fools day joke...

I will somehow, someway, at some point get majority control of WotC (or D&D) then give those guys free reign to create a game, one that doesn't have to be D&D and they can do as they please. I will then never release the game and keep it for myself and lock it away. There will be no OGL or anything for it. I will make them waste their time making their own perfect game, something to them that is beautiful. I will take it away and never let it see the light of day. If they try to recreate it or sell a new game with the same mechanics and such I'll use lawyers.

Sure I'll have to pay them during that time but that is fine. The satisfaction that they will lose their perfect game or perfect work...

Hell hath no fury like a gamer scorned.

Random side note: I think I would make a good Disney Villain ... Not really dangerous but pretty evil all the same.

Seerow
2014-04-02, 07:35 AM
I honestly doubt it's an April's Fools joke. It would be a lot more... I don't know, over-the-top if it was. The best case scenario, though, is that it is a joke, because all those actions are actually such basic building blocks of the combat system that you don't need to take a separate fighter path just to execute them.

Yeah, while this is marginally better than what they've had in the playtest packets, the majority of the examples are still things that literally anyone can do in 3e. The only new things are the warlord-style abilities.

Morty
2014-04-02, 08:07 AM
I honestly wouldn't call 3.x much better in this regard. Before ToB, most combat maneuvers other than "charge and full attack" tend to require significant investment, which is only worth the effort in case of tripping.

On another note, I also don't see much of a point in a "parry" maneuver - isn't preventing attacks from hitting you kind of, you know, what Armor Class does? Or does everyone else avoid blows differently and blocking them with one's weapon is an esoteric art known only to the few?

WickerNipple
2014-04-02, 08:13 AM
Playtest feedback for D&D Next has consistently painted the fighter as one of the most satisfying and powerful classes in the game.

Now truly worried.

obryn
2014-04-02, 09:28 AM
Now truly worried.
Well, yeah, but it's followed up by a system that may actually be workable.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 09:30 AM
I honestly wouldn't call 3.x much better in this regard. Before ToB, most combat maneuvers other than "charge and full attack" tend to require significant investment, which is only worth the effort in case of tripping.

On another note, I also don't see much of a point in a "parry" maneuver - isn't preventing attacks from hitting you kind of, you know, what Armor Class does? Or does everyone else avoid blows differently and blocking them with one's weapon is an esoteric art known only to the few?

I really hope the Parry maneuver isn't just for weapon attacks.

Dragon Fires a line of acid at you? Parry it with your sword. Dragon spits out a cone of acid? Parry it with your Axe (cut a path through the acid cloud).

Essentially something like Fighter from 8 bit theater when he levels up. He can quite easily block anything... Even the earth when they fall from great heights.

Edit:
I hit reply to soon...

When you Parry with a weapon it usually sets you up for a counter attack and protects you from even having to deal with the attack against your armor... Like in kendo when I want to hit someone in the stomach plate one of the easiest ways is to parry their strike to my head and then go straight into the strike on their stomach.

Also you never want a creature to reach your armor so really if you can stop the attack before your armor has to then the safer you will be. It is the same principal as a shield except shields are factored into AC.

Of course AC is weird too and there needs to be a better explanation of it... But one step at a time :p

12owlbears
2014-04-02, 10:13 AM
I don't get it what's so bad about this?

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 10:23 AM
I don't get it what's so bad about this?

It is like... For years all you are given is an old ford pinto and then someone gives you a 2014 corvette. Then they give you a 1989 Honda civic.

Sure the civic (Next Fighter) is better than the pinto (3.5 fighter) (pinto was a death trap btw) but for a while you had a corvette (4e Fighter).

This article is taking everything awesome from the 4e fighter and translating it to the Pre-ToB 3.5 Fighter... But it seems to be using the wrong method to do so and are making it extremely limited.

I'm an optimist usually so I feel this L&L at least shows us that WotC gets that the fighter sucks if they don't have class features and a majority of people don't want to go back to pre-4e/ToB fighters.

Morty
2014-04-02, 10:38 AM
When you Parry with a weapon it usually sets you up for a counter attack and protects you from even having to deal with the attack against your armor... Like in kendo when I want to hit someone in the stomach plate one of the easiest ways is to parry their strike to my head and then go straight into the strike on their stomach.

Also you never want a creature to reach your armor so really if you can stop the attack before your armor has to then the safer you will be. It is the same principal as a shield except shields are factored into AC.

Of course AC is weird too and there needs to be a better explanation of it... But one step at a time :p

Two problems - despite its name, AC doesn't come entirely from armour. Second, parrying is not a fancy move. It's something everyone trained in armed combat does. Normally, you can assume it's represented by rolling for hit. But if Parry is a special ability of a certain kind of Fighter?

But yes. It does lead us into the fact that the AC system is fundamentally nonsensical.


I don't get it what's so bad about this?

It's not bad. It's just some really basic stuff paraded out as an "advanced" option.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 10:53 AM
Two problems - despite its name, AC doesn't come entirely from armour. Second, parrying is not a fancy move. It's something everyone trained in armed combat does. Normally, you can assume it's represented by rolling for hit. But if Parry is a special ability of a certain kind of Fighter?

But yes. It does lead us into the fact that the AC system is fundamentally nonsensical.



It's not bad. It's just some really basic stuff paraded out as an "advanced" option.

But that's just it, it is special. A normal combat round is usually multiple strikes from everyone... You only roll the ones that your character has a chance to hit... It isn't like you would just attack 1 time every 6 seconds by taking turns...

But going with how they do defenses and stuff... (Which yes their AC system is way out of whack. I have an alternative explanation for AC that I'm thinking of putting in my signature.)

It is quite easy to parry an attack if you are actively fighting defensively, well as long as the degree of skill is about the same between the two fighting. However what is hard, and what the Fighter's parry could be, is that the Fighter is still in offense mode and able to defend at the same time. This is actually quite hard since if you are in mid swing getting your weapon ready to defend yourself is almost impossible.

So the Fighter is swinging his weapon (turns are not a real thing) and sees the rogue coming at him with a dagger. The Fighter can quickly move his weapon over and block the dagger and then quickly strike at the enemy all the while keeping momentum and not loosing out on any damage. Perhaps the Fighter is in mid swing to strike an enemy and a mage shoots a lightning bolt at him. The Fighter could parry the bolt and continue with his attack.

HylianKnight
2014-04-02, 11:49 AM
I honestly wouldn't call 3.x much better in this regard. Before ToB, most combat maneuvers other than "charge and full attack" tend to require significant investment, which is only worth the effort in case of tripping.

On another note, I also don't see much of a point in a "parry" maneuver - isn't preventing attacks from hitting you kind of, you know, what Armor Class does? Or does everyone else avoid blows differently and blocking them with one's weapon is an esoteric art known only to the few?

Definitely agree with the first paragraph. To make any use of combat maneuvers beyond 'swing your sword harder' you needed multiple feats to invest in one of your choice for often marginal benefit. A far cry from a combatant who specializes in the tactics of combat.

On the second point however, you're closer to the mark than you might think. While we often think of medieval combat as involving men crossing swords, so to speak, in practice that was certainly NOT how men at arms fought. It takes so much skill, has such high risks, can't be done with the most formidable weaponry (like a broad sword), and there's no faster way to ruin your blade. Instead the combat swordsmen revolved around positioning. Dodging attacks, forcing the other guy to miss, or else hit your armor in such a way to leave you relatively uninjured. This is what AC in DnD simulates.

The idea of parrying and using your weapon defensively is the purview of fencers and the like and is much rarer - certainly not the norm.

For more information - http://io9.com/5918644/swordfighting-not-what-you-think-it-is/all

Morty
2014-04-02, 12:23 PM
Definitely agree with the first paragraph. To make any use of combat maneuvers beyond 'swing your sword harder' you needed multiple feats to invest in one of your choice for often marginal benefit. A far cry from a combatant who specializes in the tactics of combat.

On the second point however, you're closer to the mark than you might think. While we often think of medieval combat as involving men crossing swords, so to speak, in practice that was certainly NOT how men at arms fought. It takes so much skill, has such high risks, can't be done with the most formidable weaponry (like a broad sword), and there's no faster way to ruin your blade. Instead the combat swordsmen revolved around positioning. Dodging attacks, forcing the other guy to miss, or else hit your armor in such a way to leave you relatively uninjured. This is what AC in DnD simulates.

The idea of parrying and using your weapon defensively is the purview of fencers and the like and is much rarer - certainly not the norm.

For more information - http://io9.com/5918644/swordfighting-not-what-you-think-it-is/all

I'm aware of how swordfighting works, thank you. And I don't see how it invalidates my point. Actively seeking contact between your weapon and the opponent's is not always optimal, but it's not the same as needing special training to pull off. In general, I assume that everyone who has the majority of their levels in a martial class such as Fighter, Barbarian or Paladin is a trained combatant. In a better combat system, this sort of thing would be represented by a "parry" action that has its situational use.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 12:35 PM
I'm aware of how swordfighting works, thank you. And I don't see how it invalidates my point. Actively seeking contact between your weapon and the opponent's is not always optimal, but it's not the same as needing special training to pull off. In general, I assume that everyone who has the majority of their levels in a martial class such as Fighter, Barbarian or Paladin is a trained combatant. In a better combat system, this sort of thing would be represented by a "parry" action that has its situational use.

The problem with a Parry action in D&D is that it might end up like the readied action. You use your action to do something that never triggers.

Which sucks.

So give it to just the fighters and make it something awesome. Fighters and everyone else can use the total defense action to "parry" weapons.

Morty
2014-04-02, 12:41 PM
Then introduce a way to commit yourself to defence without entirely sacrificing attacks. Again, that requires a better combat system.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 12:54 PM
Then introduce a way to commit yourself to defence without entirely sacrificing attacks. Again, that requires a better combat system.

Yes and no.

Yes the combat system in D&D needs improved. But defense is the best offense isn't the reason why. This is a fantasy game with stuff from Scion and the combat system from Final Fantasy 1...

No because... It is a little to late for that haha.

I actually have been liking the combat system for Corporation and have been wondering if you could transcribe it over to D&D.

Here is a way under the current rules system to explain parry with anyone.

Total Defense: +4 AC: Action, may move up to your half speed.

Partial Defense: +2 AC: Reaction, may only take a 5ft step when using partial defense.

Parry: Fighter may use a superiority die to gain a bonus to AC versus attacks. 1 die for partial, 2 dice for total. The fighter never takes a penalty to speed.

Lokiare
2014-04-02, 12:59 PM
Well first off, I hope the entirety of 5E is an April fools joke and that the real game is completely different, but that aside, he says 'fighters are the simplest class' and makes a huge mistake right there.

Fighters don't have to be the simplest class. With the right mechanics they could easily be the most complex. With parries, feints, knock backs and other real world fighting style actions they could build an entire subsystem just around trained fighters. The only reason 'fighters are the simplest class' is tradition. Lets just get that out into the open right away.

Oh 16 maneuvers, whatever will we do? Oh I know, lets play 4E out of the PHB only for a couple levels to have the same amount of choice. Really, its sad when they can't even match the number of choices at 2nd level in 4E throughout the entirety of 5E for the fighter.

So a fighter in light armor with a rapier is as effective as a fighter in chain mail with a long sword? What about being as effective as a fighter in plate mail with a great sword, but in a different way? (this would be trivially easy by just granting some special feature at 1st level that keys off wearing different armor types. Maybe fighter's superior training gives them a +4 to AC against opportunity attacks when in light armor, gives them DR 3 in medium, and in heavy armor they get to ignore move speed and skill check penalties just off the top of my head)

I really liked my idea. If they are going to try to emulate a 4E style fighter for one of the sub-classes why not go all the way? My idea was to have 3 states for the expertise dice. You could 'use' them and they recover at the end of your turn. You could 'expend' them and they wouldn't return until you take an action to recover each one or a short or long rest. You could also 'burn' them and they wouldn't return until you take a long rest. Each maneuver would do different things based on whether you use, expend, or burn the expertise dice.

For instance if you used an expertise dice to trip a target you would just make an attack roll, add the expertise dice and if you hit the target is prone. If you expend an expertise dice, the target would be automatically prone and knocked back a 5' times what you rolled on the dice. If you burned an expertise dice, the target would be automatically prone and knocked back 5' times what you rolled and they could not get up until they make a constitution save versus 10 + what you rolled on the dice.

In that way you actually emulate more closely the at-will, encounter, and daily mechanic while getting rid of the things that people didn't like about the 4E fighter ("If I can still use these daily powers, why can't I re-use that one I did a few encounters ago?")

But what do I know, I'm just a game software developer.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 01:10 PM
I really liked my idea. If they are going to try to emulate a 4E style fighter for one of the sub-classes why not go all the way? My idea was to have 3 states for the expertise dice. You could 'use' them and they recover at the end of your turn. You could 'expend' them and they wouldn't return until you take an action to recover each one or a short or long rest. You could also 'burn' them and they wouldn't return until you take a long rest. Each maneuver would do different things based on whether you use, expend, or burn the expertise dice.

For instance if you used an expertise dice to trip a target you would just make an attack roll, add the expertise dice and if you hit the target is prone. If you expend an expertise dice, the target would be automatically prone and knocked back a 5' times what you rolled on the dice. If you burned an expertise dice, the target would be automatically prone and knocked back 5' times what you rolled and they could not get up until they make a constitution save versus 10 + what you rolled on the dice.

In that way you actually emulate more closely the at-will, encounter, and daily mechanic while getting rid of the things that people didn't like about the 4E fighter ("If I can still use these daily powers, why can't I re-use that one I did a few encounters ago?")

But what do I know, I'm just a game software developer.

I really like this.

There may be a few kinks to work out but I would really like to see this fleshed out completely.

Do you have this completely worked out somewhere (perhaps here on the homebrew)?

Lokiare
2014-04-02, 02:01 PM
I really like this.

There may be a few kinks to work out but I would really like to see this fleshed out completely.

Do you have this completely worked out somewhere (perhaps here on the homebrew)?

Several months back before my perma ban from the WotC forums for 'we can terminate any account for no reason' I made a post describing in detail how it would work. Just search for "Lokiare burn dice" and it should come up

Edit: There was an extra mechanic where if the fighter was totally out of expertise dice, they could overdrive by taking damage and regain the use of a used (1d4), expended (1d6), or burned (1d10) expertise dice instantly as a free action. This represented the effects of overdoing adrenaline on the human system. I might be horrible at social stuff, but I'm awesome at design. (if anyone needs any help designing something, I work for reasonable fees, my scathing sarcasm is free however)

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 02:15 PM
Several months back before my perma ban from the WotC forums for 'we can terminate any account for no reason' I made a post describing in detail how it would work. Just search for "Lokiare burn dice" and it should come up

Edit: There was an extra mechanic where if the fighter was totally out of expertise dice, they could overdrive by taking damage and regain the use of a used (1d4), expended (1d6), or burned (1d10) expertise dice instantly as a free action. This represented the effects of overdoing adrenaline on the human system. I might be horrible at social stuff, but I'm awesome at design. (if anyone needs any help designing something, I work for reasonable fees, my scathing sarcasm is free however)

I'll take a look at it over there but my phone and its website doesn't get along.

I think just using the "use" and "expend" function in a high fantasy setting could be really interesting.

Essentially the "use" keeps you doing low to mid fantasy actions but if you "expend" then you are using high fantasy actions.

This will allow the dice mechanic to be used by anyone ... And if the DM says "low fantasy" then the same fighter can be used. If the DM allows mages and druids then the fighter can start "expending" dice to keep up.

Port over some ToB stuff like the saves and such (Iron Heart Surge) and you can have a Fighter that is simple or complex AND high or low fantasy.

All in one.

Combine the Fighter, Rogue, and Barbarian into one class where class choices determine your style... And you won't have the ridiculous redundancy that having three classes that do the same thing gives you.

Morty
2014-04-02, 02:25 PM
Several months back before my perma ban from the WotC forums for 'we can terminate any account for no reason' I made a post describing in detail how it would work. Just search for "Lokiare burn dice" and it should come up

Edit: There was an extra mechanic where if the fighter was totally out of expertise dice, they could overdrive by taking damage and regain the use of a used (1d4), expended (1d6), or burned (1d10) expertise dice instantly as a free action. This represented the effects of overdoing adrenaline on the human system. I might be horrible at social stuff, but I'm awesome at design. (if anyone needs any help designing something, I work for reasonable fees, my scathing sarcasm is free however)

This is all pretty good, but I still believe that the basic combat model everyone uses needs reworking. Special moves should be, well, special, instead of covering actions every trained combatant should be able to do, but isn't.

Knaight
2014-04-02, 03:04 PM
Yeah, while this is marginally better than what they've had in the playtest packets, the majority of the examples are still things that literally anyone can do in 3e. The only new things are the warlord-style abilities.

It's not just 3e either. For instance, I have the small version of the REIGN book next to me right now. It's about 220 pages, in 9 in * 6.5 in format - with something like the D&D scale, that would work out to under 100 pages. Yet every one of those options is either directly in the rules, or essentially supported by the rules - with the only one that's essentially supported being giving an ally an attack, which basically just involves deciding to focus on parrying to allow an ally to focus on attacking, and which is more an effect of the underlying combat system than anything. These are core rules options, and there's more besides them, even in a fairly small book that is hardly combat focused.

D&D 5e, meanwhile, is mostly a game about going through dungeons, avoiding traps, and fighting monsters. Yet a game just as light as it about navigating politics, operating large organizations, and accomplishing goals through a number of ways somehow manages to have a much better combat system. What excuse do they have?

Lokiare
2014-04-02, 03:08 PM
I'll take a look at it over there but my phone and its website doesn't get along.

I think just using the "use" and "expend" function in a high fantasy setting could be really interesting.

Essentially the "use" keeps you doing low to mid fantasy actions but if you "expend" then you are using high fantasy actions.

This will allow the dice mechanic to be used by anyone ... And if the DM says "low fantasy" then the same fighter can be used. If the DM allows mages and druids then the fighter can start "expending" dice to keep up.

Port over some ToB stuff like the saves and such (Iron Heart Surge) and you can have a Fighter that is simple or complex AND high or low fantasy.

All in one.

Combine the Fighter, Rogue, and Barbarian into one class where class choices determine your style... And you won't have the ridiculous redundancy that having three classes that do the same thing gives you.

I agree completely.


It's not just 3e either. For instance, I have the small version of the REIGN book next to me right now. It's about 220 pages, in 9 in * 6.5 in format - with something like the D&D scale, that would work out to under 100 pages. Yet every one of those options is either directly in the rules, or essentially supported by the rules - with the only one that's essentially supported being giving an ally an attack, which basically just involves deciding to focus on parrying to allow an ally to focus on attacking, and which is more an effect of the underlying combat system than anything. These are core rules options, and there's more besides them, even in a fairly small book that is hardly combat focused.

D&D 5e, meanwhile, is mostly a game about going through dungeons, avoiding traps, and fighting monsters. Yet a game just as light as it about navigating politics, operating large organizations, and accomplishing goals through a number of ways somehow manages to have a much better combat system. What excuse do they have?

The main thing would be that they have the D&D name behind them. So they could put out wet cardboard and call it the best game in the world and D&D fans would lap it up. There will always be a group of people that buy it because it has the D&D logo on it. However due to WotC actions over the pat 4+ years, that group is getting smaller and smaller.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 03:18 PM
I agree completely.

The main thing would be that they have the D&D name behind them. So they could put out wet cardboard and call it the best game in the world and D&D fans would lap it up. There will always be a group of people that buy it because it has the D&D logo on it. However due to WotC actions over the pat 4+ years, that group is getting smaller and smaller.

I'm going to expand on the "Use" and "Expend" idea. Probably call it Endurance or something generic. I'm going to throw it onto a Fighter/Rogue/Barbarian class I've been working on and load it up on the giantitp homebrew.

As to your other point... Although a bit extreme you are right about D&D with regards to how some people will buy it no matter what. The biggest problem with WotC is that they aren't hungry like other companies and when you get fat and happy... Someone comes up and surprises you. Paizo did that to WotC but didn't finish the job... I'm surprised WotC hasn't put more effort into making a better product for the playtest.

Lokiare
2014-04-02, 03:20 PM
I found my post about the fighter, I'm posting it to my blog at www.kelandlokgames.com so I can reference it easier (it took me almost an hour to find it):
This is the Fighter I think we should get:

The Fighter
Attack
Level Bonus Class Features
1 +1 Expertise (2d6), 3 Expertise features
2 +1 Expertise Feature
3 +2 -
4 +2 Expertise Feature
5 +2 Expertise Feature
6 +2 Expertise (3d6)
7 +2 Deadly Strike (roll twice)
8 +3 Expertise Feature
9 +3 Expertise (4d6)
10 +3 Deadly Strike (roll three times)
11 +3 Combat Surge 1/day
12 +3 Expertise Feature
13 +4 Expertise (5d6)
14 +4 Combat Surge 2/day
15 +4 Deadly Strike (roll four times)
16 +4 Expertise Feature
17 +4 Combat Surge 3/day
18 +5 Expertise (6d6)
19 +5 Combat Surge 4/day
20 +5 Deadly Strike (roll five times)

Level 1: Expertise
Benefit: You gain two d6s called Expertise Dice. Certain expertise features use, expend, and burn these d6s. If a feature uses an expertise dice then you regain the use of that dice at the end of your turn. This represents a quick surge of strength or endurance that only takes a few seconds to catch your breath from. If a feature expends an expertise dice then you regain it if you use the recovery action along with any other expertise dice you have expended. This represents an extreme feat of strength like carrying a heavy box and requires a several seconds to catch your breath before you attempt something similar again. If you burn an expertise dice you recover it with a full hour of uninterrupted relaxation where you are not rushed or threatened. During this time the character is assumed to be relaxing, patching wounds, eating snacks or meditating in some way to recover the bodies adrenaline usage. This represents something so stressful on the body that you have to take quite a while to recover your adrenaline and remove the stress on your body. This is something akin to a normal person lifting a car up or wrestling with a polar bear, things that happen but put enormous strain on the body. Fighters are trained to flood their system with adrenaline and take advantage of it and they know the limitations. You gain additional expertise dice as you level up according to the above chart.
A Fighter may strain an expertise dice when it is already used, expended, or burned, but doing so put deadly strain on their bodies. They take 1d10 cumulative damage for each expertise strained in this way +1 point if they expend it or +2 point if they burn it. For instance a 13th level Fighter expends all his expertise dice in a fight. Later he strains an expertise dice and takes 1d10 damage, the next round he decides to strain another expertise dice and takes 2d10 damage. The third round he strains another expertise dice and takes 3d10 damage.
Strained expertise dice recover at the rate of 1 per day and until recovered cannot be used.

Level 1 Expertise Features
Each feature can only be used once per turn unless otherwise specified.

Pick one of the following maneuvers at each level that you gain an Expertise Feature:

Accuracy
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus to your next attack roll. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it as a bonus to attack on your next attack roll. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to all your attacks until the start of your next turn. This maneuver can be chosen multiple times, each time it is chosen an extra expertise dice can be used, expended, or burned on the same attack.

Power Attack
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus to your next damage roll. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to the damage of your next attack. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to all of your damage rolls until the start of your next turn. This maneuver can be chosen multiple times, each time it is chosen an extra expertise dice can be used, expended, or burned on the same attack.

Defense
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus your AC against the next attack roll against you. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to your AC against the next attack against you. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to your AC against all attacks against you until the start of your next turn.

Cleave
When you hit a target with an attack you may use one expertise dice to deal Strength modifier damage to an adjacent target that would be hit with your original attack roll. Expend one expertise dice by rolling it to deal it and your Strength modifier as damage instead. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal it and full damage from the original attack instead. This can only be used against a single target once per round. You couldn't for instance Expend multiple dice to deal half damage each to the same target.

Reap
When you miss a target you may use an expertise dice to add +1 to your attack roll. If the new total hits you deal Strength modifier damage. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add it to your attack roll if it hits deal Strength modifier damage. Instead Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add it to your attack roll if it hits deal full weapon damage.

Push
When you hit with an attack you may use an expertise dice to push the target 5 feet back. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to push the target a number of feet equal to the expertise dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded up to the nearest 5 feet) back . Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to push the target a number of feet equal to the expertise dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded up to the nearest 5 feet) back and knock them prone. They must expend an extra 10 feet to stand up from prone on their next round.

Distract
When you hit with an attack you may use an expertise dice to allow an adjacent ally to move 5 feet without provoking opportunity attacks as a reaction. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and the ally can move a number of feet equal to the dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded down) as a reaction without provoking opportunity attacks. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you and an ally can move a number of feet equal to the dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded down) as a reaction without provoking opportunity attacks.

Spring Attack
If you use an expertise dice the next opportunity attack roll against you recieves a -2. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and the next opportunity attack roll against you receives a penalty equal to the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and the next opportunity attack roll against you receives a penalty equal to the roll and receives disadvantage.

Disabling Strike
When you hit instead of dealing damage you may use an expertise dice to cause your targets move speed to be reduced by 10 feet on their next turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal damage equal to the roll as well as the targets move speed being reduced by 10. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal damage equal to the roll and cause your targets move speed to be reduced by 30.

Toughness
At any time during your turn you may use an expertise dice to reduce the damage you take from blunt, peircing, or slashing damage by 1 point until the end of your turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you reduce the next attack's damage against you by the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce each attacks damage against you by the roll until the start of your next turn.

Leave an Opening
You may use an expertise dice to leave an opening in your defenses that allows an attacker to have a +1 bonus to the attack, however if they attack someone else they take a -1 to the attack. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and they take a penalty equal to the roll to attack a target other than you. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and they take a penalty equal to the roll * 2 to the attack against the other target.

Counter
If a target is attacking you with advantage as a reaction you may grant them a -1 to the attack roll by using an expertise dice. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it, they gain a penalty to the attack roll equal to the expertise dice roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it, they gain a penalty to the attack roll equal to the expertise dice roll and gain disadvantage on it.

Endurance
You may use an expertise dice to gain 1 temporary hit point as a free action. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain the roll in temporary hit points. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain the roll +6 in temporary hit points. You may take this maneuver multiple times. Each time you take it you may use, expend, or burn an extra expertise dice and gain the associated benefit.

Multiple Attacks
You may use any number of expertise dice by rolling them to make an additional attack. Use the expertise dice roll as your attack roll instead of rolling 1d20. Instead expend these expertise dice you may roll them twice and use the total as your attack roll. Instead burn these expertise dice you may roll them three times and use the total as your attack roll. You may do this as many times per round as you want and each target you hit with this you may apply one other maneuver to (even if you have already used that maneuver this turn). For instance a 13th level Fighter might make one attack against one target, then use 2d6 expertise dice against another target and expend 1d6 against a third target (rolling 2d6) and then burn the last 2d6 against a fourth target (rolling 6d6).

Wounding Blow
When you hit with an attack instead of dealing damage you may use an expertise dice to deal 1 point of damage each round on your turn to the target until they take a round to bind the wound, receive healing, or fall unconscious. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal the roll in damage each round. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll + Strength modifier in damage per round.

Found an Opening
If an opponent you hit on your turn attacks someone other than you, use an expertise dice to make an opportunity attack as a reaction against them and if you hit deal Strength modifier damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you make the opportunity attack and if you hit deal the roll + Strength modifier damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you make the opportunity attack and if you hit deal the roll + Strength modifier + weapon damage.

Fast Reaction
When rolling initiative you may use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to the roll. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the initiative roll total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the initiative roll and add the expertise dice roll to the initiative roll total.

Masterful Reflexes
When rolling a saving throw you may use an expertise dice to add +1 to your roll as a reaction. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the Saving Throw roll total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the Saving Throw roll and add the expertise dice roll to the Saving Throw roll total.

Feats of Power
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any Strength based skill check. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to gain the expertise dice roll to the Strength based skill check total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the check and add the expertise dice roll to the check total.

Feats of Endurance
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any Constitution based skill check. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to gain the expertise dice roll to the check total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the check and add the expertise dice roll to the check total.

Expert Improvisation
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any improvised action in combat (this bonus is to all rolls that have to do with the improvised action). Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the improvised checks. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the improvised checks which now have advantage.

Break Defenses
Use an expertise dice when you hit a target to reduce their AC by -1 until the end of your next turn (Multiple uses do not stack). Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce their AC by the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce their AC by the roll and grant the next attack against them advantage.

Speed
Use an expertise dice when moving to move an extra 5 feet. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to move an extra 5 feet * the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to move an extra 5 feet * the roll while not provoking opportunity attacks.

Manipulate
When you hit a target with an attack that is one size category larger than you or smaller and beat their AC by 5 or more you may choose to forgo damage and use an expertise dice to force or manipulate them to move 5 feet in a direction of their choosing. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and they move 2.5 feet * the roll (round down). Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and they move 2.5 feet * the roll (round down) and you deal damage as normal.

Misdirection
Use an expertise dice when you hit with an attack to draw something out of your pack, pocket, or pouch without provoking an opportunity attack. Expend an expertise dice instead to draw and use the item. Burn an expertise dice instead to draw, use, and stow the item. (for instance you can draw a potion out of a bag, drink it, and put the bottle away if you burn an expertise dice).

Overpower
Use an expertise dice to force an additional saving throw at disadvantage against an effect on you that allowed a saving throw, if you succeed the effect acts as if you had originally made the first saving throw. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the roll to the Saving Throw total. Instead burn an expertise dice and add the roll to the Saving Throw total and you no longer have disadvantage on the Saving Throw.

Immortal
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to a death save. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you add the roll to the death save total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add the roll to the death save total and you also have advantage on the Saving Throw.

Through the Pain
Use an expertise dice when you have 0 or less hit points and you continue to roll death saves with disadvantage however you may act normally on your turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you can add the roll to the Saving Throw total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain advantage on the Death Saving Throw and add the roll to the Save total.

Overextend
Use an expertise dice to increase your reach by 5 feet on your next attack this turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and extend your reach as well as adding the expertise dice roll to your attack roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you can also make opportunity attacks with your extended reach range until the start of your next turn as well as adding the expertise dice roll to your attack rolls.

Keep up the heat
Use an expertise dice as a reaction to move 5 feet closer to an enemy that moves away from you. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you may move up 2.5 feet * your roll (round down). Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you may move up to 5 feet * your roll.

Piercing Assault
Use an expertise dice to deal an additional 1 point of damage to a target that is resistant to your weapon attacks damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll in additional damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to ignore the resistance and deal the roll in additional damage. This maneuver may be taken multiple times, each time it is taken you may use it an additional time on the same target in the same turn.

Feel the pain
Use an expertise dice to deal 1 point of damage to a target that is immune to your weapon on your next attack this round. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal deal the roll in damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal damage as normal plus the roll.

Knowledge of Battle
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any skill check that is related to combat, weapons, armor, or battle. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Impressive Presence
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any check to impress an NPC. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Keen Senses
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any check to see through lies or determine motivations of a non-hostile target. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Disarm
When you hit with an attack and roll 5 higher than needed instead of dealing damage you can use an expertise dice to disarm the target if they are wielding a weapon, magic item, or device. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll in damage or instead of dealing damage knock the weapon 10 feet away in a random direction. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal damage normally plus the roll or instead of dealing damage catch the weapon in a free hand.

Sunder
When you hit with an attack and roll 5 higher than needed instead of dealing damage you can break the targets weapon, deal 1 damage to the weapon. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll as damage to the weapon. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and and deal normal damage to the weapon plus the roll.

Challenge
Use an expertise dice to give an opponent a -1 to attacks for their turn if they don't attack you on their turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to grant a penalty equal to the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to grant a penalty equal to the roll and disadvantage.

Improved Critical
Use an expertise dice to deal a critical hit on a 19 or 20, you may use this after you roll your attack. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding the roll to the dice (before modifiers of any kind) if the total is 20 or more treat the hit as a critical hit. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gaining advantage and adding the roll to both dice (before modifiers of any kind) if the total is 20 or more treat the hit as a critical hit, if both dice are greater than 20 deal double the normal critical damage.

Extreme Opportunity
When you hit with an opportunity attack use an expertise dice to deal an extra 1 point of damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll as damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll plus an extra weapon damage roll as damage.

Disruptive Strike
When you hit with an attack instead of dealing damage your target can't use any maneuvers, stances, features, traits, or spells on their next turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll as damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal damage normally plus the roll, forgo the damage and the target also can't recover from this maneuver unless they take an action to recover.

Feats

Heroic Strain
You know how to take punishment from pushing yourself beyond your limits. When you strain an Expertise Dice instead of taking 1d10 damage you take 1d8 damage.

Heroic Ability
Whenever you use an Expertise Feature to gain a +1 to a roll or grant a -1 penalty to a roll, you instead gain a +2 or grant a -2 penalty.

Expert Attacker
When you use the Multiple Attack maneuver rolls above 19 are considered critical hits.

Improved Expertise Dice
Your Expertise Dice are 1d8's instead of 1d6's.

This is an interesting way to build a Fighter. Several maneuvers are 'always active' and can be taken multiple times for a very simple Fighter that has some pluses here or there. There is even a maneuver that helps out with improvised actions. There are enough maneuvers that a player can recreate most 4E powers if they so desire.

Friv
2014-04-02, 03:35 PM
My instinct remains that, while expertise is a good mechanic, you can't have "More Attack Bonus" or "Greater Damage Bonus" be expertise die options, or else people are going to have to choose between being better or doing interesting things, and that is a bad choice.

Expertise dice should let you, say, make non-damaging conditions go off against people you hit without having to choose between damaging and affecting them, or boost special maneuvers, or the like.

(I dislike the "Feat or Ability Bonus" approach for a similar reason.)

I had an idea for how to do that at one point, but it required too much cross-referencing to really be valuable, I think. It went sort of like this:

Each Fighter has a Die Chart, which has every number from 1 to 20 on it and a space next to each number for a few Techniques to be listed. At Level 1, you get, say, three Techniques, each of which you can assign to two numbers. If your attack hits, and your roll was a given number, you may immediately assign the effects of one of the Techniques attached to that number. These Techniques could be things like:
*) Crippling Strike: Temporary Strength or Dexterity Damage
*) Masterful Disarm: Free disarm attempt
*) Knock Him Off-Balance: Large penalty to the target's next action
*) Defensive Recovery: Bonus to your AC until your next action
*) Second Wind: Recover some HP

etc, etc.

As you level up, you gain new Techniques, and expand how many numbers a given Technique can apply to. Eventually you also gain the ability to use more Techniques on a successful roll. Possibly you can re-assign which spot on the die your Techniques are when you wake up in the morning, if you want to, or possibly you can only do it with some "practicing" downtime.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-02, 03:44 PM
I found my post about the fighter, I'm posting it to my blog at www.kelandlokgames.com so I can reference it easier (it took me almost an hour to find it):
This is the Fighter I think we should get:

The Fighter
Attack
Level Bonus Class Features
1 +1 Expertise (2d6), 3 Expertise features
2 +1 Expertise Feature
3 +2 -
4 +2 Expertise Feature
5 +2 Expertise Feature
6 +2 Expertise (3d6)
7 +2 Deadly Strike (roll twice)
8 +3 Expertise Feature
9 +3 Expertise (4d6)
10 +3 Deadly Strike (roll three times)
11 +3 Combat Surge 1/day
12 +3 Expertise Feature
13 +4 Expertise (5d6)
14 +4 Combat Surge 2/day
15 +4 Deadly Strike (roll four times)
16 +4 Expertise Feature
17 +4 Combat Surge 3/day
18 +5 Expertise (6d6)
19 +5 Combat Surge 4/day
20 +5 Deadly Strike (roll five times)

Level 1: Expertise
Benefit: You gain two d6s called Expertise Dice. Certain expertise features use, expend, and burn these d6s. If a feature uses an expertise dice then you regain the use of that dice at the end of your turn. This represents a quick surge of strength or endurance that only takes a few seconds to catch your breath from. If a feature expends an expertise dice then you regain it if you use the recovery action along with any other expertise dice you have expended. This represents an extreme feat of strength like carrying a heavy box and requires a several seconds to catch your breath before you attempt something similar again. If you burn an expertise dice you recover it with a full hour of uninterrupted relaxation where you are not rushed or threatened. During this time the character is assumed to be relaxing, patching wounds, eating snacks or meditating in some way to recover the bodies adrenaline usage. This represents something so stressful on the body that you have to take quite a while to recover your adrenaline and remove the stress on your body. This is something akin to a normal person lifting a car up or wrestling with a polar bear, things that happen but put enormous strain on the body. Fighters are trained to flood their system with adrenaline and take advantage of it and they know the limitations. You gain additional expertise dice as you level up according to the above chart.
A Fighter may strain an expertise dice when it is already used, expended, or burned, but doing so put deadly strain on their bodies. They take 1d10 cumulative damage for each expertise strained in this way +1 point if they expend it or +2 point if they burn it. For instance a 13th level Fighter expends all his expertise dice in a fight. Later he strains an expertise dice and takes 1d10 damage, the next round he decides to strain another expertise dice and takes 2d10 damage. The third round he strains another expertise dice and takes 3d10 damage.
Strained expertise dice recover at the rate of 1 per day and until recovered cannot be used.

Level 1 Expertise Features
Each feature can only be used once per turn unless otherwise specified.

Pick one of the following maneuvers at each level that you gain an Expertise Feature:

Accuracy
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus to your next attack roll. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it as a bonus to attack on your next attack roll. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to all your attacks until the start of your next turn. This maneuver can be chosen multiple times, each time it is chosen an extra expertise dice can be used, expended, or burned on the same attack.

Power Attack
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus to your next damage roll. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to the damage of your next attack. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to all of your damage rolls until the start of your next turn. This maneuver can be chosen multiple times, each time it is chosen an extra expertise dice can be used, expended, or burned on the same attack.

Defense
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus your AC against the next attack roll against you. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to your AC against the next attack against you. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to your AC against all attacks against you until the start of your next turn.

Cleave
When you hit a target with an attack you may use one expertise dice to deal Strength modifier damage to an adjacent target that would be hit with your original attack roll. Expend one expertise dice by rolling it to deal it and your Strength modifier as damage instead. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal it and full damage from the original attack instead. This can only be used against a single target once per round. You couldn't for instance Expend multiple dice to deal half damage each to the same target.

Reap
When you miss a target you may use an expertise dice to add +1 to your attack roll. If the new total hits you deal Strength modifier damage. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add it to your attack roll if it hits deal Strength modifier damage. Instead Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add it to your attack roll if it hits deal full weapon damage.

Push
When you hit with an attack you may use an expertise dice to push the target 5 feet back. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to push the target a number of feet equal to the expertise dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded up to the nearest 5 feet) back . Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to push the target a number of feet equal to the expertise dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded up to the nearest 5 feet) back and knock them prone. They must expend an extra 10 feet to stand up from prone on their next round.

Distract
When you hit with an attack you may use an expertise dice to allow an adjacent ally to move 5 feet without provoking opportunity attacks as a reaction. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and the ally can move a number of feet equal to the dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded down) as a reaction without provoking opportunity attacks. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you and an ally can move a number of feet equal to the dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded down) as a reaction without provoking opportunity attacks.

Spring Attack
If you use an expertise dice the next opportunity attack roll against you recieves a -2. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and the next opportunity attack roll against you receives a penalty equal to the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and the next opportunity attack roll against you receives a penalty equal to the roll and receives disadvantage.

Disabling Strike
When you hit instead of dealing damage you may use an expertise dice to cause your targets move speed to be reduced by 10 feet on their next turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal damage equal to the roll as well as the targets move speed being reduced by 10. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal damage equal to the roll and cause your targets move speed to be reduced by 30.

Toughness
At any time during your turn you may use an expertise dice to reduce the damage you take from blunt, peircing, or slashing damage by 1 point until the end of your turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you reduce the next attack's damage against you by the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce each attacks damage against you by the roll until the start of your next turn.

Leave an Opening
You may use an expertise dice to leave an opening in your defenses that allows an attacker to have a +1 bonus to the attack, however if they attack someone else they take a -1 to the attack. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and they take a penalty equal to the roll to attack a target other than you. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and they take a penalty equal to the roll * 2 to the attack against the other target.

Counter
If a target is attacking you with advantage as a reaction you may grant them a -1 to the attack roll by using an expertise dice. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it, they gain a penalty to the attack roll equal to the expertise dice roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it, they gain a penalty to the attack roll equal to the expertise dice roll and gain disadvantage on it.

Endurance
You may use an expertise dice to gain 1 temporary hit point as a free action. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain the roll in temporary hit points. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain the roll +6 in temporary hit points. You may take this maneuver multiple times. Each time you take it you may use, expend, or burn an extra expertise dice and gain the associated benefit.

Multiple Attacks
You may use any number of expertise dice by rolling them to make an additional attack. Use the expertise dice roll as your attack roll instead of rolling 1d20. Instead expend these expertise dice you may roll them twice and use the total as your attack roll. Instead burn these expertise dice you may roll them three times and use the total as your attack roll. You may do this as many times per round as you want and each target you hit with this you may apply one other maneuver to (even if you have already used that maneuver this turn). For instance a 13th level Fighter might make one attack against one target, then use 2d6 expertise dice against another target and expend 1d6 against a third target (rolling 2d6) and then burn the last 2d6 against a fourth target (rolling 6d6).

Wounding Blow
When you hit with an attack instead of dealing damage you may use an expertise dice to deal 1 point of damage each round on your turn to the target until they take a round to bind the wound, receive healing, or fall unconscious. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal the roll in damage each round. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll + Strength modifier in damage per round.

Found an Opening
If an opponent you hit on your turn attacks someone other than you, use an expertise dice to make an opportunity attack as a reaction against them and if you hit deal Strength modifier damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you make the opportunity attack and if you hit deal the roll + Strength modifier damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you make the opportunity attack and if you hit deal the roll + Strength modifier + weapon damage.

Fast Reaction
When rolling initiative you may use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to the roll. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the initiative roll total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the initiative roll and add the expertise dice roll to the initiative roll total.

Masterful Reflexes
When rolling a saving throw you may use an expertise dice to add +1 to your roll as a reaction. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the Saving Throw roll total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the Saving Throw roll and add the expertise dice roll to the Saving Throw roll total.

Feats of Power
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any Strength based skill check. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to gain the expertise dice roll to the Strength based skill check total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the check and add the expertise dice roll to the check total.

Feats of Endurance
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any Constitution based skill check. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to gain the expertise dice roll to the check total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the check and add the expertise dice roll to the check total.

Expert Improvisation
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any improvised action in combat (this bonus is to all rolls that have to do with the improvised action). Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the improvised checks. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the improvised checks which now have advantage.

Break Defenses
Use an expertise dice when you hit a target to reduce their AC by -1 until the end of your next turn (Multiple uses do not stack). Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce their AC by the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce their AC by the roll and grant the next attack against them advantage.

Speed
Use an expertise dice when moving to move an extra 5 feet. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to move an extra 5 feet * the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to move an extra 5 feet * the roll while not provoking opportunity attacks.

Manipulate
When you hit a target with an attack that is one size category larger than you or smaller and beat their AC by 5 or more you may choose to forgo damage and use an expertise dice to force or manipulate them to move 5 feet in a direction of their choosing. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and they move 2.5 feet * the roll (round down). Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and they move 2.5 feet * the roll (round down) and you deal damage as normal.

Misdirection
Use an expertise dice when you hit with an attack to draw something out of your pack, pocket, or pouch without provoking an opportunity attack. Expend an expertise dice instead to draw and use the item. Burn an expertise dice instead to draw, use, and stow the item. (for instance you can draw a potion out of a bag, drink it, and put the bottle away if you burn an expertise dice).

Overpower
Use an expertise dice to force an additional saving throw at disadvantage against an effect on you that allowed a saving throw, if you succeed the effect acts as if you had originally made the first saving throw. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the roll to the Saving Throw total. Instead burn an expertise dice and add the roll to the Saving Throw total and you no longer have disadvantage on the Saving Throw.

Immortal
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to a death save. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you add the roll to the death save total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add the roll to the death save total and you also have advantage on the Saving Throw.

Through the Pain
Use an expertise dice when you have 0 or less hit points and you continue to roll death saves with disadvantage however you may act normally on your turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you can add the roll to the Saving Throw total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain advantage on the Death Saving Throw and add the roll to the Save total.

Overextend
Use an expertise dice to increase your reach by 5 feet on your next attack this turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and extend your reach as well as adding the expertise dice roll to your attack roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you can also make opportunity attacks with your extended reach range until the start of your next turn as well as adding the expertise dice roll to your attack rolls.

Keep up the heat
Use an expertise dice as a reaction to move 5 feet closer to an enemy that moves away from you. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you may move up 2.5 feet * your roll (round down). Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you may move up to 5 feet * your roll.

Piercing Assault
Use an expertise dice to deal an additional 1 point of damage to a target that is resistant to your weapon attacks damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll in additional damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to ignore the resistance and deal the roll in additional damage. This maneuver may be taken multiple times, each time it is taken you may use it an additional time on the same target in the same turn.

Feel the pain
Use an expertise dice to deal 1 point of damage to a target that is immune to your weapon on your next attack this round. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal deal the roll in damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal damage as normal plus the roll.

Knowledge of Battle
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any skill check that is related to combat, weapons, armor, or battle. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Impressive Presence
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any check to impress an NPC. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Keen Senses
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any check to see through lies or determine motivations of a non-hostile target. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Disarm
When you hit with an attack and roll 5 higher than needed instead of dealing damage you can use an expertise dice to disarm the target if they are wielding a weapon, magic item, or device. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll in damage or instead of dealing damage knock the weapon 10 feet away in a random direction. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal damage normally plus the roll or instead of dealing damage catch the weapon in a free hand.

Sunder
When you hit with an attack and roll 5 higher than needed instead of dealing damage you can break the targets weapon, deal 1 damage to the weapon. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll as damage to the weapon. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and and deal normal damage to the weapon plus the roll.

Challenge
Use an expertise dice to give an opponent a -1 to attacks for their turn if they don't attack you on their turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to grant a penalty equal to the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to grant a penalty equal to the roll and disadvantage.

Improved Critical
Use an expertise dice to deal a critical hit on a 19 or 20, you may use this after you roll your attack. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding the roll to the dice (before modifiers of any kind) if the total is 20 or more treat the hit as a critical hit. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gaining advantage and adding the roll to both dice (before modifiers of any kind) if the total is 20 or more treat the hit as a critical hit, if both dice are greater than 20 deal double the normal critical damage.

Extreme Opportunity
When you hit with an opportunity attack use an expertise dice to deal an extra 1 point of damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll as damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll plus an extra weapon damage roll as damage.

Disruptive Strike
When you hit with an attack instead of dealing damage your target can't use any maneuvers, stances, features, traits, or spells on their next turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll as damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal damage normally plus the roll, forgo the damage and the target also can't recover from this maneuver unless they take an action to recover.

Feats

Heroic Strain
You know how to take punishment from pushing yourself beyond your limits. When you strain an Expertise Dice instead of taking 1d10 damage you take 1d8 damage.

Heroic Ability
Whenever you use an Expertise Feature to gain a +1 to a roll or grant a -1 penalty to a roll, you instead gain a +2 or grant a -2 penalty.

Expert Attacker
When you use the Multiple Attack maneuver rolls above 19 are considered critical hits.

Improved Expertise Dice
Your Expertise Dice are 1d8's instead of 1d6's.

This is an interesting way to build a Fighter. Several maneuvers are 'always active' and can be taken multiple times for a very simple Fighter that has some pluses here or there. There is even a maneuver that helps out with improvised actions. There are enough maneuvers that a player can recreate most 4E powers if they so desire.

I'll be home brewing a 3.P class (actually 3, Warrior, Hybrid, and Mage) which will allow players to make any current archetype (fighter, paladin, wizard, druid) if done correctly.

Warriors will have Endurance

Mages will have Spells

Hybrids (or Gestalts...need a better name) will have both Endurance and Spells.

But anyways before I get too far off topic...

I think the fighter will be my biggest dissapointment of Next... But then again I might be super surprised. 4e really knocked my socks off when I was sure they weren't going to...

Seerow
2014-04-02, 03:52 PM
I found my post about the fighter, I'm posting it to my blog at www.kelandlokgames.com so I can reference it easier (it took me almost an hour to find it):
This is the Fighter I think we should get:

The Fighter
Attack
Level Bonus Class Features
1 +1 Expertise (2d6), 3 Expertise features
2 +1 Expertise Feature
3 +2 -
4 +2 Expertise Feature
5 +2 Expertise Feature
6 +2 Expertise (3d6)
7 +2 Deadly Strike (roll twice)
8 +3 Expertise Feature
9 +3 Expertise (4d6)
10 +3 Deadly Strike (roll three times)
11 +3 Combat Surge 1/day
12 +3 Expertise Feature
13 +4 Expertise (5d6)
14 +4 Combat Surge 2/day
15 +4 Deadly Strike (roll four times)
16 +4 Expertise Feature
17 +4 Combat Surge 3/day
18 +5 Expertise (6d6)
19 +5 Combat Surge 4/day
20 +5 Deadly Strike (roll five times)

Level 1: Expertise
Benefit: You gain two d6s called Expertise Dice. Certain expertise features use, expend, and burn these d6s. If a feature uses an expertise dice then you regain the use of that dice at the end of your turn. This represents a quick surge of strength or endurance that only takes a few seconds to catch your breath from. If a feature expends an expertise dice then you regain it if you use the recovery action along with any other expertise dice you have expended. This represents an extreme feat of strength like carrying a heavy box and requires a several seconds to catch your breath before you attempt something similar again. If you burn an expertise dice you recover it with a full hour of uninterrupted relaxation where you are not rushed or threatened. During this time the character is assumed to be relaxing, patching wounds, eating snacks or meditating in some way to recover the bodies adrenaline usage. This represents something so stressful on the body that you have to take quite a while to recover your adrenaline and remove the stress on your body. This is something akin to a normal person lifting a car up or wrestling with a polar bear, things that happen but put enormous strain on the body. Fighters are trained to flood their system with adrenaline and take advantage of it and they know the limitations. You gain additional expertise dice as you level up according to the above chart.
A Fighter may strain an expertise dice when it is already used, expended, or burned, but doing so put deadly strain on their bodies. They take 1d10 cumulative damage for each expertise strained in this way +1 point if they expend it or +2 point if they burn it. For instance a 13th level Fighter expends all his expertise dice in a fight. Later he strains an expertise dice and takes 1d10 damage, the next round he decides to strain another expertise dice and takes 2d10 damage. The third round he strains another expertise dice and takes 3d10 damage.
Strained expertise dice recover at the rate of 1 per day and until recovered cannot be used.

Level 1 Expertise Features
Each feature can only be used once per turn unless otherwise specified.

Pick one of the following maneuvers at each level that you gain an Expertise Feature:

Accuracy
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus to your next attack roll. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it as a bonus to attack on your next attack roll. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to all your attacks until the start of your next turn. This maneuver can be chosen multiple times, each time it is chosen an extra expertise dice can be used, expended, or burned on the same attack.

Power Attack
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus to your next damage roll. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to the damage of your next attack. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to all of your damage rolls until the start of your next turn. This maneuver can be chosen multiple times, each time it is chosen an extra expertise dice can be used, expended, or burned on the same attack.

Defense
Use an expertise dice to add a +1 bonus your AC against the next attack roll against you. Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to your AC against the next attack against you. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and adding it to your AC against all attacks against you until the start of your next turn.

Cleave
When you hit a target with an attack you may use one expertise dice to deal Strength modifier damage to an adjacent target that would be hit with your original attack roll. Expend one expertise dice by rolling it to deal it and your Strength modifier as damage instead. Burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal it and full damage from the original attack instead. This can only be used against a single target once per round. You couldn't for instance Expend multiple dice to deal half damage each to the same target.

Reap
When you miss a target you may use an expertise dice to add +1 to your attack roll. If the new total hits you deal Strength modifier damage. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add it to your attack roll if it hits deal Strength modifier damage. Instead Burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add it to your attack roll if it hits deal full weapon damage.

Push
When you hit with an attack you may use an expertise dice to push the target 5 feet back. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to push the target a number of feet equal to the expertise dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded up to the nearest 5 feet) back . Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to push the target a number of feet equal to the expertise dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded up to the nearest 5 feet) back and knock them prone. They must expend an extra 10 feet to stand up from prone on their next round.

Distract
When you hit with an attack you may use an expertise dice to allow an adjacent ally to move 5 feet without provoking opportunity attacks as a reaction. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and the ally can move a number of feet equal to the dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded down) as a reaction without provoking opportunity attacks. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you and an ally can move a number of feet equal to the dice roll * 2.5 feet (rounded down) as a reaction without provoking opportunity attacks.

Spring Attack
If you use an expertise dice the next opportunity attack roll against you recieves a -2. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and the next opportunity attack roll against you receives a penalty equal to the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and the next opportunity attack roll against you receives a penalty equal to the roll and receives disadvantage.

Disabling Strike
When you hit instead of dealing damage you may use an expertise dice to cause your targets move speed to be reduced by 10 feet on their next turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal damage equal to the roll as well as the targets move speed being reduced by 10. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal damage equal to the roll and cause your targets move speed to be reduced by 30.

Toughness
At any time during your turn you may use an expertise dice to reduce the damage you take from blunt, peircing, or slashing damage by 1 point until the end of your turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you reduce the next attack's damage against you by the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce each attacks damage against you by the roll until the start of your next turn.

Leave an Opening
You may use an expertise dice to leave an opening in your defenses that allows an attacker to have a +1 bonus to the attack, however if they attack someone else they take a -1 to the attack. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and they take a penalty equal to the roll to attack a target other than you. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and they take a penalty equal to the roll * 2 to the attack against the other target.

Counter
If a target is attacking you with advantage as a reaction you may grant them a -1 to the attack roll by using an expertise dice. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it, they gain a penalty to the attack roll equal to the expertise dice roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it, they gain a penalty to the attack roll equal to the expertise dice roll and gain disadvantage on it.

Endurance
You may use an expertise dice to gain 1 temporary hit point as a free action. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain the roll in temporary hit points. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain the roll +6 in temporary hit points. You may take this maneuver multiple times. Each time you take it you may use, expend, or burn an extra expertise dice and gain the associated benefit.

Multiple Attacks
You may use any number of expertise dice by rolling them to make an additional attack. Use the expertise dice roll as your attack roll instead of rolling 1d20. Instead expend these expertise dice you may roll them twice and use the total as your attack roll. Instead burn these expertise dice you may roll them three times and use the total as your attack roll. You may do this as many times per round as you want and each target you hit with this you may apply one other maneuver to (even if you have already used that maneuver this turn). For instance a 13th level Fighter might make one attack against one target, then use 2d6 expertise dice against another target and expend 1d6 against a third target (rolling 2d6) and then burn the last 2d6 against a fourth target (rolling 6d6).

Wounding Blow
When you hit with an attack instead of dealing damage you may use an expertise dice to deal 1 point of damage each round on your turn to the target until they take a round to bind the wound, receive healing, or fall unconscious. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you deal the roll in damage each round. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll + Strength modifier in damage per round.

Found an Opening
If an opponent you hit on your turn attacks someone other than you, use an expertise dice to make an opportunity attack as a reaction against them and if you hit deal Strength modifier damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you make the opportunity attack and if you hit deal the roll + Strength modifier damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you make the opportunity attack and if you hit deal the roll + Strength modifier + weapon damage.

Fast Reaction
When rolling initiative you may use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to the roll. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the initiative roll total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the initiative roll and add the expertise dice roll to the initiative roll total.

Masterful Reflexes
When rolling a saving throw you may use an expertise dice to add +1 to your roll as a reaction. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the Saving Throw roll total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the Saving Throw roll and add the expertise dice roll to the Saving Throw roll total.

Feats of Power
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any Strength based skill check. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to gain the expertise dice roll to the Strength based skill check total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the check and add the expertise dice roll to the check total.

Feats of Endurance
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any Constitution based skill check. Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to gain the expertise dice roll to the check total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gain advantage on the check and add the expertise dice roll to the check total.

Expert Improvisation
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to any improvised action in combat (this bonus is to all rolls that have to do with the improvised action). Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the improvised checks. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add the expertise dice roll to the improvised checks which now have advantage.

Break Defenses
Use an expertise dice when you hit a target to reduce their AC by -1 until the end of your next turn (Multiple uses do not stack). Instead Expend an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce their AC by the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to reduce their AC by the roll and grant the next attack against them advantage.

Speed
Use an expertise dice when moving to move an extra 5 feet. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to move an extra 5 feet * the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to move an extra 5 feet * the roll while not provoking opportunity attacks.

Manipulate
When you hit a target with an attack that is one size category larger than you or smaller and beat their AC by 5 or more you may choose to forgo damage and use an expertise dice to force or manipulate them to move 5 feet in a direction of their choosing. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and they move 2.5 feet * the roll (round down). Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and they move 2.5 feet * the roll (round down) and you deal damage as normal.

Misdirection
Use an expertise dice when you hit with an attack to draw something out of your pack, pocket, or pouch without provoking an opportunity attack. Expend an expertise dice instead to draw and use the item. Burn an expertise dice instead to draw, use, and stow the item. (for instance you can draw a potion out of a bag, drink it, and put the bottle away if you burn an expertise dice).

Overpower
Use an expertise dice to force an additional saving throw at disadvantage against an effect on you that allowed a saving throw, if you succeed the effect acts as if you had originally made the first saving throw. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and add the roll to the Saving Throw total. Instead burn an expertise dice and add the roll to the Saving Throw total and you no longer have disadvantage on the Saving Throw.

Immortal
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 to a death save. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you add the roll to the death save total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and add the roll to the death save total and you also have advantage on the Saving Throw.

Through the Pain
Use an expertise dice when you have 0 or less hit points and you continue to roll death saves with disadvantage however you may act normally on your turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you can add the roll to the Saving Throw total. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you gain advantage on the Death Saving Throw and add the roll to the Save total.

Overextend
Use an expertise dice to increase your reach by 5 feet on your next attack this turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and extend your reach as well as adding the expertise dice roll to your attack roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you can also make opportunity attacks with your extended reach range until the start of your next turn as well as adding the expertise dice roll to your attack rolls.

Keep up the heat
Use an expertise dice as a reaction to move 5 feet closer to an enemy that moves away from you. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and you may move up 2.5 feet * your roll (round down). Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and you may move up to 5 feet * your roll.

Piercing Assault
Use an expertise dice to deal an additional 1 point of damage to a target that is resistant to your weapon attacks damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll in additional damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to ignore the resistance and deal the roll in additional damage. This maneuver may be taken multiple times, each time it is taken you may use it an additional time on the same target in the same turn.

Feel the pain
Use an expertise dice to deal 1 point of damage to a target that is immune to your weapon on your next attack this round. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal deal the roll in damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal damage as normal plus the roll.

Knowledge of Battle
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any skill check that is related to combat, weapons, armor, or battle. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Impressive Presence
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any check to impress an NPC. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Keen Senses
Use an expertise dice to gain a +1 bonus to any check to see through lies or determine motivations of a non-hostile target. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to add the roll to the check and gain advantage.

Disarm
When you hit with an attack and roll 5 higher than needed instead of dealing damage you can use an expertise dice to disarm the target if they are wielding a weapon, magic item, or device. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll in damage or instead of dealing damage knock the weapon 10 feet away in a random direction. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal damage normally plus the roll or instead of dealing damage catch the weapon in a free hand.

Sunder
When you hit with an attack and roll 5 higher than needed instead of dealing damage you can break the targets weapon, deal 1 damage to the weapon. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll as damage to the weapon. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and and deal normal damage to the weapon plus the roll.

Challenge
Use an expertise dice to give an opponent a -1 to attacks for their turn if they don't attack you on their turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to grant a penalty equal to the roll. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to grant a penalty equal to the roll and disadvantage.

Improved Critical
Use an expertise dice to deal a critical hit on a 19 or 20, you may use this after you roll your attack. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and adding the roll to the dice (before modifiers of any kind) if the total is 20 or more treat the hit as a critical hit. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and gaining advantage and adding the roll to both dice (before modifiers of any kind) if the total is 20 or more treat the hit as a critical hit, if both dice are greater than 20 deal double the normal critical damage.

Extreme Opportunity
When you hit with an opportunity attack use an expertise dice to deal an extra 1 point of damage. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll as damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it to deal the roll plus an extra weapon damage roll as damage.

Disruptive Strike
When you hit with an attack instead of dealing damage your target can't use any maneuvers, stances, features, traits, or spells on their next turn. Instead expend an expertise dice by rolling it and deal the roll as damage. Instead burn an expertise dice by rolling it and deal damage normally plus the roll, forgo the damage and the target also can't recover from this maneuver unless they take an action to recover.

Feats

Heroic Strain
You know how to take punishment from pushing yourself beyond your limits. When you strain an Expertise Dice instead of taking 1d10 damage you take 1d8 damage.

Heroic Ability
Whenever you use an Expertise Feature to gain a +1 to a roll or grant a -1 penalty to a roll, you instead gain a +2 or grant a -2 penalty.

Expert Attacker
When you use the Multiple Attack maneuver rolls above 19 are considered critical hits.

Improved Expertise Dice
Your Expertise Dice are 1d8's instead of 1d6's.

This is an interesting way to build a Fighter. Several maneuvers are 'always active' and can be taken multiple times for a very simple Fighter that has some pluses here or there. There is even a maneuver that helps out with improvised actions. There are enough maneuvers that a player can recreate most 4E powers if they so desire.

I remember that discussion. You may remember I was making proposals around the same time using a similar mechanic, but instead of having completely different uses for when you burn, you could push yourself to double the number of dice you had available for one turn, but lose one die from your pool for the rest of the encounter. You could also push yourself to triple the number of dice for one turn, losing one die from the pool for the rest of the day. So as you leveled up and got more dice, a 1st level daily power (requiring 3 dice) would become an Encounter power by the time you hit level 4 (and had 2 dice), and would become an at-will ability by level 7 (at the time you had 3 dice). Making a more natural feeling of progression as you gained power.

Lokiare
2014-04-02, 03:53 PM
I'll be home brewing a 3.P class (actually 3, Warrior, Hybrid, and Mage) which will allow players to make any current archetype (fighter, paladin, wizard, druid) if done correctly.

Warriors will have Endurance

Mages will have Spells

Hybrids (or Gestalts...need a better name) will have both Endurance and Spells.

But anyways before I get too far off topic...

I think the fighter will be my biggest dissapointment of Next... But then again I might be super surprised. 4e really knocked my socks off when I was sure they weren't going to...

Sure, go ahead and use the 'use' and 'expend' idea, just note that you got it from Lokiare if you can. Thanks.

I feel the same way. I have serious doubts about 5E.

Lokiare
2014-04-02, 03:54 PM
I remember that discussion. You may remember I was making proposals around the same time using a similar mechanic, but instead of having completely different uses for when you burn, you could push yourself to double the number of dice you had available for one turn, but lose one die from your pool for the rest of the encounter. You could also push yourself to triple the number of dice for one turn, losing one die from the pool for the rest of the day. So as you leveled up and got more dice, a 1st level daily power (requiring 3 dice) would become an Encounter power by the time you hit level 4 (and had 2 dice), and would become an at-will ability by level 7 (at the time you had 3 dice). Making a more natural feeling of progression as you gained power.

It's been awhile. I don't remember much about it (10 months ago). Your idea would be workable too, though a little on the complicated side. It wouldn't matter how complicated it is though as long as their is a simple fighter option.

Joe the Rat
2014-04-02, 04:19 PM
It wouldn't matter how complicated it is though as long as their is a simple fighter option.
I really wish more people would remember that. All of these things are options. Not even Default vs. Variant options, but Option A vs. Option B choices. A big driver in their design concept was to provide options. Feats OR Stats. Assassin OR Thief. Prepackaged Backpacks vs. A La Carte. Battle Master Fighter is an extension of the Weapon Master concept from the playtest, who was sitting there alongside Vanilla Warrior Fighter. Every time a new idea is brought up, there's a round of "Oh, that's different and it makes my brain hurt", or "Oh that makes things too simple and I don't want to use that make it go away before I start losing IQ points looking at it."

Well, something slightly less melodramatic than that. Slightly.

They're talking about running this with a Short Rest Refresh. You can do a lot with Short Rest Refresh ability pools. Warlocks have an entire (limited) spell slot system on SRR. Tier up the maneuvers. Require levels, or multiple dice for activation of the "stronger" ones. You could totally do "I Can't Believe It's Not Psionics" power point superiority dice pool mechanics, required manifester initiator Fighter levels, and go to town.

But getting that complex might make Monks feel bad about their ki. Fighter isn't supposed to make other classes feel bad. because Fighter is the default.

Seerow
2014-04-02, 04:49 PM
Not even Default vs. Variant options, but Option A vs. Option B choices.

I somewhat disagree with this. There is a power in saying "This is the default". I know a lot of people who are highly resistant to using ACFs/Archtypes/Racial Sub Levels, and other similar methods of swapping out abilities. They tend to think of them as cheesy/munchkinny. It doesn't matter that the class has a totally awesome option that would make them love it, the fact that it's not the default makes them ignore it completely.

On the other extreme, making the class completely open with no default means that a player has to read through every option available to make a choice, dramatically slowing down the character creation process, and being generally annoying for anyone who doesn't want to read through lots of different variants to build their character.




There's also the fact that we already have classes with resources set in stone that can't be switched out. A Wizard doesn't choose a path that grants him his spell slots. Every Wizard has spells per day, and they then have options to layer on top of that. When you bury the "Complex Fighter" in the clutter, and make it a variant, or one option among many, then what ends up happening is psychologically people decide the complex fighter isn't as important. It's only a minor component of the class. So when trying to add new material to the class, you get new fighter ACFs, or new fighter feats. Meanwhile the "Complex" fighter languishes never getting new options because it's just a minor aspect of the class, and the Wizard is getting 30-50 new spells in every splat book, widening the gulf in option disparity with every publication.

Ultimately, the "simple" version needs to either be its own class, or the ability to just ignore the complex mechanics and do fine. For example, if the Fighter HAS to be the simple class, then I'm fine with that, as long as we get a core class that has more options and capabilities, with room for growth at its core. I'm also fine with the Fighter getting his expertise/superiority dice and abilities that use it as a baseline, with different options affecting how they're used.

Which is why I think the idea I proposed works best, it's inherently modular. If you don't want to deal with encounter/daily abilities, you pick up abilities that work within your base dice alotment and never have to worry about it. You want something even simpler, take an ability that lets you convert the expertise dice to damage, ignore the other abilities (or possibly add in some form of specialization, so someone could heavily focus on one maneuver if desired. So now that super-focused damage fighter is adding 7d12+14 damage per round instead of the 5d6 a less focused fighter is doing.)

Speaking of:

My instinct remains that, while expertise is a good mechanic, you can't have "More Attack Bonus" or "Greater Damage Bonus" be expertise die options, or else people are going to have to choose between being better or doing interesting things, and that is a bad choice.


I disagree on this point. You'll note that in Tome of Battle and 4e both you have maneuvers/exploits that deal increased damage alongside maneuvers that do other things. People frequently pick up the things that do other things, and often even consider them superior. It's a narrow line to walk on balancing it, because whatever other thing you get instead of damage has to be on par with or better than bringing the enemy closer to dead, but it is one that has been proven to work in the past.

Lokiare
2014-04-03, 12:01 AM
I somewhat disagree with this. There is a power in saying "This is the default". I know a lot of people who are highly resistant to using ACFs/Archtypes/Racial Sub Levels, and other similar methods of swapping out abilities. They tend to think of them as cheesy/munchkinny. It doesn't matter that the class has a totally awesome option that would make them love it, the fact that it's not the default makes them ignore it completely.

On the other extreme, making the class completely open with no default means that a player has to read through every option available to make a choice, dramatically slowing down the character creation process, and being generally annoying for anyone who doesn't want to read through lots of different variants to build their character.




There's also the fact that we already have classes with resources set in stone that can't be switched out. A Wizard doesn't choose a path that grants him his spell slots. Every Wizard has spells per day, and they then have options to layer on top of that. When you bury the "Complex Fighter" in the clutter, and make it a variant, or one option among many, then what ends up happening is psychologically people decide the complex fighter isn't as important. It's only a minor component of the class. So when trying to add new material to the class, you get new fighter ACFs, or new fighter feats. Meanwhile the "Complex" fighter languishes never getting new options because it's just a minor aspect of the class, and the Wizard is getting 30-50 new spells in every splat book, widening the gulf in option disparity with every publication.

Ultimately, the "simple" version needs to either be its own class, or the ability to just ignore the complex mechanics and do fine. For example, if the Fighter HAS to be the simple class, then I'm fine with that, as long as we get a core class that has more options and capabilities, with room for growth at its core. I'm also fine with the Fighter getting his expertise/superiority dice and abilities that use it as a baseline, with different options affecting how they're used.

Which is why I think the idea I proposed works best, it's inherently modular. If you don't want to deal with encounter/daily abilities, you pick up abilities that work within your base dice alotment and never have to worry about it. You want something even simpler, take an ability that lets you convert the expertise dice to damage, ignore the other abilities (or possibly add in some form of specialization, so someone could heavily focus on one maneuver if desired. So now that super-focused damage fighter is adding 7d12+14 damage per round instead of the 5d6 a less focused fighter is doing.)

Speaking of:


I disagree on this point. You'll note that in Tome of Battle and 4e both you have maneuvers/exploits that deal increased damage alongside maneuvers that do other things. People frequently pick up the things that do other things, and often even consider them superior. It's a narrow line to walk on balancing it, because whatever other thing you get instead of damage has to be on par with or better than bringing the enemy closer to dead, but it is one that has been proven to work in the past.

The difference is in 4E enemies had enough hit points to make it worth causing a condition or moving them to a more advantageous position and losing a little bit of damage. In both 3.5E and 5E enemies (and allies) don't have enough hit points to make it worthwhile to do a condition instead of damage. I mean with prone being equal to -10' move speed, there is literally no advantage knocking an enemy prone. In 4E a well timed prone prevents the target from attacking (because they have to give up their move action to stand up and then convert their standard action into another move action to close the distance). In 3.5E ToB, I think they allowed the characters to deal normal damage along side doing a special effect (I could be wrong I only played with ToB for a few months and never really had a player use it).

Regardless dealing extra damage in 5E is a means of ending combat as quick as possible and because of the swinginess of the numbers involved ending combat the fastest (before you get critted or fail and save and die outright) is the best option so it outshines any other option, unless you try to 'roleplay' in the sense that its somehow roleplaying to give up a mechanical advantage for an in game story reason (which is nonsense as the character would know its not the most efficient thing to do after doing it a few times).

This is just one of the many reasons 5E appears to not be for me. I might play it in a one off for nostalgia purposes, but then again I might just dust off some 2E books and go play that instead.

Morty
2014-04-03, 02:05 PM
It's my opinion that non-damaging conditions should be more strongly integrated with the basic combat system, instead of only being invoked by spells or rare special moves. Instead of just doing as much damage as possible, combat could be about trying to get advantage, one way or another, so you can deal a decisive blow.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-03, 02:50 PM
It's my opinion that non-damaging conditions should be more strongly integrated with the basic combat system, instead of only being invoked by spells or rare special moves. Instead of just doing as much damage as possible, combat could be about trying to get advantage, one way or another, so you can deal a decisive blow.

But when 0 HP is the ultimate condition (because it is the Win button) all other conditions don't matter for the most part :/.

Dropping an enemy to 0 HP doesn't mean you kill them, you can just as well knock them out.

So damage is the ultimate way of getting advantage of the situation because the game is about murder hobos.

But I do like the idea of a system where of my fighter punches someone in the gut super hard he can send him through a wall which knocks out the enemy instead having to swing a weapon every time or whatever.

At low fantasy damage is king, at mid to high fantasy... Damage may be king but other things may be able to dethrone it*.

(* which is what I'm working on)

Morty
2014-04-03, 04:52 PM
If the combat system works like it does now, yes. Making sacrificing damage in favour of other effects relevant would require rethinking it.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-03, 05:39 PM
If the combat system works like it does now, yes. Making sacrificing damage in favour of other effects relevant would require rethinking it.

Which is what I'm working on :)

Knaight
2014-04-03, 05:51 PM
But when 0 HP is the ultimate condition (because it is the Win button) all other conditions don't matter for the most part :/.
If they change future damage, they suddenly matter again. Lets say that there is a maneuver that lets you hit a target on the ground for additional damage, or ignore part of their armor and thus be more likely to hit (both of which make a fair bit of sense). Suddenly, tripping is instantly valuable, even if it didn't already have the movement effects which affected future damage. Similarly, 3.x has shown quite thoroughly how important the action economy is - a condition that causes action loss is incredible, and quite often worth forgoing all of your damage for (e.g. when outnumbering the opponent.).

Let me use an analogy to sparring. Say that I've got a sword (no shield), and my opponent has a spear. I have two options: There's the damage option, wherein I briefly slip past the spear in a lunge to hit once. Then there's the maneuvering option, wherein I get well inside good spear reach and quite possibly grab my opponent. That second one is really promising, particularly with the grab - If they've got a backup weapon I've now switched the fight to something other than sword against spear, which is progress - and that assumes that they manage to access it. If they don't, I can now spend the rest of the fight at a major advantage, far more likely to hit and hit well and far less likely to get hit, unless they manage to regain distance. Again, progress. Meanwhile, the damage option results in an injured guy who's still in a pretty good position to stab me, particularly if I don't recover from the lunge fast enough.

Or, to use a shorter option from the perspective of the guy with the spear - I'd much rather take a glancing blow than have someone grab my spear*, particularly if I've got enough armor that said blow is a bruise. Having your spear grabbed is seriously bad news, up there with sufficient leg damage to prevent proper walking when fighting someone with a substantially longer weapon.

*Admittedly, this isn't nearly as big of an issue as it is often presented as, as grabbing spears isn't exactly easy, and is frequently substantially more difficult than taking the sharp parts of said spear to the hand trying to grab it.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-03, 06:00 PM
If they change future damage, they suddenly matter again. Lets say that there is a maneuver that lets you hit a target on the ground for additional damage, or ignore part of their armor and thus be more likely to hit (both of which make a fair bit of sense). Suddenly, tripping is instantly valuable, even if it didn't already have the movement effects which affected future damage. Similarly, 3.x has shown quite thoroughly how important the action economy is - a condition that causes action loss is incredible, and quite often worth forgoing all of your damage for (e.g. when outnumbering the opponent.).

Let me use an analogy to sparring. Say that I've got a sword (no shield), and my opponent has a spear. I have two options: There's the damage option, wherein I briefly slip past the spear in a lunge to hit once. Then there's the maneuvering option, wherein I get well inside good spear reach and quite possibly grab my opponent. That second one is really promising, particularly with the grab - If they've got a backup weapon I've now switched the fight to something other than sword against spear, which is progress - and that assumes that they manage to access it. If they don't, I can now spend the rest of the fight at a major advantage, far more likely to hit and hit well and far less likely to get hit, unless they manage to regain distance. Again, progress. Meanwhile, the damage option results in an injured guy who's still in a pretty good position to stab me, particularly if I don't recover from the lunge fast enough.

Or, to use a shorter option from the perspective of the guy with the spear - I'd much rather take a glancing blow than have someone grab my spear*, particularly if I've got enough armor that said blow is a bruise. Having your spear grabbed is seriously bad news, up there with sufficient leg damage to prevent proper walking when fighting someone with a substantially longer weapon.

*Admittedly, this isn't nearly as big of an issue as it is often presented as, as grabbing spears isn't exactly easy, and is frequently substantially more difficult than taking the sharp parts of said spear to the hand trying to grab it.

Well Celtic warriors were said to have walked on spears ... And that was a long fricken time ago so grabbing a spear should be easily doable in a fantasy game.

Knaight
2014-04-03, 06:53 PM
grabbing a spear should be easily doable in a fantasy game.

This seems questionable, at least as a general principle. From a realism perspective, grabbing a spear used by a competent enemy is quite difficult, unless you area already in range. However, the other big perspective is one of PC coolness (deliberately emphasized in lots of games), and this gets messy depending on who's involved. If you're the guy with a sword, grabbing spears easily is pretty excellent. If you're the guy with the spear, every mook somehow being able to grab it is just obnoxious. Then there's the cinematic perspective - a major character grabbing a spear can easily be cinematic, but so can someone with a spear managing to keep it under their control and doing what they want even in situations where it should be pretty easy for their enemies to get ahold of it.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-03, 10:28 PM
This seems questionable, at least as a general principle. From a realism perspective, grabbing a spear used by a competent enemy is quite difficult, unless you area already in range. However, the other big perspective is one of PC coolness (deliberately emphasized in lots of games), and this gets messy depending on who's involved. If you're the guy with a sword, grabbing spears easily is pretty excellent. If you're the guy with the spear, every mook somehow being able to grab it is just obnoxious. Then there's the cinematic perspective - a major character grabbing a spear can easily be cinematic, but so can someone with a spear managing to keep it under their control and doing what they want even in situations where it should be pretty easy for their enemies to get ahold of it.

D&D is NOT a simulation game, it is a fantasy game.

If all the people want to cry foul about this then they need to start playing all casters as rogues who charm and use sleight of hand and such to do fake magic. Get some stage wire to use the spell fly.

People need to stop being so hypocritical about realism. You want realism? Get rid of the magic and dragons and such from D&D or play a different game. D&D is not a realism game no matter what people say... Because magic, dragons, and a whole crap tonne of stuff isn't realistic in the slightest.

Not all monsters would be trained to grab that spear but by damn a heroic fighter or monk or whatever should be able to. Hell... A PC Fighter should be able to grab the great club of a storm giant and take it from him. Why? Because this is a fantasy game and they should let the non casters be fantasy.

Why is the non-casters limited to what real life when casters are not?

Morty
2014-04-04, 03:03 AM
What people need to do is stop dragging every argument down to the "Why do you hate non-casters?" strawman as soon as they see the word "realistic" used in any context.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-04, 05:28 AM
tle need to do is stop dragging every argument down to the "Why do you hate non-casters?" strawman as soon as they see the word "realistic" used in any context.

But when the argument becomes "you can't do that because it isn't realistic" that is what it becomes.

Non-casters get shafted because of realism while casters get to spank realism. How is that fair?

Not once have I heard anything remotely to "oh, mages can't cast magic missile because it isn't realistic" or even "paladins can't smite eveil because it isn't realistic".

But hey, give a non caster something awesome that brings them into low, mid, or high fantasy? Then realism is such an important factor in the game.

Even something like catching a spear has been deemed unrealistic... How much more pathetic do we have to make non-casters if they can't even be allowed to do something like that?

But hey, let's make a spell " spear catcher" that allows you to use the feat "catch arrows/deflect arrows" on polearms and arrows! Because then if we do that it will be realistic why someone can grab a spear.
Note: weapon grabbber is totally becoming a maneuver. Let it work on natural weapons like a bite... The fighter grabs the monster by the mouth / teeth/ jaw... Pretty cool.

Morty
2014-04-04, 05:41 AM
The only one who mentioned casters in this thread was you. Nobody said that spear-catching shouldn't be possible at all because it's not realistic. Knaight brought up a few points about why it's not as easy as saying "totally doable because it's a fantasy game", only one of which was grounded in realism. It has nothing whatsoever to do with caster/non-caster balance. The discussion is about combat between people using conventional melee weapons. Realism is a factor in such a situation, if only as a baseline from which we deviate. Crying "but casteeeeers" brings nothing valuable to the discussion. Imbalance is a fact. It should not eclipse every other consideration.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-04, 06:48 AM
The only one who mentioned casters in this thread was you. Nobody said that spear-catching shouldn't be possible at all because it's not realistic. Knaight brought up a few points about why it's not as easy as saying "totally doable because it's a fantasy game", only one of which was grounded in realism. It has nothing whatsoever to do with caster/non-caster balance. The discussion is about combat between people using conventional melee weapons. Realism is a factor in such a situation, if only as a baseline from which we deviate. Crying "but casteeeeers" brings nothing valuable to the discussion. Imbalance is a fact. It should not eclipse every other consideration.

It isn't about balance between casters and non-casters. I don't give two craps about caster - non-casters PC balance.

It is about brining non-casters into mid to high level fantasy where casters and monsters get to play.

But when realism is brought up you hinder that class. When you even entertain realism you hurt that class. I referenced casters and dragons because realism is never brought up when discussing them.

So less about balance and more about using the same formula when creating classes. Balance will be a by product that won't matter if every class has interesting and fantastic abilities. Since you know... D&D Is a fantasy game and not a simulation game.

Morty
2014-04-04, 09:31 AM
If you turn realism into some sort of bogeyman that you need to steer clear of lest you make non-magical characters too weak, you basically abandon all hope of making a good combat system. Like I said, which you seem to have ignored, there's no escaping it. You need to ascertain whether something is realistic or not, if only to decide when, how and if you deviate from realism. A heroic warrior may be able to snatch a spear mid-air. A low-level adventurer or a random NPC schmuck won't. And it's important, because it has a big impact on the interactions between different combat styles - if it's easy to grab a wielded spear by the shaft because the game isn't meant to be realistic, it's a big disadvantage to spear-wielders. It's something that needs to be considered in a wider context, instead of crying "REALISM BAD!" the way you did.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-04, 10:23 AM
If you turn realism into some sort of bogeyman that you need to steer clear of lest you make non-magical characters too weak, you basically abandon all hope of making a good combat system. Like I said, which you seem to have ignored, there's no escaping it. You need to ascertain whether something is realistic or not, if only to decide when, how and if you deviate from realism. A heroic warrior may be able to snatch a spear mid-air. A low-level adventurer or a random NPC schmuck won't. And it's important, because it has a big impact on the interactions between different combat styles - if it's easy to grab a wielded spear by the shaft because the game isn't meant to be realistic, it's a big disadvantage to spear-wielders. It's something that needs to be considered in a wider context, instead of crying "REALISM BAD!" the way you did.

Realism isn't bad for a narrative but when you guage part of a game (non caster PCs) on realism and then not the rest... Then yes realism is horrible. Because you aren't using realism on everything but cherry picking what is and what isn't realistic.

Get everything on the same page.

If you play with "a wizard did it" then you should play with "he/she is just that damn good".

Playing with "a wizard did it" Casters and "suck it that isn't realistic" Non-casters then you have a major major problem.

I'm not sure why people can't handle the idea of non-casters being mid to high fantasy. Is it an imagination problem?

I'm not asking to get rid of the classic 3.5 tier 1 caster. I love me some planar shepard druid... But when I play a non-caster I should be able to play a higher fantasy level than LotR when I'm playing a fantasy game.

Doug Lampert
2014-04-04, 10:53 AM
D&D is NOT a simulation game, it is a fantasy game.

If all the people want to cry foul about this then they need to start playing all casters as rogues who charm and use sleight of hand and such to do fake magic. Get some stage wire to use the spell fly.

People need to stop being so hypocritical about realism. You want realism? Get rid of the magic and dragons and such from D&D or play a different game. D&D is not a realism game no matter what people say... Because magic, dragons, and a whole crap tonne of stuff isn't realistic in the slightest.

Not all monsters would be trained to grab that spear but by damn a heroic fighter or monk or whatever should be able to. Hell... A PC Fighter should be able to grab the great club of a storm giant and take it from him. Why? Because this is a fantasy game and they should let the non casters be fantasy.

Why is the non-casters limited to what real life when casters are not?

I want my realistic fighter. He has a sword, good physical abilities, and years of training, if a guy spends six seconds next to him chanting and waving his hands through such delicate motions that wearing even light armor will interfere with him, he is DEAD, not an opportunity attack, not he takes some damage, dead, dead, dead, and he stays dead because that's what realistically happens to someone who's been gutted like a fish.

If hand wavy guy tries to step back a few feat and then starts waiving his hands, he still dies, not I get a roll to interrupt or can waste my 6 seconds getting ready for this, he's simply dead. No armor, six seconds, still in easy range of a lunge.

If hand wavy guy has bat guano and sulfur and chants his words very carefully from a very great distance, just what does this do to realistic fighter guy? Not much actually. Even if by some "magic" it creates a brief burst of fire, I'm in plate armor over thick pads, you'd be hard pressed to design noticeably better fire protection without modern materials, a brief burst of flame that doesn't ignite much in the area won't accomplish anything unless it's so hot it melts eyeballs or sears the inside of the lungs, which aren't things this "magic" fire is alleged to do.

If we're going to have realistic fighters, let's have realistic fighters. They can survive things like brief bursts of flame and have pretty good protective gear, they can kill things they get close to with weapons. If I can't have my realistic fighter, then don't tell me the fantasy hero I can have can't grab a spear because it's too hard in real life.

In real life I won't even try to grab the spear if I'm armed, because if I can get my bare hand past the spear-head I could probably have just stabbed spear guy more easily or at least cut his arm more easily. It's unrealism already in the system that makes this stupid waste of time a possibly good move, because "just stab him" doesn't work nearly as well as it would in a realistic system. Don't unrealistically nerf things a fighter should do and then claim realism to stop things to give him something useful to do. Either let him be realistically powerful, or unrealistically powerful, but pick at least one of those options for an alleged fantasy hero.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-04, 11:12 AM
I want my realistic fighter. He has a sword, good physical abilities, and years of training, if a guy spends six seconds next to him chanting and waving his hands through such delicate motions that wearing even light armor will interfere with him, he is DEAD, not an opportunity attack, not he takes some damage, dead, dead, dead, and he stays dead because that's what realistically happens to someone who's been gutted like a fish.

If hand wavy guy tries to step back a few feat and then starts waiving his hands, he still dies, not I get a roll to interrupt or can waste my 6 seconds getting ready for this, he's simply dead. No armor, six seconds, still in easy range of a lunge.

If hand wavy guy has bat guano and sulfur and chants his words very carefully from a very great distance, just what does this do to realistic fighter guy? Not much actually. Even if by some "magic" it creates a brief burst of fire, I'm in plate armor over thick pads, you'd be hard pressed to design noticeably better fire protection without modern materials, a brief burst of flame that doesn't ignite much in the area won't accomplish anything unless it's so hot it melts eyeballs or sears the inside of the lungs, which aren't things this "magic" fire is alleged to do.

If we're going to have realistic fighters, let's have realistic fighters. They can survive things like brief bursts of flame and have pretty good protective gear, they can kill things they get close to with weapons. If I can't have my realistic fighter, then don't tell me the fantasy hero I can have can't grab a spear because it's too hard in real life.

In real life I won't even try to grab the spear if I'm armed, because if I can get my bare hand past the spear-head I could probably have just stabbed spear guy more easily or at least cut his arm more easily. It's unrealism already in the system that makes this stupid waste of time a possibly good move, because "just stab him" doesn't work nearly as well as it would in a realistic system. Don't unrealistically nerf things a fighter should do and then claim realism to stop things to give him something useful to do. Either let him be realistically powerful, or unrealistically powerful, but pick at least one of those options for an alleged fantasy hero.

Well the problem with how realistic abilities can be and how realistic mechanics are... Is separate issues that are connected by the game.

Better mechanics would be fantastic. Allowing each player to determine if they want a more realistic or more fantastic mechanics could be an interesting approach to the game. It would also be a cool way to make the same fighter feel different.

Heck if we are really going for realism then the armor system needs changed. I'm not even talking about AC (though the explanation needs to be better). Plate Mail (a la Joan of Arc) is easier to move around and has a better range of motion than chain shirts... But not in D&D haha.

Edit: My quote function sometimes does weird stuff. I'll be typing and then it will randomly send me up to the top and I'll be typing in the quoted area... Annoying...

Lokiare
2014-04-04, 01:29 PM
D&D is NOT a simulation game, it is a fantasy game.

If all the people want to cry foul about this then they need to start playing all casters as rogues who charm and use sleight of hand and such to do fake magic. Get some stage wire to use the spell fly.

People need to stop being so hypocritical about realism. You want realism? Get rid of the magic and dragons and such from D&D or play a different game. D&D is not a realism game no matter what people say... Because magic, dragons, and a whole crap tonne of stuff isn't realistic in the slightest.

Not all monsters would be trained to grab that spear but by damn a heroic fighter or monk or whatever should be able to. Hell... A PC Fighter should be able to grab the great club of a storm giant and take it from him. Why? Because this is a fantasy game and they should let the non casters be fantasy.

Why is the non-casters limited to what real life when casters are not?

This falls to the different kinds of fun that people have. People that like a consistent fantasy world like to have everything as close to the baseline of reality as possible. Through exposure to literature and movies and older editions magic has been accepted as 'normal' even though its nothing close to normal. In real life people that believe they practice magic take days to cast a simple 'glamour' spell and it usually takes bloodletting and extreme concentration. So you are all correct. D&D is not realistic.

However, fighting is not anywhere near realistic either. There are a number of attack types for each weapon usually named that are countered by an equal number of moves with names. For combat to be realistic you would have to do something like this:

Player "I feint to the lower left on the goblin with a jab, then quickly spin and slice toward the right side of its neck"
DM "Ok, a quick jab is equal to 1/3 of your action, so you have 2/3 left for the spin and slice so you get a -4 to damage, but gain a +2 to attack for the feint. The goblin however made his perception roll so he lightly knocks your jab away and brings his short sword up to block the slice gaining a +1 to his AC against this attack."
Player "Good, now that his weapon is in the upper right portion of his body I'm going to kick the knee on my left using my second attack and I get a +3 because his weapon is too far away to react."

etc...etc... that's what they could do for fighting and non-casters. They won't though. They have this weird aversion to making fighters even remotely complex.

Morty
2014-04-04, 01:51 PM
Realism isn't bad for a narrative but when you guage part of a game (non caster PCs) on realism and then not the rest... Then yes realism is horrible. Because you aren't using realism on everything but cherry picking what is and what isn't realistic.

Get everything on the same page.

If you play with "a wizard did it" then you should play with "he/she is just that damn good".

Playing with "a wizard did it" Casters and "suck it that isn't realistic" Non-casters then you have a major major problem.

I'm not sure why people can't handle the idea of non-casters being mid to high fantasy. Is it an imagination problem?

I'm not asking to get rid of the classic 3.5 tier 1 caster. I love me some planar shepard druid... But when I play a non-caster I should be able to play a higher fantasy level than LotR when I'm playing a fantasy game.

I believe I've already used the word "strawman". I'm going to use it again, because your line of argumentation, especially the bolded paragraph, is a textbook case of one. You're equating people who want the non-magical weapon combat system to be grounded in realism with some ill-defined people who want warriors to be one hundred percent realistic. This is false. Neither I nor anyone else in this thread have called for keeping non-magical characters within what's realistically possible. So stop arguing against a point nobody has made. If anyone has an imagination problem, it's you - you can't seem to grasp the concept of a mid-to-high fantasy combat model that still flows from real-world fighting techniques and the way they interact. A warrior who is good enough and quick enough to grab a spear being wielded by a somewhat competent opponent still has better things to do with their time and momentum, things that are easier, less risky and also capable of seizing the advantage.

Mewtarthio
2014-04-04, 03:23 PM
@SpawnOfMorbo:

It's not about how constrained Fighters are relative to real-world humans; it's ultimately about aesthetics. You need to know how you want fights to look before you design mechanics to encourage that. Even if someone says they want a fairly realistic aesthetic, that doesn't mean they want Fighters to be bound by the laws of physics and biology while Wizards get a free pass. That just means they want Fighters to look realistic, and Wizards to have enough limits on their power that Fighters don't get overshadowed. Or maybe they don't give a fig about the laws of physics: Maybe it's just about verisimilitude. Maybe, even if you're an over-the-top badass who can run up the side of the Empire State Building in a thunderstorm and dodge every raindrop on the way, there is no reason to grab an enemy's spear in a duel, so a spear-grabbing mechanic just ruins the aesthetic for people who've studied combat.

Bear in mind, Fighter/Caster disparity ruins the aesthetic. If someone cares that much about how Fighters look when fighting, then they want to see Fighters fighting. If Wizards are overpowered, they don't get to see Fighters fighting: They get to see Fighters dying in droves while invincible demigods drop chemical weapons on them from above.

EDIT:

However, fighting is not anywhere near realistic either. There are a number of attack types for each weapon usually named that are countered by an equal number of moves with names. For combat to be realistic you would have to do something like this:

Player "I feint to the lower left on the goblin with a jab, then quickly spin and slice toward the right side of its neck"
DM "Ok, a quick jab is equal to 1/3 of your action, so you have 2/3 left for the spin and slice so you get a -4 to damage, but gain a +2 to attack for the feint. The goblin however made his perception roll so he lightly knocks your jab away and brings his short sword up to block the slice gaining a +1 to his AC against this attack."
Player "Good, now that his weapon is in the upper right portion of his body I'm going to kick the knee on my left using my second attack and I get a +3 because his weapon is too far away to react."

etc...etc... that's what they could do for fighting and non-casters. They won't though. They have this weird aversion to making fighters even remotely complex.

...That's sarcasm, right? It's a little hard to tell.

Lokiare
2014-04-04, 05:57 PM
@SpawnOfMorbo:

It's not about how constrained Fighters are relative to real-world humans; it's ultimately about aesthetics. You need to know how you want fights to look before you design mechanics to encourage that. Even if someone says they want a fairly realistic aesthetic, that doesn't mean they want Fighters to be bound by the laws of physics and biology while Wizards get a free pass. That just means they want Fighters to look realistic, and Wizards to have enough limits on their power that Fighters don't get overshadowed. Or maybe they don't give a fig about the laws of physics: Maybe it's just about verisimilitude. Maybe, even if you're an over-the-top badass who can run up the side of the Empire State Building in a thunderstorm and dodge every raindrop on the way, there is no reason to grab an enemy's spear in a duel, so a spear-grabbing mechanic just ruins the aesthetic for people who've studied combat.

Bear in mind, Fighter/Caster disparity ruins the aesthetic. If someone cares that much about how Fighters look when fighting, then they want to see Fighters fighting. If Wizards are overpowered, they don't get to see Fighters fighting: They get to see Fighters dying in droves while invincible demigods drop chemical weapons on them from above.

EDIT:


...That's sarcasm, right? It's a little hard to tell.

Nope, not sarcasm. I'm serious. It doesn't have to be that exact, but giving each non-caster a system by which they can do different things based on how their opponents react or how they set their opponents up to get an opening.

It could be as simple as:
Opponent misses, you can do X maneuver against them
Opponent hits above Y damage you can do maneuver Z against them
Opponent hits below Y damage you can do maneuver A against them
Opponent shifts, you can do maneuver B against them
Opponent defends, you can do maneuver C against them
If you last did maneuver A you can do maneuver D against them
If you missed with maneuver B you can do maneuver E against them
If you hit with your last 2 attack this round you can do maneuver F against them.
etc...etc...

If you wanted to make it more complex allow for martial monsters and non-casters to have a 'weapon experience' keyword which allows them to use a 'feint' attack to trade damage (half damage) for a bonus to attack (+2 or advantage) They could choose either way to sacrifice accuracy for damage and damage for accuracy and call it something else like power attacking. Then have interactions where if one person is feinting the target can counter with a feint at no penalty to damage, or if they counter with a power attack they don't have a penalty to attack or something like this.

The idea would be to have 3-4 keywords that interact with each other and martial characters and monsters can add 1 keyword to each attack they make, allowing for a variety for martials if they so choose (a simple martial would simply choose normal attacks all the time and nothing would hinder or interact with their chances of hitting or dealing damage).

At the very least they could make martial combat much better than they have.

Edit: I actually designed a monk that had combo attacks that increased the damage or gained bonuses to attack based on hitting successively with chained combos. You could chain type A attacks with type B attacks and type B attacks with type C attacks and type C attacks with type A attacks. Benefits carried over to the next attack so if you got a +1 to attack on your second chained attack, you gained that along with the third attacks +1d6 damage. The chain was broken if you didn't attack the same target in a round or you missed when you attacked.

Joe the Rat
2014-04-05, 08:37 AM
Ah realism. Or verisimilitude, if you prefer.

Realism is important. If you want a setting - of a system presumption - that it works like reality unless otherwise noted, realism gives you a nice foundation upon which belief can rest. If you don't want realism at all, there may be other games that will work better.

So we start with plausible or demiplausible characters, with mundane professions. I think we're all okay with that. Where we run into issues is where we're okay with fighty types exceeding the limits of common physics and dipping into the heroic. At what point do we let the Badass Normal start using Charles Atlas Superpowers? (tv tropes reference). When does heroic resolve and determination allow you to kick reason to the curb, fight past death, or make that impossible strike? At what point would you consider this (http://qntm.org/mcalmont) a winnable situation?

I think that's where the disagreement is. It's not that realism is bad, but how much it should define things, or at what point you can surpass that limit.
Impossible shots? Even level 1 gives you 1/400 on highly improbable shots, or 1/20 if you can pick up some advantage. The DM calls what is truly "impossible."
Defy death and press on? For fighters, level 9 with a Constitution save.

We're touching the exceptional - how soon and how far should we go? ...and that is the issue of taste.

Lokiare
2014-04-05, 02:07 PM
Ah realism. Or verisimilitude, if you prefer.

Realism is important. If you want a setting - of a system presumption - that it works like reality unless otherwise noted, realism gives you a nice foundation upon which belief can rest. If you don't want realism at all, there may be other games that will work better.

So we start with plausible or demiplausible characters, with mundane professions. I think we're all okay with that. Where we run into issues is where we're okay with fighty types exceeding the limits of common physics and dipping into the heroic. At what point do we let the Badass Normal start using Charles Atlas Superpowers? (tv tropes reference). When does heroic resolve and determination allow you to kick reason to the curb, fight past death, or make that impossible strike? At what point would you consider this (http://qntm.org/mcalmont) a winnable situation?

I think that's where the disagreement is. It's not that realism is bad, but how much it should define things, or at what point you can surpass that limit.
Impossible shots? Even level 1 gives you 1/400 on highly improbable shots, or 1/20 if you can pick up some advantage. The DM calls what is truly "impossible."
Defy death and press on? For fighters, level 9 with a Constitution save.

We're touching the exceptional - how soon and how far should we go? ...and that is the issue of taste.

Where the limits of 'normal' are is set by each individual. I happen to know a lot about how adrenaline works in the human body and have read news stories of mothers wrestling polar bears or lifting 2 ton cars to save their children. So being able to trip a giant or cause a dragon to stagger back a few feet is perfectly within reality for me. Others see something like that in the game and it breaks their immersion because even though physically its completely logical and consistent with reality, they don't understand reality enough to understand what is and isn't possible.

I once had an argument about the ricochet fighter maneuver. Someone kept telling me its totally impossible, then I showed them a link on YouTube where a guy consistently did 2-3 ricochet shots and hit a target. Then I said now if this normal archer guy (some random guy on the internet) can pull this off reliably, don't you think a trained hero with a high dose of luck would be able to pull this same maneuver off a couple of times per encounter?

The main problem is education. People need to be educated on reality so we don't have these arguments back and forth. Adrenaline can increase your strength by 10x or more, but causes a stress response that needs to cool off before you get more adrenaline pumping or you risk having a heart attack or a stroke. So Expertise dice that are expended until you take a short rest are actually very realistic.

Overall I think they should just design the game to where each table sets their own bounds on reality. Maybe label how 'heroic' each maneuver is from 1 to 10 and then the DM can just so nothing over 5. That would be the real solution.

Stubbazubba
2014-04-05, 03:38 PM
The main problem is education. People need to be educated on reality so we don't have these arguments back and forth.

I disagree. Insisting on reality, even a flexible version of reality that includes all the human-limit scenarios you're talking about, will simply divert the argument from using common sense to using YouTube videos to defend someone's limits. And then you have to verify those videos. And then you can say it's realistic. But that's a huge waste of time and resources. "Realism" will always be subjective. A mother lifting a 2-ton vehicle to save her child is subjectively unrealistic, even if it's very real. That's why the YouTube video exists in the first place. The problem is not people's understanding of realism, it's people's insisting on realistic limits.


Overall I think they should just design the game to where each table sets their own bounds on reality. Maybe label how 'heroic' each maneuver is from 1 to 10 and then the DM can just so nothing over 5. That would be the real solution.

Pretty much this, though I would go even farther.

The game should be very clear that at some point, realism is replaced with magic, and there should be hard-coded breaks in the fiction of the world that the party crosses over into new tiers of narrative with new tiers of power to go along with it. And Dumb Melee Fighters should not cross that threshold unchanged. They should discover or have imbued some kind of supernatural element, whether it's communion with a deity, a demonic pact, a mythic bloodline, or a magical item that binds to a worthy user, etc., etc. You can keep playing at "mundane" level, and just increase horizontally more than vertically (a la E6), but to move into "heroic" territory, something intrinsic about the premise of the game has to change, and that means every character has to leap into something explicitly other-worldly.

Lokiare
2014-04-05, 05:23 PM
I disagree. Insisting on reality, even a flexible version of reality that includes all the human-limit scenarios you're talking about, will simply divert the argument from using common sense to using YouTube videos to defend someone's limits. And then you have to verify those videos. And then you can say it's realistic. But that's a huge waste of time and resources. "Realism" will always be subjective. A mother lifting a 2-ton vehicle to save her child is subjectively unrealistic, even if it's very real. That's why the YouTube video exists in the first place. The problem is not people's understanding of realism, it's people's insisting on realistic limits.



Pretty much this, though I would go even farther.

The game should be very clear that at some point, realism is replaced with magic, and there should be hard-coded breaks in the fiction of the world that the party crosses over into new tiers of narrative with new tiers of power to go along with it. And Dumb Melee Fighters should not cross that threshold unchanged. They should discover or have imbued some kind of supernatural element, whether it's communion with a deity, a demonic pact, a mythic bloodline, or a magical item that binds to a worthy user, etc., etc. You can keep playing at "mundane" level, and just increase horizontally more than vertically (a la E6), but to move into "heroic" territory, something intrinsic about the premise of the game has to change, and that means every character has to leap into something explicitly other-worldly.

Actually that's what they did with 4E. They had different tiers of play at 11th level you entered the paragon tier where you chose a paragon path which gave you a new class feature or two and powers that were quite a bit more powerful than your heroic tier powers and many of the paths could be chosen by different classes so that you might have a Rogue, a Fighter, and a Wizard that all chose the Heroic Bloodline Path which grants a feature that you can force the DM to reroll any roll that causes you to drop below 1 hp. It then grants powers like Heroic Power which allows you to add your highest stat modifier to any skill check once per encounter and Heroic Intensity that allowed you to add 2d10 or 2[w] to the damage of one successful attack you make once per day. All of that was completely made up of course, but that's kind of the idea of how paragon paths worked. Then at the epic tier you might get the Epic Destiny "Immortality" which makes you extremely hard to kill, stops your aging and when you hit level 30 makes you unkillable. I would be completely ok if they did this. I'd prefer they add the 10 levels back on top though so that everyone can get the game they want. Levels 1-3 could be fantasy vietnam, 4-10 could be realistic, 11-20 could be paragon, 21+ could be epic. I'd be fine with that and the 'realism' crowd could confine their play to 1-10 and the 'mythic' crowd would either play the whole game or 11-30.

Of course that is impossible with their current setup of encounter ending spells at low levels while non-casters are getting +2 to hit or +1d6 damage. They would have to fix that first.

Knaight
2014-04-05, 05:59 PM
Not all monsters would be trained to grab that spear but by damn a heroic fighter or monk or whatever should be able to. Hell... A PC Fighter should be able to grab the great club of a storm giant and take it from him. Why? Because this is a fantasy game and they should let the non casters be fantasy.

You're completely ignoring the matter of what happens when it's the PC Fighter or monk of whoever who is using that spear in the first place. Again, the whole "spear grab" maneuver sounds really cool, as long as you're visualizing the PC fighter with a sword doing it. It sounds a lot more obnoxious when the PC fighter with a spear has it done to them by the city guard. It's not that hard to keep your spear from getting grabbed, and a mid level fighter not even managing that is just sad.

Dienekes
2014-04-05, 06:04 PM
The game should be very clear that at some point, realism is replaced with magic, and there should be hard-coded breaks in the fiction of the world that the party crosses over into new tiers of narrative with new tiers of power to go along with it. And Dumb Melee Fighters should not cross that threshold unchanged. They should discover or have imbued some kind of supernatural element, whether it's communion with a deity, a demonic pact, a mythic bloodline, or a magical item that binds to a worthy user, etc., etc. You can keep playing at "mundane" level, and just increase horizontally more than vertically (a la E6), but to move into "heroic" territory, something intrinsic about the premise of the game has to change, and that means every character has to leap into something explicitly other-worldly.

Ehh, it might be because I grew up on comic books were people can be ridiculously over the top badasses with absolutely no explanation given other than "they worked hard at it" but I disagree. You don't need to suddenly have a reason for the mundane classes to break the boundaries of reality. So long as you write down what limits of power you want between what levels you should be fine.

Simply saying what power level your working on at the different levels is enough. If the players and GM want to come up with an explanation for why, that's up to them.

Stubbazubba
2014-04-06, 10:05 AM
Ehh, it might be because I grew up on comic books were people can be ridiculously over the top badasses with absolutely no explanation given other than "they worked hard at it" but I disagree. You don't need to suddenly have a reason for the mundane classes to break the boundaries of reality. So long as you write down what limits of power you want between what levels you should be fine.

Simply saying what power level your working on at the different levels is enough. If the players and GM want to come up with an explanation for why, that's up to them.

Normally, I would agree. But in this case the realism issue is the problem. And that perception of the realism issue, while it shouldn't be an issue if each table is responsible for making their own limits, continues to be a problem for supplement support if some authors think that Dumb Melee Fighters must continue to be realistic and spellcasters don't, while others think the opposite. It becomes very incoherent, and it means spellcasters get better, more consistent support while "mundanes" get inconsistent support. It means that the supported settings also don't work for half the tables out there. So my answer is to eliminate mundanes past a certain point. Everything is Magic. Even if it's just Punching Magic, it is explicitly magic.

@Lokiare: Yes, I'm aware of how 4E worked, and they had the right concept, I just think the execution needs work.

Morty
2014-04-06, 10:30 AM
Is forcing non-magical characters to conform to realism an actual problem? I'm not convinced it is. Yes, there are people who argue on message boards that they should, but is it something that actually impacts design?

Kurald Galain
2014-04-06, 11:32 AM
Is forcing non-magical characters to conform to realism an actual problem? I'm not convinced it is. Yes, there are people who argue on message boards that they should, but is it something that actually impacts design?
No, I don't think so either.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-04-06, 02:48 PM
Is forcing non-magical characters to conform to realism an actual problem? I'm not convinced it is. Yes, there are people who argue on message boards that they should, but is it something that actually impacts design?

Yes it is a problem when you have a game that says screw you to half the classes and then gives the other half god-like powers.

Why have the non-casters in there at all?

What hurts giving non-casters interesting options that puts them into high fantasy? Just because you can't comprehend high fantasy mundanes doesnt mean the rest of us can't.

The name of the game is to be a great hero? Non casters can't do that unless they have equal footing with the entire world around them.

Morty
2014-04-06, 02:52 PM
No, I don't think so either.

Agreed. There's a lot of problems with the way non-magical characters in D&D Next so far, in my view, but they don't stem from any attempt at being realistic. No blog post, update or playtest package I can think of mentioned realism as a priority for non-spellcasting characters.


Yes it is a problem when you have a game that says screw you to half the classes and then gives the other half god-like powers.

Why have the non-casters in there at all?

What hurts giving non-casters interesting options that puts them into high fantasy? Just because you can't comprehend high fantasy mundanes doesnt mean the rest of us can't.

The name of the game is to be a great hero? Non casters can't do that unless they have equal footing with the entire world around them.

Great, now please answer my actual question - is the design of non-magical classes in D&D Next motivated by realism?

Telok
2014-04-06, 05:06 PM
Is forcing non-magical characters to conform to realism an actual problem?

Not if you limit the magical characters to conform to this style/power level.

Older versions of D&D were better about this, the casters got fewer spells and resistance to magic increased as levels went up. It's really 3rd edition where caster power started leaving mundanes in the dust. 4th tried to even things out by making some spells act like mundane actions and some mundame actions act like spells, one of the sources of the complaint about classes feeling the same.

Other systems than WotC D&D have managed to solve this issue.

Morty
2014-04-06, 05:39 PM
Is there any particular reason you took this one sentence out of context? Yes, it's easy to make a game in which Muggles are down-to-earth realistic and yet not overshadowed by magic-users. But that's not what the D&D Next designers are doing, nor have they ever claimed to. My point is, does all this back-and-forth about realism bear any relevance to the new edition of D&D? I don't think it does, since at no point has any of them ever said, to my knowledge, that they're trying to keep the capabilities of non-magical classes within the realm of possibility. Fighters et al are being shafted for various reasons, but realism isn't one of them.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-06, 06:33 PM
Is there any particular reason you took this one sentence out of context? Yes, it's easy to make a game in which Muggles are down-to-earth realistic and yet not overshadowed by magic-users. But that's not what the D&D Next designers are doing, nor have they ever claimed to. My point is, does all this back-and-forth about realism bear any relevance to the new edition of D&D? I don't think it does, since at no point has any of them ever said, to my knowledge, that they're trying to keep the capabilities of non-magical classes within the realm of possibility. Fighters et al are being shafted for various reasons, but realism isn't one of them.

Yes. Also, the plain fact is that many players like D&D to be "Like Reality Unless Noted". A criticism of 4E has been that it doesn't follow that principle enough, and WOTC appears to deliberately build 5E to avoid common criticisms of 4E.

Note that LRUN doesn't prevent fighters (or other "mundanes") to have Bruce Lee-level dexterity or Bruce Willis-level toughness, for instance.

Lokiare
2014-04-06, 08:59 PM
Is there any particular reason you took this one sentence out of context? Yes, it's easy to make a game in which Muggles are down-to-earth realistic and yet not overshadowed by magic-users. But that's not what the D&D Next designers are doing, nor have they ever claimed to. My point is, does all this back-and-forth about realism bear any relevance to the new edition of D&D? I don't think it does, since at no point has any of them ever said, to my knowledge, that they're trying to keep the capabilities of non-magical classes within the realm of possibility. Fighters et al are being shafted for various reasons, but realism isn't one of them.

Actually since several editions had supernatural martial characters in them, they implied they were going to make a game where you could play either a 'reality expect where noted' or a 'supernatural otherworldly' non-caster or fighter character. This was because they repeated (and still do) that they are making an edition that all players of D&D will play and like and recognize as being D&D.

They clearly aren't doing that. I mean being able to not die for 2-3 extra hits is nice, but that's equivalent to Stone Skin (Well stone skin virtually doubles your HP, but may only last for 1 round if you fail to concentrate and cast it on yourself so it evens out) or another mid level spell. The capstone feature of the fighter isn't worth a level 7 spell slot for the casters. Which would work great if you limited the maximum level of the casters to level 14.


Yes. Also, the plain fact is that many players like D&D to be "Like Reality Unless Noted". A criticism of 4E has been that it doesn't follow that principle enough, and WOTC appears to deliberately build 5E to avoid common criticisms of 4E.

Note that LRUN doesn't prevent fighters (or other "mundanes") to have Bruce Lee-level dexterity or Bruce Willis-level toughness, for instance.

Looking at the number of people that played 4E before essentials (from IcV2 reports and estimates of DDi memberships) I'd say nearly as many people like 'mythical far from reality' non-casters. That is if you consider 4E to have over the top non-caster abilities. Personally, knowing how adrenaline, physics, and manipulation of enemies in combat works, I don't think any of them are unrealistic, slightly on the rare side of reality, but not unrealistic at all. If you can't imagine a rogue stabbing a dragon in the toe and the dragon staggering back in pain because the Rogue hit a particularly sensitive nerve, then you've never jammed a splinter under your nail. If you can't imagine a fighter hitting an iron golem right in the joint of its leg and the golem coming crashing down, then you've never been hit in the back of the knee by a little kid and went down like a ton of bricks.

I challenge you to find one fighter power below level 21 in 4E that you think isn't realistic. Things like 'Come and Get it' don't count because you have to hit the targets will, which means you mentally manipulate them into moving toward you and the forced movement all happens in the same 6 seconds as everything else that round (its an abstraction).

Kurald Galain
2014-04-07, 02:30 AM
That is if you consider 4E to have over the top non-caster abilities.
No, really not.


I challenge you to find one fighter power below level 21 in 4E that you think isn't realistic. Things like 'Come and Get it' don't count because you have to hit the targets will, which means you mentally manipulate them into moving toward you and the forced movement all happens in the same 6 seconds as everything else that round (its an abstraction).
Well, you just answered your own question. Fighters can mentally manipulate? What, they count as psions now? Even though intelligence and charisma are their dump stats? And regardless of whether the enemy is a mindless zombie, genius-level warlord, or even immobilized and unconscious? Yep, that makes lots of sense :smallamused:

If you want more examples, then the classic trio is fighter marks, sneak attack, and inspiring word. None of those can be realistically fluffed in a way that's consistent with what they actually do; they all run strictly on the MST3K mantra. But here's the thing: this is not just martial powers. For example, the battlemind has a particularly bad case of this, and numerous of the warlock's attacks also fall in this category.

So 5E is actually pretty good in this regard. Looks like WOTC has been listening.

archaeo
2014-04-07, 05:48 AM
Fighters can mentally manipulate? What, they count as psions now? Even though intelligence and charisma are their dump stats? And regardless of whether the enemy is a mindless zombie, genius-level warlord, or even immobilized and unconscious? Yep, that makes lots of sense :smallamused:

If you want more examples, then the classic trio is fighter marks, sneak attack, and inspiring word. None of those can be realistically fluffed in a way that's consistent with what they actually do; they all run strictly on the MST3K mantra. But here's the thing: this is not just martial powers. For example, the battlemind has a particularly bad case of this, and numerous of the warlock's attacks also fall in this category.

So 5E is actually pretty good in this regard. Looks like WOTC has been listening.

For what it's worth, I think Lokiare meant "mentally manipulate" in a far more mundane sense. If I write this post persuasively enough, I'll mentally manipulate you into agreeing with me. If, on the battlefield, I purposefully make myself look vulnerable to draw nearby enemies closer so that I can strike, it's a bit of trickery I'd classify as "mental manipulation." Marking an enemy is no different than engaging in such furious combat that I make it difficult for the enemy to disengage, and sneak attacks seem almost self-explanatory in contrast to those.

Inspiring word, though, well, that gets into the weeds of what "HP" really is, which leads me to my point: mechanical fluff is all about suspending disbelief. It's about providing an abstraction that represents a far more complicated thing. Upthread, Lokiare offered a way more crunchy set of mechanics for handling combat with far more granularity. It would require virtually no fluff to suspend a player's disbelief, because it reduces the abstraction by an order of magnitude. A power like Come and Get It, on the other hand, abstracts a whole lot in pursuit of a simple, easy-to-use mechanic.

Which goes a long way toward explaining the 5E production process, in my view. I imagine the D&D team thinks "mechanics" are their core competency; they work at a game design company with an enormous amount of institutional experience creating mechanics, after all. But the "feel" of powers like Come and Get It have historically been extremely divisive. Thus, the huge playtest, and the fairly constant stream of contact with the community, and the slow-but-steady marketing push around the "unifying" concepts of 5E.

Of course, it remains to be seen how well they accomplish these goals. Certainly, lots of players have already written the game off and seem mostly content to argue about the degree to which it will stink. Stuff like this L&L at least have me convinced that Mearls & Co. have been thinking long and hard about these issues, though, and even if they fail to create a truly unifying product, I'm at least satisfied that they've tried.

Gosh, what a ramble! Apologies for the wall of words, y'all.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-07, 06:16 AM
If, on the battlefield, I purposefully make myself look vulnerable to draw nearby enemies closer so that I can strike, it's a bit of trickery I'd classify as "mental manipulation."
So would this work on (a) literally mindless undead, (b) brilliant strategical thinkers, or (c) enemies incapable of movement? Oh and (d), shouldn't such trickery call for a charisma check?

That was the point, after all.

Morty
2014-04-07, 06:42 AM
Stuff like this L&L at least have me convinced that Mearls & Co. have been thinking long and hard about these issues, though, and even if they fail to create a truly unifying product, I'm at least satisfied that they've tried.


Maybe they have thought hard and long about it, who knows. But the result is, well, giving combat actions that would be extremely rudimentary in any combat-heavy system that's not D&D as special abilities available to a separate, "advanced" fighter path. That's... uninspired.

archaeo
2014-04-07, 07:23 AM
So would this work on (a) literally mindless undead, (b) brilliant strategical thinkers, or (c) enemies incapable of movement? Oh and (d), shouldn't such trickery call for a charisma check?

That was the point, after all.

Hm. Well, "mindless undead" still operate according to predictable heuristics, presumably; a sufficiently talented fighter should probably be able to intuit how to manipulate them into a prime position. "Brilliant strategical thinkers" would, one would imagine, have sufficiently high attributes to avoid falling for such tricks, and bypassing them would indicate outsmarting him or her, at least in that 6 second window. I'm not sure that "enemies incapable of movement" should be capable of being moved around by anything, magic or otherwise, and wouldn't be particularly enthused about a power that allowed it.

I don't really know about charisma being the operative attribute at play. To me, it suggests more, uh, "diplomatic" means of manipulation, as opposed to the physical feints and techniques a warrior would use. But I think reasonable people could disagree on that, so!


Maybe they have thought hard and long about it, who knows. But the result is, well, giving combat actions that would be extremely rudimentary in any combat-heavy system that's not D&D as special abilities available to a separate, "advanced" fighter path. That's... uninspired.

Well, I think it's a bit early to write it off as "extremely rudimentary," given that we've only received snippets of the complete maneuvers system. But even if it is comparatively rudimentary, especially compared to relatively complex combat systems, well, isn't that part of the design goal? Seeking out the minimum complexity for maximum crunch? Fighter maneuvers seem like a nice complement to the other "complex" classes, inasmuch as you probably end up with the same number of choices per turn per given level, a pretty reasonable game design goal if not an enormously exciting one.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-07, 07:50 AM
Hm. Well, "mindless undead" still operate according to predictable heuristics, presumably; a sufficiently talented fighter should probably be able to intuit how to manipulate them into a prime position.
I'm really not seeing here what you propose that the fighter would actually be doing. This pretty much sounds like an admission that CAGI shouldn't realistically work in this scenario, but it MST3Kically does anyway.


"Brilliant strategical thinkers" would, one would imagine, have sufficiently high attributes to avoid falling for such tricks,
Well here's the thing, by RAW they don't.


I'm not sure that "enemies incapable of movement" should be capable of being moved around by anything, magic or otherwise, and wouldn't be particularly enthused about a power that allowed it.
Yes indeed, a power like Come And Get It will cause an enemy to rush to attack you even if it is immobilized, grabbed, or unconscious on the floor. For that matter, so will most charm spells in 4E.


I don't really know about charisma being the operative attribute at play. To me, it suggests more, uh, "diplomatic" means of manipulation, as opposed to the physical feints and techniques a warrior would use.
But the game does have a mechanism for (physical) feints, which does rely on charisma. I'm really not sure how brute strength and carrying capacity has anything to do with feints and techniques. But hey, 4E also has explosions that target will (instead of reflex) and mind-affecting abilities that target AC...


All in all this underlines how one can't fluff CAGI (or indeed, mark/sneak attack/inspiring word) in a way that's both realistic and consistent with what the power actually does. And the point was that 5E so far appears to be better at that, which is a good thing.

So it's really not an issue for 5E that "fighters are realistic, wizards are not". If anything the opposite would cause much bigger issues.

archaeo
2014-04-07, 09:19 AM
I'm really not seeing here what you propose that the fighter would actually be doing. This pretty much sounds like an admission that CAGI shouldn't realistically work in this scenario, but it MST3Kically does anyway.

Nah, I think I may have just stated it poorly, or we're getting hung up on "mindless." Presumably, they can be distracted, or you can draw their attention away from something, etc., etc. CAGI, in this situation, would be attracting their attention via whatever kind of flavor you'd like. If by "mindless" you mean totally fixated on some non-fighter target or the like, well, then you're leaving the realm of possibility; the mere inclusion of a power like CAGI suggests that anything that can be targeted by the power is susceptible to the power.


Well here's the thing, by RAW they don't.

Isn't this more of a problem with the abstractions inherent to the attributes system than CAGI? Or the failure of the DM to deploy an enemy with the requisite stats to feel appropriately "willful" or whatever? Suffice it to say, you didn't include the second clause of my sentence in that quote; within a 6-second window, I think it's okay for the fighter to succeed in a tactical maneuver versus a more intelligent (or "willful" or whatever) foe.


Yes indeed, a power like Come And Get It will cause an enemy to rush to attack you even if it is immobilized, grabbed, or unconscious on the floor. For that matter, so will most charm spells in 4E.

But the game does have a mechanism for (physical) feints, which does rely on charisma. I'm really not sure how brute strength and carrying capacity has anything to do with feints and techniques. But hey, 4E also has explosions that target will (instead of reflex) and mind-affecting abilities that target AC...

All in all this underlines how one can't fluff CAGI (or indeed, mark/sneak attack/inspiring word) in a way that's both realistic and consistent with what the power actually does.

If it underlines anything, it's the fact that a highly abstracted maneuver like CAGI and the other powers you bring up need more than a fig leaf of fluff. One of the issues with 4E powers is the need for compactness and easy readability given the huge range of powers a single character will be managing at any given time; presumably, the leaner 5E will have more room to provide some help for players struggling to suspend their disbelief.

It also underlines the fact that I am woefully underqualified to try and defend anything like this. :smallbiggrin:


And the point was that 5E so far appears to be better at that, which is a good thing.

So it's really not an issue for 5E that "fighters are realistic, wizards are not". If anything the opposite would cause much bigger issues.

Given that you understand this a lot better than I do, I hope you're right that 5E does a better job than 4E in creating believable abstractions. Of course, as someone advocating a "wait and see" approach, I think this, especially, remains to be seen; justifying abstractions is hard work, work that D&D has often left to individual DMs.

Morty
2014-04-07, 09:43 AM
Well, I think it's a bit early to write it off as "extremely rudimentary," given that we've only received snippets of the complete maneuvers system. But even if it is comparatively rudimentary, especially compared to relatively complex combat systems, well, isn't that part of the design goal? Seeking out the minimum complexity for maximum crunch? Fighter maneuvers seem like a nice complement to the other "complex" classes, inasmuch as you probably end up with the same number of choices per turn per given level, a pretty reasonable game design goal if not an enormously exciting one.

Of course it's their design goal. It doesn't mean I need to consider it a good one. Like I said, the options mentioned in the blog should be a basic part of the combat system. Then a complex variant of fighter would add some actually advanced actions.

obryn
2014-04-07, 09:48 AM
Wow, are we really doing the CaGI thing again?

Kurald Galain
2014-04-07, 10:30 AM
the mere inclusion of a power like CAGI suggests that anything that can be targeted by the power is susceptible to the power.
And that assumption is precisely the issue, as it results in "taunt"-like powers affecting even creatures that are unconscious.

The problem is never with abstraction; abstractions are fine. The problem lies with writing powers with fluff X, and then giving them rules text that doesn't actually do X.


Wow, are we really doing the CaGI thing again?
We don't have to, there's plenty of other examples of powers in 4E that aren't even the slightest bit realistic :smallamused: (such as the aforementioned fighter marks, sneak attacks, and inspiring word)

So it's a good thing 5E doesn't subscribe to the notion that it's a bad thing to have realistic martial characters.

That said, I prefer the version from a few playtest packages back, so I hope they're still considering that.

obryn
2014-04-07, 10:56 AM
We don't have to, there's plenty of other examples of powers in 4E that aren't even the slightest bit realistic :smallamused: (such as the aforementioned fighter marks, sneak attacks, and inspiring word)

So it's a good thing 5E doesn't subscribe to the notion that it's a bad thing to have realistic martial characters.

That said, I prefer the version from a few playtest packages back, so I hope they're still considering that.
Wait, I think you're using your Encounter 3 to try and goad me into dumb edition wars that got old by 2010. Unfortunately, you missed your attack vs. my Will, so I'll sit this one out.

Person_Man
2014-04-07, 03:24 PM
Well, if nothing else this confirms the fact that they're wedded to using Archetypes, which is terrible design decision.

By segregating abilities into sub-classes/kits/prestige classes/archetypes/etc, you make it very difficult for a player to access the abilities that they really want to play with, you make designers create a metric ton of cruddy filler abilities to pad out the Archetypes.

Lokiare
2014-04-07, 05:49 PM
So would this work on (a) literally mindless undead, (b) brilliant strategical thinkers, or (c) enemies incapable of movement? Oh and (d), shouldn't such trickery call for a charisma check?

That was the point, after all.


Close Burst 3 (a 5x5 grid of squares or 25' radius for those not familiar)
Target:Each enemy you can see in the burst
Attack: Strength vs. Will
Hit: You pull the target up to 2 squares, but only if it can end the pull adjacent to you. If the target is adjacent to you after the pull, it takes 1[W] damage.

Now I don't know how many zombie movies you've seen, but all of them that I remember, they would rush forward and try to eat anyone that fell to one knee or showed any opening. When they say mindless, they don't literally mean mindless, they mean lacking social facilities and the ability to communicate or negotiate normally. They still have a kind of animal intelligence otherwise they wouldn't attack at all and would stand perfectly still and do nothing. So yes dropping your guard or appearing like you are about to pass out might trigger those animal instincts to come and get you. You'll notice that the attack is opposed by will which is made from either your wisdom or charisma so they either aren't wise enough or don't have the force of will to resist being drawn to the open attack. The attack would likely not work on a creature with a high will defense. Brilliant strategic thinkers (like Warlords or Mind Flayers) would naturally have a high will defense which would make it unlikely that this maneuver would work on them. If an enemy is incapable of movement it by definition wouldn't be affected by this power. Such a creature would likely have a trait that precluded forced movement in the first place.

Could CaGI be improved? Certainly. They could split it into two attacks, Charisma or Intelligence vs. Will and then Strength vs. AC. They could put qualifiers on it such as "Targets: Enemies that can see the user of this power, that have a form of movement." However as a base abstraction it works at what it was intended for. A quick way to manipulate enemies into approaching you to get attacked.


I'm really not seeing here what you propose that the fighter would actually be doing. This pretty much sounds like an admission that CAGI shouldn't realistically work in this scenario, but it MST3Kically does anyway.

This was answered above. Mindless does not equal 'zero intelligence' otherwise the thing wouldn't act at all. It instead means unaffected by fear and lack of form of communication and nothing but animal instinct, which can still be manipulated.


Well here's the thing, by RAW they don't.

Actually they do: Mind Flayer's highest defense is Will, the warlord's secondary ability is Charisma and they gain a +1 to their will defense on top of that. You can go through the list either the second or third highest defense will be will (out of 4 defenses)


Yes indeed, a power like Come And Get It will cause an enemy to rush to attack you even if it is immobilized, grabbed, or unconscious on the floor. For that matter, so will most charm spells in 4E.

I could point to a number of the same types of flaws in 5E, nothing is perfect when abstracting and improvement can always be achieved. However as an abstraction 4E works at least as well as 5E if not better. For instance the grease spell in 5E says you can't move, but then prone entry says you can crawl. So grease makes you prone and you can't move. Even though you can crawl while prone. That makes no sense either. If you go through the packet looking for these things you'll find them all over the place.


But the game does have a mechanism for (physical) feints, which does rely on charisma. I'm really not sure how brute strength and carrying capacity has anything to do with feints and techniques. But hey, 4E also has explosions that target will (instead of reflex) and mind-affecting abilities that target AC...

You don't understand how a muscular person could goad someone into attacking them? That's strange because there was an errata to 3.5E that allowed characters to use Strength instead of Charisma to do intimidate checks. So this kind of thing is in all editions including 5E. If you still don't believe:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkk9-bOATOA

A martial artist goads a student into attacking them without using 'charisma' merely some trained body language.


All in all this underlines how one can't fluff CAGI (or indeed, mark/sneak attack/inspiring word) in a way that's both realistic and consistent with what the power actually does. And the point was that 5E so far appears to be better at that, which is a good thing.

So it's really not an issue for 5E that "fighters are realistic, wizards are not". If anything the opposite would cause much bigger issues.

I just 'fluffed' CaGI in a way that's realistic and consistent with what the power actually does. To me 5E appears to be worse because the fluff is woven into the rules description itself which means all you have to do is find a single instance where its at odds with reality and its worse than 4E, which at worst means you have to refluff the power to something slightly different.

As to your other criticisms:

Mark is simply letting the opponent know that if they move or attack someone other than you, they will in turn get attacked with a quick attack that deals minimum damage and no special effects. As a fighter you can do this by holding your weapon in their direction, flat out telling them (if they understand your language) or with a threatening glare. The mark isn't some magical compulsion. The target can choose to ignore it completely and take the attack.

You can't imagine how someone that is at a disadvantage in combat can be attacked in a vital place by someone that has studied the anatomies of various species? I'd call that a lack of belief in real world physics and biology. If you can't imagine how a Rogue could sneak attack a golem, then how do you explain how during WWII Infantry could take out tanks by putting 'sticky bombs' in their treads? All sneak attack does is allow the rogue to take advantage of a weakness or opening to deal extra damage. If you can't imagine it working in 4E, then how can it work in any edition of D&D 5E included?

Inspiring Word allows you to take some of your inner reserve of hp and use them immediately because you are inspired to not lay down and die. I could go on about drill sergeants yelling people out of comas in real life, but this has been hashed out over and over and over to death, and relies entirely on your view of what HP are in order to make sense or not make sense. I take it you are in the HP is meat crowd where people walk around with their guts hanging out and their limbs hanging by tendons while still being just as effective in combat. Have fun with that type of game. That's not what I'm looking for and it certainly won't unite the fan base of D&D if its forced into the game (or the other way is excluded).

Knaight
2014-04-08, 03:32 AM
Close Burst 3 (a 5x5 grid of squares or 25' radius for those not familiar)
Target:Each enemy you can see in the burst
Attack: Strength vs. Will
Hit: You pull the target up to 2 squares, but only if it can end the pull adjacent to you. If the target is adjacent to you after the pull, it takes 1[W] damage.
This reads like a supernatural ability. For one thing, take the range - if it actually was a taunt, or body language, or whatever else it would make way more sense for it to be based on the senses of the opponent.

It's also worth noting that if the mechanism was actually part of the mechanics, this would be solved. If it was the fighter presenting an inviting target, it makes perfect sense for it to work for most of the situations it does, and not work when it doesn't. It could even be written in that simply "the fighter presents an opening that looks convincing to everyone who loses a Strength vs. Will check, most enemies will try to exploit this". That most implies not to include the exceptions - the immobile enemy can't, so they don't. The sleeping enemy can't, so they don't. The enemy with a personal vendetta against the party mage who is busy swinging an axe in their face continues to do so, because they don't give a rat's rear end whether or not they can kill the irrelevant warrior that's tagging along. So on and so forth.


I could point to a number of the same types of flaws in 5E, nothing is perfect when abstracting and improvement can always be achieved. However as an abstraction 4E works at least as well as 5E if not better. For instance the grease spell in 5E says you can't move, but then prone entry says you can crawl. So grease makes you prone and you can't move. Even though you can crawl while prone. That makes no sense either. If you go through the packet looking for these things you'll find them all over the place.
It makes perfect sense. You crawl while prone by pulling yourself along the ground with your arms and/or pushing yourself with your legs, which works a lot better when there's a reasonable amount of friction between said limbs and the ground. Grease removes that, via the same exact things that caused the fall in the first place. It would be nice to have a caveat of some sort allowing certain kinds of movement, such as tossing a grappling hook to a non greased surface and pulling the attached rope.

Plus, it specifies two effects. Effect 1 is that you are prone. Effect 2 is that you can't move. Given that there is nothing in the description of being prone that says you could move if you weren't otherwise able to, that's hardly a contradiction. It's even less of a contradiction if the effect of being prone is understood primarily as the character actually being prone, with everything else emerging from this (which, incidentally, can involve a little more explanation behind the mechanics that nicely solves them being applied where they don't make sense, such as being prone protecting against ranged attacks from right next to you when the reason there is protection is obviously the limited angle of shot that actually applies at a decent range).

That said, the spell specifying that the slickness of the grease is what prevents movement pretty much handles all of this. This isn't fluff either, as there's an actual effect on the game world, which then has certain implications spelled out, but which has others implicitly built in.[/QUOTE]

Kurald Galain
2014-04-08, 04:34 AM
This reads like a supernatural ability. For one thing, take the range - if it actually was a taunt, or body language, or whatever else it would make way more sense for it to be based on the senses of the opponent.
Oh, it's even more supernatural than that. For the first four years of 4E's existence, this low-level fighter ability made every enemy in range automatically move to the fighter, with no attack roll or save. Because yep, fighters are psions now. It was errata'ed into the current forum precisely because the last few 4E books made a half-hearted effort to curb some of the worst unrealistic abilities (including fighter marks, too!) So I find it funny that CAGI is touted here as an example of how realistic 4E's martial classes are, because it's pretty much the exact opposite of that.

Hm, it strikes me that (even though WOTC probably couldn't say this out loud) the major design goal of 5E is to avoid the most common criticisms of 4E (i.e. its lack of realism; and to a lesser extent, criticisms of 3E, like its lack of balance). That strikes me as a pretty clever idea. I'd have to think a bit on if it's actually working so far, but as designs goals go it's pretty good.


Well, if nothing else this confirms the fact that they're wedded to using Archetypes, which is terrible design decision.
You mean, that abilities are only available in "chunks" and if you want one ability but not the rest of the chunk, you're out of luck? Yeah, that would be annoying.

theNater
2014-04-08, 06:01 AM
Is forcing non-magical characters to conform to realism an actual problem? I'm not convinced it is. Yes, there are people who argue on message boards that they should, but is it something that actually impacts design?No, I don't think so either.

It was errata'ed into the current forum precisely because the last few 4E books made a half-hearted effort to curb some of the worst unrealistic abilities (including fighter marks, too!).
I'm a little confused. The first quote seems to say you don't believe that concerns of realism are affecting design, and the second quote seems to provide an example of exactly that happening. Can you maybe clarify?

Kurald Galain
2014-04-08, 07:00 AM
I'm a little confused. The first quote seems to say you don't believe that concerns of realism are affecting design, and the second quote seems to provide an example of exactly that happening. Can you maybe clarify?
Sure. Well, this whole debate started with the argument (which I disagree with) that "it's bad that 5E has realistic fighters" because some people perceive this as the cause of imbalance. It applies to other martial classes as well. Note, this is using realism in the sense of "verisimilitude", not in the sense of "wizards don't exist in real life".

So two points. First, I don't believe this is the actual cause of imbalance; if there are balance issues, we should discuss them instead of making the cop-out excuse that "yeah, that issue only exists because fighters are realistic". Second, I don't believe that realism is a bad thing, and it strikes me that most players prefer it. This is where the 4E examples come in, because one of the most common criticisms of 4E is how unrealistic it is (regardless of whether one personally agrees with this criticism, it's pretty obvious that it's a common one). It would be a good goal for 5E to avoid the common criticisms of the previous edition, and indeed WOTC appears to be aiming for that. Note that 4E doesn't have the dichotomy "realistic fighter / unrealitic wizard" either, because its (perceived/criticized) lack of realism applies to both mundane and magical classes; the focus on one particular power isn't all that relevant, there are dozens of other examples.

Short answer, (a) concerns of realism are affecting design, and (b) I do think WOTC is doing this right for 5E ("right" in the sense of "appealing to the most players").

Morty
2014-04-08, 07:40 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again - both in 3e and 5e, I find the poor quality of the warrior classes to be unrealistic rather than realistic. Because there's nothing realistic about a trained combatant, much less a larger-than-life hero, to have such incredibly narrow options. Or for it to be so easy to cast spells while someone is swinging an instrument of murder in your face.

1337 b4k4
2014-04-08, 08:23 AM
I've said it before and I'll say it again - both in 3e and 5e, I find the poor quality of the warrior classes to be unrealistic rather than realistic. Because there's nothing realistic about a trained combatant, much less a larger-than-life hero, to have such incredibly narrow options. Or for it to be so easy to cast spells while someone is swinging an instrument of murder in your face.

Sure, but as Kurald is trying to say, this isn't because of a design goal of having "realistic" (within the milieu of the game) mundane classes. It's because of both a lack of realistic options, a lack of balancing for realistic options (a problem exasperated by PC / NPC symmetry) and because of the removal of a great many of the restrictions that previously existed on casters. It wasn't always so easy to cast spells while someone was swinging death sticks at you, especially when your AC most of the time was 9(10)

Morty
2014-04-08, 08:34 AM
Of course. I was just pointing out a few more reasons why blaming balance problems on realism is erroneous.

Person_Man
2014-04-08, 03:35 PM
one of the most common criticisms of 4E is how unrealistic it is (regardless of whether one personally agrees with this criticism, it's pretty obvious that it's a common one).

I agree that was a very common criticism. But speaking for myself, it wasn't that 4E was unrealistic, it was that the designers made no attempt to create realistic or compelling fluff for most of it's mechanics. (And the mechanics were overly granular and duplicative, but that's a separate issue).

Consider the Healing Surge. It's a great mechanic for a lot of reasons. But why not describe it as Vitality, or Fatigue, or Morale, anything else that doesn't imply that I'm magically healed when someone yells at me? Would it kill the designers to try and align their crunch with believable fluff?

With 5E, I think the designers are over reacting. They refuse to use any of the useful crunch advances from 4E because it reminds people of the "unrealistic" fluff from 4E. Which is a shame.

Lokiare
2014-04-08, 08:01 PM
I agree that was a very common criticism. But speaking for myself, it wasn't that 4E was unrealistic, it was that the designers made no attempt to create realistic or compelling fluff for most of it's mechanics. (And the mechanics were overly granular and duplicative, but that's a separate issue).

Consider the Healing Surge. It's a great mechanic for a lot of reasons. But why not describe it as Vitality, or Fatigue, or Morale, anything else that doesn't imply that I'm magically healed when someone yells at me? Would it kill the designers to try and align their crunch with believable fluff?

With 5E, I think the designers are over reacting. They refuse to use any of the useful crunch advances from 4E because it reminds people of the "unrealistic" fluff from 4E. Which is a shame.

I think you nailed it on the head here. Because they want to get back 3.5E people, they don't want anything to appear to link 5E to 4E, so they are willing to sacrifice things that quite a few people feel are good in 4E (including 3.5E and Pathfinder fans) in order to keep 5E as distant as possible from 4E.

I also agree that the fluff didn't match the crunch in places in 4E and that the way some powers were abstracted made some people feel they weren't realistic, even though a careful examination shows that they can be viewed as realistic, just not by all people all the time.

They would do well to start putting out articles asking if specific descriptions sounded realistic or matched the fluff. Until they find the right balance between abstraction and detail that makes things realistic. For instance they could have made CaGI like this:

Come and Get It
close burst 3
You manipulate enemies to move close to you and then attack them with a swing of your weapon.
Target: Each enemy in the burst that can see you, that can be affected by mind affecting powers and has the ability to move toward you, and that is intelligent enough to see an opening or respond to a taunt.
Attack: Charisma or Intelligence vs. Will
Hit: If the target can move adjacent to you they do, otherwise this power has no effect. Make the secondary attack on each adjacent target.
Secondary Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 1[w] damage.

But that is a long description on a power and overly complicated. Hopefully they do better in 5E in the tactics module.

HammeredWharf
2014-04-09, 02:19 AM
But that is a long description on a power and overly complicated. Hopefully they do better in 5E in the tactics module.

Come and Get It
Range: 3
Type: Burst, Visual, Mind-Affecting
Target: Enemies in range
You manipulate enemies to move close to you and then attack them with a swing of your weapon.
Attack: Charisma or Intelligence vs. Will
Hit: If the target can move adjacent to you they do. Make the secondary attack on each adjacent target.
Secondary Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 1[w] damage.

There. It's fixed and 3.5-ified a bit. In the end, this is just a lesser version of a 3.5 Suggestion with a melee hit on top.

As a side note, I never saw what's so bad about CaGI. Sure, it doesn't make sense from time to time, but people who attack it often defend 3.5, which has things like grappling with trained rabbits to reach supersonic speeds.

Person_Man
2014-04-09, 08:49 AM
Hit: If the target can move adjacent to you they do. Make the secondary attack on each adjacent target.
Secondary Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 1[w] damage.

There. It's fixed and 3.5-ified a bit. In the end, this is just a lesser version of a 3.5 Suggestion with a melee hit on top.

As a side note, I never saw what's so bad about CaGI. Sure, it doesn't make sense from time to time, but people who attack it often defend 3.5, which has things like grappling with trained rabbits to reach supersonic speeds.

I really dislike overly granular and duplicative non-scaling Powers, which was the other big flaw of 4E that I mentioned above. It forces you to write many different versions of the same Power. This makes the class difficult to read (because the Power/Spell/etc list is 10 times longer then it needs to be), understand, and play. A very simple solution is to make all Powers/Class Abilities/etc scale automatically.

1337 b4k4
2014-04-09, 11:14 AM
As a side note, I never saw what's so bad about CaGI. Sure, it doesn't make sense from time to time, but people who attack it often defend 3.5, which has things like grappling with trained rabbits to reach supersonic speeds.

This falsely assumes both that the people who complain about CaGI wouldn't complain about grappling with trained rabbits and that the two failure cases are equal which they aren't. Almost everyone who plays 4e is going to interact with the CaGI rules if they have a fighter in their party. I strongly suspect most people playing 3.x have never grappled a rabbit, let alone a trained one. Every game is going to have a corner case, but when your corner cases come up often in regular play, that's more annoying than a corner case that shows up once every 100 sessions. Equally, denying a player the ability to grapple with trained rabbits mostly denies a player one exploit to avoid something. Altering the fighter's CaGI to make "more sense" alters a significant character power which is much more of a **** move.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-09, 11:31 AM
This falsely assumes both that the people who complain about CaGI wouldn't complain about grappling with trained rabbits and that the two failure cases are equal which they aren't. Almost everyone who plays 4e is going to interact with the CaGI rules if they have a fighter in their party. I strongly suspect most people playing 3.x have never grappled a rabbit, let alone a trained one. Every game is going to have a corner case, but when your corner cases come up often in regular play, that's more annoying than a corner case that shows up once every 100 sessions. Equally, denying a player the ability to grapple with trained rabbits mostly denies a player one exploit to avoid something. Altering the fighter's CaGI to make "more sense" alters a significant character power which is much more of a **** move.
Precisely. Plus, people focus on CAGI as if it's the only problematic power, when it's really not. It's just a common example, because it's (1) heroic tier, (2) for a popular class, and (3) one of the best powers on that level. So that makes it a very visible example, but it's not all that hard to find others, such as Blinding Barrage, Phantom Bolt, Sunder Armor, or Iron Fist.

As HammerDwarf points out, it's not that hard to fix; and as PersonMan says, the underlying issue is that the developers just didn't care enough to actually do so.

Reverent-One
2014-04-09, 11:58 AM
Precisely. Plus, people focus on CAGI as if it's the only problematic power, when it's really not. It's just a common example, because it's (1) heroic tier, (2) for a popular class, and (3) one of the best powers on that level. So that makes it a very visible example, but it's not all that hard to find others, such as Blinding Barrage, Phantom Bolt, Sunder Armor, or Iron Fist.

As HammerDwarf points out, it's not that hard to fix; and as PersonMan says, the underlying issue is that the developers just didn't care enough to actually do so.

Really the underlying issue is that it's only a issue to some people and not others, hence we get conflict.

HammeredWharf
2014-04-09, 12:56 PM
This falsely assumes both that the people who complain about CaGI wouldn't complain about grappling with trained rabbits and that the two failure cases are equal which they aren't. Almost everyone who plays 4e is going to interact with the CaGI rules if they have a fighter in their party. I strongly suspect most people playing 3.x have never grappled a rabbit, let alone a trained one. Every game is going to have a corner case, but when your corner cases come up often in regular play, that's more annoying than a corner case that shows up once every 100 sessions. Equally, denying a player the ability to grapple with trained rabbits mostly denies a player one exploit to avoid something. Altering the fighter's CaGI to make "more sense" alters a significant character power which is much more of a **** move.

Oh, I don't think two wrongs make a right, nor do I think grapple balls (anything will do, btw, not just rabbits) are as bad as CaGI. What I was trying to point out is that both 3.5 and 4e suck at verisimilitude. 4e has a lot of unexplained or poorly-explained powers, sure, but 3.5 is full of holes, too. Also, using the Fighter, of all things, to prove that point is really strange, because of this pile of rubbish design that can't even act as a guardsman (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/fighter.htm). 4e's Fighter isn't perfect, but it's strictly better than the "class" it was in the previous edition. Similarly, someone mentioned 4e's Sneak Attack, which may not be entirely realistic, but 3.5 Rogue gets Evasion and Improved Evasion. They're light years away from realism.

So no, 4e isn't entirely realistic, but neither is any other edition of D&D.

Knaight
2014-04-09, 01:34 PM
Oh, I don't think two wrongs make a right, nor do I think grapple balls (anything will do, btw, not just rabbits) are as bad as CaGI. What I was trying to point out is that both 3.5 and 4e suck at verisimilitude.

I'd agree with this, it's just that it doesn't really help much - if D&D was the entire market then 4e would look a lot better, but when it is really easy to find much more realistic games (see: GURPS), CaGI is kind of ludicrous. Though a fair part of that is a general distaste for non-magical mind control at all, which CaGI does.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-09, 04:17 PM
Oh, I don't think two wrongs make a right, nor do I think grapple balls (anything will do, btw, not just rabbits) are as bad as CaGI. What I was trying to point out is that both 3.5 and 4e suck at verisimilitude. 4e has a lot of unexplained or poorly-explained powers, sure, but 3.5 is full of holes, too. Also, using the Fighter, of all things, to prove that point is really strange, because of this pile of rubbish design that can't even act as a guardsman (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/fighter.htm). 4e's Fighter isn't perfect, but it's strictly better than the "class" it was in the previous edition.
That's two completely different things though. 3E had verisimilitude as a design goal, and as a result, it's pretty bad at game balance. 4E had game balance as a design goal, and as a result, it's pretty bad at verisimilitude. Yes, you can find holes in 3E's verisimilitude or in 4E's balance, but overall they're pretty good at what they aimed for. Of course, there are third-party games that are better at both, but they don't have the name recognition.

5E appears to be aiming at verisimilitude again at the expense of balance; apparently WOTC has decided that this will sell better. We'll see how it goes.

HammeredWharf
2014-04-09, 05:07 PM
That's two completely different things though. 3E had verisimilitude as a design goal, and as a result, it's pretty bad at game balance. 4E had game balance as a design goal, and as a result, it's pretty bad at verisimilitude. Yes, you can find holes in 3E's verisimilitude or in 4E's balance, but overall they're pretty good at what they aimed for.

I disagree with this line of thinking. A game must work as you'd expect it to in order to have any sort of verisimilitude. 3.5 tries very hard to have rules that emulate reality, but when you have Fighters who can't fight, legendary rogues who can't sneak attack half of the monsters, feats called Toughness that don't make you tougher and other awful balance problems, the illusion is shattered. When you try to make Jeff the legendary guard captain and swordmaster only to find out he's nearly impossible to make without ToB, because Fighters don't get any skills a competent guard captain would have, Rangers and Rogues don't fit the theme, sword & board sucks, etc. you start fighting the system instead of role-playing.

Not that I dislike 3.5. I just think pretending it somehow succeeded at being realistic is pointless. It's not realistic and not even internally consistent. I hoped 5e would change that, but it's starting to look like it'll be the same.

Morty
2014-04-09, 05:23 PM
I agree. D&D 3e tries to maintain verisimilitude, but to say it achieves it is a stretch.

cfalcon
2014-04-09, 08:00 PM
As a side note, I never saw what's so bad about CaGI.

Well, I dislike taunts on fighters to a massive degree- it turns them into tanks! It's got no historical precedence for such a strange ability- I mean, a soldier given an order to slay a wizard in the back can't be taunted mundanely, that's nuts.


Sure, it doesn't make sense from time to time, but people who attack it often defend 3.5, which has things like grappling with trained rabbits to reach supersonic speeds.

3.5 has no such thing.


You can quote some bizarre rules thing no one cares about or allows, of course. But peasant railguns are forum fodder, not something that you actually have in a game.


Taunts are a design decision, one that got thrown into every extant game when WoW hit big time (EQ had them first, but didn't make the impact), and then some games are even designed around them to offer the same tactical element that MMOs have with them (where I find them a solid part of gameplay). I'm definitely not interested in a D&D-style game with them, and while it's easy enough to weed them out in 3.X and Pathfinder when they come up (Knight, for instance), I wouldn't even try in a game actually designed from the start around them- I would view that as a lost cause that is so ahistorical as to be beyond redemption.

Obviously someone who enjoys that gameplay and is willing to let reality slide for that purpose more than me would not share that conviction, and would probably enjoy actually having a way to make his armor more than something that means "enemies run around me and attack the wizard".

cfalcon
2014-04-09, 08:08 PM
That's two completely different things though. 3E had verisimilitude as a design goal, and as a result, it's pretty bad at game balance. 4E had game balance as a design goal, and as a result, it's pretty bad at verisimilitude. Yes, you can find holes in 3E's verisimilitude or in 4E's balance, but overall they're pretty good at what they aimed for.

I find this a compelling summary. There's no doubt that all the junk I hated about 4ed and dismissed it trivially over had TONS of merit in the direction it was aimed at. From my perspective it was a cop out- I wanted a game that aims at simulating a magical reality AND gives better balance than classic D&D (including 3.X). In other words, to me 4ed threw away the whole game just to offer something that was actually balanced for a change- but the product I want is the version of 3.X that doesn't crap on the fighter without giving him spells.


5E appears to be aiming at verisimilitude again at the expense of balance; apparently WOTC has decided that this will sell better. We'll see how it goes.

I'm kind of excited, but I'm just worried that I'll just be stuck at 3.X / Pathfinder until Paizo makes a new edition. I'm definitely gonna give it a fair shake though, especially if the modular nature starts to shine through I can simulate some things in greater detail while someone who cares less about those doesn't need to.

I mean, like, when I read a lot of the 4ed folks talking about the design they want to play, it strikes me as totally insane- like they don't care about the simulation at all. I don't post in those threads, because it's obvious that the game they are into is simply not the one I care about, and I'll never ever play theirs. Different goals from the start. I doubt 5ed will really be able to please both camps, and if it's aimed at them, well, I have games to play that are aimed at me.

Lokiare
2014-04-09, 11:44 PM
Well, I dislike taunts on fighters to a massive degree- it turns them into tanks! It's got no historical precedence for such a strange ability- I mean, a soldier given an order to slay a wizard in the back can't be taunted mundanely, that's nuts.



3.5 has no such thing.


You can quote some bizarre rules thing no one cares about or allows, of course. But peasant railguns are forum fodder, not something that you actually have in a game.


Taunts are a design decision, one that got thrown into every extant game when WoW hit big time (EQ had them first, but didn't make the impact), and then some games are even designed around them to offer the same tactical element that MMOs have with them (where I find them a solid part of gameplay). I'm definitely not interested in a D&D-style game with them, and while it's easy enough to weed them out in 3.X and Pathfinder when they come up (Knight, for instance), I wouldn't even try in a game actually designed from the start around them- I would view that as a lost cause that is so ahistorical as to be beyond redemption.

Obviously someone who enjoys that gameplay and is willing to let reality slide for that purpose more than me would not share that conviction, and would probably enjoy actually having a way to make his armor more than something that means "enemies run around me and attack the wizard".

This assumes that taunts aren't realistic or that powers like CaGI even uses taunts. I linked the video where the martial artist left an opening so that his attacker without any verbal exchange moved up to try to attack him, and the guy used that to get a free attack on the would be attacker. These kinds of things are 100% real. Not only that, the power targets will defense which is the Wisdom or Charisma of the target, meaning they are opposing the targets ability to see through a ruse or taunt or their willpower to resist the ruse or taunt. That is entirely realistic and real world.

Is it just that they don't use opposed wisdom and charisma rolls that puts you off? Because I'm not seeing one cogent fact that it isn't realistic beyond 'they abstracted it too much', which is easily solvable by making a few corrections to the power. It certainly doesn't require an entire edition change.

Lokiare
2014-04-09, 11:48 PM
I find this a compelling summary. There's no doubt that all the junk I hated about 4ed and dismissed it trivially over had TONS of merit in the direction it was aimed at. From my perspective it was a cop out- I wanted a game that aims at simulating a magical reality AND gives better balance than classic D&D (including 3.X). In other words, to me 4ed threw away the whole game just to offer something that was actually balanced for a change- but the product I want is the version of 3.X that doesn't crap on the fighter without giving him spells.



I'm kind of excited, but I'm just worried that I'll just be stuck at 3.X / Pathfinder until Paizo makes a new edition. I'm definitely gonna give it a fair shake though, especially if the modular nature starts to shine through I can simulate some things in greater detail while someone who cares less about those doesn't need to.

I mean, like, when I read a lot of the 4ed folks talking about the design they want to play, it strikes me as totally insane- like they don't care about the simulation at all. I don't post in those threads, because it's obvious that the game they are into is simply not the one I care about, and I'll never ever play theirs. Different goals from the start. I doubt 5ed will really be able to please both camps, and if it's aimed at them, well, I have games to play that are aimed at me.

It isn't that we don't care about simulation, we do. Its that we care about other factors more. Balance, tactics, and varied options are the things that we look for first and if its accurate simulation on top of those, that's just icing on the cake. We enjoy the game as an obstacle course with clear win conditions. Where winning is based on our skill as players and the choices we make rather than on random dice rolls.

From what I read of you and other similar posters you want a game that throws anything else out the window in favor of simulating a realistic fantasy world that is 'real except as noted'. To you things like balance, tactics, and varied options are icing on the cake after they get the realism down.

It isn't that we can't play the same game together, its that WotC would have to make a balanced, tactical, option filled, realistic simulation of a fantasy world and they don't seem capable of that.

Dienekes
2014-04-10, 01:10 AM
Well, I dislike taunts on fighters to a massive degree- it turns them into tanks! It's got no historical precedence for such a strange ability- I mean, a soldier given an order to slay a wizard in the back can't be taunted mundanely, that's nuts.

This is the part of why mundanes don't get nice things. I personally have gotten a guy to take a swing at me by taunting him. Why should something I was able to do in real life not be an option available in the game?

Honestly, in a fight, most people aren't thinking exactly straight. If you know what to say, or (as was probably in my case) just got lucky, you can definitely manipulate people to do what you want them to do. That's just being a good fighter. Hell, Muhammad Ali was famous for this kind of manipulation, to get his opponent to mess up or attack him angry and sloppy.

As is often the case when discussing what is and isn't possible, your concept of reality is more restricting than actual reality.

HammeredWharf
2014-04-10, 04:26 AM
Well, I dislike taunts on fighters to a massive degree- it turns them into tanks! It's got no historical precedence for such a strange ability- I mean, a soldier given an order to slay a wizard in the back can't be taunted mundanely, that's nuts.

Alright, let's talk about historical accuracy.

Things that worked in real-life melee combat:

1) Formations
2) Spears
3) Shields
4) Armor
5) Cavalry

Things that work in 3.5 melee:

1) Using the lightest possible armor and charging your opponents while jumping and raging like an idiot (ubercharger)
2) Using a huge chain to trip things (spiked chain tripper)
3) Running around to deal more damage (skirmish)
4) Using a shield that floats around you (animated shield)
5) Being very angry (Frenzied Berserker)

There's very little the two have in common, except hitting things. Cavalry works to a point, except later on you need a magical mount anyway, because mundane ones die in the first round.


3.5 has no such thing.


You can quote some bizarre rules thing no one cares about or allows, of course. But peasant railguns are forum fodder, not something that you actually have in a game.

Whenever you grapple someone, you can force them to move half your speed by winning a grapple check, which they can voluntarily lose. A grapple can have an unlimited amount of people in it. So, the most efficient form of traveling is making a huge grapple ball with your horses and party members. The more people in it, the faster it goes. And yes, that's in the rules and a hilarious mental image. Of course, most people don't allow it. Maybe people also houserule that you can't move immobilized foes with CaGI. Maybe CaGI requires some suspension of disbelief, but it's way less than the amount required to believe spiked chains and charging.

Morty
2014-04-10, 05:33 AM
Well, I dislike taunts on fighters to a massive degree- it turns them into tanks! It's got no historical precedence for such a strange ability- I mean, a soldier given an order to slay a wizard in the back can't be taunted mundanely, that's nuts.


This is the part of why mundanes don't get nice things. I personally have gotten a guy to take a swing at me by taunting him. Why should something I was able to do in real life not be an option available in the game?

Honestly, in a fight, most people aren't thinking exactly straight. If you know what to say, or (as was probably in my case) just got lucky, you can definitely manipulate people to do what you want them to do. That's just being a good fighter. Hell, Muhammad Ali was famous for this kind of manipulation, to get his opponent to mess up or attack him angry and sloppy.

As is often the case when discussing what is and isn't possible, your concept of reality is more restricting than actual reality.

Taunting enemies to do something you want should definitely be possible, if you choose to have your character learn such skills. However, I also agree that forcing fighters into the role of a "tank" is not a good decision. One of the many problems plaguing warriors throughout D&D's history is the fact that the designers have had a lot of trouble with conceptualizing them as anything other than meatshields standing in front of the squishier, more important party members. And I haven't seen anything in D&D Next to suggest that they're any better at it now. There have been some bones thrown to the more aggressive and mobile styles of fighting, but for the most part, fighters, barbarians and paladins are still meathsields.

As far as simulation goes - really, 4e doesn't do a worse job at it than 3e. It's just honest about it and doesn't pretend it can simulate anything. 3e pretends, but it all falls apart when you actually try.

Talakeal
2014-04-10, 01:33 PM
I am seeing a couple of often repeated ideas in this thread that I don't really agree with.

The first is that either everything must be realistic or nothing can be realistic. That simply including one fantasy element means you have to include every fantasy element. Most genres of fiction do not work this way, why must RPGs?

Second, that to make a fighter better you must impose MORE limitations on them. Fighters already have terrible skills and saves, no class features beyond feats, and the inability to change their feats on a daily basis like casters can do for spells. Why then, must we add more limitations like only allowing them to know a few maneuvers at a time or be unable to repeat those that they do know a few times an encounter / day? This might be realistic or appropriate to genre in SOME cases, but I would say they are in the minority, and it is certainly not necessary for balance reasons. A war-blade who could use every maneuver in the book at will would still be unlikely to break tier2, and certainly couldn't approach tier one, and isn't even as unbalancing to straight forward combat as something like an uber-charger.

As for taunts, I think they certainly have their place, although I don't think they should be reliable spam that turns off enemy brains like in an MMO or to a lesser extent 4E. IRL people can and do provoke others into fights all the time, and people are very likely to ignore their mission to focus on an immediate threat, and turning your back on a skilled fighter to chase down a mage is going to get you killed in quick order (although that last has more to do with AoOs being too easy to avoid and doing too little damage compared to HP pools than taunting). In most genres of fiction taunting of a sort is also perfectly reasonable, I can't count how many action or horror movies involve someone distracting the bad guy, either to lure it into a trap or away from a more vulnerable fighter (for example Schwarzenegger at the climax of Predator or Merry and Pippin at the climax of Fellowship of the Ring). Also, challenging an enemy to one on one combat is a common trope in both film and literature, and if handled right is more than adequate as a taunt.

obryn
2014-04-10, 01:55 PM
Second, that to make a fighter better you must impose MORE limitations on them. Fighters already have terrible skills and saves, no class features beyond feats, and the inability to change their feats on a daily basis like casters can do for spells. Why then, must we add more limitations like only allowing them to know a few maneuvers at a time or be unable to repeat those that they do know a few times an encounter / day? This might be realistic or appropriate to genre in SOME cases, but I would say they are in the minority, and it is certainly not necessary for balance reasons. A war-blade who could use every maneuver in the book at will would still be unlikely to break tier2, and certainly couldn't approach tier one, and isn't even as unbalancing to straight forward combat as something like an uber-charger.
It's all about balance over time. If you start with an assertion that a tricky Fighter can do any of their tricks whenever they want to, you need to look at balance very carefully. Severe debuffs (blind, paralyzed, heck dead) wouldn't be at all appropriate. What's more, they'd be boring because you'd just spam the same "best trick" over and over again.

Usage limitations are a way of giving more powerful tricks, while keeping each round (theoretically) different.

As a comparison, imagine if a Wizard could spam their highest-level spells over and over again.

Talakeal
2014-04-10, 02:36 PM
It's all about balance over time. If you start with an assertion that a tricky Fighter can do any of their tricks whenever they want to, you need to look at balance very carefully. Severe debuffs (blind, paralyzed, heck dead) wouldn't be at all appropriate. What's more, they'd be boring because you'd just spam the same "best trick" over and over again.

Usage limitations are a way of giving more powerful tricks, while keeping each round (theoretically) different.

As a comparison, imagine if a Wizard could spam their highest-level spells over and over again.

I am not overly familiar with the system, but don't both 4E fighters and War-Blades only get to know a few powers at a time, and aren't they all drawn from the highest level available? Its been a couple years, but I seem to recall forgetting my existing powers and learning new powers every few levels in 4E, so I didn't have any choice but to use my highest level powers, and looking over my copy of ToB it seems to work the same way.

Person_Man
2014-04-10, 02:40 PM
5E appears to be aiming at verisimilitude again at the expense of balance; apparently WOTC has decided that this will sell better. We'll see how it goes.

I agree with this. But I would add that Balance/Versimilitude (Gamist/Simulationist, or Combat/Roleplaying, or however you want to phrase or spin it) are not in any way incompatible with each other. You just have to take the time to address each of them when you write your game.

For example, in regards to potential 4E style Fighter Maneuvers/Powers/etc, you can write Taunt/Leadership stuff that doesn't feel ridiculous. You just have to say "Taunt/Leadership maneuvers involve trickery, indimidation, reading your enemy's body motions, etc. They only effect X creatures, and not mindless creatures like Y." And/or you could codify it in a key word of some kind, such as Mind-Effecting or some similar tag on it. And then complement it with a bunch of "hit things in interesting ways" maneuvers, so that the Fighter isn't useless against enemies immune to Mind-Effecting stuff.

Or if you want to make a fluffy thing more balanced, consider 3.5 Sneak Attack. Instead of "you hit vital organs" and limiting it to certain enemies, you could write "you hit your enemy in a precise location in order to cause maximum damage" and make it a universal or mostly universal damage bonus, then add a bunch of Tricks that expand upon this core mechanic. The Pathfinder Ninja more or less does this and is considered by some to be Tier 3-ish.

Lokiare
2014-04-10, 02:50 PM
I am seeing a couple of often repeated ideas in this thread that I don't really agree with.

The first is that either everything must be realistic or nothing can be realistic. That simply including one fantasy element means you have to include every fantasy element. Most genres of fiction do not work this way, why must RPGs?

Second, that to make a fighter better you must impose MORE limitations on them. Fighters already have terrible skills and saves, no class features beyond feats, and the inability to change their feats on a daily basis like casters can do for spells. Why then, must we add more limitations like only allowing them to know a few maneuvers at a time or be unable to repeat those that they do know a few times an encounter / day? This might be realistic or appropriate to genre in SOME cases, but I would say they are in the minority, and it is certainly not necessary for balance reasons. A war-blade who could use every maneuver in the book at will would still be unlikely to break tier2, and certainly couldn't approach tier one, and isn't even as unbalancing to straight forward combat as something like an uber-charger.

As for taunts, I think they certainly have their place, although I don't think they should be reliable spam that turns off enemy brains like in an MMO or to a lesser extent 4E. IRL people can and do provoke others into fights all the time, and people are very likely to ignore their mission to focus on an immediate threat, and turning your back on a skilled fighter to chase down a mage is going to get you killed in quick order (although that last has more to do with AoOs being too easy to avoid and doing too little damage compared to HP pools than taunting). In most genres of fiction taunting of a sort is also perfectly reasonable, I can't count how many action or horror movies involve someone distracting the bad guy, either to lure it into a trap or away from a more vulnerable fighter (for example Schwarzenegger at the climax of Predator or Merry and Pippin at the climax of Fellowship of the Ring). Also, challenging an enemy to one on one combat is a common trope in both film and literature, and if handled right is more than adequate as a taunt.

Just a note, in 4E you can only use CaGI once per encounter, meaning it was unlikely that the same targets would get a chance to be affected by it again. In 5E you could have a maneuver that is almost identical:

Come and Get It
You try to manipulate your targets into moving closer so you can attack them.
Roll one superiority die. If the number rolled is equal to or greater than the targetís Wisdom modifier, and the target is within a 10' radius, can see you, and is not mindless and can move, the target moves toward you. If it stops next to you, you can make an attack against it with no bonuses to damage (such as from strength or magic). You can affect any number of targets that meet the requirements at one time, but must roll a superiority die for each. Any target that has seen you perform this maneuver is immune to it in the future.


It's all about balance over time. If you start with an assertion that a tricky Fighter can do any of their tricks whenever they want to, you need to look at balance very carefully. Severe debuffs (blind, paralyzed, heck dead) wouldn't be at all appropriate. What's more, they'd be boring because you'd just spam the same "best trick" over and over again.

Usage limitations are a way of giving more powerful tricks, while keeping each round (theoretically) different.

As a comparison, imagine if a Wizard could spam their highest-level spells over and over again.

Usage limitations don't have to be based on a time frame as I demonstrated above. maneuvers are pretty much at-will powers in 5E, however the limitation I imposed is that you can't fool the same target twice with this maneuver, which means you can't use it more than once per encounter and you can't use it on any enemies that escape that you face in the future.

Lokiare
2014-04-10, 02:57 PM
I agree with this. But I would add that Balance/Versimilitude (Gamist/Simulationist, or Combat/Roleplaying, or however you want to phrase or spin it) are not in any way incompatible with each other. You just have to take the time to address each of them when you write your game.

For example, in regards to potential 4E style Fighter Maneuvers/Powers/etc, you can write Taunt/Leadership stuff that doesn't feel ridiculous. You just have to say "Taunt/Leadership maneuvers involve trickery, indimidation, reading your enemy's body motions, etc. They only effect X creatures, and not mindless creatures like Y." And/or you could codify it in a key word of some kind, such as Mind-Effecting or some similar tag on it. And then complement it with a bunch of "hit things in interesting ways" maneuvers, so that the Fighter isn't useless against enemies immune to Mind-Effecting stuff.

Or if you want to make a fluffy thing more balanced, consider 3.5 Sneak Attack. Instead of "you hit vital organs" and limiting it to certain enemies, you could write "you hit your enemy in a precise location in order to cause maximum damage" and make it a universal or mostly universal damage bonus, then add a bunch of Tricks that expand upon this core mechanic. The Pathfinder Ninja more or less does this and is considered by some to be Tier 3-ish.

Sneak Attack
You bide your time looking for an opening and strike at your enemies weakest point.
Effect: Each round you are hidden from a target you store up 1d6 damage. When you attack that target while being hidden or invisible and they are not aware of you, you gain advantage to the attack and if you hit you may add all of the damage you stored to the damage of your attack. You may store up 1d6 damage for every two levels of Rogue you have.

theNater
2014-04-10, 03:33 PM
I am not overly familiar with the system, but don't both 4E fighters and War-Blades only get to know a few powers at a time, and aren't they all drawn from the highest level available? Its been a couple years, but I seem to recall forgetting my existing powers and learning new powers every few levels in 4E, so I didn't have any choice but to use my highest level powers, and looking over my copy of ToB it seems to work the same way.
I can't speak to War-Blades, but in 4e you don't start replacing powers until level 13, and after replacing a power you always retain at least one power you gained at least 10 levels prior.

obryn
2014-04-10, 05:10 PM
I am not overly familiar with the system, but don't both 4E fighters and War-Blades only get to know a few powers at a time, and aren't they all drawn from the highest level available? Its been a couple years, but I seem to recall forgetting my existing powers and learning new powers every few levels in 4E, so I didn't have any choice but to use my highest level powers, and looking over my copy of ToB it seems to work the same way.
That is incorrect for 4e. You eventually replace lower-level powers with higher-level ones, but you can retain (for example) a 1st-level Encounter power for your whole career, if you see fit.

Now, because of the wonky way the system expanded and the emergent realizations that out-of-turn attacks and static modifiers are exceptionally important, sometimes lower-level powers are better than higher-level ones (4e psionic classes are downright notorious for this). But overall, if you can just spam your best thing over and over again (see, again: 4e psionic classes), stuff can get both unbalanced and very, very repetitive. Think 3.5 spiked-chain-tripmeister levels of boring.

(Note: I am worried about the Battlemaster mechanic getting repetitive as well - that there will be one "best choice" that's ideal in 90%+ situations.)

Usage limitations can serve as a pacing mechanism, a way to mix things up, and for game balance. (And while knowledge limits are useful for balance, they're especially useful as time-savers. Decision paralysis can be bad enough when you're looking at 12 things; if you were looking at 96 of them, it could drag the game to a halt.)

So in my mind it's kind of disingenuous to decry usage limitations and knowledge limitations as somehow restrictive and unfair to the swordy guys, when in fact they enable a swordy guy to get access to special effects he wouldn't have access to otherwise.

Morty
2014-04-10, 05:13 PM
It's far easier to introduce interesting, flavourful abilities if you restrict their use somehow. It's as simple as that.

cfalcon
2014-04-10, 05:24 PM
This is the part of why mundanes don't get nice things. I personally have gotten a guy to take a swing at me by taunting him. Why should something I was able to do in real life not be an option available in the game?

He CHOSE to attack you- you didn't MAKE him. That's the big difference. If that was a marine ordered to grab the bag your sister was holding but to not attack you, do you think he would have? That's a huge difference.


Honestly, in a fight, most people aren't thinking exactly straight.

I disagree with this in the case of professionals, but more importantly, it's out of line to generalize this into "... and therefore mundane mind control is a great mechanic".


As is often the case when discussing what is and isn't possible, your concept of reality is more restricting than actual reality.

Nope, not at all. 3.X has many ways to model intimidation and in combat bluffs. You might decide those need buffs to be more effective, but that's working within the intent of the system- it's not adding a taunt.


The real test is this- did you have taunts in, say, 1996? Like, were you houseruling them in before EQ made them strategically interesting, and before WoW gave them massive exposure? Did you ever look at a tabletop and think "historically, this guy should be able to make everyone tunnel him instead of the wizard"? Did you ever go looking through old fight manuals and historical martial arts to see if taunting was recommended as part of their system?

I think you know the answers here. It's a strategically pleasing and fun feature, and one I will never, ever, allow in a game, due to it's entire ahistorical nature.

And before EQ and WoW were around, I never had anyone asking for it.


Alright, let's talk about historical accuracy.

I super don't care. I'm well aware that 3.X ships with a host of dumb exploits and degenerate cases, and those are bugs, not features. Yes, you have to buff armor, you need to model groups of soldiers differently at high levels to ensure that they can deal damage to hero level units like PCs, you OBVIOUSLY need to delete spiked chain, dwarven urgosh, that darth maul sword, gnome hooked self-orchidectomizer, etc., if you are aiming for simulating a reality that is very much like ours, plus some magic.

I do think it's interesting that in no game I've played in or ran, have any of those spiked chain been allowed, and we houseruled that it didn't even work in an antimagic field because we couldn't find any examples of such a weapon historically (and therefore must be a magical artifact of the gameworld). After a couple campaigns we just banned it forever. Honestly, it only even hit the table because it was in the PHB.

Everything except the chain was added after the fact and cherry picked out of splatbooks, and while they are totally valid in a charop environment, I don't personally know anyone who would take that stuff seriously. For me, it's just odd to even discuss it, if that makes sense.


Do you see why I say it's just totally different, what we emphasize? I'm like, POSITIVE you'd want a set of rules that were balanced and good and that pretty much every DM would agree on, barring campaign specific changes- I think we all would- but I think you'd be willing to give up what I am not to get there. I'm betting you 4ed achieves most of that, in fact- the biggest complaint I hear from 4ed players is length of combat (not game balance), and the biggest reasons I hear from folks who dislike and don't play it all sound like mine.



Whenever you grapple someone, you can force them to move half your speed by winning a grapple check, which they can voluntarily lose.

Not at all relevant! Also I'm not sure that's really implied by the rules (not that I want to get into a rules debate- I'm SURE you could find SOME rule that gives a hairy result), because at no point does it account for the movement of the rest of the grapple ball (AKA, A, B, C, and D are in a grapple-ball, A forces B to move half his speed, but I read C and D as having to either release B or the action fails, as A is moving him away from them- not even a houserule, nothing accounts for the movement of C and D, just as A couldn't force B to do any other impossible movement, such as pulling him through a stone wall). But even if you DID find some rule that forced it- who cares? It's CLEAR what the grapple rules are for, and it isn't a ball of horses and PCs playing Katamari Damacy.



Second, that to make a fighter better you must impose MORE limitations on them.

The 3.5 fighter was clearly balanced in whatever meta he was designed for. The devs didn't even do a bad job back then, though I would argue the designers kind of did. The fact that just in the PHB the fighter is taxed so very hard for being able to just attack stuff and is given truly awful skills certainly makes him look like he's the "feat-er", something to "splash" to qualify for prestigewhatevers, and some mindless meatbag made to create DPR, and to be thrown away the moment someone else offers either more damage or similar damage and more utility. But that's clearly not the design intent of the fighter, and I'd argue if you aren't houseruling your game a bit you are mistreating martial guys in general.



In 5E you could have a maneuver that is almost identical:

Right, but there's a huge question of intent. If the book ships with a baseline taunt for fighters, then I know to avoid it entirely. If it's some splat addon later with some tradeoff (like a "kit" or an alternate class, or a feat) then I just axe it. Pathfinder came up with some feat-based taunt? Banned. 3.5 Knight? Banned. Easy!

But if the mundane mind control stuff is in the CORE BOOK? There's no saving it. I don't have anywhere near the system mastery of 4ed to ban such a power and not be totally breaking what fighters were designed to be. For all I know I'd be hacking away at most of the intended ways to play a damned fighter. I would ruin it.

So while I'm sure a taunt can be added to any of the games (and it can be balanced around if you don't just power creep it in), I am MUCH less confident trying to opposed clear design intent and dev playtest time.

Talakeal
2014-04-10, 05:29 PM
That is incorrect for 4e. You eventually replace lower-level powers with higher-level ones, but you can retain (for example) a 1st-level Encounter power for your whole career, if you see fit.

Now, because of the wonky way the system expanded and the emergent realizations that out-of-turn attacks and static modifiers are exceptionally important, sometimes lower-level powers are better than higher-level ones (4e psionic classes are downright notorious for this). But overall, if you can just spam your best thing over and over again (see, again: 4e psionic classes), stuff can get both unbalanced and very, very repetitive. Think 3.5 spiked-chain-tripmeister levels of boring.

(Note: I am worried about the Battlemaster mechanic getting repetitive as well - that there will be one "best choice" that's ideal in 90%+ situations.)

Usage limitations can serve as a pacing mechanism, a way to mix things up, and for game balance. (And while knowledge limits are useful for balance, they're especially useful as time-savers. Decision paralysis can be bad enough when you're looking at 12 things; if you were looking at 96 of them, it could drag the game to a halt.)

So in my mind it's kind of disingenuous to decry usage limitations and knowledge limitations as somehow restrictive and unfair to the swordy guys, when in fact they enable a swordy guy to get access to special effects he wouldn't have access to otherwise.

As I said, I warblade or 4e fighter who can take all max level powers and use them all at will can't reach the versatility of a 3E full caster or even the sheer power of an uber-charger or similar power damage build. I am not sure why it is impossible to make a character with more options than a 3E fighter without breaking the game.

If you are worried about fighters just using their "strongest" move over and over again, just have different moves at the same level of power. You can make them roughly equal with accuracy bonuses or penalties, allow some to require a full action, allow saves or opposed rolls against other, etc. For example, an attack that immobilizes my foe is going to be better than one that trips, all things being even, but if the trip gets a +4 bonus to hit and is automatic while the immobilization gets a -4 penalty to hit and allows a save then one isn't clearly better than the other.

obryn
2014-04-10, 05:46 PM
He CHOSE to attack you- you didn't MAKE him. That's the big difference. If that was a marine ordered to grab the bag your sister was holding but to not attack you, do you think he would have? That's a huge difference.
And in the game, this is always decided through an intermediary. As the DM, I am not my NPCs, so the questions of their independent agency are moot. (I agree it gets hairier when we're talking about players' agency over their PCs. Let's table that for now and focus on PCs vs. NPCs.)

Given this, who am I to say that the Evil General won't get angry enough to charge the Fighter in a tactically boneheaded move? If he should be resistant to that kind of foolhardiness, I should have upped his Will Defense and/or Will Save and/or Insight or whatever to model that. You know, just like how a skill check would work. Is Diplomacy "mind control"? How about Intimidate?


As I said, I warblade or 4e fighter who can take all max level powers and use them all at will can't reach the versatility of a 3E full caster or even the sheer power of an uber-charger or similar power damage build. I am not sure why it is impossible to make a character with more options than a 3E fighter without breaking the game.

If you are worried about fighters just using their "strongest" move over and over again, just have different moves at the same level of power. You can make them roughly equal with accuracy bonuses or penalties, allow some to require a full action, allow saves or opposed rolls against other, etc. For example, an attack that immobilizes my foe is going to be better than one that trips, all things being even, but if the trip gets a +4 bonus to hit and is automatic while the immobilization gets a -4 penalty to hit and allows a save then one isn't clearly better than the other.
I don't think "power and versatility of a 3e full caster" is a good metric we should aspire to. :smallsmile:

The idea about attack penalties and bonuses is a non-starter for me. Attack bonuses and penalties are a pretty poor way to balance maneuvers, all in all. First, because you still run into scenarios where you can spam your best thing once you hit a certain peak ("oh good, I can blind the dude every round!") Second, because you're putting a huge opportunity cost for those low-probability maneuvers where there's a giant chance nothing happens and your turn is wasted. (Contrast 3e spells, where the higher level ones are both more powerful and have a higher chance of success.) Third, it doesn't have any use as a pacing mechanic, only as a risk management mechanic. Those serve different game functions.

There are other methods for pacing and balance than AEDU - token systems can work if handled right, for example. But AEDU pacing does a great job at what it's intended to do.

Morty
2014-04-10, 05:49 PM
I don't think "power and versatility of a 3e full caster" is a good metric we should aspire to. :smallsmile:


Exactly. Nor is the ubercharger's ridiculous competence at doing only one thing over and over again.

Dienekes
2014-04-10, 05:57 PM
He CHOSE to attack you- you didn't MAKE him. That's the big difference. If that was a marine ordered to grab the bag your sister was holding but to not attack you, do you think he would have? That's a huge difference.

That is what all manipulation is. You get people to believe, interact, and choose what you want them to do. Yes, a higher level character would have a better chance to ignore the actions of a lower level one. I'm not saying taunting needs to be an automatic success, I'm saying it should be something you can choose to do.


I disagree with this in the case of professionals, but more importantly, it's out of line to generalize this into "... and therefore mundane mind control is a great mechanic".

Then make it a will save. There you go, the higher level professionals get a better chance to ignore your attempt to manipulate them. And also, I again point to Muhammad Ali example, or if you want to go real old school The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. Even professionals make mistakes, get angry, fall for insults, and do stupid crap.

Also, mundane mind control, if you want to call it that is the same as Bluff. You say or do a thing, and it alters the perception of the target. For a bluff you make them believe something that's false and then they will act (if the GM is good) based upon this new interpretation of reality. Unfortunately, the d20 system has a far less abstracted combat system than they do social interaction system. So in combat we get things like: Make a Diplomacy check, if you make a good enough roll they're your friends and won't fight you.
Oh look at that. Mundane mind control.

I don't see how it's any different to saying, Make a Taunt check against an opponent if you succeed he thinks you're the biggest most baddest opponent and will try to fight you.
It just needs to be written well.


The real test is this- did you have taunts in, say, 1996? Like, were you houseruling them in before EQ made them strategically interesting, and before WoW gave them massive exposure? Did you ever look at a tabletop and think "historically, this guy should be able to make everyone tunnel him instead of the wizard"? Did you ever go looking through old fight manuals and historical martial arts to see if taunting was recommended as part of their system?

Yes I bloody well have. The 36 Stratagems, the previously mentioned Book of Five Rings, even Liechtenauer advocated tricking the opponent into engaging stupidly into your length. On a bigger more tactical level, The Art of War says use any means necessary to trick the opponent to get into poor position, and even brings up the potential arrogance of the opposing commander to be exploited. Though I don't believe he goes into further detail, it's been a few years since I read some Sun Tzu.


I think you know the answers here. It's a strategically pleasing and fun feature, and one I will never, ever, allow in a game, due to it's entire ahistorical nature.

Ahistorical my arse. And what does that even mean? Something being fun and new does not make it bad, nor does something being old make it good. If a new medium comes up with an idea that's fun and works for it's intended goal, and actually models a particular trick better than anything else we've seen, then use it. The mentality that we shouldn't is why we are collectively still holding our breath and seeing whether or not 5e will have the same idiotic quadratic wizards linear fighters problems 3.5 had.


But if the mundane mind control stuff is in the CORE BOOK? There's no saving it. I don't have anywhere near the system mastery of 4ed to ban such a power and not be totally breaking what fighters were designed to be. For all I know I'd be hacking away at most of the intended ways to play a damned fighter. I would ruin it.

Again, 3.5 Intimidation, Diplomacy, and Bluff. You can get people to do basically whatever you want in core.

Talakeal
2014-04-10, 05:59 PM
And I wouldn't aspire to either of those things. I am merely stating that there has to be some acceptable middle ground, and that you can still have a perfectly playable character by adding options onto the T4-5 classes without also throwing arbitrary restrictions on them.


As a completely hypothetical example:

Let's say, for a second, you have a hypothetical class with ranger skills, monk saves, and rather than a class feature simply gains every feat that a fighter could potentially take as a bonus feat as soon as they meet the prereqs.

This class has plenty of power and variety, and can contribute in almost any situations. It has ridiculous versatility, and no arbitrary draw backs.

Would this character be significantly better or worse at solving 90% of the encounters presented as appropriate in the DMG and MM than your basic fighter, thief, cleric, mage group? Would it be able to much a straightforward tier 1 or 2 character in a fight? Hell, would it even make a crusader, factotum, or bard obsolete?

Why is a class like this conceptually barred from discussion?

obryn
2014-04-10, 06:00 PM
Exactly. Nor is the ubercharger's ridiculous competence at doing only one thing over and over again.
Yeah, about that. Quick story. I recently played a session of Pathfinder where I had a Cavalier. (I got some advice here and elsewhere; I had to ask a guy to put him together for me because PF is vastly different from 3.5 when it comes to character creation these days, and my 8 years of 3.x experience counted for zilch.)

So, first, hilariously, I had all kinds of x/day non-magical martial abilities. Second, I had a taunt-like mechanic (which, again, was x/day). So I thought that was ... interesting. :smallbiggrin:

Second, I was a kickin' rad charger. If I was charging, I was doing a ton of damage. But if I couldn't charge? Useless. Totally useless. One trick pony, no variation, one optimal move to spam over and over again.

I like gaming with friends, but the system worked to stymie my enjoyment at just about every turn and I'm in no hurry to play it again.

Morty
2014-04-10, 06:00 PM
Call me crazy, but the easiest way to deal with "taunting" powers in 4e is, well, not taking them. It's optional. You can pick another utility power on that level.


Yeah, about that. Quick story. I recently played a session of Pathfinder where I had a Cavalier. (I got some advice here and elsewhere; I had to ask a guy to put him together for me because PF is vastly different from 3.5 when it comes to character creation these days, and my 8 years of 3.x experience counted for zilch.)

So, first, hilariously, I had all kinds of x/day non-magical martial abilities. Second, I had a taunt-like mechanic (which, again, was x/day). So I thought that was ... interesting. :smallbiggrin:

Second, I was a kickin' rad charger. If I was charging, I was doing a ton of damage. But if I couldn't charge? Useless. Totally useless. One trick pony, no variation, one optimal move to spam over and over again.

I like gaming with friends, but the system worked to stymie my enjoyment at just about every turn and I'm in no hurry to play it again.

Well, you know Mearls's answer to that - if your fighter can do more than one thing at a time, it's an advanced and complex option.



Why is a class like this conceptually barred from discussion?

Because it sounds dreadfully dull?

Dienekes
2014-04-10, 06:26 PM
Call me crazy, but the easiest way to deal with "taunting" powers in 4e is, well, not taking them. It's optional. You can pick another utility power on that level.

There is also this. One of my favorite classes is the Warblade, it's a bit ridiculous, but it's more fun and dynamic than the fighter ever could be. And every maneuver it has stays within the realm of physically possible (so long as we abstract hit points a bit, but we have to because hit points are insane no matter what you do). Except that one ability that allows him to throw a weapon and it magically appears in his hand again. I get what they're trying to do with it, but it's disbelief breaking for me for whatever reason.

So I just don't pick it.


Because it sounds dreadfully dull?

Honestly, worse than that. It sounds convoluted. It might be me, but I get a little annoyed when my casters go book diving to see what that spell they have does, and they get what? 40-50 spells maximum? How many feats would this monster have? 100? 200? How do they all even interact with each other?

Personally, I've always felt 20-30 abilities is the gold standard. Enough to do a lot of really cool stuff in a wide range of situations. But not overwhelming.

Morty
2014-04-10, 06:33 PM
There is also this. One of my favorite classes is the Warblade, it's a bit ridiculous, but it's more fun and dynamic than the fighter ever could be. And every maneuver it has stays within the realm of physically possible (so long as we abstract hit points a bit, but we have to because hit points are insane no matter what you do). Except that one ability that allows him to throw a weapon and it magically appears in his hand again. I get what they're trying to do with it, but it's disbelief breaking for me for whatever reason.

So I just don't pick it.

That's another advantage of being able to pick your abilities as opposed to being presented a laundry list of features you get each level and that you're stuck with for good.

cfalcon
2014-04-10, 07:08 PM
And in the game, this is always decided through an intermediary. As the DM, I am not my NPCs, so the questions of their independent agency are moot. (I agree it gets hairier when we're talking about players' agency over their PCs. Let's table that for now and focus on PCs vs. NPCs.)

Given this, who am I to say that the Evil General won't get angry enough to charge the Fighter in a tactically boneheaded move?

Well, I roleplay as Evil General, who may or may not fall for such bluster, given his character. I wouldn't let the dice determine this.

The issue about whether it works on PCs or not- I don't think it's exactly fair to table this! Does the 4ed ability not work on PCs, or enemies with PC classes? Most of these abilities mind control PCs and NPCs alike, and the alternative- having it be NPC only- is DEFINITELY not something I want in my games. Why would the fighter's brother be tauntable if the fighter is not?


Is Diplomacy "mind control"?

No, but when diplomacy checks go against the PCs I tell them to play with the attitude induced. Much like the NPCs, they are not held to this absolutely. Some interpretations about diplomacy I've seen on these boards do sort of treat it like a mind control- I have no place for that.


Yes I bloody well have.

None of these examples involve a tactical level taunt. These are calls for feinting and deception, things modeled (imperfectly) in 3.X and older versions. None of them involve what is going on here: an intelligent opponent being goaded into attacking a less threatening yet less vulnerable target instead of a vulnerable and valuable one. Not ANY of those documents you cite say a single thing that could interpreted as a taunt- and more importantly, no one did until we started to see the mechanic in play.


Ahistorical my arse. And what does that even mean?

Ahistorical is lacking historical perspective or context. In this case, the context part applies. A greatsword in D&D is historical- it maps to several real world weapons used in history. A mercurial greatsword is not historical- one assumes such an object would not function in the real world at all based on its lack of presence in history.

Mechanics such as taunt have been adopted by parts of the gaming community for their strategic and tactical depth and the ensuing enjoyment. But they lack historical context as much as a spiked chain, and have no place in my games.


The mentality that we shouldn't is why we are collectively still holding our breath and seeing whether or not 5e will have the same idiotic quadratic wizards linear fighters problems 3.5 had.

That problem is one of development, not design. I will say straight up that I'll take a game that has that, but accomplishes the design goals *I'm* seeking, over a game that avoids it but lacks those- I can fix game balance at the table, I can't do anything about a design level decision where simulationism was discarded early on in favor of game balance or pleasing mechanics.


You can get people to do basically whatever you want in core.

Those merely shift attitudes, they don't determine ACTIONS. If an NPC wants you to die, the bard can't make him want to help or aid you, any more than a quick roll of the dice by an NPC with high Diplo converts all of you to the side of Sizzlegore The Eyeball Muncher.


Well, you know Mearls's answer to that - if your fighter can do more than one thing at a time, it's an advanced and complex option.

I would argue that being able to do "one thing" is fine as long as that thing is "be a fighter". If that thing is "charge action", or "full attack" then I agree that the rules aren't giving you what you need.

obryn
2014-04-10, 07:41 PM
Well, I roleplay as Evil General, who may or may not fall for such bluster, given his character. I wouldn't let the dice determine this.

The issue about whether it works on PCs or not- I don't think it's exactly fair to table this! Does the 4ed ability not work on PCs, or enemies with PC classes? Most of these abilities mind control PCs and NPCs alike, and the alternative- having it be NPC only- is DEFINITELY not something I want in my games. Why would the fighter's brother be tauntable if the fighter is not?
I was acknowledging that others disagree in order to not get caught in an irrelevant PC vs NPC sidebar, but it looks like we're there anyway. So, in answer to your question, there's really no such thing as NPCs with PC classes. Not as such, anyway; there's some terrible, non-functioning "class templates" in the DMG, but those were made back when the designers were still half in a sim-like mindset and didn't understand the workings of their own system. You can make enemy wizards, fighters, etc., but it's best to use the class's powers for inspiration and construct them like monsters with similar roles. There's (thank god) no PC/NPC symmetry.

If you are doing PvP, a power like Come and Get It works just fine on PCs.

For the record, though, I prefer to avoid giving CaGI-like abilities to adversaries because I believe that players deserve more agency over their characters than I do over NPCs. It's not a matter that I don't think it's kosher to use them or that I'd be cheating or whatever; it's simply a table preference.

Back to the evil general - in this specific instance, he's one of many NPCs I'm playing, and I think it's perfectly fair to let the dice decide his actions in some cases. I should not be invested in his well-being like players are in the well-being of their own characters.


No, but when diplomacy checks go against the PCs I tell them to play with the attitude induced. Much like the NPCs, they are not held to this absolutely. Some interpretations about diplomacy I've seen on these boards do sort of treat it like a mind control- I have no place for that.
That goes back to agency, though. For the same logic as above, I don't tend to roll diplomacy checks against the PCs, because I think players deserve agency over their characters whereas it's cool if I don't have a ton of agency over NPCs and should let the dice fall where they may.

Now - none of these "taunt" mechanics, I need to add, are anything like a 4e Fighter's Mark. Marks aren't necessarily taunts, and there's no "aggro" drawn. There's no forced action, only a Catch-22 choice between two bad options. I'll use marks (and mark punishments) against PCs all over the place without compunction.

Knaight
2014-04-10, 09:46 PM
Regarding taunts and marks:
The whole taunt mechanic could have been improved immensely, if they had just made two small modifications. One is that it makes the person targeted move, thus restricting motion to what they can do. The other is to restrict it to minions. There's an explicit mechanic for unimportant extras in 4e, and this would have been a great place to apply it. Getting Cultist #576 to rush someone seems entirely reasonable, where it gets much fuzzier with actual characters.

As for marks, the basic modeling of paying extra attention to one person is nice to have. It's mostly the multiple mark interactions where it gets weird. I have no issues whatsoever with an ability that comes down to "I'm going to stab that guy the moment they take a swing at anyone other than me". Heck, I do this all the time when spear fencing. It's where only one person gets to do this where it gets odd.

HammeredWharf
2014-04-11, 04:30 AM
I super don't care. I'm well aware that 3.X ships with a host of dumb exploits and degenerate cases, and those are bugs, not features. Yes, you have to buff armor, you need to model groups of soldiers differently at high levels to ensure that they can deal damage to hero level units like PCs, you OBVIOUSLY need to delete spiked chain, dwarven urgosh, that darth maul sword, gnome hooked self-orchidectomizer, etc., if you are aiming for simulating a reality that is very much like ours, plus some magic.

I do think it's interesting that in no game I've played in or ran, have any of those spiked chain been allowed, and we houseruled that it didn't even work in an antimagic field because we couldn't find any examples of such a weapon historically (and therefore must be a magical artifact of the gameworld). After a couple campaigns we just banned it forever. Honestly, it only even hit the table because it was in the PHB.

Everything except the chain was added after the fact and cherry picked out of splatbooks, and while they are totally valid in a charop environment, I don't personally know anyone who would take that stuff seriously. For me, it's just odd to even discuss it, if that makes sense.

If it must be fixed, it's broken. Also known as the Oberoni fallacy. Personally, I've seen plenty of chargers in my group. No by-the-book uberchargers, but the basic ingredients were there. Optimized charging is well in the realm of practical optimization, because it's one of the few ways mundanes can kill high-level enemies before getting pulverized. Spiked chains are also very popular in our group, but IMO they're overrated and glaives are just as good most of the time without the feat investment.



Do you see why I say it's just totally different, what we emphasize? I'm like, POSITIVE you'd want a set of rules that were balanced and good and that pretty much every DM would agree on, barring campaign specific changes- I think we all would- but I think you'd be willing to give up what I am not to get there. I'm betting you 4ed achieves most of that, in fact- the biggest complaint I hear from 4ed players is length of combat (not game balance), and the biggest reasons I hear from folks who dislike and don't play it all sound like mine.

I don't like taunting mechanics any more than you do. In fact, I've hated them in every single game I've seen them in. However, I think 3e's way of handling melee is no better, so I also don't like the way 5e seems to be headed in. 3e's melee was already "fixed" by ToB, which made shields, one-handed weapons and "smart" fighting decent, so I don't know why Wizards seemingly decided to press the reset button. The only thing wrong with ToB is its bland wuxia fluff that I always ignore.


Not at all relevant! Also I'm not sure that's really implied by the rules (not that I want to get into a rules debate- I'm SURE you could find SOME rule that gives a hairy result), because at no point does it account for the movement of the rest of the grapple ball (AKA, A, B, C, and D are in a grapple-ball, A forces B to move half his speed, but I read C and D as having to either release B or the action fails, as A is moving him away from them- not even a houserule, nothing accounts for the movement of C and D, just as A couldn't force B to do any other impossible movement, such as pulling him through a stone wall). But even if you DID find some rule that forced it- who cares? It's CLEAR what the grapple rules are for, and it isn't a ball of horses and PCs playing Katamari Damacy.

I don't think it's worth discussing, because you're right it's clearly not RAI. However, I'd like to point out it's not obscure at all and is actually right in the basic grappling rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialAttacks.htm#grapple):

Move

You can move half your speed (bringing all others engaged in the grapple with you) by winning an opposed grapple check. This requires a standard action, and you must beat all the other individual check results to move the grapple.

Lokiare
2014-04-11, 07:01 PM
I think the problem here is that the DM has no choice when CaGI hits. What if we gave them a choice:

Come and Get It
You try to manipulate your enemies to come in range so you can attack them.
Close Burst 2
Targets: Enemies in the burst that can see you, are not mindless, and can move next to you.
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: The target chooses to either move adjacent to the originator of this attack or they gain a -2 to attack from being distracted until the end of their next turn. If they move adjacent to you, make the secondary attack:
Secondary Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 1[w] damage.

Would that make it more acceptable to those that feel its mind control?

Stubbazubba
2014-04-11, 09:50 PM
Has no one in this thread read Frank and K's Tomes?

Tome Knight fixed this years ago:


Designate Opponent (Ex):

As a swift action, a knight may mark an opponent as their primary foe. This foe must be within medium range and be able to hear the knight's challenge. If the target creature inflicts any damage on the knight before the knight's next turn, the attempt fails. Otherwise, any attacks the knight uses against the opponent during her next turn inflict an extra d6 of damage for each knight level she possesses. This effect ends at the end of the knight's next turn, or when she has struck her opponent a number of times equal to the number of attacks normally allotted to her by her Base Attack Bonus.

Example: Vayn is a 6th level knight presently benefiting from a haste spell, granting her an extra attack during a full attack action. On her turn she designates an ettin as her primary opponent, and the ettin declines to attack her during the ensuing turn. When Vayn's next turn comes up, she uses a full attack and attacks 3 times. The first two hits inflict an extra 6d6 of damage, and then she designates the ettin as her opponent again. It won't soon ignore her again!

You want a taunt that works for both PCs and NPCs and can't possibly be mind control? Then just change up the incentives in the abstraction! Then it's not just hand-waved manipulation, it's actually manipulating the decisions being made. And that is both more fun and engaging for the player using the power and the opponent its used against. Now if you wanted to take out the last vestige of complaint here you could, instead of making it automatic, require the target to roll a save to see if it sticks, but that's a pretty minor quibble.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-14, 04:09 PM
I agree with this. But I would add that Balance/Versimilitude (Gamist/Simulationist, or Combat/Roleplaying, or however you want to phrase or spin it) are not in any way incompatible with each other. You just have to take the time to address each of them when you write your game. For example, in regards to potential 4E style Fighter Maneuvers/Powers/etc, you can write Taunt/Leadership stuff that doesn't feel ridiculous.
I agree, but it appears that WOTC doesn't realize this. I'm seeing a pattern here where each edition of D&D is primarily built to address the (perceived) flaws of the previous edition, in reactive design. It would help if they were more proactive.


That is what all manipulation is. You get people to believe, interact, and choose what you want them to do. Yes, a higher level character would have a better chance to ignore the actions of a lower level one. I'm not saying taunting needs to be an automatic success, I'm saying it should be something you can choose to do.

Then make it a will save. ... I don't see how it's any different to saying, Make a Taunt check against an opponent if you succeed he thinks you're the biggest most baddest opponent and will try to fight you. It just needs to be written well.
Well, yes. The point we're making is that WOTC hasn't done this in 4E, and we're hoping that they will in 5E.


Call me crazy, but the easiest way to deal with "taunting" powers in 4e is, well, not taking them. It's optional. You can pick another utility power on that level.
If you restrict yourself from not taking powers as silly as these, then you basically bar yourself from several classes entirely (e.g. bard and battlemind), and it severely restricts your options for certain others (e.g. fighter and rogue). Furthermore, you'll probably still see these powers at your table because the other players may take them.

Lokiare
2014-04-14, 05:22 PM
I agree, but it appears that WOTC doesn't realize this. I'm seeing a pattern here where each edition of D&D is primarily built to address the (perceived) flaws of the previous edition, in reactive design. It would help if they were more proactive.

Exactly.


Well, yes. The point we're making is that WOTC hasn't done this in 4E, and we're hoping that they will in 5E.

Actually they did it in 4E with the use of the Will defense which is based on wisdom or charisma which would be the stats that you use to oppose it in any edition. So I'm not seeing how you can say they didn't do it in 4E. Its just like a saving throw, except the target is taking 10 on their roll.


If you restrict yourself from not taking powers as silly as these, then you basically bar yourself from several classes entirely (e.g. bard and battlemind), and it severely restricts your options for certain others (e.g. fighter and rogue). Furthermore, you'll probably still see these powers at your table because the other players may take them.

Actually no. The Bard is magical and the Battlemind is psychic. So its perfectly reasonable to expect those things to work. It would be a DM decision.

cfalcon
2014-04-14, 05:47 PM
I think the problem here is that the DM has no choice when CaGI hits. What if we gave them a choice:

This model isn't a taunt. I think the idea of harrying the opponents has plenty of merit.

From a mechanical standpoint, the idea with the taunt is that you can:

Defend allies
Position opponents
(sometimes) take advantage of the opponent


It's also odd that taunts often work against non-mindless opponents. If an opponent is mindless, one would think you'd want to discover what orders it is executing (aka, if it follows your wizard around the room, is it because it can sense he's a wizard, does it chase people not wearing armor, does it chase people who cast spells, and if so, how does it know those things?), and then you'd be able to exploit that.


In practice, many taunts have been thrown in at the last minute and tested not very much. Pathfinder printed a hugely controversial taunt that lit up the boards for months until it was fixed- it was one of those things where you can throw it at the wizard and he runs over and starts beating you up, taking attacks of opportunity in order to do so, and it was entirely mundane. You COULD balance the taunts- that I have no doubt about- but some of them have been poorly done, so some DMs don't like them because of a reputation of wildly powerful tricks.


The attack of opportunity, I think, has some merit here- it's clearly meant as punishment for people who ignore you in battle to go do something else. I think that could have been a pretty ok starting point. I think the idea of harrying opponents such that they get penalties to attack your nearby allies (modelling you interfering with their attacks) also has merit. I wouldn't mind seeing any of these at all- in fact, I'd like to see a better way to defend allies than 3.X provided baseline. But I'd really like to avoid the mind control things that force opponent actions.


I don't think you can justify positioning opponents without the mind control part, but you could definitely get the other two to some degree, without having to add a taunt explicitly.

Sartharina
2014-04-24, 08:46 AM
Well, I roleplay as Evil General, who may or may not fall for such bluster, given his character. I wouldn't let the dice determine this.Do you also not let the dice determine whether he believes a particularly convincing bluff, or ignores a dragon's terrifying presence, or disbelieve an illusion, or anything else that is actually dependent on his wisdom?

Not only mages are able to manipulate minds, as advertisers, con artists, and millions of others have proven over the millenia. Everyone is vulnerable to some sort of manipulation. "Oh, that poison's not magical, so I don't need to make a constitution check against it." "Eh, unless that falling rock is magically compelled to home in on me, I shouldn't have to make a dexterity save to dodge it, and unless it's driven by a magical force, I shouldn't have to make a Strength save to catch and keep it from crushing me." The mind is no more immune to mundane manipulation than the body.

It's not your choice to make whether you fall for a combat gambit or not. A fighter who knows combat understands how to manipulate opponents to the extent that the choice is "Make a Wisdom Save or suck it up and do as he wants".

Lokiare
2014-04-24, 12:02 PM
Do you also not let the dice determine whether he believes a particularly convincing bluff, or ignores a dragon's terrifying presence, or disbelieve an illusion, or anything else that is actually dependent on his wisdom?

Not only mages are able to manipulate minds, as advertisers, con artists, and millions of others have proven over the millenia. Everyone is vulnerable to some sort of manipulation. "Oh, that poison's not magical, so I don't need to make a constitution check against it." "Eh, unless that falling rock is magically compelled to home in on me, I shouldn't have to make a dexterity save to dodge it, and unless it's driven by a magical force, I shouldn't have to make a Strength save to catch and keep it from crushing me." The mind is no more immune to mundane manipulation than the body.

It's not your choice to make whether you fall for a combat gambit or not. A fighter who knows combat understands how to manipulate opponents to the extent that the choice is "Make a Wisdom Save or suck it up and do as he wants".

Not to mention these six second manipulations are probably resisted on a sub-conscious level. When the swordsman lowers his blade an inch too far, you have a split second to decide whether its a ruse or whether its an opening and that's mostly dependent on your training, not actively thinking about it.

Doug Lampert
2014-04-24, 01:27 PM
Not to mention these six second manipulations are probably resisted on a sub-conscious level. When the swordsman lowers his blade an inch too far, you have a split second to decide whether its a ruse or whether its an opening and that's mostly dependent on your training, not actively thinking about it.

Yeah, the technical term for the guy who thinks in detail about his moves in close combat with lethal weapons rather than going by reflex and training is "the dead guy". So we'll make all dead (but not undead) characters are immune to Come and Get It! Wait! That's already true, the rules work!

Additionally, this simple already present rule has the added advantage that it also ALSO makes every single mindless creature in 4th edition immune to Come and Get It, which for some reason many seem to think they should be.

Yep, the power doesn't work on inanimate objects. Excellent.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-24, 01:31 PM
Yeah, the technical term for the guy who thinks in detail about his moves in close combat with lethal weapons rather than going by reflex and training is "the dead guy". So we'll make all dead (but not undead) characters are immune to Come and Get It! Wait! That's already true, the rules work!

But wait, it still works on immobilized and unconscious creatures, and for that matter on creatures not in close combat. D'oh!

Sartharina
2014-04-24, 01:46 PM
I think that forced movement abilities should take the enemy's Wisdom into consideration if it's a taunt or feint (As opposed to a bash/rush, which takes enemy strength into consideration), since strong willpower and/or perception can resist or see through a taunt or feint. But again - people are not rational, and shouldn't have blanket immunity to mundane psychological manipulation.

I also hope that all fighter maneuvers count as full weapon attacks - It's the expertise die that's being used to power the ability, not the action cost. Even parry, if it's an interrupt.

Lokiare
2014-04-24, 09:02 PM
Yeah, the technical term for the guy who thinks in detail about his moves in close combat with lethal weapons rather than going by reflex and training is "the dead guy". So we'll make all dead (but not undead) characters are immune to Come and Get It! Wait! That's already true, the rules work!

Additionally, this simple already present rule has the added advantage that it also ALSO makes every single mindless creature in 4th edition immune to Come and Get It, which for some reason many seem to think they should be.

Yep, the power doesn't work on inanimate objects. Excellent.

No actually there isn't. When someone throws an apple at you, your instinct is to catch it. If someone shows an opening to you, your subconscious instinct is to take advantage of it. Only those that are highly trained or extremely wise or intelligent or experienced will avoid taking the bait in those cases. We aren't talking about someone running a battle simulation in their head all the time, thinking several moves ahead every 6 seconds, that's impossible. We are talking about people that are trained or have insight or natural talent for fighting. There is a huge difference. Again this is your personal failure to understand reality getting in the way. I've already shown you a video where someone tricks someone else into attacking a fake opening that happens in a split second based on instinct. If you want I'm sure I can find more. As opposed to your lack of facts, numbers, or quotes.


I think that forced movement abilities should take the enemy's Wisdom into consideration if it's a taunt or feint (As opposed to a bash/rush, which takes enemy strength into consideration), since strong willpower and/or perception can resist or see through a taunt or feint. But again - people are not rational, and shouldn't have blanket immunity to mundane psychological manipulation.

I also hope that all fighter maneuvers count as full weapon attacks - It's the expertise die that's being used to power the ability, not the action cost. Even parry, if it's an interrupt.

Actually in 5E attacking Will does take wisdom into account. You add your Wisdom modifier to your Will defense. So its already in the equation.

Sartharina
2014-04-26, 12:37 PM
No actually there isn't. When someone throws an apple at you, your instinct is to catch it. If someone shows an opening to you, your subconscious instinct is to take advantage of it. Only those that are highly trained or extremely wise or intelligent or experienced will avoid taking the bait in those cases. We aren't talking about someone running a battle simulation in their head all the time, thinking several moves ahead every 6 seconds, that's impossible. We are talking about people that are trained or have insight or natural talent for fighting. There is a huge difference. Again this is your personal failure to understand reality getting in the way. I've already shown you a video where someone tricks someone else into attacking a fake opening that happens in a split second based on instinct. If you want I'm sure I can find more. As opposed to your lack of facts, numbers, or quotes.I think that's what he was saying, albeit in a very facetious way - Someone who tries thinking about what they're doing in combat ends up dead because they're thinking when they should be fighting.


Actually in 5E attacking Will does take wisdom into account. You add your Wisdom modifier to your Will defense. So its already in the equation.The problem I was addressing was with how the controversial "Come and Get it" power from 4e didn't target any of the victims' will defenses. That said... it probably would have been a crippling nerf to make it have so many lines of defense against - a direct clash between Gamism and Verisimilitude. (On the other hand, I had no problem with the 4e Rogue's "DURR, CLANG!" power except when it lead to physically-impossible attacks such as beholders biting themselves. A rogue fighting with such canny finesse that he leads enemies to overextending and committing to attacks that leave themselves or their friends in the line of attack is a staple)

Lokiare
2014-04-27, 06:50 AM
I think that's what he was saying, albeit in a very facetious way - Someone who tries thinking about what they're doing in combat ends up dead because they're thinking when they should be fighting.

The problem I was addressing was with how the controversial "Come and Get it" power from 4e didn't target any of the victims' will defenses. That said... it probably would have been a crippling nerf to make it have so many lines of defense against - a direct clash between Gamism and Verisimilitude. (On the other hand, I had no problem with the 4e Rogue's "DURR, CLANG!" power except when it lead to physically-impossible attacks such as beholders biting themselves. A rogue fighting with such canny finesse that he leads enemies to overextending and committing to attacks that leave themselves or their friends in the line of attack is a staple)

I agree some things could have been done better in 4E, but they didn't have to throw out the baby with the bathwater on that one. They could have just fixed the problems and added a vancian caster. They already had a 'hit it, hit it again' fighter, a one trick rogue that backstabs and is good at skills (through skill tricks). They had a better Cleric in book 1.

Instead they try to make you think you are getting better through bounded accuracy by allowing you to hit more often, hiding the fact that it doesn't matter how many times you hit, because the enemies hit points scale to make it a treadmill. Then they act like there is no problem with certain spells which are encounter enders regardless of what level monster they are cast on, and fail to realize by mid level casters will have multiples of these to cast every encounter. I think I did a comparison on the WotC forums where I took away half the spells for 'utility' and 'role playing' and then proved they had enough spells left over at level 10 to cast 1-2 encounter ender spells in each of the 4 expected encounters per day.

Sartharina
2014-04-27, 10:53 AM
I agree some things could have been done better in 4E, but they didn't have to throw out the baby with the bathwater on that one. They could have just fixed the problems and added a vancian caster. They already had a 'hit it, hit it again' fighter, a one trick rogue that backstabs and is good at skills (through skill tricks). They had a better Cleric in book 1.

Instead they try to make you think you are getting better through bounded accuracy by allowing you to hit more often, hiding the fact that it doesn't matter how many times you hit, because the enemies hit points scale to make it a treadmill. Then they act like there is no problem with certain spells which are encounter enders regardless of what level monster they are cast on, and fail to realize by mid level casters will have multiples of these to cast every encounter. I think I did a comparison on the WotC forums where I took away half the spells for 'utility' and 'role playing' and then proved they had enough spells left over at level 10 to cast 1-2 encounter ender spells in each of the 4 expected encounters per day.You ARE getting better through hitting more often, and it's MUCH less of a treadmill than 3.5, Pathfinder, or 4e (Definitely less of a treadmill than 4e). And, HP and damage output is better than scaling AC and accuracy, because it's easier for people to understand when the numbers start getting bigger - a monster with 1,000 HP is twice as hard to kill as one with 500, which is twice as hard to kill as one with 250, etc.

And if you are capable of taking out higher-level enemies, you are by definition getting better.

Also, 4e has a semi-vancian caster already. It's called the Wizard.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-27, 11:24 AM
You ARE getting better through hitting more often,
Woohoo, you're getting almost ten percent better over the scope of your entire 20-level career! Such development! Much improve. Wow.

Sartharina
2014-04-27, 12:42 PM
Woohoo, you're getting almost ten percent better over the scope of your entire 20-level career! Such development! Much improve. Wow.

From my last packet, a character gets 600% better over the course of the adventure in terms of proportion of number growth (Which is misleading and worthless), but a more useful figure is, assuming a mean AC of 15 for foes, a character starts with hitting on an 11 (+1 proficiency, +3 stat), to hitting on a 4, which amounts to a 70% increase in accuracy. And, when you add in extra attacks and actions, that's a sudden 200% increase in effectiveness, and fighters get 400% better simply from extra attacks.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-27, 01:05 PM
From my last packet, a character gets 600% better over the course of the adventure in terms of proportion of number growth (Which is misleading and worthless), but a more useful figure is, assuming a mean AC of 15 for foes, a character starts with hitting on an 11 (+1 proficiency, +3 stat), to hitting on a 4, which amounts to a 70% increase in accuracy. And, when you add in extra attacks and actions, that's a sudden 200% increase in effectiveness, and fighters get 400% better simply from extra attacks.

...and when you compare these (cherry picked and artificially inflated) numbers to 2E, 3E and 4E, you'll find that they're much bigger in all earlier editions. That was the point, after all.

Sartharina
2014-04-27, 01:33 PM
...and when you compare these (cherry picked and artificially inflated) numbers to 2E, 3E and 4E, you'll find that they're much bigger in all earlier editions. That was the point, after all.And 3e broke down to near-unplayable for anyone still using the number-based math instead of the fiat power of spells after level 10 or so, and 2e still capped progression and all but halted advancement after level 10, while 4e ran the most blatant treadmill of increasing numbers along the RNG of any D&D version.

Which numbers did I artificially inflate? I assumed a character starts with a 16 in their primary attack stat, for a +3, and proficiency as well. Proficiency increases from +1 to +6 over 20 levels, and combined you go from a +4 once to +11 four times.

Lokiare
2014-04-27, 06:29 PM
And 3e broke down to near-unplayable for anyone still using the number-based math instead of the fiat power of spells after level 10 or so, and 2e still capped progression and all but halted advancement after level 10, while 4e ran the most blatant treadmill of increasing numbers along the RNG of any D&D version.

Which numbers did I artificially inflate? I assumed a character starts with a 16 in their primary attack stat, for a +3, and proficiency as well. Proficiency increases from +1 to +6 over 20 levels, and combined you go from a +4 once to +11 four times.

The problem you aren't mentioning is that any 'advancement' you get from your attack bonuses going up is offset by a treadmill of greater and greater hp. So you might get 10% better over the course of your career at hitting things, but its still taking you the exact same number of rounds to take out on level enemies. In other words the treadmill is alive and well in massively scaling hp.

captpike
2014-04-27, 06:46 PM
while 4e ran the most blatant treadmill of increasing numbers along the RNG of any D&D version.


why is this bad? all it means is that the people making the game wanted a fight with an equal level opponent to always be the same difficulty. that game them the freedom to use level as a way to say how hard things are.

if I am looking through the DMG and see a creature that is level 10 I can make a good estimate on how hard it will be in relation to the party's level.

the treadmill allowed for there to be creatures that at level 1 would TPK you, then later to be a hard but possible fight, then something you can do on a daily basis, then to be so far below you that its hardly worth using dice for.

and you don't have the problem of having 100 peasants being able to kill a dragon easier then a level 10PC



The problem you aren't mentioning is that any 'advancement' you get from your attack bonuses going up is offset by a treadmill of greater and greater hp. So you might get 10% better over the course of your career at hitting things, but its still taking you the exact same number of rounds to take out on level enemies. In other words the treadmill is alive and well in massively scaling hp.

in fact with bounded accuracy HP is the only thing you can use to show advancement, when you have 4 or 5 numbers that increase as you level you can raise each slowly, when you only have one you have to do it very fast or level becomes a meaningless number. to make it work you have to have HP bloat like you have never seen it.

Sartharina
2014-04-27, 10:45 PM
The problem you aren't mentioning is that any 'advancement' you get from your attack bonuses going up is offset by a treadmill of greater and greater hp. So you might get 10% better over the course of your career at hitting things, but its still taking you the exact same number of rounds to take out on level enemies. In other words the treadmill is alive and well in massively scaling hp.

The 'Treadmill" is not a problem. If, as you level, you get better against 'level-appropriate' enemies, then the enemies aren't really 'level appropriate'.

The great thing about 5e's simpler, more constrained math is that you don't have to worry about throwing 'level appropriate' encounters at the party, and can use a more natural, unleveled adventure world if you want. The reduction in high level monster lethality means players are also more able to recognize that they're outmatched before they've hit TPK range, yet after they've tested the enemies.

Lokiare
2014-04-28, 06:50 PM
The 'Treadmill" is not a problem. If, as you level, you get better against 'level-appropriate' enemies, then the enemies aren't really 'level appropriate'.

I agree completely. The treadmill is a natural consequence of there being math and numbers in the game at all. Trying to avoid the treadmill will simply make it pop up elsewhere or make the game super swingy, where players might as well flip a coin to decide who wins an encounter.


The great thing about 5e's simpler, more constrained math is that you don't have to worry about throwing 'level appropriate' encounters at the party, and can use a more natural, unleveled adventure world if you want. The reduction in high level monster lethality means players are also more able to recognize that they're outmatched before they've hit TPK range, yet after they've tested the enemies.

This is actually not true. Because hp scales, damage also scales. What happens is after you get out of the 1-3 +/- level range a monster will TPK a party in just a few rounds because the hp/damage increases don't scale linearly and the number of attacks that a party will take in that time also doesn't scale linearly. Putting a party up against a boss creature that is level +5 is almost a guaranteed TPK.

Sartharina
2014-04-28, 08:25 PM
Actually, in D&D Next, damage and HP scale at different rates (HP outstrips damage), and how combat plays out changes over the course of the campaign. Low-level encounters are almost always quick ambushes resolved in a few rounds unless extensive use of delaying tactics or terrible, terrible rolls go around. Low-level enemies can thus also be used against high-level parties to provide pressure and wear them down without bogging gameplay down. Meanwhile, high-level enemies and heroes last many rounds in combat, allowing for dramatic and drawn-out battles that can take dozens of rounds, needing characters to manage resources and fight to gain or prevent giving advantage to their foe.

A battle between a farmer and a wolf was over in a matter of seconds. The battle between King Olaf One-Eye and the great Dragon Numinex was a fierce engagement that lasted for weeks. Of course, to do this, they need a combat system that is fun and engaging enough to make players want to fight high-level foes for extended periods of time.

Frankly, I'm hoping D&D Next moves away from expecting parties to face level-appropriate encounters and requires level scaling the world to the players to have fun with combat. With "High-level = High Durability" and "Low-level = Quick ambushes", it allows players to have an enjoyable battle when combatants of mixed levels get to duke it out. Low-level characters going to take on a high-level Dragon know that they don't have the staying power of the dragon, and thus will need to try luring it into ambushes, evade its counterattacks, fight dirty, plan to keep it from engaging them as they engage it, and otherwise take the role of a devious mouse in a game of cat+mouse. Conversely, high-level parties know that they can take on almost any low-level threat in a direct encounter, but low-level enemies can still pose a threat by luring them into traps, harrying them with hit+run tactics, wearing them down with moderate numbers, and other situations.

As you gain levels, you get better and more tools available to achieve victory, but they don't guarantee said victory.

Seerow
2014-04-28, 08:43 PM
Frankly, I'm hoping D&D Next moves away from expecting parties to face level-appropriate encounters and requires level scaling the world to the players to have fun with combat.

What? Not even 4e tried that kind of insanity, but the people who thought that was exactly what they did should tell you exactly what the player base thinks of the world "leveling up" to match the PCs. That misconception is what got us the horrid bounded accuracy system in the first place.

Sartharina
2014-04-28, 08:51 PM
What? Not even 4e tried that kind of insanity, but the people who thought that was exactly what they did should tell you exactly what the player base thinks of the world "leveling up" to match the PCs. That misconception is what got us the horrid bounded accuracy system in the first place.Then explain Minions, and the rules for scaling monsters around? And the emphasis the guide has on number of level-appropriate encounters per level? Yes, it says to change the distribution of encounters, but it's still scaled to the players. The encouragement is to occasionally send them against EPL +/- 4 encounters, with anything above or below that being too weak to bother with (Even if it's a 6' tall wall of muscle) or too strong to handle.

The way D&D Next handles things, Time To Kill a monster only slightly drops over the course of a game - A dragon that takes 20 rounds to kill at low will take 15 rounds to kill at higher levels (Well, not those precise numbers, and not accounting for delays forced by the low-level team trying to not get itself killed). What does up with level is the turns it takes for a player to be killed in combat.

Mewtarthio
2014-04-28, 09:32 PM
The problem you aren't mentioning is that any 'advancement' you get from your attack bonuses going up is offset by a treadmill of greater and greater hp. So you might get 10% better over the course of your career at hitting things, but its still taking you the exact same number of rounds to take out on level enemies. In other words the treadmill is alive and well in massively scaling hp.

Admitting that I lack access to Next myself, isn't this supposed to be a feature? The idea as I've heard it is that level 1 goblin is still able to hit and damage a level 10 fighter, but the damage isn't as meaningful as it would have been to a level 1 fighter because of the scaling HP. Ten level 1 goblins, on the other hand, might make a credible threat, because all those attacks can add up.

As for the idea that treadmills are inevitable in any system with numbers: That's just not true. It's only inevitable when everything is based on the appropriate level. If PCs at level 1 are stealing gold from kobolds, and PCs at level 27 are stealing Condensed Despair from Archfiends, then, yeah, things look pretty samey. If, on the other hand, the PCs at level 1 are eking out a desperate existence in a world overrun by the diabolic servitors of the Infernal Dragon Emperor, and PCs at level 27 are fighting said Emperor's bosses, then that's entirely different.

Morty
2014-04-29, 06:05 AM
As you gain levels, you get better and more tools available to achieve victory, but they don't guarantee said victory.

You get tools all right - if you're a spellcaster. Otherwise, small numerical increases and lots of HP to slog through is the name of the game. Well, some basic maneuvers are also an "advanced" option, I guess.

Sartharina
2014-04-29, 07:23 AM
You get tools all right - if you're a spellcaster. Otherwise, small numerical increases and lots of HP to slog through is the name of the game. Well, some basic maneuvers are also an "advanced" option, I guess.
The greater durability alone becomes a quality in itself, given that damage and other defenses don't scale dramatically. Barbarians used to be cool, but got nerfed, unfortunately :(. I want the invulnerable rager type of Barbarian back! That one really could be played recklessly and aggressively because its strong self-defenses kept it alive and unconcerned with the antics of its foe!

Morty
2014-04-29, 09:54 AM
I wouldn't mind incredible durability if it was an option. As opposed to your main claim to power if you're a high-level warrior. And if it wasn't so terribly dull.

Lokiare
2014-04-29, 08:57 PM
Actually, in D&D Next, damage and HP scale at different rates (HP outstrips damage), and how combat plays out changes over the course of the campaign. Low-level encounters are almost always quick ambushes resolved in a few rounds unless extensive use of delaying tactics or terrible, terrible rolls go around. Low-level enemies can thus also be used against high-level parties to provide pressure and wear them down without bogging gameplay down. Meanwhile, high-level enemies and heroes last many rounds in combat, allowing for dramatic and drawn-out battles that can take dozens of rounds, needing characters to manage resources and fight to gain or prevent giving advantage to their foe.

A battle between a farmer and a wolf was over in a matter of seconds. The battle between King Olaf One-Eye and the great Dragon Numinex was a fierce engagement that lasted for weeks. Of course, to do this, they need a combat system that is fun and engaging enough to make players want to fight high-level foes for extended periods of time.

Frankly, I'm hoping D&D Next moves away from expecting parties to face level-appropriate encounters and requires level scaling the world to the players to have fun with combat. With "High-level = High Durability" and "Low-level = Quick ambushes", it allows players to have an enjoyable battle when combatants of mixed levels get to duke it out. Low-level characters going to take on a high-level Dragon know that they don't have the staying power of the dragon, and thus will need to try luring it into ambushes, evade its counterattacks, fight dirty, plan to keep it from engaging them as they engage it, and otherwise take the role of a devious mouse in a game of cat+mouse. Conversely, high-level parties know that they can take on almost any low-level threat in a direct encounter, but low-level enemies can still pose a threat by luring them into traps, harrying them with hit+run tactics, wearing them down with moderate numbers, and other situations.

As you gain levels, you get better and more tools available to achieve victory, but they don't guarantee said victory.

Again, according to the play test documents as well as the articles, a level 10 Dragon that deals 6d6 with its breath weapon attack, and has 3 attacks per round that deal 3d6 each will TPK any party that has less than 80 hp for each character. If you look at the stats, you'll realize that you are entering almost guaranteed TPK land if you go above the +/- 4 level threshold in 5E. The damage doesn't scale up as much for players as it does for monsters, but the fighter getting more attacks per round and the rogue's sneak attack damage increasing counts as damage scaling. As far as 'many low level monsters' see below.


Admitting that I lack access to Next myself, isn't this supposed to be a feature? The idea as I've heard it is that level 1 goblin is still able to hit and damage a level 10 fighter, but the damage isn't as meaningful as it would have been to a level 1 fighter because of the scaling HP. Ten level 1 goblins, on the other hand, might make a credible threat, because all those attacks can add up.

As for the idea that treadmills are inevitable in any system with numbers: That's just not true. It's only inevitable when everything is based on the appropriate level. If PCs at level 1 are stealing gold from kobolds, and PCs at level 27 are stealing Condensed Despair from Archfiends, then, yeah, things look pretty samey. If, on the other hand, the PCs at level 1 are eking out a desperate existence in a world overrun by the diabolic servitors of the Infernal Dragon Emperor, and PCs at level 27 are fighting said Emperor's bosses, then that's entirely different.

Yes, I covered the 'we aren't looking for balance.' you end up with wildly swingy combats or no idea whether a particular encounter is going to be a cake walk or a TPK. Personally if I wanted that, I'd just go play 2E or 1E.

Multiple monsters affect the game in odd ways. The more low level monsters you have the more attacks the party takes over the course of a fight:

20 goblins that deal an average of 3 points of damage per round assuming 3 are killed each round:


Rounds
Number
of
attacks
Average Damage
Total attacks


1
20
60
20


2
17
111
37


3
15
156
52


4
12
192
64


5
9
219
73


6
6
237
79


7
3
246
82



What you end up with is more damage taken than the party has hit points or at least several party members dying by the end of the combat. Unfortunately many DMs will look at the CR and xp charts and put a level 7 party up against 20 goblins, not realizing its a death trap. Then of course there is the large area spells that would reduce that combat to a mop up. Hope you have a caster in your party or that's a TPK, but if you have a caster its a cake walk for 1/10th of the casters resources for the day.

What's really fun is if you do this same exercise with something that has multiple attacks. You end up with some really insane numbers. If you were to do the actual math to make it balanced with a party of non-casters (because a party of casters or with a caster in it will destroy the low level creatures en masse regardless of their numbers) you would end up with something weird like this:



Party
Level
Number
of
low
level
monsters


1
5


2
6


3
7


4
8


5
9


6
10


7
11


8
12


9+
12+1 per every 3 levels.



Not at all intuitive and only arrived at by number crunching like mad. Nothing simple about it.


I wouldn't mind incredible durability if it was an option. As opposed to your main claim to power if you're a high-level warrior. And if it wasn't so terribly dull.

I agree. The one thing lacking in 5E is balanced tactical options. Without that you lose a large chunk of your audience. I'm sorry, but 5 choice points over 20 levels is just not enough.

Knaight
2014-04-29, 11:51 PM
Multiple monsters affect the game in odd ways. The more low level monsters you have the more attacks the party takes over the course of a fight:

20 goblins that deal an average of 3 points of damage per round assuming 3 are killed each round:


Rounds
Number
of
attacks
Average Damage
Total attacks


1
20
60
20


2
17
111
37


3
15
156
52


4
12
192
64


5
9
219
73


6
6
237
79


7
3
246
82



What you end up with is more damage taken than the party has hit points or at least several party members dying by the end of the combat. Unfortunately many DMs will look at the CR and xp charts and put a level 7 party up against 20 goblins, not realizing its a death trap. Then of course there is the large area spells that would reduce that combat to a mop up. Hope you have a caster in your party or that's a TPK, but if you have a caster its a cake walk for 1/10th of the casters resources for the day.

You're assuming a situation where all of them will get to attack at once. This seems rather unlikely, assuming that the terrain is something other than plains and they're using melee attacks.

I'm not saying that the math and balance isn't all sorts of screwy, but it's not as bad as it looks from your table.

Seerow
2014-04-30, 12:48 AM
You're assuming a situation where all of them will get to attack at once. This seems rather unlikely, assuming that the terrain is something other than plains and they're using melee attacks.


20 goblins attacking in a single round isn't too unreal. Remember D&D next gives everybody spring attack for free, making a coordinated group able to squeeze in a ton of melee attacks. Even without that, ranged attacks are a thing, and not much (if at all) weaker than melee attacks for the goblins.

Knaight
2014-04-30, 01:25 AM
20 goblins attacking in a single round isn't too unreal. Remember D&D next gives everybody spring attack for free, making a coordinated group able to squeeze in a ton of melee attacks. Even without that, ranged attacks are a thing, and not much (if at all) weaker than melee attacks for the goblins.

Sure, but corridors and the like are also really common in typical layouts, and those significantly reduce attacking possibilities, even with spring attack. Getting 3 attacks in with a 30 foot speed is pretty reasonable in those circumstances given the rules, but 20 relies on open space and starting in an advantageous position. It's still very deadly with ranged weapons, though that does depend on an open enough area to fit everyone in with viable lines of attack and a lack of cover.

DeltaEmil
2014-04-30, 03:29 AM
In most cases, the player characters are the intruders, so in that example, the 20 goblins could very well have the home advantage and be in an environment specifically prepared for all of them, similar to the Tucker's Kobolds.

obryn
2014-04-30, 08:52 AM
Sure, but corridors and the like are also really common in typical layouts, and those significantly reduce attacking possibilities, even with spring attack.
Not quite as much as you might think. The Goblin Conga Line is a real thing in Next, and per some bizarre Mearls quotes, is actually the system "working as expected" because heaven help us if favorable terrain allows for choke points.

There was a long thread over on ENWorld about it. It seems to me like a clear bug and an undesirable side effect when that arises when you (1) allow free movement before and after an attack, and (2) nerf opportunity attacks so that you only get 1 per round instead of 1 per turn.

Imagine non-crazy circumstances like this...


GGGGGGG
GGGGGGG
GG...GG
GG...GG
---F---


...where a Fighter is standing literally inside the doorway and nobody starts in melee range with him. From what I can see and depending on how you work with diagonal movement, every single goblin here gets to attack him. Normally, I'd expect to face 3 goblins from that position, not all of them. The situation is less dire if the Fighter steps 5' back, but he still faces more attacks than you should reasonably expect.

And fine, if it sounds cool with Goblins swarming a doorway, remember this works just as well with human bandits. :smallsmile:

Person_Man
2014-04-30, 01:37 PM
Remember D&D next gives everybody spring attack for free, making a coordinated group able to squeeze in a ton of melee attacks.

Which is probably my least favorite rule in 5E.

The very first board game I remember playing is chess, and I was instantly hooked. (I'm sure I played Candyland or simpler games, but chess is my first memory of a board game). Chess is about tactical movement and positioning. Where you move each turn, how each piece moves, and each pieces' position relative to other pieces, is the key to winning the game. This is a very common aspect lots of strategic board games and tabletop miniature games.

Spring Attack by default for everyone in 5E basically destroys this aspect of the game. It's also very unintuitive, in that most players assume that you Move and then take your Action, and not Move, keep track of exactly how much movement you've used, take an Action, and then take the rest of your movement.

I get that they were trying to make the Action Economy easier ("you just take your Action and can move a total of X feet at any point before and after that Action!) but they ended up making it a mess.

1337 b4k4
2014-04-30, 02:53 PM
It's also very unintuitive, in that most players assume that you Move and then take your Action, and not Move, keep track of exactly how much movement you've used, take an Action, and then take the rest of your movement.

Eh, maybe for old hand D&D players but I think that's a learned habit. In my experience one of the first "well that sucks" moments for a new D&D player is the realization that they can't move some distance, perform an action and then move again. Most people have a conception of being able to move and act while moving. A lot of RPGs break that conception. Really the spring attack issue could be solved while maintaining the ability to split move by simply adding a requirement that if you engage an enemy in melee on your turn, you must disengage in order to move away that same turn. Alternatively, they could give defenders a free opportunity attack if they're attacked and the attacker moves away that same turn, but I get the impression they're wanting to reduce the amount of off-turn interrupts in the game as a whole, so placing the onus on the attacker to do something else to get way seems like a reasonable solution.

Kurald Galain
2014-04-30, 03:00 PM
Spring Attack by default for everyone in 5E basically destroys this aspect of the game. It's also very unintuitive, in that most players assume that you Move and then take your Action, and not Move, keep track of exactly how much movement you've used, take an Action, and then take the rest of your movement.

I think the spring attack in general works pretty well. For example, it allows you to step out of cover, fire an arrow, then step back behind cover. Or, it allows you to move a bit, open a door, and move a bit more. Both of those are intuitive and should logically be possible.

The one place where it doesn't work is engaging an enemy, making a melee attack, then moving away; this leads to the horrible mess with the Goblin Conga Line (I love that term). So, not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater, I would prefer keeping the current rule but making an exception for melee. I think that simply adding the rule that you can't move after making a melee attack solves the problem (this is kind of like how in 4E you can't move after charging).

Sartharina
2014-04-30, 03:14 PM
Eh, maybe for old hand D&D players but I think that's a learned habit. In my experience one of the first "well that sucks" moments for a new D&D player is the realization that they can't move some distance, perform an action and then move again. Most people have a conception of being able to move and act while moving. A lot of RPGs break that conception. Really the spring attack issue could be solved while maintaining the ability to split move by simply adding a requirement that if you engage an enemy in melee on your turn, you must disengage in order to move away that same turn. Alternatively, they could give defenders a free opportunity attack if they're attacked and the attacker moves away that same turn, but I get the impression they're wanting to reduce the amount of off-turn interrupts in the game as a whole, so placing the onus on the attacker to do something else to get way seems like a reasonable solution.

...Did they get rid of the opportunity attack for moving out of melee range? Because otherwise, that's exactly what happens already. You only get half of Spring Attack for free - you still provoke the OA when you try to spring away unless you have the Mobility feat.

1337 b4k4
2014-04-30, 03:21 PM
...Did they get rid of the opportunity attack for moving out of melee range? Because otherwise, that's exactly what happens already. You only get half of Spring Attack for free - you still provoke the OA when you try to spring away unless you have the Mobility feat.

They have it, but you must use your reaction to use it. So if your cleric already interspersed themselves between an attack and an ally this turn, your cleric is vulnerable to the goblin conga line. Arguably reactions are limited to 1 to limit the amount of off turn actions any one character can take. Reasonably it's realistic that you can't take infinite reactions, that at some point you can't do everything, but I think there's a good argument to be made (given abstraction of combat) that if you're attacked in melee, you should be allowed to use an opportunity attack if your opponent leaves even if you've already used your reaction.

Person_Man
2014-05-01, 08:47 AM
I stand by my comment of hating default Spring Attack for everyone. I care more about the Gamist aspect of tactical movement being an important part of combat strategy then the Simulationist aspect of "hey people could normally move, attack, and keep moving in real life." D&D combat is a turn based game, not a real time strategy game. But I also recognize that it's also a matter of taste, and that I'm old (36. That's like 400 in gamer years.) and wanting the game to be like every other tabletop game I grew up playing.

Having said that, I'm open to other options. How about this - Spring Attack by default for everyone does not exist. But as an Action or a Reaction, you may Shift 5 feet. (We'll also make Feats/class abilities/racial abilities/etc which add more distance to the Shift action). A Shift does not provoke an Attack of Opportunity. You may not Shift during an enemy's turn. You may only Shift during your turn or an ally's turn. This allows you to Move, take an Action, and then move again for a short distance, but for the most part stops the default Goblin Conga Line.

obryn
2014-05-01, 09:14 AM
I'm even more decrepit (39 here :smallsigh:) but I'm pretty much with Kurald on this move-attack-move dynamic. Generally, I don't mind it. I think it's fine.

Where it gets messy is with disengaging from melee combatants - and I don't think OAs are really punishment enough. I like tactical combat, and I think the whole point of melee folks is to control some ground. So I'd like disengaging from them to be kinda hard.

I don't know if this should be implemented as opportunity attacks or a disengage action, but right now I find it deeply unsatisfying.

Doug Lampert
2014-05-01, 11:40 AM
I'm even more decrepit (39 here :smallsigh:) but I'm pretty much with Kurald on this move-attack-move dynamic. Generally, I don't mind it. I think it's fine.

Where it gets messy is with disengaging from melee combatants - and I don't think OAs are really punishment enough. I like tactical combat, and I think the whole point of melee folks is to control some ground. So I'd like disengaging from them to be kinda hard.

I don't know if this should be implemented as opportunity attacks or a disengage action, but right now I find it deeply unsatisfying.

If you are in front of me for long enough to get a melee attack roll, then you are in front of me for long enough for me to get an attack roll. That seems fairly obvious to me. So an opportunity attack is the minimum cost. If 50 opportunity attacks in a turn breaks some definition of "realism", then don't allow automatic spring attack on melee.

Now: My own preference is for all opportunity attacks to die in a fire. You stop defending yourself near a skilled, armed foe for any noticeable fraction of a 6 second turn and you DIE! Most things that provoke simply aren't a realistic option in combat. Let the melee have their realism. Additionally, interrupts slow the game down, minimize them.

My preference is that disengaging from melee is an action, it allows you an extra full move, but it costs your action. This means that if I engage someone and then later disengage we'll both have had the same number of attacks, but I had the advantage of going first (which is a real advantage since if someone goes down at the wrong time the guy who went second loses an attack).

But I'd say the minimum I'd like for a default character moving to contact, attacking, and then breaking off is that the defender gets an opportunity attack with advantage, the attacker is doing something harder than just attacking, so the defender who is just attacking gets both an attack and advantage.

Person_Man
2014-05-01, 12:35 PM
If you are in front of me for long enough to get a melee attack roll, then you are in front of me for long enough for me to get an attack roll. That seems fairly obvious to me.

Well said.

This also points to another problem - let's assume that every archer and direct fire blaster in the game hangs by a corner in a hallway or other total cover, moves out, takes his Action to attack, and then moves back in. This means that archers in a dungeon or many other common setups can never target each other at a range. They can only target enemies that get caught out in the open.

And even if there are no walls or corners to hide behind, when in a forest or similar setup where there's soft cover, it's likely that every creature is going to end their turn behind cover every round.

Is that really something we want?

Also, if you can't control any part of the battlefield and every enemy after the first one can just walk away from you, why even bother with melee? What advantage does it have?

It seems like the action economy of 5E very strongly promotes area of effect blasters and summons (which create an action advantage, can create a Goblin Conga Line, and have the benefit of being disposable).

obryn
2014-05-01, 12:55 PM
Also, if you can't control any part of the battlefield and every enemy after the first one can just walk away from you, why even bother with melee? What advantage does it have?
This is my big concern right here. It was a major issue when I ran Star Wars Saga Edition, and this is even less melee-friendly than that was.

(Well, friendlier because at least you get all your attacks in. But less friendly to a Goblin Conga Line.)

Seerow
2014-05-01, 03:24 PM
If you are in front of me for long enough to get a melee attack roll, then you are in front of me for long enough for me to get an attack roll. That seems fairly obvious to me. So an opportunity attack is the minimum cost. If 50 opportunity attacks in a turn breaks some definition of "realism", then don't allow automatic spring attack on melee.


This really brought it home for me. The whole idea is everything in a round happens in 6 seconds and everyone is acting simultaneously. I for one would love to see the choreography that allows a goblin conga line to actually work in a 6 second interval. If someone can find a way to make THAT work, I will buy the warrior's AoO only applying once, because he's busy using that 6 seconds to attack someone 4 times and take an opportunity attack at the first guy in the conga line.



That said, I'm generally okay with the idea of AoOs becoming a more passive thing. In Dofus (an MMO using a tactical grid system) characters "threatened" the area immediately around them, with a %chance to stop an enemy from moving out of the square you threatened. There was no choice involved, no limit to the number of times it worked, simply an enemy tries to move away, and there's a chance they fail (it was based on some stat and opposed, so you could theoretically get it down to 0 or up to 100 depending on your opponent, but that's not particularly relevant). Also any enemy that tried to move away and failed lost their turn, so it was a big risk even at only 5-10% to try to move away without attacking the guy in your face first, since you could easily waste your AP for the turn.

Noldo
2014-05-02, 06:03 AM
This really brought it home for me. The whole idea is everything in a round happens in 6 seconds and everyone is acting simultaneously. I for one would love to see the choreography that allows a goblin conga line to actually work in a 6 second interval. If someone can find a way to make THAT work, I will buy the warrior's AoO only applying once, because he's busy using that 6 seconds to attack someone 4 times and take an opportunity attack at the first guy in the conga line.

One issue with unlimited AOs is that it is quite strange if a combatant is way more effective if he is fighting a conga line compare to fighting a single enemy or even same number of opponents that surround him. So limit on the number of (additional) attacks a combatant could make in response to the opponents actions does make some sense.


That said, I'm generally okay with the idea of AoOs becoming a more passive thing. In Dofus (an MMO using a tactical grid system) characters "threatened" the area immediately around them, with a %chance to stop an enemy from moving out of the square you threatened. There was no choice involved, no limit to the number of times it worked, simply an enemy tries to move away, and there's a chance they fail (it was based on some stat and opposed, so you could theoretically get it down to 0 or up to 100 depending on your opponent, but that's not particularly relevant). Also any enemy that tried to move away and failed lost their turn, so it was a big risk even at only 5-10% to try to move away without attacking the guy in your face first, since you could easily waste your AP for the turn.

I really like the idea of making AOs a kinda passive because there really should be some system for melee fighters to keep the opponents from disregarding them, especially once the melee has engaged the opponent. If we are worried that a combatant would receive more attacks if he is attacked by several creatures, allow unlimited AOs but not to harm the enemy, but to prevent the enemy from leaving the area. Or make leaving require a DEX save against the threatening opponentís attack bonus, in which case nimble opponents could still to dance around an opponent, if they could reliably pass the save. This could also prevent mages from getting away from threat if the enemy manages to get close and also allow melees actually to protect the mages if they could force those wanting to reach the mage to go through area threated by them (two melees could cover passage six squares wide).

Only problem is of course whether such movement preventing situation would be deemed to magical since the leaving character would not be tripped or otherwise physically unable to leave the area.

Knaight
2014-05-02, 12:15 PM
I stand by my comment of hating default Spring Attack for everyone. I care more about the Gamist aspect of tactical movement being an important part of combat strategy then the Simulationist aspect of "hey people could normally move, attack, and keep moving in real life." D&D combat is a turn based game, not a real time strategy game. But I also recognize that it's also a matter of taste, and that I'm old (36. That's like 400 in gamer years.) and wanting the game to be like every other tabletop game I grew up playing.

From a situationist perspective, having to engage in melee actually makes a lot of sense - unless you're making one attack as you run by to the side, you're not getting anywhere near as much movement in as you otherwise would, and that's more of a cavalry tactic than anything. A more simulationist way to handle it would be to split movement and attack phases almost entirely - everyone moves some short distance (or stays still), and whoever happens to be in reach of each other at the end of that short distance gets to do a small amount of fighting. Attacking in passing could then be a special thing done in the movement phase before proper engagement, and that sort of attack would be substantially less likely to connect.

1337 b4k4
2014-05-02, 02:11 PM
A more simulationist way to handle it would be to split movement and attack phases almost entirely - everyone moves some short distance (or stays still), and whoever happens to be in reach of each other at the end of that short distance gets to do a small amount of fighting.

Which is amusingly, how D&D used to do it. BECMI lists combat order as:
(For the side winning initiative, remember, it was 1d6 initiative per side per round)
1) Morale
2) Movement (including defensive maneuvers)
3) Missile
4) Magic
5) Melee
Repeat for side losing initiative

I've seen some variations (though I can't recall offhand whether it was official or not) with a final movement phase after the melee phase. In either case, basic D&D also handled breaking from combat at half speed in order to avoid attacks and be allowed to attack back. If you didn't engage in a fighting withdrawl, your opponent gained +2 to attacks and defenders lost shield bonuses and were not allowed to make attacks.

Obviously this doesn't work as well in an individual initiative situation. I think passive AAOs would probably be the better way to go, or if you wanted to go active, a character leaving threatened space without explicitly engaging in a fighting retreat is subject to attack. On a successful attack, the movement is halted. On a miss, the retreating character still takes half damage but may continue onward. Getting close when swords are flying is dangerous.

Edit
------------

Realistically, we're probably optimizing for nothing however. Like the ball of trained rabits for moving at light speed, I suspect goblin conga lines will remain mostly within the realm of forum lint than actual play problem.

Morty
2014-05-02, 02:48 PM
The specific situation might be mostly in the realm of Internet arguments, but I think the problem it represents is a real one.

obryn
2014-05-02, 03:02 PM
Realistically, we're probably optimizing for nothing however. Like the ball of trained rabits for moving at light speed, I suspect goblin conga lines will remain mostly within the realm of forum lint than actual play problem.
I'm not sure. In a system where both DM and players are expected to play tactically, I'd sure run the goblins as optimally as possible.

1337 b4k4
2014-05-02, 03:22 PM
I'm not sure. In a system where both DM and players are expected to play tactically, I'd sure run the goblins as optimally as possible.

Well sure, but if you're doing that, then you equip all your goblins with short bows and then they don't even have to form conga lines. There's no penalty for shooting through allies, the goblin gets a +2 to attack (vs +1 for melee), does a full d6 damage and doesn't require your goblins to get within striking distance of the fighter.

Seerow
2014-05-02, 04:34 PM
Well sure, but if you're doing that, then you equip all your goblins with short bows and then they don't even have to form conga lines. There's no penalty for shooting through allies, the goblin gets a +2 to attack (vs +1 for melee), does a full d6 damage and doesn't require your goblins to get within striking distance of the fighter.

Which brings us back to the initial complaint of 20 goblins taking down a high level fighter thanks to Bounded Accuracy. This derail only happened because someone disputed it could be done with melee attacks. Ranged attacks of course make it easier.

Kurald Galain
2014-05-02, 04:41 PM
Which brings us back to the initial complaint of 20 goblins taking down a high level fighter thanks to Bounded Accuracy.

It's A Feature, Not A Bug (tm).

Speaking of which, I wouldn't be surprised if the proposed army rules allow two or three squads of level-1 peasants to take down the average dragon :smallbiggrin:

Mewtarthio
2014-05-02, 05:43 PM
One issue with unlimited AOs is that it is quite strange if a combatant is way more effective if he is fighting a conga line compare to fighting a single enemy or even same number of opponents that surround him. So limit on the number of (additional) attacks a combatant could make in response to the opponents actions does make some sense.

Well, conga lines are ridiculously silly ways to fight people, so I have no problem with them being suboptimal. I mean, the basic gist of that goblin swarm is that each goblin runs up to the fighter, punches him, then turns around and runs off, right? That is a terrible way to fight someone. That should be worse than just mobbing the guy.

obryn
2014-05-02, 06:38 PM
Well sure, but if you're doing that, then you equip all your goblins with short bows and then they don't even have to form conga lines. There's no penalty for shooting through allies, the goblin gets a +2 to attack (vs +1 for melee), does a full d6 damage and doesn't require your goblins to get within striking distance of the fighter.
Good point!

It doesn't make the conga line less silly though. :smallbiggrin:

Lokiare
2014-05-02, 08:07 PM
I wasn't even aware of the conga line problem. That makes it even worse. So there is no question that enemies can make that many attacks against the party at one time. I was counting in ranged attacks. Which means the conclusion is that adding more creatures makes combat exponentially harder (well geometrically (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_progression) technically), combine this with various spell lists representing different difficulties at the same level, and then party make up can further skew that. Its like the global warming math. Anyone can make any claim by picking certain variables within the allowable ranges to get the answer they want. In this case:

(Party Level * (the difference between effectiveness of spells - the enemies effectiveness at mitigating conditions and spell damage)) - (Enemy Level * the difference between effectiveness of spells - the party effectiveness at mitigating conditions and spell damage)

Any of those numbers can be altered to throw the entire equation into a different difficulty level. Just like any numbers in the global climate change equation can be changed to make the entire equation say something specific.

Envyus
2014-05-05, 12:39 AM
I wasn't even aware of the conga line problem. That makes it even worse. So there is no question that enemies can make that many attacks against the party at one time. I was counting in ranged attacks. Which means the conclusion is that adding more creatures makes combat exponentially harder (well geometrically (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_progression) technically), combine this with various spell lists representing different difficulties at the same level, and then party make up can further skew that. Its like the global warming math. Anyone can make any claim by picking certain variables within the allowable ranges to get the answer they want. In this case:

(Party Level * (the difference between effectiveness of spells - the enemies effectiveness at mitigating conditions and spell damage)) - (Enemy Level * the difference between effectiveness of spells - the party effectiveness at mitigating conditions and spell damage)

Any of those numbers can be altered to throw the entire equation into a different difficulty level. Just like any numbers in the global climate change equation can be changed to make the entire equation say something specific.

I am sorry but could you shut up about your math. The second you brought in Geometric progression this entire thing became pointless.

captpike
2014-05-05, 01:55 AM
I am sorry but could you shut up about your math. The second you brought in Geometric progression this entire thing became pointless.

math is the foundation of the game, if its wrong nothing else can fix it, that is why it bears looking at.

Envyus
2014-05-05, 02:32 AM
math is the foundation of the game, if its wrong nothing else can fix it, that is why it bears looking at.

Then we should not even look at it right now because the math is one of the things that was pretty much never changed during the playtest as they are doing it now for the main game. We only have slight clues what the math will be like.

Also Lokiare's math was just getting to the point were it was absurd. It should be noted that this is a d20 based game meaning chance is a massive factor in it. Averaging is fine but you can roll a 1 a hundred times in a row. It's not likely but it can happen.

Knaight
2014-05-05, 10:34 AM
Also Lokiare's math was just getting to the point were it was absurd. It should be noted that this is a d20 based game meaning chance is a massive factor in it. Averaging is fine you can roll a 1 a hundred times in a row. It's not likely but it can happen.

Chance being a massive factor doesn't mean that math doesn't come into things. Probability is within the domain of math, and averages are useful here, particularly as the situation is one involving a lot of die rolls, and regression towards the mean generally kicks in here.

Lokiare
2014-05-05, 11:04 AM
Don't forget to look at the ranges of the random roll too, because that can tell you how swingy the game will become. In this instance 5E is extremely swingy because the D20 roll hardly has any modifiers to it. At level 20 you are looking at a max modifier of +10 for a fighters attack roll if they max out strength. That's only half the D20.

As I've said before the math defines the feel as much as the mechanics. A fighter that has a 20% chance to hit that deals 1d6+1 damage with one attack feels entirely different than a fighter that has an 80% chance to hit that deals 1d12 + 3d6 + 5 with four attacks.

A rogue that has a 20% to succeed at his skill tricks feels wholly different than a rogue that can choose to auto succeed with a 20 most of the time and when they can't, they can still succeed 65% of the time.

I could go on and on and on here because it appears many players don't realize how much the math impacts the feel of the game. Good math is not noticed. Its sits in the back of the players minds not intruding while they enjoy the game. Bad math sticks out and makes players take notice and complain.

So no. I will not stop talking about the funky math of 5E. It is of equal importance to the mechanics.

Edit: I mentioned Geometric progression because the number of attacks progresses in encounters based on how many enemies the players fight. It increases at a rate around 1.5. So in one battle the players may take around 5 hits, add one enemy and suddenly they take 9 hits. Add another and they take 15 hits. It continues to scale up to the point that adding low level monsters to match an xp value at mid to high levels becomes wildly swingy rather than matching a difficulty. The only thing they noted in 5E is that 'you might not want to add more than a few low level monsters' meaning you can't actually use their xp system or the mass combat system because of how it shakes out.

Envyus
2014-05-05, 01:20 PM
Don't forget to look at the ranges of the random roll too, because that can tell you how swingy the game will become. In this instance 5E is extremely swingy because the D20 roll hardly has any modifiers to it. At level 20 you are looking at a max modifier of +10 for a fighters attack roll if they max out strength. That's only half the D20.

As I've said before the math defines the feel as much as the mechanics. A fighter that has a 20% chance to hit that deals 1d6+1 damage with one attack feels entirely different than a fighter that has an 80% chance to hit that deals 1d12 + 3d6 + 5 with four attacks.

A rogue that has a 20% to succeed at his skill tricks feels wholly different than a rogue that can choose to auto succeed with a 20 most of the time and when they can't, they can still succeed 65% of the time.

I could go on and on and on here because it appears many players don't realize how much the math impacts the feel of the game. Good math is not noticed. Its sits in the back of the players minds not intruding while they enjoy the game. Bad math sticks out and makes players take notice and complain.

So no. I will not stop talking about the funky math of 5E. It is of equal importance to the mechanics.

Edit: I mentioned Geometric progression because the number of attacks progresses in encounters based on how many enemies the players fight. It increases at a rate around 1.5. So in one battle the players may take around 5 hits, add one enemy and suddenly they take 9 hits. Add another and they take 15 hits. It continues to scale up to the point that adding low level monsters to match an xp value at mid to high levels becomes wildly swingy rather than matching a difficulty. The only thing they noted in 5E is that 'you might not want to add more than a few low level monsters' meaning you can't actually use their xp system or the mass combat system because of how it shakes out.

I want you to stop talking about the funky math of the playtest because that is the one of the things they straight up said they were going to fix. Nothing you say is right because we don't know how the game will work yet.

captpike
2014-05-05, 03:00 PM
I want you to stop talking about the funky math of the playtest because that is the one of the things they straight up said they were going to fix. Nothing you say is right because we don't know how the game will work yet.

saying they will fix it does not mean they will.

them attempting to fix it and fixing it in a competent manor are different.

Sartharina
2014-05-05, 03:24 PM
I wouldn't mind disengaging require an action without the Mobility feat (Or have successful OAs stop movement). As for "IF you let your guard down for 6 second in combat, you DIE!" - well, that's only true if you have 1 HD, since one damage roll is supposed to be enough to represent a lethal attack routine against a normal character - 1d6+STR = 1d8+Con = Dead on a successful OA.

Making it harder to disengage than move around is a different issue than being able to move after attacking, though, or move and make a full attack. There's plenty of room for moving around without having to disengage, and so far the changes to the action economy are the best part of D&D Next for me, to the point that I'm trying to find a way to backport it into Pathfinder.

As far as the max level fighter having "Only" a +10 (Disregarding that the fighter actually had an accuracy of +13) - that means they have a 100% chance of hitting any AC less than 11, and a 55% chance of hitting AC 20, which is the best available for most foes, and a 30% chance of hitting AC 25, which is the best available in the game, and they are entitled to do so 4 times in a turn without having to resort to dual wielding or action surging.

And yes, in 5e the feel of the characters change as they level up and become more capable. But, a fighter that succeeds on an attack 70% of the time doesn't feel significantly different from one that succeeds 80% of the time.

Doug Lampert
2014-05-05, 03:37 PM
I wouldn't mind disengaging require an action without the Mobility feat (Or have successful OAs stop movement). As for "IF you let your guard down for 6 second in combat, you DIE!" - well, that's only true if you have 1 HD, since one damage roll is supposed to be enough to represent a lethal attack routine against a normal character - 1d6+STR = 1d8+Con = Dead on a successful OA.

Nope, that's a realistic fighter, the one everyone claims to want when they claim a fighter can't have some nice thing.

And HP are an abstraction representing your ability to defend yourself, if you aren't defending yourself then there's no good reason you should benefit from your defenses. Opportunity attacks are DEFINED to be what happens when you don't defend yourself, ergo, you die if you provoke, that's the LOGIC OF THE RULE actually being applied. That's also the REALISTIC fighter actually being applied.

Since the damage an opportunity attack does is purely a rules convention, and realism and the rules logic both agree that it should be roughly ALEPH NULL on any roll from 1 to 20 then it KILLS, and you DIE.

Sartharina
2014-05-05, 04:27 PM
Nope, that's a realistic fighter, the one everyone claims to want when they claim a fighter can't have some nice thing.

And HP are an abstraction representing your ability to defend yourself, if you aren't defending yourself then there's no good reason you should benefit from your defenses. Opportunity attacks are DEFINED to be what happens when you don't defend yourself, ergo, you die if you provoke, that's the LOGIC OF THE RULE actually being applied. That's also the REALISTIC fighter actually being applied.

Since the damage an opportunity attack does is purely a rules convention, and realism and the rules logic both agree that it should be roughly ALEPH NULL on any roll from 1 to 20 then it KILLS, and you DIE.I'm sorry, but since when has "realistic fighter" been "Direct spontaneous injection of cyanide to the brain"? No, you don't "Die" when you open a defense in your guard - you let an attack get through, but to assume its an auto-death is to discount too many other factors.

HP is not an abstraction of your ability solely to defend yourself, but also of your ability to survive stupidly lethal **** or just luck out. It doesn't go away if you let your guard down for a moment. You also seem to have a very weird definition of "Not defending yourself" if you think an opportunity attack represents making yourself helpless. In fact, provoking an opportunity attack isn't "Not defending yourself" at all - it is, at worst, a quick opening in a defense that can be exploited (That isn't a guaranteed lethal blow.), and more often than not, merely recognizing that being in combat long enough to strike someone in melee is also being in melee long enough for them to have a chance of striking you as well.

Furthermore, AC represents your ability to defend yourself. A hit die represents your ability to survive a 'lethal' combat exchange, and a damage die is your ability to deliver a 'lethal' combat exchange. That's what those represent. If you take damage at all in combat, it means you've just 'lost' a melee exchange. It's why the average person has only a single d6 or d8 hit point, and the average weapon deals a d6 or d8 of damage.

The idea that an OA should be an instagib is a 'nice thing' for a fighter is extremely offensive.

1337 b4k4
2014-05-05, 04:36 PM
Nope, that's a realistic fighter, the one everyone claims to want when they claim a fighter can't have some nice thing.

And HP are an abstraction representing your ability to defend yourself, if you aren't defending yourself then there's no good reason you should benefit from your defenses. Opportunity attacks are DEFINED to be what happens when you don't defend yourself, ergo, you die if you provoke, that's the LOGIC OF THE RULE actually being applied. That's also the REALISTIC fighter actually being applied.

Since the damage an opportunity attack does is purely a rules convention, and realism and the rules logic both agree that it should be roughly ALEPH NULL on any roll from 1 to 20 then it KILLS, and you DIE.

Sure, now let's talk table reality. Think about 3.x games. Think about 4e games. How often do you as a player provoke an AOO? Are you ready to have you character straight up die whenever one hits successfully? I mean if you're arguing for two different AOO rules, one for pcs and one for npcs that's fine, but generally people seem to want symmetrical combat. OTOH, insta-gib on AOOs could be a neat expertise or class feature.

Kurald Galain
2014-05-05, 04:46 PM
Think about 3.x games. Think about 4e games. How often do you as a player provoke an AOO?

In 3E, occasionally but not very often, in 4E absolutely never. So yeah, OAs could stand to be a lot more lethal, to make them actually relevant in gameplay.

Morty
2014-05-05, 04:48 PM
Bearing in mind that I find both HP and AC to be a horrible mess and the way 5e has handled them so far to be lazy and amateurish - I agree that disengaging from melee shouldn't be as dangerous as it is in reality, in some circumstances. It's fine if a mook or spell-caster can't safely get away from a skilled warrior, but while it should never be a casual thing, another skilled warrior should be able to manage it, since the system should encourage dynamic and exciting duels between martial artists. It doesn't, of course, not with rudimentary combat actions being an advanced option, but it should.

D-naras
2014-05-06, 02:35 AM
In 3E, occasionally but not very often, in 4E absolutely never. So yeah, OAs could stand to be a lot more lethal, to make them actually relevant in gameplay.

Wouldn't that turn the game (for an average player, not a system master) even more in to "I 5-ft step and full-attack again"? Since absolutely everything except attacking provokes an AoO without a feat, and if an AoO is a guaranteed critical or something so punishing wouldn't everyone avoid being fancy in combat? (This is about 3.5 obviously. I don't recall what provokes in Next.)

Kurald Galain
2014-05-06, 02:48 AM
Wouldn't that turn the game (for an average player, not a system master) even more in to "I 5-ft step and full-attack again"? Since absolutely everything except attacking provokes an AoO without a feat, and if an AoO is a guaranteed critical or something so punishing wouldn't everyone avoid being fancy in combat? (This is about 3.5 obviously. I don't recall what provokes in Next.)

That's a good question and it depends on what the game is really aiming for. In 3E, I'm not seeing a lot of OAs because full attacks are just very strong, so where possible, fivefootstep plus full attack is generally better than provoking anything. On the other hand, in 4E I'm not seeing any OAs because with some low-level feats and items it's pretty easy to never provoke them in the first place, even when charging or spellcasting.

Basically an OA mechanic serves two purposes. First, it makes it harder to just walk around someone trying to block you (e.g. a fighter protecting the squishies). And second, it serves as a deterrent against certain tactics (e.g. disarming and drinking potions in combat). I think the first purpose increases tactics because positioning becomes much more important, and the second decreases tactics because it limits your options. So ideally, we'd have a mechanic that does the former, but not the latter. So perhaps instead of OAs, we should have a rule that you can't disengage from melee so easily, and this would also solve the conga line problem.

So for example: if you move next to an armed enemy, you may not move any further this turn, while the enemy can see you and hitting you in melee.

Morty
2014-05-06, 08:48 AM
If WotC hadn't scrapped expertise dice as too complicated, they could be spent to safely leave an enemy's melee range, thus allowing warrior types more mobility if they choose to disengage and start from scratch, as it were.

Lokiare
2014-05-06, 11:06 PM
That's a good question and it depends on what the game is really aiming for. In 3E, I'm not seeing a lot of OAs because full attacks are just very strong, so where possible, fivefootstep plus full attack is generally better than provoking anything. On the other hand, in 4E I'm not seeing any OAs because with some low-level feats and items it's pretty easy to never provoke them in the first place, even when charging or spellcasting.

Basically an OA mechanic serves two purposes. First, it makes it harder to just walk around someone trying to block you (e.g. a fighter protecting the squishies). And second, it serves as a deterrent against certain tactics (e.g. disarming and drinking potions in combat). I think the first purpose increases tactics because positioning becomes much more important, and the second decreases tactics because it limits your options. So ideally, we'd have a mechanic that does the former, but not the latter. So perhaps instead of OAs, we should have a rule that you can't disengage from melee so easily, and this would also solve the conga line problem.

So for example: if you move next to an armed enemy, you may not move any further this turn, while the enemy can see you and hitting you in melee.

Actually just saying you can't disengage without spending an action or the fighter gets infinite opportunity attacks works fine. As it is you can walk a circle around an enemy without provoking an opportunity attack, so disengaging should work that way. What you can do is say that if you take any number of opportunity attacks, then your reaction is expended and if you take a reaction you can't make any opportunity attacks.

Edit: the other option would be to not make OAs cost your reaction, and limit the number of OAs you can take between turns to your dex modifier. That would be my solution.

Sartharina
2014-05-07, 01:39 AM
If WotC hadn't scrapped expertise dice as too complicated, they could be spent to safely leave an enemy's melee range, thus allowing warrior types more mobility if they choose to disengage and start from scratch, as it were.

Or you can just grab the "Moblity" feat (Fighters do get the most feats/ability upgrades of any class) and get a +10 speed boost (when move+attacking, I think. Not for running/hustling) to boot.

As it is in D&D Next, you provoke an OA when you leave someone's reach (Not merely a threatened "space".) You can run circles around someone, but not run in, whack, and run away without Mobility.

obryn
2014-05-07, 07:25 AM
As it is in D&D Next, you provoke an OA when you leave someone's reach (Not merely a threatened "space".) You can run circles around someone, but not run in, whack, and run away without Mobility.
You might get thwacked if you're at the head of the conga line, but all your buddies can move freely because Opportunity Attacks take up your 1 reaction for the round.

Kurald Galain
2014-05-07, 08:11 AM
Actually just saying you can't disengage without spending an action or the fighter gets infinite opportunity attacks works fine. As it is you can walk a circle around an enemy without provoking an opportunity attack, so disengaging should work that way. What you can do is say that if you take any number of opportunity attacks, then your reaction is expended and if you take a reaction you can't make any opportunity attacks.

Edit: the other option would be to not make OAs cost your reaction, and limit the number of OAs you can take between turns to your dex modifier. That would be my solution.

Aaand we've just found out why in 3E and 4E opportunity attacks are not an immediate (re)action. Right on!


Tangent: the pattern I'm seeing here is that frequently, where 5E picks an easy mechanic because it's easy, early editions have a (slightly) more complicated mechanic for a good reason. For example, a mechanic that says "this monster takes five less damage from weapon attacks" forces players to rethink their tactics, because using many light attacks is suddenly less effective than using a single heavy attack. A mechanic that says "this monster takes half damage from weapon attacks" is tactically irrelevant and equivalent to just giving it twice as many hit points.
(That example was for martial characters, of course; spellcasters get a free ticket out of this one).

obryn
2014-05-07, 09:18 AM
Tangent: the pattern I'm seeing here is that frequently, where 5E picks an easy mechanic because it's easy, early editions have a (slightly) more complicated mechanic for a good reason.
Well, it's always a balancing act. 90's/early 00's game design tended to err on the side of complexity/simulation, whereas the pendulum has been swinging towards simplicity for the past decade or so. I think it's safe to say that most complexity in an RPG is there for a reason. The question will always become, "Is the reason or perceived game benefit worth this added complexity?" I think it's completely fair to err on the side of simplicity, especially when that simplicity manifests in improved gameplay. I don't think that's where we are right now, though, on this particular topic.

With Opportunity Attacks in Next, I think we're in a weird spot where the rule (OA's take your Reaction) is actually more complicated in play than the 4e alternative (where OA's can be made for each creature that provokes them). Tracking whether or not you've used your Reaction, when said Reaction can also be used for other stuff, is added overhead. This is doubly so when you're looking at OA's for monsters, and the DM needs to remember whether or not Goblin 14 has used it or not. We ran into the problem ourselves during our playtest, where the Cleric had a "flare" reaction and we needed to puzzle out whether or not he'd used it when a monster moved away from him. Much simpler just to allow the OA, in my mind.

Morty
2014-05-07, 09:58 AM
Or you can just grab the "Moblity" feat (Fighters do get the most feats/ability upgrades of any class) and get a +10 speed boost (when move+attacking, I think. Not for running/hustling) to boot.

As it is in D&D Next, you provoke an OA when you leave someone's reach (Not merely a threatened "space".) You can run circles around someone, but not run in, whack, and run away without Mobility.

Even fighters get only seven feats across all their levels, the earliest of which happens at level four. So they're a very scarce resource, especially if what you get in return is rather unimpressive. Being able to sacrifice expertise dice to ignore or avoid Attacks of Opportunity would have made a good fighter maneuver, if, once again, they hadn't decided to get rid of them.

Knaight
2014-05-08, 03:20 PM
A mechanic that says "this monster takes half damage from weapon attacks" is tactically irrelevant and equivalent to just giving it twice as many hit points.
(That example was for martial characters, of course; spellcasters get a free ticket out of this one).

Hardly. The "from weapon attacks" here is important. They're far more vulnerable to environmental damage, falling, etc. This isn't all that important in 5e, but that has to do with contextual mechanics more than anything. If this exact thing was applied to Fudge using the Fudge Fu system (another simple game) which outright encourages complex environments and has Push as a basic mechanic available to everyone.

As you pointed out, even in D&D Next that particular mechanic is relevant, because it creates a vulnerability to spells. It's a shame that the implementation here is a screw you to martial types, but that's not an inherent flaw in the mechanic.

Kurald Galain
2014-05-08, 03:23 PM
The "from weapon attacks" here is important. They're far more vulnerable to environmental damage, falling, etc. This isn't all that important in 5e, but that has to do with contextual mechanics more than anything. If this exact thing was applied to Fudge using the Fudge Fu system (another simple game) which outright encourages complex environments and has Push as a basic mechanic available to everyone.

As you pointed out, even in D&D Next that particular mechanic is relevant, because it creates a vulnerability to spells. It's a shame that the implementation here is a screw you to martial types, but that's not an inherent flaw in the mechanic.

Like I said, "(That example was for martial characters, of course; spellcasters get a free ticket out of this one)."

No, this mechanic doesn't create a vulnerability to spells; everything is already vulnerable to spells. And please don't say "as you pointed out" and then write the exact opposite of what I'm pointing out.

Knaight
2014-05-08, 07:22 PM
And please don't say "as you pointed out" and then write the exact opposite of what I'm pointing out.

I'd interpreted the "free ticket out" as a jab at blatant spellcaster superiority and not as an exemption from the example. Within that context, the example goes against your point.

Sartharina
2014-05-10, 11:11 AM
Resistance can also be applied to elemental/spell damage, and different types of weapon damage. I miss the Barbarian having resistance when raging, though :(

Person_Man
2014-05-12, 08:45 AM
Tangent: the pattern I'm seeing here is that frequently, where 5E picks an easy mechanic because it's easy, early editions have a (slightly) more complicated mechanic for a good reason. For example, a mechanic that says "this monster takes five less damage from weapon attacks" forces players to rethink their tactics, because using many light attacks is suddenly less effective than using a single heavy attack. A mechanic that says "this monster takes half damage from weapon attacks" is tactically irrelevant and equivalent to just giving it twice as many hit points.
(That example was for martial characters, of course; spellcasters get a free ticket out of this one).

+1

Damage Reduction was created to specifically mimic the fairly common fantasy trope of needing silver to kill a werewolf, a wooden stake to kill a vampire, iron to kill Fey, mistletoe to kill Baldur, kryptonite to kill Superman, etc.

Instead of fixing the 3.5 Damage Reduction mechanic (which could easily have been done a number of different ways) they abolished in the name of simplicity, but with a replacement that's mechanically worse.