View Full Version : Playstyle, 5e, and your experiences

2014-06-17, 09:17 AM
Alright, we have points people have made in various threads, and since this topic is unrelated to any previous threads I am starting this one. Its very simple. From what you have seen, and/or tested, does 5e support your playstyle? Why or why not? How about your experience, or your opinions? Lay em out there.

My answer----

Yes, it lends very well to my playstyle (Noir/mystery/exploration) as evidenced from the last test packet. The system is simple, character concepts fit good (not perfect, but then who is?), and the story takes precedent over the simplified mechanics. I am also not a DM who is rule rigid. If your concept does not exactly fit, we can discuss options and changes. Substitution of class abilities for other similar abilities or comparatively powerful ones are easily done, and the system supports it with little to no difficulty.

I have never been one for handing out Advantage/Disadvantage outside of the packet's determined usages (making them uncommon to rare occurrences by my understanding) unless the story could use a little extra action/drama. I like the mechanic and understand it is a carry over from 4e (which I did not play).

Combat is dangerous, but not excessively so (TPKs happen when players make bad decisions), the Monsters are lackluster, but workable. Not that I use many monsters, preferring opposing characters (or monsters with class levels) as villains instead. I very much enjoyed the spell casting mechanic and find that it finally coincides with what I imagined spell casters being capable of, without requiring 9 versions of the same spell. Spell sheets are finally shortened. (wizards capable of casting 9th level spells in my games often have the following number of learned spells in my games 12/11/9/8/8/7/7/5/2, so the wizard lists have always been short)

Overall, due to its simplicity and (IMO) flexibility, the type games I prefer to run work exceptionally well. There is not a small nation worth of feats and/or PrCs (built by 3rd party power brokers) to clog and break the system. There are holes, and incomplete descriptions to be sure. But it is a playtest packet I am talking about here. I do not harbor any illusions of completeness from it. But what it does have, works exceptionally well for my games, and game world. I completely approve of it, flaws included.

2014-06-17, 11:00 AM
I've found that any game can support any play style.

Because of houserules and homebrew, you can force a system to work for your group's play style. It just depends on if you like the core mechanics and how much time/effort you want to put into it.

The best example of this is the fact that 4e is pretty much an alternate rules 3.5 (unearthed arcana) with different classes.

I played in, years ago mind you, a superhero game (marvel/DC) using 2e rules. Yup, Superman was flying around punching monsters while THAC0 was being used.

Wasn't a very lethal game at all, actually we made it a point not to kill . Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Rogue, and Magneto was used. Core mechanics pretty much stayed the same, just changed how often things could be used and the power level.

So I think that if WotC makes a ton of options for mechanics and not just what a class or monster can do then people will be more likely to feel as if the system fits their play style.

2014-06-17, 01:18 PM
Combat is dangerous, but not excessively so

This is my favorite part of the new system. Without too much effort I can create challenging encounters that will keep my players on their toes.

As for the game supporting my group's playstyle, it sure does! I like to play games rife with political intrigue and adventure with a mix of bloody combats and tense RP encounters, but we have all different playstyles at my table. I think the new system supports this kind of mixing pot very well. I am usually able to satisfy everyone at the table over the course of a session, without having to sacrifice too much of my own time or fun.

I find that the more "traditional" spell list and abilities give my players an opportunity to improvise and use their characters' abilities in ways that perhaps weren't explicitly intended. Whereas the 4e powers system doesn't leave much to the imagination.

Also, the simplicity of racial traits makes it very easy to create custom races for my players to choose from. All I have to do is come up with a race idea, then pick from the other races' traits or come up with similar traits on my own. I think this simplicity may extend to custom classes, though I have yet to tackle that project.

Like all games, IMO, there is definitely a way to break it, (at least in it's current iteration), but the condensed amount of abilities and spells makes it easier on me as the DM to be prepared for any characters that might get out of control. And if that does happen, the monster stat blocks are so simple that it's virtually effortless to ad-lib monster abilities on the fly, so I can keep my players guessing.

And lastly, gish characters are easier than ever to create, which is so much fun for my players and I. I've always wanted to play a fighter with wizard spells (Belgarion style), and the new system makes that so easy and more effective than ever with the Arcane Initiate feat.

I'm very excited about 5e/Next, and I've had only good experiences with it so far.

2014-06-17, 07:40 PM
I've had good experiences. I'm one full early playtest campaign down, and three sessions into another. I think what clicks for everybody playing in whatever style is that action resolution is fast yet organized. Having combat move quickly keeps both RP heavy and tactical heavy players engaged.

2014-06-18, 12:58 AM
5th Edition is actually of interest to me at the moment because of how well it fits our play style. Specifically, by default all our campaigns and adventures are in (by 3.5/Pathfinder standards) extremely low magic. Magic item shops almost never come into play, and unless dragon hoards are involved, our groups never find ourselves stumbling across the absurds amount of wealth the Wealth by Level charts would indicate.

Thus far, it appears as if the math-side of the 5E system totally allows you to play this way without the math getting skewed and casters getting even more(!) absurd in comparative power level.

2014-06-18, 02:43 PM
I'm not really liking much of what I saw of the playtest. I tend to like complex games with many options and customization for the players so I'll have to wait until I see the optional modules.

So far I really liked the advantage/disadvantage mechanic but I don't like that they don't stack. I also didn't like the way the skills are handled, least of all that you're stuck with your set of skills at level 1. I don't like that luck plays a much bigger rol than before and every roll and that having a skills gives you almost no advantage at all (IE: Two clerics, same stats, one with diplomacy one without. The one with the trained skill will have a +1 or +2 difference in the skill until level 7, giving both almost the same chance of succeeding).
I like the big feats but most classes have too few of them giving you little room for customization (a barbarian will have his first feat at level 4 and the second at 9!!!). No news yet of the subclasses and no prestige classes.
Hated the return of the multiclassing prequisites and the multiclass spellcasting rules don't really fix anything, without subclasses/prestiges fighters/wizards are still not viable.
No illusion spell yet, and a ton of others things are missing. I'll have to wait until december when the whole game is available and see if it's worth it. It doesn't seem so right now, least of all with a U$S150 price tag (and for me, living in Argentina is way, waaaaaaaaay more expensive between taxes and shipping).

2014-06-22, 03:56 PM
We had no problems dominating all adventures we tried. The system is light and, given enough splatbooks down the road, could be interesting.

I'm not sure its advantages will be enough to draw players from the entrenched camps of previous editions and PF.

2014-06-22, 11:25 PM
As the father of a new baby, my prefered playstyle is best described as "playable with one hand and no reference material". 5e fits into that perfectly. I can feed the baby, do the ironing or clean the kitchen while I DM or play. For now, it suits my playstyle just fine and I appreciate the swift resolutions of combat.

I have always disliked traditional D&D and having abilities tied directly to levels, e.g. you are a level 7 paladin, so you are now immune to fear. What I am finding is that as long as you want to play that stereotype, then it actually works well, my dislike is waivering a bit. I suspect that it will affect replayability a little, as every wizard or fighter is much the same as the next in practice.

One issue I have is that the old-school flavour of deadliness does not play well in single player games. So many monsters can kill a solo PC with one unlucky save that it makes them a bit hard to use as DM. I played a session recently where a bunch of ghouls, who were considerably lower level than the paladin they were attacking just wiped him out. One unlucky paralyse, petrify, sleep, charm and it is all over.