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TheOOB
2014-07-17, 01:48 AM
I've been doing a little bit of math about some of the things in the D&D basic set, and I figured I'd put it here.

Halfling Luck

First up, Halfling Luck, how much does it affect rolls?

So for any roll, you have a 5% chance to have another chance at the roll.

So if you have a 50% chance to succeed a roll, luck adds 50% of 5% to your success rate(2.5%), which makes your success rate 52.5%.

If you have a 25% chance to succeed, luck adds 1.25%, for a total of 26.25%

If you have a 75% chance to succeed, luck adds 3.75%, for a total of 78.75%

In all situations, you are 5% more likely to succeed a roll then you were before, which actually means the ability is more relevant on easy rolls than hard rolls(on the "easy" roll luck will turn a failure into a success three times more often than a "hard" roll).

The ability is useful, but not overpowered or game breaking.

Great Weapon Fighting

A Fighters great weapon fighting seems good, but how good is it?

Basically, when calculating the mean of a die roll, it turns a 1 and a 2 into the average of the roll. So for a Greataxe, you (6.5+6.5+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12)/12, which is 7.33 damage, which is only a .83 average damage increase on a hit.

For a great sword, it turns 2d6 from a 7 average to a 8.33, which is a 1.33 average damage increase.

Now damage scales slower in 5e, and fighters get multiple attacks, so this damage isn't irrelevant, but Great Weapon Fighting isn't a huge damage boost, it's nice for reducing your chance of snuffing a damage roll, but getting +1 AC will usually have a larger impact on your character.

Note that a longsword + Duelist deals 6.5 average damage, and has a min of 3 damage, which is only .5 less than a greatsword, and 1.83 damage less than a GWF Greatsword, and allows for a shield.

Of course, at low levels Two-Weapon Fighting has the highest damage output, but as multiple attacks enter in, and special abilities compete for your bonus action, it will lose it's luster(except for rogues).

Cantrip Damage

Wizards can now do decent damage without using their limited spells, and since they have less spells, they'll use their cantrips even at high levels. I'm going to compare firebolt, to a Longsword fighter, to a rapier wielding rogue. Accuracy is not calculated as part of this(all classes should be able to hit equally as often), and I'm assuming a rogue can get their sneak attack 80% of the time. I'm also assuming 16 in ability score at level 1, and 20 at levels 10 and 20

Level 1 Damage Per Turn

Fighter : 7.5(4.5+3)
Rogue : 10.3(4.5+3+(3.5*.8))
Wizard: 5.5

Level 10 Damage Per Turn

Fighter : 19((4.5+5)*2)
Rogue: 23.5(4.5+5+(17.5*.8))
Wizard: 11

Level 20 Damage Per Turn

Fighter: 38((4.5+5)*4)
Rogue: 37.5(4.5+5+(35*.8))
Wizard: 22

As you can see, at no point are cantrips overpowering the more martial characters attacks, in fact they hover around 60% of the damage delt by a fighter, so a wizard will have to dip into their spells to out class a fighter in combat, and with reduced spell scaling I don't see fighters(or rogues), ever becoming useless next to wizards(also note that I was not using optimal damage builds for the fighter and rogue(Great Weapon Fighting and Two Weapon Fighting Respectively), but rather something that is reasonably obtainable by all of those classes builds.

Also interesting to note that the fighter does eventually start catching up to the rogue damage wise.

Inevitability
2014-07-17, 02:58 AM
Hm... Have you calculated how the Evocation features affect cantrips?

TheOOB
2014-07-17, 10:06 AM
Hm... Have you calculated how the Evocation features affect cantrips?

Empowered evotion would change the damage as follows:

Level 1: Same
Level 10: 16
Level 20: 27

Helps close the gap, but doesn't make cantrips a force to be feared.

As for potent cantrip, we don't have any wizard cantrips that use it(yet), I'll do the math on a hypothetical later, now I have to leave for work.

m4th
2014-07-17, 01:14 PM
Great Weapon Fighting

A Fighters great weapon fighting seems good, but how good is it?

Basically, when calculating the mean of a die roll, it turns a 1 and a 2 into the average of the roll. So for a Greataxe, you (6.5+6.5+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12)/12, which is 7.33 damage, which is only a .83 average damage increase on a hit.

For a great sword, it turns 2d6 from a 7 average to a 8.33, which is a 1.33 average damage increase.

Now damage scales slower in 5e, and fighters get multiple attacks, so this damage isn't irrelevant, but Great Weapon Fighting isn't a huge damage boost, it's nice for reducing your chance of snuffing a damage roll, but getting +1 AC will usually have a larger impact on your character.

Note that a longsword + Duelist deals 6.5 average damage, and has a min of 3 damage, which is only .5 less than a greatsword, and 1.83 damage less than a GWF Greatsword, and allows for a shield.

Of course, at low levels Two-Weapon Fighting has the highest damage output, but as multiple attacks enter in, and special abilities compete for your bonus action, it will lose it's luster(except for rogues).

Nice analysis! It makes me feel better about not being a halfling. Now if only elves didn't get darkvision I'd be happy with humans :)

On Rogues and Dual Wielding:
Cunning Action competes with your off-hand attack for the bonus action every turn. That means that a rogue who uses both attacks is sacrificing mainhand damage (by downgrading from a rapier to a shortsword) and mobility (cunning action) to take an offhand attack. Positioning and mobility is important for rogues; a rogue who is not sneak attacking should probably be hiding instead.

That being said, the flexibility of double shortswords is attractive. My groups have a tendency to run 6 or 7 players. Add in a few extra mobs and mobility becomes nearly impossible. I spent most of my combat rounds in my last session standing in place, surrounded by allies and mobs, sneak attacking every turn. That offhand attack meant an extra chance to deal sneak attack damage, assuming I missed with my mainhand. I didn't keep track, but I believe that I dealt sneak attack damage on the offhand attack more often than the mainhand. The dice were not with me.

In general, I plan to use double shortswords. In conditions of adequate lighting and optimal positioning, the second chance of getting my sneak attack dice is well worth the loss of 1 damage average from not using a rapier in the main hand. When I lose the offhand attack either from cunning action or carrying a torch, my expected damage only goes from 11 to 10 at level 2. Not enough to cry over, more than enough to one-shot a goblin.

For all you fighter types out there looking to maximise your AC and damge, let me just say sorry. I had a nice chart made up with expected AC and damage for fighters at levels 1, 5, and 11, but the forum removes extra spacing and I cannot be bothered to retype everything in the terrifying table format. To summarize:

At 1st level, Two Weapon Fighting Style does superior damage, Duelist has better AC by 2 but less damage (9.5 vs 13), and Great Weapon Fighting is behind TWF in damage (11.3 vs 13).
At 5th level, Duelist has almost caught up to TWF in damage (21 vs 22.5), while GWF has surpassed it (24.66 vs 22.5). Duelist, of course, retains the AC superiority.
At 11th level, both Duelist and GWF deal more damage than TWF (34.5 vs 39.99 vs 34).

Be careful not to underestimate the value of a shield. 2 AC is the difference between chain mail and plate, and a duelist is never far behind GWF in terms of damage output. Hopefully this helps some martial types plan their characters.

Morty
2014-07-17, 01:44 PM
Great Weapon Fighting

A Fighters great weapon fighting seems good, but how good is it?

Basically, when calculating the mean of a die roll, it turns a 1 and a 2 into the average of the roll. So for a Greataxe, you (6.5+6.5+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12)/12, which is 7.33 damage, which is only a .83 average damage increase on a hit.

For a great sword, it turns 2d6 from a 7 average to a 8.33, which is a 1.33 average damage increase.

Now damage scales slower in 5e, and fighters get multiple attacks, so this damage isn't irrelevant, but Great Weapon Fighting isn't a huge damage boost, it's nice for reducing your chance of snuffing a damage roll, but getting +1 AC will usually have a larger impact on your character.

Note that a longsword + Duelist deals 6.5 average damage, and has a min of 3 damage, which is only .5 less than a greatsword, and 1.83 damage less than a GWF Greatsword, and allows for a shield.

Of course, at low levels Two-Weapon Fighting has the highest damage output, but as multiple attacks enter in, and special abilities compete for your bonus action, it will lose it's luster(except for rogues).

Someone should show this to WotC as an example of why their ways of balancing weapons do not work.

Covent
2014-07-17, 02:11 PM
Ok...

So I was looking at the Basic PDF for 5th Ed and well, its raising some flags for me.

I am going to wait until the PHB comes out to do a review as I want all of the data, however I would very much appreciate if anyone would be willing to check me on a few concepts.

1.) AC is determined by Armor and it looks like the max is FullPlate + Shield = 20

2.) Attack bonus is (Proficiency Bonus) + (Str/Dex Mod).

3.) Max stat seems to be 20. This makes the max modifier for a stat +5.

4.) So a fighter can if he rolls a single 18 for ability score generation simply be a Hill dwarf and have +2 str and +2 con. meaning he maxes out his str at level one.

5.) This means his attack routine is (2) + (5)= 7 vs AC which at one should be between 10-17 meaning you have between a 90% and a 55% chance to land an attack.

6.) Your average damage would be (greatsword) 2d6 + 5

7.) Average DPR then would vary between 12.1 and 7.55, with most case falling at around 9.825.

8.) A TWF would have 2 attacks with (Scimitar) [1d6 +5] x 2

9.) Average TWF DPR would be (7.825) x 2 - (4.85) x 2 or 15.65 to 9.7, with most cases aroud 12.675.

10.) A ranged fighter would be (2) Archtype + (2) prof + (5) dex = 9 meaning between a 95% and 65% chance to land an attack, with damage of 1d8 + 5.

11.) Ranged average DPR is 9.25 to 6.3 with most falling around 7.775.

As you level you get more attacks and a 18-20 crit range. It is important to note that the two attacks granted a TWF are only done via a "Bonus action" which means you max out at five attacks and not eight. Using your act twice ability this would put you at 9 attacks vs the Two handed guys eight.

Your ranged attacker will be doing around 60% to 70% of a Two handed guys DPR but will have better dex saves and a very comparable AC.

This means that at level 20 the numbers are as follows:

Two handed: (6) Prof + (5) Stat vs 16-20 AC. (2d6 +5) x 8 = average DPR of 92.8 to 72.0. = 82.4

TWF: (6) Prof + (5) stat vs 16-20 AC. (1d6 + 5) x 9 = average DPR of 65.925 to 50.625. = 58.275

Ranged: (6) prof + (2) Archetype + (5) Stat vs 16-20 AC. (1d8 + 5) x 8 = average DPR of 73.8 to 58.6. = 66.2

This means that the TWF gets worse in comparison as he levels to all other styles and the Two handed fighter gets better while the ranged fighter gets slightly better but not by much.

It also means that it takes longer to kill people as you level up.

Lvl 1 HP.

Wizard (Con 16): 9

Rogue (Con 16): 11

Cleric (Con 16): 11

Fighter (Con 16): 13

Average time to kill level 1:

Two handed: Wizard( 1 round), Rogue (1.119593 rounds [2]), Cleric (1.119593 rounds [2]), Fighter (1.323155 rounds [2])

TWF: Wizard( 1 round), Rogue (1 round), Cleric (1 round), Fighter (1.02564 rounds [2])

Ranged: Wizard( 1.1575563 rounds [2]), Rogue (1.414791 rounds [2]), Cleric (1.414791 rounds [2]), Fighter (1.672 rounds [2])

Lvl 20 HP

Wizard (Con 20): 182

Rogue (Con 20): 203

Cleric (Con 20): 203

Fighter (Con 20): 224

Average time to kill level 20:

Two handed: Wizard( 2.2087 rounds [3]), Rogue (2.464 rounds [3]), Cleric (2.464 rounds [3]), Fighter (2.7184 rounds [3])

TWF: Wizard( 3.123 rounds [4]), Rogue (3.483 rounds [4]), Cleric (3.483 rounds [4]), Fighter (3.844 rounds [4])

Ranged: Wizard( 2.749 rounds [3]), Rogue (3.0665 rounds [4]), Cleric (3.0665 rounds [4]), Fighter (3.384 rounds [4])

This is even using your 3 times a day double action power.

It seems to me that it means go TWF at level one and then ditch it for Two handed by level five.

Worth mentioning is the dueling style which is better than TWF at level 5> but always worse than two handed style...

In short it seems to me that all fighters if optimized would go TWF (Lvl 1)--->Two handed (Lvl 5)--->(lvl 20)

It also means that it take more fighters blowing cooldowns and being optimized at level 20 to kill the same opponent as at level 1.

This seems to mean to me that the fighter as revealed in the basic rule book gets less effective as he levels and not more.

Of course advantage vs Disadvantage will swing these numbers but they should stay relative.

I would love some correction if I am wrong/stupid, but if not...

WHY...??!!??... :smallfurious:

Envyus
2014-07-17, 02:33 PM
Dueling is not that far behind Two Handed and you get +2 to AC.

The classes are not really supposed to fight one another so a level 20 wizard would be a final boss not something you fight normally. You will be fighting creatures below your Level.

Covent
2014-07-17, 02:45 PM
Dueling is not that far behind Two Handed and you get +2 to AC.

The classes are not really supposed to fight one another so a level 20 wizard would be a final boss not something you fight normally. You will be fighting creatures below your Level.

I assume you mean from the shield? I do agree that dueling can be very acceptable at 1d6 + 7 is close to 2d6 +5.

With crits it should be average 11.025 per hit vs 14.2 per hit with dueling up 2 AC.

Also I just used the numbers from the basic release due to not having a released Monster Manual yet.

My main point is: It still would mean that as a fighter levels it takes him longer to kill an opponent. This seems counter intuitive to me.

Sartharina
2014-07-17, 02:56 PM
My main point is: It still would mean that as a fighter levels it takes him longer to kill an opponent. This seems counter intuitive to me.

A fighter kills a bugbear faster at level 20 than they did at level 1. They don't take longer to kill opponents as they level. Get your mind off the treadmill.

Covent
2014-07-17, 03:04 PM
A fighter kills a bugbear faster at level 20 than they did at level 1. They don't take longer to kill opponents as they level. Get your mind off the treadmill.

Ok you are technically right. Which is of course the best kind of right. :smallsmile:

I will then amend my statement. It still would mean that as a fighter levels it takes him longer to kill a level appropriate opponent.

pwykersotz
2014-07-17, 03:08 PM
Ok you are technically right. Which is of course the best kind of right. :smallsmile:

I will then amend my statement. It still would mean that as a fighter levels it takes him longer to kill a level appropriate opponent.

The question is though, does it take a level appropriate opponent longer to kill the fighter? That's important. Because if so, it means that HP scales faster than damage all around and high level combat just takes longer.

Sartharina
2014-07-17, 03:29 PM
The question is though, does it take a level appropriate opponent longer to kill the fighter? That's important. Because if so, it means that HP scales faster than damage all around and high level combat just takes longer.

I hope so, since it will discourage the treadmill, and encourage DMs to use lower-level threats that allow high-level players to feel powerful.

Maybe it depends on the nature of the fight, but I always go back to the "Farmer vs. Viper" vs "Olaf Vs. Numinex" analogy.

Covent
2014-07-17, 03:30 PM
The question is though, does it take a level appropriate opponent longer to kill the fighter? That's important. Because if so, it means that HP scales faster than damage all around and high level combat just takes longer.

Very valid point.

I could see this if there were not such spells as Hold Person, Imprisonment, Mass Suggestion, Maze, Otto's Irresistible Dance, Sleep, Suggestion or Web in the game.

These are at various levels and stay useful and just as effective as you level. A Cleric, Wizard or Rogue using Use Magic Device, does not degrade in the way a fighter would in efficiency.

Also I am only using the numbers I have been provided from the basic rules, if the monsters have as some people have claimed greater AC and greater HP pools than in my initial post it gets much worse.

I would also doubt that a level 20/ CR 20 monster would do less damage than say a fighter and that combined with the aforementioned HP pools/AC means :smallfrown:.

In short I am worried that this points to a problem in the math like the one we had in 4th and am hoping I am incorrect in my math or ignorant of some basic facts.

Tehnar
2014-07-17, 03:44 PM
Someone should show this to WotC as an example of why their ways of balancing weapons do not work.

Don't know what is worse; that WotC does not know how to do basic math or that they do know and don't care.

Sartharina
2014-07-17, 04:03 PM
I could see this if there were not such spells as Hold Person, Imprisonment, Mass Suggestion, Maze, Otto's Irresistible Dance, Sleep, Suggestion or Web in the game.Most of those spells have a duration. Improving monster survivability degrades the value of those spells - A holding spell is more effective against a creature that can be killed before the effect wears off than a creature that can't. Maze is more effective against creature that comes back alone than one that comes back before the first fight is over. And, Sleep degrades quickly, unable to keep pace with monster HP either. Only Suggestion in that list doesn't degrade as well.

Morty
2014-07-17, 06:09 PM
Don't know what is worse; that WotC does not know how to do basic math or that they do know and don't care.

I think in this case they just didn't care. They tried to do things with the weapons lists in the early playtests, but then they rolled them back to their old form and left it at that.

Re-rolling bad results is a pretty good ability, in theory. It can increase effectiveness without keeping track of fiddly numbers - that's why advantage and disadvantage is one of the few solid ideas of 5e. It's just that it doesn't really matter if you slap it on an outdated damage system.

obryn
2014-07-17, 09:35 PM
Someone should show this to WotC as an example of why their ways of balancing weapons do not work.
They don't care, man. They were way more worried about "feel" than actual game design. It's fundamentally the same design philosophy as Paizo - use some numbers that look right, make sure spellcasters are the best, and let the DM fix anything broken. :smallsigh:

rlc
2014-07-17, 10:20 PM
i don't really like that the rogue does more damage than the fighter, either. sure, those aren't optimized numbers, but isn't the fighter supposed to do the most damage to single targets? i guess they're going to rely more on flashy maneuvers.

Sartharina
2014-07-17, 10:29 PM
i don't really like that the rogue does more damage than the fighter, either. sure, those aren't optimized numbers, but isn't the fighter supposed to do the most damage to single targets? i guess they're going to rely more on flashy maneuvers.No. Fighters are a good blend of multi- and single-target damage. And the best Damage-to-survivability ratio, as well.

They kinda remind me of GW2's Warriors, but without all the fun options.

Tholomyes
2014-07-17, 10:45 PM
i don't really like that the rogue does more damage than the fighter, either. sure, those aren't optimized numbers, but isn't the fighter supposed to do the most damage to single targets? i guess they're going to rely more on flashy maneuvers.

I don't particularly mind. In my eyes, there really are a few reasons I'm not concerned. First of all, the rogue is more limited in how he can apply his damage. Sure, they made it relatively easy to get sneak attacks in this edition, but there will be times and enemies who will make it difficult to do it (and I'm not talking about the old "Golems can't be dealt precision damage" thing, but more that I'm guessing we'll see monsters who are effective at isolating enemies, and such). The fighter, however, is less limited, due to the fact (at least by my interpretation) that extra attacks can be spread to different targets. Against weaker mooks, a fighter might be able to ensure that less damage gets wasted, where whatever damage the rogue does only gets applied to one enemy, no matter that enemy's HP.

The fighter also has action surge, which means they can effectively double their damage output for a turn once per short rest. In fact there are a lot of things like this, so a fighter ends up getting bonuses, where they end up doing more damage than their DPR calculations would indicate, sometimes, where the rogue has restrictions, where they end up doing significantly less damage than DPR would indicate. Lastly, even if the Rogue was just flat out better at single target damage, I still wouldn't be all that concerned. To me, the fighter's purpose is both about dishing out single target damage, but also being able to take damage. The rogue, on the other hand, can't take damage nearly as well. That extra durability on the fighter's side means a greater presence in combat, overall.

EDIT:

Note to self: the key to not being Ninja'd is to be succinct.

No. Fighters are a good blend of multi- and single-target damage. And the best Damage-to-survivability ratio, as well.

They kinda remind me of GW2's Warriors, but without all the fun options.

Haven't played GW2, since I'm not a terribly big fan of MMOs, (so I might be completely off base) but from what I've heard, the other fighter subclasses actually look like they're going to have some fun options to them. And, not like the subpar showing we saw in the playtests, but closer to a more simplified down, (and not level based or organized into styles) Tome of Battle style. Not as many maneuvers, obviously, nor as complex, but with the simplified paradigm of 5e, they sound decent enough, and there might be room to grow, with later sourcebooks

Morty
2014-07-18, 05:59 AM
They don't care, man. They were way more worried about "feel" than actual game design. It's fundamentally the same design philosophy as Paizo - use some numbers that look right, make sure spellcasters are the best, and let the DM fix anything broken. :smallsigh:

I know, I know. I really don't think anyone gave the weapons table more than a five minutes' consideration. They just threw in the same one that's been in use since 3e was released and called it a day.

Haven't played GW2, since I'm not a terribly big fan of MMOs, (so I might be completely off base) but from what I've heard, the other fighter subclasses actually look like they're going to have some fun options to them. And, not like the subpar showing we saw in the playtests, but closer to a more simplified down, (and not level based or organized into styles) Tome of Battle style. Not as many maneuvers, obviously, nor as complex, but with the simplified paradigm of 5e, they sound decent enough, and there might be room to grow, with later sourcebooks

By the looks of it, it'll be around 20 maneuvers, from which you'll pick 9 across your career, and the list will stay the same every time you get new ones. It wouldn't be too bad... if that was the Basic Set archetype.

rlc
2014-07-18, 07:00 AM
No. Fighters are a good blend of multi- and single-target damage. And the best Damage-to-survivability ratio, as well.

They kinda remind me of GW2's Warriors, but without all the fun options.

i don't even know what gw2 is, but the post after yours says it's an mmo, so i'll pass.

Tholomyes
2014-07-18, 08:15 AM
By the looks of it, it'll be around 20 maneuvers, from which you'll pick 9 across your career, and the list will stay the same every time you get new ones. It wouldn't be too bad... if that was the Basic Set archetype. With the way pretty much everything has been pared down to 5e's back to basics design, 20 maneuvers that (presumably) stay relevant across 20 levels doesn't sound all that bad to me, from a PHB. It's not like it's going to only be 20 maneuvers forever. I have no doubt that you'll see supplements that add more maneuvers. True, it's not the basic set archetype, but to be honest, I think the basic set was less intended to actually be played with, alone (otherwise, that'd just cut into their PHB sales), and more as a easily accessible rules reference, as well as a point of entry for new players and a companion to the starter set, in addition to just being a piece of marketing, showing off the new-found simplicity to people who weren't part of the playtest (whether that's a good thing to be marketing is arguable, however; just based on the basic rules, I would have never even picked up the PHB, and I, as someone who holds no real love for either 3.x or 4e or really any other fantasy tabletop RPG, would be about their best shot. It's certainly not going to sway entrenched Pathfinder or 4e players).

obryn
2014-07-18, 09:29 AM
There are many problems with their implementation of Fighter maneuvers.

The first is extensibility. Spells have a section all their own - it's what spellcasters do, after all - and there will be many books coming down the road with more spells. Maneuvers are stuck in the Fighter section, a class feature, and most likely will have nowhere near the quantity of support that spells do. I don't honestly expect any new maneuvers at any point in the future; I think this is the whole list.

The second is leveling. At 18th (or whatever) level you get to pick your ninth-favorite maneuver from a list that has remained the same since 1st level. You picked all the best ones over 10 levels ago. They never get stronger, either - except in additional damage and saving throw DCs. The conditions handed out remain those which would be appropriate for a 1st-level character.

40% of the PHB will be spells. Maybe 1% at most will be Fighter maneuvers.

Tholomyes
2014-07-18, 09:50 AM
Well, as I've said, before, it largely comes down to how well they support the system, for whether I'll continue to buy in. A big part of that is maneuvers for fighters, as well as other things for other classes. I think they know this. I heard a lot of people, in the playtest, talk about how maneuvers for fighters were one of their make-or-break points, and I think they understand that they need to keep adding to the list. It could easily be as simple as providing a couple per sourcebook, as they saw fit, though I suspect there will be something akin to "The Complete book of fighters" or "Complete Warrior" or "Martial Power" that adds options for a bunch of classes, which will also have a fairly large number of manuevers, likely more advanced than the ones in the PHB, due both to more time to work on them, and not feeling as though they need to keep them as basic.

obryn
2014-07-18, 09:52 AM
I think we're more likely to see more Fighter subclasses than we are more maneuvers for the Battlemaster.

Tholomyes
2014-07-18, 10:19 AM
I think we're more likely to see more Fighter subclasses than we are more maneuvers for the Battlemaster.

I don't doubt we'll see both. Let's face facts, here. The design team has made a lot of decisions I don't agree with, but they're not stupid (system math, aside). They know they need to meet the sales demands that Hasbro wants out of this new system, and they know that fighters' maneuvers are a big deal for a sizable portion of the fan base. I have no doubt that subclasses were designed with the idea in mind that they'd continue to sell books, without feeling like we were getting the class-bloat of 3.5 and 4e, and obviously that means we'll see more fighter subclasses. But that doesn't mean that there won't be more maneuvers for fighters. I may be proven wrong, but I'm pretty sure the design team understands that for many people, the battlemaster is the only real fighter subclass, since the eldritch knight serves a different thematic role, and the champion might as well not exist. As such there is the necessity for both more fighter subclasses, and support for the battlemaster.

Gnomes2169
2014-07-18, 10:39 AM
I'll be honest... I just want to see the Swordsage running around again, in all of his mystical shadow-warping, flaming fist face punching goodness. :3

More seriously, if they expand the maneuvers section, I would like to see a class (like the sword sage) who specializes in implementing them more than the fighter. Something that, while less durable than the typical front line (the Barbarian/ Fighter/ Paladin) can still hold its own in melee due to the options at its disposal.

Edit: And of course, being more specialized than the Warmaster, maybe this theoretical class would get access to more advanced maneuvers + just more maneuvers over-all...? Just wish list, of course.

Morty
2014-07-18, 11:11 AM
I must agree with Obryn, although of course I tend to do that most of the time. The fact that Battlemaster (is that what it'll be called in the actual book, or just a stand-in name?) is just one archetype for one class means it's unlikely we'll get more maneuvers for it. Not to mention that since the maneuvers aren't tiered and the PHB list apparently includes such amazing feats of martial prowess like parrying a blow... we shouldn't expect fireworks. And I think that the part of the fanbase which desires tactical depth for non-magical combat is very low on the list of priorities - this point of view has been consistently ignored in favour of "I attack with bigger numbers".

obryn
2014-07-18, 12:15 PM
Battlemaster is the real name, I believe. It is derived from finding a synonym for "War" (Battle) and one for "-lord" (-master) obviously. :smallbiggrin:

And yes, the design team is 100% committed to making spellcasting classes complex and flexible, while making non-spellcasting classes simple and repetitive. The likeliest scenario is that the Battlemaster has one really cool maneuver (like the one that Frightens enemies) which they will end up spamming 80%+ of the time from Level 1 to Level 20. And keep in mind - this is supposed to be the option to make 4e fighter players happy! It even has tepid "warlord" options! How generous!

2014-07-18, 12:57 PM
Since the word "modular" has been used excessively to describe this edition...

...is there any chance that the DMG, rather than the PHB, will include an optional ruleset for people who want all martial classes (if not everyone, period) to be able to feint and disarm and all that?

obryn
2014-07-18, 01:32 PM
Since the word "modular" has been used excessively to describe this edition...

...is there any chance that the DMG, rather than the PHB, will include an optional ruleset for people who want all martial classes (if not everyone, period) to be able to feint and disarm and all that?
Probably not, though I think it's fair that you'd need to be a trained warrior to do it.

Demonic Spoon
2014-07-18, 01:36 PM
It's fair enough to say that any random person could try. Are you saying that I would need to be a trained warrior to pry something from the hands of, say, a small child?

That said, if you aren't trained, you're going to be bad at it and it is not often that it will come up. For those situations where it is important for a non-martial character to be able to do such things, I think it's fine to say that the DM could come up with an appropriate check rather than WoTC trying to provide discrete rules for all such scenarios in a core book.

pwykersotz
2014-07-18, 01:36 PM
Probably not, though I think it's fair that you'd need to be a trained warrior to do it.

I know that if I were to be attacked by a man with a sword, I would be as likely to provoke an opportunity attack as successfully feint. :smalltongue:

Tholomyes
2014-07-18, 01:44 PM
It's weird to be the one on WotC's side, for once, but I think you are being a bit too quick to say 'well, it's really just one subclass' when it's a subclass in Core. It's not like it's from a "Tactical Adventures" splatbook, which only a small portion of the fanbase reads, it's one of the 3 core fighter archetypes. What's more, I think the notion of expanding via subclasses is largely predicated on the fact that many classes have little room in them to expand, without doing that. It's why spells are the consistant go-to for new material: because it's something where classes pick from a list of options. In 3.5 a lot of classes weren't getting new options because there really weren't places to add new options, to many classes. in 5e, they built in room to expand with subclasses, but even more room to expand with options in certain subclasses. I wager we'll see new options for animal companions for the ranger, more maneuvers for the Fighter, and potentially other options like monk disciplines or Barbarian totem spirits.

True, they are probably doing this as a way to bring in 4e players, but they still need to keep them. Remember, they're under Hasbro's sales demands, and they've spent years without putting out any new products. Sure, they've got D&D classics, but they need to keep all the people they can sticking with 5e. If that means they need to release more maneuver options for the fighter, and other more tactically complex options for other classes, in order to keep a sizable portion of their fanbase, you can bet that they'll do it, especially since they don't want to see a second round of fans just mass-exodus to a competitor's system.

obryn
2014-07-18, 02:04 PM
It's fair enough to say that any random person could try. Are you saying that I would need to be a trained warrior to pry something from the hands of, say, a small child?
I would say the game doesn't need rules for taking things from kids?

But it's completely fair, as far as I'm concerned, to say that it requires special training much like a Champion can't just try to cast a Wizard spell.

It's weird to be the one on WotC's side, for once, but I think you are being a bit too quick to say 'well, it's really just one subclass' when it's a subclass in Core. It's not like it's from a "Tactical Adventures" splatbook, which only a small portion of the fanbase reads, it's one of the 3 core fighter archetypes. What's more, I think the notion of expanding via subclasses is largely predicated on the fact that many classes have little room in them to expand, without doing that. It's why spells are the consistant go-to for new material: because it's something where classes pick from a list of options. In 3.5 a lot of classes weren't getting new options because there really weren't places to add new options, to many classes. in 5e, they built in room to expand with subclasses, but even more room to expand with options in certain subclasses. I wager we'll see new options for animal companions for the ranger, more maneuvers for the Fighter, and potentially other options like monk disciplines or Barbarian totem spirits.

True, they are probably doing this as a way to bring in 4e players, but they still need to keep them. Remember, they're under Hasbro's sales demands, and they've spent years without putting out any new products. Sure, they've got D&D classics, but they need to keep all the people they can sticking with 5e. If that means they need to release more maneuver options for the fighter, and other more tactically complex options for other classes, in order to keep a sizable portion of their fanbase, you can bet that they'll do it, especially since they don't want to see a second round of fans just mass-exodus to a competitor's system.
Monk disciplines and Barbarian Totems are more subclasses, though. This, what we're looking at, would be a very specific expansion of a single subclass's abilities. I don't think expansion there is likely.

Demonic Spoon
2014-07-18, 02:10 PM
I would say the game doesn't need rules for taking things from kids?

But it's completely fair, as far as I'm concerned, to say that it requires special training much like a Champion can't just try to cast a Wizard spell.

But any person could still try to knock a weapon out of someone else's hands and even have a vague shot of succeeding - they'll just generally not be great at it. It's not complicated to attempt, it's just complicated to do well.

obryn
2014-07-18, 02:15 PM
But any person could still try to knock a weapon out of someone else's hands and even have a vague shot of succeeding - they'll just generally not be great at it. It's not complicated to attempt, it's just complicated to do well.
Can't anyone try to cast a spell, though? :smallwink:

Gnomes2169
2014-07-18, 02:16 PM
That might, unfortunately, be true... Unless they decide to expand on the maneuvers by making them an actual system of their own (Making the Warmaster like the Eldritch Knight, a gish-like subclass that uses "basic" Maneuvers instead of the more "basic" arcane magic), I don't see them adding any more than 2, 3 new maneuvers in any given splatbook or what have you...

On the other hand, if they do happen to make Martial maneuvers their own system (like they have in the Tome of Battle (3.5) and the PF conversion of the ToB), then I see no reason why the Battlemaster wouldn't be able to draw on it and the inevitable splat books for it. :3

Tholomyes
2014-07-18, 02:17 PM
Monk disciplines and Barbarian Totems are more subclasses, though. This, what we're looking at, would be a very specific expansion of a single subclass's abilities. I don't think expansion there is likely.Unless they changed the nomenclature, I'm pretty sure those are what the options within the Elemental monk and Totem Barbarian subclasses are called, not the subclasses themselves. Either way, whenever I refer to subclasses I use the term subclasses, because I don't like to be needlessly confusing (unlike WotC). My point is, there are a lot of subclasses in 5e that I could see room for expansion, without just creating a new subclass. Fighter is the most obvious one, but there are others.

In any case, I think you're looking at this throught the lens of "this is just a single subclass" where I see it more through the light of "This is a core subclass, with plenty of room to grow, and a make-or-break point for a sizable portion of the fanbase; I don't think I'm giving them too much credit to assume they know this, considering how much ink was spilled on the forums, during the playtest, about how important fighters (and other classes, but it was largely focused on fighters) having tactical choices is."

Morty
2014-07-18, 02:43 PM
Yes, tactical depth is important to a portion of the fanbase. But WotC has proven that this portion is of secondary importance to them at best.

Sartharina
2014-07-18, 02:45 PM
But any person could still try to knock a weapon out of someone else's hands and even have a vague shot of succeeding - they'll just generally not be great at it. It's not complicated to attempt, it's just complicated to do well.Except, they really can't. That's like saying anyone can try to pick up a piece of paper and draw a better picture than me, despite any lack of practice or courses. Sure, a person can think they can try to knock a weapon out of someone else's hands - but anyone proficient with a weapon uses it as an extension as their own body, and will NOT lose their weapon to any ignorant attempt at removing it. It might as well be fused to them.

All Soldier classes (Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, Monk) have a strong sense of their own capabilities in combat, and enough awareness of what an enemy can do to avoid being completely victimized by a foe. They are very good at putting the pointy end of their weapon into the enemy, while keeping that enemy from putting the point of their weapon into them. However, only the Fighter and possibly Monk(I'm still trying to figure out whether Turner's an Unarmed Fighter or a Monk) And ranger (against favored enemies, possibly) has the understanding of both sides in the battle and sees it as a whole to be manipulated.

Of course, I'm kind of upset that they didn't go for "Martial Maneuver" being a subsystem like spells, with subclasses being able to access individual lists of maneuvers:
The battlemaster fighter being master of all sorts of battle maneuvers - largest and most powerful maneuver list available
The Pragmatic Barbarian, who does all sorts of stuff to try to pull ahead, instead of just smashing through everything or emulating animals.
The Swashbuckling rogue, focused on dirty fighting-based maneuvers.

etc.

Tholomyes
2014-07-18, 03:12 PM
Yes, tactical depth is important to a portion of the fanbase. But WotC has proven that this portion is of secondary importance to them at best.Except I'm not sure we have enough information to make that claim yet. We've got the Basic rules (which, by virtue of it's name, shouldn't be that much of an indication of the finished product's tactical depth), playtest packets (whose primary purposes, let's be honest, were to serve as a way to keep 5e on the minds of fans for a long time, showing off some of their 'innovative' mechanics like advantage [how innovative...], and gather information about what was important to the fan base. Showing off, and getting feedback on, specific mechanics was of secondary importance; if getting feedback on half-finished mechanics would detract from the primary goal of keeping fans interested in 5e, they wouldn't do it) and the leaked alpha, which wasn't a complete finished product. We don't know what the tactical depth of the finished product will be, especially with the staggered release schedule. And even beyond that, we don't know how much supplements will support greater tactical depth.

Tactical depth isn't the easiest thing to get right. The fact that the game has appeared light in that aspect largely comes from the fact that all we've seen are Work-in-progress versions, many of which were likely filtered to only show mechanics they were comfortable being public. I'm fairly certain there will be more depth to the system than it seems at present. And even if I weren't so sure, I'd still wait at least until the system launched, and we'd get a better view of what was in core, and what was coming along the pipeline, before I decided to condemn it.

Is 5e the perfect system? No, not by a long shot. But I'm fairly confident that the devs are more than aware of the need to court as much of the fanbase as they can, which includes those who want tactical combat, if they want to meet the sales goals that Hasbro has, and they've heard, for nearly 2 years now, the demands for more complex maneuver-based fighters, and I can't imagine they believe that all they need to do is launch the Battlemaster, and not support it at all.

Of course, I'm kind of upset that they didn't go for "Martial Maneuver" being a subsystem like spells, with subclasses being able to access individual lists of maneuvers:
The battlemaster fighter being master of all sorts of battle maneuvers - largest and most powerful maneuver list available
The Pragmatic Barbarian, who does all sorts of stuff to try to pull ahead, instead of just smashing through everything or emulating animals.
The Swashbuckling rogue, focused on dirty fighting-based maneuvers.

etc.While I'm less confident in this than I am in the above assertions, I wouldn't be surprised if the Battlemaster fighter wasn't a bit of a test-run for future maneuver-based subclasses. After all, I've remarked in the past that 5e felt pretty rushed, in their attempts to get it out coinciding with the 40th anniversary of D&D. They've remarked in the past about the plans for a "tactical module"; how much of that is marketing BS and how much is real I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if they released a book with Maneuver-based subclasses for other martial characters.

Morty
2014-07-18, 05:51 PM
Except, they really can't. That's like saying anyone can try to pick up a piece of paper and draw a better picture than me, despite any lack of practice or courses. Sure, a person can think they can try to knock a weapon out of someone else's hands - but anyone proficient with a weapon uses it as an extension as their own body, and will NOT lose their weapon to any ignorant attempt at removing it. It might as well be fused to them.

Yep. Presenting such combat actions as something anyone can do does them a disservice. Of course, they should still be available to anyone who has some levels in Fighter, Paladin, Ranger or Barbarian. Because a trained combatant should be expected to know how to attempt something like that.

Of course, I'm kind of upset that they didn't go for "Martial Maneuver" being a subsystem like spells, with subclasses being able to access individual lists of maneuvers:
The battlemaster fighter being master of all sorts of battle maneuvers - largest and most powerful maneuver list available
The Pragmatic Barbarian, who does all sorts of stuff to try to pull ahead, instead of just smashing through everything or emulating animals.
The Swashbuckling rogue, focused on dirty fighting-based maneuvers.

There's this reluctance to have non-magical classes rely on 'external' abilities which aren't included in their class progression tables. Mind you, I think that the return to the 3e-style tables wasn't a good decision. 4e does it much more efficiently, even with dirt-simple variants like Slayers or Thieves.

Except I'm not sure we have enough information to make that claim yet. We've got the Basic rules (which, by virtue of it's name, shouldn't be that much of an indication of the finished product's tactical depth), playtest packets (whose primary purposes, let's be honest, were to serve as a way to keep 5e on the minds of fans for a long time, showing off some of their 'innovative' mechanics like advantage [how innovative...], and gather information about what was important to the fan base. Showing off, and getting feedback on, specific mechanics was of secondary importance; if getting feedback on half-finished mechanics would detract from the primary goal of keeping fans interested in 5e, they wouldn't do it) and the leaked alpha, which wasn't a complete finished product. We don't know what the tactical depth of the finished product will be, especially with the staggered release schedule. And even beyond that, we don't know how much supplements will support greater tactical depth.

Tactical depth isn't the easiest thing to get right. The fact that the game has appeared light in that aspect largely comes from the fact that all we've seen are Work-in-progress versions, many of which were likely filtered to only show mechanics they were comfortable being public. I'm fairly certain there will be more depth to the system than it seems at present. And even if I weren't so sure, I'd still wait at least until the system launched, and we'd get a better view of what was in core, and what was coming along the pipeline, before I decided to condemn it.

Is 5e the perfect system? No, not by a long shot. But I'm fairly confident that the devs are more than aware of the need to court as much of the fanbase as they can, which includes those who want tactical combat, if they want to meet the sales goals that Hasbro has, and they've heard, for nearly 2 years now, the demands for more complex maneuver-based fighters, and I can't imagine they believe that all they need to do is launch the Battlemaster, and not support it at all.

I'm not making baseless assumptions here, you know. I've followed the playtest and the developer blog posts which accompanied it. I've seen fighters and other 'martial' classes get progressively simpler. I've seen Mearls discuss weapon-themed special abilities and how they shuffled them off to being optional because they're too complicated. I've seen him declare that a round of combat shouldn't take longer for player to decide than it takes in game-time. I've seen the examples of the battlemaster maneuvers be things like 'roll a die and reduce damage by that much' or 'push the other dude'. Time will tell which one of us is right, but I believe I see a clear trend here.

Tholomyes
2014-07-18, 06:10 PM
I'm not making baseless assumptions here, you know. I've followed the playtest and the developer blog posts which accompanied it. I've seen fighters and other 'martial' classes get progressively simpler. I've seen Mearls discuss weapon-themed special abilities and how they shuffled them off to being optional because they're too complicated. I've seen him declare that a round of combat shouldn't take longer for player to decide than it takes in game-time. I've seen the examples of the battlemaster maneuvers be things like 'roll a die and reduce damage by that much' or 'push the other dude'. Time will tell which one of us is right, but I believe I see a clear trend here.I don't disagree that the blog posts and other such stuff appears rather disheartening at first, but remember that a large purpose of those blog posts is to build faith in the product, that it solved the problems people had with other editions. One of the common complaints about 4e and even 3e was that combat took too long. Less common, but still notable was about how weapon choice was too mechanically based. But the fact of the matter is, the blog posts really don't hold much more weight in my mind than political sound bytes. Replace "voter demographics" with "playstyle" and it's basically the same. It doesn't mean that what's said will have much sway on the actual edition, going forward. For all their talk, they want all the players they can get, and the simplified design was a way to get one playstyle invested, but they also know they need to deliver options for tactical playstyles too, or they lose out on a big customer base, which they can't really afford.

TheOOB
2014-07-19, 03:50 AM
Generally speaking, I prefer special moves to take the form of useful special abilities rather than special attacks anyone can do by taking some sort of penalty. Seeing WotC's design so far, I *think* that's what they'll do for special combat actions, because giving a big list of complicated special attacks that are usually a bad idea goes against the user and newbie friendly model they seem to be working with.

That said, just as grid based combat will be an optional rule, I imagine universal special attacks with also be an optional rule.

In any case, we don't really have enough information to comment on it one way or the other.

2014-07-19, 04:55 AM
Am I messed up if I keep reading the thread title as, "A Little Bit of Meth"?

Knaight
2014-07-20, 07:14 PM
Except, they really can't. That's like saying anyone can try to pick up a piece of paper and draw a better picture than me, despite any lack of practice or courses. Sure, a person can think they can try to knock a weapon out of someone else's hands - but anyone proficient with a weapon uses it as an extension as their own body, and will NOT lose their weapon to any ignorant attempt at removing it. It might as well be fused to them.

Disarming is comparatively rare, but I wouldn't go that far. If we stick to uninjured professionals who are reasonably fresh, sure. Add in a few injuries, and it's more dubious. Add in an illness, same thing. Have someone who's been fighting for the last several minutes straight (which is a long fight), and they're probably worn down enough for the attempt. Add in them having other issues, such as being ganged up on by other people, and it's also less likely. Moreover, it's often relatively easy to do this against particular weapons wielded by people who aren't that good at them.

Just having the proficiency bonus help in defense (possibly even with it doubled) would potentially be enough to help here. The compressed scale gets in the way a bit, as does the linearity of the d20, but it makes more sense than the options not even being available. It's just that that expert soldier is packing a +12 to defense from proficiency alone, and that's without weapon bonus feats - so actual success is pretty unlikely.

Plus, as long as we're talking about saying anyone can knock a weapon out of someone's hands, there's the matter of being able to hit at all. Just getting a hit in against a much better foe in a one on one is far less likely than the 5e math makes it look. Again though, once the conditions get a bit messier (injuries, illness, exhaustion, surprise, team mates), it suddenly gets much more viable.

Pex
2014-07-20, 10:05 PM
Pathfinder prints the Core Rulebook with the base warriors.

Then it prints Advanced Player's Guide providing more options for warriors. Fighters are helped by archetypes allowing customization and new combat feats for fighting styles. Barbarians get new rage powers, etc.

Ultimate Combat is printed providing more options for the warrior classes. More archetypes, more combat feats, more rage powers.

Whether you as an individual like the archetypes and feats or not is only relevant as far as your personal taste. Pathfinder has them, giving support to warrior classes in supplements beyond the Core Rulebook.

Unless WOTC is that stupid not to, they'll do the same thing in offering more options for warrior classes, including the fighter. It is unfair to condemn them they won't before they're even given the chance. Their reputation precedes them, and it's fair to be wary because of it, but it's not a guarantee.

rlc
2014-07-21, 09:57 AM
Well, they do seem to be trying this time with a lot of things.

Kurald Galain
2014-07-21, 10:09 AM
Except, they really can't. That's like saying anyone can try to pick up a piece of paper and draw a better picture than me, despite any lack of practice or courses.

But by 5E rules, anyone can do precisely that, and succeed about one time out of three.

...actually I think it's a good idea to prevent anyone from upstaging a skilled artist, and in the meantime also restrict certain maneuvers to fighters only; but that really doesn't appear to be what 5E is doing.

Craft (Cheese)
2014-07-21, 12:00 PM
I don't disagree that the blog posts and other such stuff appears rather disheartening at first, but remember that a large purpose of those blog posts is to build faith in the product, that it solved the problems people had with other editions. One of the common complaints about 4e and even 3e was that combat took too long. Less common, but still notable was about how weapon choice was too mechanically based. But the fact of the matter is, the blog posts really don't hold much more weight in my mind than political sound bytes. Replace "voter demographics" with "playstyle" and it's basically the same. It doesn't mean that what's said will have much sway on the actual edition, going forward. For all their talk, they want all the players they can get, and the simplified design was a way to get one playstyle invested, but they also know they need to deliver options for tactical playstyles too, or they lose out on a big customer base, which they can't really afford.

I've been hearing this argument over and over and over again during the playtest, and I just have this to say.

The basic edition is out.

The basic edition is out.

The basic edition, the free version of the game used to sell the new edition to both old and new players alike, is out. It's fully compatible with the soon-to-be-released PHB and DMG. This is it. This is the way the real D&D Next is going to be.

And absolutely nothing has changed. It's the final playtest packet with a ton of content ripped out and a few tiny changes to what's left. You can no longer make excuses for the upcoming edition by saying "Oh, the entire design philosophy of the game will probably change between then and now." That ship has officially sailed. For all the talk of modular design, there's basically no room to make the necessary changes to this thing without massive rewrites.

Tholomyes
2014-07-21, 01:49 PM
I've been hearing this argument over and over and over again during the playtest, and I just have this to say.

The basic edition is out.

The basic edition is out.

The basic edition, the free version of the game used to sell the new edition to both old and new players alike, is out. It's fully compatible with the soon-to-be-released PHB and DMG. This is it. This is the way the real D&D Next is going to be.

And absolutely nothing has changed. It's the final playtest packet with a ton of content ripped out and a few tiny changes to what's left. You can no longer make excuses for the upcoming edition by saying "Oh, the entire design philosophy of the game will probably change between then and now." That ship has officially sailed. For all the talk of modular design, there's basically no room to make the necessary changes to this thing without massive rewrites.

Yes, the basic edition is out. Key word there being basic. It's no surprise that the fighter sub-class given is boring, and barely changed from the boring version given in the playtest (which, if you remember correctly, was well received by the fans of a boring fighter sub-class). Were we really expecting anything different? We've seen nothing of the final versions of the Feats, or of any changes to more complex sub-classes, or any plans down the pipe to add options for more complexity, such as adding more maneuvers to the Battlemaster, or give more classes similar sub-classes.

One thing we do know however, is one of the new feats announced in today's L&L article is named "Martial Adept". If you think that name sounds familiar, it's because that's what the classes found in the Tome of Battle were called. Unless it's another case of them reusing a name from a previous edition, and changing its meaning, it seems fairly clear to me that it is an attempt to broaden the complexity of the system, if you so choose. Personally, my guess is that the feat will be something like "Gain two maneuvers from the Battlemaster fighter's list of maneuvers. Gain a superiority die." Basically the Manuever equivalent of the [caster] initiate feats (which look like they've been combined into one, in the final version). Not the greatest feat, but it's implications would be farther reaching than simply the power of the feat itself: it would make manuevers more than just something from a single Fighter subclass, and make them (to a limited degree) available to everyone. As such, they'd be more likely to be supported in future supplements, similar to spells.

TheOOB
2014-07-22, 10:05 AM
I've been hearing this argument over and over and over again during the playtest, and I just have this to say.

The basic edition is out.

The basic edition is out.

The basic edition, the free version of the game used to sell the new edition to both old and new players alike, is out. It's fully compatible with the soon-to-be-released PHB and DMG. This is it. This is the way the real D&D Next is going to be.

And absolutely nothing has changed. It's the final playtest packet with a ton of content ripped out and a few tiny changes to what's left. You can no longer make excuses for the upcoming edition by saying "Oh, the entire design philosophy of the game will probably change between then and now." That ship has officially sailed. For all the talk of modular design, there's basically no room to make the necessary changes to this thing without massive rewrites.

We don't know that nothing has changed, while the basic edition was ripped from the PHB, it might not have been the absolute final edition of the PHB. Also the PHB will be some three times longer than the Basic Edition, and there is room for a lot of differences.

The Basic Game is basically a marketing tool designed to help people get into D&D with a simpler but playable version of the game. While it is based on the PHB, it's not fair to judge the PHB based on an imcomplete version.

Kurald Galain
2014-07-22, 02:58 PM
The Basic Game is basically a marketing tool designed to help people get into D&D with a simpler but playable version of the game. While it is based on the PHB, it's not fair to judge the PHB based on an imcomplete version.

Fair or not, it's pretty obvious that many players are going to judge the game on the free basic version (and to a lesser extent, the starter set); so that means that if the main game is substantially different to make that judgment incorrect, then WOTC is doing something seriously wrong here.

pwykersotz
2014-07-22, 04:55 PM
Fair or not, it's pretty obvious that many players are going to judge the game on the free basic version (and to a lesser extent, the starter set); so that means that if the main game is substantially different to make that judgment incorrect, then WOTC is doing something seriously wrong here.

Wow, these free samples of cheesecake are great! It's too bad that if I go to the aisle where they sell it, there won't be any other options or any new flavors, or any ways to substitute ingredients. Oh if only they had something like that I could expect on the back of a box or something.

But snark aside, there are probably going to be large differences. And probably in ways people won't expect. Anyone who deconstructs the basic and tries to extrapolate the whole PHB from that is going to have a bad time. It's a false measurement. WOTC isn't doing something wrong, forum-goers are.

There's enough to whet an appetite if the audience is hungry for it. A "ooh, that sounds good, I'll try that" or a "nah, I don't like the taste, I'll pass" is fair. Commentary on what is actually printed is fair. Projecting specifics is not.

That said, I've traced back this conversation and re-read it. There exists a possibility I'm projecting something onto it that isn't meant to be inferred. I apologize if I've taken your remark out of context.

Tholomyes
2014-07-22, 06:16 PM
Wow, these free samples of cheesecake are great! It's too bad that if I go to the aisle where they sell it, there won't be any other options or any new flavors, or any ways to substitute ingredients. Oh if only they had something like that I could expect on the back of a box or something.It's more like "Man, those free samples tasted terrible; maybe that brand has different flavors, but I've already got a brand I know I like, so why risk spending money on something that could be just as bad?" Granted, I don't entirely disagree with the wait and see approach, but by saying that the Basic Set won't turn people away, or that anyone who gets turned away by the basic set is being too harsh on it isn't really correct.

But snark aside, there are probably going to be large differences. And probably in ways people won't expect. Anyone who deconstructs the basic and tries to extrapolate the whole PHB from that is going to have a bad time. It's a false measurement. WOTC isn't doing something wrong, forum-goers are. Except the Basic set is basically a big way of marketing their system. They are putting out their own false measurement, and to expect that certain player groups aren't going to receive it poorly is incorrect. So either they are doing something wrong, or else they've made a calculated move to say that they can afford to lose potential customers in the hopes that they are able to make up those losses. Neither option is particularly encouraging news.

Lokiare
2014-07-26, 05:52 AM
Not to mention that the basic rules are what everything else is built off of. You aren't going to have massive changes. You are going to have things added on. So you might get several more sub-classes for each class, but they are going to follow the extremely restrictive leveling guidelines listed in the class tables. Feats will be gained at the same pace in the PHB as ability score increases for each class in Basic.

If you think the game will radically changed, you haven't been paying attention to the articles, interviews, and the Basic PDF which everything is built off of.

Basically pretty much everything I said that would come true did. Its a slightly cleaned up version of the final play test, which caters to a very narrow play style and leaves the rest of us out in the cold.

The play style it caters to if anyone is curious is the extremely swingy, deadly, Linear martials, and quadratic casters, nastolgia over function, DM tin gods play style. Many people like that play style, but then again many don't.

Envyus
2014-07-26, 08:11 PM
Basically pretty much everything I said that would come true did. Its a slightly cleaned up version of the final play test, which caters to a very narrow play style and leaves the rest of us out in the cold.

No it caters to the biggest playstyle. Also I see tons of people that liked 4e like this as well.

TheOOB
2014-07-27, 02:14 AM
Not to mention that the basic rules are what everything else is built off of. You aren't going to have massive changes.

That's not true. The Basic Rules are a scaled down version of the game pulled directly from the PHB, that means that the PHB as a whole was made first, and the Basic Rules were build off of that. A lot of cuts(about 2/3rds the final product) had to be made, and changes had to be made to make what's left work without the remainder(keeping in mind that a lot of what's left is the boring but required "what is a roleplaying game" and "this is how you roll dice" stuff).

If the PHB is a puzzle, we just have some of the pieces, with the edges sawed off and refitted together to make a smaller puzzle. Sure you have an idea of what the original puzzle would look like, but you can't really have claimed to have seen the orginal puzzle for the new basic version. Just the same, the rules were made of parts all designed to work together, and without all those parts, you can't see the whole.

Marius
2014-07-27, 10:16 AM
That's not true. The Basic Rules are a scaled down version of the game pulled directly from the PHB, that means that the PHB as a whole was made first, and the Basic Rules were build off of that. A lot of cuts(about 2/3rds the final product) had to be made, and changes had to be made to make what's left work without the remainder(keeping in mind that a lot of what's left is the boring but required "what is a roleplaying game" and "this is how you roll dice" stuff).

If the PHB is a puzzle, we just have some of the pieces, with the edges sawed off and refitted together to make a smaller puzzle. Sure you have an idea of what the original puzzle would look like, but you can't really have claimed to have seen the orginal puzzle for the new basic version. Just the same, the rules were made of parts all designed to work together, and without all those parts, you can't see the whole.

Is bounded accuracy going to change? Are martial character going to have the same options as casters? Are skills going to be relevant (ie not tied to bounded accuracy)? Will characters going to get more feats? The answer to all of those questions is NO. That's what we mean when we say that the game is not going to change with the release of the PHB. At least it's not going to change enough to make me like it.

Tholomyes
2014-07-27, 10:55 AM
Is bounded accuracy going to change? Are martial character going to have the same options as casters? Are skills going to be relevant (ie not tied to bounded accuracy)? Will characters going to get more feats? The answer to all of those questions is NO. That's what we mean when we say that the game is not going to change with the release of the PHB. At least it's not going to change enough to make me like it.

As much as I don't think the core system rules will change much from the basic rules, I fail to see how skills being tied to bounded accuracy makes them "not relevant." Perhaps it's just me, but, if anything, I'm somewhat disappointed that skills, ect, aren't bounded more (i.e. making proficiency a flat bonus, rather than a scaling one, as I've made mention of before). Perhaps it's just me, but I fail to see how a 25 or 30% spread (being somewhat generous here, as it could easily be higher, in many cases, as well as assuming no rogues) in success chance isn't significant enough for people. I could see the issue if more things were straight opposed skill rolls, where it might not make sense that the unskilled character would have a reasonable chance to beat the skilled character, but usually it's not a matter of opposed rolls, but instead Skill roll vs opposing DC. In these, I find bounded accuracy pretty important, since it means a DC can be set that doesn't just obsolete half (or more) of the party, and usually it can be set to something where the skill bonus spread constitutes a large but not insurmountable gap in the skill check chances.

Kurald Galain
2014-07-27, 11:22 AM
As much as I don't think the core system rules will change much from the basic rules, I fail to see how skills being tied to bounded accuracy makes them "not relevant." Perhaps it's just me, but, if anything, I'm somewhat disappointed that skills, ect, aren't bounded more (i.e. making proficiency a flat bonus, rather than a scaling one, as I've made mention of before). Perhaps it's just me, but I fail to see how a 25 or 30% spread (being somewhat generous here, as it could easily be higher, in many cases, as well as assuming no rogues) in success chance isn't significant enough for people.

Because many people like having a character that can reliably succeed at difficult tasks. That's part of being a heroic character, after all.

Sartharina
2014-07-27, 11:57 AM
Because many people like having a character that can reliably succeed at difficult tasks. That's part of being a heroic character, after all.

If you can reliably succeed, it's not a Difficult Task. An "Average" task that you roll for is one that a character has a roughly 50/50 shot at succeeding on - the "I don't have any idea if this should work or not".

Kurald Galain
2014-07-27, 12:22 PM
If you can reliably succeed, it's not a Difficult Task. An "Average" task that you roll for is one that a character has a roughly 50/50 shot at succeeding on - the "I don't have any idea if this should work or not".

If I can reliably succeed, and ordinary people can't, then it's still a difficult task but I'm just that good at it. That is simply what it means for a character to be competent.

Marius
2014-07-27, 06:02 PM
As much as I don't think the core system rules will change much from the basic rules, I fail to see how skills being tied to bounded accuracy makes them "not relevant." Perhaps it's just me, but, if anything, I'm somewhat disappointed that skills, ect, aren't bounded more (i.e. making proficiency a flat bonus, rather than a scaling one, as I've made mention of before). Perhaps it's just me, but I fail to see how a 25 or 30% spread (being somewhat generous here, as it could easily be higher, in many cases, as well as assuming no rogues) in success chance isn't significant enough for people. I could see the issue if more things were straight opposed skill rolls, where it might not make sense that the unskilled character would have a reasonable chance to beat the skilled character, but usually it's not a matter of opposed rolls, but instead Skill roll vs opposing DC. In these, I find bounded accuracy pretty important, since it means a DC can be set that doesn't just obsolete half (or more) of the party, and usually it can be set to something where the skill bonus spread constitutes a large but not insurmountable gap in the skill check chances.

It's just a matter of tastes. I want trained characters to be vastly better than non trained characters. Just as a fighter is vastly better at fighting than a commoner, a character trained in X skill should be way better than someone that isn't.

And I also want to be able to customize my character skills as he levels up. 5e won't let me do any of that so I won't play it. I'm not mad at WotC about it but as a consumer I vote with my wallet, if they want my money they will have to try harder.

pwykersotz
2014-07-27, 06:11 PM
It's just a matter of tastes. I want trained characters to be vastly better than non trained characters. Just as a fighter is vastly better at fighting than a commoner, a character trained in X skill should be way better than someone that isn't.

And I also want to be able to customize my character skills as he levels up. 5e won't let me do any of that so I won't play it. I'm not mad at WotC about it but as a consumer I vote with my wallet, if they want my money they will have to try harder.

It's funny...I agree with your first point, but messing with skill points always annoyed me. It would have been a little more helpful if Int was retroactive like Con or if things didn't bloat so quickly in 3.5, but that's one of my main reasons for giving the new system a solid chance.

Still, well said.

TheOOB
2014-07-27, 06:16 PM
Is bounded accuracy going to change? Are martial character going to have the same options as casters? Are skills going to be relevant (ie not tied to bounded accuracy)? Will characters going to get more feats? The answer to all of those questions is NO. That's what we mean when we say that the game is not going to change with the release of the PHB. At least it's not going to change enough to make me like it.

In order

Is bounded accuracy going to change?

I assume you mean the proficiency bonuses. Probably not, but we don't know all the places attack bonuses could come from. Magic weapons, in particular, will be relevant at higher levels in most games

Are martial character going to have the same options as casters?

That kind of defeats the purpose of having different classes.

Are skills going to be relevant (ie not tied to bounded accuracy)?

Assuming you're talking about proficient bonuses again. They are relevant, even at level one there's about a 5 point differential between two characters skills, and at level 20 it's about 11 points(a rogue gets a 17 point boost over normal). Your skills are relevant, and there were well might be feats/magic items/other abilities that add even more skill power.

I get it, you've decided that you don't like the system, and you've decided that you are not willing to give the full system a chance. You can't say you know what will be in books that currently don't exist yet.

Marius
2014-07-27, 06:42 PM
In order

Is bounded accuracy going to change?

I assume you mean the proficiency bonuses. Probably not, but we don't know all the places attack bonuses could come from. Magic weapons, in particular, will be relevant at higher levels in most games

So... No.

Are martial character going to have the same options as casters?

That kind of defeats the purpose of having different classes.

No, it doesn't. In 3.5 a swordsage and a beguiler both have lots of options and are clearly different classes. I don't want a 4e type of game, I like classes that use different systems but that have many options.

Are skills going to be relevant (ie not tied to bounded accuracy)?

Assuming you're talking about proficient bonuses again. They are relevant, even at level one there's about a 5 point differential between two characters skills, and at level 20 it's about 11 points(a rogue gets a 17 point boost over normal). Your skills are relevant, and there were well might be feats/magic items/other abilities that add even more skill power.

I get it, you've decided that you don't like the system, and you've decided that you are not willing to give the full system a chance. You can't say you know what will be in books that currently don't exist yet.

No relevant enough. A dex fighter with trained stealth is barely better than a bard without training in stealth and I don't like it. I want trained characters to be a LOT better. Ie: other characters CAN'T do what they do. I don't get how is that so hard to understand. It's ok if you don't care for this kind of thing but I think that what I'm saying it's pretty clear.

And the base system is already out, it's the same system and the same classes that are going to be in the PHB. I can bet on it if you want, the system won't change.

Sartharina
2014-07-27, 07:18 PM
No, it doesn't. In 3.5 a swordsage and a beguiler both have lots of options and are clearly different classes. I don't want a 4e type of game, I like classes that use different systems but that have many options.Right now, a martial character can do anything possible. You have plenty of options, even though the resolution system is a bit abstract. Furthermore, a swordsage and beguiler do not have the same options.

No relevant enough. A dex fighter with trained stealth is barely better than a bard without training in stealth and I don't like it. I want trained characters to be a LOT better. Ie: other characters CAN'T do what they do. I don't get how is that so hard to understand. It's ok if you don't care for this kind of thing but I think that what I'm saying it's pretty clear.So, those that aren't trained can't swim, can't jump, can't climb, can't bluff, can't intimidate, can't negotiate, can't try to move quietly, can't see anything...

Seppo87
2014-07-27, 07:41 PM
No relevant enough. A dex fighter with trained stealth is barely better than a bard without training in stealth and I don't like it. I want trained characters to be a LOT better.As I said in a previous post, tho, this can be mostly solved by houseruling the random factor.
Instead of rolling 1d20 you might roll 3d6.
This introduces a different distribution of results that makes small differences much, much more relevant.

I'm only bringing this up because I honestly believe this could fix most of the issues concerning the unrealistic aspect of bounded accuracy.

Pex
2014-07-27, 07:44 PM
Right now, a martial character can do anything possible. You have plenty of options, even though the resolution system is a bit abstract. Furthermore, a swordsage and beguiler do not have the same options.

It's not about having the same options; it's about having many useful, relevant, fun options within their shtick. It's perfectly fine for the caster to cast Sleep and Fireball while the warrior can't. The idea is for the warrior to have abilities of his own that are comparable in awesomeness.

obryn
2014-07-27, 07:59 PM
Right now, a martial character can do anything possible. You have plenty of options, even though the resolution system is a bit abstract. Furthermore, a swordsage and beguiler do not have the same options.
A martial character might be able to many things in 5e, but it will apparently always be a smaller subset of the "even more things" a magical character can. It's the 3.x model, again, where folks who swing weapons around have fewer options in-game.

TheOOB
2014-07-28, 12:41 AM
A martial character might be able to many things in 5e, but it will apparently always be a smaller subset of the "even more things" a magical character can. It's the 3.x model, again, where folks who swing weapons around have fewer options in-game.

Martial characters have less options, which is a feature not a bug, but they can use those options more often, and tend to have higher numbers.

Marius
2014-07-28, 06:40 AM
Right now, a martial character can do anything possible. You have plenty of options, even though the resolution system is a bit abstract. Furthermore, a swordsage and beguiler do not have the same options.

When you say "a bit" you mean "completely" right? All you can do is attack, you can dress your description however you want but mechanically is just an attack.

And yes, they don't have the same options. My english is not that good and I didn't express myself as I should, let's try again:

I want martial character to have more options, mechanically distinct and fun options like they did with ToB (or now in pathfinder with Path of War). Not necessary the same options that casters have and not even the exact same amount of options.

So, those that aren't trained can't swim, can't jump, can't climb, can't bluff, can't intimidate, can't negotiate, can't try to move quietly, can't see anything...

No, if you never learn how to swim you'll drown. Some skills need training to even be attempted. Others, like bluff, can be attempted but you'll never be as good as someone who trained all of their life to do that. I'm not saying that my way is right and everyone else is wrong. It's just the way I like it. (http://youtu.be/dd--tIkrVoA)

As I said in a previous post, tho, this can be mostly solved by houseruling the random factor.
Instead of rolling 1d20 you might roll 3d6.
This introduces a different distribution of results that makes small differences much, much more relevant.

I'm only bringing this up because I honestly believe this could fix most of the issues concerning the unrealistic aspect of bounded accuracy.

I'm not really good at math but I can see what you mean. It's a good fix although it would be a pity to lose the d20.

obryn
2014-07-28, 08:08 AM
Martial characters have less options, which is a feature not a bug, but they can use those options more often, and tend to have higher numbers.
Nope. This is the kind of argument that leads to the 3e Fighter.

TheOOB
2014-07-28, 12:25 PM
Nope. This is the kind of argument that leads to the 3e Fighter.

The 3e fighter sucked because their primary ability consisted of something everyone else got already, a cleric could easily stack spells to be better than them at fighting, and they were actually one of the more complicated classes to play because you had to make a really in depth feat build to be any good.

The 5e fighter may only be able to fight, but they seem to be better at it than any spellcasters, and they also provide a play option for people who don't want to have to make tough deicisions.

WickerNipple
2014-07-28, 03:24 PM
Martial characters have less options, which is a feature not a bug,

This right here, and the people who advocate for it, are exactly why I know this edition was not designed for me.

obryn
2014-07-28, 03:40 PM
The 5e fighter may only be able to fight, but they seem to be better at it than any spellcasters, and they also provide a play option for people who don't want to have to make tough deicisions.
Where we disagree is that while I think there should be classes for people who don't want to juggle resources, there should also be classes for those who do.

What's more, these options should...
(1) Be available for both magical and "mundane" classes, and
(2) Both be perfectly playable at the table without the simpler classes getting utterly overshadowed by the complex ones.

archaeo
2014-07-28, 04:12 PM
Where we disagree is that while I think there should be classes for people who don't want to juggle resources, there should also be classes for those who do.

What's more, these options should...
(1) Be available for both magical and "mundane" classes, and
(2) Both be perfectly playable at the table without the simpler classes getting utterly overshadowed by the complex ones.

I mean, but aren't there numerous "mundane" classes that will provide a wide range of options, at least in the PHB? Does it have to be totally mundane to qualify, or does it not count if those options are the least big magic-y? Or does it have to be the fighter, full stop?

Whatever, point (1) is mostly an article of faith instead of a tenant of good game design; to a certain extent, D&D scales complexity with access to magic. I don't think this is a suicide pact the system asks you to take; there's a range of options for "mundane" classes in the PHB, which will probably offer enough complexity or simplicity for most players. But it's impossible to dismiss the fact that spellcasters just have more options to consider, and whether or not you think that's a problem is largely a matter of taste.

Point (2) is much more important, and I think requires either a) actually playing the game to decide if this holds up or b) trusting WotC to execute that kind of balance. I'm inclined to think the company that put out 4e probably has enough confidence to offer cross-class balance that will be sufficient for the vast majority of tables. In combat, the mundane's damage output probably is on par with the caster's over some number of consecutive turns or consecutive encounters. Out of combat, the mundane character has a background, skills, traits, bonds, flaws, etc. to propel roleplaying situations, same as anybody else, and is likely to be either a) the most decked out in feats or b) the guy with the highest raw stats. And that's before bringing up the DM, who should be encouraged to keep everybody at the table engaged.

obryn
2014-07-28, 04:25 PM
Whatever, point (1) is mostly an article of faith instead of a tenant of good game design; to a certain extent, D&D scales complexity with access to magic. I don't think this is a suicide pact the system asks you to take; there's a range of options for "mundane" classes in the PHB, which will probably offer enough complexity or simplicity for most players. But it's impossible to dismiss the fact that spellcasters just have more options to consider, and whether or not you think that's a problem is largely a matter of taste.
I definitely do consider it a problem, and for me it's a major downside of the system so far. We're back to spells being the sole containers of strong fiat abilities, and I'm not down with that.

I agree, YMMV, but it's where 5e and I depart pretty dramatically. I can live with it in an oldschool or OSR game, but not one made in 2014. :smallsmile:

Point (2) is much more important, and I think requires either a) actually playing the game to decide if this holds up or b) trusting WotC to execute that kind of balance. I'm inclined to think the company that put out 4e probably has enough confidence to offer cross-class balance that will be sufficient for the vast majority of tables. In combat, the mundane's damage output probably is on par with the caster's over some number of consecutive turns or consecutive encounters. Out of combat, the mundane character has a background, skills, traits, bonds, flaws, etc. to propel roleplaying situations, same as anybody else, and is likely to be either a) the most decked out in feats or b) the guy with the highest raw stats. And that's before bringing up the DM, who should be encouraged to keep everybody at the table engaged.
The last sentence loses me a bit. As the DM, I expect the system to work with me, so that I don't even need to make it a concern.

Knaight
2014-07-28, 05:59 PM
If you can reliably succeed, it's not a Difficult Task. An "Average" task that you roll for is one that a character has a roughly 50/50 shot at succeeding on - the "I don't have any idea if this should work or not".

The measure here isn't to the character specifically, it's to the hypothetical everyperson. To use a real world example - it's difficult for some average person to handle the math of general relativity. The typical person will usually fail. An actual physicist or mathematician will reliably handle much of it with no issue, Einstein had a strong enough grasp on the material to derive it in the first place. Similarly, running a 7 minute mile is fairly difficult for most people. An Olympic sprinter can reliably do it with 2 or even 3 minutes to spare. That doesn't mean it isn't a difficult task in general, just that the Olympic sprinter is exceptionally good.

obryn
2014-07-28, 06:35 PM
The measure here isn't to the character specifically, it's to the hypothetical everyperson. To use a real world example - it's difficult for some average person to handle the math of general relativity. The typical person will usually fail. An actual physicist or mathematician will reliably handle much of it with no issue, Einstein had a strong enough grasp on the material to derive it in the first place. Similarly, running a 7 minute mile is fairly difficult for most people. An Olympic sprinter can reliably do it with 2 or even 3 minutes to spare. That doesn't mean it isn't a difficult task in general, just that the Olympic sprinter is exceptionally good.
In order for D&D to even hope to cover this breadth of skill, extended tests are necessary.

D20 is swingy... Up until it's not, when you're effectively off the rng. By turning a footrace into an extended contest, you get a bell curve that will, over time, favor the more skilled.

Still, i think it's most important for D&D skills to enable murderhoboing. Everything else is a bonus.

Knaight
2014-07-28, 07:00 PM
In order for D&D to even hope to cover this breadth of skill, extended tests are necessary.

D20 is swingy... Up until it's not, when you're effectively off the rng. By turning a footrace into an extended contest, you get a bell curve that will, over time, favor the more skilled.

Still, i think it's most important for D&D skills to enable murderhoboing. Everything else is a bonus.

D&D also generally has rolls when things are all sorts of messy, which helps. I have essentially zero hope of beating an Olympic sprinter in a foot race on an actual track. It would take some sort of freak accident on their part. Running down a series of corridors of rough hewn stone, with all sorts of obstacles, in boots slick with various liquids? The odds get a lot better there. They still aren't good, and they shouldn't be, but I'd consider a +17 difference to be enough to cover it - in an opposed roll, they have a 98.5% chance of winning, I'd have a 0.75% chance of winning, and the remaining 0.75% is a tie. Doubling proficiency gets there. With only the +11 they have an 88.75% to a 7%, with a 2.25% chance of a tie, which seems a little low.

Opposed rolls basically come down to the d20-d20 curve, which does have a probability distribution that isn't a constant for each roll. It's not as curved as I might like it to be, but it still isn't all that bad.

In any case, my point was a terminology one. A person can find a difficult task easy, provided that the standard of difficulty isn't that person.

archaeo
2014-07-28, 07:01 PM
I definitely do consider it a problem, and for me it's a major downside of the system so far. We're back to spells being the sole containers of strong fiat abilities, and I'm not down with that.

I agree, YMMV, but it's where 5e and I depart pretty dramatically. I can live with it in an oldschool or OSR game, but not one made in 2014. :smallsmile:

I'm not seeing egregious player fiat in the spellcasting rules in Basic, so much, but like I said, it must be a matter of taste. Ignoring spells that are exclusively useful in combat, most seem to ask for very large trade-offs in exchange for telling the DM no. Fly is a decent example, since if the Wizard wants to bring along his party they'll have to cast it at, what, 6th level? Enough invisibility to cover the entire party will likewise be a 5th level slot.

Of course, that's without any attempt to compare the full range of PHB "mundanes" or feats, and I assume several of those will provide player fiat options. Keeping in mind, of course, that the DM has to be willing to offer situations that can be solved with a fiat ability, which brings me to,

The last sentence loses me a bit. As the DM, I expect the system to work with me, so that I don't even need to make it a concern.

And 4e is a system that accomplishes that goal for you? Because I've watched and/or listened to a lot of the game, and I've seen and/or heard DMs working to give characters moments and narrative energy, or to construct a campaign in which all the characters get equal billing. Not that I think this is an issue with 4e in particular, but I do think 5e's systems of backgrounds, traits, bonds, and flaws does a good job of giving narrative hooks for every character.

Or have I gotten off the rails somewhere? Assuming 5e manages some rough level of balance w/r/t combat effectiveness, which, despite the sturm und drang all over the boards doesn't seem like an unreasonable assumption, where is the system failing to work for the DM?

obryn
2014-07-28, 07:09 PM
Opposed rolls basically come down to the d20-d20 curve, which does have a probability distribution that isn't a constant for each roll. It's not as curved as I might like it to be, but it still isn't all that bad.
I don't dig opposed rolls; I kinda think it's probability hell. :smallsmile: Extended tests, OTOH, give a nice, substantial curve.

obryn
2014-07-28, 07:19 PM
I'm not seeing egregious player fiat in the spellcasting rules in Basic, so much, but like I said, it must be a matter of taste. Ignoring spells that are exclusively useful in combat, most seem to ask for very large trade-offs in exchange for telling the DM no. Fly is a decent example, since if the Wizard wants to bring along his party they'll have to cast it at, what, 6th level? Enough invisibility to cover the entire party will likewise be a 5th level slot.

Of course, that's without any attempt to compare the full range of PHB "mundanes" or feats, and I assume several of those will provide player fiat options. Keeping in mind, of course, that the DM has to be willing to offer situations that can be solved with a fiat ability, which brings me to
I think you have me backwards - I want good amounts of player fiat all around, not just concentrated in the spellcasting classes.

And 4e is a system that accomplishes that goal for you? Because I've watched and/or listened to a lot of the game, and I've seen and/or heard DMs working to give characters moments and narrative energy, or to construct a campaign in which all the characters get equal billing. Not that I think this is an issue with 4e in particular, but I do think 5e's systems of backgrounds, traits, bonds, and flaws does a good job of giving narrative hooks for every character.

Or have I gotten off the rails somewhere? Assuming 5e manages some rough level of balance w/r/t combat effectiveness, which, despite the sturm und drang all over the boards doesn't seem like an unreasonable assumption, where is the system failing to work for the DM?
I like 5e's narrative elements. I think they took some good cues from Dungeon World and Fate Core with Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws.

I was more talking about a phenomenon where a DM is made to balance the game artificially. Call it the "Aquaman Dilemma" if you will. Aquaman is in the party. If you want Aquaman to be useful, you'd best include "talking to fish" as a good solution to any problem.

There's also the "Superman Dilemma." Superman is basically a demigod; he can do basically anything. How do you challenge both him and Aquaman without throwing in Kryptonite everywhere?

With 4e, I don't need to worry about either so much. The game's balance does that work for me. I can use whichever setup I want, and I can just about guarantee everyone will be able to shine without throwing some fish and some kryptonite into every adventure.

Knaight
2014-07-28, 08:05 PM
I don't dig opposed rolls; I kinda think it's probability hell. :smallsmile: Extended tests, OTOH, give a nice, substantial curve.
I definitely get that - I generally don't feel the need to actually calculate the probabilities, so this doesn't bother me, but it does make it a lot more painful when you want to - though with 2 of the same dice dice it's not so bad, as is works out to 1/x^2, 2/x^2,...x/x^2, (x-1)/x^2, (x-2)/x^2, where x is the die size, and you can look at which of the set are needed.

I was more talking about a phenomenon where a DM is made to balance the game artificially. Call it the "Aquaman Dilemma" if you will. Aquaman is in the party. If you want Aquaman to be useful, you'd best include "talking to fish" as a good solution to any problem.

There's also the "Superman Dilemma." Superman is basically a demigod; he can do basically anything. How do you challenge both him and Aquaman without throwing in Kryptonite everywhere?

With 4e, I don't need to worry about either so much. The game's balance does that work for me. I can use whichever setup I want, and I can just about guarantee everyone will be able to shine without throwing some fish and some kryptonite into every adventure.
There's an RPG podcast I listen to that uses a similar combination - Superman and The Shoveler. The Shoveler isn't particularly well known, but the core of it is that he's not actually a superhero so much as a guy with a shovel who knows how to fight with it. Both of them in the same group can be a problem, and at the very least take some serious GM work. That 4e prevented that issue is a mark in its favor, as far as I'm concerned.

obryn
2014-07-28, 08:14 PM
I definitely get that - I generally don't feel the need to actually calculate the probabilities, so this doesn't bother me, but it does make it a lot more painful when you want to - though with 2 of the same dice dice it's not so bad, as is works out to 1/x^2, 2/x^2,...x/x^2, (x-1)/x^2, (x-2)/x^2, where x is the die size, and you can look at which of the set are needed.
Yeah, for me the "hell" part comes in when the final result of d20-d20 is actually more "swingy" - defined as "less likely to give results where the superior contestant wins" - than a straight up d20 roll vs. a static DC. It's mostly because the spread of results is smeared out into ~twice the range; it's a trivial probability curve, where the peak - a tie - happens just 5% of the time, which matches the probability of any given number on a d20.

It's awful, unless you're the underdog, in which case it's favorable.

There's an RPG podcast I listen to that uses a similar combination - Superman and The Shoveler. The Shoveler isn't particularly well known, but the core of it is that he's not actually a superhero so much as a guy with a shovel who knows how to fight with it. Both of them in the same group can be a problem, and at the very least take some serious GM work. That 4e prevented that issue is a mark in its favor, as far as I'm concerned.
I am unfamiliar with that! But yeah, that's exactly what I was getting at.

Sartharina
2014-07-28, 08:18 PM
I thought it was more commonly known as "BMX Bandit and Angel Summoner" issue.

Knaight
2014-07-28, 08:36 PM
Yeah, for me the "hell" part comes in when the final result of d20-d20 is actually more "swingy" - defined as "less likely to give results where the superior contestant wins" - than a straight up d20 roll vs. a static DC. It's mostly because the spread of results is smeared out into ~twice the range; it's a trivial probability curve, where the peak - a tie - happens just 5% of the time, which matches the probability of any given number on a d20.
It's smeared out into twice the range, but the static DC basically just introduces a third element, which is really iffy for contested rolls. There are ways to handle it (e.g. both roll until one fails and the other wins), but opposed rolls do tend to work fairly well.

It also allows for the use of wider modifiers while remaining on the RNG. Once the modifier widening happens, everything gets less swingy. You can have a +30 with opposed rolls, and know that it leaves the option to have them lose, whereas with unopposed rolls you'd be using a +15 or so for the same purpose.

An easier example of this would be with a d6 system. It's true that 2d6+modifier is swingier than 1d6+modifier when using the same modifiers. That said, a 2d6 system designed for 2d6 will generally be less swingy, just because it's not an even distribution. The same applies to 2d20, which has the same curve as 1d20-1d20 offset by 21.

I thought it was more commonly known as "BMX Bandit and Angel Summoner" issue.
It is here. There's a number of phrases I've seen for it. Regardless, it's often a problem.

archaeo
2014-07-28, 08:50 PM
I think you have me backwards - I want good amounts of player fiat all around, not just concentrated in the spellcasting classes.

That makes a certain amount of sense, then. I suppose the standard answer, at least for the fighter, would be "take feats!" (Couldn't you do a tactical fighter with the subclass and a raft of feats?) But you don't like feats, do you? Otherwise, we're just stuck back at point (1) above: magic goes hand in hand with relative class complexity in 5e, to a certain extent, in the first set of classes and subclasses, and if that bums you out, you can houserule or stick with your game of choice.

I like 5e's narrative elements. I think they took some good cues from Dungeon World and Fate Core with Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws.

I was more talking about a phenomenon where a DM is made to balance the game artificially. Call it the "Aquaman Dilemma" if you will. Aquaman is in the party. If you want Aquaman to be useful, you'd best include "talking to fish" as a good solution to any problem.

There's also the "Superman Dilemma." Superman is basically a demigod; he can do basically anything. How do you challenge both him and Aquaman without throwing in Kryptonite everywhere?

With 4e, I don't need to worry about either so much. The game's balance does that work for me. I can use whichever setup I want, and I can just about guarantee everyone will be able to shine without throwing some fish and some kryptonite into every adventure.

I guess I've gotten completely turned around, because I've lost the thread of how 5e fails in this respect, or if it even is a failure. Both of these dilemmas are problematic, and I agree the system should make them easy to avoid. I guess the question is: where is this balance so off, in 5e? If it's just in "number of individual buttons a class can press" in the context of magical vs. martial, well, like I said, it's a matter of taste whether or not that's a huge problem. Who are the Supermen, and who are the Aquamen, in 5e, outside the "length of class write up" criteria?

obryn
2014-07-28, 09:13 PM
That makes a certain amount of sense, then. I suppose the standard answer, at least for the fighter, would be "take feats!" (Couldn't you do a tactical fighter with the subclass and a raft of feats?) But you don't like feats, do you? Otherwise, we're just stuck back at point (1) above: magic goes hand in hand with relative class complexity in 5e, to a certain extent, in the first set of classes and subclasses, and if that bums you out, you can houserule or stick with your game of choice.
The feats and maneuvers are both pretty lackluster. If both would actually result in greater combat and narrative fiat, that'd be fine. It doesn't at all look like they will, unless the final class is significantly improved.

For comparison's sake, at 17th level, full casters are picking up their 9th level of spells, like Meteor Swarm, Foresight, Gate, etc.

At 17th level, the battle master is picking his 9th favorite maneuver from the same list as he was at 1st level. There's no higher efficacy maneuvers with more telling effects.

I guess I've gotten completely turned around, because I've lost the thread of how 5e fails in this respect, or if it even is a failure. Both of these dilemmas are problematic, and I agree the system should make them easy to avoid. I guess the question is: where is this balance so off, in 5e? If it's just in "number of individual buttons a class can press" in the context of magical vs. martial, well, like I said, it's a matter of taste whether or not that's a huge problem. Who are the Supermen, and who are the Aquamen, in 5e, outside the "length of class write up" criteria?
The "buttons" are a major source of narrative and combat fiat, so yes, their lack makes a telling difference.

We'll also need to see how monster hp scales to damage.

archaeo
2014-07-29, 01:00 AM
The feats and maneuvers are both pretty lackluster. If both would actually result in greater combat and narrative fiat, that'd be fine. It doesn't at all look like they will, unless the final class is significantly improved.

For comparison's sake, at 17th level, full casters are picking up their 9th level of spells, like Meteor Swarm, Foresight, Gate, etc.

At 17th level, the battle master is picking his 9th favorite maneuver from the same list as he was at 1st level. There's no higher efficacy maneuvers with more telling effects.

...

The "buttons" are a major source of narrative and combat fiat, so yes, their lack makes a telling difference.

We'll also need to see how monster hp scales to damage.

Eh. I'll be interested to see if the PHB has anything to sway your opinion, whether it's an improved Battle Master or another martial class that feels meaty. Or whether your concern about buttons plays out at many players' tables.

In the meantime, whatever your opinion, it seems like the right edition for D&D already exists for you (and how!), which, all things considered, is awfully handy.

obryn
2014-07-29, 08:17 AM
Eh. I'll be interested to see if the PHB has anything to sway your opinion, whether it's an improved Battle Master or another martial class that feels meaty. Or whether your concern about buttons plays out at many players' tables.

In the meantime, whatever your opinion, it seems like the right edition for D&D already exists for you (and how!), which, all things considered, is awfully handy.
Well, certainly. I really have no vested interest in calling WotC out for doing something differently. I simply don't understand why such a resource-based Fighter couldn't coexist with the other subclasses. You have the Champion, for folks who want a simple bashy Fighter. You have a Battle Master for a kind of tepid toe-dip into complexity. Then go full-out into a 4e-style Fighter. I don't really expect anything this good, but if it happens to appear, cool.

And yeah, I don't need 5e to conform to my vision of an ideal D&D. 4e does well enough for me right now. I'll still check 5e out, and still have the PHB pre-ordered, but I'm not currently expecting to switch over. There's both other editions of the game - BECMI/RC, for example - and other RPGs that look more interesting so far.