2012-11-18, 12:42 AM (ISO 8601)
Bugbear in the Playground
Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7
i hadn't really looked at the playtest for a while and after the newest one they came out with, i'm not really enthused. it's shaping up to be the first edition of D&D that i'm going to skip buying. now i will preface this with "i haven't played yet" and this is simply on my readthrough of the latest playtest.
i'll start with the maneuvers, the big thing for the martial types and their expertise dice. i've heard people say 4th ed is samey, but this is in my opinion just worst... i'm seeing a lot of copy-pasted-esque expertise dice maneuvers but they're just boring effect-wise.
the most glaring examples, IMO would be: Deadly strike VS Sneak attack VS Flurry of blows, all of which have the same basic effect but the latter 2 are basically worst versions of DS (i say glaring because SA & FoB are rogue and monk signatures) & lots of "when X occurs, roll Y expertise dice and add/subtract the highest to Z roll".
i mean, i've heard 5th ed was supposed to be going away from the "add a bunch of incidental bonuses here and there" of 3rd & 4th ed?
there are a few that let you hit multiple enemies, but the damage they deal seem rather... unimpressive.
a few do seem interesting, like the monk's step of the wind, but only once you hit the 2 dice threshold.
you also seem to gain extra dice rather slowly 2 dice for most of the current game seems... lackluster. could be different in play, but again, i've yet to have the opportunity.
the classes themselves are rather boring to read:
-cleric gets front-loaded with class abilities, new spells every so often and nothing else. glancing at it and the spell list, cleric looks like a contender for strongest class, survival-wise.
-the fighter reads like the 3rd ed one, with the word "maneuver" replacing "feat" and gaining a single, extra attack. i didn't like the 3rd ed fighter, i don't like this one. boring class ability-wise and the maneuvers don't do much to inspire me.
-the monk seems to be a rethread of the 3rd ed one: lots of abilities but seems like a generally sub-par and slightly more mobile fighter. on a funny note, the monk with a longspear is probably the way to go, as it's consistent d10 damage (at reach!) is better then his unarmed d6 and the "i hope i hit with my second" FoB, keeping his expertise for movement. he can also use his monk-only hurricane strike to greater effect.
-the rogue reads like the fighter, only worse. weaker HP, armor selection & weapon selection. gets a few more skills though, for what that's worth.
-wizard traditions read like it wants to present us a sorta-AEDU variant but needs to pointlessly obfuscate it from all 4th ed influences. his spell list shows more variety and potency then the cleric's in potential effects.
races seem to be a minor thing overall, adding some front-loaded bonuses then nothing much else.
skills themselves seem too specialized for my liking. i know this is what they're going for, with skills being specialized and stat rolls being the big thing, but this seems to be one more check for the homogeneity between characters' abilities as i'm the type to disallow rolling for stats and use either a standard array/point buy.
the specialties/feats as a whole feel rather underwhelming. looks like what it generally does is give the characters a once/day ability for the most part or a minor ability. at level 9, the ability to cast, once per day, a level 0 or 1 spell as part of your normal action is... unimpressive for what is late-game (playtest-wise, at least)
monsters generally seem unimpressive, with a large majority seeming to fall into the "sack of hitpoints" and their to-hit being rather low. i also can't really make heads or tails of how they determine a monster's level/xp total
i haven't really looked too deeply at the equipment lists much as a quick glaze told me it was what i expected it to be: your standard list of various pointy, sharp, blunt and misc. objects.
as for magic items, ugh. between the random treasure chart, the "be stingy with them" (isn't that a bit of a conflicting ideology though? are we supposed to assign these randomly or be stingy with them?), the busywork of attunement, random minor add-ons, random type of item selection and the strange "rarity" ranking (which seems to be a short-hand guide on what level of characters it's appropriate, but in a roundabout way). i'm also generally unimpressed that a "rare" (meant for characters of level 5+) weapon's effect is a few extra dice on top of their of critical damage or a few more damage on a hit. a few seem to have neat effects, but they tend to be "legendary" or "very rare" so items we'll probably never see in play if we use the suggested rules (be stingy or be random).
i'll admit again that i have yet to play it and my impressions might change at that time, but none of my group has shown interest when i brought it and shadowrun up as a "when our normal GM can't make it game" so i might not be able to.
and if i can't test it, i probably won't buy it as the current build is not something i find rather interesting.