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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by caden_varn View Post
    On the fragility of PCs thing, my issue is not that giant rats are a threat to PCs, it's the 'one-hit death' issue. Basically, I don't want the chance that my character will be killed in the first round of combat with no opportunity to defend myself, such as an orc getting a crit with his falchion or greataxe.

    I am fine if, say, 3 hits will take him down, as this generally at least gives me the chance to run away in an undignified manner if I want to. So I prefer to have my HP high enough out of the starting gate to survive a few hits from level appropriate opponents.
    IMO, you can get an equal level of fragility by setting the opponents HP similarly high - but at least this way I have a bit more input into my characters survival rather than it being down to a single unlucky dice roll.

    I could start at 4th of course, but this is not just adding more hit points - it's extra spells etc., which changes the entire feel of the game, so that is not really an ideal option for me either.

    I'd be OK with having higher HP start as a separate module, so long as it is done well, and something more than the aforementioned 'start at level 4' option...
    I agree. Making the PCs so fragile that a single die roll, lucky or unlucky, can determine their fate in round one of their first combat encounter is simply bad design that benefits nobody, save the most sadistic of DMs on a power trip.

    As for starting at a higher level than 1st, yeah, sometimes this simply isn't an option for one reason or another. Some DMs are sticklers about starting at first. If WotC decides to continue the D&D Encounters modules, starting at 1st and ending before 4th, like they do in 4e, may well be the norm for those abbreviated campaigns.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Everyone knows that shogi pieces are underpowered.

    ...wait, did we already do this joke already?
    I don't think so.

    Quote Originally Posted by caden_varn View Post
    On the fragility of PCs thing, my issue is not that giant rats are a threat to PCs, it's the 'one-hit death' issue. Basically, I don't want the chance that my character will be killed in the first round of combat with no opportunity to defend myself, such as an orc getting a crit with his falchion or greataxe.

    I am fine if, say, 3 hits will take him down, as this generally at least gives me the chance to run away in an undignified manner if I want to. So I prefer to have my HP high enough out of the starting gate to survive a few hits from level appropriate opponents.
    IMO, you can get an equal level of fragility by setting the opponents HP similarly high - but at least this way I have a bit more input into my characters survival rather than it being down to a single unlucky dice roll.

    I could start at 4th of course, but this is not just adding more hit points - it's extra spells etc., which changes the entire feel of the game, so that is not really an ideal option for me either.

    I'd be OK with having higher HP start as a separate module, so long as it is done well, and something more than the aforementioned 'start at level 4' option...
    I would like some safeguard against critical one-shots at levels one to three. As a DM I hate saying, "Welp, rolled a nat 20, you die." Combat should not have a significant threat of death (because PCs ought to be avoiding obviously suicidal quests like, "kill the great wyrm when we're level three") until magical resurrection becomes an option. When level-appropriate combats have a significant chance of death at low levels, it ruins low levels for a lot of people.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Combat should not have a significant threat of death (because PCs ought to be avoiding obviously suicidal quests like, "kill the great wyrm when we're level three") until magical resurrection becomes an option. When level-appropriate combats have a significant chance of death at low levels, it ruins low levels for a lot of people.
    And here we have the great divide writ large. There are plenty of other players who feel that combat in general (especially to the death, just like in real life) is dangerous and should be avoided when there are alternatives. Get into a knife fight with someone and one unlucky stab will mean the difference between you walking away, and being carted away. Doubly so for combat with a wild beast. And given how much buffer there is between Mostly Dead and Really Dead in the playtest, I think they've got a decent thing going. They do however just need to come out an acknowledge in the rules there there are different "power levels" to start at, and either provide alternative HP generation systems, or simply acknowledge that starting at level 1 is low power, 4 is medium and 7 is high and simply tell players and GMs that you should choose where to start based on how heroic you want your players to be. No one seems to have a problem when point buy games do this, I see no reason why D&D can't either.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    They do however just need to come out an acknowledge in the rules there there are different "power levels" to start at, and either provide alternative HP generation systems, or simply acknowledge that starting at level 1 is low power, 4 is medium and 7 is high and simply tell players and GMs that you should choose where to start based on how heroic you want your players to be. No one seems to have a problem when point buy games do this, I see no reason why D&D can't either.
    A few reasons, really.

    (1) Higher-level characters are more complex than lower-level characters, so a character started at 4th level ends up also being harder to play. Equipment, abilities, etc.

    (2) The entire span of levels (and monsters, adventures, etc.) should ideally be available to all players. If I want to have a game with hardier PCs, I shouldn't need to ignore 3 levels' (or 6 or whatever) worth of interesting stuff - and I shouldn't have 3 fewer levels in which to progress.

    (3) There's something special about 1st level in every edition that isn't there with (say) 100-point-buy characters. The low level play experience is different even with somewhat hardier characters. Fast advancement, minimal capabilities, and so on are all characteristics of every edition so far.

    As someone who likes both styles of play, I think the "start at a higher level" solution is pretty woefully inadequate. There have to be rules for starting characters above level 1, but they are no substitute for a capable way to set a campaign style with 1st level characters.

    -O

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I have no problem with combat being deadly; whether the PCs are 1st level or 58th death and defeat should continue to be a risk. The thing I don't like is when combat is so random that character death can hinge on one lucky crit or otherwise high damage roll.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_warlock View Post
    I agree. Making the PCs so fragile that a single die roll, lucky or unlucky, can determine their fate in round one of their first combat encounter is simply bad design that benefits nobody, save the most sadistic of DMs on a power trip.
    I don't see, how a DMs power trip enters the picture. If the die roll is so important, the DMs has as much control as the players.
    Also, there are degrees of frailness. How do you infer, that Mike Mearls was talking about such an extreme case?


    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    Combat should not have a significant threat of death (because PCs ought to be avoiding obviously suicidal quests like, "kill the great wyrm when we're level three") until magical resurrection becomes an option.
    Well, for certain there are some people, who don't like combat with high risks in an PnP-rpg. But it appears to me that they (and that apparently includes you) are not the main audience for 5e. There might be a module for that, though.
    Last edited by Zombimode; 2012-09-24 at 12:50 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Well, for certain there are some people, who don't like combat with high risks in an PnP-rpg. But it appears to me that they (and that apparently includes you) are not the main audience for 5e. There might be a module for that, though.
    I think it's mainly because I feel really bad for the players when I as a DM kill their characters. I'm just a softy. (Plus adding new characters to the party can be a bit awkward if there's already a status quo set up.)
    I think I'd mind dying at low levels less if it weren't so random, like some other people have been saying. "I charge the orc! Oh crap nat 1." "The orc strikes back! Oh. Nat 20, and I rolled an 8 and a 6 for damage. You're dead."
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    I don't see, how a DMs power trip enters the picture. If the die roll is so important, the DMs has as much control as the players.
    I just meant the some DMs enjoy killing characters and get a thrill out of it even if everyone else feels it's a lame way for a character to meet his end.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Also, there are degrees of frailness. How do you infer, that Mike Mearls was talking about such an extreme case?
    How do you know that he wasn't?

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_warlock View Post
    How do you know that he wasn't?
    By using the information available to me: the design of Next according the the playtest material does not point in this extreme direction. Hit points are still a thing, you know.
    Do note of course, that Next operates much more under the "combat as war" design philosophy then the "combat as sport" design of say 4e.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    By using the information available to me: the design of Next according the the playtest material does not point in this extreme direction. Hit points are still a thing, you know.
    Do note of course, that Next operates much more under the "combat as war" design philosophy then the "combat as sport" design of say 4e.
    Take your 5th edition playtest.

    Take a T in a 5' corridor, so three people can attack one who's blocking the T but you can't use ranged attacks to add in extras.

    Take the Pregen 5th edition dwarf fighter, place in blocking position at level 1 with a single level 1 cleric ally behind him.

    Take an infinite number of orcs (nominally level 3 monsters), and try to force past the level 1 PC.

    All out defense, parry, and he can give one attacker disadvantage. All three orks will completely whiff 80% of the time. When one hits he does 1d12+2-1d6 damage, unless the orc crits (which nearly half the hits do) in which case it's 14-1d6 damage.

    On average, with no healing powers being used, it will take about 10 rounds for the orcs to force past him. If the guy behind him is a cleric it's more like 30 rounds (ignoring the chance of 2 hits in a round, which is roughly 1%).

    And the cleric will kill about 9 orcs with his at-will ranged power while they're getting past the blocker.

    HOW is this more deadly than 4th? In 4th that sort of scenario results in dead defender in about 2-3 rounds and then the cleric goes down in a couple more, as opposed to 30 or so rounds for the fighter in 5th.

    The average lethality in the 5th edition playtest is a JOKE, and a bad one. It makes 4th edition combat look exceedingly deadly except for one thing.

    And that one thing is that 5th edition is swingy. Two orcs hitting at once is about a 1% chance, and averages about 19 points of damage done (which takes the fighter down in one shot). Then since it's an infinite horde and they all act on the same initiative someone else steps forward (moving past allies), occupies the fighter's spot, and finishes him off.

    So 1 round or 30+ rounds, that's swingy combat. This is bad.
    .
    Last edited by Doug Lampert; 2012-09-24 at 03:03 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    HOW is this more deadly than 4th? In 4th that sort of scenario results in dead defender in about 2-3 rounds and then the cleric goes down in a couple more, as opposed to 30 or so rounds for the fighter in 5th.
    I'm sure a crafty person like you could come up with an equally contrived example for 4e with similar results, if you only try hard enough.

    Also, I'm not sure why you direct this to me, since, at least in the quoted part, I have not stated that I think 4e is less lethal then 5e (although I do believe so).

    The average lethality in the 5th edition playtest is a JOKE, and a bad one. It makes 4th edition combat look exceedingly deadly except for one thing.
    Make the comparison under normalized conditions. Since it is important how a system works under usual circumstances, contrived examples do not make for a very convincing argument. They are actually missing the point.

    And that one thing is that 5th edition is swingy. Two orcs hitting at once is about a 1% chance, and averages about 19 points of damage done (which takes the fighter down in one shot). Then since it's an infinite horde and they all act on the same initiative someone else steps forward (moving past allies), occupies the fighter's spot, and finishes him off.

    So 1 round or 30+ rounds, that's swingy combat. This is bad.
    .
    You gave an purely descriptive account. Then you end with an evaluative remark.
    This is called a descriptive fallacy (also commonly known as "naturalistic fallacy"). It is a fallacy, because the conclusion contains evaluative elements, that are not included in the premises, thus preventing the conclusion from following from the premises.

    You say its bad. For that I response with: Why?
    Can you give an explanation other then "I don't like it."?

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Make the comparison under normalized conditions. Since it is important how a system works under usual circumstances, contrived examples do not make for a very convincing argument. They are actually missing the point.
    Precisely this. One could instead argue that 5e is far too lethal by putting the pregen elf wizard up against an orc who is already in melee range and saying that hey, this single, pitiful orc will, with average rolls, instantly drop the wizard (10.5 +2 on attack roll hits against AC 12, 6.5 +2 on damage roll will drop HP 6 into negatives). I'd say that's actually a less contrived scenario, considering it doesn't require any exceptional environments or nonstandard encounters, just a single orc in an open field. But you can't just cherry pick specific battle setups that support your argument and simply ignore all the ones that don't.
    Last edited by Lanaya; 2012-09-24 at 04:01 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lanaya View Post
    Precisely this. One could instead argue that 5e is far too lethal by putting the pregen elf wizard up against an orc who is already in melee range and saying that hey, this single, pitiful orc will, with average rolls, instantly drop the wizard (10.5 +2 on attack roll hits against AC 12, 6.5 +2 on damage roll will drop HP 6 into negatives). I'd say that's actually a less contrived scenario, considering it doesn't require any exceptional environments or nonstandard encounters, just a single orc in an open field. But you can't just cherry pick specific battle setups that support your argument and simply ignore all the ones that don't.
    Contrived? I have a FIGHTER in front engaged in melee combat to protect a squishy. That's a CONTIVED combat?!

    I used the most common monster from the playtest up against one of THEIR example characters for the playtest using standard tactics with the sole and only contrived part being that they were in melee combat and had him outnumbered 3:1.

    That's a combat you should EXPECT to happen if you play their playtest, except with an entire party shooting from behind for the 30+ rounds it takes to put the fighter down unless the monsters get extremely lucky, at which point he goes down in one round.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Contrived? I have a FIGHTER in front engaged in melee combat to protect a squishy. That's a CONTIVED combat?!

    I used the most common monster from the playtest up against one of THEIR example characters for the playtest using standard tactics with the sole and only contrived part being that they were in melee combat and had him outnumbered 3:1.

    That's a combat you should EXPECT to happen if you play their playtest, except with an entire party shooting from behind for the 30+ rounds it takes to put the fighter down unless the monsters get extremely lucky, at which point he goes down in one round.
    Admittedly the corridor you suggested is a slightly contrived situation. How often do you find 5' corridors with orcs coming from both sides? Everyone knows all dungeon corridors are 10'x10' because Gelatinous Cubes.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Take your 5th edition playtest.

    Take a T in a 5' corridor, so three people can attack one who's blocking the T but you can't use ranged attacks to add in extras.

    Take the Pregen 5th edition dwarf fighter, place in blocking position at level 1 with a single level 1 cleric ally behind him.

    Take an infinite number of orcs (nominally level 3 monsters), and try to force past the level 1 PC.

    All out defense, parry, and he can give one attacker disadvantage. All three orks will completely whiff 80% of the time. When one hits he does 1d12+2-1d6 damage, unless the orc crits (which nearly half the hits do) in which case it's 14-1d6 damage.
    These are terrible tactics on the orcs part. Consider how ability checks are stated to work, and consider what the situation looks like given grapples, pushes, and such.

    I'm also fuzzy on why the party can fire on the orcs and the orcs cannot fire back on the party. This makes sense for magic missile, as the wording technically allows firing via sight through mirrors, but just about everything else will allow being fired on.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Contrived? I have a FIGHTER in front engaged in melee combat to protect a squishy. That's a CONTIVED combat?!
    The dwarf fighter, pre-gen or not, is heavily optimised for tanking. He's been put in a very specific environment that would very rarely be used in an actual game, designed to allow him to protect the cleric without being hit by any ranged attacks. He's spending all of his actions on defending himself while letting the cleric do all the damage, and the orcs are responding by throwing themselves at him rather than trying to kill the person who's actually attacking them. Pick any other scenario, like a party of four against a pack of orcs who pick their targets intelligently set in an open field, and your results will be drastically different. So yes, I would say it's contrived.
    Last edited by Lanaya; 2012-09-24 at 06:24 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    No way man! It's balanced because in the early game, the queen can't do anything! You spend the first few moves sucking and the last few moves owning, so that's balanced.

    Also, any rat (dire or not) will totally defeat a queen, especially a low-level one.
    I just wanted to say that this is the funniest thing I've read today. I was unprepared for it and splattered ginger ale on my couch! To the discussion... I think that a rat the size of a dog IS scary (small or not). I'd be happy to have a sword or spell to defend myself but the things are fast, vicious in numbers, and disgusting/disease carrying. I guess my point is that in the street w/a group of fellow armored adventurers geared out maybe they're not to imposing, but confronted in a swarm in a sewer of waste deep garbage water in the pitch dark.... I dunno, I'd rather fight bandits or dogs or something.

    I think that combat in 4E pre-MM3/Monsters Vault was a super slug fest where it was possible to run out of significant things to do... "I use Twin Strike again". Now though, the monsters have a lot less HP and more damage. It makes things better IMHO. I think that the scenario listed above does do a good job illustrating the point that combat in 5E can be swingy. Any time you can be dropped in one lucky hit, regardless of the specific scenario, is something the designers need to reevaluate.
    Last edited by INDYSTAR188; 2012-09-24 at 08:55 PM. Reason: I just realized I'm a page late...
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    Admittedly the corridor you suggested is a slightly contrived situation. How often do you find 5' corridors with orcs coming from both sides? Everyone knows all dungeon corridors are 10'x10' because Gelatinous Cubes.
    10' corridor is worse for the orcs. I picked one of the stronger melee monsters and put it in melee at 3:2 odds. It can't win except by great luck. It can't attrition meaningfully.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanaya View Post
    The dwarf fighter, pre-gen or not, is heavily optimised for tanking. He's been put in a very specific environment that would very rarely be used in an actual game, designed to allow him to protect the cleric without being hit by any ranged attacks. He's spending all of his actions on defending himself while letting the cleric do all the damage, and the orcs are responding by throwing themselves at him rather than trying to kill the person who's actually attacking them. Pick any other scenario, like a party of four against a pack of orcs who pick their targets intelligently set in an open field, and your results will be drastically different. So yes, I would say it's contrived.
    He's the one and ONLY melee build in the game that's pregenned, it would be LESS contrived if I brewed my own? Because I'm pretty sure I can do better with what they've given us.

    The enviroment is special in that the monsters have 3:1 odds at the point of contact rather than 1:1 and that only one other PC is helping, that's contrived, but not in a way that helps.

    The playtest includes not a single open field engagement without available cover or choke points, if that's contrived then EVERY ONE of their six scenarios has every single combat contrived. The entire MAP is contrived, there simply aren't any places without an available choke point close by or there are pechs keeping the enemy from attacking at all while it stands helpless and waits to be killed.

    Oh, and the rogue can ALWAYS succeed at every social encounter DC in the entire packet.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    These are terrible tactics on the orcs part. Consider how ability checks are stated to work, and consider what the situation looks like given grapples, pushes, and such.
    Rules to grapple and push are notably absent in the playtest, pushing open a door yes, pushing back a foe, no. If you HOUSERULE in the capability and the orcs do push then they get the fighter back one space and he continues to resist them, now only 1 can attack and they can get a second ork using his MUCH WORSE ranged attack, up till the cleric kills the lead orc (a couple of rounds) and the fighter steps forward again.

    Or they can use the imaginary grapple rules, which accomplishes what exactly? The fighter isn't running away. Do they now have a 50% chance of attacking their ally in the grapple? At least THAT'S a target they can hit.

    So you think 5th edition is deadlier if you houserule in extra attack actions that work better than the greataxes the orcs come equipped with and are presumably trained with? And you think I'M the one being contrived?

    I used the best common melee monster (and the others are mostly the same +2 attack) against the only provided melee fighter at his lowest level and gave the monsters a numeric advantage. That's contrived all right, it's hard for it to be BETTER for the monsters!

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    Rules to grapple and push are notably absent in the playtest, pushing open a door yes, pushing back a foe, no. If you HOUSERULE in the capability and the orcs do push then they get the fighter back one space and he continues to resist them, now only 1 can attack and they can get a second ork using his MUCH WORSE ranged attack, up till the cleric kills the lead orc (a couple of rounds) and the fighter steps forward again.
    There are broad rules for ability checks, so it's not a houserule as much as extrapolation from generalities. As for it being a better tactic - situationally, it very much is, as the fighter is currently providing all of getting in the way, and undoing that opens up everybody else to attack, possibly even melee attack.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_warlock View Post
    I agree. Making the PCs so fragile that a single die roll, lucky or unlucky, can determine their fate in round one of their first combat encounter is simply bad design that benefits nobody, save the most sadistic of DMs on a power trip.

    As for starting at a higher level than 1st, yeah, sometimes this simply isn't an option for one reason or another. Some DMs are sticklers about starting at first. If WotC decides to continue the D&D Encounters modules, starting at 1st and ending before 4th, like they do in 4e, may well be the norm for those abbreviated campaigns.
    You can always die from a single bad die roll, IME. I just lost my 5th level barbarian to a failed hold person roll.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    I hate it when people talk about "single dierolls" while ignoring probabilities. Because most of the time, dying to a series of perfectly ordinary rolls is vastly more probable than getting one-shotted by a crit. I personally couldn't care less if each strike carries a 0,1% chance of insta-death, if the battle as a whole has anything from 1% to 100% chance of loss even without that.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    I hate it when people talk about "single dierolls" while ignoring probabilities. Because most of the time, dying to a series of perfectly ordinary rolls is vastly more probable than getting one-shotted by a crit. I personally couldn't care less if each strike carries a 0,1% chance of insta-death, if the battle as a whole has anything from 1% to 100% chance of loss even without that.
    "An orc pops out of the bushes and gets a surprise round! It fires a crossbow! Whoops, nat 20, you die. Make a new character."

    If an enemy takes 2-3 hits to kill you then at least you have to opportunity to run away. It's not the risk of death that we're objecting to, but that it can happen without warning and through absolutely no fault of your own in normal play. Even a 0.1% chance of this happening is too much.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    10' corridor is worse for the orcs. I picked one of the stronger melee monsters and put it in melee at 3:2 odds. It can't win except by great luck. It can't attrition meaningfully.


    He's the one and ONLY melee build in the game that's pregenned, it would be LESS contrived if I brewed my own? Because I'm pretty sure I can do better with what they've given us.

    The enviroment is special in that the monsters have 3:1 odds at the point of contact rather than 1:1 and that only one other PC is helping, that's contrived, but not in a way that helps.

    The playtest includes not a single open field engagement without available cover or choke points, if that's contrived then EVERY ONE of their six scenarios has every single combat contrived. The entire MAP is contrived, there simply aren't any places without an available choke point close by or there are pechs keeping the enemy from attacking at all while it stands helpless and waits to be killed.

    Oh, and the rogue can ALWAYS succeed at every social encounter DC in the entire packet.

    DougL
    Any field of combat that allows one combatant to become untargetable but allows them to target others is contrived. You might as well pit the thousand orcs against a wizard behind a thick wall with a tiny hole to cast magic missile through. In a 10 by 10 hall the cleric can be targeted the dwarf can be bull rushed & the orcs can focus down the cleric without caring about the dwarf's high durability
    Last edited by Anderlith; 2012-09-25 at 12:34 AM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Lampert View Post
    10' corridor is worse for the orcs. I picked one of the stronger melee monsters and put it in melee at 3:2 odds. It can't win except by great luck. It can't attrition meaningfully.
    Without a choke point to hold, nothing stops the orcs from just going around the Fighter and into his damage-dealing buddy. The Fighter in question doesn't have any movement inhibitors, so he has no response. The Cleric gets ganked, now it's 3:1 and the Fighter is flanked. It only spells bad news for the players.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    "An orc pops out of the bushes and gets a surprise round! It fires a crossbow! Whoops, nat 20, you die. Make a new character."
    That's a perfectly logical conclusion of an orc ambush. Why should I have gripes with it?

    More seriously, here's a thing all GMs should've learned by now: don't point a gun at things you aren't willing to shoot! The only logical reason for surprise enemy encounters is said enemies wanting to kill the PCs, so they pretty darn well shouldn't be included if that's not an acceptable outcome! Removing crits in this case is placing band-aid over a broken leg.

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    If an enemy takes 2-3 hits to kill you then at least you have to opportunity to run away. It's not the risk of death that we're objecting to, but that it can happen without warning and through absolutely no fault of your own in normal play. Even a 0.1% chance of this happening is too much.
    Except even if you remove crits, the chance will be higher. Much higher. That's my whole point: your "opportunity to run away" is actually an illusion in many fights, with chances of it working being around the same level as chances of being insta-gibbed by a crit. Once you examine the situation in-depth on mathematical level, you realize the players had lost the fight before even joining.

    As long as random chance is given influence in the game, these situations will arise from time to time. The irony here is that people don't even realize it, because they're caused by multiple random and non-random factors working at once. So instead they blame some highly improbable invidual events that in the long run have less impact on the game.

    If 0,1% chance is too much, you should do away with dice alltogether.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Frozen_Feet View Post
    That's a perfectly logical conclusion of an orc ambush. Why should I have gripes with it?

    More seriously, here's a thing all GMs should've learned by now: don't point a gun at things you aren't willing to shoot! The only logical reason for surprise enemy encounters is said enemies wanting to kill the PCs, so they pretty darn well shouldn't be included if that's not an acceptable outcome! Removing crits in this case is placing band-aid over a broken leg.
    Once again, it's not that the death occurred that is the problem, it's how. Getting knocked down from full health to nothing in a single round, before you can even attempt to defend yourself, just doesn't feel fair. You're right that it's a problem of perception but perceptions are very real in determining whether the player is having fun or not. Isn't that the whole point?

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    What if damage dice for the same weapon naturally increased by class level, depending on class? (I don't mean just expertise dice, because those do some other things too.) That way a first-level orc won't be doing 1d8 with whatever weapon, more like 1d4.
    Last edited by noparlpf; 2012-09-25 at 08:42 AM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    More seriously, here's a thing all GMs should've learned by now: don't point a gun at things you aren't willing to shoot! The only logical reason for surprise enemy encounters is said enemies wanting to kill the PCs, so they pretty darn well shouldn't be included if that's not an acceptable outcome! Removing crits in this case is placing band-aid over a broken leg.
    I'm not actually asking for crits to be removed - anything that has a reasonable chance to kill my character without me having at least a chance to react is an issue. Save or die spells, crits, anything else like this is an issue for me. My actual point was to raise HP at first level, and have smaller increases at level up, as 4E had (and is standard in computer games, including most D&D ones if my memory has not degraded completely over the years).

    Using crits as an example though, at 1st level, an orc in 3.5 has a 15% chance of a potential crit with its standard falchion. Guessing an average AC of 16, that is a 6% chance of a confirmed crit, doing a minimum of 12 damage, average 18. This is a fairly decent chance of death - you aren't going to need to face too many orcs for this to come up, and anyone outside the fighter careers stands a reasonable chance of going straight to -10.

    It is perception to an extent, yes. But it is important - when I go down to the orcish horde in the third round, at least I feel I went down fighting. But when I die in the first round before I've even managed to get my sword out of my sheath - well, that is not really fun for me. If you enjoy it, that's fine, but it is not my cup of tea.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Editon Discussion: 6th thread and counting

    Anything that has a reasonable chance to kill my character without me having at least a chance to react is an issue.
    Reasonable is the problem point here. I don't think sudden death is either fair or enjoyable - it's merely logical and reasonable within the game world for it to happen. (Nevermind that in most of those cases, your character does have a chance, in form of their AC or Saving Throws. If they fail and die, it means they blew it.)

    In an open-ended scenario, where anything is possible, all players GM included need to swallow the bitter fact that sometimes, you just lose, because it makes sense for what the game is trying to portray. Downgrading enemies who apparently aren't very lethal in the first place is treating symptoms instead of the disease: the game is about violence and death, and those things tend not to be fair.

    To me, addressing this on a system level seems pretty futile, because that just hamstrings the amount of possible scenarios. Rather, it's something that needs to be addressed on the level of scenario design. The players must be given ways to pre-emptively act to save their hides from lose-lose events; a way to get around or spot the ambush, strike first in a battle, mute the wizard before he can cast spells etc.

    This places the burden on people who make invidual adventures, in practice, the GMs. If a fair game is desired, the GMs must be taught to make them actually fair.

    Let's take the orc ambush again. From in-character point of view, their main reason for this is to incapacitate as many PCs as possible while giving PCs as little room to react as possible. The orcs are stacking the deck for their own favor - the whole premise of the scenario is unfair! Worrying about its "fairness" on a system level is missing the whole point of what's happening in the game! If the PCs walk into the ambush, they've already lost.

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