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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    It was explicitly called "blade magic" if I'm not mistaken.
    I've been through this several times. Again, on top of all the fluff about blade magic, lots of maneuvers don't function in an AMF because they're explicitly supernatural.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Nu View Post
    It was explicitly called "blade magic" if I'm not mistaken.
    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    I've been through this several times. Again, on top of all the fluff about blade magic, lots of maneuvers don't function in an AMF because they're explicitly supernatural.
    This debate has been done to death a million times. Long story short: 16.8% of the maneuvers in the book are officially "magical" according to game rules; if you houserule a few others that seem pretty impossible/wuxia and "should" be supernatural, that number goes up to something more like 23%.

    That makes at least 77% of the maneuvers in the book nonmagical, and while some people and some of the default fluff portray all 100% of it as "almost magical" blade "magic," that's entirely optional; with non-melodramatic RP descriptions, these 77% are easy to portray simply as the amazing martial abilities of a powerful (high-fantasy) but mundane warrior.

    If you play with this latter "grittier" game style, there is nothing that 77% of maneuvers have in common with spells except (a) they're mechanics in an SRD-based RPG, and (b) they're divided into nine levels of power.

    As for the much-maligned term "blade magic" ... I have no trouble imagining that when a Level 11 warrior adventures through the land, slaying hydras and giants and making it look easy, the common folk look at him and call his fighting abilities "magic" regardless of whether he uses nonmagical ToB maneuvers, actual magic of some kind (e.g. Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Hexblade), or is truly a non-ToB mundane warrior (e.g. Fighter, Rogue).

    In passing, I'd like to note that out of the 16.8% of maneuvers that are actually magical, a large fraction are so horribly underpowered that no one would ever use them. So I suspect that the actual percentage of ToB maneuvers used that are "martial techniques" rather than blade "magic" is actually higher than 77%.

    To bring this rant back on-topic instead of letting the ToB debate spiral out of control yet again (in spite of how some of the posts in this discussion irritated me in their lack of purpose other than to express bitterness against ToB) ...

    Morty, what if the next round of the playtest packet organizes the Maneuvers into "Levels" that are available successively at Levels 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9? Will that make them feel too similar to spells to you? Honest question.

    And as for the people who are saying "All maneuvers should give you something new that you can do, not just boost your numbers," I am inclined to agree initially, but I have two questions:
    1. Should that include any "default" maneuvers that are granted at Level 1, a la Deadly Strike? Or is it ok if those maneuvers just increase numbers?
    2. How would such a system accommodate the player base that WotC is worried about who like to play super-simple characters that don't have to make very many decisions during combat?
    Last edited by Draz74; 2012-11-15 at 08:14 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    And as for the people who are saying "All maneuvers should give you something new that you can do, not just boost your numbers," I am inclined to agree initially, but I have two questions:
    1. Should that include any "default" maneuvers that are granted at Level 1, a la Deadly Strike? Or is it ok if those maneuvers just increase numbers?
    2. How would such a system accommodate the player base that WotC is worried about who like to play super-simple characters that don't have to make very many decisions during combat?
    - Hmm, sure. Adding numbers might be boring, but at least it's always useful. I can get behind having an always-useful option to spend dice on in those situations where otherwise they'd just go to waste. I would, however, add the caveat that we should be careful not to make these pluses-only maneuvers too good, such that it's always a better idea to use them instead of the more interesting ones. This is the same problem magic items have with the +X Sword of Pointyness: No matter how awesome the other effects are, that +X is so good and important that it's never worth sacrificing, so magic items become more boring as a whole simply for their inclusion.

    - Well, you all know my opinion on that matter is just to introduce the Spectator class and be done with it. I think designing a combat-heavy RPG like D&D while considering people who don't like combat will get you as far as trying to write a book that appeals to people who hate reading.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    And as for the people who are saying "All maneuvers should give you something new that you can do, not just boost your numbers," I am inclined to agree initially, but I have two questions:
    1. Should that include any "default" maneuvers that are granted at Level 1, a la Deadly Strike? Or is it ok if those maneuvers just increase numbers?
    2. How would such a system accommodate the player base that WotC is worried about who like to play super-simple characters that don't have to make very many decisions during combat?
    1) I have little objection to basic class features being number-shuffling abilities; after all, a class's skeleton of HD, saves, etc. is nothing more than sets of numbers that set it apart from other classes' sets of numbers. The problem comes in when you force (or allow) someone to choose between more numbers on the one hand and more options on the other. The purpose of selectable abilities is to let you differentiate your fighter from someone else's fighter; "I'm good with two swords and he's good with bows" does that while "I have a 15% higher chance to hit someone than he does" doesn't.

    2) There are two axes of "simple" for characters, simple to build (which includes learning subsystems, making level-up choices, and preparing things in-game) and simple to play (which includes number of decisions per round, breadth of options, and number of rules subsystems you need to know). 3e has all four possibilities:
    • The binder is simple to play but complicated to build; figuring out pact-making, pact augmentations, vestige synergies, and such can be daunting, but once you've bound your vestiges your options are fairly manageable and straightforward.
    • The beguiler is simple to build but complicated to play: you make barely any build decisions at all, but handling the minutiae of grappling, debuffs, illusions, nonlethal damage, etc. can be fairly complex.
    • The warblade is simple to build and to play: you can pick maneuvers essentially at random and still be pretty effective, and anyone who's played card games can figure out expending and regaining maneuvers.
    • The bard is complicated to build and to play: you have lots of ways to build your bard based on what aspect you want to focus on (music, spells, skills), and the bard's jack-of-all-trades nature means you hit lots of rules subsystems during play (conditions, illusions, music uses, spells known, etc.).

    You'll notice that all four example classes are tier 3. It's possible to balance simple newbie classes with complicated veteran classes as long as you're willing to accept varying optimization floors and ceilings--it's hard to either screw up or overpower ToB classes, but bards have a reputation of being weak because they require more effort and more splats to make competitive, for instance.

    WotC seems to have the mistaken impression that casters = veteran and noncasters = newbie. That was more the case in core 1e, when fighters had no class features and were for players who didn't roll high enough to have a "real" class, but that's not at all the case these days. WotC could easily make simple casters, simple noncasters, complex casters, and complex noncasters to satisfy everyone if they could get over the "fighters get fewer and weaker class features" hang-up.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post

    Morty, what if the next round of the playtest packet organizes the Maneuvers into "Levels" that are available successively at Levels 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9? Will that make them feel too similar to spells to you? Honest question.
    I'm not sure why you're addressing this question to me. I've never said anything about manuevers being too similar to spells. My issue is that they mostly add numbers instead of letting you do something interesting.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    So I was thinking about expertise dice, and I can't help but wonder if having a unique progression for each class would be better than having a single progression. Maybe they want the single progression to make multiclassing between martial classes have a 'common ground'?

    But...

    Each of the three classes currently available could easily end up with different progression tracks. The fighter's current track makes sense...a small number of large dice fits with the class. On the other hand, I think the rogue could stand to have more dice, but smaller sides.

    If a fighter has 3d10, a rogue having 6d6 or so seems reasonable. The idea is that the fighter typically burns their dice on one or two 'big' maneuvers each round, while the rogue might use a couple die at a time, on 3+ 'small' maneuvers. The rogue's only big, blow-all-your-dice-at-once trick could be sneak attack, which usually can't be used consistently(in theory).

    I could see the monk using a mix of Ki and expertise dice. Instead of getting X number of dice, what if they only advanced die size, and got Ki to spend instead of additional dice? The idea is, unlike a per-round dice count like a fighter, a monk has a per-encounter Ki count, and he can spend Ki on either his monk shenanigans or to roll however many expertise die he wants. Spend 2 Ki, roll 2 dice. Ideally, you'd want to design the monk's maneuvers such that he's encouraged to spend Ki as he needs it throughout an encounter, rather than blowing it all in the first round. More practically, some per-round(or per-maneuver) limitation on Ki spent might be a good idea. I could see 1/2 monk level rounded up being a good baseline on 'max-Ki-per-round'.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I can understand the sighs of expertise dice not being exclusive to fighters. One complaint about the 3E fighter has been its lack of something unique. Fighter-exclusive feats weren't interesting enough to count. I'm not fully bothered with other non-spellcasters having expertise dice. It would be the shtick of 5E. However, it would be nice for the fighter to be the best at using them. Larger die, greater amount to have, fastest access progression, more choices of what to do with them (unique maneuvers), etc. It has to be more significant than analogous getting more feats in 3E. There needs to be something to show the fighter is the absolute best in using expertise dice.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    • The binder is simple to play but complicated to build; figuring out pact-making, pact augmentations, vestige synergies, and such can be daunting, but once you've bound your vestiges your options are fairly manageable and straightforward.
    • The beguiler is simple to build but complicated to play: you make barely any build decisions at all, but handling the minutiae of grappling, debuffs, illusions, nonlethal damage, etc. can be fairly complex.
    • The warblade is simple to build and to play: you can pick maneuvers essentially at random and still be pretty effective, and anyone who's played card games can figure out expending and regaining maneuvers.
    • The bard is complicated to build and to play: you have lots of ways to build your bard based on what aspect you want to focus on (music, spells, skills), and the bard's jack-of-all-trades nature means you hit lots of rules subsystems during play (conditions, illusions, music uses, spells known, etc.).

    You'll notice that all four example classes are tier 3. It's possible to balance simple newbie classes with complicated veteran classes as long as you're willing to accept varying optimization floors and ceilings--it's hard to either screw up or overpower ToB classes, but bards have a reputation of being weak because they require more effort and more splats to make competitive, for instance.
    These are some of my favorite classes to build and play! I really enjoy a solid tier three class. For me, they hit all the right targets.

    Also, I think you have it right that WotC may be approaching classes with the "wrong" mindset with regard to Martial = Simple and Magical = Complex.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    So while the current design works for the fighter, where the expertise dice feed directly into combat maneuvers, we can see it breaks down for something like the monk, where some of the maneuvers are more "set up" maneuvers.

    Perhaps it would be better if the monks maneuvers all used ki, and what the monks combat dice represented was the amount of ki available on a given turn. So for example at the start (or end) of the monks turn, they would roll their expertise dice, and this number represents the amount of ki they have for this turn to spend on their maneuvers. You could then allow ki to bestowed across cumulative turns, but only up to the max value of the monks expertise dice.

    For the thief it's a bit harder, but maybe instead of applying to combat at all, expertise dice should be how the thieves "skill monkey" trait manifests itself. The thieves expertise dice canbe used to add to their skill rolls and ability checks in a given turn, or alternatively if they're "aiding another" they can spend those dice to aid someone else's skill or ability check.

    If they use expertise dice like this, I could see them being able to stretch the core idea across multiple martial classes, where each classes uniqueness comes from how the expertise dice contribute to the class concept, rather than being 20 different forms of the same basic combat maneuver.
    I am continually impressed that folks on this forum generate more interesting and thought provoking ideas and refinements than the designers at WotC. This applies to quite a few more posts than the one I've quoted, this was just one of the more recent ones.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I'm not sure why you're addressing this question to me. I've never said anything about manuevers being too similar to spells. My issue is that they mostly add numbers instead of letting you do something interesting.
    Whoops, my bad. I saw Yora's post:
    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Expertise seems to be a much better solution than Tome of Battle. ToB maneuvers always seemed like spells for martial characters.
    ... with your avatar right below it, and my brain formed a fallacious connection. Question is deferred to Yora!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerrin View Post
    Also, I think you have it right that WotC may be approaching classes with the "wrong" mindset with regard to Martial = Simple and Magical = Complex.
    They've said a few times that they plan to break out of this unfortunate correlation, but probably in modules rather than Core. Although based on the Warlock in a previous playtest packet, it seems that they still are clinging to the idea that a "simple" caster class and a "complex" caster class have to have wildly different fluff to separate them ... which could lead to a repeat of the whole Fighter vs. Warblade rivalry. ("The Warblade is just the official fixed variant of the Fighter!" "No it's not! The Warblade has totally different fluff than the Fighter!")

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4
    For the thief it's a bit harder, but maybe instead of applying to combat at all, expertise dice should be how the thieves "skill monkey" trait manifests itself. The thieves expertise dice canbe used to add to their skill rolls and ability checks in a given turn, or alternatively if they're "aiding another" they can spend those dice to aid someone else's skill or ability check.
    What I'd really like to see for the Rogue's schtick is some kind of maneuvers that allow the Rogue to make a skill check as part of his combat actions, with pretty lofty DCs; if he succeeds, then he does awesome stuff (outfighting the Fighter for that one round), while if he fails, he is left with just boring old 1d8+4 (or whatever) damage for the round. So the Fighter is more consistent, the Rogue is more swingy, but their overall combat contributions are comparable.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    And yes, asigning levels to maneuvers would make them look a lot more like just another type of spell. Though that's not the only thing that makes ToB maneuver look like spells.

    Haste
    Transmutation
    Level: Brd 3, Sor/Wiz 3
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Targets: One creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
    Duration: 1 round/level
    Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    The transmuted creatures move and act more quickly than normal. This extra speed has several effects.

    [...]

    A hasted creature gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls and a +1 dodge bonus to AC and Reflex saves. Any condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) also makes you lose dodge bonuses.

    All of the hasted creature’s modes of movement (including land movement, burrow, climb, fly, and swim) increase by 30 feet, to a maximum of twice the subject’s normal speed using that form of movement. This increase counts as an enhancement bonus, and it affects the creature’s jumping distance as normal for increased speed.

    [...]
    Absolute Steel
    Iron Heart (Stance)
    Level: Warblade 3
    Prerequisite: One Iron Heart maneuver
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: Stance

    You shift your weight to the back of your feet and hold your blade carefully forward at the ready. Your muscles twitch slightly as you prepare to dodge the next attack you face.

    The absolute steel stance allows you to enhance your mobility and speed. You move quickly, keep a sharp eye on your enemies, and are ready to instantly sidestep any incoming attacks.

    While you are in this stance, you gain a +10-foot enhancement bonus to your speed. If you move at least 10 feet during your turn, you gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn.
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x...060802a&page=4
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Well, another question, if you don't mind: What could be done with maneuvers to make them less like spells?

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Keep them like they are in the current playtest version. Not every individual maneuver is good, but I really like fighter expertise as it is know.
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    When you start dividing quotes into blocks to reply to each paragraph seperately, that's usually a strong sign that you're no longer contributing to the thread, but just arguing over who is right.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    This may be a bit random but:

    I find 2es skill system probably the best out of all I used. Best isn't the correct word....Uh....Balance of fun sleekness and immersiveness.

    Its very specific to when the skill applies (So no "Uh....Wait is this engineering or Planar?"), yet at the same time not that much pointless number crunch involved.

    It gives just enough to the DM so it can be easily determined on the fly, yet enough stat data so that each skill isn't completely DM determined.

    Love it and loving 2e.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    And yes, asigning levels to maneuvers would make them look a lot more like just another type of spell. Though that's not the only thing that makes ToB maneuver look like spells.

    *haste*

    *absolute steel*

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    Two points. First, enhancement bonus ≠ magic. Enhancement bonus = common bonus type used to prevent stacking because WotC apparently doesn't like people moving fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Complete Adventurer, page 12
    Fast Movement (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a scout’s gains a +10 foot enhancement bonus to her base land speed. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +20 feet.
    Second, choice of formatting making something more magical is just silly. Maneuvers are formatted more like spells than, say, feats because they have more moving parts and double the flavor text, but they could easily be the other way around. Compare:

    Absolute Steel [Stance]
    You shift your weight to the back of your feet and hold your blade carefully forward at the ready. Your muscles twitch slightly as you prepare to dodge the next attack you face.
    Prerequisites
    One Iron Heart feat, BAB +5
    Benefit
    You gain a +10-foot enhancement bonus to your speed. If you move at least 10 feet during your turn, you gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC until the beginning of your next turn.
    Special
    A fighter may select Absolute Steel as one of his fighter bonus feats.
    Leap Attack
    Tiger Claw (Boost)
    Level: Fighter 2, warblade 2
    Initiation Action: 1 swift action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: One creature

    With a war cry, you leap into the air and lift your weapon high overhead. As you arc downward, your weight and momentum lend bonecrushing force to your attack.

    Like a thunderbolt, you slam into your foe from above. You leap upon your enemy and drive him into the ground. The impact of your attack gives you extra force, allowing you to score a deadly hit.

    To use this maneuver, you must charge an enemy while in the Power Attack stance. As part of this maneuver, you attempt a DC 10 Jump check. If this check succeeds, you can double the extra damage dealt by your use of the Power Attack feat. If you use this maneuver with a two-handed weapon, you instead triple the extra damage from Power Attack. In addition, initiating this maneuver allows you to charge through difficult terrain as you jump over it.

    If your Jump check fails, you do not multiply the Power Attack damage, and if you were charging over difficult terrain, you stop in the last square you occupied before reaching that difficult terrain. The maneuver is still considered expended.
    In case you aren't familiar with ToB maneuvers, I ripped the flavor text and most of the wording for that Leap Attack "maneuver" (the real feat is here, for reference) right out of a 4th level Tiger Claw maneuver, Death From Above, which lets you jump over your opponent and deal +4d6 damage.

    Not particularly magical, is it? Does the fact that Absolute Steel Stance is formatted like a feat and Leap Attack like a maneuver suddenly make you feel like Absolute Steel Stance is normal and nonmagical and Leap Attack is a "martial spell"?

    And there are more direct examples than that:

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Cleave [General]
    Prerequisites
    Str 13, Power Attack.
    Benefit
    If you deal a creature enough damage to make it drop (typically by dropping it to below 0 hit points or killing it), you get an immediate, extra melee attack against another creature within reach. You cannot take a 5-foot step before making this extra attack. The extra attack is with the same weapon and at the same bonus as the attack that dropped the previous creature. You can use this ability once per round.
    Special
    A fighter may select Cleave as one of his fighter bonus feats.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tome of Battle, p. 69
    STEEL WIND
    Iron Heart (Strike)
    Level: Warblade 1
    Initiation Action: 1 standard action
    Range: Melee attack
    Target: Two creatures
    You swing your weapon in a broad, deadly arc, striking two foes with a single, mighty blow.
    Through a combination of sheer power and unmatched talent, you make an attack that injures multiple opponents. As you initiate this strike, you make two melee attacks, each against a different foe that you threaten. Resolve each attack separately.
    One feat lets you attack a second target you threaten when you drop the first one, one maneuver (from Iron Heart, which is basically "Fighter Bonus Feats: The Discipline") lets you attack a second target you threaten when you attack the first one. I suppose if you can claim that maneuvers are like spells because there's a maneuver and a spell that both grant a dodge bonus and increased speed, I can claim that maneuvers are like feats because there's a maneuver and a spell that both grant a second attack.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74
    What I'd really like to see for the Rogue's schtick is some kind of maneuvers that allow the Rogue to make a skill check as part of his combat actions, with pretty lofty DCs; if he succeeds, then he does awesome stuff (outfighting the Fighter for that one round), while if he fails, he is left with just boring old 1d8+4 (or whatever) damage for the round. So the Fighter is more consistent, the Rogue is more swingy, but their overall combat contributions are comparable.
    I like that idea. What if the rogue doesn't get a normal expertise dice progression, but rather all of his maneuvers require a skill check, and succeeding grants you, say, 1 die plus 1 per 3 points by which you beat the DC? The dice would start at 1d4, and every even level the rogue chooses one attribute and increases the die size used with that attribute by one?

    Sneak Attack might be a Dex + Bluff check against an enemy's AC, so a rogue who rolls an 18 against a target with AC 12 gets +3d4 damage, or +3d8 at 5th level if he chose to increase the die size of Dex-keyed maneuvers at both 2nd and 4th level. A trip attempt might have you roll Str + Sleight of Hand, and if you succeed by 3 points you send your target stumbling 2d4 feet before they fall prone. And so forth.

    Combine that with someone's suggestion earlier in the thread to give the monk a per-encounter ki pool that he can use to roll expertise dice with a certain cap per round to differentiate the monk from the rogue and fighter, and that would make the fighter the regular, consistent combatant with his expertise dice allocated at will each round, the rogue the flashy, spiky combatant with his "expertise dice" determined by his skill checks each round, and the monk the impressive, methodical combatant with his expertise dice rationed out each encounter.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Second, choice of formatting making something more magical is just silly. Maneuvers are formatted more like spells than, say, feats because they have more moving parts and double the flavor text, but they could easily be the other way around. Compare:
    Nice, I was thinking I'd like to post some examples like this, but I wasn't going to have time. Thanks for doing it for me.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    I like that idea. What if the rogue doesn't get a normal expertise dice progression, but rather all of his maneuvers require a skill check, and succeeding grants you, say, 1 die plus 1 per 3 points by which you beat the DC? The dice would start at 1d4, and every even level the rogue chooses one attribute and increases the die size used with that attribute by one?

    Sneak Attack might be a Dex + Bluff check against an enemy's AC, so a rogue who rolls an 18 against a target with AC 12 gets +3d4 damage, or +3d8 at 5th level if he chose to increase the die size of Dex-keyed maneuvers at both 2nd and 4th level. A trip attempt might have you roll Str + Sleight of Hand, and if you succeed by 3 points you send your target stumbling 2d4 feet before they fall prone. And so forth.

    Combine that with someone's suggestion earlier in the thread to give the monk a per-encounter ki pool that he can use to roll expertise dice with a certain cap per round to differentiate the monk from the rogue and fighter, and that would make the fighter the regular, consistent combatant with his expertise dice allocated at will each round, the rogue the flashy, spiky combatant with his "expertise dice" determined by his skill checks each round, and the monk the impressive, methodical combatant with his expertise dice rationed out each encounter.
    I think it would work pretty well, yeah. Some more interesting manuevers wouldn't hurt either, though.
    Also, I wonder how the rangers and paladins would fit into this scheme. And speaking of rangers, I'm curious as to whether they'll keep being shoehorned into two fighting styles or not.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Also, I wonder how the rangers and paladins would fit into this scheme. And speaking of rangers, I'm curious as to whether they'll keep being shoehorned into two fighting styles or not.
    My guess is that they'll get spells as their selectable resource, and they'll either have one or two active abilities (smite evil and lay on hands for the paladin, say, or quarry and camouflage for the ranger) or focus on passive abilities (divine grace and auras for the paladin and favored enemy and terrain for the ranger). I doubt they'll get the fighting style treatment this edition, partly because they're making an effort to go "old school" and the TWF/archery styles are a 3e/4e thing, partly because the fighter has the fighting styles this time around and giving the ranger Sharpshooter or a TWF fighting style is (A) stepping on the fighter's toes even more than giving him expertise dice would and (B) fairly arbitrary if there are other prepackaged styles already.

    I've already stated my preference that the ranger's schtick be "monster hunter," with corresponding suites of abilities, and my belief that that's the only thing the ranger has that it doesn't share with the fighter (like its weapon styles) or rogue (like its stealth focus). Given the current state of the playtest they very well might give the ranger fighting styles and skill mastery for stealth to see what people will accept, as with the continuous tweaking of turn undead and expertise dice, but I hope they try to give the partial-casters more uniqueness than that.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    I do hope that they're made more unique as well. The reason Rangers were lackluster in 3rd edition was that they had several different skill sets taped together, but none of them was very good. And, of course, they were forced into two combat styles, both of which were pretty weak.
    Paladins had different problems, but I'm also wondering how they'll work now that alignment is supposed to have no mechanical effect.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I do hope that they're made more unique as well. The reason Rangers were lackluster in 3rd edition was that they had several different skill sets taped together, but none of them was very good. And, of course, they were forced into two combat styles, both of which were pretty weak.
    Paladins had different problems, but I'm also wondering how they'll work now that alignment is supposed to have no mechanical effect.
    I liked how in DDO the Ranger got both weapon styles instead of choosing. That helped a little, though obviously it's not huge, and it's debatable whether the Ranger archetype actually requires archery and TWF.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    My opinion is that it does not. I'm not entirely sure why D&D rangers got stuck with two weapon fighting, but it's very much tacked on. Archery certainly fits the hunter and stalker archetype, but such a character focusing on melee weapons is still a viable enough concept that ranged combat shouldn't be forced on them. After all, the archetypal Ranger, Aragorn, used what in D&D would probably be a bastard sword or longsword.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    My opinion is that it does not. I'm not entirely sure why D&D rangers got stuck with two weapon fighting, but it's very much tacked on. Archery certainly fits the hunter and stalker archetype, but such a character focusing on melee weapons is still a viable enough concept that ranged combat shouldn't be forced on them. After all, the archetypal Ranger, Aragorn, used what in D&D would probably be a bastard sword or longsword.
    In D&D it would be a bastard sword because D&D doesn't do decent weapons terminology.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    My opinion is that it does not. I'm not entirely sure why D&D rangers got stuck with two weapon fighting,
    Because the archetypical ranger is Drizz't, not Aragorn. I'm sure it used to be Aragorn in the earliest version of D&D, but that changed.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Because the archetypical ranger is Drizz't, not Aragorn. I'm sure it used to be Aragorn in the earliest version of D&D, but that changed.
    Yeah, originally it was Aragorn, with traces of "Robin Hood, Jack the Giant Killer, Diana's huntresses, and Orion", according to Wikipedia. So wilderness lore (tracking, healing, hunting, camouflage, communing with animals), melee combat (sword and spear) and archery, specialisation against monstrous humanoids/giants or just monsters in general.
    And then Drizz't became popular and the TWF thing caught on.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    To be fair, Aragorn does use an off-hand weapon (torch or dagger) to complement his bastard sword a few times, especially in the movies. But yeah, Drizzt is probably the main reason Rangers got TWF "subsidies."

    Incidentally, I think the non-D&D literary character that best matches the D&D Ranger archetype might be Prince Gwydion from the Prydain Chronicles. He even casts Entangle (explicitly using magic to do so) in the first book. And has an obviously extraordinary bond with his horse. I don't think he uses TWF or archery much though.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    To be fair, Aragorn does use an off-hand weapon (torch or dagger) to complement his bastard sword a few times, especially in the movies. But yeah, Drizzt is probably the main reason Rangers got TWF "subsidies."

    Incidentally, I think the non-D&D literary character that best matches the D&D Ranger archetype might be Prince Gwydion from the Prydain Chronicles. He even casts Entangle (explicitly using magic to do so) in the first book. And has an obviously extraordinary bond with his horse. I don't think he uses TWF or archery much though.
    But I don't like the magicky bits of the Ranger in D&D.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    In D&D it would be a bastard sword because D&D doesn't do decent weapons terminology.
    I don't mind. In fantasyland, weapons are different from the real world. I'd much rather have a cool weapon than a 'historically accurate' one.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    I don't mind. In fantasyland, weapons are different from the real world. I'd much rather have a cool weapon than a 'historically accurate' one.
    Why not both? It's really not hard to have the exact same weapons you see in the PHB but with the names the right way 'round.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    I don't mind. In fantasyland, weapons are different from the real world. I'd much rather have a cool weapon than a 'historically accurate' one.
    I'm the opposite myself. Mostly because some of the mistakes they make are rather odd and changing the name to be more accurate would change just about nothing. And secondly because in the real world their were plenty of cool weapons that served a multitude of functions that would make the weapon system far more interesting than the current loadout.

    In my dream game, I want to see franciscan throwing axes that have a shield breaking ability, longswords you can half-hand with, aspis shields that give an AC bonus to those adjacent to you. It'd be awesome.

    But I would settle for them calling an arming sword and arming sword instead of a longsword.

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    Default 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.

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