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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Dublock View Post
    That can get messy if there are a lot of splat books that introduce the power creep with magic items then if they have different table with 4-6 people, then you could be looking at Easy, medium, hard encounters, then with different amount of magic items.
    Given the business model, that is pretty much a given. That's how D&D makes its profits.

    Yes, I know, it wasn't like that when TSR published the game. But look at the profits they made.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Camelot View Post
    I think that the fluff should not just be there for an interesting story, but it should be involved in the plot of the adventure, or introduce a plot to a future adventure. For example, the demonic armor might have been lost when the demon's servant who originally wore it died. Now that it's being worn again, the demon can trace it, and he wants it back! Or worse, perhaps wearing it is eqivalent to signing a contract to be the devil's new servant.
    The way I interpreted those tables was "if you want to spice up the items a bit, and don't have something in mind, here's a random table to give some ideas."

    Ok, there's a +1 sword. That's boring, let's see, it was created by (15) Elves. Ok, for what purpose? (2) Bane, ok, the Elves fought the Goblins, sounds good. Minor property? (12) Sentinel. So we have a sword created by Elves to kill Goblins, recognized and feared by them, and it glows when Goblins are present. None of the quirks seem that interesting, I think I'll skip that table. Hmmm, let's say the Goblins know it as "Biter." That should make things interesting if they stumble into the Goblin den later.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Camelot View Post
    I think that the fluff should not just be there for an interesting story, but it should be involved in the plot of the adventure, or introduce a plot to a future adventure.
    I respectfully disagree. I think it's ok for fluff to not support the plot if it gives the players a sense of a larger world around them. It adds realism and a sense of wonder at the same time.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Madfellow View Post
    For those of us who don't know, what's wrong with the stealth rules?
    The writers can't keep straight whether you're Hidden period or you have a separate Hidden condition relative to each enemy, but the big flaw is that you stop being hidden if you leave obscurement for even a second. That makes stealth really hard to use for escaping or scouting ahead. If you care about stealth for any purpose other than setting up ranged sneak attacks you need access to at least a Cloak of Elvenkind.

    Also by strict RAW the Cloak of Elvenkind does nothing because it doesn't give you obscurement. In other words it lets you take an action to hide but it doesn't let you stay hidden (which you automatically and instantly fail to do unless you were in obscurement, in which case you didn't need the cloak to begin with). Obviously no one's going to play it like that, but it's not a good sign when the writers can't figure out how their own stealth rules work.

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

    Worse are the boots of elvenkind. They don't seem to have any ability.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Cloak of Elvenkind: Don't need cover to hide. Like the 3.X Ranger's "Camouflage".
    Boots of Elvenkind: +infinity to Move Silently.

    Edit: Or well, +infinity to the Dex check to sneak quietly.
    Last edited by noparlpf; 2012-10-12 at 09:47 AM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Apparently it's hard to write good stealth rules - the 4E team has not really managed this either, despite numerous erratas (as evidenced by a 6-screen FAQ and 130-page thread about it in WOTC's rules forum).
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    The rules seem pretty clear that stealth is counted separately for each creature. And as for not being able to leave cover, that just makes sense. You can't hide behind nothing. Perhaps a camoflage class ability would be useful. And yeah, they goofed on the cloak. It would have been easier to just say it grants concealment.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Apparently it's hard to write good stealth rules - the 4E team has not really managed this either, despite numerous erratas (as evidenced by a 6-screen FAQ and 130-page thread about it in WOTC's rules forum).
    It's even confusing in Savage Worlds, which is kind of crazy, but I tend to like their overall approach. More or less... guards are active or passive. Active guards roll against your Stealth. Passive ones, you just need a success. If you fail, they become Active. But there's still the modifiers...

    I think it's just a complicated situation and that the balance between "rules light enough to be awesome" and "well, let's not exploit all the loopholes..." is a tough line to walk.

    Frankly, the only good representation of Stealth I've ever seen is in first-person games like Skyrim, Oblivion, Thief, etc. Never have in a TTRPG, and I am kinda thinking I never will.

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

    Seems I'm an exception, but I've never had an issue with stealth in D&D. You roll to sneak, hide/move silently, whatever. They roll perception, spot/listen, or whatever. Higher roll wins. You can try to hide as long as you have cover, concealment, or whatever (shadows, leaves, rubble), and they're not looking straight at you, unless you get other abilities like Camouflage and HiPS.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    Seems I'm an exception, but I've never had an issue with stealth in D&D. You roll to sneak, hide/move silently, whatever. They roll perception, spot/listen, or whatever. Higher roll wins. You can try to hide as long as you have cover, concealment, or whatever (shadows, leaves, rubble), and they're not looking straight at you, unless you get other abilities like Camouflage and HiPS.
    But what you describe is not how the 4E and 5E stealth rules work. We're pointing out that those rules don't work, not that it's impossible to write stealth rules for an RPG. I don't think I've heard a lot of issues with 1E/2E/3E stealth rules; perhaps WOTC should base 5E's version on that instead of on 4E.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    But what you describe is not how the 4E and 5E stealth rules work. We're pointing out that those rules don't work, not that it's impossible to write stealth rules for an RPG. I don't think I've heard a lot of issues with 1E/2E/3E stealth rules; perhaps WOTC should base 5E's version on that instead of on 4E.
    I was responding to obryn's statement that there's never been a decent stealth system in a tabletop RPG.
    If other people don't have an issue with older systems, then let's give feedback saying that they should go back to one of those instead of working from 4E.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    I was responding to obryn's statement that there's never been a decent stealth system in a tabletop RPG.
    If other people don't have an issue with older systems, then let's give feedback saying that they should go back to one of those instead of working from 4E.
    Stealth is complex. Really complex; factors such as vision, facing, and movement all play a huge part in how stealth works. And for a combat/adventure game trying to be accessible, lots of that are abstracted out to simplify the game.

    D&D's stealth works, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better. A simple way to improve stealth is to have things like torches, lamps, candles and low level magic provide a significant amount of shadowy illumination in comparison to bright illumination (which provides partial concealment to everyone in it), while more expensive lanterns, sun rods, and high level magic produces more bright than shadowy, and then include line of sight rules for the light source (for personal lights nothing has changed, but the 3.5 rules actually don't have this, so lights fully illuminate their entire radius, including through walls and pillars). As long as it's possible for a player to easily determine where shadowy illumination is, stealth can be simplified without a great detriment to it. The only thing you'd have to cut out is Darkvision/Infravision's ability to see in the dark from the light.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    Frankly, the only good representation of Stealth I've ever seen is in first-person games like Skyrim, Oblivion, Thief, etc. Never have in a TTRPG, and I am kinda thinking I never will.
    TES stealth is a total joke. It's completely worthless if you try to play it as intended and snaps the game in half if you exploit the loopholes. There's also the issue that dungeons and areas are designed to be straightforward hack and slashes and opportunities to use stealth to sneak by enemies are afterthoughts at best: Most areas don't even have any good places to hide aside from "Stand really, really far away and snipe them."

    Thief... works a lot better, but mostly because it works with the limitations of the medium rather than try to work against them as TES does: It doesn't even try to be a simulation. The guards are ridiculously stupid but in exactly the right ways.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    TES stealth is a total joke. It's completely worthless if you try to play it as intended and snaps the game in half if you exploit the loopholes. There's also the issue that dungeons and areas are designed to be straightforward hack and slashes and opportunities to use stealth to sneak by enemies are afterthoughts at best: Most areas don't even have any good places to hide aside from "Stand really, really far away and snipe them."
    I think it's a bit better than that in Skyrim. Oblivion had that Chameleon 100% thing going on, but stealth is no more game-breaking than most other combat styles.

    I was more commenting on how fun it is, though. Few gaming experiences, IMO, match stealthing and sniping through dungeons.

    I've found Illusion magic is the real problem, at least in Skyrim - worthless unless you invest heavily in it, at which point it's immensely game-breaking. I gave up my Illusionist Assassin after Invisible-Sneak Attack for 30x with a Dagger-AoE Calm the room-Repeat got old. Especially when it started working on undead...

    ANYWAY. Tabletop stealth. Yeah, I wasn't a fan in 3.x either... Opposed skill rolls get messy, quick. It worked okay in 1e/2e but that's mostly because it was kind of a Thief's defining feature. (It was also overly simplistic and couldn't be initiated in combat. Things get complex when people wanted to stealth themselves in the middle of a fight.)

    -O

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

    For the purpose of a game like D&D, I think stealth works just fine as "you are not pretty much invisible as long as you don't run in front of someones face."
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    Lightbulb Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Yeah, I don't see what everyone's problem with stealth seems to be. I've never had an issue with stealth in an rpg. Ever.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Madfellow View Post
    Yeah, I don't see what everyone's problem with stealth seems to be. I've never had an issue with stealth in an rpg. Ever.
    I agree. One of my 5e players is a rogue, and I just say that if he wants to spend an action making a Stealth check and succeeds, then he gets advantage on his next attack, as long as none of the enemies move to a position that reveals him. It works pretty well, and we have not noticed it being too powerful or too weak.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Apparently it's hard to write good stealth rules - the 4E team has not really managed this either, despite numerous erratas (as evidenced by a 6-screen FAQ and 130-page thread about it in WOTC's rules forum).
    I don't think D&D has ever had workable stealth rules. D20 stealth rules don't work either. Most DMs ignore them completely and just call for Stealth / Hide checks whenever they feel like it.

    The thing is, I don't think it's hard to write good stealth rules. 5e stealth would be pretty OK with the following changes:

    • You only lose Hidden if you're out of obscurement at the end of your turn. It's now possible to move past an open doorway without automatically alerting everyone on the other side.
    • Instead of having a persistent Stealth check result, you recheck each time you might lose Hidden. You can't ever be forced to make more than one check simultaneously (if you enter a room with 10 enemies you make one Stealth check not 10) but you don't keep the same check result between encounters. This is necessary to stop stealthers from effectively taking 20 by repeatedly hiding from allies, or deliberately sneaking past easy encounters so they can go into a hard encounter with a known check result.
    • You have a separate Hidden state relative to each creature. You don't become visible to the guards in the tower because you're detected by a rat in the bushes. Attacking, lighting a torch, or otherwise making a bunch of noise still kicks you out of Hidden vs all creatures.
    • The rules for active Spot checks need to be more clear. To make an active Spot check you have to demonstrate reasonable suspicion that there's something to spot, and you can't retry a Spot check until the circumstances legitimately change. (This includes retrying the initial Spot check you make when a creature hides from you.) Right now the rules can be interpreted as allowing everyone to make a free active Spot check every single round whenever it matters. That needs to go.
    • Edit: the Surprise Round rules need to be rewritten. This is another problem D&D has had forever. The biggest problem relative to stealth is that there's no defined interaction between Hidden and surprise - if you jump out of hiding and attack someone do you get a surprise round on them or what? It's pretty obvious that you should (and the rules should say that), but then what happens if you stay hidden for all of round 1 and then pop out of hiding on round 2? You could fix this with a rule that your enemies are surprised by you and not your allies, which means they can take actions but their actions can't take your existence into account. (You'd have to do more work if you wanted a rule that didn't require the DM to judge intent but I'm not too worried about it.)


    That would at least make rogue and "lurker" monster stealth work without DM pity or crutch items. (Non-specialists still wouldn't be able to sneak past groups of enemies, which you might or might not see as a problem.)
    Last edited by stainboy; 2012-10-12 at 10:42 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Madfellow View Post
    Magic items only start to sound like Mad Libs if the party gets a lot of them. And yes, I know Wizards goofed on this one and made magic items too common. Tell them that in the surveys and they will fix it, the same way they fixed the fighter and the same way they fixed the monsters. Yes, the core system still needs work. Guess what? That's what the playtests are for! If the system was ready to be released already, they would release it. People, please stop whining and try some constructive criticism.
    I'm not sure monsters are fixed yet, though the XP values make more sense now they still need some work. I'm not really down with the idea that 32 goblins constitutes an "average" encounter for a level 1 five PCparty, unless they really are just intended to be like 4E minions (but offensively they seem more potent than minions and are more work to track on the part of the DM).

    I understand not everyone cares about this, but some of us do like encounter-based design and this is a problem. A rather glaring one. And yes, I will be telling them so when I get the next survey.

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

    So whats the betting that D&D next will be marketed as the D&D 40th Anniversary Edition?

    Clearly they can't keep calling it D&D next forever, but they've said they're not so keen on calling it 5th edition, as deciding what constitutes an edition of D&D and how many there have been is a strange and arcane science.
    It seems to me that with the game unlikely to be finished before 2014 they are most likely to play up the anniversary.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by stainboy View Post
    The thing is, I don't think it's hard to write good stealth rules. 5e stealth would be pretty OK with the following changes:
    I agree, they are making it much more complicated than it needs to be. Your rules sound like they make a lot of sense, and work pretty easily too. The only thing is surprise rounds. I think the problem is having a separate round in which some combatants don't act. The creatures that have surprise should automatically go first in initiative at the beginning of an encounter, and you grant advantage before your turn has been taken. This way, a person in stealth can choose to enter the combat whenever they want, and their benefit is that they have advantage against each surprised creature who hasn't acted since they revealed themselves.

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

    Generally I prefer to abstract stealth systems as much as possible. A Perception vs Stealth check works well, giving bonuses or penalties where appropriate.

    I defiantly agree boots of elven kind need some kind of mechanical effect, it could just be advantage on stealth checks, which would be pretty awesome.

    By the by, I like magic items have origins and purposes, even if it's not related to the campaign, and I've been doing that myself for years. A magic ring traditionally given to princes in a far off land to protect from assassins blades is more interesting than a ring of protection +1.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by stainboy View Post
    [*]You have a separate Hidden state relative to each creature.
    This is the only thing from your post that I don't like. Keeping track of hidden state relative to each creature is a pain, and in almost all practical situations the one enemy that spots you will call out your location to its allies anyway.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    This is the only thing from your post that I don't like. Keeping track of hidden state relative to each creature is a pain, and in almost all practical situations the one enemy that spots you will call out your location to its allies anyway.
    Well...you have one roll for "Hidden" and one for "Silent". Each enemy has to overcome that individually. Yes, they'll likely call out your location, but that should just give them an automatic second roll with a bonus (+10? Advantage?). Just because somebody points something out doesn't mean their friend will notice it--at the beach last year my brother and I found a dead puffer-fish, pointed it out, and my sister promptly missed seeing it, and stepped on it. My grandmother came over to see what was going on, we pointed it out, and she promptly stepped on it too. Man, were we lucky it was long enough dead to not be poisonous anymore. (Edit: Just started wondering about that, as long as it was on my mind; never mind that bit, they're toxic when eaten. The venom in the spines thing is a common misconception. Still, I'm glad it was only a misconception.)
    Last edited by noparlpf; 2012-10-13 at 04:40 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by noparlpf View Post
    Just because somebody points something out doesn't mean their friend will notice it--at the beach last year my brother and I found a dead puffer-fish, pointed it out, and my sister promptly missed seeing it, and stepped on it.
    True enough, but imho in this case the greater simplicity outweighs the lesser realism. You can always wing the extreme cases as a DM, but I'd prefer the standard to be one "hidden" status.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    True enough, but imho in this case the greater simplicity outweighs the lesser realism. You can always wing the extreme cases as a DM, but I'd prefer the standard to be one "hidden" status.
    Well. We have to look at things from two perspectives. First as a player, then as a DM. For a player, it's not hard to remember whether you know where things are. For a DM, usually mooks are lumped into one group on one initiative count and with one roll for perception or stealth, though personally I prefer splitting them into three or four smaller groups so they don't all go at once. And bigger baddies tend to come in smaller groups, so keeping track of which players you can and can't see isn't hard. You could even note down stealth and perception rolls on the list with initiative counts so everyone can see what's what.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    It's probably a good idea to split Hidden along lines of factions. If you're spotted by a guard, he can alert his friends pretty easily (by going "hey, shoot that guy"), but if you're hiding from a guard and a street urchin sees you, he won't alert the guard, but might point you out to his friends because you have a stupid hat on.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    It's probably a good idea to split Hidden along lines of factions. If you're spotted by a guard, he can alert his friends pretty easily (by going "hey, shoot that guy"), but if you're hiding from a guard and a street urchin sees you, he won't alert the guard, but might point you out to his friends because you have a stupid hat on.
    That might work better for simplicity's sake, but like I said, people frequently still miss things their companions point out to them.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: Thread #7

    Right, but that just makes the stealth rules clumsy. You generally make one check to attack, defend, disarm, heal, etc. Why should stealth rules involve making individual "contests" against each individual? It should be one roll for each side.

    Rather than individual rolls, there should just be some benefit (or penalty) for hiding from multiple creatures; it should be easier/harder to hide when there are less/more creatures looking for you. Do something like d20 + the creature with the highest Wisdom bonus, and + 1 or +2 for every other creature.

    And make hidden like invisibility! Having two different rules sets was dumb in 4e, and it'd be dumb here.

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