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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Just wanted to comment on the XP thing and the design philosophy there which might shed some light:

    Experience is a primary reward for an encounter. Say there's a room of 10 goblins. The party is clever, and draws out 5 goblins with a distraction, only facing 5 at a time. Should their xp reward be reduced for this?

    There's 2 groups of 5 goblins. The party flees the first, into the room with the second, and manages to defeat all 10 at once. Should they be rewarded for this?

    Splitting up foes makes them much easier to fight, while keeping the same reward. Also, grouping up foes makes them harder while giving no reward benefit. This incentivises the behavior of distracting, splitting up groups, and otherwise taking foes out of the fight.

    I do think it would have been less confusing if they had had some other label for the encounter difficulty XP budget (since 2 foes at once is harder than 1 at a time), and the reward XP, but trying to have this other thing that's the same number as the xp but not xp and called different might actually have been worse.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    To be fair, in my mind, I don't really consider dragonmarked as separate racial options, but like one option (dragonmark) that has (somewhat) different effect on different races.

    Also, Mark of Finding is half-orc only, except the half-orc may look indistinguishable from human.
    Negative, Ghost Rider. I just double checked my copy, and Mark of Finding has different stats for humans or half-orcs. It was for both races in 3.5e, too.
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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    In regards to online resources, I know that when I GM Pathfinder I usually use the PRD at the table because I'm unfamiliar with all the fiddly-rules (I don't even know if I am capable of memorizing the "Attack of Opportunity table", let alone all of functions and procedural uses of skills). 5e is intuitive enough that I've been able to memorize most things that commonly come up -- the only thing I've misremembered recently is that I thought heavy armor always cost movement when it only costs movement if you don't have a high enough Strength score. Though admittedly, that doesn't necessarily mean that I've memorized how far or high characters can jump without rolling with a running start versus a standing start. Granted, I've DM'd it for about 4 years, but 5e is, in addition to being intuitive, rather anti-rules-lawyery despite how it may seem here on forums. Much leeway is given to the DM.
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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Negative, Ghost Rider. I just double checked my copy, and Mark of Finding has different stats for humans or half-orcs. It was for both races in 3.5e, too.
    You have outdated copy, then. It was changed in the latest update, as noted in my patch notes.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    1) This really depends on how much exp you think the party needs. I know Adventure League's system adds up all the exp, divides the total, then splits that up among players. So say you had 3 players, they killed something worth 150 exp, they'd get 50 exp each. I find this is a pretty good method, mostly because its easier to award extra exp then it is to take away exp.


    2) I'm not sure there is an official Wealth by Level table, not that I can remember at least...


    3) Sadly WOTC got rid of most of those sites recently. This is a decent one that still has stuff, its called Giger's 5e D&D, or something like that


    4) I'd grab Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Volos Guide to Monsters, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, and look into Sword Coast Adventure's Guide. Those have extra subclasses, some extra spells, extra monsters, and even a few items.


    6) If you wanna do exploration, change it so they get advantage on the checks. I'd allow them to keep the normal movement through difficult terrain, and allow them to have advantage when moving at a fast pace. Also, make it so Goodberry consumes the material component. Otherwise the Ranger can make all exploration and survival pointless.


    7) The magic system is pretty good. The concentration requirement really helps to prevent the ridiculousness that 3.5 casters had, and really helps reign in spell casters on its own. The biggest thing the DC affects is making sure your caster's stat is high. You're good with a 16 casting stat until about level 6, then you need an 18 or better.

    That said, spells to watch out: Conjure Animals, make sure your players know how to handle groups of NPCs, remember that you have final say on what is summoned, and unless the caster is a Shepard Druid remember the summons only do non-magical damage unless otherwise specified in the creatures stat block.

    Animate Object, same concerns as above

    Simulacrum, some people try to pull off crazy stunts with this. Just throw in a few things to keep stuff sane


    8) I...use it, but I often forget to award it. I will admit, its a nice thing to give to creative players...when I remember it.


    9) At first I questioned it as well, so I can't blame your player. They won;t really see it until they play, but due to how 5e is built a +1 goes a lot further then it did in 3.5. A +1 weapon can serve you from levels 1 to 20, and +3 weapons tend to be even more amazing. Reassure your player that a 20 in a single stat is more then enough to do things, and maybe show them the stats of a few high end monsters that can cast. I am away from book, but I think even a Lich only has a 19 DC, and that's somewhat close to CR 20? I dunno...again, I'm away from the book. Best way to convince them its fine is for them to play though.


    10) First, Wands, Staffs, and other items that have a daily recharge might seem OP to some people coming from 3.5. For example, the Wand of Magic Missiles is an Uncommon Magic item, but it has 7 charges and regains 1d6+1 charges per day. This is on purpose. A single magic item is generally meant to last from the time the party found it to the end of the campaign. There are technically no magic shops in 5e like there were in 3.5, and I've found that can be a hard thing to wrap your head around. Just keep in mind, if you spot a Wand or Staff that seems op because it recharges, it's probably less OP then you think due to it having to last an entire campaign.

    Second, magic items are less frequent in 5e. Later levels will need them to get past immunities and such, but parties are not expected to have an armory of magic items like they did in 3.5. And a single +1 weapon or armor can go a lot farther in 5e then it ever did in 3.5

    Finally, sometimes its fun to use the random item tables for drops, personally I prefer to pick and choose though. It helps to avoid accidentally giving the party items that are too strong or are useless.

    EDIT: I almost forgot, multiclassing. I have personally never had an issue with it as a player or DM, as I have yet to find a build that is perfect. However, certain combos can be extremely effective like the Paladin/Sorcerer. My best suggestion for that is to take a modified page from AL's book. I use the following rule:

    Players may build their characters using the PHB+2, one book for a race and one book for their class/spells. Though if you get a scroll, you can copy it or use it, even if the spell is not from your chosen book.

    It helps limit certain combos, like a Hexblade/Paladin/Sorcerer that has Booming Blade.
    Last edited by sithlordnergal; 2019-05-15 at 03:43 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    @Nagog:
    While I have not done much PF1, I did read the book enough to see that it was like 3.x D&D, but with even more Feats available to PCs.
    D&D 3x Human Fighter = 19 feats.
    PF Human Fighter = 22!!

    While it is true that 5e does put a relative cap on Ability and Skill totals, it's main problem is that 5e focuses on DC caps for these.

    So, like when I'm playing my Rogue: I feel that there is almost no point of even having Expertise in say, Thieves Tools and Investigation.

    Since the DC doesn't (normally) get above 20, this means that anyone with proficiency in Thieves Tools can achieve the same result with a Good Enough Roll. My Rogue just needs a slightly lower Roll.

    The DC 20 means that my 17th level Thief doesn't even need to roll to open a lock or disarm a trap. (Reliable Talent 10 + 6 Proficiency + 5 Dexterity = 21)

    At which point, the DM will most likely not even bother to put in traps.
    Which then renders taking those pointless.

    The flip side of this issue is, if the DM has things that are over DC 20, it means that your stuck with the same problem as 3x/PF - where those PCs that are not built to master that Skill are locked out.
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed

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    I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

    I just hope that I can remember to actually try and use some of this stuff In Game.

    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    So use expertise to substitute for lower ability scores. Proficiency in thieves tools or stealth is plenty, because it's attached to the key score for a rogue. Put expertise into Athletics or perception or investigation or something where your ability score is much lower.
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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by Great Dragon View Post
    The flip side of this issue is, if the DM has things that are over DC 20, it means that your stuck with the same problem as 3x/PF - where those PCs that are not built to master that Skill are locked out.
    "problem"...

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by Rukelnikov View Post
    "problem"...
    That certainly is a problem, at least if you don't want to lock off huge chunks of the possible builds from interactions with most of the game.

    5e is happiest with DCs between 10 and 20, going higher only for really wacky/out-of-the-box thinking (doing highly improbable stunts). Routinely using higher DCs is a great way to make players feel incompetent, even if specialized. It also pushes people toward avoiding ability checks entirely, making spells much more salient.
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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    That certainly is a problem, at least if you don't want to lock off huge chunks of the possible builds from interactions with most of the game.

    5e is happiest with DCs between 10 and 20, going higher only for really wacky/out-of-the-box thinking (doing highly improbable stunts). Routinely using higher DCs is a great way to make players feel incompetent, even if specialized. It also pushes people toward avoiding ability checks entirely, making spells much more salient.
    It is not, I don't care for having every character be able to do everything in the game. If someone gets mad for not being able to do something outside of his/hers characters purview, then they should have played a Bard. NOT being able to do stuff makes the stuff you CAN do more relevant.

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    @PhoenixPhyre
    I was thinking about doing that, but since I'm more on the DM side, I haven't been able to try it yet.

    As DM - I tend to get quite a few players that like to see Huge Numbers, Soo.....
    My Knowledge, Understanding, and Opinion on things can be changed

    Without a Playtest Group - I'm Forever Stuck in the White Room.

    I am learning valuable things, here. So thanks, everyone!

    I just hope that I can remember to actually try and use some of this stuff In Game.

    Quote Originally Posted by karellink View Post
    2019-05-19 2:04 pm
    as a great dragon you must have the correct wisdom for these kind of shenanigans.

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    You have outdated copy, then. It was changed in the latest update, as noted in my patch notes.
    Well, that's lame. Is House Tharasshk narratively only half-orcs, too?
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    "Remember that it is both a game and a story. If the two conflict, err on the side of cool, your players will thank you for it."

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by Rukelnikov View Post
    It is not, I don't care for having every character be able to do everything in the game. If someone gets mad for not being able to do something outside of his/hers characters purview, then they should have played a Bard. NOT being able to do stuff makes the stuff you CAN do more relevant.
    Do everything? No. Attempt anything? Yes. Being locked out of most of the game at character creation because you chose Fighter (or paladin, or...anything but rogue or bard)? That's sucky. And that's what you're enforcing.

    It's that mentality that drives people to want to bypass ability checks with spells and "character-sheet buttons". It enforces thinking on-character-sheet, rather than acting like a normal person. Normal people can do lots of things that you're denying people. Specialization is for insects.
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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    1) Mileage will vary. Milestone XP (where numbers are ignored) is at least as popular as giving out actual amounts of XP. And other schemes from previous editions get tried as well, such as XP for gold.

    2) Xanathar's Guide page 135 has a rough table for magic items by tier. Probably as close as you're going to get.

    3) The two paid sites, roll20 and dndbeyond, seem very popular.

    4) It's hard to resist including Xanathar's, but anything else seems setting-specific. But... all the books have a mix of balanced an unbalanced stuff. The WOTC books have a slightly higher hit rate than random homebrew, but the distinction is... much less than it used to be.

    5) I dunno.

    6) Yeah, it's a common complaint about rangers. But certain spells, such as the ones that summon food or water (Goodberry), or give huge bonuses to stealth (Pass Without Trace), or safe places to rest for free (Tiny Hut), can interfere mightily with exploration too.

    7) A) It's easy to forget about concentration, and concentration checks, but make it a habit -- it's important.
    B) Cantrips are pretty good now. Even in combat, some casters will use them more often than actual spells.
    C) Just remember that even though they seem standardized, each spell is unique. For instance suppose a spell lasts for one round. Sounds simple, but does it last until the start or the end of your next turn? Or maybe the start or end of your target's turn? Each one is different. Some saving throws happen at the end of each turn, others at the start of each turn, or even in the middle. Some area effects apply immediately, others at the beginning of each turn, others at the end of each turn, or both, or neither.
    D) Durations are not precise. 1 hour duration does not mean exactly 60 minutes, or 3600 seconds. 1 hour is code for 'won't last past a short rest'. 8 hours is code for 'lasts all day but won't last past a long rest'. 1 minute does mean ten turns, but it seems like no battle ever lasts ten turns, so no one has ever found out a precise meaning: whether it ends at the beginning or end of your turn or beginning or end of your target's turn. Easier to treat it as code for 'ends when the encounter is over'.

    8) Many DMs forget to use inspiration, even though they intended to. It's a hard habit to get into.

    9) It's a good thing. Embrace it. In addition, it should be unusual for unoptimized characters to even reach a 20 stat before tier 3.

    10) A) The tiers are real. Things really change significantly at level 5, and again at level 11.
    B) Climbing armor class is a sensitive issue with many DMs. To the point that many DMs will refuse to give out magic armor of any sort, ever. Magic weapons and misc remain fine.
    C) Stealth is radically different, it doesn't make any attempt to be logical, only balanced. The cost of using stealth is one action, and the benefits of using stealth are similar to what you're used to, but you don't move at half speed.
    D) Opportunity attacks happen under one and only one condition, and even then might be declined, so they're relatively uncommon.
    E) You should expect to apply cover bonuses to ranged attacks often. Very often.
    F) It takes a while to realize how bad 'ready an action' is. It has so many conditions and limitations that it does very little (unless you houserule to let it do more).
    G) There are only 3 types of d20 rolls: attacks, saving throws, and ability checks. Skill checks are not a separate thing.
    H) Attack and saving throw rules are very precise about when and how often to roll, which ability to use, when proficiency applies, and what number means success. But with ability checks, anything goes. For instance, there are no rules at all about Ride checks, anyone can ride a horse. But the DM is expected to arbitrarily call for riding-related ability checks whenever he feels the need. And those checks can be anything -- Strength or Dexterity or something else, Athletics or Animal Handling or neither, DC 10 or DC 12 or DC 20, once a day or every 30 minutes or every 30 seconds. Only the two core rules really apply: use a d20, and tie it to one of the six abilities.
    I) Some characters require extra work from the DM. Especially, wizards and tomelocks require that scrolls or spellbooks can be found occasionally. And they also require enough inks (or money to buy ink) to actually make use of them. Ritual Caster feat also requires that ritual books or scrolls turn up occasionally. There are a few others as well, but not so hard-coded into the class definition: Druids need to know what animal forms they're allowed to use, or perhaps what animals are around to talk to. Some classes need more short rests than others. Rangers will suck if there are no long journeys through the wilderness. Fighters might need quite a lot of Athletics checks (climbing, swimming etc) to feel that Strength isn't a wasted stat.
    J) Charm is nerfed. The word 'friendly' applies, the word 'ally' no longer does.
    K) Invisibility, including blindness, darkness, fog, and foliage, is somewhat nerfed. Usually the only real effect is advantage or disadvantage on attacks, and very often it's both so they cancel out. Ranged attackers might actually fight BETTER while blinded (due to cancelling out their disadvantage at long range).
    L) Each character gets movement, action, and possibly bonus action on each turn. Many people treat them as sequential, because they're resolved one bit at a time, but the intention is that they all happen together, not one after the other. You don't move a little bit, then cast a spell, then move a little more: in theory, you're actually walking along *while* waving your arms to cast the spell. Your action takes six seconds, your movement takes six seconds, and your bonus action takes probably four seconds... but your whole turn still represents just six seconds. Many tables don't embrace this, but it will help if you can.
    Last edited by Ganders; 2019-05-15 at 01:14 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    As a note, wizards do just fine without finding scrolls. A minor wasted feature, but their power isn't hurt dramatically. Tomelocks still get their free cantrips and the free rituals for picking the invocation, which is a decent (if not overwhelming) boost. Same with Ritual Caster.

    Now giving them more doesn't break much either.

    5e's balance point is very broad. There are really a few big concerns:
    Police the adventuring day. An average full day (between two long rests) should include multiple potentially-resource-draining encounters, as well as the opportunity to take short rests about twice. Doing very many days with only one big fight starts tipping the balance pretty badly and can run into bad spirals.
    Use groups of enemies more than solos. Solo monsters are great as an occasional spice, as long as they have legendary actions (and possibly legendary resistances after level 9 or so). Otherwise they'll be a cakewalk. The median CR for a group of monsters runs roughly 1/2 of the average party level (assuming a number of enemies equal to or greater than the number of PCs). CR = Level is a bad way to go all around--not strong enough to pose a challenge individually or in pairs, way too strong when grouped up in larger numbers.
    Don't use high/scaling DCs for ability checks, and let lots of things just happen. Most of your DCs should be between 10 and 20. If you never use anything other than 10 (an average adventurer should be able to do it reasonably easily), 15 (an average adventurer should have a 50/50 shot) and 20 (an average adventurer should fail more often than not), you'll be fine. If it's truly impossible, just say so. If there are no meaningful or interesting consequences for failure, especially if they can retry the task, just let them succeed without a check. For example, riding a horse should normally be an auto-success. Only doing something risky or highly dangerous should require any kind of a check, and the type of check should depend on what they're doing.
    Don't mess with
    a) concentration requirements, including letting people concentrate on more than one effect.
    b) restrictions on reactions and bonus actions (ie letting people take multiple in a turn).
    c) attunement limits--being able to attune more than 3 items specifically.
    Don't let spells do extra things. A key principle is that spells do exactly what they say, nothing more, nothing less. Same (but less important) with other abilities. This is key to avoiding the caster-martial disparity.
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    Well, that's lame. Is House Tharasshk narratively only half-orcs, too?
    Propably not. Tharashk puts huge emphasis on family, and it was already noted to include full-blooded orcs too, even though they couldn't bear the mark back in 3.5. Humans would be the same... they are part of the clans even without the mark.

    Note that the page itself is contradictory: the lore blurb at the beginning still say both humans and half-orcs bear the mark, but the actual mechanics say only half-orcs have it, only that sometimes the half-orcs looks really human.

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Propably not. Tharashk puts huge emphasis on family, and it was already noted to include full-blooded orcs too, even though they couldn't bear the mark back in 3.5. Humans would be the same... they are part of the clans even without the mark.

    Note that the page itself is contradictory: the lore blurb at the beginning still say both humans and half-orcs bear the mark, but the actual mechanics say only half-orcs have it, only that sometimes the half-orcs looks really human.
    So it's more like they could be human in-game, but mechanically would be half-orcs? I guess that's okay. Even the first release WGtE gave Mark of Finding Humans Darkvision.
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    "Remember that it is both a game and a story. If the two conflict, err on the side of cool, your players will thank you for it."

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    As a note, wizards do just fine without finding scrolls. A minor wasted feature, but their power isn't hurt dramatically. Tomelocks still get their free cantrips and the free rituals for picking the invocation, which is a decent (if not overwhelming) boost. Same with Ritual Caster.
    Now giving them more doesn't break much either.
    Since Wizards get free spells every level I agree they do not need to find extra spells but I would disagree about people taking the Ritual Caster Feat. There needs to be some method of finding or buying more rituals. If I am taking this over Magic Initiate I would expect to be able to get Water Breathing and other ritual spells as the game progressed.

    The rest of what you wrote is great and good advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganders View Post
    10) A) The tiers are real. Things really change significantly at level 5, and again at level 11.
    B) Climbing armor class is a sensitive issue with many DMs. To the point that many DMs will refuse to give out magic armor of any sort, ever. Magic weapons and misc remain fine.
    I think it is Magic Shields that can be more of a problem than armour as you can not guarantee which player will use them and they can be combined with Magic Armour where as a party with two suits of Scale Mail +1 cannot get any benefit from the same character having them. One option would be to say before the campaign begins that Armour and Shield bonus do not stack that way you can put in a magic shield for the unarmored barbarian without concern the Knight in magic Plate Mail will get it as well.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by Lyracian View Post
    Since Wizards get free spells every level I agree they do not need to find extra spells but I would disagree about people taking the Ritual Caster Feat. There needs to be some method of finding or buying more rituals. If I am taking this over Magic Initiate I would expect to be able to get Water Breathing and other ritual spells as the game progressed.
    I'm much more comfortable giving lots of ritual spells out. In fact, I'm working on a way to give all the ritual spells to everyone (and removing them from the spell lists entirely).

    I think it is Magic Shields that can be more of a problem than armour as you can not guarantee which player will use them and they can be combined with Magic Armour where as a party with two suits of Scale Mail +1 cannot get any benefit from the same character having them. One option would be to say before the campaign begins that Armour and Shield bonus do not stack that way you can put in a magic shield for the unarmored barbarian without concern the Knight in magic Plate Mail will get it as well.
    Shields are the same rarity as weapons for a given enhancement bonus; armor is one step higher. So a +1 weapon is uncommon, as is a +1 shield. But a suit of leather +1 is rare. :shrug:

    I don't like +X weapons and armor (at least those that have nothing else), personally. They're totally bland and forgettable. And the game's math doesn't demand them, so I'd rather give things like flametongue or ice brand, personally.
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  20. - Top - End - #50
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Do everything? No. Attempt anything? Yes. Being locked out of most of the game at character creation because you chose Fighter (or paladin, or...anything but rogue or bard)? That's sucky. And that's what you're enforcing.

    It's that mentality that drives people to want to bypass ability checks with spells and "character-sheet buttons". It enforces thinking on-character-sheet, rather than acting like a normal person. Normal people can do lots of things that you're denying people. Specialization is for insects.
    You are not locked out of anything, you may not even have proficiency in a skill and make a DC 30 check, so... its not a problem really. It's just in my worlds, breaking manacles is not something every commoner in the world can do, as per the PHB's DC 20 Strenght.

    When everyone can do everything, no one is special.

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    I do like that Characters can attempt anything. So, I'm adjusting to 5e.

    ******
    On the subject of Bards.

    I've now had three Bards in my games.
    I have yet to feel that they are O.P.

    Out of Combat, Bards can be quite potent.
    (Especially the Half-Elf Urchin Lore Bard - with 10 skills {plus Thieves Tools} at 3rd level! Usually with Expertise in Deception and Insight)

    But, allowing them to shine once in awhile is ok; however, most Social Challenges require everyone to participate.

    In Combat, Bards tend to be more "specialized".
    Usually in Crowd Control, with Buff Party being a close second.

    Bard Subclasses add interesting Flavor:

    Valor: Help a Buddy hurt the BBEG!

    Swords: Do a (weapon) flourish for coolness!

    Whisper: Arcane Trickster Rogue -variant?

    Glamor: have not seen in play, yet.
    One if the few Bards that might actually take the Entertainer Background?

    Satire: have not seen in play, yet.

    ****”
    Now, I'm not going to be able to name every “auto-win" spell, here.

    But, as has been stated in other Threads, it's only really a "problem" when the Spell is allowed to do more than what is put in the Description.
    Because "It's Magic".

    Edit - PhoenixPhyre covered this.

    Sure, the Caster that has Spider Climb can get up the wall at normal speed, but they spent a Slot in order to match the Thief that can just "Do it". And since there's a Duration Limit, just how many walls are being climbed before the spell ends? Used In Combat can make for interesting angle shots, though.

    Same thing with Fly. Costs a slot, has a duration, and is concentration - so getting shot while in the air has a good chance of having a Bad End!!

    Knock gets some attention, but really: undoing one thing on a Door isn't a big deal.

    Ok, sure - if there is a bar on the other side of the door, use Knock to get through. But, otherwise - seriously, just let the PC with Thieves Tools take care of the lock(s).

    Charm Person has the major drawback that once the spell ends, the victim is aware of it, and Hostile towards the caster. This happens immediately if they saved!

    (Also, the spell doesn't give access to things that the "victim" would normally not do.
    You might get a better chance of being "invited" to their home, but they won't hand you the key to the front door. Or - tell you where the Hidden Safe is and/or the means to get in.)

    Edit - Ganders coved this.

    Multiclassing into Sorcerer can give Suble, which can reduce the chances of being caught in the act. But then the Bard is losing at least 2 levels of Class Abilities, and one Spell Level of Spells Known.

    *****
    For the most part, I rarely tell my Players how many Encounters there will be per Day.
    (Or how many Encounters before the BBEG)

    And I just let them use whatever they want in each Encounter, making notes if I feel needed.
    Last edited by Great Dragon; 2019-05-16 at 04:05 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #52
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I'm much more comfortable giving lots of ritual spells out. In fact, I'm working on a way to give all the ritual spells to everyone (and removing them from the spell lists entirely).
    That seems a bit of a dramatic change. There are some spells, like Tiny Hut or Goodberry, that I might want to exclude in some campaigns. Those are the sort of things to discuss with the players when you are deciding how you want the game to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Shields are the same rarity as weapons for a given enhancement bonus; armor is one step higher. So a +1 weapon is uncommon, as is a +1 shield. But a suit of leather +1 is rare. :shrug:
    It is not really about rarity though it is about which bonuses can be stacked together. If one character gets the Rings of Protection, armour and Shield they can end up with AC 25. You either need player engagement for spreading items out across the party or to limit access to items that can be stacked. Yes there are some oddities in magic items. Leather +2 is just Studded Leather +1 that weighs less. Chain shirt +1 is just Scale Mail without stealth disadvantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I don't like +X weapons and armor (at least those that have nothing else), personally. They're totally bland and forgettable. And the game's math doesn't demand them, so I'd rather give things like flametongue or ice brand, personally.
    I have been making use of the extra properties on DMG p 142-143. Having a stone axe and a fiendish black bladed sword that seems to drain the life from whoever it kills. They might just be Weapon +1 mechanically but you can make the interesting and unique without needing every sword to be special. I also let my players get Dragon Scale Mail made out of the dragon they killed which was its 'treasure' rather than any actual items being found.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Brookshw's Avatar

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Question. Xanathar's Guide to Everything. A number of people recommend it and have commented it provides a wealth of player options. As a DM, what's the attraction for me? Also, what percent of the book is geared to players, and what percent is geared to DMs? Worried that if I purchase it I'd only get 20 pages of stuff I'm actually interested in.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vedhin View Post
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by Brookshw View Post
    Question. Xanathar's Guide to Everything. A number of people recommend it and have commented it provides a wealth of player options. As a DM, what's the attraction for me? Also, what percent of the book is geared to players, and what percent is geared to DMs? Worried that if I purchase it I'd only get 20 pages of stuff I'm actually interested in.
    The first half is player stuff, mostly. Class options. The middle half is DM options, including downtime, a bunch more variants, a different (easier) way to balance encounters, common magic items (ie below Uncommon), and expanded encounter tables by environment. The last 1/3 is spells, plus some other tables for both sides. IMO it's worth it.
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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by Brookshw View Post
    Question. Xanathar's Guide to Everything. A number of people recommend it and have commented it provides a wealth of player options. As a DM, what's the attraction for me? Also, what percent of the book is geared to players, and what percent is geared to DMs? Worried that if I purchase it I'd only get 20 pages of stuff I'm actually interested in.
    As with all worldbuilding things, it very dependant on the person IMO.

    The book technically has about 70 pages geared towards DMs, but you may skim thru them and find nothing interests you, or you may think its variant rules are awesome.

    The main topics for DMs are:

    Encounter Building(mostly for random encounters)
    Traps Revisited
    Downtime Revisited
    Awarding Magic items
    Tools
    Some other stuff

  26. - Top - End - #56
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by Brookshw View Post
    Question. Xanathar's Guide to Everything. A number of people recommend it and have commented it provides a wealth of player options. As a DM, what's the attraction for me? Also, what percent of the book is geared to players, and what percent is geared to DMs? Worried that if I purchase it I'd only get 20 pages of stuff I'm actually interested in.
    I'd say most of it is geared towards DMs or Players and DMs at the same time. The only stuff that's purely player oriented are the extra subclasses and feats. Outside of that you have a bunch of spells, extra magic items, a few magic item tables that help categorize magic items, downtime and skill activities and uses, and some other stuff.

    I'd 100% recommend it. Hell, it even has a list of beasts you'd find in different environments organized by CR.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Quote Originally Posted by Brookshw View Post
    Question. Xanathar's Guide to Everything. (snip) As a DM, what's the attraction for me?
    Chapter 1, character options.
    -As a DM you may be inspired to develop cultures, organizations, or settings, depending on some of the flavoring and abilities listed for characters. Imagine a corrupt and powerful cleric ruler with an elite guard of Zealot Barbarians (or at least NPCs with the cost free raise dead feature), etc.
    -Clerics serving ideals or philosophies has a mention, some more planeswalker friendly options are present.

    Also, there is the “This Is Your Life” section starting on page 61. It has a number of tables to generate a character backstory and award some minor treasures (usually up to 50 or 70 gold, maybe a minor magic item listed later in the book, or the services of a single loyal commoner). This includes strange encounters with creatures or events that may result in minor boons or banes (a PC might roll and get a backstory thing that causes disadvantage on the next/first save against poison). As a DM, this can help generate content for you to use, or for the Players to work on connected backstories.

    Chapter 2, DM’s Tools.
    -This reprints some stuff, like falling rules, but it also expands on things. Adamantine weapons, tying knots, minor additional uses for tool kits . For example, Cooking Tools allows everyone to heal an additional +1 HP during a long rest if they eat a snack you make, which would go well on a mothering Bard with Song of Rest being used too.
    -There some expansion on caster stuff, so if you want to have Wizard duels with your party of all casters, that may be helpful. The only issue I have is the “use your reaction to identify a spell, but then be unable to Counterspell” problem.
    -There was the alternate XP stuff, making it much easier to calibrate for a solo PC game (for whatever reason), or a Party of 2-3 Players, or more than 4 too, technically. I prefer XGtE to the DMG for this, but Kobold Fight Club seems to be perfectly fine too.
    -The there is expanded random encounter stuff, but I believe online monster searches should allow you to get the same results if you don’t need a bunch of lists on hand in the same section.
    -I think the trap stuff is a good addition, but my frustration with traps is my Players have been adamantly avoiding anything that seems like a classic dungeon.
    -I think all the expansion on Downtime stuff is good.
    -There’s some revisiting of “giving magic item” that seems fine, but it is more useful if you haven’t had a chance to read through the expanded 3.5e core books (DMG2, Rules Compendium, PHB2, etc).
    -I really love a lot of the minor magic items worth 50 gold. Like the Hat that lets you cast any Wizard Cantrip once a day, if you pass the Concentration check.

    Chapter 3, and the appendixes may be worthless to you, or may be lovely.
    -The additional spell section is nice, IMO, but more so if you get no reprints.
    -Revisiting and expanding on the idea of “shared campaigns”.
    -Finally, the lists of names for various PHB races and real world names, in case you are one of those people who likes having several sets of charts to reference.

    However, if you are an experienced 3.5e DM who has been through most of the books and noticed the power creep, and how some creatures in the Monster Manual 4, or Frostburn, etc, were just things like an Orc with four levels of Adept, or a Mindflayer with five levels of Cleric, then you may not feel like XGtE is a necessary purchase for you and that homebrewing things will probably be fine. If you are not confident in your ability to homebrew, then XGtE may be a good secondary reference instead of just relying on the DMG.
    Last edited by DrKerosene; 2019-05-16 at 01:56 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Brookshw's Avatar

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    Thank you for the feedback, especially DrKerosene for the detailed breakdown.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vedhin View Post
    As always, the planes prove to be awesomer than I expected.
    Quote Originally Posted by jedipotter View Post
    Logic just does not fit in with the real world. And only the guilty throw fallacy's around.
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  29. - Top - End - #59
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    As a DM myself I would also recommend Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and Volo’s Guide to Monsters. They have some wonderfully fun monsters and good insight on how to run them.

    Which I know combined with Xanathar’s is basically “get every supplement” but I’ve gotten a ton of mileage out of them personally. Time of Foes in particular pretty well saved one of my campaigns from having dull mid-high tier battles.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Some questions from an experienced 3.5 DM, new to 5E

    I will probably repeat what most already says but here it is:

    1) Contrary to 3.5e, XP is not central to 5e. There is way to lose XP (not penalty from death, ...). Which mean you can chose whatever award system you want and it will works. We personally play without XP, and the DM gives level up to the full team when it feel right (a lot of battle since the last level up + insert well in the scenario), and use more narrative rewards when he need to reward a specific player rather than the full group.

    2) Other have answered. But I want to stress that contrary to 3.5, PCs are not entitled any wealth and/or magic item. You could make a full campaign with only common and uncommon items (not rare and legendary), and it would work without any problem. Xanathar's guide has a lot of suggested rules on how to handle PC's wealth, and how to handle "buying a magic item" (as contrary to 3.5, the list of magical item isn't public, and the PCs may have difficulty to find a specific item they want).

    3) Don't know. Unless you're French, then https://www.aidedd.org/ is reasonably good. (they are progressively translating it, but not really practical yet in english)

    4) If I had to chose one supplement to buy (outside of setting books), it would be Xanathar's book. A lot of options for players. A NPC generators which is fun enough so that I've tried to use it multiple time instead of just saying "meh" while looking at it, additional monsters, a lot of suggested rules, ...

    5) No idea

    6) The ranger class is the most failed class in 5e (maybe the only true failure of 5e). You will find a lot of peoples trying to fix it. None of them convinced me for now.

    7) Magic is one of the thing I really like in 5e. It is not perfect, but they tried to do a lot of thing I really appreciate. Concentration is the biggest change, as you pointed out. Cantrip are a significant addition too. And lastly, you might remark that the number of spell slots, especially at high level, is significantly lower. It moves the focus from "preparation" to "execution", as there is no longer any point in waiting few round of settup before attacking, there is no longer a sequence of spells "the caster always cast at the beginning of the fight", ...
    Something really important to watch for at high level is Counterspell. In short, counterspell can be OP: It allows you to counter any spell, of level equal or inferior without test (so 3 or less if cast at 3rd level), and any spell of superior with a (reasonably simple) test. So for a 3rd level spell, you can counter a Wish if you want to. However, as for RAW, you don't know yet which spell you are countering when saying "I counter-spell", but we never played with this as it is unpractical. A nerf we use is "It allows you to counter any spell of level equal or inferior with a (reasonably simple) test, and does not allow to counter spells of level superior". I'm not sure I recommend using this nerf, but you should watch out for this spell.

    In general, high level magic isn't as OP as in 3.5. The proof is that "A high level fighter is actually better than a high level caster in combat, and equivalent out of combat" is actually a position defended by multiple peoples on those forums (though the common wisdom is still that caster are slightly better than fighter at high level). The simple fact that this debate exists is for me a proof both are reasonably near to each other in efficiency.

    8) Inspiration is to be seen more as a variant than a core rule. Most peoples I've talked to play without. It works pretty well if you need a bonus but you don't know what to give.

    9) Don't meddle with those. 5e has in its core principle something which is called "bounded accuracy". Someone coming from 3.5 might find it weird that a level 20 fighter without any bonus has only a +2 to hit in addition to a level 1 fighter. But this is normal, as the armor of enemies don't increase a lot either.
    What does this mean? It means the difference between high level creatures and low level creatures is more about damages and hit points than about armor and bonus to attack.
    It means that an army of low level creatures is a relevant threat for mid level adventurers.
    Oh, and it also mean your PC are no longer pushed to "optimize" and have only one relevant ability score, as it is now reasonable to max out two abilities.

    10)
    a) Read the attack of opportunity rule. I've done my first few games without seeing that it was changed from 3.5, and that you no longer had an Aop for turning around other creatures.
    b) 5e might look a little dry when coming from 3.5. It is because a lot of technicality have been simplified (you can just look at the feat system, which is much simplier than 3.5 feats). However, you will quickly find out that there is almost no loss in strategic and technical gameplay, and that the simpler rules allow for more role-play in your games.
    c) However, while the strategic and technical gameplay is still very interesting, there is something that died in 5e: character creation. In pathfinder, I've created more characters without playing them than I've created character for playing them. Creating characters in Pathfinder was half of the fun. In comparison, 5e character creation is BORING (outside of creating a personality for the character). But since actually playing 5e feel significantly better than actually playing pathfinder, I believe character creation was sacrificed for a greater good.

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