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  1. - Top - End - #1471
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    Menteith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I couldn't push over an NFL lineman in controlled circumstances. In combat, is there a chance that other situations (footing, distractions, etc.) could cause me to be able to get past him or knock him down? Possibly.
    There's a reason that quarterbacks regularly fail contested Strength Roles against linemen, even though a quarterback certainly has a positive strength modifier. Quarterbacks very, very rarely are able to overpower people who's job it is to tackle someone because there are more things that go into making a tackle than chance and raw strength. Randomness has a place in the game, and if circumstances (footing or distractions or whatever) should impose a penalty, then put a Disadvantage on them. But I shouldn't be able to outrun Asafa Powell just because we're both in a stressful situation. I just can't do it, and it's unrealistic to think that I would actually be able to.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    If Will Wizard manages to knock down Fred Fighter, that doesn't mean (to me!) that Will Wizard is stronger. It means that Fred Fighter lost his footing, or wasn't expecting the push attempt, or underestimated Will, or was distracted, or...
    Except it's way too easy for Fred the fighter to suffer these random accidents as compared to Will Wizard. Look, if Fred's been in over a hundred duals to the death, and has fought side by side in formations for a thousand wars, then there is no reason for him to fall over when some random dude pushes him. You can say that you can't control combat to that degree, but seriously, that isn't realistic. Stronger people are stronger than other people. They generally don't fall over when a weaker person pushes on them, and certainly not to the degree that this system has it happening.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoryu View Post
    I actually see it as more of a throwback to 1e, with the good bits of the newer editions thrown in. Some of that may be wishful thinking, of course, just as some of the perception that it's based on 3.x may be wishful thinking on the part of 3.x fans :)
    Maybe it is supposed to be that. It's just strange that 4E's had such a short shelf life compared to previous editions, and I'm guessing that the highly visible population of 3.5 fans (those who've purchased Pathfinder) is something that they want back. I'm not sure of their internal design goals, of course, and to be honest, as it stands now I'm not planning on purchasing it, so you may be correct. If they want to build a game that doesn't appeal to me, then they're free to do so.
    Last edited by Menteith; 2012-06-05 at 04:02 PM.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

  2. - Top - End - #1472
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    There's a reason that quarterbacks regularly fail contested Strength Roles against linemen, even though a quarterback certainly has a positive strength modifier. Quarterbacks very, very rarely are able to overpower people who's job it is to tackle someone because there are more things that go into making a tackle than chance and raw strength.
    The rules are also designed so that quarterbacks *can be* tackled. And when quarterbacks avoid being tackled, it's often because of their defensemen harassing the tackler, or them seeing it coming and sidestepping, or something similar.

    Yes, in a straight-up test, the quarterback loses. I see the skill check as being slightly more abstract than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    Randomness has a place in the game, and if circumstances (footing or distractions or whatever) should impose a penalty, then put a Disadvantage on them. But I shouldn't be able to outrun Asafa Powell just because we're both in a stressful situation. I just can't do it, and it's unrealistic to think that I would actually be able to.
    A) It depends on how much you want to track every little thing. Randomness can account for a lot of those impacts while reducing the amount of tracking.

    B) Football's a bad example, as compared to "adventuring" it's relatively controlled - it's *designed* to remove those types of random factors. But even in that case, you don't outrun Asafa Powell - he trips, or gets knocked to the side, or pulls a muscle, or something. The result - you get further than he does - is still possible, the explanation can vary.


    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    Except it's way too easy for Fred the fighter to suffer these random accidents as compared to Will Wizard. Look, if Fred's been in over a hundred duals to the death, and has fought side by side in formations for a thousand wars, then there is no reason for him to fall over when some random dude pushes him. You can say that you can't control combat to that degree, but seriously, that isn't realistic. Stronger people are stronger than other people. They generally don't fall over when a weaker person pushes on them, and certainly not to the degree that this system has it happening.
    The degree may be excessive at higher levels, but I don't necessarily know that 5th edition doesn't contain *any* increases to skill, just that they won't be to the extent of 3.x or 4e. A 1st level fighter ain't a veteran of a thousand wars.

    Besides, ever been involved in any kind of mass combat, even at low intensity? It's pretty random. Skill becomes much less a factor than you'd think - and someone doing a suicide tackle at the fighter's legs having a 1 in 10 chance of making it? Sure, I can buy that. If someone really wants to take you down, it's pretty hard not to go down. Now, that may not be the reality you want to simulate, and that's fine too.

    BTW, with a 9 point delta, the weaker person will win about 12% of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Menteith View Post
    Maybe it is supposed to be that. It's just strange that 4E's had such a short shelf life compared to previous editions, and I'm guessing that the highly visible population of 3.5 fans (those who've purchased Pathfinder) is something that they want back. I'm not sure of their internal design goals, of course, and to be honest, as it stands now I'm not planning on purchasing it, so you may be correct. If they want to build a game that doesn't appeal to me, then they're free to do so.
    And if they want to build a game that doesn't appeal to me, they're also free to do so :)

    And we don't really know how much skills will scale yet. I'm pretty okay with the 10% chance of knocking down the fighter at first level - mostly because the extreme likelihood of failure means it probably won't be attempted, as there'd presumably be some penalty to failure (at the minimum, loss of an action). In the case where someone does that suicidal attempt to pull off the big win - hey, that's the thing that stories are made of.

    I do think that a reversion to 1e style will put off a lot of 3.x fans, who seem to like a lot more char op and a lot more "winning" in their games than 1e really delivers.

    Honestly, 1e feel with updated rules that are more consistent and less weird is *exactly* what I'd want in 5e, and they'd get me as a customer. I know that's not what everyone wants, and as I said to someone else, it's likely that at least one of us will be disappointed in this release.

  3. - Top - End - #1473
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Hell, a Fighter with 16 strength can arm wrestle a dead guy with 0 strength, and STILL loses about 20% of the time.
    Actually he can't. I don't have the rules in front of me for exact wording, but the rules basically state "you only roll dice if there is a reasonable chance of failure, or a reasonable chance of success."

    Rolling a strength check to arm wrestle a dead guy is as idiotic as saying that because you can fail a DC5 check 25% of the time, that the rules are broken because normal people will fall on their face walking down the street.

    It's also worth mentioning that looking at a level 1 fighter and a level 20 fighter as differences between people with brittle bones and NFL linebackers is the wrong way of looking at it. Your level 1 fighter and your level 20 fighter are both NFL linebackers. Making it to level 1 already means you are supposed to be better than most. So a more apt comparison is that a new recruit in the army reasonably might outshoot, out run, out tackle and otherwise show up his superiors, even if most the the time they are better than he is.

  4. - Top - End - #1474
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Enh, it is what it is. All I can say is that the system doesn't look appealing to me or my group, and it's unlikely that this system is something I'd buy. I'll refrain from making a solid judgement until we've seen more of the modules and upper class abilities, but they've not put their best foot forward for me.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

  5. - Top - End - #1475
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    Making it to level 1 already means you are supposed to be better than most.
    That highly depends on which edition you're in. It's an assumption of 4E, and mostly nonexistent in other editions. It is not yet known what assumption 5E makes.
    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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  6. - Top - End - #1476
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    Actually he can't. I don't have the rules in front of me for exact wording, but the rules basically state "you only roll dice if there is a reasonable chance of failure, or a reasonable chance of success."

    Rolling a strength check to arm wrestle a dead guy is as idiotic as saying that because you can fail a DC5 check 25% of the time, that the rules are broken because normal people will fall on their face walking down the street.

    It's also worth mentioning that looking at a level 1 fighter and a level 20 fighter as differences between people with brittle bones and NFL linebackers is the wrong way of looking at it. Your level 1 fighter and your level 20 fighter are both NFL linebackers. Making it to level 1 already means you are supposed to be better than most. So a more apt comparison is that a new recruit in the army reasonably might outshoot, out run, out tackle and otherwise show up his superiors, even if most the the time they are better than he is.
    But the comparisons being made aren't level 1 fighter vs level 20 fighter. They're level 20 fighter, with all the benefits we know of that we can expect from that, against level 1 character with a negative modifier to the roll. So yes, the comparison is 100% valid.

    As for the rules saying only to roll if you have a reasonable chance of failing, where do you draw the line as a reasonable chance? I believe the rules actually say that you can skip rolling if your attribute is 10 higher than the DC of the check. So if you have an 18 strength, you can do a DC 8 check without rolling. That is the ONLY rule for completely bypassing a check.

    Contests always happen, and can't be bypassed, because there is no set DC. The dead guy with 0 strength example is hyperbole because the dead guy actually can't move or do anything, but it does demonstrate how terrible the scaling of the RNG is.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  7. - Top - End - #1477
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Bear in mind this weirdness can apply to bosses and other important enemies as well. This isn't just saying that players always want to succeed and can't stand failure - I'm not saying that. I'm saying that it's really, really weird that a Dragon can fail a contested Strength check against a child, using the rules as written. Or that a cheetah will trip over itself or something in a Dex contested race against a turtle. Or that an aged racist leper will sometimes be more attractive than a wellspoken, kind, beautiful princess who's been training as a diplomat her entire life. It's not just about strange player interactions, but rather the incredibly strange things that these rules sanction.
    Last edited by Menteith; 2012-06-05 at 04:53 PM.
    There is the moral of all human tales;
    'Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.
    First freedom and then Glory - when that fails,
    Wealth, vice, corruption - barbarism at last.
    And History, with all her volumes vast,
    Hath but one page...

  8. - Top - End - #1478
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    That highly depends on which edition you're in. It's an assumption of 4E, and mostly nonexistent in other editions. It is not yet known what assumption 5E makes.
    Actually, it's pretty much true of all editions. Allow me to illuminate:

    Men and Magic (0e D&D) Page 16: Level 1 fighter is a "Veteran"
    Basic D&D Page 28: Level 1 fighter is a "Veteran"
    Expert Rules Page 10: Level 1 fighter is a "Veteran"
    The Rules Cyclopedia doesn't have named levels
    AD&D 1e Page 22: Level 1 fighter is a "Veteran"
    By 3e they had dropped named levels, but from page 35:
    "The questing knight, the conquering overlord, the king’s champion, the elite foot soldier, the hardened mercenary, and the bandit king—all are fighters. ", though this is also where we start to see the disparity between 10/11 as an average score for the "veteran" being labeled as average for a "commoner"

    Now you could argue that "Veteran" could technically mean "survived one battle" but that just seems silly given the common usage of the word. Over the years though, we lost named levels, and expanded low level characters (I read somewhere once that a 1st level 3e character is mathematically a 4th level 1e, and a 1st level 4e is mathematically a 6th level 1e. As a result of this, combined with remembrances of lethal low level combat, we've narrated low level 1e characters (and low level characters in general) into mere pions, fresh off the farm. They are supposed to be verterans, giving a whole different perspective to the dangers they were supposed to be facing in lethal low level play. Remember that "hit points" literally meant in the war games D&D grew out of how many hits your unit could take, and the average soldier had 1.

    They're level 20 fighter, with all the benefits we know of that we can expect from that, against level 1 character with a negative modifier to the roll. So yes, the comparison is 100% valid.
    That doesn't change the fact that a level 20 fighter and a level 1 character are both supposed to be better than average, and certainly closer in skill and ability than Joe Couchpotato and an NFL linebacker. So no, the comparison is not 100% valid.

    As for the rules saying only to roll if you have a reasonable chance of failing, where do you draw the line as a reasonable chance? I believe the rules actually say that you can skip rolling if your attribute is 10 higher than the DC of the check. So if you have an 18 strength, you can do a DC 8 check without rolling. That is the ONLY rule for completely bypassing a check.

    Contests always happen, and can't be bypassed, because there is no set DC.
    I should expect that players and DMs can agree that arm wrestling a dead man provides no reasonable expectation for failure. If you need rules to spell this out to you...

    Also, the ability threshold is 5 not 10. So your 18 STR fighter can auto succeed at anything with a 13 DC, it's also noted that this is a rule of thumb and the rule should be applied to checks for tasks that "don't usually rely on luck, such as lifting a heavy object".

    Lastly, per the rules "contests are a type of check", and the ability threshold rule is under the heading "Options for Checks" which means that they apply to contests as well. There are more to these rules than just the numbers my friend.

    I'm saying that it's really, really weird that a Dragon can fail a contested Strength check against a child, using the rules as written. Or that a cheetah will trip over itself or something in a Dex contested race against a turtle. Or that an aged racist leper will sometimes be more attractive than a wellspoken, kind, beautiful princess who's been training as a diplomat her entire life. It's not just about strange player interactions, but rather the incredibly strange things that these rules sanction.
    None of these can or will happen per the rules as written, see page 1 of the rules.

  9. - Top - End - #1479
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    4e died for me the moment I read about how at high levels, the game automatically assumed any green slime you ran into would instead be Astral Slime -- the same, except with higher DCs to make your level-scaled saves meaningless.

    This was in a preview article. Before the game was even published.
    It's more like, "Green slime is no longer a threat, because you are demigods. If you really want to challenge your players with something like green slime, here's how you would up-scale it."

    There's no restrictions against ordinary green slime, and it's not like you wouldn't see it in a mortal dungeon somewhere. It's just window dressing after you've ascended beyond mortal ken, much like orcs, guardsmen, and (by that point) ogres.

    -O

  10. - Top - End - #1480
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    I should expect that players and DMs can agree that arm wrestling a dead man provides no reasonable expectation for failure. If you need rules to spell this out to you...
    20% constitutes a "reasonable expectation for failure," and warrants a roll.

    If the rules say that, if you roll, you will lose 20% of the time to a dead guy, then those are bad rules.

    Is it reasonable for the players to override the rules in this instance? Sure. But the point is that they shouldn't have to.
    "Inveniam viam aut faciam -- I will either find a way, or I shall make one."

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  11. - Top - End - #1481
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Quote Originally Posted by 1337 b4k4 View Post
    That doesn't change the fact that a level 20 fighter and a level 1 character are both supposed to be better than average, and certainly closer in skill and ability than Joe Couchpotato and an NFL linebacker. So no, the comparison is not 100% valid.
    You: You can't compare a level 1 Fighter and level 20 fighter and complain they're not different enough, because they're both veterans
    Me: But we were comparing a level 20 Fighter with a level 0 commoner. And the results still made no ****ing sense
    You: They're both veterans you can't compare them!


    Seriously... what?


    Also I REALLY disagree with your assertion that just because a 1st level character is a veteran that there shouldn't be a big skill difference between 1st and 20th level. Unless we want to say that there's no real big difference between a Wizard at first and 20th level, after all he spent way more time training to be a wizard than he's spent actually adventuring, so they should be practically the same. Just give him more 1st and 2nd level spells per day, it'll be all right.

    I should expect that players and DMs can agree that arm wrestling a dead man provides no reasonable expectation for failure. If you need rules to spell this out to you...
    Did you miss the part where I explicitly said it was intentionally hyperbolic? Replace the dead man with a cripple with 1 strength. And while yes, logically it makes sense there is no chance of failure for the fighter, the rules indicate there is a fair chance of that cripple winning. It isn't a sure thing, so it needs to be rolled out.

    Also, the ability threshold is 5 not 10. So your 18 STR fighter can auto succeed at anything with a 13 DC, it's also noted that this is a rule of thumb and the rule should be applied to checks for tasks that "don't usually rely on luck, such as lifting a heavy object".
    My bad about the threshold. It doesn't change that no check above a DC15 will be ignorable for any PC (we've been told PCs won't get beyond 20 in their attribute), and you can't ignore contests because there is no set DC.


    Lastly, per the rules "contests are a type of check", and the ability threshold rule is under the heading "Options for Checks" which means that they apply to contests as well. There are more to these rules than just the numbers my friend.
    But there is no set DC. The whole point of the contest is that you have an opposed roll. It is impossible to say "This guy will be below my threshold" unless his bonus + 20 is less than your strength minus 5. So I guess the guy with 1 strength against the guy with 20 strength may be an auto success. (His max roll is 15, which is within your auto success thing), but anything with better than a -5 modifier you have to play out the check.

    Yes this is extremely stupid, and most DMs will completely ignore results that don't make sense, but that isn't justification for having ****ty rules that don't work in the first place.







    Anyway we should probably start a new thread....
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


  12. - Top - End - #1482
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Now your playing with Playtests!

    Guide to the Magus, the Pathfinder Gish class.

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  13. - Top - End - #1483
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