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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    4th edition tried to bring the classes more in line in terms of power and alot of people complained about that. They wanted to have the tiers still be important to the game so they could make the other party members feel unnecessary or unneeded.
    I agree with everything in your post, but like to add my view to this part. Yes, a lot of people complained about 4th ed. cause it remove the tier and prevented people from outclassing others. But just as many peoples complained cause they believe it was done in the wrong manner. I like 4th ed, it's quite fun with the right group and like the concepts of at will powers, the drop in Save or Die abilities and the fact that everyone can find something to do (especially with healers begin able to heal and still participate in combat), but I think they also went a bit overboard.

    One of the problems I had was the fact that they all share the atwill/ecounter/daily format (psionics being one of the few that diverted from it, which I think was a step in the right direction). maybe put more focus on at-will on one class with different effects, and give more powerful dailies to other. Utilities I think were a missed chance to allow more stuff for people to do both in and out of combat like skill tricks and such (very few were at will meaning not much use.

    I'll add that I have sadly not been able to get my hands on any essensials books since the only decent store to search for such items closed off a long time ago so if any of those were fixed there then disregard my complaints.
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    4th edition tried to bring the classes more in line in terms of power and alot of people complained about that. They wanted to have the tiers still be important to the game so they could make the other party members feel unnecessary or unneeded.
    The problem here is not that 4e brought the classes closer together Tier-wise. That's actually what a lot of people want out of the game, and as we've seen from all the focus on T3 classes on the forums, you can play mid-power classes and still have a lot of fun. To expand on what GRM13 said, the problem with 4e's ideas of balance is twofold. First, they brought the power level of everything down instead of bringing the power level up--in 3e terms, they made everything T4-T5 rather than T2-T3, taking the most interesting and varied classes and bringing them down to the level of the bland classes's level instead of the reverse.

    That's not to say that 4e classes are inherently bland, but most people who wanted to balance 3e classes wanted to add mythical abilities like moving rivers, swimming for days, chopping tops off mountains, and such to martial types instead of taking away the world-changing stuff from casters and sticking it in rituals where it's not generally worth the bother to use; instead of making high-level fighters actually work, they spread the mid levels up to level 30. Most people wanted high level fighters and wizards to be larger-than-life like Cú Chulainn and late-series Rand al'Thor, not marginally-more-powerful-but-still-grounded like Achilles and mid-series Harry Dresden.

    Second, all classes use the same mechanics. I'm not saying they all play the same (because they don't), but it's true that having different mechanics for different classes helps them feel more different and makes them more interesting for people who like to tinker with mechanics. 3e's T3 classes are the beguiler, dread necromancer, martial adepts, bard, binder, wildshape ranger, duskblade, factotum, and psionic warrior. Eleven classes, six or seven different resource management systems, and five or six general foci between them, yet they are all roughly balanced with one another while delivering quite different play experiences. D&D is kind of known for its subsystems as opposed to a universal system like GURPS, yet we didn't see any significant variation in the 4e power structure until psionics, and after that not again until Essentials. To someone who likes playing different classes to focus more on tactics with one class and more on strategy with another, or focus more on combat with one class and more on exploration with another, the similarity in mechanics can feel constricting.

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    The school of bringing people back from the dead: Raise dead, True rez, Rez, Reincarnate is somewhat baffling to me. The game acts like death is a pretty big deal, but once you have accces to weakest of the school's spells, death is no longer an issue. You don't have to be worried about it and so can do more dumb stuff with the hope that your party is decent enough to bring you back.
    You lose a level unless using revivify or true resurrection, which not only means you lose abilities but you become easier to kill the next time. Death isn't trivialized until you have 9th level spells, at which point accounting for true resurrection becomes an expected part of your strategy and you actually need it to survive some threats.

    The king could let himself be killed by the assassins. THen he could have one of his high level priests/clerics raise him back from the dead or use something more powerful. Death is only a concern for characters who don't have enough money or are not high enough level to able to use raise dead or similiar stuff. And the rules say nothing about whether dead characters aren't able to adventure. Isn't Ghostwalk a supplement for deceased characters to use? and isn't there are rules allowing for undead to be used as character races?

    Why should the king worry about being killed? He should only be worried old age, since he can't come back after that point. Since the DM or campaign is not very likely to reach the point where old age is his concern either, he has no worries.
    Thinaun, soul bind, and barghest's feast say hi. There are as many ways to prevent resurrection as there are ways to resurrect people in the first place. If you only have access to raise dead or resurrection, hiding or destroying the body will do it. If you have access to true resurrection, binding or destroying the soul isn't difficult at all.

    Somethings in the game simply don't make any sense at all.
    I see people say this a lot, and most of the time it's due to DMs and players not using all of the resources at their disposal and/or not understanding how things work very well. If assassins in your world don't take resurrection into account, of course assassinations won't be meaningful, but why wouldn't they? If bad guys in your world don't use the cheap and effective protections against divinations and teleportation, of course scry-and-die will be overly effective, but why wouldn't they? If royalty in your world don't use common protections against mind-control, of course you can get kings to do whatever you want with enchantment, but why wouldn't they? The game changes as you level, and it gives both the players and the DM new tools to work with to deal with those changes; you can't keep playing the same way at 15th level that you did at 5th level and expect things to remain the same--that's what level-based games do, though not always to the same degree as D&D.

    I'm not trying to be insulting by saying people don't understand what's going on very well, I'm just pointing out that a lot of people think you have to start at 1st and play to 20th every time when you should really be playing at the levels that support your desired playstyle. If you want to play swords and sorcery, play at low levels. If you want to play heroic fantasy, play at mid levels. If you want to play epic fantasy, play at high levels. If you want to tell a story where a king getting killed shakes up the balance of power in a kingdom, you can tell that story at any level, but you'll need something more substantial than "some mundane schmuck with a dagger sneaks into the king's room at night and stabs him with a dagger, and that's it" at higher levels.
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2012-05-11 at 08:17 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    4th edition tried to bring the classes more in line in terms of power and alot of people complained about that. They wanted to have the tiers still be important to the game so they could make the other party members feel unnecessary or unneeded.
    Bullfeces!

    Here's your goad result. It's on.

    We hated 4E because:

    1) The classes are samey. All powers are X dice of damage and bad guy is inconvenienced for a round or someone moves. One character does it at a range, another in melee, one character does fire damage, another does radiant damage, but it's all basically the same thing.

    2) Their response to magic being "too powerful" was to get rid of magic entirely. Magic is just another word for sword or bow, part of the sameness. A spell does X dice of damage and bad guy is inconvenienced for a round. With the exception of portable hole, bag of holding, etc., all magic items do the same thing, give +# to hit and damage and once a day do an extra few dice of damage. You are forbidden to use more than a few per day. "Magic item" is just another way of saying "daily power". Healing potions don't heal; they just give you the privilege of using up a resource one more time in an encounter. Out of healing surges? So sorry, so sad, no healing for you! Rituals are admitted purposely designed so that players don't want to use them. They nickel and dime you and are a chore to do.

    3) Skills are meaningless because the DCs are arbitrarily set based on your level instead of what the task is. Something that would be DC 20 at 1st level is suddenly DC 30 at 10th, 40 at 20th, etc., so what difference does it make?

    4) They destroyed the cosmology. Evil archons? Elven gods were human gods in disguise? It's fluff, not game mechanics, but the fluff had been perfectly fine for all the D&D versions beforehand. The Great Wheel was D&D. Eberron was purposely designed by contest for a completely different cosmology, so its differences in 3E are accepted.

    We hated 4E because we hated the rules.

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    It has been a while since i played 4e or had anything for it. So I am just going on what i remembered. As for the rez stuff, I only know a small amount of the stuff. I know the core books plus the following: Tome of Battle, Races of Wild/Destiny/Dragon/Stone, Draconomican, Dragon Magic, Complete Adventurer/Arcane/Divine/Mage/Warrior, Heroes of Battle, Frostburn, Stormwrack, Sandstorm, Equipment book, Phb 2, DMG 2. I don't know the books beyond that and have not read them enough to recall anything.

    Losing a level to come back from the dead is not really that bad. You could always die and have to come back as a lower level character when compared to the rest of party, where you are atleast 2-3 levels lower or worse. All the challenges are based for a party thats has a higher average level, so you are more likely to die. Losing a level is bad, but is it any real worse than getting hit with an energy drain or something? Atleast you are back in the game with the same character, meaning that you can play again immediately instead of having to spend the time to make up a new character which takes alot of time no matter how many times you have done so before.

    My comment about some things not making sense is due to my personal playing experience. Important NPCs like a king would be brought back by the DM unless they had a reason not to. Also, giving the players an adventure to bring the king back would be do-able. I suppose a list of things that make no sense to me would be good. Note this is all for 3.5

    My list is:

    1)Monster design-a monster is given a bunch of abilities of which few will see actual play. Monsters are designed to fit into a ratio of 4 players for one monster in equal terms. Why is it that way? Few monsters will have the defenses to avoid getting hit at all and while it might take a while for the players to take the monster out, it won't be doing enough damage in return to concern them. Unless they happen to be squishy.

    2)The Tiers, I guess. Why do wizards and other such casters need to be able to do everything else everyone else can do? Do wizards really need to be able to fight better than the fighter while already being able to manipulate and mess with reality anyway?

    3)The magic item mess. Why so many items? Most adventurers in stories rely on personal ability or skills or some kind of innate talent rather than the junk they happen to be carrying around. Items with useful powers that they couldn't do themselves is understandable, but needing items to remain able to viable at higher levels? Doesn't that end up defeating the purpose of having such a variety since most players will just get the best items they can for their character and usually don't splurge for other stuff. some items are simply better than others and so they usually are picked up as soon as possible.

    4)Vancian magic, wizards. Alot of the fluff for magic that i have read so far always mentioning about magical ability is innate or part of you. Then you have a class that treats magic like a science. Wizards use spellbooks and arcane formulas to cast spells. So basically they are math people? So, you learn magic by studying a book? How hard is it really to find that information then? IF you can gain magic by studying a book, then why are wizards so rare, and if it takes time to study then why aren't there more wizards schools or colleges in the world? How come there aren't more powerful wizards either? IF becoming a wizard is all about learning formulas and putting them in books, then shouldn't you be able to just put in a really powerful formula (like meteor swarm) and just be able to use it? What keeps wizards from doing that? It has to be more than just being difficult to read.

    5)Vancian magic, sorcerors. So sorcerors are the flipside of wizards. They get alot of spellcasting with knowing only a small number of spells. Why? because if they worked more like wizards, then wizards would suck? Why can't a sorceror know as many spells as a wizard have if it is just arcane formula in a book? Don't sorcerors have to learn the same stuff anyway? Why can't a sorceror just get a wizard's spellbook and use it? Why makes that not work? And don't give me the answer from the gamebooks because it happens to be a rather idiotic answer.

    6)Vancian magic, warmages. Warmages get to cast in a few way. They can cast any spell they know as many times as they can. They also know all spells on their list at a given level. Great, so why can't my sorceror or wizard do the same? Why does it also matter that the warmage apparently has a small spell list too? Why does that affect things, because a wizard can cast any spell they happen to know as long as they prep it or scroll it or wand it?

    7)Vancian magic, in general. Apparently a wizard forgets a spell once it gets cast. But don't wizards have a spellbook with the spell in it on themselves at all times? Why can't the wizard just open the spellbook to the spell and just cast again? What has changed from prepping the spell and casting it that makes this unable to be done? And why does a wizard have to prep a spell first? What, they can't just persue their spellbook in case they forgot something? Are the spells that complicated if they can be written in arcane formulas in a book, like how you would write out math problems? What about scrolls then, they can be cast from too. Why are the spells that way? if you need to prep it, why can't you just prep all of them? IF you are smart enough to understand the formula involved and the effort to prepare one spell, then why can't you prepare all of them? According to the books, there is nothing that says the spells are using different formula and that it comes from one system/formula. It's all basically algrebra.

    8)Non casters. Why do noncasters have to be so low powered compared to the spellcasters? From how the book treats things, it takes as just as much effort to learn how to use a weapon well as how to cast spells. But apparently the only things a fighter can learn is how to hit things with a weapon in different ways. A wizard can learn how to turn invisible, but a fighter cannot learn how use some special attack move? There are different schools of magic but apparently not different schools of fighting with weapons. Or that really different schools of monk learning. A monk can hit things with their fists or special weapons. Why couldn't a fighter learn a similiar thing for a weapon? why can't fighters learn a unique style of fighting? Wizards can specialize in a school of magic, but a fighter can't learn to specialize in doing more different things with their weapons beyond just hitting with it and a few tricks?

    So thats my list of stuff. I don't know if people have answers to these questions, but these have always bugged me about the game.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    1) The classes are samey. All powers are X dice of damage and bad guy is inconvenienced for a round or someone moves. One character does it at a range, another in melee, one character does fire damage, another does radiant damage, but it's all basically the same thing.
    My issue with this is that the classes are not the same, the mechanics used for each class were duplicated across the board, making them fucntion like they are the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    2) Their response to magic being "too powerful" was to get rid of magic entirely. Magic is just another word for sword or bow, part of the sameness. A spell does X dice of damage and bad guy is inconvenienced for a round.
    I don't think handled magic well either. But they tried to fix it instead of just leaving it as is and crazy near-broken.

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    3) Skills are meaningless because the DCs are arbitrarily set based on your level instead of what the task is. Something that would be DC 20 at 1st level is suddenly DC 30 at 10th, 40 at 20th, etc., so what difference does it make?
    Skills in 3.5 were just as meaningless. There was only one effective skill stragety to use if you wanted to be able to continue to make the DCs based on the tasks. If you didn't keep the skills maxed out, then you would fall behind in hitting the DCs that you should have been able to for the level that you were at. If you dabbled in alot of skills instead maxing out a few, you would become unable to hit DCs for tasks and so would fall behind. You suffered for dabbling in skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    4) They destroyed the cosmology. Evil archons? Elven gods were human gods in disguise? It's fluff, not game mechanics, but the fluff had been perfectly fine for all the D&D versions beforehand. The Great Wheel was D&D.
    The cosmology was bloated in 3.5 though. You had 19 planes in all, and nearly all of them were copies of each other. Most were solely differented by alignment in that one plane was LG while another was LN and alot of the monsters were copies with changes made to them. Some of the planes were rare, but then another plane existed (or get made) that duplicated it and then added some cosmatic changes. You had a plane for NGs, Ns, CGs, Special NGs, Special Ns, Special CGs. Every alignment had a plane and then each alignment had a plane. There was a plane for: Lawful, Chaotic, Neutral, Good, Evil, L Good, L Neutral, L Evil, C Good, C Neutral, C Evil, N Good, N Evil, Another kind of Good, Another kind of Evil, Another kind of Neutral, Another kind of Lawful, Another kind of Chaotic, Another kind of L Good, and so on. Then you had the 4 element planes, plus one for positive energy and negative energy, then one that was shadowy and another that ethereal. How often were the different planes visited even? Some of the planes had features that made it difficult to adventure on.

    As for deities, there were way more deities than needed. Not all the deities had spheres of interest or concerns that would mean they would have adventuring clerics or a reason to need to have adventuring clerics. Why have so many deities when few of them actually encourage or need adventuring clerics?
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Vancian magic: The wizard does not forget the spell. The spell actually takes much longer to cast. While 'preparing' the spell, you are actually casting the bulk of the spell, and 'storing' it's power within you. Until later, when you incant the last portion of the spell and 'release' it. Unfortunately, this isn't explained well in the books.

    There is nothing stopping you from leaving a spell slot empty, busting out your book, and incanting the whole spell from start to finish, given you have the time.

    As for the daily limit? Apparently it's taxing on the mind? I don't know, but someone with more knowledge than me will.

    The necessity of the spellbook? I don't know why somebody can't memorize a 1-page spell. 3.5 handled this with a feat that let you prep certain spells without a spellbook.
    Last edited by Crow; 2012-05-11 at 10:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Response to russdm, spoilered for length. I can post about this stuff all day, and often do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    Losing a level to come back from the dead is not really that bad. You could always die and have to come back as a lower level character when compared to the rest of party, where you are atleast 2-3 levels lower or worse. All the challenges are based for a party thats has a higher average level, so you are more likely to die. Losing a level is bad, but is it any real worse than getting hit with an energy drain or something? Atleast you are back in the game with the same character, meaning that you can play again immediately instead of having to spend the time to make up a new character which takes alot of time no matter how many times you have done so before.
    Yes, resurrection is generally better than making a new character, but that doesn't mean that "death is no longer an issue" as you said. Dying once and coming back with a penalty, whether it's as the same character with fewer levels or a new lower-level character, is never negligible, and by the time you can come back without that penalty you have to worry about things like your soul permanently being destroyed.

    1)Monster design-a monster is given a bunch of abilities of which few will see actual play. Monsters are designed to fit into a ratio of 4 players for one monster in equal terms. Why is it that way? Few monsters will have the defenses to avoid getting hit at all and while it might take a while for the players to take the monster out, it won't be doing enough damage in return to concern them. Unless they happen to be squishy.
    Two points:

    1) Monsters are not designed to be big bags of HP for PCs to beat on, they're designed to be a part of the world. All of those out-of-combat abilities that might rarely "see actual play" perhaps don't show up in combat but are there to provide them with utility, a place in the world, and plot relevance.

    2) 1 monster per 4 PCs is not "equal terms." If you read the description of the CR and EL system, you'll find that a single CR X monster is supposed to be an easily handled encounter for a party of 4 level X PCs: it's only supposed to consume 20% of their resources, and doesn't hold much risk of death. If you want a fight that's actually on even terms, either use 4 CR X monsters instead of 1, so the PCs have numerical parity, or use a single "boss monster" of CR X+4, because 4 CR X PCs = 2 CR X+2 PCs = 1 CR X+4 PC by the EL rules. A full 5% of the encounters a level X party faces should be EL X+5 or higher! So no, single even-CR monsters aren't on even terms with the party.

    2)The Tiers, I guess. Why do wizards and other such casters need to be able to do everything else everyone else can do? Do wizards really need to be able to fight better than the fighter while already being able to manipulate and mess with reality anyway?
    No they don't. The Tiers are an accidental side effect of the WotC devs not understanding their own game--when they tried to renovate the game's core from 2e to 3e while keeping everything else the same, they massively buffed casters and nerfed martial types unintentionally. The Tiers are merely a description of that effect.

    3)The magic item mess. Why so many items? Most adventurers in stories rely on personal ability or skills or some kind of innate talent rather than the junk they happen to be carrying around. Items with useful powers that they couldn't do themselves is understandable, but needing items to remain able to viable at higher levels? Doesn't that end up defeating the purpose of having such a variety since most players will just get the best items they can for their character and usually don't splurge for other stuff. some items are simply better than others and so they usually are picked up as soon as possible.
    Perseus used flying shoes, a magic mirror, magic armor, a magic sword, and a cap of invisibility. The Fellowship in LotR had an average of 2-3 magic items each. Heroes in myths and fiction have always relied on magical items to do their thing to one degree or another, even if it's just the skin of the Nemean lion or Prospero's staff.

    The reason D&D uses magic items is really three reasons: simplicity, pacing, and reward.

    --In AD&D, when you hit a certain level you would have accumulated lots of magic swords and armor and belts and such, and the easiest way to make them magical and differentiate between them is to make them add different plusses to different stats.

    --In 3e, when they made magic items buyable, they priced items such that you wouldn't get the same items until the appropriate levels because you couldn't afford them earlier, not realizing that people would rather save up to buy them early instead of waiting to buy them at the "right" level.

    --There's no reason you couldn't change things to use inherent bonuses, but getting shiny things is always a nice reward--what's more exciting, getting +1 Str at 4th level, or getting gauntlets of ogre power? The shift has been going towards allowing inherent bonuses as the editions have progressed, but I doubt the Big Six-style items will ever disappear entirely.

    4)Vancian magic, wizards. Alot of the fluff for magic that i have read so far always mentioning about magical ability is innate or part of you. Then you have a class that treats magic like a science. Wizards use spellbooks and arcane formulas to cast spells. So basically they are math people? So, you learn magic by studying a book? How hard is it really to find that information then? IF you can gain magic by studying a book, then why are wizards so rare, and if it takes time to study then why aren't there more wizards schools or colleges in the world? How come there aren't more powerful wizards either? IF becoming a wizard is all about learning formulas and putting them in books, then shouldn't you be able to just put in a really powerful formula (like meteor swarm) and just be able to use it? What keeps wizards from doing that? It has to be more than just being difficult to read.

    7)Vancian magic, in general. Apparently a wizard forgets a spell once it gets cast. But don't wizards have a spellbook with the spell in it on themselves at all times? Why can't the wizard just open the spellbook to the spell and just cast again? What has changed from prepping the spell and casting it that makes this unable to be done? And why does a wizard have to prep a spell first? What, they can't just persue their spellbook in case they forgot something? Are the spells that complicated if they can be written in arcane formulas in a book, like how you would write out math problems? What about scrolls then, they can be cast from too. Why are the spells that way? if you need to prep it, why can't you just prep all of them? IF you are smart enough to understand the formula involved and the effort to prepare one spell, then why can't you prepare all of them? According to the books, there is nothing that says the spells are using different formula and that it comes from one system/formula. It's all basically algrebra.
    So, this one requires some background. First of all: Did you know that D&D is post-apocalyptic? Really, it is. Ancient fallen empires with powerful artifacts, strange creatures, isolated civilizations, etc. This mostly fades into the background, of course, but one of the inspirations is Jack Vance's works, hence Vancian magic. In those books, spells are pseudo-alive intelligent constructs (sort of implied to be cybernetic things or intelligent programs or the like) that aren't memorized, but rather jammed into the mind until needed. Wizards could only prepare a certain number of spells because there were literally several other minds within theirs who didn't want to be there and were trying to influence the wizard to cast them.

    In Vance's works, wizards generally could only memorize 4-5 spells on the top end of things, but even beginning magicians could memorize the equivalent of 9th-level spells. For game balance reasons, spells were classified by power and wizards were allowed to memorize more of them. The spell formulas aren't just mathematical equations, they're living things, so even if you can read the formulas describing a meteor swarm, if your brain can't handle having something that powerful inside, you can't cast it.

    In the AD&D/3e interpretation of Vance, spells aren't alive per se, but rather you're pre-casting spells and storing those in your mind. Spells are still bundles of energy taking up space in your mind, but they're not actively trying to be cast. This is more obvious in AD&D where spells take 10-15 minutes per spell level per spell to prepare, and a 20th-level wizard can take over 2 days to prepare his entire spell allotment--a beginner just can't handle that much power and that much intense concentration.

    And who says wizards are rare? Anyone with at least 10-11 Int (the human average) can learn at least a few spells. There are plenty of wizard colleges around in most settings, from the Arcane Order to the Towers of High Sorcery. People just don't pick up wizardry because it detracts from whatever else they're doing: higher-level characters don't gain much from a handful of wizard levels most of the time, and lower-level arcane spells tend to be less useful in day-to-day life than divine spells for laborers and such, so people don't bother spending years learning to cast spells if they can already do things like unseen servant and mage hand themselves.

    5)Vancian magic, sorcerors. So sorcerors are the flipside of wizards. They get alot of spellcasting with knowing only a small number of spells. Why? because if they worked more like wizards, then wizards would suck? Why can't a sorceror know as many spells as a wizard have if it is just arcane formula in a book? Don't sorcerors have to learn the same stuff anyway? Why can't a sorceror just get a wizard's spellbook and use it? Why makes that not work? And don't give me the answer from the gamebooks because it happens to be a rather idiotic answer.
    From a mechanical standpoint, sorcerers know very few spells because the designers overly-nerfed spontaneous casting to be on the safe side. Lots of quirky things in 3e can be chalked up to designer competence or lack thereof.

    From a flavor standpoint, remember how wizards are casting long ritual spells and storing them in their mind to release them later? Yeah, sorcerers aren't doing that, they're trying to force raw magical power into a usable form without any preparation, safeguards, or theoretical knowledge. Their magic is baked into their bodies without their consent, so they can't just learn more spells. It's kind of like elemental bending from the Avatar series: punch this particular way, get fire to shoot out, and no amount of theoretical knowledge of techniques can help you "learn" how to bend water instead (the Avatar is a wizard. ).

    6)Vancian magic, warmages. Warmages get to cast in a few way. They can cast any spell they know as many times as they can. They also know all spells on their list at a given level. Great, so why can't my sorceror or wizard do the same? Why does it also matter that the warmage apparently has a small spell list too? Why does that affect things, because a wizard can cast any spell they happen to know as long as they prep it or scroll it or wand it?
    Flavor-wise, that's already explained in the books: warmages go through a special training regimen that teaches them how to cast those spells, and exactly those spells. Because their inner magical potential is being shaped in a particular way, they can handle more magical techniques than a sorcerer whose talent manifests randomly, but since they aren't trained in any magical theory they can't expand their knowledge without divine intervention.

    Mechanically, of course, it's an attempt to give new players a blaster-in-a-box; the fact that the sorcerer is still a better blaster is incidental.

    8)Non casters. Why do noncasters have to be so low powered compared to the spellcasters? From how the book treats things, it takes as just as much effort to learn how to use a weapon well as how to cast spells. But apparently the only things a fighter can learn is how to hit things with a weapon in different ways. A wizard can learn how to turn invisible, but a fighter cannot learn how use some special attack move? There are different schools of magic but apparently not different schools of fighting with weapons. Or that really different schools of monk learning. A monk can hit things with their fists or special weapons. Why couldn't a fighter learn a similiar thing for a weapon? why can't fighters learn a unique style of fighting? Wizards can specialize in a school of magic, but a fighter can't learn to specialize in doing more different things with their weapons beyond just hitting with it and a few tricks?
    Because the designers, once again, don't know how the game works. They seemed to think that 20th level is the peak of human achievement, when going by skills and HP and such that's actually closer to 5th-7th level. So they limited martial types to mundane abilities for their entire career, instead of doing what they should have and letting fighters become Beowulf at level 10ish and Cú Chulainn at 15ish. Meanwhile, magic gets a free pass because it's magic.

    So thats my list of stuff. I don't know if people have answers to these questions, but these have always bugged me about the game.
    Most of these questions have been answered before on these and other forums, since we've been answering them since before 3e came out. If you have any other questions, search around and you'll probably find what you're looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    The cosmology was bloated in 3.5 though. You had 19 planes in all, and nearly all of them were copies of each other. Most were solely differented by alignment in that one plane was LG while another was LN and alot of the monsters were copies with changes made to them. Some of the planes were rare, but then another plane existed (or get made) that duplicated it and then added some cosmatic changes. You had a plane for NGs, Ns, CGs, Special NGs, Special Ns, Special CGs. Every alignment had a plane and then each alignment had a plane. There was a plane for: Lawful, Chaotic, Neutral, Good, Evil, L Good, L Neutral, L Evil, C Good, C Neutral, C Evil, N Good, N Evil, Another kind of Good, Another kind of Evil, Another kind of Neutral, Another kind of Lawful, Another kind of Chaotic, Another kind of L Good, and so on. Then you had the 4 element planes, plus one for positive energy and negative energy, then one that was shadowy and another that ethereal. How often were the different planes visited even? Some of the planes had features that made it difficult to adventure on.
    Explaining how the planes differ, what adventure opportunities exist, etc. would take way too much space here. If you're interested, search for Planescape material or send me a PM. I've been DMing planar adventures for years in 1e, 2e, and 3e alike.

    As for deities, there were way more deities than needed. Not all the deities had spheres of interest or concerns that would mean they would have adventuring clerics or a reason to need to have adventuring clerics. Why have so many deities when few of them actually encourage or need adventuring clerics?
    Why must all clerics be adventurers? Who is to staff the temples, heal the common folk, provide for the harvest, and such if not clerics of less adventure-y gods? And any god can have adventuring clerics given the right motivations. Gods of the harvest might send their clerics out to solve famines, reestablish trade routes, and the like, while gods of community and family might have their clerics serve as negotiators, and so forth.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    My issue with this is that the classes are not the same, the mechanics used for each class were duplicated across the board, making them fucntion like they are the same.

    Snippage for brevity, and ...
    This is really not about what you don't like about 3E. I'm not going to defend it for you. The main point was your initial misrepresentation and dismissal of why people didn't like 4E. We didn't like 4E because we didn't like 4E, not to make other players feel bad about their character choices.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    A major point first before my comments: The bulk of gaming experience comes from playing in a group comprised of 3 powergamers/minmaxers, with another player besides me, with the DM being a newbie. All three of the powergamers have DMed before. That really influences my thinking about the game and how it works. I have also DMed for this group too.

    @Navar100: I understand that, but i am just pointing out how those things had applied to the previous edition before 4th. I have had someone i know, (One of the powergamers), mention about how he didn't 4e because it made the wizards less likely to have the fighters making sandwiches while the wizards handled the encounters. I frequently found stuff i liked about 4e but i prefered 3.5 because i found it way more fun, and more entertaining.

    @Pair o Dice: I had assumed that the Devs had been competent when making 3rd and 3.5 editions. I was unaware of how much incompetentancy they had been doing. As for the monsters, from my understanding a single monster with a CR equal to the party's average level was the standard set, not so much an equal fight. For Example: A minotaur is CR 5, and so should be a standard/average encounter for a party of 4 5th level characters. Also consuming 20% of the party's resources in the encounter is pretty high considering how likely that is, in my experience. Last saturday in the game i play in, we took down a wizard that was level 11 or 12 in single round of combat and we were 7th-8th level.

    My comments about the rez deal was mainly due to my experience of bringing in new characters of low levels into a much higher party, where the characters barely survive encounters. So my view on death and rezing is that it happens to be less of a hassle. Not everyone has had my experience.

    I didn't know anything about Jack Vance's books as i have never read them. I know Vancian magic solely how it works in the game. The comment about wizards being rare is drawn from the books which to seem suggest that there are not that many, and not many high level ones too. Mages end up becoming the most powerful characters in the game though, so why not make an effort for that?

    I have never had any adventures that didn't take place in the material plane so i have not experienced any of that. I also have rarely had characters that reached the levels to worry about adventuring to other planes. Most of my characters have stayed in the 1-10th level ranges, with one or two rare ones being higher than that. I have buried alot of below 10 characters before though.

    What you say about clerics is true, but you can only do so much if you are out investigating system and re-establishing trade routes. Most characters have pretty strong reasons to adventure, in my experience (possibly not yours), and so a character who would perform to just hang out around is less likely for me to make into a character to play long term with.

    I suppose my biggest desire for 5th would be that the developers end up being competent and figure out the game.
    Last edited by russdm; 2012-05-12 at 01:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    @Pair o Dice: I had assumed that the Devs had been competent when making 3rd and 3.5 editions. I was unaware of how much incompetentancy they had been doing.
    We on the forums give the WotC devs perhaps a bit more ribbing than they deserve, but it's certainly true that they exhibited a remarkable lack of knowledge of their system's functionality.

    As for the monsters, from my understanding a single monster with a CR equal to the party's average level was the standard set, not so much an equal fight. For Example: A minotaur is CR 5, and so should be a standard/average encounter for a party of 4 5th level characters. Also consuming 20% of the party's resources in the encounter is pretty high considering how likely that is, in my experience. Last saturday in the game i play in, we took down a wizard that was level 11 or 12 in single round of combat and we were 7th-8th level.
    An even-CR monster is indeed an average encounter, but average =/= equal power. Also, keep in mind that CR guidelines were determined based on an unoptimized blaster/smasher/sneaker/healer party composition played not-especially-tactically; an optimized party who knows what they're doing can take out encounters several CR above normal with equivalent effort. If your party has 3 optimizers vs. an inexperienced DM, then not only are those sorts of enemies that rely on good preparation and tactics going to be easier (e.g. that wizard, who probably wasn't played at anything close to full potential) but you'd have to shift numbers around quite a bit to figure out where the balance point lies.

    My own group plays at a higher-than-usual power level, and when I DM the kinds of challenges I tend to send against them as routine encounters would be CR+4 or so by the books with boss encounters reaching CR+10 or more; plenty of new groups will struggle with on-CR encounters until they can figure out their own capabilities, learn to work as a team, and so forth. CR is a guideline, like magic item creation, and requires a good knowledge of one's group to get right.

    My comments about the rez deal was mainly due to my experience of bringing in new characters of low levels into a much higher party, where the characters barely survive encounters. So my view on death and rezing is that it happens to be less of a hassle. Not everyone has had my experience.
    Does your group have the "bring in new characters at 1st level" rule, or bring people in around 4-5 levels lower? The DMG recommends bringing new PCs in at average party level or perhaps 1 or 2 lower due to that survivability issue.

    What you say about clerics is true, but you can only do so much if you are out investigating system and re-establishing trade routes. Most characters have pretty strong reasons to adventure, in my experience (possibly not yours), and so a character who would perform to just hang out around is less likely for me to make into a character to play long term with.
    Well, those kinds of motivations are why temples of less adventure-y gods would train clerics at all in the first place; individual clerics can have whatever motivation they want to adventure, as with any other class.

    I suppose my biggest desire for 5th would be that the developers end up being competent and figure out the game.
    Say what you will about 4e's design goals, the dev team definitely shaped up after 3.5 came out, and the 4e devs are much better about knowing what their system can do than the 3e devs were. I'm fairly sure that will continue through 5e, though the developer turnover rate does make that less than certain.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    The thing is, though, that 4E also has strong classes and weak classes, and in most 4E adventures I've played above level 8 or so, there are party members that are completely upstaged and made unnecessary by others (because the others picked a better class, or a better build, or are simply better at selecting good powers and feats).

    So it's not just about what WOTC sacrificed to achieve "game balance", but also about the game being much less balanced in practice than the marketing department would have you believe.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    I always thought Reserve feats would be better fluffed for melee. Like "You can do this really cool move once a day, but it over-exerts your muscles, causing some pain and you can't do it again until you rest.. but because you ARE trained to do this cool move, if you haven't over-exerted the muscles today, you can do this other, not as cool move, as often as you like"

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Reserve feats are 3.x right? There, melees already can do it all day.

    Unless you're talking about 4e, where they do happen to strain their muscles every time they use a power. But then, reserve feats become like their at-will power?

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    melee don't get cool powers in 3.x, excepting ToB. I think it could be cool. Would help the melee keep up with casters without depowering casters like 4th did.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    This is what im doing in my 3e rebuild:

    The reason why TOB feels so much like more casters is because martial classes lack variables:

    All a martial class can do is attack with sords or sometimes combat maneuvers. There was no way to spice it up at all.

    My suggestion is introduce more variables to martial characters.

    Blocking, countering ect. Now these variables can be tampered with allowing for more differences in martial classes.

    Also making skills matter more at high levels.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Just going to comment on the "Vancian casting makes no sense" issue her, since i personally like it and would prefer for it to be kept in 5e, at least for wizards.
    Now, Vancian definitily isn't very intuitive. It has a bunch of rules that just are, like the division into specific distinct effects over a spread of levels (compared to psionics where stuff scales up fairly smoothly when augmenting).

    The thing is, i like those oddities and clunkiness. Having it's own arbitrary rules and restrictions keeps it distinct from everything else, just as magic ought to be IMO. Mana-based systems are just "Magic Muscles", you punch reality in the face to get the effects you want and then you're too tired to punch anymore. It's a fitting mechanical model for innate powers like a sorcerer's, but wizards don't have an innate knack for magic and need to learn a bunch of obscure laws and magic and do other general arcane-hoop-jumping-hijinks to cast spells.
    For this the Vancian system is a good representation.

    As for making Vancian make sense in-setting, i like to compare it to electron shells. Every creature has some personal ambient magic surrounding it (whether it is "anchored" by the soul or the truename is hotly depated in wizarding circles). A wizard prepares spells by imprinting the patterns for his spells into the spell-shells, and cast spells by triggerin those patterns so that they react with the Weave/equilavent to produce the desired effects. A smarter/more experienced wizard uses the available shell-space more efficiently and can prepare more spells/level, and a more expirienced wizard learns to reach further out into the spell-shells where he has more space for more complex configurations (higher level spells).
    Vancian spells are so specific because they are the stable effects (initially discovered more-or-less by poke-it-with-a-stick guesswork ) that can be reproduced reliably, sort of llike command in a developer's console for reality. Now, by this model it's entirely possible to make up random patterns and hope you discover a new spell or to reach out into spell-shells beyond your skills. This is roughly equilavent of throwing random input into the console: most of the time it does nothing and occasionally will screw you over horribly. The odds of landing on something actually useful are pretty much zero, so no new mechanics are required to represent this.
    Similarly, discharged patterns can't be reused immediately because discharging them doesn't drop them to their zero-state, leaving them cluttered with the remnants of the spell. Trying to prepare spells over used ones tends to corrupt them, bringing us back to "throw random input at reality, hope it doesn't backfire".
    All of this is only necessary to know for wizards though. Spontaneous casters
    instictively know a limited number of patterns they can set up and discharge on the fly, though they still need to "clean" the spell-shells before use. Prepared divine casters connect to their source (wheter deity or cosmic principle) and request their spells, effectively outsourcing the preparation.

    Note that i'm *not* arguing that the setting smashing power of the 3.5 wizard be kept intact. 3.5 spells do too much, too quickly, too reliably and/or too cheaply. The spells are the problem, not the system they are used in.

    I'm okay with encounter and daily powers for noncasters, but the limiter must match the power. Encounter powers make sense when they are tricks relying on surprise or otherwise easy to defend against when you know it's coming. The character can keep spamming the expended manouver "in-world" as much as he wants, but doesn't get the mechanical payoff from it. His opponent sees it coming and guards against it. Renewing encounter powers represents switching things up a bit to get around the guard. Similarly, points/encounter that you can use to power abilities is fine as well, like factotum's inspiration or a theoretical frenzy-pool for barbarians. For daily abilities, i haven't yet thought of a good reason for slotted noncaster dailies, but pools still work just fine.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    The problem with balancing casters vs. noncasters is the player base has 3 conflicting expectations as to how casters and noncasters should work. (With few holding all three of these expectations at the same time, obviously.)

    1. Wizards are extremely powerful and can do world-altering, fantastic things with a simple wave of their hand.

    2. Fighters are regular, average joe humans who happen to be trained to fight. Fighters can't do anything an ordinary human couldn't do.

    3. Wizards and Fighters are balanced against each other, and both of them can contribute equally to an adventure in the same party.


    Pick any two: All three at once cannot work. You can either nerf wizards, power up fighters, or toss balance out the window. But no matter what you do, a significant chunk of the playerbase will hate you.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Back to fluff. Is fluff rules?

    Really? If they are rules, what type of rules are they? Is there different kinds of fluff?

    Genre is a type of fluff. Genre has rules. They may not be hard rules, but if you create enough things outside of those rules, then you loose the feel of genre. Many folks reject ToB exactly because it violates their genre rules.

    Setting brings other fluff rules. "Grog the fighter is the blast gladiator." Now, in 3.X, we know that's not true because any equal level cleric would stomp him. What's up with that? Well, if consider that the game's rules don't cover every possible situation, nor do they model society and economy, they can not predict all optimal behavior.

    The crunch rules are written for adventuring characters. They are not written for professional cooks. There are no cooking feats (that I know of). However, that does not mean that those things don't exist in the world. Nor do the rules cover the optimizations of economy. A cleric may be a more optimal gladiator than a fighter, but a cleric of equal level will make far more money with spell services, get more fame by performing miracles, and get more status by being a cleric. Fighter may end up making the best gladiators because spellcasters have taken up all the other avenues of advancement, and few to none are interested in risking his life for a low-price purse.

    If you want to extend crunch to the world, then everyone must stand in their own 5-foot square, unless they have a feat. However, that would be silly because the world doesn't exist in 5-foot squares. The squares are just contrivances for the game. If you insist that the fluff must match the rules, and then fail to apply the game grid to all NPCs all the time, then you are picking a choosing rules.

    Here's the practicality. It's impossible to fully model a world with RPG rules. Who wants an OED full of every fake language in the game? Fluff, then, represents a summary of those rules that are not documented. Crunch represents those rules that are of most use to playing the game.
    Last edited by Clawhound; 2012-05-12 at 08:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    My issue with this is that the classes are not the same, the mechanics used for each class were duplicated across the board, making them fucntion like they are the same.
    That was certainly the problem for me. The classes aren't strictly identical, but they are very similar, and classes within the same archtype tend to have an extremely similar feel. Also, they all use the same metasystem.

    Now, I don't know if recent expansions have changed this, but for me, coming from 3.5, I felt the loss of variety keenly.

    I don't think handled magic well either. But they tried to fix it instead of just leaving it as is and crazy near-broken.
    Eh, points for trying I guess, but a failure is a failure. I've seen many terrible house rules for magic as well, but I generally avoid the hell out of those.

    Skills in 3.5 were just as meaningless. There was only one effective skill stragety to use if you wanted to be able to continue to make the DCs based on the tasks. If you didn't keep the skills maxed out, then you would fall behind in hitting the DCs that you should have been able to for the level that you were at. If you dabbled in alot of skills instead maxing out a few, you would become unable to hit DCs for tasks and so would fall behind. You suffered for dabbling in skills.
    Not entirely true. For instance, one strategy I know of is to drop a point in the various trained only skills...this is especially common for Factotum. Additionally, you'll have oddball skills to meet prereqs, and some of the skills have logical exit points where you can stop progressing them.

    For instance, leaving balance at +19 is pretty reasonable, and leaving tumble at either +14 or +24 is also reasonable. UMD can be left at +19 if you're only interested in wands.

    The cosmology was bloated in 3.5 though. You had 19 planes in all, and nearly all of them were copies of each other.
    Somewhat subjective. Im pretty ok with having that number of planes(or more), but I wanted them to be more detailed...some, like the abyss, had their own books, while others seemed more like placeholders. It's not the number, it's the detail

    How often were the different planes visited even? Some of the planes had features that made it difficult to adventure on.
    Absolutely, some are. But, by the time you're doing plane-hopping adventuring, you should sort of expect some crazy difficulties now and again.

    As for deities, there were way more deities than needed. Not all the deities had spheres of interest or concerns that would mean they would have adventuring clerics or a reason to need to have adventuring clerics. Why have so many deities when few of them actually encourage or need adventuring clerics?
    Not everything is for adventurers. Some classes also work fantastically for an NPC, but very poorly for adventurers. This is good in moderation, as it makes the world feel more fully fleshed out, and not like an endless dungeon with orcs guarding chests around every corner.

    My current campaign setting includes Faerun, Greyhawk, Eberron, etc and custom dieties and planes. Bit o' planescape too. It's huge, and yeah, not every campaign may use every diety and every plane. Thats fine. The options are all there, though, and the interplay between them is often relevant. I have no problem with a wild number of gods.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    The thing that I noticed is:

    Less traversable Planes= More fleshed out material planes.
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    That pretty much sums up the Scowling Dragon experience.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Does your group have the "bring in new characters at 1st level" rule, or bring people in around 4-5 levels lower? The DMG recommends bringing new PCs in at average party level or perhaps 1 or 2 lower due to that survivability issue.
    I played in party before my current one that had that rule. It got really annoying but it was what happened. And i don't think they cared about teh survivability issue. The party had 8 players in it, including me, plus a DM-PC of higher level, so that might have been why.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by russdm View Post
    I played in party before my current one that had that rule. It got really annoying but it was what happened. And i don't think they cared about teh survivability issue. The party had 8 players in it, including me, plus a DM-PC of higher level, so that might have been why.
    I usually let people come in about a level below the lowest party member's xp. It's about as high as I can justify having it without making rolling a new char better than reviving the old.

    Still, I wonder if I shouldn't have it steeper. It's kind of marginal as is. The part of me that loves a simulationist world dearly loves the idea of all new chars starting at first level, and springboarding this into "you can play different chars" and "this world is totally persistent", with multiple groups playing in the same world.

    On the other hand, 3.5 is pretty harsh on groups with a large level range. You can DO it, but being the level two in a level 6 party is remarkably harsh on the mortality rate unless the DM is obviously avoiding you.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    I usually let people come in about a level below the lowest party member's xp. It's about as high as I can justify having it without making rolling a new char better than reviving the old.

    Still, I wonder if I shouldn't have it steeper. It's kind of marginal as is. The part of me that loves a simulationist world dearly loves the idea of all new chars starting at first level, and springboarding this into "you can play different chars" and "this world is totally persistent", with multiple groups playing in the same world.

    On the other hand, 3.5 is pretty harsh on groups with a large level range. You can DO it, but being the level two in a level 6 party is remarkably harsh on the mortality rate unless the DM is obviously avoiding you.
    Player's 6th level character dies. Insisting his new character be 1st level is unfair and adding insult to injury. In game his character cannot contribute equally to the others. Out of game, the player earned 6th level through his other character. He was physically at the game spending real world time and effort participating. It's fair for his new character to be 5th level since that what his character would be if raised. It also helps for players to care about their characters because character death would have a consequence. It is irrelevant his new character did not "earn" XP to be 5th level. The player did. It is players, not characters, who truly earn the XP.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    It's also very easy to fluff the idea that said character actually did get the experience for 5th level, and just did it in a different location doing a different adventure. 'Another party of adventurers' has been a staple of dungeon encounters for quite some time now.
    Last edited by Scots Dragon; 2012-05-12 at 04:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Our group grappled with character death. Eventually we came up with a thing called the "experience pool." Logic was this. The player 'earns' experience while playing. If he dies all experience from the dead character goes into the pool. Every time the player gains experience he can take 2 points out of the pool for every point he gained and add it to his characters experience. This let us start new characters at level 1 but fairly quickly catch them up to the party. In the end of the process you would have just as much XP as the other players.

    The downside of dying became. #1 the downtime spent being low level. #2 the loss of monies, accomplishments, and relationships with npcs. It was our compromise between wanting to be simulationist by starting characters at level 1, and not wanting the unfun that came from different level party members.

    Obviously our method only works for low levels. If you wanted to catch up with higher level characters you would have to turn up the gain rate significantly.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Call me a big {Scrubbed} DM then, because we don't do the ''1-below the lowest level'' thing.

    We do treasure randomly, with occasional bits where it makes sense (i.e. retrieving the Sword of Doom, I can't really have it end up being a mace because I rolled randomly). We tried the 1-below thing, but due to the random nature of loot characters would accumulate over their career, a character 1-level lower that got to cherry pick up to his WBL could potential be better off than the organically played characters.

    So we said {Scrubbed} it. You start your new character at level 1, with two add-ons:

    1. Whatever experience your deceased character would have earned for completion of the adventure he was on when he died gets put on your new character. This may get you a level or more depending where the group was when you died.

    2. If you come up with at least a 1-page in depth background and motivations for your character, you can start 1 level higher. This has to be done by the next session at the latest.

    So there you go. My draconian {Scrubbed} DM new character rules.
    Last edited by averagejoe; 2012-05-18 at 05:56 PM.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Call me a big {Scrub the post, scrub the quote} DM then, because we don't do the ''1-below the lowest level'' thing.

    We do treasure randomly, with occasional bits where it makes sense (i.e. retrieving the Sword of Doom, I can't really have it end up being a mace because I rolled randomly). We tried the 1-below thing, but due to the random nature of loot characters would accumulate over their career, a character 1-level lower that got to cherry pick up to his WBL could potential be better off than the organically played characters.

    So we said {Scrub the post, scrub the quote} it. You start your new character at level 1, with two add-ons:

    1. Whatever experience your deceased character would have earned for completion of the adventure he was on when he died gets put on your new character. This may get you a level or more depending where the group was when you died.

    2. If you come up with at least a 1-page in depth background and motivations for your character, you can start 1 level higher. This has to be done by the next session at the latest.

    So there you go. My draconian {Scrub the post, scrub the quote} DM new character rules.
    What's so special about 1st level characters that they're not getting above their WBL magic items running around with higher level characters than if the new character was only 1 level below?

    10th level party faces BBEG. BBEG casts Cloudkill. So sorry, so sad 1st level character of guy who's character died last game. Not even Cloudkill. Fireball. Flaming Sphere. Burning Hands.
    Last edited by averagejoe; 2012-05-18 at 05:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Or my 2nd level sorceror/rogue character who had a naga spit a fireball that blew up with him in the area. Lets see, if i had saved it was death, and if i had failed it was death. I still ended up dying thanks to that fireball.

    I was jumping up a few levels sure, but that really wasn't helping much.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Call me a big A-hole DM then, because we don't do the ''1-below the lowest level'' thing.
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    Default Re: Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition - Thread #3

    Quote Originally Posted by navar100 View Post
    What's so special about 1st level characters that they're not getting above their WBL magic items running around with higher level characters than if the new character was only 1 level below?
    I don't care if the lower level characters are above WBL while catching up with the party. Once they are caught up, they are right around where the rest of the party is anyways. There is no balance issue here. Yes, the lower level character is above WBL, but that is fine. Your response really looks like you didn't even read my post, so you'll excuse me if I don't bother to read your response to this one. To the second part of what I quoted above: We roll treasure randomly. This means that the characters have less control over the gear they accumulate over the course of their careers. Creating a new character at one-less-level, you get to cherry pick your equipment to fill up your WBL. Using an 8th level party for example, in almost every case, a 7th level character who can cherry pick his equipment will end up more powerful than an 8th level character with mostly random-generated loot.

    10th level party faces BBEG. BBEG casts Cloudkill. So sorry, so sad 1st level character of guy who's character died last game. Not even Cloudkill. Fireball. Flaming Sphere. Burning Hands.
    Yep, pretty much. If I did that as a DM, I wouldn't be a very good one. Usually, I have more effective options at my disposal than AoE's, and more important targets to use them on. But 1st level character does something stupid to get in harm's way? Yeah, he's still dead. But had you read my post, you would have seen that they usually aren't starting back at first level anyways, so have more options than your example.
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