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    Default D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    There's a 5th Edition of D&D coming out ("D&D Next") and there are playtests and such. So discuss the playtests (within the bounds of the NDA), what you want to see, what you don't want to see, and other aspects of game design that may be relevant.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    So, game design philosophy discussion time.

    "You're not supposed to care about what happens to first-level PCs."

    Agree, or disagree?

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    So, game design philosophy discussion time.

    "You're not supposed to care about what happens to first-level PCs."

    Agree, or disagree?
    If you are playing a character, you should care what happens to him. Otherwise, what's the point of playing him?

    How does level enter into it?
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2012-12-20 at 07:25 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    I ask the question because I was reading the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Referee's Book (essentially serving the same function as a DMG), and it had this piece of advice:

    First level characters are wonderful for the budding Referee. They are entirely disposable and quickly replaceable. A new Referee, even an experienced Referee with a group of new players or players unfamiliar to him, will have some adjusting to do. It is likely that some incorrect assumptions between players and Referee will result in character slaughter.

    If the characters are first level, this is not a problem. Nobody should ever feel guilty about killing a first level character, and nobody should ever get upset that their first level character dies. It is during this developmental time in a campaign that everything about thecampaign is established: The campaign tone, the Referee's style, the facts of the campaign world. Taking shortcuts because some people think first level characters are "lame" also shortcuts the greater rewards of the campaign. Those seeds are sewn early on, when PCs are minor, negligible parts of the world and not yet ready to be major players in it.
    My first thought when I read this passage was "Wow, I totally disagree with that gaming philosophy", but when I dug deep and asked myself why, the answers were surprising.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    "You're not supposed to care about what happens to first-level PCs."

    Agree, or disagree?
    Ideally, yes, but that's difficult to do since they don't require as much work or playtime as a higher level character. Less memories, less sentimental value.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Over on the WotC forum there is a thread about how a party of 4 level 13s can one round Asmodeus without any real optimization.

    The response from most people: This is a good thing.


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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    "You're not supposed to care about what happens to first-level PCs."

    Agree, or disagree?
    It can actually make for quite a fun game, but you have to approach it the right way.

    Recently our group has been trying out a game called Dungeon Crawl Classics, one of the new retro-D&D systems. In DCC, you start at 0-level, and you make up not one, not two, but three or four 0-level characters, and you play all of them. Whoever survives to 1st-level, becomes your PC.

    Now, this is obviously heresy to some gamers, but when our group tried it we had a lot of fun! The key is to change your mindset. Instead of writing a 4 page backstory for your 0-level character, you treat their journey from 0-level to 3rd-level as their backstory. If they live that long, they'll have an exciting and eventful origin story, which will usually end up being much more interesting than a pre-written one. If they don't live that long . . . well, easy come, easy go. Rolling up a 0-level character in DCC takes 2-3 minutes, so they're not exactly hard to replace.

    I wouldn't want to always run campaigns that way, but it's a valid playstyle and it can be quite a refreshing change from the more prep-heavy systems.
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    It can actually make for quite a fun game, but you have to approach it the right way.

    Recently our group has been trying out a game called Dungeon Crawl Classics, one of the new retro-D&D systems. In DCC, you start at 0-level, and you make up not one, not two, but three or four 0-level characters, and you play all of them. Whoever survives to 1st-level, becomes your PC.

    Now, this is obviously heresy to some gamers, but when our group tried it we had a lot of fun! The key is to change your mindset. Instead of writing a 4 page backstory for your 0-level character, you treat their journey from 0-level to 3rd-level as their backstory. If they live that long, they'll have an exciting and eventful origin story, which will usually end up being much more interesting than a pre-written one. If they don't live that long . . . well, easy come, easy go. Rolling up a 0-level character in DCC takes 2-3 minutes, so they're not exactly hard to replace.

    I wouldn't want to always run campaigns that way, but it's a valid playstyle and it can be quite a refreshing change from the more prep-heavy systems.
    This actually sounds kind of fun. I don't like the idea of playing a game of D&D where you have one character rolled up like normal and it being considered expendible. But special rules for sub-level 1 characters that are quick to generate and you're expected to play several at once? That is something I can see working and want to try.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    So, game design philosophy discussion time.

    "You're not supposed to care about what happens to first-level PCs."

    Agree, or disagree?
    Agree, kind of. "You should care about what happens to low-level PCs" is often used as code for "You shouldn't kill low-level PCs because chararcter generation takes a long time and you're taking PCs out of the action," and in that case I completely agree that one shouldn't treat low-level PCs any differently based on the length of chargen.

    Even in option-heavy 3e or 4e, it's entirely possible to create a playable first-level character with about five minutes of thought about the basic concept and mechanics and ten minutes of math and writing and then hop right back into the action. The reason that chargen usually takes longer is that you need to think about prerequisites, comb through all the options, etc. So ideally, we shouldn't care because you can make new characters quickly and easily without shooting yourself in the foot down the road, but practically speaking that's probably not going to happen for 5e.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Over on the WotC forum there is a thread about how a party of 4 level 13s can one round Asmodeus without any real optimization.

    The response from most people: This is a good thing.


    Faith in humanity is dwindling.
    Whaaat. There is so much wrong with that sentiment that even one of my trademark page-stretching digression-filled posts wouldn't be long enough to address that.

    Link, please?
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Whaaat. There is so much wrong with that sentiment that even one of my trademark page-stretching digression-filled posts wouldn't be long enough to address that.

    Link, please?
    http://community.wizards.com/go/thre...rike_Asmodeous
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    This actually sounds kind of fun. I don't like the idea of playing a game of D&D where you have one character rolled up like normal and it being considered expendible. But special rules for sub-level 1 characters that are quick to generate and you're expected to play several at once? That is something I can see working and want to try.
    We also found the starting "packages" you get as 0-level characters hilarious. Possible starting occupations include farmer (with chicken), blacksmith (with 1 ounce of mithril) and a mendicant (have no idea what that is, but they come equipped with cheese dip).
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    It can actually make for quite a fun game, but you have to approach it the right way.

    Recently our group has been trying out a game called Dungeon Crawl Classics, one of the new retro-D&D systems. In DCC, you start at 0-level, and you make up not one, not two, but three or four 0-level characters, and you play all of them. Whoever survives to 1st-level, becomes your PC.

    Now, this is obviously heresy to some gamers, but when our group tried it we had a lot of fun! The key is to change your mindset. Instead of writing a 4 page backstory for your 0-level character, you treat their journey from 0-level to 3rd-level as their backstory. If they live that long, they'll have an exciting and eventful origin story, which will usually end up being much more interesting than a pre-written one. If they don't live that long . . . well, easy come, easy go. Rolling up a 0-level character in DCC takes 2-3 minutes, so they're not exactly hard to replace.

    I wouldn't want to always run campaigns that way, but it's a valid playstyle and it can be quite a refreshing change from the more prep-heavy systems.
    How are you supposed to structure these early, 0th-level adventures?

    How long is the climb from level 0 to level 3 supposed to last?

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    mendicant (have no idea what that is, but they come equipped with cheese dip).
    It's a beggar.

    But yeah, 0-level adventuring sounds kind of FunTM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    I could conceivably enjoy what you say about 0 level adventuring, but it would be in the way I enjoy Nethack or Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, not as roleplaying.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    How are you supposed to structure these early, 0th-level adventures?

    How long is the climb from level 0 to level 3 supposed to last?
    0-level adventures are structured similarly to 1st-level adventures having multiple characters under your control goes a long way towards making up for how weak they area.

    The climb from level 0 to level 1 is very fast, but things slow down significantly after that. Level 1 is where you pick your character class and spells/specialisations, so that's where you start having to actually make build choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by RPGuru1331 View Post
    I could conceivably enjoy what you say about 0 level adventuring, but it would be in the way I enjoy Nethack or Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, not as roleplaying.
    We actually found that the players tended to roleplay more with their 0-level characters than they did for regular 3.5/PF/4e ones. I think it was the zaniness of the randomly-generated commoners combined with genuinely having no clue whether your character was going to die or not.
    Last edited by Saph; 2012-12-20 at 08:48 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    It is not a crime against humanity for 1st level characters to be "powerful". While ultimately they shouldn't be death immune neither should the DM be looking to kill them off or else he thinks he's doing it wrong. The DM should never be out to kill the PCs regardless of level. Please realize this is not the same thing as saying PCs should never die. I'm talking about the DM being out to get them.

    I thought such thinking died at the end of 2E. There were some rumblings during 3E but not so widely spread nor welcomed.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    We actually found that the players tended to roleplay more with their 0-level characters than they did for regular 3.5/PF/4e ones. I think it was the zaniness of the randomly-generated commoners combined with genuinely having no clue whether your character was going to die or not.
    I figured, from what you said, which is why I specified my reactions, not the reactions of all humanity.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    mendicant (have no idea what that is, but they come equipped with cheese dip).
    Religious beggar, a kind of monk with a vow of poverty. More to the point, it's a shout out to Italian comic Groo the Wanderer.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    So, game design philosophy discussion time.

    "You're not supposed to care about what happens to first-level PCs."

    Agree, or disagree?
    It's not as black-and-white as "care" or "not care", in my opinion. You did just spend time and imagination creating a unique character, so of course you're going to care if they die before you get to know them better. On the other hand, you don't know them that well yet, so it's not as painful as a high-level character dying.
    I think if I found myself in a game from level one in which the DM killed too many low-level PCs I'd probably start playing a large bunch of twins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    It can actually make for quite a fun game, but you have to approach it the right way.

    Recently our group has been trying out a game called Dungeon Crawl Classics, one of the new retro-D&D systems. In DCC, you start at 0-level, and you make up not one, not two, but three or four 0-level characters, and you play all of them. Whoever survives to 1st-level, becomes your PC.

    Now, this is obviously heresy to some gamers, but when our group tried it we had a lot of fun! The key is to change your mindset. Instead of writing a 4 page backstory for your 0-level character, you treat their journey from 0-level to 3rd-level as their backstory. If they live that long, they'll have an exciting and eventful origin story, which will usually end up being much more interesting than a pre-written one. If they don't live that long . . . well, easy come, easy go. Rolling up a 0-level character in DCC takes 2-3 minutes, so they're not exactly hard to replace.

    I wouldn't want to always run campaigns that way, but it's a valid playstyle and it can be quite a refreshing change from the more prep-heavy systems.
    That's an interesting idea...personally I think I'd rather go through that origin-story crawl with only one zero-level character, and probably hit level two or three before finishing it, but only because I think it would be confusing to be four people at once. I have enough trouble being one person at a time.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    "You're not supposed to care about what happens to first-level PCs."
    Depends on the game. Though generally in D&D, if you're supposed to care about the character from the start, then the campaign starts at level 5.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    according to wikipedia.
    a mendicant is basically a beggar. So yeah, fancy word for a bum.
    Last edited by TheThan; 2012-12-20 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Just took a quick look at the equipment and classes sections of the latest playtest packet. Is it just me or does the Monk seem WAY better than the Fighter? Same attack bonus, similar base damage, same number of maneuvers, a bit fewer HP, a little lower AC, but that's traded for more skills, ki powers, automatic overcoming of material-based resistance, a laundry list of useful immunities, solid movement-related class features, and some interesting utility features. So, they have basic numbers that are a bit lower, but they get TONS of additional stuff in terms of passive effects and active things to do.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    It can actually make for quite a fun game, but you have to approach it the right way.

    Recently our group has been trying out a game called Dungeon Crawl Classics, one of the new retro-D&D systems. In DCC, you start at 0-level, and you make up not one, not two, but three or four 0-level characters, and you play all of them. Whoever survives to 1st-level, becomes your PC.

    Now, this is obviously heresy to some gamers, but when our group tried it we had a lot of fun! The key is to change your mindset. Instead of writing a 4 page backstory for your 0-level character, you treat their journey from 0-level to 3rd-level as their backstory. If they live that long, they'll have an exciting and eventful origin story, which will usually end up being much more interesting than a pre-written one. If they don't live that long . . . well, easy come, easy go. Rolling up a 0-level character in DCC takes 2-3 minutes, so they're not exactly hard to replace.

    I wouldn't want to always run campaigns that way, but it's a valid playstyle and it can be quite a refreshing change from the more prep-heavy systems.
    I'd be the unlucky bloke who somehow managed to get all four of my starter characters killed off...as well as a good number of replacements. So I'd end up playing a brand new 3rd level character with no in-game "background" while everyone else had already established their story.

    IMO, high-lethality games work best as one-shots. But, then, DarkSun is one of my favorite campaign worlds. A guy's gotta have a little contradiction.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziegander View Post
    Just took a quick look at the equipment and classes sections of the latest playtest packet. Is it just me or does the Monk seem WAY better than the Fighter? Same attack bonus, similar base damage, same number of maneuvers, a bit fewer HP, a little lower AC, but that's traded for more skills, ki powers, automatic overcoming of material-based resistance, a laundry list of useful immunities, solid movement-related class features, and some interesting utility features. So, they have basic numbers that are a bit lower, but they get TONS of additional stuff in terms of passive effects and active things to do.
    Monks actually have a higher potential AC than Fighters. But I'm pretty sure Monks have fewer maneuvers known (if I remember right it was 3 vs 5), which they make up for with their Ki abilities.

    I agree the Fighter is lackluster in terms of options available, but really so is the Monk. I think where the Wizard is right now (1 spell known/prepared each level) is the absolute minimum I would accept in terms of options for any class.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    So, game design philosophy discussion time.

    "You're not supposed to care about what happens to first-level PCs."

    Agree, or disagree?
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    It can actually make for quite a fun game, but you have to approach it the right way.

    Recently our group has been trying out a game called Dungeon Crawl Classics, one of the new retro-D&D systems. In DCC, you start at 0-level, and you make up not one, not two, but three or four 0-level characters, and you play all of them. Whoever survives to 1st-level, becomes your PC.

    Now, this is obviously heresy to some gamers, but when our group tried it we had a lot of fun! The key is to change your mindset. Instead of writing a 4 page backstory for your 0-level character, you treat their journey from 0-level to 3rd-level as their backstory. If they live that long, they'll have an exciting and eventful origin story, which will usually end up being much more interesting than a pre-written one. If they don't live that long . . . well, easy come, easy go. Rolling up a 0-level character in DCC takes 2-3 minutes, so they're not exactly hard to replace.

    I wouldn't want to always run campaigns that way, but it's a valid playstyle and it can be quite a refreshing change from the more prep-heavy systems.
    Saph: I must congratulate you on reading my mind, expressing my opinions in clear and concise form, and backing them up with actual play experience that I haven't even had anything similar to (at least recently).

    In other words: I have no problem with Craft(Cheese)'s statement as a viable structure for an RPG. But I'm ambivalent about whether it should be the playstyle that D&D embraces.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Over on the WotC forum there is a thread about how a party of 4 level 13s can one round Asmodeus without any real optimization.

    The response from most people: This is a good thing.

    Faith in humanity is dwindling.
    I have nothing to say to that except *facepalm*
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Alright, I'll bite. Where are Asmodeus's stats in the playtest data? I can't find him anywhere.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    Alright, I'll bite. Where are Asmodeus's stats in the playtest data? I can't find him anywhere.
    Page 22 of the Bestiary. Listed as Devil: Asmodeus.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    I think that one of the posters over there raises a good point, though I wouldn't call the DM "stupid" over it:

    If your DM is stupid enough to allow you to simply find Asmodeus, unprepared, flat-footed, in a room, with zero prepared defenses or minions, and having allowed you to reach said room immediately following an 8 hour rest, with no other demanding battles between you and the Arch fiend...

    ...then yes, you can one shot Asmodeus.
    If a party of level 13 characters can somehow sneak into his presence and arrange for a surprise round where all of them attack at once before he can react, well, that's amazing enough to give them the kill, I think.

    Also, yeah, every roll has to go well for such an alpha strike to work, and it ignores passive abilities that Asmodeus has.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Page 22 of the Bestiary. Listed as Devil: Asmodeus.
    Well that's... stupid. That's how I'd expect to see generic types listed but not a unique creature. Thanks though.

    And my opinion is... well, monster hit points numbers are waaaaaaay too low across the board. It's like they haven't taken martial damage dice (or the flat bonus) into account at all. In fact, monster hit point values don't seem to have changed much at all from the previous playtest where DPR was much lower.

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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Durazno View Post
    I think that one of the posters over there raises a good point, though I wouldn't call the DM "stupid" over it:



    If a party of level 13 characters can somehow sneak into his presence and arrange for a surprise round where all of them attack at once before he can react, well, that's amazing enough to give them the kill, I think.

    Also, yeah, every roll has to go well for such an alpha strike to work, and it ignores passive abilities that Asmodeus has.
    Well, it depends. Did the party get there by intelligent action of their own, or did the DM just say, "You randomly wander into Asmodeus's room. Surprise round, then initiative."
    Jude P.

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