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  1. - Top - End - #841
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by kerplunksploosh View Post
    Again. Would it be so much to ask for rations, light, and gritty survival stuff to be relevant for levels 1-5? It is something that DOES appeal to me.
    Oh, I completely agree. The system needs decent rules for this; a DM can always opt to ignore them or to give players an infinite light source or something. It doesn't help anyone to write a rules that's technically about starvation but that ensures it will never happen anyway.

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  2. - Top - End - #842
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Oh, I completely agree. The system needs decent rules for this; a DM can always opt to ignore them or to give players an infinite light source or something. It doesn't help anyone to write a rules that's technically about starvation but that ensures it will never happen anyway.
    That's one thing I'd do if I ever actually buckled down and wrote my own system (having done a lot of behind the scenes work, I could probably do a bit of it on my own). I'd have the complex rules for leveling up, sleeping, hunger, thirst & hunting the way I want them; then build a bunch of simplified rules as variants for people that don't want those systems but still allow them to benefit from them.

  3. - Top - End - #843
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Such rules wouldn't even have to be complex - if you miss a day's rations, you don't get any healing/spells for that day, and lose 1-2 HP for every day after that. Once a party receives access to Create Food and Water, such rules can be largely forgotten, even if they're away from civilization. I just want the option to be present. And, in my personal opinion, this transition from desperate explorers in the wild to Big Damn Heroes makes character growth feel more pronounced.

    I think that it also partially resolves the magical fighter problem. It's reasonable to be inherently nonmagical up to a certain level, after which you become supernatural. The threshold for that is open to debate, but in a game that seems to now go up to level 30, 10 might be early enough. I guess I've shared my 2 cents, back to lurking again :)

  4. - Top - End - #844
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    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    It averages out at 4 encounters because you're expected to face those around half the time, but the system doesn't assume 4 encounters/day at all. If WotC tried to balance some late 3e stuff and 4e around encounters because they thought 3e assumed that, then they misunderstood their own system (not surprising, since the guys who wrote 3.0 were long gone when 4e rolled around).
    The problem here is that they base resources around 4 "normal" (on-CR) encounters, so if you aren't going to time-press the party, you end up with one of two options:

    1) Give the party a CR+4 encounter and risk killing them. CR+4 encounters are very rocket-taggy
    2) Have them blow through the encounter by overusing resources that are geared toward a CR+4/4xCR encounter(s).

    Here's an example. Let's assume a typical encounter (CR even) should take 30 spell points to get through. D&D 3.5's approach is to give you 150 spell points a day, and just let you go at it.

    The problem is, your average caster will come along, spend 75 spell points to blow through the encounter, and then call it a day.

    I'd like to see something along the lines of them giving you 50 total spell points, and giving you back 20 at the end of the encounter. Your 4 CR appropriate encounters would have you fighting at 50/40/30/20. You have a model for fatigue/power loss as the day goes on, without having the problem of the caster just blowing up the encounter.

    There's still some incentive for a character to take a nap after the 2nd or 3rd encounter, but that incentive has been drastically reduced.

  5. - Top - End - #845
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Synovia View Post
    Here's an example. Let's assume a typical encounter (CR even) should take 30 spell points to get through. D&D 3.5's approach is to give you 150 spell points a day, and just let you go at it.

    The problem is, your average caster will come along, spend 75 spell points to blow through the encounter, and then call it a day.
    Do they, though?

    When I'm playing a caster, I don't. The people in my main group don't. The ones in my other group typically don't either. Neither do the other various groups I've played with over the years.

    I'm sure some groups rest after every fight (law of averages if nothing else), but I'm not sure how common it really is.
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  6. - Top - End - #846
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Synovia View Post
    The problem here is that they base resources around 4 "normal" (on-CR) encounters, so if you aren't going to time-press the party, you end up with one of two options:

    1) Give the party a CR+4 encounter and risk killing them. CR+4 encounters are very rocket-taggy
    2) Have them blow through the encounter by overusing resources that are geared toward a CR+4/4xCR encounter(s).
    These assumptions depend on what you mean by "risk killing them" and "overusing resources." In my games, at least, if the party is expecting to go up against particularly difficult encounters, they don't just walk into the encounter and start the battle music then. They use divinations and other information-gathering resources beforehand, they prepare the battlefield if the encounter is coming to them, they buff up before the encounter, and they heal up and repair after the encounter. CR+4 encounters aren't a TPK risk if the party uses their resources well, and the fact that you spend half your daily spells on a single encounter doesn't necessarily mean you nova'd or overkilled it, it could mean that you planned for it well and were rewarded for your caution.

    I'd like to see something along the lines of them giving you 50 total spell points, and giving you back 20 at the end of the encounter. Your 4 CR appropriate encounters would have you fighting at 50/40/30/20. You have a model for fatigue/power loss as the day goes on, without having the problem of the caster just blowing up the encounter.
    How does this model handle days with many low-CR encounters? If you're facing 8 weaker-than average encounters that only require the expenditure of 20 "spell points" each instead of your expected 30, you end up with resources of 50/50/50/50/50/50/50/50 for those encounters, instead of the resource attrition expected by that series of encounters.

    How does this model handle out-of-encounter resource expenditures? Do you count constructing ships and outposts for allied armies as an encounter, and if so how many encounters is one full day of construction? How about teleporting back and forth between several cities to ferry refugees around? Or trekking through the desert for several hours searching for a hidden city? All of those are things that my party did in the last campaign I played, and all of those "downtime" days benefited from the casters' ability to prepare their resources all at once and ration them as they saw fit, instead of having to space them far apart like a ritual system would require or use them in short bursts like an encounter-based system would require.

    How does this model handle resources too "large" to be rationed out per-encounter? Plot-manipulation abilities like long-range teleportation and such would probably be higher than the "50 spell point" limit you want to put on resources per encounter, so...would you be able to "save up" points (thereby negating the benefit of said proposal)? Use a separate resource for those (thereby introducing the equivalent of daily spells anyway)? Something else?

    If you're going to try to balance things around encounters, you cannot assume that encounters are the only things happening in an adventure, and you cannot simply remove anything that doesn't fit in the per-encounter bubble. (Well, you can, but the outcry will be massive as we saw with 4e.)
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  7. - Top - End - #847
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    I recommend doing as Fate does, and arrange things in more narrative terms-- scene instead of encounter, for example.

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  8. - Top - End - #848
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by kerplunksploosh View Post
    Again. Would it be so much to ask for rations, light, and gritty survival stuff to be relevant for levels 1-5? It is something that DOES appeal to me.
    As optional rules, why not? You basically need a long sidebar saying "Here's how much a human eats. Here's how much they can carry. Oh, and shoot the Sunrod and Everburning Torch while you are at it." The problem is that gritty survival stuff is great for a sandbox campaign but if you're running anything adventure-pathy it probably isn't what you want, and if you're running anything scene-framed it isn't what you want either.

    Honestly, it's one of the things I was hoping for with the supposed modular design of D&D Next. Gritty survival even at low level isn't to everyone's taste (and if I want more of it I have WFRP 1.5E).

    Certain mechanics can discourage that, sure, but there's no cure for bad DMing... is there? I've actually put a lot of thought into role-playing aids for players, but I can't think of anything for DMs.
    Where to start? And how much do you know about RPGs other than D&D? Because there's a lot of very interesting stuff that's come out recently.

    Because there's very little cure for bad DMing, but there is a whole lot you can do to prevent it. In my experience there are three major causes for genuinely bad (as opposed to uninspired) DMing:
    • DM Power Trip
    • Easier to say No than Yes
    • Learning the Wrong Lessons


    DM Power Trip is probably the most obvious here. Subcategories of this include the DMPC Fan (and the DM's Girlfriend), the Fetishist, and the Wannabe Author. Honestly this is the category that can be written off - the DM is there with players to feed their ego (or kinks) and should not be left in charge of a game. Most of the truly spectacular bad DM stories come from this category. The rules and the game can't help in these cases - all that can is sitting down and talking to the DM as an adult or if that fails killing them and taking their stuff making sure they don't DM for you again.

    Easier to say no than yes. This is a source of a lot of mundane rather than spectacular bad DMing. The PCs come up with something interesting and offbeat and the DM doesn't know how to handle it. So they say "You can't" or otherwise make it almost impossible in order to keep the game running and the PCs on track. And there are cures for this - lots of them. Rules heavy games that provide rules for most occasions are meant to enable saying yes - and so do simple and comprehensive rulessets like FATE (SRD of previous version). Balance is another tool for saying yes interestingly - it lets the DM pull a fight together that will be fun and challenging in a matter of seconds (literally). Generic scene framing mechanics like Skill Challenges (the guidance is admittedly pretty awful) allow a DM to handle all but the most off the wall PC plans. Pacing mechanics like the Jenga Tower of Dread or the Doom Pool of Marvel Heroic Roleplaying/Trouble Pool of Smallville (16 hours left on the Hacker's Guide Kickstarter) help keep the DM on track and the game feeling right even when the DM doesn't have a clue what's about to happen.

    Learning the wrong lessons. First you don't DM all games the same way. If you were to learn to DM Paranoia and then try to transfer the same tools cold into D&D you'd end up in a hell of a mess. That's an extreme example, but there are plenty of others. And some games simply teach you badly. A textbook example here would be Vampire: The Masquerade. Firstly there's the Camarilla which means that PCs are seldom the important people, and are being watched constantly to avoid breaking the Masquerade. Secondly the game is drowning in metaplot which, in English, means the NPCs do the interesting things while the PCs watch. If the guidance tells you to do things like that of course you're going to end up in a tangle.

    Finally there is one thing you can do to help even a new group - and it's something the Red Box with Keep on the Borderlands got absolutely right (and 4e got spectacularly wrong). A superb introductory adventure where for a new DM to follow what is done in the adventure will teach them good habits by example.

  9. - Top - End - #849
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    NecromancerGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post

    How does this model handle days with many low-CR encounters? If you're facing 8 weaker-than average encounters that only require the expenditure of 20 "spell points" each instead of your expected 30, you end up with resources of 50/50/50/50/50/50/50/50 for those encounters, instead of the resource attrition expected by that series of encounters.
    In this case, "20 spell point encounters" would be trivial enough that the party is using little to no resources. The sort of an encounter where in 4E, the party would just hack them down with at-wills.

    The numbers are basically back of the hand, so they'd have to be tweaked a bit.

    How does this model handle out-of-encounter resource expenditures?
    It doesn't. Out of combat is fundamentally different than in combat. If the rogue isn't using resource picking a lock, or the barbarian isn't using resources moving a big rock, or the cleric isn't using resources blessing people, I don't see any reason the mage should be using resources doin normal every day magey stuff.

    Do you count constructing ships and outposts for allied armies as an encounter, and if so how many encounters is one full day of construction?
    How about teleporting back and forth between several cities to ferry refugees around? Or trekking through the desert for several hours searching for a hidden city? All of those are things that my party did in the last campaign I played, and all of those "downtime" days benefited from the casters' ability to prepare their resources all at once and ration them as they saw fit, instead of having to space them far apart like a ritual system would require or use them in short bursts like an encounter-based system would require.
    Ship building or constructing outposts isn't really a encounter. As far as teleporting back and forth between cities, I'm not generally a fan of that sort of utility. I'd like to get away from the Wizard who can do everything. I think you could deal with a batch of teleports as an encounter though, requiring a gap before the mage could do it again.

    Generally, I don't see a whole lot of point in keeping track of it too closely outside of combat though. How many times the mage can teleport isn't really relevant unless the mage is attacked while hes teleporting/right after teleporting.

    As far as the desert exploration, I'd like to get away from that being the mage's job. Thats something that should fall under Survival or something along those lines.

    I'd like to get away from spells duplicating skills.

    How does this model handle resources too "large" to be rationed out per-encounter? Plot-manipulation abilities like long-range teleportation and such would probably be higher than the "50 spell point" limit you want to put on resources per encounter, so...would you be able to "save up" points (thereby negating the benefit of said proposal)? Use a separate resource for those (thereby introducing the equivalent of daily spells anyway)? Something else?
    Plot events should be treated as plot events. Spells that cost more than 50 points wouldn't be useable in combat, and would basically force you to start the next encounter (unless given a chance to rest) at whatever the minimum is (20 in the original example).


    If you're going to try to balance things around encounters, you cannot assume that encounters are the only things happening in an adventure, and you cannot simply remove anything that doesn't fit in the per-encounter bubble. (Well, you can, but the outcry will be massive as we saw with 4e.)
    We can remove them from combat, and still make them relevant.

    For example, we could say that for the barbarian, pushing a giant rock away from a cage entrance is going to cost him 10 points. If the trolls come out of the cave and attack while hes pushing the rock, he starts the encounter down 10 points, but gets them back at the end of the encounter. IE, hes momentarily fatigued.
    Last edited by Synovia; 2013-02-08 at 08:23 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #850
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    As optional rules, why not? You basically need a long sidebar saying "Here's how much a human eats. Here's how much they can carry. Oh, and shoot the Sunrod and Everburning Torch while you are at it." The problem is that gritty survival stuff is great for a sandbox campaign but if you're running anything adventure-pathy it probably isn't what you want, and if you're running anything scene-framed it isn't what you want either.

    Honestly, it's one of the things I was hoping for with the supposed modular design of D&D Next. Gritty survival even at low level isn't to everyone's taste (and if I want more of it I have WFRP 1.5E).
    Yep - and what's more, "refresh rates" should be another fairly modular piece, with extensive notes about how to tweak challenges in such a setup.

    Re: grittiness, I agree I'd rather play WFRP for my gritty combat, but I know it's a desired playstyle among a large segment of D&D players. I don't care if it's the default or if it's a module. It'd be awesome if I could switch back and forth depending on the rules of the campaign.

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  11. - Top - End - #851
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Synovia View Post
    The problem is, your average caster will come along, spend 75 spell points to blow through the encounter, and then call it a day.
    Since when? A 7th level specialist wizard with an Int of 18 (on the low end of expected) can cast:
    3 4th level spells, 4 3rd, 5 2nd, and 6 1st - or a total of 18 spells not counting cantrips.

    Assume a combat lasts four to five rounds. The wizard shouldn't be wasting limited resources in the mopping up phase. It's just wasteful. Which means that they can't really cast more than three spells during the encounter. If a 7th level or higher wizard is casting half their loadout in a single encounter it means either the encounter is ridiculously powerful and long running with multiple waves (nothing against capstone encounters like this - merely they are atypical) or the caster is being needlessly wasteful.

    Now first to fourth level wizards doing this is wasteful but not that unexpected (even if the fourth level wizard should have nine spells prepared). But beyond that? No.

  12. - Top - End - #852
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    The wizard shouldn't be wasting limited resources in the mopping up phase. It's just wasteful. Which means that they can't really cast more than three spells during the encounter. If a 7th level or higher wizard is casting half their loadout in a single encounter it means either the encounter is ridiculously powerful and long running with multiple waves (nothing against capstone encounters like this - merely they are atypical) or the caster is being needlessly wasteful.

    Now first to fourth level wizards doing this is wasteful but not that unexpected (even if the fourth level wizard should have nine spells prepared). But beyond that? No.
    You say "wasteful," I saw "wanting to do something every turn." We play the game to play-- saying "OK, I've done all I need to this encounter, you guys deal with the rest" is boring.

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  13. - Top - End - #853
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    You say "wasteful," I saw "wanting to do something every turn." We play the game to play-- saying "OK, I've done all I need to this encounter, you guys deal with the rest" is boring.
    Honestly, the mopping up phase bores me at the best of times. And the wizard archetype I grew up with was the person who could use magic ... but didn't. Much more lore, knowledge, and guile, and magic was rare and precious. (Cue the "What level is Gandalf?" argument). Besides, to me playing if I chose a class centred round limited resources involves making the best use of those resorces.

    And yes, I know it takes all sorts. And think that an AEDU wizard could happily be back-ported from 4e (as could an Essentials Knight, an Essentials Thief, a Cavalier, and an AEDU monk without any seeming out of place).

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

    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    Honestly, the mopping up phase bores me at the best of times. And the wizard archetype I grew up with was the person who could use magic ... but didn't. Much more lore, knowledge, and guile, and magic was rare and precious. (Cue the "What level is Gandalf?" argument). Besides, to me playing if I chose a class centred round limited resources involves making the best use of those resorces.
    I don't mind if the archetype is about conserving his power; but I do see it as a problem if he can't do anything without it. Swinging a sword, Gandalf-style, using some kind of Dark Knowledge-esque feature to help your allies... anything but just standing there and doing nothing.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I don't mind if the archetype is about conserving his power; but I do see it as a problem if he can't do anything without it. Swinging a sword, Gandalf-style, using some kind of Dark Knowledge-esque feature to help your allies... anything but just standing there and doing nothing.
    Cantrips scaling with level are a pretty good start as a way to participate without blowing your load, as it were. I feel like 5e actually has the wizard down pretty well, none of the spells are horribly overpowered, the cantrips work as a conservative measure that actually is worth doing, and there's enough spell variety to make what spells you learn and prepare actually really interesting. Even the overpowered save vs suck, or instadeath spells are well done in that they require the wizard to concentrate, or that the target be already weakened.

    That said, every other class (except monk, which looks like a cluster**** to me), needs more options and dear god give them some choices after level 9. You get a 1/encounter ability as a fighter that gives you a double action. That's it. And you can use it more times per day. That is the only advancement after level 10, and it's so flat and uninteresting that I can't believe it could ever really be considered useful or a good idea.

    The wizard is the only class that is well done, and the only options it gets are 4 feats and spells. Just so happens the spells are useful and interesting, while maneuvers and feats are complete ****, as are most of the class abilities. Round to round resource conservation of MDD is awfully done, maneuvers do awesome things like take away 5' of movement from your target, let you charge, or make up for the fact that a 5' step is no longer in game.

    That said, I still think they have balance better than it ever was in 3.x.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob.Tyr View Post
    That said, I still think they have balance better than it ever was in 3.x.
    You can find things lying in the mud at the bottom of ponds with better balance than 3.x.

    I enjoy the system, mind you, and my biggest grumbles really aren't rooted in the class-to-class balance, but dear god it's a terribly balanced game.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    You can find things lying in the mud at the bottom of ponds with better balance than 3.x.

    I enjoy the system, mind you, and my biggest grumbles really aren't rooted in the class-to-class balance, but dear god it's a terribly balanced game.
    To be honest, my favourite part of 3.x was the number of options and choices. Even if you just have the phb you have a ton of options and build potentials in each class.

    My least favourite part was that most of those options made you fall behind, and many of them were brokenly overpowered. While the options in the current 5e playtest are far from that varied, most of the non-spell caster ones just give you ways to waste 1d6 damage each round.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob.Tyr View Post
    To be honest, my favourite part of 3.x was the number of options and choices. Even if you just have the phb you have a ton of options and build potentials in each class.

    My least favourite part was that most of those options made you fall behind, and many of them were brokenly overpowered. While the options in the current 5e playtest are far from that varied, most of the non-spell caster ones just give you ways to waste 1d6 damage each round.
    Those two parts are very likely related. The more options there are, the more difficult making them balanced is. I'm not defending the 3.X devs, as they still messed up royally in that regard. But it might explain why 4e was relatively limited.

    If only I could think of a better option at adding versatility than martial dice.

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

    For the 15 minute work day ... If the characters are spending 23.75 hours every day resting, then the rest of the world keeps on functioning while they're doing so.

    I'm not sure why this is a problem.

    (Personally, if I were playing in a group where the characters spent 23.75 hours a day resting I'd find it rediculously un-fun.)
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Synovia View Post
    Ship building or constructing outposts isn't really a encounter.
    This right here is my point: you can't fit everything into an encounter-based paradigm If you try to balance things around the encounter, then you either incorporate everything into that system (utility magic and all) or you have a separate system on the side for out-of-combat stuff like 4e rituals. If it's the former case, you've either basically removed all of the "interesting" magic (the utility stuff, the teleports and plane shifts, and so forth) or made them per-encounter and thus spammable and thus abusable. If it's the latter case, there's no reason you can't adapt that system to incorporate the per-encounter stuff for one unified system, and we're back where we started.

    There is no strict and easy division between combat and noncombat magic. Much as WotC might like to pretend otherwise, you can find noncombat uses for walls of fire and combat uses for fabricate--and personally, my favorite type of caster is the one who doesn't have any directly offensive spells and has to use other spells creatively instead of just blasting and debuffing as usual. Trying to divide things into "per-encounter" and "other" just limits your options and creativity and usually leads to the removal of the more interesting world-affecting and plot-affecting magic, which (while being hard to balance) is the kind of magic that allows the most player agency and freedom.

    As far as teleporting back and forth between cities, I'm not generally a fan of that sort of utility. I'd like to get away from the Wizard who can do everything. I think you could deal with a batch of teleports as an encounter though, requiring a gap before the mage could do it again.
    You don't have to have a wizard who can do everything to allow for teleporting casters. The caster in question in that example wasn't a wizard, nor was he technically teleporting; he was a druid with a very narrow earth and plants theme, using master earth for the refugee transport and various wood shaping-related spells to speed up ship construction.

    Plot events should be treated as plot events. Spells that cost more than 50 points wouldn't be useable in combat, and would basically force you to start the next encounter (unless given a chance to rest) at whatever the minimum is (20 in the original example).
    That's all very well and good, but that doesn't answer how you're going to limit them. Are you going to allow them to be cast at will, with a certain casting time and resource cost per use? Once again, we're effectively back to Vancian casting. Are you going to have them impose penalties for each use? That will impact encounter-based resources quite a bit, so you should probably integrate it more closely. And so on and so forth.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    This right here is my point: you can't fit everything into an encounter-based paradigm If you try to balance things around the encounter, then you either incorporate everything into that system (utility magic and all) or you have a separate system on the side for out-of-combat stuff like 4e rituals. If it's the former case, you've either basically removed all of the "interesting" magic.
    I'm not sure if you're just not reading my posts before quoting them, or deliberately misinterpreting what I'm saying.

    I just gave a perfectly valid example of how you keep the interesting magic and have an encounter based system.

    Balancing things around a single encounter DOES NOT MEAN ONLY HAVING ENCOUNTER POWERS.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by neonchameleon View Post
    Where to start? And how much do you know about RPGs other than D&D? Because there's a lot of very interesting stuff that's come out recently.

    Because there's very little cure for bad DMing, but there is a whole lot you can do to prevent it. In my experience there are three major causes for genuinely bad (as opposed to uninspired) DMing:
    • DM Power Trip
    • Easier to say No than Yes
    • Learning the Wrong Lessons
    I've played 2nd, 3rd, 4th (briefly), a d20 Star Wars, Paranoia, and thumbed through Serenity and Exhalted. And of course many computer games, although only some of that is transferable. I'll second the recommendation for Exile III, time done well :)

    But with regards to the list you've got for bad DMing, are there any mechanics that can alleviate such problems? You mentioned Heavy Rules (which 3rd Ed would be, but it seemed to reinforce No You Can't... but I'd say that's more 3rd Ed's implementation of rules, rather than simply having rules available), Skill Challenges (contrived, but if it helps DMs, then it's a good mechanic). I don't know about the Jenga Tower or Doom Pool, am interested. It's far easier to adjust player behavior than DM behavior, and frankly some of these problems we're talking about are DM side, not player side. (15MWD, letting casters find any spell they want in their spellbook ;) ) Advice and training modules are good, but they aren't inherent in the game mechanics. Maybe we could approach some problems from this direction?

    <>-o-<>

    Someone mentioned doing away with spells that mimic skills. Yes. We seem to be trying to make characters all able to participate in any endeavour, while at the same time making players be specialists, 2 seemingly opposed goals. If any one character could do it all, it'd be the wizard, so any spells that mimic skills should have a high cost attached to them indeed... and/or perhaps add a bonus rather than outright perform an action, like the aforementioned Knock = +3 to Locks. Wish I could give credit where it's due there.

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    Please don't let me be misunderstood, I'm not talking about gritty combat. I'd be shocked if Warhammer catered at all to people who want to feel like merely human explorers, but maybe I don't know enough about that universe. *nitpick* I think ADOM, Star Control II, FTL, Exile III, Uncharted Waters, and pretty much any game about exploration would have been a much less interesting game if I never had to worry about fuel or other limited resources. I like feeling small and insignificant (not helpless) in a wondrous world before I become big and damn and hero.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Synovia View Post
    Here's an example. Let's assume a typical encounter (CR even) should take 30 spell points to get through. D&D 3.5's approach is to give you 150 spell points a day, and just let you go at it.

    The problem is, your average caster will come along, spend 75 spell points to blow through the encounter, and then call it a day.
    Are you really trying to get us to buy that a wizard is better off stunning, paralysing, dazing, and blinding someone rather than just paralysing them and letting someone coup-de-grace them?

    Seriously, there is no point whatsoever to introducing a cap on what you can do in a single encounter, because two already exist -- firstly, that there is little point to spending more resources than you have to; and secondly, that there are only so many actions available to burn resources with anyway. It's ham-fisted design that doesn't accomplish anything.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2013-02-09 at 12:46 PM.

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

    I wonder how many problems with a set of good guidelines for adjusting encounter difficulty based on resource expenditure?

    (And less broken magic, obviously, but that goes without saying)
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2013-02-09 at 12:41 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Synovia View Post
    I'm not sure if you're just not reading my posts before quoting them, or deliberately misinterpreting what I'm saying.
    I'm doing neither. The post I quoted consisted of the following: a statement that sufficiently-trivial encounters wouldn't require the expenditure of resources, a statement that combat and out of combat are fundamentally different in the sense that basic stuff wouldn't require expending resources, a statement that non-encounter stuff is indeed not an encounter, a statement that you don't like powerful utility magic and that you could frame the example as an encounter anyway, a statement that you don't think out of combat resources require tracking, a statement that exploration shouldn't be a mage schtick (and thus implicitly shouldn't use up resources), a statement that plot spells wouldn't be usable in combat, and a statement that was an example of a barbarian using encounter resources to do out-of-encounter stuff.

    Since nowhere in that post was a statement of what sort of out-of-encounter resources one would use to power out-of-encounter utility magic for those of us who don't want to get rid of it, no, I don't think you just gave a perfectly valid example of how you keep the interesting magic and have an encounter-based system.

    Balancing things around a single encounter DOES NOT MEAN ONLY HAVING ENCOUNTER POWERS.
    Which is exactly why I'm asking what system would power the non-encounter abilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by kerplunksploosh
    Someone mentioned doing away with spells that mimic skills. Yes. We seem to be trying to make characters all able to participate in any endeavour, while at the same time making players be specialists, 2 seemingly opposed goals.
    They're not really opposed; it's possible to have a specialist like, say, a 3e beguiler, warblade, or binder who can participate in all types of encounters: each of those classes has something to do in combat, during exploration, in social encounters, regarding intrigue, and regarding stealth, which are the major kinds of obstacles one encounters in D&D, and in some other situations as well (the binder can summon things for out-of-combat utility with several vestiges, for instance). Each of them isn't guaranteed to have a solution to every encounter of any type, nor are they guaranteed to have an amazing option for all types of encounters, but they can all contribute, even if only by having certain skills as class skills.

    Skill-replacing spells are easy to fix--the knock-as-bonus-to-Open-Lock suggestion has been around since 3.0 and similar suggestions abound--with the main obstacle being the difficulty of going through every splatbook and changing things, so implementing the less toe-stepping versions of the spells in 5e shouldn't be a problem. Though of course this is WotC we're talking about.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Since nowhere in that post was a statement of what sort of out-of-encounter resources one would use to power out-of-encounter utility magic for those of us who don't want to get rid of it, no, I don't think you just gave a perfectly valid example of how you keep the interesting magic and have an encounter-based system.

    Which is exactly why I'm asking what system would power the non-encounter abilities.
    Most likely at-will for most things, Rituals for magic or other major things, with their time and in-game resource costs, maybe even an XP cost if those prove insufficient. What matters is how these non-combat encounters are resolved, whether its by some new mutation of Extended Skill Tests/Skill Challenges or some other mini-system. If it's the former, then what I said above, if it's the latter, then something else entirely, which will be extremely dependent on the mechanics of said system.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbazubba View Post
    Most likely at-will for most things, Rituals for magic or other major things, with their time and in-game resource costs, maybe even an XP cost if those prove insufficient. What matters is how these non-combat encounters are resolved, whether its by some new mutation of Extended Skill Tests/Skill Challenges or some other mini-system. If it's the former, then what I said above, if it's the latter, then something else entirely, which will be extremely dependent on the mechanics of said system.
    I assumed as much, but one can't really design an encounter-based system without nailing down where the "other stuff" goes and how it's used, which is why I've been hammering the point. Just saying "it's a noncombat effect, we don't have to worry about it" won't cut it, that leads to the non-systems of "just make a feat/spell for it" of 3e or the "just run it as a skill challenge" of 4e.
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    Default Re: D&D 5th Edition: 8th Revision and Counting

    I wonder how many problems with a set of good guidelines for adjusting encounter difficulty based on resource expenditure?
    Actually, I think we'd be better off taking 4e's approach of showing DMs how monsters are built and going even further with it (and no, the 3.x approach of building monsters like PCs is not a good idea). Ideally the monsters book (or pferably DMG) should come with your classic pre-built monsters and then a chapter or two on customizing and building new monsters from scratch, with examples of how the book monsters were built in the same way and how each particular type of power changes a monster's difficulty. Something like s&w's monster builder chart, but bigger and more detailed. Additionally, I think there needs to be guidelines on how interactions between monsters impact that difficulty. Even in 4e while XP totals were a good rough estimate on encounter difficulty, it would have been nice to have more detail.

    Now all that may sound like a longer way of saying "how to adjust encounter difficulty based on resource expenditure", but it is different. Your approach assumes that all resources would be equal (or equal enough) that you could determine what is or isn't difficult for a given level of resource expenditure, and that monster or encounter difficulty should be measured relative to the players resources. My version is designed to give monsters a relative difficulty (to each other, not the players), and show DMs how to adjust that difficulty in pieces so that encounters can be adjusted on the fly.

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

    I have a question:

    How much variety do players want?

    I am several people suggesting that characters keep track of multiple resource systems, some for in combat and some for out of combat.

    Is this really ideal? Do you really want multiple resources to keep track of within the same character?

    Personally I would prefer more homogeny in that regard, I think keeping all the classes on the same resource mechanic was one of 4E's good moves (albeit with a crappy implementation).

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Synovia View Post
    Why is that worse than punishing the player for having the audacity to play a non spellcaster, like pretty much every version of D&D does?
    Who said it is? No one should be punished for doing what their class is supposed to be doing. Spellcasters losing hit points to cast spells sucks. Warriors losing weapons or damaging themselves because they rolled a 1 sucks. (I know, house rule)

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