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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    It's probably not as underwhelming as you guys think it is. We don't have the page on subraces. Think if you were looking at Dwarf or Elf without the subraces and judging it solely on that. It would feel similarly underwhelming.
    Calling it now, that there won't be subraces. The only PHB races that we Know will have sub-races are Elf, Dwarf, Halfling and Gnome (and Human, if you count the alternate "if you're using feats" human, but, let's be honest, that will be effectively the default for most groups). There weren't subclasses for the others in the playtest, and the Tiefling already gets +2 Cha, +1 Int, so whatever subclasses they'd have wouldn't have Stat bonuses. It's not like they wouldn't even have alternate stats that they could give to tieflings (Con springs to mind), so I'm taking that as a sign that this is all we get.

    Now, I think this is a bad idea, since it doesn't allow future sub-races in later supplements. But it's not like I really have much of a choice at this point. I made my case, during the playtest, and it apparently fell on deaf ears.
    Last edited by Tholomyes; 2014-07-14 at 04:42 PM.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    I don't see why it's underwhelming at all. Compared to any other edition it doesn't seem like any more or any less than I would expect.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    I agree with Tholomyes that there isn't going to be a Tiefling subrace. Take a look at how its formatted. With the Dwarf and Elf, there are base racial abilities which they all share, and then the subraces add additional abilities. You never lose a base ability to gain a subrace ability. The Tiefling already has a full complement of racial abilities, and they are very Tiefling specific. If they wanted to do subraces, then they would have made the base race Planetouched (or something similar) and then do subraces for Tiefling, Aasimar, and whatever.


    Separately, I hate racial ability score bonuses, because they strongly encourage a very narrow range of race and class pairings. Although there are certainly some unintuitive combinations that may work well (Mountain Dwarf Wizard, Halfling Sorcerer), most players are going to choose races where the +2 bonus is the primary attribute of the class. Humans can be anything, but 90%+ of Tieflings will be Sorcerers, Bards, or Paladins.

  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Separately, I hate racial ability score bonuses, because they strongly encourage a very narrow range of race and class pairings.
    I'm 100% with you; I'd rather express the different fantasy races through active abilities than through boring and oft-invisible static bonuses.

    Given what we've got, though, the silver lining is that a hard stat cap of 20 means you aren't behind forever.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    I remember a GM of mine who described elves this way.... (accounting for their racial bonuses and ideologies)

    Elves are considered the most magical race, not because they wield powerful magic, or that they live in towns grown from the forest itself. They are just more magically talented as a whole. Where maybe 1 in 100,000 humans has the ability to learn, and use magic, with elves, the numbers are more along the line of 1 in 10,000, or even 1 in 1,000. And by this I mean able to learn, use and more importantly Master arcane magic.

    I always figured the racial bonuses were to give the game participants an idea of how the general member of the race is. And by further definition, what they most commonly choose as a career. Certainly anomalies exist, but they are not the measure of the race. You can argue that certain stat bonuses lend credence to specific classes, but I think that is actually intentional. If you take away the racial bonuses? what do you get? Long eared humans? Short stocky humans? Midget humans? Deformed goat-like humans? Aside from what the character looks like, what is there to differentiate them?

    I am not advocating for racial bonuses being this way or that way. I am just explaining my personal view and you can take it or leave it.

  6. - Top - End - #156
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    I'm of two minds on racial ability score bonuses. On one hand, I do think it enforces stereotypes, such as the High-Elf Wizard, the Halfling Rogue, the Dwarven Fighter, the Wood-elf ranger, ect, a bit too harshly. On the other hand, there is some charm in playing an off-type class/race combination. Let me be clear, I in no way buy into the oft repeated claim that you can't have a mechanically effective character, and RP well, or that you must intentionally choose underpowered options in order to RP well. But that doesn't mean that it isn't interesting once in a while, playing off type. And without Racial ability score boosts, the mechanics don't particularly favor one class/race combo inherently (at least, as much), meaning, you're not playing off type as much.

    What I probably would have liked to see would be if they kept with the early playtest design of having both your class and your race giving minor ability score boosts. That way, the stereotypes aren't too mechanically superior to other options, but by the same token, they're still somewhat favored, meaning that playing off type still has a meaning.

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Fwiffo86 View Post
    I always figured the racial bonuses were to give the game participants an idea of how the general member of the race is. And by further definition, what they most commonly choose as a career. Certainly anomalies exist, but they are not the measure of the race. You can argue that certain stat bonuses lend credence to specific classes, but I think that is actually intentional. If you take away the racial bonuses? what do you get? Long eared humans? Short stocky humans? Midget humans? Deformed goat-like humans? Aside from what the character looks like, what is there to differentiate them?
    I don't think stats differentiate a character, as it is. What race is a character with 15 / 12 / 16 / 10 / 13 / 12 stats? I have no idea - it might be a dwarf, but it might be a human or even a weird elf. It could be anything, unless you see a 19 or 20 in there.

    If you take away stat bonuses and penalties, you're left with two broad categories of stuff. The first is something D&D always does, and the second is something that only 4e consistently has done, but which should really have been carried forwards.

    Passive Bonuses: This is stuff like the Elf being immune to sleep/charm, the Dwarf being either magic resistant and/or poison resistant, extra proficiencies, size modifiers/restrictions, bonus skills, etc. These are fine, for what they're worth, as long as they're not ridiculously nitpicky.

    Active Abilities: On the earlier end of the scale, this can include 1e Dwarves' Stoneworking knowledge - depth, direction, etc. On the more interesting end, we get stuff like 4e's Dwarven Resilience (dwarves are tough, so can heal up in the middle of a fight more easily), Halfling Agility (you are small and fast, so force an enemy to reroll an attack roll), and Elven Accuracy (you are deadly accurate, so reroll one of your own attack rolls). In 5e, High Elves get a free Cantrip! That's pretty neat, too!

    Active Abilities are great because you - the player - are demonstrating your Dwarvenness or Elfishness. You're not passively a dwarf, you're actively dwarfing your way through obstacles.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Something I like about the game's bound systems is that it makes everyone's racial abilities always matter. A dwarven wizard or rogue is ALSO a capable warrior thanks to his toughness, strength, and proficiencies. Elven fighters and rogues are ALSO proficient spellcasters, and Elven Wizards are also competent weapon users.


    Humans can be anything - that's what makes them Human.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    With the ability score increases and the cap of 20 for stats the differences will balance out as the players level.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by TrexPushups View Post
    With the ability score increases and the cap of 20 for stats the differences will balance out as the players level.
    I love the cap on stats. It seems like such an irrelevant rule until you realise how often it will come into play and how it changes the dynamic of the game. I also love that point-buy and array effectively limit you to, at most, one ability with a 17 in it. In combination with the feats or ability score choice and feats being more attractive than stat bumps, in-game you'll see most characters tend towards bumping only one stat all the way to 20.

    This makes distributing stats for bonuses at 1st-level all that more important. It's effectively a more attractive option to have a 16 in a primary ability to start simply because it gives you more points to spread elsewhere for those precious +1's.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    Active Abilities are great because you - the player - are demonstrating your Dwarvenness or Elfishness. You're not passively a dwarf, you're actively dwarfing your way through obstacles.
    Whenever I make a race for D&D, another system, or my own I will try to keep this in mind.

    This might be the best concept to have when making races.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by SpawnOfMorbo View Post
    Whenever I make a race for D&D, another system, or my own I will try to keep this in mind.

    This might be the best concept to have when making races.
    Thanks! :)

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    SpawnOfMorbo & obryn: while it's not tough to imagine a game in which every mechanical aspect of your character is an active, demonstrative part of said character in at-the-table play, I think we can basically agree that D&D has always reserved part of a character's mechanics for passive stats/abilities. And if you're going to have said passives, isn't race a handy place to put them, the part of your character that ties you to your species and the genetic (or divine, whatever) norms thereof?

    I feel like 5e has an ok mix of actives and passives on races anyway, certainly to the point that it provides mechanical examples of fairly active races that would be easy to refluff as whatever you desired if the choices presented are too distasteful.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    To me, racial passive bonuses would be better if every class had some use for every ability score. Which, let's face it, isn't going to happen. At least not in equal measure. And even if it were to happen, those bonuses are boring. So, yes, I agree wholeheartedly with obryn. Active abilities that change the way your character interacts with the game world are better than fiddly bonuses, especially when it comes to abilities given to you by your race. What's better at making you feel that you're playing a halfling? A bonus to an attribute that might or might not make it higher than that of your party's dwarf, or an ability a non-halfling will never use?
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    Active Abilities are great because you - the player - are demonstrating your Dwarvenness or Elfishness. You're not passively a dwarf, you're actively dwarfing your way through obstacles.
    +1

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    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    Active Abilities are great because you - the player - are demonstrating your Dwarvenness or Elfishness. You're not passively a dwarf, you're actively dwarfing your way through obstacles.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
    SpawnOfMorbo & obryn: while it's not tough to imagine a game in which every mechanical aspect of your character is an active, demonstrative part of said character in at-the-table play, I think we can basically agree that D&D has always reserved part of a character's mechanics for passive stats/abilities. And if you're going to have said passives, isn't race a handy place to put them, the part of your character that ties you to your species and the genetic (or divine, whatever) norms thereof?

    I feel like 5e has an ok mix of actives and passives on races anyway, certainly to the point that it provides mechanical examples of fairly active races that would be easy to refluff as whatever you desired if the choices presented are too distasteful.
    Think of it this way...

    Passive abilities come from being a humanoid, each humanoid may have different passive abilities but they can be swapped quite easily.

    Active abilities come from your race, who and what you are. Like Obryn was saying... I'm not going to punch you in the face, I'm going to dwarf-punch you in the face. Loud in proud. These abilities are set in stone and not swappable with other races.

    When making a race Humanoid (Dwarf) I would do the following.

    Humanoid Passive x4 (of say 10 or more choices)
    Dwarf Active x2 (of say four choices)

    Then you can add physical qualities and stuff but you allow a player to craft their own dwarf race. An Elf may have similar or the same passive abilities as a dwarf, say because the elf grew up with dwarves, but will always have different active abilities to be an elfventurer.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Got the boxed Starter game yesterday. Highlights:

    • Some magic items require that you "attune" them with a Short Rest. You can have a maximum of three attuned magic items at a time. Other magic items don't need to be attuned, such as +1 armor, +1 weapon, potions, or scrolls.
    • You cannot buy or sell magic items other then (one use) potions and scrolls. You have to find them. Reusable magic items do not have a listed gold piece or other value.
    • Magic items that effect your Ability Scores or movement rate set it at a fixed number, rather then providing a bonus. For example, when attuned Gauntlets of Ogre Strength grants you Strength of 19. So a character with 19 or 20 Strength gains no benefit from them.



    I've updated the main post with this information as well.

    Metagame considerations:
    • I wonder if +1 weapons and armor don't need to be attuned because they're weak-ish, or because they're weapons and armor that don't provide some other benefit (like the Spider Staff, which is a weapon but also has magical effects).
    • If +5 weapons don't need to be attuned, then that benefits classes that use weapons (as opposed to spells).
    • If +5 armor doesn't need to be attuned, then getting armor proficiency of some kind from Mountain Dwarf or multi-classing will be a lot more important for mid-level Wizards, unless there's a "Greater Mage Armor" or some similar equivalent.
    • Magic items that grant a fixed Ability Score is how it worked in 2E. (And I think 1E, IIRC).
    • The fact that you can't buy magic items and they have no gp value is going to make building mid-high level characters a hassle, because the DM has to approve everything on a case by case basis rather then just giving a gp or +X budget.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    [*]The fact that you can't buy magic items and they have no gp value is going to make building mid-high level characters a hassle, because the DM has to approve everything on a case by case basis rather then just giving a gp or +X budget. [/LIST]
    I'm a weirdo but this is by far my favorite thing about magic items.

    This shows a couple things...

    Christmas tree ant assumed for PCs, players don't feel entitled to have X item(s), and it will make creating a high level character a lot faster for the player but perhaps a bit harder for the DM (since they give out items).

    I wouldn't be surprised if the DM has specific kits that characters can have depending on level. A lot like how each player at level 1 gets to pick their starting kit of items.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    The fact that you can't buy magic items and they have no gp value is going to make building mid-high level characters a hassle, because the DM has to approve everything on a case by case basis rather then just giving a gp or +X budget.
    That will be fine for games where every is sitting around a table and talking while they build characters before a game. Considering that scenario probably plays out less that 50% of the time, and that the most likely venue for me to find games at the moment is over the internet it could drive me insane.
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Metagame considerations:
    • If +5 weapons don't need to be attuned, then that benefits classes that use weapons (as opposed to spells).
    • If +5 armor doesn't need to be attuned, then getting armor proficiency of some kind from Mountain Dwarf or multi-classing will be a lot more important for mid-level Wizards, unless there's a "Greater Mage Armor" or some similar equivalent.
    • The fact that you can't buy magic items and they have no gp value is going to make building mid-high level characters a hassle, because the DM has to approve everything on a case by case basis rather then just giving a gp or +X budget.
    I believe the max for magic weapons and armor is +3. That doesn't invalidate your point, I'm just mentioning it.

    To the magic items having no gp value, that's because magic items aren't assumed. If you build a mid-high level character, they might not have ANY magic items or even dirt poor, and that's okay. As others have stated, it's more a feature than a bug.
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    To the magic items having no gp value, that's because magic items aren't assumed. If you build a mid-high level character, they might not have ANY magic items or even dirt poor, and that's okay. As others have stated, it's more a feature than a bug.
    I agree with your sentiment. I'm not a fan of the MagicMart, and I'm all in favor of magic items not being a required part of the game. But I do feel like they should have some sort of formal value or rating system, because the fact of the matter is that magic items have a big impact on the effectiveness of a character, and having magic items is an assumed part of the game for most people who have played any previous version of D&D.

    In addition to how difficult it can make starting a new mid-high level game, consider monster design. If a CR 10 Vampire is fighting four level 10 characters with no magic items, the players are going to have a much harder time then if each of their characters has 3 magic items and a backpack full of scrolls and potions. An experienced DM can adjust the difficulty of a combat up or down. But this is a brand new edition with brand new rules, so very few DMs are going to be able to do that well without a lot of trial and error. And having a high level of rules mastery shouldn't be a requirement to be a DM. If a newb buys a 5E Players Handbook for the first time and wants to run a game for his friends, he should all be able to do so without accidentally and unintentionally causing TPK.

    Also, though its not my preference, there are plenty of players who like the MagicMart. The lack of any fixed value for reusable magic items means that they have literally no benchmark to use to run the magic item economy in their game. If players do want to sell magic items and buy other magic items, the DM needs to homebrew a cost for each and every magic item that players want to buy or sell. And that's just a DMing nightmare.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    I agree with your sentiment. I'm not a fan of the MagicMart, and I'm all in favor of magic items not being a required part of the game. But I do feel like they should have some sort of formal value or rating system, because the fact of the matter is that magic items have a big impact on the effectiveness of a character, and having magic items is an assumed part of the game for most people who have played any previous version of D&D.

    In addition to how difficult it can make starting a new mid-high level game, consider monster design. If a CR 10 Vampire is fighting four level 10 characters with no magic items, the players are going to have a much harder time then if each of their characters has 3 magic items and a backpack full of scrolls and potions. An experienced DM can adjust the difficulty of a combat up or down. But this is a brand new edition with brand new rules, so very few DMs are going to be able to do that well without a lot of trial and error. And having a high level of rules mastery shouldn't be a requirement to be a DM. If a newb buys a 5E Players Handbook for the first time and wants to run a game for his friends, he should all be able to do so without accidentally and unintentionally causing TPK.

    Also, though its not my preference, there are plenty of players who like the MagicMart. The lack of any fixed value for reusable magic items means that they have literally no benchmark to use to run the magic item economy in their game. If players do want to sell magic items and buy other magic items, the DM needs to homebrew a cost for each and every magic item that players want to buy or sell. And that's just a DMing nightmare.
    Fair enough. A general category would be a minimum for something like that. Lesser, Moderate, Greater, Artifact might be helpful. I take it there is no such ranking in the Starter Set?
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    akaddk's Magic Guide to Magic Items Past 1st-level Now With Extra Pony!

    1st-level to 4th-level: Zip, nada, zilch, nilch, nothing, screw you yah fairy.

    5th-level to 10th-level: 1 x +1 weapon or armour and you'll bloody-well like it.

    11th-level to 14th-level: 1 x +1 weapon, 1 x +1 armour and now you can call yourself a snowflake.

    15th-level to 20th-level: 1 x +1 weapon OR 1 x +1 armour and 1 x +3 item... ah hell, I'll let you choose it 'cause I like yah.

    You want more? Go adventure for it you self-entitled ****!*
















    *Not intended to mean offence to anyone here on these forums. Unless you disagree with me, in which case, go tickle the nose of an ancient wyrm red dragon and tell him you slept with Tiamat.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by pwykersotz View Post
    Fair enough. A general category would be a minimum for something like that. Lesser, Moderate, Greater, Artifact might be helpful. I take it there is no such ranking in the Starter Set?
    No, but there's 2 pages and maybe 10 different items in the starter set. I mean, it's only level 1-4 or so. I would suspect they'd all be the same category.

    Spoiler: Lost Mine of Phandelver players should skip this.
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    I do see that any class can use the Wand of Magic Missiles in the Starter Set, though.
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    I believe that WOTC is pretending that having magical items makes no difference to the power level of a character. This is obviously and self-evidently false, but if they pretend it hard enough then numerous players will probably believe it.
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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I believe that WOTC is pretending that having magical items makes no difference to the power level of a character. This is obviously and self-evidently false, but if they pretend it hard enough then numerous players will probably believe it.
    Not that I disagree that a lot of the things they say seem to indicate they don't quite get the consequences of their math, but since the game is designed without assumed magic items, it's easier to balance the game when you add magic items, than for if you want to play a (at least relatively) magic item-less campaign.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Tholomyes View Post
    Not that I disagree that a lot of the things they say seem to indicate they don't quite get the consequences of their math, but since the game is designed without assumed magic items, it's easier to balance the game when you add magic items, than for if you want to play a (at least relatively) magic item-less campaign.
    Yeah, I mean, it's not like they asked hundreds of thousands of people for feedback and did thousands of hours of playtesting.

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by akaddk View Post
    Yeah, I mean, it's not like they asked hundreds of thousands of people for feedback and did thousands of hours of playtesting.
    And many people commented on this notion of "Magic items aren't assumed, thus they don't matter for the math" and nothing changed. Let's face it, this is Mearls, and, as much as I like some of the things he's done in his career, understanding probability and the math of a system isn't one of them.
    Last edited by Tholomyes; 2014-07-16 at 09:54 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #179
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I believe that WOTC is pretending that having magical items makes no difference to the power level of a character. This is obviously and self-evidently false, but if they pretend it hard enough then numerous players will probably believe it.
    No, they're pretending that they actually improve your character, instead of assuming you must have them or you'll get TPKd by level-appropriate encounters. Thus, a +1 longsword helps a Level 15 Fighter (50%->55% hit rate vs CR 15) as much as a Level 4 Fighter (50%->55% hit rate vs CR 4), rather than a Level 15 Fighter needing a +3 longsword just to keep up (40%->55% hit rate vs CR 15).
    Disagreeing with people is not being rude. Its called 'discussion' you should look it up sometime. -- Lokiare

  30. - Top - End - #180
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: A Grognard's Guide to 5E D&D Rules

    Quote Originally Posted by da_chicken View Post
    No, they're pretending that they actually improve your character, instead of assuming you must have them or you'll get TPKd by level-appropriate encounters. Thus, a +1 longsword helps a Level 15 Fighter (50%->55% hit rate vs CR 15) as much as a Level 4 Fighter (50%->55% hit rate vs CR 4), rather than a Level 15 Fighter needing a +3 longsword just to keep up (40%->55% hit rate vs CR 15).
    After reading some stuff again, I think this seems to be more of what WotC is working with.

    Magic items are a luxury, not a necessity.

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