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 Post subject: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:32 pm 
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I don't really know much about 5E yet. I was disillusioned by 4E and pretty much stopped playing. The game itself was actually really fun for the few months I tried it, but there were so many changes to the world as well, and that combined with the completely different feel just made me lose interest.

My typical character is nonstandard, by which I mean I want to do something that the rules didn't really have in mind. I don't mean that I want to break things, but I treat it like a magic deck: I prefer for it to be unique, like a character focused on some non-combat minmaxing, or a weird jack of all trades, or a monk who I try to optimize with 10 wisdom and wearing armor or something weird.

None of that was really possible, at least not as much, in 4E. While it did a lot of things right, it lost a lot of what made dnd great to me.

I know we want to avoid edition wars, but I really think that a discussion of 5E relative to previous editions is a good thing. Maybe we can sell some people on 5E (including me!) or at least get people interested in other editions as well that they may not be familiar with.

We want to be careful to avoid having a discussion that degenerates into "my edition can beat up your edition," and that includes the newest edition addition (lol,) but I do think that this is a discussion worth having.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:45 pm 
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Pros: It moved away from powers, the Arrow of Ultimate Destruction can still be built.
Cons: No PrCs, melee does nothing but autoattack, wizards are still the best but have to memorize monster statblocks, CoDZilla still looks like a thing, almost all non-buff spells are identical and boring, no PrCs, multiclassing and feats are both wastes of space, it looks like humans are still the One True Race, no PrCs, almost no utility spells, no weapon groups(One of the few 4e things I quite enjoyed), no PrCs, melee seems kinda superfluous in combat, and no PrCs.

What I enjoy from a game is customizability. I want to be able to build exactly what I can think of. I love multiclassing a PrCs. I love being able to make interesting builds. I also liked melee combat to be interesting. I like options. That's why 3.5 is still my game above all others.

While 4e is not my game, it did have some good ideas, just, in my eyes, poorly implemented. Powers on melee characters, despite flawed because everyone else used the same system, was still a good idea, if a step backwards from ToB. Weapon groups were a great idea, and I quite liked action points. The dedication to balance was admirable, if a bit excessive in my eyes.

Every quality that I found strong in either game has simply been thrown out the window. Honestly, this game looks even amateurish in its design. It's poorly-constructed and completely oblivious to the faults and strengths of its predecessors, and it makes it seem like the writers didn't know how to do basic addition. It's missing basic notes that should be included, and appears to lack much functionality outside of stabbing. This game is incomplete, which makes playtesting kinda difficult since we don't have a full game to test with. Also, the bestiary is terribly designed.

I am highly disappointed with 5e. I might take a look at it at some point later, but if it looks anything like this, it just isn't worth my money.


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:26 pm 
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I hate the idea of no prcs. :( That was the best part about 3E, imo.

What is the deal with feats being bad?


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Cyclone_Joker wrote:
Pros: It moved away from powers, the Arrow of Ultimate Destruction can still be built.
Cons: No PrCs, melee does nothing but autoattack, wizards are still the best but have to memorize monster statblocks, CoDZilla still looks like a thing, almost all non-buff spells are identical and boring, no PrCs, multiclassing and feats are both wastes of space, it looks like humans are still the One True Race, no PrCs, almost no utility spells, no weapon groups(One of the few 4e things I quite enjoyed), no PrCs, melee seems kinda superfluous in combat, and no PrCs.

What I enjoy from a game is customizability. I want to be able to build exactly what I can think of. I love multiclassing a PrCs. I love being able to make interesting builds. I also liked melee combat to be interesting. I like options. That's why 3.5 is still my game above all others.

While 4e is not my game, it did have some good ideas, just, in my eyes, poorly implemented. Powers on melee characters, despite flawed because everyone else used the same system, was still a good idea, if a step backwards from ToB. Weapon groups were a great idea, and I quite liked action points. The dedication to balance was admirable, if a bit excessive in my eyes.

Every quality that I found strong in either game has simply been thrown out the window. Honestly, this game looks even amateurish in its design. It's poorly-constructed and completely oblivious to the faults and strengths of its predecessors, and it makes it seem like the writers didn't know how to do basic addition. It's missing basic notes that should be included, and appears to lack much functionality outside of stabbing. This game is incomplete, which makes playtesting kinda difficult since we don't have a full game to test with. Also, the bestiary is terribly designed.

I am highly disappointed with 5e. I might take a look at it at some point later, but if it looks anything like this, it just isn't worth my money.


Strange I started a thread with this exact theme from the quoted post and it got locked. I wonder how that happened?

I agree with most of what you said here. The game really comes off as rushed and not well designed. It doesn't do anything as well as other editions. It is too rules oriented for the 1E crowd. Its not customizable enough for the 3E crowd. Its not balanced enough for the 4E crowd. All in all I'd label it as "D&D: The Compromise". Which means it won't be as popular as any edition before it. (all editions sell well in their first few months, but after that I see it dropping off quickly.)

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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:41 pm 
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miss_bun wrote:
I hate the idea of no prcs. :( That was the best part about 3E, imo.

What is the deal with feats being bad?


The PrC's in 5E are your subclass choice at 3rd or the multi-class sub-classes for the hybrid style characters.

Some feats are extremely useful like the weapon and armor feats or even the spell feats, others are nearly worthless like the alertness feat and others that are highly situational and may not even come up in play if the DM decides not to use dice to resolve some things.

Note: I haven't looked at the newest play test packet, so my information is based on the various articles.

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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:16 am 
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miss_bun wrote:
I hate the idea of no prcs. :( That was the best part about 3E, imo.
Yep and we don't get them.
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What is the deal with feats being bad?
First off, they're optional rules. Second, feats are trades. You trade in stat bonuses, something already a poorly-conceived idea, for feats. You lose out on abilities to gain feats, and, in many cases, even the tiny amount of damage you're getting from that is vastly superior to the feats. Third, they almost all suck monkey balls.
Lokiare wrote:
I agree with most of what you said here. The game really comes off as rushed and not well designed. It doesn't do anything as well as other editions. It is too rules oriented for the 1E crowd. Its not customizable enough for the 3E crowd. Its not balanced enough for the 4E crowd. All in all I'd label it as "D&D: The Compromise". Which means it won't be as popular as any edition before it. (all editions sell well in their first few months, but after that I see it dropping off quickly.)
I think you're too generous with the "compromise" title. I'd call it "D&D: We Were Totally High When We Wrote This."

It's just badly written. There's no way around that.
Lokiare wrote:
The PrC's in 5E are your subclass choice at 3rd or the multi-class sub-classes for the hybrid style characters.
Except they aren't because they are all pretty much meaningless, even if we ignore how badly they're worded. Let's look at the barbarian, just because of its nice location. Oh, hey, you get immunity to a bunch of statuses we've not actually bothered making relevant, and you can take HP damage to add, what, seven damage to your attacks? Yeah, that sounds totally worthwhile. OR you can get a bunch of bonuses that are completely meaningless. Yep, those are totally good replacements for Frenzied Berserker or just the Totem ACFs, and they totally make up for the lack of Totem Rager and RSB.
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Some feats are extremely useful like the weapon and armor feats or even the spell feats, others are nearly worthless like the alertness feat and others that are highly situational and may not even come up in play if the DM decides not to use dice to resolve some things.
No, they really aren't worth it. Spellcasting's best method hasn't changed much. SoLs are still around, you just have a bunch of other effects that care about HP total. You shouldn't need the spell feats. The weapon/armor feats are laughable in their insignificance, although, given how ineffectual melee is going to be, I might take them anyways.
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Note: I haven't looked at the newest play test packet, so my information is based on the various articles.
They were wrong. The playtest packet is terrible.


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:48 am 
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While I havent played 5E only read through the various packages and I've watched a few videos of the game being played. I can say that there are actually a few things about it I like, or can at least appreciate, while some of their other choices sort of leave me baffled.

I really think they should have taken 4E and improved upon it rather than undoing the work they had put into the "Linear Fighter, Quadratic Mage" problem. But I do like some of the things like Advantage / Disadvantage and such, I'm just not overly fond of the "WoW talent tree" vibe I'm getting.

In the end I can see 5E functioning much the same as 4E is regards to being an easy way to introduce people to the game. And a halfway decent system to just sit down, roll dice, have some fun and carry on with life. I'm sure that the people spending hours pouring over rules have a whole lot of things to say about balance or worthlessness issues with some of the rules or items, but a majority of the players I know prefer to just play the game, have some fun roleplaying, get excited at rolling 20s and mad at rolling 2s, and just have fun. Theyre not overly concerned with whether using an axe will get you more damage per round than a sword.

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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:02 pm 
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OakenHeart wrote:
I really think they should have taken 4E and improved upon it rather than undoing the work they had put into the "Linear Fighter, Quadratic Mage" problem.
If it makes you feel better, they did go further away. Instead we have linear mages, static warriors.
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In the end I can see 5E functioning much the same as 4E is regards to being an easy way to introduce people to the game. And a halfway decent system to just sit down, roll dice, have some fun and carry on with life.
And wouldn't it be nice if we got that?
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I'm sure that the people spending hours pouring over rules have a whole lot of things to say about balance or worthlessness issues with some of the rules or items, but a majority of the players I know prefer to just play the game, have some fun roleplaying, get excited at rolling 20s and mad at rolling 2s, and just have fun. Theyre not overly concerned with whether using an axe will get you more damage per round than a sword.
Well, that was slightly faster than I was expecting. I'd have bet it'd have devolved to that level at around the halfway point of page two.


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Cyclone_Joker wrote:
If it makes you feel better, they did go further away. Instead we have linear mages, static warriors.
Theres always going to be some sort of balancing issue, its been that way and will continue to be that way. But its definitely not as bad off as you make it out to be, there are still no "trump all" classes and there are still areas which certain classes have a leg up on others. Especially in the case where a DM puts thought and effort into a campaign, it doesnt matter how much damage a certain character can pump out every turn, if thats all he's good at he'll find he has short comings in various other areas.
Cyclone_Joker wrote:
And wouldn't it be nice if we got that?
We get it, you dont like 5E. Just like the huge crowd that rallied against 4E. But lets see a little more constructive criticism, possible solutions, possibly homebrew fixes etc. Instead of just constant sarcastic condescension.
Cyclone_Joker wrote:
OakenHeart wrote:
have some fun roleplaying, get excited at rolling 20s and mad at rolling 2s, and just have fun.
Well, that was slightly faster than I was expecting. I'd have bet it'd have devolved to that level at around the halfway point of page two.
Sorry, I'm afraid I miss your point here. The game shouldnt be fun and enjoyable? Or shouldn it not be enjoyed by anyone that doesnt take it to min/max optimization?

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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:35 pm 
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OakenHeart wrote:
I'm sure that the people spending hours pouring over rules have a whole lot of things to say about balance or worthlessness issues with some of the rules or items, but a majority of the players I know prefer to just play the game, have some fun roleplaying, get excited at rolling 20s and mad at rolling 2s, and just have fun.
I don't really get why people try to make this some kind of great divide; as if these two groups of people can't, in fact, be the same group.

People who are concerned about balance want to have that same kind of fun. In fact, I'd argue that they want to have that level of fun even more than those who could care less about balance because the concerned group wants a game that doesn't hinder their fun with trap options and bad features that punishes their effectiveness in pursuit of that fun.

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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:53 pm 
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Dont get me wrong I'm not trying to force a divide between 'casual' and 'optimal', I agree that both groups want balance and fairness to some degree. I play in both types of groups actually, 4E with casual friends just looking to have fun, and then PF with homebrew for the more serious group I know.

I've just come to accept a while back that most of the serious groups are going to be a load of homebrew and rule bending regardless and to not go boiling over when WotC puts out something that some people dont consider being what they want. Its painfully obvious that WotC is and will remain to be a company that needs to make money and they do that by aiming the game at the largest crowd possible and getting more people into the game. Otherwise they will just continue to bleed dry from the "ghost of 3.5" and everyone pirating the PDFs of everything they put out.

Everyone is making just as much of a fit about 5E as they were about 4E when it came out but the same people that were complaining about 4E are not crying bloody murder that 5E moved away from that concept.

WotC's "vision" for 5E was getting back to 'core' D&D, and sadly in doing that they brought about an unbalanced edition that has nothing terribly unique about it. But its still very much playable, and just like all the editions before it changes will come down, and user input and homebrew will drive it towards being even more so.

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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:37 pm 
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OakenHeart wrote:
Theres always going to be some sort of balancing issue, its been that way and will continue to be that way.
Yeah, and? In case you didn't notice, I like 3.5.
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But its definitely not as bad off as you make it out to be, there are still no "trump all" classes and there are still areas which certain classes have a leg up on others.
Are we looking at the same packet?

Oh, but what do I know? I'm just one of those people who pour over books and never rolls dice or RPs.
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Especially in the case where a DM puts thought and effort into a campaign, it doesnt matter how much damage a certain character can pump out every turn, if thats all he's good at he'll find he has short comings in various other areas.
Cute. Shame there are no shortcomings in other areas because the only things that actually have system support, casters are better at.
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We get it, you dont like 5E. Just like the huge crowd that rallied against 4E. But lets see a little more constructive criticism,
:face:
Oh, so now pointing out exactly what is wrong isn't contructive? I bow before your inherent superiority, oh great and true Arbiter of All That Is Constructive and Good.
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Instead of just constant sarcastic condescension.
Of course! My nonexistent sarcasm is heinous crime! I should simply mirror you and throw around backhanded insults and not actually read the posts you're complaining about.
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Sorry, I'm afraid I miss your point here. The game shouldnt be fun and enjoyable? Or shouldn it not be enjoyed by anyone that doesnt take it to min/max optimization?
Nice try, but I'm not letting you dodge like that.
AzureShade wrote:
I don't really get why people try to make this some kind of great divide; as if these two groups of people can't, in fact, be the same group.
Because then there wouldn't be anyone to complain about for ruining the game for them.
OakenHeart wrote:
Dont get me wrong I'm not trying to force a divide between 'casual' and 'optimal', I agree that both groups want balance and fairness to some degree.
****.
OakenHeart wrote:
And a halfway decent system to just sit down, roll dice, have some fun and carry on with life. I'm sure that the people spending hours pouring over rules have a whole lot of things to say about balance or worthlessness issues with some of the rules or items, but a majority of the players I know prefer to just play the game, have some fun roleplaying, get excited at rolling 20s and mad at rolling 2s, and just have fun.

Quote:
I've just come to accept a while back that most of the serious groups are going to be a load of homebrew and rule bending regardless and to not go boiling over when WotC puts out something that some people dont consider being what they want. Its painfully obvious that WotC is and will remain to be a company that needs to make money and they do that by aiming the game at the largest crowd possible and getting more people into the game. Otherwise they will just continue to bleed dry from the "ghost of 3.5" and everyone pirating the PDFs of everything they put out.

Everyone is making just as much of a fit about 5E as they were about 4E when it came out but the same people that were complaining about 4E are not crying bloody murder that 5E moved away from that concept.
I'm sorry, but is there a point to this nonsense beyond "Damned grognards! I hate them, why should I even bother reading what they have to say since I already know how I feel about it?
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But its still very much playable,
No, it really isn't. The rules are garbage where they exist, the design concepts are poor, and did I mention that half the game doesn't exist?
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and just like all the editions before it changes will come down, and user input and homebrew will drive it towards being even more so.
Oh, and now homebrew is an excuse for a **** system? Then why should anyone buy it?


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:45 pm 
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Not to interrupt the argument :-P but would anyone have any interest of running a PbP D&D Next game?

I've got the playtest package, and read through most of it, but I'd actually like to...well..playtest it. And I figure that PbP would be my best shot at doing so.

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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:59 pm 
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Bounty Hunter wrote:
Not to interrupt the argument :-P but would anyone have any interest of running a PbP D&D Next game?

I've got the playtest package, and read through most of it, but I'd actually like to...well..playtest it. And I figure that PbP would be my best shot at doing so.

I'm curious about it... I'm just not sure how much time I have, unfortunately :/

Everything I've seen so far from 5e sounds very strange and somewhat nonsensical, but maybe it plays better than it looks. Unfortunately, I tend to be more preoccupied with art and flavor than with mechanics, so I'm not sure I'll even have an opinion till I see what the art direction is like (4e did not overwhelm me on this front...).


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:26 am 
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I've not even looked at 5 yet - mostly a lack of time and lack of interest in learning yet another system. That said, I would consider a play-by-post as a way to give it a shot.

4e, I think, did do a lot of things right. And if it had been put out by a different publisher and called "Heroic Fantasy" I think it would've been very well received. All the "problems" for 4e, I think, came from sacrificing the sacred cows. As a designer, I completely understand why they would choose to do that, but as a fan I also see why that angered a lot of people. One of the biggest mistakes made during the transition to 4e, though, was the way they completely cut off the 3rd party publishers. I truly think that had they made 4e as open and accessible to other publishers as 3e/3.5 was, Pathfinder - their biggest competition - wouldn't exist right now.

3.5, too, has it's flaws. Many of them come from WotC's design philosophy, which is very different from the way the community plays (or, at least, the subset of the community that frequents message boards). Up until near the end, WotC had two overarching "rules" designers had to work around. First, when you were designing something, you only were supposed to measure balance for it against the three core books. (If you were working on a setting-specific book, you also had to include the setting's core book.) I understand why you don't want to require your players to have book X in order to use book Y; but to force designers to ignore book X while writing book Y lead to a lot of balance issues.

The second big design flaw 3.5 had was that designers were strongly encouraged to assume a party of four, with the fighter playing as a "tank," the rogue picking locks and doing some skirmishing, the wizard being a blaster, and the cleric being a healer and buffer. So for most of 3e/3.5's run, WotC wanted designers to pigeonhole their thinking into the "standard" group, while players were taking clerics and making better fighters, taking wizards and druids and making everything, and so on.

Related to #2, the designers at WotC for 3e and the first half or so of 3.5 will tell you - with a straight face - that evocation is the best wizard school. And since evocation is the best, the other schools need help to come up to be even with evocation. And that's why you get so many awesome spells added to conjuration, transmutation, etc. Because those schools were weak and needed help to keep up with evocation.

Anyway... I really hope 5e does well. My group has switched over to Pathfinder, and I don't see moving to another system any time soon. But I think a healthy WotC is better for the industry as a whole than a hurting - or gone - WotC. (gone in the sense of no longer printing D&D stuff; obviously WotC isn't going anywhere as long as Magic remains a cash cow.)

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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:24 am 
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I'm only done cursory reading of the playtest packet, but I saw some good potential ideas but don't think it'll be a good compromise. Bounty Hunter, if you find someone to run the playtest game, let me know. I'd be willing to give playing a shot.


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:31 am 
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ff6shadow wrote:
I'm only done cursory reading of the playtest packet, but I saw some good potential ideas but don't think it'll be a good compromise. Bounty Hunter, if you find someone to run the playtest game, let me know. I'd be willing to give playing a shot.
Depending on the success of my mafia game, I may run a 5E game upon its conclusion. However, that's if the game does poorly. If it goes well and people are interested in another mafia game, then I don't think I could manage running a 5E campaign on top of that and the two 4E campaigns I'm running elsewhere (not to mention the 6 or 7 campaigns I'm playing).


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 Post subject: Re: 5E Pros and Cons
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:34 am 
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The Pros of 5E are:
Supported with new products upon release. Feels like 2E/3E hybrid with bits and pieces of 1E and 4E thrown in. The magic items are very interesting (not the rarity, but the creation and attunement).

The Cons:
Its not very well balanced. We still have casters becoming super powerful through the use of save or die and save or suck spells at high level. They tried to balance this by giving the Fighter and other classes things that make them better, but just ended up making it worse. For instance the Fighter can't die past level 12 or so (if dropped below 1 hp they have less than a 8% chance of dying and they repeat it over and over and over), however that doesn't address the issue because through various spells, neither can the Wizard (clone stored in a container stored in a bag of holding, defensive spells, etc...etc...) the Wizard and Cleric can still out damage the Fighter over the course of what they assume will be a typical adventuring day (4 average encounters). The Fighter can deal quite a bit of damage to a single target, but the casters can deal quite a bit more to a single target or to groups of targets. We end up with linear Fighters and Quadratics Wizards in yet another edition of D&D.

Then of course there are things like being a Dwarf wearing plate armor and being a Wizard (Requires the Heavy Armor Mastery feat). So you have the same or better defense as a Fighter or other martial character and you can cast spells (if you use things like Mirror Image or Stone Skin or any number of defensive spells your chance of being hit is extremely low compared to a regular plate armored character). Combinations like this abound in 5E, have been pointed out, and have been promptly ignored, just like during the 4E closed play tests.

My main problem with 5E is they tested for 'feel' according to the articles but used bad math. For instance during all the play test packets combat devolves into what is known as rocket tag. Rocket tag is a game like tag, except instead of touching another player to make them 'it', you shoot rockets at them and blow them up, yeah its as deadly as it sounds. Both players and monsters have way too few hit points. This leads to whoever wins initiative winning the fight. This was pointed out early in the play test, but never addressed. Not even with a module where everyone can add their Constitution score to their hit points at 1st level (monsters included). This affects the 'feel' of the game by making large damage numbers pointless, really doing anything other than dealing up to a specific amount of damage becomes pointless. If you can kill a monster in 2 rounds dealing damage, and you choose to Web it or bull rush it or whatever you just extended its life to 3 rounds. You nearly doubled its time to deal damage. Now if you have to take 5+ rounds to kill a monster and a negative condition like being immobile will help out if you do that at round 1 then you just prevented up to 5 rounds of it attacking you or taking actions (in the case of the Web spell immobilizing it). In this case in 5E, almost any condition spell is pretty much worthless, except when you fight the 'legendary' monsters. Then its just a matter of casting enough save spells to where the creature can't auto-save and then the party gets to hammer on the helpless or ineffective creature till its dead.

The 'legendary' creatures come off to everyone as badly done 4E solos. To most players it feels like the DM is being cheap and cheating. These creatures can take actions between players turns and do a number of things like use movement, breath weapons, special attacks, etc...etc.... So when it goes from player 1 to player 2 the DM can choose to pop in and say "but wait, the Dragon jumps back and uses its breath weapon on all of you." In 4E this would be pushing it, but because players have access to similar off turn actions it doesn't feel cheap and like cheating. In 5E each player has a reaction, but generally it isn't used to take an actual action. Like in 4E a caster could throw up a shield to raise their defenses as a reaction or they could burn everything within a certain radius causing damage. In 5E this kind of thing doesn't exist. The closest you get is an extra attack from the Fighter in some rare circumstances.

I could go on and on about the cons, but I won't. Suffice it to say that I won't be buying 5E if it looks like this on release...

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