Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:45 AM
My guess: "We need to make it really obvious that these are nothing at all like Hobbits."
On the contrary. I think it was because of some wisdom put forward by Ross from the Baggies. This was you should never try and have dessert bigger than your face. Obviously the halflings have been going through years of selective breeding in order to increase the size of pudding that they can devour.
Posted 03 September 2014 - 01:48 AM
Okay, I'm falling hard for this one. Doesn't mean I'm going to spare it my usual antics, but it will be from a long lost friend and not getting the full broadsides I gave 4th.
\\Switch to Zorg voice//
Voila! Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition. It's smooth, rules are adjustable for campaign customization, good for veterans and rookies. Comes in three separate books, and free pdf introduction. Ideal for fast, free form combat. A word on customization. Vancian wizardry, 300 spells with levels 1 to 9, and with the higher levels modification -another Fifth edition invention- it's even easier. One spell and modification scales up the damage without learning a new spell. And to finish the job, all the D&D oldies but goldies. Elf wizard, halfling rogue, with lightfoot or stout varieties, (very practical), our famous dwarf cleric, the always efficient gnome bard-
And for the grand finale, the all new dragonborn warlock!
//Zorg voice off//
They answered all my complaints about 4th. Which primarily was it's Fourth. Now it's like 4th never happened. 5th is effectively 2.5. It has all the simplicity of 2nd and the variety of 3rd. Gone is the skill system that quickly made difficult tasks routine. No more once per days, no more video game feeling. The diversity is back and it's wonderful. Instead of class/race it's now class/background/race. Backgrounds give you starting skills which means all my complaints about cross class are gone as well. Charismatic fighters, intimidating wizards, pious thieves, athletic clerics, they are all possible. Elves MkII are gone and Gnomes have returned to their rightful place. It's like you can hear the polka bands warming up. The skill system is like Dragon Age now, if you have a skill in something you get a flat +X to your roll. No leveling up. As you level up your skill increases. Once you learn something you automatically improve it. Job skills are slightly different as you gain proficiency with tools, so you know how to use a carpenters set instead of just having a carpenter's skill.
Will review more once I have more to review.
Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:15 AM
And you reckon that causes foot shrinkage and a desire to wear shoes?
Hmm. Maybe they have another goal as well as increased pudding consumption. Due to the tendencies of the halflings to be rogues maybe the smaller feet to reduce the trap setting off footprint? Shoes to protect the feet from traps? You can't trust the tricksy hobbitses.
Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:45 AM
It's almost as though nobody looked into the physics of these races!
Posted 03 September 2014 - 04:53 AM
Bigger heads surely means additional mass, now culminating in a smaller contact point with the ground. The result would be an increased likelihood of activating some traps due to the greater pounds per square inch. Not to mention the reduction in stability, which would affect sneaking and agility.
It's almost as though nobody looked into the physics of these races!
To be fair though, it's difficult to think about physics by the third day of Pie Week.
Posted 03 September 2014 - 07:01 AM
Posted 14 September 2014 - 02:44 PM
One of my soon to be pirate crew made up a 1st level Silver Dragonborn Bard, with bagpipes. I have another person who made up a Halforc Monk who is a hermit.
Seems like I am going to have an interesting crew. =)
The only thing I changed is the Dragonborn can't breath. They were ok with it because I told them only those that are HEROIC/VILLIANOUS enough gain a breath attack. They have a chance to gain it depending on what they do.
Posted 15 September 2014 - 11:11 AM
That seems like a rather mean way to start the game, unless there's an actual table for it, like with the Traveller RPG:
GM: You choke to death. Roll up a new character.
LOL, and no we are playing on Saturday not Friday (Talk like a Pirate Day). My annivesary is on the day before we will just be getting home on Friday. I saw it was someone Birthday on here also, which is also my sisters Birthday. =)
Posted 16 September 2014 - 05:47 AM
LOL, and no we are playing on Saturday not Friday (Talk like a Pirate Day).
Ah, in that case, let's hope the poor PCs don't get in trouble with the captain and get locked in the brig for insubordination. It would be terrible if they ended up suffering Saturday Night Cabin Fever.
Also: congratulations on the anniversary! Does your wife know you'll be spending the entire special commemorative night with her fantasizing about being a pirate?
Posted 15 October 2014 - 09:42 PM
Okay, here we go. WALL OF TEXT INCOMING!
My group, recently resurrected after a number of months of inactivity, and I have been trying out DnD5e and the Horde of the Dragon Queen adventure. I may do a review of the adventure later but this is about the system itself. The only reason I mention the adventure is because I feel it has coloured my perceptions of this edition by the challenges it has provided and others may have found different experiences.
To begin with, I believe the old site documented my falling out with 4th edition. Like many I found the system initially appealing and incredibly fun to build characters in but a chore to play in combat. I think it was an important step in the development of the new edition, though, largely because it forced a severe reaction and subsequent changes to the game design and also because it did change up a few things for the better. To understand those changes, though, we have to go even further back.
2nd edition, where I got my first taste of DnD incidentally, was simultaneously very open and yet also restrictive. In terms of things you could do you were limited really only by your imagination and how willingly you could convince your DM to get onboard wit your crazy ideas. There were a collection of simple rules that didn't cover everything specifically but could be applied to a lot of things broadly. And for the most part that worked. But there were limitations in terms of what your character could be with racial restrictions on classes, ability scores that did nothing for your character, and everyone's favourite bugaboo, THAC0.
Bring in 3rd edition which clearly tried to be different. It simplified a lot of the math with standardized stat mods that were easier to calculate and tell what bonus they would give you, it opened up classes to all races unless your DM had a reason for saying you couldn't play a chaotic evil merperson in his party of paladins who patrolled the interior plains, and in general I think it tried to make it easier on the DM by actually providing specific rules for all sorts of situations. Now, whether you like this approach or not, or how well you think it worked out (spoiler, it got kinda nuts) most people can at least appreciate the intention. The whole thing got so bloated,though, that clearly things needed to get simplified.
We return, then, to 4th edition. Let's not focus on the lists of powers and abilities that made combat more of a tactical boardgame than an RPG and ironically slowed it even more than some 3rd edition fights, but on the goal behind the powers. Looking at what 4th wanted to be is like looking at the art from the Classical Greek period - it's Heroic Realism. They clearly wanted everyone to be awesome, to have the tools to be whatever kind of awesome they could conceive of, and they wanted it to be more accessible than the library of books you would need to optimize a character in 3rd. Powers provided a visual list of capabilities so that new players could see clearly how they could do those awesome things. Races got even more applicable to any class with the removal of negative stat modifiers in favour of more bonuses across the board. At-wills suddenly meant spellcasters always had an option other than hiding in a corner or using that one ability they could only use once a day before then being forced to hide in a corner (they got more HP too). Skills, Alignment, and things like grapple check rules were all simplified as well. The sad thing is, all this did was cause people to focus on what was listed on their character sheet because suddenly that's where all the rules that seemed important were listed. You no longer had people trying to think outside the box because they were boxed in by 5 ft squares and tactical movement.
Sidebar: We literally had a 20 minute argument in one of my games in and out of character because the cleric, who had 11 str, refused to climb a rocky incline with plentiful handholds because his Athletics score was so low. Seems unreasonably long for such a simple thing, but tripley so because every 30 seconds (real time) I was moving lava closer and closer to his character after a previous discussion went on so long that the only other means of escape had already been covered.
4th edition failed so badly at its intentions that it actually had a hotpatch stuck in halfway through its lifespan where Wizards desperately tried to rebuild positive feedback for the edition by harkening back to earlier editions, 1st and 2nd, and here we can clearly see the origins of 5th.
5th edition, simply put, feels like 2nd edition. It's got more polish, it's clearly scavenged rules along the way to streamline things like skills and grappling and what have you, the wizard doesn't have to run in fear from an irate housecat, and we could argue long and hard over whether it lives up to its intentions (though I think it's too early still to tell), but having played through 5 sessions now my group agrees that if nothing else it feels like the heart of the edition most of us started this hobby with is beating alive and well in this new edition. Moreover it's been fun and at one point frustrating to see the members of our group who haven't played 2nd suddenly find that they can just say they want to do a thing and it almost always works. Let us also not discount that the DCs and ACs and other target numbers you generally have to hit to do something don't creep up remotely as fast as they used to. A lvl 1 commoner has a chance to David v Goliath a lvl 10 fighter in fullplate, ignoring HP vs the damage of a sling. He could still peg him, even without critting.
I think one of the most interesting things about the edition, and you can see a lot of work went into it, is that character creation is both conceptually intuitive with well defined niches for each class to specialize in but also incredibly open. Even before you get to the variants for each class, which in the PHB is anywhere from 2 to 8 options, there haven't been many concepts that we\ve come up with that haven't just worked out. The only character I actually haven't been able to build in one way or another is my good friend Oddric, a half-orc rogue who wields the biggest weapon he can find. Sadly for sneak attacks that limits him to a rapier, but that could easily be rectified witht he new feats.
I saw BJB comment on feats earlier and while I do agree to an extent (I simultaneously love and loathe hunting through the massive feat lists for 3rd and Pathfinder) I was actually excited by feats for the first time. Excited. By feats. That is a weird sensation. But the new feats are mechanically pretty cool. Instead of things you need to take, usually in an order, with stat requirements you may not have or want, and that's the only way to build your guy competitively, feats are now entirely optional. In fact, you're forced to choose between advancing your stats or getting a feat, but that's also kind of cool mechanically. With lower DCs you don't need massive stats to do things anymore, though of course we all want them because bigger numbers are always better. At certain levels you gain more stat points than you used to making it that much easier to fill in the ones you want or need and then they cap at 20. It's entirely likely many characters will run out of stats they care about. You could start building a new stat or you could get a feat which, instead of one incremental benefit, is now a package of awesome things you can do that others can't. it's almost a prestige class in terms of a jump in starting abilities. But if you don't like feats, don't use them. Nothing in there is anything you strictly need to play and excel at the game.
I also really like the new resting rules. I don't know if a full hour is strictly necessary for a short rest but I like the implication that it isn't quite as easy as just leaning against a wall for 30 seconds to catch your breath and then rolling on. It forces the players to actually think about what they're doing, where they can legitimately shore up for a break to wrap their wounds, grab a sandwich, and discuss strategy before moving on. I also like that, like 4th edition, everyone has an ability to heal up a bit during a rest and that the healing is quite limited. it sounds crual but killing 4th edition characters was nearly impossible. It's still tricky since generally there will be a few rounds of death saves but with oldschool damage dice vs HP totals and dwindling resources as the day rolls on the fear of death is back and I sorely missed it.
And speaking of heals, I love that every spellcasting class is slightly different. It is a huge pain when trying to remember how each class works in terms of memorizing, preparing, and how often they get those precious spell slots back (go warlocks!) but it's a nice because it makes each class feel different. I am curious to see how higher level casting will go and will likely have more to say on it later.
My last point is that, moreso than other editions, this one feels like it encourages customization. Each class is comprised of a number of elements, like lego, and it's easy to see how some pieces could be exchanged for others. I think there's huge potential here for homebrewing and, though I honestly know this won't be the case, I very much hope that Wizards resists the urge to release book after book of new classes and feats. Maybe the odd book, with distinct and interesting new classes and defintiely some more spells, but for the most part let us work out what we want with the bits we have.
Anyway, that's my incredibly long opinion piece. I am highly optimistic of this new edition and we're planning on finishing this campaign and then likely starting a new one shortly thereafter. I'll come back with new insights as I think of them.
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