The Butcher

horrible cunt
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
8,111
You know how it is. Lots of games vying for my attention, but because this hobby is built on network externalities I am once more giving D&D5 material (particularly as it pertains to character creation) a good read.

Some stray thoughts:

  • I never liked the Champion and Battle Master subclasses for the Fighter. Now I realize what they were doing — the Champion as a no-buttons-to-push D&D0-3 type fighter, and the BM as a D&D4-ish mobility and maneuvers type Fighter. But for those of us who would rather anyone could use "maneuvers" without class-specific mechanics, it sort of sucked. And I like the UA Brute better than the PHB champion.
  • I never much liked Bards and Rangers as casters, but much of their spell lists seems easily explained away as wuxia-level exceptional skill in mundane things — which kinda-sorta satisfies my inner nitpicker until I wonder how ridiculous it would be to endure elements without rolling anything and yet potentially failing simple Survival rolls.
  • Gnomes have advantage on magic saves and add Proficiency twice for recognizing magic items. That may be because of a supposed arcane affinity but it makes them even better witch hunters.
 
Last edited:

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,281
Reaction score
2,199
I like that the Champion exists but I never want to play it. The battle master is interesting - it gives options, a good way to gain things to do with reactions and bonus actions.

I always wanted to like bards but they never quite worked until 5e.

I wouldn't mind if halflings went away. They're just hobbits, except when they're not, based on one source. They're also influenced by the kender at many tables and that needs to go away and never come back. Make hobbits only for LOTR games.

For me Forgotten Realms is the 2nd worst official setting of all time - I wish that it wasn't the default setting but at least many official adventures make it ignorable.
 

OHT

Reviewer
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
692
Reaction score
1,623
Valor Bards are viable fighter-mages which is nice. I like the idea of the oath of the ancients for the paladin too. The well documented beast master ranger is pants, however.
 

CRKrueger

Eläytyminatör
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
4,641
Reaction score
8,342
You know how it is. Lots of games vying for my attention, but because this hobby is built on network externalities I am once more giving D&D5 material (particularly as it pertains to character creation) a good read.

Some stray thoughts:

  • I never liked the Champion and Battle Master subclasses for the Fighter. Now I realize what they were doing — the Champion as a no-buttons-to-push D&D0-3 type fighter, and the BM as a D&D4-ish mobility and maneuvers type Fighter. But for those of us who would rather anyone could use "maneuvers" without class-specific mechanics, it sort of sucked. And I like the UA Brute better than the PHB champion.
  • I never much liked Bards and Rangers as casters, but much of their spell lists seems easily explained away as wuxia-level exceptional skill in mundane things — which kinda-sorta satisfies my inner nitpicker until I wonder how ridiculous it would be to endure elements without rolling anything and yet potentially failing simple Survival rolls.
  • Gnomes have advantage on magic saves and add Proficiency twice for recognizing magic items. That may be because of a supposed arcane affinity but it makes them even better witch hunters.
A Gnome Witch Hunter would rock, especially if it was Bretonnian like that Gnome out of the WFRP articles.

The thing to remember about WotC D&D: you're building characters as decks of powers - and most of the decks will suck for modeling your own setting (they even suck for modeling the setting they were written for). If you're going 5e, get Adventures in Middle Earth and Scarred Lands 5e. Check some of the other more divergent and wilder takes on 5e. Check DM's Guild - the idea here isn't to find good classes you can use as is, you won't find any, the point is, finding interesting powers and getting your mind turning.

Then throw every cool card/power you can find in a master pool, and use them to create your own decks/classes. Make the chassis/slot paradigm work for you and get your perfect set of classes.

Then advertise 5e for those unimaginative, ignorant slugs that refuse to play anything else* and hit 'em with 5e Butcher Edition.

Or, just do 1/100th the work, get some decent players with open minds and play Mythras. :devil:


*not saying 5e players are unimaginative and ignorant slugs, just those who refuse to play anything else.
 

Séadna

Legendary Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
5,151
Reaction score
9,448
  • I never much liked Bards and Rangers as casters, but much of their spell lists seems easily explained away as wuxia-level exceptional skill in mundane things — which kinda-sorta satisfies my inner nitpicker until I wonder how ridiculous it would be to endure elements without rolling anything and yet potentially failing simple Survival rolls.
I love Bards as casters. The idea of precisely constructed poetry commanding the fabric of fate to manipulate people and ultimately even objects. I usually portray them as mixing Vancian and Celtic/Norse ideas with stuff from Ursula Le Guin's EarthSea. Vancian wizards spend a long time loading complex "mathematical" encodings of magic into their head and training their minds to accommodate more. A Bard then spends his time researching the correct words in the language of creation (LeGuin), but they must obey strict metrical rules and be uttered correctly on recitation to activate the spell (Celtic/Norse). The complexity of the poems means few can be held in one's head at once (Vance).

Traditionally Bards and Skálds were thought capable of most of the 5E spell list given to them.
 
Last edited:

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,281
Reaction score
2,199
I'm reminded that I like that lack of alignment restrictions on classes. This is part of what allowed the paladin to become more about oaths instead of just Sir Galahad.

On the whole, I've found 5e easy to homebrew.
 

TheophilusCarter

Milliner and Haberdasher
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
2,549
Reaction score
4,392
I'm trying to figure out what the hell I want / will be able to do with 5e. It's a great edition, but I'm not sure that it competes with other games that I'm into these days, or even does things the way Middle-Aged Theo (compared to Grade-School-Thru-Middle-School Theo ... ) prefers. My local face-to-face gamer pals all already have D&D outlets, and probably wouldn't have time to play in yet another campaign, even if I were up for DMing. It'd be cool to be a player for a change, but my main option involves gaming with total strangers, which fills me with dread ... Right now, the books are sitting on my shelf, all shiny and everything, but I'm wondering if they'll remain, or make their way to the Half Price Books pile.
 

The Butcher

horrible cunt
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
8,111
I like that the Champion exists but I never want to play it. The battle master is interesting - it gives options, a good way to gain things to do with reactions and bonus actions.
I'm more or less in the same place, except I'd dump the Champion for the Brute.

I really, really like the Purple Dragon/Knight Banneret subclass as well. The Cavalier and Samurai look fun too.

I always wanted to like bards but they never quite worked until 5e.
Played one once in AD&D2 but got him killed real quick. :clown: Never played with them in D&D3 or 4. They do look fun in this edition.

I wouldn't mind if halflings went away. They're just hobbits, except when they're not, based on one source. They're also influenced by the kender at many tables and that needs to go away and never come back. Make hobbits only for LOTR games.
The thing with halflings is that everyone wants to play Bilbo, or a variation thereof, when Bilbo was notedly an outlier. This is why they're "hobbits, except when they're not" — they have a cultural ethos for adventuring in many settings (hopefully without becoming too much like kender).

For me Forgotten Realms is the 2nd worst official setting of all time - I wish that it wasn't the default setting but at least many official adventures make it ignorable.
I have a sentimental attachment to it by way of years of licensed videogames. :smile:

Valor Bards are viable fighter-mages which is nice. I like the idea of the oath of the ancients for the paladin too. The well documented beast master ranger is pants, however.
Core RAW Range or the UA "revised" Ranger? Also, is "pants" good or bad? :ooh:

Agreed on the Valor Bard, and torn between it and the College of Swords Bard for when I hit 3rd level — but a dash more inclined towards the latter. Valor makes me think of a loud and boisterous warrior-poet, Swords a witty, agile duelist with sharp tongue and sharper blade.

As for fighter-mages I initially entertained the idea of a playing a High Elf Fighter, woth an eye towards Eldricht Knight, for that B/X Elf feel. But chatting with the other players I decided to try, well, this.

If you're going 5e, get Adventures in Middle Earth and Scarred Lands 5e. Check some of the other more divergent and wilder takes on 5e.
I've been meaning to do this ever since looking at the Feral RPG playtest docs, but...

Or, just do 1/100th the work, get some decent players with open minds and play Mythras. :devil:
...this is the exact sort of thinking that occurs to me when I consider running D&D5.

Also my group wants me to run Mythras, badly. And I hope to indulge them in the near future. Not sure about setting but that's for another thread. :smile:

I love Bards as casters. The idea of precisely constructed poetry commanding the fabric of fate to manipulate people and ultimately even objects.
There absolutely exists a ton of mythological and literary precedent, and your headcanon is great! It's just a personal preference thing.

I'm reminded that I like that lack of alignment restrictions on classes. This is part of what allowed the paladin to become more about oaths instead of just Sir Galahad.

On the whole, I've found 5e easy to homebrew.
Love the idea of having LN or CG or CE Paladins as well. And haven't really played enough D&D5 to get comfortable with really homebrewing it, except maybe for a few custom Backgrounds; when I do, though, I'll cook up a few new Fighter subclasses.

I'm trying to figure out what the hell I want / will be able to do with 5e. It's a great edition, but I'm not sure that it competes with other games that I'm into these days, or even does things the way Middle-Aged Theo (compared to Grade-School-Thru-Middle-School Theo ... ) prefers. My local face-to-face gamer pals all already have D&D outlets, and probably wouldn't have time to play in yet another campaign, even if I were up for DMing. It'd be cool to be a player for a change, but my main option involves gaming with total strangers, which fills me with dread ... Right now, the books are sitting on my shelf, all shiny and everything, but I'm wondering if they'll remain, or make their way to the Half Price Books pile.
Right now I'm satisfied with enjoying it as a regular ol' player. When I get my GMing mojo back I'm probably running something from my humongous backlog. I like the idea of running it but everyone seems to be running it these days.

With regards to niche, I think I'd like to use it with some classic AD&D1 material, like the Temple-Slavers-Giants-Drow module sequence, or a gray box-powered FR sandbox. Or maybe something new school-ish like Eberron. But it does compete with other games I'd like to run like ACKS and SotDL whch have distinct strengths but quite a bit of overlap.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,215
Reaction score
3,980
I recently picked up the Tome of Beasts. I really like it: from a superficial glance, many of the creatures appear similar or one note, but each has cool hooks and thematic, adventure-generating inspiration. In ways, I like it better than the official Monster Manual.
 

The Butcher

horrible cunt
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
8,111
I recently picked up the Tome of Beasts. I really like it: from a superficial glance, many of the creatures appear similar or one note, but each has cool hooks and thematic, adventure-generating inspiration. In ways, I like it better than the official Monster Manual.
I am a sucker for monster books, and this is more encouragement than I usually need. I’ll definitely check it out.
 

Dumarest

Vaquero de Alta California
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
15,067
Reaction score
30,527
...each has cool hooks and thematic, adventure-generating inspiration.
That is what I look for and the sort of thing I'd be more inclined to buy. I don't need a list of monsters. I already know plenty and can make up more. Ideas for what to do with them and how to fit them into a game are priceless.
 
Last edited:

OHT

Reviewer
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
692
Reaction score
1,623
Tome of Beasts is very expensive and comes and goes on availability. The good news is that the sequel Creature Codex is about to be released. Mine's arriving tomorrow apparently (the vagaries of Amazon delivery :hmmm:).
 

Endless Flight

Swo Master
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
7,947
Reaction score
17,898
That is what I look for and the sort of thing I'd be more inclined to buy. I don't need a list of monsters. I already know plenty and can make up more. Ideas for what to do with them of how to fit them into a game are priceless.
Well, you’re in luck. The priceless is available for $44.97 on Amazon.
 

Voros

Doomed Investigator
Joined
Sep 23, 2017
Messages
9,191
Reaction score
14,825
I've liked bards since 2e. Never played them in 3e.

Got Dragonheist yesterday in the mail. Looking it over today. Some very nice art and good villains and NPCs. To me a City book lives or dies on its cast of NPCs, they're really the building blocks for city adventures.

The core adventure may be a bit too railroady for some but I haven't dug in enough to see how I think it will play. It is essentially built on a mystery structure with a McGuffin so at first glance not too different from a standard CoC investigation.
 

Séadna

Legendary Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
5,151
Reaction score
9,448
I am a sucker for monster books, and this is more encouragement than I usually need. I’ll definitely check it out.
Just echoing Necrozius, it's a great book.

Tome of Beasts is very expensive and comes and goes on availability. The good news is that the sequel Creature Codex is about to be released. Mine's arriving tomorrow apparently (the vagaries of Amazon delivery :hmmm:).
Didn't know about this, cheers!
 

OHT

Reviewer
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
692
Reaction score
1,623
Creature Codex arrived this morning. On first flick through seems like a lot of bang for your buck (this book was pre-ordered for £29). It does a good job of presenting a lot of 'weird' monsters. Stuff to chuck at your players to get a WTF? moment. Season your main monsters with the weird ones lightly though, otherwise the extraordinary becomes ordinary.

I mentioned above that fifth edition foes seemed to under-estimate hitpoints on quite a few monsters. I feel this book goes the other way. I'm pretty sure on my flick-through that i saw a CR 1 creature with 75 hit points. Seems a bit extreme.

The physical thing itself is pretty good. The artwork is great and they use the standard layout for statblocks that wizards use. The paper quality is not so good though. I can't blame a smaller outfit on using lesser paper, but be aware that when i came in from mowing the lawn and a small smidge of sweat made its way onto the paper, it bled through 3 pages. Once it dried, however, it was not really noticeable. It is a bit on the delicate side though, so be aware.
 

The Butcher

horrible cunt
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
8,111
It does a good job of presenting a lot of 'weird' monsters. Stuff to chuck at your players to get a WTF? moment. Season your main monsters with the weird ones lightly though, otherwise the extraordinary becomes ordinary.
Sounds interesting! Care to provide examples?
 

OHT

Reviewer
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
692
Reaction score
1,623
Sounds interesting! Care to provide examples?
Hmm, well there's the ooze that has a shark living in it that guards a little castle overflowing with treasure - yes, all that is within the body of the ooze.

Then there's the keg golem made by rowdy dwarves that spews beer at you.

Ooh, they've also catagorised a bar-room brawl as a swarm.

Exploding toads, spider drakes, Ghoul steeds (really, don't ask) and Reynard the Fox, fey lord.

About 350 more than that too. A few more racial archetypes for goblins, kobolds and the like as well as oodles of monsters that are hard to pronounce.
 

Raleel

Not actually a Mythras sales bot
Joined
May 15, 2017
Messages
3,366
Reaction score
6,469
I have to agree on bard, champions, and battle masters with the mass here. Bards were kid of ok in 4e but really shine in 5e. Champions are dull for me, and battlemaster feels like they neutered a warlord and then covered him in vegemite. The bard, though, is good. Played a valor one and it worked great.

I really like bounded accuracy and advantage/disadvantage. IMO, it is inspired.

I think most of the spells have been neutered and are too mechanical. I get why, but it’s like they did up 4e spells, then took away any power. Concentration is horrible. I know why it’s there but it is a straight jacket. The end result is wizards who are just not really interesting magically. Maybe 4e without a clear role.

I’ve referenced that 5e is just not for me. I think it is a great system, and i think it is especially good for new players or less dedicated players. But, I mean, I create my own stuff. I’ve played some of the mechanically most complex stuff and go over the full range. It’s just blah for me
 

Teyrnon

Legendary Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2017
Messages
413
Reaction score
602
I've been running Lost Mine of Phandelver since July and while I did end up getting the PHB a few weeks ago I'm still trying to figure out if there's any value in getting the DMG. Is there anything that is must have in the 5E DMG that I can't get from the Basic pdfs and the SRD?
 

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,281
Reaction score
2,199
The DMG is decent but, if you have another edition D&D or have play experience, not really needed. The main thing is treasure tables - you can get lists on Donjon or elsewhere and you don't need them if you're running modules already stocked. It has stuff on the planes, downtime, variants, and general advice but it's the core book I use the least by far.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,215
Reaction score
3,980
Yeah as much as I like the variant rules and magic items, you can get that info elsewhere for cheaper. But it doesn't hurt.
 

OHT

Reviewer
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
692
Reaction score
1,623
I've been playing and running for years without the DMG, but i picked up a copy a few weeks ago because it was only £11. The section on treasure is the selling point really.
 

finarvyn

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
420
Reaction score
731
For me Forgotten Realms is the 2nd worst official setting of all time - I wish that it wasn't the default setting but at least many official adventures make it ignorable.
Just curious -- if FR is the 2nd worst official setting, which is the worst? (Not arguing. I'm not a FR fan. Just wondering.)
 

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,281
Reaction score
2,199
Just curious -- if FR is the 2nd worst official setting, which is the worst? (Not arguing. I'm not a FR fan. Just wondering.)
For me, Dragon Lance. It created the worst versions of many of the races and most of the books were not good.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,215
Reaction score
3,980
I find pretty much all of the "generic" fantasy worlds from D&D to be painfully boring.

However, I like Ravenloft and plan on running it using the character classes from Adventures in Middle Earth and the Shadow system from that game too.
 

OHT

Reviewer
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
692
Reaction score
1,623
A brief perusal of Creature Codex has already highlighted some mistakes (may be intentional, who knows) but i've noticed a few instances where the hit-dice are of the wrong type. 5e grants hit dice on size rather than monster type and i've noticed a few small creatures have d8 hit points instead of d6.

I think the plethora of monster books coming out are crying out for some npcs with character levels. The DMG has guidleines on what to do, so having a few ready to use would be useful. Also, instead of gaining the class hit dice for these levels, monsters gain their own type of hit dice per level. So a pixie fighter would get d4 hit points per level, not d10, whilst a kraken sorcerer would get a d20 per level rather than a d6.
 

Stan

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,281
Reaction score
2,199
However, I like Ravenloft and plan on running it using the character classes from Adventures in Middle Earth and the Shadow system from that game too.
That would make a really cool, low magic, horror game. I'm going to have to reread Adventures in Middle Earth from a horror perspective.
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,215
Reaction score
3,980
Reading more of the Tome of Beasts. There are some really neat creatures in there, but I have to make an effort to actually read some of them. The art, while very competent, is often terribly unimaginative compared with the descriptions.

You'd practically have to hold a gun to my head to read the dragon entries, but that applies to ANY monster manual. The drakes are far more interesting.

There are a lot of Fey creatures, many very epic, cruel and insane. Liking that a lot. Some I'd re-skin as "goblins" or whatever in a gritty setting like Ravenloft.

Some of the creatures veer into bizarre body horror. There are at least 2 familiar-like creatures that are pretty ineffective in combat: they're purely atmospheric and cool (weird too).

Plenty of creatures that teleport, jump around, create walls and barriers and generally fuck around with the battle ground. So much better than the default Monster Manual.

One of them is actually created by birthing it. Ewwww... like a personal homunculus-demon-baby. Men or women spell casters can grow one. YIKES.

Yeah I like this book.
 

Shipyard Locked

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
1,740
Reaction score
2,741
Just jumping in to point out that I'm currently playing a Champion Fighter and it's everything I could want.

I love the simple mechanics, I love taking a 30-second turn, and I love showing off to newbies that a character can be interesting and varied in play with very little mechanical flash. People forget that things like shoving, grappling, carrying your allies (using the grappling rules), or using simple gadgets for tactical advantage are options.

The aristocrat background gives me all the added roleplaying levers I need, and the GM is generous with magic items because he assumes I'm deprived for some reason. :devil:
 
Last edited:

The Butcher

horrible cunt
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
8,111
Questions of the Day:
  • What’s some good third-party material I should be looking into?
  • How awesome could a Barbarian/Druid build be? I’m thinking Bear Totem Barbarian and Circle of the Moon Druid. (Assuming one can rage in wild shape.)
 

Necrozius

Legendary Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
2,215
Reaction score
3,980
Third-party:
  • Adventures in Middle Earth (player's guide; loremasters book is a good add-on if you like the first book). For the journey rules and corruption system. You could use these rules in regular D&D 5e without any problem.
  • Tome of Beasts (as mentioned earlier) for the sheer number of creative creature ideas. I've only read up to "D" so far and I'm quite surprised at the creativity. Lots of new Fey and thematic, interesting undead.
  • Paizo's plot twist and chase cards. Fun add-on items to create some slightly meta-gamey additions to your GM arsenal.
 

carpocratian

Legendary Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Messages
364
Reaction score
508
I'm trying to figure out what the hell I want / will be able to do with 5e. It's a great edition, but I'm not sure that it competes with other games that I'm into these days, or even does things the way Middle-Aged Theo (compared to Grade-School-Thru-Middle-School Theo ... ) prefers.
I have been giving this a lot of thought this week, since I may end up running an ongoing 5e campaign at a local game shop later this year.

I have been playing in a D&D 3.5e game for a few months, only because we have rotating GMs and this one wanted to do 3.5e. Last year I played in a game of 5e, for the same reason. I re-read the 3.5e books before getting into the current game, so that's fresh in my mind. I went back and read the 5e PHB and DMG again, and (just for the sake of comparison) re-skim-read the Pathfinder PHB and DMG, too (the last time I played that was a few years ago).

I played a lot of AD&D back in the day, but could never get into 3e when it came out, and pretty much feel the same it to this day. If I had to play D&D (any edition) or Pathfinder but I could choose, I would probably go with Pathfinder, simply because there are more official classes and subclasses available for it in print form. Ultimately, though, if it weren't for the rotating GM thing in my main gaming group and the 5e campaign I MIGHT run in a game store (for reasons that are too boring to go into), I wouldn't choose to play D&D or Pathfinder again. There are just too many other systems that I really like, fantasy or otherwise. I like classless point buy systems.
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top