robertsconley

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My main issue with it, if I feel like kvetching anyway, is the scale of the HP in 5E. When characters range from 1 to 120+ it's kinda hard to get granular with. I find some OSR treatments a little easier because the PCs generally have far fewer hit points. Something about the smaller totals and more compact range makes it easier to forge a narrative around.
One reason I like to stick with my Majestic Fantasy RPG system. However what D&D 5e inflated totals does is allow the 5e system to expand the number of options for character to deal damage in a way that didn't work as well in 3E. While I don't like fussing around with 20 levels worth character options, I also don't find it hard to port my material back and forth because the power curves in my experience are similar.

Keeping in mind that both editions including my take have ways of thoroughly breaking it.
 

Fenris-77

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I've played around with things like HP= Con score (not bonus) + level. So, it has a higher start but a much more shallow slope. This works only if you change other things though or PCs start getting murdered.
Yeah, you need to change the whole damage mechanic really. OSR games do it all the time, but at that point I'd rather just play on of those games. Five Torches Deep is a great example of this done while keeping a lot of (well, some) the 5E peripherals.
 

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HP is just weird if you think about it too hard. Like things that should only work if you are HIT function off HP damage. Like a poisoned blade. If HP don't represent really getting hit, then how does a poisoned blade get poison in you on HP damage.

You could say "well you got knicked" but suddenly every poisoned blade is going to be "hitting" more often as you would describe other HP losses as a last second parry or a rough block.

Not to say that I have a problem necessarily with HP. I just don't sweat it. It makes no sense but it works as a mechanic. It's best not to think about it too hard.
 

robertsconley

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HP is just weird if you think about it too hard. Like things that should only work if you are HIT function off HP damage. Like a poisoned blade. If HP don't represent really getting hit, then how does a poisoned blade get poison in you on HP damage.
In D&D being hit is represented by a successful to-hit roll. So if you are successful in the roll the blade does damage and the poison could take effect. The exact mechanism is not detailed as it is GURPS or Runequest.

Being hit by a blade reduces one's combat endurance.
Being effected by poison could also reduces one's combat endurance if that one of its properties. There may be a save involved as well that either mitigates or negate the effects of the points.

You could say "well you got knicked" but suddenly every poisoned blade is going to be "hitting" more often as you would describe other HP losses as a last second parry or a rough block.
For me, I avoid the issue by describing all hit point damage as injury. The way I do it is to describe a 3 points of damage on a character with 6 hit points the same way I describe a 20 points of damage with a character with 40 points. It has resolved the issue satisfactory for me and my players in the campaigns I ran for the past few years.

Instead of viewing it as the character actually parrying and the hit points representing some intangible luck or even fatigue factor. I view it as the character's skill have improved to turn what would be a grievous injury into a minor injury. But the result is still an injury.

While you didn't bring it up others when it comes to hit points talk about things like falls. Up to a point skill can play a role in allowing the character to break their fall with a tumble or twist so that the relative damage is less compared to when they were at first level. However my view there becomes a point where severe injury or death is all be certain at which point it something to be saved against. With the best result being a bunch of broken bones and the character incapacitated with the loss of all hit points.

This assuming a referee is pursuing a more grounded approach, like I do. The other common approach is to treat leveled characters as special with the ordinary inhabitants 1 HD or level 0. In which case a level 4 "Hero" is truly equal to four veteran 1 "Hero". My experience is that D&D is flexible enough for either approach to work. Although the more grounded approach is easier with OD&D as a foundation due to the number spread being smaller. 5e can work as well provided one is selective about allowing certain classes and subclasses into the campaign.
 

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Yeah poisoned, diseased and necrotic damage... one could say that the character has to work HARDER to avoid those hits... but what if they don't know that the attacks have those things in them?

I almost want to change things up and use the d20 Star Wars' Vitality and Wound point rules...
 

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What helped me get over myself about hit points and wounds was finally understading that both are abstractions irrelevant to real world medicine. (Yes, I always knew they didn't apply, but I had to internalize that knowledge: the abstraction is not real, and that's for my benefit.) No triage center measures using RPG-Jargon HP or Wounds, regardless of "realistic hit locations" or "blood points." So then the question becomes do I want a simple number and move along, or a number plus complications (often in a 'Spiral of Suck'), and how many of those while in the middle of play.

Thus you just measure where's your happy zone of in-practice complications. :dice: I found mine is higher than Tunnels & Trolls, yet less than AD&D + PO:[HP Variants]. Yours might be Phoenix Command! Go forth and see the breadth of options.
 

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Very true, @opaopajr , perhaps I just need to relax a bit.

I will likely keep HP as-is, but do some playstyle tweaks:
  1. HP will be "meat-points"
  2. I will keep track of the PCs HP scores in secret
  3. Before a PCs HP level reaches halfway, I will describe wounds as superficial, bumps, scratches, irritations etc.
  4. Once a PC's HP level reaches a half point, I will explain a particularly harsh wound: stab, arrow stuck in flesh, bad burn etc. Just cosmetic, but they are encouraged to roleplay them out for Inspiration points
  5. Once a PCs HP level reaches 1/4, I will let them know that they're really hurting, that they're bleeding, starting to see fuzzy etc...
  6. When a PC reaches 0 HP, they will be asked to write down a permanent scar; these can also be a source for winning Inspiration if they play them up

That will suit me fine for now.
 

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Just got Tasha's Cauldron of Everything in the mail today.

Lots of great options. I rather like a lot of the additions, especially the... Feats! Who'd have thought I'd say that!?

There's a magic item obviously inspired by the Black Cauldron (a bit).

The Artificer doesn't interest me in the least, but I can see how others would be happy with it.

There are new Psionic options, but no dedicated class, just archetypes for all exiting ones. I prefer this approach, personally. The Rogue Psyker is nifty, reminiscent of Psylocke from X-men.

It looks like they didn't include the controversial option for Sorcerers that would allow them to change a spell during every long rest. That isn't available any more. Good call; would have cheapened the Wizard's uniqueness.

All in all a decent book. I was hoping they'd include a new type of Ranger without spells. Oh well, I'll just recommend the Adventures in Middle Earth version for those players.
 

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It looks like they didn't include the controversial option for Sorcerers that would allow them to change a spell during every long rest. That isn't available any more. Good call; would have cheapened the Wizard's uniqueness.
what did they include for the wizard? he's been so cheapened and made flavorless and boring that I worry. many of his spells are in other classes. his schools are dull as anything, and there is a specific set of spells that are HEAD AND SHOULDERS above the rest

edit: let me rephrase

1605745352305.png
 
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Stan

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There are new Psionic options, but no dedicated class, just archetypes for all exiting ones.
I'm simultaneously disappointed and relieved. I thought the playtest mystic was pretty cool. But it, like previous incarnations of psionics, would probably have so many loopholes and things that interact poorly that I'd wind up banning psionics again.
 

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what did they include for the wizard? he's been so cheapened and made flavorless and boring that I worry. many of his spells are in other classes. his schools are dull as anything, and there is a specific set of spells that are HEAD AND SHOULDERS above the rest
Why do you feel this way? A divination wizard is a lot of fun and all wizards have tremendous battlefield control + utility. Any class can deal direct damage but a wizard wins battles. Direct damage is honestly a sub-optimal role for the 5e wizard
 

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The new Wizard school of the Scribe is pretty cool. Has some features that play off the plethora of spells in your spellbook. Nifty.

There’s also a Bladesinger but meh.
 

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Why do you feel this way? A divination wizard is a lot of fun and all wizards have tremendous battlefield control + utility. Any class can deal direct damage but a wizard wins battles. Direct damage is honestly a sub-optimal role for the 5e wizard
Sorry, it's not at you at all (really, I mean it). it's a very sore subject with me :smile: but - rant incoming (not at you, really! sorry!)

this is literally the problem. "the divination wizard is a lot of fun" and no one says anything about any of the other ones. Occasionally the evoker pops up. Direct damage is the sub optimal role - I absolutely agree. I should take hypnotic pattern, color spray, grease, fog cloud, maybe thunderwave. I should take shield. I should take hold person and invisibility.

and I should take these no matter what school, unless MAYBE evoker. MAYBE. even then, they should literally be #2, and a tough choice.

The spells are not balanced, and I have access to all regardless of school, and thus every wizard looks the same. and because of the school features divination is BY FAR the best option. BY LITERAL LIGHT YEARS, it is hard to see other builds. go google it. divination wizards vs transmuters or illusionists or necromancers or anything else.

they stripped all of the metamagic out of the wizard, who arguably should know how to manipulate magic better than anyone, and put it in the sorcerer. Then they give the sorcerer access to most of the same spell list (many of the best spells). so now the sorcerer can use the best spells and manipulate them better.

THEN they say "well, the wizard can swap out spells!". that's fucking great if your GM is the sort of GM who will make sure a scroll drops every other game or so and you are writing them in regularly, and then provides a pile of situations where you. might get use out of Gentle Repose or Illusory Script or False Life or Sending or any of a number of other spells that are quite specialized. But if he doesn't, you are a shitty sorcerer, or lore bard, or warlock even.

So yea, your schools are shit, your spells are the same, your key feature is completely GM controlled, and all the cool spell features are in another class. The BEST school they had was Loremaster, and the entire fucking internet lit themselves on fire over it. OMG MY SORCERER MIGHT NOT BE THE LITERAL BEST THING.
 

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@Raleel Actually man I agree with you 100% that the wrong GM can make wizards suck. Ugh I remember playing a wizard in a 2e not-Conquistadores game where the DM was inexplicably stingy with spells and the ones I did get were crappy. It was terrible.

Acquiring additional spells is a primary if not the primary motivation for an adventuring wizard. A GM who isn't harnessing that motivation and using it as fuel for story seeds, adventure hooks, rewards, etc is doing the wizard a great disservice. Also I agree that some spells are just clearly better than others; those are the spells the wizard needs to go out into the world to find through adventuring!

I know you think the schools are boring but maybe you can take a fresh look at them, sex them up a little and refluff. No one calls them "diviners" they are The Illuminates of the All-Seeing Eye and they do high end Black Chamber stuff. That sort of thing. I also make the various schools into cabals that present a unified front to outsiders but constantly scheme and plot against each other on the inside. Evocation is boring I agree so I broke it into two sects that hated each other's guts, the Brotherhood of the Ashen Worm (frost mages) and the The Conventicle of the Eternal Flame (fire mages). Give the schools exclusive access to some thematic spells and items. They absolutely do not share spells with each other and jealously guard knowledge of their really good spells. Hypnotic pattern is amazing spell that gives the Immaculate Mask (illusionists) an edge; they are certainly not going to share it with outsiders! Adventuring is an opportunity for enterprising young wizards to expand their repertoire beyond the limitations of their school or house or clan or whatever.
 
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EmperorNorton

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Abjuration is also fun. Bladesinger was improved in Tasha's and I like it as well. I also think War Mage and Chronurgy are solid.

Honestly, I don't think sorcerer is nearly as good as you make it sound. Sorcerers have to specialize, and what they specialize in they will be really good in. Wizards can be good at a lot of stuff without sacrificing anything else.

Sorcerers will be better inside their niche, Wizards will be better at everything else.
 
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Raleel

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I know you think the schools are boring but maybe you can take a fresh look at them, sex them up a little and refluff.
I wish it was just fluff. I genuinely do. The other ones are just badly balanced against Advantage/Disadvantage++ that the diviners get. oo boy, my skeletons get an extra half a dozen hit points and +2 or so do damage!

Abjuration is also fun.
fair. but he's still got the same spells. There is no distinction save for a couple of school abilities. He's not particularly interested in any abjuration spells. I get why they did it, I just think it's a bad reason.

Sorcerers will be better inside their niche, Wizards will be better at everything else.
which, frankly, is casting spells they know. And Lore Bards, who are better at a good chunk of spells that are on the hot list.

I really do understand why they took out all the fuckery. They tightened up the language. they made it clear. they made it a fuckton easier to GM. Easier for players to understand. But it just turned the wizard into pretty damn dull by comparison.
 

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The Sidekicks are fantastic (already had a preview of them in the Essentials kit, but there's more here).

So good that I see potential in using them instead of regular PCs to get my partner to play (simpler rules to manage).

The new Rogue option of Steady Aim is great too. Now I want to play a Rogue more than ever.

The new Warlock material is great. I'm already talking with my GM to swap out Eldritch Blast and Agonizing Blast to use some of the new Tome Pact features. I hate Eldritch Blast.
 

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The new "make your own race" thing is pretty awesome. I can see letting people use that when I run my "humans only" campaign.

Basically, it is:

Creature Type: humanoid
Size: small or medium (player choice)
Speed: 30 ft
Ability Score Increase: +2 to any one ability score you want
Feat: Gain one feat of your choice (as long as you qualify)
Variable Trait: pick one: darkvision 60ft or proficiency in one skill of choice.
Languages: common + 1 more of your choice

In the campaign I will be running, there will not be any small humanoids nor darkvision, so that keeps things simple.

HOWEVER!!!
Is this really balanced with all of the other races? While I like the simplicity, I just cannot see how this compares with Half Elf or Tiefling. Or that Dwarf that gets +2 to two stats plus medium armor proficiency. How does WotC figure this out? I don't get it!
 

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@Necrozius It's pretty much just Variant human with a few small changes. The +1 to any two stats switched to +2 to one stat, and the ability to be small or medium, and the ability to pick darvision instead of a skill proficiency.

And considering that Variant Human has been considered one of the best races for a long time I think it is fine.

There are some issues though. In that a Feat is better for certain types of characters than others. Like GWM and Sharpshooter are just way better for a two hander or bow user than most other feats are to anyone. In general feats are better for non-casters than they are for casters.
 

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There are some issues though. In that a Feat is better for certain types of characters than others. Like GWM and Sharpshooter are just way better for a two hander or bow user than most other feats are to anyone. In general feats are better for non-casters than they are for casters.
Thankfully some of the new Feats in Tasha's broaden the possibilities. A Wizard could grab Metamagic Adept to get some of the Sorcerer's treats. Or a Sorceror could get some Warlock Invocations.

Essentially replaces Multiclassing with Feats. Which I'm starting to really like.
 

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Holy shit the Feats in this book have changed my opinions about Feats in general. Poisoner OOZES possibilities.
 

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I'm just happy they added a feat for expertise. It being a rogue/bard thing was always kind of odd to me. It felt weird that a Wizard could never have expertise in arcana.
 

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I'm just happy they added a feat for expertise. It being a rogue/bard thing was always kind of odd to me. It felt weird that a Wizard could never have expertise in arcana.
They had one before "prodigy" but this one's better.
 

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HP and what they represented made a lot more sense to me when I saw the Vitality/Wounds system used in games like Star Wars d20.
 

TJS

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The thing is that while you can always say that hps don't represent physical wounds they wil always feel like they should.
 

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Just got Tasha's Cauldron of Everything in the mail today.

Lots of great options. I rather like a lot of the additions, especially the... Feats! Who'd have thought I'd say that!?

There's a magic item obviously inspired by the Black Cauldron (a bit).

The Artificer doesn't interest me in the least, but I can see how others would be happy with it.

There are new Psionic options, but no dedicated class, just archetypes for all exiting ones. I prefer this approach, personally. The Rogue Psyker is nifty, reminiscent of Psylocke from X-men.

It looks like they didn't include the controversial option for Sorcerers that would allow them to change a spell during every long rest. That isn't available any more. Good call; would have cheapened the Wizard's uniqueness.

All in all a decent book. I was hoping they'd include a new type of Ranger without spells. Oh well, I'll just recommend the Adventures in Middle Earth version for those players.
I got mine electronically, which is my prefered format for D&D supplements, generally.

I did like the additions for Class options, which were better balanced than in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. I found myself veto-ing half those options at the time, when we were playing it. In this book, however, the options enhance the variety for each Class without being overbearing.

I didn’t think I’d like the Artificer, but in all it isn’t a bad option for players, although the different types are so varied, it is hard to pigeonhole what their main role would be in a party. Good Class fit for Gnomes though. Curious point, but I nearly trained to become a Royal Artificer in my youth - and we pronounced it then as ‘arr-ti-fuh-suh'. The pronunciation of a bunch of players I’ve heard is ‘arr-TEE-FI-serr’. So what is correct?
 

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Tasha's Cauldron of Balance Patches.

Honestly, I do wish the discovered shortcomings of the game could be fixed as easily as a video game's. Having to remember which fix is in which supplemental book (and carrying them all around) is for the birds.

Curious point, but I nearly trained to become a Royal Artificer in my youth - and we pronounced it then as ‘arr-ti-fuh-suh'. The pronunciation of a bunch of players I’ve heard is ‘arr-TEE-FI-serr’. So what is correct?
I cannot say with absolute certainty or authority, but I suspect it is pronounced like the word 'artifice', which I've heard pronounced many times in many different contexts. It was always pronounced ‘arr-ti-fuhs'.
 
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TJS

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Tasha's Cauldron of Balance Patches.

Honestly, I do wish the discovered shortcomings of the game could be fixed as easily as a video game's. Having to remember which fix is in which supplemental book (and carrying them all around) is for the birds.



I cannot say with absolute certainty or authority, but I suspect it is pronounced like the word 'artifice', which I've heard pronounced many times in many different contexts. It was always pronounced ‘arr-ti-fuhs'.
They tried that with 4E and everything got updated in the character builder and that recieved backlash at the time, so they're being careful not to do it again.

It's probably the way of the future though. The resources in rpgs simply don't exist to get things right the first time.
 

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It's probably the way of the future though. The resources in rpgs simply don't exist to get things right the first time.
Honestly, I kind of agree. Probably why I also buy mostly in PDF nowadays outside of special games I just want to have in physical. I especially appreciate when errata is actually rolled into the PDFs and I can just redownload, and then reference a list to see the changes.

(Also why I'm also pretty cool with what I've seen a few publishers do, which is not allow PoD on Drivethru until a few months after release so they can work out any last minute kinks they find before doing any prints).
 

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I read the old Wolfgang Baur underworld adventure Kingdom of the Ghouls in Dungeon magazine and always thought it would be cool to run (and it shows up in a lot of people's 'best adventures in Dungeon' lists).

Now I see that Kobold Press has done a 5e version/expansion called Empire of the Ghouls.

Could be really cool. I'm going to keep my eye out for it.

51WCa5iVevL._AC_.jpg

 

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a great post with lots of visuals. also it confirms my suspicions about wizards, so I clearly think it's amazing.
Very niche sampling but intriguing results regardless. What were your suspicions?

Zobeck is a great Urban setting. Far better realized and useful than Warerdeep IMO.
Care to elaborate? (“Zobeck” is homophonic with the commercial name of a wound dressing here. If I use it I’ll definitely have to change the name!)
 

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What were your suspicions?
there are very very few wizards outside of a particular set. I didn't really know about the Chronurgy wizard, but I'm completely unsurprised by it being #3 after reading about it. Diviner is #1 for a country mile for a reason. Bladesinger is because people like Gishes. Chronurgy is nearly the same as diviner for reasoning. The schools are boring as hell. The spells are largely balanced and have had most of their flavor sucked out of them, except for a few that are graphically off.
 

Fenris-77

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Care to elaborate? (“Zobeck” is homophonic with the commercial name of a wound dressing here. If I use it I’ll definitely have to change the name!)
Sure. To be fair, this is mostly a comparison to the Waterdeep of 5E, not, say, Cityscape. Waterdeep suffers from a bunch of issues, one, it's not got a city sourcebook, but rather an adventure path that's moonlighting as one, and both suffer as a result. Zobeck has a proper city source book in the Gazetteer and a set of adventures in a separate book called Streets of Zobeck. The Gazetteer pays more attention to the things I'm looking for in an urban setting, like faces and factions, plus it goes into better detail about things like trade and festivals, and Zobeck just has more interesting moving parts in general. For example, the Kobold Ghetto is a much more nuanced and interesting addition than anything that appears in Waterdeep. The focus in the Gazetteer on making the moving parts useful for the GM is better in Zobeck as well, pretty much every single face, faction and cult oozes adventure potential.
 

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there are very very few wizards outside of a particular set. I didn't really know about the Chronurgy wizard, but I'm completely unsurprised by it being #3 after reading about it. Diviner is #1 for a country mile for a reason. Bladesinger is because people like Gishes. Chronurgy is nearly the same as diviner for reasoning. The schools are boring as hell. The spells are largely balanced and have had most of their flavor sucked out of them, except for a few that are graphically off.
Specialization used to affect spell availability. Now that it doesn't almost everyone goes for the one subclass with the biggest extras. I'm surprised it isn't more unbalanced.

Despite the small sample sized, it's nice to see an updated view of preferences. This is also the first I've seen of subclass breakdowns.
 
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