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Angry Sober Review: 5e PHB
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:40 pm    Post subject: Angry Sober Review: 5e PHB Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, here it is, and I'm surprised no one on these boards has actually taken the time to pick up and review the 5e PHB. We've had the Monster Manual reviewed, but not the actual PHB itself. I saw the PHB in a B&N a few months back and purchased it out of curiosity. Then I looked through it.

It is not good.

Preface and Introduction.
The book opens with a preface from Mike Mearls. It can be summed up in three sentences: D&D is great. You don't need to know the rules. Friendship!



Next we have an introduction. We get an example of play which is magic tea party plus an intelligence check and haggling with the GM over a skill bonus. We get the usual how to play, a description of dice terminology, an explanation of DCs, etc.

A few things stand out as new: The advantage/disadvantage system, where if you're making a d20 roll you roll two dice and take the greater or lesser number respectively, and the calling out that the ability scores are the basis of all d20 rolls and that most rolls are going to be made with raw ability. Now the book hasn't mentioned this yet, but PC ability scores are arbitrarily capped at 20. You start anywhere from a 15-18 max depending on starting stats, and the 3.5 modifiers still apply. So most of your rolls scale from a +2 to a +5, with maybe a proficiency bonus of a +2 to a +6, and that's it. That's the entire numeric advancement. You don't really have far to go in this game.

Mearls also reiterates his three pillars of adventuring. Of note is that the combat section promises "plenty of opportunity for wacky stunts like surfing down a flight of stairs on a shield". Keep this in mind for later.

The section ends with a short paragraph describing the wonders of magic - namely that magic users are Better Than You and that villains can use magic. Villainous magic includes awakening a god who sleeps beneath the sea, kidnapping youths to drain their life force, making an army of robots, and creating a ritual to rise as a god of destruction. Naturally, rules for none of that are in this book.



And thus we come to

Part 1: Character Creation.

After an injunction to pick your favorite character type from the standard d&d cliches, we get to our example character who will be showing us through the process: A dwarf named Bruenor. Yup, that's right kids, Drizz't and friends are the new 5e iconics despite not really being popular outside of D&D circles. We get the standard "pick your race and class" spiel, and then we get to ability scores. And this is where the stupid begins.

You see, the game gives you the elite array, a point buy where no score can go higher than 15... or 4d6 drop lowest 6 times. Now, looking at the math we see that you're actually better off rolling because you're pretty likely to get a 16, which starts you 4 away from 20 before racial modifiers. You also have a shot of snagging an 18, which isn't that high but still puts you decently ahead of the 15 they expect you to go with. I ... can't actually come up with a good reason to make this decision. I suppose someone at Wizards (probably Mearls) got offended by the horrible min/maxers maxing out the stats that were useful to their class, but this just leads to stupid munchkin bullshit where people show up with stats they rolled "at home", everyone rolls for hours trying to get a good ability score, or crappy characters with bad rolls get thrown to the closet trolls. But on the plus side it feels like D&D and that's a success, right?



The rest is the standard "here is how HP and AC work when making a new character", and then we conclude with "Tiers of Play". We have levels 1-4 as apprentice tier. where they make the big class decisions like school specialization or fighting style. We have levels 5-10, which is where spellcasters get fireball and lightning bolt which makes them bad boys or something. Also weapon users get multiple attacks. At levels 11-16 characters can get 6th-level spells that allow for impossible effects, or make more attacks. At 17th-20th level, these characters become the pinnacle of their classes and confront multiverse ending threats.

I want you to keep the above in mind when we discuss the actual abilities and a certain mechanic that's an elephant in the room.

Next time: races!
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Wiseman
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, it's about time.

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Shady314
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:08 am    Post subject: Re: Angry Sober Review: 5e PHB Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

CapnTthePirateG wrote:
Yup, that's right kids, Drizz't and friends are the new 5e iconics despite not really being popular outside of D&D circles.

Are there any DnD characters popular outside of DnD circles? Im asking seriously. It seems to me that using novel characters as iconics is actually a good idea.
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Previn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:08 am    Post subject: Re: Angry Sober Review: 5e PHB Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

CapnTthePirateG wrote:
So most of your rolls scale from a +2 to a +5, with maybe a proficiency bonus of a +2 to a +6, and that's it. That's the entire numeric advancement.


That's not true. The truth isn't much better, but let's at least get it right if we're going to criticize it.
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spongeknight
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Looking forward to this. I'm very curious to see if they "fixed" the monk in this edition like I've heard people claim.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: Angry Sober Review: 5e PHB Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Previn wrote:
CapnTthePirateG wrote:
So most of your rolls scale from a +2 to a +5, with maybe a proficiency bonus of a +2 to a +6, and that's it. That's the entire numeric advancement.


That's not true. The truth isn't much better, but let's at least get it right if we're going to criticize it.


What am I missing, aside from magic items that aren't in this book?
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erik
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

spongeknight wrote:
Looking forward to this. I'm very curious to see if they "fixed" the monk in this edition like I've heard people claim.


Oh, I'm sure they did.


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Previn
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:30 am    Post subject: Re: Angry Sober Review: 5e PHB Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

CapnTthePirateG wrote:
Previn wrote:
CapnTthePirateG wrote:
So most of your rolls scale from a +2 to a +5, with maybe a proficiency bonus of a +2 to a +6, and that's it. That's the entire numeric advancement.


That's not true. The truth isn't much better, but let's at least get it right if we're going to criticize it.


What am I missing, aside from magic items that aren't in this book?


Expertise is the huge one but also numerous spells and some feats, not counting all the stuff that's just bonuses to attack/damage rolls. The range still isn't large, and it's pretty easy to break the range between 'skilled guy' and 'everyone else' into a gulf that can't be crossed. The guy with +6 can't hope to achieve a check that's going to challenge the guy with +17, which a focused character absolutely will have at minimum.

So the whole point of 'everyone stays on the RNG' that bounded accuracy was supposed to promote is even more of a glass house than before.
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:11 am    Post subject: Re: Angry Sober Review: 5e PHB Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

CapnTthePirateG wrote:
Yup, that's right kids, Drizz't and friends are the new 5e iconics despite not really being popular outside of D&D circles.


This dude claims that Salvatore's total book sales probably exceed thirty million: http://thewertzone.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-updated-sff-all-time-sales-list.html That might make him more popular than D&D itself? I do know a decent number of people who read the Drizzt books but never played D&D. But that is obviously a personal anecdote.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I stand corrected on the expertise, though it's for rogues and bards only.

Moving on to:
Chapter 2: Races

They sure are making a big deal out of drow being in the PHB. And I like drow. Skipping the explanation of how ability score increases, alignment, etc work and each race gets 2 pages of cliched fluff. Did you know dwarves liked clans and are short? Did you ever wonder whether people who wanted to play a dwarf didn't know this? There's also the usual weirdness of "these races are not human but think exactly like humans" which really plagues all RPGs. But we're here for the mechanics.

Remember how in 4e all the classes lined up with specific races, and people hated that? Well in 5e, in order to feel like D&D, all the races are assigned ability score bonuses to make them better at certain classes. Each race has a few subraces that grant additional bonuses - so dwarves get +2 to Con, and +2 to strength if they're a mountain dwarf and +1 to Wisdom if they're a hill dwarf. Elves get +2 to dex, and a +1 to a mental stat based on their subrace, etc. The end result is that races tend to be really, really specialized toward a single class/playstyle and kinda worthless for anything else. Take the half-orc. He gets +2 strength, +1 con, and a racial special ability to reroll a damage die on a melee weapon critical hit. You could play a half-orc arcane spellcaster, but then you're a total chump next to the gnome or the tiefling, who get +2 to int and cha in a system which is very much about scrabbling for +1s, especially on the spellcaster/save DC side of things. Granted, a lot of the races have useful utilitarian abilities that could fit any class such as superior darkvision, fire resistance, breath weapons, etc. Humans get to get +1 to all ability scores OR a special if allowed by DM option where they get a free feat and +1 to 2 abilities. So really, if you have an odd score in your important class abilities you may as well play a human to jack the modifier AND get what is probably going to be your only feat ever.

Some other things stand out. Despite being in the PHB, drow require explicit DM approval unlike any of the other races, including tieflings and dragonborn. There are also a few sidebars hinting at alternative racial features you can't get, like being a duergar (who can turn invisible or grow big) or the Dragonlance draconians who have weird magic powers instead of a breath weapon.

Also, hilariously enough, all the races are introduced by quotes from D&D novels. Yes, this means Drizz't is the iconic elf.

Classes are up next.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

CapnTthePirateG wrote:
Also, hilariously enough, all the races are introduced by quotes from D&D novels. Yes, this means Drizz't is the iconic elf.

D&D Next is the Troy McClure edition.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

why are they still doing Race/Class? Show the classes first!
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Insomniac wrote:
why are they still doing Race/Class? Show the classes first!


I don't write this shit, I just review it. But if I had to guess, I'd go with the overwhelming importance of "feeling like" D&D. Now let's do classes.

Chapter 3: Classes

So way back when Mike Mearls was writing articles introducing 5e, the devs were making promises that every class in every PHB would be available to play in 5e. We have 12 classes here: Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard. Now you might notice that "Assassin" and "Illusionist" aren't on the class list. Of more note is that there are 3 arcane casters - warlocks, sorcerers, and wizards. There's a table in the beginning of the chapter with a brief description of the classes:

"Sorcerer: A spellcaster who draws on inherent magic from a gift or bloodline"
"Warlock: A wielder of magic that is derived from a bargain with an extraplanar entity"
"Wizard:A scholarly magic-user capable of manipulating the structures of reality"

So what the fuck is the difference? Sure, the table tells me they get different save proficiencies, weapon proficiencies, and the nonwizards use Charisma while the wizards use Int. But I have no idea what kind of magic they use so this table tells me nothing. For fuck's sake, a sorcerer's "gift" could be the result of a bargain with some entity, and most pact-makers are seen browsing eldritch tomes. The damn bard even shows up in this table as a "An inspiring magician whose power echoes the music of creation" - which I guess kinda hints that he's a buffer, but as far as actual class descriptions I don't see a newbie figuring out what any of these mages do without reading the entire class entry. Fuck.



Barbarian

d12 hit die, medium armor, 2 skills, etc. Rages now give advantage to all melee attacks, a damage bonus that scales by level, and resistance (take half damage) from all physical attacks. All the base features are centered around increasing strength, taking more punishment, and some unarmored fighting/dodging traps. Of note are the Indomitable Might feature allows you to take X on Strength checks, where X is your Strength score, and that at 20th level you can get up to 24 Strength and Con with a +4 bonus to each. Note that the normal number is 20.

Each of the classes here has a few Pathfinder style archetypes, as well. Barbarian has "Totem Warrior" and "Berserker". Berserker gives an extra attack each round while raging (3 attacks total at 5th level. Woo!), immunity to mind-affecting while raging, an intimidating presence based off Cha which is probably going to suck due to extreme MAD, and the ability to make a free attack on dudes who hit you first.

Totem Warrior actually can interact with the plot, they can talk to animals, commune with nature, and then get further abilities based on the totem spirit they pick. The 14th level benefits include an incredibly lame version of flight where you can't actually end your turn in the air or you fall, disadvantage to people who aren't you or who aren't bear warriors when they attack your team unless they go after you, or tripping people. At 14th level. Also your divinations aren't actually that great. For a character that's supposed to be participating in all three pillars, the barbarian only does combat well. They can kinda contribute to exploration with nature communes and nagging animals, but a berserker isn't gonna contribute shit that doesn't involve stabbing fools.

Bard

The bard in this edition is a level 9 full caster who can plunder spells off any spell list in the game. They also have a "bardic inspiration" class feature which lets people roll a d6 and add that to random d20 rolls, and is limited to daily usage until 5th level, when you can recharge all your uses after an hour of rest. They also get a hilarious capstone where you can get a use of this back "whenever you make an initiative roll", so you get one of your buddies to agree to start shit with you so you start a fight, roll initiative, and then decide not to fight after all. This continues until your DM gets pissed off and makes the longest friendship speech ever about how the rules aren't important because friendship.

There are two bard paths. One makes you into a crappier martial class with an extra attack and the ability to make one weapon attack when you cast a spell. The other lets you start plundering spell lists at 6th level instead of 10th, which you do so you can get animate dead and get on the minion train. Choo-choo!
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Cleric

Well, here we have the cleric class. This is a holy warrior, which is totally different than the paladin, which is a holy warrior. They are not the same thing. Fuck!

But unlike the wizard, warlock, and sorcerer, the paladin and the cleric have been separate classes from very early on in D&D. This particular iteration of the cleric is once again using the "all clerics share a spell list, but you also get a domain" version. Now, cleric is one of those classes that has become so bloated that it would be easy to split it into different classes, where you have a "light cleric" with a bunch of light based spells, a darkness cleric, an ice cleric for Thrym the Frostlord, Thor's thunder priests, etc - and there's enough to go around without having all the clerics having healing and anti-undead powers. Shit, if you're a cleric of a river god or something I don't know why you'd have specific powers over the dead. There are plenty of real-world divinities who don't have dominion over the afterlife or the dead and could provide different powers than turning undead. But because this is a wacky mashup of Christian horror tropes and mythological gods...here we are.

The cleric gets two universal class features of note. The first is turning undead, which causes every undead in 30 feet to run away until they take damage or for 1 minute, whichever comes first. They can also destroy undead, but this is so weak you will forget you have it. A 17th level cleric can destroy CR 4 undead at max when turning. This will never work on anything you care about, and at 17th level you can just kill all the crap with an AoE spell.

The second class feature is to call for no-shit actual divine intervention. You use a standard action to describe what you want your god to do, then you roll a percentile die. If you're 20th level or you roll under your character level, then the DM determines how your god intervenes. Guidelines for this ability include "maybe you get a cleric spell or domain spell". Then if it works you can't use it for 7 days, but if it fails you need an 8-hour rest.

This is actually kinda shitty on every single level. First, it's pretty much a Mother May I ability which may as well not exist on the character sheet. From a "mechanical" perspective, most of the time it's just gonna be a waste of a standard action and if it works you have no clue what it's gonna do. (Note there is nothing stating your god can't get pissed and smite you). Second, this codifies that the gods will step in and personally intervene in every single campaign setting. They go on to use Eberron deities as examples, but one of the things about Eberron religion is that the gods are distant and you don't actually get to see them or know if they're real. Hell, one of the major religions that grants clerical power over there is basically an undead self-improvement book. Sure, this is the kind of shit you could expect from FR, but actively intervening deities raises so much more questions than it answers ("Mommy, why doesn't Jesus smite the Lich King?") and requires an elaborate system of justification for why the world isn't a godsmote hellhole. Granted, only 10th+ level clerics can call down divine intervention, but they already get supernatural power from gods anyway so I don't see a reason for this class feature to exist.

On to domains. The domains in this book are Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, and War. Of note is that this is 6 archetypal choices where the bard and barbarian got two, and that the Death priest is absent despite being a really popular player type. Each domain gives a stack of class features, such as a Channel Divinity usage (the cleric can use this ability or turn undead 1,2,or 3 times per rest), a bonus proficiency or cantrip or something, and a few other abilities. You also get to auto-prepare domain spells, and you get two each spell level from 1-5.

Knowledge: Get skill bonuses, learn extra languages,arbitrarily get proficiency in any skill or tool of your choice as channel divinity OR read people's minds and hit them with suggestions. You also get +Wisdom to damage with cleric cantrips, and the ability to randomly perform object reading at 17th level. Now this has traditionally been a psionic ability in D&D, but fuck it. Domain spells are divinations, command, and confusion.

Life: You are a big sucker, because all your domain spells are on the cleric list already. You also get extra weapon damage and heavy armor proficiency, but you don't care because if you were doing that you'd be a war cleric which gets that and martial weapon proficiencies. Your other class features involve buffing your healing skills so you heal more damage with each cast. Sure, you can maximize your healing at 17th level, but I'm not even gonna pretend the "heal someone else and it also heals me for 2+spell level" is a class feature you will ever care about. The channel divinity heals 5 * cleric level 1/encounter, which isn't terrible but won't fully keep up with damage - EXCEPT THAT YOU CAN ONLY HEAL UP TO HALF MAX HP. For example, the CR 17 red dragon from the basic rules can put out at most 107 damage in a round if the multiattack hits and all three of the tail sweeps connect. This feature heals 85 points of damage, 3 per encounter at this level. If you bust out your mass heal it will heal 700 hit points divided among the team... with an additional bonus of 11 hp healed per target. If you cast cure wounds at 9th level, that heals 83 + Wis - which can't go above 5, so 86 - hit points per level. You get one 9th level spell per day. This dragon can keep making 6 attacks per combat round. This thing has a +14 to hit against an AC of 20 in plate and shield before buffs or magic items(of which you get like 3 ever and you are in no way guaranteed to get armor). Now each attack does 15-21 damage or so if we use the averages instead of rolling, so given the 1/4 chance our dragon has of missing means that the Channel Divinity can kinda keep up with the dragon full attacks if someone gets 170 hp. But that half HP max is the real killer here, so my advice is to not be a life cleric.

Light: 4e laser clerics and Fire Emblem bishops make their triumphant return! You get a bunch of fire spells which are wastes of time, because by the time you get, say, fireball (8d6 damage, or 28 damage on average) you're running into CR 5 monsters who have 90 hit points (Air Elemental). So much for fixing Padded Sumo. You get the light cantrip for free because torches are expensive or something. You get to laser people to impose disadvantage on enemy attack rolls as a reaction Wis modifer times per day, your channel divinity is a laser that shoots everything in 30 feet for 2d10+cleric level damage and dispels darkness (this will never be level appropriate), get +Wis to cantrip damage because coming up with new class features is hard, and can impose disadvantage on saves against fire and radiant damage spells you don't want to cast because they suck. Don't be a light cleric.

Nature: You have a ton of conceptual space to cover, such as Water, Death, Darkness, Cold, Earth...and you give us a nature cleric despite the fact that we have a whole nature-aligned priest class on the next page. You could probably put in a whole class or two if you pruned the redundant character concepts out of this book.

That said, you get to plunder the druid list for animal related spells, heavy armor proficiency (what the fuck? Druids traditionally couldn't wear plate, but it's a nature priest specialty? What the shit, game?), extra weapon damage but with an energy type (wow, we can't think of class features, now can we?), a reaction that halves energy damage against your allies for one type of energy damage for one turn, and charming animals. Uninspired and feels mostly recycled, but hey at 17th level you can actually order the animals you charm, until they trip over a rock and take one point of damage and the effect is gone forever. 5e!

Tempest: bonus proficiencies with martial weapons, heavy armor. I feel like I've seen this before...

You also get to auto-maximize any lightning or thunder damage you deal with channel divinity (and your domain gives you some lightning spells, even though I don't see anything that can get above 30 damage unless you start heightening thunderwave), zap melee attackers for 2d8 damage wis mod/day and push people 10 feet on dealing lightning damage. And, of course, no domain would be complete without bonus weapon damage! The final ability is so far the only thing I've found that's a cool high-level ability - infinite flight at your walking speed when you're not underground or indoors. Naturally, if you take this, all your adventures will be underground or indoors.

Trickery: add some charms, illusions, dimension door, and some decent save-or-dies to your spell list. Randomly give allies (but not yourself!) advantage on stealth checks for an hour, which is pretty much a non-ability because there are no rules for stealth. You get two channel divinities, one to make an illusion of yourself to cast spells through and one to turn invisible...for a round. That breaks if you attack or cast a spell. Yeah....

You also get the bonus weapon damage, but it's poison damage this time! (Yawn) and your ultimate ability is to create 4 illusions instead of one which is actually pretty cool.

War: Everything is on the cleric list with the exceptions of stoneskin, hold monster, and magic weapon. You get a bizarro bonus attack but not really where you can only make an extra attack Wis mod times per day, channel divinity to get +10 to one attack roll which is actually really good in bounded accuracy land, bonus weapon damage, and resistance to physical damage from nonmagic weapons, which is basically free stoneskin and worse than what the barbarian got at level 1.

That took way longer to write up than I thought it would, so we continue our class related slog tomorrow!
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Longes
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
the Death priest is absent despite being a really popular player type


The Death priest is a special, evil only, ask the MC feature in the MC Handbook. Please ignore the non-evil Death deities on the deity list.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, after dealing with Darkest Dun - er, important real life issues, it's time to continue the slog through the 5e class section!

Druid
It's a full divine spellcaster that worships nature, not to be confused with a priest of the nature domain. Sigh. Apparently this iteration of the druids seeks to preserve the elemental balance because if fire gets too powerful everyone gets sucked into the plane of fire or something. They hunt those who "promote one element to the exclusion of others"...does that mean that Fire Mages are evil now? That's kinda dumb.

So as druids always have, they have that weird master of all trades thing going on where they shapeshift and can cast powerful spells - meaning we get a page of wild shape rules. The default wild shape caps at CR 1 animals at level 8, and you can't cast spells in wild shape form till level 18 (and then you can't use material components). Otherwise it works as a "remove your token from the board and replace it with the animal", except that you keep alignment, skill/save proficiencies (plus you get the creatures'). You do get all the creature's hit points, but by default you only get beast shapes. Also your class features carry over, and your DM decides whether or not your equipment works based on practicality. Drinking time!

The two totally not an archetype choices are to get bonus spells to your spell list and some spell slot recovery for low level slots, or to improve your wildshape. In the absence of the Monster Manual I can't really evaluate one or the other, but I have a sneaking suspicion that becoming a beast creature with a CR equal to your level/3 isn't as good as getting wizard spells on your spell list. Now, I could be completely wrong because some monster book comes out with a 1000+ HP beast at CR 5 or something stupid and the wildshape druid shoots up in power, but barring that I'm not seeing any crazy awesome beasts in the basic rules. Also you can maintain concentration on a spell but it's not clear if ongoing buffs carry over,

Fighter

Before I begin, in the interests of fairness, I feel compelled to disclaim that I've never really liked D&D's fighters. They always were a pile of numbers based around spamming one trick over and over again, with the result that they were either super awesome winners because their one trick worked or lame because it sucked. The only advancement they really got was more numbers and better hitting in the land of people who could travel to different dimensions, fly around, and summon demons.

I hope you guys like numbers.

The core features are kinda blah. At first level you get to pick a Fighting Style, where you pick one specific situational/weapon style bonuses such as a +2 to hit with ranged weapons or more damage when dual wielding. You can get up to 3 extra attacks per round, reroll saving throws up to 3/day, get a 4e style second wind, and get an extra standard action in a turn every encounter. Yes, you can dip into fighter to loot this as a spellcaster or barbarian or something. Shut up this edition doesn't support munchkins ok?

So the fighters get 3 archetypes. The first one is the champion, which is an extremely shitty set of static class features that are the RPG equivalent of a dunce cap. You get bonuses to ability checks, your critical range goes up, and you get a second fighting style. At 18th level, you get a crappy regeneration ability that can't heal you above half your HP. You also get to look in a mirror and reevaluate your life.

Second is Battle Master. You get a pool of dice that you can use to make 4e-warlord style maneuvers and trip attacks. You make the manuever and roll your die as a bonus. There is nothing actually interesting or high-level about these - you can hit two guys, use the 4e warlord commander strike, apply disadvantage to a dude who's about to attack you, etc. Of note is that none of these provide a meaningful bonus against spellcasters - there's no "Evade Spell" or "Reflect Spell" talent - , allow a melee fighter to close with ranged enemies or bring them closer, or bring fliers into sword range. He can do some interesting things like tripping people with arrows, but half the moves are melee only.

The last of the fighter archetypes is the Eldritch Knight, which looks a lot better than it actually is if you miss that it can only pull evocation or abjuration spells off the wizard list. Granted, you get any two cantrips and 4 non-evocation or abjuration spells, but you only get up to 4th level spells and the progress is extremely slow. Also, the book seems to think you would want evocation, but you don't because it is shit in this edition, you can't scale it as high as a wizard can*, and you get the most number of attacks out of every class in this book. Of note is that the wizard list no longer separates spells by school any more, so you need to check every spell you want to take to make sure it's in the right school. Looking through [url = http://media.wizards.com/2015/downloads/dnd/DnD_SpellLists_1.0.pdf]this[/url] we see that the Knight gets no real good defensive spells at all. There's Mage Armor and Shield, but shield is a 1-time reaction bonus to AC (which is actually kinda good), and you are a fighter so you can just wear armor. You get counterspelling and dispells, but you aren't good at counterspelling because you need to make an int check against DC 10+ spell level against any level appropriate spell. At 13th level you can get stoneskin, but that's worse than what the barbarian got at level 1. At 7th level you can cast a cantrip and make an attack at the same time...but you don't care, because you got an extra attack a level ago and your cantrip doesn't scale with your main stat. So at the end of all this shit we have 3 fighter archetypes that don't really contribute much to the team.



Monk

We've had 4 editions of D&D and monks have never been good. Will they be good now? Can we figure out what the hell this class is supposed to do? Read and find out!

Well, we have a d8 hit die, and only get 1 extra attack...



We also have a martial arts class feature, which has a 3.X-style unarmed progression that caps at 1d10. Yes, this is less damage than a greatsword. But, you get a weird class feature where as a bonus(swift) action you can make an extra attack after making an attack action that does your unarmed damage. The wording is weird as you roll the unarmed damage die to replace your normal damage on the attack, but the paragraph above tells us we can use Dex instead of Str for the attack rolls of unarmed strikes and monk weapons. Can I add an ability modifier to this? Fuck if I know. Also it says that certain monasteries use various forms of monk weapons, but doesn't give a list here, so here comes greatsword monk!

The crux of the monk class is, in a fashion totally different from the Pathfinder monk, having a pool of ki points that you spend to activate various class features, such as making an extra attack, getting AC bonuses, or moving faster. Class features based on an archetype also use these, usually to cast a spell at a much later level than the wizard gets access to it. You also get a nifty ability to catch and throw back ranged weapons based on how much damage they deal, stunning strike, and of course slow fall, timeless body, evasion, and other 3.X monk abilities no one really cared about. The archetypes are:

Open Hand: Punch people for status effects and heal yourself 1/day. Noticeable because of quivering palm, which is one of the few PC save-or-dies in this edition because it actually reduces people to 0 hp on a failed save, unlike, say, Finger of Death.

Way of Shadow: Get some illusion/darkness spells you can cast with ki points, teleport between shadows, and turn invisible in shadows. Notable as an effective stealth character due to the lack of stealth rules.

Way of the Four Elements: Spend key points to cast spells. A bunch of the options are casting wizard evocation spells which you can actually scale with ki points capped by level. They are, however, evocation spells, which in this edition are crap and not worth casting. You can get fly, gaseous form, wall of stone, and hold person, which might make this archetype actually viable, however, they come online a lot later than a wizard. I'm not sure why they couldn't have just had spellcasting monks to be honest.

Overall I'm not really sure what to make of the monk - it doesn't have the endurance of a front-line class, none of the spells are actually on the level of a spellcaster, and they keep trying to do that "mobile caster slayer" thing that has never worked in any edition of D&D ever. It can't actually use it's stealth for extra damage like a rogue, doesn't get as many attacks as a fighter or have the same quality of attacks as a barbarian, has an annoying fiddly resource pool, useless fluffy class features, and trap options up the wazoo. There's no clear idea what role a monk is supposed to serve in a party, with the end result that it's not really good at fighting or spellcasting. But they can walk on water, so that's something!

More classes to come later.

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MGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't get why they just don't the thing where non full casters can't just 'get' spells on time like a full caster. What purpose does it serve to basically force them to wait longer for what 'few' goodies they get?
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Finally a thread about fighters!
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Longes
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Because that's how previous editions did it.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

MGuy wrote:
I don't get why they just don't the thing where non full casters can't just 'get' spells on time like a full caster. What purpose does it serve to basically force them to wait longer for what 'few' goodies they get?


Balance!

Fighter = 2 parts fightan
Caster = 2 parts casting
Hybrid = 1 part fightan + 1 part casting

They still haven't figured out that these two things aren't even remotely the same, and that one part is the one everyone actually cares about, and the other is more of a nice perk rather than the basis for an entire series of classes.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
Because that's how previous editions did it.


Pretty much this. It's very hard to find any real design work in 5th edition. The infamous hiding rules are as far down as the rabbit hole goes - such that anything is written up at all, it's just vague aphorisms to fill in some D&Dish rules when there's time. The only person who seems to have done any design work during the runup to 5e was Monte Cook, and he took his ball and went home to make Numenera out of his labors. All the shit that Mearls was talking about working on (such as stat based automatic success thresholds) never made the final cut. Literally everything in these editions is just shovelware of D&Dish statements slapdashed into a book shaped pile and then sold for money. It's like a late stage White Wolf book except it's the core fucking book.

The Gygaxian theory of level gaining was incredibly complicated and based on his ideas of "realistic" hero's journeys flavored by actuarial tables and his own personal prejudices. Getting better at some things was supposed to be easier than getting better at other things, not because those things were game mechanically superior but because they were simply harder or easier things to learn. This was weird as fuck and actually terrible for the game, but the legacy of those bad decisions just sort of bubble around the surface of the game in all kinds of weird ways. Fighter levels didn't give as much as caster levels because a Fighter level wasn't as big of a deal. We've gone to a unified level system, no vestiges of that concept should remain. But they do. Because of cultural inertia.

-Frank
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Lago PARANOIA
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think that it's actually pretty fucking sad that Pathfinder, a game that is unashamedly a 3.5E D&D hack, actually shows more bravery and willingness to experiment with D&D mechanics and sacred cows than fucking 5E D&D.
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In short, your entire post is dismissive of not merely my intelligence, but my agency. And I don't mean agency as a player within one of your games, I mean my agency as a person. You do not want me to be informed when I make the fundamental decisions of deciding whether to join your game or buying your rules system.
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Must...keep...slogging...through...class...section!

Paladin

So as I said earlier. this is the other holy warrior with divine magic class that is totally different than the cleric. And man, is the flavor weird here. These paladins are explicitly servants of gods empowered to fight evil and dish out justice...with no alignment restrictions whatsoever. Sure, "paladins are rarely of any evil alignment", but you can totally roll a lawful evil paladin who pays lip service to the paladin ideals and uses it to get free power. Can't say that's necessarily a bad thing.

Instead of "detect evil", paladins get a "divine sense" that lets you detect undead, angels, and demons for a turn in a 60 foot cone...1/cha times per day. Curing disease and poisons got folded into lay on hands, which is the same "you have a puny HP total for the day, burn it to heal people" mechanic. You can burn spell slots for extra melee damage, you get 1 extra attack and an always on radiant damage bonus, a channel divinity ability which works completely differently from the cleric, and some aura save bonuses and fear immunity.

The totally-not-a-pathfinder-archetype choice here are three oaths: the Oath of Devotion, the Oath of the Ancients, and the Oath of Vengeance. They work...actually really similarly to cleric domains, in that they grant a pile of similar abilities and a spell list increase. As a matter of fact, there's still no real reason why this class needs to exist, aside from feeling like D&D. But let's put that aside and look at the actual oaths.

Oath of Devotion: Swear to always be honest, compassionate, courageous, honorable, and dutiful. You add a bunch of cleric protection/divination spells to your spell list along with flame strike for some stupid reason, which will never be level appropriate because you get it at 17th level (clerics get it at nine!) and have no way to actually scale the damage. Ever. No, you don't even get a "cast a spell, then stab a dude" class feature, that might actually make this useful. Your channel divinity is to turn undead and fiends OR add your charisma bonus on to-hit rolls with your weapon. You get a charm immunity aura which I'm not sure matters because I have no fucking clue what charm actually does in this edition, a permanent protection from evil at 15th level, and your capstone is to go into a holy super mode that ...deals 10 damage per round to creatures within 30 feet. Yeah. Also you get save advantage against fiends and undead, but...this is a 1/day ability. At 20th level.

Oath of the Ancients: This is a nature-flavored paladin, satisfying all three of the people on the planet who were crying themselves to sleep because their paladin couldn't save all the whales. You get druid spells on the spell list, including ice storm which will again never deal level appropriate damage. Your channel divinity either entangles people or turn fey and fiends. Your aura causes people to take half damage from spells, which might be useful for your team as you sure as hell have less hp then the monsters. You also get the benefit of endure from Pokemon, and get a grab bag of abilities including casting all your paladin spells as swift actions for your capstone.

The actual tenets are to, erm, kindle the light of hope in the world by being really nice. And stop mean poopy heads from being mean.

Oath of Vengeance: Hey, remember that 4e avenger class that people played a lot because you got to reroll the attack roll twice? Well, now it's a paladin sworn to fight the greater evil, give evil no mercy, and can use any means necessary. Also you must personally atone for any evil your enemies do because you failed to stop them. Um...ok...?

Your spells include the hold spells, haste, and scrying. You have an "abjure enemy" channel divinity ability, which prevents bad dudes from moving, as well as various abilities to get mobility as well as marking a particular bad dude and getting bonuses against him. Your capstone lets you grow angel wings and get a scary aura.

I feel compelled to point out that the text described this oath as a "dark knight", but you don't actually get any dark or shadow-themed powers at all and your weapon still explodes with holy light.

Lastly, 5e paladins can indeed fall from breaking their oaths, and be forced into another class or take the Oathbreaker paladin which for some stupid reason is only in the dungeon masters guide.

Ranger: Another iconic D&D class that has changed over the years. These guys have been always-good Tolkien knockoffs to hunters of specific prey to the only class allowed to use bows in core 4e. Aside from arrowing or stabbing people and being vaguely nature-themed - depending on edition - these guys have constantly been switching out class features and abilities throughout editions. So now, we get:

a favored enemy class feature that gives no actual benefits to fighting your favored enemy,

random bonuses to navigation in a limited amount of terrain types such as "cannot get lost, forages for more food," etc.

the fighter fighting style that you maybe kinda sorta care about, but with fewer options

spellcasting of up to 5th level spells,

fucking with the nonexistant stealth rules,

movement bonuses,

and the mighty capstone of doing +Wis to hit OR to damage to your favored enemies at 20th level. Don't be silly, you can't do both! That would be overpowered!

I am beginning to see why people think 5e ranger is the weakest class.

Your two archetypes are the hunter ranger and the beast master ranger. The hunter gets weird, conditional class features like "1d8 extra damage on attacks, but only if the target is below HP maximum" or the ability to counterattack enemies when they attack you but only if your foe is Large size. You also get small AoE attacks, and either evasion, uncanny dodge, or deflecting attacks made at you that missed into other people. Beastmaster gives a pet CR 1/4 animal with bonus hit points and an extra attack.

Rogue: It started off as a class that was actually not good at anything. Now it usually turns into an attempt to add stealth gameplay to D&D. As a rogue, you get skill bonuses, an extra hide/disengage/ or dodge action each round, uncanny dodge, evasion, and a bonus on 3 saves instead of 2 as well as sneak attack going up to 10d6. Your capstone is that you can arbitrarily declare an attack roll or ability check as an auto-success once per short or long rest.

Naturally, we have 3 roguish archetypes to cover. There's the thief, which is crap like climb bonuses, the ability to ignore magic item prerequisites in a game where you are not guaranteed to get magic items ever, and an extra turn in the first round of combat. The assassin gives more DPS against surprised creatures and disguise abilities. The arcane trickster is like the eldritch knight, but gets illusion and enchantment instead of abjuration and evocation. Now, spell DCs scale by caster level instead of spell level so this might be better than the EK. That said, you are not going to have as high an intelligence as a primary caster, and they can still cast invisibility and whatnot, but it's a start. That said... you're probably better off being a caster.

Sorcerer: This is a class that has no reason to exist. It was only a core class in 3e to show off spontaneous casting, and then in 4e it became the AoE damage magic class that was somehow totally different than the wizard with AoE damage nukes. Unlike 3e, they have a totally different spell list than the warlock and the wizard, but I'll go into more detail on magic when we get into a related chapter. Suffice to say that this sorcerer works mechanically differently than the other two.

The sorcerer's big thing is that they have a large pool of points that they use to fuck with their spell slots or apply various metamagic effects which are basically the effects from the 3.5 PHB. It's kinda clear that sorcerers are supposed to be the damage casters of the lot, as they get to reroll damage dice or cast spells as a swift action. What you will probably actually do is throw save-or-dies and use your sorcery points to force disadvantage on the saves.

You get two sorcerer bloodlines origins to choose from: the dragon origin and the wild mage origin. The dragon origin lets you add Cha to energy damage spells if it's the energy type as your favorite dragon, and gives you the usual collection of half-assed dragon points. The wild mage origin lets you roll LOLRANDOM wild surges whenever the DM tells you to on a table that is likely to screw you and your party over, at which point the team kills you for casting fireball on them for the third fucking time. Granted, you can get some really good and useful results out of this table, but this really seems like an excellent way to annoy the other players with gratuitous trolling.

Warlock: This class is the "4e had some good ideas, guys" class. You have a stack of at-will invocations, spells that refresh after a short rest, and spells that use a completely different casting system but are actually just daily spells. This is compounded by some of the invocations being extremely poorly designed. For instance, "Minions of Chaos" lets you cast the conjure elemental spell once per day by spending a warlock spell slot. Do I have to spend an equal-level spell slot to do this? If we already have a 1/day spell system in this class, why can't we just use that? There are at least 4 invocations that work like this, and then some that are at-will, some that modify the eldritch blast cantrip (which is optional to take by the way), a bunch of "cast X spell at will" (note that you can cast silent image at will by 2nd level), and a few passive buffs. You also get a choice between a familiar, a pact weapon, or knowing a few extra cantrips. Yes, the warlock can be build as a gish just like the bard or the fighter.

Warlock archetypes are their patrons. Yes, they in fact add new spells to your spell list. It's pretty much the core 4 warlock pacts ported over and slightly renamed. Archfey gets nature spells and illusions, along with some teleportation and illusion class features, Fiend gets fire spells, life steal, the hurl through hell attack everyone made fun of in 4e, and some save and resistance bonuses. Great Old One warlocks get telepathy, more enchantment, mental resistance, and a permanent charm that can only be used on one dude when they are incapicated. Now, despite being the overtly dark magic user of this edition, warlocks are really shitty at necromancy and I find that odd.

To make a long story short, the warlock is a weird grab bag of abilities that don't actually synergize in any real way like the other classes' damage bonuses or extra attacks. Sure, they can recharge completely after a short rest for the majority of their adventuring career...but as the 3e warlock shows that in itself does not a useful character make. You can collect a bunch of save-or-dies that you spam every short rest, but that's seriously an hour of dicking around in the dungeon and no one is going to do that. The only actual class features that combine together are the crappy half-assed warrior features you can take (an extra attack and some bonus damage) and the eldritch blast buffs. 5e is really heavy on the "pick a schtick and focus on it" playstyle, and the warlock is all over the damn place.

Wizard:Yeah, we all knew this was coming. It's the D&D swiss army knife caster that has been in pretty much every edition and has always been on the top of the heap as far as class power goes. You can recover a few spell slots, and can spam lower level spells until the end of time at high levels. The big thing about wizards was school specialization.

In 2e and 3e, school specialization was this weird mechanic where you got a bunch of extra spell slots for free at the cost of never being able to cast certain kinds of spells. It was an extremely silly mechanic that never actually made people feel like a specialist caster - a fireball cast by an evoker was the same as cast by an equal level necromancer - and didn't actually have that big of a cost. (No, maybe you can't mind control or use illusions as a necromancer. You're just gonna have to settle for having an army of the dead, setting rooms full of people on fire, shapechanging, teleporting, seeing the future, and summoning demons. Among other things. Deal with it.) Then Pathfinder came along and turned the "penalty" into a slap on the wrist while handing out random bonuses that were vaguely thematically related to the chosen school.

5e decided to cut out the specialization penalties altogether, make everyone specialize, and instead of granting extra spell slots hand out abilities based on the chosen school. The abilities are exactly what you'd expect - abjurers get defensive wards that absorb damage and dispel bonuses, conjurers get summoning buffs and can absorb random items, diviners get bonuses on future d20 rolls and expanded vision abilities (such as to see invisible), enchanters get hypnotic abilities, evokers get extra spell damage, illusionists get illusion bonuses, necromancers get more undead and hand out buffs as well as a crappy command undead ability you will never use, and transmuters get a random grab bag of abilities themed around a philosopher's stone.

That's the end of the class chapter. Classes in 5e seem extremely uninspired. Either the class is a hodgepodge of prior abilities from previous editions, or it has some new, samey archetype. I can't completely shake the feeling that a lot of Pathfinder went into this, as some of the classes have the "track X counter of fiddly shit" mechanics that I associate with just about every Pathfinder class, and the wizard feels heavily inspired by Pathfinder. Mearl's love of random dice bonuses shows up sporadically, and it just serves to make everything more swingy and fuck with bounded accuracy even further. Lastly, some of these classes could have been cut to make room for other character classes that are NOT represented that people might actually want to play - where's the actual Dark Knight class? What about a Swashbuckler? How about a Grenadier who uses flintlock guns? Artificer with constructs? There's a ton of conceptual space that we are not going to fill because we need all the redundant classes in this chapter in the name of "feeling like D&D".

Tune in next time for Chapter 4!
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Ferret
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

CapnTthePirateG wrote:

For instance, "Minions of Chaos" lets you cast the conjure elemental spell once per day by spending a warlock spell slot. Do I have to spend an equal-level spell slot to do this?


This actually isn't a question you need to ask - Warlocks' special snowflake regenerating spell slots are all of a fixed level depending on your warlock class level. Asking "doI have to spend an equal-level spell slot" isn't interacting with that at all - for a single-class warlock, anyway, since the only spell slots you have are auto-upgraded to whatever the chart says, so you get the benefit of your Minions of Chaos as a 3rd or 5th level spell depending on what Warlock level you are.

Even when you mutliclass, the Invocations specify you must spend a warlock spell slot so you can't power those abilities out of your other spellcasting slots.

The Pact of the Book warlock also merits an additional glance - you skimmed over it as "you get extra cantrips" which is true, but you also burn an invocation to get your Book of Shadows upgraded to the Book of Ancient Secrets, which lets you scribe and cast -any- Ritual spell you can get your hands on; Pact of the Book warlocks are the only class in the game to gain that ability. This lets you poach some of the more interesting rituals from the half-caster classes, like the Paladin's Summon Mount ritual.
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codeGlaze
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Just wanted to say "good job so far".
You've done a commendable job summarizing the book thus far while still keeping the review enjoyable and even insightful.

Keep it up. Thumb Yellow
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CapnTthePirateG
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks for the feedback everybody.

On to:

Chapter 4: Backgrounds and Personality

We open with the standard "characters get names, have genders, and vary in appearance" stuff. There's a sidebar about how Tika Waylan from Dragonlance is a different character than FR's Artemis Entreri, even though they're both human fighters with rogue experience. Ok. The same 9 alignments come back, are given two sentences each, and we then get a paragraph that all the evil races were created to be evil and if they become good they still struggle with their innate evil tendencies. Now, I am going to go against the grain here and state that I don't think you're supposed to map orcs or something to a real-world ethnicity. I will state that Always Evil races are kinda not exactly a good sign of a fantasy author. Yes, you can ensure that your heroes have enemies to fight, but it's lazy and better to flesh out some actual villains with actual motives. Shit, even Christopher Paolini abandoned the idea of always evil races and that's among the laziest hack fantasy I've ever read.

So to promote roleplaying, you pick two traits, an ideal, a bond (to a person or place or thing), and a flaw. Now, the DM can give you an "inspiration" point any time he thinks you're playing out one of these, or the other players can give you one if they think you're awesome. You only can hold one point at a time, and can spend it to get advantage on a save, attack, or ability check. Now, some classes need this a lot more than others (rogues need it to sneak attack, for instance), so what is going to happen is that you are going to bring up your trait of choice a lot. Something like this:

Quote:

"Draco are u okay?" I asked in a gothic voice.

Click here to see the hidden message (It might contain spoilers)


The text then lists a bunch of backgrounds. The way backgrounds work is that you get proficiency in some skills, some languages, some starting equipment, and a poorly explained Magic Tea Party features. Highlights include the military veteran getting a rank (but we sure as fuck aren't gonna recommend a starting rank, that might be effort), the hermit having discovered a thing (aka talk to your DM about a thing you found), or the ability to perform in places. Granted, some of them give you actual stuff (like the 3 free guys a knight gets or the free ships passage for a sailor), but they're all explicitly written with some way the DM can weasel out of them and very vague about what they actually do. They all come with a table of ideals, traits, bonds, and flaws so you can roll on them if you feel lazy or want some examples. I will say I like some of the default equipment (like the street urchin's pet mouse), but other than that most of this chapter could have been replaced with:

Quote:

Come up with some personality traits for your character. If the DM likes the way you play your character he can give you an inspiration token. You can cash in this token whenever you make an attack roll, saving throw, or ability check to get advantage on the roll. You may only have one token at a time, but you may give it to another player to use if you want. This does not let a player have more than one token.


I think it's reasonable to assume people playing D&D are familiar with the conventions of the genre.

Chapter 5: Equipment

Well, we have the starting wealth by class, the basic coins - electrum pieces came back for some reason, but astral diamonds didn't - and a gold piece is once again a huge amount of money to your average peasant. Armor works like 3e, but instead of giving you an armor bonus the text phrases it as setting your AC to a number. Armor check penalty has been replaced with disadvantage on stealth, and I don't see any sign of arcane spell failure chance. The 4e system of opt-in weapon proficiency (where you get a bonus if proficient) is still used here, along with a stack of weapon descriptors. Of note is that some weapons such as daggers, rapiers, and scimitars have the finesse property which lets you use Dex over Strength for attack and damage, and that some weapons such as polearms give disadvantage to smaller races when they try to wield it. Most of the wacky exotic weapons such as the spiked chain and punching dagger have been purged from the weapons table. Adventuring gear is for the most part the same as 3.5, with the usual 5e editions of "you can get better equipment if the DM allows it".

This section also introduces tools and tool proficiency. Tools let you use your proficiency bonus (a bonus that all characters get that scales by level) to perform certain tasks regardless of the ability used - so thieves tools give you a bonus to open locks or disarm traps. It's one of those ideas that sound really good until you think about it.

Frank Trollman had an excellent post a while back about how you could never actually have enough tools to fill the playspace with tools that people would use. I'd like to add that this system - or lack thereof - encourages hours of arguing with the DM over what this system can actually do. I can take proficiency in "artisan's tools" which gives me bonus to ability checks made in my craft. So if I grab carpenter's tools, I now have an incentive to argue that every problem is a carpentry problem - from sawing down a wooden door to trying to impress the Duke with a spontaneous display of your sawing prowess. On a side note, the "Charlatan" background lets you forge documents if you have a sample (and this is ALL the information it gives on how to do it). However, there's a forgery kit in the tools section that gives you a bonus to forging documents. So how the fuck does forgery actually work? Do I autosucceed if I'm a charlatan? Am I not allowed to forge documents if I'm not a charlatan? Can only charlatans forge official documents?

Spoiler: This is never answered.

There's a short and inoffensive section on vehicles, followed by the Shadowrun-style lifestyles, and a section informing you that you can only buy 1st and 2nd level spells but anything else is mother may I. The section concludes with a 2-page table of random trinkets that you can roll on to have your character start with. I'm honestly not sure why you can't just pick one, but you gotta feel like D&D!

Next time: We delve into the fun that is character customization in 5e.
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Last edited by CapnTthePirateG on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Daniel
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I suspect that the biggest problems 5e has will never be noticed at most tables.

The Dragonborn race not mixing well with the dragon sorcerer bloodline.
The Charlatan background benefit doing something that is, or is not part of the forgery kit proficiency?
Everybody wants to play an 1/2elf, except the people that want to play a gnome.
The Rock Gnome being amazing at a subset of knowledge: Arcana tests, except they are knowledge: History for a Rock Gnome. Does that mean that identifying a magic potion is a history test for everybody?
What is the difference between Alchemy and herbalism. You can brew magic healing potion with herbalism. Can you also do that with alchemy? Can you brew other potions with alchemy? Do you need to have healing magic of your own to do that? How do you make other magic items?

That's the stuff that irritates some normal players. Not that they'll lose sleep over it.

The stealth 'rules'? That sensible high level adventurers hire platoons of low level mercenaries to support them on their adventures? The champion fighter being hopelessly under powered?

To the eyes of the run of the mill player group, those either do not exist, or are features not bugs. Champion fighter is the ideal simple option for players who don't want to think at the table.
To them it is just like Pathfinder, except it is rules light.
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