D&D 5e?

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Postby Diggles » September 9th, 2014, 12:51 pm

Would love to see you guys do a one-shot or two of D&D Next..aka 5e. Your group has been the ONLY watchable live streaming RPG I've found on the internet. Your technical chops and character roleplaying are beyond measure.

Would love Greg to cover the changes/whats new in 5e.


P.S. Do any members of TK regularly watch other RPG streams? Any that you would recommend?
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Re: D&D 5e?

Postby Kowal » September 16th, 2014, 6:36 am

I actually logged in to the forums today to post more or less the same thing. Having wrapped up a 30 level 4th ed campaign recently, I can empathize with the idea of wanting to play something non-D&D for a while, but the PHB for the new edition is actually surprisingly good. Some stuff is clearly in need of a house rule, but what else is new (specifically I mean the Contagion spell being absurdly overpowered, and the way shapeshifting works results in nearly infinite hp)
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Re: D&D 5e?

Postby Kevin? » October 10th, 2014, 7:36 am

Sam, Dan, and two friends of ours tried out the new D&D (Dungnext & Dragnexts) this weekend.

Our reviews are... very positive!!! This, honestly, surprised all of us. We are, I am afraid, somewhat a group of RPG snobs. We appreciate systems that are either finely balance or entirely unbalanced, like the d20 Conan RPG (love that system!).

We all loved d20, so it was a nice return to some of the sandbox feel of that system. However, what really tied together the session was backgrounds! We absolutely loved that the backgrounds gave more skill proficiencies, but also outside-the-rules abilities and "you can's" for the characters. For example, Dan played a Dragonborn bard with a military background. When they found two soldiers asleep on the job (through poison, of course), he was able to command them because they were of lower ranking. He didn't have to roll for this, it was just something he could do!

Also, the advantage / disadvantage system works so much better than I thought it would. We were comparing one cantrip in the game to a spell like "Doom" in 3e. Dan's bard had a cantrip that he could cast as many times as he wanted. It did 1d4 psychic damage, but more importantly it caused the target to take disadvantage on their next turn. While this did not guarantee a low roll, having the owlbear roll twice and take the lowest is a visual and physical effect of Dan's action. It's really satisfying!

I feel like each of the players, all of whom wanted something a little different from the game, had fun... and all at first level! I am a total story-teller, and I feel like the backgrounds, and just a lot of the spirit of the game, pushes players to make decisions other than just "I hit it with my sword." Dan was able to be a wacky, yet effective character. Our friend Alec, who always loves to "break" a system, immediately found something worth tinkering with his halfling rogue. He's very excited to reach second level, and be able to hide as a bonus action! And Erin, a new player, immediately felt comfortable and had one really awesome turn with his cleric in which he singlehandedly saved the group from ambushing goblins.

So overall, absolutely positive experience! I'm looking forward to running another game this next Thursday!
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Re: D&D 5e?

Postby Diggles » October 11th, 2014, 10:21 pm

Thanks for the feedback Kevin, any chance of getting this 'on the air'? :)
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Re: D&D 5e?

Postby Kevin? » October 20th, 2014, 6:43 pm

A few more things that I've come to respect about 5e, after just two games and casual perusing of the Player's Handbook:

Multiclassing, and the need not to
One thing that I loved about d20 was the total freedom (relatively) to multiclass. It was so much fun to think up rogue/sorcerers, or barbarian/paladins, and so on. However, the combinations always seemed cooler in concept that in actual practice, where it was sometimes quite frustrating to realize the image of the character.
In 5e (as I'm going to call it), the rules once again support multiclassing, and in a nice way too. However, there seems to be less of a need for multiclassing. Each class takes a different path at 3rd Level, and so many of those pathways feel like multiclassing! I mean, there's an Eldritch Knight path in the Fighter Class! You get to be a fighter casting spells at 3rd Level! With none of the heavy costs of multiclassing. That's awesome!
What it means to me is that the designers behind 5e want to make it easy to play fun characters. I think that's very 4e, but I felt like in 4e, the designers said "Here let us do it for you." In d20, the designers said, "Figure it out yourself" (which was a lot of fun for my friends and I). And in 5e, as with many other aspects of the game, it seems to be a compromise. "Come up with some cool multiclasses!" they seem to be saying. "But also, we've done some of the work for you. Play as an arcane rogue, or an arcane fighter, or as a fighter bard, without sacrificing your single-class build-up."
That's... that's pretty cool, guys. Thanks!

I Miss 4e Monsters
Believe it or not, I miss the monsters of 4e. Now I'm just playing off the monsters of the adventure from the boxed set, but I felt like every monster in 4e was unique... they had special powers, defined roles in a combat, and the minion system was pretty nice. 5e monsters seem to be more like d20... similar abilities and numbers recombined. Not as much uniqueness... but maybe that's just my experiences so far.

Flavor Features are Fantastic
The adventure I ran last Thursday was mostly inspired by a single power for Rock Gnomes... Rock Gnomes can have one of three gadgets activated at any time: a walking toy, a firebox, and a... hm... I forget the last one. Anyways, from there I came up with the very Sam-ish pun of "Gnomonic Device," and then the adventure was born. Actually, first I decided to make an adventure inspired by Pyotor's flaw, which was a really neat way to center an adventure. So two aspects of the game with little-to-no mechanical effect on the game (gadgets and flaw) inspired me, as a DM, to create an entire adventure. That's... fantastic. It's a dream, really.
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Re: D&D 5e?

Postby Kowal » October 21st, 2014, 7:33 am

Kevin's doing a good job of putting to words the general feeling of optimism I have reading the new books. My favorite part is that the Monster Manual has so little of its pages cluttered with numbers, and focuses mostly on accounts of what the creatures are actually like. It's important to note that it doesn't read like a biology textbook. It genuinely feels like some grizzled old explorer is trying to explain his findings to a young adventurer. It's joyous.
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Re: D&D 5e?

Postby Kevin? » October 26th, 2014, 4:44 pm

Kowal wrote:Kevin's doing a good job of putting to words the general feeling of optimism I have reading the new books. My favorite part is that the Monster Manual has so little of its pages cluttered with numbers, and focuses mostly on accounts of what the creatures are actually like. It's important to note that it doesn't read like a biology textbook. It genuinely feels like some grizzled old explorer is trying to explain his findings to a young adventurer. It's joyous.


This, this, this is what made me fall in love with AD&D when I was 12 years old. I used to carry around the Monster Manual on hikes, imagining I was an explorer identifying all these monsters and their cultures.

However, something has to be said for the easy application of cool powers in 4e. Any thoughts on that?
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Re: D&D 5e?

Postby Kowal » October 27th, 2014, 8:16 am

My opinion is almost certainly tainted by excitement over "the new thing" but I always had a struggle making 4th ed's powers exciting after about level 8.

1) Characters became so complicated that the players were too focused on the mechanics to care about flavor narration, whether it was mine or theirs
2) Characters became so impossible to threaten that I had to cheat (actually cheat!) to make enemies dangerous

I think the important part of your suggestion was "easy" application. Anyone could pick up a 4th ed monster stat block and run it, which is great for the game being approachable but is a style that sacrifices the ceiling height of awesome/fun/exciting in exchange for raising the floor. I found myself getting really lazy because the game afforded me the luxury of being lazy, and from what I understand having listening to a lot of what Chris Perkins had to say when 4th was new and shiny, that was by design. They wanted it to be easy for a 4th ed DM to plug and play an exciting combat with minimal fuss, and it has a couple unfortunate consequences not the least of which being the softening of the brain of the DM as it happened to me. The best way I can think to describe is the old expression, "when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." 4th ed didn't take away my other tools, but it gave me a reaaaaally nice hammer. In my current state, handing me a 5th ed Monster Manual is like handing a toddler a Dremel. It's exciting and fun, but kind of dangerous and I haven't figured out how all the bits work yet.
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