Rule of Three - May 22nd

Rule of Three (May 21st 2012)
by Rodney Thompson

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 1  Are there auto successes in D&D Next when it comes to skills? Does the rogue have more of those built in due to his awesomeness with skills?


...we also suggest that DMs allow automatic success whenever the players do something creative or clever that should just work.
It makes me happy that they're pointing this out. Way too many DMs IMO reward creative or clever solutions that should just work by saying "Yeah, here's a bonus. Roll the dice."


As for the rogue, we're looking at more reliability for the class, rather than automatic success.
Of course, more reliability can occasionally mean a greater number of situations where the success is, in fact, automatic.


 2  Is the idea in D&D Next that all fights or encounters could be run with or without a grid, or do you expect that some encounters or scenarios will require a grid?


In general, we want the vast majority of our rules to be perfectly functional whether you're using the grid or otherwise.
Not super happy with this. If the simple core rules are in fact complex grid rules, what's the point? I don't like grids, because they bog down the combat. Giving me a system bogged down with grid rules and saying 'oh, you don't have to use the grid' doesn't strike me as the best solution. We'll see how easy it is to run fast, simple combat with the rules. If it's not easy, we'll give that feedback.

Moreover, I think including encounters that make use of a battlemat nearly mandatory is something we want to be judicious with, saving it for adventures that are really geared toward the tactical style of play.
Including encounters that make the use of a game board nearly mandatory is going to make my non-purchase of whatever product you put that in absolutely mandatory. As an aside, what percentage of RPGs have 'nearly mandatory' grids in their core rules? 4E... 3.5 maybe... Mechwarrior? Grids aren't an RPG system, they're a wargaming system that's badly failed its disguise check.


 3  How many playtests with pregens do you think we'll go through before we start getting into the character creation rules?


After a couple months of testing the actual roleplaying game, you can futz around with the paper-dolls to your heart's content.

Ok, so the auto-successes on ability checks are at the DM's discretion, rather than a player assumed feature. Eh, I could live with that.

Everything else is nothing new, really.

So...
1. There will probably be no challenges with a DC lower than 10 cuz PCs are heroes. I can imagine some simulated twisted panties over this.
2. Rogues will probably be able to "Take 10" right from 1st-level. Does this mean in an encounter, or perhaps nobody can "Take 10" normally? Extra speculation, I wonder how will this boon interact with 3e-style multiclassing.
3. Some published adventures will occasionally require busting out a grid. Possibly.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
So...
1. There will probably be no challenges with a DC lower than 10 cuz PCs are heroes. I can imagine some simulated twisted panties over this.
2. Rogues will probably be able to "Take 10" right from 1st-level. Does this mean in an encounter, or perhaps nobody can "Take 10" normally? Extra speculation, I wonder how will this boon interact with 3e-style multiclassing.
3. Some published adventures will occasionally require busting out a grid. Possibly.


1.  Seems about right, as a general matter of avoidance.  I could see them including DCs that *start* lower than 10, but scale up (Say, an effect that requires a save every round of exposure, and gets harder to resist each time)
2. Sounds to me that rogues get the option to "Take 10" after rolling the dice to see if they got better than 10.  Which is awesome.
3. We both got the same thing out of this one.

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2. Sounds to me that rogues get the option to "Take 10" after rolling the dice to see if they got better than 10.  Which is awesome.


Upon looking again, appears you're right. Sort of like how Perception checks were handled in 4e - you roll, and then either take that result or your 'Passive Perception' score (10 + check modifier), whichever is higher.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
 Lots of stuff, of interest are:

No DCs below 10: Without serious penalties to the die roll, DCs below 10 don't make much sense from a mechanical point of view. If you can take 10 on a skill roll, chances are that without those hefty penalties you'd succeed anyway. This is pretty intuitive.

Rogues: They can roll and take 10, choosing the best result... Nice, I like that.

Pretty much what I expect. Tableau Vivant for those that want it. Theatre of the Mind for those that want it, but like in pre-3e, some complex battles will probably warrant a grid or other type of noting of positions.

 I'm actually surprised that it'll be that soon for character creation, I expected more time spent on the basic building blocks than that.
Rule of 3 Haiku Time!

Auto-successes?
If your score exceeds DCs.
Rogues always take 10.

Grids ever required?
Grids are for tactical play
Options, not mandates.

PC creation?
Let's work on the base rules first.
Then maybe two months?
There will probably be no challenges with a DC lower than 10 cuz PCs are heroes. I can imagine some simulated twisted panties over this.


Yes.  Something with a DC lower than 10 is by definition not a challenge.  I don't see that as a problem...
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I think most skills should just work when in a non-threatening situation.  Climb for example should be assumed if the person has skill and the necessary tools.   It's when the fur flies and in the heat of battle that you start rolling.   I'm not saying this is the case for every skill but for some skills I think it is true.  Obviously crafting something of high quality always requires a roll.  You always succeed in making something but it may not be uber good.



 

Upon looking again, appears you're right. Sort of like how Perception checks were handled in 4e - you roll, and then either take that result or your 'Passive Perception' score (10 + check modifier), whichever is higher.



Just as a heads up... that actually is not how Perception works in 4e. It's not a "roll and the lowest you can get is your passive." The way it works is you normally get your Passive at all times, but when actively looking for something, you have to roll, and take that result. Sometimes you will get less than your passive, but that's how it works in real life; Sometimes, by looking for something so hard, you are less successful than if you had just stopped looking.

Passive is for when the DM ambushes the party. Active is looking for secret doors.

Yes.  Something with a DC lower than 10 is by definition not a challenge.  I don't see that as a problem...

I have a dwarf with max ranks in diplomacy and is level 2. I have a +2 to my diplomacy. DCs lower than 10 aren't automatic successes for me.
Old edition numbers are irrelevant.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I have a bit of a math issue. 

  1. You auto-success if your Ability exceeds the DC

  2. Never set a DC below 10

  3. Rogues never roll lower than 10.

  4. Ability bonuses maintain the 3e/4e progression of bonuses equalling ROUNDDOWN((Score-10)/2)

Given these rules, a rogue's auto-10 (rule 3) only guarantees you a roll below his Ability score.  But rule 1 states that all characters auto-success when the DC is lower than your Ability score.

When your rogue's Ability score is 11 or lower, you are only guaranteed an 11, but Rule 2 states that you will never face a DC of 10 or less anyway.  Here's the results for 12 through 20:
Ability 12-13: Guaranteed 11
Ability 14-15: Guaranteed 12
Ability 16-17: Guaranteed 13
Ability 18-19: Guaranteed 14
Ability 20: Guaranteed 15

At no point would taking 10 ever result in a roll that exceeds your Ability score.  (The results are even worse if we use the flatter Ability modifiers of AD&D!)  You will never invoke this ability, unless you have additional modifiers.  If Skill training gives you like a +3, that only helps the rogue using an Ability modifier of 12-13.  (And it really only saves the rogue from natural 1's.)

Rules 1 and 2 obviate the value of rule 3.
Old edition numbers are irrelevant.

So you're saying it's impossible in D&D Next to get a modifier to a "diplomacy" check equal to +2? Roll a 3 on your Charisma ability score AND don't get many/any modifiers to diplomacy, suddenly you're looking at a +2 if you're lucky!

Uh

If you have Cha 3...then yeah, DC 10 is a challenge.  My comment was directed at the assumption that DC 10 was never going to be a challenge because PCs are going to have scores 10 and above nearly all the time.  8's are plausible, which is "nearly," but I really don't expect things to that extreme.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Old edition numbers are irrelevant.

Quite so.  And I think the point is less about how anyone can get a 10, and more about what would skill checks with DC less than 10 even represent?

Taking Diplomacy for an example, what would possibly require a DC 5?  Allowing a shopkeeper to let you shop at his store?  At this point, the roll is just a check for random bad behavior; did your character accidentally spout out some insults so terrible that the shopkeeper would kick you out?  I don't think the dice should be in complete control of how your character acts, and if you have to roll for these low DCs that is what happens. 

But, as always, each group is free to play the way they want.  If the DM wants to make players roll for checks with a DC of 5, they can.  I really don't see this as an issue at all.

The map answer seems good too.  It should make everyone happy (excepting the people who will only be happy if the books contain only the material they personally like, and nothing else).  The answer about published adventures makes sense too.  There are people who like a lot of tactical fights, and so every so often they might release an adventure that specifically caters to them.  All it needs is a simple label on the adventure, so people can clearly tell that it will be tactical without buying it first.

Having the rules work with both completely mapless combat and full tactical grid combat is great.  I would guess that the majority of people play using both styles.  Most simple fights don't require a map (if you are fighting a handful of orcs in a field, for example), while some fights are so complex that you would have to at least sketch something out and use some method for showing the position of each combatant (drawing it in pencil, push pins, pennies, minis, etc).  Let's face it, no one's imagination is good enough to keep a complex battle straight just in their head; if you have a huge room with pillars and a twisting chasm, a demonic portal with tentacles emerging, flame filled braziers, areas of difficult terrain from smashed altars, slippery pools of blood, and a dozen monsters of various types, you are going to need to draw something out. 

Now, certainly, you don't ever have to use complex fights.  But all that means is that your group wouldn't ever need to use a map for the fight.  For everyone else, having the rules work with gridded combat is a good thing.



Taking Diplomacy for an example, what would possibly require a DC 5?  Allowing a shopkeeper to let you shop at his store?  At this point, the roll is just a check for random bad behavior; did your character accidentally spout out some insults so terrible that the shopkeeper would kick you out?  I don't think the dice should be in complete control of how your character acts, and if you have to roll for these low DCs that is what happens. 




www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=8...

This sort of thing should not happen.  Ever.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Will there be a level bonus to skill checks?  The DC 10 is a static, do you still use it when there is a +3 level bonus mechanic effectively reducing the DC?  That level bonus affecting DCs which get higher with level, does the Ability Score auto success scale with that?

I won't take Passive Skills out of my game, especially Passive Thieving Skills.  Dungeons are trapped, not encounters. 

But the Ability Score auto success and Rogue reliability sound cool.  I wonder if there will be a DC breakpoint for Ability Scores, like point buying a 15 score if that's a common DC.

If your saying you don't need a battlemat, then say you don't need a battlemat.  Write adventures that don't need a battlemat, and if they are too hard to play without a battlemat people will either break one out or change your adventure. 

I think a better question is, will D&D Next feature grid examples in explaining mechanics, in adventure descriptions, or in maps?

The answer is yes, because they are still gonna sell Dungeon Tiles.  So then the only real concern is if the mechanics require a grid and "sometimes the adventure is just going to demand an encounter that is so tactically involved that a battlemat is the only practical way to go" means the mechanics will require a grid. 

I don't need high level playtest pregens if they give us the character creation rules.

Personally, I am much more concerned with Player mecanics than DM mechanics.  The DM is almost expected to change stuff.  But the Player is expected to follow the rules and many a power gamer will push those rules as far as you will let them.  Creating monsters is important to me, but letting my players create their own characters is much more important to me.
What does level actually matter, in regards to a skill check?

If you provide a level bonus to skill checks, but then also increase the DCs by the same amount to offset the level bonus, what's the point?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
What does level actually matter, in regards to a skill check?

If you provide a level bonus to skill checks, but then also increase the DCs by the same amount to offset the level bonus, what's the point?



Amen.  I disagree with rising DCs.  A DC should reflect difficulty.  A wood door is a wood door.  There is a limit to physical lock quality.  

 
Furthermore, the following situation is stupid and shouldn't happen:

A party of plucky adventurers goes off on their first mission, at level 1.  They dispatch of some evil goblins that have been ambushing trading caravans in the area.  In the goblin cave, they find a locked door which probably contains much of the loot the goblins have stolen.  Unfortunately, nobody is good with fine motor control or trained in picking locks, and as a result nobody even bothered to bring any suitable tools.  They say "Damn, well that sucks" and move on. 

Being a...'nongood' party, though, they return to collect their reward, but tell the local town that while the goblins are dead, their goods were not recovered.  The townsfolk are disappointed at the loss, but relieved that there won't be more.

After a good while of adventuring, the party, having leveled up several times, returns to the goblin cave.  Now, somehow, despite not being any more dextrous nor having any training and still not bringing proper tools, they somehow can pick the lock.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
What does level actually matter, in regards to a skill check?

If you provide a level bonus to skill checks, but then also increase the DCs by the same amount to offset the level bonus, what's the point?



Amen.  I disagree with rising DCs.  A DC should reflect difficulty.  A wood door is a wood door.  There is a limit to physical lock quality.  

 



Not when magic is used to craft the lock, there could be near microscopic parts that have to turn a certain way, kind of like modern laser etched keys.
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
What does level actually matter, in regards to a skill check?

If you provide a level bonus to skill checks, but then also increase the DCs by the same amount to offset the level bonus, what's the point?



Amen.  I disagree with rising DCs.  A DC should reflect difficulty.  A wood door is a wood door.  There is a limit to physical lock quality.  

 



Not when magic is used to craft the lock, there could be near microscopic parts that have to turn a certain way, kind of like modern laser etched keys.



I can imagine a clever locksmith using wind refracted at certain angles off of the key to open locking mechanisms...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
What does level actually matter, in regards to a skill check?

If you provide a level bonus to skill checks, but then also increase the DCs by the same amount to offset the level bonus, what's the point?

If there is a Level Bonus to checks, there will probably be a level bonus to DCs.  Sure, if they cancel each other than what is the point?  If the auto success mechanic is Ability Score, if the Ability Scores don't scale with level bonus to checks and DCs then the auto success mechanic fails.

What has given you the idea that a level bonus will exist?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
After a good while of adventuring, the party, having leveled up several times, returns to the goblin cave.  Now, somehow, despite not being any more dextrous nor having any training and still not bringing proper tools, they somehow can pick the lock.

Leveled up several times?  The rogue would be more dexterous, have more training and likely acquired proper tools.  

There isn't a rogue.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
What has given you the idea that a level bonus will exist?

What has given you the idea it won't?

WotC has said they want to flatten the math, reduce the bonuses, not get rid of them.  I wonder if this is flattening 3.5 or 4e math.

There isn't a rogue.

Bard?

EDIT: Or the Fighter's leg has gotten stronger, has had more experience kicking doors off their hinges and in fact is wearing some serious goblin stomping boots +2 now.

basically for 5e any time you think something will scale with level rethink it.  There will be practically no advancement of numbers as you level.  One of the only places numbers will grow as a direct corollary to leveling is Hit Points.  Other than that nothing should be scaling with level.  

Leveling will open up options that make you better at things, and will more than likely via some progression make your ability scores better.  There will be nothing like half level to everything as there was in 4e or BaB or anything like that.  I could totally see some options for including things like this but they will be options for advanced users.
basically for 5e any time you think something will scale with level rethink it.  There will be practically no advancement of numbers as you level.  One of the only places numbers will grow as a direct corollary to leveling is Hit Points.  Other than that nothing should be scaling with level.  

Leveling will open up options that make you better at things, and will more than likely via some progression make your ability scores better.  There will be nothing like half level to everything as there was in 4e or BaB or anything like that.  I could totally see some options for including things like this but they will be options for advanced users.

I don't believe it. 

I think compared to 4e it will seem like there is no advancement of number as you level.  But if you take 3.5 and start to flatten the math, you still get advancement.  Ability Scores will go up with level.  Training and Advanced Training and Superior Training of skills will go up with level - if not purely based on level.  A +4 longsword is higher level than a +2 longsword. 

If you put a limit on bonus types and completely remove untyped bonuses the game can still scale with level.  It will just scale slower. Personally, I don't see increasing static numbers as an advanced user option as they tend to make the game safer and more predictable.

basically for 5e any time you think something will scale with level rethink it.  There will be practically no advancement of numbers as you level.  One of the only places numbers will grow as a direct corollary to leveling is Hit Points.  Other than that nothing should be scaling with level.  

Leveling will open up options that make you better at things, and will more than likely via some progression make your ability scores better.  There will be nothing like half level to everything as there was in 4e or BaB or anything like that.  I could totally see some options for including things like this but they will be options for advanced users.

I don't believe it. 

I think compared to 4e it will seem like there is no advancement of number as you level.  But if you take 3.5 and start to flatten the math, you still get advancement.  Ability Scores will go up with level.  Training and Advanced Training and Superior Training of skills will go up with level - if not purely based on level.  A +4 longsword is higher level than a +2 longsword. 

If you put a limit on bonus types and completely remove untyped bonuses the game can still scale with level.  It will just scale slower. Personally, I don't see increasing static numbers as an advanced user option as they tend to make the game safer and more predictable.





The developers pretty much stated that there is no BAB, half level bonus, improving thaco, etc. Yes, you can get bonuses as you gain levels though feats, ability boosts, and magic items, but the point is that your not getting auto increases with each level. Maybe you take a weapon focus feat to get a +1 to hit, or maybe you take toughness feat instead. It won't be the same as fighter's getting a +1 bonus to hit every level, with bonuses from feats piled ontop of that. I think this is why auto success in skill use is important. In 3.x, once you got to a certain level, it was almost auto success to open mundane locks because your bonus became so high. Well, now we dont get an increasing bonus just for leveling. So being skilled in something, with a good related ability score, means auto success for typical use of the skill, and a skill check for difficult uses of the skill. If they made the skill use kind of crappy at level one, as they did in 3.x, but then it dosnt increase by one point each level, then the skll would allways be crappy. So this method I think splits the difference in a way.


Also, the non scaling is in line with their move to work primarily from ability scores, and is how they will meet their goal of having orcs being scary for high level adventures, or low level adventurers having a shot at defeating a high level monster (though its still risky). It is because defenses and attack bonuses will not increase by leaps and bounds, so you will still need a decent roll to hit, and a low level monster would still have enough of a chanch to hit you to make you a little nervious. The days of my rogue needing only a 4 or 5 to hit, or my friends fighter whos AC was so high enemies needed a 19 or 20 to hit, will be gone (the rogue is from 4th ed, the fighter is from 3.x, just to be clear that I am not picking on any individual edition). This will be a new style of play that will take some getting used to but I htink it will be interesting.   
basically for 5e any time you think something will scale with level rethink it.  There will be practically no advancement of numbers as you level.  One of the only places numbers will grow as a direct corollary to leveling is Hit Points.  Other than that nothing should be scaling with level.  

Leveling will open up options that make you better at things, and will more than likely via some progression make your ability scores better.  There will be nothing like half level to everything as there was in 4e or BaB or anything like that.  I could totally see some options for including things like this but they will be options for advanced users.

I don't believe it. 

I think compared to 4e it will seem like there is no advancement of number as you level.  But if you take 3.5 and start to flatten the math, you still get advancement.  Ability Scores will go up with level.  Training and Advanced Training and Superior Training of skills will go up with level - if not purely based on level.  A +4 longsword is higher level than a +2 longsword. 

If you put a limit on bonus types and completely remove untyped bonuses the game can still scale with level.  It will just scale slower. Personally, I don't see increasing static numbers as an advanced user option as they tend to make the game safer and more predictable.





you can not believe it all ya like but thats the system the propose.  THere is no BaB so attack bonus will not scale with level.  They have said there is no half level to everything so nothing else will scale with level.  There is no skill point system so you wont be adding to specific skills with every level.  You will have options available to you that give you bonuses to things.  they might even stack to provide a better bonus to things but those bonuses will not inherently increase as you level.  I am also sure that they will make it so you can't stack too many bonuses as you level.  Basically putting a cap on the capabilities of the player that way you don't have as much of a min/maxing problem.  Magic items are being divorced from progression so your magic item bonuses will not be inherently gaining as you level, you may have a +1 sword from level 5 to level 20 and thanks to flatter math that won't screw you.
Yes.  Something with a DC lower than 10 is by definition not a challenge.  I don't see that as a problem...

I have a dwarf with max ranks in diplomacy and is level 2. I have a +2 to my diplomacy. DCs lower than 10 aren't automatic successes for me.



If your total skill bonus (after all modifiers) is +2, then if you take 10 on the roll your total will be 12--that's an automatic success for DCs of 12 or lower. Without serious penalties to the roll (such that your net skill roll modifier is less than 0), DCs of 10 or less should always auto-succeed assuming the option of taking 10.

At no point would taking 10 ever result in a roll that exceeds your Ability score.  (The results are even worse if we use the flatter Ability modifiers of AD&D!)  You will never invoke this ability, unless you have additional modifiers.  If Skill training gives you like a +3, that only helps the rogue using an Ability modifier of 12-13.  (And it really only saves the rogue from natural 1's.)



I think the boldfaced part may be the kicker. Outside of "circumstance" modifiers, keep in mind that in one of the articles about backgrounds and themes, it was stated that, in lieu of gaining another skill, you can gain additional training in an existing skill (which increases your existing bonus by +1). How often you can gain skills/additional skill training will obvious be a factor on how important this is to your point. Also, I think you already took into consideration (I'm too lazy to go look up the article that mentions that) that rogues' skill training grants a higher bonus than non-rogues.

Rules 1 and 2 obviate the value of rule 3.



Assuming other factors (as mentioned above) don't address this issue, the Rule 1 should take a hike, IMO.

What does level actually matter, in regards to a skill check?

If you provide a level bonus to skill checks, but then also increase the DCs by the same amount to offset the level bonus, what's the point?



Great. Now I've got the song "War" stuck in mt head. Laughing

If your saying you don't need a battlemat, then say you don't need a battlemat.  Write adventures that don't need a battlemat, and if they are too hard to play without a battlemat people will either break one out or change your adventure. 

I think a better question is, will D&D Next feature grid examples in explaining mechanics, in adventure descriptions, or in maps?

The answer is yes, because they are still gonna sell Dungeon Tiles.  So then the only real concern is if the mechanics require a grid and "sometimes the adventure is just going to demand an encounter that is so tactically involved that a battlemat is the only practical way to go" means the mechanics will require a grid.

You don't need a battlemat.  You could certainly play without one.  What they are saying is that some published adventures will have complex fights that include a grid map.  You could still play without using it.  There will also be some published adventures designed with mostly tactical fights that further encourages the use of a grid.  Again, you could still play without it.

Even if an adventure includes a grid map of a fight, it doesn't mean you have to use the grid.  It is simply there for those who like to use grids.  It is much easier to just not use it then to draw in the gridlines yourself.

They are going to sell dungeon tiles as long as there is demand for dungeon tiles.  If there is demand, that means there are a significant number of people who enjoy using them.  This has nothing to do with mechanics.  Even if an adventure has an encounter that is so tactically involved that a grid is the only practical way to go.  How does this relate at all to the mechanics?  There is nothing mentioned about mechanics.  In another post I gave an example of this. 

Say you have a fight in a large, irregularly shaped room.  The room has a number of large pillars, a twisting chasm, a portal from which tentacles are emerging, numerous flame-filled braziers, areas of difficult terrain from smashed altars, and slippery pools of blood.  In addition, there are over a dozen monsters of various types.  There is just no way to keep track of all this in your head.  It has nothing to do with mechanics; you just can't keep a perfect record of the action without some sort of drawn out map.  Ok, to be fair, perhaps you can keep it straight.  But if so, you must also admit that you are amazing and unique.  You have a special gift that the vast, vast majority of people do not have.  For the rest of us, when we have a complex fight we need a map.

Furthermore, the following situation is stupid and shouldn't happen:

A party of plucky adventurers goes off on their first mission, at level 1.  They dispatch of some evil goblins that have been ambushing trading caravans in the area.  In the goblin cave, they find a locked door which probably contains much of the loot the goblins have stolen.  Unfortunately, nobody is good with fine motor control or trained in picking locks, and as a result nobody even bothered to bring any suitable tools.  They say "Damn, well that sucks" and move on. 

Being a...'nongood' party, though, they return to collect their reward, but tell the local town that while the goblins are dead, their goods were not recovered.  The townsfolk are disappointed at the loss, but relieved that there won't be more.

After a good while of adventuring, the party, having leveled up several times, returns to the goblin cave.  Now, somehow, despite not being any more dextrous nor having any training and still not bringing proper tools, they somehow can pick the lock.



You're right, this is a stupid situation that wouldn't happen.

Because any adventuring party worth 2gp would've just busted down that door once they found it locked beyond their skill.
Because of course the DC for breaking it down can't be higher than what the party could reasonably accomplish?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Because of course the DC for breaking it down can't be higher than what the party could reasonably accomplish?



That should depend on the party and on the door. I don't expect a sturdy door to have a dc under 10. Consider something like an iron or even an adamntine door, and the DC should be MUCH higher.
You'll note I never said what kind of door it was.  Not an oversight.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I'd like to see a return to kicking in doors, too. 

There is a huge advantage to picking a lock quietly, but honestly my party busts in like SWAT more often than like ninjas.

Bend Bars, Lift Gates, Kick in Doors.

And it's hilarious when the door gets kicked in then explodes all around the Fighter who didn't check for traps.  You don't need a rogue, lol, but it's good to have one in the party.