Too broken to play

Am I the only one who feels like everything we recieved for the playtest is far to vague to even be playable? 

The classes are incredibly unbalanced (why is the Wizard doing 4d6 with a secondary attack of 2d6 with the "Arc Lightning" spell at level 2?)
The rules are too vague.  After scouring the rules for over 3 hours, I can't figure out if we're dealing with opportunity attacks.
There are too many continuity mistakes as it pertains to things like damage for the rogue (the weapons list says a dagger is 1d4, and a sling is 1d6.  The rogue character sheet says a dagger is 1d6 and a sling is 1d8, and the Moradin Cleric has an AC of 18 when it should be 16 based on everything I read in the rules)
The rogue is entirely useless.  They're doing relatively no damage, even with sneak attack.  I wouldn't have a problem with this if there were a skill list, because typically rogues are skill whores, so if they were a bit less prevelant in straight forward combat, that would be fine.  But without a skill list for a Rogue to be especially helpful, they become relegated to guard duty, often wasting an entire turn to go hidden just to get the sneak attack dice on the next turn.  Basically they are attacking every other turn and still not doing much damage.

I understand that the point of this playtest was to...well test the very core mechanics of the game, apparently combat above all else, but how are we supposed to test it with so many glaring mistakes?  I understand that it is our, the players, job to help improve the game through feedback, but I can't believe the guys at Wizards managed to let these glaring holes slip through into the playtest.  They should have playtested the playtest before they released it to the public and fixed some of these mistakes.

I know that this is just the beginning, but it's not a very bright beginning if WotC weren't able to notice these huge glaring mistakes.  If they are incapable of realizing huge mistakes such as the ones I listed (and those are only a few of them), then what hope do we have for them to realize some of the other mistakes in other aspects such as Character creation?

I think for now I'm going to put my testing of the game on hold until we get some more material and some of these issues are cleared up.  Hopefully things will improve.
There's quite a bit of material here, about the same as the original d&d box

old classes were unbalanced, that's part of the game that's being tested.

there's no mention of oppurtunity attacks in the rules, so there currently aren't oppurtunity attacks. the 3rd level cleric spell Hold the Line has something similar, but it's the only ability I've seen that gives you an area of influence similar to oppurtunity attacks. I think it would be good to give everyone some similar ability to replace oppurtunity attacks, since there should be something I can do to prevent someone running past me.

for continuity errors, I just take the sheets as overruling. Rogues getting a bonus die increase to daggers and slings is nothing new.

Thieves aren't useless, in fact he's the only one with training to use theives tools, and according to the DM guidelines a character must be proficient in theives tools to disarm a trap. If anything, thieves are a little TOO needed right now.
Am I the only one who feels like everything we recieved for the playtest is far to vague to even be playable? 

The classes are incredibly unbalanced (why is the Wizard doing 4d6 with a secondary attack of 2d6 with the "Arc Lightning" spell at level 2?)



You may have missed the "3 pillars" article that was up. The classes aren't designed to be balanced in combat because the game isn't intended to only focus on combat.


The rules are too vague.  After scouring the rules for over 3 hours, I can't figure out if we're dealing with opportunity attacks.



Page 9, reactions. No AoOs, but there is something similar. If they're not in there as such, they're not going to say there are no Attacks of Oportunity.


There are too many continuity mistakes as it pertains to things like damage for the rogue (the weapons list says a dagger is 1d4, and a sling is 1d6.  The rogue character sheet says a dagger is 1d6 and a sling is 1d8, and the Moradin Cleric has an AC of 18 when it should be 16 based on everything I read in the rules)



It's a beta, this isn't really an issue and certainly there won't be any such complaints for the finished product.


The rogue is entirely useless.  They're doing relatively no damage, even with sneak attack.  I wouldn't have a problem with this if there were a skill list, because typically rogues are skill whores, so if they were a bit less prevelant in straight forward combat, that would be fine.  But without a skill list for a Rogue to be especially helpful, they become relegated to guard duty, often wasting an entire turn to go hidden just to get the sneak attack dice on the next turn.  Basically they are attacking every other turn and still not doing much damage.



You don't need a skill list, you do ability checks. The rogue isn't useless, what I said about the 3 pillars above applies here too. D&D isn't just about combat.

apparently combat above all else[/b],



The bolded part is where I believe you're mistaken.
The rogue isn't useless, what I said about the 3 pillars above applies here too. D&D isn't just about combat.


Thank you


The rogue is entirely useless.
  They're doing relatively no damage, even with sneak attack.  I wouldn't have a problem with this if there were a skill list, because typically rogues are skill whores, so if they were a bit less prevelant in straight forward combat, that would be fine.  But without a skill list for a Rogue to be especially helpful, they become relegated to guard duty, often wasting an entire turn to go hidden just to get the sneak attack dice on the next turn.  Basically they are attacking every other turn and still not doing much damage.



the damage does seem a bit low at lvl 1.
but if you look at the advancement sneak attack increases 1D6 EVERY level.
so a 10th level rogue doing +10D6 sneak damage on each attack where he has advantage.

so it might be the rogue is a class that only starts to shine in combat at higher level then 1.
Well at tenth level we are talking 11 dice with the weapon included.So at 20th level it will be 21 lol.Sounds like champions or shadowrun.I think I would want a automated dice roller at that point.

Though some fun could be had with rolling the dice.If you were doing a gridless combat you could just unload them in the middle of the table and yell Yahtzee!!!! or BAZINGA!!!!! dealer's choice.   
Am I the only one who feels like everything we recieved for the playtest is far to vague to even be playable?

No, you're not, though my reasons differ completely.

The classes are incredibly unbalanced
(why is the Wizard doing 4d6 with a secondary attack of 2d6 with the "Arc Lightning" spell at level 2?)
Average 17 damage to the primary target, average 10 damage to the secondary target. Total average damage dealt 27, split across two targets.

The Fighter averages 13 damage per round. Twice per day he can double that (26), either concentrated on a single target or split across two targets.

Let's assume a four-round fight. The Wizard lights two foes up with Arc Lightning on round 1 and then spends rounds 2, 3, and 4 throwing magic missiles (average damage 3 per hit). The Fighter does his "F U!" double-tap on round 1 and then spends rounds 2, 3, and 4 making normal attacks. For the sake of the example, both of them are "on" that day, and all attacks rolled hit.

Still taking averages:
The Wizard deals a total of 36 damage split across at least two, and up to five targets.
The Fighter deals a total of 65 damage split across at least one, and up to five targets. Nearly double the Wizard's output.

But let's go further, and assume the Wizard is dumb enough to take his AC 11 backside into melee, and he's using Shocking Grasp on rounds 2, 3, and 4 instead: Now he averages 48 damage over the same interval. Still only about 3/4 of the Fighter's output.

But let's go even further and assume the Wizard prepped nothing but Arc Lightnings that morning, and blows all four of them in this fight. Now he averages 108 damage dealt in the fight, overtaking the Fighter by about 30%.

However, there's a problem with this last case: the Wizard is now out of spells for the day. In the next encounter (and any that follow), his average damage over a four-round period is about 12 (for magic missile), or about about 28 (for shocking grasp). The Fighter, meanwhile, is still averaging 65 damage in that next encounter (and about 52 for encounters after that).

So, what's the problem here?

The rules are too vague.
  After scouring the rules for over 3 hours, I can't figure out if we're dealing with opportunity attacks.
No, the rules aren't vague at all, at least not on this particular point. There are no rules for OAs; therefore, there are no OAs. Also true for flanking, forced movement, and shifts/5-foot step, if you were wondering. 

There are too many continuity mistakes
as it pertains to things like damage for the rogue (the weapons list says a dagger is 1d4, and a sling is 1d6.  The rogue character sheet says a dagger is 1d6 and a sling is 1d8, and the Moradin Cleric has an AC of 18 when it should be 16 based on everything I read in the rules)
Those aren't continuity mistakes so much as editing errors, and that's to be expected of playtest material. I've been through this process; chances are the characters were built off a version of the playtest document that was slightly different from the version that was actually included in the packet, because the pregen creation and actual packet assembly were done by two different people, or were done at different times. 

This will be the fifth version of the playest material that I've personally seen, and I'm sure there were dozens, if not hundreds, of revisions and release candidates that never made it to my hands. When you have version numbers on a project changing daily, sometimes several times a day, it's not hard to get lost and end up working off a version that's not actually the most recent without realizing it. 

If your complaint is that the proofreading is a bit shoddy, well, you're right, but frankly I'd rather they focused on building a better game than on making sure their grammar was perfect and all references to "2D6" are replaced with "1D12".

This version is at least readable. The older ones... oi.


The rogue is entirely useless.
  They're doing relatively no damage, even with sneak attack.  I wouldn't have a problem with this if there were a skill list, because typically rogues are skill whores, so if they were a bit less prevelant in straight forward combat, that would be fine.  But without a skill list for a Rogue to be especially helpful, they become relegated to guard duty, often wasting an entire turn to go hidden just to get the sneak attack dice on the next turn.  Basically they are attacking every other turn and still not doing much damage.

Technically, he does relatively little damage (actually about 5 per round, regardless of whether he's attacking normally every round or getting Sneak Attacks every other round). Needless pedantry aside, however, I do agree on this one. 

But with that said, realize that the Rogue is not a Combat character (that's the Fighter's job). The Rogue presented here is really meant as an Exploration character. Remember those Three Pillars that Mearls has been gushing about? Well, this is what he meant. It's "okay" for the Rogue to be weak in Combat, because he's "good" at Exploration. That's what "balance" is in the new edition. 

Yeah, I think it's a load of bulldrek too. I've used every feedback opportunity in the last six months to say so, and I'm going to continue to do so for the forseeable future.

But because I can't resist taking the side of the Traveller, I must point out that the Rogue is still the skill monkey. It's less visible here because of the way skills work, but:

The Elfizard is "trained" in 4 skills (Lores Forbidden, Magical, Natural, and Religious).

The Fighter is "trained" in 3 (Intimidate, Perception and Survival).

The Dwarf Cleradin is "trained" in 4 (Animal Handling, Diplomacy, Heraldic Lore, and Religious Lore).

The Lazor Cleric is "trained" in 4 (Diplomancy, Detect EvilInsight, Religious Lore, and Wilderness Lore).

The Rogue, by comparison, is "trained" in 6 skills (Animal Handling, Commerce, Folklore, Open Locks, Find/Remove Traps, and Stealth). Additionally, the Rogue treats any rolls of less than 10 as 10 on any of these skills, meaning he automatically succeeds at any of these checks with a DC of 12 or lower (worst case scenario; more likely, he auto-succeeds any of these checks with a DC of 17 or lower).

Does it balance out? No. But it's not as bad as you claim.

I understand that the point of this playtest was to...well test the very core mechanics of the game, apparently combat above all else, but how are we supposed to test it with so many glaring mistakes?  I understand that it is our, the players, job to help improve the game through feedback, but I can't believe the guys at Wizards managed to let these glaring holes slip through into the playtest.  They should have playtested the playtest before they released it to the public and fixed some of these mistakes.

I still don't see any of these "glaring mistakes" and "holes" you're talking about. Now, I can understand and appreciate a good shock-factor sensationalist tirade as much as the next writer, but even so I think you're overreacting a bit.

I also kind of said it above, but here again: this version of the playtest material is orders of magnitude better than previous stuff. I've been in the playtest since December (I'm pretty sure I can talk about that now, even if I can't give specifics), and the really early builds were a real mess compared to this. As annoying as it was to watch all the speculation and WMGs and not be able to say anything about it, it's good that they waited until this point to show anything real to the public.

I know that this is just the beginning, but it's not a very bright beginning if WotC weren't able to notice these huge glaring mistakes.  If they are incapable of realizing huge mistakes such as the ones I listed (and those are only a few of them), then what hope do we have for them to realize some of the other mistakes in other aspects such as Character creation?

I agree this isn't the best possible kick-off of the public playtest phase (including a day's worth of WotC's severs doing their best Diablo III impression), but the rough state of the game at this point is something you can at least take as a sign that the designers are serious when they say they want our feedback at all phases of design. Here is D&D, stripped naked, pared down to its basest elements; this is the designers saying to us "this little packet is all we're sure D&D is. Everything else is up to you".

It's an impressive sign of trust, even if their goals prove a fool's errand in the end.

I think for now I'm going to put my testing of the game on hold until we get some more material and some of these issues are cleared up.  Hopefully things will improve.


I assume you posted because you wanted someone else's thoughts in response to yours (I know, bad habit I have). Have you ever heard of Gandhi's Paradox? He was talking about social reform, but it turns out the same idea applies to public playtesting. If you really want things to improve, then putting your playtesting on hold is exactly the wrong thing to do. Playtesting is the only way things will improve.
I certainly have things i dint like about the document but couldn't disagree more with the op. The classes are not balancedentirely around combat, and in my opinion that is excellent news. Finally the wizard has some flavor back. I could do without the HD or stuff like the fighter surge abillity, but this looks like a game i could actually play.

But let's go even further and assume the Wizard prepped nothing but Arc Lightnings that morning, and blows all four of them in this fight. Now he averages 108 damage dealt in the fight, overtaking the Fighter by about 30%.


Level 3 wizard only has two 2nd level spell slots, right?

But let's go even further and assume the Wizard prepped nothing but Arc Lightnings that morning, and blows all four of them in this fight. Now he averages 108 damage dealt in the fight, overtaking the Fighter by about 30%.


Level 3 wizard only has two 2nd level spell slots, right?



More importantly, a Fighter of that level can have Cleave, which can easily raise his damage further, depending on how lucky he gets with killing stuff.

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