Attributes not equal value? & How long is a minute?

1.
On p 6 of the DnD Next_DM Guidelines.pdf it gives two different DCs to escape bonds depending on whether or not your using your Strength or your Dexterity.

I understand that D&D can be played as a simulation of reality. (I've been playing D&D for 21 years now)
I disagree that it is any easier to dextrously escape manacles than it is to physically bust them.

Also, I thought one of DnD Next's design goals was to value each Attribute equally. Poor Charisma has been a dump stat since 1978.

If each Attribute is supposed to have equal weight, shouldn't the DC for each Attribute be equal?

Not to mention that from the writers' points of view, it'd make game design so much easier...


2.
Many spells in DnD Next_How To Play.pdf give 1 minute as the duration for many spells cast in combat.

I don't understand how that is supposed to be used in the game.

Does "1 minute" count as "until the start of your next turn"? Or are we supposed to count off 10 turns, since a turn is 6 seconds long?
2. You count off 10 turns, and if the fight finishes before then you need to track time until it wears out. Personally I'm going to house rule them to "Encounter" (if it ever makes the final rules). I'll playtest the rules as written but I've no interest in going back to tracking spell round to round like earlier editions. 
2. {snip} I've no interest in going back to tracking spell round to round like earlier editions. 

I agree. I think this "1 minute" duration thing is a problem. I see that in "the Round" paragraph on p9 of the DnD Next_How to Play.pdf they talk about durations of spells, but that's the only place I remember that particular description. I hope the "1 minute" thing is a typo.

Personally I think 1 minute spells are less of a problem than something like Crusader's Strike which lasts 1 hour, or 60 rounds. So it might last one fight, two or even three, but it means you need to track time between eact fight to be sure.
Personally I think 1 minute spells are less of a problem than something like Crusader's Strike which lasts 1 hour, or 60 rounds. So it might last one fight, two or even three, but it means you need to track time between eact fight to be sure.



FYI there are 10 rounds per minute and 600 rounds per hour (not 60). I seriously doubt you'd ever need to track round by round for an hour, it's almost always going to be clear from what the players are doing whether or not it will take less than an hour or more than an hour for them to do it. For instance if as the DM you think it's only 45 minutes for them to explore an area then the spell is still up, but if you think it's 75 minutes, the spell is gone, etc.

The individual fights themselves you can assume last about a minute and then the players, unless they say otherwise, spend another few minutes recovering. So I agree that normally a spell which lasts one minute will last the entire combat unless the combat is being dragged on much longer than normal for some reason.


P.S. I do like 4e's system of spells lasting an encounter or 5 minutes by default.  The abstraction simplifies things nicely. But if DDNext goes with one minute spells instead of one encounter I can deal with that.

P.P.S. Thinking about it a little more maybe a two minute default duration makes more sense than a one minute duration. Two minutes is long enough that it always lasts an entire single combat, but short enough that it would almost never last two combats. Maybe I'll bring this up as another topic...
I haven't playtested this yet, so I am only going by how I used to handle this sort of thing in 1e/2e (the spells lasting for minutes or hours.)

I generally just eyeball the duration - if it seems like it's still within the duration, then it's still in effect.  Normally, if we got into an encounter sometime later, a player would ask, "how long has it been since I cast the spell" and I just used my best guess - no laborious tracking of durations.  And if a player said, "are you sure?  I didn't think it was that long" I often times would say, okay, it' still got a few rounds left or whatever.

Worked just fine for my group.  I didn't need to track down to the specific second the spell expires.

I understand that doesn't work for everyone, but it was never a problem for my groups.

YMMV. 
1: Giving abilities equal use is not that same as ablities being the same usefulness at all times. I'm pretty sure it would be much easier to dex your way out of a pair of handcuffs than to break them from the inside out. What this does is it says "dex is slightly better right now but you could also try strength" in another situation the positions my be reversed. Would you argue that 'for equality' the DC of breaking a door off its hinges should be the same as the DC for picking the lock holding it closed? What if a door of flimsy plywood is locked by an advanced lock? Should the strength guy get penalised because "each Attribute is supposed to have equal weight"? No. In that situation you kick the door down. On the other hand, the 3 inch thick solid stone door that is locked with a 2sp padlock should be far easier to dex through.

Giving abilities equal weight does not mean that they should be equaly useful in a given situation, what it means is that over the course of a session or campaign, a player who chose to prioritise charisma should have been about the same amount of use to the party as the player who chose to max out on strength. A lot of that is up to the DM (if he never puts ina social situation then cha is usually going to be worse) but I feel that DnDNext is heading in the right direction by eliminating reflex/will/fort saves and moving them to direct ability checks.

2: "Does "1 minute" count as "until the start of your next turn"?" I don't even understand how this was a question
A round is 6 seconds so there are 10 rounds in a minute
The spell lasts for 1 minute
In what possible understanding of the rules could you make 1 minute=6 seconds?
Also, what is the issue with counting rounds? You just take a pencil and some paper and put a tally on it when that character's turn rolls around. When you hit 10 it ends. Unless your group has a habit of having multiple 1 minute durations happening with overlapping timers, I don't see how this is an issue. It literally takes less time to do this than it will take your player to announce his action and take practically no concentration. By all means, houserule it to 'encounter' since most encounters last less than a minute and there are rarely two encounters within a minute but I would prefer a specific amount of time simply because it opens up more possibilities for how/when it is used
I generally just eyeball the duration - if it seems like it's still within the duration, then it's still in effect.  Normally, if we got into an encounter sometime later, a player would ask, "how long has it been since I cast the spell" and I just used my best guess - no laborious tracking of durations.  And if a player said, "are you sure?  I didn't think it was that long" I often times would say, okay, it' still got a few rounds left or whatever.



It's what we use to do as well, and it was annoying then (admittedly not as annoying as tracking every round), another case of "DM can I?" where your character abilities depended who was DM and what mood you caught them in.
Also, what is the issue with counting rounds? You just take a pencil and some paper and put a tally on it when that character's turn rolls around. When you hit 10 it ends. Unless your group has a habit of having multiple 1 minute durations happening with overlapping timers, I don't see how this is an issue.



So far we have only got low level play but already we a cleric that could have to track crusader's strike, hold person, battle palsm and divine favour, then you've grease, light, mage hand, mirror image, shield (which last for 10 minutes real pain to track), shield of faith, silence and spirtual hammer, which could all need to be tracked often simultaneously.

Once you get to 5th level if they start introducing party buff spells, then it gets even worse.

From experience of from 1st through to 3rd Ed, people forget to tick off the rounds. Or they even forget to note which round it started in.
1: {snip} Would you argue that 'for equality' the DC of breaking a door off its hinges should be the same as the DC for picking the lock holding it closed? What if a door of flimsy plywood is locked by an advanced lock? {snip}

Fallacy much? Obviously a door that is equally as strong as a lock is complex should have the same DC for Strength & Dexterity.

Just like busting out of & slipping out of the exact same set of manacles should have the exact same DC.


2: Also, what is the issue with counting rounds? You just take a pencil and some paper and put a tally on it when that character's turn rolls around. When you hit 10 it ends. Unless your group has a habit of having multiple 1 minute durations happening with overlapping timers, I don't see how this is an issue.

As a person who's been DMing D&D for 21 years from 0E all the way through 4E & now DnD Next, every single encounter I ever ran had multiple durations happening with overlapping timers. In my 21 years of experience, I have found that 1 minute durations are a nuisance & unnecessary. Otherwise I wouldn't've brought it up.

You want to be a little more civil next time?
1 minute = 10 rounds.
Why do so many people translate "Open ended", "Player/DM Creativity-Based", and "Improvised Actions" into "Mother May I?" and other such silliness?

You can try to do anything, you don't need DM's approval to come up with an awesome idea. The rules are pre-existing for what constitutes an appropriate DC for various ability/skill checks.

If you have a DM who doesn't quite "get" how cooperative play works either teach him as a group or get someone else in the chair.

Honestly, I think a fair amount of this problem comes from standardized play events and 4e where the DM is often set against the players as an antagonist rather than a collabortive facilitator and arbiter. 

I am glad to see 5e making a move to a more open-ended design. I hate the constraints on the game, players, and DM in 4e. Long live the idea that my primary action can still be of value if it isn't on a list of pre-determined actions!
the real trouble with spell tracking occurs at extremely short durations and extremely high levels.

Starting with the latter problem, a 15th-20th level character might really like to have a 15-20 round duration rather than 10 rounds, so to a player of a 20th level character, 1 round per level is worth the extra headspace because it provides a 100% advantage with every casting. If you asked most players "your fighter can do double damage if you add this one sentence to weapon descriptions, is it worth it?" most would want that extra sentence.

Extremely short durations are problematic tactically, with spells and powers. If the spell has a duration of one round, and it requires an attack roll, or touch, or some other action, you can get confused as to whether or not the spell effect is useful because it ends before you can use it, or doesn't activate in the round you need it. In white wolf this problem came up with Celerity in some games, where some storytellers wouldn't allow it to activate until the round after they spent the blood, or would use one of their "actions" to be the "activate" action. I've seen plenty of spell or psionic effects where "activating" a power to enhance your combat efficiency is the only action you get, and it ends up being a wasted round.

Haste is a good example of a spell you would want to be able to act in the same round you cast it. Giving spells like these a full minute to activate (10 rounds) is nice, but doesn't solve the problem of things like "instants" or "counter magic" effects, like the old psionic "energy containment".

Energy Containment Scenario:
red dragon breaths a breath weapon at you for 65 hit points.
A: You have already attacked someone with a psionic power, so you die that round.
B: You get hit for the 65 damage but haven't activated the power yet, so you die anyway.
C: You sense the energy coming rushing in an intuitively activate Energy Containtment to not die.


Although I used a psionic example, I think you can see how important "acting this round" is with some spells and powers. Some spells will have to be "reflex", and Some spells will have to be "contingent".

Flat units like 1 minute or 1 hour are nice as staples, like the meat and potatoes of durations, but you need these quirky duration options too - like spells that only last for the duration of the round they are cast in, or spells that allow you a free action related to the spell itself.

Options are Liberating

1: {snip} Would you argue that 'for equality' the DC of breaking a door off its hinges should be the same as the DC for picking the lock holding it closed? What if a door of flimsy plywood is locked by an advanced lock? {snip}

Fallacy much? Obviously a door that is equally as strong as a lock is complex should have the same DC for Strength & Dexterity.

Just like busting out of & slipping out of the exact same set of manacles should have the exact same DC.



I'm sorry, what fallacy? I never said anything about equllay strong doors as complex locks, I was meerly providing an example of how the same task (opening a locked door) could be easier or harder dependig on weather you were using dex or strentgh. Obviously if the door and lock are equal then the DC's should be equal, I never said otherwise, you were forcing my words into your point of view. If you want to to just stick with the exact example you used instead or creating some less plausable ones, it isn't really that hard to get out of them with dex, a rope can manuvered so that it loosens slightly and manacles just need you to get yourself at an angle so you can slip out a bit at time (like trying to get a kids head out the railings). Trying to burst ropes or manacles (unless badly freyed or rusted) requires an almost superhuman effort. From a real world upgrade, take the escaping from a straight jacket magic trick. It is very common and incredibly esay once you know how I have never heard of anyone bursting hulk style or managing to rip off someof the buckles or any other method of escaping through pure strength 

2: Also, what is the issue with counting rounds? You just take a pencil and some paper and put a tally on it when that character's turn rolls around. When you hit 10 it ends. Unless your group has a habit of having multiple 1 minute durations happening with overlapping timers, I don't see how this is an issue.

As a person who's been DMing D&D for 21 years from 0E all the way through 4E & now DnD Next, every single encounter I ever ran had multiple durations happening with overlapping timers. In my 21 years of experience, I have found that 1 minute durations are a nuisance & unnecessary. Otherwise I wouldn't've brought it up.

You want to be a little more civil next time?



No, I really don't want to be more civil, mostly because I don't think that post was particularly uncivil. I was meerly asking a question and stating that I don't see the problem with it. There was no uncivil tone in that post and there were no uncivil words. I didn't even say that you were wrong, I meerly expressed an opinion and showed what I see as an easy way to keep track of rounds.

Now that that unpleasentness is (hopefully) behind us, I'll go back to the actual issue we are dicussing here, the timers. As someone who has been DMing and playing for about 17 years, I find it incredibly hard to belive that you aren't exaggerating a lot when you say that every single encounter you have ever run has had multiple durations, maybe I'm wrong and you have a vastly different set of gaming experiences to me but over my time I would have seen multiple overlapping durations maybe 1 in every 10 encouters at most. To be fair, I'm not counting effects that will obviously not run out during a single encounter since I tend to eyeball anything that doesn't have a chance of running out in the timeframe I am working on (a mage armour that last 3 hours cast less than an hour ago for example), maybe you include those, in which case it become more plausable that most encounters have multiple durations but in that case, I would argue that there is no need to keep track of all the effects, all the time, meerly the ones that are nearing completion. If you are the type of DM that generalises time ("yea, you've been down here for nearly 3 hours") then there is no need to keep track of duration exactly until an encounter occurs that has the possibility of running over the end (since the party has been down here for close to 3 hours there is only a minute left on the mage's armour and a band of orcs jumped out, better start a tally). If, on the other hand, you are the type of DM that keeps track of time perfectly (the time is 10:55 and you entered the dungeon at 8:03) then you are already keeping track of time and all you needed to do was jot down that the wizard cast mage armour at 7:59 before entering the dungeon and you have those effects sorted. (Note that I have never seen a DM that keeps track of time in more than a gneral "about 2 hours" sense but I assume that they are probably out there and that they have no issue with tracking timers).

While, depending on your own preferences, you may see keeping track of rounds as a nuisance (I dissagree because I always have a notebook next to me while DMing and I find it very easy to just make a note of when an effect ends and put a tally up each round) I'm going to put that in realm of "each to his own" and aknowledge that some people may either find it more difficult or simple more annoying than I do, I definitively dispute the idea that they are unnecessary. IMO, for something to be unnecessary, it needs to add practically nothing to they system. I need to be able to look at any time (or at least most of the times) when it has been used at think "that would have played out the exact same way if that rule hadn't been there". Let's say that the party runs into a horde of skeletons and a necromancer who is on a ledge above them and is the only thing holding the skeles together. The necro casts Hold Person on the only guy who knows how to use a bow and paralyzes him for 1 minute. Does the party
1: Try to plow through the skele's to get someone within climbing range of the necro so they can take him out, thus causing the skeles to colapse
2: Get someone else to use the bow and hope that they can get a lucky shot in
3: Retreate to a choke point (taking the archer with them) and try to hold out for a minute by facing only one or two skeletons at a time and then have the archer take out the necro
4: Break combat altogether, full retreat until the encounter is over and then restart the same encounter later

Without the rule that HP lasts for a minute, they cannot take option 3 without relying on the DM deciding that enough time has passed. If the rule states that HP lasts "until the end of the encounter" and the fighters hold out for 10 rounds, the encouter is still hapening, the DM needs to make a judgement call, has enough time passed or does he stick to RAW? If the DM sticks to RAW then the party has one less option, if the DM makes a call of "10 rounds is enough" then we might as well have just had the duration set at a minute.

For the small amount of effort it takes to track timers, even multiple timers (john - mage armour ends turn 5. jim - paralasys ends turn 12. luke - frightened ends turn 6. current turn: 4) it has potential to add a great deal of depth to the gameplay
1.
On p 6 of the DnD Next_DM Guidelines.pdf it gives two different DCs to escape bonds depending on whether or not your using your Strength or your Dexterity.

I understand that D&D can be played as a simulation of reality. (I've been playing D&D for 21 years now)
I disagree that it is any easier to dextrously escape manacles than it is to physically bust them.



So escaping bonds has become part of strongman competitions now? It's counterintuitive to suggest that dextrously escaping bonds wouldn't be easier than using strength.


Also, I thought one of DnD Next's design goals was to value each Attribute equally. Poor Charisma has been a dump stat since 1978.



1989 is more like it. Hirelings were a big deal in 1st Ed, although since a lot of groups just didn't use them, Charisma fell to the wayside. It's Constitution that's the problem though, everything seems to scale on hit points and damage, and Constitution affects starting hit points, the minimum you go up by, how likely you are to make death saves and how many saves you can fail before flat out dying.


If each Attribute is supposed to have equal weight, shouldn't the DC for each Attribute be equal?



No, I don't think so. Why not just have one DC period then, and not adjust for, you know, difficulty?..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
You can have a strong door with a crappy lock, or a crappy weak door with a really good lock.  Definitely different DCs.  Same with the bonds, you can have strong rope with a high str DC to break but poorly tied and easily dexed out of, or you could have very weak bonds with a low str DC to break that were tied very well with a high dex DC.  Pretty simple, really.
You can have a strong door with a crappy lock, or a crappy weak door with a really good lock.  Definitely different DCs.  Same with the bonds, you can have strong rope with a high str DC to break but poorly tied and easily dexed out of, or you could have very weak bonds with a low str DC to break that were tied very well with a high dex DC.  Pretty simple, really.




+1.  I was just about to post the same points.
1. The post was fallacious because you are introducing a straw man fallacy.

The playtest materials presented this situation:

Here is Lucky Bob. Here is Strong John.
Lucky Bob's Dex equals Strong John's Str.

Here is a pair of identical manacles, equal in every way, shape, and form.
The game designers have decided that each Attribute is equally valuable.

THIS is the situation presented in the playtest materials. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Given the above, Lucky Bob & Strong John must spend an equal amount of effort to escape the manacles in an equal amount of time.

In other words, the DCs for Dex & Str must be equal.

Anything other than this puts more value on one Attribute over the other, defeating the purpose of the DC system entirely.
OP,

The question of Str vs Dex on a bond can vary depending on the material. I see it being much easier to wiggle out of steel manacles than to break them. Rope's flexibility also leaves the question open to debate.

I have been playing for 20 years myself and have never considered charisma a dump stat.

That's why we have different character classes and builds. It lets me play my sweet talker and have mechanics to back up my sweet talk while letting you play something entirely different.

I'm sorry to say this but I am disappointed that you asked the last question at all. In 21 years of game play this should have come up. I can't think of a system where there weren't spell descriptions or time based requirements didn't include the need to understand this time relation.

Then again it is possible that your group played differently than mine and the DM handled all the time issues behind the screen and your group never questioned his rulings.

If so you are a lucky man.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Theweaver,

Stop it with the fallacies. You don't understand the proper usage of the fallacy if you truly believe your own argument.

Let's stop separating the manacles in the example and instead say they are indeed the same set.

Because my dexterous character is able to fold his knuckles a certain way he is able to make his hand as thin as his wrist. He slips free.

He then takes the manacles and unlocks them. He quietly places them on the sleeping guard. Now the guard has a strength equal to the characters dex but the factor that changes the DC is the strength of the metal. The strength of the metal had no bearing on the character's ability to wiggle free, in fact the smooth metal and his sweaty hands actually helped. The metal is still smooth and the guards hands are also sweaty. This is yet another obstacle for the Str check because the manacles keep slipping instead of staying at the optimal point to apply his strength.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I personally like the 1 minute system. It's not enough time to make effects last all day (1 hour/level and the like). But I like it alot better than everything ending next turn like 4e. Some effects ending in one turn is fun. But when my illusionist wizard can only do things 1 turn at a time, it gets frustrating after a while. 

My two copper. 
My two copper.


Anything other than this puts more value on one Attribute over the other, defeating the purpose of the DC system entirely.



Of course, in differing circumstances, one attribute has more value over others.  In this particular example, Str and Dex are more valuable than the other four, none of which would help you escape those bonds.  Under your line of reasoning, I should just as easily be able to use Cha or Wis or Int on Con to escape those bonds, right?

And the DC to break something can be different than to escape something -  you are looking at the end result (escaping) as if it alone drives the action, and it doesn't.  In this example, one is trying to physically destroy the bond, while the other is merely trying wriggle out of it.  The end result is the same, but the manner of getting there is different.

I get that you do not like the fact that it is different, but I think others here have pointed out reasonable ways in which the DCs would be different.

Mark

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