Here Lies the Dear Departed Wizard, Wizard the 2nd, Wizard the 3rd....

We've been playtesting with our group, and other grievances with wizards aside, we've found a significant problem: you can't keep the dang wizard alive.

The situation keeps playing out the same: if the wizard sticks to low spells, then he's not attacked more than normal, and just takes some damage.  If the wizard casts a powerful spell, or if the enemy is intelligent enough to know he's a wizard and a threat, the enemies all either move up to the wizard or at least where they can see him, and then all attack, either with melee or ranged. 

The wizard is hit numerous times thanks to his pitiful AC (even the spell shield doesn't help much), is dropped to 0 HP, and although the rest of the team can attack the monsters back, at least one is alive the following turn, and coup de gras's the wizard.

Are similar things happening to everyone else?  Or are we missing a rule somewhere that makes him more likely to survive?
Try using the defender cleric to prevent this.
We've been playtesting with our group, and other grievances with wizards aside, we've found a significant problem: you can't keep the dang wizard alive.

The situation keeps playing out the same: if the wizard sticks to low spells, then he's not attacked more than normal, and just takes some damage.  If the wizard casts a powerful spell, or if the enemy is intelligent enough to know he's a wizard and a threat, the enemies all either move up to the wizard or at least where they can see him, and then all attack, either with melee or ranged. 

The wizard is hit numerous times thanks to his pitiful AC (even the spell shield doesn't help much), is dropped to 0 HP, and although the rest of the team can attack the monsters back, at least one is alive the following turn, and coup de gras's the wizard.

Are similar things happening to everyone else?  Or are we missing a rule somewhere that makes him more likely to survive?

Is anyone in the party trying to use terrain to make sure the enemy can't just move wherever it wants to?  Or is everyone just rushing in at the enemy no matter what kind of terrain and numerical advantage they might have?

As for ranged attacks on the wizard--it makes sense to kill guys with bows first if you can, to further limit your opponent's choice of targets, or use line-of-sight to keep people safe and force the enemy into a position that's advantageous to the party.

All non-mechanical but very effective means for keeping the wizard alive.
This may just be because of the playtest adventure, but there really isn't much terrain for the characters to hide behind, and unless I'm missing something, there's nothing (aside from the defender cleric) to keep opponents from moving around the characters to where they can see the person behind cover. 

Yes, if the defender cleric hangs back and blocks for the wizard, then the wiz is more likely to survive, but the defender cleric doesn't have a ranged attack, so you're basically wasting the actions of one character to give some protection to another.  You might as well just be using the cleric.

All in all, something's missing.  If it takes all this to keep a character alive, and the character rarely does more damage then the other members of the party, then something's wrong with the class.  Either that, or they have to either find a way to limit enemy movement more, give the wizard some sort of longer lastic mage armor spell, or improve the defensive benefits of cover.
This may just be because of the playtest adventure, but there really isn't much terrain for the characters to hide behind, and unless I'm missing something, there's nothing (aside from the defender cleric) to keep opponents from moving around the characters to where they can see the person behind cover. 

Yes, if the defender cleric hangs back and blocks for the wizard, then the wiz is more likely to survive, but the defender cleric doesn't have a ranged attack, so you're basically wasting the actions of one character to give some protection to another.  You might as well just be using the cleric.

All in all, something's missing.  If it takes all this to keep a character alive, and the character rarely does more damage then the other members of the party, then something's wrong with the class.  Either that, or they have to either find a way to limit enemy movement more, give the wizard some sort of longer lastic mage armor spell, or improve the defensive benefits of cover.



Try intoxicating the wizard and then use magic missile and burning hands...
"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.
Yes drunk wizard, gains dr 1d6.
i played the wizard just yesterday, it does need intelligent, non 4e play to not take too many hits. In 4e the great majority of characters at any lvl could stand out in the open disregarding enemy output. Even a powerful pack of mobs focus firing was not a grave threat most times.

the playtest as it stands is a call to earlier editions. Anyone taking more then a few hits is very bad. Coordination and environment usage is a must. Do hide around corners. Turn over tables and cower behind them. The module takes place in a cave network most of the time bottlenecks and corners are easy to come by. Use them. Also caves of chaos is a multi level, many in game day task. Do not expect to play it like an LFR module.

A few specific suggestions. Prone is not a big limiter on movement it only cost 5' or one square on tac grid. Voluntarily fall on your face to force disadvantage on ranged attackers. Prone can also make a knee high boulder full cover. Full cover is +5 ac and dex saves toss disadvantage on that and all the ranged attackers in the module will find something easier to shoot. Also coup de grace the downed wizard is not something the DM should do in any edition. it only really makes sense if the foe knows for a fact healing magic is present and available or the mob that does it is very evil and use it for dramatic villain effect("I shall take one of you with me at least." /maniacal death laughter)  its not good dming to remove chances for player success.
Also, the defender cleric's defensive spells will help without the defender cleric being back with the wizard.  Also, the cleric doesn't have to be by the wizard, he can be in tactical choke points minimizing movement.  Arrange the characters in the front to funnel foes past the cleric or make them move around him and spend extra turns of not attacking.
This may just be because of the playtest adventure, but there really isn't much terrain for the characters to hide behind, and unless I'm missing something, there's nothing (aside from the defender cleric) to keep opponents from moving around the characters to where they can see the person behind cover.



Yes I think your group is missing something. The fighter and or clerics should inform the DM that they are trying to protect the Wizard by prevent opponents from moving past them. You don't need a mechanic for this. The party just informs the DM that they are forming say a wedge with the Wizard in the far back. Back in the day we'd just say call it the standard formation and everyone understood what that meant.

A good DM will understand the party's intent and simply say 'ok', or if for some reason one of the opponents is dead set on getting to the Wizard while ignoring a possible 'free' attack by the fighter the DM may call for an opposed roll.

Either way, the Wizard stays alive if he cowers far in the rear as befitting his puny frame.   
The cover of the 1st edition Player’s Handbook by artist D.A. Trampier. A motley crew of adventurers, the bloodied bodies of lizard men, the hint of arcane malevolence surrounding the idol, the daring thieves prying the jewels from the statue. This is arguably the most iconic piece of art in all of RPGdom.
a few things that can be done, use corners; you can pass through your ally's square, use that to full advantage. Also, in tight halls, keep a square open between 2 sturdier party members for the Wizard so he has someplace safe to fall back to.  AND remember that an ally grants cover if your Wizard is directly behind another character of the same (or larger) size.
This may just be because of the playtest adventure, but there really isn't much terrain for the characters to hide behind, and unless I'm missing something, there's nothing (aside from the defender cleric) to keep opponents from moving around the characters to where they can see the person behind cover.



Yes I think your group is missing something. The fighter and or clerics should inform the DM that they are trying to protect the Wizard by prevent opponents from moving past them. You don't need a mechanic for this. The party just informs the DM that they are forming say a wedge with the Wizard in the far back. Back in the day we'd just say call it the standard formation and everyone understood what that meant.

A good DM will understand the party's intent and simply say 'ok', or if for some reason one of the opponents is dead set on getting to the Wizard while ignoring a possible 'free' attack by the fighter the DM may call for an opposed roll.

Either way, the Wizard stays alive if he cowers far in the rear as befitting his puny frame.   




I'm sorry, but I find that an exceptionally poor solution. Firstly, it is not in the rules as they stand, and this is the reason why many of us find the rules themselves poor. One can of course try to improvise, but that brings me to my second point. Secondly, I do not agree that 'a good DM' should just say, 'Oh, sorry guys, I forgot that you're protecting the wizard. No monsters will attack it now... not even the mind flayer that finds his brain delicious. Sorry guys, I'll also reroll that archer's attack on the wizard too and put it on the fighter instead because I forgot you're protecting him.' That makes no sense. Why can't the archer hit him? Why can't the mind flayer attack him?

3.5 and 4e had perfectly good rules for adjudicating this sort of thing (opportunity actions, etc.). The present rules have nothing, and that makes for a poor system that gives little guidance on how exactly the characters are protecting the wizard; this is a system ripe for abuse by both players and DMs. If you make up a character to play at a local store, you'll have no idea how this is going to be handled.... and it may even change night-to-night. If my players just said, 'Oh, but we're protecting the Wizard', I would ask them, 'How, exactly?' Are you holding actions in case another monster gets close (in which case, you have to give up an action)? Or are you blocking the arrows shot towards him with your bodies (in which case, give up an action and do an aid another action). Notice how I am having to figure out rules on the fly, and these rules are basically poor copies of rules that already exist in other editions. That is an indication that the present rules are lacking.

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp

This may just be because of the playtest adventure, but there really isn't much terrain for the characters to hide behind, and unless I'm missing something, there's nothing (aside from the defender cleric) to keep opponents from moving around the characters to where they can see the person behind cover.



Yes I think your group is missing something. The fighter and or clerics should inform the DM that they are trying to protect the Wizard by prevent opponents from moving past them. You don't need a mechanic for this. The party just informs the DM that they are forming say a wedge with the Wizard in the far back. Back in the day we'd just say call it the standard formation and everyone understood what that meant.

A good DM will understand the party's intent and simply say 'ok', or if for some reason one of the opponents is dead set on getting to the Wizard while ignoring a possible 'free' attack by the fighter the DM may call for an opposed roll.

Either way, the Wizard stays alive if he cowers far in the rear as befitting his puny frame.   




I'm sorry, but I find that an exceptionally poor solution. Firstly, it is not in the rules as they stand, and this is the reason why many of us find the rules themselves poor. One can of course try to improvise, but that brings me to my second point. Secondly, I do not agree that 'a good DM' should just say, 'Oh, sorry guys, I forgot that you're protecting the wizard. No monsters will attack it now... not even the mind flayer that finds his brain delicious. Sorry guys, I'll also reroll that archer's attack on the wizard too and put it on the fighter instead because I forgot you're protecting him.' That makes no sense. Why can't the archer hit him? Why can't the mind flayer attack him?

3.5 and 4e had perfectly good rules for adjudicating this sort of thing (opportunity actions, etc.). The present rules have nothing, and that makes for a poor system that gives little guidance on how exactly the characters are protecting the wizard; this is a system ripe for abuse by both players and DMs. If you make up a character to play at a local store, you'll have no idea how this is going to be handled.... and it may even change night-to-night. If my players just said, 'Oh, but we're protecting the Wizard', I would ask them, 'How, exactly?' Are you holding actions in case another monster gets close (in which case, you have to give up an action)? Or are you blocking the arrows shot towards him with your bodies (in which case, give up an action and do an aid another action). Notice how I am having to figure out rules on the fly, and these rules are basically poor copies of rules that already exist in other editions. That is an indication that the present rules are lacking.




So . . . this is precisely the problem that 4E created and the game designers are trying to fix. This notion that you can't or shouldn't improvise a substantial portion of the game. First and Second did just that, they improvised a lot of the rules that ended up in 3E, 3.5E, and 4E. I'm not saying that 4E is inherently a bad thing, but it is a different thing, different from traditional or historical D&D. Most everyone agrees that we need to get back to those halcyon days of 1E and 2E and the 4E crowd has got to make an attempt to 'get it'. You can play a game, especially D&D game without a rule for everything. In fact it is highly desirable . . . even fun.
The cover of the 1st edition Player’s Handbook by artist D.A. Trampier. A motley crew of adventurers, the bloodied bodies of lizard men, the hint of arcane malevolence surrounding the idol, the daring thieves prying the jewels from the statue. This is arguably the most iconic piece of art in all of RPGdom.
i played the wizard just yesterday, it does need intelligent, non 4e play to not take too many hits. In 4e the great majority of characters at any lvl could stand out in the open disregarding enemy output. Even a powerful pack of mobs focus firing was not a grave threat most times.




What crappy 4e game did you play? An elite can drop a wizard fairly easily. That is a DM problem not a system problem...Whereas in Next the problem is that the DM has to dumb himself down to make it possible. 
The caves of chaos are full of 10 foot wide hallways.   Put the fighter and battle cleric up front.  The wizard and laser cleric can fire from the rear.  

Terrain actually matters a lot now.  You just have to realize that your ability to block a passage is important.  Fighting in the open is a bad idea (when in reality was it ever a good idea). 

So . . . this is precisely the problem that 4E created and the game designers are trying to fix. This notion that you can't or shouldn't improvise a substantial portion of the game. First and Second did just that, they improvised a lot of the rules that ended up in 3E, 3.5E, and 4E. I'm not saying that 4E is inherently a bad thing, but it is a different thing, different from traditional or historical D&D. Most everyone agrees that we need to get back to those halcyon days of 1E and 2E and the 4E crowd has got to make an attempt to 'get it'. You can play a game, especially D&D game without a rule for everything. In fact it is highly desirable . . . even fun.



You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but personally, as a DM with roughly 30 years experience, I don't like having to arbitrate rules on the fly. It slows down the game and makes it susceptible to abuse by both players and DMs. It makes it very difficult for players rolling up characters to bring to a local store to know exactly what their characters will be able to do and not do. It is not fun for me-- and I've tried it, having played every edition since basic.

Why do you bother with rulebooks at all if the solution to every failure of the rules is just 'improvise!'. The reason I buy the books is so I don't have to. I have a job and a family and a life, just like many other people, and that's the reason I pay money for the books: so I don't have to make up the rules myself. Going back to this arbitrary, DM-is-god, make-it-up-on-the-fly system seems a gigantic step backwards for DnD. 

But that, of course, is just my personal opinion.   

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp



So . . . this is precisely the problem that 4E created and the game designers are trying to fix. This notion that you can't or shouldn't improvise a substantial portion of the game. First and Second did just that, they improvised a lot of the rules that ended up in 3E, 3.5E, and 4E. I'm not saying that 4E is inherently a bad thing, but it is a different thing, different from traditional or historical D&D. Most everyone agrees that we need to get back to those halcyon days of 1E and 2E and the 4E crowd has got to make an attempt to 'get it'. You can play a game, especially D&D game without a rule for everything. In fact it is highly desirable . . . even fun.


Uh, 4e was all about improvisation, it just had rules for things that need rules (combat, skill checks, etc) and let roleplaying cover the roleplaying aspect (the results of diplomacy, what your characters attacks looked like, etc.). I dunno, maybe it's just my super rational manner of thinking (or the fact that I remember playing whatever the politically correct name for cowboys and indians is as a kid and how there was always that one ass who would try to pull some godmode BS), but I don't get why everyone seems to want the opposite (roleplaying combat and having the results of social interactions hardwired into the rules).

Zammm = Batman.

It's my sig in a box
58280208 wrote:
Everything is better when you read it in Bane's voice.
192334281 wrote:
Your human antics and desire to continue living have moved me. Just kidding. You cannot move me physically or emotionally. Wall humor.
57092228 wrote:
Copy effects work like a photocopy machine: you get a copy of the 'naked' card, NOT of what's on it.
56995928 wrote:
Funny story: InQuest Magazine (I think it was InQuest) had an oversized Chaos Orb which I totally rooked someone into allowing into a (non-sanctioned) game. I had a proxy card that was a Mountain with "Chaos Orb" written on it. When I played it, my opponent cried foul: Him: "WTF? a Proxy? no-one said anything about Proxies. Do you even own an actual Chaos Orb?" Me: "Yes, but I thought it would be better to use a Proxy." Him: "No way. If you're going to put a Chaos Orb in your deck you have to use your actual Chaos Orb." Me: "*Sigh*. Okay." I pulled out this huge Chaos Orb and placed it on the table. He tried to cry foul again but everyone else said he insisted I use my actual Chaos Orb and that was my actual Chaos Orb. I used it, flipped it and wiped most of his board. Unsurprisingly, that only worked once and only because everyone present thought it was hilarious.
My DM on Battleminds:
no, see i can kill defenders, but 8 consecutive crits on a battlemind, eh walk it off.
144543765 wrote:
195392035 wrote:
Hi guys! So, I'm a sort of returning player to Magic. I say sort of because as a child I had two main TCG's I liked. Yu-Gi-Oh, and Pokemon. Some of my friends branched off in to Magic, and I bought two pre-made decks just to kind of fit in. Like I said, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon were what I really knew how to play. I have a extensive knowledge of deck building in those two TCG's. However, as far as Magic is concerned, I only ever used those two pre made decks. I know how the game is played, and I know general things, but now I want to get in the game for real. I want to begin playing it as a regular. My question is, are all cards ever released from the time of the inception of this game until present day fair game in a deck? Or are there special rules? Are some cards forbidden or restricted? Thanks guys, and I will gladly accept ANY help lol.
I have the same problem with women.
117639611 wrote:
198869283 wrote:
Oh I have a standing rule. If someone plays a Planeswalker I concede the game. I refuse to play with or against people who play Planeswalkers. They really did ruin the game.
A turn two Tibalt win?! Wicked... Betcha don't see that everyday.

The Pony Co. 

Is this my new ego sig? Yes it is, other Barry
57461258 wrote:
And that's why you should never, ever call RP Jesus on being a troll, because then everyone else playing along gets outed, too, and the thread goes back to being boring.
57461258 wrote:
See, this is why RPJesus should be in charge of the storyline. The novel line would never have been cancelled if he had been running the show. Specifically the Slobad and Geth's Head talkshow he just described.
57461258 wrote:
Not only was that an obligatory joke, it was an on-topic post that still managed to be off-topic due to thread derailment. RP Jesus does it again folks.
92481331 wrote:
I think I'm gonna' start praying to Jesus... That's right, RPJesus, I'm gonna' be praying to you, right now. O' Jesus Please continue to make my time here on the forums fun and cause me to chuckle. Amen.
92481331 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
It was wonderful. Us Johnnies had a field day. That Timmy with the Grizzly bears would actually have to think about swinging into your Mogg Fanatic, giving you time to set up your silly combo. Nowadays it's all DERPSWING! with thier blue jeans and their MP3 players and their EM EM OH AR PEE JEES and their "Dewmocracy" and their children's card games and their Jersey Shores and their Tattooed Tenaged Vampire Hunters from Beverly Hills
Seriously, that was amazing. I laughed my *ss off. Made my day, and I just woke up.
[quote=ArtVenn You're still one of my favorite people... just sayin'.[/quote]
56756068 wrote:
56786788 wrote:
.....would it be a bit blasphemous if I said, "PRAYSE RPJAYSUS!" like an Evangelical preacher?
Perhaps, but who doesn't like to blaspheme every now and again? Especially when Mr. RPJesus is completely right.
56756068 wrote:
I don't say this often, but ... LOL
57526128 wrote:
You... You... Evil something... I actualy made the damn char once I saw the poster... Now you made me see it again and I gained resolve to put it into my campaign. Shell be high standing oficial of Cyrix order. Uterly mad and only slightly evil. And it'll be bad. Evil even. And ill blame you and Lizard for it :P.
57042968 wrote:
111809331 wrote:
I'm trying to work out if you're being sarcastic here. ...
Am going to stop you right there... it's RPJesus... he's always sarcastic
58335208 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
112114441 wrote:
we can only hope it gets the jace treatment...it could have at least been legendary
So that even the decks that don't run it run it to deal with it? Isn't that like the definition of format warping?
I lol'd.
56287226 wrote:
98088088 wrote:
Uktabi Orangutan What the heck's going on with those monkeys?
The most common answer is that they are what RPJesus would call "[Debutantes avert your eyes]ing."
56965458 wrote:
Show
57461258 wrote:
116498949 wrote:
I’ve removed content from this thread because off-topic discussions are a violation of the Code of Conduct. You can review the Code here: www.wizards.com/Company/About.aspx?x=wz_... Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks. You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively. If you wish to report a post for Code of Conduct violation, click on the “Report Post” button above the post and this will submit your report to the moderators on duty.
...Am I the only one that thinks this is reaching the point of downright Kafkaesque insanity?
I condone the use of the word Kafkaesque. However, I'm presentely ambivalent. I mean, that can't be serious, right? We're April 1st, right? They didn't mod RPJesus for off-topic discussion when the WHOLE THREAD IS OFF-TOPIC, right? Right.
57545908 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
Save or die. If you disagree with this, you're wrong (Not because of any points or arguements that have been made, but I just rolled a d20 for you and got a 1, so you lose).
58397368 wrote:
58222628 wrote:
This just won the argument, AFAIC.
That's just awesome.
57471038 wrote:
57718868 wrote:
HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BEAR PRODUCING WORDS OF WILDING?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!
That's what RPJesus tends to do. That's why I don't think he's a real person, but some Magic Card Archive Server sort of machine, that is programmed to react to other posters' comments with obscure cards that do in fact exist, but somehow missed by even the most experienced Magic players. And then come up with strange combos with said cards. All of that is impossible for a normal human to do given the amount of time he does it and how often he does it. He/It got me with Light of Sanction, which prompted me to go to RQ&A to try and find if it was even possible to do combat damage to a creature I control (in light that Mark of Asylum exists).
71235715 wrote:
+10
100176878 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
57078538 wrote:
heaven or hell.
Round 1. Lets rock.
GG quotes! RPJesus just made this thread win!
56906968 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
143359585 wrote:
Blue players get all the overpowerered cards like JTMS. I think it's time that wizards gave something to people who remember what magic is really about: creatures.
Initially yes, Wizards was married to blue. However, about a decade ago they had a nasty divorce, and a few years after that they began courting the attention of Green. Then in Worldwake they had a nasty affair with their ex, but as of Innistrad, things seem to have gotten back on track, and Wizards has even proposed.
You are my favorite. Yes you. And moments like this make it so. Thank you RPJesus for just being you.
On what flavor text fits me:
57307308 wrote:
Surely RPJesus gets Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius?
56874518 wrote:
First: I STILL can't take you seriously with that avatar. And I can take RPJesus seriously, so that's saying something.
121689989 wrote:
I'd offer you a cookie for making me laugh but it has an Upkeep Cost that has been known to cause people to quit eating.
56267956 wrote:
I <3 you loads
57400888 wrote:
56957928 wrote:
"AINT NO LAWS IN THE SKY MOTHER****." - Agrus Kos, Wojek Veteran
10/10. Amazing.
The caves of chaos are full of 10 foot wide hallways.   Put the fighter and battle cleric up front.  The wizard and laser cleric can fire from the rear. 



I personally find fights in 10' hallways where two melee form a wall and everyone else hides behind exceptionally boring. That is exactly how most of my 2E fights went.  I think making it possible to have mobile dynamic fights in an open space with terrain for tactics is so much more fun. I would rather dis-incentivize this playstyle, rather than encourage it.
Imagine you show up for a game at a hobby store and you're playing a wizard using the playtesting rules. Your group rounds a corner in a dungeon and are attacked by a bunch of kobalds. What happens?

The DM will assume that you're in your 'standard formation' with the rogue out in front a few steps. He'll assume this without the use of a grid, and/or unless someone has indicated anything different.

Th Wizard will either be in the back, or perhaps you'll have the second cleric pulling rear guard. Either way everyone will rush out to kill the Kobalds, everyone except that is the Wizard who being a lazy over-thinker will conclude that he's more valuable to, well himself, than to engage in combat. So he'll hang back. Perhaps ducking his head out once or twice to cast a magic missile so that he's sure to get his 'fair' share of the booty.

The fighter and clerics will prevent any kobalds from getting past them because it gets really annoying listening to the Wizard wine about getting scratched. They do this by telling the DM that they're trying do so, or the DM will just assume that they are trying to do because that's what they do every single time. Of course a good rogue will pass a note to the DM instructing him that he's going to let a kobald through just to mess with the wizard. 

When it's all said and done he'll record in his journal how he saved the party from total inhalation with a few perfectly times spells.

The entire situation can be handled without the use of a grid, without reams of rules and cards. All you need is a few d20 rolls. Roll to Hit, Roll damage, and in ten minutes it's all over. Unless of course you have to go find the screaming wizard running for his life down the corridors .       
The cover of the 1st edition Player’s Handbook by artist D.A. Trampier. A motley crew of adventurers, the bloodied bodies of lizard men, the hint of arcane malevolence surrounding the idol, the daring thieves prying the jewels from the statue. This is arguably the most iconic piece of art in all of RPGdom.
Imagine you show up for a game at a hobby store and you're playing a wizard using the playtesting rules. Your group rounds a corner in a dungeon and are attacked by a bunch of kobalds. What happens?

The DM will assume that you're in your 'standard formation' with the rogue out in front a few steps. He'll assume this without the use of a grid, and/or unless someone has indicated anything different.

Th Wizard will either be in the back, or perhaps you'll have the second cleric pulling rear guard. Either way everyone will rush out to kill the Kobalds, everyone except that is the Wizard who being a lazy over-thinker will conclude that he's more valuable to, well himself, than to engage in combat. So he'll hang back. Perhaps ducking his head out once or twice to cast a magic missile so that he's sure to get his 'fair' share of the booty.

The fighter and clerics will prevent any kobalds from getting past them because it gets really annoying listening to the Wizard wine about getting scratched. They do this by telling the DM that they're trying do so, or the DM will just assume that they are trying to do because that's what they do every single time. Of course a good rogue will pass a note to the DM instructing him that he's going to let a kobald through just to mess with the wizard. 

When it's all said and done he'll record in his journal how he saved the party from total inhalation with a few perfectly times spells.

The entire situation can be handled without the use of a grid, without reams of rules and cards. All you need is a few d20 rolls. Roll to Hit, Roll damage, and in ten minutes it's all over. Unless of course you have to go find the screaming wizard running for his life down the corridors .       




I'm sorry, but I don't understand your logic.

Why don't the kobolds with bows just shoot the wizard? Why do the kobolds care that the fighters and clerics don't like to hear the wizard whine? Why don't some of the kobolds sneak through the legs of the fighter and cleric to get to the wizard (or can only players 'improvise')? 

If I were playing 3.5 or 4e, I would have answers to these questions: opportunity actions, held actions, movement rules. If I am playing the present system, I have no answers, because it doesn't make sense. I can try to improvise answers, sure... but isn't that what I'm buying the books for?        

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp

i played the wizard just yesterday, it does need intelligent, non 4e play to not take too many hits. In 4e the great majority of characters at any lvl could stand out in the open disregarding enemy output. Even a powerful pack of mobs focus firing was not a grave threat most times.




What crappy 4e game did you play? An elite can drop a wizard fairly easily. That is a DM problem not a system problem...Whereas in Next the problem is that the DM has to dumb himself down to make it possible. 



it should have clarified my point, i was addressing the difference of approach. I run convention events twice a year in addition to weekly home games since 4thed release. Most players do not give the monster a fraction of the respect they did in earlier editions. 4e from my experience has shown a great tendency to just stand up and trade blow till someone falls, heal and repeat until end of session. 

the cost of a fallen comrade in 4e is less then a whole turn of actions spread across 2 or more pcs and a small amount of a reasonably abundant resource.
The cost in next as it stands is the active portion of the clerics turn plus half to one quarter of the clerics resources for the day.

Looks like a big difference to me.
The caves of chaos are full of 10 foot wide hallways.   Put the fighter and battle cleric up front.  The wizard and laser cleric can fire from the rear.  

Terrain actually matters a lot now.  You just have to realize that your ability to block a passage is important.  Fighting in the open is a bad idea (when in reality was it ever a good idea). 




Party formation, scouting, subversion, running away....  those are all valid options.  

You just charge into to each room and expect to live.      


Imagine you show up for a game at a hobby store and you're playing a wizard using the playtesting rules. Your group rounds a corner in a dungeon and are attacked by a bunch of kobalds. What happens?

The DM will assume that you're in your 'standard formation' with the rogue out in front a few steps. He'll assume this without the use of a grid, and/or unless someone has indicated anything different.

Th Wizard will either be in the back, or perhaps you'll have the second cleric pulling rear guard. Either way everyone will rush out to kill the Kobalds, everyone except that is the Wizard who being a lazy over-thinker will conclude that he's more valuable to, well himself, than to engage in combat. So he'll hang back. Perhaps ducking his head out once or twice to cast a magic missile so that he's sure to get his 'fair' share of the booty.

The fighter and clerics will prevent any kobalds from getting past them because it gets really annoying listening to the Wizard wine about getting scratched. They do this by telling the DM that they're trying do so, or the DM will just assume that they are trying to do because that's what they do every single time. Of course a good rogue will pass a note to the DM instructing him that he's going to let a kobald through just to mess with the wizard. 

When it's all said and done he'll record in his journal how he saved the party from total inhalation with a few perfectly times spells.

The entire situation can be handled without the use of a grid, without reams of rules and cards. All you need is a few d20 rolls. Roll to Hit, Roll damage, and in ten minutes it's all over. Unless of course you have to go find the screaming wizard running for his life down the corridors .       




So everything hinges on that DM that week. 

So 10 weeks of playing the same encounters with 10 different DM's would yield 10 completely different results?

Week 1 works like that.
Week 2 the party didn't say anything about marching order so the DM has the wizard in front because he has been saying where the party should go.
Week 3 the kobolds all retreat from the big bad scary guy to a big open room where they can swarm him

We have moved on from those kinds of systems. Allows a lot more focus on the ROLE playing when the DM and Players don't have to make sure they rely on the same Theatre of Mind and improv possibilities.  Alot of your post deals with assumptions on the DM and players. You know what assuptions do, right?  
i played the wizard just yesterday, it does need intelligent, non 4e play to not take too many hits. In 4e the great majority of characters at any lvl could stand out in the open disregarding enemy output. Even a powerful pack of mobs focus firing was not a grave threat most times.




What crappy 4e game did you play? An elite can drop a wizard fairly easily. That is a DM problem not a system problem...Whereas in Next the problem is that the DM has to dumb himself down to make it possible. 



it should have clarified my point, i was addressing the difference of approach. I run convention events twice a year in addition to weekly home games since 4thed release. Most players do not give the monster a fraction of the respect they did in earlier editions. 4e from my experience has shown a great tendency to just stand up and trade blow till someone falls, heal and repeat until end of session. 

the cost of a fallen comrade in 4e is less then a whole turn of actions spread across 2 or more pcs and a small amount of a reasonably abundant resource.
The cost in next as it stands is the active portion of the clerics turn plus half to one quarter of the clerics resources for the day.

Looks like a big difference to me.



Only time I have had those issues in 4e is with running LFR. In my games there is legit fear of death just like you are proposing happens in next. You are complaining about lethality... It is not a fault of the system, it is the fault of the dm.

Killing PC's in general is a DM choice and has no differnce regardless of the version of DnD you play

Quick note I find enjoyable. 
4e was critized because it depended heavily on tactiaclly and specfic placement. And now there's all the advance to "use the terrain" and "care about placement"

Also fights in 10 ft wide hallways suck. They are drawnout, boring and completely against the monsters best interests 9/10 times because its usually the PCs invading the monsters' dungeons. Why dont they fall back and wait for the invaders to advance? Because the DM has to metagame all the NPCs down to Diablo style mobs that blindly attack the nearest target regardless of all other factors.  


I'm sorry, but I don't understand your logic.

Why don't the kobolds with bows just shoot the wizard? Why do the kobolds care that the fighters and clerics don't like to hear the wizard whine? Why don't some of the kobolds sneak through the legs of the fighter and cleric to get to the wizard (or can only players 'improvise')? 

If I were playing 3.5 or 4e, I would have answers to these questions: opportunity actions, held actions, movement rules. If I am playing the present system, I have no answers, because it doesn't make sense. I can try to improvise answers, sure... but isn't that what I'm buying the books for?        





The Kobald might consider shooting at the wizard cowering around the corner, but they have more immediate problems to deal with like four scary warriors bearing down on them. Should the DM feel that one or more of them should take a shot at the wizard, then he'll do so. The wizard will have cover so he should be ok.

Some of the kobalds might try and sneak past the fighter and clerics and if so the DM will probably roll a secret d20 to determine their success, if the roll is really good then he'll allow it and the party won't notice until the wizard starts screaming. If the roll is low then he'll inform the party of what the pesky kobald is attempting to do, and probably giving one or more characters a free attack (equivalent to an attack of opportunity). Just without all of the rules.

For me, as DM, the situation would probably hinge on surprise. If the kobalds were not surprised and had set up some sort of ambush then they might be trying to focus all of their attention on taking down a single character, like the one closest to them, rather than targeting the wizard who would probably seem much less of a threat than the burly fighter bearing down on them. But it could be played many ways.

The key is that this sort of very simple situation can and should be handled with simple role playing trope with the intent to have some fun doing it, notice my attempt to add a little color to the scenario with the party's focus on role playing the situation rather than turning it into primarily a combat encounter. Now if we were playing a larger more complex set piece battle with a mind flayer controlling two or things types of monsters than yea, let's pull out the grid and 'turn-on' those more complex rules of 3.5E and/or 4E to resolve it.
The cover of the 1st edition Player’s Handbook by artist D.A. Trampier. A motley crew of adventurers, the bloodied bodies of lizard men, the hint of arcane malevolence surrounding the idol, the daring thieves prying the jewels from the statue. This is arguably the most iconic piece of art in all of RPGdom.
i played the wizard just yesterday, it does need intelligent, non 4e play to not take too many hits. In 4e the great majority of characters at any lvl could stand out in the open disregarding enemy output. Even a powerful pack of mobs focus firing was not a grave threat most times.




What crappy 4e game did you play? An elite can drop a wizard fairly easily. That is a DM problem not a system problem...Whereas in Next the problem is that the DM has to dumb himself down to make it possible. 



it should have clarified my point, i was addressing the difference of approach. I run convention events twice a year in addition to weekly home games since 4thed release. Most players do not give the monster a fraction of the respect they did in earlier editions. 4e from my experience has shown a great tendency to just stand up and trade blow till someone falls, heal and repeat until end of session. 

the cost of a fallen comrade in 4e is less then a whole turn of actions spread across 2 or more pcs and a small amount of a reasonably abundant resource.
The cost in next as it stands is the active portion of the clerics turn plus half to one quarter of the clerics resources for the day.

Looks like a big difference to me.



Only time I have had those issues in 4e is with running LFR. In my games there is legit fear of death just like you are proposing happens in next. You are complaining about lethality... It is not a fault of the system, it is the fault of the dm.

Killing PC's in general is a DM choice and has no differnce regardless of the version of DnD you play




i actually prefer lethality. Unfortunatly my experiance with 4e has been less then steller in that regard. I am happy that you have what i have not.


Quick note I find enjoyable. 
4e was critized because it depended heavily on tactiaclly and specfic placement. And now there's all the advance to "use the terrain" and "care about placement"


Well, you know, rules limit your imagination by having already adressed the problems you could resolve. Evil rules, born of years of facing the same problems again and again and having to improvize the same solution again and again... Bad game designers so much tried again and again to resolve this by giving players well designed tools, when it is so pleasant to find the way yourself. What a shame.

To the OP : the wizard repeatedly dying was a common problem in old D&D. There was no way in the rules to avoid it (at low levels). At the time, DMs did what the others posters told you to do. Mainly, "cheat" a little to make sure the wizard's player will want to play again next session. You'll probably have to do the same with D&DN.

Remember Tunnel Seventeen !
I don't think there's anything wrong with being fully aware your character can die, and that actions have consequences which could be fatal, but it sounds to me like the DM in this instance was just being a jerk and targeting the Wizard specifically. That's not really the game's fault.

Wizards are supposed to be squishy... it's sort of their Thing... but if the Wizard and the rest of the party is aware of that, they can compensate. 
I don't think there's anything wrong with being fully aware your character can die, and that actions have consequences which could be fatal, but it sounds to me like the DM in this instance was just being a jerk and targeting the Wizard specifically. That's not really the game's fault.
 



Um, it's precisely the game's fault, because without rules the DM is god and there's nothing anyone can say to prevent it. The system you are advocating actually makes it much easier for the DM to be a jerk.

 

"What is the sort of thing that I do care about is a failure to seriously evaluate what does and doesn't work in favor of a sort of cargo cult posturing. And yes, it's painful to read design notes columns that are all just "So D&D 3.5 sort of had these problems. We know people have some issues with them. What a puzzler! But we think we have a solution in the form of X", where X is sort of a half-baked version of an idea that 4e executed perfectly well and which worked fine." - Lesp

I don't think there's anything wrong with being fully aware your character can die, and that actions have consequences which could be fatal, but it sounds to me like the DM in this instance was just being a jerk and targeting the Wizard specifically. That's not really the game's fault.
 



Um, it's precisely the game's fault, because without rules the DM is god and there's nothing anyone can say to prevent it. The system you are advocating actually makes it much easier for the DM to be a jerk.



I guess we are disagreeing about what constitutes the "DM's fault".

The DM being a jerk or not is the DM's responsibility, not the game's responsibility. I'd rather risk having a jerk DM (which I could reject outright) for the advantage of a DM being flexible and able to create a dynamic game than have a DM that has no choice and sterile game that's basically read off a chart. 
In our game, in the corridor fights, the wizard was fairly safe; the bad guys focused on immediate threats, and the wizard had +2 AC cover from his allies

In one of the room fights, where there were a lot of bad guys, the goblins hung back and used bows.  The melee types charged up, whcih let a few of the goblins slip around and fire at the wizard, who no longer had cover.   
Blocking the path to the casters and waiting for the enemy to come to you is a questionable strategy in any situation, but it especially doesn't work in the Caves of Chaos, since the caves are designed so that enemies can fall back and gather allies.  If your party just sits outside the room and waits, they're soon going to have 50 goblins waiting for them, which will start shooting your guys from afar in shifts.  Eventually your guys will either have to move forward, retreat, or wait to be shot to death. 

It keeps coming back to three main problems:

1. Tactics are basically a moot point if the enemy can move/shoot wherever they want every turn.

2. Wizards are a lot more vulnerable then the other classes.  Admittedly, this was also the case in many of the previous editions, especially at lower levels, but it's not excusable here because....

3. Wizards aren't really any more powerful than clerics focusing on offensive magic, like the cleric of pelor.  Granted, the wizard is a lot more versatile outside combat, but that doesn't help him in hack and slash adventures, like in the playtest.
Um, it's precisely the game's fault, because without rules the DM is god and there's nothing anyone can say to prevent it. The system you are advocating actually makes it much easier for the DM to be a jerk.



There are no rules systems in the world that can prevent a DM from being a jerk. Even video games cheat on "hard" modes. Even while running 4e I often found myself having to avoid doing what was in the monster's best interests in order to avoid killing people, and the system was trying hard to create meat shields.
Um, it's precisely the game's fault, because without rules the DM is god and there's nothing anyone can say to prevent it.

If the players are having DM issues they can, as a group, tell the DM their concerns. If that doesn't work they can kick the DM and have somebody else take the position. If the former DM isn't a good sport about this then he will probably quit in a huff, and probably make the group happier for it.

My experiences may be atypical, but I've seen several groups break down because they didn't kick out a bad player, but never had one fall apart when it removed a bad DM.
If the game design goals state that the wizard’s power shouldn’t spiral upward in a quadratic effect, the wizard shouldn’t be weak at early levels.  At-will attack spells help the their output considerably, but if wizards are too flimsy to hold their own next to the archers we’ll eventually playtest there’s a problem. 

The playtest wizard doesn’t have exceptional Dexterity or access to mage armor.  By far most other ranged characters will have some combination of armor proficiency, more hit points, or Dexterity as their primary ability.  Dexterity is, at best, a secondary ability for wizards. I don’t advocate adopting 4e’s Dex/Int to AC for D&D Next, but I’d at least like to bring the low end of the hit point scale up a notch and make sure wizards don’t have too many layers of increased fragility written into their design.  It’s wise for wizards to use defensive tactics, however all but spell-based tactics are available to other classes and to enemy NPCs.  The playtest’s tactical rules are currently incomplete, but as they’re fleshed out it shouldn’t require the party to coordinate around protecting that robed guy in the back who says funny words and waves his hands.  When I play a glass cannon, I want enough cannon to make up for the glass.  Since the developers (understandably) want to limit the wizard’s arcane cannon, I’d like to see them proportionally limit their glass jaw.


The fact that it only costs 5’ of movement to stand from prone is quite frankly ridiculous.  I ran around my apartment casting fake spells and flopping to try to test the 5’ cost’s simulation of reality.  It didn’t hold up.  Flopping and firing is a valid tactic, but realistically a character who flops shouldn’t move very far without sacrificing rate of fire.  I like the intoxication rules and find the idea of getting wizards liquored up before fights hilarious, but as a DM will likely impose penalties on drunk spellcasting when the spells aren’t affected by default.  “Where were you aiming burning hands?  Roll it!”  If wizards get hammered and flop between spell slinging to survive a fight, the wizards who live past 1st level will be known for being alcoholics with dirty robes.

If DDN is a game that encourages parties to always have a few heavy armor types up front blocking the obligatory 10' corridor or doorway while the soft characters stand behind them healing or sniping or fireballing, then I'm pretty sure I already own DDN. The Player's Handbook has this old wizard on the cover, right? And the author likes to use abbreviated Latin phrases a lot? Hmm, maybe I can sell my DDN books to some of you guys for a LOT of cash - I bet there will be a bidding war to see who gets to own this awesome game from the future.

Seriously though, the OP and his group are playtesting the right way, IMO. Instead of taking it easy on PCs, we should be trying to run the monsters like they have some inkling of strategy and tactics. Also, for those of you who think the PCs can just "play smart" and keep the wizard safe, what about the DM playing smart in return? Can't kobolds and goblins make Dex checks to slip by the front lines? Can't bugbears and hobgoblins make Str checks to shove the fighter out of the way? It doesn't make sense for the players to have a lot of room to improvise and go outside the rules while the DM plays the monsters like they have nothing to live for. 

truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

"You died. Do you want your possessions identified? (ynq) (n)"
If there are rules for every single issue then why even have a DM? I think the main issue here, in my opinion, is that having so many rules takes away the imagination. Why does a fighter need to have an at-will power that allows him to knock an enemy prone? He doesn't. It is just as easy for the player to say "I swing my sword towards the creatures legs hoping to knock him down with my attack." If the attack hits, then the enemy is prone. What all these rules do, is make players lazy and stifles imagination. A player should have to think about what their character is gonna do, not select it from a list based upon what "power" has the best mathematical odds or maximum damage.

The other problem is the reasoning behind what makes this wizard squishy, hit dice or hit points being determined by constitution and class. If this is supposed to be an abstract idea of physical durability and overall health, your speed and agility to avoid harm, and your overall level of energy. It is alot easier to hit someone who is wearing plate armor then someone who is wearing clothes. They just can't maove fast enough to dodge, however it is easier to damage a person in clothes than plate armor. Just look at the pre-gens,

wizard has Con 14 Dex 13 HP 16 AC 11
fighter has Con 14 Dex 12 HP 20 AC 15
cleric #1 has Con 13 Dex 8 HP 17 AC 18
cleric #2 has Con 13 Dex 15 HP 17 AC 15
rogue has Con 13 Dex 17 HP 16 AC 15

This makes no sense. The wizard has the same Con has the fighter but 4 less HP and 1 less HP than the clerics who have a weaker Con. So what the rules are basically stating is that due to your class your higher Con doesn't really mean anything. Why can the fighter withstand more damage than the wizard just because he is a fighter? Same for the Dex stat. This wizard has a Dex of 13 which is higher than the fighters. So if hit points as stated in the playtest also reflect your speed and agility to avoid harm, shouldn't this wizard have the same amount of hit points or maybe even more than the fighter. Now if all things were equal and this wizard were to encounter this fighter in a unarmored combat using Str weapons the fighter should win, but if they use finesse weapons the battle becomes closer possiblly even allowing the wizard to win. Stats wise the wizard and fighter are very similiar. Both should be able to withstand the same amount of damage with the wizard being slightly more agile while the fighter can deal more damage. But the rules do not reflect that. They actually penalize the player for choosing a wizard class. Keep his stats and change him to a finesse weapon fighter and then he would have maybe 19 or 20 HP. Class should have no effect on hit points. If anything the wizard should be able to avoid more hits than the fighter, but the fighter should take less damage from the attacks than the wizard. And so here lies the problem with the rules. Armor should not make you harder to hit, but to damage. 
 
Well, you know, rules limit your imagination by having already adressed the problems you could resolve.


Don't you go speaking for me!  Rules don't actually limit my imagination.

Not just me, either: it's a well-known fact that constraints are extremely conducive to the creative process.

What all these rules do, is make players lazy and stifles imagination.


This sounds anecdotal, rather than universal.

Why can the fighter withstand more damage than the wizard just because he is a fighter?


Right, because he has a lifetime of martial training and a resilience that isn't quantified entirely in the Constitution stat alone?  This should be fairly obvious for someone who is trotting out arguments based on "amount of imagination."
This may just be because of the playtest adventure, but there really isn't much terrain for the characters to hide behind, and unless I'm missing something, there's nothing (aside from the defender cleric) to keep opponents from moving around the characters to where they can see the person behind cover.



Yes I think your group is missing something. The fighter and or clerics should inform the DM that they are trying to protect the Wizard by prevent opponents from moving past them. You don't need a mechanic for this. The party just informs the DM that they are forming say a wedge with the Wizard in the far back. Back in the day we'd just say call it the standard formation and everyone understood what that meant.

A good DM will understand the party's intent and simply say 'ok', or if for some reason one of the opponents is dead set on getting to the Wizard while ignoring a possible 'free' attack by the fighter the DM may call for an opposed roll.

Either way, the Wizard stays alive if he cowers far in the rear as befitting his puny frame.   



Why is this way of doing it (ie. "Just say you're defending the wizard then everything is fine") better than having rules for marking/opportunity-attacking monsters that try to bypass you for the wizard?
Why is this way of doing it (ie. "Just say you're defending the wizard then everything is fine") better than having rules for marking/opportunity-attacking monsters that try to bypass you for the wizard?


Just a quick correction: he didn't say it was better.

He's just answering from the content of the playtest we have in our hands right now: that's the way it's intended for this iteration, which we know from the context provided by the developer design and directions articles.  The granularity of positional rules (including, by extension, "marking" and opportunity actions) is coming later in easily digestible rules modules.

In this "base model" ruleset, we're pretty firmly in "mind's eye" territory, in which elements like defending the wizard are handled by the collaborative fiction the players and DM are collectively engaged in. 

When the OP says "there's nothing to prevent my monsters from just invalidating the player's cover" or "there's no cover in this module" it seems to me like maybe they aren't building an adequate fiction?  I cannot imagine an actual battle where this would be the case.  (I recommend you try to imagine it, though, because the scene ends up pretty funny.)
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