General feedback, with a focus on feel

Apologies for the length, but it's probably worth the read. I had a playtest today with the regular 4E group I play with. I've mostly only played 4E but played a 3E campaign a few years back as well as a couple of once offs. 

We had all 5 PCs, though the Dwarven Fighter went from being an NPC to a floating PC(we had 4 players)

I played the Rogue, who I decided would be a street urchin called Sally. We were mainly testing the mechanics, but there was some room for roleplay.

Before I go into specifics, as the thread implies, I want to talk about the feel of the game in general. It did have an "oldschool" feel but that's definitely not such a good thing. When I say "feel" here, to some that may mean "tone".

I'm going to go with the idea of 4E having a more "Heroic" feel to it, you feel like myths and legends or shiny anime/comic book characters. For a swords and sorcery setting, personally, I prefer that. "Grimdark fantasy" has been done to death and to me things like the reducing healing, harsher death saves etc. were introducing an aspect of D&D and gaming looking back on it I realise it's one thing that put me off it. It felt like 4E's rebellious teenage child, trying to go against their parents by throwing away their complicated maths homework, listening to gangsta rap and wearing their pants down low. Trying to be edgier, but every so often falling back on the warmth and support introduced by 4E's more lenient mechanics. 

It's not that I mind "dark" settings. A lot of what's going in especially in the background of our 4E games is still pretty horrible. I just don't like the faux-cynical attitude that comes attached with it, things are a bit grim so let's make everything feel a bit hopeless.

Again, the feel is very important here, and I think Wizards are missing out on some Psychological tricks they can play here. Focusing on the healing again, reduced hit points/healing might not be a bad idea. IF you make dying harder in some way. Doesn't this defeat the point? No, it doesn't. Because the fact is when you're being smashed up and reduced to 0 hitpoints and being put in any real danger of dying, it still feels dangerous. You at least get the feeling that if you weren't quite as amazing as you are, you could be dead. Slipping something under the cognitive radar to offset that, then you assure that people don't pointlessly lose their character just so some spotty nerd can feel a bit smug at his vision being pushed on more lighthearted players. 

I can't think of any real reason why you should set up a system for characters for die. As long as it's in any way possible, it's a threat. People get attached to their characters and I don't like the cynicism of GMs that are determined to kill their characters rather than just keeping it as an overlooming threat. Now, as a system, 5E is trying to kill your characters. It's perhaps not as harsh as older editions, but since it is a huge step back from 4E I'm going to judge it that way.

Plus there are other ways to feel a threat - by temporarily incapacitating the character for example. We had some really tough fights in our current 4E Campaign at lower levels. I don't see the need to make that even harder. As a leader class character(Bard) I felt responsible for everyone and didn't want anyone to die, and still don't. It really depends on how you DM does it. I find it somewhat ironic that that the group of roleplaying libertarians pushing this also seem to require the system be rewritten to enforce their own ideas. I feel like 4E can do "dangerous" pretty well as is, it just depends on how you set up the encounters.

My GM seems to agree with me on this point too, that the feel of maybe dying rather than the more real threat of dying is better. 

The other thing about the heroic feel is that I like feeling like and being able to do awesome things no matter what my class. This is maybe the more anime or comic book thing, where characters through adventuring learn to use their powers in all kinds of cool ways to address the situation. Again, I like this. The thing about comics books & anime is that they draw a lot of influence from mythology and given the setting of D&D, especially Forgotten Realms, it makes sense to me as an evolution of the series. 

I play a bard in 4E D&D. I can't even imagine how a Bard would work in 5E(Rogues also seem to replace Bards as skill monkeys, Bard will presumably be a background or theme now), you'd need opportunity attacks for a start to make all the slides actually useful. I like being able to screw with people. I understand how all these options bog people down, but it's not the abilities that do that a lot of the time, it's the specifics. When streamlining, it was silly to get rid of the variety of powers. Now, once again, it only feels worth playing a wizard. 

I mean, what was the point in playing a Rogue? They do nothing. You can get sneak attack, but I had to take a full action to set that up. I admit when I first played 4E, I Was surprised at Rogues being so strong. I had expected them to be more sneaky and scouty. However, it at least made them balanced. If you're going to take away the Ninja skills and damage, give them something else to do. We had to change the stats of my Rogue just to make her usable as a scout, I had a penalty to perception due to negative wisdom. How did this even see it to release? If you're going to go with more sneaky rogues, it's going to involve more complexity because by nature that's what Rogues tend to do. Which is fine - if people don't want to play a complex character, don't play a Rogue, or play a simplified striker/assassin/ninja version like in 4E which focuses on the sneak attack element.

I think part of the issue with Rogue is that 5E is trying to emphasise more on exploration, making their skills more useful( but how does that work? Generally dungeons aren't all that interesting to explore unless you want to fumble their detect traps role and end up dumped into a river 50 feet below. This is going to push the scenario designers very heavily to come up with amazing settings. Table top games only really do roleplaying and combat well. "You see a beautiful flower you've never seen before" doesn't really impress. Perhaps it's taking influence from older text adventures, like Advent, Curses etc. which I was actually a big fan of. They did have atmosphere, but I can't imagine that translating well to spoken word around a table.

People complain about a lack of individuality in 4E and I kind of saw that at first. Certain mechanics feel different to one another. I remember someone comparing the new 4E Witch(which was received badly) to the Pathfinder Witch, which was actually pretty well done. There is definitely stuff 4E can learn from 3E and Pathfinder. But there's a lot more 5E can learn from 4E. Another complaint was that the mechanics didn't lean that well to rolepaly. The emphasis IS on combat. However there are some cool out of combat things you can do, like rituals, skill powers, stuff like Bard's "words of friendship" etc. 5E doesn't seem to be acting on that much, maybe it's trying to restore that more to DMs, but I think a good DM can mess with these things anyway.

Especially with 4E, even though it's more complex it also feels kind of modular - people do complain some mechanics are too samey but on the other hand that means you have a lot of common things like -2 to hit, effects like Blinded etc. making it easier to modularise powers and edit them to suit. Items, magic weapons too - they're actually fairly unbalanced in a sense to begin with, but since they all have different strengths and weaknesses, it depends on the characters. It's also very easy to reskin 4E powers & items because of how they work basically - for example maybe your magic missile is a blob of magic, maybe it's a floating skull, etc. this is also an issue of player creativity of course - and not everyone will want to put in the effort. This is another thing that's great about 4E though as it gives you ton of awesome stuff anyway. The onus isn't always on the player to be interesting, but you're still given a great vessel to be so.

You have an idea of what the result of various effects in 4E will be, so it's not as hard to poke around wth. Plus, 3E had a very "Ayn Rand" concept of individualism with some(wizards) rising way above everyone else. Though some measures taken against it can, I don't believe a lack of balance leads to individuality in general. In otherwords, I think the problem is the attitude towards 4E rather than 4E itself. 5E tries to "starve the beast" with less defined powers but it doesn't mean the ones that ARE defined are any less annoying or restricting. It's more awkward to house rules your way out of 3 spells a day if doing so ends up really broken, but not doing so ends up really boring. Whereas playing around with little mechanics like bonsues to hit etc. is a lot easier. 

Personally, I don't feel like my character from 4E could ever work in 5E. I play a Bard, mechanically there's a ton of issues. But going back to the individualist thing, I get to play a character that the others joke is a "Fairy Princess", and it's actually somewhat supported by my power set and various bibs and bobs that can be found on my character sheet. Looking at my 5E character sheet, it was a bit of "Uhhh...". There wasn't anything there to inspire me. Whereas thinking about how certain powers and abilities figure into who your character is can really help you forge a personality. Yes, certain things are implied, but again, reskinning or explaining things in a different way can work wonders. For example my character is a half-Eladrin but mechnically done as a human. There was no clear way of doing this, half-elf seemed a bit generic and more geared towards foresty wood elves(weren't most half elves previously moon elves?), I could have gone eladrin, half elf, human, but mechnically this worked best. It lead to some interesting things about the character. 

Basically, you're given something to play off. 5E doesn't do this. Remember, everything is a remix - we take inspiration from what's given to us, and build things out of cultural information. 4E gave us a nice selection of Lego blocks to build our characters with. It's only main issue was that you tend to end up with the same shapes a lot of the times(unless I want to choose **** powers, I'm probably going to take a lot of what the handbooks suggest), but 5E doesn't address this anyway. 

The character wouldn't work in 5E anyway since it doesn't feel like there's any place for a Fairy Princess(well, particularly fabulous half-eladrin Bard/"Resourceful" Wizard) to make people dance around and just be generally classy. It wouldn't fit the feel to me. Obviously - a game with a less "Heroic" feel has less place for Bards in the first place. So really, it's not more individualistic at the end of the day as it can't actually support the different kinds of individuals it needs to(again, a common misconception of what "individual" means). 

With the popularity of the likes of Game of Thrones I feel people are being pushed towards a more minimalist, "Grimdark" D&D experience when with 4E it had managed to escape that somewhat. To me, it's a step backwards. I think there's a place for both styles of D&D though, and something in between(which Pathfinder should have been).

To focus more on specific mechanics:

I don't like the action economy. Since it's called economy, I feel like it's the equivalent of austerity - something that seems to make cutbacks and save money(and time is money) in the short term but in the long term doesn't. Not having minor actions means you're going to waste more actions doing things, not to mention the more oldschool guerilla warfare emphasis is just going to take far too much time in general. I really like the split move action though, but it's not really useful right now. Some actions are practically minor actions anyway, why not just give them officially instead of writing the same "you can take an action after this"? The thing is while it does suck waiting for your turn, it's nice when you finally get it, you have "me time". You don't get the feeling that "you're up now" in this, that it's your turn to do something awesome. 


Lack of charge/opportunity causes so many issues. And disadvantage for shooting into ranged groups seems crazy. I understand the thinking that it's more difficult to shoot someone in active combat but it feels like one of the "advantages" of being a character trained in ranged combat would be to have a level of precision that avoids this. Feels like a snide blow towards the "heroic" feel of 4E.


What's more, it basically means that an enemy can basically just walk right past all your defenders and strikers and smack the range character. It forces EVERYONE into meleé effectively, since there isn't much advantage to staying back, unless you're staying way back, which will presumably effect some future power/spells.


Not sure about the skill system. In some cases, broken useless. The Rogue is redundant, the character sheet I was handed had negative perception making them useless as a scout when the emphasis seems to be on getting rid of the ninja/striker stuff and making the more generally functional, sneeky scouty(which requires a more complex experience, which the above gamers don't tend to like, you can't rely on improvised abilities either). However I do like how things are simplified, the 4E skill system felt a little artifical and this feels like a more natural extension of that simplification.


What I think 5E could excel at is speedy play for once offs, convention play etc. I liked how fast the combat could be, but the emphasis on guerilla warfare needs to be removed for that to work well(more healing).


I would feel better if this became "D&D Lite" rather than the true successor for 4E. I think that could be a cool suggestion that improves it's marketability. I can't imagine this having the same amount of additional material, regardless so the market could probably handle two editions.


I would play this again as "D&D Lite" if they simply gave you more interesting things to do. It's been said already, but even with the wizard you can do interesting things 3 times a day and are then stuck with attacks you don't even roll for. Adding random rolling to stats(PLEASE get rid of this)... but less in game. This is totally the opposite of what makes for a fun experience.  Throwing a hit dice at least helps you feel like you're interacting with the game, I feel the disadvantage mechanic and lack of non-ac defenses is getting in the way here, so wizards need autohits.

And again, you can't leave everything up to improvisation. I like that feeling of being able to get one up on everyone by digging up some particular use of a mechanic or coming up with a clever use thereof. It seems like there's an issue here of identifying an issue with 4E, but not realising how 4E was actually sort of dealing with it, and better than this did.

I think Wizards need to be careful with feedback on this one. I'm reminded of the "Sonic the Hedgehog" series where fans claim to want one thing when in reality another would fit the game better. People say the problem with Sonic games isn't enough speed, when in reality the problem with some is they often throw too much speed at you all at once and most people can't keep up. They say the problem is friends, they take out friends, all it does is remove variety of play which was a big bonus to older games like 3 & Knuckles and Knuckles Chaotix. Videogames often have this trouble with elliciting requirements. 

D&D is probably going through something similar right now, only the fanbse is probably more generally divided as well. Next is trying to appease to a LOT of different people, though mostly ignoring the 4E crowd to a degree at the same time. I feel it could do a better job of sticking with a balance between the oldschool and 4E feel and having ways of switching between them. Disregarding themes/backgrounds is not a fun way of doing that, it just makes things more boring, straight up. 

They do need to find ways of streamlining 4E's timeconsuming "turns", but at the same time I kind of like the feel that gives. In reality, you're not an experienced warrior and don't feel like you're down there on the battlefield thinking a mile a minute, scampering through a character sheet looking for the right thing to do can help emulate some of that. I think it's not a variety of what to do that needs to be streamlined, but the individual mechanics of how those things are added up. There's no upside to not being able to slide people, slow them, set them on fire etc. 

The turns in 4E; when you're looking for all sorts of different things you can throw at an enemy to improve your odds, remind me of a scene in the Discworld Novel Guards! Guards!, when they all kinds of stupid things to allow them to hit the Dragon, since a million to one chances happen 9 times out of 10, - "the Watch try to make the odds exactly a million to one by use of a blindfold, rope and so on — but end up with one to nine-hundred ninety-nine thousand, nine-hundred ninety-nine to one chance, which isn't improbable enough. Though minutes later they survive an explosion because, the narrative hints, their chances of surviving it were exactly a million to one."

Which is kind of silly, but in a warm way. To me, overall, I didn't pick up that warmth from 5E. 

Speaking of Discworld and Eladrin actually, - I like that Eladrin in 4E felt a bit more like the elves(the extra dimensional ones, not the watered down ones) in Discworld, just less evil. It gave them a bit extra flavour. Now it's back to "high elves", as part of the more vanilla reflavouring. I think that little unique points like this can add a lot - it worked well in Elder Scrolls where even different human races were given different names. It might seem like "ah well they're really just high elves", but again it's working against a unique feel rather than with it as the oldschool fans would claim. I hope people get the general point I'm trying to make here, and I think it's a good note to close on.
Sorry for the length! Feel free to skin and then ask questions.
bump, hope this gets read
bump, hope this gets read



I agree with you on most of your points.  Where I disagree, there's nothing to argue - you're seeing the same problems I am, and talking about different aspects of them and presenting different solutions.  We don't disagree about the presence of the problems.

I think your feedback is great?
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.

... snip

I can't think of any real reason why you should set up a system for characters for die. As long as it's in any way possible, it's a threat. People get attached to their characters and I don't like the cynicism of GMs that are determined to kill their characters rather than just keeping it as an overlooming threat. Now, as a system, 5E is trying to kill your characters. It's perhaps not as harsh as older editions, but since it is a huge step back from 4E I'm going to judge it that way.

Plus there are other ways to feel a threat - by temporarily incapacitating the character for example. We had some really tough fights in our current 4E Campaign at lower levels. I don't see the need to make that even harder. As a leader class character(Bard) I felt responsible for everyone and didn't want anyone to die, and still don't. It really depends on how you DM does it. I find it somewhat ironic that that the group of roleplaying libertarians pushing this also seem to require the system be rewritten to enforce their own ideas. I feel like 4E can do "dangerous" pretty well as is, it just depends on how you set up the encounters.

My GM seems to agree with me on this point too, that the feel of maybe dying rather than the more real threat of dying is better. 

... snip


In my experience different people have different preferences in the style of game they enjoy the most.  I've played games like Call of Cthulu, which is quite high on lethality, it brings more of a survival horror game (Resident Evil) than a heroic game that you seem to prefer (and I prefer as well).

I've played these games and D&D by DMs that favored high lethality survival horror D&D.  I enjoyed the games I played with them.  This what D&D is to them, my tastes differ, both are valid ways to play D&D IMO.  Hopefully D&DN will incorporate modules to accomodate a wide veriety of play styles.

Another thing I would add is that death is for me not the only thing to fear in D&D.  Many times having the PCs "fail" in a mission can "hurt" as much as PC death.  In a game I'm currently playing the PCs where tasked with retrieving an evil book from a powerful wizard before they unlocked the evil secrets inside.  When the party finally confronted the wizard, we learned that we had arrived too late, and she teleported away.  We still are chasing after the wizard, but failing in the objective, to me was a harsher setback than a PC death.


... snip

I play a bard in 4E D&D. I can't even imagine how a Bard would work in 5E(Rogues also seem to replace Bards as skill monkeys, Bard will presumably be a background or theme now), you'd need opportunity attacks for a start to make all the slides actually useful. I like being able to screw with people. I understand how all these options bog people down, but it's not the abilities that do that a lot of the time, it's the specifics. When streamlining, it was silly to get rid of the variety of powers. Now, once again, it only feels worth playing a wizard. 

.. snip.



IMO it may be too early to know how possible it will be to recreate 4e characters in D&DN.  Bards may be rogues with certain background/themes, but then again the same could have been said about Paladins being a fighter or cleric with background/themes yet it has been confirmed that Paladins will be a core stand alone class.  If this is true for the Paladin, I believe it could be true for Bard, Barbarians and many other classes.

Hopefully at a later date there will be modules that will include the game mechanics that you enjoy.  At the moment the focus seems to be on the core of D&DN which seems to be simple enough for 1e and 2e fans, while leaving enough room for modules.  I made a comment to a friend that the core of D&DN seems like it needs to be made for the Least Complicated Denominator.  
I play a bard in 4E D&D. I can't even imagine how a Bard would work in 5E(Rogues also seem to replace Bards as skill monkeys, Bard will presumably be a background or theme now), you'd need opportunity attacks for a start to make all the slides actually useful. I like being able to screw with people.

I'm sure there will be a bard class (the goal was, "if it's been in a PHB, it will be in this one"), but I'm sure it won't be all about slides like the 4e one was, and it won't be a primary healer either.  I'm imagining a bard more like the 2e/3e one: some skills, some weapons, a few buffing and healing spells, and the buffing/charming/skill-boosting bardic music.  It won't be a simple class.
I think Wizards need to be careful with feedback on this one. I'm reminded of the "Sonic the Hedgehog" series where fans claim to want one thing when in reality another would fit the game better. People say the problem with Sonic games isn't enough speed, when in reality the problem with some is they often throw too much speed at you all at once and most people can't keep up.

Amen!  Not enough people comment on this.  What people 1) say they want, 2) actually enjoyplaying, and 3) what they'll end up buying are often three entirely different things.  I think this is one of the reasons 4e was what it was--it played well, and when it was presented it was generally well-received, but ultimately sales were not good.  Will this method be better?  I'm not sure.

I do agree that, at the moment, it looks like they'll lose a lot of the players for whom 4e was their favorite, perhaps first, edition.  Those players will need martial classes with maneuvers, defenders with control features, and casters with encounter powers and multiple damaging at-wills (even at-will AoE's, maybe) and sufficient incentive to use them.  That's all easy with options (themes, feats, modules).  When you're bored with your character, it's often an easy fix.  Other than healing, I'm not sure I've seen anything else that will necessarily divide the edition warriors entirely.

"Edison didn't succeed the first time he invented Benjamin Franklin, either." Albert the Alligator, Walt Kelly's Pogo Sunday Book  
The Core Coliseum: test out your 4e builds and fight to the death.

I mean, what was the point in playing a Rogue? They do nothing. You can get sneak attack, but I had to take a full action to set that up. I admit when I first played 4E, I Was surprised at Rogues being so strong. I had expected them to be more sneaky and scouty. However, it at least made them balanced. If you're going to take away the Ninja skills and damage, give them something else to do. We had to change the stats of my Rogue just to make her usable as a scout, I had a penalty to perception due to negative wisdom. How did this even see it to release? If you're going to go with more sneaky rogues, it's going to involve more complexity because by nature that's what Rogues tend to do. Which is fine - if people don't want to play a complex character, don't play a Rogue, or play a simplified striker/assassin/ninja version like in 4E which focuses on the sneak attack element.

I think part of the issue with Rogue is that 5E is trying to emphasise more on exploration, making their skills more useful( but how does that work? Generally dungeons aren't all that interesting to explore unless you want to fumble their detect traps role and end up dumped into a river 50 feet below. This is going to push the scenario designers very heavily to come up with amazing settings. Table top games only really do roleplaying and combat well. "You see a beautiful flower you've never seen before" doesn't really impress. Perhaps it's taking influence from older text adventures, like Advent, Curses etc. which I was actually a big fan of. They did have atmosphere, but I can't imagine that translating well to spoken word around a table.



When you say rogues do nothing, are you referring only to combat situations? I think that is the whole point of multiple classes, including ones that are not strong in combat. The same can be said of spell-casters that do not cast combat spells.

Of a particualr game or campaign is basically a dungeon crawl, or similarly combat heavy, this may be an issue, but I think that any well-rounded adventure should have different elements for different types of encounters and different roleplaying situations. This goes for publshied adventures, but for homebrew adventures, a good DM will take into account the abilities and skills of the party. I don't think that it take an "amazing" setting to provide interesting stuff outside of combat.

When you say rogues do nothing, are you referring only to combat situations? I think that is the whole point of multiple classes, including ones that are not strong in combat. The same can be said of spell-casters that do not cast combat spells.



Generally "Non combat" spell casters will still have things that are useful in combat. And a lot of games will be combat heavy, 5E seems to be orientated towards it.

The thing is, "they have things they can do outside of combat" is a pretty lame excuse anyway. Like what? What do they have that 4E Rogues couldn't do?
4E was good because it could at least support combat heavy campaigns by giving people things to do. I mean, Bards do **** damage and a lot of their stuff isn';t even traditional buffs/debuffs. But they're still very useful. 

Combat will tend towards taking more time than roleplaying stuff, it's just the way things are. Even in 5E, once it's fully finished especially at higher levels it'll just take more time. 
When you say rogues do nothing, are you referring only to combat situations? I think that is the whole point of multiple classes, including ones that are not strong in combat. The same can be said of spell-casters that do not cast combat spells.



The thing is, "they have things they can do outside of combat" is a pretty lame excuse anyway. Like what? What do they have that 4E Rogues couldn't do?



My problem with the "but they're good OUTSIDE combat" argument is that you haven't solved a problem by having some characters be good at combat and some characters be good at non-combat.  Instead, you've created TWO NEW PROBLEMS:  The good-at-combat characters have nothing to contribute outside combat, and the good-at-non-combat characters have nothing to contribute in combat.  Meaning that any given character is either participating, or not participating, at any given time.  Half the players sit idle while the other half plays.

This was something 4E did well, although it was hardly unique or original when it did it:  Every player had something reasonably effective to be doing at all times, in or out of combat.  Nobody was great at everything, but the "I'm useless, so I do nothing.  Call me when it's my turn to play again" problem never happened.  Savage Worlds mechanically encourages a broad base of skills, and provides a ton of things for even a non-primary character to do.  Ditto GURPS, in a different way.  Call Of Cthulhu makes everyone bad at everything, and that's the point.   Ars Magica dealt with it by giving every player multiple characters.  Exalted and Amber make every character good at everything, and that doesn't always help.

My point is, you say "sure, that character sucks at combat, but they SHINE at non-combat!" and I hear "This player will spend half his playtime doing nothing, and the other half causing other players to do nothing."  And that's not good game design.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
The flaw D&D had with out of combat stuff was largely how skills were assigned to stats, there should have been dual stat skills. They did fix it with some items like the belt that lets you intimidate with strength. But in my party I'm the only really social person, aside from the Tiefling who's more the quiet mysterious type. It's too easy to set Charisma up as a dump stat. 

You are right that it's bad game design. It may be a more "realistic" representation of what's really happening with many parties but it's not what makes for the best gaming experience.
My problem with the "but they're good OUTSIDE combat" argument is that you haven't solved a problem by having some characters be good at combat and some characters be good at non-combat.  Instead, you've created TWO NEW PROBLEMS:  The good-at-combat characters have nothing to contribute outside combat, and the good-at-non-combat characters have nothing to contribute in combat.  Meaning that any given character is either participating, or not participating, at any given time.  Half the players sit idle while the other half plays.



This is the kind of hyperbole/exaggeration that muddies the waters in discussions like this. None of the characters presented with the playtest materials has "nothing to contribute" in any situation. People seem to think that if their character isn't topping the charts in some arena then they are completely useless. This is just plain wrong.

In combat, the thief (when not backstabing for [level]d6 damage) can throw 1d8 + stat damage every round with his sling, comprable to longsword damage. The cleric and wizard have at-will spells with utility and damage functions. All of the classes can give advantage to other players, setting up some great combinations.

Outside of combat, the skill system has been revamped with the "bounded accuracy" system so that every single character can contribute to any skill check. And this isn't even mentioning good old fashioned role playing.

So stop pretending that a character that isn't a striker does nothing in combat and a character who isn't a bard/sage does nothing out of combat. It contributes nothing meaningful to the dialogue.

My point is, you say "sure, that character sucks at combat, but they SHINE at non-combat!" and I hear "This player will spend half his playtime doing nothing, and the other half causing other players to do nothing."  And that's not good game design.



Nobody sucks at combat. Some shine in it and some do average. Those average combatants tend to shine during exploration and interaction. So during the course of an adventure not only does everyone get to participate, but everyone gets to have a moment in the spotlight.

Sounds like a solid design philosophy to me.

In combat, the thief (when not backstabing for [level]d6 damage) can throw 1d8 + stat damage every round with his sling, comprable to longsword damage.



He can kill one minion, or he can do nearly-negligible damage to an Ogre.

The cleric and wizard have at-will spells with utility and damage functions.



The Defender-cleric has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it keys off a bad stat.  The Healbot has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it appears to have had an error made in the calculations.  The wizard has a teeny-damage attack that autohits for "will kill a goblin minion 1/4 of the time" damage.

All of the classes can give advantage to other players, setting up some great combinations.



No. 
They can't. 
That's one of the complaints.

And this isn't even mentioning good old fashioned role playing.



You're right, it isn't, and you know why?  Because roleplaying is completely irrelevant to complaints about MECHANICS, in a playtest devoted to MECHANICS.

You can have great fun roleplaying without ever touching dice at all, in which case it doesn't matter if you're using GURPS or Fudge.  If you're ONLY having fun when not touching dice, that's a danger sign.

So stop pretending that a character that isn't a striker does nothing in combat and a character who isn't a bard/sage does nothing out of combat.



The actual complaint is that *everyone* is a Striker in combat, without anything to do except damage.... and most of them are bad at it.    Ineffective.  End most rounds having accomplished the same as if they'd been skipped.  Unless they're dropping Dailies resources, of course, which are few and far between.

My point is, you say "sure, that character sucks at combat, but they SHINE at non-combat!" and I hear "This player will spend half his playtime doing nothing, and the other half causing other players to do nothing."  And that's not good game design.



Nobody sucks at combat. Some shine in it and some do average. Those average combatants tend to shine during exploration and interaction. So during the course of an adventure not only does everyone get to participate, but everyone gets to have a moment in the spotlight.

Sounds like a solid design philosophy to me.



Except that's not how it works in actual play. 
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
When you say rogues do nothing, are you referring only to combat situations? I think that is the whole point of multiple classes, including ones that are not strong in combat. The same can be said of spell-casters that do not cast combat spells.



Generally "Non combat" spell casters will still have things that are useful in combat. And a lot of games will be combat heavy, 5E seems to be orientated towards it.

The thing is, "they have things they can do outside of combat" is a pretty lame excuse anyway. Like what? What do they have that 4E Rogues couldn't do?
4E was good because it could at least support combat heavy campaigns by giving people things to do. I mean, Bards do **** damage and a lot of their stuff isn';t even traditional buffs/debuffs. But they're still very useful. 

Combat will tend towards taking more time than roleplaying stuff, it's just the way things are. Even in 5E, once it's fully finished especially at higher levels it'll just take more time. 



Is 5E being designed to be more combat-oriented, or is that simply the the result of what the playtest includes at this point? The test is a test of the mechanic, after all.

I can't speak to 4E,as I'e never played it, but in the campaings I've have played in (1E, 2E, 3E, Pathfinder) the combat has never taken more time than the roleplaying stuff, but that to me is as much a product of the DM and the game than the system. I think if you are in a combat heavy or a combat light campaign the DM should be able to communicate that to the players so that they can decide accordingly what sort of character they'd like to play.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Is 5E being designed to be more combat-oriented, or is that simply the the result of what the playtest includes at this point? The test is a test of the mechanic, after all.



If the only way to make a game fun is to never actually use the game, the game has failed.

I can't speak to 4E,as I'e never played it, but in the campaings I've have played in (1E, 2E, 3E, Pathfinder) the combat has never taken more time than the roleplaying stuff, but that to me is as much a product of the DM and the game than the system. I think if you are in a combat heavy or a combat light campaign the DM should be able to communicate that to the players so that they can decide accordingly what sort of character they'd like to play.



D&D4 was first and foremost a team-based heroic minis wargame.  The problem my extended group had with Pathfinder, and D20, and D&D2 and AD&D1 and D&D was that whenever the mechanics came up, the game was less fun.  Our solution was to play other games whose mechanics were less painful - Storyteller, GURPS, Savage Worlds, Fudge, Adventure, Amber, and many others - while abandoning the "party of adventurers seek adventure" model entirely because none of them did it well.

D&D4 was the first-ever D&D to scratch our "D&D itch" - to let us play a team of heroic adventurers out to do Classic High Fantasy Adventurer Things, without being unplayably unbalanced and generically terrible once  the mechanics started mattering.  It has its flaws and its areas for improvement, but Next addresses none of them, while reintroducing several of the crippling flaws that relegated D20- to the "not good enough, no matter what you're looking for some other system does EVERYTHING better and there's no downsides to using that other system instead" pile.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Is 5E being designed to be more combat-oriented, or is that simply the the result of what the playtest includes at this point? The test is a test of the mechanic, after all.



If the only way to make a game fun is to never actually use the game, the game has failed.



Are you suggesting that the D&D game is nothing more than characters fighting each other? I wasn't talking about how the combat works, but whether or not D&D Next was supposed to be more combat-focused than past editions.

Is 5E being designed to be more combat-oriented, or is that simply the the result of what the playtest includes at this point? The test is a test of the mechanic, after all.



If the only way to make a game fun is to never actually use the game, the game has failed.



Are you suggesting that the D&D game is nothing more than characters fighting each other? ..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" class="mceContentBody " contenteditable="true" />



No, I'm suggesting that if the only way to have fun while playing is to avoid the mechanics (for combat *and* non-combat alike) then there's something deeply wrong with the game.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
The Healbot has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it appears to have had an error made in the calculations.

 The healbot should be using radiant lance every time, and only swing his quarter staff if he get's surrounded.

And since he's human, he's +6 to hit, which is pretty good.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

The Healbot has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it appears to have had an error made in the calculations.

 The healbot should be using radiant lance every time, and only swing his quarter staff if he get's surrounded.

And since he's human, he's +6 to hit, which is pretty good.



Looking at the sheet:  You're right, I have NO IDEA why he was using the "spell attack" and not the precalculated numbers on Radiant Lance.  His complaint was "+4 to hit".

Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
The Healbot has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it appears to have had an error made in the calculations.

 The healbot should be using radiant lance every time, and only swing his quarter staff if he get's surrounded.

And since he's human, he's +6 to hit, which is pretty good.

Looking at the sheet:  You're right, I have NO IDEA why he was using the "spell attack" and not the precalculated numbers on Radiant Lance.  His complaint was "+4 to hit".

That's also +6.  (wis +2).

The NAD attacks are +4 (or DC 10+4).


Yes, the quarter staff is messed up, and should be +4, with 1d8+2.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.


In combat, the thief (when not backstabing for [level]d6 damage) can throw 1d8 + stat damage every round with his sling, comprable to longsword damage.



He can kill one minion, or he can do nearly-negligible damage to an Ogre.



Well, yeah. He's a 1st level character attacking an 8th level monster. The game would be broken if he could pose a serious single-round threat to the beast.

The Defender-cleric has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it keys off a bad stat.  The Healbot has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it appears to have had an error made in the calculations.  The wizard has a teeny-damage attack that autohits for "will kill a goblin minion 1/4 of the time" damage.



Miscalculation. Resolved in later posts. Radiant Lance is great stuff.

All of the classes can give advantage to other players, setting up some great combinations.



No. 
They can't. 
That's one of the complaints.



Wizards clarified this in an article online. A character can spend an action to set up advantage for himself or another character. Have the fighter knock something prone. Have the rogue throw a tablecloth over an enemy's head. The possibilties are limitless. All you need is an action, an idea, and an opposed stat check.


And this isn't even mentioning good old fashioned role playing.



You're right, it isn't, and you know why?  Because roleplaying is completely irrelevant to complaints about MECHANICS, in a playtest devoted to MECHANICS.

You can have great fun roleplaying without ever touching dice at all, in which case it doesn't matter if you're using GURPS or Fudge.  If you're ONLY having fun when not touching dice, that's a danger sign.



You seem to have a single definition of role play. If you think RP is just the diceless stuff then your assesment holds. But that's not a unversally held view. Combat is role playing. Negotiation is role playing. Hunting for food, scaning the horizon for enemies...all examples of role playing that are often resolved with dice and a game system. Maybe your group puts RP on hold and does combat simulations whenever a fight breaks out. I prefer to have both at the same time.

So stop pretending that a character that isn't a striker does nothing in combat and a character who isn't a bard/sage does nothing out of combat.



The actual complaint is that *everyone* is a Striker in combat, without anything to do except damage.... and most of them are bad at it.    Ineffective.  End most rounds having accomplished the same as if they'd been skipped.  Unless they're dropping Dailies resources, of course, which are few and far between.



A striker is a DPS role that excells in doing large amounts of damage in combat. If you don't do amazing damage in combat, you aren't a striker. Some classes fill other roles. The rogue is an example of a class that excells at many things outside combat. The balancing factor is that it is not a strike in combat. Still, when we played the rogue at 3rd level it was amazing with the sneak attack. Often we would see other characters setting up advantage for the rogue so he could apply the 3d6 + weapon damage against a tough foe.


Nobody sucks at combat. Some shine in it and some do average. Those average combatants tend to shine during exploration and interaction. So during the course of an adventure not only does everyone get to participate, but everyone gets to have a moment in the spotlight.

Sounds like a solid design philosophy to me.



Except that's not how it works in actual play. 



It's exactly how it worked for us in actual play. Our rogue was like a SAS scout in our games. He ranged ahead of the party, found traps, discovered what monsters lived where...even managed to kill a sleeping monster or two. He returned to the party and drew crude maps of what he had seen and where the biggest hazards were. He even set up trip traps in hallways where reinforcements were expected to attack. Without his skills things would have been much more difficult. 

With all this fun, he had no complaints about others getting the spotlight in combat.

In combat, the thief (when not backstabing for [level]d6 damage) can throw 1d8 + stat damage every round with his sling, comprable to longsword damage.



He can kill one minion, or he can do nearly-negligible damage to an Ogre.



Well, yeah. He's a 1st level character attacking an 8th level monster. The game would be broken if he could pose a serious single-round threat to the beast.



Where are you getting "8th level"?  There's no level on the monster.  It doesn't have defenses or attacks that suggest it should completely outclass the party - and, in fact, it's totally killable by the first-level pregens.  In D&D4, an Ogre was an 8th level monster, except even there it was a notably weak one.  The Next ogre played more like a L2 or L3 Elite than a L8 monster, and it's stats (and XP value) back that up.

In the mean time, you've missed the point:  Monsters in the playtest all fall into "die in one hit to anyone" and "have no many HP that only the Fighter and maybe the Rogue really count, with the Fighter generally doing as much damage as the rest of the party combined, the Rogue doing more than half of everyone ELSE combined, and the last three players twiddling their thumbs"

The Defender-cleric has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it keys off a bad stat.  The Healbot has a low-damage attack that almost never hits because it appears to have had an error made in the calculations.  The wizard has a teeny-damage attack that autohits for "will kill a goblin minion 1/4 of the time" damage.



Miscalculation. Resolved in later posts. Radiant Lance is great stuff.



Radiant Lance is more effective than our healbot thought it was, yes.  Still boring, though - it doesn't do anything but damage, and there's no way to make it do anything else.

All of the classes can give advantage to other players, setting up some great combinations.



No. 
They can't. 
That's one of the complaints.



Wizards clarified this in an article online. A character can spend an action to set up advantage for himself or another character. Have the fighter knock something prone. Have the rogue throw a tablecloth over an enemy's head. The possibilties are limitless. All you need is an action, an idea, and an opposed stat check.



So, "in unofficial material not contained in the document that we are supposed to be playtesting, additional combat options are suggested".

Even then, that's, uh, a problem, mechanically.  At that point, you've suddenly made "enable the Fighter" and "at L2+, enable the Rogue" the most mechanically effective thing the Paladin and Healbot and Wizard can do.  In rare cases, enabling the Wizard will be a good idea - but the Paladin and Healbot's attacks are now an objectively worse option.

And this isn't even mentioning good old fashioned role playing.



You're right, it isn't, and you know why?  Because roleplaying is completely irrelevant to complaints about MECHANICS, in a playtest devoted to MECHANICS.

You can have great fun roleplaying without ever touching dice at all, in which case it doesn't matter if you're using GURPS or Fudge.  If you're ONLY having fun when not touching dice, that's a danger sign.



You seem to have a single definition of role play. If you think RP is just the diceless stuff then your assesment holds. But that's not a unversally held view. Combat is role playing. Negotiation is role playing. Hunting for food, scaning the horizon for enemies...all examples of role playing that are often resolved with dice and a game system. Maybe your group puts RP on hold and does combat simulations whenever a fight breaks out. I prefer to have both at the same time.



Roleplaying is what happens when you're not using mechanics.  As soon as the mechanics are required, you use those, and the results of those influence your roleplaying.

You can't "roleplay" a hit in combat.  You roleplay your attack description, then roll.  The mechanics determine if you hit or miss and whether or not you kill your target, regardless of your description.

You can have mechanics that support RP and mecahnics that don't, but, and this is important, RP is not mechanics.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />The actual complaint is that *everyone* is a Striker in combat, without anything to do except damage.... and most of them are bad at it.    Ineffective.  End most rounds having accomplished the same as if they'd been skipped.  Unless they're dropping Dailies resources, of course, which are few and far between.



A striker is a DPS role that excells in doing large amounts of damage in combat. If you don't do amazing damage in combat, you aren't a striker.



No, you're a *bad* striker.  The definition of "not a striker" is "does something other than pure damage".  If all you do is damage, you're a striker.  And then question then becomes "are you any good at it?"

The rogue is an example of a class that excells at many things outside combat. The balancing factor is that it is not a strike in combat.



See also "you can't balance boring-in-combat with interesting-out-of-combat, or else you wind up not having anything to do for long periods.  No matter which you are"

Still, when we played the rogue at 3rd level it was amazing with the sneak attack. Often we would see other characters setting up advantage for the rogue so he could apply the 3d6 + weapon damage against a tough foe.



Yes, in fact, at L3 the Rogue with Advantage does the most damage of anyone in the party.  Since, without spending a Spell, the Healbot can only do damage, and only do WAY LESS damage, the Healbot should always buff the rogue if there's any chance of the target surviving the healbot's own hit.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Sounds like a solid design philosophy to me.



Except that's not how it works in actual play. 



It's exactly how it worked for us in actual play. Our rogue was like a SAS scout in our games. He ranged ahead of the party, found traps, discovered what monsters lived where...even managed to kill a sleeping monster or two. He returned to the party and drew crude maps of what he had seen and where the biggest hazards were. He even set up trip traps in hallways where reinforcements were expected to attack. Without his skills things would have been much more difficult. 

With all this fun, he had no complaints about others getting the spotlight in combat.



"The rest of us spent large amounts of time doing nothing while the Rogue played solo, since we were incapable of participating.  Then, when it was our turn, the Rogue largely sat out and had nothing to do."

So yes, it *did* work out in your actual play exactly the way it did in ours.

And it's more than slightly disingenuous to pick the Rogue, the single character who has the most crossover between combat and noncombat participation, as your example.  Try again with the Healbot, who, with your houserule for Advantage, never had any action available that could be more effective than "heal" or "give Advantage to someone else" either in or out of combat.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Well, yeah. He's a 1st level character attacking an 8th level monster. The game would be broken if he could pose a serious single-round threat to the beast.



Where are you getting "8th level"?  There's no level on the monster.  It doesn't have defenses or attacks that suggest it should completely outclass the party - and, in fact, it's totally killable by the first-level pregens.  In D&D4, an Ogre was an 8th level monster, except even there it was a notably weak one.  The Next ogre played more like a L2 or L3 Elite than a L8 monster, and it's stats (and XP value) back that up.



I'm getting it from his hit points and damage output. It would take around 8 HD to account for his hit points, which is the measure of level in a "bounded accuracy" system. Also from its historical level in editions (1st - 4th). I may be off by a level or two but the Ogre is definately a high challenge level. Expecting the explorer character to do "significant damage" to him in a single non-advantaged hit isn't resonable to me.

In the mean time, you've missed the point:  Monsters in the playtest all fall into "die in one hit to anyone" and "have no many HP that only the Fighter and maybe the Rogue really count, with the Fighter generally doing as much damage as the rest of the party combined, the Rogue doing more than half of everyone ELSE combined, and the last three players twiddling their thumbs"



You had a vastly different play experience than I did (or the many groups I've spoken to in person). We can each only speak to what we've seen - so in this we will just have to disagree.

Radiant Lance is more effective than our healbot thought it was, yes.  Still boring, though - it doesn't do anything but damage, and there's no way to make it do anything else.



It's a damage spell. Damage is what it's supposed to do. If you want to do something else, that isn't the spell for it. 

Wizards clarified this in an article online. A character can spend an action to set up advantage for himself or another character. Have the fighter knock something prone. Have the rogue throw a tablecloth over an enemy's head. The possibilties are limitless. All you need is an action, an idea, and an opposed stat check.



So, "in unofficial material not contained in the document that we are supposed to be playtesting, additional combat options are suggested".



Now you're complaining about wizards engaging us in a two-way dialogue about the game? At this point it sounds like griping for the sake of griping.

This is a playtest. It is a good thing that we are getting more information from them as they see our discussions - not a bad thing. Now that we know the intent of the action/advantage economy we can correct our expectations and play to that intent - reporting on our findings with this new information.

Even then, that's, uh, a problem, mechanically.  At that point, you've suddenly made "enable the Fighter" and "at L2+, enable the Rogue" the most mechanically effective thing the Paladin and Healbot and Wizard can do.  In rare cases, enabling the Wizard will be a good idea - but the Paladin and Healbot's attacks are now an objectively worse option.



There's no Paladin in the playtest, so we can't know what is best for them in combat. But I can see that you're now just using inflamatory names to discuss the various classes, belying that you aren't interested in a real discussion - only wanting to vent about things you hate.

So I'll just bow out at this point, seeing as we can't have a reasoned exchange. I hope that future expansions of the game give you the mechanics you want while leaving me with the more bare-bones system I like. Then we can both have the game we are seeking.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />
Radiant Lance is more effective than our healbot thought it was, yes.  Still boring, though - it doesn't do anything but damage, and there's no way to make it do anything else.



It's a damage spell. Damage is what it's supposed to do. If you want to do something else, that isn't the spell for it.



That would be part of why it isn't interesting, yes.


..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />So, "in unofficial material not contained in the document that we are supposed to be playtesting, additional combat options are suggested".



Now you're complaining about wizards engaging us in a two-way dialogue about the game? At this point it sounds like griping for the sake of griping.



No, I'm saying that when they decided to correct such a gaping hole in the game, that everyone who actually tried to use the mechanics as-written fell into, perhaps they should have done so to everyone and not just to people who were looking at one site.

This is a playtest. It is a good thing that we are getting more information from them as they see our discussions - not a bad thing. Now that we know the intent of the action/advantage economy we can correct our expectations and play to that intent - reporting on our findings with this new information.



True.  I'm glad that the correction exists, although it does have it's own problems.  My annoyance comes from the expectation that I should somehow have gotten this correction, or that my complaints about the system without the correction are somehow invalid when *I didn't have it*.

Even then, that's, uh, a problem, mechanically.  At that point, you've suddenly made "enable the Fighter" and "at L2+, enable the Rogue" the most mechanically effective thing the Paladin and Healbot and Wizard can do.  In rare cases, enabling the Wizard will be a good idea - but the Paladin and Healbot's attacks are now an objectively worse option.



There's no Paladin in the playtest, so we can't know what is best for them in combat.



The "Cleric Of Moradin" is a tough, armored, divine defender who runs into melee.  "Paladin" is a perfectly adequate description that distinguishes him from "the Healbot" in a quick and easy way that's both more descriptive AND much shorter.

But I can see that you're now just using inflamatory names to discuss the various classes,



"Healbot" has been used for 30 years to describe "the obligatory Cleric".  And it's an accurate description of OD&D, AD&D, AD&D2, and early D20 Clerics, and Next's Pelor Cleric.

belying



That word does not mean what you think it means.

So I'll just bow out at this point, seeing as we can't have a reasoned exchange.



I don't see how "that fix looks good at first, but then you see that it's simply added a new completely-optimal option that is objectively better.  You still have only one thing to do in combat, that thing isn't all that much fun because it's all about letting someone else be cool, and if you don't do it your outcomes are mechanically worse" is anything but reasoned.

Fixes for problems:  Good.  That fix:  Not good, doesn't solve underlying problem.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
No, I'm suggesting that if the only way to have fun while playing is to avoid the mechanics (for combat *and* non-combat alike) then there's something deeply wrong with the game.



There is a difference between avoiding a system you feel to be flawed, and simply roleplaying without needing constant die rolls.

The playtest rules do state that PCs can use their action to grant advantage on a roll.  I suppose WotC were just clarifying that they DID intend that to include other players' attack rolls.  I do agree that this is a massive boon to the rogue but if it leads to certain characters always using their action to enable the rogue, it might be less fun for them.

However, it might also be more fun than no fun if those combat manoeuvres are role-played and it's for DMs to work co-operatively to achieve a fun result.  Co-operative storytelling games like Other Worlds are great fun.  If you give the players a say in the consequences of failing at some daring action that leads on to other interesting things other than roll, hit, die, the game becomes more fun for those who aren't dishing the damage and for those failing on a roll.

You will be amazed to what degree players enjoy DM fiat if they get a say in the outcome of both success AND failure.  The other players will be more than willing to chip with suggestions and your group will reach an equilibrium quickly since players know that suggesting overly harsh outcomes for failure hurts the whole group and can lead to tit-for-tat consequences when you fail a roll...