One thing I liked, one thing I didn't and one suggestion.

Thought I'd start a thread for quick little things people might have noticed that might get lost in longer threads or posts. So the title tells you the format. Try and keep the posts as short as possible to get your point across. My first is just dealing with the adventure design which I haven't seen discussed much.


Liked:  Really like Noise and Smell in area descriptions - gives a quick handle for the DM to ad-lib a description, smells particularly can get overlooked but are very emotive. 

Disliked:  Lack of Initiative on the summary stats in the adventure, means the very first thing you had to do is turn to the bestiary, delaying the combat. If you got your initiative roll done, you could be looking it up while the players are doing theirs. Speed would be handy to so you know if they are going to take one or two rounds to close to melee or be able to escape straight away.

Suggestion: Add Quirk and Quote for key NPCs like the Kobold Cheiftain, Orc Leader etc. For the same reason Noise and Smell are good for room descriptions it would give a quick handle on the NPC, and distinguish him from others of his race.
I could get behind that quirk and quote idea.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
I like q/q thing too... it's simple but sounds like fun. I think that everybody is aware that the monster stat blocks in the adventure are lacking, but I'm sure the final product will be much easier to use.
Liked: It wasn't hard at all to kludge together some extra monsters to suit my own tastes. Bounded Accuracy makes stat-figuring a snap. I was able to throw together a 3rd-level hobgoblin wizard just by tweaking the elf wizard a little and selecting spells.

Disliked: Not only missing initiative, but missing ANY stat bonuses in the shortened monster block. Since everything in the game revolves around ability checks, this is a glaring error in adjudicating quick actions. I had to manually add a list of all the stat mods (not the scores, just the mods) to the pages I printed up so I'd have that info when I needed it.

Suggestion: Monsters with Encounter powers. That's really the best home for such a mechanic. I could live with the PCs getting Encounter powers back, as well. Not full AEDU, but something based on the Short Rest rather than the Daily standard.

When the Cat's a Stray, the Mice will Pray 

Liked: It wasn't hard at all to kludge together some extra monsters to suit my own tastes. Bounded Accuracy makes stat-figuring a snap. I was able to throw together a 3rd-level hobgoblin wizard just by tweaking the elf wizard a little and selecting spells.

Disliked: Not only missing initiative, but missing ANY stat bonuses in the shortened monster block. Since everything in the game revolves around ability checks, this is a glaring error in adjudicating quick actions. I had to manually add a list of all the stat mods (not the scores, just the mods) to the pages I printed up so I'd have that info when I needed it.

Suggestion: Monsters with Encounter powers. That's really the best home for such a mechanic. I could live with the PCs getting Encounter powers back, as well. Not full AEDU, but something based on the Short Rest rather than the Daily standard.



I think the initial post is for people who want to pick up an adventure and just run it, not having the time to add their own monsters, etc.  I agree with the initial poster completely with the fact that smells and noises add more feel to the surroundings.  One thing I do misss from the 4E published adventures was the tactics.  Not so much in what the creatures would do in combat, but how they would react (fight to the death, flee after leader killed, etc).  That way you knew what their role there was without having to check out the whole adventure to find out why they are there.  I'd also like to see some description of general attitude.  Would they be willing to take a bribe, be easilly bluffed or intimidated (which I think should be a charisma check), or are they going to try to stop the party at any price.
I like the quirk/quote idea too.

Liked:  Attacks pretty simple to run, so we can keep the game moving.

Disliked:  comparative lack of detail in dungeon description, but hey, it's a playtest.  I realise I just need to add it.

Suggestion: Compile a DM style guide that incorporates the best / most popular ideas for customising the game to suit yourself / your players.  There are a lot of great ideas for play in these threads, and not all of them should be required; some great ideas are of the sort that couldn't even be made into rules if you wanted to.  Many of them fall into certain categories which could be pulled together to describe a particular style of DMing, and a guide like that could be really inspirational for people who know how to DM, but want to think about where to go with it.
I agree with half your points DMaple. I also liked the Noises and Smells and the Initiative were definitely lacking. The rest however, seems to simply complicate matters more. Here's my short input on the matter

Liked: I really enjoyed the Ability Threshhold which gives a much more logical and epic feel to characters. The wizard of the group felt really intelligent, because he didn't necessarily have to roll INT checks all the time and the rogue was agile because he wasn't forced to roll DEX checks, etc.

Disliked: Themes and Backgrounds
seemed to restrict the player character too much. The rest of the game is so open and with the idea of modular rules, there's a great potential for character creation in the future, but the themes and backgrounds restrict all this and seem to box characters in.

Suggestion:
Change the Hit Dice and Hit Points rules. Resting needs a revamp, which I don't have any smart suggestions for, but hit points per level should be dependent on hit dice, but with an adjustment to avoid the +1 hp for 1 level. So something like +1d4+4 hit points or 1d6+2 hit points, or something similar, instead of the set amount of hit points each level.

You can read more about our D&D Next playtest feedback on my blog.

This is a fantastic idea!

Liked: Advantage/Disadvantage, Themes and Backgrounds right up front as a core of character building. The discussion of establishing a real D&D Currency Economy, simple fast rules that encourage Improvisation and Player Driven Encounter Building. The reintroduction of classic subraces (ie. hill vs. mountain dwarf, quickfoot halflings). Intoxicated Condition--most fun we've had in a while!

Disliked: Themes and Backgrounds were bland--felt mostly like 4e roles or synonyms for class names (as opposed to PHB2 Backgrounds and Dark Sun Themes which felt meaty and exciting). Dungeon design wasn't great for our style of play--wanted Monster Politics and Agendas or at least Names for chieftains rather than dry mechanics for how they respond to invaders. Slayer ability (miss - hits) and Herbalist ability (spend 25 gold to find herbs in wild?) need taken back to formula. Mechanics for Dying are too harsh--fate of 0 hp characters should be left to DM. Rules for What Hit Points Mean aren't harsh enough--feels like nobody actually gets hurt at all until they're dying--which leads to dull frustrating fights.

Suggestion: Two types of hit points: Core of Bloodied Hit Points (around 10) that represent real injury, and a greater number (10-50) of Dramatic Hit Points that can represent exhaustion, terror, bumps and scrapes. How many dramatic hit points there are in a game should be modular--to be determined by the group. That way groups that want quick, gritty combat with high lethality can get rid of dramatic hit points alltogether, but groups that want a more tactical teamwork map and minis flavored game--or just a legendary style game can pick the really high hit point version. Something for everyone.
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I like the Bloodied & Dramatic Hit Points idea. Interesting.
Liked: Freedom of movement. Felt like a scrum.
Liked: Advantage and Disadvantage. Clean and simple.

Disliked: 18 rats. A swarm would have been more manageable.
Disliked: The obvious lack of using 4e terms. Double move. Hit Dice. Aid another. Dodge.

Suggestion: Make more spells into Rituals. Comprehend Language. Detect Magic, maybe.
Suggestion: Some form of AoO. Some form of flanking.
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