Older Players Playtest - quick brief

We are primarily late 30s thru 40 year olds, most of us started with 1st edition or even the original basic box set of the late seventies/early eighties and played pretty regularly through 3.5E. 4th edition was a complete failure with us, most switched to Pathfinders and/or Savage Worlds.


Advantage/Disadvantage mechanic - ok seem to work enough and pretty easy to figure out where and when to apply it and thus did not slow the game.


Long rest - players were ok with, as DM I hate it. It robs the potential for certain types of adventures where grievously injured players may have to be protected.... 3rd edition natural healing was already too fast for me


Combat



  • Trying to back calculate the numbers proofed challenging as the "player" sheet equipment versus the "play guide equipment list" didn't match for damage and other attributes.

  • The weapon damage need some tweaking, sort of miss the size variation of small versus medium versus large weapon damage types, but don't miss the complexity. It does seem to make the kobold deadlier for small creatures compared to the orcs.

  • Miss AOOs

  • We didn't use a battlemat or minis, to try it without one, most of us are original tabletop board gamers (Avalon Hill/SPI), so battlemats are like bread & butter to us. It worked well enough without it.

  • As the module warned, the encounters weren't balanced and as I play monsters tactically, every encounter was deadly and the kobold always to be unusually lucky, as they scared the players the most.


Cleric



  • His range attack spell was a bit overpowered to say the least, but his healing mediocre.

  • Player didn't like the healing kit/Hit Dice mechanic, just seemed odd, don't care for it myself, just too weird and out of place.

  • Needs more healing, but gawd no healing surges or at-will ablities please, 2-3 more healing effects (prayer/spell) even at 1d4 each would have been helpful to keep the adventuring going - yet is it because the players have so many more hit points now at 1st level that more healing is needed? The monsters also "appeared" to hit more often and do more damage on average compared to previous editions at 1st level????


Fighter



  • Does a lot of damage, maybe slightly too much. Overall a definite improvement over previous editions in power.


Wizard



  • Seemed to be nearest to being balanced, a few spells were over powered perhaps. Yet the we can see that with "at-will" abilities (hate those) and variant vancian/sorcerer spell preparation/use mechanic that a lot of spell planning and resource management this class required of its player appears to be gone, too bad.


Rogue



  • Didn't seem special or fit any good role in any of the encounters we ran, much of his skills didn't come into practice aside from sneaking around... and with everyone having preception, etc....


Overall it was not bad and we picked it up pretty quickly, been playing RPGs way too long I guess.
The discrepancy in the math calculation of the weapon damage seem odd to me, versus AC and other attributes. Having worked with wargame designers in the past, math and statistical analysis is a real important factor in game design and seems to be lacking.


We only played the base characters and didn't level them. We look forward to the next playtest packet, though I must admit that Goodman Games "Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG" is looking really good for capturing that old school RPG feeling.
















Long rest - players were ok with, as DM I hate it. It robs the potential for certain types of adventures where grievously injured players may have to be protected.... 3rd edition natural healing was already too fast for me


You can always control this by only allowing it if they "go back to town"  and that journey is not automatic



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Apt reviews.  My group was mostly older players too; we thought that the Wizard was a little over-powered for First Level... with the auto-hit Magic Missile to the unlimited other spells, to the higher starting HP the Wizard can run in, drop a hearty damage spell, run back out.  For a first level character that wears no armor and has to touch armed and armored foes makes no sense whatsoever.  That hobgoblin would chop off the Wizard's hand long before the Wizard could lay it on him. 

Long rest seems a little too generous.  Short Rests could use a little boost, not to the full Healing Surge where you get 1/4 your total.... AND should have some sort of declining ability to recover.  Combat is nice and fast, though could use a few more rules, Flanking, AoO, etc.

Clerical healing needs some help; it's a little weak right now.  Ditch the Healer's Kits; let characters have "After Battle Recovery" as a straight up game mechanic. 

Yeah, we had fun with it but it does need some help.  I want to see Rangers, Barbarians, Gnomes, Illusionists, Monks & the other things that were missing.
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