10 (or so) Playtest questions

DNDN seems pretty cool. I plan to playtest this as soon as I get my players signed up. That being said, I have some questions and observations about the current draft of the rules.


1) Does Skill Mastery grant a minimum total result of 10, or of 10 + modifiers?

2) Searing Light seems way overpowered when compared to, say, Burning Hands. Is this supposed to be a 2nd level spell? Its power level seems more on par with Arc Lightning.

3) The spells section mentions spells being prepared with higher level slots, and yet none of the spells in the playtest have this feature. Is this an obsolete mechanic left over from a previous draft?

4) Magic Missle seems overpowered at high level when compared to Shocking Grasp. Perhaps the additional missles could only be granted if the spell is prepared with a higher level slot, like 1st granting two missles and 2nd granting four. This assumes that (3) above is negative.

5) Why is ringmail more expensive than studded? Do shields affect stealth? Can shields be used to bash? Is light armor too good? For example, the cleric of Pelor would be better served by wearing studded, as his AC would remain the same and he would no longer be disadvantaged on stealth contests.

(An aside: will there be masterwork armor or shields?)

6) Some monsters are listed as wielding weapons that do different damage or are wielded differently than is listed in the "How to Play" guide. For example, bugbears use morningstars that are one handed and do 2d4, and kobolds throw daggers that use their STR instead of their DEX. Is this a monster creation thing, where monsters use different rules than characters? Or is this an error in the Bestiary?

7) Can the cleric of Pelor use shields without penalty? What about the rogue?

8) Lance vs longspear: the damage between these two weapons seems disproportionate.

9) What's the point in separating heavy weapons from martial weapons, since the only class proficient with martial weapons is also proficient with heavy weapons? 

10) What is meant by the phrase "does not grant a bonus on the attack roll"? Does this mean that the attack is a straight d20 with no bonuses? Perhaps a better option would be to allow improvised weapons to be used with the full attack bonus but instead cause the attacker to be at disadvantage. That way a hardened warrior would be significantly more dangerous with his frying pan than an anemic wizard.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)

1) 10+
2) It does nothing on a miss, and is only 1 target.  It's fine.
3) It's not implemented yet.  I presume it will be in future playtests.  Like, sleep affecting 20 HP creatures.
4) I assume other things will scale.  Just not in this playtest.  They are more or less on par at level 1-2
5) Armor is all sorts of messed up.  They are redoing it.
6) Monster creation thing.  You'll note that the PC's get different damage sizes too.
7) dunno
8) weapons are also messed up.  I'm sure they'll be a rebalancing.
9) Presumably other classes.  Or for halfling fighters.  Again, things need work.
10) Hard to say... but all weapon attacks see to be stat+2 (+1 for the fighter).  I presume it's just Stat  (i.e. -2 to hit).

This is still a pretty rough draft of the game.  Lot's will change.  (armor was specificly mentioned for the next packet).

 

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.




6) Some monsters are listed as wielding weapons that do different damage or are wielded differently than is listed in the "How to Play" guide. For example, bugbears use morningstars that are one handed and do 2d4, and kobolds throw daggers that use their STR instead of their DEX. Is this a monster creation thing, where monsters use different rules than characters? Or is this an error in the Bestiary?



I wouldn't look too much into that,  it's most likely that they convered the Caves of Chaos without any consideration to the weapon charts.   2d4 damage is what the morning star used to in AD&D.   If you read the original module you see that the first attack the kobolds make is to throw their spear.  I think that got lost in the translation.   In AD&D you could use your STR with thrown weapon,s but not with a bow unless you had a strength adjusted bow.  


2) It does nothing on a miss, and is only 1 target.  It's fine.



Even being single target, that's WAY more damage than anything else, especially if the target is undead. 17 damage versus zero is an average of 8.5 versus 8 or 4 on a save making 6 for BH, with the potential for multiple targets being a wash against the bonus damage to undeadThat's a significant disparity. As a cleric spell especially, it should not be outshining wizard spells in damage. If they keep it first level IMO it should be downgraded to 2dX with the lesser damage line eliminated.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)

2) It does nothing on a miss, and is only 1 target.  It's fine.



Even being single target, that's WAY more damage than anything else, especially if the target is undead. 17 damage versus zero is an average of 8.5 versus 8 or 4 on a save making 6 for BH, with the potential for multiple targets being a wash against the bonus damage to undeadThat's a significant disparity. As a cleric spell especially, it should not be outshining wizard spells in damage. If they keep it first level IMO it should be downgraded to 2dX with the lesser damage line eliminated.



Compare the two at peak effeciency of usage and maximum damage:

Burning hands - 6 targets take 8 or 4, plus any added from your ability modifier. That's 24 or 48 damage at maximum.

Searing Light - 1 target takes 48, plus any added from your ability modifier.

They are, in that way, equal but different.

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.

1) Does Skill Mastery grant a minimum total result of 10, or of 10 + modifiers?



Minimum die roll of 10...so it'd be 10+modifiers. A rogue can always pick a DC 15 lock, basically. 

5) Why is ringmail more expensive than studded? Do shields affect stealth? Can shields be used to bash? Is light armor too good? For example, the cleric of Pelor would be better served by wearing studded, as his AC would remain the same and he would no longer be disadvantaged on stealth contests.

(An aside: will there be masterwork armor or shields?)

7) Can the cleric of Pelor use shields without penalty? What about the rogue?



Currently...
If you are not proficient with something you're using, you're at a constant disadvantage. Rogues and P-Cleric are not proficient with shields (coincidentally, neither are M-Clerics though they have abilities that specifically rely on using one) so any action taken while using one would be at DA.

Improvised weapons do 1D6 one handed damage, ad 1D10 two handed damage. Shields could be used to bash as a improvised weapon.

There are a few threads going on about how good light and heavy armor are and how worthless medium is.

Masterwork armor and shields? I hope they bring some in to play.        

6) Some monsters are listed as wielding weapons that do different damage or are wielded differently than is listed in the "How to Play" guide. For example, bugbears use morningstars that are one handed and do 2d4, and kobolds throw daggers that use their STR instead of their DEX. Is this a monster creation thing, where monsters use different rules than characters? Or is this an error in the Bestiary?



There are lots of numerical errors in the packet right now...try your best to not let it bother you.

9) What's the point in separating heavy weapons from martial weapons, since the only class proficient with martial weapons is also proficient with heavy weapons?



Because this may not necessarily be the case with the upcoming classes (ranger, paladin, etc).

10) What is meant by the phrase "does not grant a bonus on the attack roll"? Does this mean that the attack is a straight d20 with no bonuses? Perhaps a better option would be to allow improvised weapons to be used with the full attack bonus but instead cause the attacker to be at disadvantage. That way a hardened warrior would be significantly more dangerous with his frying pan than an anemic wizard.



If no bonuses, straight die roll. 

2) It does nothing on a miss, and is only 1 target.  It's fine.



Even being single target, that's WAY more damage than anything else, especially if the target is undead. 17 damage versus zero is an average of 8.5 versus 8 or 4 on a save making 6 for BH, with the potential for multiple targets being a wash against the bonus damage to undeadThat's a significant disparity. As a cleric spell especially, it should not be outshining wizard spells in damage. If they keep it first level IMO it should be downgraded to 2dX with the lesser damage line eliminated.



Compare the two at peak effeciency of usage and maximum damage:

Burning hands - 6 targets take 8 or 4, plus any added from your ability modifier. That's 24 or 48 damage at maximum.

Searing Light - 1 target takes 48, plus any added from your ability modifier.

They are, in that way, equal but different.



I have to agree with Aaron. Also, from a playtesting point of view, in our game, the cleric was not lucky and never hit with his Searing Light (he tried it a few times). The wizard casted Burning hand on Hobgoblins and Kobolds and it was very efficient. 

And yes, it seems a little overpowered against undead, but it is really useful only against Undead bosses (most undead "minions" would die anyway without the additional damage).
My take on Searing Light is that, yes, it is more powerful then wizard spells of the same level.

But on the other hand, it has to be good enough to compete with the cleric's heal spells or the players will never use it.  So I think they made it a bit more powerful (still not Arc Lightning) for that reason.

Carl
    

1) Skill Mastery grant a minimum total result of 10.  (Rogue Halfling Pregen pg. 02)

2) Searing Light target one creature and doesn't deal damage on a miss compared to Burning Hands who does so and against multiple foes at once.  (How To Play pg. 29)

3) Previous Legends & Lore column referenced such mechanic. As more is revealed, we should see it implemented.

4) Magic Missle can outperform Shocking Grasp indeed, especially if the former gains more Missiles while the latter doesn't scale.

5) A ringmail has always been more expensive than a studded armor because of its more expensive use of material and complex fabrication technique i assume. WotC didn't talk about Masterwork armors yet. Shields can certainly be used to bash as Improvised Weapon and do not affect Stealth, only medium and heavy armors do.  (How To Play pg. 17)

6) There are inconcistencies between the Bestiary and Cave of Chaos or the Equipment Section and WoTC hasn't revealed why yet. It could be errors or unrevealed Traits, such as the missing Racial Traning on the Pregens.

7) Anyone can wear any armor, but only people trained know how to use it effectively. If you put on armor you can't use, you have Disadvantage on Stenght and Dexterity checks, attacks and saving throws.   (How To Play pg. 17)

8) I agree that lance seems disproportionate compared to longspear. The whole armor and weapon section is being reworked by Mike Mearls so expect many changes.

9) It appears that all Heavy Weapons are too unwieldy to be wielded with one hand while some Martial Weapons can be wielded one-handed. 

10) This sentence most likely refers to the Proficiency Bonus that weapons are meant to have.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

10) What is meant by the phrase "does not grant a bonus on the attack roll"? Does this mean that the attack is a straight d20 with no bonuses? Perhaps a better option would be to allow improvised weapons to be used with the full attack bonus but instead cause the attacker to be at disadvantage. That way a hardened warrior would be significantly more dangerous with his frying pan than an anemic wizard.



Well, a hardened warrior still will be since they're likely to have a whole lot higher a damage bonus if they do hit with it, but I do agree that even with an improvised weapon they should be a bit more likely than said wizard to hit. On the other hand applying Disadvantage to the attack is pretty crippling, and if it's already a challenging roll vs the target in question, then you have next to no chance of success.

5) A ringmail has always been more expensive than a studded armor because of its more expensive use of material and complex fabrication technique i assume. WotC didn't talk about Masterwork armors yet. Shields can certainly be used to bash as Improvised Weapon and do not affect Stealth, only medium and heavy armors do.  (How To Play pg. 17)



No point in really contemplating reasoning or realism here, since as far as I'm aware neither "studded leather" nor "ring mail" were ever actual types of armor (in Europe anyway). Generally whenever somebody made reference to either of them as well as several other types of armor (namely Samuel Rush Meyrick in his 19th century writings), they were seeing drawings, paintings, tapestries or engravings of ancient battle and just not recognizing what they were looking at. Typically "Studded Leather" is actually Brigandine, and "Ring Mail" is either poor illustration of actual chain mail, or perhaps and eyelet doublet, which wasn't really armor so much as padding to be worn under armor, yet was still sometimes worn alone by peasants or men-at-arms in the same way that arming coats were at times.


No point in really contemplating reasoning or realism here, since as far as I'm aware neither "studded leather" nor "ring mail" were ever actual types of armor


Regradless if they ever existed or not in Europe or eswhere i was trying to give the OP a logical answer based on observations found in D&D history. The ringmail has always been more expensive than the studded leather armor for this reason:


''The AD&D Arm & Equipment Guide: Studded leather armor is the poor man's mail because of its metallic component and low price. It is more common among the general population than most people would first believe because, unlike other type of mail armor, studded leather is relatively easy to make''

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

my group decided that since the Moradin cleric has a shield and it doesn't list a proficiency that a shield counts as armor in that respect.  This meant to us that a proficiency with light armor lets you use light shields, and heavy armor allows for heavy shields.  The Moradin cleric has heavy armor and a heavy shield.

In which case, after killing some hobgoblins I allowed the Pelor cleric to loot the light shield one was holding and equip it.

This would also prevent wizards from using any shield as they are strictly restricted from using armor and allow the rogue to use a light one if he chose to do so.
Delroland, calculating dpr is very misleading when comparing a single target vs multi-target. If every monster had exactly the max hp, it would make sense, but, since monsters can have different hp it makes less sense. Very frequently the play test reports have "then the wizard used burning hands and killed everyone". I didn't hear a single one saying "darned, I didn't maximize my dpr".
Also, why should the cleric do less damage than the wizard? The wizard has utility spells, and the cleric has healing - seems like they do the same damage.
Normally, I would agree, but the area of Burning Hands is pretty pathetic (15ft cone), so that in most instances you'll only hit two targets, and only that if you position yourself correctly.

The cleric should do less damage than the wizard (except in certain conditions, such as fighting extraplanar baddies or the undead), because 1) wizards have always been the masters of damage dealing spells, and 2) the cleric gets better weapons, armor, and hit points than the wizard. 

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)

I'd like to point out...this thread and others have been basically quibbling over the damage of 2nd level and lower spells.

Yes, wizards are supposed to be the nukes...but that doesn't mean that clerics can't have one go-to damage spell that is usefull in all occasions. It's not making clerics masters of damage, it's just giving them a viable damage output if the need arises.

On average, wizards will do more damage than clerics...and as higher level spells become available that'll become more and more obvious. Get over this petty squabble and let the clerics have a bone for damage.
I'm not saying take damage away from clerics, but rather that wizards need more damage to be on par with the cleric. If a class is just better than another in most aspects, then either that class is OP or the other class is UP. Simple stuff.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/7.jpg)

Honestly...early on, clerics are supposed to be a bit better than wizards. They get their power directly from their deity, there's no learning curve, nothing hindering that power except for what the deity deems "worthy" of the cleric...and there's no real climb to attain more power.

Wizards, on the other hand, have to work hard to get their power, inch by meager inch. Early on, they're not nearly as powerful as they could be...and this was reflected well in earlier editions by lvl 4 spells being a wizard's "pride and joy."

It's really far too early to be ranting about spell balance between classes.
But I want to be the best at damage ALL THE TIME! Then I can pew pew my lazor beems to top the damage charts and kill everything for epic purple loot...wait, wrong game.

As long as your character isn't getting the group killed in combat, I don't see why it matters if class X does 3 more damage than class Y, or even 30 more damage. And as stated, they're low level spells. 

Where did the group mentality go? It's a game about we, not me.
And when viewed as such the playtest characters excelled at my table.

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

But I want to be the best at damage ALL THE TIME! Then I can pew pew my lazor beems to top the damage charts and kill everything for epic purple loot...wait, wrong game.

As long as your character isn't getting the group killed in combat, I don't see why it matters if class X does 3 more damage than class Y, or even 30 more damage. And as stated, they're low level spells. 

Where did the group mentality go? It's a game about we, not me.



Okay, yes, MMORPGs are a very big reason why class parity is such a concern. But it's not because of an "it's all about me/my character" mentality. In fact, selfish characters tend to do extremely poorly in MMOs. The reason everyone plays optimal builds in MMOs is because no one wants to have you in their party otherwise - there are so many people that they can just find someone else who did build optimally. That's the culprit you really need to focus on. The concept that "If I'm not consistently contributing to the fight, no one wants to play with me."

Sorry for ranting, it's just something that bugs me.
I'll agree that MMOs are one of the major culprits in the lack of group cohesion for table-top gaming...but it's far from being the only one.

As a rules-lawyer, I will say that rules-lawyering is probably the most distruptive influence at the table. While there is a time and place for people to rules-lawyer, it's often forgotten that "all the time" isn't the case. This gets infinitely worse when there are two of these people at the table (this is the case with my group...and more than once it's ground the game to a chaotic halt to get incorrectly lawyered info cleared up).

Realistically though, anything that can create internal conflict (selfishness, rules-lawyering, "leet" attitude, etc) will act as a solvent toward group cohesion. Then you end up with politics that you'd expect to see on Survivor, not in a close-knit adventuring party.