Backgrounds

I really like Skill Progression, the +1 to a single skill (max +7) every even level.  It's a lot like 3rd without the decimals, but on a modest or bounded scale. 

The Traits are cool, and I think the Starting Equipment is another great idea - a great way to speed up character creation if you want to.

For the actual Skills, though, I think the first Playtest's approach was better.  If every Lore Skill is an Intelligence check, then you only really need one Lore Skill entry for both PCs and DM.  What I think they need to do is explain every Skill in every Background.  So there is one Lore skill and the Undead Lore is explained under Sage. 

Yes, this could create multiple entries in the same book.  I could see a clerical background that also has the Undead Lore skill.  But what if that clerical background is in another book?  It keeps the information local without having to cross reference everything - another way to speed up character creation. 

There should only be one Undead Lore in Next, but by putting the Skill Description in the Background you could have a seperate background with Undead Slaying skill that does different things.  Listing all the Skills limits them, putting them in the Backgrounds makes them more dynamic.

And the DM gets a smaller more concise set of Skills and DCs to manage, like Lore instead of a dozen Different Lores.
Like the skills from Backgrounds and the listed advancement, these seem good so far on paper but I need to see how they work in game.
Though I think with the Background Skills there should be more than 3 skills, (4 or 5 skills would be good).
I agree that there's too many "lore" skills.  History and heraldry could easily be combined.

Also, i feel there needs to be room for custom skills.

5e houserules and tweaks.

Celestial Link Evoking Radiance into Creation

A Party Without Music is Lame: A Bard

Level Dip Guide

 

4e stuff

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.

Yeah, pretty much.

Also, did anyone else notice how the info of about 90% of the items for Commoners are unstatted and unpriced? (draft horses, wagons, animal feed, harness, and grooming kit are nowhere to be found in any of the documents)
Well, come on. This is not the complete rules. This is just a playtest package. Why stat out and price common stuff?
Yeah, pretty much.

Also, did anyone else notice how the info of about 90% of the items for Commoners are unstatted and unpriced? (draft horses, wagons, animal feed, harness, and grooming kit are nowhere to be found in any of the documents)

Its a playtest for mechanics.  Is there some reason your players need to know the prices of draft horses, animal feed, and grooming kits in order to go out and slay orcs and steal from dragons?

If not, don't worry about them right now.  That is essentially window dressing to do after everything else is done.

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