Quick Observation: Human Racial Bonuses're Outta Whack

46 posts / 0 new
Last post
It's there on the tin: The stat bonuses for humans are simply too high.

During our playtest, we've been utilizing randomly generated ability scores derived from the 4d6 drop lowest method, and all character statistics have, unsurprisingly, fallen relatively in-line with the pre-generated scores  presented in the standard array. Not an issue, until the human PCs receive their allotted racial bonuses and their class bonus to their ability scores.

Right now it just looks like a particularily powerful group of adventurers, but given the fact that they'll be receiving two additional points every four levels, things'll be looking a little skewed right aways, methinks.

Just thought I'd toss this out there in case a designer happens by. Cheers.
Agreed, humans do get a little too much; if they threw a bone to the demi-humans it might help equal it out...
Most of the Demi human abilities seem to play out much closer to a human optimized for the same stat bonus.

Hill Dwarves are bout dead even on HP and they gain a benifit from toughness above what the human can have.

Halflings and elves get better hiding capabilities and elves get the invaluable advantage on any perception checks.

Then the races get increased weapon damage as well.

If you are looking only at the + then yeah they look way out there but the abilities of the other races are likewise far more than we have previously seen.

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

Agreed, humans do get a little too much; if they threw a bone to the demi-humans it might help equal it out...

I think the humans should get some balancing bonuses compared to the other races but maybe some other bonuses rather than too many in stats.

Maybe as humans are so used to dealing, trading with others they get a bonus to interaction checks or another type of skill bonus (even to one of their choice maybe).
In my opinion, if you just gave the other races +2 on their primary stat, it would put them on par with Humans in their main role, but leave humans pretty adaptable and diverse outside of that (with their +1 to the other 5).

The racial bonuses for the other races aren't bad, in fact, many are quite good.  I just don't think humans should have a higher primary score.
I would prefer it if humans got +1 to an ability score of their choosing, and an extra skill of their choosing.  They could still get a bonus feat, like in 3rd and 4th, but the extra skill might be enough by itself to balance with the demi-human races.
That warm fuzzy feeling you get when you a forum thread you're subscribed to has a new comment.
Agreed. Humans as they are in the packet do seem to be a bit OP compared to the other races.
I would prefer it if humans got +1 to an ability score of their choosing, and an extra skill of their choosing.  They could still get a bonus feat, like in 3rd and 4th, but the extra skill might be enough by itself to balance with the demi-human races.


Not really.  Humans the, in effect, be just +3 on one skill over other races.

Think about what the non-human races get.  And I'll only list the real significant ones but some of the minor stuff (like poison immune or low-light vision) really isn't bad either, just situational.

Dwarf: Improved damage (Dwarven Weapon Training) and Improved Hit Points or AC.
Elf: Improved damage (Elf Weapon Training), Keen Senses, and a free wizard spell or improved speed and hiding.
Halfling: Improved damage (Halfling Weapon Training), Lucky, Nimnleness, and either a Stealth Boon (that's quite good) or Fearless (this one is kind of weak, to be honest).

Couple that with the fact that the extra +1 on stats only stands a 50/50 chance of being an actual improvement, it's not as bad as it first seems in my opinion.

Again, I think +2 should be the bonus on non-human primary stats putting them on par with humans at what they do best, but that racial traits themselves add some interesting flavor and useful improvements to compenstate for the non-primary +1s (which also only effect characters half the time).
 
Not to draw to much wrath in the comparison but I alwasy liked the World of Warcraft approach over the traditional DND one of treating the humans like the other reaces in that they get a single bonus (charisma?) and certain skills like a bonus in diplomacy or a greater general knowlede and like a free language of there choice. I don't know I would just be interested in seeing something like that made up.
*note I never played 4e so i don't know if that had anything like that I am assuming it did not 
I think if non-humans get +2 to one stat and humans get +1 to 4 stats plus say an extra skill it might feel better.  And some racial abilities are obtainable from class options so I don't rate the non-human packages that highly.
Side by Side against a race this benefit is not as good as the other races.

A friend and I did different builds and compared them as they leveled up.

By 4th level when the Dwarf or Elf or Halfling get's a Bump they have already caught up to the power level of the Human, have additional benefits (Weapon Training) so average damage is roughly the same or better. While the human is at best slightly more successful IMHO.

I was on the side of (This is Totaly broken there is no way a dwarf is better than a Human)

alas I was proven wrong (Our first comparison was Human Tank vs Dwarf Tank (Protectors)) Dwarf had better damage out and as much or more hit points as the Human by level 4 
I think if non-humans get +2 to one stat and humans get +1 to 4 stats plus say an extra skill it might feel better.  And some racial abilities are obtainable from class options so I don't rate the non-human packages that highly.

Not many are obtainable, though, like the improved damage dice, extra movement, etc... and a lot of them require temporary use power to replicate for short time, not permanent abilities.

With 11 characters created so far for two campaigns, less than half chose human (4).  So I take that as a decent sign that they aren't the completely obvious choice.

ShadeRaven: The issue is bigger. Lets see elves, and lets see what happened in actual playtest.


Given the rules out for the party, and all created characters, for a city based adventure, focused partly on roleplaying and not so dangerous interaction with the setting. We had different characters, and the characters had an inn as their base of operation. Planned adventures are linked to the inn, as they wanted to make it flourish. Removing bandits from nearby roads, trying to purchase wares from foreign lands, entertaining some picky clients, etc. So a mix of RP, combat and skill based challenges. No dungeon. Well, unless you treat the cellar for their wine as a dungeon. Hey, some seen spiders in it, and I heard sometimes even rats found their ways there.


One of our characters was an elven lady, focused on natural grace and some charisma. 


Other character was a human wizard, who seen some combat already so sees himself as a "veteran adventurer" who just "retired" to run the inn with friends.


For the later it was a safe assumption from the part of PC, that if he seen combat and survived while he has no fighter friend to protect him, he had some AC, so choosen a good dex. He was a human.


When they tried to entertain the crowd, both needed a series of dex tests. As the wizard was human he got +1 to all stats, +2 to one. Our wizard said if he would be the brightest wizard in school it wouldn't make much sense to be a retired adventurer. Con, str were out of question. Wisdom would still keep him in school. Cha wasn't interesting for him, went for Dec. Which was a reasonable choice based on his story, and the going for AC.


Our elven lady said she is civilized, focused on art, etc. and some of the elven lifestyle even in lands where they have to deal with humans. Which elf race is civilized? High elf. Traditionally all elves in 1E, 2E, etc. got bonus to dex. But her natural elven grace granted her none. 


No armor, not much hp, etc. 

So the Wizard outshined her even in "her own speciality". It quickly led to the first disappointment when it was clear that it will work like this based on modifiers unless I keep giving her advantage based on talents, etc. and everything, essentially exploiting the system. 


Later they would have to stop some troublemakers, who were a bit drunk and started a brawl in their inn. So the first combat arrived. I have chosen a similar group of adventurers, adjusted a few stats, etc. and from first moment to last, when the players wanted something that made sense IC wise, the issue was... With modes of movement we seen an issue.


But we seen another issue. Even if the game has an improvise action which is good and generic on the surface, othen it didn't really work well: Using the chandelier to drop on enemy and knock him down would be both an improvise action and an attack with a bonus and a method to move, etc. Hey, I am sure that action was inspired by the book as swinging on chandelier is named here. But not swinging on chandelier and droping on a foe to knock him down. It would be more than the one action you are allowed to take. 


Most In character actions you do in combat are often complex and most attacks are results of "opening up" the enemy defenses with a more complex action and using the opportunity to attack him. Most improvised actions would also provide an advantage for attacking. As the "improvise and attack are 2 actions and cannot be done on one turn" I had to tell the players, if we playtest we have to go by the book, so they have wait for next round. And enemies avoided the attack, it became a bit of comic situation, where nothing did work, but the simple move + attack stuff. We laughed at how funny it was, but we said it doesn't work. 


There the laughing at how things doesn't work if we go by the book interrupted the game session. So it was time to discuss the experiences. The first question was: Why can't we combine things if they do make sense. I said if we wouldn't playtest I would change rules here, but now by the book it is clear. And the reasons for it that any ability that grants a chance to do multiple actions and combine them should stay as an advantage, as they built game balance on top of it.


Then our elf asked: What game balance? And considering she was outshined in her own speciality, and wasn't that succesful in combat either (she tried to build on her grace), she was right. 


The question became how such tricks and attacks can be turned into a single actions, and how they can learn it. We seen fighter maneuvers, feat system, etc. but how they aren't supposed to invent their own based on their character experiences. When we seen that they cannot even react to experiences by picking up some feats next time, due speciality rules, one asked "What speciality? We seen our elf girl." And that was it. 

Well, I don´t see the bonuses too high at all. All non-human races gain things like higher damage output and outright immunities right off the batch, plus especial powers like more spells,  free rerolls and higher Hit Points.

Humans get nothing like it, and maybe they are initially slightly better at everything (barely) and given the cap on Abilities at 20 regardless of Race (wich I like) in the long run their initial boost gets less and less impact on their performance, while the bonuses of non-human races (the immunities and higher damage and hit points) get more valuable as Levels increase.

That said, I think the +1 bonus non-human races gain is ridiculous, it should be at least +2 (so you at least asured a neat +1 to those rolls). That probably do it for me.

Also, another trait that could be great to represent the adaptability (and the constant changes they go through as the less long-lived of all races) would be for them to be able to pick 2 Backgrounds (as long as they made sense at GM aproval*) instead of the flat +1 to all other Abilities (they will keep the +2 to any one of their choice). 

*Like a Noble-Knight or a Thug-Soldier or a Charlatan-Thief. Humans change life more than anyone else and do a lot of things in their comparatively short life-span.  
Enerla, let me get this straight....

You had one player wanting to play a graceful, charismatic elf and another who wanted to play a grizzled, adventure-retired human.

So they assigned their stats.... for the sake of argument, I will say they used the set array of stats.

Elf went with High Elf because she thought that would be the most graceful (which is wrong, actually, they are the most aloof and natural at magic).  He went human because .. well... for whatever reason.

He decided he wanted to have DEX prime (-shrug- not sure why, but at this point, I don't have much data) so he gets +2, she got +0.

So, this not-naturally-agile High Elf is +2 on a stat worse than the trained-to-be-agile Human?  Well, yeah, he's going to be better.

All that said, it amounts to very little in the end.  He's 5% better than her on his rolls.  That's it.  Yeah, it matters in one in every twenty scenarios where that +1 would have been the difference between success and failure on some DC, but that's it.

Enerla... let me give you some real advice here for your players.... ROLEPLAY.... if she roleplays a graceful elf and he roleplays an old-retired human, the stats don't mean that much.  She'll still be graceful and charismatic enough to do it (probably +2 at each), perhaps even using her free cantrip (Ghost Sound) to augment her movement with the sound of tinkling bells (giving her a certain je ne sais quoi - mysterious air about her).

The human? He plays a gruff, irrascable veteran who's not much for prancing about.  He never rolls for that graceful crap.

It works.  You don't need ability scores to be wildly different to make roleplay work.  She's graceful enough and his DEX score is just a reflection of his battle-hardened reflexes.  Not his graceful inner pole-dancer.

Okay, now on to your encounter....

Your players want their cake and eat it too, huh?

They want to be able to automatically get Advantage and Attack at once.  I am surprised they didn't want to be able to Knock Down, Distract, put at a Disadvantage, and get Two Attacks for doing something amazing in the same round.

I've had players use Improvise to good effect.  Two nights ago, a Paladin [Priest-Acolyte-Fighter] didn't want to bloody up the tavern when rats attacked so he simply tried to break their backs, an improvised attack, instead of using a weapon.  Another feinted to get by a guard without granting an opporunity attack so they could get to the back row leader, figuring threatening/disabling him quickly might cause the rest of the bandits to lose heart. Etc.

As for your Chandelier Example.  You are wrong and just being a bad DM.  The player is taking one action ("I rush over, swing on the chandelier, and try to crash into him as I fall off it.").  Instead of rewarding the player by letting him do a clever maneuver, you try to point out that there's more than one thing involved in that action.  Yeah, but movement is part of a players turn, so I would reward the player by allowing the Chandelier Swing to be part of him movement (with a DEX check to show the difficulty of it) followed by what amounts to an attack (I'd rule it as sort of a bull-rush opposed STR check, with Advantage if I thought the enemy was surprised by the maneuver).  If the  character succeeds at his DEX (say, DC 12), he'll likely win his Advantage granting STR contest and dramatically send the foe sprawling after swining on the chandelier.

Instead, you penalize your players for thinking out of the box because you want to be a hard-%@# rules lawyer who can't see both the intent of the rules and the spirit of the game.

Sorry, that's the truth.

You need to relax and stop being so critical and tough on the players and the game.  Use some imagination and allow for possibility.  Say "yes" more than you say "no."

You aren't being fair to anyone, yourself included, by trying to find reasons to make the system fail instead of finding ways it works.

And it sounds like your players are following suit.  You've created a negative atmosphere of ridicule and sneering roleplay.  Unless that's how everyone enjoys their RPGs, it sounds like a pretty awful setting to me.
 
Let me ask you this ShadeRaven I know that you are in favor of the +2 bump to stats for the non human races,and I can understand your logic and even agree with it.However how would you see it being implamented? should elves get the +2 too Dex always? should the elves have to give up something? if so what should be taken away from the race that would compair to an addtional +1?
Okay, now on to your encounter....

Your players want their cake and eat it too, huh?
...
Instead, you penalize your players for thinking out of the box because you want to be a hard-%@# rules lawyer who can't see both the intent of the rules and the spirit of the game.

Sorry, that's the truth.
...
 and sneering roleplay.  
 



Okay ShadyRaven, if we are getting personal you can see what you get. I wouldn't post it in this forum normally, as it is better left to PM in most cases, but I feel that the point I want to make at the end warrants the public part of it. 


1st: Like it or not like it is a playtest group, where our aim is to see how D&D Next rules work. We don't want to see how our DMing judgement work. We have to playtest the rules. Not you, not me, not my players, but we test the rules and only the rules as they are written. If the rules without us overruling them based on our judgement and experience don't work they are bad rules. The goal of the playtest is to post and fix them. 


You insulted someone for running the adventure as is, you insult me. For certain amount of insults I would take as a side effect of cultural barrier buth enough is enough. As you asked me what I do on D&D forums, let make a brutal reply here:  If you can't accept that people actually playtest the rules written in the docket and not their own judgement, then why you are in playtest forums? I doubt if we need any people who go offensive whenever anyone actually playtests a game as it is written and exposes the bugs so they can be fixed. So I would suggest to keep your insults and get your agressive tone down. Okay? 


2nd: Like it or not like it, some concepts are considered iconic to D&D and fantasy genre. How all elves worked traditionally with their dex modifier, looks, etc. and how people react to them. If we can replicate that effect no problem we won't see a problem.


Ohh and you forgot 2 things in your offensive nonsense.


A.) AN elf who has grace as main speciality is trained. So when you try to compare "trained" vs "untrained" you already know both are trained. Yet you knowingly make a false statement to back up personal attacks / insults. You spoke about trolling, accused people with that. Should I call you a lieing troll now, or return insults? 


B.) Natural grace isn't tingling sounds, it is how you move, how you look like, etc. and it isn't spells. The players shouldn't work to keep you happy. You aren't special to them. If they want natural grace, and they don't get it, they don't enjoy the game because some iconic traits of an iconic race is misrepresented they shouldn't adjust wishes, gameplay, etc. to keep you happy. 


3rd: You say my players want everything. No. Me, and my players just want one thing. A system where what would you do in character is also possible in terms of system. If it doesn't work: Sorry, we already have a game that matches our needs. Good luck with selling this one, but we won't even consider it. And we don't care how many things would be needed for that action by D&D terms. We only care if it is possible in terms of setting for the imagined character in the given time or not. 

4th: Because your attacks and how you ignore how we speak about a playtest, how with the final product we will speak about our money and our time, how we want certain values for the money we spend, D&D Next seems a lot worse choice now. 


If Wizards cannot keep a place for us clean of your personal attacks, and we cannot provide feedback in a civilized environment, with the finished product we won't be able to discuss stuff in a civilized environment here because of the likes of you, then D&D Next became a lot worse than it would be otherwise. 


5th: If you want efficient playtesting you would need to know when players can be unhappy. In fact their job is to be ten times less tolerant than on their worst day, to model less tolerant players. The reason for testing isn't to get praised by people who jump on people who post issues. But to find and fix all issues. I tested software, games, etc. before and always the goal was to fix all potential issue. And try everything so the product works well even with the most stupid end user, who wants the best performance. Because if he is unhappy and creates negative publicity that costs money. Being negative on test, demanding more fixes, being brutally blunt if you have a serious issue to make sure how bad your oppinion is is the very nature of any testing scenario.

Enarla I'm guessing you never stopped to notice for even a moment that the way the rules work AS WRITTEN that whole chandalier thing is 1 action. Swinging on the chandalier isn't a seperate action from movement, that is part of the movement action. As one single move action the player moves up to the chandalier, jumps onto it, and swings. Individual checks for the jump and or swing aren't seperate actions, they are part of it. If one of them fails then the move action ends prematurely and penalty is imposed at your digression. If they both succeed the player continues as they would with either an attack action (the drop onto the enemy) or trading the attack for an extra move action to continue swinging possibly to a ledge or an empty space on the floor where they keep moving up to their base speed. Seperating those actions to multiple moves is dumb and also not how the rules describe it. Also, it is part of the rules that you, as DM, SHOULD make minor adjustments to keep the flow and feel of the game progressing naturally. Obviously Seperating those actions into multiple rounds disrupts the natural flow and feels unnatural. Therefor it is your job as described in the DM guide to make rulings accordingly to protect that integrity of roleplay
Enarla I'm guessing you never stopped to notice for even a moment that the way the rules work AS WRITTEN that whole chandalier thing is 1 action. Swinging on the chandalier isn't a seperate action from movement, that is part of the movement action. As one single move action the player moves up to the chandalier, jumps onto it, and swings. Individual checks for the jump and or swing aren't seperate actions, they are part of it. If one of them fails then the move action ends prematurely and penalty is imposed at your digression. If they both succeed the player continues as they would with either an attack action (the drop onto the enemy) or trading the attack for an extra move action to continue swinging possibly to a ledge or an empty space on the floor where they keep moving up to their base speed. Seperating those actions to multiple moves is dumb and also not how the rules describe it. Also, it is part of the rules that you, as DM, SHOULD make minor adjustments to keep the flow and feel of the game progressing naturally. Obviously Seperating those actions into multiple rounds disrupts the natural flow and feels unnatural. Therefor it is your job as described in the DM guide to make rulings accordingly to protect that integrity of roleplay

SSaffahh: Swinging this way is described part of an improvise action, and not as a way to move. So I beg to disagree. And seemingly you ignore what is in improvise action. Mind if I ask: if you know it is from the description of improvise action, why do you say it isn't but it is part of a move? 


Obviously stating that improvise and attack are both actions and you can't do them at same time prevents any and all resourceful tactics, where your improvised trick would catch the enemy by a surprise attach.


Obviously the swinging is an action and not a move because it keeps your hands busy for most of the round, so no casting, no grabbing stuff, no drawing sword, etc. can be done. It also rules out most attacks, since you need your hands for that, for long enough to open up the enemy defenses. 

so climbing is not a move anymore? neither is swiming?
"Swing from a chandelier" is one of the example DC13 Dex ability checks
Enarla I'm guessing you never stopped to notice for even a moment that the way the rules work AS WRITTEN that whole chandalier thing is 1 action. Swinging on the chandalier isn't a seperate action from movement, that is part of the movement action. As one single move action the player moves up to the chandalier, jumps onto it, and swings. Individual checks for the jump and or swing aren't seperate actions, they are part of it. If one of them fails then the move action ends prematurely and penalty is imposed at your digression. If they both succeed the player continues as they would with either an attack action (the drop onto the enemy) or trading the attack for an extra move action to continue swinging possibly to a ledge or an empty space on the floor where they keep moving up to their base speed. Seperating those actions to multiple moves is dumb and also not how the rules describe it. Also, it is part of the rules that you, as DM, SHOULD make minor adjustments to keep the flow and feel of the game progressing naturally. Obviously Seperating those actions into multiple rounds disrupts the natural flow and feels unnatural. Therefor it is your job as described in the DM guide to make rulings accordingly to protect that integrity of roleplay

SSaffahh: Swinging this way is described part of an improvise action, and not as a way to move. So I beg to disagree. And seemingly you ignore what is in improvise action. Mind if I ask: if you know it is from the description of improvise action, why do you say it isn't but it is part of a move? 


Obviously stating that improvise and attack are both actions and you can't do them at same time prevents any and all resourceful tactics, where your improvised trick would catch the enemy by a surprise attach.


Obviously the swinging is an action and not a move because it keeps your hands busy for most of the round, so no casting, no grabbing stuff, no drawing sword, etc. can be done. It also rules out most attacks, since you need your hands for that, for long enough to open up the enemy defenses. 





lol... it's like you don't even TRY to make these troll attempts look legit

the text clearly says under "Improvise" that the limits to these are only your imagination AND that the DM should make judgements as to how these actions work as they are NOT detailed elsewhere in the rules.

Additionally, this section, while grouped with the attack actions in text, does not say that it uses up your "attack action" itself to do.  it is simply explained near them.  it does not at all limit you from doing them as part of your move.  Movement in combat is a very short area of text designed to explain HOW to move, not what qualifies as a move.

and to go yet further, to make the swing a part of the move is only one of many perspectives.  the swing may also be a part of the attack action just as easily.  the player can move up to the chandalier, then begin their attack action as a swing and drop all as one complex action.  this option actually frees up the player to be able to then also stand up or regain balance as needed and make MORE movement if they didn't use up their entire movement getting to the chandalier. 
I was not trying to get personal, If I did, I apologize.  I was just replying to what I read.  You all ridiculed the rules without trying to actually examine them and interpret them.  You found one literally way to read them without trying to find a different way to read them.

Most others haven't run into this brick-wall of nothing-can-be-done attitude that you've taken.  I tried, many times, to give you a different take on the game.  Not once have you replied with any slightest budge in trying to see it any other person's way.

I've agreed with you, I've accepted the flaws and suggested ways to make Next/5E better, as have many, many others.

I know I can't be wrong in saying that many of us just don't find you to be willing to even come 10% of the way towards our thinking or trying to understand what *is* in next to work with.  You hammer 100% away at why you think, and I quote, "isn't worse, but much worse" than anything that's ever come before it.

A DM that absolutely hates the game system he's running is not going to have players who'll enjoy it either.

That's all.  Nothing personal, just pointing out what seems obvious to me.
I don't think the human is unbalanced, I would just like their benefit to be something other than straight ability score bonuses. The issue, for me, is it means that the default human is as graceful as a wood elf, as hardy as a hill dwarf, as smart as a high elf, as charming as a stout halfling, etc, which invalidates the bonuses that the non-human races get from a /story/ perspective.
This has been my problem with humans in previous editions as well. They never seem to balance out compared to the other races, either too good or bad.

The bonus to attributes seems to be a lot, but I'm not completely sure how it works within gameplay. Compared to other players the attributes will definetely be above, unless the player rolled stats really low. 
Ant Farm
I don't have any problem with the increased stats, my problem has always been more with how plain humans are presented in this univerce. Though perhaps limited more to my imagination.

That being said, I don't believe that these increases really change anything, since the majority of the races have a broad array of abilties to compensate.

Dwarfs have Immunity to deiease, low light vision, increased damage with certain weapons, the ability to move unhindered in heavy armour and additional adjustments depending on subrace, both of them quite solid.

Elves have a shorter rest period, Immunity to sleep and bless, low light vision, damage increase with certain weapons, advantage on checks based on very useful adventuring abilities and an additional pair of solid bonuses depending on the subrace.

Hobbits are perfectly designed to use sneak attack, can move through hostile creature squares, again gets damage increase on a common weapon type and gets a nice ability that enables them to alter pair of bad rolls for the day. They also get a stat increase and fairly nice abilities depending on subrace.

Humans get a 2 bonus stat points to one section, and 1 in the rest. This has a really nice benfit that combos with class bonuses and enables them to really optimalise their level up growth. Thats pretty much it though, since they don't get any other static benfits that would be useful for a more specialised class (Wood Elves and Hobbits make better rogues and ranged combatants. Dwarves generally are at least on par as Fighters and Immunity to a entire range of deicease is remarkably useful.)

I really don't think it makes them better then the other races since there are very definate perks. The only thing I might consider is raising the static bonus for the subrace bonus up so it's a stat adjustment of 2. Even that might make playing a human largely redundant. I am slightly more concerned about Elves getting advantage on perception more then anything else, since practically nothing  will remain hidden for very long and that wood elves get a extra square of movement for no real reason.
Good points all-'round, everyone. My concerns simply have only to do with the oddly high statistics that human players end up with, not with the advantages provided to the other races - which are quite adequate. No, it just worries me that the human characters - or player characters in general - are going to be hitting the ceiling early on. See, we're not even quite sure what the upper limits of the statistics are going to be. We could end up with limits closer to those found in 2nd Edition - a distinct possibility given the "feel" (yes, there's that word again) the designers seem to be going for - or we could be looking at powerful player characters commonly busting into the mid-twenties ala 3E. I just don't have any idea as to the scope that the designers have in mind.

Now, with that said; Enerla, I've read a few of your posts in various threads, and it's obvious that you, like many others coming into this playtest, have shown up to the party with a somewhat negative outlook. I did as well, and I still have my misgivings, but what you need to realize is this: None of us, not a single bloody one o' us, is gonna end up getting exactly the game we want. That's just the reality, and it's been the reality since the get-go. We have people, like yourself, who enjoy Dragonlance-ish type games (I base this on the frequency with which you've mentioned this particular setting in some of your posts and the style of play you seem to be going for), there are those of us who're 'nards from the old days that can't stand the "twinkfest that was 3E," there are guys like me who were raised on 2nd and ended up loving 3.X, there are the guys who love their powers and grid combat, there are guys whose only concern is to see the "&%$#@$% mess 4E made out of the planar cosmology" repaired, some have shown up simply hoping to see the end of the dragonborn, some guys want a fluff-free system in which they may run any fantasy trope and so "balance" and "death to the sacred cows" are their watchwords, you'll find others who say things like "Want balance, want a system where you can play any trope? Go play X or Y, this is D&D. There are certain assumptions that exist within the rules because of the universe the game takes place in," there are players and DMs hoping to see this edition succeed, and there are players and DMs who just want to see the whole shebang go up in a flamin' &%#$storm. There are thousands upon thousands of customers, every one with their own opinions, and none of them will end up being totally satisfied with the product that's being marketed to them. That's just how the cookie crumbles. Now, I can see where you're coming from, but if you really aren't having any sort of success with this system you need to ask yourself if bothering with it is worth the time and effort. Others have told you that if you're expecting "Enerla: The Roleplaying Game" you're going to end up being terribly disappointed, and I agree with those folks. Mind you, if you can get past that line of thinking, and if you just start running the playtests in a constructive fashion, you might end up at least having some fun with this whole messy process. If you can't see your way to doing that, well, then this is going to be an incredibly frustrating experience for ya. You're here, like most of us, to make yourself heard and to possibly have some input on the way the next edition is gonna end up looking, but if you're hoping for D&D Next to be 100% your D&D... it's very unlikely that you're going to be a customer when Next is in the shops, which is essentially what you've stated in various threads. Also, loosening up a wee bit and  having another look at the mechanics might help you be a bit more successful with your game. And don't waste your time banging your head against a brick wall; trying to run a game with a system you're absolutely frustrated with isn't conducive to any sort of positive gaming experience.

Anyhoo, that about covers it.

Edit: Another observation, folks: I've heard that one of the reasons humans were given the higher stat bonuses was to encourage more people to play them, thus returning D&D to its "humanocentric roots". If this is the case, I must say that it's not working out all that well. Out of a rotating party of seven player characters, I've got a total of two humans. Not even the players familiar with D&D picked human characters, though one was waffling back and forth between a human and dwarf for a bit. I suppose that's something? Anyway, yeah, not sure if what I've heard is a fact or not, but I just thought I'd toss that out there.


lol... it's like you don't even TRY to make these troll attempts look legit

 



As I see you still throw insults and blatantly lie in your posts. Either that or you doesn't understand that the sequence of combat turn specifies you can do one action. And the book lists different actions to choose that one from.


Improvise and attack are both actions. One action each. And core assumption of the system is that you can't combine effects of multiple actions at will, as such combined actions are fighter maneuvers you learn. Like knock down.


And as you see if someone hits you this bad from the back you would both get hit (damage) and would be knocked down which implies it is a knock down meneuver. As the character doesn't have knock down meneuver, she cannot "trip" and "attack" the same time.


When you fall on someone, some of your body parts will hit him with considerable force. At this moment you would "trip" and "hit" him at same time. But by the rules these two effects should happen in separate rounds. Yes, the thing that happen in same time in the setting should belong to separate combat round.


As long as you have specific maneuvers as abilities and improvise is just one more action that takes your one action from round we have this problem.


Supramic: Climing is listed in move part. While swining is listed as improvise action. I think it is because you can climb a ladder, etc with weapon in hand, can try to fight, etc. to some extend, but when you need your acrobatics skills, focus on things, try to keep balance, need solid grab on things so no sword in hand... That is different. But we can't know for sure. 

Enerla.  I think I understand what you are getting at.  You want players to have the freedom to come up with whatever seems a natural maneuver and then allow the entirety of that maneuver to implemented as an action in game.

For example, the swinging chandelier action.

I would include the movement, the athletic/acrobatic action, the resulting impact from the collision, and a follow-up attack against the vulnerable foe before they have time to react (stand up and defend).

Theatrically, it makes perfect sense.  Sounds like a great idea and is in the spirit of roleplay and adventure.

In D&D, it really comes down to the DM and game structure.  Does he want to reward the player for coming up with a clever tactic, knowing full well that to do so can bend the structure of the rules a tad?  Individual DMs will rule on this at their own discretion.

Personally, I would allow it but with the caveat that it will come with a series of difficult DCs to enact.  A few good rolls, and you have a spectacular maneuver that will be memorable.  Or perhaps a few bad ones and you have disasterous failure that everyone will get a good chuckle from.

D&D doesn't have to be limited by the hard structure that is its core.  In fact, I am certain that (if it's not there already), the DMs guide will give a good section on how to adjudicate non-standard actions so that you don't have to deny players their attempts at being creative, you just need to make sure it says within reasonable bounds for game balance.

It doesn't have to be so black-and-white as you present it.  The sky is not, in fact, falling, because you can't find a way to make use of Improvise yourself.  A lot of clever DMs will be able to reward creative players who think out of the box without having to have every possibility included in the game.  And do so without ruining immersion or game balance.

 
Theatrically, it makes perfect sense.  Sounds like a great idea and is in the spirit of roleplay and adventure.

In D&D, it really comes down to the DM and game structure.  



We agree on both counts. But lets see 3 conclusions to this.


As I said we test the game, not the DM, so it should be only determined by the game structure for now. In a normal game I would allow things, but now I shouldn't.


Such things worked in game structure well in early D&D and AD&D edition and each step was one step closer to this goal. Trying to achieve this was iconic element of D&D and this is why we treat D&D a roleplaying game, and this is why we seen D&D and AD&D the leading roleplaying game, because it tried to be one step ahead of competition and several step ahead of video games in this area. Even in game structure. 


If D&D Next fails to support this by its structure, rules and the social contract that is built around the rules, but I seek exactly these values, then D&D Next isn't the best choice for me. In fact while I can compare other games about how much they support these values and this aproach, D&D as it doesn't realy support this with its structure will be among the worst choices. 


This is why I say my problem is with structure... And this is why I don't praise individual changes now, even if some of them are a big step in a good direction. 

As I said we test the game, not the DM, so it should be only determined by the game structure for now. In a normal game I would allow things, but now I shouldn't.

If D&D Next fails to support this by its structure, rules and the social contract that is built around the rules, but I seek exactly these values, then D&D Next isn't the best choice for me. In fact while I can compare other games about how much they support these values and this aproach, D&D as it doesn't realy support this with its structure will be among the worst choices. 


This is why I say my problem is with structure... And this is why I don't praise individual changes now, even if some of them are a big step in a good direction.


Hey, I almost fell out of my chair when I read "big step in a good direction."  I might be wrong (I haven't read every post you've offered), but it is the first positive thing I can remember reading from you about their efforts in Next. 
Now on to the topic.

You can't divorse the DM from the game.  It's impossible.  This isn't a game run by pre-programmed scripts and data.  It's a game run by people.  If the DMs aren't using the material as intended, it's a good indication that the material as presented isn't clear enough or detailed enough to accomplish what they are striving for.

And this is an absolute fact at this point.  There are a lot of conflicting, vague, or missing rules in the playtest packet right now.  It's important for us to report on them so they can clean it up going forward.

As to the point at hand, I contend that they aren't giving you enough to feel free to rule as you want as a DM with the Improvise Action.  I had no trouble allowing for creative players to improvise different actions that weren't standard.  You did.  If your experience is the common one (and even if it isn't, really), then they need to be more detailed and broad in their description so that you don't feel so restrained.

Or if my willingness to allow actions (with associated skill checks) isn't how they want to see it work, they need to clamp down hard on the rules such that I don't read "only limits" are imagination plus DM approval and run with it.

I ran with it.  I ran with a very open-mind and desire to reply to "can I do..." with "yes, but..."

 
You can't divorse the DM from the game.  It's impossible.  This isn't a game run by pre-programmed scripts and data.  It's a game run by people.  If the DMs aren't using the material as intended, it's a good indication that the material as presented isn't clear enough or detailed enough to accomplish what they are striving for.



You are wrong here. Very wrong. Why? Because if D&D would offer far more freedom and immersion than MMOs a lot of people who want that would come over. I seen many people on RP servers in various MMOs who tried D&D and said it is a ****ing strategy game. We need to avoid that. And for this our rules shouldn't depend on an experienced DM. They should help out the newbie DM who is coming from an RP server seeking freedom and immersion. 


That is a significant target group.


But they don't have anyone to overrule the rules in book. They need help from the rules. 


There is another group of newbies. Who have 0 background, and how they play the game is defined by the rulebook they are trying to follow and understand. If the rules as is (as interpreted by the worst rules lawyers) then D&D teaches those new DMs to be bad DMs. 


We are playtesters. We playtest the written version of rules, and not our modified rules in our head, so we should go by the book. Even to the last letter. Rules lawyering is a must. As if we fix these actions now with proposals, then they will work well, and won't have to be overwritten by DM judgement later. 

You are wrong here. Very wrong. Why? Because ifD&D would offer far more freedom and immersion than MMOs a lot of people who want that would come over. I seen many people on RP servers in various MMOs who tried D&D and said it is a ****ing strategy game. We need to avoid that. And for this our rules shouldn't depend on an experienced DM. They should help out the newbie DM who is coming from an RP server seeking freedom and immersion. 

That is a significant target group.


But they don't have anyone to overrule the rules in book. They need help from the rules. 


There is another group of newbies. Who have 0 background, and how they play the game is defined by the rulebook they are trying to follow and understand. If the rules as is (as interpreted by the worst rules lawyers) then D&D teaches those new DMs to be bad DMs. 


We are playtesters. We playtest the written version of rules, and not our modified rules in our head, so we should go by the book. Even to the last letter. Rules lawyering is a must. As if we fix these actions now with proposals, then they will work well, and won't have to be overwritten by DM judgement later.


You are right in regard to the need for the rulebook to be clear and concise, I agree.  It needs to be easy enough to read and not daunting to a new player or DM.

And you are right that it's important for us to report on areas of vagueness or even outright poor structure or in-game application.

Part of the problem is that they just are prepared to release a finished product for us to read in its entirely and comment on as a whole.

But, yeah, I am probably just filling in the gaps because of so many years of experience.  It is important to have some attention given to the possibility that there are completely new to D&D playtesters.

So when someone reports that they can't do what they want because Improvise doesn't allow for much, they need to listen and make sure they adjust the documentation to reflect what they fully intend it to be. 

Still, to say that the DM isn't important to how those rules are applied is not seeing the obvious.  God, I hate disagreeing with you because you'll take this personally, and I am really trying not to make it personal.  The point I am trying to make is that the DM's interpretation of the rules is vital to how the game will be played. 

It's why I said, and I quote, "If the DMs aren't using the material as intended, it's a good indication that the material as presented isn't clear enough or detailed enough to accomplish what they are striving for."

Obviously, you think I am wrong.  Very wrong as you say, quoting my assertion.

I just don't understand why.  You talk about newbies needing help from the rules, then tell me I'm wrong because I say that they need clear and detailed rules.
OK, kids, fight nice Wink!  Both points are valid in their own way.  I think the most important points for a complete newb DM would be the paragraphs you see at the beginning of most of the hardcover sourcebooks & in the modules themselves.  "use this material as a guideline and alter or change it to fit your story, campaign world & specific game.  The game you are running as a DM is yours to fabricate".  And the core rules and any other material can be used as a basic framework to base some adventures on.  Test the rules as written, but if you do houserule something (due to a need or you find that something doesn't work) go for it... and please post it on here for the rest of us.

  Test the rules as written, but if you do houserule something (due to a need or you find that something doesn't work) go for it... and please post it on here for the rest of us.


It isn't about testing as written - and testing the same rules with this. 
It is about how we handle problems. If D&D Next would be a finished product we would have one option: Try to make the bug less visible by overlooking things, fudging things, overruling things


Now we can either do that for fun, or can do something else to help fixing the issue.


Build an encounter where the bug can become visible. Where an attack and a trip action would happen in same round, because the players can improvise. Where you can see sometimes improvise need to include not just one, but two actions described in that section. 


Present this case to developers.


Present a potential solution.


Explain why this is a problem.


Let them fix it.


And play with a fixed rule in next docket. 


Here instead of overlooking problems, we should present them in pronounced form. You should run encounters where the problems you see can become highly visible if your players don't avoid the problem themself, gather feedback about them, analyze the results. You can even ask them to play the game with specific expectations, etc. without revealing what bug you test. If a lot will see an issue as a bug, then by all means report it. 

Where an attack and a trip action would happen in same round, because the players can improvise. Where you can see sometimes improvise need to include not just one, but two actions described in that section. 

Hate to beat a dead horse but...

Trip isn't an action unto itself.  Maybe there's a foreign version that's got different rules?  I don't know.  All I know is that you are restricting Improvised Actions in your playtests because you seem to think that just about everything is covered by some other rule under Actions in Combat.

What you have brought to light very often, though, is the importance of clarified rules and good examples because not everyone is going to be able to run with vague suggestions and "leave it to the DM" rules.  Some DMs are going to need as much in writing as possible because if it's not literally listed, they aren't likely going to allow it.

This is a bit exaggerated, but it's to the point.  No where in Actions in Combat does it say you can hold your breath.  Or cover your nose and mouth with a cloth to avoid a bad odor.   Or do a stop, drop, and roll to try to put out a natural fire that's been set to you.  It's going to almost be impossible to list every practical action a character could perform in combat.  Scratch that, no almost about it.  Once you add in creative, dramatic, cinematic, imaginative, or just-for-flair actions, you'd be lucky to get even a handful of good examples compared to the innumerable whole.

At some point, for better or worse, they are just going to have to give the best description they can  in as few words as possible, and leave the rest up to the DMs to make use of as they see fit.
 
Can I just say I don't understand why there are so many bonuses for stats, both for humans and Demi's.  In the old days you had to roll minimums to play a certain class or race now you get bonuses to reflect the races natural apptitudes, why? Why not just roll and play with what you get?  I think stat bonuses based on racial types just pushes players towards min/maxing vs. just roleplaying.  Not all players, but many.
Can I just say I don't understand why there are so many bonuses for stats, both for humans and Demi's.  In the old days you had to roll minimums to play a certain class or race now you get bonuses to reflect the races natural apptitudes, why? Why not just roll and play with what you get?  I think stat bonuses based on racial types just pushes players towards min/maxing vs. just roleplaying.  Not all players, but many.

There is some truth to that.

No matter how many times I say "just pick a race you want to play", inevitably, they choose one that has a Stat Bonus to match their class.

I don't mind the +STAT options for Classes at all, though.  Reflects the training that went into getting through the apprentiship for it. 
Some people do but that's never been my experience.  We would roll the stats and then decide what race and then decide what class.
I've seen this subject pop up all over the place :P 

Humans seem OP right from the start, just because they get stat bonuses and alot of them. But really, I'm not exactly sure it's that great. I've run two sessions with the new playtest packet now, and I will say that our human fighter got jealous real quick of the dwarf's enchanced damage. Because of that, the dwarf cleric was easily able to keep up with the fighter in damage.

It seems to me that they are making the races more like they used to be in 1e/2e, kind of specialized. They get bonuses in certain areas that really help certain classes, but not all. Humans on the other hand get kind of a generalist blanket, but nothing too amazing for any one class either. Plus they do not gain an extra feat in this version, which is a HUGE hit, and the reason most people played human to begin with in 3.X and 4e.

From my two sessions, at least, humans seem like they could use a little tweak sure, but they don't seem overpowered. Not when the other races are taking advantage of their racial abilities. 
My two copper.
SoilentGrn, divorcing Races from Stat bonuses seems like a good idea, but then we need a list of Racial bonuses for Humans on par with those gained by the other races. We can move the Stat adjustments all the way to Class (making the bonus a +2, maybe even allowing to split it between 2 of the suggested Abilities: A Warrior could get +2 to either Strength, Dexterity or Constitution or get a +1 to two of those, like +1 Strength and +1 Constitution, for example).

EDITED: Another thing that came to mind re-reading the Races: what about the demi-humans being subraces inside the Human Race description, like the diferent subraces of Dwarves, Elves and Halfings; each with their aditional bonuses? So one can play a Human (Demi-elf) same as one can choose to play a Halfing (Stout).