The (very) good, the bad and the ugly (about my playtest)

Hello everyone

I'm not even sure this is the right place to post this, but here is my group's feedback from our 3 game sessions so far.
(mixed group of relatively old gamers who learned to play with 2nd edition, and a few who learned from 3.0. Everyone has been an enthousiast roleplayer for at least a decade)
 Everyone seems to love the way DnD next is shaping up to be. The classes seem balanced enough to everyone's taste. Love the way you made humans an interresting choice again. The older praise the simplicity that is reminiscent of the old days, while 3.5 and 4th edition fans don't seem to miss full-round attacks, concentration checks and attacks of opportunity. 

The good:
Our biggest surprise as a group and my absolute favorite addition to the game are the tomes. This is an amazing idea! information gathering has always been a very important part of our games, and clues are as good as gold when it comes to treasures.
With tomes, we get at the same time:
1: a plot-moving device
2: a source of additional skills
3: a Mc Guffin for a quest
4: a clear, simple mecanic that define what mundane books do. (And are as powerfull as you want)
5: non-magical treasure that my players absolutely love 
6: non-magical treasure that can scale with level and stay relevant throughout any kind of level progression (just increase the DC of the book) 
7: finding old grimoirs was always a stapple of DnD, but now, it doesn't have to be spellbooks
8: a reason in and of itself to visit libraries...or build one
9: "Knowledge is power" defined
Even if it doesn't make it into the final game, this idea will be included through house-ruling in all my futur games.

The sorcerer, being retooled is great: 3.5's sorcerer was too much of a wizard variant for people who disliked vancian magic. And since the sorcerer is here to stay and people's need for a core-class "Gish" has never really been met before, this change feels right on many levels. 2 birds with one stone.

The bad:  
Not a whole lot to tell, minor details mostly.
-The societale lore skill seems useless to me and my group. Any information that can be obtained from it could also be gained from heraldic lore, history lore, or simply diplomacy...
-Same thing with Undead lore. Anything you could gain from it could also reasonnably be gained from Magical lore, forbiden lore or religious lore. 
- Many of my players seem to want a "reckless attack" option. Something that spells throwing caution to the wind to be more brutal. We used to make intensive use of the charge action in 3.5. We also played with a house-ruled variant of power attack that lowered AC to boost damage.
So far, i've allowed them advantage on an attack, at the cost of granting advantage to anyone who attacks them. But once the rogue in my group figures it out, this option is out. Maybe something that would be the opposite of the "full defense" action (the one that grants +4 on AC and dex saving throws) Like: -4 AC and dex saves for a turn, and in return you gain... (something).

The Ugly:
I miss the Wizard being names the MAGE
I sort of miss weapon specialization (under any form) 

Thank you for your attention 
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I also totally love the tome rules!
Very great summary, but one thing...



The Ugly:
I miss the Wizard being names the MAGE
 



I'M GLAD SOMEONE ELSE FEELS LIKE THIS. Seriously, I hate the term wizard. I call them Mages in my game regardless.
Nice input.

Lore skills have always been difficult to pin down.  So much is left to the DM with them that it's difficult to comment on.  I made use of it, simply because I needed to.  I've always used a lot of imagination when it comes to giving benefits to Lore because they are never an obvious choice for selection compared to the more "useful" skills.

I agree.. some sort of "power attack" would be easy to implement, simple to apply, and add some simple spice to combat. 
Nice input.

Lore skills have always been difficult to pin down.  So much is left to the DM with them that it's difficult to comment on.  I made use of it, simply because I needed to.  I've always used a lot of imagination when it comes to giving benefits to Lore because they are never an obvious choice for selection compared to the more "useful" skills.

I agree.. some sort of "power attack" would be easy to implement, simple to apply, and add some simple spice to combat. 

If power attack is added, then hard limitations need to exist to make sure it doesn't get out of hand. I'm pretty sure the system already has them in the form of the capped stats and limited RNG system. Just saying though, tread carefully.
I wasn't talking about a literal "power attack" like in 3.5. (which I actualy house-ruled OUT of my games, because attacks were becoming arithmetics sessions)

I said my players would like an "agressive attack" option... Any mecanic that trades safety for results.

Something that works like charge did in 3.5 would be fine (what was it again, +2 to hit, -2 to AC ?)
Or an opposite of 3.5's expertise 
Or the opposite of the parry action in DnD Next (that would be +4 to attack, for a -4 to AC and Dex saves... or something like it)

it doesn't have to be complicated, or even powerfull, but sometimes you really gotta kill that orc who's attacking the princess, as fast as possible.
It would actualy be better if it was UNDERpowered, otherwise it would be used all the time. Something with a negative trade-off... that you know is not a good deal to make, for when you don't have a choice.

Speaking of orcs: their rage ability  is a good example of what my players would like I think...
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com