Our Experience

We had a nice playtest experience with the new material. 
But we fond the following problems/bugs:
1 - too low hps at 1st level. grows ok at level 3
2 - the warrior can send to the ground an enemy EVERY turn. Thet's ok, but it triggers the thief's sneak attack, which means you can kill a monster each round with the 2 together. Make it harder to unbalance the enemy, even with the warrior ability
3 - monsters should have the same basic +2 attack bonus players have.
4 - detect magic is OP. It should be reduced to touch range or set as a 1st level spell.
5 - the human bonus stats is a little too much. Expecially since every ability can be target of a saving throw. Make it +2 /+1/+1 or +1 in 2 stats of choice and an additional feat.
6 - Some monsters, like oozes, are so slow players don't have to fight them, just kill them with a bow
7 - low level monster's hps are too low, as well. there should be some basic value based on size (for ex: small = +5, medium = +10,  large = +15, Huge = +25, Gargantuan = +50, Colossal = +100)
Good feedback, Lath...

1) Some do agree with you. (I don't, for whatever that's worth).  Sounds like they made it past level 1 despite the low HPs, though, because....

2) Knock Down at level 5 is nice, yes, but it does have to hit (which, I admit, isn't all that hard right now), sacrifices Expertise Dice (which are important), and messes up Ranged Attacks > 10' away (which can be harsh on wizards, sun priests, archers, etc).

Also keep in mind, that the Fighter has to be Protector (probably common enough, though) and that the creature he knocked down doesn't go before the Rogue because it would just stand up, removing advantage.

On top of that, it also means the Rogue now has to be up in melee range and much more vulnerable to attacks from other creatures.

It's not quite as OP as it seems, really.  But it is a nice combo, for certain.  I can see why some see it as a problem.

3) Yeah.. or maybe players should start at +0 and use stats to start, just like creatures.  Bring a few more Misses into the equation again.

4) I agree that it's too easy.  I liked how 4E did it with Arcana checks..  It put mystery and uncertainty into what could be magical and whether it was found.

5) Seems like some tweaking needs to be done.  Bonus feat won't work, though, as feats aren't an open list (yet, and I hope we don't go down that 3.5E muddled, balance problem path again).

6) Movement and Range has always been tricky.  It doesn't make sense to have everything have equal range and adequate movement.  That's why it's important for DMs to use creatures in approrpriate settings... otherwise, do what I do.  Give 0 XPs for overcoming a challenge that wasn't.

7) Always a tough give-and-take when it comes to HPs.  There's a lot that goes into determining how tough a creature is... better AC, racial features/traits, etc., could all make each creature a little harder to take down.

I don't mind combat moving a bit swiftly at low levels, but some adjustments do seem to be in order.  I just don't want to be back with 4E again where nothing goes down quickly.

If I were at the helm, so to speak, I would tweak different aspects of creatures rather than just go with the easy HP blanket adjustment.  That's both lazy and unimaginative.  Kobolds, for example, would get better DEX to reflect their wiry, hard to hit natures.  It would make DEX attacks hard to land of them, raise their AC, and put more fear into their Ranged Attacks.

So what would a Kobold look like in my 5E?
AC 14 (Leather + 2 for DEX + 1 for race/size)
HPs 3 (harder to hit, but will still go down when landed solidly upon)
Melee: -1 Small Club (1d4-1)
Ranged: +2 Sling (1d4+2)
Mob Tactics +1: Attacks are +1 to hit if at least one other kobold is in reach of the target.

Goblins might be something like:
AC 13, HPs 6, Melee: +0/1d6, Ranged: +1/1d6+1.  They should be tougher than kobolds (more HPs), but not as elusive. (I'd probably be more detailed if I had time/bestiary)


At any rate, there's a lot of ways to make creatures more interesting without just a blanket fix.

Good input, though... everything everyone adds helps mold what Next will eventually be.
Of course, early in a playtest we expect to find problems and bugs. Some of them will not be true bugs, though, as they may just reflect variations in play style. Some fixes suggested here would make for un-playable game for me. (The whole, PC's should die regularly and they shouldn't be heroic -- they are just N00bs mindset.)

 1. I don't want to sound like Microsoft, but I see it as a feature, rather than a bug. PC's will only be level one a short time, so the low HP's help create a feeling of vulnerability, followed by a feeling of greater confidence. Taking damage is a scary thing - something to be avoided, not ignored. But your mileage may vary. 

2. I think Shades has this about right. The players developed tactics that helped them to be extremely successful against their foes. They used teamwork to create synergies between their abilities and styles. I think it sounds pretty cool. Of course, knockdown doesn't even work against all foes and they meet more of those at higher challenge levels -- like from 6-10.

3. I think that player ac's are a bit high right now. One fix is to give monsters a base to hit bonus as you suggested. It could work out ok. But not knowing what is in store for the future means that this might not be the best solution. I think the problem really is that PC AC tends towards 10-12 for wizards and up to 20 for a dwarven sorcerer in chain with shield and a shield spell active. You don't want to create to hit bonuses to hit the AC 20 50% of the time. You have to balance it across the first level ac range of roughly 10-20. That's a big range. I think that it needs to be reduced, rather than having monsters gain a higher to hit bonus.

I don't disagree a lot with Shades, but we don't need a 50% or greater miss rate. I think we need a hit rate around 65-70% and I feel like my playtests have been close to this for PC's. The monsters, well, that's a problem. But one I associate with PC AC, rather than their admittedly anemic to hit bonuses.

4. I haven't noted this at all. Then again, I haven't used any magical items yet. So players aren't scanning everything yet. But I have plans, so you ay be right. I will watch for this.

5. I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but changing the starting trait cap to 18 helps with this a bit. it is too attractive with a starting cap of 20 to go human. I don't think it makes them superman to have a couple extra bonuses, 
But players can't seem to walk away from it.

6. Frankly, I think it is an issue of positioning. The slow moving creature isn't scary on an opfielded, but when you are in a deadend corridor, it is kind of cool. I don't see the need for a fix here, so much as the players are fighting the creature smartly.

7. This is an Issue I struggle with. I like that they can go down from a single axe hit. But a single boot to the head shouldn't do them in. Damage ranges are out of whack and need to be addressed. The ogre is a great example of a creature that should be tougher (level 3?). But goblins should go down to a magic missile. And d4+1 is destined to be the mm damage. But a d12 weapon + 5 + d6 for CS gives an average damage of 15. That is a big damage range (not to mention what the rogue can do). So, at will spells need to do more damage to change the low end, then we can boost monster HP's.

Great report back on issues. Thanks Lath.

Some great points and some valid responses.  I will have to keep some of these in mind when we get into some of this on Saturday.  

As for the Ooze, it might be interesting to have it drop in the middle of the party and watch them all scatter. I also think since they are designed to eat anything you swing/throw at them ranged is kind of the idea.  A chance to let the guy who invested in a bow and arrow be useful or the wizard to be the hero while the fighter runs in circles.

Also the ooze defeated their earlier trip and BS since it has no legs. I think your players are too smart for their own good...time to roll in the cube
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