D&D Next Q&A: Specialties, Level Progression and Small Heroes

In this week's D&D Next Q&A, Rodney gives us some insight into specialties as miniature multiclassing, varying advancement rates, and the challenges of designing small player races.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

Yes! This one’s easy for us to address. We can provide alternative advancement rates for whatever pace people want to set for their campaigns. We’ll probably pick one as a default for Organized Play, but otherwise that’s a great example of something that we can provide relatively easily—a chart and an explanation of the impact it will have on your game, and you’re ready to go.



I hope that puts to be the mistaken assumption by certain people here that there won't be default rules.

 What are the challenges of figuring out how to handle small size player character races like halflings in D&D Next?

The biggest challenge is finding out just how light of a touch we can put on those mechanics and have them still feel satisfying to players. In general, the smallness of the small races has the potential to be so detrimental that it deters players from playing them: if the penalties for playing the race are too stiff, why bother? On the other hand, ignoring the smallness is ignoring a defining trait of these races. Plus, we want to make sure that the characters make sense mechanically given their small stature. So, looking at the halfling, we nod to the smallness as a detriment by barring them from heavy weapons (something likely to only affect classes like the fighter and the barbarian), but we also turn it into a boon with their Nimble trait. I think when we look at the gnome, we’ll likely try and achieve the same kinds of things.


 

Good to hear that you are working on ways to keep the small characters from being less proficient with certain classes.

Players hate disadvantages and will reject class/race combinations that are inferior just because of the race choice.  

I don't see that Halfling Nimbleness makes up for not being able to use the best weapons. If that were the case, then the halfling would be overpowered in any build that does not use a heavy weapon, and that does not seem to be true. 

If nimbleness is the advantage for being small, then that should be part of the small trait so people have a better understanding of the pros and cons of being small. 

Personaly I think that if you can't figure out what advantages there are to being small, then there should not be disadvantages. Just make it so that small creatures have to resize any 'heavy' weapon down to a smaller size before using it, but keep all the same weapon stats. If you want to come up with complicated alternate rules for size advantages/disadvantages let the DMs decide if they want to add them into their campaign.  
Some questions I had no interest in at all...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
So Small is a flaw feat which lets the race gain an extra bonus feat.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

So Small is a flaw feat which lets the race gain an extra bonus feat.



I like the idea of adding flaws into the game. That way the guys who have a backstory that includes things like 'fear of spiders' or 'bi-polar' could get some goodies for making a character with flaws.

I don't think 'small' makes a good flaw however. Having a penalty that does not affect your class (weapon restrictions and push/knockdown limits) would be nice for those who want a free feat.  
I am glad to hear they consider implementing alternative advancement rates  with XP table variants for people to opt for the pace they prefer. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I am really sorry for going off topic but im loving watching Lokiares signature go up. Truly mixed reviews there.

Actually on topic, I think there needs to be a HUGE list of minor flaws, such as the fear of spiders and such as mentioned above for a DM to pull on and could have lots of practical uses such as random effects of potions / fear effects and the odd permanent effect on a player who takes it. Small shouldnt be a special detriment, it should be one of the many detrimental effects in the game that most people contend with at some point. 
I am really sorry for going off topic but im loving watching Lokiares signature go up. Truly mixed reviews there.

Actually on topic, I think there needs to be a HUGE list of minor flaws, such as the fear of spiders and such as mentioned above for a DM to pull on and could have lots of practical uses such as random effects of potions / fear effects and the odd permanent effect on a player who takes it. Small shouldn't be a special detriment, it should be one of the many detrimental effects in the game that most people contend with at some point. 



Why not get one for yourself? Its free, just click it and create one...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Specialities: I like having them, I hope there will be rules (or guidelines) for making our own, and options for not using them at all without losing something significant.

Level Progression: Love the idea of having different progression rates.

Small: I have been and continue to be against banning heavy weapons from small characters. There's no reason behind it that I can see other than "they're too big for Halflings to handle" (and to scrape up a reason to make Small PCs different from Medium ones). Fie! Halflings have weaponsmiths, and any decent weaponsmith can make a 2-handed sword exactly to a Halfling's measure. For that matter, a good smith would be able to make a two-handed sword to the measure of the person commissioning the weapon, be it Halfling, Human, or Ogre.

WotC, PLEASE don't base use of a weapon on the assumption all weapons are made for human-sized people. If that were the case, how do giants end up with giant-sized weapons? Fine, Halflings can't use human-sized large weapons. But there's absolutely nothing keeping them from using Halfling-sized large weapons.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Specialities: I like having them, I hope there will be rules (or guidelines) for making our own, and options for not using them at all without losing something significant.

Level Progression: Love the idea of having different progression rates.

Small: I have been and continue to be against banning heavy weapons from small characters. There's no reason behind it that I can see other than "they're too big for Halflings to handle" (and to scrape up a reason to make Small PCs different from Medium ones). Fie! Halflings have weaponsmiths, and any decent weaponsmith can make a 2-handed sword exactly to a Halfling's measure. For that matter, a good smith would be able to make a two-handed sword to the measure of the person commissioning the weapon, be it Halfling, Human, or Ogre.

WotC, PLEASE don't base use of a weapon on the assumption all weapons are made for human-sized people. If that were the case, how do giants end up with giant-sized weapons? Fine, Halflings can't use human-sized large weapons. But there's absolutely nothing keeping them from using Halfling-sized large weapons.



Yeah, instead of taking away two-handed weapons simply make reach weapons lose 5' of reach or something...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Q&A Haiku Time!
Q&A goes soft...

Ever consider
Specialties to multiclass?
Soft multiclassing!

Different XPs
for different advancements?
Softball questions?  Yes!

Small player races...
What pluses and minuses? 
Soft fighting, hard stealth!
Specialities: I like having them, I hope there will be rules (or guidelines) for making our own, and options for not using them at all without losing something significant.



well in my opinion the simplest option for not using them would be the folowing.

turning all specialties into feat chains, where the ability you gain at level one is a prerequest for the one you gain at level 3.

so a small example you are a player that has decided not to use themes.
at level 1 you chose the two-weapon fighting feat from the dual wielder specialty/feat chain. .
when you gain another feat at level 3
you could chose to take two-weapon defence being the 2nd feat in the dual wielder tree and having two-weapon fighting feat as prerequest.
or you could chose the first level feat from any of the other feat chain (specialty) for example the ambusher feat the first feat from the lurker specialty/feat chain.
Even reach shouldn't be denied categorically simply because the weapon is sized for small. For example, a longspear might lose a little bit of length, but not enough to warrent adjusting reach. Granted, most of the weapon weights are abysmally inaccurate based on historical records. Most heavy weapons that rely on the weight of the weapon's head to deal damage would be affected if the overall weight needs to be reduced (I question that). Now, I could see adding minimum Strength requirements for certain weapons, specifically the heavy weapons. Let's say most of the heavy weapons require a 15 Str in addition to the actual training in order to use without penalty. If I have a halfling fighter with 15 Str, then I should be only required that the weapon be sized accordingly, but the actual game stats shouldn't change.

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Specialties are great.  I like them a lot.  If I was king of D&D and I was going to implement something cool in the next iteration, I would make that cool thing nice and beefy.  I plan on building specialties that will replace multiclassing, gestalt, and most of the specialties that have been offered in the playtest.

There are somethings that should be offered in Specialties.  Don't make pre-requisites for Specialties.  Prereqs are dead.

For instance, instead of a prereq to cast a spell to get Necromancer, why not provide one minor necromancy at-will, like a cantrip or orison?  Plus, how would you be a Necromancer and have no skill in Forbidden Lore? 

Same for Duel Wielder.  Provide proficiency with Finesse Weapons.

Same for Archer.  Provide proficiency with Military Range Weapons.

Same with Guardian.  Provide proficiency with a shield.

Survivor should grant a daily resource to get advantage on a save besides just an amazingly interesting....1d8.~

I hope they get multiclassing right.  Good luck with that.

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Halflings have weaponsmiths, and any decent weaponsmith can make a 2-handed sword exactly to a Halfling's measure. For that matter, a good smith would be able to make a two-handed sword to the measure of the person commissioning the weapon, be it Halfling, Human, or Ogre.



Thats an excellent point. You mentioned Giant sized weapons, why NOT have a table for small sized weapons? You could even have some weapons on the medium table unusable by small/giant and some on small table unusable by medium. A small size 2 Handed Sword would be near unusable by a medium character because the hilt would be all wrong and the balance would be off, but a small size Bastard sword would be usable by mediums because of the way its made to be used. Things like that.

I think treasure that is odd sized could make for some interesting scenarios. It can also make for DM's hosing their players. Still, I like the idea 
Yes! This one’s easy for us to address. We can provide alternative advancement rates for whatever pace people want to set for their campaigns. We’ll probably pick one as a default for Organized Play, but otherwise that’s a great example of something that we can provide relatively easily—a chart and an explanation of the impact it will have on your game, and you’re ready to go.



I hope that puts to be the mistaken assumption by certain people here that there won't be default rules.



There's a difference between "default for organized play" and "default for everyone." 

There's no way not to pick a ruleset for organized play.  Conflating that with a "system default" is still incorrect.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Dual wielding war weapons or using a bow are the best options for rangers in medium to dense forest.
One day, rangers weapon styles will be determined by the background of rangers…

Edit : Okay, it was just an allusion to rangers in the article, but I don't need more than that to be really angry.
Yes! This one’s easy for us to address. We can provide alternative advancement rates for whatever pace people want to set for their campaigns. We’ll probably pick one as a default for Organized Play, but otherwise that’s a great example of something that we can provide relatively easily—a chart and an explanation of the impact it will have on your game, and you’re ready to go.



I hope that puts to be the mistaken assumption by certain people here that there won't be default rules.



There's a difference between "default for organized play" and "default for everyone." 

There's no way not to pick a ruleset for organized play.  Conflating that with a "system default" is still incorrect.



personaly i might even like to see multiple defaults.

so forgotten realms might have it's set of default rules and darksun another set of default rules.

so not a default set for everything but based on campaign setting alouwing for campaign settings to feal very difrent from eachother when you play them with their default rule sets.
All these complicated considerations about small races when it would be far more easier to handle them like familiars or pets.
I hope large character races get Strength +1 and are barred from using finesse weapons.  If the world is designed for medium characters, then non-medium races should suffer equally.
The metagame is not the game.
personaly i might even like to see multiple defaults.

so forgotten realms might have it's set of default rules and darksun another set of default rules.

so not a default set for everything but based on campaign setting alouwing for campaign settings to feal very difrent from eachother when you play them with their default rule sets.


Which is all but required from picking an established, published campaign setting.  And it also completely blows out of the water the concept of a default that Max has been suggesting.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Dual wielding war weapons or using a bow are the best options for rangers in medium to dense forest.
One day, rangers weapon styles will be determined by the background of rangers…

Edit : Okay, it was just an allusion to rangers in the article, but I don't need more than that to be really angry.

Eh, that's OK, if WotC didn't manage to post something that pissed off someone everyday they'd get their pay docked.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Dual wielding war weapons or using a bow are the best options for rangers in medium to dense forest.
One day, rangers weapon styles will be determined by the background of rangers…

Edit : Okay, it was just an allusion to rangers in the article, but I don't need more than that to be really angry.

Eh, that's OK, if WotC didn't manage to post something that pissed off someone everyday they'd get their pay docked.



I guess its my day off then...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Dual wielding war weapons or using a bow are the best options for rangers in medium to dense forest.
One day, rangers weapon styles will be determined by the background of rangers…

Edit : Okay, it was just an allusion to rangers in the article, but I don't need more than that to be really angry.

Eh, that's OK, if WotC didn't manage to post something that pissed off someone everyday they'd get their pay docked.

In fact, I didn't really have something interesting to say on these subjects…

Except that small characters should take twice the normal damage, balanced by an ability to avoid any combat.

Or that any creature gains a free stamp attack against smaller creatures. They gain a free stamp attack for each size category difference with the target, balanced by reduced prices in every toy shops.

Yes! This one’s easy for us to address. We can provide alternative advancement rates for whatever pace people want to set for their campaigns. We’ll probably pick one as a default for Organized Play, but otherwise that’s a great example of something that we can provide relatively easily—a chart and an explanation of the impact it will have on your game, and you’re ready to go.



I hope that puts to be the mistaken assumption by certain people here that there won't be default rules.



There's a difference between "default for organized play" and "default for everyone." 

There's no way not to pick a ruleset for organized play.  Conflating that with a "system default" is still incorrect.



You're right.  I misread the organized play.  So it still remains to be seen whether they will make defaults for the game, or whether they release a complete flop that requires many hours of work on the part of everyone who wants to make the game playable.  My money is on defaults ;)
Dual wielding war weapons or using a bow are the best options for rangers in medium to dense forest.
One day, rangers weapon styles will be determined by the background of rangers…

Edit : Okay, it was just an allusion to rangers in the article, but I don't need more than that to be really angry.

Eh, that's OK, if WotC didn't manage to post something that pissed off someone everyday they'd get their pay docked.

In fact, I didn't really have something interesting to say on these subjects…

Except that small characters should take twice the normal damage, balanced by an ability to avoid any combat.

Or that any creature gains a free stamp attack against smaller creatures. They gain a free stamp attack for each size category difference with the target, balanced by reduced prices in every toy shops.




Look that's the same kind of logic that lead to weak at low levels godlike at high levels which led to many games being played in the middle levels...

Please don't encourage balancing like that...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
You're right.  I misread the organized play.  So it still remains to be seen whether they will make defaults for the game, or whether they release a complete flop that requires many hours of work on the part of everyone who wants to make the game playable.  My money is on defaults ;)


Fortunately, we don't have to rely on your assertion that it's impossible to do what they're trying to do.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The first two questions here are pretty trivial. The bit about specalties is obvious. What would be interesting was to know if the designers every really considered using only specialties and taking normal multi-classing out. The multiple XP charts is another obvious bit. A lot of role playing games have done this or some variation of it. Having some advice on XP rates and what it means for campaigns will be useful though. One of the things that mucked up my campaign planning in 4e is that characters advance so fast that it alters the way you have to design campaigns.

The character size issue is one of those things that tweaks different people in different ways. Finding the right compromise that makes halflings feel like small characters without leaving them with crippling disadvantages or funneling them into certain specific classes is hard. This is compounded by some people hating the idea of having any disadvantages at all, while others feel that every difference should be expressed as mechanical differences in the rules.

WotC, PLEASE don't base use of a weapon on the assumption all weapons are made for human-sized people. If that were the case, how do giants end up with giant-sized weapons? Fine, Halflings can't use human-sized large weapons. But there's absolutely nothing keeping them from using Halfling-sized large weapons.

That was the system used in 3.0, and it was taken out as to annoying, too complex and still left halfling fighters at too big of a disadvantage. Mechanically it could work in Next, because combat superiority means fighters are not as dependent on straight weapon dice for damage. However, the complexity of having to give every weapon a size probably excluded it from the base game.

I'm torn when it comes to small characters and large, two-handed weapons.

My first instinct is to say that they should be able to use such weapons.  This sort of penalty isn't actually a penalty for some classes.

But then I realize that this is no different from certain benefits that races have.  For example, a type of elf that gets a bonus to Int.  This isn't much use to a Fighter at all, and so isn't much of a benefit in that case.

In addition, we aren't talking about huge damage loss here.  The halfling with a bastard sword deals 1d10 damage, vs the 1d12 of a bigger race with a greatsword.  Not really something you are going to notice, especially when you are having a blast playing the halfling fighter that you wanted to play.

Lastly, the best part about D&D is that anything goes because it is your game.  If you feel that halflings should be able to use greatswords and other heavy weapons, let them.

I do think that small size should come with some sort of disadvantage and advantage.  Otherwise, small size is just another descriptor without meaning, like hair and eye color.  Small characters should FEEL small when you play them.
Not really something you are going to notice, especially when you are having a blast playing the halfling fighter that you wanted to play.

I know that it would prevent me from ever playing a halfling two-handed weapon fighter, unless they introduced some other weapons to fit a similar niche.  In my case, though, rather than the (negligible) decrease in damage, I just really don't want to ever have to say the name of that weapon.

I really hope they can produce at least the core books without the inclusion of such offensive language.  I'm not saying they should Bowdlerize it, or something (even I would think that "heckfire" sounds worse than the obvious alternative), but there are ways to design a game with naming conventions such that these situations need not arise.

The metagame is not the game.
Not really something you are going to notice, especially when you are having a blast playing the halfling fighter that you wanted to play.

I know that it would prevent me from ever playing a halfling two-handed weapon fighter, unless they introduced some other weapons to fit a similar niche.  In my case, though, rather than the (negligible) decrease in damage, I just really don't want to ever have to say the name of that weapon.

I really hope they can produce at least the core books without the inclusion of such offensive language.  I'm not saying they should Bowdlerize it, or something (even I would think that "heckfire" sounds worse than the obvious alternative), but there are ways to design a game with naming conventions such that these situations need not arise.


So call it a "Hand and a Half Sword".  Call it a "War Axe" even.  All it is really is a two-handed slashing weapon dealing 1d10 damage.

So call it a "Hand and a Half Sword".  Call it a "War Axe" even.  All it is really is a two-handed slashing weapon dealing 1d10 damage.

I'll hope that there's an official war axe with identical stats, but if I'm just making up my own labels, then I'm still going to have to explain it to the DM if I want my character to be allowed. 

The metagame is not the game.
Dual wielding war weapons or using a bow are the best options for rangers in medium to dense forest.
One day, rangers weapon styles will be determined by the background of rangers…

Edit : Okay, it was just an allusion to rangers in the article, but I don't need more than that to be really angry.

Eh, that's OK, if WotC didn't manage to post something that pissed off someone everyday they'd get their pay docked.



I guess its my day off then...

No no, lokiare, you're their JOB INSURANCE PLAN. ;)
That is not dead which may eternal lie
You're right.  I misread the organized play.  So it still remains to be seen whether they will make defaults for the game, or whether they release a complete flop that requires many hours of work on the part of everyone who wants to make the game playable.  My money is on defaults ;)


Fortunately, we don't have to rely on your assertion that it's impossible to do what they're trying to do.

I don't think it is a big reach to believe that the rules will present a default option for every core D&D rule system. What would be the alternative? That every newbie that picks up a set of DDN will have to decide what sort of magic system, healing, and etc options are going to be used in their game? Pardon me if I find that notion faintly absurd.

Looking deeper though it is impossible to imagine that all sorts of permutations of different modules interactions will all be tested against each other. That rapidly becomes impossible. They will all be tested with some baseline set of other rules in place, and perhaps some of the more likely combinations will get a look at, probably because developers will actually try those in the course of tinkering and in-house PT will run into them. So there will be in effect a default set of rules assumptions under which everything will be assumed to work.

My guess is that organized play will start from there. If it is say LFR then obviously they might use some LFR specific modules and options. Its possible they'll use other ones for other public play, but again I'd guess just for reasons of sanity that all of these would be very close to whatever the default assumed core rules are. Thus FR will assume core rules and maybe modules A, and B, and DS might assume core and modules B and C, and Eberron A, C, and D, etc.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I don't think it is a big reach to believe that the rules will present a default option for every core D&D rule system.


Given that the last article about magic systems says that they're going with the exact opposite approach, I don't understand how you can still hold to this position.


Fortunately, we also don't have to rely on what you consider absurd to determine whether WotC can achieve their goals.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I don't think it is a big reach to believe that the rules will present a default option for every core D&D rule system.


Given that the last article about magic systems says that they're going with the exact opposite approach, I don't understand how you can still hold to this position.


Fortunately, we also don't have to rely on what you consider absurd to determine whether WotC can achieve their goals.

Yes, well, when they say things that obviously haven't been fully thought through and are thus absurd I ignore them. I mean they're busy people, they say things. They get questions and they fire off answers. Happens all the time.

Again, CLEARLY, when you open up your DDN PHB (or whatever) you're going to go through and create a character of one or another of the core classes and it WILL use some set of rules. There's simply not going to be any point to the brand new newbie players and DMs trying to figure out that they do or don't like Vancian casting or whatever the heck. There WILL be a default. There are also likely to be basic character sheets and other things that pair up with those defaults. Again, the more you consider the ramifications of there not being a default core set of rules the more you realize how absurd that is from a product line standpoint, it just isn't going to happen.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
So you can't possibly be wrong, because if they say something that doesn't agree with what you think it's just absurd? 

Sorry, not acceptable.



You say there WILL be a default.  That's demonstrably false, and it's been false in every edition D&D ever created.  For races, and for classes.  There are no defaults.  They're all equally acceptable, equally pickable by someone just cracking open a book.  Those brand newbie players somehow figure out that they don't all have to play a Human Fighter, and yet you still claim that that's just "absurd" when applied to other parts of the game?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
So you can't possibly be wrong, because if they say something that doesn't agree with what you think it's just absurd? 

Sorry, not acceptable.



You say there WILL be a default.  That's demonstrably false, and it's been false in every edition D&D ever created.  For races, and for classes.  There are no defaults.  They're all equally acceptable, equally pickable by someone just cracking open a book.  Those brand newbie players somehow figure out that they don't all have to play a Human Fighter, and yet you still claim that that's just "absurd" when applied to other parts of the game?

Honestly it is just irrelevant what you consider correct or incorrect or acceptable or not acceptable. If you have an actual logical argument for something then present it, otherwise your comments along those lines are just irrelevant.

As for the argument you are making here, this is not what I was talking about. I, and I'm pretty darn sure the other people that mentioned this, am talking about the core rules. There will be rules for how weapons work, spells are cast, etc. These WILL be the default rules for these things. There may or may not be optional modules that have different rules. Some parts of the game may be ENTIRELY optional rules (IE there is no default skill system perhaps, though I doubt this for other reasons).

Of course there won't be defaults for character options. I mean there may be some for introductory purposes, but they will be attached to some sort of intro or some 'builds' or whatever that are useable by new players. And YES it is absurd to assume that new players who have NO CONTEXT for what these choices mean will be prepared to pick a spell casting system or a skill system. It makes NO SENSE AT ALL. There will be a default assumed initial choice for each of these necessary parts of the game. I am 100% certain of this. You're welcome to store up this assertion and flog me with it a year or two from now when the game releases, but I'm quite confident I'm right on this score. As much as D&D 4e and 3.x were both flogged for being hard to get into they are simply NOT going to make that mistake again.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Thank God! They're giving us an XP chart. That's a weight off my mind. 

Bullet dodged.

Am I right? 
Honestly it is just irrelevant what you consider correct or incorrect or acceptable or not acceptable. If you have an actual logical argument for something then present it, otherwise your comments along those lines are just irrelevant.


You're right, what I consider correct or not is just as unimportant as what you do.

But as far as "actual logical argument" goes, how can you justify going aganist what the stated goals and intent of the developers are?

I'm not claiming 100% positively, absolutely, there will be no defaults.  I'm claiming that the intent is that there will be no defaults, and that there is absolutely zero rational basis for assuming otherwise.  There could be, there could not be.  But you have absolutely no grounds to state with any authority whatsoever that they WILL do anything.  At all. 

You say you're 100% certain, and yet I've presented a direct counterexample to your claims (races and classes do not have defaults, and will not have defaults in Next), provided direct developer motivation describing how they don't want to do what you're 100% certain they will do, and described how all of your certainty boils down to unfounded assumptions about how they're going to present things that haven't even hit initial playtesting, let alone given consideration for book layout.

You talk about actual logical arguments - why should anyone believe yours, when it's able to be dismantled piece by piece?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition