First off, I like the revisions to a lot of abilities!
Zombie Fortitude trait: is an awesomely brilliant example of clever mechanics that don't inflate numbers
Dark Acolytes/Adepts: their spells are SO much better and streamlined now. Easy to use as is.
Goblin's "Sneaky" trait: Attempt to hide at the end of a move without using an action? This makes them scary as heck!
Orc's "Relentless" trait: Kind of wordy, in a confusing way. If I read it correctly, they basically get an extra, free round of combat after being reduced to 0 hp? Cool "last stand" kind of ability...but maybe there's a better way to phrase it?
And second: they fixed those weird XP values! Yay!
Or wait...did they? Some of the XP values are NOT realistic when using the Encounter XP Budget table (Page 11, DM Guidelines 100812)
Here are some examples, with the broken things highlighted in red:
4x Level 1 Players (for a typical starting party)
- Easy encounter = 160 XP
- 8x zombies
- 16x goblins
- 4x Hobgoblins
- Average encounter = 260 XP
- 26x Goblins (or Kobolds)
- 1x Ogre
- 5x Human Berserkers + 6x Fire Beetles (their pets!)
- Tough encounter = 400 XP
- 6x orcs
- 40x goblins
- 40x kobolds
- 20x Zombies
- 13x Skeletons
3x Level 2 Players (the party in my playtest)
- Easy encounter = 210 XP
- 2x Bugbears
- 21x Goblins
- 1x Medusa
- Average encounter = 360 XP
- 1x Owlbear
- 4x Bugbears
- 6x Orcs
- 1x Hobgoblin Leader + 5x Hobgoblins
- Tough encounter = 540 XP
- 54x Zombies
- 1x Troll
- 9x Orcs
- 1x Minotaur + 5x Goblins
As you can see, some of these numbers are just plain silly and completely unrealistic challenges for these low-level parties. What's the source of the problem? Are the values in the Encounter Building table too high? Or are the Monster XP values too low?
Well, from my little encounter building math above, we can see a pattern: these are all level 1 monsters. My guess is that Level 1 monsters have their XP set too low. 10 XP is just not realistic when building encounters with Goblins. And 20 XP is not realistic for Zombies (especially now with their new Fortitude trait).
What are some solutions?
After running the numbers, my best and easiest solution is: Add 20 XP to the level 1 monsters
Goblins are now worth 30 XP
Zombies are now worth 40 XP
- Easy Level 1 encounter (160 XP) would be: 5x Goblins or 4x Zombies
- Average Level 1 encounter (260 XP) would be: 8x Goblins or 6x Zombies
- Tough Level 1 encounter (400 XP) would be: 13x Goblins or 10x Zombies
That seems a LOT more realistic for a level 1 party.
Thoughts? (and pretty please, can we keep this conversation civil and on-topic?)
If anyone would like to keep in touch, PM me here before the shut down and we'll exchange details.
My improvements to the Ranger: A Better Beast Master Ranger.
Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!
Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.
Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus.