Legends & Lore: This Week in D&D

Legends & Lore
This Week in D&D

By Mike Mearls

For this week's column, I thought it would be interesting to give everyone an insight into what we've been working on. As I write this, we're focused on the next playtest packet, which will cover character levels 1 through 10. It sets the stage for our push into high-level play and also gives us a chance to make sure everything functions smoothly as we scale things up. So, here are updates on classes, backgrounds, and specialties.

Talk about this column here.

This Week in D&D

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

It seems like they are pretty far along with these ideas. I am wondering why they didn't release these changes in packet 3 (like we were expecting).

Any idea when these changes will be released? 
im glad they are changing skills back to be looser. however, the magic user stuff just sounds like a total mess, but thats what happens when you try to be everything for everybody. im glad they are kind of killing the warlock and sorcerer though, they were pretty terrible. they looked like essentials on bad acid. now they need to redo the magic item system completely, from top to bottom.

its a shame to hear him say this:

"The core D&D game, which is the starting point for new players and the game of choice for veteran players who want a streamlined system, is mostly done at this stage. This game looks a lot like D&D as presented in D&D Basic Set or in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia."

first of all, this is nowhere close to as good a game as b/x or becmi, and it frankly shocks me to see mearls actually compare 5e to those classics. stop it.

second, it sucks to see him say the core is mostly done at this stage. that basically means i am not going to like the game. still, i am going to wait and see.
This article was very reassuring to me. WotC is indeed listening to the general populace of gamers, and thier decisions reflect it. While I don't always agree with that consensus, I can appreciate the effort. WotC gets major kudos for finally realizing the need for a martial/arcane hybrid that sits opposite the cleric. It also looks like the cleric should be getting choices in casting style, not just arcane, which is truly awesome.

I do agree that the statement that the "core" is nearing completion is being over-optimistic. There are still large gaps in rules and guidelines that need to be polished, which will make a notable impact depending on how well it is done. Still, they get props for making good strides with every major playtest packet, and continuing the trend of actually listening to their playerbase.

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I am good with pulling back Sorcerer and Warlock as i agree they need more polish. Renaming the Sorcerer as something else and embracing the gish version seem like the path it may take. I am glad to hear people prefer that casting mechanics rest at the system level rather than class level and i think the magic-user class might be a good compromise here.  

Wizard Signature spells as 5 minute spells is a nice addition to his arsenal and the tradition start to shape rater nicely.

I prefer the Cleric to have Turn Undead as an ability rather than a spell. The set of generic deities reminds me of the AD&D 2nd edition generic pantheon included in the Player's Handbook for Clerics to choose from.

For Fighter, a simplified version of it probably means removing the Combat Superiority mechanic, and perhaps getting something more straightforward in return ?

I am glad to hear the Rogue Skill Mastery dialed down the emphasis on near automatic success!

I am very happy that Backgrounds now give four skills instead of three, and that they are once again back to giving a bonus to a roll regardless of what ability you're using and stop being associated to an ability scores. It give more freedom in their application as a Skill modifier regardless of the ability check used. 

Specialties now feels more like their name imply, specialization with assembly of Feats  for  two-weapon fighting specialist or shield specialist for exemple.

Very happy to hear the core system of D&D Next is mostly done at this stage and that they're working on an advanced version of the game.  This is where newer design concepts, advanced rules etc.. will start to take shape even more. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Overall good artical. Now to see the meat.
im glad they are kind of killing the warlock and sorcerer though, they were pretty terrible.


"pulling back a bit" is not the same thing as "killing"
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
It seems like they are pretty far along with these ideas. I am wondering why they didn't release these changes in packet 3 (like we were expecting).

Because they wanted a packet focused on just magic items? That's what we're going to be playtesting this weekend. I like being able to do a very focused playtest on one or maybe two aspects of the game.

I'm eager to see the future packets, too. I really like how this is shaping up so far.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I don't know that the rogue was particularly skill starved in the first place, that they've added even more skills for it... At least everyone else will get more, now.
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
If Backgrounds now give training in 4 Skills, i assume Rogues will now get 8 Skills trained in instead of 6 with their additional Background selection through Rogue Scheme.

I assume the Skill list will get bigger as there is crrently 23 Skills, out of which 13 are Lore Skills, otherwise this will enable Rogues to train in mostly all none-Lore Skills (8/10)  

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

After all the debate on what is default, core, or optional and how it interplays it is good to hear they are concentrating on the core classes. It was a necessary discussion to explore all the options, and I came to the conclusion that one way to present different styles of play is offering different representations of the core classes. So a wizard is between all editions of D&D, the sorcerer may be more of a true vancian caster, and the warlock is the on the other side of the spectrum to give a 4E feel (martial feel). But they are all part of the same core class. This could be applied to fighter, where the barbarian is a simplified version of a fighter, and the monk is a representation of the "wushu" or maneuvers based fighter. While the bard represents the magic based skill master, and the ranger is more combat oriented. And finally the druid would be a simplified cleric, while the paladin demonstrates the martial aspect. All of the above goes back to the arguments that were made when it was first mentioned to pick a class to represent a certain style of play. The circle is now complete.

In regards to removing channel divinity, I am on the fence, because it does explain a link to the diety by using a clear term, just like domains, so I will have to wait and see.

At some point they will have to revisit modules, default, and optional terms in respect to creating adventures and organized play. For home campaigns, it will be decided by the group.
Casters: good. Go back and fix it.

Rogue: Rogue skill chances should be somewhere between the first and second playtest. Rogues shouldn't fail easy stuff but should be better than other at harder stuff without automatically succeeding.

Skills: My only fear is that skills still have tiers. In 90% of games, Open Lock, Find traps, Stealth, and Perception are more valuable and used than others. Each background should have "High Use" skill in it.

Fighter: What? So Deadly Strike is default and you spend dice to do something other than deadly strike?

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!

I still would like to see a skill focused option for non-rogues, but it looks like that may not happen. Something akin to the lore warden in PF for fighters, et al.

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I am White/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
Glad to see System-Level casting instead of Class-Level. Hopefully this means the Cleric can use different casting systems as well.

Interested in seeing Wizard Traditions. Will Signature spells be unique to one tradition or regular spells that the tradition allows you to regain? And will the cantrips from a tradition be unique to that tradition or will tradition just get it for free or more powerful.

I'm glad that they are changing the Sorcerer name to something else. It just does not feel like what a Sorcerer should be. I have always enjoyed Gishes and the current Sorcerer class has potential as a class, just not as the "Sorcerer" class.

So it seems like the Magic-User class will contain several other classes (Wizard, Sorcerer, Warlock, maybe more). This does however bring up several questions.

Will a new type of Sorcerer (different from the current Gish Sorcerer) be included in the next packet?

How will your class be described? Will you be a Magic-User with type Wizard or will you just be called a Wizard?

How similar will these sub-classes be? If they are very different from each other then why not give them their own class?
Possible Answer: I am thinking that the different sub-classes will still be pretty distinct, but will share a Magic-User Spell List (although their access to these spells may also be different)


Glad to see Turn Undead changed back to a feature. Not sure if removing channel divinity is the way to go, but as long the Cleric has a way to heal that doesn't use up their other resources (this includes actions) I will be happy, although I didn't see any mention of how Clerics will heal without channel divinity and that worries me a little.

Happy to see skills and rogue skill usage refined. No mention of changing rogues combat options also worries me.

Interested in seeing what the "very simple fighter" is. I thought the current fighter allowed for a simple playstyle (using only Deadly Strike and Parry), although this makes Fighting Style useless. Perhaps the simple fighter will just use Deadly Strike and Parry and eshew Fighting Style for some other more passive benefit. Or maybe they just eshew Combat Superiority all together for something else.

Don't know how I feel about the claim that the Core is "Mostly Done". Hopefully this means that 'most areas are covered' and not 'these rules are set in stone'
I liked absolutely everything said in this article. I have nothing to complain about.

That is strange and unfamiliar to me. I..I'm a little frightened.
I too feel real good about this article.  It shows they are definitely listening to the playerbase.  I've been despairing a little of late when it comes to the game so this came at a good time.

I especially like the idea of the magic user. 
How will your class be described? Will you be a Magic-User with type Wizard or will you just be called a Wizard?

That would depend on whether "Magic-User" was a class or just a class category. (Personally, I prefer "mage" to "magic-user," but that's just me. ) If you choose to be a rapier-wielding, Dex-based dynamo, would you call the character a Fighter or a Duellist? If you choose to be a divine-based woodsman who preserves nature and has an animal companion, would you call the character a Cleric or a Druid?

I tend to describe my characters in terms of job descriptions rather than class descriptions: Selena, Priestess of Sune (cleric), Elspeth, Warrior of Syf (paladin), Kitharis, Battlemage of Torm (swordmage), Fallon (no one's quite sure what she is, but I built her as a rogue). If I built a book-learned mage, she'd probably be referred to as "wizard" by those who know her.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Any idea when these changes will come out?

Honestly I was expecting them in the 10/08 packet. Before its release, several articles mentioned packet 3 containing levels 1-10.
As Mike said, it won't be long before the next playtest packet is available, which should include many of the changes discussed in this Legends & Lore IMO.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

im glad they are changing skills back to be looser. however, the magic user stuff just sounds like a total mess, but thats what happens when you try to be everything for everybody. im glad they are kind of killing the warlock and sorcerer though, they were pretty terrible. they looked like essentials on bad acid. now they need to redo the magic item system completely, from top to bottom.

its a shame to hear him say this:

"The core D&D game, which is the starting point for new players and the game of choice for veteran players who want a streamlined system, is mostly done at this stage. This game looks a lot like D&D as presented in D&D Basic Set or in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia."

first of all, this is nowhere close to as good a game as b/x or becmi, and it frankly shocks me to see mearls actually compare 5e to those classics. stop it.

second, it sucks to see him say the core is mostly done at this stage. that basically means i am not going to like the game. still, i am going to wait and see.

Yup, I've been saying this for a good while, the basic mechanics are simply NOT going to change once you've hit about the 2nd round. People that somehow thought the game was going to change in any big way just don't get how it works. I still think we're going to see a release next fall as well. Mark my words...

I also have to agree with you that neither is DDN as tight a design as Mentzer Basic, nor is it shaping up in anything even faintly resembling a way that interests me. Why wait? I mean obviously we're going to see it when it shows up, but I'm on to other games. It was a nice blast from the past to have a decent edition of D&D to play for a bit, but there are other more interesting things out there. Frankly WotC has lost my interest.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
I like the idea of creating magic-user as a sort of meta-class and creating classes below that. It should help to simplify the rules by making clear what applies to all users of magic and what applies only to a specific type.

After looking at feedback on the sorcerer, I would not be surprised if we renamed the class, tweaked its flavor a bit, and brought a true warrior/mage class to the core of the game.

That is the one thing in this comment that really worries me. I actually like the current sorrcerer, I just think it plays a little funny because the picked a melee oriented sorrcerer for the sample. This would be a problem if all of the varients they where looking at where melee, but I never got that impression.

I don't want to see an invented gish class stuck in Next as an initial option anyway. Not only would it be taking up design time better spent on other things, but there is also the huge problem that there are a lot of gish concepts. Some specalize on magic to enhance the caster to make them effective in melee, others concentrate on high powered rarely used spells and use mundane swordplay for normal fighting, many are someplace inbetween, some are light armor, other heavy armor, and some depend mostly on protective magic. There are also huge differences in how much magic they use, some are mostly spell casters who can fight enough to defend themselves, some are balanced and some are mostly warriors who know some magical tricks for certain situations.

The wizard will receive traditions, which can include at-will spells and signature spells that are regained 5 minutes after casting them. Typically, a wizard has one spell that is a signature spell and can regain only one casting of it. The at-will spell and the signature spell tie in to the wizard's tradition.

As long as there is a generalist or universalist tradtion that doesn't tie the character to one type or theme of magic. I would also like to make a Next wizard with no cantrips or encounter powers at all, but that probably should be an option for grognards who want to play a really old school D&D wizard.

Instead, you gain special abilities based on your god. The manuscript includes a set of generic deities that speak to the common archetypes that appear in different pantheons.

Sounds good, just make sure they are actually useful in practice. There is a long tradition of these sets of options contaiing several very interesting options conceptually that never get used in the game because they are neither powerful nor practical. There should be several different war-cleric melee options with different power sets, but there only needs to be a couple of non-combat focused ones.

Right now, we're focused on creating a set of options that allow someone to play a very simple fighter.

Sounds about right, the Next fighter is not particularly complex but I know several people who will prefer something even simpler.

We've made a few minor changes here. Backgrounds now give four skills instead of three, primarily because we've tweaked skills back to giving a bonus to a roll regardless of what ability you're using. Thus, a DM only ever asks for an ability check. The player either adds the skill or asks the DM if it is appropriate.

Sounds like the original packet. This takes a bit more adjusting to get used to because it is very different then how D&D used to work but has a bunch of advantages. Narrower skills allows for more variation in character design, and more space for skills appropriate to a character concept that won't get used often in practice. Hopefully they include some advice on how to use this sort of system effectively in the game, because it takes a bit of practice for the D&D to ask for checks in a way that makes clear why skills might apply without giving away any secret information.

Mike has said over and over again that it will be a two year development cycle and I believe there was some hinting at tying in with the 40th Anniversary.

Kalex the Omen 
Dungeonmaster Extraordinaire

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Concerning Player Rules Bias
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
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Concerning "Default" Rules
Kalex_the_Omen wrote:
The argument goes, that some idiot at the table might claim that because there is a "default" that is the only true way to play D&D. An idiotic misconception that should be quite easy to disprove just by reading the rules, coming to these forums, or sending a quick note off to Customer Support and sharing the inevitable response with the group. BTW, I'm not just talking about Next when I say this. Of course, D&D has always been this way since at least the late 70's when I began playing.

I too feel real good about this article.  It shows they are definitely listening to the playerbase.  I've been despairing a little of late when it comes to the game so this came at a good time.

I especially like the idea of the magic user. 




I agree and it's a great direction for the game.     I think they tried their best to experiment with other ideas, but in the end it didn't work out.

They've come to the realization having a class grouping like magic-user is the best design, but 2e figured that out long ago.  

 


"The wizard will receive traditions, which can include at-will spells and signature spells that are regained 5 minutes after casting them. Typically, a wizard has one spell that is a signature spell and can regain only one casting of it. The at-will spell and the signature spell tie in to the wizard's tradition."

Just when you think they are getting the idea, they pull back and dash your hopes again. What is this like the 4th time now?

"The rogue is receiving a greater emphasis on skills. The rogue receives more skills and continues to be the best at using them, though we have simplified those mechanics and dialed down the emphasis on automatic success. DMs were frustrated that rogues had no real risk of failure. It distorted the game in irritating ways."

They failed here. The Rogue isn't a skill monkey. Its a class that deceives. It was only depicted as a skill monkey because the only way to mechanically deceive in previous editions was to use skills. This is seen with the feint, tumble, bluff, etc...etc... skills.

What they need to do is take a look at some of the threads around here. There are some great ideas for Rogues that focus on deceit...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.
"The wizard will receive traditions, which can include at-will spells and signature spells that are regained 5 minutes after casting them. Typically, a wizard has one spell that is a signature spell and can regain only one casting of it. The at-will spell and the signature spell tie in to the wizard's tradition."

Just when you think they are getting the idea, they pull back and dash your hopes again. What is this like the 4th time now?

"The rogue is receiving a greater emphasis on skills. The rogue receives more skills and continues to be the best at using them, though we have simplified those mechanics and dialed down the emphasis on automatic success. DMs were frustrated that rogues had no real risk of failure. It distorted the game in irritating ways."

They failed here. The Rogue isn't a skill monkey. Its a class that deceives. It was only depicted as a skill monkey because the only way to mechanically deceive in previous editions was to use skills. This is seen with the feint, tumble, bluff, etc...etc... skills.

What they need to do is take a look at some of the threads around here. There are some great ideas for Rogues that focus on deceit...

I agree, 'skill monkey' is kind of a bad concept for a class. Its OK for a CHARACTER, but it was never a good idea overall for the game to force any character that wants to BE a skill monkey to be one specific class.

There could easily be all sorts of different flavors of 'jack-of-all-trades' and pigeonholing it to the sneaky deceptive trickster character archetype is way limiting IMHO. This was an area that was a HUGE HUGE win for 4e.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
im glad they are changing skills back to be looser. however, the magic user stuff just sounds like a total mess, but thats what happens when you try to be everything for everybody. im glad they are kind of killing the warlock and sorcerer though, they were pretty terrible. they looked like essentials on bad acid. now they need to redo the magic item system completely, from top to bottom.

its a shame to hear him say this:

"The core D&D game, which is the starting point for new players and the game of choice for veteran players who want a streamlined system, is mostly done at this stage. This game looks a lot like D&D as presented in D&D Basic Set or in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia."

first of all, this is nowhere close to as good a game as b/x or becmi, and it frankly shocks me to see mearls actually compare 5e to those classics. stop it.

second, it sucks to see him say the core is mostly done at this stage. that basically means i am not going to like the game. still, i am going to wait and see.

I find I agree with everything you just said. If the core is done, it stands to reason that it's going to resemble closely what we've seen. Makes me wonder if the rhetoric of appealing to fans of all editions was just smoke and mirrors or if their heads really that far stuck up a nearby dark and tight space. 

...whatever
im glad they are changing skills back to be looser. however, the magic user stuff just sounds like a total mess, but thats what happens when you try to be everything for everybody. im glad they are kind of killing the warlock and sorcerer though, they were pretty terrible. they looked like essentials on bad acid. now they need to redo the magic item system completely, from top to bottom.

its a shame to hear him say this:

"The core D&D game, which is the starting point for new players and the game of choice for veteran players who want a streamlined system, is mostly done at this stage. This game looks a lot like D&D as presented in D&D Basic Set or in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia."

first of all, this is nowhere close to as good a game as b/x or becmi, and it frankly shocks me to see mearls actually compare 5e to those classics. stop it.

second, it sucks to see him say the core is mostly done at this stage. that basically means i am not going to like the game. still, i am going to wait and see.

I find I agree with everything you just said. If the core is done, it stands to reason that it's going to resemble closely what we've seen. Makes me wonder if the rhetoric of appealing to fans of all editions was just smoke and mirrors or if their heads really that far stuck up a nearby dark and tight space. 




Yeah, if the core is done, I'm wasting my time here...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.

"The rogue is receiving a greater emphasis on skills. The rogue receives more skills and continues to be the best at using them, though we have simplified those mechanics and dialed down the emphasis on automatic success. DMs were frustrated that rogues had no real risk of failure. It distorted the game in irritating ways."

They failed here. The Rogue isn't a skill monkey. Its a class that deceives. It was only depicted as a skill monkey because the only way to mechanically deceive in previous editions was to use skills. This is seen with the feint, tumble, bluff, etc...etc... skills.

What they need to do is take a look at some of the threads around here. There are some great ideas for Rogues that focus on deceit...



Well, I wouldn't be so quick to suggest that the rogue is a class that is focused on deceit.    It all depends on how you define the term "Rogue". Lets not forget that a bard in some editions falls under the rogue group.    

In fact, when I look at all the role playing kits available in 2e for the Rogue classes I see a different picture. For the theif there was Acrobat, Adventure, Assassin, Bandit, Beggar, Bounty Hunter, Buccaneer, Burglar, Cutpurse, Fence, Investigator, Smuggler, Spy, Swindler, Thug, and Trouble-shooter.  There was also a number of concepts for the bard such as True Bard, Blade, Charlatan, Gallant, Gypsy-bard, Herald, Jester, Jongleur, Loremaster, Meistersinger, Riddlemaster, Skald, Thespian.
  
Now, not all of those class concepts need to be based on deceit.   In some cases they are "skill monkeys" and in other cases they are based on deception just as you suggest.    With that said, I'd rather have a system for the rogue that is more general in nature and not force a particular concept on the class.   I hope that I'll be able to  pick a background / speciality and create a deceptive rogue, a skill monkey, or even a thug who uses fear and brute force to solve his problems.    Railroading the rogue into one particular idea isn't the way to go, and it's bad for the game. 






Nothing in this article is much of a surprise. The moment I read his suggestion about magic systems being modular within the class I knew we'd see a few caster "omniclasses" that just acted as frameworks for systems. I wouldn't be surprised if they go that road for more than just casters.


As for the core... Well there's no point asking for feedback on spells and classes if the core systems isn't working. We have to have a medium to play them with that's going to remain fairly stable or our feedback would be useless.

I don't know. Casting systems at the system level sounds much more like everyone will be locked into Vancian casting as the default with other systems as optional rulesets for the entire campaign. Kind of like spell points or recharge based casting in 3rd. And probably used about as often.  Sigh. I hate Vancian casting.

Why on earth do all clerics have to learn Turn Undead? Another blow against flexible characters. Not that Channel Divinty was anything better as written. It could and should have been, but it wasn't.

Of course the core rules are about done. That should be obvious. They aren't going to introduce major changes to the way combat works at this point, nor are they going to change anything about attributes or make major changes in races. What backgrounds, specialties and classes do is pretty much set as well with only minor tweaks to the overall rules and perhaps significant chages to specific examples (poor warlock).

"The rogue is receiving a greater emphasis on skills. The rogue receives more skills and continues to be the best at using them, though we have simplified those mechanics and dialed down the emphasis on automatic success. DMs were frustrated that rogues had no real risk of failure. It distorted the game in irritating ways."

They failed here. The Rogue isn't a skill monkey. Its a class that deceives. It was only depicted as a skill monkey because the only way to mechanically deceive in previous editions was to use skills. This is seen with the feint, tumble, bluff, etc...etc... skills.

What they need to do is take a look at some of the threads around here. There are some great ideas for Rogues that focus on deceit...



Well, I wouldn't be so quick to suggest that the rogue is a class that is focused on deceit.    It all depends on how you define the term "Rogue". Lets not forget that a bard in some editions falls under the rogue group.



And the bard uses their charisma and music and poetry to deceive others into doing what they want by manipulating their feelings...

In fact, when I look at all the role playing kits available in 2e for the Rogue classes I see a different picture. For the theif there was Acrobat, Adventure, Assassin, Bandit, Beggar, Bounty Hunter, Buccaneer, Burglar, Cutpurse, Fence, Investigator, Smuggler, Spy, Swindler, Thug, and Trouble-shooter.  There was also a number of concepts for the bard such as True Bard, Blade, Charlatan, Gallant, Gypsy-bard, Herald, Jester, Jongleur, Loremaster, Meistersinger, Riddlemaster, Skald, Thespian.
  
Now, not all of those class concepts need to be based on deceit.   In some cases they are "skill monkeys" and in other cases they are based on deception just as you suggest.    With that said, I'd rather have a system for the rogue that is more general in nature and not force a particular concept on the class.   I hope that I'll be able to  pick a background / specialty and create a deceptive rogue, a skill monkey, or even a thug who uses fear and brute force to solve his problems.    Railroading the rogue into one particular idea isn't the way to go, and it's bad for the game.



All of those archetypes you mentioned use some form of deceit to get what they want. Acrobats trick the crowd into thinking they are in danger when they could do their acts in their sleep. Adventure is too generic to be useful since every class is adventurer. Assassin use the shadows to deceive their targets and surprise to trick them into being vulnerable. Bandits set ambushes. Beggar plays on emotions. Bounty Hunter tricks their prey into getting captured. Burglar tricks guards, traps, and other things to sneak in and steal stuff. Cut purse tricks people to steal with them. A fence tricks the authorities into not capturing them when they sell stuff. An investigator tricks witnesses and their prey when they try to seek the truth. Smugglers trick authorities into not knowing what they are smuggling. Spy is obvious. Swindlers swindle. Thugs ambush and make sure they have an advantage in fights.

All of them use some form of deceit to do what they do...

As I said before. Skill monkey was just how they granted the Rogue and Bard the ability to deceive...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.
I'm a bit way of a generic Magic User grouping, part of class identity for me is the way a class casts/uses magic; if it's like 2nd Ed groupings, that's great.

The rest of it I dig, I'm glad the core of the game is done, I think 5th Ed has a very conversion-friendly and simple chassis.
To those who complain that they don't like that the "core is done," what do you think core means, and is it the same as what Mearls thinks it means?  If "the core" means the basic rules framework before we add exceptions - ability checks vs a DC, with advantage and disadvantage when appropriate and skill/class bonuses when appropriate, and DC for attacks set by AC - I really don't see what the problem is (feel free to tell me).  All that stuff works just fine IMO.  The problems are in the specifics - monsters without enough HP or attack bonus, classes that get no opportunity to shine in certain pillars, rogues that literally can't fail most of their checks, etc.  I don't think WotC is saying that that's "done."  I would be shocked if the final MM1 still gives kobolds a -2 to hit, or rogues still take 10 (particularly when the kobold thing is wrong by the rules as written, and they've as good as said they're changing the rogue thing, in this very article).  I don't think that's what they mean when they say "the core is done."  So I wouldn't flee the scene just yet.

Although I'll admit to having given up on getting a rogue I'd ever consider playing.  Seriously WotC, you think the problem is insufficient emphasis on skills?  Really?  When the rogue has basically nothing but skills to recommend itself?
if the core is done, then 5e is the worst edition of d&d of all time


Elaborate.  What does it need?  What parts of it don't you like?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
if the core is done, then 5e is the worst edition of d&d of all time


Elaborate.  What does it need?  What parts of it don't you like?



eh i had already deleted my post to avoid arguments. you are fast on the draw, it was up for all of like 5 seconds. but just to answer you

1. I hate the classes; I hate the design of the classes. I hate the Fighter, I hate the Rogue, I hate the Wizard, I hated the Sorcerer and Warlock, but I do not have to worry about them any more. I like the Cleric...sort of.
2. I hate the magic item system, I went into more detail on this in the thread but I feel they did not succeed in recapturing the classic feel of items. The fact that they have suggested levels for items, random tables based on encounter difficulty, and prices for items simply astounds me.
3. I don't think they have the base to hit numbers right for PCs or monsters. I don't think they have Hit Points right. I don't think they have produced ANY healing systems that I can get behind, let alone a modular series of systems.
4. The new adventure is better than most 4e adventures but still sucks; still felt really railroady.
5. I don't like the skill lists.
6. I think the Specialties, up to this point, suck and encourage "same-y" PCs.

I am going to lunch, if I think of anything else, and you really care, I will give you more. But the bottom line is, I don't really like the whole layout of Background, Specialty and Class, I don't like the classes, I mean the only things I do really like are having Skills basically be Ability Checks; so that was the positive I took from this article. But to say this is like BECMI? You have got to be kidding.
if the core is done, then 5e is the worst edition of d&d of all time


Elaborate.  What does it need?  What parts of it don't you like?



eh i had already deleted my post to avoid arguments. you are fast on the draw, it was up for all of like 5 seconds. but just to answer you

1. I hate the classes; I hate the design of the classes. I hate the Fighter, I hate the Rogue, I hate the Wizard, I hated the Sorcerer and Warlock, but I do not have to worry about them any more. I like the Cleric...sort of.
2. I hate the magic item system, I went into more detail on this in the thread but I feel they did not succeed in recapturing the classic feel of items. The fact that they have suggested levels for items, random tables based on encounter difficulty, and prices for items simply astounds me.
3. I don't think they have the base to hit numbers right for PCs or monsters. I don't think they have Hit Points right. I don't think they have produced ANY healing systems that I can get behind, let alone a modular series of systems.
4. The new adventure is better than most 4e adventures but still sucks; still felt really railroady.
5. I don't like the skill lists.
6. I think the Specialties, up to this point, suck and encourage "same-y" PCs.

I am going to lunch, if I think of anything else, and you really care, I will give you more. But the bottom line is, I don't really like the whole layout of Background, Specialty and Class, I don't like the classes, I mean the only things I do really like are having Skills basically be Ability Checks; so that was the positive I took from this article. But to say this is like BECMI? You have got to be kidding.



What's your favorite D&D edition if I may ask?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.
if the core is done, then 5e is the worst edition of d&d of all time


Elaborate.  What does it need?  What parts of it don't you like?



eh i had already deleted my post to avoid arguments. you are fast on the draw, it was up for all of like 5 seconds. but just to answer you

1. I hate the classes; I hate the design of the classes. I hate the Fighter, I hate the Rogue, I hate the Wizard, I hated the Sorcerer and Warlock, but I do not have to worry about them any more. I like the Cleric...sort of.
2. I hate the magic item system, I went into more detail on this in the thread but I feel they did not succeed in recapturing the classic feel of items. The fact that they have suggested levels for items, random tables based on encounter difficulty, and prices for items simply astounds me.
3. I don't think they have the base to hit numbers right for PCs or monsters. I don't think they have Hit Points right. I don't think they have produced ANY healing systems that I can get behind, let alone a modular series of systems.
4. The new adventure is better than most 4e adventures but still sucks; still felt really railroady.
5. I don't like the skill lists.
6. I think the Specialties, up to this point, suck and encourage "same-y" PCs.

I am going to lunch, if I think of anything else, and you really care, I will give you more. But the bottom line is, I don't really like the whole layout of Background, Specialty and Class, I don't like the classes, I mean the only things I do really like are having Skills basically be Ability Checks; so that was the positive I took from this article. But to say this is like BECMI? You have got to be kidding.



1.  Failure to elaborate.
2.  Useful.  Gives targeted information to address specifically.
3.  Useful.
4.  There have been precious few adventure modules I've played that weren't railroady, this is not a system problem, it's an adventure module writing problem.'
5.  Failure to elaborate.
6.  Failure to elaborate.

D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition


What's your favorite D&D edition if I may ask?Smile



Thats a tough one. I am DMing B/X and 4e currently, but if I was exiled to a desert island and could only take one edition....urggggg so tough but I would have to say 1st edition AD&D.



eh i had already deleted my post to avoid arguments. you are fast on the draw, it was up for all of like 5 seconds. but just to answer you

1. I hate the classes; I hate the design of the classes. I hate the Fighter, I hate the Rogue, I hate the Wizard, I hated the Sorcerer and Warlock, but I do not have to worry about them any more. I like the Cleric...sort of.
2. I hate the magic item system, I went into more detail on this in the thread but I feel they did not succeed in recapturing the classic feel of items. The fact that they have suggested levels for items, random tables based on encounter difficulty, and prices for items simply astounds me.
3. I don't think they have the base to hit numbers right for PCs or monsters. I don't think they have Hit Points right. I don't think they have produced ANY healing systems that I can get behind, let alone a modular series of systems.
4. The new adventure is better than most 4e adventures but still sucks; still felt really railroady.
5. I don't like the skill lists.
6. I think the Specialties, up to this point, suck and encourage "same-y" PCs.

I am going to lunch, if I think of anything else, and you really care, I will give you more. But the bottom line is, I don't really like the whole layout of Background, Specialty and Class, I don't like the classes, I mean the only things I do really like are having Skills basically be Ability Checks; so that was the positive I took from this article. But to say this is like BECMI? You have got to be kidding.




I could be wrong (actually I'm sure I am partially wrong), but i don't think   2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 are what Mike is talking about when he says core is "mostly" done.  And clearly they don't think 1 is done because they mentioned changes were coming.  It seems to me that everythign you list is either not what Mike considers core or the parts that easily fall in the parts that aren't done.  
Looks like Mearls and team continue to be like a headless chicken going round and round without knowing what to do,  there is no clear objective, goals or objectives...
What unnerves me is the "Magic-User" as a category/Class and basing multiple variations of that for more complexity. Perhaps it's just the name "Magic-User" that, to me, screams Generic Childish name. Mage would be a FAR preferrable name that fits the generic nature of all casters.

As for a simplistic Fighter, I could see them swapping out Combat Superiority for a static, boring bonus to attacks and damage or maybe a bonus to Improv actions (like getting a bonus to Bull Rushing).