Designing with fun in mind.

I was browsing the playtest packet and came across this little gem in the spell list under blink spell.
"Special: If you roll a 1 on the d20, roll again. If you roll another 1, you are lost in the Ethereal Plane for 2d6 hours. At the end of that time, you reappear as described above."


Things like this can ruin a gaming session by either making one player have to sit out while the rest of the party continues the adventure or by making the party make irrational in-game decisions that their characters would never make, just so the wizard can rejoin the group.


Please remove things like the above that only serve to detract from fun.
+1
I was browsing the playtest packet and came across this little gem in the spell list under blink spell.
"Special: If you roll a 1 on the d20, roll again. If you roll another 1, you are lost in the Ethereal Plane for 2d6 hours. At the end of that time, you reappear as described above."


Things like this can ruin a gaming session by either making one player have to sit out while the rest of the party continues the adventure or by making the party make irrational in-game decisions that their characters would never make, just so the wizard can rejoin the group.


Please remove things like the above that only serve to detract from fun.


I honestly thought it was a neat little touch. What would be better, I think, would be to include "Optional rules" with each spell like this, so as not to make DMs feel pressured to follow it if it would ruin their scene. Remember the DM can always say "No you don't" . More options is always better than less options I always say.
My two copper.
It is not very fun when you show up to someone's house to game and end up sitting out the whole day due to a fluke 0.25% roll...


Just dont roll 1's....


Seriously though, no one's making you choose that spell. If you want the benefit, take the potential consequences with it. If you don't want to risk getting stuck in the Ethereal Plane, don't mess with magic that teleports you there. 
Mod, good point. If the purpose of the rule is to make magic less predictable, then why is it only blink with a a chance of critical failure? Better, if all times you failed with a spell you could critically fail and have something bad happen to you. Keep the two "1"s in a row so it's more flavor than annoyance, make it an optional rule, and then give recommendations on what could happen based on spell. Blink could be transport to another plane, but make it till a minor quest is complete - for those dms comfortable narrating a "split the party" scenario. Or, make it random teleportation, or a "temporary black hole" or some other hazard for those not comfortable.
For illusions spells, maybe the illusion is real or maybe only the wizard sees the illusion, or maybe everyone fractures into their own reality, or whatever, but give the dm suggestions on how to make arcane failure interesting, or not annoying if not interesting.

As for the comments in dont play with blink - it's a playtest. If people didn't complain about the original fighter, we'd never have gotten cs dice. So, please complain - just do as mod did and highlight the exact problem.
"temporary black hole"


I'd prefer this.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Agreed, this one seems out of place in how random and nasty it is, even though the party is likely to just wait around for the wizard to get back (if possible).  I almost thought it was a joke, about how the wizard would always make the party rest between encounters so as to recover lost spell slots.  I wonder if you can sleep while you're waiting on the ethereal?

The metagame is not the game.

I think you'd have to let them rest while ethereal. Saying they can't would basically mean there are monsters there that they need to watch out for. In which case that 0.25% chance to lose 2d6 hours also includes a 0.025% chance for something else to happen depending on the wizard's level: low level they die, high level they come back with several encounters worth of xp from soloing ethereal monsters.

I suppose they could just say that "you are magically unable to fall asleep on the ethereal plane" but I don't think many people would be happy about that.

On that note, if they can rest freely then what happens if the wizard is trying to get blink to fail? Do they hae a higher chance of it failing? Does it automatically fail?
I was browsing the playtest packet and came across this little gem in the spell list under blink spell.
"Special: If you roll a 1 on the d20, roll again. If you roll another 1, you are lost in the Ethereal Plane for 2d6 hours. At the end of that time, you reappear as described above."


Things like this can ruin a gaming session by either making one player have to sit out while the rest of the party continues the adventure or by making the party make irrational in-game decisions that their characters would never make, just so the wizard can rejoin the group.


Please remove things like the above that only serve to detract from fun.


Personally, I think having a player vanish like that would be crazy fun. That's memorable. 

Remember the time we killed 5 orcs? Nope, me neither.
Remember the time we killed 5 orcs in a tense tactical battle with blocking terrain? Nope, doesn't ring a bell.
Remember the time the wizard vanished in mid-fight with 5 orcs? Oh yeah, that was hilarious!

It's also a 0.25% chance. Chances of doing it are slim.
During my 3e days a very common house rule was if you confirm a crit with a nat 20 you either do a super crit or autokill the opponent. I think we saw it maybe three times. And that was something we were rolling for every combat multiple times not just when casting a single spell.
Plus, since you know that's a risk, you should be careful casting that spell when there's a time constraint on the adventure.

It might derail the game, but's also within the DM's power to say "nah, that doesn't happen" or "you appear back after (what's the minimum time?) 2 hours". 

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I get that it is rare, and some people find it flavorful, but I'm in agreement with the OP. Disappearing in the middle of a fight until it is over, okay, vanishing for up to 12 hours in the middle of a quest? And as a penalty to a 3rd level spell? That's just ridiculous and if played by the rules can be incredibly unfair. After all, you still have to appear within 10 feet of where you left. Any hazards that appear in that rather long stretch of time might have to be faced alone by the wizard, after all in anything involving a time limit or in a monster infested area the party can't just set up camp.

"Well we are deep in the bowel of the evil wizards lair, but let's just stand around for 6 hours and hope he doesn't notice us until Jeff reappears."

For a 3rd level spell this is too harsh a penalty, even as rare as it is, and has too great a chance of ruining a players night. If this were a more powerful spell I might feel slightly different, but it isn't strong enough to warrant this sort of penalty no matter how well the fluff fits together.
Again, leave it in as a option.
My two copper.

I think this is a great opportunity to do a little side quest just for that character. I realize that since its random you can't really prepare for it but if you know your player will use that spell then go ahead and brainstorm and adventure in another plane with lots of weird stuff going on.



I realize its not easy to manage the party in 2 different places, and some people want a straightforward experience, but I love the opportunities this kind of stuff allows. I would personally bend the rules a little bit so that you reappeared near the party, especially if you would otherwise enter a room filled with dangerous creatures.

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