10th Level Playtest (10-29-12 packet)

The highlights of our DM + player feelings on playtesting 10th level characters (10-29-12 packet) on included adventure:



  • PRO: We liked Words of Power.



  • PRO: Fighter class felt like it is moving in the perfect direction.



  • PRO: Magic items felt like they were going the right direction of being interesting and unique, yet not required or game-breaking.



  • Rogue needs a complete redo. We had a Dex-based fighter with Dex-skills that outclassed the rogue in every way except for skill mastery, which didn't even seem to matter (the important skills were already +6 to +8 or so, and succeeded without mastery). Rogue should not use same expertise dice/maneuver mechanic as fighter, and if it does, there shouldn't be SO much overlap in their choices. Rogue "sneak attack" should not be same as fighter's "deadly strike", yet have more conditions in order to pull it off. Rogue needs its own unique mechanic and do different things. Someone suggested applying conditions to foes via sneak attack. Sounds good to us.



  • Rogue formerly got darkvision from the class. That was cool and made it unique. Bring it back!



  • Game felt less smooth than previous packet



  • Classes became less diverse than previous packet (damage, defenses, attack far too similar across characters/classes)



  • Still too many skill choices (especially knowledges); Perception (spot/listen/search) should be one skill and should fall under Wisdom (not Search under Int and spot/listen under Wis).



  • We used the "Experimental Rule 2: Healing & Rests" and it was GOOFY: the amount of healing on the "refocus" was WAY too low for anyone to waste their action doing it, and the out-of-combat healing suddenly stopping at bloodied felt arbitrary. In their description of Hit Points (page 17), it says that at no less than 1/2 your max HP, you have no signs of injury and below that, you only show signs of wear, such as cuts and bruises. The distinction between these states is pretty minor in our opinion. You suffer no real bleeding injury or serious trauma until you hit 0 HPs. We see no reason to cap your out-of-combat "resting" (healing) at bloodied, and refocus should heal at least double what it does now.



  • Critical damage felt needlessly complicated. Use a simple mechanic that's easy to remember. (a) max results and add extra damage equal to your character level, or (b) max results and double it, etc.



  • 10th level wizard/cleric had WAY too few spells. In the past, 10th level characters were borderline "legendary" people of the world. This packet even says characters of 11th level might get their hands on artifact-quality magic items, which certinaly implies their level of power to be high. Let's face it, at 10th level, you want to be tossing off the fun stuff... fireball, dispel magic, fly, ice storm, dimension door, stoneskin, dominate person, hold monster spells. That's all 3rd/4th/5th level. In this packet, you get two 3rd, two 4th, two 5th per day and that's it. It is simply not enough.



  • Because wizard/cleric had so little spells, it also had the side effect of neutering their ability to toss off "utility" spells. Cast water breathing on your buddy... only one 3rd level spell left for the day. Cast spider climb on the rogue... only one 2nd level spell left for the day. Same goes for the cleric heals. This is a pretty harsh system for a caster to operate in. We felt the progression should be replicated for non-combat spells (i.e., if you got two 3rd level combat spells per day, you also got two 3rd level non-combat/utility spells per day, etc.). Either that, or (Gasp!) have a chance that caster's spells recharged like some monster powers do (roll a 6 on a d6 at the end of each encounter, and one of your spent spells came back, rolled randomly).



  • There was a feeling that clerics should have a class feature to heal (i.e., channel energy) that did not use up the sparse daily spell slots. It would be nice to have a specialization tree that allowed them to trigger this as a "reaction" to an ally taking damage, etc.



  • Question: An ally is in magical darkness next to a foe in melee. You are outside of the combat and succeed on locating (as best you can) where to shoot your arrow. What are the rules to avoid not hitting your ally, since you are aiming based on only sound?



  • Question: Does a thrown magic item automatically return to you? (Dwarven Thrower vs. +1 magic dagger?) If so, how fast? (can fighter do his 2 attacks per action by throwing the same item?)




Question: An ally is in magical darkness next to a foe in melee. You are outside of the combat and succeed on locating (as best you can) where to shoot your arrow. What are the rules to avoid not hitting your ally, since you are aiming based on only sound?

I don't believe there is any rules for not hitting your ally. You would get disadvantage on the attack, but as for hitting your ally, I don't believe the rules cover that.


Question: Does a thrown magic item automatically return to you? (Dwarven Thrower vs. +1 magic dagger?) If so, how fast? (can fighter do his 2 attacks per action by throwing the same item?)

I don't believe magic items automattically return to you. I would assume that if there is an ability to allow this that it would also state how long it takes for the item to return. Skimming over the magic section I didn't see anything, so if there is something specific let me know. 
Nice report.  I haven't played yet, but I can see your concerns by reading through the material.  I'm totally for spell casters having more spells to throw in a given day.

What do you think made the session play less smoothly than the past packet?   Is it the expertise dice for rogues, and other changes to the rogue, or is it something else, or a combination of things?

I hope to play some time next week.

Keep playing and reporting.
           

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog