While we all hangout torlling each other erm I mean constructively offering feedback on each others viewpoints a coupld of things I have noticed in D&DN change the dynamic of the game in ways which I'm not sure people are fully aware of. Maybe they have not tested the game that much. I'm not an expert by any means but I have noticed 2 things that have changed the dynamics of the game at least for 3.5/4th and Pathfinder players.
1. Wealth by level guidelines or equivilents have been tossed.
2. No more magic item crafting RAW atm anyway.
This changes the game in several ways some obvious, others not so obvious. In the playtest packet for example I have raised my eyebrow at the amount of wealth that the module has in it. After a quick trip to the Caves of Chaos the PCs did not have that much wealth as such but they were all decked out in magic armor, weapons and a shield. I was joking with my players that in ealrier editions of the game kicking in the door would rain a +1 shield, weapon and 16 healing potions on you.
My PCs are going to be rich at level 7 or so if they get most of the available loot from the Isle of Dread. I already know what my PCs wil spend the money on. Most likely a townhouse, tower, keep, shipyard, boat or founding a town somewhere. If the PCs get a million gold pieces it is no big deal. Give the PCs a million gold pieces in 3.5/4th ed they are going to want to go shopping for magic items. If you want your PCs to have a castle or whatever in those editions you are better off giving them the castle than actual coins. A similar problem happened in Star Wars Saga. Give them a million credits to buy a luxury yachet or a small capital ship like a Corellion Corvette and one of them is going to get tempted with what else one could buy with a million credits. A suit of customised mandalorian battle armor, a tricked out light freighter like the Falcon/Ebon Hawk and a customised TIE defender were also options ones could buy with a million credits along with several thermal detonators and minature proton torpedo launchers.
Whatever flaws 3.5 and 4th ed had they gave you alot of incentive to buy combat related magic items. RAW it was not hard to craft your own if the DM was not giving you what you wanted. Think of builds using 18-20 crit range weapons and the keen property in 3rd ed/PF and the frostcheese combo in 4th ed. Alot of those optimised builds do not work without speciific items or properties.
I actually like this change in D&DN apart from the retro feel its something as a DM I was getting sick of since 3.0. Say no alot or watch PCs run amok was not really a great option. One can still powergame and optimise you will just have no expectation of getting exactly what you want or to try and craft it and hope your DM doesn't say no. You will have to use what your DM gives you.
Another example would be the wealth levels and the impact it had on rituals One could have a very rich PC at low levels at least by modern standards. Rituals were not to well recieved in 4th ed for various reasons but a large element of that was they ate up gold which could be better spent on magic items. No more magic items and what else are you going to spend your copious amounts of gold on? Rituals if done well my actually work better in D&DN. 2nd ed had the elements of a ritual system in the High Level Campaigns book. 3.0 tried with the awful epic level spellcasting system in the Epic Level Handbook. It seemed like it was built on the 2nd ed idea but worse. To me rituals are things for warding houses/areas, translating languages off tombs and at high/epic levels for doing things like crafting portals, making a mythal, or cutting the top off a mountain making it fly and inverting it to build a city.
Not every spellcaster may want to do these things of course so it can be a feat. If it is powerful like 2nd eds 10th level spells and true dweomers make another feat (Epic ritual or something) that allows an epic caster to do so. Other factors apart fomr gold can also be used to make them interesting. Maybe interupting a evil ritual cast on the winter solstice using the blood of a fallen angel to ressurect Vecna or something similar would make a decent plot device. If done well. Magic items can be interesting again as a magical singing bird doesn't divert gold from combat ability. If A DM wants to give a level 3 charactera +3 weapon so be it. They can always add an extra monster or 2 to an encounter to compensate if its an issue. Our D&DN wizard has the +3 staff of striking that the Caves of Chaos had in the evil temple. Every now and then he enters melee combat with it.
This is one retro thing I personally do like. PCs can still craft items like in 2nd ed it is just not going to be easy like they made it in 3rd and 4th ed. Being free from the shackles of WBL guidelines and assumed bonuses to hit and certina levels seems a positive thing to me even for the players (indirectly). What are peoples thoughts?
Fear is the Mind Killer