Legends & Lore: Class Design Concepts

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Legends & Lore
Class Design Concepts

By Mike Mearls

Mike has read your feedback from the latest playtest packet, and he’s sharing what the team is doing to incorporate the constructive criticism you all provided. Come take a look.

Talk about this column here.

This Week in D&D

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I gotta say I dislike the wizards change in casting style.  the whole thing about letting them prep three 5th level spells and then casting the same one three times is kinda no fun. to me I like the choose intelligently aspect of wizards, but a simple house rule to insert if I really feel the need though i think this may be able to grow on me.  Other than that though things sound good.  Like that something else is being used for turning,but the channel energy to heal has to be way way better because that is far too little healing coming out of that feature.  Though I may be wrong we'll see.  The rogue changes sound exactly like what I wanted.  Also like to hear the increase in number of spell slots.  I think my players were especially adamant about that complaint (and the turn undead complaint).
I do like the fact that parrying isn't being taken away from other classes so much as Fighters are getting their own special improved version.

I am a little confused, though.  Wasn't it only a week or two ago that they said only Monks and Fighters were going to get maneuvers?  Have maneuvers and ED been separated from each other, so that Rogues have the latter but not the former?  Have the developers changed their mind in such a relatively small amount of time? 
I'll admit I've been a bit depressed lately, but I feel alot better after reading this article.

I like that rogues will be able to exchange sneak attack for other options. I'm not sure how happy I am that they're still going to have expertise dice, but we'll see what happens. I like the sound of maneuvers that let you trick your foes into bad positions. I'm not sure I like that sneak attack damage requires giving up advantage on the attack, but we'll see how it plays out. The only thing mentioned about rogues that really concerns me is getting bonus dice on skill checks.

The changes to spellcasting in particular sound great. At-will spells need to scale to keep pace with expertise dice, so I'm glad this is being implemented. The ability to cast spells in armor if you're proficient in it is also excellent. I'm also very happy to see the gold cost on rituals go. I'm also very happy to see that wizards can "spontaneously" cast their prepared spells now, like clerics. This is a change that I've wanted to see for some time.

I don't like turn undead being something all clerics have, though the "healing pool" thing sounds pretty interesting. Hopefully it will allow the cleric to spend his daily spells on something other than healing spells. I just hope that, like rogues and sneak attack, clerics will be able to exchange turn undead for something else, if they wish.

I don't like parry being a fighter-only mechanic, but it's hardly a dealbreaker. I am happy to hear that expertise dice might be reduced at higher levels, though. It needs to be!
If rogues are less durable than fighters, then they need to do more damage.  Period.

Now, durability can take many forms.  If these sorts of tricks and maneuvers actually lead the rogue to being more durable than the fighter, then that's worth the damage tradeoff. 

Of course, then the fighter's design is in a wonky place.  But even putting that aside, you're already trading damage for tricks to make you more durable.  Unless those tricks are putting the enemy at a severe disadvantage, the way controller effects like wizard spells do, just letting the rogue survive the front lines with a cruddy HD and light armor while doing less damage than the fighter is just not going to work.

I know you're all big into the "fighters are best at fighting" thing, but that doesn't leave much room for anyone who fights but isn't a fighter.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
If rogues are less durable than fighters, then they need to do more damage.  Period.

Now, durability can take many forms.  If these sorts of tricks and maneuvers actually lead the rogue to being more durable than the fighter, then that's worth the damage tradeoff. 

Of course, then the fighter's design is in a wonky place.  But even putting that aside, you're already trading damage for tricks to make you more durable.  Unless those tricks are putting the enemy at a severe disadvantage, the way controller effects like wizard spells do, just letting the rogue survive the front lines with a cruddy HD and light armor while doing less damage than the fighter is just not going to work.

I know you're all big into the "fighters are best at fighting" thing, but that doesn't leave much room for anyone who fights but isn't a fighter.




if fighting is the core of your character play a fighter. if deception/trickery/dishonesty is at the core of your character play a rogue.  I actually enjoy the distinction.
If rogues are less durable than fighters, then they need to do more damage.  Period.

Now, durability can take many forms.  If these sorts of tricks and maneuvers actually lead the rogue to being more durable than the fighter, then that's worth the damage tradeoff. 

Of course, then the fighter's design is in a wonky place.  But even putting that aside, you're already trading damage for tricks to make you more durable.  Unless those tricks are putting the enemy at a severe disadvantage, the way controller effects like wizard spells do, just letting the rogue survive the front lines with a cruddy HD and light armor while doing less damage than the fighter is just not going to work.

I know you're all big into the "fighters are best at fighting" thing, but that doesn't leave much room for anyone who fights but isn't a fighter.


At least that gives Wizards a reason to do a lot of damage
My two copper.
The biggest change for wizards is that we are going to separate spell preparation and spellcasting. You can prepare a number of spells, let's say three, for each level you can cast. When you cast a spell, you pick any spell you have prepared and spend the corresponding spell slot to cast it. This mechanic mirrors the flexibility we gave to clerics.


My favorite part! A new age take on spell prep! Sweet! 
My two copper.
So spell slots for wizards will work like spell points?


Kind of? Think of it more like a 3.5 sorcerer who has to choose which spells he knows at the beginning of the day.
My two copper.
The biggest change for wizards is that we are going to separate spell preparation and spellcasting. You can prepare a number of spells, let's say three, for each level you can cast. When you cast a spell, you pick any spell you have prepared and spend the corresponding spell slot to cast it. This mechanic mirrors the flexibility we gave to clerics.

My favorite part! A new age take on spell prep! Sweet! 

Sounds like the Spirit Shaman from 3.5's Complete Divine? I hope so, because that was awesome.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Seems like they still are out of touch on what the problems are, and can only focus on immediate issues. We aren't yet at the point where we need to worry so much about numbers, like how much damage the Rogue deals or how much a Fighter can mitigate. They still need to focus on actual mechanics, and while there is some work on that, it doesn't seem to be nearly enough.

I seriously have to wonder, with this rate of progress do they actually expect to finish this within the next few years? It still looks like they just grabbed the old edition rules, stripped away almost everything, and tossed in expertise dice and a worse designed healing surge. It's been months, they've hardly added anything, have had lots of feedback, and are still throwing around random ideas, some of which they know people hate, to "see what sticks".
The biggest change for wizards is that we are going to separate spell preparation and spellcasting. You can prepare a number of spells, let's say three, for each level you can cast. When you cast a spell, you pick any spell you have prepared and spend the corresponding spell slot to cast it. This mechanic mirrors the flexibility we gave to clerics.

My favorite part! A new age take on spell prep! Sweet! 

Sounds like the Spirit Shaman from 3.5's Complete Divine? I hope so, because that was awesome.


Very close, from my hazy memories of it.  But he is right, it's the exact spell prep system the current Cleric uses.  Is that close to what you had in mind?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
So spell slots for wizards will work like spell points?



Not exactly. You still have a set number of spells of each level per day. It's more like 3.x sorcerers, except you can change your spells "known" each day from your spellbook, if that makes sense.

[Edit] Someone already beat me to it. 
I don't know If I like the wizard thing.

I'd also like to continue making sneak attack an option, rather than having it be the default mode for all rogues. For example, a rogue might have the option to take better starting weapons, trading the spike of sneak attack for steadier damage, or the option to gain a special dodge ability to focus on reducing damage taken rather than boosting damage dealt.



Dey dun stol mai idea!

Level 1 Roguish Combat Tactic:
Choose one

Combat Rake: You have prroficiency with martial weapons, medium armor, and shields.
Evasion: If you make a successful Stenth, Dexterity or Constitution saving against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, you instead takes no damage.
Scoundrel Strike: When you attack with advantage with a melee weapon, add your Strength modifier to your damage roll.
Sly Flourish: When you attack with a finesse or basic ranged weapon, add your Charisma modifier to your damage roll.
Sneak Attack: When you attack with advantage, you may give up your advanatage to gain a bonus to your damage roll. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter
Uncanny Dodge: The first time you are hit each turn, you may reduce the damage. This damage reduction is 1d6 at 1st level, and it increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter

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 was the first to complain about the spellslot issues, but the signature spell sort of fixed it (if all you wanted was to kill) as i saw the other night with my players. plus a wand makes a wizard helps) Especially when level 1 is so short. free rituals is a huge boon as long as they balance. maybe a limited number of rituals per day.  but at least featherfall will get some love.

spell power is an issue, but so far my characters have found the game easy and they are only a group of four. reason, two fighters who heaps of damage.

The spell preparation thing is huge, it helps fix the cleric being overpowered compared to wizards and also means that you can prepare the wrong spell, you are not stuck. but perhaps that does hurt the wizard flavour, but when you think about it wizard mitigate the whole choosing before you cast thing, previous edition wizards had spellbook extracting items in 4E and scrolls which could be made by wizards in 3E plus heavy use of divination spells in both editions. With this system, you could make scrolls take a spellslot to cast preventing a wizard hording scrolls. While not strictly vancian, vance was not making a game. perhaps strict vancing should be a module or tradition.

scalable spells is very important for at wills (and spells in general). burning hands against a hobgoblins is nothing. wizard is doing 1d6. fighter at level 2 1d8+1d6+4 with a chance of a crit. since non attack spells don't have crits, that needs to adjusted (mitigated by the feat). i hope at will spells have more flavour and less focus on just damage, burning hands while weak was fun to set fire to anything that could burn.

but now i wonder who would be a sorceror? flexible spell casting was their entire identity. perhaps only a very limited numbers of spells (or signature spells) but they can cast it a lot more. (then again 5 fireballs a day would be pain) or maybe just all signature (then what about warlocks, all at wills)

never the less, i like what the Wizard of the Coast have done, i like where they are going and i hope they keep it up. they actually listen to our comments well and seem to do some of what at least i suggested and other of the forum also echoed

Not surprising the feedbacks were anticipated with that kind of push. Next stage sounds promising though! A few things i am looking forward to:

Rogues: The new approach of Skills Dice for Rogues seems very interesting. I like the exemple presented a lot using contests to cause a variety of nonmagical effects. It differentiate it from the Fighter's Expertise Dice mechanic. I am good with Sneak Attack forgoing advantage for extra damage, as long as the damage is significant enought, otherwise it won't be a fair trade. I think its also good to have the option to get it or some other benefits instead, like better weapon proficiency or a Dodge ability mentioned. 

Spellcasting: I am okay with casters receiving more slots than the last packet and i am happy to hear at-will spells will scale in damage and effect to remain relevant at all levels. Personally i'd prefer a separate category of at-will spells over an at-will version of existing spells. For Rituals if casters have more spell slots at this point i'd prefer if they were just spells again and use those. I like the rules for casting spells while in armor. Its simple and elegant!

Cleric: Turn undead and Healing Pool not sure yet, i will have to see but the Positive Energy references was sounded. I like that the deities are revisited to include armor proficiency personally. I am also for the diversification of gods and Clerics titles.

Wizard: I am happy to hear traditions will feature every schools of magic again. I prefer Wizards to have a spellcasting method different than the Cleric though, it was more true to Vancian style.

Fighter: I like the Parry mechanic that doesn't use Expertise Dice better. 

Core Rules: The breaking up of the core rules into basic, standard, and advanced sections to set apart the game's core complexity sound like good idea.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Some interesting ideas.  I I like lumping healing and curing spells under a separate positive energy umbrella as an alternative to ritualising them.

The change to the wizard looks interesting but if they are increasng slots I hope they go back to their original idea that scrolls use up one of your spell slots so they just add more versatility.
Just reallized it

Wizards are now FF1 black mages

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!

Always should have been, in my opinion...
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Rogues:  They need something.  I think that weaponized skill checks is generally in keeping with the class.  Alot of skill monkeys at my past tables were all about utilizing skills in combat.  Forgoing advantage for damage as part of sneak attack is not bad idea.  It can be balanced against other classes.  I don't have a problem with it.  I like the idea of tricks; however, I'm worried at no mention of skill mastery.  That mechanic, in my opinion, is just broken and unbalancing.

Spellcasting:  I like the idea of at-wills that scale.  It's necessary to a degree to keep up with combat in general.  I do agree that they need to be divorced from the spell slots for balancing purposes.  Removing the gold cost from rituals is a good idea.  I think that time and space should be a primary cost of rituals.  A rogue that can pick a lock in a minute is much more useful of a skill than a wizard that needs a certain amount of space and 30 minutes to cast a knock ritual. 

Clerics:  I can't form a good opinion without looking at the actual class; however, the general concepts seem to be good.  However, how does WotC plan on addressing "evil" clerics?  Do the bad guys (or good guys that worship the bad guys) channel positive energy?  Is there going to be an option for channelling negative energy?  That's a big question that needs answering in my opinion.  I do like the idea of variable armor and weapon proficiencies based on domain.  I don't think the diety idea is all that great.  A priest of Pelor could be a Lifegiver, Lightbringer or Warbringer (although I'll admit this one can be a bit of a stretch).  Domains work better in that regard in my opinion; although that system also has some limitations.  I think that the current diety system should be renamed domains (I guess aspect is fine), and actual distribution of domains to dieties left up to the DM, at least in the core rules.

Wizards:  I like the idea of at-wills.  I don't like the sorceror-like mechanic.  I do agree that the wizard needs more slots to matter.  I'm actually more interested in seeing how spells are going to be balanced within the game mechanics.  The Knock description for a previous posting is a poor design in my opinion.  However, forcing a skill check as part of the spell isn't that bad.

Fighter:  I don't know.  I look at the fighter with parry as being better at damage mitigation than a cleric.  He can sustain it longer and is comparable to a cleric.  I'm not sure if that is the greatest idea in the world...  I guess we'll see...        
Non-vancian wizards and no option for vancian. Now that is super lame.

I guess the designers have to test the concept... I'm going to skip the next packet and wait for the one after I guess.
Just reallized it

Wizards are now FF1 black mages

If only they would include White Mages, I'd be even happier. Perhaps the Abjurer would be a suitable tradition to learn healing spells in addition to protective spells? I REALLY don't want to see a single class be the only source of real healing in the game.

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The changes sound good overall. IMO it is important that at-will spell scale less than expertise dice and even then slot spell damaged will have to be watched closely. Although, I do think that scaling at-will damage is a good idea. Hopefully, the monsters will get a retool as well.
Non-vancian wizards and no option for vancian. Now that is super lame.

You could also just enforce a houserule of standard vancian slots and test the packet out that way. Skipping a packet seems like a good way of not letting WotC know anything constructive.

Magic Dual Color Test
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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.
You could also just enforce a houserule of standard vancian slots and test the packet out that way. Skipping a packet seems like a good way of not letting WotC know anything constructive.



I'm still going to read the updated stuff and answer the survey. I'm not going to shut the door for something like this. I just don't feel like playing in a version of Next without my good old vancian wizard. Playtesting something you won't want to play in the end is kind of a waste of time.
The biggest piece of feedback we received was that the rogue came across as a lame fighter. This was a key test to see how much tolerance people have for varied combat strength across classes. There's some give, but it looks like people want to avoid dramatic differences.

That is interesting. Putting rules they know probably won't work into the packet to see how far they can push things and see what people like/dislike. This shows that they are really thinking about what they put in the packets and are listening to the results.

The plan right now is to give rogues expertise dice equivalent to the fighter's progression. In addition, our new approach to skills uses bonus dice in place of a static modifier. A rogue can essentially use weaponized ability checks in combat. A rogue might lure an enemy into charging forward, dart into the shadows and disappear in the blink of an eye, distract a creature's attention away from the wizard as he or she prepares to cast a spell, and so forth.

Sounds like a workable idea, though I would guess the exact mechanics are going to take some work to balance out.

Dialing down the damage also allows us to be more liberal in giving you the chance to activate it.

Sounds like they are pushing the rogue further in the direction of a skirmisher rather then a straight striker. Which is fine but it means we are going to need a proper assassin class at some point.

We're making a few changes to spellcasting. First and foremost, casters will receive more slots than the number we were giving in the last packet. In addition, at-will spells will scale in damage and effect to remain relevant at all levels. It's likely that these changes push the signature spell out of the picture, since we don't really need it to pick up the slack anymore.

Sounds like they where listening to what people disliked about the last set of rules and are going in the right direction.

Finally, we will add rules for casting spells while in armor. The rule will simply be that if you are proficient with a type of armor, you can cast spells while wearing it. Otherwise, the armor interferes with your ability to cast.

That might be too good. If armored casting is trivial then wizards are going to be pushed into at least light armor simply because the advantage is too big.

Turn undead will be significantly simplified and will be tied to a pool of healing that a cleric can tap into.

If there are different channeling options by deity then that sounds good. I would like to see deity replaced with just religion or faith, even if the default options are all specific gods, to make adapting to religions that don't follow a specific god more obvious.

The biggest change for wizards is that we are going to separate spell preparation and spellcasting. You can prepare a number of spells, let's say three, for each level you can cast. When you cast a spell, you pick any spell you have prepared and spend the corresponding spell slot to cast it. This mechanic mirrors the flexibility we gave to clerics.

That I don't much like, but if they are going to leave the number of spells cut down I can see why they think it is necessary to give wizards enough options.

The fighter is in good shape. We're likely going to give the fighter a special parry mechanic that doesn't use expertise dice but works much the same way. If anything, the fighter might be a little too good. The feedback pegs the fighter as the most powerful class. The other classes will mostly catch up, but we might reduce expertise dice a little bit at higher levels to keep the game moving quickly.

The fighter specific class ability needs to be more flexible then just Parry or there needs to be a choice of options. Also, if your going to give the fighter Parry for free, the class is going to need whacked back somewhere else because it is already crushingly powerful.

There aren't any huge changes here, but I anticipate that we will soon begin to break up the core rules into basic, standard, and advanced sections so you can begin to get a sense of how we look at the rules and the game's core complexity.

Basic, standard and advanced? I'll be curious to see what is actually going on there.
Rogues: Looks interesting, as long as they don't get so complicated they're hard to play.

General spellcasting notes: Glad to see they're upping the number of spell slots. We felt constrained with the previous number. Casters should have enough to not run out of spells for a "normal" day or encounter. Not sure how the "pick any spell you have prepared" will work. We'll see soon. I do like the gold-not-required rituals. Also, mages can cast in armour! We've been waiting for that for a long time. Adding the proficiency requirement is totally reasonable.

Clerics: Interesting way to handle Turn Undead.

Wizards: Good that at-will spells will scale. Lots more changes in that paragraph, so the playtest should be quite interesting.

Fighter: I'm pretty happy where they have it now. I expect a bit of tweaking here and there, but it seems to work pretty well.

Core Rules: Good! It'll be interesting to see where the various lines are drawn between basic, standard, and advanced. I've been looking forward to a streamlined but playable system for beginners, with more and more options to add in as player and DM experience and familiarity grows.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

I really like hearing that they are using immediate feedback to guide their design process. 

I look forward to seeing how these Rogue tricks work in play; they sound really cool on paper.  Sneak attack as one option among several things is also cool.

Casters getting more spells, at-will spells scaling, free rituals, and a simple rule to handle casting in armor?  Sounds great.  I especially like the casting in armor rule, as it takes care of situations where a Fighter gets access to a few spells (through a specialty, for example).

The new rule for turn undead/healing sounds very cool.  I can't wait to test it out!   Also, I like that they will be emphasizing that the Cleric domains aren't supposed to represent distinct gods.  This fits perfectly with how pantheons are typically designed, where each god will include several different aspects.

More wizard school options?  And wizards getting more flexible casting?  Excellent. 

Wow.  This game is really looking good.  The next year is going to be a lot of fun...
You could also just enforce a houserule of standard vancian slots and test the packet out that way. Skipping a packet seems like a good way of not letting WotC know anything constructive.



I'm still going to read the updated stuff and answer the survey. I'm not going to shut the door for something like this. I just don't feel like playing in a version of Next without my good old vancian wizard. Playtesting something you won't want to play in the end is kind of a waste of time.

What if you give it a fair shot and you actually end up liking it?

------------------------

Overall, I'm not really surprised by any of the feedback; it's very similar on the whole to what I feel like most people have been feeling, particularly with regards to the rogue not being just a stunted fighter in combat. I like the idea of weaponized skills as a class schtick. That's what a skill-based class should be doing.

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Rogue:   Making Cha attacks to get someone to chase you would be great.  Dex to get it to swing at an ally is also great.  Skill-as-maneuvers fit's them perfectly.

Sneak attack:  Better as an option.   Though i wouldn't make it a trade-off, those can easily become trap choices.  You can make it double conditional...  Sneak attack: "when you attack with advantage, and both d20's would hit, then you deal bonus damage", or (IMO, the better option) just lower the damage "when you attack with advantage, you deal an extra 1d6 per 4 rogue levels".

Spells in armor:    Though i feel untrained wizards should still be able to cast in plate, just with a penalty.

At-will scaling:  All spells kinda need scaling.  Otherwise your level 1 slots will become meaningless, or will always end up being filled with comprehend language and feather fall.

Removal of encounter spells While i could accept the wizard/cleric not getting any, encounter powers add alot to the game in general.  Most X/day should be replaced with encounters.  The monks Ki as an encounter would work nicely for instance.  (meditate for 10 minutes to regain your focus).

Separate at-will list:  Hard to say.  But...

At-will versions of certain spells:  I like this best.  Have at-will, and/or encounter versions of spells.

Rituals:  Gold is a crappy method.  It would also be nice if you could cast a fireball, scorching ray, or any other spell as a ritual.  If only to light a forest fire or for some arson work.

Cleric: I'm fine with turn undead in the same pool as healing (channel divinity as a power point), but positive energy makes no sense for evil clerics.

Wizards: If you want a flex-slot caster that's fine, but "wizard" should be hard slot with forethought.  Yes that makes them trickier and more complex to play, but it's ok to have some more complex classes.  Sorcerer is traditionally the more flexible one.

More slots:  I prefer less powerful spell and more slots.  It put's a bit less of your eggs in one basket.  Letting the wizard do more thought the day, and reducing it's boom or bust.  This sounds a bit counter intuitive to the spell slot comment, but it's not.  Wizard should be rewarded for forethought and punished for poor-thought, but the swing shouldn't be huge.

Fighter:   Improved parry in place of the extra attack would be good.  I would also smooth out the expertise dice with mixed sizes, as well .  Nothing wrong with 1d4+1d6, or 2d8+1d10 bonuses.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I've got a whole lot of love for this article. I really want this to deliver.


One thing I've noted is how a few folks (not just in this forum) are surprised that they've done things not so much 'cause they want to include it in its final form but because they want to see how we react to an idea or they want to find a boundary by breaking it.


This is something I expected them to do from the word go.

You could also just enforce a houserule of standard vancian slots and test the packet out that way. Skipping a packet seems like a good way of not letting WotC know anything constructive.

I'm still going to read the updated stuff and answer the survey. I'm not going to shut the door for something like this. I just don't feel like playing in a version of Next without my good old vancian wizard. Playtesting something you won't want to play in the end is kind of a waste of time.

Now, when you say, "I just don't feel like playing in a version of Next without my good old vancian wizard", can you clarify something?

Do you mean that you are the one playing the wizard, and you want him to have vancian casting?  Or that the fact that someone else at the table could have a non-vancian wizard would be a deal breaker for you?

As others have said, if it is the former, there is nothing stopping you from simply enforcing vancian casting for yourself.  It would be very easy.  You still have preparation slots, so just use them as you always have.  It would actually be a good test (and thus give good feedback).  Did you feel too weak compared to other classes when you prepared and cast spells in that way?  Or did you feel just fine?

Essentially, you are saying you won't play because the wizard is more flexible than what you enjoy playing.  You can always decide to lower your character's flexibility.  For example, Fighters can wear all armor.  But I can make a fighter who doesn't wear heavy armor because his background didn't have him learning how to use it.  Perhaps he can only fight with simple weapons for the same reason.  Will my fighter be a little bit weaker than another fighter?  Yes.  But will it be noticable?  Probably not.  And will I have fun?  Of course.


Sneak attack:  Better as an option.   Though i wouldn't make it a trade-off, those can easily become trap choices.  You can make it double conditional...  Sneak attack: "when you attack with advantage, and both d20's would hit, then you deal bonus damage", or (IMO, the better option) just lower the damage "when you attack with advantage, you deal an extra 1d6 per 4 rogue levels".



At first I thought, "Neat, you give up a better chance to hit for more damage." Then I wondered how it interacted with disadvantage, with multiple sources of advantage and so on. I think your solution here is excellent, since there's no additional math to be done before making a decision on whether to sneak attack or not.
Nice to hear about the break from Vancian and Rogues being effective combatants. They still seem chained to per day based spellcasting which is less good. Fighters are still limited to mere at-will spam, which is bad.

A few glimses of moving away from 5E's(so far) painful mundanity, though ill believe that when i see it.

As for three levels of complexity, complexity isnt really the main issue. Speed of play, smooth running mechanics instead of clunky and the level of overall player choice matter more, and dont directly correlate with complexity.
...whatever
I like what I saw in this article.
With Rogues, I'm not sure about what they are wanting to do with sneak attack, but I'll see how it plays when I can give it to my players. The part where Rogues can use "weaponized skills" seems more like a better direction for being skill-monkeys than having an easier time with skills, (to the point of trivializing some DCs). A variety of options, which come of special training, is a good thing. 

With Wizards, there haven't been any complaints about the Spells per Day as they currently sit with my Wizard player. She felt the at-wills and signature spell made up for it nicely. I am, personally, skeptical about this more versatile spell preparation. I prefer Wizards to be the ones to have to plan ahead, but it seems it will still be there, mostly. Scaling at-will spells, nice, happy with that. If we are dropping Signature Spells than Wizard Traditions need to have some different features. Battlemage, for example, could add a Hit die bump, a single Martial Weapon proficiency, the Spell Tactician ability, and/or Knowledge (Warfare). All of those or a choice of two or three, might work.

On Fighter and Expertise Dice, one of the things about the Expertise Dice that my players, that used them, liked was that their lesser used dice were getting some live. So maybe a progression that gives more smaller dice with a higher die by 10th. Maybe by 10th instead of 3d10 you could have 2d4, 1d6 & 1d8. (Or maybe 2d6) This is less damage if dumped into a big Deadly Strike but you have a few extra options possible, without being game breaking. I'm still playing with a progression, which I'll post when finished.
I'm really loving the proposed changes so far.  I do think, with this excellent Rogue skill-maneuver change, that sneak attack should be part of that.  Sneak is a skill, after all, and it means you could keep your mind in the same system and really feel like it is paying off when you get the sneak attack damage.

Am I reading the rogue wrong, or is he talking about giving them the ability to force other characters to charge around and stuff? If I'm right, ugh. Say I made a kobold rogue use this against the PC wizard to get him to charge out from behind his bros, would the player not complain that his character would never do that? I like simulating worlds. NPCs have just as much of a right to those kinds of decisions as the PCs, and I'm not going to allow game mechanics to take that away from either of them any time soon. Am I going to have to strip/alter more than just Charm in order to preserve mental free will in D&DN?


As for the Wizard's new slot style, shrug, alright. But can we get something different for the Cleric then? I liked that contrast between how divine prayers and arcane magic worked.

Wizards: If you want a flex-slot caster that's fine, but "wizard" should be hard slot with forethought.  Yes that makes them trickier and more complex to play, but it's ok to have some more complex classes.  Sorcerer is traditionally the more flexible one.

I personally dislike the forethought angle of wizards spell selection, mostly because it is more often a "punishment" feature, not a "reward" feature (gee, who would of thought that today I would encounter trolls, and all I have selected were cold spells since we are in a desert...). Also, I think the change is necessary to support other casting styles. If a power point pool casting style also includes flexible casting, balancing the two styles becomes very simple.

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@vacantpsalm is the idea of a check or save not the idea that my character can do X even if you don't want to... Like bluff vs sense motive... Do you allow "I just don't believe him?"

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

I personally dislike the forethought angle of wizards spell selection, mostly because it is more often a "punishment" feature, not a "reward" feature (gee, who would of thought that today I would encounter trolls, and all I have selected were cold spells since we are in a desert...).

I don't see your troll example as punishment.  Using fire on a troll is a bonus, using cold isn't a penalty.  It's not like fighter, rogues, clerics, or monks get to use fire.

Now if the troll resist cold, lightning, thunder, and poision, or if your spells are too specific (troll killer), then yea, the reward/punishment swing can be too much.

Also, I think the change is necessary to support other casting styles. If a power point pool casting style also includes flexible casting, balancing the two styles becomes very simple.

A forethought caster is a style of caster.  And it should be supported.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Some free system advise to the designers: Sneak Attack must be worth at least a +50% to damage or it won't be worth sacrificing Advantage. And that's just from a strict mathematical stand-point. Most people are too risk averse to sacrifice certainty for reward on a rational 1-1 basis.

Edit: You also won't be able to properly balance this trade-off until you've cemented your design system for monsters and challenges.