Session 2

This time we added a new player. He wanted to be a ranger, so he made a bow-fighter with the guide background. They fought zombies and a carrion crawler, then went through a forest, the dwarf got seduced by a dryad, and later they slaughtered kobolds on a bridge.

Here's a few notes on it:



  • Zombie fortitude mechanic is GREAT! They have to fail a save in order to die, which is a great way to represent how hard they are to kill despite being so weak.   

  • Kobold dragonshields need more HP. They seem like they're supposed to be special so why are they still level 1 with regular kobolds? I know everyone here's all about faster battles, but it shouldn't take longer to determine initiative than to win the battle.

  • Critical hits are completely ridiculous. They either need a confirmation roll or much less bonus damage. As of now they break combat.

  • Wizards need more spell slots or will have to rely too much on cantrips (though the Legends and Lore column suggests that this is getting fixed.)

  • Firing into melee: is this a thing in 5e? Precise Shot doesn't remove the penalty for it, so was there a penalty to begin with? And is there a way to negate it? This is unclear.

I don't recall a penalty, but it probably uses the cover rules. (or perhaps should if it doesnt
Critical hits absolutely need a confirmation roll.  The reason the mechanic was introduced in the first place is that a first-level fighter battling a tenth-level fighter can only hit on a natural 20, but then all his hits are criticals.  Hardly believable or mechanically balanced.  Keep confirmation rolls, and go back to double damage (or triple or quadruple) on a crit.  Bring back the 3E weapon stats, where some weapons crit more often, and some deal higher multiples on a crit.  It isn't game-breaking, and it makes combat extremely dangerous for the PC's.  They'll think twice before charging that minotaur who wields a greataxe.

I maintain that wizards should have a ranged spell at-will that requires an attack roll, the way magic missile was in 4E.  It's part of being a wizard, I think, to be able to somewhat reliably damage at least a single target at range without having to carry a flippin' crossbow or something.

I would give disadvantage to anyone firing into melee.  No chance to hit the wrong target, but all that careful aiming and timing makes your shot not line up properly without bogging down the rules.  Then we could have a feat to negate that particular disadvantage, and perhaps give a bonus against other cover.  As the rules stand, any creature whose space any of your LOS lines pass through provides cover to your target.  That alone is worth noting, though I don't know how much more it can be clarified.
Critical hits absolutely need a confirmation roll.  The reason the mechanic was introduced in the first place is that a first-level fighter battling a tenth-level fighter can only hit on a natural 20, but then all his hits are criticals.  Hardly believable or mechanically balanced.  Keep confirmation rolls, and go back to double damage (or triple or quadruple) on a crit.  Bring back the 3E weapon stats, where some weapons crit more often, and some deal higher multiples on a crit.  It isn't game-breaking, and it makes combat extremely dangerous for the PC's.  They'll think twice before charging that minotaur who wields a greataxe.

I maintain that wizards should have a ranged spell at-will that requires an attack roll, the way magic missile was in 4E.  It's part of being a wizard, I think, to be able to somewhat reliably damage at least a single target at range without having to carry a flippin' crossbow or something.

I would give disadvantage to anyone firing into melee.  No chance to hit the wrong target, but all that careful aiming and timing makes your shot not line up properly without bogging down the rules.  Then we could have a feat to negate that particular disadvantage, and perhaps give a bonus against other cover.  As the rules stand, any creature whose space any of your LOS lines pass through provides cover to your target.  That alone is worth noting, though I don't know how much more it can be clarified.



I like just using max damage, plus a wound for critical hits.   In my games, a wound applies a -1 penalty to all rolls until the monster or pc spends a turn to bandage it.   This makes the critical hit more special, but it doesn't break the bank.   With many creatures it won't even be an issue, but with larger creatures with more hit points it imposes an interesting condition that isn't difficult to play.  It also doesn't penalize players too much if they are on the receiving end of the crit.  It definately helps with the narrative.


  

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

 

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

 

 

Until they release a rule on firing into melee, I'm going to give melee combatants half-cover against ranged attacks. Therefore, an archer can use precise shot to counteract the penalty just like they used to, but it requires the use of an expertise die.
Until they release a rule on firing into melee, I'm going to give melee combatants half-cover against ranged attacks. Therefore, an archer can use precise shot to counteract the penalty just like they used to, but it requires the use of an expertise die.



I do that too.  Especially when it is clear that someone or something is in front of the target.   It works well.

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

 

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