Legends & Lore: D&D Next Goals, Part Two

"use your weapon's die as the die you gain for bonus damage"

This can't end well. 
Not only will it make every 'not the best DPR' weapons even more suboptimal choices and punish 'not the best DPR' concepts, but it will continue to provide a weak justification to shank every other class with arbitrary weapon limits "just because", which also punishes (or outright forbids) any concepts outside of stereotypes.
I may be in the minority but I like melee combat as of the 12/17/12 release. I think that with the limited experience I have with the system that the maneuvers lack functionality, that is to say I would rather just pump out the damage in most cases.
I want to throw a party at the idea of Ws comeing back

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

"use your weapon's die as the die you gain for bonus damage"

This can't end well. 
Not only will it make every 'not the best DPR' weapons even more suboptimal choices and punish 'not the best DPR' concepts, but it will continue to provide a weak justification to shank every other class with arbitrary weapon limits "just because", which also punishes or (outright forbids) any concepts outside of stereotypes.


I couldn't agree with you more.

This is a big step backwards from what they were (conceptually) doing right in the last playtest packet. If TH weapons require a little boost, do so with "Utility" Feats which open up some more creative uses with those weapons. They are already going that route with Polearms, Shields, TW fighting, etc. I would even tolerate a +1 to hit with TH weapons.

Another benefit of d6s were more predictable damage, which makes encounter balancing easier.

I am completely on the fence with regard to Weapon Damage.  I see positives and negatives both ways, and I cannot decide one way or another.
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
I consider D&D to already be easier to learn than Settlers of Catan, regardless of edition.  Maybe I'm just better at visualizing things in my head than dealing with "bits", but TTRPGs are a breeze for me compared to modern board games.

I agree that MDD as they currently exist do not fit the original design goal of "simple to run", but I think the problem there is the number of dice and number of maneuvers, not the die type or the static bonus.  Bear in mind, I'm not advocating for the reduction of maneuvers or MDD at all.  I like the mechanic.  But it is an inherently complex one at its core.

I never find options extraneous, in or out of combat.  More is good.  It doesn't necessarily make the game less "simple to run", either.
"use your weapon's die as the die you gain for bonus damage"

This can't end well. 
Not only will it make every 'not the best DPR' weapons even more suboptimal choices and punish 'not the best DPR' concepts, but it will continue to provide a weak justification to shank every other class with arbitrary weapon limits "just because", which also punishes or (outright forbids) any concepts outside of stereotypes.



Don't think it'll be so bad.

The DPR weapon (great weapons) hopefully wont have properties other than heavy and two-handed. Other weapons will have things like reach, finesse, and light to make them worth the loss in damage... hopefully.

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!

The DPR weapon (great weapons) hopefully wont have properties other than heavy and two-handed. Other weapons will have things like reach, finesse, and light to make them worth the loss in damage... hopefully.

So long as a knife-fighter isn't obligated to be either a DEXmonster or a joke, or a wizard can swing a longsword around without either being punished for even thinking of doing so or an elf, it'll work out.

...hopefully.

this is better then MDD. MDD caused to many problems and balance issues. WDD fixes many of them. 
this is better then MDD. MDD caused to many problems and balance issues. WDD fixes many of them. 


What problems did d6 MDs create that WD isn't creating greater problems in "fixing"?

I'm glad to see W's coming back.  I think it brings the str based 2h weapon weilder back into competition with the dex monkey.
So far I've been pretty neutral.  The weapon approach has me a little uneasy, but I might get over it.  As of next release, I'll probably be quite a bit more critical.  I won't deny, I'm still uneasy about feats, fearing the bloat and explosion that happened in 3e, then 4e.  I don't want history to repeat.

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The DPR weapon (great weapons) hopefully wont have properties other than heavy and two-handed. Other weapons will have things like reach, finesse, and light to make them worth the loss in damage... hopefully.

So long as a knife-fighter isn't obligated to be either a DEXmonster or a joke, or a wizard can swing a longsword around without either being punished for even thinking of doing so or an elf, it'll work out.

...hopefully.




Well using the current rules for equipment, the knife fighter will have a throwable weapon he can dual-wield and use DEX to attack.

A longsword is one handed so you have a free hand for grabs, torches, and shields.

And wizards don't get DD nor longsword proficiency.

Since I expect Damage Dice to be reduced (probably 3 or 4 at level 10), the problem should be lessened more.

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!

Well they are assuming daggers and other one handed weapons will be used either with a shield or dual wielding. If they combine the idea of TWF and multiple attacks, like he said in the column, then two daggers could easily keep in pace with a greatsword. Greatsword gets more damage with one strike, daggers get more with multiple. Sounds correct if you ask me
My two copper.
Off on another topic from that article...

I like where this is going if I'm understanding him correctly.  It sounds to me like they're using a D&D/AD&D approach,  or taking a page from Magic the Gathering and using a Base-set/Expansion approach.

Many of us forget,  myself included,  what it's like trying to learn how to play D&D.  I've been playing for 30 years,  I started with the Red Box,  did it wrong for a while*,  graduated to AD&D,  and learned how to play correctly.  Things were far less complicated back then,  no skills,  no feats,  things were easy.  Today's D&D has to look intimidating to the newcomer.

I think this will significantly ease the barrier to entry,  and experienced players can just crack the system open and disregard the "Easy-mode".  I think this is a good step for D&D.

*You should've seen my dungeons.  Just a series of rooms with the monsters chosen by "This looks cool!".  Kobolds in one room,  zombies in the next,  a mummy at the end (Later a dragon when characters got bigger).  I had no idea what I was doing!   

I've got a whole lotta love for this article. This is exactly what I want. I'm particularly happy with them moving away from the more hp/more damage mushroom cloud of the current packet.


The idea of adding extra dice to checks for things to do with your prime requisite is really cool too.


I like that they're refining concentration. I'm not over the moon about this mechanic but it does provide a balance point for ongoing effects. At the minute I just feel like it's a bit of a blunt instrument but his idea of concentration and focus as seperate things could make it a bit less clunky. I'm watching that space.


Anyway I'm sure there will be things in the system that aren't my fave but on the whole I'm pretty happy with this vision of basic D&D. How he intends to do those things is really the crux of it so time will tell.

While the core is not for me as i prefer a more complex game, i understand its goals for what it is set to accomplish in order to be able to be picked-up fast and get going in short time. That said;

I think Skill should be part of the Core. Even AD&D had proficiencies.

I am good with Martial Damage Dice being additional [W] to better serve two-handed weapons.
 
I prefer the term opportunity attack, t goes all the way back to AD&D 2nd edition.

I think the number of available actions is enought and should not be cut down.

I prefer concentration as it is now rather than being turned into two elements. 

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

I'm a "more comlpex, more nuanced" game guy myself, but I want a brutally stripped down core.  If this is going to be the modular game it is crowed about, I want to avoid as many of the complexities I don't like as I can, while embracing the complexities I do.

My core is probably:

6 attributes.

D20 + stat mods to all rolls.

No skills.  No feats.  No backgrounds.  No Hit Dice.

Core 4 races, Core 4 classes.
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
I think Skill should be part of the Core. Even AD&D had proficiencies.


Sure but he's on about basic, which doesn't have skills or proficiencies of any kind. AD&D does, so by that ruler the appropriate thing to do is exactly what he said: lay the groundwork for the skill system by adding check dice to checks that use your prime requisite and then add a proper skill system in the more advanced rule set.
I really like the design goals expressed in this article.

Although there is one thing:

Focuses on what makes RPGs unique (imaginative play, lack of limits, unbounded possibilities, and the fun and random stories about the game that groups share).



They really missed the mark here.

Maneuvers imply that without it, you can't do it.
Skill tricks imply that without it, you can't do it.

For maneuvers, I would much prefer a broad list of combat tricks that everyone can do provided they have enough martial damage dice. The base maneuvers would have an expensive martial damage dice cost. Fighters, rogues and other martial characters would have class features that reduces the cost to use these abilities making them much better combattants than those that don't have the training. It also opens the door to interesting improvisation options. The DM could apply an ad-hoc martial damage dice for something not covered in the rules.

And for skills, I think that you should be able to try anything because it's fun. Skill tricks would just have a higher DC. Gaining training in a skill would just mean your skills are more reliable (rolling multiple d20, or getting the ability to reroll 1 d20 in your die pool under a certain number; anything that creates a gaussian curve) and class features would give you flat bonuses to your skill checks. That way, anyone can try the fancy skill tricks with a small chance of success and the trained characters would be able to do them more reliably.

You could even imagine making rituals something anyone can try provided you have a copy of the ritual in your ritual book. Rituals would have an untrained DC check and you would get to roll the dice. If you fail, something bad happens. And while we're at it, I would also add a skill point cost to gain training in a ritual (no need to roll the dice). It's odd that a single class can learn every ritual without some kind of limit.

These are just examples of how it could be done. But right now, D&D Next is not an open-ended system that lacks limits.


I wish they could also add another design goal: consistent rules. Right now, it really feels like they're shooting in random directions and hoping that something good comes out of it. The scope of each class is either too broad or too narrow, it doesn't really feel like they know the difference between a feat and a class features, there's really no visibility on what multiclassing can achieve, when do you get advantage, when do you get a bonus/penalty, and a lot of the mechanics are really clunky.
Class arrays?  There is such a thing as too simple.  There should be a non-random choice that still allows two characters of the same race and class to have different ability scores.


Seriously, is it really that hard to just say the words 'point buy'?  Point buy with a table of examples, that's as easy and as fast as you're going to get.  Faster, even, than rolling, and you even get the "DM won't have to worry about overpowered or underpowered characters mucking up the basic DM rules" thing as a bonus.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition

@gnarl


The danger of any rule is the potential perception that a boundary can't be crossed. The thing they need to do is present the rules as boundaries that aren't necessarily all that firm. AD&D/2e managed to make the game feel really mutable by constantly justifying why the rules are there. I was left with the impression as a reader that the rules were presented as the best solutions they could come up with, not the only solution.


That's one way of doing it, another is to constantly remind the reader that if someone wants to do something on the maneuver list but they don't actually have the maneuver then they're free to try. Improvised actions and all that.


Any way it's done, I think the primary way you give folks a sense that it's free to improvise is in how the rules are presented.



Consistency can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but I actually find things to be pretty consistent as they are. I don't want a concrete list of things that give advantage or disadvantage for exactly the same reason you're slating the flexibility in maneuvers and such: it implies that you can't get it under any other circumstance. I prefer situational modifiers like advantage or disadvantage to be situational, which in an imagination game really means "when it makes sense to me in play". The scope of a class is similarly dictated by when it makes sense in play for things to be narrow or not, which is why everyone sort of reverts to combat and checks when discussions about classes come up. Basically the scope of all classes and the game in general are so broad that we have to reduce it to the raw number geneneration in order to have a coversation at all.

Maneuvers imply that without it, you can't do it.
Skill tricks imply that without it, you can't do it.


This implication is entirely in the minds of people who refuse to believe otherwise, despite proof to the contrary existing for decades.  It has never been the case in any edition, despite every single one of them having things where they say you can do things.  I mean, you go back to the Thief percentage tables way back in the day.  That's a list of the things the Thief can do, that apparently no one else can do.  Why was it fine then?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
damage in terms of multiple W dices can be described by classes:

fighter:  2W at level 4, 3W at level 8, 4W at level 12, 5W at level 16, 6W at level 20,
rogue:   2W at level 5, 3W at level 10, 4W at level 15, 5W at level 20,
cleric:     2W at level 6, 3W at level 12, 4W at level 18,
wizard:  2W at level 8, 3W at level 16,

well the reality of 2e thief skills is a lot of folks did let others do those things, they just used ability checks instead of the percentages.


The advantage of 2e thief skills was a thief with a low wisdom or int could detect noises. They could have a low str and still climb well and a low int and still read languages well enough to get the jist.


A simpler way to handle it would be to say that a thief uses their dex or the appropriate attribute for a given check, whichever is better.

Skill Dice. What about, instead of Fighters getting STR and Mages getting INT, you get to CHOOSE what your dice is. Once chosem, its permanent.

--You can be a fighter with INT skill dice, getting more skills than a normal fighter, and excelling in them.
--You can choose a Fighter with CON skill preference, very hearty, able to tank foes that other fighters would fall before.
--You can be a Rogue with CHA skill dice, smooth-tongue instead of sneaky.
--A Mage with STR specialties. Yeah, he can cast spells, but he will surprise anyone who gets into melee range and can go toe-to-toe with some fighter-types.

I like the idea that any class can use any weapon. Mages can choose the Sword or Mace if he so chooses. Just that most non-fighters will not be able to specialize.

ALL - (XXX) grants bonuses to specific (XXX) attribute skill checks.

STR - melee weapon specialization, shield specialization, advanced combat tactical skills or feats
INT - Arcane casting bonuses, more skills, arms/armory skills,
WIS - Divine casting bonuses, Hunter/Woodland skills
DEX - Ranged weapon specialization, mobility skills and feats
CON - greater toughness skills, damage reduction/greater armor use
CHA - Conversational skills, loyalty modifiers, and leadership skills

---------
In this manner, you can pick any class and put your basis in any attribute, thereby creating your own type of character, instead of a cookie-cutter Fighters who has STR skill basis like EVERY other Fighter class.
Maneuvers imply that without it, you can't do it.
Skill tricks imply that without it, you can't do it.


This implication is entirely in the minds of people who refuse to believe otherwise, despite proof to the contrary existing for decades.  It has never been the case in any edition, despite every single one of them having things where they say you can do things.  I mean, you go back to the Thief percentage tables way back in the day.  That's a list of the things the Thief can do, that apparently no one else can do.  Why was it fine then?




One advantage of Next is that it has this thing called disadvantage (heh).

They could just make a rule (just like with weapons) that if you use a Skill Trick or Maneuver without proficiency, you preform it at disadvantage.

So simple.

The problem with D&D or the past was that it was harder to fairly adjudicate the right about of penalty for performing an action/skill/maneuver without mastery. Too low and you hose those who are proficient. Too high and you might as well say NO!.

And in the past without bounded accuracy. It was impossible. What penalty could you give a 3e or 4e character without mastery but has a +10 bonus? Or a Pre-3e character with mastery but only a +3 bonus?


Disadvantage is a godsend.
I let my fighter preform any unmastered maneuver on their list and any skill trick at disadvantage on the check/attack, and sometimes... they actually try to do it because they know if they roll high twice they might get lucky.

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!

one common comment in this tread says "I like it but why not give them this option?"


The article is concerned with the most basic of the basic and is purposefully not offering options. He openly acknowledges that options will be there in the more advanced game.

Be interesting if a shield gave you a die that you added to your WDD when you parry.
"use your weapon's die as the die you gain for bonus damage"

This can't end well. 
Not only will it make every 'not the best DPR' weapons even more suboptimal choices and punish 'not the best DPR' concepts, but it will continue to provide a weak justification to shank every other class with arbitrary weapon limits "just because", which also punishes or (outright forbids) any concepts outside of stereotypes.



Don't think it'll be so bad.

The DPR weapon (great weapons) hopefully wont have properties other than heavy and two-handed. Other weapons will have things like reach, finesse, and light to make them worth the loss in damage... hopefully.



Another two properties they could balance with would be the return of Brutal, High Crit, or Crit Ranges.
Be interesting if a shield gave you a die that you added to your WDD when you parry.


I like this idea...

I like the general direction exposed in the article.

I prefer to see #W returning. The whole MDD+martial bonus thing was becoming way too clunky. It will require balancing of course, but it worked in 4e so it should be doable.

I find it conformting to hear Mike metioning specific areas where some classes will be better than others, like AC and HP, which look narrow enough without exending to overall effectivess within a whole pillar. It makes me hopeful that all classes will be potentially able to bring comparable contributes within each pillar, albeit in different ways.      
I'm just not all that into where D&D Next is going *shrug* I think at this point I'm going to depart the forums and just wait for the finished product and judge it based on the finalized product.  

Good luck to WotC and hope everyone enjoys the playtest - hope everyone gets what they are looking for when the game comes out, and if not they can still enjoy the products they've enjoyed up to this point.  

Now off to go start working on a Hunter: the Reckoning campaign (since I can't stand Hunter: the Vigil) 
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
The basic rules represent the starting point for the game. The basic rules cover the absolute core of the game. They capture the strengths of basic D&D. These rules form a complete game, but they don't give much detail beyond the rules needed to run dungeon exploration.

So the basic rules will be a super stripped down system that will only be played by new players and possibly some pure RP groups? Possibly a good thing if it goes into a nice box set that can be marketed as "D&D basic set".

Characters are created by rolling ability scores (though we have discussed the possibility that your class gives you an array that your race then modifies), picking a race, and picking a class.

Rolling as base? I think a starting array with an option for rolling would be better. I can see leaving point buy out though, as new players are not going to know where to go with the stats or how to design characters.

Even better, people who don't care for complex rules, or the new player you're introducing to your campaign regardless of the rules you're using, can create a character using these rules with a minimum of fuss.

So these characters can be mixed and match with expanded version characters? Seeing how that can be made workable and balanced will be interesting.

Simplify the current expertise mechanic to make it run more smoothly at the table. Frankly, we think that martial damage dice and martial damage bonus are too fiddly. The current thinking is to ditch the static bonus, use your weapon's die as the die you gain for bonus damage to make two-handed weapons competitive, and elegantly bind two-weapon fighting and multiple attacks into one system. The hidden benefit of this change is that by dropping damage for martial characters across the board, we can deflate hit points a bit and make higher level monsters relatively tougher.

So another round of deflation? Probably a good thing, as the monsters still seem wimpy in the latest play test and the numbers get annoyingly large at higher levels. Switching to [W] bonuses is workable but will require some care, as anything above about 3[W] puts too much emphasis on getting big dice.

Build the core options for the classes, from spells to specialties and specific class choices. The emphasis here will be on making choices that are unquestionably good, requiring little system mastery to use to ensure that new players or people who want a simple character are effective even when playing with veterans.

That sounds right, hopefully they can actually do. WotC does not have a good history when it comes to picking default choices for these things.

  Switching to [W] bonuses is workable but will require some care, as anything above about 3[W] puts too much emphasis on getting big dice. 



I am worried it would/could discourage users of bigger weapons using maneuvers for effects... 
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Skill Dice. What about, instead of Fighters getting STR and Mages getting INT, you get to CHOOSE what your dice is. Once chosem, its permanent. --You can be a fighter with INT skill dice, getting more skills than a normal fighter, and excelling in them. --You can choose a Fighter with CON skill preference, very hearty, able to tank foes that other fighters would fall before. --You can be a Rogue with CHA skill dice, smooth-tongue instead of sneaky. --A Mage with STR specialties. Yeah, he can cast spells, but he will surprise anyone who gets into melee range and can go toe-to-toe with some fighter-types. I like the idea that any class can use any weapon. Mages can choose the Sword or Mace if he so chooses. Just that most non-fighters will not be able to specialize. ALL - (XXX) grants bonuses to specific (XXX) attribute skill checks. STR - melee weapon specialization, shield specialization, advanced combat tactical skills or feats INT - Arcane casting bonuses, more skills, arms/armory skills, WIS - Divine casting bonuses, Hunter/Woodland skills DEX - Ranged weapon specialization, mobility skills and feats CON - greater toughness skills, damage reduction/greater armor use CHA - Conversational skills, loyalty modifiers, and leadership skills --------- In this manner, you can pick any class and put your basis in any attribute, thereby creating your own type of character, instead of a cookie-cutter Fighters who has STR skill basis like EVERY other Fighter class.



I really like this idea.  It really would let people set their character apart from others.

About the weapon thing, why not make properties for weapons, and enemies have resistances/immunities to certain properties, thus not every weapon is great in every situation?  Then "the most damage" isn't always the best solution? 
I think the idea of capping at 3[W] or so is a good one. Also, if they keep the idea that you can trade dice for other maneuvers, it might be kind of neat. A 2Her will almost always want to use his dice for damage, while a 1Her would be more likely to disarm or spring attack or what have you. It might make it so your weapon choice does lead in the direction of a certain fighting style, without pigeon-holing anyone through restrictive feats/powers.
Skill Dice. What about, instead of Fighters getting STR and Mages getting INT, you get to CHOOSE what your dice is.


That would be awesome, except most people would probably choose Dexterity or Wisdom because those are the skill checks you'd most likely to be rolling (Charisma in a heavy social-interaction game).

Unless they could give all skill checks equal frequency, I don't see that being helpful.
Switching to [W] bonuses is workable but will require some care, as anything above about 3[W] puts too much emphasis on getting big dice.


Depends on how [w] is calculated.  See Garthanos' thread.  If we set a target of 6 for median [w] we can define fighting styles to get most people to have that [w].  If median [w] only varies by ±½, then you could have up to 6[w] without favoring specific weapon styles significantly.
I like the idea of the fighter's skill being the main factor in MDD.    With [W] die the focus of damage is placed on the weapon.   As levels increase the difference in damage between a d8 weapon fighter and a d12 weapon fighter increases unproportionally.  It also implies that a two handed weapon's max damage can't ever be realized by low level characters and that some how more damage can be squezed out of a two handed weapon.  

Lastly, it was my hope that weapon damages would be more detailed and include more dice, but with [W] dice I don't see that happening.   I doubt you'll see damages like 2d4 for the Morning star and Broad sword ever again.