wrap up

So here are my thoughts for levels 5-7 over the course of a mini-campaign.

Things I like:
The damage and experience values of the creatures that I used seemed to be well done. It was relatively easy to create an encounter from scratch, and if more/fewer players showed up that night, it was easy to change the difficulty levels.

Several PC's seemed to have some way to reduce massive damage, and thus lasted longer and could complete a "day" of hard adventuring without too much trouble. The group of encounters that I had them go through weren't easy: 1, surprised 1 hill giant, 2 ogres, and 6 orogs: 2, surprised by 2 manticores, 4 orogs, and 1 cyclops: 3, standard encounter with 1 hill giant, 2 ogres, and 6 orogs, plus a navigation "skill challenge" and negotiation encounter. They probably could have done another combat encounter, but I wanted to move on since it was getting boring. As a hard encounter, they fought (at level 7, 4 PC's) a stone giant, 3 ogres and 2 hill giants, in which two PC's dropped (mainly due to poor working together skills) but didn't die.

Magic items didn't seem to be necessary at all, but when present, didn't seem to break the balance. The Pc's items included a few potions of healing and 1 heroism, a javelin of lightning (first used against them), a wand of holding, a staff of charming, a bag of holding, a horn of blasting, and I think a flametongue glaive.

Things I didn't like:

Attacks of opportunity are awful as written. Did you know that I can dance around within the 15' reach of a stone giant without coming to harm, but if I leave his threatened squares I'm going to be smooched? 
I would like to see OOA looked at more closely.I do think it is rather odd the way it works now.I think the dev's strayed too far from 3.x (you know the eddition that if you wanted to breath deeply you got an OOA against you lol) I think they need to meet someone closer to the middle.
From what I've been reading, the developers do not want any of the 3.x opportunity attack concepts, and instead wish a return to the older/simpler game concept where the concept was simply that if you attempted to disengage from an opponent without mitigation, you incurred an attack.   It was a simpler system, and the current D&DNext concept seems to reflect this-and-only-this.

I, for one, applaud this, as it encourages a faster, more streamlined game system without relying on the grid, and enabling more fluidity in combat.   I understand and respect those that prefer the 3.x system, but I am certainly not one of them.

There is talk about even changing the name, so that playes familiar with the 3.x mechanics do not read too much into the concept, and use a more simplified concept.    I think that this is extremely important, as many older players do tend to simply assume that similar-sounding game concepts must obviously work the same way as before, and the lines tend to blur overly much.
I think they should leave no AOO in the basic, but then let groups add it in for the standard and advanced versions of the game.   Perhaps they will add more stipulations into the advanced rules like moving into and out of a threatened square.  

As long as monsters and PCs don't take advantage of moving in and out of combat, I really like how the first playtest package played when there was no attack of opportunity.  Combats were more dynamic.   Now, to tell the truth, most of the times, when monsters and PCs are engaged, they kind of just stay where they are and hack away.  It is rare that anyone uses his action to "disengage".

I know that without AOO monsters and PCs could do the "Conga Line" tactic...one attacks, moves...another takes its place...it attacks, moves another takes its place...etc.   But if monsters and PCs don't do that, I love that a PC or a monster can run if he/she wants to do so.     

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

 

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

 

 

Perhaps they can keep AoO as is, but grant the more Baroque 3.x options as feats, maneuvers and skill tricks. E.g. they could expand the Combat Reflexes feat to allow attacks against ranged attackers and spellcasters. 
 
Characters should be penalized in some way--whether through opportunity attacks or some other mechanic--for trying to use ranged weapons and spells in melee. Those activities are inherently difficult. A monster or character shouldn't have to need some special power to threaten ranged/magic users.
Do you think that the disadvantage rule could be applied to Ranged Attacks made at an adjacent target?  I know that some people don't like this mechanic, but it would be a way to use already-existing rules AND not subject people to opportunity attacks, if that is really a goal of the devs. 

I think the disadvantage works well for ranged attacks, but in my head it doesn't make as much sense for casters.  Alternatively, you could use something like a concentration requirement to cast at an adjacent target.  That said, I think disadvantage is good enough, and it is probably not necessary to invent a new game system for this purpose unless people want to houserule it. 

I was disappointed when the removed the disadvantage rule for ranged attacks made in melee, but I still use it occasionally if the attacker is trying to shoot defensively as it still fits in the spirit of the rules.  The flip side of this is I also give advantage to attackers from time to time if the target is doing something non-melee oriented next to the attacker.

I for one would like them to keep the basic rules as free flowing as possible and keep a longer list of AOs to the grid rule set. 

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