Quick Caves of Chaos oneshot feedback.

Jaggonath ran Caves tonight and I played an Elven Fighter (there is a thread in the regular discussion where you can see my build, in fact:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

I didn't have a good time.

To be blunt, most of the cause of my displeasure can be put on the base mechanics of the current Bounded Accuracy system (I couldn't build for decent accuracy) and the swingyness of the monster damage. Also, when our cleric went down, there was no way to bring him back up except hope he rolled a 20 on a death save (ironically, my fighter and our wizard both succeeded in doing that during our first fight, getting us back in the fight, the cleric failed his first save and died).

Now, I'm an unabashed 4th edition supporter so I expect my character to be able to hit his enemies pretty reliably. Next currently doesn't give me that, instead giving me combats that are either meaningless or just as long as 4th, except I get to feel like my character is a fumble fingered idiot relying on luck, instead of a skilled warrior.

I could probably rant on this for a while but I have to be up early for work (gah, 5 and 1/2 hours. oh well). 
I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad time with the playtest.

I wonder, though, what you take to be a reliable chance to hit. Looking at your character via the link, you have a +4 to hit both with ranged and with your chosen melee weapon. With armor classes as they are now, this gives you a more than 50% to hit most monsters, and certainly most of the monsters you would be encountering in the Caves (as well as some other powerful ones you wouldn't have met yet, e.g. a hill giant or a flesh golem). At AC 11, for an example, you could hit a kobold 70% of the time, and a goblin (AC 13) 60% of the time. Are you accustomed to better odds? Perhaps you rolled poorly, but those odds don't sound to me like those of a "feeble fingered idiot relying on luck".

Also, re: the "swingyness of the monster damage". I don't know what you are used to, but the monster damage output is not especially any "swingyer" than the PCs. In addition, the DM has the option to use static values for monster damage (the average rounded down), so perhaps that might have made for a more enjoyable experience.

Please note that I ask this as someone who has never played 4th edition, so I don't know how far apart the above issues (i.e. probability to hit and monster damage) are different in 4e vs. the current iteration of the playtest.
I consider a 65% chance to hit to be barely acceptable, and then, only when I can get encounter based abilities to make it 85%-95%.
I must admit that I find that quite simply remarkable, viz. taking a 65% chance to hit to be barely acceptable, and expecting to boost that to 85-95% every encounter. That means, more or less, hitting 17-19 times out of every 20 swings!

If it helps, you might want to know that most of us who played D&D, certainly before 3e, and perhaps in 3e to some extent, had nothing like those kind of expectations. Of course, the differences in math also changes things. A D&D Next (or for that matter, an OD&D or AD&D) kobold is likely to have only 2 hit points, and a goblin 3. I'm not sure what it is in 4th edition, but I imagine much higher (apart from minions). So, what this means is that, although you hit every round in 4th, you still take a while to take it down. In older expressions of the game, one wasn't so much "missing" as "not landing a decisive hit". If you could hit a foe more than 3 out of 5 times, that was quite something, especially if your sword did 1d8 and your opponents only averaged 2 or 3 hit points! So, in a certain sense, perhaps your expectation of being more or less assured to have some effect every round is what was being frustrated here by an older, but I think quite enjoyable, version in which landing a meaningful blow is not assured, but in which fewer such blows need to happen to take the enemy down.

However, it sounds like this is not your cup of tea, and I hope you can continue to enjoy playing the way you like!
There is a reason I have searched out other RPGs while playing every edition of D&D printed (except Moldovay/whitebox) *edit* since 1982*/edit*. In every edition of D&D prior to 4th combats were more whiff fests for martial characters waiting for the MU to decide it was time to use his spell(s). I never tolerated it then, I won't tolerate it now.
We were also targeting someone with AC 18 or higher.

I am on GTO / RPGTable Online as "MorphoPracktix" IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/26.jpg)

There is a reason I have searched out other RPGs while playing every edition of D&D printed (except Moldovay/whitebox) *edit* since 1982*/edit*...



As you report to be someone who played D&D in every edition except OD&D and B/X since 1982, I find the claim that you never tolerated it seems a bit hard to swallow! Seriously, though, it sounds as though you have never been happy with combat in D&D until 4th, and it looks as though you won't be happy with the new version of a game you've played for a long time, and that's a real shame.

We were also targeting someone with AC 18 or higher.



OK, and with a +4 to hit, that means only 35% of the rolls to hit will deal damage. However, in the new math of D&D, an AC 18 is exceedingly rare, and meant to be especially hard to hit, at least among monsters. Only two giants and a couple of highpower undead, I believe, have AC 18. Even the Archdevil Asmodeus only has an AC 17! Other, even quite powerful monsters have more generally "accessible" armor classes. So, if someone is used to a "monster math" which presumes damage is being done mostly every round but that the monster has mountains of hit points, then this system will either annoy or take getting used to. However, those of us more familiar with older iterations will be more comfortable with a similar effect, but the idea of not landing a decent blow every time, but relatively fewer hits needed to take something down.

Having a 50% actual hit ratio on Kobolds (with whirlwind attack) and totally whiffing on the guards in the first encounter (AC 15? chainmail wearing goons) did nothing to make me happy either. The fact that Jag totally threw that first fight wasn't of the happy making either (that captain possibly could have soloed the party by himself given how his men where knocking us the hell down).

I probably should have started the game in chain myself but yeah.

Never tolerated is probably not correct, I never liked it (although most of my alternatives I had issues with to, the class template disparity in Warhammer Fantasy 1st and 2nd editions, the randomized classes in Stormbringer from Chaosium, hell FASERIP Marvel and Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century were my favorite RPGs for a long while).

Something that frustrates me internally is I can run systems I hate for other people and they tell me that they had fun while I'm sitting there angry that I'm miserable. Don't know how to fix that. I should be happy they had fun right?

Hm, further consideration, Whirlwind Attack should be made consistent with other AoEs, multiple attack rolls and one damage roll I think. Martial damage dice and bonus the issue there? I haven't been able to test it at higher levels yet. 
Something that frustrates me internally is I can run systems I hate for other people and they tell me that they had fun while I'm sitting there angry that I'm miserable. Don't know how to fix that. I should be happy they had fun right?


Quite honestly, no, you should not make yourself miserable in order that other people might be happy. There are many reasons why not, but minimally I imagine that your friends, if they knew, would not want to enjoy their game at your expense (i.e. at the expense of your having fun, too).

You might consider, however, "adjusting your happiness" in not making the best the enemy of the good. That is, even if you find 4e combat more fun for you, and in that sense better, does not make the more classic system bad or not fun. It "works", even if not in a way that pushes all your buttons (in the good sense). So long as you focus on how the combat system is not 4th edition, you will continue to be miserable. However, if you ask yourself honestly "Does it need to be?" and can see that, in truth, the answer to that question is "No, of course not", then you may find yourself having a blast with your fellow players.

That'll be five cents, please! ;)
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