Dead Levels - Still Not Ok - Not Even for Caster Classes

Look, I realise things are still a work in progress especially after lvl 10.

But this is not good enough.

The Fighter class chart still looks like someone deliberately deleted something out of the lvl 6 row just to be spiteful.

Seriously, a new Maneuver at lvl 2, 4, 8 AND 10... but not at 6... WHY?!?

And there are levels above 10 where even the CASTERS (poster boys for "screw you we don't get dead levels") are dead.  Lvl 19 on the Cleric for example.

It's not cool in any class.

And the idea that the Fighter is "just about done" as they have said in the podcast just sends a shiver up my spine. 


And the idea that the Fighter is "just about done" as they have said in the podcast just sends a shiver up my spine. 



This is what does it for me.  If the completed fighter is going to look like something similar to its current version, then I'm already out of the market for this game.  I hate to be the type of person to say that, but it means an awful lot to me. 
If their plan was to keep the fighter as a sort of flavorless  generic (yet flexible) warrior class, they've succeeded. I recall how well the martial (then expertise) dice were received when the fighter came out, but that's no longer a unique characteristic to the class.

Fighter: "Hey, look at me, I've got *martial dice*!"
Rogue, Monk, Barbarian: "That makes you kind of unique and purposeful, fighter! Oh look at that, everyone else is getting that too! AND other cool things."
Fighter: "Erm.. yeah, that's great! I'll just parry some stuff I guess?"

It definitely needs some more work
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I already said in other topics that the Fighter's schtick should be different ways to interact with the MDD. Makes sense, since MDD nowadays is the foundation of weapon-based combat, that THE combat-centered class is the one most effective at using them.

In what ways, you ask? Oh, well...

"FIGHTER STRATEGY: Choose one of the options bellow.

Walord: You can, as a reaction, spend your MDDs on an ally's turn to power his maneuvers (if he has them) or to increase the damage he deals on a hit.

Slayer: All your MDD increase to d10.

Defender: Whenever you hit with an opportunity attack, double the damage your MDD deal.

Duelist: When you are hit by a melee attack, as a reaction, you can reduce the incoming damage. Roll your MDD and subtract this value from the damage you take. If the damage total is now 0, the attack was a miss instead (This one is Parry. If we have this type of feature for the Fighter, it does not need Parry as a defining feature anymore).

Harrier: You can, as a free aciton on your turn, roll one or more MDD and add the total to your AC against any opportunity attacks you take during this turn.

Weapon Master: You gain one additional MDD, and one more at level 11. (More maneuvers per round! :D)"



Done. Interesting Fighter with iconic features that not everyone can have. Parry, on the other hand, is ridiculous as a class feature. It makes no sense in-game (since, at least IMO, everyone who uses weapons is parrying attacks all the time, instead of, you know, getting your arm chopped off, so it is lame that only the Fighter can reduce damage with such a base move). Parry also doesn't work well with all builds, since Archer fighters cannot benefit from it. It doesn't make sense even for all melee fighters! I fail to see how a fighter that uses a whip, for example, could parry effectively >.<

If the DR represented by Parry is necessary for the class to remain balanced with others, in matters of survivability, well, than simply give him some innate DR and let the player roleplay it however he wants. Or some other form of survivability boost, I don't know. But parry being the "definitive Fighter feature" is not going to cut it for me.

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

A little more on-topic: I think all classes should get a list of minor features (like, say, around 10 of them), and they get to choose one on some specific levels, kinda like how the Rogue worked back on 3.5. This could work to "ressurect" the dead levels in D&D, by giving you a way to customize your character, even if the features are not at all powerfull. Scatter them around the Fighter (perhaps while also changing a bit the levels in which you gain maneuvers), so that, in every level, you get either a maneuver, a feat, a "fighter minor feature", or one extra use of Combat Surge.  The same for all other classes: they get minor features in every level in which there's no major feature appearing.

Examples of such minor features for the Fighter could be:

Armored Combatant: Reduce the armor penalty to speed in 5 feet.
Tough Warrior: You gain 3 HP.
Heavy Loader: Treat your Str score as 2 points higher for the purposes of determining how much load you can carry.
Crasher: When you attack an object, you deal maximum damage on a hit.

Similar features could be invented for each class. There could be some overlap along similar classes, as well.

Good stuff Valien. If they insist on dead level for martial characters, then that may be a good avenue to add in more utlity for martial based characters, similar to proficiencies or martial practices. For casters you can add in more spells or different types of lore.
Look, I realise things are still a work in progress especially after lvl 10.

But this is not good enough.

The Fighter class chart still looks like someone deliberately deleted something out of the lvl 6 row just to be spiteful.

Seriously, a new Maneuver at lvl 2, 4, 8 AND 10... but not at 6... WHY?!?
 



Well i think they want to keep level 3 6 and 9 a bit barren when it comes to class abilities.
These are the levels where you get a feat if you look at the barbarian,Rogue and monk  3 6 and 9 are also the levels where you don't get class abilities 
 


Well i think they want to keep level 3 6 and 9 a bit barren when it comes to class abilities.
These are the levels where you get a feat if you look at the barbarian,Rogue and monk  3 6 and 9 are also the levels where you don't get class abilities 
 



This exactly.

Also, Mike Mearls has said that more options are coming to fill in the dead levels from 10 to 20. He said every class will get something at each level. It's a work in progress, this is not the finished product.
Look, I realise things are still a work in progress especially after lvl 10.

But this is not good enough.

The Fighter class chart still looks like someone deliberately deleted something out of the lvl 6 row just to be spiteful.

Seriously, a new Maneuver at lvl 2, 4, 8 AND 10... but not at 6... WHY?!?
 



Well i think they want to keep level 3 6 and 9 a bit barren when it comes to class abilities.
These are the levels where you get a feat if you look at the barbarian,Rogue and monk  3 6 and 9 are also the levels where you don't get class abilities 
 


That really only works if you assume that everyone is playing with feats.  You cannot consider optional elements when determining whether a level is dead or not.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I'm willing to bet feats will make it in. Some people may not like them but I'm willing to bet more people want them.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Look, I realise things are still a work in progress especially after lvl 10.

But this is not good enough.

The Fighter class chart still looks like someone deliberately deleted something out of the lvl 6 row just to be spiteful.

Seriously, a new Maneuver at lvl 2, 4, 8 AND 10... but not at 6... WHY?!?
 



Well i think they want to keep level 3 6 and 9 a bit barren when it comes to class abilities.
These are the levels where you get a feat if you look at the barbarian,Rogue and monk  3 6 and 9 are also the levels where you don't get class abilities 
 


That really only works if you assume that everyone is playing with feats.  You cannot consider optional elements when determining whether a level is dead or not.



players that don't like the idea of feats are usualy platyers of ADnD 2ns or earlyer.
and in those editions only gaining PH to hit and saves was very common for some classes. 
Well i think they want to keep level 3 6 and 9 a bit barren when it comes to class abilities.
These are the levels where you get a feat if you look at the barbarian,Rogue and monk  3 6 and 9 are also the levels where you don't get class abilities 
 


How will that gel with multiclassing?
I'm willing to bet feats will make it in. Some people may not like them but I'm willing to bet more people want them.

I'm pretty sure Feats won't be in Basic, but will be standard in Standard.
People who don't use feats are likely those from earlier editions - where nearly every level was a "dead level".


Feats are perfectly adequate ways to 'fill in' dead levels.



Carl
I'm willing to bet feats will make it in. Some people may not like them but I'm willing to bet more people want them.

I'm pretty sure Feats won't be in Basic, but will be standard in Standard.



 Thats the one thing that could kill D&DN for me. I do not want an incomplete game on release and I do not like the idea of a basic/standard/advanced option. Make a separate line like AD&D and D&D. I'll buy the D&DN PHB regardless, purchases beyond that I'll have to wait and see.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I'm willing to bet feats will make it in. Some people may not like them but I'm willing to bet more people want them.

I'm pretty sure Feats won't be in Basic, but will be standard in Standard.



my guess would be :
basic no feats
standard feats delivers trough specialties.
advanced you can hand pick your feats  
Pretty sure that they implied simply that feats were already selected for you in Basic. (So they have pre-picked your speciality for you).
Pretty sure that they implied simply that feats were already selected for you in Basic. (So they have pre-picked your speciality for you).


That certainly seems to be implicit in the answer to Question 1 of the most recent Q&A.
I'm willing to bet feats will make it in. Some people may not like them but I'm willing to bet more people want them.

I'm pretty sure Feats won't be in Basic, but will be standard in Standard.



 Thats the one thing that could kill D&DN for me. I do not want an incomplete game on release and I do not like the idea of a basic/standard/advanced option. Make a separate line like AD&D and D&D. I'll buy the D&DN PHB regardless, purchases beyond that I'll have to wait and see.





Unless they have said otherwise, I suspect that the PHB will have the 'basic' and 'standard' options - and likely even some advanced options.  So what you buy will be a 'complete game' on release (in so far as any D&D game can ever be said to be 'complete', since the presumption is that they will continue to add to the game for years to come.) The issue is whether you choose to use all of those options - not whether or not they are 'in the book'.

(There also will hopefully be a 'red box' type intoductory game.  But that will be intentionally incomplete - allowing it to be inexpensive, with only the first few levels and enough material to get people started.) 

And yes - I really do not care if the basic game has dead levels.  


The standard game is a bit more problematic - avoiding dead levels there would be a good thing.  But I'd rather not see them the pack the classes with 'stuff' in basic for no reason other than to avoid dead levels.  That seems to violate the whole idea of 'basic'.

Too many options != basic.
 
Carl
I'm especially dissapointed with post level 10.

Combat surge is pretty minimal at 4/day, and the stop on the martial die and maneuvers means the fighter stops changing right when the barbarian and casters are getting cool. 
I'm especially dissapointed with post level 10.

Combat surge is pretty minimal at 4/day, and the stop on the martial die and maneuvers means the fighter stops changing right when the barbarian and casters are getting cool. 



I'm not sure why maneuvers stop.   It seems that they should keep getting more maneuvers just as wizards keep getting more spells.

I suspect the problem is a lack of maneuvers and trying to avoid all fighters ending up the same at level 20 because they all have all maneuvers.   Perhaps they should start collecting ideas for maneuvers from the community.


Especially when it comes to post-level-10 maneuvers I'd like to see some really cool maneuvers, especially ones that involve multiple attacks and movement through the field of battle.


Carl       
I don't know why they decided that you get all of your class features by level 10 except maybe one special ability stretched out over the last 10 levels, and why they stopped the feat and maneuver progression at 10, so you never learn anything new for the rest of the character's life.
I don't know why they decided that you get all of your class features by level 10 except maybe one special ability stretched out over the last 10 levels, and why they stopped the feat and maneuver progression at 10, so you never learn anything new for the rest of the character's life.



 Mearls likes 2nd ed alot and they capped alot of thigs at level 10 or so in 2nd ed. PF and 4th ed and SWSE do not have dead levels though.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Hmmmmm ok I could see there being a bit of a shift in design priorities at a certain level, but that again only works if every class gets the same shift. So unless the other classes, casters especially, see some sort of capping (to say nothing of the adjustments that need to be made to monster progression) this whole capping the fighter at level 10 thing needs to die.
Look, I realise things are still a work in progress especially after lvl 10.

But this is not good enough.

The Fighter class chart still looks like someone deliberately deleted something out of the lvl 6 row just to be spiteful.

Seriously, a new Maneuver at lvl 2, 4, 8 AND 10... but not at 6... WHY?!?
 



Well i think they want to keep level 3 6 and 9 a bit barren when it comes to class abilities.
These are the levels where you get a feat if you look at the barbarian,Rogue and monk  3 6 and 9 are also the levels where you don't get class abilities 
 


That really only works if you assume that everyone is playing with feats.  You cannot consider optional elements when determining whether a level is dead or not.



players that don't like the idea of feats are usualy platyers of ADnD 2ns or earlyer.
and in those editions only gaining PH to hit and saves was very common for some classes. 


Yes, but actually look at the level 6 fighter.  Going from level 5 to level 6 just gives you HP.  You don't get any increase on your to hit bonus, and you don't get any additional MDD.  Literally, the only thing you get for gaining that level is about 6 HP.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Mearls has said he will fix dead levels. I recognize that not everyone believes him, and that's fine, but if you don't believe him, then nothing about DDN is set in stone, and worrying is pointless.

I'm therefore a lot less worried about dead levels than I am about out of combat options. One they've said is something they'll fix before launch, and the other seems to be a bug dressed as feature.
I can't help but think that some out of combat abilities might fill in some of those dead levels, evrybody wins.
I also do not mind a few dead levles (1-2 maybe) but prefer not to have them.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Look, I realise things are still a work in progress especially after lvl 10.

But this is not good enough.

The Fighter class chart still looks like someone deliberately deleted something out of the lvl 6 row just to be spiteful.

Seriously, a new Maneuver at lvl 2, 4, 8 AND 10... but not at 6... WHY?!?
 



Well i think they want to keep level 3 6 and 9 a bit barren when it comes to class abilities.
These are the levels where you get a feat if you look at the barbarian,Rogue and monk  3 6 and 9 are also the levels where you don't get class abilities 
 


That really only works if you assume that everyone is playing with feats.  You cannot consider optional elements when determining whether a level is dead or not.



players that don't like the idea of feats are usualy platyers of ADnD 2ns or earlyer.
and in those editions only gaining PH to hit and saves was very common for some classes. 



I am all for feats as an option. 
I'm especially dissapointed with post level 10.

Combat surge is pretty minimal at 4/day, and the stop on the martial die and maneuvers means the fighter stops changing right when the barbarian and casters are getting cool. 



Indeed.

Fighters REALLY need a Maneuver at lvl 6 AND to keep gaining Maneuvers above lvl 10.

We also really need Feats to continue above lvl 10.

I'd like to see Feats continue at 1/3, so Fighter 11 to 20 might go:

11 - Combat Surge
12 - Feat
13 - Maneuver
14 - Combat Surge
15 - Feat
16 - Maneuver
17 - Combat Surge
18 - Feat
19 - Maneuver
20 - Combat Surge 

12, 16 and 20 get stat increases, so even if you aren't playing with Feats that's only 2 truly dead levels.

Martial Damage Dice should also continue to increase, though I'd cut the martial damage bonus in half.  Kick it in at the same level but only go to 10 at lvl 14 and stay at +10 all the way through to 20.




But this isn't just about the Fighter, that's just the class where the problem is the worst. 
I can't help but think that some out of combat abilities might fill in some of those dead levels, evrybody wins.



THIS.

100,000% this! 
Look, I realise things are still a work in progress especially after lvl 10.

But this is not good enough.

The Fighter class chart still looks like someone deliberately deleted something out of the lvl 6 row just to be spiteful.

Seriously, a new Maneuver at lvl 2, 4, 8 AND 10... but not at 6... WHY?!?
 



Well i think they want to keep level 3 6 and 9 a bit barren when it comes to class abilities.
These are the levels where you get a feat if you look at the barbarian,Rogue and monk  3 6 and 9 are also the levels where you don't get class abilities 
 


That really only works if you assume that everyone is playing with feats.  You cannot consider optional elements when determining whether a level is dead or not.



players that don't like the idea of feats are usualy platyers of ADnD 2ns or earlyer.
and in those editions only gaining PH to hit and saves was very common for some classes. 



I am all for feats as an option. 


Feats already are optional material.  You are in no way obligated to use them.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I can't help but think that some out of combat abilities might fill in some of those dead levels, evrybody wins.



THIS.

100,000% this! 


www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...

i think at higer level they might be filed in with thislegacy system they talk about.
I can't help but think that some out of combat abilities might fill in some of those dead levels, evrybody wins.



THIS.

100,000% this! 


www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...

i think at higer level they might be filed in with thislegacy system they talk about.



I'll believe it when I see it.

Everything they said there sounded like "here, have some minor RP bonuses to make up for Wish and Timestop". 
I'm willing to bet feats will make it in. Some people may not like them but I'm willing to bet more people want them.


Agreed
I'm willing to bet feats will make it in. Some people may not like them but I'm willing to bet more people want them.


Agreed



Of course they are going to make it in.

But it's VERY likely that they will remain optional.

Meaning that many people will play the game without them.

So there will be "HP only" TRULY dead levels in the Martial classes, even before lvl 10.

That's a problem. 
Well yeah, but in all honesty the pre-10 dead levels aren't the most worrysome part. I grant that they are annoying and that they probably should be filled, but the lack of any real progression for the fighter beyond level 10 is somewhat horrifying.

And combat surge doesn't count because while extra actions are nice fighters have probably the least threatening actions in the game, and with only 4 extra per day it's not a huge impact. 
Well yeah, but in all honesty the pre-10 dead levels aren't the most worrysome part. I grant that they are annoying and that they probably should be filled, but the lack of any real progression for the fighter beyond level 10 is somewhat horrifying.

And combat surge doesn't count because while extra actions are nice fighters have probably the least threatening actions in the game, and with only 4 extra per day it's not a huge impact. 



I hear you on the post 10 death of the Fighter.

But I'm talking about that in other threads.

THIS thread is about how dead levels aren't ok at ANY level for ANY class in ANY mode of the game.
In that case yeah, dead levels are a nuisance, grinding up a level is hard enough, if there's nothing but a chunk of HP and an extra point for a lame-o healing mechanic, it's even more frustrating because you've got to go through all that again.
In that case yeah, dead levels are a nuisance, grinding up a level is hard enough, if there's nothing but a chunk of HP and an extra point for a lame-o healing mechanic, it's even more frustrating because you've got to go through all that again.



Exactly.

6HP (ish) for a level is a slap in the face.

The kind that makes players leave the game. 
I agree. I don't want to see any dashes in any tables. I don't care if someone plans to put feats in there later. I want to see the whole table if it is going to be play tested correctly.
I wouldn't go that far, I learned to love DnD during the original 3e, people will play what they can can find players and books for.

That said it does seem that the amount of competition for DnD's market share has increased since the 3e release so it would definetely behoove the devs to avoid annoying things like that.