One of my biggest hopes for D&D Next

There are so many aspects of a game like this that people can have so many different preferences for. As has been said many times about many things in the world, there are as many different opinions and desires as there are people.

Having said that, sure I have some hopes for how things turn out in D&D Next. Right now there are many things I like, and a few that I would prefer to be different but that I'm OK with if they aren't.

My one big hope for D&D Next is that it doesn't follow the trend to make things too easy. There is a modern trend that most of you are aware of, especially in video games, to be too forgiving to players, or to make things too easy as to not turn anyone off because there is difficulty.

One thing that comes to mind is the "hide and heal" aspect of a lot of modern video games. This is the "feature" where in a game, if you are about to die, you don't have to find health or be careful during battles, you just do as much damage as you can, then hide while your character auto-heals for 5 or ten seconds. Or, as in Resident Evil 6, if you have almost no health left, just go ahead and die, and you restart the game close to where you left off with full health and no setback for being killed. There is not much sense of risk or danger, so it makes those games less exciting. I'm not saying there is no excitement, but with no risk, the excitement and risk vs. reward is far less than it could be.

In a day and age where people want instant gratification and want things to come easy, a lot of game developers have geared their products to the more "mainstream" casual audience that doesn't want to work as hard for the reward. This waters down the experience quite a bit.

One of my big hopes is that with D&D Next, the game is able to appeal to more people, but not at the expense of lessening the sense of danger and excitement to appeal to the casual player so much that it becomes a watered down version of what it could be.

I see a lot of posts here complaining about what essentially boils down to math, and I've fallen into that trap myself. And its true that the math in the playtest packets has allowed for overly easy combat, without much sense of consequence or danger. But, in one of the google chats it was stated over and over that math is the easy thing to fix. It's my hope that as the structure gets hammered out, the math will truly be fixed in a way that doesn't take away from the sense of accomplishment and adventure.

I will add that I'm not hoping for the game to be so difficult as to be frustrating, either. Just a chance for real danger and excitement, but with a great sense of accomplishment and reward for being able to overcome that danger.
Hide an heal, like with the old school Rope Trick spell ?

The difficulty level of a tabletop rpg is determined by the players.

When you play with divas focused on never taking a useful combat abilities, there's no edition of D&D that is not hardcore difficulty for this group as default. And when you play with a group determined to be the best mercenary unit, the problem is reversed.

If the difficulty level of a tabletop rpg is too high or too low, the problem comes from the DM.
Hide an heal, like with the old school Rope Trick spell ?

The difficulty level of a tabletop rpg is determined by the players.

When you play with divas focused on never taking a useful combat abilities, there's no edition of D&D that is not hardcore difficulty for this group as default. And when you play with a group determined to be the best mercenary unit, the problem is reversed.

If the difficulty level of a tabletop rpg is too high or too low, the problem comes from the DM.



While I agree with you to an extent, there's no denying that character HP, AC, monster HP, MDD, etc. contribute to this. While a DM can overrule all of those things, it shouldn't have to be the norm to do so to increase risk vs. reward.

I agree with the OP, in the older editions of the games if you played strictly by the rules, lethality and death of PC's was common, kind of supprising actually if it didnt happen once every three sessions or more.


but the designers are catering to a different generation now, and they want Next to be all things to all gamers. That said, there seems to be a sense of entitlement to modern TTRPGs. the Dragon Age rpg actually says that all players are entitled to go from 1st to 20th without dieing, and there are other "storyteller" based systems where player death must be agreed to by the player before it can happen... the Next designers themselves have said they plan to include a storytelling rules module for this as well.

my personal opinion though is that while the newer generation of gamers seems to feel they are entitled to never dieing (or having death happen only under greatly heroic circumstances) the systems that encourage that have lost something... its like old school gamers can sit around and talk about the amazing time so n so was the only party member to survive some deadly tower, or the time xyz died trying to jump his horse over the log in the road, but with the newer games those kind of talks become rare...

I think this is because everybody wants and expects their character to be the hero in the story, but the truth is the game should be about the heros that live, and just because a character of yours died does not mean that you "lost" at dungeons and dragons, it just means that the rewards the characters who lived have earned are actually deserved because the risk to the characters were real.

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
As with most things, there's a careful balance that must be struck, and the balance needs to be one that each group can fine tune to exactly where they like it.

I'm an old schooler, and like many I like games where the risk is high. I feel like it encourages players to use their heads more and not be too careless and solve all their problems with swords and fireballs.

On the other hand, many people spend a lot of time and energy on creating a character that they enjoy playing, and they get really attached to the character, and I think that should be rewarded because it makes for great roleplaying. If lethality is too high, you run the risk of players becoming less willing to develop that kind of attachment to the character.

So there must be a balance, and the best balance will be different from group to group. The best thing D&D can do to make it work is enable individual groups to easily adjust that balance without putting pressure on the rest of the system. 
Lathality and Challenge level are some of the easier things to put on dial, so that each DM can easily adjust according to the desired playstyle.

Low, medium and high mortality are all legitimate playstyles, and the game should support them all.
I wouldn't set high lethality as default anyway for the sake of new players, in order to give them time to learn the game before pushing them hard. 

Whatever the choice, cosistency is key: what shouldn't happen is the game to start brutally punishing due to single digit hp and then become trivial as those escalate progressively much faster than damage, or because characters get easy access to tools to negate threats.
I'm just not seeing this belief with modern games. In our last 3 campaigns, we've had character deaths aplenty and it was 4th edition and 3rd edition systems. One reoccurring joke we have is "when is Erik's character going to die?" because it does happen quite a bit And we only do 4E & 3E. So lethality of a specific game solely rests in the DM's encounters and player's decisions. 
Hide an heal, like with the old school Rope Trick spell ?

The difficulty level of a tabletop rpg is determined by the players.

When you play with divas focused on never taking a useful combat abilities, there's no edition of D&D that is not hardcore difficulty for this group as default. And when you play with a group determined to be the best mercenary unit, the problem is reversed.

If the difficulty level of a tabletop rpg is too high or too low, the problem comes from the DM.



While I agree with you to an extent, there's no denying that character HP, AC, monster HP, MDD, etc. contribute to this. While a DM can overrule all of those things, it shouldn't have to be the norm to do so to increase risk vs. reward.



The numbers are relative. A million hps isn't enough if the monsters hit 750k so when some crusty old school D&D people start reminiscing about having to start with 3hps for their magic user instead of 12 I can only shake my head. So challenge is relative to the strength of the characters, the synergy of the party, a bit of luck, and the skills of the player. They cannot realistically design a game that at any arbitrary default setting would be challenging, fair or enjoyable for any arbitary group that may differ in size, skill, or composition.

So, the difficulty level will not be hardcoded in a proper RPG. Instead, the difficulty curve ought to be somewhat obvious so the player group can tune it to their desires. Personally, I want to run the game like the lair assault concept where there is a good chance for a TPK twice a level. Andif it happens oh well try again! When I play with my kids we move, beat up a monster mini, and then take it's coin. Get enough coins you can buy an ice cream. It's easy to adapt to different desires when the math is clear. Even if the math isn't perfect it's good enough.
Death and Challenge is mostly a group thing. Though the system and system mastery of the designers does help.

I personally like my "1 after 5 with 5" rule. 1 guy is permadead after 5 levels with 5 PCs.

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!

Pretty sure the challenge level will be easily adjustable with a "dial," if not simply with a handful of core options.

So I think you're setting your hopes for low-hanging fruit here.  You're bound to get what you wish for, but all the same... dream bigger!  Reach up and touch-attack the sky for 3d6 lightning damage!

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

The lethality I encountered in D&D from 1st to 4th edition was the same, except that the 4th edition was avoiding the housecat as being a maneater.
After a few encounters, we know how to adjust things to challenge a specific group.

I remember a 2nd edition group for which the DM had to up the difficulty level because the wizard and the cleric were total teamplayers in their spell choices, and the other players followed the initiated dynamics.

The DM is not here to kill the players, so assessing the lethality of his game is already his job.
(looks around at pile of dead character sheets from just one 4E campaign)

Huh, sorry guys, I guess you're PCs really aren't dead because you're somehow entitled for them not to be, or so some guys on a message board said. Well D, it looks like you're now running 9 characters this week, and the party is now at 34 characters. How do you plan to even fit in the dungeon?
The lethality I encountered in D&D from 1st to 4th edition was the same, except that the 4th edition was avoiding the housecat as being a maneater.
After a few encounters, we know how to adjust things to challenge a specific group.

I remember a 2nd edition group for which the DM had to up the difficulty level because the wizard and the cleric were total teamplayers in their spell choices, and the other players followed the initiated dynamics.

The DM is not here to kill the players, so assessing the lethality of his game is already his job.



I am half tempted to try a strict RAW play thru of 6 1st level, AD&D characters, rolled for stats and hps, and see how many house cats it would take to get a TPK.
Also with bounded accuracy in 5E it is expecially easy to ramp up encounters difficulty: just use higher level monters.
Characters are still going to be able to hit them, due to BA, but they'll find an higher durability and damage output, which immediately makes for a greater challenge. 
The lethality I encountered in D&D from 1st to 4th edition was the same, except that the 4th edition was avoiding the housecat as being a maneater.
After a few encounters, we know how to adjust things to challenge a specific group.

I remember a 2nd edition group for which the DM had to up the difficulty level because the wizard and the cleric were total teamplayers in their spell choices, and the other players followed the initiated dynamics.

The DM is not here to kill the players, so assessing the lethality of his game is already his job.



I am half tempted to try a strict RAW play thru of 6 1st level, AD&D characters, rolled for stats and hps, and see how many house cats it would take to get a TPK.



You must venture into the temple of Bastet where you will face the guardian housecats which none have been able to survive.

For truly oldschool feel you can put a demilich at the end with a skeletal housecat familar that level drains with each claw attack.
 
(looks around at pile of dead character sheets from just one 4E campaign)

Huh, sorry guys, I guess you're PCs really aren't dead because you're somehow entitled for them not to be, or so some guys on a message board said. Well D, it looks like you're now running 9 characters this week, and the party is now at 34 characters. How do you plan to even fit in the dungeon?



I'm not sure if this is directed at me or not, but I never mentioned anything about 4E (or any D&D edition for that matter). I'm referring to a general trend in modern gaming of all kinds, but since I haven't played D&D since 2E, I can't comment on 3E and 4E.

So far, Next does have a feel of being too easy (just look at any number of threads about it). And as I said, Wizards has said that the math is easily adjusted, so I'm hopeful that it will be in a way that eliminates the over easiness that my groups are currently experiencing b/c of current MDD rules  and monster HP and such.
So, the basis for this thread is "One of my biggest hopes for D&D Next is that I can make the game as lethal and dangerous as I want".

Well, the designers have more or less said "Yes, you will be able to do that".

End thread. Grats.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

I've always been a firm believer that high risk does not have to equal high lethality. Losing characters sucks. When playing older editions of D&D I never get too attached to my characters because they probably won't be around that long. I enjoy dificulty, but randomly encountering something that flat out kills me is not difficult. It just sucks.

I believe players should have to make hard calls, utilise tactics, and sometimes even face situations where there is no real way to win. But I don't think they should die. You can impose twists and conditions on failure that allow the players to keep going, and suffer very real losses, but an actual player death should be a rare event.

Difficult does not always mean deadly. It is usually far more difficult to deal with the consequences of your failure than to just roll a new character. 
I've always been a firm believer that high risk does not have to equal high lethality. Losing characters sucks. When playing older editions of D&D I never get too attached to my characters because they probably won't be around that long. I enjoy dificulty, but randomly encountering something that flat out kills me is not difficult. It just sucks.

I believe players should have to make hard calls, utilise tactics, and sometimes even face situations where there is no real way to win. But I don't think they should die. You can impose twists and conditions on failure that allow the players to keep going, and suffer very real losses, but an actual player death should be a rare event.

Difficult does not always mean deadly. It is usually far more difficult to deal with the consequences of your failure than to just roll a new character. 



Yes, thank you. This is exactly the kind of thing I mean. Several people have responded as if I said that all campaigns should be lethal, but nowhere did I say that. I just don't want the RAW to provide a game that is overly easy without out much challenge/reward so as to water down the experience.

For example, in Half-Life, you often felt that you were near death or you often had low health, but you never really were at as much risk as you thought. The game did a great job of providing that sense of risk without actually being lethal. It added to the thrill and sense of accomplishment without being unfair and causing constant frustration. I'm not saying that they need to mimic Half-Life or anything like that, but it gives an idea of one way the risk/reward was done well.
(looks around at pile of dead character sheets from just one 4E campaign)

Huh, sorry guys, I guess you're PCs really aren't dead because you're somehow entitled for them not to be, or so some guys on a message board said. Well D, it looks like you're now running 9 characters this week, and the party is now at 34 characters. How do you plan to even fit in the dungeon?



I'm not sure if this is directed at me or not, but I never mentioned anything about 4E (or any D&D edition for that matter). I'm referring to a general trend in modern gaming of all kinds, but since I haven't played D&D since 2E, I can't comment on 3E and 4E.

So far, Next does have a feel of being too easy (just look at any number of threads about it). And as I said, Wizards has said that the math is easily adjusted, so I'm hopeful that it will be in a way that eliminates the over easiness that my groups are currently experiencing b/c of current MDD rules  and monster HP and such.



Mostly at Baalbamouth.

Killing PCs is easy, heck last year at Gen Con the PCs got obliterated in our playtest session.
I've always been a firm believer that high risk does not have to equal high lethality. Losing characters sucks. When playing older editions of D&D I never get too attached to my characters because they probably won't be around that long. I enjoy dificulty, but randomly encountering something that flat out kills me is not difficult. It just sucks.

I believe players should have to make hard calls, utilise tactics, and sometimes even face situations where there is no real way to win. But I don't think they should die. You can impose twists and conditions on failure that allow the players to keep going, and suffer very real losses, but an actual player death should be a rare event.

Difficult does not always mean deadly. It is usually far more difficult to deal with the consequences of your failure than to just roll a new character. 



Yes, thank you. This is exactly the kind of thing I mean. Several people have responded as if I said that all campaigns should be lethal, but nowhere did I say that. I just don't want the RAW to provide a game that is overly easy without out much challenge/reward so as to water down the experience.

For example, in Half-Life, you often felt that you were near death or you often had low health, but you never really were at as much risk as you thought. The game did a great job of providing that sense of risk without actually being lethal. It added to the thrill and sense of accomplishment without being unfair and causing constant frustration. I'm not saying that they need to mimic Half-Life or anything like that, but it gives an idea of one way the risk/reward was done well.



Im still drawing a blank here on what the nature of your request is that D&D:Next should fulfill? Could you provide some generic examples of how, say, an older version of the game lends itself to be more difficult without directly meaning character death and how this is somehow avoided in modern TTRPG's? 
(looks around at pile of dead character sheets from just one 4E campaign)

Huh, sorry guys, I guess you're PCs really aren't dead because you're somehow entitled for them not to be, or so some guys on a message board said. Well D, it looks like you're now running 9 characters this week, and the party is now at 34 characters. How do you plan to even fit in the dungeon?



I'm not sure if this is directed at me or not, but I never mentioned anything about 4E (or any D&D edition for that matter). I'm referring to a general trend in modern gaming of all kinds, but since I haven't played D&D since 2E, I can't comment on 3E and 4E.

So far, Next does have a feel of being too easy (just look at any number of threads about it). And as I said, Wizards has said that the math is easily adjusted, so I'm hopeful that it will be in a way that eliminates the over easiness that my groups are currently experiencing b/c of current MDD rules  and monster HP and such.



Mostly at Baalbamouth.

Killing PCs is easy, heck last year at Gen Con the PCs got obliterated in our playtest session.



Gotcha.

The lethality I encountered in D&D from 1st to 4th edition was the same, except that the 4th edition was avoiding the housecat as being a maneater.
After a few encounters, we know how to adjust things to challenge a specific group.

I remember a 2nd edition group for which the DM had to up the difficulty level because the wizard and the cleric were total teamplayers in their spell choices, and the other players followed the initiated dynamics.

The DM is not here to kill the players, so assessing the lethality of his game is already his job.



I am half tempted to try a strict RAW play thru of 6 1st level, AD&D characters, rolled for stats and hps, and see how many house cats it would take to get a TPK.

I never knew a TPK with house cats, but it was a joke for us to start 1st level adventure in a cave against rats or in a street against cats like in video games. And like in video games, after a fade to black, we started the true campaign, the wounded or killed having been saved by a talkative NPC.

It seemed that 1st level wizards were housecats favorite adventuring meal.
Accessibility is the goal, and there's a fine line between easy and accessible. But remember, if they can make the game easy for some, more difficult for others (with the different levels of rules), that's a great goal. Making it always difficult for veterans means making it REALLY difficult for beginners, and that's a bad goal.
My two copper.
I've always been a firm believer that high risk does not have to equal high lethality. Losing characters sucks. When playing older editions of D&D I never get too attached to my characters because they probably won't be around that long. I enjoy dificulty, but randomly encountering something that flat out kills me is not difficult. It just sucks.

I believe players should have to make hard calls, utilise tactics, and sometimes even face situations where there is no real way to win. But I don't think they should die. You can impose twists and conditions on failure that allow the players to keep going, and suffer very real losses, but an actual player death should be a rare event.

Difficult does not always mean deadly. It is usually far more difficult to deal with the consequences of your failure than to just roll a new character. 



Yes, thank you. This is exactly the kind of thing I mean. Several people have responded as if I said that all campaigns should be lethal, but nowhere did I say that. I just don't want the RAW to provide a game that is overly easy without out much challenge/reward so as to water down the experience.

For example, in Half-Life, you often felt that you were near death or you often had low health, but you never really were at as much risk as you thought. The game did a great job of providing that sense of risk without actually being lethal. It added to the thrill and sense of accomplishment without being unfair and causing constant frustration. I'm not saying that they need to mimic Half-Life or anything like that, but it gives an idea of one way the risk/reward was done well.



Im still drawing a blank here on what the nature of your request is that D&D:Next should fulfill? Could you provide some generic examples of how, say, an older version of the game lends itself to be more difficult without directly meaning character death and how this is somehow avoided in modern TTRPG's? 



I'm speaking of Next on its own. I didn't ever compare specifically to any other editions (as I've already said in this thread).

But to answer your question, in all of the Next sessions I've run, by using RAW (including MDDs for extra damage and Parry, listed monster ACs and HPs, and using the encounter building table), the players have taken almost no damage. I described in another thread how a party of two 1st level PCs went up against six goblins. In that encounter, each PC only took 2 total damage, and all but one of the goblins died in 1 hit. The players said they never felt like there was any real chance of being hurt or that there was any real excitement for winning the battle, since there was no real sense of danger.

And since I haven't played 3E or 4E (again, as I have mentioned) to compare, I did see this link that someone posted in another thread. It is somewhat flawed, but it touches on what I'm talking about:

1d8.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-evolution-o...

As I said, WotC has said that the math is the easy part to fix, so I'm just adding my $.02 about that aspect of the game.
I've always been a firm believer that high risk does not have to equal high lethality. Losing characters sucks. When playing older editions of D&D I never get too attached to my characters because they probably won't be around that long. I enjoy dificulty, but randomly encountering something that flat out kills me is not difficult. It just sucks.

I believe players should have to make hard calls, utilise tactics, and sometimes even face situations where there is no real way to win. But I don't think they should die. You can impose twists and conditions on failure that allow the players to keep going, and suffer very real losses, but an actual player death should be a rare event.

Difficult does not always mean deadly. It is usually far more difficult to deal with the consequences of your failure than to just roll a new character. 



Yes, thank you. This is exactly the kind of thing I mean. Several people have responded as if I said that all campaigns should be lethal, but nowhere did I say that. I just don't want the RAW to provide a game that is overly easy without out much challenge/reward so as to water down the experience.

For example, in Half-Life, you often felt that you were near death or you often had low health, but you never really were at as much risk as you thought. The game did a great job of providing that sense of risk without actually being lethal. It added to the thrill and sense of accomplishment without being unfair and causing constant frustration. I'm not saying that they need to mimic Half-Life or anything like that, but it gives an idea of one way the risk/reward was done well.



Im still drawing a blank here on what the nature of your request is that D&D:Next should fulfill? Could you provide some generic examples of how, say, an older version of the game lends itself to be more difficult without directly meaning character death and how this is somehow avoided in modern TTRPG's? 



I'm speaking of Next on its own. I didn't ever compare specifically to any other editions (as I've already said in this thread).

But to answer your question, in all of the Next sessions I've run, by using RAW (including MDDs for extra damage and Parry, listed monster ACs and HPs, and using the encounter building table), the players have taken almost no damage. I described in another thread how a party of two 1st level PCs went up against six goblins. In that encounter, each PC only took 2 total damage, and all but one of the goblins died in 1 hit. The players said they never felt like there was any real chance of being hurt or that there was any real excitement for winning the battle, since there was no real sense of danger.

And since I haven't played 3E or 4E (again, as I have mentioned) to compare, I did see this link that someone posted in another thread. It is somewhat flawed, but it touches on what I'm talking about:

1d8.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-evolution-o...

As I said, WotC has said that the math is the easy part to fix, so I'm just adding my $.02 about that aspect of the game.



fair enough, I've only ever really played modern TTRPG's so I'm not entirely up to speed on the play styles older editions brought that might have felt more dangerous. I agree with your statement that the monster math needs improved upon And have had the same reaction from my players. i guess I was confused from your second point about the reference to modern video games and how they're easier to play and how that transfers to TTRPG's. but to comment on that, the best part about modern videogames is that they have adjustable difficulties that suits the player. 



fair enough, I've only ever really played modern TTRPG's so I'm not entirely up to speed on the play styles older editions brought that might have felt more dangerous. I agree with your statement that the monster math needs improved upon And have had the same reaction from my players. i guess I was confused from your second point about the reference to modern video games and how they're easier to play and how that transfers to TTRPG's. but to comment on that, the best part about modern videogames is that they have adjustable difficulties that suits the player. 




This is a very good point. I guess my main gripe about that is that although different difficulty levels have existed for quite some time, nowadays the "normal" or default difficulty often heavily leans toward the much easier side than what used to be the case. It used to be that a game had easier levels for people who thought normal or hard was too much, and now it seems that "normal" is overly easy and you have to choose a higher difficulty for a challenge. That speaks to the trend I'm referring to.


fair enough, I've only ever really played modern TTRPG's so I'm not entirely up to speed on the play styles older editions brought that might have felt more dangerous. I agree with your statement that the monster math needs improved upon And have had the same reaction from my players. i guess I was confused from your second point about the reference to modern video games and how they're easier to play and how that transfers to TTRPG's. but to comment on that, the best part about modern videogames is that they have adjustable difficulties that suits the player. 




This is a very good point. I guess my main gripe about that is that although different difficulty levels have existed for quite some time, nowadays the "normal" or default difficulty often heavily leans toward the much easier side than what used to be the case. It used to be that a game had easier levels for people who thought normal or hard was too much, and now it seems that "normal" is overly easy and you have to choose a higher difficulty for a challenge. That speaks to the trend I'm referring to.


I really don't see where this is coming from. My girlfriend picked up 2nd edition WAY faster than Pathfinder. In fact she didn't even want to play Pathfinder for a while because it was "too confusing". 2e had much more limited options, ergo she was comfortable with it much quicker.
My two copper.


fair enough, I've only ever really played modern TTRPG's so I'm not entirely up to speed on the play styles older editions brought that might have felt more dangerous. I agree with your statement that the monster math needs improved upon And have had the same reaction from my players. i guess I was confused from your second point about the reference to modern video games and how they're easier to play and how that transfers to TTRPG's. but to comment on that, the best part about modern videogames is that they have adjustable difficulties that suits the player. 




This is a very good point. I guess my main gripe about that is that although different difficulty levels have existed for quite some time, nowadays the "normal" or default difficulty often heavily leans toward the much easier side than what used to be the case. It used to be that a game had easier levels for people who thought normal or hard was too much, and now it seems that "normal" is overly easy and you have to choose a higher difficulty for a challenge. That speaks to the trend I'm referring to.


I really don't see where this is coming from. My girlfriend picked up 2nd edition WAY faster than Pathfinder. In fact she didn't even want to play Pathfinder for a while because it was "too confusing". 2e had much more limited options, ergo she was comfortable with it much quicker.



This topic has nothing to do with how easy the rules are to understand.
A'whoops. Carry on!

Also in that light, I'll agree that 1e and 2e were a bit more deadly than 3e, somewhat, but definitely 4e. 
My two copper.
First, I wanted to point out that there is an enormous distinction between challenge and lethality.  Challenge is about making it difficult to win.  Lethality is about punishing you for losing.  I'm not saying lethality is bad, it's a legitimate playstyle preference that can be a great motivator for some, but you can have lethality without challenge and challenge without lethality. Modern videogames have plenty of challenge - at least if you set the difficulty level high, which is perfectly fair if you're looking for challenge.  You might have to go through a given fight dozens of times before you beat it, carefully honing your skills, choreographing your strategy, and even abusing AI loopholes to win.  They just have dramatically reduced lethality thanks to frequent auto-saves and regenerating health bars, so that when you do die you don't have to replay much.  Insofar as this makes the game easier, it can and is made up for by adding more, tougher baddies.  Alternately, you could create a very easy game with high lethality.  Imagine a game that took 40 hours to beat, and most of the obstacles you faced could easily be overcome on your first try.  However, if you got critted - a .01% chance on any given attack - you were permadead and had to start over from the very beginning.  This would be a highly lethal game, because as you progressed the sheer number of chances to fail make it practically certain that you will do so before the end.  It would also be a low challenge game, because each individual obstacle was pathetically easy to overcome.  The two concepts are logically and practically distinct, and people need to stop conflating them.  Especially because doing so tends to make the confused debater believe that his preference is somehow morally superior to all these wimps who want it "easy."

As an aside, I fet the need to correct another misconception, one that has been widely disseminated by the devs and bought by the fans despite total lack of theoretical cogency..
Also with bounded accuracy in 5E it is expecially easy to ramp up encounters difficulty: just use higher level monters.
Characters are still going to be able to hit them, due to BA, but they'll find an higher durability and damage output, which immediately makes for a greater challenge. 


Actually, BA does no such thing.  Neither does flat math, so let's just avoid the whole semantic debate about what BA is.  If you have some subjective belief that monsters that rarely hit are less viable than monsters that hit frequently but for negligible damage (a position I can almost understand, but it is purely subjective and has no basis in fact provided there are enough of these low level monsters, and if there aren't then I don't know why you'd bother including them), then BA works better with low level monsters.  It also works objectively better with  extremely low level monsters, because the threat curve is linear instead of quadratic (although I would argue that at those extremes you're better off changing the math anyway just to avoid having to roll so many dice).  It actually works less well, however, for particularly high level monsters, tending to produce sporadic instadeath because the damage has to scale so quickly but the accuracy is still low, instead of consistent "run away while you still can damage," thus deluding PCs who have no idea how many HP the monster has, it's attack bonus and AC give no information, and therefore their first mechanical indication of it's challenge rating is one of their teammates dying (a problem which can, admittedly be mostly fixed if DMs telegraph their intentions and players take those warnings seriously).  And in any case, for the minimal level differentials it would take to ramp up the challenge, the two systems work out pretty similarly anyway.
A'whoops. Carry on!



No worries Cool
Especially because doing so tends to make the confused debater believe that his preference is somehow morally superior to all these wimps who want it "easy."



This is not about believing that a preference is superior, nor is it about saying that those who want "easy" games are wimps. It's about providing enough challenge as to give a sense of accomplishment for winning, not being so easy that players feel like they couldn't have lost and therefore don't feel accomplishment for victory. As I've mentioned (and as many other 5E testers have pointed out in varioius threads), my players in the current 5E playtest have stated that this is exactly how they felt and that they wished that encounters were more challenging.

It's about not watering down the risk vs. reward in order to appeal to more casual players. Appeal to them by making the rules easy to understand, but by keeping a sense of accomplishment by being able to win challenging battles, not super easy ones.
That's not at all what people are talking about...

...odd... 

Then what is this thread about?

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

 I have played as poland in HoI2 and Navarra in EUIII.

 Scotland CKII hmmnnn
 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 Not that bad once you know the mechanics
 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I have been Ireland, invaded Spain, formed Britania and ruled northern France.

 I did actually convert some CKII traits to PF.  

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

On a sidenote... I kinda have the desire to challenge the OP to pick up Hearts of Iron 3 and start playing as Polan. Because modern games are easy. How about Scotland in Crusader Kings II?



Of course there are exceptions. That doesn't mean the tendency doesn't exist.


There is a thing called "difficulty selection", and it exists in most games. Try playing Call of Duty on the hardest difficulty... plenty of lethality there. Not the dev's fault you selected easy-mode, man.

End of sidenote-rant.



I actually addressed that in a reply already, regarding video games. I was speaking of the tendency of modern vg developers, not a lack of availability of a hard mode, and I explained that further a few posts back.
I actually addressed that in a reply already, regarding video games. I was speaking of the tendency of modern vg developers, not a lack of availability of a hard mode, and I explained that further a few posts back.



So actually the "tendency" is pretty much non-existant since you can tweak the difficulty to suit your needs, isn't it?

I could also go on with a lot of other examples to prove my point...
Like these here...

A few more:
 - Sword of the Stars
 - Left 4 Dead
 - Portal
 - World in Conflict
 - Elven Legacy
 - Orcs Must Die
 - Legend of Grimrock
 - Metro 2033
 - Prince of Persia
 - King Arthur
 - And many more!


So let me pose you a question in return, regarding this topic. Why is a game bad or not so good when it's easier? I mean, sure, some challenge is definitely nice, but why not leave the difficulty up the user? Why does this make a game bad?

Let's take Call of Duty for example, since it's so well known. Modern Warfare 1, to be precise. The game is - admittedly - not really that hard on the median difficulty levels. That's good, it's supposed to tell a story. If you wanted to, you could just as well jack up the difficulty and thus gain additional challenges. Is that really a bad thing?

I fail to understand the demonization of this non-existant trend...



I take all of those games and raise you the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series.
I actually addressed that in a reply already, regarding video games. I was speaking of the tendency of modern vg developers, not a lack of availability of a hard mode, and I explained that further a few posts back.



So actually the "tendency" is pretty much non-existant since you can tweak the difficulty to suit your needs, isn't it?


 
How long have you been gaming? I'm curious. I have been since the 70s and there is a noticeable difference in the difficulty of modern games. Yes, there are difficulty adjustments, and I use them, but again, things have shifted so that the default is overly easy with an option for more difficult, instead of the default being challenging with an option for easy.


    
I could also go on with a lot of other examples to prove my point...
Like these here...

A few more:
 - Sword of the Stars
 - Left 4 Dead
 - Portal
 - World in Conflict
 - Elven Legacy
 - Orcs Must Die
 - Legend of Grimrock
 - Metro 2033
 - Prince of Persia
 - King Arthur
 - And many more!


So let me pose you a question in return, regarding this topic. Why is a game bad or not so good when it's easier? I mean, sure, some challenge is definitely nice, but why not leave the difficulty up the user? Why does this make a game bad?



Because if something is too easy, it becomes boring. The "casual" audience might enjoy it and be more apt to play because of the lower difficulty, but the lack of challenge leads to boredom. Here are some threads in this very forum to illustrate:

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

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

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...(weapon_dice_module)?pg=1

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

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

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


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


Those are just a few I found really quickly. Lot's of discussion about how encounters are too easy and how people are getting bored because of a lack of challenge.

The whole point of this forum is to provide feedback about your play experiences. This topic came about because of some of my (and my players) concerns with the playtest. And from the posts I pointed out above, we are obviously not alone.

Leichenreiter, we can agree to disagree, but since this is the place for feedback, this is some of mine. Just because you don't like my feedback, it doesn't mean that it isn't relevant. If you don't like or agree with my feedback, great, start a topic to provide yours.
Yeah D&D has been getting easier with every progressive edition and I don't like it. Monsters consistently get weaker and less scary and combat healing becomes more and more plentiful and powerful.

To me that's the biggest strike against D&DN. The monsters are just plain made of nerf now, and that's before you even give the PCs magic items.