1. I desided to design my own adventure. It was easy, and enjoyable. I like the material covering this area of the game. Note: I changed the rats to rat swarms by adjusting some numbers. I think swarms are the better way to go in using such animals. One rat should not be a combat, and individual 6-10 rats is not really fun. Swarms put a feverish vision in players heads that makes it fun and helps combat move along. The battle I used them in was very exciting and smooth. - Mesh netting filled with starving rats, a gnoll undoes the rope and drops the netting ontop of the PCs that entered the trash filled room. Dex save or be trapped under the net for the rats to have an easy meal with free hits each round. Save and still have to fight a swarm of hungry rats.
2. We, the group, liked the advantage/disadvantage mechanic. It is nice to sum up a bunch of things with one secondary die roll.
3. We liked the hit dice mechanic.
4. The combat worked well. However we did not really like the juggling of the martial damage dice. It feels wonky right now. And using it for damage each turn seems excessive. At first level though its hard to imagen higher numbes of thoughs dice. I dont think using a ton of things in the game to boost damage output is need or really a good thing.
5. AC on monsters need to be looked at and thought out more to fit the monsters they are with. I know the package says it is an ongoing thing and not what this round of play testing is about. Still, there is.
6. I am not yet sold on the skill dice mechanic. A part of me loves it and another says it almost seems like it would be better to just use the pc's ability modifier and advantage for having a skill, and leave it at that. Time will tell.
7. Our thoughts on the game as it is now: First of all. We had a great game session! Thats the important thing and the basic mechanics of the game let that happen. So far I like how it brings back the days where DM's could make a story and use the mechanics in a flexable way to fit that story and not the other way around. I think "Less is more." is a mindset that is healthy in the design of D&D Next.
-I will be playing again soon and I will come back with more notes as they develop.