What I, as a 4e fan, like about 5e

There are a lot of things I don't like about 5e, but I am nevertheless excited by certain things. Here's what I like:

Bounded accuracy is a great idea. I actually feel like it is a 4e idea though. 4e had bounded accuracy except for the fact you added half level to everything. And I often liked the idea of simply removing the half level addition from 4e.

Faster combat is a big plus. The biggest daily of 4e is how long it takes to run fights. If the game needs to simplify to run faster, that is a perfectly reasonable trade-off to me.

I like that it's not going back to 3e's simulationist weirdness. I hate having to build NPCs like PCs, and I love having open and easy monster design. I also like the attitude in the DM guide that the rules are meant to be fun and not a strict simulation of the universe.

I like at-will spells.

I really like generic cleric deities and domains as opposed to specific deities.

I like that martial characters have stuff to do besides full attack.

I like backgrounds, and the skill system in general.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
Good stuff indeed!
My two copper.
I'll add that I like (generally) more powerful feats and more varied spells.
There are a lot of things I don't like about 5e, but I am nevertheless excited by certain things. Here's what I like: Bounded accuracy is a great idea. I actually feel like it is a 4e idea though. 4e had bounded accuracy except for the fact you added half level to everything. And I often liked the idea of simply removing the half level addition from 4e. Faster combat is a big plus. The biggest daily of 4e is how long it takes to run fights. If the game needs to simplify to run faster, that is a perfectly reasonable trade-off to me. I like that it's not going back to 3e's simulationist weirdness. I hate having to build NPCs like PCs, and I love having open and easy monster design. I also like the attitude in the DM guide that the rules are meant to be fun and not a strict simulation of the universe. I like at-will spells. I really like generic cleric deities and domains as opposed to specific deities. I like that martial characters have stuff to do besides full attack. I like backgrounds, and the skill system in general.



Easy; then a big deal, just ddd 1/2 level bonus for those who like number porn.
There are a lot of things I don't like about 5e, but I am nevertheless excited by certain things. Here's what I like: Bounded accuracy is a great idea. I actually feel like it is a 4e idea though. 4e had bounded accuracy except for the fact you added half level to everything. And I often liked the idea of simply removing the half level addition from 4e. Faster combat is a big plus. The biggest daily of 4e is how long it takes to run fights. If the game needs to simplify to run faster, that is a perfectly reasonable trade-off to me. I like that it's not going back to 3e's simulationist weirdness. I hate having to build NPCs like PCs, and I love having open and easy monster design. I also like the attitude in the DM guide that the rules are meant to be fun and not a strict simulation of the universe. I like at-will spells. I really like generic cleric deities and domains as opposed to specific deities. I like that martial characters have stuff to do besides full attack. I like backgrounds, and the skill system in general.



1. Bounded accuracy certainly bears some resemblance to 4E's +1/2 level to most everything. It's something I really can't get excited over because it does involve significant trade offs. The big tradeoff is has a negative effect on the feeling of progression as you gain levels. One thing that is at the heart of D&D, something no other RPG has ever been able to match, is the sense of progression as you play the game and level up. Over the course of a campaign you get to watch your character become more powerful. There is a lot of satisfaction in that, and bounded accuracy detracts from it. I'm not saying its a bad tradeoff, its just not some amazing miracle of a new idea as a result.

2. Faster combat is a good improvement over 4E, but 5E has gone overboard and neutered combat to the point where nothing interesting happens, just a quick brainless grind and then over. 5E needs to find a balance between the two poles, and balance speed of play with tactical depth and having enough meat to combat for interesting things to develop.

3. I can second you on the lack of a return to 3E-style sim. Good riddance. 5E monsters are boring sacks of HP though.

4. At-Will magic was a 4E thing. I view its continued existence  as the absence of a negative.

5.  I'm kind of meh on the Cleric domain thing. I don't hate it, but it doesn't really inspire.

6. I completely disagree on Fighters. The current(and previous if you look at earlier playtests) design is just at-will spam in disguise. Fighters don't get anything climatic or strategic to play with, and that is a problem. 

7. I'm not real big on the skill system. They seem to change it with every new iteration and none of them really grabbed me.
...whatever
Some people really aren't getting into the positive spirit of this thread.

As a 4e fan, what I like is:


  • Fast combat

  • Cantrips

  • Fighter maneuvers

  • Drastic reduction in spell discretion

  • Action economy

  • Simply written rules

  • Unifying mechanics

  • (Dis)advantage

  • Differently generated PCs and NPCs



 
Kudos to the OP for this dose of positivity!

Danny

Bounded accuracy is a great idea. I actually feel like it is a 4e idea though. 4e had bounded accuracy except for the fact you added half level to everything.

This is completely not the case.  Yes, the half-level was there, but the other half-level took the form of ability score bumps, enhancement bonus progression and Expertise feats.

The true assumed scaling is not +1/2 per level, but rather +1 per level.  That's the formula in the DMG, and that's the true assumed scaling that all monsters are pegged to.

Bounded Accuracy is a great idea, but it is not a 4e idea.  4e is exactly the opposite of Bounded Accuracy.


(full disclosure:  I, too, am a 4e fan)
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As a 4e fan, what I like is:



  • Fast combat

  • Cantrips

  • Fighter maneuvers

  • Drastic reduction in spell discretion

  • Action economy

  • Simply written rules

  • Unifying mechanics

  • (Dis)advantage

  • Differently generated PCs and NPCs

  • Skill Dice

  • Skill Tricks

  • Backgrounds

  • Feats that are far more powerful/far more interesting and really help to define your character.

  • The removal of feats/abilities that do nothing other than grant flat bonuses. 

  • Bounded Accuracy

  • Theater of the Mind gameplay as a base assumption.

  • The return of 2e flavor.

  • The ongoing attempt to keep things balanced.

  • The Hit Dice mechanics.





As a 4e fan, what I like is:

  • Fast combat

  • Rogue class

  • Not restricting martial characters to specific weapons

  • Increased spell use and variety of spells for casters

As a 4e fan, my positives:



  • Backgrounds.  Just brilliant.  The traits are mostly boring and useless, but divorcing background from class and putting everoyone on the same baseline was brilliant.  

  • Bounded accuracy, the Mand12 definition.  It appears to come with an awful lot of baggage that I despise, but the narrow piece about having building stats organically rather than saying "all lvl 12 creatures have AC 26" is good.  If only they realized that this was not inconsistent with skill-based AC scaling and if they stopped pretending that "bonuses are not assumed" is the same thing as "bonuses do not exist."

  • At-will spells.  They're not new, or especially interesting, but I'm glad that low level wizards aren't archers with funny hats.

  • Feats as horizontal power instead of vertical power.  I would argue that their actual implementation is at best diagonal power, but at least they say that's the idea (see the 2/21 L&L), and there's no expertise/focus feats.

  • Words of power/focus.  Not forcing the cleric to give up his action to heal is a plus, although I wish he didn't have to give up his spell slots either.  Focus is at least a step toward limiting the wizard nova problem.

  • Different NPC/PC building rules

Relative to my heavily modified 4e play, I think having a basic at-will available to spellcasters is a long overdue addition to the game. I think DDN learned from 4e the importance of balance, while leavening that with some different mechanics for each class.
Oh, let's add Dex fighters (and clerics and hopefully warlords). I think they've found rather elegant ways to allow those classes to encompass more variety than they could in 4e.
Bounded accuracy, the Mand12 definition.  It appears to come with an awful lot of baggage that I despise, but the narrow piece about having building stats organically rather than saying "all lvl 12 creatures have AC 26" is good.  If only they realized that this was not inconsistent with skill-based AC scaling and if they stopped pretending that "bonuses are not assumed" is the same thing as "bonuses do not exist."


The good news is that they've never "pretended" anything of the kind, people have just misread them completely.  Bounded Accuracy restricts the DM side only - not the players.
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Bounded accuracy is a great idea. I actually feel like it is a 4e idea though. 4e had bounded accuracy except for the fact you added half level to everything.

This is completely not the case.  Yes, the half-level was there, but the other half-level took the form of ability score bumps, enhancement bonus progression and Expertise feats.

The true assumed scaling is not +1/2 per level, but rather +1 per level.  That's the formula in the DMG, and that's the true assumed scaling that all monsters are pegged to.

Bounded Accuracy is a great idea, but it is not a 4e idea.  4e is exactly the opposite of Bounded Accuracy.


(full disclosure:  I, too, am a 4e fan)


I guess what I mean is that 4e gave us the idea that everybody and everything scales the same way. As opposed to 3e, where classes scale their attack bonuses completely differently, and "trained" skills go through the roof while untrained skills are static. 4e gave us the basic idea that in a level appropriate encounter, everybody hits about half the time. That is a very short hop away from bounded accuracy. In function, it's pretty much identical: you hit half the time, roughly. The difference is, the math is easier, and lower level monsters/challenges stay much more relevant.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
I liked 4E and when I was play testing it I pushed for ability contest rolls over Fortitude, etc. defense. Glad 5e is doing ability contests.

I'm also glad 5e is simplifying 4e compound powers.

I think bounded accuracy is good but I think attack bonuses for level should equal ability bonuses.

Combat is faster than 4e which is a main fix for me.

I like 4e skills better. I like 5e backgrounds.


I am not sure if I can use DDN to emulate the aspects of 4th ed I love but they really nailed the core classes in DDN. Back grounds and specialisations are also great. Flat math makes sense. PC creation in general looks great, I hope the game mechanics get a bit more elegant and exciting.
There are a lot of things I don't like about 5e, but I am nevertheless excited by certain things. Here's what I like: Bounded accuracy is a great idea. I actually feel like it is a 4e idea though. 4e had bounded accuracy except for the fact you added half level to everything. And I often liked the idea of simply removing the half level addition from 4e. Faster combat is a big plus. The biggest daily of 4e is how long it takes to run fights. If the game needs to simplify to run faster, that is a perfectly reasonable trade-off to me. I like that it's not going back to 3e's simulationist weirdness. I hate having to build NPCs like PCs, and I love having open and easy monster design. I also like the attitude in the DM guide that the rules are meant to be fun and not a strict simulation of the universe. I like at-will spells. I really like generic cleric deities and domains as opposed to specific deities. I like that martial characters have stuff to do besides full attack. I like backgrounds, and the skill system in general.



Serves as a reminder of why I dislike 4e. The weird thing is I half agree with almost all of it. Its just that 4e ran with other half in a bad way.

For example I like atwill magic. What I dont like are atwill gun/taser cantrips tacked on just so the wizard can have a magical gauntlet style base attack. I like bounded accuracy but I feel its horribly implemented. I think its great that fighters have something else to do outside of base attacks but I dont like how standardized the base attacks feel, how contrived 4e exploits were and how maneuvers in Next poorly define class and style. I like the idea of generic deities but thats basically domains which we had before and they still produce generic clerics so it doesnt matter. 
Bounded accuracy is a great idea. I actually feel like it is a 4e idea though. 4e had bounded accuracy except for the fact you added half level to everything.

This is completely not the case.  Yes, the half-level was there, but the other half-level took the form of ability score bumps, enhancement bonus progression and Expertise feats.

The true assumed scaling is not +1/2 per level, but rather +1 per level.  That's the formula in the DMG, and that's the true assumed scaling that all monsters are pegged to.

Bounded Accuracy is a great idea, but it is not a 4e idea.  4e is exactly the opposite of Bounded Accuracy.


(full disclosure:  I, too, am a 4e fan)


I guess what I mean is that 4e gave us the idea that everybody and everything scales the same way.


And it's important to not call that Bounded Accuracy, because it's exactly not Bounded Accuracy. 

I'm not saying it's not important that 4e did it, I'm saying it's important to call it the right things.
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Themes, or backgrounds, or whatever 5ed is calling it right now. I like having another flavour-crunch tie-in for my PC's backstory that's relevant to his capabilities.

  

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

So can I call the thread dead?  The goodwill the thread sarted out with seems to have completely evaporated.  Thanks, internet.


For what it's worth, my OP wasn't all that much goodwill. It can easily be interpreted as a sort of passive-aggressive jab.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
There are plenty of simplifications in 5e's core that make it faster. Elimination of minor and opportunity actions is the most obvious.
What I like about DDN, or what we've been playtesting with,
as a 4e fan:

• Bounded Accuracy, and its implications (Law of the Conservation of Ninjutsu finally has the nail in the coffin; also, unlocking a door doesn't becomes spontaneously harder at higher levels).
• Advantage and Disadvantage
• speeding up of combat and a little more emphasis than in 4e on the other two pillars
• skill dice and skills as broad, situational but most importantly rolled bonusd to ability checks
• martial damage dice (and the idea that that dice would be tied in the future to different weapons)
• the complete disintegration of the class-power source and class-role matrix, allowing classes to have their identies, and yet still occupy multiple power sources when it makes sense and different roles depending on the character, again, when it makes sense.
• only positive racial ability score bonuses
• subraces in a controlled manner
• at-wills for everyone
• Fighter maneuvers and fighting styles
• The Warlock and the Sorcerer as they were shown a few months back
• The Barbarian's rage mechanic
• Monks having both martial combat maneuvers and mystical ki techniques
• Rogue skill tricks (which grew on me quite quickly after being upset about the loss of Rogue maneuvers)
Healing Word and other spells that can be cast alongside a basic attack
• Wizard spells as the big firepower, combat-ending abilities that need time and protection to cast
• Hit Dice and other alternative healing modules (and the ease of removing it if you want a "grittier game"
• Races, Classes, Backgrounds, and Specialties forming a four-pillar model to character creation.
• Stated modular philosophy of Nothing is Core, instead of Everything is Core, or Only Somethings are Core, and thus I can pick and choose what I want to use.  If I want firearms, there are firearms in my game.  If I don't want Dragonborn or Tieflings in my world, they don't exist.  POOF. 
• the Halfing concept art

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What I like about DDN, or what we've been playtesting with,
as a 4e fan:

• Bounded Accuracy, and its implications (Law of the Conservation of Ninjutsu finally has the nail in the coffin; also, unlocking a door doesn't becomes spontaneously harder at higher levels).



That's not how it actually worked. DCs were based on difficulty level of the challenge, not of the characters. it was just often the case that the characters were the same level as the challenge. The challenge, if revisitied and not made harder in the mean while somehow, would have the same DC.

I'm dumbfounded every time somebody says this, and esepcially baffled and dissappointed that a supposed "fan of 4E" believes this.

Also:

• Stated modular philosophy of Nothing is Core, instead of Everything is Core, or Only Somethings are Core, and thus I can pick and choose what I want to use.  If I want firearms, there are firearms in my game.  If I don't want Dragonborn or Tieflings in my world, they don't exist.  POOF.



Absolutly nothing in 4E prevented you from removing races from your game. Wow. People STILL need to be told this.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
What I like about DDN, or what we've been playtesting with,
as a 4e fan:

• Bounded Accuracy, and its implications (Law of the Conservation of Ninjutsu finally has the nail in the coffin; also, unlocking a door doesn't becomes spontaneously harder at higher levels).



That's not how it actually worked. DCs were based on difficulty level of the challenge, not of the characters. it was just often the case that the characters were the same level as the challenge. The challenge, if revisitied and not made harder in the mean while somehow, would have the same DC.

I'm dumbfounded every time somebody says this, and esepcially baffled and dissappointed that a supposed "fan of 4E" believes this.


People believe this because of things like the guidelines for Skill Challenges.  Yes, if you're just setting the DC for a door in a random ruined city the PCs are exploring, it could be anything.  But when you're actually setting up a skill challenge as an encounter, there is strong guidance to have the DCs be set to the Easy/Medium/Hard targets for the PCs' level.

"But you could just ignore what they directly and clearly told us to do!" isn't a particularly compelling counterargument.
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People believe this because of things like the guidelines for Skill Challenges.  Yes, if you're just setting the DC for a door in a random ruined city the PCs are exploring, it could be anything.  But when you're actually setting up a skill challenge as an encounter, there is strong guidance to have the DCs be set to the Easy/Medium/Hard targets for the PCs' level.

"But you could just ignore what they directly and clearly told us to do!" isn't a particularly compelling counterargument.



If you give the door a level-appropriate DC, you are intenting for it to be a challenge for the PCs to open it. Complaining that the challenge you set for the PCs is a challenge for their level is a bit perplexing. As you said yourself, if you don't want the door to be a challenge, you simply make it whatever door makes sense. It's not about "ignore[ing] what they directly and clearly told us to do![!!!!!!!!!]", it's about following the guidelines for making a challenging encounter only when you want the encounter to be a challenge. 

  And I still don't understand how any of this somehow gave people the idea that doors magicly reinforce themselves when the party levels up. If you revisit an old challenge, nothing in the books even HINTS at the notion that it somehow scales with you. If it didn't change, it is the same challenge as you had before, when you were not as skilled.

Do I think the way they handled escelating challenges as you leveled was the best way? Not necessarily. But I'm not going to pretend that it was flawed because of gross misinterpretations.
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As a 4e fan, what I like is:


  • Fast combat

  • Cantrips

  • Fighter maneuvers

  • Drastic reduction in spell discretion

  • Action economy

  • Simply written rules

  • Unifying mechanics

  • (Dis)advantage

  • Differently generated PCs and NPCs


Pretty much this for me as well. There are a few additional elements I'd LIKE to see borrowed from 4e, be it an advanced module or otherwise:


  • 4e-like defenses for direct attacks (use saves for area/indirect attacks)

  • 4e skill list ("knowledge" skills integrated into other skills)

  • More themes as backgrounds/specialties, as appropriate

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Bounded accuracy is a great idea. I actually feel like it is a 4e idea though. 4e had bounded accuracy except for the fact you added half level to everything.

This is completely not the case.  Yes, the half-level was there, but the other half-level took the form of ability score bumps, enhancement bonus progression and Expertise feats.

The true assumed scaling is not +1/2 per level, but rather +1 per level.  That's the formula in the DMG, and that's the true assumed scaling that all monsters are pegged to.

Bounded Accuracy is a great idea, but it is not a 4e idea.  4e is exactly the opposite of Bounded Accuracy.


(full disclosure:  I, too, am a 4e fan)



you are correct that the assumed scaling is +1/level in 4e.
However, I think you are missing the overall point.
In 4e it is nearly impossible to get above the progression curve and really obviously bad to get behind it. The feat bonuses and ED attribute bonuses are about the only part of the 1/level that anyone should fail to get unintentionally. You literally can't miss out on the 1/2 level, and anyone should be able to realize they should put one of their +1s in their attack stat each time. Similar, pretty much anyone should realize putting less than a 16 in their attack stat is going to make for weak and inaccurate attacks.
So within one level, PCs will vary in attack mods onto to a very limited degree. AC is similarly close aside from a few outliers. NADs vary a bit more, but usually in the form of breaking between high and low NADs (and is intentionally part of the rock/paper/scissors aspect, allowing particular characters to be strong against some enemies and weak against others).

Compare this to 3.5, for example, where over levels 1-20 the Fighter gained an extra +9 to hit over the wizard from BAB, +5 from enhancement (the wizard might very well not have a magic weapon, and certainly didn't for his spells), and probably 2-8 for increases in str/dex (natural + books + enhancement), plus perhaps a few more for feats.
So the fighter gets about +16-25 over the wizard on attack rolls in terms of just -increase-. And possibly is attacking the same target number (high level fighters using touch attacks isn't unheard of). So what should the touch AC of an enemy designed to fight level 20 characters be? Roughly? You could very well have numbers where the wizard misses on a 19 and the fighter of the same level hits on a 2. I guess you target the wizard's to-hit and give the Fighter Power Attack and iteratives to use his excess accuracy on?

4e started the process by bringing to-hit into a fairly narrow band per level. Next is maintaining that benefit while greatly reducing the scaling between levels. You can already achieve this in 4e with some reasonably simple houserules. Removing the 1/2 level is a common enough one thrown around. You could remove half level, feat and enhancement bonus (keep it for damage) and give monsters only +1/5 level (not quite perfect match for stat scaling).   You can do this with only minimal balance impact in 4e. (especially if you are using DM-discretion for leveling instead of XP counting. below level enemies will be a bit harder and above level a bit easier.)
 It's not like 3.x where doing so would totally throw off the balance between classes. (It's not even really clear what the equivalent would be in 3.x.) 
What I like about DDN, or what we've been playtesting with,
as a 4e fan:

• Bounded Accuracy, and its implications (Law of the Conservation of Ninjutsu finally has the nail in the coffin; also, unlocking a door doesn't becomes spontaneously harder at higher levels).



That's not how it actually worked. DCs were based on difficulty level of the challenge, not of the characters. it was just often the case that the characters were the same level as the challenge. The challenge, if revisitied and not made harder in the mean while somehow, would have the same DC.

I'm dumbfounded every time somebody says this, and esepcially baffled and dissappointed that a supposed "fan of 4E" believes this.


People believe this because of things like the guidelines for Skill Challenges.  Yes, if you're just setting the DC for a door in a random ruined city the PCs are exploring, it could be anything.  But when you're actually setting up a skill challenge as an encounter, there is strong guidance to have the DCs be set to the Easy/Medium/Hard targets for the PCs' level.

"But you could just ignore what they directly and clearly told us to do!" isn't a particularly compelling counterargument.



The level of the challenge is not hard linked to the level of the PCs. In that respect, skill challenges are the same as combat encounters. A level 5 party could encounter an EL 1 combat, an EL 4 combat, an EL 6 combat or an EL 10 combat (perhaps all of those in one day), at DM discretion, though of course the EL 1 will be a cakewalk and the EL 10 may threaten a TPK. Likewise a level 5 party could encounter an EL 1 skill challenge, an EL 4 skill challenge, an EL 6 skill challenge, and an EL 10 skill challenge, perhaps even in the same day as those above combats, and again they have almost no chance of failing the EL 1 and will be hard pressed to beat the EL 10. You should only be using the party's level for EL if it happens to be they are doing something appropriate to their skill level. If the level 1s are breaking into Mordor it shouldn't be an EL 1 skill challenge. If the level 30s are breaking into the Shire, it should be EL 30. 
However, I think you are missing the overall point.
In 4e it is nearly impossible to get above the progression curve and really obviously bad to get behind it.


No, I'm not missing the overall point.  What you describe here is my point, actually.  Bounded Accuracy means that this doesn't happen.  It means that there is no curve to get behind, and that improvements actually make your character better.
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