D&D Next Q&A: Wizard Options, Monstrous Races & Power Creep

My visceral response to the answer to the third question is "we're making a +1 mean more."
On the topic of monstrous races, I think a series of feats would fit for lycanthropes and vampires. Dragons could be a bit trickier, but I believe there was an adventure in which the characters were dragons- Council of Wyrms, if I'm right. One of my players absolutely loves dragons, and would do anything to get to play as one.
So there's absolutely no intent to support the wizard's dart as a meaningful contribution to combat. That's.... unfortunate, but I can understand why they would make that decision.

The metagame is not the game.

So there's absolutely no intent to support the wizard's dart as a meaningful contribution to combat. That's.... unfortunate, but I can understand why they would make that decision.


Honestly, I can't.  I would think that "supporting" that would be as easy as "Here's a tradition.  It doesn't get 'attack' cantrips, but gets a weapon proficiency (and the math to back it up as a reasonable option)."
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
Thank god they didn't mention vampires or lycanthropes being a potential class.

So at will magic attacks will be the standard, no vampires or werewolves to begin with, and a concerted effort to stop power creep.

1 in 3 answers satisfies me.

I would prefer:
Mundane weapon attacks are the standard (particularly at 1st level). 
Options for vampires and werewolves and other exotic characters at role-out.

My solution to power creep would be to have very limited splat books.   Emphasize quality over quantity.

So there's absolutely no intent to support the wizard's dart as a meaningful contribution to combat. That's.... unfortunate, but I can understand why they would make that decision.


Honestly, I can't.  I would think that "supporting" that would be as easy as "Here's a tradition.  It doesn't get 'attack' cantrips, but gets a weapon proficiency (and the math to back it up as a reasonable option)."

But they have also said they intend to have a weapon-using caster class, which would cover that concept.

On the topic of monstrous races, I think a series of feats would fit for lycanthropes and vampires. Dragons could be a bit trickier, but I believe there was an adventure in which the characters were dragons- Council of Wyrms, if I'm right. One of my players absolutely loves dragons, and would do anything to get to play as one.

But there are only 4 feats…don't you want to be a vampire AND be able to cleave?

I would hope vampire alters your race, your fundamental being, not something to be trained in.
But they have also said they intend to have a weapon-using caster class, which would cover that concept.




The return of the 5th Ed Sorcerer they rolled out last year?

In a nutshell (TL;DR version):

1
Will there be an option for wizards to "run out of magic" and have to use crossbows or darts for those who like that style of play?


No.


2 When might we see rules for playing more "monstrous" races like lycanthropes, vampires, dragons, and the like?


Probabaly never. Maybe much later, when someone else takes over the dev process.


3 How do the designers intend to avoid the power creep trend that seems to invade every edition after a while?

Make things really low, and then let people later screw it up when they take over the dev process.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
Answers for 1 and 3 are fine by me. I'm all for lack of power creep, and options are good.

As for 2...if that's what some folks want, and it's clearly an option, then great. For me though, if I want to play a vampire or a werewolf, that's what I have the World of Darkness for. *shrugs* 

For those confused on how DDN's modular rules might work, this may provide some insight: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/11/the-world-of-darkness-shines-when-it-abandons-canon

@mikemearls: Uhhh... do you really not see all the 3e/4e that's basically the entire core system?

 

It is entirely unnecessary to denigrate someone else's approach to gaming in order to validate your own.

I would hope vampire alters your race, your fundamental being, not something to be trained in.



Me too, vampires are separate from race and class, like the classic D&D vampires, Strahd (Human Fighter/Wizard) and Jander Sunstar (Elf Wizard).
On Numbers Inflation:

I guess this gives me hope they will address Damage Inflation. Its nice that DCs and Accuracy was fixed, but Damage Inflation is worst ever before.
So there's absolutely no intent to support the wizard's dart as a meaningful contribution to combat. That's.... unfortunate, but I can understand why they would make that decision.


The simplest solution would be to just reflavour a couple of attack cantrips as non-magical. Keep their range and damage more-or-less the same, but remove any elemental effects and characterise them as using weapons and ammo instead of magic.
Thank god they didn't mention vampires or lycanthropes being a potential class.



I think those should just remain as templates. You get bitten, you get this template on top of your race. its up to the DM to balance it from there.
On Numbers Inflation:

I guess this gives me hope they will address Damage Inflation. Its nice that DCs and Accuracy was fixed, but Damage Inflation is worst ever before.




Yep, first thing to axe is that horrendous Martial Damage Bonus, boring and overpowered.
Thank god they didn't mention vampires or lycanthropes being a potential class.



I think those should just remain as templates. You get bitten, you get this template on top of your race. its up to the DM to balance it from there.



Bingo.
meh, no bombshells this week.  Its sad to hear the bit about balancing around damage (especially considering how off the damage is currently) but I already knew that was happening, so its not shocking.

Lycanthropes and vampires really shouldn't have their own races.  Both of these things are afflictions in the standard D&D lore.  So they should be templates that can be placed onto any race.   It would be fine to see those templates in the monster manual along with rules for contracting vampirism/lycanthropy...  a feat chain to become a vampire is.... dumb.  Drawbacks and bonuses, maybe even sacrificing next level gained or something...  not feats... you don't train to become a werewolf.
On Numbers Inflation:

I guess this gives me hope they will address Damage Inflation. Its nice that DCs and Accuracy was fixed, but Damage Inflation is worst ever before.




Yep, first thing to axe is that horrendous Martial Damage Bonus, boring and overpowered.

+1
Cool to hear that horror templates are on the docket, even if not available at launch.  Most games take a couple years before they finally get around to that, so Answer #2 is fine by me.  Not everyone is going to get every niche option at launch.

Nice to hear re: power creep, some examples of controls in place are helpful.  A +1 SHOULD mean more... 
The templates could be something like the Ghost from the last dragon: Seperate yet equal to playing a normal character.
On Numbers Inflation:

I guess this gives me hope they will address Damage Inflation. Its nice that DCs and Accuracy was fixed, but Damage Inflation is worst ever before.




Yep, first thing to axe is that horrendous Martial Damage Bonus, boring and overpowered.

+1




I say bring back extra attacks instead, maybe trade Weapon Damage Dice for them.

The Death Knight gets 3 attacks a turn for double weapon damage dice. 
So there's absolutely no intent to support the wizard's dart as a meaningful contribution to combat. That's.... unfortunate, but I can understand why they would make that decision.


Honestly, I can't.  I would think that "supporting" that would be as easy as "Here's a tradition.  It doesn't get 'attack' cantrips, but gets a weapon proficiency (and the math to back it up as a reasonable option)."

It's already "supported":
You can simply not take combat-relevant cantrips, or a DM can edict that nobody at the table may take combat-relevant cantrips.

So there's absolutely no intent to support the wizard's dart as a meaningful contribution to combat. That's.... unfortunate, but I can understand why they would make that decision.

Honestly, I can't.  I would think that "supporting" that would be as easy as "Here's a tradition.  It doesn't get 'attack' cantrips, but gets a weapon proficiency (and the math to back it up as a reasonable option)."

It's already "supported":
You can simply not take combat-relevant cantrips, or a DM can edict that nobody at the table may take combat-relevant cantrips.

I think the upset is specific to the fact that a wizard tossing a dart into combat is an utterly useless waste of an action, to the point of being absurd.

There's no parity between the attack cantrips and the use of a weapon. The attack cantrips far and away outshine the dart.

NOTE: I am not stating my own opinion, merely clarifying what I understand the point to be.

Danny

I think the upset is specific to the fact that a wizard tossing a dart into combat is an utterly useless waste of an action, to the point of being absurd.




Not at all in 5th Ed.
1) I could see a centripetal that just adds bonus damage to the wizard's attacks. He'll still have to throw darts and shoot crossbows.

2) I can see a template for vampires, werewolves, and other monstrous beasts. They would come with massive penalties that can be bought away with feats.

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!

I can see a template for vampires, werewolves, and other monstrous beasts. They would come with massive penalties that can be bought away with feats.




I want feats to be optional.
An optional way to reduce the penalties from optional templates from optional monsters isn't optional enough?  ;)
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
So there's absolutely no intent to support the wizard's dart as a meaningful contribution to combat. That's.... unfortunate, but I can understand why they would make that decision.

Honestly, I can't.  I would think that "supporting" that would be as easy as "Here's a tradition.  It doesn't get 'attack' cantrips, but gets a weapon proficiency (and the math to back it up as a reasonable option)."

It's already "supported":
You can simply not take combat-relevant cantrips, or a DM can edict that nobody at the table may take combat-relevant cantrips.

I think the upset is specific to the fact that a wizard tossing a dart into combat is an utterly useless waste of an action, to the point of being absurd.

There's no parity between the attack cantrips and the use of a weapon. The attack cantrips far and away outshine the dart.

NOTE: I am not stating my own opinion, merely clarifying what I understand the point to be.



1st level Wizards with mundane weapons need to be slightly less useful than 1st level fighters with mundane weapons. 

It is tough to ban attack cantrips when wizards are so gimped as it is.  No one would play a wizard.

Perhaps no martial damage dice for fighters to begin with.  Martial weapons are already better than simple weapons so fighters would have an advantage at the onset.  Plus they have better ability scores for attacking with weapons.
It's already "supported":
You can simply not take combat-relevant cantrips, or a DM can edict that nobody at the table may take combat-relevant cantrips.

The current "support" does not allow the wizard's dart to be meaningful past the first few levels. If an enemy has 90 hp, and the fighter is attacking for 35 damage per attack, then the wizard's 5 damage is unlikely to ever make a difference. From a math standpoint, I would say that the wizard's attack would need to deal at least half as much as the fighter's attack, if it is to seem worthwhile.

Only meaningful choices actually affect anything. As it stands, a player who wanted a less-magical wizard, or a DM who wanted a world with less magic, would need to house-rule significantly in order to let the wizard player contribute meaningfully (or merely accept that the wizard has no impact on combat, aside from 2-3 spells per day).

The metagame is not the game.

On Numbers Inflation:

I guess this gives me hope they will address Damage Inflation. Its nice that DCs and Accuracy was fixed, but Damage Inflation is worst ever before.




Yep, first thing to axe is that horrendous Martial Damage Bonus, boring and overpowered.

+1



Not just Martial Damage Bonus.

Even Martial Damage Dice is overpowered, especially at low levels as you begin with +1d6 and the first time you hit the 2d6 mark.... Like they did with bounded accuracy... it needs to be toned down.
An optional way to reduce the penalties from optional templates from optional monsters isn't optional enough?  ;)



Both should be optional, but you should not have to include both to make either work.
@Steely_dan

Feats would still be optional.

If you don't use feats, you could still be a vampire but you can't remove your allergy to the sun.

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!

On Numbers Inflation:

I guess this gives me hope they will address Damage Inflation. Its nice that DCs and Accuracy was fixed, but Damage Inflation is worst ever before.




Yep, first thing to axe is that horrendous Martial Damage Bonus, boring and overpowered.

+1



Not just Martial Damage Bonus.

Even Martial Damage Dice is overpowered, especially at low levels as you begin with +1d6 and the first time you hit the 2d6 mark.... Like they did with bounded accuracy... it needs to be toned down.





Well, it looks like they are going with Weapon Damage Dice, so maybe all classes start with just dealing the weapon damage, but certain classes get more (WDD) as they level.
Q&A Haiku Time!

Cantripless wizards?
Advanced Rules might do this but
We have nothing planned 

Monsters as races? 
Advanced Rules might do this but
We have nothing planned 

Stop the power creep?
Core infrastructure design
Is what we have planned 
I would hope vampire alters your race, your fundamental being, not something to be trained in.



Me too, vampires are separate from race and class, like the classic D&D vampires, Strahd (Human Fighter/Wizard) and Jander Sunstar (Elf Wizard).




I totally agree.    In my book lycanthropy and vampirism are curses best realized by the dark lords of ravenloft.


On Numbers Inflation:

I guess this gives me hope they will address Damage Inflation. Its nice that DCs and Accuracy was fixed, but Damage Inflation is worst ever before.




Yep, first thing to axe is that horrendous Martial Damage Bonus, boring and overpowered.

+1



Not just Martial Damage Bonus.

Even Martial Damage Dice is overpowered, especially at low levels as you begin with +1d6 and the first time you hit the 2d6 mark.... Like they did with bounded accuracy... it needs to be toned down.





Well, it looks like they are going with Weapon Damage Dice, so maybe all classes start with just dealing the weapon damage, but certain classes get more (WDD) as they level.



That would make sense as long as they get the additional WDD at higher levels. What's nice about something like that too is that it can easily translate into a module to replace WDD by extra attacks (for people who prefer that kind of thing).

Because a Fighter dealing 2d12 +4 damage at 1st level is well too much.
On Numbers Inflation:

I guess this gives me hope they will address Damage Inflation. Its nice that DCs and Accuracy was fixed, but Damage Inflation is worst ever before.




Yep, first thing to axe is that horrendous Martial Damage Bonus, boring and overpowered.

+1



Not just Martial Damage Bonus.

Even Martial Damage Dice is overpowered, especially at low levels as you begin with +1d6 and the first time you hit the 2d6 mark.... Like they did with bounded accuracy... it needs to be toned down.





Well, it looks like they are going with Weapon Damage Dice, so maybe all classes start with just dealing the weapon damage, but certain classes get more (WDD) as they level.



That would make sense as long as they get the additional WDD at higher levels. What's nice about something like that too is that it can easily translate into a module to replace WDD by extra attacks (for people who prefer that kind of thing).

Because a Fighter dealing 2d12 +4 damage at 1st level is well too much.




I agree, but when one does have 2 WDD, they could either attack once for 2d12 + 4, or twice (but must be different targets) for 1d12 + 4.

I would like to see a Wizard Tradition that allows limited effectiveness with weapons so long as there's also a Fighting Style that allows limited effectiveness with spells. Both would be great for Elf adventurers who traditionally blend the two archetypes anyway.

Wounds Module [updated for Basic]

Proficiency Module

The answer to number two makes this guy here very unhappy.  I really hope they ment not at this moment in the playtest we will get to it later on before release, and not wait 3 years after the first release.

AT minimum the first MM should explain vampirism and lycanthropy in base.  

There should be multiple ways to implement it.

A template that acknowledge's that it will unbalance the character raising its effective level, or something like that to note that encounters should be harder since there is a werewolf/vampire in the group, would work.

As much as some say treating them as classes is bad I say it actually makes sense to a point especially with the way multi classing will be working in 5e.  Don't allow it to be a base class, but boom you get bittin and die...you wake back up same as before +1 level of vampire...you can now freely select levels of vampire or levels of whatever other classes you had or want to get.  You get bitten by a werewolf...next full moon you instantly take a level in werewolf now you freely multiclass with werewolf.  Make them unlike other multiclasses because they do indeed frontload a lot of abilities to give all the base stuff that vamps/werewolfs are supposed to get both the bonuses and the drawbacks.  Then make leveling in those monster classes the gaining more control of that power and expanding that power deal.  It should be noted this is also kinda unbalancing.


If there is one thing that pretty much made me not buy 4e right off the bat it would be the lack of 3 things...bards, monks, and thrikreen as a playable race.

The monsterous races falls into that realm of stuff the devs should be designing, or at least giving guidelines on how to design, so I don't have to be wholly responsible for it...because designing a race or template , and having it not be wildly unbalancing is fairly tough.  This is a place the devs should be doing work, and not the players/DMs.  This isn't an area where there is already an easily recognizable and systematically provided solution.  There should in minimum be race and template design guidelines.

The wish to play as a vampire or werewolf is not an abnormal one.  Considering current popular trends it is in fact a popular fantasy to have, and discounting it to three years from now just isn't acceptable at all.  I sincerely hope he meant they aren't covering that right now but will later in the development of the game, but before initial release.  

Frankly I wish I could go back to the polls on lycanthropes because if that lycanthrope's bite doesn't transfer lycanthropy then nothing else about it matters because without that transferance of lycanthropy it doesn't look like any kind of lycan I would want to use or sound like the kinds of lycanthropes I want.  I don't mind the you gotta be born a werewolf view on it, which does indeed mean there should be a werewolf race in there as well, but to me that threat of possibly becoming a lycanthrope is what makes fighting a lycan truly scary.  

On vampires they are supposed to represent a spreading plague.  That is what makes that monster scary.  It is not only a combination of all of our fears (claws, teeth, stealthy hunting predators), but also a note about our fears that we may become the things we hate, that if we go out in the darkness the darkness may consume us, that if we covort with evil to much we become evil, that if you let evil in it will destroy you.  Without the possibility of that happening the monster loses all credibility as something interesting to deal with.  its just a pallid mask over a sack of played out stereotypes hp and seemingly connected abilities. 

Frankly the inability to become either of these things means the creature itself isn't designed properly because them taking you over and you becoming like them is part of the creature's definition. 

100% Dragon should be a playable race, with a caveate that informs the DM this guy will be stronger than the other party members (unless of course they are all dragons).

In fact if the monster manual doesn't contain rules on how to play as most of the things within it I'm not gunna be real happy with the game.  I mean I'd likely still be playing it but I'd be pissed with how much work I would need to put in in some cases.  I can accept a lack of rules for playing as like a bunny, though if it is an enlightened bunny I want to be able to play a watership down type game.  

I hated in the beginning of 4e that I so many times had to tell players no there isn't a way to play that character.  I never want to have to say nope there is no way to play that character because the system contains no rules to play as that race.  I want to be able to open the MM and say, "Okay you want to play as an ogre...okay this is how that will roll out, it says right here these are your bonuses".

Now I don't expect everyone of them to come with a whole bevvy of subraces or anything, I don't even expect them to be fully balanced really, all MM racials should come with the caveate, 'be careful allowing players to use these they are not properly balanced in the system'.  Possibly just giving rules on how to look at a monster entry and create a race from it, and leaving it open to be able to release more official rules on how to use specific monster types as PC races including subraces and stuff.  Basically I don't want the answer to be, 'we can't figure out a way to make this and not piss some people off because it will be imbalanced so we aren't even going to make it an option'.  

There should at least be guidelines on how to build a race or template and especially guidelines on how to look at a monster entry and determine racials from it.  Also, at minimum, to be properly designed to their soul meaning, the lycan and vampire should be able to turn things into lycans and vampires.  Without the ability to turn people, lycans and vampires are incorrectly designed and do not fit the, or at least my, definition of them.  The option for them to have this power should be present.  I mean I can accept if I have to cobble it together my self, but for that I will need: guidlines for creating a template, guidelines for creating a class, guidelines for extrapolating a multiclass progression of said class.  I think that is really all I will need to cobble it together but I will need them if there is no ingraned way to have vampires and werewolves turn mortals.  

I'm not saying this is like a show stopper or eff it I'm up out of this piece if vamps and lycans can't turn people. I'm just sad if it won't exist without me building it.