D&D Next Q&A: Healing, NPCs and Retraining

Rodney elaborates on the healing changes Mike suggested in last week's Legends & Lore and shines some light on NPCs and retraining in this week's D&D Next Q&A.

Trevor Kidd Community Manager

I expected one of the questions to be about Warlord.

Maybe next time.

-Brad

Q&A Haiku Time:

Proportioned hp?
Let me misdescribe the math
before I just shrug.

NPC classes?
Non-adventurer statblocks
Adventurer guides.

Rules for retraining?
Rules for organized play and
Guidance for the rest 
I definitely think that "We were both almost down to nothing, but now the wizard is topped off and the fighter is still at half after a certain amount of rest" reads as "the wizards heals faster". People don't read a fighter at 25/40 HP as being more totally ready to go than a wizard at 20/20 HP. The fighter still seems pretty beat. The fighter is in a codition that he'd be in after getting battered a bit, or, if you're the Next Dev team, he has lost exactly fifteen of his fingers and needs to sleep for another few hours to grow them back. I honestly don't see this as a real big deal; at the end of the day, it can just be another random D&D quirkiness that doesn't really harm anything, even if it's an easy fix to make it better.

I think that retraining advice is much, much better than retraining rules. I've never seen a set of retraining rules that felt like it was better than handling things on a case-by-case basis.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because tradition.
...whatever
Willful misinterpretation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because tradition.



FYP
Kinda nice that they are taking the all inclusive method for npc building. This way I can build my npcs how I want and they also just have a stat block for those that don't want that.
That non-proportionate healing thing would almost make sense if HP had no relation to physical damage.  If it were purely stamina reserves, then you could imagine a world where the fighter could run a marathon before becoming exhausted while the wizard could only run a half mile, but then if both rested for five minutes after this exhaustion point both could run another half mile before being exhausted again.  But it isn't purely stamina.  From the "how to play" document, page 17:

"When your current hit point total is half or more of your hit 

point maximum, you typically show no signs of
injury. When you drop below half your hit point
maximum, you show signs of wear, such as cuts
and bruises. An attack that reduces you to 0 hit
points or fewer strikes you directly, leaving a
bleeding injury or other trauma, or it simply
knocks you unconscious."

In other words, the bottom half represents physical damage.  Thus, if both the fighter and the wizard are reduced to 0 HP, both have "bleeding injury or other trauma."  A few hours later, when both have regained HP equal to half the with wizard's max, the wizard does not "show signs of wear."  At all.  He is completely physically healed, just a little tired.  The fighter, on the other hand, who has rested the same amount of time but has double the max and thus double the half-max HP, is still covered in cuts and bruises.  Thus, slower healing. Word games aside, the Q&A's logic and the playtest's definition of HP are incompatible.  Whether it's OK for them to be incompatible in the interests of simplicity is another question, one on which I will not opine because I refuse to buy 5e unless I can avoid both this definition and this healing mechanism (in a module, of course).  But it's just plain silly to pretend that the circle is a square.

BTW, I find it rather amusing that at the same moment that Rodney is talking as if HP have no physical damage element, Mearls is talking as if HP have no non-physical-damage element. 

Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because... arrrrrrggggh... thinking is harrrrrrrrrd...



FYP

I think it's more like that.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because tradition.




OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because... arrrrrrggggh... thinking is harrrrrrrrrd...



FYP

I think it's more like that.




It looks from the Q&A that they are, in fact, thinking very hard about it, and exploring multiple options. 

Suggesting that the designers are lazy, unable to think, unfamiliar with the very game they've been designing, hostile to 4E players .. all that stuff is just rude and pointless, in my opinion.
Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because tradition.



What part of multiple healing systems escaped you?
It looks from the Q&A that they are, in fact, thinking very hard about it, and exploring multiple options. 

Suggesting that the designers are lazy, unable to think, unfamiliar with the very game they've been designing, hostile to 4E players .. all that stuff is just rude and pointless, in my opinion.

Agreed, totally.  But if in the end they still go back to doing things the old way it doesn't make me any happier that they arrived at that decision by thinking hard, exploring options, being hard workers who think clearly and are familar with the game and love 4e players.  But there's still lots of time so we'll see what happens.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because tradition.



What part of multiple healing systems escaped you?

Where was that mentioned in the article?  I can't find it.  Plus, you know, options are good, but I don't want a game that has too many optional rules.  I like to know I can come to the table and speak the same language as the other gamers without having met them before.  At the very least, if Next is going to present multiple healing systems to choose from, I think it would be a good idea to have everyone in the same game use the same system, since by definition, they're different and therefore not equal.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because... arrrrrrggggh... thinking is harrrrrrrrrd...



FYP

I think it's more like that.




It looks from the Q&A that they are, in fact, thinking very hard about it, and exploring multiple options. 

Suggesting that the designers are lazy, unable to think, unfamiliar with the very game they've been designing, hostile to 4E players .. all that stuff is just rude and pointless, in my opinion.



Then they should actually deliver, instead of pandering solely to earlier editions, instead of empty promises.
...whatever
Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because tradition.



What part of multiple healing systems escaped you?

Where was that mentioned in the article?  I can't find it.



First paragraph.

That said, we are exploring alternative healing options, and one of those explorations involves healing at a fixed rate.  Another one dispenses with hourly healing entirely, but allows for characters to use healing kits to restore hit points in lieu of Hit Dice (with magical healing still an option).



Healing OPTIONS, plural.  ONE, Singular, of those EXPLORATIONS, plural. He then goes on to tell you about a SECOND healing option.  It's clear as day that there are going to be multiple healing systems.

At the very least, if Next is going to present multiple healing systems to choose from, I think it would be a good idea to have everyone in the same game use the same system, since by definition, they're different and therefore not equal.




Everyone in the same game will use the same system.  The DM or group gets to decide which.
Honestly, I was just glad to hear that they're still testing with Hit Dice.  Hopefully they can refine the mechanics associated with those while they're trying out new things.
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)
It's clear as day that there are going to be multiple healing systems.

Sorry, no.  I interpreted that as saying they were exploring options and trying to pick one.  So it's not clear to me.  That having been said, it wouldn't be surprising if they gave multiple optional methods of healing.  But as I said, that kind bugs me too, even though I do understand that more options are good.  It's just that it seems like everything is going to be optional.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because... arrrrrrggggh... thinking is harrrrrrrrrd...



FYP

I think it's more like that.




It looks from the Q&A that they are, in fact, thinking very hard about it, and exploring multiple options. 

Suggesting that the designers are lazy, unable to think, unfamiliar with the very game they've been designing, hostile to 4E players .. all that stuff is just rude and pointless, in my opinion.



Then they should actually deliver, instead of pandering solely to earlier editions, instead of empty promises.



Pandering is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.  At-will powers for casters, drastically reduced # of spells prep for higher-level wizards, the very idea of the Warlord at all, hit dice healing : these are all inspired or ported from ideas that were fleshed out in 4E, to my eye.  And D&DNext will be a better product for considering or implementing these things.
Everyone in the same game will use the same system.  The DM or group gets to decide which.

Dude, you are not on the development team.  Please don't make statements like this - you don't know, and some people will read this and take it for the facts.  Also, I think maybe you're parsing the text a little too much and taking that as gospel.  There's only so much we can divine from these articles so it's probably not a good idea to convince yourself that you know exactly how everything's going to go down.  I'm sure that the devs don't want us to take every word they say literally because we all know how that goes down ...

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

"People treat their lack of imagination as if it's the measure of what's silly. Which is silly." - Noon

"Challenge" is overrated.  "Immersion" is usually just a more pretentious way of saying "having fun playing D&D."

"Falling down is how you grow.  Staying down is how you die.  It's not what happens to you, it's what you do after it happens.”

It's clear as day that there are going to be multiple healing systems.

Sorry, no.  I interpreted that as saying they were exploring options and trying to pick one.



Your interpretation is incorrect.  Go modularity! ;)

But as I said, that kind bugs me too, even though I do understand that more options are good.  It's just that it seems like everything is going to be optional.



More or less.  There will be core rules, like healing, classes, and races.  But how you go about engaging those core rules will be modular.  Each specific race is a module, so none of them will be core.  However, since race IS core, you must choose at least one race module for your game.  The same with class and healing method.

You can make a world that only uses the human module, the fighter module, and the hit dice healing module if you want.
Everyone in the same game will use the same system.  The DM or group gets to decide which.

Dude, you are not on the development team.  Please don't make statements like this - you don't know, and some people will read this and take it for the facts.




Dude, the dev team has already said this.  It's a fact unless they specifically come out and say otherwise.

Actually, I suppose the group could decide on multiple different systems simultaneously if they wanted, but I wouldn't want to play with a group that ran a nonsensical game like that.  It would be a mechanical mess and would probably be run by 9 year olds.
Translation: we the design team for 5E aren't going to create a quality system for hp and healing, because tradition.



What part of multiple healing systems escaped you?

Where was that mentioned in the article?  I can't find it.



First paragraph.

That said, we are exploring alternative healing options, and one of those explorations involves healing at a fixed rate.  Another one dispenses with hourly healing entirely, but allows for characters to use healing kits to restore hit points in lieu of Hit Dice (with magical healing still an option).



Healing OPTIONS, plural.  ONE, Singular, of those EXPLORATIONS, plural. He then goes on to tell you about a SECOND healing option.  It's clear as day that there are going to be multiple healing systems.

At the very least, if Next is going to present multiple healing systems to choose from, I think it would be a good idea to have everyone in the same game use the same system, since by definition, they're different and therefore not equal.




Everyone in the same game will use the same system.  The DM or group gets to decide which.

'Nuff said.  At this point, continuing to rant about this issue is simply displaying a willful ignorance to what is actually being said.

There will be options.  If flat healing doesn't work for your group, use something else.



Everyone in the same game will use the same system.  The DM or group gets to decide which.

Dude, you are not on the development team.  Please don't make statements like this - you don't know, and some people will read this and take it for the facts.




What are you talking about.  He is just stating the obvious:  everyone playing in the same group ("game") will mostly likely need to use the same healing options.  It would likely be unbalanced otherwise. 

You know people, a lot of us don't have faith In 5E or the design team behind it. When you make arguments that include faith in 5E as a necessary premise, your argument means almost nothing to those of us who don't share that faith.

Do you have anything to add that doesn't rest on faith?
...whatever
I kind of liked Star Wards d20 (not Saga) where HP was your Vitality and your Constitution was your wounds.

Something like that could work
You know people, a lot of us don't have faith In 5E or the design team behind it.



Then you should really just sit silently and watch.  If you truly have no faith in 5e or the team, then you believe that nothing you say or do will help.  That being the case, you should be silent and let the rest of us try to make the game a good one.

You know people, a lot of us don't have faith In 5E or the design team behind it. When you make arguments that include faith in 5E as a necessary premise, your argument means almost nothing to those of us who don't share that faith. Do you have anything to add that doesn't rest on faith?



What's an example of an argument that requires 'faith in 5e' as a neccessary premise?

On the contrary, I'd suggest that all of your "arguments" require the belief that the designers will, in the end, reject everything you hold near and dear in D&D; they also require the belief that the designers pander/lie/are inept.  If you're looking for faith-based arguments, look no further than your own posts.
You know people, a lot of us don't have faith In 5E or the design team behind it. When you make arguments that include faith in 5E as a necessary premise, your argument means almost nothing to those of us who don't share that faith. Do you have anything to add that doesn't rest on faith?



You are exagerating... Some of you don't have faith in 5E or the design team behind it.

I have faith as do most of us... that's why were here playtesting.

If D&D is so terrible why do you play it all the time?
+1 to drzachary and Slygamer.

drzachary especially, because it was exactly what I was thinking after reading the negative post.
You know people, a lot of us don't have faith In 5E or the design team behind it.



Then you should really just sit silently and watch.  If you truly have no faith in 5e or the team, then you believe that nothing you say or do will help.  That being the case, you should be silent and let the rest of us try to make the game a good one.



Silence the nonbelievers!
...whatever
I kind of liked Star Wards d20 (not Saga) where HP was your Vitality and your Constitution was your wounds.

Something like that could work


I liked the approach both took, honestly.

VP/WP is - in my opinion - a far more intuitive and coherent system.

But Saga made HP work for it, with Damage Threshold and the condition track (and also "Force Point to Not Die").
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)
I kind of liked Star Wards d20 (not Saga) where HP was your Vitality and your Constitution was your wounds.

Something like that could work


I liked the approach both took, honestly.

VP/WP is - in my opinion - a far more intuitive and coherent system.

But Saga made HP work for it, with Damage Threshold and the condition track (and also "Force Point to Not Die").



The 3e UA had a similar system in it.  I liked that one, too.
Trying to give feedback so 5E doesn't turn out as crap is a "crusade"?
...whatever
I kind of liked Star Wards d20 (not Saga) where HP was your Vitality and your Constitution was your wounds.

Something like that could work


I liked the approach both took, honestly.

VP/WP is - in my opinion - a far more intuitive and coherent system.

But Saga made HP work for it, with Damage Threshold and the condition track (and also "Force Point to Not Die").



The 3e UA had a similar system in it.  I liked that one, too.


Didn't it port over the same system?  (EDIT: From SW to UA, I mean.)  Not that it matters much - they were at the very least extremely similar.
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)
Trying to give feedback so 5E doesn't turn out as crap is a "crusade"?



That statement runs in direct opposition to your earlier statement.  You said earlier you don't have faith in 5e or the design team.   You can't believe that your feedback will aid 5e in not turning out as crap and have a lack of faith in 5e and the design team.  They are mutually exclusive beliefs.  Either the design team is listening and changing things based on our feedback, in which case they are worthy of having our faith in their ability, or they are not, in which case there is no point in complaining and/or giving feedback.

Which is it?  Do you have faith in them to listen to your feedback and change things or not?
I kind of liked Star Wards d20 (not Saga) where HP was your Vitality and your Constitution was your wounds.

Something like that could work


I liked the approach both took, honestly.

VP/WP is - in my opinion - a far more intuitive and coherent system.

But Saga made HP work for it, with Damage Threshold and the condition track (and also "Force Point to Not Die").



The 3e UA had a similar system in it.  I liked that one, too.


Didn't it port over the same system?  (EDIT: From SW to UA, I mean.)  Not that it matters much - they were at the very least extremely similar.



I have no idea.  I never played SW. 
Trying to give feedback so 5E doesn't turn out as crap is a "crusade"?



That statement runs in direct opposition to your earlier statement.  You said earlier you don't have faith in 5e or the design team.   You can't believe that your feedback will aid 5e in not turning out as crap and have a lack of faith in 5e and the design team.  They are mutually exclusive beliefs.  Either the design team is listening and changing things based on our feedback, in which case they are worthy of having our faith in their ability, or they are not, in which case there is no point in complaining and/or giving feedback.

Which is it?  Do you have faith in them to listen to your feedback and change things or not?


What part of telling them they're doing 5E wrong and need to make changes is so hard to understand?
...whatever
Trying to give feedback so 5E doesn't turn out as crap is a "crusade"?



That statement runs in direct opposition to your earlier statement.  You said earlier you don't have faith in 5e or the design team.   You can't believe that your feedback will aid 5e in not turning out as crap and have a lack of faith in 5e and the design team.  They are mutually exclusive beliefs.  Either the design team is listening and changing things based on our feedback, in which case they are worthy of having our faith in their ability, or they are not, in which case there is no point in complaining and/or giving feedback.

Which is it?  Do you have faith in them to listen to your feedback and change things or not?


What part of telling them they're doing 5E wrong and need to make changes is so hard to understand?



If you were trying to constructively improve the game......nothing.  Since your only contribution to these forums is to insult WoTC, the design team, and 5e with no real basis in facts for the vast majority of what you say, just about everything.
Expressing disapproval is feedback
...whatever
Expressing disapproval is feedback



Useless feedback.  When your disapproval is based on fiction and is utterly non-constructive, there is nothing present that will help them improve the game.  You might as well be whispering in the wind.