Anyone else notice that the game breaks down after about level 3?

The game was working somewhat well up until 3,4,5th level, at which point it collapsed in on itself and all combat balance when thrown out of the window. Did anyone else notice this? I believe my party reached 6th level before we just stopped playing, I pitted them against the level 20 demon in the book, about 4 level 5s and they lasted a very long while against it with minimal fudging on my part.
Yes it has been like this for months but on there is a new packet in a couple of days.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

The player damage is way over the top (although I suspect that you underplayed the demon since the only level 20 in the bestiary (actually a devil) ought to be killing a minimum of one player a round at twice that level. 



With a +10 to hit and two attacks per round (three attacks when you include his spell options) - and none of your characters at that level ought to have 150 or more hit points - it should be killing one to two PCS a round.  Never mind the fact that it can also blast them with cone of cold or flame strike - making it possible for it to kill the entire party in a single round.   

Unless your idea of minimal fudging is to take away its primary attacks. 


       It is also true that that particular monster is relatively underpowered (if you graph its AC, damage (actual damage, not the autokill effect), etc. it maps out to closer to 12th level or so than to 20th - the only thing it has that keeps it from being a total pushover is that rod - and the fact that it can summon devils tougher than itself to save its ass.  Try the party against one of the fourteen plus monsters for a better challenge.


So we'll assume you engaged in a bit of hyperbole - after all I have had a party of level six characters take on level 13 and level 14 creatures and prevail.


Regardless - they are (allegedly) fixing the math in the packet due out on Wednesday - so I'd say hang on till then and hope the situation improves.


Carl
Yes it has been like this for months but on there is a new packet in a couple of days.



They said when it's coming?
Yes it has been like this for months but on there is a new packet in a couple of days.



They said when it's coming?

Yes, this Wednesday.

Danny

my group played at level 7...we saw crazy damage comming out of everyone...that was our only issue...they have fixed that in an upcomming packet hopefully.  The game didn't fall apart it just meant that combat wasn't a big time taker and we could move through everything faster.
The game was working somewhat well up until 3,4,5th level, at which point it collapsed in on itself and all combat balance when thrown out of the window. Did anyone else notice this? I believe my party reached 6th level before we just stopped playing, I pitted them against the level 20 demon in the book, about 4 level 5s and they lasted a very long while against it with minimal fudging on my part.



I think I witness that battle during that time. It took a while for that demon to kill them. 
But I think the Gaint Ape give us a fair fight. 

Yes combat breaks apart at level 3, though you can already see this at level one when any monster under 12 HP is effectively a minion. The problem is inflated damage.

Spells deal to much damage and Martial Damage Dice just needs to go p-e-r-i-o-d.

It also doesn't help that PCs can go to a ridivulous level of negative Hit Points as well. PCs deal super damage and never die AND have healing from short rests.... its a stroll in the park even when surrounded by monsters of greater level.
The player damage is way over the top (although I suspect that you underplayed the demon since the only level 20 in the bestiary (actually a devil) ought to be killing a minimum of one player a round at twice that level. 



With a +10 to hit and two attacks per round (three attacks when you include his spell options) - and none of your characters at that level ought to have 150 or more hit points - it should be killing one to two PCS a round.  Never mind the fact that it can also blast them with cone of cold or flame strike - making it possible for it to kill the entire party in a single round.   

Unless your idea of minimal fudging is to take away its primary attacks. 


       It is also true that that particular monster is relatively underpowered (if you graph its AC, damage (actual damage, not the autokill effect), etc. it maps out to closer to 12th level or so than to 20th - the only thing it has that keeps it from being a total pushover is that rod - and the fact that it can summon devils tougher than itself to save its ass.  Try the party against one of the fourteen plus monsters for a better challenge.


So we'll assume you engaged in a bit of hyperbole - after all I have had a party of level six characters take on level 13 and level 14 creatures and prevail.


Regardless - they are (allegedly) fixing the math in the packet due out on Wednesday - so I'd say hang on till then and hope the situation improves.


Carl



They disarmed it every round, I was only able to use that attack once =( and I was rolling terribly that night, but even still it really shouldn't have even been a challenge.
As far as I'm concerned the actual math of PCs vs. Monsters is broken at all levels.   

In one game I ran, 4 2nd level PCs defeated a Vrock Demon and a Drow.  (Granted, one of the PCs had a magic weapon.)

I'm sure the new math, although it probably won't be a final draft, will make steps toward more balanced combats.


  

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

As far as I'm concerned the actual math of PCs vs. Monsters is broken at all levels.   

In one game I ran, 4 2nd level PCs defeated a Vrock Demon and a Drow.  (Granted, one of the PCs had a magic weapon.)

I'm sure the new math, although it probably won't be a final draft, will make steps toward more balanced combats.


  




I'd say it can't be worse - but.....


I was very glad to see that they aren't changing the monsters at the same time.


I argued for a decrease in the players attacks in the prior packets - and they decreased them only to decrease monster ACs even more.


I half expected them to decrease player damage - and then decrease monster hit points to compensate.


Carl         
I'm still waiting for the monsters to be jazzed up a bit.

I DM more than anything else, so I really want fun-to-play monsters.

Willing to wait & see the math balance on the PC end before we get to baddies - just hope some retooling for baddies is on the to-do list.
I'm still waiting for the monsters to be jazzed up a bit. I DM more than anything else, so I really want fun-to-play monsters. Willing to wait & see the math balance on the PC end before we get to baddies - just hope some retooling for baddies is on the to-do list.



I've been DMing Encounters with the 5E rules.


It is a bit disheartening to look at the creatures in their 4E form and then look at how uninspired their 5E versions are.  I've 'fixed' a few of them by adding in 4E powers - but in general they just aren't very interesting.


I'm hanging onto the fact that they say monster design has been a low priority and hoping that they will eventually get some much needed improvements.


And this is a separate issue from their wimpiness (which should be improved by comparison when the next packet comes out).


Carl         
Actually I'd converted a few 4E monsters on the monster builder tool. They're just better to play with than the current crop of 5E dudes.
CarlT I plugged the D&DN monstersinto AD&D more or less unmodified except for ACs. THey actually work well there.

D&DN is all about the player entitlement atm. Obviously you do not need DMs as the players can do that themselves it seems.

 Bawlie I was thinking of something similar depending on the critter.  I need some tough hobgoblins for AD&D and I can fudge the numbers a bit.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Falling apart at higher levels is part of the classic D&D feel.  Don't worry, they'll get it to work only in the 3-7th level 'sweet spot' once they're don't fine-tuning it.  ;)
 

 

 

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Falling apart at higher levels is part of the classic D&D feel.  Don't worry, they'll get it to work only in the 3-7th level 'sweet spot' once they're don't fine-tuning it.  ;)
 


It's true. Every edition of D&D has fallen apart at some point o_O
My two copper.
 The thing is Tony D&DN starts falling apart at the sweet spot. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

"This iteration" of DDN falls apart.
My two copper.
Alright people, let's get real here. 

Basically some of these guys are saying that this game fell apart, because they send a
party against one very powerful enemy.

Can you tell me a time where 4-6 heroes vs 1 Major Baddie was a good idea?
The big bad baddie is going to get slam with so much debuffs that by the time of
his turn, he can't hardly do anything.  
That the math is borked all to hell is a known issue, and one being addressed in the next packet, at least to some degree. It's true that the most dramatic examples are low-level characters killing individual powerful creatures incredibly quickly, but every encounter at every level is pretty messed up in terms of the raw speed with which monsters die.
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.
 The thing is Tony D&DN starts falling apart at the sweet spot. 



In theory if Bounded Accuracy is implemented correctly, the sweet spot should be the entire range of levels (1-20).  Removing MDD should mostly fix the problem.
Bounded accuracy theory is wrong though. AD&D kind of has it and I have tweaked the numbers in that and it works much better than D&DN. Actually I tweaked the numbers in Myth and Magic an AD&D d20 clone with parts of 3rd ed in it. Bounded accuracy is just the 4th ed math revamped and toned down to try and make everything work in a narrow range except 4th ed did it better.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

What do you think Bounded Accuracy is if not tweaking of numbers?  BA is tweaking of numbers to meet certain objectives, one of which is to widen the sweet spot range.  The whole reason for scaling back attack bonuses and skill modifiers is so that AC's and DC's don't have to be raised to challenge higher levels.   

The question is not if BA should be implemented, but how it should be implemented to preserve the design of D&D.


Maybe but right now BA is a massive deal breaker for me. We like d20 games for exmaple but have recently been playing AD&D and the fighter levelsed up. His saves got better along with his THACO (BAB actually) and he got a d10 hit dice. He actually laughed and commented on "well I just got more than D&DN". 

 And it is not like D&DN has combat that actually works. It is terrible ATM along with a terible skill system. Pathfinder, SWSE, 4th ed and Myth and Magic all have bettwer skill systems than D&DN IMHO. 3.5 may also have a better skill system and I regard that worse than the PF/4th ed/SWSE/M&M ones. Most of those problems relate to BA as implemented and I think they need t o stretch it out to somehting similar to AD&D. Have ACs scale up to the 30-35 range, skill DCs up to 30 maybe. Still keeps the numbers down allows for a sens of class progression. Asmodeus with 18AC is a joke.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

What do you think Bounded Accuracy is if not tweaking of numbers?  BA is tweaking of numbers to meet certain objectives, one of which is to widen the sweet spot range.  The whole reason for scaling back attack bonuses and skill modifiers is so that AC's and DC's don't have to be raised to challenge higher levels.   

The question is not if BA should be implemented, but how it should be implemented to preserve the design of D&D.





This

I prefer the +1 to +5 then +1 to +20 AB. Smaller numbers means less math means easily can balance.
For once it might be easier to make our own monsters with the D&DN system. 

So what if a bunch of low levels can take down a high level? 
If all they did was damage, the high level can easliy wipe them out. 
Only reason why they took down the high level was because of tactics. 
I don't think players should be punish for thinking outside the box to defeat a powerful foe. 

The problem is not bounded accuracy.  Especially since the problem is the PCs doing too much damage too easily.


The problem was the the tying of MDD to maneuvers.


This meant that players needed multiple dice to power the maneuvers - because we want them to be able to use cool maneuvers.  But then the players had all of those multiple dice and were told they could use them for damage alone - at which point most of the maneuvers got tossed out the window for the megadamage.


My preferred approach was for the player to roll as many MDD as they wished to add to their damage - and then use the best die, not the sum.  That would allow them to have multiple MDD to power maneuvers without the excessive damage inflation that that caused.  But that suggestion was ignored. 

And then this megadamage was combined with monster ACs that start very low and don't improve much (low level PCs with better ACs than dragons and Asmodeus is just wrong).   The only way those ACs make sense would be if player accuracy didn't improve at all.   

And even then some of them are too low.

 We'll see what the new packet brings.


Carl    


The problem is not bounded accuracy.  Especially since the problem is the PCs doing too much damage too easily.

The problem was the the tieing of MDD to maneuvers.





Actually MDD are the problem.  If you read DM David's blog ( http://dmdavid.com/tag/dd-next-trades-to-hit-bonuses-for-enhanced-damage/ ), you would know that MDD were introduced simply to fill the vaccum left from scaling back Attack Bonuses.  That is the primary purpose of MDD, not combat maneuvers.   The thing is that MDD are not part of BA implementation, they are unnecessary, and they are throwing the math out of wack.  They are not even neccessary to introduce tactics and maneuvers to combat.   

 


 
Actually (note, I haven't been able to make encounters for a few seasons), the only encounters that I know where built on the guidelines given (as opposed to ludicrously weak ones I've been given in premades) worked fine.



So what if a bunch of low levels can take down a high level? 
If all they did was damage, the high level can easliy wipe them out. 
Only reason why they took down the high level was because of tactics. 
I don't think players should be punish for thinking outside the box to defeat a powerful foe. 





Actually it is intended that a bunch of low levels can take down a high level.  That is a requirement of Bounded Accuracy, and rightly so.   There are better ways to implement BA than what Wotc is doing though.  For example, instead of scaling back attack bonuses, scale back the impact of each point.  Do you see the difference?  The design of D&D is preserved with the latter.
The problem is not bounded accuracy.  Especially since the problem is the PCs doing too much damage too easily.

The problem was the the tieing of MDD to maneuvers.





Actually MDD are the problem.  If you read DM David's blog ( http://dmdavid.com/tag/dd-next-trades-to-hit-bonuses-for-enhanced-damage/ ), you would know that MDD were introduced simply to fill the vaccum left from scaling back Attack Bonuses.  That is the primary purpose of MDD, not combat maneuvers.   The thing is that MDD are not part of BA implementation, they are unnecessary, and they are throwing the math out of wack.  They are not even neccessary to introduce tactics and maneuvers to combat.   

 


 


They are not strictly necessary - and yet they are.


If you cannot represent the player improving through accuracy (as did prior editions) conventional wisdom is that you have to show improvement somehow - and damage was their method of choice.  So - not necessary, but understandable. 


The problem was that they gave them too fast a progression.  And why?


Damage might have been their original function, but they were also used to power maneuvers from the start.  

And that (to better power maneuvers) is why their numbers were changed from the original implementation.  They didn't seem to think that the needed more damage (in fact even back then they were talking about reducing their damage - and then they increased the number of martial dice they got).

Essentially - they went with a quick and easy die progression rather than actually asking how much damage a fighter ought to do each round at any given level.  And I have to think that part of their mistake was actually believing that the fighers would use the dice for maneuvers most of the time.


I do know that in my own experience on these forums, I objected to the Deadly Strike/ default 'extra damage' maneuver that all fighters had and stated that - in my opinion - the appeal of extra damage was such that few players would ever use any maneuvers except for Deadly strike (unless they missed).  Only to be told by many posters that, no - their players always used the other maneuvers.  I had one poster tell me that the fighter's at their table almost never used Deadly Strike and that I was wrong in my assessement of the MDD and maneuvers.


Oh well.


I suspect feedback like that is what lead to being willing to increase the dice since if players weren't actually using  Deadly Strike pumping up the number of dice (to help fuel more complicated maneuvers) wouldn't be a problem.    

Right.

Carl  
     
 The thing is Tony D&DN starts falling apart at the sweet spot. 

At the old sweet spot, so it's sweet spot's upper bound is level 4 or something.  Maybe the lower bound is level -3? ;)  It's easy enough to move that target, though - nerfing martial damage is probably part of that, monsters will hang around a little longer at low levels, 2 spells won't see you through the day, by 3rd it'll pick up, by 7-10th the casters will be dominating, it'll be "D&D" again.

 

 

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They are not strictly necessary - and yet they are.


If you cannot represent the player improving through accuracy (as did prior editions) conventional wisdom is that you have to show improvement somehow - and damage was their method of choice.  So - not necessary, but understandable. 




If you scale back the impact of each bonus instead of the bonus itself, the design is the same as before.  Nothing is changed.   There is no vaccum needed to be filled.  Hence MDD are not necessary.

If an equivalent alternative implementation of BA shows that MDD are unnecessary, then MDD shouldn't be necessary in Wotc's implementation of BA as well.  That's just logic.  

MDD weren't introduced to implement BA.   They were introduced to fill in a vaccum left by Wotc's implementation of BA.  Do you see the difference?




I guess we have to wait and see what happens in the new packet. 

 
The problem is not bounded accuracy.  Especially since the problem is the PCs doing too much damage too easily.


The problem was the the tying of MDD to maneuvers.


This meant that players needed multiple dice to power the maneuvers - because we want them to be able to use cool maneuvers.  But then the players had all of those multiple dice and were told they could use them for damage alone - at which point most of the maneuvers got tossed out the window for the megadamage.


My preferred approach was for the player to roll as many MDD as they wished to add to their damage - and then use the best die, not the sum.  That would allow them to have multiple MDD to power maneuvers without the excessive damage inflation that that caused.  But that suggestion was ignored. 

And then this megadamage was combined with monster ACs that start very low and don't improve much (low level PCs with better ACs than dragons and Asmodeus is just wrong).   The only way those ACs make sense would be if player accuracy didn't improve at all.   

And even then some of them are too low.

 We'll see what the new packet brings.


Carl    



Carl they need to make you a designer my friend.

This is some worrying sh*t people. Let's hope for big changes this packet. Cmon devs!

The problem was that they gave them too fast a progression.  And why?


Damage might have been their original function, but they were also used to power maneuvers from the start.  

And that (to better power maneuvers) is why their numbers were changed from the original implementation.  They didn't seem to think that the needed more damage (in fact even back then they were talking about reducing their damage - and then they increased the number of martial dice they got).

Essentially - they went with a quick and easy die progression rather than actually asking how much damage a fighter ought to do each round at any given level.  And I have to think that part of their mistake was actually believing that the fighers would use the dice for maneuvers most of the time.


    


Oh man. If that was the reasoning behind more MDD, then this game is in big big trouble. Of COURSE players will choose huge damage over situational manuoevres. Carl, FFS, get a job there and sort this mess out!

Yeah challenge math is generally borked.


I really wish they could find it in themselves to unbind the accuracy a little bit. Just enough to show a slow progression of all aspects of the character but keep the range fairly tight.


I've all ready done that in my playtest and they'd have to give me a damn good reason to discard my adjustments at this point.

I agree. Seems to me another 5-8 points would go a long way in the spread, allowing more differentiation between class advancement/monster AC, etc

I really wish they could find it in themselves to unbind the accuracy a little bit. Just enough to show a slow progression of all aspects of the character but keep the range fairly tight.





They can.  There is an implementation of Bounded Accuracy that does not change the design of the game like 3E or 4E or another RPG even.  You can progress like before.   I'm trying to convince Wotc to go with that implementation.   
 The thing is Tony D&DN starts falling apart at the sweet spot. 

At the old sweet spot, so it's sweet spot's upper bound is level 4 or something.  Maybe the lower bound is level -3? ;)  It's easy enough to move that target, though - nerfing martial damage is probably part of that, monsters will hang around a little longer at low levels, 2 spells won't see you through the day, by 3rd it'll pick up, by 7-10th the casters will be dominating, it'll be "D&D" again.




 More than one way to skin a cat. They can keep classic save or dies for example and scale up saving throws so you have a very small chance of getting hit by one or resurrect AD&D type spell resistence. THey have dumbed the game down to the point where no one want to die ot not be able to hurt someone becuase they lack the required magic weapon.

 That had flow on effects of trying to balance spellcasters vs non spellcasters and the 4th ed way was to use a unified structure and the D&DN way is to use BA and bore the players to death. Or just play another system.  

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

THey have dumbed the game down to the point where no one want to die ot not be able to hurt someone becuase they lack the required magic weapon.

That's not 'dumbed down,' just different.  Yes, classic D&D was arbitrary and broken, and maybe in dealing with it we were showing some sort of twisted brilliance - or dogged determination, or pathetic obsession - but that doesn't make a well-designed game, nor the people who enjoyed it, or might have enjoyed it had it been allowed to run its course, in anyway 'dumb.'

 

 

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