(3/20 packet) Mechanics: Hits and misses

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OK: here's the nuts and bolts parts from our session last night.

*Character Generation: Mountain Dwarven Protector Cleric (AC 20!) and Halfling Thief Rogue repurposed/tweaked from last packet.  New toons: a Hill Dwarf Giant Killer Ranger with Guide and Survivor.  Wood Elf Druid of the Moon.  Human Barbarian.

*Building went quickly enough.  No complaints at the outset.  I was happy with my ranger at the start.

*First fight, we discovered the DM was reskinning the monsters, helping things to feel less predictable.  That helps.  Some sort of aquatic spider frog things jumped us (literally) with poison tongues a flailing, and poison bursts upon death.  Being dwarves, the poison factor was no issue to us, the others stayed out of range or else made saves when needed.  We took diddly for damage, and our martial characters Deadly Strike made the Resistance to bludgeoning weapons they had quite moot.  We walked over the top of an equal number of what should have been quite dangerous monsters.  Druid as a FREAKING HUGE SIZED DIRE BEAR AT LEVEL 5 in this fight felt incredibly OP.  The ability was very welcomed by the player, and the party, but this was over the top.

*Second fight: TROLL!  My dwarf ranger was happy.  This troll suplexed our raging barbarian into a pit.  Damage was underwhelming due to resistance.  He then suplexed me.  Even less impressive, since i burned reaction to take half damage.  In about 4 rounds, the troll was dead, and were were not sure if we wanted to bother rolling HD to recover...after fighting a TROLL.  Due to RP events in between the 2 fights, druid had already burned through all 4 daily wild shapes.  Helped as a caster, and the versatility of the class made this one feel as much a 'super class' (relative to the rest of the group) as I feared it would.  After the fight, we heard at least 6 more trolls inbound.  Our reaction was "come at me, tro!".  DM's train tracks ran the other direction though, so we made a totally out of character choice (yay influence of random magic item properties like 'covetous') to avoid the prepped adventure becoming a waste of effort in favor a night of satisfying TROFLstomping. 

*Exploration mode time.  Trap city in the Slime Pits (That No One Ever Comes Back From).  Traps found easily, then we went through a one way door and found an advancing wall of extending swords coming at us.  Party had to figure out how to unlock various doors/disable traps on them before sword wall was going to run us down.  We did two clever things here, one was to use our shields as door stops by pitoning them to the floor using our climbers kits.  This held back the wall for a good 4-5 rounds.  The second was to use the Hold Person spell to stabilize the Barbarian at the base of a demi-human pyramid to boost the rogue to the disarm location at the top of one of the walls.  This was a lot of Dex and Con saving and endless failed disarm skill checks from the rogue.  We happened to find a different way to do things and go past it all, but that was way more drama than the troll fight was even close to being.  Here we found skills broke down for improvising purpose.  Full faceplant.

*Player of cleric was rather neutral on the subject of his class.  It allowed him to do all the things a cleric has always done.  Improved from last packet, but still nothing special.

*Player of Rogue *very* disappointed in many aspects of things.  Skills were a huge trap when described as only tasks.  They very much limited a sense that one was free to use them to improvise with.  Feats as the way to express rogue abilities which were always skills in the past was a horrible way to go, especially considering the previous versatility of 4e skills.  Why do you need 4 feats and multiple skills just to simulate what 'Stealth' and 'Thievery' always used to do exceptionally well, ESPECIALLY when there's never a mechanical variation between any of them?!  Skills quickly became the most dissed mechanic of the night.  This one was a total failure at our table. 

*Ranger felt like the powers I had were meaningless once we actually faced a real giant.  Damage mitigation did nothing for me in terms of my own feelings about it.  I actually felt like even though giant slaying was my character's passion, just being able to slightly improve damage and survive more damage was a very vanilla way to express my expertise.  Although I started the night inspired, by the end of the night I was done with this packet until the next one.

*Druid was happy with his class, but felt game was too much like 2e for his tastes.

*Barbarian liked his class overall.

*Although on sight this packet felt better than the last one, and gave me less up front to kvetch about, after playing it, none of us wanted to play it again.

*We had a good discussion afterwards about the issues we were seeing and why it didn't feel fun, and how we'd like to see it develop to offset things.
 you can find that summary here: 

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

OK:

*Player of Rogue *very* disappointed in many aspects of things.  Skills were a huge trap when described as only tasks.  They very much limited a sense that one was free to use them to improvise with.  Feats as the way to express rogue abilities which were always skills in the past was a horrible way to go, especially considering the previous versatility of 4e skills.  Why do you need 4 feats and multiple skills just to simulate what 'Stealth' and 'Thievery' always used to do exceptionally well, ESPECIALLY when there's never a mechanical variation between any of them?!  Skills quickly became the most dissed mechanic of the night.  This one was a total failure at our table. 





Nice report.  I am beginning to agree with you about the Rogue.   I feel as if it is getting to complicated especially if a player has a specific type of rogue in mind.   I'd rather have the rogue skills simplified and instead of granting extra d6 for mastery, they should just give rogues one or two choices for skill focus and/or skill supremacy.

Our group liked how spells mostly use saving throw mechanic now.  It made the spellcasters seem magical and different from normal attackers.   

I'm hoping to play/DM a bit more.          


Cheers.

A Brave Knight of WTF