Playtest session feedback for 032113 Packet

We just finished up our first session using the new rules, and everyone agreed that things were quite a bit more fun.

Here is what everyone liked:

-Wizard spells requiring monsters to save, rather than the wizard to attack. The wizard player commented that it really helped him feel more unique, rather than feeling like he was doing the same thing as the fighters and just calling it something different.

-Damage is so much better now that it's been reduced. The players in my game really felt like combat was challenging once again, rather than just a cake walk. Previously there were killing monster parties without much fear of being hurt. With the old packet, monsters were dying left and right, and players rarely took much damage at all.

This time, however, the monsters lasted a little longer (but no so long as to make combat overly long and tedious), and the players actually felt challenged, and one fighter even dropped below 0 HP (this particular fighter previously usually only took 1 or 2 damage because of Parry).

Basically, the party (3rd level) of two fighers and a wizard took on two ogres (one at 26HP and one at 41HP). Combat lasted about 6 or 7 rounds. One of the fighters took moderate damage, and the other went to -3 in the last round. The wizard didn't take a lot of damage this time, but he was back away from the action casting spells from a distance.

The fighter that went unconscious made a single successful death save, but then the wizard had a 22 on an "Administer First Aid" check after the battle, stablizing the fighter.

Everyone agreed that it was much more fun since they felt like they actually had to fight for it to win. Even the fighter that went below 0 said she had more fun and that combat was much more exciting, instead of feeling boring like they previously thought it felt.

Overall, there are a few things that they'd like to see different, but the excitement level was much higher.
We just finished up our first session using the new rules, and everyone agreed that things were quite a bit more fun.

Here is what everyone liked:

-Wizard spells requiring monsters to save, rather than the wizard to attack. The wizard player commented that it really helped him feel more unique, rather than feeling like he was doing the same thing as the fighters and just calling it something different.

-Damage is so much better now that it's been reduced. The players in my game really felt like combat was challenging once again, rather than just a cake walk. Previously there were killing monster parties without much fear of being hurt. With the old packet, monsters were dying left and right, and players rarely took much damage at all.

This time, however, the monsters lasted a little longer (but no so long as to make combat overly long and tedious), and the players actually felt challenged, and one fighter even dropped below 0 HP (this particular fighter usually only took 1 or 2 damage because of Parry).

Basically, the party (3rd level) of two fighers and a wizard took on two ogres (one at 26HP and one at 41HP). Combat lasted about 6 or 7 rounds. One of the fighters took moderate damage, and the other went to -3 in the last round. The wizard didn't take a lot of damage this time, but he was back away from the action casting spells from a distance.

The fighter that went unconscious made a single successful death save, but then the wizard had a 22 on an "Administer First Aid" check after the battle, stablizing the fighter.

Everyone agreed that it was much more fun since they felt like they actually had to fight for it to win. Even the fighter that went below 0 said she had more fun and that combat was much more exciting, instead of feeling boring like they previously thought it felt.

Overall, there are a few things that they'd like to see different, but the excitement level was much higher.



Sounds good, Alienux.   I agree that this is more fun.   Even if a combat lasts just a few rounds more I consider that a great step forward.   

My group also likes how spells use Saving throws now for exactly the same reason you mentioned; it makes magic seem magical again.

Keep testing and reporting.  Cheers.

      


    

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

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

 

 

My group only playtested once last year, and that was enough for them.  They told me they didn't want to do that again.  We were taking a quick break from a high-level 4e game, and it felt like going from a corvet to a tricycle.  So I don't have too much input into how the game plays, but there are several things I like and don't like about the current playtest.

I like how the shield now gives +2 to AC, and wish for the option of a smaller, more versatile shield.  That's been a stable of the last few editions.

I really like how spells are leveling up so that if a wizard wants more (for example) magic missles, he/she can just learn it in a higher spell slot.  Very good idea to keep even low level spells relevant.  

I like the sound of the skill dice mechanic, but I dont' like the number of skills.  I thought the the skill catagories of 3.X was a mess, and this looks just like it.  Now "balance" is separate from "acrobatics" again, and "perception" has devolved back into separate "search, spot, and listen" skills.  Very messy!

I really like how the different classes have different flavors that you can select between.  That has been the most exciting thing about it so far.  I like the backgrounds as well, but are they still around?  Hope so. 

I am trying to teach my 9-year-old son to play, and Next looks like a very simple system to learn and play.  I am definitely going to buy the game just for him.  I'm a little worried that it will be too simple for those of us who have gotten used to so much power and so many options, even at lower levels (my favorite).  But with the "module" approach to the game, I'm counting on more complexity and options being added later.
Thank you for this report alienux. 

It seems that the long awaited fixes to damage and monster/player balance make the game playable and fun again. I've been expecting those changes since the second packet, maybe it's time to give d&dn a second chance. 

I'll ask my gaming group if they want to try it again soon, but I will ban non core classes (wizard, cleric, fighter, rogue) from the game. As long as the core is not balanced and fun I believe that there is no point in testing additional content.

Even if I, as  a dm, want to playtest the game, I will have a hard time convincing my players to test a game they find totally broken. So, yes, I won't ask them to playtest the druid for instance as long as they haven't acknowledged positive changes to the existing classes and mechanics. 

One step at a time.