this is intended for the developers as a responce from my survey..
a friend of mine said that he wasnt going to bother submitting his comments because other people already said what he was thinking.. I told him to submit it anyways.. 2 voices are louder than 1.. and 100 are louder still.. but my hopes for NEXT are those voices chanting in unison.. I want to Feel Like I did when I started playing D&D..
wonder, excitement, heroic
.. that has been missing from recent Editions
well here are my comments from the survey Ill make some edits now too..
ABILITY SCORES: you keep messing with them, so here are my thoughts; (I have played many systems, some homegrown as well as 1st/2nd/3rd/3.5 ED & Pathfinder D&D some 4th ED D&D, started with the BOX and 1st ED, my favorite is 2nd ED)
First off, characters with average or below ability scores, NEVER make it off the farm (so, 4d6 reroll 1s and 2s take the highest 3d6 worked well in 2nd/3rd/4th(just reroll 1s) ED ps. 3d6 reroll 1s worked for 1st ED) or if they do, they are the ones who you see lining the white dragon's lair as corpsicle statues, or statue it up in the Medusa's garden (so average stats are above 12 instead of 9), they are the bones that adventurers see, strewn across their paths to greatness.. that being said, some (1, MAYbe 2) below average scores makes for some fun role play, WITH THE RIGHT GROUP(no, I am not yelling, just emphasizing) and a (very)Lenient DM..
D&D is about being a Hero, so either lower the range of bonuses or give a better building system.. if 20 is going to be a hard cap for PCs, 18-19-20 need to have special significance.. give bigger bonus jumps, ie. 3-4 -4 (or break these up 3 -5, 4 -4, 5 -3, 6 -2), 5-6 -2, 7 -1, 8 +0, 9 +1(8-9 being average in 3d6 (sure, statistically it is higher, but it just never works out that way)), 10-11 +2, 12-13 +3, 14-15 +4, 16-17 +5, 18 +6, 19 +8, 20 +10, if you stick with a straight 3d6 or point buy..
or in the modern world of "all kids get a trophy" method, give 3-4 +0, 5-6 +1, 7-8 +2, 9-10 +3, 11-12 +4, 13-14 +5, 15-16 +6, 17 +7, 18 +8, 19 +9, 20 +10, and eliminate all the negatives (this was a whim, but I kinda like it, A LOT now that I think about it, a 2d6+2 character would even be fun) just a straight 3d6, whatever the dice rolled for each stat, no racial bonuses to stats (because if you think about it, there might be clumsy elves, we just never see them, because their parents are all embarrassed and send them to Dexterity school for 3 hours every night)
+1 to 2 stats are nice every 4 levels. So was Training to increase STR, Working out to increase Con, Philosophy for WIS, Mathematics/sciences for INT, Public speaking for Chr, Drills? for DEX, paid for with the mucho gold adventurers looted and months of downtime between adventures (to a max of 18), tomes and magic items were nice too
some things that I like about previous systems;
1st ED- hps(give max per level for PCs) monsters have have 8hp per HD
2nd ED- 18/00 gave +3/+6, 19 and 20 even more, 21-25 was uber(but limited, and 3rd ED was idiotic(2 raises for +1))
3rd ED- feats rounded out the characters (but, so did WPs and nonWPs, still, feats are better)
4th ED- at wills (all PCs should have something special/random/useful, but spamming the same thing over and over and over and over.. and over.. gets annoying REAL quick) and My DM loves the ease of setting up encounters
NEXT.. I LOVE the MDD keep it.. a little overpowered, but so what.. buff the monsters a little more.. they have a thick hide, give them DR 3/-, Fat layers 5/Bludgeon, an aura 7/Magic, slimy scales 10/Fire, thick fur 5/cold, some are tougher to kill than others, give them 10 or 12 or even 15hp / HD instead of 8( or, 5 is it, weak, what do you think we are, wussies? finished that Module in the time it took to do a 4th ED encounter).. but lets just face it, some monsters that shouldn't be a challenge, will be, and some monsters that should be a challenge, will Not.
STOP NERFing (OK, I was yelling on that one) nerfing is just the idiots' way of trying to balance classes.. I say STOP doing that.. classes should NOT be balanced with each other.. IF you feel that they should be balanced, try to Strengthen the weaker classes.. once you get the classes There, then make the monsters balance how they work together.. STOP NERFing!! yes, it has to be said again.. STOP NERFing.. see above paragraph (I mean really, did Gimli whine and moan that Gandalf was killing Orcs better and faster than he was? did he say, I wish Gandalf could only kill 1 Orc at a time and take 2 or 3 rounds to do it??)
A Wizard should be like Artillery mowing down masses of the enemy, make enemy bosses cower in fear.. they are rare, since the amount of work involved in becoming Archmage is/should be tremendous..
that being said, a Rogue with a well placed dagger can be just as effective, dodging and stealthing through enemy ranks, poisoning enemy SGTs flasks, or quietly making sure he does not wake from his nap, or return from the Latrine or find his misplaced orders..
or a Cleric with a mass heal and the divine faith of his/her Diety, to keep the party on its feet and continuing to fight the Overwhelming Odds facing them..
a Fighter, lifting his caved in adamantium shield, just one more time with his broken arm, to ward off the Pitfiend's devastating strike, yet again, giving the spellcasters time to banish their foe for another 100 years..
the Barbarian raging against the horde, a bastion in the sea of claws and fangs, wave after wave of rabid monsters crash against his sword, sending up a spray of blood..
and an Archer Ranger, firing wave after wave of arrows, mowing down defenders in order to fire that perfect shot into the eye of the enemy commander...
--- I hope you see my point, or there is no point in NEXT.. HEROICs.. make us feel like real, true heroes -----
I have been in parties with 4 striker types and was the only wizard/cleric ( the players choose what is easy for them) and no healers or rogues, they wouldnt even have had a caster if I hadnt come along.. make the wiz a nuker/controller with NUKING and Controlling powers, if that means 6d6 fireballs or 10 rounds of Haste (2nd ED with 2x attacks/actions/moves not the new crappy version) or Mass Hold Monster or icewall or Fly or better yet 2nd ED WW/WOD had a very nice open system with 5 levels to each type of spell and with many spell types (Spacial, Chaos, Life, Mind, Forces, Time, Spirit, Matter and Magic) and GMs have come up with others (Knowledge, and AntiMagic IIR being a couple) as well as quasi types can be made as needed for a setting..
1st lvl in type gave you power to see that type, 2nd to manipulate minorly, 3rd create minor, 4th manipulate major, 5th create major ( ie Type:Forces 1st-See forces(claireaudience), 2nd-manipulate fire (fire finger-using heat from your body), 3rd-create fire (fireball) 4th- manipulate greater forces(fly-gravity), 5th- create forces (reverse gravity)) the nice thing about the system allowed for cross over uses (ie you could cast invis using Forces to bend light around you, you could modify your body to let light pass through unhindered using Life, you could manipulate other minds using Mind, you could use Correspondence to not appear to be there and be somewhere else, you could..) each of these have differing difficulties, depending on the Type.. I believe Monte Cooke? came up with an adequate crossover rules system for the Ascension Mage, but I believe other, better systems are out there, I even made one for 2nd ED (still testing (hard to find the right DM for this))
the Mage would have to develop his spells through trial and error and Lots of possibly harrowing experimentation. . he would be able to cast spells at will, enforcing his will upon the world (the world wont take it lying down) and reality snaps back occasionally(spell failures), while the Mage is able to spontaneously cast a new spell (that could be very dangerous if he fails the spellcrafting check) he actually prefers experimentation and playing with the magic, and, the magic being fickle, tends to dissipate quickly unless the Mage causes the change to become permanent or manipulates the flow of magic to feed the spell, or to reduce the decay of the spell for extended times..
---------- for those of you who love to play with magic users, tell me you haven't DREAMED of doing just this ------------------
The Healer should be able to keep the whole party alive and buffed (hours or daylong) with auras of healing and spot heals to bolster those flagging hps
The Rogue skills are good.. a rogue given enough time, can get through any obstacle.. but there is not really any flash(such as the feet of flying monks, or the scintillating glint of the Fighter's khopesh).. give them instakills earlier.. 1 on 1 kind of things.. an innate knowledge of anatomy crossed with monster lore and a rogue can be dropping bodies as flashily as any fighter
I have other thoughts and could go on and on with this.. but you have my email address, if you want more input, or brainstorming(you better hurry its turning to mush) get my number and call me
Back in the Day, My Job as DM, was to determine just how much I could throw at my PCs, then throw a little more at them than that. Their overcoming this adversity, besting their foes, bypassing that trap, overcoming the odds, and having a sense of accomplishment, was their reward (and the loot/xp wasn't too bad either). I encouraged my players to excel, to think outside the box, to come up with outrageous ideas that just might work..
Your job is to make a system; where a player can quickly create a character he could have fun playing, and be inspired by; where a DM can sit down and say, the party is 4th level, the players are a bunch of dunces and do not work very well together, what can I do to make them think about what they are doing, do it together, barely survive and have fun doing it.
Give us those tools, and most likely we will be giving you $35? MSRP per book.. I really like the separate PG, DMG and MM, the rest is fluff.. some people like to pay $20 MSRP per book for that fluff
pss. if you go with the Ascension Mage (and I really think you should do something along those lines) dont tell my DM it was my idea.. *grin*