Playtester Profile: Tony Vargas

Fairly positive for the boards uber pessimist!
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Fairly positive for the boards uber pessimist!



It was actually fairly critical and negative on almost every point. He just managed to maintain a civil tone, which I would imagine is a requirement to get published like this.
I kind of felt like this interview was like an FBI agent talking with Hannibal Lector.  He sounds so reasonable.  But I know the real Hannibal  

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Fairly positive for the boards uber pessimist!



It was actually fairly critical and negative on almost every point. He just managed to maintain a civil tone, which I would imagine is a requirement to get published like this.



OK ...   maybe that is what I meant by positive
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Pretty sure I'm not a FBI agent.  ;)

All around helpful simian

Fairly positive for the boards uber pessimist!


I thought thecasualoblivion was our resident pesimist
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
Fairly positive for the boards uber pessimist!


I thought thecasualoblivion was our resident pesimist



He's just more passionate about it...
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Pretty sure I'm not a FBI agent.  ;)



Hmmm Crazy_Cannibal_Monkeys sounds spookey
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Pretty sure I'm not a FBI agent.  ;)



Hmmm Crazy_Cannibal_Monkeys sounds spookey



Sounds like a death metal band name, actually.

However...we are straying off topic, now.  ;) 

All around helpful simian

Sharp interview Tony!  Gratz  : )
I never had a problem with the current hitpoints in 5e.

With the current monsters a lv1 should be facing, you shouldn't complain about
low hitpoints unless you sending something stronger at them.  
I suspect 4e players will never be happy with Next, and it really makes you wonder why they keep insisting on posting in this forum despite their constant hate-fest for classic D&D. I really recommend playing a different game or sticking to 4e. There are other subforums for that.

Thank you for your biased opinion, but it has nothing of an universal truth…

I play with people who still play older editions, I playtested with them, and they chose to stop and play Trinity (very, very far from D&D) to make a break.
For them, old editions are okay because they are what you could have at that time, and they were great (an opinion I share, even if I never go back to play them). And they told me, a little angry, that the DDN classes are not what they expect in 2013.

One of them like drows, find Drizzt cool, and like vampires a lot since the Anne Rice novels. Yes, it's frightening, but I decided that could stay my friend, the ultimate proof that I'm a very nice guy, even if I prefer more mechanics and concepts coming from 4th edition than the previous ones Tongue Out

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

I just read some of this interview and scratched my head several times due to his weird logic.
...
I suspect 4e players will never be happy with Next, and it really makes you wonder why they keep insisting on posting in this forum despite their constant hate-fest for classic D&D. I really recommend playing a different game or sticking to 4e. There are other subforums for that.



I disagree with pretty much every point you make here. Tony does a very clear job of articulating why fragile first-level PCs encourage non-heroic behavior. Just take a look at Mines of Madness or a "real" old-school dungeon crawl, where everybody dies if you don't poke everything with a ten-foot pole to check for traps and hide behind a rock every time a kobold wanders by (because he has five dozen buddies in earshot). There's no "bravery" involved in playing a fragile character either, since (a) it's a game and (b) by the time you've played enough to have anything invested in the character, it will be far less fragile and your buddies will have access to resurrection magic.



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Thanks Tony for keeping your cool and giving accurate reasonable responses. You could have been a lot meaner but you were pretty tame IMHO.


It is good to see the designers at least willing to talk with the 4e appreciators even if their design fully rejects anything 4e.

Please stop these Playtester Profiles.



Or, you could just stop reading them.  What a concept!
Nice interview, Tony!

We’ve removed content from this thread because of a violation of the Code of Conduct.


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Please just keep the conversation on point and refrain from trolling and baiting each other. 


Please keep your posts polite, on-topic, and refrain from making personal attacks.You are welcome to disagree with one another but please do so respectfully and constructively.


Remember, a community is a joint effort of all those involved, and while we want intellegent meaningful and productive banter to ensue we also need it to be polite and considerate of others. Believe us when we say it is possible.


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Tony does got that Tier part down to the last cent. 

Legacy is what your character leave behind
Epic is when you get involve with world
Immortal is when you are seeking godhood and involve with the planes.

 
Tony does got that Tier part down to the last cent. 

Legacy is what your character leave behind
Epic is when you get involve with world
Immortal is when you are seeking godhood and involve with the planes. 
 



Yeah, I think the idea is that each of these would be an option in the somewhat-poorly-named "legacy" system. If not it should be!

Tony does a very clear job of articulating why fragile first-level PCs encourage non-heroic behavior.



No, just more thinly disguised 5th Ed bashing/edition warring crapola. 



*nods head in agreement*

No first level charracter expect to head on a horde of monsters. That is more later levels. ;)



I'm not saying that a first-level character should be able to wade through monsters. In fact, that's one of my favorite parts about the new apprentice tier: first-level characters can be weak enough that a single orc is scary (which may be important to many campaigns), but at the same time there's a clear starting point at third level for "adventurers" who go marching into dungeons in search of loot (or whatever). So you get a couple levels to get used to a new class and establish your character before you start trying damn-fool heroics. 
Tony does got that Tier part down to the last cent. 

Legacy is what your character leave behind
Epic is when you get involve with world
Immortal is when you are seeking godhood and involve with the planes.

 


Yeah Tony got that part right.
That part was near perfect.

Legacy is your current impact on the world.
Epic is getting involved with those who really impact the world.
Immortal is making an impact on self.

So a rogue going the Legacy route would be setting up a rogue's guild and training new rogues.
Epic would travelling with a party to assassinate a exarch, archfey, or other higher being under the command of the Raven Queen.
Immortal would be becoming a true aspect of your field of rougishness a deathless sshadow or an immortal prince of thieves.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I agree with Tony's take on monsters but disagree with his definition of a 'heroic' character.

Otherwise a reasonably balanced interview.

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Congrats Tony,

As always, you are articulate and your points are cogent and succint.

 
That was, without a doubt, the most critical playtester profile I have seen so far. I don't agree with Tony on everything, but I felt he explained why he held his viewpoints. So, well done Tony for being politely critical.

And I really do agree that different voices shouldn't be surpressed on the boards. Tony does seem to be optimistic about the playtest, despite his misgivings.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick

Fairly positive for the boards uber pessimist!

It was actually fairly critical and negative on almost every point. He just managed to maintain a civil tone, which I would imagine is a requirement to get published like this.

( I freely admit to being cynical.  Pessimist isn't exactly unfair, either. )

There was no particular requirement, at least, none I was informed of.  I got a message asking if I'd like to participate, and I did.  What you see is the questions I received and my answers.  I didn't notice any particular edits to them, either (I at least expected some cuts, as I do ramble on)  - I was pleasantly surprised by that. 

Which, as Ben Franklin pointed out, is one of the advantages of pessimism.


 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Tony does got that Tier part down to the last cent. 

Legacy is what your character leave behind
Epic is when you get involve with world
Immortal is when you are seeking godhood and involve with the planes.

 


Yeah Tony got that part right.
That part was near perfect.

Legacy is your current impact on the world.
Epic is getting involved with those who really impact the world.
Immortal is making an impact on self.

So a rogue going the Legacy route would be setting up a rogue's guild and training new rogues.
Epic would travelling with a party to assassinate a exarch, archfey, or other higher being under the command of the Raven Queen.
Immortal would be becoming a true aspect of your field of rougishness a deathless sshadow or an immortal prince of thieves.



To me this seems a nice place to go modular.
So at level 16+ you would have multiple options/playstyles to chose from.

Legecy might be the system that is included in the PHB/DMG.
But there might be source books for those who want to play Epic / imortal tiers instead of the legacy tier. 
 
I never had a problem with the current hitpoints in 5e.

With the current monsters a lv1 should be facing, you shouldn't complain about
low hitpoints unless you sending something stronger at them.  



I have a problem with them. I've been playing Fighters and most every combat devoloves in to rocket tag early on.

I rather enjoyed Tony's take. It was clear, concise and pointed out the good and the bad.  
 Tony was fine but they tend to always interview the yes men. His was actually the best one so far even if I disagree with everything he asked for.
I just read some of this interview and scratched my head several times due to his weird logic.
...
I suspect 4e players will never be happy with Next, and it really makes you wonder why they keep insisting on posting in this forum despite their constant hate-fest for classic D&D. I really recommend playing a different game or sticking to 4e. There are other subforums for that.



I disagree with pretty much every point you make here. Tony does a very clear job of articulating why fragile first-level PCs encourage non-heroic behavior. Just take a look at Mines of Madness or a "real" old-school dungeon crawl, where everybody dies if you don't poke everything with a ten-foot pole to check for traps and hide behind a rock every time a kobold wanders by (because he has five dozen buddies in earshot). There's no "bravery" involved in playing a fragile character either, since (a) it's a game and (b) by the time you've played enough to have anything invested in the character, it will be far less fragile and your buddies will have access to resurrection magic.




To put it simply, I think what what MtlKnight meant was that true heroism stems from having real consequences linked to failure. And in having fragile characters (who CAN die when faced with moral choices) the characters who still try to be heros, in spite of the possible consequences, shine even brighter.

When your character is in no "real" danger of dying, heroism comes easier, but it also diminishes it's percieved value.

Though I would argue that, since the mecanical elements are being hidden from the characters, this does actualy nothing to diminish the character's actions, if you can detach player knowledge from character knowledge (i.e. the player knows that the character is not realy in danger, but the character himself doesn't know)
Then, heroism in "fragile PC" types of games becomes more a function of PLAYER bravery. ;)
Try radiance RPG. A complete D20 game that supports fantasy and steampunk. Download the FREE PDF here: http://www.radiancerpg.com
Tony has always been hash and cynical, but rarely unfair or petty.


Also, killing, or becomming a god can certainly leave a legacy. And you often leave the world behind when you planeswalk. So epic and legacy can co-exsist.

5e houserules and tweaks.

Celestial Link Evoking Radiance into Creation

A Party Without Music is Lame: A Bard

Level Dip Guide

 

4e stuff

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Legacy, epic, and imortal can all coexist and appear in the first PHB.

An elven archmage can usurp a fey kingdom after elisblishing a magic library and laboratory elsewhere and extending his lifespan by linking himself to the Feywild.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Legacy, epic, and imortal can all coexist and appear in the first PHB.



Personally I'd prefer they leave that off for future supplements, I always feel like D&D tries to do too much in one PHB. I liked the BECMI approach, where you had a rulebook for low level, one for mid level and so forth. That way you can devote more time and effort to the higher levels, instead of tacking them on like every edition of D&D has done in the past.

The biggest problem with epic, at least in 4e, was that it split the party.

If the archmage goes into the feywild to build a library, the barbarian is not likely to follow.

5e houserules and tweaks.

Celestial Link Evoking Radiance into Creation

A Party Without Music is Lame: A Bard

Level Dip Guide

 

4e stuff

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Chuck80: excellent points. The soldiers who fought in Vimy Ridge were undoubtably heroes, being mowed down by enemy fire in order for the guys behind them to reach the next trench. In contrast, I do think there's a reason why people don't roleplay war games. People die quickly and without warning. Those who survive are definately heroes, but you can't ever get attached to any one single person because they could be gone by the next round.

 
The biggest problem with epic, at least in 4e, was that it split the party. If the archmage goes into the feywild to build a library, the barbarian is not likely to follow.



The barbarian can be the one who overthrows the fey kingdom. Every leader needs a general, and every military man needs a nerd to do the book-keeping.

"Ah, the age-old conundrum. Defenders of a game are too blind to see it's broken, and critics are too idiotic to see that it isn't." - Brian McCormick


To put it simply, I think what what MtlKnight meant was that true heroism stems from having real consequences linked to failure.

Real consequences like death, for instance.  I recall pointing that out in the interview. ;)  

Thing is, there are no real consequences in an RPG, so no real heroism.  Just like there are no real consequences in a novel or movie.  They're all imaginary consequences (that generally don't happen at all, or even get reversed in the denouement) and imaginary heroism.

That's where heroic genre departs from actual heroism.  Actual heroism has a dreadful tendency to be posthumous, and even those who survive are rarely called upon to be heroes, again.  Genre heroes, OTOH, have a tendency to be heroic over and over again.  

Trying to model actual heroism will likely get you what RL gets:  a very few people being heroic, and most of them dead - and a lot more being something else entirely.  Modeling genre heroism will get you to heroic tropes a lot more consistently, but you have to model the narrative control that authors have over the fate of their heroes somehow.  Classic D&D did that with hps and saving throws, but only at higher levels, leaving a lower-level a life-is-cheap pit of horror that PCs had to be selfish, cowardly, greedy, and clever enough to climb out of before they could afford to be heroic (if they even remembered that that was what they set out to do).  

Though I would argue that, since the mecanical elements are being hidden from the characters, this does actualy nothing to diminish the character's actions, if you can detach player knowledge from character knowledge (i.e. the player knows that the character is not realy in danger, but the character himself doesn't know).

Well, the characters have no real existance, so they can't be said to 'know' anything, but yes, if the mechanics that make the imaginary heroism of imaginary heroes are not implicitly part of the their story, they aren't modeling the heroes or the heroism, but the narrative control that genre authors use to keep their heroes re-useable.  "Plot armor" and the like.  Simply having a lot of hps, for instance, is not necessarily something that maps to a detectable in-game quality.  An orc slashes his great-ax at an 8 hp character and barely misses, or at an 88 hp character and hardly scratches him - either way, it's a narrow escape from an attack entirely capable of decapitating a human.  "Dissociative mechanics" or 'plot coupons,' that the player chooses to use but that map to the character getting lucky or having things 'break' his way, rather than to him doing something specific that he 'knows' will work, are another example.   Conversely, tightly coupled mechanics, like spells, are evident in the story.  A wizard casts Stoneskin or Protection from ________  he "knows" he cast it and that it's making him invulnerable to certain attacks for a specified time.  





 

 

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Trying to model actual heroism will likely get you what RL gets:  a very few people being heroic, and most of them dead - and a lot more being something else entirely.  Modeling genre heroism will get you to heroic tropes a lot more consistently, but you have to model the narrative control that authors have over the fate of their heroes somehow.  Classic D&D did that with hps and saving throws, but only at higher levels, leaving a lower-level a life-is-cheap pit of horror that PCs had to be selfish, cowardly, greedy, and clever enough to climb out of before they could afford to be heroic (if they even remembered that that was what they set out to do).  



Actually I've always liked the D&D climb.  The idea that you start humble and have to struggle just to survive.  You become a hero.  You don't start out one.  3e watered that down and 4e watered it down some more.  I was against both.  Unlike you apparently, I don't have massive 1st level deaths in old editions of D&D.  It happened once in a while.  But it didn't even happen every campaign even once.  Maybe my players are just better.  

I'd prefer my players don't start on 3rd base thinking they hit a triple when the game hasn't even started yet.  I'd prefer the same when I play too.

I find the early levels some of the most fun.  Because they require a lot more effort and ingenuity.



My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.


Trying to model actual heroism will likely get you what RL gets:  a very few people being heroic, and most of them dead - and a lot more being something else entirely.  Modeling genre heroism will get you to heroic tropes a lot more consistently, but you have to model the narrative control that authors have over the fate of their heroes somehow.  Classic D&D did that with hps and saving throws, but only at higher levels, leaving a lower-level a life-is-cheap pit of horror that PCs had to be selfish, cowardly, greedy, and clever enough to climb out of before they could afford to be heroic (if they even remembered that that was what they set out to do).  



Actually I've always liked the D&D climb.  The idea that you start humble and have to struggle just to survive.  You become a hero.  You don't start out one.  3e watered that down and 4e watered it down some more.

Yep, and the watering-down started even before that.  I started in 1980, and every group I hunted up after moving beyond my little circle of middle-school friends had some way of getting around 1st level fragility.  Maximum hps, starting at 2nd level (or higher), an extra HD at first, etc.  Otherwise (or even with such changes), the lower levels conditioned you to be greedy (because you needed wealth and magic item to improve your character), cowardly (because you were extremely fragile), paranoid (because every other thing was a trap, every other NPC would betray you, every other monster was a 'gotchya' and every item might be cursed), and manipulative (because someone had to take risks, and it better not be you if you ever want to reach 2nd level). 

I don't doubt that some people liked crawling out of the pit of horror and becoming heroes, or liked simply accumulating more and more power for their characters until they could be heroes, and instead simply continuing to garner more and more power.  It's a rewarding little play paradigm.

But, as far as emulating heroic fantasy, classic D&D didn't work so well.  Modern D&D did better.  5e needs to somehow do both.  I don't think the Aprentic Tier, as presented, is going to do it.  The bit of horror tier needs to be a lot broader, so it can be played on it's own; and the heroic tier needs to be playable without going through it, first.  Making the parallel instead of consecutive strikes me as the way to go.

 




 

 

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Fairly positive for the boards uber pessimist!

It was actually fairly critical and negative on almost every point. He just managed to maintain a civil tone, which I would imagine is a requirement to get published like this.

( I freely admit to being cynical.  Pessimist isn't exactly unfair, either. )

There was no particular requirement, at least, none I was informed of.  I got a message asking if I'd like to participate, and I did.  What you see is the questions I received and my answers.  I didn't notice any particular edits to them, either (I at least expected some cuts, as I do ramble on)  - I was pleasantly surprised by that. 

Which, as Ben Franklin pointed out, is one of the advantages of pessimism.



Generally speaking, we edit for grammar and spelling only. 

All around helpful simian


Yep, and the watering-down started even before that.  I started in 1980, and ever group I hunted up after moving beyond my little circle of middle-school friends had some way of getting around 1st level fragility.  Maximum hps, starting at 2nd level (or higher), an extra HD at first, etc.  Otherwise (or even with such changes), the lower levels conditioned you to be greedy (because you needed wealth and magic item to improve your character), cowardly (because you were extremely fragile), paranoid (because every other thing was a trap, every other NPC would betray you, every other monster was a 'gotchya' and every item might be cursed), and manipulative (because someone had to take risks, and it better not be you if you ever want to reach 2nd level). 


You have a different experience than me.  Perhaps it explains some of your views on matters.



I don't doubt that some people liked crawling out of the pit of horror and becoming heroes, or liked simply accumulating more and more power for their characters until they could be heroes, and instead simply continuing to garner more and more power.


I do think the greatest move rpg's made was the leveling system.  People like to feel progress.  And I don't think the acquisition of power is necessarily oppositional to being heroic.  Some might even say they are intertwined.


But, as far as emulating heroic fantasy, classic D&D didn't work so well.  Modern D&D did better.  


It never occurred to me until these boards in the last few years that D&D was trying to emulate anything.


5e needs to somehow do both.  I don't think the Aprentic Tier, as presented, is going to do it.  The bit of horror tier needs to be a lot broader, so it can be played on it's own; and the heroic tier needs to be playable without going through it, first.  Making the parallel instead of consecutive strikes me as the way to go.


Not sure I agree.  I want a progression.  You want the entire game to be like 7th to 12th for me.

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.


Yep, and the watering-down started even before that.  I started in 1980, and ever group I hunted up after moving beyond my little circle of middle-school friends had some way of getting around 1st level fragility.  Maximum hps, starting at 2nd level (or higher), an extra HD at first, etc.  Otherwise (or even with such changes), the lower levels conditioned you to be greedy (because you needed wealth and magic item to improve your character), cowardly (because you were extremely fragile), paranoid (because every other thing was a trap, every other NPC would betray you, every other monster was a 'gotchya' and every item might be cursed), and manipulative (because someone had to take risks, and it better not be you if you ever want to reach 2nd level). 

You have a different experience than me.  Perhaps it explains some of your views on matters.

Some of those variants came out of the pages of The Dragon, such as Leomund's Tiny Hut.  That was no internet forum, but I'm surprised you'd've never been exposed to them.


It never occurred to me until these boards in the last few years that D&D was trying to emulate anything.

Really?  With all the things it borrows from, and the list for further reading in the back?  


5e needs to somehow do both.  I don't think the Aprentic Tier, as presented, is going to do it.  The bit of horror tier needs to be a lot broader, so it can be played on it's own; and the heroic tier needs to be playable without going through it, first.  Making the parallel instead of consecutive strikes me as the way to go.

Not sure I agree.  I want a progression.  You want the entire game to be like 7th to 12th for me.

A progression is exactly what I mean:  just parallel progressions.  1-3 levels to be gritty and facing the fear of likely death is not a lot of time to explore a potentially rich, if dark, field.

'Graduating' from one tier to another would be fine, too, but having each being up to supporting a campaign by itself would, I think, be ideal.

 

 

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