Legends & Lore: This Week in D&D (4/22/2013)

 Dear Mike. Feats are bad m'kay?
 Dear Mike. Feats are bad m'kay?



No, they aren't.  They're a very important aspect of character customization.
That was an awful lot of words to tell us nothing substantial.

It boils down to: 
-Feats are supposed to be equivalent to +1 ability score. Just like what we were told last week, except this time they acknowledge there's a 50-50 shot of that increase not actually being an increase (yet gives players the 'feeling' of progress). So how are non-ability score feats supposed to compare in value to ability score boosts that don't actually do anything? *crickets*

-Skills are reiterated to be optional, but the skill die itself is being thrown away. Well good riddance to that at least. But we've been told repeatedly that skills are optional. The problem is when that is put next to "If you use skills let the DM figure out what to do with DCs" (seriously what), or "If you use skills you're just better than a character that doesn't use skills" which sounds pretty non-optional to me.
 
-Classes. +sneak attack is equivalent to +spells per day. *rolls eyes*. Fighters and Rogues are still being labeled as generic, which wouldn't be so bad if they got generic in the same version that a Wizard gets generic, but so far we still have not seen anything to indicate they think mundanes should get anything but more numbers for their classes. (Seriously, even for their Gladiator vs 'bold fighter' vs Knight, it's all about the proficiencies. They are more distinguished between what they use to fight than what they actually do). Still not impressed, and am still waiting to see anything proposed for a Rogue/Fighter at all that's worth even a 5th level spell, let alone 6th-9th.
I'm happy to see Mearls take the time and space to detail how some of the recent changes he's proposed are intended to work. Where he gets into deep water is usually in short columns, when he proposes a big idea without walking us through the rationale and the implications. Mearls, beware of short columns!
I disagree, Seerow. 

This tells a whole lot. 


The Classes are going to have more distinct and impactful "build choices." 

Feats are going to be more distinct and impactful, carrying Book of 9-Swords-type powers and Prestige Class and Paragon Path-type features – powerful enough that they would be worth trading in an auxilliary bonus to your abilities for. 

You WILL be balanced without the ability bonuses, but the classes will be designed as if you ignored skills and feats. 


The classes thus will have an AD&D mindset in terms of simplicity of features, but what features they have will be very meaningful, and you can expand your complexity by trading in bonuses to your ability scores – which you didn't REALLY need.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

I'm happy to see Mearls take the time and space to detail how some of the recent changes he's proposed are intended to work. Where he gets into deep water is usually in short columns, when he proposes a big idea without walking us through the rationale and the implications. Mearls, beware of short columns!



We can work through the implications just fine. The problem isn't the lack of explanation, it's with bad direction.
"I also shared our two core goals. Here they are:

  1. Create a version of D&D that embraces the enduring, core elements of the game.

  2. Create a set of rules that allows a smooth transition from a simple game to a complex one."


I find this very important.
It directly refutes the previous claims of DDN being some sort of all-editions-inclusive game. Embracing the enduring, core elements of the game does not equal "best parts of each edition", or "plays like any other edition", or "elements of Edition X will be just as present as elements of Edition Y". If you love a particular edition, and there are elements of that edition that are not seen as "enduring, core elements" by the devs, then don't expect to see them in DDN.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
I think they have a coherent system to build on here.  Now i just want to see it in a playtest packet!
It boils down to: 
-Feats are supposed to be equivalent to +1 ability score. Just like what we were told last week, except this time they acknowledge there's a 50-50 shot of that increase not actually being an increase (yet gives players the 'feeling' of progress). So how are non-ability score feats supposed to compare in value to ability score boosts that don't actually do anything? *crickets*

It's mind-boggling how they pretty much discuss all of the ways that this feat/ability-score-bonus thing is a terrible idea but then somehow still decide to do it anyway.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
 Dear Mike. Feats are bad m'kay?



No, they aren't.  They're a very important aspect of character customization.



Character customization is bad. 
Seerow, I think that a lot of folks flame on what they think Mearls meant, rather than what he actually meant. Or they flame on what they think the mechanical change will be, rather than what it turns out to be. At the end of the day, it's a playtest, and fans like us give a pass/fail grade to every idea that's put forth. In any case, that's just my opinion. I know you have strong feelings on the subject and I'm not trying to start an argument.
I disagree, Seerow. 

This tells a whole lot. 


The Classes are going to have more distinct and impactful "build choices."  



You mean like the deity choice clerics get, or the circle choice for druids, or... yeah basically every class except the Fighter already got these build choices. Them introducing it isn't anything innovative, and it isn't giving us anything new to consider, it's them filling in a hole where many people were saying "Why hasn't this been done?"

Even then, they focus on things like "The Knight wears heavy armor and fights with a mount" "The gladiator trains with a bunch of exotic weapons", lots of focus on proficiencies, which are really a very minor thing.

Feats are going to be more distinct and impactful, carrying Book of 9-Swords-type powers and Prestige Class and Paragon Path-type features – powerful enough that they would be worth trading in an auxilliary bonus to your abilities for.  



Ability scores are way way overrated around here. Seriously. For the most part it's 2 feats for +1 to hit, with a couple side benefits tacked on depending on the score. A dex focused class may find boosting attributes worthwhile, but most others? Not really a lot of incentive for it. If the new feats actually are on par with ToB and Prestige Class abilities, then nobody will ever take an attribute boost. Of course, I really doubt we will see ToB or Prestige Class ability level feats, because WotC has a long track record of promising great feats and failing to deliver it. 

There's also a minor issue of balance as far as ToB style abilities go. Break yourself out of any status effect with a resource cost? That's relatively balanced. Do it at will (which any feat by necessity is)? Not so much. Give an ally an extra turn? Again, with a resource cost not too bad, at will is utterly broken. There's a lot of things that are powerful, yet balanced, with a resource cost, that utterly break the game when they can be spammed every round.

Pushing everything interesting into new and improved feats rather than just giving non-casters an actual resource system and ability set they can work with ends in one of two ways, a bunch of watered down abilities that still can't compete with casters, or a bunch of super powerful abilities that nobody turns down and breaks the game. I'll give you a wild guess which one WotC will lean towards, and which group of players is left out in the cold because of the continued refusal to acknowledge feats are not a good place to put your awesome abilities.



The classes thus will have an AD&D mindset in terms of simplicity of features, but what features they have will be very meaningful, and you can expand your complexity by trading in bonuses to your ability scores – which you didn't REALLY need.




How many hundreds of features did a spellcaster in AD&D have again?
"I also shared our two core goals. Here they are:

  1. Create a version of D&D that embraces the enduring, core elements of the game.

  2. Create a set of rules that allows a smooth transition from a simple game to a complex one."


I find this very important.
It directly refutes the previous claims of DDN being some sort of all-editions-inclusive game. Embracing the enduring, core elements of the game does not equal "best parts of each edition", or "plays like any other edition", or "elements of Edition X will be just as present as elements of Edition Y". If you love a particular edition, and there are elements of that edition that are not seen as "enduring, core elements" by the devs, then don't expect to see them in DDN.



*ding*

 
...whatever
I'm glad to see that the designers have a solid idea of how they will present a game of variable complexities.

D&D sans feats and skills sounds like a nice change o' pace I think ;).  We never focused on them in 3.5; instead we used 'level-based skills' (optional rules from Unearthed Arcana).  Wasn't 'til skill tricks came along in Complete Scoundrel that we started tracking skills the usual way.

That's just the sorta thing that Next seems like it will allow us to do; that is, to add complexity when we want to. 
/\ Art
I really like how Backgrounds emphasize that you can do something, bypassing the whole fiasco of the "you're trained in the skill, but the untrained guy can still get lucky and show you up entirely" phenomenon. This is simple, "I know boats; let me handle the boat," stuff. The ranger knows all about woodland critters, so she gets a check and nobody else has a chance.

It kind of reminds me of the background proficiencies in AD&D (2E), if you didn't use the non-weapon proficiency slots.

I think my favorite part was, "A DM can change DCs, or just use the standard ones and accept that characters will succeed more often." The world goes on as normal for everyone, but if we're using skills, then you have a great chance of succeeding on a skill you're trained in. Perfect!

The metagame is not the game.

So this line:

"We don't want to make any assumptions about increased ability scores with leveling." 

....means that there will be no Ability score advancment with leveling? How does that impact feats that have Ability Score prerequisites? If I have a Rogue with a Con of 10, am I expected to not take a feat and increase Con to 11 before I level up to then take the feat Durable? Seems counter-productive. If that's so, what this does is cement your Character "build" from 1st level on through his/her career. Your going to have to gauge when it's appropriate to take a +1 Ability score increase to qualify for a feat further down the road, something that I really hated. At least in 4E (and 3E) it was implied that you got increases AND feats, thus you still strived for a goal further down the road but got something for your trouble in the Here and Now.   
 
So this line:

"We don't want to make any assumptions about increased ability scores with leveling." 

....means that there will be no Ability score advancment with leveling? How does that impact feats that have Ability Score prerequisites? If I have a Rogue with a Con of 10, am I expected to not take a feat and increase Con to 11 before I level up to then take the feat Durable? Seems counter-productive. If that's so, what this does is cement your Character "build" from 1st level on through his/her career. Your going to have to gauge when it's appropriate to take a +1 Ability score increase to qualify for a feat further down the road, something that I really hated. At least in 4E (and 3E) it was implied that you got increases AND feats, thus you still strived for a goal further down the road but got something for your trouble in the Here and Now.   
 

I would assume that feats would no longer have ability score requirements.
So this line:

"We don't want to make any assumptions about increased ability scores with leveling." 

....means that there will be no Ability score advancment with leveling? How does that impact feats that have Ability Score prerequisites? If I have a Rogue with a Con of 10, am I expected to not take a feat and increase Con to 11 before I level up to then take the feat Durable? Seems counter-productive. If that's so, what this does is cement your Character "build" from 1st level on through his/her career. Your going to have to gauge when it's appropriate to take a +1 Ability score increase to qualify for a feat further down the road, something that I really hated. At least in 4E (and 3E) it was implied that you got increases AND feats, thus you still strived for a goal further down the road but got something for your trouble in the Here and Now.   
 

I would assume that feats would no longer have ability score requirements.



One can only hope
Ability scores are way way overrated around here.

The idea that ability score bonuses are overrated would apply in some earlier editions, but Next is different. Ability scores are a MUCH bigger deal in Next than they've ever been before, and so +1 to an ability score is more valuable than it's ever been. You can't judge it through the lenses of previous editions, because we're not dealing with previous edition anymore.

Of course, I really doubt we will see ToB or Prestige Class ability level feats, because WotC has a long track record of promising great feats and failing to deliver it.

We agree on this, at least.

There's a lot of things that are powerful, yet balanced, with a resource cost, that utterly break the game when they can be spammed every round.

Devil's advocate here, I really don't see any reason that feat abilities can't be tied to a resource cost. A feat could give you the ability to do something X time per day or Y times per encounter or by expending HD or in some other way. Feats don't need to be at-will, static abilities. Indeed, if they were, then it would make zero sense to talk about them as a means of increasing complexity.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Or if they DO have ability score requirements, there has to be a darned good reason for them, something that reflects that ability specifically, and probably only with higher leveled feats, so that you've had ample time to add ability score bonuses IF YOU'D LIKE IT. 


Frankly, all this pissing about Ability Scores bonuses being too good is giving far too much weight to the ability scores.  I'm better at dishing out damage if I take a +1 Strength feat, but I'm ALSO better if I forwent that +1Str to grab a really sweet Bo9S type-maneuver that allows me to do an awesome combat stunt. 

Similarly, if Prestige Classes and Paragon Paths are covered in feats, the feats are AWESOME if they're covering concepts like Transmogrifier, Geomancer, Dragon Disciple… these are things that really are character changing and well-worth the investment against the ability score bonus.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe


There's a lot of things that are powerful, yet balanced, with a resource cost, that utterly break the game when they can be spammed every round.

Devil's advocate here, I really don't see any reason that feat abilities can't be tied to a resource cost. A feat could give you the ability to do something X time per day or Y times per encounter or by expending HD or in some other way. Feats don't need to be at-will, static abilities. Indeed, if they were, then it would make zero sense to talk about them as a means of increasing complexity.



Doesn't that sort of break the whole Verisimilitude thing people throw around here? Take, for example, the Stunning Fist feat from 3E. You could attempt a stunning fist 1/day + 1 per 4 CL........which makes about zero sense. Espically because it was a General feat. Why can't I punch someone really hard more times per day? Does it break my hand? Does it physically exhaust me? Of course, anyone can argue the semantics of it (much like we did with 4E Daily powers) but those were special and class specific. Making a feat work x/day is not, IMO, a good idea to create unique elements. It makes any feat such as that far more "magical" than it needs to be.
Doesn't that sort of break the whole Verisimilitude thing people throw around here?

No, "martial" daily and encounter abilities have been adequately thematically explained time and time again. If you want to re-start the argument, I suggest making another thread for it, because this one shouldn't be dragged down into that kind of petty pedantry (EDIT: To be clear, not speaking of you yourself but of the argument in general).

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
When he says skills and feats aren't going to be in the basic game, I really hope this means we won't have to buy separate books just to have the rules for them. That would really piss me off. Making them optional is fine. Failing to include them in the core rulebook is not fine.
So, if each feat is approximately equal to +1 ability score, does that mean that 50% of feats don't give you any benefit at all?
"Therefore, you are the crapper, I'm merely the vessel through which you crap." -- akaddk
Doesn't that sort of break the whole Verisimilitude thing people throw around here?

No, "martial" daily and encounter abilities have been adequately thematically explained time and time again. If you want to re-start the argument, I suggest making another thread for it, because this one shouldn't be dragged down into that kind of petty pedantry (EDIT: To be clear, not speaking of you yourself but of the argument in general).



Don't get me wrong, I love Daily Martial powers and could easily write them off in a narrative way that works within the setting/game. But a lot of people complained about it and making feats similiar to powers with x/day should, at least, provoke their ire at such a thing. I guess I'm asking "where is the outcry?" Further, IF Feats represent a power that's usable X/day its going to have to be pretty awesome in it's effect to ever taken. Going back to my previous example, Stunning Fist was horrible for anyone but the Monk (who got it for free) so I'm basing my ideal of such a feat on that, which doesn't bode well IMO.

@ Fallingicicle: Actually, that's exactly what I want. I want people who enjoy their Basic game with limited options and no customization to buy their one or two products an be fine with that. Keep it in a separate book or a D&D:Next-Lite version so that I won't have to keep flipping to find the "alternative" options I want.

So, to me, Basic represents the bare bones of the game. It has limited classes, races, options, magic items, monsters, and most of it is DM-Fiat that is run off the geneal principals of the Core design. All in one boxed set with the Basic PHB, DMG, and Beastiary. That way, I know to NEVER touch that product and go with the Standard (or Advanced) rules that have all the goodies I desire right there in one supplemental package.  
Ability scores are way way overrated around here.

The idea that ability score bonuses are overrated would apply in some earlier editions, but Next is different. Ability scores are a MUCH bigger deal in Next than they've ever been before, and so +1 to an ability score is more valuable than it's ever been. You can't judge it through the lenses of previous editions, because we're not dealing with previous edition anymore.



Prove that it's actually worth more. Give me an objective analysis showing that ability scores are now worth more.

Because frankly, it's not. I know the developers are all gung ho with their whole bounded accuracy thing, and have convinced people that +1 means more now, but statistics don't change just because the numbers do. +1 on a d20 roll means the same thing whether it's going from +4 to +5 or +49 to +50, as long as the target number is still on the RNG for that bonus.

The only real change due to bounded accuracy is the assertion that you won't ever go off the RNG, so that +1 always maintains that value regardless of the situation. Of course, there is no real guarantee of that, and there's already a fair number of ways with a little optimization to go off the RNG in several areas, so no real change has been made with respect to the value of a +1.


There's a lot of things that are powerful, yet balanced, with a resource cost, that utterly break the game when they can be spammed every round.

Devil's advocate here, I really don't see any reason that feat abilities can't be tied to a resource cost. A feat could give you the ability to do something X time per day or Y times per encounter or by expending HD or in some other way. Feats don't need to be at-will, static abilities. Indeed, if they were, then it would make zero sense to talk about them as a means of increasing complexity.



Can you imagine having one character with 6 disparate resources to track because he picked up a smattering of random feats to get abilities he liked the sound of?

I mean, yes, you can theoretically design abilities like that for feats. It's about the stupidest possible way you could handle it though. A more wide-spread resource mechanic is needed to give things an objective balance point, and allow for more actual options. 



As an aside, for fun, let us just imagine for a minute that things had been different back during OD&D. Fighters were given system of special abilities that use their stamina. The Magic User was given the ability to blast people with different colors of magic with different die sizes depending on which color he wanted. Take that core OD&D, and fast-forward it to today. We'd have complex core fighters, and wizards who were kept simple to be the introduction class, and to leave details open to the imagination. And now in today's article, we have Mike Mearls telling us that Wizards can get new spells now! But every spell they get will cost a feat. But it's okay, if you don't like codified spells, you can just take a +1 ability score and call it done! These new spells might give the wizard the option to knock an opponent down when he hits them with his fire bolt, or slow an enemy when he hits them with his frost bolt. And he can do all of this at will (after all, it's magic! It doesn't tire out the body like killing people with your bare hands does).
"I also shared our two core goals. Here they are:

  1. Create a version of D&D that embraces the enduring, core elements of the game.

  2. Create a set of rules that allows a smooth transition from a simple game to a complex one."


I find this very important.
It directly refutes the previous claims of DDN being some sort of all-editions-inclusive game. Embracing the enduring, core elements of the game does not equal "best parts of each edition", or "plays like any other edition", or "elements of Edition X will be just as present as elements of Edition Y". If you love a particular edition, and there are elements of that edition that are not seen as "enduring, core elements" by the devs, then don't expect to see them in DDN.



That is the part that struck me the hardest.
 Mayhaps wisely, he has discarded the idea of creating a unifying edition. However, this should be the warning bell for those who thus far dislike the direction of the playtests and expressed concepts to move along and find a game that is more to their tastes. 
Now that we have the pipe-dream of getting the band back together out of our systems, we can actually look at what the system does, rather than how well it apes what came before. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
So one of the great benefits of doing feats this way is that different players or groups can play with or without them and still be balanced, so the DM doesn't have to "make any special considerations or changes to how he or she creates adventures or manages the game." Okay, got it. Sounds great.

But then when it comes to skills, the game is going to be built around the assumption that they don't exist, and if the DM decides to use them, well, just adjust the DCs or accept that players will succeed more often. That is exactly what they were just praising themselves for not doing with feats. And all of this because people are getting confused over calling for a wisdom vs a perception check? But that problem still exists for people who choose to use skills, but oh well, just figure it out yourself... This seems like a copout to me.
As a fan of Mutants and Masterminds, I think a feat can be balanced against +1 to an ability score, but there would need to be a lot of changes to make that happen. First, all of the ability scores would need to be made equal. If each ability score is a Save bonus (worth a point), a skill modifier (worth half a point), and an ansulary ability that's valuable to every character (worth half a point), we might have something.

The trouble is, without some work, ability scores aren't done this way. Firstly, the offensive power of an ability score doesn't matter to those who don't use that offense. A Fighter doesn't care that Int, Wis, or Cha offer spellcasting bonuses, and a Wizard could typically care less that Strength grants to hit and damage to melee weapon attacks.

That's not withstanding the lack of value of odd ability scores. I'd want to see those go away first, or somehow be altered. It's interesting, as we might see point buys that now favor odd scores, enough ability ups to turn them to even, and then people will just spend their feats on the other feats rather than picking up an odd ability score.

I for one will remain apprehensive about this Feat = +1 ability score change. If it comes with more strongly focused Fighter and Rogue builds, then I'm all ears. But maybe we'll see changes made to the ability score system, so that a 14, a 15, and a 16 are all distinct from each other. Maybe. 

Poe's Law is alive and well.

Lose the skill die? Uggggh. And I feel my interest starting to wane...

  • All characters gain a +1 bonus to an ability score of their choice at various levels, depending on the class.


    • Some classes will have more ability prowess than others.


  • You can trade a +1 bonus to an ability score for a feat if your group uses feats.


    • The base class and class will have to handle any and all "core" class and racial attribute like trap disarming for rogues.

    • 2 feats will have to be equivalent to +2 bonus to an ability score  (+1 to ability checks).


      • Classes with more +1 bonuses will have more customization prowess.


    • In other words, feats are optional and don't appear in the basic game.


      • Therefore, if subclasses devolve into feats, subclasses will be optional and not don't appeaa in the basic game.



  • Skills are an optional system that your DM might want to use.


    • Skills are optional and don't appear in the basic game.


      • Skills don't follow the base DCs.

      • There aren't special DCs for the Skill module.



  • Backgrounds give out a combination of areas of knowledge, proficiencies with tools and objects, and special benefits.


    • An area of knowledge is a situational, +10 bonus to Intelligence checks.

    • A proficiency indicates you know how to use an item.

    • The unique benefits are social connections, tricks, and other abilities.


  • Skill monkey classes will either need a lot of +1's to ability or their own situational save bonuses.


Bold is my thoughts. Bold and Underlined is my speculation.

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 sort of feel a bit of whiplash regarding how they appear to be approaching feats based on the last packet and on this L&L. (Possibly because our packets are a bit behind the wave of their latest thinking.) The last packet has feats so deeply wedged into the system that I had thought that perhaps they had given up on seriously making feats an optional game element (in the 'you can completely remove these chapters if you want' sense of optoinal). This L&L feels almost more like, "Yeah, feats and skills? You can use those, if, like, you want. Or whatever."

In other, weirder news, the way they talk about feats not carrying the "burden" of being the only thing you get at level up suggests that classes as they're currently envisioning them must be incredibly dense. Every previous edition that's at least obstensibly cared about levelling up always giving you something interesting - Pathfinder and 4e - has at least allowed feats to count as that "something". (Although Pathfinder comes pretty close to not doing that.)

I really like proficiencies and areas of knowledge. They're a very gordian-knot-cutting way of addressing some of D&D's issues with stat bonuses being too small compared to the size of the die rolled to produce non-suspect results. 
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.
If I grasp the theory of this L&L properly, it seems like I won't be able to make my character. Of course no matter the change, SOMEONE would be saying that. I never thought it'd be me, though.



So no skill die, no skills and no feats and fighters "have" to be a knight or a gladiator or some other things they'll think of before launch? Why the heck is the book telling me how to play my character? My character ain't a knight or a gladiator or anything else the dev's will think up between now and launch. Lumping stuff together so that I have to get a lot of crap just to have the one or two things I like. It's a freaking RPG. It's supposed to have options. It's supposed to be open and fun. But those changes seem to be more restricting than most video game RPG's. Heck at this point, I think skyrim had more flexibility than ddn. That's crazy...
Area of knowledge and area of proficiencies !

I suppose that challenges prerequisite like trapfinding will remain an option for other classes than rogues through multiclass feats without prerequisite.

If they are well implemented, I like all the ideas presented here.

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

Don't get me wrong, I love Daily Martial powers and could easily write them off in a narrative way that works within the setting/game. But a lot of people complained about it and making feats similiar to powers with x/day should, at least, provoke their ire at such a thing.

Why should it provoke any ire (at least of that sort)? Unlike in core 4E, martial daily powers in Next are completely optional because they're just feats.

Further, IF Feats represent a power that's usable X/day its going to have to be pretty awesome in it's effect to ever taken.

I completely agree.

Prove that it's actually worth more. Give me an objective analysis showing that ability scores are now worth more.

I'm not sure whether or not you're joking. Even the developers know this; in fact, they've outright stated that this is completely intentional. The rest of your analysis is either mathematically flawed or just irrelevant. The point is that there are fewer ways than ever of getting a +1 bonus, and so each +1 bonus is made even more valuable exactly by virtue of the fact that you can never get so many in Next that they lose their value, like what happened in 3E. These are pretty basic principles of supply/demand, diminishing returns, etc.

Can you imagine having one character with 6 disparate resources to track because he picked up a smattering of random feats to get abilities he liked the sound of?
I mean, yes, you can theoretically design abilities like that for feats. It's about the stupidest possible way you could handle it though. A more wide-spread resource mechanic is needed to give things an objective balance point, and allow for more actual options.

Like I said, devil's advocate. Would you really put something like that past them at this point, though?

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I'm not happy with the last two weeks of the articles. These changes that Mearls is putting forth just don't feel like D&D to me.

Stop the H4TE

"I also shared our two core goals. Here they are:

  1. Create a version of D&D that embraces the enduring, core elements of the game.

  2. Create a set of rules that allows a smooth transition from a simple game to a complex one."


I find this very important.
It directly refutes the previous claims of DDN being some sort of all-editions-inclusive game. Embracing the enduring, core elements of the game does not equal "best parts of each edition", or "plays like any other edition", or "elements of Edition X will be just as present as elements of Edition Y". If you love a particular edition, and there are elements of that edition that are not seen as "enduring, core elements" by the devs, then don't expect to see them in DDN.



That's exactly not what it says.  That's only what it says if you only bothered to read the first goal, and entered a blind forum-rage before reading the second.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Yes Mand12 we know that you love the devs and they can do no wrong in your eyes. No need to reiterate your stance for the fifty billionth time. We get it.

Stop the H4TE

You must have missed when I said the stuff they've come out with lately (apprentice tier, the new feat system) are terrible ideas that I don't agree with or like in any way whatsoever.  But hey, feel free to be selective in processing information, sure does make for good forum arguments.

It takes a deliberate misreading of the quote in order to reach the conclusion Dagon did, and I pointed it out.  Such selective reading is all too common, as you yourself demonstrate.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Once, Mr Gygax told us : "Even if it's as bad for your health, you should stop drinking alcohol and follow internet forums about my legacy. There's all the exaltation, all the madness, all the lack of sense of the ridiculous, without the hangovers."

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

Sign In to post comments