Conclusions after a first low level playtest.

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Hello, we did 2 playtest sessions so far. Both had the PCs start with level 1 characters. We played the Blingdenstone adventure in our second playtest. We did encounter some issues.

- In our first playtest my players were stranded on a beach, and they found a cask of wine that had washed ashore. Our barbarian drank a lot of wine giving him the "intoxicated" status. As it stands in the rules atm, this reduces all damage taken by 1d6. (has some negative effects too but this is mainly important for what posed a problem)
When the barbarian raged in this intoxicated state he was completely unkillable with weapon attacks. Halving all damage from the rage and then reducing it with a d6 makes the barbarian take almost no damage, despite having engaged in the most insane possible scenario. I feel the 1d6 reduction is a bit over the top. Especially at low levels, it almost encourages players to be intoxicated at all times.

- In blingdenstone I rolled a random encounter with 7 orcs. (probably the toughest possible random encounter in the campaign) This proved to be a very hard encounter. The paladin died in 1 turn. He was unlucky though since I did crit with an orc, causing 12 + 11 (d12) dmg. The combination of the orcs not dieing immediately combined with the fact they can kill any player character in 1 hit makes them insanely strong in these low level encounters. Though in retrospect I should have given the orcs different weapons than the greataxes listed in the bestiary. But the main issue we had is that these low level encounters have a strong "get 1 shot if you get hit" feeling.

- The only ranged damaging cantrip for a wizard is ray of frost, kind of a shame you get forced into a cold spell despite wanting to be a fire wizard for example. In combination with my player I made up another cantrip so this isn't a real problem. (ignite; save vs dex, 1d4 fire damage, target is ablaze: takes 1d4 fire damage at the start of it's next turn)

Apart from this we all thought the playtest was a great succes and definately an improvement from our 4e experience. Keep up the good work!

TLDR: Intoxicated state a bit too strong, 1 shot gameplay at low level, orcs as listed in bestiary really strong for level 1 characters
Hi!
Me and my friends started playing DnD with this playtest(all complete newbies, with the most experience coming from games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter; also I'm the DM) so maybe my input isn't all that accurate or plausible, but here's my two cents.

Intoxication too strong you say? I don't think so and here's why:
1) Being intoxicated means you have disadvantage on attack rolls - as far as I know, only the Barbarian can easily overcome this obstacle(by going into rage). Other melee or ranged classes will only suffer by this.
2) You get disadvantage on saving throws. Getting drunk means you'll probably take more damage not only from spells, but traps also. I don't know any class that could possibly get advantage from this.
3) Casters basically get a 40-60% failure rate on their casts(depending on CON, numbers approx.). Not to mention the spells themselves have a stacking chance to fail. Which means a lot of wasted turns in the long run.
4) 1d6 damage reduction is good. But throwing away your potential killing power for more potential HP is just plain stupid. Unless you're a barbarian. Then go right ahead!

You rolled 7 orcs you say? I think you did something wrong there, bud. Unless the party went on and attacked the orc encampment right away, the maximum number of orcs they can fight is 5 (1d4 +1 from Blingdenstone encounters appendix, OR 1d3[wtf Wizards?] +1 from barricade raiding orcs[i assume it's supposed to be 1d4+1 and I've treated it as such])

And if they went and attacked the barricade, I'm pretty sure they hadn't fought orcs before that. Cause when my party got attacked by 5 raiding orcs and saw how damn strong they were, they became EXTREMELY cautious about the whole "please eliminate the orc camp" mission :D Even though they managed to capture and interrogate a raiding orc(and another orc from their Blugdub encounter) - so they basically know all there is to know.
In case of them attacking the orc camp right away, I say it's a good thing. Game would be boring if you could freely stroll around and not be afraid of everything that's lower or same level as you.
The only thing I'm afraid of is the +5 to hit on all monsters from level 1 to 20. In my humble opinion, that's pretty much the only thing that makes orcs so damn strong.

Can't argue with wizard cantrips. At least 1 other ranged damaging spell would be nice. No idea how's the situation with other cantrips and probably won't know for quite some time.

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1d3 is correct... take a d6, pretend 1 *and* 4 are 1, 2 *and*5 are 2, and 3 *and* 6 are three... same can be done to a d10 to make a d5 (unless you have a d5)
Holy smokes, batman!

Didn't think of that haha :D Thanks for the tip!

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Interesting conversation. I am toying with the idea of starting hit points being Con score plus HD, adding Con score to hp of monsters. Seems the potential to deal massive amounts of damage from the get-go is far greater than current hit point standard can withstand. Although, it may be relative to a more reality-based occurrence. Undecided
Conserning Disadvantage from being Intoxicated...

In the current rules play test packet I see that it says being Intoxicated means you have disadvantage on Attack Rolls and Ability Checks.  I don't think Savings Throws are included as Ability Checks, they are listed separately from each Ability Check section.   I mean, essentially they are Ability die rolls... I dunno it confuses me there. 

"Lost? Confused? Lacking direction? Need to find a purpose in your life?"

     -Welcome to Night Vale Proverb

1d3 is correct... take a d6, pretend 1 *and* 4 are 1, 2 *and*5 are 2, and 3 *and* 6 are three... same can be done to a d10 to make a d5 (unless you have a d5)



They actually do make a d3 also. www.shapeways.com/model/562795/d3-die-ba...
There are a few other shapes they make them in as well.
Conserning Disadvantage from being Intoxicated...

In the current rules play test packet I see that it says being Intoxicated means you have disadvantage on Attack Rolls and Ability Checks.  I don't think Savings Throws are included as Ability Checks, they are listed separately from each Ability Check section.   I mean, essentially they are Ability die rolls... I dunno it confuses me there. 


You're right. It's not stated that you have disadvantage on saving throws under Intoxicated.

But then again, a saving throw IS an ability check. It's like offense and defense. Ability checks are for you to gain something, saving throws are for you to not lose something. Sides of the same coin.

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Conserning Disadvantage from being Intoxicated...

In the current rules play test packet I see that it says being Intoxicated means you have disadvantage on Attack Rolls and Ability Checks.  I don't think Savings Throws are included as Ability Checks, they are listed separately from each Ability Check section.   I mean, essentially they are Ability die rolls... I dunno it confuses me there. 


You're right. It's not stated that you have disadvantage on saving throws under Intoxicated.

But then again, a saving throw IS an ability check. It's like offense and defense. Ability checks are for you to gain something, saving throws are for you to not lose something. Sides of the same coin.





Hmmmmm.... you know, I can see both sides to this "yes/no" for considering a Save an Ability check, but I think I would not count it myself.  Don't they specify when a Save is affected? To sum up a Saving Throw within an ability check just seem convoluted to me.  But that's just me.

"Lost? Confused? Lacking direction? Need to find a purpose in your life?"

     -Welcome to Night Vale Proverb

I think it's safe to make a DM call either way.

Imagine yourself drunk (if applicable, if not, think about old "Uncle Chuck") trying to climb a tree or avoid that hurled pot from "Aunt Clara" (i.e. make a Dexterity saving throw). I think it's safe to say one might have disadvantage on both of those occasions.

On the other hand, should one such drunkard be more susceptible to say rat poison than he/she was before being charmingly intoxicated? Prolly not.

One of the things I'm digging about DDN is the flexibility it seems to have over the rigid rulings of previous editions. Let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the roll, the roll to the action. As long as everyone has a good time and feels fair about the decision, let the dice roll.

Timmah!
Indeed.

However, I've been told that ability checks and saving throws are, indeed, in separate categories.

Thus according to rules, you do not receive a penalty on saving throws.

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What if you apply the intoxicification first then use then use the Barbarian's Rage ability to reduce damage? Seems more balanced that way. So he'll always be taking at least 1 point of dmg.
I just got done talking to my fellow DM and we came to the conclusion that Intoxication doesn't even scale well. It's needs to be something besides a die roll. Maybe reduce dmg by half or by 25%. This way it scales with level and there should be more side effects for when you come out of your drunken state.
It would also solve the Barbarian problem at low levels. Half and Half again.