Legendary Mechanics Just not Doing it for Us

So here's the thing: what is it with dragons that make game designers so desperate to mess with them? Fear effects are fakey. Dragons shouldn't be scary because of a magic effect. Dragons unleashing fire novas or frost novas make them feel like video game boss fights--where is all that fire coming from anyway? Does it shoot out of their pores? Weirdness abounds. I'd argue dragons intuitively casting magic spells like a wizard or triple dipping AC, DR and SR comes from the same place. Are dragons not cool enough just being towering creatures that fly and breathe fire and are old in geologic type ways? Okay so in 3e they scaled them to fit the minis so they were unimpressively horse sized (blech) but it seems like there's ideas in place to make dragons huge this time around (and from the Next signup art it looks like they might get genuinely crazy big).

But now there's this idea for Legenday monsters (dragons in particular, but also gods and demons and whatnot) to have them bending spacetime to alter the fabric of reality--getting autosuccesses on rolls, multiattacking throughout each round of combat and warping reality around them.

This really doesn't read like a big, super-intelligent armored flying beast with a breath weapon. It feels like game mechanic salad to try and fluff up an encounter to make it feel more exciting than it is by giving the enemy a whole slew of weird powers that don't really fit the concept.

Honestly I thing 5e will go much better if the mechanics start and end with: what should this creature really feel like--like if we were describing fighting one in a novel, then make game mechanics to model *that*.
Now with 100% more Vorthos!
Hi,

This seems like a better fit for D&D Next General Discussion so I have moved it there.

Thanks!

Monica
But now there's this idea for Legenday monsters (dragons in particular, but also gods and demons and whatnot) to have them bending spacetime to alter the fabric of reality--getting autosuccesses on rolls, multiattacking throughout each round of combat and warping reality around them. This really doesn't read like a big, super-intelligent armored flying beast with a breath weapon. It feels like game mechanic salad to try and fluff up an encounter to make it feel more exciting than it is by giving the enemy a whole slew of weird powers that don't really fit the concept.



That's exactly what it is.  The monster math in Next doesn't work, and in particular really lengendary monsters (like Smaug from the Hobbit) are far too vulnerable to low level critters (esp en masse) and MUCH too vulnerable to even moderately low level spells and casters.

So all this is a ill disguised kludge to make the monster 'work' (sorta-kinda) without actually addressing the underlying (and severe) problems with the underlying math in Next.

-Polaris
I disagree. I think it is in the telling of the story that makes the Legendary rules work. Yes, when you read it aloud it doesn't seem to fit, but when you describe how the monster continues across the battle field, tail waving, and then it begins to rear its head to breathe acid it begins to come together.
I have never felt that PC and Monster "math" have to coincide to make D&D fun to play. 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I have never felt that PC and Monster "math" have to coincide to make D&D fun to play. 



I do.  Getting the math right is like adding the right amount of yeast to your dough if you are baking.  If you don't get it right, then pretty much anything you try to bake with the flawed dough is going to wind up being an inedible mess (one way or another).

The same applies here.  It's easy to overlook getting the math right.  It's hard, it's unrewarding, and it's not sexy at all.  It is, however, essential if you really want the real threat and flavor of the monster that you describe narratively to match what the players experience in play.  If they don't match you get a breech of willing suspension of disbelief (or worse).

A Lengendary Dragon (by Mearl's own flavor text) should be a creature like Smaug in the hobbit.  One that sniffs with distain at the notion that any lesser creatures are a real threat; one that can march up to the best defended dwarven fortress in the world, and take it over just like that, one that sneers at the hundred of arrows being fired it by by the Longlakemen (all of whom were trained archers).  One that took a hero and a potent magical item and some hard to aquire knowledge (a vital spot) to bring down.

Next doesn't even start to do this justice, and it can't because the underlying math is fatally flawed at the root level.

-Polaris
I disagree. I think it is in the telling of the story that makes the Legendary rules work. Yes, when you read it aloud it doesn't seem to fit, but when you describe how the monster continues across the battle field, tail waving, and then it begins to rear its head to breathe acid it begins to come together.
I have never felt that PC and Monster "math" have to coincide to make D&D fun to play. 



Dragon's Action: "it multi-attacks, *describe claw/claw/bite*"
Player 1's Action: your turn... but wait, before you do anything, it tail lashes!
Player 1's Actual Action: ... done?  It tail lashes!
Player 2's Action: Wait, before you do anything, it tail lashes!
Player 2's Actual Action:  ... done?  It tail lashes!

  It's more like fighting a happy puppy with a salad fork duct taped to it's tail than a dragon.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

Are we storytelling or solving an algebraic equation?

I played HERO System for years, because the math worked. I came back to rules lite systems and find we can tell more intricate stories that way without having to quantify details. It is a difference in playstyle. If math is uberimportant for you, the Next will never be your game of choice. But can these legendary dragons be used to tell an effective story? Absolutely!

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I disagree. I think it is in the telling of the story that makes the Legendary rules work. Yes, when you read it aloud it doesn't seem to fit, but when you describe how the monster continues across the battle field, tail waving, and then it begins to rear its head to breathe acid it begins to come together.
I have never felt that PC and Monster "math" have to coincide to make D&D fun to play. 



Dragon's Action: "it multi-attacks, *describe claw/claw/bite*"
Player 1's Action: your turn... but wait, before you do anything, it tail lashes!
Player 1's Actual Action: ... done?  It tail lashes!
Player 2's Action: Wait, before you do anything, it tail lashes!
Player 2's Actual Action:  ... done?  It tail lashes!

  It's more like fighting a happy puppy with a salad fork duct taped to it's tail than a dragon.

our games just don't play out that way. I feel bad for you and your group if your D&D experience is anything like what you describe...

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

Are we storytelling or solving an algebraic equation?

I played HERO System for years, because the math worked. I came back to rules lite systems and find we can tell more intricate stories that way without having to quantify details. It is a difference in playstyle. If math is uberimportant for you, the Next will never be your game of choice. But can these legendary dragons be used to tell an effective story? Absolutely!



You get the system math correct as part of the underlying structure of the game so you don't have to solve a linear algebra problem in play.  Honestly Hero is a very bad and very slanted example of what I am talking about anyway, because the game designers openly admitted that they wanted their players to "see the wires" in order to construct various powers and abilities (originally superpowers) from the same basis.

A better example would be Savage Worlds which has suprisingly good math for how utterly simple it otherwise is.  I am not saying that Savage Worlds is perfectly balanced, but they decided on a simple mathematic structure and targets early on, and stuck to it, but made it so that the player and GM would (largely) not have to worry about the scut work.

-Polaris
I have never felt that PC and Monster "math" have to coincide to make D&D fun to play. 



I do.  Getting the math right is like adding the right amount of yeast to your dough if you are baking.  If you don't get it right, then pretty much anything you try to bake with the flawed dough is going to wind up being an inedible mess (one way or another).

The same applies here.  It's easy to overlook getting the math right.  It's hard, it's unrewarding, and it's not sexy at all.  It is, however, essential if you really want the real threat and flavor of the monster that you describe narratively to match what the players experience in play.  If they don't match you get a breech of willing suspension of disbelief (or worse).

-Polaris



He/She didn't say the math didn't need to work, just that it doesn't need to coincide.  They don't have to use the same system to tell the story.

He/She didn't say the math didn't need to work, just that it doesn't need to coincide.  They don't have to use the same system to tell the story.



Not the way I read it.  It seemed to me that the prior poster was disregarding the need for good system math at all.  However, while I'll grant that it doesn't have to conincide perfectly (and to be honest it seldom does for any game), the effort does at least need to be made and it should at least be in the same ballpark.  Right now Next's Math and Flavor aren't even in the same galactic arm, and that's a problem.

-Polaris
Certainly, better math will help the game and help bring in more people who have those concerns. I totally agree.

I think the Legendary concept is just a way for WoTC to judge reaction to a creature (type of creature) that violates action economy to make it more unpredictable and exciting.

I used a Legendary white dragon in my last playtest session. 3 of the players and I kind of liked how it could do actions on off turns at random or DM planned moments. My 4th player hated it. He felt cheated. I'm not sure if he felt cheated because he didn't know that we were playtesting these rules (and he expected mostly the same as what he has experienced for the past 30 years), or if he truly thinks the idea is unfair to players. I kind of think that if the rules become accepted and used, eventually there will be less players who feel that it is cheating, but I may be wrong. For this reason, I posted a poll on the boards and in my blog.

In any case, I do believe that there should be a way to just make more fearsome monsters more fearsome without attaching the "Legendary" actions to it.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

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

 

 

I like it. Our DM put one into an encounter this past week and it was a blast.  Multiple actions eliminate meta planning around the monster's turn, its regenerative powers made it difficult to beat and its multi-attack wreaked havoc on our group.

Having said all of this, I agree that the dragon should be tougher to hit.  However, I will reserve judgment until I see the final rules.  The "legendary" system was a hit with our group. 
I disagree. I think it is in the telling of the story that makes the Legendary rules work. Yes, when you read it aloud it doesn't seem to fit, but when you describe how the monster continues across the battle field, tail waving, and then it begins to rear its head to breathe acid it begins to come together.
I have never felt that PC and Monster "math" have to coincide to make D&D fun to play. 



Dragon's Action: "it multi-attacks, *describe claw/claw/bite*"
Player 1's Action: your turn... but wait, before you do anything, it tail lashes!
Player 1's Actual Action: ... done?  It tail lashes!
Player 2's Action: Wait, before you do anything, it tail lashes!
Player 2's Actual Action:  ... done?  It tail lashes!

  It's more like fighting a happy puppy with a salad fork duct taped to it's tail than a dragon.



The current, non-official, version could be played like that by a less than steller DM.  But is that a lot worse than claw/claw/bite and then get wailed on by 6 PCs while not reacting at all?


Ideally, I think the claw/claw/Bite should bre broken out into the legendary actions. Maybe Bite and Breathweapon are standard actions and claw/tail/wing/minor movemnet are legendary (thus off turn actions).  Then you could have:

PC1:  attack
Dragon (off turn):  claw
PC2:  attack
Dragon (turn):  Bite
PC3: attack
Dragon (off turn):  recharge breathweapon
PC4: attack
Dragon (off turn):  minor move
PC5: attack
Dragon (off turn):  tail sweep  


This seems a lot more interesting, and more realistic, than:
PC1:  attack
PC2:  attack
Dragon (turn):  claw/claw/bite
PC3: attack
PC4: attack
PC5: attack
                 

He/She didn't say the math didn't need to work, just that it doesn't need to coincide.  They don't have to use the same system to tell the story.



Not the way I read it.  It seemed to me that the prior poster was disregarding the need for good system math at all.  However, while I'll grant that it doesn't have to conincide perfectly (and to be honest it seldom does for any game), the effort does at least need to be made and it should at least be in the same ballpark.  Right now Next's Math and Flavor aren't even in the same galactic arm, and that's a problem.

-Polaris



I too like/want the math to work.  But the math for monsters is so easy to fix (AC/HP/damage) that I imagine they will, but if not I can do it myself very easily.  Tying the flavor of a creature into the mechanics is a lot more difficult (also more fun) and time consumming.  I think the legendary system is a good step in the right direction for the more difficult problem.

Or are there other math issues you are talking about. 
In any case, I do believe that there should be a way to just make more fearsome monsters more fearsome without attaching the "Legendary" actions to it.



I agree with that as well.  I think the big mistake the article makes is lumping 4e elite & solo into the same mechanic.  It seems that the submitted "legendary" dragon is better suited to a "solo" monster from 4e and not an "elite."  I think they need some guidelines for making a typical monster stronger, but not quite "legendary."

He/She didn't say the math didn't need to work, just that it doesn't need to coincide.  They don't have to use the same system to tell the story.



Not the way I read it.  It seemed to me that the prior poster was disregarding the need for good system math at all.  However, while I'll grant that it doesn't have to conincide perfectly (and to be honest it seldom does for any game), the effort does at least need to be made and it should at least be in the same ballpark.  Right now Next's Math and Flavor aren't even in the same galactic arm, and that's a problem.

-Polaris



I too like/want the math to work.  But the math for monsters is so easy to fix (AC/HP/damage) that I imagine they will, but if not I can do it myself very easily.  Tying the flavor of a creature into the mechanics is a lot more difficult (also more fun) and time consumming.  I think the legendary system is a good step in the right direction for the more difficult problem.

Or are there other math issues you are talking about. 



The entire bounded accuracy math scheme is to blame for this fiasco.  It's not just AC/HP/Damage, but saving throws are borked too.  For that matter, skills are borked and what's worse they are all borked in different ways because some improve with level and some don't.  Magic items also affect this and the underlying system doesn't account for it at all.

The underlying math is NOT something you can adjust to taste last.  It's the unseen foundation upon which the entire resolution mechanics rest.  I wish Mearls and his team could understand that.

-Polaris


The entire bounded accuracy math scheme is to blame for this fiasco.  It's not just AC/HP/Damage, but saving throws are borked too.  For that matter, skills are borked and what's worse they are all borked in different ways because some improve with level and some don't.  Magic items also affect this and the underlying system doesn't account for it at all.

The underlying math is NOT something you can adjust to taste last.  It's the unseen foundation upon which the entire resolution mechanics rest.  I wish Mearls and his team could understand that.

-Polaris



Hmm, that really isn't the scope of the "Legendary Mechanic" thread.  I understand your feeling about the general system math, no idea if they will get that fixed or not.  Again, I would prefer it were corrected, but it is very easy to correct in the game.  Prefer not to, but as DM I can handle math issues really easily.  

Now, back to the topic at hand.  Why don't the "legendary mechanics" make the dragon more legendary in your mind?  If all the math was correct, would the legendary concept work for you?  If not, why not?  If so, why?  
Speak for yourself, OP. I'm looking forward to legendary monsters with legendary actions in legendary lairs. 

If you have to fix it, it's broken.

our games just don't play out that way. I feel bad for you and your group if your D&D experience is anything like what you describe...



  I feel bad for you that your DM has to figure out a way to play the monster in the least effective way possible in order for you guys enjoy it because you guys insist on playing a game system that is so poorly made that it demands it.  Requiring a DM to be an acrobat and avoid doing things that the monster would obviously do given the rules because that is the best thing for it to do is a really horrible system.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie

our games just don't play out that way. I feel bad for you and your group if your D&D experience is anything like what you describe...



  I feel bad for you that your DM has to figure out a way to play the monster in the least effective way possible in order for you guys enjoy it because you guys insist on playing a game system that is so poorly made that it demands it.

 



Why do you say that.  The legendary actions feel much more natural to me than the typical PC swarm of attacks with the dragon claw/claw/bite thrown in for good measure.  As a DM I have limited options for creativity with claw/claw/bite; I have many more options with legendary actions.  They just flow more naturally, they just feel more dragon like.  Anything that lets me and my players feel the dragon better I am all for.

Do I think this test sample is perfect - absolutely not, but the concept is better than any previous D&D version I think.
our games just don't play out that way. I feel bad for you and your group if your D&D experience is anything like what you describe...



  I feel bad for you that your DM has to figure out a way to play the monster in the least effective way possible in order for you guys enjoy it because you guys insist on playing a game system that is so poorly made that it demands it.

 



Why do you say that.  The legendary actions feel much more natural to me than the typical PC swarm of attacks with the dragon claw/claw/bite thrown in for good measure.  As a DM I have limited options for creativity with claw/claw/bite; I have many more options with legendary actions.  They just flow more naturally, they just feel more dragon like.  Anything that lets me and my players feel the dragon better I am all for.

Do I think this test sample is perfect - absolutely not, but the concept is better than any previous D&D version I think.



I do need to clarify that I haven't actually playtested this dragon yet, have you?  However, based on my experience with dragons in 1e and 4e, I think this is the best one yet.  Though I would probably make some changes before using it myself. 
Polaris-
Dave is correct, monster math and PC do not have to be equal in my mind. I stated that clearly in my post. Do you have any reasonable suggestions to fix the math concerns you have? If so, present them and we can all discuss. Otherwise, stating something is broken without giving any examples or solutions is not making our game experience any better. I don't perceive a problem with D&D math, actually I see how well AC/HP/saves fit nicely across levels. I see Legendary monsters as a way to expand stories, not as a math problem to be solved. When you stated "not the way I read it" is your first clue that you don't see the simple elegance in the D&D system. I haven't looked at Savage Worlds enough to have an opinion on that system.

Dave-
 Legendary mechanics have promise, lets not lose sight of the fact that we only have one example to go on...

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.



Dave-
 Legendary mechanics have promise, lets not lose sight of the fact that we only have one example to go on...



I agree completely.  I don't recall what I might have said to imply otherwise.  I would much prefer to have a discussion about legendary mechanic options, suggestions and improvements than having to defend the concept.
Hmm, that really isn't the scope of the "Legendary Mechanic" thread.  I understand your feeling about the general system math, no idea if they will get that fixed or not.  Again, I would prefer it were corrected, but it is very easy to correct in the game.  Prefer not to, but as DM I can handle math issues really easily.  



I disagree rather strongly.  Near as I can tell, most of the Legendary Powers (ignoring or getting advantage on saves in particular) is nothing more than a kludge for bad system math.  You can not talk about one without talking about the other, and it's not worth talking about one (Legendary) unless I can see it against a background where the monster math actually works otherwise.

The problem is the underlying math is something that should have been fixed and adjusted FIRST.

-Polaris
Hmm, that really isn't the scope of the "Legendary Mechanic" thread.  I understand your feeling about the general system math, no idea if they will get that fixed or not.  Again, I would prefer it were corrected, but it is very easy to correct in the game.  Prefer not to, but as DM I can handle math issues really easily.  



I disagree rather strongly.  Near as I can tell, most of the Legendary Powers (ignoring or getting advantage on saves in particular) is nothing more than a kludge for bad system math.  You can not talk about one without talking about the other, and it's not worth talking about one (Legendary) unless I can see it against a background where the monster math actually works otherwise.

The problem is the underlying math is something that should have been fixed and adjusted FIRST.

-Polaris



Clearly math is big for, I am guessing you have a feeling for how it should be done.  Assume the math is fixed.  Now, how do the legendary mechanics stack up?  If the math is correct, do the automatic saves bother you (I like them); if the math is correct, do the extra actions bother you (I like them); if the math is correct do you like that the dragon is more dangerous in its lair (I do - but less so); etc.

I assume corrected math when I look at the legendary, so I evaluate based on corrected math.  to be clear what I mean by "corrected math," is:  the underlying math of the game system works as I would expect it too. 
  


Dave-
 Legendary mechanics have promise, lets not lose sight of the fact that we only have one example to go on...



I agree completely.  I don't recall what I might have said to imply otherwise.  I would much prefer to have a discussion about legendary mechanic options, suggestions and improvements than having to defend the concept.

I'm just suggesting that they could suck or be cool. We won't know until we see more examples.

as far as the mechanics go, 4 legendary actions seemed like one too many. Ours is a smaller group so maybe that's why it seemed like to much. The Dragon could double move and breath weapon every round, attacking from the air. That's not how we played it out but we saw that as a tactical option.
Watch the Avengers:Earths Mightiest Heroes cartoon for the fights against Kang, Dr. Doom, and Ultron. These are great examples of how Legendary actions should play out! I want to make the Beholder using Legendary rules! 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

our games just don't play out that way. I feel bad for you and your group if your D&D experience is anything like what you describe...



  I feel bad for you that your DM has to figure out a way to play the monster in the least effective way possible in order for you guys enjoy it because you guys insist on playing a game system that is so poorly made that it demands it.  Requiring a DM to be an acrobat and avoid doing things that the monster would obviously do given the rules because that is the best thing for it to do is a really horrible system.


funny, because I am the DM in our group. We have told some epic tales using 4e and Next. We prefer the Next approach even though it is not a complete system. I just posted on our Mines of Madness game  (DM section) and stated how cool it was to only have to make so few rulings that were not addressed in the packet.
Of course, you know how I feel about most of your posts anyway, no substance only complaints... 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

From a DM perspective, I liked running the Legendary White Dragon I made in my session. It was refreshing and gave me many options to make the creature less predictable (and susceptible to metagame decisions by the players). It was not difficult to run, and it made for a good combat experience. 4 8th level PCs fought with the beast for 9-10 rounds. None of the PCs went down, but a few needed healing.

I wonder if WOTC will just make all dragons, devils, demons, and elder elementals become Legendary instead of having two types of each. It would make sense to just have them Legendary or not.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

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

 

 

Clearly math is big for, I am guessing you have a feeling for how it should be done.  Assume the math is fixed.  Now, how do the legendary mechanics stack up?  If the math is correct, do the automatic saves bother you (I like them); if the math is correct, do the extra actions bother you (I like them); if the math is correct do you like that the dragon is more dangerous in its lair (I do - but less so); etc.

I assume corrected math when I look at the legendary, so I evaluate based on corrected math.  to be clear what I mean by "corrected math," is:  the underlying math of the game system works as I would expect it too. 
  



I can't assume corrected math.  Why?  Because the legendary properties as presented are all too obvious kludges to broken game math.  Until I KNOW that the Legendary templat will not be changed with workable math, I won't analyse one without considering the other.  To ask me to do so is utterly unfair because you are asking me to assume a fix for something that may (and IMHO probably won't) be fixed, and then assuming to judge something else will stay the same as well.

Not cool.

-Polaris
I'm just suggesting that they could suck or be cool. We won't know until we see more examples.

as far as the mechanics go, 4 legendary actions seemed like one too many. Ours is a smaller group so maybe that's why it seemed like to much. The Dragon could double move and breath weapon every round, attacking from the air. That's not how we played it out but we saw that as a tactical option.
Watch the Avengers:Earths Mightiest Heroes cartoon for the fights against Kang, Dr. Doom, and Ultron. These are great examples of how Legendary actions should play out! I want to make the Beholder using Legendary rules! 



Agreed, I am hoping cool!

I agree 4 seems to many, but I haven't tested it myself yet.  I would actually like to break apart the multi attack.  Thus the stanard action is a claw/claw or bite or breathweapon, you could then use legendary actions to get an additional bite or claw or wing buffet or tail strike, minor move, recharge BW, heal, aut succeed at saving throw, etc.

Though I like the idea of the dragon being able to 2x move and breathweapon (but probably not every round). 
I can't assume corrected math.  Why?  Because the legendary properties as presented are all too obvious kludges to broken game math.  Until I KNOW that the Legendary templat will not be changed with workable math, I won't analyse one without considering the other.  To ask me to do so is utterly unfair because you are asking me to assume a fix for something that may (and IMHO probably won't) be fixed, and then assuming to judge something else will stay the same as well.

Not cool.

-Polaris



I assume corrected math when I am reviewing the dragon (hell I assume it throughout the playtest), so I thought you could too.  My bad, I wasn't trying to offend or be unfair.  I was only asking you to do what I do, so to me that is fair.  Again I apologize.  I just don't understand why your posting on this thread about legendary mechanics if you don't want (or as you state can't becuase of the system math) to discuss legendary mechanics.  Again, my bad, I won't bother you any further.
I can't assume corrected math.  Why?  Because the legendary properties as presented are all too obvious kludges to broken game math.  Until I KNOW that the Legendary templat will not be changed with workable math, I won't analyse one without considering the other.  To ask me to do so is utterly unfair because you are asking me to assume a fix for something that may (and IMHO probably won't) be fixed, and then assuming to judge something else will stay the same as well.

Not cool.

-Polaris



I assume corrected math when I am reviewing the dragon (hell I assume it throughout the playtest), so I thought you could too.  My bad, I wasn't trying to offend or be unfair.  I was only asking you to do what I do, so to me that is fair.  Again I apologize.  I just don't understand why your posting on this thread about legendary mechanics if you don't want (or as you state can't becuase of the system math) to discuss legendary mechanics.  Again, my bad, I won't bother you any further.



If you read my initial post, the OP asked why the Lengendary mechanics were written the way they were because many of them didn't seem to fit and seemed like a kludge (my paraphrase) to paper over flawed monster math and mechanics.

My take on the Legendary Mechanics sans the extra actions (which make sense although I too wonder of four is too many) is that it seems to be a fix to make Legendary Monsters actualy threatening (except it really doesn't). 

I don't see how I can seperate the two because one seems to be a patch for the other (and I have no faith that the math will be fixed at all).  That's where I am coming from.

-Polaris
Everytime Greg tweets about doing up a new survey I tweet him about putting in quastions about monsters, he keeps telling me not to worry they know and are working on it...


but I am worried. VERY WORRIED!


70-90% of the game (maybe less for odd man out groups) is PCs vs Antaganist in one way or another, when the math fails half of the time, the game is a fail     

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?


I don't see how I can seperate the two because one seems to be a patch for the other (and I have no faith that the math will be fixed at all).  That's where I am coming from.

-Polaris



Understood
Everytime Greg tweets about doing up a new survey I tweet him about putting in quastions about monsters, he keeps telling me not to worry they know and are working on it...

but I am worried. VERY WORRIED!


70-90% of the game (maybe less for odd man out groups) is PCs vs Antaganist in one way or another, when the math fails half of the time, the game is a fail     



Worry.  In fact you should be worried a lot.  The "monster math" problem is a direct result (which I predicted over a year ago) of the 'Bounded Accuracy" design decision when married to the notion that all classes should somehow "progress".  The combination is toxic, and there isn't an easy fix.  This is what comes with slamming together ideas and pieces of systems without understanding or defining your underlying math.

Frankly the approach the Devs with Next have taken is flat out bass-ackwards.  You establish the foundation FIRST (and with it the underlying math), THEN you adjust to taste.

-Polaris
Polaris: do you actually have a math fix? It would be easier to understand what you're talking about if you'd present the numbers.
So here's the thing: what is it with dragons that make game designers so desperate to mess with them? Fear effects are fakey. Dragons shouldn't be scary because of a magic effect. Dragons unleashing fire novas or frost novas make them feel like video game boss fights--where is all that fire coming from anyway? Does it shoot out of their pores? Weirdness abounds. I'd argue dragons intuitively casting magic spells like a wizard or triple dipping AC, DR and SR comes from the same place. 

But now there's this idea for Legenday monsters (dragons in particular, but also gods and demons and whatnot) to have them bending spacetime to alter the fabric of reality--getting autosuccesses on rolls, multiattacking throughout each round of combat and warping reality around them.

Honestly I thing 5e will go much better if the mechanics start and end with: what should this creature really feel like--like if we were describing fighting one in a novel, then make game mechanics to model *that*.



So, you're okay with bending spacetime to alter the fabric of reality if it's through wizard spells , but not if it's done through actions the dragon would normally do (flick tail, hide in pool, etc.). No, it doesn't sound like you want Dragons to be more Dragon-like: the legendary rules actually have them do Dragon-y things. What you want is Dragons to do the same things as Wizards.

Perhaps if Wizards makes Fire Nova and Frost Nova spells for Wizard PCs, you'll be more convinced that it's natural when a Dragon is doing it   

"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

Polaris: do you actually have a math fix? It would be easier to understand what you're talking about if you'd present the numbers.



Sure.  Let the numbers scale like in prior editions of DND.  Not as much as 4E perhaps (+1 per level is too much), but even something as anemic as 1/3 levels would give enough design space to make this work.

In addition, I'd decide what is easy, medium, and hard (and legendary) and assign what I ideally want as percentage of successes for each of those.  I'd then insure that the DCs for attacking, saving, and skills met those target percentages with "routine" optimization (by routine, I mean assume that the best stat will be in the class' prime state, etc).

This may or may not come with item assumptions (that's really not important), but even if it does, those assumptions can be modded away with a module (like it was for 4E Darksun and the optional inherent bonus rule).

At the very least I'd have an extremely firm grip on what target numbers I wanted for most situations BEFORE I actually set any specific rule to paper.

-Polaris
Polaris: do you actually have a math fix? It would be easier to understand what you're talking about if you'd present the numbers.



Sure.  Let the numbers scale like in prior editions of DND.  Not as much as 4E perhaps (+1 per level is too much), but even something as anemic as 1/3 levels would give enough design space to make this work.

In addition, I'd decide what is easy, medium, and hard (and legendary) and assign what I ideally want as percentage of successes for each of those.  I'd then insure that the DCs for attacking, saving, and skills met those target percentages with "routine" optimization (by routine, I mean assume that the best stat will be in the class' prime state, etc).

This may or may not come with item assumptions (that's really not important), but even if it does, those assumptions can be modded away with a module (like it was for 4E Darksun and the optional inherent bonus rule).

At the very least I'd have an extremely firm grip on what target numbers I wanted for most situations BEFORE I actually set any specific rule to paper.

-Polaris




In another thread I proposed every 5 levels everyone (monster, npc, pc) gets a +1 to all ability checks (including AC, Saves, Attacks, CHecks and Contests) I also suggestted keeping the 2 stat bumps at 4,8,12,16, and 20.


You can then keep the attack bonus mostly the same 



So level 1 you would have  15(+2), 14 (+2), 13 (+1), 12(+1), 10(-), 8 (-1)

at level 20 you would have  20(+9), 18 (+8), 14 (+6), 12(+5), 10(+4), 8 (+3)

    

Before posting, ask yourself WWWS: What Would Wrecan Say?

So here's the thing: what is it with dragons that make game designers so desperate to mess with them? Fear effects are fakey. Dragons shouldn't be scary because of a magic effect. Dragons unleashing fire novas or frost novas make them feel like video game boss fights--where is all that fire coming from anyway? Does it shoot out of their pores? Weirdness abounds. I'd argue dragons intuitively casting magic spells like a wizard or triple dipping AC, DR and SR comes from the same place. Are dragons not cool enough just being towering creatures that fly and breathe fire and are old in geologic type ways? Okay so in 3e they scaled them to fit the minis so they were unimpressively horse sized (blech) but it seems like there's ideas in place to make dragons huge this time around (and from the Next signup art it looks like they might get genuinely crazy big).

But now there's this idea for Legenday monsters (dragons in particular, but also gods and demons and whatnot) to have them bending spacetime to alter the fabric of reality--getting autosuccesses on rolls, multiattacking throughout each round of combat and warping reality around them.

This really doesn't read like a big, super-intelligent armored flying beast with a breath weapon. It feels like game mechanic salad to try and fluff up an encounter to make it feel more exciting than it is by giving the enemy a whole slew of weird powers that don't really fit the concept.

Honestly I thing 5e will go much better if the mechanics start and end with: what should this creature really feel like--like if we were describing fighting one in a novel, then make game mechanics to model *that*.

1) Have you playtested a battle against the Legendary Black Dragon?

2) You don't think Dragons should be really scary? In what lore in all of fantasy is a dragon ever NOT extremely frightening?

3) "Where is all that fire coming from"? Really? Dragons are magical creatures. They have the honor of being the namesake of the very game. The fire comes from magic.

4) If you want to run Dragons as less magical in your world, then by all means do so. But I think the majority of gamers think that dragons are highly magical creatures. And yes, by that logic, they get an excuse to manifest that magic in almost any way imaginationble. Working as intended.

Please introduce yourself to the new D&D 5e forums in this very friendly thread started by Pukunui!

 

Make 5e Saving Throws better using Ramzour's Six Ability Save System!

 

Lost Mine of Phandelver: || Problems and Ideas with the adventure ||  Finding the Ghost of Neverwinter Wood ||

Giving classes iconic abilities that don't break the game: Ramzour's Class Defining Ability system.

Rules for a simple non-XP based leveling up system, using the Proficiency Bonus

 

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