So the recent recaps from critical hits have me excited, particularly this one
. Things I'm eagerly looking forward to:Quick Character Creation
We've had reports that character creation is suppose to take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes (or longer if you really want to get into the nitty, gritty details). I come from a game called ArmageddonMUD
where death is permanent. There are no gods to bring you back to life. No wizards or druids to cast the appropriate ritual. Death is final.
Unfortunately you can't play such a game in Dungeons & Dragons. Character Creation takes at least an hour. Thus death is a real punishment for the player. So by making character creation less time consuming, you can dial up the lethality.
Rolling for Ability Scores
Talk about speed. I just spent 1 minute determining my scores. They are 12, 16, 10, 9, 15, 15. Throw in an extra 4 minutes to decide which class, race and order to put these stats and I'm halfway there after 5 minutes.
Lets try a different roll as I want to demonstrate sometihng in particular. 4, 14, 9, 16, 14, 14. That's better. This character is actually not that bad in terms of 4th ed. Assuming he's human he'll have an 18 in his primary attack stat and 14 in three other mains stats with only two dump stats. So his defences will be fairly good. But he does have 1 fatal flaw that will help shape this character into a unique creation. He could be:
- A wizard. He's got the intelligence for it and he could have 14 strength, con and wisdom. So he's quite hearty and strong for a wizard a nice chance of pace from those Strength 8 wizards you normally see running around. Unfortunately he's got 0 personality, smells a fair bit and isn't exactly the best looking person you've ever seen.
- A fighter. He's got the strength for it and with 14 dex and con he's a fairly well rounded warrior. He's also got 14 charisma which certainly helps with the ladies and is a nice change of pace from the charisma 8 warriors you normally see roaming dungeons. While he might be slightly less intelligent then your average person, it's not particularly noticeable. Unfortunately he's not particularly wise. He's constantly offering to help rescue people from dangerous tribes of kobolds and goblins. And he's always the first to volunteer to explore some ancient long forgotten crypt. It's probably why he decided to become an adventurer.
He's not the the richest of people. When he does get some coin he'll normally blow it all at the tavern. Although he's got a good heart and if he's stumbled upon quite a bit of wealth, he'll normally lend it to the single mother whose husband died at war, or the local church or orphanage. Like we said, he might not be the brightest person around, but he's got a good heart.
- A cleric. He's got the strength to wade into the thick of battle. And with wisdom 14 he knows most of his prayers and can heal most wounds. He's also got a good head on his soldiers and has studied up on ancient battle tactics. While he might not the best looking person in town, he's able to keep his own and with a bit of work make himself look passable. Alas, he's quite clumsy. It's probably why the church sends him out to dungeons so often.
You get the idea. With a bit of thought you can come up with a unique character. Also unless you've been particularly unfortunate, you'll be able to make a character that can contribute in both combat and outside of combat. Also all GMs have known that if someone rolls abysmally, then they're always allowed to reroll (either all the stats or just a couple).
No Roles Need to be Filled
In 3.5e you had the idea that you needed an arcanist, healer, trap-disabler and tank. In 4th ed you need a Defender, Striker, Healer and according to the PHB a Controller (many groups prefer to swap out a controller for a second striker).
In 5th ed this apparently won't be necessary. Healers will be appreciated if they're in the party, but otherwise the group can get by if they lack a healer. Groups won't need arcanists nor will they need tanks. Supposedly a group of 4 rogues will be able to play just fine. If this is true, then that's amazing news. It helps with rolling for ability scores. You can roll for ability scores and then decide the class (as some classes need certain scores in order to be effective).
No more Wealth by Level Tables
So magic items are going to be removed from the math, meaning that DMs no longer need to hand out X gold by X level in order for the PCs to still be playable. Thus we can finally have low magic campaigns. Lawful Good PCs can hand over their share of the gold to the local orphanage. Drug addicted rogues can blow it all on ladies of the night and medicinal herbs. Monks who've taken a vow of poverty can actually keep their vows!
Today we had two combats run one after the other and in total they ran for 2 and a half hours. I was getting bored as there wasn't very much danger. I ended the fight on full HP with 5 temps spare and I had only spent 1 surge in the entire combat (regen 4 and a pacifist cleric). Our Wizard is horribly overpowered (DM has been handing him lots of cool magic items), but it's good because otherwise the fights would go even longer.
My 5th Ed Campaign
At the moment we are mid-paragon levels in Scales of War and H1-E3. Our GM doesn't always have time to prep the mods between sessions, so once the 5th ed playtest starts I'm going to offer to run one-shots every now and then using the 5th ed rules.
We had been exploring the Chaos Scar with an all dwarf party. Rather then convert those characters, I'm going to have them convince their city's government to build a Keep overlooking the Chaos Scar so that further expeditions could be based there, using members of all sorts of races from all over the world. Those dwarves will make cameo appearances, but for the adventures will focus on new characters.
I won't let my players make their characters beforehand. Instead I'll encourage them to wait until we get to the table so that they can make their characters as a group. With rolling for ability scores and using the fairly basic rules available for the playtest, we should be able to start the first adventure within 30 minutes.
I'll grab one of the Chaos Scar adventures we hadn't run and use it straight from the book (using 5th ed monsters and adjusting DCs for skill checks). It'll be permadeath (so no raise dead rituals). But ideally with 15 minute character creation time, it shouldn't take much effort to bring in new characters and the Keep has an in-game excuse for a constant stream of new characters to constantly turn up.
I haven't been excited about running a D&D campaign in over a year. And 5th edition will allow me to run a campaign vastly different to anything I could have run in 4th ed. Will I want all of my 5th ed campaigns to work like the one above? Of course not. But as a nice change of pace as a break while we finish our 4th ed campaigns, it sounds like it could be a lot of fun.