New Playtest report posted

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Quote and interpretations:

I used one of those multiclass abilities I was talking about, and used a wand attack on more of the vampires.

Wizards will be able to make "attacks" with wands as a class ability, effectively making wands a ranged weapon for spellcasting classes (which fits with the famous "+6 wand")?

On my next round I saw several bad guys lined up in a row, so Karhun dashed a few squares over and used another wizard ability—my once-per-day scorch, a powerful fire attack.

Confirms that more powerful spells will be limited use (duh), but I'm drawn to the conclusion that "scorch" is simply "Burning Hands" by another name and that this is an indication that (1) spell effect will be tied more to character level than caster level, and (2) abilities will be more available as you rise in level. A spell that is 1/day at level 1 might be at will by level 5.

As it turns out, Toby’s warforged paladin is essentially indestructible under the current rules. I suppose a warforged ought to be tough, but the really odd thing is that his damage resistance (any DR, really) ignores psychic damage and poison damage. I’m not sure things ought to work that way; it seems to me that some sorts of damage ought to bypass DR by their very nature.

I seriously hope they change this...
From everything I've gathered about the sweet spot being extended and the info dropped in the new podcast, I doubt they will change 1/day spells over to at/will spells in the span of 5 levels.

More likely that will be one of the change-overs they were talking about going from Heroic to Paragon to Epic style characters.

I'm hoping the multi-classing rules are much improved from 3.x, I can't stand the fact that the longer you wait to multi-class the more expensive it gets. The playtest report gives me some hope that the designers have spotted that error as well and have/will fix(ed) it.
When I first heard about the "minion" rules, I didn't have much of an opinion either way; they'd never been part of my D&D, but I'd seen them used in M&M to decent effect.

But when I see this new playtest report mentioning a party of 8th level characters plowing through a dozen vampires and mummies like a hot bulldozer through butter, I dunno... Something about that doesn't sit right.
But when I see this new playtest report mentioning a party of 8th level characters plowing through a dozen vampires and mummies like a hot bulldozer through butter, I dunno... Something about that doesn't sit right.

Now would these be "minion" vampires, or "master" vampires?

Again, going with fantasy literature & cinema, there's the master-type vampires, whom a single one of which is a challenge to a band of intrepid heroes; then there's the vampiric minions, likely the spawn of the master.

They even have something like this in the 3.5 Monster Manual.
Now would these be "minion" vampires, or "master" vampires?

Again, going with fantasy literature & cinema, there's the master-type vampires, whom a single one of which is a challenge to a band of intrepid heroes; then there's the vampiric minions, likely the spawn of the master.

They even have something like this in the 3.5 Monster Manual.

I suppose the creatures mentioned could be akin to the MM's vampire spawn, instead of actual, factual vampires, and Rich just didn't happen to mention that. Still, I didn't get the impression that the fight with a large group of "minion" monsters was all that challenging for the party, which I guess is my main gripe.

And yes, I know one encounter isn't indicative of the whole ruleset; I'm just venting a gut reaction.
The way M&M handles it is that minions have all the stats that main enemies do, they just have some tweaks to how they take damage that makes them go down faster. Probably what they'll do in 4e, meaning that if you want to keep every encounter challenging you just ignore the specific minion rules. Won't even have to change the monster stats.
I suppose the creatures mentioned could be akin to the MM's vampire spawn, instead of actual, factual vampires, and Rich just didn't happen to mention that. Still, I didn't get the impression that the fight with a large group of "minion" monsters was all that challenging for the party, which I guess is my main gripe.

And yes, I know one encounter isn't indicative of the whole ruleset; I'm just venting a gut reaction.

The problem is that these Playtest Reports (at least the Castle Smoulderthorn ones) are seriously glossing over details. Again, I can understand they may not be able to give us much mechanical detail, but they're sticking with super-cryptic. If you're going to discuss a single encounter, do it right and let us know what happened! You guys are supposed to be master storytellers, after all. :P
I read elsewhere that the 'vampires' were indeed vampire spawn(ish?), thus not a big issue.
It said they were spawn.
I got the impression that the wand strike was a "multiclass" ability. That is, the wandstrike is something you only get if you multiclass fighter/wizard, for instance?

That sounds interesting and cool, actually. Rather than having a fighter wizard be a bad fighter PLUS a bad wizard, easily owned by a full-progression base class, you get an interesting combo-class from basic multiclassing.

So, you can have your powerful wizard, with access to the basic blasting ability, plus utility spells and whatnot. Or, you can be a warlord, with the fighting moves and melee combat superpowers, or you can be a combination of the two classes that gains access to abilities that are not available UNLESS you combine the classes.

That's what I think will be cool about the new multiclassing. Putting two classes together nets you abilities that are not available to single-classes, and are just as good as abilities that are only available to single-classes of equivalent total level.