Legends & Lore: A Matter of Priorities (Nov 18)

Very happy with what Mike is saying. It's showing some actual design chops that could lead to (GASP!) balance between two classes who do similar things. Hopefully, the "art" that Mike is talking about (the specific implementation of the mechanics) will be as nuanced as their science.

"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

Alter_Boy wrote:

Very happy with what Mike is saying. It's showing some actual design chops that could lead to (GASP!) balance between two classes who do similar things. Hopefully, the "art" that Mike is talking about (the specific implementation of the mechanics) will be as nuanced as their science.

My thoughts as well; without the GASP! (the designers are not as inept as the locals make them out to be).

I don't think they're inept: pretty much everyone on the DDNext team has proven themselves to be competent designers, based on their 4ed/Star Wars/other RPG design. The surprise comes from them actually acknowledging balancing classes is a good thing, and that they will actually try their best to do so. I get a feeling that many D&D fans distrust balance and feel it is unimportant/deterimental to the game, and I didn't know if WotC would risk offending them by outright stating they would make things balanced.

"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

If my class gives me the ability to become an awesome archer, I should be a better archer than other characters whose classes give them no archery ability, but who took feats or can cast spells on themselves to gain that ability. Class is ranked higher on the list than spells or feats. Therefore, class wins.

I don't get this - does that mean if you do nothing at all to further your archery skills, you should still be better than the non archer who took feats?

 

Or if as an archer you took feets to get even more awesome at that, you will always be ahead of the other class who took archery feets?

 

I get the latter.

 

The former - it suggests not much point in feats. Though maybe that explains the ability bonuses this edition.

 

Never mind the whole 'be awesome at archery' thing seems to treat it as if players are super in love with the fluff text and treat the higher numbers (say in the archery skill) as if that's even more of the cool fluff they apparently want.

 

Really while people might like archery, if a class is awesome at archery, but archery basically sucks at damage output compared to melee, then being awesome at archery wont count for much.

 

The archery example misses the point *boom-ting!*

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

Interesting to get some insight into the design process! I'm all for ranking system if it helps put things in perspective...

Alter_Boy wrote:

I don't think they're inept: pretty much everyone on the DDNext team has proven themselves to be competent designers, based on their 4ed/Star Wars/other RPG design. The surprise comes from them actually acknowledging balancing classes is a good thing, and that they will actually try their best to do so. I get a feeling that many D&D fans distrust balance and feel it is unimportant/deterimental to the game, and I didn't know if WotC would risk offending them by outright stating they would make things balanced.

 

Competent game designers do not drive away 1/2 their playerbase, by their own admission and sales figures.

 

That said, this was a very good article, since humans can learn from their mistakes, and it shows that a lot of tough love and hard learning has been done to justify them holding on to their jobs.

 

I'd like to note, that since class > subclass, it should be impossible for a fighter / warlord to EVER heal better than a cleric. Period. A cleric can heal with an action a 2d8 +2 amount of HP, or a 1d8 at range via a 1st level spell slot. There is zero chance, based on this article, that there will be any way for actual real HP healing to be given to a warlord, that operates at range and with less than an action. That means, they will probably be able to grant Temp HPs at range, or real HPs using an action, less than a cure spell. 

 

This is terrific. Although, whether he follows through with his niche protection remains to be seen. I intend to fully hold him accountable to this, if I see warlords healing actual HP on the order of a cleric's action-required touch-required daily-spell-slot-required healing, but at range, I will give him a piece of my mind. I don't think that will be necessary, but clerics have gotten the short thrift last time around, and they deserve some niche protection instead of being assaulted from all sides by easy-peasy universal mechanics like HD and previously, second-wind. Now at least HD takes an hour to spend, and is variable and weaker than cleric healing, and cleric healing still heals you even if you already spent all your HD, making the cleric important and not overshadowed, as he puts it, by secondary classes that aren't specialists in healing. Yes, I'm saying that the cleric class should be a specialist in healing. All of them, including non-life clerics. They should dominate healing ability in terms of HP healed per day, or per short rest, period.

 

Since the warlord is a fighter subclass (good call), their healing should be therefore DRASTICALLY weaker than the default cleric's, let alone the life cleric's. Maybe if a warlord took the healer feat too, he could start approaching in the same ballpark of an average cleric who spends a lot of slots on other spells, but you cannot assume that they will spend all their spell slots on healing all the time, and use max healing as some kind of a balancing target vs casual, subclass healing that is short-rest driven and constitutes no serious impediment to the usual class functioning in terms of opportunity cost or tradeoffs.

 

Great article, let's hope they actually follow through on it. Although, tbh, a rogue using Stealth cannot possibly be better at hiding than someone who's invisible using a daily spell and standing still. That is pure stupidity. Nobody can hide in plain sight like an invisible hobbit can hide with the One Ring on his finger. I don't care how good a burglar you are, the One Ring is substantially better. They can easily balance the superiority of invisibility by not making it last 24 hours or until you attack, but rather shorten the duration in order to make always-on stealth more valuable by its lack of daily spell slot cost.

I have undertaken an epic quest to destroy the affront to sanity and reason known as GWF.

 

The Emperor writes : "How you should be? (when undertaking such a quest)

 

You should be like a rocky promontory, against which the restless surf continually pounds. It stands fast while the churning sea is lulled to sleep at its feet."

Plaguescarred wrote:

Interesting to get some insight into the design process! I'm all for ranking system if it helps put things in perspective...

 

Daily slot spells should be better than always on at-wills. It allows the wizard to shine once a day, where a rogue would shine, less brightly perhaps, all day long.

 

Dailies should be more powerful than at-wills. I thought the guy in charge of 4th edition would understand that basic truism. The best way to balance the utility of stuff like invisibility is to make the spell not last 24 hours (except, perhaps, for illusionists), similar to the way they did the charm spells only last 24 hours for enchanters. A rogue's stealth should stack with invisibility, but you cannot hide in plain sight like an invisible person  can. There have been a dozen hollywood movies on the subject of how powerful that ability is, in the last decade alone probably. Anyway, stealth is more than just hiding, but also being quiet, which makes it matter while moving during invisibility, so the best target for invis is the rogue, unless you can only concentrate on it within a certain range. Not sure how it works in this packet.

 

But Plague, the ranking system he proposed that spells < at-wills stinks. Spells are daily slots, they should be spectacular. There is no way to make rogues invisible all the time using skill alone, remotely comparable to the invisibility spell. But I'm all for reducing the duration of spells, and using concentration to limit them. I just don't want invisibility to be akin to a -5 to hit, that caused us all kinds of headaches, my 4e DM could literally not understand how they could screw up so badly, he nearly quit the campaign then and there when I mentioned it was just a -5 penalty to hit if the foe was in the square I was chopping blindly into, if the target was actually there.

I have undertaken an epic quest to destroy the affront to sanity and reason known as GWF.

 

The Emperor writes : "How you should be? (when undertaking such a quest)

 

You should be like a rocky promontory, against which the restless surf continually pounds. It stands fast while the churning sea is lulled to sleep at its feet."

Isn't this kind of codification of subjectivity anathema to modularity? This isn't a place to start design, this is a place to start mocking Next's design goals. The ranking of options is not a useful tool, it is a overt admission to the kind of labelling and negation that works against any player who has any view not in absolute lockstep with this development team. How can this "create a flexible system for customization"? It destroys any kind of customization not preconceived by Mearls and company. That isn't flexible, that's a straightjacket. This isn't just an awful idea, it is a stellar example of the wrong headed thinking that has already made Next a laughing stock in the TTRPG industry.

MtlKnight wrote:
Daily slot spells should be better than always on at-wills. It allows the wizard to shine once a day, where a rogue would shine, less brightly perhaps, all day long.

 

That's already the case, so I don't know what you're complaining about. Invisibility is only a 2nd level spell and lasts for up to 1 hour. That's pretty powerful.

Noon wrote:

 

If my class gives me the ability to become an awesome archer, I should be a better archer than other characters whose classes give them no archery ability, but who took feats or can cast spells on themselves to gain that ability. Class is ranked higher on the list than spells or feats. Therefore, class wins.

I don't get this - does that mean if you do nothing at all to further your archery skills, you should still be better than the non archer who took feats?

 

Or if as an archer you took feets to get even more awesome at that, you will always be ahead of the other class who took archery feets?

 

I get the latter.

 

The former - it suggests not much point in feats. Though maybe that explains the ability bonuses this edition.

 

Never mind the whole 'be awesome at archery' thing seems to treat it as if players are super in love with the fluff text and treat the higher numbers (say in the archery skill) as if that's even more of the cool fluff they apparently want.

 

Really while people might like archery, if a class is awesome at archery, but archery basically sucks at damage output compared to melee, then being awesome at archery wont count for much.

 

The archery example misses the point *boom-ting!*

 

Where archery excels over melee is that you don't have to be in melee.

 

While your damage might be lower you can benifit from cover while attacking and not be subject to the more powerful melee attacks. 

 

Its benifit doesn't have to be measured in DPR alone. 

 

 

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Tell the group of all melee characters how much archery stinks, when they're trying to deal with a flying wizard.

 

Or when they're trying to assail a definsible location full of archers.

 

Or when somebody they really really need to stop is running away, and he's faster than them.

 

Or when there's a really powerful caster throwing magical death at them from 30 feet away, with a front line of tanky melee fighters protecting him.

 

I can keep throwing out scenarios all day long. Being good at archery is still extremely viable and valuable, even though it doesn't have as much damage potential as hitting somebody with a big axe.

Yeah, I dig this train of design.

First, I call Bull on his statement concerning the results of the Playtest Survey.  I've seen too much conflict among DnD fans over the last several packets to lend it any credibility.

 

As far as this Priority Ranking/Balance, I've got to say I'm appalled.  This results in the very opposite of relevant character customization, putting the emphasis back on Race/Class combination instead of on Character creation concepts.   Earlier packets were so much fun for exactly the opposite reason. You could create a character that was an Archer (Specialty/Theme), and a Cleric (Class) who had started out as a Soldier (Background) before being called by their deity. That character could hold his own as an Archer. That was an excellent feature, because in doing so the character sacrificed other options, but was still relevant.


What you've got now is a the exact opposite of customization in the character creation process. What you end up with is boring cookie cutter classes who's only real difference is the Background Story (not to be confused with 5Es background choice) a player may, or may not, put any time or effort into creating.  The developers have consistently cut out any real customization during the creation process, in the name of 'simplistic design'.  Well, I hope they are happy at the end of this, because it'll be so simple it won't even be worth playing.

 

DM:  You want to play an Archer?  Here's the Ranger

 

Player:  No, I just want to be a soldier who's been trained as a Longbowman.

 

DM:  Well, you can play a Fighter and take these feats...at Fourth level and later, but the Ranger will be better...

 

Player:  Why?

 

DM:  Because.

 

 

Gee, Where Have I Seen This Before...

Noon wrote:
I don't get this - does that mean if you do nothing at all to further your archery skills, you should still be better than the non archer who took feats?

 

Presumably the archer has taken X levels in the archer class, so he has been doing something to further his archery skills.  Although archery is kinda a poor example, given there aren't really "archer" classes.

 

But it all kind of misses the point; namely, with all other things being equal, if a class level and a feat both offer access to a similar feature, the class level should be the more powerful (or more pure) way to access that feature.  It's easiest to see with spellcasting.  Taking a level in Mage is better than taking the Arcane Initiate feat, which is better than being a High Elf.  If you decide after taking your first level in Mage to become a Fighter (and thus "do nothing" to further your Mage skills), then you should still be more powerful than someone who takes the Arcane Initiate feat, since taking that Mage level involves more sacrifice than taking a feat.

LupusRegalis wrote:
DM:  You want to play an Archer?  Here's the Ranger

 

Player:  No, I just want to be a soldier who's been trained as a Longbowman.

 

DM:  Well, you can play a Fighter and take these feats...at Fourth level and later, but the Ranger will be better...

 

Player:  Why?

 

DM:  Because.

 

We haven't seen anywhere close to the final number of Warrior Paths, and I'd be surprised if an archery-focused one isn't present.  There is no reason to believe that non-Ranger archers will not be viable.

 

In fact, I would be surprised if most of the "fun character creation" options that were present in previous packets didn't find their way back into the final product.  Playtest packets were never meant to provide all the options for everything all the time... most of the time they were testing out specific combinations.  I would expect the developers to put options and take options out in order to get specific feedback on specific combinations they were interested in (how does A work with B in isolation?  Okay, now how does B work with C in isolation?), so the fact that an option disappeared doesn't necessarily mean it was canned (or at least, that the concept– maybe not the specific mechanics– was canned).

One thing people here already seem to misunderstand:

This is on a one for one basis!

 

"

The line is rarely obvious and easy to spot, but the ranking of options helps us understand how we should weight things. In this case, we’d expect that a ranger could be overshadowed at tracking only by a character investing several choices in background options and feats. A nonranger needs to make a real commitment to stepping into the ranger’s niche.
"
 
You can STILL make the cleric archer if you spend several resources (in your example both a feat and a background and an off ability for your class) and expect to be as good as the person with just 1 level in the archer path. If the archer then spends even more resources (eg more archer guy levels) then you will have to keep up by spending more resources as well. Sounds fair to me

Keendk wrote:

One thing people here already seem to misunderstand:

This is on a one for one basis!

 

"

The line is rarely obvious and easy to spot, but the ranking of options helps us understand how we should weight things. In this case, we’d expect that a ranger could be overshadowed at tracking only by a character investing several choices in background options and feats. A nonranger needs to make a real commitment to stepping into the ranger’s niche.
"
 
You can STILL make the cleric archer if you spend several resources (in your example both a feat and a background and an off ability for your class) and expect to be as good as the person with just 1 level in the archer path. If the archer then spends even more resources (eg more archer guy levels) then you will have to keep up by spending more resources as well. Sounds fair to me

 

Still pigeonholing the archer. 3rd ed had bard, cleric, fighter, ranger archers that rocked and with some oddbal choices (monk archer?). 2nd ed had some good ones as well. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

LupusRegalis wrote:

First, I call Bull on his statement concerning the results of the Playtest Survey.  I've seen too much conflict among DnD fans over the last several packets to lend it any credibility.

 

I call bull on your seeing too much conflict.

This isn't the AD&D 2E to 3E where I saw a man stabbed with an ink-well pen for suggestting looking into switching

This isn't the 3E to 4E where I saw a relationship of 3 years end over buying the 4E books

This isn't the 4E to PF fight where I saw a gaming store collapse for picking PF over 4E as the in-house game

 

This is a lot of apathy and cautious optimism with a small group of very loud people who don't actually get game design trolling these boards, RPG.net or 4chan.

LupusRegalis wrote:

First, I call Bull on his statement concerning the results of the Playtest Survey.  I've seen too much conflict among DnD fans over the last several packets to lend it any credibility.

 

The results of the last round of playtesting were overwhelmingly positive.

 

We don''t know how they judge it being positive.

they could base it just of the avarage rating from reactions, but those can go up if disatisfied people stop participating.

We started with a playtest group of 20 and with the last packet only 4 where still wiling to invest time in it.

 

Maybe the best way to judge sucsess would be to look at people who responded to all surveys, and see if their rating went up over time.

Sounds like some sort of points of strength system.

 

Class is 100% Strength.

Race is 80%

Spell is 60%

Background and Feats are 50%.

 

So a normal ranger has 100% Tracking strength. Better that a dude who just take the Guide backgroud (50%) or some tracking spells (60%).

But a guide with tracking spells (110%) is better than a ranger (100%).

But if the ranger takes anything Tracking related like pick wood elf... Boom... better than the guide with spells.

 

Basically

 

Ranger > Wod Elf > Scry > Guide

Scry + Guide > Ranger

Wood Elf + Ranger >  Scry + Guide

 

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!

MtlKnight wrote:

 

Plaguescarred wrote:

Interesting to get some insight into the design process! I'm all for ranking system if it helps put things in perspective...

 

 

Daily slot spells should be better than always on at-wills. It allows the wizard to shine once a day, where a rogue would shine, less brightly perhaps, all day long.

 

Anything you can swap in and out depending on how useful you think it will be should be less powerful than something you can pick once and then are stuck with. Otherwise you're makign the more flexible option more powerful as well. 

 

Which no doubt will please the Magic Uber Alles brigade, of course.

These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when earth's foundations fled, Followed their mercenary calling, And took their wages, and are dead. Playing: Legendof Five Rings, The One Ring, Fate Core. Planning: Lords in the Eastern Marches, Runequest in Glorantha. 

Steveman wrote:

 

LupusRegalis wrote:

First, I call Bull on his statement concerning the results of the Playtest Survey.  I've seen too much conflict among DnD fans over the last several packets to lend it any credibility.

 

 

I call bull on your seeing too much conflict.

This isn't the AD&D 2E to 3E where I saw a man stabbed with an ink-well pen for suggestting looking into switching

This isn't the 3E to 4E where I saw a relationship of 3 years end over buying the 4E books

This isn't the 4E to PF fight where I saw a gaming store collapse for picking PF over 4E as the in-house game

What part of the world do you live in? I want to avoid ever mentioning games if I ever go there.

looking at the ranking

class 

races

spells

backgrounds

and feats.

 

makes me wonder if backgrounds and fests shoulden't be above spell.

As both are a bigger investment that your character makes compares to memorising a spell that can be changed every day.

Azzy1974 wrote:

 

Steveman wrote:

 

LupusRegalis wrote:

First, I call Bull on his statement concerning the results of the Playtest Survey.  I've seen too much conflict among DnD fans over the last several packets to lend it any credibility.

I call bull on your seeing too much conflict.

This isn't the AD&D 2E to 3E where I saw a man stabbed with an ink-well pen for suggestting looking into switching

This isn't the 3E to 4E where I saw a relationship of 3 years end over buying the 4E books

This isn't the 4E to PF fight where I saw a gaming store collapse for picking PF over 4E as the in-house game

What part of the world do you live in? I want to avoid ever mentioning games if I ever go there.

 

Northern California. A better idea is to just not come here.

edwin_su wrote:

looking at the ranking

class 

races

spells

backgrounds

and feats.

 

makes me wonder if backgrounds and fests shoulden't be above spell.

As both are a bigger investment that your character makes compares to memorising a spell that can be changed every day.



My thoughts as well . It places unduly power in a subsect of rules (spells) that are only available to certain classes.
Are you threatening me master jedi? Dungeons & Dragons 4e Classic - The Dark Edition

edwin_su wrote:

looking at the ranking

class 

races

spells

backgrounds

and feats.

 

makes me wonder if backgrounds and fests shoulden't be above spell.

As both are a bigger investment that your character makes compares to memorising a spell that can be changed every day.

 

I think it is that way because background grants multiple proficiencies to choose from and feats have 4 to 6 chances to show up.

 

It's for the proficiencies. Backgrounds and feats grant proficiency. You can't have an easily snaggable proficiency (an PCs can have tons of them) overshadowing a class feature or spell.

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!

Zardnaar wrote:

 

Keendk wrote:

One thing people here already seem to misunderstand:

This is on a one for one basis!

 

"

The line is rarely obvious and easy to spot, but the ranking of options helps us understand how we should weight things. In this case, we’d expect that a ranger could be overshadowed at tracking only by a character investing several choices in background options and feats. A nonranger needs to make a real commitment to stepping into the ranger’s niche.
"
 
You can STILL make the cleric archer if you spend several resources (in your example both a feat and a background and an off ability for your class) and expect to be as good as the person with just 1 level in the archer path. If the archer then spends even more resources (eg more archer guy levels) then you will have to keep up by spending more resources as well. Sounds fair to me

 

 

Still pigeonholing the archer. 3rd ed had bard, cleric, fighter, ranger archers that rocked and with some oddbal choices (monk archer?). 2nd ed had some good ones as well. 

5e has paladin, fighter and ranger with archery talents so far, I don't really see the pigeonholing? It also has feat and spell support, I'm sure an archery domain and arcane archer Mage/bard subclass will be easy to make. Also multi dipping in to any of the three fighter classes above will give you archery talent. Then there's the feat and background support...and this is in the playtest with very limited variety.

 

but that wasn't my point. My point is as Orzel wrote further down:  you don't HAVE to take a specialist class to be able to do something. The specialist will just get what he gets at a different rate for a different price.

Basically a good archer is a longbowman with multiple attacks and a damage bonus. 3 classes give you all three (fighter, paladin, ranger). 1 race gives you 2 (elf). 1 feat gives you like 1.5 (archery master). So if you are an elf with archery master, you are an archer as good as a class based archer. But it costs you 2 things and you have to wait until level 4 to get it all. However you can choose any other class.

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!

5e has fighter, paladin, and ranger with Archery FS.   So far, that's the ONLY class feature that makes for a better archer.    There are ranger spells and paladin smites to help, but those are at a lower priority, and spells aren't considered part of the class balance, and, honestly, do match up well against the fighter's Action Surge and tons of attacks.   That said, a skald archer can still use his sub-class attack features with the bow to "help" other PC attacks.    War priests still get divine strike with the bow as well as Bless/Prayer bonuses (weapon damage with cleric is a bit low everywhere, though arcane archer can be a nice addition), and rogues still makes the best snipers with their sneak attacks. 


 

All in all, everyone seems to do pretty well as an archer - the only exception being the classes that, for some reason, are generally underpowered when it comes to using any weapon.   That sounds flexible to me.     All in all, Archery was just a bad example, since there are no archer classes.   A better comparison might be to, say, cleric versus druid/bard/whatever healing.    Or barbarian melee rages versus fighter melee versus rogue melee.   

 

 

This is what I replied to the article:

 

I think it's important to not just look at the raw numbers, but also at where the choices are made. Even if a class ability is more powerful than a spell, the spell can win out, as the class ability can only be chosen when the character is created or the level is gained, while a spell offers a choice during play.

 

A second point would be to look at abilities that counter other abilities. The power of Invisibility depends on how hard it is to get See Invisibility.

 

The third point is related to the first two: How are you planning to keep the balance you set out with after releasing more books? In my experience the relative power of an ability can change a lot over the life of an edition.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

This article is lame and misses the point on classes and races and feats and spells by a large margin. If what Mike is saying is true than the auto-damage on a miss from Great Weapon Fighter should be in the trash bin since a feat should be weaker than a spell. I don't see how doing damage on a miss all day long competes with four spell slots. I do not see how a rogue with stealth that needs some kind of cover to actually activate stealth should be superior to invisibility which bends light around you to make you invisible. The strength of stealth is that you can stealth all day long as long as you are in the proper condition to stealth.  The other benefit of stealth is that it is hard to detect by magical means. A class feature such as stealth should NOT be better than a spell unless we are doing stealth by PRE-3E rules which means the only characters that can stealth are rogues and their sub-classes. Stealth was hard to achieve even in optimal circumstances. Around 25% or more.  This is going to open up a can of worms since other spells can be weighed against martial skills. Should spider climb be weaker than the climb skill?  What about Jump spell vs skill? Should levitate and fly even exist since they outpace martial climb or make it obsolete in the case of fly? Is knock in the trash bin because open lock MUST be the only option available to PC's so as not to bruise the rogue's ego? Are the stat boosting spells gone too because they can make a cleric equal to or better than a fighter for a short time?  Poor idea, poor concept. Go back to the drawing board Mike.

Invisibilty in Next is pretty horrible in Next for stealth. If you don't have actual bonuses to your stealth roll you can't actually do anything while invisible without being detected outside of being plain lucky. That's what I think Mearls and Co are doing. Spells give you everything except all the same bonus and situations a class or race would. If you get a bonus at all.

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!

Orzel wrote:
Invisibilty in Next is pretty horrible in Next for stealth. If you don't have actual bonuses to your stealth roll you can't actually do anything while invisible without being detected outside of being plain lucky.

 

I think Invisibility should be a defensive type of spell that will save your butt if you need to get out of somewhere quick. It should never make you a stealth machine.

Stealth should also give its user the ability to step quietly, not stir up dust, avoid brushing against creatures and objects, and even the ability to not breath noisily when winded-- you know, the ability to avoid the telltale signs that one should be trying to locate something unseen, not just the ability to be unseen. Invisibility is great at making a creature unseen, but it should not be as great as having Stealth.

I like the ideas but the specific example of invisibility is frustrating. One of the nice things about it is you're always free to loosen the noose in game and the standard DC chart makes that something you can do in a predictable way even if the spell doesn't actually grant you a bonus. I don't want invisibility to make you a stealth machine (and you should have to move silently, in any event), but I think it's been hit a shade too hard with the nerf bat.

 

But he did say they're not firm and stuff does end up changing. Plus I think it's more complex than just rank ordering things and saying "X is better than Y" 'cause you also have to consider the opportunity cost of taking that option over another. So having a skill is one opportunity cost, having a feat has a completely different opportunity cost, and preparing one spell over another again comes with an entirely different opportunity cost.

 

So spells come at a pretty low opportunity cost, which means they shouldn't necessarily function on their own as well as someone who's invested a skill or a feat into the same thing.

 

All that said, I plan on being pretty permissive as a DM re: doing stuff while invisible because I do think they've hit it too hard.

LupusRegalis wrote:

First, I call Bull on his statement concerning the results of the Playtest Survey.  I've seen too much conflict among DnD fans over the last several packets to lend it any credibility.

 

As far as this Priority Ranking/Balance, I've got to say I'm appalled.  This results in the very opposite of relevant character customization, putting the emphasis back on Race/Class combination instead of on Character creation concepts.   Earlier packets were so much fun for exactly the opposite reason. You could create a character that was an Archer (Specialty/Theme), and a Cleric (Class) who had started out as a Soldier (Background) before being called by their deity. That character could hold his own as an Archer. That was an excellent feature, because in doing so the character sacrificed other options, but was still relevant.


What you've got now is a the exact opposite of customization in the character creation process. What you end up with is boring cookie cutter classes who's only real difference is the Background Story (not to be confused with 5Es background choice) a player may, or may not, put any time or effort into creating.  The developers have consistently cut out any real customization during the creation process, in the name of 'simplistic design'.  Well, I hope they are happy at the end of this, because it'll be so simple it won't even be worth playing.

 

DM:  You want to play an Archer?  Here's the Ranger

 

Player:  No, I just want to be a soldier who's been trained as a Longbowman.

 

DM:  Well, you can play a Fighter and take these feats...at Fourth level and later, but the Ranger will be better...

 

Player:  Why?

 

DM:  Because.

 

 

Gee, Where Have I Seen This Before...

 

Yes, 4e forced rangers onto people, if they wanted to be an archer. Right now it is quite different:

 

A fighter is the easiest go-to class, if you want an archer.

+1 to ranged attacks from level one, proficiency in the long bow, quite a lot of extra attacks, high crit chance if you chose the path of the warrior. Plenty of opportunities to increase your dexterity.

 

A ranger can also get the ranged attack bonus, but needs spells to keep up with the fighter. So he will have to spend extra resources to achieve the same level of power with ranged weapons. And he will still be behind when it comes to stats and feats.

 

There is such a thing as to much niche protection that it may become a straight jacket, and to little niche protection, that the class system will simply be evaporated. I do like the current design philosophy... Now I need to see the final implementation to see if it holds up to my expectations.

Archery is a fighting style at the minute and nothing more. The only class that really dictates weapon choice at all is the monk, and the monk gets unarmed perks that nobody else gets and is therefore consistent with the article's outline of priority.

 

At this moment really any martial class should be able to pick up a bow and use it more or less equally, though I agree the fighter's got the most power behind it because it has the largest feat/stat bump list.

Orzel wrote:
Invisibilty in Next is pretty horrible in Next for stealth. If you don't have actual bonuses to your stealth roll you can't actually do anything while invisible without being detected outside of being plain lucky.

 

You can stand still.

 

and move safely across an open field without being detected if the enemy isn't in your face.  

 

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

From a birds eye view, all this may seem fine but I believe the devil is in the details.  

 

I've come to evaluate communications from the devs in one of three categories...

1.  less likely to buy

2.  no change

3.  more likely to buy

 

I think this post is #2.

 

Right now though based no past inputs, I'm feeling like it's not likely I'll buy if Mike is telling the truth about the acceptance of this packet.  That likely means he won't deal with those things that we've all been fighting so much over and if he doesn't then he can keep his game.

 

 

My Blog which includes my Hobby Award Winning articles.

Valdark wrote:

 

Orzel wrote:
Invisibilty in Next is pretty horrible in Next for stealth. If you don't have actual bonuses to your stealth roll you can't actually do anything while invisible without being detected outside of being plain lucky.

 

You can stand still.

Yeah, which sucks. If invis isn't going to make you stealthy then it needs to at least provide cover or something (I don't remember if it does and I'm on my phone without the pdfs so forgive me if I'm wrong).

 

And if you're fighting a deaf opponent you should be able to stealth around as well as a rogue. Niche, I know, but hey I'd grab deafness or a silence spell and go invis.

Sign In to post comments