10 months ago ::
Aug 19, 2012 - 1:55PM
Apr 11, 2007
So far I'm liking it, though still with a degree of wariness. I was unsure of the Combat Expertise deal, but it doesn't look so bad after a few reads and a couple of one-on-one test runs with it. I like how modular they're keeping things, though. I have yet to see a mechanic I don't like that I can't just ignore without discombobulating the whole system.
Disengaging from an enemy and not provoking an AoO is very popular with the guys as we discussed things. They also like the lowered HPs, largely because the system in use in the Playtest is the same one I've been using for years, almost to the letter.
I am more interested in the Backgrounds than I was before, but the Specialties should be watched carefully. I see in them the potential for Power Gamer's Delight as more and more golly-gee-whiz-whammo-kablammo ones get added. No specific examples come to mind at the moment, but I saw what happened to 3e and 4e...
I can begrudgingly accept the Beastiary layout. I'm too used to the Old School entries, but if could recommend a little more info on the stats in the form of "recommended terrain". Yeah, I can put any monster anywhere I want it, I know. As DM I'm god. I get it. But when you're tossing together Monster Salad, sometimes you just want to grab a handful of, say "Arctic" encounters to spice things up. One more request for the end product, don't neglect the common animals. Dire-this, were-that, phase-the other, fantastic animals are a key component of the game to be sure, but I have had more fun watching the guys try to wrangle an ornery horse or dodge a buffalo stampede. You know, they expect to have a rough time with a manticore. What they never expect is to have a rough time with the duchess' pomeranians that they were supposed to be puppy-sitting! I think it comes down to the player. Some fantastic sea-monster circling the raft they're clinging to for life can be scary to the PCs, but an ordinary Great White shark can be scary for the players as well, as it's something they can relate to!
Overall, it's cautious optimism I feel for the direction the game is going in. I know profit margins and bottom lines will come into play in the decision making process, but remember, we don't need to play a game that you want to sell. You need to sell us a game that we want to play.
So far so good, guys. Don't let me down!