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Thread: The One Hour D&D Game
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 01:32 PM #111
Superhero (Lvl 15)
I don't mind speeding up combats, but this sounds like they stripped everything else down to a bare-bones format as well. RP to introduce characters? RP with the halfling about the map? Various ways to search for information about the map ("smart play", as Monte put it recently talking about Vancian magic)?
An hour could easily be used up with the RP and search more more information, especially with the rogue using streetwise and the DM laying pipe for another adventure, the mage going to a library or sage and finding out something important, and the cleric consulting the holy archives and meeting an important NPC for later in the campaign.
Basic D&D character creation was roll 3d6 six times, pick a race/class, buy equipment, roll HPs, and maybe pick a spell as opposed to richer character creation experiences any modern RPG needs to deliver. This is an interesting experiment of what was state of the art 30 years ago and could help us remember our roots, but not something that should be realized in a fully-fleshed-out RPG of today that's a worthy successor of 3.5 and 4e, both excellent games with different strengths. If that's the game we want to play, it's already available as Basic D&D for anyone who wants it.
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 01:43 PM #112
Lama (Lvl 13)
I think that there is one major thing that we are missing with MM comment about advantures budget vs. encounter budget.
To my understanding, the main idea behind an advantures budget is to promote gameplay that is built around the three pillars of D&D, so for example having traps in a dungeon decoupled from major battles could make a come back, or that being able to talk your way out of combat should also be a viable option. But if that's is true that it suggest that the entire resource model of 5e need to be able to make sure that scattered encounters like that be meaningful.
I have no idea how they intend to do it, how do you make sure that the 1d6 points of damage your PC suffered when it fell into the pit trap won't be surge off with no appearing harm?
I think that basic 5e is not going to use encounter powers and healing surges to the extant we've seen in 4e, it will probably make an appearance as a module but it won't be part of the core game.
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 03:34 PM #113
The Great Druid (Lvl 17)
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 03:47 PM #114
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
Traps and random encounters suffered a bit in 3E and to a much greater extent in 4E because their effects could be "fixed" right afterwards. In 3E it was the extremely cheap 50-charge Cure Light Wounds wand, and in 4E it was the healing surge. In both cases, any damage suffered from the trap or random encounter could be healed away, bringing the PC back to full. All that was lost was a resource that would eventually cause problems at some unknown point down the line. The wand would run out of charges, or the PC would run out of healing surges. But when that would happen and how many encounter into the adventure the party would get was hard to say.
For traps and random encounters to be truly useful... they have to be scary in their own right as well as a possible way to get actually hurt that can't be washed away. And the rules have to be set up that that PCs will have to live with the hurt until the end of the day/extended rest. Thus, the trap/random encounter has actual consequences.
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 04:48 PM #115
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
Traps can have 'operational' significance. This includes losing surges, but it could also include all sorts of other things. It could include alerting the enemy to your presence. It could include being forced to take a different path. It could include large consequences. Traps can also have 'tactical' significance within an encounter. They could even have 'strategic' significance when setting them off sends the adventure off in a significantly different direction (say a teleporter trap or something like that).
What 4e minimizes is something that you probably don't want anyway. That is the "oh, that door was trapped, gotcha!" nonsense. Those WILL still drain resources by causing damage of course, but they were never really a very good way to design things. If you're going to have stand-alone traps they should either represent an interesting and significant challenge in and of themselves, like a stress trap or something or they should present a tactical challenge. The tactical challenge can come in a few different flavors. For instance a trap could set up for other traps, or it could be that later on you'll have a fight in that area, etc. Consider the traps in the famous Indiana Jones temple sequence. They're not really significant except atmospherically until they're turned into a gauntlet later in the scene. At that point they're entirely significant.
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 06:04 PM #116
Magsman (Lvl 14)
For what it's worth, I tend to think that random damage traps were more meaningless in 3.x (at least 3.x with CLW wands) than 4e. But even if 4e, there tend to be characters for whom healing surges are a meaningful resource and characters who have enough that they're never the ones running out. I've had players who have been playing the same PC since 4e came out without ever running out of healing surges. Doing a healing surge worth of damage to a characters with "plenty" isn't really meaningful.
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 06:19 PM #117
Hydra (Lvl 25)
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Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 06:26 PM #118
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
Lets imagine that the rogue muffs a 'check for traps' and gets whacked and falls down dead from a trap on a door. What really happened there? One of the players just got booted from the scenario and it wasn't exactly a dramatic exit. If all that happened is they were 'wounded' then at a general level the situation isn't really different in one edition from another. Play goes on and said character has less resources, or the healer has less, etc.
It seems to me that the question here is more about HOW MANY resources the character's have. I mean I can see arguments for having more or less HS or whatever. If 5e wants to bring those numbers down some, well, that could certainly work. I just don't think I want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 06:41 PM #119
Greater Elemental (Lvl 23)
The main difference between lost healing surges 'down the road' and lost hit points 'down the road' is that those lost hit points from the trap lower the total pool of hit points in the party you need to design your next fight around. The same encounter the party next faces becomes more of a threat, because their hit point pool is less. As a DM, you don't have to wade through ALL of the party's hit points in an effort to make an encounter seem challenging (which basically means trying to get them to 0). Thus, anything that can be done to help speed up combat (at least in my opinion) is a good thing.
So for example... if the party is invading a cave with a trap followed by a band of orcs... if the two encounters combined cause damage together that might be a significant challenge (because damage suffered during the trap is still there when facing the orcs)... that makes the combat with the orcs faster. As opposed to a trap which causes damage but which is instantly erased by the spending of healing surges, followed by the orc fight with the PCs back to full hit points.
Dealing with the trap in both cases took the same amount of time... but the fight versus the orcs was longer in the second scenario, because the DM had to use more powerful or a higher number of orcs to challenge them. Thus the monsters also have more hit points the party has to whittle down to end the encounter. What might've been a 3 round fight because both the party and monsters had lower HP pools... now has to be a 5 round fight because of all the extra HP floating around.
It all comes down to the total number of hit points a PC or party has at their disposal between 'days' or 'extended rests'. In 1E/2E... you had the PC's HP total and the couple(?) of healing spells the cleric might have prayed for for the day. In 3E, you had the PC's hit points plus whatever hit points regained from the cleric's healing spells plus what you got from the use of healing wands. In 4E, it's all of the PC's hit points plus anywhere from 6 to 12 healing surges of HP per character, of which 1 Second Wind per PC and 2 Healing Words at minimum are probably expected to show up. That's a LOT of hit points to have to wade through in an effort to make an encounter seem challenging. It's not insurmountable by any means... but it's also not usually quickly done.
Tuesday, 20th March, 2012, 07:03 PM #120
Magsman (Lvl 14)
(As an aside, 3.x plays fine with respect to healing if your PCs don't make use of CLW wands. For whatever reason, that meme never reached my group and so I only experienced "damage irrelevancy" in Living Greyhawk.)
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