D&D 4th Edition Mike Mearls Discusses the First Round of Public D&D Next Playtests





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    ° Ignore Morrus

    Mike Mearls Discusses the First Round of Public D&D Next Playtests

    WotC's Mike Mearls discusses the first round of D&D Next public playtests in this article, delving into some of the design decisions and future directions.



    He touches on each of the pre-generated characters, and many of the mechanics in the "How to Play" documents - such as advantage/disadvantage, contests, movement, stealth, and more. One part of that is a widely asked question in the forums: why do the weapons in the equipment section not match the damage entries on the character sheets? Turns out that's not a mistake: it's because races can have an affinity for weapons which changes the base damage. He also suggests trying a few alternatives:
    • Give the fighter an additional theme (the cleric's guardian theme)
    • Play with or without themes and/or backgrounds while also removing Hit Dice
    He'll be discussing the DM document in a future article.

    As a reminder, if you haven't signed up yet for the public playtest, click here for full instructions.
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    Last edited by Morrus; Wednesday, 6th June, 2012 at 10:28 AM.

 

  • #2

    L&L 5/28 - Playtest: First Round Overview

    Article is here.

    I'd say it clears up a few discussion points 'round heah.

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    ° Ignore Minigiant
    Racial weapon bonuses?

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
    My beard is hairy.

  • #4
    It certainly made some things clearer for me. I like most of what I see with the play test docs, and this column, but I haven't commented not them much because I haven't had a chance to play yet.

    I really wish they would have explained the changes to those weapon dies in the actual documentsŚit would have saved me from reading at least 40 posts pointing the discrepancies out.

  • #5
    It's cool how one dwarven race increases your damage dice, and the other one increases your hit dice. I'll have to see the character creation rules to see if it works ("works" = I don't feel like I'm forced to pick dwarf whenever I make a martial character).

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    Genetic knowledge grates on my nerves something fierce unless it's a race that actually has genetic knowledge as part of its concept, and it had better only apply to knowledge it has access from the past. Stonecunning, for example, gives a dwarf access to genetic knowledge that is impossible for them to know unless there's some kind of secondary divination magic behind it.
    Elemental Heroes: The Harbinger May/16/2012 http://community.wizards.com/incenjucar/blog/

  • #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar View Post
    Genetic knowledge grates on my nerves something fierce unless it's a race that actually has genetic knowledge as part of its concept, and it had better only apply to knowledge it has access from the past. Stonecunning, for example, gives a dwarf access to genetic knowledge that is impossible for them to know unless there's some kind of secondary divination magic behind it.
    Why? It's not like the Races of the D&D mythos evolved or follow our own biological laws.

    In-game, Dwarves actually were created by their Dwarf-god and imbued with Dwarf-like characteristics.

    To me, those sort of little details give the setting verisimilitude. I can understand why real-life races don't essentially unerringly adhere to stereotypes. But if we were actually created by a god who thought bows were awesome than we'd most likely have instilled in us awesomeness with bows, while the weird people two continents over who were created by the God of trees would similarly be imbued with incredible tree climbing skills.

  • #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Incenjucar View Post
    Genetic knowledge grates on my nerves something fierce unless it's a race that actually has genetic knowledge as part of its concept, and it had better only apply to knowledge it has access from the past. Stonecunning, for example, gives a dwarf access to genetic knowledge that is impossible for them to know unless there's some kind of secondary divination magic behind it.
    I always thought of Stonecunning as something that all dwarves learn in their childhood. Like, if dwarves had Sesame Street, they'd talk about stone architecture a lot. The direction and depth sense parts of it I chalk up to Moradin's (or whoever created the dwarves in whatever setting) magic at work. It's something of a supernatural thing, but without being overt about it.

    I guess this means that halflings get a die increase for daggers. That'll help keep their damage on par with Medium rogues, even if it is just a point on average. I guess medium rogues will want to stick with short swords, at least until we see what can justify rapiers costing twice as much as short swords.

    I am curious to see the gnome. I'm hoping that they don't fall back on that hooked hammer thing that no one I've played with has ever used. Actually, I take that back. I used one on my gnome rogue. But she used it as a tool for tomb-delving and not as a weapon.

  • #9
    I have always wished that racial mods were split into cultural and inherent mods. So you could mix and match to get a dwarf brought up amongst humans. Thus you would have
    Race + Culture + Background (mundane job) + Theme (adventuring style)
    Has been doable using a bit of fudge for ages but I would still like it to be the base line
    Gloria Finis

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    ° Ignore Stormonu
    Background and Theme providing equipment... that's a cool way of doing starting gear, so long as we still have the option to customize gear.

    Not sure I like the idea of racial weapon boosts. I've got a feeling that will backfire into locking characters into certain weapons, even with it generally being a small advantage. I'd rather they got automatic proficiency but no boost like a bonus to hit and especially damage.

    DM: "Why is your dwarf cleric holding an axe? Aren't clerics of Moradin more well known for wielding hammers - the tool of a smith?"
    Player: "Because I don't get a damage bump with a hammer - or a mace."

    Also, don't like the spell formatting. As far back as I can remember, there's always been some sort of stat block for a spell's basic information - school, range, area, components, etc.

    The other things mentioned haven't even raised an eyebrow as I read through the docs, so I'm neutral on them.

    But...

    Good God, the whiners in the comments. Which one of the designers kicked their dog?

    I myself am somewhat hesitant about what I've seen and read, but I'm rather shocked that the 4E'ers feel so excluded. The playtest strikes me as a 4E skeleton with OD&D language at the moment. As a bit of a grognard (I missed OD&D, but have played all other versions), so far I'm not feeling like D&DNext is speaking to me entirely.

    I wonder if, as a compromise edition (as in committee-made), 5E will end up pleasing no one.
    "If it has stats, we can kill it." - T.G. Jackson, intro to 3rd ed Hackmaster

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