D&D 5th Edition Our 5 Session Playtest - Page 6





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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Connorsrpg View Post
    The Heroquest stuff sounds interesting. That is what I am hoping for. More advice for the DM on how to adjudicate the skills.

    <snip>

    Without Skills being so much as a system on their own, there is the chance to really diversify here and make some interesting backgrounds...and characters with different skills
    If they are going this way (and it sounds like they may not be) I would prefer them to go "all the way", as it were. So rather than your background giving you a list of skills at +3, your background is your background, and you get a +3 to any ability check in which your background comes into play.

    So if your background is "Trained in the grand army of Karameikos", then any time that is relevant - pitching a tent, palling it up with Karmeikian NCOs, etc - you get to add +3. If your background is "Apprenticed as a wizard of the Spiral Tower", then you have a different backstory to draw on to get your +3.

    One advantage of going this way, I think, is that players who push hard to broaden their skills will also have to give the GM the necessary backstory narrative to hang that on - which then gives the GM new material on the basis of which to introduce complications or challenges for that PC, and the group more generally. So it is at least a bit more self-regulating as far as balance is concerned.
    Last edited by pemerton; Thursday, 21st June, 2012 at 07:12 AM.

 

  • #52
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    @pemerton

    Yeah, I reckon you are right in a way, but I still don't mind 'naming' a few skills for that +3, BUT of course if you were in some army and you were doing checks for the army stuff, as a DM I would simply say 'yes, of course you can add +3'. It will be hard to name everything (and I guess that is your concern). But I am still okay with a few skills being highlighted.

    Oh, and that is another part I like about this system. Skills don't line up with Abilities. So the DM calls for a certain check and then asks if anyone has relevant skills to add to the check. I love that
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  • #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    HeroQuest revised has good advice on how to handle this - namely, first ascertain the breadth of a descriptor relevant to the total pool of PCs descriptors, and second relativise DCs to that ascertained breadth. So when a caber needs to be tossed, the PC with a "Strong Descriptor" faces a higher DC than a PC with a "Champion caber tosser" descriptor.
    Yes, that's an alternative - or just have a skill give +1, +2, +3 or +4 (say), depending on how "broad" it is.

    Another alternative is the way PrimeTime Adventures handles backgrounds. Here, you can describe any sort of background, skill areas and things like contacts that you want, but there is a hard limit on how many times you get to use the bonuses from them in an "episode". In D&D this would translate as the use of skill bonuses being a "vancian power" - i.e. you can use the bonus only X times, with those "slots" recharging when you rest (extended rest or maybe some recovery on a short rest?). This would work well with the "roll a characteristic" system we see in the playtest, actually, since you get your attribute bonus anyway - it's only the +3 skill bonus that you have limited uses of. It also keeps things balanced between skills (you could name skills, backgrounds or even contacts and resources like laboratories and spy networks as potential "advantages"). Rogues could get extra "slots" per day to use. Just a thought.
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  • #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    So rather than your background giving you a list of skills at +3, your background is your background, and you get a +3 to any ability check in which your background comes into play.
    I have played five or six systems that do this now, and tbh they not been a huge success.

    We had a lot of problems over deciding what activities should or should not be part of a background, often because in D&D its quite fantastical so words can be taken different ways. Is a 'Spy' M'Lady or James Bond, or even both? Should they have knowledge of explosives?

    The other problem we had was players just not asking for bonuses because they had much more limited view of what the background meant. So to my mind, a 'Pirate' is probably good at climbing, they spend a lot of time at height with no hand holds. So when making a climb check it should probably grant a bonus, but the player did not ask for one because they were not on board a ship.

    You can obviously work through all this, but having a few set examples of what a Background entails seems a much better starting point from my experience.

  • #55
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    Honestly, other than how/where they were on the PC Sheet, I thought the skills as presented were a strength of the new rules. The BGs added flavour with some specific mechanics (skills) and they were a lot of fun and really shaped the PCs. Players even elaborated on how they got the skills.

    I wish I had included skills as one of the things we loved. I would not mind at all if they went through as is. (If people want a thread for 'making them better' or 'alternate methods', here probably isn't the place, as we were very happy with them in the playtest.

    So, GMs out there (especially those looking to run the Playtest) any questions, things we can help with, or resources I can provide?
    Homepage for all my roleplaying:http://connorscampaigns.wikidot.com/. Includes many GM Tools, Character Sheets, etc for DnD & Savage Worlds.

  • #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balesir View Post
    Another alternative is the way PrimeTime Adventures handles backgrounds. Here, you can describe any sort of background, skill areas and things like contacts that you want, but there is a hard limit on how many times you get to use the bonuses from them in an "episode". In D&D this would translate as the use of skill bonuses being a "vancian power" - i.e. you can use the bonus only X times, with those "slots" recharging when you rest (extended rest or maybe some recovery on a short rest?).

    <snip>

    Rogues could get extra "slots" per day to use. Just a thought.
    A good thought, but strikes me as too "4e-ish" for D&Dnext.

  • #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by pemerton View Post
    (snip)
    and you get a +3 to any ability check in which your background comes into play.
    (snip)
    One advantage of going this way, I think, is that players who push hard to broaden their skills will also have to give the GM the necessary backstory narrative to hang that on - which then gives the GM new material on the basis of which to introduce complications or challenges for that PC, and the group more generally...
    This is similar to the RPG Summerland, where a characters provide one word or phrase for their backstory/background. For instance "It was a dark night"
    And during intense encounters, the PC can elaborate on his/her background to gain a benefit on the die roll, but then in so doing their backstory expands. For instance during a late evening, the PCs face off a pack of brigands, the character can expand his backstory to
    "It was a dark night, and I was surrounded"

    So he is matching current events with a particular backstory/incident...In Summerland your character is a drifter and has suffered some trauma or something bad in the past. Your goal is to obtain redemption - inner peace.
    A character can expand on his backstory for a bonus to die, if he can fit the current setting with that particular moment in his past. As he does that he attempts to deal with his issues reaching him ever closer to redemption.

    In a similar vein making a DnD character's backstory open-ended has the same effect - bonus to die. It suits Summerland more, due to the theme/mood, but if they were to implement something on these lines
    it could get heavily abused and certainly some limits would have to be implemented to safegaurd DMs.

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    Skill Ideas

    Hey guys, there are some interesting ideas for skills listed in this thread. I don't mean to sound harsh at all, but for our Playtest the skills worked fine.

    I don't favour changing that, although a lot of ideas listed are interesting and perhaps others will join the debate if you started a thread on them. Again, I am not unhappy at what anyone has said, just thought you might get more responses/traction if there was a thread for Skill Options.

    From what I see, there are some solid ideas, but unfortunately, not ideas I would like to be core to DnD. We liked what was there. Cheers.
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  • #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Connorsrpg View Post
    Hey guys, there are some interesting ideas for skills listed in this thread. I don't mean to sound harsh at all, but for our Playtest the skills worked fine.

    I don't favour changing that, although a lot of ideas listed are interesting and perhaps others will join the debate if you started a thread on them. Again, I am not unhappy at what anyone has said, just thought you might get more responses/traction if there was a thread for Skill Options.
    This is a good idea, so I have done just that here.
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  • #60
    Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
    Now that is playtesting!

    As for the light...it burns...it burns...
    Total, my buddy and I started casually play-testing at around 1:00pm...11 hours later...

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