D&D 5th Edition Why the HP Threshold on Spells is a Bad Idea - Page 10




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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by timASW View Post
    so far all this objection seems to be constrained to a handful of posters on 1 thread on 1 website who didnt seem to keen on 5e anyway.
    Are you talking about me? For the record, I like 5e. If I had already given up on it, I wouldn't be wasting my time talking about it. I don't spend alot of time on things that I'm not "keen on." On the contrary, it's because I'm interested in 5e and hopeful about it that I'm providing feedback on it. That is, after all, the entire purpose of the playtest, to try things out and report on what we like and don't like, and why.

    Quote Originally Posted by timASW View Post
    No matter how you handle save or suck spells someone is gonna be unhappy with it. This particular version seems to have the LEAST amount of complaints in 2 editions so far.
    That's a copout. That is like saying "well, no matter what I do to this pot of soup, somebody isn't going to like the way it tastes, so why even bother trying to make good soup?" I don't think many restaurants would be in business if they had that attitude.

    Quote Originally Posted by timASW View Post
    Lets stick with it and give it a chance.
    No. Let's try to find something better.

 

  • #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridley's Cohort View Post
    I applaud the idea of customizing, but not starting with the pieces assembled into a working car is really darn hard on non-experts in gaming. How about we just call our working example car "Core"? Would that be okay?
    Sure. My only request is that the working example car have absolutely no optional extras built in at all - that it have exactly enough equipment on board to be street legal, and that's it. Then let us all customize it the way(s) we want. Or not.

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  • #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridley's Cohort View Post
    It is primarily a question of pacing.

    3e made a conscious choice to make each "action" (round) more significant by means of cranking up the offensive potential of all classes.

    For Fighters, that meant criticals, "double-specialization", power attack, Animal buffs, useful weapon options, etc. baked into Core -- it takes only a little optimization and above average luck to kill a significant foe in 1-1/2 rounds. For Wizards, that meant most spells, if applied astutely (i.e. I attack the weak save), should be fairly reliable. In the splat books, we also saw more and more useful swift effects.

    In 1e/2e, a lot of interesting spells like Suggestion and Polymorph were 80+% likely to fail against every non-mook, before even considering possible SR. That is not right or wrong, but it could be an obstacle to fun IMO. Regardless, it does imply an upper limit on the offensive potential of the tanks. If the Wizard needs 4 or 5 tries to turn someone into a frog (expending a precious high level slot with each attempt), then it should take 5 or 6 rounds for a tank to beat someone to death.

    Neither route is right or wrong, but unless we could formulate an entirely novel way of thinking about saves, we are more or less stuck with those paths. (4e played around with different mechanics, but ultimately it seemed more "just different" than notably better.)
    This of course removed a huge swathe of high-level adversaries as being anything more than cheap xp, and once spells were added to trash the initiative order made it highly likely that any combat or non-combat situation was easier to resolve through magic than was the case in previous editions. And yet people argue that 4e with it's longer, drawn-out fights, is less like D&D.

  • #94
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    I believe the best remedy to this situation is to allow spells to be useful at all levels, but have spells limit their usefulness at higher levels. Let us use the sleep spell from 3.5 as a bad example and color spray as a good example.

    Color spray will incapacitate low HD creatures, but become less debilitating the more HD the target has. At the upper end of HD, the target is at minimum stunned on a failed save. Not debilitating, but still useful. Meanwhile sleep is essentially save or lose if you have less than 5 HD. And virtually useless once 5 HD or more creatures become your only opponents. The solution? Sleep has three tiers of effects. 1-2 HD creatures fall asleep on a failed save and become exhausted on a successful save. 3-4 HD creatures are exhausted on a failed save and fatigued on a failed save. 5+ HD creatures are fatigued on a failed save and unaffected on a successful save. Or to keep things simpler, a save negates the effect.

    I haven't read the latest packet yet (too busy with school), but let me propose the following idea. Charm person allows a saving throw at 25 hp or less but even a successful save makes the target more inclined to listen to your character, perhaps granting advantage on all social rolls. At 26+ hp a failed save grants advantage on all social rolls, but a successful save negates the effect. So charm person remains useful, but is less useful as opponents get tougher in the same way a magic missile spell does less damage proportionally as time goes on.
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  • #95
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
    This of course removed a huge swathe of high-level adversaries as being anything more than cheap xp, and once spells were added to trash the initiative order made it highly likely that any combat or non-combat situation was easier to resolve through magic than was the case in previous editions. And yet people argue that 4e with it's longer, drawn-out fights, is less like D&D.
    IMO the first is partially correct: it became much more difficult to create viable solo enemies in 3e than other editions. (There are many potential pros and cons in terms of encounter design in every edition, really.)

    As for you second point, no, quite the opposite -- magic outpaced skills much more in previous editions because "skills" (non-magical competencies) were so uneven and anemic.

    On your third point, I am not an expert on 4e, but its seems correct to me. However I would note that 3e is much faster paced in terms of rounds to resolve a combat, but as there was more fiddly-ness in the system it was not necessarily vastly different in table time to resolve entire combats.
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  • #96
    It seems to me that it is a good thing that the designers are working on ways around the "save or suck" dilemma this early in the play test. I get the impression that they just through this out there and are more looking at the 'big picture' of magic in the system (vancian, non-vancian, how to set the dials) than hammering away at these details right now. Just a few points:

    1) Lower level spells should become less and less useful against higher level adversaries, especially save or suck spells. This is part of what caused the whole quadratic wizard, linear fighter meme. Depending on how the bounded accuracy model works in practice, lower level spells may still retain more usefulness even without auto scaling. I haven't heard it talked about it recently, but they did mention preparing a spell in a higher level slot being necessary to get a scaling effect. It might be that preparing a spell in a higher level slot will increase the HP threshold (if that is what they go with) or allow an increase in area of effect or impose more debilitating conditions.

    2) I don't really have a problem with Hit Points giving fighter types an advantage in resisting 'mind magic' over your more cerebral spell slinging types. This parallels the high saving throw progression fighters had in earlier editions of the game and gives them a much needed boost. Besides, wizard types will presumably have better saving throws in this area when spells grant one, somewhat evening out the fighter advantage.

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