D&D 5th Edition 5E Character Advancement




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  1. #1
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    5E Character Advancement

    Here is one place I differ with the direction that the designers are going in play test 2. Play testers were not excited at all when advancing levels and this can change by being more generous. These are my ideas. What do you think? I got a lot of negative feedback on the Action Economy several months ago here but it play tests really well and adds excitement and a new level to the game. Also, ignore Paul's XP Optional Rules -- I know you don't like them.

    Level, Score and Bonus Limits

    Adventurer Campaigning at 1st to 20th level.
    Champion Campaigning at 20th to 25th level.
    (Empire building and war gaming optional rules?)
    Immortal Campaigning at 26th to 30th level.

    Situation combat modifiers stack to a maximum of -10 or +10

    Natural ability scores for humanoids stack to a maximum of 20.
    For example, Strength 20(+5)
    Magical ability scores for humanoids stack to a maximum of 30.
    For example, magic items such as a GirdleOfStrength could stack to Strength 30(+10)

    Natural Armor Class stacks to a maximum of 20.
    Magically enhanced Armor Class stacks to a maximum of 25.

    The Action Economy

    A player may take only 1 reaction out of turn.
    A player must trade 1 action in turn for that 1 reaction out of turn.
    A player may take a maximum of 5 actions at 20th level.
    For example, 2 main weapon attacks and 3 off-hand weapon attacks.
    If the player does not know immediately what reaction or multiple actions he or she will take, the Dungeon Master may rule those additional actions are lost for the turn in order to keep the game lively.

    Leveling-Up

    Experience Point Optional Rules

    Paul's XP Method:
    Each encounter or separate skill challenge is worth 1 experience point.
    Each boss encounter is worth 2 experience points.
    Characters level-up 1 level after 30 experience points.

    Awards Every Level


    + static hit points
    +1 to a chosen ability
    an additional power(feat/skill/prayer/spell)

    Awards Every 5 Levels


    +1 standard action per turn
    +1 burst radius
    +1 bonus to all feats and skills

 

  • #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ren1999 View Post
    Here is one place I differ with the direction that the designers are going in play test 2. Play testers were not excited at all when advancing levels and this can change by being more generous.
    Hold on there- are you speaking of your playtesting experience, or are you generalizing? I haven't heard this as a big complaint; I think the amount of payoff-per-level is about right if we want to avoid the overwhelming number of options that totally slow the game down that we saw in high-level 3e and 4e throughout.

    Quote Originally Posted by ren1999 View Post
    Level, Score and Bonus Limits

    Adventurer Campaigning at 1st to 20th level.
    Champion Campaigning at 20th to 25th level.
    (Empire building and war gaming optional rules?)
    Immortal Campaigning at 26th to 30th level.
    I'm really against predetermined tiers at certain levels. If I was for having them at specific points, I certainly wouldn't want to wait until 20th level to start building empires- I'd say somewhere around 8th - 10th level is a good jump off point for that kind of stuff.

    Obviously, tastes vary.

    I would rather see modules that add "empire building" or "become a god" or whatever elements whenever the group decides to do so, regardless of level.

    Quote Originally Posted by ren1999 View Post
    Situation combat modifiers stack to a maximum of -10 or +10

    Natural ability scores for humanoids stack to a maximum of 20.
    For example, Strength 20(+5)
    Magical ability scores for humanoids stack to a maximum of 30.
    For example, magic items such as a GirdleOfStrength could stack to Strength 30(+10)

    Natural Armor Class stacks to a maximum of 20.
    Magically enhanced Armor Class stacks to a maximum of 25.
    I think it's too early to start second-guessing how the existing limits work out. Once we have the material to go to mid- or high-levels, I'll take another look at this stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by ren1999 View Post
    The Action Economy

    A player may take only 1 reaction out of turn.
    A player must trade 1 action in turn for that 1 reaction out of turn.
    A player may take a maximum of 5 actions at 20th level.
    For example, 2 main weapon attacks and 3 off-hand weapon attacks.
    If the player does not know immediately what reaction or multiple actions he or she will take, the Dungeon Master may rule those additional actions are lost for the turn in order to keep the game lively.
    I don't like adding more actions just because you're higher level. The whole point of the action economy being (mostly) limited to one action is to avoid slowdowns of the game. If everyone instead has five actions, things sllllloooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww dddddddddddddoooooooooowwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

    Quote Originally Posted by ren1999 View Post
    Leveling-Up


    Awards Every Level


    + static hit points
    +1 to a chosen ability
    an additional power(feat/skill/prayer/spell)

    Awards Every 5 Levels


    +1 standard action per turn
    +1 burst radius
    +1 bonus to all feats and skills
    I don't like any of this- I prefer rolling for hps (actually, I prefer re-rolling all your HD and taking the new result or your old total, whichever is greater), I prefer a MUCH slower pace of stat increase, I don't like gaining new powers every level (again, option overload), as I said above, I don't like the idea of gaining additional actions, I'm not even sure why there should be a growing burst radius in game world turns (how does a fighter 10 suddenly attack everyone within 15' with his short pokey stick?).... The +1 to skills and feats every 5 levels doesn't look like it would break the flat math, but I'm not sure what "+1 to feats" really would look like.
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  • #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by the Jester View Post
    I don't like any of this- I prefer rolling for hps (actually, I prefer re-rolling all your HD and taking the new result or your old total, whichever is greater), I prefer a MUCH slower pace of stat increase, I don't like gaining new powers every level (again, option overload), as I said above, I don't like the idea of gaining additional actions, I'm not even sure why there should be a growing burst radius in game world turns (how does a fighter 10 suddenly attack everyone within 15' with his short pokey stick?).... The +1 to skills and feats every 5 levels doesn't look like it would break the flat math, but I'm not sure what "+1 to feats" really would look like.
    As always, thank you for your attention and criticism.

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    I'm not clear whether your intention is to speed up the rate of advancement or slow it down?

    At any rate, Mike Mearls has made it clear that the XP advancement rates in the playtest documents are deliberately accelerated so playtesters can test more levels faster. When 5e comes out, there will be a slower XP progression.

  • #5
    The players and I (DM) decide when it's a good time to level up (been doing it that way for years).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quickleaf View Post
    I'm not clear whether your intention is to speed up the rate of advancement or slow it down?

    At any rate, Mike Mearls has made it clear that the XP advancement rates in the playtest documents are deliberately accelerated so playtesters can test more levels faster. When 5e comes out, there will be a slower XP progression.
    I figured out the XP advancement in the second play test was accelerated on purpose. I'm specifically referring to the Character Creation, Races, and Classes PDFs.

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    Ignore ren1999
    What three racial traits should humans have?

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    Quote Originally Posted by the Jester View Post
    I prefer re-rolling all your HD and taking the new result or your old total, whichever is greater
    The "alternative" OD&D rule that we used to use. This is the only way I'd roll for HP. Otherwise, rolling low has too great an impact. Even like this, it arguably might.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ren1999 View Post
    Here is one place I differ with the direction that the designers are going in play test 2. Play testers were not excited at all when advancing levels and this can change by being more generous.
    I don't understand...being more generous with what?

    Abilities gained per level?
    Number of levels advanced per x amount of time/sessions/adventures/encounters?
    Actions per round/encounter/day going up as a factor of level advance?
    Number of levels in the game overall?

    As I'm not quite sure what I'm answering I'll just lob in my own view, which is there need to be fewer levels in the range intended to be actually played, and advancement through those levels should be very slow by default but put on a dial that can speed it up if a group so desires. And gains per level also need to be reined in to avoid the whole thing becoming an arms race between the PCs and the opponents...even 1e has this problem, since then it's only gotten worse.

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