D&D 5th Edition October Playtest Packet - Magic Items, Updated XP, Monster Traits - Page 7





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  1. #61
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    Yeah, attunement doesn't stop the Christmas tree, as @FireLance pointed out.

    But you know what does?

    THE FACT THAT THESE ARE ALL OPTIONAL.

    For reals, folks, if the Xmas tree is a problem you're interested in avoiding, the game gives you all the solution you need right there. You don't need another limiting mechanic. Don't want the PC's to be christmas trees, don't hand out a thousand ornaments. One easy step, NOT rolling for magic items, done and done and done, no elaborate compensation mechanics necessary.

    So, we're back to: "Attunement. What's the point? Why have an extra step for unlocking all the superpowers of your item? Why not just let those powers exist?"
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  • #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    I understand one of their core design tenants is "rulings not rules" but this strikes me as needlessly and arbitrarily "rulingsish". I mean, inserting this non-mechanics resolution bit into a core aspect of the game when there is seemingly only one way to handle this - eg; Boots of Elvenkind cancel Stealth disadvantage on antagonistic terrain or cancel advantage on Listen/Perception checks in those contests - is odd. I thought they wanted to marry fluff to mechanics...not remove explicit, hard-coding of mechanics entirely, arbitrarily and especially when there is only one sensible interpretation for how the boots effect the game...allowing for non-proficient DMs to stumble their way forward or misinterpret. This is bad because the boots outline this "implied mechanic" but Listen/Spot are (as was also done in 4e) married into the single Perception and there are no mechanical implications for the Listen-portion (acoustical ramifications) but there are explicit rules for the Spot-portion. So people might be playing all along with no disadvantage on antagonistic terrain...then all of a sudden the boots are given out...and what? They all of a sudden start putting disadvantage in on antagonistic terrain for folks who don't have Boots of Elvenkind and then retrofit that mechanic to all their future games/rulings? It makes no sense and is willfully obfuscatory or rules-light for no clear advantage in handling.
    I can't understand any of that, but the answer seems pretty simple to me: silent means silent. Automatic success on all attempts to move silently (basically you never have to roll stealth again).

  • #63
    Quote Originally Posted by Falling Icicle View Post
    No. It's not good game design to put items in the core rules that are grossly unbalanced and then just expect DMs to know better. That isn't "empowering" the DM, it is just putting more responsibility on their shoulders, especially new and inexperienced DMs. If they make the items balanced, people won't need to be afraid of giving them out to their players.

    The DM shouldn't have to sit there and wonder "oh crap, if I give my players this, is it going to wreck game balance?" any time he wants to reward the PCs with an item. He should instead be wondering "will my players think this item is cool and be excited to get it?" After all, not all DMs are expert game designers, nor should they have to be. Making the various options in the books they print balanced and work well together is WotC's job, not the DM's.
    DMs need to shoulder some responsibility, it is the nature of the gig. Will mistakes be made? Yep - we've all made them (I still do!). But you learn and adapt from those mistakes.

    The biggest reason they can't "balance" everything is because DMs are running different types of campaigns. In some, the belt might fit right in. In others it might be considered overpowered. WotC has no idea what type of campaign you are running, but you as the DM do.

    Just look at each item and think will it affect your game world adversely. If so, you probably want to consider the item extremely rare and possibly even unattainable in your campaign world. You can do a lot of this based on "feel".

  • #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Mattachine View Post
    Potion miscibility is still mocked by everyone in my gaming group.

    What a shameless appeal to grognards and a waste of space and time.

    I say that as a grognard, myself (D&D player since 1981).
    It's a silly table, but it does have a serious purpose. It prevents stacking of potion buffs. You cannot stock up on a variety of potions, drink one to increase strength, another to increase AC, etc, etc, without taking significant risk.

    I'd prefer that they just went with a more simple "cannot stack" rule. But perhaps they've determined that its more fun for some players to have game-mechanic simulated reasons for this restriction.

  • #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    So, we're back to: "Attunement. What's the point? Why have an extra step for unlocking all the superpowers of your item? Why not just let those powers exist?"
    Arguments in decreasing order of importance:

    It can be used as a story hook.
    There is ample literary precendence.
    It offers a hard rule for Charisma.
    It's been in D&D before.

  • #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbrrd View Post
    If I understand correctly, you can only have three items active at a time? That is something that pleases me. I hated the Christmas tree look of 4e characters with 5-10 magic items and all of them available for use with encounter/daily powers. It really slowed the game down with all the extra options.
    There are some items that need attunement, other items that need attunement only for some additional features, and other items that don't need any attunement at all.

    So short answer is no, you can have more than 3 items active at a time.

    But at least there's a framework that can be easily house-ruled so that all items need attunement if you want it so.
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  • #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magil View Post
    Is anyone other than me alarmed by how... overly complicated magical items seem to be, when compared to the rest of the rules so far? Holy smokes, look at all those properties! ...do we really need a "gleaming" property...?
    I don't think it's mandatory at all to use those first 4 tables if you don't want to.

    Personally I always prefer to have fewer but more complicated magic items.
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  • #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manbearcat View Post
    I understand one of their core design tenants is "rulings not rules" but this strikes me as needlessly and arbitrarily "rulingsish". I mean, inserting this non-mechanics resolution bit into a core aspect of the game when there is seemingly only one way to handle this - eg; Boots of Elvenkind cancel Stealth disadvantage on antagonistic terrain or cancel advantage on Listen/Perception checks in those contests - is odd. I thought they wanted to marry fluff to mechanics...not remove explicit, hard-coding of mechanics entirely, arbitrarily and especially when there is only one sensible interpretation for how the boots effect the game...allowing for non-proficient DMs to stumble their way forward or misinterpret. This is bad because the boots outline this "implied mechanic" but Listen/Spot are (as was also done in 4e) married into the single Perception and there are no mechanical implications for the Listen-portion (acoustical ramifications) but there are explicit rules for the Spot-portion. So people might be playing all along with no disadvantage on antagonistic terrain...then all of a sudden the boots are given out...and what? They all of a sudden start putting disadvantage in on antagonistic terrain for folks who don't have Boots of Elvenkind and then retrofit that mechanic to all their future games/rulings? It makes no sense and is willfully obfuscatory or rules-light for no clear advantage in handling.
    I am having some problem following you but... is your main problem not with the boots themselves but with the fact that they suggest there are "easy" and "difficult" terrains for moving silently, while the truth is that at the moment there is no such differentiation in the rules for listen/perception? I can agree on wanting clearer rules on that.

    But in general I read the boots description simply as a clarification: that they make your steps silent always. It's just a suggestion to the DM that there is no need to think more about it.
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  • #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    Yeah, attunement doesn't stop the Christmas tree, as @FireLance pointed out.

    But you know what does?

    THE FACT THAT THESE ARE ALL OPTIONAL.
    Yes! The best mechanic for handling magic items in D&D is a label that says "DM's permission only".


    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    So, we're back to: "Attunement. What's the point? Why have an extra step for unlocking all the superpowers of your item? Why not just let those powers exist?"
    I don't know, but IMXP attunement rules can also serve the purpose of avoiding switching weapons on the fly, reducing the golf-bag syndrome, but maybe 10min is still too short for that.
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  • #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falling Icicle View Post
    The DM shouldn't have to sit there and wonder "oh crap, if I give my players this, is it going to wreck game balance?" any time he wants to reward the PCs with an item. He should instead be wondering "will my players think this item is cool and be excited to get it?"
    The problem is that players very often don't think that a balanced item is cool and are not excited to get it.

    In fact most of the players are excited by balanced items only when they get TONS of them. To them that +1 is, if not exciting, at least pleasant because they feel like they are constantly increase their power. But try to hand out too few of those +1s and they are not pleased anymore.

    It's either big guns or lots of guns... and I don't like either. I think the best solutions is trying to make items powerful AND balanced, but by using a balancing approach that is different:

    - drawbacks, either automatic or % chance
    - limited uses (generally unknown) before depleted
    - effects that work only in selected circumstances

    If you use a combination of these, the DM can keep the big guns under control.
    "There is no survival without order, there is no evolution without chaos."
    "You have to see past the RAW to understand the rules of the game."
    "And rules are OVERRATED by the way!

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