D&D 5th Edition Oct playtest magic items are legend---wait for it--ary! - Page 6





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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    Then either halve, third or quarter the xp gains or figure out how to expand level growth to level 60.

    Plus I think 10 equal level normal encounters is the standard average with short adventures having 1 to 3 encounters and long adventures being up to around 15 encounters. It is only multi-level mega adventures that tend to have more than 20+ assumed encounters.
    You've been running different adventures than I have.

    If you look at most of the "classics" from 1e you'll find there's often 20-30 or more scripted encounters plus wandering monsters plus whatever they might meet en route to/from the actual adventure site. And I don't consider those "mega-dungeons", to me those are average normal adventures. Most of the modules found in (for example) Dungeon magazine are almost mini-adventures; something you'd toss in on the side between more significant things.

    Temple of Elemental Evil, on the other hand, which has I-don't-know-how-many-hundred encounters in it over 4 massive levels plus several side levels - now that's a mega-dungeon.

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  • #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanefan View Post
    You've been running different adventures than I have.

    If you look at most of the "classics" from 1e you'll find there's often 20-30 or more scripted encounters plus wandering monsters plus whatever they might meet en route to/from the actual adventure site. And I don't consider those "mega-dungeons", to me those are average normal adventures. Most of the modules found in (for example) Dungeon magazine are almost mini-adventures; something you'd toss in on the side between more significant things.

    Temple of Elemental Evil, on the other hand, which has I-don't-know-how-many-hundred encounters in it over 4 massive levels plus several side levels - now that's a mega-dungeon.

    Lanefan
    I was referring to adventures published during 3rd-edition and later where most of the adventures are designed with 10 encounters for a single level gain over the course of that adventure.

    When I said "Multi-level adventure" I was referring to class level gain and not dungeon structural levels.

    Pre-3rd edition and Post-2nd edition adventures have a completely different encounter density and this would make a very good topic that we should possibly split off from this thread.

  • #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falling Icicle View Post
    Rarity doesn't excuse the stacking problem. Rarity is entirely subjective and up to invidual DMs and campaigns. In one campaign, such items may be extremely rare, so you won't likely run into the stacking issue because PCs won't likely have more than one of those items, if they are lucky enough to even have one. But what about campaigns where PCs do have those items? It's important to balance the items around the assumption that people will have them, not around the assumption that they won't. That way, these items won't be a detriment to the games of people who want to include them in their games.
    The basic game is going to be balanced around not having magic items.

    The rarity type is a power level indicator in addition to being a standard availability indicator.

    You're right, my bad. The shield was only 1 point of that character's AC though, so it's still a problem. I was also assuming that the character was "only" wearing +1 plate, when armor can go as high as +3. And who knows what other miscellaneous AC boosting items may be published? Without a rule against them stacking with each other, the example I provided may even be on the low end of what's possible, and that's a terrifying thought.
    If they exist +2 Plate (AC 20) is going to be at least a Legendary item and +3 Plate (AC 21) is going to be at least an Artifact. Also +X Shields may not even exist in the game outside of homebrew and 3rd party products which WotC can not control.

    Currently 6 non-armor magic items have AC boosting properties. Two (Bracers of Armor and Robes of the Archmagi) grant AC by being armor in all but name, one (Defender) is a magic two handed sword that forces the wielder to sacrifice offensive power for defensive strength, one (Ring of Protection) does not stack with other bonuses, and the last two (Dusty Rose Prism and Pale Green Prism) can be stolen or attacked independently of you.

    Because of bounded accuracy, we can expect that even high level monsters won't have an attack bonus that is too much higher than the monsters we have now. Even monsters with a +10 to attack will only be able to hit an AC 25 character on a roll of 15 or better (meaning that they will miss roughly 70% of the time, on average). For every point of AC the character adds, that miss chance increases by an additional 5%. It is very important for the game that both attack values and AC be kept in careful check, or else you can end up with fights where people almost always hit on one end, or whifflebat fights on the other. Neither extreme is acceptable.
    And AC 26 is looking to be the max, the defensive ideal, reached only by wearing a one of a kind artifact armor and wielding a very rare magic greatsword while two magic stones (one rare and one legendary) float around your head and fighting in a defensive manner (dumping all of the weapon's bonuses into defense). Discounting the Defender (which has a trade off that in some ways make it the equivalent of a +2 magic weapon and a shield), AC 23 (and 24 with a shield) is looking to be the expected max AC for a fully kitted out heavy armor character something that should happen after level 10 and only rarely even then.

    The only real problem I see is in the Ioun Stones which need to be modified to avoid having the effects of multiple of the same color stacking.

  • #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    The basic game is going to be balanced around not having magic items.
    While magical items aren't going to be an assumed part of character's statistics at any given level, it's still important that they be balanced so that if people choose to use them in their games, it won't turn the game into a wreck.

    As I said before, the fact that magic items are optional doesn't mean that it's okay for them to grant bonuses that go through the roof. On the contrary, because the game doesn't assume their presence, it's even more important that the bonuses they grant be kept at a reasonable level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    The rarity type is a power level indicator in addition to being a standard availability indicator.
    Rarity is only a rough overall gauge of power and also only measures an item's power by itself. It doesn't measure how items can interact and increase their power together. When items stack, their power together is often greater than the sum of their parts. This creates problems because one item of the same rarity can have a dramatically different impact than another item of the same rarity, depending on whether the PC has another item that stacks with it.

    The best solution to this problem is simply not to allow like effects to stack with each other, except in a few specific and carefully considered cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    If they exist +2 Plate (AC 20) is going to be at least a Legendary item and +3 Plate (AC 21) is going to be at least an Artifact. Also +X Shields may not even exist in the game outside of homebrew and 3rd party products which WotC can not control.
    I'm hoping there won't be +X shields at all. That said, it wouldn't be a big deal if their magical bonus didn't stack with that from armor or other AC enhancement items.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    Currently 6 non-armor magic items have AC boosting properties. Two (Bracers of Armor and Robes of the Archmagi) grant AC by being armor in all but name, one (Defender) is a magic two handed sword that forces the wielder to sacrifice offensive power for defensive strength, one (Ring of Protection) does not stack with other bonuses, and the last two (Dusty Rose Prism and Pale Green Prism) can be stolen or attacked independently of you.

    And AC 26 is looking to be the max, the defensive ideal, reached only by wearing a one of a kind artifact armor and wielding a very rare magic greatsword while two magic stones (one rare and one legendary) float around your head and fighting in a defensive manner (dumping all of the weapon's bonuses into defense). Discounting the Defender (which has a trade off that in some ways make it the equivalent of a +2 magic weapon and a shield), AC 23 (and 24 with a shield) is looking to be the expected max AC for a fully kitted out heavy armor character something that should happen after level 10 and only rarely even then.

    The only real problem I see is in the Ioun Stones which need to be modified to avoid having the effects of multiple of the same color stacking.
    What we have is only a small sample of items for playtesting. What really concerns me is how many of these items there will be later. By having a rule that prohibits them from stacking, we wouldn't have to worry about how many AC boosting items are published later. They'd just be extra options, rather than each one raising the AC cap even further.
    Last edited by Falling Icicle; Thursday, 11th October, 2012 at 10:59 AM.

  • #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falling Icicle View Post
    While magical items aren't going to be an assumed part of character's statistics at any given level, it's still important that they be balanced so that if people choose to use them in their games, it won't turn the game into a wreck.
    True, but you seem to be focused on a Muchkinesque corner case.

    As I said before, the fact that magic items are optional doesn't mean that it's okay for them to grant bonuses that go through the roof. On the contrary, because the game doesn't assume their presence, it's even more important that the bonuses they grant be kept at a reasonable level.
    And I think you are making a kneejerk reaction to reasonable levels, and panicking about monsters being ineffective when full equipped in currently theoretical equipment when we have not seen Giants, Dragons, Demons or Devils yet.
    Rarity is only a rough overall gauge of power and also only measures an item's power by itself. It doesn't measure how items can interact and increase their power together. When items stack, their power together is often greater than the sum of their parts. This creates problems because one item of the same rarity can have a dramatically different impact than another item of the same rarity, depending on whether the PC has another item that stacks with it.
    I'm just not seeing the multiplicative synergy you seem to be implying.

    The best solution to this problem is simply not to allow like effects to stack with each other, except in a few specific and carefully considered cases.
    And currently


    I'm hoping there won't be +X shields at all. That said, it wouldn't be a big deal if their magical bonus didn't stack with that from armor or other AC enhancement items.
    Currently that seems to be the plan since the Spellguard Shield does not have one, and shields are not listed in the +1 armor section.

    What we have is only a small sample of items for playtesting. What really concerns me is how many of these items there will be later. By having a rule that prohibits them from stacking, we wouldn't have to worry about how many AC boosting items are published later. They'd just be extra options, rather than each one raising the AC cap even further.
    And they close off design space if they institute a default rule non-stacking magic item bonuses policy. In fact two of the items (Defender and Dusty Rose Prism) would be rendered worthless right off the bat.

  • #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post

    Currently that seems to be the plan since the Spellguard Shield does not have one, and shields are not listed in the +1 armor section.
    Well, there is the +1 shield in the Caves of Chaos. Not sure if that counts. They did change the text of that encounter a bit from the first version, and changed it from a +1 heavy shield to a +1 shield, now that there's no "heavy" shield.
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  • #57
    The new magic item rules are great. I love the flavor, I love them being unique and with personality, I love the concept.

    A few things I disagree: belts giving a fixed Str. Yes, it has the nostalgia bonus. But it also make dumping very rewarding. If you dump str to 8, and then you find or build a giant str belt, you get more bang from your buck than if you don't dump str. That's wrong. Similarly, it also means belts give more to classes and characters who don't invest in STR. If you are a fighter, and you have STR 18, getting a Belt of STR does not give you a great benefit, while it will help your STR 14 battle cleric a lot. That's weird. Fighter-types should strive for STR boosters.

    Also, I think there are a few items that give too high static bonuses. For example, Defender sword. Take it, never pass anything to AC, and there you go, a +3 sword.

  • #58
    Quote Originally Posted by GMforPowergamers View Post
    The ring of protection has an intresting presadent...it does not stack.
    I have to admit that this particular rulelet is, so far, one of my least favorite parts of the playtest rules.

    I hate, hate, hate, HATE, HATE! fiddly little "this stacks, but this doesn't, except sometimes" exceptions on an item-by-item basis.

    While the bonus type proliferation of 3E was not wholly justified, it absolutely had its heart in the right place.

    So, magic shields and magic armor stack just fine, but a ring or protection doesn't stack with either, currently - then you get an "Amulet of Preservation" which doesn't stack with armor, but stacks with spells granting AC, and etc., etc., etc.

    No.

    Bonus types - 3E did this right.
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  • #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by triqui View Post
    The new magic item rules are great. I love the flavor, I love them being unique and with personality, I love the concept.

    A few things I disagree: belts giving a fixed Str. Yes, it has the nostalgia bonus. But it also make dumping very rewarding. If you dump str to 8, and then you find or build a giant str belt, you get more bang from your buck than if you don't dump str. That's wrong. Similarly, it also means belts give more to classes and characters who don't invest in STR. If you are a fighter, and you have STR 18, getting a Belt of STR does not give you a great benefit, while it will help your STR 14 battle cleric a lot. That's weird. Fighter-types should strive for STR boosters.
    Though getting +2, +4, or even +6 wasn't a terrible thing in 3e, jumping to a fixed value isn't a bad thing either. It's awfully hard to dump the strength planning to get a belt of giant strength when their frequency is very low. It's more a case of serendipity allowing a significant repurposing of the character, like allowing that melee-capable cleric becoming a much harder hitter.

    Important in all of this is the idea of magic item-based builds being hard to achieve, thus calling into question their rationality. In 1e/2e, without an expected magic item market and rules that made magic item creation difficult, you couldn't easily pursue the strategy that became the Big 6 in 3e. Sure, everybody wanted a ring or cloak of resistance, good armor or bracers, good magic weapons, and most fighters would have sold their souls for a girdle of giant strength. But you couldn't expect to have all, or even most, of them in a typical game. That changed with 3e's magic market assumption and easy magic item creation rules.
    Dumping your strength to 8 assuming you can get a belt of giant strength is a foolish strategy. And you deserve any problems you suffer as a result.
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  • #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    True, but you seem to be focused on a Muchkinesque corner case.
    I'm focused on what I think is a problem that needs to be fixed. That is, after all, the point of the playtest, to point out potential problems. People often find plenty of "corner cases" to min-max their characters.

    We can debate how much of a "corner case" this issue might be, but it's not really relevant. Whether the stacking issue affects 1% of players or 100%, it's still a potential problem that should be looked into.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    And I think you are making a kneejerk reaction to reasonable levels, and panicking about monsters being ineffective when full equipped in currently theoretical equipment when we have not seen Giants, Dragons, Demons or Devils yet.
    Have I not provided enough thoughtful analysis (even if you disagree with it) to demonstrate that my reaction isn't "kneejerk" and that I'm not "panicking?" You seem to be implying that my position is irrational and purely based on emotion. It's not.

    As for the stats of higher level monsters that we haven't seen yet, I have two things to say about that. First, the bounded accuracy design philosophy that they're using promises that high level monsters will not have vastly greater stats than lower level monsters. Assuming that they mean what they've said about that, we can expect the difference in attack bonuses and AC between low and high level monsters to be much smaller than in the past.

    Second, without a general stacking rule, there is no limit on player AC. Players can effectively have an infinite AC, the only limit on it being the number of items they are able to obtain. Even in 3e with its infamous christmas tree effect and several different keywords, there was still an effective limit on how high players can go. Right now, 5e is even more liberal in allowing high ACs than 3.x was, and that's saying alot. In 5e, there is no limit to how high it can go. None.

    And it's not just AC, either. Nothing is stopping people from having any number of stat-boosting ioun stones orbiting their head, either, allowing people to have effectively infinite ability scores, even though natural ability scores cap at 20.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    I'm just not seeing the multiplicative synergy you seem to be implying.
    "Multiplicative" is not a word I used. What I said was that two items that stack can have a bigger impact than either item would by itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    Currently that seems to be the plan since the Spellguard Shield does not have one, and shields are not listed in the +1 armor section.
    Not all magic armor has + bonuses either, elven chain being one example. I don't know whether they intend to have +X shields or not. I hope they don't. I was only mentioning it as a possibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultimatecalibur View Post
    And they close off design space if they institute a default rule non-stacking magic item bonuses policy. In fact two of the items (Defender and Dusty Rose Prism) would be rendered worthless right off the bat.
    If they deliberately design an item to stack with other AC boosting items, they can put that in the item's rules. There can always be exceptions to general rules. Right now, the general rule is that AC bonuses all stack and an item must specifically state that it doesn't stack, as with the ring of protection. I just want to reverse that, and have the general rule be that they don't stack unless the item specifically says otherwise. No "design space" would be closed off by doing that.

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