5E musings
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  1. #1

    5E musings

    I think that 5E should go straight into Immortality after 20th level with no intervening "epic".

    The "Tiers of Play" section of chapter 1 of the Player's Handbook says that characters at levels 1-4 deal with threats to "local farmsteads and villages", 5-10 deal with threats to "cities and kingdoms", 11-16 affect "regions and continents", and 17-20 level adventurers may effect "the entire world or even the fundamental order of the multiverse".

    This to me means the four tiers sort of match up with the old BECMI as:
    1-4: Basic (originally 1-3)
    5-10: Expert (originally 4-14)
    11-16: Companion (originally 15-25)
    17-20: Master (originally 26-36)
    ... which would imply that Immortality is the only way up from there.

    Also, don't the PCs fight Tiamat in "Rise of Tiamat"?

    If my level breakdown above is correct, it would also imply that characters should start building castles, wizards' towers, etc. and founding thieves' guilds, baronies, major temples, etc. at ~11th level... which fits the old D&D "name level" concept very well.

  2. #2
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    Hey amigo!

    Quote Originally Posted by Khisanth the Ancient View Post
    I think that 5E should go straight into Immortality after 20th level with no intervening "epic".

    The "Tiers of Play" section of chapter 1 of the Player's Handbook says that characters at levels 1-4 deal with threats to "local farmsteads and villages", 5-10 deal with threats to "cities and kingdoms", 11-16 affect "regions and continents", and 17-20 level adventurers may effect "the entire world or even the fundamental order of the multiverse".
    Sounds like someone was reading my Ten Commandments of Epic article.

    This to me means the four tiers sort of match up with the old BECMI as:
    1-4: Basic (originally 1-3)
    5-10: Expert (originally 4-14)
    11-16: Companion (originally 15-25)
    17-20: Master (originally 26-36)
    ... which would imply that Immortality is the only way up from there.
    I wonder if the (modern) game would benefit from being better focused into tiers (as per the original D&D boxed sets)?

    Also, don't the PCs fight Tiamat in "Rise of Tiamat"?
    How powerful is Tiamat I wonder...?

    If my level breakdown above is correct, it would also imply that characters should start building castles, wizards' towers, etc. and founding thieves' guilds, baronies, major temples, etc. at ~11th level... which fits the old D&D "name level" concept very well.
    Yes, very appropriate...although are there rules for such things in 5th Edition?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    I wonder if the (modern) game would benefit from being better focused into tiers (as per the original D&D boxed sets)?
    Oh, definitely, I think.

    Half of the problem IMO with 3E epic (the other half being the math issues) was that it didn't have a clear 'place'/'role'- later 3E products started setting up the same kinds of stories with non-epic rules -- thus the Elder Evils and the archfiends are all within reach of 20th level characters. Zargon (from the Elder evils book) is CR 16 despite supposedly having killed gods.

    And that really makes perfect sense when spells like Wish, Demiplane (in 5E)/Genesis (in 3E), etc. are available at that level range.

    And in 1E the PCs could kill Lolth in the Q1 module which was for 10th-14th levels (according to wikipedia; can't find my copy right now...)

    It also helps the believability of the world if adventures at higher levels shift toward the planes, that way lower level stuff isn't totally overshadowed by the high level stuff... since there's less high level stuff per planet.

    How powerful is Tiamat I wonder...?
    Don't know, just going by what I've read online. CR30 I think.

    5E Wyrmlings=CR 1-4, Young Dragons =CR 6-10, Adult =CR13-17, Ancient =CR20-24 (IIRC).

    There's not all that much room for Epic Dragons there if Tiamat is CR30 and an Ancient Polychromatic Dragon.

    But one could do something like Wyrmling ~ CR12, Young ~CR18, Adult ~CR25, Ancient ~CR30.

    Which sounds too low, but then the Wyrmling Force Dragon in the ELH is CR 13.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khisanth the Ancient View Post
    Oh, definitely, I think.

    Half of the problem IMO with 3E epic (the other half being the math issues) was that it didn't have a clear 'place'/'role'- later 3E products started setting up the same kinds of stories with non-epic rules -- thus the Elder Evils and the archfiends are all within reach of 20th level characters. Zargon (from the Elder evils book) is CR 16 despite supposedly having killed gods.

    And that really makes perfect sense when spells like Wish, Demiplane (in 5E)/Genesis (in 3E), etc. are available at that level range.

    And in 1E the PCs could kill Lolth in the Q1 module which was for 10th-14th levels (according to wikipedia; can't find my copy right now...)

    It also helps the believability of the world if adventures at higher levels shift toward the planes, that way lower level stuff isn't totally overshadowed by the high level stuff... since there's less high level stuff per planet.
    I think before 5E was released I made some post (in another sub forum here) on what I wanted from a new Edition and it was a return to the boxed set approach (or at least a Tiered approach; the format was secondary) where you could build and importantly highlight new rules; new monsters and new places at different levels of play.

    Beginner (L1-5): Villages, Local Dungeons (Forests & Hills), Goblins & Bandits & Zombies
    Expert (L6-10): Towns, Swamps & Mountain Environments, Lizardmen & Orcs & Ghouls, Skirmish Rules
    Companion (L11-15): Cities, Extreme Natural Environments (Arctic & Deserts), Wolfen & Yuan-Ti & Vampires, Running a Stronghold
    Master (L16-20): Countries, Unnatural Environments (Underdark- & Volcanic, Underwater); Drow & Kuo-Toa & Liches, Mass Battle Rules
    Epic (L21-25): Empires, Planes (Heaven/Hell & Abyss), Angels/Devils & Demons & Demiliches, Running a Country
    Immortal (L26-30): Planets, Planes (Far Realm & Outer Space), Pseudonaturals & Aliens & Umbrals, Becoming a God

    etc.

    Incidentally the monster 'lists' are meant to simply be monsters like that, not limited to 3 types.

    Each 'SET' (or book) would have the rules; a monster section and an adventure section.

    Each 'SET' could be accompanied by:

    1. Additional Monster Book (for those levels)
    2. Area Book (ie. Village or Town or City or Country etc.)
    3. A Campaign of 5 Short Adventures (that can be used in conjunction or standalone) - one for each level.

    Don't know, just going by what I've read online. CR30 I think.

    5E Wyrmlings=CR 1-4, Young Dragons =CR 6-10, Adult =CR13-17, Ancient =CR20-24 (IIRC).
    I didn't understand why 5th Edition came out with an adventure about Tiamat so early in the game's lifespan. You would imagine few players would be high level at the start of an Edition.

    There's not all that much room for Epic Dragons there if Tiamat is CR30 and an Ancient Polychromatic Dragon.

    But one could do something like Wyrmling ~ CR12, Young ~CR18, Adult ~CR25, Ancient ~CR30.

    Which sounds too low, but then the Wyrmling Force Dragon in the ELH is CR 13.
    Unless Tiamat is herself an epic dragon of some description. What you have to imagine is that some species might be so rare that even the gods only know of one of them.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    Beginner (L1-5): Villages, Local Dungeons (Forests & Hills), Goblins & Bandits & Zombies
    Expert (L6-10): Towns, Swamps & Mountain Environments, Lizardmen & Orcs & Ghouls, Skirmish Rules
    Companion (L11-15): Cities, Extreme Natural Environments (Arctic & Deserts), Wolfen & Yuan-Ti & Vampires, Running a Stronghold
    Master (L16-20): Countries, Unnatural Environments (Underdark- & Volcanic, Underwater); Drow & Kuo-Toa & Liches, Mass Battle Rules
    Epic (L21-25): Empires, Planes (Heaven/Hell & Abyss), Angels/Devils & Demons & Demiliches, Running a Country
    Immortal (L26-30): Planets, Planes (Far Realm & Outer Space), Pseudonaturals & Aliens & Umbrals, Becoming a God
    Sounds cool but I think that could actually be compressed somewhat.

    Personally I think the Underdark should be more a ~L8-L15 thing with the major planar stuff (raiding the Abyss/Hells etc) coming in a bit later maybe ~13-20.

    I didn't understand why 5th Edition came out with an adventure about Tiamat so early in the game's lifespan. You would imagine few players would be high level at the start of an Edition.
    It was part of a full level 1-20 adventure path (in two books) as I understand it.

    What you have to imagine is that some species might be so rare that even the gods only know of one of them.
    Ah, I hadn't thought of that.

    BTW is there any hope of Eternity Publishing material for 5E? What's the licensing situation?

  6. #6
    I wonder if the abominations could all be crammed into the 21-30 CR range (as extra difficult opponents for high end characters without actual 'epic' levels)?

    I think you could match them to the 5E cleric domains for gods...
    Death = Atropal
    Knowledge = Dream Larva or Anaxim
    Life = ??? Tarrasque maybe given its super regeneration power? Or something new like a "Walking Plague"?
    Light = Phaethon (probably would have to look more like a Pathfinder Plasma Ooze and less made of magma)
    Nature = Odium
    Tempest = Amilictli, Chichimec, or Xixecal
    Trickery = Phane or Sadim
    War = Anakim or Hecatonchires

  7. #7
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    Really pressed for time here amigo, this may be the only post until tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khisanth the Ancient View Post
    Sounds cool but I think that could actually be compressed somewhat.

    Personally I think the Underdark should be more a ~L8-L15 thing with the major planar stuff (raiding the Abyss/Hells etc) coming in a bit later maybe ~13-20.
    I am sure it could be divided up satisfactorily.

    My reasoning was:

    11-15 = Extreme World Environments (Arctic, Desert)
    16-20 = Extreme World Environments that likely need magic to survive any extended trip (Underdark, Underwater)

    It was part of a full level 1-20 adventure path (in two books) as I understand it.
    As much as I like Adventure Paths as a concept, surely having lots of different adventures is better than one big adventure.

    BTW is there any hope of Eternity Publishing material for 5E? What's the licensing situation?
    At this juncture its not happening. I haven't even purchased the 5E books and have no intentions of doing so.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    As much as I like Adventure Paths as a concept, surely having lots of different adventures is better than one big adventure.
    I agree, don't know why WotC decided to do it that way.

    but I'm not making the decisions there...

    At this juncture its not happening. I haven't even purchased the 5E books and have no intentions of doing so.
    Ah OK. I'm playing in a 5E game right now and it's great... probably closer to my (personal) ideal of D&D than any other edition ('classic' - B/X, BECMI - D&D probably competes but I haven't played it enough to be sure).

    EDIT: I'd have to find out the licensing rules but would you object to my doing the high/epic/immortal stuff for 5E if you're not?
    Last edited by Khisanth the Ancient; Saturday, 4th July, 2015 at 11:56 PM. Reason: completed incomplete sentence: "but I'm not..."; add

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khisanth the Ancient View Post
    I wonder if the abominations could all be crammed into the 21-30 CR range (as extra difficult opponents for high end characters without actual 'epic' levels)?
    For what system are we talking about here?

    I think you could match them to the 5E cleric domains for gods...
    Death = Atropal
    Knowledge = Dream Larva or Anaxim
    Life = ??? Tarrasque maybe given its super regeneration power? Or something new like a "Walking Plague"?
    Light = Phaethon (probably would have to look more like a Pathfinder Plasma Ooze and less made of magma)
    Nature = Odium
    Tempest = Amilictli, Chichimec, or Xixecal
    Trickery = Phane or Sadim
    War = Anakim or Hecatonchires
    Certainly the basis of my own interpretation of the Abominations was that they were derived from certain Portfolios; which in many ways mimic the Cleric Domains.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khisanth the Ancient View Post
    I agree, don't know why WotC decided to do it that way.

    but I'm not making the decisions there...
    Well its easy for us to envision it might be better done a different way but I just think segregating the different tiers of gameplay is a much better way to go.

    1. Have different teams on the different tiers = competing with one another.
    2. Have a different artist or two, on different tiers = give each tier is own visual style (and colour-coding).
    3. Make sure each tier visits new and more dangerous places
    4. Have a new game play mechanic at each new tier (Skirmish Rules, Running a Stronghold, Mass Battle Rules, 'Game of Thrones' style Running a Country, Becoming a God etc.)
    5. Give each tier its own iconic monsters and races
    etc.

    Ah OK. I'm playing in a 5E game right now and it's great... probably closer to my (personal) ideal of D&D than any other edition ('classic' - B/X, BECMI - D&D probably competes but I haven't played it enough to be sure).
    I may get to play 5E next month, so I could change my mind about it, who knows (doubt it though).

    EDIT: I'd have to find out the licensing rules but would you object to my doing the high/epic/immortal stuff for 5E if you're not?
    I wouldn't object at all amigo. Though I would assume none of it would use any of my past work; especially if you were planning on selling it for profit...?

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