5E 5E's "Missed Opportunities?" - Page 11
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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    Furthermore, while we can modify...and we can also use 3rd party mods...I think we can all agree that it's better if a game has fewer flaws in the first place that don't need to be rectified afterwards. I can think up new options for a monster, but I'd much rather have options that are the result of hard work and creativity from a team of designers and an even larger team of playtesters.

    The rest of your post has some ideas, some of which are pretty good, but surely you can understand that it would be better if ideas like that were in the monster manual so that DMs wouldn't have to track stuff like that down in random posts on 3rd party websites (in threads with titles that seem to have nothing to do with improving monsters)?

    ...(snip)...

    While new mechanics would be welcome for the monsters, it would be nice simply having a paragraph with each entry that makes some suggestions for how that monsters might behave in unique and interest ways. E.g. turn the fluff into...not exactly mechanics, but strategy (or lack thereof). Some tips for the DM on how to make the monsters come to life a bit.
    Fair enough. To be honest, whenever I introduce a new monster into the campaign, I usually research the previous editions MM (monstrous compendium for 2e) to mine for inspiration for possible additional mechanics and roleplaying ideas. Although I love the 5e MM, I still find myself doing that, in case I miss something or do not play something true. I'm a mental case that way.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retreater View Post
    I've been running 5E on a consistent basis for several groups since it was officially released. Now that I'm basically leaving 5E, I'm looking at a few things that never quite worked for my groups and me.

    1) Backgrounds. They just don't contribute enough to the character's abilities and feel tacked on.
    2) Inspiration. Half-baked idea that is literally never remembered. Unless you have people always fishing for bonuses in annoying ways.
    3) Treasure Hordes. This is in the DMG, and there is actually a recommended schedule for awarding magic items and treasure. Too bad no official products ever used these guidelines.
    4) Advantage/Disadvantage. +5/-5 is too big of a modifier for most conditions. Flanking is lethal against the PCs (so we didn't use it).
    5) Bonded Accuracy. A good idea in practice, except that it turns monsters into bags of hit points.

    What did I miss?
    I agree with most of your points and I have some suggestions that have worked for me.

    1) For my games, I think the background features are the best part of each background and I started letting my players select an additional background feature at each tier (so one more at 5th, 11th, and 17th level). This worked really well, allowing for a roleplaying benefit to apply as the character grows.

    2) Awarding inspiration isn't easy for the GM, so I put a small cluster of dice in the middle of the table and let players award it for good roleplaying. I've even had players award NPCs inspiration

    3) I do agree here, the tools for adventure writers are there, they are not being used.

    4) I think the positives of Advantage/Disadvantage outweigh the negatives. Advantage is easy to implement and can be added afterwards without requiring mental gymnastics. Since flanking is an optional rule in the DMG, I wouldn't consider it a part of the "proper" game but you do make a good point.

    5) Bounded Accuracy is one of the best things to come out for D&D, I've played with people who have a hard time with math. This one change makes the game more friendly towards them. In addition, it makes lower CR monsters still dangerous at higher levels. I recommend taking some ideas from 4th Edition monsters if you want to have monsters be more than bags of hit points.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    I cannot claim credit: I stole the idea from (I think) Usenet decades ago.

    You can use poker chips or tokens for status effects and being under the effect of a spell too. And to denote you're Concentrating on a spell. And so on. The thing is that it's an immediate visual cue and reminder to everyone. You just need to remember to colour-code consistently and for everyone to remember - or have a note - of which colour means what. Black is, of course, somewhat obvious.

    If you have a printer, you can print sticky labels to put on the chips to make it even clearer.
    Chips/tokens are a useful tactic - plus, about a zillion board games use them these days for lots of their fiddly bits, so players are probably becoming increasingly accustomed to them. I've been using poker chips regularly in RPGs since the first edition of Mutants and Masterminds came out.

    We use poker chips in a 5e game that a friend of mine is running to represent inspiration. For the 5e games I run, I keep a pool of sparkly d20s in the center of the table, one for each player. If they gain inspiration, they take a die and keep it with them until they use it, then it goes back in the pool.
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  4. #104
    I posted this in the thread 'making a case for Inspiration' but I'd meant to post it here. I guess I'll post it in both threads:

    I use inspiration similar to how the FATE system uses fate points. In fact, I'm convinced 5e borrowed the concept from that system but integrated it very poorly.

    Here's how it works:

    1. In FATE, you have Aspects which are similar to your personality/bond/flaws. You can pay a Fate point to 'invoke an aspect' to give yourself a bonus to a roll. What that means is, if your character has a 'hot head' personality trait, you can pay a Fate Point to get a bonus in a situation where being a Hot Head would give a bonus (like combat, or intimidating someone).

    In this way, Inspiration is just like Fate points...EXCEPT, in FATE, the GM can COMPEL the character. Are you in the middle of a diplomatic talks? "I'll offer you a Fate Point if you insult their lead diplomat - you are a 'hot head' after all."

    This way, the dm can reward the player to complicate the situation. The player can always turn it down but you'd be surprised how much players love this kind of reward to rp.

    Players can 'compel' other players by giving them their inspiration too.

    2. Use inspiration to declare something.

    Hey GM, i'm new in town. Can I use an inspiration to declare that I have a contact here in town? I have the Personality Trait, 'friend to the masses'.

    You get some cool stuff happening where the players now add to the story. Instead of them asking, 'is there a torch somewhere?' and the dm rolling % or having to decide, the player just spends his inspiration. (DM decides what is acceptable). Declarations don't have to be limited 'stuff' either. If it makes the story more fun, you could declare that a specific NPC might be your 'ex-girl(boy)friend' - which could have positive or negative consequences depending how that relationship ended....which would be up to the table to decide.

    In fact, you could do fun stuff like, "Hey DM, can I say that girl used to be my ex-girlfriend?" Offers an inspiration.

    DM: "actually, that's a great idea. But why don't you keep your inspiration...and take another for good measure" (cackles)
    Last edited by TaranTheWanderer; Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018 at 03:24 PM.
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    I cannot claim credit: I stole the idea from (I think) Usenet decades ago.

    You can use poker chips or tokens for status effects and being under the effect of a spell too. And to denote you're Concentrating on a spell. And so on. The thing is that it's an immediate visual cue and reminder to everyone. You just need to remember to colour-code consistently and for everyone to remember - or have a note - of which colour means what. Black is, of course, somewhat obvious.

    If you have a printer, you can print sticky labels to put on the chips to make it even clearer.
    Well, back when we played 4th edition years ago, we used a set of colored felt squares. Because 4e was so highly conditions based, the miniature would often be wobbling on top of 5 or 6 markers!! We still have the box of those and use them to note Concentration, Bless, Bloodied, etc. But it's no where near the crazy stacks of conditions in 4e.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nine Hands View Post
    5) Bounded Accuracy is one of the best things to come out for D&D, I've played with people who have a hard time with math. This one change makes the game more friendly towards them. In addition, it makes lower CR monsters still dangerous at higher levels. I recommend taking some ideas from 4th Edition monsters if you want to have monsters be more than bags of hit points.
    Absolutely! I've adopted the strategy of giving all monsters a feat or special ability at the same time PCs get a feat. It has been working pretty well. I wish there was something on DMs Guild that was just a big book of interesting monster feats that can be slapped onto anything.

    3e had a book like that with the feats arranged by monster type. I think Fantasy Flight put it out.
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  7. #107
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    Just some feedback/comments/suggestion, take it or leave it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
    My general notes:

    1) I agree with many others that there are too many dump stats in 5e, especially Int. I don't need it to have a lot, but it would be nice if it gave something generally to characters.
    I reward intelligence out of combat by stressing (individual) skill checks. For example if someone may realize that the NPC they're talking to is a follower of Loki (CE god in my world) because of some subtle phrases, mannerisms or dress. I also restrict instantaneous knowledge sharing if it's not appropriate.

    In some cases that has had an impact at the start of combat, where the PCs that made the check were not surprised and (if the roll was high enough) had advantage on their initiative check.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
    2) Melee vs Ranged: I still see a lot of melee characters because melee is cool, but at the end of the day ranged is actually a superior option.
    I'm not sure i agree no matter what the spreadsheets say. But even if it were the case, what happens when everyone is ranged? If everyone is always staying away from monsters why are the monsters not adjusting tactics and flanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
    3) Too many encounters needed per day. 5e offers a wonderful gambit of variants to cater to people's taste, but one area I feel that was sorely missed was the huge number of encounters the game expects for a reasonable challenge. That as the baseline as fine, but I would have loved some variants to balance the classes for 1-2 encounter days.
    Or a variant where a short rest is overnight and a long rest is several days or a week or more? Like listed in the DMG?

    The variant you're talking about would be a different game. Far, far easier to limit the number of rests.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalker0 View Post
    4) Concentration: I have a love hate relationship with 5e. On the one hand, I think it is the rock by which so much of 5e's balance and cleanliness comes from. It dialed down casters, made buffs a cool spell instead of a 10 minute checklist fest on your character sheet. But there are times when a caster can really be limited by their spell selection due to concentration. They have one good option and one decent option. Both require concentration....so the good option is the only thing you ever see on the sheet.

    I also think they tried to do too much with concentration. Ultimately it serves 2 purposes:

    1) Reduce a caster's ability to buff and maintain a lot of spells at once.
    2) Reintroduce the idea of powerful spells that can be disrupted by hurting the caster.

    Both are good things, but combined you get into some weird scenarios. For example, I think its terrible that shield of faith can be brought down as soon as you take some damage. In my game I split these into 2 different effects. Concentration still works great as a caster limiter, but now a lot of defensive spells no longer go down with damage, which I like a lot better.
    Meh. I guess I'll just have to disagree on this, but your house rule is a fine alternative that easily fixes your concern.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebulous View Post
    Well, back when we played 4th edition years ago...
    Off-topic, but this phrase startled me. 4e is already "back when" and "years ago"? Amazing.

    That's like "Those of us who remember the Obama administration..."
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfcrusher View Post
    Off-topic, but this phrase startled me. 4e is already "back when" and "years ago"? Amazing.

    That's like "Those of us who remember the Obama administration..."
    Watch out. Pretty soon you'll be telling those durn kids to get off your lawn old edition.
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    Watch out. Pretty soon you'll be telling those durn kids to get off your lawn old edition.
    @lewpuls and I can sit at the piano together and sing "Those Were the Days". I have a great falsetto so 'll take Gene Stapleton's part.
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