WotC Considering NPC Stat Format Change
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  1. #1
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    WotC Considering NPC Stat Format Change

    This started with a comment about D&D formatting errors by James Introcaso (the comment, not the errors) on Twitter, and WotC's Chris Perkins joined in. Other quickly chimed in with further questions.

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    James:
    When you write an NPC's statistics in parentheses next to their name, it should look like this: NAME (ABBREVIATED ALIGNMENT SEX OR GENDER SUBRACE RACE STATISTICS). e.g. Fireface McDragon (LG female mountain dwarf knight)

    Perkins: We’re thinking about dispensing with that format and writing out the information in sentence form using no alignment abbreviations. Example: Borf is a chaotic neutral, non-binary shield dwarf berserker with darkvision out to a range of 60 feet.

    Crows Bring the Spring: Can I inquire why adding the blurb about dark vision is included in that line? Makes it feel rather lengthy.

    Perkins: It doesn’t have to be there. It could also be replaced with something else, such as the languages Borf speaks, if that’s more important. Racial traits and other useful info could be presented as separate, full sentences.

    Hannah Rose: What’s motivating this possible change? The ability to transition into modifications to a stat block without saying “with the following changes”?

    Perkins: Our intention is to make books that are gorgeous, thoughtfully organized, fun to read, and easy for DMs/players of all experience levels to use.

    Guillermo Garrido: Do you playtest these changes by different levels of players/DMs before widespread use of the new language?

    Perkins: We playtest everything.

  2. #2
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    Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)



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    I welcome his change. NPC stat blocks take up a lot of space for stuff that aren't really necessary and can mostly be improvised on the spot, especially if there are some small guidelines about how strong the NPCs and whether he is more strong/intelligent/social etc. You don't need the entire statblock.
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    "Example: Borf is a chaotic neutral, non-binary shield dwarf berserker with darkvision out to a range of 60 feet."

    Maybe it is too early in the morning and not enough tea but WTF is a 'non-binary shield dwarf'? Did a 2 get into a Boolean logic discussion?

    While the new format seems easier to read, can it be spotted quickly while scanning a block of text as players are waiting for the DM to describe who they are dealing with? The () can make a string of stat text stand out from normal text.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Koloth View Post
    Maybe it is too early in the morning and not enough tea but WTF is a 'non-binary shield dwarf'? Did a 2 get into a Boolean logic discussion?
    It's a shield dwarf that doesn't identify as male or female (or only as male or female).
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  5. #5
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Koloth View Post
    "Example: Borf is a chaotic neutral, non-binary shield dwarf berserker with darkvision out to a range of 60 feet."

    Maybe it is too early in the morning and not enough tea but WTF is a 'non-binary shield dwarf'? Did a 2 get into a Boolean logic discussion?

    While the new format seems easier to read, can it be spotted quickly while scanning a block of text as players are waiting for the DM to describe who they are dealing with? The () can make a string of stat text stand out from normal text.
    Non-binary as opposed to M or F.
    Google.
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  6. #6
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    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)



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    I fail to see how this affects gameplay according to this handy flow chart

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koloth View Post
    While the new format seems easier to read, can it be spotted quickly while scanning a block of text as players are waiting for the DM to describe who they are dealing with? The () can make a string of stat text stand out from normal text.
    Hopefully these entries are bolded for easy scanning and finding.
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  8. #8
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    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)

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    how about this Jasper Drow Mage AC 12/15 HP 45 XP 2,900 MM 129 Non-binary or
    Jasper no-binary Drow Mage AC 12/15 HP 45 MM 129 or
    jasper non-binaryDrow Mage HP 75 MM 129 ( include HP if not average0.

  9. #9
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    I wish they'd put their level in there. That'd be helpful to know.
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  10. #10
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    Maybe I'm getting too old for this s#!$ but I think having to read a whole sentence to express what should be a few words and abbreviations is a terrible idea. Walls of text are a pain to read through when at the table, so having a parenthetical with the stats to catch the eyes makes things a little easier. That complete sentence may make your grade school grammar teacher happy, but it's not doing anything for the DM.

    Imagine if they tried this with monster stat blocks...
    The Ogre is a large-sized chaotic evil giant, possessed of a prodigious strength score of 19, a sub-par dexterity score of 8, an impressive 16 constitution. It's limited mental capabilities include an Intelligence score of 5 and wisdom and charisma scores of 7; the ogre speaks the Common and Giant languages. Thanks to its hide armor the ogre has an armor class of 11, but what it lacks in defense, it makes up for in health as its 7d10+21 hit dice provide it with an average of 59 hit points. Additionally the ogre has a speed of 40 feet per round, the ability to see in darkness to a range of 60 feet, and a passive perception score of 8.
    The ogre can use a greatclub to make melee weapon attacks, which have a +6 bonus to hit, a reach of 5 feet, and may affect one target, dealing 2d8+4 points of bludgeoning damage, for an average of 13 points. As a ranged attack the ogre can hurl javelins to a range of 30 feet, or 120 feet with disadvantage on the attack roll. The javelin has a +6 bonus to hit, and deals 2d6+4 points of piercing damage on a hit, which averages to 11 points of damage. The javelin can also be used to make a melee attack with a reach of 5 feet, with the same attack bonuses and damage. Characters who defeat this level 2 challenge earn 450 experience points.

    Can't wait!
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