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    D&D 5E Standard CR Assessment: Standard abilities a high level party is always expected to have?

    Yes. Yes to all of that. High dex, high Init, high mobility and a strong ranged game are how to spank 5e encounters. This was also true in 4e (perhaps less so) and 3rd. My memories of 2nd and 1st are less clear, but I don't think we started using a battlemat until 3rd. The thing is, most...
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    D&D 5E More time to play with feats

    I really like building characters. Part of the fun, a good part of the fun, is pulling off the build within the constraints of the rules. From my point of view, the ASI/Feat conundrum is delicious. It's the secret sauce of 5e character building. If that tyranny were somehow tamed, building...
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    D&D 5E Hard Core Monster Manual

    You might want to check out the 4e Monster Manual. Cooler Monsters for sure. Check out the dragons, for example. Porting those to 5e might be a thing to do. Distributing said thing, on the other hand, might not be a thing to do.
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    D&D 5E Level 1 Character in 1v1 duel with standard Orc: Who do you bring?

    Variant human fighter 16 Str, 16 Con, 14 Dex heavy armor, longsword, shield duelist fighting style heavy armor master feat Languages: common, orc The orc has a +2 hit point edge. I have a +5 AC edge. Our attack bonuses are identical. We do the same average damage. I hit on a natural 8, 65%...
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    D&D 5E Wall of Force Reality Check (as used by DM not players)

    I've steered clear of that one. The WotC folk are doing too much shoulder shrugging on that issue to make it amenable to consensus. The terminology they chose to frame the issue, "lightly obscured" and "heavily obscured", and the definitions they assigned to those terms, wherein heavily obscured...
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    D&D 5E Wall of Force Reality Check (as used by DM not players)

    I've listened to the podcast, I've read the twitter traffic and I've read the text. The twitter traffic is confusing. The text defines one way to get total cover. It does so in one sentence. The text and the podcast are not in agreement. If the text is in error then it deserves an errata. My...
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    D&D 5E Identify a spell as it is cast?

    At our table, if you know the spell, that is to say, if you yourself are capable of casting that spell, then you can recognize the spell being cast. If you are a spellcaster, you can make an arcana check. If you are not a spellcaster, then no. But I'm a hardass. I don't ask. It all seems a bit...
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    D&D 5E Wall of Force Reality Check (as used by DM not players)

    Player's Handbook, page 196 Player's Handbook, page 285
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    D&D 5E Eliminating darkvision from most races

    I'm an anti-houserules guy and I see no problem with removing darkvision or reducing its utility, or instituting low light vision. It may alter the calculus that goes into choosing a race. I know that darkvision is a contributing factor when I choose a race for a new character. You may see an...
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    D&D 5E Do You Even Homebrew

    We dropped XP for a while in 4e. leveling every three sessions. We brought it back in 5e because we had a little turnover in the group and added a couple of new players. It turns out that they don't care that much either, so we may drop it again. Or not. We level the whole group together...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    That's the rub with PDFs: cannibalizing their book sales. I would purchase both, if that's what it took, but making purchasing a PDF contingent on having purchased the printed book is an unwieldy logistical challenge. I don't know what the answer is, other than the answer we've got: NO. It's a...
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    D&D 5E What is "broken" in 5e?

    If what you say is true, we should be seeing very few one-handed melee weapons wielded by fighters. Perhaps that is the case. Since I play in one group and I don't participate in organized play nor attend gaming conventions, I don't really know what it is that constitutes normative play. But I...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    Well, Pathfinder did appear to outsell 4e. Before either, 3.5 had all of that market. I cannot gainsay that, having no insider information. I can attest to the fear, or at least the discomfort. I wouldn't even call that being shelved. The lights never got turned off. They published no...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    Oh, I'm sure Magic was never threatened. But D&D... They created a direct competitor and ceded to it half their customer base. That was a strategic error. Gleemax was a horror show. The site had an undead Visual Basic vibe from day one. From there, it rotted. The fumbling that was DDI never...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    I know. I've sat in the chair, and I've been at this for a very long time. This is a common complaint about 4e, and one with which I agree to an extent. They compromised too much of the atmospherics and heritage of the game in pursuit of an intrinsically balanced system. They succeeded in that...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    Fine. Be that way. No cantrips for you. I kid. Sure the language in the class description does leave wiggle room. Excessive wiggling, however, might be seen as poor form in some circles. Just sayin'. Every character is built inside a box of rules. Tough choices get made. Compromises are...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    I'm a poor roleplayer in a roleplaying light group, and I feel the same way. One of our players is on his second warlock in two campaigns. The first one was slain outright by his patron for refusing to betray the party. He has a better arrangement this time, by all accounts. No one is dipping...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    That is certainly true. In our current campaign, we have a party of 7. Four of the 7 are casters. And this is an all-melee party, not by agreement; it just happened that way. The life cleric is the least melee oriented of the bunch, but even she finds herself jumping in. Peer pressure, I guess...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    Yes, but I don't get the impression that any such process takes place, not when I read a build guide or advice in a thread. "Take a couple of levels of warlock. You'll gain up to 15 damage per round." Ah, but there is no selling 10 or 15 percent of your soul. The devil buys the whole package...
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    D&D 5E reducing dominance of ranged: cantrips

    Sure, I've played in similar campaigns. It's also going to vary with the overall setting. High medieval will have large cities grown past their walls, great kingdoms with regular, established trade between them, trade guilds, universities, and a wordwide population of about 300 million. Whereas...