Level Up (A5E) #1 Origins Playtest Document - (Heritage) Nitty Gritty Feedback

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
My claim is that a character who is not a cleric is very often more benefited by choosing guidance over other clerical cantrips. You make a good point about spare the dying, but it is an unimportant point. If you mean it to undermine my argument, then you misunderstand my argument.
what cantrips? They start with three, get a fourth at level 4 and the good cantrips available to them consists of ... three options. Getting one of those three from another source is going to imbalance clerics even less than high elves imbalance wizards with that extra cantrip because wizards actually have a larger selection of good cantrips. We got started on this because you tried to claim that more characters having access to guidance would be a problem while missing that they usually do have "access" to it through their nearest cleric
 

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Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Do you have this problem with tieflings & aasimar giving themselves resistance to all damage types rather than just the one they get resistance to as well? What about rogues & gnomes adding expertise to all skills rather than just the ones & subset they have expertise with? This is a player problem & a bit of a stretch to say it's a difficult thing you should expect to keep happening after the first couple levels at worst because there are already plenty of things they need to sometimes apply & sometimes not without getting into class/spell/equipment based things they already handle without issue
Our character sheets have a section for Resistances, in which my dwarf has filled in "Poison". Similarly it has a section for Skills in which a rogue would have Stealth: +12 (which is calculated as STAT +PROF +PROF again if Expertise is in play). Neither of those things is situational, they are always on. A better comparison would be changing dwarves resistance to poison to instead be resistance to poison from creatures except elementals.

If that were the case, I would easily forget that my resistance didn't apply the rare time I am fighting an elemental.

As I said, I played and GMed 3e just fine. Its not that tracking things like this is hard, its just that 5e design has made worrying about tracking things like this to be mostly nonexistant because mini-situational-modifiers was explicitly avoided in the creation of the basic 5e rules. I think that you can add complexity without dipping into this well.
 

clearstream

(He, Him)
what cantrips? They start with three, get a fourth at level 4 and the good cantrips available to them consists of ... three options. Getting one of those three from another source is going to imbalance clerics even less than high elves imbalance wizards with that extra cantrip because wizards actually have a larger selection of good cantrips. We got started on this because you tried to claim that more characters having access to guidance would be a problem while missing that they usually do have "access" to it through their nearest cleric
We're talking about the playtest packet, in which characters who may not be clerics get access to guidance. Right?

As for clerics, I keep records of my party compositions and over more than a hundred sessions and two or three dozen characters, we've had one cleric. They've more often gotten access to guidance through warlocks!
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
We're talking about the playtest packet, in which characters who may not be clerics get access to guidance. Right?

As for clerics, I keep records of my party compositions and over more than a hundred sessions and two or three dozen characters, we've had one cleric. They've more often gotten access to guidance through warlocks!

Perhaps your inexperience with it is causing the disconnect over guidance. You are vastly overestimating the "power" of guidance in order to raise these concerns over guidance. It's not nearly as good as you are trying to suggest. Druids & divine soul sorcerers can take it too, they just don't because it's... not. that. good.
1599509527313.png
 

Stalker0

Legend
Perhaps your inexperience with it is causing the disconnect over guidance. You are vastly overestimating the "power" of guidance in order to raise these concerns over guidance. It's not nearly as good as you are trying to suggest. Druids & divine soul sorcerers can take it too, they just don't because it's... not. that. good.
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Guidance is one of the strongest spells in the game if your players like skills. Consider the bounded accuracy of 5e, its one of the very very few ways to get skill bonuses, and its a solid bonus.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Guidance is one of the strongest spells in the game if your players like skills. Consider the bounded accuracy of 5e, its one of the very very few ways to get skill bonuses, and its a solid bonus.
At 1st level it can almost be described as "Touch, 1 action, give a character Expertise (25% chance for Double Expertise) in any skill check for 1 minute. Stacks with Expertise." Party rogue with a potential +12 skill check at 1st level give them better than even odds at hitting a Hard check, and even lets them hit the Nearly Impossible range with good luck.
 

It also has a verbal component, so difficult if not impossible to use for social checks, sneaking, and any time where you don't want to be noticed or known for casting a spell.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
It also has a verbal component, so difficult if not impossible to use for social checks, sneaking, and any time where you don't want to be noticed or known for casting a spell.
Sure, if that's how your GM runs it.

Who is to say the verbal component isn't telling the Bard "You got this, Ezekial!" right before they break into a solo. Or perhaps the verbal component is "This guy here knows his magical items, you should listen to him" when the wizard is making a Persuasion check to talk down the price of a gem. Or even just whispering an incantation to stealth up the rogue who then uses the next minute to move up towards the bad guys and take up a hidden position.

It's going to be as useful as your GM allows it to be. My ruling on it as a GM is that unless the skill check is something that takes a lot longer than a minute to do (say an athletics roll to avoid getting fatigued after a long swim), everyone can just add a d4 to their skill checks unless the cleric isn't around OR if they are in combat rounds.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Guidance is one of the strongest spells in the game if your players like skills. Consider the bounded accuracy of 5e, its one of the very very few ways to get skill bonuses, and its a solid bonus.
1599511139373.png

better get on those rogues & bards
1599511299504.png

1599511312141.png

Rangers too, everyone knows those are super awesome...
1599511194872.png

don't forget every dragonmarked race too
1599518000184.png
However your post makes a few assumptions, namely:
  • Bounded accuracy is a good thing & only a good thing
  • Bounded accuracy allows enough design spacefor characters to grow over the course of a campaign with only roll2d20 keep the higher/lower & double proficiency bonus
  • Bounded accuracy as implimented is something that could not possibly be improved with a redesign that adds more designspace for character growth.

Everything you cite as a problem with guidance it's evidence that one or more of those assumptions must be false because in the very first 5e rulebook titled the Player's Handbook that wotc couldn't even manage to get past cantrips & first level spells like bane before they ran out of alloted designspace & were forced to start circumventing bounded accuracy. You could argue that the dragonmarked races in Rising are more akin to 3.5 trying to stretch the eventually exhausted system's designspace years in when they released tome of battle book of 9 swords, but that doesn't apply when they have to crash through the ceiling on things gained by first level characters in PHB

People frequently point at the 9th level spell wish available at level 17 as evidence that casters are overpowered & other nonsense even though 90% of campaigns don't make it past level 10 & less than 5% even reach levels where wish can be cast... oddly though, guidance rarely ever comes up .
 
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Sure, if that's how your GM runs it.

Who is to say the verbal component isn't telling the Bard "You got this, Ezekial!" right before they break into a solo. Or perhaps the verbal component is "This guy here knows his magical items, you should listen to him" when the wizard is making a Persuasion check to talk down the price of a gem. Or even just whispering an incantation to stealth up the rogue who then uses the next minute to move up towards the bad guys and take up a hidden position.
Well the PHB/SRD says what a verbal component contains:


Verbal (V)
Most Spells require the chanting of mystic words. The words themselves aren’t the source of the spell’s power; rather, the particular combination of sounds, with specific pitch and resonance, sets the threads of magic in motion.


It indicates to me something that is quite noticeable and distinctive as a spell, and that is how I run it at my tables.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
It indicates to me something that is quite noticeable and distinctive as a spell, and that is how I run it at my tables.
Let's suppose you are GM in a game in which I am a player. I am playing an Arcane Trickster.

The scene is a small inn common room, and my mission is to steal the jail keys off a guard who came in for a drink.

The fire is cracking and there are a couple tables filled with some locals but mostly the place is empty. The noise level is quiet dinner conversation in the place.

The guard saddles up to the bar and orders a whiskey. I say "I want to cast Mage Hand , and when he is distracted by throwing back his whiskey I want to try to grab those keys off his belt.

Do you....

A) Envision my rogue quietly mumbling and gesturing to himself in order to avoid attention while he casts Mage Hand and then let me make a skill check to grab the keys unnoticed.

B) Envision my rogue suddenly loud talking some gibberish in a strange language nobody understands while doing jazz hands under the table so that it looks like he is self pleasuring as everyone in the place looks his way including the guard he wants to pickpocket who glaces over to see a disembodied hand floating under the table?

I just wrote a scene for my next adventure, actually.
 

Stalker0

Legend
However your post makes a few assumptions, namely:
  • Bounded accuracy is a good thing & only a good thing
  • Bounded accuracy allows enough design spacefor characters to grow over the course of a campaign with only roll2d20 keep the higher/lower & double proficiency bonus
  • Bounded accuracy as implimented is something that could not possibly be improved with a redesign that adds more designspace for character growth.

I never said it was good, I said the spell guidance was powerful. In the context of the bounded accuracy system that is 5e....getting a +1d4 to many skill checks is very powerful. Whatever that is good or not is the eye of the beholder, and makes no commentary on whether bounded accuracy is good or not.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I never said it was good, I said the spell guidance was powerful. In the context of the bounded accuracy system that is 5e....getting a +1d4 to many skill checks is very powerful. Whatever that is good or not is the eye of the beholder, and makes no commentary on whether bounded accuracy is good or not.
That's a very creative way of qualifying:"powerful". If you need to narrow the scope to a metaconstruct poorly overlaying the system rather than how it impacts actual play at table you are admitting that it's not significant enough to be noteworthy let alone problemati. Enough to support the original imbalance complaint.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Let's suppose you are GM in a game in which I am a player. I am playing an Arcane Trickster.

The scene is a small inn common room, and my mission is to steal the jail keys off a guard who came in for a drink.

The fire is cracking and there are a couple tables filled with some locals but mostly the place is empty. The noise level is quiet dinner conversation in the place.

The guard saddles up to the bar and orders a whiskey. I say "I want to cast Mage Hand , and when he is distracted by throwing back his whiskey I want to try to grab those keys off his belt.

Do you....

A) Envision my rogue quietly mumbling and gesturing to himself in order to avoid attention while he casts Mage Hand and then let me make a skill check to grab the keys unnoticed.

B) Envision my rogue suddenly loud talking some gibberish in a strange language nobody understands while doing jazz hands under the table so that it looks like he is self pleasuring as everyone in the place looks his way including the guard he wants to pickpocket who glaces over to see a disembodied hand floating under the table?

I just wrote a scene for my next adventure, actually.
Why is it that the guard in your example lives and works as a guard in a world where magic exists as a provable fact seems incapable of noticing someone cast a spell near him while he's on duty?

Even the lowest paid rentacopin our world would recognize an electrician getting to work , a guy waving a gun around, or the sounds of a gunshot.

Edit. Getting off topic a bit here but Since your trying to get into security, the guard shouldn't have that level of secure keys in that setting. This might help you. good & bad security & Using Penetration testing for inspiration of eberron “puzzles” (and locks/security). - The Piazza
 
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clearstream

(He, Him)
View attachment 125764
better get on those rogues & bards
View attachment 125766
View attachment 125767
Rangers too, everyone knows those are super awesome...
View attachment 125765
don't forget every dragonmarked race too
View attachment 125775
However your post makes a few assumptions, namely:
  • Bounded accuracy is a good thing & only a good thing
  • Bounded accuracy allows enough design spacefor characters to grow over the course of a campaign with only roll2d20 keep the higher/lower & double proficiency bonus
  • Bounded accuracy as implimented is something that could not possibly be improved with a redesign that adds more designspace for character growth.

Everything you cite as a problem with guidance it's evidence that one or more of those assumptions must be false because in the very first 5e rulebook titled the Player's Handbook that wotc couldn't even manage to get past cantrips & first level spells like bane before they ran out of alloted designspace & were forced to start circumventing bounded accuracy. You could argue that the dragonmarked races in Rising are more akin to 3.5 trying to stretch the eventually exhausted system's designspace years in when they released tome of battle book of 9 swords, but that doesn't apply when they have to crash through the ceiling on things gained by first level characters in PHB

People frequently point at the 9th level spell wish available at level 17 as evidence that casters are overpowered & other nonsense even though 90% of campaigns don't make it past level 10 & less than 5% even reach levels where wish can be cast... oddly though, guidance rarely ever comes up .
Setting aside guidance as a subject we're unlikely to agree on, and not needing settlement for the main thesis in any case, what are your thoughts on the question of 40ish cases of handing out advantage, and over a dozen of granting expertise/effective-expertise?
 

Stalker0

Legend
If you need to narrow the scope to a metaconstruct poorly overlaying the system rather than how it impacts actual play at table you are admitting that it's not significant enough to be noteworthy let alone problemati.

Nothing about this sentence to me made sense, I'll need a translation.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
So I've had a chance to really delve into the document. Here is my detailed nitty gritty feedback on various parts. There is so much to cover that I'm going to break this up into a few threads.
I would like to encourage you to remember one very important evaluation aspect:

Does the game still feel recognizably like D&D and 5th edition?

That is, far too many "fix" projects end up incorporating too many of its designer's pet peeves, resulting in a game ignored by the greater gaming public simply because it no longer feels like a replacement game - it feels like its own entirely new thing. A brand new game is in itself fine, but few to no such games have even come close to replace D&D or even supplant it. Pathfinder 1 has arguably come the closest, and if Level Up aims for that level of success, it needs to kill any darling that weakens the impression this is still D&D 5th edition.

Formally: If Level Up is to succeed at the goal of supplementing 5th Edition for gamers wanting more crunch, each game element needs to be judged on whether it helps achieve that goal. Or is the game so enthusiastic about "fixing" things it forgets its main mission? Likewise, are you the reviewer looking at the trees only, not seeing the forest? It's all too easy to dive deep into whether Dragonborn Fins rate B or C, but this risks missing the greater picture: it doesn't matter unless the public buys the product in the first place.

And that is why I encourage you to make one of your promised threads about this - an otherwise "invisible" aspect of this playtest document. :)
 

If mini-conditional-modifiers start creeping into the base game design then it will feel more like a 3e/5e hybrid game. That's fine if that is the goal, but its maybe not the direction i'd be captaining the ship.

If +1 here, +2 there situational mods starts making more than an occasional appearance you can count me out. I admit I've only been following the project here and there but with all the threads on the forum its hard to keep track of everything and I'm still not too convinced that this wont turn into its own game/sub system that's more complex than I'm interested in.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Setting aside guidance as a subject we're unlikely to agree on, and not needing settlement for the main thesis in any case, what are your thoughts on the question of 40ish cases of handing out advantage, and over a dozen of granting expertise/effective-expertise?
Well before that can be answered for folks worshiping at the porcelain throne known as bounded accuracy we need to cut through the hyperbole & vague generalities devoid of context.
  • Expertise
    • Steam Tiefling culture - Choose one from Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, or Religion. The only thing noteworthy is that it might result in expertise for folks specializing in areas other than thieve's tools stealth or diplomancering.
    • no more expertise...
  • "Doubled"
    • Dragonborn:Dragonbound->metalic dragon - choose one from history, nature, medicine, & religion to be proficient & have the bonus doubled.
    • Dwarf:Gifted artisan - Double proficiency bonus on an artisan tool. This could be triple or quintuple & have the same effect. Until we seeing playtest stuff for things like "a crafting system for magic items" or "a more detailed skill system" this has basically zero effect on any game or bounded accuracy because tihieve's tools are not an artisan tool
    • Mountain Dwarf culture - doubled proficiency on history(int) related to the origin of stonework. In an edition where int is the ultimate dump stat & int skills are devalued history is not even one of the better int skills & is really just a pseudo catchall last ditch "g needs to get some info & the party flubbed arcana/religion/etc." Total nonissue till we start seeing that more detailed skill system even in a game like mine where the gm tries hard to lean on history.
    • Hill dwarf culture - Double proficiency bonus on survival(wis). Given that the core phb ranger literally has a poorly regarded ribbon granting them immunity to getting lost/slowed by difficult terrain/slowed by moving stealthily with no skill check & one of the core phb backgrounds can automatically find enough food & water to supply a party of six while traveling with no skill check time spent or slow in travel speed you don't get to be outraged over this nonissue & we really cab't even judge it util we start seeing playtest packets involving other areas.
    • Double proficiency on history or arcana when making checks related to magical alchemical or technological items. This is sligtly more useful than the mountain dwarf stonework history but still not an issue since it's not significantly different from something gnomes already have in core.
    • Forgotten folx - once per long rest you can give an ally doubled proficiency bonus to something you are helping them with as well as rolling with advantage.. This falls far enough short from "you cast disintegrate without using a spell slot once per long rest" so isn't a big deal since its a really impressive hail mary ace in the hole but is also something that could easily go unused a significant umber of long rest cycles. The sky is not falling.
    • Halfling kithbain culture - Double insight proficiency checks. What is most notable is that it has a chance of thwarting diplomancy. The players usually know when an npc is feeding them a line of creative truths & alternative facts. All this does is make bob likely to figure it out & maybe give their character a reason to cast their 1/rest detect thoughts. again not an issue
    • Human:Die hard survivor - double your con bonus for determining how long you can go without food. Even as someone who thinks it's too easy to ignore & bypass hurdles related to carrying/finding food & water this one is a total nonissue beside bob being proficient in death saves because I'm pretty sure that size small creatures already do that or did it in old versions & it was not a huge deal even then.
    • profiteer culture - double bonus with cartographer's & navigator's tools. total nonissue... see notes on ranger/outlander in hill dwarf. There are literally discussions about how this culture might be too weak & need some improvements & people have made actual sound arguments involving more than vague nothingness & hyperbole supporting such an action.
    • orcish communal culture - choose any one skill to be proficient in & double your proficiency bonus on. Cool but not a big deal.
    • demon cultist culture undead graft option - double proficiency bonus on athletics checks to grapple sove & performother combat maneuvers. Given that those are pretty terrible ways of wasting an attack in the vast majority of situations we can't really even judge it until we start seeing playtest packets touching on areas like "A range of martial maneuvers to give non-spellcasters more options in combat" , "a more tactical combat system", & maybe "a more detailed skill system"
    • nomad culture - Proficient in land vehicles along with tinkers tools and double your proficiency bonus to control navigate or repair them... stop the presses & notify eliminster about this new threat to the realm y0! See also ranger/outlander blurb in hill dwarf.
In short... chill out & stop wasting everyone's time because you can't be bothered to make your argument about any specific heritage/culture/background or realize how weak that point is so instead chose to argue the sky is falling & hope nobody takes the time to check.

edit: Can't help but notice that my ctrl-f found only about a quarter as many instances as your inflated citation of 40 & dozen plus .
 
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