D&D General 5.5 and making the game easier for players and harder for DMs

Chaosmancer

Legend
I think the framing of kill here is incorrect. I am around a lot of new DMs, and their frustration comes from not being able to challenge the PCs without the threat of having a TPK. If framed that way, then these new class powers will indeed frustrate some DMs, even experienced ones.

The old rule of - wait and see - should be our go to here. As we really haven't seen the MM yet. But, for pure speculation's sake, the new class abilities might frustrate DMs.

On a separate, yet similar topic, the new classes definitely seem like they will slow combat a lot.

But is that because the game made the PCs too powerful to challenge unless you are going to TPK them... or is it because they are new DMs and it is hard to find the right balance? Because I note, you don't say that their frustration comes from not being able to challenge the PCs, but that they can't challenge the PCs without risking a TPK.

In that vein, making a TPK HARDER to achieve will mean that the new DM is more likely to be able to challenge them without TPKing the party. Which removes the frustration.
 

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Chaosmancer

Legend
Battle maps and grid combat burned me out so badly that I did not run games for years.

If WM adds a ton of tactical mess that slows the game and increases my burden, then that is a no.

As a DM, I already have to know and track a ton of stuff and half the time remind players of their own stuff.

A player is not going to track bleed damage for instance. If WM adds a ton of effects etc, then it can die in a fire. They players will not track their own stuff. It will be on me or 2 rounds later there will be a “oh yeah, this should have happened.”

I do not want to play a tactical grid, minis game.

We have the entire Weapon Mastery system already. We know exactly what effects are in it. Bleed is not one of them. So what effects would force you into a battle map instead of theater of the mind from the current list?

Cleave - Make a free attack against adjacent enemy
Graze - Damage on a Miss
Sap - Enemy has disadvantage on next attack
Nick - Don't need Bonus action for TWF
Push - Knockback 10 ft
Slow - reduce speed by 10 ft
Vex - if you hit, advantage on next attack
Topple - knock enemy prone

Is it Push? Is that going to break your theater of the mind?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Not really. The DMG is not a wooable book. At most, the marketing will continue to be player focused on items like "look at these cool magic items, or additional options, or more about players crafting gear...."

The playtest should have included DMG items and have been more focused on smooth running of the game.

What are you talking about? When they talked about the DMG, Perkins was explicit in how the first three chapters were the most important in the book. The chapters for helping the DM run the game more smoothly. He did quite a bit of "wooing" for the DM.

Have you not been following the information they are putting out?
 

But is that because the game made the PCs too powerful to challenge unless you are going to TPK them... or is it because they are new DMs and it is hard to find the right balance? Because I note, you don't say that their frustration comes from not being able to challenge the PCs, but that they can't challenge the PCs without risking a TPK.

In that vein, making a TPK HARDER to achieve will mean that the new DM is more likely to be able to challenge them without TPKing the party. Which removes the frustration.
That is a good point, but again, we'll have to wait and see how it plays out. It might just as well make it where almost nothing their level challenges the group, or it might make 3 out of 4 combats inconsequential, or it might make it where combat becomes a slog and players with short focus lose interest. There are a lot of factors that go into "challenging the PCs." These new classes will be variables.
 

Not really. The DMG is not a wooable book. At most, the marketing will continue to be player focused on items like "look at these cool magic items, or additional options, or more about players crafting gear...."

The playtest should have included DMG items and have been more focused on smooth running of the game.
I agree, it should have. But I would argue the DMG and MM are wooable books, they just have a smaller audience.
 

Oofta

Legend
That is a good point, but again, we'll have to wait and see how it plays out. It might just as well make it where almost nothing their level challenges the group, or it might make 3 out of 4 combats inconsequential, or it might make it where combat becomes a slog and players with short focus lose interest. There are a lot of factors that go into "challenging the PCs." These new classes will be variables.

I guess I just don't see much that is any worse than variance introduced by a different combination of players and their choices. I've always had to adjust by group and by campaign. This is nothing new.

Hopefully the new DMG talks about adjusting encounter difficulty for the group because it seems like at least some people still believe there's a magic spreadsheet out there that will work 100% of the time for every group.
 


I guess I just don't see much that is any worse than variance introduced by a different combination of players and their choices. I've always had to adjust by group and by campaign. This is nothing new.

Hopefully the new DMG talks about adjusting encounter difficulty for the group because it seems like at least some people still believe there's a magic spreadsheet out there that will work 100% of the time for every group.
You're right, it's part of the DM's job to adjust and tailor, especially encounters. But adjusting for some things might be easier than others. We'll have to wait and see it this is easier or more difficult for the majority of DMs. That's all I was trying to point out.

And fingers-crossed on the DMG. I am looking forward to reading it.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
It's been years since 5.5 was announced. Why are they still wooing the players exclusively? My guess is that players are what they care about.

Looks at teasers for monster statblocks. Looks at video where changes to make statblocks easier to use was discussed. Looks at later part of the video where they discussed Apex monsters and increased monster families to allow lower and higher DC encounters with classic monster types. Video also talks about new monsters, and the rebalancing of the monsters to make them as scary as can be. Video also talks about the increased number of NPC statblock for DMs to use, because they know DMs use them. DMG video talks about providing five short adventures for all DMs as part of the book. DMG has a complete campaign setting for the DM to use as part of the core books. A Lore glossary has been included to give information on classic NPCs, villains, and locations for all DMs. They have included a Bastion system, and gone on the record repeatedly that part of their goal is to give players a taste of Dungeon Mastering, so that they will be more confident and willing to step into the role. Video tells us they have an entire chapter devoted to helping the DM craft adventures. Video tells us the DMG has multiple maps in te appendix. Video tells us they have improved the chapter on the planes of DnD to give DMs even more useful information they can use for utilizing those planes of existence. They revealed racking sheets to assist DMs in keeping track of their campaign notes, NPcs, towns and villages, ect. Video reveals that Chapter 1 is for brand-new DMs to explain the job, chapter 2 is a chapter devoted entirely to learning how to play the game, chapter 3 is a toolbox of rules and examples for traps, hazards, NPC building, siege engines, things that DMS will need to know and that they have reorganized to make them easier to find and use by DMs.

You know Micah, you are right. Clearly the people at WoTC don't care at all about DMs. I mean, they have told us absolutely nothing at all about anything that might be exciting or useful for DMs. Not even a peep. I bet I couldn't even make a large paragraph about all the information, goodies, and changes in the MM and DMG for DMs. It is all player's 100% of the time.
 

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