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D&D 5E Adjusting to 1 encounter per Day: Putting the XP Budget into a single fight

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The notion that 200 average guards isn't automatically a TPK for four adventurers of any level makes me sad. :(

I know DnD is a fantasy game, but I still prefer it to give at least a perfunctory nod to realism.
I get ya, but I think 5e hits a good balance, where those guards will probably kill even level 20 PCs if the guard leadership is smart and has a basic idea what magic can do, but even relatively low level PCs can at least survive as long as the PCs are smart and unafraid of using all thier resources.
 

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clearstream

(He, Him)
Oh, yes, that is true, but when you start to look at "what do I do which is better than this one giant encounter", which your post was aimed at, then you start to see the problem in perspective. At best the DM has to solve a multi-dimensional problem to get a good result, and at worst even the best attempt may be undone by access to some specific ability (spell, item, whatever) or simple luck.
Hmm. So notwithstanding the general excellence of the 5th edition game design, where is it weakest?
  1. The designers don't have a good solve for the adventuring day problem. That lets in all-alpha-all-the-time modes of play.
  2. Monster design feels insufficiently well thought through. Foes often lack basic counters to common character abilities.
  3. That is exacerbated by the encounter guidelines, which are barely usable.
  4. Additionally, the designers pushed the power curve too hard (unnecessarily so) from 11th up.
The - what if it is all-alpha-all-the-time - question casts light on these problems. In a way, it asks if we even need to solve the adventuring day problem in the first place?
 


Hmm. So notwithstanding the general excellence of the 5th edition game design, where is it weakest?
  1. The designers don't have a good solve for the adventuring day problem. That lets in all-alpha-all-the-time modes of play.
  2. Monster design feels insufficiently well thought through. Foes often lack basic counters to common character abilities.
  3. That is exacerbated by the encounter guidelines, which are barely usable.
  4. Additionally, the designers pushed the power curve too hard (unnecessarily so) from 11th up.
The - what if it is all-alpha-all-the-time - question casts light on these problems. In a way, it asks if we even need to solve the adventuring day problem in the first place?
Well, the whole 'need to' seems like it is far too fuzzy. In respect of RPGs nobody NEEDS to do anything. My point being only that the level of discussion which makes sense IMHO is "what works really well most of the time" or something like that.

I mean, 5e compares favorably in that respect with many other versions of D&D, mostly. It just strikes me as odd that it managed to miss on some things that have already been kind of relegated to "this was perfected a couple generations of RPGs ago."
 


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