D&D 5E Another Critical Hits 5E Report

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Demon Lord
From the article:

Two of the groups I had both went into the Caves of Chaos with very typical 4e empowerment. They had expectations about their capability and survivability. Both returned to the Keep bloodied, battered, and with a long shopping list of door-spikes, rope, poles, and crossbows. Both groups went out as 4e PCs the first time and old-school PCs the second. The entitlement they expected in the codified rules of 4e quickly transformed into the understanding that they would need to take hold of their own destiny. The world wouldn’t save them, they would have to save themselves, and the best weapons they had were their imaginations

Heartwarming :)


The article was really interesting. The scaling is flatter so it should make number crunching at higher levels easier unless they add on "schtuff" to ramp up the bonuses in other rules. Anyways, looking forward to the next article!


First Post
The more I read about 5th, the more it sounds like E6. Frankly, I think flattening out the math was a brilliant idea.

AFAIU, they played at a low level, so of course it should sound like E6. ;)

Anyway this made me LOL:
You won’t run into the problem in 4e where you’re trying to argue a way to bench-press a throne when having a conversation with a noble lord because your diplomacy is 12 points lower than your athletics.

And this made me go YAY!:
“Mike, you have five minutes left.”
“No problem, I only have one boss battle to run.”


If you want to open a barred door and that door’s DC is 13. If you have a strength ability score of 15, you don’t even have to roll. You kick in the door. It’s elegant, simple, easy to understand, and uses the whole score instead of the ability bonus.

I keep thinking of that scene at the end of Princess Bride when Inigo Montoya tries to get through a door, failing, and Fezzik knocks it down with one punch.


The whole Returning to the Theater of the Imagination section is pure garbage. Better get your golf bag out 'cause here it comes again. The skill system sounds fine and flattening the power progression is too.


A 5-minute climactic battle? That's really anti-climactic.

Yeah, kind of makes me want to say, "That's it? We're done?"

Reminds of a DCC module where the big bad was waiting for us behind a secret door. He goes into some long spiel about himself and at the end he screams, "I'm the master now!" Combat starts. We kill him in 1 round.

Maybe the 5 minutes is a super pure adrenaline experience. If you go 6 minutes, you'll go into cardiac arrest and fall dead out of your chair. :p


The article takes an edition war cheap shot with the "4e entitlement" comment and then Shea has comments turned off to avoid edition wars? I'm disappointed in you, Mike. :(

You could say that a 4e player may have certain "assumptions" about encounter balance based on how such things were handled in 4e. And they found those assumptions were mistaken when playing 5e.

But to use the term "entitled" is derogatory. It implies they are naive or stupid, expecting something they don't "deserve". If that truly is the attitude of your players, SlyFlourish, then thats YOUR failure as their DM.

I played old school. I crushed B1 back in the day through clever play and tactics. I survived original Tomb of Horrors. I have TPKed parties in 4e as well. I assure you, none of my 4e players feel "entitled" to anything.

My enjoyment of 4e doesn't come because I feel "entitled" to anything other than having a good time with my friends. I like 4e because I like playing a well-designed balanced game that encourages cinematic heroics and smart tactical game play. I expect I will enjoy 5e as well. But I don't need to tear down another edition or the people who like it to say that.

The whole Returning to the Theater of the Imagination section is pure garbage.

Since D&D is actually a game of the imagination why is this garbage?

A 5-minute climactic battle? That's really anti-climactic.

It doesn't have to be. Its easier to keep combats exciting if they are shorter. Its hard for me to maintain excitement for a battle in which I just scored 22 points of damage against the BBEG and realize that will need to happen more than 10 more times before he's even bloodied and we get to the half time show.


Once that transformation took place, the whole game changed. The antagonism between player and DM transformed into a true cooperative story. Described by Monte Cook as the core mechanic of the game, the players told the DM what they wanted to do and the DM told them whether they succeeded or not.
I don't get it. Is there actually an edition of D&D where this is not true? On the other hand, this is bit strange throw away, as until this point it sounded that he was advocating DM vs player style.


Dear Wizards, put your lawyers on a chain and lift this guy's NDA already. This puzzle game is getting ridiculous. Even Monte Cook said 90% of speculation is wrong. Only you can end this. I think people understand what "under development" means.


Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I keep thinking of that scene at the end of Princess Bride when Inigo Montoya tries to get through a door, failing, and Fezzik knocks it down with one punch.

Westley: Give us the gate key.
Yellin: I have no gate key.
Inigo Montoya: Fezzik, tear his arms off.
Yellin: Oh, you mean *this* gate key.

This must be what 5E auto-succeed at "Intimidate" is going to be like.

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