D&D 5E Considering the D&D Next Playtest in Light of the WotC Seminars

bpauls

Explorer
I have now had a chance to go through the transcripts of the WoTC seminars and to identify the elements of the new system that they have chosen to make public.

Since my NDA only covers confidential information, this gives me more latitude in describing my gaming experience during the playtest at DDXP.

I hope this new post helps those who weren't able to make it to the convention.

Putting this summary together has me even more jazzed to run D&D Next when it moves to a public playtest...
 

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Mengu

First Post
I feel like I missed DDXP. I was there, I did the play test. Your experience in all aspects but one, is nothing like mine. Either I got a seriously bum DM, or the rules are in a very loose and open to interpretation state. The only part I had the same experience is, yeah, level 1 is not about victory, it's all about survival. In 6 combats, we fled 4 times, 3 of them all the way back to town.
 

FireLance

Legend
I found it quite interesting that there was a cleric, a rogue and a wizard, but no fighter. Makes me wonder whether the "warlord" was actually a fighter with a warlord theme.

As for the race, I'm betting either dragonborn or tiefling. The token 4e class needs a token 4e race! :p
 

Hot diggity! Now this is some information I can sink my teeth into!

I'm especially intrigued that the wizard at-will felt different from ordinary attacks; this is very promising. Apparently it's an opposed ability check, with the wizard rolling Int I'd guess, and the defender rolling a saving throw. Dex, most likely?

Although all six ability scores are used as saves, my gut tells me that Dex and Con are going to get a lot more of a workout than the others. Along with either Wis or Cha. Str I could see being used against grappling, paralysis and the like; and I can't think of much of anything for Int except for illusions. We already know that Cha is being used for fear and charms; that leaves other mental stuff for Wis?

It's also interesting that you can apparently do quite a bit of stuff without needing to roll - the rogue did a lot of reconnoitering without having to roll once.

EDIT: The fact that spells require opposed rolls will tend to push results to the middle - thus a small edge on one side will tend to be amplified. But of course very swingy results are possible.

Also, more randomness usually favors the NPC's, simply because they only have to survive one battle while the PC's have to survive them all. Wizards will feel quite motivated to target an opponent's low stats.
 
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Jack99

Adventurer
I think the interwebs must have matured. Or did I miss the 4576 threads about how "Javelins of Fire" have ruined dndnext before it's even out?
 

FireLance

Legend
I think the interwebs must have matured. Or did I miss the 4576 threads about how "Javelins of Fire" have ruined dndnext before it's even out?
Actually, I think there was a small amount of outrage that wizards had to spend a feat to get javelin of fire. Of course, not calling it burningmanticore flamejavelin probably helped, although I thought they missed the chance to call it Aganazzer's incendiary projectile.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
Actually, I think there was a small amount of outrage that wizards had to spend a feat to get javelin of fire. Of course, not calling it burningmanticore flamejavelin probably helped, although I thought they missed the chance to call it Aganazzer's incendiary projectile.
Or 'Melf's Minute Meteor' - I wonder if they lost the rights to Melf somehow, because 4e has a plain vanilla 'acid arrow?'
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
Although all six ability scores are used as saves, my gut tells me that Dex and Con are going to get a lot more of a workout than the others.
My concern is that its likely to leave a character with more Achilles Heels than feet. A character viable in terms of AC and having the stats to be OK in his class might have 2 or even 4 abysmal saves. Heck, a random-rolled character could have 6.

Having /a/ weakness is a common, but not universal theme in heroic fantasy. Very often in fantasy or myth the hero is a paragon who does everything well. Fatal flaws are definitely out there, particularly in tragedy, of course. In 3e and 4e characters had 3 saves, and it was hard not to have at least one of them good and one of them bad. Even in AD&D each class tended to have one better save and one not so good one, rather than lots of really bad ones (and they all advanced quite evenly, anyway). So it's always been likely (almost certain) a PC will have a weakness or blind spot. It's just problematic to have too many that are too weak.
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
I feel like I missed DDXP. I was there, I did the play test. Your experience in all aspects but one, is nothing like mine. Either I got a seriously bum DM, or the rules are in a very loose and open to interpretation state. The only part I had the same experience is, yeah, level 1 is not about victory, it's all about survival. In 6 combats, we fled 4 times, 3 of them all the way back to town.
I'm not real enthused by the 'mother may I' style of play, it /is/, as you may have experienced, very dependent on the skill/experience, personality/talent, and mood of the DM.

Also the return to relative incompetence at level one isn't inspiring. One of the things I liked about 3e and 4e is that they made the PCs of an Heroic Fantasy RPG more heroic from the start.
 

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