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

Hassassin

First Post
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.

I thought the expectation that "I kick the door in!" just works would be the opposite of "mother may I".

In 3e or 4e the DM would just pick a DC so it's just as much, if not more up to him whether something works.
 

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Hassassin

First Post
Wait, so with the Wizard "setting the DC" for the saving throws, that means they're returning to the pre-4e way of spells. No more rolling to attack, just the defender has to make a save.

No, I got the idea that "setting the DC" means that the Wizard rolls an attack, which acts as a DC. Basically an opposed roll.

I don't generally like opposed rolls, because they take longer to resolve, but OTOH this makes magic "wilder" so I'm certainly keeping an open mind until I can playtest it.
 

BryonD

Hero
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.
I'm highly torn over this.

For one thing, I've always been very down on the way ability checks, feats of strength such as door bashing in particular, are handled in 3E. I'm good with the high variability of a linear 1d20 random result for most things, but there are places where it really fails. Door bashing is certainly on such place. Reliable and consistent "this just works" is highly welcome.

I'd be happy with "I bash the door" having three default spheres of response.
* It crashes in
* It holds steady like you were not there
* It creaks but doesn't give. Do you wanna go all out? (...reaches for dice) eyes


On the other hand, I'm holding my breath that they don't go to far with this. I'm very cool with the idea that every 1st level character has a minimum capacity for being sneaky and a simple ability based system defines that. The "nothing sneaky about me" knight can still try to sneak at L1. And the sneaky rogue at L1 will be no more sneaky except that he (probably) has a better Dex and (almost certainly if his is a "sneaky" rogue). Since he does have these things, he is more sneaky. Works good at L1 and you have some range of the same three tiers (Automatic, roll for it, and no hope) Though outside of extremes I'd hope the DM would still roll every time just to keep from giving away too much information.

I'm a little concerned about the possible implications for how this works past L1. Obviously the same rogue at L12 should be more sneaky than he was at L1. Now "skill ranks" handles this fine, but there are other ways to skin this cat. It sounds like it may be more matter of buying more bonuses along the way. Either way can be fine on that front.

But that "nothing sneaky about me" knight should be no more sneaky at L12 than he was at L1. If his Dex has nudged up, then cool, he is a touch more "sneaky", but aside from that it should be unchanged. Some of the stuff I've read could be seen as implying that there is still a level based normalizing. That would be a major problem. But we will see. I'll remain optimistic for now....
 

Osgood

Hero
I don't generally like opposed rolls, because they take longer to resolve, but OTOH this makes magic "wilder" so I'm certainly keeping an open mind until I can playtest it.

I really don't like the opposed roll notion either--there's something wrong with the idea that a natch 20 could still miss, and doesn't a DM have to do enough rolling already?. I suppose you could hose rule that monsters "take a 10" on their save. For that matter, the monsters could "take a 10" on their attacks, putting all spellcasting rolls in the hands of the player.
 

Mattachine

Adventurer
I keep reading the phrase "skills are just modified ability checks" in 5e playtest reports and statements from the designers.

That is essentially how skills have been since their inception in AD&D 1.5 (late AD&D). Granted, 3rd edition allowed ones skill ranks to greatly outstrip the ability score bonus, and fourth edition added the scaling modifier. Nonetheless, they were still ability checks.

Sorry, it isn't new or revolutionary.
 

Mattachine

Adventurer
Additionally, though I like the more narrative style of play being used at the playtest, I think they are only experimenting with it.

I can see (and have played in) a D&D game that avoids die rolls except in combat--I'm not sure I like it, though.
 

BryonD

Hero
I keep reading the phrase "skills are just modified ability checks" in 5e playtest reports and statements from the designers.

That is essentially how skills have been since their inception in AD&D 1.5 (late AD&D). Granted, 3rd edition allowed ones skill ranks to greatly outstrip the ability score bonus, and fourth edition added the scaling modifier. Nonetheless, they were still ability checks.

Sorry, it isn't new or revolutionary.
I wouldn't say "revolutionary".

But I think you are missing a fundamental distinction.

In 3E skill ranks are the foundation of the design. Abilities are just a modifier.
In 4E 1/2 level is the foundation and abilities are just the modifier.
A system founded on ability checks can have some significant differences.

Certainly it doesn't make any difference if your stealth check is figured as X + Y or Y + X. But when you are defining the rest of the system it can have important implications.
 


Salamandyr

Adventurer
Oh, I don't mind wizards being killed by housecats. I just don't like it as a balancing mechanism for Wish. ;)

But, yeah, with the theif aparently able to stealth without a roll, 'incompetence' may not be the right word.

The house cat didn't even have stats until Monster Manual 2. It wasn't part of core design at all.
 

I like, that they are going back to some sort of taking ten/twenty mechanic in a more explicit form.
When I figured out, that tkaing ten and twenty was the expactation, 3.5 skil system suddenly worked... (and you never became skill point starved, weven as a fighter)
Too bad, wizard somehow forgot in 4e and made rolling the most used mechanic in a skill challenge...
 

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