D&D 5E D&D 5e Post-Mortem

dave2008

Legend
I am talking even regular monsters though.

Take the lowly kobold for example. You had the kobolds slingers that had several different projectiles, from reducing attacks, to lighting you on fire, or immobilizing you to the floor with glue.

Kobolds in 4e are crafty! 5e kobolds just pile up and attack targets.

Now goblins in 5e do get that shifty kind of action with disengage as a bonus action, which is similar to what 4e kobolds got at base. But again 4e goblins like the sniper could attack from hiding and stay hidden while missing, which made them extra stealthy and difficult to deal with. Or goblin warriors got extra damage when moving 20 feet, encouraging them to move around the battlefield and attack different targets, rather than just focusing on a single one.


The fact that you immediately go to the elites and solos is I think telling. In 5e terms, only the legendries really get any kind of interesting mechanics. In 4e, even the lowly monsters often got some cool unique tricks to play with.
OK, lets look at kobolds, not including adventure or setting books we have:

Kobold (MM):
1692303361903.png

Kobold Dragonshield (VGTM & MotM):
1692303430318.png

Kobold Inventor (VGTM & MotM):
1692303477321.png

Kobold Scale Sorcerer (VGTM & MotM):
1692303573721.png

Winged Kobold (MM):
1692303644255.png


That is an interesting bit over variety IMO. Now lets look at two monster books from 4e (MM 1 & 2):

Kobold Minion (MM):
1692303981702.png

Kobold Skirmisher (MM)
1692304001448.png

Kobold Slinger (MM):
1692304061152.png

Kobold Dragonshield:
1692304097530.png

Kobold Wyrmpriest (MM):
1692304145554.png

Kobold Skyblade (MM):
1692304178458.png


Are these 4e ones really so much better than the 5e ones? Of all of them I find the 5e inventor the most fun. I do miss those compact 4e statblocks though.

I will admit that 4e monsters in general had more tactical effects (pushes, pulls, slides, etc.). That is the same for 4e PCs too.

I also want to be clear, I really like 4e monster design. It had its flaws, but they could be ironed out and they too got better as the edition went on. Personally I think some combination of 4e and 5e is my ideal monster design.
 
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Vael

Legend
I do miss 4e monsters and combat, but I do know what I gained in 5e: Theater of the Mind combat. A lot of what made 4e combat engaging was the grid, seeing minis on the map, to the point where I might have run barely a battle or two without it.

5e, my experience is almost the exact opposite, I'd say +90% combat has been ToTM, not played on a grid. And this is despite still owning a wealth of minis and dungeon tiles and maps.

And that does make 5e much faster in play, 4e has a great combat engine, but it does take time.
 

mamba

Legend
So the question I have for the OP (and others who feel the same way) is: what's next.
still figuring this out.... I backed the Weird Wizard, I looked a bit into Savage Worlds @ Pathfinder and like what I see, I have not yet taken a look at Cypher, but intend to, and finally I actually like what I have seen from Talisman Adventures, but they unfortunately disappeared from DTRPG before I got the expansions, so will have to see. I am following Tales of the Valiant and will look at the C7D20 system.

Heck, even Matt Colville's might be interesting, too early to tell. The CR ones I am not that interested in.

Fabula Ultimate just won Ennies for Best Game (gold) and Product of the Year (silver), so that got me interested. While I am not into JRPGs, I might give it a try and check out its Fantasy supplement too...
 
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SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
still figuring this out.... I backed the Weird Wizard, I looked a bit into Savage Worlds @ Pathfinder and like what I see, I have not yet taken a look at Cypher, but intend to, and finally I actually like what I have seen from Talisman Adventures, but they unfortunately disappeared from DTRPG before I got the expansions, so will have to see.
It sounds like we are going in similar directions. I picked up Talisman adventures with a friend of mine while at a Con and we've agreed to run a session some time. I was quite surprised. The other contender for me is Fabula Ultima. I also backed the Break!! Kickstarter for what that's worth.
 

Raiztt

Adventurer
Fabula Ultimate just won Ennies for Best Game (gold) and Product of the Year (silver), so that got me interested. While I am not into JRPGs, I might give it a try and check out its Fantasy supplement too...
Best art I've ever seen from a TTRPG product which, imo, is a genre with typically terrible art.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
We've had that every version it's not a trap it's the simple fact that humans are pack animals and only a few want to step up and lead any endeavor. For most it's stressful and unfun to DM. No version ever is going to change that.
No version can change that there will be reluctance.

Every version can feed into that reluctance and make it worse, or smooth the road and make it better. You are acting like it is impossible to influence this at all, which is wrong. Just because you can't make the problem completely go away does not justify doing things that make it significantly worse.
 

EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Disagree - people just don't get it. Of course I don't really care about it and the game works without caring about it (which I think is a feature)
No. This is literally a documented thing. The CR system is mostly a suggestion and often barely more than an eyeballed approximation. It is bad and has been bad since 3e.

Some, but there are a lot of interesting monsters. This is an old complaint that doesn't hold water really. It did to some extent for the MM (but there are lots of interesting monsters in their too), but since then they have steadily improved.
That does not comport with how people have described it to me. I wouldn't know directly; my only experience is with the MM and everything from it has been incredibly boring to fight, whether because it is just a sack of HP or because it is stupidly, overwhelmingly OP and the only options are "die," "run away," or "run away but still die."

I have, PF2 doesn't do a better in a lot of cases. I will admit it has been a long time since I did a comparison, but IIRC I would take almost any legendary 5e monster of any PF2 monster. Not mention the fact that they have steadily put out more and more interesting monsters.
Again, that has not been my experience, and the tools for developing new monsters yourself are even more disappointing (and usually just exacerbate the "CR is useless" problem).
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
Saw that but at the time decided against it. The PDF should be out, have you taken a look?
I have. I have been following the game for ... has it been 10 years? It's been a long time in any case. It is VERY Jrpg but also a simple D20 resolution system, so less complex than Fabula Ultima. I actually backed a physical book for it because it looks to be the most beautiful looking RPG I've seen in a long time (having trouble thinking of a better looking one at all). I have the play test PDF and I think if you like what the game is doing (there's a "murder princess" class and one of the ancestries is someone from earth who's fallen into the game world) it reinforces it with a pretty simple game system. The system is D20 roll under for skill checks but roll high for combat. With a hearts based damage system where large monsters have multiple body parts.

The only thing I've heard people complain about is that there isn't "enough" equipment and "stuff" in the game.
 

Raiztt

Adventurer
No. This is literally a documented thing. The CR system is mostly a suggestion and often barely more than an eyeballed approximation. It is bad and has been bad since 3e.


That does not comport with how people have described it to me. I wouldn't know directly; my only experience is with the MM and everything from it has been incredibly boring to fight, whether because it is just a sack of HP or because it is stupidly, overwhelmingly OP and the only options are "die," "run away," or "run away but still die."


Again, that has not been my experience, and the tools for developing new monsters yourself are even more disappointing (and usually just exacerbate the "CR is useless" problem).
fwiw, I've found the pf2e encounter building guidelines and monster creation rules to be shockingly accurate, esp if 5e is your benchmark.
 

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