D&D 5E D&D Next playtest post mortem by Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson. From seven years ago.


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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
again this is where the warlock is so brilliant. You can defualt to eldritch blast (that is really just different flavor of 'i swing my sword' but you have a few big things that you can pull out when you want to.
I think the warlock is even better when you are allowed to re-flavor it. My last warlock was ROBO the friendly space probe! Eldritch blast? Death ray. Sickening Radiance? Nuclear Core ejection. Fly? small rocket boosters. etc etc etc. I was playing a warlock, yet it felt different :)
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I think the warlock is even better when you are allowed to re-flavor it. My last warlock was ROBO the friendly space probe! Eldritch blast? Death ray. Sickening Radiance? Nuclear Core ejection. Fly? small rocket boosters. etc etc etc. I was playing a warlock, yet it felt different :)
Ironically, 3.5 Warforged Warlocks were fun and popular flavor.

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glass

(he, him)
Wow, long thread. Wall of quotes incoming....
1) Our own personal biases of what we individually think D&D is when it is the best colors our reactions to anything else that might be proposed. Is something really bad when it is presented, or is it just that what we personally think is A+ D&D makes it seem like what was proposed is bad... even though what we think is A+ D&D is not something most other players agree with.
Of course they do. Just as true for Mearls and co as the rest of us.

No one wants to play a wizard,
Wait, what? Lots of people want to play a wizard. I want to play a wizard (and have done, many times).

Magic is magic seems like a pretty core feature of D&D. Throw is out and you have a weird superhero game.
Not sure when anyone said magic should not be magic, but anyway D&D is already a "weird superhero game", and that's great!

"I've just be run through with a dozen sword-cuts, but I' just need to pull myself together, and be instantly as good as new".
If a human has been "run through with a dozen sword cuts" they are almost certainly dead (or at least they are close to it, and not recovering without serious medical attention). Fortunately, that does not happen in D&D until you run out of hp.

It's [simple and complex character of the same niche] not a difficult thing for the developers to balance.
I would say it is difficult to balance, but not impossible. And if the designers are not going to do the hard things, what are we paying them for?

Listening to what the majority wants and feedback from playtests is not a cop out
That would require knowing what the majority wants, which in turn would require actual worthwhile surveys rather than useless push-polls.
 


Jaeger

That someone better
I'm of the opinion that 4E and 5E have unnecessarily high HP counts. I think that if every PC had hit points within a range of like 20 to 35 for the entirety of their careers it would make creating balanced challenges easier. Granted, this would need to be coupled with reworked rules for hitting 0 HP and dying... but I'd rather that then trying to grind down PCs that have 100 HP or more every fight. But that's just my feeling on the matter and I know is not close to being a widespread opinion.
So, no growth in HP, no growth in damage, no growth in AC, no growth in features, no growth in skills...

It sounds like you want people to play 1st level characters from the word "go" until the campaign ends. What's the point of that?
Huh. So when I said "I think that if every PC had hit points within a range of like 20 to 35"... you read this not as referring to hit points, but rather referring to hit points, damage, AC, features, and skills. Interesting. I wonder what other posts I have made in the past that apparently had more buried in them than the actual words I used. ;)
I assumed, given you did not mention anything else, that you didn't want to add any growth not present in 5e currently. Which, yes, means essentially no growth (3, perhaps 4 points at most) in AC and a bunch of other things besides.

The designers specifically and explicitly said that HP and damage growth were intended to be one of the only forms of statistical growth in 5e. If you remove that, what is left? Skills. Perhaps features (though, frankly, unless you have spellcasting, most of those features suck.) That's about it. Hence why I said what I said.

I find this exchange interesting in that level up = HP Bloat seems ingrained in the mentality of many D&D players and GM's so much so that they do not mentally separate increasing HP from character advancement.

DEFCON 1's HP bloat solution is nothing more than the static HP model used by Runequest and many other RPG's. And it is a solution that works very well. 5e's bounded accuracy is tailor made for a mod like this. Skills and features are the Primary modes of advancement in other RPG's.

The features (feats/class abilities) in 5e actually do get good if you have fixed PC hp in the 20 to 35 range. Right now all they do is keep the PC on par with their level appropriate HP bloated monsters. 5e's main issue is that they made the traditional attack bonus and skill point advancement tied to the same number. When both of those things used to be one of the primary ways classes were differentiated from each other.

Separate out attack bonus per class, and dole out skill points as a PC levels up - BooM - the issue is solved. And those would not be game breaking hacks to implement...


If every PC has a lower and narrower band of hit points... you can look at any creature and their average damage for each attack and know at a glance "this one will need to hit probably four times against any PC to knock them out" and "that one can one-shot any and all of the PCs with a solid damage roll". And that's when armor class and higher defenses and the like come more into play.

This is how most every other RPG not D&D works. It is much easier to eyeball 'encounters' when PC HP is essentially a static number. HP Bloat is the main reason why WotC D&D has always had scaling issues at high levels.

DnDone could solve a lot of High level play and CR scaling issues simply by going back and adopting the 1-2e AD&D solution: stopping HP Bloat around the 8-10 level range with the rest of advancement occurring as normal.

However, Level = Moar HP is so ingrained into what WotC D&D has become that it will not only never happen - Such a solution will not even occur to the designers or play testers...


I mean, I see new (and by new I mean “have only played 5e”) players complain all the time that D&D has so many books!

Part of the problem there IMHO, is that WotC does everything as shiny hardback releases when in reality most of those books are Adventures and Settings most tables have no need or interest in...

There aren't actually that many "game" books, but a newbie just looking at the shelf just see's a bunch of hardbacks that all look alike at first glance.
 





However, Level = Moar HP is so ingrained into what WotC D&D has become that it will not only never happen - Such a solution will not even occur to the designers or play testers...
It's not a matter of "ingrained," like you keep repeating.

This was literally their explicit design intent. They explicitly wanted HP growth (note how you always call it "bloat," in order to inject disdain for the concept right from the start, as opposed to a neutral word like "growth") to be the only remaining major demonstration of growing character power. You gain levels, and as a result, you cease to be scared of orcs and goblins; sure, they might hit you, but you can take a dozen such hits now no sweat. Thus you can actually have a dozen thrown at you and you're okay with that.

If someone says they want to remove the one thing the designers explicitly said was meant to represent character growth, it's not that big a leap to then ask "sooooo... what's going to replace that then? Because that's what the game was explicitly built to show advancement through." It's why BM Fighters get more extra attacks and bigger dice, but not better maneuvers, just more maneuvers.
 

Haplo781

Legend
It's not a matter of "ingrained," like you keep repeating.

This was literally their explicit design intent. They explicitly wanted HP growth (note how you always call it "bloat," in order to inject disdain for the concept right from the start, as opposed to a neutral word like "growth") to be the only remaining major demonstration of growing character power. You gain levels, and as a result, you cease to be scared of orcs and goblins; sure, they might hit you, but you can take a dozen such hits now no sweat. Thus you can actually have a dozen thrown at you and you're okay with that.

If someone says they want to remove the one thing the designers explicitly said was meant to represent character growth, it's not that big a leap to then ask "sooooo... what's going to replace that then? Because that's what the game was explicitly built to show advancement through." It's why BM Fighters get more extra attacks and bigger dice, but not better maneuvers, just more maneuvers.
Except that spells get better as you level...
 

Except that spells get better as you level...
Why yes, they do! Isn't that such a strange coincidence. I wonder why they would include a mechanic which gives greater, scaling power to only some classes and not others, and then claim that they want HP scaling to be the primary representation of character growth? That seems so contradictory, but surely the designers wouldn't make a game that unfairly favors some classes over others. That would be utterly ridiculous...
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
You can have a reasonably charismatic fighter if you want, nothing is stopping you.

Meanwhile I think using charisma to attack is just throwing what charisma means out the window.
A fighter using Charisma to attack is them using taunts, feints, and brutality to increase their odds of hitting over raw strength.

The Charisma Fighter makes a lot of fictional sense. However it overshadows the more iconic or famous Strength fighter by a lot unless you put a major restrict on it. And 5e was designed at base to very simple. This offered little room to work with unless the designers had the passion to do it and the backing of the community.
 

Why yes, they do! Isn't that such a strange coincidence. I wonder why they would include a mechanic which gives greater, scaling power to only some classes and not others, and then claim that they want HP scaling to be the primary representation of character growth? That seems so contradictory, but surely the designers wouldn't make a game that unfairly favors some classes over others. That would be utterly ridiculous...
that's the thing I don't understand why people are so against giving martial classes scaling abilities
 


Oofta

Legend
I guess you never saw a Hexblade then
Which explicitly rely on magic and pact with some otherworldly power. Which, if that's the kind of warrior you want to play, more power to you. Sounds like you already have your solution that doesn't involve a martial character using charisma to figure out how to effectively swing their sword.
 

Which explicitly rely on magic and pact with some otherworldly power. Which, if that's the kind of warrior you want to play, more power to you. Sounds like you already have your solution that doesn't involve a martial character using charisma to figure out how to effectively swing their sword.
You know I want a non magic warrior... so this whole post is just BS. any stat (although I always see con as the hard one)can be an attack stat for a fighter... doing it that way the fighter can be better at different things.
give a fighter some social abilities and some exploration abilities and let them attack with any stat, that would be closer to what I want. Give them choices in combat too different things they can do or not do.
 

There's a big difference between "I don't like some things and I think they made some mistakes" and "their surveys were incompetent and worthless". It implies that the entire playtest was bunk and that anybody who thinks they did a decent job is a fool. 🤷‍♂️
please quote where I said incompetent or worthless?

I said flawed, I said incomplete... this seems to be a thing on enworld now put up scare crows to knock down. then claiming victory.
 

Oofta

Legend
A fighter using Charisma to attack is them using taunts, feints, and brutality to increase their odds of hitting over raw strength.

The Charisma Fighter makes a lot of fictional sense. However it overshadows the more iconic or famous Strength fighter by a lot unless you put a major restrict on it. And 5e was designed at base to very simple. This offered little room to work with unless the designers had the passion to do it and the backing of the community.
We disagree. I thought it was dumb in 4E, time hasn't changed my mind. There's no reason taunting and brutality would work on an ooze or any number of monstrous creatures. Feints are dexterity.

In any case I don't expect it to change.
 

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