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


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Laurefindel

Legend
I feel the non-casters would be pretty miffed without someone to cast Detect Magic/Identify/Comprehend Languages/Goodberry/Healing Word etc for them. They depend on casters to provide those things. If you drastically cut down what an individual caster can provide in the way of utility then you are really forcing the party to all play casters and carefully co-ordinate what each can do. They like to have someone along who can do everything, so they don't have to.

No one wants to play a wizard, but no one wants to not have a wizard in the party.
I don’t know,

No one is inclined to make a fighter that somehow speaks 5 languages, a rogue that has expertise in Arcana, or a barbarian with the Healer feat because casters have all the easy solutions at hand, and at early levels at that. Remove these spells and people will start getting creative with mundane solution to the same problems.
 

Art Waring

halozix.com
One consistent comment I've seen from players over the years is that they like casters, but, after a time, start wanting to have a LOT fewer options
Same here, I run games for new players from time to time, and they are often attracted to the idea of playing a spellcaster until they have to put it into practice. I tend to recommend that they try a warlock before getting into vancian casting.
 

Hussar

Legend
Like I said, have three “spells”. But what you can do with that spell is tied to level.

So you “utility” spell at first level can do pretty standard stuff - detect, basic information gathering, heal, that sort of thing. Then as you level up that utility spell can do more things - movement, whatever.

But, instead of having fifteen different spells that “deal damage plus a rider” you just make the effect up on the spot depending on you level.

I realize that this will never happen in DnD but one can dream.
 

Retreater

Legend
I feel the non-casters would be pretty miffed without someone to cast Detect Magic/Identify/Comprehend Languages/Goodberry/Healing Word etc for them. They depend on casters to provide those things.
An answer to this...
Move those vital "exploration" spells to rituals, and allow any character to cast them out of combat (provided they have a feat to allow ritual casting).
Move the responsibility of healing from spellcasters and allow characters to "spend" their own healing resource.
So basically, what 4e did.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
No one is inclined to make a fighter that somehow speaks 5 languages, a rogue that has expertise in Arcana, or a barbarian with the Healer feat because casters have all the easy solutions at hand, and at early levels at that. Remove these spells and people will start getting creative with mundane solution to the same problems.
Here's my query though... are people not making Fighters who speak 5 languages because other characters are already doing it and thus they find themselves shut out of needing to... or is it because the whole reason they want to play a Fighter is because they don't want to have to know 5 languages and would instead feel put upon if they ended up needing to because no one else was covering it?

Or if you have a Barbarian player who takes the Healer feat... is it because they actually have this idea in their head that they want to play this particular Barbarian character whose background has them being this kind of rustic shaman-like character that can heal people... or is it because there's no other healers in the party and they realize that someone has to do it so it might as well be them?

The question really is which one occurs more often... martial players wanting to play these offbeat ideas but they don't because the casters in the party "steal their thunder"... or martial players actually playing these offbeat ideas because they have no real choice in the matter since no one else picked up the slack and they felt like "Well, someone needs to deal with the potential magic in the game so I guess I'll Expertise Arcana"?

How often do these "unplayed offbeat martial characters" actually come up, and is it worth trying to re-do the entire system just to give those concepts more oomph?
 

An answer to this...
Move those vital "exploration" spells to rituals, and allow any character to cast them out of combat (provided they have a feat to allow ritual casting).
Move the responsibility of healing from spellcasters and allow characters to "spend" their own healing resource.
So basically, what 4e did.
Which is superhero movie style. "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". Non-magical instant healing never made narrative sense. Not in 4e, and not in any other e.

Rituals are fine, but I still find players would rather have one go-to character for all of them, rather than have to co-ordinate between characters who has what.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Move the responsibility of healing from spellcasters and allow characters to "spend" their own healing resource.
So basically, what 4e did.
I will say that a potential problem with what you suggest here is that at least in my experience it didn't really accomplish what I think you are suggesting it might. Because I know personally when I ran 4E... every character having Second Wind just made me treat their hit point total as being 25% higher than what they had on their sheet and I upped the challenges I put forth to take that into account because I had to. A PC with 48 hit points I treated as though they had 60 HP because I knew those 12 extra HP from Second Wind were showing up at some point in the encounter and I'd have to deal with it when presenting challenges.

So while I agree 4E style healing surges and healing and the like are different than what we have in 5E... I would not go so far as to say their solution was better. They both have their positives and negatives in my opinion.
 

Retreater

Legend
Which is superhero movie style. "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". Non-magical instant healing never made narrative sense. Not in 4e, and not in any other e.
There's so much real world physics and such that we ignore for the sake of the game. For me, it's not much more if it makes the game better for my players and solves the "I guess I'll have to play the cleric" problem that has been plaguing my tables since 1989.
IMO, it fits in the genre as much as Boromir - nearing death defending Merry and Pippin - finding inner strength to get to his feet and continue fighting (at least a little longer). It fits in the genre as much as Luke Skywalker having enough strength to hold on to a wind vane after his loss to Vader.
The thing with healing surges is that you'll never be "as good as new" after spending one. You get 25% of your health back (unless it's also coupled with magical healing, which you don't have a problem with).
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Of course non-magical instant healing doesn't make sense- hit points don't make sense!

You have this abstract "hits to kill" metric that is mostly made of sublime factors like "luck", "avoiding blows" (in a way different than AC, mind), "minimizing damage" (in a way different than resistance), "divine protection", "plot armor", and "morale", but a small, unknown percentage is "whatever would actually kill a normal man".
 

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