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

Of course, those things are artifacts of the underlying assumptions of the game system. The decision that healing must be magical in nature leads to the need to Healing Word, e.g.
way back in 2e I ran a game where I made a dozen new % skills like the ones the thief got (rogue now). I then gave them to either all or some of the classes and had a stat give bonus or negative, and some amount of pts per level...

You know what I gave every non caster at 0% and every caster at 10% (and I made it a cha bonus/penalty) Sense Magic... a % chance to concentrate for a moment and feel if magic is present or not.

It was pretty simple in my mind, I imagined that in a world full of magic, every warrior or thief or what ever COULD choose to learn to just feel it.

That was 1998, and also the game where I at a point in the game (kind of like milestone now) after X number of adventures let everyone add +1 to a stat to a max of 19 +/- race mod.
 

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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.
this is why I see warlock getting a lot of love as 1st characters (I would say like 30-40% of newbies) but almost universally (like 80%+) of second characters made
 

Oofta

Legend
I do remember very well their claims that they played all editions, and felt that was reflected in Next and 5.0 (I also remember their frustration at trying to get a viable psionics class).

As for complex characters, I know from player recruitment that wizard is as not nearly popular as some ENWorld posters might lead you to believe. Many players like options, but they don't want to work too hard to use them. Something they should keep in mind for this round of playtests.
I know some people believe that more complexity is better and that "swinging your sword round after round is boring", but for a lot of people it's not. The last thing most people want is to be caught up in analysis paralysis and stop the flow of the game because they have too many options.

It's a tough thing to balance, I don't envy the developers.
 

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.
I'm sorry but what you describe is D&D.

Sometimes it's Healing surges, sometimes it's wands of cure light, sometimes it's HD... but in the last 20 years I can't remember many times where a short break in action DIDN'T lead to everyone at full or close to full HP.

I say 20 years because this is WotC editions... 2e had a different problem. In 2e we found every group needed a cleric and/or druid... and that character BETTER prep a ton of healing, or else the whole table would feel cheated. To the point where I ran a few games (and saw WAY MORE) where people would play 2 characters, "What I want to play and the cleric"

3e orginally had the cleric be more loved (and gave bards healing) but it still was 'someone needs to be a healer' until people started to learn teh 'spend 800gp for 50 cure lights' trick... then it got to the point where I watched groups just 'force it' until they could get 1 or 2 of those.
 

Retreater

Legend
I know some people believe that more complexity is better and that "swinging your sword round after round is boring", but for a lot of people it's not. The last thing most people want is to be caught up in analysis paralysis and stop the flow of the game because they have too many options.

It's a tough thing to balance, I don't envy the developers.
This is why we have martials that "move up and attack" as well as classes that can augment their attacks with spells, superiority dice, etc.
If you get bored with the first, move to the second option.
It's not a difficult thing for the developers to balance.
 

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.
4e HP inflation was too high on it's own, and where I apppertiat the 'everyone can second wind' I think the Healing Surge value was the real issue... 5e HD does it better.

take the second wind action (let fighters keep they can do it as a bonus action and 1/sr doesn't cost a HD) but spend a HD and count as dodgeing that round would work well in 5e... it would work better if everyone had more front loaded but less HP and HD.
 

I know some people believe that more complexity is better and that "swinging your sword round after round is boring", but for a lot of people it's not. The last thing most people want is to be caught up in analysis paralysis and stop the flow of the game because they have too many options.

It's a tough thing to balance, I don't envy the developers.
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.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
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?
people don't play cultured or intellectual fighters and healer barbarians because they would have to give up some of their martial prowess to do so and feel that that's the only thing that martials have for themselves. This is true insofar as casters can take on that role with much less resources and yet not lack any offensive abilities so in D&D, no one will make intellectual fighters or healer barbarians short of a very specific low-magic campaign. But it isn't to say that people don't want intellectual fighters and healer barbarian. I believe that given enough design space, they would take these roles often enough. Is it enough to redo the entire system? Probably not. On that I'm right there with you.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
4e HP inflation was too high on it's own, and where I apppertiat the 'everyone can second wind' I think the Healing Surge value was the real issue... 5e HD does it better.

take the second wind action (let fighters keep they can do it as a bonus action and 1/sr doesn't cost a HD) but spend a HD and count as dodgeing that round would work well in 5e... it would work better if everyone had more front loaded but less HP and HD.
Though don't forget that 4e healing surges were also a limit on how much healing you could get in one day, so they weren't quite as robust as they appear.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
4e HP inflation was too high on it's own, and where I apppertiat the 'everyone can second wind' I think the Healing Surge value was the real issue... 5e HD does it better.

take the second wind action (let fighters keep they can do it as a bonus action and 1/sr doesn't cost a HD) but spend a HD and count as dodgeing that round would work well in 5e... it would work better if everyone had more front loaded but less HP and HD.
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.
 

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