D&D 5E DnD Next - how is the damage and AC scaling? Combat questions

Finalattack

First Post
Firstly I'd like to say that I've played 2nd 3rd and 4th edition with 4th being my favourite because it introduced really compelling tactical combat and that you could be a high fantasy characters that was really fun and 'cool' at level 1. Also because I ran a lot of games I appreciated the simplicity it took to make a good combat encounter.

There were issues with 4th ed. though, namely combat took too long and I often needed to bring in external forces to speed it up. I had to avoid high AC enemies because it would be a dull game of swing and miss. Finally PCs had a good amount of life early on, but as they levelled sometimes seemed to have TOO MUCH HP and the threat was taken away. Once again the biggest problem was that most combat took too long.

In saying this I've had a quick look over the DnD next stuff and it seems ... better, tentatively better. What did elude me though was how characters progress now? I'm really confused with all the information on the wizard page and the play packets. I'm mostly concerned with scaling as everyone gets stronger.

- Everyone gains more life each level. Say you gain 6 life each level - level 1 you have 6, lvl2-12HP, lvl3-18HP, lvl4-24HP and so on. So monsters need to have more damage as they get stronger. Often as monsters get bigger in level they also get more life. However, I'm concerned that players damage is not always steadily increasing, which just results in LONGER battles at higher levels. Here are a few questions:

- How long is combat taking in DnD next?
- do you think that the damage of PCs scaling as they get stronger?
- So you can take 2 stat increases now OR feats every 4 levels, right? This is possibly a source of increased damage ... i guess
- What about wizards? Is a level 1 wizard doing as much damage as a level 10/20 wizard because their still using the same cantrips?
- A warrior with a full blade (assuming they are still around) doing 2d8 damage at level 1 is potentially out damaging a level 4 warrior with a long sword? Before he gets an extra attack. I remember thinking in 3rd ed that 2d6 > 1d12 because of consistancy and average damage was higher.
 

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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
This article, on Bounded Accuracy, will answer some (but not all) of your questions.

In my experience, D&D Next combats are very fast. Damage increases and hit points increase with level increases, along with variety of abilities. However, AC, Attack Bonus, Spell Accuracy, and DC's do not really increase with level (though there is a small amount of wiggle room there).
 
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GX.Sigma

Adventurer
Player damage does increase. It's kind of hard to see just from looking at the rules, but player damage increases a lot.

About your Fighter question: A greatsword deals d12 damage, and a long sword deals d8.

A level 1 Fighter with a greatsword will deal d12+Str damage on a hit.
A level 4 Fighter with a long sword will only deal 1d8+Str damage on a hit. The level 4 fighter has a higher attack bonus, an extra attack once per rest, a feat (which is substantial), and a martial path benefit (either 2d6 extra damage per rest, or improved critical range).
 
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1of3

Explorer
Of course, there is no reason to just use a long sword. One would either use a second weapon or a shield. But that was the case before.

Cantrips do deal more damage, as the character levels up. Feats on the other hand do not help damage very much. Most increases are somewhere in the classes. They way this is done isn't consistent, though. Rogues get more SA, fighters get more attack, Clerics get their radiant d8 etc. Whether these various approaches lead to comparable results, I can't say.
 

Finalattack

First Post
Ok, but lets talk about mages specifically (I'd also like to ask about laser clerics but lets focus on mages.

What is the damage increase on at wills that they receive over their 20 level career (or just the first 10 levels because thats the most my group ever goes to)
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Ok, but lets talk about mages specifically (I'd also like to ask about laser clerics but lets focus on mages.

What is the damage increase on at wills that they receive over their 20 level career (or just the first 10 levels because thats the most my group ever goes to)

The only at-will they get are cantrips, the weakest type of spell. So I am not sure that's a good place to focus. But for what it is worth, a cantrip like Ray of Frost increases damage by 1d8 every 5 levels.
 

Finalattack

First Post
The only at-will they get are cantrips, the weakest type of spell. So I am not sure that's a good place to focus. But for what it is worth, a cantrip like Ray of Frost increases damage by 1d8 every 5 levels.

Ah, cool. It sounds like there is a general slow increase in damage which I'm glad to hear. My main concern is level 5 encounters taking twice as long as level 1 encounters and level 10 encounters taking twice as long as level 5 and so on ...
 

Ari Kanen

First Post
Ah, cool. It sounds like there is a general slow increase in damage which I'm glad to hear. My main concern is level 5 encounters taking twice as long as level 1 encounters and level 10 encounters taking twice as long as level 5 and so on ...

The main thing that has significantly increased combat length, in my xp, is more options for players and DM npcs, powers that expand their action economy, and the tactical combat rules regarding movement and AoOs.

In 4e, a player was compelled to try and use all their actions, standard, move and minor, every round. And then immediate and opportunity actions (of which there were many in 4e) would also slow down other creatures turn. This resulted in lots of things happening, lots of real time going by, and very little game time going by.

Bounded accuracy helps prevent hard to hit enemies, and if damage scales with hp, the way the designers want it too, then combat lengths should be kept a lot shorter than even low level 4e games. Right now, the monster HP might be a bit on the low side, but that's just from what I gathered from forums.

Another major component of long player turns, is the grid and Attacks of Opportunity. In the latest Next playtest packet, there are very few ways to trigger AoOs. In Pathfinder and 4e, there were a lot of ways, and so this prevents the player and DM from just moving their guy/gal and attacking. In this regard, 5e should go a lot faster unless you add in tactical modules that make the game more like 4e/Pathfinder, which likely be an option later on.
 

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