D&D 5E Finally switching my campaign from 4th to 5th Edition.

Wuzzard

First Post
Then you, or your DM, isn't playing by 5e guidelines. That's fine, but hopefully the games rules have been adjusted to reflect this, since characters will be far more powerful and encounters more easily overcome. They have several variant rules in the DMG to cover exactly this. Of the DM can just chuck more than Deadly Encounters at you and risk TPK. :) (note that 3 Deadly Encounters is within the DMG guidelines though.)

I agree that I'm not playing by the guidelines.. was just wondering if anyone else was, or how common following or not following the guidelines was.
 

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Jan van Leyden

Adventurer
There's a reason why it takes an entire hour to complete a short rest. If there's anything alive in the dungeon, then there's a non-negligible chance that it will come across the party if they spend an entire hour in a single spot.

At least, that's the idea.

And that's where my problem originates from. Harassing the characters just to avoid a one hour long Short Rest sounds very meta-gamey to me. the classical (OSR) dungeon sports many empty stretches. Clever players should be able to find these spots and set up camp there. If they do so, declining the rest possibilities seems like punishing clever play.

So if the adventure day structure is important to 5e, it might not be the right choice for old-school play.
 

And that's where my problem originates from. Harassing the characters just to avoid a one hour long Short Rest sounds very meta-gamey to me. the classical (OSR) dungeon sports many empty stretches. Clever players should be able to find these spots and set up camp there. If they do so, declining the rest possibilities seems like punishing clever play.
I was under the impression that classic dungeon design included wandering monsters for explicitly this reason. They didn't even care about ecology or what else in the dungeon is already dead - just roll on the chart and something is bound to turn up before they could get their eight hours. Is that not the case?

Of course, the oldest editions solved that problem by not allowing recovery within the dungeon at all. That's also an alternative. If you used the eight-hour overnight short rest, with the week-in-town long rest, you wouldn't need to meta-game in order to have a real chance of disrupting the party.
 

Jan van Leyden

Adventurer
Here is a 'typical' DnD adventure design.

Step 1: Come up with your hook. 'Save elf princess from evil BBEG by midnight or else he completes his foul ritual of doom and summons super devil' Now right off the bat, the players know they have to conserve resources for this time frame.

Setting a time limit up-front is one way to start an adventure, but by no means the only one, and one which I wouldn't want to repeat regularly.

Step 2: Build your encounters, generally factoring in short rest spots at convenient points in the adventure. Use the guidelines in the DMG for putting them together, generaly avoiding solo encounters for more than one or two encounters (thanks to bounded accuracy, mooks are a thing, and theyre abundant in the 5E MM).

Still the question remains: how do you make your design work without limiting the players' freedom? The whole system an adventuring day, encounter budgets and different refresh-speeds of powers/abilities seems to be akin with 4e's system, which is good for some types of adventures and a problem for others.

If your wizards and paladins and barbarians insist on nova smashing your first few encounters, throw more at them. Make sure they get at least six before they get to long rest. After limping through some encounters with nothing but cantrips and no spell slots or rages left, they'll get the picture and conserve those higher level spell slots and rages and smites for when they are really needed.

This again is a meta-game reaction in order to teach players a desired behaviour fitting with the adventure and game system. This flexible, movie script-like adventure design just isn't my favourite way of handling things for most adventures. :(

The whole thing just means that 5e might not be the best edition for me.
 

Jan van Leyden

Adventurer
I was under the impression that classic dungeon design included wandering monsters for explicitly this reason. They didn't even care about ecology or what else in the dungeon is already dead - just roll on the chart and something is bound to turn up before they could get their eight hours. Is that not the case?

Yep, that's the case, although (ecologically) senseless encounters weren't mandatory. What's more, when the characters hole up in a room, secure the door and check walls, floor, and ceiling for hidey-holes, the randomly determined giant rats might be sratching on the door, but they won't just teleport into the room, molesting the characters regardless of all their preparations. :)
 

Setting a time limit up-front is one way to start an adventure, but by no means the only one, and one which I wouldn't want to repeat regularly.

You're not expected to. Keep time pressure (either via timed quests or hostile environments/ 'random' monsters) on the party for around 50 percent of the time.

They'll self regulate much of the rest, and the odd nova strike is actually pretty good to let them get away with.

There is nothing wrong with a single encounter adventuring day (of increased difficulty) if its used sparingly.

Still the question remains: how do you make your design work without limiting the players' freedom? The whole system an adventuring day, encounter budgets and different refresh-speeds of powers/abilities seems to be akin with 4e's system, which is good for some types of adventures and a problem for others.

The players are free to do what they want. You lay the hook out and they follow it; or they dont. See the quick off the cuff adventure I posted in this thread as an example.

This is the case in most timed adventures. All that happens if they dont do it by time X is they suffer a drawback of some kind. No different to everything in the real world.

This again is a meta-game reaction in order to teach players a desired behaviour fitting with the adventure and game system. This flexible, movie script-like adventure design just isn't my favourite way of handling things for most adventures. :(

Nothing is stopping you from deviating from this meta, but it drastically alters the balance of the classes and the difficulty of the encounters.

The whole thing just means that 5e might not be the best edition for me.

There are options in the 5E DMG to tinker with the rules to better fit your style of play.

For example there is the 'longer rest' variant where short rests are overnight affairs, and 'long rests' are week long numbers. Its perfect for campaigns that only feature 0-2 encounters per in game day (urban, pirate, wilderness and city adventures).

For your more typical dungeon crawl, the standard rest paradigm works best. Its unreal to think of a party in 1-4E walking into a dungeon, nuking the first room, then falling back to rest for 8 hours. I shudder at the players that thought that was OK to do, or the DM that let them get away with it.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
I have also found that most complaints of 5e happen when DMs don't think about the pacing and/or stats are too high.

4d6 drop lowest is just too high for 5e, esp. if you use feats. If you use it then feats become more powerful, and encounters will be easier.

There are a lot of great resources out there for pacing models. It might be because I have played a lot of Ravenloft (a horror game), but I find it odd when people are upset at the notion that the DM's job is to manage the pacing of the game. I have always thought of it as one of the most important jobs of DM.

Everyone works together to tell the story, but one of the things the DM does much more than the players is to manage the pacing to keep tension where it should be and the like.

It is very important in horror stories, but it is also key in other genres. Having rising action is important. I actually really like 5e for this. The short rest allows for some respite while not completely resetting the tension.
 

mellored

Legend
Because WotC no longer allows new subscribers to the Character Builder and Compendium, which excludes almost all of my players, and because those sites are becoming glitchier with each passing month, I have finally decided to throw in the towel and switch to 5th Edition.

That said, I am looking for advice from other dungeon masters and thinkers who understand both 4E and 5E.

1. My first question: is the problem of the 3E quadratic wizard versus linear fighter back again? Do I have to prepare for spellcasters trying to break my encounters?
I'd say that 5e is better balanced then 4e.

Caster's are controllers, but with low damage and hit points. They have to expend their highest spells to match the damage of a fighter/barbarian/rogue can do each turn, and they don't get many. (though, they do better against groups with area spells).

That said, they can still "break" an encounter by smart use of the right spell, but no more then a fighter who rolls a few crits. And battles in general are fast (IMO, a bit too fast).


Moon druids are OP at low levels, but fade quickly.
Conversely, monks are fairly weak before level 5.

And the only thing that's really broken is the wish->simulacrum->wish loop for an infinite army. Though it's no worse then some of the infinite action loops 4e had.
 
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Noctem

Explorer
Because WotC no longer allows new subscribers to the Character Builder and Compendium, which excludes almost all of my players, and because those sites are becoming glitchier with each passing month, I have finally decided to throw in the towel and switch to 5th Edition.

That said, I am looking for advice from other dungeon masters and thinkers who understand both 4E and 5E.

1. My first question: is the problem of the 3E quadratic wizard versus linear fighter back again? Do I have to prepare for spellcasters trying to break my encounters?

I can provide you with the offline character builder, updates and up to date files for everyone in your group if you want.
 

And the only thing that's really broken is the wish->simulacrum->wish loop for an infinite army. Though it's no worse then some of the infinite action loops 4e had.

And its not like any half decent DM couldnt wreak some serious havoc with any Wizard foolish enough to combine wish with the creation of strong AI... in a recurring loop.

DM: 'Your simulacrum turns and casts wish as ordered to create another simulacrum... at the last second you notice it insert a line into the wish, giving the new simulacrum the ability to self improve and freeing it from your 1st simulacrums control; other than an irrevocable order for it to to also free its creator from your control... roll initiative.'

Nervous PC Wizard: Umm... have I just triggered the singularity?

DM: [grins evily] Kill all humans!
 
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