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D&D General Hot Take: D&D Has Not Recovered From 2E to 3.0 Transition


One of those things that would have been a good idea when 5E was implemented or for a new edition that's less compatible with 5E. I like the idea but you'd also have to increase DCs across the board for higher level encounters.

Well the idea would also combine with revamped spells.

Essentially direct damage doesn't change to much. A single target spell deals more damage than an AoE.

Spells with no save and a nasty effect key off hit point totals. Eg power word spells since forever or sleep.

Spells with no save are minor in effect or deal damage. If they require an attack roll they deal more damage.

Buff and utility spells don't change to much. Spellcasters can alter reality as per usual.

Instant death effects or things like hold person defenses scale faster than spell DCs. Debuffs required to reliably land them. A finger of death spell single target lits of damage death if reduced to 0 hit points.

Hold person and similar effect might require multiple saves 1 flunked one slows you, second incapacitates third paralyzed you. Once you're paralyzed though no further saves for spell duration.

Save every round has been used but it doesn't matter to much in practice iif it's a bad save and things like focus fire.

Concentration checks are kinda trivial feats like warcaster and resilient:con probably ehould good bye bye espicially with feats no longer being optional.

So spellcasters need to chose. If they want reliable go for buff spells, utility and direct damage. If they want big effects well that's gonna be harder.

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Granularity of status effects would help re saving throws. The 5.5E dazed condition is a step in the right direction. Hold person inflicting daze for a round on a save would feel better than it doing nothing. Better yet would be degrees of success/failure coupled with a wider variety of non-binary conditions. 5E already has some of that, but in a half ass non-codified way, like Ray of Frost reducing speed by 10 rather than a universal "Hobbled 10" or whatever that could be used by other effects.


He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Fair point lol. Maybe removing the illusion was the mistake?

Because right now, the only abilities that actually progress significantly in scope are spells. Everything else is only marginally more of the same you did at first level. Bounded competency (for skills) means that a 10th level guy is only +2 or so over what they were doing at first level, jumping (maybe) over the same 10 foot wide gaps.
True, spells and saves need work. The skill system needs to be entirely replaced. I like a lot about 5E, but the skill system makes me sad.

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Darts are best! Three attacks per round baby! 18-00 Strength Dart specialists were so OP they had to nerf em in Combat and Tactics!
Well, right up until you run into your first enemy that can only be hit by magical weapons. You're not going to get a lot of magic darts off the treasure tables.


Well, right up until you run into your first enemy that can only be hit by magical weapons. You're not going to get a lot of magic darts off the treasure tables.
That's why I preferred daggers. Slightly less attacks, but they could be thrown or dual-wielded in melee equally well. Plus, magical daggers were not uncommon, IME.


Everything is the same and always has been. gobo/wolf/rat just becomes hobgobo/werewolf/ogre etc.. Its always just been AC9+1D6 they just removed the illusion that's its not.
No it is very much not the same..

Table 2–5: Difficulty Class Examples

DC Example Roll (Key Ability) Who Could Do It

–10 Hear the sounds of a pitched battle Listen (Wis) A commoner on the other side of a stone wall

0 Track ten hill giants across a muddy field Search (Int) The village fool hustling at full speed at night

5 Climb a knotted rope Climb (Str) An average human carrying a 75-pound pack

5 Hear people talking on the other side of a door Listen (Wis) An absent-minded sage being distracted by allies

10 Run or charge down steep stairs Balance (Dex) A 1st-level rogue

10 Follow tracks of fifteen orcs across firm ground Search (Int) A 1st-level commoner

10 Ransack a chest full of junk to find a map Search (Int) A 1st-level commoner

10 Tie a firm knot Use Rope (Dex) A 1st-level commoner

10 Find out the current gossip Gather Information (Cha) A 1st-level commoner

11* Avoid being tripped by a wolf — (Str or Dex) A 1st-level commoner

12 Assess the value of a silver necklace Appraise (Int) A 1st-level rogue

13+ Resist the command spell Will save (Wis) A 1st-level wizard or a low-level fighter

13 Bash open a simple wooden door — (Str) A fighter

15 Make a dying friend stable Heal (Wis) A 1st-level cleric

15 Make indifferent people friendly Diplomacy (Cha) A 1st-level paladin

15 Jump 10 feet (with a running start) Jump (Str) A 1st-level fighter

15 Tumble past a foe Tumble (Dex) A low-level monk

15* Get a minor lie past a canny guard Bluff (Cha) A 1st-level rogue

16 Identify a 1st-level spell as it is being cast Spellcraft (Int) A wizard (but not anyone untrained in spells)

17* Resist a 10th-level vampire’s dominating gaze Will save (Wis) A low-level monk or a high-level fighter

18 Bash open a strong wooden door — (Str) An enraged half-orc barbarian

18 Cast fireball while being shot with an arrow Concentration (Con) A low-level wizard

20 Notice a typical secret door Search (Int) A smart, 1st-level half-elf rogue

20 Notice a scrying sensor — (Int) A low-level wizard with Int 12 or higher

20 Notice an invisible creature moving nearby Spot (Wis) A low-level ranger

20 Pick a very simple lock Open Lock (Dex) A dexterous, 1st-level halfling rogue (but not anyone untrained at picking locks)

20 Find out what sorts of crimes the baron’s Gather Information (Cha) A low-level bard daughter has gotten away with

20 Avoid falling into a pit trap Reflex save (Dex) A mid-level rogue or a high-level paladin

20 Walk a tightrope Balance (Dex) A low-level rogue

21 Raise a dire wolf cub Handle Animal (Cha) A mid-level ranger

21* Sneak quietly past a hellcat 50 feet away Move Silently (Dex) A low-level rogue

22* Escape from an owlbear’s clutches Escape Artist (Dex) A low-level rogue

23* Grab a guard’s spear and wrest it out of his hands Melee attack (Str) A mid-level fighter

24 Resist the wail of the banshee spell Fortitude save (Con) A high-level fighter

24*+ Shoot an armored guard through an arrow slit Ranged attack (Dex) A high-level fighter

25 Notice that something’s wrong with a friend Sense Motive (Wis) A mid-level rogue who’s under a vampire’s control

25 Persuade the dragon that has captured you Diplomacy (Cha) A high-level bard that it would be a good idea to let you go

25 Find out from a city’s inhabitants who the Gather Information (Cha) A high-level bard power behind the throne is

26 Jump over an orc’s head (with a running start) Jump (Str) A 20th-level ranger wearing light armor or a mid-level

barbarian wearing light armor (who really only needs

a 22 because his speed is higher)

28 Disable a glyph of warding Disable Device (Int) A high-level rogue (but not anyone of another class)

30 Notice a well-hidden secret door Search (Int) A high-level rogue

28 Bash open an iron door — (Str) A fire giant

29 Calm a hostile owlbear Wild empathy (Cha) A high-level druid (and only a druid or ranger)

30 Hurriedly climb a slick brick wall Climb (Str) A high-level barbarian

30 Read a letter written in ancient Draconic Decipher Script (Int) A high-level wizard

30 Pick a good lock Open Lock (Dex) A high-level rogue

43 Track a goblin that passed over hard rocks a week ago, and it snowed yesterday, Survival (Wis) A 20th-level ranger who has maxed out his Survival skill and has been fighting goblinoids as his favored enemy since 1st level

* This number is actually the average roll on the opponent’s opposed check rather than a fixed number.

+ 2 Actual DC may be higher or lower depending on the caster or ability user.

*+ This is the target’s adjusted Armor Class.

DC: The number a character needs to roll to succeed.
Example: An example of a task with that DC.

Roll (Key Ability): The roll the character makes, usually a skill checkbut sometimes a saving throw, an ability check, or even an attack roll. The ability that modifies the roll is in parentheses. A “—” in this column means that the check is an ability check and no skill ranks, base save bonuses, or base attack bonuses apply.

Who Could Do It: An example of a character that would have about a 50% chance to succeed. When this entry names a character by class, it assumes that the character has the skill in question. (Othercharacters might have a better or worse chance to succeed.

Then edge cases could add or subtract these two on top.
The table once went to targeting a situation like "A 20th-level ranger who has maxed out his Survival (a very nontrivial cost), and it snowed yesterday skill and has been fighting goblinoids as his favored enemy since 1st level" while still including a framework for the GM to extend that list of examples further with edge cases.

It's your job to establish the Difficulty Class for an ability
check or a saving throw when a rule or an adventure
doesn't give you one. Sometimes you'll even want to
change such established DCs. When you do so, think of
how difficult a task is and then pick the associated DC
from the Typical DCs table.
Task DC Task DC
Very easy 5
Easy 10
Moderate 15
Hard 20
Very hard 25
Nearly impossible 30
The numbers associated with these categories of
difficulty are meant to be easy to keep in your head,
so that you don't have to refer to this book every time
you decide on a DC. Here are some tips for using DC
categories at the gaming table.
If you've decided that an ability check is called for,
then most likely the task at hand isn't a very easy
one. Most people can accomplish a DC 5 task with
little chance of failure. Unless circumstances are
unusual, let characters succeed at such a task without
making a check.
Then ask yourself, "Is this task's difficulty easy,
moderate, or hard?" If the only DCs you ever use are 10,
5, and 20, your game will run just fine. Keep in mind
that a character with a 10 in the associated ability and
no proficiency will succeed at an easy task around 50
percent of the time. A moderate task requires a higher
score or proficiency for success, whereas a hard task
typically requires both. A big dose of luck with the d20
also doesn't hurt.
If you find yourself thinking, "This task is especially
hard," you can use a higher DC, but do so with caution
and consider the level of the characters. A DC 25 task
is very hard for low-level characters to accomplish, but
it becomes more reasonable after 1 0th level or so. A
DC 30 check is nearly impossible for most low-level
characters. A 20th-level character with proficiency and a
relevant ability score of 20 still needs a 19 or 20 on the
die roll to succeed at a task of this difficulty.

Those DCs are not made for experts. +5 from stat+8 to +12 from expertise on a roll that might be made with advantage from "I'm helping" or width a d4 from "oh I cast guidance too" turns DC30 into almost guaranteed success.

On the combat side 5e's Bounded accuracy causes monsters to have a different set of problems ranging from mindnumbing combats with monsters that need powerball jackpot odds in order for them to rise up to the level of "a mild threat" over to the other side of Bounded accuracy's higher level razor's edge of combat variety with combats that are so slanted that the gm may as well just declare "rocks fall"

edit: fixed a copy/paste line break format in the dc43 that had part of the scenario in the who can do it
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