5E How is the Cleric in Actual Play?

Ashrym

Adventurer
Gnolls typically have bows and spears instead of javelins last I checked and would last 2-3 rounds if within range of a third level spirit guardians. A fifth level cleric can cast the spell twice for solid damage against gnolls who don't pull a fighting withdrawal of shooting and moving, or retreating / observing / attacking again in attempted ambush.

All day long hordes of gnolls seems a stretch unless significant information is left out, like it's a level 15 cleric or something. The actual premise was lower cr's were more relevant longer and not forever.

Gnolls using no tactics is cherry picking the point. Replace them with cr 1/2 Satyrs in a large meadow who have more hit points plus magic resistance and the same hordes of cr 1/2 becomes more challenging.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I've had no difficulty challenging relatively high level PCs with low level monsters as long as the monsters are not suicidal.

But sure. Throw wave after wave into a grinder or have dozens of critters appear in perfect fireball formation at too great a distance to get in close and it's not going to be a challenge.

Have those gnolls firing from a distance while ducking behind cover or attacking the wizard while ignoring the cleric. The kobolds snipe from tunnels that narrow down to tiny (with hidden murder holes when people get stuck) while setting off traps and collapsing tunnels? Now we have a challenge.

Low level monsters are much like zombies. Individually not much threat against someone prepared to fight unless they get lucky. But in large enough numbers? Then they're a threat.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Sorry, that's just not practical.

I'm sure you can play D&D as "fantasy f*cking vietnam" and spend hours on a gnoll scenario.

But if you run encounters normally, Spirit Guardians single-handedly shuts down any regular monster with less than twice the spell's damage.

Sure you can dreg up an exception, but most MM critters have poor ranged attacks and poor mobility.

So doing so doesn't change the main point.

What I want to know is instead why you spend such energy in trying to resist this message.

Why make so much fuss a out it, going to great lengths "proving" kobolds can annoy players?

Why not simply accept that dragged out fights with petty foes that try to prolong the encounter aren't fun, aren't how the game is expected to play out, and that the devs have included a spell that basically means the bounded accuracy claim is null and void?

Does this mean you're playing your game badwrongfun?

No. It just means your ability to turn a 15 minute encounter with kobolds into a hours-long exercise in frustration isn't worth bragging about.

Read an official module. Study how it structures encounters. Then ponder whether your own game in any way resembles the way most people are playing.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Sorry, that's just not practical.

I'm sure you can play D&D as "fantasy f*cking vietnam" and spend hours on a gnoll scenario.

But if you run encounters normally, Spirit Guardians single-handedly shuts down any regular monster with less than twice the spell's damage.

Sure you can dreg up an exception, but most MM critters have poor ranged attacks and poor mobility.

So doing so doesn't change the main point.

What I want to know is instead why you spend such energy in trying to resist this message.

Why make so much fuss a out it, going to great lengths "proving" kobolds can annoy players?

Why not simply accept that dragged out fights with petty foes that try to prolong the encounter aren't fun, aren't how the game is expected to play out, and that the devs have included a spell that basically means the bounded accuracy claim is null and void?

Does this mean you're playing your game badwrongfun?

No. It just means your ability to turn a 15 minute encounter with kobolds into a hours-long exercise in frustration isn't worth bragging about.

Read an official module. Study how it structures encounters. Then ponder whether your own game in any way resembles the way most people are playing.
Huh? So, see, it seems like this "message" you want us to accept is one nobody but you is really disputing, especially 5e rules snd guidelines.

A creature with less than half the HD of damage that SG does and with no useful ranged ability or other threats than melee would be significantly lower CR and not able to significantly impact the scene and so would be ignored in the threat assessment of the scene by the normal CR rules for assessing multiple foes impact on CR.

You seem to be arguing that 5e was claiming otherwise or that some people claimed differently, based off some half quote from who knows where.

So, yeah, myself and others took your claim to task - especially as far as it bring " ptoof" of anything.

Its certainly not true that somehow the ability of an encounter to be rolled thru is proof bonded accuracy is nullified and void.

But, as for your thoughts on how we should all get the idea that this encounter or that encounter isnt fun, well, again I think that just tells us a lot about you or your gameplay or your preferences (or perhaps posting preferences at least.)

But, most of the monsters in the MM cannot breath water. If I as gm have a lake or river in my scene and describe a set of foes running headlong into them and drowning, that doesn't prove "lakes" broke bounded accuracy.
 
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Bitbrain

Adventurer
Reply to OP.

In my experience, 5e clerics are a lot of fun.

War Domain is my personal favorite. My half-orc cleric really felt like he was the commanding officer of our adventuring party.

A War Cleric with Crusader’s Mantle + a few animated skeletons + Battle Master Fighter + Shadow Monk + Champion Fighter = a lot of dead enemies.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
Just a quick post. I’ve played/DMd for over 30 years. This version of the cleric is by far the most versatile and fun to play. I’ve played a Storm Cleric, a Sun Cleric, a War Cleric and a straight up Healing Cleric, and I’ve enjoyed them all. They play very differently and feel different, but they all contribute well to the party.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
Archers are so last post.

If they are going to be suicidal anyway give them dynamite and magical deadman switches.

"fantasy vietnam" is so last post. :-D
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Sorry, that's just not practical.

I'm sure you can play D&D as "fantasy f*cking vietnam" and spend hours on a gnoll scenario.

But if you run encounters normally, Spirit Guardians single-handedly shuts down any regular monster with less than twice the spell's damage.

Sure you can dreg up an exception, but most MM critters have poor ranged attacks and poor mobility.

So doing so doesn't change the main point.

What I want to know is instead why you spend such energy in trying to resist this message.

Why make so much fuss a out it, going to great lengths "proving" kobolds can annoy players?

Why not simply accept that dragged out fights with petty foes that try to prolong the encounter aren't fun, aren't how the game is expected to play out, and that the devs have included a spell that basically means the bounded accuracy claim is null and void?

Does this mean you're playing your game badwrongfun?

No. It just means your ability to turn a 15 minute encounter with kobolds into a hours-long exercise in frustration isn't worth bragging about.

Read an official module. Study how it structures encounters. Then ponder whether your own game in any way resembles the way most people are playing.
Why are the monsters running into the zone of doom? Either attack PCs that aren't adjacent to the cleric or just retreat for 10 minutes. But even a CR 1/2 gnoll is going to last (on average) a round or two. Plenty of time to force some concentration checks.

As far as a kobold encounter ... not every encounter has to be kill every thing that moves. Personally I try to throw a wide variety of encounters with different goals. Sometimes it's kill everything, sometimes it's get out of the kobold infested caves alive.

As far as large numbers, I use mob rules from chapter 8 of the DMG. If a monster is truly no threat, we'll hand-wave combat and narrate what's happening potentially with input from the PCs if it adds to the game.

Fighting monsters of just about any relative CR can become a boring slog, whether they're significantly lower than your level or it's a boss monster. If you can't come up with engaging combats for a specific type of monster don't use them. That doesn't mean the that "the bounded accuracy claim is null and void". It might mean you're just not very good at running that type of combat.
 

Hussar

Legend
Shhhh, @Oofta, this is a long standing thing. Of course no one ever brings the slightest tactical acumen to the game, and everyone who runs modules turns off half their brain and only does EXACTLY what is written in the module.

:erm:
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Shhhh, @Oofta, this is a long standing thing. Of course no one ever brings the slightest tactical acumen to the game, and everyone who runs modules turns off half their brain and only does EXACTLY what is written in the module.

:erm:
What it means is, there are a certain subset of DMs including you two who forgive the devs for much anything with the general argument you the DM can fix it, often specifically referring to the monster's INT score.

I don't buy that argument.

Most DM's don't consider it a solution to draw out fights to extremes, and they're not willing to wrack their brains, just to overcome deficiencies in stat blocks.

For you guys, there's no weakness in a stat block you're ready to pin on the devs, if you can spend hours treating it as an interesting challenge to be overcome. I would not have had any problem with that if you hadn't argued as if every DM is ready to make that investment.

Over in the real world, though, I have news for you: either the monster works right out the box for it's pre-planned purpose, or I get to criticize the devs for their weak mushy monster stat-up skills.

It is by now completely evident that monsters in the Monster Manual simply weren't written with all the goodies available in the PHB in mind. That is, they're mostly sad sacks of HP; every ability with the potential to challenge the players being written off because they could also make the players lose, and we can't have that.

What I refuse to do, is to stay silent with the dismissive argument "you're just not spending enough time and effort on playing the monsters smart"

Not only is that blaming the DM, it is letting WotC off the hook.

I will not have it.

I know for a fact monsters work much better in both 3E and now PF2. Your argument, that it's the DM not working hard enough, is easily trashed, when you try a game where devs actually make their homework and actually try providing monsters with abilities that interact with those of the heroes: confounding them, negating them, or forcing the heroes to use alternative strategies.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
What it means is, there are a certain subset of DMs including you two who forgive the devs for much anything with the general argument you the DM can fix it, often specifically referring to the monster's INT score.

I don't buy that argument.

Most DM's don't consider it a solution to draw out fights to extremes, and they're not willing to wrack their brains, just to overcome deficiencies in stat blocks.

For you guys, there's no weakness in a stat block you're ready to pin on the devs, if you can spend hours treating it as an interesting challenge to be overcome. I would not have had any problem with that if you hadn't argued as if every DM is ready to make that investment.

Over in the real world, though, I have news for you: either the monster works right out the box for it's pre-planned purpose, or I get to criticize the devs for their weak mushy monster stat-up skills.

It is by now completely evident that monsters in the Monster Manual simply weren't written with all the goodies available in the PHB in mind. That is, they're mostly sad sacks of HP; every ability with the potential to challenge the players being written off because they could also make the players lose, and we can't have that.

What I refuse to do, is to stay silent with the dismissive argument "you're just not spending enough time and effort on playing the monsters smart"

Not only is that blaming the DM, it is letting WotC off the hook.

I will not have it.
There's the appeal of OSR gaming. Easy mode is switched off.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
There's the appeal of OSR gaming. Easy mode is switched off.
Classy move, again blaming the DMs.

Yes, again no need to criticize the devs. If there's any issue it's because you're not playing well enough.

No wonder I don't listen to such nonsense.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Classy move, again blaming the DMs.

Yes, again no need to criticize the devs. If there's any issue it's because you're not playing well enough.

No wonder I don't listen to such nonsense.
No what I'm saying is don't like it don't play.

3E and 4E didn't do much better. Encounter design is an art form, I suspect they'll never get the rules right.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
No what I'm saying is don't like it don't play.

3E and 4E didn't do much better. Encounter design is an art form, I suspect they'll never get the rules right.
While I'm sure 3E had its flaws, I am arguing specific flaws in the 5E MM design.

Either you agree or you disagree. Telling me to love it or leave it, on the other hand, is not constructive.

I bet WotC devs love people like that, but this is a discussion forum, and I believe there is great value pointing out weaknesses in official material.

Every little bit of pressure added on the devs to get it right next time and/or own up to their mistakes helps.
 
There is no way to develop a perfect system (since such a thing does not exist), and attempts to fix one problem usually end up creating more (see: Obsidian: PoE2).

I'm sure the devs did the best they could, "putting pressure" on people makes the quality of their performance worse, not better. And I have no desire to see a "6th edition". Not this year, not next year, and not in five years.

The rule to live by is "good enough".
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip

Over in the real world, though, I have news for you: either the monster works right out the box for it's pre-planned purpose, or I get to criticize the devs for their weak mushy monster stat-up skills.
/snip
Hrm. Using 1/2 CR creatures against 5th level groups (or higher), changing their MONSTER MANUAL weapon loadout to strip away their ranged abilities, and then having them rush like lemmings into the strongest point the group has is using a monster for "it's pre-planned purpose"? Really? Seriously?

I mean, good grief, is standing back and pelting with javelins even a completely too complex strategy for a DM to think of? Why did they give gnolls ranged weapons if their "pre-planned purpose" is to charge all the time?

Now, I'll agree that it might not hurt to give the monsters a bit more oomph. Totally get that. I find that 5e PC's are a bit too strong, to be honest. But, most of the time you can counter that strength with a bit of tactics which aren't exactly Sun Tsu level strategies.

@CapnZapp, you've been banging this drum for a LONG time. Yet, every single time you've brought up play examples, it was shown pretty clearly that you were not playing to the monster's strengths and were playing largely directly into the PC's strengths.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
What it means is, there are a certain subset of DMs including you two who forgive the devs for much anything with the general argument you the DM can fix it, often specifically referring to the monster's INT score.

I don't buy that argument.

Most DM's don't consider it a solution to draw out fights to extremes, and they're not willing to wrack their brains, just to overcome deficiencies in stat blocks.

For you guys, there's no weakness in a stat block you're ready to pin on the devs, if you can spend hours treating it as an interesting challenge to be overcome. I would not have had any problem with that if you hadn't argued as if every DM is ready to make that investment.

Over in the real world, though, I have news for you: either the monster works right out the box for it's pre-planned purpose, or I get to criticize the devs for their weak mushy monster stat-up skills.

It is by now completely evident that monsters in the Monster Manual simply weren't written with all the goodies available in the PHB in mind. That is, they're mostly sad sacks of HP; every ability with the potential to challenge the players being written off because they could also make the players lose, and we can't have that.

What I refuse to do, is to stay silent with the dismissive argument "you're just not spending enough time and effort on playing the monsters smart"

Not only is that blaming the DM, it is letting WotC off the hook.

I will not have it.

I know for a fact monsters work much better in both 3E and now PF2. Your argument, that it's the DM not working hard enough, is easily trashed, when you try a game where devs actually make their homework and actually try providing monsters with abilities that interact with those of the heroes: confounding them, negating them, or forcing the heroes to use alternative strategies.
"What it means is, there are a certain subset of DMs including you two who forgive the devs for much anything with the general argument you the DM can fix it, often specifically referring to the monster's INT score."

While you go on to some length and make claims about "dismissive" arguments, this leads off your post and is pretty dismisive.

While you complain about the weakness or deficiency in stat blocks, your scores of gnolls exsmple serms to ignore the gnolls stat blocks where the default CR 1/2 gnoll which has longbows right there just like it has an Int that is above that of common predators and a wisdom of standard human level.

Gnolls by the score was your chosen live play example, right ?

"I tried to throw about seventy gnolls against a party containing a Cleric, some with javelins, some with melee weapons (this was in the Underdark). They died by the score. The cleric did have to make a number of Concentration saves. The others acted in various unmemorable ways. Then the Cleric won the game. The End."

Just a note as you go on about how "there's no weakness in a stat block you're ready to pin on the devs," and somehow blaming the GM... the actual 5e stat block for gnolls lists longbows, spears and bites, so in fact if you chose a GM to remove the longbows, replace them with javelins and thus force the gnolls into close proximity - that's not a deficit of thec5e dev's stat block, tight? That is literally a GM change, right?

That's just part of the logic breakdown there of your position as presented using your example.

You claim things about extreme examples of complicated play, bemoaning the purpose of the creature as presented but we are literally just looking at the monster as presented and what it has and using it.

You claim it's some fault in the design when the DMG makes it clear right there in its encounter building that numbers of much lower CR should not even be considered for threat assessment unless the GM sees they can contribute. Its right here, part of the expected designed outcome, not an oops.

Your argument that you so non-silently want to put forth seems based on some beliefs you have that are simply not rooted in the actual information wuthin or expectations of 5e.

DMs are expected to run NPCs. How a DM chooses to do that will affect the outcomes. It's part of the difference between a TTRPG and a CRPG where hoards of AI driven "adds" might rush into an AoE.

You are entitled to your positions of vourse, but this post here is far from compelling or consistent or even, in my opinion, solid on either logical or factual basis.

Oh well, if your goal us to be convincing, this seemed to fail. If your goal was to put forth a rational argument that follows from experience to actual rule to conclusion, this seems to fail.

If your goal is something else... hard to say.
 
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