D&D 5E I want a return to long duration spells in D&D Next.

Hussar

Legend
But would it be a boon nobody would do without? If so, it's too good, and that's exactly what the 3.0 buffs were. They were subject to maximize and empower metamagic feats as well as extend metamagic. They needed a nerf, though I would agree the nerf went too far. Fixing the bonus at +4 was certainly enough, the duration could and should have been left alone. This was the start of D&D's unbalanced focus on the combat encounter under WotC.

I'm sorry, I don't understand. Under 3.0, the buff was 2-5 for 1 hour/level. You think that setting it to 4 and leaving it at 1 hour/level would be a nerf?
 

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eamon

Explorer
On the topic of whether "until the start of your next turn" is necessary...
For reasons like Total Defence and Second Wind and the like I think both are necessary, but I really don't find having a column each for those on a tracking sheet a big deal (I'm thinking mainly of DMing and tracking statuses for all monsters - besides that, tracking my statuses for one PC is frankly trivial).
I don't buy that total defense or second wind would be problematic if the defense bonus lasted until the the end of the next turn rather than the start. I don't think that'd be problematic now in 4e as-is, and certainly not if the rest of the rules were designed to accommodate the change. The reduction in complexity is more that worth it - and tracking statusus for just one PC is not necessarily trivial, particularly for actions rarely attempted (such as total defense). I don't want to have to look up whether its until the end or start of your next turn. In any case, complexity for no good reason should still be avoided, even if it's not too serious. Is it game-breaking by itself? No. Is it good? No.


On the topic of durations until the end of your current turn:
Generally I think they ought to be "Start of your (= "affected creature's") next turn". You normally want those buffs when enemies attack you, and those you don't are usually useless if you aren't attacking them...
Not necessarily: I'm thinking of things like flying, speed bonuses, acrobatic rogue tricks, gaining some ephemeral advantage for yourself, etc. Consider also that I'd like to avoid a condition tracking moment at the start of turns (i.e. all effects resolve after turns, not before), this seems like an easy win. Defense boosts can last until the end of the next turn. The extra duration during your own turn isn't very powerful, and certainly not if it's considered in balancing right off the bat. Given that the playtest doesn't seem to have anything like opportunity attacks, it'd be even less important.

As an aside, another element I think 4e got right was having all buffs be to final attributes, not to characteristics or the like. Boosting something that rolls on bonuses into all sorts of other things (like +2 Strength, for example, as opposed to +1 to hit - or even +1 to hit and +1 damage) just causes endless hassle and confusion.
Yeah. Although, I don't think there's any need to completely avoid these; they do ensure a certain amount of consistency. For instance, some 4e powers say something like "... and shift your speed ..." whereas others say "... and shift 6 squares ...". I prefer the former precisely because it interacts nicely with things like slow and heavy armor; so here the "base stat" would be speed and modifications to it should ripple down.

Ability score bonuses are problematic anyhow. I see the flavor, and it is sometimes appropriate - but rather than model bull's strength by attack and damage bonuses (but then missing things like encumbrance), I'd prefer making it very rare (i.e. no standard PC buff), make it last long enough to mitigate the tracking hassle, and include a list of likely consequences in the power description. In any case: as far as I'm concerned this should be a corner case. I don't want ephemeral ability score changes.

On the topic of save-ends being nice in theory but sometimes a little messy in 4e practice:
I know what you mean, but I think that was poor implementation, too. Just say that the effects don't stack but the saves do. In other words, if a character gets hit with three "ongoing 5 poison damage" effects, they only take 5 poison damage per turn (i.e. the effects don't stack), but they must save against all three (i.e. make three successful saves in total) before they stop taking the damage.

I think WotC just bottled out into thinking "this is too hard", here, when I don't think it's hard at all - it's entirely intuitive, to me and most of the folk I play with, and it makes a lot more sense in terms of monster relative power and so on.
Totally agree. I played with that house-rule for a long time; but some monsters hand out save-ends like politicians do handshakes, which isn't ideal. So, to really improve this you'd want to integrate it into the system from day 1. Say, isn't 5e around the corner :p?
 
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Walking Dad

First Post
Another one of the many things I didn't like about 4th edition was the short duration spells. I want a return to spells with durations like round/level, minute/level, hour/level, concentration/+2 rounds etc.... I hated that most all spells had the "end of your next turn", "beginning of your next turn" etc durations. I don't mind some spells having short durations but I want a return of the longer duration ones.
I hate them (minute / hour spells) and they are hopefully gone forever. The buffing game was just a bad gamble, it effectiveness varying greatly from group to group. Mage Armor not in the playtest gives hope. I'm fine with Alarm and the like having a duration in hours, but not buff spells. It seems they are limited to one minute :D
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
And god forbid someone cast greater dispel on you. ;)

Want to see a game come to a screaming halt? This is how you do it.

By mid-high level 3e/3.5 this always happened. They party knew that certain opponents came in buffed, and opponents knew that the party was coming in buffed (by mid-high levels a 3e/3.5 party always came in buffed except for exceptional circumstances!)

As such, dispel magic (and it's higher level counterparts) was usually a necessity on both sides - and frankly I hated it! It just always bugged me that by a certain level, chances were that was the first spell cast most of the time.

One easy fix -allow no to extremely limited stacking (Pathfinder allows 3 spells at a time, I believe, but I think even that's too much).

Also, I like the 4e concentration mechanic - If you wanted a spell to continue there was a clear cost! Otherwise, as mentioned already, the spell becomes yet another magic item (essentially), right up until it's dispelled at the least opportune moment (which among other things is a massive bookkeeping headache).
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think that this really is a thing that should be explored a bit further. I'm not sure how well it would work though. Most NPC's don't reoccur very often. So, if you, for example, blind an NPC, that NPC is likely going to be dead rather than reoccurring. :D

But, I do think that there is a place for larger scale effects for martial characters.


In 4e term its effectiveness would equate to translating a bunch of until end of next turns or whatever... to until the end of the encounter.

But it might bring on an actual use for the Remove Affliction ritual too.
 

Hussar

Legend
In 4e term its effectiveness would equate to translating a bunch of until end of next turns or whatever... to until the end of the encounter.

But it might bring on an actual use for the Remove Affliction ritual too.

Heh, funnily enough, Remove Affliction got used twice in my last session. Two of the characters suffered Blinding Sickness and didn't recover.
 

Another one of the many things I didn't like about 4th edition was the short duration spells. I want a return to spells with durations like round/level, minute/level, hour/level, concentration/+2 rounds etc.... I hated that most all spells had the "end of your next turn", "beginning of your next turn" etc durations. I don't mind some spells having short durations but I want a return of the longer duration ones.
I don't want spells expressed in hours or minutes. ;) I can deal with spells that are tracked by round probably, but I don't want to track anything above round and below days.

http://www.enworld.org/forum/new-ho...26777-do-you-like-spell-effect-durations.html
 

JasonZZ

Explorer
Supporter
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Under 3.0, the buff was 2-5 for 1 hour/level. You think that setting it to 4 and leaving it at 1 hour/level would be a nerf?

He was talking about maximized empowered buffs, that turn that 2-5 into a flat +7.

I still think you have a point, though.

And back to the main discussion at hand, I'm not a fan of numeric durations. I prefer a distinction based on drama--"until the end of the encounter/scene", not a number in minutes or rounds; "until the target saves", not a number in rounds (this might help with the lesser save-or-sit-out type effects); "until dawn/nightfall", not a number of hours. This both helps avoid encounter rush cheese (your Bull's Strength only lasts five minutes--better hurry to get the most use of it) and painful duration bookkeeping. Stacking buffs are another problem, but not one that playing with durations will help, I'm sorry to say.
 
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I think 4e has durations almost right. 1 minute/level, 1 hour, or whatever is just a real bookkeeping annoyance - it's a lot of out of combat estimation.

Until Short Rest and Until Long Rest are very good durations, no bookkeeping.

Sustain works well.

End of target's next turn and save ends are both good and this works for offensive debuffs.

Where 4e causes a headache is when it creates defence debuffs. It wants them to last a round so everyone gets a chance to swing at the debuffed target. And that means the best way of setting it up to last this long is based on the attacker's initiative count.

This leads to one obvious conclusion: If a power is created, check if it needs to debuff the victim's defence. And if it does check if it can't be turned into a zone (which is inherently more interesting anyway).
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
The one 4E duration I really don't like is the save every round to make the spell go away. I'm okay if the enemy makes an initial save and my spell doesn't do anything. It's frustrating, but I'm used to it. But if the initial save fails, I want the spell to have a significant impact.

I believe in this instance, the creation and use of [save ends] changed the meaning of what "saves" once meant, into a new concept that was designed for a completely different reason-- that of a designation of time. It was meant to be a replacement for "this spell lasts 1dX+X rounds"... a type of spell duration that existed mainly in AD&D that gave a player a spell effect that would last a random and unknown amount of time. This is counter to what they did in 3E, where almost every duration was a known quantity by the spellcaster, based upon what his level was (ie you always knew how long your spell would last in rounds/minutes/10 minute/hours based upon your level).

So rather than have a spell last a random duration that the DM determined with a roll behind the screen and which he then had to keep track of... the [save ends] allowed him to have that same type of random spell duration without actually needing to keep track of how many rounds had past. The player would just roll a save at the end of his turn to see if the effect wore off (completing the 1 round + X rounds duration the spells had).

The issue of course became the use of the term 'saving throw' to denote this new mechanic... because traditionally saving throws implied the PC or monster avoiding or sloughing off an effect, rather than being nothing more than a generation of time duration. And I think this change in philosophy is what made the 4E concept of the save have less traction.
 

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