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

Li Shenron

Legend
But also, spells that do things without the caster needing to affect them is one of the sources of imbalance from older editions.

My typical campaign settings desperately need spells with long, very long and permanent durations, including curses and enchantments to places and objects, much much much more than they need balance.
 

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Balesir

Adventurer
See, this just reinforces my impression that 4e is a glorified combat engine. If the game's mechanics just emphasize combat time durations rather than non-combat encounter variabilities, then I think it gives up too much ground on its scope of play. 3.5 was already moving in this direction to the point that I shouldn't have been surprised that 4e went even farther, but I wasn't in favor of it then and I'm not in favor of it now.
It's not a question of "combat time", it's having system elements relate to system elements and not to something imaginary/non-existant (like "game world time"). The system cannot possibly work as a clear and unambiguous game system if key elements of it are not defined in anything that relates to the real world. Now, a clear and unambiguous game system may not be what you want - but if that is the case then you don't really need any rules at all; just have the DM make everything up.

Spells with durations of "encounter" can lead to situations like:
"Bob, grapple that ogre for a while, don't kill him. I need to climb this wall, and my spider climb spell only lasts for an encounter."
Duly noted. I wasn't picking on 4e, though, just durations of encounter in general.
The only time this applies, though, is if the rules say "the power lasts until the end of the encounter" and nothing else. No system, to my knowledge, has ever done that. The actual rule in 4e is that it lasts until the user/caster takes a rest, or until about 5 minutes of game time have elapsed (translation: as long as you need unless the DM decides you can't have it). The first part is a simple, unambiguous actual rule that has no need of "grappled ogres" or whatever; the second is the usual cop-out generally used in RPGs with action resolution based systems.

My typical campaign settings desperately need spells with long, very long and permanent durations, including curses and enchantments to places and objects, much much much more than they need balance.
Well, you could use rituals for that, but a key question I would ask myself if I felt that is "to what end do I want this?" Why do you feel that these things are required? What is the process you are seeking to encourage?
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Well, you could use rituals for that

No I couldn't, not always at least, for instance when I want the PCs to face a monster/NPC that can curse them in battle before fleeing or being defeated, or to allow a PC to do something similar against a target with a hit-and-run tactic.

Why do you feel that these things are required?

There are always concepts or tactics based on long-term effects.
 

See, this just reinforces my impression that 4e is a glorified combat engine. If the game's mechanics just emphasize combat time durations rather than non-combat encounter variabilities, then I think it gives up too much ground on its scope of play. 3.5 was already moving in this direction to the point that I shouldn't have been surprised that 4e went even farther, but I wasn't in favor of it then and I'm not in favor of it now.

Oh please! D&D has always been a glorified combat engine with spells hacked onto the side and wizards that started life as battlefield artillery. 4e on the other hand is the only version of D&D that has a dedicated framework to handle scenes that involve complex plans that don't involve hitting people.

Bookkeeping the time down to the minute is about the single thing least likely to encourage non-combat play that I can think of. What does encourage it is a robust and flexible scene resolution system. Oh, and ritual magic that helps progress scenes rather than the wizard being able to snap his fingers and solve scenes.

4e is therefore the single version of D&D that has the best non-combat support. And no, magic doesn't mean non-combat support, almost the reverse.

Of course the classic method of "Make combat lethal so people will find other methods for which the DM can make up rulings" encourages non-combat more than 4e's "Make combat fun and provide good non-combat support."
 

My typical campaign settings desperately need spells with long, very long and permanent durations, including curses and enchantments to places and objects, much much much more than they need balance.

I have literally never had problems introducing plot-magic. But these are all one of a kind things adn setting specific. Oh, and 4e has the condition track for long term matters - you could do an excellent geas on the condition track.
 

JRRNeiklot

First Post
Yes, because mechanics are always the solution to douchebag players. :erm:

If someone is going to game the system in this manner, and it bothers you, wouldn't it a whole lot simpler just to ask players not to be dicks than try to force everyone in the world to screw around tracking minutia of time?

Sure, but a duration of "encounter" might mean my spell lasted 2 minutes, or two hours depending on the length of the combat. Tracking units of time is hard. For instance, thisd post took me about 45 seconds to type, or was that one encounter?
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
Oh please! D&D has always been a glorified combat engine with spells hacked onto the side and wizards that started life as battlefield artillery. 4e on the other hand is the only version of D&D that has a dedicated framework to handle scenes that involve complex plans that don't involve hitting people.

And the main point of D&D compared to Chainmail is that it always had ambitions to be more than just a combat game. Unfortunately, those were ambitions that the game started backpedaling away from in 3.5 and made worse in 4e in the name of combat balance. A poor trade.

Clearly, I'm not going to convince you on that any more than you're going to convince me that skill challenges as presented in D&D are the best non-combat support any version of D&D has had (particularly since SWSE's treatment of skill challenges is much better than 4e D&D's ever reached and even 3e's treatment of complex skill checks did a better job of describing how the math works). And at this point I don't really care about that. I want better story and fiction oriented durations for magic rather than metagame concepts like encounters or short rests.
 

Hussar

Legend
No I couldn't, not always at least, for instance when I want the PCs to face a monster/NPC that can curse them in battle before fleeing or being defeated, or to allow a PC to do something similar against a target with a hit-and-run tactic.



There are always concepts or tactics based on long-term effects.

Umm, you do realize that 4e has curse mechanics for long duration curses right?

Never mind that the disease condition track mechanics make this sort of thing surprisingly easy to do. It's not like this is a terribly hard thing to add into 4e.

Sure, but a duration of "encounter" might mean my spell lasted 2 minutes, or two hours depending on the length of the combat. Tracking units of time is hard. For instance, thisd post took me about 45 seconds to type, or was that one encounter?

My response would be, "so?" Why does it matter? Who cares if you spell lasted 2 minutes or two hours? It's all one "encounter", so, other than bean counters, what difference does it make?

And, let's be honest here, the odds that an encounter will last even two minutes is EXTREMELY small.

Then again, I like the DM having authority over the game instead of being told how to run my game by game designers. I'm funny that way I guess.
 

Balesir

Adventurer
No I couldn't, not always at least, for instance when I want the PCs to face a monster/NPC that can curse them in battle before fleeing or being defeated, or to allow a PC to do something similar against a target with a hit-and-run tactic.
OK, so you want long term conditions - like petrification, disease and so on. That is something I would expect to (still) be there.

There are always concepts or tactics based on long-term effects.
So is this what you see as the player aim in the game? Long term tactical and strategic success? If so, how can they ever succeed based on their own merits without balance?

4e has the condition track for long term matters - you could do an excellent geas on the condition track.
True as far as it goes, but this is still one of many areas I wish the designers had expanded upon and made use of the (immense) potential they had sitting there before ditching the edition. What is there is very neat, but rather sparse.

Sure, but a duration of "encounter" might mean my spell lasted 2 minutes, or two hours depending on the length of the combat. Tracking units of time is hard. For instance, thisd post took me about 45 seconds to type, or was that one encounter?
The real world doesn't have encounters. Nor does it have hit points, levels, character classes, experience points or markets for "magic items" that defy all economic sense and logic. But D&D does, because it isn't real life and cannot possibly run by the same rules as the real world.

Time in the real world is postulated to be a measure of the number of "events" (on a subatomic level) occurring. What does that make time in a roleplaying game? A measure of the number of decisions made by the players (including the GM)? Or a measure of the challenges faced and overcome by the characters, maybe? If the latter, voila - the "encounter".

And the main point of D&D compared to Chainmail is that it always had ambitions to be more than just a combat game.
If that is so, why didn't it come up with anything at all in that arena? Especially when other games did so - starting, I think, with MegaTraveller in the mid-80's.

Unfortunately, those were ambitions that the game started backpedaling away from in 3.5 and made worse in 4e in the name of combat balance. A poor trade.
How you can "backpedal" from no system at all I'm hard pressed to imagine, but that combat balance needs to be "traded" for better non-combat systems seems like a non-sequitur, to me.

Clearly, I'm not going to convince you on that any more than you're going to convince me that skill challenges as presented in D&D are the best non-combat support any version of D&D has had (particularly since SWSE's treatment of skill challenges is much better than 4e D&D's ever reached and even 3e's treatment of complex skill checks did a better job of describing how the math works). And at this point I don't really care about that. I want better story and fiction oriented durations for magic rather than metagame concepts like encounters or short rests.
SWSE is not D&D - plenty of non-D&D games have had better non-combat conflict/challenge resolution systems than D&D, but that wasn't the claim, as I read it. The claim was that no other edition of D&D has had as good a non-combat conflict/challenge resolution system. Since no other edition of D&D has had such a system at all ("roll skill vs a DC" is not such a system - it's just part of such a system, with challenge/scene framing and XP assignment elements needed, at a minimum, in addition), I can't see how that is even a contentious statement.
 


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