Level Up (A5E) Is Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition compatible with D&D 5E?

Faolyn

(she/her)
Press the attack and fall back are obviously messed up from a read. There are some things that come across in text as obviously bad vs the need to test to confirm they’re bad.
So you haven't actually tested it out.

Actions having built in reaction based countermeasure doesn’t line up with 5e game design. It creates a meta-game guessing game that doesn’t resemble in game tactics. Taking a class mechanic and universalizing it isn’t appropriate. Fall back’s disadvantages don’t mean as much to a caster using fall back as a melee attacker, and so on. Groups gain an advantage making the balance of swarm encounters vs solo encounters skewed. This is all apparent from just a read.
I disagree that it causes a "guessing game." In-game, a character is basically making an "all-out attack" that involves advancing on you. You can clearly see this is happening, and thus can respond by holding your ground or falling back. The only "meta" part is that the DM will say that it's using PtA, in much the same way that the DM would tell you that a creature has grappled you.

I don't think that the version in the pdfs wasn't playtested. I think it was written poorly and didn't convey its full meaning.
 

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Rant

Explorer
So you haven't actually tested it out.


I disagree that it causes a "guessing game." In-game, a character is basically making an "all-out attack" that involves advancing on you. You can clearly see this is happening, and thus can respond by holding your ground or falling back. The only "meta" part is that the DM will say that it's using PtA, in much the same way that the DM would tell you that a creature has grappled you.

I don't think that the version in the pdfs wasn't playtested. I think it was written poorly and didn't convey its full meaning.
We simply don’t know without more specifics on the playtest process. It reads as something that was not playtested in its current form, I think we agree on that. There are far too many cases of “giving the benefit of the doubt,” from rules like PTA to “assurance of compatibility.”

Evidence indicates it is not compatible and that PTA does not work well. The counter is a broadly worded assurance that it “worked in playtests.” Based on these forums it seems most of the playtesting is happening now, however.

That isn’t good, by the way, in case that needs to be spelled out.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
We simply don’t know without more specifics on the playtest process. It reads as something that was not playtested in its current form, I think we agree on that. There are far too many cases of “giving the benefit of the doubt,” from rules like PTA to “assurance of compatibility.”

Evidence indicates it is not compatible and that PTA does not work well. The counter is a broadly worded assurance that it “worked in playtests.” Based on these forums it seems most of the playtesting is happening now, however.

That isn’t good, by the way, in case that needs to be spelled out.
Just to jump in, exposure to real world is usually several orders of magnitude larger than testing. This is just as true as when IBM releases a new version of software as it is for small RPG companies. A team literally, meant in the actual definition of that word, cannot test as much as the variations that will be seen once something hits general availability.

Continually saying that playtesting is only happening now undermines any other point you are trying to say, because it shows ignorance of just about anything new coming out, in any field. Cars come out that have recalls because they have issues that could kill people, and you know they were tested.

You have conveyed your point that you have judged the playtesting insufficient. What is your next goal? If it's to convince people that you have a valid point about PtA/FB, the barrier is that one one side we have an armchair quarterback with a short exposure to the system, and on the other side we have a team with long exposure, and some playtesting regardless if you are unaware of the details. That doesn't give you any credibility. And you aren't going to gain it by trying to pick apart their playtesting methodology - it still leaves you just a theory-crafter who has never tried the rules.

If your job is just to get your message out there - you can rest on your laurels, you have already succeeded. However, if you goal is to convince people, then your next step is provide actual data. Play with it in a variety of situations and levels. Show combat breakdowns where it doesn't work. The burden of proof the PtA/FA is broken is on the accusers and you need to step up with real play data.
 

Rant

Explorer
Just to jump in, exposure to real world is usually several orders of magnitude larger than testing. This is just as true as when IBM releases a new version of software as it is for small RPG companies. A team literally, meant in the actual definition of that word, cannot test as much as the variations that will be seen once something hits general availability.

Continually saying that playtesting is only happening now undermines any other point you are trying to say, because it shows ignorance of just about anything new coming out, in any field. Cars come out that have recalls because they have issues that could kill people, and you know they were tested.

You have conveyed your point that you have judged the playtesting insufficient. What is your next goal? If it's to convince people that you have a valid point about PtA/FB, the barrier is that one one side we have an armchair quarterback with a short exposure to the system, and on the other side we have a team with long exposure, and some playtesting regardless if you are unaware of the details. That doesn't give you any credibility. And you aren't going to gain it by trying to pick apart their playtesting methodology - it still leaves you just a theory-crafter who has never tried the rules.

If your job is just to get your message out there - you can rest on your laurels, you have already succeeded. However, if you goal is to convince people, then your next step is provide actual data. Play with it in a variety of situations and levels. Show combat breakdowns where it doesn't work. The burden of proof the PtA/FA is broken is on the accusers and you need to step up with real play data.

There is a thread where another player has done so, and noted issues with the mechanic and it’s impact on balance.
To your point about real world testing, and “credibility,” playtesting, or simply a thorough read of the Press The Attack concept, would have revealed it’s riddled with issues. That’s more “this car doesn’t have tires” than something requiring months of road testing to reveal. The issues are very surface-level obvious.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal

There is a thread where another player has done so, and noted issues with the mechanic and it’s impact on balance.
To your point about real world testing, and “credibility,” playtesting, or simply a thorough read of the Press The Attack concept, would have revealed it’s riddled with issues. That’s more “this car doesn’t have tires” than something requiring months of road testing to reveal. The issues are very surface-level obvious.
And there we have people who are actually working to improve the game by pointing out bugs. Aspire to be them.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I think we can assume that the internal playtesting must have had some different wording to avoid Press-spamming. (That or by some weird fluke no one thought to do it). We just don't know what that wording is yet. Nor do we know if it will be better that way (but we can hope so).
 

Rant

Explorer
And there we have people who are actually working to improve the game by pointing out bugs. Aspire to be them.
I’ve already pointed out that Press the Attack is a problematic mechanic that needs to be removed from the game, not reworded. If I run a few sample combats with my group as this other poster did to provide anecdotal data to back that up I doubt it will result in Press the Attack’s removal.
There isn’t anything noble and valuable about playing with bad mechanics for the sake of saying you did so. Some might be “iffy” and a playtest is required to see how they pan out in actual play. Press the attack is an example that’s obvious from reading it, for those who understand and play 5e D&D, that it does not mesh well with the game.
 

Rant, can I ask why you're even still posting here?

You've made it abundantly clear you not only don't like Level Up at all, you don't actually want a new rules system. Furthemore, you think it's a terrible product that reflects badly on all involved, who clearly don't know anything about good game design.

You've written something like 100 posts and an entire blog article to this effect.

What are you hoping to achieve by continuing to pour crap on Level Up and its authors on its own forum, mostly in the form of repeating the same comments again and again and again and again? And why do you think this strategy is going to be an effective way to achieve that hope, rather than getting on everyone's nerves, as it seems to be doing so far?
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I’ve already pointed out that Press the Attack is a problematic mechanic that needs to be removed from the game, not reworded.
You have chimed in as an armchair quarterback. Actually, I would say that the majority of armchair quarterbacks have at least seen a game of football, while you don't even have that distinction. That is not high on the credibility scale for what you pointing out mattering.

If I run a few sample combats with my group as this other poster did to provide anecdotal data to back that up I doubt it will result in Press the Attack’s removal.
Yet you have just used a thread that is doing exactly that as a resource to support your point.

Are they not doing anything useful in that thread in which case it's no support for what you are saying?

Or are they doing something useful and you are just being hypocritical here?

There isn’t anything noble and valuable about playing with bad mechanics for the sake of saying you did so.
Luckily, the goal wasn't "noble" nor "valuable". It was "credible". And yes, having actually tried something to see how if it works in actual play conditions as you expect from reading it is the minimum level of playtesting to be credible.

I seem to remember reading comment after comment from you asking about how they did their playtesting. Do you actually believe playtesting is useful, so here you are again speaking hypocritically, or in all of those did you not think playtesting was important and were just trying to win a point?
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Quick question tangential to "compatibility":

If I'm running a O5E game and playing in a separate A5E game with a different group, what are the changes I am most likely to get caught on switching back and forth between those tables every week.

For example I had a DM running 5e who used to bring in a bunch of 3.x rules, like +2 for flanking, and +1 to charge, that weren't 5e. Just because he had a lot of experience with one system, and nothing in the other system was overriding that with a new rule.

I've brought Advantage into 13th Age (a d20 game) before when I was running it - not on purpose, just told them to role with advantage for something, they did it (also playing 5e), and we noticed later.

None of these are game breakers at all - those systems were pretty compatible in those ways and A5E is even closer. But they are things that tripped us up.
 


Rant

Explorer
Rant, can I ask why you're even still posting here?

You've made it abundantly clear you not only don't like Level Up at all, you don't actually want a new rules system. Furthemore, you think it's a terrible product that reflects badly on all involved, who clearly don't know anything about good game design.

You've written something like 100 posts and an entire blog article to this effect.

What are you hoping to achieve by continuing to pour crap on Level Up and its authors on its own forum, mostly in the form of repeating the same comments again and again and again and again? And why do you think this strategy is going to be an effective way to achieve that hope, rather than getting on everyone's nerves, as it seems to be doing so far?
Honestly, analysis and criticism of a product's merits and flaws is what I would expect from any discussion forum. Merits and flaws. There are merits I've noted. I've also pointed out flaws, and that's where we tend to get stuck conversationally - when people are rushing to deny the flaws instead of to address them. That's an odd thing I haven't encountered elsewhere.

This particular topic started as one about compatibility with D&D 5e. It doesn't meet my standards for "compatible." It doesn't need to either, as some have pointed out. It is its own stand-alone system meant to replace D&D rules, it has no expectation of compatibility with what it replaces therefore. So, why would people argue rather vehemently that is it compatible with the rules, as opposed to adventures? Not sure, but it's what we seem to be circling here.

Most of the time a subject matter forum is interested in all aspects of a hobby, a product, and so on - the good and the bad. I've rarely encountered a community response elsewhere that "denies" the bad, the flaws, the drawbacks, etc. It's not constructive to pretend something is perfect, or that it's worthless. Everything has good points and drawbacks. I'd be happy to discuss more of what I'm seeing that's good, great, even, but the hard edged denial of drawbacks is odd, to say the least.

The only thing someone "achieves" in a discussion forum is a discussion. A discussion often involves different viewpoints respectfully disagreeing on some points and agreeing on others. It's not an echo chamber or a praise and worship session for a product, it's a discussion. What I was hoping to "achieve" was a discussion. If there are things we disagree on, we disagree. That's a discussion.

I'm a bit surprised at the tone of the responses, however. Criticizing flaws in a product is a normal thing to do. Critical thinking is good, analysis is good. There's no obligation to defend the things we buy, so it's strange that reasonable criticisms of a product of mutual interest are treated as strange, when that's one of the assumed purposes of any discussion of a product.

Press the attack was brought in due to concerns over inadequate playtesting. Segueing to:

You have chimed in as an armchair quarterback. Actually, I would say that the majority of armchair quarterbacks have at least seen a game of football, while you don't even have that distinction. That is not high on the credibility scale for what you pointing out mattering.


Yet you have just used a thread that is doing exactly that as a resource to support your point.

Are they not doing anything useful in that thread in which case it's no support for what you are saying?

Or are they doing something useful and you are just being hypocritical here?


Luckily, the goal wasn't "noble" nor "valuable". It was "credible". And yes, having actually tried something to see how if it works in actual play conditions as you expect from reading it is the minimum level of playtesting to be credible.

I seem to remember reading comment after comment from you asking about how they did their playtesting. Do you actually believe playtesting is useful, so here you are again speaking hypocritically, or in all of those did you not think playtesting was important and were just trying to win a point?
Playtesting is important. More so before a product is released. That's how most people view it, regardless of a few outliers who think the consumer tests a product. My questions on playtesting began with the "compatibility" question. How were those playtests conducted that "assure" compatibility? It's a reasonable question. It's also not the consumer's job to test the product. But it is logically our purview to judge it. The issue of Press the Attack is separate from the compatibility question (beyond the fact that it's a universal maneuver that isn't part of the rule system Level Up replaces, but that's a bit tangential) but it's an example of the questionable nature of the playtesting, from my perspective. Again: The pre-release playtesting, not the current "in the wild" consumer playtesting.
 
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Rant

Explorer
One other note. A product like this has numerous authors. It wasn’t the passion project of one fan. So it’s perfectly reasonable to expect some of it to be very good, and some of it to be very flawed.

Attempting to discuss the thing as if it was one product in terms of quality doesn’t make sense. Some parts are better than others, clearly, and written by different authors clearly as well.

I suspect there are Level Up designers I strongly agree with and some I strongly disagree with. It might be advisable to apply this same perspective to the product. It’s very, very unlikely any player will like everything about a trio of books like this. I suspect even those who contributed some content don’t like other content.

With that perspective in mind, it might soften the blow for some people thinking that a criticism equals “hating the product.” A criticism is a reasonable sign of interest rather than indifference. It’s caring enough to be disappointed when something falls short of it’s potential.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
On the subject of compatibility, I have a related question:

If I’m running a group with an O5e Wizard using O5e spells and an A5e Wizard using A5e spells and the former lets the latter copy the O5e version of fireball into their spellbook, does it supersede the A5e version, make it obsolete, or transform into it?
 



tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
On the subject of compatibility, I have a related question:

If I’m running a group with an O5e Wizard using O5e spells and an A5e Wizard using A5e spells and the former lets the latter copy the O5e version of fireball into their spellbook, does it supersede the A5e version, make it obsolete, or transform into it?
I would require both of them to use the levelup spells. Allowing them to pick & choose o5e if they are better & vice versa would create a mess before even getting to rare spells & spell craft of custom spells
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm a bit surprised at the tone of the responses, however. Criticizing flaws in a product is a normal thing to do. Critical thinking is good, analysis is good.

Mod Note:
Sure.

But, giving the same criticism nearly a dozen times, over multiple threads is... more than a bit insistent. I daresay folks are apt to react to that. After asking the same questions more than a couple of times, the chances of getting an answer start to decrease, because you leave the realm of asking politely, and enter the realm of demanding.

So, you know, maybe don't beat that drum so incessantly, hm? Thanks.
 

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