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Blog (A5E) Let’s Look At Exploration in Level Up

One of our primary goals with Level Up is to expand and fully flesh out the game’s exploration pillar. There are various ways we’re doing that: we’re giving all characters exploration knacks themed to their character class, we’re making a few tweaks here and there to spells and abilities which interact with that pillar, and we’re writing new journey rules.


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey



rules.mechanic

Craft homebrewer
I really like the concept of the exploration challenges and provides a solid role for the exploration pillar. I think the supplies resource makes a lot of sense - a balance of an important new resource to keep track of but not over-complicated by needing to specify each type of supply. And feeds neatly into the RAW rules for long rest requiring food and drink. But VERY curious about fatigue and resolve. I'm guessing fatigue might link into exertion points? But I don't think we've heard about resolve yet?
 

HawaiiSteveO

Explorer
This really sounds cool.

I'm certain this has been addressed, link to response or summary appreciated. Not being persnickety, I dig Level Up and plan to back it. That being said, as far as design philosophy goes, why would a person play this and not Pathfinder / X game?
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
this interesting bit really caught my eye
The dispel DC for it is 15.
That sounds like there will be a skill for arcane inclined types to leverage their arcane knowledge against static magical things like that growth or wards other than "yep it's a magic trap, bilbo pull out your thieve's tools my job here is done"
 


HawaiiSteveO

Explorer
Because they like 5E. 5E isn’t the same as Pathfinder.
Apologies for not being clear.

IMO if I want to play a "crunchier, more flexible version" of a d20 based fantasy RPG (that uses all the terms I and my players are already familiar with) there is a well made, popular game with tons of source material and amazing fans / community already.

My question is how Level Up is going to hit some of these sweet spots and not (inevitably) be compared to something that has already been done rather capably?

Clearly, my experience only but there is a name for people who like 5E but wish it was crunchier and had more options and more flexibility - they're called Pathfinder players :ROFLMAO:
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Apologies for not being clear.

IMO if I want to play a "crunchier, more flexible version" of a d20 based fantasy RPG (that uses all the terms I and my players are already familiar with) there is a well made, popular game with tons of source material and amazing fans / community already.

My question is how Level Up is going to hit some of these sweet spots and not (inevitably) be compared to something that has already been done rather capably?

Clearly, my experience only but there is a name for people who like 5E but wish it was crunchier and had more options and more flexibility - they're called Pathfinder players :ROFLMAO:
I disagree. I’m playing in a PF2 campaign right
now, which I’m enjoying very much, but I do not believe Pathfinder is an advanced version of 5E. It’s it’s own thing, a different game. An awesome game, but a different one. What we’re making is 5E.
 

HawaiiSteveO

Explorer
I disagree. I’m playing in a PF2 campaign right
now, which I’m enjoying very much, but I do not believe Pathfinder is an advanced version of 5E. It’s it’s own thing, a different game. An awesome game, but a different one. What we’re making is 5E.
I have 0 XP with PF2, I played a ranger original PF level 1-7 before my brain dribbled out of my ear... :rolleyes:
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
Apologies for not being clear.

IMO if I want to play a "crunchier, more flexible version" of a d20 based fantasy RPG (that uses all the terms I and my players are already familiar with) there is a well made, popular game with tons of source material and amazing fans / community already.

My question is how Level Up is going to hit some of these sweet spots and not (inevitably) be compared to something that has already been done rather capably?

Clearly, my experience only but there is a name for people who like 5E but wish it was crunchier and had more options and more flexibility - they're called Pathfinder players :ROFLMAO:
Level Up is for gamers like me. I LOVE 5th Edition as it is, but I'm very interested in the rules modules that Level Up provides to modify your 5th Edition game. Once I get the full rules, I might just move fully over to Level Up, or just use some of the rules modules to modify my home game.

I have zero interest in Pathfinder. Why? It's a great game made by a great company, but as Morrus pointed out, it's a different game. I'm not interested in learning a different ruleset that serves the same purpose as D&D. Of course, both Pathfinder and Level Up are comfortably within the D&D family, alongside the many OSR games out there . . . they certainly share many similarities and the same base DNA . . . but they remain different rulesets.
 

Faolyn

Explorer
Apologies for not being clear.

IMO if I want to play a "crunchier, more flexible version" of a d20 based fantasy RPG (that uses all the terms I and my players are already familiar with) there is a well made, popular game with tons of source material and amazing fans / community already.

My question is how Level Up is going to hit some of these sweet spots and not (inevitably) be compared to something that has already been done rather capably?

Clearly, my experience only but there is a name for people who like 5E but wish it was crunchier and had more options and more flexibility - they're called Pathfinder players :ROFLMAO:
Pathfinder is based on 3x. LU is based on 5e. They're going to have different philosophies and different mechanics at their base. LU is crunchier than D&D but still a lot less crunchy than PF or 3.x.
 

Faolyn

Explorer
This looks fascinating and I can easily see you guys putting out a splat book of just extra encounters in this vein, especially if you decide to create extraplaner encounters (I imagine there will be a lot more magical environment encounters, but I'd be surprised if you had many, or any, encounters in the Abyss or Mechanus or whatever).
 

leonardozg

Because I'm the DM
Apologies for not being clear.

IMO if I want to play a "crunchier, more flexible version" of a d20 based fantasy RPG (that uses all the terms I and my players are already familiar with) there is a well made, popular game with tons of source material and amazing fans / community already.

My question is how Level Up is going to hit some of these sweet spots and not (inevitably) be compared to something that has already been done rather capably?

Clearly, my experience only but there is a name for people who like 5E but wish it was crunchier and had more options and more flexibility - they're called Pathfinder players :ROFLMAO:
PF2 seems more like an evolution of D&D 4, without the great mistakes of 4e, keeping the sacred cows of D&D. Basically it is what I would've liked to see in 5e.
 

leonardozg

Because I'm the DM
Nice to see exploration having so much attention. How are you planning to keep this part of the game relevant and fun in high levels with magic easily avoiding travels and lack of supplies? Are there other aspects not yet presented?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
One thing D&D and almost all it's clones did poorly is exploration past level 4 or so.
It's always just more powerful traps and more elaborate descriptions. But without the challenges, the flavor text is meaningless in the game.

This is especially true for wilderness and urban exploration challenges.

Ironically 4e handled it best as the skill challenge system could easily be dragged up and down the scale with bigger numbers.

But D&D really doesn't answer the question of "What trips up the archmage, master thief, greatest swordsman, one of the 3 high heirophants, and grand champion of the Northern Horde on the way to slay the dark lich?" expect with BiGgeR TrAPs!.

I am happy the A5E team is looking into higher tier exploration and exploration systems in general. I like the idea of exploration challenges and supplies.. I would have loved for an example of a higher tier exploration challenge.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I think the supply concept is excellent, its simple but it helps drive the exploration in a way that makes sense. I think its the key reason a lot of other systems have failed, just no simple but important resource that the players care about. I will be curious to see how magic like goodberries factor in.

The challenges look like 4e skill challenges, at least at core. That's not a bad thing, especially with stock challenges. I think skill challenges were at their best when they were crafted for a specific scenario and some care was but into them, and at their worst when done for ad hoc challenges....so this seems a good concept.

So I like what I'm seeing so far.
 

Sul Khatesh

The Keeper of Secrets
Really like this Idea. Just three pieces of constructive criticism: Extra-dimensional spaces should be able to hold food, I can’t see how it could mess anything up that much. Most party’s aren’t going to have a bag of holding. Perhaps the party needs to go through a large desert and need to be able to carry more food. There should always be a way to overcome something like that. Also the inability to relieve fatigue in a campsite seems troublesome. I’m not sure how fatigue works but I’m not a big fan of continually stacking conditions with no good way of relieving them. It should definitely be the case that it’s harder (like having to take a few extra hours off) to relieve it in campsites, and perhaps a survival check or the Terrain and weather can affect this. Last piece witch isn’t too important, the magical overgrown was labeled as evocation which is generally magical energy while conjuration would be more appropriate as it being matter that is magically there, or transmutation as the original flora is magically grown. Other than that I think that this is a really cool way of better introducing exploration into the game, looking forward to seeing this product whenever it comes out.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
They do look like skill challenges, but only need 1 roll.....I'd prefer it take time and multiple rolls (at least something like the second example).

but, overall, this is GREAT!
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
They do look like skill challenges, but only need 1 roll.....I'd prefer it take time and multiple rolls (at least something like the second example).

but, overall, this is GREAT!

Yeah, a multi roll system might be better. Then I suspect that this system will include a ‘Camp’ roll, the Navigation and Scouting roll, the Exploration Challenge rolls, a Foraging/Hunting roll, an Alertness/Watch rolls and of course the ‘Supplies’ roll.
Map drawing and discovering new sites, resources and dangers is also fun in a exploration system.
 

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