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Level Up (A5E) Level Up Playtest Document: #18: Combat

This is a big one, folks. If any playtest document needed playing rather than just reading, this is it. What we are giving you here is the entire combat chapter. You can use this chapter in your regular 5E combats (or you can use our previous playtest documents, like Combat Maneuvers); it’s the same game you know and love, the same system you’re familiar with, but with upgrades and tweaks. We can’t wait to find out what you think of it!

Take this and use it on your 5E games. Then come back and tell us how it went. Thank you!


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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I wouldn't normally do this, as designing in real time isn't our process. But I thought I'd share where the designers are at re. Sprints. This may get rephrased or bullet-pointed out or whatever, but this is where the thinking is right now.

Sprint
When you take the Sprint action, you focus all your effort on moving as fast as possible. You may not take any other actions, bonus actions, or reactions other than your move Speed for the turn. If you are unencumbered, your Speed is quadrupled for one turn; if you are encumbered or wearing heavy armor, your Speed is tripled for one turn. You must Sprint in a straight line each turn, although you can change direction each time you Sprint. You may Sprint for a number of turns equal to your Constitution modifier. Each turn you Sprint after that, you make a Constitution (Athletics) check (DC 10 + 1 per previous check made in the last minute) or you suffer a level of fatigue from either tiredness or a minor sprain or injury. You recover fatigue suffered from sprinting at a rate of one level per minute. You cannot Sprint if you are suffering from one or more levels of fatigue.
That looks great to me. At first, it seems a bit long-winded, but it's actually pretty tight and easy enough to understand, both as a mechanical rule and how it relates to the story.
 

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tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I wouldn't normally do this, as designing in real time isn't our process. But I thought I'd share where the designers are at re. Sprints. This may get rephrased or bullet-pointed out or whatever, but this is where the thinking is right now.

Sprint
When you take the Sprint action, you focus all your effort on moving as fast as possible. You may not take any other actions, bonus actions, or reactions other than your move Speed for the turn. If you are unencumbered, your Speed is quadrupled for one turn; if you are encumbered or wearing heavy armor, your Speed is tripled for one turn. You must Sprint in a straight line each turn, although you can change direction each time you Sprint. You may Sprint for a number of turns equal to your Constitution modifier. Each turn you Sprint after that, you make a Constitution (Athletics) check (DC 10 + 1 per previous check made in the last minute) or you suffer a level of fatigue from either tiredness or a minor sprain or injury. You recover fatigue suffered from sprinting at a rate of one level per minute. You cannot Sprint if you are suffering from one or more levels of fatigue.
the addition of the straight line limitation solves a lot of problems that get created for very high move speeds by making terrain features opponents & obstacles a meaningful concern. I'm not too worried about a player sprinting themselves to death or recovering from heavy sprinting in a few minutes even if it's somehow advantageous to sprint every encounter to close distance or whatever since the straight line prevents someone or something from just sprinting around the front liners to geek the mage/splat the squishies.
 

GKEnialb

Villager
I wouldn't normally do this, as designing in real time isn't our process. But I thought I'd share where the designers are at re. Sprints. This may get rephrased or bullet-pointed out or whatever, but this is where the thinking is right now.

Sprint
When you take the Sprint action, you focus all your effort on moving as fast as possible. You may not take any other actions, bonus actions, or reactions other than your move Speed for the turn. If you are unencumbered, your Speed is quadrupled for one turn; if you are encumbered or wearing heavy armor, your Speed is tripled for one turn. You must Sprint in a straight line each turn, although you can change direction each time you Sprint. You may Sprint for a number of turns equal to your Constitution modifier. Each turn you Sprint after that, you make a Constitution (Athletics) check (DC 10 + 1 per previous check made in the last minute) or you suffer a level of fatigue from either tiredness or a minor sprain or injury. You recover fatigue suffered from sprinting at a rate of one level per minute. You cannot Sprint if you are suffering from one or more levels of fatigue.
That looks great!
 

Pakki Sukibe

Villager
I'm honestly a little worried about the critical hits doubling flat damage. One of the reasons I moved away from Pathfinder and, subsequently, avoided Pathfinder 2E was how much more powerful flat damage and crit stacking was. Essentially, the flat damage got to a point where dice rolling didn't really matter, because all you had to do was crit and make your flat damage do the work. I remember just having the wind sucked out of me when everything kept dying to crits into late game for over a hundred damage. Even at level 2, I remember the dragon fight in the PF2e adventure being trivialized cuz the barbarian crit for 90% of its health, and that was the only attack that landed.

In 5e, it's a little bit of a concern too since you can get flat damage from things like Dueling fighting style and GWM/Sharp Shooter. Also, with the additional critical effects on things like the new barbarian, it becomes doubly concerning.
I hope the flat damage doubling is optional or that the sources of flat damage in LevelUp are greatly diminished to mitigate this problem.
I think having doubled flat modifiers on crits is problematic especially when the game is still using hit dice HP instead of maximized HP.
 


Tinker-TDC

Explorer
I wouldn't normally do this, as designing in real time isn't our process. But I thought I'd share where the designers are at re. Sprints. This may get rephrased or bullet-pointed out or whatever, but this is where the thinking is right now.

Sprint
When you take the Sprint action, you focus all your effort on moving as fast as possible. You may not take any other actions, bonus actions, or reactions other than your move Speed for the turn. If you are unencumbered, your Speed is quadrupled for one turn; if you are encumbered or wearing heavy armor, your Speed is tripled for one turn. You must Sprint in a straight line each turn, although you can change direction each time you Sprint. You may Sprint for a number of turns equal to your Constitution modifier. Each turn you Sprint after that, you make a Constitution (Athletics) check (DC 10 + 1 per previous check made in the last minute) or you suffer a level of fatigue from either tiredness or a minor sprain or injury. You recover fatigue suffered from sprinting at a rate of one level per minute. You cannot Sprint if you are suffering from one or more levels of fatigue.
I just realized reading over this that while the intent seems to be based on previous sprint checks (in game terms, Constitution (Athletics) checks to sprint,) the DC is 10+1 per previous check made in the last minute so if you spent a full turn looking for an invisible enemy (ten Wisdom (Perception) checks) and then sprinted RAW the DC would be 20.

Seems like a silly thing to point out but people love arguing RAW vs RAI so I thought I'd make a note of it.
 

Gandalf970

Explorer
I was wondering if a fighter could become a master of a combat tradition. If he only takes maneuvers from one tradition eventually he is a master. This has been represented in books and movies. Might be a cool idea to gain bonuses if he had "x" amount of maneuvers in a tradition he is considered a master and gives some out of combat fame or even expertise dice.
 

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