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Mike Mearls on how D&D 4E could have looked

OK on this "I would’ve much preferred the ability to adopt any role within the core 4 by giving players a big choice at level 1, an option that placed an overlay on every power you used or that gave you a new way to use them."
Basically have Source Specific Powers and less class powers. But I think combining that with having BIG differing stances to dynamically switch role might be a better idea so that your hero can adjust role to circumstance. I have to defend this NPC right now vs I have to take down the big bad right now vs I have to do minion cleaning right now, I am inspiring allies in my interesting way, who need it right now.

and the obligatory
Argghhhh on this. " I wanted classes to have different power acquisition schedules"

And thematic differences seemed to have been carried fine.
 
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Comments

Parmandur

Adventurer
Well when you put a superman in the game it behoves you to put Kryptonite in the story it when it takes extreme/weird measures like inducing a oath bound hero like Cu Chulainn to eat dog to defeat him that is evidence of power and how normal circumstances really arent a threat....

It is by no means evidence they are somehow within reach of low level threats.
Not so much within reach, as in the same world. As the DMG outlines, it's pretty easy to take the bounded numbers, but play it Wuxia, or Celtic myth. No need for the numbers to change, if you change the narrative representation.

Still, a Level 20 PC isn't likely to be killed by a legion of Goblins, but putting defeat utterly out if reach isn't the style the game went for. That sort of "outleveling" of threats is...eh.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
To be fair one was a 5e reference to keep the Jester happy and one was an ADnD reference. 5e does not really have real Wishes.
4e did have a wish ritual you wouldnt call it real either I am certain. LOL but don't confuse me you meanie, I trust what people type and I do not want to buy that bridge.

Point being that luck doesn't have to do "one thing" it can influence many different things.
Most heroes in fiction seem to have some luck factor going on sometimes its bad enough to get them in trouble and good enough to get them out.

Luck as something that runs out... is poorly represented by die rolls. And much better as an element of hit points.

Heck it might even be like magic it gets woven a bit differently depending on the characters culture.. it could be fun to have different beliefs in what exactly is lucky manifest.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Matrim of the Wheel of Time had a luck power that almost felt like him getting an auto 20 when he used it. Its not a Warlord or Rogue ability exactly but rather just one of those abilities he had being a Ta'veren

Would being lucky always mean you had that ability... meh. That would be boring.
 

Shasarak

Villager
Point being that luck doesn't have to do "one thing" it can influence many different things.
Most heroes in fiction seem to have some luck factor going on sometimes its bad enough to get them in trouble and good enough to get them out.

Luck as something that runs out... is poorly represented by die rolls. And much better as an element of hit points.
I was just reading through the old Fighting Fantasy rules which uses a Luck pool that decreases as you use it up as well as being able to go up (and down) to reflect your fortune within the game.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Not so much within reach, as in the same world. As the DMG outlines, it's pretty easy to take the bounded numbers, but play it Wuxia, or Celtic myth. No need for the numbers to change, if you change the narrative representation.

Still, a Level 20 PC isn't likely to be killed by a legion of Goblins, but putting defeat utterly out if reach isn't the style the game went for. That sort of "outleveling" of threats is...eh.
Taking you literally kind of ...

I have been working out how to bring armies (from fireteams up through legions) into 4e skill challenges ...hmmm A 17 level Warlord/Aragorn might be able to cash in some karmic chips on bringing a force that size) But I think the one Aragorn marshalled was actually more significant than Goblins he would be more of a level 20+ ie it is an epic class effect.
 
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Parmandur

Adventurer
Taking you literally kind of ...

I have been working out how to bring armies (from fireteams up through legions) into 4e skill challenges ...hmmm A 17 level Warlord/Aragorn might be able to cash in some karmic chips on bringing a force of undead of that size)
Interestingly enough, Mearls was talking about experimenting with something along those lines for 5E redently.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Interestingly enough, Mearls was talking about experimenting with something along those lines for 5E redently.
OK that does make me curious I think the concept has a fairly strong foundation in 4e but not so much in what I have seen in 5e.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
OK that does make me curious I think the concept has a fairly strong foundation in 4e but not so much in what I have seen in 5e.
He's been experimenting with Skill Challenges, and in his latest Twitch broadcast, he talked about that briefly, specifically a simplified mass combat system for "foregone conclusion" fights that should drain resources but may not be worth busting out a battle map.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
He's been experimenting with Skill Challenges, and in his latest Twitch broadcast, he talked about that briefly, specifically a simplified mass combat system for "foregone conclusion" fights that should drain resources but may not be worth busting out a battle map.
Yes that definitely sounds like we are thinking in similar veins at minimum with similar inspirations its a mashup of elements implied but rarely brought to the table in 1e and the 4e SC structure but it is feeling like it might need a higher grade of detail / or it might work fine.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
But another problem that shows up here is that the most efficient way to stop casters from blowing up enemies is to spread them out. And that then makes things really difficult for the melee Fighter unable to reach targets.
And definitely no come and get it... to help in that arena.
 
Sure there are... DC 27 and above challenges.
With a +5 CON bonus, plus +2 from Remarkable Athlete, the 15th level fighter can make that check on a natural 20. That's the thinnest notion of feasible possible. I don't look at 1 in 20 chances as examples of significant martial prowess.

For me, this drives home my point - a system which is first fiction-driven (is this feasible for this character, given the fiction) and then, if the answer is yes, has a mechanical procedure for assigning a DC (look up the DC-by-level chart), opens the door to high-powered non-combat martial endeavour.

A system which assigns DCs independent of the fictional circumstance that calls forth the need for it, and that in that assignment has to simultaneously manage what is feasible for both 1st and 15th level PCs, and does so in a context where the gap between the 1st level and 15th level bonus is in the neighbourhood of 3 pips on a 20-sided die, is going to struggle to produce the same outcome.

I don't know how the old Marvel Super Heroes game handled this issue. MHRP/Cortex+ Heroic handles it the same way as 4e - first use the fiction to establishe what is feasible, then follow the appropriate mechanical procedure to determine success or failure. DC Heroes used a system closer to the 5e one in its basic structure, but extreme variations in bonuses between street-level heroes and demigods. (And I can still remember the title of Jeff Grubb's Dragon Magazine review of that systme: "Done Cleverly, but Definitely Complex".)

Personally I would prefer the narrative of the high level fighter subduing the fiery elemental spirit powering the forge so that the artificers can safely work the magic hammer.
For that I think you will need Runequest. I don't know any version of D&D that takes that approach to fire.

I think that it is fine for a character to have a weakness where they really are not competent.
That seems true but orthogonal. The fighter in my actual play example is not very competent at acrobatics or chess or diplomatic negotiations. But he is an extremely tough dwarf - the toughest one around - and so seems like he should be rather competent at tests of endurance.

Again, it's a genre preference. 5E covers four tiers of play, that offer a spread: but it is within a certain genre, of "D&D" performance at different levels. So, no, high level fighters aren't going to put their hands in a magic forge, maybe with magic gloves.
Which is my whole point. My only quibble with this is that when you say it is within the genre of "D&D" performance, I would respond that - given my actual play experience was from a D&D game - it is a particular take on "D&D" performance (one that I would particularly associate with 2nd ed AD&D).
 
a Level 20 PC isn't likely to be killed by a legion of Goblins, but putting defeat utterly out if reach isn't the style the game went for.
4e doesn't have the mechanical resources out of the box to determine whether or not a single PC is killed by a legion of goblins. At least, not within the combat system.

(I guess in principle you could stat up each company of goblins as a swarm and play out an extended series of battles. That would seem incredibly boring. The game isn't designed to suppport that or make it playable.)

As [MENTION=82504]Garthanos[/MENTION] suggests, you might try and mange it as, or as part of, a skill challenge instead. I used that approach when the PCs in my 4e game stormed Torog's Soul Abattoir:

[sblock]
Although the Soul Abattoir is described in very general terms in the Underdark book, little detail is given. I located it at the end of icy tunnels running through the Shadowdark, on the far shore of the Soul Slough into which flows Lathan, the River of Souls. The "liquid souls" flowed under the ice and stone to the icy, Vault-of-the-Drow-style cavern containing the Soul Abattoir. The Abattoir itself was a series of buildings into which souls "flowed" in a fashion analogous to rivers. Inside the buildings the streams of souls were directed through Torog's various machines, which extracted soul energy from by way of torture, converting that energy into "darkspikes" from which Torog could then draw power by driving them into his body.

The destruction of the Soul Abattoir was run mostly as a skill challenge, but with a combat a little over halfway through (and some of this is reposted from other threads):

  • The entrance to the Soul Abattoir, at which the PCs had arrived, was an icy tunnel floor, ending at a cliff overlooking the cavern - the river of souls was flowing some way beneath the ice, and flowed out from the base of the entrance cliff into Torog's various machines;

  • The drow sorcerer and tiefling paladin flew to the bottom of the cliff, where the paladin blew his Fire Horn to render the ice more susceptible to heat, while the drow cast Flame Spiral to melt some of the ice, and then cast Wall of Water to block the flow of souls (check-wise, this was an Arcana check by the player of the drow, with a buff from the melting of the ice and use of the wall);

  • The paladin and invoker then headed to the largest building, at the other end of the cavern, while the cleric-ranger on his flying carpet provided archery cover and the sorcerer flew above them maintaining concentration on his wall spell (check-wise, this was an Acro check for the archer and the sorcerer, and an Intimidate check from the paladin assisted by the invoker to make their way through Torog's minions);

  • Once they got to the far building, the paladin and invoker sought the intervention of the Raven Queen to redirect the flow of souls directly to the Shadowfell rather than via Torog's infernal machines (one failed and one successful Religion check; the failure led to damage from a combination of psychic and necrotic energies generated by the suffering souls);

  • Meanwhile, with the flow of souls stopped, the fighter fought his way through the other (lesser) buildings, destroying the machinery inside them (Athletic check buffed by expenditure of a close burst encounter power to fight through the minions from building to building, and Dungeoneering to wreck the machinery);

  • When the PCs had all regrouped at the furthest (and most important) building resolution then switched from skill challenge mode to tactical combat mode, as they stormed the building and fought with Torog's shrivers plus a death titan;

  • After the (very challenging) fight, during which the last machine was turned off by the sorcerer (the player made a successful Thievery check as a standard action once the PCs had finally fought their way along the central gantry that ran above the pool of souls), the skill challenge then resumed as the Soul Abattoir itself started to collapse;

  • The ranger and sorcerer flew out of the cavern (successful Acro checks) while the paladin ran out beneath them, but was struck by falling rocks (failed Aths check, making the 3-person group check a success altogether as a majority succeeded, but costing the paladin damage for the failure);

  • The fighter shielded the invoker (Endurance check) as the latter held off the powerful soul energy while the others made their escape (Religion check);

  • The invoker noticed that Vecna was trying to take control of the soul energy via the invoker's imp familiar that has the Eye of Vecna implanted in it (as GM, I had decided that this was the moment when Vecna would try and steal the souls for himself; mechanically I asked the player to make an Insight check, which was successful);

  • The invoker, having to choose between two of his patrons (he is a very pluralist divine PC) stopped Vecna redirecting the souls away from the Raven Queen, making sure that they flowed to her instead (in play, at this point I asked the player whether his PC - who at this point still had the erupting soul energy under his mystical control - whether he was going to let the souls flow to Vecna, or rather direct them to the Raven Queen; the player though for probably about 20 seconds, and then replied "The Raven Queen"; I decided that, on the basis of the earlier Religion check with no further check required, and I also decided that Vecna in anger shut down the offending imp via his Eye);

  • The invoker and fighter then ran out of the collapsing cavern behind their companions, the invoker being shielded from falling rocks by the burly dwarf fighter (Athletics checks, with the fighter doing well enough to grant an "aid another" bonus to the invoker, so from memory neither took any damage).
[/sblock]
 
D

DQDesign

Guest
I'm Italian, and Italian guys love conspiracies, so maybe I'm biased.
But I see this as a part of gigantic wotc social experiment about rekindling the edition wars flame XD
Now they are watching us and debating about a new publishing program in which every faction gets a 5E PHB addendum tailored to recreate play experience more akin to preferred edition.
I would buy them all, so please wotc secret service, hear me! XD
 

Sadras

Explorer
OK - so what's the DC, in 5e, for a mid-teens level fighter to shove his hands into a forge to hold a magic hammer steady so that the artificers can grasp and work it with their tools?
That is usually restricted for level 20+ play when a fighter may access epic boons (DMG).
For 4e the above action is built into the game from the get-go, for 5e mundane for the most part remains mundane, but a Thor styled boon is available post level 20.

Having said all that, in the DMG page 227 reflects on other types of rewards (including supernatural gifts) which presumably one can receive prior level 20.


Which goes back to my original point - if there is no sense of what sorts of things can be done by various tiers of PCs (because everything is possible to everyone at all levels) then martial PCs will be the victims of that. There will be no tasks that are feasible for the 15th level fighter but off the table for the 1st level fighter.
Yes and no.
Yes. 5e is certainly not as structured as 4e when it comes to tier play.
No. As for what is feasible for a 1st level fighter, that would be up to the DM so you cannot automatically assume all actions are available and need to be rolled for at 1st and at 15th.
 
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As for what is feasible for a 1st level fighter, that would be up to the DM so you cannot automatically assume all actions are available and need to be rolled for at 1st and at 15th.
DIfferent 5e players in this thread seem to be taking different views about whether or not there are level-appropriate DCs/actions in 5e. I think that at least shows that it's not clearly the case that there are.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
DIfferent 5e players in this thread seem to be taking different views about whether or not there are level-appropriate DCs/actions in 5e. I think that at least shows that it's not clearly the case that there are.
Nor whether your dwarf would simply be doing an aid action on whatever skill.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
DIfferent 5e players in this thread seem to be taking different views about whether or not there are level-appropriate DCs/actions in 5e. I think that at least shows that it's not clearly the case that there are.
I don't think that's true... I think your question was a little unclear. Mechanically there are certain DC's a first level fighter can never attain. However the first step of determining whether there is even the possibility of a check in 5e is in the hands of the DM. I assumed you were familiar with the play procedures of 5e so I didn't think it was relevant to rehash the fact that the DM decides what a 1st level fighter vs. a 15th level fighter is capable of making a check for... I assumed you were asking what DC range was attainable by a fighter at 15th level vs. one at 1st level.
 

Sadras

Explorer
DIfferent 5e players in this thread seem to be taking different views about whether or not there are level-appropriate DCs/actions in 5e. I think that at least shows that it's not clearly the case that there are.
Character knowledge/training, character history/network, items all play a roll on what may or may not be feasible.
As for rolling, unless there is stress put on the character during the action, many checks can be predetermined via the passive score (10 + modifier on the roll) in which case I mark it off as an immediate success whereas a lower level PC might be asked to make a roll.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
With a +5 CON bonus, plus +2 from Remarkable Athlete, the 15th level fighter can make that check on a natural 20. That's the thinnest notion of feasible possible. I don't look at 1 in 20 chances as examples of significant martial prowess.
Or the DM could rule that the Athletics check is relevant to the check (since it's presumed being trained in Athletics would help one in endurance training) then the Check drops to a 16 or higher... not easy but doable. Another approach is that the DM could rule that this is a task that no mortal could do and not allow a check. Or the DM could rule that only PC's in epic tier can do it and for them it's a hard difficulty of DC 20, allow Athletics and now they need only roll a 10 or higher. The point is when making the decision on the approach to this, the DM and players (since I'm assuming they suggested performing the action) are setting the genre, tropes, feel, etc. of their campaign.

For me, this drives home my point - a system which is first fiction-driven (is this feasible for this character, given the fiction) and then, if the answer is yes, has a mechanical procedure for assigning a DC (look up the DC-by-level chart), opens the door to high-powered non-combat martial endeavour.
But that's assuming I want that feel in my game. That's what people mean when they say 4e pushed/forced/catered to a particular playstyle. For some sticking their hands in the forge will be epic and mythical for other DM's doing something like that without magical aid is too gonzo and feels silly for their particular campaign. with the 5e approach it's modular depending on how the DM chooses to rule it and, as long as the DM is consistent should be fine.

A system which assigns DCs independent of the fictional circumstance that calls forth the need for it, and that in that assignment has to simultaneously manage what is feasible for both 1st and 15th level PCs, and does so in a context where the gap between the 1st level and 15th level bonus is in the neighbourhood of 3 pips on a 20-sided die, is going to struggle to produce the same outcome.
You're missing an important point about 5e... the system also relies on the DM's own judgement for their particular campaign to decide whether their group does anything from wholly embracing objective DC's to using subjective DC's dependent on tier. That's the philosophy behind 5e that you seem intent on ignoring. It's not a system to be played in a vacuum that assumes it knows what's best for you and your players. It's a system of guidelines to be used by the group to achieve the result they want.

EDIT: You seem to want a one size fits all solution to what can a 15th level fighter do that a 1st level fighter can's when the truth is 5e doesn't give that to you. It gives your group systems to resolve that question but leaves the application up to your particular group. Now you may see that as a bug but I see it as a feature... one I think, while often overlooked, contributes a great deal to 5e's astounding popularity and acceptance.
 
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