5E My biggest gripe with 5e design

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
OK I gotcha, fair enough and yeah I saw tons of re-rolls, esp. at low levels but no-one say, making say, Wizards use a d6 for HP as an actual house rule or the like. When that happened it was an alternate class or something (and usually hilariously overvalued in balancing terms).
Yeah. And I saw a few that gave max hit points at first level, but by and large the vast majority just had you start with what you rolled, even if your fighter had 3 hit points at first level(1 + 2 for con).

It was a bit different for those convention games with pre-generated PCs. They had to create the PCs with a certain fairness in mind, so the hit point rolls were most likely influenced in some manner.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
Its funny, there were extensive rules for henchmen & hiring in 1e, but I rarely saw them used.
Just another thing that varied wildly back in the day, I guess.
it vRies widely. We used them alot. But we didn’t want them to die. There was a maximum number you received based on charisma. Plus it was considered dickish and evil to send them into a situation that you knew they would die. Morale checks happened alot. The hirings would say no sometimes based on that morale Check.

for me henchman and morale checks were the best part of the game.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
So in a party with a paladin, 2 clerics, a druid and 2 wizards, the odds that one of them will have psionics is about what, 1 in 7ish?
Actually, just less than 1 in 10. Nearly 91% of such groups, even using Method V, would not have a single character with psionics.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
So here we were, going underground to explore an abandoned Dwarven fortress we knew to be crawling with undeads, with our NPC 'buddy', a friggin' Formosan Warlock who's patron apparently knew how to stop the undeads, when we encountered Troglodytes by a body of water.

Turned out there was an Aboleth in there.

There was four of us, all Lv 6: Dwarf Paladin, Dwarf Barbarian, Dwarf Warlock, and me, the Svirnefblin Monk.

That was pretty terrifying, especially when the Aboleth took control of our NPC sidekick AND the Barbarian. I managed to keep the Formosan from doing too much damage thanks to Silence, but once it came to attacking the Aboleth I kept rolling below 10, it was awful. Also, our Warlock went down.
 
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dnd4vr

Hero
That makes sense since 1e didn't have critical hits. :D

Although, we often made that a common house rule where a 20 granted you an additional attack.
Most tables IME just doubled damage on a critical hit in 1E, but I saw the extra attack variant used a few times.
 

Haffrung

Explorer
I've come to the same conclusion as the OP. Combat is 5E just isn't very dramatic. It's little more than a HP reduction race. I find I'm having to try out all sorts of house rules around rests, crits, and exhaustion to inject some peril into the game. And the monster design is blah. How much different really is an ogre from an owlbear from a troll?

I've never played Pathfinder, and only briefly dabbled in 3E, but this dissatisfaction with 5E combat and monster design is the biggest reason I'm gearing up to run PF2 for my next campaign. It looks like it makes combat much more dramatic, varied, and tense.
 
I've come to the same conclusion as the OP. Combat is 5E just isn't very dramatic. It's little more than a HP reduction race. I find I'm having to try out all sorts of house rules around rests, crits, and exhaustion to inject some peril into the game. And the monster design is blah. How much different really is an ogre from an owlbear from a troll?
Would anyone notice a regenerating ogre or an owlbear that used weapons?

I've never played Pathfinder, and only briefly dabbled in 3E, but this dissatisfaction with 5E combat and monster design is the biggest reason I'm gearing up to run PF2 for my next campaign. It looks like it makes combat much more dramatic, varied, and tense.
Seems like PF2 is quite different from PF1/3e, that way (bit like 4e, really), too - 3e, when it wasn't SoD rocket tag, was just a "static," toe-to-toe race to zero hps, just maybe a faster one than 5e.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I've come to the same conclusion as the OP. Combat is 5E just isn't very dramatic. It's little more than a HP reduction race. I find I'm having to try out all sorts of house rules around rests, crits, and exhaustion to inject some peril into the game. And the monster design is blah. How much different really is an ogre from an owlbear from a troll?

I've never played Pathfinder, and only briefly dabbled in 3E, but this dissatisfaction with 5E combat and monster design is the biggest reason I'm gearing up to run PF2 for my next campaign. It looks like it makes combat much more dramatic, varied, and tense.
Is it your perception that a majority of combats in PF2 do not end when HP thresholds are achieved (zero or higher if those trigger surrender or retreat events) but they end by foes defeated while still possessing significant HP?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Is it your perception that a majority of combats in PF2 do not end when HP thresholds are achieved (zero or higher if those trigger surrender or retreat events) but they end by foes defeated while still possessing significant HP?
Every D&D version and variant I've ever played has come down to the same basic HP war in the vast majority of cases. Occasionally there will be a spell involved that acts as a shortcut.

I get that no one game can work for everyone. An optional set of rules for tactical combat could be grafted on top of combat without hurting much. But that is just a different way of implementing HP attrition.

It's up to the DM to set up encounters with a variety of goals if that's what the group needs.
 

Haffrung

Explorer
Is it your perception that a majority of combats in PF2 do not end when HP thresholds are achieved (zero or higher if those trigger surrender or retreat events) but they end by foes defeated while still possessing significant HP?
It's my impression PF2 affords more options for PCs and foes besides hacking away at huge sacks of HP, and more frequently generates extreme and surprising results. But I could be wrong - I haven't actually played it yet.
 

Ashrym

Hero
It's my impression PF2 affords more options for PCs and foes besides hacking away at huge sacks of HP, and more frequently generates extreme and surprising results. But I could be wrong - I haven't actually played it yet.
Not really. Feats get chained and I found it more complicated but not more optioned. It justed looked that way because it was more complicated. ;)

Then again, I find hacking away at huge sacks of hit points as only part of the 5e options. It certainly beats instadeath from blind luck, which is the point of 2 rolls. Risk without death by outlier.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Not really. Feats get chained and I found it more complicated but not more optioned. It justed looked that way because it was more complicated. ;)

Then again, I find hacking away at huge sacks of hit points as only part of the 5e options. It certainly beats instadeath from blind luck, which is the point of 2 rolls. Risk without death by outlier.
Yeah, that is what it looked like to me. Most of my combats "that matter" are not won or lost by simple hp attrition even tho hp loss is often one of the ending events. Effects that prevent enemy actions(fasr), that expose targets to more hits (advantage), more crits. ( paralysis) and many other conditions might still be viewed as "hp hacking" but they are still major shifts in the outcome possibilities.

Actions taken to convert enemies- breaking morale before zero hp, convincing them to betray, etc also can serve as majoswseings - de facto "removing hp" without hacking them for those who only see things through "HP goggles."

More than that, of course, ingo, stealth, social, investigation can all seriously change the actual nature of the combat before the combat begins. Just last night, choices yo use pass without trace allowed the party to avoid an "approach combat" that would not only be a minor challenge but also alert others bringing down a lot of heat well before they hot close to their objective. Similarly teo Prot vs Evils cast much closer helpedcteo major hitters avoid some serious risks early in the combat when it did happen.

The fact that HP tracking was a counter that figured into the decisions on when to end did not make the battle play as a hacking sack of hp challenge. There was more in play and more at stake than just "hp tsllies" and more tools than damage dice that mattered a lot.
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
Great OP. Pointing out what they are unsatisfied with without ranting and offering why and suggestions. I sure have not read all 13 pages of replies but I sure hope they don't slam the OP (b/c they stopped reading about 1/3 of the way through).

I have to agree with the OP in some ways too. Over time balance has become expected and players straight up think every fight is very winnable without tactics, just powers.

I often steel powers for creatures, especially from 4E, to bolster them and always have secondary effects of poison. I too wish to use more exhaustion. And whilst we are on undead, skeletons don't even get resistance to piercing attacks anymore! What is there to stab and what effect would that have?

Anyway, a cool and thoughtful post that has me dreaming up ways to make creatures more 'fearful' again and to encourage players to think outside the box of 'just do damage with the best/standard attack I make against everything'. (I have brought back rules that only apply to certain circumstances in the players' favour too, like rangers actually being better at damaging their favoured enemies :p).
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
Most tables IME just doubled damage on a critical hit in 1E, but I saw the extra attack variant used a few times.
I never saw critical hits used regularly until 3E. They weren’t in the rules. And when we tried them we hated them because monsters make more attack rolls than pc’s and it just meant we got killed all the faster. I still hate them with a passion.
 

Hussar

Legend
I never saw critical hits used regularly until 3E. They weren’t in the rules. And when we tried them we hated them because monsters make more attack rolls than pc’s and it just meant we got killed all the faster. I still hate them with a passion.
Actually, thinking about it, I'm not so sure. Now, to be fair, I'm thinking far more about 2e than 1e, where most of the fighter types (and clerics for that matter) in our groups were using two weapons with the proper Non-Weapon Prof's to eliminate the penalty. Which mean that the party, again, 6, 7 PC's, was making 10, 12 attacks per round even at 1st level. Give or take. And most humanoid monsters only got 1 attack per round. It was only the critters generally that got the claw/claw/bite routine.

So we tended to like crits because we actually were attacking more often than the monsters in a lot of combats. Or, even if the monsters started out with more, by the time we'd whittled through their numbers, overall we probably made more. Plus, getting multiple attacks in AD&D was easy - darts, daggers, bows, lots of ranged weapons gave you two or three attacks per round.
 

Hussar

Legend
Just mulling this thread over, and @Maxperson's point about using different hit dice. True, we never used different hit dice, but, AIR, we rerolled 1's and 2's. Which kinda leads me to why I have such a different experience than @Sacrosanct. If you reroll 1's and 2's, a 10th level wizard doesn't have 25 HP. The MU has 30-40 hp. Add on a ahem generous rolling system for chargen, and it's not unusual for that MU to have a 15 or 16 Con, so, now that 10th level MU has 40-60 hp.

Sure, tiny change to the system, but HUGE impact on the other side.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
I never saw critical hits used regularly until 3E. They weren’t in the rules. And when we tried them we hated them because monsters make more attack rolls than pc’s and it just meant we got killed all the faster. I still hate them with a passion.
Critical hits first appeared in 2E as an optional rule. The first option was as in 5E (double all dice, add all bonuses once), and the second was rolling additional attack rolls on each successive 20.

Personally, I've gone back and forth on the whole crtical hit thing, as in my thread about using exploding dice instead. I like the idea of a hit becoming "more", but like @Sacrosanct's thread, I like the idea of more than just doing more hp damage.
 

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