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D&D 5E My D&D Next Experience at DDXP

Agamon

Adventurer
Could be they brought back the non-edged weapon restrictions.

Like I say, is that something that would warrant disappointment during a playtest? (Oh noes, a mace? I wanna use a sword!) :)


Still, this is all very early playtesting and I would let any tidbit sway me either way. I'll stay hopeful and be glad that they are exploring many, many options to see how they work together knowing full well that much will have to be cut to eventually make a coherent game system. I'l pleased to hear both about the folks who felt things worked and those who felt the direction wasn't what they felt was good because that simply, at this stage, means WotC is looking at all options.

Agreed. The fact that we get to give feedback during playtest is great. It's not going to magically create the prefect game for everyone, but hopefully it makes for a game that most people can enjoy.
 

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Blastin

First Post
OMG, the cleric has a familiar now. *trollface*

Opps....didn't word that well ;)

There were many things that I did like. As mentioned, the questionnaire we were given said give 3 things you didn't like and three things you liked. Both times I failed my "read directions" check and put in more than three things I liked. I had to think about the replies for "didn't like" and only came up with three each time, and two were repeats.
For better or worse the play test showed that WotC has been listening to the complaints since 4e was released. If they continue to listen, and I have no doubt that they will, I think a lot of people will be happy.
 

thedungeondelver

Adventurer
The "cleric-is-only-a-battlefield-medic" is a sacred cow argument that needs to die (there, see? I can do that too.)

Clerics are moderately skilled fighters

They can banish undead, if not destroy them outright, or alternately force them to fight for the group

They can employ spells to amplify the party's combat ability overall

They can employ spells to amplify the party's ability to avoid traps

With the right spells they can commune with their gods and help sort out some of the real headscratchers a party might encounter

At higher levels they have a few good spells to really bring the pain to the bad guys (flame strike anyone?)

and they can heal the injured.

Honestly I, like playing clerics. I've never encountered players who argued over who would play the cleric unless it was because two or more people wanted to in the first place.


 

pauljathome

First Post
I think the idea behind the "no edged weapons" is that training the dance of swords leaves no time for prayer, whilst bashing infidel heads with mace, spiked or no, requires less martial prowess, thereby leaving ample time for other priestly duties.

I seem to recall that Gygax said that it was because of Bishop Odo, a man who went into the Battle of Hastings with a club because he was forbidden to shed blood. [//http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odo,_Earl_of_Kent
 

Osgood

Hero
That's interesting.

I would like to hear more about people who only played 3E or 4E and see what they think about it.

So far most testers around here know D&D since 1E or 2E...

It may not be representative of other groups, but the folks in our group who had started with 3E and especially 4E had the most negative impression of the game.
 

So, [speculation] Clerics have to choose between casting healing spells or being a contributor to the fight? [/speculation] If that's the case, yeah, that's something from older editions that doesn't need to come back again. (I expect no confirmation or denile here, of course).

[Further Speculation]

I'm guessing that the basic cleric variant/build is that way deliberately to please the pre-3e players.

I'm further guessing that a more complex cleric variant/build can take advantage of class features similar to those that have been mentioned for wizards, and have other ways of healing people, and that other classes have ways of healing people so it isn't all down to the party cleric.

I'm also guessing based on the descriptions that have come back that the playtest only had the most basic variants/builds as pre-gens, so only the most limited form of clerical (and possibly warlord) healing was visible during the test.

In other words, just because the cleric pre-gen in the playtest worked like that doesn't mean that all clerics in the game must work like that; even if the rules are not changed between now and release.

(As an aside, the "Heal-Bot" cleric problem was mainly a 3.x problem rather than a problem of older editions, because 3.x cleric having curing spells at all levels and being able to spontaneously switch to them meant they always had the option of spending their action curing someone and therefore were under pressure from the other players to do so.

It was far less of a problem in pre-3E editions because clerics didn't get healing spells at every level, could only cast them if they'd pre-prepared them, and didn't get as many spells anyway. For example, a 7th level cleric in BECMI gets a maximum of three Cure Light Wounds spells and that's it. So it's only three times per day that they'll be healing someone instead of doing something else, even assuming all three are used in combat rather than between combats.)
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
The best thing I've read so far is that the playtest is just that: a test. They are actively soliciting feedback and trying to get the "basic" game right first.

That's great news. I want WotC working hard to get me back.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
It may not be representative of other groups, but the folks in our group who had started with 3E and especially 4E had the most negative impression of the game.

I'll reserve final judgement till I see actual mechanics, but this really concerns me that WotC is throwing out the 4e baby with the bath water.

Trying to outdo Pathfinder by going back to 3e era mechanics is a doomed business model. Those Pathfinder guys have it pretty good with Paizo, there is little reason for them to switch back. The 1e/2e superfans is an extremely small niche market who are mostly satisfied with the books they already have, and they also have Castles and Crusades and a horde of retroclones.

Unification is nice, and if you can make an edition that pulls back in some of those lapsed fans, great. I'm all for inclusion and making as many people happy as possible. But you MUST keep your 4e base happy, WotC.

Your bread and butter are the 4e fans. They're generating revenue and keeping your lights on now, WotC. Not in some marketer's hypothetical future vision of all D&D fans suddenly coming "home" again.

If you lose even half of those customers, I doubt you'll pick up enough returnees to make up the difference, and 5e will be DOA.
 

Ainamacar

Adventurer
I appreciate the play reports, it's good to hear impressions despite the NDA.

Anyway, I insist that it's a bug, and it's easy to fix. Just separate a cleric's healing from his other spells. Make it a class feature or something.

I tend to agree, and think there can be an acceptable middle ground. For example, one could build a small value-added domain/sphere effect into spells, and just make sure the cleric has access to it under the right circumstances? (This is basically what I do in my homebrew game.)

In that case perhaps Cure includes a domain effect that allows the caster to make a Heal check + target's Con modifier vs. DC 20, and on a success the creature heals an additional amount equal to 5+spell level? (Obviously the specifics aren't important right now).

Then Vancian divine casters like clerics and priests (?) might be able to cast their "domain" spells spontaneously, but gain the special domain effect only if they prepared the spell. I suppose all clerics would gain the ability to cast Cure in this fashion as a class feature, and so would priests of deities with the Healing domain or equivalent. A cleric/priest could then concentrate on healing if desired, or go for versatility and rely on spontaneous healing to get the job done. Probably most would find a suitable balance with a couple good healing spells memorized for desperate situations. (Off-topic: I'm inclined to keep healing spells powerful and standard actions, and leave minor action "shout-healing" if it must exist to other classes to keep some conceptual and mechanical separation between the two. If the minor action healers are doing their jobs the cleric won't feel the need to cast Cure every round, and when one finally does it should feel like something truly significant.)

A spontaneous divine caster might access such effects in a different way such as spending faith points, expending lesser spell slots, etc. Heck, if a class has a very restricted spell list maybe for them the special effect is always on.

I love this sort of thing, because it adds maybe a line or two to spells, but can help show how a divine caster is specifically empowered in some area. A fire priest has a unique flame strike, one of Pelor has especially searing rays, one of Vecna has and detects subtler illusions, etc. Perhaps a feat can add a separate effect to a few particularly deity-specific spells using the same mechanics, so that it works with all divine casters. Rather like 4e's Channel Divinity, which was a decent idea but had such small scope it barely mattered.

I must admit, I'm a big fan of adding a touch of spontaneity to at least some Vancian casters. Divine characters especially because, thematically, there is a place for preparation and a place for urgent prayer. :)

Edit:
Blacky the Blackball said:
As an aside, the "Heal-Bot" cleric problem was mainly a 3.x problem rather than a problem of older editions, because 3.x cleric having curing spells at all levels and being able to spontaneously switch to them meant they always had the option of spending their action curing someone and therefore were under pressure from the other players to do so.
True, but before that there was pressure to prepare more healing in the first place, which is why the change was made in 3e in the first place. Perhaps 3e made it worse, I couldn't say. However, the real solution in my opinion is making sure healing can come from multiple characters. This is something that 4e did well, despite my occasional thematic discomfort with how it was achieved.
 
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