Level Up (A5E) My first impression

Jmarso

Adventurer
These will always be the orcs in my world...

Orcs1.png
 

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Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
The Stoic Orcs remind me of Vulcans: they're so emotional they had to purge themselves of emotion and embrace logic. Which is so amazingly different than the way orcs have always been shown that I love it. (Also, then non-Stoic Orcs are now Romulans.)
When I was describing how the ritual effected them I told my wife "It's like Kolinahr".

I'm actually using Stoic Orc for my first character, a half elf that was raised by diabolists, that were killed by a group of good guy orcs, and raised by them after, and he keeps getting worse and worse nightmares of a demon lord to come claim him. Play starts when he starts having emotions again, and becomes a celestial warlock.
 

My main first impression is not so much with individual things (almost all of which I really like), but with questions about its true interoperability with o5e.

Because a lot of the cool new things rely on other new mechanics in a5e, they aren’t really as modular as they first appear.

So I can see myself easily using new monster stat blocks over the old ones, for example, but I’m less sure about mixing and matching classes and subclasses, or a5e classes side by side o5e classes in the same party.
 

timespike

Adventurer
My main first impression is not so much with individual things (almost all of which I really like), but with questions about its true interoperability with o5e.

Because a lot of the cool new things rely on other new mechanics in a5e, they aren’t really as modular as they first appear.

So I can see myself easily using new monster stat blocks over the old ones, for example, but I’m less sure about mixing and matching classes and subclasses, or a5e classes side by side o5e classes in the same party.
O5E subclasses generally tend to work just fine on A5E classes. The subclasses got made after the classes did, so we mostly playtested with O5E subclasses. There are a few places I'd advise caution (Battlemaster + the A5E maneuver system would be a ton of bookkeeping and weird edge cases) but in general terms, you can just drop them right in.
 

O5E subclasses generally tend to work just fine on A5E classes. The subclasses got made after the classes did, so we mostly playtested with O5E subclasses. There are a few places I'd advise caution (Battlemaster + the A5E maneuver system would be a ton of bookkeeping and weird edge cases) but in general terms, you can just drop them right in.
Thanks for that feedback! And yes I assumed that where you've done a relative like-for-like subclass (like the new beastmaster or the burglar for thief), you should take the new subclass. It's more for a gloomstalker ranger or a shepherd druid or whatever.
 

Jmarso

Adventurer
Reading through all the combat maneuvers now, it's clear that a ton of thought and work went into this. Really well done.

I read some of them and their inspiration just jumps out- stuff from Kung Fu or marial arts movies, old westerns where the hero shoots a gun out of his adversary's hands, Zorro cutting that famous "z" into his opponent's tunic, or stuff like Ah-Nuld weaving an around-the-head-behind-the-back web of steel with his classic bastard sword to the thrumming of Basil Peledouris's music...

Used properly in-game, it will be possible to add tremendous cinematic, story-telling elements to thrill and delight everyone at the table. The player's gotta buy in and use this stuff, though!
 

phluxos

Villager
I was hoping there would be more changes to spells from regular 5e. Why is True Strike still even a thing? There's a lot of either crappy or OP spells, so it would have been nice if they were changed or removed.
 

timespike

Adventurer
Thanks for that feedback! And yes I assumed that where you've done a relative like-for-like subclass (like the new beastmaster or the burglar for thief), you should take the new subclass. It's more for a gloomstalker ranger or a shepherd druid or whatever.
Yeah, the "corresponding" subclasses tend to hook into the new mechanics of 5e a bit more, so you're correct about that. But if you're really feeling like playing and Echo Knight for your next Level Up fighter or if you want to use one of the warlock patrons in COFSA, you should be able to do so without any problem.
 

timespike

Adventurer
I was hoping there would be more changes to spells from regular 5e. Why is True Strike still even a thing? There's a lot of either crappy or OP spells, so it would have been nice if they were changed or removed.
For what it's worth, we went through and rewrote all of the spells from O5E as part of the design process. Sometimes the changes were small or non-existant, with new wording more as a legal consideration than a mechanical one, but we rebalanced a lot of them as we were going along. I know I made balance tweaks to several of the ones I worked on; while people are obviously going to have different opinions about which spells need what treatment, double-check that the spell hasn't been changed before getting too disappointed. We also used rare spells to help with some of the stinkers; the example you give of True Strike was one example of that, actually! There's a rare version of True Strike that reads as follows:

Kasvarina's Greater True Strike. You gain an almost total understanding of a creature or object’s defenses and body language. The duration increases to Concentration (1 minute) and you gain advantage to three additional attack rolls of your choice that are made before the spell ends. Once per round, you can choose to use that advantage when you make your first attack roll on your turn.

So if you've always liked the idea of true strike, but not the implementation, that's now there to be found as treasure or researched in down time.
 

For what it's worth, we went through and rewrote all of the spells from O5E as part of the design process. Sometimes the changes were small or non-existant, with new wording more as a legal consideration than a mechanical one, but we rebalanced a lot of them as we were going along. I know I made balance tweaks to several of the ones I worked on; while people are obviously going to have different opinions about which spells need what treatment, double-check that the spell hasn't been changed before getting too disappointed. We also used rare spells to help with some of the stinkers; the example you give of True Strike was one example of that, actually! There's a rare version of True Strike that reads as follows:

Is there a list of spells with major changes anywhere? (e.g., fireball type changes).

Besides how manuvers will play out, I'm finding any potential spell changes as the hardest thing to figure out impact through a quick read. Someone commented on how the Wizard seemed buffed from O5e (not a great result if true IMO) but if there are more fireball like adjustments then maybe not. Really hard to figure out without going through all the big spells.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Is there a list of spells with major changes anywhere? (e.g., fireball type changes).

Besides how manuvers will play out, I'm finding any potential spell changes as the hardest thing to figure out impact through a quick read. Someone commented on how the Wizard seemed buffed from O5e (not a great result if true IMO) but if there are more fireball like adjustments then maybe not. Really hard to figure out without going through all the big spells.
The best - and most fun! - way to find out is to play the game! :)

We don’t have a list of changes from O5E because that would be a book.
 

The best - and most fun! - way to find out is to play the game! :)

We don’t have a list of changes from O5E because that would be a book.

I plan to!

Wasn't asking about a list of all changes, just a list of major spell buffs or debuffs, like fireball from 8d6 to 6d6. Bonus if it includes designer intent (love the insight and learning from this type of comentary in 13th Age).

But if I have to discover this through play, that's kind of fun too...
 

Is there a list of spells with major changes anywhere? (e.g., fireball type changes).

Besides how manuvers will play out, I'm finding any potential spell changes as the hardest thing to figure out impact through a quick read. Someone commented on how the Wizard seemed buffed from O5e (not a great result if true IMO) but if there are more fireball like adjustments then maybe not. Really hard to figure out without going through all the big spells.
Not at all a proper list but fireball, banishment, tiny hut, counterspell, goodberry and animate objects are among those to be nerfed fixed.
 


Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I plan to!

Wasn't asking about a list of all changes, just a list of major spell buffs or debuffs, like fireball from 8d6 to 6d6. Bonus if it includes designer intent (love the insight and learning from this type of comentary in 13th Age).

But if I have to discover this through play, that's kind of fun too...
Yeah, sorry, we didn't make a list! :)
 

phluxos

Villager
For what it's worth, we went through and rewrote all of the spells from O5E as part of the design process. Sometimes the changes were small or non-existant, with new wording more as a legal consideration than a mechanical one, but we rebalanced a lot of them as we were going along. I know I made balance tweaks to several of the ones I worked on; while people are obviously going to have different opinions about which spells need what treatment, double-check that the spell hasn't been changed before getting too disappointed. We also used rare spells to help with some of the stinkers; the example you give of True Strike was one example of that, actually! There's a rare version of True Strike that reads as follows:



So if you've always liked the idea of true strike, but not the implementation, that's now there to be found as treasure or researched in down time.
That's fair. You're right, some of the wording is subtle, and I missed that. As I continue to look through the spells, there are definitely changes that are good (e.g., banishment, tiny hut--also an interesting take on counterspell).

I guess my main concern at this point--apart from quibbles about a spell or two (still would like more of an adjustment to polymorph)--is the potential power creep of PCs. Personally, I would have liked detachment of innate spell ability from heritage and culture (make it a function of class only), and damage immunities at 10th level (as an example) are not to my taste (which is why I like the change to Heroes Feast).

But as I move on to the Monstrous Menagerie, I am hopeful that the O5e CR craziness has been fixed. What are people's impressions of monster re-balancing?
 
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Legendweaver

Explorer
O5E subclasses generally tend to work just fine on A5E classes. The subclasses got made after the classes did, so we mostly playtested with O5E subclasses. There are a few places I'd advise caution (Battlemaster + the A5E maneuver system would be a ton of bookkeeping and weird edge cases) but in general terms, you can just drop them right in.

That's great to hear -- I wish this was called out explicitly in the rules somewhere!
 

Hybban

Explorer
So I bought O5E at release and played for a few months with a group of RPG newbies. The players had a lot of fun, me as a DM not so much. I found the game too bland on my side of the screen and shelved the game. I pledged Level Up without any particular expectations and I have to admit, I've been very impressed by the 3 core books. And I've been considering running/playing 5E again thanks to you!
 

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