D&D 5E My New Players Have Quit 5th Edition

theliel

Explorer
Unless something changed since the Playtest, you can't die in the first round of combat. You can only drop to 0 hp. At which point, you get to make several Death Saves with a possibility of stabilizing before you die.

If 2 PCs drop in the surprise round, generally the Cleric will take his first action to heal one of them, at which point they spring back up.

If one of the PCs that drops IS the Cleric that is admittedly unfortunate, but the PCs should then attempt to retreat, with the fallen PCs in tow.

And if a DM pushes for a TPK in the first combat of a new campaign, the DM is not running the game properly.

Something changed.
You die at Negative HP value.
The first encounter has 4 goblins and a bugbear who puts out damage a few points below the ogre.

If they get surprise (due to bad rolls etc) and roll normally you're looking at at least one dead PC because the bugbear can reduce direct to dead all of the pre-gens with a lucky dice roll.
On a crit he kills everyone. even the fighter.

If you want the OSR feel that's fine but...
The Starter Set doesn't come with character creation rules.
The Starter Set doesn't talk about what to do if this happens in the DM advice
The Starter Set adventure also penalizes you in XP, treasure AND consequences if you negotiate with the monsters (they are guaranteed to betray you, even if you make the deal after murdering all the others) - Straight up Keep on the Shadowlands style. or whatever the craptastic 4E first adventure was.

Now combined with
..The Starter Set is intended for new players and DMs
and
..The Starter Set is intended to set the tone for the new edition

this combines to form something that's pretty toxic if you don't have the Basic PDF.

I mean...if they wanted you to crunch through PCs like candy they should have given the 5 pre-gens and a few dozen blank sheets and a note to not bother naming your PCs until you hit 3rd level.

It's a solid enough module but it is written assuming the DM has an idea of what they should be doing.

If you run it AAW/RAW then..yeah. Expect death. The Adventurer's League first post after the set came out was "How do I record a TPK"
 

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Thaumaturge

Wandering. Not lost. (He/they)
You die at Negative HP value.

Not according to 5B. You go to 0. Then you start making death saves. Unless you take [edit] twice your full allotment of HP in one blow, then you die of massive damage.

The first encounter has 4 goblins and a bugbear who puts out damage a few points below the ogre.

That's not what my adventure says. Are we talking about the Starter Set adventure? The first encounter is 4 goblins.

[MENTION=85179]ren1999[/MENTION]: It appears you weren't running the adventure the way it was written:

adventure said:
In the unlikely event that the goblins defeat the adventurers, they leave them unconscious, loot them and the wagon, then head back to the Cragmaw hideout.

When you take someone to 0 hp in 5B, you choose to kill or knock unconscious. You chose to kill instead of running the goblins as intended.

edit:added spoiler tags to the quoted adventure text. Because, mystery.

Thaumaturge.
 
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Dausuul

Legend
Unless you take your full allotment of HP in one blow, then you die of massive damage.
Right, I think he's saying the bugbear can do this on a lucky roll. Don't have the Starter Set, myself, so I can't confirm that there even is a bugbear (since this appears to be in dispute), let alone how much damage it does. :)
 
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Lidgar

Gongfarmer
Last night a friend an I "tested" several combat situations with a 1st level fighter, cleric, wizard and rogue. One objective (outside of just getting to know the rules) was to do a kind of stress test - to find the TPK breaking point.

First battle was with 4 goblins and an orc. Wiped them out almost effortlessly. Poor buggers never had a chance.

Second battle was with an ogre. Predictable result there - one character (cleric) goes down before the remainder of the party can take him down.

Third encounter was with an ogre and a nothic. Went down to the wire - cleric and nothic left standing, with the cleric down to 1 hp and the nothic had 3. Nothic used its necrotic gaze ability and the cleric (who had some lucky rolls throughout the encounter) finally failed his save. TPK.

So, all in all, felt 1st level characters are at least as "robust" as 3e PC's - if not more so. While hp are similar, damage output seemed definitely higher, which brought down foes quickly and shortened battles. All changes we liked.

It was also all done gridless - which I have not done forever and a day. It was kind of funny realizing we could heal a down foe in the middle of combat - and then the prone character could get up and attack - all without the dreaded concern over positioning and AoO's.
 

Cybit

First Post
Something changed.
You die at Negative HP value.
The first encounter has 4 goblins and a bugbear who puts out damage a few points below the ogre.

If they get surprise (due to bad rolls etc) and roll normally you're looking at at least one dead PC because the bugbear can reduce direct to dead all of the pre-gens with a lucky dice roll.
On a crit he kills everyone. even the fighter.

If you want the OSR feel that's fine but...
The Starter Set doesn't come with character creation rules.
The Starter Set doesn't talk about what to do if this happens in the DM advice
The Starter Set adventure also penalizes you in XP, treasure AND consequences if you negotiate with the monsters (they are guaranteed to betray you, even if you make the deal after murdering all the others) - Straight up Keep on the Shadowlands style. or whatever the craptastic 4E first adventure was.

Now combined with
..The Starter Set is intended for new players and DMs
and
..The Starter Set is intended to set the tone for the new edition

this combines to form something that's pretty toxic if you don't have the Basic PDF.

I mean...if they wanted you to crunch through PCs like candy they should have given the 5 pre-gens and a few dozen blank sheets and a note to not bother naming your PCs until you hit 3rd level.

It's a solid enough module but it is written assuming the DM has an idea of what they should be doing.

If you run it AAW/RAW then..yeah. Expect death. The Adventurer's League first post after the set came out was "How do I record a TPK"

If you run it RAW then you wouldn't kill any of the PCs; because it explicitly states that the goblins want hostages (which makes sense as you get further along in the adventure).

I'm guessing there was terrible luck + not reading the encounter + potentially showing up with 2 out of 5 characters. I have a hunch as to what the issue is in this situation, and it is not just the encounter.

As for new DMs; the newbie DMs who had the starter set took time to read anything and not assume any rules had carried over from earlier editions; that seems to be the biggest issue with folks starting 5E. Lots of people are assuming things work as they always have w/o fully reading the rules. (see: death at negative max HP)
 

Thaumaturge

Wandering. Not lost. (He/they)
Right, I think he's saying the bugbear can do this on a lucky roll. Don't have the Starter Set, myself, so I can't confirm that there even is a bugbear (since this appears to be in dispute), let alone how much damage it does. :)

There is a bugbear. He's:

in the final encounter in the goblin caves.

And he is brutal. No doubt.

Thaumaturge.
 

Evenglare

Adventurer
There is a bugbear. He's:

in the final encounter in the goblin caves.

And he is brutal. No doubt.

Thaumaturge.

Yeah, my group handled him quite nicely. Lured him out on the bridge and broke it made him fall 20 ft, and just about did him in. A magic missile to the face finished the job. If your players are new to this kind of stuff, remind them this isnt a video game. You can actually approach things without just mindless fighting.
 

theliel

Explorer
Not according to 5B. You go to 0. Then you start making death saves. Unless you take [edit] twice your full allotment of HP in one blow, then you die of massive damage.

Y'know, PG 76 is weird about this (I have v.01) - It seems like you go to -[hp] from a hit you die. If you take less you go to 0 hp and make death saves. I read the 'natural' language that you keep track of extra damage and die if the total hits neg[hp] value but I can see on further reading that it might intended to be "You fail another death save and if you also take -[hp] in damage you die"

Which is a much better rule but also does nothing to reduce the Rocket Tag nature of low level combat.
I don't generally introduce people to gaming with rocket-tag disposable characters unless they are disposable a la 3d6 in order AD&D.
 

Thaumaturge

Wandering. Not lost. (He/they)
Y'know, PG 76 is weird about this

I think [MENTION=66111]Cybit[/MENTION] is right. I agree it's weird, but it's because we've read very similar sounding things over the years. I think new players won't have these issues.

But I believe it is this:

  • There are no negative hit points
  • If you take enough damage in one blow to take you to 0 AND the remaining damage is greater than your max HP, you die.
  • If you don't instantly die, you are at 0 hp.
  • If you start your turn at 0 hp, you roll a death save.
  • If someone attacks you, you auto fail a death save. There is no HP tracking associated with this.
  • If you get three death save failures, you die.

Corrections anyone?

Thaumaturge.
 
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Dausuul

Legend
But I believe it is this:

  • There are no negative hit points
  • If you take enough damage in one blow to take you to 0 AND the remaining damage is greater than your max HP, you die.
  • If you don't instantly die, you are at 0hp.
  • If you start your turn at 0 hp, you roll a death save.
  • If someone attacks you, you auto fail a death save. There is no HP tracking associated with this.
  • If you get three death save failures, you die.

Corrections anyone?
Nope, you are correct on all counts. On page 74, it says, "A creature's current hit points (usually just called hit points) can be any number from the creature's hit point maximum down to zero." That's fairly clear: Nothing above your maximum or below zero. All of the death and injury rules refer to being reduced to zero, never "to or below," and they go out of their way to avoid stating or implying that negative hit points are possible.

Death occurs only if you take a total amount of damage, in one blow, equal to your current remaining hit points plus your maximum hit points; or if you accumulate three failed death saves.
 

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