D&D 5E No One Plays High Level?

nevin

Hero
To each their own, but my games improved significantly. XP lead the PCs around by the nose. They left a lot of interesting options and character beats unexplored because there just wasnt enough XP incentive in it. They also got very metagamey about how they approached play. Maybe its because I also am a big fan of flat progression games like Traveller that it works for me. Engaging the game is its own reward, and the only one required.
that can happen without XP as well. Without XP you tend to get stuck at levels for arbitrary amounts of time so advancing the plot becomes not so important. You've described a DM narrative problem not a design problem caused by XP.
 

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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
that can happen without XP as well. Without XP you tend to get stuck at levels for arbitrary amounts of time so advancing the plot becomes not so important. You've described a DM narrative problem not a design problem caused by XP.
If you say so. I guess I'll just keep having badwrongfun.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It is the same thing with the non combat feats

The character who never thought of being doing something before is taking skill focus to boost his pitiful stealth at high level. So I am taking a weak skill focus, first level feat at a level I should be taking skill master or claim skill or something like that.
I guess you guys never used all the splat books, because you keep singling out the few low level feats instead of all of the good ones for some reason.
Almost all my characters in 3.5E felt very contrived, limited and for the most part underpowered as I dumped points into cross class skills, waited agonizingly high levels to get the skills required to do a PRC class that did not compliment my original class (there is a reason I mentioned going shadowdancer from a base fighter). Taking useless feats you did not care about and made no sense because they were prerequisites for something you did.

Why the heck do I need to take Combat Expertise and Dodge and Spring Attack to learn Whirwind attack? Why can't I just learn Whirlwind attack, and if I want my character to learn Whirlwind attack because I spent a night in a Dervish camp, why can'tt I just pick it up next level instead of needing like 4 different other feats first.
All I know is that I can only achieve about 5% of the concepts in 5e that I could in 3e. At least only 5% without having to kludge something that really doesn't work because it only kindsa, sorta works if I squint sideways.
These are not options for most players. If I need 6 ranks in hide and I am a 10th level fighter with a 0 hide I am going to need 6 more levels to get there with a normal intelligence and I am going to have to completely stop investing in other skills in that time.
What other skills? Fighters didn't do skills really. And you can take the Open Minded feat to immediately gain 5 skill points if you want. If you are taking 6 levels, it's because you want to take 6 levels. Not because you have to. Besides. A lot of fighters had a small int bonus and/or were human. Between the feat and levels, 1-3 levels will see you to just about anywhere you need to be.
That is the whole problem. Why should I need BAB X or Hide Y to take a feat. Just let me take the feat!
Because if you didn't, the feat would need to be much weaker. The gating let the feat be more powerful.
Whatever you pick, powergaming or not eliminates most picks.
Nope. That's a misperception. My personal experience and the experiences of all my players says otherwise.

Most good feats didn't need chains like that. That you keep ignoring all of those feats to concentrate on the few chain/1st level feats is telling. It tells me that you know that I am correct and are just arguing the very limited few to try and win points. The problem is that I am aware of all of the other feats that are outside of those select few.

You might not(but usually could) pick the feat that you wanted as soon as you leveled, but if you couldn't do it right away, you could in 1-3 levels which represented growing into that aspect.
Sure but we are talking about RAW here.
So am I. RAW is that you need to find out from the DM what you can use. You cannot just assume that you can use something.
If I am going to use this strawman, then the 5E DM can allow all 3.5E feats and PRC classes in a 5E game, he can give all PCs a feat choice every level and completely eliminates all the 3.5E prerequisites .... well I guess that means there are actually way more total options in 5E because the DM is free to do this in 5E right?
There was no Strawman, because I did not attribute to you any particular argument and then try to refute it. I flat out refuted your incorrect assertion players could just choose anything they wanted that was in 5e by telling you what RAW said.
Take using Ninja to qualify for Shadowdancer as per your example. I need 8 ranks in move siliently, 10 in hide and 5 ranks in perform.

Ninja is a skill-happy class, you get 6 a level so that would be 4 levels to get all those points .... but perform is cross-class for a Ninja. So it is 5 levels before you have the bare minimums to jump into Shadowdancer and after this 5-level investment you are still not even really good at hiding.
I don't know why you assume stupid characters when the average PC will have a 12 int and therefore +1 skill point per level. And you can further take a feat to just get 5 skill points if you want. It's not going to be 5 levels in most cases.

But here's the kicker. You don't need Shadowdancer to achieve "the plane of shadow gave me some sneaky/shadow abilities." If you opt to go for the hard one, you will have to work harder. It's your choice not to get a cool ability that isn't the shadowdancer prestige class.

You are also ignoring story. Story isn't POOF I'm now a Shadowdancer. Story is, "I gain a little bit here and a little bit there and grow over time into a Shadowdancer." Even if it takes you 5 levels(and it won't), that's still a valid and appropriate story change.
Not a few, many, many levels. If you are a fighter you are getting 2 points a level and cross-class skill costs 2 points to boost a point. You will actually never get to where you are good at it. In 5E I go from being not good to being an expert in ONE LEVEL.
The average fighter has a 12 int. 12 is the average of 4d6-L. You are deliberately giving the fighter a lower intelligence than he would have and that's not right.
No. To start with you have Deft Explorer, not Natural explorer. Ranger is a known spell class, you choose your spells and your subclass spells include illusions the shadowfell is known for and Fear that fits the theme really well.

You don't have to play a nature-ranger in 5E. That is the whole point!
My 5e PHB says natural explorer.
Good thing you don't need to take favored enemy as a Ranger .... although I would say Undead favored enemy fits perfectly for a Shadow-fell aligned character
My 5e PHB says favored enemy.
Blind Fighting!
My 5e PHB has no blind fighting as an option.
 
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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
I guess you guys never used all the splat books, because you keep singling out the few low level feats instead of all of the good ones for some reason.

All I know is that I can only achieve about 5% of the concepts in 5e that I could in 3e. At least only 5% without having to kludge something that really doesn't work because it kindsa, sorta works if I squint sideways.

What other skills? Fighters didn't do skills really. And you can take the Open Minded feat to immediately gain 5 skill points if you want. If you are taking 6 levels, it's because you want to take 6 levels. Not because you have to. Besides. A lot of fighters had a small int bonus and/or were human. Between the feat and levels, 1-3 levels will see you to just about anywhere you need to be.

Because if you didn't, the feat would need to be much weaker. The gating let the feat be more powerful.

Nope. That's a misperception. My personal experience and the experiences of all my players says otherwise.

Most good feats didn't need chains like that. That you keep ignoring all of those feats to concentrate on the few chain/1st level feats is telling. It tells me that you know that I am correct and are just arguing the very limited few to try and win points. The problem is that I am aware of all of the other feats that are outside of those select few.

You might not(but usually could) pick the feat that you wanted as soon as you leveled, but if you couldn't do it right away, you could in 1-3 levels which represented growing into that aspect.

So am I. RAW is that you need to find out from the DM what you can use. You cannot just assume that you can use something.

There was no Strawman, because I did not attribute to you any particular argument and then try to refute it. I flat out refuted your incorrect assertion players could just choose anything they wanted that was in 5e by telling you what RAW said.

I don't know why you assume stupid characters when the average PC will have a 12 int and therefore +1 skill point per level. And you can further take a feat to just get 5 skill points if you want. It's not going to be 5 levels in most cases.

But here's the kicker. You don't need Shadowdancer to achieve "the plane of shadow gave me some sneaky/shadow abilities." If you opt to go for the hard one, you will have to work harder. It's your choice not to get a cool ability that isn't the shadowdancer prestige class.

You are also ignoring story. Story isn't POOF I'm now a Shadowdancer. Story is, "I gain a little bit here and a little bit there and grow over time into a Shadowdancer." Even if it takes you 5 levels(and it won't), that's still a valid and appropriate story change.

The average fighter has a 12 int. 12 is the average of 4d6-L. You are deliberately giving the fighter a lower intelligence than he would have and that's not right.

My 5e PHB says natural explorer.

My 5e PHB says favored enemy.

My 5e PHB has no blind fighting as an option.
I would argue most Fighters will have 13 Int, because of Combat Expertise being the gateway to so many Feats you might want.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I would argue most Fighters will have 13 Int, because of Combat Expertise being the gateway to so many Feats you might want.
I'm just going with the simple math of 4d6-L(average 12.24 or something close to that) and not assuming placement of stats. A fighter will want combat expertise, but may not have the 13. If the 13 wasn't rolled and is say 12, most fighters in my experience bump strength, dex and/or con with their stat increases, not int.

If the fighter can place stats rolled, the chances are good that he will have at 13 or even higher.
 

Distracted DM

Distracted DM
Supporter
that can happen without XP as well. Without XP you tend to get stuck at levels for arbitrary amounts of time so advancing the plot becomes not so important. You've described a DM narrative problem not a design problem caused by XP.
In 5e I spent years doing XP, and years doing story-based leveling, with different tables... I ended up going from XP to Story-Based, and then back to XP.
Usually I found that it depends on the table; some tables don't care as much about leveling up, but most of mine have- and switching to story-based leveling won't help the "have we leveled yet?" attitude if your table was already chasing XP to level up.
 

corwyn77

Adventurer
To be honest, I haven't used xp while running a game (aside from systems where xp is currency like GURPS, Champions and the like) in about 20 years or so.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
In 5e I spent years doing XP, and years doing story-based leveling, with different tables... I ended up going from XP to Story-Based, and then back to XP.
Usually I found that it depends on the table; some tables don't care as much about leveling up, but most of mine have- and switching to story-based leveling won't help the "have we leveled yet?" attitude if your table was already chasing XP to level up.
I prefer not having to track xp. However, I won't deny that some people like to have a "progress bar" so they know that the level up process isn't arbitrary and that their actions are working towards a goal.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I would argue most Fighters will have 13 Int, because of Combat Expertise being the gateway to so many Feats you might want.
3e era martials all had either
  • INT 13 for the Combat Expertise line
  • STR 15+ for the Power Attack line
  • DEX 15+ for the archery line
  • Whatever the PRC you were cheesing required

The mistake that 5e did was not having high level feats. They didn't have to be in feat trees.
Just Feats that opened up a simple tactic that required being level 10+ and a score of 17+ to take.
One weapon based and one magic based.

The issue is high level 5e was too afraid of grognards to be innovative or imaginative in anything past level 10. The designers just made Tier 3 & 4 the same as Tier1 & 2 with bigger numbers, more resources, and less limits. They acted shocked that more people don't run it.
 

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