One D&D thoughts

Some thoughts that are just my humble opinion on some of the hot points that I've seen argument about. With respect to any who disagree, I hope that WOTC gives a serious read to these discussions on the One D&D play testing.

1. 'Removing monster crits is bad for the game'. Agree. I get that death is possible in one hit at level 1, but (In my experience) it is still rare. Critical hits give danger to encounters i.e my 1st level wizard can get killed by a goblin in one shot, but I think that's better addressed by tweeking the death system. Suppose that 0hp. or less makes you unconscious and dying as normal in 5E. Suppose negative half your max is death at the end of your next turn and that only effects calling out instant death cause instant death. By the way, what if the monster takes control of a player character and crits that way? This issue at low levels could also be helped by a minion class of monster that does small damage. Small enough that even a crit has little chance of a one shot kill. There were minions in 4E that usually worked well as fodder and did not slow down play, and what about traps that have a to hit and use a weapon.

2. 'Inspiration is bad for the game'. I find it unnecessary myself, the players are already hard to defeat, but I know many like it. I would have no qualms about playing in a game that had it or making it an optional rule.

3. "Nat 20 means instant success" is bad for the game. It is, and for clarity, the UA doesn't say that a natural 20 trumps something being impossible. In my game we call that out in session zero. The wizard with 8 strength is not going to push the giant boulder out of the gateway. I typically say something like, 'You can try but it looks impossible.' Likewise, I rule that a one is a miss or a failure period, but I don't add consequences that are not fun unless the situation specifically calls for it. i.e. 'You're shooting into melee, your target has cover from the other combatants, and you might hit the wrong target if you miss'. I don't say, 'you rolled a one so you shot yourself in the foot.'

4. 'Removing class-based spells is bad for the game'. Agree, but the UA does not say that there will not be class spells, it makes sense for classes to have some abilities that only they routinely get, but the Arcane, Primal and Divine tags on spells could help with the "Why can't I have that spell?" argument. Choices that are iconic to the class should be a class ability. Yes, your sorcerer can choose Wish at 17th level, but a sorcerer getting a Paladin's special Mount takes more than just learning a spell. What would also help is if the worst spell choices were updated to be at least usable. Find Traps should actually reliably find traps. True Strike should not be a worse choice than attacking for two turns, and so on.

5. 'Half races need to not go away?' No, they shouldn't. The mechanic of 'chose the appearance of either race and the abilities of either. but not both' is good and makes intuitive sense. For backward compatibility, I would also say allow the legacy half orc and half elf to be as they are. Using legacy content could certainly be an optional rule.

6. 'The new backgrounds are a mess.' I like that feats are bound by prerequisites, but feats in backgrounds and re-written feats pose some problems with backward compatibility. What if you had a feat at 1st that is no longer legal at that level? What if a feat has been re-written and you already have the legacy version, can you take both? If your background gives you a skill or language that you get from your lineage, can you customize to avoid a redundancy? Instead of nerfing the best feats, I hope the designers focus on making the poorest choices that no one or nearly no one takes balanced at least a little in value. No one takes Weapon Master, or Defensive Duelist, but many like Fighting initiate or Martial Adept. Give the weaker feats value on their own or as prerequisites for new ones, or both. In the current Players Handbook, they take up space.

My two cents.
 

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4. 'Removing class-based spells is bad for the game'. Agree, but the UA does not say that there will not be class spells, it makes sense for classes to have some abilities that only they routinely get, but the Arcane, Primal and Divine tags on spells could help with the "Why can't I have that spell?" argument. Choices that are iconic to the class should be a class ability. Yes, your sorcerer can choose Wish at 17th level, but a sorcerer getting a Paladin's special Mount takes more than just learning a spell. What would also help is if the worst spell choices were updated to be at least usable. Find Traps should actually reliably find traps. True Strike should not be a worse choice than attacking for two turns, and so on.
I would be flabbergasted if they did away with actual spell lists. You don't want every sorcerer rocking Vicious Mockery and you don't want every bard slinging fireballs and lightning bolts. The spell categories just mean we don't need 10,000 variants of Magic Initiate every time a new class is added (the fact that they explicitly want to future-proof this suggests more classes to come after 2024, which is a pretty exciting thing being overlooked, I think). It also opens up other options, like monsters being more resistant or vulnerable to certain types of magic, which is also fun. (Fiends and undead being more vulnerable to divine magic, for instance, is a fun idea.)

And yes, eliminating trap choices, including spell choices, is something we should expect (and demand).
5. 'Half races need to not go away?' No, they shouldn't. The mechanic of 'chose the appearance of either race and the abilities of either. but not both' is good and makes intuitive sense. For backward compatibility, I would also say allow the legacy half orc and half elf to be as they are. Using legacy content could certainly be an optional rule.
Here's a great example of why backwards compatibility works out for everyone. I think there will be a lot of people who want the old half-races to continue and they will be allowed to just use the 2014 PHB to make those characters. I would also expect to see a lot of third party and DMs Guild products reproducing them and other hybrid races like them (half-ogre is arguably the most popular race never to appear in a PHB, going back to the 1E era).
 



3. "Nat 20 means instant success" is bad for the game. It is, and for clarity, the UA doesn't say that a natural 20 trumps something being impossible. In my game we call that out in session zero. The wizard with 8 strength is not going to push the giant boulder out of the gateway. I typically say something like, 'You can try but it looks impossible.' Likewise, I rule that a one is a miss or a failure period, but I don't add consequences that are not fun unless the situation specifically calls for it. i.e. 'You're shooting into melee, your target has cover from the other combatants, and you might hit the wrong target if you miss'. I don't say, 'you rolled a one so you shot yourself in the foot.'

4. 'Removing class-based spells is bad for the game'. Agree, but the UA does not say that there will not be class spells, it makes sense for classes to have some abilities that only they routinely get, but the Arcane, Primal and Divine tags on spells could help with the "Why can't I have that spell?" argument. Choices that are iconic to the class should be a class ability. Yes, your sorcerer can choose Wish at 17th level, but a sorcerer getting a Paladin's special Mount takes more than just learning a spell. What would also help is if the worst spell choices were updated to be at least usable. Find Traps should actually reliably find traps. True Strike should not be a worse choice than attacking for two turns, and so on.
On these two.

If you deem a task impossible, you don't have them roll, if they are rolling the Dice should always allow the result to change even if the chance is low. Also failing on on a one does not result in something bad happening other than the failure in the playtest.

Class Spell Lists are explicitly not going away that is already confirmed.
 

Aldarc

Legend
1. 'Removing monster crits is bad for the game'. Agree.
Without seeing how the monsters look or play in 1D&D?

2. 'Inspiration is bad for the game'. I find it unnecessary myself, the players are already hard to defeat, but I know many like it. I would have no qualms about playing in a game that had it or making it an optional rule.
Why are you trying to defeat the players?

3. "Nat 20 means instant success" is bad for the game. It is,
Considering how many tables run the game this way, it's hard to believe that it's as detrimental for the game as you assert.
 

delericho

Legend
1. 'Removing monster crits is bad for the game'.
I think this is impossible to tell without seeing the rest of the system.

2. 'Inspiration is bad for the game'.
Given how useless the original Inspiration mechanic was, any attempt to make it more useful is worth at least trying. Not sure this is the fix, but I wouldn't say it's bad for the game.

3. "Nat 20 means instant success" is bad for the game.
As others have noted, if something is outright impossible you shouldn't be rolling anyway. And if something is possible, a Nat 20 will almost always mean success anyway. So this should be a very minor change in practice.

4. 'Removing class-based spells is bad for the game'.
I'm inclined to wait and see on this one.

5. 'Half races need to not go away?' No, they shouldn't. The mechanic of 'chose the appearance of either race and the abilities of either. but not both' is good and makes intuitive sense.
Heh. I'd just got to a place where my half-elves and half-orcs were in a state I was happy with. Assuming they go forward with them being removed from the PHB, I think I'll take that opportunity to wipe them out of existence in-setting as well.

6. 'The new backgrounds are a mess.'
Agreed. Adding feats to backgrounds was an awful decision, but it now looks like manifest genius compared to the decision to add ASIs there as well. IMO the only mitigating factor on this one is that they've made full customisation the default, meaning it's just a matter of a dozen wasted pages rather than anything serious.
 

Horwath

Hero
Personally, I would like to get rid of spell lists exclusive to class all together.

Have every caster know one spell per caster level from levels 1 to 11, then one spell every other level; 13,15,17. total of 14 spells known.
Also cantrips known equal to proficiency modifier.

Then have every class/subclass give focus in certain spells.
you gain 2 cantrips and 2 spells from levels 1 to 5.

Examples:

Healer;
cantrips; resistance, spare the dying
level 1; cure wounds, healing word
level 2; lesser restoration, healing spirit
level 3; mass healing word, revivify
level 4; Aura of light, death ward
level 5; mass cure wound, raise dead

Necromancer;
cantrips; chill touch, toll the dead
level 1; false life, inflict wounds
level 2; blindness/deafness, ray of enfeeblement
level 3; animate dead, summon undead
level 4; blight, shadow of moil
level 5; dance macabre, enervation

Kineticist;
cantrips; eldritch blast, mage hand
level 1; magic missile, shield
level 2; levitate, kinetic jaunt
level 3; fly, haste
level 4; Mordekainen's faithful hound, Otiluke's resilient sphere
level 5; animate objects, telekinesis

Traveler;
cantrips; guidance, mage hand
level 1; expeditious retreat, longstrider
level 2; misty step, vortex warp
level 3; thunder step, gaseous form
level 4; dimension door, find greater steed
level 5; passwall, teleportation circle

Greenseer;
cantrips; primal savagery, thorn whip
level 1; entangle, fog cloud
level 2; spike growth, pass without trace
level 3; plant growth, summon fey
level 4; guardian of nature, summon elemental
level 5; insect plague, wrath of nature

Pyromancer;
cantrips; firebolt, greenflame blade
level 1; burning hands, hellish rebuke
level 2; scorching ray, heat metal
level 3; fireball, ashardalon's stride
level 4; fireshield(fire), summon elemental(fire)
level 5; immolation, summon draconic spirit(fire)

Mindbender:
cantrips; friends, mind sliver
level 1; charm person, dissonant whispers
level 2; hold person, suggestion
level 3; enemies abound, fear
level 4; charm monster, phantasmal killer
level 5; dominate person, modify memory

Illusionist;
cantrips; message, minor image
level 1; disguise self, minor image
level 2; invisibility, mirror image
level 3; hypnotic patter, major image
level 4; greater invisibility, hallucinatory terrain
level 5; dream, seeming

Defender;
cantrips; bladeward, sword burst
level 1; absorb elements, armor of agathys
level 2; aid, blur
level 3; counterspell, dispel magic
level 4; banishment, freedom of movement
level 5; bigbies hand, dispel good and evil
 

1. 'Removing monster crits is bad for the game'. Agree. I get that death is possible in one hit at level 1, but (In my experience) it is still rare. Critical hits give danger to encounters i.e my 1st level wizard can get killed by a goblin in one shot, but I think that's better addressed by tweeking the death system. Suppose that 0hp. or less makes you unconscious and dying as normal in 5E. Suppose negative half your max is death at the end of your next turn and that only effects calling out instant death cause instant death.

I think the instant death threashold should just be changed to a set number below O (say, 50, or 4 times your Con Score, or whatever). Then it stops casually killing low level characters and at the same time actually remains relevant throughout the game.
 

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