D&D General Orcs on Stairs (When Adventures Are Incomplete)

Levitate.
Irrelevant. Using Levitate while falling simply causes you to be 4 squares (20 feet) above the ground without taking damage. It cannot send you higher than that.

Teleport.
You're going to have to be more specific. There is no power nor ritual called "Teleport" in 4e. Certainly none of them have a range of 100 squares or more, I guarantee you that.

Dimension Door.
Irrelevant. Insufficient range (50 feet, aka 10 squares.)

Unlikely to be relevant. That's a level 16 Wizard utility to begin with, so if the party isn't that level or doesn't have a Wizard this is irrelevant. More importantly, even with a flight speed of 8, it's going to take 100/8 = 13 rounds to rise at least 500 feet, meaning even with Fly in play, if the character falls to the bottom they're not rejoining this fight, period.

And if the fight ends before they fly back up...then they just sustain Fly until they reach the top. When there is no pressure to get up as quick as possible and one can fly at 40 feet every 6 seconds for as long as one continues to sustain the power, then it doesn't matter whether the tower is 500 feet or 5000 feet, within ten to fifteen minutes, the party will be reassembled, and spending valuable game time on determining that "it takes you just under 5 minutes, 41 seconds to ascend back up to where you fell" (for my 2271 feet suggestion) is a pointless waste.

If you fall and nothing stops you, you die. If you fall and something saves you, you are out of the fight until well after it will be resolved, one way or another. If the fight resolves, you can just walk back up (the slow but reliable way) or fly back up if you have the tools or abilities to enable you to do so (the fast but resource-spending way). Either way, there is no cost nor interesting consequence for failure at that point, so the exact distance has no relevant gameplay value.

What about ranged attacks from down there?
There are no ranged attacks with a range of more than 500 feet. I don't even need to look that one up. But just in case, if someone does find an attack with that kind of range, though, I will concede the point...but I am confident there are no such attacks.

And that's just about getting back into the fight physically.
You still have to contend with recovering the character after the fight. So that's the difference between 10 or 17 or whatever Athletics checks. Having enough rope. Etc.
It's important information.
It turns out I accidentally miscalculated, conflating the 50d10 with 50 squares fallen, when it is actually 100 squares. So it would actually be 34 Athletics checks that must be passed to climb at least 500 feet.

A single rope is never longer than 100 feet in 4e, you'd have to tie together at least 5 ropes to make that work...or just have the PC walk back up like a normal person. You know, the way they got up there in the first place!

Not to mention it's just DM fiat unless you have the distance (and damage) of a fall, which definitely flies in the face of D&D's design since the 2000s.
Again: if the fall is at least as far as the capped distance (which, in 4e, is 500 feet), then it is essentially guaranteed to be lethal to anyone who falls that far. 50d10 averages 275 damage. A level 30 Warden, with 30 Constitution (AFAICT the maximum possible) and the Toughness feat, has 17+30+15+29*7 = 265 HP. This is quite literally the toughest possible character in the game, and a fall of this magnitude is still almost guaranteed to drop them to negative HP. Anyone short of this, which the vast, vast majority of characters will be, is essentially dead on impact unless they (or an ally) have a trick up their sleeve to fix it. Even if they do, it's going to take dramatically longer than the fight in question to get the character back into the fray, and clearly there are easier ways to get back up because the party already used one!

Look, I get that this annoyed you. Your reaction is not illegitimate or anything like that. But honestly, describing the fall as essentially guaranteed deadly is perfectly cromulent for its relevance to the actual combat, and the exact value is pretty much irrelevant in most contexts. There is no need to use ropes or other such tools to get back up because the character can literally just walk there LIKE THEY ALREADY DID.
 

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I see things very differently, I guess. All these Orcs on Stairs are so incredibly fixable, and most of the time with minimum effort and thinking. Some take a bit more work, but no more work than many DMs put into adhering the plot or story to a player's character arc.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Irrelevant. Using Levitate while falling simply causes you to be 4 squares (20 feet) above the ground without taking damage. It cannot send you higher than that.


You're going to have to be more specific. There is no power nor ritual called "Teleport" in 4e. Certainly none of them have a range of 100 squares or more, I guarantee you that.
<< blink >>

They took Teleport out of 4e???

Wtf?
There are no ranged attacks with a range of more than 500 feet. I don't even need to look that one up. But just in case, if someone does find an attack with that kind of range, though, I will concede the point...but I am confident there are no such attacks.
Not upwards; but someone shooting almost straight down from the tower has, one would think, a vertical range bounded only by the ground. The aim will be at minuses for sure, but lack of range shouldn't be an issue.

The reason missile weapons have ranges at all is due to gravity's effect on the missile. In this case, however, gravity would be helping. :)
 

<< blink >>

They took Teleport out of 4e???

Wtf?
There is no single specific power or ritual which is called "Teleport."

There are many, MANY powers that allow someone to teleport (including Dimension Door). There are also some Rituals associated with teleporting, such as: Portal Jump (level 6), Linked Portal (level 8), Planar Portal (level 18), Create Teleportation Circle (level 15), and True Portal (level 28).

This is why I said they had to be more specific, not that there is no teleportation in 4e. "Teleport," as a specific and singular named magical ability, is not present in 4e. Abilities that let you teleport, as in, let you go from one location to another without passing through the space between, are in fact quite common in 4e. There's even at least one PP I know of, Mithral Arm, that gives you "teleport 2" as a new movement mode (meaning, instead of using your move action to walk, you can teleport 10'. It's a racial PP for dragonborn, where they get the blessing of the Mithral Pentad, who live in the Astral Sea and strive to strike down evil dragons, especially chromatic ones, wherever they appear.)

Not upwards; but someone shooting almost straight down from the tower has, one would think, a vertical range bounded only by the ground. The aim will be at minuses for sure, but lack of range shouldn't be an issue.

The reason missile weapons have ranges at all is due to gravity's effect on the missile. In this case, however, gravity would be helping. :)
I mean, I guess, but I'm pretty sure the orcs on the stairs will be much more concerned with trying to kill and/or throw off the remaining party members up top, given they actually have some capacity to fight back, y'know? I can't really see them being that preoccupied with people who have already fallen off. Besides, how would they even know the victim survived? 500 feet is a long way down, and I find it difficult to believe that any archer in less than 6 seconds could determine that the targets still live, still less that they can be shot at.

I would also, personally, argue that there are AT LEAST two additional factors in range increments that have nothing to do with gravity: air resistance and wind, both of which are still just as relevant when shooting down from the top of a tower as when shooting horizontally.

(Also, for the record, the longest range increment on any 4e weapon is the greatbow, at 25/50: that is, 125 feet for normal no-penalty range, 250 feet for maximum range with a -2 penalty. According to historical analysis of remnants and replicas of English yew longbows, individual arrows could shoot as far as about 1100 feet accurately, if the archer were extremely well-trained, but shooting with that level of accuracy was extremely tiring, e.g. your longbowmen would fight at only 10% strength after less than a week of shooting at such ranges. Given the context of the situation, I cannot take seriously the suggestion that these are extremely well-trained longbowmen orcs shooting down the side of their tower/mountain/whatever-they-are-shooting-from.)
 

It also suffers from the problem of several uber powerful NPCs incapable of solving a problem so obviously if falls to a few third level tavern owners. Come on, why wouldn't they?
So, in the grand tradition of The Village of Hommlet.

High level characters leaving it up to low level characters to resolve the problem is such a common D&D trope it's regularly lampshaded in things like NWN2.
 

What Is the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow?
Is that a European or African swallow?

No matter how much detail you include in your dungeon descriptions, players are always going to think of something you didn't. After all, there are more of them, and they know about stuff you don't. I have a player who tends to ask about forensic details whenever they find a body, because they have a medical background. How da F would I know?! But I have to make something up. So I tend to go light on the detail when I create an adventure, knowing I can make it up on the fly if it becomes relevant.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
<< blink >>

They took Teleport out of 4e???

Wtf?

Not upwards; but someone shooting almost straight down from the tower has, one would think, a vertical range bounded only by the ground. The aim will be at minuses for sure, but lack of range shouldn't be an issue.

The reason missile weapons have ranges at all is due to gravity's effect on the missile. In this case, however, gravity would be helping. :)
So 4e's way of handling magic in general went like this. You had powers specifically designed for in-combat purposes. There were utility powers that might have combat or out-of-combat uses, but were generally short in duration.

Then you had Rituals, which is where all the non-combat magical effects were placed; these took a long time to cast and were generally useless in a situation like the "Orcs on Stairs".

4e didn't have a lot of effects devoted to exploration, social interaction, or "narrative elements", as I like to call them. The design team thought that all of this was best handled with group skill challenges. So the idea of having a profession, building a base, investing in a mercantile enterprise, what have you, was largely vestigial- the adventure was front and center.

This sounds weird at first, but if you think about it, such things had become more and more vestigial over the editions- in the 2e era, most groups didn't care about establishing a keep and gathering followers, they just wanted more adventures!

Most DM's didn't even allow Leadership in the 3e era, and books about building strongholds and the like didn't sell very well.

So in 4e, they had the thought that, if players don't really want this, then we won't bother devoting much effort to it. This, of course, led to older gamers turning up their noses at 4e, and I admit, even I got frustrated with it, when I tried to convert White Plume Mountain to 4e. It just didn't work!

So while you could have short range teleport powers, like the Eladrin being able to teleport 30' once an encounter, being able to bounce over long distances wasn't a thing.

And, since "magic effects" were locked off from the Martial power source, just about anyone could teleport after awhile except the poor Fighter and Rogue. The Ranger got a few powers because they were partly Primal- I recall my Ranger had a daily utility that let him create a temporary portal on one side of the battlefield, and another adjacent to him, and both he and his allies could use it to blip from one location to the other for the battle.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
You had powers specifically designed for in-combat purposes. There were utility powers that might have combat or out-of-combat uses, but were generally short in duration. Then you had Rituals, which is where all the non-combat magical effects were placed; these took a long time to cast and were generally useless in a situation like the "Orcs on Stairs". 4e didn't have a lot of effects devoted to exploration, social interaction, or "narrative elements", as I like to call them.

And, for me, this is actually a major reason for having other preferences in terms of editions, this decision to separate the pillars so strongly so that they could be controlled and contained, and regulated. And your last sentence also explains why it's such a technical game.

When your preference is in the narrative game and you like plots and chases and spying and combat and exploration to mesh in a huge adventure across the multiverse at high level, the walls set up by the game system become extremely apparent. Saying that one character falling out of a tower puts him out of the game because the game decided that it was a fight, it had to happen on a grid, so teleportation powers were out because of the range instantly creates a blocking point for people who are used to have their characters falling from dragons when assaulting flying fortress on shifting planes.

This sounds weird at first, but if you think about it, such things had become more and more vestigial over the editions- in the 2e era, most groups didn't care about establishing a keep and gathering followers, they just wanted more adventures!

Honestly, you usually make better arguments than this. Yes, rules about strongholds were rightfully ignored, but it is not an excuse for the strong cliving of pillars above. Yes, it makes fairness and balance more accessible to the DM, but as the 5e designers put it, it's "counter to the open-endedness of D&D".

So looping back to the subject here, it also makes it easier to have adventures being complete, because the possibilities are curtailed by the system, which makes it even stranger than 4e adventures are not more complete than other adventures, with as many alleged "plot holes".

Which, in turn, loops back to the fact that, IMHO, you CANNOT create adventures that look complete to everyone. It's a bit like Gödel's incompleteness theorems, even 4e who tried to create the best consistent system (and they came close) to play the game bounced against the fact that the very open-endedness of the game makes both editions and modules impossible to have completely consistent.

Still not a reason to be as sloppy and annoying as Waterdeep Dragon Heist (god, I even hate that pretentious name that is not even representative of what the players are doing in the module, it's, as the rest of the module, all about the writers pleasing themselves with their mighty NPCs doing cool things - and if I may, also linked strongly to the FR, I like Ed but Elminster is a patronising demi-god to whom everyone but him are fools, so it gives a bad trend to NPCs and a DM's attitude).
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
It wasn't really an argument, I don't think they should have removed that part of the game, but if the majority of the players aren't worried about interacting with the world at large, and just want adventures, I could see why someone would sell them what they seemed to want.

I actually wish that they'd brought back the ability for a "name-level" Fighter to attract an army of followers, and made building a stronghold into a money sink. Or starting a guild, or buying a merchant ship, or what have you. Instead, 5e lets you add these things, but by default, gold just sits around and looks pretty.
 

But honestly, describing the fall as essentially guaranteed deadly is perfectly cromulent for its relevance to the actual combat, and the exact value is pretty much irrelevant in most contexts.
It's still lazy, unhelpful, and slightly perverse to not describe it. Just saying "over 500ft" would be more helpful. My understanding from the OP's description is that it's entirely unclear how high up you are at that point too.

Essentially you're mounting a huge, high-effort defense of a lazy writer who took stuff for granted, and it's like, why? No-one who puts the effort you did in to writing this defense would themselves write something so lazy. I don't believe for one second that had you written the adventure, you wouldn't know the fall distance. Nor do I believe for one second the guy writing the adventure considered all that - or really anything at all. So why defend it? It's bad practice at best. Your entire argument illustrates that it's bad practice.

As an aside, you need to either fail three death saves or go to -50% HP to die in 4E. Further, there are a multitude of ways to lessen falling damage (which is, after all, just damage, and doesn't have some specific ability to ignore damage reductions or the like), and there are ways to stabilize yourself even if others can't reach you (most class specific - but there's always rolling a 20+ on your death save). Particularly any kind of effect that regenerates HP, even 1 HP will bring you back, so the exact height is quite likely to matter.

Also, re: "well they won't be back in the fight so it doesn't matter" seems disingenuous to me. Sure, they probably won't be back that fight, but no group is going to be impressed with a DM who doesn't even know how high up they are, and can't tell them that, and just wants to hand-wave the PC getting back up to them. It's an almost guaranteed way to damage trust in the DM. And for what? So a paid adventure writer can be lazy? Jeez.
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
Also, re: "well they won't be back in the fight so it doesn't matter" seems disingenuous to me. Sure, they probably won't be back that fight, but no group is going to be impressed with a DM who doesn't even know how high up they are, and can't tell them that, and just wants to hand-wave the PC getting back up to them. It's an almost guaranteed way to damage trust in the DM. And for what? So a paid adventure writer can be lazy? Jeez.

All the more because what is exactly the intent of the writer here ? To have a situation that one-shots PC ? And even if it does not one-shot them, to guarantee that they won't enjoy the fight and most likely the evening because they won't be able to get back in the fight ?

Without going into the "module writers write for the writing, not the playing" which I don't fully agree with especially in D&D modules, it seems like it's at least on the "It looks cool to describe so it should be fun" side of things rather than "the players will enjoy this".
 

An example I've actually DMed: an adventure where the PCs are following a hidden forest path to the enemy's hideout; it's the only way in. The author writes the track-through-the-woods piece, then later writes the hideout piece - and in the hideout includes description of horses and wagons used to supply the place but doesn't go back and note that said horses and wagons would have left obvious tracks and marks on the path! (never mind the path would have had to be made wider and smoother to accomodate their passage)
That last bit is the sort of thing that just really ticks me off, personally.

It's like a lot of people who write adventures, professionals who get published even, don't actually imagine this as all happening in a world, they just create a few places and sort of weld them together with no regard for how they'd actually work. Which can cause a lot of "faux-mysteries", which intrigue players but honestly tend to waste time and are rarely fun to run with or spin from (though not never).

All the more because what is exactly the intent of the writer here ? To have a situation that one-shots PC ? And even if it does not one-shot them, to guarantee that they won't enjoy the fight and most likely the evening because they won't be able to get back in the fight ?
Good question. I suspect from the laziness of "uhhh high enough to kill you, however high that needs to be" this was just not thought through at all.

Re: fun, yeah it seems like a lot of adventurer writers forget that bit, especially those trying to "tell a story". There was a 5E WotC adventure a while back that one DM I play with ran, where basically it seemed like the adventure called on the DM to "run a cutscene" whilst deprotagonizing the PCs and stopping them acting so they could watch the cutscene and let the baddies get away. But the whole thing made no sense - it wasn't even some fun villain speech, it was just written as if the PCs would just stand there, jaws on the floor. The same adventure also had some enemies who only worked if you didn't know 5E rules, too, I forget exactly what, sadly, only that it involved or horses or magic horses in some way, but became clear whoever wrote that encounter didn't actually grasp 5E fully.

Man I wish I could remember the adventure, it had a whole lot of bad writing in it. I know we were 7th level.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Re: fun, yeah it seems like a lot of adventurer writers forget that bit, especially those trying to "tell a story". There was a 5E WotC adventure a while back that one DM I play with ran, where basically it seemed like the adventure called on the DM to "run a cutscene" whilst deprotagonizing the PCs and stopping them acting so they could watch the cutscene and let the baddies get away. But the whole thing made no sense - it wasn't even some fun villain speech, it was just written as if the PCs would just stand there, jaws on the floor.

OK, if this is "writers write for the writing", then I agree with you, although I call it more the "writing to make cool scenes", and indeed totally forgetting that the characters might be doing something else (of course, they can totally be railroaded, so who cares) and the players might not enjoy it.
 

OK, if this is "writers write for the writing", then I agree with you, although I call it more the "writing to make cool scenes", and indeed totally forgetting that the characters might be doing something else (of course, they can totally be railroaded, so who cares) and the players might not enjoy it.
Yeah this is the thing. A guy from White Wolf who I may have mentioned earlier (or not, not sure) pointed out that it was a real issue that a lot of the adventure/campaign writers for World of Darkness wrote cool stories - for the NPCs - and the PCs were just sort of there to watch.

Shadowrun has this issue too, particularly with the Harlequin stuff, where the PCs are basically just there to "oooh" and "ahhh" at the NPCs doing stuff a lot of the time.

It's not limited to professionals of course - one of the first DMs I played with went to great lengths to paralyze the entire party so we could essentially watch a cutscene of a "badass" NPC appearing out of nowhere and killing the badguy we'd spent a lengthy adventure tracking down (that's also how one of World of Warcraft's most important raids essentially ends!).
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So 4e's way of handling magic in general went like this. You had powers specifically designed for in-combat purposes. There were utility powers that might have combat or out-of-combat uses, but were generally short in duration.

Then you had Rituals, which is where all the non-combat magical effects were placed; these took a long time to cast and were generally useless in a situation like the "Orcs on Stairs".

4e didn't have a lot of effects devoted to exploration, social interaction, or "narrative elements", as I like to call them. The design team thought that all of this was best handled with group skill challenges. So the idea of having a profession, building a base, investing in a mercantile enterprise, what have you, was largely vestigial- the adventure was front and center.

This sounds weird at first, but if you think about it, such things had become more and more vestigial over the editions- in the 2e era, most groups didn't care about establishing a keep and gathering followers, they just wanted more adventures!
Which seems odd, given all the setting releases in 2e (with, one assumes, an expectation that tables were going to interact with and explore those settings); and even more odd given the release of Birthright whose main focus is base-profession-honour-etc.
Most DM's didn't even allow Leadership in the 3e era, and books about building strongholds and the like didn't sell very well.
DMs not allowing Leadership in 3e is a new one on me. Pretty much every character of any note I had in 3e took Leadership at the first opportunity! :)
So in 4e, they had the thought that, if players don't really want this, then we won't bother devoting much effort to it. This, of course, led to older gamers turning up their noses at 4e, and I admit, even I got frustrated with it, when I tried to convert White Plume Mountain to 4e. It just didn't work!

So while you could have short range teleport powers, like the Eladrin being able to teleport 30' once an encounter, being able to bounce over long distances wasn't a thing.
Given your explanation and another just above, it seems they did in fact take Teleport out of 4e, where Teleport is defined as a spell that a) I can cast Right Now to get myself out of (or into!) trouble Right Now, and b) allows me to go anywhere in the world provided I'm familiar with the arrival point i.e. no portal required.
And, since "magic effects" were locked off from the Martial power source, just about anyone could teleport after awhile except the poor Fighter and Rogue. The Ranger got a few powers because they were partly Primal- I recall my Ranger had a daily utility that let him create a temporary portal on one side of the battlefield, and another adjacent to him, and both he and his allies could use it to blip from one location to the other for the battle.
This part doesn't bother me as much - magic is for magicians, not warriors. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
All the more because what is exactly the intent of the writer here ? To have a situation that one-shots PC ? And even if it does not one-shot them, to guarantee that they won't enjoy the fight and most likely the evening because they won't be able to get back in the fight ?

Without going into the "module writers write for the writing, not the playing" which I don't fully agree with especially in D&D modules, it seems like it's at least on the "It looks cool to describe so it should be fun" side of things rather than "the players will enjoy this".
To be fair, adventure modules really ought to be written with the DM's needs in mind rather than the players' needs; as it's the DM who has to interact with said modules in order to run them.

If a module writer has "will the players enjoy this?" as a top-of-mind thought while writing, despite all good intentions that's probably going to lead to a bad adventure. The author can't know all the situations the module will be used in, and ideally should instead be thinking "how can I best and most succinctly explain to the DM what is intended here?" and leave it up to the DM to make it fun for that table.
 

If a module writer has "will the players enjoy this?" as a top-of-mind thought while writing, despite all good intentions that's probably going to lead to a bad adventure.
Hard disagree and you offer no justification for this claim. You seriously need to offer a detailed justification for a claim that utterly wild. Especially the "probably".

It's easy to write adventures and keep player enjoyment in mind, even when writing generically.
The author can't know all the situations the module will be used in, and ideally should instead be thinking "how can I best and most succinctly explain to the DM what is intended here?" and leave it up to the DM to make it fun for that table.
Nope.

If the module is designed without even considering whether it will actually be fun, the odds of it being a completely pointless snoozefest (as many published modules are), go up by like 1000%, for the very simple and obvious reason that it was designed thoughtlessly and without any conception of real-world usage. It's the equivalent of designing an area in an open-world videogame without making any effort to make it playable or interesting. People absolutely do that - for sure - and the results are dire. Really bad. Yeah, you can't know the exact situations, but you can know the broad likely parameters, and as an experienced D&D DM, unless you're a terrible DM who isn't fun (which I doubt), you can guess what players are likely to enjoy, and what they're not.

That has to be in your mind, otherwise you end up writing an onanistic adventure which pleases you, the writer, but was not written to be played, just read by a DM.

This is a major and common flaw of adventure writers, as this thread discusses. Your line of thinking here is basically a big part of why so many published adventures are so bad, and why some standouts are remarkably reliably good (because they did think about how players would respond).
To be fair, adventure modules really ought to be written with the DM's needs in mind rather than the players' needs; as it's the DM who has to interact with said modules in order to run them.
That's totally different from "let's ignore whether stuff is likely to be fun". You write so the DM can run the adventure, that doesn't require you to stop thinking about how players are likely to react. Indeed, if you're not thinking about how players will react/respond/enjoy/dislike stuff, please don't write and publish adventures! Or put a health warning on them, like "This is for the DM, your players might well think it's terrible, I don't give two shakes of a lamb's tail!". All the worst adventures I've ever read/run/played were written by people who didn't think about or care about how players would react, and all the ones which I see as "ol' reliable" or the like have at least some consideration of that, and make allowances for it.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Which seems odd, given all the setting releases in 2e (with, one assumes, an expectation that tables were going to interact with and explore those settings); and even more odd given the release of Birthright whose main focus is base-profession-honour-etc.

DMs not allowing Leadership in 3e is a new one on me. Pretty much every character of any note I had in 3e took Leadership at the first opportunity! :)

Given your explanation and another just above, it seems they did in fact take Teleport out of 4e, where Teleport is defined as a spell that a) I can cast Right Now to get myself out of (or into!) trouble Right Now, and b) allows me to go anywhere in the world provided I'm familiar with the arrival point i.e. no portal required.

This part doesn't bother me as much - magic is for magicians, not warriors. :)
Birthright should have been way more popular than it was. But...I never found one group that was interested in the premise, in fact, one guy I know rather dismissively said "it's just a big setup to justify PvP". : (

The issue with Leadership was it could be very busted- giving someone a second player character, even if 2 levels behind, could lead to shenanigans. Or not. It was very DM-dependent.

I don't really agree with taking away the idea of building a nation or a fighting force or a guild or a church or a wizard's school from the game, but at the same time, I know I saw, and I have heard at least anecdotal evidence, that many players wanted more adventure and less bean counting and making the campaign their own. Don't know why, but it's something 5e really needs, IMO.

As for magic is for magic-wielders...here's why this bothers me. When every class in the game but 2 or 3 is locked out of certain kinds of mechanics because "non-magic", but the "magic" classes can get their hands on mechanics the "non-magic" guys use, that's a bit weird.

And yes, you can play a hybrid character who has some magic, but it always feels like the magic guys get the better end of this deal.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I have mixed feelings on this subject. I mean, I absolutely agree that there are many spots in adventures that could offer much better it for DMs, I've never had a problem with it myself. I long, long ago chose to just change things when I find anything that I don't like. I do this so quickly that I don't usually remember there even being something I didn't like in the adventure (there's stuff I don't like in every adventure, so I'm used to it).

In the OP example, because I like to challenge and excite players rather than the (IMO boring), "You fall and die." I would probably have had anyone who fell off the edge roll to catch the edge, and if they missed, roll to catch another one further down, while taking damage, until they either died from enough damage, or saved themselves. (Usually the latter). Heck, even if they took enough damage to go unconscious, I'd probably make it possible for someone else to save them: "Their body is stuck between two rocks, two-hundred feet down" (someone climb down and get them).

I probably wouldn't even remember later that the adventure had any "problems".

(This is probably why I like Hoard of the Dragon Queen, et al: It was fine. My game was fun.)
 

As for magic is for magic-wielders...here's why this bothers me. When every class in the game but 2 or 3 is locked out of certain kinds of mechanics because "non-magic", but the "magic" classes can get their hands on mechanics the "non-magic" guys use, that's a bit weird.
It's just straight-up bad legacy design. It could easily be solved by locking people who were full spellcasters out of some melee/ranged combat mechanics, if they insist on it working that way. A more sensible approach would just be less power for spellcasters and fewer spells which circumvented or were straight-up-better than other methods. It's not a problem you really see manifesting in any game except D&D and relatively close relatives, because virtually all other games don't let casters get as "out of control", or where they do, they also let non-casters do really wild stuff.
 

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