D&D 5E Question: How robust is 5th edition vs absent character?

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
This is pretty much just confirmation bias, I think. Classic D&D fans feel the same way, only in the opposite direction: that 5e is nothing more than 4e with a few patronizing nods to classic D&D.

Bingo!

Many people are only seeing what they want to see.


We were discussing feel...

No we weren't. The OP was asking the opinion of those that have seen 5E (as he didn't download or play in the playtest) as to whether they thought 5E could handle the parameters that he discussed. It was a very concrete and specific question, and completely not about feel.


Hit Dice are the closest thing to a 4e-like mechanic...

I get the imression that nothing short of the presence of a complete, unaltered, straight-up 4E mechanic is going to satisfy you.

That's both unrealistic and choosing a standard that no game or edition, other than your preferred one(s), can ever possibly achieve.

If your mind is so made up, why are you here...? Why do you continue posts and statements that seem to be attempting nothing but trying to poison the 5E well...?:erm:

,...So far all we have to go in is the playtest. You might be hopeful that 5e will have a lot more and be a lot better than the playtest, but that doesn't make any of the playtest's shortcomings or decisions the product of my imagination. We can also get a hint at direction from L&L, which has so far very clearly been focusing on capturing what D&D was 20 or 30 years ago, rather than retaining anything from 4e. Even when they try to say they're using something from 4e, they're rolling it back rather than building upon and improving it...

...WotC is only doing what makes sense from a business perspective in making 5e evocative of classic D&D as it can, while pulling back from anything 4e did.

Absolute Balderdash.

If that's all you're seeing, it's because that's all you want to see.

They are doing nothing more than what they said they were going to do right from the start:

Goal #1 : Reunification through Common Understanding

As part of the design process, the R&D team must boil down the RPG into its most basic component parts. Using those rules elements, the team must then build an easy to understand game system that incorporates the most iconic elements of D&D in prominent roles. Anyone who has ever played any version of D&D must recognize and understand its most important elements.

They are still in the process of designing the base game, based on the common and iconic elements of all D&D...not the common and iconic elements of just 4E or 3E or 1E or BD&D or any one edition. That is not dialing back from 4E, and saying so is an absolute falsehood. What they are doing is finding the most common and iconic elements of D&D that ring true throughout all the editions, designing a simple base game from that, and then expanding back up from there. However, we have not yet reached the expanding-back-up-from-there phase. And that eliminates the ability of anyone to factually say things like "5E is dialing back from 4E".

If you don't see what they are doing for what it really is, fine. But I'd ask that when gamers come along here that haven't played the playtest, and are looking for information, that you provide them objective, unbiased, and factual information...rather than simply your opinion couched as fact. Especially as it seems to be opinion intended to try and poison the well (as I have yet to see any constructive contribution on your part to making 5E a game that you do want, rather than just bashing it for what it doesn't have and continuing to express you have no hope that it will ever be what you want...)

That doesn't mean you're not allowed to express your opinion. But when doing so, say that they are only your opinions. It's quite easy to drop in an "IMO", "I think...", or "I feel..."...and such qualifiers can make all the difference in the world.

In the end though, one can only either be an optimistic and constructive part of influencing 5E, a mere spectator, or attempt to negatively influence it's direction and the opinions of others. There are no other possibilities, that's the entire spectrum of interest possible in 5E. I'd certainly hope that your choice would be the first option, but you have the right to choose whichever you want. I'd only ask that if your choice is and continues to be the last one, that you didn't post here in this forum (New Horizons). This forum is for those that do want to be a part of 5E, and want to be a part of influencing it to be the best game/edition it can be. It's not intended for those that have no hope in the game, are unwilling to be a constructive part of making it a game they want, and it most certainly is not for bashing 5E or posting in a manner to turn others off from it.

Of course though, it's 100% your choice, and also your right to post here in this forum regardless of what I've asked. I'm only making a request, not delivering an ultimatum. But, I won't stand by and idly watch someone try to negatively influence people towards 5E, and will continue to refute every innacurate and negatively biased statement I read here...with real facts.
 

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Splurch

Explorer
I agree with El Mandi, I think they are just trying to get to the gist of what the core of D&D is and figure out the flat math system then the modules will add the rest to get the feel you want. Its funny because I also have the same rule of three and its quite daunting when I've had as many as fifteen players to DM and the number can change quite drastically.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
No we weren't.
The post I was replying to /was/.

I get the imression that nothing short of the presence of a complete, unaltered, straight-up 4E mechanic is going to satisfy you.
Better mechanics than those in 4e would delight me, whether they were an obvious evolution thereof that was still very similar or a radical new idea.

They are still in the process of designing the base game, based on the common and iconic elements of all D&D...
Nod. Which is why now's the time for honest feedback, not 'wait and see.'

That is not dialing back from 4E, and saying so is an absolute falsehood. What they are doing is finding the most common and iconic elements of D&D that ring true throughout all the editions,
Which is 'dialing back from 4e,' yes. By definition, you reach back to the past and average out the advances the game has made, you have something dailed back. First you say it's absolutely false, then you re-phrase it.

If you don't see what they are doing for what it really is, fine. But I'd ask that when gamers come along here that haven't played the playtest, and are looking for information, that you provide them objective, unbiased, and factual information...
I do. That's why my posts come off as so negative. Because 5e is in a pretty sorry state right now. That's to be expected, it's in development and should improve as that process continues. I can't give it credit for that improvement until it's happened, though.

In the end though, one can only either be an optimistic and constructive part of influencing 5E, a mere spectator, or attempt to negatively influence it's direction and the opinions of others. There are no other possibilities, that's the entire spectrum of interest possible in 5E.
Well, you're wrong. I may be cynical, but I'm a reallist and I am making constructive criticisms of 5e. They may not be truths you (or the designers) want to hear, but they're more valuable than the gushing of yes-men if they can be stomached.

Of course though, it's 100% your choice, and also your right to post here in this forum regardless of what I've asked. I'm only making a request, not delivering an ultimatum.
Request denied. I will continue to tell the unvarnished truth about 5e. No spin. No credit for vaporware. No wait and see.

But, I won't stand by and idly watch someone try to negatively influence people towards 5E, and will continue to refute every innacurate and negatively biased statement I read here...with real facts.
Good luck with that. It didn't help much when we tried to defend 4e from the constant torrent of lies and negativity of the edition war.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
This is pretty much just confirmation bias, I think. Classic D&D fans feel the same way, only in the opposite direction: that 5e is nothing more than 4e with a few patronizing nods to classic D&D.

This is why I think 5e is going to be in trouble - it doesn't seem to appeal to much of anyone. I'm sure many will play it just because it's D&D, but fans of past systems won't be united
Confirmation bias is sneaky, I'll admit, but I did play and enjoy 1e back in the day, and I did get that little tingle of nostalgia from the 5e playtest that I also got the first hour that I played a Slayer on Game Day when Essentials was introduced. It's just, for me, that nostalgia is too minor a thing to make up for a boring class or a weak system.
 

Lord Zardoz

Explorer
No we weren't. The OP was asking the opinion of those that have seen 5E (as he didn't download or play in the playtest) as to whether they thought 5E could handle the parameters that he discussed. It was a very concrete and specific question, and completely not about feel.

Actually I did download and look at the playtest. I did not actually run it or play as a PC.

Also, I am not so much curious about the 'is this like 4th or like 1st or like 2nd'. I am much more curious about how much of an impact an absent character would have on a per encounter basis.

- Will it be reasonably easy / fast to scale an encounter up or down? Based on El Mahdi's quotes from the developers, potentially yes.
- Does the presence or absence of one partuclar character class diminish party effectiveness more than others, and if so to what extent. Not yet clearly addressed here.

I have played 2nd, 3rd, and 4th edition. In 2nd edition access to fully rested spell casters dramatically affected party effectiveness in a fight due to 'Save or suck' spell like hold person. This was also true in 3rd edition but not as dramatically. 3rd editions sneak attack rules allowed rogues to contribute heavily to raw damage output, and Feats gave fighters a few more tactical options in a fight. Clerics and Sorcerers were also more flexible due to sorcerer's being able to select from their spell lists, and clerics being able to swap out spell for healing effects on the fly.

In 4th edition, the healing surge mechanics allowed you to run fights more or less unchanged based on party composition. 2 random players + a cleric would do better than the group without. But the group without the cleric would probably have a bit more damage output and would likely go for more encounters in a row since they used fewer surges during the encounter.

My primary concern is that being balanced for a total of 5 encounters on a given adventuring day may not be good if you generally average 2 or 3 combats per session, and
have an unstable player group that may not have the same group of players going from the first encounter into the 2nd.

END COMMUNICATION
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
The post I was replying to /was/.

Interesting...

The post you quoted was the OP, and the OP was not talking about feel. In fact, he just paraphrased it in his last post:

I am much more curious about how much of an impact an absent character would have on a per encounter basis.

That's not feel. That's a pretty straightforward question about how the rules work, not how they feel.

You may want to re-read that post you quoted as it looks like you very much missed the point of what he was asking...

Nod. Which is why now's the time for honest feedback, not 'wait and see.'

Feedback also needs to be objective, constructive, and based in fact. Things which your post have been glaringly lacking in. Negativity, personal bias, and bashing have no place in providing feedback.

Which is 'dialing back from 4e,' yes. By definition, you reach back to the past and average out the advances the game has made, you have something dailed back. First you say it's absolutely false, then you re-phrase it.

Again, how is it possible for something to be dialing back from 4E if it is incorporating concepts and designs from 4E in it...?:erm:

Or are you trying to say that if 5E has any elements of any other D&D Edition, even though it does include parts of 4E, it is dialing back because it's not pure 4E...?

If so, that is an unreasonable expectation of any new edition, is not honest or constructive feedback, and already exists in the form of the game you prefer. If that's the case, why don't you go play the game you like and stop trying to poison the 5E well...

That's why my posts come off as so negative. Because 5e is in a pretty sorry state right now.

This is where you keep running into problems: stating your opinion as fact!

Whether or not one considers 5E to be in a sorry state right now is a subjective evaluation. If you had said "IMO, 5E is in a sorry state...", or "I think 5E is in a sorry state...", you'd have been just fine. It may seem stupid or anal to you to include such statements, but that is the accepted form of posting here at ENWorld. The FAQ for the site itself says not to declare absolute statements like this. For more discussion and clarification on this, this is an excellent thread on the subject. Specifically this post, and this post (by one of our Mods) reinforcing the previous post. Also good are this, and these: post, post, post, and post (all four from yours truly).

It didn't help much when we tried to defend 4e from the constant torrent of lies and negativity of the edition war.

And this doesn't justify you throwing the same type of negativity towards 5E now. It was just as wrong for those that did this to 4E, as it is for you or anyone else to do this now with 5E.

Be a part of the solution, not the cause of the problem.:(
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
Interesting...

The post you quoted was the OP, and the OP was not talking about feel.
With nesting restored, you can see that he was.

I have not played the playtest materials, but much of the game feels like a regression to something closer to 3rd edition, but there is currently debate about balancing per adventuring day.
I'd say it's closer to 1e than 3e, but sure, it's definitely backing away from anything and everything 4e did, including the above.


That's not feel. That's a pretty straightforward question about how the rules work, not how they feel.

You may want to re-read that post you quoted as it looks like you very much missed the point of what he was asking...
I gave a perfectly cogent reply, which, you'll note (contrary to your repeated accusations), acknowledges both that the playtest is incomplete, and that I was merely /speculating/ not stating fact:

The playtest really doesn't give us enough to go on. I'd speculate, based on recent L&Ls, that you'll be able to adjust your 'adventuring day' (the basic unit of 5e) to take into account varying numbers of players, but that compensating for missing classes will be more difficult, as classes will be much more varied and situational in their contributions. Thus, you may have to change the nature of challenges rather than just the power thereof, based upon who's missing. No thief, drop the traps; no Cleric drop the undead, provide additional opportunities to rest or gain healing potions; no fighter, reduce the individual hps of monsters; no Wizard reduce the number of enemies, and cut challenges that would require spells and arcana to overcome.

Both class and encounter balance are going to require a lot of enforcement by the DM, whether you're adjusting for a missing player, or not, though, so it's not like it'll be a huge extra burden just on groups that have variable attendance.

You've been selectively quoting and accusing me of doing things I haven't been and not making clear things I have. All you've done is bait me and distract from the actual topic.

You leave me no choice but to block you.
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
Also, I am not so much curious about the 'is this like 4th or like 1st or like 2nd'. I am much more curious about how much of an impact an absent character would have on a per encounter basis.

In 4th edition, the healing surge mechanics allowed you to run fights more or less unchanged based on party composition. ..
It does come into it, a bit. As you note, 4e was less dependent upon party composition for encounter balance and balance over the day. At the same time, formal roles made it easier for players who wanted to to pull together a 'complete' party.

The 5e playtest presents a watered-down version of healing surges, called HD, that don't go as far in helping a party perservere in spite of composition issues (like the classic lack of a cleric, which made a huge difference in the past).

My primary concern is that being balanced for a total of 5 encounters on a given adventuring day may not be good if you generally average 2 or 3 combats per session, and
have an unstable player group that may not have the same group of players going from the first encounter into the 2nd.
That's a very real concern, and there are '5MWD' threads going into it in great detail. One of the stated goals of 5e is to return to more mechanically differentiated classes, which, obviously, is going to tend it back towards party composition making a bigger difference (whether they want to limit that tendency or how successful they might be at doing so remains to be seen). One design consideration that's already been decided is the return of Vancian casting, that mechanic, as you're no doubt aware, makes the performance of the party vary a good deal depending upon how relevant the casters spell selection is that day and how many spells he uses in a given encounter.

With these returns to past mechanics, it's reasonable to expect a return of issues we've had in the past, like the 5-Minute Work-Day, the necessity of a dedicated healer, and the high significance of casters. All of which could be hurdles to overcome in a 2-3 encounters/day average campaign with inconsistent attendance.

But, while it's interesting to look at the current state and direction of 5e and speculate how it might turn out, the best thing you could do with your concerns would be to participate in the playtest, see how it works under the conditions you're dealing with, and provide WotC with some good feedback.
 
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Iosue

Legend
Nod. Which is why now's the time for honest feedback, not 'wait and see.'
Feedback is good, but this is definitely the time for 'wait and see'.

All we really truly have about 5e is an early, intentionally incomplete playtest, and some blog posts with the designers riffing on ideas. WotC was quite clear about the playtest: character design isn't done, monsters aren't done, the math is only roughly calibrated, healing and damage are still being tweaked.

WotC certainly want to know how those things played in your game, to help them in the future design process, but inherent in that is the willingness to wait and see, i.e., not make judgments on the state of 5e. But rather to give honest feedback and wait to see more game elements in the next playtest. Fighters are boring? No duh, character design isn't complete. Monsters not any good? No surprise there, the monsters in the playtest were just cobbled together.

And the same goes for the various blog posts/interviews. They may give an idea, or a rough outline of a particular approach they are taking. By all means, we should give them honest feedback on those. But they aren't the game. They're just part of the process.

I think just about everyone agrees that WotC has their work cut out for them with their ambitions for this game. And yet there seems to be little patience for them to work through the tough issues they are facing. They want to hear our opinion, so they opened a public playtest way earlier than most RPGs do, and they are using blogs and columns to provide a window to the thought processes. But we have to be in this for the long haul.

It's entirely fine to not like the current playtest rules. WotC explicitly said that this was an ultra-simplified form of the game, just testing some basic core principles. And if an ultra-simplified form of the game is not your bag, well no, of course you're not going to like it. But the current playtest rules are not the game. There's a metric craptonne or two of actual game still to come. Not blog posts or speculations thereof, but actual game to try out, fiddle with, and provide constructive feedback for. And while it can be frustrating, we have to wait and see what the actual game looks like before we can say anything with any certainty.

4e is often said to "play better than it reads". Many have suggested that not even a few months of playing is enough to make an informed opinion on how it works and what it can do. And that's with the game fully published and continually errata'd. 5e, such as it is, hardly has that level of development.

"I hate the style of game the current playtest with the intensity of a thousand suns." -- completely okay.

"5e is in a sorry state." -- Not nearly enough information to make that kind of judgment. I mean, you can make it, but it won't be informed.

So yeah, we should give honest feedback. But we also have to wait and see.
 

Lwaxy

Cute but dangerous
Please, everyone!

Some of you seem to have some minor communication problems. Yes, some people state feelings as facts, because in a way, feelings form facts - the facts of the speaker. While it's cool to point out that what's a feeling for one doesn't necessarily hold true for others, not even to talk about THE TRUTH as in the options 5e might offer and we can't know yet, it is not cool to play word games about exact meaning and interpretation. It may come over as baiting even if it wasn't meant as such.
 

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