Level Up (A5E) Random LU Feedback

Stalker0

Legend
I kicked off my Session 0 last night, and so as I start my campaign I'll just post some random feedback that I hear from my players as we go.
  • Ranger ability to swap favored enemy everyday seems really silly.
  • Ranger grub ability limited to once per day doesn't make any sense. The ability seems weak now.
  • I want a ranger subclass that doesn't involve a pet or spells, can I pick an O5e one?
  • Warlocks can be int, wis, or cha? That's neat, I like that.
  • Exploration tasks sound cool. I can harvest for like spell components and things....that's cool.

  • Now that the ranger understands the importance of supply in this game, they no longer think the grub ability is weak, it has come in very useful.
  • Ran a custom CR6 legendary monster for my group of 5 4th level adventurers, and used the stock CR6 stats. Combined this with 4 CR 1/4 wolves (which were upgraded to CR1/2 due to the low tier of adventurers). Now the guidance does say that hard encounters at this level can turn deadly. However, even though I never actually got the DPR that is expected for the CR6, nor did I ever crit....I almost killed two party members. Again, the warning is in the book, though it did feel the stock DPR number was a bit high for just a hard encounter.
  • The ranger archer is having a lot of trouble finding good maneuvers to take so far, and actually just swapped one of his maneuver schools (which I allowed for free) to find some reasonable manuevers to use. In making some custom characters this has been my issue as well, there seems to be a lot of maneuvers until you actually have to choose schools, and suddenly it can be very hard to find more than a few good choices.
  • Considering the much larger amount of various abilities to track, I've found it difficult to keep track of everything. I dropped the critical success/failure for skills (except for journey activities) just because I kept forgetting the tables and didn't want to stall things out by looking them up.
  • The players are definately enjoying all of their little abilities. The warlocks ability to force march for an extra 4 hours has actually come in quite handy so far. The ranger's ability to use multiple journey activities at once is a huge boon in this survival heavy game.
  • The discovery and boons table has a lot of fun stuff, I've been using it quite heavily with all the exploration my group is doing. What I wasn't expecting is that the shortcuts are some of my party's favorites, they have been making great use of them to backtrack into important areas.
  • I started the game with a doomed character, basically the father figure of the party. I am running a "countdown" on him, every week I roll the countdown in front of the party to see if I finally dies. I think its added a good narrative element to the game, though it has taken some convincing to explain to my group why they can't heal him up, and they are really set on finding something to fix him.
  • One element that has come up a lot....recently killed enemies and supply. Generally how I have run this, is if the party kills an edible enemy in a day, that covers all their needed supply for the day. However, without a means to preserve the meat, they can't store the supply for later. It would be nice to see some guidance on this though in future books, it has come up quite a bit in my game.
  • On the times to craft weapons, the spear tends to stick out. Spears are dirt simple to make IRL, so the time in the book seems awfully long. The time looks reasonable for most other simple weapons, but the spear is an exception.

After a few more sessions, some additional notes: (4/15/2022)
  • I'm enjoying the doomed condition combined with a countdown clock. I have set up a new NPC, a little girl with a magical disease called "mind fire", that gives her psychic powers, but whose powers are killing her. She is "doomed", and has a 3d6 (5 or 6) countdown per week to death....but there is a known cure. The party is now considering an expedition to save her, they are debating it as they in theory have some time, but you never know with the clock, and they do have other priorities to consider. This I find is working better than my original "doomed + countdown" of their father.... without a way to fix it, I can tell my players are not fully liking the "he's doomed, just....doomed....no way to save him....none?" With the girl, by giving them an option, its motivating the players instead of frustrating them.
  • We finally got to see a crit, and I think my players enjoyed the double damage, they were clearly excited.
  • Once again, the ranger subclasses are pretty underwhelming. My ranger player has been frustrated by them, and frankly, I am too. None of them seem particularly compelling.
  • I like the idea of specializations but I kind of wish they were rarer. Basically all of my players have one, and its hard to keep track of all of them and all of their special little abilities.
  • My players are enjoying expertise die, though they still keep forgetting that 2 dice = d6.
  • I have found the critical success and failure tables just too much to keep track of. I can never remember them, and its too slow to go look them up everytime it comes up.
  • I have started to give out the rare spells as some fun rewards. The cleric has been contacted by a "foreign power", and as a gift, was given the rare version of call lightning. It was a temptation that cleric couldn't resist, and has already used the spell in combat. It was a great way to give them a neat power, and to highlight the "strangeness" of this foreign power by granting a spell that is not the norm.
  • There are certain things that are split between the books I have found a little frustrating. A recent example, one of my players was asking about a specific poison (Ether). So I open up T&T and look at poisons, and can't find it. Takes me several minutes of flipping before I realize that's a "common" poison located in the AG. I don't mind a few poisons showing up in AG, but would have liked those renoted in T&T so all the poisons are together.

New Notes 4/20/2022
  • All of my players have now given me consistent feedback:, they find the first level of strife way too penalizing. Perhaps its the prevalence of things like perception (and passive perception), as well as in a survival like game penalties to survival are a big deal, but all of them flat out said "its just too much". I am going to swap the 1st and 2nd level of strife, and all of them agreed that was a good idea.
  • One thing I tried out tonight way a "partial doom recovery". I've been using a countdown clock to determine when the doomed character will die, and I gave the players a super healing salve (after a series of trials) that they gave to their father, which reset his countdown back up to maximum. It was a way to give the players a victory without undoing the effects of doomed, the father is still dying, but it gave them some means of countering it, and I could tell it went well with the players.
  • Funny enough, one of the greatest sources of fatigue in my game so far as been the long distance travel rules. Often the players have pushed themselves several hours past the 8 hour window to get from A to B speedily, and so will often roll multiple con saving throws. I have found this a pretty good balance, the rolls start off easy but very quickly ramp up, so I think its a good mix of risk and reward.

New Notes 5/11/2022
  • The ranger's "alpha strike" power is providing to be incredibly good, to the point where my players are starting to grumble. The reason is the current style of play where time is passing quickly and its mostly exploration, so there are only a few combat encounters. As such, the ranger doesn't feel penalized for using all of their wisdom charges and making a single "super strike". For context, the ranger in the last game did 45 damage on their first round, whereas as the spellcasters are doing ~13-16 damage a round.
  • The cleric's new turn features the players think are pretty cool (ie the ability to turn all evil subtypes, or fey, etc). The cleric has long been seen as very bland to my group in 5e, so this was a welcome reaction.
  • I continue to really like rare spells. In the last game, the players found a shard of the dead creator of magic (which is actually one of the PC characters from my first campaign). The player got to get a memory from the shard (which was a fun easter egg for them) and the player got a rare spell as a boon.
  • One of my two warlock players is making heavy use of the ability to "when you fail a lore check, you get an inkling on where you can find out more about that lore". In such an exploration heavy game, its given them a lot of subtle clues.
  • Last game the party found a "portable haven" for 6 people, and are really excited about it.
New Notes 6/1/2022
  • I continue to find rare spells one of my favorite LU things. Its been great to give them out as fun little gifts for exploration. One of my players find a tiny remanent of the soul of the essence of magic (who happened to be another of the player's characters from a campaign many years ago). This gave them both a little vision of that previous character (which the party loved), and a new rare spell as a cool gift.
  • I am finding it difficult to "balance" the various destinies, as the innate pace of inspiration is pretty radically different between them. Excellence for example comes up organically just due to the amount of checks that happen over time, nat 1s are eventually going to fall. Whereas something like devotion often requires more active DM effort. In general destinies have been one of the weakest pieces to me, I find them very hard to remember as a DM, and I don't think they have been a big RP element to my players either.
  • My players last game wound up curing their "Doomed" father, by making a big pact with a Fey master (the result of a lot of negotiation). I'm very happy I chose not to stick to the letter of the law and allow no way to remove doomed, this turned into a major motivation for the players. The Doomed concept + using the "countdown" mechanic to create the "Doom Clock" was one of my favorite uses of LU rules in the game so far.
  • Speak with Dead has come up in the game a few times. The fact that the range was changed from 10 feet to touch in LU actually came up in the last game (but the players found it weird that such a minor change was made). Also Speak with Dead doesn't have any limits in LU unlike in O5e (in O5e you can only cast this spell on a target once every 10 days, in LU as long as you have slots you can keep doing it). I don't like that change personally, I already think Speak with Dead is one of those crazy powerful divinations once a party learns to understand its power, so limits are good. I didn't reimpose the strict limit but my group has an understanding not to try and milk it toooo much.
  • hehe one funny thing from last session, our party rogue: "So can I use my painful pickpocket....but not do any damage or hurt them?" DM: "You mean......pickpocket?" Rogue: "Oh...uh, yeah!"
  • I've been trying out the bulky item rules perodically. The rogue has a cursed stone on them that counts as a bulky item (and it meant that the ranger with the 8 strength was not able to pull them out of a hole one time). The cleric is also carrying this "heavy gravity magic item" that I said counts as a bulky item. It hasn't had a major impact, but I think the concept is easy and it drives him that certain gear is problematic and requires strong people.
 
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It seems that the 5e ranger (O5e or A5e) just can’t ever catch a break.
Anyway, A5e is completely backward compatible, so feel free to play with O5e subclasses if your table allows it.
 




tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I guess that's why it's not called favored enemy. Studied adversary - the creature type you crammed for overnight.
It's also a good reason to use the investigate downtime activity or do things like get a caster friend to scry from their tower in order to get an idea of what kind of opponents are most common where you intend to head for time to time :D
 


I thought for sure A5e was going to have a spell-less & pet-less archetype, was I wrong?
Rangers are spell-less. The three archetypes include a beast master theme, a mounted theme, and a 1/3 caster.

But O5e Hunter is in the 5e SRD and completely compatible with the A5e ranger, which would give you no spells and no pets. They could have made an A5e version I suppose, but Hunter is already a solid subclass with internal choices, so it seems like a good candidate not to spend page count trying to produce a slightly different version.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
It seems that the 5e ranger (O5e or A5e) just can’t ever catch a break.
Anyway, A5e is completely backward compatible, so feel free to play with O5e subclasses if your table allows it.
By "completely" do you mean "the rules run the same, but A5e characters are quite a bit more powerful in other pillars of play besides combat so aren't balanced against 5e characters"?
 

dave2008

Legend
Rangers are spell-less. The three archetypes include a beast master theme, a mounted theme, and a 1/3 caster.

But O5e Hunter is in the 5e SRD and completely compatible with the A5e ranger, which would give you no spells and no pets. They could have made an A5e version I suppose, but Hunter is already a solid subclass with internal choices, so it seems like a good candidate not to spend page count trying to produce a slightly different version.
Yes, I thought A5e was going to do their own take on the hunter.

I image the O5e one is fine, but it not integrated with all the extra bells and whistles that A5e offers. That would have been nice.
 

By "completely" do you mean "the rules run the same, but A5e characters are quite a bit more powerful in other pillars of play besides combat so aren't balanced against 5e characters"?
A5e subclasses are much more like O5e subclasses than classes are, for instance. A5e subclasses also don‘t hand out much more in the way of social/exploration features than O5e subclasses, so O5e subclasss can compare quite well. The result is that O5e subclasses are some the best O5e content to use in Level Up.
 


Xaielao

Explorer
1. It's called Studied Adversary, not Favored Enemy. It's similar mechanically but different flavor-wise. You can replace the current adversary because your character is studying a new one to track down and slay.

2. Expert Foraging restores up to 5 HP and/or fulfills the Supply requirement of up to 5 people once a day. It's simple and thematic. Exploration Knacks aren't designed to be powerful abilities but useful 'knacks' your character can perform.

3. If Warden doesn't fit the character, then by all means use an o5e subclass. As other's have said, the game is backwards compatible. Also as new books hit we'll get more class archetypes to broaden the selection, I'm sure. :)

4 & 5. Yes, Warlocks are some now. It's my personal favorite class in D&D so I'm really happy with the a5e changes. Oh and yes, Exploration Knacks are cool. ;)
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Yeah, I don't think Studied Adversary is silly compared to Favored Enemy. It solves the long-standing Ranger Problem of picking a Favored Enemy that you never run into during the game. Flavor-wise, it works because the Ranger has a working knowledge of most creatures, that s/he improves on by doing research/going over knowledge during a rest. Seems pretty good to me.
 


Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
  • One element that has come up a lot....recently killed enemies and supply. Generally how I have run this, is if the party kills an edible enemy in a day, that covers all their needed supply for the day. However, without a means to preserve the meat, they can't store the supply for later. It would be nice to see some guidance on this though in future books, it has come up quite a bit in my game.
ohhhh.gif
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
  • One element that has come up a lot....recently killed enemies and supply. Generally how I have run this, is if the party kills an edible enemy in a day, that covers all their needed supply for the day. However, without a means to preserve the meat, they can't store the supply for later. It would be nice to see some guidance on this though in future books, it has come up quite a bit in my game.
I haven't actually had players try to break down & converta kill into supply yet but suspect some of that might be just because they already have so much supply. The nonexpiry of supply beyond "you liose half" events has been a bit of a beacon drawing attention to supply capacities in my game with a high strength fighter, high strength orc wildling who carries double supply from something. The group also has a low strength cleric & low strength rogue/warlock aiming for a synergy feat but the orc alone carries so much supply that it 's basically a walking talking food relief shipment.

A useful thing that is likely to push weaker characters into relying on stronger ones to packmule their supply is the +1 bulky item capacity if not carrying supply in the AG330 sidebar
 

Stalker0

Legend
The nonexpiry of supply beyond "you liose half" events has been a bit of a beacon drawing attention to supply capacities in my game with a high strength fighter, high strength orc wildling who carries double supply from something. The group also has a low strength cleric & low strength rogue/warlock aiming for a synergy feat but the orc alone carries so much supply that it 's basically a walking talking food relief shipment.
I agree with this. I actually used the containers variant rule, and most of my party only has 2 containers each. Even then, due to the ranger's bonuses (both the double food from hunt and the expert foraging knack), supply is simply not a factor.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I agree with this. I actually used the containers variant rule, and most of my party only has 2 containers each. Even then, due to the ranger's bonuses (both the double food from hunt and the expert foraging knack), supply is simply not a factor.
The Narrator can change that with a Q-like click of a finger. It's very much designed on easy-setting, so you have the ability to step it up as you wish. The availability and loss of supply are a great way to dial the difficulty.
 


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