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5E Really concerned about class design

Mistwell

Legend
Well, that kind of glosses over the fact that some designer decided that in order to gain the actor benefits, you need to give up the Greatweapon Fighter feat (or somesuch).

In other words, you can think Actor to be a trap without devaluing its benefits or be a mere minmaxer.

You're paying a very steep price for Actor. I believe that to be a trap for everyone.
The bard in our game has gotten more good use out of Actor than literally any other feat anyone has chosen in our game. For example, he has done more with that feat in our game than my fighter did with polearm master and sentinel combined (which as I am sure you know, can be highly effective). Literally, no joke, the advantage on those checks and mimicry have been devastatingly impactful (particularly the mimicry).

It is deeply campaign dependant, and also luck dependent. If you can't imagine it being one of the most powerful options in a particular kind of game, feel free to ask specifics.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Unless of course you have a very RP heavy campaign where actor comes into play more often than GWM feat ever would.

It depends on the game. In addition, it's not a "trap". It's a choice to not optimize for combat.
Well, if I'm not in one of those campaigns, I'm being overly punished for choosing actor.

I submit it would be better overall if the opportunity cost of Actor was lowered. Even if that makes it a "must buy" or "feat tax" in a very RP heavy campaign.

Why? Because in such a campaign mechanical cost is not a major concern.

That is, complaints about overpriced options ("traps") and underpriced options ("must haves") carry much more weight in campaigns where mechanical concerns are paramount than in campaigns where they are secondary.

The cost of any given DPS loss in a combat-heavy campaign is larger than in a combat-light one. The current rules balancing price Actor based on its immense utility in a very RP heavy campaign, but using the metrics of a crunch-heavy campaign.

I submit this is faulty thinking - in a very RP heavy campaign, rules and options fade into the background. Balancing them should be done for the opposite case, where they are acutely felt.

I hope you can appreciate that I'm not saying one type of campaign is better than others, because I am not thinking that.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
The bard in our game has gotten more good use out of Actor than literally any other feat anyone has chosen in our game. For example, he has done more with that feat in our game than my fighter did with polearm master and sentinel combined (which as I am sure you know, can be highly effective). Literally, no joke, the advantage on those checks and mimicry have been devastatingly impactful (particularly the mimicry).

It is deeply campaign dependant, and also luck dependent. If you can't imagine it being one of the most powerful options in a particular kind of game, feel free to ask specifics.
The main problems with those type of feats and things like illusionists is you can't really rate then as it's subjective.

At least compared with something like sharpshooter.
 

I hope you can appreciate that I'm not saying one type of campaign is better than others, because I am not thinking that.
You are saying that the game only works well in one of the three pillars, and should be balanced more around that pillar, though.

Which is maybe a tad defeatist, but I suppose I have to agree, not wrong, exactly.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
WotC isn't a big enough tent for their style are the same ones who infer or imply that other playstyles are wrong (using terms to describe people who make those choices as "traps"--an inherently negative descriptor, or are "wrong" choices to make).
I can only speak for myself, but I don't use "trap" this way.

When I speak of trap I mean an option the player thought would be good, but turned out not to be. Not an obvious bad choice, but a "hidden" bad choice.

No playstyle judgement is intended. In fact, suggesting it is only poisons the discussion.

That is, yes, "trap" is a good word precisely because it's an "inherently negative descriptor", but not because your choice is judged. Except by yourself, as in "I'm disappointed this option didn't help me as much as I thought it would."

Regards
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
'Balancing across pillars' = 'fig-leaf to cover total lack of balance.'
'Balancing within each pillar' = 'actually trying for balance.'
Ummm well another way of looking at it is all three pillars use different amounts of mechanical emphasis rather naturally and also can dynamically have differing degrees of emphasis within a given campaign so its impossible to create equitable weight for the same design resource across them (allowing swap out one for the other is well only ever going to work coincidentally) and the only kind of equity achievable going to be between classes within a pillar. Of course none of that closely relates to multiclassing exactly (It's spurious).
 
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
My 10th level warlock (hexblade) just took his first level of sorcerer today (draconic bloodline). My cantrips doubled. I get +1 hit point per level now. My spell slots doubled, and I can swap them back and forth. Which is to say, I can use my 5th level Warlock spell slots to cast my scaling sorcerer spells (magic missile and witch bolt) and/or I can use my 1st level Sorcerer spell slots to cast my non-scaling warlock spells (like misty step and shield.)

So...trap sprung? I guess?
 

Big J Money

Adventurer
This is one of the problems of 3rd edition Prestige Classes... all over again. Subclasses are there to make D&D a CRPG more than a pen and paper game of imagination. They appeal to a certain sense of gamism at the expense of something else. It's not surprising. If Hasbro is going to make profit, it needs to be able to sell books that players will buy, not just GMs. And players love these crunchy options, even if (IMO) they harm the overall product quality.
 

pogre

Hero
This is one of the problems of 3rd edition Prestige Classes... all over again. Subclasses are there to make D&D a CRPG more than a pen and paper game of imagination. They appeal to a certain sense of gamism at the expense of something else. It's not surprising. If Hasbro is going to make profit, it needs to be able to sell books that players will buy, not just GMs. And players love these crunchy options, even if (IMO) they harm the overall product quality.
While I agree in regards to 3rd edition - 5th edition has seemed mostly different to me. One of the main complaints around here is how slowly WOTC introduces new player material.

WOTC has exhibited quite a bit of caution in their releases and this has helped keep the game more accessible to new players. It has also helped keep the game evergreen.

While I am a minimalists when it comes to PC options (and it sounds like you may be too), I think WOTC's current strategy has mostly worked out.

They are really walking a fine line by keeping the game accessible to new folks and satisfying folks who want every option.

YMMV, IMO, etc.
 

Mistwell

Legend
This is one of the problems of 3rd edition Prestige Classes... all over again. Subclasses are there to make D&D a CRPG more than a pen and paper game of imagination. They appeal to a certain sense of gamism at the expense of something else. It's not surprising. If Hasbro is going to make profit, it needs to be able to sell books that players will buy, not just GMs. And players love these crunchy options, even if (IMO) they harm the overall product quality.
Your post is so far from reality I question if you have even read 5e, much less played it.

Edit - I did a quick search of your posts and you recently said, " I'm running a 5E game without the PHBook and not very happy with the vague Bard writeup in the basic rules". So, I was right. You don't even have the books that have subclasses.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
This is one of the problems of 3rd edition Prestige Classes... all over again. Subclasses are there to make D&D a CRPG more than a pen and paper game of imagination. They appeal to a certain sense of gamism at the expense of something else. It's not surprising. If Hasbro is going to make profit, it needs to be able to sell books that players will buy, not just GMs. And players love these crunchy options, even if (IMO) they harm the overall product quality.
If a sense of "gamism" is the problem, the battle mat is by far the worst offender, in my opinion. We've got rules that reduce everything to 5' squares and reward board positions, we've got licensed minis and terrain, custom 3D-printed minis and terrain, we've got virtual tabletops and online subscriptions...

Subclasses might be "gamist," but they've got nothing on the battle mat.
 

Big J Money

Adventurer
Edit - I did a quick search of your posts and you recently said, " I'm running a 5E game without the PHBook and not very happy with the vague Bard writeup in the basic rules". So, I was right. You don't even have the
I own the PHBook, but I'm not using it in the LMoP campaign I'm running for some new players. I'm restricting this game to only the materials that come in the boxed starter set until they complete it. You'd be correct in guessing that I don't own other supplements, however. I certainly have not seen the full range of subclasses. My knowledge of subclasses comes from:

  • PHBook
  • Reading the names of new classes / subclasses added to books in the DnDBeyond product contents lists
  • These and other forums around the web for the last years since following the "D&D Next" beta, and reviews, etc
  • More than a dozen of my friends / co-workers who have been playing 5E since D&D Next

Even with all this exposure, I'll agree that I could be overstating the problem in my reaction to the OP. But the conclusions you draw from the info discovered in your sleuthing are nevertheless misleading. And I don't see why you find value in attempting to undermine someone's character / position on a message board about playing games.

If a sense of "gamism" is the problem
I want to make it clear that I'm not saying gamism is a problem, in general. I like your choice example however, since I run Theater of the Mind it sounds like you've got my number, to some extent ;).
 

Mistwell

Legend
I own the PHBook, but I'm not using it in the LMoP campaign I'm running for some new players. I'm restricting this game to only the materials that come in the boxed starter set until they complete it. You'd be correct in guessing that I don't own other supplements, however. I certainly have not seen the full range of subclasses. My knowledge of subclasses comes from:

  • PHBook
  • Reading the names of new classes / subclasses added to books in the DnDBeyond product contents lists
  • These and other forums around the web for the last years since following the "D&D Next" beta, and reviews, etc
  • More than a dozen of my friends / co-workers who have been playing 5E since D&D Next

Even with all this exposure, I'll agree that I could be overstating the problem in my reaction to the OP. But the conclusions you draw from the info discovered in your sleuthing are nevertheless misleading. And I don't see why you find value in attempting to undermine someone's character / position on a message board about playing games.
It's undermining your character to mention it doesn't sound like you have read the stuff you....have not read and which you admit you probably overstated the problem?

OK then.
 

Big J Money

Adventurer
My point is there are other sources of info on subclasses that do not require someone to personally own every 5E book before they are allowed to have an opinion on the subject.

I'm not admitting anything other than that I have less info than some people, and could be wrong. Since anyone could be wrong about anything, it's not much of an admission. I'm finished having this negative conversation with you and will not continue to defend myself. If your intent was to misdirect from the conversation, well played.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
My point is there are other sources of info on subclasses that do not require someone to personally own every 5E book before they are allowed to have an opinion on the subject.

I'm not admitting anything other than that I have less info than some people, and could be wrong. Since anyone could be wrong about anything, it's not much of an admission. I'm finished having this negative conversation with you and will not continue to defend myself. If your intent was to misdirect from the conversation, well played.
While, yes, it is tautologically correct to say anyone could be wrong, there's still a qualitative difference between, say, someone opining on a movie they've seen and someone opining on the same movie after only watching the teaser trailer. The relative likelihoods of being wrong vary.

Your opinion is also pretty unusual, even on a board with some strong detractors of 5e, so it's even more jarring that you've formed such an opinion with so little exposure. Hence, the pushback you're getting. I'd strongly encourage you to re-evaluate your presumption, but it's a game where your opinion doesn't impact anyone else's play so you're ultimately free to believe whatever floats your boat. I think that you'll have a very hard time enjoying 5e with your current opinions, though, so if you keep them, I'd encourage you to look for a game that better meets your needs.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Subclasses are there to make D&D a CRPG more than a pen and paper game of imagination.
I am unclear how you get to that conclusion.

They appeal to a certain sense of gamism at the expense of something else.
What is that "something else", exactly? I'm not sure I understand what you think is lost.

If Hasbro is going to make profit, it needs to be able to sell books that players will buy, not just GMs. And players love these crunchy options, even if (IMO) they harm the overall product quality.
Yes, Hasbro has to sell books.

But have you noticed how slow the release schedule is, compared to pretty much every game from 2e onwards? By comparison to prior editions, 5e is far from a flood of player-directed crunch.
 

Parmandur

Legend
In 5 years of 5E, we've seen one book with rules for "alternate campaigns", apart from the DMG, and that book is Go
Incorrect, that's precisely what Ravnica and Rising from the Last War is built to do, and Setting books as a new paradigm.

New systems are good to be released slowly. No need to be hasty.
 

Aebir-Toril

Creator of the Elfgrinder Mech
Incorrect, that's precisely what Ravnica and Rising from the Last War is built to do, and Setting books as a new paradigm.

New systems are good to be released slowly. No need to be hasty.
I actually don't own either of those books, nor am I aware of their contents, so perhaps I should have been more careful with my judgement, and the reserving of it, respectively.

Good point.
 

Parmandur

Legend
5 years is 5 years.

It's not like 5e is going to release everything any given faster-release edition did, in the same order. It's not like any of us are getting any younger, either.

Let's look at playable psionics, since we don't have that in 5e, after 5 years of waiting 26th book, by my count, even including little things like dungeon delve & races supplements. How did you double it? Include miniatures or something?

Also:

0e: 6th product released, Eldritch Wizardry Supplement III
1e: 2nd product released, Player's Handbook


5 years is 5 years. And, if Eberron, had also had the Psion, at product 13, that would have put 5e in the middle of the pack, as far as books in print before seeing psionics goes, between 3e and 2e, which, really, would be appropriate.

But 5 years is more than twice as long as any other edition took. 0e and 1e had even slower paces of publication, and they both had playable psionics, in print, a year or two in. Heck, if you don't count playable, 1e had psionics at launch.

Five Years. It's five years, no matter what how you handwave or misdirect or move the goalposts...

...and counting.
5 years is early days yet, haroom-harum, no need to be hasty.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I actually don't own either of those books, nor am I aware of their contents, so perhaps I should have been more careful with my judgement, and the reserving of it, respectively.

Good point.
The idea with 5E Setting books is to provide a genre "booster pack" to the game, to facilitate alternative campaigns with crunch and, more vitally, idea-creation engines similar to what's in the DMG. GoS is, actually, a good example of that, but Ravnica and Eberron go much bigger with both. I would recommend giving both books a check (Acquisitions Incorporated does similar work, though it is the only 5E hardcover I have avoided purchasing as it didn't speak to me).
 

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