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Survey (A5E) Survey Results #1: Broad Outlines

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
We received thousands of votes on our first survey, which addressed the broader outlines of Level Up. Thank you to everybody who participated! From the start this has been planned as a data-driven process. These results — amongst other things — help guide us as we design the game. Some folks have asked why we’ve announced this project so long before its release; it’s so that we can get data at each stage in the process, and recruit great talent for our design team (more on that later!)

Anyhow, on to the survey results! Note that these questions were intentionally broad; each of these topics can be drilled into in more detail at a later stage.

These things were very important to you
  • 100% compatibility with existing 5E material
  • Meaningful character choices at each advancement level
  • A fully fleshed out Exploration Pillar
  • A range of martial maneuvers to give non-spellcasters more options in combat
  • More ways to spend gold at higher levels
You were positive about
  • A crafting system for magic items
  • Mechanically distinctive weapons and armor
  • Culture and species being separated during character creation
  • Both a warlord class and a revised spell-less ranger
  • A more detailed skill system
You are ambivalent about
  • A setting toggle between cinematic and gritty modes
  • An overhaul of multiclassing
  • Kingdom or domain management, strongholds, and followers
  • Gaining ‘species’ features are your character advances
  • More core classes
  • A more tactical combat system
  • A full psionics system in the core rules
You do not want
  • Social combat mechanically represented
  • More core species
  • A piecemeal species-building method of character creation
  • A new initiative system
And you are polarized on
  • Prestige classes
  • An Immortal tier for levels 20-30
  • Removing alignment
  • More granularity to ability checks that advantage/disadvantage
The difference between the third (ambivalent) and last (polarized) categories is interesting. While both resulted in similar average scores, the deviation was very different. In the ambivalent category, votes were clustered around the middle of the scale, indicating no strong feelings either way. In the polarized category, votes were clustered at each end of the scale, indicating that there are two distinct, but strong-feeling camps on those topics.

The results came out mainly as we thought they would, with a couple of exceptions — we thought psionics and domain management would score higher. The latter covered a couple of different concepts, though (kingdoms, domains, strongholds, followers) so we will likely revisit that later and drill down a little more.

Thank you again for participating in the first survey. Right now we’re busy gathering our awesome design team — applications closed yesterday, and we’re sorting through a LOT of them!

Continue reading...
 

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Interesting survey, I must say.

The results came out mainly as we thought they would, with a couple of exceptions — we thought psionics and domain management would score higher.

In both cases, I don't think the issue is that people don't want them, it's that people have been burned too many times by implementations they didn't like, so aren't excited without knowing more.

I would be ambivalent about "wanting" psionics sight-unseen from a specific publisher. I want them from WotC, because I think they're an important part of D&D, but most of the 3PP systems I've seen for them have been deeply flawed (and WotC's own 5E attempts have been a mixed bag, to put it mildly), in a lot of different ways.

Similarly domain management rules - even 3PP ones people recommend tend to be pretty odd/flawed/un-fun. What the focus is and how detailed the rules are can be a huge issue, especially if rules are potentially overriding actions/roleplaying (too many, too random checks can be a big issue in this sort of system - some actions should be successful, just to a varying degree, like the Jumping rules in 5E, not like a flat Athletics check).
 



schneeland

Explorer
Just wondering: the fact that the more granular skill system does not appear in any of these lists means that people were, overall, more or less indifferent about it?
 



glass

(he, him)
That looks good! Other peoples votes seem to have been more-or-less in line with mine, which is good news for me. But of course, the devil is in the detail.

_
glass.
 

schneeland

Explorer
They were in the positive list. It got cut off — added it back in!

Thanks! Happens to be one thing I'm quite passionate about :)

Also: thanks for sharing the results! It's really interested to see the results here and being able to see a bit how A5e will take shape.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, my own preferences partly align with the majority, partly don't (similar to 5e in general). I'm really curious how some of these mechanics will end up looking like.
 


I'm a little sad about the lack of enthusiasm for psionics. It would be really nice if there was one place where I could get a variety of new subsystems for my game without having to spread out over many smaller supplements. I also echo posters above regarding a desire to spend gold, but not on any of the tradition thing barring magic items. I'm tired of trying to justify an economy that needs you to spend thousands (or tens of thousands) of gp to buy a fancy sword.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I'm interested in people wanting more ways to use gold at higher levels, but the same level of support didn't exist for crafting magic, buying/selling magic, running strongholds, etc.
Just spitballing, but maybe people are more interested in broad guidelines on the topic than a more specific deeper dive. Or there's a majority that wants A system for spending gold, but there are camps that have specific interests (some want to spend gold on magic items, others want a stronghold system instead, etc.)
 

vpuigdoller

Adventurer
We received thousands of votes on our first survey, which addressed the broader outlines of Level Up. Thank you to everybody who participated! From the start this has been planned as a data-driven process. These results — amongst other things — help guide us as we design the game. Some folks have asked why we’ve announced this project so long before its release; it’s so that we can get data at each stage in the process, and recruit great talent for our design team (more on that later!)

Anyhow, on to the survey results! Note that these questions were intentionally broad; each of these topics can be drilled into in more detail at a later stage.

These things were very important to you
  • 100% compatibility with existing 5E material
  • Meaningful character choices at each advancement level
  • A fully fleshed out Exploration Pillar
  • A range of martial maneuvers to give non-spellcasters more options in combat
  • More ways to spend gold at higher levels
You were positive about
  • A crafting system for magic items
  • Mechanically distinctive weapons and armor
  • Culture and species being separated during character creation
  • Both a warlord class and a revised spell-less ranger
  • A more detailed skill system
You are ambivalent about
  • A setting toggle between cinematic and gritty modes
  • An overhaul of multiclassing
  • Kingdom or domain management, strongholds, and followers
  • Gaining ‘species’ features are your character advances
  • More core classes
  • A more tactical combat system
  • A full psionics system in the core rules
You do not want
  • Social combat mechanically represented
  • More core species
  • A piecemeal species-building method of character creation
  • A new initiative system
And you are polarized on
  • Prestige classes
  • An Immortal tier for levels 20-30
  • Removing alignment
  • More granularity to ability checks that advantage/disadvantage
The difference between the third (ambivalent) and last (polarized) categories is interesting. While both resulted in similar average scores, the deviation was very different. In the ambivalent category, votes were clustered around the middle of the scale, indicating no strong feelings either way. In the polarized category, votes were clustered at each end of the scale, indicating that there are two distinct, but strong-feeling camps on those topics.

The results came out mainly as we thought they would, with a couple of exceptions — we thought psionics and domain management would score higher. The latter covered a couple of different concepts, though (kingdoms, domains, strongholds, followers) so we will likely revisit that later and drill down a little more.

Thank you again for participating in the first survey. Right now we’re busy gathering our awesome design team — applications closed yesterday, and we’re sorting through a LOT of them!

Continue reading...
Very different from what I voted and wanted lol. Very interesting none the less.
 

Elondir II

Villager
Looks like I'm late to the party. I currently play a stripped down Pathfinder 1e with lots of 3.5e added.

Here is what I personally want to see:

Infinite and unlimited epic levels that flow seamlessly from level 20 without a 3e style sudden change of mechanics (too much changes between levels 20 and 21 in 3e) or a PF1 mythic tier system add-on.

Multiclassing rules that allow spellcasters to keep up with single classed casters without losing the other class. Maybe an arcane trickster with 9 levels of wizard spells and +10d6 sneak attack but with fewer spells per day. Triple hybrid classes too, or at least the fighter/mage/thief and similar from AD&D.

A factotum class like in Dungeonscape. It's not OGL but really you just need a fighter/mage/cleric/rogue.

Psionics! Item creation! Strongholds! Armies! Custom airships! Kingdom ruling! Wilderness exploration! Class creation. Race creation. Guns from the 1300's up to Type 4 civilizations.

Here's why I don't play 5e:
1. They nerfed the good wizard spells into uselessness.
2. The multiclassing is underpowered.
3. Seems like magic items are too rare.
4. I like to sit down out of game and find good combinations of cherry picked class levels, prestige classes, and equipment to make characters that can fill any role at any time.
 


Lylandra

Adventurer
I'm not that surprised by psionics and Strongholds. There is an excellent 3PP book on the market about strongholds&followers and I guess that most people who are interested in these themes already got that very dedicated tome. So why try to reinvent the wheel and waste precious development time ;)

I thought psionics would end up in the polarized category though, even if I voted slightly againt it (a 3 or 4 I guess... btw I LOVED that 11 steps Likert scale). From my PoV I don't need psionics, but I don't hate it. Why I'm slightly against including it has already been said by other posters... all previous editions were either meh or broken and most players who desperately wanted to play a psionic character ended up annoying the hell out of me.

(ot wanting to rant too much or derail the thread, but there were several categories of causes of annoyance:
  • desperately wishing to play a psionic character in a specific setting where psionics has no place (and in an edition where psionics is 3PP material only). Special points for wanting to play a psionic race on top of it.
  • insisting that "nah psi is sooo different from magic and this is PSICRAFT and your magic rules don't apply to me" and pointing out that fact every other minute
  • abusing the fact that psionics is broken in a certain edition while rules-lawyering about 3PP material that clearly wasn't written for rules-lawyers
  • constantly begging the DM to give them their special psionic items that only psions can use
  • spending all their PP in a single encounter because they can heighten everything to max, then insisting on having their 3minWD
 

I'm not that surprised by psionics and Strongholds. There is an excellent 3PP book on the market about strongholds&followers and I guess that most people who are interested in these themes already got that very dedicated tome. So why try to reinvent the wheel and waste precious development time ;)

I thought psionics would end up in the polarized category though, even if I voted slightly againt it (a 3 or 4 I guess... btw I LOVED that 11 steps Likert scale). From my PoV I don't need psionics, but I don't hate it. Why I'm slightly against including it has already been said by other posters... all previous editions were either meh or broken and most players who desperately wanted to play a psionic character ended up annoying the hell out of me.

(ot wanting to rant too much or derail the thread, but there were several categories of causes of annoyance:
  • desperately wishing to play a psionic character in a specific setting where psionics has no place (and in an edition where psionics is 3PP material only). Special points for wanting to play a psionic race on top of it.
  • insisting that "nah psi is sooo different from magic and this is PSICRAFT and your magic rules don't apply to me" and pointing out that fact every other minute
  • abusing the fact that psionics is broken in a certain edition while rules-lawyering about 3PP material that clearly wasn't written for rules-lawyers
  • constantly begging the DM to give them their special psionic items that only psions can use
  • spending all their PP in a single encounter because they can heighten everything to max, then insisting on having their 3minWD
Sounds like you have had bad experiences; I'm sorry about that. Even so, psychic characters are a broadly expressed character type across a wide variety of media, and I would never want it not to be an option for players, even if I didn't like psionics (and I do).
 

It's interesting to see the results.

I think many of the ambivalent responses might be because it is either easy to house rule some of these items and for the others there is already quite a few 3PP that do this.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Matt Colville has the Strongholds & Followers pretty covered doesn’t he? So unless that product bombed(?) it would be good to focus on fresh terrain, which fortunately aligns with where most of the interest in the survey lies.
 

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