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Survey (A5E) Survey Results #1: Broad Outlines

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
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.

It did not bomb, but it was a little far from what some expected. The rules were ok, but they did not mix that well with the 5e rules. Like the Followers have a special ways of gaining level, use wounds thresholds to instead of hp etc. Also some rules entry only point you to rules that are not in the book and will be covered in a OTHER book that is not yet finished. Also, the strongholds and their benefit to the classes were pretty unbalanced.

Its not bad and its pretty usable, but it feels like its own system that happens to sometime use a d20.

I think A5E could do a LOT better by using the rules from 5e and have the retainer/domain rules interact in meaningful ways with them.

My idea would be to use the ship rules for strongholds, having them have the same stats as a character and a bunch of different parts that can be manned to use different actions during a fight and using the Mob rules from the DMG to represent the different units of an army.
 
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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.
I know there is an Eberron 3PP on DMguilds that does that for Psionics. But it would still be nice to see a professional take on the 5E Psionics rules. And Enworld is full of professionals.
 

Vrecknidj

Explorer
And you are polarized on
  • Prestige classes
  • An Immortal tier for levels 20-30
  • Removing alignment
  • More granularity to ability checks that advantage/disadvantage
...
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.

Perhaps this suggests that any of these items that had a big cluster of support could be created and offered as supplementary material (much like Sanity in the DMG).
 

aco175

Legend
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.
Welcome to the boards, we take all.

A lot of what you are talking about is far from how I play, but we ca agree on some things.
 

Nebulous

Legend
It did bomb, but it was a little far from what some expected. The rules were ok, but they did not mix that well with the 5e rules. Like the Followers have a special ways of gaining level, use wounds thresholds to instead of hp etc. Also some rules entry only point you to rules that are not in the book and will be covered in a OTHER book that is not yet finished. Also, the strongholds and their benefit to the classes were pretty unbalanced.

Its not bad and its pretty usable, but it feels like its own system that happens to sometime use a d20.

I think A5E could do a LOT better by using the rules from 5e and have the retainer/domain rules interact in meaningful ways with them.

My idea would be to use the ship rules for strongholds, having them have the same stats as a character and a bunch of different parts that can be manned to use different actions during a fight and using the Mob rules from the DMG to represent the different units of an army.
I haven't actually used the rules from Strongholds but I thought it was an incredibly well made product. I could see a DM running a campaign with just that book. AD&D doesn't have the space to fit an entire sourcebook of rules under the hood.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I could see a DM running a campaign with just that book

Well, this is exactly my point, it feels more like a stand-alone system that could be run by itself or glued to any other system than a book expending the core 5e to include stronghold and retainers in this edition. Not that it does not do what it says on the tin; I think it work well enough.

Its also very simple and elegant, so its easy to learn and use. I think A5E should aim at that level of simplicity for Stronghold and retainers. I does not requires 200 pages to have a quick and dirty rule for those.

For example, in my own game, this is the rules I uses for companions (aka sidekicks) and retainers (aka hirelings).
Its a mix of the new rules most recent UAs use for summons and pet classes, a reprint of the Loyalty and Morale rules.

Companions and Retainers
On your adventures, the DM might reveal that you've befriended a special character called a companion, who joins your party.

Companion: Companions are loyal friends of the adventurer; they are not paid to join your adventure. They use the following rules:

  • The companion is generally a creature of CR 1 or lower.
  • Add your proficiency bonus to the companion’s weapon attack rolls, spell attack rolls and DC and all proficient rolls if it is higher than the creature’s own proficiency bonus.
  • Its HP maximum equals the companion’s CON modifier + one of your modifiers (generally, CHA for humanoids) + five times your class level and 1 Healing die (generally d8s) for each of your character level.
  • The only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take one of the actions in its stat block or to take the Dash, Disengage, Help, or Hide action.
  • The companion uses the normal rules for healing and dying.
  • The companion gains all its racial specific features if its ancestry is different than the one in its stat block . As an example, NPC guard, written as Humanoid (any) , can be a dwarven guard or a gnome guard, gaining the special traits of the race.

Retainer: Retainers are mercenaries, skilled artisans, pages and torchbearers paid to follow the party. Retainers use a regular NPC blocks; they never advance while adventuring. At the DM’s discretion, a retainer can become a Companion after a time or special circumstances. Generally, a retainer costs 2 gp per day + 1 gp x its CR. When the party member who hired them falls to 0 HP, all retainers must check for morale or disband.

Loyalty
Loyalty is used to track Companions and Retainers fidelity towards you.

Loyalty score: An NPC's loyalty is measured on a numerical scale from 0 to 20. The NPC's maximum loyalty score is equal to the highest Charisma score among all adventurers in the party, and its starting loyalty score is half that number. If the highest Charisma score changes—perhaps a character dies or leaves the group-adjust the NPC's loyalty score accordingly.

Tracking loyalty: The DM keeps track of an NPC's loyalty score in secret so that the players won't know for sure whether an NPC party member is loyal or disloyal (even if the NPC is currently under a player's control).

An NPC's loyalty score increases by 1d4 if other party members help the NPC achieve a goal tied to its bond. Likewise, an NPC's loyalty score increases by 1d4 if the NPC is treated particularly well (for example, given a magic weapon as a gift) or rescued by another party member. An NPC 's loyalty score can never be raised above its maximum.

When other party members act in a manner that runs counter to the NPC's alignment or bond, reduce the PC's loyalty score by 1d4. Reduce the NPC's loyalty score by 2d4 if the character is abused, misled, or endangered by other party members for purely selfish reasons.

An NPC whose loyalty score drops to 0 is no longer loyal to the party and might part ways with them. A loyalty score can never drop below 0.

An NPC with a loyalty score of 10 or higher risks life and limb to help fellow party members. If the NPC's loyalty score is between 1 and 10, its loyalty is tenuous. An NPC whose loyalty drops to 0 no longer acts in the party's best interests. The disloyal NPC either leaves the party (attacking characters who attempt to intervene) or works in secret to bring about the party's downfall.

Morale
Some combatants might run away when a fight turns against them. The DM use this rule to help determine when monsters and NPCs, including Companions and Retainers, flee.

A creature might flee under any of the following circumstances:
  • The creature is surprised.
  • The creature is reduced to half its hit points or fewer for the first time in the battle.
  • The creature has no way to harm the opposing side on its turn.

A group of creatures might flee under any of the following circumstances:
  • All the creatures in the group are surprised.
  • The group's leader is reduced to 0 hit points, incapacitated, taken prisoner, or removed from battle.
  • The group is reduced to half its original size with no losses on the opposing side.

To determine whether a creature or group of creatures flees, the DM makes a DC 10 WIS save for the creature or the group's leader. If the opposition is overwhelming, the save is made with disadvantage. If a group's leader can't make the saving throw for whatever reason, the creature in the group with the next highest CHA score make the saving throw instead.

On a failed save, the affected creature or group flees by the most expeditious route. If escape is impossible, the creature or group surrenders. If a creature or group that surrenders is attacked by its conquerors, the battle might resume, and it's unlikely that further attempts to flee or surrender will be made.

A failed save isn't always to the adventurers' benefit. For example, an ogre that flees from combat might put the rest of the dungeon on alert or run off with treasure that the characters had hoped to plunder.

It works well for what I've seen at my table.

For strongholds I would definitely base myself on the Ships rules, change a few things are you're all set.

change any mention of ''ship'' to stronghold.
A ship's stat block gives game details for use when a ship is involved in combat or other situations where its defensive and offensive capabilities are relevant. The stat block has three main parts: basic statistics, action options, and the ship's components.

Ships can't take any actions on their own. Without any effort from its crew Regent, a ship might drift on the water, come to a stop, or careen out of control.

Basic Statistics
Size
Most ships are Large, Huge, or Gargantuan. A ship's size category is determined by its length or width, whichever is longer. For instance, a ship that is 10 feet long and 20 feet wide would use the size category that has a 20-foot width, which means the ship is Gargantuan.
Space
A ship doesn't have a square space unless its stat block specifies otherwise. For example, a ship that is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide occupies a 20-by-10-foot space.
A ship can't move into a space that is too small to accommodate it. If it tries to do so, it crashes, as described later in the "Crashing" section.
Capacity
A ship's stat block indicates how many creatures and how much cargo it can carry. Creatures include both the crew required to operate the vessel and any passengers who might ride along. Passengers could include marines who repel boarders and lead the attack on monsters and enemy ships.
Travel Pace
A ship's travel pace determines how far the vessel can move per hour and per day. A ship's movement-related components (described later in the stat block) determine how far the vessel can move each round.

Ability Scores
A ship has the six ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) and corresponding modifiers. A ship's Strength represents its size and weight. Dexterity represents a ship's ease of handling. A ship's Constitution covers its durability and the quality of its construction. Ships usually have a score of 0 in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
If a ship has a 0 in a score, it automatically fails any ability check or saving throw that uses that score.
Vulnerabilities, Resistances, and Immunities
A ship's vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities apply to all its components, unless otherwise noted in the stat block.
Typical Ship Immunities
If you're creating your own ship, they're usually immune to poison and psychic damage. Ones crafted from metal or stone are also typically immune to necrotic damage. They are also usually immune to the following conditions: blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned, and unconscious.

Components
A ship is composed of different components:
  • Hull Walls: A ship's hull is its basic frame, on which the other components are mounted.
  • Control War table: A control component is used to control a ship.
  • Movement A movement component is the element of the ship that enables it to move, such as a set of sails or oars.
  • Weapon: A ship capable of being used in combat has one or more weapon components, each of which is operated separately.
A ship's component might have special rules, as described in the stat block.
Armor Class
A component has an Armor Class. Its AC is meant to reflect its size, the materials used to construct it, and any defensive plating or armor used to augment its toughness.
Hit Points
A ship component is destroyed and becomes unusable when it drops to 0 hit points. A ship is wrecked if its hull is destroyed. A ship component does not have Hit Dice.
Damage Threshold
If a ship component has a damage threshold, that threshold appears after its hit points. A component has immunity to all damage unless it takes an amount of damage equal to or greater than its damage threshold, in which case it takes damage as normal. Any damage that fails to meet or exceed the damage threshold is considered superficial and doesn't reduce the component's hit points.
Actions
This part of the stat block specifies what the ship can do on its turn, using its special actions rather than the actions used by creatures. It even relies on its actions to move; it doesn't have a move otherwise.

Add a few examples of a few stronghold, reprint the rules for ''Managing ships'' as ''Managing an Hold'', reprint siege weapons from the DMG, and reprint the rules for Mutiny and other events.

As for the army battle, use the Handling Mobs from DMG p.250. Create units of up to 100 creatures divided by type using the NPC or Creatures statblock, pooling the HP of each creature making the unit and treat each mob as one creature. Each time a unit takes damage equal to one composing creature's HP, it loses 1 creature. Since the Stronghold and other units or creatures uses the same basic stats (AC, Saves, attack rolls etc), its easy to represent a mob/army of 60 orcs attacking a Bastion or a Adult red dragons!
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Perhaps this suggests that any of these items that had a big cluster of support could be created and offered as supplementary material (much like Sanity in the DMG).
I think that’s the best way to go with polarizing material. People who want it really want it, people who don’t really don’t. So including it as an optional toggle that people can use or not use as they like is probably the best way to satisfy both camps.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
It's strange that the tactical combat module came in so low on the surveys. I thought that was the primary focus and theme of the entire project?
Nah, the pitch was “5e but a bit crunchier,” and it seems that the people who are interested in such a project mostly want more character customization options in a level by level basis over tactical combat. Which is unsurprising to me, as part of 5e’s identity is user-friendliness and ease of use. The folks who like 5e but would like some more crunch in it probably like the simplicity of 5e combat (though they wouldn’t be opposed to more tactical options if done well), but they’re really frustrated with how cookie-cutter 5e’s character builds are.
 

Retreater

Legend
Nah, the pitch was “5e but a bit crunchier,” and it seems that the people who are interested in such a project mostly want more character customization options in a level by level basis over tactical combat. Which is unsurprising to me, as part of 5e’s identity is user-friendliness and ease of use. The folks who like 5e but would like some more crunch in it probably like the simplicity of 5e combat (though they wouldn’t be opposed to more tactical options if done well), but they’re really frustrated with how cookie-cutter 5e’s character builds are.
My take on it would've been that there are plenty of character options from 3PP sources, such as EN Publishing's Masterclass Codex. The tactical combat option is something that just isn't in the core 5E experience, despite it being an original design goal of D&D Next. It's honestly the thing my group misses the most (and one of the things pushing us to PF2).
I guess I don't see the point of "ease of use" in an advanced rules module. Survey says I'm in the minority. Haha
 

It's strange that the tactical combat module came in so low on the surveys. I thought that was the primary focus and theme of the entire project?
ambivalent is just kinda neutral. 4e was extremely tactical, but they got the balance wrong & put tactical combat over too many other areas. It's not hard to have a more tactical game that also improves on many of 5e's other faults because 5e sets the tactical dial to near zero & fights attempts to put it back in
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
My take on it would've been that there are plenty of character options from 3PP sources, such as EN Publishing's Masterclass Codex.
Character options don’t address the core issue. You can add all the 3rd party classes, subclasses, and races you want, it won’t fix the fact that the only real build decisions you make for a 5e character are class, subclass, and race. The demand for “5e but a bit crunchier” comes in huge part from a demand for character build decision points beyond 1st level, which just isn’t doable without changing the base class structure of 5e.

The tactical combat option is something that just isn't in the core 5E experience, despite it being an original design goal of D&D Next. It's honestly the thing my group misses the most (and one of the things pushing us to PF2).
I guess I don't see the point of "ease of use" in an advanced rules module. Survey says I'm in the minority. Haha
If I didn’t care about ease of use, I’d be playing PF2. It has the character build flexibility that I and many others feel 5e is sorely lacking. But it’s still a horrible, cumbersome mess of circumstantial +1s and temporary -2s and corner cases and exceptions that make it a chore to actually run. A5E seems to be targeting those of us who want the character customizability of PF2 or 4e, with the smooth, easy play of 5e.
 

maxspire

Villager
As a product designer (not a game designer, however), I'd just like to gently remind you, the developers, that people are notoriously bad at predicting what they actually want. If they were any good at that, they'd make the products themselves.

If you think tactical combat is what's needed, then put it in. If you think realm management can be fun if implemented correctly, then implement it the way you think is best. You have no idea how many times I've handed products to people who swore up-and-down they did not want this or that feature, only to have them rate that feature as the thing they loved the most ("I didn't know I needed this, but I did!").

Not saying you shouldn't take people's opinions into account, but do that during play testing, not while you're building your scrum board or feature wishlist.
 

Well, this is exactly my point, it feels more like a stand-alone system that could be run by itself or glued to any other system than a book expending the core 5e to include stronghold and retainers in this edition. Not that it does not do what it says on the tin; I think it work well enough.

Its also very simple and elegant, so its easy to learn and use. I think A5E should aim at that level of simplicity for Stronghold and retainers. I does not requires 200 pages to have a quick and dirty rule for those.

For example, in my own game, this is the rules I uses for companions (aka sidekicks) and retainers (aka hirelings).
Its a mix of the new rules most recent UAs use for summons and pet classes, a reprint of the Loyalty and Morale rules.

Companions and Retainers
On your adventures, the DM might reveal that you've befriended a special character called a companion, who joins your party.

Companion: Companions are loyal friends of the adventurer; they are not paid to join your adventure. They use the following rules:

  • The companion is generally a creature of CR 1 or lower.
  • Add your proficiency bonus to the companion’s weapon attack rolls, spell attack rolls and DC and all proficient rolls if it is higher than the creature’s own proficiency bonus.
  • Its HP maximum equals the companion’s CON modifier + one of your modifiers (generally, CHA for humanoids) + five times your class level and 1 Healing die (generally d8s) for each of your character level.
  • The only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take one of the actions in its stat block or to take the Dash, Disengage, Help, or Hide action.
  • The companion uses the normal rules for healing and dying.
  • The companion gains all its racial specific features if its ancestry is different than the one in its stat block . As an example, NPC guard, written as Humanoid (any) , can be a dwarven guard or a gnome guard, gaining the special traits of the race.

Retainer: Retainers are mercenaries, skilled artisans, pages and torchbearers paid to follow the party. Retainers use a regular NPC blocks; they never advance while adventuring. At the DM’s discretion, a retainer can become a Companion after a time or special circumstances. Generally, a retainer costs 2 gp per day + 1 gp x its CR. When the party member who hired them falls to 0 HP, all retainers must check for morale or disband.

Loyalty
Loyalty is used to track Companions and Retainers fidelity towards you.

Loyalty score: An NPC's loyalty is measured on a numerical scale from 0 to 20. The NPC's maximum loyalty score is equal to the highest Charisma score among all adventurers in the party, and its starting loyalty score is half that number. If the highest Charisma score changes—perhaps a character dies or leaves the group-adjust the NPC's loyalty score accordingly.

Tracking loyalty: The DM keeps track of an NPC's loyalty score in secret so that the players won't know for sure whether an NPC party member is loyal or disloyal (even if the NPC is currently under a player's control).

An NPC's loyalty score increases by 1d4 if other party members help the NPC achieve a goal tied to its bond. Likewise, an NPC's loyalty score increases by 1d4 if the NPC is treated particularly well (for example, given a magic weapon as a gift) or rescued by another party member. An NPC 's loyalty score can never be raised above its maximum.

When other party members act in a manner that runs counter to the NPC's alignment or bond, reduce the PC's loyalty score by 1d4. Reduce the NPC's loyalty score by 2d4 if the character is abused, misled, or endangered by other party members for purely selfish reasons.

An NPC whose loyalty score drops to 0 is no longer loyal to the party and might part ways with them. A loyalty score can never drop below 0.

An NPC with a loyalty score of 10 or higher risks life and limb to help fellow party members. If the NPC's loyalty score is between 1 and 10, its loyalty is tenuous. An NPC whose loyalty drops to 0 no longer acts in the party's best interests. The disloyal NPC either leaves the party (attacking characters who attempt to intervene) or works in secret to bring about the party's downfall.

Morale
Some combatants might run away when a fight turns against them. The DM use this rule to help determine when monsters and NPCs, including Companions and Retainers, flee.

A creature might flee under any of the following circumstances:
  • The creature is surprised.
  • The creature is reduced to half its hit points or fewer for the first time in the battle.
  • The creature has no way to harm the opposing side on its turn.

A group of creatures might flee under any of the following circumstances:
  • All the creatures in the group are surprised.
  • The group's leader is reduced to 0 hit points, incapacitated, taken prisoner, or removed from battle.
  • The group is reduced to half its original size with no losses on the opposing side.

To determine whether a creature or group of creatures flees, the DM makes a DC 10 WIS save for the creature or the group's leader. If the opposition is overwhelming, the save is made with disadvantage. If a group's leader can't make the saving throw for whatever reason, the creature in the group with the next highest CHA score make the saving throw instead.

On a failed save, the affected creature or group flees by the most expeditious route. If escape is impossible, the creature or group surrenders. If a creature or group that surrenders is attacked by its conquerors, the battle might resume, and it's unlikely that further attempts to flee or surrender will be made.

A failed save isn't always to the adventurers' benefit. For example, an ogre that flees from combat might put the rest of the dungeon on alert or run off with treasure that the characters had hoped to plunder.

It works well for what I've seen at my table.

For strongholds I would definitely base myself on the Ships rules, change a few things are you're all set.

change any mention of ''ship'' to stronghold.
A ship's stat block gives game details for use when a ship is involved in combat or other situations where its defensive and offensive capabilities are relevant. The stat block has three main parts: basic statistics, action options, and the ship's components.

Ships can't take any actions on their own. Without any effort from its crew Regent, a ship might drift on the water, come to a stop, or careen out of control.

Basic Statistics
Size
Most ships are Large, Huge, or Gargantuan. A ship's size category is determined by its length or width, whichever is longer. For instance, a ship that is 10 feet long and 20 feet wide would use the size category that has a 20-foot width, which means the ship is Gargantuan.
Space
A ship doesn't have a square space unless its stat block specifies otherwise. For example, a ship that is 20 feet long and 10 feet wide occupies a 20-by-10-foot space.
A ship can't move into a space that is too small to accommodate it. If it tries to do so, it crashes, as described later in the "Crashing" section.
Capacity
A ship's stat block indicates how many creatures and how much cargo it can carry. Creatures include both the crew required to operate the vessel and any passengers who might ride along. Passengers could include marines who repel boarders and lead the attack on monsters and enemy ships.
Travel Pace
A ship's travel pace determines how far the vessel can move per hour and per day. A ship's movement-related components (described later in the stat block) determine how far the vessel can move each round.

Ability Scores
A ship has the six ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma) and corresponding modifiers. A ship's Strength represents its size and weight. Dexterity represents a ship's ease of handling. A ship's Constitution covers its durability and the quality of its construction. Ships usually have a score of 0 in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
If a ship has a 0 in a score, it automatically fails any ability check or saving throw that uses that score.
Vulnerabilities, Resistances, and Immunities
A ship's vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities apply to all its components, unless otherwise noted in the stat block.
Typical Ship Immunities
If you're creating your own ship, they're usually immune to poison and psychic damage. Ones crafted from metal or stone are also typically immune to necrotic damage. They are also usually immune to the following conditions: blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned, and unconscious.

Components
A ship is composed of different components:
  • Hull Walls: A ship's hull is its basic frame, on which the other components are mounted.
  • Control War table: A control component is used to control a ship.
  • Movement A movement component is the element of the ship that enables it to move, such as a set of sails or oars.
  • Weapon: A ship capable of being used in combat has one or more weapon components, each of which is operated separately.
A ship's component might have special rules, as described in the stat block.
Armor Class
A component has an Armor Class. Its AC is meant to reflect its size, the materials used to construct it, and any defensive plating or armor used to augment its toughness.
Hit Points
A ship component is destroyed and becomes unusable when it drops to 0 hit points. A ship is wrecked if its hull is destroyed. A ship component does not have Hit Dice.
Damage Threshold
If a ship component has a damage threshold, that threshold appears after its hit points. A component has immunity to all damage unless it takes an amount of damage equal to or greater than its damage threshold, in which case it takes damage as normal. Any damage that fails to meet or exceed the damage threshold is considered superficial and doesn't reduce the component's hit points.
Actions
This part of the stat block specifies what the ship can do on its turn, using its special actions rather than the actions used by creatures. It even relies on its actions to move; it doesn't have a move otherwise.

Add a few examples of a few stronghold, reprint the rules for ''Managing ships'' as ''Managing an Hold'', reprint siege weapons from the DMG, and reprint the rules for Mutiny and other events.

As for the army battle, use the Handling Mobs from DMG p.250. Create units of up to 100 creatures divided by type using the NPC or Creatures statblock, pooling the HP of each creature making the unit and treat each mob as one creature. Each time a unit takes damage equal to one composing creature's HP, it loses 1 creature. Since the Stronghold and other units or creatures uses the same basic stats (AC, Saves, attack rolls etc), its easy to represent a mob/army of 60 orcs attacking a Bastion or a Adult red dragons!
What is the benefit of having a special statblock for a new companion, versus playing two characters?
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
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.
Right, and his next book expands on that.

I don't get the gold thing at all. Either stop giving it, or make something up. There's nothing mechanical about it. And, while there are a ton of great psionics books, it works be nice to have one source, but if there is need to cut, don't do it!
 

If I didn’t care about ease of use, I’d be playing PF2. It has the character build flexibility that I and many others feel 5e is sorely lacking. But it’s still a horrible, cumbersome mess of circumstantial +1s and temporary -2s and corner cases and exceptions that make it a chore to actually run. A5E seems to be targeting those of us who want the character customizability of PF2 or 4e, with the smooth, easy play of 5e.
In other words, the decision points in PF are for a design space that is too small? And they feel too fiddly, requiring continual attention for microfeatures that feel inconsequential?

I suppose this is a matter of taste, some players seem to like fiddly "ribbons".

But I personally agree with the need for bigger blocks of features, that feel more substantial and conceptually developed. In my view, 5e gets it right with the design space of: +2 or feat, or +1 and halffeat, or two +1s or two halffeats.

If a fiddler wants to spend a halffeat on an assortment of fiddly ribbons, that is fine too.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
As a product designer (not a game designer, however), I'd just like to gently remind you, the developers, that people are notoriously bad at predicting what they actually want. If they were any good at that, they'd make the products themselves.

If you think tactical combat is what's needed, then put it in. If you think realm management can be fun if implemented correctly, then implement it the way you think is best. You have no idea how many times I've handed products to people who swore up-and-down they did not want this or that feature, only to have them rate that feature as the thing they loved the most ("I didn't know I needed this, but I did!").

Not saying you shouldn't take people's opinions into account, but do that during play testing, not while you're building your scrum board or feature wishlist.
That's my experience as a product manager also. A well done product you are passionate about is better than give them what they want.....
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
What is the benefit of having a special statblock for a new companion, versus playing two characters?

simplicity, mostly. Using a stablock such a the Battle smith's steel defender or giving an increasing HP and proficiency bonus to an existing statblock is simpler than playing a second character with 20 levels worth of features.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
In other words, the decision points in PF are for a design space that is too small? And they feel too fiddly, requiring continual attention for microfeatures that feel inconsequential?
Yes, and... I recall in the PF2 handbook a formula for the core roll that was something along the lines of d20 + ability modifier + proficiency bonus + circumstance bonus + status bonus + item bonus - (circumstance penalty + status penalty + item penalty + all untyped penalties) = result. That’s a lot of fiddly math to do every time you roll a d20. In 5e, you do d20 + ability modifier + proficiency bonus and sometimes + item bonus. All the rest of that crap gets rolled into setting the DC, and you can add advantage or disadvantage for an additional circumstantial bonus/penalty if necessary. Much simpler, much smoother.

On top of that, PF2 has a whole table for setting DCs based on level, with another table you have to cross-reference it with for modifiers based on difficulty... Again, way more work than should need to be done to determine a target number. 5e just says an easy task is DC 10, Medium is 15, Hard is 20, pick one and let bounded accuracy do the rest of the work.

Oh, and in PF2 you add your level to basically every d20 roll (except untrained rolls) and DCs and monster ACs scale accordingly, which I’ve hated ever since 4e as it’s just useless numbers inflation and creates a bonus treadmill. 5e again answers that with bounded accuracy.

I suppose this is a matter of taste, some players seem to like fiddly "ribbons".

But I personally agree with the need for bigger blocks of features, that feel more substantial and conceptually developed. In my view, 5e gets it right with the design space of: +2 or feat, or +1 and halffeat, or two +1s or two halffeats.

If a fiddler wants to spend a halffeat on an assortment of fiddly ribbons, that is fine too.
Yeah, it’s good that fiddly systems exist for the folks who like to fiddle. But it’s frustrating that there isn’t an option for folks like me who can’t stand that stuff but do still want a high degree of character customizability. Doubly frustrating that when I express a desire for more customizability people tell me “PF2 already exists.” Hopefully A5E will hit the sweet spot. We will see.
 

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