D&D 5E The Annotated PHB

Yeah, we're definitely closer to 2e feel than 3e or 4e for a lot of things with 5e. The magic items are, of course, a major component of that. For all of its good intentions in getting crafting into the hands of the players, it really screwed the pooch on how D&D played and in turning full casters into amok monsters. Returning to a structure in which magic items are benefits, not expected components of developing power, and wands are specialty combat/weird utility items rather than capable of holding any spell for cheap really resets the expectations.
One other aspect that probably doesn't get enough consideration is multiple attacks. While the 2e rules imply that you can only get one attack if you have to close, it's not very explicit. I'd wager most players assumed that fighter-types with multiple attacks got them all no matter how far they moved in their turn. Allowing that in 5e gets D&D back to that style of playing martial characters.
Removing most of the niggling little abilities given by feats (like avoiding AoO while shoving someone, or allowing someone to split their move by making an attack) also pushes us more toward a free-form combat turn where the main unit of concern - the action and maybe bonus action - is the only thing we need to really focus on, not moving around the board - something also more in keeping with 2e as it was played.
All of this contributes to why 5e is, hands down, my favorite edition. While I liked 3e and PF's upgrade to it, 2e always stayed up near the top of my list. And an edition of D&D that has a mix of modern design takes on spells and classes with expectations more like 2nd is right up my alley.
This is spot on. They shifted the focus from micro managing your position on a battle grid and returned to a more free form approach. This makes it easier to run long dungeon crawls with multiple but simpler combats. Also, it's easier to see combat as war instead of sports.
5e definitely got a lot of the AD&D feeling back... Now we just need some optional rule to remove death saves and enforce long term consequences.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Mind of tempest

(he/him)advocate for 5e psionics
I don’t think there’s really such thing as “martial players” or “caster players” most players who have played more than one or two games play characters of a variety of classes. That said, there were definitely fans of the simple fighter who pushed for that, and fans of the complex fighter who pushed for that. The result was the current 5e fighter which has a bit more complexity at base than the AD&D Fighter but far less than the 4e fighter, and subclass options with varying degrees of additional complexity. Pretty reasonable compromise, I’d say.
honestly, the game would be better if we had a complex fighter and simple fighter as different classes, given the ranger was originally using magic to simulate it and barbarian is little more than a background plus rage both could be killed and merged into the two fighters for the best possible option.
Hey, I'm a powergamer, and I want to solve the Linear-Fighter Quadratic-Wizard problem, as do all of my powergamer players and friends. Don't blame us, blame the suckers who can't bother to learn how to do more than roll 2 dice per turn for the problem coming back.
have you considered wanting a simple and elegant solution as being overwhelmed is bad game design?
This is spot on. They shifted the focus from micro managing your position on a battle grid and returned to a more free form approach. This makes it easier to run long dungeon crawls with multiple but simpler combats. Also, it's easier to see combat as war instead of sports.
5e definitely got a lot of the AD&D feeling back... Now we just need some optional rule to remove death saves and enforce long term consequences.
so a grit and fear mode?
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Considering how typically games don't reach that high level, I think having 4 options per decision point for the first two levels (so 4 At-Will, 4 Encoutner, 4 Daily and 4 Utilities) would have been good enough to help differientate characters early on and with the other decison points being relegated to 2 per level. And you should have been able to just pick up more uses of lower level powers instead of picking up a new ones.
I sometimes wonder if the reason why WotC doesn't write games for higher level is that they're still used to 1-3e, where there were monsters aplenty that would eat your levels and so it was slightly more common that PCs would get remain lower-leveled for long periods of time.
 


Reynard

Legend
Get the 13th Age book. It's full of sidebars about designer choices, hacking rules, places the two designers disagreed and alternate ways to go, why some rules were implemented and their game effects, and the like.
But I'm not playing 13th Age.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I sometimes wonder if the reason why WotC doesn't write games for higher level is that they're still used to 1-3e, where there were monsters aplenty that would eat your levels and so it was slightly more common that PCs would get remain lower-leveled for long periods of time.
Or the heaps of survey data telling them most games don’t last that long.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
But I'm not playing 13th Age.
Sure, it's an example of annotating a rule book done right.

(And as a side note you might enjoy 13th Age. It's a d20 that came out not long before 5e from lead developers of 3ed and 4e, but has more in common with 5e in terms of streamlining. It's a "love letter to D&D" that they wanted to play in their own Wed night campaign. It's more narrative and a bit more gamist than 5e.)
 

Mind of tempest

(he/him)advocate for 5e psionics
Or the heaps of survey data telling them most games don’t last that long.
I get the feeling most games do not last that long out of the mix of insane scheduling and the lack of high-level content that is pre-built thus it is both hard to get there and people do not get to start there either.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I get the feeling most games do not last that long out of the mix of insane scheduling
Life happens. Not everyone has the time to block 4-6 hours of play plus travel time every week, every fortnight, or even every month.
and the lack of high-level content that is pre-built thus it is both hard to get there
It all depends on how strict you're being about officially published by WotC and published explicitly for 5th Edition and what you mean by high-level content. Eleven of the official WotC modules go past 10th level. Six go to at least 15th. Only one goes to 20th. Some Adventurer's League stuff goes as high as 16th. It's trivial to convert TSR and WotC modules to 5th Edition, so there's about 47 years worth of modules to choose from. To say nothing of all the 3PP out there.

But if we're being honest. There's a clear and obvious in-game reason WotC doesn't put out much above 16th level. Wish. There's a reason Dungeon of the Mad Mage had paragraph after paragraph about how various high-level spells simply didn't work. It literally couldn't if there was any hope of the dungeon being a challenge. High-level magic is synonymous with game breaking magic. The higher the level the harder it is to challenge the party and the easier it is to trivialize whatever content you put in front of them. The DMG describes high level characters as literally fighting gods. Writing a canned module for that isn't the easiest thing to do. And just as there's a clear and obvious in-game reason, there's a clear and obvious out-of-game reason...as their surveys suggest, there's not a lot of call for high-level content...so they don't bother writing any because it would only sell a fraction of what their regular, lower-level modules sell. And they are a business after all.
people do not get to start there either.
That's up to individual DMs. There's rules for starting at higher levels in the DMG, p38.
 

Mind of tempest

(he/him)advocate for 5e psionics
Life happens. Not everyone has the time to block 4-6 hours of play plus travel time every week, every fortnight, or even every month.

It all depends on how strict you're being about officially published by WotC and published explicitly for 5th Edition and what you mean by high-level content. Eleven of the official WotC modules go past 10th level. Six go to at least 15th. Only one goes to 20th. Some Adventurer's League stuff goes as high as 16th. It's trivial to convert TSR and WotC modules to 5th Edition, so there's about 47 years worth of modules to choose from. To say nothing of all the 3PP out there.

But if we're being honest. There's a clear and obvious in-game reason WotC doesn't put out much above 16th level. Wish. There's a reason Dungeon of the Mad Mage had paragraph after paragraph about how various high-level spells simply didn't work. It literally couldn't if there was any hope of the dungeon being a challenge. High-level magic is synonymous with game breaking magic. The higher the level the harder it is to challenge the party and the easier it is to trivialize whatever content you put in front of them. The DMG describes high level characters as literally fighting gods. Writing a canned module for that isn't the easiest thing to do. And just as there's a clear and obvious in-game reason, there's a clear and obvious out-of-game reason...as their surveys suggest, there's not a lot of call for high-level content...so they don't bother writing any because it would only sell a fraction of what their regular, lower-level modules sell. And they are a business after all.

That's up to individual DMs. There's rules for starting at higher levels in the DMG, p38.
not everyone is good at conversion nor do many dm know much about the past options, plus why not have them make us a ten to 20 adventure it might be fun.
 

Remove ads

Top