D&D 5E The Greatest Thing about 5e


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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
While in theory movement no longer requiring an action is a good thing, in practice I haven't seen it matter very much. Monsters and players base each other and swing away until one or the other falls down. While it's cool that you can break up your movement, there has to be a reason to do that, and most of the time, it's just not there.

I suppose the DM could add in some kind of trap or trick that forces people to keep moving every turn, like magic runes on the ground that go off after a few seconds, or floors that move like a conveyor belt that turn combat into a confusing game of Robo Rally, but outside of that, the reason to move is generally something like a control spell that burns you for staying in a particular spot.

In combat, melee wants to move to attack and stays there until they need a new victim. Clerics want to get the most amount of bad guys in their point defense laser field...I mean spirit guardians. And just about everyone else is ranged and only moves if a melee enemy bases them and they're not Warlocks or don't have Crossbow Expert.

But that's just my experience.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I don't find in all the 5e I played that OAs slow up things. Often tactical to provoke one so a fellow team member won't do so.

Which makes me think of a third great point. It is much more of a team game then ever before, IME. Player A setting up for player B and player C.
I found the team play to be stronger in 4e, at least in combat - the combat roles were designed specifically to support each other. But 5e is still miles ahead of 3e in that department. AD&D and BD&D are different beasts than WotC D&D, and it’s kind of apples to oranges in my opinion.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
While in theory movement no longer requiring an action is a good thing, in practice I haven't seen it matter very much. Monsters and players base each other and swing away until one or the other falls down. While it's cool that you can break up your movement, there has to be a reason to do that, and most of the time, it's just not there.

I suppose the DM could add in some kind of trap or trick that forces people to keep moving every turn, like magic runes on the ground that go off after a few seconds, or floors that move like a conveyor belt that turn combat into a confusing game of Robo Rally, but outside of that, the reason to move is generally something like a control spell that burns you for staying in a particular spot.

In combat, melee wants to move to attack and stays there until they need a new victim. Clerics want to get the most amount of bad guys in their point defense laser field...I mean spirit guardians. And just about everyone else is ranged and only moves if a melee enemy bases them and they're not Warlocks or don't have Crossbow Expert.

But that's just my experience.
If anything 5e actually takes steps to minimize movement in combat over past editions
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I threw together that simple fight with 3 basic skeletons (1/2/3), a minotaur skeleton/ogre zombie (4/5) & a necromancer (top) against two PCs already in the room(bottom)
  • With move based AoOs of old the PCs would be encouraged to thread the gap wayyy over to the right of #5 or at least one if not both PCs stop to stomp one of the 3 basic skeletons so the other(s) could move on the caster.
    • Not doing that could suck up a lot of AoOs from each 5 foot square of movement starting as soon as they are in reach of the opponent they will now fight while moving 1 5foot square/round to avoid AoOs as monsters close. Skeletons are a bad monster due to being so weak, but that could potentially result in the bad guys being rushed getting off more attacks in one round than the combat might otherwise last
  • Whatever the PCs do the PCs would want to consider things like one of the PCs holding back to serve as a speedbump in some fashion that keeps the unengaged monsters from charging the squishies about to come through the door or at least ensure that they suffer some AoOs for doing so

  • In 5e.. whatever charge the necromancer & maybe one player will suffer one AoO if it hits. That hit is a lot less concerning than any one attack or AoO before though simply because recovery is now trivial & the risk of death in combat is almost nonexistent vrs before when you went to negative hp & had to heal each point of damage.

So now you wind up with six ogre zombies making a mildly less porous wall or a giant moshpit of a combat that explodes in an AoE it set itself up for in an effort to make the necromancer last more than a round & the necromancer needs a much better statblock too since it's going to be the easiest & most obvious target. Alternately you just give up & send a lamb to an instagib slaughter like the recent vecna room is set to do.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
While in theory movement no longer requiring an action is a good thing, in practice I haven't seen it matter very much. Monsters and players base each other and swing away until one or the other falls down. While it's cool that you can break up your movement, there has to be a reason to do that, and most of the time, it's just not there.
My group at the time and I utilized the heck out of the ability to break up our movement during the D&D Next open playtest, but I’ve found my current players do it a lot less in 5e. I’m not sure if that’s just because it was so novel at the time, or if something changed mechanically that made it less useful… I do remember there used to be a rogue ability or feat or something that let you remain hidden after leaving cover until you took an action, which made it very appealing to attack-move-hide on one turn and move-attack-disengage-move on the next. But I seem to recall everyone doing move-attack-move maneuvers pretty regularly, not just rogues.
 

dave2008

Legend
Imho there is a lack of them in the WotC material, even if you imply that I don't know where to look.
OK, you didn't qualify that before.

However, I would say there is a lack in the MM. The monsters after that have been more interesting. I would also say out of the gate Legendary Monsters (w/ LA) are better than anything 4e ever had. The big difference is the lack of push, pull, prone, etc. There lots of monsters from WotC with interesting abilities.
It's not a problem for me personally, since I homebrew my monster/opponent abilities with inspiration from other editions and game systems.
Nor me, or really anyone who has access to the internet.
But for newer DMs and players this might be a thing that over time lessens the fun factor, and is detrimental to the g
Possibly, it has been so long since I was a new DM it is hard to remember. However, I started with 1e and those monsters had next to nothing and we still made them interesting!
 

dave2008

Legend
they are a discouragement which was my point. they can also get fairly nasty depending on the enemy.
My point was they are not a discouragement most of the time for the groups I have played 5e with. They are situationally a discouragement, but not typically.

I will say, I like the PF2 idea of it as a fighter only option and may incorporate that in my next 5e campaign. Free movement and no OA, crazy times! Though actually I like it as niche protection for the fighter, because they supposed to be good at fighting and this helps make them stand out a bit.
 

Retreater

Legend
Of course, you can move/attack/move in PF2, at the cost of all three of your actions.
I'd say that 5e has less of an importance in movement because it costs nothing to move. Everyone gets the action to move. You can move into any position you want and out of the position at no cost to you (barring Opportunity Attacks). So in a standard fight in a contained room, positioning doesn't really matter.
I did run a 5e game last weekend for my wife and some of her friends. I spiced it up by having battles on multiple fronts, timers, traps going on, and the need for actions to activate levers/open portcullises/etc.
I feel that without stuff like that going on - 5e can devolve into slogs with bags of HP. Unfortunately, this is also the sort of play that isn't discussed in the DMG or in the official published adventures.
 

HaroldTheHobbit

Adventurer
Possibly, it has been so long since I was a new DM it is hard to remember. However, I started with 1e and those monsters had next to nothing and we still made them interesting!
I started with AD&D too (well, technically Runequest and Traveller) and yes, I agree.

But you can't compare seriously old school gaming 40 years ago with what new young players are expecting today, or the gaming style that WotC are selling to them. When we started, homebrewing was the default - or at best doing some serious fleshing out from 32 page modules. That is not the case now with Wiz pumping out 200+ page campaigns, Adventurers League etc.
 

dave2008

Legend
But you can't compare seriously old school gaming 40 years ago with what new young players are expecting today, or the gaming style that WotC are selling to them.
Curious, what do you think is the game style WotC is selling? That is not something I even think about so it stood out to me.
When we started, homebrewing was the default - or at best doing some serious fleshing out from 32 page modules. That is not the case now with Wiz pumping out 200+ page campaigns, Adventurers League etc.
IDK, have you checked out the UA reddit or DMs Guild? Homebrewing seems alive and well to me. I feel like the resources outside of "official" WotC/TSR content are greater than ever.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I would also say out of the gate Legendary Monsters (w/ LA) are better than anything 4e ever had.
I'll disagree with that. The solo monster concept took some time to figure out, but I think its chassis is superior to legendary monsters. Later 4e solos are pretty cool, with all sorts of neat abilities to trip up a group of players. Meanwhile I feel like 5e legendary monsters haven't gone anywhere, its the same fundamental thing, get a few actions outside your turn, get legendary resistance which I think is a pretty poor mechanic because its very biased against spellcasters (especially if there is a single spellcaster in the party).

Also 4e action points where a way to really scare the party if you knew how to use them. Blow them at the beginning....yawn, no big deal. But wait until the party has gotten a little complacent, and you get a big hit on a PC.... suddenly out of nowhere you take two full attack actions one after the other.....suddenly you were terrifying!!! I don't feel like 5e legendaries have that same oomph factor.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I'll disagree with that. The solo monster concept took some time to figure out, but I think its chassis is superior to legendary monsters. Later 4e solos are pretty cool, with all sorts of neat abilities to trip up a group of players. Meanwhile I feel like 5e legendary monsters haven't gone anywhere, its the same fundamental thing, get a few actions outside your turn, get legendary resistance which I think is a pretty poor mechanic because its very biased against spellcasters (especially if there is a single spellcaster in the party).

Also 4e action points where a way to really scare the party if you knew how to use them. Blow them at the beginning....yawn, no big deal. But wait until the party has gotten a little complacent, and you get a big hit on a PC.... suddenly out of nowhere you take two full attack actions one after the other.....suddenly you were terrifying!!! I don't feel like 5e legendaries have that same oomph factor.
On that bolded bit it goes double because it's pretty much a replacement for the more finessed Spell Resistance that pushed casters to lean on force multiplier spells that made everyone at the table more awesome/safer.
 

Stalker0

Legend
On that bolded bit it goes double because it's pretty much a replacement for the more finessed Spell Resistance that pushed casters to lean on force multiplier spells that made everyone at the table more awesome/safer.
Yeah WOTC has long had a bad history of giving high level casters huge power, but then trying to make monsters that just negate it...because otherwise you have boring fights.

Probably the best monster design I have seen against that is your classic Final Fantasy "multiple forms" boss monster. Sure player A casts X spell, totally owns the boss.....and then he comes back in form 2, everything reset and laughs "so what do you have now?" That I think goes well with 5e's very limited high level slots. It lets a caster go full fury, yet keeps the BBEG as a credible threat. It also ensures alpha strikes never end a fight prematurely.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Yeah WOTC has long had a bad history of giving high level casters huge power, but then trying to make monsters that just negate it...because otherwise you have boring fights.

Probably the best monster design I have seen against that is your classic Final Fantasy "multiple forms" boss monster. Sure player A casts X spell, totally owns the boss.....and then he comes back in form 2, everything reset and laughs "so what do you have now?" That I think goes well with 5e's very limited high level slots. It lets a caster go full fury, yet keeps the BBEG as a credible threat. It also ensures alpha strikes never end a fight prematurely.
I'm with you on the first part but that last paragraph is just way too much for any reasonable level of a bar for adventure/encounter design in a ttrpg. The dm is usually one person with a few other people acting as players while FF is a whole team plus a group of QA/QC testers who run through any content till their eyes bleed.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I'm with you on the first part but that last paragraph is just way too much for any reasonable level of a bar for adventure/encounter design in a ttrpg. The dm is usually one person with a few other people acting as players while FF is a whole team plus a group of QA/QC testers who run through any content till their eyes bleed.
Well again this is meant to be for specifically solo monsters, I didn't mean it to be a complete redesign of all monster types. I assume solo monsters go through playtesting, so not sure why this type of design would be that different.
 

MarkB

Legend
Probably the best monster design I have seen against that is your classic Final Fantasy "multiple forms" boss monster. Sure player A casts X spell, totally owns the boss.....and then he comes back in form 2, everything reset and laughs "so what do you have now?" That I think goes well with 5e's very limited high level slots. It lets a caster go full fury, yet keeps the BBEG as a credible threat. It also ensures alpha strikes never end a fight prematurely.
We're starting to see some of that come through in 5e - Auril in Rime of the Frostmaiden has three forms, each very different, and there are also Mythic monsters that come back with increased ferocity and powers after they're taken down once.
 


dave2008

Legend
I'll disagree with that. The solo monster concept took some time to figure out, but I think its chassis is superior to legendary monsters. Later 4e solos are pretty cool, with all sorts of neat abilities to trip up a group of players. Meanwhile I feel like 5e legendary monsters haven't gone anywhere, its the same fundamental thing, get a few actions outside your turn, get legendary resistance which I think is a pretty poor mechanic because its very biased against spellcasters (especially if there is a single spellcaster in the party).
You are saying two different things: superior chassis and then describing cool powers. Cool powers are chassis independent. I think the LA chassis is better than the standard MM3 solos. I do agree with you that LR is not always the best, I like how LevelUp did it - on the Legendary chassis.

I agree WotC hasn't been the most inventive with Legendary monsters (though just like 4e they have gotten better), but the chassis is solid and others are doing great things with it. The LevelUp monsters, and some of my own, can really make the chassis shine. Just adding the mythic* version was a great addition, but there is nothing stopping anyone from adding "neat abilities" to any legendary monster. There are a lot of legendary monsters with cool abilities and some of them are even by WotC.

I will remind you that prior to MM3 solos had a serious action economy problem. The "instinctive action" was a pretty neat solution, but, IME, three off-turn actions is better than 1.

Now, the real issue with 4e solos, particularly at higher levels and that still exists in 5e, is that they just don't hit hard enough. This coupled with huge amount of HP still made them feel like bags of hit points for some people. 5e monsters have relatively less HP, but they can also, IMO, do more cool things because of their legendary actions. YMMV.

*There is also the multi-stage monster Auril which is an interesting extension of the legendary/ mythic concept, which has 3 stages each with its own statblock. Hopefully it is not a one-off like the 4e Lolth was.
 
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