D&D 5E The problem with 5e

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Every once in a while this comes up. Never happened in any AD&D game I played in. Casters and Fighters always felt balanced in power over the long haul of the game, and casters conserved their spells until they were really needed, not simply convenient, and often had spells left over (at mid- and higher levels) when the Fighters et al. wanted to call it a day.

But obviously YMMV at apparently did.


I agree. When the adventuring day falls into the 6-8 encounters, it plays well. If the story demands fewer encounters on some days and more encounters on others, those days the game is easier or harder as expected.

IIRC, @Oofta, you also use the gritty rest variant or something, right?
We never had trouble with lfqw in either 2e or 3.5. The martial types ad all kinds of cool magic weapons, armor, & in many cases feats that allowed them to be awesome most if not all the time. Sure a caster could dump everything as fast as they could to pull the group out of the fire, but they held back that card to save for when things were going wrong because it was a nontrivial task to recover if things went sideways. 5e tries so hard to avoid any hint of lfqw in a spherical cow whiteroom scenario of no feats & no magic items that it inverts the order when you actually have both in play.
 

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Encouraging & being written in a way that enables it are two different things. Want to get away from "thou shall MUST run 6-8encounters per long rest rather than the tie proven 4-6" & your in for a headache. Want to make changes to how rests actually work because making them last a day or week doesn't mechanically change much & breaks a lot of things?... doesn't matter which way because it's a nightmare either way

5e's defenders love to say how it was built to allow for easy houseruling, but with everything in the game being written as a one off isolated rule the system is setup to make that as difficult & Sisyphean as possible. This thread touched on that a few times back when people were discussing things that were needlessly difficult to fix like the instant recovery of all hp before someone's insistance on discussing what is a hit point hijacked the thread into one of the easiest things possible to fix "is it divine favor luck or what?">":ask your GM"
It´s a game, if resting is a problem for a group then the DM call when a long rest is granted.
Having full recover over night, or full recover when DM decide it is not less nor more realistic.
It’s only a rule among others.
 

Oofta

Legend
It´s a game, if resting is a problem for a group then the DM call when a long rest is granted.
Having full recover over night, or full recover when DM decide it is not less nor more realistic.
It’s only a rule among others.

There are all sorts of way to limit it. You don't have time, use the alternate long rest option, rule that you can't benefit from a long rest unless you're in a safe location. I'm sure there are more options, blaming the balance of 6-8 encounters as an excuse doesn't hold a lot of water or me.
 

Encouraging & being written in a way that enables it are two different things. Want to get away from "thou shall MUST run 6-8encounters per long rest rather than the tie proven 4-6" & your in for a headache. Want to make changes to how rests actually work because making them last a day or week doesn't mechanically change much & breaks a lot of things?... doesn't matter which way because it's a nightmare either way

5e's defenders love to say how it was built to allow for easy houseruling, but with everything in the game being written as a one off isolated rule the system is setup to make that as difficult & Sisyphean as possible. This thread touched on that a few times back when people were discussing things that were needlessly difficult to fix like the instant recovery of all hp before someone's insistance on discussing what is a hit point hijacked the thread into one of the easiest things possible to fix "is it divine favor luck or what?">":ask your GM"
Long rests are the easiest thing to change. .

Changing rests results in three potential problems.
  • Spell durations that were meant to last for a full period between long rests are no longer sufficient
  • Some magic items as written can be used too often
  • possibly, you may have too many short rests vs long rests.

These can be easily addressed by:

  • changing long durations spells so that that work so long as you have are slot committed. Want mage armor all the time? Lose 1 level 1 spell slot.
  • Either just tell the players that when a magic items says per day it means once per long rest, or make homebrewed items to give the players which are identical to the ones in the DMG except the duration has been changed.
  • limit short rests to 2-3 per long rest. (although I'm not seen this one to be a problem in practice)

So on the one hand, yes; a little more thought should have been given to the edge cases that need addressing. And if they had really wanted to be modular they could have written spell durations and magic items in such a way as to ensure consistency. On the other hand none of the issues are actually game breaking - they just result in a game that works differently then intended.
 


dmgorgon

Explorer
There are a few modules I've converted to run across every single edition and I have to say that some editions just don't cut it for my playstyle. 5e is versatile, but the default options for healing and a few other systems are insuffient. For my group the memorable moments happen when we play 2e, and it's not a matter of nostalgia either. In fact, I have converted 5e and even 4e modules to 2e and they end up being far more enjoyable. There is something wonderful about pre-3e systems (with their worts and all) that can't be replicated with newer editions.
 

Ok so just joined, hopefully this isn’t an old thread.
Looking for any threads that address my concerns. As my name implies played all types of dnd, somehow missed 4e. I have been told that is a good thing.

These are the issues that make me nervous about game mastering:
1. Why does almost everybody get lots of spells?
2. Why is charisma the casting stat for so many casters?
3. Why did they weird up so many spells? (sacred flame, hellish rebuke, invisibility only an hour?)

As a dm, these are the things that are annoying but I can work around:
1. Magic resistance - just get to roll twice? I would turn that into spell “evasion”
2. Skill system lame - I could house rules with that. More annoying as a player In strict campaign.
3. Changes making big monsters less invulnerable. Will change resistance to immunity.

Found fun and flaws with all editions. 3e has the best skill system, but is a rules lawyer paradise.

As an aside, I always loved making players have to be really creative. Throwing a gargoyle at a party with no magic weapons was the best. (They lured it into a swamp and threw chain nets on it. It sank. Not technically dead, but I gave them full experience.)

Not a bad edition overall, but I don’t know what to expect from players. Bard doing all kinds advantage and damage, rangers doing hunters prey stuff, paladins adding lots of “stank” on attacks, clerics blasting every turn, and I haven’t seen a plain fighter yet. Noncasters seen to have specialties like hexblade. I haven’t seen a player not able to cast a spell.
Makes it very hard to figure out what to throw at them...

I have enjoyed playing 5e... as a sorcerer, it seems to be the least mutated class.

Again, looking for advice. Not just griping. I prefer running games, but not ready for this version.
 

nevin

Hero
it’s a long post. If TLDR, whatevs. If interested read on.

—————————————————

The problem with 5e….is me.

I played a little redbox as a kid with the older kids on the street and later my lifelong pal. And by Jr High, we started playing some AD&D.
In High School we were joined by a few other guys that we went to grade school with. It was game on! Lots and lots of AD&D 1e. We did not like 2e for various reasons and skipped it. Fast forward to grad school and when I was home on break we kept playing….all summer long. All-nighters. It was glorious. None of us had serious relationships at that time so it was possible.

3e hit while I was working on a doctorate. I was far from home but my mind was blown when I saw half-orc paladins. Fresh from 1e, this was a revelation. Skipped 3.5 and 4e and fell into a black hole with little D&D. Our kids, marriages etc. took precedence but being back home and my lifelong buddies is a blessing. Now grizzled family dudes, the call of 5e was strong…our lives permitted at least monthly play. A new fantastic era!

So where is the problem?

I have loved 5e. I think much of it is brilliant. Not in the sense that it has revolutionary mechanics or some trendy elegance but in that it is easier to DM (I refused to DM 3e) and because it has inspired so much character development. We did what we could in 1e, but I have found the choices in 5e (backgrounds and subclasses) has been a goldmine of inspiration. I don’t mean to say that they have it all covered, but with some of my own ideas, they have it all covered. I have developed some novel stories and personalities.

My problem comes in with occasional
dissatisfaction about the level of danger in the game. It seems like people are healed quickly and unless it’s a TPK, it’s not as dangerous and getting beat down lasts a round or two max.
I also have some nostalgia for the logistics of old….worrying about running out of things like torches and food. Some things just seem easier now.

But that is when reality hits me. When we were younger, the way we really got far was by DM fiat. Sure, you could get level drained and miss a death save but more broadly, the DM moderated some consequences so we could have a longer term meaningful story vs. a meatgrinder of anonymous jerks. In short, 5e has merely codified this fiat into the rules. It may not be that different, really.

In terms of moving forward I need to alter my expectations and be clear about what changes might give us a little more sense of danger. For one, it would not take much to make healing a little less automatic. Maybe long rests don’t take care of everything. Perhaps, long rests allow us to expend hit dice…or something. I have to think that through.

The other thing that can at times be frustrating is the power of missile weapons. We don’t tend to favor them as a group but I know the issue exists. In this context, we need to make sure we are not the problem. I think it makes sense to count arrows and make sure what is carried is reasonable and not just “OK” handwaving generous encumbrance rules.

Additionally, I think very careful application of cover rules need to be applied. Firing past a rank of friendlies actively fighting should lead to some penalty if the enemy is in their face. I would want to see partial cover etc. applied routinely here.

In a like vein, the ubiquity of dex builds, if they bother you, are mitigated by actually looking at encumbrance and ammunition accounting (IMHO, to an extent).

In short, for me to get the most enjoyment out of 5e I believe a little stricter approach to the rules that exist, the application of common sense (e.g. encumbrance) and so forth. But ultimately, I need to change my expectations.

I look back fondly at AD&D 1e since it seems to have been grittier and more dangerous. Maybe it was. But the truth is that we house ruled and DMed way into a game with consequences but only occasional death. We made some bad decisions and died more than a few times. Saving or trying to save a friend from tunnels full of ghouls is admirable but perhaps not always doable (found out the hard way). And playing with an evil party and experimenting with a deck of many things after the players (the real people!) have been drinking beers to early morning hours will do that as well!

Ultimately the problem with my enjoyment at times (not too frequent) I think is due to nostalgia and fairy tales I tell myself about older editions. Having said this “out loud” I am very ready to get back to playing with less negative self-talk to get in the way. Our characters are probably going to survive. And its OK.
no it's very different. Average to good DM in 1e kept the story flowing. I'd say a good dm in modern versions does the same thing. Average DM in modern versions gets shackled by the rules and lets things happen that mess up thier game. I remember wanting more rules and more clarification on things when I DM'd back in the day but modern D&D has shown me DM fiat beats rules as long as you have a average to good DM.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
no it's very different. Average to good DM in 1e kept the story flowing. I'd say a good dm in modern versions does the same thing. Average DM in modern versions gets shackled by the rules and lets things happen that mess up thier game. I remember wanting more rules and more clarification on things when I DM'd back in the day but modern D&D has shown me DM fiat beats rules as long as you have a average to good DM.
Older versions had a lot more pagespace devoted to providing insight & understanding into the intent that helped a gm find their wings in knowing how to use things in useful constructive ways rather than slavishly being shackled to rules as well. That tended to result in a feel that was more "the system as a framework" as opposed to 5e's "the system as a collection of edge cases" ime.
 

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