5E Why does 5E SUCK?

BryonD

Adventurer
[*]Crit rules - terrible. They do not differentiate weapons from each other and as a result, the weapons list is compressed yet again because of insufficient differentiators. If running the game I would use 3.5 crit values and balance be damned.
Agreed. I've been using the 3.5 version of crits from day 1 and it is working great.

[*]Feats - should be a mandatory, base part of the system and much more extensive.
I'm not much on the word "mandatory", but they are certainly a no-brainer for my own game.
I'm very underwhelmed by the available selection.

But, it isn't too hard to look at PF/3X feats and merge a few or bump them to match 5E

[*]Armor - Amazingly, worse than the 3.X list, easily the worst part of that system, with a total failure to give any reason to use more than a few options. DEX minimums need a complete revision with scaling within types, chain shirt needs moved to light, bare minimum. Armor charts might seem like an unimportant thing, but since lots of characters wear armor the "mithril breastplate or GTFO" of 3.X got old a long time ago.
I'm retooling a lot of pieces for my next campaign and armor will be part of that. But I don't think it needs much, it is pretty close as-is.

[*]Magic items - DMG list is unusable. Magic items are expected to be far fewer (unacceptable) and far less powerful (unacceptable). D&D has always been a system where magical items were important. Customized items are basically gone, and some iconic items like the Frost Brand are essentially gutted. This is the biggest thing that would mitigate against playing in this system as opposed to running it - the fear that a DM might actually use this train wreck. D&D should not attempt to duplicate fantasy where magical items were rare or nonexistent; lots of items are not optional. The DMG was a total waste of money for that alone.
I've certainly shared a but of this, but in my case it has simply served as a muse to create new things that fit the system.

[*]Saving throws - lol.
Note sure what you are getting at here.
I like the system. :)

The player base is also still way too concerned with "unbalanced" options. Balance is YOUR job. It's not the systems job. Players need to quit shoving their job off onto the game designer. You know what your group wants, he doesn't.
Their seems to be a culture of "the game should do everything by itself and still be as good as a game where a good DM is facilitating". I got no solutions for this. I just ignore it, pick the best game available and worry about my own table. :)
 

Marshall

Villager
Understood. But you seem to not grasp that when you frame it as a function of character level, the implication that it will continue to be a function of character level is present.
Its not and never has been a function of CHARACTER level. Its a function of CHALLENGE level.

Challenges dont scale just because the Characters do and its assumed that when you DO scale challenges you change the fiction to align with the new challenge level.

The only difference with the way 4e handles it vs EVERY OTHER EDITION is that when 4e says its a 14th level challenge it really is appropriate for 14th level characters.
 

BryonD

Adventurer
Its not and never has been a function of CHARACTER level. Its a function of CHALLENGE level.

Challenges dont scale just because the Characters do and its assumed that when you DO scale challenges you change the fiction to align with the new challenge level.

The only difference with the way 4e handles it vs EVERY OTHER EDITION is that when 4e says its a 14th level challenge it really is appropriate for 14th level characters.
First, this is just word games. But that aside:

Read my quote: "when you frame it as a function of character level". now go back and read what I replied to.

Thanks
 

Imaro

Adventurer
Its not and never has been a function of CHARACTER level. Its a function of CHALLENGE level.

Challenges dont scale just because the Characters do and its assumed that when you DO scale challenges you change the fiction to align with the new challenge level.

The only difference with the way 4e handles it vs EVERY OTHER EDITION is that when 4e says its a 14th level challenge it really is appropriate for 14th level characters.
From the Rules Compendium...

"When choosing a DC from the table, the Dungeon Master should use the level of the creature performing the check unless otherwise noted."

That seems to point towards character level not challenge level...
 

tyrlaan

Villager
The player base is also still way too concerned with "unbalanced" options. Balance is YOUR job. It's not the systems job. Players need to quit shoving their job off onto the game designer. You know what your group wants, he doesn't.
So then releasing a game that says something like... "Class A deals 1 damage all 20 levels. Class B deals 1,000 damage at 1st level +1,000 each additional level all the way to 20th level." is acceptable because balance is the job of the GM and not the system?

Or is your commentary missing some qualifiers?

I also don't understand how the designer(s) of a game would somehow not be qualified to do this (assuming I'm reading your comments at face value correctly and they are not hyperbole). I kind of feel like that's saying it's the readers' job to edit the novel they read.

Their seems to be a culture of "the game should do everything by itself and still be as good as a game where a good DM is facilitating". I got no solutions for this. I just ignore it, pick the best game available and worry about my own table. :)
I won't speak for the culture, just myself. To me, I think it's very reasonable to expect a game to be designed with a general level of balance. I am not going to freak out over an overpowered feat, but I want the chassis to be balanced.
 

Hussar

Legend
From the Rules Compendium...

"When choosing a DC from the table, the Dungeon Master should use the level of the creature performing the check unless otherwise noted."

That seems to point towards character level not challenge level...
Not really because the adventures are designed for a level range. If you're in a 14th level adventure, then the PC's will be (around) 14th level and the DC's will suit that level of character. Picking and choosing single lines out of thousands of lines of text is just not helpful. The whole point of choosing DC's is to choose the one that best suits whatever you're trying to do at that time.

This is one of the biggest problems with discussing 4e. The lack of context. People look at single lines and then miss the forest.

From the introduction to Skill Challenges:

4e DMG Page 70 said:
More so than perhaps any kind of encounter, a skill challenge is defined by its context within an adventure... A skill challenge ... is directly related to the particular adventure and campaign it is set in.
4e DMG Page 71 said:
Set a level for the challenge and the DC's for the checks involved. As a starting point (underline mine) set the level of the challenge to the level of the party. (the section then continues on how to vary that level with the DC's)
Further on, the advice for traps and hazards are that a trap or a hazard replaces a monster in an encounter. Whatever the XP budget that the DM decides for that encounter determines the potential level ranges (or at least the maximum ceiling) of a particular trap or hazard. Again, this is based entirely on the level of the adventure, not the level of the PC's in that adventure.

Like so many of the issues that people bring up about 4e, it's more about presentation that substance. "Oh, DC's are based on PC level because one chart uses that as a header". It's so frustrating because even a casual actual reading of the DMG disproves all of this.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
Not really because the adventures are designed for a level range. If you're in a 14th level adventure, then the PC's will be (around) 14th level and the DC's will suit that level of character. Picking and choosing single lines out of thousands of lines of text is just not helpful. The whole point of choosing DC's is to choose the one that best suits whatever you're trying to do at that time.

This is one of the biggest problems with discussing 4e. The lack of context. People look at single lines and then miss the forest.

From the introduction to Skill Challenges:





Further on, the advice for traps and hazards are that a trap or a hazard replaces a monster in an encounter. Whatever the XP budget that the DM decides for that encounter determines the potential level ranges (or at least the maximum ceiling) of a particular trap or hazard. Again, this is based entirely on the level of the adventure, not the level of the PC's in that adventure.

Like so many of the issues that people bring up about 4e, it's more about presentation that substance. "Oh, DC's are based on PC level because one chart uses that as a header". It's so frustrating because even a casual actual reading of the DMG disproves all of this.
I wasn't discussing pre-made adventures or Skill Challenges... which are different things than a DM determining a check for a DC...

EDIT: And I disagree with your assertion about reading the DMG... I have said it before and I'll say it again... IMO, it creates a convoluted and incoherent picture of how one is supposed to go about assigning DC's... Some are objective (locks)... some are based on character level (improv DC for climbing the mountain before you... but make sure the fiction of this particular mountain matches the DC) and some are based on neither (SC's I'm looking at you do we even know what fiction ties into what level for these?).

EDIT 2: Though ultimately throughout the DMG using character level to set DC's...set SC levels, create encounters, etc. keeps popping up.
 
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Imaro

Adventurer
Never underestimate the power of willful ignorance by those who neither read the rules nor played the game.
And never underestimate the power of willful ignorance by those who favor something and aren't willing to admit or see it's flaws...


EDIT: I'm finding this whole conversation kind of borderline absurd at this point... are people honestly arguing that 4e's default procedure, advice, etc. don't push the DM to assign DC's by character level... is that really the argument? If that's the case what does one use to assign DC's then?
 
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Hussar

Legend
Yes that is exactly what's being argued. Difficulty of a challenge is set by the adventure which is designed for a particular level of PC's. Same as it has always been. I actually quoted chapter and verse in the DMG for it.

You have an entire section devoted to traps and hazards set by challenge rating. A trap doesn't change by PC level. You simply choose traps that fulfill a particular level of challenge that tge DM wants to use.

How is this any different? The only difference I see is the level of transparency.
 
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MoutonRustique

Explorer
As to this topic, this will be my comment :

4e DC guidelines are like Ikea(tm not mine) instructions - they give a path to a supposed* desirable outcome from a set of objects and tools built to offer such an outcome.

Nowhere in the history of never and/or ever has Ikea (and its instructions) stopped anyone from drilling a hole 3/4 of an inch lower because they thought the result would look better.

All "select DC by level" verbiage in 4e is assuming you wish to create a dramatic situation with fairly predictable outcome with regards to the PC/party's general power. It is a guidebook saying : "If you use these numbers, there is a good chance the game will work in this* way."

That is all it is. That's it.


Should you feel inclined to assess that as saying something more, go right on ahead.



*The games' default proposition for game tone and feel. Which must be supposed, as the designers are not in anyone else's head, and so they must be decided through conjecture.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
Yes that is exactly what's being argued. Difficulty of a challenge is set by the adventure which is designed for a particular level of PC's. Same as it has always been. I actually quoted chapter and verse in the DMG for it.

You have an entire section devoted to traps and hazards set by challenge rating. A trap doesn't change by PC level. You simply choose traps that fulfill a particular level of challenge that tge DM wants to use.

How is this any different? The only difference I see is the level of transparency.
And you get that level of difficulty from the levrl of the PC's... call it challenge level or whatever... the basis for said difficulty in default 4eis the level of the PC's. Show me a passage, sentence or whatever that tells you to base the actually difficulty ratings (actual numbers) on the adventure... I bet you can't...but I and others have cited numerous references to character/creature level in determmining the actual DC numbers. Should the adventurebe considered... sure but the basis in the 4e booksalways starts with characterlevel.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
First, this is just word games.
Yeah starting to realize this is exactly what's going on here...

Summary: I'm not basing my DC's on the level of the PC's in my game, I'm designing an adventure, sometimes on the fly, that uses the DC's for a party of 10th level characters... and my PC's just happen to be 10th level characters... but they're not what I'm basing my DC's on... I'm basing them on the level of the adventure I am creating... for my 10th level PC's... :-S
 
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Imaro

Adventurer
As to this topic, this will be my comment :

4e DC guidelines are like Ikea(tm not mine) instructions - they give a path to a supposed* desirable outcome from a set of objects and tools built to offer such an outcome.
Yep...

Nowhere in the history of never and/or ever has Ikea (and its instructions) stopped anyone from drilling a hole 3/4 of an inch lower because they thought the result would look better.
Agree with this as well... no one, as far as I can tell, is arguing the DM is forced to do anything by the 4e books (or any other edition's books)... we are talking about what the procedures, advice, etc. in the core books push you towards as far as the game and adventure design.

All "select DC by level" verbiage in 4e is assuming you wish to create a dramatic situation with fairly predictable outcome with regards to the PC/party's general power. It is a guidebook saying : "If you use these numbers, there is a good chance the game will work in this* way."

That is all it is. That's it.
I agree with this too...it instructs the DM to use PC level to devise a set of numbers that it believes will give said PC's the mathematical probabilities that the designers believed would result in a fun game... key being it uses the level of the PC's. Again I don't see how this is in dispute.

Should you feel inclined to assess that as saying something more, go right on ahead.
Nope, added my own thoughts but I think you're pretty much spot on.
 

Hussar

Legend
Yeah starting to realize this is exactly what's going on here...

Summary: I'm not basing my DC's on the level of the PC's in my game, I'm designing an adventure, sometimes on the fly, that uses the DC's for a party of 10th level characters... and my PC's just happen to be 10th level characters... but they're not what I'm basing my DC's on...
Thing is, you don't actually HAVE to do that. You can write a 10th level adventure regardless of what the level of your PC's are. In a sandbox, that's precisely what you would do. The adventure level is based on that part of the sandbox, and it's up to the players to decide whether or not they want to try that challenge. In a more tailored game, you write the adventure based on the group you have right now. That you are writing an adventure specifically for the PC's at the time is happenstance, although probably fairly typical.

Now, how is this different from any other edition? If you're designing an adventure on the fly, for your current group, are you using radically different difficulties than the level of your PC's? Are you dropping red dragons on 1st level parties? The blizzard that you dropped into the adventure will be a different blizzard if the party is 1st level or 10th level, won't it? If the DC's are beyond the means of the party, you just killed the party, that was easy. If the DC's are too far below the level of the party, then it's not really much of a blizzard is it?

Explain to me how you design an adventure, on the fly, for a current group that is playing, without referencing their levels? In what edition of D&D did you do this? In 1e, the monsters and traps were based on dungeon level, which, in turn, was based on character level. Why is a monster a Level III monster? Because it is meant to be on the third level of a dungeon and 1st level PC's aren't meant to be facing it.

The difficulty of challenges in adventures in any edition of the game are based on the expected levels of the PC's IN THAT ADVENTURE. The only difference between 4e and earlier editions is that in 4e they actually gave you numerical ranges for determining difficulties instead of letting the DM try to guess what would be appropriate for that level of an adventure.

I understand that for some people, admitting that 4e isn't any different than any other edition is tantamount to sitting on rusty nails, but, again, how do you design an adventure without referencing character level?

Give me an example, a published example, of an adventure that does not reference character level. I'll wait. In forty years of modules, thousands and thousands of pages, if not thousands of actual modules, can you give me a single example of an adventure that does not reference character level?
 

Hussar

Legend
How in the hell can you agree with MoutonRustique and then turn around and argue with me?

WE ARE SAYING THE SAME THING!
 

Imaro

Adventurer
Thing is, you don't actually HAVE to do that. You can write a 10th level adventure regardless of what the level of your PC's are. In a sandbox, that's precisely what you would do. The adventure level is based on that part of the sandbox, and it's up to the players to decide whether or not they want to try that challenge. In a more tailored game, you write the adventure based on the group you have right now. That you are writing an adventure specifically for the PC's at the time is happenstance, although probably fairly typical.
You don't have to do anything with the set of rules... again we are speaking to what the advice, procedures and instructions in the core books push you towards. Point me to the section in 4e about sandbox play and how to set it up... where it talks specifically about deriving DC's from level (outside of the characters)... Where is the advice, procedures, etc. for the things you are talking about, that's what I want to see... otherwise the core rule books are pushing towards a certain playstyle of DC's based on character level.

Now, how is this different from any other edition? If you're designing an adventure on the fly, for your current group, are you using radically different difficulties than the level of your PC's? Are you dropping red dragons on 1st level parties? The blizzard that you dropped into the adventure will be a different blizzard if the party is 1st level or 10th level, won't it? If the DC's are beyond the means of the party, you just killed the party, that was easy. If the DC's are too far below the level of the party, then it's not really much of a blizzard is it?
I use 5e there are no DC's for the level of my PC's... My 2nd level party actually did encounter a dragon in my Far North campaign... plenty of clues, chance to escape and some died through their own choices. The iimportant thing was we all had fun in the game. No in 5e a blizzard is a blizzard. These all seem to be things I don't have to deal with in 5e... go figure.

Explain to me how you design an adventure, on the fly, for a current group that is playing, without referencing their levels? In what edition of D&D did you do this? In 1e, the monsters and traps were based on dungeon level, which, in turn, was based on character level. Why is a monster a Level III monster? Because it is meant to be on the third level of a dungeon and 1st level PC's aren't meant to be facing it.
I'll repeat it again... 5e

The difficulty of challenges in adventures in any edition of the game are based on the expected levels of the PC's IN THAT ADVENTURE. The only difference between 4e and earlier editions is that in 4e they actually gave you numerical ranges for determining difficulties instead of letting the DM try to guess what would be appropriate for that level of an adventure.

I understand that for some people, admitting that 4e isn't any different than any other edition is tantamount to sitting on rusty nails, but, again, how do you design an adventure without referencing character level?

Give me an example, a published example, of an adventure that does not reference character level. I'll wait. In forty years of modules, thousands and thousands of pages, if not thousands of actual modules, can you give me a single example of an adventure that does not reference character level?
The Challenge of Champions adventures published in Dungeon magazine... for any level characters
 

Imaro

Adventurer
How in the hell can you agree with MoutonRustique and then turn around and argue with me?

WE ARE SAYING THE SAME THING!
No you aren't... he's saying DC's are based on character level... you're saying they are based on adventure level... but again there is no formula, recipe, whatever that uses "adventure level" but doesn't use character level in the 4e corebooks to get DC's...
 

Hussar

Legend
You don't have to do anything with the set of rules... again we are speaking to what the advice, procedures and instructions in the core books push you towards. Point me to the section in 4e about sandbox play and how to set it up... where it talks specifically about deriving DC's from level (outside of the characters)... Where is the advice, procedures, etc. for the things you are talking about, that's what I want to see... otherwise the core rule books are pushing towards a certain playstyle of DC's based on character level.
I guess I'll have to quote myself here:

Quote Originally Posted by 4e DMG Page 70
More so than perhaps any kind of encounter, a skill challenge is defined by its context within an adventure... A skill challenge ... is directly related to the particular adventure and campaign it is set in.
Quote Originally Posted by 4e DMG Page 71
Set a level for the challenge and the DC's for the checks involved. As a starting point (underline mine) set the level of the challenge to the level of the party. (the section then continues on how to vary that level with the DC's)


Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?456928-Why-does-5E-SUCK/page135#ixzz3fRvqCLmY
I use 5e there are no DC's for the level of my PC's... My 2nd level party actually did encounter a dragon in my Far North campaign... plenty of clues, chance to escape and some died through their own choices. The iimportant thing was we all had fun in the game. No in 5e a blizzard is a blizzard. These all seem to be things I don't have to deal with in 5e... go figure.



I'll repeat it again... 5e
How did you determine the survival DC for the blizzard? How did you know that the dragon encounter would be difficult for these PC's?


The Challenge of Champions adventures published in Dungeon magazine... for any level characters
Heh, hoist on my own petard. But, again, not really. Your own quote references levels. :D But, fair enough. The exception that proves the rule and all that. Name two. :p
 

Hussar

Legend
No you aren't... he's saying DC's are based on character level... you're saying they are based on adventure level... but again there is no formula, recipe, whatever that uses "adventure level" but doesn't use character level in the 4e corebooks to get DC's...
But, that's true in EVERY EDITION.

How do you think they determine the Challenge Ratings of monsters? Or Traps?

5e Monster Manual Page 9 said:
Challenge:

A monster's Challenge rating tells you how great a threat the monster is. An appropriately equiped and well-rested party of four adventurers should be able to defeat a monster that has a challenge rating equal to its level without suffering any deaths.
Good grief it 's right bloody there in the books. Do I need to start quoting from the DMG too?
 

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