log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Why does 5E SUCK?

Josiah Stoll

First Post
The math is really opaque, which hurts the homebrewing community. It’s easier to make rulings if the designers TELL US WHAT THEY’RE THINKING.

The way subclasses work, you don’t feel like you’re playing your character concept until 3rd level at least. Looking at Bladelock here, especially.

No viable pet options, which is something that a lot of new players want to play with. I just started giving my players a choice between the Servo Crafting feat (UA Kaladesh) or an extra cantrip at first level.

The emphasis on reflavoring is nice, but eventually all the fights feel the same. Tons of HP and almost no focus on Out-of-Combat encounters mean that those same-y feeling fights take up most of the screentime.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Tallifer

Hero
The emphasis on reflavoring is nice, but eventually all the fights feel the same. Tons of HP and almost no focus on Out-of-Combat encounters mean that those same-y feeling fights take up most of the screentime.

I do not see what that has to do with the 5E rules. That sounds like the adventures a dungeon master chooses to create OR the personality of the players. Does the dungeon master provide NPCs to talk to and interesting cultures to explore? Do the players talk to new NPCs and take time to explore, or do they just kill everything and take their stuff?
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Tons of HP and almost no focus on Out-of-Combat encounters mean that those same-y feeling fights take up most of the screentime.

The big HP criticism is valid. I think that influenced a number of MtoF monsters.

Now I've only played in 5e Official published adventures, but I've always had lots of non-combat encounters, in fact, combat can be avoided entirely in a lot of cases.

Even my current brutal Barbarian in SKT is shrewd enough to know if you fight you might die, so make sure you've got a good reason to fight first.
 


Josiah Stoll

First Post
I do not see what that has to do with the 5E rules. That sounds like the adventures a dungeon master chooses to create OR the personality of the players. Does the dungeon master provide NPCs to talk to and interesting cultures to explore? Do the players talk to new NPCs and take time to explore, or do they just kill everything and take their stuff?

I am our group’s DM most of the time, but I’m new to the hobby (senior in high school, started playing as an 8th grader, never had the opportunity to play under an experienced DM) and it’s been hard to create encounters that are interesting, different, and provide everyone a good opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.
If I play disallowing metagame social skills, the Bards/Sorcs/Warlocks are the only ones who get to do stuff; and if I allow out of game social skills to influence events, the most charismatic player hogs screentime.

I’ve looked online for advice on how to make the game more interesting in and out of combat (phb and dmg are kinda worthless at giving DM advice) but the responses that I’ve gotten have been:
Do funny voices out of combat
(My voice is kinda raspy, so everyone sounds kinda like Batman)
Vary monster tactics in combat
(Do you mean monster attack descriptions? Most low level monsters only have one or two viable combat strategies)
Figure out how to put the Fighter’s piss-poor skills to use
(The amount of doors this poor guy has to push open...)
Add little details that make the world more fleshed out
(This one’s actually pretty good, unfortunately it’s something I picked up from reading 1d4 chan, 4e stuff, and the Pathfinder Bestiary. All of which can be found for less than $40)
WotC seems to think that random tables are the best way to do worldbuilding, but every English/Writing/Drama course I’ve taken suggests otherwise.
I’ll start a thread dedicated to advice-getting, but I can’t find the button to do so.
 


Tallifer

Hero
I’ll start a thread dedicated to advice-getting, but I can’t find the button to do so.

Go to D&D 5th Edition Forum. There is a button that says Post New Thread. It is right above the block of text that says
Forum: *D&D 5th Edition Discuss D&D 5E rules and products or post your own creations for others to share. Also for discussion about the D&D Adventurers league (DDAL). Character builds and NPCs belong in the Character Builds & Optimization forum.
 

Josiah Stoll

First Post
Go to D&D 5th Edition Forum. There is a button that says Post New Thread. It is right above the block of text that says [h=1]Forum: *D&D 5th Edition[/h]Discuss D&D 5E rules and products or post your own creations for others to share. Also for discussion about the D&D Adventurers league (DDAL). Character builds and NPCs belong in the Character Builds & Optimization forum.

Thank you!
 

cmad1977

Hero
I am our group’s DM most of the time, but I’m new to the hobby (senior in high school, started playing as an 8th grader, never had the opportunity to play under an experienced DM) and it’s been hard to create encounters that are interesting, different, and provide everyone a good opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way.
If I play disallowing metagame social skills, the Bards/Sorcs/Warlocks are the only ones who get to do stuff; and if I allow out of game social skills to influence events, the most charismatic player hogs screentime.

I’ve looked online for advice on how to make the game more interesting in and out of combat (phb and dmg are kinda worthless at giving DM advice) but the responses that I’ve gotten have been:
Do funny voices out of combat
(My voice is kinda raspy, so everyone sounds kinda like Batman)
Vary monster tactics in combat
(Do you mean monster attack descriptions? Most low level monsters only have one or two viable combat strategies)
Figure out how to put the Fighter’s piss-poor skills to use
(The amount of doors this poor guy has to push open...)
Add little details that make the world more fleshed out
(This one’s actually pretty good, unfortunately it’s something I picked up from reading 1d4 chan, 4e stuff, and the Pathfinder Bestiary. All of which can be found for less than $40)
WotC seems to think that random tables are the best way to do worldbuilding, but every English/Writing/Drama course I’ve taken suggests otherwise.
I’ll start a thread dedicated to advice-getting, but I can’t find the button to do so.

You have been receiving some reaaaaallllllyyyy bad advice.
 


Erechel

Explorer
I pretty much figured that out.
Could you point me towards some better stuff?
Damn cellphone! I didn't want to give experience nor laugh. I only wanted to quote.
My best advice is: go for Angry GM.
As for improving games, the best thing you can do is to play the three pillars balanced. First of all, there is one (big) difference between the three of them: complexity. Whereas most combats include a minimum degree of tactics and has at least the relative complexity of skill checks and result checks (attack roll and damage dice, until you drop the enemy to 0), most GMs strive to make challenges outside combat that don't end in a single check, even with idiotic rerolls until you succeed.
The main issue there is to make complex tasks out of skill checks. I'm not talking about the Skill Challenges of 4th edition: I'm talking of actual challenges with consequences, both in failure and in success. Let's take for example a hostage negotiation, a perfect mixture between Exploration, Combat and Social Interaction. You know that the goblins will not deliver their prisoners, because if they do, they are as good as dead. A single check will not suffice to convince them to deliver. A simple bribe will not work. They are hostile, but not necessarily aggressive, because they are surrounded, and they know it. They are in a well fortified location. The goblins will be killing a hostage each hour until the soldiers and adventurers are gone. If the characters begin a killing spree, or if even a single goblin is taken, they will kill the hostage.
More later
 


Erechel

Explorer
The challenge could be managed in three possible ways: either by a series of social skills, or by stealth, or by a combination of the two of them. Combat will result in a characters' victory, but the hostages will be killed.
Stealth will work up to a point. Coordination is key: it isn't a big facility, just a fortified warehouse or mill. You need intelligence to know the patrol routines and weak spots, and communication (each check will reveal a possible path, a failure also reveals path,but at stealth is at disadvantage). More time assigned to Intelligence allows a new roll, but at the risk of a goblin killing a hostage. You may both use a dice to randomize the Int gathering time in minutes (1d4x15 minutes each observation), or assign a "time point". Two "time points" and a hostage is killed. Each stealth check takes the characters closer to the goblins, and takes 10 minutes (or half a time point). A failure in the checks means the goblins swarm against the infiltrator or take a hostage. You need at least 3 characters in the right spots, or the goblins still could kill the hostages. And at least 1 path leads to the ceiling, so you need an Athletics check also to climb.
With Social skills, you could fast talk the goblins. First, you need to soften them. A Charm spell won't work, as the leader is never in the line of sight, and any decision is measured in minutes, not seconds or rounds. You need talkers. You have three main approaches: Persuasion, Intimidation or Deception. Intimidation won't gain the goblins trust, as they expect to be threatened. They fear for their lives, and are desperate. You also need someone to talk in goblin, and hear who takes the decisions, and some info. They won't communicate between them in common, but on their own language. A Perception check is required just to listen, but also comprehending their language. After each info gather, you gain advantage on a social check. For example, you may know the names of the goblins, both to threaten or to persuade. They are aggressive and paranoid, so they are Difficult to interact, and with disadvantage.
A single check is made to convince them to listen and talk, a second one to buy time, a third to release the injured, and a fourth to make a compromise. A failure means dire consequences. A failed threat may end in a hostage killed, a Deception in losing the trust, and thus reinitiate the negotiations, and Persuasion carries no consequences, but it is harder.
After a few failures, the goblins may kill all the hostages and die, or the goblins may try to buy time themselves while their sappers dig a hole to escape, etc.
A combined a effort between stealth and silver tongue may increase chances, both to negotiate from a position of strength, or to distract the goblins to facilitate the stealth.
That is a simple encounter, designed hastily to reflect how skills and pillars other than combat work very well within the rules of 5e. It's a matter of options and consequences, and a little ingenuity.
 

Josiah Stoll

First Post
The challenge could be managed in three possible ways: either by a series of social skills, or by stealth, or by a combination of the two of them. Combat will result in a characters' victory, but the hostages will be killed.
Stealth will work up to a point.
...
That is a simple encounter, designed hastily to reflect how skills and pillars other than combat work very well within the rules of 5e. It's a matter of options and consequences, and a little ingenuity.
So here’s the issue.
I’ve got:
-a Rogue (we’re in Highschool. Everyone wants to play a Rogue). Proficient in Deception, Intimidate, Stealth, Acro
-a Tome Warlock (there’s SO MUCH flavor baked into it) Proficient in Deception, Diplomacy, Investigate
-a Moon Druid (the player really likes animals)
-a Battlemaster Fighter (the player really wanted to be that hardass military character that’s in basically every action show) skilled in Intimidate, Athletics, Perception (but with a Wis 10), and Survival

How do I make the Fighter useful?
 

Josiah Stoll

First Post
Everyone can contribute pretty well to combat.
Since not everyone can contribute to a Social or Exploration scene (and some characters like full plate-armored fighters in a Stealth game actually detract from the game sometimes)the game focuses on Combat to make screentime pretty even.
And 5e Combat is really boring if the game focuses on it too much.
 

Erechel

Explorer
That encounter may be improved. A lot. There is a lot of little pieces I could make to either give further options to each character. Athletics is a major one: climb is made via Strength+Athletics. And the fighter may try to be stealthy (with the Druid's "path without trace") or the menacing face, or (given his military background) have a knack for tactics, and therefore could be charged with the intelligence and planning of the infiltration. If anyone else does this, is at disadvantage. Or be the necessary menace that acts as distraction. There is a tenfold more options to make.
 

Erechel

Explorer
Keep in mind that I'm <I>improvised</I> said encounter. And a fighter that never leaves his armor is a stupid character. You only wear armor if you expect to fight, not walking through a park, nor in an infiltration mission.
It could be used as an obvious threat. As a matter of distraction: obviously, the most expensively equipped is the leader. Athletics has a big role in any Exploration campaign, and if the fighter is only equipped to fight, well, let's say that you are digging your own tomb. A fighter usually is more effective in a fight than most classes,as it can occupy many roles (striker, tank, controller thanks to grapples and shoves).
 

Erechel

Explorer
Everyone can contribute pretty well to combat.
Since not everyone can contribute to a Social or Exploration scene (and some characters like full plate-armored fighters in a Stealth game actually detract from the game sometimes)the game focuses on Combat to make screentime pretty even.
And 5e Combat is really boring if the game focuses on it too much.
That is a false claim. Furthermore with the skills the fighter has in your game! Intimidation is a pretty solid skill for interaction: do you ever played mass effect? You could either persuade (paragon) or intimidate (renegade). Perception is a solid skill, too. And remember that the skills are loosely tied to stats: in the example that I've just improvised for you, Survival+Intelligence will be the way to discover the paths to infiltrate. The warlock, druid and rogue could be the infiltration team, whereas the fighter buys time with threats, and directs the team from a good perspective (Perception+Intelligence). Intimidation is an "all or nothing" approach: it is potentially the most effective, but also the riskier one. After all, the goblins are already scared.

In that party, I imagine the classic routine in any interrogation: the hardass fighter is the bad cop, the deceptive rogue the good cop. Your fighter is basically Batman: play him that way. Also, survival has a major role in Exploration: it is, in fact, the skill to track. I really, really don't understand how you can say that fighters can't truly contribute with Exploration and Social pillars. Specially battlemasters, who gain a tool and the ability to "scan" any creature.
 

Hussar

Legend
That is a false claim. Furthermore with the skills the fighter has in your game! Intimidation is a pretty solid skill for interaction: do you ever played mass effect? You could either persuade (paragon) or intimidate (renegade). Perception is a solid skill, too. And remember that the skills are loosely tied to stats: in the example that I've just improvised for you, Survival+Intelligence will be the way to discover the paths to infiltrate. The warlock, druid and rogue could be the infiltration team, whereas the fighter buys time with threats, and directs the team from a good perspective (Perception+Intelligence). Intimidation is an "all or nothing" approach: it is potentially the most effective, but also the riskier one. After all, the goblins are already scared.

In that party, I imagine the classic routine in any interrogation: the hardass fighter is the bad cop, the deceptive rogue the good cop. Your fighter is basically Batman: play him that way. Also, survival has a major role in Exploration: it is, in fact, the skill to track. I really, really don't understand how you can say that fighters can't truly contribute with Exploration and Social pillars. Specially battlemasters, who gain a tool and the ability to "scan" any creature.

It's simple. Virtually nothing about the fighter class contributes to social or exploration pillars. It's unlikely that the fighter will have the Int or Wis scores to make him very useful at exploration, and, heavy armor means that most of his useful skills will be done at disadvantage. At least, he's useless at stealth at a minimum. Even with a reasonable Cha, his Intimidate likely isn't all that good either. Not compared to the other characters. Never minding that he has nothing to actually improve those checks - no Guidance spells, no Bardic stuff, and whatnot.

It's not that the fighter is bad at skills, it's that virtually every other class is as good or better. Same as the fighter generally actually. Sure, a fighter is effective at whatever schtick you want to give him, but, there's always another class that is as good at that schtick and most often better.

Just as a note, have you ever actually seen the Battlemaster "scan" ability used at the table? I haven't. Not once. AFAIC, it might as well not even exist.
 

Sadras

Hero
Just as a note, have you ever actually seen the Battlemaster "scan" ability used at the table? I haven't. Not once. AFAIC, it might as well not even exist.

We have but our table disliked the ability immensely (AC, Hit Points and levels knowledge) so as DM if the Battlemaster PC uses the ability, I will provide tactical and combat knowledge about the foe/opponent, even freely during a combat encounter, in a more narrative sense.

i.e. if the target possesses a military background; level martial training (basic, expert, master); their preferred fighting style; or knowledge of the physical ability stats (inferior or superior);

Mechanically, after studying his opponent in a fight, I might provide the PC with advantage on his/her first attack or an additional combat maneuver against them or might allow the battlemaster to use up his reaction to cancel a second wind by his opponent.

Whatever creatively works in the moment.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top