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jdizzy001

DND next

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Hmm players that persistently leave a mess don't get invited back to my games...

 

I also don't provide food especially, usually that is the players.

 

I only paint minis because I enjoy it, if I just wanted them for games I would be buying pre-paints.

 

After that I also only run the games I want, though sometimes the players get a list of what I'm prepared to run to pick from (which is why we are playing Next atm).

 

I've put a lot of thoughts about skill challenges on "paper", they are one of the best mechanics in 4E, but the rules do a pretty bad job of explaining how to use them well. This then encouraged bad presentation in modules and bad DMing habits when running them. But the actual rules for them are good (DCs aside, 'cause boy did they screw those up in 4E).

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Bah, my brain isn't working.  For the record, we've been playing "Shackled City" not "Skull & Shackles".  It's definitely a 3.5e adventure path, it's one that Dungeon packaged up into a nice hardcover.  And we even rescued (most of) the orphans, which is the first challenge.  ^_^

 

I still think that the whole Adventure Path idea is brilliant, and it seems to be funding a lot of the success of Pathfinder.  Free rules online for those too poor to buy books has got my sons playing it with their friends. 

 

(I do have the first book from "Skull & Shackles", I think, which would explain my confusion.) 

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Auld Grump, my Google-fu has totally failed. I resign myself that I shall not know the sordid details. Maybe it's best that way.

 

Try looking for that 'Guards at the Gate' quote - that and the 'Traipsing Through the Faerie Rings' quote were the two big buckets of gasoline poured on the fire. ::P:

I looked around. I think those words were ill-chosen and could have used a diplomatic "if" or some disclaimer about tastes at the beginning. Lord knows they could have been inclusive rather than humorously dismissive. But I wonder at the ferocity of the reaction against them.

 

I don't know, however. One thing I have learned is it's not always easy to stand in someone else's shoes and see what upsets them and why, and one of the hardest things to judge is whether something is an overreaction or justified upset.

 

And to be fair, simple, unthinking, lighthearted disrespect seems to be at the heart of so much grief.

 

So. I can't directly see why those statements would incite such a visceral reaction. But I also am aware that my understanding is limited and that people I respect were hurt by them.

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Auld Grump, my Google-fu has totally failed. I resign myself that I shall not know the sordid details. Maybe it's best that way.

Try looking for that 'Guards at the Gate' quote - that and the 'Traipsing Through the Faerie Rings' quote were the two big buckets of gasoline poured on the fire. ::P:

I looked around. I think those words were ill-chosen and could have used a diplomatic "if" or some disclaimer about tastes at the beginning. Lord knows they could have been inclusive rather than humorously dismissive. But I wonder at the ferocity of the reaction against them.

 

I don't know, however. One thing I have learned is it's not always easy to stand in someone else's shoes and see what upsets them and why, and one of the hardest things to judge is whether something is an overreaction or justified upset.

 

And to be fair, simple, unthinking, lighthearted disrespect seems to be at the heart of so much grief.

 

So. I can't directly see why those statements would incite such a visceral reaction. But I also am aware that my understanding is limited and that people I respect were hurt by them.

 

If it had been a one time incident, it might have passed unnoticed.

 

Or twice.

 

Three times was pushing it.

 

More than that, then having a dragon poop on the critics?...

 

WotC reaped what they sowed.

 

Then came out the fact that they really hadn't bothered to listen to their playtesters - that as long as the combat system worked then everything else could be ignored.

 

Trying to find the quotes - but the playtesters were actually told that the playtest they were going through was not for the skill challenges - but then WotC apparently never bothered doing one that was about the skill challenges. The playtesters felt that their input had been completely disregarded, because not one thing had actually been changed between an early playtest and publication.

 

Add to this that WotC had actively lied about 4e not being in development.

And lied that the system would not be based around the use of miniatures.

And lied that 4e was going to be OGL.

And lied that you would be able to convert your campaigns easily.

And lied that the GSL would be available before publication.

And lied that for a fee the publishers could get the system early enough to prepare for release.

And... well, I think that I have made the picture pretty clear.... They had a big problem in regards to telling the truth.

 

That they lied to begin with kind of shows that they had their doubts well before even announcing the game - had they not had doubts then they would have made the announcement much earlier.

 

It may simply be that they were afraid of Osborneing (do people still use Osborne as a verb?) 3.5 - sales of an older system plummet when a new edition is announced. (That WotC announced 5e so far in advance is a good indication that they recognized that hiding that a new system was in the works had bitten them with 4e.)

 

By the time the game was released the actual system was the least important reason to dislike the game.

 

WotC had destroyed much of their reputation.

 

The lead up to the release had already injured their market. People were ready to dislike 4e, sight unseen.

 

Then for many their dislike was merely confirmed by the game itself.

 

WotC screwed up - then tried to downplay the screw up.

 

I think that the real problem was a corporate disconnect - WotC did not stop and ask how their audience would react to what they were doing.

 

Or if what they were doing was necessary or even helpful.

 

They just stopped listening.

 

They had already stopped posting on forums such as E N World - closing themselves off from two way communication.

 

And the people that could have told them why that was a bad idea had already left the company. WotC had started making some of the same mistakes that had killed TSR.

 

And it is worth noting that the OGL was worded the way that it was worded was because the creators of that license knew that at some point some bonehead in marketing would try to get rid of the OGL.

 

Sure enough - some bonehead did try to get rid of the OGL (by not allowing product lines to be shared between OGL and GSL products), and, given the success of Pathfinder against the success of 4e... the creators of the OGL won that round.

 

My own view is that 4e was the Vista of RPGs. Nowhere near as successful as 3.X/XP - but more successful that any other competition. (Though I doubt that 4e would have been as successful as it was, if it hadn't had the D&D logo.)

 

But unlike Microsoft, WotC had made the core system open source - there was a safe harbor for folks that really did not want to make the change - which made Pathfinder a bigger success than 4e - because Pathfinder was recognizable as a new edition, rather than a new game.

 

4e made much more innovation - but that innovation counted against it. (An engineer will tell you that innovation fails nine times out of ten. A biologist will tell you that engineers are optimists....)

 

With 5e WotC is at least trying to avoid making the same mistakes.

 

The resulting game will almost certainly be much less innovative - and is also likely to repair much of the damage to WotC's reputation.

 

But the question remaining is whether WotC is closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

 

Ah well, writing about the mistakes that WotC made is a great example of 20/20 hindsight - though there were plenty of people that thought that WotC was fouling up long before the actual release.

 

And it is making me crabby.

 

So, I will close with a positive note - it sounds very much like WotC is actually listening to the playtesters this time, rather than using them as an echo chamber, so there is hope that 5e will not have the same problems.

 

The Auld Grump

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The playtest packets varied WILDLY though, so I'm really curious what they end up with.

Yeah, to me it felt like wotc was using the public playtest for market testing more than playtesting. Too much stuff was still in flux after the the public playtests ended for me to have any confidence it won't be rushed to have the books printed by GenCon.

 

$50 PHB? I'm not keen on a $150 core set, so it better damn well be loaded with content. 

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From what people have alluded to that are in the closed play test the 5e PHB is a good book and they are happy with it. They received it a few weeks ago.

 

Yes it has a lot of stuff that wasn't publicly play tested. However the public play test was never intended to test everything, it was intended to gather feedback on what the community liked, didn't like and was undecided on. With that information they closed the play test and then got to work on polishing the math and completing the rest of the content.

 

As to innovation, in many ways 5E is quite innovative for DnD, I'm not going to break it down though. Compared to some other games though it will not be very innovative compared to other systems on the market now though.

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The playtest packets varied WILDLY though, so I'm really curious what they end up with.

 

Yeah, to me it felt like wotc was using the public playtest for market testing more than playtesting. Too much stuff was still in flux after the the public playtests ended for me to have any confidence it won't be rushed to have the books printed by GenCon.

 

$50 PHB? I'm not keen on a $150 core set, so it better damn well be loaded with content.

So ... it was more they wanted verification and validation for what they had already decided rather than aid and advice on how to improve things?

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The thing for me is that they have already lost me as a customer.  I played every edition of D&D since 1981.  I couldn't stand 4e, though I wanted to; it was just too hard to fit my 30+ years of world development into it in a way that made sense.  We switched to Pathfinder and are happy now.  I really have no reason to even look at 5e because I have PF which is still being fully supported.  I would probably only consider changing if PF changes in a way I don't like, but for now I have everything I need.  I wish WOTC well, but I am no longer one of their customers and it will take A LOT to change that.

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No, that's not accurate. They tossed out a ton of ideas, some quite contradictory, between playtest packages, and definitely seemed to take feedback to heart on what to keep or lose. Of course we need to see what they finally came up with, but I don't doubt they listened to advice. The problem of course, is that everyone had different thoughts on what was good or bad.

 

For instance the alternate magic systems I mentioned earlier in the thread. I loved them, but the vast majority didn't care for them, so I expect magic to look very much like it did in earlier editions.

 

On the other hand, the advantage/disadvantage system* is a totally new mechanism, but it met with overwhelmingly positive feedback, so I am sure it will have made the cut.

 

*for those who never saw the playtest packages, in an effort to simplify and streamline the gaming experience, they have used this new system to try and replace many of the old numerical variables, whether bonuses or penalties. For instance, in the earliest editions, everyone had a +2 bonus to hit from behind, except for rogues, who had a +4. Then if there was a bless spell in effect, the +2s became +3s, and the +4 became a +5. And if the target had a shield, there was another calculation depending on facing. And you don't even want to know about the headaches when someone tried to use the weapon vs. armor class adjustment tables. Then in 3rd edition facing bonuses were replaced with flanking bonuses, so players were constantly having to recalculate attack bonuses based on situational modifiers like position, spells, bard songs, feats like uncanny dodge or power attack, etc, etc. Even for someone like me who loves math, I still forget or err on calculations. I can't even count the number of times I have been sitting at a gaming table and three moves later someone shouts, "Hey, I forgot the prayer spell, I should have hit with that last attack". It could sometimes lead to some spirited discussions, especially in particularly harrowing battles.

 

With the advantage/disadvantage system, there shouldn't be any adding or subtracting (who knows though, there might still be in some form in the final product). Instead, you basically have three potential means of attacking. First, and most basic, is how things already work (pretty much) in every other edition of the game. Roll a d20, add your fixed bonus, see if it meets or exceeds your opponents ac to hit (in the earlier thac0 systems the number and calculation was reversed, but mechanically, it was still, roll a high number and you hit). Now, instead of adding bonuses for variables like flanking or spells, you get an advantage. As a result, you roll 2d20s, and use the higher number for your hit roll. And if you are suffering from a disadvantage, you roll two dice but use the lower to see if you hit. Many classes had abilities where they could inflict extra damage (like a rogues sneak attack) but only if they voluntarily took a disadvantage on a roll. Advantages and disadvantages offset each other, so a rogue sneak attacking (disadvantage) in a flank (advantage) would wind up with a straight dice roll to see if he hits and does extra damage. They also had some really flavorful options for classes, so one rogue might be an opportunist and not suffer a disadvantage sneak attacking an opponent who had just been wounded, and another rogue might be an assassin-type who gains an advantage when sneak attacking alone.

 

Edited to add, I should have quoted Pingo's post. Clearly I'm not replying to TaleSpinner, who is touching on a completely different issue.

Edited by Suden
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Yeah - I have read the 5e material.

 

And, agreed, there have been changes made because of feedback - they are not nearly as wedded to their great artistic vision as they were in 4e. I a system caught a lot of flak then they changed it.

 

The Advantage/Disadvantage system just did not grab me - which does not mean that it is a bad system, merely that I prefer the Pathfinder combat system.

 

But I really, really do not like it - nor am I alone. Calling the reaction to the Advantage/Disadvantage system 'Overwhelmingly positive' is a description that is Overwhelmingly optimistic - I know more people that dislike that part of the rules than I do folks that like it - one of them is working on ways of bringing it back to an older system. (He still wants to run 5e - he just does not like that system.)

 

It is not an entirely new mechanic - the Amber Diceless system had a very similar mechanic (I didn't like it there either - but folks still play it, so I am not the only voice out there.)

 

My guess is that the folks that like the A/D system will really like it, but that more folks will shrug and move on - either using the A/D system because it is there, or going back to whatever system they already play. (I am lumping the folks that are neutral about it in there - you don't have to love a system to use it.)

 

At a second guess... it will find a strong audience in folks that favor a rules light system, and do poorly among folks that prefer a denser rules system.

 

But then, it also seems to me that the casual, rules light players are the target audience - and if so then WotC doing the job right this time. Plus, their planned Modules may be able to tweak the system to the tastes of the folks that do prefer a rules dense system.

 

For me, 3e through 3.P have the combat just about right - I would rather have the modifiers down and numbered than just fudge it, which is what the A/D system feels like to me - overly simplified.

 

But I know a fair number of folks that play Savage Worlds, which is closer to what 5e seems to be aimed at.

 

And WotC sure as heck isn't going out of its way to insult people this time, though I do hear grumblings from 4e fans that the game has moved too far away from their paradigm. (There used to be a fellow on the E N World forum that would crow that 4e was the way of the future, and that Pathfinder was going to fall by the wayside, only much more insulting than that.... If I knew where he was these days then I would buy some salt, just so that I could rub it into his wounds. ::P: )

 

As for the weapon vs. AC issue in AD&D... even Gygax skipped those rules, along with Weapon Speed and the horrible unarmed combat system. Honestly, some of the rules in AD&D just should not have been in the book....

 

And, I will admit, part of my caution about 4e was because of how badly WotC irritated me with 4e and its prelude. They lost a lot of goodwill.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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I'm sorry Auld, your self selecting group isn't significant just like mine that comes to the same conclusion as WotC (ie my self selecting group finds overwhelming support). WotC was able to select a much larger sample and they changed a lot of stuff in response to that data.

 

If you hunt up the final play test documents (Oct 2013) I think you can expect to see something pretty close to the final release product in terms of the style of the game. Specific class mechanics should not be taken as final but the basic progressions and narrative of classes hasn't changed based on what is out there in public. There have been some mechanics added (inspiration dice) and no doubt some tweaks to other mechanics (especially monster math) but the core is in that final play test.

 

I probably will not buy the tactical combat module that is supposed to bring Next to a more 3E/4E combat level. I use minis and a map already and it's simple and clean, just need to bolt on "difficult terrain" and it works.

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I'm sorry Auld, your self selecting group isn't significant just like mine that comes to the same conclusion as WotC (ie my self selecting group finds overwhelming support). WotC was able to select a much larger sample and they changed a lot of stuff in response to that data.

 

If you hunt up the final play test documents (Oct 2013) I think you can expect to see something pretty close to the final release product in terms of the style of the game. Specific class mechanics should not be taken as final but the basic progressions and narrative of classes hasn't changed based on what is out there in public. There have been some mechanics added (inspiration dice) and no doubt some tweaks to other mechanics (especially monster math) but the core is in that final play test.

 

I probably will not buy the tactical combat module that is supposed to bring Next to a more 3E/4E combat level. I use minis and a map already and it's simple and clean, just need to bolt on "difficult terrain" and it works.

Exactly - it is the unqualified 'Overwhelmingly positive' that I am objecting to - had the statement been 'In my experience the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive' then I would have made no complaint. Instead it was a blanket statement, that is, in my own experience, untrue. (And has enough argument in other fora that I feel justified in feeling that the folks that are not 'overwhelmingly positive' are at least at parity with those that feel that it is the best thing since Ramen noodles.)

 

My suspicion is that the actual result is closer to 50/50 than to either your experience or mine. That we are both outliers.

 

But I have made no claim to being part of an overwhelming majority.

 

As for a self selecting group... the entirety of the open playtest is a self selecting group - and those folks that had significant problems with the systems had removed themselves from that group before too terribly far into its existence.

 

This is a rare case where a self selecting group has bearing, since it is a set within a primary self selecting group.

 

I did a test run of the first two parts of the playtest - and did not bother after that.

 

I did not hate the systems to that point, but did feel that Pathfinder was a more enjoyable experience.

 

So, why change?

 

Which is going to be the big hurdle for 5e - getting the larger part of their audience to want to swap.

 

Said test of 5e was a much better experience than my very brief experiment with 4e - which was pretty universally loathed in my self selecting group.

 

And, hey! It turned out we weren't a minority.

 

We were the simple majority.

 

Just because a group is self selected does not certify that it is wrong.

 

My greatest fear, in regards to 5e, is that it will fail to capture even as large a share of the market as 4e - in part because I do consider it superior to 4e.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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The "overwhelming majority" comment comes from WotC's statements about their survey data. I'm one of the people who voted against Advantage/Disadvantage but more experience playing with the rule and more time to reflect on it has changed my mind.

 

As to your "why change" question that's easy;

1) You want to play DnD

2) You find 4E is too slow

3) You find Pathfinder too cumbersome

4) You enjoy older editions (2E, 1E, BECMI) but want a cleaner rule set.

 

5E is a better successor to 2E than 3E was, with all the learning that 3E & 4E plus a lot of other RPGs has permitted the designers. It doesn't have to be your preferred system, but it's going to change the DnD landscape in a big way again.

 

I'm not against Pathfinder, but it didn't fix the problems I have with 3E and so I have no reason to pick Pathfinder up if I was going to play 3E.

 

I really like 4E.

 

The things I really like about 4E are underlying principles that are also found in 5E.

 

5E fixes the big problem with 4E (combat's are time intensive - note I like 4E combat but it does swallow a lot of game time) without sacrificing the game prep improvements 4E made (though I reserve final judgement on that) and encourages a play style that I enjoy in RPGs. That's pretty much why I'll pick up at least the "Red Box" product.

 

The big clincher though will be what happens with the OGL/GSL; if they get the OGL right 5E will be king again. If they get it wrong it will always battle Pathfinder for the crown. I know the R&D team for 5E are pro-OGL but legal makes that decision and they proved with 4E that they don't have a clue.

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The advantage/disadvantage gives a very different distribution than just adding a bonus. Most critically, having advantage makes critical failure much less likely (1 in 400 instead of 1 in 20). It will probably please a lot of people who don't like the "no matter what I do I have a 5% chance of failure" aspect of d20 systems.

Here are some histograms of the potential results.

5e_rolls.png

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The advantage/disadvantage gives a very different distribution than just adding a bonus. Most critically, having advantage makes critical failure much less likely (1 in 400 instead of 1 in 20). It will probably please a lot of people who don't like the "no matter what I do I have a 5% chance of failure" aspect of d20 systems.

Here are some histograms of the potential results.

5e_rolls.png

A minor correction, in regards to Critical Success/Critical Failure in Pathfinder - a 1 or a 20 is typically only the threat of a Critical Failure or a Critical Success. Each needs to be confirmed in order to happen, with a simple roll against the same DC as the original roll.

 

So, assuming Bob da Bruiser has rolled a natural 20 against Tweedy Jim, who has an AC of 10, then Bob is going to need to roll a total of 10 on his second roll to confirm the critical on poor Jim. If Bob lives up to his name and has a 20 Strength, but is only a first level Fighter, then he is going to need to roll a 4 in order to confirm the Critical success and chop Tweedy Jim in half. Things don't look good for Jim. But Bob rolls a 2, and only hurts Jim a lot, rather than killing him outright.

 

Following that Jim, who has miraculously survived what was almost a Critical Success, tries to attack Bob - and rolls a natural 1. Jim now has to roll again to confirm that everything in his life has gone pear shaped. Bruiser Bob has a 16 Dex, but is otherwise nekkid, so Jim needs a total roll over 13 if he wants to show the world that he isn't a complete waste of hydrocarbons. He also rolls a 2, adds 0 for his Strength of 10 (for his heart is pure) adds 0 for his Base Attack Bonus (Jim is a professional author... how he got into the arena is a long story that will be cut short). Sure enough, his sword goes flying end over end into the stands, killing a five year old boy in the audience.

 

So, the actual statistics are a bit more variable - based on the DC of the task at hand. The 5% chance is only for the possibility of there being an additional effect.

 

There are also effects that can increase or decrease the possibility of whether a Threat is confirmed.

 

The Auld Grump

Edited by TheAuldGrump

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