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Thoughts on D&D Next

Mark S.
mksiebler
Whitehouse Station, NJ
Post #: 15
Some talk after our most recent meetup for the D&D Next Playtest group suggested we should have an "airing of the grievances". Well, here it is. I'll start.

Overall, I really like D&D Next. It seems to play well and allow for a lot of oddball situations without being too rules-heavy. I can make rulings on the fly without the worry that I am breaking the game in some way.

The 4 core classes seem to be pretty well-balanced against each other.

Not so sure about the Monk or the Barbarian, though.

The character creation and advancement guidelines need work. There are too many rules scattered across too many PDF's right now.

I know that WotC has stated that they want to keep the power-curve more flat with this edition (i.e. getting a +1 magical weapon or armor will really mean something and will serve a PC for most of their career), but many of the monster's AC and HP seem way too low. In our game sessions, the adventurers are almost always hitting with their basic to-hit bonuses, and solo monsters of even a level or two above the party seem to pose no threat. I tried to work up the owlbear as a threat in our last session, but even in a stand up fight it wouldn't have lasted more than a round or two.

That's it for now. More to follow...

Ian S
user 14564823
Mount Arlington, NJ
Post #: 11
I agree that the encounters are now too easy, level 1-3 PCs are rolling insane to-hit scores because of all the bonuses we get. Whilst one solution could be to add higher-level opponents, this could make them very dangerous. Of course, some players like this fast-paced hack'n'slash approach, but it could defeat some of the neater individual abilities etc. of the PCs.

Will be interesting to see if this balances out a little in the higher levels.

It's nice to see the wizard retaining some effectiveness throughout encounters. I think the cleric needs work, so far they seem another version of wizard and healing is somewhat of a sidebar.

As a GM, I appreciate the latitude of ruling over, say, Pathfinder. But this requires a decent GM as consistency in the rulings could become an issue for a longer-running campaign, particularly with players who are either rules-lawyers or risk-averse. Inexperienced GMs might struggle more because of this.

The PDFs are a mess. For this reason, I sometimes wonder if we're really playing by the written rules. I would prefer a much quicker way of moving from, say, a class to a feat to a spell to whatever. As the design progresses, maybe this will get easier (e.g. online SRDs).

The bestiary needs work, it currently assumes the GM knows what things are. So, again, not for the beginner GM. I'm sure (at least, I hope) they'll improve on this before publishing.
Greg M.
user 81941902
Parsippany, NJ
Post #: 1
I'll be throwing my thoughts out as I think of them.

I do think the encounters are a bit to simple, I think were just ripping threw them like nothing. I know we had advantage from my illusions and whatnot but it shouldn't be complete overkill.

I know at the end you had said you gave us a little bit of an advantage with some things, i personally don't want any advantage. I want whatever the dice show, if we get our ass's kicked so be it. That's my personal opinion.

I know i'm new to the group and not sure how far my opinion goes, but i'll never know until i give it.

When i think up more stuff i'll post, hard to put it all down in one post with a 2 yr old running around.
Eric
seidwolf
Landing, NJ
Post #: 34
I've played through a few sessions of D&D Next in home games and at Dreamation. My thoughts don't tend to differ much from what others have already said (reference materials need to be organized & streamlined; encounter scaling mechanics need balancing; selective classes need balancing; etc).

It is, however, much more fun and free than it used to be; being WAY better than 4.0 and more open than 3.5. I accept the degree to which a good DM or bad DM can impact the game - you cannot out engineer stupidity and still have characters with willpower and ability to influence the story.. That's how we got to 4.0 (over templated, boring, button mashing oriented) and lost the creativity that drew folks to D&D in the first place. The solution to bad DM's is not playing with them (and yes, you CAN pick you DM).

One parting thought, as a martial artist so many of what we learn is off of deflecting, or parrying... A monk that cannot parry wouldn't have much opportunity to counter. After all, they ARE fighters.

:-/

Tom C
user 6128822
Glen Gardner, NJ
Post #: 2
I like the new system. Especially the feat rolls. Very similar to how its done in Traveler.

Not a big fan of the magic system. I believe it needs tweaking.

I do agree that a low levels there is allot of adders to rolls & some abilities that should come later on or at higher levels. At times it seems too easy.

I do like it when the game runs a bi harder. I'm not a fan of killing characters...unless they do something REALLY STUPID. You can't fix stupid. but you can fix mistakes.

Most of the info & rules needs to be categorized a little better . Not just alphabetically. Especially the spells. Sometimes it takes too long to find info.


Tom C
user 6128822
Glen Gardner, NJ
Post #: 3
I agree with Ian about the Feats as to maneuvers, as to abilities is a little confusing on what applies at what times. The Beastry needs allot of description to be included
Mark S.
mksiebler
Whitehouse Station, NJ
Post #: 16
I noticed that some of my PC's did not have their full allotment of languages. After not finding a list in the DM pdf or the How To Play pdf, I went through the Bestiary and compiled a list:

Draconic
Undercommon
Common
Elvish
Dwarvish
Goblin
Bullywug
Infernal (Devils)
Giant
Abyssal (Demons)
Sylvan
Auran (Air elemental)
Terran (Earth elemental)
Ignan (Fire elemental)
Aquan (Water elemental)
Gnoll
Deep Speech (Aberrations)
Yuan Ti
Tom C
user 6128822
Glen Gardner, NJ
Post #: 4
OK guys.... I think there is a discrepancy.
Fighters on their chart they get a feat at levels 1, 2 & 8. But under the Specialties & Character creation chart they get feats a 1, 3 , 6 & 9. which chart applies? they really changed allot around & re-named some stuff. Let me know so I can finalize Rugar up to 7th.. Thanks
Ian S
user 14564823
Mount Arlington, NJ
Post #: 12
OK guys.... I think there is a discrepancy.
Fighters on their chart they get a feat at levels 1, 2 & 8. But under the Specialties & Character creation chart they get feats a 1, 3 , 6 & 9. which chart applies? they really changed allot around & re-named some stuff. Let me know so I can finalize Rugar up to 7th.. Thanks

1/2/8 does not sound right to me. Why would they get a new feat back-back but not again for another 6 levels? 1/3/6/9 makes more sense.
Mark S.
mksiebler
Whitehouse Station, NJ
Post #: 17
The way I read it is that they get both. The Martial Feats at 1/2/8 are a way of making up for the stuff other classes get at level 1, level 2 and level 8. Take a look at the Druid, Ranger and Paladin. They all get extra class features at those levels.

Thanks,
Markus
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