Latest Diablo 3 News
DiabloWiki Updates
Support the site! Become a Diablo: IncGamers PAL - Remove ads and more!

Dungeons & Dragons 2016 thread (surprise round!!!)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Technomancer, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,261
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    174
    We've needed a new thread for a long time, so here it is! As a Christmas present for Dredd, I'm finally gonna post my way-the-heck-too-long review/overview of D&D 5th Edition!

    I don't know why it's so long, I guess I have problems. :p I wanted to get into a lot of the details because I just do that sort of thing (my first posts on this site were full workups on class ideas for <crowbar swings> :D ). I'm overall quite impressed with the new edition. I haven't had a chance to play as much 5E over the last few months as I'd like, but I've done enough on both sides of the table to get a pretty solid feel for it.

    I'm gonna have to break it up across a couple posts:
     
    BobCox2 likes this.
  2. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,261
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    174
    Overall, the game is WAY more streamlined than in recent times and it plays much like the older editions. It is primarily theater-of-mind, but there are some very simple grid-play rules in the PHB that take up less than a quarter page. The DMG elaborates on that a bit more and even adds some guidelines for combat on hex maps.

    I was originally planning to try and integrate the stuff from the DMG directly into this part, but most of it is gonna have to be in it's own section to keep my brain from tying itself in knots. :p

    - The Books:
    The books are rather expensive, retailing for $50 a pop! I was quite put off by that (Heck, I was bummed when 4E core books were $35 retail!), but these books are really nice. They are 320+ pages and full color/image-textured all the way through. Another thing that makes it somewhat more palatable is that they are not going to be putting out a bunch of sequels to these books. No more PHB 1/2/3 or DMG 1/2/3. There are going to be more Monster Manuals, but that's expected. In general, they are not planning on putting out nearly the volume of books that were released for the last 3 editions, which is believable (for now) because they only have one team of people working on the books now, and the same team doesn't do the next book until the last one is done.

    $150 for the core of the game is still a big pill to swallow, but in the long run, it may not amount to spending more on the overall game. There is also the free option...

    - The Not Books:
    They have all the rules you need to play the game available on the website for free download! It really is the lion's share of the rules, however you only get the core 4 races and classes (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling and Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, Rogue), about 2/3rds of the spells, and rather small selection of magic items and monsters. The only main things missing are the multiclassing rules and feats, which are now optional. You don't really get much information on adventure creation, but you get the basic encounter creation guidelines so you can get by doing your own thing. The free rules are primarily meant to be used with their adventure products and organized play at game stores.

    Basic Rules for D&D 5th Edition

    - The Art:
    I really like the direction and quailty of art in these books. Most of it is much more fantasy-realistic than we've seen since the AD&D days, and it's not all super-models and "super scary guys" striking a pose and trying to look all hot or scary like in 4E especially. The females in bikini-mail or plate mail with "cleavage-windows" are gone as well, along with most of the shiny, glowy swords all over the place. There are a lot of story scenes too which are nice, some of it is rather reminiscent of the old-school art. It's still not exactly Elmore or Easley, but I feel like the spirit is in the right place for the first time in a very long time.


    The Player's Handbook:

    - The System:
    To start with, it's a very smooth and intuitive game. There isn't a lot of wonkiness and contradictory methods for doing things. It's still based on the d20 system with adding bonuses to a roll to meet/exceed a DC for checks. Ability scores (now capped at 20) play a big(ger) part in this edition, being responsible for attacks, skill checks, and saving throws. In fact, pretty much everything in the game is resolved with one of those three rolls. One of my DMs at the last Gencon summed it up really well: (paraphrasing) "It's so intuitive that once you get a basic understanding of the system, you can about make up what to do in an unknown situation on the fly, then go back and look it up and you were probably right." I've yet to find anything that seems odd or out of place with the system itself.

    Also, they try to cap the numbers race to sane levels, they call it 'bounded accuracy'. Attack bonuses go up slowly, AC goes up slowly (most monsters, even at crazy power levels don't go very far past 20 AC), etc. No more trying to figure out what 13 + 34 is on every attack roll. Ever. Good riddance!! It also means that monsters never really become obsolete (which was a major issue with 4E). At 15th level, Orcs, in large enough quantities, could still be a viable threat to you.

    - The Gameplay:
    This games plays really fast and smooth! It's kinda hard to explain, but battles and exploration both seem to fly by, probably faster than any edition since BECMI or OD&D. Like I said above, things are pretty consistent so there isn't a lot to have to constantly look up, even as a relative beginner. The only things that normally need looking up are spells, but the spells are a bit more streamlined than in the past too, so it's easier to memorize the effects/details.

    Characters are also not quite so loaded down with options and features to always keep track of. If you're the type of player that only does what's on the character sheet, you only have a few options so things snap together much quicker. If you are more of a freelancer, about any crazy thing you can think of to do should be very quick and intuitive to resolve, the DM probably won't have to look up a bunch of stuff or ponder some homebrew method to adjudicate it. It'll probably be along the lines of "...Alright, give me a Dex check, but you have Advantage on it because the other guy is so caught off guard by the audacity of it."

    Advantage/Disadvantage is a new mechanic introduced to eliminate a lot of the little bonuses and penalties to attacks/checks from this, that, and the other. The idea is simple, if you have some kind advantage (hidden from target, target is distracted, executing a well thought out strategy, etc), roll two d20s and use the higher roll. It works out to around a +5 bonus if the target roll for success is in the 5-15 range, less beyond that. Disadvantage is the same in reverse: if you have some kind of disadvantage (attacking something invisible, being blinded, etc.), roll two d20s and use the lowest roll. Some people think it's gimmicky, but I (and most people, I gather) love it to death. It's so... perfect. I'm amazed it's taken this long to put in the game!

    Inspiration is another new (roleplay focused) mechanic. For those familiar with Action Points from 4E, this is what that has evolved into. Inspiration is a pure story based mechanic though, so if the DM feels your character does something really awesome or roleplays the character really well, he can give you Inspiration. This allows you (once) to get Advantage on an attack, check, or save. If another character is trying something important or heroic, you can use your own Inspiration to give them advantage instead. This is a pretty new thing and we haven't been using it nearly enough (never occurs to us for some reason), but I think this is a cool little thing to reward good roleplaying.

    Healing:
    One of the most contentious points during the playtest revolved around healing. On one end of the spectrum, you had people who liked 4E healing (damage is mostly superficial/exhaustion with lots of self-healing throughout the day, a good night's sleep and your back to 100%) and on the other, you had people advocating for "Hit Points as Meat" (all damages are real wounds that take a long time to heal without magic). They were working on alternate systems (acknowledging there was no one system that would please everyone), so I was a little disappointed when a fairly 4E style healing/resting system was used in the PHB/Basic rules with no other options, but thankfully the DMG offers some options to make it a little more reasonable.

    Healing and resting in the PHB has followed largely in the 4E footsteps, though dialed back a little. Your overall resilience is not just hit points, but also includes a reinvention of the term "Hit Dice". It's not HD from the old game, it's more like healing surges from 4E. You have HD equal to what you've rolled for your HP so far, so a 5th level Fighter would have 5d10 HD. When you take a short rest (default is 1 hour), you can 'spend' HD to heal yourself, rolling how ever many you want to restore your HP. HP is basically how much abuse you can take in a short period of time before you're so beat down you can be mortally wounded. HD are your reserves, how much you can get it together and prepare yourself for more, given the chance to rest up and tend to your wounds. When you go below 0 HP, you don't die immediately (unless from MASSIVE damage), but you have to make "death saves" (roll 10 or higher on a d20). 3 successes and you stabilize, 3 failures and you die (which happened to me at GenCon during the Big Game Saturday night! :/). The actions of enemies and allies can take you closer or further from death's door or kill you outright. Resting consists of short rests (1 hour) which allow you to spend HD, and some classes can regain some abilities. Long rests (8 hours) restore all your HP(?!), half your HD, and all spells and class features. You could have 1 HP and no HD and be back to 100% in 2 days. :/ Again, this is the only way presented in the PHB, but the DMG offers some alternatives.

    In the DMG, short/long rest lengths can be changed from 1hr/8hrs to 5mins/1hr (for super 4e action), or 8hr/1week for a really drawn out narrative. The last option seems interesting, but they left it to where you only regain spells every week instead of every night! Easy to houserule, but odd. The optional effects of long rests seem to offer more interesting options. My favorite is gaining back NO HP and just 1/2 your HD, which you would need to spend to regain HP every day, taking the better part of a week on average to get back to 100%. That seems like a fair compromise to me, but combining that with the 1 week rests would take around a month to get back to 100%, which lines up fairly well with the old game at higher levels. All of this assumes no magical healing of course. The DMG also offers options for lingering/permanent injuries and massive damage consequences, if that's your thing. ;)

    - The Races:
    The races in the PHB are pretty much all the classics, plus the Tiefling and Dragonborn from 4E. They make an interesting distinction I've never seen before, though. The core 4 races are Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings, along with subraces for them like Wood Elves and Moutain Dwarves. All other races (Gnomes, Half-Elves, Half-Orcs, Dragonborn, and Tiefling) are considered optional, SOLELY at the DM's discretion. This is part of a larger picture of re-empowering DMs to run the table as they see fit instead of players running the table on them. (In 4E, they created a lot of grief by saying everything is canon, nothing is optional, which led to Thri-kreen Aritificers in the Forgotten Realms! Of course DMs could always say no, but WotC gave players the backing to tell the DM he was doing it wrong. No more!)

    - The Classes:
    The classes have been returned to more of a 3E model, gaining some something at every level. I'm not really too thrilled with that, but it's not as bad as 3E, and most classes have an option to keep things more simple. Each class has 2 or more sub-classes (called Archetypes) that you pick from at (usually) 3rd level which give you 4-5 class features as you level. One path is usually a more classic, basic path like the 'Champion' Fighter that just gives you better Crit range and toughness as you level. Looking further into the Fighter, there is also the Battlemaster path that gives you a variety of maneuvers and special things you can do in battle (similar to the 4E Fighter or Warlord), and the new Eldritch Knight that gives you some minor spellcasting (roughly 1/3rd your level as Wizard) and some abilities that help you integrate swordplay and sorcery like attacking and casting a simple spell in the same round.

    Wizard paths are based on specialty wizards from 2E. They are rather different from the past though, there are no penalties, just a handful of extra tricks, empowerments, etc. themed after that school of magic. On the downside (and this still befuddles me), there is no basic, general 'Mage'. o_O They had it back in the playtest, but it's gone, apparently it was too powerful or something. This is something that kinda irks me. I knows it's purely psychological, but it kinda makes me feel like sticking to 2E for my wizard-fix and play other classes for 5E unless I can make up my own generalist Mage path.

    Besides the core 4 classes (Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue), there are also Paladins, Rangers, Barbarians, Bards, Druids, Monks, Sorcerers, and Warlocks.

    An important aspect to classes in 5E is that you don't get all the goods at first level (Well, clerics kinda do, they pick a Divine Domain from the get-go). Most characters aren't fully finalized until 3rd level when they pick their sub-class path. The first 2 levels go by pretty quick though, but this gives you a chance to play the character with a group and flesh it out some before you decide what it's gonna do with the rest of it's life. This has caused some criticism from people that want it all from the beginning, but they openly say it's fine to start everyone at 3rd level and go from there if so desired. Levels 1 and 2 have been unofficially referred to as "apprentice levels". Personally, I like it the way they did it. It does alleviate some of the initial character creation headache and would be especially nice for new players so they're not so overwhelmed.

    Multiclassing is also very close to the 3E model, but having classes not really get everything at level 1 prevents people from dipping into a class (or 3) for one level and getting a ton of extra stuff. If you really want to branch out, you eventually need to take a few levels from another class. Also, you don't get all the 1st level perks for multiclassing either, like you can't be a Wizard and take a level of Fighter to now wear plate mail. There are also ability score pre-reqs to multiclass, so that Wizard for example would have to have a 13 Str or Dex to MC into Fighter. I kinda miss starting out as 2 classes at once though from a roleplay perspective.

    - The Magic:
    After it's brief vacation in 4E, Vancian magic is (basically) back! You have to memorize spells again! It's handled a little differently though and it's significantly more flexible. There is now a distinction between 'prepared' spells and 'spells cast per day' or 'spell slots'. You prepare a number of total spells (of all levels) equal to your level + your spellcasting ability score. Once prepared, you have a certain number of spell slots of each spell level, depending on you character level, that you can cast in a day, but you can use those slots to cast whichever spells you wish. Say you have 3 1st level slots and have Burning Hands, Charm Person, and Sleep prepared, you can cast each of them once, or Burning Hands twice and Sleep once, or Charm Person 3 times, etc.

    Also, damage spells don't automatically scale up as you level, but you can cast them using a higher level spell slot for more damage. You could eventually choose whether to cast a Meteor Swarm or a 9th level Lightning Bolt. This was done to put a cap on the shear damage output of spellcasters while still allowing for bucket-o-dice spells. And there are bucket-o-dice spells. Oh yes. Bucket of Dice. For example, Meteor Swarm creates 4 meteors that EACH do 20d6 Fire AND 20d6 Bludgeoning damage (save for half) in a 40' radius. Sadly, the effects don't overlap (no hitting the same guy with all 4), but can you say set the world afire?

    Some of the classic non-damaging spells have been curbed a little bit, but it's welcome to see them come back after 4E. For example, Charm Person doesn't make long-term slaves at 1st level any more. It's a little sad I guess, but it should make it a little harder for a Wizard to run the table on the DM. It's not total nerfbat though, it's just some of the jagged edges have been filed down some. Also, other spells that are similar to one another have been combined into one spell like the new Imprisonment spell that encompasses half a dozen methods similar to Trap the Soul, Sink, etc. Cure Wounds is just one spell now that can be cast using different level spell slots (same with Inflict Wounds). There is only one Bigby's Hand spell, but it can take many forms. And so on.

    The last important thing about magic is that 4E style Cantrips (or At-Wills) have been kept. This means that (especially low level) wizards and clerics (and Bards and Druids) can actually be spellcasters all day instead blowing their one or two spells and throwing darts the rest of the day. The damaging cantrips are pretty well in line with weapon damage, so it's not really a big advantage, but the other spells are nice, like being able to cast Light, Mage Hand, or Minor Illusion whenever you want. They can really define a character. I had an Arcane Trickster Rogue (think Eldritch Knight, but for Rogue) that LOVED Mage Hand!! :D I also played with someone whose Cleric always made it a big important deal to cast Light on the front of his shield.

    - The Character Creation:
    Character creation at it's most basic was originally promised to be super simple and straightforward, but it's a little more involved than that. It's far more streamlined than 3E/4E, but it's not quite the "written on the back of a napkin" that 1E could be. Some drastic improvements involve not having to plot your character out to 20th level when making it so you don't lock yourself out of some option later (like 3E and 4E). Also, Feats are totally optional and no one (except humans, optionally) get any before 4th level. The default is that you get ability score bonuses at certain levels, but you can choose a feat instead. Now these feats add a bit more to a character than 3E/4E, and there are FAR fewer of them.

    An extra, optional layer to character creation is selecting a Background. Backgrounds set the stage for your character's personality and backstory. It consists of getting some skill or tool proficiencies or languages, some minor items and gold, but most importantly, 4 personality traits. These are put on the front of the character sheet to make them more useable/useful/used. They are Personality (how you interact with the world), Ideal (goal/principle), Bond (agenda/motivation), and Flaw (personal weakness). Each Background has appropriate lists for each of these which can be chosen or rolled randomly. Also, Backgrounds are completely separate from race/class, so you can have a Halfling Bard with a Soldier Background or a Dwarven Fighter with an Acolyte Background or whatever. Again, ALL of this is totally optional, so you can use some, all, or none of it, make up your own traits, or just leave it all blank. For serious characters, I'm not sure I would use this much, but for quick characters and one-offs (which is pretty much all I've been doing so far), this is actually pretty amazing to add quite a bit of depth to a sheet of paper really quick. Beginners seem to REALLY love this. It gives them a roleplay starting point that many of us veterans may take for granted. We even got my sister to play a couple times, and she got into her character immediately through her background.

    - The Gear:
    The general item list is great! There is a buffet of useful and interesting things that make 4E look like bread and crackers. In addition to basic items, you can buy Healing Potions, tools for various crafts, mounts, boats, hirelings, and more.

    There are 3 armor groups (Light, Medium, and Heavy) and 4 weapon groups (Simple Melee, Simple Ranged, Martial Melee, and Martial Ranged). Most classes are proficient with entire groups of weapons and armors and there aren't many downsides to just using what you want, which is nice from a RP perspective (no more "the correct answer is ALWAYS longsword" like in the old game). Shields are pretty awesome too, so it's a real tradeoff whether you use both hands for weapons.

    A neat little thing they added was a chart of useless little Trinkets that characters can roll for one when created. They include things like a used voodoo doll (not called that, but...), a hilt from a broken sword, a glass eye, a rabbit's foot, a bag of 47 humanoid teeth (only one of which is rotten), a crystal doorknob, a pirate flag, etc. They're just little things that the player can play with or wonder about. The DM can also throw in stuff about the trinkets at some point if they want to, they're just kinda fun. My brother has the voodoo doll one and pulls the needles out and puts them back in when he's bored. I have something fun in mind for when he starts hearing yelling off in the distance while doing that... :evil:

    - The Skills:
    Skills similar to 3E/4E make a return in 5E. They are pretty close to the 4E set of skills, but are presented more as ability checks with some bonuses for being proficient in a skill. It may seem a like subtle distinction, but they have made it a bit more flexible in that you can use different ability scores for a check if it makes sense. Each skill defaults to certain ability scores like Perception is Wisdom, Stealth is Dexterity, Diplomacy is Charisma, etc., but if the player makes a salient argument for how they want to do something, you could make a Strength Intimidation check instead of the normal Charisma Intimidation check for example.

    A welcome little addition to the list from 4E though is the Intelligence(Investigation) check. It's basically Perception for smart people so you get to rock your Sherlock Holmes instead of having to notice everything out of the clear blue sky because you're just so Wise.

    Earlier in the playtest, they didn't have skills at all, just ability checks, which I personally liked lot. They eventually brought skills back though to allows characters to get better at things beyond ability scores. I can't really argue with the reasoning. In the DMG, they have a way to get rid of skills and go back to straight ability checks (along with a couple other approaches), which is interesting. I'm kinda torn on which way to go when we get a main game going, but I'm glad to have the choice.

    Also, saving throws are ability score checks vs. a save DC now, almost like skills. You become proficient in certain saving throws based on your class. In actual gameplay, it still mostly whittles down to the Fort(Con), Reflex(Dex), and Will(Cha) saves from 3E, but you do occasionally see other ability score saves.

    One thing I've noticed is that in the 5E adventures I've played, there are a LOT of skill checks being made a LOT. I'm not sure if I just never noticed as much in 4E or what, but it seemed to stand out. Maybe it's just the design of the adventures I've played.

    - The Downtime: (or "what MurderHobos do when they're not murderhoboing")
    They've added an interesting layer of things to do when your not adventuring (downtime activities) like crafting items, researching topics, learning skills/languages, etc. Obviously, you've always been able to do these things, but they've tried to integrate them more directly into the game. They don't usually cost a lot of money, but can take a good deal of time in some cases. The DM's guide elaborates more on this, adding home/fortress building (albeit VERY basic, sadly :/), "carousing" (that's been quite a topic on D&D forums!), and more.

    They've also added in lifestyle expenses for different standards of living, which can interplay with downtime activities. Some activities allow you to maintain a certain living without digging into your hard-earned murder-bucks! You can live high-on-the-hog or have to resort to wretched and squalid lifestyles! We've had quite a bit of fun brainstorming what would constitute a 'squalid' meal. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
    BobCox2 and Dredd like this.
  3. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,261
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    174
    The Monster Manual:

    - The Layout:
    They've decided to keep the "stat block" format similar to 4E where all of the relevant combat info (stats, attacks, special abilities, etc.) is together in one chunk, but the monsters aren't bogged down with a zillion traits and abilities like before. Everything you need to run a monster (mechanically) is in the stat block. Beyond that, they have good descriptions and background info for most monsters which is a big improvement over 4E (at least the earlier MMs). The fluff is well done and overall, I'd liken it to the 2E MM.

    - The Danger:
    Most of the monsters seem to be back in form from the good old days. For starters, they're deadly again! In 4E, they got rid of almost all insta-death and permanent effects from monsters, but most of that is back now. It's usually not quite as easy to get 1-shotted, but it's a clear and present danger. Not everything is as... screwed... as it used to be, but I think it's a good balance. One thing I do like is that most poison seems to do damage and/or penalize you instead of save or die.



    The Dungeon Master's Guide:

    Overall, I am very impressed with the DMG! It's one of, if not the most, complete and comprehensive DMGs ever. I'd say only the 1st Ed. DMG really competes, but it was written like stero instructions and required years of study. ;) Back-to-back, this one does some things better, that one does other things better, but I guess I'd have to leave it at them both certainly being in the same league. There are a lot of things covered in this book, in detail, that I've come to expect from supplement books. There is obviously still room for supplements, but they'll be able to really hit the ground running instead having to explain everything to start. There is a lot of good DM theory in here like their more recent DMGs, but there is also a lot of really good APPLIED DM guidance, which the 4E book were certainly light on.

    Also...

    Holy random tables, Batman!! Wow, that was something that jumped out immediately upon flipping through the book! What a sight for sore eyes! They have random tables for all kinds of things: NPCs, maps, stories, cities, MADNESS, etc., etc., etc. Keep the percentile dice handy!

    - Adventure/campaign/multiverse creation:
    Nearly the first half this book is dedicated to creating your own adventures, campaigns, and worlds. There is plenty of good therycrafting support along with a LOT of tables and charts, if you want to use them. When it comes to making your own game, this may be the best DMG ever. I've been quite impressed. They even have quite detailed random dungeon creation guidelines in the back, too. There are sections on creating adventures with tables for settlements, locations (and background/purpose), events, goals, climaxes, twists, traps, etc. There's a chapter on creating NPCs and Villains too, with many tables to help flesh them out.

    They are very loose about canon and the nature of the universe now. They give a default overview that is reminiscent of the AD&D multiverse (The Great Wheel), even down to detailing each of the Nine Hells! However, they make it VERY clear that everything is up to the DM and give good guidelines and ideas on how to alter or homebrew your own world or universe.

    - The Loot:
    Again, lots of scaling random tables for money and gems and art and magic. I really missed that in 4E.

    Magic items are back largely to the way they used to be, but with a few noticeable exceptions. 4E design accounted for all the magic everyone was suppose to have at certain levels which ultimately commoditized magic items in a negative way. They've done away with that completely in 5E. Magic items are totally bonus, so you can have as many or few (or none) at any level and still be able to function in the game properly. Something they've done to balance this is that plusses are now capped at +3. It's odd and new, but I don't have too big of a beef with after getting used to it. Also, most charged items like wands have fewer charges but regenerate some per day. This makes them useful forever, but you can't just unload 23 Lightning Bolts in a day then throw it away. Overall, I prefer what they've done because I've always been super-reluctant to use up consumable charged items like that in the old game.

    They've introduced 'attuning' to some of the more powerful items to get all their benefits, and you can only be attuned to 3 powerful items at the same time. This is to stop things like having a bag full of Wands of Lightning or a backpack full of different super-weapons for every occasion. I had misgivings at first, but now I think this is probably a good thing. Obviously, the DM could just give out less, but eventually it will still add up. It makes it less stuff to have to sort through as a player too. Cursed items require attunement too before you realize they are cursed. Also, cursed items can be pretty nasty, but I didn't see any BS DM trollolol items like the old Necklace of Stangulation or Scarab of Death. I've always thought those were fun to have around, but they're really just there to troll the players and I never use them as DM.

    Also, Artifacts are back in form! They really come across like 1st Ed. artifacts with a lot of random or DM picked properties. The Wand of Orcus is particularly nasty, and if you succeed in 'stealing' it, he probably just wanted you to (temporarily) have it anyway! :evil: The Book of Vile Darkness (now an artifact) is pretty f'd up too!

    - TEH OPSHUNS!!!:
    This what I've been waiting 4 months for!! They didn't have everything in there I hoped for, but they hit most of the points pretty well. This is where the other healing/resting rules and skill alternatives are. Other things include ways to make it more of a group storytelling game (not my cup of tea, but it's there), Honor and Sanity as new optional ability scores, and explosives and alien tech (eh...). There are also a slew of combat options like more detailed initiative, cleaving through multiple enemies when you do a ton of damage, massive damage complications, lingering wounds, and morale. There are also step-by-step rules for creating/modifying monsters and adding class levels to them like in 3E. I had hoped for a way to make simplified NPC characters to join the party, but you basically just have to create a full character. :/ There is also some info on creating new spells, magic items, races, classes, class options, and backgrounds. Some of it is a bit more basic than I may like, but I guess it gets the job done.


    -----------------------

    If you've read all this, thanks and I'm sorry. ;) If not, I understand.

    I'm sure I've forgotten something important somehow. If you have any questions, just ask.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
    BobCox2, krischan and Dredd like this.
  4. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    12,554
    Likes Received:
    217
    Trophy Points:
    495
    OP Will Deliver.
    :D
     
  5. Dredd

    Dredd D3 Off Topic Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,142
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    142
    That was a lovely review (and a very nice present indeed)! Thank you for taking the time to write that up. I'm planning on picking up the 3 core books (plus Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat) sometime this spring.

    I have some questions but they'll have to wait until after the New Year. I'm getting bombed by family for another week or so. I truly loathe this time of year.
     
  6. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    29,914
    Likes Received:
    917
    Trophy Points:
    416
    I'm still reluctant with respect to the 5th edition. I have so much 3.5 material (and paid a lot of money for it, without having ever used half of it!) that the new edition simply cannot compare with respect to the plethora of options... yet. It seems to be a good thing for those who didn't get along with the previous two editions.
     
  7. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,261
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    174
    I'm glad you liked it, I was afraid I jumped the shark a bit. ;)

    As far as moving to a new edition, I know it's a lot when you already have a big investment in a previous one. That's one reason why I never bought into 3rd, I had so much 2nd stuff it just seemed silly at the time. I had fun with 4th, but it really wasn't the "D&D upon which all my gaming hopes and dreams were built'. 2nd will always be nearest to my heart, but it does have some age on it and a new spin on the game is refreshing. I'm still feeling 5th out too, and I'm curious to see what the game looks like in a year or two when more sourcebooks and campaigns are out.

    Speaking of which, all their current games are based in the Forgotten Realms, but they don't even have a FR campaign book out yet! With no ETA on one either! It's kinda weird. I never read the new Sundering novels, so I don't even know what gods are alive or still dead. The best answer I've heard is "DM's call". o_O On a bright side though, there seems to be a lot of "accidental" leaks and pictures showing Greyhawk games they are playing in private, which is leading folks to believe a Greyhawk campaign should be incoming in the not too distant future... :D

    That reminds me of something else I've heard about campaign settings. They've talked about basing their storylines and world-changing stuff in FR and that they plan on leaving the other settings in peace when they put them out. Also, they've talked about wanting to put out campaign books that are more timeline neutral so you can place your campaign at pretty much any stage in the timeline you want. That sounds like pre-Greyhawk Wars Greyhawk, pre-Faction War Planescape, and pre-Chaos War Dragonlance would all be back on the table for adventurin'! Sounds good to me, assuming they actually stick to that approach.
     
  8. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    12,554
    Likes Received:
    217
    Trophy Points:
    495
    I'm pretty much sticking with the 2nd edition. Old school.
    Can play any world I want with supplements.
    :D
    But want to know all the details
     
  9. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    Messages:
    7,255
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    472
    Thanks for the write up. My D&D days are most likely behind me unless the kids get into it. (Rocket building will come first!)

    A bit of trivia: I first was introduced to D&D while at Boy Scout camp. I don't recall much except the first monster I ever faced was Needleman. I think from Fiend Folio. We were playing late at night with old lanterns for light.
     
  10. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,261
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    174
    Nice necro, Amramancer! I still can't believe I wrote all that! Good luck with getting the clan into it! I know a couple guys that play D&D with their kids, it can work. :)

    A year and a half later, WotC has been extremely slim on releasing sourcebooks. There haven't been any campaign settings yet, except for the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, which is pretty much what the title implies: a setting guide+ for the Sword Coast of Forgotten Realms. They're also about to release a Ravenloft-based mega-adventure "Curse of Strahd".

    My brother and I had been playing 5E quite a bit over at a local game store, but the guys in charge of it are super flakey about it and got sick of not knowing if anyone was gonna be there on any given Sunday. We keep talking about doing our own 5E thing, but we've been busy (and happy) with running one-on-one 2E Grehawk. I've been running his lawful evil noble Mage (with henchmen) around the Saltmarsh area (southern Keoland) after running Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. He's about go to from backwater to inter-planar nexus next time out though (a portal to Sigil and a portal to the Demiplane of Shadow within an ancient Suel ruin in the Dreadwood).

    I have a NG Transmuter he's gonna start DMing soon, I think he's gonna put me in the region around the Temple of Elemental Evil. I don't 'think' he's planning on putting me through that, but it's just a good location with a lot of interesting stuff not terribly far away.

    We're also intrigued by the new 5E Ravenloft adventure. We've stayed away from the others because they're so damn long! Levels 1-15 doing the same adventure is kinda crazy! The new one is 1-10 which seems much more realistic, so we might actually do that one!
     
  11. Dredd

    Dredd D3 Off Topic Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,142
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    142
    Klaatu ... Barada ... Necktie....

    Thought I might pop by and mention that 3 collections containing 13 classic AD&D pc games are on sale over at gog.com. These include the Eye of the Beholder and Pool of Radiance trilogies! I don't care if you're 16-years-old or 60 - if you enjoy D&D and you've never played these titles before, you might consider treating yourself to these lovely treasures while they're on sale.

    For those interested, here's a link to the three collections in question:

    Forgotten Realms - The Archives: Collection One
    Forgotten Realms - The Archives: Collection Two
    Forgotten Realms - The Archives: Collection Three

    I think the sale will last about three days, so you've got time to dig for some sofa change. :D
     
    LozHinge the Unhinged likes this.
  12. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,261
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    174
    I have almost all of those in the 3 collections, plus the Dragonlance games. I can't recommend that Collection Two strongly enough! Those are some of the best games of the era of any genre as far as I'm concerned. I wasn't quite as fond as the Eye of the Beholder games, I guess I prefer the strictly turn-based ones. The whole set is only $13 though, I could think of a lot of WAY worse ways to spend $13! :D
     
  13. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    29,914
    Likes Received:
    917
    Trophy Points:
    416
    I think I downloaded the old Pool of Radiance ones from an abandonware site 15 years ago or so. If that was software piracy, that's statute-barred by now, right?
     
  14. Dredd

    Dredd D3 Off Topic Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,142
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    142
    Until Gog came along, abandonware sites were virtually the only places you could find some of these ancient jewels - unless you were happy to pay a fairly handsome sum on Ebay for an old retail copy (and had a floppy drive just sitting around).

    Star Trek: 25th Anniversary + Judgment Rites, Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet, Akalabeth and Ultima 1+2 are some of the games I never would have been able to play had it not been for those evil pirate sites. Now they're all available on Gog.

    Speaking of Gog, the classic Ravenloft and Dark Sun series are on sale as well:

    Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession + Stone Prophet
    Dark Sun: Shattered Lands + Wake of the Ravager
     
  15. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Messages:
    29,914
    Likes Received:
    917
    Trophy Points:
    416
    I doubt that Gog has legal ownership of all the stuff they are offering for money. I guess they justify their prices with things like offering a download service and a guarantee that it runs under certain OS versions. There's probably a reason why that company is located in Cyprus (with an office in Warsaw, perhaps in order to fill some EU regulation) :)

    Pool of Radiance can still be downloaded for free, it seems. If you are missing something there, consider that a lot of games begin with the word "The" or "A" or so... the section for the letter T is pretty huge! Here's The Bard's Tale trilogy, for example.
     
  16. Dredd

    Dredd D3 Off Topic Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,142
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    142
    Gog is not some grey-market site. It's owned by CD Projekt (best known for the Witcher games). They've secured the digital distribution rights for everything they sell. The bulk of their catalog is mostly older titles (though that is slowly changing) because Gog sells their games DRM-free and that makes a lot of publishers (EA, Disney, Ubisoft, Bethesda, etc) nervous.

    Hah. Okay, I'm done shilling for Gog (for now).
     
  17. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    15,252
    Likes Received:
    358
    Trophy Points:
    498
    I'll have to review what good copies I have of various old games; a lot of that stuff is on floppy & I wouldn't mind having a copy on DVD instead.

    Regardless, I thought the discussion was in regard to the old modules, which are under copyright. I'd give my eyeteeth to find downloadable Judges' Guild & old modules (Greyhawk) in toto. I've managed a few over the years but never even close to comprehensive.
     
  18. Dredd

    Dredd D3 Off Topic Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,142
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    142
    WotC has wizened up somewhat in recent years and have been (sloooooowly) rolling out high quality digital editions of their back catalog. Judges Guild, while more obscure, has been doing the same. Just keep an eye on the following sites. What you're looking for is bound to show up sooner or later:

    Dungeon Masters Guild (formerly known as dndclassics)
    DriveThruRPG
    judgesguild.org
     
    jmervyn likes this.
  19. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    3,261
    Likes Received:
    119
    Trophy Points:
    174
    jmervyn likes this.
  20. jmervyn

    jmervyn IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    15,252
    Likes Received:
    358
    Trophy Points:
    498
    Thanks bud.
     

Share This Page