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Dungeons & Dragons Next

Mattermap door Git Games 03 juli 2014

Opinions about the Basic Rules D&D Next

  • Wizard of the Coast

    • As Mike Mearls explained in Legends & Lore: The Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons is a PDF (over 100 pages, in fact) that covers the core of the game. It runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options; in addition, the rules contain 120 spells, 5 backgrounds, and character sheets.

      But the best part? The Basic Rules is a free PDF. Anyone can download it from our website. We want to put D&D in as many hands as possible, and a free, digital file is the best way to do that.

      Here now is the Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons
      ...»
      Mike Mearls Wizard of the Coast Bron: wizards.com 03/07/2014
    • WotC: D&D Expeditions Leveling Up Your Game

      A Little History
      Back in the ‘80s, the RPGA (the official organized play system, predecessor to the D&D Adventurers League) created a convention-based tour
      nament-style play format for D&D. The idea was that you’d come to shows such as Gen Con and Origins, register for a tournament, get handed a pre-generated character, and compete against other players or teams to see who could get the farthest or be the most successful in a given adventure. There were many though, that wanted to play their own characters in something more akin to what they were doing at home -- a campaign-style play format.

      Living City, the first official shared-world organized play campaign, debuted at Gen Con in 1987. Based in the Forgotten Realms city of Ravens Bluff, players could create their own character and play in official adventures that ran at conventions. All rewards (represented by certificates) and experience went with their characters from game to game, just like most home campaigns.

      The campaign-style play proved to be a hit, and over the next decade or so it created an explosion of play in the RPGA. In 2000, with the launch of the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Living Greyhawk debuted, evolving the “living campaign” model further. In Living Greyhawk real-world areas were divided up into regions that represented discrete areas within the campaign world. You could play anywhere, but in order to participate in most adventures, you needed to travel to the real-world region to do so. The regional system created strong bastions of play that evoked a sort of “mini-campaign” feel -- like each region was almost a distinct campaign, woven into the main campaign.

      With the launch of the fourth edition of D&D, the official organized play world shifted back to the Forgotten Realms. Living Forgotten Realms eschewed the regional model after a brief dalliance with it in its early days, and let players participate in adventures wherever they lived. Players could play anything available without leaving their local area, save for special events at large conventions.
      ...»
      Chris Tulach Bron: WotC: D&D Expeditions Leveling Up Your Game 03/07/2014
    • Building Adventures
      Mike Mearls
      If you're lucky enough to live near a Wizards Play Network store that participates in our early release program for D&D, you probably already have your hands on the Sta
      rter Set. If you're as crazy as I am, you might have even already completed Lost Mine of Phandelver, the Starter Set adventure. What's next for you? Well, we've heard a number of calls from DMs for a preview of the guidelines for designing and balancing encounters, so let's take a look at those rules this week. You can use these guidelines with the monsters in appendix B of Lost Mine of Phandelver to continue your campaign or create new adventures.

      Warning: These are not final rules. Although they've been playtested thoroughly, you can expect some adjustments before they debut in the Dungeon Master's Guide in November.

      To start with, remember that these are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Challenge ratings and XP budgets are tools to help DMs judge the difficulty of a combat encounter or an overall adventure. But there are so many variables involved in D&D that it's impossible to perfectly balance everything. Experienced DMs often run their campaigns simply by eyeballing difficulty, or by placing creatures and threats based solely on the needs of the setting or adventure.

      In other words, treat this like any other piece of DMing advice we offer. Use it if it improves your game. Ignore it if it gets in the way.

      Challenge Rating: A monster's challenge rating is a guide to its overall power. As a general rule, monsters with a CR higher than a party's level pose a significant threat. They might have abilities that easily outclass the characters, or so many hit points that they can wear the characters down even in a straightforward battle.

      Unless you're looking to create an intentionally difficult—or even deadly—encounter, it's best to focus on creatures with a challenge rating less than or equal to the average level of the characters in the party.

      Experience Point Value: You can judge the difficulty of a battle by comparing the total experience point value of the monsters to the party's level. Here's the current state of the experience point budget table. Multiply the XP value listed on the table by the number of characters in the party to determine your total budget. That budget gives you a guideline for the total XP value of creatures in the combat.
      ...»
      Mike Mearls Bron: WotC 07/07/2014
  • Thread on the forum (EnWorld, theRPGSite)

    • Rules are go!
      Agamon EN World Forum Bron: EN World Forum 03/07/2014
    • Official D&D Basic Discussion Thread
      Cybit EnWorld Bron: EnWorld Forum 03/07/2014
    • Skill List and Saves for Wisdom and Intelligence
      Start out by saying Bravo! Here are some of my niggles though.

      Skills with different abilities variant
      This is nice an up front. There would need to b
      e a few changes to the skills to really accommodate this well though. When I call for Medicine (INT) rolls every time it will not cause any disturbances in the force...

      Intelligence Checks
      Investigation. - Perhaps too broad? It seems to be a necessary skill but in the description it touches medicine, insight, perception, and survival. Is it ok to have those skills do specific things and then for this to be able to do those things too? This skill is very good.

      Other Intelligence Checks.
      Pull together a disguise to pass as a city guard. - This should be listed as a function of Deception (and in fact is).

      Wisdom Checks
      Animal Handling. - this should be an INT based skill based on what it does.
      Insight. - Specialized perception on determining interpersonal characteristics of NPCs such as sincerity. I might roll this into perception or deception or even allow both...
      Medicine. - this needs to be based on INT.
      Survival. - this also needs to be INT based. This also runs into Nature skill and Investigation skill.

      Other Wisdom Checks.
      Get a gut feeling on a course of action to take. - This is basically a luck roll or a DM may I have a hint roll. I don't think this should be stat based if you allow this type of thing into the game anyway.
      Discern whether a seemingly dead or living creature is undead. - I would say this is a good Perception check or Medicine or even Investigation. This should not only be an unskilled wisdom check.
      ...»
      EnWorld Bron: EnWorld 03/07/2014
    • I haven't followed the birth of D&D 5. I've heard things here and there, sure. But, I've been uninterested in it. I play the Conan RPG, and I don't plan on switching.

      Today, though, I saw a posting t
      hat said that WotC had released a 110 page set of D&D Fifth Edition Basic Core Rules that contained everything needed to play the game.

      What the heck. I took a look.
      ...»
      Water Bob En Worlds Forum Bron: En Worlds Forum 03/07/2014
    • Opening Page of the Players Handbook
      Patrick McGill Bron: EnWorld Forum 04/07/2014
    • theRPGSite > Game Discussion > Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Main Forum
      Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, transgender, gender identity, etc. in 5e

      You don?t need to be confined to binary notions of
      sex and gender.
      The elf god Corellon Larethian is often
      seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example,
      and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon?s
      image. You could also play a female character who
      presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a
      female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being
      mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character?s sexual
      orientation is for you to decide.


      Was this really necessary?
      ...»
      1989 theRPG Site Bron: theRPG Site Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, transgender, gender identity, etc. in 5e 04/07/2014
    • View Poll: How do you feel about the 5th edition Basic Rules?


      Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?356473-5e-Basic-Rules-poll#ixzz36Vp6cK5j
      Nebulous Bron: EnWorld 04/07/2014
    • Eddie's D&D 5th Edition Starter box game Out of Character thread: TABLE 1
      Bavo T Bron: rpggeek 04/07/2014
    • I haven't seen anyone mention it yet, but: 5E psionics. Psionics have a long history in D&D, and a lot of fans as well as detractors. It's likely just a matter of time until we see them in 5E, but the question is when and how.

      My guesses:
      It won't be given a full treatment in either the Player's Handbook or Dungeon Master's Guide. 5E is supposed to avoid splatbloat, but even then psionics is probably best suited to being an optional subsystem presented in its own book;
      By December 2015, we'll either have psionics rules or know when they'll be published;
      It'll appear prior to or alongside the launch of a setting like 5E Eberron or 5E Dark Sun (because those are two settings that include psionics more heavily than most);
      The psion class will still use power points;
      "Psychic warrior" and "soulknife" will be new subclasses for existing classes (fighter and rogue, probably);


      Speculate away!
      ...»
      Nebulous En World Forum Bron: En World Forum 05/07/2014
    • Saving Throws design choice
      So it looks like STR, INT, and CHA saves went away in the spells. That means that the classes which have STR, INT, or CHA save Proficiency is just a extraneous class featur
      e. It looks like we are back to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves.

      There are a couple of weird applications though. Disbelieve is an Investigation (INT) check. There is a variety in how some similar effects are handled. Not unlike previous editions.

      My 2 personal yuks:
      HP Thresholds are still in, I would remove
      Spell attack concept, I would remove and make saves (Standardizes of similar effects handled in different ways)

      Specific spell comments
      Teleport % roll could have been an INT check
      Unsure about the auto-dispel of spells from Dispel Magic and Globe of Invulnerability - a very minor point
      Web should be Athletics (STR) when restrained.
      Maze could be Investigation (INT)?
      Greater Restoration should have been a leveled up version of restoration
      Greater Invisibility should have been a leveled up version of invisibility

      List of all spells and there checks:
      Aid – No save or check
      Anti-Magic Field – No save or check
      Arcane Eye – No save or check, though I would imagine that there would be a perception (WIS) or passive perception interaction to see if the eye was detected. No advice offered.
      Arcane Lock increases the DC to break the door or pick the door lock by 10
      Astral Projection – No save or check
      Augury – No save or check
      Beacon of Hope – No save or check
      Blade Barrier – Save (DEX) for ½
      Bless – No save or check
      Blur – No save or check
      Burning Hands – Save (DEX) for ½
      Chain Lightning – Save (DEX) for ½
      Charm Person – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Command – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Commune – No save or check
      Comprehend Languages – No save or check
      Cone of Cold – Save (CON) for ½
      Cure Wounds – No save or check
      Dancing Lights – No save or check
      Darkness – No save or check
      Death Ward – No save or check
      Delayed Blast Fireball – Save (DEX) for ½
      Detect Magic – No save or check
      Dimension Door – No save or check
      Disintegrate – Save (DEX) to Negate
      Dispel Magic – d20+stat vs 10+spell level, would have liked to see this reversed so the DM does not give away how many spell effects are up on the target
      Divination – No save or check
      Dominate Monster – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Dominate Person – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Dream – Save (WIS) to Negate Partially
      Earthquake – Save (CON) to lose concentration on spells, Save (DEX) to Negate being knocked prone, Save (DEX) to not fall in a fissure, Save (DEX) for ½ if a structure falls on you, Athletics (STR) to dig out of rubble.
      Etherealness – No save or check
      Find the Path – No save or check
      Faerie Fire – Save (DEX) to Negate
      Finger of Death – Save (CON) for ½
      Fireball – Save (DEX) for ½
      Fire Bolt – Spell Attack
      Fire Storm – Save (DEX) for ½
      Flame Strike – Save (DEX) for ½
      Flaming Sphere – Save (DEX) for ½
      Fly – No save or check, though I would imagine Athletics (STR) depending on environmental factors such as wind
      Foresight – No save or check
      Freedom of Movement – No save or check
      Gate – No save or check
      Globe of Invulnerability – No save or check
      Greater Invisibility – No save or check, although it does not say, you still need to make Stealth (DEX) checks, found this through various sections of the book
      Greater Restoration – No save or check
      Guardian of Faith – Save (DEX) for ½
      Guidance – No save or check
      Guiding Bolt – Spell Attack
      Harm – Save (CON) for ½
      Haste – No save or check
      Heal – No save or check
      Healing Word – No save or check
      Hero's Feast – No save or check
      Hold Person – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Holy Aura – Save (CON) to Negate
      Ice Storm – Save (DEX) for ½
      Identify – No save or check
      Imprisonment – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Inflict Wounds – Spell Attack
      Invisibility – No save or check, although it does not say, you still need to make Stealth (DEX) checks, found this through various sections of the book
      Knock – No save or check
      Lesser Restoration – No save or check
      Levitate – Save (CON) to Negate
      Light – Save (DEX) to Negate
      Lightning Bolt – Save (DEX) for ½
      Locate Creature – No save or check
      Mage Armor – No save or check
      Mage Hand – No save or check
      Magic Missile – No save or check
      Magic Weapon – No save or check
      Major Image – Investigation (INT) check to negate illusion
      Mass Cure Wounds – No save or check
      Mass Heal – No save or check
      Mass Healing Word – No save or check
      Mass Suggestion – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Maze – INT check to negate (No skill and no INT save helps)
      Meteor Swarm – Save (DEX) for ½
      Minor Illusion – Investigation (INT) check to negate illusion
      Misty Step – No save or check
      Mordenkainen's Sword – Spell Attack
      Otto's Irresistible Dance – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Passwall – No save or check
      Power Word Kill – HP Threshold, no save or check
      Power Word Stun – HP Threshold and Save (CON) to Negate
      Prayer of Healing – No save or check
      Prestidigitation – No save or check, although if they were going to target someone with it I would grant a save...
      Protection from Energy – No save or check
      Raise Dead – No save or check
      Ray of Frost – Spell Attack
      Regenerate – No save or check
      Remove Curse – No save or check
      Resistance – No save or check
      Resurrection – No save or check
      Revivify – No save or check
      Sacred Flame – Save (DEX) to Negate
      Sanctuary – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Shield – No save or check
      Shield of Faith – No save or check
      Shocking Grasp – Spell Attack
      Silence – No save or check
      Silent Image – Investigation (INT) check to negate illusion
      Sleep – HP Threshold, no save or check
      Spare the Dying – No save or check
      Speak with Dead – No save or check
      Spider Climb – No save or check
      Spirit Guardian – Save (WIS) for ½
      Spiritual Weapon – Spell Attack
      Stoneskin – No save or check
      Suggestion – Save (WIS) to Negate
      Sunburst – Save (CON) for ½
      Teleport – Special % roll instead of a skill check or save
      Thaumaturgy – No save or check, although if they were going to target someone with it I would grant a save...
      Thunderwave – Save (CON) for ½
      Timestop – No save or check
      True Resurrection – No save or check
      True Seeing – No save or check
      Wall of Stone – Save (DEX) to Negate
      Warding Bond – No save or check
      Web – Save (DEX) to Negate restrained, STR check to negate restrained (No skill and no STR save helps)
      ...»
      Sadrik EnWorld Forum Bron: EnWorld Forum 05/07/2014
    • Criticizing the new edition of D&D (because I like it a lot)
      I really like D&D 5th edition so far. I'm excited. I'm invested. It did a lot things right. But it's not perfect.

      I want D&D 5th edition t
      o be everything that it can be. I don't want it to settle for 'good enough'. Not after this much public play-testing.

      To wit...

      Feats
      Stop treating feats like variant rules. Too many people want them. Are planning for them even now. Embrace what the players clearly want, especially with the variant human being vastly more appealing than the regular human.

      Fighter
      Great Weapon Fighting. Treat 1 and 2 as 3 instead of re-rolling 1 and 2. Otherwise the 2d6 weapon damages are vastly superior to the 1d12 weapon damages.

      Fighter
      Protection fighting style with a shield should be with any weapon or shield. Restricting this ability to shields kills certain play-styles.

      Fighter
      The Second Wind of fighters should be limited to once per day, avoiding hourly regeneration. Especially since you nerfed cure wounds and healing word spells. Better yet, make it temporary hit points granted with a bonus action. Perhaps this could also herald the death of martial healing once and for all?

      Rogue
      Sneak Attack works with a thrown Strength attack, such as a handaxe, but not a melee Strength attack with the same weapon? This is inconsistent. I understand that you want to restrict the weapons, so make it finesse, range, AND light weapons.

      Wizard
      Potent Cantrip should work on a miss (not a failed saving throw). That way Fire Bolt, Ray of Frost, and Shocking Grasp can benefit... rather than inventing new cantrips later on to justify this ability.

      Classes
      Switch the crowning 20th level class power to an ability score increase/feat for each class. That keeps the progression consistent. Chances are it will probably be a feat by that point.

      Race
      Mountain dwarf +2 Strength is wonky. The two +2 bonuses make them great for melee classes, but then mountain dwarves also have a free proficiency with light and medium armour. Any melee class they pursue already have those proficiencies. It's redundant. Lower Strength to +1 (in keeping with every other +2/+1 races), and bring back the +1 armour bonus to mountain dwarves.

      Skills
      Medicine is still a useless skill, especially when untrained use of a Healing Kit can stabilize. This also makes the standard action cantrip Spare the Dying a poor choice (unless changed to a bonus action or given a range). Have the Medicine skill cure diseases and poisoning at least. The DC could be equal to the initial Saving Throw DC. Require a Healing Kit proficiency for that.

      Armour
      You added Breastplate, Half-Plate, and Splint Armour, but took away Banded armour? There's even an AC gap in the heavy armours for Banded. Make Chain Mail AC 15, Splint AC 16, and restore banded to AC 17. Also, Chain Shirt is a Medium armour? Make it light. Moreover, Padded hurts Stealth? There has got to be better mechanic for differentiating Padded from other light armours. Alternatively, if you are going to delete any armour from the list, choose Padded over Banded.

      Weapons
      So many pointless or redundant weapons on the chart. Mace. Pick. Trident. Take your pick. There are more. Consider weapon properties for groups of weapons (Axes, Bows, Swords, etcetera) to create meaningful differences.

      Spells
      Did we really need V, S, and M again? It was so elegant during the play-test. All spells have a few words, a few gestures, and a material component. Some have a costly material component (as noted). Done.

      Spells
      100 gp for Identify? If you say a magical item can be figured out over time, or figured out with a spell that costs 100 gp, guess how useless Identify just became?

      Spells
      100 gp for Stoneskin? Let the fact that it's a high level spell with less castings than previous editions be the cost. Remove the GP cost of this spell. Like Identify, that sacred cow is not worth preserving.

      Languages
      Go back to languages granted by Intelligence bonus (in addition to training). This was added after the initial play-tests and then taken away. People want their languages.

      Ability Scores
      Bring back the ability to buy 16 as a score and raise the point buy total to 30 again. This has a very appealing secondary effect that you may have overlooked. It will encourage players to try non-traditional race/class combinations. See why? Right now, there are very clear race choices (read: ability score bonuses) for specific classes, especially if you want to be effective with a 16 or 17 in your primary ability score, instead of a 15 (the highest score players can currently buy 'without' a racial bonus). If players can buy a 16, then they are more likely to explore unconventional race/class options.

      Advantage and Disadvantage
      Make the number of Advantage/Disadvantage instances count. Three Advantages? One Disadvantage? You have Advantage. People can tell the difference between a higher and lower number. Like instantly.

      Combat
      Bring back the charge action. It served a worthy purpose in combat.

      Dying
      Constitution bonus on death saving throws.

      Encumbrance
      The new encumbrance rules are bizarre. Strength 10 can bench press 300 pounds? Go back to what you had in the play-test and turf the variant. Make certain armours inhibit speed by 10. Reduce that to 5 for Strength 15, and 0 for Strength 20. Dwarves continue to ignore these penalties, regardless of Strength.
      ...»
      Sonofapreacherman EnWorld Forum Bron: EnWorld Forum 06/07/2014
    • “Dungeons and Dragons” released its base game last week as well as a free PDF set of rules to great fanfare.  I avoided the beta test development phase, so I went into the release with minimal knowledge of 5e.  Given my distinct loathing for 4th Edition and the wise public beta period, I expected much from 5E.  Too bad my expectations do not match the focus groups that Wizards and Hasbro put together when they wrote this game.

      5e proudly offers up  haughty elves,  sturdy dwarves and jack-of-all-trade humans as races, the standard base character classes and lots of spells and equipment.  You know, the same tired race and class cliches that populate every generic fantasy RPG.Wait, they do make it an edgy and modern game by adding a line that it is ok to have a…gasp…transgender PC.   It feels like some corporate drone checked a box marked “LGBT-friendly” on a marketing checklist before the game went to the printers.  WOTC, here is a helpful hint: young people do not care. Or was your focus group too old?

      Setting and character generation aside, the rules are 3.5 with modifications. Some of the improvements were simply necessary to make the game work better (turning and grappling come to mind as nice improvements) while others did add some depth (extra d20 rolls when advantaged/disadvantaged). Overall, it is so close to 3.5 and Pathfinder that it will make for a seamless transition for those moving to the new system. Which is the point, I suppose.

      Expectations.

      WOTC took the expectations of its player base and created a game to meet those expectations. Cliched races and classes, tired intellectual property references (Dragonlance/Drizzt), a system harvested primarily from the last wildly-popular D&D release (3.5) with just a few hints of 4e to keep the 4e fans happy.

      I understand the WOTC needs to sell books, but focusing on past successes and extracting the last full measure of  value from their intellectual properties’ glory days is a recipe for failure and obsolescence.  You can only tell the same story so many times before it wears out its welcome.  Innovation is the stuff of life, of the future and WOTC is trading innovation for pandering to an aging player base.

      Bottom line, 5e meets the expectations of the Dungeons and Dragons player base. Too bad it did not meet mine.

       

      Trask, The Last Tyromancer
      ...»
      livingdice Bron: livingdice 07/07/2014
    • vcast
      I’ll review the product soon, but I wanted to post this here for now… Mike Shea from Slyflourish.com and I recorded a google hangout where we talk about the new 5e starter box for about an hour.
      If you’re into watching grown men talk about elves and dwarves, I invite you to check it out. ...»
      Newbie DM Bron: Newbie DM 07/07/2014
    • Of all the 5.0 spells, Sleep is the only one I can't stand. I hated the old "turn undead" mechanic back in 3.5 and time hasn't improved it much. In my mind, it stalls the game with extra math and relies too much on knowing the exact HP value of monsters, which is oddly immersion-breaking compared to nearly everything else (Power Word spells notwithstanding). At least now you know how many dice you should use immediately and rolling for Sleep is like rolling for Fireball.

      Of course, replicating the spell while keeping it as similar as possible is difficult. One key feature is that it only works against the weakest opponents first. That's pretty huge, because it doesn't allow you to sleep the boss while you beat on the minions. No other spell targets that way. It also targets a random number of creatures (including zero), and they don't get a save. It works best on creatures that are hurt badly. Finally, it scales fairly well (from what we can tell from the Starter Set monsters), although 5d8 averages to 22.5, which isn't much: you really use this against dinky or injured monsters, and while there is a chance it could hit something big, it could also do nothing. So how do you replicate as much of this as possible without making the spell even more complex than it is now?

      One idea is to keep the basic information the same - duration, range, area, and that it targets creatures in ascending order of current HP (this is slightly less immersion-breaking to me than knowing exact totals) - but instead of rolling dice to count HP, the spell affects 1d3-1 creatures. Preparing the spell in a higher slot does nothing.

      In effect, preparing Sleep in a higher spell slot only changes the strength of the monster it can affect. It technically also changes the number of monsters that can be affected, but in practical use it probably won't (large battles against lots of dinky monsters excepted). 1d4-1 ends up being fairly weak against dinky monsters but very strong against powerful monsters - potentially much stronger than the original spell, since you're not sacrificing a higher-level spell slot to get that strength. A first-level spell taking out a CR 20 monster is just too much.

      You could have +1 target per spell slot level. But at higher levels it guarantees at least one or more targets are affected, which makes the above problem far worse.

      So how do you weaken it against stronger monsters? You could add a Wisdom save. On a fail they sleep, but on a save they get their movement reduced by 10 feet until the duration is over or they take damage. If you want to preserve some of the idea that weaker monsters are more susceptible to the spell, you could also add that fleeing creatures get disadvantage on their saves.

      Adding a Wisdom save adds complexity, but I like also adding the idea that the spell always does SOMETHING (unless your targeting roll is poor). The overall strength of the spell is lower since you have a chance to have nothing affected, and they could save. But you're still creating a first-level save-or-die vs. a single high-level monster.

      So then you're back to HP as a limiter on what the spell can do. (There is no such thing as "monster level" and CR is even more immersion-breaking than HP as a quantifier, so they're out.) Instead of a save, you could limit the spell to only affecting monsters whose current HP is 10 or less. A scant few normally do, but once again this should work best on injured monsters. Then you could bring back the idea of scaling by saying each spell slot level adds 5 (or 10 - I'm not sure how the HP scaling works yet) to the maximum HP affected. However, this gets us almost all the way back to the thing I didn't like in the first place - knowing exact HP totals for monsters. It's better because you don't know the HP down to the number, but it's close. And it also removes the chance that it could work REALLY well and down something that was at full HP or actually dangerous.

      So does anyone else have ideas? I doubt anyone cares that much, but other suggestions are welcome. So far my current houserule looks to be this: Sleep affects 1d3-1 creatures (ordered by lowest HP) whose current HP is 10 or less; +5 HP for each spell slot level. It's not much better but at least it doesn't require extra subtracting or knowing exact monster HP totals, even if it gives up some of the potential oomph of the spell.
      ...»
      evilbob ENWorld Bron: ENWorld 09/07/2014
    • I have sort of a love/dislike for the Forgotten Realms. I love the maps and all the support it's gotten in the past, and the overall flavor of it, and many of the factions and settings within it, but I dislike a few things about running a game in any established campaign setting. I like to know everything about the world I'm running, and FR is just too big and complex for that. So in the past I just mined the sourcebooks for stuff, and created my own campaign settings or ran less developed settings.

      With 5th edition featuring FR as its "flagship" campaign setting and including lots of little FR details in the core books though, I can see the benefit of running a campaign in it, especially since I don't have a lot of time these days to create pantheons and other details that will be right in the Player's Handbook. Just looking at the Basic Rules, there is some direct support for FR even in that; just look in the description of humans and the examples of names and kingdoms. My new job is nice because I no longer work on the weekends so I can run a campaign again, but it keeps me too busy during the week to prepare the way I'd like. I really don't have time to reinvent the wheel anymore, as much as I would enjoy doing so, so the Realms might be a good fit for me right now.

      So I'm thinking of placing my campaign in the Realms for the first time since I had the original boxed set. But to satisfy my creative urge, I'm thinking of making up a previously undiscovered continent/island and starting them off there. Eventually they will travel to the mainland and I"ll run published adventures (I love Tiamat as a villain, I blame the old D&D cartoon for that), or if I feel I have time I'll just write adventures and make it more sandboxy.

      I have the 3rd and 4th edition FR books, and was thinking of using the 4th edition FR Campaign Guide map and set it in that era. Kind of curious on whether they will advance the timeline of the Forgotten Realms again; hoping they will keep it sort of ambiguous in new published content, as I believe I've read that they intend to support all eras of play. I'd hate to see them blow everything up again and rearrange the pantheon, etc, for the new products and invalidate stuff I've bought further.

      Anyone else doing anything similar with the Realms? In the past I've either used campaign settings as written, or made my own. This will be my first attempt to make a published setting my own by adding content to it, while not conflicting with it.
      ...»
      Gargoyle ENWorld Bron: ENWorld 09/07/2014
    • What Is It?

      Capture the magic of convention gameplay in your store!

      D&D Expeditions gives your higher-level players the opportunity to play the D&D adventures that launched the Tyranny of Dragons st
      oryline, previously only available to GenCon attendees.   

      The adventures last twice as long (four hours or so) than the average D&D Encounters session.

      Kit Contents

      A pack of treasure and reward certificates, supporting up 6 tables per adventure (consisting of 1 DM and 3-7 players)
      Instructions
      Complimentary PDFs of up to 3 adventures—DDEX1-1 Defiance in Phlan, DDEX1-2 Secrets of Sokol Keep, or DDEX1-3 Shadow on the Moonsea. Adventures will be delivered via your store’s email address at least one week prior to the start of the month.
      How to Prepare:

      Set aside a four-hour time block for your D&D Expeditions sessions.
      Print out or photocopy blank character sheets and logsheets.  
      Find Dungeon Masters.
      Send your DMs the file you receive from Wizards of the Coast at least one week prior to the event.
      Make sure your adventures match the character levels of your players.
      Don’t forget to report each session!
      Registration

      Sign up in Wizards Event Reporter to schedule your events! When you sign up, you can select any or all of the 3 available adventures.
      ...»
      WotC WotC Bron: WotC 09/07/2014
    • For no particular reason I wanted to take a stab at creating a warlord class for 5E. Maybe the PHB will have one, I'm not sure. Although I didn't ever play 4E, I thought the concept of the warlord was pretty interesting. In trying to translate to (admittedly my very basic understanding of) 5E, it seemed like it would be hard to retain the flavor of all that pushing around the grid and the use of at-will powers, etc. So instead I focused on what 5E does have: advantage and disadvantage, while hopefully retaining some of the flavor of healing in the form of temp hp and one case of movement enhancement. I'm sure I butchered how I wrote the skill checks and contested skill checks, but I think the underlying idea should come through.

      Also I should mention that I was heavily influenced by Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Warlord series of novels and its main protagonist, Uhtred of Bebbanburg. So if something seems like "where the heck did that come from?" it's probably something that Uhtred does a lot in the book series.

      Anyway just thought I'd throw it out here in case anyone found it passingly interesting.

      Warlord Class Description.pdf
      ...»
      Khoram ENWorld Bron: ENWorld 09/07/2014
  • Site

    • Wizards of the Coast have released the Basic Rules for the new version of Dungeons & Dragons tonight.
      Dave McAlister Bron: UK Role Players 03/07/2014
    • As promised, Wizards of the Coast released the 5th Edition Basic rules set online today. It's particularly interesting to see a snapshot of how 5th Edition works compared to older editions of the rules, particularly grappling, turning undead, and spellcasting. The document is broken into three parts:
      Part 1 covers character creation, including races, classes, backgrounds, equipment, and other customization options that you can choose from.
      Part 2 details the rules of how to play the game, including exploration, interaction, and combat.
      Part 3 covers spellcasting and magic.
      ...»
      Michael Tresca Examiner.com Bron: D&D 5th Edition Basic now free; new grappling, turning, casting rules 03/07/2014
    • Wizards has revealed D&D 5th Edition's encounter-building guidelines.

      In his latest Legends & Lore column, D&D 5th Edition Lead Designer Mike Mearls outlines the not-yet-final guidelines on building
      combat encounters in the latest iteration of the tabletop classic. Every monster now has both a Challenge Rating and an XP value, and monsters with a CR higher than the party's level are considered very dangerous to the player characters. Encounter difficulty is separated into four groups (easy, moderate, challenging, hard) based on monster XP totals per level, and adventurers are expected to be able to handle the XP equivalent of two hard encounters before taking a long rest.

      The system, overall, seems fine - no more or less complicated than 3.5's or 4e's encounter building system - though it does lead me to question why the developers feel the need to change the system with every iteration of the game. The guidelines on how to handle great numbers of monsters are unpleasantly complex and explained in text rather than in a table, making them appear especially cumbersome.

      Overall, the tone of the article feels apologetic and overly cautious, and the impression I get is that Mearls isn't at all confident in the balance of the system. In my opinion, he is leaning way too much toward playing the rules fast and loose - he reiterates multiple times that these are simply rough guidelines and that DMs needn't really follow them.

      With respect, I'm not sure that encouraging new DMs to go with their gut is a good idea. Providing balanced combat encounters is a difficult task, and new DMs should be encouraged to stick as close to established guidelines as possible. With experience comes the ability to stray from rules, and that is what should be encouraged:

      "As a DM, you'll start to develop a feel for what kind of encounters your players' party can handle. At that point, feel free to rely more on your own judgment than the numbers in these tables."

      But, hey - what do I know?

      Regardless, I'm still optimistic about 5e. I just hope this encounter building system can be tightened up and made balanced before the Dungeon Master's Guide releases in November.
      ...»
      The Escapist The Escapist Bron: The Escapist 07/07/2014
  • Extra, character sheet ...

    • Character Sheets
      En Worlds Forum Bron: En Worlds Forum 03/07/2014
    • Basic Dungeons & Dragons: Combat changes

      If, like me, you’ve been happily playing with the interim Dungeons & Dragons rules included in the recent Scourge of the Sword Coast, Ghosts of Dragonspear Ca
      stle and Dead in Thay adventures – or with the public playtest that those rules are drawn from – you are probably wondering what has changed. What do I need to know as I adapt to the new version of D&D?

      In this series of articles, I’ll be hitting the major changes on how to run things. I’m basing this on the Interim rule set rather than the full playtest document because the playtest is still under NDA. However, the rules Wizards released commercially in the adventures are fair game for comparison.

      This first article is all about the major changes to the combat rules. You’ll find them in Chapter 9 of the free Basic pdf.

      Surprise: It has been clarified that you can’t take reactions until after your first turn comes up – which you’ll then skip. Note this also means that characters can take reactions from the start of combat if they’re not surprised.
      ...»
      Merric Blackman Merric's Musings Bron: Basic Dungeons & Dragons: Combat changes 04/07/2014
    • Fight the War Against Draconic Oppression in this Adventure for the Worlds Greatest Roleplaying Game
      Kobold Quarterly Bron: Kobold Quarterly 04/07/2014
    • D&D Starter Set Adventure Maps
      Mike Schley Bron: Mike Schley
    • 5th Edition Rules: 1st Edition Feel! Monsters, Adventures, and Spells for 5th Edition!

      5th Edition Rules: 1st Edition Feel! Necromancer Games re-animates itself bigger, better, and badder than ever b
      efore for the 5th Edition of the *world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game. With the help of Steve Winter and Ed Greenwood, we are going to be creating supplemental books (up to 3 of them!) to play the new edition Old School Style — the Necromancer way.

      5th Edition Foes - between 200-250 additional creatures, beasts, monsters and titans to challenge your players and enhance your adventures!
      Quests of Doom: X Adventures Worth Winning -12+ adventures worth winning, each written by one of our many iconic authors. (X begins with 12 and increases based on stretch goals.)
      Book of Lost Spells - Hundreds of new spells to enhance your 5th edition spell casters and NPCs.
      Just like we did with the Third Edition, our objective isn’t to compete with the the upcoming 5th edition; it’s to offer resources for playing the game the old way, old school style. In general it’s darker and deadlier gaming than the official recommendations. It’s not for crybabies. Between 1999 and 2006, we racked up award after award, picking up worldwide recognition as a publishing powerhouse... and now we’re back!
      ...»
      EnWorld Bron: EnWorld 07/07/2014
    • For my next campaign, I wanted to go back to giving the players a random starting item for their character. To that end, I polished up my random starting items list, and put it in pdf form for anyone interested. (I was discussing this over on the OSR Google group, and I'm not sure it can touch the one Doug Kovacs put together). Some items are very clearly useful from the get-go; others, somewhat less so, but I like to think resourceful types can find the utility in whatever item they may roll.

      Anyhow, it's made for Castles & Crusades, but should be portable to many other systems, as well. You can download the pdf here, or check out the list below as potential inspiration in making your own:


      Additional Starting Items

      Roll percentile dice on this table to determine a random additional starting item. These items may be traded between characters before the start of the game.

      01-03% 13 silver pieces in a dirty linen bag
      04-06% Pipe with 1 lb. of tobacco (5gp, 5sp)
      07-09% Dagger (2gp, 1d4, 10’)
      10-12% Bag of caltrops
      13-15% Small musical instrument (player’s choice)
      16-17% Sewing kit (5sp)
      18-19% Scroll of Comprehend Languages
      20-22% Cooking spices, 1 jar (family recipe)
      23-24% 2 flasks of oil (1gp each)
      25-26% Shortsword (10gp, 1d6)
      27-28% 50 iron nails in a rough canvas bag (5sp)
      29-31% An incredibly hard block of aged cheese (2sp)
      32-33% Bullseye lantern (12gp)
      34-36% Shortbow (30gp, 1d6, 60’)
      37-38% A smoke pellet (obscures vision in 20’ radius)
      39-40% Metal file (1gp)
      41-42% 10 gold pieces in a small leather bag
      43-44% Bag of apples
      45-47% Collapsible 10-foot pole
      48-49% A cape with fancy embroidering (5sp)
      50-51% Scroll of Magic Missile (1d4+1 damage)
      52-53% 20’ of chain (2gp)
      54-55% Ink, quill, and paper (6 sheets)
      56-58% Large mace (25gp, 1d10)
      59-60% Large heavy-duty sack (5’ long)
      61-63% Two-handed sword (30gp, 2d6)
      64-65% Fishing gear (5sp) and small cooking kit
           66% String, or nothing
      67-69% A small book on a very obscure topic
      70-72% Heavy crossbow with 10 bolts (100gp, 1d10, 100’)
      73-74% Rogues’ tools (30gp)
      75-76% Fine boots (3gp)
      77-78% Silver holy symbol (25gp)
      79-81% Skin of fine wine or liquor (10gp)
      82-84% 5 bars of trade silver (2gp each)
      85-87% Hand crossbow with 10 bolts (100gp, 1d4, 30’)
      88-90% Battered pot helm (+1 AC to head, 10gp)
      91-93% Scroll of Summon Lesser Monster
      94-96% Flask of holy water (30gp)
      97-98% Potion of Cure Light Wounds
      99-00% A finely-crafted but broken longsword
      ...»
      RPG Blog II Bron: RPG Blog II 07/07/2014
    • D&D 5 Starter and Basic Sets
      Well unless you have been living in a cave for the last few days, or on a mini-vacation, the newest game to bear the name "Dungeons & Dragons" hit the stores and the net.

      I picked up my Starter Set on Thursday and downloaded the Basic set (book?) the same day.

      For starters I am SOOOO glad that "Next" has been dropped.  This is just "D&D".  I am glad about that since it puts it firmly back in the camp of D&D games.  This is not something different or "next" but the game we have been playing all this time.



      I have not read much of it to be honest, but what I have read I like.
      So far this feels like a "best of" D&D.  Taking the things that worked well from previous editions and bringing them together with some new ideas.

      The saving throws are back and make more sense now. Honestly we have seen this in games like Spellcraft & Swordplay and Castles & Crusades.  4e-like conditions are back. I have not seen "bloodied" or anything similar yet, but I am sure something like it is there.

      I like the Advantage and Disadvantage mechanic.  In fact it really is a nice addition to any single die game (such as Unisystem's d10). I will have to give it a try in my AD&D 1 game I have going now.

      The feel of the game is very much old-school and it has all the trappings of old-school as well.



      Box, Books, Dice (or chits) and Adventure.

      But yet it also feels unfinished.  I am sure that is intentional; we still need the PHB and DMG to properly run this game.  But in truth I have enough background in all the other games to mentally fill in the gaps.  Plus I can see where things can or might be slotted in.  This is the part where we have 3e like feats, or this is the part where we have 4e style combat or powers.

      Personally I am excited for this game in how it will help me run my current games.
      It is very much like a Rosetta Stone for translating between editions.  Sure, this is something I did on the fly anyway, but something was always lost to accommodate the system being translated to.  Save or Die sorts of modules are more difficult with the mechanics in 4e.  4e monsters tend to be much more powerful than their 1st ed or 3e counterparts and so on.    This feels like a nice middle ground.

      The idea that comes to mind right away is to play the 4e HPE modules using these rules and supplementing the 1st Ed H-series (Bloodstone) for the massive "let's go kill Orcus" game I wanted to do under 4e.   Though I admit I am selfish and don't want to leave 1st ed right now.

      But I do rather like the 3e style multiclassing that 5e offers.

      The game is not all perfect mind you.  I am not thrilled with the new XP to next level tables.  Frankly 300 xp to level 2 is a bit too little.  I might take a page from Holmes/Moldvay and give XP out for gold and increase the amounts to something closer to 3e.  I think I might have to figure out if there is really a difference between the editions.  I have read somewhere that one of the design goals was to be able to level up faster.  That might be true.

      The other thought I had was that this game will displace or replace OSR games or Pathfinder.
      I can see this selling better than 4e as word of mouth gets passed around and I can see it doing better than Pathfinder.  But Pathfinder fans are loyal to their brand. Plus D&D 5 is pretty much the opposite of "one true wayism" so people might take it's "play how you like" approach at face value and keep playing what they have been.

      I haven't even decided if I am going to switch or not to be honest.
      You might also like:
      ...»
      Timothy Brannan The Other Side Bron: D&D 5 Starter and Basic Sets 07/07/2014
    • System Reference Document v5.0
      Why should I use SRD5 when other OGL System Reference Documents already exist?
      If you are comfortable with another OGL SRD and want to continue using it, you should! SRD
      5 is an alternative for those that want to base their products on a well-supported OGL base, but have grown weary of existing options.

      Why do I need to notify you that I intend to use the SRD5 Compatibility License?
      Short version: So that a complete list of SRD5 compatible products can be maintained on the System Compatibility page.

      Long version: The System Compatibility page is a free source of advertising and market research for publishers of SRD5 products. The announcement requirement must be met if you want to indicate that your product is SRD5 compatible, but it is not an application process that can be denied. As long as you meet all of the terms of the license, you can use it.

      What is the purpose of the Term Dictionary page?
      Short version: It keeps SRD5 products open to future contributions by preventing a contributor from applying Product Identity too broadly.

      Long version: Once a term is established as Open Game Content, it cannot become Product Identity. This means it is free to be redistributed, redefined, and so on. By entering thousands of basic words and word combinations as (undefined) terms to SRD5, these terms are guaranteed to be available for all future SRD5 products. When you create or contribute to SRD5 products, you never need to worry if terms like 'Short Rest' or 'Facepaint' have been designated as Product Identity by another contributor. They will be available forever.

      Does the Term Dictionary prevent me from protecting my Product Identity?
      Short version: No.

      Long version: If you consider a term like 'banana' to be your Product Identity, then yes, it does prevent you from declaring it as such. It does not prevent you from establishing Product Identity on new words like 'bananar'. It does not prevent you from establishing Product Identity on the names of people and places in your setting unless those names are simple combinations of basic words. You cannot establish Product Identity on a place named "Dark Bog", but you can establish Product Identity on a place named "Dark Bog of Doom". The reason for this is simple, the Term Dictionary only defines terms that are one and two words long. An easy way to avoid conflicts with the Term Dictionary is to use three or more words for all of the terms that you want to declare Product Identity. (Giving characters a middle name is a quick fix.)

      Why don't you have a forbidden terms list like the OSRIC system?
      If Wizards of the Coast ever wanted to publish a module for the OSRIC system, that list of forbidden terms would essentially prevent them from doing so. Preventing a specific publisher from using SRD5 is against the spirit of the project, even if their participation is extremely unlikely.

      What are donations to SRD5.org used for?
      The first priority for donated funds is keeping this site ad-free by paying for web hosting costs. In the unlikely event of an extremely generous donation, the money would be used for living expenses so I can take time off work and devote more than just spare time to SRD5 content.
      ...»
      System Reference Document v5.0 System Reference Document v5.0 Bron: System Reference Document v5.0 07/07/2014
    • 5e house rules

      Chapter 1: Abilities
      Advantage/Disadvantage have four levels: +/-2, +/-5, +/-10, and at a fourth level it is automatic success/failure.

      Chapter 2: Races
      Dwarves: Lose Dwarven Combat T
      raining, Tool proficiency, and stonecunning Mountain dwarf adds +1 level of armor proficiency not 2
      Elves: Lose Elf Weapon Training
      Halflings: Lose Halfling Nimbleness (this becomes standard rule for all)
      Humans: Ability score increase changes to two ability score improvements, as a class might receive.

      Chapter 3: Classes
      Lost class features become spells or minor features.
      Hit Dice are not used.
      Ability Score Improvements must be +1 to two stats no cap at 20.
      All tool proficiencies become skills.
      Cleric: Primary Ability is Charisma, Learn spells 6 spells and +3/cleric level (9 at 1st), Chooses 3 skills, Gain a minor feature at 1st and every fourth cleric level thereafter, Loses Medium armor proficiency, Lose all class features except: Ability Score Improvement and Spellcasting.
      Fighter: Chooses 3 skills, Gain a minor feature at 1st and every third fighter level thereafter, Loses Heavy armor Proficiency, Lose all class features except: Ability Score Improvement and Extra Attack.
      Rogue: Chooses 5 skills, Gain a minor feature at 1st and every even rogue level thereafter, Loses all class features except: Ability Score Improvement and Sneak Attack.
      Wizard: Learn spells 6 spells and +2/wizard level (8 at 1st), Chooses 5 skills, Gain a minor feature at 1st and every fourth wizard level thereafter, Loses all class features except: Ability Score Improvement and Spellcasting.

      Chapter 4: Personality and Background
      Tools and languages are skills

      Chapter 5: Equipment
      Medium armor: no DEX cap, Chain Shirt and Scale Mail are STR 11, Breast Plate and Half-Plate are STR 13.
      Heavy armor: no DEX cap
      Shield gives +1 AC and is a martial weapon.
      Heavy Shield gives +2 and is a heavy weapon.

      Simple weapons are broken into two groups Basic and Simple. Martial weapons are broken into Finesse, Martial and Heavy.

      Basic Group (Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard):
      Club, Dagger, Staff, Sickle, Hand Crossbow, Dart, Sling

      Simple Group (Cleric, Fighter, Rogue):
      Greatclub, Handaxe, Hammer, Mace, Spear, Light Crossbow

      Finesse Group (Fighter, Rogue):
      Blowgun, Shortbow, Shortsword, Unarmed Strike, Grapple, Whip

      Martial Group (Fighter):
      Battleaxe, Flail, Javelin, Longsword, Net, Morningstar, Shield, War Pick, Warhammer

      Heavy Group:
      Glaive, Greataxe, Greatsword, Halberd, Heavy Shield, Lance, Maul, Pike, Heavy Crossbow, Longbow

      Deleted weapons: Rapier (use short sword), Scimitar (use long sword), Trident (use spear)

      Chapter 6: Customization Options
      Minor Features, all deleted race and class features can be selected. In addition, a skill, a language, or improve proficiency in a weapon or armor group. Need to write these up still.

      Chapter 7: Using Abilities
      Contests are removed. In all cases acting character goes against a DC 10 + Ability + Proficiency

      Skill changes and new skills:
      STR: Save added to Athletics
      DEX: Save added to Acrobatics, Sleight of hand added to Thievery*, Land Vehicles*, Water Vehicles*, Mounts*, Stealth
      CON: Save added to Endurance*
      INT: Save added to Investigation, Artisan (select one from pg. 50, includes forgery, herbalism, and poison)*, Navigation*, Thievery*, Arcana, History, Nature (includes Animal handling), Religion, Medicine, Survival, Language
      WIS: Save added to Will*, Perception
      CHA: Save added to Insight, Gaming*, Instrument* Deception, Performance, Intimidation, Persuasion

      Chapter 8: Adventuring
      Short Rest: Recover Spell Points and Hit Points (? of current?, ? of max?)
      Long Rest: Recover all Spell Points and Hit Points

      Chapter 9: Combat
      Surprise roll is WIS (Perception)
      Initiative roll is DEX (Acrobatics)
      Grappling
      Grapple roll to grab: Make a Grapple attack against their AC.
      A hit creature can make a STR (Athletics) or DEX (Acrobatics) Save to avoid grappling (DC is STR + Grapple Proficiency + 10 + size modifier).
      Grappled is Speed 0, each round each person makes a save on their turn against the other grappler.
      With a successful grapple save you can: Deal damage with a light weapon or an unarmed strike, Escape the grapple, or Move ? your speed.
      Shoving works similarly to Grapple
      Critical Hits deal maximum damage
      Death Save is a CON (Endurance) save DC 15

      Chapter 10: Spellcasting
      Spell casting DC is 10+ proficiency
      Spell attacks are not used, see spell changes below.
      Spell points are used, Casting Stat + all Caster Levels in spell points.
      The spell level indicates how many spell points it takes to cast a spell.
      See resting for spell point recovery.
      There are no 0 level spells, they are moved to 1st level.
      Cantrip is a tag on certain spells, allowing the spell not be lost from memory when cast.

      Chapter 11: Spells
      Need to add some of the class features as spells.

      Spell changes:
      Bless: adds flat +2 or as a cantrip can add +1
      Burning Hands: 1d6 as a cantrip
      Fire Bolt: Dex negates, 1d10 as a cantrip, or 2d10, 3d10 for 3rd, 4d10 for 5th, 5d10 for 7th, and 6d10 for 9th
      Guidance: Adds flat +2 or as a cantrip can add +1
      Guiding bolt: Dex negates, 1d6 as cantrip
      Inflict Wounds: Fort for ?, 1d10 as cantrip
      Mage Armor: Cantrip
      Magic Missile: 1 dart as a cantrip
      Resistance: adds flat +2 or as a cantrip can add +1
      Shield: as a cantrip add +2
      Sacred Flame: 1d8 as a cantrip, or 2d8, 3d8 for 3rd, 4d8 for 5th, 5d8 for 7th, and 6d8 for 9th.
      Shocking Grasp: Dex for ?, 1d12 as a cantrip, or 2d12, 3d10 for 3rd, 4d12 for 5th, 5d12 for 7th, and 6d12 for 9th
      Sleep: 1 target creature, WIS save negates, additional creatures for each level increase
      Spiritual Weapon: Dex Negates
      ...»
      Sadrik EnWorldForum Bron: EnWorldForum 08/07/2014
    • Hi there hoi polloi! It's been a while, but it is good to see Planewalker recovering from the crash :)

      As you probably know, the new edition of D&D debuted with a free 100-page PDF called "Basic D&D"
      on Wizards of the Coast's website. It appears to be a streamlined game with more in common with AD&D, albeit touches borrowed from other editions too. One notable thing is that it is being presented as open to diversity in all forms, particularly of setting. They appear to be embracing the multiverse of D&D worlds. All of this has got me thinking about running a Planescape game with 5e rules, about how I'd convert things (Inspiration as belief... Factions as backgrounds... Strip out fiddly magic bits...), and about the events of Faction War...

      I recall a 2012 RPG Codex interview with Monte Cook, where he said: "Faction War was never meant to be the end of PS. There was supposed to be a follow-up adventure/sourcebook that rebuilt things. But the line was cancelled before it could come out. A real shame." http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=8374

      I know there was and is controversy about Faction War, but this quote really put it into perspective for me. Maybe tweaking the factions to make them more playable at the table is a good thing...Faction War provides a story reason to explain the change. For example, having the Mercykillers reform as Sons of Mercy makes them more friendly to a party that includes your typical rogue, and provides plot hooks about redeeming bad guys rather than killing them. Personally, I'm inclined to really change the Fated, since they always struck me as an excuse to power game and play evil characters...maybe they could be remade as the Fateless (Fatemakers, Cheaters) who oppose predestination, believe everyone can make their own happy ending, and focus on cheating prophecies, sabotaging oracles, rescuing those "fated" to a bad ending, etc.

      What about you? What would you change up? New factions you would add? Or ideas for converting to 5e?
      ...»
      Quickleaf Planewalker Bron: 5th edition Planescape 08/07/2014
  • Polskie www

    • Wizards of the Coast udost?pni?o darmowy podr?cznik z podstawowymi zasadami nowej edycji „Dungeons & Dragons”.
      Podr?cznik mo?na ?ci?gn?? za darmo bezpo?rednio ze strony wydawnictwa.
      W licz?cym 110 str
      on pliku PDF znajdziecie:
      zasady tworzenia i rozwoju postaci od poziomu 1 do 20 dla kleryka (cleric), wojownika (warrior), ?otrzyka (rogue) i czarodzieja (wizard), wraz z opisan? jedn? opcj? specjalizacji dla ka?dej z klas,
      informacje dotycz?ce opcji rasowych cz?owieka, krasnoluda, elfa i nizio?ka (oraz w sumie sze?ciu podras; hill dwarves, mountain dwarves, high elves, wood elves, lightfoot halflings, stout halflings),
      informacje i zasady dotycz?ce te? (backgrounds) postaci z zestawu startowego,
      pe?ny opis dost?pnego ekwipunku,
      podstawowe zasady rozgrywki, w tym zasady walki oraz magii,
      zakl?cia od 1 do 9 poziomu.
      Dodatkowe klasy, zasady, potwory, magiczne przedmioty i regu?y rozgrywki znajd? si? w podr?cznikach podstawowych („Player’s Handbook”, „Dungeon Master’s Guide”, „Monster Manual”).
      Podr?cznik „Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rules” b?dzie aktualizowany o nowe materia?y w miar? wydawania przez Wizards of the Coast kolejnych podr?czników podstawowych. Ponadto w ramach premier kolejnych cz??ci kampanii „Tyranny of Dragons” b?d? udost?pniane kolejne darmowe materia?y z nowymi zasadami potrzebnymi do rozgrywki.
      ...»
      Wojciech "Sethariel" ?ó?ta?ski Gry - fabularne Bron: Podstawowe zasady „Dungeons & Dragons” ju? dost?pne! 03/07/2014
    • Hurra nowe D&D! Ale po co?

      Zanim b?dziecie czyta? dalej: nie czyta?em jeszcze nowych Basic Rules do D&D Next.
      Przepraszam równie? za to, ?e jad? na fali popularno?ci i robi? o tym wpis, ?wiatek erpeg
      owy na FB i G+ dzisiaj ju? p?onie z okazji premiery.

      Lubi? D&D, zawsze by?em przekonany, ?e hejt w stron? tego systemu jest troch? bezsensowny. "To tak, jakby by? fanem gier video i nienawidzi? gry Pong. Przecie? nie mo?esz hejci? czego?, od czego si? Twoje hobby zrodzi?o" - tak sobie ca?y czas mówi?em.

      Jak zapewne wielu z was wie, jestem fanem OSR (aka "M?odociany grognard™"), zawsze polecam ?wie?ym graczom, by wypróbowali Swords & Wizardry, bo zawiera proste regu?y no i odgrywa si? go w fantastycznym ?wiecie pe?nym bohaterów i smoków. Ale pomimo tego, raczej nie poleci?bym tym samym graczom prowadzenie d?ugich kampanii w tym systemie, jak i innych tego typu. Czemu? Z kilku prostych przyczyn: obawia?bym si?, ?e ten system przekaza?by tym graczom kilka... jak by to uj??... "z?ych lekcji". Zamiast koncentrowa? si? na odgrywaniu postaci i szukaniu oryginalnych rozwi?za?, gracze pakowaliby swoje postacie, by prze?y? w podziemiach i zabijaliby setki potworów. Jasne, je?li kto? lubi star? szko?? to mniej wi?cej tak sobie wyobra?a sesje RPG, s?k w tym, ?e mamy rok 2014 i powinni?my gra? nowocze?nie. Musimy szuka? oryginalnych mechanik, które zmusz? graczy do my?lenia, budowa? ciekawe przygody, których nie da si? rozwi?za? zwyk?ym siekaniem miecza i gra? w co?, co kompletnie nie przypomina gry video. Tylko wiecie co? D&D (jak i Pathfinder) kompletnie nie spe?nia tych wymaga?.
      ...»
      Noobirus Bron: Hurra nowe D&D! Ale po co? 03/07/2014
    • Hejt hejtem, ale trzeba wiedzie? czy faktycznie jest na co narzeka?. Z tego co udost?pniono do tej pory wynika, ?e 5e nie jest rewolucyjne, ale bardzo mocno uproszczone w porównaniu do 3.X i 4.0. Na pierwszy, szybki rzut oka wró?? k?opoty dla Paizo i wzrost sprzeda?y na dndclassics.com. ...»
      Andrzej Enc Stój Bron: 3k10.wordpress.com 04/07/2014
    • Pami?tam kiedy kilkana?cie lat temu odwiedzi?em kole?ank? studiuj?c? biologi? - wzi??em do r?ki jeden z jej podstawowych podr?czników i zamar?em w przera?aniu. Wybaczcie mi od razu nie?cis?o?ci i by? mo?e lekk?, ale tylko lekk? przesad? - wiecie latka lec? i pami?? mo?e ju? nie ta. W ka?dym razie podr?cznik ten by?o to tomiszcze tak opas?e, wielkie i grube, ?e zd?bia?em. Mia?o pewnie z 2 ty? stron, albo i wi?cej oraz zach?caj?cy tytu?: Biologia w Zarysie, tom 1. Rozumiecie 2 ty?. stron ledwie tylko zarysu.




      Od razu przypomnia?a mi si? druga angtotka dotycz?ca kumpla, który mieszkaj?c w UK z sukcesem za?o?y? brytyjsk? rodzin?. Postanowi? przybli?y? tubylcom pi?kno polskiego j?zyka, zak?adaj?c, ?e u?atwi to przysz?e wizyty w Kraju Kwitn?cej Lipy. Ma??onka zach?cona wst?pnie, postanowi?a wyj?? jego staraniom na przeciw i zakupi?a sobie ksi??eczk? do nauki j?zyka polskiego dla obcokrajowców. Pierwsza zdanie w tej jak?e polskiej ksi??ce wita?o kursanta tymi s?owami: J?zyk polski nale?y do jednych z najtrudniejszych j?zyków ?wiata - co w mniemaniu autorów mia?o chyba stanowi? doskona?? zach?t? do dalszej nauki. Jak my?licie, zadzia?a?o?

      Wszystko to pisz? dlatego ?e przed chwil? przeczyta?em D&D Basic Rules. I by? to najszybciej przeze mnie przeczytany podr?cznik z jakim kiedykolwiek mia?em do czynienia. Przeczyta? go szybciej ni? Risusa, a nawet szybciej ni? Borejko czyta Rebel Timesa. Przeczyta?em go w 1 minut?. Dlaczego? Bo dla mnie to odpowiednik wspomnianej Biologii w zarysie i podr?cznika do nauki polskiego dla obcokrajowców - w jednym.

      Liczba stron jak na wersj? Basic nawet nie przera?a, cho? jest i tak dwu lub trzykrotnie za du?a. Lecz jako? to prze?kn??em. Problemem sta? si? upchany nie nich tekst. Wielki, ogromny klocek tekstu, który po prostu powala. Ci??y niczym krzy? na barkach Chrystusa na trzeciej, siódmej i dziewi?tej stacji. A poniewa? wiem, ?e po lekturze 5 edycji zbawienia nie dost?pi?, ani nie zbawi? nikogo, nie widz? sensu, aby t? belk? na ramionach swych d?wiga?.

      Wrzuci?em natomiast ten tekst do procesora tekstu, wiecie, ?eby upewni? si?, ?e te podstawowe regu?y, to przecie? lekkie i przyst?pne wprowadzenia, maj?ce na celu wt?oczy? petalitry ?wie?ej krwi w wysychaj?ce arterie konaj?cego hobby, nie wygl?daj? tak ?le. Liczy?em, ?e wyjdzie tego du?o, ?e jakie? 400 ty? mo?e do pó? miliona znaków. Lecz nie. Moi drodzy. Te podstawowe regu?y to tomiszcze opa?lejsze ni?li nie jeden, nie dwa, lecz znakomita wi?kszo?? podstawowych podr?czników do gier fabularnych. Ten wst?p, ta zach?ta, to wprowadzenie ma ich prawie 900 ty?. Dziewi??set tysi?cy znaków.

      Rozmiar podr?cznika to oko?o 500 stron tzw. maszynopisu (popularnej jednostki rozliczeniowej). To jakby nie patrze? odpowiednik k2 prac doktorskich lub k5+10 prac magisterskich lub k2 gier fabularnych lub 2k5 dodatków do RPG, k6+4 gier indie. Oczywi?cie to ci?gle mniej ni? po?owa Monastyru, lecz gra "Trzwikoracza" to przyk?ad ekstremalny.

      A jaka jest konkluzja? W zasadzie uwa?am, ?e czego by WotC nie wyda? to i tak wieszano by na tym psy na równi z zachwytami. Wobec czego nic te? specjalnego nie sta?o na przeszkodzie, aby zamiast tego tego co wydali, czyli Massive Symphony Hard Epic Advanced Black Metal Heavy Bascia for false begginers, wydali po prostu wersj? As Simple As Possibile. Bo tak naprawd? z zawarto?ci najwa?niejsze s? mi?e nawi?zania do tradycji, wra?enie kompatybilno?ci i najwa?niejsze: logo D&D. Bo no do diab?a, je?li tak ma wygl?da? wprowadzenie? To jak b?dzie wygl?da?a wersja Full albo Advanced? No chyba, ?e jednak wszyscy jeste? do jakiego? stopnia Chrystusami.
      ...»
      Neurocide Bron: Neurocide 07/07/2014
    • D&D Next, jak pocz?tkowo nazywano 5. edycj?, mia?o po??czy? grono fanów prababki RPG, pogodzi? sympatyków Pathfindera z mi?o?nikami czwórki, a nawet spróbowa? przekona? do siebie grupy preferuj?ce starsze edycje. Machina promocyjna WotC dzia?a?a wyj?tkowo sprawnie – zapowiadano modu?owo??, uproszczenie mechaniki, rezygnacj? z obowi?zkowej siatki, powrót do heroizmu AD&D 2ed… plus otwarte testy, w których udzia? ostatecznie wzi??o pono? 175 tysi?cy fanów systemu. Po zamkni?ciu etapu bety nad systemem usiedli fachowcy od Wizardów, nadaj?c grze ostateczny kszta?t. W mi?dzyczasie pojawi?a si? informacja o planach wypuszczenia darmowej, niepe?nej wersji – Basic D&D, która mia?a zawiera? najwa?niejsze elementy systemu. To w?a?nie ona w pierwszej wersji (nazwanej przez autorów 0.1) ukaza?a si? 3 lipca.

      Basic D&D a Starter Set
      Udost?pniona wersja nie stanowi na ten moment samowystarczalnej gry. To elementy, które maj? za zadanie przede wszystkim pokaza? potencjalnym klientom jak b?dzie wygl?da? najnowsza ods?ona D&D. Zgodnie z zapowiedziami wydawcy, Basic D&D b?dzie uzupe?niany w trakcie kolejnych miesi?cy, w miar? pojawiania si? podr?czników. Rol? wprowadzenia, „edycji dla pocz?tkuj?cych” ma pe?ni? Starter Set.

      Pierwsze wra?enie
      Sto dziesi?? stron ?adnie sformatowanego tekstu zawieraj?cego nie tyle such? mechanik?, co po??czenie zasad, prostych porad, wprowadzenia w RPG i fabularnych zahaczek. ?wietna sprawa! Lektura to prawdziwa przyjemno?? – mimo ?e ci?gle ma si? wra?enie, ?e gdzie? si? to ju? czyta?o. Od razu wida?, ?e Wizardzi nie chc? obdarowa? nas kompletn? gr?, a wersj? demo – s? cztery klasyczne rasy, podstawowe klasy i wycinek opcji mechanicznych. Do??, by stworzy? sobie bohaterów i zagra?, ale zbyt ma?o, ?eby Basic D&D by?o samowystarczalnym substytutem podr?czników. To jednak nie to samo co SRD Pathfindera – rola tego podr?cznika jest inna.

      Szacunek dla starszych
      Cho? pi?ta edycja zawiera nowe elementy, w du?ym stopniu opiera si? na tych samych filarach co poprzedniczki. Czerpie te? pe?nymi gar?ciami z wcze?niejszych wyda? – cho? w przemy?lany sposób. Osoba znaj?ca trzeci? lub czwart? edycj? w zasadzie mo?e zagra? po przeczytaniu karty postaci. Cechy s? te same, podobnie premie z nich wyliczane. Lista umiej?tno?ci i rzutów obronnych jest inna, ale ich rola pozosta?a niezmieniona. Wci?? mamy Klas? Pancerza, punkty wytrzyma?o?ci, szybko?? wyra?on? w stopach, rzuca si? k20, gdzie 20 mo?e zaowocowa? trafieniem krytycznym… Wszystko jest bardzo dobrze znane. Lekko zmienione, mocno uproszczone, ale mieszcz?ce si? w standardzie precyzyjnych, dobrze opisanych zasad, do których przyzwyczai? nas wydawca.

      5. edycja nie rezygnuje z magii opartej na komórkach, cho? zmieni?a si? idea tego jak zapami?tuje si? czary. Nie ma sztywnego wpisywania zakl?? w komórki. Gracz wybiera z listy pewn? liczb? czarów (dowolnych poziomów) a potem zu?ywa komórki zakl?? wedle w?asnej woli. Wiele zakl?? z automatu (bez potrzeby wybierania atutów – których tu jeszcze nie ma – lub zdolno?ci specjalnych) mo?e by? wzmacniana i w ten sposób wywo?ywa? silniejsze efekty. W praktyce mag trzeciego poziomu z Inteligencj? 16 mo?e zapami?ta? sze?? dowolnych zakl??, przy czym w zakresie jego mo?liwo?ci jest rzucenie 4 czarów pierwszego poziomu i 2 drugiego.
      ...»
      Czarnotrup Polter Bron: Polter 09/07/2014
  • Bloggers

    • Basic Dungeons & Dragons: Combat changes
      Posted on July 4, 2014 by merricb
      If, like me, you’ve been happily playing with the interim Dungeons & Dragons rules included in the recent Scourge of the Swor
      d Coast, Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle and Dead in Thay adventures – or with the public playtest that those rules are drawn from – you are probably wondering what has changed. What do I need to know as I adapt to the new version of D&D?

      In this series of articles, I’ll be hitting the major changes on how to run things. I’m basing this on the Interim rule set rather than the full playtest document because the playtest is still under NDA. However, the rules Wizards released commercially in the adventures are fair game for comparison.

      This first article is all about the major changes to the combat rules. You’ll find them in Chapter 9 of the free Basic pdf.

      Surprise: It has been clarified that you can’t take reactions until after your first turn comes up – which you’ll then skip. Note this also means that characters can take reactions from the start of combat if they’re not surprised.
      ...»
      Merric Blackman Bron: Basic Dungeons & Dragons: Combat changes 04/07/2014
    • Now Playing D&D Next 5th Edition Starter Set July 2nd 2014 at Local Hobby Gaming Store...
      Posted by Hawke Robinson at Jul 02, 2014 11:30 PM | Permalink
      Filed under: DnD, Dungeons & Dragons, D&D Next,
      D&D, Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition
      We're at the local hobby/gaming story, Merlyn's in Spokane, playing the brand new 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons (aka D&D Next).
      Now Playing D&D Next 5th Edition Starter Set July 2nd 2014 at Local Hobby Gaming Store...
      There is definitely the continuation of point inflation. The Wizard now has a d6 hit die, and can cast 1d8 Ray of Cold as a CANTRIP. Cantrips can be cast an unlimited number of times per day. My Fighter has a +7 to hit with longbow. They have added Passive abilities, such as "Passive Wisdom, Perception". Also, according to the DM, XP is not as generous, but it takes far less to advance, for example for the Fighter class, 300 XP for 2nd level, 900 XP for 3rd level, but then continue the pattern of tripling for 2,700 XP for 4th level, and 6,500 for 5th level. Advantages & Disadvantages, personality traits, ideals, bonds, flaws. Second Wind, .....
      ...»
      Hawke Robinson RPG Research Bron: RPG Research 04/07/2014
    • We have one more, out of order, episode of the Tome Show and then we'll start bringing you all the episodes we skipped in order to get these timely episodes out to you more quickly. And I think you'll be glad we did, because in this episode we give you Mike Mearls. If there is one person in charge of the D&D tabletop rpg right now, it's Mike and he gives us the scoop on how the newest edition has come to be, where it's been, and some hints about where it's going and what you can expect. Enjoy!


      Like the show? Shop below..
      ...»
      TheTome Bron: Mike Mearls on 5ed DNd 04/07/2014
    • Welcome to D&D 5e. Yesterday Wizards of the Coast officially launched the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons by releasing the D&D Basic Rules online and the D&D Starter Set in select FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Shops). For the past year and a half many D&D enthusiasts participated in the playtest of the new rules dubbed D&D Next. Although the D&D 5e rules look a lot like the final version of the playtest there have been some changes and dare I say improvements made since then. The playtest is over and the real thing is here.

      It’s been a long time since Wizards released a new gaming supplement that you could by at your FLGS and hold in your hands. The D&D Starter Set is the first product released in the 5e lineup with the other iconic rulebooks coming out over the next few months.

      The D&D Starter Set is like a delicious appetizer. You knew you were hungry when you ordered it but you didn’t realize how hungry until you took your first bite. It’s delicious and it leaves you wanting more. You know that the main course is coming soon, but this will certainly hold you over until then.

      Before I go on and talk about what’s in the box, let me tell you that I haven’t yet looked at the D&D Basic Rules available on the Wizards of the Coast website. The D&D Starter Set is supposed to include enough details that you can open the box, read the materials, and begin playing. I wanted to look at this product with that mindset.


      What’s in the Box?
      ...»
      AMERON (DEREK MYERS Bron: Review: D&D Starter Set (5e) 04/07/2014
    • On Dungeons & Dragons, the Fifth

      "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredu
      lity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way. . . "

      So, I'm gonna do what I do and analyze the crap out of this. A few words first, however are needed.

      Remember the rules: I mean only exactly what I type. So, you know, respond to that. Not any meaning you've added in.

      Secondly: This is a game for 12 year-olds. That's who it is written for. Teenagers. Kids. It says so right on the box (Ages 12 and up)

      Onto the rule document!

      It's Pretty Good
      So let's just get this out of the way first. Overall, it's pretty good! I would play it. I would run it. It isn't my preferred edition -- I'm way more excited about what I'm doing with B/X for Numenhalla for instance, but I don't feel like I'd have to have a conversation with someone before playing like I would have to do before I sat down to play a 3.x/4/PF game. Much like OSR play, I'd feel ok grabbing a random pregen, sitting down and starting to play.

      It's important to keep this in mind going forward, my overall impression is positive! I'm not going to reiterate it while I'm tearing anything apart. Also, I have not received the starter set yet, which expands on this basic set; anything said in here refers to the free basic rules .pdf only.

      Also, releasing the basic .pdf for free is really awesome. You can get some free monsters for basic from here! It is also the only logical way for WotC to continue to stay a player in the rpg game. The pathfinder SRD is a large part of its success, and the sooner they can figure out their license and get a searchable html version of the rules on the web, the sooner they can compete.

      Version 0.1
      It's incomplete. No monsters. No magic items. It is better, in my opinion, to release this now and add to it, rather than wait till it's complete. It is the modern model -- get feedback, revise, and re-release.

      That said, the formatting and layout is terrible. There's no cover. The tag at the bottom on odd pages changes from D&D BASIC RULES V 0.1 to D*D BASIC RULES V 1.0. Tables are often pages away from where they are referenced, which is an issue for those of us on tablets. They had to release a printer friendly version due to the beige wash on the background. Classes are mentioned ("Without the uplifting and magical support of Bards and Clerics. . .") and aren't included in the basic rules. Copying and pasting doesn't appear to work consistently from the .pdf. No table of contents. No index.

      Hasbro made almost 2 billion dollars in profit in the last 12 months. The above mistakes are amateur hour and are embarrassingly unprofessional.

      Pillars and Foundations
      First, Yay! A discussion about what game-play should consist of! Secondly, Boo for implying that these pillars are the only pillars.

      I've talked about the three pillars of megadungeon play before. The three pillars of different styles of play (megadungeon, hexcrawl, sandbox, adventure path) are going to vary! They listed the three pillars for sandbox play, but the document clearly supports the other styles, some more than others.

      The Rapid Experience
      The experience point table is a good design decision for new players! It allows players to select a class with fewer choices and then, because they will level so quickly to level 2 and 3, allows them to make other decisions after having played a while. For experienced players, starting characters at level 3 does not imply that you've missed a great deal of the 'development in play' being that most players will hit level 2 or 3 in just a session or two. I think it's an excellent compromise between character customization and speed of staring play.

      Hitting the Target
      Man, 110 pages is a lot. And it's only going to get bigger. The rules are short and concise. The spell lists are short. The major archtypes are all presented (The fighty fighter, the theify rogue, the blasty wizard, and the healing cleric) and it's still 110 damn pages. And that's without any monsters or magic items.

      That said, the basic and expert (B/X) page count combined is 138 pages.

      The thing's hollow — it goes on forever — and — oh my God! — it's full of spherical cows!
      Yeah, so there's been a lot said about the fact that non-proficient saves don't improve, meaning as you face more powerful opponents, you become more likely as you become more powerful to be affected by their detrimental effects. Wizards can, after level 5, do 2d10 damage in combat at will, which is more than any single melee attack. Of course by that point fighters are attacking twice, but then fighters can't cast 8d6 fireballs either. Why don't fighters get nice things? Et. al.

      All of these arguments and discussions are dumb. Dumb means in this case that they don't matter and are pointless to have.

      I once started a several hundred page discussion when I played Pathfinder on the relative utility of the wizard versus the sorcerer. The general consensus was the wizard was in all cases superior because the delay in getting the new level of spells cost the sorcerer too much. However, in actually play, events in the campaign caused the wizard a lot of problems because he couldn't do all the things that were assumed to keep up his power level. Whereas the sorcerer continued to be very effective, not feeling as if he was falling behind at all, because he needed neither time nor money.

      The flat bonus curve (+2 to +6) is fantastic. It means a dozen orcs are relevant for a much longer time. It means you don't have to stop using ogres after level whatever. In actually play, it means focusing on play instead of worrying about how high your pluses are. Reading these rules I have less concerns about threats and building adventures and creating characters than I do about first edition. Also, it says right on page 3 that combat is just one focus of the game.

      The argument isn't one-sided of course. We haven't seen optional feats yet. Will their be traps? Will they spin things out of control?

      The truth is, given enough time, they almost certainly will. There is a need for content, and traditionally rules sell better than settings or modules. The game will bloat and inequalities will become more evident.

      But unlike other versions of D&D, this one explicitly points out that they are optional. Meaning, much like B/X, I can have a game I like and never feel like I have to put anything else in it that I don't want.

      So overall, this is a net improvement.

      Tune into part II for more tomorrow
      ...»
      Hack & Slash Hack & Slash Bron: Hack & Slash:On Dungeons & Dragons, the Fifth 07/07/2014
    • 5th edition (in the Basic Rules) takes a big step away from the trend and is even more abstract than the earliest editions of the game with regard to flanking. I would argue that 5th edition is the first edition with takes "no position" with regard to miniatures and carefully crafts descriptions so that combat can be run either way without house rules or dropping rules -- though it does still refer to "squares" from time to time. The new edition still includes Opportunity Attacks - a firm Zone of Control concept - as described on page 74. But instead of listing a specific amount of distance moved as in Moldvay, 1st AD&D, and later editions it merely lists the need to use the "Disengage" action. The Disengage action can be used with a tactical map, but doesn't require one as it is more narrative in its description than the older "Defensive Withdrawal."  The Rogue class on page 27 hints at the flanking rules for 5th edition which does not seem to entail a good deal of examining to see if combatants align properly on opposite sides of an opponent in a way that require illustration. Under Sneak Attack, the Basic rules state that you can deal extra damage if you have advantage OR "if another enemy of the target is within 5 feet of it, that enemy isn't incapacitated, and you don't have disadvantage on the die roll." That's a pretty big shift toward simplicity and away from map use. While it could be argued that the 5 foot rule implies the use of maps, one could easily assume that a creature engaged in melee has an enemy within  feet. If this replaces needing opposite sides for advantage, this is a boon for mapless gaming. It is easily adaptable regardless. So what does this make 5th edition's Zone of Control rules based on the Basic Set? ...»
      Christian Lindke Bron: Dungeons and Dragons: 5th Edition and "Zones of Control" 07/07/2014
  • Review

    • REVIEW OF DUNGEONS & DRAGONS STARTER SET (5TH ED.)
      This set arrived unexpectedly early - I figured I would get it in a couple of weeks or so. Although I've been playing D&D in one form or another sinc
      e the early 1980s, and am not really in the target market for a starter set, I'm also a teacher who enjoys introducing impressionable young minds to the wonderful world of tabletop gaming. I figured I would drop a few bucks to see if this was something I could use to corrupt some fresh young minds. My kids, currently 4 and 6, are also getting into RPGs, and I may use this in a few years when they're ready for it.
      I was technically involved with the playtest for this edition, but real life interfered and I have not looked at any playtest documents since the first set was sent out way back at the start.

      First Look

      The box is nicely printed, with a picture of a male human fighter-type about to get killed by a dragon. The dragon either suffers from extreme halitosis, or is breathing some kind of poison on the human.

      Inside the box are two softcover books, a plastic bag of dice, some character sheets, and a one-page ad.

      The dice are a marbled blue with bright, clear white numbers on them. There's a d4, a d6, a d8, a d10, and a d20. The dice are serviceable, and I will happily add them to my collection.

      The two books are a rulebook and an adventure book. I like that they have separated these, as it should make it easy to reference rules without handing over the whole adventure to a player.

      Flipping through the books, I notice that the art style appeals to me. Te dungeonpunk look is gone, with characters dressed in fantastical-but-realistic-looking clothes and armour. I also notice that not everyone is light-skinned, and none of the females are flashing their boobs. In fact, none of the characters look sexualized - they look more like serious, hardened adventurers in fairly practical outfits. Yay! An RPG book I can show to parents!
      ...»
      Michael Mearls, Jeremy Crawford RPG.net Bron: RPG.net 04/07/2014
    • Is the D&D Starter Set everything you need to start playing the world’s greatest roleplaying game?  It is according to the box.  The box which gets you hooked with a picture of a dragon and a fighter engaged in a furious battle.  I plan on using this to introduce two new players with no rpg experience to the hobby and I will talk about how that goes in the future.  For now we will stick with just my first impressions.

      The D&D Starter Set Rulebook is 32 color pages stapled like a comic book.  Inside those pages are several cool pieces of artwork, which is something that the Dungeons & Dragons brand has always done well.  If you are an experienced player these may inspire you.  If you are a beginner or novice these might help you visualize your character and get a feel for the game.  The artwork on the front of the booklet expands on the scene from the front of the box, revealing two more characters, both casters of some sort.

      The rulebook immediately jumps in to explaining how to play, get started, and what the dice are used for.  I bet most experienced players skip right over these sections although if you read it you might just learn a new way to look at the cooperative storytelling game you love so much.  Then a quick explanation of the abilities, ability checks, the advantage/disadvantage mechanic, and saving throws follow.  That’s chapter one in a nutshell.
      ...»
      Gaming Tonic Bron: Gaming Tonic 04/07/2014
    • D&D 5e Basic Rules First Thoughts
      Posted on July 4, 2014 | 3 Comments
      The “free version” of the new D&D rules are out – 110 pages of pdf, available at Wizards of the Coast.

      My initial reaction is tha
      t I like it.  Background: I’ve played D&D from the original BECMI “Red Box” Basic through 1e AD&D, 2e, 3e, 3.5e, hated 4e, play Pathfinder. (Plus many other games of course).

      Things I think it does right:

      1. A free PDF will really help draw in new/casual players. Game stores can have a couple copies laying around. It’s not as nice for future in-play as the free SRD approach of Pathfinder, but it’ll be very accessible to new players.

      2. The three pillars of adventure – exploration, social interaction, combat.  They list combat last and try hard in this PDF to not give it primary billing, which may result in less pure hack and slash than in the future. The Combat section itself is only 9 pages! (Obviously there’s rules affecting combat everywhere else, but that was nice.)

      3. Clear call-outs to GM discretion.  GM describes, you say what you want to do, GM narrates the results.

      4. Light rules.  Now, we’ll see how much of this is because of the format and how much they’ll take a big ol’ dump over it with the PHB and all, but this is pleasingly not all legalistic.  There’s already people fretting over the “Rules of Hidden Club” as they have in past editions, even though the rules say “you know, GM discretion whether you can sneak up on someone, man.”  The spell descriptions take a couple steps back towards being sane in length, with type, casting time, range, components, and duration being the only “required fields.” I’ve written before on the relative sizes and bloat – using the Knock spell, this one is 132 words, shorter than 3.5e’s 206 words but longer than Basic’s 122. Replacing 100 bonuses with advantage/disadvantage – seems fun, we’ll see how it works out (I imagine smart min-maxers will find a way to have enough advantage that it’ll always cancel out any disadvantage and you’ll just be rolling 2d20 all the time).

      5. Inclusivity.  They totally even one-up Paizo on this, by openly saying in the Sex section “You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example, and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon’s image. You could also play a female character who presents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is yours to decide.”

      6. Hits the high points.  Doesn’t try to sell “some new thing we made up” like Dragonborn, it is the big 4 classes and big 4 races. Not sure of the need for the subraces, especially the dwarven ones (the hillbillies and the mountainbillies are fighting again, said no one ever), but perhaps that’s more included just to show that it’s possible.

      The negatives:
      Read more:
      ...»
      Geek Related Bron: Geek Related 04/07/2014
    • D&D 5e: Better This Time Around?
      Is the Civil War over?

      There will be no shortage of posts today (and for the foreseeable future) on the release of the first elements of the new edition of Dungeons &
      Dragons. For my part, this new edition represents the end of an era in which in felt like I was on the opposite sides in a battle against a company and fan base I had once had counted as gaming allies.

      Sound stupid? It was, especially as far as it was taken. Back then, 6 years ago(!), it seemed like every day revealed some new development that put Wizards of the Coast and their new game in a negative light to my way of thinking. It was alien, it bombed for our group in the demo, and seemingly all at once, Wizards of the Coast was the corporate bad guy, out to Deliberately Screw Us, and Ruin Our Game. In our hobby, just like any other, we excel at blowing up differences in preference and play, and turning it into a far nastier fight than time and distance suggest was prudent. Every new edition of D&D brings its own fight, and its own civil war, but I don't believe any of them split the player base as badly as 2008's changeover. There was a sense "our game" had been taken from us, and the manner in which Pathfinder and some of the retro-clones were embraced are proof of gamers wanting to take it back.

      Now, we have promises of a new D&D that feels more along the lines of the "classic" D&D experience. I think it's pretty funny to read some of the rage shown places such as here and here in regards to 5e, but not really out of any sense of maliciousness--that's not what I'm after here. Rather, I thought to myself I'm sure the unhappy and enraged 4e players are approaching this new edition in the same way many of us did back in 2008. It's a reminder of the cycle to these things, and just because your preferences won out today, doesn't mean you won't find yourself in wholly different circumstances in just a few years. You can't stop people from being upset at change, but I do think you can be courteous and understanding of their position--at least to the sensible.

      Now, character min/maxing and spending hours poring over a system's math are about as far from my definition of fun as possible. But I understand that some 4e fans are going to feel upset; it's natural when the game you support and love has its support withdrawn, and you're essentially told that (as we were before with 3e) that your game was essentially flawed.

      However, I hope things are different this time. Last go-around, Wizards of the Coast fumbled its PR badly, and around the same time did a no-notice pull of all its for-sale pdfs. There was a lot of anger, as it felt like D&D had not only gone in a radically different direction, but had done so with a company that didn't connect well to gamers. There was the blowing up of the Forgotten Realms, which probably didn't endear WotC to many, either. The abandonment of support for the ideas of the Open Gaming License, and the mess of the GSL were the last straw for still others.

      Has Wizards learned anything in the past six years? I think so, but of course time will tell. The open playtest was a good start. The basic rules are a free online download. The jury is still out on how they'll handle any sort of open licensing. The old-edition pdfs are back online for sale now, and the Realms are seemingly returning to something a bit more along the lines of what they once were.

      Looking at the game itself, it sounds as if much of the focus was bringing about a game that was less regimented in terms of character abilities, at least in its basic form. I think D&D shines when a few basic abilities are described, and the players are set free to utilize them in any manner of imaginative ways. The more powers and abilities are limited, regimented, and presented as "either/or", I think a certain style of play is more easily lost.

      It is inevitable, I suppose, that any new edition of Dungeons & Dragons will be met with glee by some and rage by others. It's easy to look back and laugh on some of that, but at the same time, I find myself sad in some respects that some good gaming acquaintances drifted apart during that time. I wish that maybe I had been a bit less vehement in some arguments, and maybe some of them wish the same.

      At the same time, I understand that edition battles are part of D&D's lifecycle. So no, "the war" isn't over, but hopefully it has cooled down from Armageddon to a few flare-ups and intermittent sniping. Maybe a few fences can be mended along the way, too.

      This time, whatever the ultimate result of Dungeons & Dragons 5e, I hope that folks have fun playing it. I know that's about as cliche as one can get, but I genuinely mean it. If it turns out it's easily compatible with games like Castles & Crusades, Rules Cyclopedia D&D, or Labyrinth Lord, and people start making some great crossover material, even better. The hobby is better when people are engaged, making things, and companies and individual efforts are inspiring and enabling gaming and creativity. Standing on the brink of a new edition, that is my hope for Dungeons & Dragons, and my hope for the hobby.
      ...»
      RPG blog II Bron: RPG blog II 04/07/2014
    • Product- Basic Rules for Dungeons and Dragons (5e)

      Producer- Wizards of the Coast

      Price- FREE at http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/basicrules

      TL; DR-DnD IS BACK! 97%

       

      Basics- DnD is
      BACK!  This rule packet is the free, public rules for DnD next/5th edition.  The rules have a complete level track for wizard, cleric, rogue, and fighter.  It’s broken down into three major areas: character creation, game rules, and magic for the two spell casting classes (wizard and cleric).  Since it’s FREE (!), go download this RIGHT NOW!

       

      Mechanics or Crunch- Quick summary on mechanics: This game is basically 1st, 3rd, and 4th editions rolled into one.  Let’s give these rules a rundown, section by section, to explain what that means.

       

      Base concepts: If you need to roll, you still roll a d20 and add a number.  This is classic, 1st edition DnD goodness.  However, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has MASSIVELY flattened the power/number curve for this edition.   The highest you get for a bonus is +11 (+5 from a stat and +6 from something called proficiency-more later).  At 20th level in, say, DnD 3.5 or Pathfinder you are rocking at least a +30 for any skill or attack.  My wife is playing in the Encounters game and was quite shocked that she only had a +7 at level 7 wondering if her character is underpowered.  Its takes a bit getting used to but your character is now about 50/50 ability and training.  I do wish your character’s training would matter more, but that’s a small personal preference.

       

      Where the numbers come from: As level one, a character chooses a background (what you did before you were an adventurer), a race, what your stats are, and a class.  You have your standard strength, dexterity, constitution, wisdom, intelligence, and charisma abilities that DnD/Pathfinder players know and love.  Character background and race give you skills (typically four) that you are “proficient” in.  To any skill you are proficient with, you add your proficiency bonus.  This bonus starts at +2 and gradually moves up to +6.  You can see the fingerprints of fourth edition here, but not in a bad way.  Find a sword you don’t know how to use?  Don’t add proficiency to your strength and roll to attack!  Find an upgraded sword you can use?  Add proficiency and attack away!  Trying to remember some religious information your background as a guild thief didn’t prepare you for?  Roll a check without your proficiency bonus.  It’s honestly quick, easy, and keeps the game moving.  Skills and attack rolls have about the same math, and that really helps as a GM and a player to keep things going smoothly.  I like this a lot.

       

      Classes: You have the core four: Wizard, Cleric, Fighter, and Rogue.  This is a document designed to do a few principal things.  First, get players interested to play (Done!).  Two, explain the basics of play.  If you read above, you’re pretty clear so far.  Three, show off the base classes to give players an idea of where the design went.  For that you have your base four.  These classes do give a really good idea of what’s coming next.  Now, keep in mind, you don’t get everything!  You don’t get feats or a lot of options.  It’s broad, rather than in-depth, coverage of the game’s classes.

       

      Magic: The magic in this game is a mix of 3rd and 4th edition’s magic systems.  Spell casters have at-will spells that do something and so many per day castings of others.  Casters get to prepare about 1+ level spells per day, regardless of level, and can cast spells at each level they know so many times per day.  In addition, each character typically gets a few 0 level spells that they can cast a bunch of times.  This means a low level intro character doesn’t get overwhelmed with options, but a high level character with lots of experience has lots of options.  Spell effects are also no longer dependent on character level, but the level at which the spell is cast. As an  example, a character casting cure wounds, a first level spell healing 1d8 HP, could cast that spell in a fourth level spot to heal 4d8 HP.  Also, all spell casting characters kind of function like 3rd edition clerics:  they prepare spells, but can cast any spell they’ve prepared at any spot.  Prep a fourth level spell but want to cast a super heal?  Just use the fourth level spell slot for your cure wounds and move on with your day.  You don’t get to cast the fourth level spell you prepared, however.

       

      Hit Points and healing:  This is always a sticky point between RPG players.  HP is still the number that represents how beaten your character is.  You don’t take any penalties as you become more beaten (“More than none?  Ready to run!”).  I would like some rules to reflect a character being more beaten down, but I honestly think that will come with the Dungeon Master Guide as an extra rule.  Healing is typically done by divine characters as in any edition of DnD; however, 5th edition does add a bit here.  Each level you earn gets you a hit die.  So, a seventh level fighter has 7d10 hit dice.  When you rest for an hour (a short rest), you can spend hit dice daily to heal without a cleric.  You can spend as many or a few as you want adding your constitution modifier to each die rolled.  This represents a nice middle ground between the healing surge of fourth edition and the clerics-only healing of 1st/3rd edition.

       

      Free Form Mechanics: This game takes a pretty strong stand in favor of giving the GM more power compared to fourth edition.  The game encourages the “theater of the mind” game style with the GM telling the players what’s in the room and letting the players decide how to deal with that situation.  Map free games tend to move the game much faster than 3.5/Pathfinder and extremely faster than fourth edition!  I like this as the players are much more engaged, because the turns move much faster.

       

      Summary: The new DnD isn’t so much new as it is revamped.  It’s still the d20 game we know and love, but now its updated using what worked across forty years, four editions, and numerous play tests.  Also, these are not the complete mechanics of the game as the total player rules won’t be out for another month.  In general I like what I see, but some things bother me slightly (why does proficiency start at +2?).  But, I’m happy to see Dungeons and Dragons back.  When I play this game, I do feel like I’m playing my favorite game again, just much quicker and sleeker.  4.75/5

       

      Fluff or Story- Again this is a whole system so I’ll review this across several subsections.

       

      Setting: The game is assumed to be in the Forgotten Realms.  That’s where the Sundering has taken place and where the living game will also take place.  There are parts that discuss converting the game, but the document primarily assumes you will play in the Forgotten Realms.  I like the realms, so I don’t have a problem with this.

       

      Races: Each race gets a sizable portion on how they view one another, and how to be a member of that race.  Each race also provides options for customizing your character (for example, you can be a Hill dwarf or a Mountain dwarf, with each giving a different bonus and feature). It’s well done and gets you into character quickly.

       

      Backgrounds: This is new.  Your character is mechanically half background and half class for its mechanics.  I’ve already talked about your skills, but your background also has parts that discuss how you are bonded to the rest of the group, character flaws, and other little role-playing bits that will draw you into a session quickly.  I REALLY like this.  A major criticism of fourth edition was there was not enough role-playing.  This game front loads the role-playing into character generation!  Very awesome!  And as an extra benefit, the system introduces something called inspiration.  If you act in character, you gain inspiration.  You can spend inspirateion to roll two d20 and take the better, possible extra actions, reroll, or whatever your GM will let you do.  Think of inspiration as fate points from Fate.  Inspiration represents a clear link between role-playing an mechanics, and I love it!

       

      Classes: It’s the classes we know and love.  You don’t get all the options, but you do get enough to have a lot of fun, both mechanically and story wise.

       

      Summary: This “feels” like DnD to me.  I don’t feel like I’m playing a completely different game, a complaint often heard about fourth edition.  You’re playing DnD in the Forgotten Realms if you play by this document. 5/5

       

      Execution- This is well done.  The book has the 3rd edition feel that I loved with something going on in the background of each page as opposed to fourth editions sterile, white backgrounds.  The book does need pictures to break up the monotonous look of all the words.  However, this gets more of a pass than most products because it’s a free document meant to introduce the system, not the final, purchasable product. 4.75/5

       

      Summary- DnD is back!  I like what I see.  This document is meant to be a short introduction to the system, and I can tell you based on this; I plan to buy the system.  I can also tell you that you won’t get the full system with this.  Honestly, you can’t even play until WotC releases the free bestiary which will come out later this year.  Also, I can tell you that this does make more than a few plugs for the full player’s handbook.  But, if you want to go play Dungeons and Dragons again, then use the guide and find a local DnD encounters game to join in and have some fun.  97%
      ...»
      throatpunchgames Bron: throatpunchgames 05/07/2014
    • 5th Edition Basic Rules & Starter Set
      Posted by : David Guyll July 04, 2014

      Just in case you came here to see if my opinion was miraculously inverted through reading a set of finalized rules that, as
      far as I can tell are not at all different from the last playtest packet, I will save you the time: I still think that the game looks and plays like recycled, traditionalist shit that reeks of nostalgia (which apparently is precisely what some people were looking for).

      I would say that I am surprised to see that after two years of what could laughably be described as development, the results are basically 3rd Edition with a few 4th Edition rules shoehorned in that I can only assume were deemed not too offensive to the grognards, but we already knew what the game was going to look like long before the public playtest had concluded.

      Despite the playtest being a lengthy, torturous, boring slog, the one thing I can appreciate about it is that my group played it far longer than necessary to conclude that it lacked the flexibility, tension, and excitement we get from not only 4th Edition, but other games in general. Games with smaller development teams and times, no less. This means that, aside from the $20 I paid for the Starter Set, I do not have to waste any more money or time on this well-budgeted, yet still mediocre retroclone.

      Now there is a lot wrong with this game, but my disappointment is for the most part due to three main reasons:
      Needlessly restrictive classes (and to a point races)
      Nonsense pseudo-Vancian magic
      Boring combat and monsters

      Needlessly Restrictive Classes (and Races)
      For some reason they interject excerpts from various novels, like The Crystal Shard and Dragons of Autumn Twilight. Not sure if they are trying to entice you or what, but almost every Dungeons & Dragons novel I have read ranges from mediocre to really, really bad.

      Also, most racial modifiers give you a +1 to something, which means that there is a chance that the stat boost does nothing at all. The dwarf is the odd man out in that he gets a +2 to Constitution, which means that it will always do something...so maybe it is a typo? Anyway, I chalk this up to more tradition rearing its ugly head.

      Otherwise there's nothing new, and only the most traditionally Tolkien races get represented: dwarves are tough, elves cannot be put to sleep (why?), and humans are more boring than they have been in a long time (though a "variant" allows you to make them just slightly more worthless than they were in 4th Edition). Also, kind of oddly, they really push Forgotten Realms with them. As in, they mention appearances and names from almost ten cultures.

      None of those things have anything to do with the races being needlessly restrictive, I just wanted to point them out because they also bug/confuse me. No, the restrictive part is that races are all the exact same aside from a few very minor deviations. See, what I love about 4th Edition is that it not only has racial paragon paths, but there are also racial feats you can take in order to better control how much race matters to you. There are also race-class feats that give you thematic abilities, like allowing an eladrin wizard to use a sword for an implement.

      Of course that would mean some actual customization, which would require players to read and think, and we cannot have that, right?

      Classes
      The classes are just the worst, and seeing that they largely define your character are probably the main reason why 5th Edition bores the shit out of me. Like 3rd Edition most of the time you just get whatever the designers felt you should get. Level 2 fighter? You get action surge. Hit level 5? You get an extra attack. To be fair there are points where you get to choose what stat to increase, but since they cap at 20 I cannot see classes like the fighter really making the most out of this. Fortunately, if you are the type that both hungers for customization and is for some reason playing this game, there is an optional feat system.

      WotC seems really proud of their whole sub-class thing for some reason, when all it really amounts to is you picking one thing, usually at 3rd-level, that locks in a bunch of other class features down the line. In the basic rules you can see this in the fighter, with the preset being champion. You see all those spots on the table where it says martial archetype feature? Those get locked in once you choose your martial archetype, you cannot change it later, and you not only get whatever features the subclass is packaged with, you get them in a specific order, too.

      So why did they do this? I have no fucking clue. Dungeon World, Numenera, and 13th Age let you make choices (yes, even for magical types), and I do not hear anyone complaining that it is too much work. Since I am bagging on the fighter so much, here are a few other things I want to point out before moving onto the whole nonsense magic thing:
      Damage on a "miss" is out, so the grogs can rejoice that despite all the evidence as to why it makes sense, apparently Mike agrees with your arbitrary definition of miss.
      The fighter can essentially get limited regeneration at 18th-level: if you are reduced below half hit points you regain 5 + your Con modifier. How did this make it in if, in Mike's own bizarre interpretation of hit points are just "meat points"? I guess if in Mearl's World warlords shout limbs back on, then fighters just regrow them.
      People selectively complained about not being able to make a ranged fighter in 4th Edition (despite a ranger being a perfect substitute in every way aside from name), but are completely mollified with the archery fighting style's all of +2 to ranged attack rolls. So...was a class that could freely choose between melee and ranged attack that did interesting stuff too much, too little, or what?
      Fighters have both "encounter" and "daily" powers. Yeah, they use far more words than is necessary to explain it (because tradition), but it is basically once per battle or x times per day. I wonder how 5th Edition apologists are going to rationalize that?

      Nonsense, Pseudo-Vancian Magic
      Of course magic is based around pseudo-Vancian nonsense. Why would it be any other way? You have leveled slots which make no sense, leveled spells which make no sense, spells you can cast whenever, spells that can be used x times per day, and spells that can be used whenever you take enough time (I want to say that a wizard never created a ritual fireball because of game balance, but that is not really a D&D thing, so I defer to tradition).

      What is the explanation behind this flavorless, fictionless gordian knot of pure nostalgic, antiquated game mechanics? I do not know, and apparently no one else does, either. I mean, WotC could have created a spell system that actually evoked the fiction behind The Dying Earth (instead of relying on one that continues to reference it despite having little to do with it), but then that would have made sense and been better suited for adventure pacing, and apparently either of those factors are just "not D&D".

      Casting in Armor
      In 3rd Edition if you wore armor you suffered a spell failure chance for spells that required gestures to cast, which marginally makes more sense than how in 2nd Edition you just could not. In 4th Edition magic was not viewed as some absolute, necessary, all-dominating force, so they just imposed the same penalties everyone else got when wearing armor you were not proficient with and it worked out just fine. In 5th Edition? We are lost in a gulf somewhere between 2nd and 3rd Edition: whether or not a spell requires gestures you must be proficient in armor to cast spells, otherwise you are too distracted or hampered to cast any spell, period.

      Like, if you are concentrating on maintaining a spell you can get stabbed or breathed on by a dragon, and as long as you make a Constitution save it still works. You can apparently carry all you want, be trapped in a blizzard, or riding a galloping horse with guaranteed results, but wearing essentially heavy clothing? Regardless of your strength? Nooope. Who needs antimagic fields when you can just strap armor onto a wizard and absolutely shut them down. That would be a pretty nice "old school" trap, a device that teleports rusty full plate onto someone that tries casting a spell.

      Boring Combat & Monsters
      It is disappointing—but, again, expected—to see that they did not take the time to give monsters more interesting things to do, when they bother giving them anything interesting at all (Note: These are pulled from the Starter Set, as the basic rules features no monsters, so I am not sure how you are supposed to play just using it):
      The bugbear just hits you, except that if it surprises you it can hit you harder on the first round.
      The doppelganger is slightly different in that if it surprises you, it also has advantage on the first round. Good to see they are pushing the envelope, here.
      The flameskull is a 5th-level wizard, complete with spells that you need to reference in another book to find out what they do. There's some "old school" feel for ya right there. It says that spellcasters fashion them from the remains of dead wizards, dead wizards which I guess always have a specific spellset. I like how they give it magic missile, despite the fact that it can shoot two blasts of fire, at will, that deal more damage each.
      Ghouls hit you, paralyze you, and keep hitting you. Did you know that the mythological ghoul could assume the appearance of whoever it ate, and could change into scavenger animals? Sounds way more interesting then "hit, hit, hit".
      The giant spider sometimes has a ranged attack, but otherwise just hits you.
      Holy shit, they kept in the zombie's "make a save to not die". Wow, have fun with that. 

      I could go on, but they are pretty much all like that. Welcome back to the day where you just stand in one spot and hit things until someone falls over. I will be over here with an edition where getting hit by an ogre means that you can knocked back, trying to flank dragons is an actually risky business, and I do not need to have two books on hand to spend a long time trying to figure out what a monster does.

      Aaand The Rest
      Here are some other bits that stuck out to me.

      The Blunders of Magic
      At the end of the Introduction there is a section titled The Wonders of Magic. This part stands out as it reinforces the artificial reliance on magical healing:

      "For adventurers, though, magic is key to their survival. Without the healing magic of clerics and paladins, adventurers would quickly succumb to their wounds. Without the uplifting magical support of bards and clerics, warriors might be overwhelmed by powerful foes. Without the sheer magical power and versatility of wizards and druids, every threat would be magnified tenfold."

      Right. Just like in all the non-D&D-based stories where mighty warriors have to routinely rely on someone else to keep spamming gods for divine healing in order to keep going, or have a bard on hand, standing around and strumming a lute so that they do not get overwhelmed. It is not like that in most stories the gods are distant and uncaring—when there is even someone with any reliable capacity to communicate with them at all—or warriors are able to handle themselves.

      No, having a healbot/buffer on tap is more inline with digital role-playing games, which is kind of ironic. Anyway, this is one of the reasons I loathe playing older editions: all the stories that I read growing up? There is nothing about D&D that conveys the tone and feel. In 4th Edition a party could get by with whatever you wanted, not so in 5th Edition: you need a healer to heal and a wizard to save the day. Again, I will stick with the edition where warriors can overcome their own challenges without having to hold the spellcasters' hands, thank you.

      Advantage/Disadvantage
      This is one of two things that really stands out, partially because it is legitimately new for Dungeons & Dragons, but mostly because they would not stop fucking talking about it like it is some kind of innovation. So how did they fuck it up? The whole advantage/disadvantage mechanic is based on the misconception that the reason people have trouble remembering situational modifiers is purely because they exist. While some situations might be difficult to remember if they rarely crop up, a major contributor is that the modifiers were so varied.

      In 3rd Edition you got +1 from charging, +2 from flanking, +x from the bard's bardic music, +y if you were in the radius of a cleric's buffing spell, +z if the wizard's magic weapon spell was still in effect, if the fighter switched from a long sword to a longer sword, then she lost her bonus from Weapon Focus, etc. 4th Edition tended to partition buff-effects to the encounter, but some lasted for a turn and others cropped up from certain actions (like being bloodied or killing an opponent). Sure it was easier, but there was more than one occasion where the players would forget things.

      Advantage/disadvantage basically works like this: if the DM thinks that you have advantage, you roll 2d20 and keep the best result. If the DM decides you have disadvantage, you roll 2d20 and keep the lowest result. If you have both, you have neither, and it does not matter how many of either you have: you can be fighting on a slippery floor, and no matter how stacked in your favor the odds are, you just get a straight roll. Similarly, your odds of climbing a rain-slicked cliff are exactly the same if you are also in a hurricane, being screamed at by harpies, poisoned, missing half your hit points, and on fire.

      So what would have fixed this? Just making every asset a +1, and every hindrance a -1. Then, instead of having to remember that one thing is a +1, something else is a +2, and yet something else is a +3, you just have to remember the grand total of assets and do some elementary addition (or just count them on your finger). If you have both assets and hindrances, well then you will have to do some...subtraction.

      Proficiency Bonus
      Since everyone gets the exact same proficiency bonus at a given level, this thing really has no reason to exist. They should have just axed it, and have tools and such be an asset with an actually functional advantage/disadvantage mechanic. In an edition with some actual customization, they could have even allowed you to pick class features that give you a bonus on certain checks or actions, thereby making it so that an increment means something, instead of just keeping up with the arbitrary math-arms race.

      Sex
      This one is not bad, but it is confusing. Not necessarily because it is there, but because of the reaction it has been getting.

      This section can be found shortly in Chapter 4, and is basically two paragraphs that opens with the long-established standard that you can be a man or woman without any mechanical benefits. So far so good. The rest of it talks about how you should think about how your character does, or does not, conform to, among other things, "the broader culture's expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior".

      Honestly, should you? Is sex, gender, and sexual behavior intended to be a key point of dungeon crawling, killing monsters, and taking their shit? I cannot think of any other game that has a section implying that you should take your character's notion of gender roles and sexuality into consideration, much less even mentioning it. I can see some groups wanting to flesh that sort of thing out on a case by case basis, but it seems strange to imply that it should be a standard part of character generation.

      Some people think this is a big deal, while others are offended by it. Not necessarily that it exists, though I am sure they are out there, but that the wording is off or whatever (not that I think any one phrasing will appease everyone). Anyway, I have no idea why this is a big deal...well, I have an idea why, it just seems strange to laud 5th Edition as being "forward thinking", when given the tone and feel of the game it really just comes across out of place (and as far as I know no one is trying to claim that other games without a block of text giving you the "okay" are being conservative or exclusive).

      As for myself I do not think it is a big deal. Similarly I also did not think it was a big deal when people were talking about how there is a black adventurer on the inside of the Player's Handbook. I honestly find it kind of counter intuitive, if the ultimate goal is to treat everyone—no matter your gender or sexuality—as a person, to keep blatantly pointing stuff like this out. I guess that is part of my thinking on treating everyone as equal: I try my best not to notice, nor care about your gender identity, sexuality, or skin color, and I am so confused why people claiming to be for equality insist on pointing these things out, as if it is some meaningful, even defining trait.

      (Oddly it mentions skin color almost in passing along with hair and eye color, so by that standard I guess it means they are not diverse enough in that arena?)

      Inspiration
      Inspiration is what you get when you half-ass FATE's aspects. If you do something the DM can give you inspiration, but since WotC thinks that their players are incapable of thinking or remembering things, like advantage/disadvantage it is entirely binary: no matter how many times you do something inline with your personality or submit to a flaw, you can only have one use stored up. This immediately creates some problems, which if they actually stuck to FATE could have avoided.

      The first is in how it is gained. It is up to the DM whether you get it, and you can only get it by playing "true to your personality traits, ideal, bond, and flaw". Okay, but there is no penalty for not playing to my character. Let us say I have the Criminal flaw "if there's a plan, I'll forget it. If I don't forget it, I'll ignore it". So, the party makes a plan and I forget it or ignore it and do my own thing, and thereby gain inspiration. At this point there is no incentive for me to willfully forget or ignore plans.

      In FATE this is avoided by giving you a pool of Fate Points. Your character has aspects, which you develop before you start playing, possibly during the course of play, and good aspects have both good and bad sides to them. In the course of playing you can spend a Fate Point in order to "tag" an aspect applicable to the situation, either giving you a bonus or rerolling the dice, and the Storyteller can "compel" you by using an aspect to penalize you. They have to give you a Fate Point for doing this, but if you have a Fate Point you can spend one to ignore the compel (which means that if you have none, you have to accept at least one compel).

      This can create a kind of back and forth, and works out a lot better than by flipping a mechanical switch on and off: you can continue to play against your character (ie, ignoring compels), but it will cost you, and there will come a time when you run out of Fate Points and have to accept a compel (though, granted, there are some times where you might really want to avoid a compel).

      This leads me to the second problem: how you use inspiration. No matter what your personality trait, ideal, bond, and flaw is, you can use it on any d20 roll to gain advantage, and while the examples they give make thematic sense are probably not going to match up in the game. Like, a compassionate character can be kind, gain inspiration, and immediately turn around to intimidate someone through physical violence, spending their inspiration to gain advantage on their act of cruelty.

      In FATE what you spend Fate Points on depends on what aspects you have, meaning that you are more likely to succeed by doing things and acting in a matter appropriate to the character you have developed. A character with a Kind Hearted aspect cannot tag it to intimidate someone through torture or violence.

      Backgrounds
      I mentioned this already back when Mearls showcased a bit of content from the traits/ideals/bonds/flaws, but I hate how absolute some of them are: I am inflexible in my thinking; I blow up at the slightest insult; I can't keep a secret to save my life, or anyone else's. Thankfully this is just shit to get inspiration, and since you either have it or you don't there is no incentive to stick with them once you snag it. Just do whatever you want until you burn it and need to pick it up again.

      Trinket Table
      Like Numenera's oddities this thing is almost entirely fucking pointless. It has entries for things that the players might write down, only to forget about almost immediately, like a mummified goblin hand, tooth from an unknown beast, pair of old socks, candle that cannot be lit, and pirate flag with a dragon's skull and crossbones. Some of it could be linked to some kind of adventure hook, like the pentacle with a rat's head etched in the center or an urn with the ashes of a hero, but most of it is just utterly forgettable, random crap.

      "Customization" Options
      Rather than spend time designing a system by which players get to make meaningful choices (like in most games), they decided that multiclassing and feats would do the trick. So, if you want to attain arbitrarily-assigned class features from another class, here is your chance!

      Conclusion
      This is not the "edition to unite all editions". People flocked to 4th Edition for very specific reasons, reasons that it was obvious over a year ago Mike and his crew did not understand (or even willfully attempted to misinterpret). This is an edition intended to appeal, you might even say pander, to a very specific audience.

      Honestly I am not sure why anyone would pay for this. If needlessly restrictive classes, mandatory magical healing, and nonsense magic appeals to you then you almost certainly already own this game in the form of 2nd and/or 3rd Edition, or one of several games just like it. You might even own a few. Of course maybe you have this strange need to just mindlessly play whatever edition of D&D is the most current?

      As I have said over and over there is nothing about this game that stands out from the rest. Nothing engaging, inspiring, or innovating. Nothing exciting. I look at it, I look back on the times I played, and all I can think about is how mind-numbingly boring everything was. A stagnant mire of recycled ideas and content arbitrarily immune to criticism. A game that only seems to exist and operate a certain way because old people think it is "supposed to".

      It just seems like a waste of creativity, talent, and potential. I was excited and hopeful early on, figuring that if WotC could improve on 3rd Edition with 4th Edition, that surely 5th Edition would be even better. Nope. Instead of a game that improves upon itself in leaps and bounds, what we get is something anyone could crank out in a fraction of the time and access 3rd Edition's SRD.

      At any rate I want to congratulate WotC for joining Paizo's ranks, as yet another company trying to find a way to recycle and sell the same shit, likely to the very people that already own it.

      And now, on to...

      The Starter Set
      As a quick aside, I can say confidently that this will be the last $20 WotC gets from me in a good, long while, possibly ever. Back in the day I might have had to pickup whatever they were pushing because I lived in a small town, Dungeons & Dragons was the game to play, and the internet was not really a thing, but nowadays there are plenty of games that do what I think Mearls mistakenly believes it does, but does it better, cheaper, and faster. Plus, internet, yo.

      So, what do you get for your twenty bucks? Two books, four character sheets mostly filled in ahead of time (because why do that whole thinking and writing thing), and a pack of dice. Basically it is like a bag of chips, in that much of the box is just air.



      Compare this to 4th Edition's Starter Set, in which you got two books, actually blank character sheets, a set of dice, a sheet of punch-out tokens, and a map to go with the included adventure. It also came with some power cards, but I figure I would just point out the edition-neutral content.



      Now if I had to say something positive, it would be that the art is often pretty good. Like, the cover and most of the chapter spreads are great, not so much for the hobgoblin, ghoul, Nezznar the Black Spider, and stirge. Basically about what you would expect for Dungeons & Dragons.

      Really though the best part is that since I already played the game during the playtest period and the rules are, near as I can tell completely unchanged, I do not have to round up my gaming crew and subject them to it in order to confirm anything: we already know that we are going to hate it.

      The Starter Set Rulebook is 30 pages, almost half devoted to spells, because we all know what really classes matter, and tells you how to play, fight, and buy stuff.

      I am not sure about the quality of the adventure. I got a bit past the part where it explains how the default adventure hook is guarding a wagon for someone, and that on the way you can find some dead horses inexplicably left in plain sight, investigate it, get ambushed by a handful of goblins, run into a snare trap that, even if triggered, only might deal a bit of damage, and eventually arrive at a goblin cave.

      Sorry, but the bog standard "guard a caravan, get ambushed, and follow a plot trail to something potentially interesting" has been done to death.
      ...»
      David Guyll Points of Light Bron: Points of Light 05/07/2014
    • Eclipse and D&D Fifth Edition – The Fighter
      As you may have heard, the newest edition of Dungeons & Dragons was released yesterday.

      Well, sort of.

      What came out was the alpha version of the Basic ve
      rsion of D&D Fifth Edition. That’s a bit of a head-scratcher for anyone who hasn’t been following the development of the game, so it’s worth reiterating just what exactly that is.

      To put it plainly, D&D Fifth Edition is bringing back a Basic version of the game, distinct from the “Advanced” version (though they’re not going to call it that – the non-Basic version is just going to be called Dungeons & Dragons). This Basic version is going to be a free-for-download PDF on WotC’s website, with no physical version planned that I’m aware of.


      Bold new edition, same “KILL EVERY @#$&ING THING IN THE ROOM!” attitude.
      Currently, the Basic version is incomplete, having the character-creation rules, as well as spells and combat mechanics. However, until the full version of D&D is released (staggered over a few months later this year), the Basic version won’t have things like monsters or magic items. Still, the plan is for Basic to be updated as these parts of the full game are released, and the Basic D&D PDF will be complete by the end of this year.

      Having read through the initial Basic rules, I’m struck by how much what’s there is reminiscent of Third Edition D&D. Strictly speaking, it seems like 75% of changing your 3E game into a 5E game would involve capping the total bonuses of various mechanics, such as ability scores, BAB, saving throws, skill bonuses – all have a hard ceiling on how high they can get.

      There are other big changes too, of course, such as the advantage/disadvantage mechanic (roll 2d20 and take the better/worse result, respectively), or how there are now six saving throws – one for each ability score. But for the most part, this seems like Third Edition with some comparatively modest tweaks.

      Of course, I was quite happy with that, since 3E is my favorite version of D&D, mechanically speaking…or at least, a variant of it is.

      Eclipsing Fifth Edition

      That variant, of course, is Eclipse: the Codex Persona, a class-less point-buy character-generator for Third Edition’s d20 system. Since it breaks the shackles of class-levels, and since Fifth Edition (unsurprisingly) uses class-level progressions for its characters – and since it has such a close resemblance to Third Edition – I decided to try my hand at breaking down its classes and races using the Eclipse rules.

      Given that, I elected to start with the “simplest” of Basic 5E’s classes, the one that’s the typical benchmark for comparing classes: the fighter.

      One thing that should be noted right off the bat is that this isn’t a comparison between the fighter and the other classes in Basic 5E. Rather, this particular article looks at the Basic 5E fighter in comparison to its 3.5 and Pathfinder counterparts – comparisons with the other Basic 5E classes will have to wait for future articles that break down their Eclipse costs.

      With that said, let’s look at what a Basic 5E fighter gets over the course of their twenty levels.

      The Basic 5Eclipse Fighter

      Available Character Points: 504 (level 20 base).

      Basic Abilities (207 CP)

      Light, medium, and heavy armor and shield proficiencies (18 CP). All simple and martial weapon proficiencies (9 CP).
      20d10 Hit Dice (120 CP).
      +6 Warcraft, specialized for one-half cost/only applies to weapons that you have proficiency with, corrupted for two-thirds cost/no iterative attacks (12 CP).
      +6 Strength saves and +6 Constitution saves (36 CP).
      +6 ranks to two skills (12 CP).
      This is the major dialing back of “bonus bloat” that typifies 5E. In the Basic rules, all characters have a “Proficiency Bonus” that is +2 for the first four levels, and then goes up by +1 each four levels after that (e.g. +2 at 1st-4th levels, +3 at 5th-8th levels, etc.). Your class and race determine what weapons, saves, and skills this proficiency bonus applies to…which is very important, because that, and your ability score bonuses, are the primary (and often only) modifiers to your die rolls.

      Here, rather than trying to come up with some sort of universal bonus, it was easier to buy the proficiency bonuses separately for the various categories of die rolls that they applied to. This was surprisingly easy to do, since the low numbers kept the costs down.

      Class Features (240+ CP)

      Fighting Style (pick one):
      Archery: +2 Warcraft, specialized for one-half cost/only for ranged weapons, corrupted for two-thirds cost/no iterative attacks (4 CP).
      Defense: Improved Defender, corrupted for two-thirds cost/only applies while wearing armor (4 CP).
      Dueling: Augment Attack, +2 damage when wielding a melee weapon one-handed, with nothing in your off-hand (2 CP).
      Great Weapon Fighting: Doubled Damage, specialized for increased effect/functions with any two-handed or versatile weapon, only allows for a single re-roll of a 1 or a 2 for damage (6 CP).
      Protection: Block/missile, corrupted for increased effect/may be used on any creature within 5 feet of you, requires use of a shield; specialized for increased effect/no saving throw necessary, only applies disadvantage (roll 2d20, taking the lower roll) to the attacker’s roll rather than great immunity to damage (6 CP).
      Two-Weapon Fighting: Advanced Improved Augmented Bonus, apply Strength or Dexterity modifier to weapon damage rolls, specialized for one-half cost/only applies to off-hand melee attacks (9 CP).
      Second Wind: Grant of Aid with the Mighty modifier, specialized for double effect/only applies to hit points; corrupted for two-thirds cost/must rest at least one hour between each use (6 CP).
      Action Surge: Reflex Training (3/day variant) with +8 Bonus Uses, corrupted for two-thirds cost/must rest at least one hour between each two uses (12 CP).
      Ability Score Improvement: +14 Improved Self-Development (168 CP).
      Extra Attack: Three instances of Bonus Attack, each with the Improved modifier (36 CP), and Immunity/needing to specify specific situations where each bonus attack applies (very common/major/major) (15 CP).
      Indomitable: Luck with +2 Bonus Uses, specialized for one-half cost/only for saving throws, corrupted for two-thirds cost/may not choose to take 20 (3 CP).
      Martial Archetype (Champion) (39+ CP).

      Improved & Superior Critical: Improved Critical with the Lethal modifier (12 CP). Immunity to needing to apply these to a particular weapon (very common/major/major) (15 CP).
      Remarkable Athlete: Immunity to not being able to add your proficiency bonus to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution-based skill that doesn’t already use it (common/minor/trivial – grants a +3 bonus) (2 CP). Skill Focus (athletics), specialized for double-effect/only applies to running long-jumps; corrupted for two-thirds cost/only grants a total bonus equal to your Strength modifier (4 CP).
      Additional Fighting Style, one additional choice under Fighting Styles, above.
      Survivor: Grant of Aid with the Mighty modifier, specialized for double effect/only applies to hit points; corrupted for two-thirds cost/only applies when below one-half of your total hit points, but still above 0 (6 CP).
      That’s a total of 486 CP, before adding in the costs of taking two Fighting Styles. Since those together can cost as little as 6 CP or as much as 15, the grand total for this class ranges from 492-501 CP. That’s incredibly balanced!

      For those that want a more detailed breakdown, rather than an overall summary, the following chart shows how the Basic 5E fighter’s CPs are spent at each level:

      Every Level: d10 Hit Die = 6 CP.

      Level Cost Purchases
      1st 59+ +2 Warcraft, specialized and corrupted (4 CP). +2 to two saves (12 CP). Proficient with light, medium, and heavy armor (15 CP) and shields (3 CP). Proficient with all simple and martial weapons (9 CP). +2 to two skill ranks (4 CP). Mighty Grant of Aid, specialized and corrupted (6 CP). Fighting Style (variable CP).
      2nd 15 Reflex Training (3/day variant) with +8 Bonus Uses, specialized for one-half cost/must rest at least one hour between each two uses (9 CP).
      3rd 27 Improved Critical (6 CP). Immunity to needing to apply these to a particular weapon (very common/major/major) (15 CP).
      4th 30 +2 Improved Self-Development (24 CP).
      5th 43 +1 Warcraft, specialized and corrupted (2 CP). +1 to two saves (6 CP). +1 to two skill ranks (2 CP). Improved Bonus Attack (12 CP). Immunity/needing to specify specific situations where each bonus attack applies (very common/major/major) (15 CP).
      6th 30 +2 Improved Self-Development (24 CP).
      7th 12 Immunity to not being able to add your proficiency bonus to Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution-based skill that doesn’t already use it (common/minor/trivial – grants a +3 bonus) (2 CP). Skill Focus (athletics), specialized and corrupted (4 CP).
      8th 30 +2 Improved Self-Development (24 CP).
      9th 18 +1 Warcraft, specialized and corrupted (2 CP). +1 to two saves (6 CP). +1 to two skill ranks (2 CP). Luck, specialized for one-half cost/only for saving throws, corrupted for two-thirds cost/may not choose to take 20 (2 CP).*
      10th 6+ Fighting Style (variable CP).
      11th 18 Improved Bonus Attack (12 CP).
      12th 30 +2 Improved Self-Development (24 CP).
      13th 17 +1 Warcraft, specialized and corrupted (2 CP). +1 to two saves (6 CP). +1 to two skill ranks (2 CP). +1 Bonus Use to Luck (1 CP).*
      14th 30 +2 Improved Self-Development (24 CP).
      15th 12 Lethal modifier to Improved Critical (6 CP).
      16th 30 +2 Improved Self-Development (24 CP).
      17th 19 +1 Warcraft, specialized and corrupted (2 CP). +1 to two saves (6 CP). +1 to two skill ranks (2 CP). Upgrade Reflex Training from specialized to corrupted (3 CP). +1 Bonus Use to Luck (0 CP).*
      18th 12 Mighty Grant of Aid, specialized and corrupted (6 CP).
      19th 30 +2 Improved Self-Development (24 CP).
      20th 18 Improved Bonus Attack (12 CP).
      *The CP totals for Luck here are taken by always applying the CP reductions of corruption and specialization after adding in the cost for Bonus Uses.

      While it’s good to have a fighter that’s finally spending almost all of its Character Points, that doesn’t mean that this is an efficient build. This class is spending a huge amount of CPs on bumping up its ability scores, and there are far cheaper ways to do that in Eclipse – particularly since Eclipse characters receive Improved Self-Development every four levels anyway. The tradeoff for this is that the class’s BAB is lagging hideously behind that of a fighter from earlier editions. Most players are likely to want to trade some of those points in Improved Self-Development for some extra BAB, saves, and even skill points.

      That said, the above build does reflect the underlying assumptions of Fifth Edition, chief among them being the “flatter math” that caps ability scores at 20 and other bonus progressions at +6. There are also some different assumptions regarding how combat works that are reflected in the above build, such as its eschewing iterative attacks in favor of bonus attacks.

      All of this is enough that, if we want to have the Eclipse version of the Basic 5E fighter to adhere more closely to its Fifth Edition underpinnings, we’ll go ahead and apply a package deal to 5E characters.

      The Fifth Edition package deal provides for:

      Immunity to needing to confirm critical hits (very common/major/major) (15 CP).
      Immunity to not being able to make multiple attacks as a standard action (very common/major/great) (30 CP).
      Split Movement/Attacking (6 CP).
      Of course, that’s 51 CP, which is way too expensive since package deals are normally limited to 12 CP. However, the entire package is specialized for half-cost/may not raise ability scores over 20 by any means, and corrupted for one-third cost/does not receive Improved Self-Development for free every fourth level. That brings the cost down to 17 CP.

      That’s still too expensive, so we’ll add in two disadvantages:

      Accursed; must take the Fifth Edition version of feats and spells even where those have been downgraded. (-3 CP)
      Accursed; must make three (non-consecutive) stabilization checks to stabilize when below 0 hit points. (-3 CP)
      That lowers the cost to 11 CP, just inside the limit.

      The above seems to split the difference nicely; bringing in some of the underlying assumptions of 5E combat to how this character functions – without making the character pay for it – while still leaving off some of the heavier restrictions, such as how much BAB or saves they can buy. In an Eclipse game, it’s usually easier (not to mention more fun) not to operate under quite such onerous restrictions.

      One thing that I deliberately didn’t address in this build is that Fifth Edition characters have six saving throws – based around the six ability scores – instead of three. Bringing that into a typical Eclipse game would require changing some underlying assumptions that go far beyond a single character’s build, such as having NPCs and monsters that use attacks versus those other three saves. That’d be awkward if used against another character that used the traditional three-saves mechanics. Ergo, that particular restriction was ignored here.

      Next time, we’ll go over more of the Basic 5E classes and races in Eclipse terms!
      ...»
      Intelligence Check Bron: Intelligence Check 05/07/2014
    • D&D 5th Ed First Impressions
      If, like me, you've been living in a hole and more or less avoiding any and all news about D&D's upcoming 5th edition then you might have missed the news that they release
      d the free basic rules on Thursday, July 3rd. Being as Free is not a price point I can really ignore for what is widely considered the grand daddy of all RPGs, I decided to head on over and check things out. What I found was interesting, intriguing even. To the point that I'm sad I doubt I'll be able to get my group to try it due to constraints of time and other games we have going on. Still, I'm breaking down my initial thoughts below for those who are interested.

      Oh, and for those who just want the file. Click anywhere on this line and you'll be brought to the official release.



      I never played 4th ed. I want you to keep that in mind as I am going through this as some things that may seem new to me might be true of 4th ed. Got it? Awesome, let's go.

      Not Your Daddy's Edition....Or Is It?
      As a gamer who has ventured far and wide from the D&D pastures one of the first things I've noticed is that 5th ed is taking ideas from pretty much every previous edition of D&D and some from other games that are simply like D&D. This is, in my opinion, a good thing because they were able to cherry pick features they liked, refine them for their game, and implement them in a system designed to work with that.

      That being said, the core aspects on your character sheet haven't changed. You still have hit points. You still have the same six attributes you've always had. The races are the same. The classes are the same. When you play this game there will be no mistaking that you are playing a D&D game and that's fine. However, the feel of mechanics may go a bit quicker or different within those confines. I think this is a good thing, but some purists may balk at it.

      Advantage/Disadvantage
      This is one of the new mechanics and I'm not sure I've seen it anywhere else as a staple mechanic of a system. It works simply. If you have Advantage then you roll 2D20 when you make a check and keep the higher of the two. If you have Disadvantage you roll 2D20 and keep the lower of the two. This is a very quick and straight forward way of quickly giving a player an edge, or a setback, without having to worry about bonuses and penalties. Did the player take a bracing action before trying to lift the gate? Give them the advantage.  Are they trying to win at cards with someone at the table cheating? Give them a disadvantage. It's quick, effective, and I imagine it will be a staple mechanic for D20 games for a good while.

      Character Customization
      This is one area where there are definite steps forward and steps back.

      On the downside, you don't have skill points and feats seem to be rarer choices in this edition so it is harder to make your build uniquely yours. You can't be a thief with 20 ranks in performance lute for instance. Instead everyone has a "Proficiency Bonus" (which is the same for everyone and governed by character level) and when a roll includes something you are proficient in you add that bonus. This means that regardless of class that a fighter with acrobatics will be just as proficient as a rogue at acrobatics. The Rogue may be proficient at more things, but barring special abilities they can't be more proficient at any one thing.

      On the upside, every class seems to have a number of archetypes ready for it. The free rules only provide one archetype for each class but more are promised in the PHB to be released later. These archetypes mean that you can have two rogues who are very different from each other because of the archetype

      In short this means that in an individual game a character should have no problems being 'unique' from the other players, but over time and multiple games if you've seen a "Spell Filcher Rogue" once or twice you've seen a very similar build a half dozen times. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that given a few months (probably more like a few hours) there will be "most optimal builds" for these classes just because of the more restrictive build paths. And yet, that isn't necessarily a bad thing because...

      Also as a note, the skill system with proficiencies is basically how skills worked in AD&D second ed. You didn't have a skill level, you just had a list of things you were proficient in and that was that.

      Oh, there are also Backgrounds and some personality rules to further customize your character, and to reward you for playing your character to what was chosen for them. Backgrounds seem like mini-classes where they add some proficiencies and other nice stuff, while personality is done with a system similar to aspects from FATE where you define some ideals, bonds (i.e. connections to characters/places), and flaws and playing to those gets you Inspiration which can boost other rolls and such.

      Easier To Make Encounters
      Reading these rules it seems like the game will be much easier to make encounters for than other games. Why? Because if I am writing an adventure for 3-6th level characters then I know a bunch about these characters already. I know their base proficiency bonus, I can say the rules assume a standard party, I can even know some of the proficiencies that are going to be had. If the group has a Rogue I can be absolutely sure that the Rogue has thieves tools and is proficient in their use. Which means that I can set a trap/obstacle that is bested by a rogue with thieves tools and know by what I set the difficulty at what percentage of players will get to use that option (or on average how many attempts it will take to work.)

      This is a good thing for pre-boxed adventures, and not a bad thing for custom adventures which makes it ultimately a good thing. Especially as the community begins to share their encounters and situations to get better help working through things.

      All in All
      All in all 5th ed looks interesting. Interesting enough I'll probably grab the PHB, DMG, and Monster Manual to see if I like it. I may even see if I can con people into playing it. I like some of the changes they've made. I like how races only give you t hings and don't take away things (at least so far.) I like how proficiency makes character creation faster because instead of the thief having to spend and math through 168 skill ranks they just have to choose 4-8 proficiencies. I love that a 1st level fighter gets a bow with 20 arrows, a martial weapon, a shield or another martial weapon, and then a cross bow or 2 hand axes. Level 1, that is awesome that they come in that well equipped and really shows the idea that at level 1 your character may actually be a "somebody."

      This might be the edition to "come home" to and give it another try. Time will tell.

      As a note, there will be no post on Monday. Consider this Monday's post. :)
      ...»
      Reality Refracted Bron: realityrefracted.com 05/07/2014
    • elcome to D&D 5e. Yesterday Wizards of the Coast officially launched the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons by releasing the D&D Basic Rules online and the D&D Starter Set in select FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Shops). For the past year and a half many D&D enthusiasts participated in the playtest of the new rules dubbed D&D Next. Although the D&D 5e rules look a lot like the final version of the playtest there have been some changes and dare I say improvements made since then. The playtest is over and the real thing is here.

      It’s been a long time since Wizards released a new gaming supplement that you could by at your FLGS and hold in your hands. The D&D Starter Set is the first product released in the 5e lineup with the other iconic rulebooks coming out over the next few months.

      The D&D Starter Set is like a delicious appetizer. You knew you were hungry when you ordered it but you didn’t realize how hungry until you took your first bite. It’s delicious and it leaves you wanting more. You know that the main course is coming soon, but this will certainly hold you over until then.

      Before I go on and talk about what’s in the box, let me tell you that I haven’t yet looked at the D&D Basic Rules available on the Wizards of the Coast website. The D&D Starter Set is supposed to include enough details that you can open the box, read the materials, and begin playing. I wanted to look at this product with that mindset.


      What’s in the Box?

      Let’s start with the box itself. A lot of old school gamers remember getting their first RPG materials in a box, me included. So for me there was an instant nostalgia factor at play. On the box is new artwork that pays homage to Larry Elmore’s classic red box cover. I love it!

      Inside you find the following:

      D&D: Starter Set Rulebook (32 pages)
      D&D: Lost Mines of Phandelver adventure/campaign book (64 pages)
      Six polyhedral dice (blue with white numbers)
      Five pre-generated characters printed on the new D&D 5e character sheets
      Human Fighter (Greatsword, high Dex)
      Human Fighter (GreatAxe, high Str & Cha)
      Dwarf Cleric
      Halfling Rogue
      Elf Wizard
      One blank character sheet
      Interesting to note is that the blank character sheet has the D&D Encounters Logo on it. On the reveres side of the blank character sheet is a new ad for D&D Encounters.

      A Closer Look at the Books

      The books are both soft cover and are printed on very glossy paper. Considering how many of my gaming books have greasy fingerprints on them from years of abuse, going with the glossy paper stock was a good call. The covers of these books are not the traditional covers you’d expect. Only half the cover is dedicated to the art work and it’s the same picture on both books, although one is a close up so they’re not exactly the same. On the lower half of the cover of both books is a table of contents.

      D&D: Starter Set Rulebook

      This book is broken into four chapters: How To Play, Combat, Adventuring, and Spellcasting. The last page of the Rulebook is an Appendix that lists all of the Conditions and the appropriate rules for each.

      Important to note is that this book does not cover character creation, it just explains how to read the things on the pre-generated characters and how to use them in game play.

      While I was looking through the very abridged equipment section I noticed that things like Plate Mail were not listed. I guess this is not something that a level 1-5 PC has a realistic expectation of affording so they didn’t bother listing it at all. It makes sense. There is also no mention of magic items in the introductory Rulebook.

      This book is ideal for newer or younger players. If you’re coming to D&D for the very first time, you’ve never played, and you’ve never read any of the rules, then this book is just what you need to get started. The explanations are clear but not overly complicated. It’s perfect for the players and the DM, and the production value is great.

      However, if you’ve played D&D before, especially if you played during the D&D Next playtest, then this book is a waste of your time. You are not the target audience and this book won’t help you. The only thing you’ll find useful is the Appendix listing the Conditions on the back cover. Once you photocopy it you’ll never need to touch this book again.

      New Rules

      As I went through the official new Rulebook a few things jumped out at me as being different than what I’d become accustomed to during the playtest. I realized that things would change but these things caught my attention and for the most part I think they’re all improvements. It’s entirely possible that I’ve misinterpreted a few of these, but this is what I got out of reading just this book.

      If you get a reroll for any reason you only reroll one die. So if the attack you just made was with advantage and you get a reroll you only reroll one die, not both.
      Advantage or disadvantage provides a +5/-5 modifier on a passive check. So a passive Perception (Wis) check used to hear a Stealthy enemy get +5 if the enemy is at disadvantage or -5 if they have advantage.
      The Search skill was renamed Investigate (Int). Perform (Cha) was added as a new skill.
      When standing from prone it costs you half your movement. This sucks if you’ve got a high speed, but it’s better than taking your full move action.
      The double move mechanic formerly known as Hustle was renamed Dash.
      You suffer disadvantage when making a ranged attack (with weapon or spell) against a creature within 5 feet / adjacent to you.
      You only get one bonus action per round. Making an attack with a second weapon in your off hand is now a bonus action. The Swift casting time was renamed bonus action. The Rogue’s cunning action is now a bonus action. Now Rogues with two weapons can either attack with the second weapon or use Cunning Action to move again.
      When you score a crit you roll all damage dice twice, including any bonus dice like a Rogue’s sneak dice, and then you add your appropriate modifiers like Str bonus.
      You don’t track negative hit points. When you hit 0 you fall unconscious. However, if you ever take damage equal to your maximum hit points while you’re at 0 you die instantly. It’s dangerous at low levels, but not likely as dangers at high levels.
      You must have 1 hit point at the start of a long rest to get the benefits of resting.
      Spells that have the duration Concentration require the caster to make a Concentration (Con) save if they take damage. The DC is 10 or half the damage, whichever is higher. The spellcaster makes a new save after every hit.
      I know a lot of players who will be upset that some of their favourite loopholes have been closed.

      D&D: Lost Mine of Phandelver

      This is where the meat of the D&D Starter Set is hidden away. This incredible 64-page book is a massive adventure that will bring your party from level 1 to level 5. The encounters are well thought out, the maps are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen in any D&D book, and the interior art is great.

      The adventure is set up much the same way as Scourge of the Sword Coast in that the PCs are headed for a small town, set up a central point from which they can head out on adventures, and then return to when they need to rest and recover. In Scourge of the Sword Coast it was Daggerford, in this case it’s a sleepy town called Phandelver.

      As the PCs venture out from Phandelver they face the iconic monsters you’d expect in a low level D&D adventure including Bugbears, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Ogres, Orcs, Skeletons, Zombies and of course Evil Cultists. The stat blocks for all of the monsters you’ll face in this adventure are listed in the back of the book. In each encounter creatures you may face are listed in bold text to easily identify them among the rest of the text and description.

      The PCs may be fortunate enough to discover a few magic items throughout the adventure. There aren’t many, but descriptions of the ones they may find are listed in the appendix.

      This adventure is just as long as the last few seasons of D&D Encounters clocking in at 50+ pages of substance. I’d estimate it would take 30-40 hours of game play to finish this entire adventure. And that’s assuming the DM sticks to just what’s printed.

      While the Rulebook may not have much for seasoned players, this book more than makes up for that. There’s enough detail provided that DMs could easily make Phandelver the setting for their next long-term campaign once they finish running this adventure path.

      Weighing it all: The Good and the Bad

      So now that I’ve looked at everything let’s recap what I felt were the highs and lows.

      The Good
      The D&D Starter Set is perfect for beginners. The material is easy to follow and understand. It comes with characters and dice and a fully fleshed out adventure. The price point is very reasonable and really only one players in your group needs to purchase this boxed set to get started.
      For the more experienced players the Lost Mines of Phandelver adventure is certainly a good pick-up. It’s a quality product that you can mine for a lot of great materials even if you don’t plan to run it cover to cover.
      The blank character sheet has a D&D Encounters logo on it. This is genius. Now every time a new player makes his own character he’s starting at the public play logo and asking himself, “What’s D&D Encounters?” Let’s hope this encourages new and younger players to visit their FLGS to join in the fun.
      The Bad
      These are fairly minor criticisms, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point them out.

      There are five pre-generated characters provided and two are Human Fighters? Really? Come on; why not make the second Fighter an Elf if he’s going to be a bow Fighter?
      There wasn’t a single poster map in the boxed set. Everyone knows that you’re supposed to get poster maps with boxed sets. We don’t need a tactical map with a 1-inch grid like we had in 4e, but why not provide a poster map of the Sword Coast? There’s one on page 5 of the Lost Mine of Phandelver, just blow that one up. And why not provided a full poster of the Green Dragon depicted on the cover? Maybe even print it on the back of the Sword Coast poster map?
      What’s with the cardboard insert? If you didn’t need the extra space in the box why not make it skinnier? I actually felt a bit cheated that half the space in the box was nothing but cardboard. If this was a board game I might think this was long-term planning for when the expansion comes out. Maybe the intent is that you throw minis in there once you buy some?
      Where’s my digital copy? I was disappointed that there wasn’t a download code that would let me have my very own soft copy of Lost Mine of Phandelver. Considering I played the last year of D&D Encounters from a tablet, going back to using a hard copy will be difficult and seems like a big step backwards.
      Final Thoughts

      All in all this is a great introduction to D&D 5e. Remembering that this is intended for new players, the product does exactly what it’s supposed to do. I think any newbie who picks this up will be happy and will want more.

      I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for the more experienced players. If you’ve played before I’d say save your money for the Player’s Handbook and other hardcovers coming soon. However, if you’re one of those gamers who absolutely must own everything you should still find enough useful and exciting bits in the adventure to make you fell like you got your money’s worth.

      Final score for new players: 10 on a d10
      Final score for experienced players: 7 on a d10
      Did you pick up the D&D Starter Set? What did you think? For those who aren’t planning to purchase the Starter Set what’s stopping you? If you could have a digital copy would that sway your decision at all?
      ...»
      Dungeon Master.com Bron: dungeonsmaster.com 05/07/2014
    • Eclipse and D&D Fifth Edition – Races
      Continuing in our series of converting the character options of Basic 5E to Eclipse: the Codex Persona, we take a look at the various PC races presented in the Ba
      sic rules.

      The Basic version of D&D Fifth Edition restricts the options for PC races to the classic four: dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans. All of the half-breed races (half-elves and half-orcs) as well as the outre races (dragonborn, tieflings, and apparently gnomes) are relegated to the full version of the game.

      In a forward-thinking move, options for various sub-races are built into the main racial presentations, rather than presenting single default standard for each race. Humans are the exception here – two completely different versions of human racial traits are presented, and unlike the sub-racial options for the demihumans, there’s no in-game flavor text that presents the option of having two different “breeds” of humans in the game world (though there’s certainly no reason you can’t do so).

      Given that, let’s see how Basic 5E’s presentation of the classic four races compares to their 3.5 and Pathfinder counterparts under the Eclipse rules.
      ...»
      Intelligence Check Bron: Intelligence Check 06/07/2014
    • Podcast
      Kevin’s back from the World Cup just in time for us to talk about the release of the newest edition of Dungeons & Dragons!
      8one6 Bron: 8one6 07/07/2014
    • The Basic Rules of Dungeons and Dragons Next Have Some Cool Things To Say About Gender Identity

      Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast released a set of free-to-download “basic rules” for the upcoming fifth
      edition of Dungeons and Dragons, with the idea of putting this new version of D&D into “as many hands as possible.” This in itself is pretty rad, but the actual text of the rules are surprisingly inclusive to non-binary players and characters in a way that hasn’t shown up in an official guide before.

      According to the website, the basic rules PDF “runs from levels 1 to 20 and covers the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, presenting what we view as the essential subclass for each. It also provides the dwarf, elf, halfling, and human as race options; in addition, the rules contain 120 spells, 5 backgrounds, and character sheets.” Which is awesome, but we’re interested in particular with Chapter 4: Personality and Background (about 33 pages into the PDF), where the rules have this to say about the role that gender identity and sexual orientation might play for your character:

      The rules more or less encourage players to experiment with their ideas of their assigned race’s gender roles and with the concept of gender itself, and even bring up the idea that choosing not to identify with a singular binary gender means that you might be “made in the image” of an Elven god.

      Of course, it’s not perfect: while the actual text of the paragraph uses the correct distinction between sex and gender, the fact that only “sex” is listed as the header might give readers the wrong initial impression about which terminology to use when. (Although you might argue that this is a good thing, because it’ll inadvertently attract the type of people who immediately think “awww yeah gettin’ laid by hot elf NPCs” and then maybe those dweebs will learn something). And it’s not as if people weren’t allowed to play any type of gender they wanted before–after all, a game of Dungeons and Dragons can be as inclusive and accepting as the people who are getting together and playing it.

      However, putting down the idea of non-binary gender in writing (which we don’t remember encountering in 4th Ed. or 3.5?s basic rule set)  is pretty awesome on the part of Wizards of the Coast, in part because talking about differences in gender both normalizes those differences and creates valuable resources for the real-life people who identify with them. It’s not difficult to imagine the long-suffering non-binary nerd kid who’s been unable to put words to their feelings coming across the phrase “”You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender,” and thinking, “Hey, that’s me!” Which is pretty great in my book.

      While the basic rules are probably all you need to get a rudimentary DnD game together, the accompanying Starter Kit will be available in hobby shops on July 15th.
      ...»
      Victoria McNally Bron: The Mary Sue 07/07/2014
    • 40 years of history. Two years of extensive play-testing by 175,000 avid gamers. Countless revisions and updates.

      Finally, it is here.

      Yes folks, the latest edition of the greatest and most influent
      ial role-playing game of all time is….. almost….. here! To celebrate this momentous launch we are going to dedicate this entire week to D&D Basic, the freely downloadable (and surprisingly well featured given its lowly version number) edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

      We are going to look at what what’s in the (virtual) box, see how it stacks up against other editions of the game and go over the rules with a fine tooth comb.
      ...»
      greywulf Greywulf's Lair Bron: Basic D&D: Day One 07/07/2014
  • Modules

    • Frog God Games has rereleased The Wizard's Amulet for the newly released D&D 5e using the traditional OGL.

      It's a free download and you don't even need to sign up for a Frog God account.

      5th Edition
      Rules, 1st Edition Feel ...»
      Erik Tenkar Tenkars Tavern Bron: Tenkars Tavern 04/07/2014
    • You have few complaints this night as you rest in the common room of the Crooked Crow Inn. While winter has passed, the night air carries enough of a chill to make any hearth a welcome sight.

      The vi
      llage of Havehollow is typical for this part of the realm. Livelihoods made from farming and livestock with a few merchants and the Inn catering to travelers along the kingsroad. Good folk who know that hard work is what's needed to make it through harsh times.

      As you finish your meal you notice a fellow traveler, a rave haired woman, walk to the front of the common room with lyre in hand. She plucks a few practice cords then breaks into song.

      Seasons come and go
      Moons wax and wane
      Time seems so slow
      To the spirits of Havehollow...

      This is an introductory adventure for 3-5 characters levels 1-3 but can easily be adjusted upward.
      ...»
      The Mad Manor of Astabar [Levels 1-3; Haunted House] Bron: The Mad Manor of Astabar [Levels 1-3; Haunted House] 05/07/2014
    • At the roof of the world, an ancient order watches over a vault of enchanted memories. When raiders attack their sanctuary, an unexpected explosion sends the vault spiraling into meltdown. It’s up to the heroes to save the memories… if they can keep their heads!

      A 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons adventure for 4th level characters.

      By Will Doyle, with illustrations by Stacey Allan.
      ...»
      Mind Blast Bron: EN World Forum 05/07/2014
    • In the freezing cold of a tall and lonely mountain range, a small group of soldiers, out on patrol, are running for their lives. With the ways ahead and behind blocked, they have few options left. They choose the path where no-one goes... ...»
      No Quarter Level 4-5 Bron: EnWorld Forum 05/07/2014
    • A wandering farm boy falls foul of an ancient trap and is plunged into a death-like sleep. The cure lies in a temple hidden in the green gloom of Merthington Woods, but to find it, the adventurers must brave a set of terrible traps laid by a forgotten sect of priests...

      A D&D Next adventure for 1st level characters
      By Michael Button

      Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/rpgdownloads.php?do=download&downloadid=1008#ixzz36ZCBELwo
      ...»
      The Dreaming Heralds Bron: EnWorld Forum 05/07/2014
    • The Vile Darkness of VonGlauss Mansion [Levels 5-7; Haunted House]
      After the death of Victor VonGlauss, the mysteries behind his powers and horrible experiments begin to unravel. Can the players solve
      the riddles of VonGlauss Mansion and live to tell the tale?

      A D&D Next Adventure for 3-5 players of levels 5-7.
      By A.A. Amirault with designs and drawings by Marion Marchant.
      ...»
      The Vile Darkness of VonGlauss Mansion Bron: EnWorld Forum 05/07/2014
    • The Halfling Horde is a Dungeons & Dragons Next adventure for four to six characters of 7th through 9th level. The adventure involves a nomadic horde of halflings coming into conflict with a town, Round River, newly founded in their sacred grounds. It takes place in a recently settled region of hilly wilderness grassland connected back to civilization by a river. The river has been named, as it plays an important role in the backstory of the adventure, but the wilderness itself as well as the nearby civilization have not, to permit easier inclusion into a pre-existing campaign setting.

      The adventure is written with the assumption that a wizard, Oxidus, invites the party to Round River to help with the town?s woes, and provides magical means of transportation to reach this remote location. If the campaign setting renders this contrivance unnecessary, Oxidus can extend the invitation without offering his teleportation skills.
      ...»
      The Halfling Horde (Levels 7-9) Bron: EnWorld Forum 05/07/2014
    • The Tome of Absence is a powerful spellbook of illusion magic. Many of the greatest illusionists throughout history possessed the tome, but most hid it someplace secret, died at the hands of a rival magician, or simply disappeared. The tome has a dark secret: it feeds on the spirit of its owner, using the magician?s own life to fuel his or her illusions, eventually killing its master and trapping his or her soul.

      Urlach the Grand Illusionist is a rogue wizard who fancies himself the greatest illusionist of the current age. He has sought the Tome of Absence for more than a decade,believing that the tome will elevate him to be the greatest illusionist of all time. He tracked down the tome, claimed it for himself, and dove into studying the text, taking few precautions as he did. By the time he learned of the Tome?s deadly secret, it was too late. Now, Urlach is frantically searching for a way to remove the tome?s curse before it kills him.

      The PCs might become the targets of one of Urlach?s servants, hunt Urlach for the bounty on his head, or be hired by the people of Dinton to rescue missing priests. The PCs will explore the mansion where Urlach found the Tome and at first it seems welcoming, but they will quickly realize that nothing within the mansion is what it seems. Illusions, traps, and arcane defenders hinder their progress through a mansion that is literally falling apart around them. If the PCs encounter and defeat Urlach, they will be left with the dilemma of responsibly disposing of the tome - or perhaps the temptation of using its power for themselves...

      The Grand Illusionist?s Delusion is an adventure designed for a party of four 5th-8th level adventurers. The adventure was designed with 6th level characters in mind but it is still appropriate for characters of 7th or 8th level.
      ...»
      The Grand Illusionist's Delusion [Levels 5-8; Haunted House] Bron: En World Forum 05/07/2014
    • The Golden Bones of Lightwatch Tower is a starting adventure plunging players into a chaotic and horrible situation which they need to navigate with care, or find themselves part of the title.
      The Golden Bones of Lightwatch Tower Bron: EnWORLD fORUM 05/07/2014
    • Hi everyone. To celebrate and support the release of 5e, I have converted one of my 4e adventures to the new system and made it available as a free download. In the spirit of the multi-edition support I want to cultivate here, I have also included some simple OSR conversion notes. I hope you enjoy it!

      *I made some edits to the formatting and cleaned up the maps; dl the new version below. 
      ...»
      Frothsot D&D Bron: Frothsot D&D 06/07/2014
    • The Town of Bridgepuddle 5e-Free Adventure
      Milky Bron: Milky 07/07/2014

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