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[Tell me about] Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

Von Ether

Registered User
Validated User
#51
But then I came across Stars Without Number and its various sibling games: Other Dust, Godbound, Scarlet Heroes, (and the revised edition, of course) etc. I've run some very succesful and enjoyable games with those rules and it got me thinking that maybe levels and classes aren't so bad.
You could also try 5e -- scifi style, with Esper Genesis. It ports over the main rules and puts cool spins on some of the 5e classes like warlock (cybermancer) and paladin (sentinel.) And while it introduces a new weapon quality, high-velocity, the GM can use the other damage types to create light sabers (radiant) or disruptions (necrotic.)

The setting is more Mass Effect than it is Traveller or Dragonstar.



LIke 5e, the game also comes in a stripped down freebie and fleshed out core book.
 

BeholderThief

Registered User
Validated User
#52
Do you run it all in theater of the mind style, or do you have a map of some sort?

I think 5e was designed with both theater of the mind and combat map as viable options. I really like this about 5e, too, along with the quicker combat I've experienced at low levels. Most of my gaming comes from online, and it's a technical challenge for me to use combat maps (though I've done it before).
I run a couple B/X / OSR mis-mash groups... one with average of 4 players and one with an average of 6-7 players. I play in person mostly, but sometimes via Roll20 (usually with smaller groups).

In my 4 player group, each player has 1 to 4 followers so they tend to number 12-15 characters. They have minis for their PCs and followers. Encounters don't get too crazy unless its wilderness with low level types (orcs, goblins) they can be encountered 20-40 strong at times. I have a couple sets of those small d6 dice that I use form monsters.

I use the battle mat but I don't care about precise positioning and I don't count squares or anything. The maximum precision I care about is "are you engaged in melee?", "is there any cover from ranged attacks?", "will that fireball get both groups?"

I do side initiative.

The players are made aware the AC of the monsters and any modifiers to hit. They have to-hit tables on their sheet and know exactly what to roll to hit, they don't need to ask me. They just execute their attacks and tell me the damage. Its chaotic but I apply their damage as they call it out and we narrate the results.

I don't bother rolling hit points for a monster until it is actually damaged. A lot of times they do more than their max, so its an instant kill, otherwise I note its damage. I assume if at all possible, players focus fire and will attack already damaged monsters. This means I'm only ever tracking one set of hit points per grouping of monsters. This cuts down on bookkeeping tremendously.

I use a cleave mechanic which means that melee types mow down goblins and orcs like in the LoTR movies. The 18 STR Paladin takes out 5-6 goblins every round.

Once everyone gets the hang of it, combat moves fast and furious, even with large numbers of creatures.
 

Calypso

Bunny With a Glock
Validated User
#53
I don't bother rolling hit points for a monster until it is actually damaged.
You know, I think this is the first time I've ever seen someone imply that they roll monsters' hit points. I have always just used the average listed. But maybe that's only part of newer editions?
 

Siphonaptera

up to no good
Banned
Validated User
#54
Another thing that I don’t like, or at least I don’t understand the reasoning behind, is how some attacks are attacker-rolled, while others are defender rolled (in the form of saves versus). I get that NADs aren’t a thing anymore, but this feels clunky to me.
Rolling to attack means you always get to use your primary stat against their DC. Spells and other stuff with save DCs allow one to pick what stat the defender is using, so you can (sometimes) choose something they are warm at.

Thematically an attack roll spells requires precision, such as shooting a beam at a specific location on the target or hitting a moving target. Saves resist things that are area of effect, like a fire bolt, or require resistance to the effects, like a cloud of poison. So Melf's Acid Arrow is an attack roll because the caster is aiming it at a specific target like an arrow. Acid Splash splashes an area to hit up to 2 enemies so they save to avoid the splash.
 

Siphonaptera

up to no good
Banned
Validated User
#55
You know, I think this is the first time I've ever seen someone imply that they roll monsters' hit points. I have always just used the average listed. But maybe that's only part of newer editions?
Both being available is great. I do use the average most of the time, I roll or choose something in the possible range for unique monsters like leaders.

Haven't done the same with damage though, even though it lists an average value.
 

BeholderThief

Registered User
Validated User
#56
You know, I think this is the first time I've ever seen someone imply that they roll monsters' hit points. I have always just used the average listed. But maybe that's only part of newer editions?
Sorry, I use average hp in 5E and I roll hit points in B/X.

I was speaking towards combat speed comparisons between them.

I think you can get the same execution speed in 5E if you take a little more hands off approach to things:

Use average hit points for monsters.
Tell players AC for monsters.
Do group initiative.
Let players execute their attack’s and actions on their own (holding attention to each player’s action one at a time is what causes then most delays... many actions don’t interfere with each other.)

The problem with 5E is there are a lot more moving parts that do require attention.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
#57
You know, I think this is the first time I've ever seen someone imply that they roll monsters' hit points. I have always just used the average listed. But maybe that's only part of newer editions?
I did back during the OD&D days. I don't recall one way or another during my 3e run.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#58
Every time I try to think about looking closer at 5e I remember looking at the spell lists and feeling nothing. They still look like complicated messes of names. If they wanted to simplify things why couldn't they have started with turning the spell lists into "energy bolt I, II, II; protection I, II, I; etc"?

(I know why they didn't, but I really just can't stand that kind of spell list any more.)
 

Machpants

ExF3Nav
Validated User
#59
Because energy bolt one, two, and two; and protection one, two, and one make no sense? :p To me those names are so boring and mechanical/sci fi.

However the reason they didn't do that is most spells can be cast in higher level slots, so you don't need number versions. In 5E you have magic missile 1, 2, 3, etc. Different spells are different, just not upscaled of previous spells levels
 

Daz Florp Lebam

Grand Poobah
Validated User
#60
For most of my time in the roleplaying hobby I've avoided class-and-level based systems. Something about the restrictiveness of classes and step-like progression of levels just sat badly with me.

However I have played plenty of videogames based on various versions of D&D: the Baldur's Gate series, Icewind Dale, Neverwinter Nights, etc. I always felt that the systems worked better for video games as all of that experience point crunching and armour class stacking rules (Natural, Attribute Modifier, Armour, Magical, Shield...) etc. would be handled by the computer.

But then I came across Stars Without Number and its various sibling games: Other Dust, Godbound, Scarlet Heroes, (and the revised edition, of course) etc. I've run some very succesful and enjoyable games with those rules and it got me thinking that maybe levels and classes aren't so bad.

My understanding of 5th edition is that it streamlined and simplified away a lot of the junk that had started to clutter up D&D and Pathfinder over the years. And that has got me a bit interested, because it was exactly the presence of so many options (tons of classes, prestige classes, races, subraces and bazillions of magic items) and edge rules that turned me off.

So with all of this background out of the way, (and hoping this is the right sub-forum for this!) please tell me about D&D 5th edition! What would somebody a little skeptical about class-and-level systems and very skeptical about bloated rules think about it?
Well, I haven't read the whole thread, so maybe most or all of this has already been said, buuuuuuut:

You needn't crunch experience points at all in 5E - there's a "Milestone Advancement" option, wherein basically the PCs go up a level when the DM says so. ;)

AC stacking is distinctly avoided in the 5E rules, until you get magic items, but many or even all of the AC-boosting items require attunement, and a PC can only have 3 items attuned at a time. Bloat avoided!

Speaking of bloat, in 5E all you really need to play is the PHB, or heck, just the Starter Box. In fact, you don't even need those - the SRD is online! I've run 5E for 2 years and still don't own a Monster Manual. Between the PHB, the DMG, and online stuff I haven't had the need. Xanathar's has a lot of new subclasses, which is nice, and there's some new races in a couple books. That's it, after 4 years of publication. Nice!

I'm not keen on class and level stuff either, but it works in 5E about as well as can be hoped. It feels good to me. 5E is very well-engineered for the most part.
 
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