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  1. #11
    I like Next over 4E, that much I'm certain of, but one thing I miss from 3E is the plethora of flavored PrCs and creativity in char design. I do not like simplified, I like unique. I like the idea that a char I make today is less likely to be made by me ever again. This required strong multiclassing rules and options. Something 4E lacked.

  2. #12
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    I was initially excited about Next, but as time has gone on, there's some core pieces I really don't like:

    Saving Throws:
    I dislike this part the most. I feel like Next took a huge step backwards with returning to not only Saving Throws, but SIX of them. In 0E-2E, you have 5 Saving Throws, and at high level it was nearly impossible to actually land a spell because the DCs were so low. Then in 3E they took a big step forward with Fort/Ref/Will. Now there's only three saves, and they did the THAC0 flip on them, so it's a bonus instead of a target. Great! Finally in 4E they applied the cardinal rule of "The Attacker Rolls", turning your Fort/Ref/Will into DCs for the attacker. It was fantastic--even though mechanically it's no different that 3E, aesthetically it's more fun. Now we're back to 3E style saves, except you have SIX of them (to be fair, only Con/Dex/Wis are used really. Frankly, it sucks. Now we're back to mages just sitting there telling the DM what they want to cast, and him rolling some dice behind their screen and saying if it worked. Lame.
    Is it fixable? Sure. Just take your (SpellDC - 10) and use that for your attack bonus, and make the target DC (10 + AbilityMod). But I can do that with 0E-3E already! If I have to recalculate a core mechanic of the game, that's a problem for me.

    Multi-Classing is borked as hell. I have no solution for it, either. 0E-2E multi-classing was cumbersome and silly. 3E was exploitable as hell, and 4E got it right, in my opinion (Feat-based; I didn't care for Hybrid-based as much, but it wasn't broken, either). Now multi-classing is back to level-based (3E style), but the math breaks down horribly. A cleric 9/Bard 11 ends up being a better caster of bard spells than a Bard 20. Silly.

    While I like the modified Vancian casting in Next, the cantrips are too strong--a mage can hurl Ray of Frost around all day every round, or cast Magic Missile twice. The two spells are way to close in effectiveness; there's very little reason to take the latter.

    Bounded Accuracy:
    I like Bounded Accuracy, that's not a complaint. It's the loss of bounded accuracy I'm having a problem with--Next started out with the idea, but has started siding away from that. With growing Ability mods (fighter gets SEVEN +2's or FOURTEEN +1's), Proficiency (+1 to +6), and then Expertise (+5) skills will quickly escalate to the point that it's impossible to fail anything but DC 25+ checks (which are supposed to be nigh-impossible). The Proficiency bonus also throws off multi-classing; if you make a 19 Mage/Fighter 1, the mage has the same +6 to hit with a sword that a 20 Fighter does. What?

    EDIT: Meant to point out that instead of a 1/2-level bonus from 4E now we have a 1/3-level bonus. Having it apply to all proficiencies borks the math when you multi-class.

    A 19 Fighter/1 Mage casts his 2 first level spell slots like a level 1 Mage. What would be balanced is if a 19 Mage/1 Fighter only got to use his proficiency bonus of +1 with weapons on the fighter gets. You want to make a Fighter/Cleric, both are able to use Maces, so full bonus. A Fighter/Mage? You're giving up training with the longsword to master magic, so you don't get the full proficiency bonus. It also becomes needlessly complicated then.

    Anyway, Next is starting to feel more and more like a mish-mash of 0E-4E, and they aren't even taking the parts that I really LIKED. I'll buy it when it comes out of course, but right now I'm REALLY enjoying 4E Essentials; they did a lot to get back to 0E-2E feel, but keeping the better mechanics of 4E, especially:

    The Attacker Always Rolls.

    I mean seriously, if I want a complete system that's actually good but has some stuff I need to apply a transparent house-rule to change resolution mechanics (dumping THAC0 & Saving Throws) then I've got a near-mint condition D&D Rules Cyclopedia sitting on my shelf already. Plus that was from the good ole' days when TSR printed mostly Campaign Settings and Adventure Modules!
    Last edited by Xorn; October 15th, 2013 at 15:57.
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  3. #13
    I haven't played as extensively as others, but I do have some good initial impressions.

    I like melee types and was pleased how some feats were handled: Weapon Finesse is now a weapon quality and Cleave is one in a list of effects in a DDN feat. Also the new features like using Strength for hit and damage with some thrown weapons and moving before and after an attack.

    Backgrounds are another interesting idea, just wondering how relevant will some of them be when the characters reach higher levels.
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  4. #14
    Xorn's Avatar
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    Yeah, I like those aspects. Feats are a big thing now--which they should be when taken in lieu of an ability increase. Backgrounds were much more interesting before they put skills back in, but now they have really taken a backseat again. Moving before and after an attack is nice as well--and since the only way to provoke OAs (without feats) is to leave someone's reach, it's the only time they come into play.

    Oh, don't like that either--ranged/area attacks don't provoke anymore. In our playtest my brother was playing a mountain dwarf cleric with 19 Wisdom. There was literally NO REASON for him to ever do anything offensively than cast Sacred Flame. Even surrounded by monsters, Sacred Flame didn't provoke, and is much more likely to hit than a melee attack. Which means... you guess it:

    Saving Throw instead of Attacker Rolls.

    In the last game we played, they were ambushed by 9 kobolds, and it wasn't going great for the group--the fighter was nearly down, the rogue was flailing around missing over and over, the mage was a sling stone bullseye and about to drop, and the cleric was desperately trying to keep a few people standing, before asking me to make a saving throw with one of the kobolds.

    The mage cast Charm on one of the kobolds, which took one out of the fight, took out a second kobold that it stabbed, and then a third one attacked the charmed one (missing). It wasn't shaping up to be a TPK, but it was going really badly. That Charm turned the entire fight around and they routed the kobolds.

    Ben (the mage) didn't even roll a die. (Saving Throw vs Wisdom)

    /sigh
    Last edited by Xorn; October 15th, 2013 at 19:15.
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  5. #15
    I am in favor of "The attacker always rolls" as well and wonder why are they taking this step in the direction of older editions. Maybe they are avoiding situations like: "what happens when a spell crits?"

    I wasn't very enthusiastic about the rolling twice mechanic, but after I saw some people doing number-crunching comparisons I began to see it in a better light. Yes, its more dice rolling, but its not every time.
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  6. #16
    Xorn's Avatar
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    When a spell crits? It does maximum damage, like every other crit in 4E. With an Area/Blast, it only crits the target you rolled the crit on, obviously.

    Advantage/Disadvantage looked really cool to me at first. A sliding 5-25% adjustment, based on what your initial chances are; if you need a 19 to hit, Advantage helps a little. If you need an 11 to hit, Advantage helps a lot! It seemed really cool, then as your start looking at character progression, Advantage/Disadvantage is in effect on like every single roll. Every class has 2 saves that they get advantage on, getting advantage is actually really easy (I mean how often do you get Combat Advantage in 4E? All the time.) Several classes either have Advantage on every attack, or give Disadvantage on every attack against them. So since it's not going to be a special occurrence, now I just feel like we're always going to be rolling 2 dice.

    That kind of sums up my feelings on where the playtest packet is pointing: A lot of cool ideas being overused ad nauseum, slapped together with a hodge-podge of outdated mechanics with the purpose of (my opinion) "giving that old-school feel". Saving throws were great in 1983--because we didn't know any better.

    Anyway, I'm sure I come across as hating 5E/Next. It's not out yet, and during the 4E development podcasts I remember quite a few "WTF would you do that?" moments then, too. For the most part in worked out. But the one thing I've learned from playtesting Next is that I LOVE 4EE (Essentials). It really captures 4E with a retroclone feel to it, for me.
    "We all take our risks, here in the dungeon." --Bargle
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  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Xorn View Post
    When a spell crits? It does maximum damage, like every other crit in 4E. With an Area/Blast, it only crits the target you rolled the crit on, obviously.
    Yea, thats a no-brainer, I was mixing up details in my head and that didn't come out as intelligently as I thought . I'm in the camp that AoE damage-dealing spells should not be able to crit simply because its ultra lame when the DM TPKs with a fireball.
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  8. #18

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    Most monsters don't have fireballs, and sometimes spell crits are unimportant. Like in the screen here:

    Four crits for no damage. Honestly I've never come close to TPKing a party over multiple crits from one power. Most monsters do nowhere enough AOE damage to kill on crits. Some solos, in theory could do it - like a dragon - I guess.

    Edit: The big reasons most monsters don't do enough AOE damage to kill parties on crits is their AOE damage is lower than single target damage but, more importantly, they almost never have implements to kick up the crit damage.
    Last edited by Griogre; October 20th, 2013 at 21:52.

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